Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Full Circle Jerks: Montreal/Dallas Connection Increases Habitants Hatred

Long before there were the Dallas Stars there were the Montreal Canadians which is to say that other fans hated Mike Keane long before he became an asshole of legendary porportions amongst Oilers faithful. This of course refers to Keane's quotations after G6 in '01 when the Stars once again outsed the Oil.

I can't say what it was like in Alberta as far as regional telecasts went but here in Newfoundland on a Saturday night you either watched the Leaves or the Habs and maybe my Montreal memories are more vivid because they were good while TO sucked. That doesn't matter right now though. The cold hard facts are that I hate the Habs more than any other team in the league.

Yes, even more than Calgary.

Montreal has this way of finding netminders that just sickens me. The first one I can really remember was Steve Penney and the glorious way him and his teammates blew a 2-0 Wales Conf lead to the Isles in '84. But that's hardly the biggest part of the story. These were long before the days when I looked at goal differential but just look at this link and tell me that the Habs winning nine of their first eleven playoff games wasn't the work of the devil?


Hab playoff stats

Speaking of Satan it would be two more years before Patrick Roy lead the Habs to a Cup and that's one I've been hearing about now for lo these past 20 seasons. You might remember Roy from such Oilers episodes as trying to score on an empty net repeatedly during a game in Col in the '99 season. But that was just one of the ways that the old Habs would come back to haunt me. Early on you had Bobby Smith leading the upstart North Stars in '91 which were coached by Bob Gainey but we all know that was just the tip of the iceberg. Eventually we got around to the Dallas/Oilers matchups, I refuse to call it a rivalry when one team won five playoff series and the other won just one, and these battles were fought by old Scabitants stalwarts like Carbonneau, Skrudlund, Ludwig, the aforementioned Keane and later on Kirk Muller showed up to throw some dirt on our graves.

These days some of those old guys have come home to roost and Gainey's in the big chair with Carbonneau running the bench and aided by Muller. It's working pretty well thus far with the Habs holding the 4th best winning pct in the East racking up 17 points in 13 games. They are just +6 in GF/GA though so it's not like they're pounding anyone and they also get to play in the Eastern Conference;)

I usually chime in with lines and d pairings but everything's a bit topsy turvy line wise in Mtl today with the news that Higgins will be missing for six weeks with an ankle sprain. And if you think that didn't put a smile on my face the you didn't read the first few para of this particular blurb;)

They do work on the old pairs idea though with Ryder/Koivu, Samsonov/Kovalev and Bonk/Johnson being the guys they build their top three lines around. Sat night's D pairings had Rivet/Souray, Kommisarek/Markov and Niinimaa/Streit forming the respective tandems.

The Oilers have their own things to worry about with Roli pretty much sucking right now, Pisani making a whole bunch of fans look like Nostradaumus with his inability to find the net and Horcoff looking like he's just lost his way. I'll lose my cool and the ability to log on to MSN Messenger should the Oilers lose this game but I keep on hoping that things will turn around once Roli bounces back.

At the very least we'll see some new concoctions tonight courtesy of a MacT blender that's on both high and puree. Note: it was funny to see Smyth use the word blender today in reference to MacT as that's been a staple of the Oilers online community for as long as I can remember. From what we can gather the new lines will be:

14-10-34
94-71-83
22-16-15
28 or 20-19-26

Yes you read that right..Stoll's officially relieved of tough minutues duty and is getting his first shot at unlocking the offense from Lupul. That #22 you see by them is JFJ whom I'd imagine will play 5 minutues or less. And Smyth moves up with 71/83 so I'm thinking this is the first game where we'll see more being asked of the 71/83 tandem with 16/15 now getting the easiest matchups. Or as easy as the matchups can be with the team on the road.

46 Comments:

Blogger PDO said...

I'm interested to see what 94-71-83.

Nervous, but interested.

On one side, Sykora's a vet and should be able to handle the minutes given his pedigree. Hemsky did alright with them last year, and obviously 94 can handle them AND be a board pressence.

If 10's line can play Koivu even, we just need 71 to outplay Kovalev.

Seems reasonable enough, no?

- PDO

11/07/2006 12:53 pm  
Blogger PDO said...

Also, threw this out on HF..

