RE 17-18 MILAN LUCIC: BIG ME

Everything about Milan Lucic is larger than life, including size, contract, presence and expectation. The 2016-17 season saw him hit his mark on the boxcars but the way he reached the total ran counter with his own history. The Oilers need 50+ points from Milan Lucic in 2017-18 but they need him to be far more effective 5×5 scoring. That is going to be the story of his season. (Big Me).

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 Puck IQStats.HockeyAnalysis.com and hockey-reference)

VOLLMAN SLEDGEHAMMER

RE 17-18: 82GP, 18-28-46 (.561)

  1. You have him running in place. A slight decrease (four points) and I have reduced his playing time.
  2. What happened last year? He was poor at 5×5 scoring all year, never got enough traction to recover. Wildly disappointing, considering who he was playing with most of the year.
  3. How was he with McDavid 5×5? 1.46/60 scoring, with 55.3 Corsi for 5×5 percentage.
  4. How was he with Leon? 1.15/60 scoring, 52.7 Corsi for 5×5 percentage.
  5. How was he with Nuge? 1.11/60 scoring 50.2 Corsi for 5×5 percentage.
  6. Terrible! Yes. Very poor.
  7. He’s done! If he has another 5×5 season like this one, we’ll have to hit the ‘buyout this contract’ button, but that’s not realistic. This is a difficult contract if Lucic can’t recover his 5×5 offense.
  8. How far off base was his 5×5 v. 5×4 scoring compared to his past? 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.
  9. How good was his 5×4 offense? Best on the team, No. 6 in the NHL. Crazy good, and he was never a strong option before last year.
  10. Have to give credit to McDavid, no? Yes for sure, but Lucic was given an opportunity, we have to give credit to him for taking such full advantage. He scored 25 points 5×4.
  11. 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.
  12. Okay, let’s talk about this season and your RE. Great.
  13. Can you take me through your clearly flawed thought process? Sure. First thing I did was temper his 5×4 point total from a year ago. I have him losing some minutes (213 a year ago, 180 this year) and posting a 6.0/60 at 5×4. So, that’s 18 points, meaning seven fewer points than last year’s total of 25.
  14.  What about 5×5? I think the LW slots will have more competition this year, with the addition of Jussi Jokinen. I believe both Maroon and Lucic will suffer a little in playing time because of it. I also think that may benefit Lucic, keep him fresher.
  15. I’m seeing a lot of words but not a lot of information. I’m estimating Lucic to play 1,000 5×5 minutes, a reduction year over year. I think Lucic will play about 350 with McDavid, 350 with Nuge and 300 with Leon (when Leon plays center). His reduced TOI will go to Jussi Jokinen, who I view as being capable in the same roles (plus PK).
  16. Your 5×5 estimate? 1.70/60, meaning I think Milan Lucic will score 28 even-strength points this year and 46 points overall. The 5×5 recovery is key to his effectiveness and I am predicting he’ll correct, although still below his LAK season of 2.04/60.
  17. That isn’t worth $6 million dollars. Part of the equation this season is Jussi Jokinen, and I believe we’ll see a sharing of opportunities on the portside with Lucic, Maroon and the Finn. That’s the guess, any way.
  18. That isn’t worth $6 million dollars. Milan Lucic is part of the Edmonton Oilers, deploying him in the most effective way is the only concern now. The trio of LW’s are going to come in cap stupid good (Jokinen and Maroon are stunning value deals) and there is no way out of the Lucic deal. We are here.
  19. I’m surprised your third leading scorer has only 46 points. I suspect we’ll see a lot of switching out this season and because of it a substantial gap after McDavid and Leon. Someone (say Jesse Puljujarvi) emerging would be splendid, and perhaps RNH will play LW and put it all to bed.
  20. I am disappointed in your conclusions. Make new conclusions. We are looking for reasonable, and I think reasonable on LW is three veterans (Lucic, Maroon, Jokinen) moving up and down the depth chart as required.
  21. Who plays most with McDavid? Patrick Maroon had the success last season, he should get the push this year. McLellan likes pairs and that one had some sustain.
  22. Why doesn’t Maroon outscore Lucic? Power-play time. Although I am predicting less success 5×4 for Lucic, he still delivers enough to keep that job.
  23. Again I would like to express rage over the unacceptable turn your RE has taken. It is reasonable, that’s the goal. I don’t see how we can give Lucic an RE of 60 points or even 50 based on his season. I do think he’ll get the PP push and also believe he will lose 5×5 playing time to Jokinen. All of these things are factored in here.
  24. Are the Dutch known for their pigheadedness? I looked up ‘stubborn dutchman’ once and have regretted it since. Do not look up ‘stubborn dutchman’.
  25. Why this song? Everything about Milan Lucic is big, including his impact on this team.

