Reasonable at the AS Break (F’s 7-12)

In the second half of our look at the Oilers’ forwards and their performance up to the All-Star break we have several who covered the bet.

In terms of boxcar offense, the troubles faced by the top line (save Hemsky) and the uneven play of Cole, Nilsson and Gagner gave way to efforts “in the range” of expectations from forwards 7-12.

The Edmonton Oilers, for the first time in years, have enough depth to overcome a few subpar performances.

Cogliano P:45gp, 11-14-25 (.556) A:46gp, 12-13-25 (.543)

This is pretty much dead-on as a prediction. Cogliano has played very well and in doing so taken on more difficult minutes as the season wears on. His 5×5/60 (1.86) is moving in the right direction as his Corsi (-4.1) trails (as always with this player). Cogliano is facing mid-level opponents with mid-level linemates and delivering nicely offensively. A continuation of his current level would make him a 20-goal man.

Pisani P:43gp, 9-11-20 (.465) A: 16gp, 2-4-6 (.375)

I don’t think Pisani’s offense is off based on these numbers. 16 games isn’t a huge sample and in fact it’s basically a one point difference above in terms of points-per-game. Pisani’s injury has had a major impact on the hockey club, but we also need to remember about where he was placed on the roster at the beginning of the year and his role. A return to the “RW mentor” slot with two youngsters feels right and I suspect he’ll produce on all levels in the second half. His 5×5/EV (1.32) is a little low for him and his Corsi (-17.9) is jackass crazy and a reflection of the early season chaos and his unusual role. In a way it’s a credit to MacT to find a role Pisani would struggle in (out of position facing tough opposition every night). He’s way better than that and the easiest bet on this roster is that he draws back to the median (if healthy) by season’s end.

Brodziak P:46gp, 6-11-17 (.370) A:44gp, 7-5-12 (.273)

A 1.26 5×5/60 is exceptional based on the guys he’s been hauling around all winter. Brodziak’s Corsi (-13.7) is also not as bad as it seems when placed in context. As Coach has been tracking, his ability in the faceoff circle has been a much needed skill and contributed to the steady play of late for the club. Remember when we wondered where the Stoll/Reasoner minutes behind Horcoff were going to go? Well a bunch of them (after the Pisani injury) ended up here. His numbers aren’t going to be pretty (14-17 GF/GA ON) but could be a lot worse based on the fact the count is 0-2 whenever he steps to the plate.

Pouliot P:42gp, 4-11-15 (.357) A:44gp, 6-7-13 (.295)

His performance is certainly in the range of expectations and this has to be considered a very good sign. Pouliot’s notorious slow starts and subsequent trips to the doghouse are legend, so the fact he’s played in 44 games already tells a story. 1.52/60 at 5×5 and a Corsi of -5.9 are solid if unspectacular and he’s played with some of the roster dregs for much of the season. When he does play with skilled men, Pouliot scores well. He doesn’t look like he’ll drive any results but can be along for the ride and chip in some.

Moreau P:28gp, 6-4-10 (.357) A: 45gp, 10-8-18 (.400)

Another player scoring in the range, Moreau has been very streaky this season. 1.81/60 at 5×5 and a Corsi of -12.1 tell the story (some good, some bad) and he’s been a lightning rod for the bizarre, erratic and downright crazy this year. In his last full NHL season, Ethan Moreau scored 11 goals so a second half with fewer than 6 goals shouldn’t be considered a surprise.

Stortini P:42gp, 2-5-7 (.167) A:28gp, 1-2-3 (.107)

Another forward whose totals are about right, especially considering TOI and the linemates (Stick: optional) he’s been given this season. 1.04/60 at 5×5 and a Corsi of -14.3 aren’t that far from last season (1.24 and -9.2) and may in fact be more impressive considering the conditions.

Unlike the first 6 forwards from my “reasonable expectations” post, this group performed at expected levels. The real overachievers are up next: the blue.

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44 Responses to "Reasonable at the AS Break (F’s 7-12)"

  1. Dennis says:

    If you believe my scoring chance numbers – I have no reason not to believe them;) – 18′s getting killed and I believe there’s a reason why.

