TRACTION

Teemu Hartikainen has traction in his efforts to win a job as an NHL regular, so an injury at this point is entirely unwelcome. Coach Ralph Krueger was not ruling Harski out for tomorrow night’s game against the LAK, but the big Finn missed a lot of Saturday night’s game after being hit by Colorado’s Patrick Bordeleau in the 2nd period (shoulder). Hartikainen’s injury is just one item that could impact the Tuesday lineup:

  • Ryan Jones is very close to returning from his eye injury.
  • Lennart Petrell–who was struck in the temple during warmup Saturday night–is a concussion worry.
  • Theo Peckham’s rehab is either done or done soon.

The timing is poor for Hartikainen who was getting 10.5 minutes a night and some special teams opportunities. Time away may allow veteran Ryan Smyth or Jones to grab his position, and Hartikainen has not established himself as an NHL player. He’s been physical (leads Oilers forwards with 16 hits) and has posted a couple of assists in the first 14 games.

paajarvi15

Petrell’s injury allowed Magnus Paajarvi to draw into the lineup, and he ended up scoring the game winner in a classic ‘Black Ace Makes Good’ story. Paajarvi is about where Hartikainen is–in the NHL but not established in the NHL–and helped his cause with his second game winner of the season while also matching his goal total for all of last season (2).

Ryan Jones’ return will require a transaction, the roster looks like this currently:

  • Goalies (2): Devan Dubnyk, Nikolai Kabibulin
  • Defense (8): Ladislav Smid, Jeff Petry, Nick Schultz, Justin Schultz, Ryan Whitney, Corey Potter, Mark Fistric, Theo Peckham
  • Center (4): Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Sam Gagner, Eric Belanger, Chris VandeVelde
  • Left Wing (5): Taylor Hall, Ryan Smyth, Nail Yakupov, Teemu Hartikainen, Ben Eager
  • Right Wing (4): Jordan Eberle, Ales Hemsky, Magnus Paajarvi, Lennart Petrell

In order to get Jones onto the roster, Edmonton will have to IR someone (Petrell unlikely, Hartikainen unknown), send someone down (very few candidates, VandeVelde, Hartikainen and Paajarvi the obvious ones) or send away someone (Peckham or Whitney possible).

We should find out some of this today.

 

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78 Responses to "TRACTION"

  1. ashley says:

    I wonder about balancing the first two lines a little. It’s great fun marvelling at the trio of RNH, Eberle, and Hall, but I’m thinking that balanced scoring from each line would be more valuable to the team, especially on the road. Say:
    93-14-64
    89-83-4

  2. Lowetide says:

    Ashley: That would be my preference too, but it didn’t look good in a small look-see earlier.

  3. GordM says:

    A shoulder injury? It’s like the secret handshake to get into this club we all call the Edmonton Oilers.

  4. jonrmcleod says:

    After the last game, I don’t see how you can consider (at least right now) breaking up the 93-14-4 line. I think you also have to consider the players’ happiness, and I think RNH, Eberle, and Hall would not be happy about one of them being switched to another line.

    I wish Petrell the best health-wise, but I think at this point he should be an injury-replacement player only.

  5. jp says:

    Something’s gotta give on the back end. I think Whitney or Peckham will be gone real soon (hopefully both with an improvement coming back). They aren’t carrying 8 D by design.

    I agree with Jon – I’d keep the 1st line together for now. They’re coming off 2 dominant games. They’re in a grove right now – I’d ride that for a while rather than break it up.

    I think more 2nd/3rd line shuffling is in order. Maybe break 89-83 up and (assuming 56 is out) run:
    91-89-64
    94-20-83

    There’s lots of other plausible sounding options though:
    91-89-83/94-20-64
    94-89-83/91-20-64
    64-89-83/94-20-91

  6. Woodguy says:

    Van Diest has a good piece up about PRV

    http://www.edmontonsun.com/2013/02/17/oilers-paajarvis-excellent-adventure

    This quote made me happy: “I think I’m doing well and the coaches are giving me good feedback. But scoring goals always gives you a huge boost.”

    RK isn’t a sideburns coach thank various gods.

    As for Teddy, according to Ireland, he should be on his way back to EDM:

    “Also, defenceman Theo Peckham has completed his two week conditioning stint with the Oklahoma City Barons of the American Hockey League, which means he’ll be making his way back to Edmonton.”

    http://www.edmontonjournal.com/sports/hockey/edmonton-oilers/Edmonton+Oilers+coach+Ralph+Krueger/7978319/story.html

    I think that when Jones is ready, the Oilers will trade either Teddy or Whitney.

    I think VDV stays up as he can win a draw and PK and not give up too much on the 4th.

    I would think that management would want to watch Teddy in a few games first though.

    The fact that the Great Communicator RK didn’t even talk to Teddy this year until the day he went for conditioning doesn’t bode well for him, but Whitney getting HS’d and looking ineffective might trump that.

  7. godot10 says:

    Why break up the first line when it is giving the opposition fits? With the first line as is, there is no way the opposition can sustain momentum.

    Fix the second line with one of the plethora of depth forwards. Ryan Smyth, Ryan Jones, Yakupov, Hartikainen, Paajarvi. Maybe even Horcoff on left wing when he is healthy (because Belanger is playing better). Experiment till one finds who is the best match for Hemsky and Gagner.

  8. JorgeR04 says:

    If we are going to break up the top line, how come no one ever suggests dropping Eberle down to the 2nd and brining Yakupov up? I think it would balance the lines a little better, and I would love to see Hall and Yak together.

    93-4-64
    89-14-83

    Eberle and Ganger could have some chemistry and it would make the other team choose who they want to match for first line strength.

  9. godot10 says:

    What don’t you guys like about having a line that makes the other team s%^ in their hockey pants?

    The Oilers finally have one, and everyone wants to break it up.

  10. DBO says:

    Agreed on keeping 1st line together. They love playing together and I think they play the best together. Let the 2nd line find some chemistry, which will happen once Yak gets more comfortable. Also, i wonder if we change gagner’s role. He will get his PP time, but what if we looked to balance out lines 2 and 3. Once Horc comes back this becomes more plausible.

