RE 17-18 ANDREJ SEKERA: WALK

Peter Chiarelli’s first free-agent signing may still be his best, as Andrej Sekera has delivered quality performances since he arrived in Edmonton. Sekera is a finesse defender who is skilled at puck movement and creativity in all zones. Last season, he had the freedom to wheel on the second pairing and the results were impressive. This season the Oilers will be without him for at least 20 games, maybe 40, maybe more. The story of Sekera’s return and impact when he gets back in the lineup will be important to 2017-18. (Walk)

ANDREJ SEKERA 2016-17

  • 5×5 points per 60: 0.92 (1st among regular defensemen)
  • 5×4 points per 60: 4.22 (2nd among regular defensemen)
  • Corsi for 5×5 %: 49.1
  • Corsi Rel 5×5 %: -1.2
  • DFF Elite 5×5 %: 47.0
  • DFF Elite Rel 5×5 %: -.8 (35 percent of TOI v. elites)
  • Shots on goal/percentage: 128 shots/6.3%
  • Boxcars: 80, 8-27-35
  • Numbers via Puck IQ, Stats.HockeyAnalysis.com and hockey-reference. Stats.HockeyAnalysis.com is now defunct.

RE 17-18: 41GP, 3-12-15 .366

  1. Do you actively think of ways to piss people off? Not on weekdays, no.
  2. You have him missing half a season! Sekera says he could return early and the original news had him missing  6-9 months so I have moved the time line.
  3. Torn ACL isn’t nine months, come on! Well, it’s a moving target based on some of the things I’ve been reading.
  4. That’s your problem right there. You read and it made you think. Don’t think—type! There does seem to be a train of thought amongst those familiar with the issue that one entire year is a better estimate of full recovery.
  5. So he’ll be ready for Game 7 of the second round! Yes, I guess you could look at it that way.
  6. Why is he so important to the Oilers? Sekera is a fine veteran defenseman who is effective moving the puck, by pass or carry. He’s a good defender without the puck, solid positioning, mobile. He’s very good. Has some issues with bigger forwards, but is quick enough to recover. Good player.
  7. Why is that important? The Oilers in the Chiarelli-McLellan era have divided up the chores among two-way finesse defenders, two-way D who have a physical element, a couple of defensive defenders who play with an edge, and Mark Fayne. Sekera is a two-way finesse defender and so he’s going to be transporting or passing for his pairing.
  8. How do you categorize them? Sekera is a two-way finesse defender, I count Oscar Klefbom, Matt Benning as two-way defenders with a physical element, with more than 50 percent of their value being offensive/transporting. Adam Larsson, Kris Russell and Darnell Nurse are two-way defenders with a physical element, with more than 50 percent of their value being defensive/coverage. Eric Gryba is a defensive defender with an edge, and Mark Fayne is Mark Fayne. Oscar Klefbom is the closest to being a complete defender in my opinion. Your mileage may vary.
  9. Is Russell the best possible partner for Sekera? We’ve discussed this at length, I would run Mark Fayne with him. Everyone thinks I’m crazy, but you asked.
  10. You never give up do you? If you cave not because you’ve changed your mind but rather because your views become unpopular, what does that make you? Mark Fayne can defend, that has value to me.
  11. Is Russell the best possible partner for Sekera? Sekera and Russell posted 45.4 Corsi for 5×5 percentage together. That is poor. Dangerous Fenwick is 49.20, that’s good. DFF against elites 47.0 for Sekera, 47.8 for Russell and that is just a hair below Klefbom-Larsson.
  12. What does it all mean? The surface numbers suggest Edmonton would be wise to seek an upgrade in the top 4D, but management is bringing back everyone.
  13. How is this going to get solved? Initially, I  think the second pairing could be Russell-Benning or Nurse-Russell, but when Sekera returns we should see Sekera-Russell return as second pair.
  14. Why does Todd McLellan run this pair? One of the things we do (I do) is adopt a group of statistics and view things through that lens. My stats pack is different from your stats pack and both of our stats packs are different than the Oilers. McLellan runs this pair because the readouts from his stats pack shine like a diamond or his stats pack is the win-loss column.
  15. What stats do the Oilers use? I don’t know, but Puck IQ’s elite numbers are better than the straight Corsi, plus they like Sekera-Russell more than you’d think, and that tells me the Woodmoney may be working some of the same ground as the Oilers.
  16. Seriously? Yes. I think so. I think that binning, the high grade elite numbers, must be close to top dead center for what the Oilers and other teams are looking at. There must be something in there the organization values.
  17. Maybe they just saw him good? Yes, that is one possibility.
  18. What else is there? The Oilers might be looking at the wrong things. I’m encouraged by the correlation between Sekera-Russell and the dangerous Fenwicks versus elites, but may be reading too much into it. We shouldn’t discount the idea that the wrong things are valued, or that none of the math is given more than lip service. Both are possible, maybe even probable. Guys my age sometimes experience eye glaze and then bullshit their way home. I hear, anyway.
  19. What’s more important: Good data or someone who can read the data properly? Both are vital, and perhaps as important is having a coach and management group who understand and value the numbers.
  20. Are the Oilers improving? I think they are.
  21. Examples? I think the drafting has improved, don’t believe we would have seen Kailer Yamamoto drafted in 2009.
  22. Anything at the NHL level? We are about to find out. We have a gap on the roster and the organization needs to close it. The gap is between McDavid on the ice and McDavid off the ice. Everything is a bet. Some of the bets look strange and if you are reading this series then you know where my questions lie. Bottom line, none of it matters if the intel this organization is following represents top dead center.
  23. We didn’t talk about Sekera much. The worry you should have is that the McDavid without won’t have Andrej Sekera for a portion of the season.
  24. Can the Edmonton Oilers win the Stanley Cup with Andrej Sekera on the second pairing? Yes. He’s a fine player.
  25. That injury sucked. A massive kick in the nuts.
  26. Why this song? I like it in terms of overcoming injury but also on the larger subject of winning a Stanley Cup, for player and fan base. “I believe I’ve waited long enough”. Andrej Sekera arrived in the NHL in 2006-07, the year after Edmonton went to the SCF. He has played 19 playoff games, 11 in the spring. “I believe I’ve waited long enough”. Amen.

