BLADE RUNNER

That damned injury against the Philadelphia Flyers robbed Oilers fans enormously—the young man was posting an incredible year—and contributed to the decisions of summer. McDavid’s boxcars (45gp, 16-32-48) would have seen him posting around 87 points as a rookie—that would have placed him No. 3 in league scoring. How dominant was he as a freshman? Despite the lower-scoring era he plays in, McDavid ran in lock step with Sid the kid when he was a rookie:

MCDAVID V. CROSBY AS ROOKIES—EVEN STRENGTH

mcdavid-v-crosby-ev-rookie

These numbers probably look a little different than what you will find at Corsica or Stats.HockeyAnalysis.com, but I wanted a level playing field. Sidney Crosby’s rookie TOI and EV points are available on NHL.com, so I ran the numbers that way for both players.

McDavid, despite playing in a deadball era, is basically in a tie with rookie Crosby. That fact was obscured by the injury, the young Oiler center did not receive his due because of the play against the Flyers. That line is a stunner in an era where offense is so much less successful league-wide. League average goals-for in 2005-06 was 253 and in 2015-16 it was 222. Crosby’s Penguins scored 244 goals in his first season, Edmonton delivered 199. Connor McDavid. Madness.

MCDAVID VS. CROSBY AS ROOKIES—POWER PLAY

mcdavid-crosby-pp-rookie-comp

Same as last time, this is via NHL.com and done by hand. The difference in era is largely responsible for the gap here, you may recall that coming out of the lockout there was an aggressive attempt to increase offense and cut down on obstruction hooking. The difference was obvious to the viewer at the time—although the refs no longer call things as tightly as a decade ago. Crosby’s Penguins scored 94 goals in his rookie year (league average: 85), McDavid’s Oilers 43 (league average: 48). This is a different offensive era, folks.

In his rookie season, Sidney Crosby played 20:08, posted 3.43 shots per game, shooting percentage 14, 45.5 percent on the dot. Connor McDavid played 18:53, posted 2.33 shots per game, shooting percentage 15.2, 41.2 percent on the dot. One of the things I believe we will see next year? A spike in TOI for 97.

WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?

mcdavid cluster

This is the McDavid cluster with my recent RE numbers (Puljujarvi’s totals are likely now moot with the signing of Versteeg to a PTO). Every one of these names is important, because the Oilers are going to need inexpensive role players who can grow with the group. Jujhar Khaira, Anton Slepyshev and Drake Caggiula are important men who need to emerge—whether as trade assets or useful players on the roster. You may say Slepyshev has no value, but we would do well to remember that Tony Salmelainen fetched Jaro Spacek once upon a deadline.

 

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128 Responses to "BLADE RUNNER"

  1. admiralmark says:

    If McDavid gets injured at the WHC’s i’m gonna be choked or RNH for that matter… Those games are lookin rough out there!

  2. frjohnk says:

    If Versteeg makes the team and JP doesn’t start the year with the Oilers, this scenario probably increases the chance that Reinhart makes the opening night roster.

  3. Wolfie says:

    I’m shocked the NHL has scaled back plans on the implementation of more streamlined goalie equipment…
    If ever there was a time to get it done, it’s now!

    No one wants to see games decided on ticky tack calls… But goals need to increase. The refusal of the NHL to enable it’s most talented members to shine is baffling.

    Talent used to matter.

  4. hunter1909 says:

    I can’t even watch those bastard Flyers…they literally both go out of their way to run CMD into the boards…grinning to themselves…

    Thats why Chiarelli’s been rebuilding this putrid team into something that’s not ever going to take shit anymore.

    Bummer that Taylor Hall’s gone. But better to lose Hall than McDavid to another intentional injury. Better to have madman Lucic on the port side.

    Again: The Flames should be trying to trade Johnny Hockey for Hall – talk about perfect symmetry. I can’t imagine why Hall isn’t playing for Canada. It just doesn’t make any sense.

  5. Richard S.S. says:

    “That damned injury against the Philadelphia Flyers…”

    That may be called an injury officially, but I call it an attack with intent to injure. There may be disagreement, so watch it again if you can (once was more than enough for me).

  6. Centre of attention says:

    Mark Spector ‏@SportsnetSpec 35s35 seconds ago
    Chara gets Sekera as a partner tonight. Krueger trying to stabilize the big guy’s game a tad after a rocky Game 1.

    Poor Andrej. Forced to drag along his partner even at a “best vs best” tournament.

    *edit* It will be interesting to see how he does on his offside vs all that speed on team NA. I assume it will be Sekera sliding over to the right, at least.

  7. Ca$h-McMoney! says:

    hunter1909,

    The offence over Hall not making team Canada is over blown. This isn’t Sweden choosing some 38 year old over Hedman or having OEL ride pine. This isn’t Abdelkader over Kessel. Every player they have chosen over Hall is elite. Better than Hall? Maybe, maybe not, but it’s close enough that you can’t really complain about it.

    If Hall starts posting elite point totals again, then maybe he gets on the next one. As it stands he simply hasn’t separated himself from what is an exceptional pack.

  8. Richard S.S. says:

    A healthy McDavid in 2016 crushes Crosby’s rookie numbers. He might just crush all Crosby’s career numbers anyway.

  9. fifthcartel says:

    The crazy thing is McDavid is going to get better. He was 3rd in the league for points per game as a rookie, and he’s going to get better. Oh man.

    Get this man some defense.

  10. kinger_OIL says:

    fifthcartel,

    – Getting Lucic for McD was a really really smart move IMO.

    – I see it as Lucic + McD = maximising McD, and loss of Hall provides even greater opportunity for McD (Hall was very poor on PP). You want to put everything at making McD in best situation.

  11. Water Fire says:

    Ca$h-McMoney!:
    hunter1909,

    The offence over Hall not making team Canada is over blown. This isn’t Sweden choosing some 38 year old over Hedman or having OEL ride pine. This isn’t Abdelkader over Kessel. Every player they have chosen over Hall is elite. Better than Hall?Maybe, maybe not, but it’s close enough that you can’t really complain about it.

    If Hall starts posting elite point totals again, then maybe he gets on the next one. As it stands he simply hasn’t separated himself from what is an exceptional pack.

    Agreed. Hall also doesn’t like to play properly relying on his attacking abilities and taking risks, constantly forcing low percentage plays, and not being in the right position.

    There are players that can do the right things and score more than him. Especially for a coach like Babcock who chose 11 centres, Hall needs to take a step up to play like the big boys. Not a criticism, just the facts coming from many people and places we’ve all read.

