CHIARELLI’S OILERS: HOW ARE THEY BRUIN?

Shortly after Peter Chiarelli arrived as Edmonton Oilers general manager, the club drafted Connor McDavid. These 16 months after PCs arrival, the Bruinization of the Oilers is in full swing, with size and ruggedness being added to 97 and some other skill.

A lot of attention has been paid to the size and grit added, but the Stanley Bruins were a pretty talented bunch. One of the main problems I have with his current roster? There is a massive issue on the forward lines that remains unaddressed. A good way to expose the problem is to look back to that 2011 Bruins club.

BRUINS V. OILERS—LINES

eberle capture14

  • Bruins Top Line 2010-11: Milan Lucic—David Krejci—Nathan Horton. This trio combined for 6.62 shots per game (each player’s totals divided by GP, then added to the other two players) and .878 goals per game. These three men were integral pieces in the Stanley team of 2011—the wingers close to 17 minutes and Krejci close to 19 minutes.
  • Oilers Likely Top Line 2016-17: Milan Lucic—Connor McDavid—Jordan Eberle. This trio (on different lines and teams depending on player) combined for 6.37 shots per game (as above) and .964 goals per game. The two wingers listed here played 17 and 18 minutes per game, McDavid 19 minutes.

All things being equal, I prefer the Oilers projected top line—although the Bruins line was bigger and tougher, with more experience at center. The generational talent that is McDavid gives Edmonton the edge in my opinion.

nugent-hopkins tbay capture

  • Bruins Second Line 2010-11: Brad Marchand—Patrice Bergeron—Mark Recchi. This trio combined for 6.2 shots per game (almost as productive as the 1line) and .720 goals per game (again lower, but very productive). This line played 18 (Bergeron), 16 (Recchi) and 14 (Marchand) minutes per game.
  • Oilers Likely Second Line 2016-17: Benoit Pouliot—Ryan Nugent-Hopkins—Zack Kassian  This group scored at 5.10 shots per game and .555 goals per game—shy of the Bruins line of 2011 due almost solely to Kassian’s presence.

Chiarelli’s Bruins had the advantage of an exceptional center (Bergeron is dreamy) and an up and coming winger in Marchand. Edmonton has some of the pieces of an effective second line, but badly need RNH to perform at a higher level offensively in the coming season—and a more substantial RW option. Jesse Puljujarvi may end up here. Seriously.

draisaitl orange capture1

  • Bruins Third Line 2010-11: Blake Wheeler—Tyler Seguin—Michael Ryder. This trio (I am cheating a little, because people were traded and others played up and down the lineup) combined for 5.6 shots per game (this is very, very good for a 3line) and .567 goals per game (again, terrific). The promise of this line is enormous, Chiarelli dealt two very valuable pieces away while winning one Stanley.
  • Oilers Likely Third Line 2016-17: Patrick Maroon—Leon Draisaitl—Nail Yakupov. This trio averaged 5.41 shots per game (a reasonable total and one that rivals the projected 2line) and .563 goals per game (compares to Bruins line in 2011 and Oilers projected 2line).

The talent on that Bruins line is terrific, have to give that group the edge. I imagine someone will mention Leon not playing with Hall next season—and that is true and should be factored in.

pakarinen condors

  • Bruins Fourth Line 2010-11: Daniel Paille—Gregory Campbell—Shawn Thornton. This famous line combined for 4.25 shots and .429 goals per game (that seems like a really good total for a 4line).
  • Oilers Likely Fourth Line 2016-17: Matt Hendricks—Mark Letestu—Iiro Pakarinen. This line combined for 3.43 and .275 goals per game. This is directly tied to my overall point.

SCORING BY LINES

BRUINS OILERS

I think the Oilers top three lines could work out pretty well—but the presence of Kassian in this model shows the team is shy in the top 9F. I am fairly certain Peter Chiarelli has confidence that Kassian can play in the top 9F (I see no reason to count on it) and he is probably happy that JP fell to them in the first round 2016. Me too, but not this year—not to count on it, anyway. Radim Vrbata would have been a strong add for this team in my opinion. Opportunity lost.

As for the fourth line: I do not see a lot of help for Mark Letestu, who for me is a reasonable 4C on a contending NHL team. I know many of you don’t feel that way, but for me he was carting around several poor wingers a year ago.

PS: The team is shaping up in a similar fashion to the Doug Flynn Expos. Frustrating to watch one part of the lineup give back the hard-earned wins delivered by the heart of the order. Frustrating. Frustrating and avoidable. I watched a lot of Tim Raines’ pennant races go down the drain on a GIDP by poor hitters like Flynn, Jeff Huson and Tom Foley.

The reason you want a strong option at every spot in the lineup? To avoid those yellow numbers in the graph above. The Oilers are going to give away what McDavid delivers when he is sitting on the bench. Book it.

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135 Responses to "CHIARELLI’S OILERS: HOW ARE THEY BRUIN?"

  1. LadiesloveSmid says:

    and nothing resembling effective Chara or supernova Tim Thomas

    why can’t you predict Kassian to score 50 and keep me happy, you dink

  2. Centre of attention says:

    Did we keep the receipt for Teddy Purcell??

    Anyone??

  3. Pajamah says:

    Have we considered the option of not letting Connor leave the ice the entire game?

    I mean, isn’t that what intermissions are for?

  4. kinger_OIL says:

    – I see what you are trying to establish, but I don’t think its reasonable to have this roster as starting night roster, and I don’t think Kassian is your top-6 winger.

    – Pou-RNH-Ebs had good chem and numbers together last year….

    *and this post is just LT code for pouting again about no Hall!

  5. LadiesloveSmid says:

    Centre of attention:
    Did we keep the receipt for Teddy Purcell??

    Anyone??

    free Hudler in FA still

    sign the man

  6. RPG says:

    Things look much worse if they use Draisaitl on right wing. The third and fourth lines likely get their teeth kicked in.

  7. mujidog says:

    Don’t worry. Everything will be fine as long as everything goes according to plan, said Oilers management during the offseason the last 10 years.

  8. Centre of attention says:

    I think its a bit to soon to project Kassian as 2RW. My hunch is that he spends most of his time on the third line.

    A Yaksurgence could change the outlook of the third line, as could Puljujarvi delivering. Both are not to be relied upon, but the chance is there. It’s not as F.U.B.A.R as previous seasons, I’ll tell you that much.

    I expect lots of tweaking in-season. I have a feeling the third line will be a constant audition, with guys like Cagguila/Slepyshev getting moonlight showings off and on.

    This being said, I feel like the forward depth is almost as much of a problem now as the D-core. Internal solutions do exist though, so there is at least some respite.

  9. kinger_OIL says:

    – LT: you are projecting 204 goals based on this methodology vs. 212 for the Bruins forward group: really there isn’t much in that at all.

    – The Bruins were a Stanley Cup team: no one is projecting the Oil to be Stanley Cup team: is our forward group comparable to the Stanley Cup Bruins in terms of scoring goals: no guff they aren’t, but 8 goals isn’t that game breaker!

    – Last year the Oil scored 203 goals. If we took your 204 and added 23 goals from the D (that’s their total from last year), they would be top-half in the league is GF: that seems realistic!

  10. Lowetide says:

    kinger_OIL:
    – I see what you are trying to establish, but I don’t think its reasonable to have this roster as starting night roster, and I don’t think Kassian is your top-6 winger.

    – Pou-RNH-Ebs had good chem and numbers together last year….

    *and this post is just LT code for pouting again about no Hall!

    If the Oilers could bring Puljujarvi along like the Bruins brought Marchand (he played 2 and 4 line) that might be ideal, but Yakupov cannot slide up to the Nuge line. JP on the team with Yakupov RW clouds the Finn’s spot imo.

  11. Klima's_Bucket says:

    I’ve been drinking.

    But if Oilers Lucic replicates Bruins Lucic.
    And if Oilers Kassian does his best Nathan Horton impression.
    Then if Connor goes all world to offset Kassian’s impression and leaves Krejci in his rearview.

    If you get off work early on a brutal monday, and get into the sauce a wee bit early, and squint while trying to stand on one leg…then I think you have the makings of a serious top line.

    Cheers.

  12. Water Fire says:

    I’ll be very happy to not watch Teddy P on the Oilers. That would be a big step back in play. The Edmonton Oilers have enough talent, not enough support.

  13. Lowetide says:

    Klima’s_Bucket:
    I’ve been drinking.

    But if Oilers Lucic replicates Bruins Lucic.
    And if Oilers Kassian does his best Nathan Horton impression.
    Then if Connor goes all world to offset Kassian’s impression and leaves Krejci in his rearview.

    If you get off work early on a brutal monday, and get into the sauce a wee bit early, and squint while trying to stand on one leg…then I think you have the makings of a serious top line.

    Cheers.

    I very much like this Oilers top line.

  14. Klima's_Bucket says:

    http://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/nhl/hirsch-explains-how-to-fix-the-problem-with-goalie-equipment-2/

    From the last thread about shrinking goalie equipment.

    This segment with Corey Hirsch explains things.

  15. Centre of attention says:

    Lowetide: If the Oilers could bring Puljujarvi along like the Bruins brought Marchand (he played 2 and 4 line) that might be ideal, but Yakupov cannot slide up to the Nuge line. JP on the team with Yakupov RW clouds the Finn’s spot imo.

    Lucic-McDavid-Yakupov
    Maroon-Nuge-Eberle
    Pouliot-Draisaitl-Puljujarvi
    Hendricks-Letestu-Kassian

    I think that’s reasonable. If Kassian comes in shape like all signs point too, that 4th line isn’t terribly slow. Khaira will be taking over for Hendricks who may spend time in the press box if he slows down anymore. Speed on the 4th line is not anything to worry too much about at this point.

    Slepyshev should be pushing this season too, if he takes a step you can throw another name into the 3RW pool. He did make the team out of camp last year, remember. If he can find the range with that shot, there is a job waiting.

    Yak has a serious opportunity here and he needs to grab it. If he can stick on the 1st line everything becomes clear.

  16. Centre of attention says:

    Lowetide: I very much like this Oilers top line.

    So in that case ignore my previous post and:

    Lucic-McDavid-Kassian
    Pouliot-Nuge-Eberle
    Maroon-Draisaitl-Yakupov
    Hendricks-Letestu-Puljujarvi

    Kassian coming to camp in shape DOES add an element of intrigue, he has posted some decent points-per-60 numbers in limited sample sizes playing on skill lines. If his conditioning can keep up, and he does look lighter, then maybe that sample size gets bigger this year.

  17. Water Fire says:

    The answer to the PP is strategy and reps.

    The answer to 5v5 is rotating the top 6 home and away and set up hard choices for the opposing coach.

    Maybe something like home:

    Lucic McDavid Yak
    Pouliot Nuge Eberle
    Maroon Drai Kassian

    and away:

    Pouliot Nuge Eberle
    Lucic McDavid Drai
    Maroon Letestu Yak

    Load up a little more on the road in the top 6, but still the 3rd line isn’t stone hands on the wings. If Yak wants to be a player that’s what it takes for most, especially given easier comp he should face and that Maroon and Letestu aren’t hockey optional players, if unspectacular. They could always find another centre as well.