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34 Responses to "RE 17-18 ANDREJ SEKERA: WALK"

  1. OriginalPouzar says:

    My goodness we are going to miss Reggie – what a rock!

    Remember when he was our #1 d-man? Now he’s #3 and that means we have a solid back-end.

    Nurse/Russell – My goodness I hope not. Not because I don’t think that Darnell can’t survive as a 2nd pairing – I think he could do just fine with the right partner but Russell on the right side is not the right partner.

    One of the things I’m “excited” for is to have Russell on his natural left side where the stats show he is a more efficient puck mover.

    I truly hope that Benning can run with 2R because I would love to see this when Reggie is back:

    Klef/Larsson
    Sekera/Benning
    Nurse/Russell

    I know that won’t happen though as, without a regression by Russell, he will get top 4 ES minutes – we know the coach likes and trusts him. I will NOT hope for regression.

  2. godot10 says:

    // I think the drafting has improved, don’t believe we would have seen Kailer Yamamoto drafted in 2009.//

    Yet Jordan Eberle was drafted in 2008. Andrew Cogliano in 2005. A history of drafting small scoring forwards in the twenties of round one.

  3. Lowetide says:

    godot10:
    // I think the drafting has improved, don’t believe we would have seen Kailer Yamamoto drafted in 2009.//

    Yet Jordan Eberle was drafted in 2008.Andrew Cogliano in 2005.A history of drafting small scoring forwards in the twenties of round one.

    Both men were bigger, and both men were centers.

