The 6th Man

Now that we’re through the RE breakdown, there are a few issues I’d like to revisit. Issue 1: the sixth man among the forwards.

Magnus Pääjärvi  11-12
  • 5×5 points per 60: 0.75 (12th among regular forwards)
  • 5×4 points per 60: 2.84 (9th among regular forwards)
  • Qual Comp: 9th toughest among regular forwards
  • Qual Team: 11th best teammates among regular forwards
  • Corsi Rel: 6.6 (3rd best among regular forwards)
  • Zone Start: 47.7% (4th among regular forwards)
  • Zone Finish: 49.9% (6th best among regular forwards)
  • Shots on goal/percentage: 79/2.5% (10th among F’s>75 shots)
  • Boxcars: 41, 2-6-8
  • Plus Minus: -7 on a team that was -26.

I want to draw your attention to the bolded item–zone starts and finish, along with CorsiRel and Qual Comp. It’s a weird line, really. Paajarvi had pretty tough zone starts for a player of his age, and even considering the soft parade opposition his CorsiRel is very good compared to the other Oilers.

On the other hand he couldn’t put the puck in the ocean.

So, when we begin to discuss the sixth man among the skill forwards:

  1. Taylor Hall
  2. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins
  3. Jordan Eberle
  4. Ales Hemsky
  5. Sam Gagner
  6. ??????

I would like to ask you some questions:

  1. Is Paajarvi a more promising 6th forward than Ryan Smyth?
  2. Is Paajarvi a more promising 6th forward than Ryan Jones?
  3. Is Paajarvi suited to an offensive role?

Thanks.

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34 Responses to "The 6th Man"

  1. hunter1909 says:

    Yes.

    Yes.

    I don’t honestly know.

    But, Smyth returning+Renney’s metrosexual distain of those sideboards surely counted for a lot this season past.

    One thing I’ve noticed about PVR/MPV(I’m half drunk), is that his defensive play always looked first class – which should by itself count for a lot in the NHL…right?

  2. Dipstick says:

    I know lickspittle about US politics, but that show is a must see. Some think we take sports too seriously!

  3. OilClog says:

    1. Yes
    2. Yes
    3. No, he’s better defensively. He’s a perfect future long term 3rd liner. Which on a team that could potentially have

    Hall, RNH, Ebs
    Yak, Gags, Hem

    As their top 6, he’s in a pretty awesome spot, if we have a coach that could use him right. He can flip time with smyth between the bottom two lines, he can fill in for a few shifts or games on the top lines when injuries happen.. and we all know this group is going to have them. I’d have Magnus or one of the 2 ryan’s flip wings.

    MP, Horc, Smyth
    Jones, Belanger, Harty Finn

  4. Woodguy says:

    Yes

    Yes

    Probably. At the very least he can create open ice for the others similarly to the way Hall does it.

    When PVR gets skating with the puck, he drew penalties like a demon and drew more than one defender.

    Nelson has said that both PRV’s and Lander’s game have grown leaps and bounds this playoff.

    I think we see a different player next year. A new coach would do more for him than anyone on the team not 6’6″ and wearing lots of padding.

    Also,

    The talk about drafting Dmen is never ending, so I thought I throw more out there.

    Here is a list of the top 30 TOI/G Dmen leaders in the 2011/12 NHL Regular season, along with their draft position.

    I figure TOI/G is a reasonably decent, yet crude proxy to measure for “top dmen”

    Brian Campbell – 156th
    Duncan Keith – 54th
    Ryan Suter – 7th
    Dan Girardi – Not drafted
    Shea Weber – 49th
    Jay Bouwmeester – 3rd
    Dan Boyle – Not drafted
    Francois Beauchemin – 75th
    Erik Karlsson – 15th
    Dion Phaneuf – 9th
    Zdeno Chara – 56th
    Drew Doughty – 2nd
    Kris Letang – 62nd
    James Wisniewski – 156th
    Ryan McDonagh – 12th (WTF was Gainey thinking?)
    Alex Pietrangelo – 4th
    Brent Seabrook – 14th
    P.K. Subban – 43rd
    Fedor Tyutin – 40th
    Dustin Byfuglien – 245th
    Tom Gilbert – 129th (*sigh*)
    Dennis Seidenberg – 172nd
    Dennis Wideman – 241st
    Alexander Edler – 91st
    Tobias Enstrom – 239th
    Nicklas Lidstrom – 53rd
    Jack Johnson – 3rd
    Jason Garrison – Not drafted
    Kevin Bieksa – 151st
    Filip Kuba – 192nd