  2. Lowetide says:

    At his age, it’s either injury or he’s in the “Jay Bell can’t get to that ball in deep short and even if he does his arm is a little shy nowadays” stage of his career.

  3. doritogrande says:

    Based on Brodziak’s skill-set and contribution to the team, I wonder why he’s not playing that 3rd line C spot. He’s light years ahead of Cogliano in terms of faceoff ability, and your numbers suggest there should be an improvement in quality of teammates.

    This may be taken as a slight to Cogliano, but I believe he’s best served at LW for the rest of his career, or at least his Oilers career.

  4. Fake Craig McTavish says:

    Along for the ride and chipping in would certainly qualify as damning with faint praise.

    If you scramble the letters in praise, what do you get?

  5. Oilman says:

    If you scramble the letters in praise, what do you get?

    a headache?

  6. Fake Craig McTavish says:

    It’s quite sad, actually.

  7. Dennis says:

    DG: One could say that that given the EVTOI alone, the Oilers are looking ahead to 13 as the secondary shutdown pivot behind 10 with 89 taking the soft. Why else would you waste so many faceoffs on him? Sure, 51 comes on when we have a chance to make the change but his EVTOI at night’s end seems to trail 13′s by at least four or five min a night.

    This would get into whether we’d need 46 in the lineup or not and if it would serve 67 well longterm but the other night MacT’s blender featured a spin with a troika of 18-51-67. 67 drove to the net and had a Grade A scoring chance and seconds later 51 would’ve had another except for 18 plowing into the dman for a penalty PLUS putting his ass directly into the crease and in the way of the 51 shot.

    They did it purely with a chip-and-charge approach and that might be a good 4th line if the plan is to keep giving the Mssrs. Butterworth LW time to 12. You’d keep the first line intact and go 34 on the LW of the other line and the 78-13 with either RW or pivot.

  8. Coach pb9617 says:

    Given Brodziak’s current role, he’s never going to be above water at ES.

    Over the last eleven games, Brodizak has taken 56% of his faceoffs in the defensive zone. Horcoff 38%, Gagner 25% and Cogliano 16%.

    Brodziak has taken 37% of all defensive zone draws for the team in the last 11, and Horcoff has taken 42% of the same.

    Over that span, Brodziak is an amazing 42W 36L in the defensive zone for 54%.

    The kid is just doing some great work and if this keeps up and he comes in at +/- 20% at even strength it’s a remarkable sophomore season.

  9. Jonathan Willis says:

    Dennis: I’m sold on your scoring chance numbers too. I rarely comment on them since they’re (naturally) of greater value summarized, but it’s a big step forward. As for 18, the only place I can see him being a positive contributer is on the 4th line – too many stupid penalties, too little offensive acumen.

    As for Cogliano, it would make sense to run him at LW in this organization because I really don’t see the team going 10-89-13 down the middle in the future. Not enough size, plus faceoffs are a concern.

    Gregor’s said a couple of times (emphatically) that 13 isn’t comfortable on the wing. If that’s true, he’d either better figure it out, or the organization is going to ship out one of 10, 13, or 89.

  10. Jonathan Willis says:

    Given Brodziak’s current role, he’s never going to be above water at ES.

    And ditto for the rest of the 4th line. MacTavish’s use of them this season has been baffling; while you might make an argument that 78-51-46 can handle some shutdown assignments, that’s rarely the lineup. These days it’s more like 33-51-67 or some such, and that’s a recipe for disaster.

    On that note, I still want to fire the coach.

  11. quain says:

    Jonathan, can’t you just hire a woman to hit you a bit? Do you really need to submit yourself to ‘Vinny Lecavalier isn’t THAT good’ disagreements on ON? Too masochistic, even for me.

  12. Asiaoil says:

    Two quick comments today:

    1) I have only two words right now for Lowebellini on the topic of 18: sell high. His current unsustainable goal scoring and phony leadership rep actually makes him movable at the deadline for something useful. Move him now because we will be cursing the missed opportunity next year when he plays like a bag of crap and isn’t scoring on top of it.