  4. stush18 says:

    OriginalPouzar,

    I know the team keeps saying they like klefbom Larsson as a pairing, but I think it’s going to be ditched as a pairing quickly in order to help out the other pairings.

    Klefbom-Russell
    Nurse-Larsson
    Auvitu-benning
    Gryba

    Is what I would run until sekera is back. Otherwise the bottom four is going to struggle too much imo.

    Once he’s back I think we’re looking at an even top six to break in sekera more slowly until playoffs.

    Hopefully by playoffs one of nurse or benning step up and prove they are ready for top four minutes.

  5. OriginalPouzar says:

    We do know that Klef and Larsson will start the season together unless there are unexpected developments. McLellan has expressed his desire to keep them together but I think he also acknowledges that, if either of the other two pairings are sinking, he will need to make a change.

    That may be 2-3 games in or maybe it doesn’t need to happen.

    Personally, I’d like to switch Russell and Benning on your pairings (or even run Nurse/Russell as the 3rd pairing) but we know that Russell will play top 4 ES minutes.

    I am loathe to have any pairings that have Russell on the right side in with top 4 ES minutes.

  6. OmJo says:

    Is Russell the best possible partner for Sekera? We’ve discussed this at length, I would run Mark Fayne with him. Everyone thinks I’m crazy, but you asked.

    The Sekera-Fayne Pairing fan club sure is lonely these days.

  7. stush18 says:

    OriginalPouzar,

    Here’s my reasoning.

    -Russell needs to play with a puckmover. Klefbom is the best at that.
    -So far klefbom looks much better when playing with a stag at home type.
    -Klefbom is better than sekera. Other than veteran savvy, I see know reason why he can’t duplicate there success
    -nurse/Larsson had very good results together. Larsson also allows for nurse to let out his rambunctious style a bit more. I’m also sure we will see Larssons offensive game blossom even more carrying more responsibility.
    -benning may be another Davidson. Until we see consecutive seasons like this, I’m not going to declare him ready for second pairing. I’ll bet on pedigree (nurse) off the start.

  8. jm363561 says:

    “Oscar Klefbom is the closest to being a complete defender in my opinion. Your mileage may vary.”

    Give Larsson half a season to settle in. January to April regular season games:

    Larsson 41 2-4-6 +24
    Klefbom 44 7-19-26 +12
    Sekera 44 4-14-18 +5

    My mileage varies. In context +/- matters in my humble bean counting mind. Only if you take the view that “points” are more important than +/- is Oscar “more complete” IMHO.

    (I have the same issue with fans of Leon and Taylor Hall. Both fantastic players but it seems in their narrative goals / points scored are seemingly more important than goals not conceded. It is not just about pushing the river your way, you have to stop the river being pushed against you.)

  9. OriginalPouzar says:

    stush18:
    OriginalPouzar,

    Here’smy reasoning.

    -Russell needs to play with a puckmover. Klefbom is the best at that.
    -So far klefbom looks much better when playing with a stag at home type.
    -Klefbom is better than sekera. Other than veteran savvy, I see know reason why he can’t duplicate there success
    -nurse/Larsson had very good results together. Larsson also allows for nurse to let out his rambunctious style a bit more. I’m also sure we will see Larssons offensive game blossom even more carrying more responsibility.
    -benning may be another Davidson. Until we see consecutive seasons like this, I’m not going to declare him ready for second pairing. I’ll bet on pedigree (nurse) off the start.

    I do understand what your saying and your reasoning does ring true in alot of respects. My Devils’ advocate retort:

    1) I think Russell will be much more efficient at moving the puck if he’s on the left side – history has shown – its important that he doesn’t stifle McDavid’s offence if he’s going to play top 4 minutes and spend so much time with him. I’d really like to find a way to keep him on the left side

    2) I am a big Nurse fan and think he is going to be a very very important of this team going forward, however, at this point, I am actually more comfortable with Benning in the top 6 as he’s a bit calmer out there. Nurse is awesome but he still runs quite a bit on emotion and youthful enthusiasm and can be out of position a bit more than Benning.

