Falcons Altering Flight Plan

This is a photo from last season’s Falcon club. We can see Pouliot, O’Marra, Dubnyk and a few other prospects in this photo. In following the Oilers AHL team I have my own pecking order in terms of likely recalls. For the 09-10 season, my list of possible recalls would have been Theo Peckham (despite the injury), Liam Reddox, Devan Dubnyk, Ryan Potulny and Chris Minard.

The Oilers have recalled Taylor Chorney, Theo Peckham, Liam Reddox and Ryan Potulny. Plus Ryan O’Marra! AND it looks like Colin McDonald is really turning heads. Guy Flaming has an excellent post over on his blog (I don’t have time to post the link, it’s Coming Down the Pipe!). Please have a look, it’s required reading for Oilers/Falcons fans.

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17 Responses to "Falcons Altering Flight Plan"

  1. Sean says:

    I believe this is the link.

  2. Bar Qu says:

    Interesting post by Flaming. Raises some serious questions on how statistics is (or is not) valuable for those in the business. Especially as it relates to Chorney v. Wild and how the organisation has treated them.

  3. oilerdago says:

    Good reading. Daum's comments on McDonald and O'Marra are strong – and given where these two were not long ago it's a very positive step.

    I don't mind being proven wrong on McDonald (have been highly skeptical of him) and all of this shows the importance of having the right kind of coach doing your player development. Someone with a lot of experience can help ID roles and that's what leads to success (along with the player buying into it).

    Great stuff.

  4. kinger says:

    I like what I saw from McDonald during TC in 2008. I went to a game in Vancouver and thought he looked like an NHL player (size, speed, finished his checks). I had hoped to see the same thing from him this preseason at GM Place but was pretty disappointed. To my eye he wasn't engaged in the play. Perhaps the lack of action he had seen up to that point had something to do with his poor effort(I think he played in only two preseason games).

  5. kinger says:

    Thread Hijack:

    The 'Trade Ales Hemsky' crowd is really out in full force over at HF. I'm a bit confused because usually this sort of thing coincides with poor boxcar numbers.

    GP: 16
    G: 4
    A: 13
    P: 17
    +\-: 4
    SOG: 48
    SOG/G: 3 (Career high 2.5)

    So he's on a better than PPG pace, +4 facing tough competition, and shooting the puck more than ever before.

    Let's get rid of him now before everyone else figures out he sucks!!!!!

  6. kris says:

    The Oilers could learn a lesson from the Falcons:

    Last year both teams relied on young, unexperienced guys to play against tough comp., without veteran help, with too many fancy-dans in the lineup.

    The Falcons have partially solved the problem by getting some stay at home, steady D (Arsene in, Taylor healthy, Armstrong in). And they revamped the forward core with some size and some veterans. They added a serious veteran two-way forward (Minard) a veteran top 6 scorer (Linglet) some size (Wiseman), and some depth (Fretter).

    This allows the younger guys like O'Marra to thrive a little more. (If we can send them back a guy like Stone, Jacques, or Nilsson that will give them a little more skill and maybe make them a serious threat.)

    That's what Edmonton needs. Use some of our assets to buy the NHL equivalent of Minard to balance ou the lines, add a little veteran depth to the blue, a Taylor kind of guy.

    Guys like Brule and Schremp in the AHL, or O'Sullivan and Comrie in the NHL, need to play on lines that balance out their skills.

    If only the Oilers had he kind of GM who could turn around a team like the guy who turned around the Falcons.


  7. Black Gold says:

    On the note of O'Marra, Capgeek has him listed as demoted.

  8. RiversQ says:

    The Hemsky thing is just bonkers.

    I don't think any interesting questions about the usefulness of statistics are raised by Flaming's post. He's a Prendergast – "Where do the Oilers' prospects rank on a scale of 9 to 10, Guy?"

    The primary point of most statistical analyses as applied to the AHL is to identify NHL difference makers. You could reasonably argue that none of the players in that article were or will be accused of that.