    NJ and being traded will likely refine his game. Eberle doesn’t get on the top Canada groups either.

  12. fifthcartel says:

    kinger_OIL,

    I hope so, he’s a legitimate top line LW and I think he’ll easily put up 60+ points if he’s healthy (he’s been very healthy the last few years) and they mesh well. I think its fair to say he’s one of the best LW acquired this summer, other than you know, Taylor Hall.

    I’m not sure how much the powerplay struggles are on Hall compared to the Oilers have an abundance of players wanting the same spot on the powerplay.

    All of Hall/RNH/Yakupov/Draisaitl/McDavid occupy the same spot regularly so it was difficult to build a power play littered with LH shots + the lack of a defensemen that can play on the top unit.

    It sucks one of those 1st overalls wasn’t a RH shot but that’s the nice part about Puljujarvi.

  13. Lowetide says:

    One thing I wonder is how much we will see Lucic on the power play. His career high in PP points is 14, and he went 2-6-8 a year ago. I have him at 10 points on the PP this year.

    http://lowetide.ca/2016/07/22/re-16-17-milan-lucic-blow-at-high-dough/

  14. frjohnk says:

    kinger_OIL:
    fifthcartel,

    – Getting Lucic for McD was a really really smart move IMO.

    – I see it as Lucic + McD =maximising McD, and loss of Hall provides even greater opportunity for McD (Hall was very poor on PP).You want to put everything at making McD in best situation.

    The Hall verbal that he was poor on the PP is overblown.

    He was one of the best Oilers at gaining the zone with puck or using his speed to gain position to setup the PP.

    His spot down low in the corner is not where players are credited with many points.

    The guys who run the PP either on the half wall or the point and the shooters are the guys that usually put up the points on the PP.

    Hall was neither and so he didn’t get as many points.

    Doesn’t mean he didn’t do things that contributed to the PP.

    He has also scored well on the PP in previous years so it’s not like he has never had success there.

  15. Caramel Batman says:

    Lucic doesn’t add a thing to McDavid that Pouliot doesn’t.

    Trying to get the “most” out of McDavid at the expense of other lines is poor tactics. We are looking down the barrel of being a one line team.

  16. Lowetide says:

    Caramel Batman:
    Lucic doesn’t add a thing to McDavid that Pouliot doesn’t.

    Trying to get the “most” out of McDavid at the expense of other lines is poor tactics.We are looking down the barrel of being a one line team.

    Lucic and Pouliot (along with Maroon) form a strong LW trio, and that is a strength. Having two extremely effective LWs for the top two lines is not a weakness.

  17. fifthcartel says:

    I wonder about Lucic and him playing the net-front presence on the powerplay. I have no doubt they’ll stick him there but wasn’t there something about him being overrated in that role? Or was it just his PP totals? I’d also be a little concerned about him taking a lot of cross-checks and abuse in year 1 of a 7 year deal.

  18. leadfarmer says:

    Centre of attention:
    Mark Spector ‏@SportsnetSpec35s35 seconds ago
    Chara gets Sekera as a partner tonight. Krueger trying to stabilize the big guy’s game a tad after a rocky Game 1.

    Poor Andrej. Forced to drag along his partner even at a “best vs best” tournament.

    *edit* It will be interesting to see how he does on his offside vs all that speed on team NA. I assume it will be Sekera sliding over to the right, at least.

    Sekera’s turd polishing skills are off the charts. That guy can turn anyone into a capable partner.

  19. Lowetide says:

    fifthcartel:
    I wonder about Lucic and him playing the net-front presence on the powerplay. I have no doubt they’ll stick him there but wasn’t there something about him being overrated in that role? Or was it just his PP totals? I’d also be a little concerned about him taking a lot of cross-checks and abuse in year 1 of a 7 year deal.

    He has not traditionally been that presence, although Todd McLellan may use him in that role. Lucic’s passing skills are useful all over the ice, so for me he is an intriguing—if not overly successful—power-play option.

  20. Stanley 2018 says:

    Has anyone seen if Oilers have released their Roster for Young Stars Tournament next week?

  21. Lowetide says:

    Stanley 2018:
    Has anyone seen if Oilers have released their Roster for Young Stars Tournament next week?

    Not yet. I will have a post up as soon as it is released.

  22. smellyglove says:

    Mr. Lowetide:

    If you are interested, for upcoming posts, here is a treasure trove of Creative Commons Oilers photos on Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/search/?license=2%2C3%2C4%2C5%2C6%2C9&advanced=1&text=edmonton%20oilers&sort=date-taken-desc

    Nice shots of the new arena; fans (http://goo.gl/ka4vS5); Talbot (http://goo.gl/s5wzYz); old arena (http://goo.gl/cPmvxi); The Chosen One (http://goo.gl/T2Og4v); Ebs (http://goo.gl/6IbexN); crazy fans (https://www.flickr.com/photos/dinur/24932309279/); etc.

  23. stevezie says:

    Ca$h-McMoney!,

    This is all true, but it does reveal Hall doesn’t have a champion inside the Team Canada braintrust, which is interesting considering he’s played for a few of them.

  24. Doug McLachlan says:

    No sense that Lucic has the speed to give-and-go with McDavid. Pouliot and Yak had good chemistry with McDavid so run with it.

    Suspect that Lucic’s past success with Krejci makes Nuge a natural pairing.

  25. OilClog says:

    Lucic doesn’t add anything compared to Pouliot?

    Yet if we keep Lucic on McDavid’s line, this is a one line team?

    Nuge will only succeed if he gets Lucic?

    Sekera seems to fix everything lets just roll him out with McDavid and call it a wash shall we. Ok then

  26. OilClog says:

    Doug McLachlan:
    No sense that Lucic has the speed to give-and-go with McDavid. Pouliot and Yak had good chemistry with McDavid so run with it.

    Suspect that Lucic’s past success with Krejci makes Nuge a natural pairing.

    Who the F has the speed to give and go with McDavid? Yakupov, Eberle, and Pouliot are not “fast”

    Mcdavid plays give and go with the boards, himself, opposing defenders signs an autograph and waits for the trailers if he hasn’t scored yet.

  27. Ca$h-McMoney! says:

    stevezie,

    Maybe. Probably. Not sure what it says, other than that the group valued an experienced 40 goal type and adominant 2way C who scores a bunch at least slightly ahead of him.

    Nothing wrong with that. Doesn’t mean they don’t like him, just means they like others better… by some margin, no one knows what that margin is.

    Moral of the story: thinking Hall should have made the team is fine, being mad about him not being on the team is at least a little ridiculous.

