Sunday, November 30, 2008

Oilers v. Stars - Revelation 6:12-14

I watched as he opened the sixth seal. There was Ribeiro faking a seizure. Zubov and Modano became old like the Sean Avery sideshow, the wholesome Finns turned to bloody douchebags, and the Stars of my childhood fell down the elevator shaft, as late figs drop from a fig tree when shaken by a strong wind. Their world receded like a scroll, rolling up, and every forward and defenceman looked up from last place.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

First Game Back After a Long Road Trip

There has been some discussion on the Oilogosphere that the Oilers have come out flat far too often this year. Most people can agree that this has been true, but there are some that are inclined to offer excuses and/or reasons for these poor performances. The reason that I'd like to look at here is that of the fabled "first game home after a long road trip." I heard this from several fans after the Oilers lost to the Maple Leafs and at first glance, it seems like a reasonable enough statement. The guys are tired after all.

But then I looked at the numbers and to this point in the season they just don't show that this has any effect on results. So far this season there have been 37 games (of 320) where the home team is playing its first game back after at least three consecutive road games. Their record in these games is 20-10-7. The record of the home team in all other instances is 148-95-40. So when the home team is coming off a road trip of at least three games the home team has a points percentage of 63.5%. In instances where the home team is in the midst of a homestand or coming off a shorter trip, their points percentage is 59.4%.

The sample size is still small, and the difference isn't that much, so I wouldn't want to conclude that the home team has a better chance of winning coming off of a long road trip, BUT I do think that this shows that it doesn't provide the home team with any disadvantage.

The Oilers lost to the Leafs because they're just not a good team right now (and they're worshipping idols).

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Oilers v. Kings - Psalm 102:15-17

All teams will fear the name of Yahweh,
all the Kings of Los Angeles will stand in awe of his glorious team.
For Yahweh will rebuild the Oilers.

His favour will rest upon them.
He will respond to the prayers of the suffering Oilogosphere.

He will not despise their hearts that yearn for righteousness,
For a veteran third line center and shut-down defenceman.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Oilers v. Blue Jackets - 2 Samuel 13:30-33

While the Oilers were on the plane, news came to MacT, "Raffi has struck down all the coach’s sons, and not one of them is left." Then MacT arose and tore his garments and lay down on the floor weeping. His assistant coaches who were sitting nearby tore their garments and mourned with him. But Dustin, the emotionless one, heard the commotion and came to the front of the plane saying, "Let not my lord suppose that my old friend has harmed all the young men, for Ladislav alone is harmed. For by the command of Raffi this has been determined from the day Ladi was unjustly put in the top four defence and then reinforced when you placed him on a checking line against the Anointed One with Zack at his side. Now then, let not my lord so take it to heart as to suppose that all the coach’s sons are concussed, for Ladislav alone is concussed." So MacT said, weeping, "You will never play on the first line again for this tragic news and for your friendship with the Mexican. In fact, your name will be blotted out of the lineup completely until my mourning is complete."

Monday, November 17, 2008

Oilers v. Red Wings - Genesis 25:23-26

So Yahweh, who has shown her great favour, said to the Winged Wheel,

"Two nations are in your womb,
and two people from within you will be your renewal;
one will be given the Selke,
but the older will be zoomed by the younger."

When the time came for renewal, the two boys appeared in her womb. The first to come out was red, and his whole game had the strength of the Bear, so they named him Datsyuk. After this, his brother came out, speedy and elegant as a Blackbird, with his hand grasping Datsyuk's heel; so he was named Zetterberg. The Winged Wheel was about seventy-five years old when Holland gave birth to them.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Oilers v. Maple Leafs, Avalanche - Mark 11:12-14, 20-24

And seeing in the distance a team of Leafs, the Holy Spirit went to see if he could find any Stanley Cup rings. When he came to it, he found nothing but Leafs, for it was not their season for rings (nor had it been for quite some time). And he said to that team, "May no one ever take joy in you again." And his chosen people heard it.