Apparently Bergeron is with Shaggy tonight and Greene and Smid are on the bottom pair.

Anyone else think that a certain lovable, chaos-inducing Hobbit is being showcased?

- PDO

11/07/2006 1:21 pm  
Blogger Black Dog Hates Skunks said...

I think Sykora can handle it.

Dennis - the Habs were my first hatred as well - growing up in Sudbury in the 70s we saw more Habs then Leafs and I was surrounded by Hab fans then anything else - this is long before marketers and condo builders took over MLSE and turned them into the Chicago Cubs, mind you

If I had a nickel for every time I was arguing the merits of a team back in my teens and twenties and had "oh yeah, well how many Cups have the Habs won?" thrown in my face - well, lets just say the clan McLean wouldn't need daycare because Mommy and Daddy would both be able to stay home and look after the brood

Unlike you though my hatred has definitely mellowed as the years have passed.

They are an odd team - it seems the last few years they have always opened with a rush and then gone into a slide which ends up with them being life and death to make the playoffs come the spring

If the good Oilers show up with good Roil in tow then this game is winnable but we'll see.

11/07/2006 1:32 pm  
Anonymous hermit said...

Some thoughts from a Habs fan:

Dennis, I'll grant that Montreal has had some detestable players over the years (Lemieux, Roy, Ribeiro), but why the hatred for Keane (let alone Carbo or Muller)?

According to RDS.ca, Montreal is going to try to use Latendresse with Koivu and Ryder. Gui has no points and is -6, averaging about 9 ES minutes per game. This will last about a period, I think. Ryder had a great game vs. Jersey, but Koivu can't carry two defensive liabilities at ES.

PDO, Montreal will do all it can to avoid matching Kovalev against Sykora et al. Look for Bonk, Johnson, and Begin/Plekanec.

Markov/Komisarek will get the toughest D minutes, and likely handle them well. Both are very underrated players.

Still, I have a bad feeling about this one.

11/07/2006 1:34 pm  
Blogger Doogie said...

What's with all the Habs-hatin'? They're my #2 team, after the Oil. They were #1 prior to the Marchant Goal, simply because the Oilers sucked and the Habs didn't, and it was either Mom's team (MTL) or Dad's (EDM). My inability to follow the Habs of late has weakened my passion, but I'm still hoping for an Oilers OTW (because they need it more), so the Habs still get a point.

11/07/2006 1:40 pm  
Blogger Black Dog Hates Skunks said...

doogie - you're under 35, I would guess?

Habs hate from myself and many of my friends stems from the fact that simply put, they were so awesome for years. Think of the Yankees (without the money advantage) - a team that wins year after year, crushing everyone in their path. They won six Cups in nine years in my formative years. They broke the hearts, of , well, everyone in that span - Bruins, Leafs, Rangers, Blackhawks, Flyers etc etc.

That's why for me although now that I'm older I can recognize that those were great teams, amongst the greatest ever.

They always found a way to win even when they looked done (Don Cherry too many men, Guy Lafleur, Yvon Lambert - I still to this day remember the picture of Lambert after he scored in OT in my local paper and I was 12!).

Plus all my buddies who were Habs fans were obnoxious about it.

11/07/2006 3:00 pm  
Blogger Black Dog Hates Skunks said...

having said all that they are the most storied franchise in hockey and second only to the Yankees in all of sport

11/07/2006 3:01 pm  
Blogger Vic Ferrari said...

hermit:

Keane is probably the most hated of the bunch, he's famous for yelling into the crowd after the Stars eliminated the Oilers at Rexall in Game 6 a few years ago. The fans hung around for a bit to applaud the boys. Mike Keane's verbage: "Go home!. It's over!"

Which reminds me of one of the best lines on the internet, from an entry on mudcrutch's blog last spring:

"Mike Keane is now playing in the AHL. Hey Mike-go home, it's over."

:D

11/07/2006 3:47 pm  
Blogger Dennis-IOF said...

The Habs have still won the most Cups since '68 but for my money you can basically throw all the pre '68 Cups right out the fucking window. This was a time when the Habs had first dibs on all the franco players and all these great fell into their laps and ergo they won a lot of Cups. If Morenz, Beliveau, Geffeorion, etc etc were all born in Ontario or scattered in territores that at that time belonged to other teams than it would be a different story. So that 25 or 26 Cups thing means nothing to me.

