Saturday, August 29, 2009

Redheads drive me crazy, but ask a woman in your life. Is there such thing as an attractive ginger man? I didn't think so.

OK so I'm drunk. I'll put that out there right away so that if someone wakes up in the morning and sees wisdom in pulling this down they can do it and I won't have any hard feelings. Sound good? Great.

I don't even know where to begin on Edmonton's summer. The whole Heatley trade? I really do tend to have little to no complaints about bringing in a guy with Dany's skillset - in fact I have often thought that even a past prime Brendan Shanahan could pot 30+ on Hemsky's opposite wing - but to then, while the trade is leaked, drag it on for more than a month whilst the owner of a hall of fame OT goal scoring stick, the pride of Winkler MB (and believe me, I know some impressive people from that town), and Tommy Albelin's heir wait on pins and needles? Not a great situation. Good god, how long was that sentence?

The fact that there is still a gaping hole at centre? Fuuuuuuuuuuck. You ever come home from the bar, drunk as fuck, pull out your keys, and then proceed to chip the paint in your door all around but nowhere near the actual keyhole? Have you ever gotten drunk and tried to have sex in exactly the same style? The Edmonton Oilers have, we're the poor woman begging for a merciful ending and Mike Comrie is their giant headed shorter than average Hilary Duff fucking dick. I mean really Edmonton, REALLY? This is your answer? Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuck.

The one thing I will say in favour of the Oilers heading into 09/10 is that their top 4 D look perfectly legitimate. If 3/4 of them stay healthy and things go as planned, it's a perfectly playoff happy defense that Edmonton has put together. Package one of these guys for a Cheechoo type and you're robbing Peter to pay Paul or whatever that saying is supposed to mean. You're not getting Jarome Iginla for Tom Gilbert or Sheldon Souray. Three out of six D being above average does not win you a playoff series. Do you see the problem?

Speaking of problems, Nikolai the Winnipeg fucking Jet Khabibulin? I've been to a Jets game (that the Oilers won), I've got a fucking degree, I'm going for a second one, and I still don't remember which girl's hair I threw sand in the year he was drafted. Four years? As confusing to me as the time I found out the hot redhead Jim dated on The Office is 35.

Where is this team going?

Tuesday, August 04, 2009


This was the first thing I thought of, when I started wondering about synergy.
At first I thought, can I really make a post with this picture? Jem and the Holograms is more than a little embarrassing for anyone, let alone a middle-aged guy talking about hockey. Then I read the latest at BDHS and I said, "Fuck yeah, I can do what I want."

Anyway, this is just a quick note on Penner, who happens to be a hot topic these days.

Here's an overview of the key stats at 5v5 for Penner and the first line in 2008/2009. (XX represents any Oiler forward except Penner, Hemsky or Horcoff.)

So is that synergy on the first line? I have always found that synergy is always an elusive thing to identify in reality, but Penner looks pretty good here. There are clearly some mitigating factors here though. First, the comparisons are definitely skewed by the fact that Horcoff and Hemsky have a consistently negative start position. Despite that, they always move the puck forwards no matter who the LWer happens to be, according to the ZoneShift measure. Meanwhile, Penner with other linemates obviously had a more favourable start position. He was helping the territorial game though and that cannot be overlooked. There is one other thing though - the goal data is a little skewed by the following:

OK, now. 107.6% is a little bit much.

I kind of believe in the EV shooting percentage, for the simple fact that when Penner is out there I'm guessing they get more opportunities in close. I haven't looked lately, but I believe Penner led the team in average shooting distance in 07/08 according to The .955 EV save percentage is a different story. It's probably not sustainable and I can't think of a good reason why it might be.

Things are a little different in 2007/2008:

The first line is pretty good by goal differential and Corsi, but they had a positive shift starting position to help that and actually moved backwards when Penner was the LWer. Hemsky and Horcoff didn't play much without Penner that year due to injuries, but as usual they had to start the shifts going uphill and moved the puck forward by ZoneShift. In this season, Penner is just pretty bad by the underlying measures with other linemates. Corsi, GD, faceoffs - everything is negative.

The percentages for 07/08 at 5v5:

Now there's another reason to believe in the 12% EV shooting first line - nearly 75 games of this kind of efficiency with both seasons included. We see a more human EV SV% now though and the PDO number for this season is probably closer to true ability. Penner and his other linemates probably had some bad luck by this measure in 2007-2008, but the underlying numbers were indeed bad, so he wasn't earning his dough at EV that year.

So I guess my conclusion is that Penner is a pretty good option for that line. There seems to be some synergy with those three players, probably because they are indeed the best LW, C and RW on the club. At the same time, don't believe the hype. These numbers aren't killer and all the 08/09 goal data gets skewed by the percentages. If you bring in the 07/08 numbers, I think you get a more realistic picture of Penner's value - he's the best option available, but that has more than a little to do with the Oilers' elevator shaft on LW.

It turns out you can't let Smyth and Torres walk in just a couple of years in exchange for a bunch of junk and hope to maintain a competitive left wing depth chart.

Faceoff Zones crashed a few days ago. Apparently the reason was that my CPU taxing php scripts were causing problems with the server, specifically a bunch of people were accessing teamfaceoffs.php at once. That's the script that generates the even strength faceoff zone starts by player.

That program had to be deleted. In lieu of that, you can find the 2008/2009 regular season 5v5 faceoff zone starts at Just change the three letter team abbreviation to look at other team's results. Note that while the header says "Even Strength", the numbers are for 5v5 hockey only, and only when both goalies were in the nets. team abbreviations are listed here.