Oilers at Avalanche, G17, 09-10

In Quebec province the men go about their business in about the same way as guys do in this part of the country. Always time for a beer or a glance at a pretty girl, always time to talk some Canadian football (believe it or not, Quebec is the new heartland of Canadian football) and hockey holds a special place.

I’ve never really been able to get behind any kind of animosity toward Quebec province with regard to politics.

The one political item I do care about with regard to Quebec is the return of their beloved Nordiques. Quebec’s hockey team always had a personality, a flare, a passion. The really good Nordique teams were fearsome, and those teams played some of the very best hockey the 1980′s had to offer. Their fans loved them just as much as I love my Oilers (I believe that) and in a part of the world where the NHL means the world it is simply bullshit these people don’t have their own team. Bettman’s done a lot of good and bad things in his time as NHL front man, but if he returned the NHL to Quebec city, Winnipeg and even added a club in Southern Ontario it would do wonders for his legacy and “right an historic wrong.”

When the WHA folded into the NHL, the following teams survived: Edmonton Oilers, Winnipeg Jets, Quebec Nordiques, Hartford Whalers. It should be mentioned that the teams who voted against the merger were the Vancouver Canucks, Montreal Canadiens, Toronto Maple Leafs, Boston Bruins and Los Angeles Kings. Since 1979-80 (the first season for the 4 new clubs) those 5 franchises have won a total of 2 Stanley’s (Montreal, 1986, 1993).

The WHA kids? Edmonton (5), Quebec (2) and Hartford (1). Winnipeg (now Phoenix) dominated the WHA era but have never been able to find sound ownership despite having some wonderful teams along the way.

The Oilers are a mess. Horcoff, Hemsky, Jacques and a thing called “hope” were not on the plane as the team sped off for Denver. According to the Oilers website, this is what we’re looking at in terms of lines:

  • Gagner-Penner-O’Sullivan
  • Brule-Comrie-Nilsson
  • Cogliano-Pisani-Reddox
  • Potulny-Moreau-Stortini
  • Glimmer Twins
  • Strudwick-Staios
  • Visnovsky-Chorney

Smid is on the trip but still has flu like symptoms (did this guy hit a Legionnaires’ convention in Philadelphia recently?) so is unlikely to play. No word on the goalie, this might be a good game for JDD but it’ll probably be the Bulin wall.

I think it is interesting that Quinn has Potulny at center. There are other options (O’Sullivan, Comrie) but I also think the coach might be looking for someone to add more skill to the 4line. Should Potulny (or Reddox) perform well, this could be the end of the line for Robert Nilsson and Steve MacIntyre. I don’t think it’s clear at this point who the team will send away once bodies begin to get healthy.

The Edmonton Oilers are not in a very good place right now.

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292 Responses to "Oilers at Avalanche, G17, 09-10"

« Older Comments
  1. Phil says:

    Nice win. Good to see the team score a few in the third to secure a lead, instead of holding on for dear life. Potulny looked pretty good too; nice release on that goal.

  2. pboy says:

    Pisani is rounding back into his old self. Still a little slow by my eye but he made quite a few smart plays.

  3. Jon says:

    I hope tambo has learned that, when this team is healthy, youth can replace some veterans.

    For example:

    Staios 2.8 can be replaced by:

    Chorney 0.9
    Peckham 0.5

    Moreau 2 and Nillson 2 can be replaced by:

    Jaques 0.55
    Stone 0.6
    Potulny 0.5
    Reddox 0.5

    That is a savings of 4.5 million dollars without hurting the overall quality.

    Now if we could only land a proper 3rd line center…

  4. Black Gold says:

    We just beat the best team in the NHL?
    Well, we can certainly say we just beat the team with the most points.
    You'd have a hard time convincing me they are the best team. ;)

  5. Showerhead says:

    Wow, a win!

    Icecastles, there is definitely a Men's game at 6pm Friday the 20th though I'm not sure if there's one before it. The Women's team is better when compared to their league (Canada West champs in 2008/2009) though I'm not sure when their next home game is. I'm sure it's tucked away somewhere on the school website if you're curious.

    Doritogrande: I had to check Facebook to see what social I'd committed to… do you mean the RSAC Glow social? I'm thinking that one's a gametime decision for me but if you know any Rez kids there will definitely be pregaming there.

  6. spOILer says:

    After Three:

    Potulny 12:25 TOI 5 shots 1g-1a-2p.
    Reddox 12:17 TOI 2:06 SH TOI 2 shots 4 hits 1 assist.

