Watching any sports team graduate their prospects is an interesting follow. Edmonton used to do things in a very traditional manner but these days anything can happen.
Anton Lander 11-12
- 5×5 points per 60: 0.62 (14th and last among regular forwards)
- 5×4 points per 60: nil
- Qual Comp: 12th toughest faced among forwards
- Qual Team: 12th best available teammates among forwards
- Corsi Rel: -11.3 (13th best among forwards)
- Zone Start: 52.2% (6th easiest among forwards)
- Zone Finish: 45.1% (12th best among regular forwards)
- Shots on goal/percentage: 54/3.7% (10th best among F’s>50 shots)
- Boxcars: 56, 2-4-6
- Plus Minus: -8 on a team that was -26
- What the hell was that? They handled him horribly. Probably better to pretend he broke something and lost the season. I think he looked so damn good at camp (remember the talk of his improved footspeed?) the organization fell in love with the guy. No one on the coaching staff or in management could gather the courage to say “maybe we should send him out to OKC for a few weeks just to make sure” and it ended up being the nightmare on Elm street.
- What’s the lesson here? If your 20-year old center is getting drilled against the soft parade, send him down. This isn’t a good way to develop players. A complete train wreck with the added bonus that we didn’t get an answer on either question we had entering the season.
- What are the 2 questions? First, how unique is he defensively and second will he score enough to be something more than a 4th line curio.
- What do these numbers tell us? He wasn’t ready on any level. It’s too bad to, because the Oilers had all these other kid forwards knocking on the door and they kept Lander. It really was a crazy decision, made worse because they didn’t admit their mistake for so, so long.
- How Could these numbers be better? Experience in the AHL, gaining confidence and having success in all kinds of areas. He’s doing it now during the post-season in OKC.
- Did he perform better in the AHL? He certainly looked more at home based on reports. Lander went 14, 1-4-5 -1 at the end of the season and is 2, 1-0-1 +1 in the playoffs so far.
- Anything else? Yes. Lander has 7 SOG in the two post season games and had 29 in the 14 games at the end of OKC’s season. Tells me he’s been way more involved than his NHL time where he was getting (as noted above) less than one shot per game.
- Did they lose him? Probably not, they just have to make damn good and sure that his next 860 NHL shifts will be a helluva lot stronger than the first 860. Even if it takes another year in the AHL.
- Which player was more damaged by this strange decision–Paajarvi or Lander? Paajarvi for sure. That was a damn shame what happened to him. Ridiculous.
- How will we know Lander is back on track? Todd Nelson gives pretty good answers, he doesn’t really shower players with praise unless they’ve earned it. If during these playoffs we read coach Nelson talking about Lander as a strong option then that’s a nice arrow for the future.
- What were they thinking at the beginning of the year? Clearly they fell in love with the guy. He had worked hard on his footspeed, played with a bit of an edge and I’ll bet you a pile of money he’s a coachable guy who listens and hears well. He took the coaching staff’s words to heart, did those things and at the end of the day coach Renney couldn’t find a reason to cut him.
- Why didn’t they send him out when the results didn’t come? You got me there, he should have been offloaded in November at the very latest. Oilers did a few strange things over the last year, Barker’s signing and the Lander-Paajarvi-Omark-Hartikainen situation was baffling too.
- Why didn’t they protect him better? Against what? You can’t play softer minutes than Lander played and it would be folly to lend him good players for those minutes.
- If Ken Holland suddenly became Oilers GM, how would they handle Lander? Oh hell, he might not play in the NHL for another two seasons. That might be a stretch, but I do believe Lander would be a more seasoned pro when he got a return call.
- He did some good things? How can we tell? I liked his effort and he stood up to people, plus it was fun when he scored. But lordy I don’t recall watching an Oiler rookie who did less actual damage. Dan Lacouture maybe.
- I knew you hated him. I love the thought of an exceptional defensive center with some skill. If he’s Doug Jarvis it’ll make me so happy. But we didn’t get any answers this season and I’m frustrated.
- And mean. Dirt mean. I just think he needs time is all. If he can be an effective third line C–a Don Luce redux–Oiler fans will be thrilled with him.
- Oilers fans like him now! Sure, but he isn’t doing things that help them win. That will come based on the scouting reports and what we’ve read. But the numbers don’t indicate these things.
- Math. I know.
NHL Prediction for 11-12: 16, 1-3-4 (.250)
Actual 2011: 56, 2-4-6 (.107)