Unless you're talking how it gives Habs fans a sense of entitlement

11/07/2006 4:02 pm  
Blogger Vic Ferrari said...

Intersting lines Dennis. Your take on the way MacT will run the bench makes sense to me too. I suspect he'll get a good match with Horcoff vs Koivu as long as this one isn't a penalty filled affair. He can afford to just wait Carbo out on that one.

Maybe runs Stoll's line out the shift after Horcoff. And I don't know the Habs well enough to guess, but probably Carbo goes with Kovalev/Samsonov there and that leaves Johnson/Bonk vs the Sykora line. So long as things don't go awry for either side with any matchup that is.

It will be interesting to see who gets the first shift after a Habs powerplay. Personally, I'd play Stoll's line, that would really eff up the flow for Carbonneau ... but I suspect that MacTavish will run with Sykora's line for that gig. We'll see.

Having Higgins out helps, but Raffi vs Koivu can be scary. I like the guy, but damn he's erratic, and the play dies with him a lot in the offensive zone.

Good to see Smid-Greene on a tandem. We can just hold our breath through those shifts :) , hopefully they're few and far between.

And lastly: I may be the only one, but I'm glad to see Jacques draw in. Not just because it's nice for the kid to get a game in the Forum, but because the Oilers need another forward that leaves some marks on the boards I think. Hopefully he plays a simple game.

11/07/2006 4:24 pm  
Anonymous SweatyO said...

Holy hell, Bergeron and Tjarnqvist? Putting Staios and Smid together IS putting all your eggs in one basket on the blueline.

Smid/Greene won't see much ES time tonight, that's for damn sure. If this was against a team like Buffalo, they probably wouldn't see the ice.

11/07/2006 4:25 pm  
Blogger Vic Ferrari said...

BTW Dennis, I'll make an effort on this one and count the scoring chances by lines on the ice for the first period.

In the second period I'll keep a tally of the players that "the play died with". MacTavish has been obsessed with this stat for years so I've finally decided to keep a hard count, if only for a short stretch. To keep it objective, I'll just go by last touch on the puck starting from when the Oilers are going forward.

By the third period I'll have a few beers in me and just let the game wash over me. :)

You've already done way more than your share of the heavy lifting in this regard. Some of the stuff from the stretch drive and playoffs last year was terrific. But hopefully some other buggers volunteer to play Bob Johnson, just for a period of hockey here or there.

This game would be a good one to start. Rivers? LT? mudcrutch? speeds? showerhead? Loxy? namflashback? pdo? Anyone at all?... can any of you folks be shamed into having a go this for a period in tonight's game?

11/07/2006 4:32 pm  
Anonymous dynastydays said...

Smid/Greene protection can be secured through reverse engineering. Once MacT gets a feel for MTLs matchups its pretty predictable to get them out in the right situations even without last change.

I'm comfortable with them in limited minutes against the right guys.

My hatroit is more towards the Maple Laughs than the Habs. Mainly because my family were predominantly Laughs fans and the sun rose and set from their asses.

Ive even warmed up against the new era habs a little, not being the unlimited spenders the Laughs continued to be leading upto the new CBA.

BUT seeing the old Stars grouping together back there now is starting to chum the intestinal disdain for said franchise so check back with me after tonight to see exactly how much I dislike the Habs again.

11/07/2006 4:48 pm  
Anonymous dynastydays said...

Vic, I owe you guys for opening up a whole new world of understanding what ive been watching all these years. Just let me know what to keep track of and im on it...

Having the games on Google Video like it seems will be the case should be a valuable asset as well in terms of researching and referencing certain teams/matchups through the season.

11/07/2006 4:56 pm  
Blogger Vic Ferrari said...

dynastydays:

Cool, pick a period and count scoring chances by who was on the ice. You can just go by the centres if you want, probably easier for a first go. Every coaching staff in the league does this, though admittedly we're only scratching the surface of the things they count in real time, much less off video after the fact. Or tally the MacTavishian "guy who the play died with" if you'd prefer. I've got dibs on the 1st for scoring chances and the second for play-killers ... the rest is open.

