Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Comparing Two Defensemen Rationally

Humour me, pretend you're Billy Beane for a minute. But looking at the seasons of a couple of NHL defensemen instead of baseball players.

Which of these guys do you like better, by how much, and why?

Both are real seasons of real players. And both are obviously good years by them. But no cheating by looking it up. :-)


Anonymous namflashback said...

These are both very good defencemen. If #2 had played the same number of games, it appears that he would have been better in almost each situation you compate.

Again, both very good.

I choose #2. Who do I get?

6/27/2006 4:06 pm  
Anonymous lowetide said...


Okay, 5x5 I prefer player number two because even though he is less of a high-event player enough good things happen during his 64 games that you could reasonably count on him in what is the most common situation in a game. Both are fine, I'll take #2 here.

Player number one is made for 4 on 4 hockey, he's freaking Scott Niedermayer. Player number two is not a high event player in this alignment. These are Jason Smith numbers (or what I would assume would be Jason Smith numbers).

Player number one spends much of his effort on the PK (5 minutes a game compared to less than 4 for #2) and the net difference is -2 (which we could assume would be closer to even if they played the same total minutes).

Player number two is more efficient on the 5 on 4 PP (they play about equal minutes but #2 has a higher impact on his team's PP, 30/36, 83%.

I like both of these players very much, but would go with number one. He's healthier, plays important minutes and although he isn't as efficient EV as the other guy he's no slouch either.

His 4x4 antics also please the home crowd. :-)

6/27/2006 4:10 pm  
Anonymous YKOil said...

I'll stick with #1 - mostly because avg. minutes played/game (30.23 vs. 23.44). Also, #1 is played equally on the PK and on the PP while #2 is heavily weighted to PP time.

#2 is no slouch though so what it really comes down to is age, price, injury history and opposition on the ice.

6/27/2006 4:13 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

#1 by a slight margin, for the reasons given. Although if you go by rate, isn't #2 the higher event player? I'd still pick #1 though; it is not a given that a d-man of that caliber can keep the rates up when playing those kind of minutes.

6/27/2006 4:31 pm  
Anonymous pdo said...

I take #2.

If I'm guessing who the players are..

1 = Zubov

For #2... I really want to say he's Bryan McCabe. The games played look about right, so does the PP stuff (a lot of PP minutes, high efficiency.. not as many PK minutes) ... but the ES stuff just doesn't work with it.

I think knowing the teams these two played for would really help (and yes, after I post this I'm definitely checking who these two were.. hopefully I win a prize? ;] ) as well, because if we're talking about a defenseman on Ottawa or a defenseman on St. Louis... there's a lot to take into consideration for quality of linemates as well.

6/27/2006 4:59 pm  
Anonymous momentai said...

Well... going by first look. Player 1 looks like he's spending close to 29 minutes per game on the ice. And Player 2 is spending close to 22 minutes.

At even strength Player 1 is scoring at a rate of 1.06 pts/hr and Player 2 at 1.11 pts/hr.

On the powerplay, Player 1 is averaging 3.45 ppp/hr and Player 2 with 5 ppp/hr.

Judging from icetime alone, I think that Player 1 is a well known big time dman. He averages minutes close to tops in the leagues. But I also know that because he's averaging those minutes, he's going to cost a pretty penny.

Player 2 provides you better bang for the buck methinks. And if I'm Billy Beane, that is exactly what I'm looking for.

6/27/2006 6:40 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would like #2 better but I am concerned about the number of games played.


6/27/2006 7:14 pm  
Anonymous oilswell said...

I'm sure my answer will clearly reveal that I didn't cheat, but here goes:
who: #1
why: 4 more EV min/game, +1 PK min/game. Assuming #2 isn't on a significantly deeper team the coach thinks #1 is more of a defenseman than #2's coach, and he still gets the same PP rate.
how much: is $1M more too much? May be slightly high for 4-5min/GP of prime minutes.

6/27/2006 8:34 pm  
Blogger mudcrutch79 said...

Caveats: I'd want to know their teams, quality of ice time both in terms of teammates and opposition, why the one guy was missing games and why the other played so much. Oh, and who their goalies are.

I probably prefer #2 because of his superior looking rates. The point above about maintaining the rates is well taken but I've got this unproven theory that guys who factor in on a higher percentage of PP goals are more important than other guys. The 4 x 4 is interesting but there's so little of it each season (although, I should note that the vast majority of it takes place in situations where the win value of a goal is through the roof) that I don't know how much you can give credit for it.

6/27/2006 8:49 pm  
Anonymous lowetide said...

Don't you just have to give gobs of credit for the astounding difference 4X4?

Without knowing the dollars I'd say player #1 is among the very best defensemen in the league based on that number.

