OKC V TEXAS 27.12.12

During the holidays, a conversation got going about Jean-Francois Jacques and his AHL success, and using that as a backdrop to compare his boxcars to Tyler Pitlick. I think the key difference in the two rookies is how they were used.

If we break each player’s rookie season down into disciplines we get this:

Jacques as an AHL rookie by discipline:
overall: 65, 24-20-44
EVENS: 65, 11-10-21
PP: 65, 13-9-22
PK: 65, 0-1-1

Pitlick as an AHL rookie by discipline:
overall: 62, 7-16-23
EVENS: 62, 4-13-17
PP: 62, 3-3-6
PK: 62, 0-0-0

I don’t see a tremendous difference at even strength, and you can’t blame a guy for not getting PP opportunities. This season, Pitlick’s quality of ice has been cut back even more, because the lockout dumped minutes eaters like Jordan Eberle and Taylor Hall in the collective laps of these prospects. In an ordinary season, those two plus maybe Hartikainen are in the NHL, so Pitlick would be getting the push.

I think its too early to give up on him, and expressed it here.

  • TOI and role currently suggests his offensive numbers don’t reflect real ability. The offense this season isn’t terribly askew compared to last season. Pitlick’s even number a year ago (62, 4-13-17 .274ppg) isn’t that far ahead of his current number (14, 0-2-2 .143) and a two assist night in his next game would bring him to level. We don’t have TOI totals, but based on visual evidence I’m going to say he has not taken a step back offensively. His rookie numbers were disappointing, but it was his first season against men. We don’t really know if he could have made a step forward against normal AHL depth. 

Worthy of a follow: @tweetneal and @Artful_Puck who are sending great info about OKC Barons our way daily. Terrific and worthwhile blogs too (you can click through from their twitter page). Anyway, via Patricia at Artful Puck comes news the Barons have called up Erick Lizon, who is a fair comp for Ogie Ogilthorpe. Suspect this has to do with all of the kneeing and targeting of Hall/Eberle that’s been going on lately.

I don’t know where Pitlick and Hamilton and even Martindale will play tonight–Martindale may not play, he often doesn’t–but I do think we need to wait and see what they do with 500 at-bats before throwing them overboard.

Even if that means waiting until next season when the NHL is back in session.

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83 Responses to "OKC V TEXAS 27.12.12"

  1. sliderule says:

    The lack of goal scoring relative to what he produces is of concern.

    Didn’t he get a push on PP and ice time at start of season?

  2. PaperDesigner says:

    I continue to be skeptical of Pitlick as any kind of NHL player. Although the continued lack of opportunities for him and Hamilton are disappointing.

    Really, I think the only player who hasn’t shown much offense on the farm I am still holding out hope for as a NHL prospect is Lander, who has already established that he can score in a pro league. He simply hasn’t done it on this continent yet. Maybe the kid should get some more powerplay time? I mean, they can’t leave out Hall, Eberle, Nugent-Hopkins and Schultz out for the full two minutes, can they?

  3. Lowetide says:

    Sliderule: very slight iirc, maybe two or three games. He and Paajarvi started high and then settled below.

  4. Radman says:

    Big opportunity for Pitlick and Hamilton. There will be a need for an inexpensive Jones type bottom 6 winger right away. This should be their window of opportunity for one to step forward, before the organization seeks out that desired skill set elsewhere. Might be more difficult at the moment in OKC given the roster.
    LT, I like your idea of giving them some time in Stockton as “go to” guys. Framed in the right way, might be a way to fire up some confidence and offense, instead of viewed as a negative.

  5. OilTastic says:

    i think once the lockout ends, and RNH, Hall, Ebs are all gone from OKC, there will be spots for Hamilton, Pitlick, maybe Rajala to hopefully develop their offensive skills…and i would just leave Magnus and Lander down there for the season unless there is an emergency call up opportunity.

  6. FPB94 says:

    I don’t know why they made Rajala come over if he’s going to be stuck tearing the rot in the ECHL.

    Perhaps we overrated a lot of guys : So much guys don’t look good right now.

    Only Pelss seems to be a good surprise off the callup.

    You wish Alex Plante could turn the corner : Seems like he won’t.

    At the same time it’s a great lesson against wasting a draft on Coke Machines like we they just did:

    Only a small portion of your guys will pan out, and you never have too much talent.

  7. Kris11 says:

    As we all know, once you get to the late first round (except in some drafts) none of the picks are anything but longshots.

