RE 12-13 REVISITED AND REVISED 3 (GF-GA)

The NHL season is less than two weeks away, and we have a general idea about the Oilers roster. A small change or two is possible, but we’ve heard in the last 24 hours that players who might have seemed available may not be due to a more lax cap than expected and other factors.

For our purposes–and to the ire of many who read this blog–I have not made any changes in the numbers from the summer, aside from adjusting them to 48gp. Why? Guys (and ladies), I just don’t think there’s any realistic way to assess things at this instant and defend a decision. If I choose Colten Teubert to replace Andy Sutton, the GA goes up significantly (Sutton was a pretty good defenseman, Teubert is another unproven one) and although that may well happen I don’t have any real evidence aside from Teubert being one of 8 defensemen invited to the camp.

Steve Tambellini may end up changing the entire scenario with a signing or trade. That’s the problem.

In the summer, we’re in ‘fin’ mode. NHL teams have addressed their needs, their target additions are now roster players and we can mull over the possiblilities. Even though RE requires a certain amount of guessing, there’s still a thread of logic that shines through when the sands are not shifting. Currently, the sands are about to shift. My “guessing” at a solution ruins the RE. If Colten Teubert wins the Sutton job, it’ll mean he played so well the organization felt secure in sending away Theo Peckham or Corey Potter. If he plays well all year, my RE would suggest otherwise and again skew what we might expect from reasonable.

It is reasonable–based on all we know now and knew in August–for Colten Teubert to spend the season in OKC. Andy Sutton’s injury was unknown to us in the summer, and for me its best to proceed as if we are unaware of it. I will do a prediction post before the start of the season when the roster is set (but it won’t be RE).

THE TOP 6F (78 goals)

NAME

GP G A PTS
TAYLOR HALL 39 21 19 40
RYAN NUGENT HOPKINS 42 13 26 39
JORDAN EBERLE 44 14 18 32
SAM GAGNER  43 11 21 32
ALES HEMSKY 35 8 24 32
NAIL YAKUPOV 45 11 15 26

I’ve projected the Oilers to run these men as the top 6, with Gagner centering Hall and Hemsky while the Nuge plays between Yakupov and Eberle on the team’s soft minutes line. These numbers are from the summer–Eberle’s projection is unchanged despite AHL performance in 12-13–same with Yakupov in the KHL, Hall in OKC and on it goes.

THE BOTTOM 6F (36 goals)

RYAN SMYTH 40 9 13 22
SHAWN HORCOFF 44 6 10 16
MAGNUS PAAJARVI   39 3 9 12
RYAN JONES 41 7 5 12
ERIC BELANGER 45 6 6 12
TEEMU HARTIKAINEN 29 5 5 10

I have Horcoff and Smyth playing with Paajarvi and Belanger between Jones and Hartikainen. Actually, I have Yakupov, Paajarvi and Hartikainen all over the roster (couldn’t make up my mind) but settled on this group for the RE. I’m certain there will be a lot of movement, with a nice spot for any of those wingers being the Horc-Smyth pairing coach Krueger mentioned on several occasions. Either way, the current situation looks like Hartikainen has pushed ahead of Paajarvi, and based on how they were used in the AHL this season it might behoove one to change the numbers. As with Eberle above, I don’t think there’s any good reason to do it aside from the current wind direction. We remain blisfully unaware of Ryan Jones eye injury.

EXTRA FORWARDS (5 goals)

NAME GP G A PTS
BEN EAGER 29 3 2 5
LENNART PETRELL 31 2 3 5
DARCY HORDICHUK  26 0 1 1

I don’t think these guys will be regulars but anything is possible. Krueger has to get better performance out of his bottom 6, and my guess is he’ll go with two veteran centers, two veteran wingers and then Harski and Paajarvi. Eager could replace Paajarvi or Hartikainen, but the team won’t be better. Hordichuk is the least able player on the roster. Petrell is door number one for me, I’m not really certain why they re-hired him, so am prepared to be amazed or have my suspicions confirmed but there is no middle ground.

