Kyle Brodziak

Louise is always telling me that viewing the Edmonton Oilers’ prospects without knowing their “mental makeup” is a fool’s folly. Louise (Ice Dragoon) is a smart cookie, not to be trifled with and I do pay attention to that side of the game because there is a lot to be learned by fans in this area.

For instance, fall 2000 any fool could tell that Shawn Horcoff would be a better MacT player than Mike Comrie just based on elements of the game without the puck. Comrie was either cherry picking or picking his nose, Horcoff was in the right place at the right time often enough to know he had a clue.

Most fans had Brodziak as a guy who was mid-level talent who would have to get a few breaks to have a career. Fair? In December, I had him #14 on my list (to the right) and #15 in the summer, both times calling him “the new Rem Murray.” I think that’s fair. Guy Flaming had him #13 in March of this year and wrote “The most obvious improvement in Brodziak’s abilities from last year is in his skating. Not unlike Jarret Stoll before him, Brodziak has never been regarded as a good skater but no longer does he stand out for being slow. If he can continue to improve at the pace he has this year, who knows where he could end up on the Oilers’ depth chart.”

Brodziak looked like a different player in camp this season, stronger on the puck, bigger and better wheels. I saw him at the JMC: Kyle Brodziak: The most impressive of the group I call the minor leaguers. I don’t think he’ll be one opening night. Played the off wing today and didn’t skip a beat, in fact it seemed to help him offensively with a better shooting angle. Physical all day, his goal combined hustle, speed and skill in equal parts. 1 goal.

It didn’t take any great insight to say that he would make the team, I believe MacT had already said as much. Also, “saw him good” is a bad way to predict the outcome of these things. Still, with Pisani having his devastating injury someone had to step in and Brodziak made himself the most attractive option.

It’s one thing to make the team, another to arrive at camp and shoot the moon. On top of that he’s started the season with 3 points in 2 games to lead the team in scoring. Oh, he’s also +3.

Good for Kyle Brodziak, he’s earned it.

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10 Responses to "Kyle Brodziak"

  1. toqueboy says:

    LT: longtime reader, first time poster. and on top of that, contributing with a very much off topic first comment.

    i am about to start a blog, but come from a reasonably academic background and like assorted statistical information as back up for my point, when necessary.

    i’ve seen you bring up terrific statistics and was wondering what resources you’re using. I’m more interested in the “odd” stats, as opposed to the superstats. IE. more interested in the “TOI with” etc.

    Anywhere you could point me would be fantastic.

    Also, keep up the good work…living in Calgary, your blog provides me with a nice level headed anaylysis of the oil that isn’t readily available in the popular media or within the fanatic forums. thanks.

  2. Lowetide says:

    toqueboy: I got to nhl.com for each game, click on “scores” and then grab the info. I am not close to being as good at it as the younger men who blog, people like Vic (IOF), MC (MC79) or that group.

    The shift charts seem to have changed this season, they don’t run them like they did a year ago. This year they are listed the boxcar numbers, time on and off and such. It takes some getting used to but is valuable.

    For instance, I listened to the game last night and thought I heard two things:

    1. The Brodziak line played a lot more in the second and third periods and,

    2. It sounded to me like a very hard match on Briere line for the Horc line and the Pitkanen duo.

    I’ve verified #1, Brodziak line did in fact play fewer minutes against guys like Kukkonen early on but by the 2nd period were out there more and seemed to be abusing Lupul’s line (which makes sense if you’re hard matching and feel like the Reasoner-Sanderson-Brodziak line is flying that particular evening).

    When I’m done with that, I’ll spend a few minutes on the Stoll line as they seem to be underperforming against the other three.

    I didn’t see the game, but when I do it’s always fun to keep track of “good chances.” By Rod’s call and the shift charts/shots, the Oilers were the 1927 Yankees in the first and you had to feel like the Flyers would come back in the 2nd which they did.

    Which means (imo) the pivotal goal last night was the one scored on the Reasoner screamer pass with Jason Smith guarding the gate.

    But Vic or MC or RQ or Dennis (or any number of people I’m forgetting) are way farther along on this than me. They’re PS3, I’m 8-track. :-)

  3. Lowetide says:

    I should also mention Gabriel Desjardins’ site BEHIND THE NET. The prompt is at the top right of my blog. Desjardins’ isn’t really associated with the Oiler blogs per se, but he’s mining the same creek as the Oilers’ number group (again, I’m not really one of them, just a theft merchant).

    The guy who drives the bus lots of times on this is Vic, and if you go to his (IOF) site at some point soon the results of this season’s games will show (I don’t see them yet, but they’re probably there).

