Oilers fans and media spent so many years talking about getting a “Lucic type” on the roster. It seems acquiring the actual model overwhelmed them. Actual Lucic couldn’t meet the hype and expectation, and disappointment over a 50-point season was the result.
That’s the line I may want you to believe, but the truth is Milan Lucic struggled badly this season. In spite of those struggles, fans and media seem very satisfied with his rugged play and maximum effort.
Here are the facts: Lucic was fabulous on the power play, but Edmonton needed him to bring much more at even strength—the heart of the game. The man, the myth, the legend, he spent too much time being passed by the flow of play and turning the puck over. Redemption ahead? We hope. (Lurgee)
MILAN LUCIC 2016-17
- 5×5 points per 60: 1.22 (9th among regular forwards)
- 5×4 points per 60: 7.04 (1st among regular forwards, No. 6 among NHL regular F’s)
- Corsi for 5×5 %: 51.2
- Corsi Rel 5×5 %; 1.4
- DFF Elite 5×5 %: 46.1
- DFF Elite Rel 5×5 %: -1.8
- Shots on goal/percentage: 175 shots/13.1%
- Boxcars: 82, 23-27-50
- (All numbers via Stats.HockeyAnalysis.com and hockey-reference)
- Special thanks to GMoney and Woodguy for sharing the DFF’s
- RE 16-17: 80, 22-39-61 (0.763)
- Actual 16-17: 82, 23-27-50 (0.610)
- You’ve lied a lot over the years, never more than about this guy. Lucic? How so?
- You went on and on about his passing and his patience and finding open lanes. LIES! Lucic has that in his game, but it wasn’t on display enough. His assist total reflects it. He had 35 a year ago in Los Angeles.
- How many more years? Six more years, $36 million more dollars.
- I’ll eventually kill you over this contract. Just let me enjoy the Stanley.
- Your RE was horrible, so at least consistency is your friend. Well, yes and no. Overall the boxcars were good (although lower than my prediction), but Lucic is traditionally an even-strength man. This year, not so much.
- How big was the gap? Through his career (up until this season), ML posted 83 percent of his total points at evens. In 2016-17, he posted just 50 percent. That’s a weird change of pace.
- Has he ever done it before? Not close to that kind of ratio, no. He has been a solid even-strength performer.
- What was your RE prediction for points by discipline? I had him posting 10 power-play points (25!) and 51 at even strength (25!!).
- Will he regress next season? Hope so. 83 percent of 50 points at 5×5 has more value, is more difficult to do. That’s one of the reasons why the contract starts with a six.
- How was he with and without McDavid? All of this is 5×5. With 97, ML went 6-5-11 in 452 minutes (1.46 5×5/60) and 55.3 CF 5×5/60. Without CMD, Lucic went 7-5-12 in 683 minutes (1.05 5×5/60) and 48.5 CF 5×5/60.
- That’s awful. Well it isn’t good, and Lucic played a feature role all year. He’s going to need to be better at 5×5.
- Power play was good! Madness. In his last five seasons, his 5×4/60: 1.34; 3.90, 3.27, 2.83 and then 7.04. Simply amazing. Lucic didn’t hold the 1L job with McDavid (played 40 percent of his 5×5 season with 97), but he had a strong year on the 5×4.
- What did he do in the playoffs? He went 13, 2-4-6, going 1-2-3 in each of the two series.
- I thought he was a veteran leader. This is not a claim this blog would make about any player. The playoffs are more important, so we build up strong performances in small samples sizes.
- What’s the best thing you can say about his season? Strong on the power play, he had moments of impressive play over a two or three game stretch. Those stretches are what we would hope to see more consistently in the coming season.
- At age 29? And with a lot of miles. That is the bet.
- Can he recover? He seemed top heavy all year, muscle bound. I wonder if he might be wise to get with the same guy who helped Patrick Maroon.
- Why this song? I chose it for the feel, there’s a real sadness to this song, even though it is about moving on to a better place. Lucic has had some hard things in his life, and this situation in Edmonton is a promising new beginning. As with all new things, it can bring loneliness and uncertainty along with the promise of a new day. That’s what this song means to me.
- Solid. Radiohead lyrics are open to interpretation.
- Who are his comparables? Hockey-reference says (10 seasons) that David Backes, Dustin Brown and Scott Hartnell are in the range offensively (and I picked them for similar style reasons).
- How did Lucic adjust to his new sitation? Lucic: “There were a lot of things that were unknown coming into this season. It took me a little bit. Being in Edmonton where you’re the biggest show in town is a little different. In Boston sometimes you could fly under the radar.”
- What does that mean? What does that mean?
- Why did Lucic get moved off the 1line? Lucic-McDavid-Eberle had 25 points in the first eight games of the season, then the offense dried up. McLellan promoted Patrick Maroon to LW early November, and that’s all she wrote.
- What is your honest opinion about Lucic moving forward? It is vital Lucic have a stronger 5×5 season in 2017-18, or his contract is going to be an albatross during the Connor McDavid era in Edmonton. Even strength is the heart of the game.
- Are you still a fan of Lucic? Sure, he helped win a Stanley for the Bruins and ran over people on other teams at will. That doesn’t really have much to do with our conversation though. He needs to be faster in all things this fall. Lucic knows that.