RE 12-13: MAGNUS PAAJARVI

One of the crushing blows for the rebuild in 11-12 was a lost season for Magnus Paajarvi. In spite of a solid rookie season, the Oilers couldn’t find a place for him and after a slow start he spent much of the season in OKC. Where do we go from here?

RE 12-13: 67, 5-16-21

  1. You are SUCH A DINK! Well that’s friendly.
  2. What about Ryan Jones? What about Ryan Jones?
  3. Where in hell is Ryan Jones? He’ll be along shortly, but I have Paajarvi up next.
  4. So Paajarvi beats out Jones in training camp? No, I have Paajarvi beginning the season in Oklahoma City.
  5. And then he drops in and wins the fricking day! No, I have him getting recalled early and then three players (Jones, Hartikainen and Paajarvi) move around the top 9F in search of finding a home.
  6. Where does Paajarvi play? I have him getting lots of 4line time, and plenty of time with Horcoff and Smyth as the year rolls along. He does get some PP time, but not a lot and I don’t have him on the PK.
  7. So Paajarvi replaces Jones? I think it’s better to frame this as a ‘trio fighting for playing time’ with all of them suffering from a loss of playing time at one point or another during the season.
  8. This is NOT reasonable. Sure it is. If we make a list of the ways Paajarvi–a #10 overall selection–is going to make his way into the top 9F then Jones and injury are the most likely scenarios. He isn’t going to replace Eberle and Hemsky on RW, and Hall, Yakupov and Ryan Smyth will hold sway on LW with Eager and Hordichuk also available.
  9. Jones has a great year–you admitted he did–and then gets demoted? He starts as the 3R on a line with Horcoff-Smyth imo but you have to understand that there are young players pushing their way up. Is it a good idea for a rebuilding team to push back Paajarvi–if he’s playing well–for Ryan Jones? I don’t think it is.
  10. So how on earth does Paajarvi get where you think he’s headed? I think the Oilers will give Hartikainen and Jones NHL jobs over Paajarvi to begin the year (can’t find a way for all of them to find work unless there’s a trade). However, as mentioned in the Hartikainen post there’s only going to be a certain window of opportunity for Harski. If he doesn’t take advantage then the job opp will fall to Jones and then Paajarvi.
  11. This is during the Hall injury period? Well that, but more than that during the period it takes Yakupov to get established. Ryan Smyth will play on the top 6 too, and one of these guys could lock onto some chemistry and ride the wave to a terrific season. However, I can’t identify the winner between Jones, Hartikainen, Paajarvi and Ben Eager, and the club seems hellbent on keeping Smyth in a specific role. So we get a season of hodgepodge.
  12. At the end of the season, do you see Paajarvi as the winner? Yes, inasmuch as winning the 3rd line tagalong job with Horcoff and Smyth is winning. By the end of the year, one suspects the top 6–even with injury factored in–will be Nuge, Gagner, Hall, Yakupov, Hemsky, Eberle in some form or another.
  13. Paajarvi beats Hartikainen because he has a wider range of skills? Well, because Hartikainen’s offense isn’t so superior (if at all) to Paajarvi’s that we can see him absolutely winning the day. I know the Oilers are talking about adding size but Paajarvi has some things too. He can scoot and that’ll be important in the Krueger system (as I understand it) so my guess is that Paajarvi emerges. The real killer for Hartikainein–and maybe Paajarvi–was drafting Yakupov.
  14. Paajarvi beats Jones because? Jones turned 28 in June, and the Oilers have to decide on Paajarvi and Hartikainen because they’ll be waiver eligible by next fall. This is not really about Jones; if he was 23 then he’d have a puncher’s chance.
  15. What kind of player will Paajarvi be? Two-way winger who can score 15 goals and 30-35 points in a season. I have mentioned Gilles Tremblay in the past and that’s a nice outer marker imo.
  16. What is his biggest positive? Paajarvi’s speed is a big item, and the Vollman Sledgehammer has him trending nicely and possibly earning the right to try a tougher quadrant. I know it was in a smallish sample size but there’s a pulse there in terms of making a difference.
  17. Bottom line: does Paajarvi play a decade in Edmonton, scoring 150 goals on a skill line while helping the copper and blue win a Stanley? It could happen–he could be the Wisp 2.0–but I’ll guess his career is as a 2-way player. He won’t have the offensive ability of the other gifted Oilers from his draft cluster, but will perhaps make his mark in a secondary role similar to men like Pat Hughes, Dave Hunter and Dave Lumley.
  18. Again. Depressing. I don’t see any reason to be upset about it, this club has all kinds of ridiculous options for the skill lines. Playing on the third line for a decade behind wingers Hall, Yakupov and Eberle is no sin.
  19. Can he hold off other challengers? Once Yakupov passes him, I’d say Paajarvi is the best winger option for a bit (along with Hartikainen) and then Pitlick might push a year from now. Rieder and Zharkov are moons away.
  20. So he could be around for the good times? Among the group trying to make the grade up front–Paajarvi, Hartikainen, Lander–I think Paajarvi is clearly the smart bet based on pedigree, skill set and resume.

written by

The author didn‘t add any Information to his profile yet.
Related Posts

69 Responses to "RE 12-13: MAGNUS PAAJARVI"

  1. fuzzy muppet says:

    How many posts will there be before DSF says he sucks??

  2. hunter1909 says:

    Wasn’t Magnus Pajaarvi already an excellent defensive player last season? He sure looked like one to me; and unless a player has Mike Peca ability, I usually have little interest in such matters.

  3. Gerta Rauss says:

    If these kids are going to be moving in and out of the lineup and up/down the line combos, I hope they give PRV a try at center. Rather than shoehorn Hall into the C position, I’d like to see Paajarvi given 10 games and see if he fits.

