RE: Ethan Moreau

It was a crazy year for Ethan rifles. The captain came under fire for taking a higher-than-usual number of harmful penalties (he’s always been good at it) and for comments that were either taken the wrong way or were not consistent with what we associate with leadership.

On the other hand, he won the Clancy trophy for leadership on and off the ice. Go figure.

Moreau’s math marks offer us the same mixed bag. Way too minor harmful minor penalties were offset by playing tough opposition at par and scoring 13 EV strength goals (tied for 3rd on the team). Ethan Moreau turns 34 this fall and has 2 years left on a generous contract. 577 games and 103 goals into his Oiler career, he might be leaving town in the next 12 months.

  • Boxcars: 77gp, 14-12-26 133pims
  • Shots: 159
  • Plus Minus: EVEN
  • Corsi: -11.4
  • GF/GA ON: 37-39
  • 5×5/60: 1.50
  • 5×4/60: 0.00
  • Quality of Competition: toughest available
  • Quality of Teammates: 3rd level
  • FO %: 30.6% in 36 sorties
  • 09-10 Cap Hit: $2.0M (capgeek)
  1. What do these numbers tell us? He scored well at even-strength even though Moreau wasn’t on a featured line. He was healthy all season and despite a poor Corsi he managed to play at even +/- and his GF/GA ON isn’t a disaster. Plus it came against tough opposition (toughest among LW’s, tied for 2nd toughest overall among F’s with Pisani). Ethan did many good things this season.
  2. How could the numbers be better? He took a lot of minor penalties (43, seventh among NHL forwards). Even without running the numbers anyone who saw the club this past season would come away thinking he was either trying too hard, had lost his cool or some combination of the two.
  3. What about Injury? He missed some games with a scary (at the time) eye injury but played with abandon all season. He didn’t show any signs that the shoulder or leg injuries of recent seasons had an impact on the year. For this season at least it really was “go time” for the world’s most famous Mandelbaum.
  4. Will Quinn continue to play him against tougher opposition? I don’t know how Quinn will handle him but suspect it’ll be on the top 3 lines.
  5. What Else? One of the crazy things about this team since 2006 is the silly dismantling of left wing. I’m not talking exclusively about Ryan Smyth, but also Raffi Torres and even Curtis Glencross. Moreau may have been far more effective last season with some help from one of those three men.
  6. How important is Moreau to this team? He’s the captain and has been an Oiler for a long time (he was a teammate of Kelly Buchberger’s from trade deadline until season’s end 1999). His reputation and captaincy suggest he’d be a guy new coach Quinn (and Renney) would look to for leadershpip. Which makes some of his comments from last season rather curious but last year’s club was a trainwreck. I don’t know if Oiler fans are in a forgiving mood, but suspect the organization has no plans to replace Moreau as captain. That could certainly change with another poor season by the team, as veterans like him might be the first men sent out of town (likely at the deadline).

Quick Facts

  • 07-08 5×5 per 60m: 1.21
  • 08-09 5×5 per 60m: 1.50

Predictions Past 08-09

  • Predicted: 50gp, 10-7-17 (.340 per game)
  • Actual: 77gp, 14-12-26 (.338 per game)

Prediction for 2009-10: 65gp, 12-11-23 (.354)

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25 Responses to "RE: Ethan Moreau"

  1. CM says:

    all I can so LT is I hope your low on some of your predictions because its going to be a long year if your not.

  2. HBomb says:

    2 million in dead money against the cap – a guy who shouldn't be playing anywhere higher than the fourth line (on a good team, at least).

    It disgusts me that Smyth, Torres and Glencross all left town while Lowe chose to keep this guy. He'd be the absolute first guy I'd trade off the current roster (well, tied with his good friend Staios), given the choice.

    It's one thing to have a lack of veterans contributing. But when one of the few you do have is overpaid by about double what he should and makes some of the silly comments he did last year, it makes things seem even worse.

  3. Lowetide says:

    I've already projected the numbers. The Oilers (by my estimate) will score more goals than they did a year ago.

    Of course I thought they'd score 248 a year ago and they managed 234 so it's not like it's a science.