  28. Oilspill says:

    admiralmark:
    If McDavid gets injured at the WHC’s i’m gonna be choked or RNH for that matter… Those games are lookin rough out there!

    It’s real hockey. Can’t have a team of pussies. Chia knows this. When the going gets tough…
    Need skill and toughness.

  29. stush18 says:

    frjohnk: The Hall verbal that he was poor on the PP is overblown.

    He was one of the best Oilers at gaining the zone with puck or using his speed to gain position to setup the PP.

    His spot down low in the corner is not where players are credited with many points.

    The guys who run the PP either on the half wall or the point and the shooters are the guys that usually put up the points on the PP.

    Hall was neither and so he didn’t get as many points.

    Doesn’t mean he didn’t do things that contributed to the PP.

    He has also scored well on the PP in previous years so it’s not like he has never had success there.

    Sorry but I completely disagree.

    Halls whole mentality has been attack. He forces low percentage plays on net, or shots with no screens from the half wall.

    Gaining the zone 5v4 should not be a compliment. Purcell, drai, nuge, mcdavid were all good at this last year.

    He plays the low scoring spots because he does not score well 5v4. But he is a beast at puck retrieval, which is why he played the spots he did.

    Nuge runs the half wall better, ebs far side, drai slot. He has down low or in front of the net.

  30. Woodguy says:

    Doug McLachlan:
    No sense that Lucic has the speed to give-and-go with McDavid. Pouliot and Yak had good chemistry with McDavid so run with it.

    Suspect that Lucic’s past success with Krejci makes Nuge a natural pairing.

    That’s the way I see it too.

    I wonder what McLellan will do?

  31. Ryan says:

    Reading this comment stream, you’d almost think that Lucic is a forth liner.

    I like Pouliot, but the season that he scores 37 points will be hist first. 37 points. Let’s not get carried away here.

    Looch has been top four in scoring on playoff teams every year for the last six years except during the lockout shortened season

  32. G Money says:

    Jeebuz Farkin Keerist, here is an example of terrible use of statistics:

    http://thehockeywriters.com/can-the-nhl-schedule-a-scoring-increase/

    If ‘more scoring after a road trip’ were some sort of real world thing (fatigue or whatever), then you would expect to see a steady increase in goals scored as the road trip lengthened.

    The fact that it bounces back and forth (2,4,6 game road trips -> fewer goals scored, 3,5,7 game road trips -> more) does most assuredly NOT mean scheduling more three game road trips would increase scoring, it screams ‘random variation’.

    I’d bet Tiger Balm on the nuts that the effect completely disappears with more data.

  33. Doug McLachlan says:

    Woodguy,

    Nice to be in good company.

    Let’s assume Versteeg gets signed. Yak is told to “earn it” and Poolparty starts in the AHL.

    Pouliot – McDavid – Eberle
    Lucic – Nuge – Versteeg
    Maroon – Drai – Yak
    Hendricks – Letestu – Kassian
    Lander

    If TMac is prepared to feed the softs to Drai and Yak, could work.

  34. Jethro Tull says:

    G Money,

    Did you know that skirt hemlines raise in times of national crisis?
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hemline_index

  35. Woodguy says:

    frjohnk,

    You on twitter yet Padre?

  36. rickithebear says:

    Richard S.S.:
    “That damned injury against the Philadelphia Flyers…”

    That may be called an injury officially, but I call it an attack with intent to injure.There may be disagreement, so watch it again if you can (once was more than enough for me).

    I was often asked to intimidate players.
    Could not have drawn up a better way than grab from behind, turn, and drive him at the neck.
    I consider recognizing the mechanics of the play process on video my biggest strength.
    And
    Applying it to my or others play.

    Not analytics!

  37. Woodguy says:

    Doug McLachlan:
    Woodguy,

    Nice to be in good company.

    Let’s assume Versteeg gets signed. Yak is told to “earn it” and Poolparty starts in the AHL.

    Pouliot – McDavid – Eberle
    Lucic – Nuge – Versteeg
    Maroon – Drai – Yak
    Hendricks – Letestu – Kassian
    Lander

    If TMac is prepared to feed the softs to Drai and Yak, could work.

    I like those lines.

    What people forget is that McDavid is probably the best player in the NHL right now. If not, he’s top 5.

    Therefore, if you want to have a competitive team, RNH *should* get the better help on his wings.

    You don’t give the best C your best wingers and then just hope for the rest of the lines.

  38. frjohnk says:

    Woodguy:
    frjohnk,

    You on twitter yet Padre?

    No I’m not.

    One day I’ll break down and sign up.

  39. Woodguy says:

    G Money,

    I’d bet Tiger Balm on the nuts that the effect completely disappears with more data.

    Hehe.

    That’s a bet you’ll never want to lose.

    I’m not projecting.

    I know.

  40. rickithebear says:

    PP:

    Watch 17 year old puljujarvi in the OVI position.
    It is uncanny!

  41. stush18 says:

    Doug McLachlan:
    Woodguy,

    Nice to be in good company.

    Let’s assume Versteeg gets signed. Yak is told to “earn it” and Poolparty starts in the AHL.

    Pouliot – McDavid – Eberle
    Lucic – Nuge – Versteeg
    Maroon – Drai – Yak
    Hendricks – Letestu – Kassian
    Lander

    If TMac is prepared to feed the softs to Drai and Yak, could work.

    I’d rather run

    Pouliot-nuge-ebs
    Lucic-mcdavid-yak
    Maroon-drai-versteeg

    And let nuges line take on the toughs. Last year versteeg only started 25% of his shifts in the dzone. Now I get zone starts are a touchy subject around here, but they speak to usage as ducey has been saying.

    I’m actually not convinced versteeg will beat out kassian imo

    Edit* I see woodguys reply, and I also agree there is no need to run your best left and right wingers with mcdavid. I wouldn’t mind lucic-nuge-xxx. They could prolly perform well

  42. fifthcartel says:

    I agree with spreading the wealth out. They’ll probably put McDavid with Lucic to start but you want three scoring lines, and I know people say they don’t work/teams don’t really have one but I take it more as having three likes with the potential to score. Loading up McDavid’s line seems fishy when you can accomplish a similar effect with Pouliot or Versteeg on his wings.

  43. Caramel Batman says:

    Honestly people. Do you think there is any chance anyone but Lucic plays with McDavid?

  44. Lowetide says:

    Caramel Batman:
    Honestly people.Do you think there is any chance anyone but Lucic plays with McDavid?

