The Guessing Game: TSN’s Oilers Points Projections

LAS VEGAS - JUNE 22: NHL MVP candidate Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals is interviewed by the media at the Palms Casino Resort on June 22, 2010 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Scott Cullen at TSN.ca has listed his projections for the top 250 points-getters for the 2010-11 NHL this season. He has 10 members of the Edmonton Oilers listed in that group.

CULLEN’S TOP THREE

1. Alexander Ovechkin 54-54-108

2. Sidney Crosby 43-60-103

3. Henrik Sedin 26-74-100

THE OILERS

37. Ales Hemsky 21-44-65

67. Dustin Penner 26-32-58

72. Taylor Hall 26-31-57

100. Sam Gagner 20-32-52

101. Jordan Eberle 21-31-52

180. Andrew Cogliano 17-25-42

215. Ryan Whitney 9-29-38

225. Magnus Paajarvi 16-21-37

230. Kurtis Foster 7-29-36

244. Gilbert Brule 16-18-34

WELCOME TO FANTASY ISLAND

I’m not sure how Cullen came up with his projections, especially for rookies like Hall, Eberle and Paajarvi, so I’m not going to criticize his method of guessing, but a few things stand out for me as being off.

— If there’s anybody out there who wants to bet that Hall will outscore Brule by 23 points this season, I’d be more than willing to cover that wager with, say, $100. Cullen, by the way, has Brule playing just 67 games, so he’s obviously factoring in his injury history.

— When I stare into my trusty old peanut butter jar, which helps me predict future events (although it seems old Skippy f*cked me on Jeff Deslauriers), I don’t see Hall outscoring Paajarvi by 20 points, either. I see Paajarvi neck-and-neck with Hall, both in the 45-50 point range. Back on Aug. 2, Skippy pegged Hall at 23-28-51 in a guesstimate I made in response to Lowetide’s reasonable expectations item listing Hall at 40 points.

— Skippy tells me Cullen has Gagner projected just a touch low. If Gagner gets as much first-line time and power-play minutes as I think he will under Tom Renney, I see him in the 55-60 range, assuming he plays something close to a full 82 games, as opposed to the 68 of last season.

— I don’t see Shawn Horcoff in Cullen’s listings and that’s an oversight. I figure Horcoff slotting in behind Hemsky, Penner and Gagner in team scoring. My best guess is 50-55 points.

— No Tom Gilbert? Hmm.

JUST AN IDEA . . .

I haven’t bounced this off any of the other writers here, so I’m being a bit presumptuous in suggesting it, but I think it would be great fun to have a guess-off as far as Oilers points projections for 2010-11 go. I’m thinking of something along the lines of goals-assists-points for Edmonton’s top-nine forwards and top-four D-men.

Simple format: Pick your top nine and top four. Prognosticators start with zero points and lose a point for every point they are off on their top 13 picks. If you take Hemsky for 65 points and he gets 68, you’re minus-3. If he gets 61, you’re minus-4 etc. etc. Repeat for each player. Add them up and closest to zero wins.

Any manner of guesswork is allowed: projecting based on tea leaves, past performance, old Skippy, stolen from the HN, whatever. We could also had a twist by pitting guys who lean a bit heavier on advanced stats, Lowetide and Willis, against, say, Gregor and I in a combined team total and see how it turns out. Might be fun,

Listen to Robin Brownlee Wednesdays and Thursdays from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. on the Jason Gregor Show on TEAM 1260.

    • Wax Man Riley

      I definitely can’t see it either. Paajarvi looks like a pro, skates like a pro and is used to playing against men. I’m hoping like heck Hall can keep up with him, but I see Paajarvi as a calder candidate.

  • cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan

    sweet jesus murphy, if Horcoff doesnt manage to put up at least 34 points this year, im gonna…well…i could…well… im gonna complain alot about it!!!

    this Cullen fellow has a track record that makes Eklund look like Nostradamus…

    • Wax Man Riley

      I too will shake my fist at the computer screen! And give a whole new meaning when people post “Fist!”
      **”And after the of the first 10 games, Horcoff has 2 assists” ……….FIST!
      **”After 82 games played, Horcoff is -31″ …..FIST!

      …….and a facepalm

  • CurtisS

    What a post?!? I thought with all the players back in town, and training camp happening we might get some intresting thoughts, instead we get a post doubting TSN point predictions?

