“On the morning of the draft, there’s all kinds of crosstalk and scuttlebutt about Columbus’s plans for the seventh pick overall. One thing is certain: the Blue Jackets would feel much better about their pick if it were sixth, and all the more so at number 4 or number 3. The way the Blue Jackets and a lot of other teams see it, there’s an elite group of six draft-eligibles: Kane, van Riemsdyk, Turris, Gagner, Voracek and Alzner.”
-Future Greats and Heartbreaks, Gare Joyce.
I have this tic in life that when something bugs me it just rolls around in this big skull until closure (or the end of the world) gives me sweet freedom. Right now it’s Sam Gagner. When I get this way, I usually dump it in the comments section or ask speeds and he tells me. Most of you reading this have probably solved a problem or two for me at one time or another, and I thank you for it.
But this Gagner one is a big ass puzzler. I had Parkatti on the Saturday show and Dellow too recently and they can “show” what’s wrong and offer me some idea about cause, but it’s not really concrete, nothing I can tell myself in those 3 minutes between my head hitting the pillow and sleep (if my wife ever kills me btw, that’ll be the reason. Drives her crazy: I fall asleep instantly–women take longer to shut down the brain apparently. Probably more going on).
Dellow’s story is here, please click through because I’m about to commit theft.
Let me explain this table. Jordan Eberle has been on the ice for 311 SF at 5v5 this year. He’s been on the ice for 276 SA. 311-276=35. If the Oilers had taken 48% of the shots with Eberle on the ice, as they have for the past two years, they would be getting outshot 282-305 with him on the ice, which is a shot differential of -23. 35-(-23)=58. So, the Oilers have a shot differential that’s 58 shots better this year with Eberle on the ice than it would be if they were performing as they had between 2010-12 with him on the ice. Repeat for 18 other players.
If you don’t get it right away, return to Dellow’s post and re-read. If you don’t care to bother, Gagner is terrible, Hemsky minorly better and Paajarvi is doing good enough business elsewhere to escape the ‘hell of Petrell’ that is represented by being in the bottom 5 of any Oilers graph associated with advanced stats.
Woodguy (a noted critic of Gagner–he hates him–and I believe he would not be a guy to get into a card game with based on previous conversations) suggested the WOWY graph would tell me the best wingers for Gagner (this is 5×5 zone adj) but the trio he’s flying sorties with doesn’t include anything above 50% (the top W’s are Paajarvi and Yakupov, with Hemsky in there too). Gagner is 42%CF after being 48%CF in the same discipline a year ago and 46%CF two seasons previous. Pretty much in lock step with Tyler’s graph above.
Now to Parkatti, who has helped my liver damage and not much else since I met him (at least he didn’t lie to me about pub opening times like McCurdy). I like his Boys on the Bus blog, it’s a daily read. However, he refuses to print evidence of my own bias on Gagner and so I will probably turn on him soon. Anyway, here’s what he said about a recent Gagner performance against Vancouver:
- Parkatti (if that is his real name): On the bad side, the Gagner line with Hemsky and Paajarvi were by far the worst line of the night, ending last, 4th last, and 3rd last in Corsi per minute. They saw a heaping tablespoon of Hansen/Roy/Higgins and did absolutely terribly. I realize Roy was probably a bit pumped up playing the first game for his new team, but it was just unacceptable to be dominated in this fashion — Gagner was 16% on the night!
As it turns out, both Hemsky and Paajarvi were hurt, but even so that’s a terrible number and you could pick damn near any game and any set of wingers and Samwise is a disaster at the discipline. 5×5 close, 5×5 overall, it just isn’t working.
OH–by the way–his 5×5/60 is excellent and his boxcars will force a massive raise–think $4.75 times 4 or something equally crazy.
OILERS FORWARDS CORSI REL (20+ GAMES)
There’s the Corsi Rel (this is the latest, so it’s out of time with Dellow’s graph), which shows him bad but not like the numbers above. Now, I’m a firm believer that these numbers can tell us what’s going on, and trust all of the gents mentioned above to deliver good information. So, there’s a problem, it surrounds Gagner and the three wingers who are also in the photo (Paajarvi, Hemsky and Yakupov).
WHAT’S THE PROBLEM?
Your choices are:
- Injuries are hurting that line
- Gagner’s cheating too much for offense
- The wingers are weaker than people think
- The trio can’t deliver Krueger’s gameplan with authority
Please give me you answers, I’d like to know. Size and speed will be accepted as answers (they fall under category 4) and I’ll let the winner choose the music for the GDT Tuesday (if they’d like to and the music isn’t too weird–no Cop Killer crap).