    One thing I can tell you is that I badly estimated the D contribution a year ago so some of the F's have been nicked this year.

  4. B.C.B. says:

    HBomb: I'd trade Moreau just to finish off the shift in culture. First fire MacT; then get rid of some of the leadership core (Moreau, Staois = out, Pisani, Horcoff = staying); then give the 'C' to Souray, or another player that leads by example, can play more then fourth line minutes, and has little connections to the old MacT fan club (Horcoff could be an exception to this last point).

  5. NBOilerFan says:

    There is no way that Tambellini trades Moreau. He is one of the few that actually plays the way that Tambellini stated he wanted more of from the team as a whole.

    He has his knocks, but he shows up to play and plays hard every game. There is leadership in that alone.

    I would think that they would move Staios before Moreau, and I'm hoping that they are actively trying to.

  6. raventalon40 says:

    @CM

    Remember that the Oilers had bigger problems keeping it out of the net than putting it in last season.

  7. Red Deer Rebel says:

    Even without running the numbers anyone who saw the club this past season would come away thinking he was either trying too hard, had lost his cool or some combination of the two.

    …. or, better yet, admit that the guy takes a lot of stupid hooking and holding penalties because he's lazy, stops skating, and doesn't understand the new rules (although they've been around for years now). He takes more lazy stick fouls than any other kind of penalty, and he takes twice the number of minors as any other forward on the roster.

    One of the easy ways to improve our shorthanded goals against is to dump Moreau. His 43 minors last year lead to what – 8 or 9 goals against on average?

    Ethan's contract has been a disaster. His oft mentioned "leadership" skills are not in evidence that I can see, so I don't know how you can claim he has them at all. You are simply assuming he is a leader because he has a letter on his chest. Well, how many times does this team have to get booed off the ice for lack of effort before fans admit there isn't much leadership, or accountability, here.

    I see Ethan as MacT's boy. Nothing else to see here. A talentless, overpaid, grinder who utters cliches for the media.

    The waiver wire exists for a reason, and its time to use it.

  8. B.C.B. says:

    RDR said "…. or, better yet, admit that the guy takes a lot of stupid hooking and holding penalties because he's lazy, stops skating, and doesn't understand the new rules (although they've been around for years now). He takes more lazy stick fouls than any other kind of penalty, and he takes twice the number of minors as any other forward on the roster."

    This is incorrect. Lets look at the data, from my Aggressive and Lazy Penalty Project:
    Moreau had 24 AP versus 23 LP. All stick fouls (slashing, hooking, tripping, except cross-ckecking) are Lazy penalties. Moreau's AP/GP is 0.35 while his LP/GP is 0.30, which means he took more aggressive then lazy penalties. Actually, Moreau had an + Differential, and the only other forwards to have that are SMac and Zorg, both other folks not know for their stick penalties.

    In raw data, here are some of Moreau's highlights
    6 Cross-check
    5 Fighting
    8 roughing
    4 Highsticking
    7 hooking
    5 slashing
    It appears to me that Moreau had more Roughing 2 minute minors then any single type of stick penalty.

    Another reason why math/stats are superior to 'I saw him good/bad'.

  9. HBomb says:

    BCB: I'd agree with pretty much all of that, except the part about Souray as captain. I still believe he's the guy that gets moved for salary space at some point.

  10. Red Deer Rebel says:

    In raw data, here are some of Moreau's highlights
    6 Cross-check
    5 Fighting
    8 roughing
    4 Highsticking
    7 hooking
    5 slashing
    It appears to me that Moreau had more Roughing 2 minute minors then any single type of stick penalty.

    Another reason why math/stats are superior to 'I saw him good/bad'.

    Impressive, except you seem to have completely missed the point, and screwed up the data.

    According to NHL.com, Moreau took 43 minors last year, but your list includes a maximum of 30. You then indicate that "Moreau had 24 AP versus 23 LP". He only took 43 minors. So if we subtract the fighting majors that are offsetting, according to your own classifications he took 19 "aggressive" minor penalties, and 23 "lazy" ones.

