LINUS OMARK 11-12: HELPLESS

The Edmonton Oilers and Linus Omark never could get it together. The relationship is over, waiting only for the official papers to come in the mail.

Linus Omark 10-11
  • 5×5 points per 60: 1.78 (4th-tie among regular forwards)
  • 5×4 points per 60: 3.35 (7th among regular forwards)
  • Qual Comp: easiest faced among regular forwards
  • Qual Team: poorest available teammates among regular forwards
  • Corsi Rel: 8.2 (3rd best among regular forwards)
  • Zone Start: 53.4% (3rd easiest among regular forwards)
  • Zone Finish: 50.6% (8th best among regular forwards)
  • Shots on goal/percentage: 76/6.6% (15th among F’s but DNQ)
  • Boxcars: 51gp, 5-22-27
  • Plus Minus: -16 on a team that was -52
Linus Omark 11-12
  • 5×5 points per 60: 1.10 10th among regular F> 10games
  • 5×4 points per 60: nil
  • Qual Comp: 10th toughest faced F>10games
  • Qual Team: 12th best available F>10games
  • Corsi Rel: -10.5 14th best among F>10games
  • Zone Start: 56.9% (3rd easiest F>10games
  • Zone Finish: 49.6% (7th best F>10games
  • Shots on goal/percentage: 24/12.5% (4th among F’s>20shots)
  • Boxcars: 14gp, 3-0-3
  • Plus Minus: -5 on a team that was -26
  1. What do these numbers tell us? The important number is games played, and that tells the story. Coach Renney got him 92 shifts at the beginning of the season and sent him down. Omark was injured and by the time he got back to the NHL there was little time left and even then he didn’t dress every game. The Oilers made up their mind, I suspect long ago.
  2. How could these numbers be better? Playing time. The club’s top wingers (Hall, Eberle, Smyth & Hemsky) are clear of him and Renney gave at-bats to a bunch of lesser offensive lights this season in an effort to add grit, truculence, penalty killers. There had been some talk of three scoring lines, but like the unicorn these are only legends and fairy tales.
  3. You can’t blame Renney for adding hires who could help the PK. Sure, Petrell was a terrific PK option and brought some jam, plus Eager and Hordichuk were brought in July 1st and they were going to play. Add in Paajarvi, etc and Omark is well down the list.
  4. So what’s the problem? There’s a player here, and at the very least the club might have spent some time showcasing him.
  5. Where did you see him getting playing time? Third line, with Paajarvi and maybe Horcoff or Belanger. I also thought he’d get big PP minutes.
  6. Wrong ‘em boyo! Yes, quite.
  7. You weren’t this upset when Rob Schremp failed. Linus Omark has all kinds of things Schremp didn’t, including speed and an ability to win battles. I understand the Oilers have better options for their 2 skills lines and Omark is not a good candidate for a checking line and the Oilers version of the 4line. However, this is an opportunity missed.
  8. You’re way off. We’ll see, Omark has expressed that he’d like to try to win an NHL job and the Oilers may honor it and send him away.
  9. Omark requested a trade? A little more than that, he tweeted “I live to show that the “two” are wrong. But I really hope edm let me have a chance in another nhl team.”
  10. Who are the two? Bonnie and Clyde.
  11. They won’t get Kassian. Damn straight they won’t, although the kid Vancouver sent away was more famous and had better pedigree. I don’t want to suggest that Omark is going to get much of a return and don’t want to overstate what a month long showcase might have meant to his value.
  12. What do you see in him? By eye and by math he appears to be a real hockey player. A guy like Nilsson looked all world with the puck one minute and then disappeared for the rest of the game. Omark flies sorties every shift. They don’t work out all of the time, but there’s a tremendous amount of try. He’s hard on the puck and works like a bugger. He can stickhandle in a phone booth and can beat people wide and inside.
  13. He isn’t much without the puck and he bleeds chances. He’s certainly not a complete player but a good team will be able to make use of his skills. Phoenix has found a way to include Gilbert Brule in their lineup, seems to be working.
  14. Omark doesn’t exactly have instant chem with other players. That might be part of the problem, he appeared to play well with Paajarvi but as it turned out that was bad news for both of them.
  15. CorsiRel loved him a year ago but has him in front of the firing squad this year. Yeah, it was a tough year but we need to remember that this season was an extremely small sample size.
  16. How was he in the AHL. Golden, Jim Byers told me he’s dominant in the minors, didn’t expect to see him again.
  17. Maybe he’s 4A? That’s the question.
  18. He’s pretty old now. Omark is 25 now, two years younger than Cleary was when he hit Motown and the same age as Brodziak when he was offloaded to Minnesota.
  19. He’s no Cleary or Brodziak. Well, he has skills and might be useful to another team that isn’t drafting 1st overall every season.
  20. Maybe he can play with Pouliot in Phoenix? Maybe. Pouliot’s not there yet but he has a roster spot.
  21. You like all the prospects. Linus Omark’s rookie NHL season had all kinds of promise. We can pretend he didn’t do good things but he did, managing a very good CorsiRel while playing with garbage. There’s a player here for someone.
  22. He’ll be in Europe by October? I think he’ll get an NHL chance. Maybe it takes a year but my bet is someone saw Omark good and someone else saw the offense. He isn’t perfect, but there’s a player here.