    2) I continue to believe that both 13 and 89 will not be on this roster longterm. If Gagner gets moved in a package with a more expensive top 6 winger like Penner and a spare dman like Grebeshkov for a real difference-maker like Heatley – I would be all for that.

  13. Jonathan Willis says:

    Jonathan, can’t you just hire a woman to hit you a bit? Do you really need to submit yourself to ‘Vinny Lecavalier isn’t THAT good’ disagreements on ON? Too masochistic, even for me.

    Well, I hadn’t quite calculated that I’d get that level of response, to tell you the truth.

    I keep remembering something I read (I think it was on BofA) where the blogger was distraught at the level of crap he was getting, and talked to Colby Cosh, who told him to grow some balls.

    In any case, I remind myself of that when I get tarred and feathered on the internets like I am over there right now – it doesn’t really matter. I care what people think, but my self-worth isn’t dependant on it.

    It’s a lot easier to ignore criticism that doesn’t address my arguments anyway. Nobody outside of Jason Gregor has tried to counter my division/out of division numbers with anything other than “watch the games”. Gregor mentioned how an excellent record in divisional games could indicate a clutch player, but I don’t buy it.

    Anyways, I’m not here to go through that argument again. The lesson I’ve learned is that I’ll need to exercise a bit more gradualism with statistics, and avoid the big heresies until there’s some faith in the method.

    Besides, I did screw up by not adjusting Lecavalier’s Corsi to reflect the weakness of his team.

  14. B.C.B. says:

    I agree AO, on both points.
    1) But I don’t think Tambo will move 18 right now: unless he flips him for a pick and another (higher) pick for a gritty forward that can hit, and play some defense. This won’t happen, not saying it shouldn’t, just that it won’t.
    2) No one in the Oilers wants to see trading one of 13/89 and turning out that they traded the wrong one, but I do see one of them moved. It will happen in the off-season, IMO, because the Oil will likely get a better return then in the summer then in the insanity of the deadline (unless Kovie from Atlanta is coming back in a month or two).

  15. Scott says:

    Cogliano and Gagner need to be in the Oiler lineup next season. Trading them for an expensive piece will leave outperformance on the shoulders of players with bigger salaries or rookies. Their third NHL season coinciding should represent a big opportunity for contention.

  16. Rand says:

    If you do these predictions again next season I hope you’ll look back and consider that every forward besides Moreau fell short of your predictions, but the team as a whole still managed to land within a reasonable range of their expected record.

    You’re overestimating offense significantly.

  17. bookie says:

    Is it arpies?

  18. Lowetide says:

    Rand: I estimated they’d score 139 goals before the All-Star break and they have scored 132.

    That’s a pretty damn good guess. What I didn’t estimate well is the impact of the blue.

    That’s up next.

  19. Ribs says:

    Chaz Arpies. I think he’s the president of the Poo fan club. It makes so much sense now.

  20. Dennis says:

    JW: I’m really interested to see how it all goes for you over at ON. Both Gregor and Brownlee are quick to throw out the “we talk to hockey people and you don’t so that makes us superior” card and I must say I was a little disappointed that you let Gregor off with his “Moreau’s penalties are easier to kill off because they come from aggressiveness” line.

    Now, I know you’re only a young fella so that’s why I wasn’t overly disappointed:)

    But don’t stop fighting the good fight. I can see already that you’ve turned around some of the ON posters and little by little you’ll make some inroads. For every guy like Gregor and Brownlee who won’t be changed, there’s two guys in high school who are reading your stuff who Can be swayed by logic and one of those years one of them will become a reporter and the numbers we serve will wind up in the dailies.

    Then that kid will wind up in a lockeroom with Brownlee and when the Grumpy Fella grunts at the new kid’s numbers, the new kid will laugh him off like the dinosaur that he is.

    LT: Fuck, that GF prediction deserves some props.