Just use your own definition for a scoring chance. Really a guy should be an objective hardass and count by specific criterion. But personally I just count any shot that is likely to make the goalie's save percentage worse (at the moment it leaves the stick) as a scoring chance. And it's a * chance if it would have resulted in a goal more than 1 in 4 times if the game was being played in a zillion paralell universes.

But count 'em however you'd like, dynastydays. Thanks for 'signing up' :) I'll log you on as a member here as well if you want.

Agreed that the Google video thing could really make a difference. Right now that seems like a lot of work though. Shortly I'll start actively kissing the "always-on-the-road" guy's ass to see if he won't crop together some clips for us here :) (in a rational, Ludzik way, as opposed to a Millenesque, "look how the guys in the truck can make anything seem real!" way. Gary Bettman promised us interactive TV with an optional top view about 5 years ago ... we're still waiting. But that and TVU could really change the way we can show what really happened in the game. And let us all expose our own biases (We ALL have 'em). That will be cool.

Surely that will suck a lot of the magic out of the game for casual fans. But if casual hockey fans are reading this blog (unlikely) ... then surely they know what they're in for anyways.

11/07/2006 5:32 pm  
Blogger Lowetide said...

Those old Habs teams had horshoes up the proverbial and that's a fact. For those who don't remember, it was like Carolina's luck (all the injured players going down in every series from Koivi to the BUF D to Roloson) every damn year.

I SWEAR TO GOD ALMIGHTY no one gets that too many men penalty but the Habs in 1979. Are you kidding me? SERIOUSLY?

What a freaking joke.

And Keane can kiss my ass that prick.

11/07/2006 5:36 pm  
Blogger PDO said...

Yeah, I'm in for counting, though I'm not sure what I can accomplish tonight. I was supposed to be headin out, but doesn't look like I am any more. If I'm here (and not on the phone with the reason I'm not out while I'm watching - amazing she never notices) I'll count scoring chances by centers.

We're just counting for ES, correct?

- PDO

11/07/2006 5:40 pm  
Blogger PDO said...

Er, my last comment doens't make too much sense... Vic, ES for the play dying, correct?

Through 10 minutes I have the chances at 5-1, but I'm starting to think I'm being a little biased.

I think I'm also doing a much better job of knowing the wingers on the ice rather than the centers.. guess it's just something I notice more quickly. Maybe because I am a winger?

- PDO

11/07/2006 6:04 pm  
Blogger PDO said...

K, here's my final tally..

At 5 on 5:

Oilers 9 Habs 2.

Oilers chances:

71-27, 71-27, 19-35, 71-35, 71-14, 71-27, 10-35, 19-35*.

Hab chances:

16-11, 71-27*

4 on 4

Hab chances:

10-27

Oiler player is first, * indicates a goal, post or 5-star save/defensive play, I'm just keeping track of Kovalev on his own because I tend to notice him first.

- PDO

11/07/2006 6:25 pm  
Blogger PDO said...

Is this Bizzaro Winchester?

He's hit people, scored a pretty goal, is creating chances, and just won a fight.

What the hell?

- PDO

11/07/2006 6:50 pm  
Blogger Dennis-IOF said...

LT..my Dad was a casual Leaves fan but he never missed a playoff game and he was so afraid of the Habs that it was funny. They'd be down heading into the 3rd period and Dad would be, "Den you should never count out the Habs." Like almost getting mad over it. But I would learn the hard way that he was right;)

1st period thoughts from this end: Oilers start out flat but Roli looks steady tonight, ie nice save when Latadwhocares powers out from the right corner, and later on Roli gets some luck with Kovalev hits the bar. About fucking time.

Then the Oilers take over with just about every line creating SC's. Can't believe that 10 bankshot didn't work but that's just the way it's going for him. 16's doing some corner work and 15 has a lot of jump and that was a nice SOG he had when he used the Habs guy for a screen. 22's made a couple of gaffes already and I want to like him but MacT's asking for the kid to fuck up by giving him these linemates in a game in his own hometown. The SS Hemsky line, ie Smyth and Sykora..wow:) That one's gonna create tonnes of chances and they'll give up a few but they'll end up on the good end of it as well. I was begging for that exact play on the 26 goal...I was hoping 19 would pass it for a tip. And how easy is it to like Petersen? Smart in the O zone and doesn't mind backchecking and this is the longest stretch of consistent play we've seen from 26. That's what we need from 22...and then we'll have those guys on the wings and softening up dmen.