    This isn’t factoring in the Finn who may be as effective a RW as the team has by mid point. He has more tools and a better game overall than Eberle and Yak. I’m not saying Cup winner but the bones of a team with hockey players at each position, it’s been a long time.

    LT’s suggested tweaks put them over the top but there seems to be hesitation. Maybe the GM’s need to get back to the office.

    Edit
    maybe away
    Lucic McDavid Eberle
    Pouliot Nuge Drai
    Maroon Letestu Yak

  18. Centre of attention says:

    David Staples
    ‏@dstaples
    @JasonGregor interesting news. So does this mean switch to new smaller goalie equipment may not happen?

    Ray Ferraro ‏@rayferrarotsn 1m1 minute ago
    Ray Ferraro Retweeted David Staples
    I was told by a goalie likely pant adjustment not upper gear

    So it looks like they may just tailor the Goalies pants to be tighter. No more MC Hammer parachute pants seems like a reasonable adjustment. Still, its weird that most goalies haven’t even seen the new equipment yet.

    Typical NHL.

  19. Lowetide says:

    Centre of attention:
    David Staples
    ‏@dstaples
    @JasonGregor interesting news. So does this mean switch to new smaller goalie equipment may not happen?

    Ray Ferraro ‏@rayferrarotsn1m1 minute ago
    Ray Ferraro Retweeted David Staples
    I was told by a goalie likely pant adjustment not upper gear

    So it looks like they may just tailor the Goalies pants to be tighter. No more MC Hammer parachute pants seems like a reasonable adjustment. Still, its weird that most goalies haven’t even seen the new equipment yet.

    Typical NHL.

    Bah! My RE is ruined! 🙂

  20. Centre of attention says:

    Lowetide: Bah! My RE is ruined!

    God damnit, respond to my roster questions!!! They are much more intergral to your RE, Haha! I am intrigued by this Lucic-McDavid-Kassian business.

    Do you think Kassian could score 20 on McDavids wing? He looked lean as a jack rabbit at the golf tourney, does he have it in him to stick with it? It could be huge for the RW depth chart.

    Yak is as good as gone if Kassian legitimately wins a top 6 spot. And in my mind, he would have to win it. I wouldn’t just stick Kassian there regardless of performance. He has to earn it IMO.

  21. Wild Bill Hunter says:

    I think it would make sense at some point to run Yakupov on the first line and Eberle with Nuge on the second unit. McDavid will create confidence in Yak (just keep your stick on the ice and use that laser shot baby!) and Ebs/Nuge/Pouliot have been a very productive unit in the past. I could see injuries opening up spots for Puljujarvi and Cagiulla before too long. It might not take too long for those two guys (who bring speed and two way play to the table) to make their way into the mix with good results. I also think Pakarinen is better than suggested in this article.

    IMO the forwards are very close to being a balanced productive unit with the McDavid line being scary good. The problem is that the defence is going to need to improve. That doesn’t necessarily mean the team NEEDS to trade for a rhd who fits the mold…perhaps Davidson, Nurse, Larsson continue to mature into more effective puck movers. Klefbom staying healthy and building off of last year’s breakthrough would be huge, and Sekera’s play looking more like it did after the shaky start would help too.

    Players do not develop and perform in predictable straight lines…the Oilers have several players who could very realistically improve empirically this season. In the end I am confident that this year’s team has much better potential than did last year’s team.

  22. G Money says:

    When mulling line combos and how to deploy the RW, this little chart recently tweeted by Jim Roepcke is interesting to say the least:

    Not only is Yak’s P/60 better w/ 4 of Ebs’ 6 most frequent linemates, 5 of 6 have better P/60s with Yak too. #Oilers pic.twitter.com/oPvnafzpcs— Jim Roepcke (@JimRoepckeOilrs) 26 July 2016

    (Pouzar will immediately get miffed at this latest attack on Ebs, which of course it is not)

    I continue to be amazed at how easily folks here sell the progress made by Yak this year short, and continue to be unable to assess his results in the context of the extensive amount of time he spent in the Zombies Playground.

    Kassian is going to replace Yak? Please. The guy is 25 years old (career 0.31 ppg), and his career best season (0.39 ppg) falls short of Yak’s career average (0.44 ppg), never mind his career best.

    If Kassian can become a productive bottom 6 player and actually help the team not give away everything the top two lines earn, it will be a huge bonus and a huge help. I have my fingers crossed.

    But even pencilling him in the top 6 is madness.

  23. Lowetide says:

    Centre of attention: God damnit, respond to my roster questions!!! They are much more intergral to your RE, Haha! I am intrigued by this Lucic-McDavid-Kassian business.

    Do you think Kassian could score 20 on McDavids wing? He looked lean as a jack rabbit at the golf tourney, does he have it in him to stick with it? It could be huge for the RW depth chart.

    Yak is as good as gone if Kassian legitimately wins a top 6 spot. And in my mind, he would have to win it. I wouldn’t just stick Kassian there regardless of performance. He has to earn it IMO.

    I don’t know, honestly. I kind of have the RW options as Eberle, Puljujarvi, Yakupov Kassian for Edmonton this year (Leon moving over as needed). However, I think Puljujarvi and Yakupov on the same team is a lot of chaos at one spot.

    I think Yakupov is going to have a tough time if the Finn is as good as we think he might be.

  24. Centre of attention says:

    G Money:
    When mulling line combos and how to deploy the RW, this little chart recently tweeted by Jim Roepcke is interesting to say the least:

    (Pouzar will immediately get miffed at this latest attack on Ebs, which of course it is not)

    I continue to be amazed at how easily folks here sell the progress made by Yak this year short, and continue to be unable to assess his results in the context of the extensive amount of time he spent in the Zombies Playground.

    Kassian is going to replace Yak? Please. The guy is 25 years old (career 0.31 ppg), and his career best season (0.39 ppg) falls short of Yak’s career average (0.44 ppg), never mind his career best.

    If Kassian can become a productive bottom 6 player and actually help the team not give away everything the top two lines earn, it will be a huge bonus and a huge help.I have my fingers crossed.

    But even pencilling him in the top 6 is madness.

    I never said replace him, but if Yak struggles (Yak has a habit of struggling at times) it opens the door for someone to move up. Todd doesn’t have patience for Yak, and quickly demoted him at the first hiccup.

    I am partially trying to predict what the Oilers will do. If it were up to me I would give Yak some more rope in the top 6, let him try and get established. Thats what the coach SAID he would do at the media avail, lets see how it rolls.

    Lowetide: I don’t know, honestly. I kind of have the RW options as Eberle, Puljujarvi, Yakupov Kassian for Edmonton this year (Leon moving over as needed). However, I think Puljujarvi and Yakupov on the same team is a lot of chaos at one spot.

    I think Yakupov is going to have a tough time if the Finn is as good as we think he might be.

    Yak is going to have it tough any which way you look at it. The way I see it, he is either on McDavids line or his place on the roster is seriously in question.

    The only way I see Kassian seeing top 6 time is if Yak pisses off Todd McLellan, and there is a VERY good chance that happens. Like in training camp.

    I love Yak, and those numbers G posted are interesting, but I fear the dice are cast. Just my opinion.

  25. Lowetide says:

    Centre: Agree on Yakupov. Another dicey fall and winter for the Russian I expect.

  26. LadiesloveSmid says:

    G Money,

    was Yak’s deployment with McDavid not significantly easier?

    I still think if they keep him they should play him with 97, RNH needs Eberle more than McDavid does and chemistry exists between the two.

    Pouliot-McD-Yak
    Maroon-RNH-Eberle
    Lucic-Drai-Pulju/Kass

  27. Centre of attention says:

    G Money,

    Lowetide:
    Centre: Agree on Yakupov.Another dicey fall and winter for the Russian I expect.

    Those numbers G posted are slightly surprising.

    We have to remember though, Yaks per 60 numbers with McDavid this year were over less than a 20 game sample size. Lots of them were simple assists or second assists, simple bounces off the boards that a guy like Kassian could execute. I specifically remember a couple assists just like that, where he bounces it off the boards and out and McDavid does the rest. Quite often, Yak instead put the team offside ruining more than one McDavid break away.

    For example, check out a guy like Maroon. When playing with Connor Maroon executed some simple board plays and had his stick open in the slot like a pretty average NHL’er, and he was almost a point per game AND scored more goals than Yak in a similar sample size. Maroon is also too f*cking slow to put McDavid offside, so McDavid can do his controlled zone entries with ease.

    I’m a huge Yak fan by the way and cheer as loud as anyone when he scores. But he does these little things that piss off coaches (and observant fans) and unless he works on those things he won’t have a successful NHL career regardless of individual talent. He needs to take the “individual” out of his individual talent to put it another way.

    Again, just more opinion of mine. Take it for what its worth (not much) or ignore it.

  28. Mr DeBakey says:

    Centre of attention: Do you think Kassian could score 20 on McDavids wing?

    Over how many seasons?

  29. Pouzar says:

    G Money: Pouzar will immediately get miffed at this latest attack on Ebs, which of course it is not

    I am staying away from all things Yak/Nurse starting NOW!

  30. Lowetide says:

    Centre: One of the things we need to remember when comparing Eberle and Yakupov is that he was injured and came back slowly.

    November 12, 3-0-3 .250
    Dec+ 57, 22-22-44 .772

    The other side of that is that Yak had a strong run early (when Eberle was hurt) and then a long, difficult season

    October 12, 2-8-10 .833
    November 10, 0-2-2 .200
    Dec+ 38, 6-5-11 .289

    I think the Oilers could use Yakupov on the top line, but my guess is they use Eberle based on their own past.

  31. blainer says:

    Centre of attention: Lucic-McDavid-Yakupov
    Maroon-Nuge-Eberle
    Pouliot-Draisaitl-Puljujarvi
    Hendricks-Letestu-Kassian

    I think that’s reasonable. If Kassian comes in shape like all signs point too, that 4th line isn’t terribly slow. Khaira will be taking over for Hendricks who may spend time in the press box if he slows down anymore. Speed on the 4th line is not anything to worry too much about at this point.

    Slepyshev should be pushing this season too, if he takes a step you can throw another name into the 3RW pool. He did make the team out of camp last year, remember. If he can find the range with that shot, there is a job waiting.

    Yak has a serious opportunity here and he needs to grab it. If he can stick on the 1st line everything becomes clear.

    This is my exact opening night lineup for the forwards. I agree Yak has to grab this last chance. In limited play with CMD last year he was getting the puck to him very quickly and getting in position to help make things happen.

    I think Yak could surprise even me on that first line.

    As for Puli… I think he makes the opening night roster on a temporary basis. He will be monitored very closely and sent down by game 10 if he is not ready.

    I was watching the highlights of both Laine and Puli and to my eye they are very close in talent. I believe they are both gonna be special. We need to be very careful with this player.

    To me the biggest problem yet again this year is goaltending. If Talbot struggles or gets injured we are right back in the lottery.

  32. Pouzar says:

    Is there a chance JP stays overseas? That would be my preference.

  33. Lowetide says:

    Pouzar:
    Is there a chance JP stays overseas? That would be my preference.

    Sure. That said, we have a decade of history that suggests he will be in the opening night lineup.

  34. Centre of attention says:

    Lowetide:
    Centre: One of the things we need to remember when comparing Eberle and Yakupov is that he was injured and came back slowly.