    Gagner 12-7 FOs, team at 45%.

    15-9 hits.

    PP is the story of the game tonight, followed by work of the callups.

  7. Icecastles says:

    We just beat the best team in the NHL?

    Going by boxing rules, that means that we are now the best team in the NHL.

  8. doritogrande says:

    Showerhead:

    Green Gone Wild, the Enviro department's social on Tuesday night.

  9. Showerhead says:

    Icecastles: 7pm, sorry.

  10. SK Oiler Fan says:

    Nice effort by the boys tonight without Horc, Hemmer, Souray.

    Interesting stats of the night:
    Shots in the 3rd: 11-4

    Potulny with 1G, 1A, 5 shots in 12:25

    Penner with 1G, 1A, 4 shots in 22:30

    Patio with 1A, 3 shots in 22:18

    Chorney -3 in 14:11

    Moreau with 0 PIMS

  11. spOILer says:

    Chorney was -3 and really struggling of late to keep his head above water, but I like a lot of aspects of his game. Playing more physical, better decision-making, great skater…

    This was a fine game from Strudwick though, for Struds. Very authoritative at times and saved that goal.

  12. Bar Qu says:

    Is Potulny for real? Can he really be a bottom 6 contributor? I know Reddox deserves to be there, he earned it by smart play last year, but I am cautiously hopeful for Potulny.

  13. PunjabiOil says:

    Clear eyes, full hearts, can't lose.

    In all reality, this was one of those games where everything you hit seems to go in. It doesn't change that in the long run, this team needs another legitimate top 6 forward.

    That said, we've yet to see a healthy line-up in a long time. Horcoff/Hemsky/Souray should be back soon.

  14. Bar Qu says:

    Sorry, that should say, "only cautiously hopeful for Potulny."

  15. Showerhead says:

    Doritogrande: Hmmm, slightly more likely, if just because I've never partied with the faculty before. Where is it?

  16. SK Oiler Fan says:

    And hounerable mentions to Staios and Struds each around 4:30 on a perfect PK.

    Khabby also with big stops on the PK

  17. Showerhead says:

    Whoa, just caught that Strudwick save in the highlights. Earned some of your popularity there, Jason. Also, glad like everyone to see Cogliano get a goal – I liked that he got his nose dirty on that one.

  18. Dennis says:

    http://www.mc79hockey.com/?p=3241

    I'll focus on a positive, besides the PP, of course, and commend the club for circling the wagons and really keeping the Avs at bay in the final frame; I had the chances at 7-2 so that's probably the best defensive period they've played all year.

    Regarding 16, I think most of the sharper eyes were pleased with him last year, too. What I remember from him is how he'd always either hang out in the slot or he'd pass to the slot and that was remarkable because it's not something that our players normally do. I dare say he would have a job in the bigs if he was a better skater.

  19. doritogrande says:

    Showerhead:

    Kings Head pub.

    The venue, along with the chance to party with the enviro girls are the reason I'm going.

  20. FlamingPavelBure says:

    ''I hope tambo has learned that, when this team is healthy, youth can replace some veterans.

    For example:

    Staios 2.8 can be replaced by:

    Chorney 0.9
    Peckham 0.5

    Moreau 2 and Nillson 2 can be replaced by:

    Jaques 0.55
    Stone 0.6
    Potulny 0.5
    Reddox 0.5
    ''

    Chorney Okay

    Theo Peckham…?

    As for the callups, it's only one game, if we based his season on Robert Nilsson's first game, said he'd deserved his name sewed in gold and a reserved spot on the first line.

  21. bookie says:

    I have been saying it for some time, Horcoff, Hemsky, and Souray have been holding our Power Play back.

  22. Black Dog says:

    You university boys should be concentrating on your studies, tearing after the booze and the tail is a surefire way to end up on the old dirt road to ruin.

    Dennis – Potulny's one of those guys that you look at and just wonder what is going on. Three assists in his cup of coffee last season but more importantly to me he never looked really overmatched.

    Guy gets a rep, maybe, but by my eye he's a guy who can help. Small sample size sure but I was surprised to see how little a look he got at camp. Someone in the MMA said he has a poor camp but how would you know? He barely got a look.

  23. Bruce says:

    Like I said … time for a W.

  24. Showerhead says:

    You university boys should be concentrating on your studies, tearing after the booze and the tail is a surefire way to end up on the old dirt road to ruin.

    But Pat, it's environmentally FRIENDLY tail! You'd damn near be killing kittens and burning down forests not to have a go.