    I’d say Pitlick still has a chance based on pedigree and not awful ES results. He was never going to be a scorer and now we know it. He may still be able to round into a decent player who can see time in the top 9 or as a 4th line tweener. Same with Lander. Hamilton and Martindale are looking less likely to succeed than that, and are close to being the sort of prospect you can cut loose without regret. Rieder is still a possibility, and Teubert looks like he could be a third pairing tweener type.

    But all of Hartikainen, MPS, and Marincin are looking good as top 9/top 4 possibilities, which is great. Bigos is still a question mark. Klefbom, Gernat. Etc. Etc,

    And one of these guys -after fading- or a lesser known may come out of nowhere, Brodziak style.

    Anyway, it’s hard to complain about what you are graduating or will graduate from the AHL when Schultz is doing a Bobby Orr on the AHL and we have Petry and Dubnyk and Hartikainen (and MPS really) just developed or developing, too.

  8. jfry says:

    spoiler alert:

    smyth scores with that huge slapper of his!!!

  9. Kris11 says:

    Rajala is sort of a lockout victim, though not in an awful way. He should be playing easy minutes behind some strong AHL veterans in OKC (with occasional trips to CA), but Hall, Eberle, MPS, and Hartikainen have pushed the wingers down the depth chart.

  10. FPB94 says:

    He’s just scoring at a very high pace.

    The kinda pace i’ve seen guys recover from being in the ECHL to go into the NHL type.

    (Like Desharnais)

  11. SK Oiler Fan says:

    Hmm, Random Spengler Cup thoughts…Smytty and DD looking good. Barker looking like same old same old.
    Byron Richie looks like he’d be worth a training camp invite for the 4 line.
    Something isn’t right in the hockey world when Joe Thornton is getting paid to play with Davos vs Canada and Smytty goes over to Europe to be captain Canada for the umpteenth time for peanuts.

  12. skidplate says:

    Dubnyk is playing fantastic. Midseason form. He certainly deserves to play the rest of the way.

  13. SK Oiler Fan says:

    Actually, DD looking fantastic for his 1st game in forever.
    Edit: See above-beat me to it

  14. Ozzieoiler says:

    Well deserved shut out for DD. He had to earn it too. Made some crucial SH saves.

  15. SK Oiler Fan says:

    The Spengler is such a wierd tourney. The zebras aren’t wearing stripes. They have some goofy advertising on their shirts that makes them look like 2 legged cows.

  16. PunjabiOil says:

    I’m more aggressive in writing off prospects – I think Pitlick has a nominal chance to make it. The window of opportunity to trade him was missed IMO.

    If you look at the second round selections in the last few years – Lander, Musil, Hamilton, Marincin, Pitlick, Moroz – only Marincin has a shot to be a difference maker in the NHL.

    All of which tends me to favour either using the 2nd round picks to trade up, or trading them for NHL players like Sutter used to (Tanguay, Bourque, etc.)

    The only guys on the Barons that I think have a decent shot at being regular NHLers (aside from Hall, Eberle, Schultz, RNH) are:

    1. Magnus Paajarvi-Svensson – underwhelming production however
    2. Teemu Hartikainen
    3. Martin Marincin

    and that’s it. Let’s revisit this prediction in 3 years.

  17. DeadmanWaking says:

    I always suffer from The Shipping News problem with these stories about prospects treading water or … shipping water.

    Billy: It’s finding the center of your story, the beating heart of it, that’s what makes a reporter. You have to start by making up some headlines. You know: short, punchy, dramatic headlines. Now, have a look, what do you see?

    [Points at dark clouds at the horizon]

    Billy: Tell me the headline.

    Quoyle: [mousy] Horizon Fills With Dark Clouds?

    Billy: [In a low-register basso profundo voice] Imminent Storm Threatens Village.

    Quoyle: [even mousier] But what if no storm comes?

    Billy: [In a high-register basso profundo voice] Village Spared From Deadly Storm.

    For example, there are two ways to tell the Lander story. Let’s suppose he’s a prospect with potential who ultimately finds his level as a tight-checking third liner and part-time secret weapon (the role Malhotra played on the Nucks). One version is that he was pushed too fast (storm threatens village) was dumped back down and regained his form (storm spares village) then finally finds his level.