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46 Responses to "RE 17-18 MILAN LUCIC: BIG ME"

  1. JustWatt says:

    Top Google return on “stubborn dutchman”:

    A Pennsylvanian flea market with 1 yelp review that states: “We came, we saw, we won’t come again”

    🙂

  2. OriginalPouzar says:

    I didn’t realize his PPP//60 was higher than Leon’s.

  3. J-Bo says:

    Your RE looks good LT, makes a lot of sense. I disagree on buyout concern if the 5×5 doesn’t rebound. I agree that 5×5 is more important than 5×4, but the overall production is most important. If the 5×5 doesn’t rebound but he stays where he is at 5×4 then there is no issue for me. A top ten power play guy would be worth the dollars if he is 50 points plus and brings all of what Lucic brings. I think your re nailed it though and he will rebound and regress and shake out close to his norm with the possibility of some erosion. I do believe he could have a better season too and score 60ish but I wouldn’t project that as a re either.

  4. Munny says:

    I really don’t see Looch losing PP minutes to anyone. No one else provides the net front presence he does (certainly not Jokinen) with the exception of Maroon, and Looch appears to be better at it. Next season is likely to feature more of the same minutes and role in that regard.

    The question at EVs is do we get the Lucic of the first half of the season or the second?

    I’ll grant him a hall pass 😉 on the first half… an adjustment period. New city, new team, but more especially a new role. This is the first time he’s had to be the leader and of a young team at that. I think he might have been a little too focused on his off-ice role. I also think coming off 97’s line might have chafed him a little.

    That said, he’s settled in, or should be. No more hall passes. I’ll take the over on this RE, but not by a bundle.

  5. Munny says:

    J-Bo,

    Agree with this too. Doubt there’s any buyout concern if PP production keeps up while EVs lag.

  6. jp says:

    Munny:

    The question at EVs is do we get the Lucic of the first half of the season or the second?

    1st half: 41-10-16-26 -3 97SOG
    2nd half: 41-13-11-24 0 78SOG

  7. Jethro Tull says:

    JustWatt:
    Top Google return on “stubborn dutchman”:

    A Pennsylvanian flea market with 1 yelp review that states: “We came, we saw, we won’t come again”

    Wooden shoes, wooden heads and wouldn’t listen.

    My wife’s half Dutch, her mum full Dutch. Stubbornness looks to them for context.

  8. Chachi says:

    jp: 1st half: 41-10-16-26 -3 97SOG
    2nd half: 41-13-11-24 0 78SOG

    Do you have those splits at even strength, which is what Munny was referring to in the post you quoted?

  9. Jethro Tull says:

    Just to back up LT, do not look up ‘stubborn Dutchman’ in the urban dictionary. Or at least wait until after supper.

  10. unca miltie says:

    Jethro Tull: Wooden shoes, wooden heads and wouldn’t listen.

    My wife’s half Dutch, her mum full Dutch. Stubbornness looks to them for context.

    I am in the car business in rural alberta, I have heard that line before

  11. flyfish1168 says:

    Milan brings a lot of intangibles to the team. #1 job get as many points possible #1a job be a nuclear deterrent.

  12. theres oil in virginia says:

    Chachi: Do you have those splits at even strength, which is what Munny was referring to in the post you quoted?