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48 Responses to "LINUS OMARK 11-12: HELPLESS"

  1. regwald says:

    It will be another one of those “ah damn” moments for this management team when they probably cut him loose for nothing.

    I like his competitiveness and try to make plays. The problems this coaching staff and management team has with their Euros is beginning to make me wonder. Stu is drafting them and management is trying to drown them.

    It makes no sense – none at all !

  2. Ivan says:

    You know what scares me, should they flush Omark, is that he turns out to be Ray Whitney.

  3. Woodguy says:

    I’m glad you posted the link to the Gillis/Hodgson thing.

    It validates a lot of what the fancy stats guys say.

    More offensive zone starts = more scoring opportunities, help pump the numbers etc.

    It shows one GM who using that knowledge to his advantage. There are at least 10 more in the NHL who have publicly stated as much.

    Meanwhile in Edmonton, Kevin Lowe was interviewed by Jason Gregor.

    When Gregor asked:

    Steve Tambellini is the GM, and you have said on record that he’s the guy who makes the decisions. He came out and said, “Tom Renney take a few weeks off. I’m going away for a few weeks and then we’ll make our decision.” Does he come back to you with his thoughts, or how do the dynamics actually work right now in the Oiler’s hierarchy?

    Lowe responded:

    “Yeah. Steve will make the recommendations as to what he thinks the team needs to do moving forward, and he and I will discuss them as we have done for the last number of years. When Steve made the recommendation to hire Pat, and I thought that was a good idea

    For everyone who says that Lowe is not in charge and that its Tambellini’s team, well you have it right from Kevin Lowe that he still makes the decisions.

    Steve Tambellini – General Manager of making recommendations

    So much for clarity.

  4. Woodguy says:

    Also,

    If they actually wanted to have 3 scoring line then Linus was a slam dunk for the 3rd line.

    Unfortunately a line of 91-x-23 would need as much soft ice as x-93-14 and there isn’t enough to go around.

    I think that once 14 and 93 stop bleeding chances against this team could ice a 3rd offensive line to get the soft minutes and succeed. Today they cannot.

    Unfortunately they then played a 4th line that needed far more sheltering than a 91-x-23 line and it just spun down the toilet bowl as soon as Khabby stopped with his sheet of plywood act.

    Next year is probably more of the same.

  5. till_horcoff_is_coach says:

    I sure hope Katz pays some attention to Gillis’s comments. The fact that Gillis had a plan for a player they wanted to remove from the system is a stark contrast to the Oilers’ propensity for selling low (or at least failing miserably to inflate value and sell high). Katz should wonder why they consistently over value the Brule/Jones/Barkers of the league and yet are willing to flush talent for nothing.

