I think it’s safe to say the Edmonton Oilers are committed to Oscar Klefbom and Justin Schultz, in fact it appears they are willing to move forward with the youngster as a tandem. Is that wise? Let’s have a look.
OSCAR AND JUSTIN
|5X5 CORSI FOR %||49.7||50.2||52.6|
|OFFENSIVE ZONE STARTS||55.6||63.2|
|QUAL COMP||No. 5||No. 7|
This is fascinating information if the Oilers are in fact planning to proceed in this way. What we have here is a soft minutes pairing that is coming in at about 50% on the shot differential—and they are playing with terrific forwards, best available. If Craig MacTavish plans to proceed with this pairing in this way, that’s fine. However, it’s going to be a very expensive pairing and a big part of the game is going to be left out there for others.
MARTIN AND MARK
|5X5 CORSI FOR %||49.8||46.0||45.3|
|OFFENSIVE ZONE STARTS||45.5||43.3|
|QUAL COMP||No. 1||No. 2|
Here’s part of the current answer to the question about those tough outs. Young Martin Marincin and veteran Mark Fayne are taking on a hard road and honestly the shot differential isn’t tragic. For Marincin, a much maligned (by management) defender to be around 50% Corsi 5×5 for is a damned big story in this season. Alas, as with Jeff Petry, we know it but does Craig MacTavish? The verbal suggests that is not the case.
I was struck by the similarities between this situation and something Travis Yost wrote today about Patrick Wiercioch in Ottawa. We are seeing (and have for some time) things old-style GMs are either slow to recognize or refuse to believe as fact. Part of this is sample size (really, all of the numbers above can be questioned in regard to that) but the Jeff Petry situation added to Martin Marincin’s is a tell.
A tell, as in poker. Martin Marincin is a solid young NHL prospect who, if handled correctly, could be a significant piece for a successful NHL team. Do you believe that team will be Edmonton? It’s an incredible irony and it’s funny: The one guy who might be able to save MacTavish and the GM doesn’t know his name. If it’s so funny, why can’t I laugh? Todd Nelson’s importance to this organization could be staggering. Godspeed, Fonzie.