Monday, December 17, 2007

Oilers projected scoring stats as of Dec. 17

Given the number-crunching nerdiness of some of our Oilogosphere contemporaries, I almost feel like I have to apologize for saying this, but I've always been a sucker for projected scoring stats. Yeah, I know... as a straight-up extrapolation of a players' current averages that fails to take into account all the little things that make a season interesting — hot and cold streaks, home vs. road performance, linemates, injuries, luck, etc. — stat projections are strictly for entertainment purposes only, but I find they offer some interesting perspective on current player performance nonetheless.

So with the team in the midst of a pretty decent hot streak of late (which has elevated the Oilers' play all the way to "average"!), I figured now would be as good a time as any to see where some cold, unfeeling algorithm thinks our boys will be sitting come season's end in terms of team scoring (all projections from TSN.ca):

Oilers Projected Scoring Stats as of Dec. 17

A couple things that jump out:

• Just two Oilers are on pace for more than 20 goals (Horcoff, Hemsky), with another scheduled to finish just shy of the mark with 19 (Penner), which is not so good. Team is on pace to finish with 228 goals, or 2.78 goals for per game, a marked improvement over last season's 195 goals (2.34 GF/G) but well shy of 05/06, when the Oil potted 256 (3.12 GF/G). It's worth noting that the Oilers are also on pace to allow 246 goals against this year based on their current 3.00 GA/G, for a goal differential of -18. Again, better than last year (-53) but a long ways from 05/06 (+5). No way the Oilers keep their .500 record if they continue to barf up goals-against like this.

• This just in: Shawn Horcoff has been playing like he's 10 feet tall lately, and the projection reflects that. While a 39-goal finish seems highly unlikely (especially with fewer than 200 shots, or 21.3% shooting accuracy over the season), I could see Scorcoff maintaining his point-per-game clip, even if the rest of the team drives off a cliff between now and April. On pace to surpass his career-high 73 points in 05/06 by nine points and cement his reputation as a true No. 1 centre. Fun fact: Only three players finished last season with a S% over 20: Jordan Staal (29 goals, 131 shots, 22.1%); Jason Spezza (34 goals, 162 shots, 22.0%); and Alex Tanguay (22 goals, 107 shots, 20.6%).

• All you SHOOOOOOOTers out there, pat yourselves on the back for a job well done: Ales Hemsky is on pace for 198 shots, 20 more than his career high in 05/06 and a whopping 76 more than last season. He's also on target to reach the 20-goal plateau for the first time in his career.

• If even one of Sam Gagner or Andrew Cogliano finishes with anything close to 39 points, I'll be ecstatic.

I'm out of time for now but might add a few more notes later. Any thoughts from you folks?

38 comments:

dwillms said...

Just two Oilers are on pace for more than 20 goals (Horcoff, Hemsky), with another scheduled to finish just shy of the mark with 19 (Penner), which is not so good.

This reminds me of the stat I brought up awhile back: Only one current player has scored 30 goals in an NHL season. Geoff Sanderson(!), who is a shell of his former self.

I'd love to see Scorcoff hit 30 this year, and hopefully Hemmer comes close too, but it's painfully obvious that we need scoring help in the worst way.

Pleasure Motors said...

If even one of Sam Gagner or Andrew Cogliano finishes with anything close to 39 points, I'll be ecstatic.

I'd be pretty happy if Tom Gilbert manages the 24 points he's supposed to get, too.

Also: Raffi Torres is not a second-line winger on a good team. Even if this projection is ten points low by the end of the season, he'll officially have one season over 40 points at age 26 (and that was at an unreasonably healthy 16.5% shooting percentage).

Black Dog said...

I think I said before the seaon that if Gagner and/or Cogliano hit 40 points I would be ecstatic.

Throw in Nilsson, Brodziak and Gilbert and those are some pretty nice rookies. I know I know Nilsson and Brodziak aren't "official" rookies but fuck Gary Bettman.

I think Penner breaks 20 - his play has improved.

Some nice offence from the D - that's good to see.

But the hole on this team (not to say the D is where I would like it to be but they have been pretty good) is up front. They need more from Torres and Stoll and Sanderson and Reasoner aren't helping much either.

Pleasure Motors said...

I don't know: Reasoner and Sanderson are producing 1.59 and 1.41 EVPts/60, which is pretty decent for third/fourth liners.

Torres and Stoll are the real black holes: if the two of them managed to slot their end-of-year point totals somewhere between Hemsky and Nilsson, we'd have three legitimate (though perhaps not exactly dangerous) scoring lines, without having a bunch of rookies as our second option.

