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11-14-2003, 07:10 AM
  #1
theoil
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Counting them up

I am a big fan of the plus minus look at how a team is going. I know you play for wins and ties but sometimes that can be misleading during the course of a season. Goals for and goals against at the end of the season pretty much line you up in exactly the order you finish in. The team with the +22 prettty much always ends up ahead of the team with the +15 at the end of the season. Early in the year you can get a bit of skewed perspective if you just look at the point totals. Not always enough input to get a real idea of pattern. But most teams now are at about 16 games. Twenty percent of the season is done and I was wondering where the strength in the league is this year. This is what I found based upon goals for and against.

The Eastern Conference is a Plus 14 and the Western Conference (of course) is a collective -14. This is a big change over the past 3 or 4 years that I have been doing this. Of the big 4 in the west of the last few years (Detroit, Dallas, Colorado, St. Louis) they are all pretty mediocre. Blues +8,Wings +8, Avs +10, Stars -7.

The best Divison in the league continues to be the Northwest with a +21. The Atlantic is second with a +12 and that is a little bit skewed because they have the worst team in the league (Pittsburgh) with a -27 just 14 games into the season (ouch). The only other division in the league with a plus is the NE at +2. The SE is finally respectable at 0. The Pacific is worst at -27. Every team in the Pacific is a minus except for LA.

The best team in the league is Vancouver with a +21 with Philly second at +17 and Ottawa third at +15. This puts all three of these teams more than a goal per game above their goals against. As mentioned this is a bad season to be Penguins fan at -27.

Just a little snapshot with a fifth of the season gone by.

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11-14-2003, 07:27 AM
  #2
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And the Oilers are -2.

But should be about + 10 I think with the goals that they have been scoring.

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11-14-2003, 07:55 AM
  #3
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Ryan Smyth is -5
Ales Hemsky is -5
Shawn Horcoff is -8
Georges Laraque is -5

Easy to see from my point of view who have been the weak links. On the other hand.

Fernando Pisani is +10
Ethan Moreau is +9
Reasoner, Smith, and York are +7
Dvorak is +6
Bergeron and Ferguson are +5

The plus minus stats make clear who has and haven't been performing up to team standards.

Up to date:

1st line = -18
2nd Line = +16
3rd Line = +26
4th Line = So many interc changeable parts I will avoid a number

When your first line is getting scored on way more than they score something is wrong. When your checking line, who plays against the other teams best players, is +26 in 16 games something is definately right. Some people need to be better others need to keep up the good work. At any rate the team, even through inconsistency is where it needs to be for this early in the year.

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11-14-2003, 08:01 AM
  #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Walsher
Ryan Smyth is -5
Ales Hemsky is -5
Shawn Horcoff is -8
Georges Laraque is -5

Easy to see from my point of view who have been the weak links. On the other hand.

Fernando Pisani is +10
Ethan Moreau is +9
Reasoner, Smith, and York are +7
Dvorak is +6
Bergeron and Ferguson are +5

The plus minus stats make clear who has and haven't been performing up to team standards.

Up to date:

1st line = -18
2nd Line = +16
3rd Line = +26
4th Line = So many interc changeable parts I will avoid a number

When your first line is getting scored on way more than they score something is wrong. When your checking line, who plays against the other teams best players, is +26 in 16 games something is definately right. Some people need to be better others need to keep up the good work. At any rate the team, even through inconsistency is where it needs to be for this early in the year.
the problem with the top line is that they don't have a center - unless it's horcoff or smyth. worst of all, smyth is a better center than clearcoff.

the problem with the 4th line is that horcoff is usually on it.

horcoff needs to go away (stoll can have his spot when marty gets back) and the oilers need a legitimate NHL center for the top line. then all things look very good for this team.

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11-14-2003, 08:17 AM
  #5
Walsher
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LawnDemon
the problem with the top line is that they don't have a center - unless it's horcoff or smyth. worst of all, smyth is a better center than clearcoff.

the problem with the 4th line is that horcoff is usually on it.

horcoff needs to go away (stoll can have his spot when marty gets back) and the oilers need a legitimate NHL center for the top line. then all things look very good for this team.
THere is more problem with the first line than just missing a centerman. Two good players like that should be able to create some form of offence but they haven't (5on5). If Sarno, Salmo, and Isbister could create chances I am more than possitive that Smyth, Hemsky, and Horcoff could as well. I agree Horcoff is not a good player, or maybe he is but is just playing very bad, but my point is that with two awesome players they should be able to create - and if not create then stop the other team. With the Kurri Gretzky Semenko line know one talked about how much better they could have been with another good player - those guys did it on their own. I kow that example is pretty far fetched considering this group of players, but as two of the Oilers elite players they shouldn't have this much trouble without having a proven NHL centerman.

