Brodziak versus Pouliot

If we can agree that some of the 08-09 Oiler forwards aren’t coming back, and that very specific skills (grit, experience, etc) will be in demand for the training camp this fall, we should be able to identify those who are most likely to stay from the current group. Because Kevin Lowe left this roster top-heavy in salary (there’s not a lot of middle ground here), Steve Tambellini will be looking for inexpensive options.

The successful resume’s for the 3-4 lines will be aggressive players with some experience who don’t shy away from the rough stuff, can score a little and in the case of the C’s a FO percentage north of 50 would be nice.

It’s completely possible that both Kyle Brodziak and Marc Pouliot will be on the training camp roster this fall. Since they are similar in terms of experience and because their skill sets overlap to some degree, it’s also possible one of them will be sent away during the summer. Let’s have a look at each player to see if we can marry skill set to the GM’s stated off-season priorities.

Marc Pouliot

  • Boxcars: 63gp, 8-12-20, 23pims
  • Plus Minus: +1
  • Corsi: -4.4
  • GF/GA ON: 25-26
  • 5×5/60: 1.67
  • Quality of Competition: dregs
  • Quality of Teammates: 3rd level
  • FO %: 48.3% in 211 sorties
  • 09-10 Cap Hit: $.825M (nhlnumbers.com)
Kyle Brodziak
  • Boxcars: 79gp, 11-16-27, 21pims
  • Plus Minus: +4
  • Corsi: -14.5
  • GF/GA ON: 32-32
  • 5×5/60: 1.62
  • Quality of Competition: dregs
  • Quality of Teammates: dregs
  • FO %: 51.6% in 947 sorties
  • 09-10 Cap Hit: RFA.

I’m no expert at sussing this stuff out, but it looks to me like they had somewhat similar seasons in terms of offense. 5×5/60 is very close, and their GF/GA ON is also close. The difference is that Pouliot did it with below average help and Brodziak did it (based on Desjardins and eyeball) with guys who would need a day’s drive to get to below average. This would also account for the bad Corsi (you try dragging these people all over the ice) compared to Pouliot. Brodziak is superior in terms of faceoff skills, and although it didn’t show in the pim’s I think most people would agree that Brodziak played a more gritty style. There’s little to suggest he’s going to be significantly more expensive than Pouliot in 09-10. I think Brodziak is a better fit for the Tambellini template.

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20 Responses to "Brodziak versus Pouliot"

  1. jon k says:

    Brodziak’s grittiness is overrated in my opinion. At times he was noticeably soft in shying away from finishing a hit. A recent interview with him suggests that he’s aware of this deficiency and his need to address it next season by exerting himself.

    His corsi is likely also atrocious because he started a very high proportion of his draws in the defensive zone.

    I still think that he’s currently a substantially more useful player than Pouliot however.

  2. oilerdago says:

    LT: If it comes to a choice between the two it would be hard to argue gainst Brodziak based on these numbers.

    But my recollection is the majority of Pouliot’s minutes were played at wing – not his natural position and he struggled big time. Given that, is this really a fair analysis?

    Admittedly I’m nitpicking because if grit, face offs (and I’d argue PK ability) is the line in the sand, neither option is the complete package for a 3C, although Brodziak is fine as a 4C.

    And to some degree, I’d submit that MacT did both of them a dis-service by not giving either a chance (and insisting on playing Pisani and others at 3C and never giving either a real sniff).

    Almost makes me think they’d be better off blowing up the roster and starting from scratch.

  3. misfit says:

    I think another big reason for Brodziak’s poorer corsi number is because more than any Oiler not named Horcoff, he’s started the a much greater number of shifts in his own zone than in the other teams end. It’s pretty hard to generate more shots than you allow when most of the time the other team is starting off with the puck only a few feet from your net.

  4. rickibear says:

    In 07-08 the top 15 Goal+1asst/60 centers in the league.

    1. S CROSBY 2.9
    2. E MALKIN 2.66
    3. J SPEZZA 2.52
    4. J THORNTON 2.27
    5. M SUNDIN 2.27
    6. P DATSYUK 2.25
    7. M RIBEIRO 2.24
    8. D ROY 2.18
    9. P STASTNY 2.04
    10. S AVERY 1.92
    11. S HORCOFF 1.89
    12. K BRODZIAK 1.87
    13. V LECAVALIER 1.84
    14. V KOZLOV 1.77
    15. D LANGKOW 1.76

    08-09. A yha Kyle we want you to center:
    Smid -you -Storts
    Strudwick-you-storts
    Reddox-you-storts

    Every once and a while we will throw you a bone.

    The more we look at things. **** MAcT was an idiot this year.

    Thing that you notice following his EVGA/60 on Desjardins the last two years is that it went from 3.80/60 at the start of 07/08 to 2.48/60 at the end of 08/09.