    1st half: 6 EVG 4 PPG
    2nd half: 5 EVG 8 PPG

    quick math from espn stats page

  13. BornInAGretzkyJersey says:

    Lucic’s plodding way of straight leg skating had me frustrated to no end last year. Hope his off season training with Terrell Owens adds some pep to his step. He’s always been a tremendous athlete, I am confident he’ll come to camp in shape and prepared.

    In fact, much like Sekera and Letestu I’m anticipating a big second season for number 27. After their first seasons, Letestu was my goat and Sekera got a pass for being decent. They really lit it up in year two of their tenure. Seems like it takes a season for the new guys to settle in. If that’s the case, we could not only be up for a big season out of Lucic, but Larsson as well.

  14. season not played says:

    This RE highlights exactly what is wrong with the “only numbers, all the time crowd”. You completely discount the other attributes a player like Lucic possesses.

    If I am looking for a player with established leadership characteristics, a proven winning track record, and a well earned reputation of being one of the meanest toughest guys in the league I want Lucic.

    Someone who our young superstar, who just signed for as long as he could at a discount, talks about with a gleam in his eye about how happy he is to have the “toughest guy in the league” on his team, I want Lucic.

    If I want a player who will score 20-25 goals, get 60 points, get hurt, behave like a petulant child at times, show poor leadership and mail it in when he figures the season is done, give me Taylor Hall.

    Just what exactly do you think they were looking for all those years taking coke machines in the second round?

    I am fairly sure Lucic is not going anywhere until that contract is done.

  15. treevojo says:

    Mr. Lowetide

    Your RE comes in a little lower then I expect for this coming season.

    I hope in the future you take into account what a generational 7th Rd pick could do for us in trade.

  16. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    – Great post LT! The stats you have selected to evaluate Lucic, I’m going to decipher them using actual results (going back to your post a few days ago, where I argued that stats can obscure what matters over a season, which is actual results)

    1) Milan scored 11 5×5 goals. Same as Drouin, Hall, Landeskog, Benn.

    2) If Milan scored at 14.5% sh%, versus his 13.1% (historical vs this year), he would have scored 3 more goals: 14 goals = Seguin, Ovechkin, Kessel, and better than Gaudreau, Backstrom, Duchene

    3) To translate that back to this: give him 3 more even strength goals, and throw in 3 more assists: that gives him a 5×5 scoring of 1.47. Its just variance IMO, not the basis for a narrative

    4) The sample sized being used is 1134 minutes. On a /60 basis, this is 18.9.

    5) I don’t think 18.9 divided by something as so variable as points, is the basis for conclusions about whether a player is going to be a buy-out candidate when they are 29 years old

    – Also, in the last three years, Milan has played for three teams, lost his father, lost his best friend.

    – If he scores 6 more points at evens, or 1 more point every 12 games: tht would have been the Milan that some think we didn’t get, and is going to be a buy-out soon.

  17. Chachi says:

    treevojo:
    Mr. Lowetide

    Your RE comes in a little lower then I expect for this coming season.

    I hope in the future you take into account what a generational 7th Rd pick could do for us in trade.

    LOL

  18. Chachi says:

    theres oil in virginia: 1st half: 6 EVG 4 PPG
    2nd half: 5 EVG 8 PPG

    quick math from espn stats page

    Interesting.

  19. Thinker says:

    Lucic doesn’t look like an athlete, though a lot of hockey players fit that description. Especially evident when he is next to TO, who is ripped.

  20. treevojo says:

    Thinker:
    Lucic doesn’t look like an athlete, though a lot of hockey players fit that description. Especially evident when he is next to TO, who is ripped.

    Neither did this guy!

    https://i.imgur.com/FazzH1l.png

  21. Brantford Boy says:

    Jethro Tull:
    Just to back up LT, do not look up ‘stubborn Dutchman’ in the urban dictionary.Or at least wait until after supper.