  25. Icecastles says:

    The venue, along with the chance to party with the enviro girls are the reason I'm going.

    I heard a rumor that there are even a couple enviro girls who shave their pits. Though my RA in Mauro is in Env.Sci I think, and she's not so bad… bit ditzy though (but I suppose you youngsters don't mind that)…

  26. SK Oiler Fan says:

    Odd penalty calling tonight:

    Col with 4 in a row to finish the 1st, then the Oilers with the only 3 in the 2nd, then Col with the only 4 in the 3rd.

    Usually the stripes go back and forth a bit more.

    I guess that would explain the shot differential in the 3rd.

  27. doritogrande says:

    But Pat, it's environmentally FRIENDLY tail! You'd damn near be killing kittens and burning down forests not to have a go.

    He's old, and from the Sudbury area. He doesn't know the word environmental, let alone the exhibitionists that go along with it.

  28. Black Dog says:

    Well here's hoping they're Riding fans! Godspeed.

  29. spOILer says:

    Dennis, is Grebs usually that bad at EV SCs?

    Are you including goals as SCs? If so, Potulny was on for 2 PP goals. Nilsson too was on for 2 PPGF.

  30. Showerhead says:

    Icecastles: RA? Mauro? I know the girl. Small, blonde, Riders fan. And yep, an ENVR major.

  31. doritogrande says:

    Big fucking banner in her room by her bed.

    And just how do we know this, senor Icecastles ;)

  32. spOILer says:

    Icecastles said:

    Big fucking banner in her room by her bed.

    ;o)

  33. SK Oiler Fan says:

    This may be out of bounds here, but I just caught a glimpse of Claude Lemieux on Battle of the Blades and I really don't know what to think of it.

    But, Katarina Witt still has it (and I don't mean the skating)

  34. Bar Qu says:

    Thanks for the reminder LT.

    Still not the answer for the team, but a nice game anyways.

  35. Showerhead says:

    lol, GOLD. He doesn't necessarily know her name (you got it, btw) but he knows what's by her bed :)

    Yeah bud, sorry you had to choose the retirement home of AVM to live in but I was an RA and SRA once upon a time so if you know those folk or any of the people on council we have some mutual friends. Small world!

  36. Showerhead says:

    And btw, just texted her. Based on my vague description, she guesses you are Evan or Brad :P

  37. Showerhead says:

    And again, sorry for the blatant hijack. This is a fun surprise but there was an Oiler game tonight, one that we won in spite of some things so I apologize if this is a bit too random.

  38. Bruce says:

    Katarina still has "it", or "them"?

  39. Icecastles says:

    Fucking hell, showerhead! What did you tell her?

    No idea who Evan or Brad are….

  40. Showerhead says:

    Haha. A few years older than me, architecture student, Oiler fan. Also that we agreed that she was small, blonde, a Rider fan, and pretty. Good things all round, though she does not seem to enjoy the height jokes :)

  41. Gerta Rauss says:

    Quinn Postgame

    a couple of beauties from Quinn tonight…"turnover queens..making chicken salad from…"

    Sarcasm aside,a nice win tonight-it may not have been pretty but we scored more than they did and that's what matters tonight.

  42. bookie says:

    Quinn takes a different approach than MacT did with regards to blocked shots. "Don't leave your feet" from post game comments.

  43. Icecastles says:

    Showerhead: as long as you didn't mention that I'm telling people what she has on her walls – she might take that (understandably) as a bit invasive.

    I think she doesn't like me – I always tell her I'm going to Spirit Cup and I have yet to go to one. Though I at least intend to go when it's a hockey game… the rest of the time, I just tell her I'm going to get her off my back. :)

    If you and Dorito go to the next hockey game, maybe I'll tag along.

  44. Bruce says:

    //[Bruce] Powerplay sans Hemsky is 3/3. Not pretty, but that may well be the point.
    Just sayin'.//

    [RiversQ] Bruce usually has an axe to grind with Hemsky and he likes to use small samples to make his points, so I was addressing him too.

    Wasn't around to address this earlier, and probably nobody else is around to read this now, but can't let that pass. Maybe I misunderstand what "just sayin'" means, but to me it means it's something interesting that I noticed that probably doesn't mean much. It is a tiny sample size but it's also a fact that the Oilers scored 4 PPG tonight, a season high in the first game their PP specialist missed, so if nothing else it's quite a coincidence. One was a bounce and one was a shot into traffic and two were on beauty cross-ice feeds the likes of which we haven't been seeing much from Mr. Hemsky or anybody else. The puck was flying around out there pretty good, the players were a little less static and the play a little less predictable and telegraphed than in recent games. Can't draw a solid line cause-and-effect to Hemsky's absence nor do I want to. It's interesting, is all. Worth mentioning, even.