  5. Woodguy says:

    I think PRV has hands, I just think he still has a $0.10 head when it comes to getting the puck off quickly.

    He waits too long, settles down the puck, looks for his spot, and NHL goalies have had a coffee by the time shoots.

    He can be taught to shoot quicker, I think that would help a ton.

  6. Rusty Skates says:

    Hi Alan.

    I would reword your first two questions. You asked about MP as a promising LW. To me the question is can MP play on the team and they keep Smyth and Jones? There is no question to me that Smyth and Jones are both more capable at filling the LW role now. I don’t know if MP will ever be the 2nd line LW but he could be a capable 3rd liner if he develops OK, and I see nothing wrong with that. They say he is doing the right things in OKC right now, like taking the puck to the net, but he will have to do that and more to stay in NHL. Given the 50 man contract limit, if the OIlers are planning to drop either Smyth or Jones and have MP take one of their spots next year, they are accepting that they will not be a serious playoff contender next year.

  7. sliderule says:

    Of all the oiler prospects I suspect he will be the first to be traded.

    He just plays too soft.He tries to fake that e is hitting but you can tell it just isn’t his nature.

    When the oil were looking at RNH I watched him play in the playoffs if you gave him the stick he gave it back in spades.Magnus has never done that even though he is much bigger than RNH .

    Maybe you can’t teach mean but if I were a coach I would tell him to lay the stick on people until you get respect.

  8. Woodguy says:

    There is no question to me that Smyth and Jones are both more capable at filling the LW role now.

    LT always has Jones at LW, but he’s always played RW on the Oilers.

  9. Lowetide says:

    Paajarvi can play RW, no?

  10. Kert says:

    Lowetide,

    I prefer him there and I don’t think I’m alone.
    Opportunities for people not named Eberle, Hemsky and (possibly) Yakapov on the right side are pretty limited though. I’ve always wondered how PRV would do in the middle. If he doesn’t like battling on the boards and driving the puck to the net, maybe the wing isn’t the place for him…

    I do think PRV causes his fair share of turn overs in the neutral zone, it might be nice to have someone out there who can capitalize on the opportunities he creates. He’s too young to write off as an offensive threat, I hope he has a strong start next season.

  11. FastOil says:

    Pajaarvi prefers RW, no? Not every winger plays both sides equally well. Smyth cannot be anything other than a vet winger in Edmonton to support and teach the future, he’s at the end. Jones is a mature player and is not by his choices or play an anchor of any type.

    Unless someone associated with the future of the team comes along that offers a better skill set that produces more consistently, all attempts to give Magnus at bats is the quality thing to do. The only players that don’t need them are the cream of the draft, and even they fail often enough. The frustrating thing for me is that this is completely obvious to everyone sensible. Except those calling shots on our favourite team. This is not a new thing with the Oilers as far as I remember. Impatience and over expectation.

  12. jake70 says:

    Would like to see him on the R side, think he could use his speed better on that side, and it might force him to use the middle of the ice more (zooming down left side has become easy to defend….Hall gets into trouble this way as well, but he is learning to adapt).

  13. melancholyculkin says:

    These questions seem a little strange. I’m not quite sure what you mean by “promising”. Smyth is 36 and clearly at the end of his career, so I would have to say that, yes, Magnus is more promising than Smyth, but I’m not quite sure if that means anything.

    I think that 94 is clearly a better option for a top 6 LW in 2012-13.