Simon said...

I was sort of anticipating that Hemsky might break the 80 point barrier this year. That might have to wait. Do people think that he'll have to hit that barrier soon to stave off questions about the value of his contract?

Scarlett said...

That projected +/- for Staios is Lupul-esque. Ouch!!

Black Dog said...

Hmm, maybe for fourth liners, p.m. but on this team (part of the problem?) they, well at least Marty, have bigger roles, I think.

Of course I can't back that up so ....

As for Staios I would say if they keep him away from Smid then he will be fine. Then again with Gilbert's emergence this team is one short when it comes to top four Dmen and guess who gets to play with the stiff who gets bumped up the ladder?

trouble! said...

Is it just me, or is hard to get excited about a team that has only won 7 of its last 60 games in regulation?

Can't wait for Katz to gas Lowe and Mac T so we don't have to watch boring trap hockey anymore.

Stan the Caddy said...

Is it just me, or is hard to get excited about a team that has only won 7 of its last 60 games in regulation?

Can't wait for Katz to gas Lowe and Mac T so we don't have to watch boring trap hockey anymore.


Where are people getting this from? Last I heard, KLowe and Katz are chums so I wouldn't expect Katz to clean house right away. Also, I've been relatively pleased with the excitment level of this team (games VS Minnesota excepted) and as has been pointed out somewhere on the OilWeb, they've been in nearly every game this year. Let's see how many games this team wins regulation or extra time playing a run and gun style.

Do people think that (Hemsky'll) have to hit that barrier soon to stave off questions about the value of his contract?

I personally don't think so. The guy is a 100 point player if he's on a line with a someone like Dany Heatly, or anyone else that can shoot for that matter (Scorcoff is getting there).

Stoll and Torres need to step up their offensive game exponentially if this team wants any chance at a playoff spot. Does anyone else thinkg that Raffi's 05/06 season was an anomoly? I used to be a big supporter of Raf, and I've been waiting for him to bust out and dominate, but now I'm wondering if that will ever happen. Did he just feed off the players who lost a step because of the lock-out year? Maybe MacT just can't motivate him. It wouldn't be the first coaching question mark in E-town (late period goals drive me nuts and in my opinion, that's ALL coaching)

another mike w said...

The anti-management/anit-coaching rhetoric is getting a bit old...

The coach:
- a .500 team, playing with what I think must be league-leading 'games lost to injury'
- a point behind SC champions Anaheim with a game in hand
- top 10 in PK
- a top-tier goalie tandem, and the right assignment of games to each guy to keep them sharp

The GM:
- top 10 (top 5?) in league revenues
- sell outs every night
- trades (Nilsson) and signings (Penner) starting to show value, even this early in their careers

Does anyone care to compare Lowe/MacTavish with Burke/Carlyle's performance so far this year??

Doogie said...

The coach:
- a .500 team, playing with what I think must be league-leading 'games lost to injury'


The most misleading .500 in NHL history. This team would be 6-17-11 in the original points system, and while I don't think they've played that badly the last 15 games or so, they're still not getting it done in regulation.

- a point behind SC champions Anaheim with a game in hand

See above, though feel free to point out that they are playing within the ruleset that exists. Also, bear in mind that the Ducks lost two Hall of Famers off last year's roster, as well as a decent chunk of their secondary scoring, to say nothing of that asinine English road trip to start the season. We've had our problems, but we're not exactly beating a championship-calibre Ducks team here.

- top 10 in PK

They are indeed #10 by the NHL's metric, though I'd be curious how they rank by GD/60.

- a top-tier goalie tandem, and the right assignment of games to each guy to keep them sharp

Show me a good coach and I'll show you a good goalie, right? Problem is, it's the GM that went out and got the goalies in the first place. And maybe he's learned from the Three-Headed Monster debacle, but I've never been one to trust MacT's ability to dole out games.

The GM:
- top 10 (top 5?) in league revenues


Nothing to do with ticket prices or the fact that the club would pretty much have to put on a nightly performance of the Aristocrats in order to lose a single ass in a seat.

- sell outs every night

See above. Sell outs are a small accomplishment in the current climate.

- trades (Nilsson) and signings (Penner) starting to show value, even this early in their careers

I'll kind of give you this one, for Nilsson, but while Penner has greatly improved in the second quarter of the season, there's no way in hell he's playing like a $4M man.

