RE 12-13: RYAN NUGENT-HOPKINS

The Edmonton Oilers added a foundation centerman last summer and he dazzled all winter long. Now we begin to find out a few things about Burnaby Ryan: can he dominate on the powerplay like he did a year ago? is he going to be a center who can help in all areas? Is he a special player?

RE 12-13: 72, 22-45-67

  1. You’re very high on the Nuge. Yes. He’s a magician with the puck and has a nice range of skills already. Can  back check well and anticipation is exceptional. Tremendous passer, underrated shooter, he makes outstanding decisions when in possession of the puck.
  2. What do you like about him? He finds seams and passes with touch. He’s got some counter-trey in his game (running counter to flow) and I think he’s already a tough guy to defend. It’ll get worse for opposition blue.
  3. Who would you compare him to? In style, I see what Hitchcock saw when mentioning Datsyuk, but for me this is an offensive dynamo and I’m not sure about his overall game. There aren’t many things we can say for sure that he can’t do, so enjoying the ride is recommended.
  4. Can he duplicate last year’s PP dominance? I’m not convinced he can, you’d want to see that for three years in a row before suggesting it’s an established level of ability. 7.34/60 is nuclear.
  5. Do you have him scoring a lot on the PP? Yes, he’ll post some mighty PP numbers but I also have him playing more than 3 minutes a night. I’m thinking Krueger will use him (and Eberle) on the #1PP and ride that group a little harder this winter.
  6. So, good point total but not as efficient. I don’t think we can count on 7.34/60. So no. Not as efficient.
  7. What is his achilles? His road splits. RNH at home–where coach Renney gave him a push–went 30, 13-21-34 +7 at Rexall and 32, 5-13-18 -9 on the road. If you’re going to carve him, this is the place to start.
  8. Will that improve? Probably, but likely only slightly. He’s still a teenager.
  9. So let’s talk about center. Sure. I like the C position currently.
  10. What do you smoke? Bark off trees? No, I don’t smoke. Drink a little.
  11. NO ONE likes the Oilers depth chart at center. I think the Oilers need to get Horcoff some help because he’s slowing down and I think Belanger needs to show well early or get flushed. But the Nuge and Gagner are going to post crooked numbers and have a nice range of skills.
  12. They’re small. RNH is listed at 6.00, 171 and Gagner 5.11, 191. Z is 5.11, 195, Datsyuk 5.11 194. I would rather have a good NHL player than a coke machine on skates.
  13. They don’t have that kind of ability. One is a teenager and the other is about the same age now as Datsyuk was when he entered the NHL.
  14. Gagner isn’t even average. Tell that to the Chicago Blackhawks. Let’s talk RNH.
  15. Will RNH play more minutes this season? I think so. He ranked 2nd among Oiler C’s in EV/TOI per game with 14:33 last season, suspect he’ll move ahead of Gagner this year (and it was very close a year ago–7 seconds). He played 3 minutes a night on the PP and my feeling is he’ll play more in the discipline in 12-13. And I think he might grab some PK minutes too.
  16. How many minutes will he play at his peak? Oh hell, a lot more than he currently plays. Datsyuk played 15/3/1, Z played 15.5/3/1, Giroux played 15/4/2. Plenty of minutes for the Nuge on the horizon.
  17. That’ll reduce the playing time for others. Yes. That’s how it works.
  18. Will he get the zone start push? Lord yes. The Nuge should get a mountain of PP time and as many offensive ZS’s as his lungs will allow.
  19. What does he have to improve? His performance against tougher opposition, and his EV/60 number because he’ll get the ZS push.
  20. What is his ceiling? We are just going to have to watch. I think he’s going to be special.

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68 Responses to "RE 12-13: RYAN NUGENT-HOPKINS"

  1. Gerta Rauss says:

    Is this where I go to get my password reset on cougarlife dot com..?

    edit*-good on you btw for monetizing this site-you put way too much effort into this site, a little beer money coming seems fair

  2. Gerta Rauss says:

    Love the Nuge btw.

  3. Lowetide says:

    lol. I can’t wait till my wife sees that! :-)

  4. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    What’s the over/under on RNH’s mature size?

    Also, LT do you really think he might get some PK time? Are you expecting Krueger to send the kids out on the PK next year? how sharp is that learning curve going to be?

  5. Lowetide says:

    Size? 6.01, 195. Basically a little taller Sakic.

