Lucky 13 At The Half

With half the season now behind us, courtesy of the Oilers 3-2 loss to Dallas, it’s time for another look at the standings for Robin Brownlee’s Lucky 13 contest.

Rank Entrant SCORE
1 Hungoverman -126
2 Jonathan Willis -139
3 ronaldo -145
3 Wanye -145
3 Lowetide -145
6 GospelofJon -147
7 Scorecoff Hemmercules -148
8 BobbyChamp -149
9 Jen -153
9 oilderrick -153
11 Motel -156
12 BMcEachern -157
13 tiderip -158
14 S.Oilers -160
15 greenlightning86 -161
15 Crash -161
17 RossCreekNation -162
18 AZOilfan -163
18 b.oilers -163
20 D -164
21 OB1 – Team Hall -165
21 Jason Gregor -165
23 Oilfan64 -166
23 captainnapalm -166
25 Pajamah -168
25 OilerBill -168
27 Steve Smith -169
27 baggedmilk -169
29 CSimpson18 -170
30 Wiseguy -172
30 The Boy -172
32 Ducey -174
32 cableguy -174
34 book¡e -175
34 Vanguard -175
36 Bash -177
37 Kodiak -178
37 Rogue -178
37 Robin Brownlee -178
40 HC -179
40 BurkeTheTurd -179
42 Bucky9 -180
43 Offthebandwagon -181
43 I’m a Scientist! -181
45 Jeremy -182
46 SLAM -183
47 BUCK75 -184
48 cara -185
49 mesh -186
49 borisnikov -186
51 OvenChicken8 -187
52 Schmidty -188
52 Positivebrontefan -188
54 James H -189
55 Mojo -191
56 DougWeightProblem -192
57 Sean F -193
57 Trenton L -193
57 Stone Hands McOsta -193
60 ubermiguel -194
61 Quicksilver ballet -195
62 Haboiler -196
62 Heavyd -196
64 Polar94 -197
65 duuby -198
65 Scarlett -198
67 Dyckster -199
68 MrMackey -201
69 madjam -202
70 Alaskan Pipeline -204
70 Tracie -204
72 SportsDad -205
73 Chris. -206
74 Npanciroli -207
74 Soft Hands McSteeley -207
76 Kyle -208
77 rubbertrout -211
77 Travis Dakin -211
79 AussieOil -213
79 rindog -213
81 Oilcruzer -218
82 Henry -221
82 toprightcorner -221
82 The Ramburglar -221
85 Ender -223
85 tricksnard -223
87 jayoilfan -229
88 Robinrussia -230
89 m@s f@s -233
90 Bucknuck -235
91 DimebagDave -238
92 Miami Dolphins -242
93 Wiggleswag -245
94 stuubs -252
95 dohfOs -256
95 LuckyLex -256
97 russ99 -267
98 Fee Logolin -273
99 treevojo -280

Rules for the contest can be found here. Standings after the first quarter can be found here.

The standings are based on projected point totals. Projections were calculated based on a simple formula: current points added to the product of points per game and remaining games. For injured players, remaining games were calculated based on the best estimate of their return date. Additionally, I’ve fine-tuned the standings so that no contestant can score worse than minus-25 on a single player.  The possible scores range from a perfect zero down to minus-325.

As before, there’s plenty of hockey left to be played – half the games still remain, and the trade deadline is bound to impact overall scoring, so don’t take these too seriously.

  • book¡e

    Look at those Stats losers sucking massively. JW only has 139 points and LT only has 145 points. Robin is well ahead of them with 178 and Soft Hands McSteeley is kicking their ass with 207 points and he spends most of his time fisting.

    See, stats geeks are losers!

    Wait a minute…

  • Wax Man Riley

    Sooooo….. looks like everyone had the Oil winning the cup this year.

    *creeps back into his dark corner, under the rock he came out from because he didn’t bother submitting to the lucky 13 and therefore has no right to make fun*

  • Steve Smith

    As Brownlee will not hesitate to remind us, this contest isn’t decided based on standings at the half-way point. From this, he concludes that standings at the half don’t mean anything. Stats-haters don’t believe in extrapolation, you see.

