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Building a contender ... a practical approach

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Old
06-06-2004, 09:26 PM
  #51
Lowetide
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IGOR
I think I am in real danger of pishing off the nicest guy on HF ... but I'll continue anyway Don't take offense.

No worries, I'm not offended. When something I believe to be true is challenged, I argue it, but that's a good thing. What you're suggesting is pretty huge, and WAY outside what I would consider established wisdom on the subject (whatever that is; maybe a part of Scotty Bowman's brain, or Bob Cole's) :lol . It's intriguing to me, that's why I'm pushing it. Having said that, I can be convinced, it just takes time.



IGOR
Fact is: Both Sakic and esp Forsberg still face equal, if not greater competition on the average than Blake does.
When you say Sakic and Forsberg face equal or greater competition that's fine, but when they face Bertuzzi at center ice it cannot compare to Blake facing Bertuzzi three feet inside the blueline and facing a split second decision. The defenders role even against lesser competition is far more important than a forward's role in most cases when his team is not in possession of the puck.

How much of Sakic's plus minus is due to his superior offensive abilities relative to the league? How much of his plus minus is due to his fine play without the puck? Whatever that number, Rob Blake's play without the puck is by nature far more important. No matter the opponent. And imo much of that might not be reflected in plus minus, since there is no way to measure a saved goal.


IGOR
BTW: If you'd picked Pronger, Hatcher, Lidstrom or McInnis ... you'd be driving a much stronger point.
Well, yes, but you know what I mean. That family of dmen, the guys we like.

Good stuff, igor. My daughter is unimpressed since her barbie.com time has been cut back, but I'm having fun. Can we do this until the strike's over.

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Old
06-06-2004, 09:51 PM
  #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by igor
When Ottawa is playing well the puck doesn't see their end of the ice much. And they have a lot of guys up front that can score and keep the offensive pressure rolling.
The Blake thing is only partly irrelevant. The controversial part of your data on Blake is that it implies that spending money on a puck-mover does not in fact have a multiplier/leveraging effect on your expensive/skilled forwards. In contrast, I'm wondering what the effect of not paying for higher end puck-moving D capabilities has on teams trying to make do without the Sakics, Naslunds, or Iginlas.

So at the risk of boorishly repeating my own arguments, I wonder if Ottawa and Tampa Bay don't provide pause for concern about whether puck-movers are more or less important depending upon the forwards they work with. With a top-end corps of forwards: perhaps not so important. What about a team built to not require that kind of 5-on-5 talent? Is the puck-moving D a bigger issue? (and would New Jersey be an example of what to look at?).

One other thought was prompted by LT: he noted that without the puck-moving D the game is made (arguably) less thrilling...but simplified....and that plays, perhaps, into a forwards corps with speed and forecheck ability. OK, maybe you don't implement a trap or lock, but would the reduced risk explain the relatively fine success of the solid but unspectacular type of Ds?

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06-06-2004, 11:29 PM
  #53
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Originally Posted by Asiaoil
...
Clearly the Oilers agree with your analysis because they have followed this strategy for several years now. Every time they trade a high-end expensive dman - the board cries that the sky is falling and that we will fall apart. ...
As much as love to moan (and I really do ) I suppose you're right. In fact in the vast majority of instances I'm personally pretty happy with the route the Oilers have gone.

Some things have really pished me off in the past (The Marchant lowball, the Hecht trade, bringing Smyth back way too soon on a broken ankle, the gawdawful precedent-setting Brewer contract) but meh, a guy needs some things to rant about, just part of being a fan.

It does beg an interesting question though. Recently Lowe has made a very high number of rational business decisions, and not to be insulting (I'm sure he's a heckuva neighbour and a wonderful father) but he's a frickin hockey player! So who's pulling the strings? The way the Comrie situation played out is a prime example ... he had the whole city behind him by the end of it, very well done. I'm sorry, bless 'im, but I'd bet my life that someone else had a hand in helping Kev there.

And the decision to draft forwards, specifically big forwards, with the early picks ... I haven't gone into detail, but it seems to make obvious sense when you apply basic business logic to the data oilswell has given us on historic draft results. And he's sacrificing D and ignoring position to acquire outscoring-profile forwards. Hmmm. A whack of other things as well, just don't seem like 'former player' decisions to me. So is this just coincidence ... or is there someone behind the scenes guiding him, a businessman perhaps? I dunno?

BTW Prediction: The Oilers won't sign Nedved, it will be announced that as much as Petr loved the city, the team and its potential ... "it just didn't work out". And in a quirky Freudian slip ... Lowe will to refer to Petr's wife as "janet" at the press conference, but just once.

BTW Prediction#2: I bet that Brewer is done as an Oiler. Later Hemsky83 will inform us that it turns out that he was a complete basturd, and secretly hated all Edmontonians.

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Old
06-07-2004, 12:56 AM
  #54
mudcrutch79
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Another great thread...

Igor, I'm curious to know how you've developed numbers rating the competition faced by the Oiler players. I'm working on something with my brother (computer genius) to turn the shift charts into excel files telling how much each player played with and against each player in the game...is this unnecessary? If so, I'll get him off it, and onto some other projects I have.

Anyway, I find the concept of a multiplier effect interesting. I was actually thinking about that exact same concept this morning, and I think I can work out a formula, once I've got the proper information. Basically, it'd involve comparing goals scored against equivalent competition by individual forwards with defenceman A on the ice, and without defenceman A on the ice. This to me would seem to be the way to go to sort out if the D on the ice has an appreciable impact.