    Yeah, I think Krueger will try a few twists to keep things fresh. Lander had 90 PK minutes a year ago, Gagner 3 and Nuge 2. I think the top 2 C’s (Horc, Belanger) shouldn’t PK more than they did a year ago, 192 for Belanger and over 200 minutes for Horcoff. Time to start sharing those minutes a little more equally.

    A little.

  6. spoiler says:

    I really can’t see Nugie getting PK time. He can’t win a face off to save his life and his road split shows how well he saws off the toughs. We are a couple of years at least from seeing that usage. I think Hall will make a regular appearance on the PK before RNH.

    Otherwise, pretty much agree.

  7. sliderule says:

    I don’t see a lot of PK time for the Nuge this year maybe next.

    Krueger should use Hall on PK.When he was in Windsor they used him a lot on PK

    His speed kept the opposition defense careful on their pinches.

  8. Zack says:

    Lowetide:
    Size? 6.01, 195. Basically a little taller Sakic.

    Yeah, I think Krueger will try a few twists to keep things fresh. Lander had 90 PK minutes a year ago, Gagner 3 and Nuge 2. I think the top 2 C’s (Horc, Belanger) shouldn’t PK more than they did a year ago, 192 for Belanger and over 200 minutes for Horcoff. Time to start sharing those minutes a little more equally.

    A little.

    I think you are about right on the size LT, RNH is small but I think he can grow, just like everyone else. I can’t imagine the training regiment here in RD is anything spectacular for the WHL players (that’s for me to change…) that and they have to balance school, hockey and social life. I’m not totally sold on Bennett but I’d imagine the organization is doing what’s in their power to help RNH and the other kids become professional athletes.

    Personally, I know what it’s like to be a small guy, in my grade 12 year at one point I was 120lbs @ 5’10″. I didn’t start hitting the weights seriously until my second year of college and now, heading into my fifth and final year of university I stand around 5’10″ 180lbs. I’ve learned a lot, from both my schooling and education but point of the story is, you gain weight with strength, you just need the right program, a good coach and proper nutrition.

    I can see the Nuge entering camp around ~200-205 in a couple of years and playing probably closer to 190~195lbs.

  9. jb says:

    I think the major downside to playing the Nuge on the PK, and double shifting Hall/Yak instead of dressing goons is the chance of injury dramatically increasing… That might be this teams #1 issue going forward…

  10. bendelson says:

    I can understand the reluctance to suggest his crazy PP numbers are sustainable after his rookie season.

    However, Considering they have added another PP sniper and a PP quarterback to the mix, if Yak and Schultz go off as rookies (a la Nuge) is it possible his numbers might actually improve on the PP this season?

    Too much, too soon?

  11. till_horcoff_is_coach says:

    sliderule:
    I don’t see a lot of PK time for the Nuge this year maybe next.

    Krueger should use Hall on PK.Whenhe was in Windsor they used him a lot on PK

    His speed kept the opposition defense careful on their pinches.

    During “the great Tyler/Taylor debate”, there were observations that Hall on PK was not a traditional role. I won’t take the effort to find it but I recall it being that Hall was put out against the PP of weaker teams with the purpose of cherry picking around the red line to force a gamble.

  12. Wes Mantooth-11 says:

    Is it possible that RNH PP totals will increase with the additions of Yakupov and Schultz?

    I’m more excited to see how he’s going to improve 5×5, ridicules amount of talent for him to give the puck too.

  13. Dipstick says:

    Zack,

    Of course you are gaining that weight without the benefit of drinking beer! ;-)

  14. jake70 says:

    OT and may be old news, but just heard on SN connected update that Doan will meet Montreal next week, and has told the Oilers and Flames …thanks but no thanks.

  15. Lowetide says:

    Hadn’t heard the Oilers were in on Doan. He would have made an outstanding RW for the Horcoff-Smyth duo.

  16. Smarmy says:

    Doan is going to get waaay overpaid.

    RNH has the best stick on the team.

  17. Zack says:

    Dipstick:
    Zack,

    Of course you are gaining that weight without the benefit of drinking beer!

    Haha I easily gained the freshman 15 my first year, while I was in commerce but when I started Kinese, I lost that “unwanted weight” and put on a few pounds of lean mass. Not to say I still don’t have fun though ;)

    My BF% is around 10% right now I’m guessing, I do compete in Oly weightlifting competitions now. Speaking of which Olympics are fast approaching, I think Canadian woman take on Japan in soccer Friday. There’s a few nice looking ladies on that team.