DEFENSE (12 goals)

NAME GP G A PTS
JEFF PETRY 42 2 15 17
RYAN WHITNEY  39 2 15 17
JUSTIN SCHULTZ 44 4 11 15
LADISLAV SMID 43 1 5 6
NICK SCHULTZ 47 1 5 6
THEO PECKHAM 33 1 3 4
ANDY SUTTON 31 1 1 2
COREY POTTER 7 0 1 1
TAYLOR FEDUN 1 0 0 0
COLTEN TEUBERT 1 0 0 0

I have Smid-Petry (with Petry getting plenty of PP time) and Whitney-Schultz (with both getting PP time) and again these were made before the AHL season began. Potter, Fedun and Teubert are the candidates to fill in Sutton’s role, in style and spirit Teubert would be the logical match but in fact Potter is the better option. It goes without saying this assumes good health for Whitney (39 games but his defensive performance is a question) and perhaps I’m testing fate by suggesting 4 of the top 6 will play in 40+ games.

GOALIES (131)

  • DEVAN DUBNYK: 32, 2.60 .917
  • YANN DANIS 10, 2.90 .906
  • NIKOLAI KHABIBULIN 6, 3.17 .897

I think Dubnyk will improve slightly from a year ago–remember this included Sutton on the D–and that Danis plays more and performs better than Khabibulin. I don’t think there are any surprises there, the club could help itself tremendously with a strong PP performance in the coming months.

2012-13 PROJECTION (48 GAMES)

TOTAL GOALS FOR: 131

TOTAL GOALS AGAINST: 138 (including 7 EN goals)

GOALS PER GAME AVERAGE: 2.73 (2.52 last season)

GOALS AGAINST PER GAME AVERAGE: 2.88 (2.83 last season)

I have the Oilers improving in GF-GA season over season from minus 25 (207-232) to minus 7 this season (131-138), albeit in 48 games (both seasons include EN goals for and against). Anyway you slice it the projection calls for an improvement. Is it enough to make the playoffs?

Up next: NORTH BY NORTHWEST

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26 Responses to "RE 12-13 REVISITED AND REVISED 3 (GF-GA)"

  1. bookje says:

    Oops, you did that thing where you forget about half of Eberle’s points again.

  2. jp says:

    44-28-36-64. NHLE = 100% of AHL offense. Not exactly an RE either :)

    Luckily we can stop complaining about Eberle’s RE now and let him show us where he’s at starting next Saturday!

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

    Well at least we finally get to see how your RE pans out LT :) I particularly like your prediction for Hemsky, if he can get back to near a point per game pace then Oiler fans are pretty spoilt. Probably makes him easier to trade if he gets back to that level, though I’d rather that didn’t happen (I accept it might inevitably have to happen though).
    _____

    On another note, if anyone was wondering when the next NHL mass vacation is, please see the sidebar on this link: http://icenationuk.wordpress.com/

  4. russ99 says:

    With Sutton out and probably done, that means we have to rely on one of Peckham, Potter, Fedun or Teubert playing 7-10 minutes a night.

    Unless Peckham has taken a step closer to Matt Greene, I think that the Oilers definitely need to add one more defenseman, especially if Justin Schultz has some growing pains at the NHL level, which is possible after seeing a few bad games from him in OKC.

    Should be interesting to see what’s out there with teams dealing with cap issues this year and more interestingly this summer.

  5. WeridAl says:

    Brutal idea to pair Whitney and J.Schultz together, N.Schultz would be a better partner. As much as I like Whitney, N.Schultz is the better defender and that’s what you need paired with J.Schultz.

    From the looks of things your top 6 will get beat up most nights, and possible critically hurt. You need to add some size to the mix, at least to protect your young stars. Look what happen with Barons, they needed to add some grit, because opposing players were taking runs at some Barons.

  6. jp says:

    WeridAl,

    Fair point, but 2 puck movers when they’re playing well (as with Schultz and Marincin in OKC for the first couple of months) can do some real damage too. I agree it could get messy if Whitney can’t play defense any better than he did last season though.

