GDB 56.0: CONFIDENCE BUILDERS

Jason Gregor
January 29 2014 01:01PM

It is amazing how quickly confidence can appear or disappear in pro sports, and right now the Oilers have some. It is difficult to quantify exactly how much it helps, but when most of your players have a healthy dose of confidence your chances of winning increase.

I felt the Oilers played well against Vancouver (at home) and Phoenix, despite losing both games, but that good play carried over to wins over Nashville and Vancouver, and for only the fourth time this season the Oilers have won two straight games.

The Oilers will try to match their season-high three-game winning streak tonight when they take on the very good San Jose Sharks.

It is crazy to think the Oilers have only won consecutive games four times all season. It is hard to build any sort of confidence when you aren't winning, but the Oilers have played four solid games in a row, and despite only winning the last two they are starting to look like a better hockey club.

With games coming up against San Jose and Boston that could change quickly, but heading into tonight the Oilers are feeling good.

POSITIVES...

  • In Vancouver, it was the Canucks turning the puck over at the offensive blueline, twice, that led directly to Oilers goals. We've all witnessed the Oilers continually turn the puck over for the past couples of seasons, but in this short string of games they have cut down those costly mistakes.
     
  • The Oilers have had excellent back pressure from their forwards lately. That has made life much easier for their defenceman, and likely why we've seen fewer glaring mistakes from the D-men.
     
  • The second line won them a game without needing any help from the first line. If the Oilers are ever going to be competitive they need to rely on more than one line. Perron-Gagner-Yakupov was the best line in Vancouver, and they must continue that leading into the Olympic break.
     
  • Martin Marincin continues to play smart, controlled hockey. I'd argue that his simple game has had just as much, and maybe more. of an impact on Petry's play than Petry has had on him. It is a still a very small sample size for Marincin, but he's played well and he has been very active with his stick breaking up plays. He'll need to get stronger in the summer, and if he has to face Marleau or Thornton tonight it will be a very good test for him.
     
  • You need to remain cautious with Marincin. Remember Justin Schultz' first 20 games last year compared to his final 28. It is extremely rare for any young player to avoid a time where they struggle, but so far Marincin has been a pleasant surprise.
     
  • Two games with solid goaltending. Ben Scrivens was solid against the Preds and Bryzgalov played his best game in over a month in Vancouver. They don't have to steal games; they just need to be consistent. This team isn't strong enough yet to overcome weak goals, and for two games the goalies didn't allow a weak goal.
     
  • Some might not like the length of his contract, and that is a valid concern, but Matt Hendricks has increased the Oilers intensity level significantly. Not only does he play hard, he is very vocal and positive on the bench and in the room. Many of the young players have told me how much of a lift his energy and enthusiasm on and off the ice has given them. This team needs a few more vocal leaders, and it seems Hendricks is filling that void.
     
  • That type of contribution won't show up on the stats sheet, but it is vital for success. Not every player can be measured solely on his stats line. Intangibles help. Ask the LA Kings how much Matt Greene's off-ice leadership and humour helped them in their Cup run. He was vital to keeping Doughty focused and relaxed.
     
  • Sam Gagner is playing better. Many of us, myself included, underrated how much that injury impacted his play. I still believe MacTavish needs to change the mix in his top-six in the summer, and if Gagner can have a strong final 27 games that will give MacTavish another trading option.
     
  • Two games is still only two games. The Oilers better not relax or the Sharks will be up 3-0 before they know it. The Oilers must continue to build on their solid play. Like I said earlier, I believe they've played well for four games, and even if they don't win vs. the Sharks or Bruins they must continue to play smart and with some passion.
     
  • Further to Brownlee's article yesterday about the need for success. I agree, and the best part about it is that the Oilers can play well and not impact their draft ranking much at all. The Oilers sit 29th in the NHL with 40 points and 27 games remaining. If they go 14-11-2 they would finish with 70 points.

    Now let's look at who they are chasing.

    The 28th place Flames have 45 points and 29 games left. The Flames would need a combination of wins/OTL totaling 24 point or less for the Oilers to pass them, and that's if the Oilers win 14 games, which is unlikely. So the Flames need to go 11-16-3 or worse.

    Florida is in 27th place with 49 points and 29 games remaining. The Panthers would need 20 points or less for the Oilers to catch them. They'd need to go 9-18-2 or worse for the Oilers to catch them.

    The Islanders are in 26th place with 50 points and 27 games left. They would really need to tank it for the Oilers to gain ten points in 27 games. The Islanders would need to go 9-17-1 for the Oilers to pass them.

    Keep in mind those numbers are based on the Oilers winning 14 of their remaining 27 games. That would be a massive improvement from their first 55.