    Hemsky has a long, long track record of exceptional PP production. It'll take a lot more than one period to convince me he's a problem.

    Sorry, Rivers, but I set my standard for "exceptional" a little higher than you do. The Oilers powerplay has been less than meh during the Hemsky Era, finishing in the top half of the league exactly once during his career to date. That was 2005-06, when the Chris Pronger-led PP unit managed 14th in the league.

    In the three years since, during which time Hemsky has been running the show on the first unit, the team has finished an underwhelming 27th, 21st, and 22nd in the league. Bottom third, three years running.

    Ales has decent personal stats in that time, true, especially if you are measuring in points rather than overall success of the unit. Compared to his teammates his PPP/60 is fine and dandy. But if you compare him to guys running other powerplays his stats have been nothing special. In 2008-09 for example, among PP specialists playing 3+ minutes per game 5v4 (min. 40 GP), Hemsky ranked 34th in the league in PPP/60, 65th in PPGF ON/60, and 89th in PP+/60. In 2009-10 among 3-minute men with 10+ GP, he ranks 30th, 61st and 71st respectively. Which is pretty UNexceptional in my books.

  45. hunter1909 says:

    "Hemsky has a long, long track record of exceptional PP production."

    Yeah right.

  46. Lowetide says:

    Actually Hemsky does have a very strong track record in this area. I understand the need to look for holes, but this team has so many you'd think we could find one with merit.

    This is exactly the kind of thinking that got Gary Carter traded from the Expos. Not winning? It is the fault of our best player!

  47. hunter1909 says:

    "I understand the need to look for holes, but this team has so many you'd think we could find one with merit."

    You're right. Pencil me down as shell shocked this season.

  48. hunter1909 says:

    Holes with merit:

    Watching the first period last night only thinking how small(tiny) the forwards are. Comparing them to the lineup that got whipped last time by the Stars. Seeing how nothing ever seems to change.

    It's beyond a joke, the state of the contracts that Lowe handed out like Halloween candy to his "loyal" players. The team is handcuffed for the next 3-5 seasons, thanks to that dolt.

    Penner is playing wonderfully. O'Sullivan I cannot really fault too much either. Gagner I guess is developing, but I doubt if he ever causes the other team to lose sleep either.

    Comrie, Pisani, Horcoff, Staios, Moreau, my fingers are tired from ranting against this pathetic collection of overpriced, undersized, hockey IQ challenged washed out set of whatever. Pro sports is supposed to ruthlessly cut out it's deadwood, not promote it to cult status.

    It's just looking like a team that really should be going for the bottom five, preferably the first pick overall. Unfortunately, we all know that will never happen.

  49. rickibear says:

    "Hemsky has a long, long track record of exceptional PP production."

    Yeah right.

    OF 1.5M+ F
    06-07
    Hemsky 6.2GF/60 #100/167

    07-08
    Hemsky 7.90GF/60 #18/202
    5.93Pts/60 #2/202

    08-09
    Hemsky 6.30GF/60 #101/130
    5.00Pts/60 #54/130

    09-10
    Hemsky 7.9GF/60 #62/147
    6.6Pts/60 #37/147 but 3rd on the team Production would be #2PP side pboard control position.

    Based on team production and Positinal roles

    Comrie-Gagner-penner #1PP
    Horcoff-Hemsky-Stortini #2PP

    So Hemsky has been:
    1.Below to Average Two years 06-07; 08-09
    2.Elite 1 year (07-08)
    3. Just above average this year
    But 2nd best on the team for production in the side board role.

    Hunter has a point LT.

  50. Bruce says:

    LT: Nowhere did I say "trade Ales". There's no question that since the lockout he has been Oilers' best offensive player and best powerplayer. That is a compliment.

    As our best, however, I compare him to the best of other teams, and in such a comparison he comes up pretty unexceptional, as Rickibear has confirmed. (RB: What are your GP & PPTOI/G thresholds? Mine were 40+ and 3:00+)

    There are numerous other factors beyond his control including coaching, teammates on the first unit, and teammates on the other unit which will all have their difficult-to-measure effect on personal and team production rates. I happen to think all of those factors are pretty unexceptional as well. It's certainly not just Ales that has delivered a bottom-third PP unit these last years. But he's the one driving that particular bus more than anybody, and the bus has been going in circles for years.

