Who Are the Edmonton Oilers' Best Scouts?

May 24 2013 10:48AM

I’d begun to notice something of a trend recently amongst the Oilers’ prospects and decided to take a closer look. Excluding 1st overall picks, is there a one area in which the Oilers are collecting the majority of their successful draft picks? In other words, who, based on draft pick performance to-date, are the Oilers’ best amateur scouts?

The Oilers scouting group is headed by Stu MacGregor, but also features others among the ranks, including Frank Musil, Brad Davis (son of former scout Lorne Davis), Bob Brown, Kent Hawley, Jim Crosson and others. Given the importance of the draft in the modern NHL and the Oilers’ dependence on that aspect of talent acquisition lately, which of these scouts is delivering at peak performance?

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Kings' assistant Bill Ranford cites Corsi to TSN's Ryan Rishaug

Cam Charron
May 21 2013 09:28PM

I thought this was real cool. At the start of the second period between the Los Angeles Kings and San Jose Sharks, Chris Cuthbert threw it down to reporter Ryan Rishaug for a quick hit where he actually gave some pretty good info as a result of a mid-game interview:

Chris, I spoke with Kings' assistant Bill Ranford at the break I asked 'which part of the stats page makes you the most upset?' He said 'their number of attempts and our lack thereof'. If you consider that San Jose had 15 shots on net, they missed the net eight times and had 14 blocked. That's 37 attempts on net. The Kings had just seven.

There you see the zone time, not even close. Los Angeles with half the offensive zone time that San Jose had. Ranford says 'we are losing every battle in our own end and we are not competing'.

I've screencapped the accompanying graphic, which is some real hipster stuff because you can't find "zone time" anywhere online. It has to be manually tracked. We use Corsi, basically shot attempt differential, as a proxy for zone time, but only because the zone time numbers aren't available. TSN did a great job at showcasing the Sharks' advantage in the first period.

Kudos to Rishaug and TSN there.

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Can we make predictions in hockey with Machine Learning? A simple experiment

Josh W
May 18 2013 11:23AM




You probably don't know me, my name is Josh Weissbock and I am a Masters student at the University of Ottawa up in Canada and I study Machine Learning.  Many of the other authors on the Nations Network, who use advanced stats, typically use statistical models to analyze hockey where as I use algorithmic models. What I can do is use Machine Learning techniques which is an application of these same statistical ideas.  Machine Learning is simply the ability for a computer to take a whole bunch of data, learn from it and be able to make decisions. 

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The Friends with Numbers Podcast: Round 1 Recap + Round 2 Predictions

Dimitri Filipovic
May 14 2013 12:55PM


The Friends with Numbers are back, with a recap of the 1st Round of the NHL Playoffs; we take a look at what interested us, and what the main takeaways were from the opening round. Then, we give our predictions for Round 2, and break down each of the four matchups. 

We would love to hear from you, the listener, for suggestions on future topics of discussion. Rather than us just being in our own little world, we'd like to make this as interactive a show as possible. Feel free to tweet at either Dimitri or Cam .

Click Past the Jump to Listen to the Podcast!

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Tomas Vokoun to start game five for Pittsburgh, and it’s absolutely the right decision

Jonathan Willis
May 08 2013 09:25PM

With Marc-Andre Fleury’s fourth consecutive playoff implosion, the Penguins have finally done the inevitable and decided to use a different goaltender in the post-season. With all due respect to his strong regular season play, the possibility of this was the biggest reason why signing Tomas Vokoun in the summer was a decision that had to be made.

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