Splitting the Season

kidline

One method occasionally used by prognosticators (and fantasy hockey types) is looking at season splits. Did the player start the season well but cool off? Did the player start the season poorly but turn it on towards the end?

These questions are of particular interest when it comes to young players – and predicting breakout seasons.

The Oilers had a bunch of players 23-or younger last year that played a significant portion of the season. Using the power of Yahoo!’s split stats, we’re going to take a look at their pre- and post- all-star break numbers. I’ve projected the totals over an 82-game season, bolded items that stand out at me, and ranked the players by the difference between the projections.

Sam Gagner

  • Pre-All Star: 82GP – 8G – 25A – 33PTS, EV, 4.9 SH%
  • Post-All Star: 82GP – 30G – 30A – 60PTS, -2, 16.2 SH%
  • Difference: +27 points

Zack Stortini

  • Pre-All Star: 82GP – 3G – 6A – 9PTS, -9, 325 PIM, 11.1 SH%
  • Post-All Star: 82GP – 17G – 10A – 27PTS, EV, 239 PIM, 35.7 SH%
  • Difference: +18 points

Robert Nilsson

  • Pre-All Star: 82GP – 14G – 16A – 30PTS, -11
  • Post-All Star: 82GP – 9G – 38A – 47PTS, +18
  • Difference: +17 points

Marc Pouliot

  • Pre-All Star: 82GP – 11G – 13A – 24PTS, +4
  • Post-All Star: 82GP – 9G – 22A – 31PTS, -4
  • Difference: +7 points

Ladislav Smid

  • Pre-All Star: 82GP – 0G – 10A – 10PTS, +8, 95 PIM
  • Post-All Star: 82GP – 0G – 21A – 21PTS, -26, 59 PIM
  • Difference: +11 points

Liam Reddox

  • Pre-All Star: 82GP – 11G – 7A – 18PTS, -11, 15.0 SH%
  • Post-All Star: 82GP – 7G – 18A – 25PTS, -11 10.5 SH%
  • Difference: +7 points

Andrew Cogliano

  • Pre-All Star: 82GP – 21G – 23A – 44PTS, -5, 132 shots on goal
  • Post-All Star: 82GP – 14G – 16A – 30PTS, -7 96 shots on goal
  • Difference: -14 points

What I’m Taking From This

It’s important not to read too much into these numbers. There’s a certain amount of variation from game to game, and the samples here are small so they magnify the differences. With that caveat out of the way:

I see modest progression from Sam Gagner. The huge jump is amplified by a drastic change in shooting percentage, and his true range is probably somewhere in the middle, goal-scoring wise. I could see the increase in assists as a sign of progression, though that’s a guess because these numbers aren’t precise enough to tell us that. Still, by memory his brain-cramps decreased as the season wore on.

Zack Stortini’s incredibly positive numbers are probably an illusion. Pucks were more than 3X as likely to go in for him during the second half of the season, and he already had a pretty killer shooting percentage.

This is a very nice breakdown for Robert Nilsson – and it probably affects our read of him more than any of the other players listed here. Measures are up across the board, with very little change in either shooting percentage (it went down slightly) or total shots taken. I talked about this a little bit back in June, and I think he could come back and have a strong season. I’m not convinced it will be in Edmonton, mind you, but I do think we’ll see at least a return to his 2007-08 form wherever he plays.

Ladislav Smid seemed to slump towards the bottom half of the season, and it’s a little disappointing to see the statistics confirm that. I’m not at all convinced he’s ready for a top-four role at this point in time.

Andrew Cogliano is the only player going the wrong way here. Of note is the way his shot-taking dropped off in the second-half, and that’s a big part of the equation. I think he’ll bounce back; I don’t know this but if memory serves I think the linemates he was going out with decreased in quality in the second half.

  • Hippy

    Great write up. I would have liked to have seen Ethan Moreau in this one. IIRC he was a force towards the start of the season.

    And wow @ Stortini post-all-star, although I agree that this is obviously an illusion.

  • Hippy

    DonDon wrote:

    typol99 wrote:
    Tambo isn’t going to except failure, and use the old”well there young and need to develope”
    Who knows what Tambellini will accept. He doesn’t necessarily walk the talk. Other than hiring new coaches, exchanging one old goaltender for another and fruitlessly pursuiting Heatley, what has he done to improve the club? Trade Brodziak.

    Exactly how do you know what he does and doesn't do? Do have a pipleine to every deal that Tambellini has tried to make?

    Do think he can force Gaborik or Hossa to sign here?

    For all we know; he could be trying like crazy to sign guys and they just don't want to be here?

    I have to laugh when fans think that it is so easy to just acquire a superstar player. Most teams tend to hold on their franchise players and when they do become UFAs – they get to pick where they want to go.