    Nuge line
    Yak-Belanger-hemsky (yes I know belanger is something of a black hole, but at least he can get the dam puck out and he has been playing better, and horc can play here when healthy)
    Smyth-Gagner-MPS (A second line that would be even better at playing the toughs, with Smyth and MPS two of our better defensive forwards)
    Harsk/Eageri-Vande-Jones (not much Offense, but would never hurt you and could play a checking role, and belanger slides here when Horc returns)

    No idea if it would work, but Hemsky still plays with an offensive player in Yak, but has someone to back them up. Is it just me or does it seem too crowded when there are 3 players attacking and two of them are Yak and Hemsky? Weird i know, but i think they would do better just the two of them rushing the puck and attacking with a third man cheating for defense and picking up the leftovers once the D backup and crash their own net. yak seems confused and unsure unless it’s 4 on 4.

  11. Bar_Qu says:

    JorgeR04,

    Yes, if Hall drives the bus like we know he does, then having Yak on his line shouldn’t be as big an impediment as for 89-83. And Eberle should gel with the two vets.

    I assume it hasn’t been tried because the coaches see something we don’t.

  12. Lowetide says:

    I’d keep the top line together. I felt early that combining Hall-Hemsky would give the team a power line, but that trio is doing it wih Eberle.

    Which allows the club to use Hemsky on the 2line, an extreme, extreme luxury.

    Oilers have too many wingers once Jones gets back.

  13. DBO says:

    Lowetide,

    So Tambo’s history tells us he won’t trade a forward, he’ll just send his two AHL kids down and roll with vets, even though Harski and MPS are better players right now. Unfortunately, if we just go with the vets, we will have zero 3rd or 4th line scoring. Willis suggests at COH that smyth play with Gagner and hemsky (a true tough minutes line) and have Yak play down on the 3rd (maybe belanger and Harski/MPS).

    Nuge line
    Smyth-Gagner-Hemsky
    Harski-Belanger-Yak
    Eager-Vande-jones

    MPS to minors, Petrell and eager swapping depending on matchups. Seems like the way the org will go.

  14. Woodguy says:

    Willis has a post up about moving 64 off of 89′s line:

    http://blogs.edmontonjournal.com/2013/02/18/the-edmonton-oilers-are-best-served-by-nail-yakupov-playing-outside-the-top-six/

    Willis has some good points:

    1) 89-83 are seeing fairly tough comp. 2nd toughs for sure
    2) Rookies don’t always help out properly in the Dzone, and we have certainly seen that

    Where I disagree with Jon is this:

    “Both Hemsky and Gagner traditionally fare pretty well in terms of shots or scoring chances for and against, even when they aren’t scoring. Barring a steep decline for either player – something that seems extremely unlikely given their age and scoring performance so far – the likely explanation is simply that Nail Yakupov isn’t a good enough two-way player at this point to face the opposition that line sees every night.

    To me, there are two problems with that statement.

    1) It doesn’t account for Gagner and Hemsky not being good enough in their own zone to break cycles and turn the puck the other way. By my eye they haven’t. Especially Gagner. Basically it just lets 89-83 off the hook for their Dzone performances.

    2) The WOWY numbers for both 89 and 83 are BETTER with Yakupov than without.

    To be clear, I agree with Jon that given 83 and 89′s track record, to expect them to be better going forward is reasonable, I just don’t like the poor performance dumped on Yak’s lap.

    We are dealing with really small samples here, so the number can swing wildly. That being said:

    Gagner has played 107:39 w/ 64 and 48:22 w/o 64. (using zone adjust 5v5)

    Shot differential with Yak = .455
    Shot differential without Yak = .385
    Yak without Gagner =.390

    Source: http://stats.hockeyanalysis.com/showplayer.php?pid=399&withagainst=true&season=2012-13&sit=f10

    Hemsky has played 102:53 with Yak and 44:49 without him (zone adjusted 5v5)

    Shot differential with Yak = .459
    Shot differential without Yak = .393
    Yak without Hemsky = .400

    So laying the poor 5v5 performance at Yak’s feet doesn’t really wash.

    That being said, I agree with Jon in that bringing in Smyth to play there is probably the best solution in the short term. 83 and 89 need a LW to help in the Dzone, and 94 is the best suited for the role on the team.

    I have been watching these numbers for 83 and 89 from the start and they are getting much better lately. It will take a few good games to cleanse the stink of some horrid games off the overall totals.

    All that being said, I go with:

    4-93-14
    94-89-83
    91-20-64
    55-54-56

  15. Woodguy says:

    Lowetide,

    Oilers have too many wingers once Jones gets back.

    If they don’t trade a Dman, my bet is 91 going down to OKC simply because he can.

    I might try 91 at 4C just to see though.

  16. Captain Obvious says:

    1. Do anything but send Paajarvi down.
    2. Play Paajarvi with Gagner and Hemsky
    3. Profit.

  17. DBO says:

    Woodguy,

    love those lines. Looks like best balance we have had, and I got a laugh seeing the 54-55-56 line. gotta be an nhl first having mid-fifties in order line. plenty of nickname possibilities

  18. sliderule says:

    You would have thought they would have tried 91 at center down on the farm.

    He likes to play high in o zone which is good for center and in his own end there is less emphasis on hitting and more on assisting D in corners..

    Don’t know how he would be on face-offs but on Oilers the standard is low.

  19. jp says:

    Lowetide:
    I’d keep the top line together. I felt early that combining Hall-Hemsky would give the team a power line, but that trio is doing it wih Eberle.

    Which allows the club to use Hemsky on the 2line, an extreme, extreme luxury.

    Oilers have too many wingers once Jones gets back.

    I think they should move Jones if they can get a 3rd or equivalent. He’s UFA after the season, Kruger doesn’t seem to love him (based on the HS last year), and the Oilers do have enough other options on the wing now. I’m all for depth, but if you can get an asset for a guy who’s not in the plans long term (I don’t think he is), isn’t a key piece now, and who likely won’t be here in a few months, then do it.

    I know you can’t just trade spare parts for good players, but I wonder if Jones and Peckham could form the basis of a trade for a 4/5 D. They both have some value.

    Agree with WG though that we’ll probably see MPS back in OKC.

  20. Lowetide says:

    WG: I’d argue small sample size but do agree that the line isn’t getting it done and the numbers prove it. Where’s that lazy Russian?

  21. Jonathan Willis says:

    Woodguy,

    I’ve seen the WOWY numbers with and without Yakupov, but what keeps me from putting too much trust in them is usage. Vic’s site isn’t up yet, so it’s impossible to check, but I suspect we’d find that 83-89 without Yakupov are playing more difficult minutes than they are with him. The fact that Yakupov’s at 55% ozone starts while Hemsky/Gagner are just over 50% is suggestive, though hardly definitive.