    November 12, 3-0-3 .250
    Dec+ 57, 22-22-44 .772

    The other side of that is that Yak had a strong run early (when Eberle was hurt) and then a long, difficult season

    October 12, 2-8-10 .833
    November 10, 0-2-2 .200
    Dec+ 38, 6-5-11 .289

    I think the Oilers could use Yakupov on the top line, but my guess is they use Eberle based on their own past.

    I agree, I want the coach to give Yak some rope in the top 6. I also think the coach feels Eberle is more reliable. G Money can disagree with that, but the proof is in his usage.

    I was trying to be specifically critical of Yaks goal production during that October run with McDavid. Anyone can collect assists on McDavids line, but if your shooting% is trending like Yaks things aren’t going to work out.

    McDavid needs a gunner on the right side, Yakupov can be that. But Yak needs to get his sights checked. Goal production is one area where Eberle blows Yak out of the water.

    Another thing to consider is that they may just stick Yak with McDavid, let him score a bit then trade him anyways. Yak scoring early doesn’t guarantee him a roster spot is all I’m saying. This would be the most Oiler thing to do, but not my personal preference.

  35. G Money says:

    LadiesloveSmid,

    The flip side to Yak’s time with McDavid being easier comp is it was also the hardest segment of the Oilers schedule (by quite a wide margin). So those numbers were posted against a murderers row of the best teams in the league. (And in fact, Roepcke also looked at how the various Oilers players did when playing against the best teams, and you see similar results, with Yak way higher than you’d ever expect he’d be given the withering criticism)

    Centre of attention,

    The flip side to that description is I saw a ton of times where the only guy able to execute an effective forecheck, retrieve the puck, make a sweet pass to an open man, then drive to and create havoc in front of the net that allowed the goal scorer to eventually score was … Yak.

    And in many of those circumstances, the supreme irony is that Yak didn’t get a point, but without him, there was no goal.

    The passing project recently posted a team by team analysis of ‘dangerous setups’ (Woodguy posted them here a few threads ago). Again little mentioned: in the three categories they looked at, Yak was #5, #1, and #5 on the team. Imagine where he’d bee if he had hockey sense!

    That’s likely why the cumulative points for that line were so high (through the first 10 games or so of the season, the McYakPoo line was the highest scoring line in the league, neck and neck with Kane’s line), but Yak’s points, especially his goals, stayed modest. The effect shows, if you’re watching. Observant fan indeed.

    That entire process, of course, for reasons I don’t understand gets held against him rather than for him (though I have little doubt if he was Nick Yarrow from Winnipeg, that style of play would be ‘unselfish and gritty’ … which is exactly what he and it was).

    No chance, none whatsoever, that Kassian could ever make that happen. He’s never shown that ability. He’s there for the gritensity, the jaw smashing if you will – the skill flashes are rare and fleeting.

    That’s why even pencilling him in the Top 6 is madness, and if it happens, I’d guess the Oilers will be on track for yet another bottom 3 finish.

    As for Yak, he needs to get those bees, the offsides, and the defensive brain farts under control. He needs coaching, not censure. He’s already 22, and I’d guess his window for becoming an effective NHL player is closing pretty fast.

    Last Chance Texaco. DON’T MENTION THE WAR.

    That he and his linemates can score so effectively despite those issues says something positive to me.

    I hope it says the same to TMc … or we’ll all bear witness as TMc and the Oilers drown yet another rookijarvi, and flush the possibility of unicorns (and possibly another season with it) down the drain.

  36. LadiesloveSmid says:

    Lowetide: Sure. That said, we have a decade of history that suggests he will be in the opening night lineup.

    my inner optimist tells me his speed, shot, and knack for getting open & behind defenders in the O-zone will have him stapled to McDavid by season’s end on merit. Just don’t like that they’re betting on it with someone as good as Hudler out there that could take Vrbata’s 1M deal

  37. Lowetide says:

    LadiesloveSmid: my inner optimist tells me his speed, shot, and knack for getting open & behind defenders in the O-zone will have him stapled to McDavid by season’s end on merit. Just don’t like that they’re betting on it with someone as good as Hudler out there that could take Vrbata’s 1M deal

    I think his being RH will help Puljujarvi, he could even get PP time down the line. There are going to be growing pains, and combined with the issues Yak has had in the past, I can see the Oilers choosing one over the other. JP in Bakersfield ripping it up isn’t the worst idea.

  38. G Money says:

    Pouzar,

    Ditto. I’m also happy to see him in the AHL.

    Or even the NHL! That is, if he actually deserves to stay and not because the Oilers refuse to play Yak at 2RW and haven’t got anyone else to block him.

    I suspect if we all had to bet, we’d bet the third one, wouldn’t we? Because Oilers . . .

    Pouzar: I am staying away from all things Yak/Nurse starting NOW!

    Just yell NARK! at the various combatants, which is a clever juxtaposition of Nurse and Yak, and I bet you’ll feel excellent!

  39. LadiesloveSmid says:

    G Money,

    it was McDavid’s first dozen games too, I’ll concede

    I think more than anything I’d just play Yak with McDavid because he and RNH simply don’t mesh and RNH sort of needs Eberle in my eyes.

    BTW, thanks for remembering to upload that Goloubef chart. Has decent P/60 numbers the past 2 seasons, wondering if his spread is a teammate thing at all or if he’s just a ricki numbers sweetheart the same way Kevan Miller is

  40. digger50 says:

    Great blog, you are throwing it out there again and I’m catching what you’re pitching.

    The roster could so easily be improved to drive down risk and increase options and chance of success. Way, way too many “ifs” it’s no way to manage an NHL team trying to beak out of the basement.

    Maybe two reasons. The Oil really, really believe in Cagguila, PJarvi, Sleppy, and JJ, plus the young defencemen.

    Or they are waiting to pick someone up.just hope it is an addition not a swap leaving another hole.

    Kassian, Yak, Ito, Hendy, Letestu, Landers, Marroon, Nurse, PJarvi, Rienhart, Musil, Osterle, Fayne……so many question marks. They can’t all play with McDavid.

    My preference is Drai to Nuge wing and shore up two real solid unstoppable lines. Find a good third line Center with offence. No point in pencilling in a roster around Yak, unfortunately his success lies elsewhere. We need Piri, Hudler or another to shake loose. We need at least one proven Bon a fide utility player.

    And another for the d corpse.

    Still time but get it done Chia. It is silliness to go into the season with so much risk.

  41. LadiesloveSmid says:

    Lowetide: I think his being RH will help Puljujarvi, he could even get PP time down the line. There are going to be growing pains, and combined with the issues Yak has had in the past, I can see the Oilers choosing one over the other. JP in Bakersfield ripping it up isn’t the worst idea.

    looks like he can QB a PP at his age level and can be a lethal shot on the PP against men

    still have to think the odds of Puljujarvi at 18 being better than say a guy like Boyes who could sign for 700K and can also play left halfwall on the PP, might be slim. Like a lot of things on the oilers this year I guess we just close our eyes and hope it goes well. I’m in a good mood so I’ll bet on Poolparty now, don’t ask me tomorrow

  42. Centre of attention says:

    G Money,

    If you only saw Yak getting in on the forcheck effectively, you don’t watch Eberle enough.

    Eberle is in the right spot so damn often that he doesn’t need to be a beast on the forcheck, he is simply there to make a play and he sometimes gets buried because of it. But he still makes the play, and hops right back up to slither into a dangerous area by the net.

    Yak’s style is like you say different, he causes more chaos in front which has its benefits and disadvantages. On McDavids line, I would rather have a cerebral sniper than another rambunctious forchecker. Lucic is on that line to do what you just described Yak as doing.

    Even after saying all that I’m still with you though, for the sake of roster balance alone I would throw Yak on the top line with McDavid. I just have a feeling our coach (ill advised or not) doesn’t trust Yak.

  43. dessert1111 says:

    I think Yak will get a chance to play 1RW at least in training camp, the coach would be foolish not to try it, IMO.

    I think he gets some games but doesn’t have a long leash until he shows a consistent stretch of good play, which he may or may not do. I’d bet he plays well enough to salvage some trade value but probably not well enough for them not to want to trade him. Unless he’s perfected his shot accuracy over the summer.

    Yak will get his chance if he’s on the team but the onus is certainly on him. They’ll want to use Eberle’s offense on another line if there isn’t a huge drop off in production on Connor’s RW.

    Realistically, I think McDavid will see a mix of wingers for awhile unless the team hits it out of the park to start the season. Lots of new players so they’ll have to figure out how the combinations work before getting too settled on lines.

  44. Centre of attention says:

    LadiesloveSmid: my inner optimist tells me his speed, shot, and knack for getting open & behind defenders in the O-zone will have him stapled to McDavid by season’s end on merit. Just don’t like that they’re betting on it with someone as good as Hudler out there that could take Vrbata’s 1M deal

    I think Puljujarvi once fully established will need the puck too much to be fully effective on McDavids line.

    I could see Puljujarvi and Draisaitl or Nuge working out well though, both are fine with a puck carrying winger driving the play and doing entries. And watching video of Puljujarvi, the guy demands the puck out there. *Kind of* like Hall did.

    Puljujarvi in my mind is that play-driving power winger. You want him with a center who can share the puck and play a good give-and-go game. McDavid needs more passive wingers who can just get open and finish plays. Puljujarvi can do that, but I think he would have more value driving another line once mature.

    I mean, give it a shot just to see what happens but I have a feeling it ends up that they are on two separate lines.

  45. G Money says:

    Centre of attention,

    I suppose I mean in the classic sense of forechecking where the puck is dumped into the corner and you either have to beat the defender to it, or you have to battle the defender for it.

    Eberle is effective in his own way, but I wouldn’t really call his style a forechecking style. Maybe that’s just me.

    And yes – the whole point of posting these reams of data on Yak’s effectiveness is not to suggest Eberle isn’t good (NARK!), but to point out that the objective results are just as good with Yak/McD as they are with Ebs/McD, but the objective results with Yak/RNH are terrible, while Ebs/RNH are historically very effective together.

    (Jim’s table above suggests that Yak is just as effective as Ebs with every Top 6 player other than RNH, so this is very much a chemistry thing).

    So insisting on playing Ebs with McDavid and Yak with either RNH or on the third/fourth lines does a huge disservice to the team, occasional coach aggravation due to bee swarms notwithstanding.

  46. Lowetide says:

    I think in Yak’s case trust will come into his opportunity, quite a bit. He is a bit of a mystery with the puck and without (Eberle has his issues but can normally be counted on to be in a reasonable area). One thing we should look for is any chem with Nuge. It wasn’t there in the past, but both men will be another year older and more mature this coming year.

  47. Water Fire says:

    Centre of attention:
    G Money,

    If you only saw Yak getting in on the forcheck effectively, you don’t watch Eberle enough.

    Eberle is in the right spot so damn often that he doesn’t need to be a beast on the forcheck, he is simply there to make a play and he sometimes gets buried because of it. But he still makes the play, and hops right back up to slither into a dangerous area by the net.

    Yak’s style is like you say different, he causes more chaos in front which has its benefits and disadvantages. On McDavids line, I would rather have a cerebral sniper than a rambunctious forchecker. Lucic is on that line to do what you just described Yak as doing.