It has to be a tell. Defenseman number one is a beauty player, I'd be my neighbor's house on it.

6/27/2006 8:57 pm  
Blogger mudcrutch79 said...

It'd help if Vic gave us the minutes played. I agree that it's a tell but I think that it's telling us that D1 played on a team with some sick forwards. There can't a defenceman in the league who drives the numbers like that.

6/27/2006 9:04 pm  
Anonymous lowetide said...

Ahh, great point. I hadn't thought of that, to be honest I'm kind of excited to know.

6/27/2006 9:18 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I bet its Pronger vs. Redden.

Wade is the guy everyone is talking about to replace Pronger on the Oilers next season.

And I'll take #1. He looks better in every aspect besides the PP.

6/27/2006 9:32 pm  
Blogger Vic Ferrari said...

Some terrific comments here.

Player number 1 was Pronger during the 99/00 season. The year he won the Hart and Norris.

Player number 2 was Redden from this past season. Not even a nomination for the Norris for Wade this year.

Some points:

The key reasons for both of these terrific seasons: Soft icetime on very good teams. (Which is not the norm for either btw ... last season Redden played brutal minutes, this year Chara took over that role. Pronger played very tough minutes for the Oilers this year, and the forward corps wasn't as strong as that STL team ... hence the EV+46 EV-46 (incl +4 and -4 at 4on4 hockey) for Pronger this season as an Oiler.

Besides the aforementioned soft icetime. I suspect that the things that propelled Pronger to the Hart trophy and the huge status and salary that came with it:

1. The crazy good 4on4 numbers, an anamoly, and one that he never came close to repeating. (extra marks to mc for devaluing that)
2. The fact that STL really surged in the standings that year, somebody had to get credit. :-) I think mostly their goaltending just stopped sucking and Demitra, Handzus, Hecht and a few other young forwards really started to hit their stride as NHLers. Conroy played minutes so tough it was surreal, I hope he won the Selke that year, it would have been deserved ... Turgeon racked up a gaudy EV+/- of +30 that season, looks like mostly because he played against the other teams dregs alot, and with good teammates on the ice with him (including Pronger for a big chunk of his results).


I'd take #1 too btw. It was simply a better season IMO. But for the reasons a few people mentioned ... not by much, maybe a $million or so as oilswell estimates. And on the balance of overall histories about even. Maybe the slight edge to Redden because of better PP results. Both terrific defensemen.

And I'd hope for a terrific forward over either.

BTW: STL was a terrific 4on4 team for a long time. Quenneville likes to play 3 forwards at 4on4 a lot of the time as well, but Pronger was EV+4 EV-2 at 4on4 the next season.

6/27/2006 10:10 pm  
Blogger RiversQ said...

Unfortunately I have to exempt myself because I have #1's career nearly memorized. I know exactly who that player is and what happened that season.

Those are vicious minutes totals BTW. Pretty much nobody does that at ES. It's about 100-200 more ES minutes than the top guy in most years. Combine that with the results and it's just freakish. He won't do it again though.

6/27/2006 10:20 pm  
Blogger RiversQ said...

Ha, guess who won the Selke that year Vic? Your favourite. Stevie Y.

6/27/2006 10:22 pm  
Blogger RiversQ said...

It's kind of funny Pronger had such a rough year on the PP that year. It's symptomatic of what happens to him a little bit in the playoffs though. It seems as though his PP production declines with heavy ES minutes. Perhaps that's due to some extra PP minutes by playing the last 30sec of the PP in order to be there for the shift after the PP?

6/27/2006 10:32 pm  
Blogger Vic Ferrari said...

I didn't realize that Yzerman actually ever won a Selke, I do remember scoffing at him being nominated one year. Just looked at the opposition numbers for DET and he's way down the list. Igor Larionov (just a wonderful player in his day imho) should have got a nominationthat year by the looks of the results. Draper played tough minutes, just not very many ... then it looks like Larionov played with Lapointe and Maltby and took on a lot of tough competition AND got very good results. Fedorov should get a mention too, though not a great year by him outscoring-wise.

And with that ... I'm going to stop whipping the Selke winners. Though I wish that they would rename it the "Frank J. Selke Award Winner As Voted By Al Strachan & Associates". That would make it clearer methinks.


On the whole Pronger thing ... it was really cool that the Oilers were able to land one of the best defencemen in the league, and one of the most famous players in the game, and that he was willing to commit to a long term deal in Oilerville. Back in August that was damn cool. But really, guys like Lydman, Hedican, Tallinder, Hannan, etc, etc put up damn near the same 5on5 numbers playing the same type of minutes, and a bunch of other guys aren't far behind ... so it does seem like a lot extra to pay for the PP production. Pronger is a very good PP dman, but he's not as good as Ray Whitney in that role, and the latter had EDM as a preferred destination when he was a UFA last summer.