    By eye, I’ve actually been really impressed with Hemsky in the defensive zone, though like you I have mixed feelings about Gagner’s work there. I really don’t mean to put all of that line’s struggles in Yakupov’s lap, either – but I do think he’s the weakest link and would like to see how they perform with a guy like Smyth.

  22. Woodguy says:

    When looking through those numbers for 89/83 I noticed something odd among the D pairings.

    Using 89′s numbers (very similar to 83′s) with the Dmen, there is a pairing that sticks out like a sore thumb, but its not the pairing you think.

    89′s 5v5 TOI w/ Dmen and the shot dfferential

    Petry 61:26 – .468
    Smid 53:30 – .447
    J.Shulz 52:33 – .356
    N.Shultz 50:25 – .372
    Whitney 40:22 – .478
    Potter 29:12 – .354
    FIstric 23:27 – .542

    For some reason 89.83 just isn’t working well (small sample size alert again) with the Shultzes and fall into ECHL territory with Potter as well.

    If you look at 93′s numbers as a proxy for that line, it comes up like this:

    J.Shultz 82:19 – .574
    N.Shultz 67:52 – .552
    Smid 58:47 – .523
    Petry 57:16 – .500
    Whitney 32:02 – .537
    Potter 22:51 – .581
    Fistric 22:23 – .514

    So 93′s line play well with everyone (duh), but 89/83 see a big drop off with the Shultzes.

    This lead me to look at who else drops off with the Shultzes.

    The answer is everyone. (see next post)

  23. Woodguy says:

    Here are every Oiler’s shot differential with Justin Shultz. I am using him to represent the Shultzes pairing.

    They are sorted by TOI together, but I removed it to make it readable.

    If you want to look at it yourself the link is here: http://stats.hockeyanalysis.com/showplayer.php?pid=1683&withagainst=true&season=2012-13&sit=f10

    I removed everyone who played less than 10min w/ J.Shultz

    Berate my sample size here ————————->

    SCHULTZ, NICK 48.4
    EBERLE, JORDAN 56.4
    HALL, TAYLOR 54.6
    NUGENT-HOPKINS, RYAN 57.4
    GAGNER, SAM 35.6
    HEMSKY, ALES 35.2
    YAKUPOV, NAIL 36.5
    HARTIKAINEN, TEEMU 46.7
    SMYTH, RYAN 42.1
    PETRELL, LENNART 37.5
    PAAJARVI, MAGNUS 46.2
    SMID, LADISLAV 42
    KHABIBULIN, NIKOLAI 42.5
    BELANGER, ERIC 39.5
    HORCOFF, SHAWN 40.7
    WHITNEY, RYAN 33.3
    LANDER, ANTON 53.3
    EAGER, BEN 29.4

    If Shultzes are not with the gifted line, the results are pretty grim.

    To show it more clearly, here is the same list that show how much better or worse each player does in terms of shot differential with the Shultzes:

    SCHULTZ, NICK -3.3
    EBERLE, JORDAN -6.1
    HALL, TAYLOR -4.9
    NUGENT-HOPKINS, RYAN -6.4
    GAGNER, SAM 11.1
    HEMSKY, ALES 11.8
    YAKUPOV, NAIL 11.6
    HARTIKAINEN, TEEMU 5.2
    SMYTH, RYAN 5.2
    PETRELL, LENNART 4.5
    PAAJARVI, MAGNUS -4.9
    SMID, LADISLAV 6.4
    KHABIBULIN, NIKOLAI 6.9
    BELANGER, ERIC 4.8
    HORCOFF, SHAWN 7.6
    WHITNEY, RYAN 11
    LANDER, ANTON -5.2
    EAGER, BEN 4.6

    So the gifted line + MPS and Lander are better with Shultzes, but everyone else seem be much better apart, especially the 2nd line.

    This is certainly some food for thought.

    Sheds some new light on the poor shot differential that 89′s line has as well.

    89/83 haven’t been great, but many hind bananas are being sucked when on the ice with the Shultzes compared to the other D.

    Hmmmmmmmm

  24. jonrmcleod says:

    Fistric has been very lucky so far. His PDO leads the team: 1065.

  25. Lowetide says:

    I think we need to see more. Gagner has never faced the toughs but to my eye had shown growth over the past seasons, and Hemsky is really a flat out good hockey player. I say this now–enjoy Hemsky to his fullest, because when he’s gone we’re going to miss him for a long, long time.

  26. Woodguy says:

    Jonathan Willis,

    Vic’s site isn’t up yet, so it’s impossible to check, but I suspect we’d find that 83-89 without Yakupov are playing more difficult minutes than they are with him.

    I’d argue that most of Yak’s time apart (besides last game) has been 4v4 and when the goalie is pulled. RK has had him with the gifted line in that situation often.

    I don’t think the QC between those situations is enough to make big difference, especially given the sample size.

    By eye, I’ve actually been really impressed with Hemsky in the defensive zone, though like you I have mixed feelings about Gagner’s work there. I really don’t mean to put all of that line’s struggles in Yakupov’s lap, either – but I do think he’s the weakest link and would like to see how they perform with a guy like Smyth.

    Agreed.

    89′s much weaker than 83 and he could use help and not a rookie on LW.

    Watching how 93 and 4 support each other to gain possession in the Dzone and make a small pass or two (or 4 skating it out) is much different than watching 83 and 89 in the Dzone.

    I don’t want to call it “cheating for offense”, but 89 seems to abdicate his responsibility when an Oiler has the puck instead of making sure they have control before heading north.

  27. DBO says:

    Lowetide,

    The scary part about Hemsky in another year is that if he is healthy the Org will have to make a decision about him. Would love to see our top 6 stay the same for the next 4 years, but I doubt Hemsky signs another 2 year value deal. which is prob all we will be able to fit into our cap with Shultz, Nuge, Yak, Petry and Dubnyk getting paid in 2 years.

  28. Jonathan Willis says:

    Lowetide,

    Sad thing is that this is probably Hemsky’s last full season with the Oilers.

    Too bad.

  29. Halfwise says:

    When Ryan Jones is ready to come back, why not IR Ryan Whitney? There is all sorts of video evidence that he can turn one way but not the other, or push off with one foot but not the other. Take a week, run whatever tests were needed, work through and decide what is the truth.

    Otherwise, we’re talking about trading damaged goods and it’s Colin Fraser to the Kings all over again.