    Even after saying all that I’m still with you though, for the sake of roster balance alone I would throw Yak on the top line with McDavid. I just have a feeling our coach (ill advised or not) doesn’t trust Yak.

    My main beef with Eberle is a shit ton of opponent D zone exits easily flowing right through him. Anybody can float and look for open ice with half a hockey brain that practiced taking shots enough as a kid.

    Scoring prime points and providing maximum resistance to the opponent’s strategies is what separates the men from the boys. It also happens to be what wins hard games IMO.

    I think Yak does try to do this but he has to fit the defensive model. Clearly now there is no room for the auteur. G has shown the numbers are there, the talent with Yak. There will always be offensive room for guys if they score a lot.

    The Oilers haven’t had anybody pre Connor that scored a lot, enough to get a pass. Yak needs to play normal to succeed. He has the capability but does he have the will?

    I am curious to see what happens to Eberle if he plays light this year. And what type of offense they expect from a ‘specialist’.

  48. meanashell11 says:

    Pouzar,

    Really? So how is he going to get used to a different size rink and get a chance to learn the system? I think the fact he is actually AHL eligible is a huge advantage.

  49. Pouzar says:

    Have we entertained the thought that Lucic-McDavid may not work? Or be optimal? I sure liked McDavid with Pou by eye.

  50. Jaxon says:

    Lowetide,

    The only issue I see with this analysis is that you’re using last season’s stats. When your team is decimated all season by injuries, everyone’s stats take a hit so in a season with an average amount of injuries all of their production should increase. Also, I wouldn’t bet against Puljujarvi playing 3rd line RW by Christmas at the latest and possibly 1st line at the trade deadline. If Caggiula infiltrates the 4th line on C or LW, then there will also be an increase in production there.

    Personally, I like Yak on the 1st line with MacDavid.

    Lucic – McDavid – Yakupov
    Pouliot – Nugent-Hopkins – Eberle
    Maroon – Draisaitl – Puljujarvi
    Hendricks – Letestu – Kassian

    Call-ups and Bench warming:
    Slepyshev – Cagguila – Pakarinen – these guys could get big opportunities this year in the event of injuries and, if they perform well, they could see more time in place of veteran 4th liners. Cagguila or Slepyshev may be up permanently after the deadline when there is a chance Hendricks is shipped out.

  51. Centre of attention says:

    G Money:
    Centre of attention,

    I suppose I mean in the classic sense of forechecking where the puck is dumped into the corner and you either have to beat the defender to it, or you have to battle the defender for it.

    Eberle is effective in his own way, but I wouldn’t really call his style a forechecking style.Maybe that’s just me.

    And yes – the whole point of posting these reams of data on Yak’s effectiveness is not to suggest Eberle isn’t good (NARK!), but to point out that the objective results are just as good with Yak/McD as they are with Ebs/McD, but the objective results with Yak/RNH are terrible, while Ebs/RNH are historically very effective together.

    (Jim’s table above suggests that Yak is just as effective as Ebs with every Top 6 player other than RNH, so this is very much a chemistry thing).

    So insisting on playing Ebs with McDavid and Yak with either RNH or on the third/fourth lines does a huge disservice to the team, occasional coach aggravation due to bee swarms notwithstanding.

    You missed the part where I said I agreed with you for the sake of roster balance. I was also pointing out specifically only Eberles goal production with McDavids vs Yaks, not overall points. Yak was farming points because McDavid was shooting at like 25% for that couple weeks. Where as Eberle over a larger sample size posted a more consistent and valuable performance.

    I ALSO said that Eberle’s style is indeed different, and he doesn’t *need* to be a good for checker. I never described his game as a forchecking style. I said that is what Lucic is on that line to do.

    One last thing, I agree the coach is doing a disservice to the team by not trusting Yak and giving him a chance to further prove himself. I was/am simply highlighting why that mistrust might exist.

    PS: I would also like to see Yak play on the third line with Draisaitl, if at all possible. Historically those two have gotten the Corgi’s barking in their favor but the goals just weren’t coming. (Yaks shooting% issue arises again).

  52. Lowetide says:

    Pouzar:
    Have we entertained the thought that Lucic-McDavid may not work? Or be optimal? I sure liked McDavid with Pou by eye.

    Yep. Great point. Keeping Poo around is a good idea, because you never know. Lucic stylistically is a reasonable fit though, he isnt a major puck carrier (but can get open and is a nifty passer).

  53. Pouzar says:

    meanashell11:
    Pouzar,

    Really? So how is he going to get used to a different size rink and get a chance to learn the system? I think the fact he is actually AHL eligible is a huge advantage.

    He can still play against men and be more comfortable at home especially coming off injury he is already behind the eight ball. Like LT said, we cheer for a team with a history of inserting 18 yr olds into the starting lineup.

  54. Klima's_Bucket says:

    Pouzar,

    The Oilers are not going to put an 18 year old rookie into a feature role coming off an injury.

    Remember it’s not a lie, if you believe it.

  55. LadiesloveSmid says:

    Pouzar:
    Have we entertained the thought that Lucic-McDavid may not work? Or be optimal? I sure liked McDavid with Pou by eye.

    I think you need one of Pou/Lucic to play with young Drai, and then interchange the other 2 top 9 LWs among RNH/McD

  56. meanashell11 says:

    Pouzar,

    In my business I spend my days evaluating optionality. AHL is a better option.

    He can get used to the NA game. He can learn the big club system. He can play 9 games no harm, no foul. He can be recalled if he performs.

    He has to cut the cord eventually. Staying in Europe would be a very big mistake. This is one of the first times we can use the AHL because of stupid MJHL rules.

    He is in the perfect position development-wise.

  57. Centre of attention says:

    Water Fire: My main beef with Eberle is a shit ton of opponent D zone exits easily flowing right through him.

    If you criticize Eberle for his defensive play to try and prove your point in a Yak Vs Eberle argument, you’re going to have a bad time.

    How many times has Yak fumbled the puck on an entry and its a break away the other way? How about that time he fanned on pass like right in front of Scrivens, perfectly setting up the opponent?

    What about that game against Tampa, where Hall got sent to the dog house, Yak FINALLY got his chance in the top 6, and first shift Yak f*cks it all up at the blue line again.

  58. Lowetide says:

    Klima’s_Bucket:
    Pouzar,

    The Oilers are not going to put an 18 year old rookie into a feature role coming off an injury.

    Remember it’s not a lie, if you believe it.

    I can see him starting opening night without even trying.

  59. BlueNoteNorth says:

    iirc at year end TMac said Kassian could bring energy to the fourth line. That is where I would like to see him, not second.

  60. Kosmic Burrito says:

    LadiesloveSmid: free Hudler in FA still

    sign the man

    That’s exactly what I’m saying! There’s a slightly worn Hudler with a moderate amount of mileage out in the Free Agent Used Lot. It still has a ton of miles of life to go on it. We could probably get a good deal on it, maybe even some free car washes and “Oil changes” 😉

  61. Klima's_Bucket says:

    Lowetide,

    Sadly, I can too.
    He’ll probably be lining up at Centre to see if he actually is Sundin-like FFS.
    Oh, those Oilers.

  62. Jaxon says:

    LadiesloveSmid,

    After doing my lineup above. I read yours. I like the concept. I think I’d tweak it to support Yak, Draisaitl and Puljujarvi. Maybe this should be the lineup for away games where TMac can’t get the matchups he wants:

    Maroon – McDavid – Yakupov
    Pouliot – Nugent-Hopkins – Puljujarvi
    Lucic – Draisaitl – Eberle
    Hendricks – Letestu – Kassian/Pakarinen

    Run those top 3 lines until they need a break. Could they all handle top competition? Not sure, but I know it would be tough for opposing coaches to decide how to match lines.

    Then run this at home where he can get his matchups:

    Lucic – McDavid – Yakupov – top line A offensive zone push
    Pouliot – Nugent-Hopkins – Eberle – top line B tough matchup
    Maroon – Draisaitl – Puljujarvi – soft parade protected line
    Hendricks – Letestu – Kassian – D zone faceoffs, penalty killing and 4th line competition

  63. Pouzar says:

    meanashell11:
    Pouzar,

    In my business I spend my days evaluating optionality. AHL is a better option.

    He can get used to the NA game. He can learn the big club system. He can play 9 games no harm, no foul. He can be recalled if he performs.

    He has to cut the cord eventually. Staying in Europe would be a very big mistake. This is one of the first times we can use the AHL because of stupid MJHL rules.

    He is in the perfect position development-wise.

    You have more faith in the Oilers organization to develop talent than I do. I hate the way they deploy the personnel on the farm and has been discussed here ad nauseam.

  64. G Money says:

    Lowetide,

    I think the thing about the concept of ‘chemistry’ is that you look for instant positive reactions. If you don’t get them, the alternative is developing synergy through familiarity, which takes time and patience.

    I don’t think we can accuse the Oilers of being a patient team, at least not when it makes sense to be patient.

    The other thing is I imagine it must be frustrating not just for Yak and the team, but also for Nuge. Nuge is arguably my favourite Oiler, so I feel his pain. Let me explain.

    [Narrative warning, the following is my theory with absolutely no facts to back it up, so evaluate accordingly]

    Here’s my theory on Nuge. I enjoy going back and reading his first year milestones.

    Remember how he put up 0.84 ppg (which is an incredible number for a rook)?

    Remember how he scored a hat trick in his 3rd game (setting the NHL record for the earliest career hat trick for a 1OV)?

    Remember how he had five assists against the Blackhawks barely into his second month in the league, the first 18-year-old in NHL history to do so?

    Remember that incredible promise?

    Now remember that since his shoulder surgery, he hasn’t come close to touching those heights offensively. His best season since is 0.74 ppg. Last season he was 0.62 ppg.

    So what happened?

    Here’s my theory: the Nuge, after his brilliant first year, set about to become the best two-way player in the game. Pavel Datsyuk 2.0. He has worked and honed his ability to play in every zone.

    This has come at a major cost to his offensive output, but he’s OK with it, because he knows he has the skill. Once the team around him is good enough, especially defensively, he can deploy that skill.

    Datsyuk 2.0 … yes, I really am that blindly supportive a booster of the Nuge.

    So imagine how frustrating it must be for him to play with a guy, mercurial offensive talent though he may be, who is literally the exact opposite of Nuge as a player?

    Nuge is quick and agile and has edges beyond comprehension. Yak skates like a bull charging a red cape. Nuge is slender, Yak is a brick shithouse. Yak has a nasty streak on the ice, Nuge is the quintessential nice guy everywhere. Nuge’s shot is not big, but it is quick and deadly accurate. Yak could tear the back of the net out with that cannon of his, if he could just hit the fucking net. Nuge plays the system to a T, Yak translated the word ‘system’ as ‘watch out for those bees!!!’.

    So I have a few requests to TMc and the Gords:

    1 – Please let Lil Nugey stay healthy for a season for once. He deserves it. Oilers fans deserve it. The league (and the game of hockey) deserve it.

    2 – Please let Nuge have Poo and Ebs as linemates and let them stay together and rip the league a new one again.

    3 – Please let McDavid and Yak have a go – a real one, not just a token one. If nothing else, if the Oilers see no long term fit with Yak, then maximize Yak’s trade value. Stop shooting your own fucking feet off all the time.

