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

    It seems that once Vish got hurt the rest of the team give up. Tambo decided not to make any moves to replace him at the time. Rolli stood on his head at the end of the season, i can see any coach not play him. I agree JW Smid is not ready for top 4 IMO. I break the season down as follows.
    Great start to the season, started to drop, coacing staff and GM noticed the slump. Never did anything. Useing the same old saying " let's see how the kids react to a four game skid". I feel had Tambo made some changes during the season, things COULD have turned around. When you watch your coach put every guy in the line up at center, its up to the GM to realize we need change. I dont know if MacT asked for any trades, but he called out Nilson,Penner ect. Tambo never addressed those needs. I think Tambo is doing what he can, some times thats not enough.
    I just hope this year Quinn sets the lines and lets them play together. I couldn't stand watching MacT change the lines every second shift. I know if the team isn't playing well adjustments are needed. But even when the Oilers were playing well he changed the lines.Watching teams like the Red Wings is amazing. I neverreally noticed them change the line up even in the playoffs. IMO Whren you get the chance to play every game with the same line mates you tend to understand where they go in situations ect.

    Thanks Good Read JW

  • Hippy

    Kyle S wrote:

    Librarian Mike wrote:

    Kyle S wrote:
    Makes you wonder how much the injury hampered his 2nd half stats…
    I also wonder how much the injury to Vis was a factor. How many ‘pre’ points would have come on the powerplay?

    Hemsky had 9 more assists in the 1st half than the 2nd, which translates to 20 more in the 1st half over 82 games.
    Hemsky also had 31 more shots (translates to 70 for 82 games) in the 1st half and would have been 246 in total. Which is a lot nicer to see than the 185 he actually took.

    I meant Hemsky had 9 more PP assists in the 1st half than the 2nd. (2g 18A 1st half, 2G 9A 2nd half)

  • Hippy

    Librarian Mike wrote:

    Kyle S wrote:

    Makes you wonder how much the injury hampered his 2nd half stats…

    I also wonder how much the injury to Vis was a factor. How many ‘pre’ points would have come on the powerplay?

    Hemsky had 9 more assists in the 1st half than the 2nd, which translates to 20 more in the 1st half over 82 games.

    Hemsky also had 31 more shots (translates to 70 for 82 games) in the 1st half and would have been 246 in total. Which is a lot nicer to see than the 185 he actually took.

  • Hippy

    Kyle S wrote:

    The Yahoo split stats tool is quite interesting. I took a look at Hemsky and did the same that JW did:
    Hemsky
    Pre: 82GP – 31G – 61A – 92PTS, +13, 13.0 SH%
    Post: 82GP – 20G – 36A – 56PTS, -11, 11.7 SH%
    Would have been nice if he would have maintained the first half pace. Makes you wonder how much the injury hampered his 2nd half stats…

    I also wonder how much the injury to Vis was a factor. How many 'pre' points would have come on the powerplay?

  • Hippy

    Jonathan Willis wrote:

    typol99 wrote:
    Good points..but how many years of failure do we attribute to our team being young?@ roadrunner:
    We keep attributing it until management stops throwing rookies into the fire.
    It just means we’re blaming the managers for putting players in a position to fail, rather than blaming the players for not being ready for therole they were thrust into.

    How long do you think Tambo's leash is? How long until Katz gets fed up?

    It just seems Katz wants a winning team now, how many years of mediocracy can he handle?

  • Hippy

    The Yahoo split stats tool is quite interesting. I took a look at Hemsky and did the same that JW did:

    Hemsky
    Pre: 82GP – 31G – 61A – 92PTS, +13, 13.0 SH%
    Post: 82GP – 20G – 36A – 56PTS, -11, 11.7 SH%

    Would have been nice if he would have maintained the first half pace. Makes you wonder how much the injury hampered his 2nd half stats…

  • Hippy

    @ Jonathan Willis:

    I wonder if that lends any credibility to the "Roli has to play a gazillion games in a row to be good" camp(as Roli's 2nd half, where he played consideribly more games, than the first half)?

    Is there any way to look at Roli on a game-to-game basis?