  18. VOR says:

    I having been thinking for some time of telling a story from the Oilers prospect camp and was reminded of it in the last thread when there was the talk about Washington freaking out after the loss to the Canadiens and trying to turn their team inside out. If only they had paid attention to history.

    But back to this year’s prospect camp. For me it was a case of deja vu all over again. As the teams scrimmaged on one ice surface at Millenium Place I stayed behind watching the goaltenders on the other ice surface. I had been blown away already by Yakupov and Klefblom. Now I wanted to know if the Oilers had anything that looked like a goaltender. My arena didn’t have many fans. But one of them looked really familiar, when he stood up to leave I recognized Norm Lacombe.

    Seeing him standing there I was transported back many years. Lacombe was probably the second strongest Oiler of all time. He reminded of the guy who was unquestionably the strongest and of a day in October of 1982 when I sat in the Coliseum and witnessed something extraordinary happen right on front of my eyes. But before I can tell that story you need the set up.

    Let me begin by saying this is all about how one of the strangest friendships in hockey was born, why sometines intangibles really do matter, and serves as elegant testimony to the role plain dumb luck plays in building dynasties (or at least one dynasty).

    In 1981-82 the Oilers were the number one team in hockey. They rode the back of a 19 year old goaltender named Grant Fuhr and a wicked high octane attack to great heights. This bring us to the Stanley Cup Playoffs in 1982. Oilers fans were salivating at the thought of their team winning the Stanley Cup. Then came the Massacre on Manchester or the Miracle on Manchester depending on which team you were rooting for. The Oilers were gone early, downed 3-2.

    As bad as Washington getting stoned by Halak might have been imagine your goaltending blowing up. Fuhr was far beyond bad. Yet Sather kept going back to him. It wasn’t pretty. It broke Fuhr badly. Coming into fall of 1982 his life was unravelling.

    Enter stage left Sather’s response to seeing his guys get their asses whupped in a playoff series that should have been a cakewalk. He brought in more scoring, a left winger to go with Kurri and Gretzky and be the final piece of the puzzle on a Stanley Cup winning team. A superb goal scorer from the Czech Republic named Jaroslav Pouzar.

    So before going on Sather’s response to his team giving up five goals a game was to get more scoring! Don’t you love the strategy. He boldly predicted Pouzar, who nobody here had ever heard of before, would score 50 goals a year playing with Kurri and Gretzky. Seldom has a GM been so wrong. Kurri, Gretzky and Pouzar was like syrup, pancakes and grapefruit. Pouzar played the left wing lock unheard of until then. In fact for years Gretzky teased Pouzar about having introduced the left wing lock to the NHL thereby ruining hockey.

    By October 82 it was clear that Pouzar was never going to be a scorer in the NHL and that Fuhr’s future in hockey was in jeopardy. I sat in a drafty and near empty Coliseum and watched the aging sniper who had stayed behind after practice fire pucks on the struggling young goaltender. Even from the stands you could see the weight of the world pressing Grant into the ice. That Pouzar was scoring on him at will couldn’t have been helping, and then it happened, Pouzar came over to say something to Fuhr, much hand gesturing was required since Pouzar’s English was terrible. Next thing I knew Pouzar was playing goal and Fuhr was shooting and scoring at will. Soon they were both laughing, giggling actually like little girls.

    I would learn later that while that was probably the first game of one on one it would hardly be the last. Pouzar became the rock to which Fuhr clung when it was all going wrong. He was that mythical thing none of us believe in any longer, a mentor. They would become famous in certain circles here in Edmonton later, as the two of them travelled all over Edmonton from bar to bar, school to school, any place they could think of, lugging the cup. You would have thought Pouzar was born here.

    The salient points then:

    in response to a terrible debacle in the playoffs Sather went searching for a scorer
    he got
    a great defensive forward
    a mentor for a Hall of Fame goaltender
    a guy who became the gold standard for strength, fitness and conditioning amongst the Oilers young players
    one of the nicest guys in all of hockey.

    It was luck, plain dumb luck.

  19. JohnnyOilfan says:

    VOR,

    Wow VOR, great story! I had the pleasure and opportunity for Bruce Willis to come to my small town of Peace River to do a Fitness and Training session for my team. He was travelling everywhere doing his Hockey IMPACT program. It was at a time when fitness training in minor hockey was still at it’s infancy. Unlike today where kids train like the pros all year round. I wish I would’ve paid more attention. He was a really nice and humble man.