    Sadly, now that I’ve said it, exactly the opposite will happen in every single case, won’t it?

  65. G Money says:

    G Money: 1 – Please let Lil Nugey stay healthy for a season for once. He deserves it.

    On a side note, no hockey related picture I think has brought me down as much as the picture of a morose Nuge lying on the floor with his dog the day after he had surgery on his broken hand.

    IT WAS JUST SO SAD.

    C’mon world, please let the kid have a healthy season goddamnit.

  66. Water Fire says:

    Pouzar:
    Have we entertained the thought that Lucic-McDavid may not work? Or be optimal? I sure liked McDavid with Pou by eye.

    If the Oilers are willing to switch up pairs especially while the team is so fresh, so they get used to it, they will be a much harder opponent to play and also McLellan will have a lot more looks to throw at opponents.

    More options to line match opponent’s particular traits. Throw Leon Lucic and Kassian out for a ‘jumbo’ line that can score and settle an opponent down or forcibly open defensive zone ice and change the flow of a team trying to clog things up.

    That McLellan has done this with the Sharks gives me hope, static is the kiss of death in a very dynamic game.

  67. frjohnk says:

    G Money: then maximize Yak’s trade value

    Is that possible if he is McDavids winger?

    If Yak is on McDavids wing and scores at a 1st/2nd line pace, I can see people saying that Yak having more success would mostly be because of McDavid. Yak wouldn’t get much credit and I don’t know if his value would be pumped up much. If Yak is paired with Draisaitl and does well, I think Yak would get more of the credit.

    I do think Yak will have a chance with playing with all 3 young centers for the majority of the year and this is one of the main reasons why I believe this is the year he breaks out.

    If Yak can have success away from McDavid that probably boosts his value the greatest.

    EDIT: And I’m not looking to have him traded. If he can “break out”, it not only helps him salvage his career, but it also helps the Oilers get better. This Oiler team needs a lot of things to go right this year. Having the 2012 1st overall pick lighting it up would be beautiful.

  68. Water Fire says:

    G Money:
    Lowetide,

    I think the thing about the concept of ‘chemistry’ is that you look for instant positive reactions.If you don’t get them, the alternative is developing synergy through familiarity, which takes time and patience.

    I don’t think we can accuse the Oilers of being a patient team, at least not when it makes sense to be patient.

    The other thing is I imagine it must be frustrating not just for Yak and the team, but also for Nuge.Nuge is arguably my favourite Oiler, so I feel his pain.Let me explain.

    [Narrative warning, the following is my theory with absolutely no facts to back it up, so evaluate accordingly]

    Here’s my theory on Nuge.I enjoy going back and reading his first year milestones.

    Remember how he put up 0.84 ppg (which is an incredible number for a rook)?

    Remember how he scored a hat trick in his 3rd game (setting the NHL record for the earliest career hat trick for a 1OV)?

    Remember how he had five assists against the Blackhawks barely into his second month in the league, the first 18-year-old in NHL history to do so?

    Remember that incredible promise?

    Now remember that since his shoulder surgery, he hasn’t come close to touching those heights offensively.His best season since is 0.74 ppg.Last season he was 0.62 ppg.

    So what happened?

    Here’s my theory: the Nuge, after his brilliant first year, set about to become the best two-way player in the game.Pavel Datsyuk 2.0.He has worked and honed his ability to play in every zone.

    This has come at a major cost to his offensive output, but he’s OK with it, because he knows he has the skill.Once the team around him is good enough, especially defensively, he can deploy that skill.

    Datsyuk 2.0 … yes, I really am that blindly supportive a booster of the Nuge.

    So imagine how frustrating it must be for him to play with a guy, mercurial offensive talent though he may be, who is literally the exact opposite of Nuge as a player?

    Nuge is quick and agile and has edges beyond comprehension.Yak skates like a bull charging a red cape.Nuge is slender, Yak is a brick shithouse.Yak has a nasty streak on the ice, Nuge is the quintessential nice guy everywhere.Nuge’s shot is not big, but it is quick and deadly accurate.Yak could tear the back of the net out with that cannon of his, if he could just hit the fucking net.Nuge plays the system to a T, Yak translated the word ‘system’ as ‘watch out for those bees!!!’.

    So I have a few requests to TMc and the Gords:

    1 – Please let Lil Nugey stay healthy for a season for once. He deserves it.Oilers fans deserve it.The league (and the game of hockey) deserve it.

    2 – Please let Nuge have Poo and Ebs as linemates and let them stay together and rip the league a new one again.

    3 – Please let McDavid and Yak have a go – a real one, not just a token one.If nothing else, if the Oilers see no long term fit with Yak, then maximize Yak’s trade value.Stop shooting your own fucking feet off all the time.

    Sadly, now that I’ve said it, exactly the opposite will happen in every single case, won’t it?

    We hoped for the best but it turned out like always.

    Particularly apropos for Yak.

  69. John Chambers says:

    frjohnk,

    I like the idea of playing Yak as triggerman on a line opposite Lucic. Big Milan will win the puck battles while Nail takes the shots.

    I can see a Lucic – Draisaitl – Yakupov line being very effective, and Lucic’s stern glares forcing responsible play out of the talented Tatar.

  70. G Money says:

    frjohnk,

    Fair point. Yak/Drai have actually shown the ability to be a terrific possession pair (their scoring is not up to par with that, but history shows that the small sample i.e. scoring almost always corrects to the large sample i.e. shots, not the other way round).

    I guess as per Roepcke’s table, it’s more a matter of giving Yak a skill centre and not Mark Friggin Letestu and Lauri Korpsicle, with the Nuge/Yak combo being the one oil/water exception.

  71. Bruce McCurdy says:

    G Money:
    frjohnk,

    Fair point.Yak/Drai have actually shown the ability to be a terrific possession pair (their scoring is not up to par with that, but history shows that the small sample i.e. scoring almost always corrects to the large sample i.e. shots, not the other way round).

    Would not the exact same logic apply to Roepcke’s stats on linemates which were based not on possession but on points? Can’t have it both ways.

  72. digger50 says:

    G Money,

    Love your post and the reminders of where Nuge was at some time ago. It would be wonderful to get him some defensive help so he can release that offence again.

  73. G Money says:

    Bruce McCurdy,

    Actually, the possession results are quite similar (Yak’s numbers are considerably better than he’s given credit for). I’ve posted those before, though, so I thought posting someone else’s P/60 numbers would be a nice change of pace.

    Yak with (teammate apart):
    McDavid 51.9 (51.0)
    Drai 53.3 (51.7)
    Nuge 40.8 (48.7)
    Poo 49.4 (51.6)
    Hall 52.7 (51.6)

    EDIT: Oops, forgot Ebs … 54.1 with Yak, 50.7 away from Yak.

    So … yeah.

  74. Centre of attention says:

    G Money,

    You’re right on all counts in that last large post, well said. Great descriptions of both players.

    If we go by what the coach said, Yak will get his chance. He’s gotta run with it though. And maybe the new rink won’t have a bee infestation? I swear Rexall had one or two hives build up next to the opposition blue line every damn night 😉

  75. frjohnk says:

    I dont want this to become the 856658th post where its EBERLE vs Yak and both players get dumped on.

    Both are Oilers, I’m cheering like hell for both of them. Yak haters can fuck off, same with the EBERLE ones.

    EBERLE is one helluva good complimentary player and I think Yak can reach this as well.

    What I’m excited for this year for both these guys, is that this is the best Dcore they have had since both of them have entered into the NHL. With McDavid, Draisaitl and Nuge, its also the best center depth they have played with. And the coaching corner is stable and they are not going to have to adapt to a new system again at the start of the year.

    Even though they both have some question marks, I’m hoping and predicting big things for these two.

  76. Centre of attention says:

    frjohnk,

    I just want the season to start already. I have a feeling we get an answer as to what happens with Yak pretty fast. Dicey fall/winter like LT said.

  77. slopitch says:

    LT you just compared the 29th place oilers forwards to the 2011 Stanley cup winner. They don’t even look that bad a month after trading Taylor Hall (sorry). It’s crazy.

    The difference is:

    1) Chara
    2) Tim Thomas (he was exceptional)
    3) oilers inferior two way forwards who best case break even
    4) whoever paired up with Chara was awesome because of his partner

    I do think chai can do some upgrades in the bottom lines and someone will fill internally. The D is much improved but plenty of gap to be closed. Even if nurse has an all world summer of development.

  78. Lowetide says:

    slopitch:
    LT you just compared the 29th place oilers forwards to the 2011 Stanley cup winner. They don’t even look that bad a month after trading Taylor Hall (sorry). It’s crazy.

    The difference is:

    1) Chara
    2) Tim Thomas (he was exceptional)
    3) oilers inferior two way forwards who best case break even
    4) whoever paired up with Chara was awesome because of his partner

    I do think chai can do some upgrades in the bottom lines and someone will fill internally. The D is much improved but plenty of gap to be closed. Even if nurse has an all world summer of development.

    The overall thrust of the original post was:

    1. The Oilers top 9F is pretty damned good (need JP or Kassian to step up)
    2. The 4line is death

    Peter Chiarelli had a good 4line when he won, his current 4line is poor. As for Chara etc, you bet. The Bruinization can get there, need some help. I hope he tweaks before training camp.

  79. Centre of attention says:

    Lowetide: The overall thrust of the original post was:

    1. The Oilers top 9F is pretty damned good (need JP or Kassian to step up)
    2. The 4line is death

    Peter Chiarelli had a good 4line when he won, his current 4line is poor. As for Chara etc, you bet. The Bruinization can get there, need some help. I hope he tweaks before training camp.

    Who would you add to your 4th line that is currently out there right now?

    I’m not against bringing in a veteran or two to compete against Khaira and Pitlick for 4th line spots. That doesn’t mean that Khaira/Pitlick won’t win the job anyways but I think there there is value in making them earn it.

  80. LadiesloveSmid says:

    Brad Boyes was a 55.1% 5v5 CF last season in TOR! and scores like a 2nd liner at ES just about every season! which executive’s daughter’s heart did he break?

    sign the man!

  81. Centre of attention says:

    Adrian Dater ‏@adater 16m16 minutes ago
    Chicago Blackhawks have officially reached out to Jimmy Vesey. Max rookie contract, $2.5 million in potential bonuses

    there is a 0% chance he signs anywhere else my sources confirm*

    *sources include one Mr. Common Sense

  82. Water Fire says:

    frjohnk: Both are Oilers, I’m cheering like hell for both of them. Yak haters can fuck off, same with the EBERLE ones.

    EBERLE is one helluva good complimentary player and I think Yak can reach this as well.

    I’m also cheering for both, and like them both.

    In a capped league Eberle is not a great complimentary player. He’s a very expensive one given his range and points. There is no shortage of players that could take his usage, play a light one way game and get his points. Truly.

    I will keep reiterating, only really productive players can make a high salary and not have a full game and contribute in a meaningful way. Perhaps a team can hide one that isn’t, but there is a cost, and more than one, the proof is in the pudding.

  83. Lowetide says:

    Centre of attention: Who would you add to your 4th line that is currently out there right now?