    The only way I see them not owning a top-three pick is if a team ranked 4th-14th wins the lottery and drops them to 4th. Don't fret if the Oilers win a few games, you should relish them, because they are still a virtual lock to finish in the bottom three and have the opportunity to draft another elite player.
     
  • An interesting read by David Staples on why people shouldn't be that concerned about Taylor Hall's overall game. Those who believe strongly in Corsi will say he's having a bad year, but Staples illustrates that Hall is still producing quality chances, albeit not as many as last year. I feel Corsi can be used as a tool, but like Staples I have an issue in that it punishes or rewards a player for instances that he has no impact in.

    A D-man can stand at the point, while the forwards cycle down low and direct three attempts on goal and he gets +3, despite doing nothing. And in the D-zone a winger can be in the right spot, covering his zone, but the opposite D could lose a battle and give up three chances. Both times the winger and D-man got rewarded or punished for essentially doing nothing more than being in position. Those are just some examples, and I know they aren't the norm but situations similar to those happen in a game. I find there are too many uncontrolled variables pertaining to what a linemate does that can impact an individual's Corsi positively or negatively.

    The suggestion from those supporting Corsi is that Hall can't keep producing at ES with a 43% Corsi, and that eventually the points will decrease because of it. My question is why hasn't it happened already? It has been 55 games and despite a lower Corsi than last year his point totals are virtually identical.

    So far this season we haven't seen his production dip. I split the season into two halves.

    According to Michael Parkatti in Hall's first 20 games (Oilers 27th game) he had a 44% Corsi and was -60.
    In those first 20 games, Hall boxcars were: 20-7-12-19 and he was -8.

    In Hall's next 28 games, again thanks to Parkatti, Hall had a 43.1% and was -117. His Corsi % was a bit lower, but essentially the same.
    During that 28 game stretch Hall's boxcars were: 28-11-21-32 and he was -6.

    So Hall's Corsi dipped, albeit only .09%, but his production went up. The argument has been that he can't maintain his production with that Corsi rating, yet he actually improved his point production over the last 28 games. Maybe it is just too small of a sample size, or maybe, people need to look deeper than just Corsi to assess his overall game.

    I think it is great to have more avenues to look at, but I feel we need to look at all angles, instead of just one to get a a more accurate picture. If people only looked at Hall's Corsi they'd think he was brutal, but his scoring chances for/against and actual production shed a different light.

LINEUP....

Hall-RNH-Eberle
Perron-Gagner-Yakupov
Hendricks-Gordon-Jones
Gazdic-Smyth-Joensuu

Marincin-Petry
N.Schultz-J.Schultz
Belov-Potter

Scrivens

No need to change the skaters and going back to Scrivens makes sense after his game vs. Nashville. Shutting down the offensively challenged Predators (20th) and Canucks (21st) will be much easier than trying to stifle the league's 5th best offence tonight.

Joe Pavelski is 2nd in the NHL in goals, 28, and while Joe Thornton is having another very good season, Pavelski has been their most dangerous threat all season. I suspect Eakins will play Gordon's line against Thornton's, but I think we'll also see Nugent-Hopkins' line match up against them.

TONIGHT...

GAME DAY PREDICTION: The Oilers have won three consecutive games only once this year when they defeated Calgary, Columbus and Florida in a six-day span. This is the Oilers final home game until February 27th and they give their loyal fans a surprising 5-2 victory.

OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: The Sharks outshot the Oilers. San Jose has outshot the opposition in 38 of 53 games. They've only been outshot twelve times all season. (The shots were even in three games)

NOT-SO-OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: For the first time all year I buy a 50/50 ticket. If I win, I will give $20,000 of it to Nation readers. (four winners of $5,000 each). My question is do I buy the ticket pre-game, first intermission or 2nd intermission? Answer in our poll question.

RECENTLY BY JASON GREGOR 

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One of Canada's most versatile sports personalities. Jason hosts The Jason Gregor Show, weekdays from 2 to 6 p.m., on TSN 1260, and he writes a column every Monday in the Edmonton Journal. You can follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/JasonGregor
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#1 pkam
January 29 2014, 01:08PM
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"I felt the Oilers played well against Vancouver and Phoenix, despite losing both games"

I am pretty sure we beat Vancouver.

Edit: My apology. I just realize JG meant the earlier home game vs Vancouver, not the most recent road game.

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#2 mackb
January 29 2014, 01:10PM
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Here's hoping they keep showing up to play. I don't care or even expect wins anymore, I just want to see a team that doesn't get walked over easily.

Pre-Game buy for the 50/50.

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#3 Rama Lama
January 29 2014, 01:10PM
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It's hard to argue with success, but I'm still waiting for the other shoe to drop......call it very cautious optimism.

