Monday, November 05, 2007

Out for the Defensive Zone Draw

This is a simple list of who the Oilers coaching staff sent over the boards for faceoffs. MacTavish likes to send out two forwards for these if the other team will have good players on the ice, so it is not surprising that the top three forwards are centers.

By way of example:
Stoll has been on the ice for 81 faceoffs in the Oiler's end of the rink, 64 in the neutral zone and another 49 on neutral ice. And 81 minus 49 = 32, that's the last column.

You would expect the guys who lead at this to be the best faceoffs guys and also the same guys that get the tough minutes. But this year, not so much for the Oilers. I'm unclear on the thinking from the Oilers coaches, especially with regards to the defencemen. These own-zone draw guys on D aren't the same guys that are sent to carry the mail when they're changing on the fly.

I think maybe it's a bit like diving off of the high board at the public swimming pool when you were a kid. When you were climbing the ladder you planned to dive head first, and if you just roared off of the edge once you get to the top, you probably did. If you had time to think about it, if you stood at the edge of the board, it seemed even higher than it did from below, and you probably did the safe thing and just jumped in feet first.


9 Comments:

Blogger mc79hockey said...

Do you get the feeling that when he's picking wingers to send out, it's kind of like: "No, not him...not that guy...nope, not that guy...Christ, that's the end of the bench?" I mean, it's just a hideous list of choices on the wing.

Gagner's shots for/against look even worse this way, by the way. At least Gilbert and Souray are evens in that category so far. Gagner is rolling along at -23. Man am I glad that we burned a year of service time on that.

11/05/2007 10:47 am  
Blogger Vic Ferrari said...

Yeah, on the shots for/against thing I should get around to deleting out the stuff that happens just as a PP expires. I'm surprised that bank shot hasn't complained about that yet, it is a valid point.

Last year's TOI sheets had a marker at the end of a shift to tell you whether or not it started out as a PK, PP or EV. I'm sure that's the reason they collected the data that way. It made it easy to elimate those shifts from the corsi number with one line of code. This year they've gone awol.

The NHL and publishing stats ... what a gong show. Since I wrote that shiftchart script, I've been told that the reason NHL.com stopped publishing the shift charts was because of a directive to do so from the board of governors. Sweet Christ, what's the point of that? This league needs an enema. Hopefully the NHLPA can become a real partner in the next CBA, as opposed to just sitting in on suggestion committes, because leaving the game in the hands of the governors won't be a good thing.

11/05/2007 11:15 am  
Blogger Vic Ferrari said...

Continuing ...

I did have a point. Most guys won't be affected much by that change, eliminating the icetime just after PPs from EV stats, until there is a line change. Guys who don't play much on either, or guys who play on both ... not much difference. But it has a noticable impact on a few guys. And the rookies would look even worse in terms of puck possession then (Brodziak aside). Just too many inexperienced players on this roster, as good as some of them look for stretches, it's too many.

11/05/2007 11:19 am  
Blogger Slipper said...

Does this include defensive zone draws following icings?

11/05/2007 2:18 pm  
Blogger Vic Ferrari said...

Yup. But it would be better if I had weeded those out.

11/05/2007 6:42 pm  
Blogger Slipper said...

I think that last column is sort of a false expression. Wouldn't the percentage of defensive zone draws taken, and the percentage of offensive zone draws taken stand alone as a better expression of the coach's utilization of the players in those situation?

What does it matter about how many D zone draws versus O zone draws a playe ris on the ice for?

Just as an example: The players leading for D zone draws by forwards are Stoll, Horcoff, Penner, Hmsky, Torres and Reasoner. By your Corsi number that jives well with using the right players in the right situation, ecspecially if you denote that Stoll's utilized mainly for his faceoff ability.

11/05/2007 7:02 pm  
Blogger Slipper said...

I also wonder how this relates to the Corsi numbers of the roster, as posted in one of Vic's blogs below. For instance, Stoll is/was a -45 in shots directed at net. But he's taken 32 more defensive zone draws than offensive zone draw. I guess all I'm wondering is: of the attack zone faceoffs won by the attack zone team, what percentage resulted in one shot or more directed at net? Enough to skew the date for centers who take the lion's share of own zone faceoffs?

11/06/2007 4:51 am  
Blogger Vic Ferrari said...

I completely disagree with your first comment, though MC seems to be of a similar mind, and in any case you can just cut and paste that into a spreadsheet and change that to your own measure if you like.

On the second point: Of course, I think that goes without saying. It should be said as well, that if a guy is the player the coach wants out there for a defensive zone draw, then unless he's in ull blown developmental mode, it will be the same guy he throws on the ice on the fly when Joe Thornton has just picked up the puck in his own end and starts driving up the ice.

So you can understand why Drury isn't looking so good in fan's eyes so far, and Jagr is.

But explain Sundin (only Blake is a shade more likely to be sent over the ice for an own zone draw, props to Hal Gill as well). He still has the best counting numbers, and underlying numbers, on his team, he logs the most against the other team's forwards, and he's starting in his own end against good players and finishing a lot of his shifts against the same, with their icetime now off the sheet (it's Kaberle/Steen time now!).

Honestly, Ferguson could have achieved the same effect by trading/not-signing Kaberle/McCabe/Kubina ... then acquiring Preissing, Bergeron and Liles ... and taping $10 million dollars to their jerseys.

11/06/2007 11:19 am  
Blogger Vic Ferrari said...

I should add Zetterberg, more likely to take an own zone draw, even than Lidstrom, driving the results like a slave bitch, and plays the lion's share of icetime against the other team's best F and D. And is Babcock's forst choice to be the forward on the 5v3 PK.

I would google "Nylander > Zetterberg", but I'm afraid I'd hit Mirtle's site. He wrote some terrific stuff during the playoffs (which I didn't read until after the fact, still, good stuff, and it meshed well with what a suddenly frank Carlyle was telling us) ... then we lost him to fantasy pool stupidity. A shame. On a similar vein, when that Kouleas (sp?) guy from The Score speaks ... where the fuck does that insight come from? ... even a simple idiot wouldn't misunderstand what happened in a hockey game so badly, there are other factors at play. He must be a hard core hockey pool guy.

11/06/2007 11:26 am  

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