    I’m not against bringing in a veteran or two to compete against Khaira and Pitlick for 4th line spots. That doesn’t mean that Khaira/Pitlick won’t win the job anyways but I think there there is value in making them earn it.

    One of the things PC did in Boston was have pockets of skill that could slide from 4line upward (Marchand was one of them, but others moved up from time to time as well). I would like the Oilers to grab someone like Brandon Pirri, who has some offense but could play a support role and get some goals on a depth line.

    I see lots of talk about Letestu being a black hole for 5×5 offense, but he has had seasons where he delivered at least a little 5×5 (and did it with other fourth liners, some of whom had at least a little offense)
    http://stats.hockeyanalysis.com/showplayer.php?pid=1237&withagainst=true&season=2013-14&sit=5v5

  84. haters says:

    This might sound dumb but here it goes anyway…
    Yak and Rnh don’t mix I think because of the leagues they cut their teeth in.
    OHL/QMJHL are similar in that they are more known for offensive creative players where the CHL is a lower scoring 5 man system based league ? I think ? So yea based on that theory ( I realize I could be out to lunch here) maybe lines like Pou/McD/Yak- Luc/Rnh/Ebs, might have an easier time finding chemistry ? I dunno but if I think about it long enough it kinda makes sense.

    The only reason I really want Luc on McD’s line is for instant retaliation for any transgressors targeting Connor.

    Please hurry Sept, all the speculation is getting ridiculous … Even my own 🙂

  85. Chachi says:

    Pouzar: You have more faith in the Oilers organization to develop talent than I do. I hate the way they deploy the personnel on the farm and has been discussed here ad nauseam.

    Yeah, much better to have him coached by people who aren’t in the Oilers organization and play a different style of game in Europe “because Oilers” right? And if his coach in Finland feels like he would rather give icetime to players who stand a chance of being with the team for more than another year rather than an 18 year old kid who is likely to be pissed that he was never given a shot to make the Oilers this year, oh well, the Oilers would have screwed him up anyways!

  86. Lowetide says:

    Chachi: Yeah, much better to have him coached by people who aren’t in the Oilers organization and play a different style of game in Europe “because Oilers” right? And if his coach in Finland feels like he would rather give icetime to players who stand a chance of being with the team for more than another year rather than an 18 year old kid who is likely to be pissed that he was never given a shot to make the Oilers this year, oh well, the Oilers would have screwed him up anyways!

    JP was brilliant in the SM-Liiga, suspect the coach would be thrilled with his return
    http://www.eliteprospects.com/player.php?player=152117

    I think the AHL until game 40 or so is ideal, doubt it happens.

  87. Centre of attention says:

    Water Fire: I’m also cheering for both, and like them both.

    In a capped league Eberle is not a great complimentary player. He’s a very expensive one given his range and points. There is no shortage of players that could take his usage, play a light one way game and get his points. Truly.

    I will keep reiterating, only really productive players can make a high salary and not have a full game and contribute in a meaningful way. Perhaps a team can hide one that isn’t, but there is a cost, and more than one, the proof is in the pudding.

    Uhm, Eberle produces in the range of guys like Okposo and Duchene. Both of which make comparable money.

    Eberle out produces lots of people who make comparable money. Ladd just signed a ridiculous mega deal he won’t live up too. Backes makes the same money as Eberle now. Both the teams that signed those deals were either playoff teams or close to it. Clarkson makes 5.25!!! and is a 4th liner!!!

    Eberle earns his 6 million. He doesn’t exceed the value of his deal like Hall did, but considering his production Ebs is at least full value.

    Tell me who scores 25+ goals and 60-65 points consistently and makes less than what Eberle’s making. Points pay when it comes to negotiations, ask any NHL GM or agent.

  88. Chachi says:

    Lowetide: JP was brilliant in the SM-Liiga, suspect the coach would be thrilled with his return
    http://www.eliteprospects.com/player.php?player=152117

    I think the AHL until game 40 or so is ideal, doubt it happens.

    Things change and the Oilers will have zero control over his ice time or usage in Finland. It would be a huge mistake to send him back there. He should start in the AHL, but if he needs 40 games to get up to speed there he might as well finish out the season in Bakersfield, because he won’t be helping the Oilers this season.

  89. Centre of attention says:

    Lowetide: One of the things PC did in Boston was have pockets of skill that could slide from 4line upward (Marchand was one of them, but others moved up from time to time as well). I would like the Oilers to grab someone like Brandon Pirri, who has some offense but could play a support role and get some goals on a depth line.

    I see lots of talk about Letestu being a black hole for 5×5 offense, but he has had seasons where he delivered at least a little 5×5 (and did it with other fourth liners, some of whom had at least a little offense)
    http://stats.hockeyanalysis.com/showplayer.php?pid=1237&withagainst=true&season=2013-14&sit=5v5

    I was the one ranting about Pirri this past deadline and during my digging I found that the Oilers were confirmed to be interested by insiders.

    *deep, drawn-out sigh*

    Though I suspect after the Cagguila signing later on in the spring they began to convince themselves he will be an option. “He’s going to play, I know he will. He’s got that compete level….” “…good Italian blood lines…” were you even listening to the verbal? Haha.

    You follow these Oilers, you will eventually learn to automatically expect the kid they just signed to be option #1, not the kid you want them to sign. 😉

  90. Lowetide says:

    Chachi: Things change and the Oilers will have zero control over his ice time or usage in Finland. It would be a huge mistake to send him back there. He should start in the AHL, but if he needs 40 games to get up to speed there he might as well finish out the season in Bakersfield, because he won’t be helping the Oilers this season.

    I think there is room for all of these options and none of them would be catastrophic. Young man is coming off surgery, after all.

  91. hags9k says:

    Lowetide: I can see him starting opening night without even trying.

    I’ll go one further and say I wouldn’t bat an eye if he was top line with 97 on opening night.

  92. frjohnk says:

    Water Fire: In a capped league Eberle is not a great complimentary player.

    In the case of using the cap, ( like in points per dollar) there are players like Crosby and Kane who wouldnt be elite. So Im not going any further on this.

    EBERLE has shown over the years, that he can score at a 1st line pace at even strength, scores well 5×4 and scores well at 3×3 and is good on the shootout.

    Consistently has created scoring chances at a top 40 forward rate since his rookie year.

    Will he smash guys through the boards?
    Is he good defensively?
    Will he ever fix the gap between his two front teeth?

    No, No and no.

    If it was yes, yes and yes, then EBERLE would be an elite driver.

    But for now, he is one helluva good complimentary player.

    Glad he is an Oiler and he will have a fantastic year.

  93. Centre of attention says:

    hags9k: I’ll go one further and say I wouldn’t bat an eye if he was top line with 97 on opening night.

    Anyone got a scouting report on this “Nolan Patrick” kid? I heard someone say he reminds them of a young Trevor Linden.

  94. hags9k says:

    Centre of attention,

    Ha, exactly. I’m not endorsing this idea, I just know that this management is incapable of keeping their hands out of the 18yr old cookie jar. They can’t help themselves.

    If JP doesn’t at least see extended time in camp with 97 I’ll eat my shorts.

  95. Chachi says:

    Lowetide: I think there is room for all of these options and none of them would be catastrophic. Young man is coming off surgery, after all.

    Yes, he is coming off surgery and they can keep a closer eye on him and his recovery and progress in North America.

  96. frjohnk says:

    hags9k: If JP doesn’t at least see extended time in camp with 97 I’ll eat my shorts.

    JP with McDavid has been an itch that Chia has wanted to scratch since Jarmo Kekalainen uttered the words ” from the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles”

  97. Centre of attention says:

    frjohnk: JP with McDavid has been an itch that Chia has wanted to scratch since Jarmo Kekalainen uttered the words ” from the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles”

    If we are to believe reports, Peter knew before Jarmo went to the stage.

    During a conversation between Chia, Jarmo, and Treliving, Peter found out who Jarmo wanted to pick. A 3-way deal where Edmonton would of got possibly Dougie Hamilton was scrapped because in Peters own words “Everyone was going to get who they wanted” as in, Treliving wanted Tkachuk, Jarmo wanted Dubios, and Peter wanted the Finn so there was no swap of picks needed.

  98. frjohnk says:

    Centre of attention: If we are to believe reports, Peter knew before Jarmo went to the stage.

    During a conversation between Chia, Jarmo, and Treliving, Peter found out who Jarmo wanted to pick. A 3-way deal where Edmonton would of got possibly Dougie Hamilton was scrapped because in Peters own words “Everyone was going to get who they wanted” as in, Treliving wanted Tkachuk, Jarmo wanted Dubios, and Peter wanted the Finn so there was no swap of picks needed.

    Yes Chia did a solid in reading the tea leaves correctly.

  99. hags9k says:

    frjohnk,

    The sad thing is I’ll be the first on the bandwagon when they pot a few goals in preseason!

    This team I tells ya. The death of me.

  100. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Centre of attention: Anyone got a scouting report on this “Nolan Patrick” kid? I heard someone say he reminds them of a young Trevor Linden.

    That was me, or at least one of the “someones” was me. I tweeted out pretty much those exact words while Brandon was demolishing the Oil Kings this past spring.

    Linden was a rangy, right-shooting pivot with few apparent holes in his game while assuming a leadership role for a WHL powerhouse. Those same words at least superficially fit Patrick, who is of course his own person and player. Linden went #2 in his draft year, and Patrick is somewhere in that range for 2017.

    A beauty player.

  101. JimmyV1965 says:

    G Money: McDavid

    Yak played with McDavid for 20 games. This is too small to even be called a small sample size. Yak has been awful. I hope he figures it out, but that’s really wishful thinking. It’s best to pencil him in for the he 3rd line.

  102. Woogie63 says:

    At this point of the summer , I can still see four UFA that make this team better, all would be cheap and a one year contract?

    1. Hudler – he make our top 9 out of camp
    2. Pirri- interesting player and plays center, maybe a better #13 forward option
    3. Legwand – 3C or 4C, veteran presence, lets Draisaitl play more on the wing
    4. Cullen – seemed very valuable to the champs, this type of person might help young mean grow-up

  103. Bruce McCurdy says:

    G Money:
    Bruce McCurdy,

    Actually, the possession results are quite similar (Yak’s numbers are considerably better than he’s given credit for).I’ve posted those before, though, so I thought posting someone else’s P/60 numbers would be a nice change of pace.

    Yak with (teammate apart):
    McDavid 51.9 (51.0)
    Drai 53.3 (51.7)
    Nuge 40.8 (48.7)
    Poo 49.4 (51.6)
    Hall 52.7 (51.6)

    EDIT: Oops, forgot Ebs … 54.1 with Yak, 50.7 away from Yak.

    So … yeah.

    Well those 66 minutes sure were big.

    For sure one hopes that the possession numbers are positive arrows, because Yak has been getting crushed on the percentages for three years running. Not just lousy personal Sh%, but a PDO of 958, 960, and 975 the last three years. While PDO is viewed by some as luck, when it persists over long periods one is obliged to look for underlying explanations.

    Hopefully his ankle has fully healed and he comes to camp with his customary vim and vigour. Still a job there to be won, though no room at all for a slow start.

  104. Bruce McCurdy says:

    hags9k:
    Centre of attention,

    Ha, exactly. I’m not endorsing this idea, I just know that this management is incapable of keeping their hands out of the 18yr old cookie jar.They can’t help themselves.