  6. UndisclosedPersonalReasons says:

    That quote from Lowe sounds dysfunctional.

    I hope Omark leaves and rips it up immediately. This was a blunder by management and coaching. At the very least they should have given him enough rope to hang himself.

  7. UndisclosedPersonalReasons says:

    After that quote from Lowe, more than ever now, Tambellini reminds me of Steve Little from Eastbound and Down.

  8. VOR says:

    1. Gillis trades Cody Hodgson who has some talent and seems to be popular and there isn’t an immediate payoff and his team gets booted from the playoffs in the first round. Suddenly he is not looking like such a genius so he reframes the narrative to say he was pumping the tires on Hodgson and that was why he looked so good. GMs do occasionally paint themselves in the best possible light despite the facts not making them look so good.

    2. Linus Omark suddenly announces he wants out, notice the team never said they wanted him gone, and you are all criticizing Oilers management for having not done a pump and dump. Maybe they don’t actually want rid of him. Or maybe, and given the evidence about the Oilers management over the last few years this seems likely, they haven’t made a decision yet.

    3. On the theme of management framing the narrative Kevin Lowe is saying that Tambellini makes recommendations and sometimes they are bum recommendations. I think maybe KL has a boss who isn’t really sure who has what job in his management team and wants a little “clarity”. In other words he wants to know who to blame ie. fire. Kevin says to the media we are a team, all of management working together (hard to fire an entire team) but that guy, Tambellini (easy not to renew), makes idiotic recommendations from time to time.

    It is possible that Tambellini and Lowe are now openly battling for the job of true GM. Tambellini says I told Renney to take some time off and then get back to me with recommendations could mean “I am not making another decision until my contract is renewed and I am 100% in charge”. Lowe fires back with “well Pat Quinn was your idea you can’t be trusted to be in charge”. Maybe Tambo is whispering in Katz’s ear about a coach he wants and Lowe doesn’t. Or maybe Tambo is refusing to support the return of the Wolf who he sees as GM in waiting.

  9. Bar_Qu says:

    Omark may be a player or not, but to have his rights for as long as they did, to have him in NA for as long as they did and not actually give him the time needed to prove it one way or another? Mystifying.

    This team will continue to gather good pieces then send them away because they don’t over-perform in each and every season. Then wonder why they’ve done enough to help another team make the 2nd round of the playoffs.

    Here’s a hint Mr Katz: it’s called a hockey team for a reason. You need all 24 players to contribute, not just 4 stars.

  10. Bar_Qu says:

    VOR,

    If it is a behind the scenes battle between KL &ST, I think we can back the guy who was sitting with Gretzky and co. over the ‘other’ guy. Katz is a fan first.

  11. bookje says:

    Ray Whitney and Miro Satan were very similar (age and stats) when dumped by the oil.

  12. Chris Hext---formerly EasyOil--- says:

    Woodguy,

    Go to Cult of Hockey. Bruce looked into Gillis’ claim that he pumped up Hodgson’s value with excessive O-Zone Starts, but in fact Hodgson was pretty middle of the pack when it comes to zonestarts (D:157, N:212, O: 171) over the course of his year with Vancouver. There was a spike to 83% O-Zone Starts before February, but from Feb 1st through to the trade deadline he was at 59%. All in all, yes a push, but not as big as Gillis makes it out to be.

  13. VOR says:

    Bar_Qu,

    I don’t disagree in principle. However, I am pretty sure Katz isn’t stupid. Whoever the next GM of the Oilers is they won’t be making recommendations they’ll be making decisions. No more dithering by committee and no more opportunities to hide incompetence behind the word “rebuild”.

  14. Traktor says:

    Omark better produce some big numbers next year or a lot of people are going to look awfully stupid.

    *bookmarked

  15. Bushed says:

    @Bookje

    +1 here–exactly what I’ve been thinking.

