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The amazing Mr Bergeron

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11-15-2003, 09:33 AM
  #1
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The amazing Mr Bergeron

Just taking a conversation from another thread ... I thought the subject deserved a thread all of its own.

Offensive defencemen are never really popular in this town. We all remember the Poti thing ... but even Mironov had his share of detractors, and he played tough in his own end. Defencemen giveaways are kind of obvious ... and they just aren't easily forgiven by the folks at the Colosseum.

Anyhoo, Bergie is well liked in E-town now, but we can all remember some brutal Bergeron giveways, somehow they are more memorable than the long passes that work, or the rush that starts the cycle that leads to the goal. And maybe he isn't getting the credit that he is due.

Its kind of surprising to me that Bergeron has only been on the ice for 2 goals against during even strength play (excluding an empty-netter). And he's been on the ice for 10 Oiler goals at even-strength play.

I kind of thought it was a Pisa thing ... where he got most of his plusses while playing with the Oilers best players vs the other teams weaker players. i.e. That he was being really sheltered. But that simply isn't the case:

The Goals the Oilers have scored with Bergeron on the ice with the Oiler's:
1st line: +3 and -2
2nd line: +3 and -0
3rd line: +3 and -0
4th line: +0 and -0 .


EDIT: Oops, forgot to add ---> against OTHER TEAM'S lines:
1st line: +3 and -0
2nd line: +3 and -0
3rd line: +3 and -2
4th line: +0 and -0


At 4 on 4: +1 and -0 (the good pass to York on the Isbister OT goal vs CBJ)

The Only two 5on5 goals against that he has been on the ice for ... were scored by the other teams third lines while vs the Smyth-Hemsky line. (vs DET and STL). In each of those games he would also get a + when the Oilers scored against the Datsyuk/Hull line (DET) and the Weight/Demitra line (STL).

Another thing: When Fergie ISN'T playing with Bergeron, he is a pedestrian EV+ 2 and EV- 2.

He's also getting a decent number of minutes from Huddy. He's getting virtually no PK time, but he's averaging 13 minutes of even-strength ice-time per game. That's not bad when you consider there is only about 45 minutes of that in a typical game.

Anyhow, my point is that Bergeron has not been sheltered from the other teams top players that much, if at all. Or at least there is zero evidence to suggest that. And he's getting extraordinary results.

Is it luck?

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11-15-2003, 09:42 AM
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Igor, I am amazed with your prowess with the numbers. I really think these results should be brought to the attention of the Oilers (GuyF?) I think that your results could help the coaching staff better use their players by knowing how effective they are in different situations. Great job!

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11-15-2003, 09:44 AM
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were pisani and reasoner luck?

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11-15-2003, 10:02 AM
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Originally Posted by s7ark
Igor, I am amazed with your prowess with the numbers. I really think these results should be brought to the attention of the Oilers (GuyF?) I think that your results could help the coaching staff better use their players by knowing how effective they are in different situations. Great job!
Thanks for the compliment, but I think the Oilers use much more sophisticated analysis than this. Most of my ideas are shamelessly stolen from Roger Nielsen. And Bowman and Keenan, and probably everyone else by now ... are really into it too.

Keenan inherited a pretty sophisticated database system from Neilsen with the NYR (Keenan would hire him back at his next stop, in STL). And MacTavish played for Keenan, and later coached at NYR with Moores as assistants ... I think they have a handle on this sort of thing. And they have a video 'coach' in Ross, who I'm sure can dissect things pretty well.

Coaches always favour 'scoring chances' as a measure of effectiveness instead of 'goals scored'. It gives them a much larger sample size. And if you ever count the scoring chances in a game, for and against. And note who was on the ice for each ... and who was principle in creating or surrendering said chance ... it will change the way you look at a game forever. At least IMO.

I like using the GF and GA measure, and who was on the ice at the time ... mostly because I'm not crazy enough to count scoring chances (remarkably tedious, sucks the fun out of watching a game) and partly because it removes all bias ... they are just numbers. There is no way to spin them or to inadvertantly show favouritism to players you like. And over a long enough run it should balance out with scoring chances anyways.

My two cents.

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11-15-2003, 10:12 AM
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Originally Posted by rabi_sultan
were pisani and reasoner luck?
Well it wasn't because of weak competition. Looking at the opposing players when Pisani, Reasoner and Moreau have gained their +'s and -'s this year ... it reads like an allstar ballot.

I still have to believe that there is some luck involved. Just because none of these guys, as individuals, possess huge skill IMHO. But somehow its working.

They were EV+11 and EV-1 last year as a trio. And are carrying it on this season. And while I think Reasoner is probably the best player of the three, or at least plays the toughest position ... the Moreau-Pisani connection is especially strong, EV+6 EV-2 with Marty, EV+4 EV-0 with York or Smyth. Go figure.

I have no explanation for such Lehtinen-esque numbers. They look good together, but those results are unearthly ... and it is heading towards 3 months of NHL play at this clipp too.