  4. oil709 says:

    I think MPS would be best served starting the year in OKC and staying there (until we absolutely needed him due to injuries) to get big EV PP and possibly PK minutes. I agree that his speed and defensive game are a huge asset and I think he has higher upside than Hartikainen, but I feel Hartikaninen is better suited for a 3rd/4th line player right now. I think that Tambelenni should be looking into picking up somebody like eric fehr for a 3rd/4th line role on a year contract just to be able to keep both MPS in OKC as second call up and push Hartikainen back to OKC for first call up. Not because I dont think they are good players but just so both can get bigger minutes.

  5. Henry says:

    MPS will be a good test of Kruger’s management and coaching skills. I hope he starts the year with horc and Smyth.

  6. yawto says:

    Why not try him on defense?

  7. Lucinius says:

    I’m a big fan of Paajarvi and was disappointed by last year; not just in his offensive results, but in how he was used/treated. I look forward to him playing here and really hope he can become the anchor of a killer 3rd line that can match against the toughs and score a few.

    I am, however, quite displeased we shall not see the beauty that could of been the Swedish Express of Omark – Lander – Paajarvi for at least a few games.

  8. "Steve Smith" says:

    yawto,

    Only if we move Smid up to forward.

  9. godot10 says:

    I think the future of the Oilers are three lines based around the following pairs which should give opposing coaches matchup nightmares.

    Nugent-Hopkins, Eberle
    Hall, Gagner
    Paajarvi, Yakupov.

  10. FPB94 says:

    There’s no wrong in having 3 lines who can score.

    Keep him and Hartikainen going. They possibly could be the 3rd line wingers this year and forever on.

    Smitty won’t last too much. Neither will Horcoff, he’l make space for other guys. Jones fits as a 4th line / Chaos PP guy.

  11. WeridAl says:

    Since Smyth ran out of gas half way through the season for the last 2yrs, why don’t you have Paajarvi replace Smyth every other game. Secondly I would play Paajarvi on the PK, with his speed and defensive play he would be a dangerous PKer.

    Wouldn’t surprise me if Paajarvi plays LW with Horcoff at the beginning of the season. IMO Smyth doesn’t have the speed or the gas to play on the top 3 lines. Play Smyth on the PP or PK, and the 4th line.

  12. bookje says:

    Henry:
    MPS will be a good test of Kruger’s management and coaching skills. I hope he starts the year with horc and Smyth.

    Have faith, chuck will fix him!

  13. Lowetide says:

    Bookie: I sense you’re down on the Krueg? Maybe I’m misreading, but it seems like it.

  14. jp says:

    I like the RE. I think/hope Paajarvi will establish himself (again) during the course of the year. And yes, if he and Jones are playing at the same level, Paajarvi should get the nod – Jones is not the future (and aside form not being “the future”, he’s also UFA after the season).

    Long term, I agree Paajarvi’s defensive game will be extremely important, but I think 12-18-30 seasons will be the worst case scenario for him. I think he’s going to develop his offensive game with time. Hell, he’s already been a top line player and top scorer on medal winning teams at the World Champs (2X). And he’s still only 21 – he has more offense to give. It may well be tough to get top 6 ice time on this team (definitely will be short term with Hemsky around), but even if he doesn’t he’ll likely be the first option to slot into the top 6 when injuries hit. Should be good for half the season in the top 6, other half on the 3rd line. And who knows, may be the mythical 3 scoring lines setup makes an appearance at some point in the future…

    bookje: Have faith, chuck will fix him!

    This has been used for almost everything lately, but in this case I really do think Kruger will make the difference. Paajarvi was misused last year, hopefully it won’t happen again

  15. FPB94 says:

    We always imagine we have too much players until injuries strike like the plague.

  16. sliderule says:

    Paarjavi will drive all you fancy stats guys nuts cause his corsi will be ok but his plus minus and boxcars wiill be brutal.
    I love his speed but this guy is too timid to ever make it .Trade him before the rest of the NHL figures it out.

  17. Bar_Qu says:

    Was this post about PRV or Jones; I got confused in the middle there.

    I sense PRV is trade bait in a package to get the D Tambo didn’t sign (still can’t sign apparently, based on the list of guys still out there).

  18. Dipstick says:

    If he spends time in OKC, I hope it helps him with one particular bit of confidence. I noticed that he was almost too quick to leave the offensive zone last season. If he is able to have some success against lesser competition in OKC, I hope that he is able to have enough confidence to stay deeper in the scoring zone for longer. That should help him pick up some points. Sometimes I think that our criticism of him not going to the tough areas is due to his defensive bias.

  19. FPB94 says:

    sliderule,

    The kid is 21 for god’s sake.

  20. WeridAl says:

    Rondo,

    I lost count the number of times I’ve heard the line “I have a friend that knows this guy, or I know this guy”. Do you actually believe that the Oilers management would let it be know they had a call from Schultz’s camp to any of the scout’s especially when all the reports and data had been turned in. I’m going to call BS on this one.

  21. Semenko and Troy says:

    Paajarvi could cope as a left wing option for an RNH-Yakupov combination, but a more physical net and forechecking presence is needed. Push hard at the trade deadline for Clarkson or Clowe. Both will be UFA’s next summer.

    Paajarvi and Lander are ticketed as the future 3rd line duo. Both have defense- first instincts and should be able to generate enough offense depending on who plays with them. Pitlick may be a potential fit.

    For now, if Paajarvi can get solid minutes with the big club fit him in. If not, develop the Paajarvi-Lander duo in OKC.

  22. VOR says:

    Dipstick,

    I think your right that part of the problem is MPS abandoning the zone early, but in Sweden that is what the left winger does. A move to right wing where the expectation is you lead the forecheck might change everything.

    On the other hand much of the criticism of MPS is based on what people think they are seeing with their own eyes.

    Here is one of those places where various statistics tell us our eyes are wrong. First of all MPS does go to the hard areas, he even shoots from there. Of the players on the Oilers who played more than 20 games he is fifth in distance from the net when shooting. In other words on average he is closer to the net than Hall or Jones when he shoots. I don’t notice anybody saying these guys don’t go to the tough areas. Actually the guys who get closer are interesting, Smyth, Eberle, Hopkins, and Hemsky. A net crasher and three puck magicians. League wide he is in the upper half in terms of how close he gets, right ahead of Pavel Datysuk.