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11-14-2003, 08:45 AM
  #6
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I don't think you can say the top two lines have been 'weak links' simply because they are all minus players.

Those guys are playing top-line minutes a night, compared to the RPM which plays significantly less. If you played the RPM line 20 minutes a game, they'd be minus players in a real big hurry.

Furthermore, the top line of the Oilers is matching up against opposition top lines, is it not?

I, like the original poster, likes +/- when it comes to the full team. I don't even mind it for defenseman. But for top line forwards who are a big minus, it doesn't do them justice. Same goes for top line forwards with big +'s. I mean, Milan Hejduk for a +48 or +50 or whatever last year, but we all know Hejduk is no better defensivly than, say, Ryan Smyth.

I believe +/- only works in relation to other players on the same team getting similar ice time. That's when the stat can come in handy the most, I'd say.

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11-14-2003, 08:51 AM
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mizral
I don't think you can say the top two lines have been 'weak links' simply because they are all minus players.

Those guys are playing top-line minutes a night, compared to the RPM which plays significantly less. If you played the RPM line 20 minutes a game, they'd be minus players in a real big hurry.

Furthermore, the top line of the Oilers is matching up against opposition top lines, is it not?

I, like the original poster, likes +/- when it comes to the full team. I don't even mind it for defenseman. But for top line forwards who are a big minus, it doesn't do them justice. Same goes for top line forwards with big +'s. I mean, Milan Hejduk for a +48 or +50 or whatever last year, but we all know Hejduk is no better defensivly than, say, Ryan Smyth.

I believe +/- only works in relation to other players on the same team getting similar ice time. That's when the stat can come in handy the most, I'd say.

Mizral you are a smart guy - but quit trying to pose like you know much of anything about the Oilers. It's getting old. Our 3rd line plays major minutes every year AND they are generally plus players. That's MAcTs coaching style and it always has been.

edit: have a look yourself - reasoner and moreau are both in the top 7 of playing time for forwards. NO oiler forward plays 20 minutes a game - we are not that type of team.

http://sports.espn.go.com/nhl/teams/...pe=reg&split=0

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11-14-2003, 09:00 AM
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mizral
I don't think you can say the top two lines have been 'weak links' simply because they are all minus players.

Those guys are playing top-line minutes a night, compared to the RPM which plays significantly less. If you played the RPM line 20 minutes a game, they'd be minus players in a real big hurry.

Furthermore, the top line of the Oilers is matching up against opposition top lines, is it not?

I, like the original poster, likes +/- when it comes to the full team. I don't even mind it for defenseman. But for top line forwards who are a big minus, it doesn't do them justice. Same goes for top line forwards with big +'s. I mean, Milan Hejduk for a +48 or +50 or whatever last year, but we all know Hejduk is no better defensivly than, say, Ryan Smyth.

I believe +/- only works in relation to other players on the same team getting similar ice time. That's when the stat can come in handy the most, I'd say.
RPM doesn't quite play as much but its usually fairly close, and RPM plays against the oppositions top line as much as possible and outscores them more often than not.

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11-14-2003, 09:29 AM
  #9
Mizral
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Asiaoil
Mizral you are a smart guy - but quit trying to pose like you know much of anything about the Oilers. It's getting old. Our 3rd line plays major minutes every year AND they are generally plus players. That's MAcTs coaching style and it always has been.

edit: have a look yourself - reasoner and moreau are both in the top 7 of playing time for forwards. NO oiler forward plays 20 minutes a game - we are not that type of team.

http://sports.espn.go.com/nhl/teams/...pe=reg&split=0
Asiaoil,

I quite like your posts, but in this particular case, I could care less what you think about my knowledge of the Oilers. Frankly, there are about a hundred arguements that I've had with folks here of differing opinions - some of which I've had very good reactions with, and others, very bad. But the funny thing I've noticed is this - whatever I think is immediatly wrong. I could post here that I thought Ryan Smyth was a good player, and people would reply, 'Mizral you are so predictable with your hate on of the Oilers'.