  30. spoiler says:

    ashley:
    I wonder about balancing the first two lines a little.It’s great fun marvelling at the trio of RNH, Eberle, and Hall, but I’m thinking that balanced scoring from each line would be more valuable to the team, especially on the road. Say:
    93-14-64
    89-83-4

    This is an incredibly stupid idea that continues to have traction on this blog for no good reason. It’s bizarre. Every two days it comes up, even after failing miserably in a game.

  31. Ryan says:

    Lowetide:
    Ashley: That would be my preference too, but it didn’t look good in a small look-see earlier.

    Yeah, lots of people were pushing for those top six lines–Lowetide, Zona for two IIRC.

    Small sample size, but moving Hall off of line #1 hurt that line far more than it helped #2.

    For my 2 cents, it also hurt the second line since the addition of Hall put Gagner against the absolute toughs instead of 2nd toughs.

  32. spoiler says:

    Woodguy:
    Jonathan Willis,

    Vic’s site isn’t up yet, so it’s impossible to check, but I suspect we’d find that 83-89 without Yakupov are playing more difficult minutes than they are with him.

    I’d argue that most of Yak’s time apart (besides last game) has been 4v4 and when the goalie is pulled.RK has had him with the gifted line in that situation often.

    I don’t think the QC between those situations is enough to make big difference, especially given the sample size.

    By eye, I’ve actually been really impressed with Hemsky in the defensive zone, though like you I have mixed feelings about Gagner’s work there. I really don’t mean to put all of that line’s struggles in Yakupov’s lap, either – but I do think he’s the weakest link and would like to see how they perform with a guy like Smyth.

    Agreed.

    89′s much weaker than 83 and he could use help and not a rookie on LW.

    Watching how 93 and 4 support each other to gain possession in the Dzone and make a small pass or two (or 4 skating it out) is much different than watching 83 and 89 in the Dzone.

    I don’t want to call it “cheating for offense”, but 89 seems to abdicate his responsibility when an Oiler has the puck instead of making sure they have control before heading north.

    Till the Colorado game, RK wasn’t playing Yak with his linemates in the last shift of the game either. Might have been last two shifts at the beginning of the year. He protected the rookie and the game from a rookie error that would be overly-scrutinized by the media, then put him in 4 on 4 when the point was locked up and the kid could be a hero. Brilliant strategy. But means that Gags and Hemmer faced some tuff EV minutes without N64.

  33. Ryan says:

    jonrmcleod:
    After the last game, I don’t see how you can consider (at least right now) breaking up the 93-14-4 line. I think you also have to consider the players’ happiness, and I think RNH, Eberle, and Hall would not be happy about one of them being switched to another line.

    I wish Petrell the best health-wise, but I think at this point he should be an injury-replacement player only.

    Agreed.

    Even DSF who is getting better every day at sounding like an Oilers fan had a great quote at C&B about Petrell.

    Captain Happy said something to the effect of when you put a player with zero offense like Petrell on the ice, you’re basically forfeiting those minutes in a game even if he doesn’t bleed chances and PK’s well.

  34. spoiler says:

    Woodguy:
    Here are every Oiler’s shot differential with Justin Shultz.I am using him to represent the Shultzes pairing.

    They are sorted by TOI together, but I removed it to make it readable.

    If you want to look at it yourself the link is here: http://stats.hockeyanalysis.com/showplayer.php?pid=1683&withagainst=true&season=2012-13&sit=f10

    I removed everyone who played less than 10min w/ J.Shultz

    Berate my sample size here ————————->

    SCHULTZ, NICK48.4
    EBERLE, JORDAN56.4
    HALL, TAYLOR54.6
    NUGENT-HOPKINS, RYAN57.4
    GAGNER, SAM35.6
    HEMSKY, ALES35.2
    YAKUPOV, NAIL36.5
    HARTIKAINEN, TEEMU46.7
    SMYTH, RYAN42.1
    PETRELL, LENNART37.5
    PAAJARVI, MAGNUS46.2
    SMID, LADISLAV42
    KHABIBULIN, NIKOLAI42.5
    BELANGER, ERIC39.5
    HORCOFF, SHAWN40.7
    WHITNEY, RYAN33.3
    LANDER, ANTON53.3
    EAGER, BEN29.4

    If Shultzes are not with the gifted line, the results are pretty grim.

    To show it more clearly, here is the same list that show how much better or worse each player does in terms of shot differential with the Shultzes:

    SCHULTZ, NICK -3.3
    EBERLE, JORDAN -6.1
    HALL, TAYLOR -4.9
    NUGENT-HOPKINS, RYAN -6.4
    GAGNER, SAM 11.1
    HEMSKY, ALES 11.8
    YAKUPOV, NAIL 11.6
    HARTIKAINEN, TEEMU 5.2
    SMYTH, RYAN 5.2
    PETRELL, LENNART 4.5
    PAAJARVI, MAGNUS -4.9
    SMID, LADISLAV 6.4
    KHABIBULIN, NIKOLAI 6.9
    BELANGER, ERIC 4.8
    HORCOFF, SHAWN 7.6
    WHITNEY, RYAN 11
    LANDER, ANTON -5.2
    EAGER, BEN 4.6

    So the gifted line + MPS and Lander are better with Shultzes, but everyone else seembe much better apart, especially the 2nd line.

    This is certainly some food for thought.

    Sheds some new light on the poor shot differential that 89′s line has as well.

    89/83 haven’t been great, but many hind bananas are being sucked when on the ice with the Shultzes compared to the other D.

    Hmmmmmmmm

    I’ve watched the COL game 4 times now and agree with the above.15 has difficulty outletting and Gagner and Hemmer cheat for O. Bad combination.

  35. Ryan says:

    Woodguy,

    Great stuff! Is this a case of 89-83 not being able to play with the brothers from another mother

    OR are the Sx2 more likely to be out against top competition as our quasi top pairing?

    IIRC RK deploys forwards by zone and dmen by opposition.

    (Not a rhetorical question, actually curious myself)

    Woodguy:
    When looking through those numbers for 89/83 I noticed something odd among the D pairings.

    Using 89′s numbers (very similar to 83′s) with the Dmen, there is a pairing that sticks out like a sore thumb, but its not the pairing you think.

    89′s 5v5 TOI w/ Dmen and the shot dfferential

    Petry 61:26 – .468
    Smid 53:30 – .447
    J.Shulz 52:33 – .356
    N.Shultz 50:25 – .372
    Whitney 40:22 – .478
    Potter 29:12 – .354
    FIstric 23:27 – .542

    For some reason 89.83 just isn’t working well (small sample size alert again) with the Shultzes and fall into ECHL territory with Potter as well.

