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Captain Obvious and the Oilers powerplay ...

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Old
02-17-2004, 02:06 PM
  #1
igor*
 
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Captain Obvious and the Oilers powerplay ...

In fact there really ISN'T a superhero named 'Captain Obvious'. And if there was ... the combination of fumes from Billy Moore's cologne and Craig Simpson's hair gel would surely kill him.

First some facts:

1. The significant majority of NHL powerplay goals, across the league, are now scored with only one defencemen on the PP. It's been that way for a while ... and is increasing. i.e. It is not 1990 any more.

2. The Oilers probably do not even have one, let alone two, defensemen with the right skillset to be consistently productive on the powerplay. (possible exception of Bergeron)

3. The Oilers defencemen get zero respect from opposing PKers. I almost feel sorry for guys like Staios out there on the PP ... as soon as he gets the puck he is rushed, EVERY time ... and he just hardly ever beats the guy. The same thing doesn't happen to Gonchar or Sakic very often.

4. The Oilers have played about 85% of their powerplay time with two defencemen on the ice.

5. In terms of outscoring the opposition (which is obviously what really matters in all aspects of the hockey game, be it PP, ES or PK):
The Oilers are +11 on the PP while two D-men are on the ice.
The Oilers are +10 on the PP while four forwards are on the ice.

6. The Oilers are about 5 TIMES more likely to outscore the opposition while using four forwards on the PP than when they are not.

And some conclusions:

If this were a business being assessed ... I would recommend dismissal of all management involved with the administration of this aspect (powerplay). Wouldn't you?

I've been baffled by this point about the Oilers (and quantifying it) for 3 years now ... I still continue to be bewildered by the incompetence of the Oilers coaching staff in this regard.

The fact is ... I'm not expecting the Oilers PP coaching to be innovative (hell, Freedy Shero won two cups over a span in which he never practiced the PP even once with Philly in the 70s). OTT had a great PP last year ... Roger Neilsen never practiced the PP at all. There are dozens of examples in this regard. The one thing all these guys DID do though ... picked the right PP guys and stuck with them through good and bad.

It's not rocket science for Christmas sakes :mad: IMO Billy and the two Craig's just have to set ego aside and blindly copy others who have done better with less on the PP.

End of rant. Thanks for reading.

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02-17-2004, 02:10 PM
  #2
Matts
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I was wondering

how important were Comrie and Janne to last year's PP? We all thought it was bad when the Oilers were 19th in the league. Little did we damn well know.

York seems like a perfect fit for a PP point forward, doesn't he?

As for who should be hired, the Oilers don't hire to win or else the org would have away different look.


Last edited by Matts: 02-17-2004 at 02:18 PM. Reason: content
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02-17-2004, 02:27 PM
  #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matts
how important were Comrie and Janne to last year's PP? We all thought it was bad when the Oilers were 19th in the league. Little did we damn well know.

York seems like a perfect fit for a PP point forward, doesn't he?
Comrie and Janne are better than a lot of options the Oilers have right now ... but weren't key IMO.

The only guys with good PP numbers for the Oilers last year (relative to PP ice-time) were York and Marchant ... and the reason for that was simple. They were the only two forwards used on the point. And the Oilers powerplay last year got abysmal results when they used two Dmen on the points.

York's and Marchant's numbers when they were playing with two Dmen on the PP were not great.

So ... in a way, the loss of Marchant has been the real problem with the Oilers PP. Not because he was especially good there, but because he was the Oilers forward the coaching staff trusted defensively in that role. Without him the Oilers have diverted back to the startegy of two Dmen on the point the vast, vast majority of the time ... a strategy which should, ultimately, and in a fair world, cost them all their jobs.

Its even worse if you look closer actually, because by my poor memory at least three of the goals (probably more) that have been scored with two Dmen on the ice have occured when the play has caused the forward to rotate back to the point. (Dvo in NSH last weekend and twice with Hemsky against COL earlier in the year, probably more).

To me Hemsky is the natural fit for that role (point on the PP), the only guy on this team. And he looked just brilliant there in pre-season. Though even York or Dvorak would be a significant improvement over any Dman on the Oilers roster, or even on the horizon.