    Furthermore, there are 22 stick penalties on your list. How many of them could be called "lazy" as opposed to being "aggressive"? It is impossible to tell from your post, but if you would actually watch the games, you'd realize that a slashing penalty these days can amount to nothing more than hacking another player's stick with your stick. It has been called repeatedly, and it is a lazy play that usually results from the defending player getting beat. If your "project" chooses to classify it differently, then your project is useless. Highsticking is often nothing more than a lazy hook that rides up the stick/arms and comes in contact with the helmet, and cross-checking can be nothing more than a tap from behind. Some of these may be "aggressive", some are "lazy".

    Penalties don't nicely fall within an "aggressive" or "lazy" classification. You have to actually watch each incident, and make a decision. You would be much better off assuming every slashing penalty was "stupid", rather than "smart", although I don't see how that helps Moreau either, which is apparently what you are trying to do.

    At the end of the day, even you have managed to conclude that he took 23 lazy penalties last year. That is more than the total number of minor penalties taken by any other Oiler forward, and the number of penalties you have decided to classify as aggressive doesn't mitigate that fact.

  11. Travis Dakin says:

    RDR:
    Another point is that Moreau is usually on the ice in a defensive roll which means less puck posession and more trying to get the puck back. He does this more so than mast of the team which inevitably will lead to more penalties being taken. I agree that the rules have been in place for a few years now so they should be followed but you're giving too much credit to the refs. I don't think it can be argued that there are a lot of calls that are made that are completely asinine. I say this as someone who quite often gets pissed off at some of the calls that are made to the opposing team (regardless of the positive impact on the Oil).
    So a combination of Moreau's roll on the team and an over reactive implemantation of the rules I think leads to an exaggeration of Moreau's penalty taking. There was a stretch there for a while last year where he did take a lot of penalties and he did acknowledge it. Someone pointed out that over the last 10-15 games or so he was vastly improved.

  12. Bruce says:

    A lot of those penalties were about 180 feet from Oilers' net. Typically off a failed forecheck or O-zone turnover, and Moreau would react by putting his stick on the guy starting to turn the puck the other way. Unfortunately, his tendency to react first and think later really gets punished — frequently — in the "New NHL".

  13. Lord Bob says:

    How has nobody yet mentioned that aggressive penalties are easier to kill?

  14. Jfry says:

    i've got to agree wit RDR here BCB. there's just not enough quantifiable data to see it your way.

    people saw moreau bad last year for several reasons, among them poorly timed minors, lack of court vision and a lack of confidence in younger team mates. however you want to twist moreau's penalty data, the only thing conclusive is that he took too many minors and wasn't perceived around the league as a 'scary' physical presence a la souray.

    his tongue was by far the most disapointing part of my season and dramatically changed my opinion of the player…makes you wonder if the kids were bad tenants.

  15. godot10 says:

    I'm blaming last year on MacT. He went nuts. I'm willing to give Moreau the benefit-of-a-doubt, and another chance. Chalk up the bad penalties to rust after missing nearly two full seasons.

    However, with the first bad penalty, and the first time he makes an ill-timed block attempt on the PK that takes him out of position, I am going to jump off the Moreau bus quick.

  16. Racki says:

    If I had my way, Moreau would be penciled in either two different lines:

    Moreau Horcoff Pisani
    or
    Moreau Brule Stortini

    I think the 1st suggestion is a good "vet line" that would be favored by Quinn. As far as the 2nd suggestion, I like it just because Moreau plays a very good crash and bang game. In the past few years, I think he's lost his power forward abilities. However, who could forget the Dustin Brown yard-sale last year? Imagine him and Stortini together out wreaking havoc? Now that's an energy line… and I think he could duplicate what Glencross brought on line 4.

  17. HBomb says:

    Moreau Horcoff Pisani

    Words cannot express how much I hate this idea to go against the other team's best. Moreau CANNOT hack it at this point, IMO.

    We have one of two options for the "toughs":

    1) Horpensky
    2) O'Sullivan-Horcoff-Pisani

    Personally, I'd like to see this, utilizing what we currently have on the roster:

    Horpensky – toughest minutes
    Kid Line (Nilsson-Gagner-Cogliano) – sheltered minutes
    O'Sullivan-Pouliot-Pisani – secondary toughs (note – perhaps at some point you could see Gagner and Pouliot "flipped" to provide more balance and give Samwise some advanced learning)
    Moreau-Brule-Stortini (scrubs vs. scrubs, minimal ES minutes, Brule and Moreau both featured on the PK).