  14. speeds says:

    Hard to know what the Oilers will do this summer on the wings, it’s not that hard to imagine Paajarvi and Jones both on the 4th line, with Belanger, depending what else they might do this summer:

    Hall-Gagner-Hemsky
    Smyth-RNH-Eberle
    ???-Horcoff-Yakupov
    Paajarvi-Belanger-Jones

    ???

  15. LMHF#1 says:

    #6 will be the Finnish force himself – Teemu Hartikainen.

  16. Lowetide says:

    Actually, he’s “issue 2!” :-)

  17. DSF says:

    Woodguy:
    Yes

    Yes

    Probably.At the very least he can create open ice for the others similarly to the way Hall does it.

    When PVR gets skating with the puck, he drew penalties like a demon and drew more than one defender.

    Nelson has said that both PRV’s and Lander’s game have grown leaps and bounds this playoff.

    I think we see a different player next year.A new coach would do more for him than anyone on the team not 6’6″ and wearing lots of padding.

    Also,

    The talk about drafting Dmen is never ending, so I thought I throw more out there.

    Here is a list of the top 30 TOI/G Dmen leaders in the 2011/12 NHL Regular season, along with their draft position.

    I figure TOI/G is a reasonably decent, yetcrude proxyto measure for “top dmen”

    Brian Campbell – 156th
    Duncan Keith – 54th
    Ryan Suter – 7th
    Dan Girardi – Not drafted
    Shea Weber – 49th
    Jay Bouwmeester – 3rd
    Dan Boyle – Not drafted
    Francois Beauchemin – 75th
    Erik Karlsson – 15th
    Dion Phaneuf – 9th
    Zdeno Chara – 56th
    Drew Doughty – 2nd
    Kris Letang – 62nd
    James Wisniewski – 156th
    Ryan McDonagh – 12th (WTF was Gainey thinking?)
    Alex Pietrangelo – 4th
    Brent Seabrook – 14th
    P.K. Subban – 43rd
    Fedor Tyutin – 40th
    Dustin Byfuglien – 245th
    Tom Gilbert – 129th (*sigh*)
    Dennis Seidenberg –172nd
    Dennis Wideman – 241st
    Alexander Edler – 91st
    Tobias Enstrom – 239th
    Nicklas Lidstrom – 53rd
    Jack Johnson – 3rd
    Jason Garrison – Not drafted
    Kevin Bieksa – 151st
    Filip Kuba – 192nd

    Might want to adjust your list to ESTOI/G

    Some players get their minutes pumped by being special teams choices.

  18. Jonathan Willis says:

    1. Promising, yes, better, no.
    2. Yes.
    3. The jury’s out, but it probably isn’t a good idea to count on it.

  19. Ribs says:

    Paajarvi looks to be a guy that you sit on until he finds his role. I think we can be fairly certain that he will be a useful player. We just have to find out what he will be most useful at. Slow cooking will pay off when you run into injury troubles down the line.

  20. LP says:

    MP does have great defensive instincts. He also is quite big (well he’s not small), plus he’s quick and a very good skater.

    On the other hand, his shot is weak, he shys away from contact and he comes off as butter soft.

    1. Yes – love smythy but he’s a 3rd liner at this point.
    2. Not sure. Jones has some drive to the net and does create offence. MP seems to have potential but like some of you said, slow shooter, and seems afraid of contact and hard areas. (Again, he commands little respect)
    3. No. I dont’t think he’s got enough killer instinct to be a good enough offensive player.

    I’m hoping he improves but I just cant see him driving to the net nearly enough. Oh, and if he plays on the RW, i doubt that makes any difference.

    Some things are taught and others are not. I just don’t see it with MP.

    Go LA!

  21. gd says:

    While PRV is a disappointment as a 10th pick, I believe he can be a valuable top 9 forward on a contending team. I really hope the Oil can show the maturity as an org to be patient and develop him and not just give up on him because he’s a disappointment. With his speed, defensive instincts and good attitude I could see him on almost any line in the future, a strong PK guy, just about anything except tough. My hope is at some time they try a PRV-Hall-Yak line as that could be the fastest line in history.

    All I know he is the type of guy that if we give up on him he will end up on a team like Detroit as a key contributor.