Does anyone care to compare Lowe/MacTavish with Burke/Carlyle's performance so far this year??

Again, see above re: the Ducks. I wouldn't exactly take the first 30 games as a good measure for either team, because one was short a couple of legendary players, while the other was short...well, half its NHL-calibre roster. I'll grant that the Oilers have done well to keep their heads above water despite everything, but I hardly think that means we've got geniuses at work here. We've been exceedingly damned lucky, and we've taken full advantage of some quirky-ass rules.

another mike w said...

Sorry, I should have responded sooner, but I was busy high-fiving after Penner bulled thru three Dallas Stars on his way to scoring the tying goal…

The point is this: at the start of the year the Hockey News had us next to last, and every blog in the country figured our leadership was incompetent. On the other hand, the management of Anaheim, Calgary and other teams with established talent were being lauded (in Burke’s case, by himself) as veritable bastions of sound decision-making and brilliant player decisions.

And how is it that Lowe and MacTavish were able to win 12 or so cups, take us on a Cup run 2 years ago – then suddenly become panicky losers? I just don’t get it… (Feel free to compare Carlyle and Burke’s trophy record, throw in Randy’s Avco Cups if you like…)

Look, I’m not saying we have the best coach and GM in the league, just that there are very few people that are willing to give credit when it’s due. MacTavish might have his team in the top 8 by Jan 1st, and regardless of shoot-out rules that ALL TEAMS are playing with, this deserves a bit of recognition does it not?

Doogie said...

I should've known that that comment would come back to bite me on the ass. Hard to deny that was a $4M man's move.

Don't get me wrong, I was one of the few optimists in a sea of depression. I'm just saying that the things you're pointing to aren't very good indicators, as a general rule. In particular, I don't put much stock in winning Cups as a player as an indicator of competence as a coach or GM. (For the record, it was 10: six for Lowe and four for MacT.) Also, Carlyle won no Avco Cups, because he didn't join the Jets until 1984. Before that, he spent two years in the Leafs' system and six in Pittsburgh.

Rock Deputy said...

is it me, or does 13 goals for Souray seem a little high? I mean... sure he's got a bullet from the point, but when was the last time he actually hit the net (or even the goalie)?

Kirk said...

Frankly, I'll take our 4 million dollar guy over Anaheim's any day, (Penner - 20pts; Bertuzzi - 10pts. - As a bonus, Penner's never tried to kill a guy because "I would've heard about it the next day in a meeting.")

whoops! said...

The points column isn't the only stat inflated by the toin-coss bonus point that is the shootout.

At a glance, it would appear the Oilers have scored 93 goals this game in 35 games -- good for a 2.66 goals-for-per-game clip.

But this is inaccurate. In order to balance the sum of the games' final scores with the team's goals-for and goals-against stats, the NHL includes the phantom goal that is awarded to the team that wins the shootout.

So really, while actually playing the game of hockey, the Oilers have scored *83* goals in 35 contests -- a 2.37 goals-for-per-game

2006/2007's corrected stats show the Oilers chipping in 192 goals in 82 contests -- a 2.34 goals-for-per-game average.

So in fact, the improvement in Oilers scoring has been negligible from the previous season.

Unless I missed it, I have to admit I'm surprised that this issue of phantom goals hasn't popped up here before now.

Have a safe and happy holiday season, one and all.

Kirk said...

Just out of curiosity, would this phantom goal not also change the goals against for teams, (I'm sure it's negligible for the Oil having only lost twice in the shootout, but I still wants to know.)

Paul O said...

Another mike w:

Lowe and MacT won their 12 Cups playing with the likes of Messier and Gretzky. In fact, I'd go so far as to say that neither was ever one of the five most important skaters on a Cup team. Either way, it's besides the point because what guys do as players has no relevance on their competence as management.

Secondly, lauding the Cup run as a product of MacT is a bit of a stretch. Lowe easily had his best season as a GM before that year, picking up Pronger et al, and should be commended for that, but let's temper that with the fact that the team finished 8th in the conference, Pronger had the best playoffs from a defenceman since Leetch in 94/95, Roloson got stupid hot, and the Oilers didn't face a single competent goalie in the playoffs before Ward (Legace and then the revolving doors in SJ and ANA... what were the Ducks and Sharks thinking not starting Nabokov and Giguere?). It was a perfect storm for a hot Oilers team, not a masterful coaching job from MactTavish.