    Coach Ron Low didn’t want to play a “soft” “ballerina” in Satan–the guy who actually played a shift with a collapsed lung! Same guy who used to line up 10 pucks high slot in warmup and deliberately ring them off the crossbar one after another (usually good for 7-9 out of 10). We all know what happened to Low’s career vs what happened to Satan’s. Some striking similarities to Renney’s inexplicable attitude towards Omark.

    As Lowetide says, there’s a player in there somewhere. Love Omark’s battle level and competitive attitude. Hope he rips it up somewhere in the NHL–he deserves better than what this coach has given him.

  16. jake70 says:

    Did anyone else get the feel it was the end for Omark the minute he said in the media scrum the day he got cut in Oct. 2010 that there was “a lot of politic here”? This was mere months after Souray’s comments.

    Bad asset management at the very least.

    The injury in Fall 2011 didn’t help matters for either side.

  17. prairieschooner says:

    I liked Omark, but it seemed that he did not shoot enough (and we have lots of those guys) and his desperation move became his quick spin reverse pass that worked initially and then didn’t.
    He is a small guy that worked hard, but maybe we need to find a bigger guy that works hard that can finish/shoot instead of attempting to improve on an already good chance.
    Some people chop the wood and some people stack the wood, whatever Omark was we need the other kind

  18. Ducey says:

    1. Is Gillis’ skin so thin that he needs to allege a pump and dump? This can’t make Hodgson happy and will not make Buffalo happy. Having questionable character starts high on the Canuck’s totem pole.

    2. Vor is probably right. The GM(s) probably brought up Omark to give him a chance and the coach didn’t play him. They likely had not/ have not made a decision on him.

    3. If Renney is back then Omark is possibly done as an Oiler. Yakupov is the kiss of death. There is no room at the Inn.

    4. Given Omark’s long time off with injury and poor numbers when he did play, maybe pump and dump would have turned into slump and dump.

    5. Hopefully Omark will return a third round pick. Hodgson was a former 10 overall pick and he only brought Kassian so I am not hopeful. Twerps like Omark don’t excite other GM’s much. I am guessing he winds up an Islander, Panther or a Flame.

    6. Tambo answering to Lowe in some way is hardly a big deal. All GM’s have to answer to someone. Feaster can’t do anything without asking King, the Flyers owner apparently ordered the signing of Bryzgalov, Buffalo’s owner directed a spending spree, etc.

  19. rich says:

    What strikes me is Omark got on the wrong side of Renney last season when he was not happy about being shipped out at camp and was not afraid to speak his mind. He came back and put up decent numbers on a lousy team but it seems that he had not fully recovered in the eye’s of a coach who did not appreciate what he brought to the table.

    Headed into this season w/only 1 more year on his contract to prove himself, Omark comes in and does not get off to any better of a start w/his coach – and gets buried. While he is gifted offensively, he’s not paying enough attention to the defensive aspects of the game for his coach.

    This happens all the time, but what I find mystifying is why did the Oilers bring him back up just to bury him on the bench? It’s poor asset management and leads me to wonder if v3.5 and Renney are on the same page here.

    Now the Oilers have an asset that if they tried to trade they won’t get squat for.

  20. Traktor says:

    till_horcoff_is_coach:
    I sure hope Katz pays some attention to Gillis’s comments.The fact that Gillis had a plan for a player they wanted to remove from the system is a stark contrast to the Oilers’ propensity for selling low (or at least failing miserably to inflate value and sell high).Katz should wonder why they consistently over value the Brule/Jones/Barkers of the league and yet are willing to flush talent for nothing.

    Vancouver had a good chance to win the cup and Gillis dumped one of his only trading chips for someone that might help in 2 years. What a genius.

    I’m sure 10 year from now when Vancouver fans are reminiscing in what could have been they will find solace in the fact that Gillis traded for Kassian.

