## Friday, January 22, 2016

### Oilers Lineup Value Metric (LVM)

I'm coining a new term called Lineup Value Metric (LVM).

Yesterday, I proposed a way of putting metrics to line combinations as follows, and I think I like it. None of you made any comments, which is surprising, because I like to hear what you think!

Ideal is:
1st Line (4 x):  4 + 4 + 4     = 48
2nd Line (3 x):  3 + 3 + 3     = 27
3rd Line (2 x):  2 + 2 + 2     = 12
4th Line (1 x):  1 + 1 + 1     =  3
Total point value:               90

Starting line up last night vs. Dallas was:
1st Line (4 x):  4 + 4 + 4     = 48 - 48 =  0
2nd Line (3 x):  1 + (3-1) + 3 = 18 - 27 = -9
3rd Line (2 x):  (2-1) + 1 + 1 =  6 - 12 = -6
4th Line (1 x):  1 + (-1) + 2  =  2 -  3 = -1
Total off ideal lineup:          74 - 90 = -16 or 82.2%

Then I noticed Yak and Klinkhammer switched spots. That was an improvement as Yak scored. So here I'm switching the 2nd line LW and 4th line RW. Yes, it could be argued that Yak is a 2nd liner. With a good centreman he certainly is, so in this case, with Pouliot not even being a centreman, I'll keep Yak at a 2 value.

1st Line (4 x):  4 + 4 + 4     = 48 - 48 =   0
2nd Line (3 x):  2 + (3-1) + 3 = 21 - 27 =  -6
3rd Line (2 x):  (2-1) + 1 + 1 =  6 - 12 =  -6
4th Line (1 x):  1 + (-1) + 1  =  1 -  3 =  -2
Total off ideal lineup:          76 - 90 = -14 or 84.4%

So there was a slight improvement of 2 points with that switch.

On Defense, we would have a system whereby the top defenders should be treated the same as top forwards. But frankly, defense is too important to think the bottom pair is worth far less. With that, I'm going to multiply each line by 4, but start the players with a 4 on 1st line and downward. They'll get a -1 if they're on their off-shot side.

Ideal defense:
1st Pair (4 x):  4 + 4 = 32
2nd Pair (4 x):  3 + 3 = 24
3rd Pair (4 x):  2 + 2 = 16
Total ideal value:       72

In understanding that none of the defenders are true top pairing guys except maybe Sekera and Klefbom (IR), that doesn't play into this as we are dealing with the current lineup as it is, not some fantasy situation.  That said, I will assign the line pair value. For example, Mark Fayne is not a top pairing d-man. 2nd pair at best, so he gets a 2. Schultz is not a 2nd pairing guy but a 3rd, but Nurse barely is.  It could be argued that Davidson is a 2nd pairing guy, but we'll leave him where he is.

Last night's pairings started as:
Sekera + Fayne   = 4 x (4 + 3) = 28 - 32 = -4
Nurse  + Schultz = 4 x (3 + 2) = 20 - 24 = -4
Davidson + Gryba = 4 x (2 + 2) = 16 - 16 =  0
Total off ideal lineup (LVM):    64 - 72 = -8 or 89%

Then when Davidson got injured, that's essentially a (2-1=1) in that spot with other d-men playing extra minutes.  That drops the 3rd pair by -4, making the defense be a -10 late in the 3rd period and the team running on a -14 LVM for forwards and -10 LVM for defense for a total of 76+60-90-72 = -26 LVM or 136/162 = 84%.

With Davidson injured, look to Brad Hunt to step in. That won't change the lineup much, but Hunt is not a 2, but a 1.  The real change will happen when McDavid returns on Feb 2.  I'm going to change a couple things in the ideal metric here:

Purcell is not an ideal 1st line right-winger and is a 2nd line guy at best, so he's a 3 not a 4.  McDavid is ideal and should be a 4 as are Hall and Draisaitl. Hendricks is also a 3rd line guy, Lander shouldn't be in the lineup anymore, but with Nuge out, the lineup should look like this on Groundhog Day.

Hall + Draisaitl + Purcell
Pouliot + McDavid + Eberle
Yakupov + Letestu + Kassian
Hendricks + Lander + Pakarinen

1st Line (4 x):  4 + 4 + 3  = 44 - 48 =  -4
2nd Line (3 x):  3 + 4 + 3  = 30 - 27 =  +3
3rd Line (2 x):  2 + 1 + 2  = 10 - 12 =  -2
4th Line (1 x):  2 + 0 + 1  =  3 -  3 =   0
Total off ideal lineup (LVM): 87 - 90 =  -3 or ironically 97%.

And yes, in the future, McDavid can be a 5.  So can Hall.  I'm thinking of tracking this for every game from now on and compare to results.  Stay tuned!