Moreover, any goodwill gained by Lowe for his moves that season have been erased since, between the Pupu platter he got for Pronger, the Smyth trade, everyone else leaving, the Penner contract (and giving up three picks for him), the overpaying on extensions for Staois, Moreau, Pisani and Roloson.

Meanwhile, Burke has managed to add two of the top 4 defencemen in the league, replace a 30-goal scoring winger twice, keep his top young talent (Getzlaf and Perry), attract free agents and, oh yeah, win a cup. In fact, the Burke/Carlyle duo has never not made a conference final. To say Lowe/MacT is better despite the fact Edmonton is currently behind in the standings and doesn't carry anywhere near that sort of success rate is assinine if not downright retarded.

another mike w said...

Paul 0/Doogie,

Again, my point isn't that we have geniuses running our team, my point is give credit to what has transpired this year.

I've followed this team for 35 years, attended hundreds of games, experienced 3 cup final runs in person -- and seen Bugsy Watson's and Bep Guidolin's coaching up close. I've seen Sather assemble -- and then brutally dismantle -- the best team ever to play the game.

We may not have the best running this team, but we're a long way from the worst. Get rid of Lowe and bring in Doug McLean? I hear Glen Healy is available, maybe swap him in for MacTavish? Who exactly do you have in mind as replacements?

Trot out your voodoo stats and feel free to pull selected details in this post to suit your bile-fueled, anti-Oiler-management needs -- but leave in this main point: we are not even close to being a .500 team this year without a capable and experienced coach, and a general manager with the cojones to make deals he thinks will better our team.

LittleFury said...

we are not even close to being a .500 team this year without a capable and experienced coach, and a general manager with the cojones to make deals he thinks will better our team.

Jus' wonderin': if the Oilers finish well below .500 this year, will you concede the managment is part of the problem?

apostrophe s said...

Hey, Paul O. You are a decent writer until the very last word of your comment.

Using the word 'retarded' disrespects the great Joey Moss and therefore anything Oilers, including this blog. Perhaps you could choose another, less offensive word. Like obtuse. Or daft. Or ludicrous.

Kirk said...

Apostrophe, you just said what we were all thinking; you were just way nicer about it than I was gonna be.

David S said...

I think what disrespects this forum is using it as a platform to spread one's personal agenda. Doing this by insinuating a connection between a loved public figure and a commonly used word that at best weakly describes our perception of his mental status is just plain...retarded.

This isn't the weekly Christian Newsletter. Its a hockey forum. One of the best out there in my opinion. It'll stop being that if people start thinking twice about what they write or worry about the wrath of Jebus if they "offend". Granted, there are rational limits, and as rational adults we should recognize such. But please, let's leave the mind-numbing political correctness for the MSM.

mike w said...

Granted, there are rational limits, and as rational adults we should recognize such.

The "r word" is something we don't on the blog.

It's an editorial decision not based around political correctness or pussyfooting around agendas, but for the reasons quoted above.

mike w said...

Also: UGH. I am full of Xmas cookies.

Andy Grabia said...

Did someone make fun of Joey? IT'S CLOBBERIN' TIME!

Can we class this joint up with some slash fiction or something?

Daniel said...

Heh. Reading up from the bottom, I thought we weren't supposed to say "rational".

David S said...

Mike - Fair enough. Apologies extended.

Paul O said...

Fine, my apologies as well.

And as for potential replacements, I'm still a little upset that the Oil never bothered to go after Burke when Vancouver let him go. he's a blustering windbag, but he's a blustering windbag with a knack for talent evaluation and developing winning teams.

mike w said...

Drinking beers today, I perked up when I saw Burke on TSN with "Penner Vs Bertuzzi" on the crawl. Without sound of course.

Andy Grabia said...

Burke without sound? I don't believe it.


CHRISTMAS SLASH! CHRISTMAS SLASH!

And was your beer a Budweiser?

mike w said...

And was your beer a Budweiser?

SILENCE you internet troll!

mike w said...

Also, Christmas slash might be a good idea, especially for weeding out the ranks of CinO readership...

Andy Grabia said...

You could start ranking people's importance to the site based on their contributions. Create a nice slash pecking order.

Anonymous said...

Prepare for one of your worst beatings of the season tonight.

David S said...

Thanks for the heads up Anon. But I'm not going to be on Whyte Ave tonight, so things should be cool.

davey d said...

Who was that guy wearing a Stortini jersey throwing punches? Couldn't be our resident hugger could it?

David S said...

OK. Which one of you goofballs sent the Oilers a case of Xmas cookies. They're playin' like they ate every one. Ugh!