Hendricks is a godsend right now and I for one do not care how long his contract is for, as long as his legs do not fail him he will be fine. JG if you look at the games ( by the eye) this year as compared to last year and the year before, ........it's rare that we get badly outplayed. This is a good sign but winning that is sustainable will only be had if we can get a top-two defenceman.

I for one believe that this will come through the draft and NOT trade or UFA........sorry to say but thems the reality in the new NHL.

As far as Staples goes and his compulsion to continuously use metrics to state the obvious......he is irrelevant as are his stats!

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#4 Spydyr
January 29 2014, 01:17PM
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"season-high three-game winning streak "

That is so sad it is funny.

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#5 Retsinnab5
January 29 2014, 01:22PM
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A win tonight would be BIG

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#6 redhot1
January 29 2014, 01:22PM
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A win is always good, but lets be honest. Vancouver is a marginal team at best, clearly on the decline. San Jose is probably twice as good.

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#7 Gorbahchano
January 29 2014, 01:24PM
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Another high 1st round pick being locked? I ain't even mad. However, if we got rid of Lowe and Tencer then maybe we all wouldn't be so mad. Or beer, just give us beer. CHEERS ALL

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#8 A-Mc
January 29 2014, 01:26PM
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Couldnt agree more with regards to Hendricks. He was an awesome pickup and I've noticed a difference in the team.

Is he slow? yes. Does he put up a bunch of points? no. but these things dont matter.

Great grab by MacT

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#9 Lowe Expectations
January 29 2014, 01:45PM
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San Jose is an elite team, a definite cup contender. So I'm not judging by winning or losing but by how hard the Oilers make the Sharks work to get the 2 points. Not to say a win isn't possible but at least make the Sharks think this won't be easy.

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#10 joshgladu
January 29 2014, 01:50PM
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The oilers score significantly less with hall on the ice this year compared to last year. Do you not get basic math or something

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#11 Benny Botts
January 29 2014, 01:50PM
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Hey Gregor,

I have seen rumblings from bob mckenzie and dreger that contract talks have completely fallen apart with the rangers and callaghan. In my opinion, I think he would be an absolute ideal fit here in Edmonton, not big but a great leader and he plays big.

What are your thoughts on callaghan and if MacT is picking up his phone to talk to sather?

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#12 S4H1
January 29 2014, 01:52PM
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Hendricks' cap hit is only $1.85 million. I recall MacTavish saying something along the lines of the last two years not being an issue if we get good value this and next season. I agree and I love the trade!

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#13 BigCountry
January 29 2014, 01:53PM
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Gregor, The reason Hall's Corsi is a problem is because the team is scoring 0.6 goals per 60 mins this year less than last year when he is on the ice. And this is despite his increased shooting %.

It's no surprise with that decrease the Oilers are having a worse year. And it's safe to say a large reason for the decrease is his low Corsi (not having possession enough when Hall is on the ice).

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#14 Dog Train
January 29 2014, 01:53PM
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These next two game are a big step up in competition. It's imperative that we play well in them or we're back to square zero. As far as tanking for a draft pick, I'm done with that garbage. Even if we could catch anybody, I would be hoping for the Oilers to win. Like it or not, the core that this franchise is trying to build around is in that room and they need to start feeling what it's like to win games.

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#15 Spydyr
January 29 2014, 01:53PM
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Too many people here value stats over grit, heart, a can do attitude, size and a will to win.

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#16 S4H1
January 29 2014, 01:56PM
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Benny Botts wrote:

Hey Gregor,

I have seen rumblings from bob mckenzie and dreger that contract talks have completely fallen apart with the rangers and callaghan. In my opinion, I think he would be an absolute ideal fit here in Edmonton, not big but a great leader and he plays big.

What are your thoughts on callaghan and if MacT is picking up his phone to talk to sather?

Callahan would be a good 3th line RW for next year. Probably need to over-pay him though. (3th was intentional)

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#17 Serious Gord
January 29 2014, 01:57PM
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It would be a very big breaking of serve for the oil to beat - beat in regulation - an elite team like the sharks. To do so could be seen as a positve sign that the team is actually improving. The sharks are a bit nicked up so that would temper ones judgement a bit.

I have posted earlier that the oil could conceivably win four of their last ten before the Olympic break. They have two wins already and would need just two more to meet that expectation.

Tonight's game will not be one of them.

5-2 San Jose.

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#18 bwar
January 29 2014, 01:58PM
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@Benny Botts

I can't think of one reason why Callahan would sign here. I would love to have him on the team but I don't think he'd be thrilled about having us.

