WHY MAGNUS PAAJARVI IS ALREADY ONE OF THE BEST DEFENSIVE FWDS ON THE OILERS (BY WOODGUY)

Lately many of the media in Edmonton have taken to dumping on #91.  The refrain is familiar and is echoing among most of the media.

Everyone is dumping on MPS, but does he deserve it?  He doesn’t and I’ll show you why.

 

PUCK POSSESSION

I firmly believe, and there are now reams of very good evidence, that the team that takes the most shots in a hockey game, especially when the score is close, will win more hockey games than they lose.  The Oilers do not have the puck enough and rarely out shoot opponents.  This is the main reason they lose.  There are many reasons for this including: Not breaking the cycle in the dzone and making a good first pass, zone exits, neutral zone play, zone entries, secondary chances in the ozone, retaining possession in the ozone, and puck battles.

Without having access to real time stats like: pass attempts vs. passes made, passes received vs. passed at, puck battles won and a few others, its tough to be able to pinpoint exactly who is doing what.   With the excellent work that Bruce McCurdy and Jonathon Willis are doing at CoH, we are starting to get some Oiler zone entry/exit data, but we are still missing data. That is when we need to look at the shot data.

Specifically, who generates more shots on the ice than when they are off the ice, who makes other players generate more shots when they play with them.  We don’t have all the passing and battle data, but I think we can safely group most of the stats we don’t have access to under the shot data.  If a player is doing something to help the team, it should result in more shots for and/or less shots against when they are on the ice.  Puck battles, passing, entries, exits, etc., if they are effective, should result in a better for/against shot ratio. If something a player does has no impact on the shot ratio, I would ask what value it actually has. If a player has “intangibles” that help a team win, then it should be reflected in the shot data. If the team is better when a player is on the ice, then the “intangibles” become tangible and things like puck battles, passing etc show up in the data as an improvement in the shot ratio. If someone argues that a player’s “intangibles” won’t show up in the shot data, then ask them exactly how it helps the team.

Some may argue a HUGE HIT may spur the rest of the team to greater heights.  This has been argued about fighting as well.  When fighting was looked at in depth on how it changed the outcome of a game, the answer was, it didn’t.

http://www.puckprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=222

http://oilersnation.com/2012/1/11/does-the-momentum-boost-from-fighting-help-teams-win-games

 

In terms of hitting, it was actually found that the more a team led the game in hits, the more likely that they lost.

http://forechecker.blogspot.ca/2006/11/is-it-better-to-give-than-to-receive.html

Probable cause?  If you hit someone that means you do not have possession of the puck. Hitting is an integral and fun part of hockey, but don’t forget the main reason you hit a player.  To separate him from the puck.   There is also the theory that you hit the opposing Dmen to wear them down over the game to gain an advantage.  There is probably some truth to that, but I cannot see how it would be more important than puck possession.  It all boils down to possession and possession is where Paajarvi is one of the better Oilers on the roster.

WHO PAJAARVI COMPETES WITH FOR A ROSTER SPOT

Paajarvi is in compeition with 5 other forwards for spots on the team:

  1. Smyth
  2. Jones
  3. Eager
  4. Petrell
  5. Hartikainen

I could include Yakupov, but he’ll get ice time regardless of his results.  He’s going to be a dynamic player, maybe in Hall’s class, but he’s a raw rookie who will be given ice time  in every game he is healthy enough to play.  Some say “If he can’t play top 6 in Edmonton, put him back in OKC” Why?  I don’t think 91 is going to make the top 6 in Edmonton, but that doesn’t mean he can’t be an important part of the team.

 SHOT ATTEMPT DIFFERNTIAL AND QUALITY OF OPPONENTS

So let’s look at how Paajarvi looks in terms of shot attempt differential compared to his competitors.  When I say shot attempt differential I’m talking about all shots, missed shots and blocked shots.  I’m looking for puck possession numbers so if someone shot the puck, regardless of what happened after it left the stick, it means they had the puck to shoot it.

A wise man once said about hockey “Its what you create minus what you give up”  That is why shot attempt differential is a useful tool to evaluate players. Here is this year’s shot attempt differential among Paajarvi and his roster competitors and where they rank overall on the team: (leaving out Jones due to miniscule sample size)

  1. Paajarvi -5.65 (4/14)
  2. Harski -8.56 (5/14)
  3. Smyth -18.80 (10/14)
  4. Petrell -36.46 (13/14)
  5. Eager -36.55 (14/14)

So Paajarvi leads the parade here. None of them are above water, but 91 is almost treading water, you can see the top of 56′s head, Smyth is sinking and the other two are a mile below the water line where the sun cannot penetrate the murky depths.  Now let’s look at how hard their ice time is, or at least how their average opponent is ranked.  I am just going to give you their placement on the team (14 forwards who have played at least 5 games) in terms of Corsi Quality of Competition.  This is the aggregate BTN (behindthenet.ca) ranking of the players who were on the ice against them during every shot attempt, for and against.

  1.  Paajarvi – 3/14
  2. Eager – 6/14
  3. Symth – 7/14
  4. Petrell – 9/14
  5. Harski – 14/14

As I stated earlier, small samples can produce strange results, but I think we can be comfortable that Paajarvi isn’t facing bottom feeding competition.

 

HOW EACH PLAYER AFFECTS TEAM MATE’S SHOT ATTEMPT DIFFERENTIAL

Now lets look at how each player affects the other players on the ice.  I got his info from http://stats.hockeyanalysis.com/  Its a wonderful site that can give you the wowy (without/with you) break down of every player using a variety of metrics such as goals, corsi, fenwick.  This year’s sample is still small and small samples can produce weird results, so I’ve also included last year as a larger sample.

Here is how 91 affected his team mates.  The first number is % of shot attempts for playing with 91, 2nd is % of shot attempts for  the player when they are not with 91, the last is the net difference.  The players are listed from most ice time to least ice time with 91, goalies removed.  I’ve only taken the top 15 from each year to keep it from getting unwieldy.

PAAJARVI IN 11/12

  1. BELANGER, ERIC        51.9   44.9   7
  2. PETRY, JEFF                 54.3   49.1   5.2
  3. SMID, LADISLAV         53.8   47.6   6.2
  4. SUTTON, ANDY           50.9   48.3   2.6
  5. GILBERT, TOM             61.8   46.8   15
  6. GAGNER, SAM             48.1   49.7   -1.6
  7. POTTER, COREY         43.7   48.5   -4.8
  8. HORCOFF, SHAWN      49.7   47.7   2
  9. LANDER, ANTON         51.9   39.9   12
  10. PECKHAM, THEO        43.3   46.4   -3.1
  11. HEMSKY, ALES            53.3   51      2.3
  12. WHITNEY, RYAN          55.9   43.1   12.8
  13. JONES, RYAN               54.7   46.2   8.5
  14. BARKER, CAM             43.1   42.4   0.7
  15. SMYTH, RYAN              39.5   47.4   -7.9

So 11/15 players got a better percentage of shot attempts when playing with 91 compared to playing without him in 11/12

 PAAJARVI IN 12/13

  1. PETRY, JEFF                 38      46.1   -8.1
  2. HARTIKAINEN,            51.4   45.3   6.1
  3. SMID, LADISLAV         38.6   47.3   -8.7
  4. BELANGER, ERIC        42.5   41.5   1
  5. SCHULTZ, JUSTIN        51.4   45.2   6.2
  6. SCHULTZ, NICK           57.4   44.9   12.5
  7. FISTRIC, MARK           46.7   44.2   2.5
  8. POTTER, COREY         54.5   40.3   14.2
  9. GAGNER, SAM             42.5   40.5   2
  10. VANDEVELDE, CHRIS 56.1   27      29.1
  11. SMYTH, RYAN              45.5   43.5   2
  12. WHITNEY, RYAN          36.6   43.8   -7.2
  13. HEMSKY, ALES            43.5   41.1   2.4
  14. EAGER, BEN                 40.7   36.7   4
  15. PETRELL, LENNART   38.9   35.9   3

This year 12/15 players get a better percentage of shot attempts when playing with 91 compared to playing without him.

Let’s do the same for Harski, Smyth, Eager, Jones and Petrell.

Harski 11/12

  1. GAGNER, SAM             44.1   50.2   -6.1
  2. HEMSKY, ALES            44.2   52      -7.8
  3. PETRY, JEFF                 45.9   50      -4.1
  4. WHITNEY, RYAN          42.7   44.5   -1.8
  5. SMID, LADISLAV         43.3   48.4   -5.1
  6. POTTER, COREY         45.2   48.2   -3
  7. EBERLE, JORDAN        43.9   48.7   -4.8
  8. SCHULTZ, NICK           44.8   42.7   2.1
  9. SUTTON, ANDY           47.6   48.7   -1.1
  10. NUGENT-HOPKINS      49.4   48.8   0.6
  11. PECKHAM, THEO        38.3   46.4   -8.1
  12. HORCOFF, SHAWN      46.7   47.9   -1.2
  13. TEUBERT, COLTEN      41.2   48.3   -7.1
  14. BELANGER, ERIC        32.4   47      -14.6
  15. GREEN, JOSH               48.1   53.3   -5.2

 2/15 were better with the rookie Harski in 11/12

Harski 12/13

  1. PAAJARVI, MAGNUS   51.4   42.9   8.5
  2. SCHULTZ, JUSTIN        41      47      -6
  3. PETRY, JEFF                 56.9   42.8   14.1
  4. SMID, LADISLAV         50      45.7   4.3
  5. SCHULTZ, NICK           49.3   46.2   3.1
  6. WHITNEY, RYAN          41      43.2   -2.2
  7. BELANGER, ERIC        50      39.4   10.6
  8. GAGNER, SAM             38.9   41      -2.1
  9. POTTER, COREY         48.5   41.4   7.1
  10. FISTRIC, MARK           50      43.8   6.2
  11. HEMSKY, ALES            44.7   40.7   4
  12. SMYTH, RYAN              47.7   43      4.7
  13. LANDER, ANTON         50      50      0
  14. NUGENT-HOPKINS      53.8   51.7   2.1
  15. HORCOFF, SHAWN      53.8   42.9   10.9

Harski is really picking it up this year with 12/15 doing better.

Jones 11/12

(including Jones’ 11/12 only due to miniscule sample from this year)

  1. HORCOFF, SHAWN      47.6   48      -0.4
  2. SMID, LADISLAV         44      49.7   -5.7
  3. BELANGER, ERIC        48.2   45.4   2.8
  4. PETRY, JEFF                 46.9   50.8   -3.9
  5. SMYTH, RYAN              49.4   46.1   3.3
  6. WHITNEY, RYAN          42.6   45      -2.4
  7. POTTER, COREY         49.6   47.6   2
  8. GILBERT, TOM             46.1   48.6   -2.5
  9. GAGNER, SAM             47.1   50      -2.9
  10. PECKHAM, THEO        51.1   44.4   6.7
  11. SUTTON, ANDY           51      48.1   2.9
  12. NUGENT-HOPKINS      45.2   49.5   -4.3
  13. EAGER, BEN                 43.9   42.8   1.1
  14. EBERLE, JORDAN        48.3   48.5   -0.2
  15. LANDER, ANTON         43.6   41.7   1.9

 7/15 were better with Jones last year

Eager 11/12

  1. LANDER, ANTON         40.5   43.2   -2.7
  2. PETRELL, LENNART   38.4   38.9   -0.5
  3. SMID, LADISLAV         48      48.2   -0.2
  4. PETRY, JEFF                 48      49.9   -1.9
  5. BELANGER, ERIC        45.6   46.9   -1.3
  6. POTTER, COREY         44.4   48.6   -4.2
  7. SUTTON, ANDY           42.7   49.7   -7
  8. WHITNEY, RYAN          37.4   45.4   -8
  9. PECKHAM, THEO        43.5   46.5   -3
  10. JONES, RYAN               43.9   47.2   -3.3
  11. GILBERT, TOM             40.4   49      -8.6
  12. HORCOFF, SHAWN      40.5   48.5   -8
  13. HORDICHUK, DARCY 44.9   39.5   5.4
  14. TEUBERT, COLTEN      43.2   48.8   -5.6
  15. PAAJARVI, MAGNUS   47.1   51.6   -4.5

1/15.  Only Mr. Hordichuck is better with Eager

 EAGER 12/13

  1. BELANGER, ERIC        39.8   42.8   -3
  2. PETRY, JEFF                 27.4   47.7   -20.3
  3. SMID, LADISLAV         36.5   47.8   -11.3
  4. SMYTH, RYAN              44.2   43.6   0.6
  5. PETRELL, LENNART   27.8   39.2   -11.4
  6. SCHULTZ, NICK           45.3   46.8   -1.5
  7. SCHULTZ, JUSTIN        57.8   45      12.8
  8. FISTRIC, MARK           27.9   47.6   -19.7
  9. VANDEVELDE, CHRIS 35.9   48.7   -12.8
  10. POTTER, COREY         32.1   44      -11.9
  11. JONES, RYAN               44.8   29.6   15.2
  12. PAAJARVI, MAGNUS   40.7   46.8   -6.1
  13. WHITNEY, RYAN          37.5   43.2   -5.7
  14. GAGNER, SAM             28.6   41.1   -12.5
  15. YAKUPOV, NAIL           30      43.7   -13.7

 3/15 this year.  Everyone is saying he looks better this year. This is evidence of it.

 PETRELL 11/12

  1. LANDER, ANTON         36.3   46.5   -10.2
  2. EAGER, BEN                 38.4   45.1   -6.7
  3. SMID, LADISLAV         44      48.6   -4.6
  4. PETRY, JEFF                 49      49.8   -0.8
  5. WHITNEY, RYAN          31.7   46.5   -14.8
  6. POTTER, COREY         40.7   49      -8.3
  7. BELANGER, ERIC        44.4   47      -2.6
  8. SUTTON, ANDY           42.1   49.7   -7.6
  9. GILBERT, TOM             31.9   49.6   -17.7
  10. HORCOFF, SHAWN      38.1   48.8   -10.7
  11. SMYTH, RYAN              39.6   47.6   -8
  12. PECKHAM, THEO        37.4   47      -9.6
  13. BARKER, CAM             36.8   43.9   -7.1
  14. HORDICHUK, DARCY 40.5   41.7   -1.2
  15. SCHULTZ, NICK           27.1   43.4   -16.3

No one is better with Petrell in his rookie year.  Many fall off a cliff.  A couple fall off the end of the earth.