    I did what you both told me not to do and now I am scarred for life… it’s like when you tell kids not to look into the forbidden closet of mystery… damn right I’m gonna open the door…

  22. Bank Shot says:

    So far I would bet the under on McDavid and Draisaitl and the over on Lucic.

    I think Maroon will slump at some point during the season, he can’t keep up that goal pace IMO, so Lucic will get some time with McDavid again.

    I think he’ll bounce back at ES because Jokinen will get more of the babysitting duty.

    Lucic spent a fair amount of time doing that last year.

  23. serum114 says:

    I was thinking Big Me might have gone to Maroon.

    “But it’s you I fell into” has such a nice mesh with Maroon lucking into McDavid…

    Love to try and predict the song match, despite being wrong 19 times out of 20 😀

  24. Side says:

    season not played:

    If I want a player who will score 20-25 goals, get 60 points, get hurt, behave like a petulant child at times, show poor leadership and mail it in when he figures the season is done, give me Taylor Hall.

    Remember folks, don’t let your kids eat paint chips. Let this post be a cautionary tale of what could happen if they do.

  25. flyfish1168 says:

    Thinker:
    Lucic doesn’t look like an athlete, though a lot of hockey players fit that description. Especially evident when he is next to TO, who is ripped.

    Check out eric butterbean esch, now that is a real athlete

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yJT99suKerg

    I wouldn’t step into the ring with him

  26. Lowetide says:

    Brantford Boy: I did what you both told me not to do and now I am scarred for life… it’s like when you tell kids not to look into the forbidden closet of mystery… damn right I’m gonna open the door…

    Lol. I knew when I wrote it that people would look. I am the same way. It’s impossible to resist. 🙂

  27. jtblack says:

    I think Lucic at 50 Points is great. Def needs to get beter 5×5. One thing that is True; Lucic seems to play on Playoff bound teams. Hard to measure that, but it has to count for something.

    I think he will be a Good Player for 2 – 3 more years. After that 😐

  28. deankb says:

    Kinger_Oil.redux,

    Really? I didn’t hear he had gone through that in his personal life. We always forget that these guys are real people and this is Thierry but… a a great job, but a job none the less.

    Hard to imagine he doesn’t settle in and feel way more comfortable this year.

  29. dustrock says:

    Big me to talk about it
    I could stand to prove
    If we could get around it
    I know that it’s true

    Mentos!

  30. Sanderson says:

    season not played,

    At least we don’t have Taylor Hall. That guy kicks puppies. And then eats them. Probably babies too, my friend’s drunk cousin said so. Even worse, he stepped onto the ice last one time for practice. Then he whined or something, even though there is no record of it everyone knows it’s totally true. But what do you expect from a guy who refuses to shave his sideburns, which are obviously bad in the dressing room.

    The team was garbage when Hall was here: that’s on management. A winger simply does not have the necessary influence on the game to single handedly polish a poorly managed turd. Why is this not a self-evident truth? He played balls out when he was here. That’s all that matters.

    Lucic had a bit of a down year 5 on 5. Seems like training with a prodigy when it comes to agility and speed (likely an expensive one at that) is a good sign that he knows it and is doing everything possible to address his performance. He has also been known to turn it up to 11 when it mattered in the past. That matters come playoffs. I don’t understand the need to disparage either player.

  31. Mattaklap says:

    I’ve identified insolence as a more discernible trait than stubbornness in my Dutch heritage.

    The Dutch store in Coombs, BC has a giant wooden shoe outside and a sign that reads: Sorry We’re Open. It also has an unholy variety of licorice.

  32. Chachi says:

    Mattaklap:
    I’ve identified insolence as a more discernible trait than stubbornness in my Dutch heritage.

    The Dutch store in Coombs, BC has a giant wooden shoe outside and a sign that reads: Sorry We’re Open. It also has an unholy variety of licorice.

    I tried Dutch triple salt liquorice once. Good gravy, you do not want to mess with people who willingly eat that stuff. It felt like my tongue was going to jump right out of my mouth.

    Also, Coombs is awesome. Goats On A Roof is quirky and awesome.