  21. godot10 says:

    //2) I continue to believe that both 13 and 89 will not be on this roster longterm. If Gagner gets moved in a package with a more expensive top 6 winger like Penner and a spare dman like Grebeshkov for a real difference-maker like Heatley – I would be all for that.//

    Heatley is not a character player. He is just a much better version of Joffrey Lupul. Not a MacT type of hockey player. He would never go into the corner with Robyn Regehr after the first few maulings.

  22. Dennis says:

    Scott: you make a great point about how we need someone to outperform their contracts and next year, yes, it should be the 13-89 duo who should make up the genesis of the secondary scoring line behind HorPenSky.

  23. Jonathan Willis says:

    Dennis: It’s always interesting at any rate.

    And I’ll second your comment that LT made a hell of a prediction.

  24. Coach pb9617 says:

    2) I continue to believe that both 13 and 89 will not be on this roster longterm. If Gagner gets moved in a package with a more expensive top 6 winger like Penner and a spare dman like Grebeshkov for a real difference-maker like Heatley – I would be all for that.

    Worst. Overpay. Ever.

  25. Coach pb9617 says:

    For every guy like Gregor and Brownlee who won’t be changed,

    They don’t ever understand that there is change possible. Eff ‘em. Let them slobber all over their “access”.

  26. Coach pb9617 says:

    And I’ll second your comment that LT made a hell of a prediction.

    I have a feeling that if HorPenSky were together from the jump, his individual predictions would have been dead nuts and his team prediction would have been off.

  27. bookie says:

    Hey, for all of you who have felt like it was time to abandon the Oil after 19 years futility…

    Sad Fan

  28. Doogie2K says:

    I’ve been a Canucks fan for over 30 years.

    There’s your problem, right there. Also…

    The Sundin deal is starting to look like Mark Messier

    That took long. It’s a good thing five games is enough of a sample size to judge a guy who hadn’t played in eight months.

  29. Doogie2K says:

    Also, I should note that the line from MacT about Pouliot developing was a bit out of context. The full line was, “Andrew’s playing the best he’s ever played. So’s Poulie, he’s developed.” Makes him sound a bit less of an afterthought. He also named Poo specifically as one of the guys he figured was going to have a better second half.

    So for all the Pouliot fans out there, rejoice: the coach sees it now. ;)

  30. more green says:

    “If you scramble the letters in praise, what do you get?”

    what do you get? Parise? I don’t get it.

  31. digger says:

    Apologies for not really being on topic with this thread, but while the clock’s not quite struck midnight on Josef Hrabal’s North American hockey career, it may be at 11:45 PM now that he’s refused assignment to Stockton:

    http://www.recordnet.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20090123/A_SPORTS04/901230336

  32. Schitzo says:

    Dang, I was hoping Hrabal would really click

  33. Lord Bob says:

    Dear Josef Hrabel,

    You are what we thought you were! You are what we thought you were!

    Sincerely,

    most Oiler fans. :P

  34. relic says:

    If you scramble the letters in praise, what do you get?

    dyslexia

  35. Jonathan Willis says:

    And somehow, Bryan Young remains in the lineup…

  36. Doogie2K says:

    Boy, that shoulder injury really buggered up Hrabel Yell, didn’t it?

  37. Bruce says:

    Timing is everything with some of these boys. In 8 years Hrabal could be Jan Hejda, who knows? He’s got the initials, if not the credentials.

    I remember the Oil picking a guy named Miloslav Horava away back in 1981. He more than covered his 9th round bet with 80 GP, all of them with the Rangers between 1988-91. For the intervening years he played in the Czechoslovak League, not to mention 5 World championships, 4 Olympic games, 3 Canada Cups and 2 World Juniors, where we’d capture a tantalizing glimpse of this burgeoning world-class defenceman once a year or so. Looked for all the world like the Czech Craig Hartsburg. In 10 seasons in the Czechoslovak League, Horava had no fewer than 8 seasons of 10 or more goals, topping out at 20 in 1984-85: no mean feat for a blueliner in the short Euro sked.