It's a bit of an insult when somebody deems your town a shitty place to live. Whether they are a hockey player's wife or anyone else. But what can ya do?

From a hockey POV, I just think that Pronger will likely fetch a far better return to the Oilers, in terms of helping them win, than Pronger himself would have made. Of course if it turns out to be Kaberle/Steen or some such ... THEN we can start to panic. But I'm sure Lowe can do better than that.

6/27/2006 11:19 pm  
Blogger Vic Ferrari said...

Edit for above: Draper didn't play very many minutes presumably because he got hurt and didn't play many games.

6/27/2006 11:20 pm  
Blogger Dennis said...

Well Vic...Matheson had a piece today where he broke down all the potential destinations and after reading that I'm conviced that there's a very strong possibility we'll be getting Kaberle/Steen in return for 44.

We know that Matty's basically a weapon of propoganda for the Oilers and from what I read today I'm thinking 44's going to the Leaves or Rangers and I hated the way Lowe Matty passed off our favorite Fla rumor by bringing up Horton's injury problems. I'll admit that's a concern but he did play 68 games last year so it seems like that problem's dissolving a little as the years go by.

But if we wind up with Kaberle/Steen AND we have to watch Pronger every fucking Saturday night then I'll lose all respect for Lowe.

Note: Matty threw out something else very disturbing regarding the whole deal. He said it wasn't going to be easy to find a good deal for Pronger. Frankly I think that's a whole lot of bullshit but we know the Edm media enough to know who's plugged in and we know enough to know that if Matheson's throwing around comments like that it's for the sole purpose of preparing the fans for a letdown.

Anyone care to disagree on that?

6/28/2006 9:52 am  
Blogger RiversQ said...

Of course I assume Matheson said nothing to explain why it would be difficult to make a Pronger deal. Did he?

Everybody keeps saying "Why trade for Pronger when you can sign a UFA for free?" a) He's a better player than any of them. b) You'll probably have more cap room with Pronger than with one of those UFAs.

6/28/2006 10:32 am  
Blogger Vic Ferrari said...

As you say, obviously Matheson is the avenue that the Oilers like to use to release their side of the story, but aside from setting low expectations as he's done there (always a good move by a GM methinks) I don't think Matheson knows any more than us here.

A Jim Matheson trade rumour ditty:

Remember how wild the hockey boards were with rumours in August? Mad shit, especially after the Pronger and Peca deals.

Anyhow, a rumour came up on OilFans that Michal Handzus was headed to Edmonton for Marty Reasoner + prospect(s). The source was a "credible poster on a Flyers board". It took off. Then somebody tracked it down ... the guy on the Philly board had gotten it from a guy on a Vancouver Canucks board, who had gotten it from a guy on an Oilers board, who had commented on how Bob Stauffer (drivetime sports radio guy) had commented in passing that Handzus would be a good fit on the Oilers, and his sidekick had remarked that PHI were running into cap trouble and might consider moving him for that reason. Somebody, a caller I think, wondered out loud if Reasoner and a draft pick, or Pouliot, might work for Philly.

Of course that somehow eventually morphed into: Guy who broke Peca deal sez Reasoner+ to PHI for Handzus!!!!!! Madness. And as we both know all too well, it happens all the time like that here in internetland.

Now, the good bit: Hall of famer Jim Matheson (that's how he was introduced) comes on Stauffer's show the next night and one of the first things he said is "I'm hearing Reasoner to Philly for Handzus, but I'm not sure that will work". :D Bob couldn't shut him up fast enough, and politely explained how that bit of random bit of thinking aloud on his show the night before had turned into a hot rumour. I was laughing out loud in my car, effing priceless.

BTW: It's the hockey writer's hall of fame ... they vote each other in. They are given some annex space off of the proper hockey hall of fame, to do with what they want, but that's the only affiliation. Al Strachan got voted in years before Matty, and Garrioch is a lock to make it in when he hits middle age, especially if the Sens can win a cup or two. :)

6/28/2006 10:32 am  
Blogger Black Dog Hates Skunks said...

Dennis - having this discussion with LT and posted Matheson's list myself - I guess the question is if he is preparing the fans for a letdown, why post that list - there are some pretty good deals in there, the majority better then that Leafs' deal

also, if I'm not mistaken, Kaberle has a no trade that kicks in on the 1st - if that's the case they have to make the deal now

agreed though - I live in T.O. and Steen and Kaberle are 'nice" players - but certainly not the return I'd hope for - and the leafs have little else of any value

I think FL is out anyhow - methinks Jovo is going there

6/28/2006 10:34 am  
Anonymous namflashback said...