    As for not being tough enough, per minute played at even strength MPS outhits Smyth, he blocks more shots, and is engaged in more puck battles than Smyth. Nobody says Smyth is soft. MPS also kills it in terms of goals allowed per minute played. His corsi is refelective not only of him shooting a lot but the opposition finding it very difficult to get anything going when he is on the ice. His goal given up per 60 is among the leagues best.

    If you just look at his plus minus and boxcars all that detail is lost. The seen him good crowd will say only the boxcars and the plus minus matter. They won’t consider the shooting % of his linemates or their plus minus.

    Every year when the stats guys do their analyses of the various forms of adjusted plus minus some player we’ve never heard of emerges as the games best defensive forward. Adam Hall for example. Usually we haven’t heard of them because they have terrible box cars and plus minuses. The underlying stats MPS posted this year look like early career Thompson or Hall.

    I am not saying he is a great player or ever will be but the criticism of him from many quarters isn’t supported by the non traditional stats. If there is a single player on the Oilers who could blow past LT’s reasonable expectation MPS is the guy.

  23. VOR says:

    I’d like to propose a little thought experiment. In each opening round match up ask yourself which team was better over theregular season in FO%. Then ask yourself which team won? The answer is overwhelmingly the team with the lower FO%.

    Now consider that a number of studies have shown very different results when analyzing face off % versus winning percentages. The majority show no correlation or a weak one. Of the studies that show faceoffs matter BTN’s study of the impact of faceoffs in one goal situations in the last minute of the game is the most compelling. Many authors have noted that there is a strong correlation between low FO% and bad records.

    The thing is our understanding of faceoffs may be flawed, we may be confusing cause and effect. Many faceoffs aren’t won by the center but by their teammates. Generally good teams win more puck battles than bad teams. Why would scrambled faceoffs be any different? So being bad may reduce FO%, rather than low FO% making you bad. The disparity between talent levels on two teams may be worst in the last minute of the game. It may have nothing to do with the center on the ice.

    It is also possible that a center who is great all game long may not be with a minute to go in a one goal game which is when it matters. We could certainly work out who the best last minute faceoff guy in hockey is each year. Then we’d be able to see if there were centers who were consistently good or bad in that situation.

  24. DeadmanWaking says:

    VOR,

    He’s hardly a liability to spot into a line-up where lots of guys can score goals, but the defense remains a bit ragged. Plus his defensive/Euro tendencies are right in Krueger’s wheel house. Whether MPS makes the team out of camp depends on what kind of system Krueger designs for the team and whether that design makes him think he needs to take a prompt second look. It’s his handling of the almost-great players where a coach has the most ability to define himself.

    part of me thinks there was an outside chance that they used the Murray to Edmonton tweets as a ploy to reel Schultz in

    Part of him thinks too much for his own good. I thought the taste for this kind of gamesmanship dried up about the time that your third GF dumps you at some point in your mid twenties. That said, I get a bit of a kick out of the fake-busters on YouTube and social media sites such as Reddit (for as long as I can stand reading mostly one-line comments). This is the golden rule of nearly any writer worth reading: the truth is stranger than fiction. I can’t image a worse hell on earth than racing to fake-busting certitude on any weird-ass fact that crosses your path.

    Worse than “may you live in interesting times” is “may you live for the rest of your days experiencing solely those things you already find plausible”.

    I’d give that guy an asterisk and a half. He probably heard something vaguely legitimate that enlarged somewhat at each telling along the grape vine.

    From The Longest Word Ladder Puzzle Ever

    gimlets
    giblets
    gibbets
    gibbers
    libbers
    limbers
    lumbers
    cumbers
    cambers
    campers
    carpers
    carters
    barters
    batters
    butters
    putters
    puttees
    putties
    patties
    parties
    parries
    carries
    carrier
    currier
    curlier
    burlier
    bullier
    bullies
    bellies
    jellies
    jollies
    collies
    collins
    colling
    coaling
    coaming
    foaming
    flaming
    flaking
    fluking
    fluxing
    flexing
    fleeing
    freeing
    treeing
    theeing

    Aha! They were intending to draft Murray all along. And 1000 SEO bonus points.

  25. DeadmanWaking says:

    VOR, I meant to imply that I largely agree with you, but then I jumped into my reasoning too abruptly.

  26. DeadmanWaking says:

    I’ve been meaning to write something about dis-inhibition for a while now, and maybe this is the right place for it: a stalled thread about MPS’s possible curtailment competing against the IOC drum machine. (Beach volleyball, despite recent loosening of the rules and the contrast of season, still resembles goal-tending in demanding gear of modest dimensions. Get yours today: the official IOC-sanctioned Sand Queen dual-purpose duffle bag / thong skirt; matching flip-flops sold separately.)

    I don’t have the link at hand, but I came across a neurological study a while back about some frontal lobe that worries about what other people think. It’s involved in higher-order judgements such as not making a spectacle of yourself. It turns out that jazz musicians and other creative types find ways to suppress this particular brain lobe. (There are those who remove it entirely with a plastic butter knife … at which point every thought seems fresh and newsworthy–especially if it’s the same Horc-hatred that buzzed around yesterday and every yesterday for as long as anyone can remember.) I bet Nugent turns this lobe off with the puck on his stick on the half-boards while ten players crowd one end of the ice. If you’re Nugent, people pay a lot of money to watch you make a spectacle of yourself.

    The flip side of this, for writers, is the sensitivity to reading your own press, or even just a kindly pat on the back. I enjoy taking a walk on the wild side, but it leaves me in a state where the responses of others are grotesquely magnified, so like many writers, I tend to write then skedaddle until a fresh thread appears where I’m safe from my own words, or–more precisely–the amplified response that I’m likely to suffer. I don’t hate my writing. I might even find it amusing if it wasn’t my own words fetched straight over the fence of ingrained decorum (ingrained, if never fully digested).