    No offence to you Robin. Maybe just my expectations of your next post were a little to high ūüėČ

    • I thought it was interesting, and it was relevant. It was about the Oilers, about predicting their ability to produce.

      What more can you want? Are you not getting your money’s worth from this FREE SITE?

      • CurtisS

        To quote Robin from his Friday post:
        It’s Sept. 17, for crying out loud. Do predictions now even constitute an educated guess?

        Whatever, Im not complaining one bit just found it a weird post so I asked a question.

        Flame away

        • I think what RB was getting at was that making predictions is an inexact science. The idea of pitting himself and Gregor vs. stats-based prognosticators would likely prove that.

          Although I don’t want to put words in his mouth.

          It’s all guess-work, to pretend otherwise is nonsense.

      • You’ve got it. Nothing telegraphs the intention to offend like saying, “No offense, but . . .” Guys like CurtisS, they come and they go. I’m still here.

        Gregor does a great job running down the daily goings-on at camp and I don’t see the need for duplication, especially on a day when I’ve opted to spend time at home writing some feature stories and do the family thing. I’ll get back into the rink tomorrow.

    • If anyone was curious, the “√§” in Scandinavian languages sounds like an “oh”, and is used to replace “aa”. P√§jarvi would also be acceptible.
      So clearly, MPS would never spell his own name Pääjärvi, because that would be the equivalent of Paaaajaarvi, and would be pronounced pohhhhhhhhhh-johr-vee. And that would just be insäne.

      • fuck off

        4mxke

        PääjärviPääjärviPääjärviPääjärvi
        PääjärviPääjärviPääjärviPääjärvi
        PääjärviPääjärviPääjärviPääjärvi
        PääjärviPääjärviPääjärviPääjärvi
        PääjärviPääjärviPääjärviPääjärvi
        PääjärviPääjärviPääjärviPääjärvi
        PääjärviPääjärviPääjärviPääjärvi
        PääjärviPääjärviPääjärviPääjärvi

        regards Jim Rome

  • hey ChrisS

    maybe GO AWAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    and lower your expectations and write something like

    ***i must not offend contributors on Oilers Nation ONE THOUSAND times***

    oh and get on your knees and pray Robin doesn’t ban your stoopid ass…

  • Quicksilver ballet

    If Brule gets knicked and misses a number of games i could easily see this becoming reality. I’d gamble that Brule will miss more games than Hall will.

  • Well, I may not be a writer, but I will play.

    Line-up:

    Penner-Gagner-Hemsky
    Penner 37-40-77, Gagner 21-35-56, Hemsky 32-63-95
    Hall-Horcoff-Omark
    Hall 25-33-58, Horcoff 27-31-58, Omark 20-21-41
    Paajarvi-Cogliano-Brule
    Paajarvi 16-18-36, Cogliano 23-20-43, Brule 11-18-29 (injury shortened season, Eberle will post 8-15-23 in 45 games in call-ups from Springfield.)

    Gilbert-Whitney
    Gilbert 10-43-53, Whitney 7-31-38
    Foster-Smid
    Foster 11-24-35, Smid 3-10-13

  • I Paajarvi outscores Eberle & Hall. If we are going to have 3 rookies in the line-up, I just think that MPS has had more experience against men. Just my opinion, but maybe he surprises & gets into the top 3 for scorers. I’m just pulling numbers out of thin air here.

    Hemsky – 70pts
    Penner – 65pts
    Horcoff – 60pts
    Paarjvi – 55pts
    Gagner – 55pts
    Brule – 50pts
    Eberle – 45pts
    Hall – 45pts
    Cogliano – 40pts

    Gilbert – 45pts
    Foster – 40pts
    Whitney – 40pts
    Smid – 7pts

    I would like to say maybe this is the year Smid finally scores at least…

  • Bucknuck

    I love your idea of prognosticating – it is an interesting draft idea.