Everybody keeps saying "Why trade for Pronger when you can sign a UFA for free?" a) He's a better player than any of them. b) You'll probably have more cap room with Pronger than with one of those UFAs.

c) there will be as many as 10 teams who want the top UFA Defencemen out there, and 5 who won't get them

6/28/2006 11:31 am  
Blogger Black Dog Hates Skunks said...

nam - that's my thinking to a point - I believe with a lot of these GMs/owners it comes down to they will feel that Pronger can bring them playoff revenues and/or a Cup and what seems rational to you and I goes out the window.

Why would the Leafs trade a top goaltending prospect for Raycroft when they could likely pick up a better player on the open market?

Why would the Senators trade for Tyler Arneson?

etc etc.

A GM or owner sees a guy he likes and makes the move, consequences be damned. I think this works in Lowe's favour - if once the UFAs are gone (and maybe he contributes to this by signing Redden?) then he has an auction - do you think Bob Clarke or Keenan or Sather is going to balk at his price if they feel he's the piece of the puzzle they need? Pitkanen? Pronger is replacing him. Carter? He's only 20. Esche? I can get a backup somewhere else. And I have the guy who is going to put us over the top.

I can rationalize it - I'm sure Bob Clarke can. You know Keenan can - he traded enough young guys back in the day and it helped him win a cup in NY.

6/28/2006 11:48 am  
Anonymous namflashback said...

Exactly, there is the right guy and the right now guy. Lots of those GM's would like an opportunity to have a winner tomorrow.

6/28/2006 1:03 pm  
Blogger Black Dog Hates Skunks said...

sure - throw in a lot of ego, some testosterone and some good old competitiveness and I'm sure you'll see a good deal for the Oil happen

If Ottawa were able to get in on it you don't think Melnyk would tell Muckler to make it happen - you can always get more picks and prospects, right? these guys are businessmen worth hundreds of millions of dollars

I think that once Jovo, Chara, Lidstrom and Redden are off the market guys are going to get desperate

6/28/2006 1:27 pm  
Anonymous Doogie2K said...

I wonder why the NHL GMs don't vote on the Selke like they do the Vezina. Seems like the sort of thing a GM would be more apt to spot than a reporter, since most GMs are hockey people of some form.

6/28/2006 2:43 pm  
Anonymous namflashback said...

i like the idea of mad-numbers guys like vic ferrari and mudcrutch doing the Selke selection since they seem to know far more about situational play than anyone else.

6/28/2006 4:25 pm  
Blogger Dennis said...

That story makes me feel a little better Vic.. a "little" better. I'm a worrier at heart though so I always expect the worst to happen. Pronger's such a great player and such a value that I don't see how Lowe can fuck this up but until he doesn't then I'll be on pins and needles.

6/28/2006 5:24 pm  
Blogger Vic Ferrari said...


I've always thought that the coaches should pick that one. They are the ones making and avoiding matchups. They are the ones reviewing the tapes. Just makes sense. During these playoffs, shortly after the San Jose series I think, I remember reading a well written Dan Barnes article lauding Shawn Horcoff. He gave Horcoff credit for going toe to toe with Thornton and outplaying him. That afternoon I heard Mark Spector pimping Peca for the way he shut down Thornton. Now they can't possibly BOTH be right. But both vote on the Selke. Probably not the best fit for that.

I mean a guy like Dennis, actually a bunch of guys who post here, they notice who is playing against who, and which coach is driving or avoiding which matchups. Just out of habit I think. But most fans don't. Even hardcore fans who know the game well, it's just not something they seem to pay any attention to. And it's really tough to see on TV a lot of the time anyways, except in a couple of PPV telecasts where they gave us a wider shot.

I was thinking that maybe next hockey season we'd try and change that. Come up with something easy to use and intuitively easy to understand, so it doesn't seem like magic. Those sheets that huffpuff linked to on here seems like the way to go. Basically building a shiftchart out of the TOI and even some of the play-by-play data (like which zone the faceoffs were in). If it's simple enough to do, then maybe one of the sharp radio guys, like Gregor or Stauffer, would pick up on it. And hopefully more of the thinking fans would take a kick at it as well.

Stuff like that gets a guy looking for different things in the game as well. Pushes the level up a bit, gets us all noticing aspects of a players game or a coaches style that maybe we've missed before. It's cool.

6/28/2006 5:44 pm  
Blogger mudcrutch79 said...

I've always thought that the coaches should pick that one.

AND they should publish their ballots. I'd like to see who guys like Ron Low vote for. Speaking of which, does anyone know where to find the voting breakdown for the major awards? Damien Cox voted for Scott Niedermayer, of all people.