As they passed by in the morning, they saw the Leafs withered away to their roots. And Cogliano remembered and cried out, "O Spirit, look! The Leafs that you cursed have withered, they that have been terrible since my childhood have been punished!" And the Holy Spirit answered them, "Have faith in Yahweh. Whoever says to an Avalanche, 'Stop in your tracks, come no further,' and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will come to pass, it will be done for him. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Who Drafts Goalies Well (2000-2004)

Who drafts and develops goalies well? I've developed a point system in order to rank teams not just by which teams have drafted a good goalie, but taking into account what it took them to get there. It's important to have a good goaltender, no doubt, but if a team spends its first round pick every year to get there, then it's missing out on good players in a lot of other areas. This needs to be taken into consideration. Molding a first rounder into a marginal starter isn't worth as much as doing the same with a 7th round pick. As such, here is my "points" system, awarded to each goaltender as he develops:

The goalie plays an AHL game - 2
The goalie plays 40+ AHL or NHL games in a single season - 2
The goalie plays an NHL game - 1
For the team that drafted him - 1
The goalie plays in 50 NHL games over his career - 1
For the team that drafted him - 1
The goalie plays 40+ NHL games in a single season - 4
For the team that drafted him - 3
The goalie plays 40+ NHL games in at least five different seasons - 4
For the team that drafted him - 3
The goalie is nominated for the Vezina trophy - 4
For the team that drafted him - 3

Now, different things are expected of different players. It's one of the reasons a lot of fans like Kyle Brodziak but poo-poo Pouliot. More is expected of first rounders. It's not really fair to the player, but I think it is important to look at when determining the effectiveness of drafting and development. Each player, then, is expected to achieve a certain number of points, as listed above:

1st to 10th overall - 22 (starting goalie on your team for at least five seasons)
Rest of 1st round - 15 (starting goalie on your team for at least one season)
2nd round - 6 (should at least play in one NHL game for your team)
3rd round - 5 (should at least play in one NHL game for somebody)
4th round - 4 (should manage to be an AHL starter)
5th round - 3 (should have a 50/50 chance at being an AHL starter)
6th round - 2 (should play in at least one AHL game)
7th round + - 1 (should have a 50/50 chance at playing an AHL game)

I've taken a look at the drafts from 2000 to 2004. The first column is the team with any significant goalies (50 NHL games) included in brackets. The rest of the columns represent their net points (actual - expected), actual points, expected points, number of goalies drafted, number drafted in round one, in rounds two to four and in rounds five and over:

A few points:

1. Drafting goalies in the first round is often disappointing. This may well change over time as players play more games, earn Vezina nominations and more 40-game seasons. I expect teams like Long Island, Columbus and Pittsburgh to move up as DiPietro, Leclaire and Fleury play more games. We'll see if the teams spending early picks improve when looking at the 1995 to 1999 period.

2. Teams that draft good goalies often don't hang on to them for a long period of time. None of Tampa Bay, Anaheim, Los Angeles, Philadelphia or Ottawa still have their highest ranking goalie. Tampa Bay lost Norrena before he'd played an NHL game. Anaheim lost Bryzgalov on waivers for nothing. Los Angeles said, "Away Huet!" in exchange for a worse goalie in Garon. Philadelphia got rid of Cechmanek because of his lack of playoff performance. Ottawa's goalie may or may not have been addicted to heroin (he also may or may not be getting paid in Russia).

3. New York is stupid lucky they drafted Lundqvist. When a seventh-rounder gets a Vezina nomination and you still aren't able to meet your expected total, well, that's just terrible.

4. Any list that has the Flames and Canucks bringing up the rear must have some validity. Unfortunately, those teams also show that you don't need to draft well to find good goaltending. In fact, sometimes having a need in an area where demand is at a premium isn't really all that bad while supply is abundant isn't really all that bad.

5. The Oilers may have improved drafting over this period, but they're still in the bottom third when it comes to drafting and developing goalies. In fairness, this is all because of Dubnyk underperforming his expected total and given he's an 04' pick, that has plenty of time to change.