  51. Bar Qu says:

    my fingers are tired from ranting against this pathetic collection of overpriced, undersized, hockey IQ challenged washed out set of whatever. Pro sports is supposed to ruthlessly cut out it's deadwood, not promote it to cult status.

    That may be the most enjoyable phrase I have ever seen you write, hunter.

    And every word of it true, though I would definitely take Horcoff off that list.

  52. Lowetide says:

    Bruce: It's hard to soar like an eagle….

    As for the PP numbers, I'd like to see the criteria (GP, etc) because it seems to me those are wonky and I don't have time right now to chase them down.

  53. Traktor says:

    I think if you're questioning Hemsky's PP abilities then you're focusing too much on stats.

    You could put put a baseball on a tee but if I'm the guy holding the bat I probably not going to make it out of the infield.

    The best sniper Hemsky has played with is Shawn Horcoff. Enough said.

    Also doesn't help that MacT refused to use Penner on the PP last year and Toby was manning the point in 06/07.

  54. bookie says:

    Comrie, Pisani, Horcoff, Staios, Moreau, my fingers are tired from ranting against this pathetic collection of overpriced, undersized, hockey IQ challenged washed out set of whatever. Pro sports is supposed to ruthlessly cut out it's deadwood, not promote it to cult status.

    Comrie is pretty low priced, fairly talented, and has pretty good hockey IQ. Pisani was a pretty good player who has suffered a chronic illness which the team found out about after an overpay. Horcoff has not been very good this year, but is a fine player who may be a bit of an overpay. Questioning his 'hockey IQ' however clearly indicates your limitations in that subject area.

    You must just be trolling because I doubt if anyone could write that sentence without having their tongue planted firmly in cheek.

  55. hunter1909 says:

    "You must just be trolling because I doubt if anyone could write that sentence without having their tongue planted firmly in cheek."

    Some people just don't have an imagination. All of the listed players in one way or other perfectly fit that statement. Just because all of them do not fit every possible description doesn't not make them pathetic.

    Proof? They all play for one of the bottom teams in the NHL, sans lottery picks.

  56. MDOilFan says:

    SMac on the waiver wire, finally.

  57. rickibear says:

    As for the PP numbers, I'd like to see the criteria (GP, etc) because it seems to me those are wonky and I don't have time right now to chase them down.

    Lt:I went in to review the stats to prove Hunter wrong using Behind the net. 07-08 biased my belief.

    The criteria is +1.5Minutes/60forwards who played 50 + games

    It was put on an excel sheet and sorted.

    It is what it is.

  58. rickibear says:

    Why I use 1.5 Minutes.
    30 teams with 2 PP units therefore 6 forwards

    30 X 6= 180 players. 1.5Minutes gets you the best 150-130. That is what you want to determine the league average.

  59. rickibear says:

    I think if you're questioning Hemsky's PP abilities then you're focusing too much on stats.

    Gagner side board control on the left has been superior to hemsky. ganer provides the threat of a shot at all times. forcing the PP coverage to key on him first.

    Hemsky allows the PK coverage to cheat to the point or slightly down low. the threat of a shot is not as great.

    Watch what the best side board player (Kovalev)does. I see alot of him in Gagner just not as good a shot. But the threat is there.

    I have been preaching this since Gagner year one.

  60. rickibear says:

    Hemsky's 07-08 numbers were they great because of him or was he lucky to have a top 10 PP scorer in Penner. Looking at gagner's numbers this year playing with penner. I think we have the answer.

    AS for elite PP goals scorers in the last three years. +2.30PPG/60 is a nice group; past or present Edmonton players with that rate for a season since 06-07.
    Smyth, Penner, Pisani, Cole, Winchester, Sykora.

    This year Nilsson, penner, hemsky.

  61. gary b says:

    Bob McKenzie tweets that SMac has been put on waivers…

  62. bookie says:

    So does SMac go down to the AHL or the ECHL?

  63. Dennis says:

    Neither of 10-83 were put on IR so I guess the news on 33 means that 22 will be ready for tomorrow night in Ottawa.

    I don't really like Quinn overall but the biggest thing I dislike right now is his idea that it's not a good idea to block shots.

  64. Schitzo says:

    I don't really like Quinn overall but the biggest thing I dislike right now is his idea that it's not a good idea to block shots.