    I suppose Chorney could be a slight exception but we don't have access to the strongest data for the AHL. It's entirely possible that the more useful metrics paint his AHL performance in a better light.

  9. RiversQ says:

    Just to add – but IIRC Chorney is getting fairly throttled in terms of Corsi, etc so he's got some distance to make up yet. As a young dman, that's understandable.

  10. kris says:

    I refuse to discuss Hemsky with the detractors right now. There's no point. He's the franchise and is doing exactly what we need him to. He's elite. He'll prove them wrong. We don't need to.

    Obiously, there are a few guys I'd trade him for, but they are the untouchable potential-HOF guys that you can never get, and the fact that there are some guys who are better doesn't mean he's not elite.

    If anything the beggining of this season has reaffirmed my appreciation of Hemsky. Not just according to his boxcars, but by what I've seen in the games I've watched.

    We know who he is. He'll be near a PPG for years, playing hard against tough opp. The only real knock on him is that he's more of a 20-23 goal guy than a 30-33 goal guy. Again, Ovechkin is better, but that says nothing about Hemsky. (It might be relevant when it comes time to resign him… How much are assists worth compared to goals when determining contracts?)

    In the end, I think debates about how good Hemsky is are really semantic debates about how we should define 'elite offensive player' or 'great PVP player.' That is, people aren't debating Hemsky. Again, we know who Hemsky is. They're debating about whether we should only include Ovechkin, Crosby, Malkin, and a precious few others in the category "elite" or should we include some of the guys in the next tier down like Hemsky. That's a boring debate because you can define the terms however you want to, to either include Hemsky or to not include him. Who cares.

  11. Lowetide says:

    I think Hemsky is the new Horcoff until Horcoff comes back from injury. That must be it.

  12. quain says:

    As a young dman, that's understandable.

    Also, for whatever reason Quinn thinks it's a good idea to start him in the defensive zone 6.7 PP more than the next regular defenseman (37.5% vs Vish's 44.2%). Doesn't completely explain the Corsi, but it helps.

  13. Unleaded says:

    To be really honest, I think it has a lot to do with two things.

    First, the fanbase here is getting (understandably) frustrated with the futility of cheering for this team. We all know that the team is unbalanced. We all know what needs to be done to fix it. Yet it isn't happening, and moreover, it hasn't been happening for as long as we have been able to see it.

    Therefore, fans are slowly going crazy. It's like an itch that you can never reach, and never goes away. You try to ignore it, you try to scratch it, you try to anyhting you can to distract yourself, but no matter what, you still have that GD itch.

    Secondly, since we can all see the problems, and the potential solutions to the obvious problems, and see that the Oilers braintrust is not addressing them, it leaves us all wondering what the "real problem" is. It leads to conspiracy theories, and questioning people who are doing good work. ANd it leads to utterly ridiculous conclusions.

    It is the same way with Hemsky this year as it was with Penner last year, and has been with Horcoff since we dumped the rest of our veteran centres. Are they playing badly? No. But they could be playing much better if…(insert unlikely scenario here). Everyone loves Pens now that he is shooting the lights out. Why can't the rest of these bums be more like Penner?

    The Irony is so rich I wish I could bottle it and sell it. I'd be rich enough to buy the Oilers myself in 10 years when Daryl figures out he's screwed the pooch and needs an exit strategy…

  14. Unleaded says:

    @ Quain

    FYI – That's Renney's Decision, not Quinns.

  15. Rob Gilgan says:

    It's important to consider that the folks that make these decisions don't place a lot of stock in our opinions. And they don't know what's being typed on HF.

  16. Lowetide says:

    Rob: A brilliant and needed point. Thanks for it.

  17. RiversQ says:

    Rob and LT: I'm not so sure about that. To be frank, Lowe and Tambellini have been appeasing the HF pedophile types since Summer '06.

    I'm surprised they're so choked when the Oilers have been icing exactly the kind of infantile lineup they've been (wet) dreaming about.

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