  21. Traktor says:

    jake70:
    Did anyone else get the feel it wasthe end for Omark the minute he said in the media scrum the day he got cut in Oct. 2010 that there was “a lot of politic here”?

    Nope.

    I kind of had a clue that Omark might not be a coach’s favorite when he turned the puck over at the blue line every game.

  22. Traktor says:

    Ducey:
    1. Is Gillis’ skin so thin that he needs to allege a pump and dump? This can’t make Hodgson happy and will not make Buffalo happy. Having questionable character starts high on the Canuck’s totem pole.

    Agreed.

    The timing of his comments says everything.

  23. LMHF#1 says:

    Woodguy:

    Unfortunately a line of 91-x-23 would need as much soft ice as x-93-14 and there isn’t enough to go around.

    You’re not thinking this through. Put 10 in the middle. Done. Also, Magnus cheats for defence. Hell, even 91-20-23 were fine at the beginning of the year, they just weren’t scoring yet.

    The untapped part of Omark is his ability to be a board battler in his own zone. I’d hoped Renney would be the guy to see that and go about teaching it, but he was more interested in shootout attempts. Idiot.

  24. LMHF#1 says:

    Traktor: Nope.

    I kind of had a clue that Omark might not be a coach’s favorite when he turned the puck over at the blue line every game.

    Come on, you can’t just go making stuff up.

  25. bookje says:

    When I compare Omark to Whitney and Satan, I am not saying he WILL be that kind of player. What I am suggesting is that in a season when your team is 29th and playing a bunch of guys for ‘assessment’ and ‘development’ purposes, that Omark deserved to be given a chance with top players for a 15 game stretch. I would understand his handling if the Oilers were fighting for a playoff spot and could not ‘take chances’ on giving Omark ice time.

    Why does he deserve it, well he produced quite well in the SEL, was dominant in the AHL, and had high praise from the AHL coach. Also, last year (his first in the NHL), he was a 0.5 pt per game player (better than many Oilers). Also, as LT indicated, he is not soft, a slacker, or inconsistant in his effort. This is not an enigmatic player. He does not have any core flaws (like Robbie’s lead feet) though he does need to work on some parts of his game. However, we heard that when he was rehabing in the AHL that he worked his ass off.

    So, Omark may be a dud or he may be the next Ray Whitney. He may also just be a serviceable 3rd line player who gets 20 goals a season with half being on the PP.

    The thing that bothers me is that the Oilers don’t know what he is, but they are going to give him away and let someone else find out.

  26. Bar_Qu says:

    VOR,

    I’m still not convinced ST will not be back.

    Ducey,

    I agree on Yakupov (with Renney) being the end of Omark, if he wasn’t done already. But it’s too bad b/c with Hall, Eberle, Hemsky, Yakupov, Smyth, PRV and Omark there is the chance of an offensive threat on each of the top three lines. Even if the Oil get a vet winger to help mentor things with Smyth and they end up rotating some of the cold players out with the ones who are more hot.

    And I simply don’t accept the assertion that Omark was weak defensively. Last year’s Corsi does not reflect that (I’m not using the 14 games from this year; too small). And that was a far worse team. A whole Standings place worse.

  27. Ribs says:

    Where’s rickibear? I thought this guy was supposed to be outscoring Tavares by now! :)

  28. boopronger says:

    Omark is okay. If we lose him for second rounder or something im not gonna be too upset. He is bad news in his own zone though. Cant make simple plays to get the puck out of the zone. I remember more than one occasion watching a game and Omark just being chaotic in the d zone and thinking to myself how frustrated he would make a coach.

    Im more upset about the Brodziak trade.

  29. Ducey says:

    Off topic:

    I PVR’d that Kitchner Rangers game the other day (game 2 vs the London Knights).

    Though I risk the dyslexic math wrath of Rickibear, I can’t say I was super impressed with Tobias Rieder. He did score two shot handed goals on the same shift but both were terrific plays by others. Both were just tap-ins.