    If JP doesn’t at least see extended time in camp with 97 I’ll eat my shorts.

    Does “this management” refer to Chiarelli, or do you extend back to MacT and Tambellini? If just the current management, the only cookie they pulled from the 18-year-old jar so far, is McDavid. You would have had them do it differently?

  105. G Money says:

    Bruce McCurdy,

    Yes, Eberle was quite far down the list, but since the point of (both) posts was to show how Yak was doing with Top 6 calibre linemates, I figured I should include him.

    Small sample aside, does the data contradict the rest of the data or confirm it? Is the fact that the combo was 54% and yet had only 66 minutes together an indictment of the player or the management of said player? Does it further my point or contradict it?

    (You already know you’re being pedantic, I know you enjoy it you old* bastard!)

    [*I can call you an old bastard ’cause I’m also an old bastard.]

    Point remains the same – whether you look at points or you look at possession, Yak, far from being a drag, generally held his own or even bettered the performance of those Top 6 linemates. With the massive exception of the Nuge.

    The whole ‘did better with Yak’ also held for his two most common partners, bottom 6ers both (Letestu +1.7 w Yak, Korpse +7.1 with Yak) … but the absolute numbers are so horrible for those two that they seem to have permanently left a stain on Yak.

    The with/without number for Korpse (41.8 without Yak, 48.9 with Yak) is mindboggling.

    Some will suggest that because Korpse/Nuge/Yak had some time together, maybe that positive result for Yak/Korpse is driven by Nuge, but Nuge was 37.5% (!!!!) with Korpse. I’ve noted this before – of forwards who spent more than an hour with Korpse, only Yak pulled Korpse remotely close to breakeven at 48.9%. Next closest was Testtube at 44.3%. Nuge was at 37.5%, Purcell at 31.8%.

    As you note: this is a massive change in Yak’s results from years past, which is of course why I post the data in the first place (though there is no shortage of posters here who don’t seem to have figured this out, and simply parrot “Yak sucks” tropes from previous years … it appears for all their whinging, they don’t actually watch the games, yet also mysteriously remain loud and proud of their inability to understand data).

    As you say, I hope Yak brings the jam, slathers himself with bee repellent, and gets out of the blocks like Usain Bolt.

    Though based on the outcome of last year and the huge disparity between results and usage, I’m not sure it will matter.

    JimmyV1965,

    Oh boy … dude … smh.

  106. Bruce McCurdy says:

    G Money: Is the fact that the combo was 54% and yet had only 66 minutes together an indictment of the player or the management of said player? Does it further my point or contradict it?

    Mostly it has to do with both being RWs. Also the fact that one is a first-liner & one isn’t might have something to do with it. 😉

    Note: that winky thing means that was a joke.

    And yes, I too am an old bastard. If one makes it this far, one might as well revel in it.

  107. Bruce McCurdy says:

    G Money: there is no shortage of posters here who don’t seem to have figured this out, and simply parrot “Yak sucks” tropes from previous years … it appears for all their whinging, they don’t actually watch the games, yet also mysteriously remain loud and proud of their inability to understand data

    I fail to see how this kind of talk furthers the conversation. Is it possible for people to disagree with you without provoking blanket outrage and insults?

  108. SwedishPoster says:

    Chachi: Things change and the Oilers will have zero control over his ice time or usage in Finland. It would be a huge mistake to send him back there. He should start in the AHL, but if he needs 40 games to get up to speed there he might as well finish out the season in Bakersfield, because he won’t be helping the Oilers this season.

    The top euro leagues has a MUCH better record developing elite talent through the years 18-21 than the AHL. And it’s not like Jesse has mastered the finnish league. He had a 0.56 ppg during the regular season. He did get more dominant as the season rolled along and it was a great season considering age but still the numbers aren’t outstanding in any way.
    The majority of elite euros over the years spent their 18-19 seasons at home. Just saying.

  109. AsiaOil says:

    G Money,

    Agree with you man but I’ve stayed out of this one. Results and deployment did not jive with Yak last year and the mgmt/coaching seemed to buy into the old narrative irrespective of what happened on the ice. Was Yak a mess in previous years? Absolutely yes. Was he demonstrably a lot better last year? Again yes. Didn’t seem to effect deployment one damn bit after Ebs returned which is just profoundly foolish handling of a 1OV. You could see it effect Yak who basically said “fuck it” and “it doesn’t matter what I do so trade me already”. Maybe that changes with the old alpha dog sent to the swamp – maybe not – but what’s left of the old core is clearly less secure with their leader gone and the old attitudes won’t fly with Lucic/CMD/Maroon/Klef looking like the new leaders on the team. You might be surprised to see Maroon on that list – but he was damn vocal about the problems he saw after he arrived if you bothered to listen.

    My take – they were pumping Ebs as hard as possible late last year to try get the dman they needed using him as the bait instead of Hall. No go though as the market was not selling young high end RHD for small scoring wingers with problems skating hard into their own end. People think I hate Ebs – nothing is further from the truth. I never said boo about him until last season when it was time to step up and become a better two way player. They didn’t give him an A to float around the offensive zone. Ebs can and should be stronger, have a better shot, and put more effort into defensive play. None of that is impossible and in fact should be expected given the A on his chest and his salary which is highest on the team. Everyone should expect that instead of fawning over him. I hope he actually grows up and becomes the player he has the potential to be this year. If not – well – the trade deadline or next summer will be his last as an Oiler.

    As others have pointed out – compare previous SC champs to the 29th place Oilers and the forwards don’t look bad at all. Talent was never the issue – maturity, commitment and effort clearly were – and Chia has made some big changes. Holes are still there but you have to remember that this team was set to implode after the 2014-2015 season – it was a total disaster – so let’s keep that perspective in mind as more changes unfold this year.

  110. meanashell11 says:

    Pouzar,

    It is still better than having him play in Europe. Adjustment to NA life and schedule is very difficult when you are based in Finland!

  111. Seismic Source says:

    I hope Khaira shows up to TC with rabies.

  112. Chachi says:

    SwedishPoster: The top euro leagues has a MUCH better record developing elite talent through the years 18-21 than the AHL. And it’s not like Jesse has mastered the finnish league.He had a 0.56 ppg during the regular season. He did get more dominant as the season rolled along and it was a great season considering age but still the numbers aren’t outstanding in any way.
    The majority of elite euros over the years spent their 18-19 seasons at home. Just saying.

    Sure, that worked out wonderfully for the Oilers with Paajarvi and Lander. His English is bound to improve if he stays in Finland and he can spend all the time he is not playing visualizing what it would be like to play on a smaller ice surface. Hell why not stay there til he’s 24? He’ll have a great shot at the Calder trophy (playing for another team) and the Oilers can instead sign one or two former 2nd liners who are on the downside of their careers instead just like people here seem to be excited about. Great idea.

  113. Centre of attention says:

    AsiaOil,

    I lost you when you said “Eberle doesnt get paid to float in to offensive zone” what if I told you he was injured this last year and deserves a pass like Nuge does? Eberle hired a shooting coach even though he already averages over 25 goals a seasin.

    Wheres Yaks shooting% trending? Exactly. Im fine with putting Yak with McDavid for balance, but your personal attacks on Eberle are shamefully false. You’re entitled to your opinion though as am I. Hope you enjoy your day sir.

  114. Pouzar says:

    SwedishPoster: The top euro leagues has a MUCH better record developing elite talent through the years 18-21 than the AHL. And it’s not like Jesse has mastered the finnish league.He had a 0.56 ppg during the regular season. He did get more dominant as the season rolled along and it was a great season considering age but still the numbers aren’t outstanding in any way.
    The majority of elite euros over the years spent their 18-19 seasons at home. Just saying.

    And there it is. Thank you.

  115. mit167 says:

    My only thought on line up is that if Chiarelli is really trying to complete the Bruinization of the Oilers, then there should be a Lucic type next to each non-lucic type player. The Ebs and Nuges will have beef that will protect or at least generate a feeling of protection.

    Lucic McD Ebs
    Maroon RNH Yak
    Pou Draisatl Kassian
    Hendy Letestu Paki

    or

    Lucic McD Ebs
    Pou RNH Kassian
    Maroon Drai Yak
    Hendy Letestu Paki

    or

    Lucic McD Yak
    Maroon RNH Ebs
    Pou Drai Paki
    Hendy Letestu Kassian

  116. russ99 says:

    Defensively, that Bruins forward group could run circles around our forwards.

    Come on guys, it’s not all about scoring goals, it’s really about scoring more than the opposition.

    Realistically, one good defenseman addition isn’t going to make up for the forwards’ consistently blown assignments or clean zone exits foiled by forwards leaving early.

  117. Pouzar says:

    Chachi: Sure, that worked out wonderfully for the Oilers with Paajarvi and Lander. His English is bound to improve if he stays in Finland and he can spend all the time he is not playing visualizing what it would be like to play on a smaller ice surface. Hell why not stay there til he’s 24? He’ll have a great shot at the Calder trophy (playing for another team) and the Oilers can instead sign one or two former 2nd liners who are on the downside of their careers instead just like people here seem to be excited about. Great idea.

    Are you trying to be a dink?

  118. Chachi says:

    Pouzar: Are you trying to be a dink?

    Nope. I genuinely think they should stash him away in Europe. Sounds like a great idea. The Oilers should send all their prospects there. It is MUCH better than the AHL I hear.

  119. Lowetide says:

    G Money:
    Bruce McCurdy,

    As you note: this is a massive change in Yak’s results from years past, which is of course why I post the data in the first place (though there is no shortage of posters here who don’t seem to have figured this out, and simply parrot “Yak sucks” tropes from previous years … it appears for all their whinging, they don’t actually watch the games, yet also mysteriously remain loud and proud of their inability to understand data).

    Please be respectful, G Money. I understand you are very passionate about Yakupov, but it is important to remember that your numbers are new, and that not everyone understands and still more have not yet adopted them. It is also important to remember that, despite improved possession numbers, there is a roster pressure point (Puljujarvi) that could leave Yakupov on the outside looking in.

    No one else has your perspective, and we (I) so appreciate your input. That said, you must also extend respect and follow the rules here.

    Finally, I would ask you what you hope to accomplish with all of this insanely difficult work you are doing? I imagine one of the things you hope for is a receptive audience.

    With that said, I ask you to read the quoted parts above and then view those words through someone who is trying to grasp your new metric and apply it.

    Thanks.

  120. Water Fire says:

    Centre of attention: If you criticize Eberle for his defensive play to try and prove your point in a Yak Vs Eberle argument, you’re going to have a bad time.

    You’re probably right, not that I was saying that

  121. Pouzar says:

    Chachi: Nope. I genuinely think they should stash him away in Europe. Sounds like a great idea. The Oilers should send all their prospects there. It is MUCH better than the AHL I hear.