    Not that I’m thrilled with my own performance, mind you. But I was too lazy to use statistics very intensively.

  • Ender

    I said before that I thought that this was a pretty lousy way to assess prognosticating ability specifically or hockey knowledge generally so I wouldn’t draw any conclusions about anyone’s abilities based on this or ever use it as a hammer in a debate.

    That does not mean that I don’t find this hilarious.

  • Crash

    Basing my prognosticating on 82 games is definitely going cost me. Those that went low on Whitney, Horcoff, Eberle, Brule, Hemsky are definitely going to benefit from their long term injuries.

    Need Whitney back and for Hemsky to really turn it on to reach the 77 I predicted for him.

    Cmon boys

    • John Chambers

      Crash, Crash, Crash . . .

      Don’t go spoiling the fun for those who are drinking each others Sprite and high-fiving by pointing out that those who low-balled Eberle, Horcoff and Whitney are getting a huge break because of injuries.

      • Crash

        LOL, I had to do it to cover my own butt….oh whoa is me.

        Wondering if you know if Eberle is back by this weekend? Seeing as how my wife got me a trip to California to join the Oilers at the end of their road trip. Gonna have my Hall vintage jersey on at the Staples Center on Sat and Honda Center on Sunday. Looks like it’s going to be nice weather 75F.

      • Steve Smith

        Are you trying to suggest that the unpredictability of injuries makes this whole thing kind of a crapshoot?

        If only somebody had made that point earlier…like, say, when you were taunting him about not submitting his own picks.

    • Ender

      Seems to depend on who you ask. Overall, I think the only thing we can all agree on is that it was one game so it would be hard to project much from what we saw last night on the future. Where the real debate comes in is how long that future at center should be.

      • John Chambers

        Hi Ender,

        Perhaps I measure the “Hall at Centre” project differently than you do. I tend to look at an experiment in a Risk vs. Reward lens. IMO:

        The Reward: We develop a legitimate #1 Centre that we’ve coveted since Doug Weight or Messier. We also solve a problem with regard to our surplus of talented scoring wingers. Of course, it has to pan out to achieve this reward.

        The Risk: Hall is terrible on the dot, he doesn’t play the defensive side of the game as astutely, it holds back his run-and-gun style.

        In the event that the Risk is greater than the Reward, we can slide him back to the wing and say that “Nothing ventured, nothing gained”.

        IMO also, his speed and hockey sense seem to nominate him as the best candidate amongst our active-roster forwards to make a transition from the wing to centre.

        Ender – where do you evaluate things differently than I do to the extent where you see this as being RISKY to Hall and the Oilers?

        • Ender

          Good question, John. There are two risks that I see; a minor one and a more major one.

          The minor risk is that since Taylor is still young, impressionable, and learning the NHL through Renney and the other Oiler coaches, he may be required to learn habits that are valuable to a center but less valuable or even in contrast to skills and habits a good winger employs. I freely admit that the risk of ‘tainting’ Hall is modest, but the risk increases the longer the experiment goes on if it ultimately doesn’t pan out.

          Of more serious concern is the loss of a very good winger to effect the arrival of a less-effective center. We’ve discussed before what a guy like Steckel would mean to the Oilers. Would you, today, trade Steckel straight up for Hall? Probably not, and rather than rhetorically ask ‘Why not’ I think we can agree that of the two, the BPA is Hall. So unless Hall becomes as good a center as he is a winger, we are essentially doing just that: trading a very valuable winger – better than Smyth valuable – for a potentially mediocre center. That’s crazy, but I have every confidence that the Oilers would do it given even a glimmer of hope from Taylor.

          I don’t think Hall is capable of being a #1 center in the NHL. I think he’s a heck of a hockey player, but that if he had that capability his junior coaches would have cast him in that role and kept him there. If I’m wrong, then I’m wrong, but I would be in good company with all those coaches.