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#19 S4H1
January 29 2014, 02:02PM
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@Serious Gord

@ #17

That is some serious optimism from Gord here. I think someone hacked his account!

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#20 JB
January 29 2014, 02:06PM
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If I'm not mistaken corsi and boxcar production aren't really related. In my mind, the idea with corsi is that over time (IE large sample sizes or N) the player is producing better situations to win than to lose. The larger the sample size (i.e. larger number of corsi events) the more randomness can be dislcuded from a sample. Therefore fenwick or corsi should be less influenced by randomness than say goals for and against; scoring chances; and shot on goal. I think this is one reason why a lot of people prefer corsi, well that and that there is also a strong connections between higher corsi leading to more wins (toronto maple leafs notwithstanding)

Now Hall is producing solid boxcars over a fairly decent stretch of hockey thats not to say that it is "unsustainable" as we were saying with shooting percentages as it doesn't really apply here. You can still be getting tons of points, but if more shots are being directed at your net there is still a possibility that the odds are you will be giving up more goals than scoring NO MATTER THE PRODUCTION. I guess +/- is supposed to fill this void, but when isolated that number isn't one I put a ton of credence into. Main point I am making here is that equating offensive production as success doesn't capture the full story of a player's success necessarily. You do need strong offensive production, but more than anything you need to outscore the opponent. this can be done by getting a large # of points, or by limiting your opponents points correct? Corsi (and scoring chance numbers) tries to capture both dimensions, whereas boxcars only capture half the story.

Lastly, I just want to conclude this section by saying I agree that the argument presented as "he can't maintain his production with that Corsi rating" is not the most valid statement ever, but for me it's because I don't really see the two modes of analysis as being related to one another necessarily.

The scoring chance numbers were interesting, but they still show the same trend that corsi would show for hall this year that overall his game is down when compared on metrics that look at both O and D

Just my two cents. I think the scoring chance numbers and corsi both show something I don't like.

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#21 Shaner
January 29 2014, 02:12PM
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Theres a lot of talk about Callahan being "shopped" (I realize some of it is from an illigitimate source). But is this a player you would pay 6mill per year on 3 year deal, I personally don't think skill wise he's even close but everything I hear is that he is a heart and soul player and maybe with him the work ethic and mentality get abit stronger. Could make the team better

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#22 The Last Big Bear
January 29 2014, 02:28PM
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I think throwing your rookie forwards straight into the deep-end is pretty much a terrible idea (see: Oilers, Edmonton, for details). However, I do think defencemen can do well when thrown in the deep end, playing big minutes against tough opposition.

In both cases I think it teaches players to play a more conservative game, to simplify, and to focus on just getting the puck away and moving forward.

This is a bad thing for your young forwards to learn, but I think it's exactly what you want your young defencemen to learn. You want your young defencemen to stop thinking they can make a 1-on-1 play at the offensive blue line. You want your young defencemen to make the boring and safe play every time. You want your young defencemen to think twice before making a move with the puck, or skating it into the zone.

The trick, just like with forwards, is to have a viable Plan B to keep them accountable.

Otherwise you end up with some offensive defenceman kid who'll do whatever he wants, because he knows he's getting 20 minutes a night even if he's an out-of-control dumpster fire in his own zone. Like, oh, I don't know, I'm sure you can think of a relevant example...

That said, I think giving big minutes to Marincin and Petry is probably a good thing for the Oilers.

It still takes 5-10 years for an NHL defenceman to hit his prime, but I don't think there's any harm in getting them started with big minutes against tough opposition as soon as they are physically able to stand up to it. Unlike forwards, who I think usually develop better if they get soft minutes for at least a couple of years.

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#23 Deportivo
January 29 2014, 02:30PM
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+Eakins -Hemsky +Ference = Where are we now?