  7. jonrmcleod says:

    From Corey Pronman via Twitter yesterday:

    30+ pts in 48-50 games? Low. RT @DwayneB13: @coreypronman Chances Schultz continues his production and finishes with 30 plus points?

  8. oilswell says:

    A good try at justification, but if you can navigate the guesswork reasonably in August then why can’t you do the same in January? Best assessment with all available data, so why throw out new available data such as the Sutton retirement?

  9. jp says:

    oilswell,

    I think the point that rosters are more set in Sept. than they are right now due to likely trades/FA signings is correct. The only case that I think warrants adjustment due to what we’ve seen since Sept. is J. Schultz. I don’t think anyone on the planet expected him to step into pro hockey and have the impact he has so far, and at very least he’s earned himself a much greater chunk of the PP time in Edmonton right off the bat.

    For guys like Teubert, Peckham and Potter, I think it’s actually a very fair assumption that the lost Sutton games will likely be replaced not by them, but by a newly obtained defenseman. The assessment that Teubert is not ready for full time NHL action, and shouldn’t be expected to suddenly be ready simply because Sutton got injured, I think is the correct one. If you accept that there’s no reason for the RE to change.

  10. gd says:

    I think we forget that just like the Oilers have huge question marks like Dubnyk and Whitney, pretty much every team has a lots of question marks as well, including who knows who is in game shape and who has “Tkachucked” the lockout. With the short season and so many elite prospects in the draft, I’ve got to think any team that has a bad first 10 games will “pull the chute” and become sellers. I think the Oilers should wait until then and hopefully pick up the needed vet Dman or whatever else is needed.

    I’ve got to think at least 5 teams will be sellers by the 20 game mark. I look at a team like Dallas and think trying to get Texas native Seth Jones is more appealing than finishing in 11th and picking 10th. Let’s face it, tanking for 3 months is a lot easier than tanking for 6 months.

  11. Bos8 says:

    I think the big question is if Eager is willing to play some smash mouth hockey. I’d like another one as well. Just a tough third liner that’s a good skater. Hall seemed to pick his spots a bit in OKC. This is where Kreuger might earn his spurs, Rennie didn’t think that way, I don’t know if Kreuger will. There’s an awful lot of pussycats on this team

  12. Lowetide says:

    oilswell:
    A good try at justification, but if you can navigate the guesswork reasonably in August then why can’t you do the same in January?Best assessment with all available data, so why throw out new available data such as the Sutton retirement?

    Sure you can do that, and I will do that (mentioned it in the post). However, for the purposes of RE I prefer not to alter the original because imo it is unfair to the spirit of it.

  13. Jordan says:

    @ BOok;e: Lol. Nice.

    Re: Petrell

    Seems clear to me he was the insurance policy if all of the young forwards failed to devleop – just a little “shat the bed” insurance.

    He’ll look very good down in OKC.

    Either that, or he’s Sutton’s replacement. D:

  14. DeadmanWaking says:

    No way we tank. Krueger’s job-security season-standing cut line looks about like this:
    2011-2012: #14 baseline
    2012-2013: #11
    2013-2014: #8-9
    2014-2015: #5-6

    There’s a lot of variance this season, so we could well squeak in. Or not. So I averaged it out to low bubble. Krueger needs this team to climb 2.5 to 3 rungs per season in his first three seasons behind the bench.

    It will take another lottery ball this season to have much hope of the pick tilting the ice the right direction by fall 2014. To tank this season, he’d have to improve the team by 4 to 5 rungs per season, season over season, for the following two seasons. It could happen, but Krueger isn’t likely to bet his job on it. Poker players tend not to jump levels on the way up. Each level provides plenty to learn no matter how much talent you have.

    Krueger has reasonable latitude this season with how he slots Yak into the line up. This is new and improved. Last season on the road:

    4-6-0 November
    0-6-0 December
    1-5-1 January

    Already in November, the kids looked outmatched against top defenders in the Boston/Detroit/Chicago nightmare and there was reason to fret. Even this season, with another year of age and experience under their belts, Nuge-Hall-Ebs could find the Chara match-ups heavy sledding. But Yak will be sheltered somewhere else, even for road games, if Krueger so chooses. (A perk Nugent did not enjoy in his rookie season as I recall it.)