    If you look at 93′s numbers as a proxy for that line, it comes up like this:

    J.Shultz 82:19 – .574
    N.Shultz 67:52 – .552
    Smid 58:47 – .523
    Petry 57:16 – .500
    Whitney 32:02 – .537
    Potter 22:51 – .581
    Fistric 22:23 – .514

    So 93′s line play well with everyone (duh), but 89/83 see a big drop off with the Shultzes.

    This lead me to look at who else drops off with the Shultzes.

    The answer is everyone. (see next post)

  36. Bar_Qu says:

    Woodguy:
    Dowbiggin with a good article on the lack of good analysis on major networks:

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/sports/dowbiggin-malhotra-a-revolutionary-figure-in-the-game-of-hockey/article8785464/

    That is gold Jerry! Gold!

    Dowbiggin has always run counter-intuitive to the rest of the sporting world and done a great job of identifying sacred cows which need slaughtering. I happened to see his interaction with Kent Wilson and Dellow on twitter yesterday which seems to have been part of his research for this article.

    He makes a lot of great points, although he does descend to his usual “its Don Cherry’s fault” pov (a feud he started back in the late 90s, if I remember my reading of the Calgary Herald correctly).

    I also hadn’t thought about coming up with more TV friendly names for stats, but it makes sense – especially considering how vapid and dumbed-down our culture is.

  37. Henry says:

    DBO:
    Lowetide,

    The scary part about Hemsky in another year is that if he is healthy the Org will have to make a decision about him. Would love to see our top 6 stay the same for the next 4 years, but I doubt Hemsky signs another 2 year value deal. which is prob all we will be able to fit into our cap with Shultz, Nuge, Yak, Petry and Dubnyk getting paid in 2 years.

    I wouldn’t be too sure about Hemsky not signing a value deal. He keeps saying he likes being in Edm. He signed the last deal and the relief from him and the team was pretty evident. When he’s done this contract he will have made over $35M playing hockey. That will buy a lot of pogaca in Pardubice.

  38. Henry says:

    Woodguy,

    That shot differential analysis with the Schultzes and the Gagner line is fascinating. I hope Krueger has picked up on it.

  39. refmaksy says:

    jonrmcleod: After the last game, I don’t see how you can consider (at least right now) breaking up the 93-14-4 line.

    Attended my first Oiler’s game in some time on Saturday (I live in Calgary) and could really see in person how 14-93-4 are really a step above everyone else in talent level, I say keep them together!

  40. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Woodguy:
    Dowbiggin with a good article on the lack of good analysis on major networks:

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/sports/dowbiggin-malhotra-a-revolutionary-figure-in-the-game-of-hockey/article8785464/

    Interesting and timely article.

    but I’d quibble with one thing… if you look at baseball — the sport with the history of the most adv. stats work, and the most amenable sport to this kind of analysis — the tv coverage is still largely a different universe from the eggheads.

    it’s still staffed with ex-jocks talking in cliches, basic stats and a lot of bogus narratives about “momentum” and “drive” and “wanting it more” etc.

    It makes you wonder whether the medium is the message here… perhaps tv simply isn’t a good vehicle for this kind of analysis.

    I remember David Frum wrote an essay on the 25th anniversary of CNN, recalling his excitement at the idea of a 24 news channel with a ton of resources and bureaus. The idea that with so much time and $ you could really engage topics in long, complex formats from myriad perspectives was captivating. Simply put, none of that has worked out. BBCnews and PBSnewhour still manage to pack more insightful commentary into 45 mins a night than CNN can manage in a week’s worth of programming. And they still pale in comparison to what is accomplished in other mediums.

    No doubt market pressure is to blame in part… but I wonder if tv (or at the very least mass marketed tv) simply isn’t a good place for anything of value beyond the simple presentation of images. Perhaps, these conversations are better left elsewhere…

    which is not to say print media has a sterling record in the adv. stats world of hockey either!

    still… I’d like to see someone try something creative with adv. stats and tv. perhaps a dedicated and short segment that would gradually introduce new terms and stats with isolated breakdowns… HNIC could cut Stock and give Vollman or someone a minute as a test case… who knows… maybe it would work.

  41. DeadmanWaking says:

    Lowetide: Ashley: That would be my preference too, but it didn’t look good in a small look-see earlier.

    “Not good” is a huge step up from Zdeno Chara almost single-handedly rag-dolling four of our five best players with Sauron’s over-sized war hammer for 25m a night.

    When last we read this script, there was an Eastern Conference, and Nuge was getting his first taste of the Big Bad big bad. Most likely he’s shuffled his potion belt something fierce in the meantime, but usually the second spelunk into the lair of the daemon mainly manages to pull off less besieged–to witness one’s impending and certain self-immolation in slow motion–without yet becoming greatly effective.

    Sometimes you have to face facts: the boss monster is just too strong to send all you heroes into the fray through the same tunnel, even if they’re nearly to the point of going toe to toe with the ordinary Big Bad.

    And yes, it will still look grim splitting them up.

  42. russ99 says:

    Does Hartikainen need to go through waivers? If not, I’d send him down over Paajarvi, especially with Jones coming back who plays a similar grindy game and has proven that he can score goals at the NHL level.

  43. Bar_Qu says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    They already have Andy Petrillo on HNIC, who (in their minds) gets the visual aspect necessary, and it appears can also present useful information (she has proven eminently more intellectually capable than three of the four ‘panelists’). Seems there is a natural platform at least on the HNIC to introduce some of the better stats – “Sledgehammer” or “D-Zone Killer”, etc.

  44. Moose says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: Interesting and timely article.

    but I’d quibble with one thing… if you look at baseball — the sport with the history of the most adv. stats work, and the most amenable sport to this kind of analysis — the tv coverage is still largely a different universe from the eggheads.

    it’s still staffed with ex-jocks talking in cliches, basic stats and a lot of bogus narratives about “momentum” and “drive” and “wanting it more” etc.

    It makes you wonder whether the medium is the message here… perhaps tv simply isn’t a good vehicle for this kind of analysis.

    No doubt market pressure is to blame in part… but I wonder if tv (or at the very least mass marketed tv) simply isn’t a good place for anything of value beyond the simple presentation of images. Perhaps, these conversations are better left elsewhere…

    which is not to say print media has a sterling record in the adv. stats world of hockey either!

    still… I’d like to see someone try something creative with adv. stats and tv. perhaps a dedicated and short segment that would gradually introduce new terms and stats with isolated breakdowns… HNIC could cut Stock and give Vollman or someone a minute as a test case… who knows… maybe it would work.

