The Lubo Factor

The Lubo Factor?

The Lubo Factor?

It’s been a pretty quiet off season for us Oilers’ fans save for the ill-fated Heatley trade proposal leak.  We’ve seen a change at the helm in terms of Craig MacTavish out and Tom Renney and Pat Quinn in.  Other than to completely state the obvious, we’ve replaced Roli with Nikolai Khabibulin.  To address the goalie change, it seems like it will be of dubious value since any potential incremental improvement resulting from the Bulin wall factor will be mitigated by him playing far less games than Dwayne Roloson.

As for the coaching, the Oilers fans wanted a head to roll after three consecutive seasons of missing the playoffs.  From the fans’ perspective, I’ve read everything from Macblender (reflecting his constant line mixing) to the fact that he was simply ‘out coached’ be nearly every coach in the league.  Though MacT will never likely get an honorary Phd in Psychology nor go on a motivational world tour with Anthony Robbins, it seems that he did do some things right.  After pouring over statzis like Derek Zona, MC79 hockey, and Vic Ferrari, it appears that MacT did a pretty decent job in my opinion at least in terms of line matching and choosing who was on the ice for defensive zone faceoffs.  Perhaps, some of his bizarre decisions such as Smid on the wing or Reddox on 1Lw were meant to send a message to management that roster changes were needed or desired.  MacT spent much of the year putting various players in the dog house, ultimately, he became the sole proprietor of the dog house that he himself had created.

On the bright side, the one thing that we have to look forward to most is the Lubo Factor.  Yes, a healthy Lubomir Visnovsky as it is currently rumored is the brightest hope that Oilers’ fans currently have.   On one hockey forum, some poster who I cannot recall suggested that the loss of Lubo to injury adversely affected Ales Hemsky’s production.  Though it’s not hard to see that Hemsky’s point production declined after Lubo was injured, it certainly could have resulted from other factors.

Sky+Sky= Goalas

Sky+Sky= Goalas

Lubomir Visnovsky:

  • Boxcars: 50gp, 8-23-31 30pims
  • Plus Minus: +6
  • Corsi: +5.8
  • GF/GA ON: 37-27
Visnovsky playing with Hemmer

Visnovsky playing with Hemmer

What do these numbers tell us?

First, they are only even strength numbers as I was unable to find similar number for power play time.  In terms of defense, both Luvo and Hemmer leak less goals when playing together at even strength rather than apart.  As well, Hemmer leaked more goals/20 when playing without Lubo than Lubo did without Hemmer.

In terms of offense, Hemmer’s even strength goals/20 declined from 0.976 to 0.867 when playing without lubo.  However, from my rough calculations (not presented here), this difference would have resulted in perhaps 1 more GF over the course of the season had Lubo not been injured (assuming they played a similar amount of time together).

When looking at these stats together, something obvious does jump out.  Together Hemmer and Lubo went 13-7 GF/GA, yet when Hemsky played without Lubo, he went 33-36 GF/GA at even strength.

Bottom line:

At even strength in terms of goals scored while he was on the ice, Hemmer did miss Lubo but not really to a very significant degree.  However, in terms of GF/GA ratios, Hemmer was overall much more effective at even strength when playing with Lubo.  Surprisingly perhaps, this ratio was more affected by the increase in goals against without Lubo more so than the decline in offensive production in his absence.



8 thoughts on “The Lubo Factor

  1. Hey Noob,

    Good post. I don’t know if there was quite enough time to judge Hemmer with Visnovsky, but I can very confidently say that this team NEEDS Visnovsky healthy. He’s a great d-man and I’d make that trade over and over again without question (although unlike Tambellini and/or Lowe, I’d actually replace Stoll!).

    Anyways, another point of interest is Lubo’s chemistry with other defencemen. People oft suggest him and Souray at even strength. This has been very poor, statistically, but him and Grebs have been fantastic together. I really think Grebeshkov has and will continue to learn a lot from Lubo.

  2. Sorry, I logged in with the wrong e-mail address and it used my admin account from my blog.. I am in no way an admin on this wonderful blog (for the other posters info).

  3. Hey Racki,

    Yeah that admin avatar even had me puzzled initially, lol. Hey, if you actually wanted to be an admin, you know I would make you one every day of the week and twice on Sundays, lol.

    Though I couldn’t find a database to pull the same numbers on the power play, it’s worthwhile to note that Visnovsky had 17/31 of his points on the power play while Hemsky had 31/66 on the power play. It’s therefore likely that the absence of Visnovsky could have had a bigger impact on Hemsky’s point production with the man advantage rather than these numbers for 5v5.

  4. Admin of one site is definitely time consuming enough! 😆

    But on topic, if you ever find some good stat sites that aren’t linked on my page, please drop me a line. I’m always scowering for some good sites. One day Steve-O and I are going to try and tabulate all this stuff ourselves, but it’s a lot of work.

  5. Racki, yeah that would be pretty time consuming. The Lubo trade was definitely a good one as I forgot to write in the previous comment–so I agree with you on that for sure. I checked Hockey Analysis and you’re thoughts seem to be correct at least at even strength. For whatever reason, Souray and Visnovsky really play poorly together at even strength–both in terms of goals for and against.

  6. Yah it would be nice to dig up the powerplay stats. But I really like Souray and Gilbert on one pairing and Visnovsky Grebeshkov on the other. That gives a pretty lethal back end on both powerplays. Question being, which one is our top line? Or should I say, which one do you consider the bottom line. They’re both fantastic pairings.

  7. Yeah, it will be interesting to see what Quinn comes up with in terms of lines for our roster including the defensive pairings. Having two offensively strong pairings on the PP makes sense in terms of dmen. Your d pairings are consistent with whom they played with last year. Not sure which pairing will be the number one unit next year given the new coaches.

  8. Pingback: An evaluation of the Oilers roster with ESTR? « Low On Oil

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