Hell, looking at this roster ... a five-forward PP unit might make some sense. Bergeron can actually both make and receive passes adequately though ... so maybe he deserves a shot.

My two cents.

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02-17-2004, 02:33 PM
  #4
mudcrutch79
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Hey Igor,

Just as an aside, I don't know if you follow baseball, but with Paul DePodesta taking over in LA, there seems to be a continued revolution towards rational, statisically based though in sports, which bodes well for guys like us. I just want to know how you determine that the Oilers have used two D on the PP 85% of the time. I've watched the past couple games, and have certainly had the impression that this is what they're doing, but on what statistical basis are you making this statement?

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02-17-2004, 02:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mudcrutch79
Hey Igor,

Just as an aside, I don't know if you follow baseball, but with Paul DePodesta taking over in LA, there seems to be a continued revolution towards rational, statisically based though in sports, which bodes well for guys like us. I just want to know how you determine that the Oilers have used two D on the PP 85% of the time. I've watched the past couple games, and have certainly had the impression that this is what they're doing, but on what statistical basis are you making this statement?
There is a better, and slightly more accurate way to do it, but the easy way:

If you go to NHL.com stats section and pull up the ice-times for EDM ... then copy then to a spreadsheet. Sum up the total PP ice-times for forwards and defencemen and do simple algebra ... voila ---> you'll be near as damnit (within a fraction of 1% ... the "4on3" and "goalie pulled with a PP" beggar it up a tad, but not much.

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02-17-2004, 02:43 PM
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Unfortunately, as long as there is no one from the point that can hit the net consistantly from the point, you could have 8 players out there and it doesn't make a single lick of difference.

Hemsky would be way to easy to guard if he was on the point... he won't shoot, so you just cut off his passing lanes and close in on him (which is what they do to the Oiler pointmen anyways).

If you don't have an honest threat from the point, no power play scheme, or setup or personel is going to fix that. It's way to easy to defend 3 on 4 down low, and that's how teams view the Oilers. They don't have to watch the point because there is never a threat up there to prevent it.

Is York a threat from the point? Not really. Neither is Dvorak or Torres or Oates. Dvorak got his goal because Nashville didn't get up to the point in time. They had their 4 on 3 advantage low, and didn't cause a turnover. The puck then got out to Dvorak who had a clear shooting lane. 9 times out of 10, the other team will out man the Oilers low, force a turnover and the puck ends up down the ice.

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02-17-2004, 02:48 PM
  #7
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what baffles me is how "hockey guys" will say things like "stats are for baseball" or some other ridiculous comment..... the points made in this thread obviously show that 2 defensemen on the point do not work for the oilers, but do you think if macT saw these stats he would give them one single second of thought?? i dont think he would, because hes an "old school" guy...... this just baffles me, how hockey people somehow think that stats dont matter very much..... if a stat proves something, then it PROVES something, there is no other option (as im sure many on this board will be happy to tell you) ..... well there is another option i suppose, but that would mean that the statistical inference came about through pure chance, and that is a very small percentage indeed.....i really think that in 10 years from now we will look back at a time when stats werent used almost religiously and laugh our a$$es off at how stupid the general hockey world was

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02-17-2004, 02:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by igor
There is a better, and slightly more accurate way to do it, but the easy way:

If you go to NHL.com stats section and pull up the ice-times for EDM ... then copy then to a spreadsheet. Sum up the total PP ice-times for forwards and defencemen and do simple algebra ... voila ---> you'll be near as damnit (within a fraction of 1% ... the "4on3" and "goalie pulled with a PP" beggar it up a tad, but not much.
I get that part... but how do you determine whether they had one or two d-men on the point when they score a power play goal (or give up a SH for that matter)?

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02-17-2004, 02:57 PM
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dawgbone
Unfortunately, as long as there is no one from the point that can hit the net consistantly from the point, you could have 8 players out there and it doesn't make a single lick of difference.

Hemsky would be way to easy to guard if he was on the point... he won't shoot, so you just cut off his passing lanes and close in on him (which is what they do to the Oiler pointmen anyways).