    I dunno, I can get on board with it, as long as it's paired with getting the hell out of the shooting lane so that the goalie can see the shot.

  65. pboy says:

    I was just reading up on this mess with the NHLPA and the one constant with the Paul Kelly & Ian Penney saga is that Chris Chelios is a gigantic prick. Who knew???? Chelios a prick, I have to say this totally surprised me.

  66. godot10 says:

    //I don't really like Quinn overall but the biggest thing I dislike right now is his idea that it's not a good idea to block shots.//

    I think Quinn was talking about blocks made in desparation because you have been caught out of position, and then compound the problem, by telegraphing the block, and thus, getting even more out of position…you know, the Ethan-Moreau-shot-block modus operandi.

  67. bookie says:

    I don't really like Quinn overall but the biggest thing I dislike right now is his idea that it's not a good idea to block shots.

    I am not sure if blocking shots is a strategy for success or not. Perhaps it is just a warrier thing to do that has limited impact on the game (costs=benefits). Anyone else have an opinion?

  68. godot10 says:

    Hemsky has flaws on the power play, which teams exploit if there is no Visnovsky or Pronger on the point, and no Penner or Smyth down low, to ameliorate his pass-only mentality on the side wall.

    Hemsky doesn't attack the box, or threaten to shoot.

    Unless the elite puck moving defenseman is there and with somebody running interference in front of the net, Hemsky becomes a thoroughly mediocre power play producer. He should be great, but he because he is passive and pass only, he is not the difference maker he could be.

    The combination of Pronger and Hemsky was pretty effective. Pronger could hit Hemsky in full flight with a pass, which would give the Oilers easy access to the offensive zone on the power play. It worked in 2006 until Anaheim began to shut it down, and Carolina killed that pass, and the Oilers PP, in the finals. Carolina also knew Hemsky would never attack off the sidewall, and they took away all his passing options. It is still what most teams do now. They play the passing lanes because they know Hemsky won't attack the box or shoot.

  69. NBOilerFan says:

    As per Tencer….

    "MacIntyre on waivers. Was only a matter of time."

  70. kris says:

    How much will it take to get management to waive super-star Rowbert the Flair, if it took 100 injuries and a pandemic bubonic plague just to send an ECHL level guy who can scrap with Boogard and not win?

    We are afraid to waive and afraid to trade.

    Sad thing is, is that this means we can't use waivers and free agency to pick up some useful pieces when they become available.

  71. Dennis says:

    Maybe it's a false memory but weren't the Oilers once one of the best shot blocking teams in the league – in the days of Gator and Ulanov – and didn't it serve them well?

    I just don't like the way the Oilers defend under Quinn and I'd like it much better if guys started going down and taking away the shot along the ice.

  72. Bruce says:

    Rickibear: I used 3 minutes to isolate the true PP specialists. Hemsky hit this threshold every year that I checked. I used 40+ GP, and I included all skaters, not just forwards. Despite significant differences in our thresholds our results both showed the same trends.

    Hemsky doesn't attack the box, or threaten to shoot.

    Godot: Bingo. He does this sporadically, and when he does he is effective. When he hangs on the wall and just tries to thread passes the whole PK unit including the goalie can govern themselves accordingly.

    In 2008-09 Hemsky was particularly unaggressive in either attacking the box or shooting, and produced just 4 PPG on the season. In PPG/60, he ranked 7th among the 8 Oiler forwards who met RickiBear's thresholds, ahead of only (surprise, surprise) Patrick O'Sullivan. He also was well behind two defencemen, Studly Wonderbomb and Lubo, in this metric. His assists rate was pretty darn good, but I feel Ales could be a lot more effective if he considered himself one of the shooting options a little more frequently.

  73. Bruce says:

    Maybe it's a false memory but weren't the Oilers once one of the best shot blocking teams in the league – in the days of Gator and Ulanov – and didn't it serve them well?

    Dennis: Oilers have had a good shot-blocking squad since the days of Lowe, Muni, MacTavish and Buchberger, and certainly continued to have one throughout the Lowe/MacT-in-suits era. The Oil led the league in this category as recently as 2003-04, and were 7th, 3rd and 4th in the next 3 seasons before sliding to the middle of the table last year. Given they made the playoffs in exactly one of those five seasons it's debatable how well it served them.

    Surprisingly the Oil currently rank 5th in the NHL in raw blocked shots. To some extent that is dependent on the tendencies of the home town scorer; perhaps more importantly judging from the other teams near the top each season it seems to be a function of total shots directed against. It would take a little more time than I have today to parse Bk/SA or some such, but I suspect such an exercise might "normalize" the Oilers somewhat.