    Sometimes I write in a more pedestrian vein with my boring circuits fully intact. There would be no emotional reason to not stick around, but instead there’s this malaise why bother? When my writing is far enough off the chain that I care how people respond, I feel safer not knowing; otherwise, meh. This would all be very embarrassing if it weren’t so darn common among many of the great and merely-great writers I read about and envy. Occupational neurosis.

    From the book I’m presently reading by Adam Gopnik (a likely candidate for the auspicious halls of the merely-great), reviewed online at Darwin, Lincoln and the Modern World:

    Writing well isn’t just a question of winsome expression, but of having found something big and true to say and having found the right words to say it in, of having seen something large and having found the right words to say it small, small enough to enter an individual mind so that the strong ideas of what the words are saying sound like sweet reason. Good writing is mostly good seeing and good thinking, too. It involves a whole view of life, and making that view sound so plausible that the reader adheres to it as obvious before he knows that it’s radical.

    He continues in grand style:

    [Lincoln's and Darwin's eloquence] have in common the writer’s faith in plain English, his hope that people’s minds and hearts can be altered by the slow crawl of fact as much as the long reach of revelation.

    Yes indeed, the writer places more faith in reasonable expectations than the reader does. As I confessed in my previous post, I don’t always have much truck with plausible, except as strangely refracted by the court jester whose rice bowl hangs daily from a thin thread–but that’s for another time.

    A few pages earlier Gopnik’s thoughts outpace his style:

    I wanted to write about both men because I [] revered their accomplishments, but also for the most honest of writer’s reasons: contemplating them gave me a chance to think at length about other things that matter a lot to me.

    This is why I struggle with the OT problem sometimes. For me, life is never OT. Life allows me to think about hockey, and hockey allows me to think about life. (Sometimes on the long bus trips, weird shit intervenes.) As Gopnik points out, there’s a lot to learn in the presence of eloquence disciplined in small matters, framing larger values. (In case anyone is three sheets, the discipline I refer to is most definitely not my own.)

  27. DeadmanWaking says:

    Maybe here’s the way to punch it up:

    Q: What do NHL goalies have in common with the goddesses of beach volleyball?

    A: A ruler.

  28. bookje says:

    Lowetide:
    Bookie: I sense you’re down on the Krueg? Maybe I’m misreading, but it seems like it.

    Actually, My ‘fan brain’ is convinced that he is going to be a big difference maker and that he actually will help big time. The overwhelmingly positive comments from the players are infectious. So, I actually ‘buy in’ to the ‘fix him’ line. There is this sense that the guy has a level of awesomeness to him.

    However, my ‘Fan brain’ has let me down before (see Bonsiegnore, Jason) and I know I am inherently an optimist regarding the Oilers (I thought they were going to improve when they brought in Pat Quinn) So my more critical thinking brain has me thinking that the whole Kruger effect is overhyped and that he can’t make that big of a difference. Hence the ‘Chuck Norris’ thing.

    So in summary, I think Krueger is awesome and is going is ‘fix’ the team, but I don’t believe a word of what I am saying because I am simply unreliable in objectively evaluating the Oilers.

  29. bookje says:

    Also, I have been overly busy at work lately and haven’t had time to provide real comments so it’s easiest just to assume that Ralph will fix the team.

  30. jp says:

    VOR:

    Here is one of those places where various statistics tell us our eyes are wrong.

    As for not being tough enough, per minute played at even strength MPS outhits Smyth, he blocks more shots, and is engaged in more puck battles than Smyth. Nobody says Smyth is soft.

    I’m all for advanced stats if used in context, but I think you’re making a compelling argument for where things can go wrong here. I’m generally a Paajarvi fan, but the dude plays soft. If you tell me that Paajarvi has more hits than Smyth, that tells me the stat is flawed. I don’t think I can recall a single instance of Paajarvi making an actual bodycheck. Ever. Obviously rubouts count as hits in some circles, but rubouts don’t make you tough, and I do think that Paajarvi’s toughness is a legitimate concern. Hopefully he can work on it, cause it will make a huge difference to his ability to make an impact.

  31. Dipstick says:

    jp,

    I understand the mental effect of a big hit, but really why does separating someone from the puck and playing it rank lower than separating someone from the puck and having to pick yourself up off the ice? Sorry, this is something I have trouble with.

  32. jp says:

    Dipstick,

    I agree with you here. I do like big hits, and they have a use at times, but definitely separating a player from the puck is an equally or more effective play in most circumstances.

    My point was that having as many hits/min as Smyth does not make Paajarvi tough, tough enough, or as tough as Smyth. He is not. This lack of toughness is a problem in Paajarvi’s game, as much on the offensive side as the defensive side of the puck.

  33. VOR says:

    Deadman Walking, actually while sometimes I don’t understand what you are saying I often find it quite hilarious and clearly you have a unique style. I admire the creativity, the disinhibition. I was at a neuro-science conference not long ago where after which a bunch of us ended up a little inebriated debating whether or not the current crop of young people is the most depressed generation ever. If so why?

    One of my business partners, who likes to stir things up, suggested that the problem is social media, blogs, twitter, tumblr, instagram, you name it, lead to young people being disinhibited. That is, anonymity and the conceptual distances of cyber space makes it much easier to turn off the parts of the brain that care what other people think. For us oldtimers this isn’t a problem. We are highly socialized, however, rude we may be here at Lowetide. Her thesis was that it is very different for a generation that has grown up knowing nothing else. They have spent so much time being disinhibited that they are too creative. They give everything equal weight. You and I know separating the wheat from the chaff is a huge part of the creative process.
    .
    Essentially, she was arguing that young people are saying what we all think but edit. If they are having a bad day they blurt it out. In saying it, they give it a life, it begins to define them. In other words, shut down social media and kids will stop being unusually depressed.

    So have you read Blink, and the rebuttal, Think? I sometimes wonder if there isn’t a whole lot too much blinking and nowhere near enough thinking in the blogosphere.

  34. Lowetide says:

    You know who is already effective at removing player from puck by getting into position and hitting the opponent? The Nuge. Positioning is better than a big open ice hit. Paajarvi usually has excellent positioning, and I don’t think you need to paste a guy in order to kill the sortie.