But it's funny nobody mentions that I was one of the FEW who didn't think Rita would make the team out of camp this year. I got 10 pages of **** for thinking that, and how stupid I seemingly am and how little I know about the Oilers or hockey in general. Or how about when I was saying that I didn't like Comrie, I thought he had leveled off, and that I felt the Oilers should get rid of him. I was practically lynched for saying such things, yet now there are posts on the subject every second day.

I never said I know everything, and I've been wrong probobly just as many times as I've been right. But that doesn't mean I'm not allowed to have an opinion, or voice it. If you disagree, that's cool, but saying I 'pose like I know something about the Oilers' - what the hell are you saying? Are you trying to say that people should talk like they have no clue? Frankly, I've heard some hardcore Oiler fans say some pretty suspect things around here (as I'm sure you have), yet they are not treated differently.

You're third line plays major minutes every year? Actually, no they don't. Last year, no 3rd liner on the Oilers roster played more than 15 minutes. I do not consider Reasoners 14:49 major in the least. This year, Reasoner and Horcoff have played in the 16 minute range, but both haven't actually played 3rd line full time either. Both have been playing on the top 6 for a few games. In fact, the only 'full time' 3rd liner with more than 14 minutes played is Ethan Moreau. Hard to believe, but Pisani (a +10) has played only 12:31, and Torres, a +3, 11:09 (grossly underplayed, but oh well).

And while you're right no Oiler forward plays 20 minutes a game, last season, *4* forwards were in the 19 minute range (two, Marchant and Carter, aren't here anymore, and Smyth was dealing with injuries that probobly kept his minutes down all season). To try to insinuate the Oilers roll 4 lines or play their 3rd line more than most teams isn't correct at all.

Not all of this post was directed at you, Asiaoil. I really do respect you as a poster, and you're one of my favorite reads. But you are wrong if you think the Oilers 3rd line plays 'major minutes'. They do not.

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11-14-2003, 09:42 AM
  #10
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Hey now... *I* was saying Rita wouldn't be on the big club to start the season, TOO...

Of course, I said that about Stoll, as well, and was wrong.

And before all this Comrie whining came out, most of us thought he was pretty close to untouchable even after struggling for a good part of last year, so talking about trading him *before* this garbage came out is waaaay different than talking about it now, after he's essentially come out asking for one.

Still, no one said being a 'pioneer' would be easy, did they?

Bart

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11-14-2003, 10:17 AM
  #11
theoil
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I know that everybody always looks at individual plus/minus but I find that stat only so-so is assessing talent. I actually agree with Mizral - go figure - regarding its validity. The point I was trying to make is that the plus/minus for the team is really accurate in determining standings at the end of the season and balance of power. We have been so accustomed to thinking of the west as the stronger conference for so many years the most startling thing for me is that over the first 20% of the season that just ain't so. The newly won respectability of the south-east division is also noteworthy (not even led by Washington which is the only team of the bunch worth mentioning for the last 5 years). And what is with the Pacific Division with only one plus team? Anyway, I know this is an Oiler's board but I think it is interesting to rank the teams by their goal differential if you want to see who is dominating and at this point in time Vancouver is clearly the dominant team in the league. Isn't that unbelievable?

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Old
11-14-2003, 10:24 AM
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mizral
I don't think you can say the top two lines have been 'weak links' simply because they are all minus players.

Those guys are playing top-line minutes a night, compared to the RPM which plays significantly less. If you played the RPM line 20 minutes a game, they'd be minus players in a real big hurry.

Furthermore, the top line of the Oilers is matching up against opposition top lines, is it not?

I, like the original poster, likes +/- when it comes to the full team. I don't even mind it for defenseman. But for top line forwards who are a big minus, it doesn't do them justice. Same goes for top line forwards with big +'s. I mean, Milan Hejduk for a +48 or +50 or whatever last year, but we all know Hejduk is no better defensivly than, say, Ryan Smyth.

I believe +/- only works in relation to other players on the same team getting similar ice time. That's when the stat can come in handy the most, I'd say.
Well, I've been trying to think of a nice way to say this ... but there really isn't one. And as an unpaid defender of common sense ... your goofy, wildly incorrect posts drive me to the point of responding.

Mizral ... your understanding of the game of hockey is nonexistent. I'm sure you are a nice person, and you certainly spend a lot of time on hockey message boards. But it would behoove you to go to some games live, any games, and sit with somebody who really knows their stuff, maybe a coach. And ask them questions.

