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The Media Assault On The Oilers Rebuild

Over the course of the last two weeks, the entire Edmonton mainstream media has gone into full-on tire pumping mode on the Oilers rebuild. Except for Robin Brownlee, every single member of the MSM, (including all of the team-hired "reporters", have written a story or done a radio bit about how wonderful Steve Tambellini's work has been in conducting the Oilers rebuild. Luckily the discerning fan is no longer forced to rely on writers who are forced to list "access" as their single best credential in writing about, understanding and analyzing hockey.

The Edmonton Oilers and the never-ending rebuild - Backhand Shelf
Wherever I go to discuss hockey, the prevailing sentiment about the Edmonton Oilers is "they’ll be good next year" and if not next year, "soon. They’re going to be very fun to watch." This is all based on the early career successes of Jordan Eberle, Taylor Hall and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (and hopefully Nail Yakupov, apparently). But if the team is ever going to improve, shouldn’t the team showcase any actual kind of improvement? The Oilers have 36 points through 43 games this season. Last season after 43 games, they had 35. After 43 games in 2010, they had 37.

"I’m terrible at what matters…but I’m good at something else" -
Perhaps more to the point, I’m not sure what this pressure from below will do precisely. So there’s no limit to how many guys you can have on AHL contracts. How, exactly, does that help the Oilers? You know what happens when a guy on an AHL contract has his contract expire? He’s free to sign anywhere else. You can’t call him up during the season. This sounds like what is possibly a decent plan to make sure that OKC is good but other than that? I’m not sure.

The Lame Stream Media - Pension Plan Puppets
One thing that is really disappointing about major media is how lazy they can be.

Around the league

Memo from the Travel Desk - bringing back the glory:
Rexall is serious about negative blogs: Now onto the bizarre, although I guess from an Israeli standpoint, this is the normal. Guns are everywhere, as are soldiers.

Playoff Probabilities: Applying Score-Adjusted Fenwick% - Fear The Fin
We're basically killing 2 birds with 1 stone by setting up an "experiment" for which variable predicts future success the best, while also looking at current team rankings through playoff probabilities. Let's look at data through the lens of the currently most predictive model, score adjusted fenwick%

Fenwick Rankings at All-Star Break - Arctic Ice Hockey
With the All-Star lull, I thought I'd check in on Fenwick rankings. Our top four teams are basically locked in, with Chicago and San Jose jumping up one spot each as Vancouver drops slightly. The big movers are Colorado and (!) the New York Islanders, each moving up seven spots. At the other end of the spectrum, Washington and Florida dropped six spots.

Do hockey fights lift a team's performance? - Sabermetric Research
But, if *either* team can benefit from a fight, what's the point? You want to know if *your* team can benefit from a fight, at least more than the other team does. The problem is: how can you know that? A fight involves both teams, so if it helps one, it hurts another by the same amount. If you look at both teams, you'll always find the total effect to be zero.

Why Do Score Effects Exist? - Driving Play
To fool the average fan, obviously. We talk a lot about score effects. The idea is that when a team is behind they will tend to dominate and teams that are ahead find themselves in their own end more often than when the score is tied. This occurs because teams have different incentives - if you are ahead then preventing the other team from scoring is more important than scoring yourself, so you'll play less aggressively forcing the other team to work for it. Similarly, if you are behind then scoring becomes far more important so you are willing to take chances, pinch with your defensemen, have them jump into rushes and so on.

Sissons and Murray Named Team Orr and Team Cherry Captains - The World of Junior Hockey
Colton Sissons of the host Kelowna Rockets will captain Team Orr which will be coached by Pat Quinn, while Ryan Murray of the Everett Silvertips will be captain for Team Cherry which is coached by Mark Recchi.

Oilers-related items

I’m with Hallsy Potter -
As we roll towards the conclusion of another utterly awful year of Oilers hockey, it becomes more and more difficult to care about anything associated with the team. The terrible hockey and terrible decision making just starts to numb you after a while. The impact on your fandom is like freezing to death; after a while, you don’t even notice the cold and just drift away.

Captain Latvia Looking to Build on WJC - Coming Down the Pipe
In what was a terrific honor for him, Pelss was chosen by his teammates to be the captain of the Latvian squad. It was a role that was new to him but one he said he will cherish for a long time.

What Is Nikolai Khabibulin’s Role With The Oilers? - Cult of Hockey

Comparing The Oilers Rebuild To Don Waddell’s Work In Atlanta - Cult of Hockey
The fact is that not all builds or rebuilds end up that way. There are many examples of failed teams that tried to do things the Oilers way, and found out that after getting into the pit they were unable to extricate themselves.