Too be honest, I keep waiting for the bubble to burst.

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11-15-2003, 10:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by igor
Thanks for the compliment, but I think the Oilers use much more sophisticated analysis than this.
This would be a good question for GuyF to get into next time he has the chance to talk to somebody from the coaching staff. It would be interesting to hear what kind of statistical analysis they use, and how much of a role it plays in their decision making. Some of the stuff they do (ie, Staios' large special-teams minutes) seems to defy this sort of analysis (ie, your "Steve Staios: Special Teams Disaster!" post.)

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11-15-2003, 10:23 AM
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Hahaha, this is just what I was looking for to confirm things. Interesting to say the least. I, like you, just assumed that the third pairing got most of their pluses from staying away from the majority of the other teams' most offensive units. It seems that Bergeron's "pluses" are pretty much spread across the top 3 lines.

How often has Bergeron NOT been paired with Ferguson anyway. At all times even strength that I remember, he's always had Ferguson as his defensive partner especially 5 on 5. The only occasions where that might not happen is at the tail end of the powerplay or perhaps in a 4 on 4 situation I think.

Well, I guess we all remember the giveaways and forget that the goals weren't scored. Apparently, the goalies have made the saves for him. Is it luck? Perhaps. Perhaps not. We'll find out over the course of the season, though.

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11-15-2003, 10:26 AM
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Originally Posted by oilers_guy_eddie
Some of the stuff they do (ie, Staios' large special-teams minutes) seems to defy this sort of analysis (ie, your "Steve Staios: Special Teams Disaster!" post.)
I think that's more of a "who else have we got?" situation. Who else can they stick on the point without resorting to sticking the 3rd and 4th liners out there. If they want a somewhat reliable dman on the point while still not handicapping the powerplay, who else do we have?

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11-15-2003, 10:27 AM
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Originally Posted by momentai
Hahaha, this is just what I was looking for to confirm things. Interesting to say the least. I, like you, just assumed that the third pairing got most of their pluses from staying away from the majority of the other teams' most offensive units. It seems that Bergeron's "pluses" are pretty much spread across the top 3 lines.

How often has Bergeron NOT been paired with Ferguson anyway. At all times even strength that I remember, he's always had Ferguson as his defensive partner especially 5 on 5. The only occasions where that might not happen is at the tail end of the powerplay or perhaps in a 4 on 4 situation I think.

Well, I guess we all remember the giveaways and forget that the goals weren't scored. Apparently, the goalies have made the saves for him. Is it luck? Perhaps. Perhaps not. We'll find out over the course of the season, though.
He does give the puck away on occasion but sometimes almost immediately makes a good defensive play to spoil the chance. While I like his offensive upside the thing I like most about MAB are the hits he gives.

 
Old
11-15-2003, 10:40 AM
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Originally Posted by ZIM
He does give the puck away on occasion but sometimes almost immediately makes a good defensive play to spoil the chance. While I like his offensive upside the thing I like most about MAB are the hits he gives.
Really? I haven't really noticed any of the big hits he was doing late last season. I haven't even noticed a consistent physical game by Bergeron at all...

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11-15-2003, 10:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oilers_guy_eddie
This would be a good question for GuyF to get into next time he has the chance to talk to somebody from the coaching staff. It would be interesting to hear what kind of statistical analysis they use, and how much of a role it plays in their decision making. Some of the stuff they do (ie, Staios' large special-teams minutes) seems to defy this sort of analysis (ie, your "Steve Staios: Special Teams Disaster!" post.)
A lot of times I've been livid driving home from the Colosseum, convinced MacTavish is losing his grip ... and when I go to prove him wrong, I end up proving myself wrong. The playing MGM too much (I thought) thing springs to mind, but several others too.

But the Oilers PP remains a mystery. Though after hearing Moores pontificate on the subject on the radio a couple of times ... its becoming less of a mystery why it is so bad.

Ron 'no system' Low always had good powerplays, ones that outperformed their talent level. Ron just picked the right guys and let them play ... and it worked. Bowman practised the powerplay very little, same with Keenan, Nielsen didn't practice the 1st unit powerplay AT ALL during his last year in Ottawa. Both used forwards on the point a tonne, and almost exclusively on the first unit ... in spite of having skilled defensemen on their rosters.

When you look at the coaches who have traditionally had badly underperforming powerplays ... they are all control freaks. Hitchcock, Burns, Martin (before Nielsen), Nielsen (before Keenan). And when you listen to these guys speak on it ... especially Hitchcock, the mind boggles. Clearly they understand that coaching won't have a significant impact on the PP ... but they can't just let go ... it's not in theie nature IMO. They'll find reasons, rationalize it, and coach it to death ... then play towards caution and not allowing SH markers. The mind boggles.

My point: as long as there is room for subjective bias, it's going to be a problem.

EDIT: I forgot to note the absolute King of crappy powerplays ... Jacques Lemaire. Net 6.5% one year ... I really didn't even think that was possible, seriously.