 PETRELL 12/13

  1. SMYTH, RYAN              44.7   43.2   1.5
  2. SMID, LADISLAV         33.8   48.5   -14.7
  3. BELANGER, ERIC        34.9   44.6   -9.7
  4. PETRY, JEFF                 33.3   46.3   -13
  5. SCHULTZ, JUSTIN        34.2   48      -13.8
  6. SCHULTZ, NICK           33.3   48.8   -15.5
  7. POTTER, COREY         41.2   42.9   -1.7
  8. EAGER, BEN                 27.8   42      -14.2
  9. WHITNEY, RYAN          43.5   42.5   1
  10. HORCOFF, SHAWN      42.9   47.5   -4.6
  11. FISTRIC, MARK           36.4   45.7   -9.3
  12. VANDEVELDE, CHRIS 24.1   53.1   -29
  13. PAAJARVI, MAGNUS   38.9   46.7   -7.8
  14. HARTIKAINEN,            41.2   47.9   -6.7
  15. YAKUPOV, NAIL           13.6   45.5   -31.9

2/15.  Not much else to say.

 PAAJARVI ON THE PK

If you are going to be a key cog on the 3rd line, you must be a good Pker.  Here is every Oiler Forward this year who has played at least 5 games and more than 1min/60 on the PK.  The number next to their name represents the shots against per 60 on the PK.

  1.  VANDEVELDE     11.4
  2. GAGNER             34.7
  3. PAAJARVI            35
  4. HORCOFF           36.5
  5. SMYTH                47.4
  6. PETRELL             53
  7. BELANGER         57.2

I think we can all agree that limiting the number of shots against is the primary duty of the PK forward.  I use shots against and not goals against because goals against rely heavily on the on-ice save percentage of a player, and that can vary wildly for a player from year to year and is not a repeatable skill, its luck.  However, in my opinion, shots can be influenced significantly by a player.  91 is better at this than all of him competitors for the roster spot other than Jones (microscopic sample, thought I’d leave it in though).  Eager doesn’t PK.

 PAAJARVI AT EVEN STRENGTH

We looked at 4v5 shots against per 60 minutes of ice time above, we should look at the same for even strength play to gauge Paajarvi’s results there. Here are all the Oilers who have played at least 5 games and their shots against per 60 minutes of ice time.

  1. PAAJARVI            24.8
  2. VANDEVELDE     25.9
  3. HORCOFF           26
  4. EBERLE               26.7
  5. HARTIKAINEN    27.5
  6. HALL                   28.2
  7. RNH                     29.2
  8. YAKUPOV           29.9
  9. SMYTH                30.7
  10. HEMSKY             31
  11. GAGNER             31.4
  12. PETRELL             32.4
  13. BELANGER         35
  14. EAGER                35.4

Not only does Paajarvi put his roster competitors in the shade, but he leads the whole team.  Impressive.

(NOTE: On many teams the 4th liners look good on SAON/60 and GAON/60 because they usually play only other 4th liners and the puck is often an after thought or hacked square.  Paajarvi has certainly played some 4th line minutes, but the other players he is competing for a roster spot against have as well)

COMMON CRITICISMS

  •  “HE’S SOFT”: The biggest complaint about Paajarvi from the media is he’s “soft”.  He gets pushed off the puck and doesn’t win puck battles. While he is not a guy who will knock your block off, he is learning to use his size to his advantage.  Let’s remember that he’s only 21 years old (turns 22 in April)  this guy has a long road ahead of him and some old man strength coming. At 6’3” 210lbs he has the physical tools to be more assertive physically, and I see him starting to do that. Let’s also remember that the main reason you hit someone is to remove them from the puck.  Its to gain puck possession, and Paajarvi has shown he’s a good puck possession player.
  • HE ISN’T GOOD ENOUGH: I like Jason Gregor as a sports reporter, I think he’s the best in town now that Barnes is off the sports beat, and he seems to be a pretty good person too.  His commitments to amateur sports and charities is very commendable. I think he is open minded to many things including fancy stats in hockey and always willing to listen. I don’t want to pound on him here as I’ve used two of his tweets as evidence of what the local media thinks about Paajarvi, but they are very indicative of the thoughts out there. Jason Gregor ‏@JasonGregor @Woodguy55 Shots for not a major issue. They are 15th in league. Shots against killing them. He doesn’t play enough to impact that.  As I’ve shown above, he is very good at limiting shots against, best on the team 5v5.  With more ice time, he can make a bigger difference.  He is currently 11th on the Oilers in 5v5 TOI/gm, that needs to increase.
  • HE DOESN’T SCORE: I agree with this criticism, he’s been rotten offensively. His SH% last year was a ridiculous 2.5%. He fell into the Belanger Triangle that existed last year and didn’t come out.  His most common forward linemate last year  was Belanger at 202minutes, next was Gagner with 99:19min.This year its hovering around 8.7%. He shot 8.3% in his rookie year when he went 80gp 15g 19a 34pts. The tools are there, he’s only 135 games into his NHL career, too early to tell how much offence he’ll really bring.

paajarvi2

SUMMARY

Magnus Paajarvi is competing with Smyth, Jones, Eager, Petrell, and Hartikainen for a roster spot.  Compared to his roster competitors Paajarvi:

  •  Is superior at shot attempt differential (4th on the team)
  • Plays superior opponents
  • Has the most positive influence on the shot attempt differential of his line mates (one of the best on the Oilers actually)
  • Allows less shots on the PK per minute played (2nd best on the team)
  • Allows the least amount of shots against on the whole team, let alone his roster competitors

With all that evidence of his effectiveness, there is no question he belongs on the Oilers and deserves ice time ahead of most, if not all of the roster competitors I identified here.  He may not be a top 6 player, but he is showing he has the makings of a very good 3rd liner.  Many high quality 3rd line players in the NHL are former first round draft picks who scored in the lower levels of hockey, but didn’t have the elite offensive talent to be a scorer in the NHL.  Notable former Oilers who fall into this category include Moreau, Reasoner.  Mike Peca and Jarrett Stoll were high 2nd round picks.  We may feel like Paajarvi is a failed top 10 draft pick if he doesn’t become a top 6 forward, but that isn’t true.  He can be a key part of this team as it grows. We need to appreciate players for what they are, not what they aren’t, and Paajarvi’s skill set is suited to playing against good players and keeping them off the score sheet.

Magnus Paajarvi needs to get out of the press box and I have ideas on why the coach is scratching him, but that’s for another post, this one is long enough.

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201 Responses to "WHY MAGNUS PAAJARVI IS ALREADY ONE OF THE BEST DEFENSIVE FWDS ON THE OILERS (BY WOODGUY)"

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  1. Lowetide says:

    The entire article is from WG, I added some photos. WG sent this to me late Saturday/early Sunday, so long before the game. I suspect the numbers are better this morning and that his argument is stronger today

  2. russ99 says:

    Good stuff.

    Sadly seems the club brass with their waiver games and media are content to run him out of town, Omark-style, and sad to say that has more to do with where he’s from than his level of play, as proven above.

    This is the kind of third liner (or defensive player in the top 6) we need: tough on the puck and can make defensive plays, not hard-checking big bodies who can do little else, like an Eager.

    Besides, getting coke machines for coke machine’s sake was proven a folly under Quinn. A Pisani or Glencross are the kinds of players we need, not a Volpatti or Hordichuk.

  3. Ryan says:

    His sideburns are too long and his flow is too short–or he isn’t waiver eligible yet.
    Great stuff Woodguy, the ‘sphere is with you on this one.

    Why do you think Tambo didn’t pick up an upgrade on VDV? Lordy it couldn’t have been hard to find…

    For that matter, why didn’t Tambo look for a Brlanger replacement along with Whitney too in e off season.? He loves making bad bets…

  4. BlacqueJacque says:

    Lowetide,

    I believe I’m also a resident of Woodguy’s reality on this issue. Magnus may not be the Magnificent One, but he’s a great hockey player.

    It is also becoming difficult to like our fourth line after last game.

  5. DBO says:

    It’s the same argument that drove people crazy about Penner. 30 goal scoring 240 lb player who drove the puck the right direction and made everyone he played with better, but he still got trashed in the media as not caring, not being physical enough and not having enough of an impact. If you had a team full of wingers who were like Penner and Paajarvi you would win way more games then you lost. I would love to see those two be our 3rd line wingers (or one of them as our 2nd line winger).

  6. Eastern Oil says:

    Fantastic stuff WG, a great read. I actually just mentioned over on M. Parkatti’s site about how much I have liked Maggie this year. The fact that he brings size, strong defence and a developing possession game SHOULD mean that he is exactly the type of player that the Oilers would want to keep.

    For a young team with developing elite talent, having a player with these qualities on the 3rd line, and with the ability to move up and down the lineup, is critical. I think we forget as fans sometimes that the skill set that we want him to have also needs to be developed, just like the set we want RNH and Yaks to have.

  7. jimbones100 says:

    Great article WG. Magnus was excellent as well lat night. Boy can he move the puck up the ice quickly and he also made some intelligent chips and has the speed and used his body to retrieve on the forecheck. I agree completely. There is a player there.

    I understand two coaches who are hired to win games not wanting to let a young player learn in the NHL. But your data and our eyes tell us that Magnus is already helping the team move the puck in the right direction more than Eager for example.

    Your move Ralph. We wait.

  8. wheatnoil says:

    This is a wonderfully well thought out post by Woodguy. I think it’s on the wrong blog though. This is a Scarlett Johansson fan site with an odd obsession with hockey. WHERE THE FUCK ARE THE SEXY SCARLETT JOHANSSON PICTURES?!

    Seriously, great post Woodguy. I think it’s obvious that I agree with your point of view, but you’ve laid out the argument much better than I ever have.

  9. gangplank says:

    I always thought of Loui Eriksson of Dallas stars a player of interest when following MPS. I feel MPS’ game is close the way Eriksson plays. LE did not have much of an offensive season until turning 23. I think we owe MPS a similar time frame. MPS is already one of our best defensive wingers. Its sad that people who are paid to watch our team cant see it. I am not ready to write off MPS offensively until at least he turns 24-25. I feel that is the age when (non elite) forwards really get their game together and assert dominance to the best of their ability.

  10. godot10 says:

    Ryan:
    His sideburns are too long and his flow is too short–or he isn’t waiver eligible yet.
    Great stuff Woodguy, the ‘sphere is with you on this one.

    Why do you think Tambo didn’t pick up an upgrade on VDV?Lordy it couldn’t have been hard to find…

    For that matter, why didn’t Tambo look for a Brlanger replacement along with Whitney too in e off season.?He loves making bad bets…

    Wideman was 5 years at over $5 million per.

    The price of Hjallmarsson was Gagner. Since Kruger is playing so well. Gagner would probably not longer be enough.

    Hemsky nor Gagner clearly wasn’t enough to get Yandle.

    And the Oilers had no idea what the cap was going to be.

    It does suck a bit, because it meant the season rested on Ryan Whitney’s ankle.

    Belanger is an adequate 4th line centre.

    VDV is #6 on the depth chart. It sucks that two centres (Horcoff and Lander) got hurt. The problem with the team isn’t VDV. It is the D.

    Paajarvi, Lander, and Hartikainen would have been able to eat 8-10 minutes of EV time without hurting you. Smyth, Belanger, and Jones should be able to handle 10-12 minutes of EV time.

    Aside OT:

    Eberle is such a bad player that he has more points than Zach Parise.

  11. tcho says:

    I’m searching my brain for something that might ameliorate the horrid looking SA/60 #s of some of the vets up there… tough zone starts for Belanger, Smyth (,Petrell?) vs softer ones for Paajarvi?

    Thanks for the article though WG. Great stuff. And thanks for posting it LT.

  12. sliderule says:

    The reason MSM people have been down on MPS is because they talk to oiler management and get the word that he is too soft for bottom six play.Up to the last two games MPS played I bought their argument but no more..He has shown he is capable of playing pretty well anywhere in this lineup which by the way has the worst fourth line in the whole NHL.
    The oiler forwards are too small but their is no reason for management to throw MPS under the bus as they are the ones that have not dealt with the problem.

  13. Woodguy says:

    jimbones100:
    Great article WG.Magnus was excellent as well lat night. Boy can he move the puck up the ice quickly and he also made some intelligent chips and has the speed and used his body to retrieve on the forecheck. I agree completely. There is a player there.

    I understand two coaches who are hired to win games not wanting to let a young player learn in the NHL. But your data and our eyes tell us that Magnus is already helping the team move the puck in the right direction more than Eager for example.

    Your move Ralph. We wait.

    It was actually your question in the STL GDT that spurred me to this.

    I was writing a response and thought “this is way too big for one post in a thread”

    Many thanks to LT for allowing my ramblings on his blog.

    Also,

    91 was +6 in ASON (Attempted Shots ON, I prefer that tag to Corsi) last night when they were out attempted 50-42

    http://www.boysonthebus.com/2013/03/03/game-notes-oilerswild-mar-3/

    Who saw that coming?

    :)

    Also,

    Mike at BOTB states this in his post:

    The Oilers only got 50% of their shots on net, while the Wild got 74% of their shots on net, a continuing trend that seems to becoming a thing.

    MIke can you elaborate on this trend you are seeing?

    Does anyone have data for what good, average, and bad team get through in terms of Shot Attempt being converted to Shots On Goal?

    Is there a pattern between good and bad team?

    Interesting stuff there.

  14. DBO says:

    The whole argument that a player is soft annoys me. Only Hall imposes his will physically, and he has a nasty streak which will serve him well. Gagner tries, but is really too small to do anything, Nuge grinds but is still developing physically, Eberle is butter soft, but he takes hits and keeps pushing, Yakupov tries to throw hits, but he is small and like Gagner really does nothing, Hemsky was called soft for a long time until everyone realized the beating he took and yet he still kept crashing the net. The issue with all our top 6 other then Hall is size. Regardless of “try”, none of them are big enough to impose their will. Skill is amazing, and all of them are going to be game breakers, but you can’t teach size. Paajarvi has size and he will only grow bigger and stronger. He has amazing speed, drives the puck out of his zone better then anyone not named Hall, and in time will learn to better use his speed and size to drive the net. Good teams have these kinds of players on their third line and thank the heavens for them. I don’t care if he never hits anyone as long as he continues to break up plays with smart defensive awareness and pushes the puck the right direction.