          So, let’s just for the sake of argument assume that the best Hall can ever hope to be in the NHL is a #3 or even a #2C. At the risk of using names with connotations attached, are we really proposing trading Daniel Sedin for Marcel Goc? A #1LW and a fine one at that for a center that gets by? Why do that? Why not draft the center that already has those instincts and let Hall play where he shines? Where he’s proven he shines?

          Short-term, John, there’s no risk, especially if the ‘experiment’ fails early. The longer it goes, though, the more I see the Oilers finding a way to depreciate the assets this team has. As others have pointed out, seriously or in jest, our defense is in need of a serious repair or two as well; why not ask Pääjärvi to go back to the blueline? I hope you see the answer to that one too.

          • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

            So just to be clear here:

            lets base this off points alone because they are so much easier to quantify.

            You’ve brought up 1LW and 2/3C a few times.

            Do you honestly think Hall has 70 – 80 – 90+ point potential at LW but only 30 – 50 point potential as 2C or 3C?

            And if you do, do you really see the Oilers scratching their head wondering what to do with 2C, 40 point Taylor Hall 3 years from now after he’s shown flashes of elite play on the wing?

          • If that happens then we have lost two years of development on the wing for a failed experiment.

            I’m with Ender on this one. If we wanted a centre there was a pretty good one available at the draft.

            Of course, I hope that I’m wrong and that Hall proves to be as good at centre as is can be on the wing.

          • Crash

            I’m with OB1 and John Chambers…

            Playing Hall at Center is NOT going to affect his development one iota. It’s not development on the wing you need to worry about it’s development as a hockey player. Whether he succeeds at being a center or not, he’s still going to be playing NHL hockey and he will expand his repertoire (sp?). He’s still going to get stronger, he’s still got power in his game, he’s still got skills beyond belief, he’s still got great hockey sense, he’ll still have a great shot. The kid’s got game. The only way the center thing fails is if he continually struggles in the faceoff circle. At that point they can move on to a different plan.

            Why do so many of you always and I mean always look at the glass half empty. Perhaps the Oilers want to find out if Hall can master the center ice position to find out if it’s worth keeping both Hemsky and Penner instead of trying to use one or both of them as trade bait for a center. Maybe they want to find out if Hall can play center now so they know if it’s ok to draft Larsson instead of a center in June. This experiment is not going to hurt anything and what if Hall actually takes the position and runs with it? Has anybody considered that? Instead of trotting out all these wishy washy negative things that in all likelihood don’t exist.

            And please, get over the Oilers not drafting Seguin already. He may or may not turn out to be a pretty good center center but you sure don’t pass on a player like Hall when he’s sitting there right in front of you. The Oilers got it right.

            Why not look at the great possibilities. Hall masters the center position making room for Paajarvi to move up in the top six, making Gagner the 2nd line center everyone seems to think he is at best. This allows Horcoff to play a role as a shutdown center and continue to be the teams leader. If it works, it seems to me the Oilers will be set up very well going forward. They then only need to worry about defense for the most part and maybe some grit for the bottom six.

            If it doesn’t work, no harm done and the Oilers have some ideas what to do going forward with regards to personnel.

            Hall will be just fine, no matter what.

          • John Chambers

            Well …. there are many ways Hall could fail as a centre beyond simply being sub-par in the faceoff circle.

            In Midgets I was asked to move to Centre from the wing. A centre has much more defensive accountability and typically doesn’t have the ability to break the play out of the defensive zone which Hall seems to do exceptionally well. Centers also have to make sure to not get caught deep in the offensive zone.

            Hall as a winger plays a high-risk, high-reward game. It allows him to put up points but create less of a liability for the team when a two-way C like Horcoff can cover for him defensively.

            I personally think he has the tools (ie the brain) to succeed as a Centre, but let me tell you brother, faceoffs are just the beginning.

          • Crash

            John, you missed my point. That’s what I’m saying. That’s why I listed all those things about Hall. The guy knows hockey, he’s loaded with skill. There isn’t going to be anything about playing center that Hall can’t figure out except for maybe winning faceoffs. He’s that good.