  35. Undisclosed_Personal_Reasons says:

    DeadmanWaking:
    Maybe here’s the way to punch it up:

    Q: What do NHL goalies have in common with the goddesses of beach volleyball?

    A: A ruler.

    Too much uniform.

  36. VOR says:

    JP,

    I’d like to point out that MPS is nowhere near as high in all the stats I mentioned (except shooting distance) as Eager, Jones, Petrell, Lander, VDV, or Hartikainen. However, he is clearly separated from the rest of the forwards on a per minute basis. Thus, I think part of the problem the seen him good crowd has is he isn’t by any stretch of the imagination an offensive star and he doesn’t play the physical game to be an energy line player. He is stuck in between, a fish out of water.

    Part of the appearance of softness is that he cheats for defense. If you read the piece on dump and chase versus carry in you would have seen the add on about the Russian’s belief in the regroup strategy. In Europe the regroup/Russian game has a real influence and has for years. The left wingers job is to exit the zone and clog the middle of the ice to give his teammates (if they don’t maintain possession) time to successfully regroup. This cheating makes it look like he isn’t fighting for the puck.

    Magnus, doesn’t dump the puck in very much, he is definitely school of carry it in which is why MPS’ zone differential is positive. Again, it makes him look soft. Would I like him to hit more and harder? Yes. I’d like MPS to play more like Hartikainen and vice versa for that matter.

    Do I think MPS is soft? He answered that question for me for all time when he got up and shook off that hit from Kronwall. That would have been a game ender and maybe even a season ender for many players. MPS is old school. He just went back to playing. Now if he could learn to return the favor.

    It would be nice to see MPS get a chance to play to his strength. We see him go to the outside over and over and with his speed who can blame him, but it isn’t how he is most effective. Somebody, and I am sorry I don’t remember who, pointed out late last year that MPS is best when he comes down the center of the ice rather than down the wing. I went back and looked at some film of the WC and it was sure true there and also in his first season in the NHL. He is never going to blow the puck by a goalie, but he has a very quick release and reasonable accuracy and breaking through the center of the ice he has a chance to be a scoring threat. He is probably the guy we should be converting to center. Imagine a line of Hall, Yak and MPS coming at you. The other teams D-men would turn and start sprinting back to their own end as soon as one of them touched the puck.

    That all said the underlying math, though we can’t call it a trend yet, says MPS is an emerging defensive star.

  37. Dalton says:

    jp: This lack of toughness is a problem in Paajarvi’s game, as much on the offensive side as the defensive side of the puck.

    Wrong.

    Wrong, wrong.

    Paajarvi has some things to work on, but being tougher is not one of them. Paajarvi is as tough or tougher than Gagner, Eberle, and the Nuge. I have seen him play plenty in Oklahoma and you are barking up the wrong tree here.

    Further, I would say that Paajarvi is one of our best players. He is on his way to his career seasons, and our job as coach is to put him in where we can all benefit.

  38. jp says:

    Dipstick,

    Lowetide,

    Again, I do agree that positioning is more important than hitting for solid defensive play.

    But I do think Paajarvi needs more pushback in his game. May be he doesn’t “need” it, but it would help him greatly (and again, I mean this in both the O-zone and the D-zone). I think it’ll make the difference between him being a 10-20-30 3rd liner and a 20-30-50 2nd liner. Could also be the difference between him having a future with the Oilers, or being traded for other pieces..

  39. Undisclosed_Personal_Reasons says:

    DeadmanWaking,

    I always look forward to reading your posts.

  40. Dalton says:

    jp: Could also be the difference between him having a future with the Oilers, or being traded for other pieces..

    Me and the other Oilers management will not be intimidated by your threats to trade Paajarvi… Paajarvi is the kind of player we want to trade FOR. You’ll see next season.

  41. jp says:

    Dalton,

    Guess we’re seeing different things here (or attributing the same flaws to different reasons). By toughness I’m also partly talking about assertiveness.

    Regardless of all this I do think he’s going to improve his play and be an excellent player.

  42. jp says:

    Dalton: Me and the other Oilers management will not be intimidated by your threats to trade Paajarvi…Paajarvi is the kind of player we want to trade FOR.You’ll see next season.

    And in case there’s any confusion, I really like this player. I think he’s got a great future, and I do NOT think he should be traded. Just concerned that he might be if mgmt feels it needs to add more grit.

  43. Cactus says:

    jp,

    This conversation is EXACTLY why a statistical approach is really beneficial for fans. Vor posted some really interesting perspective, driven by numbers and you come back with “saw him soft” First, what the hell is soft anyways? And how would we substantiate that a player is indeed soft or not? We need to define and substantiate to drive the conversation forward.

    I’m not trying to rag solely on you (there are a lot of people who are making comments in this vein). I just don’t want to turn into this:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=769A4mUY7g0

  44. dessert1111 says:

    Even when Pajaarvi was scoring at his best clip towards the end of the 10-11 season, I always felt he looked a bit out of place on the top skill lines. This isn’t to say he can’t grow itself the top 6–he is young and has tools–but I wonder if he is best-suited for a third line role, especially on this team.

    A third line player like Pajaarvi, if he continues to develop and excels at some of the things he is already doing well, will be invaluable. He could slot up into the top 6 if there’s an injury or something else necessitates it, and I think he will score at a good enough pace for a third line player. Normally, in the top 10 you are looking for a top line forward or a top pairing defenseman, but if Pajaarvi becomes an excellent player, I personally don’t care which line he is on. As long as he adds value to the roster.

    It’s so easy to be pessimistic about Pajaarvi’s development, but there’s a player there. A good player. He just might not be that player that people seemed to think he was when he was drafted and in 10-11. He still might be, but I think he might be a bit different. I personally think it would be strange if someone who used to play defense ended up finding a home in the top 6 with a scoring touch, anyway.