  15. hunter1909 says:

    DBO: The whole argument that a player is soft annoys me.

    It annoys a lot of people.

    I agree that you can’t teach size. You can however teach toughness, but in order for this to take effect the student must have a keen desire within himself to learn and this is the crux of the matter.

    For example, POS had zero desire to learn anything more than whatever brought him to the show, was found lacking, and just like that he’s off the radar.

    Flip the coin and it’s Pajaarvi who obviously wants to learn; which in another way is annoying a lot of Oiler fans, who don’t especially love the idea of Horcoff/Petrell/insert name here keeping their cushy/ludicrous roster spots. Meanwhile MPS is traded away for dubious “improvements” by that GM who prefers to let his crappy players remain, to the detriment of the team’s developing young players.

    Personally I still believe they still have it in them to make the playoffs, during this 24+24 game season(Hall willing and able).

    Oiler fans mean next to nothing in the minds of those running the team.

    Whereas once upon a time we were reminded of the glory days, now it’s all about rekindling the spirit of 2006. Appalling, but true.

  16. Clay says:

    Nice work Woodguy! Lots and lots of words – how do you find the time? I’ve often wanted to start a blog (I even have a killer name picked out – you know, the most important part), but just don’t think I can justify the time commitment.

    I think you’ve laid out your point better than any MSM type would, and yet bloggers get the stigma of being irresponsible in their comments and not held accountable.

    MPS is this team’s Pisani. Including the part where it takes him a bit longer to be a full-time NHLer. I just hope they can keep him. The 3 or 4 for 1 trade is right around the corner (heh heh), and you’ve got to give up something.

  17. bookje says:

    To be fair to RK, his job is to make these players be the best that they can be and Magnus is still a developing player. Some of his time in the pressbox and the willingness to demote him for short periods of time may be about pushing him to be a better player as opposed to accepting him as the player he is.

    I can imagine a conversation that goes something like this “Look, you had a decent game out there tonight, but you haven’t been driving to the net like we have asked you to. You can be a marginal player in the NHL or you can have a real impact out there if you listen to us and play a more aggressive game. I think that maybe it’s best for you to watch a game from the press box so you can see from above how effective it is when players drive the net vs sending a soft shot in from boards.”

    I don’t know if that is the case and it may just be RK juggling a motley crew of marginal players and not dealing with it well, but I think the coach needs leeway to use the press box as a motivational tool for all players who are not performing their best, not just the worst players on the team.

  18. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Guest Post! Sterling!

    For some reason I’m reminded of when Jazz musicians pay tribute with song titles:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EIqSbvktrYo

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c8Fboivna0o

    At any rate, great article.

    Also, I take some solace in knowing that Foxsports Midwest’s version of Gene is a guy named Kevin Gorg… during the dark times last night, that name kept me steeped in a sense of levity at life’s cruel mysteries.

    Kevin Gorg.

    amazing.

  19. bookje says:

    Also, great post WG,

  20. regwald says:

    According to Aaron Ward, the Toronto Maple Leafs have traded Mike Brown to the Edmonton Oilers for picks.

    Principe says a 4th rounder.

  21. DBO says:

    With Rk trying to both shleter and grow Paajarvi, Yakupov and to some extent Harsky, when we are healthy I hope they run the mythical 3 scoring lines. Our EV issues stem from having one line who can do it, and 3 others who lack key ingredients or just don;t work well together. If RK runs 3 even lines with a 4th that can at least not be shelled, it allows him to roll the top 3 lines and create matchup problems.

    Assuming Horc if back after the road trip and Mr. Dithers still does nothing to help the team, i hope they run with this lineup:

    Hall-Nuge-Yakupov
    Paajarvi-Gagner-Eberle
    Cheechoo-Horcoff-Hemsky
    Smyth-Belanger-Jones

    Won’t happen, but would like to see Cheechoo get a shot and even on his off wing he can score and plays physical. Giving him HEmsky and Horc means he has a passer and a solid defensive minded centre who would allow them to play against anyone.

    Oilers deal for Mike Brown from the Leafs for 4th rd pick in 2014. And there you go, goon and knuckle dragger acquired. God i hate Tambellini.

  22. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    regwald:
    According to Aaron Ward, the Toronto Maple Leafs have traded Mike Brown to the Edmonton Oilers for picks.

    Wikipedia was damn fast on that:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mike_Brown_(forward)

    “Michael S. “Mike” Brown (born June 24, 1985) is an American professional ice hockey right winger who currently plays for the Edmonton Oilers of the National Hockey League (NHL).”

  23. Clay says:

    Mike Brown? Yikes. He’s an upgrade on Hordi, but is he worth draft picks? I dunno.

  24. regwald says:

    Do they IR someone, or is Magnus heading back to OKC to cover the roster spot ?

  25. DBO says:

    If they send Paajarvi down I will be pissed. eager better get flushed cause he can’t fight now with his concussion issues. So he is useless. This move annoys me to no end.

  26. RMGS says:

    Just for kicks, I took at look at Mike Brown’s numbers at Behind the Net. Oilers’ management is a gong show.

    On the bright side, perhaps this will be an ejaculation moment for Ryan Rishaug, and he’ll stop tweeting/reporting nonsense (wishful thinking, I know).

    Mike Brown – a bad hockey player – will take up a roster spot on the big league team likely at the expense of a better hockey player.

    Given today’s excellent post by WG, we can confirm that irony is cruel.

  27. russ99 says:

    Clay,

    From my previous post:
    “Besides, getting coke machines for coke machine’s sake was proven a folly under Quinn. A Pisani or Glencross are the kinds of players we need, not a Volpatti or Hordichuk.”

    Ugh… why waste a pick on this guy?

  28. raventalon40 says:

    Brown hardly seems like an upgrade over Hordichuk if at all. TSN says he can play both wings though. I wonder if this is just a trade which precedes a larger trade… maybe someone has been fishing for Eager or Hordichuk.

    If this is Brown in and Eager for a faceoff specialist, I’m ok with that.

  29. JAG-041 says:

    I think we’re all forgetting what is really important here
    Brown has an awesome moustache
    we needed a guy with a stache and now we have one

  30. jp says:

    Great post WG. Wonder if you could get MacT to take a 1.5 sec look at this too. Kruger apparently needs his eyes opened too, though I suspect he may be coming around more after last nights effort.

    As Clay said, he’ll be this generation’s Pisani if they don’t trade him.

  31. bookje says:

    Hopefully its a late pick with a contract going back the other way (Hortichuk perhaps).

  32. Lucinius says:

    Edmonton; trading to get worse.

    Joy.

    If Brown gets into the lineup over Paajarvi.. I don’t know. Dumb team and MPS should be traded to a team that isn’t moronic and lets the boy play and embarrass our management/coach.

    If the Oilers can’t turn MPS into a solid 3rd line winger with what tools he’s already shown then the team deserves to suffer as the Islanders of the West.

  33. bookje says:

    JAG-041,

    That moustache is Lanny McDonald territory.

  34. DBO says:

    We better not see Paajarvi benched and Eager and Brown on the 4th line together to give us some grit.

    Talking to some leaf fans they are all pissed. They love Brown, last year he PK’s a bit (which gives him some possible value) and all of them think we stole him. I realize Brown is the “fan favorite” type cause he will throw his body around, but the Leaf fans I spoke or messaged with claim Brown is better then Orr and Mclaren, but it smaller then those tree trunks and that Brown is a better actual hockey player but is not a heavy weight. Sounds like Brown is what we wanted Eager to be, but concussion issues make Eager useless.

    If he can play 9 minutes, kill penalties in a pinch and play gritty then he is fine as a 4th liner. This will not change our team, but it won’t hurt as long as Eager or Petrell sit and not Paajarvi. if this means Paajarvi is sent down, then this was a huge mistake.

  35. DeadmanWaking says:

    Nice post, Woodguy. Enjoyed every word.

    I wrote my Asteroid post for a reason. It was for mornings like this. Step back from the ledge, people. The sun doesn’t rise in a day. Yeah, I know, the dark arts of the human condition are gnawing the flesh off our toes. It grows back, really. No one said it was going to be easy.

    wheatnoil: This is a Scarlett Johansson fan site with an odd obsession with hockey.

    I recognize sarcasm, but never bother to parse it. I always treat the ambiguity of tone as some mixture of both, which it usually is.

    These images also have other names: Clio, Thalia, Erato, Euterpe, Polyhymnia, Calliope, Terpsichore, Urania, Melpomene. One of the services these ladies provide are little booster shots against the syphilitic scourge of group-think.

    If you put a bunch of ambitious males in a dark room with no women, all too soon the dynamic degenerates along the lines of Dr Strangelove: sexual potency takes root in an abstract quadrant of the male brain–club your rival senseless and the prize is yours; doesn’t really matter how well appointed, so long as it’s a new model year; bonus if the odometer that racks up small triumphs in the horizontal victory dance is still covered with factory tape.

    An image of a woman at the peak of her sensual beauty (and selfhood) who is all there takes us to quite a different place. For men, the visual channel is pretty much the red phone to the Oval Office. When it rings, we answer. There’s nothing quite like the concrete reality of a beautiful woman to dissolve any illusions we might harbor about knowing it all or the Infallible Crest of the One True Pickup Line.

    Of course, nothing could be easier than to summon up cheesecake. There’s an app for that. The pornographic gradient is the Amazon river of water slides, disgorging into a foaming white sea of breasts and buttocks and the internally nonthreatening masculine virtues of domination and conquest.

    What’s difficult is to adequately resist the cheesecake gradient: to open oneself up to the awe and majesty of the mossy cathedral at the basin of a long tall rivulet of cascading glacial melt and faint yet animate and shimmering rainbows. This is among the most revealing and personal ways to set the tone. Nothing reminds us quite so well of our propensity to descend into base behaviour as a brief encounter with a women we can only dimly hope to deserve with the smallest and most solitary birthday candle of our better selves.

    A minor obsession with hockey is the right obsession with hockey. When a group assembles with a major male obsession with hockey, soon the drums are beating in unison BANG THE BODY. Every male-only group obsession culminates in Roman spectacle.

    It’s no small art to set your ax into a lofty and sublime aerie on the cliff face of tribalism and not lose your perch.

  36. RMGS says:

    From TSN.ca: “This season, Brown has one assist in 12 games as well as 70 penalty minutes. He has missed eight games due to a shoulder injury.”

    Now we know why the Oilers acquired him!

  37. FrankenOil says:

    Welcome to Long Island West Ladies and Gents

  38. LMHF#1 says:

    Well, at least this should end the “Tambellini might not be a moron” posts.

    Is this team allergic to adding bit players for no assets (waiviers or FA) or what?

  39. Zipdot says:

    I’ve got an online pal who has sworn in all seriousness for the last couple of years that Maggie “the Magnus-ificent One” is the BPA on the Oilers. My buddy’s Swedish, so he may be a bit biased, and he’s a Wings fan, but I think he might be right about this one. Magnus could be the biggest sleeper in the NHL. He needs opportunity. The more, the merrier.

  40. hunter1909 says:

    Lucinius: and MPS should be traded to a team that isn’t moronic and lets the boy play and embarrass our management/coach.

    Sheldon Souray, Geoffrey Lupul, Andrew Cogliano, Jason Chimera and the list goes on…say hello.

    Soon every game will feature at least one or more disgruntled former players, each bent on extracting revenge in their own particular way.

    Brad Winchester really used to love hammering the Oilers. Is he still playing?

  41. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    JAG-041:
    I think we’re all forgetting what is really important here
    Brown has an awesome moustache
    we needed a guy with a stache and now we have one

    The same part of my brain that thinks Kirill Tulupov is the greatest hockey player of all time had the same thought…

    who knows maybe ST isn’t the bumbling, indifferent ball of confusion he appears to be… maybe he is a deeply cynical troll… playing a hilarious game on us all?

  42. bookje says:

    BIG DISCOUNTS!!!! Get them now while they last. These items are hot!

    - Pope Benedict XVI gold rimmed plates and mugs.

    - Steve Tambellini Fan Club Pins available in pewter, cadmium, and lime flavoured silver

    - Darcy Hordichuk Edmonton Oiler Jersey’s

    - Edmonton Oilers 2012-13 commemorative playoff baseball caps

  43. Racki says:

    I’m sure this comes as no surprise to a “stats guy” (which I’m not much of), but the ol’ shot differential theory holds water.. if you chart the effect of shot differential for a team on points earned, there is a linear relationship between the two. The better your differential, generally, the more points your team earns on the year. Same goes for PP and PK. And yes, hits oddly is downward trend.

    Oilers pick up Mike Brown for a 4th.. i like this. Brown has played some PK, which tells me he’s not a useless goon. He can protect the team (not sure why we need this role filled since we have Ben Eager.. oh right.. he’s a scorer now…) and play some regular shifts. Looks like he’s been through war with injuries though.

    Also, never underestimate the power of a good mustache. It will likely lead us to the promised land.

  44. raventalon40 says:

    RMGS:
    From TSN.ca: “This season, Brown has one assist in 12 games as well as 70 penalty minutes. He has missed eight games due to a shoulder injury.”

    Now we know why the Oilers acquired him!

    I was just thinking that too! It’s a prerequisite for being an Oiler dontchaknow?

  45. FrankenOil says:

    And now, Spector is sending MPS to the minors since it’s the easiest call because he’s waiver eligible and not top-6 capable

    Mark Spector Sports ‏@SportsnetSpec
    in 8 more NHL games, Paajarvi will require waivers to go to OKC. Don’t be surprised if he goes down w/Brown in. He’s not a Top 6 NHL fwd

    Clearly the goal isn’t to win but to protect waiver eligibility

  46. Lois Lowe says:

    I can’r wait for the inevitable 4th lin of Hordichuk – VDV – Brown. TRUCULENCE!