    The icons you’ll want to click are “HEAD TO HEAD ICE TIME” and “JOHNSON’S EVEN STRENGTH STATS”.

    Finally, please post a link when you’re up and running and I’ll include it in the list on the right.

    Hope this helps.

  4. Dennis says:

    That has to be the best thing that Flaming’s ever written, Seriously. Like Moreau before him, Stoll is one of the few guys that actually significantly improved his skating once he became an NHLer. I don’t know what it is about skating but if you’re a guy trying still trying to improve your stride at the NHL level, well it’s like bringing up that fast .250 hitting OFer from the minors and hoping that Bobby Winkles can turn him into a .300 hitter. This is Schremp’s major weakness right now and we’ll see if he can overcome it. Moreau and Stoll certainly did it, though, and now it looks like Brodziak’s added some vip to his gait as well.

    Hemsky may yet wind up to be the guy we think he can be and Horc is back to winning one-on-one battles and basically outworking everyone else but the number one story at this admittedly early part of the season is the rejunvation of Reasoner and the new tough min line that he currently helms.

    Considering that this is Lowe’s weekend, it bears mentioning that the first big ticket move that he fucked was the Weight trade. That being said, I’ve always loved Reasoner and here’s a guy who was a scorer first but learned that his way to the big money was by looking after his own end. Geoff Sanderson is learning that his way to keep making the big money is to do the same and Brodziak comes from the MacT/Pisani tree as the fellow who’s had to work for everything he’s got and has done most of it in the A.

    Back to the Stoll line, you’re on the right track. The early gameplan had the 10-19 lines taking on the tough min which is leaving the 16 line with the Selanne minutes. Besides a couple of eye-opening feeds from Son Of Kenta, they haven’t shown much early on. 14-16 seem joined at the hip but last season it seems like they only ever really offensively clicked when 34 was at their side during that stretch around early Dec. Two games in and there’s a reason to like all the three other lines but with Cogs and Nilsson having shown some early chem and the Stoll line and Kids line being perhaps interchangeable at home with both being given soft duties, maybe we could see some juggling between those units. The Horc and Reasoner lines are getting it done thus far so no real reason to change personel or responsbilites for those guys.

    I don’t even know where to start when it comes to the defense;)

  5. Lowetide says:

    Dennis: Did the Reasoner line play the 2nd toughest minutes? When I looked at the shift charts, it looked like Carter-Hartnell-Lupul matched up most often against the Stoll line and based on the radio Mike Richards line didn’t sound like much.

  6. Loxy says:

    Dreamy pic LT!

  7. Lowetide says:

    I actually posted it because Marty was in it. There’s not an Oiler fan alive who isn’t thrilled with Marty’s coming back strong, although you are most certainly driving the bus. :-)

  8. Asiaoil says:

    Very happy for Brodziak but it’s a long season and he may not be able to keep up the pace. Still very good news so far with Pisani out.

    Also happy that Marty seems to have rebounded – I had pegged him as dead in the water – but last year was the first full year back after a devastating injury. Seems like MacT is treating him carefully in terms of giving him rest to keep his legs fresh.

    We need both these guys plus Chopper bad this year.

  9. oilerdiehard says:

    I was in the same group with Asia. I was saying I thought Marty might be close to done.

    I also said mid-Summer, if he is and ends up the pressbox, that Brodziak could step in and fill his shoes pretty comfortably. I actually got a fair bit of heat over on HF for that comment.

    Not only because I said Marty might be done but because I said Brodziak was ready to make his mark and become a full time NHLer. I am glad to say it is looking like I was wrong about Reasoner and right about Brodziak. I will happily take both.

  10. HBomb says:

    Dennis:

    How about this shit when Moreau gets healthy?

    Penner Horcoff Hemsky
    Torres Cogliano/Gagner Nilsson
    Sanderson Reasoner Brodziak
    Moreau Stoll Pouliot

    Turns the fourth line into one that can handle some minutes, and allows some alternation of the young guys (13/89). Then again, this would also work:

    Penner Horcoff Hemsky
    Torres Stoll Nilsson
    Moreau Reasoner Brodziak
    Sanderson Gagner/Cogliano Cogliano/Pouliot

    Basically, you could rotate Gagner, Cogliano, and Pouliot through two spots between the three of them, and MAP can move up and spell off Brodziak if they feel like he needs a night in the P/B (judging by his play so far, however, that’s unlikely).

    Ultimately, what I like most about these forwards is that you’ve essentially got all of Cogliano, Pouliot, Gagner and even Brodziak past 10/16/19 that can play center. It’s a nice problem to have, except if your name is Robbie Schremp.

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