  20. justDOit says:

    VOR,

    Even with the breadth of strong writers who frequent this blog, I don’t think I’ve enjoyed reading a comment more. Unless you guys are old friends, I think you owe LT an apology.

  21. Dave Casselman says:

    VOR, a great well written story. Got any more by any chance?

    (And not to be any more dense than usual, if NL was the second strongest Oiler, who was first?)

  22. delooper says:

    I thouht the Cougarlife comment was a joke but i get those ads too when browsing from my phone. On the office computer i get more office-friendly ads.

  23. VOR says:

    Dave,

    Yes, but most of them couldn’t be told in public.

    I think I wasn’t clear. Gretzky would tell you Jaro was the strongest guy he ever played with. I can tell you the fitness testing said the same thing. Pouzar was ungodly strong. It actually had to be witnessed to be believed.

    Just Do It,

    Thank you for a great compliment.

    Johnny Oil Fan, the guy who introduced me to the fundamentals of exercise physiology and was indirectly responsible for me being in the right place at the right time to see Jaro and Coco goofing around was a professor at the U of A (well graduate student then) named Art Quinney. Probably doesn’t get enough credit for being a world leader in the field.

  24. spoiler says:

    Dave Casselman:
    VOR, a great well written story. Got any more by any chance?

    (And not to be any more dense than usual, if NL was the second strongest Oiler, who was first?)

    Pouzar. Had Pete Stastny upper body strength. Once upon a time we used to think Czech hockey players trained by squeezing spinach, eating iron filings, and carrying their cars round with them wherever they went.

    Thanks, Vor for that samba down memory lane. Superbly told story.

    And congrats LT, for the adverts. I hope you make a bundle. You deserve it.

  25. spoiler says:

    And while I’m busy struggling for les mots juste… Vor gives an even better answer.

  26. DeadmanWaking says:

    Cougar, Pouzer, Krueger? This is limerick country.

    Unfortunately, Hitch echoes Kingsley Amis’s sentiment that simple “versified filth” falls short of the mark. Bummer. Forsaking the frathouse orbs of jocularity, it’s more of a daunting form. Here’s Robert Conquest compacting Shakespeare’s Seven Ages of Man soliloquy:

    Seven Ages: first puking and mewling
    Then very pissed-off with your schooling
    Then fucks, and then fights
    Next judging chaps’ rights
    Then sitting in slippers: then drooling

    Well, there’s a low bar for a beginner. Let’s give it a go, nevertheless. AABBA anapestic tetrameter, on your mark …

    There once was a bruiser named Pouzer
    who arrived in the guise of a cruiser
    His left wing lock
    was Greatly mocked
    so he tallied by keeping Fuhr looser

    The dude abides.

    What does he have to improve? His performance against tougher opposition, and his EV/60 number because he’ll get the ZS push.

    I think the Kuge will take the Nuge to school on the gruel before the Yule. Roadtrip 2.0 will benefit enormously from a deeper bench. But I could be wrong.

    There once was an expat named Krueger
    naive in the vices of cougar
    He ventured his lot
    to spit shine her twat
    now he rues his nickname as Looger

    The crude intrudes. Guess I didn’t get the memo after all.

  27. Lowetide says:

    Great, great story VOR. Fabulous! And as an aside, hadn’t heard ‘Coco’ in a hundred years and that brought a flood of memories back. :-)

    Something people may not know about Pouzar: the Oilers drafted him in 1982. NHL ruled that Pouzar–who had been released to play in the NHL by the Czechoslovakin governments–would have to go through the entry draft. He was 30 at the time. He was also the first Czechoslovakian (that’s what it wa called then) trained player to get his name on the cup.

    I believe Milan Novy came over about the same time.

    Anyway, VOR you’ve rattled the memory banks and supplied a wonderful story. That’s what I love about this blog. Thanks.

  28. Lowetide says:

    DMW rocks the rhythm and meter! Well I’m not replacing this thread for awhile. This is the good stuff!

  29. HeavySig says:

    VOR, thanks for starting my day off with that great story.

    I remember that line well, because I don’t think I have ever seen a player hit as many goalposts as Pouzar. There would be another great Gretzky feed to a late arriving Pouzar and then; “CLANK!” echo around the building. But, he kept the opposition at bay while 99 and 17 did their magic, so it all worked out.