    I was JUST thinking about this after Stock and Healy’s performance on HNIC on Saturday. I produce live sports TV for a living and it just grates me to no end to listen to the analysis on most broadcasts these days. Look, I get that having an ex-player to provide perspective CAN be valuable, but pick your spots. Mike Johnson I can live with, Jeremy Roenick I cannot. It’s just simply not good enough to wheel out a bunch of ex-players with “personality” and expect to have a quality product. There’s 15 bloggers that I’d rather listen to for 2 minutes between periods than PJ Fucking Stock. Stick them on a side set with a co-host to steer the ship, then pull out 3 or 4 interesting tidbits that introduce advance stats to fans in a non-threatening way that doesn’t go over their heads. Easy.

  45. nelson88 says:

    I still don’t think O”Reilly is a good fit in the Oilers cap structure (unless you plan on ditching one of the Fab 5) but Cullen has a good read up.

    http://www.tsn.ca/fantasy_news/story/?id=416077

    The linked spreadsheet that includes 25 forwards with more than 50 points in their 20 year old season is also interesting. Gives a good perspective on the company Hall (and to a lesser extent Ebs and Gagner) are keeping particularly if you sort by G/game or pts/game. Outside of Woski there aren’t many “duds” you would kick yourself for signing long term.

  46. till_horcoff_is_coach says:

    Thanks WG for the thorough posts and links to follow along. Great stuff.

    I don’t think it’s due to lack of 15s passing ability… Smid doesn’t do a lot there either.

    I’ve noticed Hall breaking an awful lot of cycles in the d zone. I’ve noticed Smyth to a lesser degree and the Russian engaging but not too effective. Not to say it is all Yakupov, but there is certainly a monster gap between what he accomplishes and what Hall does. My hunch is Gagner and Hemsky rarely get Hall treatment and as such the schultzes are short that extra help they require to move the puck out.

    Just a hunch, but now that youve pointed at the data it might be something worth watching.

  47. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    RE: ex-jocks

    one of the problems seems to be how defensive and abrasive these guys are to people who “haven’t played the game” (whether that is a factual statement or not).

    There’s no need to make these sides fight however… As in the CNN case… you’ve got ample time to program for different needs/audiences.

    TSN even has a segment called “the stats guys” or some such… but it is as outmoded as anything else.

    The ex-jocks value is three-pronged:

    1) their personality (if they have one). let’s face it, this is tv… even an adv. stats guy is going to have to be presentable and make for compelling tv. also, here “audience familiarity” plays a strong role… people are conditioned to enjoy the repetition of a guy like Grapes.

    2) their insider knowledge… this is limited, but there is value in explaining the world behind the curtain in layman’s terms

    3) basic breakdowns of plays… this doesn’t take a lot of skill (x passed to y, etc) and some are pretty good at it… seems like a perfect role for an ex-jock to play

    beyond that, tv time is wasted on these guys… and there is more than enough time to spare for some insightful analysis…

    I still reserved about whether it can work on the format though.

    RE: Andy Petrillo. she’s good at her job, but let’s face it… all that is, is updating the audience about out of town scores and various stories around the league… she’s not there to add any original analysis or commentary.

    still I wouldn’t sacrifice her tv time. take away a minute from Stock and Healy and find a charismatic guy who can make adv. stats relatable… steep climb!

  48. Captain Obvious says:

    Ryan: Agreed.

    Even DSF who is getting better every day at sounding like an Oilers fanhad a great quote at C&B about Petrell.

    Captain Happy said something to the effect of when you put a player with zero offense like Petrell on the ice, you’re basically forfeiting those minutes in a game even if he doesn’t bleed chances and PK’s well.

    That was me. DSF’s handle change is confusing. The point stands though.

  49. Captain Obvious says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    If Frum had read Postman he wouldn’t have been surprised.

  50. Woodguy says:

    Ryan,

    Great stuff! Is this a case of 89-83 not being able to play with the brothers from another mother
    OR are the Sx2 more likely to be out against top competition as our quasi top pairing?
    IIRC RK deploys forwards by zone and dmen by opposition.

    I have no clue.

    J.Shultz being a rookie and not being behind Hall is probably a big part. Just a guess.

  51. Woodguy says:

    Bar_Qu,

    I also hadn’t thought about coming up with more TV friendly names for stats, but it makes sense – especially considering how vapid and dumbed-down our culture is.

    I’m a firm believer that communication is all about using a common language.

    Corsi, ZS, Fenwick etc make no sense to many people, so they just shut off.

    I try to use shot differential instead of corsi for the most part.

  52. Woodguy says:

    russ99:
    Does Hartikainen need to go through waivers? If not, I’d send him down over Paajarvi, especially with Jones coming back who plays a similar grindy game and has proven that he can score goals at the NHL level.

    Yes, he would need to clear.

    He’s here for the duration.

  53. Bar_Qu says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    One thing I wondered about when I saw Dellow’s comment about the importance of randomness and how it affects performance is the narrative of “hard work” in the NHL mentality. I suspect alot of the ex-jocks need to focus on things like ‘grit’ or ‘effort’ because it would too demoralising for them to admit so much of their career’s ‘success’ relied on either their own luck or the luck of their teammates. Much easier to reflect on what they have done and regard it as a result of their hard work.

    If we were to put it in theological terms, its easier to accept the concept of free-will than predetermination. It means the individual feels they have an outsized impact on what is going on around them, despite sociological, genetic and anthropological evidence to the contrary.

  54. Woodguy says:

    LIne combos at practice as per OIlers twitter feed:

    4-93-14
    91-89-83
    94-20-64
    55-54-56.

    Damn close to what we were hoping.

    Nice to see PRV where he is.

  55. Lois Lowe says:

    Great discussion here today ladies and gents! This is precisely why I think this blog is the height of hockey discussion on the Al Gore.

    On ex-players or coaches as analysts; I think that they absolutely can add something to a broadcast. Presumably they have been breaking down game footage for over 20 years, and have been coached/trained to do certain things over that time. That is something that ought to be useful in explaining game situations. A player like Horcoff (who seems really astute in that respect from Oil Change) really could bring something to a broadcast. The issue, as I see it, is that they’re not particularly welcome to do so, I think TV execs are more interested in entertainment value than analysis and go for personality over substance every time. I don’t think the ex-players are really allowed to go into depth in a two minute segment which is a shame.