    Last season, I had the feeling about road games that our line-up made the other team’s top defensive pair too damn effective. That’s the deal breaker for me on whether this season makes a big step forward: can we find a way to grind the other team’s top defensive pair to a stand-still with a danger brigade while our skill guys and snipers slotted onto other lines do some damage against weaker 2nd or 3rd pair match-ups?

    Suppose the other team’s 2nd pair is the classic solid-vet plus hot-prospect-still-wet-behind-the-ears tandem (a la the proposed Schultz duo).

    Defense is a tough position to learn. I think Yak gets the better of this situation. Imagine Yak out there against the kind of 3rd pair we’ve put on the ice in recent memory (we can’t be the only team with suspect players at the bottom of the depth chart, can we?)

    Whether Yak is skating on the right side or the wrong side, he’s got more of a body and less of learning curve than Nugent had last year at center as a slightly-built 18 year old.

    I just think that adding one more elite guy does a world of good in slowing down the road trip bathtub vortex. The right way to think of this is that we’ve added the current Taylor Hall.

    Yak = last year’s Nugent
    Nugent = last year’s Eberle
    Eberle = last year’s Hall
    Hall = extra asset year over year

    An extra Taylor Hall 2013-edition (very likely improved over last year’s if that shoulder holds up) is a pretty big deal in tilting the match-ups on a nasty road swing.

    The experience curve might not be quite like that, but who is yet to say?

    Last season, the lineups that worked at home did not work on the road. I wonder whether Krueger draws up separate charts home and away. That’s the first thing about Krueger’s bench-management I’m eager to see.

    (Yes, I’m aware that the early road trip disaster coincided with the fade to black of the Khabibulin miracle resurgence. I choose to view that as a double exposure.)

  15. M Parkatti says:

    Hey LT — I started a new Oilers blog over the weekend, http://www.boysonthebus.com. and I just put a post up on a similar subject, namely the progression of the 3rd year oiler wingers. Thought you might find it interesting:

    Progression of the 3rd Year Oilers

    Cheers, MP

  16. rickithebear says:

    gd: I think we forget that just like the Oilers have huge question marks like Dubnyk

    Yes the HUGE questin mark.
    1. Will he be the top 5 goalie he was the last half of the season
    Or
    2. Will he just be the equal to carey price he was the last two seasons.

  17. RexLibris says:

    A little off topic, but I noticed that Khaira had a goal and two assists in a game around Christmas. He was quiet on the following weekend (standard back-to-back weekend games in NCAA), but he does seem to be progressing nicely for a rookie playing in the college ranks.

    Also, Erik Gustafsson is sitting at 32 gp, 5-10-15 pts, 30 PIMs and +14 in the SEL second tier.

    McCarron, on the other hand, has 6pts in 14 games and has managed 40 PIMs in that small number of games played. I hope he’s getting himself an education.

  18. FPB94 says:

    rickithebear,

    Except that time Price logged 40 W’s and 72 Games at ,923

  19. stevezie says:

    rickithebear: Yes the HUGE questin mark.
    1. Will he be the top 5 goalie he was the last half of the season
    Or2. Will he just be the equal to carey price he was the last two seasons.

    Are you saying that you think he will for sure be great, or are you actually arguing that Carey Price is mediocre? You’re not saying that, right? Because that’s insane?

    EDIT: Not saying he’s a perennial all-star, but Price followed a Vezina-esque season with a rather run of the mill #1 goalie season. That he did it in Montreal, where Sports Illustrated has argued being the starting goalie is the most mentally taxing job in sports, also says nice things. Price is nice.

  20. Woodguy says:

    Tyler has an interesting post up today:

    http://www.mc79hockey.com/?p=5163#comments

    He suggests the Oilers were *better* than their place in the standings last year.