  30. DeadmanWaking says:

    My subconscious informs me that “tallied by keeping Fuhr looser” is rendered better–if a bit more oblique grammatically–by changing the word order to “tallied by Fuhr keeping looser”. Both efforts flirt with the negative rhyme on the unspeakable word “loser”.

    I was primed for the effort by reading Obtuse Effrontery this morning, and yesterday by boning up (intellectually) on some old-school obscenity evasions:

    What’s the difference between a circus and a strip club?
    The circus has cunning stunts …

    The effrontery article contains prose of this nature:

    However, do the taunting animadversions of Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck flow from a sense of entitlement over the rest of society, or over one target of scorn, the left? If it’s the latter, then we are faced not with a general sense of immunity from society-wide norms of decorum, but with a specifically targeted incivility—indeed different from assholism as Nunberg specifies earlier.

    There’s at least two a-words in there liable to give offence to the small minded. I had to look one of them up.

    Should I have flagged my second effort NSFW? Somehow that designation seems too much like Germans from the 1940s advancing in rigid matrices with arthritic knee joints.

    The Scunthorpe problem details the problem of Bruce Cockburn tweeting about his shitake mushroom feast in a canalside bistro in Lightwater, Surrey.

    Is there any chance I still need to flag that as NSFW?

  31. Lowetide says:

    I think there are people in the world offended by ‘Cockburn.’ The line is no longer visible on a mass scale. There are all kinds in every quadrant. Sherman Hemsley died yesterday. He was a star of a television show that brought issues to the forefront and exposed the ridiculous bigotry of the time.

    Couldn’t make that show today. More’s the pity.

  32. Ducey says:

    Steady Steve Staios retired today and will do a scout type job for the Leaves

    One of my favorite Oilers.

    I predict he is Oilers GM in ten years.

  33. hockeyguy10 says:

    DMW

    There was a racehorse back in the early seventies named Cunning Stunt. That would make things a little dicey for the race caller!

    LT
    As for Czechoslovakia,I was fortunate enough to be on a team from Edmonton that toured over there in 1973. Quite the experience.

  34. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Lowetide:
    Size? 6.01, 195. Basically a little taller Sakic.

    Yeah, I think Krueger will try a few twists to keep things fresh. Lander had 90 PK minutes a year ago, Gagner 3 and Nuge 2. I think the top 2 C’s (Horc, Belanger) shouldn’t PK more than they did a year ago, 192 for Belanger and over 200 minutes for Horcoff. Time to start sharing those minutes a little more equally.

    A little.

    Size sounds about right… I might have shaded him a little lighter… he’s got a pretty lean body type.

    I like the “stars play PK” model for a lot of reasons: keeps the active, teaches them defensive skills, makes them more of a two-way, provides threat on the PK, etc.

    I agree with others though, that Hall will be the first to get a strong push and Ebs and RNH will probably be brought along very slowly into the PK world

  35. franksterra says:

    Both the Czech Republic and Slovakia are gorgeous countries. From my limited tourist time in both I’ll delightedly generalise and say: stunning architecture, ‘high culture’ and nightlife goes to the Czechs; slower pace, amazing food, lovely rural landscapes, ‘hidden gems’ goes to the Slovaks. A tiny bit like Spain v. Portugal.

    I remember waiting for a bus in Spissky Podhradie forever, not being able to read the Slovak sign and all the symbols (e.g., runs on Tuesdays only during Stephenmas; no noon run on St. Michael’s Day, etc…), ‘talking’ hockey with an old loaded guy, communicating only with gestures and grunts of ‘Chara!’, ‘Gaborik!’, ‘Stumpel!’ He took me to a tavern acoss the road and bought me a shot of the strongest booze i’ve ever tatsed before or since, then a pivo to wash it down.

    I also remember when my sister worked off and on over there and I got her to bring me back a souvenir from Sumperk, hometown of which former Oilers great?

  36. hunter1909 says:

    DeadmanWaking,

    …as in Mike Hunt?

  37. Bar_Qu says:

    franksterra,

    Jiri Dopita?

    Man, that town sounds great. Another little reminder of how much excellence is out there to be visited. I missed out on the Czech republic (mostly) to spend more time in Eastern Germany, post wall (facepalm).

  38. franksterra says:

    he was indeed the Dope. Now we have the Bom

  39. hockeyguy10 says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    I play the races a lot and actually saw that race live via satellite

  40. Traktor says:

    Ducey:
    Steady Steve Staios retired today and will do a scout type job for the Leaves

    Welcome to 3 weeks ago.