If you don't have an honest threat from the point, no power play scheme, or setup or personel is going to fix that. It's way to easy to defend 3 on 4 down low, and that's how teams view the Oilers. They don't have to watch the point because there is never a threat up there to prevent it.

Is York a threat from the point? Not really. Neither is Dvorak or Torres or Oates. Dvorak got his goal because Nashville didn't get up to the point in time. They had their 4 on 3 advantage low, and didn't cause a turnover. The puck then got out to Dvorak who had a clear shooting lane. 9 times out of 10, the other team will out man the Oilers low, force a turnover and the puck ends up down the ice.
I think this is exactly the thinking of the Oilers coaching staff. And it is why I have a problem with them. At what point do you surrender dogma and follow results?

You don't like the idea of forwards on the point for several theoretical reasons that you have stated. Yet the facts state that the Oilers have gotten MUCH, MUCH BETTER POWERPLAY results with a forward on the point over all of the past three seasons. If you are an NHL coach, at what point do you throw away the theory and follow fact in a methodical fashion?

Around the league, a forward at the point is no longer a novelty, the majority of PP goals are scored with this set-up? You can't possibly think that this is coincidence??

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02-17-2004, 03:04 PM
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dawgbone
I get that part... but how do you determine whether they had one or two d-men on the point when they score a power play goal (or give up a SH for that matter)?
Ahh, that's trickier.

I wrote a small macro in Excel that strips all the events (goals and penalty-shot chances) from the NHL.com gamesheets ... and puts them into one spreadsheet. These list (amongst other things) all of the players that were on the ice when the goal happened. From there it is pretty easy to sum up the +'s and -'s for each player in each game situation.

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02-17-2004, 03:14 PM
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by igor
I think this is exactly the thinking of the Oilers coaching staff. And it is why I have a problem with them. At what point do you surrender dogma and follow results?

You don't like the idea of forwards on the point for several theoretical reasons that you have stated. Yet the facts state that the Oilers have gotten MUCH, MUCH BETTER POWERPLAY results with a forward on the point over all of the past three seasons. If you are an NHL coach, at what point do you throw away the theory and follow fact in a methodical fashion?

Around the league, a forward at the point is no longer a novelty, the majority of PP goals are scored with this set-up? You can't possibly think that this is coincidence??
But don't most, if not all other teams have a defenceman considered a powerplay quarterback?

Follow me for a second and see whether or not this makes sense.

Now, the effectiveness of a forward on the point is what? A guy who has good passing skills and can get a shot on net? Pretty much right? Now, the drawbacks are that the forward usually lacks a defenseman's instincts of when you be aggressive and hold the line, and when to give up the line and the puck in order to reset, possibly saving a goal.

In order to prevent the pker's from abusing the ability to pressure the forward and to cheat on the forward, you also need someone on the backend who has similar passing, puck handling and shooting skills, otherwise there is no threat from the other side, meaning that forward is a target.

The Oilers have no threat to compliment that forward, which IMO makes the forward a target for an aggressive penalty killer. Two forwards on the point compounds this issue. While both may be excellent puck handlers, neither will have that instinct for when to pinch or back-off.

Do I seem off-base when I say having a forward on the power play is only effective if you have a defenceman who is a capable pp QB?

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02-17-2004, 03:16 PM
  #12
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BTW mudcrutch, this is the Excel macro I use to get the data in a usable way without effort. I'm not a programmer ... this is basically a recorded keystroke macro that I tweaked a smidge. Pretty crude stuff ... but it works.

You should be able to cut and paste this if you want to.

Sub Retrieve()
'
' Keyboard Shortcut: Ctrl+f
'
' Determine which scoresheet to retrieve next, where 'k' is the last scoresheet retrieved
Sheets("Sheet1").Select
k = Range("A1") + 1

icount = 0

Do Until k > 1230

' variable for use in Web Query line
P = 20000 + k


' Use Sheet3 as a temporary workspace, clearing it first
icount = icount + 1

Sheets("Sheet3").Select
Cells.Select
Application.CutCopyMode = False
Selection.ClearContents

If icount = 1 Then GoTo skip
Selection.QueryTable.Delete
skip:

' Download 'table 2' from NHL scoresheet for game # 'k'
With ActiveSheet.QueryTables.Add(Connection:= _
"URL;http://www.nhl.com/onthefly/scoreboard/htmlreports/GS0" & P & ".HTM", _
Destination:=Range("E1"))
.Name = "scoresheet"
.FieldNames = True
.RowNumbers = False
.FillAdjacentFormulas = False
.PreserveFormatting = True
.RefreshOnFileOpen = False
.BackgroundQuery = True
.RefreshStyle = xlInsertDeleteCells
.SavePassword = False
.SaveData = True
.AdjustColumnWidth = True
.RefreshPeriod = 0
.WebSelectionType = xlSpecifiedTables
.WebFormatting = xlWebFormattingNone
.WebTables = "2"
.WebPreFormattedTextToColumns = True
.WebConsecutiveDelimitersAsOne = True
.WebSingleBlockTextImport = False
.WebDisableDateRecognition = False
.Refresh BackgroundQuery:=False
End With

' Format table into useable stuff
Rows("1:1").Select
Selection.Delete Shift:=xlUp

Range("L1:M1").Select
Selection.Copy
Range("C2").Select
ActiveSheet.Paste
Rows("1:1").Select
Selection.Delete Shift:=xlUp

Range("A1").Select
ActiveCell.FormulaR1C1 = "=IF(RC[4]<>"""",1,0)"

Range("B1") = k

Range("A11").Select
Selection.Copy
Range("A220").Select
ActiveSheet.Paste

Range("A21").Select
ActiveCell.FormulaR1C1 = "=SUM(R[-20]C:R[-1]C)"

' j equals the total number of goals scored in the game
j = Range("A21")

' If there is no scoring in the game bump the counter and get the next scoresheet
If j = 0 Then GoTo nilnil

Columns("N:R").Select
Application.CutCopyMode = False
Selection.Insert Shift:=xlToRight
Columns("M:Q").Select
Selection.Insert Shift:=xlToRight
Range("L1", "L" & j).Select
Selection.TextToColumns Destination:=Range("L1"), DataType:=xlDelimited, _
TextQualifier:=xlDoubleQuote, ConsecutiveDelimiter:=True, Tab:=True, _
Semicolon:=False, Comma:=False, Space:=True, Other:=False, FieldInfo _
:=Array(Array(1, 1), Array(2, 1), Array(3, 1), Array(4, 1), Array(5, 1), Array(6, 1))
Range("R1", "R" & j).Select
Selection.TextToColumns Destination:=Range("R1"), DataType:=xlDelimited, _
TextQualifier:=xlDoubleQuote, ConsecutiveDelimiter:=True, Tab:=True, _
Semicolon:=False, Comma:=False, Space:=True, Other:=False, FieldInfo _
:=Array(Array(1, 1), Array(2, 1), Array(3, 1), Array(4, 1), Array(5, 1), Array(6, 1))

Range("B1", "X" & j).Select
Selection.Copy

Sheets("Sheet1").Select
Range("A6", "W" & j + 5).Select
Selection.Insert Shift:=xlDown

Range("X6", "DV6").Select
Selection.Copy
Range("X6", "DV" & j + 5).Select
Selection.Insert Shift:=xlDown
Application.CutCopyMode = False
' Copy format to new cells
Range("A5", "Z5").Select
Selection.Copy
Range("A6", "Z" & j + 5).Select
Selection.PasteSpecial Paste:=xlFormats, Operation:=xlNone, SkipBlanks:= _
False, Transpose:=False

nilnil:
Sheets("Sheet1").Select
Range("A1") = k
k = k + 1
Loop

End Sub

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02-17-2004, 03:18 PM
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by igor
Ahh, that's trickier.

I wrote a small macro in Excel that strips all the events (goals and penalty-shot chances) from the NHL.com gamesheets ... and puts them into one spreadsheet. These list (amongst other things) all of the players that were on the ice when the goal happened. From there it is pretty easy to sum up the +'s and -'s for each player in each game situation.
Fair enough... I tried following it for the first part of the season (we had a talk about this during the pre-season I beleive), but I ended up either missing or forgetting to do certain games as NHL.com doesn't really archive those stats.

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02-17-2004, 03:28 PM
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dawgbone
But don't most, if not all other teams have a defenceman considered a powerplay quarterback?