            I too was asked to move from wing to Center back in midgets and beyond. It wasn’t that big of a deal. You just change some things. It doesn’t change how well you can skate, how well you compete, how well you battle, how much skill you have, how well you shoot the puck, how often you are skating forwards instead of backwards. It’s changes some of your assignments, some of your positioning. That’s it. It’s not rocket science especially for a guy who is as good as Hall. Some people are trying to make it sound like a winger has pretty much zippo for defensive responsibility and all they have to do is fly around scoring goals. It’s all about following a system and doing your job and Hall knows the game.

            Myself, after playing about 3 yrs as a center I was asked to move back to the wing in Juniors because the coach of the team wanted to have me play on the line with the top center. So, I moved back to the wing, without a hitch.

          • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

            Pretty much sums up my feelings. Somtimes I get the feeling that people confuse hockey with football.

            This isn’t trying out your left tackle at tail back… far less skilled players then Hall have succesfully changed positions.

          • Ender

            As the standings above will show you, I can be optimistic to a fault. [wry grin]

            If your plan works out exactly as the Oilers might hope, they’d be set up very nicely. How does this scenario grab you though?

            Hall finishes the season at center with 38 points (he’s currently on pace for 46 @ LW) and management justifies the imaginary 8 points with the fact that he’s unfamiliar with the position and will grow into it. They pencil him in as 1C just as you’ve outlined, bump up Paajarvi, slot in Gags and Horc as #2&3C just like you’ve said, and go out and draft Larsson.

            Through the first half of next season, Taylor continues on at slightly better than the same pace as the second half of this season, which is to say on pace for 35 points or so. Not great numbers for a #1C, and that’s reflected in the reduced numbers from Hemsky and Penner whom they elected to keep since they had made some room on the wing and the market was low. They are now faced with terminating contracts from both of those wingers who are in the final year of their contract and their value is being undermined making them difficult to deal. Pressure mounts to re-sign them since they are unlikely to get their actual value in return as rental players. As the pressure grows, people start to wonder if we’re going to be paying $6-7M each for Hemsky and Penner or if we’re going to lose them for nothing in the off-season.

            In the meantime, Larsson struggles. Projecting blueliners is always horribly difficult, and Larsson does not adapt to the speed of the NHL the way the Oilers hoped. His point totals are modest and even sheltering him with Whitney only slows the bleeding on +/-; the Oilers realize their problems on defense are still their primary focus.

            By the end of next season, the Oilers are locked in a battle for 8th spot in the West, miss by 2 points, and carry a mediocre offense and a rebuilding D into the 11-12 off-season, drafting mid-pack and well shy of any real impact players. Hemsky has re-signed @ $6.8M and Penner has elected to test free-agency.

            So no playoffs again next year and 12-13 looking not-a-lot better than today.

            This is a grim prediction; a glass-half-empty if you ever saw it. Tell me it’s completely unrealistic though.

            How about we keep Hall on the LW, draft a center like Couturier or RNH, and trade Penner/Hemsky for some defense? How does that suit you instead?

          • Crash

            Wow, you certainly are correct, that is actually more than a glass half empty. But let me ask you, does just keeping Hall on the LW and not experimenting really turn that possible scenario you created all around into a glorious Stanley Cup parade down Jasper in a couple of years?

            I could probably conjure up a make believe scenario too looking at the glass half empty with going the way you mention. Like Oilers pass on Larsson and draft Couturier. Couturier turns out to be a worse pick than Bonsignore as it’s deemed his skating isn’t good enough. Larsson goes on to become the next Lidstrom, etc, etc, etc. It’s just a made up scenario.

            You’re creating a scenario that I don’t think can exist. So yes I really do believe that your scenario is pretty much unrealistic (no disrespect intended). Not the part that the Oilers might struggle a bit, just the part that Hall struggles only because he’s playing Center. But that’s just me, because I feel as though Hall will produce regardless of his position and nothing about his development will be hurt by trying him out at center. The only way he is going to hurt the team at center is if they keep him there for years and he never improves in the faceoff circle. But I also doubt that he would be a huge failure there either.