  33. Ontarioil says:

    Interesting talk on Oilers now the other day that maybe Lucic’s PP ability isnt a fluke this year as he was blocked by Chara as a net front presence in Boston. I’d love to see him on drai’s wing for a long look and PP1 and just hope/pray he could be in 55-65 point range again…

  34. Revolved says:

    Brantford Boy,

    Lowetide,

    I would like to avoid the scarring, but out of curiosity is it anything like a ‘Dutch Rudder’ of ‘Zack and Mirri Make a Porno’ fame?

  35. hags9k says:

    Late night after a great summer rec game here in Stoon…

    I WANNA BE……..YOUR SLEDGEHAMMA

    Thanks LT!! Still love that graph.

  36. Revolved says:

    I agree that the real tragedy of Nuge as a tough minutes C (on top of the poor results demonstrated by WG) was that no one took advantage of the clean air. Letestu and Caggula were both poor in possession and scoring 5×5 and that may be why we got Strome and Jokkinen.

    If we spread out the higher quality Cs and continue to bury Nuge, could super unicorns (is there a term? Grifficorns?) make an appearance? An example:

    Letestu – McDavid – Caggiula
    Jokinen – Draisaitl – Puljujarvi
    Maroon – Nuge – Slepyshev
    Lucic – Strome – Kassian

    I know it is fanciful with Maclellan’s fondness for top loading, but there’s speed and a right shot on each line.

    Letestu’s one timer and face offs would help McDavid, while Caggiula could keep up.

    Jokinen and Puljujarvi could help Draisaitl on offense and defense.

    Maroon and Slepyshev helped Nuge with possession last year.

    Someone commented on a RHC for Lucic and with Kassian they would not be fun to play against.

  37. frjohnk says:

    Lucic has a history of scoring very well at even strength. In the 6 years previous to joining the Oilers, his pts/60 was 2.11. That is very good production.

    He seemed to acclimatize rather quickly in LA and had a good year at even strength there in his only year there.

    With the Oilers, he had a very wobbly season at evens. For example he scored 5 even strength goals in the last 67 games and that’s including the playoffs.

    -Part of that might be luck. He shot 8% at 5 on 5 last year. His average up until last year was 13.7%.
    -And while goal and pts metrics show he dragged all of McDavid, Drai, RNH down, Lucics goals for over the years have shown to be respectable. So he does not have a history of dragging down his linemates

    Season(s) GF60
    2016-17 2.326
    2015-16 3.155
    2014-15 2.611
    2013-14 2.97
    2012-13 3.161
    2011-12 3.289

    Also, when his line did score, he was not in on much of the scoring

    Season(s) IPP
    2016-17 52.3
    2015-16 64.5
    2014-15 64.6
    2013-14 68.4
    2012-13 65.7
    2011-12 77.8
    2010-11 70.7

    Over the last 6 previous years, when on the ice, Lucic would have be on 68% of the points. Last year it was 52% of the time.

    -part of the reason he may have had wobbles this year, is that he was slow. Slow to the point where it was quite visible. Rumors of him training with a world class speedster is a testament to his willingness to notice his deficiencies and correct them. Unless this speedster comes from the same company that sent EBERLE a shooting coach, this should prove fruitful.

    I’m with LT here, better 5 on 5 production, while his PP production takes a bit of a hit and he should settle in around 50 points in a healthy season

  38. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    I’m not sure I’d ding Lucic for PP production next year.

    It took until Lucic replaced Maroon (early on) AND Letestu to replace Eberle for that unit to really click.

    McDavid had 82 minutes on the 5v4 with Eberle and 158 minutes without Eberle.

    When that unit came together with the Letestu replacement, it was the 3rd best in the NHL for the rest of the season.

    McDavid with Eberle PP1 scored 7.28/60
    McDavid with Letestu PP1 scored 11.83/60 (!!)

    If they start the year with that unit, that’s another 82 minutes working at a high level that wasn’t there last year.

    Even if Lucic won’t get as many pts/60 5v4 than last year, his TOI might make up for it.