    WIldcard – I think the team may carry 8 d-men to start the season and Auvitu will be in the conversation (which will push Russell over the right side – sigh).

  10. Lowetide says:

    OmJo:
    Is Russell the best possible partner for Sekera? We’ve discussed this at length, I would run Mark Fayne with him. Everyone thinks I’m crazy, but you asked.

    The Sekera-Fayne Pairing fan club sure is lonely these days.

    And solitaire’s the only game in town
    And every road that takes him, takes him down
    And by himself it’s easy to pretend
    He’s coming back again

  11. stush18 says:

    OriginalPouzar,

    Right. I think it all depends on who is in the lineup , and whether or not Russel is playing on his left side, and which team were playing (LA vs CHI) obviously.

    And I agree. I think until sekera is back, we’re running with 8 dmen. Too many variables. Big year for guys on the fringe like gryba or auvitu.

  12. stush18 says:

    OriginalPouzar,

    Also, Russell/benning is too small of a pairing for me.

  13. jake70 says:

    Arguably overlooked and it could be small sample but Sekera out there in 3 on 3 overtime is somewhat of a wizard. They seem to win games. Someone will step up hopefully.

  14. jtblack says:

    jm363561,

    “Larsson 41 2-4-6 +24
    Klefbom 44 7-19-26 +12”

    Wow on Larsson +/- ….And if the 2nd half for Oscar is an indication, we could be looking at a 50 point D man (given loads of PP1 time) ….

    Awesome

  15. jtblack says:

    jake70,

    “somewhat of a wizard. ” – Not to discount Sekera’s 3 on 3 ability; but I think the majority of 3 on 3 Wizardry was performed by #97

  16. jtblack says:

    Lowetide,

    Was Ebs a center? If I had to bet Granny’s house, I say RW in Regina BUT I am not sure …

  17. BornInAGretzkyJersey says:

    I like that Andrej Sekera really settled in in his second season. Reggie, along with Talbot and Letestu found their game in their second years, and that gives me hope for next year’s crop of sophomores to improve.

    Sekera went from good but hesitant, to confident and (at times) assertive. The consummate #3 d-man; he’s a pivot that play always seems to run through, either to neutralize an opposing play or deftly move the puck in the right direction. Sometimes both in succession on the same play. I like that his style allows him to, generally, play a polished game against elite opponents with size, without having to be big himself.

    If we get really lucky, Matt Benning could become a bit more more of an aggressive, right handed version of Sekera.

  18. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    I got GMoney to run Sekera’s two main WoodWowys for me to post here. Thanks G.

    Sekera vs Elite:
    CF% with Russell 41.2%
    CF% with Benning 55.4%

    DFF% with Russell 45.8%
    DFF% with Benning 56.7%

    GF% with Russell 62.5%
    GF% with Benning 66.7%

    Sekera vs Middle
    CF% with Russell 46.3%
    CF% with Benning 52.4%

    DFF% with Russell 49.1%
    DFF% with Benning 51.2%

    GF% with Russell 55%
    GF% with Benning 50%

    Sekera vs Gritensity
    CF% with Russell 50%
    CF% with Benning 56.4%

    DFF% with Russell 53.8%
    DFF% with Benning 65.8%

    GF% with Russell 75%
    GF% with Benning 40%

    We clearly see the high PDO that Sekera/Russell ran this past year. Their GF% is quite high compared to their DFF% in most categories.

    Sekera-Russell with Talbot had a .954% ONSV% this year,
    Sekera away with Talbot was .910
    Russell away with Talbot was .901

    So they had goal results that were much better than their shot/DFF results, but as we know goals are the most volatile results and they will converge with shots/DFF over time.

    Given his style of play (big shot blocker/protects the slot well) this is his MO for quite a while and should be accounted for and I agree with those who say straight CF% under values Russell.