  47. FrankenOil says:

    So this pick could be a 3rd if the oilers make the playoffs…Wow, just wow

  48. RMGS says:

    FrankenOil: Mark Spector Sports ‏@SportsnetSpec
    in 8 more NHL games, Paajarvi will require waivers to go to OKC. Don’t be surprised if he goes down w/Brown in. He’s not a Top 6 NHL fwd

    This ridiculous acquisition may (emphasis on may) be enough to leave Rishaug satisfied, but the list of MSM with pent up “toughness” frustrations is too long.

  49. DBO says:

    FrankenOil,

    Yeah, Spector is really pissing me off more and more. Stop it that he is not a top 6 forward. we get it. Sorry, but look at the last few cup winners. the third line were actual players with skills, not goons and grinders.

    LA last year: based on time on ice: Stoll, Penner and Lewis
    Bos 2 yrs ago: Kelly, Horton and Ryder
    CHI – Madden, Laad and Kopecky

    All three have interesting combo’s: a two way centre who is a vet, a guy with size and a two way player. Paajarvi is the two way player w=for our 3rd line. pissing me off.

  50. goldenchild says:

    Nice post WG but I think 91 will prob be sent down soon and then flushed in the offseason for someone who is not good at hockey. it will be a giant fucking waste. hes going to be a terrific hockey player.

    So today they trade a 4th rd pick for a guy that seems to be the equiv of guys who are on waivers every week, the glee found in Tor from the deal should be an indicator of how dumb it is. They get out shot out played badly and the fix is a 4th line player that isnt good at playing hockey, neither at generating offence or stopping the opposoition from creating offence. Way to fix it.

    My biggest concern coming into this year was that the fan base and media would become frustrated that this incomplete roster didnt live up to their unrealistic expecations which would prompt management to get their “grit” in top 6 and make a Sundin for Clark type trade. Now I dont think its a question of if but when. I could see them moving Yakupov. And I know Col won after the trade but it was because of the Roy trade not because they gave up a ‘soft euro’ who became a hall of famer for an old broken down gritty western boy.

    I have zero faith this management group has any clue and worry what they think the fix is.

  51. bookje says:

    The biggest problem I have with this is that the team is overloaded with contracts and guys who they don’t want to lose to waivers (apparently) so trading a pick for a player just makes things worse.

    A couple of years ago Tambellini was able to offload a bunch of carrion to get picks, but now the Oilers seem to simply be collecting marginally marginal players to ‘improve team toughness’. Given that Brown apparently kills penalties, perhaps Petrell is on his way out of town. I would be ok with that if Brown is a decent penalty killer (waiting for the stats guys to tell me).

  52. OilClog says:

    hunter1909: Sheldon Souray, Geoffrey Lupul, Andrew Cogliano, Jason Chimera and the list goes on…say hello.

    Soon every game will feature at least one or more disgruntled former players, each bent on extracting revenge in their own particular way.

    Brad Winchester really used to love hammering the Oilers. Is he still playing?

    All these players played themselves out of town, and Winchester.. he should love Edmonton and send Quinn I love you letters all day every day for making him a 1st liner.

  53. raventalon40 says:

    bookje:
    The biggest problem I have with this is that the team is overloaded with contracts and guys who they don’t want to lose to waivers (apparently) so trading a pick for a player just makes things worse.

    A couple of years ago Tambellini was able to offload a bunch of carrion to get picks, but now the Oilers seem to simply be collecting marginally marginal players to ‘improve team toughness’.Given that Brown apparently kills penalties, perhaps Petrell is on his way out of town. I would be ok with that if Brown is a decent penalty killer (waiting for the stats guys to tell me).

    I smell another trade in the works!

  54. LMHF#1 says:

    OilClog: All these players played themselves out of town, and Winchester.. he should love Edmonton and send Quinn I love you letters all day every day for making him a 1st liner.

    Chimera did nothing of the sort. Brad Winchester never played for Quinn. Lupul was ill. Cogliano is up, down and all over the place. Souray got Iginla’ed.

  55. RMGS says:

    bookje: Given that Brown apparently kills penalties, perhaps Petrell is on his way out of town. I would be ok with that if Brown is a decent penalty killer (waiting for the stats guys to tell me).

    Had to bite:

    0.03 TOI/60 on PK this year with Leafs

    Willis says he’s PKd in the past, though usually on teams with bad PKs.

  56. raventalon40 says:

    I wonder if we can “buy Lowe on Ryan Clowe?”

    :-)

  57. DBO says:

    good post by Willis at ON:

    http://oilersnation.com/2013/3/4/edmonton-oilers-trade-for-mike-brown

    And from Toronto it seems like the players are not happy about losing Brown. Character guy, can PK, can play a regular shift and hold his own. As long as Paajarvi is not sacrificed for him then it is a good move. Eager or Petrell say bye bye. if that is the move, then it was a good one. Please Ralph be smart and move out one of the pluggers or hell, move a defensemen!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  58. regwald says:

    Bob McKenzie ‏@TSNBobMcKenzie

    BTW, TOR now cheering for EDM to make playoffs this year. If so, 4th rder in 2014 for Mike Brown becomes 3rd rder in 2014.

    Really ? Cause like Brown will be the reason the Oilers make the post-season ? WTF kinda logic is that ???

  59. striatic says:

    Mike Brown.

    Mike Brown?

    Mike Brown!

    Mike Brown : (

  60. Ryan says:

    Not sure i like this trade. Why are the Oilers spending pics now especially on marginal players?

    Next year’s pick might be better spent on roster need when they’re at the trade deadline with some hope of making the playoffs (next season).

    Either way, Brown is not the answer to this team’s problems.

  61. DBO says:

    raventalon40,

    Totally agree. Move someone for Clowe and we are a different team right away. Not for Paajarvi, not sure who, but get Clowe and a whole lot changes. I would consider Clowe for Harsky, yes I know Clowe is a UFA, but he is what we want Harsky to be in 2 or 3 years, and we can have that guy right now. We sign him for 2-3 years at $3.4 mill and we have our 2nd LW who can play physical and bring it dirty style as opposed to pretty every time. Don’t want to move Harsky, but that is the kind of move I see Tamblowe doing, Clowe for Harsky, you heard it here first. Not sure if I want it, but I expect a trade like that. It’ll probably be Paajarvi for that kind of guy (which would be terrible), but if San Jose drops a bit more you may get him for a prospect.

  62. Lois Lowe says:

    raventalon40: I smell another trade in the works!

    The 3 for 1 that’ll provide roster balance? Make it so!

  63. justDOit says:

    striatic:
    Mike Brown.

    Mike Brown?

    Mike Brown!

    Mike Brown : (

    Age: 27
    DOB: 1985/06/24
    POB: Chicago, IL
    Height: 5-11 Weight: 205lbs
    Shoots: R
    NHL Seasons: 5
    Drafted by Vancouver in 2004 (5/159).

  64. striatic says:

    aren’t you supposed to use the waiver wire to pick up guys like this?

  65. Ryan says:

    Why buy Brown now when you could have had Connolly for free?

  66. BlacqueJacque says:

    striatic:
    aren’t you supposed to use the waiver wire to pick up guys like this?

    Quoted for truth.

  67. RMGS says:

    DBO: can PK, can play a regular shift and hold his own.

    The cold, hard numbers suggest otherwise. He’s averaged only 4.6 EV TOI/60 and managed the Leafs’ third worst Corsi for players with 10+ games this season. Plus, he didn’t PK for them this year.

  68. fuzzy muppet says:

    NJ gets Loktionov for a 5th.

    Edmonton gets MIkeFucking Brown for what is potentially a 3rd.

    Can someone explain how Tambeloweni has a job still??

    I implore you Edmonton fans… STOP BUYING TICKETS RIGHT FUCKING NOW

  69. OilClog says:

    I know TSN sucks.. but strangely enough, most comments seemed to be pissed they only got a draft pick, most people are sad to see him go as he always left it all out on the ice.. Truthfully speaking, Oilers need this, if Mike Brown can come in and give this team a jolt up the back bone.. who cares about a 4thround pick. We can trade Petrell for a 5th! lol

  70. striatic says:

    i guess this is a not so subtle message from management that the tank is on.

    the only value he provides is to fight in losses in order to keep the season ticket holders mildly entertained as the team plummets to the bottom of the standings.

  71. RMGS says:

    fuzzy muppet: Edmonton gets MIkeFucking Brown for what is potentially a 3rd.

    Did you see the team play last night? It’s going to be a 4th! :-)

  72. OilClog says:

    After watching a few Mike Brown fights.. I welcome him. It’s been a while since we had someone that can land a punch and follow it up with 9 more. The man beat Asham down, him and Eager on the 4th together is going to make for some interesting moments.

  73. In the Grease says:

    OilClog: All these players played themselves out of town, and Winchester.. he should love Edmonton and send Quinn I love you letters all day every day for making him a 1st liner.

    I believe you are thinking of JF Jacques….

    I’m still emotionally scarred by the Oilers putting Ray Whitney on waivers in ’97 …. let alone processing the loss of Stoll, Greene, Glencross, Brodziak …. as has been stated ad infinitum, exactly the types of players the Oilers have needed for years.

    Please God, let Mike Brown prove to be more than a lateral move at best….. However it just seems to be more evidence that leaves us as fans with little faith that this management team has the ability to pull off a logical deal that will significantly improve this team. Would love to be wrong…. c’mon Tambo, the time is now to reveal your long-hidden genius.

  74. OilClog says:

    striatic:
    i guess this is a not so subtle message from management that the tank is on.

    the only value he provides is to fight in losses in order to keep the season ticket holders mildly entertained as the team plummets to the bottom of the standings.

    Have to disagree, I think this signals the end of Petrell being out on the ice for the final 2minutes in a game. Well one can hope.

  75. striatic says:

    OilClog: Have to disagree, I think this signals the end of Petrell being out on the ice for the final 2minutes in a game. Well one can hope.

    why do you think this?

    do you think Brown will be out there instead?

  76. loosemoose says:

    I hope oiler fans are ready…….Brown will be loved by fans like Ryan Jones in no time…..

    I mean, how do you not cheer for a moustache like that?

    Oh….and I hear he fights too….

  77. RMGS says:

    OilClog: him and Eager on the 4th together is going to make for some interesting moments

    Well, it will definitely be interesting to see by how much they will be outshot and, thus, outscored! :-)

    Sorry, couldn’t resist.

  78. OilClog says:

    In the Grease,

    Damn sorry, coke machine pepsi cooler.. my bad.

    Still Winchester had all the chance aswell, he had a few auditions at the top after a good game or two and kept falling apart.

    Ray Whitney never had a chance here, the media wouldn’t give the guy a inch to breathe let alone play hockey.

    Stoll, and Greene were brutal losses, Glencross sucks but it’s not like he’s that amazing down there.. and Brodziak, well he’s a wild. I hate him.

  79. In the Grease says:

    Ryan:
    Why buy Brown now when you could have had Connolly for free?

    Are you implying that Brown and Connolly are the same player type? Remember the name of this movie is “Quest for Truculence”….

  80. OilClog says:

    RMGS: Well, it will definitely be interesting to see by how much they will be outshot and, thus, outscored!

    Sorry, couldn’t resist.

    That’s different then the rest of the team how? lololol.. Oilers can’t break 15 shots as a team, don’t really think it falls onto Eagers shoulders.

  81. OilClog says:

    striatic: why do you think this?

    do you think Brown will be out there instead?

    I think this because I dream

    If Brown is out there instead, I quit. Was just hoping for a petrell freezone is all

  82. fuzzy muppet says:

    What a loser franchise.

    They could have just claimed Sestito to do the exact same thing and kept the draft pick.

    There is no light at the end of this tunnel…

  83. justDOit says:

    fuzzy muppet:
    What a loser franchise.

    They could have just claimed Sestito to do the exact same thing and kept the draft pick.

    There is no light at the end of this tunnel…

    it’s actually a cave…

  84. OilClog says:

    justDOit: it’s actually a cave…

    black hole

  85. RMGS says:

    fuzzy muppet: They could have just claimed Sestito to do the exact same thing and kept the draft pick.

    Yes, but has Sestito recently recovered from a shoulder injury like soon-to-be fan favourite Mike Brown?

  86. striatic says:

    fuzzy muppet: They could have just claimed Sestito to do the exact same thing and kept the draft pick.

    right but this guy has more entertaining facial hair than Sestito.

    this is a pure “entertainment value” trade to add some character to a losing team.

  87. In the Grease says:

    Great article btw Woodguy! Sorry to contribute to the Mike Brown left turn in the thread….

  88. loosemoose says:

    Also, good post Woodguy.

    Seeing as its pretty cut and dry, I suspect to see PRV down in okc any hour now ;)

  89. Lois Lowe says:

    justDOit: it’s actually a cave…

    I see what you did there. I approve.

  90. In the Grease says:

    OilClog:
    In the Grease,

    Damn sorry, coke machine pepsi cooler.. my bad.

    Still Winchester had all the chance aswell, he had a few auditions at the top after a good game or two and kept falling apart.

    Ray Whitney never had a chance here, the media wouldn’t give the guy a inch to breathe let alone play hockey.

    Stoll, and Greene were brutal losses, Glencross sucks but it’s not like he’s that amazing down there.. and Brodziak, well he’s a wild. I hate him.

    All good…. yeah I’m thinking of writing out a Ghosts of Oilers Past all-time fantasy team, just for kicks… would have to only include players involved in losing trades, put on waivers, let go as free agents, or otherwise run out of town… just as an amusing self-inflicted punishment activity.

  91. striatic says:

    i want to hear why WG thinks Krueger is HSing PRV.

  92. Captain Obvious says:

    Ryan:
    Why buy Brown now when you could have had Connolly for free?

    Seriously. The NHL is a mad, mad, world. Is there a clearer indication that the men that run NHL teams have no idea what they are doing.

    Process this for a moment: Mike Brown has more value than Tim Connolly.

    The upgrade from VDV to Connolly is approaching infinity and yet we are going to add the incredibly useless Mike Brown, send one of our best players to the minors, and then field a fourth line of Brown, VDV, and Eager. Think about that. The mind reels, insanity beckons.