    In my attempt to be optimistic–to avoid the depression and negative thinking of my generation, as Deadman Walking discussed–wouldn’t be nice if all of the prospects trending well formed the core of a future, excellent team? What if 15-16 the Stanley Cup champs looked like this:

    Yakupov – RNH – Eberle
    Hall – Gagner – Rieder
    Pitlick – Lander – Pajaarvi
    Hartikainen – ? – Jones
    Moroz, Khaira

    Petry – Schultz
    Smid – Fedun
    Gernat – Musil
    Bigos

    Feel free to substitute in your favourite prospects :)

  45. TheOtherJohn says:

    All of our prospects may adequately develop to fill out the roster of a perennial SCF team. That would be almost unheard of but could definitely happen. HERY is a given, ditto Smid, Petry, JSchultz and Klefbom. MPS is likely as is Gagner. therafter….. no clue. It is likely that the forwards selected in the 2nd and 3rd round are not likely to score at the NHL level. Of the D: Plante and Tuebert have not been outperforming their draft position and while Marincin, Gernat and Davidson have, they need to progress significaantly to play meaningful minutes firstly at the AHL level and then the NHL

  46. commonfan14 says:

    VOR: Here is one of those places where various statistics tell us our eyes are wrong. First of all MPS does go to the hard areas, he even shoots from there. Of the players on the Oilers who played more than 20 games he is fifth in distance from the net when shooting.

    Forgive me if the data somehow accounts for this already, but isn’t that stat pretty easily explained by the fact that PRV’s speed often means that he beats guys and ends up with a clear path to the net?

    The fact that he gets so many clear rushes means a lot of shots close to the net, but I don’t think that’s what anyone means when they talk about “going to the tough areas.” It isn’t “tough” to get to the front of the net when there’s just open ice leading up to it.

    This could actually be a situation that shows how stats can be misleading without the proper context.

    Also, shouldn’t we be concerned that he gets so many rushes and shots close to the net, but doesn’t produce anything from them? Remembering all the times last year where he got to the net and then did nothing at all with the puck makes it hard for me to find fault with DSF’s “hands of plywood” analysis.

  47. Moosemess says:

    One thing that I think Magnus has working in his favour is his mental makeup. He seems like an intelligent young man with a good attitude. That should make him eminently coachable and serve him well in these critical development years. His demeanor at the time of his demotion was a good indicator of this.

    The key challenge that I think MPS is dealing with now is learning how to transition a style that was offensively effective for him on the larger Euro rinks onto a smaller ice surface with considerably faster competition.

    In other words, if the old bag of tricks no longer works, what can he pull out of the bag that will work, and can he perform those tricks at the magnified decision pace that the NHL demands? Krueger can help him with this by reinforcing with video those decisions and plays that most often produce positive results, but ultimately this is the challenge that rests on the shoulders of any young prospect. Can you effectively size up this new competition during the game and find ways to exploit them with your skillset?

    Probably the best factor he has working in his favour is his environment and it’s why I’d ultimately like to see him stick in the bigs even if it’s in a 4th line role as opposed to going down to OKC. Watching players like Hall, Eberle and Hemsky on a daily basis can be extremely beneficial for MPS, particularly if the team is not struggling so mightily. Each of these players has already discovered tactics/moves that translate well for them in the dance. Nuge’s ability to steal the puck in the neutral zone, Hall’s ability to stretch the D to open up cross ice plays, Eberle’s ability to protect the puck in traffic, etc. Osmosis can be the most effective tutor and by being around these players on a daily basis, Magnus should be able to emulate and adopt some of these flavours into his own game. I think the kid’s got the stuff and I’m pulling for him.

    Glenn Anderson. Willy Lindstrom. Todd Marchant. Marty Reasoner. There’s so many tangents a player can take in his development, and as history has shown us, speed alone isn’t enough to determine what the player will ultimately produce. Mix speed with fearlessness and hands and you get Anderson. Mix it with hands and peripheral play and you get Willy Lindstrom. Take away the hands altogether and you’re left with Marchant. Etc.

    His first year in the bigs, Magnus was part of the ‘boys on the bus’ and I think his development positively reflected that. Last year, it seemed like Renney diminished him to the point where he was no longer one of the cool kids. A big part of that’s on the player, but the coach also needs to create the optimal climate for internal competition and development. The Oilers of yore still talk about how fast and fun their practices were and how Gretzky brought out the best of all of them in them in that environment. Do the Oil have that practice player know (i.e. the straw that stirs the drink?). Possibly it’s Hall or Eberle, but it wouldn’t surprise me in the least if it ultimately ends up being Yakupov.

  48. adamjames says:

    Its probably been said somewhere here already, but I’ll say it anyway. Why not try Magnus at center eventually and see how it goes? Preferably in the Ahl, but with his size, speed, and defensive background, is that not exactly th e type of centerman the Oil lack. Not to mention he would not be expected to “drive the net hard” as the centerman, vs being a big framed winger, who is reluctant to drive the net. Thoughts?

  49. Jesse says:

    dessert1111:
    Even when Pajaarvi was scoring at his best clip towards the end of the 10-11 season, I always felt he looked a bit out of place on the top skill lines. This isn’t to say he can’t grow itself the top 6–he is young and has tools–but I wonder if he is best-suited for a third line role, especially on this team.

    A third line player like Pajaarvi, if he continues to develop and excels at some of the things he is already doing well, will be invaluable. He could slot up into the top 6 if there’s an injury or something else necessitates it, and I think he will score at a good enough pace for a third line player. Normally, in the top 10 you are looking for a top line forward or a top pairing defenseman, but if Pajaarvi becomes an excellent player, I personally don’t care which line he is on. As long as he adds value to the roster.

    It’s so easy to be pessimistic about Pajaarvi’s development, but there’s a player there. A good player. He just might not be that player that people seemed to think he was when he was drafted and in 10-11. He still might be, but I think he might be a bit different. I personally think it would be strange if someone who used to play defense ended up finding a home in the top 6 with a scoring touch, anyway.