  22. LP says:

    Woodguy,

    Looking at that list, how can anyone tjustify taking a D 1st overall? Who the hell knows who the oilers are going to do.

    You guys saw button’s list? Murray is what 7th? And grigorenko 20th?

    This draft might be more interesting than i thought.

    Thanks WG.

  23. oilswell says:

    1. For next season, no.
    2. For next season, yes. This is an indictment of Jones more than a promotion of Paajarvi.
    3. No. Probably not ever. At this point I’m hoping for Dvorak v 2.0. Which would be good.

    In return, I have a question: what do you think the outer maximum is for timeline for Paajarvi and Lander? How long do they have to grind them into a useful two-way players that could play in the top 9 (Paajarvi) or 12 (Lander)?

  24. Ryan says:

    I agree, thanks wg.

    As many have noted, defense is much harder to evaluate from a statistical perspective than offense. That and it’s a tough position with a steep learning curve at the NHL level.

    Basically that leaves us with seen him good at the junior level along with Klowe watching tape of Murray while listening to alphaville.

    Speaking of PRV, he’ll probably carve out a career at some point in the NHL level maybe a bit like a Chimera.

    If only Mact was coaching we could have him play on the bottom pairing lol.

    LP:
    Woodguy,

    Looking at that list, how can anyone tjustify taking a D 1st overall? Who the hell knows who the oilers are going to do.

    You guys saw button’s list? Murray is what 7th? And grigorenko 20th?

    This draft might be more interesting than i thought.

    Thanks WG.

  25. VOR says:

    I actually tried doing the list DSF’s way. While it increases the number of first rounders slightly (pulling in Brewer, Hamhuis, and Fowler) it also pulls in yet another undrafted player, Josh Gorges, Mark Striet taken 262, and Keith Yandle 105. In other words even in DSF’s version, and I see no a priori reason to assume his list is better than Woodguy’s, only a third of all top 30 D come in the first round.

    As for Pajaarvi it is like the Oilers totally ignored the scouting reports, his performance on the international stage, and his performance in his first pro camp and season. I will summarizes for those of you who are busy forgetting:

    “blazing speed, amazingly creative, hangs on the puck too long sometimes, remarkable passer, shoots a lot with accuracy but not necessarily enough power leading to low scoring %, great on breakaway, can move puck in right direction, not very physical.”

    What are we all doing? Trying to pigeon hole him as a checking forward. That is not the scouting report of a checking forward.

    Want to know the difference between this year for Pajaarvi and last – linemates. His most common line mates this year don’t include a right wing in the top 9. Not one. Last year he had Omark and Jones as well as a common center Gagner. This year he was saddled with the offensive sink hole Eric Belanger, no right wing and expected to be a checking forward and his offense suffered. I wonder why? I ask you, how is it even possible that his top 9 line mates include 3 centers, 6 d-men and no right wings? I’d guess that much of his time was spent with the right winger line changing, maybe somebody else has a better explanation but I am pretty sure that we are seeing a startling linemate effect.

  26. PDO says:

    DSF: Might want to adjust your list to ESTOI/G

    Some players get their minutes pumped by being special teams choices.

    Yeah, you don’t need defensemen who can help the PP and PK anyway.

    I hope the Oil keep PRV, I’m worried they send him away.

    My ideal world…

    Hall – Gagner – Hemsky
    Smyth – RNH – Eberle
    PRV – Horcoff – Yakupov
    Hartikainen – Burrish – Jones

    Send Lander to the AHL as the #1 C and wait for injuries. Flush Belanger. If you keep Eager (looks like a goner to me), he’s the 13th F in the press box.

    The problem isn’t toughness – it’s if they can forecheck well enough. The 4th line is a line of agitating hockey players. The third line would be an ideal situation for PRV… just go hard to the net kid, and let Yakupov get you the puck. The top two lines have proven chemistry, but it would come down to Hall’s health and Smyth’s legs.

    Start Lander in the AHL, put him at the #1C slot, and wait for injuries before calling him up.

  27. PDO says:

    PDO: Yeah, you don’t need defensemen who can help the PP and PK anyway.