    Hemsky 28G, 58A = 86 pts

    Penner 34G, 35A = 69 pts

    Horcoff 25G, 34A = 59 pts

    Gagner 18G, 37A = 55 pts

    Eberle 16G, 34A = 50 pts

    Cogliano 23G, 24A = 47pts

    Paajarvi 22G, 24A = 46pts

    Brule 17G, 24A = 41 pts

    Hall 18G, 21A = 39 pts

    DEFENSE

    Whitney 12G, 33A = 45 pts

    Gilbert 17G, 27A = 44 pts

    Smid 5G, 17A = 22 pts

    Vandermeer 6G, 13A = 19 pts

    The prediction that worries me is the Hemsky one, but I do feel that Hemsky is about to get some offensive support and more protection (for whatever that is worth), and will break the point a game plateau. What concerns me is his propensity for injury and also how rusty he will be after a season off.

    • Maybe, assuming Gregor, Willis and Lowetide (or any of the writers here) want in, we can pick a day to do it.

      In addition, once the item with the picks by writers is posted, we can slot a time for readers to send in their guesses in the comments section — maybe a 10-minute window to minimalize flat-out scalping of each other’s totals by those who’d rather borrow than come up with their own.

    • Gilbert doesn’t shoot the puck enough to score 17 goals.

      Your projections have the Oilers scoring 241 goals which would have been good enough for 6th highest in the NHL last year.

      Penner,Hemsky,Cogliano,Gilbert,Brule all having career seasons is unlikely.

  • There are a lot of guys competing for top six and PP time this season.

    You have to think Penner, Gagner, and Hemsky have spots locked up so that leaves three spots for the rest: Horcoff, Hall, Eberle, Paajarvi, Cogliano, Omark, and Brule.

    You have to think that 2-3 of these guys are going to have very poor seasons offensively. In line with Stoll in his last season as an Oiler, or Cogliano last year.

    I’m thinking guys most likely to take the axe on offensive stats are Horcoff, Brule, and Cogliano.

    Hemsky-75 points
    Gagner-59
    Penner-56
    Hall-51
    Horcoff-48
    Paajarvi-44
    Cogliano-37
    Eberle-33
    Brule-29
    Whitney-41
    Gilbert-34
    Foster-28
    Vandermeer-11

    • I’m not really into the predictions and stuff, but you have Penner at 56 this year. He’s been reported coming into camp lighter, having trained this summer to anticipate playing 20 minutes a game.

      His increased fitness level and ongoing great attitude would seem to indicate he’s looking to do better than last year, when he had a mid-season slide due to carrying the team on his back.

      I like where you have Hemsky, Gagner and Horcoff. Why not place Penner at 70 or so? Also, I think Cogliano is going to surprise some people this year.

  • Milli

    I’m in for the guesses…I mean predictions. Robin, do you think the TSN or National guys are so out there on some picks is because they look league wide, or does a lacky put the list together for them?

  • Everybody is “so out there” on some picks. That’s just the nature of the guessing game.

    But, yes, people who cover the NHL as as whole as opposed to a specific team don’t have as much first-hand knowledge of any given team as the beat guys.

  • bdiddy78

    @ Robin Brownlee

    Great idea to make a little sporting competition out of point prognosticating.

    As an aside, do you have any personal favourite guys out there in any media who you feel are particularly accurate and consistent at forecasting league-wide scoring?

  • Robin, the reason you were ‘off’ on the JD prognostication, if in fact you were off, has to do with the type of peanut butter you are using. Only the old fashioned type which you have to stir, and that slops all over your hands and the kitchen counter when you do, is consistently trustworthy. Skippy……? Sorry, there is no quick fix to making accurate predictions. You’re welcome.

  • book¬°e

    This is a dumb question perhaps, but I am dumb (no offence to me). How do I quote only part of a post to make it appear in the grey-blue box.

    Somebody-anybody?

    On that note, maybe ON could develop a ‘help’ page for people to figure that kind of stuff out. As the site grows bigger, it could be valuable.

    • Kizz

      “This is a dumb question perhaps, but I am dumb (no offense to me).”

      … i’d copy/paste the part you wanna hi-lite from that citizens’ comment and put quotations marks round it …with offense spelled correctly bud…i tried the reply to get the box with the whole comment in it and tried cut/copy/paste from there but it won’t allow that so back to the original comment…unless that box thingy Include Quote in Reply has anything to do with your query
      …and from where i type? there’s no such thing as a ‘dumb question’ in here…sometimes though just dumb people & gawd knows we can ALL be dumbos at times…

      thanks dawgtoy…i’m wishing how simple LIFE would be if i only HAD an Ip√§d