    As Romulus implied above we are in the hands of Descartes’ deceiving devil.

  93. RMGS says:

    OK, I don’t know about the rest of you, but I really need a dose of LT’s sober second thoughts on this laughable acquisition. The sarcasm, cynicism, and pessimism it invites are too tempting.

  94. fuzzy muppet says:

    At least acquire a guy that can play Center. Anything is an upgrade on VDV.

    What a bunch of dum-dums

  95. striatic says:

    time proven maxim .. if Tencer trots out his “tough guy voice”, you know you’ve just lost a trade.

    we wait.

  96. Hammers says:

    Thank God someone took the time to show what many of us have believed all along . Having said that don’t be surprised to see him sent down as he is an easy recall . For me I allways thought he was the better choice of Hartski & Magnus and the both of them are better choices than Pettrel, Eager & Smyth .Thanks Woodguy.

  97. ASkoreyko says:

    Looks like MacT’s big brain was not consulted in this matter…

    Or big is a relative term when talking about Oiler management.

  98. bookje says:

    On the good side, it is highly unlikely that the Oilers make the playoffs this year so that third round pick should be safe.

  99. Traktor says:

    Mike Brown is an awesome 4th line player. Good speed, can take a pass, pretty good defensively, can PK, can drop the mitts, good team guy.

    Eager and Brown should have good chem on the 4th line.

  100. Captain Obvious says:

    Here’s some more info to fuel the nausea.

    Belanger, Eager, and Brown are all signed for next year. Fourth lines matter a lot. If your fourth line can’t play in the East Coast league, your third line is going to also be terrible. Throw in the bad minor league team and this team is toast before it even began.

    Just wait until they re-sign Ryan Jones. The bottom six is going to be Jones–Horcoff–Smyth, Eager–Belanger–Brown. That team has no chance of winning and it doesn’t even consider the disaster that is the Dcorps.

    This team is closer to the worst team in the league than it is to the playoffs, now and forever more.

    The only thing that could convince me otherwise is if Eager or Petrell go on waivers to make room.

  101. Bar_Qu says:

    Well, I am late to this party, but I would like to say the Oilers regretted seeing Dan Cleary ply his trade so effectively for the Wings all those years, and they are likely going to ignore Santayana and do the same this with PRV. Sucks to be a fan of this franchise.

    As for the Brown thing? Meh, 4th in 2014 (according to what I see on the Oilers website) is hardly worth crying about. And he brings the big that all the papers want to see on this team. Too bad it wasn’t in exchange for the PK greatness of Petrell which TO could use.

    Here comes the 3-1 trade!

  102. stevezie says:

    Agree that Clowe is probably the ideal acquisition. I have been saying this since 2010/11 when stories were coming out of the Sharks’ dressing room that Clowe was the one holding teammates accountable and desperately hated to lose (sorry I can’t source this).

    Clowe is also having a bad year and is a UFA, which should drive his price down. He still defines functional toughness.

    So if he’s the ideal, how dos Brown compare? It’s pretty impossible to be thrilled, but you could do worse. The pick is in 2014, not this year’s “mythical” draft. I dunno. It’s not a bad thing to improve the 4th line, if that’s what this does. I dunno.

    We’ve all read the convincing arguments that fighting doesn’t help win, but another fact is that the Oilers don’t fight and the Oilers don’t win. Feel free to start changing things.

  103. denny33 says:

    DBO,

    You are missing a Chicago forward that was pushing 270 POUNDS. The Vancouver Canucks had no answer for him…..Owned the boards and owned the front of the net.

  104. WeridAl says:

    Good article LT, Paajarvi was probably the best Oilers on the ice yesterday. Like the Mike Brown trade, will give life to that 4 line, Eager is too hot and cold for my liking.

    I highly doubt Gregor ever watched a OKC game this year, if he had he wouldn’t of said Paajarvi was soft. He has a tendency to go with the flow. IMO the main reason Paajarvi is in and out of the line up, is the Oilers are trying to show case some other players so they can be traded.

  105. WeridAl says:

    stevezie,

    If Edmonton was a cup contender Clowe would be a excellent choice, but there is a good chance the Oilers don’t make the playoffs, so it would be a wast of a acquisition.

  106. DBO says:

    denny33,

    right, forgot about that monster who now is a monster dman. He can play, And that is the key, guys who may not be “perfect” but are actual NHLers who can play a quality shift and help your team go the right direction.

  107. Woodguy says:

    All,

    Thanks for the kind words about the post.

    I appreciate it.

    Also,

    The Oilers want the Brown type of player on their roster.

    I’m ok with that, I see why they want him.

    I’m ok with trade as long as:

    -Eager or Petrell get waived, not Paajarvi or Hartikainen

    1 of this player type on your team is ok if he can skate, give a pass, take a pass.

    2 is 1 too many.

    Risaug said on the radio that “Eager refuses to fight” I don’t know if that is true, its the first I heard of it, but I believe it.

    If that’s true then I expect Brown to be an Eager replacement and Eager to be flushed.

    I don’t blame Eager for not wanting to fight.

    He’s had multiple concussions and the science is telling us that’s a road to early Alzheimer’s, depression and a myriad of other poorly understood brain diseases.

    He has the rest of his life to worry about.

    A 4th with a condition on being a 3rd is a little steep, but by accounts of those who know more than me, he’s way better of a hockey player than Sestito and they tried for Volpatti.

    The Oilers sure like drafting fighters with 3rd round picks, and now trading 3rd round picks for fighters.

    I hope he can play better than 55/37 and one of them gets flushed.

  108. RMGS says:

    “Jonathan Willis ‏@JonathanWillis
    When a bad team gets tougher, it doesn’t become a good team. It becomes #CBJ.”

  109. eidy says:

    I am with Woodguy. Brown seems like an upgrade or a change of scenery on the 4th line for eager or Petrell. Bringing Brown in at the expense of MPS or Harti is not a good hockey move.

    I am hoping that there is a market for eager or belanger.

    I wonder if Belanger would work for the New York Rangers. They are underachieving and Boyle for Belanger might make some sense for both teams. We take on a bit more salary this year and next, but not a huge amount. Give more size as well as giving both players a fresh start. Belanger is excellent on penalty kill and draws, but has really struggled offensively.

  110. stevezie says:

    Good article WG. I really don’t understand how one could advocate Petrell over MPS.

    I’ll be the apologist. Mike Brown is old, isn’t special even for his class of player, and I think we gave up too much for him, but this team looked LIFELESS yesterday. By all means, try something. We can use more try-hards.

    Of course it won’t matter if we don’t get deeper at C or better at D, but adding Brown certainly doesn’t prevent either of those things happening.

  111. DBO says:

    If this is our lineup (or some combo of the players below) when Horc is healthy I will be OK with this deal.

    Hall-Nuge-Yakupov
    Paajarvi-Gagner-Eberle
    Smyth-Horcoff-Hemsky
    Jones-Belanger-Brown

    Any part of this where Paajarvi gets sent down due to this deal makes it a huge loss. He has been our best player in his last 2 games. Eager is now redundant, and Petrell is an AHL player with one skill, the PK (which has now been replaced by Paajarvi and Jones, especially when Horc comes back).

  112. cabbiesmacker says:

    DBO:
    FrankenOil,

    Sorry, but look at the last few cup winners. the third line were actual players with skills, not goons and grinders.

    CHI – Madden, Laad and Kopecky

    That wasn’t the Hawks third line DBO but point taken.

    Hawks third was actually much, much better. They had the luxury of plug and playing Bolland, Ladd, Brouwer, and or Byfuglien/Versteeg if a spark was required.

    Now that’s real team depth. Sad it all got torn apart as there would have been a few Stanley’s in that future.

    Hawks are running Bickell, Shaw (C), and Stalberg now until Bolland gets back from the IR. Pretty damned decent and compared to the Oilers third? Light years.

    All the Oilers 3 stooges management team needs to do is look at what is working for successful NHL teams. It can’t be that hard can it? This build exclusively via the draft method they are choosing to pursue is going to end in a great big nada unless they start trading some of the young assets for NOW vet help.

  113. Bar_Qu says:

    WG, I will add my voice to the chorus of approval for that post. I have wondered several times why you don’t have your own blog, but if you can strongarm LT into letting you post here every once in a while, well that saves me one extra click ;-)

    It is really interesting to ponder what roster move will occur to fit Mr. Brown onto the roster. IMO, someone without waiver eligibility will be demoted, but I sure hope it is 55 or 37 sent out of town.

    Also, the Principe puns with Brown are likely even greater than with Nail. I hear some Seussian references upcoming. (Mr. Brown comes to town).

  114. delooper says:

    MPS is going to be a fine player. Part of the reason for the groupthink about MPS is he’s one of the few players the Oilers have they they *can* send down to OKC without waivers. People see him going down to OKC often and they think “what’s wrong with MPS?” rather than “why don’t the Oilers clear up their contract situation?”

  115. fuzzy muppet says:

    DBO,

    Love those lines…

  116. jimbones100 says:

    Woodguy:
    All,

    Thanks for the kind words about the post.

    I appreciate it.

    Also,

    The Oilers want the Brown type of player on their roster.

    I’m ok with that, I see why they want him.

    I’m ok with trade as long as:

    -Eager or Petrell get waived, not Paajarvi or Hartikainen

    1 of this player type on your team is ok if he can skate, give a pass, take a pass.

    2 is 1 too many.

    Risaug said on the radio that “Eager refuses to fight”I don’t know if that is true, its the first I heard of it, but I believe it.

    If that’s true then I expect Brown to be an Eager replacement and Eager to be flushed.

    I don’t blame Eager for not wanting to fight.

    He’s had multiple concussions and the science is telling us that’s a road to early Alzheimer’s, depression and a myriad of other poorly understood brain diseases.

    He has the rest of his life to worry about.

    A 4th with a condition on being a 3rd is a little steep, but by accounts of those who know more than me, he’s way better of a hockey player than Sestito and they tried for Volpatti.

    The Oilers sure like drafting fighters with 3rd round picks, and now trading 3rd round picks for fighters.

    I hope he can play better than 55/37 and one of them gets flushed.

    Agree. If this is Brown in and Eager out then well done Oiler management.

  117. SK Oiler Fan says:

    Nice work WG. I knew there was progress this year withn 91, but now you’ve made it more clear.
    I like 91 playing up with the top 2 lines when injuries hit much more thatn 94. 94 can’t keep up with the top two lines and they’re competition anymore, 91 can. Valuable player as he can play up and down the lineup at age 21.

    Mike Brown eh – whatever – Do they really need 2 Ben Eagers? I’ll echo alot of the comments above:
    He doesn’t play C or D and doesn’t score goals – how does this aquisition address any of the team’s most pressing current or future issues?

  118. DBO says:

    OK, was unsure about this trade until comrade Horcov clarified it. Now I believe it is a great idea:
    (via twitter)S Horcov ‏@SHorcov
    Who the hell is Mike Brown? And why is Tambo wandering by with big grin mumbling about ‘moustache rides’?

  119. FrankenOil says:

    cabbiesmacker,

    Yeah it seems like the Oilers braintrust has decided that 2 lines of scoring is enough. I’m not going to go in the Omark direction but if it walks like a duck, talks like a duck…you get the idea.

  120. denny33 says:

    I like the Mike Brown move – hopefully eliminates a European from our 3rd or 4th lines.

    However, I think we all agree that the overall composition of the team is simply not working.

    Our own TV analyst said it best we were ( I am paraphrasing ) we were grounded and pounded by St. Louis – 2 even strength shots in the 2nd period? Really? ( Let the arrows fly towards Debrusk )

    I believe it took us 8 minutes at the start of the Wild game to get a shot on net – a dump in – I believe..and then came a period of professional hockey where an NHL team did not generate one shot on net. Others will surely disagree – but that period is the perfect microcosm of our season so far.

    If some people are upset about what the Edmonton media thinks of the our oilers – then they should plug their ears to what outside commentators are saying….we are now back to last year where open mockery is creeping back into conversations.

    The Edmonton Oilers did not come near the net last night. Such a common theme for this team.

    We now sit 14th out of 15th in the Western Conference….THANK GOD FOR COLUMBUS.
    ( warning- they hold 3 – first round picks this coming draft so we might not be able to count on their ineptitude next year )

    I think we all agree our bottom 6 forwards are below average..

    However, I again raise the question about our top 6 forwards. How can you possibly have such abysmal results with such skill?

    RNH is my favourite player. He is our 1st line centre and the #1 overall pick last year – he has 1 goal. And has been tied by 46 year old Ryan Smyth. RNH was one of those players playing a high level of hockey with most NHL players were on the couch.

    If he is injured – he should not be playing. We are not going to win the cup this year.

    In contrast, Landeskog has 2goals and 3 assists in only 9 games.

    Wondering if instead of RNH – we should have traded down or simply just taken Lendeskog 1st overall. Along the same lines – wondering if we should have taken Ryan Murray instead of Yak.

    I am not saying I advocate this – but you can see how the composition of your team changes.

    Gagne, Hemsky, Yak, RNH, Eberle all the same player . Soft players but very offensively gifted. How many of those players do you require on your team?

    When you select RNH and YAK in the entry draft – while already having Gagne, Evberle, Hall and Hemsky – you must surely have an idea for altering that mix at some point. Or do we?

    Was this year the test year to see if the above could have worked? Or simply, ST has not been able to turn some of those similar assets into more power forward types?

    Shortened season and apparently might make it tougher to complete deals?

    Don’t believe I have come across a player like MPS that warrants such a difference of opinion. The reverence to a player with such poor productivity numbers. ( Same points as Colton Orr )

    It would be so Interesting to hear RK’s off the record comments on the Swede.

    Having said all that – his effort has been really good the last few games and I would almost say he was our best forward against Minnesota. ( keeping in mind we generated 7 shots in two periods – what is the record for fewest shots in 2 periods of play? )

  121. gcw_rocks says:

    Isn’t this (the Mike Brown trade) the kind of stupidity that all the MacT fans were expecting would stop with his sage advice added to the mix?

    I could put sitting MPS for lesser players in with that at as well. If this is the result of MacT’s sage advice and bright hockey mind, this is going to be a bad hockey team for a looooonnnngggg time.