    Oh yes, for sure. No doubt they will spent time together, but Pouliot is a proven option. Wrote about it this morning.

    http://oilersnation.com/2016/9/11/ben

  45. Woodguy says:

    frjohnk: No I’m not.

    One day I’ll break down and sign up.

    You should.

    I’d like to DM you right now.

  46. stush18 says:

    Caramel Batman:
    Honestly people.Do you think there is any chance anyone but Lucic plays with McDavid?

    Well we are all talking about how it might be the best option…

    So ya I think we do

  47. LadiesloveSmid says:

    Daily stupid question for the analytically inclined:

    I’m gonna use Lucic as an example for this, but could apply to a ton of players. If we think a player’s net front presence/work in the corners/intimidation/things we can’t really measure, are having a big effect on the play… could that be reflected in a lower IPP?

    Ex. Lucic crushes a defenceman, feeds the puck to the point, then parks his ass in front. The D and halfwall forwards exchange the puck some then a shot gets through in large part to Lucic’s screen. He’s not getting credited on the play, but the team is scoring.

    Tell me if I’m just a rambling idiot

  48. rickithebear says:

    When watching a players even goal scoring success.
    Look at how they attack the net .
    Do a count?

  49. frjohnk says:

    rickithebear:
    PP:

    Watch 17 year old puljujarvi in the OVI position.
    It is uncanny!

    Yup.

    McDavid and JP on the PP together will make beautiful music together.

    But Oilers need a right shot hammer on the point as well.

    One of the reasons why the Washington PP has been so successful with Backstrom and Ovie is that the second option, mike Green and Carlson and now Carlson and Niskanen who all can also hammer the puck, but from the point.

    Backstrom has always had two options the PK defense had to defend against. This would open up the seems.

    McDavid in the Backstrom spot
    JP in the Ovie spot
    That’s beautiful.

    Larsson and Fayne as right handed hammers?
    Not so much.

  50. G Money says:

    LadiesloveSmid,

    Imma gonna answer this cause I’m analytically inclined, but I have a funny answer for you: my opinion is based non-analytically (from that one time I accidentally looked up from my spreadsheets and watched the game).

    I think what you’re describing happens all the time.

    Once you get a long enough read on a player, the effect probably washes out, but I think the effect you’re describing requires looking not just at individual scoring stats, but at the scoring stats of player pairs and lines for any given player, and how they effect others (same as Corsi WOWYs).

    I haven’t looked at Looch, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he has that effect (where lines are more effective with him, even though his individual scoring is relatively stable).

  51. rickithebear says:

    Caramel Batman:
    Honestly people.Do you think there is any chance anyone but Lucic plays with McDavid?

    If a player gets 21 goals and bumps to 27.
    Or
    One who was a 14 goal scorer becomes a 27 goal scorer.

    I am choosing the trend that gets me the best gf increase.
    Ie. great WOWY.

  52. G Money says:

    fifthcartel: I agree with spreading the wealth out.

    If anyone was following along with talks from RITHAC yesterday, Dawson Sprigings (aka DTMAboutHeart) did a talk on exactly this topic.

    Is it better to load up a line, or spread the wealth around?

    Answer: there is a very substantial effect showing that teams score more when they spread the wealth around.

    Getting back to the topic of Oiler winger-centre combinations:

    – No question Lucic will get time with McDavid, but we shouldn’t assume that combo will or won’t be effective. Player chemistry is real, and it can be a giant boon or a giant bitch.

    – Based on last year, we can get a bead on which C-RW combos will or won’t be effective. The absence of Hall (who had an outsized, almost outlandish effect on the effectiveness of the lines he played with) and the addition of Lucic throws most of our ability to predict the effectiveness of LW-C combos out the window

    – The one thing you *shouldn’t* count on is Maroon’s success with McDavid continuing – that line had surprisingly poor shot metrics, but was highly dangerous because of Maroon’s 20%+ shooting percentage. Unless you think the McDavid effect will suddenly make Maroon the most accurate and dangerous shooter in NHL history, don’t count on it continuing.

    – The point about ‘spread the wealth’ speaks exactly to why an RNH-Ebs McDavid-Yak starting combo has nothing to do with ‘earning it’, and far more to do with producing a better overall result for the team. You start there and let ‘prove it’ be your guide.

  53. frjohnk says:

    Woodguy: You should.

    I’d like to DM you right now.

    OK I set it up and I think I am now following you.

    @PadreJohn97

  54. fifthcartel says:

    G Money,

    I agree. Optimize the line up to win the most amount of games.

  55. LadiesloveSmid says:

    G Money,

    If Versteeg is 100%, I like:

    Lucic-McDavid-Versteeg
    Maroon-RNH-Eberle
    Pouliot-Drai-Yak

    really worried about Drai without Hall this year, but I like that lineup a lot. pray to gord for good health

  56. stush18 says:

    G Money: If anyone was following along with talks from RITHAC yesterday, Dawson Sprigings (aka DTMAboutHeart) did a talk on exactly this topic.

    Is it better to load up a line, or spread the wealth around?

    Answer: there is a very substantial effect showing that teams score more when they spread the wealth around.

    Getting back to the topic of Oiler winger-centre combinations:

    – No question Lucic will get time with McDavid, but we shouldn’t assume that combo will or won’t be effective.Player chemistry is real, and it can be a giant boon or a giant bitch.

    – Based on last year, we can get a bead on which C-RW combos will or won’t be effective. The absence of Hall (who had an outsized, almost outlandish effect on the effectiveness of the lines he played with) and the addition of Lucic throws most of our ability to predict the effectiveness of LW-C combos out the window

    – The one thing you *shouldn’t* count on is Maroon’s success with McDavid continuing – that line had surprisingly poor shot metrics, but was highly dangerous because of Maroon’s 20%+ shooting percentage. Unless you think the McDavid effect will suddenly make Maroon the most accurate and dangerous shooter in NHL history, don’t count on it continuing.

    – The point about ‘spread the wealth’ speaks exactly to why an RNH-Ebs McDavid-Yak has nothing to do with ‘earning it’, and far more to do with producing a better overall result for the team.

    What was the RITHAC? Seen lots on Twitter about it

    Also I kind of do believe that mcdavid can turn maroon into a dangerous scorer. Maroons goals aren’t pucks going in off his ass either. He was finishing plays with a deft touch.

    Also I have nothing but experience to back me up here, but when a man of maroons size is nearing down on a puck in the corner, everyone but the very elite is going to panic with the puck. Mcdavid and ebs are prime candidates for reading the play and picking up an errant pass. Then maroon lumbers his way over to the net before his dman does and places his stick on the ice.