  41. Ducey says:

    Traktor: Welcome to 3 weeks ago.

    Great! Happy July 4th everyone!

  42. nathan says:

    My twitter feed was absolutely buried with that big Leaves signing. Anyone hear where Justin Schultz signed?

  43. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Awesome post, VOR. Jaroslav Pouzar is on the extremely short list of my favourite Oilers ever. He was the first guy I profiled when starting up my own blog Oil Droppings back in 2008. He was hard as nails, stood up to the toughest of the toughs.

    One of the big differences between the 83 & 84 Cup Finals was Pouzar was in the press box the first one (much to my dismay at the time) whereas Sather saw the error of his ways in 1984. Oilers answered likes of Tonelli, Nystrom, Gillies, Potvin & even Smith with a more resolute physical presence of their own, & Pouzar was one of the soldiers. His demolition of Smith with an “accidental” hit midway in Game 3 was one of the turning points of the series. Just crushed him.

  44. uni says:

    Ducey: DUCEY says:
    July 25, 2012 at 9:59 am
    Traktor: Welcome to 3 weeks ago.
    Great! Happy July 4th everyone!

    Actually, I think Staios only officially announced his retirement today.

  45. VOR says:

    Heavysig, Bruce, LT,

    Thank you.

    Anybody know how Pouzar’s health is now? The last I heard he had fought a terrible battle with Leukemia and come out the other side but that would have been maybe 4 years ago.

    He was one of my favorite Oilers. That is because it was clear from the start that he was a fish out of water and desperately unhappy in Canada but it never showed on the ice. Out in public and some times in interviews he would speak directly and honestly about how tough it was for him. He could have been a corrosive force in the dressing room, dragging his dark cloud around with him. Instead he was the exact opposite. The world professional gets thrown around a lot, often ironically and sarcastically but Jaro was a “professional” in the best sense of the word.

  46. commonfan14 says:

    Ducey: Steady Steve Staios retired today and will do a scout type job for the Leaves
    One of my favorite Oilers.

    Imagine how this town would remember Steve if Pisani hadn’t picked off that pass and the Canes had scored on their powerplay.

    Hope he sends Fernando something nice every time his birthday rolls around.

  47. Traktor says:

    I’m trying to think of this song I like but I can’t remember the name of the song or even the name of the band.

    I just remember that they are fairly new (1-2 years old I think) and are from either Scotland or England and the lead singer has orange hair I think. I think they are a 3-piece band but not 100%.

    I know this is a terrible description but can anyone help me out here?

  48. "Steve Smith" says:

    Traktor:
    I’m trying to think of this song I like but I can’t remember the name of the song or even the name of the band.

    I just remember that they are fairly new (1-2 years old I think) and are from either Scotland or England and the lead singer has orange hair I think. I think they are a 3-piece band but not 100%.

    I know this is a terrible description but can anyone help me out here?

    This is your greatest post of all-time. And (oddly, for me) I don’t intend that as an insult.

    I can be of no assistance, though, unless you’re thinking of Neil Young, in which case you got literally every detail wrong.

  49. Traktor says:

    “Steve Smith”: This is your greatest post of all-time.

    LOL

    You’ve been making some funny posts lately.

  50. Traktor says:

    I found the song I was looking for.

    Quite little voices by We Were Promised Jetpacks

  51. stevezie says:

    Traktor,

    I’ve heard goo things about that band.

  52. Traktor says:

    stevezie:
    Traktor,

    I’ve heard goo things about that band.

    Not too shabby. For some reason that song popped in my head a few days ago (its been like 6 months since I last listened to it) and I couldn’t remember what it was.

  53. bendelson says:

    Traktor,

    The comedic stylings of Steve Smith are second to none on this site.

    And I would have to agree, he has been especially funny as of late.

    Maybe its a personal preference coming through, but I’ll predict he has a healthy respect for George Carlin…

    “don’t sweat the petty things and don’t pet the sweaty things”

  54. jb says:

    Hopefully Bendelson’s done servicing Steve’s man parts.

    So how about that Ryan Nugent-Hopkins?

  55. bendelson says:

    jb,

    That’s just nasty. Flat out inappropriate considering…

    Steve Smith is my father.

  56. Bad Seed says:

    bendelson,

    HA!

    Nice touch, Bendelson!