It just shows how bad things are going for the Oil right now though...they severely outplay and outchance the Habs but are still up just 1-0.

11/07/2006 6:55 pm  
Blogger Dennis-IOF said...

Why is 21 fighting that piece of on ice garbage Downey? It's not like our D's not already thin enough.

As good as the Oil looked in the first...they look equally as bad in the 2nd. Habs are owning us right now and the lowlight was the habs 4th line drawing a penalty against Stoll's line. Abesicher looks shaky enough that we'll score if we can turn this game around but it isn't look good right now.

11/07/2006 7:05 pm  
Anonymous dynastydays said...

I'm going to stick to ES scoring chances through all 3 periods my first kick at the can.

My criteria is shots from within the house and slot areas that get on net. Point shots with alteast obstruction or goaltender not square to shooter. I used the 1 of 4 shots beating the goalie as a yardstick to cull out fringe chances.

1st period results, nit sure what format is preferred so i invented my own:

Latandresse 19:00 (inside right faceoff circle)
Ryder 15:55 (inside left faceoff circle)
Lupul 15:30 (house)
Peterson 14:50 (house)
Smyth 9:30 (wraparound)
Sykora 8:05 (house open net miss)
Kovalev 7:58 (house hit post)
Winchester GOAL 13:54 (tip from house)

11/07/2006 7:07 pm  
Blogger PDO said...

Yeah, completely lost track with a couple phone calls during the 2nd.. won't be able to do the third, but I stand by my work in the 1st. I had 9-2 and DD had 5-3.. probably somewhere in between and lost in the definition ;).

For the record, my definition was basically anything that I'd get a little excited or a little nervous about with a neutral goaltender. So, any shot from the slot, any one-timer from good position, any chance in tight where the shooter had something besides the goalies bread basket to shoot at, and most rebounds.

- PDO

11/07/2006 7:25 pm  
Anonymous dynsastydays said...

2nd period was a little iffy, distractios were running amok but this is fairly close using my definition. Its possible to have missed one or two quality shots...

habs had many more chances but both teams chances were restricted mainly to PP chances.

Horcoff 18:50 (3 on 2 high slot missed net)
Rivet 13:28 ES GOAL (from slot shortly after PP)
Ryder 7:02 (house missed net)
Smyth 2:00 (left low slot)

11/07/2006 7:30 pm  
Blogger Dennis-IOF said...

This is gross. The Oilers haven't created anything in the second period or midway through the 3rd either. Losers of 5 of the last 6 and the only thing promising is that Roli looks better.

11/07/2006 7:57 pm  
Blogger Dennis-IOF said...

I put the cart before the horse. This will be their 4th loss in their last 5 games. 5 in 6 will come tomorrow night in Detriot.

Welcome home mediocrity!!!!;)

Honestly though...this is so much like the old days. Oilers down in the last period yet the other teams shows more urgency that the Oilers end up being the ones to take three penalties.

11/07/2006 8:01 pm  
Blogger Black Dog Hates Skunks said...

Man, Sykora can shoot that puck.

11/07/2006 8:19 pm  
Anonymous dynastydays said...

I have a feeling I may have been stingy with the scoring chances, but I really didnt include ones that goaltenders should save... the crowd may buzz but its hard to beat an NHL goaltender .250% when they have the angle on an unobstructed shot outside the house. heres my 3rd and OT scoring chances...

3rd

latendresse GOAL ( crease)
Hemsky 16:00 (slot)
Smyth 15:04 (missed net)
Kovalev 14:50 (house)
Pisani 14:50 (slot)
Plekanec 10:00 (crease)
Stoll 7:50 ( rebound house)
Smyth 7:30 (house)
Sykora 4:24 GOAL (slot)

OT

Bergeron 3:20 (slot)
Hab Player 2:50 (goal line)

11/07/2006 8:35 pm  
Blogger Dennis-IOF said...

Fucking Pisani.

Oh well...at least the Oilers got a point and Roli's playing well unless it's Koiuv and Kovalev in the SO;)

I can't believe that MacT shelved 26 and instead went with 14 when it came time to shorten to nine forwards. That's a horseshit move IMO. I know 14 will be expected to carry way more mail than 26 but Winchester had it going again tonight. Bad move there by MacT.