  57. rickithebear says:

    G Money:
    I have looked at the teamate portion of
    Team, comp, zs affects.
    For Lucic.

    I have stated quite a few times.
    Since he was signed.
    He has the penner affect.

  58. Gret99zky says:

    G Money:

    I’d bet Tiger Balm on the nuts.

    This isn’t a “friendly”.

    It’s not a “Woodguy”.

    This is serious betting.

  59. G Money says:

    stush18,

    RITHAC = Rochester Institute of Technology Hockey Analytics Conference

    There seems to be about a half dozen of these scattered about the continent, and RITHAC attracts a lot of the good easterly analytics folk.

    The first two ever were in Edmonton then Calgary, and for reasons that are less rigorous than I’d like to admit, I missed both, and have regretted doing so ever since!

    Next one is CASSIS – Cascadia Symposium on Statistics in Sports – in Vancouver on the 26th, then one at Babson College (a little ways out of Boston) in October. Anyone thinking of going to either?

    I think there’s no question that Maroon will be more dangerous playing with McDavid – most players would. But to continue to shoot 20%+? As I said, that would turn him into the most accurate and dangerous shooter in the history of the NHL.

  60. GCW_69 says:

    fifthcartel:
    I agree with spreading the wealth out. They’ll probably put McDavid with Lucic to start but you want three scoring lines, and I know people say they don’t work/teams don’t really have one but I take it more as having three likes with the potential to score. Loading up McDavid’s line seems fishy when you can accomplish a similar effect with Pouliot or Versteeg on his wings.

    Lucic isn’t only going to be there because of his points. He will be there because somewhere in the lizard brain element withinol hockey GMs and coaches, they believe Lucic can protect McDavid from other teams players taking liberties.

  61. G Money says:

    rickithebear,

    I think that’s a good analogy.

    And Lucic brings a mean streak that Penner never had (unless he was staring at a plate of pancakes), and that will make him a fan favourite in Edmonton.

  62. Oiln5 says:

    Spread the wealth, but no doubt Lucic is meant to be McDavids bigger, tougher shadow. Fuck with McDavid your answering to Lucic. It’s that simple.

    Realistically, who do we have that might be playing above their heads in the current lineup?

    Yak, Fayne, Nurse maybe? We have legit depth and some balance for the first time in forever here.

  63. jp says:

    Ryan:
    Reading this comment stream, you’d almost think that Lucic is a forth liner.

    I like Pouliot, but the season that he scores 37 points will be hist first. 37 points.Let’s not get carried away here.

    Looch has been top four in scoring on playoff teams every year for the last six years except during the lockout shortened season

    Injuries are a thing. Pouliot has a marginally higher points per game over his Oilers career than Lucic over the same timespan (0.62PPG vs 0.61).

    Lucic brings some other things, but in terms of hockey playing skills there’s not a big gap imo.

  64. G Money says:

    LadiesloveSmid,

    I think that’s a very workable lineup as well.

    The one thing we do know is that RNH-Yak is a major negative for both players, and RNH-Eberle is a major plus for RNH (who actually doesn’t mesh that well with a number of players, not just Yak, but very much has chemistry with Ebs).

    It wouldn’t surprise me at all if a big part of the Versteeg PTO is all about finding someone that can put a legit NHL veteran roadblock in front of JP at the very least for cap purposes.

    The magic number is 9 games (after which you burn a year of ELC but not UFA eligibility) and I believe 41 games (after which you burn both a year of ELC and UFA eligibility).

  65. GCW_69 says:

    LadiesloveSmid:
    G Money,

    If Versteeg is 100%, I like:

    Lucic-McDavid-Versteeg
    Maroon-RNH-Eberle
    Pouliot-Drai-Yak

    really worried about Drai without Hall this year, but I like that lineup a lot. pray to gord for good health

    The more important you think Leon is to the future of the hockey team, the more you should want to put him with veteran wingers.

    I would give him Pouliot and Versteeg in preseason, but also test Maroon on his wing. Ideally, he plays well with Maroon and Versteeg so Pouliot can play with Nuge and Eberle. Pouliot – Nuge – Eberle should be able to take on tough minutes at home, and feast on second comp on the road.

    But if there isn’t anything happening between Maroon and Leon, I think I move Pouliot down and Maroon up because I think Eberle and Nuge can play off Maroon just fine.

  66. Richard S.S. says:

    Leon Draisaitl doesn’t know how good he really is, nor if I speak truly, neither do we. I think that’s changing soon, and I think he can be exceptional. I believe he has far more value as a Centre than he has at any other position. So who’s the best options to play on his wings?

  67. Richard S.S. says:

    G Money,

    There’s also 42 Games which nullifies all bonuses.

  68. dustrock says:

    Hey guys pop and a bag of chips at Rogers Place will be $10.

    Remember how much Katz loves the community.

  69. blainer says:

    IF JP makes the team for the first 9 games.

    Then I see this.

    Lucic CMD Yak

    Pou Nuge Ebs

    Maroon Drai JP

    Hendy Latestu KV..

    With KV and JP switching places during home and away games..

  70. G Money says:

    Richard S.S.,

    For sure it would nullify a number of the bonuses (ice time, +- ha ha ha, goals and points etc), which require a minimum of 42GP.

    There are other bonuses like playing on the all star team, award voting, etc. that don’t seem to have a GP limit. Does it actually nullify those bonuses, or just make them really unlikely?

  71. G Money says:

    One more interesting point that DTM made in his ‘optimizing lineups’ talk – for some reason, he felt he needed to look at how long it took for an individual players CF% to stabilize.

    His best estimate for that is about 150 minutes.

    So when WG and I have been telling people not to trust WoodMoney counts for bins with <150 mins, we weren't just talking shit (even though in a way we were since it was eyeballed rather than formally estimated).

    Good thing to keep in mind when looking at WOWYs as well.

  72. Little Poteet says:

    Richard S.S.,

    Hopefully the one number he never reaches is concussions suffered. It was pretty touch and go with Crosby there for a couple years

  73. Little Poteet says:

    Jethro Tull,

    And ice cream sales go up with the crime rate!

  74. G Money says:

    If you want to be amused by weird correlations, this is a fun site: http://www.tylervigen.com/spurious-correlations

  75. stush18 says:

    G Money:
    stush18,

    RITHAC = Rochester Institute of Technology Hockey Analytics Conference

    There seems to be about a half dozen of these scattered about the continent, and RITHAC attracts a lot of the good easterly analytics folk.