    Another version is that management played a shell game with his development path. He got bumped up despite not yet having found his offense at the NHL level, and acquitted himself fairly well for a rookie on the defensive side of the puck–every prospect invests a year in achieving this particular Boy Scout Badge (even Nugent has not yet achieved this merit award). Usually this comes after already finding a bit of NHL-level scoring touch. In Lander’s case, perhaps he was viewed as being more ready to hone his defensive skills facing the highest level of competition, than to perfect his offensive skills a level down. He didn’t arrive here on the standard path, so why shouldn’t his path forward be a little unconventional? If the Katz group saw the lock-out coming, they didn’t play the Lander card all that badly. He’s probably not overly worried about his defensive positioning, and now he’s focused on taking his lumps driving to the net with an extra year of physical development to endure the bruises.

    For some reason, hockey blogs are 100% certain that a bailing-grade 5v5 scoring rate amounts to “storm threatens village” as if their couldn’t possibly be another way to tell the story.

    And then we end up with the self-sustaining view that good management is the science of headline minimization. Never let a prospect look like he’s bailing, no matter how much he’s learning or progressing.

    I’m not saying I think Lander was handled well. It’s hard to judge. I can’t recall ever hearing a word from the outbound horse’s mouth about his reasoning for keeping Lander up for the entire year. Nevertheless, I’m sure he had one, and that it was soberly discussed among the management group, perhaps with loud dissenting voices. Dissenting voices are the sound of good management, not bad management. I’d be more worried if it wasn’t discussed. Nothing leaked out either way, so far as I know. We look at the dark cloud and make wild guesses.

    What I’m certain of, however, is that not every dark cloud threatens every helpless village, except in the daily fish wrap. (I hasten to add that Lowetide is admirably contrarian: MacT, Horc, Smid, JFJ, Pouliot. Even Hemsky in some circles. Sometimes he writes “Storm misses village by less and less”. Goodness me, no fish wrap here.)

    I’m amused at how much the scoring touch is equated to having the gift for mathematics: you either have it at age 19, or you’ll never have it. Defense is regarded as something a player can continue to absorb well into their second contract, more like exposition or vocabulary. The presumption seems to be that a lost year of mathematics is nearly unrecoverable, whereas hard time with the thesaurus can transpire Smidgeon by smidgeon.

    There are Five Lights. Lander might yet prove to be a world-class roll of gaffer tape whether he contributes to the overwhelming glare or not. Billy would not be happy with me. I’m a terrible student of what’s obvious to everyone else. I stubbornly resist instruction.

  18. hunter1909 says:

    Anton Lander: “the future captain of the Oilers” Horcoff apologists.

    Hunter1909 Hockey Theory 101 says: Hockey is a game where the team with the most talent usually holds a 60% chance of winning any given contest.

    The Big Five hold all the talent in the world between them. if memory serves, Sather’s gang never seemed to care too much about any other player ever scoring, so long as they could fill a designated role. These OKC AHL types, well, most of them are never going to succeed. Numbers and injuries game.

    Weird thing is, that most NHL coaches haven’t got a clue what I just wrote.

  19. Ducey says:

    Hunter1909 Hockey Theory 101 says: Hockey is a game where the team with the most talent usually holds a 60% chance of winning any given contest.

    So a 60% chance of winning 51% percent of the time.

    Are you going to share the secret formula for judging the team with the most talent?

  20. prairieschooner says:

    During the holidays, a conversation got going about Jean-Francois Jacques and his AHL success

    Anybody else wonder what goes on in the Lowetide household?

  21. Lowetide says:

    No, it was in the thread below. In my house, hockey gets discussed between my wife and myself. Sometimes my son will say “did the lockout end?” but its only because he wants to be nice and talk about something the old man is interested in.

    They really got into it in 2006, though. Man they were excited. We all were.

  22. jake70 says:

    “Sometimes my son will say “did the lockout end?” but its only because he wants to be nice and talk about something the old man is interested in.”

    I would do the same for my dad (rip) but I would insert instead “is the Bacardi’s gone?” lol…just kidding……..sort of…

  23. Lowetide says:

    Oklahoma City Barons ‏@OKC_Barons

    Lines for #OKCBarons: Hall-Arcobello-Eberle; Paajarvi -Lander- Hartikainen; Byers-Green-Pitlick; House-VandeVelde-Lizon

  24. Lowetide says:

    Jim Byers ‏@jim_the_lip

    Erick Lizon and Luke Gazdic just had a brief chat during warmup. It didn’t look overly friendly.