Overall...the Oilers didn't deserve to win this one. They came out and played a wicked 1st period but then basically sucked for the rest of it. The lack of discipline was mind boggling.

On to Det but don't kid yourself...this team has some problems.

11/07/2006 8:35 pm  
Anonymous dynastydays said...

Im not convinced Stoll is your guy in a must-score penalty shot situation. Especially with Smyth and Lupul on the bench... maybe Stoll should have let it rip from the blueline a la Reichel.

The loss is more disheartening to fans than the Oilers I would guess.

11/07/2006 8:47 pm  
Blogger Vic Ferrari said...

Man, what a fun game to watch. I didn't realize that the Habs played such an uptempo style. After that snoozefest vs Dallas it's nice to see a game involving two teams who are both taking some chances.

That first period had more good scoring chances and borderline scoring chances than most entire games do methinks. A shame the Oil couldn't have buried more of them because things kind of went for a shit after the first with all the penalties. Granted MTL is a good team playing at home, can't expect the Oilers to own them all night. The Oilers could easily have had a two goal lead after the first though, maybe more than that if the gods were smiling tonight.

I'm having a bit of trouble reading my own shorthand. But I had the the high quality scoring chances at 7-1 for the Oilers in the 1st. And decent scoring chances at 5-3 for the Oilers on top of that. Habs had a lot of shots from sides, not atrocious angles ... but outside the angle where they've got much of a chance of finding twine IMO. The Oilers did a good job of taking away shots from straight-on and shots from in close.

Damn, a lot of things happen at both ends of the rink when Kovy and Samsonov are out there. The league needs more players like that.

Disappointing to lose a shootout always, but a good hockey game I think. One of these days the Oilers are going to score a bunch.

11/07/2006 10:01 pm  
Blogger Vic Ferrari said...

pdo and ddays: Nice job. I've got Horcoff's attempted bank down as a high quality chance, and one that skipped over Hemsky's stick in the crease as one as well, even though there was no shot ... that was against kovy's line though, so maybe pdo's second one?. Besides that we're pretty similar I think. Mtl had some borderline ones there too that weren't in tight enough for the angle I thought, and with no option in front Roli could just play the shooter on those ... ddays marked those a little softer than me I guess.

In any case we're all in the same ballpark.

According to the shift chart thing on the sidebar the Sykora and Kovalev lines only played a couple of shifts against each other in the first. One in the second and a couple of overlapping shifts after that. Seemed like more than that, tonnes of stuff happened during that icetime at both ends.

BTW: My "who the play died with" idea was terrible. Just patently unfair so i gave up on it after a few minutes. There has to be a better way to clock that without being totally subjective.

11/07/2006 10:28 pm  
Blogger Showerhead said...

"This game would be a good one to start. Rivers? LT? mudcrutch? speeds? showerhead? Loxy? namflashback? pdo? Anyone at all?... can any of you folks be shamed into having a go this for a period in tonight's game?"

Sorry folks, it's a shame I didn't read this earlier - tonight is the first in what seems like ages that I've had the time to catch a game. I have a job that can go 24/7 sometimes (I hear that's what parenting is like and truthfully this one has more than just that in common).

As for my take...

I quite enjoyed the Smyth/Hemsky/Sykora line. In addition to the obvious goal there were two passes to Smyth from Sykora and one to Hemsky from Smyth that created scoring opportunities. Hemsky missed the puck entirely (looking an awful lot like last year's Horcoff on 83's very own passes) but Smyth at least got the puck towards the net on his chances. Kept together, I expect that this is a line that can produce over the long haul.

Horcoff/Pisani/Torres needs to be kept together. I say this because 1) they got zero results 2) they got some chances and 3) out of three players with zero assertiveness re: taking the puck to the net one has got to emerge eventually...?

and with that, I am again pulled away from R&R. I look forward to catching up whenever that may be!

11/07/2006 11:32 pm  
Anonymous Bling said...

So you're shelving the "who the play died with" stat, eh?

That's too bad.

I mean, good for Raffi:) but certainly not great news for the rest of us closet stat-heads.