    I suspect what Quinn might have been railing on last night concerns shot block attempts that leave the would-be blocker down and out of the play, as happened to Moreau again last night on a particularly clumsy attempt. If Quinn reacts anywhere close to the way this former minor hockey coach does to such poorly-executed block attempts, that stuff will drive him batshit. And the entertaining thing about OTC is he ain't afraid to say so. :)

  74. spOILer says:

    Isn't Hemsky second on the team in shots right now?

    Has anyone taken a look at his shots attempted?

    I don't see that same passivity, and I see a lot more of Hemmer stepping into the slot than we used to back in the day.

    Hemsky's problem appears to be the right wall. When he's there, he has difficulty getting a shot off, and when he does get it off, it rarely hits the net. He would be better off playing the off-wing where shots are tougher to defend.

    Gagner, also a RH shot, plays the half wall on the left side. If you want Hemsky to get more shots on net on the PP, he has to take the same spot.

    And… to attack the box with success, you usually need a forward to move to the near side post to force a defensive dilemma that can be exploited.

    I'm going by my eye here, to clarify.

  75. Kenny Powers says:

    Maybe Bucky should teach them all his forward pretending to be a goalie shot blocking stance. The only other person that I've seen adopt that style was Smyth, so he must've taught one person.

    Could you imagine the whole team looking like that trying to block shots? That would look pathetically hilarious.

    On a more serious note, it was great seeing Pisani back to being Pisani last night.

  76. trader says:

    Blocking shots is one thing but the way Staios and Moreau do it they look like they are making snow angels.
    Staios is the worst..he continually takes himself out of the play when he lays on the ice.

  77. Lowetide says:

    Well this thread is just completely off the rails and I refuse to help it. Clearly he's scum. As a for instance, when Bruce writes that Hemsky was "7th amont Oiler forwards in powerplay goals per 60" and no one thinks to ask about his points-per-60 and counter the argument then I think this corner of the internet isn't helping.

    Seriously. Do we just stomp the guts out of everyone by finding a fact of the week or do we still like a balanced glance at all of this?

  78. mjsh says:

    LT. time for you to write a new blog so that a more reasonable conversation happens.

    Do you think the Oil will ever haven enough healthy forwards that Row-bear is waived?

    In my saw him good eyes, I do see him working much harder this year. A few hits, some good back checks, a good pass on the PP last night.

    Speaking of which, was that not a great pass that Grebs made last night on the PP as well?

  79. Schitzo says:

    I concur, LT.

    And not just because that's the snarkiest I've ever seen you, and I'm a little scared.

  80. Scott says:

    Yeah, that was a great pass by Grebs. But in the TSN write up they had Potulny quoting that it was 'a great feed from Sam Gagner'.

  81. Easilee says:

    I know this isn't a stats service, but can anyone give me someadvanced stats on Adam Mair. He seems like he would fit pretty well on our fourth line, and has a decent cap number. Thanks.

  82. kris says:

    In our defense LT, you only posted an hour and a half after Bruce, so there wasn't much opportunity to counter anything.

    Regarding Hemsky, there's absolutlely no doubt he's seriously elite on the PP. Absolutely.

    I do think it's odd that Hemsky doesn't get many PP goals, though. If he did, he'd be a perenial 25 goal guy, instead of 20, no?

    It's not much of a knock on Hemsky, of course, and it's by no means clear whether the PP itself would be better off if Hemsky scored more, since that might mean he's creating fewer chances and goals for the rest of the team. Still, it's at least possible this is a weakness in his game, something the truly elite scorers have that Hemsky doesn't.

    I think this debate over Hemsky is all semantics. We know Hemsky is, right now, a good PVP player, who is around a point per game, and he's still young enough that he could get better. And he's still on a good deal.

    He's the franchise and you don't move him unless you can get a better franchise, maybe a Tim Hortons…

  83. spOILer says:

    Lowetide said…

    Well this thread is just completely off the rails and I refuse to help it. Clearly he's scum. As a for instance, when Bruce writes that Hemsky was "7th amont Oiler forwards in powerplay goals per 60" and no one thinks to ask about his points-per-60 and counter the argument then I think this corner of the internet isn't helping.

    Bruce did say that his assist rate was pretty darn good, which seems a little more balanced in its presentation.

    Rickibear did say Hemmer was top 3 on the team in PPG thus far this year.