    In my attempt to be optimistic–to avoid the depression and negative thinking of my generation, as Deadman Walking discussed–wouldn’t be nice if all of the prospects trending well formed the core of a future, excellent team? What if 15-16 the Stanley Cup champs looked like this:

    Yakupov – RNH – Eberle
    Hall – Gagner – Rieder
    Pitlick – Lander – Pajaarvi
    Hartikainen – ? – Jones
    Moroz, Khaira

    Petry – Schultz
    Smid – Fedun
    Gernat – Musil
    Bigos

    Feel free to substitute in your favourite prospects

    No Marincin? Pessimist.

  50. HeavySig says:

    Reading this blog is getting to be humbling, as I scroll down and read many of my own thoughts expressed much better than I could hope to do.

    -Moosemess clearly lays out Paajarvi’s trump card; attitude. Magnus readily admits where he needs to get better and seems determined to do whatever it takes. Without embracing all aspects of his development, all the physical tools in the world won’t make a good NHL player.

    -Vor with several excellent posts regarding supporting stats, including face-offs. Beyond the given that teammates can help percentages, the interesting thing is the “key face-offs” late in games. Often a center will use a certain style to get an opponent “trained” for a certain tendency, then when a face-off becomes important, will change it up to catch them off balance. They may even lose a draw or two to set it up.

    -I especially liked Vor’s thoughts about converting Magnus to center. Would a younger version of Horcoff be that bad?

  51. wordbird says:

    bookje: Have faith, chuck will fix him!

    If by “Chuck” you mean “Chuck Norris”, i think that is just what MPS needs. Someone needs to find the badass switch in this kid and switch it on. He’s got the wheels, and he’s a big body, but doesn’t play big (yet). if he ever figures it out though… look out.

  52. Suntory Hanzo says:

    Jesse,

    Where is the K-Bomb?

  53. edwards_daddy says:

    The Oilers could learn a lot from Bradley Wiggins’ handling of his sideburns.

  54. DSF says:

    fuzzy muppet:
    How many posts will there be before DSF says he sucks??

    54

    Paajarvi is trending in the direction of a defensively responsible third line winger who can, on occasion, move up to the top 6 without embarrassing himself…a Jannik Hansen comparable.

    That he was drafted 10th overall is likely the source of a lot of angst but it’s not uncommon for “failed” first round picks to end up as third line players.

    Nothing wrong with that.

  55. cabbiesmacker says:

    godot10:
    I think the future of the Oilers are three lines based around the following pairs which should give opposing coaches matchup nightmares.

    Nugent-Hopkins, Eberle
    Hall, Gagner
    Paajarvi, Yakupov.

    Oh yes. There’s some night terror for sure.

    To best line 2? Run over Gagner. Take puck.

    Line 3? Hand the puck to Magnus.

  56. "Steve Smith" says:

    cabbiesmacker: To best line 2? Run over Gagner. Take puck.

    But do you think they can mash the C-button hard enough?

  57. HeavySig says:

    DSF: 54

    Paajarvi is trending in the direction of a defensively responsible third line winger who can, on occasion, move up to the top 6 without embarrassing himself…a Jannik Hansen comparable.

    That he was drafted 10th overall is likely the source of a lot of angst but it’s not uncommon for “failed” first round picks to end up as third line players.

    Nothing wrong with that.

    That may have been the nicest thing you have ever said about Magnus…

  58. Moosemess says:

    On a positive note LT, it looks like the network you’ve chosen is doing a better job of optimizing their ad rotations. I’m now seeing ads that are guessing I might want to see an FC Edmonton game or buy a vacation condo as opposed to the previous banners which seemed to be trying to entice me towards some sort of gender reassignment procedure. Coming up on 20 years of marriage, I felt no temptation, but I did fear for your younger, more impressionable readers ; )

  59. vishcosity says:

    VOR:
    I’d like to propose a little thought experiment. In each opening round match up ask yourself which team was better over theregularseason in FO%. Then ask yourself which team won? The answer is overwhelmingly the team with the lower FO%.

    Now consider that a number of studies have shown very different results when analyzing face off % versus winning percentages. The majority show no correlation or a weak one. Of the studies that show faceoffs matter BTN’s study of the impact of faceoffs in one goal situations in the last minute of the game is the most compelling. Many authors have noted that there is a strong correlation between low FO% and bad records.

    My rudimentary logical deduction says necessarily that the team that wins the faceoff and also controls the puck has the best chance to score next. Any statistic that would say otherwise behooves both my rational mind and makes my spidey sense go looking for evidence of junk science. And similarly, any statistic that suggests that MPS plays tough (in the Canadian hockey sense of the understanding) screams out the same, because my eyes just don’t see it that way.

    While I accept that Magnus may have stats that show him scoring from point blank, what my eyes don’t see is him stepping inside defenders for hard to gain position on a scoring play directly towards the net. I don’t see him driving the inside lane through traffic and taking the physically hard to attain line. I did see Penner do that, and certainly Ryan Smyth, and Eric Cole and Glenn Anderson and a list of people that don’t include Magnus.

    We can spin all the stats to show that Samwise is in the top ten for 2C’s in the west, or that Magnus shoots from inside, but when I compare that to what I see when the game played, if it doesn’t line up, then ultimately all I think is that statistics are closer to a soft science, like econ, or psychology, than they are a hard science like physical chemistry where the atoms in a given environment do the same thing every time.

    This may be better as two posts.

    Currently advanced stats seem to resemble early economic modeling. Over the last fifty years, the ‘science’ of economics has developed very long equations which have resembled real world situations better with each added variable or constraint. Like econ, advanced hockey statistics get better at reflecting real world expectations, LT’s NHLE’s are probably the most successful attempt at box car predictions I’ve seen. Strange to me is their eminence from boxcars sans TOI.

    The future of advanced hockey statistical analysis may be the production of exceptionally long equations that consider shooting distance, velocity, initial zone start, body mass index for the defenders on ice…an equation that generates some kind of predictive number for each player based on a host of weighted statistics, then that number plugged into another equation with a variable for each player league wide. Could include team mates and line mates each weighted for relative expected TOI, expected SV%..which then creates a new form of NHLE for the coming season (based on previous year’s results, each weighted for distance from current year and league equivalents). Each player would then have a corrected projection which could again be plugged into the second formula, run over again, and again, each time recalculating the player’s projections until the whole league wide projections together stabilize. Options could include trading players in and projecting team point totals for the newly aligned theoretical league. And still, after all that, all I’ve really got is no idea how to build it.