            Actually I don’t want to trade Penner and Hemsky. I’d really like to keep Hemsky for sure and the Oilers have drafted Centers. You guys really do need to let this Seguin thing go.

          • John Chambers

            & @ RubberJofa

            Hmm, that’s an intersting viewpoint. I agree that in absolute terms it would be foolish to make Hall play a position where he isn’t going to have as great an impact. Even if he’s only 90% as effective as a C, then he may not benefit the team as much as if he’s playing wing.

            I think the Oilers are realizing that they may not be able to trade for or even draft a #1 C in the near future, and are trying to create other options for themselves. At the very least it’s innovative.

            I would limit the experiment to between 5 and 10 games. If he’s sucking the hind banana then we’ll know that he should be penciled, er, penned, I mean, etched, or better yet tattooed into that top line LW position for hopefully the next decade.

          • cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan

            ~i liked it better when all you donkies werent trying to look smart. These 6 paragraph posts full of non-sensical BS are starting to piss me off…~

          • John Chambers

            You’re absolutely right. Let’s get back to our normal selves.

            Cableguy – you don’t know the NHL from field hockey. Why don’t you go back to Shoppers Drugmart to look at things you have more knowledge about like lipstick and eye-shadow.

            Ender – your beard is full of crumbs. Go to the bathroom and take a few moments with your little beard-comb to look presentable again, dammit. And do you ever wash your Starship Enterprise uniform?

            Crash – Midget hockey for people under 4′ tall isn’t what I meant by Midget hockey. You standing around the ice with your finger up your nose is hardly a resume for playing ‘Center’.

            Jeanshorts – You haven’t even been part of this, but some of the humour on your website is crude and uncooth. Hardly a destination for “gentlemen”.

            Keep up the good work, boys.

          • Ender

            You know what Santa didn’t bring me this year? A little beard comb, and those things are so dang cute. As for washing uniforms, what do you think we bothered inventing things like flash-incinerators and replicators for?

    • John Chambers

      I really am hungover. I won’t even discuss the beer I drank last week in Las vegas. Cheers to Chi at Blondies in Planet Hollywood for not throwing me out while I watched the Oil/Isle game. $3 for 2 bud light times=$250 bar tab.
      Yummy goodness.

  • Ender

    OB1 wrote:

    do you really see the Oilers scratching their head wondering what to do with 2C, 40 point Taylor Hall 3 years from now after he’s shown flashes of elite play on the wing?

    Are you seeing something from this management team that I’m not? Yeah, straight up that thought terrifies me. I wouldn’t have played Andrew Cogliano for pretty much an entire season on the fourth line either, but maybe that’s just me.

    rubbertrout wrote:

    If we wanted a centre there was a pretty good one available at the draft.

    Completely valid, RT, but of course we can’t live in the past. Fortunately, the hockey gods have ‘smiled’ upon us one more time and there are two pretty good centers in the top 4 players available at the draft. I guess we’ll find out if the Oilers really understand the definition of insanity or not early this summer.

  • John Chambers

    Brownlee,

    If only you knew that Whitney had foot problems coming into this season things would be different? Also, Horcoff and Hemsky haven’t spent large portions of the past few seasons on the injured lost, have they?

    I agree with Tyler, this is a lousy contest and perhaps one of the quicker thinking stats guys can come up with something better next season.

    Nonetheless, I agree, these results are hilarious.

    You’re awfully quiet when you’r losing brownlee

  • Wax Man Riley

    I didn’t see all of the game last night, but I did see a ton of ice for that first line. Hall was flying in the offensive zone, but running around defensively. Kind of what we thought would happen.

    I was interested to see what Hall looked like at center only because he is such a high-flying, smart player.

    I now like the idea of him on the wing much better. His style of play seems to fit the wing. He can cheat a bit offensively and use his speen wide better.

    However, I don’t think him at center would take a 90pt guy and turn him into a 45 point #2C. He would get the points either way, but having a solid C and an elite W looks better to me