Follow me for a second and see whether or not this makes sense.

Now, the effectiveness of a forward on the point is what? A guy who has good passing skills and can get a shot on net? Pretty much right? Now, the drawbacks are that the forward usually lacks a defenseman's instincts of when you be aggressive and hold the line, and when to give up the line and the puck in order to reset, possibly saving a goal.

In order to prevent the pker's from abusing the ability to pressure the forward and to cheat on the forward, you also need someone on the backend who has similar passing, puck handling and shooting skills, otherwise there is no threat from the other side, meaning that forward is a target.

The Oilers have no threat to compliment that forward, which IMO makes the forward a target for an aggressive penalty killer. Two forwards on the point compounds this issue. While both may be excellent puck handlers, neither will have that instinct for when to pinch or back-off.

Do I seem off-base when I say having a forward on the power play is only effective if you have a defenceman who is a capable pp QB?
I'm not meaning to be argumentative, but I will be

First off, the notion of a "powerplay quarterback" is very nearly myth. I haven't checked this season ... but I'm sure that if you went to NHL.com and downloaded the top 50 PP pointgetters in the NHL ... then downloaded their icetimes and divided it to PP points-per-hour. ... You'd see that 90% or more of the guys in this league that make powerplay's tick are forwards ... and generally highly paid star players. There will be a handful of Dmen (Blake, Gonchar, and Lidstrom, maybe on surprise 'wonder year' D-guy) and the rest will be forwards.

Much like in baseball: the value of the stolen base and the walk have changed dramatically over the past ten years ... because somebody assessed these things to determine their true value to success. The same sort of thing will happen in hockey eventually ... in fact to a very large extent it already has, just not with the Oilers.

As for the rest of it, I guess we can agree to disagree, but I think that the real key to PP success, to an overwhelming extent, is passing (making and receiving) and other stick-skills. Lawndemon (over-the-top as he can seem at times ) made a really good post on this a couple months ago. Or at least it was a well thought-out assessment on NHL powerplays that I really agree with. I'd look it up if I wasn't so lazy

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02-17-2004, 03:34 PM
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by igor
In fact there really ISN'T a superhero named 'Captain Obvious'. And if there was ... the combination of fumes from Billy Moore's cologne and Craig Simpson's hair gel would surely kill him.

First some facts:

1. The significant majority of NHL powerplay goals, across the league, are now scored with only one defencemen on the PP. It's been that way for a while ... and is increasing. i.e. It is not 1990 any more.

2. The Oilers probably do not even have one, let alone two, defensemen with the right skillset to be consistently productive on the powerplay. (possible exception of Bergeron)

3. The Oilers defencemen get zero respect from opposing PKers. I almost feel sorry for guys like Staios out there on the PP ... as soon as he gets the puck he is rushed, EVERY time ... and he just hardly ever beats the guy. The same thing doesn't happen to Gonchar or Sakic very often.

4. The Oilers have played about 85% of their powerplay time with two defencemen on the ice.

5. In terms of outscoring the opposition (which is obviously what really matters in all aspects of the hockey game, be it PP, ES or PK):
The Oilers are +11 on the PP while two D-men are on the ice.
The Oilers are +10 on the PP while four forwards are on the ice.

6. The Oilers are about 5 TIMES more likely to outscore the opposition while using four forwards on the PP than when they are not.

And some conclusions:

If this were a business being assessed ... I would recommend dismissal of all management involved with the administration of this aspect (powerplay). Wouldn't you?

I've been baffled by this point about the Oilers (and quantifying it) for 3 years now ... I still continue to be bewildered by the incompetence of the Oilers coaching staff in this regard.

The fact is ... I'm not expecting the Oilers PP coaching to be innovative (hell, Freedy Shero won two cups over a span in which he never practiced the PP even once with Philly in the 70s). OTT had a great PP last year ... Roger Neilsen never practiced the PP at all. There are dozens of examples in this regard. The one thing all these guys DID do though ... picked the right PP guys and stuck with them through good and bad.

It's not rocket science for Christmas sakes :mad: IMO Billy and the two Craig's just have to set ego aside and blindly copy others who have done better with less on the PP.