  60. leadfarmer says:

    Wtf LT, do you realize that you made me sit through a whole day of work without a new article.

  61. leadfarmer says:

    I almost went to Hfboard (THATS HOW BAD IT WAS).

  62. DSF says:

    HeavySig: That may have been the nicest thing you have ever said about Magnus…

    Been saying the same thing for two years while everyone else was projecting him as a 25-30 goal scoring top 6 winger.

    At his average shooting percentage, he’d have to be the shot leaded in the entire league to score like that.

    The only other issue I have is that he was drafted 10th overall when many of his comparables, like Hansen, were drafted in later round.

    You can also find 15 goal scoring defensive minded wingers in free agency or in trade pretty much all the time so spending a lot of time developing one is pretty much a waste.

    Doesn’t hurt to do so but he’s certainly expendable for the right price.

  63. VOR says:

    Vishcosity

    You raise several interesting points.
    – that where most people think advanced stats are going is predictive formulas, probably long iterative learning algos
    - that many people think the state of these stats is like economics (early or current) in any case soft science
    - that if our eyes say the math is wrong the math is wrong

    1. We will never see predictive formulas in hockey. This is because hockey is neither a random walk or skill driven. It is both at once. 50 percent of the outcome of a hockey game is luck, 10 percent is referee bias, 40 percent is skill. Within the 40 percent we have a classic game strategy problem. It begins with the fact that there are many possession changes in any hockey game, most don’t matter. Which ones do matter is determined by the decisions made on the ice by the players in real time and those choices are selected from a vast array of menu items. The players in turn are learning units. In other words any predictive power demonstrated in a particular algo would soon lead to behavioral changes that would reduce the predictive power of the algo.
    2. So far all we are discussing in hockey are descriptive stats. It is not comparable to economics where second and third generation derivatives of analytical summations are used. We are way more primitive and not actually headed in the direction of integration but more towards differentiation.
    3. Eye witness testimony is incredibly unreliable. Expert testimony is less reliable than most.

    If every possible stat says MPS is more physically involved than Smyth, and they do, and your eyes say he isn’t then the smart money bet is your eyes are wrong. Almost certainly some confirmation bias has crept into your observations.

  64. VOR says:

    DSF,

    Same garbage different day. Your guy was never a dominant player in WJC, or WC (twice), and never as good as MPS in AHL playoffs. Thus, by your own reasoning MPS must project to be much better in the NHL than Hansen.

  65. russ99 says:

    Paajarvi needs to play at the NHL level to improve – we’re wasting him at the AHL level, especially if we’re giving icetime to the likes of Eager, Petrell, Lander, Hordichuk and yes even Hartikainen – who needs to have sustained offensive success at the NHL level (like Jones, for instance) before I believe he’s not another Jacques.

    This was the failing of Renney last year with Paajarvi and Omark. I hope Krueger doesn’t repeat those mistakes.

    Also, this is why I wasn’t happy with bringing all the underperformers on the 3rd/4th line back. There’s a place there for a more skilled/less goony player who can play defensively, and there’s little room for one of the younger AHL kids to force a place onto the roster if he has a fantastic year in OKC.

  66. Spydyr says:

    PRV played leftwing in Sweden.Over there leftwing takes the defensive responsibilities.Much like center over here.The team needs a big center for the second line.Why not give him a chance?

  67. DSF says:

    VOR:
    DSF,

    Same garbage different day. Your guy was never a dominant player in WJC, or WC (twice), and never as good as MPS in AHL playoffs. Thus, by your own reasoning MPS must project to be much better in the NHL than Hansen.

    Same fanboyisms, different day.

    Hansen played in the WJC but Denmark is hardly a hockey powerhouse and putting up a few points in a tournament is hardly an endorsement unless you think Paajarvi piling up some points against Norway is a big deal….it isn’t.

    What we can compare is their performance in the AHL.

    As a 20 year old, Hansen scored 12G-22A-34P in 72GP.

    As a 20 year old. Paajarvi scored 7G-18A-25P in 34GP.

    Paajarvi certainly has the edge in PPG but since we don’t know TOI or role, tough to make a call.

    As a 21 year old, Hansen scored 21G-22A-43P in 50 GP.

    If Paajarvi can manage .86 PPG in the AHL next season, we’ll be looking at a draw.

    Pretty hard to see him doing much better.

  68. PerryK says:

    This is a repeat of a post I made at C&B.

    From what I “saw”…..
    …It appears that he has no finish in either the D or O zones. What I mean is that he gets to where he needs to be just fine; in plenty of time and with good spacing. However, he appears dumbfounded as to what he should do next; until all that time and space starts to evaporate.

    That seems to be the major reason that he isn’t effective. All of this has probably got a lot to do with his coaches changing his positions (he started on D and has played every F position during his hockey career). He doesn’t seem to have a very assertive bearing to him, which means he will try to do everything that is asked of him, instead of concentrating on any single thing. Someone needs to tell him what his game is and simplify the whole thing for him. I think if given one single goal, he can achieve it just fine.

    If you tell him to shoot as soon as a sliver of an opportunity presents itself (even if he has to create an angle), he will be a good goal scorer. If he is instructed to always look for a trailer, when he gets the puck to the side boards, he will do that.

    On defense quite often he is the first guy back. That is quite silly for a winger who is expected to score or help score. Not every time will the other team turn a partial turnover in their D zone into a scoring chance! Some times you get the puck right back! MPS is already in his own zone and totally out of the play! Even when he gets back on D, he doesn’t know where to help. Should he wait for his man to get to the O zone and get involved in the play or switch off with his lagging C who should have been here already? The uncertainty is plain in his face and many times he takes no one!

    Mainly he needs consistent instruction so he doesn’t need to work it out himself. I blame the coaches!

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

© Copyright - Lowetide.ca