    I think that is most evidenced by how TSN has been building up its hosts as personalities over the last 5 years. The intermissions are essentially the James Duthie show now, when we could have someone like Ray Ferarro breaking down the game.

  56. Lowetide says:

    Woodguy: Yes, he would need to clear.

    He’s here for the duration.

    I believe Hartikainen could be sent out without waivers. I don’t think he will be, though.

  57. Woodguy says:

    Lowetide: I believe Hartikainen could be sent out without waivers. I don’t think he will be, though.

    I remember that when PRV went down this year it was said that he was the only one on the roster who could go back and forth without having to clear first

    I could be remembering wrong.

  58. Lowetide says:

    Woodguy: I remember that when PRV went down this year it was said that he was the only one on the roster whocouldgo back and forth without having to clear first

    I could be remembering wrong.

    I usually just call speeds, he and I exchanged dm’s recently I’ll go back and have a look. It is a confusing rule, that I do know.

  59. Kris11 says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: Interesting and timely article.

    but I’d quibble with one thing… if you look at baseball — the sport with the history of the most adv. stats work, and the most amenable sport to this kind of analysis — the tv coverage is still largely a different universe from the eggheads.

    it’s still staffed with ex-jocks talking in cliches, basic stats and a lot of bogus narratives about “momentum” and “drive” and “wanting it more” etc.

    It makes you wonder whether the medium is the message here… perhaps tv simply isn’t a good vehicle for this kind of analysis.

    I remember David Frum wrote an essay on the 25th anniversary of CNN, recalling his excitement at the idea of a 24 news channel with a ton of resources and bureaus. The idea that with so much time and $ you could really engage topics in long, complex formats from myriad perspectives was captivating. Simply put, none of that has worked out. BBCnews and PBSnewhour still manage to pack more insightful commentary into 45 mins a night than CNN can manage in a week’s worth of programming. And they still pale in comparison to what is accomplished in other mediums.

    No doubt market pressure is to blame in part… but I wonder if tv (or at the very least mass marketed tv) simply isn’t a good place for anything of value beyond the simple presentation of images. Perhaps, these conversations are better left elsewhere…

    which is not to say print media has a sterling record in the adv. stats world of hockey either!

    still… I’d like to see someone try something creative with adv. stats and tv. perhaps a dedicated and short segment that would gradually introduce new terms and stats with isolated breakdowns… HNIC could cut Stock and give Vollman or someone a minute as a test case… who knows… maybe it would work.

    Well said. I agree with all of this. Both hockey analysis and political punditry suffer the same problem, which is likely due to the format they are broadcasting in.

    Personally, I’d love to have a really good coach break down video of the game(s), sort of Howie Meeker style, but better and more in-depth. (I can still hear “stop it right there” ringing in my ears.) But that would bore the causal viewer. So we get hockey players and past coaches paid to be entertaining not discussing who blew an assignment or whose positioning is off, and they aren’t entertainers and they aren’t good at faux outrage, particularly. I’d rather see actual comedians tell jokes or fight about the game or air funny skits or something to fill the air than see PJ Stock and Don Cherry try to act charming or controversial or funny.

    A panel show specifically focused on debating how good some one player is might be really cool. Have some stats guys, maybe LT and Willis, and some MSM or past players, maybe Gregor and Strudwick. Could resemble debates here over Horcoff or Schremp, but more respectful to the player and each other.

  60. Captain Obvious says:

    Lois Lowe,

    Your comment on the priorities of TV executives is bang on. It’s most obvious when they enter the “debating” portion of the telecast. The panel disagrees because they are told to disagree.

  61. Kris11 says:

    Have u guysnoticed how much more other teams have been taking liberties with our young stars now that Hordichuk is gone?

    Hahaha.

  62. Kris11 says:

    Lois Lowe,

    This is a better version than my comment and posted first.

    Always impressed at LT’s commenters.

  63. speeds says:

    Neither Paajarvi nor Hartikainen have to clear waivers. Both will have to clear next year, and Paajarvi will have to clear this year once/if he’s played 28 or so* more games.

    Eberle has to clear waivers as of the last few games, and Hall will have to clear after 20 more games or so. Even if injured and he doesn’t play 20 games, he’d have to clear next fall.

    As far as I remember, games spent on the IR don’t count towards the 160 minimum (games on IR, or on the roster, count in some situations but not in others), but if they do then I would imagine Hall would have to clear waivers as well

    * I’d have to look up the exact CBA section, I know 160 GP is the number for players in 4, 14, 56,and 91′s situation but I can’t remember if it’s inclusive.

  64. OilClog says:

    Moose,

    Me and my buds were sitting around on the couch watching the game on saturday, thinking what the hell is happening to HNIC. 1st intermission is filled with an angry old dude that can’t remember half way through his ramble what the hell he is rambling about.. Atleast Madden in the NFL knew he was starting to lose it.. Then some douche with a popped collar is being forced down our throats, he clearly gives two shits about how he presents himself or his highlight package.

    Then during the play were again forced to listen to two dingbats that clearly know nothing about the current state of the Oilers what so ever. Hrudey is great on the panel, miss him there. But as a color guy, he’s a melted box of crayola. Still the quality crayon, but just a mess. It’s frustrating listening to men, try to tell other men, to go against what they’re seeing with their own eyes, and look at it from their point of view.. a point of view which piles accolades on Ryan Whitney and his current play.. Yikes.

    Then back to the intermission, it’s one guy has a clear understanding of what he is doing, then a lame duck in Healy, and a couple of mucks. The things these men were saying.. unbelievable.. This all lead us to this one thought… Why is there no “Real life” style commentating or presentation. We’re all left wanting.. 4 guys on a couch presenting us the game. It would be a breathe of fresh air and energy. Focusing on the game, the play, the passion.. and not popped collars.

    That’s my beef.

    Fuck a PJ Stock.

  65. OilClog says:

    Lois Lowe,

    But TSN has a monkey. A FREAKING MONKEY!

    Which would work way better in the presentation of four dudes and their monkey watching the game from the couch for all to see.

  66. Woodguy says:

    speeds,

    Thanks Speeds.

  67. hockeyguy10 says:

    Woodguy:

    Watching how 93 and 4 support each other to gain possession in the Dzone and make a small pass or two (or 4 skating it out) is much different than watching 83 and 89 in the Dzone.

    I don’t want to call it “cheating for offense”, but 89 seems to abdicate his responsibility when an Oiler has the puck instead of making sure they have control before heading north.

    This is the biggest improvement of the 93-4-14 line in the last 3-4 games.They are doing this in all 3 zones now. Puck support not only makes defence easier it makes offence easier.