    Although he never did suit up for the Oil, Horava had value. After waiting five years for the Wall to come tumbling down, the Oilers finally peddled his rights and the declining Don Jackson to the Rangers in return for Reijo Ruotsalainen, who won two Cups in Edmonton, and Jim Wiemer, who won one. Given that Ruotsalainen won his in ’87 and ’90, and Wimer won in ’88, Oilers had one player from that trade in the line-up for each Cup that they won after the trade.

    I can’t help but think that Horava himself would have won five or even six Cups if he had pulled a Stastny. He was a beauty.

    A more modern example of a guy taken too early is David Vyborny (picked in 1993, ripened in 2000).

  38. Master Lok says:

    It won’t 10-89-13 in the future. It will be 89-13-10 in the future. I will go against the grain, and say that I don’t think the Oilers will trade either 13 or 89, and will keep them until their RFA status comes up at least.

  39. Bruce says:

    One more comment on Miloslav Horava: he was born in 1961, the same year as Wayne Gretzky, Mark Messier, and Paul Coffey. From his perspective, what an opportunity missed. From the Oilers’, the one that got away.

  40. quain says:

    It won’t 10-89-13 in the future. It will be 89-13-10 in the future.

    It won’t be either of those: Cogliano either needs to switch to wing or he doesn’t have a future on the Edmonton Oilers.

  41. Dennis says:

    JW: I think the problem with Gregor and Brownlee is they think their opinion trumps all because they get to talk to the players and the brass; because of that, they think their opinions are all-knowing thus they can bully the people who are nothing but “readers.”

    Suffice to say, that won’t work on me:)

    I took the whole “78 has developed line” as basically acknowledging that he’s now an NHLer and MacT trusts him accordingly. You look at the event summaries and 51 gets big reps with the faceoffs but 78 almost always finishes ahead of him in terms of EVTOI and he’s top nine for sure and in the MacT vernacular, that means he’s “developed” to the point where you can trust him.

    Personally, I’m disappointed in his own zone coverage but buoyed by what I see from him offensively.

  42. Jonathan Willis says:

    I think the problem with Gregor and Brownlee is they think their opinion trumps all because they get to talk to the players and the brass; because of that, they think their opinions are all-knowing thus they can bully the people who are nothing but “readers.”

    I wasn’t going to get into any more arguments in the Lecavalier thread ;) Still, when the only defense for a point of view is “everyone knowledgeable thinks this way”, people should look at their assumptions.

    If you look at what you wrote about the Earth being flat and what I wrote about paradigm shifts, there isn’t much difference except that I couched my wording to be less jarring, and I wasn’t arguing with anybody at the time.

    Things are accepted until they’re not.

  43. Doogie2K says:

    Still, when the only defense for a point of view is “everyone knowledgeable thinks this way”, people should look at their assumptions.

    The technical term is appeal to authority.

  44. Ribs says:

    Stat! Stat! Revolution!

    You guys crack me up. Maybe we should start working on a stat that rates the “Top Ten”.

    When the pressure is on, when the games mean the most, Who makes the play to tie up the game with seconds left in regulation? Who nets the winner the most often? What’s the level of importance for these games? Who adds the most to different levels of skilled teams? Who leads the locker room onto the ice? (and how do you rate that?) How much does a coaches system deflate each players numbers? How much do better teammates inflate others? How do roster makeups effect all types of TOI? How much chemistry do players have with others? Would they have chemistry with other teams players? How much does chemistry effect numbers? Where do players peak? Where do they plateau? Is that a constant? Do top players ever defy any stat logic? By how much and how often? Can you rate that and use as a margin? How do injuries effect numbers? How many numbers get fudged when you add or subtract any of these factors?

    There’s more. The point is, each player is not in the same exact position as any other. They haven’t played the same amount of games, they haven’t played for the same teams with the same teammates, they haven’t played against the same opponents, and a billion other factors.

    You can’t undeniably define a top ten with numbers. You just can’t. Opinion is always in play and always will be.

    Stats can be damning on paper but when it comes to the game there’s no way (yet?) to grade some of the things that really do matter.

    With that being said, I really do love the stat work you guys come up with and do believe they can be very useful in a lot of areas. I think LT has proved this time and time again with his postings here.

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