    I think you should be a bit more objective when evaluating Tambellini (based strictly on the public knowledge we do have). Tambellini (with Katz) support has proven that he is willing to do whatever HE can to better the team. It's not his fault that no one wants to be here right now.

    He made a great a trade to get something for Cole at the deadline. He signed the best UFA goalie available this summer (whether you like the $$ or not). He made an absolutely great trade to land Heatley (not his fault the deal went through). He had Jagr publicly saying that he would love to come to the Oilers if he were to come back to the NHL.

    Hopefully bringing in a proven, successful coach will be a nice start to getting players to come here?

  • Hippy

    It is true that just blaming injuries for being mediocre last year is a crutch. There were several other teams that had just as significant injuries as the Oilers did but still made the playoffs. Vancouver losing Luongo for a long stretch of time and the Blues losing Kariya, McDonald, Boyes, Johnson, Brewer, et al, are good examples of that.

  • Hippy

    Hey Jonathan, one thing I think would better emphasize these stats is if you factor in TOI (unless I've misunderstood how you calculate this stuff). I say that because a player may have say had 10 minutes of ice time per game pre-all-star and then somehow managed 15 minutes per game after the all star break.

    Your stats inspired me to look around at other sites I wouldn't think of as big hockey sites, and it looks like CBS (of all sites) has this info under their situational stats.

  • Hippy

    Racki wrote:

    Great write up. I would have liked to have seen Ethan Moreau in this one. IIRC he was a force towards the start of the season.
    And wow @ Stortini post-all-star, although I agree that this is obviously an illusion.

    Moreau
    Pre: 82GP – 18G – 14A – 32PTS, +1, 175SH, 10.4 SH%
    Post: 82GP – 10G – 10A – 20PTS, -1, 161SH, 6.3 SH%
    Actual: 77GP – 14G – 12A – 26PTS, EV, 8.8%

    Moreau was better in the first half, but most of that was a result of the increased SH%. If he would have had the same SH% in the 2nd half, he would have had 16G and 26PTS, which it exactly what he ended up with…

  • Hippy

    @ Jonathan Willis:

    Thanks J-Dub, I didn't know about that.

    But interestingly enough he did end up putting his most consistent performances when he was playing lots

  • Hippy

    Helmerfied wrote:

    Do you have a grace period in which you can be over? When must teams be back under by

    teams basically have until day 1 of the season to be cap complient.

  • Hippy

    haven't gone through and read all the comments, but was wondering if you have the TOI stats to go with this as well? i'd be curious to see who's ice time went up or down along with their projected points

  • Hippy

    Truth be told last year we needed guys like Horcoff and Hemsky to be consistent all year and we would've been in better shape.

    Tough to really even look at guys like Cogs, Gags, Nilsson and Penner. None of these guys have really should be who this team is relying on.

    As for guys like Stortini, Pouilot, Moreau, Pisani and Reddox, it is nice when they chip in but really that isn't there role.

    Hmmm, what were Penner's numbers?

  • Hippy

    Just taking a look at Penner and he drops from 20 to 14 goals, but what was interesting was his points in wins and loses.

    Wins 38GP-15g-14A
    Loses 40GP-2g-6a

    Not only do we lose the game, but then odds are Penner is no where to be found. No wonder the guy never got and good comments thrown his way.

  • Hippy

    jeff wrote:

    Just taking a look at Penner and he drops from 20 to 14 goals, but what was interesting was his points in wins and loses.
    Wins 38GP-15g-14A
    Loses 40GP-2g-6a
    Not only do we lose the game, but then odds are Penner is no where to be found. No wonder the guy never got and good comments thrown his way.

    Would it also be fair to say that Penner tends to score goals at important times? I have no idea, but you've got me wondering if having him get 15-20 big goals is more important than 30 goals where he's getting the 2nd in a 6-2 loss.

  • Hippy

    @ Librarian Mike:

    From Gabriel Desjardins: "72% of all regulation play during the 2008-09 season was spent tied or at a one-goal differential."

    In other words, 72% of the time, any goal is a big goal. More than that if you consider a goal scored while one team has a two-goal lead to be a big goal.

    All of which is one of the big reasons I don't really believe in big goals.

  • Hippy

    @ Librarian Mike:

    Well, to start with, almost every player looks better in wins than he does in losses.

    Beyond that, no idea. It could just be a fluke, or it could be more meaningful. I lean towards the former, but I don't have any real evidence one way or the other.

  • Hippy

    I remember a FMNF's interview early in the season when he stated that Cogs play was going to force hem to play him more….But after that, his minutes and linemates seemed to diminish. I think, that he is a kid with crazy speed and great hands. Stortini, who dosn't love this guy? Works his butt off everyday. That is the work etchic I want my kids to have, skill, forget that, this guy works for everything he's got. He won't be the answer, but how do you not love what he brings everyday. And, if he keeps improving, he will be a hell of a 4th line force.
    How many more days till camp?