    He never seems to skate very hard (although Kitchners forwards all play kind of zone coverage game). He also kind of waits on the back side of the play and sneaks into the slot a lot. Eberle used to do that too in junior, so maybe it means nothing.

    I note that MBS compared him to Liam Reddox in the Journal today.

    I just saw one game, and he does have lots of points, but I was hoping he would be more dynamic.

  30. VOR says:

    Bar_Qu,

    I wasn’t saying there is no chance of Tambellini returning. I am just speculating, based on a few public comments, that Tambellini isn’t renewed yet (nor Renney) because Kevin Lowe hasn’t worked out the terms and conditions that would determine who is accountable now that Management has announced that the Oilers are in Phase II of the rebuild where winning matters. Once winning is the criteria this entire “everybody recommends nobody takes responsibility for deciding” model they are using doesn’t work and so the next GM will want authority to go with his responsibility. I am also guessing that Lowe doesn’t want to stop being puppet master to the Pinocchio GM. Thus the gridlock on contracts or that he has laready made decisions and can’t announce them yet.

  31. VOR says:

    I’d think we can all see that it is a bit odd that neither the GM or the coaching staff has any idea what their status is at this moment.

    We can only guess what is happening behind the scenes (and being a conspiracy nut I do). You might, for example, have a coach in the AHL playoffs who you want for your next GM and a coach at World Championsips you want to be your next coach but can’t announce in case your new GM doesn’t want that guy. The GM in waiting you can’t talk to until his team loses.

    Maginifying your proble is the fact that some GMs aren’t going to be puppets, including possibly MacTavish who has always marched to his own drummer.

  32. Undisclosed_Personal_Reasons says:

    bookje:
    When I compare Omark to Whitney and Satan, I am not saying he WILL be that kind of player.What I am suggesting is that in a season when your team is 29th and playing a bunch of guys for ‘assessment’ and ‘development’ purposes, that Omark deserved to be given a chance with top players for a 15 game stretch. I would understand his handling if the Oilers were fighting for a playoff spot and could not ‘take chances’ on giving Omark ice time.

    Why does he deserve it, well he produced quite well in the SEL, was dominant in the AHL, and had high praise from the AHL coach.Also, last year (his first in the NHL), he was a 0.5 pt per game player (better than many Oilers).Also, as LT indicated, he is not soft, a slacker, or inconsistant in his effort.This is not an enigmatic player.He does not have any core flaws (like Robbie’s lead feet) though he does need to work on some parts of his game.However, we heard that when he was rehabing in the AHL that he worked his ass off.

    So, Omark may be a dud or he may be the next Ray Whitney.He may also just be a serviceable 3rd line player who gets 20 goals a season with half being on the PP.

    The thing that bothers me is that the Oilers don’t know what he is, but they are going to give him away and let someone else find out.

    ^ This.

  33. FPB94 says:

    Poor Omark. I hope he goes far far away and has a lot of success. It would only be justice.

  34. rickithebear says:

    Ribs: Where’s rickibear? I thought this guy was supposed to be outscoring Tavares by now!

    I am of the one set-up, Small player per line.

    2 years ago at the start of the 10-11 season he would have been a nice fill for the oilers.

    Sadly now :
    Eberle, Gagner, Rieder, Hemsky………..

    XXX-RNH-Eberle
    Hall-XXX-Rieder
    XXX-Gagner-Hemsky

    No room at the Inn with the #1 to Come.

    When he gets slotted with a Space eater he will be a highly productive player.
    top 9 and 2nd unit PP.
    As he was at the end of
    10-11, March 17 top 6 players and PP time. 12GM 2G 7A Even
    11-12 9Gm 3G 0A -3 27-30G season pace.

    when playing with talent :

    21GM 5g 7A -3 20G 30A guy I was hoping he would be.

    he would look great on the wing with Staal in pittsburgh.

  35. russ99 says:

    Bookje summed it up just about perfectly.