  25. Lowetide says:

    Oklahoma City Barons ‏@OKC_Barons

    Tonight’s #OKCBarons scheduled scratches: Davidson, Ringwald, Hamilton, Tyrvainen, Cornet, Martindale, Pelss & Henry

  26. Lowetide says:

    Oklahoma City Barons ‏@OKC_Barons

    Defence pairings for #OKCBarons: Deck & Schultz; Fedun & Teubert; Marincin & Plante

  27. Lowetide says:

    The nuclear deterrent is in, on the 4line. so, we should expect a long PK and extra work for someone when the 4line rotates through.

  28. Lowetide says:

    Eberle (Schultz, Arcobello)

  29. fuzzy muppet says:

    This one could get a bit dirty. VDV goes up high on a questionable hit

  30. dessert1111 says:

    Give Arco a cup of coffee in a 2nd or 3rd line role. If he keeps his head above water, it’s that much easier to trade Gagner in a D package if the opportunity arises. Could be a stop gap for a half a season if nothing else. And hopefully that’s the only time I talk about trading Gagner unless it actually happens :D

  31. mustang says:

    Does somebody have a feed?

  32. mustang says:

    thanks LT

  33. Suntory Hanzo says:


    My feed has been dead for about 5 minutes. Anyone esle?

  34. Lowetide says:


    Hall (Arcobello, Schultz)

    both goals on the PP./

  35. dessert1111 says:

    The AHL live feed appears to be down…hopefully is fixed by the 2nd. This happens far too often, and seemingly especially at Barons games. What the hell :(

  36. Suntory Hanzo says:

    Video back on just in time to see dudes on tricycles on the ice…

  37. jonrmcleod says:

    Eberle shooting 50% tonight.

  38. Lowetide says:

    Hartikainen and Lander both blatantly gave that puck away during that shift. Lordy.

  39. Lowetide says:

    And then Marincin makes a bad decision in the Texas end and it’s 2-1. Lordy.

  40. dessert1111 says:

    goddamn marincin. rookie yeah yeah yeah but happens way too much these days.

  41. dessert1111 says:

    that shift was about 2:30, oh my

  42. Lowetide says:

    Barons are lollygagging in this period. No effort unless it’s an offensive opportunity. Holy hell what a terrible period.

  43. Bruce McCurdy says:

    I hope Nelson is tearing Hall a new one after that rockhead pass. That’s as dumb a play as I’ve seen all year.

  44. Bruce McCurdy says:

    He could try that pass 10 times and 9 of them would end up the same way that did, a jailbreak 3-on-1 the other way

  45. Lowetide says:

    The first period was good for the Barons, although they were outshot and there were some loosey goosey plays. This period sees a return of the 74-75 Washington Capitals. Awful, awful effort.

  46. Lowetide says:

    and now a beautiful goal! Hartikainen from I believe Lander and Paajarvi.

  47. OilLeak says:

    Nice scoring play by the Nords.

  48. Lowetide says:

    I have never in my life seen more asses in the air weak ass stick reach attempts in the neutral zone! Get in there!!!!

  49. OilLeak says:

    That was a nice play by Paajarvi, first time I’ve seen him cut across the net like that.

  50. YoungOil says:

    Nice few shifts by the Nords. Just shows you how important depth and secondary scoring is.

    Also, first post. Long time reader, though. Good work, LT!

  51. dessert1111 says:

    OKC play by play guy Jim Byers just described Marincin’s play as of late pretty succinctly: terrible blind pass.

  52. Lowetide says:

    Young Oil: Thanks!

    That’s it, I like Deck. Nice player.

  53. OilLeak says:

    Geezus that pp was ugly.

  54. Lowetide says:

    Hall from Arcobello and I believe Eberle.

  55. OilLeak says:

    Much better PP.

  56. OilLeak says:

    Hall from Arcobello and I believe Eberle.

    Great play by Arcobello, he sold everyone on the shot

  57. Lowetide says:

    Hall from Arcobello. Sweet Jesus he’s a beauty.

  58. OilLeak says:

    Damn, Campbell with the save of the game off Hall

  59. YoungOil says:

    Huge save. Keeps the Stars in the game now.

  60. Lowetide says:

    Barons won. That save by Campbell was crazy. Did Hall just drill it into his glove? I like Deck, but would like to see him play with another partner just to make sure this isn’t another Schultz mirage (Marinincin).

  61. OilLeak says:

    Man, that Hall is a bum, he should have had that 4th goal.