    He’s such an Oilers hater…..

  21. jp says:

    RexLibris:
    A little off topic, but I noticed that Khaira had a goal and two assists in a game around Christmas. He was quiet on the following weekend (standard back-to-back weekend games in NCAA), but he does seem to be progressing nicely for a rookie playing in the college ranks.

    Also, Erik Gustafsson is sitting at 32 gp, 5-10-15 pts, 30 PIMs and +14 in the SEL second tier.

    McCarron, on the other hand, has 6pts in 14 games and has managed 40 PIMs in that small number of games played. I hope he’s getting himself an education.

    Khaira and Gustafsson are looking good for sure. Gustafsson also got off to a slow start – his offense in the last ~15 GP is actually quite excellent. I don’t recall the exact breakdown, but something like 10 Pts in his last 13 GP.

    And I’m not going to try to make any kind of case for McCarron, but he had an atrocious start to the season. I think he’s 3-1-4 in his last 4GP. Just the tiniest glimmer of hope, but it beats his 10-0-2-2 start…

  22. RexLibris says:

    jp,

    It’ll be interesting to see what happens to Gustafsson over the remainder of the season.

    I see Kyle Bigos is rounding into form, as well. 54 PIMs in 12 gp. That sounds like him. I’d really like to see him make the jump to the AHL next season. A blueline that sports Bigos, Gernat, and Marincin shouldn’t lack for size.

  23. jp says:

    RexLibris,

    Who knows if Bigos can move well enough to be a decent pro, but hopefully they sign him to see.

    And don’t forget Musil (and possibly Kelfbom) on the AHL blueline. Add in Teuber and it’ll be a monstrous bunch. Many of them aren’t bone-crushers, but they certainly shouldn’t get pushed around too much!

  24. rickithebear says:

    FPB94,

    yes he has 5 qualified years (30 starts)
    One year of 38 wins in 70 games a .540win % and .923 save %
    And 4 years of .44 win% and .913 save %
    For 6.5M

    Dubnyk 2 qualified years.
    .42 win% with .915 Save% and .926 save% frpm jan. last year.
    For 3.5M

    TSN Kool AID!
    Carey Price Kool Aid!

  25. stevezie says:

    What you’re saying is silly. Your rational appears to be that because Price took less time to establish the level of play which Dubnyk has only hinted at to this point in his life, Dubnyk is better. Let’s put those stats another way:
    By 25 Price has collected several seasons of starter-quality goaltending and one 72 game all-star calibre season.
    At the same age Dubnyk had played 35 cherry picked games and put together the same respectable stats that Price has establishes as his basement. A year later Dubnyk can say he played three good months.
    Good for Dubnyk, let him start! You can even call Price overpaid. But as to who is the straigh-up better goalie- wait you didn’t even say Dubnyk was bettter, you said Price was bad. During those years when all Price could manage was a measley .913 Sp Dubnyk was struggling in the minors.

    It is no contest as to who has had the better career to this point, and who the smart money is on for being better in the future. Once again, Price is a year younger.

  26. oilswell says:

    I think the point that rosters are more set in Sept. than they are right now due to likely trades/FA signings is correct. The only case that I think warrants adjustment due to what we’ve seen since Sept. is J. Schultz. I don’t think anyone on the planet expected him to step into pro hockey and have the impact he has so far, and at very least he’s earned himself a much greater chunk of the PP time in Edmonton right off the bat.

    For guys like Teubert, Peckham and Potter, I think it’s actually a very fair assumption that the lost Sutton games will likely be replaced not by them, but by a newly obtained defenseman. The assessment that Teubert is not ready for full time NHL action, and shouldn’t be expected to suddenly be ready simply because Sutton got injured, I think is the correct one. If you accept that there’s no reason for the RE to change.

    Hmm. And i had thought I actually understood LT’s RE better than many. I’m trying to distill some principles from this thread: either the REs will be more reasonable by piecemeal ignoring new facts (Jones’s eye is fine but Hartikainen gets a push), or possibly that historical purity trumps topical relevance.

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