    A study from 2006 but still relevant imo

    IIHF study opens eyes to development dilemma:

    http://www.iihf.com/fileadmin/user_upload/PDF/The_IIHF/IceTimes_10_6.pdf

    Here is a telling excerpt:

    “One question frequently asked when conducting interviews for the study was: “Why
    can’t European kids develop in the minors, when the North American kids do?”
    Just as George Kingston said in his study, the only way to improve skill level is in practice
    (repetition) and that process is more efficient if conducted in an environment with a
    healthy practice-to-game ratio. The advantage European leagues have is the fewer
    number of games, less travel (with the exception of Russia) and more practice time.
    The most talented Europeans can go to an NHL-club and become impact players.
    Obviously, not every player can be a 5 or 4, most players dwell in the 3 category. The
    difference between a 3 player and a 4/5 player is talent and skill. An NHL-drafted player
    who at the age of 21 (and still playing in Europe) is a 2+ or 3- in NHL terms, can possibly
    improve to become a 3+ or a 4.
    A good example is Ottawa’s Daniel Alfredsson who developed into a top player late.
    He was a marginal player in the Swedish league at 21 and he was drafted late, at the
    age of 22 (133rd overall, 6th round). He played his first NHL game at 23 and has,
    without playing one minor league game, evolved into a 4+ player. Based on our study,
    it can be assumed that he wouldn’t have been a 4+ player had he been drafted at 18
    and quickly sent to the minors.
    To go through this phase a player needs practice, time and patience. The time that is
    needed to be fully developed, skill and maturity wise, is best spent in the players’ home
    environment, which is geared more towards skill development.
    Key question: What qualities do NHL clubs hope Europeans can acquire in the minor
    leagues, qualities that they couldn’t acquire in their European clubs?

    Virtually all European players drafted by an NHL club are recruited because of fundamental
    skills and a general understanding of the game. Few Europeans are drafted
    because of their grinding ability, penalty-killing, or to be ‘character/role players’.
    When a developing European player is sent to the minors, the necessary polishing of his
    fundamentals runs a risk of being neglected or lost, while the player is pressured to
    adopt a game which isn’t his. There are a number of players, projected to become at
    least 3+ or even 4, signed too early and sent to the minors for an extended stay. Those
    who made it to the NHL, turned out 2+ or 3 players, but their potential was higher.
    The result is often that a player, whose game was based on creativity and offence, is
    transformed into a role player with primarily defensive assignments. Yes, he made it to
    the NHL, but the impatience of the decision makers (and often also the player) might
    have deprived the fans of enjoying an exciting, creative player.
    An example of this unnecessary makeover is Mikael Andersson, who played 761 NHL
    games during 15 NHL seasons from 1985 – 2000. He was drafted in the first round in
    1984 out of the Swedish league in an era where very few Europeans were drafted
    high. Andersson was named the best junior player in Sweden in 1984 and whose game
    was skill, speed and smartness. Buffalo signed him after only one season in the
    Swedish top league, at the age of 19 with too little experience. Five of his first six NHL
    seasons were split between the NHL and the AHL, playing in 179 minor league games.
    After seven seasons, he became an NHL regular, but his game was changed. A naturally
    gifted and creative player was now a role player and that kept him in the league
    for another eight seasons.
    Again, there is no crystal ball. But imagine rewinding those years to see what could
    have happened had Andersson signed at the age of 22, instead of 19 after another
    three years in Sweden. He likely would have had a slightly shorter NHL career but with
    more ice time and goals – and a higher salary, compensating for the later NHL debut.
    There are more examples with this pattern, but few players show the determination
    and endurance of Andersson. In most cases the player, feeling that he can’t play his
    game, goes home.
    Coincidently as Andersson was the best junior forward in Sweden, Calle Johansson
    was the best junior defenseman in the country. While Andersson left with only one season’s
    experience in the Swedish top league, Johansson stayed for more than three seasons
    before signing with Buffalo. Johansson is one of only six Europeans to accumulate
    17 seasons and over 1000 NHL-games. Upon retirement he became a scout and is
    now coaching in his native Sweden.
    I had enormous use from those extra years I stayed in Sweden, said
    Calle when interviewed. When I came to Buffalo, I did with a certain
    confidence and experience. I had a fundament to stand on. I
    have said it all along whenever this topic comes up – a player who
    has accumulated enough skill and maturity in Europe doesn’t need
    any ‘adjustment’ in the minors to the North American game. And if
    the player is not ready for the NHL, he should stay at home and
    develop until he is ready. I am pretty sure that if I had left earlier, I
    would have been sent to the minors and I am quite sure that my
    career would have turned out differently. When asked, I have advised
    NHL clubs not to recruit Europeans to the minor league team,
    but still many do. This hurts three fold: the European team loses a
    player who is under development and another player must be rushed
    to take his place, the player does not develop to his potential
    in the AHL and, finally, he takes up a spot on the AHL-team which
    could have gone to a Canadian or American prospect.
    If a European player is signed in good faith to play in the NHL and doesn’t make the
    team after training camp, the NHL team should use the opportunity given in the IIHFNHL
    Player Transfer Agreement to return the player to his European team. Some NHL
    clubs have done so already.
    Even if disagreeing with the theories why the minor leagues are not a good developmental
    ground for Europeans, the numbers cannot be disputed:
    In the major researched group of 621 players, 242 players with more than 100 games
    in the minors were found. Of those 242 players, only six were 3+ and above. In this
    group, no less than 213 players (88.0%) not of NHL caliber, or fringe or below average
    players were identified.”

  122. Chachi says:

    Pouzar,

    Yup, I am convinced. Puljujarvi should not see North American soil for another 2 years at least. They should tell him now though, so he doesn’t get his hope up.

  123. Pouzar says:

    Chachi:
    Pouzar,

    Yup, I am convinced. Puljujarvi should not see North American soil for another 2 years at least. They should tell him now though, so he doesn’t get his hope up.

    Yeah I guess you read that whole .pdf that disputes your claim.

    *sigh*

    What’s Teemu Selanne doin these days?
    Man those development yrs in Finland really killed him!
    Did he win the Calder? Can’t remember. Anyways………………………

  124. slopitch says:

    russ99:
    Defensively, that Bruins forward group could run circles around our forwards.

    Come on guys, it’s not all about scoring goals, it’s really about scoring more than the opposition.

    Realistically, one good defenseman addition isn’t going to make up for the forwards’ consistently blown assignments or clean zone exits foiled by forwards leaving early.

    True

  125. auzy11 says:

    Should the Oil perhaps look at landing Ville Pokka stuck in Hawks system,this guy played in Worlds,last year and was Finlands top defender,and he is on Finlands World Cup team all while plying his trade with Rockford of AHL,perhaps the Hawks have plans for him this season to be in bigs,but i hear there were more than 10 teams trying to aquire this guy,perhaps the Oil were one. This guy was NHL ready last year,but stuck in Hawks system,he should of been in NHL last year,and he has a monster shot and plays both ends very very well……I think the Hawks are asking a lot for this young man,thats why he is still there,picked up from Isles in trade for Leddy,this 2nd round pick will be a top NHL D man for a long time…..Love to see this kid on Oilers……asap

  126. slopitch says:

    I think one more year in Finland would be ideal. Take the Nik Backstrom path.

  127. slopitch says:

    Lowetide,

    Can’t say I disagree with it. Good post

  128. Chachi says:

    Pouzar: Yeah I guess you read that whole .pdf that disputes your claim.

    *sigh*

    What’s Teemu Selanne doin these days?
    Man those development yrs in Finland really killed him!
    Did he win the Calder? Can’t remember. Anyways………………………

    Why are you sighing? Better get checked to see if you have asthma. I am concerned for your health. Also you are really close to convincing me of your point. Do you have other 24 year old examples to point out? Also, well done outing yourself as a Jets fan!

  129. Pouzar says:

    Chachi: Why are you sighing? Better get checked to see if you have asthma. I am concerned for your health. Also you are really close to convincing me of your point. Do you have other 24 year old examples to point out? Also, well done outing yourself as a Jets fan!

    take to HFBoards son.
    I don’t have to convince you of anything.

  130. Chachi says:

    Pouzar: take to HFBoards son.
    I don’t have to convince you of anything.

    Never posted there, never will. I agree you don’t have to convince me of anything, but for some reason you are desperately digging through decades old anecdotal evidence to try to convince me of something. It’s ok, you are still my favourite Jets fan.

  131. Yeti says:

    Pouzar,

    Only if he misses his flight.

  132. Pouzar says:

    Chachi: Never posted there, never will. I agree you don’t have to convince me of anything, but for some reason you are desperately digging through decades old anecdotal evidence to try to convince me of something. It’s ok, you are still my favourite Jets fan.

    Yer right. I should have just agreed with your anecdotal non-evidence.

    SIGH

  133. Chachi says:

    Pouzar: Yer right. I should have just agreed with your anecdotal non-evidence.

    SIGH

    Here’s hoping the Oilers do what is best for the young man no matter where he ends up playing.

    FART NOISES!

  134. G Money says:

    Lowetide,

    Thanks for those thoughts. I understand and appreciate where you are coming from, and as the owner of this blog, the words carry much weight.

    I think the thought process underneath the comments raises some very interesting philosophical questions about:
    – the nature and purpose of commenting
    – the role of moderation and curation (and the effects of the application, non-application, or misapplication of same)
    – thoughts about what makes this blog interesting and unique (aside from your stellar articles of course)
    – and on a personal note and specific to your last few sentences, what additional responsibilities, considerations, and obligations might fall on those of us who volunteer our time and effort to advance the state of hockey analytics (and freely share our work in so doing).

    I would like to discuss those further, but am pressed for time at the moment, as the advent of a rare nice sunny day has the local amusement park calling my kids by name, and I must acquiesce. So will raise later in another thread (if you’re OK with it).

    One thing I should clarify re: my snarky comment:

    – it seems to be taken as having quite a wide angle of spray. To clarify: it is not aimed at everyone who disagrees with my viewpoint on Yak. I disagree with lots of people on lots of things, and it is generally cordial. The comment is relevant to a narrow segment of particularly prejudicial and anti-evidentiary posters, and goes beyond any specific topic.

    – In so doing, I make no reference to any of ‘new’ stats, whether mine or others, but entirely on established and well vetted ones like points and shots.

    Not sure if that changes the impression or not, but if not, that I guess will indeed have to wait for later under a somewhat broader banner of discussion.

  135. AsiaOil says:

    Centre of attention:

    I lost you when you said “Eberle doesnt get paid to float in to offensive zone” what if I told you he was injured this last year and deserves a pass like Nuge does? Eberle hired a shooting coach even though he already averages over 25 goals a seasin.

    Wheres Yaks shooting% trending? Exactly. Im fine with putting Yak with McDavid for balance, but your personal attacks on Eberle are shamefully false. You’re entitled to your opinion though as am I. Hope you enjoy your day sir.

    This isn’t Yak versus Ebs – it’s about Ebs stepping up as a leader and playing the game the right way and as an example to other lesser talented and lesser paid guys. If you expect to win then you can’t have your best guys float. You can’t have your best guys play one way. Chia has said this, Lucic has said it, other guys like Hendricks and Maroon have said it. The Oilers mgmt and fans coddled their precious Austins and like spoiled kids and they simply never developed the toughness needed to win – and by tough I don’t mean smashing faces. Tough as in not backing down and not letting up pressure every shift at both ends of the ice. The Oilers were famous for folding when quality teams dialed up the intensity and the Austins were part of the problem. RNH may be salvageable but I have my doubts about Ebs – we will see – hope he proves me wrong.

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