Vic, your idea about finding a way to build off the TOI stuff is great; by giving us that, the NHL has finally completed the task of getting everything out there that you really need to break down a player.

6/28/2006 5:54 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Uh, guys...if Matheson is spreading nothing but propoganda from the Oilers to make sure fans aren't let down with the real deal, why did he set the bar so high?

And it wasn't just the article. Earlier in the week Matheson was on Bob Stauffer's show, and what he said then was: "It'll be difficult to get full value for Pronger." He also shot down the Kaberle/Steen rumour as something that could only emanate from TO.

I don't think any one can disagree with either point. There's really no way to "win" this trade. Sending away Pronger is going to hurt the Oilers. That said, a decent deal can be made. Not the TO rumour though.

BTW, the signicant part of that rumour is that it was an Oiler proposal...in other words, if JFJ accepted it, it'd be a done deal. Whether true or not, there's a couple conclusions to make from the rumour:
1. It is bogus -- no worries for us about a horrid trade.
2. It is true -- Matheson isn't the Oiler mouthpiece you claim...and he disagrees with KLowe. ;-)

Bob asked him about Bowmeester & Horton for the Pronged One-der. Matheson thought that wasn't enough. Matheson simply sees that Brutus is worth an awful lot to the Oilers, and finding full value will be difficult or impossible. Decent deals would be the ones he listed in the article.

And he closed with "The bottom line is, this won't be easy." Of course it won't...but anyone that takes that line to mean he's laying groundwork for a let-down...you're reading waaay too much into a single line of article.

BTW, Bob McKenzie is saying the Oilers are after a package very similar to the ones pitched by Matheson (that TSN link won't last...but anyway). Bob says that Lowe is going after a "quality forward, a quality defenseman, and a 1st round draft pick". Pretty much the same as Matheson's guesses. Does that mean Bob is also spreading Oiler propoganda? You guys are too much...

- Rod

6/28/2006 7:09 pm  
Blogger Vic Ferrari said...


Personally I don't particularly care what Matheson has to say. The anecdote above about the rumoured Reasoner-Handzus deal should explain why. And I didn't read his article but took Dennis' word on the tone, which is a safe bet.

The Oilers do release information through him occasionally. Which is fair enough, The Edmonton Journal is an EIG partner still, no? I thought his reporting on the Comrie situation was laughably bad, but whatever.

The media in this town predicted doom when Weight was traded, and when Carter was traded, and when Comrie left town, and when Nedved wasn't re-signed. They trumpeted Salo as the only bright light on the team. And so long as they are selling papers and fans are talking about what they are saying, then I suppose they are doing their jobs.

You say that Matheson says that 'finding full value will be difficult or impossible', fair enough, that's his opinion. A lot of fans on call-in radio and on the internet are of the same opinion. I don't think that's true, because though I agree that Pronger is a very good defenseman, he's also overvalued IMO. So somebody will probably pay more than he's worth. There's a strong history of this with players who are more famous than their results say they should be (SEE Peca). And since the market determines the price, specifically the offer of the highest bidder, and since at this point a lot of GMs aren't even sure if they will be bidders for Pronger yet, the pessimism is baseless in my opinion.

6/28/2006 8:48 pm  
Blogger Black Dog Hates Skunks said...

Vic - what are your thoughts - you've seen Matheson's list - do you see any of those as starting points? I figured Pitkanen, Carter and a prospect and was told no way but now they're talking those two and one of the goalies.

Rumours are rumours - witness the Leafs' one that originated here (in T.O., I mean) but what are your thoughts on what they may get.

Another post maybe ...

6/28/2006 9:10 pm  
Anonymous Julian said...

I was wondering what high-end ES outscoring forwards you guys might think Edmonton would have a shot at trading Ponger straight up for? Hossa? Lecavalier?

and Vic, you were the one who coined the term Conkannen, correct? i don't know if you've seen, but there's even a wikipedia entry for it now.

6/28/2006 10:24 pm  
Blogger Vic Ferrari said...

black dog:

I haven't read Matheson's article, but going by some of the remarks on Lowetide's blog it seems like a mishmash of hypotheticals.

Personally, I'm hoping for Lowe to wait this out for a bit. For the reasons that you and flashback discuss above. And I'm hoping for him to gun for a really high quality young forward or goalie.

I really don't think that a guy like Gaborik is completely out of the question, at least not if Minnesota think he will walk away from Minnesota as a UFA in three years (he is UFA in 3 more seasons, no?). That would mean four years of Pronger vs three years of Gaborik. I'm not aware of his contract situation, but he's a helluva player.

