STARS AT OILERS G10 (12-13) 6.2.13

As an old timer Oiler fan, about 20 years ago I began asking younger fans how they came to be enchanted by the Oildrop. It especially became an issue when encountering young people who didn’t see the Glory team. Almost without fail, it was the Marchant OT goal. I don’t know how long youngsters lay dormant as Oiler fans before the Marchant explosion, but it has been one long sustained primal scream since the puck went past Moog.

Sometimes I’d hear about “the save” that went down just before the goal (still don’t know how he saved it).

The fun thing about a new coach is that each injury, each challenge offers us a new opportunity to see inside the coaching strategy. Calling up Arcobello is not the traditional Oiler way (VandeVelde’s a ‘big body’) but this isn’t the man who put JF Jacques on a feature line. There are lots of options:

  • Move Hall down to the Gagner line and Yakupov to the Nuge line (keeping the RW’s as is).
  • Moving Smyth or Hall to C.

Ben Eager has also been cleared, so there may be more than two moves tonight (Whitney in for Fistric, likely Arcobello in for Horcoff).

It’s way too early, but what the hell let’s run my RE against the tsn projections to see who is kicking ass and who is coming up short:

RE (tsn projections) (plusminus)

  1. Sam Gagner 43, 11-21-32  (48, 16-37-53) (+17)
  2. Nail Yakupov 45, 11-15-26 (48, 27-11-38) (+10)
  3. Taylor Hall 39, 21-19-40 (48, 11-37-48) (+1)
  4. Jordan Eberle 44, 14-18-32 (48, 16-21-37) (-2)
  5. Ales Hemsky 35, 8-24-32 (48, 16-11-27) (-17)
  6. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins 42, 13-26-39 (48, 0-27-27) (-18)

Gagner, Yakupov and Schultz the younger are beating reasonable to a pulp, I’m close on Hall and Ebs, but Hemsky and the Nuge projections were too strong. Ironically, the one everyone thought was an insult (Eberle) has been accurate to this point.

Long way to go.

A few game notes:

  • The Oilers offense blooms on the PP. They rank 3rd in the NHL with 12 PP goals. 
  • Dallas leads the league in times shorthanded, 50.
  • Oilers special teams are a gem so far. 4th in PP, 5th in PK. Horcoff’s injury will impact both disciplines.
  • The FO percentage of Nuge, Gagner and Lander has been talked about a lot lately, but I talked for a former pro player yesterday who said part of the problem is the wingers don’t engage enough on a ’50-50′ draw that is in doubt. I’m going to look for that tonight.

I’m not as concerned about faceoffs as I used to be, and as usual it’s that damn Tyler Dellow and his slide rule. Quoting a Dellow article from a couple of years back:

  • I did the math to calculate the expected penalty kill percentage of a team that wins 65% of the initial faceoffs when killing penalties and a team that wins 35% of them. I am, if anything, being generous with those bounds. I come up with the difference in faceoff percentage resulting in the 65% team killing penalties at an 81.2% rate and the 35% team killing them at an 80.1% rate. Over 266 opportunities, we’re talking about 2 or 3 goals.

I’m not saying it isn’t a concern, but the Oilers shouldn’t fold like a cheap suit tonight either.

I read somewhere that Horcoff won’t need surgery but is gone for a month. I know it isn’t in the Oilers management DNA to address need in the early part of the season but this would be a time to throw these kids a lifeline. Perhaps an expiring Mark Streit-type contract (although for a center, obviously. Pick up Streit too if he’s there) or someone they could use in Belanger’s role starting next season.

If they make a move, or if the Nordic line continues to impress, I think the seeds are sewn that will send Darcy Hordichuk off the roster. Hordichuk has been holding on to a roster spot all this time while play 2 and a half minutes.

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414 Responses to "STARS AT OILERS G10 (12-13) 6.2.13"

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  1. delooper says:

    The oilers just need a little more duct tape and crazy glue to hold their veterans together and they’ll be fine.

  2. jp says:

    striatic:
    meanwhile Sheldon Souray with a Goal, an Assist and +2 on the night.

    Woodguy:
    Good GM’s add good players.

    And bad GM’s pay good players to play elsewhere?

    I hate that the Oilers are still playing that guy. Part of me wishes he was never bought out and was still playing in Hershey.

  3. Gret99zky says:

    Tambi is on the phone right now.

    Reminding Lowe there’s only 38 more games until the draft.