    GM in waiting. Oh, goody.

  122. delooper says:

    I don’t understand the Mike Brown move, either. The Oilers have too many marginally-good 3rd and 4th line players and it’s not clear how this move (in isolation) addresses that.

  123. sliderule says:

    If they lose three of their next four it would be time for them to go like the islanders did a couple of years ago.Bring up Hordichuk and any other goon we are allowed to.Then have them go slapshot and don’t worry about the outcome.
    Every team is trying to intimidate our young guys.If they are not doing it by charging them they are doing it by a stick as they skate off or yapping at them.It wouldn’t bother me but it seems to be working.Our guys looked intimidated.
    We need to put a little more crazy into our team until our kids grow up.

  124. eidy says:

    I don’t think they are trying to intimidate us. They just have overall better players, come take the puck from our worse players, play keep away for awile than shoot at out net again and again and again..

  125. justDOit says:

    Woodguy,

    Great article WG! LT is the most underworked person on this Monday, aside from the guy who puts together the Oilers highlight packages.

    I wish I could find someone to write some test reports for me!

  126. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    We probably need 8-10 of these 4-11 minute guys on the roster, probably.

    Oiler mgt. reminds me of how I used to play Monopoly. I quickly learned as a kid that trying to win wasn’t nearly as fun as trying to inhabit the universe of the game and create characters and narratives. I always wanted to play the “slum lord” and own as many of the cheap properties as possible, usually shunning the idea of making a “set” of them. The moment you acquire too much concentration in your properties you are no longer off the grid and guaranteed to be visited by the man and all his fancy talk about proper electric wiring and human rights of the tenants etc.

    The Oilers aren’t trying to win.

    They are trying to tell a story. A story about a horrible group of people who are terrible at everything.

    Baltic Avenue has never looked better (er… worse).

  127. Truth Movement says:

    denny33:
    I like the Mike Brown move – hopefully eliminates a European from our 3rd or 4th lines.

    Is that you, Spector?

  128. Smarmy says:

    Kevin Lowe looks across the table at Steve Tambillini. He takes of sip of stale, scorched coffee. A slight grimace from the taste. It’s been a long night with Steve. Roster Assessment is the toughest part of the job and we need to find the right players to make the playoffs. I look into Steve’s eyes. Some would say they are vacant but I see a cool and calm look of concentration. Has he figured it out?

    He smiles and slides a piece of paper to me. A wide grin now dons his face. I clench my jaw. What has he discovered? I open the paper and see the bright orange of crayon with the simple words “Not winnin fer mackinnin!”

    “Steve you magnificient bastard! Of course, Mike Brown!” Kevin Lowe calls Nonis and hopes he can pry him away….

  129. justDOit says:

    Kadri on Brown trade: ‘Can’t say I was happy with the decision … I was very disappointed. He’s a guy that’s awesome on so many levels.’

    From TSN. Either Brown lived in a Krameresque apartment in TO, or was sincerely liked by his team mates.

  130. FrankenOil says:

    Stauffer says Brown can play C which does changes my perception a bit for this trade.

  131. striatic says:

    FrankenOil: Stauffer says Brown can play C which does changes my perception a bit for this trade.

    if he draws in for VDV, the trade makes more sense.

    i guess.

  132. ashley says:

    Nice article Woodguy. Very lucid. You have presented an exceptional argument for MPS.

    I don’t disagree regarding MPS. I think his shot differential and flattering WOWY numbers come more from his defensive-minded play than his offensive abilities. I like the player a lot.

    Regarding your premise; Winning the shot differential wins games. I can’t see much to disagree with this, although it still seems a little too spartan. The “blocked shot” counting as a shot attempt seems intuitively flawed. A shot that gets blocked can be a good play, or a terrible play. Some players make better decisions than others and are hence more valuable than others.

    A shot from the point that hits someone in front after travelling 60 feet is a good shot, and a good decision by the perimeter player. A telegraphed shot into a defender’s shin pads from the perimeter is a bad decision, and almost certainly to result in a turnover.

    When I learned hockey, we called this “forcing it”. Poor players force it frequently. Good players know when the odds of getting a shot on net are low, and move the puck to a different player with a different angle.

    A good example here is Eberle. I know his shots against haven’t always been great as he lacks some defensive instincts. However, offensively, he makes excellent decisions. He rarely takes a shot that gets blocked by the defender immediately in front of him. He knows when to shoot, and when to move it to a teammate for a better opportunity.

    I don’t know if the shot differential stat could differentiate between these two distinct situations, but it would certainly give me more confidence in what the stat was telling us. Perhaps that becomes too subjective to produce reliable data.

    Still shot differential gives a rough look at what is happening, more than what our eyes can tell us.

    The same criticism of this stat could made for shots from beyond the faceoff circles without traffic in front, or wraparound attempts with the goalie in position. Poor decisions that have a low percentage of success, kill the play, and turnover the puck.

  133. stevezie says:

    delooper:
    I don’t understand the Mike Brown move, either.The Oilers have too many marginally-good 3rd and 4th line players and it’s not clear how this move (in isolation) addresses that.

    This move addresses only one need (imo): try. Not grit- Brown doesn’t play enough to really affect how we play. However, while we have many players I like a lot, how many hate-to-lose/motor-that-doesn’t-quit/look-at-that-nut tryhards do we have? Hall, maybe Gagner? Maybe Smid? This used to be Smitty, but I think he is too old to play this role.

    Not saying the team is lazy, but we have yet to have our “look at how banged up the Islanders are” moment; at least not collectively.

    The team lacks swagger and balls. I don’t know that overpaying for Brown is the best way to fix this, but after that second period I’m willing to suspend criticism. Tambo has caught me at a vulnerable moment. I would have rather he overpayed for Clowe or Nolan, but whatever.

  134. Captain Obvious says:

    denny33:

    Gagne, Hemsky, Yak, RNH, Eberle all the same player . Soft players but very offensively gifted. How many of those players do you require on your team?

    When you select RNH and YAK in the entry draft – while already having Gagne, Evberle, Hall and Hemsky – you must surely have an idea for altering that mix at some point. Or do we?

    That post was pretty earnest so I don’t want to make fun of it too much. The above quote does bring up a popular myth that is worth addressing. I think it is true that a team of 12 Gagners would be amongst the best teams in the league with average D and average goaltending.

    So to answer your question, you can never have enough “soft, skilled, players.” Or in other words, there is no such thing as having the right mix. The team with the best players wins. Always.

  135. bendelson says:

    I was going to post something about watching the Oilers play hockey these days as being as depressing as listening to a Nick Drake album but then I figured that’s not fair to Nick Drake.

    Damn.

  136. Racki says:

    FrankenOil:
    Stauffer says Brown can play C which does changes my perception a bit for this trade.

    While I actually am happy with the Brown pick up, don’t get your hopes up on C. There isn’t any evidence at the NHL level that this is true. It looks like he’s taken maybe 30-40 draws in his whole 250-ish game career, and they did not go so well.

  137. Zipdot says:

    “In The Deep End” by Zipdot

    Mister Brown has come to town,
    sending Paajarvi away.

    His skates were fleet, his goals were sweet,
    but Paajarvi had his day.

    Brown is short, but he holds the fort,
    while Paajarvi plays the perim’,

    If Brown is a clown while Paajarvi is down,
    Paajarvi may yet have a swim.

  138. Captain Obvious says:

    ashley,

    That’s why Fenwick is much better than Corsi. In this case, and in most cases, it doesn’t matter however. The point remains the same.

    But, it would be a great service to the hockey stats crowd if they would stop using Corsi and use Fenwick instead. It works better and it is more effective rhetorically.

  139. rickithebear says:

    denny33: Don’t believe I have come across a player like MPS that warrants such a difference of opinion. The reverence to a player with such poor productivity numbers. ( Same points as Colton Orr )

    quite the presentation:
    It reminds me of something?
    Oh Yes!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=INOeZnfUuIY&NR=1&feature=fvwp

  140. Kris11 says:

    Bookie,

    A you still willing to say Tambellini is doing a better job than the informed commenters around here would?

    Everyone knows this is a dumb trade.

    We need top 4 D and maybe a vet LW to take the tough minutes role behind Hall that Smyth can’t seem to fill. Dump Eager and Petrell.

    Hall-RNH-Hemsky
    Vet-Gagner-Eberle
    MPS-Horcoff-Yak (wings can reverse)
    Smyth-Belanger-Hartikainen
    Jones,

    XXX-Petry
    Smid-Schultz
    Schultz-Fistric
    Potter

    Losing Gilbert was a killer for this team. If they needed to get Schultz by dumping a RD, they should’ve dumped even Petry, You don’t trade proven top pair D-men for so little, even if they aren’t top 10 in the league D-men. Also should’ve overpaid at free agency or in a trade (using picks androspects) for a solid top 4LD, because N. Schultz ain’t it.

  141. FrankenOil says:

    Racki,

    I don’t have high hopes for him as a C. I just think that it perhaps signals tha tit may not necessarily have to be a winger that goes down since Krueger COULD roll with Brown as a 4th line C over VDV provided Brown shows at least a passable proficiency at C positional play

  142. bendelson says:

    Not sure if this link has been posted yet:

    http://twitter.com/ryan_batty/status/308665951153446912/photo/1

    Hmmm… Big red circles are good right?

  143. godot10 says:

    This is a typical managing up and managing the media CYA move by Lowe, MacT, and Tambellini after a “bad” loss.

    The only good thing about it is that it is an irrelevant move. No fatal damage other than the loss of a draft pick was done.

    Paajarvi was my litmus test for Renney. He failed. It will sort of be my litmus test for this management group now. I can accept using him as part of a trade for a legitimate top 4 D, but otherwise Paajarvi is sort of the crucible of managerial competence.

    I am still waiting for MacT to demonstrate that he is helping. Katz’s and Lowe’s team of hangeronners is now pretty much as large as Sather’s became.

  144. Zipdot says:

    What we really need:

    Hall-Vet-Vet
    Vet-Gagner-Yakupov
    Paajarvi-Vet-Vet
    Vet-Vet-Vet
    Vet

    Vet-Vet
    Vet-J.Schultz
    Vet-Vet
    Vet

  145. eidy says:

    It seems to me an upgrade of CVV and bleanger would go a long way to improving the forwards. That and the top 4 D we get in the 3:1 wow trade

  146. godot10 says:

    Zipdot:
    What we really need:

    Hall-Vet-Vet
    Vet-Gagner-Yakupov
    Paajarvi-Vet-Vet
    Vet-Vet-Vet
    Vet

    Vet-Vet
    Vet-J.Schultz
    Vet-Vet
    Vet

    You realize that Nugent-Hopkins at 19 came damn close to an even game against Toews last week with Eberle and Hall on his wings.

    Eberle has more points this year than Zac Parise. Zac Parise gets to play with Mikku Koivu. Jordan Eberle gets to play with a 19-year old against the top lines of the other team.

  147. stevezie says:

    Kris11: Everyone knows this is a dumb trade.

    We need top 4 D and maybe a vet LW to take the tough minutes role behind Hall that Smyth can’t seem to fill.

    Look, I know I am repeating myself ad nauseum, but so is this board. I keep hearing some version of, “As long as we have more pressing problems, the 4th line doesn’t matter.” This is hogshit.

    Anytime you can improve your team, even marginally, you should do it. This trade doesn’t fix the defence. It doesn’t cure AIDS either. We are allowed to make as many moves as we like- Brown isn’t taking Leopold or Sekera’s spot.

    The 4th line is a problem. Brown isn’t good at much, but what he brings this team sorely lacks.

    We overpaid. If you want to argue that Brown isn’t any better than Petrell, McCormick or Sesito, go nuts. I’m right there with you on Omark.

  148. stevezie says:

    bendelson:
    Not sure if this link has been posted yet:

    http://twitter.com/ryan_batty/status/308665951153446912/photo/1

    Hmmm…Big red circles are good right?

    Now that is effective criticism. From Bjendleson, of all people.

  149. Zipdot says:

    Bar_Qu:
    WG,
    Also, the Principe puns with Brown are likely even greater than with Nail. I hear some Seussian references upcoming. (Mr. Brown comes to town).

    His first one already posted to the Oilers site: an article titled “What Can Brown Do for You??”

  150. jp says:

    jimbones100: Agree. If this is Brown in and Eager out then well done Oiler management.

    I’d rather see Petrell sent down (no one’s going to trade for him or claim him on waivers). But agreed that this could be a slight positive if it’s not Brown in for Paajarvi/Hartikainen.

    bendelson:
    Not sure if this link has been posted yet:

    http://twitter.com/ryan_batty/status/308665951153446912/photo/1

    Hmmm…Big red circles are good right?

    That is downright scary. And in the easy QoC and Zone start quadrant. He can’t have been that bad in other years… And still no worse than Eager/Petrell.

  151. Woodguy says:

    denny33,

    I like the Mike Brown move – hopefully eliminates a European from our 3rd or 4th lines.

    Hi Spec,

    Hope you like the article.

  152. bendelson says:

    stevezie,

    Stevenzie: a compliment and criticism all rolled up into a tight little package.
    Bravo!

  153. Woodguy says:

    denny33,

    I think we all agree our bottom 6 forwards are below average..

    Didn’t read the post eh?

    It would be so Interesting to hear RK’s off the record comments on the Swede.

    Again with ethnicity.

    Did Northern Europeans slaughter your ancestors?

  154. sliderule says:

    Brown won’t score a goal or get an assist but if he can bring some swagger to our smurfs it will be worth the price.
    Instead of going to the fridge for a beer watch as our opponents bully our kids as they change.
    Our only tough guys that can play a little Peckham and Eager can’t fight because of concussions.Brown can fight and can intimidate players like Clutterbuck etc.

    Take a look at the oiler bench after Browns first fight and you will see a bunch of relieved grins plastered on their faces.

  155. Nostradumbass says:

    Anyone listening to the Tambo interview on 1260?

    Steve spits so much goddamn fluff.

    When his eventual skidding comes Tambo can sleep well knowig he has a future job filling stuffed animals at a Build-A-Bear franchise

  156. BlacqueJacque says:

    Woodguy,

    The best part is that the “Canadians” that Spec and ilk love are in fact all European.