Or another player of that ilk. Havlat if he's willing to sign an extension (unlikely by the sounds of it), Patrice Bergeron if there is any way they can pry him out of beantown. Lundqvist if Slats is crazy enough to make that deal, etc, etc.

I'm not going to guess on details, and the needs of a lot of teams will be more clearly defined as we get into July, right now anybody could conceivably be a player in a deal. But my hope is for a difference maker coming back. And given that Lowe targeted Forsberg and Demitra last August ... I hope this time he can get that kind of guy. We'll see. This team needs to get better, and this is Lowe's opportunity to move this team forward. For some reason I have faith in the guy this time around, might just be my natural optimism though. :-)

6/28/2006 10:27 pm  
Blogger Andy Grabia said...

Pretend you're Billy Beane for a minute...

How is that different from how I normally approach my day?

6/28/2006 11:08 pm  
Blogger speeds said...

Vic, Gaborik is UFA after next season, unless signed to more than a one year deal.

6/28/2006 11:58 pm  
Blogger Black Dog Hates Skunks said...

Vic - thanks for the input

Like Grabia, I love the hot stove stuff. And as you knwo I am an optimist.

I think Lowe came into his own this past season - he got lucky in a few cases but most of all he was good. The way he improved this team through the season without really giving up much of consequence gives me confidence that he can turn these lemons into lemonade.

6/29/2006 7:09 am  
Blogger Dennis said...

I don't really think it's lemons either. Pronger came off a post season performance where he was two reg time goals away from winning the Cup and if that happened he would've won the Conn Smyth.

Plus he's pretty affordable comparitively speaking and he's signed for four years. Can both Keenan and Clarke really resist going after 44? The smart money says no.

If Lowe fucks this up I think he should lose a lot of the goodwill be built up.

6/29/2006 1:24 pm  
Blogger RiversQ said...

Vic: What was Pronger's relative minutes toughness score in this season? Over at LT's site, you said Redden's was -7. Apparently Pronger's was similar here, but I just wonder what it was.

6/29/2006 3:57 pm  
Blogger Vic Ferrari said...


I wrote that over at LT's site as well in the same post. It's the number in brackets, 43 for him, 42 for Smith and Horcoff, Smyth at 31, Staios at 28, and the rest on down the line.

This just by the simple events metric. One day I'll get around to putting up a post on it, that sort of thing would cause a furor on the message boards, as young fans of specific players would rush in to defend their favourite young players, hopefully it will go better in this venue.

Of course the high end players drive results a lot more than the average player, just the way the talent curve seems to shake out, Forsberg leaves his footprints on a helluva lot more guys than Yelle. So the average for the league is around +12 or so.

Dennis has nailed Stoll (1) and Greene (-5) as soft minute guys on this squad, especially low numbers considering the oilers sked. Greene is a special case, when you're getting icetime that soft it's extremely rare to put up EV+ and EV- results as bad as him, the guys on the ice with you are tough to pull down that far. A Dman shouldn't be driving the bus like that (in this case off of a cliff). Damn. In fairness to him a pretty small sample size. Though he always looked brutal by my eyes, right from day 1.

He's only 22. He's only 22. He's only 22. He's only 22. He's only 22. He's only 22. He's only 22. Say it with me. :-)

6/29/2006 4:33 pm  
Blogger mudcrutch79 said...

I have a hard time saying he's only 22 when the Oilers coaches had better options available, IMO. It's not going to be remembered by anyone but the obsessive but if you want to slag MacT for anything, the amount of fucking penalties that Matt Greene took in the playoff run is a good one. I'm much happier muttering that a guy's only 22 when I want to overlook a flaw when he's got some fantabulous aspect to his game as well: eg. Hemsky on the PP.

6/29/2006 4:48 pm  
Blogger hffpff said...

Nice post & lotsa great comments.

Vic: I was thinking that maybe next hockey season we'd try and change that. Come up with something easy to use and intuitively easy to understand, so it doesn't seem like magic. Those sheets that huffpuff linked to on here seems like the way to go.

Yeah, I'm thinking of posting those next season. Not sure if I'll do it on a nightly basis but I probably should be able to keep them relatively up-to-date.

Personally, I'm not totally comfortable with their data being so unclean but I guess that's the best that we've got for now.

As for integrating the play-by-play data...I've thought about doing it. It should be doable if the numbers are summarized team-wise, but probably impractical to break them down on an individual basis on a 2-dim spreadhsheet. Anyway, if time permits perhaps I'll give it a go.

MC: Vic, your idea about finding a way to build off the TOI stuff is great; by giving us that, the NHL has finally completed the task of getting everything out there that you really need to break down a player.

One huge missing piece: scoring chances.

6/29/2006 5:53 pm  
Blogger RiversQ said...