My preliminary conclusion is that drafting goalies in the first round is stupid. We'll see if that continues to be the trend looking back to the late 90s drafts. Feel free to offer criticisms, suggestions and observations in the comments.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Oilers v. Rangers - Habakkuk 3:2

Yahweh, we have heard of your Fame.
We stand in awe of your deeds and favour in the 80s,
O Yahweh, renew them in our day,
in a victory over the Rangers make them known;
you have been unrelenting since the summer of 2006
but in your wrath, remember mercy.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Oilers v. Devils - Mark 3:20-30

One time Horcoff entered a house, and the crowds began to gather again. Soon he and the Mandelbaums couldn’t even find time to eat they were training so hard. When his family heard what was happening, they tried to take him away: “He’s out of his mind,” they said.

Now the Teachers of the Trap who had arrived from New Jersey said, “He’s possessed by Lamoreillo, the prince of demons. That’s where he gets the power to train like a demon. You must make him stop this training!"

Horcoff called them over and responded with an illustration. “Why would the prince of demons help the kingdom of Oil?” he asked. “A kingdom divided by civil war will collapse. Similarly, a family splintered by feuding will fall apart. And if Evil Lou is divided and helps his enemies, how can he stand? He would never survive! Let me illustrate this further. Who is powerful enough to enter the house of a strong man like Evil Lou and plunder his goods? Only someone even stronger - someone who trains on an exercise bike in a sauna - could tie him up and then plunder his house.

“I tell you the truth, all sin and blasphemy can be forgiven even sending Alex Mogilny to Sheol in order to circumvent the Cap. But anyone who blasphemes the Holy Mandelbaum Training Program will never be forgiven. This is a sin with eternal consequences.” He said this to the Teachers of the Trap because they were lying about him saying, “He’s possessed by Lamoreillo” so that his family would take him away and the kingdom of Oil would be held back.

Friday, November 7, 2008

S&M Party Time

A hearty congratulations to Steve MacIntrye, now the official property of the Edmonton Oilers. Now that MacIntyre has played in 10 NHL games with the Oilers, Florida can no longer reclaim him for their AHL affiliate if he gets sent down to Springfield. So congratulations are in order big guy, you're probably an Oiler/Falcon for the next two years.

A hearty congratulations also to your agent who managed to get you $50,000 over the minimum salary for both this season and next (seriously Florida, what are you thinking?). I hope you ask Kyle Brodziak how much money he makes this year every day.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Oilers v. Penguins - Melody of McGuire 5:10-16

My Crosby is radiant and ruddy,
outstanding among ten thousand men.

His head is purest gold,
his hair is sweaty and brown as a MONSTER.

His vision is that of the Great One
reborn for a new generation,
passes like silk,
tape to tape like jewels.

His goals are like beds of spice
yielding perfume.
His goals are like the sweetest of peaches
dripping with flavour.

His sticks are rods of gold
manipulated by the softest of hands.
His blades are polished ivory
manoeuvred by the quickest of feet.

His strong powerful legs are pillars of marble
set on bases of pure gold.
His appearance is like the Rocky Mountains,
awing mortal men with his grandeur.

His interviews are sweetness itself;
he is altogether lovely.

This is my Crosby, this my lo... friend.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Oilers v. Blue Jackets - Psalm 118:1-12

Give thanks to Yahweh, for he is good
and his love endures forever!

Let the Oilogosphere say,
"His love endures forever!"
Let the Rexall Family of Pharmacies say,
"His love endures forever!
"Let those who fear Yahweh say,
"His love endures forever!"

Out of my scoring slumps I called on Yahweh
and Yahweh answered me and gave me a strong even-strength shooting percentage.
Yahweh is on my side; I will not fear.
What can the media do to me?
Yahweh is on my side; he is my helper.
I will raise my arms in triumph over goaltenders who hate me.

It is better to take refuge in Yahweh
than to trust in Mexican stick factories.
It is better to take refuge in Yahweh
than to trust in saints out of position.

