Monday, November 07, 2005


So for at least one night...

...I don't have to put up with Sacamano pointing at the thru-1/5th-of-the-season conference standings as proof that the Oil is the better team, regardless of the two times they've actually played each other. Huzzah! More tomorrow, I'm sure.


No, you don't have to put up with that. You do, however, have to put up with me pointing out that Edmonton is 8-8 while Calgary is 8-9, and that Calgary has had the weaker schedule (two fixtures apiece vs. Phoenix and Columbus). There's no serious doubt about which team has been better so far.

Not that stats are anything. But the Oilers have lost some serious man games to injury. No I am not saying Ullie is Phanuef but geez the defence is in tatters right now. Did not expect to win Dallas. Was it me or was there some weak calls last night. Jeez I like Iginla but it looked like interpretive dance when he went down.

Last nights game was the first chance I've really had to watch Dion Phaneuf play. Man what a show he put on, no way is he playing like a rookie, it appears like he's been in the league awhile... simply amazing. He reminds me of Larry Robinson, he can hit, fight and score, he could be the best D-man to enter the league in some time.

Cosh, I agree 100% with the rule of thumb; that a team needs to be at least .500, including their OTLs, to have a reasonable expectation of making the playoffs.

But weaker schedule? So Calgary has played Columbus twice, while Edmonton has played them once and St.Lou once; I think that's a wash. Even if you stipulate that Phoenix is a weak team, which I'm not sure is clear yet, the Flames didn't take any points off of them, so they might as well have been Ottawa.

The only plausible way to argue that Calgary has had a weaker schedule is to point out that they've played the Oilers twice, while the Oil has had to play the Flames twice. I agree, but that doesn't really support your conclusion, does it...

Yes, with the Flames 2-0 in head to head meetings and outscoring the otehr side 6-1), there is no doubt which has been the better team so far.

Did you just argue that Phoenix can't count as a crummy team in calculating strength-of-schedule because they beat Calgary twice? I guess by that standard, you win the argument automatically. Phoenix is 5-10 without those games against Calgary, for God's sake.

The Oilers have also faced a surprisingly strong Colorado squad three times to Calgary's one. I have a computer tracking this stuff--it shouldn't be assumed that I'm inventing an argument and then looking for support.

By the way, imagine how brutal it is to find that my only truly dead-on pre-season prediction was that Phaneuf was ready to be a top-pairing NHL defenceman immediately. I was seriously hoping Sutter would leave young Farnsworth in the AHL--and instead the troupe of nitwits running my team left camp with Rob Schremp on the side of the road. Kill me now.

No, I'd say that the Hawks, Blues, and C-Bus are certifiably crummy, whereas Phoenix has performed inconsistently (and poorly), but might turn out to be a pretty decent team.

But I tell you what: I'll concede to you and your computer that Edmonton has played a tougher schedule, if you'll concede that a good way to tell which of two teams with nearly identical records is better is by looking at what happened when they actually played each other.

. . . when both teams have full line-ups.

Right...because Ryan Smyth is the second coming of Mike Bossy, while Regehr and Lombardi are--what--ECHL callups?

Cosh's computer has a schedule tracker, and Sacamano's has an Excuse Generator.

Is this the same Lombardi who played against the Oilers or a different one?

Likewise, are you seriously comparing Ryan Smith's 12 points in 10 games and Horcoff's 13 points in 14 games with Rehehr's 0 points in 3 games and Lombardi's 3 points in 6 games?

- Smyth and Regehr missed both matchups
- Horcoff missed the 1st
- Lombardi missed the 2nd
- I wouldn't trade Regehr for Smyth even if you threw in his wife's cinnamon buns

I guess I am seriously comparing Regehr's capacity to help his team with Smyth's. Is this somehow controversial?


Speaking of excuses and schedules, I assume Cosh's computer is also taking into account the fact that by the end of November, Edmonton will have had 7 back-to-backs while Calgary will have only had 2.

It doesn't, but that fact is really starting to piss me off, yeah.

And no, I don't think "a good way to tell which of two teams with nearly identical records is better is by looking at what happened when they actually played each other." The Oilers have a better record despite losing those games to Calgary, which means they are that much better against the rest of the league (despite having played a tougher slice of it).

The head-to-head record has special significance for future games between the two clubs, and obvious importance on a "Battle of Alberta" weblog, but for gauging overall quality, a game is a game. The NHL, in its infinite wisdom, has decided not to just have Calgary play Edmonton 82 times. I prefer to use all the data, rather than throwing most of it out.

What's the online shorthand for a raspberry? This better record of the Oilers you mention is identical save for one fewer overtime loss.

If the Oil loses in Nashville tonight, and has an identical or worse record than Calgary, should I still ignore the head-to-head games?

If the records weren't so similar, we probably wouldn't be having this discussion (OK, we would, but...).

I'm not telling you to ignore the head-to-head games. The two games count in the calculation as two games. You're the one who wants to throw out inconvenient information and scrunch the season down to eight head-to-head matchups. You tell me--would you rather the Flames won the BoA season series and missed the playoffs than the contrary? (If the answer is "yes", I'd say things are shaping up pretty well for you so far.)

Oh brother. If the team with the most injuries gets to be declared the better team, then the Flames won the Stanley Cup last time because Tampa iced a healthier line up than them. They also faced tougher opponents than Tampa. Therefore, on the reasoning in this thread, they are the champs.

The Flames side of this debate is not offering excuses about who is better, just pointing to the head to head as the obvious and conclusive marker.

In 03-04, the Oil failed to beat the Flames in 6 tries and missed the playoffs. The Flames were undoubtedly the better team that year. Moreover, by winning those games, they made the playoffs and are (as noted above) the Champs.

Go Flames.

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