How High the Moon?

How many points will Ales Hemsky get this year? How many could he get if everything broke right? It’s an interesting question, and I think increasingly is central to the Oilers immediate success. As goes Hemsky (and the PP), so go the Oilers for 07-08.

Over his last three NHL seasons, Hemsky’s record looks like this:

  • 03-04 71gp, 12-22-34, .479ppg
  • 05-06 81gp, 19-58-77, .951ppg
  • 06-07 64gp, 13-40-53 .828ppg

Hemsky’s three year average in 82gp form would be 17-45-62, but that’s probably too low because of his 03-04 season and limited minutes (icetime for those three seasons is 14:26,16:58, 16:59 and that’s without factoring in EV/PP). Averaging the last two seasons would get you 18-56-74 which seems a little more like it since it takes out the deadball era season.

Other factors include:

  1. no Smyth on LW
  2. Hemsky may be playing softer EV minutes this season.
  3. Hemsky’s PP time per 60 total went down last season compared to 05-06 (5:02 per night during the 05-06 season, 4:18 last year).
  4. More PP tools in this lineup than a year ago.

In the last two seasons, Hemsky has gone 7-35-42 in 05-06 and 5-20-25 in 06-07 with the man advantage. His powerplay points-per 60min total was 6.17 in 05-06 and 5.45 this past season.

How much better than that does Hemsky need to be on the PP to get this team into the playoffs? Does he need to be in the top 5 in powerplay assists (Crosby 48, Thornton 44, Savard 39, Jagr and Henrik Sedin 34)? Does he need to do more? As an aside, Hemsky was 4th in PP assists in 05-06, behind only Thornton, Brad Richards and Savard. Does Hemsky need to post 50 assists on the powerplay in order for this team to make the playoffs?

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10 Responses to "How High the Moon?"

  1. PunjabiOil says:

    I’d like the Oilers to push their first PP unit in the PP TOI category.

    We finally have two solid pointmen this year. Pitkanen/Tarnstrom/Stoll and Souray.

    Hemsky is a lock, but who else plays on the 1st unit?

    Penner? Horcoff? Sanderson? Nilsson?

    Will be interesting to see.

  2. Lowetide says:

    I’ll say Horcoff-Penner-Hemsky and then Stoll and Souray on the 1pp to start the season.

  3. Devin says:

    Horcoff is a lock for the first unit. Guy has put up great numbers in each of the past three seasons, while often playing on the second unit.

    You want a better PP? Start by putting your best PP performers on the ice more. Horc has the track record to demand larger minutes, and there is no reason Hemsky shouldn’t get the full 2 minutes of every PP.

  4. doritogrande says:

    Horcoff’s powerplay time will depend largely on the role he is placed into for this coming season. If they choose to save him for the hard ES minutes and being a PK specialist, then I don’t see him getting much powerplay time.

    My dream first line powerplay this year sees Stoll taking draws, then dropping back to the point with Souray to drop twin cannons from the point. As soon as the faceoff is over, Penner crashes in to the crease A’la Ryan Smyth. With his bigger body, he may be even more effective that Smyth could have been, though no one has his vision from that area of the crease. Hemsky and Robert Nilsson work the walls, using their above average stickhandling to provide open space for teammates and give crisp passes back to the weapons on the back-end. Two shooters, two playmakers, Edmonton’s best faceoff guy, and the biggest body on the team screening the goalie, what’s not to like there?

  5. James L. says:

    Sounds too good to ever come true, doritogrande. But a nice dream it is.

    My prediction:

    Hemsky: G-17, A-33, P-50 (GP-63 due to a bad shoulder injury in November)

  6. Bank Shot says:

    I’m pretty sure I saw Pitkanen playing the halfboards/rover position last season instead of the point.

    I could see something like Penner-Stoll-Hemsky-Souray-Pitkanen with Pitkanen and Stoll swapping in and out of the point position.

  7. Devin says:

    dorito- so you’d leave Horcoff off the PP because you want him available for more PK time? No one has explained to me how Horcoff is much better (goal differential-wise) on the PK than say … Thoresen. Here is my hypothesis: Giving Horcoff’s PK minutes to Pouliot or Thoresen, and increasing his PP minutes at the expense of his likely replacement (Nilsson?), will have a net + effect on special teams GD. True or false? I think it’s obvious.

    I also must ask: Is there any good reason Hemsky should not be playing the whole 2 minutes of every PP (a-la Kovalchuk and others). If he plays Kovy minutes on the PP Ales can put up 90 pts. Had he played those 2+ extra minutes/game (4:18 v. 6:36) of PP time this year he’d have scored at a PPG — something Kovalchuk did not do btw. It’s not like he’s needed for PK duty and he will be behind Pisani for ES minutes. So 6+ PP minutes for Ales every night, please!

  8. PunjabiOil says:

    Horcoff is an excellent player on the PP – problem is, he’s best when he’s playing on the halfboards. He’s more a playmaker than a finisher on the PP, and that position is occupied by Hemsky.

    Guess you can try putting him down low or opposite of Hemsky.

  9. Bendelson says:

    Hemsky?
    28G – 60A – 88PTS
    (20PP goals?)

    The team could become a good, solid 5-on-5 team with exceptional special teams… with the additions of Pitkanen, Penner and Souray – the PP is completely re-tooled.
    I like the changes.

  10. Dennis says:

    Nice point by PJO on the fact that 10/83 basically play the same position on the PP. That being said, 10′s put up some good PP numbers in the past and I’d imagine that was while playing with Hemsky so they must be able to co-exist.

    I like LT’s 5 man unit and earlier on this summer I said I wouldn’t use JP on the PP and rather I’ve have him and 24 ready to take the ultra-important first shift after the PP when the opposing team puts their big guns back out there.

    Only thing I’d be concerned about with a 44-16 PP duo is which guy’s the one that can handle the puck and tightrope the blueline? Normally you’d put Tarnstrom back there for that but all things considered, I’d go 44-16.

    One last note on that. If MacT has the same PP unit in mind, you really have to wonder if Tarnstrom is long for Edm. I never underestimated the value of puck moving D in the first place, but watching the Oilers in ’07 once Shaggy went down gave me new appreciation for the crew possessing this skill, but if you aren’t using Dick on the PP, then why’s he even here? This makes him bait for a deal because all of 24-JP-Smid-Gilbert can make a first pass and that’s apparently Greb’s game as well.

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