  157. cabbiesmacker says:

    Just for S & G’s….. would anyone talk a walk down to the crossroads and trade our entire top 6, RNH, Hall, Eberle, Hemsky, Gagner, and Yak for

    Bergeron, Krejci, Lucic, Horton, Marchand, Seguin,

    Toews, Hossa, Saad, Bolland/Kreuger, Sharp, and Kane?

    Willing to wait? For the inevitable trading away of one or more of the kids for vet help

  158. Woodguy says:

    ashley,

    Regarding your premise; Winning the shot differential wins games. I can’t see much to disagree with this, although it still seems a little too spartan. The “blocked shot” counting as a shot attempt seems intuitively flawed. A shot that gets blocked can be a good play, or a terrible play. Some players make better decisions than others and are hence more valuable than others.

    The premise is that if your team has the puck in a place on the ice where they are attempting a shot, then that is a good thing.

    Its a good thing because:

    1) The other team doesn’t have the puck
    2) You are in the offensive zone

    Its a good proxy for puck possession. No one is timing how long each team actually has the puck (of if someone is they are not publishing the data publicly)

    So when you use Shot Attempts to evaluate a player you are saying “Is the puck in their zone on our stick more than its in our zone on their stick when this player is on the ice”

    There are many blogs that tracked scoring chances last year (Flyers, Caps, Oilers, etc)

    A few guys like Eric T did a regression analysis on Shot Attempts and Scoring Chances and found that they were highly correlated. 85-80% confidence, so we van feel good about using Shot Attempt data as a proxy for scoring chances.

    Link: http://nhlnumbers.com/2012/6/26/shot-quality-revisited-a-look-at-the-correlation-between-scoring-chances-and-shot-totals

    Shot Attempt Differential is also highly correlated with winning hockey games (can’t find the link right now, will try to dig it up)

    So when I look at Shot Attempts, I’m trying to see who has the puck the most often in the ozone on their stick because those are the teams that win, and the players that contribute to winning.

  159. Woodguy says:

    ashley,

    Then one you have identified good (or at least the best on your team, may not be good overall) you need to do the WOWY analysis to see if that player is driving the shot attempts, or are they riding someone else’s coat tails.

    It also helps you see if players are doing better when they play with a certain player.

    We always here “He makes other players better”

    The WOWY analysis is a oood check to see if that is true.

  160. jp says:

    Woodguy:
    denny33,

    I like the Mike Brown move – hopefully eliminates a European from our 3rd or 4th lines.

    Hi Spec,

    Hope you like the article.

    I wondered if that was a reference to a specific European who PKs a lot and gets killed 5X5. If so, I agree 100%. If not, well that ain’t cool.

    Woodguy:
    denny33,

    I think we all agree our bottom 6 forwards are below average..

    Didn’t read the post eh?

    It would be so Interesting to hear RK’s off the record comments on the Swede.

    Again with ethnicity.

    Did Northern Europeans slaughter your ancestors?

    And I took that as a reference to this:
    “Magnus Paajarvi needs to get out of the press box and I have ideas on why the coach is scratching him, but that’s for another post, this one is long enough”. I’m curious too.

    But maybe I’m just being too soft.

  161. Kris11 says:

    stevezie: Look, I know I am repeating myself ad nauseum, but so is this board. I keep hearing some version of, “As long as we have more pressing problems, the 4th line doesn’t matter.” This is hogshit.

    Anytime you can improve your team, even marginally, you should do it. This trade doesn’t fix the defence. It doesn’t cure AIDS either. We are allowed to make as many moves as we like- Brown isn’t taking Leopold or Sekera’s spot.

    The 4th line is a problem. Brown isn’t good at much, but what he brings this team sorely lacks.

    We overpaid. If you want to argue that Brown isn’t any better than Petrell, McCormickor Sesito, go nuts. I’m right there with you on Omark.

    The problem is that they need to buy a top 4D and maybe a vet forward to win. The Oilers have limited assest for trade (picks, prospects, and roster players). By overpaying for Brown (and giving him a roster spot), as you rightly characterize it, they now have less assets to buy what they need to win. So overpaying for Brown moves the Oilers further from getting what they need to win, and is part of a long series of actions where the Oilers either fail to get what they need to win or they do get things that make it harder for them to get the things they need to win, (This isn’t one trade in a vaccuum, but another in a lomg series of loser moves.)

    Moreover, I think you are being naive if you think that Tambellini’s addition of Brown isn’t evidence that Tambellini thinks that one of the (primary?) reasons that the team is losing is a lack of toughness, and if Tambellini does think that, he has misassed (after years of assesing) his own team.

  162. Woodguy says:

    BlacqueJacque:
    Woodguy,

    The best part is that the “Canadians” that Spec and ilk love are in fact all European.

    I remember watching CHI vs. EDM back in 09 or 10 and CHI was kicking the Oilers’ ass.

    Standard Oilers fan a few seats over starts talking about the OIler’s need “hit that little europuke Versteeg” who had a few points that night.

    I told him Versteeg was actually born in Lethbridge and played for the Hurricanes in the WHL.

    Spec reminds me of that guy.

  163. Woodguy says:

    jp: I wondered if that was a reference to a specific European who PKs a lot and gets killed 5X5. If so, I agree 100%. If not, well that ain’t cool.

    And I took that as a reference to this:
    “Magnus Paajarvi needs to get out of the press box and I have ideas on why the coach is scratching him, but that’s for another post, this one is long enough”. I’m curious too.

    But maybe I’m just being too soft.

    If that’s true I apologize to Denny33

    Heard Spec at lunch and it was more xenophobic and over the top than usual.

    I’m sorry.

  164. VanOil says:

    Woodguy excellent article. I completely agree with the premises for evaluation you use. I am pleasantly surprised by the results. I disagree with the title though, Paarjarvi in my mind already was one of the Oilers best defensive forwards. I feel you have proven he is one of the Oilers best forwards. Regardless of where he plays in the line up he adds value to the team and helps them win Hockey games. He has the upside to become a Selke class player as a 25 to 30 year old.

    Mike Brown is by all reports a fine replacement for Eager, who should never fight again for health reasons and might have to spend sometime in jail soon. Mike Brown will not help us win Hockey games at best he might prevent the odd loss while resting the talent that will win the game.

    In my sad bitterness from last nights loss I first contemplated starting a spam campaign sending this article to the Spectors/Tambellini/Katz’s of the world. As my bitterness wares off I appreciation of both a fine young hockey player and a knowledgeable fan base supporting him I now think simply supporting the wise GM who steels this player from us will do. Demoting this fine young hockey player will make me sad, trading him will make me bitter and angry.

  165. Truth Movement says:

    Woodguy: If that’s true I apologize to Denny33

    Heard Spec at lunch and it was more xenophobic and over the top than usual.

    I’m sorry.

    Holy shit, I’m listening to the podcast right now. He actually calls people with an opposing view “bleeding hearts.”

    Jeez, he’s brutal.

  166. pboy says:

    Good read WG.

    As per Grantland.com

    There’s still a long way to go — in one telling exchange, Craig MacTavish of the Edmonton Oilers barely paused to consider a research paper on NHL zone entries, despite it being one of only two dedicated hockey presentations being featured at a conference he chose to attend. (He’s missing out: It’s some really great stuff.)

    MacT is the guy who’s going to stop all of the retro decision making, right?

  167. justDOit says:

    Woodguy: If that’s true I apologize to Denny33

    Heard Spec at lunch and it was more xenophobic and over the top than usual.

    I’m sorry.

    There’s a comment on a CoH article by someone who will go un-named here, that points to one of the OIlers’ problems being the European coach.

    I… just…

  168. LoDog says:

    Kris11: The problem is that they need to buy a top 4D and maybe a vet forward to win. The Oilers have limited assest for trade (picks, prospects, and roster players). By overpaying for Brown (and giving him a roster spot), as you rightly characterize it, they now have less assets to buy what they need to win. So overpaying for Brown moves the Oilers further from getting what they need to win, and is part of a long series of actions where the Oilers either fail to get what they need to win or they do get things that make it harder for them to get the things they need to win, (This isn’t one trade in a vaccuum, but another in a lomg series of loser moves.)

    Moreover, I think you are being naive if you think that Tambellini’s addition of Brown isn’t evidence that Tambellini thinks that one of the (primary?) reasons that the team is losing is a lack of toughness, and if Tambellini does think that, he has misassed (after years of assesing) his own team.

    Ya not having a 4th round pick is really going to be a deal breaker in any future trades.

    A team should always be looking to improve any position at anytime. Brown is an upgrade on both Petrell and Eager. Eager can’t fight and will never penalty kill and all Petrell can do is kinda sorta PK. So it’s a slight improvement and by all accounts he gives everthing he has and will be a good example for the rest of the lineup.

    But this being and oilers blog they traded for a useless plug who will take PRV’s spot.

  169. stevezie says:

    Kris11,

    You make a good point that they now have one fewer 4th rounder to trade for that D-man. Maybe Peckham or Potter can replace this?

    Your second point is entirely theorhetical. Maybe Tambo believes toughness is more important than defence, or maybe it is much, much easier to find a 4th liner than a good defenceman. I expect your guess depends mostly on your mood. (Though why we didn’t sign Rozival I still don’t know.)

    I will say that I think many of my esteemed fellow commentators do underrate toughness and enthusiasm as both are hard to quantify. I think this team lacks both. Brown is more useful to the Oilers than Petrell or VDV are. Sadly, I also think it’s going to take more than Mike Brown to fix this. It’ll take a good NHLer.

  170. cabbiesmacker says:

    pboy:

    As per Grantland.com

    There’s still a long way to go — in one telling exchange, Craig MacTavish of the Edmonton Oilers barely paused to consider a research paper on NHL zone entries, despite it being one of only two dedicated hockey presentations being featured at a conference he chose to attend. (He’s missing out: It’s some really great stuff.)

    MacT is the guy who’s going to stop all of the retro decision making, right?

    Despite the best efforts and wishes of the MacT fan club to prove otherwise I can vouch firsthand for him not being a stats, advanced or otherwise, guy. Newly aquired MBA or no.

    QUOTES

    “Those types of numbers, statistics, are to keep the internet coaches and managers busy. No NHL coach uses them”

    Translation – Us old time hockey guys don’t need stats to tell us what we already know. We played the game.

    “I ran lines according to who I felt had it going that particular night.”

    Translation – Toby had it going more nights than most.

  171. G Money says:

    Our first two lines are fine if they have the mindset of going to the net and/or shooting. They don’t do it very often, but they have done it on occasion to very good effect, so we know they’re capable. Advanced stats confirm what I see by eye which is that generally they can play the other teams top lines to at least a draw.

    Our third and fourth lines and all of our defensive pairings, even the ‘good’ ones, bleed goals. They will be helped a lot when Scorcoff returns to centre #3 and Belanger drops back to #4.

    But generally speaking, the issue seems to be a lack of talent, not a lack of will. Some of this is the idiotic decision to regularly scratch PRV. Even when he’s not scoring, he’s usually keeping the other team at bay, as the fancy stats show.

    The real question with Brown is – is he actually an NHL player?

    If so, I am fine with adding Brown IF it also means he and PRV are in, and Eager and Petrell are out.

    If not, then we’re rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic. Stop the madness.

  172. jp says:

    Woodguy: If that’s true I apologize to Denny33

    Heard Spec at lunch and it was more xenophobic and over the top than usual.

    I’m sorry.

    Just presenting an alternate view of what was said. We don’t know how the initial comments were meant.

    Spector is a real piece of work.

    And I am curious about those ideas re: Paajarvi’s sideburns.

  173. denny33 says:

    eidy,

    Would anyone here want Belanger on their Beer league team….?

    The Rangers have a roster full of guys that don’t score..

  174. Kris11 says:

    Throwing away assets for nothing is bad. Brown is nothing. A 4th round pick is an asset, even if a small one.

    The rest is red herring, straw man, and distraction. You’re trying to imply that I think said now we can’t make a trade for a top 4D whereas before we could. I’m not. I’m saying the more assets that we waste, the harder that it gets to buy things that we need.

    Yes, buying Mike Brown is not the costliest mistake. But it has a cost and those costs are adding up, which is why the Oilers are a loser club JUST like the Islanders, because we have a loser GM, just like…

    BTW, Toughness is hard to quantify as having an effect on winning because it doesn’t have such an effect.

  175. fuzzy muppet says:

    Kris11,

    I agree. It’s one more in a series of overpays by management.

    WHether its Eberle’s contract, the schultz for Gilbert trade, the term on Eager and Belangers contracts, taking guys like moroz two rounds too high, they are all slight overpayments and it all adds up to become bad asset management.

    To me it’s not about the 4th round pick, but the philosopy of dealing that high of a pick i have a problem with.

  176. RexLibris says:

    Great read, WG.

    I had wondered awhile back at ON as to whether Paajarvi could make the transition to centre in a few years’ time. His skill set, size and defensive awareness would seem to lend themselves to that position as a depth player. Any thoughts?

  177. denny33 says:

    Captain Obvious,

    Given what you just posted – how do you rank the Oilers has far as ‘ the team with the best players wins’…..?

  178. denny33 says:

    stevezie,

    Well said….

  179. Woodguy says:

    bookje:
    To be fair to RK, his job is to make these players be the best that they can be and Magnus is still a developing player.Some of his time in the pressbox and the willingness to demote him for short periods of time may be about pushing him to be a better player as opposed to accepting him as the player he is.

    I can imagine a conversation that goes something like this “Look, you had a decent game out there tonight, but you haven’t been driving to the net like we have asked you to.You can be a marginal player in the NHL or you can have a real impact out there if you listen to us and play a more aggressive game.I think that maybe it’s best for you to watch a game from the press box so you can see from above how effective it is when players drive the net vs sending a soft shot in from boards.”

    I don’t know if that is the case and it may just be RK juggling a motley crew of marginal players and not dealing with it well, but I think the coach needs leeway to use the press box as a motivational tool for all players who are not performing their best, not just the worst players on the team.

    Bookie’s post was essentially what I was thinking about why RK scratched 91.