End of rant. Thanks for reading.
Any time.

What forwards would you like to see on the point?

Last year I thought Reasoner would've looked good as a #1 PP pointman, but then he would've been on the ice over 30 mins some games. And, of course I like York (healthy) on the point too. (sigh)
Stoll is a smart old man in a young man's body. Although some may say he's too green, I think he could be a good choice.
Hmmm 3 smart, adaptive centres (I know York isn't...). Stoll only got to show his stuff because the other 2 got injured, but he would be my pick of what's left of the litter.

As far as assessing a business...

I would need to make a more in-depth assessment before I could; "recommend dismissal of all management involved with the administration of this aspect (powerplay)." On the whole I have found that; a good 'attitude-adjustment/shake-up' will usually give you better results than a complete turnover of management. I've seen far too many 'adjusted' managers go on to become top producers, to think otherwise.

imho - KLo needs to assess and make adjustments accordingly. iow - I concur. It's broke. Fix it.

edit - boy am I slow at this chat stuff.

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02-17-2004, 03:40 PM
  #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dawgbone
Fair enough... I tried following it for the first part of the season (we had a talk about this during the pre-season I beleive), but I ended up either missing or forgetting to do certain games as NHL.com doesn't really archive those stats.
I don't think that they don't archive old seasons, but they do keep all the current season around.

If you go to a game scoresheet (through the NHL.com scoreboard) the last four digits are the NHL game# for the 2003-04 season. Just change those last for numbers and you can get the scoresheet for any game this season.

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02-17-2004, 03:45 PM
  #17
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Igor has finally piqued my curiosity with this stuff. I know he's been hammering on it for years, but the results really seem too unbelievable to be true. At some point, you would have to think that the Oilers would abandon dogma to do what works. I want to go through the numbers here, get them out in the open, and then see if we can find something to possibly explain away why this is. These are all as of last night in Detroit. As a team, the Oilers have played 2042.02 PP man-minutes. The dmen have played 702.27 of those, or 34.39% of those minutes, while the forwards have played 1339.75, or 65.61% of those. Right off the top, it seems to me that there must be an imbalance, as Igor is suggesting. Obviously, we would expect a 60-40 split. Now, I've got to bust out the algebra in order to check out how much PP time was spent with 4D-1F. This will be assuming that the Oilers have yet to have a 4-3 advantage this year, although you would expect that if they did, and played it 2F-2D, it would move the ice time % for the D up, not done. What I did was set up a formula to establish what mix would fit the total number of PP man-minutes.

Code:
3F-2D		4F-1D	
881.61		458.12	2042
587.74		114.53	
71.96%		28.04%
So by my reckoning, its actually 72% of the time with 3F-2D and 28% of the time with 4F-1D. Still, this would seem to mean that the Oilers are much more likely to come out with a plus on the PP if they are going 4F-1D then if they are going with 3F-2D. In my opinion, this is a pretty startling disparity. This leads me to a variety of questions.

1. Does anyone know where we could get some accurate stats about how much time the Oilers have spent on the 4-3PP, or on the PP with the goalie out?

2. Can we get the teams against whom the Oilers have scored with 4F-1D put up on here, as well as where the games were? Is it possible that these were mostly home games, where MacT had situations where he had a favourable mix of players on the ice for the other team, and a faceoff in the offensive zone, meaning that the other team wouldn't be able to make a quick substitution?

Extrapolating a bit, assuming that every PP the Oilers had this season was 5-4 or 5-3, they have spent 293.87 of those min with 3F-2D on the ice, and 114.53 of those min with 4F-1D on the ice. The rates of + would be every 26.72 min and every 11.45 min, respectively. Not quite the five times better that Igor is suggesting, but still almost 2.5 times better. Had the team gone 4F-1D at all times, could we really be looking at a PP that was +36 instead of one that was +21? For those who are somewhat familiar with my obsession with goal differential, this would put the Oilers at +12 instead of -3, or somewhere between Calgary and LA. (By the way, my theory seems to be taking a beating this year, as three of the teams ahead of the Oilers have worse goal differentials, which is kind of strange)

Anyway good post Igor. I'd like to see this pushed on a bit, so if you have that info, throw it up here.