    I'm not sure why all the focus on PP goals–it seems to stem from Godot's post above, which to me seemed more a reiteration of past anti-Hemsky arguments than a present day evaluation.

  84. spOILer says:

    Any Gretzky sightings at the HHOF?

    Can Lou retire now after this speech?

  85. kris says:

    I also agree about the use of stats to "make a point" instead of to advance our mutual understanding of the team and the game.

    Oddly, I see the same thing in the academy: people making points for the sake of "winning" or being right instead of trying to learn more.

    Now Bruce normally doesn't use stats like that, and I don't think the post in question was the worst instance of such misuse at all. And I would never say he's just trying to "win" a point.

    Still, I hear you. I think I've been guilty of what you're saying on occasion.

    The other day, I remember thinking to myself "I'm going to look for evidence to show how bad O'Sullivan is." Obviously, that's the wrong way around; I should look at all the evidence and then make a conclusion.

    /babble off

  86. Lowetide says:

    kris: Bruce is actually very well balanced in his math, I used his quote because it was the easiest to reference.

    I'm just surprised no one bothered to defend the guy. But as you said, it wasn't a tremendous amount of time between Bruce's post and mine.

    I'll be glad when Horcoff comes back and people can rip him a new one. :-)

  87. rickibear says:

    Hemsky's problem appears to be the right wall. When he's there, he has difficulty getting a shot off, and when he does get it off, it rarely hits the net. He would be better off playing the off-wing where shots are tougher to defend.

    Spoiler: you may be correct.

    As I was tearing panel board off my girlfreinds basement walls. I remebered hemsky being effective on the left side boards.

    Hemsky on the left sideboards
    Horcoff down low
    Pisani right side

    Kris: There is nothing wrong with having a belief or a theory. Or a desire to prove it.

    But emperically you have to look at the evidence and go yeah I was right or well that was not what i expected.

    This cases evidence showed an average performance.

    As for method. I use thirty teams to define my method.

  88. RiversQ says:

    rickibear said…

    The criteria is +1.5Minutes/60forwards who played 50 + games

    It was put on an excel sheet and sorted.

    It is what it is.

    And what it is isn't very useful.

    Your criteria has Hemsky compared to a bunch of players with as little as 75 min of PP TOI.

    That's not Hemsky's peer group.

    Furthermore, one of the biggest problems with measuring special teams is that the samples are so small. Often, it's small even with entire seasons. A guy like Hemsky might spend 5hrs on the PP in total in one season. (another reason why your 100min men aren't meaningful comparisons) That's really not much considering he'll play 15-20 hours at ES in a year.

    The best way to handle this is to lump several seasons together so that you have something like 600min of PP time as the lower limit. I think Tyler's percentiles were closer to this approach.

    Given the Oilers' PP units since the lockout, I suspect Hemsky isn't lights out by this measure, but he's surely ranking up there with some good players. I may get around to doing this myself because I'm interested to see now.

  89. Bruce says:

    I may get around to doing this myself because I'm interested to see now.

    Rivers: Yeah I'd like to see that too. I went with 3:00 guys (a new threshold Desjardins has just added at my request specifically because it's an elite level for a special teamer) and full seasons cuz they were the biggest data sets at my disposal. But you're right that's still only 4 or 5 hours on a season.

    The most damning evidence in my eyes was the Oilers powerplay being in the bottom third the last three years which is obviously way more than one guy not getting 'er done, but it does suggest that nobody has been, uh, exceptional over the long term.

    I thought math was the best and most dispassionate approach, but clearly I've offended some sensibilities in the process. No offence was intended, just analysis.

  90. rickibear says:

    1.it's small even with entire seasons. A guy like Hemsky might spend 5hrs on the PP in total in one season.

    2.That's really not much considering he'll play 15-20 hours at ES in a year.

    Rivers I respect alot of what you say.

    But these two statements are silly.

    1.Lets ignore the 2nd power play unit.

    Oh and while were at it lets ignore lines 2-4 at even strength.

    The time measure is about giving a comparable marker.

    Think the game. But the sampling is really game play.

    You know Shifts.

    The first unit gets one shift and it will be 1-1.5Minutes.

    The second unit gets shift length of 1-.5min plus the added effect of worrying about the guy coming out of the box.

    They are both one shift. To ignore the data because of shift length difference is well silly.

    2. Look at the Effect of PP for time played versus effect of ev scoring rate for time played to realize how dumb.

    Your flaw is the understanding of sample size. Not minutes shifts.

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