    The first two ever were in Edmonton then Calgary, and for reasons that are less rigorous than I’d like to admit, I missed both, and have regretted doing so ever since!

    Next one is CASSIS – Cascadia Symposium on Statistics in Sports – in Vancouver on the 26th, then one at Babson College (a little ways out of Boston) in October.Anyone thinking of going to either?

    I think there’s no question that Maroon will be more dangerous playing with McDavid – most players would.But to continue to shoot 20%+?As I said, that would turn him into the most accurate and dangerous shooter in the history of the NHL.

    Sounds interesting, but I think I’m not quite in the class of these guys as far as math goes lol

    Would be interesting to attend tho

    And with mcdavid, anything is possible

  76. stush18 says:

    G Money:
    One more interesting point that DTM made in his ‘optimizing lineups’ talk – for some reason, he felt he needed to look at how long it took for an individual players CF% to stabilize.

    His best estimate for that is about 150 minutes.

    So when WG and I have been telling people not to trust WoodMoney counts for bins with <150 mins, we weren’t just talking shit (even though in a way we were since it was eyeballed rather than formally estimated).

    Good thing to keep in mind when looking at WOWYs as well.

    I’d read that too.

    Would be interesting to see if coaches know that when they are putting players together? Do you gut it out to try and see how much they normalize? Do you try and find lightning in a bottle for a short span?

  77. G Money says:

    stush18,

    That’s one of the true challenges for coaching – they don’t have the luxury of waiting for a statistic to stabilize before making their decisions.

    If a pair or line aren’t working well together, they often can’t wait ~10 games, that’s an eight of the season already gone. And of course, what makes it truly difficult is that humans (never mind coaches who are not selected for competence in math) are generally terrible at understanding how streaky random chance can be and is.

    I do think a coach is shooting himself in the foot if he doesn’t use prior seasons results in helping set his initial lineups, and give his team the best possible chance of finding effective combinations right out of the gate.

  78. Ice Sage says:

    Lucic plays with McD – that’s what he was brought / bought to do.

    At my age, tiger balm on the nuts is actually a bit enticing

  79. Johnny Larue says:

    Just got back from tour of new arena super disappointed. My seats are in the upper tier twice as far as my old seats from the ice will almost need oxygen to sit up there. Twice as expensive no leg room it is a nightmare to get up there and out of there. If you sit in the main bowl much nicer upper tier really stinks .

  80. Johnny Larue says:

    Oh ha a small popcorn and pop was $12.00

  81. kinger_OIL says:

    frjohnk,

    – The PP is only part of the consideration. Lucic makes McD a more effective player as his winger

    – Hall did not mesh with McD: he was a puck hog, and they didn’t help each other as much as one would think

    – So by getting McD an ideal winger: that’s a smart GM move

    – That Hall sucked on powerplay is also a consideration, and our PP is better without 2 puck hogs

    – So sure Hall is on fancy stats a better winger than Lucic, but Lucic is way better for McD, and that is the key for this team: equip McD with the best tools on his line. Smart GM.

    – OBC did not think this way, they just played “our best players” together. How did that work out?

  82. stush18 says:

    G Money:
    stush18,

    That’s one of the true challenges for coaching – they don’t have the luxury of waiting for a statistic to stabilize before making their decisions.

    If a pair or line aren’t working well together, they often can’t wait ~10 games, that’s an eight of the season already gone.And of course, what makes it truly difficult is that humans (never mind coaches who are not selected for competence in math) are generally terrible at understanding how streaky random chance can be and is.

    I do think a coach is shooting himself in the foot if he doesn’t use prior seasons results in helping set his initial lineups, and give his team the best possible chance of finding effective combinations right out of the gate.

    Yup agreed. The tricky part comes when previously successful lines suddenly go cold.

    Do you wait it out? Change immediately? Adopt new tactics?

    Man I’d love to be a coach. Managing players, systems, personalities, in game, out game.

  83. Woodguy says:

    frjohnk: OK I set it up and I think I am now following you.

    @PadreJohn97

    Awesome!

    btw DeeEssEff is @oceansidewebtv

    He was one of your first followers.

    DM sent

  84. kinger_OIL says:

    Caramel Batman:
    Lucic doesn’t add a thing to McDavid that Pouliot doesn’t.

    Trying to get the “most” out of McDavid at the expense of other lines is poor tactics.We are looking down the barrel of being a one line team.

    – I says pardon? Lucic and Poo are both wingers, but have you contratsted their style of play? Poo does nothing Lucic brings
    – Poo-RNH-Ebs had long stretches where they were a dominant line.
    – With Lucic-McD-whoever, that’s two great lines right there
    – Sorry I shouldn’t bite: I know you were just trying to get a rise

  85. Woodguy says:

    G Money:
    One more interesting point that DTM made in his ‘optimizing lineups’ talk – for some reason, he felt he needed to look at how long it took for an individual players CF% to stabilize.

    His best estimate for that is about 150 minutes.

    So when WG and I have been telling people not to trust WoodMoney counts for bins with <150 mins, we weren’t just talking shit (even though in a way we were since it was eyeballed rather than formally estimated).

    Good thing to keep in mind when looking at WOWYs as well.

    Wow.

    I always set the bar around 300.

    Small samples aren’t as small as we think sometimes.

    The 50 gam goalie thing is another example

  86. rickithebear says:

    I want Goals from my forwards:
    Even goals.
    PP goals.

    I want low HSC shot counts from my D at even.
    resulting in Lower EVGA for the HSCA save% goalie you have.

    Last 1/3 years.
    Even Goals:
    Mcdavid C (1yr) 45gm; 12G; .267 EVGPG; 7.10 SH/60; 16.22 SH%
    ——————————— Top 10 EVGPG
    EBerle RW (3yr) 230gm; 49G; .213 EVGPG; 6.83 SH/60; 12.69 SH%
    ——————————– Top 20 EVGPG
    Lucic LW (3yr) 242gm; 47G; .194 EVGPG; 5.92 SH/60; 13.86 SH%
    Draisatl C (1yr) 72gm; 14G; .194 EVGPG; 5.72 SH/60; 14.14 SH%
    ——————————– Top 40 EVGPG
    Pouliot LW (2yr) 113gm; 20G; .177 EVGPG; 6.87 SH/60; 13.16 SH%
    RNH C (3yr) 211gm; 36G; .171 EVGPG; 6.19 SH/60 ; 11.08 SH%
    Kassain RW (3yr) 151gm; 25G; .166 EVGPG; 5.92 SH/60; 14.12 SH%
    ——————————– Top 80 EVGPG
    Versteeg RW (3yr) 219gm; 31G; .142 RVGPG; 7.79 SH/60; 8.54 SH%
    ————————————————————————————–
    Maroon (3yr) 205gm; 24G; .117 EVGPG; 7.02 SH/60; 9.16SH%
    Yakupov (3yr) 204gm; 23G; .113 EVGPG; 8.18 SH/60; 6.71 SH%

  87. Water Fire says:

    GCW_69: Lucic isn’t only going to be there because of his points. He will be there because somewhere in the lizard brain element withinol hockey GMs and coaches, they believe Lucic can protect McDavid from other teams players taking liberties.