Sorry Vic, I meant the season presented here. Pronger's 99/00 (?) vs. Redden's 05/06 (-7).

I caught this year's and it made perfect sense given the 15-20 shift charts I looked at.

One other question... In 03/04, MacT matched forwards and D pretty hard and then pissed away the PP personnel wise. This year it appears he matched the D hard and rolled the forwards alot more. (Then he got the PP personnel just about right) Does this show up in your numbers? ie. a tighter distribution of minutes toughness for Oiler forwards in 05/06 vs 03/04? Or at least less bimodal?

6/29/2006 9:14 pm  
Blogger Dennis said...

Besides alternating backups;) the worst thing macT did all playoffs was let Greene cut his teeth while the Oilers were trying to win a Cup. I will say that to my eye Greene played well in the last two games of the Cup finals but he was fucking brutal before that...right down to his first playoff game in G4 vs the Wings when he took two penalties faster than I could work up a good swear.

BTW...I never saw this mentioned but go back to the TOI in G7 of the Finals. Greene had 15 or 16 min and was very close to even Iscariot when it came to ES TOI.

That blew my mind.

Back to Greene for a sec...his play was a pet peeve of min during the playoffs and I'd like to count just how many times he was on the ice for an icing. I'm telling you it was fucking uncanny. And looking to '07...I have a feeling Spacek's gonna be back so it's 6-21-24 plus a return for Pronger and maybe even a UFA like Mitchell or McKee. That leavbes MAB or Greene as our 6th guy. Though if Rolo gets paid and we get back a contract like Hossa's the Oilers probably can't resign Jaro AND give Mitchell or Mckee their due.

Regarding Stoll..heading into the playoffs I said I wanted MacT to put 12-16-83 together for home games and give them soft min. That's what MacT did for the longest time and 12-16 were basically joined at the hip during the playoffs and did fuckall with their time and did nothing on the road at ES. Off the top of my head 12 had a PP goal in Det, scored one in SJ just as a PP had expired and set up a couple of goals in Ana when paired with 34-37. Stoll had a EN goal in Det and scored on a PP in SJ. They turned out to be terrible road players.

Now if we don't pick up a Reasoner then Stoll's the #2 centre in terms of tough min and it could be a real shitshow. But I've said this before that hopefully 16 looks back at tyhat run and realizes he really did fuckall and understands he has to be better

6/29/2006 9:20 pm  
Blogger Steven said...

Hahaha... wow Greene brings out a shit storm of cussing and swearing.

None of which I can't disagree with unfortunately. The thing is he is going to get better right? I wonder how bad Jason Smith was at 22... maybe he was just as terrible back then. Who knows though...

6/29/2006 10:04 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To my eyes, Greene improved as the playoffs progressed. Blame him for the penalties I suppose, but there was certainly a rookie bias on the refs part. And yeah, he was on for icing quite a bit in the middle rounds. Mostly when paired with MAB though.

Some of you are saying there were better options. What? Playing MAB in the final five games instead of Greene? Not a chance. The only time MAB looked good all season was with Pronger...and then he was bringing Pronger down. With anyone else, MAB always made the worst pair. Paired with Staios, Stevie looked awful. Paired with Smith, Smith was awful. Paired with Greene...holy crap that was some scary stuff.

I'm all for sending MAB away in the Pronged One-der deal. MAB's value will never be higher. If Philly needs cap help, they can have him. We can slide Syvret into MAB's spot if UFAs and trades don't replace him.

Anyway, back to Greene. He's only 22. ;-) And, it was his first year out of college. All in all, he improved steadily. His physical play warranted being in the lineup. Especially in place of MAB.

- Rod

6/30/2006 1:54 am  
Anonymous lowetide said...

I've been watching hockey since the 60s and rookie defenseman are eaten alive in they playoffs, they just are.

Greene's taking a lot of heat from Dennis and that's fair. But what I would like to know is the decision-making process behind dressing him instead of MAB in the pivotal games of the finals.

If it was an injury, fine. But if it was chaos then it makes no sense since Green was the King of Chaos.

And if it was the Roloson play, well then that's just stupid.

6/30/2006 7:34 am  
Anonymous oilswell said...

All playoff games are pivotal, so MacT must have been really annoyed about both Tarnstrom and Bergeron at various points if he considered putting Greene out there. I suppose in certain situations it would pay off to use a brutish bottom pair over what one might term a soft 3rd D pair with Tarnstrom and/or Bergeron. For example, if the opposition's third line is wimpy but fairly skilled and they shy away from the physical play and if their wimpiness forces the opposing bench boss to line them up more frequently with the 2nd D pair. I can't say if this was the thinking against Carolina — I certainly haven't looked at it — but I'm pretty sure MacT felt he had a solid reason for adding a youngster in Greene. He doesn't seem to me like a coach that inserts young players when there's a suitable veteran available (perhaps excluding the public spanking of Comrie in front of his fan base).