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02-17-2004, 03:55 PM
  #18
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Igor,

As far as that script goes, I threw it into virtual basic, and came back with a runtime error 1004. Are there any specific changes I need to make to it, or anything manual I have to do?

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02-17-2004, 03:59 PM
  #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by igor
I'm not meaning to be argumentative, but I will be

First off, the notion of a "powerplay quarterback" is very nearly myth. I haven't checked this season ... but I'm sure that if you went to NHL.com and downloaded the top 50 PP pointgetters in the NHL ... then downloaded their icetimes and divided it to PP points-per-hour. ... You'd see that 90% or more of the guys in this league that make powerplay's tick are forwards ... and generally highly paid star players. There will be a handful of Dmen (Blake, Gonchar, and Lidstrom, maybe on surprise 'wonder year' D-guy) and the rest will be forwards.

Much like in baseball: the value of the stolen base and the walk have changed dramatically over the past ten years ... because somebody assessed these things to determine their true value to success. The same sort of thing will happen in hockey eventually ... in fact to a very large extent it already has, just not with the Oilers.

As for the rest of it, I guess we can agree to disagree, but I think that the real key to PP success, to an overwhelming extent, is passing (making and receiving) and other stick-skills. Lawndemon (over-the-top as he can seem at times ) made a really good post on this a couple months ago. Or at least it was a well thought-out assessment on NHL powerplays that I really agree with. I'd look it up if I wasn't so lazy
Well considering only 8 of the top 50 point getters on the powerplay are forwards, it's a little pointless in doing the rest of the work... but points don't necessarily equate to threat, if you know what I mean.

The double threat from the point (both the forward as well as the skilled defenseman) is a threat from both sides. Whether the forwards get most of the points, you need to respect the defenceman who can make the cross ice pass to an open team mate, or who can consistantly hit the net from the point.

It's like you can't play Billy Beane baseball if you only have guys who can't take a pitch...

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02-17-2004, 04:06 PM
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by igor
I don't think that they don't archive old seasons, but they do keep all the current season around.

If you go to a game scoresheet (through the NHL.com scoreboard) the last four digits are the NHL game# for the 2003-04 season. Just change those last for numbers and you can get the scoresheet for any game this season.
Cool... thanks,

I was a little discouraged at first, but I am going on the assumption that the game numbers in the URL would be the same as the game numbers from the official NHL schedule.

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02-17-2004, 04:20 PM
  #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mudcrutch79
Igor,

As far as that script goes, I threw it into virtual basic, and came back with a runtime error 1004. Are there any specific changes I need to make to it, or anything manual I have to do?
MS Excel uses VB as its macro language, but I doubt it works stand-alone.

Again, I'm not a programmer, but if you open a blank excel spreadsheet, then record a dummy macro, then copy that code over the stuff in your dummy macro ... it should work .. or come close to it.

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02-17-2004, 04:29 PM
  #22
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Ok

First off, Igor is awesome and someone like him should be working for the Oilers. But just last week KT said the Oilers don't really follow stats all that much. Not that a lot of us didn't suspect that but it was still disappointing to hear it confirmed.

I don't know how long it will take before teams start really utilizing stats guys. In MLB the movement is growing but it took a long time. And the scary thing is Beane has taken his A's to the playoffs on a small budget and JP is building a good team in TO on less than a princely sum but you have Epstein following the same principles and he has money and now DiPodesta is gonna be in LA with 80 mill to spend.

So when you think how Beane has done with half that in Oak, it's pretty daunting to think that now rich teams are using stats as well.

It would behoove a low budget team like the Oilers to use every single advantage and they will for the bottom line off the ice but not on the ice.

That's why Lowe and MacT and Huddy and Moores and Simpson all have jobs. It's about playing into the fans hands who think that winning a cup or being raised in or loving Alberta is some kind of magical precursor to success.

This is why we are turning into Habs West.

And the Oilers will be the last team to try anything new on the ice or anything new that will help them on the ice

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02-17-2004, 04:32 PM
  #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matts
First off, Igor is awesome and someone like him should be working for the Oilers. But just last week KT said the Oilers don't really follow stats all that much. Not that a lot of us didn't suspect that but it was still disappointing to hear it confirmed.