    Gazdic can’t protect McDavid, but Lucic can. It isnt right to lump staged fighting in with hockey players that others dont want to deal with, like Howe, Messier, Probert, Pronger, Chara, Lucic. Injuries still happen but players are more careful when a hack leads immediately to a confrontation with a vicious player. Hockey players call it running around, now with the Oilers there is a good chance a cheap shot leads to one of Lucic, Maroon, Kassian, Nurse, Handricks, and maybe Gryba being right there, every shift.

  88. Pescador says:

    Johnny Larue:
    Oh ha a small popcorn and pop was $12.00

    BAH!
    Quanto Qesto
    Pint & a Slice?

  89. Woodguy says:

    Water Fire: Gazdic can’t protect McDavid, but Lucic can. It isnt right to lump staged fighting in with hockey players that others dont want to deal with, like Howe, Messier, Probert, Pronger, Chara, Lucic. Injuries still happen but players are more careful when a hack leads immediately to a confrontation with a vicious player. Hockey players call it running around, now with the Oilers there is a good chance a cheap shot leads to one of Lucic, Maroon, Kassian, Nurse, Handricks, and maybe Gryba being right there, every shift.

    Lucic was on the ice when Cooke ended Savard’s career.

    Lucic was on the ice when Aaron Rome put Horton out of the playoffs.

    If someone wants to drill McDavid into the boards from behind, they’ll do it whether or not Lucic is on the ice.

  90. frjohnk says:

    Woodguy: Awesome!

    btw DeeEssEff is @oceansidewebtv

    He was one of your first followers.

    DM sent

    DSF one of my first followers?

    Holy shit! I made the big time!

  91. kinger_OIL says:

    Woodguy: Lucic was on the ice when Cooke ended Savard’s career.

    Lucic was on the ice when Aaron Rome put Horton out of the playoffs.

    If someone wants to drill McDavid into the boards from behind, they’ll do it whether or not Lucic is on the ice.

    – They aren’t playing Lucic with McD to punch faces: he’s there because he is an awesome puck-retriever, gets into the corners, passes really well, commands space, great possession #’s

  92. blainer says:

    Woodguy: Lucic was on the ice when Cooke ended Savard’s career.

    Lucic was on the ice when Aaron Rome put Horton out of the playoffs.

    If someone wants to drill McDavid into the boards from behind, they’ll do it whether or not Lucic is on the ice.

    Agreed but in a srum it is good to know Looch will have his back. If he stars to fight Looch can intervene.Or if someone is cheap shotting him like slashing etc. I fully expect Lucic to have his back. Something this team hasn’t seen much of until recently.

  93. Ca$h-McMoney! says:

    frjohnk: DSF one of my first followers?

    Holy shit! I made the big time!

    What’s your handle?

  94. Ca$h-McMoney! says:

    Nevermind. @PadreJohn97. Got it.

  95. Cameron says:

    hunter1909,

    Most Flames fans would no longer consider Johnny G for Hall straight up.

    On a personal note, I have a bottle of scotch coming my way because JG outscored Hall last year.

  96. LadiesloveSmid says:

    Cameron,

    most flames fans are pegging Johnny for 95P next year, let’s take that for what it is

  97. hunter1909 says:

    Cameron:
    hunter1909,

    Most Flames fans would no longer consider Johnny G for Hall straight up.

    On a personal note, I have a bottle of scotch coming my way because JG outscored Hall last year.

    My white hot hatred for the Flames pretty well means I can’t possibly think Johnny G is really any good, and that he’s going to either get flattened with his tiny frame and never recover – or any number of other scenarios. I used to think similar ideas about the Soviets.

    Flames are insane if they offer him anything more than Hall is getting. Therefore, I hope they give him a blank cheque…or whatever they do these days now that no one wants to send cheques.

    As a Flames fan, would you personally do that trade? Hall, forced to sit home like a big dork while the “real” players are at the WC I’d bet would jump at the chance.

    PS: Despite my bias, the Flames are building something good – with classic Canadian style hockey players like Monahan.

  98. Ca$h-McMoney! says:

    Cameron:
    hunter1909,

    Most Flames fans would no longer consider Johnny G for Hall straight up.

    On a personal note, I have a bottle of scotch coming my way because JG outscored Hall last year.

    Would they take Hall at 6m vs. JG at 8?

  99. Snowman says:

    Anyone got a stream for the north america v europe game?

  100. G Money says:

    Much as it pains me, I think Johnny Cocky is a terrific player.

    But assuming that Hall is somehow inferior is very Flames-fan-ish.

    Hall is brilliant, absolutely incredible at taking the puck end to end, manufacturing a chance out of nothing.

    But then again – he has to be. His most common defensive support last year was Sekera, Nurse, and Fayne. About 1100+ 5v5 mins worth.

    Maybe he’s so good at doing everything himself because of all the goddamn practice.

    The defensive support for Gaudreau on the other hand was Brodie and Giordano – just shy of 1100 5v5 mins worth.

    … one of these things is not like the other … sing it with me! …

  101. jake70 says:

    Will be tough for Mclelland to go back to Edmonton and leaving this group behind. 3-0 NA only 8 min in.

  102. Yak Efron says:

    Listening to Bieber while a bunch of younguns whoop your butt….must be painful.

  103. Lackadaisical says:

    This North American team is a delight!

  104. Oiln5 says:

    Snowman,

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IWlnTsG4mhU

    edit: I should add don’t look at the chat, or you may get cancer.

  105. jake70 says:

    This won’t get mentioned but before the NA team started scoring, I watched Nugent-Hopkins nicely break up 2 Europe attack/possessions in the span of 20 seconds, then create some offensive havoc in ozone, all in same shift. Very good shift for him.

  106. StixMalone says:

    jake70:
    This won’t get mentioned but before the NA team started scoring, I watched Nugent-Hopkinsnicely break up 2 Europe attack/possessions in the span of 20 seconds, then create some offensive havoc in ozone, all in same shift.Very good shift for him.