As for K-Lo's business sense...I'm still not sold on it. The Staios deal is a bit of a headscratcher to me. I think he has a bit of a weakness for guys that resemble him as a player, and the Oilers are overpaying for middle class talent-Moreau also seems to be an example of this, although he has taken on deity status around here. This might be the fan as opposed to the analyst in me talking, but I love that Jochen Hecht deal-god I hated that guy.

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Old
06-07-2004, 05:25 AM
  #55
Asiaoil
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Quote:
Originally Posted by igor
BTW Prediction#2: I bet that Brewer is done as an Oiler. Later Hemsky83 will inform us that it turns out that he was a complete basturd, and secretly hated all Edmontonians.
I agree that one type of dman is very very over-valued – the offensive variety. Guys like Gonchar and Poti who put up offensive number are paid way more than their real contribution in terms of wins. But I sort of disagree about Brew being too expensive and not worth it right now. It really depends on his next contract. If it is less than $3 million per year to be our top guy – then I have no problem with it. I do have a problem paying Smith that much because his skill-set is that of a journeyman – though I admit a high level journeyman. Smith we can replace with a combination of guys like Staios, Ulanov and Cross – I’m not so sure we can replace Brewer’s skill set like that. As long as Brew makes less than $3 million he is of value – but beyond that number I agree – we can get better bang for our buck elsewhere.

I would not rule out a trade for Brewer though. As someone suggested - if Columbus wanted to offer Klesa and the #4 pick for Brewer and the #25 – I would think about that long and hard. In fact I would probably do it. With Klesa only making $1 million I would keep Smith for 1 more year to provide some stability on the top pair – then run with the young guys like Klesa, Semi, Greene, Woywitka, Lynch, MAB and a few journeyman like Staios, Cross and Ulanov. That would be some defense in time.

As for Kevin Lowe getting advice – well I think he is a smart guy and he's also smart enough to surround himself with bright people. The way he has handled the defense over the past several years makes me think he has a head for both business strategy and hockey. I absolutely LOVE how he has brought Bergeron along. This guy is pure money because old-fashioned hockey scouts look at his size and say “he can’t play” - totally ignoring what the kid actually accomplishes on the ice. Just like in baseball – scouts fall in love with physical potential and often ignore what guys with fewer physical tools can actually do. We have a bit of the same problem here with Brewer – but his next contract will be negotiated on his actual numbers – not his potential. He doesn’t have the numbers and he should not get paid like he has them either. Lowe likes Brew’s potential – but I think Lowe has also grown A LOT as a GM since he negotiated the previous contract with him – so this contract should be different.

So Smith and to a lesser extent Brewer are both trade-bait. It would not surprise me if we traded either one at the draft – but one will likely be gone this summer and the other will stay. I guess it depends on how the negotiations go with both guys and what the offers look like – but this should be one heck of an interesting draft.

PS - yeah this is a great thread and guys like lowetide, igor, hillbillypriest, oilswell, speeds etc etc etc make this board hum baby

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Old
06-07-2004, 09:40 AM
  #56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mudcrutch79
...Igor, I'm curious to know how you've developed numbers rating the competition faced by the Oiler players.
Just a simple algorithm, its based only on when goals were scored. That little VBA script that I posted on here a while ago should download all the NHL.com scoresheets and superstats into a spreadsheet.

From there I wrote a script that ...
1. filtered out everything but the 5on5 goals
2. summed up each players EV+ and EV- and EV icetime, and yielded EV+/hour and EV-/hour for each player
3. wrote a tiny sub that overwrote all the goalies EV+ and EV- with 0
4. wrote another script that scrolled through each EV goal scored in the NHL searching for a player (starting with team 1 [ANA], player #0 and going to team 30 [WSH], player #99. and summed up the EV+/hour and EV-/hour numbers for everybody who was on the ice (By goal for/against, opponent/teammate, and EV+/hour/EV-/hour) ... so eight things.

From there apply wisdom There are a few ways to rationalize the numbers ... but a lot of things just become obvious at a glance.

I'll email you the csv file that it outputs (only 204k).

Quote:
I'm working on something with my brother (computer genius) to turn the shift charts into excel files telling how much each player played with and against each player in the game...is this unnecessary? If so, I'll get him off it, and onto some other projects I have.
I think it would be cool stuff. Not sure how much light it would shed on things though, but we'll see I guess. MattyK on OilFans did this for the playoffs last year ... it was good. Make sure you get your brother to separate out the game situations (PP, PK, 4on4, EN, etc).

I'm not much of a programmer ... so its way beyond the scope of anything I'd try to do

Quote:
Anyway, I find the concept of a multiplier effect interesting. I was actually thinking about that exact same concept this morning, and I think I can work out a formula, once I've got the proper information. Basically, it'd involve comparing goals scored against equivalent competition by individual forwards with defenceman A on the ice, and without defenceman A on the ice. This to me would seem to be the way to go to sort out if the D on the ice has an appreciable impact.
Ya, that makes sense. Should be just a few lines of code to do that too.

Quote:
As for K-Lo's business sense...I'm still not sold on it. The Staios deal is a bit of a headscratcher to me. I think he has a bit of a weakness for guys that resemble him as a player, and the Oilers are overpaying for middle class talent-Moreau also seems to be an example of this, although he has taken on deity status around here. This might be the fan as opposed to the analyst in me talking, but I love that Jochen Hecht deal-god I hated that guy.
I like the Staios deal.

As for Moreau ... I have a bit of trouble understanding that as well. It must be that he is a key leader. One thing that does stick in my mind is an article from the Journal a couple years ago ... Ron Low had been canned as NYR coach and was on his first scouting trip to Edmonton ... the journalist asked him an excellent question, roughly: "Is there one player that the Rangers could add that could turn the team around?" ... Low's answer "Ethan Moreau". Things that make you go hmmm.

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