    Specially I think he went to the dog house after RK gave 91 5v4 time in the “net presence” roll..

    91 did not perform well and I remember seeing him drift to the high slot to avoid the punishment in front of the net thinking “uhoh, get back there!!”

    91 got on the PP Feb 10 vs CLB, again Feb 12 vs DAL.

    After than he never saw it again.

    I think Rk has some very specific set of expectations for every player to keep playing.

    I think he wanted to try 28 with 83-89 to make sure he wasn’t overlooking any chemistry they might have, and didn’t want to give anyone else’s spot to 91 as they are “meeting RK’s expectation”

    I would rather RK push another winger down the chart.

    I think RK know’s that 91 is superior to all the wingers in the bottom 6, but part of his persona is specific expectations for specific players and he won’t push out one player when another doesn’t meet expectations.

    I had all this much better written,but I’m not going bug LT to put another post on something this trivial.

    That being said, if management puts 91 in OKC and keeps 37 or 55 on roster, I will lose my mind.

    edit: going to the net and taking a beating is the hill that RK is willing to die on with 91. If 91 goes to the net and takes a beating he’s in, if he doesn’t, he’s out.

  180. denny33 says:

    Woodguy,

    Sorry – what article?

  181. asiaoil says:

    The Brown trade does nothing to address real needs – but come on – we would be happy if the 4th round pick ended up being Brown. A tiny magic bean for a marginal NHLer – about fair value – but again it does nothing to address needs that were obvious in the summer and only got worse with injuries. Players and coach being hung out to dry by piss poor mgmt as usual.

  182. Jordan says:

    Woodguy,

    Hey Woodguy,

    Maybe the best and worse course of action would be to file a human rights complaint against him. He’s clearly discriminating against people of a certain ethnic group, and stereotyping, and doing so in a public forum that spreads a generally xenophobic attitude.

    My only concern is that it would boost his ratings…

  183. Magnus says:

    Colour me confused. But does Mike Brown really bring anything significantly better than Petrell, Eager or Hordichuk that it was worth sending a 4th and maybe 3rd round pick the other way? He’s not as good a penatly killer as Petrell, he’s not as good at playing the game as Eager and he’s not as good a fighter as Hordichuk. I really don’t see the rationale.

  184. justDOit says:

    Magnus:
    Colour me confused. But does Mike Brown really bring anything significantly better than Petrell, Eager or Hordichuk that it was worth sending a 4th and maybe 3rd round pick the other way? He’s not as good a penatly killer as Petrell, he’s not as good at playing the game as Eager and he’s not as good a fighter as Hordichuk. I really don’t see the rationale.

    Actually, he might be a better player than Eager, and just ask McGinn about his fighting prowess:

    http://www.broadstreethockey.com/2013/3/4/4063948/tye-mcginn-injury-face-picture-orbital-bone-flyers

  185. justDOit says:

    Magnus,

    I’m trying to defend Brown at all, but I’ve noticed an outpouring of emotion from his former team mates. This from a TSN article:

    “It’s a big loss for our team,” said captain Dion Phaneuf. “Brownie’s a great teammate. He competes every night, you know that night in, night out he’s going to do whatever he can physically.

    “Get to the net, fighting, hitting, whatever, blocking shots. He’s just a complete competitor, great guy in the room and we’re going to miss him.”

  186. Zipdot says:

    WHAT, WE GOT DUSTIN BROWN? YAAAY

  187. B S says:

    Great article Woodguy. Well structured and though out, with a clear point and set of arguments. Plenty of Language Arts teachers could learn a lot from you.

    I’ve liked Paajarvi since he became an Oilers, and unlike many fans I’ve yet to lose faith in him. Your stats have demonstrated the impact he has had on this team and if he struggles on this team I’ll be blaming the coaches, not him. My only criticism of Paajarvi has been his lack of pushback. He’s big, strong, and fast, but he still hasn’t figured out just how big he is. I’ve seen guys try to check him along the boards and bounce off, but Magnus still hasn’t figured out that he can be the one to knock guys down. I don’t mean he has to hit more, just stand up for himself in the rough areas, in the corners and in front of the net. Basically he needs confidence.

    Given the addition of Brown, and the fact that Paajarvi makes the front page of Metro with the headline “Oilers whipped” I suspect management is asking the media to make Magnus look bad so it seems like good move when we trade him and Whitney for Colton Orr. It’s probably also why they also feel the need to press box him whenever he has a good game.

  188. Captain Obvious says:

    denny33:
    Captain Obvious,

    Given what you just posted – how do you rank the Oilers has far as ‘ the team with the best players wins’…..?

    The Oilers have one of the least talented rosters in the NHL. Easily bottom five. The problem the Oilers have isn’t that they have too much talent but a bad mix, the problem is they don’t have enough talented players. This isn’t a criticism of Gagner, Eberle, Hemsky et al, all of whom are good players that could play on any team in the league. This is a criticism of Belanger, Eager, Petrell, et al. The solution isn’t to replace Gagner with better-Gagner. The solution is to keep Gagner and get more guys as good as Gagner by getting rid of the deadwood.

    Seriously, compare the Oilers roster to the Blackhawks or the Blues to choose two good teams with quite different styles. There is no comparison.

  189. Rebilled says:

    I turned the game off last night at the end of the 2nd period. Phone updates make not watching so easy. Too many nights of watching this team being set up to lose by management.

    Brown must be 55′s replacement. There was a point last night when Eager was getting talked to by Suter after an icing. He looked like a deer in the headlights. There’s something wrong there. Poor bugger.

  190. B S says:

    Woodguy,

    Paajarvi should be in front of the net. He’s big, stronger than he lets on, an has exceptional hand-eye coordination. I mentioned a while ago that he hardly missed a tip in practice. But like I say above he needs to be tougher and stronger, not necessarily meaner, just a faster version of Ryan Smyth. How many of us would weep for a guy like that?

  191. jb says:

    More of a general comment, but this is the first year the teams being coached to win games. We’re in the thick of the playoff race, our top line is adjusting to being a top line playing tough minutes. We’ve been missing Horcoff (far more impact than your average fan would like to believe) Our #1 dman is a rookie, Our should be #1 is playing like a press-box guy, we replaced Sutton with Fistric.

    Last years team wasn’t being coached to win games and was a lottery team.

    This years team added two rookies
    We’re still in the playoff race.
    Am I the only one seeing improvement here?

    We can’t go from lotto team to perennial cup contender in one season here people. Things look just fine to me, the only fucked up part seems to be fan expectations.

  192. B S says:

    jb,

    We’re only in the “thick of the playoff race” because it’s only 20 games into the season, we were in the same position (or better) in previous years. No-one [rational] is blaming the kids, and only a few are blaming the coach, but this team has not been competitive and a good deal of that seems to rest on a lack of depth among our veteran players. Lots of teams get injuries over the course of the season. The good teams still find a way to win (see Ottawa). The Oilers by comparison haven’t even won two games in a row yet this season, even when healthy. Believe what you like, and I hope you’re right as a fan, but this team is precariously close to being “out of it” again this season.

  193. Lowetide says:

    Great day on the blog! Woodguy with a convincing argument and then many strong opinions in the comments section. I’m going to re-read them now!

  194. B S says:

    http://www.cbc.ca/sports/hockey/nhl/story/2013/03/04/sp-nhl-kaleta-patrick-suspension-brad-richards.html

    OT, but how the f#@% do guys get away with doing the exact same crap to Oilers for less than a slap on the wrist. Getting really sick of this inconsistent shit from the NHL. Fix the equipment (better helmets, Kevlar socks, and visors and softer padding) and punish any play that could result in a severe injury, regardless of whether it’s intentional or who gets injured, or whether there is actually an injury.

  195. jp says:

    Woodguy: Bookie’s post was essentially what I was thinking about why RK scratched 91.

    Specially I think he went to the dog house after RK gave 91 5v4 time in the “net presence” roll..

    91 did not perform well and I remember seeing him drift to the high slot to avoid the punishment infront of the net thinking “uhoh, get back there!!”

    91 got on the PP Feb 10 vs CLB, again Feb 12 vs DAL.

    After than he never saw it again.

    I think Rk has some very specific set of expectations for every player to keep playing.

    I think he wanted to try 28 with 83-89 to make sure he wasn’t overlooking any chemistry they might have, and didn’t want to give anyone else’s spot to 91 as they are “meeting RK’s expectation”

    I would rather RK push another winger down the chart.

    I think RK know’s that 91 is superior to all the wingers in the bottom 6, but part of his persona is specific expectations for specific players and he won’t push out one player when another doesn’t meet expectations.

    I had all this much better written,but I’m not going bug LT to put another post on something this trivial.

    That being said, if management puts 91 in OKC and keeps 37 or 55 on roster, I will lose my mind.

    edit: going to the net and taking a beating is the hill that RK is willing to die on with 91.If 91 goes to the net and takes a beating he’s in, if he doesn’t, he’s out.

    Interesting. I figured it was something to do with Kruger’s specific role expectations, but hadn’t taken full notice of the PP role failure.

    Hopefully you’re right that Kruger recognizes the value of the player. Would be huge if he can turn Paajarvi into a better player (for the Oilers).

  196. Woodguy says:

    Good piece by Cullen about the analytics conference.

    Especially the part about luck.

    http://www.tsn.ca/fantasy_news/story/?id=417374

    FEELING LUCKY
    The first is the role of luck in sports. Fans don’t want to believe that the results of sporting events are luck-dependent but, statistically-speaking, they are. Some more than others, but fortune, either good or bad, has a role. That’s hard to accept when there is a tendency to make sports results a measuring stick about someone’s character, but there are times that a game’s results are really about getting the bounces, either good or bad.

    In a presentation titled Why You Don’t Understand Luck (by Michael Maboussin), there were several strong points.

    The first of which is the presence of outcome bias. People, in general, constantly judge on outcomes, especially in sports when “Scoreboard!” is the way to silence any argument, when they should focus on process. If a team is performing the right way, they are ultimately more likely to have their desired results. Maybe not in one game — anyone can win on any given day — but over the long haul.

    Maboussin’s conclusion was that the majority of people love stories, yet struggle with statistics. That leads to overweighing recent results, relying too much on perception and making risk-averse choices, even when the statistics suggest that the odds favour a bolder approach. The Patriots’ infamous 4th-and-2 play against Indianapolis in a Sunday night game in 2009 was cited as an example of the right process that was loudly criticized because of the play’s result

    As skill improves, throughout a sport, Maboussin asserted, there is more luck required to reach exceptional levels. Using Ted Williams hitting .406 in ’41 as an example, Williams was four standard deviations ahead of the league average when he hit .406. Four standard deviations above league average last season would have resulted in hitting .380 and the reason for that is there is a broader base of talent throughout the league. Consider the calibre of players in the NHL in the 1980s, when Wayne Gretzky was racking up 200-point seasons, compared to the league-wide talent base in the current game, with players in much better shape and playing at a faster pace.

    There was also a panel on True Performance and Randomness, which included Nate Silver, who is a bit of a stats community rockstar after his forecasts for the 2012 U.S. Election. The premise of the panel was, essentially, that real skill is something that is repeatable. Winning at roulette, for example, is a very luck-driven exercise. It doesn’t mean you can’t win, especially in the short-term but, over time, the odds will catch up to you. On the other hand, a skill like shooting a basketball is something that can be repeated. If you let Steve Nash shoot free-throws, he’s going to make somewhere around 90% of them because he’s established that is his skill level for that exercise.

  197. stevezie says:

    Kris11:
    Throwing away assets for nothing is bad. Brown is nothing. A 4th round pick is an asset, even if a small one.
    …BTW, Toughness is hard to quantify as having an effect on winning because it doesn’t have such an effect.

    Your first sentenceis bang on. Is Brown nothing? Well, he aint much, but then neither is a 4th. I’m not enthused by the trade, but I do think it is being over-criticized. I’m just one more clown watching from the stands, but this team plays like it could use a “Rudy”.

    I should say that by “toughness” I mean grinding in the tough areas, hitting, shot-blocking, basically anything that involves taking pain. I doubt anyone would begrudge me any of these things being positive, except for Brown’s calling card, fighting.

    Does fighting help a team win? I hate to sound too neutral, but only sometimes. I think it is hard to quantify because it has more effect on a season that it does any one game. Knowing you don’t have to take shit contributs to confidence. Knowing your teammates have your back contributes to unity. Seeing a teammate bleed to win can inspire other guys not to hold back themselves. Chara beating Emelin might have cost Boston the game, but being the kind of team who fights for each other helped win Boston a cup. This effect is largely psychological, but psychology matters.

    If all Brown does is inspire our team to hate the other team, he will be helpful. I don’t care if the Oilers fight, but they sure play soft. If fightening hardens them, then good.

  198. G Money says:

    jb:
    More of a general comment, but this is the first year the teams being coached to win games. We’re in the thick of the playoff race, our top line is adjusting to being a top line playing tough minutes. We’ve been missing Horcoff (far more impact than your average fan would like to believe) Our #1 dman is a rookie,Our should be #1 is playing like a press-box guy, we replaced Sutton with Fistric.

    Last years team wasn’t being coached to win games and was a lottery team.

    This years team added two rookies
    We’re still in the playoff race.
    Am I the only one seeing improvement here?

    We can’t go from lotto team to perennial cup contender in one season here people. Things look just fine to me, the only fucked up part seems to be fan expectations.

    I don’t have a problem with giving the youngsters time and space to develop.

    My expectations for this team are only for them to be fighting for a playoff spot – getting one is a bonus – so I don’t think I am at all overly optimistic or expecting too much at this stage of the rebuild.

    Last nights game was a f**king painful mess NOT because it was a loss, but because of the seemingly gutless and heartless effort put forward by virtually every member of the roster not named Pajaarvi.

    Hall had a bigger impact on the game than most of the roster, and he’s in the trainers room.

    Frustrating. Sickening. Maddening.

  199. ashley says:

    Woodguy,

    I see. Shots are a proxy for possession. Makes sense.

    Certainly an improvement from simply looking at boxcars, +/-, and all the derivatives thereof. Not that those stats are useless, but this helps to give some shape to the boxcar stick-figure.

    Thanks for this.

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