Failing that ... try to prove your points with something other than unsubstantiated blather. I think you might find you continually prove yourself wrong ... and this should hopefully at least get you looking at the games a bit differently.

Not trying to flame you ... just trying to be honest.

Peace out.

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11-14-2003, 10:41 AM
  #13
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Come on guys, you are going to make Mizral cry!


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11-14-2003, 10:50 AM
  #14
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I think we should have an Oilers vs. Mizral stickied thread were fighting every second week

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11-14-2003, 10:56 AM
  #15
Mizral
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Good for you, taking the high road, Igor.

Quote:
Originally Posted by igor
Failing that ... try to prove your points with something other than unsubstantiated blather.
Indeed. I enjoyed reading your +/- arguement. Quite concise.

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11-14-2003, 11:19 AM
  #16
Slats432
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NOW LISTEN,

I have seen so many people hack on Mizral for his opinion too damn often. Mizral may be a lot of things but disrespectful as some of you have been is never one of them.

Some of you Oiler fans make me sick.

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11-14-2003, 11:32 AM
  #17
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I was trying not to be as harsh in pointing this out but essentially I agree with slats on this.

I love that Mizral wants to share his views on our board.

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11-14-2003, 11:49 AM
  #18
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Well got to agree with igor here mizral's posts are provocative but generally are just full of his own opinions backed up by vapor. He's right sometimes, he's wrong sometimes, but his take on Oiler players or management often shows a lack of knowledge about the team. In this particular forum youll get called on that. Just like this thread igor will eat mizral alive if he tries to argue plus/minus aspects of Oiler player performance without any back-up except his opinion. Why even bother going there???????

Im out or this will just become another thread that goes way off topic.

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11-14-2003, 11:55 AM
  #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Asiaoil
Well got to agree with igor here mizral's posts are provocative but generally are just full of his own opinions backed up by vapor. He's right sometimes, he's wrong sometimes, but his take on Oiler players or management often shows a lack of knowledge about the team. In this particular forum youll get called on that. Just like this thread igor will eat mizral alive if he tries to argue plus/minus aspects of Oiler player performance without any back-up except his opinion. Why even bother going there???????
Asiaoil, this isn't the first, nor is it the harshest. Just the one that makes me wonder.

Everyone has the right to discuss. Everyone has the right to be wrong.

I don't know everything about hockey or the Edmonton Oilers, and I am wrong alot. That shouldn't preclude my right to be here and to discuss it in a respectful manner without fear of ridicule.

Comments like the ones that Mirzal faces belong on that other Oiler board. Not this one.

I don't agree with Mirzal even 50% of the time.....But I will fight forever for his right to say his opinion.

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11-14-2003, 12:04 PM
  #20
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11-14-2003, 12:43 PM
  #21
Mizral
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Asiaoil, one of the problems with 'backing up' statements with numbers, is that you can make numbers arguements for just about everything. This is not to say that they don't help along an arguement, but if that's all an arguement is, to me, it doesn't seem enough. I'll take a strong opinion over someone citing Hejduk's +whatever as him being a good defensive player. For example.

But to get to the issue at hand. Unfortunatly, Igor was so blunt in his attack on me (or his public service announcement, however you'd like to put it), that I'm not even sure what he was attempting to say was bunk, but I'm going to assume that he feels that +/- accuratly depicts the play of the top line, in which I say bullocks. I'll go back to the Hejduk situation, he was tied for the league lead in +/-, but anyone who has watched Hejduk play at all realizes that he is not so good defensivly, simply his line is *that* good at keeping the puck in the offensive zone.

+/- is a very suspect statistic, and I shouldn't have to 'proove' it one way or the other. It's common knowledge. It's much easier to be a + player when you're playing 12 minutes a night compared to 18. This is not to say that Smyth & Hemsky have been amazing defensivly - clearly not. But in particular regards to Smyth, being on the ice so much hurts him - particularly when the Oilers play bad of course.

Furthermore, Hemsky has 5 power play points, Smyth 4, whereas Pisani and Moreau, +10 and +9 respectivly, have nada for power play points.

While I cannot proove it beyond a shadow of a doubt, I would argue that had Pisani swapped roles with Hemsky and Moreau with Smyth since opening night, we would see a swapped +/- and then some.