    Russell wasn’t *bad* with Sekera, but man was Benning ever good there.

    Also,

    There does seem to be a train of thought amongst those familiar with the issue that one entire year is a better estimate of full recovery.

    This is a very good point and one people are missing when they are projecting EDM as a WC powerhouse next year.

    Sekera won’t be on the ice for a lot of games and when he comes back he won’t be the Sekera we know and love.

    Dpairs matter a lot, and the top 4 matters a lot, a lot, a lot.

    I looked at it here and found that top 4 Dmen TOI was absolutely crucial to a team’s success: http://becauseoilers.blogspot.ca/2016/04/playoff-teams-in-nhl-average-60-of-dman.html

    WIthout Sekera, Russell wasn’t a good top 4 Dman:

    Russell without Sekera last year:

    CF% 48.2
    DFF% 46.7
    GF% 40.7

    You actually see Russell’s low ONSV% away from Sekera here. That is very low and will rise over time, just like his ONSV% with Sekera is too high and will lower over time.

    GF% will converge with DFF%/CF%

    How EDM’s 2nd pair (assuming any pair Russell is in is 2nd pair) fairs is the lynch pin for the season.

    They could very well turn out ok, but it is far from a given and history shows us that it will be a struggle.

  19. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    BornInAGretzkyJersey,

    Reggie, along with Talbot and Letestu found their game in their second years,

    I don’t understand this narrative.

    Stauffer says it all the time too and I tell him he’s wrong every time.

    In 15/16 Sekera had to play 1st pair with either Fayne or Rookie Nurse the whole year.

    In 16/17 Nurse was 3rd pair and Fayne was in the AHL.

    His work in 15/16 was Hercules cleaning the Augean Stables kind of work.

  20. BornInAGretzkyJersey says:

    Woodguy v2.0,

    Treasure trove. Thanks for continuing to contribute.

  21. jasoncox1960 says:

    yolo

  22. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    jm363561,

    +/- penalizes players who:

    Play on the PP (shorties count as a negative)

    Play when the net is empty – which assumes the coach thinks they are the best players on his bench for getting the next goal (EN goals count as a negative)

    If you are going to use goal metrics to rate players (+/- is a goal metric) its better to use 5v5 GF% as it doesn’t have the noise of those two issues that +/- does.

    Also, in a sample as small as 1 season GF% and +/- tend to be noisy, which means they are not always very repeatable for the next year.

    Goals are important and I include them, but they are they least repeatable metric that most people use for evaluation.

    Goals are important for telling us “what happened”, but are less good at telling us “what will happen next”

  23. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    BornInAGretzkyJersey:
    Woodguy v2.0,

    Treasure trove.Thanks for continuing to contribute.

    Thanks

  24. BornInAGretzkyJersey says:

    Woodguy v2.0,

    Good point, regarding quality of Sekera’s typical teammates (yet with similar deployment)… I was going off eye and hadn’t dug into any numbers. He just seemed more poised and natural, instead of rigid or deferential. Same with Talbot, Letestu… even Gryba stopped “chopping the puck square” as LT puts it, hence my hopes for fellows like JP, Lucic, Maroon, and Russell, Kassian etc to build on their time with the club.

  25. jtblack says:

    Woodguy v2.0,

    “His work in 15/16 was Hercules cleaning the Augean Stables kind of work” – Well said. Funny how a decent partner(s); team in front of him, made Sekera “get it right” in yr 2.

    I do think Sekera will be junk until late in the year or until next season …. Wierd Psychological injury to recover from …

  26. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    BornInAGretzkyJersey:
    Woodguy v2.0,

    Good point, regarding quality of Sekera’s typical teammates (yet with similar deployment)… I was going off eye and hadn’t dug into any numbers.He just seemed more poised and natural, instead of rigid or deferential.Same with Talbot, Letestu… even Gryba stopped “chopping the puck square” as LT puts it, hence my hopes for fellows like JP, Lucic, Maroon, and Russell, Kassian etc to build on their time with the club.