    I hope the Oil keep PRV, I’m worried they send him away.

    My ideal world…

    Hall – Gagner – Hemsky
    Smyth – RNH – Eberle
    PRV – Horcoff – Yakupov
    Hartikainen – Burrish – Jones

    Send Lander to the AHL as the #1 C and wait for injuries.Flush Belanger.If you keep Eager (looks like a goner to me), he’s the 13th F in the press box.

    The problem isn’t toughness – it’s if they can forecheck well enough. The 4th line is a line of agitating hockey players.The third line would be an ideal situation for PRV… just go hard to the net kid, and let Yakupov get you the puck.The top two lines have proven chemistry, but it would come down to Hall’s health and Smyth’s legs.

    Start Lander in the AHL, put him at the #1C slot, and wait for injuries before calling him up.

    I didn’t edit in time… so I just really wanted to say that Lander should be the #1 C in the AHL in September :)

  28. jfry says:

    magnum as 6th on a team that doesn’t make the playoffs, makes sense.

    i don’t believe he’s erat (as vorprovided a great comparable). i believe dvorak better suited and with 20/20 we’d never push dvo into top 6 at 21….so why would the oil.

    if we’re putting magnum in the top 6 and drafting d because our “o is stacked” then we’re f’d

  29. jfry says:

    @wg, i think mind body dualism only exists for the critic

  30. jfry says:

    in an article on ON, jw talked about abney:

    “Abney played his junior career in the WHL. In 2008-09, his draft year, he played 48 games for Everett, scoring once, adding three assists and going minus-17. He went pointless in the post-season, getting outscored by a 15-year old defenseman named Ryan Murray who had joined the team for the playoffs.”

    for all the y&r drama mid summer draft fans: do the oilers have a history of picking everret players out of turn?

    my yakupov license plate might look ridiculous ;)

  31. bsmart says:

    I agree with statement about quickness of release for MPS. He has a very average shot and the only way to fool goalies. Crash the crease and go to dirty areas OR quicker release.

    I like him as a player and I hope he develops to intial hype as a top 6 winger.

  32. Melman says:

    The comp I always think of with MPS is Radek Dvorak. I think he’ll end up being an excellent 3rd line winger who will give you around 10-15 goals/ year, play solid defense and can fill in on the top 6 when needed. These are valuable players to have when contending. To trade him now would be presumably be selling low, but if he’s part of a package for a top D then it makes sense.

    Murray at #1 is a wasted pick. Take the most high end talented player – whoever the Magnificent Bastard thinks that is.

  33. hags9k says:

    Yes.

    Hell yes.

    Maybe. So plug him in there and find out! If he still can’t put it in the Pacific by xmas, hand him the keys to the 3rd line, and try the next in line.

    If we draft Yak, it would seem MPS will be destined to be a 3rd line 2 way checker. And odds are that’s where he probably belongs, but he should be given a solid opportunity to run with the horses.

    Would’t be too surprised if he went nova.

  34. gcw_rocks says:

    1) I agree with Willis. more promising yes, but at this time he isn’t better
    2) Most definitely yes. Time to sell high on Jones is this summer
    3) Debate is still open on that one.

    I like the suggestion of trying MPS at Centre. He has never been a bih shooter, but his assist numbers in OKC are decent. He certainly seems capable of handling the defensive aspects of the role, and if he can learn face-offs and can make a decent pass, the opportunity is there. Doubly so if Horcoff gets bought out this summer under an amnesty clause.

    Could you see something like:

    Hall – RNH – Eberle
    Yakupov – Gagner. – hemsky
    Hartikainen – MPS – Smyth

    or

    Hall – RNH – Eberle
    Yakupov – Gagner. – hemsky
    Smyth- MPS – Jones

    or

    Hall – RNH – Eberle (second toughs)
    Smyth- Gagner. – hemsky (toughs line)
    Hartikainen – MPS – yakupov (soft parade line)

    This third line is the most risky, but the most interesting. Harti does the dirty work, MPS makes the pass and yakupov scores to close the deal.

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