  4. BONVIE says:

    I don’t know about saying Whitney is done because of his ankle injury, when I watch that play I see a D-man getting beat because he does not have the drive, he didn’t have to worry there about Jagr beating him to the outside just had to ensure he didnt take the puck to the front of the net. unfortunately that is exactly what he let Jagr do, Whitney bascially played him half heartily like it was a Wednesday night Rec game. With that kind of effort that is why you get a letter taken away and sit games, has nothing to do with the injury. It has to do with compete level. I am not sure you want a veteran with compete level like that.

    On that note I am not one of those guys that talk about how good Paajarvi, skates and how he should be playing with better line mates, when in reality he is playing on the perimeter all night, shooting from the outside with no traffic. I have to say Paajarvi has been playing much better as of late and taking the puck toward the net. Tonight may have been a break through in that he drove the net all night long, cycled the puck and played the body, never shied away from traffic areas, and drew a big penalty using his speed. I see his play as a huge positive right now because offence is on its way if he continues to play this way.

    The Oilers need to start watching the waiver wire a little closer, we got to be able to get a player better than Hordichuk off the wire if not sign Arnott for reasonable money and try him out. Unless Arnott is totally missing a foot i know he will better than Hordichuk.

  5. jfry says:

    Wow. The best overtime scorer in history scores a seeing eye short sided and we’re all over Whitney because he was playing for position knowing jäger already had the puck retrieval won…wow… We’re a fickle bunch.

    Didn’t lt post a link where we all wanted jäger for his ability to be a total game changer in just seconds? Whitney will never be what he was, but there’s some narratives going on here that are ridiculous, like replacing his 18 mins with buffet Peckham. C’mon!

    Our d is looking like a point of strength right now compared to some other areas, sadly.

  6. Suntory Hanzo says:

    bookjLe,

    I can never even properly log in with my iPhone

  7. Wes Mantooth-11 says:

    BONVIE,

    @JFRY
    It’s not that Whitney doesn’t have the drive or will or the competitive nature, that somehow over the summer he lost the ability to compete.

    The guy can’t pivot or turn correctly, what coaches refer to as fast feet, light quick movements that are second nature to defensemen, Whitney simple can no longer do them. He was beaten cleanly by a 41 year old player who half stepped him to the side.

    If there is a next time, watch Whitney on the second PP unit. Yakupov will be around the face off dot or the half wall waiting for and expecting a pass, Whitney will move the puck in the complete opposite direction regardless if the players on that side are covered or not.

    He simple can’t make that pass across his body fast enough, he can’t pivot that way.
    I feel for the guy, as I felt the same way for Bo-Jackson, but he’s a train wreck out there.

  8. VOR says:

    While I agree Whitney’s compete on the Jagr goal wasn’t up to much I have to ask, what moron keeps putting him out there with Nail Yakupov? Didn’t we all once believe in putting players in a position to succeed?

    I want to preface this by saying I love Yak. I think he will be a truly great player and God is he fun to watch. However, he is one of the worst defensive forwards I have ever seen. Presumably he will get much, much better. But for now he is horrific.

    Nail Yakupov – on the ice for 10 goals scored against the Oilers – that makes him the fifteenth worst forward in the NHL in this category (per minute he is 21st worst)
    Ryan Whitney – on the ice for 6 of Yakupov’s goals against

    Ryan Whitney – on the ice for 8 goals against – that doesn’t make him the worst defenceman on the Oilers
    Nail Yakupov on the ice for 6 of Whitney’s goals against.

    Ryan Whitney with Nail Yakupov Goals Against per 60 minutes played = 11.32
    Ryan Whitney without Nail Yakupov Goals Against per 60 Minutes played = 0.614 1 goal against in the 98 EV strength minutes he has played this season without Yak.

    Oddly, putting two defensive liabilities (and Whitney has always – with the exception of the brief stint at the start of 2010-11 – been at best average in his own end of the ice) on the ice together sometimes leads to goals against.

    Flashback two nights- Ralph puts Yakupov on his wrong wing in overtime against Vancouver and the Oilers lose the game when Yak gets lost in no man’s land. Whitney isn’t even playing and we get a bad outcome. Courtesy the Nail. The same guy who threw away the Colorado game by twice not picking up the man coming out of the penalty box which in both cases was his man.

    So why does Krueger have Yakupov playing on his wrong wing, the side of the ice Whitney plays, with Whitney, when Jaromir Jagr is on the ice tonight? Anybody? And we are bitching at Whitney about his compete level. How about our coach’s stupidity level?

  9. LMHF#1 says:

    While the kids + Hemsky gave a real effort tonight, Ryan Smyth’s play was flat-out embarrassing. He bares responsibility for bad plays leading to both Dallas regulation goals, a horrible penatly and some of the weakest giveaways I’ve seen in a long time. Just awful.