  57. raventalon40 says:

    bendelson:
    Traktor,

    The comedic stylings of Steve Smith are second to none on this site.

    And I would have to agree, he has been especially funny as of late.

    Maybe its a personal preference coming through, but I’ll predict he has a healthy respect for George Carlin…

    “don’t sweat the petty things and don’t pet the sweaty things”

    Depends on where she’s sweating from, wouldn’t it?

  58. jb says:

    I was referring to his ego!

  59. PaperDesigner says:

    Am I the only one who expects the kid to regress this year?

    Maybe the kid can replicate his PP rates eventually, but in the short teem, he should regress. And the home/road splits seem to clearly identify a kid who is not ready to play tough competition yet. Given his skill set, pedigree andearly career success, I fully expect him to blossom into a point per game, two way, heavy minutes number one centre eventually. But not next season. I thinnk the kid is due for one of those seasons that looks bad in terms of boxcars, but actually has him progress significantly. But in terms of how this line-up looks, the number one centre for this team… Is Sam Gagner. Gagner has been making strides against tougher competition, has shown he can score in bunches, and can play a complementary role to quality wingers. In short, the RE you posted for Nugent-Hopkins is my RE for Sam Gagner, who I believe will serve as this team’s #1 this year until Nugent-Hopkins is ready. Which won’t be that long.

  60. Dalton says:

    PaperDesigner: And the home/road splits seem to clearly identify a kid who is not ready to play tough competition yet.

    Disagree. 32, 5-13-18 on the road is nothing to sneeze at for a rookie. That’s a very healthy road boxcar.

  61. DSF says:

    Dalton: Disagree.32, 5-13-18 on the road is nothing to sneeze at for a rookie.That’s a very healthy road boxcar.

    No, it isn’t.

    Hopkins:
    Home 13-21-34
    Road 5-13-18

    Landeskog:
    Home 6-17-23
    Road 16-13-29

    Henrique:
    Home 10-13-23
    Road 6-22-28

    Read:
    Home 11-8-19
    Road 13-15-28

    Hodgson
    Home 11-11-22
    Road 8-11-19

    Hopkins was outscored on the road by the other 4 top 5 rookies and some by a very considerable margin.

    All of them, except Hodgson, were better on the road than at home.

  62. Lowetide says:

    Shooting percentage 18.1 at home, 8.1 on the road. Damn road sticks!

  63. Dipstick says:

    PaperDesigner:
    Am I the only one who expects the kid to regress this year?

    Maybe the kid can replicate his PP rates eventually, but in the short teem, he should regress. And the home/road splits seem to clearly identify a kid who is not ready to play tough competition yet. Given his skill set, pedigree andearly career success, I fully expect him to blossom into a point per game, two way, heavy minutes number one centre eventually. But not next season. I thinnk the kid is due for one of those seasons that looks bad in terms of boxcars, but actually has him progress significantly. But in terms of how this line-up looks, the number one centre for this team… Is Sam Gagner. Gagner has been making strides against tougher competition, has shown he can score in bunches, and can play a complementary role to quality wingers. In short, the RE you posted for Nugent-Hopkins is my RE for Sam Gagner, who I believe will serve as this team’s #1 this year until Nugent-Hopkins is ready. Which won’t be that long.

    ~Were you the “Negative Nellie” that jinxed my boy PRV last summer with that kind of irresponsible talk? Watch out, Buddy!~

  64. PaperDesigner says:

    Dipstick: ~Were you the “Negative Nellie” that jinxed my boy PRV last summer with that kind of irresponsible talk?Watch out, Buddy!~

    Heh. Paajarvi is going to be fine, though. Maybe this season serves as a wake-up call that his shot needs to be a major focus during his summers, but I think he’s still on track to be a very helpful second line winger who plays both ends well.

    That said, Paajarvi’s season serves as a strong reminder that development is not a continual upward trend. If we were picking out of the big three one player to show steady improvement, one to show explosive improvement, and one player to drop off entirely, how well would we have done in picking Eberle to explode, Hall to improve and Paajarvi to suffer an awful season?

    I think you gotta predict what’s going to happen knowing that sometimes young players go backwards. I think this is the year Hall explodes. Several reasons–he’s already doing well, first overall pick tend to go supernova, as Lowetide to say, in their second or third year. Nugent-Hopkins, though? Still struggling against tougher match-ups. Posted difficult to duplicate powerplay statistics. I think those are factors of a player who is going to post some offense, but not quite as much as last year.

