Thursday, August 14, 2008

Reasons for Optimism: Part I

Sometimes steady progress gets lost in the hot and cold streaks. Below is the rolling average of the Oilers ability to end their even strength shifts in the offensive end of the rink, as opposed to the bad end.

That's in blue with a copper trend line. The same thing for the Flames is shown in yellow and red.


Where EV Shifts Ended. 20 Game Rolling Average.

12 Comments:

Blogger Doogie2K said...

Would it have been more appropriate to use more of a parabolic curve for the Flames' data, given that bump at the end, or just leave it as-is, for the sake of consistency?

Anyway, like you said, this is definite cause for optimism, particularly when you consider the moves the two teams have made, respectively: ditching Alex Tanguay without replacement certainly isn't going to help the yellow-and-red line reverse course this season.

8/15/2008 12:06 am  
Blogger Vic Ferrari said...

I only have one criteria for choosing trend lines; whichever one would be most discouraging to Flames fans.

8/15/2008 7:37 am  
Blogger Vic Ferrari said...

I should add that there is a flattening off after Horcoff went down, that was around game 55 I think, maybe a bit before. They were outshot quite badly at evens immediately after that as well, played a lot in their own end of the rink. Though they did continue to get better and better, in terms of possession through to the end of the year.

The last 10ish games they were on the positive side of the ledger by the Corsi metric.

With Horcoff back, that sends a ripple down the whole lineup, the Oilers should be expected to have the puck more, and in good places on the ice.

And with Erik Cole in, he's another guy from the Horcoff tree that just creates more than he gives back the other way, even with tough icetime.

I liked Pitkanen, even though there was no risk he didn't like the look of, but Visnovsky can replace what he brought at evens I think, and should bring more to the PP.

The point, even if the sky high shooting percentages have no sustain ... there are a lot of other good things going on here.

8/15/2008 9:51 am  
Blogger Vic Ferrari said...

edit

The last paragraph should read

The point, even if the sky high shooting percentages from the late season surge have no sustain ... there are a lot of other good things going on here.

8/15/2008 9:53 am  
Blogger Doogie2K said...

I only have one criteria for choosing trend lines; whichever one would be most discouraging to Flames fans.

I find your logic to be sound; impeccable, even. =)

8/15/2008 10:32 am  
Blogger Jonathan said...

Those are fun lines. I'm almost giddy!

8/15/2008 12:18 pm  
Blogger Bank Shot said...

The Oilers should use that graph on promotional posters.

Promises of good times ahead. I can live with that.

I guess the big question is how often trends like that carry over into new seasons. I seem to recall the Blues and Blue Jackets go on extended runs of competence in seasons past only to bomb the next year as well.

8/15/2008 1:03 pm  
Blogger Vic Ferrari said...

bank shot:

Yeah, you see it every year, hell if the season had ended a bit earlier the fans of the Yotes would be stoked and Oiler fans disheartened.

I'm sure that if you looked back at those late season stretches by the teams you mention, they were fueled by the percentages, i.e. the goalies were stoppin' 'em like Hasek, and the shooters were buryin' 'em like Mario. Never any sustain in that.

Obviously that was happening to the Oilers too when they went on the tear, but the fact that they were getting fundamentally better, and without their best player, that deserved mention I thought.

I don't think we need to be popping champagne corks to celebrate the ascent to mediocrity, but it's a helluva lot better than where they started the year, and Lowe's bunch had a good summer too IMO. The arrows are pointing in the right direction.

Just for the helluvit, I'll post the shots and faceoff zones metrics for the Lightning one day. Everyone thinks of them as a counterpunching team now, mostly as a way of apologizing for Vinny I suspect, but the year they won the cup they were a territorial dominant team by these measures ... and it's been a steady descent ever since (though shoddy goaltending hasn't helped).

By memory, the Oilers were +100 or so by this measure in T.Bays SC year, 03/04. That gaudy +25ish number at evens then was no accident. Unfortunately the PP was a disgrace, but that's another matter.

8/15/2008 1:25 pm  
Blogger bucketlunch said...

Very encouraging chart vic. The only negative I can think of is that it's a lot easier for a team that's bad at something to become mediocre than a mediocre team to become exceptional.

Still, arrows pointing in the right direction and all that.

8/15/2008 2:22 pm  
Blogger PDO said...

And to think, I'd been calling the Oilers to finish ahead of the Flames just based on feel of the team, the raw numbers, and the the fact that they let their 2nd best forward go for a draft pick.

Sex.

8/15/2008 2:45 pm  
Blogger Bank Shot said...

I didn't mean to be overly negative. Just idle speculation on my part how the Oilers end of season run may be different from others in the past.

Having the numbers of the teams that go on to be good versus those that continue to do poorly could be used to effectively debunk certain ideas which I think are myths.

Like the ideas that teams only played well down the stretch because the "pressure was off", or "other teams took them lightly".

8/15/2008 3:01 pm  
Blogger Doogie2K said...

And to think, I'd been calling the Oilers to finish ahead of the Flames just based on feel of the team, the raw numbers, and the the fact that they let their 2nd best forward go for a draft pick.

That still makes me giddy every time I think of it, especially as a fan of Dennis's Favourite Team.

8/16/2008 9:14 am  

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