    The only thing to add is: with a rebuilding team bringing in 1-3 new prospects every year, how long will it take Renney to do tune out another kid like this? Would he do this to Yakupov if we draft him?

    I hope Oilers management has this in mind when deciding on the coaching staff…

  36. FastOil says:

    It would be pretty hard to not follow hockey myths without really grasping stats. I really had to be convinced to let some beliefs go, imagine what it would be like for guys that some of the legends are about. There is a lot of time behind them also. Even Gillis may have fallen prey to the hunt for the mythical beast called power forward despite following stats and the Bruins slipping.

    From Lowe’s comments I think he has an ear open to Oiler commentary, hopefully eyes open too on the AG. Perhaps at some point he’ll get hooked, hopefully before damage is done getting rid of the wrong players. Being big and bad isn’t working this year in the playoffs – the Bruins are struggling and today’s Flyers winning with a smaller line up and no Rake. It has also shown the importance of having a solid goalie.

  37. Ducey says:

    FastOil,

    I think that what most of the commentators miss is that while size doesn’t matter, almost all the successful teams play a defense first style. PHX, LA, STL, NSH all play a counterpunch game or one that relies on defence first 5 x 5 and a good PP. They tend to have good goalies because those goalies don’t get a lot of quality chances against.

    Even WSH has converted to that style.

    The Oilers are likely going to have to convert to a more defensive minded approach at some point if they want to win a Cup.

    Big and bad isn’t necessary but big makes it easier to play defence.

  38. Jordan says:

    Ducey,

    That is definitely a part of it, but that’s not the whole story.

    Having a bigger player automatically gives you a higher potential for strength and endurance, as well as reach and potentially functional stick length. All of those elements are very valuable when defending, and even more so when working the boards for loose pucks.

    But that’s not the only way to play defense, and having all those elements doesn’t necessarily mean that a team will be successful defensively, or with the counter-attack that they would play for.

    Speed and quickness can be equally valuable not only when defending, but I would posit even more so when counter-attacking. As it was clearly noted many times this year, Taylor Hall creates a TON of room on the ice for his line mates because of his speed. Defenders know he can burn them, and will burn them if he gets behind them. So they have to back off from the blue line if he’s coming at them, because the risk of him on scoring a breakaway is much worse than the upside of keeping the puck in at the line for more grinding.

    Omark was great at going in along the boards and picking up the puck by quickly poke-checking the puck away from the carrier and getting it out onto open ice. He wasn’t effective at grinding it out, but he would try to beat players with quickness and was effective in doing so.

  39. hunter1909 says:

    It’s tiring for smaller players to line up against bigger ones. That’s why boxing and martial arts use weight classes. Sure the feisty little runts can score the odd spectacular goal, or dominate the odd game, but in the end very few of them actually stick.

    So, Oilers management are in limbo, while Kevin Lowe(he of Horcoff’s insane contract, the Vanek offer sheet debacle, chasing Dany Heatley like a 13 year old chases a 13 year old girl, and announcing to the world”we’re open for business” then seeing no one wanting to play for his flying circus, etc etc…) decides whether to totally make the franchise the laughingstock of hockey if they trade away Yakupov.

    I hope you all have yourselves a nice summer.

  40. Woodguy says:

    LMHF#1: You’re not thinking this through. Put 10 in the middle. Done. Also, Magnus cheats for defence. Hell, even 91-20-23 were fine at the beginning of the year, they just weren’t scoring yet.

    The untapped part of Omark is his ability to be a board battler in his own zone. I’d hoped Renney would be the guy to see that and go about teaching it, but he was more interested in shootout attempts. Idiot.

    Actually I did think about it, but didn’t include it.

    Renney played the hell out of 10 this year against toughs and 23/91 would be in trouble in that role.

    I would have been for 91-20-23 as your 4th line, but grit and toughness was their MO and 55/16/37 got those spots.