  • Hippy

    @ Jonathan Willis:
    Agreed on Roloson. He probably could have used a night or two off, sure, but he was dynamite down the stretch, and was really the only thing keeping us in it. It would have been nice to have been able to go to the backup for a few games, but we were still at least in touch with a playoff spot, and Roloson gave us the best chance to win.

  • Hippy

    typol99 wrote:

    One of these highly questionable calls, perhaps was mac t’s loyalty to roloson, which roli played good dont get me wrong but i think toward the end he was so burnt out, mac’t wanted him to have the record.

    From Yahoo!'s split stats:

    Roloson's pre-All Star SV%: .913
    Roloson's post-All Star SV%: .917
    Roloson's last 10 games SV%: .920

    Roli only got better as the season went on. I think you're wrong here.

  • Hippy

    Less than a month till camp I can't wait this is the first year that I know is expecting a big step forward and I think that bodes well for us low expectations=good season by oil

  • Hippy

    typol99 wrote:

    Good points..but how many years of failure do we attribute to our team being young?@ roadrunner:

    We keep attributing it until management stops throwing rookies into the fire.

    It just means we're blaming the managers for putting players in a position to fail, rather than blaming the players for not being ready for therole they were thrust into.

  • Hippy

    psycloud wrote:

    we only had a handful of people that could take defensive zone draws

    I wish we had had a handful of people that could take d-zone draws. It was more like 2 fingers worth (Horcoff and Brodziak).

    I really want to see Cogs get a shot at 1LW to see what he can do with quality line mates and not 3rd liners. Penner isn't the answer at 1LW and seems to play much better on the 2nd line anyway (going back to Anaheim). Less minutes seems to equal more production from Penner…I guess it's the donairs catching up with him…

  • Hippy

    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.

  • Hippy

    @ typol99:

    As many as it takes. I'd rather miss the playoffs 5 years in a row and develop a strong roster that can actually compete in June; then panic every march/off season, make a bunch of moves and make 8th and out in the first round.

  • Hippy

    I don't think many people attributed last year to the team being young. Yeah, the kids had kind of a crappy season, but the veterans weren't much better.

    I thought (perhaps incorrectly) that most of last season was attributed to the lack of special teams (particularly a penalty killing center), the fact that we only had a handful of people that could take defensive zone draws, and some (generally highly) questionable calls by the coaching staff.

  • Hippy

    typol99 wrote:

    If these players do not improve this season with the double headed monster coaching(quinn,renney) then there gone.. No questions asked. Nilsson is on thin ice here, and needs to compete threw all three periods and all 82 games.Tambo isn’t going to except failure, and use the old”well there young and need to develope” not going to fly this season. Its a post season birth or a major overhaul of our roster. Im sick of losing!!!!!!!!

    Uhm I have to object here for a few reasons:

    First off, with the Oil having so much difficulty in even acquiring a top notch free agent, I highly doubt any one of these players would "be gone." Too many factors involved to just dump players.

    Secondly, Nilsson WAS skating on thin ice under MacT. The new coaching staff will obviously wipe the slate clean so I highly doubt he's not going to be given the opportunity to perform and, within a reasonable time frame.Nilssons biggest problem is consistancy. He shows flashes of brilliance on 1 shift than becomes complacent the next. He has to learn to show up for every shift, every period of every game he plays in.

    Going through some growing pains is to be expected and to throw these kids under the bus in year 3 is absurd. There has to be some patience combined with some guidance in order for these young players to mold into what they can be as NHLers.

    I agree with JW about Smid not being ready to handle top 4 ice. He's another young guy who has, to his credit, developed nicely. If he continues his consistant play and with one more year under his belt could potentially step into a top 4 d-man slot.

    I think Coglianos numbers dropped due to the shifting in responsibilities. He, Horcoff and Brodziak were shuffled between lines to take faceoffs so I can understand the drop.

  • Hippy

    If these players do not improve this season with the double headed monster coaching(quinn,renney) then there gone.. No questions asked. Nilsson is on thin ice here, and needs to compete threw all three periods and all 82 games.Tambo isn't going to except failure, and use the old"well there young and need to develope" not going to fly this season. Its a post season birth or a major overhaul of our roster. Im sick of losing!!!!!!!!