    I know LT dinged his TOI, but I’m not sure why (injury buffer maybe?)

    Add to all of this is Klef will start on the PP, he was the final change on PP1.

    McDavid + Sekera PP scored a very good 9.47/60

    McDavid + Klefbom PP scored an amazing 10.48/60.

    So the 10.48 unit will hit the ice in October and even if it doesn’t score 10.48, chances are it will score more than the 7.28/60 that it did with Eberle.

  39. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    frjohnk,

    – Hadn’t realize his 5×5 sh% was so low this year: overall his sh% was down almost 3% this year.

    – To translate into actual results: we are talking about 5 or 6 more points this season at even strength, as I mentioned above

    – Such small sample sizes to make projections: variance, or sign that Lucic is a buy-out?

  40. Lowetide says:

    6.00//60 on the 5×4 is a very strong number.

  41. SoCaloil says:

    Question.

    What are some of the details regarding Lucic summer workout

    And if it’s intense and we know he will be a bit faster and leaner, should that not be factored in the re?

  42. Walter Gretzkys Neighbour says:

    Side: Remember folks, don’t let your kids eat paint chips. Let this post be a cautionary tale of what could happen if they do.

    A while ago I sort of said I wouldn’t post here. But, well, here I am. I did say I would continue to read because I am fully infected by the Oilers bug and have been since I went to Game one at the old Northlands. Anyway, never mind all that.

    The reason I indicated I wouldn’t post was that it can sometimes be really frustrating to see some sorts of comments and I try not to intentionally increase my blood pressure and rate of swearwords/24 hours.

    But I decided to comment today on this particular post. Mostly because this is precisely why I get frustrated. This comment on another poster’s opinion and thoughts provides little but plain old derision.

    Look it’s no big deal for everyone I I never post, never visit here and never make a noise i this site – I get that. I am not an analytics sort. I like hockey, I love (often to my own chagrin)the Oilers. What is less enjoyable is someone taking out the Taylor Hall axe and grinding all over everyone else enjoyment of a fun site about the Oilers.

    If this offends of annoys others, I apologize. Just the way I feel. I do wonder if others share the sentiment. Also if the comment was an “in jest” thing then ok I apologize to the author or this comment as well. Damn I just enjoy the Oilers and am starting to feel like this team is no longer a complete and utter laughing stock and looking forward to watching fun hockey again. So snippy comments about a trade from a season ago is not part of the entertainment process.

    Thanks for letting me say my piece LT. I will now shuffle away quietly.

  43. New Improved Darkness says:

    No links. Only topical jokes. Spam-filtered again.

  44. Side says:

    Walter Gretzkys Neighbour: A while ago I sort of said I wouldn’t post here. But, well, here I am. I did say I would continue to read because I am fully infected by the Oilers bug and have been since I went to Game one at the old Northlands. Anyway, never mind all that.

    The reason I indicated I wouldn’t post was that it can sometimes be really frustrating to see some sorts of comments and I try not to intentionally increase my blood pressure and rate of swearwords/24 hours.

    But I decided to comment today on this particular post. Mostly because this is precisely why I get frustrated. This comment on another poster’s opinion and thoughts provides little but plain old derision.

    Look it’s no big deal for everyone I I never post, never visit here and never make a noise i this site – I get that. I am not an analytics sort. I like hockey, I love (often to my own chagrin)the Oilers. What is less enjoyable is someone taking out the Taylor Hall axe and grinding all over everyone else enjoyment of a fun site about the Oilers.

    If this offends of annoys others, I apologize. Just the way I feel. I do wonder if others share the sentiment. Also if the comment was an “in jest” thing then ok I apologize to the author or this comment as well. Damn I just enjoy the Oilers and am starting to feel like this team is no longer a complete and utter laughing stock and looking forward to watching fun hockey again. So snippy comments about a trade from a season ago is not part of the entertainment process.

    Thanks for letting me say my piece LT. I will now shuffle away quietly.

    Would my post have been more palatable if I referred to ‘season not played’ as a

    “Petulant child”?

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