I suppose the primary area of concern with it is that guys like Hemsky are going to look downright atrocious by that metric, and so are guys like, say, Raffi Torres.

The problem with that, obviously, is that there are two completely different reasons pertaining to why that is the case.

For Hemsky, he's a playmaker and, as such, tends to make a disproportionate number of high risk plays because he has the skill to pull it off.

Meanwhile, guys like Torres are painted in a bad light not because they attempt high risk plays, but because they screw up routine ones. And rightfully so.

One possible solution around that inconsistency might be to assign a points system as opposed to a straight count.

For example, Torres (or whomever) screws up taking a pass in the neutral zone. 10 points for the play dying with him.

Hemsky attempts to make a cross ice feed on the powerplay that is intercepted. 3 points, because he makes that pass often and more often than not it has a positive impact on the goal differential.

Gotta be careful with it though. If one weighs the points too far in favour of a given decision having a positive effect on differential, then the entire stat becomes tautologous. Not to mention unduly subjective, as you were saying.

Vexing stuff, IMO.

11/08/2006 1:06 am  
Blogger dawgbone said...

You watch games like last night and you wish you could reach through the screen and shake the shit out of Hemsky.

The Habs 2nd goal was by far the worst shift of hockey I have ever seen by a player.

First on the PP... he stopped moving his feet (which means he's dead). And instead of the easy pass down into the corner, he tries a high cross-ice pass that ends up out of the zone and essentially kills the remainder of the PP.

Then after the Oilers gain the puck, Hemsky makes a nice play to regain the zone, then goes around the net, and high and tries a cute move up near the blueline (and loses the puck).

Then he backs up 5 feet, and stops and tries to spin and poke the puck away from the guy who stole it from him (missing badly).

Then, he's the last forward back into the defensive zone (he was the 1F high when he turned the puck over), skates past 2 Habs without picking either of them up, and goes around the net as the Habs hack away at the puck before eventually scoring.

The kid has amazing talent, but he has games like these and it's insanely frustrating.

11/08/2006 6:55 am  
Blogger Doogie said...

doogie - you're under 35, I would guess?

20. And I'm aware of how good the Habs were. I simply come from the perspective of that being a good thing.

And discarding the pre-'68 Cups would kinda leave the Leafs completely fucked, no? And if memory serves, I think the exclusive-rights-to-French thing only lasted for a few years in the late 30s after the Habs completely crashed.

LT: According to Cherry, the linesman gave him far more time than he should have, as it was. Just bad luck.

I'm not surprised at all by tonight's game. I saw Montreal-Buffalo opening night, and the Habs did not look out of place, and probably should have won.

What was Hemsky thinking on that second goal? He looked like he was trying to hip-check Ryder and totally missed. Ales: you are not a hitter. Skate like a fucker and forget about knocking guys around.

11/08/2006 7:40 am  
Blogger Black Dog Hates Skunks said...

doogie - naw, that exclusive French thing went on forever - LT might correct me but we're talking right up to the original expansion I believe

Hard to explain the whole Habs hate thing - among my generation its pretty common - as I said, when you have a team pretty well own a league for your "formative fan years" its going to make a strong impression.

And their fans were obnoxious - sort of like Yankee fans before their latest drought.

LT is right too - they always got the calls, or so it seemed, never mind the Cherry call - but that is normal for veteran teams (see Red Wings, Detroit).

Anyhow, they're a good team now - a win would have been nice last night but a point is a point too.

11/08/2006 8:01 am  
Blogger Steven said...

Yah tough game for the Oilers last night. It's too bad I didn't get a chance to read the comments in this thread till about halfway through the game or I probably woulda helped out with the scoring chances as well.

In any case by my naked eye it seems you guys did a fairly good job. Are these games being broadcasted (saved?) on google video now as well? I'll have to take a look.

Vic did you get a chance to notice any of the match-ups? I haven't gone over the shift bar but just by watching the game it looked like to me that Carbonneau got a lot of the match-ups he wanted. Either that or MacT was going nutso which could possibly be true as noted by you on a few other posts. I saw far too many Koivu versus Stoll-Lupul-Torres for my tastes.

That being said I know Sykora-Hemsky-Smyth played overall pretty well, but I didn't like how they were pinned in their own zone a few times by that Begin line. And Begin just bugs the hell out of me. Running around taking shots at everyone. Probably why he's on that Montreal team, but man he was pissing me off yesterday.