McT brought in Eakins (I assume that was because they're of the same mind, and he thinks that Eakins can take us further than Krueger), wanted to trade Hemsky, and also brought it Ference. I know that he got involved in other trades but I want to focus on the past two games where both Hemsky and Ference didn't play. In the first games of the year (on top of the infamous "swarm defence") Eakins played Hall as centre (Nuge was injured, and many people agreed with it because he was going to be the new Messier). Things didn't work as planned, but there were also some extra side effects. One of them is that in order to protect Hall, he played him with Smyth and Hemsky and that resulted in to being dropped to the third line. One can see that Yak is a young guy who excels when given confidence (e.g. Krueger) but struggles otherwise (I know...it's a youth issue!). However, that was the "killing" of Yakupov tho year...and together with the swam defence, the "killing" of the Oilers options to improve in the standings with respect to last year. With respect to Ference, if one understands his signing as coming in for Whitney it can be considered a vast improvement. However, Ference has being named Captain and played two or four top minutes. In a way that made expendable Smid (who was a solid component of the team...full disclosure, I'm one of the few guys who own a Smid Oilers shirt, and I like a lot his approach to the game, although I understand his shortcomings). The trade of Smid had a collateral consequence in sending Petry on a bad roller coaster ride (which in fact has ended only when joined with another european denfenceman, M.M., who is keeping things simply in defence and helping Petry that way). The issue is that Eakins is getting things right now by simply using his common sense, so he's going with the first two lines of last year (with the improvement of Perron for Pjaarvi), uses solid third and fourth lines (congratulations to McT for his work on that), and on defence Petry-Marincin are doing Ok, and so are the Schultzs (at this point J. Schultz likes to be "the guy", and he can do it easier with N. Schulz covering his ass, than with Ference who feels that he needs to be the guy too -he's the captain and has one ring-)....although the Belov-Potter pair has a lot of issues (that's where we need Ference!). I'm not surprised that the team won two games with Hemsky and Ference out. Now, these two players still can contribute a lot to the team, mostly if Hemsky accepts (like Smyth did) his new role in the bottom six, and if Ference makes his main job to cover J. Schulz's ass (and nothing else), or well if the Schultz's are playing together and Ference accepts a minor role playing with Below or Potter (or perhaps Fedun or Klefbom...please).

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#24 oilerjed
January 29 2014, 02:35PM
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@ JG

"Martin Marincin continues to play smart, controlled hockey. I'd argue that his simple game has had just as much, and maybe more. of an impact on Petry's play than Petry has had on him. It is a still a very small sample size for Marincin, but he's played well and he has been very active with his stick breaking up plays. He'll need to get stronger in the summer, and if he has to face Marleau or Thornton tonight it will be a very good test for him."

This is what I was wondering the last game. Could such a new player really have that much of an effect on Petry? If so I like what that says about Maricin alot. Petry has looked fantastic the last week or so, I hope they can keep it up. It would be nice to see some continuity of a d pairing from one year to the next.

The only way to win 50-50 is to buy one ticket from each corner of the rink and has to be done after the 2nd period. I thought everybody already knew that.

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#25 David S
January 29 2014, 02:37PM
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From Eliotte Friedman's "30 Thoughts" yesterday:

"But it's good to see Gagner producing a bit, with 10 points in 13 games this month. Word is the jaw is much more of a problem than we realize because it wouldn't take much for a re-injury. Maybe he's finally getting comfortable."

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#26 @Oilanderp
January 29 2014, 02:41PM
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Taylor Hall¹ is 567th in the league for CF% 5v5, close.

Jake Muzzin² is #1 in the league.

Do you trade Hall for Muzzin? Obviously, no.

This is because, as Gregor argues, Corsi is not the only way to observe the value of a hockey player. Hall might be suffering from a low Corsi because his teammates can't get him the puck.**** You will notice from the link above that the Los Angeles Kings have 4 of the top 5 Corsi-getters in the league. This just shows that hockey is a team game, and individual corsi doesn't always account for that. It is possible to have a below average player with a great corsi on a great team. Similarly it's possible to have a good player nevertheless with bad corsi on a horrible team.

The problem, however, is that from day 1 that Hall entered the league, he has had good corsi on a horrible team. He is the guy 'pushing the river' so to speak. He is the guy who makes people around him better.

When looked at through the Corsi lens, he isn't doing that this year. The Oilers aren't getting as many shot attempts when he is on the ice this year (that's all corsi is, shot attempts). His shooting percentage is higher though, so his production remains similar.

If Hall and his Oilers fail to attempt more shots, what happens when (and there is a very high chance that it will happen) Hall reverts back to his career 8% shooting percentage?

Production drops. This has some people³ slightly concerned, and they are trying to figure out (by carefully watching the games) why this is happening.

**** EDIT: There is a stat called Corsi Rel, which shows that this is most likely not the case.

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#27 Striker
January 29 2014, 02:49PM
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@ Gregor regarding Hall's lower than normal (by 20%) Corsi (shots for minus shots against)

For the last three seasons Hall's on ice shooting percentage hovered between 9.1-9.5 percent. This year its at 11.3 percent(copied my work off of smarter people than me).

Hall's getting away with it because because the Oilers are scoring on a higher than normal percentage of shots when he's on the ice. That can't go on.

Hopefully the recent uptick (by eye at least) in play from the first line means that they will help push that Shots Differntial back to the dominating number that Hall generated for the Oilers in past years.

Dunno why the change this year. Sometimes fluctuations like this happen and it's hard to pinpoint why. Sometimes players just need to work out of a funk. I think Hall will figure it out and be back to his normal shot differntial which drives play for the Oilers.

