Thursday, July 22, 2010

The 07/08 Hot Streak, Part I

Oilers management made a series of foolish decisions after the Stanley Cup playoff run of '06. And it never really stopped.

The hot streak at the end of 07/08 was a bright light, though. The kids were going to save us, weren't they?

In the cold light of day we were wrong. Hell, in the warm light of the evening, we should have known better. This post from the spring of '08 was widely pshawed at the time, at least by Oiler fanboys. But history tells us that we had it in a nutshell right there.

The thing is, all the moves of the summer of '08 were widely applauded by the Oiler fanbase. Same as this summer. Let's have a closer look, shall we?

Starting with the fourth line in the back third of the season:

They were terrific. Brodziak centering Glencross and Stortini. Now, as Dennis was quick to remind us at the time, they weren't playing against top-six opposition and they weren't being asked to start in their own end a lot. Still, results be results, and this was a terrific fourth line for the Oildrop. They outscored their opposite numbers by a wide margin over this stretch.
(image cropped from the post linked above)The Oiler numbers are just for the hot streak (about a third of the season), the four players below were the guys with the best on-ice shooting% for the year as a whole. They also happen to be pretty terrific Fenwick# guys, so it is extraordinarily likely that all helped their teams outchance the opposition to a large degree. As it happens, they're all quite famous as well. They are left here for perspective.

Back to point:

* The other two members of the great Oiler 4th line had brutal underlying numbers before Glencross arrived. They had dramatic improvement afterwards.
* In spite of playing mostly with Brodz and Storts, Glencross saw dramatic improvement in his underlying numbers on those occasions when he had a different gig. That's why there is such a wide spread in Fenwick# between the three. The implication is that Glencross was driving the bus, the other two were just riding it. And all three were just plain lucky as a group.
* Without the crazy, Marioesque shooting percentages, that 4th line we reminisce about wasn't all that spectacular. To paraphrase Erik Cole during a hot streak "My scoring chances are crossing the line more now. Before they weren't". Not a great narrative, but wonderful truth.

Now Brodziak can win faceoffs and is a decent PK player, and Stortini can fight, plus he is undeniably a good guy. Still, the Oilers bet on the wrong horse here. Spectacularly so. They had a good player making bad players look decent ... and they let him go.

On-ice shooting% says almost everything about a player's current popularity with radio talk show callers, and explains most of their recent counting number success. Unfortunately, it doesn't predict future performance for shit.

Early on it was suggested that Glencross was asking for huge money and term. It turns out this wasn't the case, or at least wasn't his final negotiating position. He signed in Calgary for a bargain later in the summer.

I should restate that the moves of Lowe and Tambellini, at the time they were made, were very popular with the fanbase. They were the next year, too, And the year after. They still are this summer. I believe it was the middle of the summer of '08 when Tambellini began his second term as Oiler GM. He's in his third term now, we all know that's the critical one.

Next up, the Kid Line. Brace yourself for the same pattern folks. And, by the looks of things, keep bracing yourselves for another couple of years.

13 Comments:

Blogger Scott Reynolds said...

I think criticizing the Glencross move is a little harsh. He'd never put up superlative offense in the AHL and was pretty unproven in the NHL. With Edmonton, I liked him (fun guy to watch), but the underlying numbers weren't great and, as you said, the percentages were also bound to regress. If they projected him as a guy who would get limited minutes on the fourth line (which seems reasonable), $1.2M over three years is pretty expensive. The club may have been particularly sensitive to this considering they'd made bet too much on lesser talents (Moreau, Pisani, Torres), and gotten burned.

7/24/2010 9:45 pm  
Blogger 佳瑩佳瑩 said...

耐心是一株很苦的植物,但果實卻很甜美。..................................................

7/25/2010 8:36 pm  
Blogger Vic Ferrari said...

I would have responded earlier, Scott, but I thought I'd check internet history first.

It turns out that almost everyone saw this coming. This and every move I'm about to talk about.

Not message board and radio callers, they were applauding Tambellini/Lowe until their hands bled. The people I read on the internet though ... we saw it coming, though none of us expected thel full blown Stauffer-style remold.

It's disheartening.

On Glencross ... pretty much nobody thought it was a good idea for them to re-up at 2.7 million and term. And pretty much everyone was disappointed when he signed in Cowtown for less than half of that.

Actually, just read the first response to the old post I link above. It's by Jonathon Willis iirc. And it's spot on. Sensible people everywhere agree ... the Oilers go another direction.

Damn. These fuckers just keep betting against the house. They're hard to love, Scott.

7/27/2010 5:09 pm  
Blogger 李志吉 said...

生存乃是不斷地在內心與靈魂交戰;寫作是坐著審判自己。. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

7/28/2010 6:53 pm  
Blogger 雅王任 said...

知識可以傳授,智慧卻不行。每個人必須成為他自己。. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

7/31/2010 8:00 pm  
Blogger 凱許倫 said...

一個人的價值,應該看他貢獻了什麼,而不是他取得了什麼.................................................................

8/03/2010 11:31 pm  
Blogger 敬周喜 said...

Poverty tries friends...................................................................

8/06/2010 1:41 pm  
Blogger 晨晨 said...

Poverty is stranger to industry..............................................

8/09/2010 4:30 am  
Blogger bokk said...

要求適合自己的愛情方式,是會得到更多,還是會錯過一個真正愛你的人。..................................................................

8/11/2010 6:58 pm  
Blogger 承楊芸承楊芸承楊芸 said...

善言能贏得聽眾,善聽才能贏得朋友。......................................................................

8/14/2010 1:34 am  
Blogger 于庭吳 said...

Many a little makes a mickle..................................................................

8/16/2010 1:56 am  
Blogger spOILer said...

Like one big fortune cookie around here...

I recall some gnashing of the teeth when Glencross slipped through our fingers while our Great White Hunters were tracking Moby Dicks.

IIRC there was some comment from The Brainstrust at the time that they had wanted to re-sign Glencross, but had asked him to wait till MOby Dick gave them an idea on their salary structure.

And finally, and I think this was THE big sticking point (not contract or term), Glencross was asking for guaranteed 3rd line time.

Braintrust attitude at the time?

Too small a sample size.

Hindsight has proven that nugget in this case was pure fool's gold.

8/16/2010 5:12 pm  
Blogger 佳張張張張燕張張張張張 said...

認清問題就等於已經解決了一半的問題。..................................................

8/18/2010 9:21 am  

Post a Comment

<< Home