    One of the best 4th lines (if not the best 4th line) in the playoffs is Pouliot-Brule-chipchura.

    some may agrue that with the size in phx top 9 they don’t need to load up size on their 4th and that is true to some extent, but they are outscoring their competiton, and in the end that’s how you win.

  41. "Steve Smith" says:

    hunter1909:…chasing Dany Heatley like a 13 year old chases a 13 year old girl…

    This is the single most elegant simile I have ever seen.

  42. Ducey says:

    One of the best 4th lines (if not the best 4th line) in the playoffs is Pouliot-Brule-chipchura.

    Pardon? I don’t want to Captain Obvious you but WTF?

    Is that why they healthy scratched Brule for a game? Brule scored 2 goals but on three shots. He has played 7:32 a game.

    Pouliot is averaging 5:19 per game and has one shot, but has played just TWO games!

    Chipchura is at 8:59 per game but he has 5 shots at a 20% shooting percentage. He missed a game too. (I like him though. He is the only one that plays with some size)

    The line has 8 shots in 6 games and none of them has played them all.

    There is no way they are the best, unless you consider having them stapled to the bench or in the pressbox, good.

    Maybe you didn’t see LA play? Their fourth was their best in a couple of games.

  43. Woodguy says:

    Ducey:
    One of the best 4th lines (if not the best 4th line) in the playoffs is Pouliot-Brule-chipchura.

    Pardon? I don’t want to Captain Obvious you but WTF?

    Is that why they healthy scratched Brule for a game? Brule scored 2 goals but on three shots. He has played 7:32 a game.

    Pouliot is averaging 5:19 per game and has one shot, but has played just TWO games!

    Chipchura is at 8:59 per game but he has 5 shots at a 20% shooting percentage. He missed a game too. (I like him though. He is the only one that plays with some size)

    The line has 8 shots in 6 games and none of them has played them all.

    There is no way they are the best, unless you consider having them stapled to the bench or in the pressbox, good.

    Maybe you didn’t see LA play? Their fourth was their best in a couple of games.

    You’re right that Fraser’s line was better (look at all these players who were’nt good in EDM but are elsewhere….hmmmm)

    Those TOI are standard 4th line minutes.

    My judgement was by eye, haven’t looked at a fancy stat for a while.
    y

  44. cabbiesmacker says:

    Omark? Really?

    Yawn stifle.

  45. whale says:

    Haven’t read a comment on this post cause no time but … Item #22 I totally fucking agree with. Now, on with it.

  46. LMHF#1 says:

    Woodguy: Actually I did think about it, but didn’t include it.

    Renney played the hell out of 10 this year against toughs and 23/91 would be in trouble in that role.

    I would have been for 91-20-23 as your 4th line, but grit and toughness was their MO and 55/16/37 got those spots.

    This is all an indictment of Renney. Just another reason he can’t and shouldn’t be with this team going forward.

  47. art vandelay says:

    Gillis stepped on a landmine with that Hodgson deal. He’s just trying to sew his legs back on.

  48. FastOil says:

    Ducey:
    FastOil,

    I think that what most of the commentators miss is that while size doesn’t matter, almost all the successful teams play a defense first style. PHX, LA, STL, NSH all play a counterpunch game or one that relies on defence first 5 x 5 and a good PP. They tend to have good goalies because those goalies don’t get a lot of quality chances against.

    Even WSH has converted to that style.

    The Oilers are likely going to have to convert to a more defensive minded approach at some point if they want to win a Cup.

    Big and bad isn’t necessary but big makes it easier to play defence.

    I agree all things being equal size matters in a contact sport. I also agree that teams that won’t play consistent defense and/or have bad goaltending won’t win in the long run.

    As for size, what I see as consistent is that players that skate well and are aggressive on the puck dominate those that don’t/aren’t. Players that are aggressive offensively (hungry to score) and attack the net are outscoring those that aren’t/don’t. I haven’t seen bigger players having any advantage here. I have seen bigger players struggle if they are slow or immobile, like Doug Murray, whom it seems can barely skate.

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