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#28 Serious Gord
January 29 2014, 02:59PM
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S4H1 wrote:

@ #17

That is some serious optimism from Gord here. I think someone hacked his account!

More often than not I call it for the oil.

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#29 Striker
January 29 2014, 02:59PM
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The Last Big Bear wrote:

I think throwing your rookie forwards straight into the deep-end is pretty much a terrible idea (see: Oilers, Edmonton, for details). However, I do think defencemen can do well when thrown in the deep end, playing big minutes against tough opposition.

In both cases I think it teaches players to play a more conservative game, to simplify, and to focus on just getting the puck away and moving forward.

This is a bad thing for your young forwards to learn, but I think it's exactly what you want your young defencemen to learn. You want your young defencemen to stop thinking they can make a 1-on-1 play at the offensive blue line. You want your young defencemen to make the boring and safe play every time. You want your young defencemen to think twice before making a move with the puck, or skating it into the zone.

The trick, just like with forwards, is to have a viable Plan B to keep them accountable.

Otherwise you end up with some offensive defenceman kid who'll do whatever he wants, because he knows he's getting 20 minutes a night even if he's an out-of-control dumpster fire in his own zone. Like, oh, I don't know, I'm sure you can think of a relevant example...

That said, I think giving big minutes to Marincin and Petry is probably a good thing for the Oilers.

It still takes 5-10 years for an NHL defenceman to hit his prime, but I don't think there's any harm in getting them started with big minutes against tough opposition as soon as they are physically able to stand up to it. Unlike forwards, who I think usually develop better if they get soft minutes for at least a couple of years.

I tend to think that throwing any kids into the deep end before they're ready to do so doesn't help their development. Defense is a tough position to learn and I think it is even tougher on young defensemen to learn the game in the NHL. Let them learn, develop and eventually dominate the lower levels. Let prospects marinate for a good long time like teams like Detroit does. I think the Oilers tend to throw young players into the NHL too quickly which may stunt their development. Just my 2 cents.

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#30 tphillers
January 29 2014, 03:01PM
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Nice work Gregor. Dellow has been doing an insane amount of work on Hall's Corsi decline over at his website. An interesting idea has emerged from his work that shows a drop in Hall's amount of first chances. This conclusion emphasizes the lack of primary chance production by the team which is a central key to winning hockey games. So it goes that Hall's low Corsi has less of an impact on his overall production -- guy's so good he only needs that one chance a game to score -- it's that the Oilers as a whole are not producing enough primary chances to win (i.e. puck is in their end 60% of the game). So Hall's low Corsi reflects the entire team's inability to produce that first scoring chance and to win hockey games. An interesting conclusion.

Also, buy the 50/50 after the National Anthem but before puck drop.

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#31 ocean
January 29 2014, 03:05PM
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I don't think we will win tonight, but go OILERS go!

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#32 A-Mc
January 29 2014, 03:06PM
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Alright this is getting a little crazy so i want to be sure i understand this correctly.

Corsi For/Against is simply Shot attempts for or against while a player is on the ice, Correct? If Nuge takes a shot, that's +1 contributing to everyone's corsi who is currently on the ice for the oilers, correct?

Hall's shooting % has nothing to do with anyone else other than him and the goalie he's shooting on. The stat only affects him, Correct?

Corsi % is simply a ratio of the For/Against of shots taken while a player is on the ice, correct?

Halls Pt production only affects him. It's representative of what he has contributed to the on-ice play.

If everything i said above is correct:

Why the heck is anyone trying to make sense of Corsi %'s by citing Halls shooting %'s or Pt production? They are separate things. Hall scoring on every shot he takes (100% shooting%) will obviously affect his points and his shooting %'s, but it has nothing to do with Corsi. The 5 guys on the ice might still be getting out shot 6 to 4, but in this fantasy case, those 4 shots are 4 goals.

Corsi and pt/s% are very different things that are affected in different ways.

Also, being concerned about 1 player's corsi %'s seems silly because that corsi% is a stat imposed on 1 player but is a result of the efforts of all 5 on the ice. It gives you a glimpse into trends but it's far from a stat that is easily affected by 1 player.

To paint a picture of a players performance you need to include more angles. Corsi, QualComp, Zone starts, TOI, Teammates, Coaching Systems, Player position, etc
Could the Corsi drop in halls game be because of the system he's learning to play in? (ie, less cherry picks). Could it be because of the linemates he's had? Could it be the zone starts, PK time and Quality of Competition that Eakins is subjecting him to? It could be All of the above.. None of which infer that Hall is playing poorly. He's simply being played in more vulnerable spots than he has in the past.