All of the opposing teams surrounded me
but in the name of Yahweh I defeated them all!
They swarmed around me like Blue Jackets
but they died out quickly, like the Flames in the playoffs.
Yes, in the name of Yahweh I defeated them all!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Predicting Sam Gagner and Patrick Kane

Many (pride come before a fall, I know) have probably noticed that I have taken a keen interest in Sam Gagner. At the beginning of last season Tyler Dellow published a chart on the seasons of 18-year-old rookies that have appeared in the NHL since 1997-98. I followed up on his work late last season, but here are the final numbers for Sam Gagner and Patrick Kane:

These numbers are obviously very good and speak to the tremendous talent of these two players (especially Kane who trails only Crosby in points/60 by an 18-year-old). So looking at the chart from earlier I have selected three comparable players in an effort to project what these two players might accomplish this season. Obviously, this would have been more helpful before the season started, but I didn't get around to finishing it until now. Anyway, the three players I've chosen as comparables are Sidney Crosby (better for Kane than Gagner), Marleau and Connolly. I also added Vincent Damphousse. I eliminated others for the following reasons:

-Didn't achieve at least 1.50 P/60 at 18 (Fritsche, Fata, Thornton, Dome, Hartnell, Bouchard, Lecavalier)
-Didn't play in a Canadian major junior league at 17 (Dome, Gaborik, Kovalchuk)
-Didn't play in the NHL at 19 (Horton, Bergeron)

-Didn't score at a rate of at least 1.5 P/gm in his last junior season (Fritsche, Fata, Hartnell, Malhotra, Horton, Staal, Bergeron, Nash)

Looking at these six now as juniors:

Now we can look at these six in their first NHL season. Sadly,I haven't separated it out into EV, mostly because I don't know where to find the data. If you know where to find that information, please pass it along in the comments.

Finally, to the predictive arena. How did these players perform in their second NHL season?

I think that there are certain conclusions that we can draw from this. Gagner looks to be tracking along well with Damphousse. I'm surprised that the comp LT suggested hasn't caught on. Others tried to compare him to Gilmour, but the first two seasons really don't match up as nicely. Having said that, we're talking different eras here, so if Gagner's offence in this decade is following what Damphousse put up in his, Gagner is a hell of a hockey player.

As for production, the improvement in goal scoring looks to be less linear than in assist production. Not sure why, but I wouldn't be surprised to see Kane or Gagner put up fewer goals this season. Also, all four of these players improved their point production by between 12.3 and 30.2 per cent. Not a mammoth improvement like some have been calling for. I really can't see Gagner putting up something like eighty points this year. With that range in mind, I'll predict the following point per game ranges this year for Kane and Gagner:

Patrick Kane: 0.99 to 1.15 P/game
Sam Gagner: 0.70 to 0.81 P/game

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Oilers v. Flyers - Romans 12:9-20

Dear Oilers, love must be sincere. Hate the Eastern Conference; cling to third period leads. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honour one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your head up, serving the Lord. Be joyful in winning, patient in losing, faithful in prayer. Remind the Flyers to share with God's people who are in need and to practice hospitality.

Dear Captain, take the number of those who persecute you; take their number and do not take an instigator penalty. Rejoice with rejoicing teammates; mourn with mourning teammates. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.

Dear Oilogospherians, do not repay a Flames fan evil for evil; instead let them see how much more honourable it is as an Oilogospherian. So far as it depends on you, cheer at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, but leave room for God's wrath, for it is written: "I will take revenge; I will pay them back," says the Lord. On the contrary: "If a Flames fan is hungry, feed her; if she is thirsty, give her something to drink. But if he is hungry give him very salty popcorn; when he is thirsty, ask him if he would like one Cup of water or five Cups. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Oilers v. Hurricanes - Acts 28:17-20

Three days later he called together the leaders of the Hurricanes. When they had assembled, Eric said to them: "My brothers, although I have done nothing against our people or against the customs of our Whaler ancestors, I was arrested at my bachelor party in Lusty Minnesota and handed over to the authorities. They examined me and wanted to release me, because I was a famous hockey player. But when the Wild objected, I was compelled to pay a $587 fine and plead guilty to disorderly conduct - not that I had any real choice in the matter. For this reason I have asked to see you and talk with you. It is because of the hope of the Hurricanes that I now have this criminial record."