    In an ideal world, Jacques would take that 4LW spot, Moreau would be moved along for picks and Malholtra would be signed (thus bumping Pouliot to 4C, Brule to 4LW and Stortini to the press box).

  18. Schitzo says:

    Perhaps a more important question – how are aggressive penalties in any way a good thing?

    Penalties like cross-checking might be "aggressive" but they're also fucking stupid.

  19. pboy says:

    A lot of those penalties were about 180 feet from Oilers' net. Typically off a failed forecheck or O-zone turnover, and Moreau would react by putting his stick on the guy starting to turn the puck the other way. Unfortunately, his tendency to react first and think later really gets punished — frequently — in the "New NHL".

    Thank-you.

    The fact that Moreau took so many penalties was galling enough but he took them over and over in the offensive zone and that just multiplies the stupidity. Also, I loved how he brought up the lack of effectiveness of the PP time after time during post game media scrums but he rarely talked about the brutal PK the Oilers had that he was a key member of. Lack of accountability from their Captain was a problem the Oil had last season.

    A-Rod hits a 2 run shot in the 15th last night. Fat boy (Sabathia) has a no-no going through the 5th today, all I need now is for my wife to explain to me again why we need to buy the most expensive crib on the planet and this will be the perfect weekend. :-<

  20. Red Deer Rebel says:

    Perhaps a more important question – how are aggressive penalties in any way a good thing?

    Penalties like cross-checking might be "aggressive" but they're also fucking stupid.

    Absolutely. The only penalties that arguably don't hurt the team are offsetting ones, or penalties that deny a quality scoring chance.

    Most penalties occur because the player is undisciplined, or because they get cleanly beat on a play. High PIMs should be a red flag, and when you are taking double the number of any other forward, it is a pretty blatant indicator of a problem.

    The aggressive/lazy classification is pretty meaningless, but I was responding to the suggestion from LT that Moreau takes penalties largely because he "was either trying too hard, had lost his cool or some combination of the two." The major problem that I see with him is that he stops skating, gets beat, and then lays the lumber on the opposing player. In other words, he isn't a very good defensive player, and it has nothing to do with him trying to hard or being too aggressive. Moreau is moving slower than the guy he is checking, and that is why he is constantly getting himself in trouble.

  21. hunter1909 says:

    Moreau is, in overall terms, a lottery pick captain.

  22. Traktor says:

    "I'd agree with pretty much all of that, except the part about Souray as captain. I still believe he's the guy that gets moved for salary space at some point."

    Edmonton has a history of doing stupid things so you're probably right.

  23. HBomb says:

    Traktor: I'm not convinced moving Souray this summer would have been stupid at all, for two reasons:

    1) I know we're lacking toughness, but if you give me the choice of Souray or Visnovsky, I take Visnovsky every single time (and that's really what it may come down to at some point).

    2) Further to this – would Souray's value have been any higher than it was after this past season? He's a depreciating asset right now.

    He's a lot better than I thought when we signed him. But if the Oilers had dealt him off to clear salary space to, oh, I don't know, make a wise long-term choice and attempt to sign Jay Bouwmeester, I would have been totally in favor of it. Furthermore, if dealing him off stops the nonsense talk about dealing Gilbert and (to a lesser extent), Grebeshkov, it's the smart move.

    Souray has three years left on his deal. Will the Oilers be a contender in that time period? My guess is no.

  24. Bank Shot says:

    I think alot of the dislike of Ethan Moreau is bordering on the irrational.

    "Won't pass to the young guys…Tries to take draws when the center is kicked out of the circle"

    What?

    He played with crap linemates, and a fake centerman against some good players this season and did alright.

    He takes a few too many penalties, but he did fairly well in his role last season coming off of two years lost to injury.

    I'd prefer the Oilers try to keep both Moreau and Pisani around if they are willing to sign hometown discount retirement contracts after their current ones have expired.

    They'd both do great in the Strudwick role, and it'd be nice for this team to have some consistency for a change.

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