Somewhere along the way things fell apart on the Crazy Train. Drafted in the watershed season of 2003, JFJ scored 12 in his 17 year old season in the Q and then improved to 20 and then 36 goals before graduating to pro hockey. As an AHL rookie, Jacques scored 24 goals and things looked bright.
Along the way he began having back issues. He missed half of 07-08 and 08-09 was pretty much a writeoff. It came as a surprise for many of us when Pat Quinn decided Jacques belonged on the top line in the fall of 2009, but it’s one curious choice after another when it comes to Mr. Jacques. The Edmonton Oilers have devoted 1322 even-strength minutes to the NHL career of JF Jacques and have received 9 goals and 8 assists. That’s about .77 points per hour, but it was much worse for the first 50 games or so. Things are looking up! I think someone in the organization has gotten stubborn on him. I suspect someone in the organization believes he can still turn the corner. I suspect JF Jacques is gonna get run over by about 10 MBS draft picks pdq.
- 5×5 points per 60: 0.85 (12th among regular forwards)
- 5×4 points per 60: nil
- Qual Comp: 11th toughest faced among regular forwards
- Qual Team: 2nd best available teammates among regular forwards
- Corsi Rel: -10.4 (2nd worst among regular forwards)
- Zone Start: 47.9% (2nd toughest among regular forwards)
- Zone Finish: 52.3% (5th best among regular forwards)
- Shots on goal/percentage: 28/14.29% (best among F’s but DNQ)
- Boxcars: 51gp, 4-1-5
- Plus Minus: -6 on a team that was -52
- What do these numbers tell us? First, I have to point out a problem with the notes above. Although behind the net.ca tells us JFJ played with the 2nd best available linemates, he in fact played with Colin Fraser and Zack Stortini (22%) and Colin Fraser and Ryan Jones (12.5%) most of the time. So, there’s a disconnect. That said, we know that coach Renney was rolling lines over much of the time so it’s probably right to assume Jacques did play the soft minutes.
- What did he get done? Not much. Jacques isn’t really a player at this point. I mean, he can skate like the wind and he’s big so I guess Renney thought he could combine with MacIntyre and Stortini to make one useful player. The roster makeup last fall was curious, I don’t know what role they felt Jacques could fill.
- How could these numbers be better? They are. In 06-07 they gave him 5 hours of even strength time and didn’t get one damn thing. We’re walking in high cotton now. JF Jacques spent a long time looking for a goal, remember.
- Well why do the Oilers keep him if he’s no good? Jacques popularity among the Oilers management group today is probably the same reason that got him drafted: hockey men can’t resist a combination of size and speed. If he could take a pass and make one, we’d be in business.
- The Oilers didn’t have a lot of choices. Sure they did. The Edmonton Oilers sent down Liam Reddox and Linus Omark (among others) and kept the Crazy train. This reminds me of the period where the Oilers refused to make a decision on Jeff Deslauriers for fear of losing him to waivers. I mean, it makes you laugh except this is the team we cheer for and these decisions to keep guys like Jacques have impact all down the line.
- Yeah but they need big physical guys! No, they need actual NHL players. Jacques has experience but it’s not good experience. I don’t think he wants to fight much because of back worries and then there’s the whole take a pass make a pass problem.
- So he won’t be back? I bet he will be back. When you’ve got a love Jones there isn’t much anyone can do for you.
- What happened to him? Either the injuries and long layoffs ruined him or he wasn’t that good anyway. I think the back problems flushed him.
- Maybe he’ll catch on with Detroit. Yeah, they’ll waive that kid Abdelkader and bring in Jacques. Detroit drafted Fred Williams a long time ago. They learned.
- What should an Oiler fan do? Read The Road to Hockey Town. Katz is Ilitch and he hasn’t figured it out yet.
- Three really smart coaches employed him. Craig MacTavish was in the business of developing talent at the NHL level (something Detroit doesn’t do) and God knows he tried; Quinn was off the meds and Renney is coaching like he’s in an Albert Brooks movie.
Prediction for 2010-11: 25gp, 1-1-2 (.080)
Actual 2010: 51gp, 4-1-5 (.098)
Make it stop