  10. BONVIE says:

    VOR,

    Good point I did notice it was Yak out there with Paajarvi on the other side I believe. That does seem like a bit of a challenge for the D pairing of Potter and Whitney further to that I can’t see why Krueger wouldn’t be able to roll two sets of D pairings through OT, of course that should be the Shultz pairing and the Petry-Smid pairing.

  11. Wes Mantooth-11 says:

    VOR,

    Two nights ago it was Eberle who cheated for offense, leaving a single defenseman down low against 3 Canucks, the forth was covered by Yakupov……. advance stats don’t show you that, however go onto the Oilers web site and Krueger explains the gaff by Eberle.

    The goal tonight is all on Whitney.

    Whitney can’t play anymore, it’s that simple, watch the play, Jagr side steps him, all Whitney can do is flail his stick at him.

    Watch the replay, Yakupov has his man as does Paajarvi.

    As for easy minutes for a rookie, there are no easy minutes on the Oilers.

    That liability goes to Tambellini not Krueger, he’s the one that put this defense together then expected it to be able to compete on a level field, when your top pairing is Smid and Petry…..well.

    With only 3 + players on the roster, I’m guessing this is a team issue not because Yakupov is bad in his own end, where you going to hide him with this defense?

  12. russ99 says:

    Yakupov is a 19 year old dynamic offensive rookie who played in Sarnia last year. To expect NHL quality defensive play out of him now, or even next season is really a stretch.

    You can say the real issue with this roster is not enough stable vets to go around to help out all the kids or better stated, our offensive weapons. The second line should be matched up with our best defensemen, and the kid line should have quality defensive help too. Plus we should have better veterans in the bottom six as to not saddle the top line (and to a lesser extent, the second line) with all the tough minutes, and be able to chip in some secondary offense.

    To score goals, sometimes you need to cheat on offense and have cover on defense to do so. One of Renney’s failings last year was to have one forward “cheat back” and not commit all three forwards (and at least one defensmen) to gaining and keeping puck possession in the offensive zone. That’s how our talent is going to get to the spots they need to be to make quality plays and score goals, which sure ain’t happening now.

    Can’t say why we didn’t get some better players for those roles in FA in July or stocked OKC with some better near-NHL talent under the age limit like other AHL teams do. Maybe the lockout prevented that… But we better see a commitment to do so moving forward or we need a new GM, or a new whatever is calling the shots for Tambellini.

    One thing about Whitney, I’m glad we’re finding out about his physical limitations and lack of compete level now rather than after giving him a 5 year $30M extension this summer…

  13. Zipdot says:

    Is it that time yet? To start skipping a few games and get in a few episodes of “Air Crash Investigations” instead of flailing d and nonexistent o? Usually around Feb?

    There’s almost always next year.

  14. Woodguy says:

    VOR:
    While I agree Whitney’s compete on the Jagr goal wasn’t up to much I have to ask, what moron keeps putting him out there with Nail Yakupov? Didn’t we all once believe in putting players in a position to succeed?

    I want to preface this by saying I love Yak. I think he will be a truly great player and God is he fun to watch. However, he is one of the worst defensive forwards I have ever seen. Presumably he will get much, much better. But for now he is horrific.

    Nail Yakupov – on the ice for 10 goals scored against the Oilers – that makes him the fifteenth worst forward in the NHL in this category (per minute he is 21st worst)
    Ryan Whitney – on the ice for 6 of Yakupov’s goals against

    Ryan Whitney – on the ice for 8 goals against – that doesn’t make him the worst defenceman on the Oilers
    Nail Yakupov on the ice for 6 of Whitney’s goals against.

    Ryan Whitney with Nail Yakupov Goals Against per 60 minutes played = 11.32
    Ryan Whitney without Nail Yakupov Goals Against per 60 Minutes played = 0.614 1 goal against in the 98 EV strength minutes he has played this season without Yak.

    Oddly, putting two defensive liabilities (and Whitney has always – with the exception of the brief stint at the start of 2010-11 – been at best average in his own end of the ice) on the ice together sometimes leads to goals against.

    Flashback two nights-Ralph puts Yakupov on his wrong wing in overtime against Vancouver and the Oilers lose the game when Yak gets lost in no man’s land. Whitney isn’t even playing and we get a bad outcome. Courtesy the Nail. The same guy who threw away the Colorado game by twice not picking up the man coming out of the penalty box which in both cases was his man.

    So why does Krueger have Yakupov playing on his wrong wing, the side of the ice Whitney plays, with Whitney, when Jaromir Jagr is on the ice tonight? Anybody? And we are bitching at Whitney about his compete level. How about our coach’s stupidity level?

    Miss the first and second period?

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