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#33 @Oilanderp
January 29 2014, 03:11PM
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@Striker

regarding Hall's lower than normal (by 20%) Corsi (shots for minus shots against)

Just to be clear, Corsi is not shot differential. Corsi includes blocked shots, and shots that miss the net.

Corsi is shot attempts. It is math's attempt to quantify puck possession.

HERE is a great read for anyone just beginning. I read it for the first time last year, and it began the change in how I watch the game I have always loved. Use it as a tool, and don't let it use you.

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#34 DisappointedFan
January 29 2014, 03:12PM
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@joshgladu

How about let's try looking at percentage of team points, last year Hall made up 14.58% of the teams total points. This year he makes up 13.35% of their total points. Last year Steven Stamkos made up 13.73% of Tampa Bays total points and Martin St Louis made up 14.46%.

Are you going to try and tell me that you don't think a person who accounts for the same percentage of team points as two of the best players in the game is somehow "hurting" the team? So other guys are actually scoring goals on the roster...congrats...your team is developing depth.

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#35 S
January 29 2014, 03:15PM
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@Oilanderp wrote:
regarding Hall's lower than normal (by 20%) Corsi (shots for minus shots against)

Just to be clear, Corsi is not shot differential. Corsi includes blocked shots, and shots that miss the net.

Corsi is shot attempts. It is math's attempt to quantify puck possession.

HERE is a great read for anyone just beginning. I read it for the first time last year, and it began the change in how I watch the game I have always loved. Use it as a tool, and don't let it use you.

Yep that's right. Just trying to simplify the language. Corsi = Shots on goal, blocked shots and missed shots.

And just to clarfiy, the shooting percentage I'm quoting in my original post is not Hall's individual shooting percentage. It is the shooting percentage of all the players on the ice with Hall when a shot is taken by the Oilers or a shot taken against the Oilers.

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#36 WHH
January 29 2014, 03:17PM
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A-Mc wrote:

Alright this is getting a little crazy so i want to be sure i understand this correctly.

Corsi For/Against is simply Shot attempts for or against while a player is on the ice, Correct? If Nuge takes a shot, that's +1 contributing to everyone's corsi who is currently on the ice for the oilers, correct?

Hall's shooting % has nothing to do with anyone else other than him and the goalie he's shooting on. The stat only affects him, Correct?

Corsi % is simply a ratio of the For/Against of shots taken while a player is on the ice, correct?

Halls Pt production only affects him. It's representative of what he has contributed to the on-ice play.

If everything i said above is correct:

Why the heck is anyone trying to make sense of Corsi %'s by citing Halls shooting %'s or Pt production? They are separate things. Hall scoring on every shot he takes (100% shooting%) will obviously affect his points and his shooting %'s, but it has nothing to do with Corsi. The 5 guys on the ice might still be getting out shot 6 to 4, but in this fantasy case, those 4 shots are 4 goals.

Corsi and pt/s% are very different things that are affected in different ways.

Also, being concerned about 1 player's corsi %'s seems silly because that corsi% is a stat imposed on 1 player but is a result of the efforts of all 5 on the ice. It gives you a glimpse into trends but it's far from a stat that is easily affected by 1 player.

To paint a picture of a players performance you need to include more angles. Corsi, QualComp, Zone starts, TOI, Teammates, Coaching Systems, Player position, etc
Could the Corsi drop in halls game be because of the system he's learning to play in? (ie, less cherry picks). Could it be because of the linemates he's had? Could it be the zone starts, PK time and Quality of Competition that Eakins is subjecting him to? It could be All of the above.. None of which infer that Hall is playing poorly. He's simply being played in more vulnerable spots than he has in the past.

Finally, some sanity to this silliness. Let's take our best player who is on an 80point pace and nitpick him to death with this trivial nonsense.

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#37 Striker
January 29 2014, 03:17PM
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@Oilanderp wrote:
regarding Hall's lower than normal (by 20%) Corsi (shots for minus shots against)

Just to be clear, Corsi is not shot differential. Corsi includes blocked shots, and shots that miss the net.

Corsi is shot attempts. It is math's attempt to quantify puck possession.

HERE is a great read for anyone just beginning. I read it for the first time last year, and it began the change in how I watch the game I have always loved. Use it as a tool, and don't let it use you.

Yep that's right. Just trying to simplify the language. Corsi = Shots on goal, blocked shots and missed shots.

And just to clarfiy, the shooting percentage I'm quoting in my original post is not Hall's individual shooting percentage. It is the shooting percentage of all the players on the ice with Hall when a shot is taken by the Oilers.

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#38 tileguy
January 29 2014, 03:20PM
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everytime I see the word corsi my eyes just glaze over.

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#39 SiD
January 29 2014, 03:21PM
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Hall scores 2 adds 2 assists!