  68. Mr DeBakey says:

    Ahhh, infotainers.
    A fine topic.

    Turn down the TV when the game is on – it should be just loud enough so that if you don’t know who 23 Red is, you can find out. Leave the room when the analysis starts.

    Any program which uses Cherry & Milbury to impart knowledge is to be avoided.

    I remember the good old days when Old Country Soccer broadcasters gave us the pared down play-by-play; “Hincliffe…. Barnaby…. That’s Cobbleleigh…. Anderson… Wide to MacAllister… Back inside to Barnaby… The Shot!…. And its a corner for Rovers.”
    And No expert analyzer.

  69. B S says:

    I don’t care what happens, Paajarvi and Harti need to stay up, trade Whitney or Peckham, put someone on IR, but those two are the most effective bottom six forwards we have on the team right now including, gretzky bless him, Ryan Smyth. Don’t break up the top two lines, the kids are unstoppable, and, as has been said already, basically prevent any sustained momentum by the opposition. The second line will be fine once Gags and Hemsky realize they have another player on the line. The numbers game can go both ways, if they’re bleeding chances in their own zone they can compensate for that by creating more chances in the opposing zone.

    Re: broadcasting sports, glad to see all that’s being said here and mostly agree with it. I think it’s important to point out that most people don’t care about stats, their eyes gloss over at the mention of math, but some brief and genuinely insightful analysis could go a long way. My old man’s never been a big hockey fan but within two minutes last night he was poking holes in the arguments on HNIC. I’m actually a big fan of having an “ex-jock” for analysis as they do provide a perspective that most of us don’t otherwise get (I think Struds is an example of a good former player discussing the game), but it needs to be someone intelligent and capable of critical thinking (MacT was another good example on TSN).

    This dumbed down analysis is typical of all sports broadcasts as far as I can tell. I don’t even like watching baseball, but I played it for 8 years and have a reasonable understanding of the game. Most of it comes down to set plays and how well they’re executed. i.e. Runner on first, Runner on third, 1 out, Pitcher will throw a high fastball to induce a pop-fly or a grounder, if the ball isn’t hit, the runner on 1st will take 2nd. This actually makes analysis easy to track for individuals as their roles are well defined, yet the analysts are talking about a player’s upcoming divorce and how it might affect him mentally as a pitch hitter rather than breaking down how the shortstop mistimed a double play.

    I’m always leery of making predictions about biological entities based on statistics, as numerous undefined variables can change reaction of the entity at the next event (organisms adapt their behaviour based on previous occurences) but statistics do provide a wonderful tool for breaking down past events and a televised discussion that uses them on a basic level might keep hockey fans watching rather than making popcorn during intermissions.

    Maybe we should petition for LT and his preference of panelists to do a segment on Sportsnet.

  70. FastOil says:

    spoiler: I’ve watched the COL game 4 times now and agree with the above.15 has difficulty outletting and Gagner and Hemmer cheat for O. Bad combination.

    i have been thinking about a comment BlacqueJacque sp? made about Gagner playing for a contract. RK is clearly no fool, so he must be aware that both Hemsky and Gagner are really in the same boat, in no man’s land with no long term security.

    So that either makes a very motivated tandem, playing for their lives so to speak, or creates a situation in which the desire to get the points outways all else, like defense. I think both guys are class, perhaps it’s too much for them at this point, and they should be put in different situations.

    This is a drawback to indecisiveness toward the roster, dithering until you’ve returned home – back against the wall, options and opportunity having knocked and gone, value deformed by the five thumbed sculptor. Or is it six thumbed?

    If they don’t really want to hang on to these guys (rightly or wrongly), Hodgson them. Come on Steve, don’t let Gillis outdo you.

  71. OilClog says:

    Mr DeBakey,

    I want to hear the buildings emotion, and hopefully some awesome sound bites while the game is on.

    At intermission time I’m hoping to be presented hockey talk, debate, happenings around the league.. Not hair styles, and collars. I don’t want to leave the room. But they make me want to leave the room.

    Fuck PJ Stock

  72. Zelepukin says:

    spoiler: This is an incredibly stupid idea that continues to have traction on this blog for no good reason. It’s bizarre. Every two days it comes up, even after failing miserably in a game.

    I could not agree more. Anyone that suggests breaking up the top line after what we’ve seen so far this season, has no idea what they’re talking about and any further analysis from them should be taken with a grain of salt or ignored completely.

  73. Lowetide says:

    Well hold on here, folks. Everyone gets to express their view and there are good reasons to split the line up–and it will be split up at some point. There are differences of opinion here, and that’s cool.

  74. jfry says:

    Analysts follow the sewing circle theory of discourse: if its not gossip or drama, then it doesn’t matter.

    It’s really all become he said, she said, which is horrible. It will never change and probably become worse as the NHL is about ten years behind in their “create personalities” compared to other sports. Talk radio killed “deep thinking” and most the formats we see with analysts are similar in intent — cheap content, with no depth.

    The worst part is hearing people mindlessly repeat the analysts like it fact.

  75. godot10 says:

    FastOil:

    If they don’t really want to hang on to these guys (rightly or wrongly), Hodgson them. Come on Steve, don’t let Gillis outdo you.

    Er…isn’t that exactly what Tambellini and Krueger are doing right now? Restoring the trade value of Hemsky and Gagner, which Renney had depreciated.

    Ditto Belanger, and Eager, and Paajarvi.

  76. godot10 says:

    Lowetide:
    Well hold on here, folks. Everyone gets to express their view and there are good reasons to split the line up–and it will be split up at some point. There are differences of opinion here, and that’s cool.

    I want a line that give the other coach nightmares. It means that coach is spending more time worrying about how to stop the nightmare line, than how to pick apart Ryan Whitney.

    The purpose of all the high end talent that we’ve endured years of pain to accumulate is to intimidate and attack.

    Dulling the sharp edge of the sword is stupid, IMHO.

  77. Moose says:

    OilClog,

    I hear ya, man. It’s especially frustrating, as you point out, when the guys don’t really know what’s going on with the teams they are covering. That’s what a research team and pre-show meetings are for. It’s inexcusable not to know relevant story lines and talking points on the teams/game you’re covering.

    I can’t quite understand why they don’t have a better balance on that show. They need to scrap it and start fresh. Losing Lebrun, Marek and some others has taken away any level-headed, semi-intelligent contributions to the panel.

    Keep Ron and Elliot then clean house.

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