Same goes for the defenseman. Probobly the Oilers best defenseman so far this year, Steve Staios is Even, whereas arguably the worst defensivly, Marc-Andre Bergeron, is a +5. To say Staios isn't doing his job is just plain wrong. Same goes for Smyth & Hemsky.

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11-14-2003, 01:06 PM
  #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slats432
I don't agree with Mirzal even 50% of the time.....But I will fight forever for his right to say his opinion.
ah very similair to Voltaire -
"I disaprove of what you say,but I defend to the death your right to say it."

I'll pitch you another-
"To announce truths is an infallable receipt for being persecuted."

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11-14-2003, 01:22 PM
  #23
theoil
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mizral
Asiaoil, one of the problems with 'backing up' statements with numbers, is that you can make numbers arguements for just about everything. This is not to say that they don't help along an arguement, but if that's all an arguement is, to me, it doesn't seem enough. I'll take a strong opinion over someone citing Hejduk's +whatever as him being a good defensive player. For example.

But to get to the issue at hand. Unfortunatly, Igor was so blunt in his attack on me (or his public service announcement, however you'd like to put it), that I'm not even sure what he was attempting to say was bunk, but I'm going to assume that he feels that +/- accuratly depicts the play of the top line, in which I say bullocks. I'll go back to the Hejduk situation, he was tied for the league lead in +/-, but anyone who has watched Hejduk play at all realizes that he is not so good defensivly, simply his line is *that* good at keeping the puck in the offensive zone.

+/- is a very suspect statistic, and I shouldn't have to 'proove' it one way or the other. It's common knowledge. It's much easier to be a + player when you're playing 12 minutes a night compared to 18. This is not to say that Smyth & Hemsky have been amazing defensivly - clearly not. But in particular regards to Smyth, being on the ice so much hurts him - particularly when the Oilers play bad of course.

Furthermore, Hemsky has 5 power play points, Smyth 4, whereas Pisani and Moreau, +10 and +9 respectivly, have nada for power play points.

While I cannot proove it beyond a shadow of a doubt, I would argue that had Pisani swapped roles with Hemsky and Moreau with Smyth since opening night, we would see a swapped +/- and then some.

Same goes for the defenseman. Probobly the Oilers best defenseman so far this year, Steve Staios is Even, whereas arguably the worst defensivly, Marc-Andre Bergeron, is a +5. To say Staios isn't doing his job is just plain wrong. Same goes for Smyth & Hemsky.
Well I'll try again. The plus minus for players is in my mind such a flawed stat that it can only be used for very specific purposes. I'm sure you are right about most if not all your examples.

BUT. This thread was about the plus / minus of the teams in the league which is a very useful tool for figuring out how the teams stack up against each other. Much more useful during the season, in fact, than how many points each team has imo. That was all. And the fact that the power in the league seems to moving eastward. Not about players. Never mentioned players.

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Old
11-14-2003, 01:29 PM
  #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FacelessButcher
ah very similair to Voltaire -
"I disaprove of what you say,but I defend to the death your right to say it."

I'll pitch you another-
"To announce truths is an infallable receipt for being persecuted."
that's pretty good - especially for a guy who writes "u" instead of "you". (sorry, l33t speak is a pet peeve of mine)

anyway, nicely presented. lets add one more to the pile:

"the wisest man is he who professes no knowledge"

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11-14-2003, 01:40 PM
  #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Asiaoil
Well got to agree with igor here mizral's posts are provocative but generally are just full of his own opinions backed up by vapor. He's right sometimes, he's wrong sometimes, but his take on Oiler players or management often shows a lack of knowledge about the team. In this particular forum youll get called on that. Just like this thread igor will eat mizral alive if he tries to argue plus/minus aspects of Oiler player performance without any back-up except his opinion. Why even bother going there???????

Im out or this will just become another thread that goes way off topic.
I think i have to defend Mizral as well. Sure, sometimes his posts lack proof positive, but guess what, so does everyones. These are message boards, they are here for people to share opinions and engage in discussion. I think Mizral has a point when he says he is attacked immediately upon posting. There are a lot of people who dismiss him (her? I have no idea) right off, often displaying they're own hypocricy.
i mean is this condusive to good discussion:
Quote:
Come on guys, you are going to make Mizral cry!
As far as:
Quote:
Why even bother going there???????
These would be pretty lame message boards if people only posted sure-thing topics (Gretzkys: whos better Brent vs Wayne) or things everyone agrees with. Interesting discusion is often born out of a thread that appears ludicrous upon first glance

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