I think, though, that for the last couple of games they must have felt they drilled some knowledge into Greene, possibly having to do with using the net for a shield and carrying it out more. It seemed to me he approached things differently, however I don't have a Dennisian memory and I'd need to go back and actually look to see what it might have been.

6/30/2006 8:28 am  
Blogger Black Dog Hates Skunks said...

I think, iirc, that Greene came in against the Wings, then came out, then back in against SJ for good. I think they put him in against SJ because MAB/Dick were getting manhandled pretty good and they figured Greene obviously could handle the bigger forwards physically.

The kid struggled - no doubt about it. But considering he had 27 games under his belt in the NHL what could be expected. And young D struggle - wasn't the famous Keenan rip on Pronger when he started in St.Lou that he couldn't believe he traded Shanahan for him because he was so brutal.

So, he was terrible. But he did improve in fits and starts in my mind.

He's on this team next year and my guess is he's in the NHL for a while, imo. He'll get better.

6/30/2006 8:39 am  
Blogger Dennis said...

Let's be honest here...Staios doesn't need to be paired with MAB in order to look brutal. That's basically every 3rd game for 24. And here lately Bergeron's been getting maimed by some posters like he's a Hobbit Cory Cross. I guess people look at Greene as the new guy and it's always sexy to like the new guy.

Don't get me wrong...I think if Greene works on his footspeed then he can be a good NHL dman. I don't know how many years he'll need to work on his passing because I've hardly seen anyone worst at making the first pass but let's work on the footspeed first shall we;) For all the comparisons in the world to Jason Smith let's also remember that Brad Fullmer's doubles were supposed to blossom into consistent 30 homerun power as well.

As for Greene getting so many penalties...being a rookie might have had a little to do with it but holding and grabbing people might have had something to do with it too.

6/30/2006 10:10 am  
Blogger Black Dog Hates Skunks said...

I'd like to see Staios in the third pair myself. If he's top four next year then Lowe hasn't done his job.

We'll see about Greene - he's a work in progress and everything you said about him is true, Dennis. He might be Jason Smith. Or he might be Aki Berg.

Hopefully the former.

As for MAB - I don't mind him as much as most. But I can't see them having a D with he, Greene, Staios and Smith next year and doing well, unless Smith and Staios find the fountain of youth and MAB and Greene take a large leap forward.

Or they find two guys who can play @ 30M a night each.

Not likely.

6/30/2006 10:54 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, I'm hard on MAB...but it's not a recent thing. Back in October, in a stretch of two games the Oil gave up 10 goals...and MAB was on the ice for seven of the ten. Ouch. I couldn't look at him as reliable after that. As the year wore on, MAB was less and less physical (to my eyes anyway). His goal scoring was a nice bonus, but on the PP, MAB seems to have difficulty passing. So, Cross was still here but I was more unhappy with MAB. Fairly or unfairly, I'd prefer to see him in another uniform next year.

All that without bringing up Cherry's observation that MAB was pickin' his nose in Game 1 of the finals. ;-) (led to the breakaway short-handed goal). Greene didn't cost them the series, blowing game one took care of that...

Somewhat related, I'm glad to see Conks has been shown the door. Of the two October games I highlighted re: MAB, one was a goalie circus. Markkanen started, and was yanked, only to return later when Conks was also pulled. Anyway, in that game, the Avs scored by getting Conks to duck away from a shot. Yep. He DUCKED! Thankfully, his days here are over. Then again, they haven't signed another goalie...so I probably shouldn't speak too soon...

- Rod

6/30/2006 4:56 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can understand Mactavish's decision to put MAB in the pressbox.

Its because at least with Greene you know what you are getting. He's got some trouble with his footwork, and he's over aggresive at times, but he almost always makes the smart play with the puck.

If he doesn't have any passing options he puts it off the glass and out. It led to an icing every once in awhile, but that's usually better then abother 30 seconds of scramble.

Bergeron on the other hand, is the master of the bonehead play. He just doesn't seem to be able to think the game at all. 2-3 times in the playoff run he just threw the puck up the middle directly onto the oppostion's stick.

One such play in the SJ series I believe forced Roloson to make a highlight reel stop on a one on nothing to prevent Bergeron from being the goat.

Besides those spectacular meltdowns, MAB is usually also good for 3-4 smaller brainfarts per game.

He has almost all the tools to be a very good defenseman(speed, puck handling, shot). He lacks size, and that could be made up for by having brains, but he just can't seem to keep his head in the game.

7/08/2006 3:52 am  

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