    Yes great plays. This team is fast and relentless so far…

  107. Ryan says:

    Maybe Ralph needs to load up the Kopitar line to get some offense.

  108. Lowetide says:

    Does 97 have a point yet? Not that it matters, but I havent seen him get one.

  109. Centre of attention says:

    Lowetide:
    Does 97 have a point yet? Not that it matters, but I havent seen him get one.

    Nope. Still pre-tournament so none of these points matter anyways. I suspect he steps up the production when the games actually matter. In my opinion he hasn’t been fully engaged yet, which is amazing because he has been playing great. Plenty of chances so far, I’m not concerned.

  110. Centre of attention says:

    Ryan:
    Maybe Ralph needs to load up the Kopitar line to get some offense.

    I would love to see Reider-Kopitar-Drai

    I mean you gotta try anything at this point right?

  111. Soup Fascist says:

    Random Comment: Gord Bless the fine folks in the Marketing Department at Carl’s Jr.

  112. StixMalone says:

    Soup Fascist:
    Random Comment: Gord Bless the fine folks in the Marketing Department at Carl’s Jr.

    Bacon. The subject of many fantasies…..

  113. Ryan says:

    Lowetide:
    Does 97 have a point yet? Not that it matters, but I havent seen him get one.

    He has a minus 1.

  114. StixMalone says:

    Ryan: He has a minus 1.

    On a questionable play….

  115. hunter1909 says:

    Lowetide: Does 97 have a point yet? Not that it matters, but I havent seen him get one.

    Ryan: He has a minus 1.

    Another ruined prospect.

  116. Ryan says:

    hunter1909:
    Another ruined prospect.

    He’s had a steady diet of Kopitar and Josi to my eye until recently.

    Eichel’s been a bit of a drag on that line.

  117. Ryan says:

    Parayko was a great find.

    Like couch money,,, at Daryl’s house.

  118. sliderule says:

    Diid Leon even hit the ice in second.

    The best oiler by far has been Nuge

  119. Centre of attention says:

    sliderule:
    DiidLeon even hit the ice in second.

    The best oiler by far has been Nuge

    Just 2 shifts for Leon in the second. i didn’t even see him on bench. Might have missed him but not a good sign.

  120. godot10 says:

    LadiesloveSmid:
    Cameron,

    most flames fans are pegging Johnny for 95P next year, let’s take that for what it is

    The Flames get to play all their games at home? I did not know that! -).

  121. hunter1909 says:

    No one wants to pass to McDavid.

  122. Professor Q says:

    hunter1909:
    No one wants to pass to McDavid.

    He’s had some neat plays with Gaudreau but hasn’t been able to finish (yet).

  123. Ryan says:

    Centre of attention: Just 2 shifts for Leon in the second. i didn’t even see him on bench. Might have missed him but not a good sign.

    I have seen him in the 3rd, but there’s a bit going on at my house.

  124. digger50 says:

    kinger_OIL,

    Do you have any posts where you don’t take a shot at Hall?

  125. tarvbc says:

    Woodguy,

    These two arguments always annoyed me.

    1) The League should have taken care of Matt Cooke long before he was even on the same ice sheet as Marc Savard. Can’t really use that argument when the league that is suppose to protect it’s players from actions that result in injuries don’t take care of a repeat offender.

    2) The Rome and Horton incident are a bit different since it was the Stanley cup finals and a skilled player was targeted. Rome (a lower end player) could have stood up for himself against Lucic that’s why he chose to take a cheap shot (resulting in an injury) to give his team an advantage and a closer shot at winning the Stanley cup. Kinda makes sense why it was Rome that delivered it and not someone like Burrows.

    So yes Lucic will provide Mcdavid with protection from 99.9% of the league during the regular season.

  126. Woodguy says:

    tarvbc,

    These two arguments always annoyed me.

    I didn’t make any argument.

    I stated two facts.

    You also make many assumptions in both of your points.

    Here’s one:

    2) The Rome and Horton incident are a bit different since it was the Stanley cup finals and a skilled player was targeted. Rome (a lower end player) could have stood up for himself against Lucic that’s why he chose to take a cheap shot (resulting in an injury) to give his team an advantage and a closer shot at winning the Stanley cup. Kinda makes sense why it was Rome that delivered it and not someone like Burrows.
    So yes Lucic will provide Mcdavid with protection from 99.9% of the league during the regular season.

    It was Gary Suter who effectively ended Gretzky career with a cross check.

    1145gp – 845pts in his career.

    Here’s another:

    Can’t really use that argument when the league that is suppose to protect it’s players from actions that result in injuries don’t take care of a repeat offender.

    I didn’t argue that anyone should assume the NHL will act as a deterrent.

    I don’t think they do at all.

    I also don’t think that players like Lucic will keep anyone safe.

    If someone wants to cheap shot McDavid, they will.

    I think players like Lucic can make their team mates feel safer, but that’s a different thing.

  127. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Woodguy,

    If by “effectively ended Gretzky’s career” you mean “limited him to 715 points over his last 8 seasons” then yes.

    Note: I don’t really disagree with your point, Gretzky’s back was never the same after that vicious cheap shot. It’s a testament to how unreal he was that he continued to be one of the most productive players in the league for years thereafter.

    As for Suter he went on to do serious damage to Paul Kariya’s career. I remember him far more for his role in ruining two great players than for any of his own feats (& he was a darn good player when he played hockey). On balance the NHL was a worse league for having Gary Suter in it.

  128. tarvbc says:

    Woodguy,

    Maybe these aren’t meant to be arguments but why make them if you aren’t defending one side of an opinion?

    So basically you are referring to when Suter purposely ran Gretzky into the boards in an international game. Suter, like Rome in this incident targeted the other teams better player (this case best player on the ice) for the sole purpose of giving his team an advantage in the outcome of the game. Just like Rome, this was done during a period where fighting and “protection” is at a minimal (playoffs, international play). Now do you think Suter would have made that same play if it was game 35 of the regular season? How much shorter of a career would Gretzky have had if during the regular season if the other teams were able to take liberties like this in whatever game they felt compelled to? How many less cross checks and boarding’s were Gretzky apart of throughout his career because other players on his roster? That’s a number or stat we will never have the luxury of knowing or being able to follow.

    I guess I’m making some assumptions towards what I pointed out but I don’t feel I’m particularly wrong with either. You could easily point out many different incidents where players are injured with cheapshots or liberties and certain players were on the ice or in the lineup at that given moment. But like I said for however many times actions like this are prevented we just will never have the beauty of knowing that stat-line.

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