    Size has been discussed.
    My bottom 2 lines:

    3LW-XXXX
    3C-Brodz-6’2″ 100hits
    3RW-Pisani-6’1″ 80hits

    4LW-Jacques-6’4″ 155hits (top 30)
    4C-xxxx-
    4RW-Storitini-6’3″ 155hits (top 30)

    Can stone PK

  5. Bank Shot says:

    Brodziak was deemed fit to play some PK tme as well. I think that’s an important consideration as well because special teams make up nearly half the game.

    Brodziak is probably the guy to take in any situation.

    Hopefully the Oilers get him inked to a 3-4 year contract around a million, so he’ll be a big bargain in the last couple of years.

  6. chartleys says:

    I’m hoping the experiments that actually should have been put into place this year happen:

    Give pouliot the 3C with the understandng that he will be given some time and support to properly audition for the job. The kid probably isn’t a lock for a top 6 type player but I still don’t see any reason why he isn’t a young and possibly more skilled version of a reasoner given time and direction.

    Brodziak is a 4/3C. Given some high tempo players, that can actually play, we’ve seen him be an integral part of a brilliant energy line. Coupled with the same patience applied to the pouliot situation above and see where you end up.

    We basically wasted a year of trying to develop an actual team from top to bottom, but I really don’t see any reason to send these guys down the road until they’ve been given an honest chance to blossom in this roles without dealing with the insanity that was this year.

    Bottom-line, dollarwise these guys could very well be exactly what we need them to be. Given a coach who believes that it is part of his job to define expectations and roles of players….

    We need to solidify exactly what our defense core and top 6 more or less will be for the next couple years and if we don’t like the look of it start making some adjustments there, figure out what we have cashwise and fill out the bottom from there as bottom 6 adjustments can be more easily made on the fly.

    Top 6

    RW’s – Hemsky,POS???
    LW’s – Penner, Cogs???
    C – Horc, Gagner

    Droppable: Rowbear (2M ish)

    It doesn’t blow me away but it could work.

    Bottom 6

    RW – Huggybear, Pisani
    LW – JFJ, Kotalik?? (seems too pricey)
    C – Poo, Brodz

    Droppable: Moreau (2M ish)

    If they pick up a veteran, f/o, shutdown/pk center then Poo is outta luck or is playing LW which doesn’t seem like a good use for him.

    Defense:

    Vish
    Souray
    Gilbert
    Grebs
    Smid
    Peckham

    Droppable: Staois (2.4M ish)

    This is a pretty big bottleneck as well as pricewise it’s too much. If it were me, the sell high on Souray seems like a good option (even though I’d love to see this guy as the captain).

    I can’t see this year being a serious run for the cup and would prefer to see the older portion get moved along and some type of game plan for a plausible run two years from now.

    Appoligize for babbling a bit. It just really baffled me that a year later we still aren’t really sure if these guys aren’t exactly what we need them to be due to the trainwreck of a season this was. Sadly more or less a year of team development wasted…

  7. hunter1909 says:

    Jesus Christ that’s depressing An 11th place team who can’t afford to increase their talent, hoping to pick up a few fringe players. Like that’s going to make any real difference.

    Wondering which dodgy junior to draft, while the teams smart or lucky enough to occasionally tank get all of the top picks. Then, win cups with them.

  8. knighttown says:

    If there is some call for dumping Brodziak I’ll come out hard against that notion. This guy is exactly the type of guy (at 28 y/o) who will find himself thrown over the boards more and more when the playoffs come around. Think Steckel. However, I don’t understand the need to constantly “promote” him to 3C.

    Since Nov of 2007 I’ve commented on Brodziak’s “dumping” ability. The guy is by far the most effective player at retrieving a breakout pass, getting the red line and soft dumping into a corner so his pit bulls (Glencross, Stortini) can go wreak havoc. Everyone else on this team prefers to try and beat someone 1-on-1 at the blue and will only dump an chase when the coach gets on them. To me, he actually prefers it.

    His weakness is his acceleration, especially late in shifts when the old cement skates seem to kick in. He needs to improve his acceleration and fitness levels if he wants to gain a bigger role, especially on the PK. Saying that, I have seen huge improvements in quickness since the fall ’07 intro so I have no doubt he’ll be better this year.

    In the offensive zone he takes a few more chances (than the neutral zone) and seems to have a good shot and decent hands.

    At this point, pencil him in at 4C and assuming he continues to develop, we’ll start to see him become an above average penalty killer and 55% FO guy. Add to that the big body and 7th rounder mentality to constantly fear for your job and you’ve got a keeper.

  9. shanetrain says:

    I would take a bottle of Brodziak over a carafe of Pouliot any day.