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11-15-2003, 10:58 AM
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i don't think the bubble will burst in a Kaboom, although i also do believe all good things must come to an end. Could we peg it down to good hockey sense (puck possession, positioning), could be or perhaps good coaching (aid teamwork, communication and understanding) much like they used to say Gretzky and Kurri used to be on the same level of thinking all the time perhaps the same is here. I haven't seen the games so I would not be able to pass any judgement on how deliberate/natural the actions of each player on that line are in given situations which throws a third argument of natural fit.

I would say it's all three to be honest, they do have great defensive hockey sense, judging from the game radio the play doesn't die with them meaning that not only momentum but puck posssesion remains strong with that trio out there.

For this reason i propose moving Reasoner to the first line when he comes back. Stoll is doing fine on the PMS which will allow the Oilers to perhaps bring some of that puck possesion play to the top line. Igor any chance of working out a stat that places the puck possession % based on ice team based on the game situation? (i know that sounds bad wot i mean is how much % of the play did the line have the puck based on the game situation pp/pk/ev) and in relation to the ice time they spent.

If you can get that figuire I'm sure there is a very critical analysis can be made from it.

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11-15-2003, 11:20 AM
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Originally Posted by momentai
Really? I haven't really noticed any of the big hits he was doing late last season. I haven't even noticed a consistent physical game by Bergeron at all...
Really. MacT commented on the radio after one game that he was impressed with how well MAB moved people in front of the net. Oh well, maybe MacT is visually impaired. And if he's had even one big hit this year that's one more than anyone else.

 
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11-15-2003, 11:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by momentai
I think that's more of a "who else have we got?" situation. Who else can they stick on the point without resorting to sticking the 3rd and 4th liners out there. If they want a somewhat reliable dman on the point while still not handicapping the powerplay, who else do we have?
We have much better options IMO. Brewer, Bergeron and Semenov from defense and York has played well on the point as well. I personally prefer Hemsky down low rather than the point ala Weight. Maybe consider Reasoner for that spot as well once he comes back, he has pretty smooth passes. Without Reasoner, here's how I'd set up the PP.

--------Smyth
------------------Hemsky
Torres

-------------Bergeron
----York


And the 2nd unit, similar with Isbister replacing Smyth in front of the net, Dvorak replacing Hemsky, Horcoff for Torres, Semenov for York and Brewer for Bergeron.

The 1st unit ecspecially works well if they cycled properly. York would come in on the left side, Torres crashing the net, Smyth on the right side of the net, and Hemsky Bergeron on the points.

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11-15-2003, 12:10 PM
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Bergeron's been impressive even when he makes mistakes. Unlike many offensive dmen who shrug their shoulders (who can forget the Tom Poti sad man look with head hung!), Bergeron re-doubles his effort to correct the mistake before it's in the back of the net.

Does anyone remember the outfielder Lonnie Smith? Played over a decade in the 80s/90s, he was really fast but also fell down alot. The ball would be hit over his head, he'd fall down, and the crowd would groan. Thing is, Smith did it all the time, so knew that he had to get up, get the damn ball, and throw it to the second baseman.

Probably didn't cost his team that much, because he was completely prepared to fall down.

Bergeron is the same. He's pure dare devil, but he's got an advantage because he knows what he is, and has thought through the process to the point where he skates like a demon to make up for his mistake.

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11-15-2003, 12:11 PM
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Said it before, will say it again, MAB is the goods, that's why he's playin so well, that's why people like him. The guy can flat-out play hockey, and he busts it out there every single night. If you can't see the skill he has, well, I'm glad you're not a scout.

As this is becoming a powerplay discussion, to quote myself again: "Hemsky on the top of one circle, Staios/Brew/MAB in the middle, York at the top of the other, Dvorak and Smyth down low. 2nd unit is Bergeron/other if on first unit at the top of one, Staios/Brew in the middle, Reasoner(when he's back) on the other circle, Torres and another winger down low, this unit would be more flexible, and not necessarily play the umbrella, because Bergeron is an excellent passer, but don't know if he should be the top guy."

ooh, post 999.....

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11-16-2003, 08:56 AM
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Originally Posted by LoudmouthHemskyfan#1
Said it before, will say it again, MAB is the goods, that's why he's playin so well, that's why people like him. The guy can flat-out play hockey, and he busts it out there every single night. If you can't see the skill he has, well, I'm glad you're not a scout.

As this is becoming a powerplay discussion, to quote myself again: "Hemsky on the top of one circle, Staios/Brew/MAB in the middle, York at the top of the other, Dvorak and Smyth down low. 2nd unit is Bergeron/other if on first unit at the top of one, Staios/Brew in the middle, Reasoner(when he's back) on the other circle, Torres and another winger down low, this unit would be more flexible, and not necessarily play the umbrella, because Bergeron is an excellent passer, but don't know if he should be the top guy."

ooh, post 999.....
New meaning to the phrase "bust your ass". And how about the OT play for the winner. Good breakout, good pass. This guy does it all.

 
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