Oh well, Detroit coming up. I'll see if I can keep track of some scoring chances in this one.

11/08/2006 9:12 am  
Anonymous dynastydays said...

Looking on the bright side, atleast Cadbury Mini Eggs are available again.

11/08/2006 12:06 pm  
Blogger namflashback said...

dawgbone,

i like the idea of an inverse ratio such as (1/"shake the shit out of ______" metric formed into a per/60 of TOI)*(points). Then watch the trendline on this. So the number of points by a player are reduced by the dumbass factor.

11/08/2006 1:06 pm  
Blogger Vic Ferrari said...

I dunno dawgbone, you have to let them learn by mistakes, and hope that they care enough to figure it out. Hemsky has had the lion's share of the worst shifts by an Oiler this year, and the lion's share of the best ones too.

I'm sure that most Habs fans love the Kovy/Samsonov tandem. But look at the scoring chance counting numbers above and it's damning. They're fun to watch though. And maybe on a night where they don't have Smyth on the port side Kovalev and Samsonov are two of the game stars in a Montreal romp.

I mean I'm with you, I just want the Oilers to win now, I'm so tired of the "next year" mantra thyat i just refuse to buy into that. But there is something to be said for admiring the beauty of the game as well, from players with ridiculous talent going toe to toe and taking chances that don't make basic sense.

11/08/2006 1:25 pm  
Blogger Black Dog Hates Skunks said...

agreed Vic - have you ever seen the 72 series DVD - 3 minutes left in the final game and someone, may have been Mahovolich or Espo - I'll have to watch again - tries to stick handle out of the zone, loses the puck, gets it back, tries gain, loses it again - all in the final minutes of the last game of this huge series and the game is TIED!

Its hilarious to watch but also tells you how the game has changed and is now so very systemic.

Could you imagine G7 last spring, minutes left, tied, and Hemsky tried to stickhandle past half the Canes to get it out of the zone?

Hmm, maybe.

Nah, not even that!

11/08/2006 2:05 pm  
Blogger Dennis-IOF said...

Begin is the franco Tootoo and he's the same piece of shit that he was in Calgary. The officiating was terrible last night BTW. Begin should've gotten two minors instead of one when he tripped Hejda. I'm not saying the Oilers didn't deserve more PIM than the Habs but it was a little out of touch with reality IMO. And this comes from a guy that never defends the Oilers when it comes to officiating because by and large the Oilers are a stupid team when it comes to stick fouls. They were getting the old Montreal Forum treatment last night though.

Doogie...you seem like a bright guy who wants to learn so here's a lesson for you!!!;) Now you've learned that the territorial rights lasted way past the '30's. I didn't know this stuff until I think it was eight years ago when I got a book for cmas that was a comptilation of all the best of McLean's hockey articles over the years. Then I read how the B's bought the rights of all the areas surrounding Orr just so they could have the kid. And the biggest Habs example is that Beliveau stayed in the senior league with the Que Aces in both '52 and '53 because the Habs didn't have room for him. So now you know the cold hard truth: all Cups before the expansion era really don't matter a whole lot because conditions for competing weren't created equally.

The Habs are still the best since '68 but the margain isn't as big now is it? As for fucking all the Leaves and their pre Exp Cups? Yeah that really bothers me:)

DB...I was thinking the exact same thing about 83 last night. He is the Oilers future but sometimes he still kills me.

And I guess no one else was chapped with Torres making the last nine instead of Winchester? Torres is sucking bigtime right now. That game was physical and nasty and intense and that's usually the kind of games where 14 thrives. But did he even hit anybody last night? Meanwhile 26 is out there fighting people, hitting people AND going to the net and by my eye that's four staight consistently good efforts from Brad. Meanwhile Torres is pretty much lost. He had some chances early on with 71/83 but he's not even getting in position to score at this point. It's the least amount of hope I've ever had with this kid.

Overall the Oilers are finding new ways to lose. They had enough chances to beat the Preds but Roli wasn't great. They outchanced the Stars but Roli once again wasn't great. Roli did his job last night and the Oilers rolled out a great first period but then they blew for the last 45 mintues.

11/08/2006 3:36 pm  
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