    I agree he played well last year.

    I think its the difference between bailing to stay afloat compared to rowing hard to a goal.

  27. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Sekera vs Elite
    15/16 38% TOI
    16/17 35% TOI

    15/16 Rel Comp CF% -0.4%
    16/17 Rel Comp CF% -1.0%

    15/16 Rel Comp DFF% -1.6%
    15/16 Rel Comp DFF% -0.9%

    Sekera vs All Comp
    15/16 Rel Comp CF% 0%
    16/17 Rel Comp CF% -1.0%

    15/16 Rel Comp DFF% +1.1%
    15/16 Rel Comp DFF% +0.6%

    Remarkably consistent when you consider the team was much better this past year.

    I’d love to see a healthy Sekera play a full season with Benning in the top 4.

    I’m not sure we’ll ever get to see that.

  28. Johnny says:

    Woodguy v2.0:
    BornInAGretzkyJersey,

    Reggie, along with Talbot and Letestu found their game in their second years,

    I don’t understand this narrative.

    Stauffer says it all the time too and I tell him he’s wrong every time.

    In 15/16 Sekera had to play 1st pair with either Fayne or Rookie Nurse the whole year.

    In 16/17 Nurse was 3rd pair and Fayne was in the AHL.

    His work in 15/16 was Hercules cleaning the Augean Stables kind of work.

    Well strange that Sekera got better as the year went on then (considering same partners all year).

    Adjustment period. Especially for defenseman. It’s a thing. The list is endless but we all saw first hand it happens to the best (Pronger) and most recently Larsson.

  29. hags9k says:

    We will also miss him in OT where he is a demon. We will no doubt see lots of Oscar 3×3 but I wonder who else will see the most time. Larsson? Benning? Nurse?

  30. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Johnny: Well strange that Sekera got better as the year went on then (considering same partners all year).

    Adjustment period. Especially for defenseman. It’s a thing.The list is endless but we all saw first hand it happens to the best (Pronger) and most recently Larsson.

    When you say “got better as the year went on”, what do you mean?

    What measure are you using to compare the first half to the second half?

    I’m not saying you’re wrong, I just don’t know what you are basing the improvement on.

  31. Johnny says:

    Woodguy v2.0: When you say “got better as the year went on”, what do you mean?

    What measure are you using to compare the first half to the second half?

    I’m not saying you’re wrong, I just don’t know what you are basing the improvement on.

    You do not value the metrics I use, so in your mind, they will be irrelevant. Frankly, I would like to see the metrics that the Oilers use (what was it, controlled zone exits, entries, or both?) because I believe they would tell on astonishing story on Adam Larssons season last year.

    Appreciate your insight, but consider it odd you do not acknowledge that players often take time to adjust to new teams (whether added in the off-season (WHAT OFF-SEASON) or at mid-season, trade deadline etc.). Dougie Hamilton jumps into my mind as another recent example, but really we have been seeing this for years.

  32. russ99 says:

    Using only shots-for based metrics to evaluate defensemen is foolhardy.

    Quantifiable defensive metrics that don’t use shots-for data is out there, to ignore it to push forward possession metrics because you prefer specific styles of play, only certain types of defensemen/specific skillsets and/or scoring lots of goals over offense/defense balance is disingenuous.

    May need to start my own blog over this.

  33. Johnny says:

    I would like to add that you also don’t value the metrics that NHL coaches and GM’s use (considering coaches keep putting Kris Russell on the ice and one of the best GM’s in the league just gave him a 4 year deal.).

    Just want to make sure I wasn’t undervaluing the eye te…I mean my metrics.

  34. OriginalPouzar says:

    Blogosphere sleeping in this morning – 8:30 and no morning Lowetide blog and no WWYDW on Oilersnation.

    Guess I will actually do some legal work.

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