I don't know how long it will take before teams start really utilizing stats guys. In MLB the movement is growing but it took a long time. And the scary thing is Beane has taken his A's to the playoffs on a small budget and JP is building a good team in TO on less than a princely sum but you have Epstein following the same principles and he has money and now DiPodesta is gonna be in LA with 80 mill to spend.

So when you think how Beane has done with half that in Oak, it's pretty daunting to think that now rich teams are using stats as well.

It would behoove a low budget team like the Oilers to use every single advantage and they will for the bottom line off the ice but not on the ice.

That's why Lowe and MacT and Huddy and Moores and Simpson all have jobs. It's about playing into the fans hands who think that winning a cup or being raised in or loving Alberta is some kind of magical precursor to success.

This is why we are turning into Habs West.

And the Oilers will be the last team to try anything new on the ice or anything new that will help them on the ice
We aren't going to start comparing baseball to hockey again are we?

Didn't we beat that to death last time and come to the conclusion that while stats have some merit, a hockey game cannot be broken down into small finite conclusions like baseball can.

Not only that, but the Oilers were a low budget team that made the playoffs as well... and just like they A's, they couldn't get over the hump of the first round.

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02-17-2004, 04:45 PM
  #24
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Just out of curiousity, how did we come to this conclusion? I think that, even in baseball, there is nothing certain because of what the stats say, but if, if Igor is onto something here, isn't that stats showing the way. I've never really seen any logical writing on the impact of stats in hockey, the way that there has been in baseball, but I think that the traditional hockey stats are so useless that there is nothing that can be gleaned from them. If you go back a ways, I've got a thread on Ray Whitney that I wrote in late September, suggesting that teh Wings spent 10 million bucks over 3 years on a guy who would be a 50 point scorer for them. At the time, some argued that he had always been a 60-70 point scorer, and that he was going to a better team etc etc, but I argued that it was teh situation that you had to put the guy in that would make the difference. Whitney has been hurt a bit, but if he had played 82 games, he'd be on pace for about 50 points. I know that the Wings don't really have a budget, but if they did, and had a system in place to do statistical analysis, they might have questioned that acquisition a bit more. I know that we don't have the statistical breakdown that we do in baseball, but hockey has, over the past couple years, started to produce stats that can be used for meaningful analysis. THere are still utterly useless stats-PIM for example, but on the whole, there is a lot that can be learned.

At the very least, taking an in-depth look at what can be quantified allows for the qualitative discussion to be within certain parameters. Let's say that prior to acquiring Izzy, the Oilers had info about players with a similar career arc, and could look at those who became 35-40 goal scorers, and tried to identify what the factors were that enabled them to take the next step. There would still be no guarantees that he would do it, but you're taking more of an informed gamble.

Along the same vein, look at this thread. We've realized that the Oilers tend to be a lot better with that fourth forward on teh ice during the PP. Now we can try and figure out qualitatively just why that is, looking at who they were playing and where they were playing. I've kind of floated the theory that maybe we can explain away some of that difference by the fact that it was favourable matchups at home, and we would see drastically different results if this were common practice. Of course, I can't be sure, having yet to really get down with the numbers.

To suggest that hockey can't be broken down into smaller pieces that allows for meaningful statistical evaluation is asinine. This is the mindset that drafts guys like Bonsignore because they look good, and puts Cory Cross and Steve Staios on teh ice during the PP because you have to have two d on the ice. In order to win with a budget like the Oilers, you have to be creative and innovative, and that means challenging every belief that you have. Otherwise, you fall into errors that are avoidable, if only you'd question the action.

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02-17-2004, 04:45 PM
  #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dawgbone
Well considering only 8 of the top 50 point getters on the powerplay are forwards, it's a little pointless in doing the rest of the work... but points don't necessarily equate to threat, if you know what I mean.
Not sure what's going on then, 'cause when I look at the top 50 PP point getters I only count 12 Dmen in the top 50.

Looking at the 02/03 season, and there's only 10 Dmen in the top 50 PP scoring, and only 2 Dmen in the top 20.

Maybe not so pointless?

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