  10. Mr DeBakey says:

    I don't think Brodziak is gritty at all.
    In fact, his lack of grit landed him in MacT's dog house at least twice last season.

    I think Potulny needs to be added to the dscussion
    Horcoff, Gagner, Newguy and
    2 of Pouliot, Brodziak & Potulny

  11. DBO says:

    I agree Brodziak is better then Pou at this point. He has mentioned himself his need to get more physical, but I think at this point he is way more physical then Pou. Personally I think he should stay at 4C. if given the proper wingers to play to his strengths then i think he’ll be as effective as 2 years ago. If Tambellini does his job and we improve at a few positions, then Moreau should be on the 4th line.

    Moreau-Brod-Stortini

    That is a solid 4th line, with 2 of them playing major PK minutes (basically doing what 4th liners need to do). I think that 4th line outperforms most 4th lines out there, and will basically act like a 3b in terms of a checking line (especially since Stortini continues to improve) and allow our new coach to roll 4 lines.

  12. misfit says:

    It’s tough to keep both though. Pouliot is by far a better centerman than a winger, as is Brodziak. They obviously don’t want Cogs playing the wing (despite having a brutal FO% he played excludively at center, there’s got to be a reason for that), and Gagner is also much better as a centerman (though of the 4, he’s probably most likely to play wing).

    If this team actually goes out an gets a vetran LH centerman like I think they should, then there’s really no way we can play everyone where they’re most effective. That means Pouliot is probably going to be a winger or playing elsewhere, and some other guys are going to have to change places.

    The people making the decisions obviously don’t feel we need an upgrade at center, so bringing someone else in seems unlikely. So unless a huge move is made (and I would consider any of 10, 89, and 13 moving to be a huge move), Our centers will probably be Horcoff, Gagner, Cogliano, and Brodziak again.

  13. misfit says:

    Yeah, Moreau-Brodziak-Stortini is exactly what I’ve wanted as our 4th line since Glencross was allowed to sign elsewhere.

  14. Matt N says:

    Yeah, Moreau-Brodziak-Stortini is exactly what I’ve wanted as our 4th line since Glencross was allowed to sign elsewhere. .

    Moreau skill set is 4th line winger (and a good one) but his cap # is too high. I think that there are quite a few players out there who bring what he does for less.

  15. DBO says:

    Matt: while I agree his contract is a burden, no one is going to take him in a deal so we’re stuck with him. And he fits what tambellini wants in a player. So deal aside, he’s a perfect fit on our 4th line.

  16. Dennis says:

    Just about all of this depends on if the Oil want to continue to let 13 lose 60% of his faceoffs.

    And I don’t think we can bring back 18 at a 2 mill cap hit considering what he can and can’t do.

    Plus, he’s backstabbing poison.

    I was ready for MacT to go when he did but he’s got some real beef with the way 18 reacted when he left.

    That says everything about Moreau that I need to know.

  17. rickibear says:

    Storts first third of the last two seasons are brutal.

    07/08:
    first 1/3 2A -6
    Last 2/3 5G 13A season pace +8

    08/09:
    First 1/3 0 points -3
    Last 2/3 14G 12A season Pace Even
    On pace for 150 hits.

    His skating looked to change level half way through last season but those numbers say wow!

    Bruce you knew.

    Maybe Crazy Train-Brodz-Huggybear
    As #4.

  18. Oilmaniac says:

    So are you moving on to a new ‘pouliot’ LT?

    Where do you see him fitting in, because most here have penciled brodz over him… (an opinion I hold as well)… although Poo seems to me to have a decent range of skills that he could develop a good 2-way game…

    PS. I think Jacques has arrived to stay on that 4th line, long time coming…

    Just to put it out there, brodz to stay on the 4th.. Poo gets squeezed out to make room.. even tho id guess hed be a better 3rd liner.. centre is a mess, as people have aptly outlined in this thread and past ones… cogs/gagner clogging up the middle ground.. Poo/brodz forced to share the 4th (where brodz is a much better fit, imo).. and whats needed on the 3rd line isnt here (yet!?)..

  19. Dennis says:

    I just saw that another ’03 grad has been resigned by the Dys; Bernier.

    Anyone want to compare these guys? Looks like we didn’t win in the draft but we got the bargain in terms of NHL money.

  20. uni says:

    Every time I look at that ’03 draft it makes me shake my head. A lot of teams got impact to very useful players and a few of them set themselves up for the next decade and a half.

    Examples of teams that made out like bandits off the top of my head are Anaheim (Getzlaf, Perry), Nashville (Sutter, Weber), and Philly (Carter, Richards).

    I would be happy with 1 impact player, some teams got two, and Richards looks like all the world to be on the cusp of Elite with Getzlaf, Weber, and Carter not too far behind.

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