    Seriously, I would flip the RE of Nugent-Hopkins and Gagner. They seem right in reverse.

  65. PaperDesigner says:

    DSF: No, it isn’t.

    Hopkins:
    Home 13-21-34
    Road 5-13-18

    Landeskog:
    Home 6-17-23
    Road 16-13-29

    Henrique:
    Home 10-13-23
    Road 6-22-28

    Read:
    Home 11-8-19
    Road 13-15-28

    Hodgson
    Home 11-11-22
    Road 8-11-19

    Hopkins was outscored on the road by the other 4 top 5 rookies and some by a very considerable margin.

    All of them, except Hodgson, were better on the road than at home.

    So, let me get this straight. you think that an 18 year old rookie posting a .56 points per game ratio against tough competition is not impressive because you took four of the more impressive NHL rookies this year who, with the exception of Landeskog, are all several years older than him, and they score more?

    And you don’t bother to contextualize the statistics across number of games played, which is important to do, since, you know, Nugent-Hopkins played significantly fewer games than the rest of them? And contextualize according to age, since, you know, 18 year old players tend to have a lot more development ahead of them than 21 year olds and 24 year olds?

    See, this would be a moot point if you had decided that your point was that you wanted to contextualize his numbers. Or if your point was something along the lines of “he’s still got a ways to go”. Or if the argument you used wasn’t intentionally skewed to simply support an argument which the numbers you were looking for to support your conclusion actually weakened your argument (the games played factor) until you edited them to your convenience.

    But no, the original point you were disputing was that .56 points per game was good for the player, and somehow, that is BAD for a player because, well, I don’t know how to answer that. Why would you suggest something as ridiculous as a player already scoring at an acceptable rate for a second line forward is a bad thing, or unimpressive? Why would you try to refute a post that, in spirit, was pointing out how the weakness of the player was still pretty good? Why would you refute something that is, I don’t know, so common sense, with statistics that you had to skew in order to get your points across?

    The reason why everyone gets so angry with you, DSF, is that you are either incapable or unwilling to see things from any viewpoint but your own. When you decide to dislike a player, he could magically turn into Sydney Crosby and you still would find things to dislike about him. You intentionally either skew or ignore or dowplay statistics that support a player, because you seem to have confused negativity with objectivity, and contrarianism with insight. Having those tendencies are not altogether intolerable in of themselves, but when you combine that with what seems to be a pathological need to always be right, it’s highly irritating, and tends to get in the way of any kind of decent discussion.

    This post is so obvious in its flaws that I have trouble believing you do not see them. In short, you’re intellectually dishonest, and that’s a pattern across your posts in general, not just this one.

  66. DSF says:

    PaperDesigner,

    Heavens to Betsy…what a load.

    PPG Home/Road

    Hopkins – 1.16…0.56

    Landeskog – 0.56…0.71

    Henrique – 0.64…0.74

    Read – 0.49…0.70

    Hodgson – 0.63…0.40

    PPG/Home

    Hopkins – 1.16

    Henrique – 0.64

    Hodgson – 0.63

    Landeskog – 0.56

    Read – 0.49

    PPG/Road

    Henrique – 0.74

    Landeskog – 0.71

    Read – 0.70

    Hopkins – 0.56

    Hodgson – 0.40

    OFF Zone Starts

    Hopkins – 62.5

    Landeskog – 54.8

    Hodgson – 52.3

    Read – 50.8

    Henrique – 47.4

    So that gives you some context (cough, excuses) for Hopkins play on the road, now lets look at the Road PPG in their rookie season for some other #1 overall picks (forwards) in the past few years.

    Crosby – 1.15

    Ovechkin – 1.08

    Hall – 0.76

    Tavares – 0.71

    Staal – 0.61

    Stamkos 0.57

    *Hopkins* – 0.56

    Nash – 0.45

    Staal – 0.43

    Now, you can see Hopkins is slightly below Stamkos who was relegated to the boonies by Barry Melrose is in rookie season and is a fair bit behind Jordan Staal who certainly wasn’t playing top minutes and PP like Hopkins.

    It’s pretty obvious Hopkins was getting a huge push at home (and I agree he should have) but only putting up 19 points on the road and getting murdered by tougher opposition is hardly “good”.

    What irritates me, is guys like you who ignore the obvious and cry for “context” every time the numbers don’t fall your way.

    If you want to have a “decent discussion” perhaps you should address the facts first.

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