  62. dessert1111 says:

    I like Deck quite a bit too. What are the chances a player like him gets a 2-way NHL deal? I don’t even think he has an AHL contract yet, but it would be a shame to have another team pick him up with a more lucrative contract deal. Only 22 years old, undrafted, could be a classic late bloomer. It’s been enough solid games now that I think it’s a legit thing to speculate about.

  63. OilLeak says:

    Barons won. That save by Campbell was crazy. Did Hall just drill it into his glove? I like Deck, but would like to see him play with another partner just to make sure this isn’t another Schultz mirage (Marinincin).

    Campbell stretched out his glove across the crease and snatched the Hall shot, it was a Lucky save, but it was still amazing.

  64. Schitzo says:

    Completely unrelated, but I just learned that the “Mattingly, shave those sideburns” episode was actually recorded prior to him getting called out in real life. Go figure.

  65. YoungOil says:

    Hall now sits 16th in league scoring, Arcobello 27th. 4 players in top 30.

  66. Schitzo says:

    Completely unrelated, but I just learned that the “Mattingly, shave those sideburns” episode was actually recorded prior to him getting called out in real life. Go figure.

    Further to the above, http://deadspin.com/5886723

  67. Lucinius says:

    So, Yakupov got flak for calling Canada a dirty team…

    We’ll be seeing our second Canadian player receive a suspension more than likely with the head to the head by Lipon.

    Canada isn’t playing overly well thus far; especially on our side of center. Still not impressed with Hamilton. Turn-over/mistake prone. Second line is overly risky in the defensive zone for all that they are good offensively.

    Third line isn’t a very good checking line, imo. Good on face-offs, less so afterwards.

    And Canada is losing 2-0.. with about 3 shots on the Slovak net?

  68. Lucinius says:

    And a second 5 and a game for Canada, could see two players suspended due to this game. Camara, however, doesn’t really deserve to be, imo. Clean hit. Charging at most, no direct contact with the head.

  69. Lucinius says:

    Down 3-1 now; 5 on 3 goal. Subban moving right to left and it goes right between the legs.

    Strome likes to un-do his good offensive work with a stupid penalty.

  70. Lucinius says:

    And 3-2 with Canada getting a 5 on 3 goal; RNH with the gimme second assist.

  71. Lucinius says:

    Tied at 3 now on a good PP goal by the second unit. I feel sorry for Nagy, the Slovak netminder; he’s been very good tonight.

  72. Lucinius says:

    And Scheiffle gets the go-ahead goal. Good work by the entire RNH line there, but RNH doesn’t get a point on it.

    Scheiffle’s goal an important one given how up and down his game was.

  73. Lucinius says:

    5-3 Canada, gorgeous goal by RNH for his second point.

  74. kurri_17 says:

    Thanks for keeping the posts going Lucinius… been up watching as well. I must say I was worried there early on – this game is a great prep for the next two though.

  75. Lucinius says:


    I try, heh.

    I was actually thinking they were going to lose when it was 3-1, but the team really started to turn it on at that point, especially the defense.

  76. Lucinius says:

    Still tied for first in the TSN challenge! Of course, the way Russia is playing that’ll change later today as I have them picked over the Americans.

    So far the surprises for me have been this Slovak team and how flat the Russians look. Pressure, maybe? But they just don’t look good. Was also surprised to see the Fins lose, even though I’d picked the Czechs over them, with how good they looked in the pre-tournament games.

  77. Lowetide says:

    I didn’t see the game (too tired to stay up) but the coverage here and on twitter this morning suggests the Canadians maybe needed this wakeup call.

  78. Lucinius says:


    Very much so. The first.. 30-32 minutes or so of the game it was staggering to see how well the Slovaks penned in the Canadians wherever they were and played that counter-punch hockey style.

    The team largely woke up after that, but outside of the pk still showed some weakness in the defensive zone — they just spent less and less time there.

  79. Lucinius says:

    Makarov with the Ranford skate save to deny a near guaranteed goal by the Americans. If Russia is to win this they’ll need him to stand on his head with how Russia has been playing.

  80. Lucinius says:

    Yakupov with the (second) assist on the Russian powerplay goal for the 1-0 lead.

  81. Lucinius says:

    Interesting to see Yakupov on the Russian 2nd or 3rd pk unit, unlike RNH for Canada who almost never sees pk time.

  82. Lucinius says:

    Wow. Swedes barely eke out a victory against the Swiss, in a shootout. Year of the near upset so far.

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