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#40 tileguy
January 29 2014, 03:23PM
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surefire way to buy winning 50/50.

reach for your wallet with 2 beers in your hand and have only a hun.

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#41 Tikkanese
January 29 2014, 03:27PM
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Striker wrote:

@ Gregor regarding Hall's lower than normal (by 20%) Corsi (shots for minus shots against)

For the last three seasons Hall's on ice shooting percentage hovered between 9.1-9.5 percent. This year its at 11.3 percent(copied my work off of smarter people than me).

Hall's getting away with it because because the Oilers are scoring on a higher than normal percentage of shots when he's on the ice. That can't go on.

Hopefully the recent uptick (by eye at least) in play from the first line means that they will help push that Shots Differntial back to the dominating number that Hall generated for the Oilers in past years.

Dunno why the change this year. Sometimes fluctuations like this happen and it's hard to pinpoint why. Sometimes players just need to work out of a funk. I think Hall will figure it out and be back to his normal shot differntial which drives play for the Oilers.

Shots and Shooting % is as reliable as Hits and +/- are.

How many goal mouth scrambles with 5-6 legitimate shots that get counted as 1 shot have we all seen? Many saves that wouldn't have hit the net also get counted as shots. Unreliable.

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#42 Soccer Steve
January 29 2014, 03:28PM
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Who else, when they first see the word "Corsi", just immediately scrolls down the page to see the picture of the pretty lady?

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#43 Soccer Steve
January 29 2014, 03:29PM
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tileguy wrote:

everytime I see the word corsi my eyes just glaze over.

Beat me to it!

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#44 Striker
January 29 2014, 03:29PM
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@A-Mc

"Hall's shooting % has nothing to do with anyone else other than him and the goalie he's shooting on. The stat only affects him, Correct?"

That is a stat you can look at but the one in my post is the shooting percentage the Oilers as a whole when Hall is on the ice when a shot is taken by them.

"To paint a picture of a players performance you need to include more angles. Corsi, QualComp, Zone starts, TOI, Teammates, Coaching Systems, Player position, etc"

The drop in Hall's Corsi is despite facing similar Quality of Competition (if anything a slightly easier than last year) and despite a similar percentage of zonestarts in the Ozone (if anything a slight uptick in OZone starts, 57% v 55%). TOI is also similar (a little more than last year, 19:55 v 18:37)

Coaching system I'm not sure about and that could indeed be a factor but I don't have insight into the way the Oilers systems work.

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#45 A-Mc
January 29 2014, 03:32PM
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I feel like people get a little to far down the statistical rabbit hole and forget to just enjoy watching the games.

Creating problems where none exist is only going to stress a guy out. This is why a case of Pil is a mans best friend come game day.

On behalf of myself and Harold and the whole gang up here at Possum Lodge... keep your stick on the ice

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#46 Reg Dunlop
January 29 2014, 03:34PM
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@A-Mc

By using univariate analysis of my non-parametric methods I have determined that Halls correlation of linear regression with regard to data subsets strongly indicate that he is a good player but the oil are in tough tonight. 3-2 moral victory for the oil. Or would it be 2-3? Maybe a stem-and-leaf histogram would better express the data.

Confucious says 'he who can't do teaches, he who can't teach administrates, he who can do neither becomes a stat guy'.

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#48 @Oilanderp
January 29 2014, 03:35PM
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@A-Mc

Why the heck is anyone trying to make sense of Corsi %'s by citing Halls shooting %'s or Pt production? They are separate things. Hall scoring on every shot he takes (100% shooting%) will obviously affect his points and his shooting %'s, but it has nothing to do with Corsi. The 5 guys on the ice might still be getting out shot 6 to 4, but in this fantasy case, those 4 shots are 4 goals.

Shot attempt differential is a far superior predictor of future point production than a player's shooting percentage (which can vary greatly year to year and thus doesn't tell us much about what will happen in the future).

Reading

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#49 Anthony
January 29 2014, 03:36PM
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Over one game, Corsi% and many other stats are basically worthless. Its usefulness comes into play over seasons and seasons of data. Sure maybe Hall didn't deserve a plus or minus Corsi% one game, but one game he did....over time it evens out and generally the better players will outshoot their opponents over time, no matter their line mates. I bet Crosby has a bad Corsi game once in a while too, but if you look at his career Corsi%, no matter his line mates, he generally outshoots the competition. He drives the bus. It is a really good indicator of future success, if you are continually outshot attempting your opponent, you have the puck more to shoot it. That's a good thing, this shows up over time.

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#50 pkam
January 29 2014, 03:44PM
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I am a bit confused. Is this a GDB, or a corsi seminar?

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