WE’VE ALREADY SAID GOODBYE

Last night, in the shadow of the land of Buzz and Woody, the Edmonton Oilers let go the rope and fell into the ocean. Draft talk and ‘next year’ are waiting. This cannot be happening again. And yet, it is here.

Yesterday was the coldest April 8th in 130 years, but that was nothing compared to the loss in Anaheim by our beloved Oilers. The Parkatti numbers look familiar:

Forwards Shot Differential

  1. Nuge +14
  2. Hall +14
  3. Eberle +7
  4. Mike Brown 0
  5. Lennart Petrell -1
  6. Jerred Smithson -3
  7. Nail Yakupov -7
  8. Magnus Paajarvi -7
  9. Ryan Jones -8
  10. Shawn Horcoff -9
  11. Sam Gagner -9
  12. Ryan Smyth -14

That 2line problem remains a season long story, and I suspect we’re beyond wondering if Sam Gagner gets moved and entering into what they’ll get for him at the draft. The Oilers would pick 10th if the season ended today, I’ll list my top 10 for the 2013 draft tonight.

Defense Shot Differential

  1. Jeff Petry +3
  2. Ladislav Smid -2
  3. Nick Schultz -3
  4. Ryan Whitney -4
  5. Justin Schultz -4
  6. Mark Fistric -9

By eye the top pairing had a very good night, but in fact the blue is really all lumped together outside Petry (who had a very nice game, including engaging offensively in a timely fashion). Schultz the younger had his chances too, including a late 5 bell I thought was a sure goal.

The chances I remember are thrice: Hall early missed the ocean, Nuge did his patented couldn’t hit the broad side of the barn door late on a 2-on-1, and then Schultz with that stunning chance late. The Oilers didn’t deserve to win the game, but they had enough chances of the outstanding variety that it isn’t impossible to create a scenario where they walk away with a point or two.

april 9 standings

 

Oilers have 9 games left, no games in hand on Detroit and trail by 4 points and three victories. If by some miracle they catch Detroit, it likely doesn’t matter because they’ve let everyone else into the race save Calgary and Colorado. Not to be a downer on a crappy morning, but the Oilers could easily be 13th in the conference by the weekend.

This road trip needed to be 2-2, it was 1-3. If they win last night, things are looking up. 2 winnable games this week, and they’re two points out and in 9th. Giant opportunity missed.

I HEARD IT THROUGH THE GRAPEVINE

New Oiler fans this morning will be mulling over front office changes, flushing veterans by the dozen and looking over the available summer free agents.

Old Oiler fans? Schooled to search their inner hell for possible summer disasters, they imagine a “Nail Yakupov and 1st rd pick for Shea Weber” or “an actual mountain for Milan Lucic” type of deal, and a “Khabibulin is back for 4 more years” press conference instead of a rational approach to improving the bottom 6 forwards and the blueline.

I have four things that I think I think I know:

  1. MacT is in the thinking room and has the ear of the high foreheads. 
  2. Ralph Krueger will have one year of learning (“never start your 4line in the defensive zone if you don’t have to”) under his belt come the fall.
  3. Stu MacGregor’s team can draft hockey players.
  4. Ryan Smyth has already said goodbye.

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115 Responses to "WE’VE ALREADY SAID GOODBYE"

  1. russ99 says:

    It doesn’t bother me that we went on a coast road trip and lost to bigger, tougher, more prepared and better teams.

    But it does remind me that these are 3 of the 4 teams we need to beat to get in the playoffs next year. Plus the Sharks and Coyotes (all currently above us in the standings) are no slouches either.

    I hope management realizes that sneaking into 8th place isn’t going to happen next season, and we need to add players compete with these teams in order to force our way into a playoff group that contains the Ducks, Kings, Canucks and Sharks/Coyotes.

  2. FrankenOil says:

    What I think bugs me the most is the Oilers had two options on and pre-April 3rd:

    1)Sell off the UFA’s
    2)Make a real concerted effort to improve the team to make a real push

    Of course, though, Dithers took option 3 – trade for a Belanger replacement (who, himself, is a pending UFA) and then sat on his hands.

    The last 3 games all of had the look of a team that knew they didn’t have the horses to run with the big boys.

  3. dawgtoy says:

    Sad to see Ryan Smyth like this. The Parkatti numbers tell the tale really. 2 goals in three games. Yuck. Can the brain trust find the player to plug the obvious holes this summer?

  4. FrankenOil says:

    Oh, and I am scared to death of the Oilers actually re-signing Khabby for one more year as all the media verbal lately has been that it’s a good idea. Khabby still has something to give – when he isn’t hurt. However, trusting him to be a constant on the roster is a fool’s bet. The Oilers need to stop trying to answer their own question marks and look for players with a history of consistency and reliability.

  5. DBO says:

    I know we moan about the Org wanting coke machines, but w got pushed around a lot, and had a hard time containing the Ducks on the boards and in front of the net. Size with actual NHL skill is needed, as well as some heart transplants. You either bust your ass or you have high end skill (Hall combines the two very well, but that is not always the norm).

    This off season we enter the twilight zone. you know the one where they keep repeating the same spring and summer (wait, that was also Groundhog day). Once again we need:
    - real #1 dman
    - two way winger with grit
    - Actual NHLers on our bottom lines
    - some size to complement the smallish kids
    - real NHL dman depth (not broken down dmen or AHLers)

    The same shopping list we have had for 5 straight years. Insanity, twilight zone, groundhog day…… the only thing that has not changed is the men up top making decisions. Bat signal anyone?

  6. jp says:

    FrankenOil:
    Oh, and I am scared to death of the Oilers actually re-signing Khabby for one more year as all the media verbal lately has been that it’s a good idea. Khabby still has something to give – when he isn’t hurt. However, trusting him to be a constant on the roster is a fool’s bet. The Oilers need to stop trying to answer their own question marks and look for players with a history of consistency and reliability.

    Don’t forget Whitney and Jones. Different issues, but all scary.

    I’d be shocked but not shocked if they brought back all 3.

  7. sliderule says:

    There was one shift by the top line were for the whole time they controlled the puck in the offensive zone.

    Never got a shot as all three forwards spent the whole time passing the puck along the wall and behind the net.

    It’s not a game of keep away .

    Come on oiler coaches get one forward to drift in and out of slot so they have someone to pass to that could score.

  8. nelson88 says:

    FrankenOil,

    Your right. They don’t have the horses to run with the big boys. Unfortunately that wasn’t going to be fixed at the deadline.

    Good on Giguere for speaking his mind after last night’s AVS game. That dressing room is not in a good place. Duchene was openly critical (rightfully so imo) of O”Reilly’s hold out stance and Landeskog is too young to be the C under those conditions. Would bet on big changes for the AV’s this summer. Nice if McTambeloweni could pull off a deal similar to the Stewart/Shattenkirk/Johnson fleecing but I won’t hold my breath. Likely we’ll end up with O”Reilly.

  9. Hammers says:

    Is there a chanceof a top 6 pick . Yes. Is there a chance Katz wakes up . No . So the answer will be to give ST this summer . Big Mistake. There is a core but no culture of winning and in sport that’s what you need . We should be cleaning house , Belanger, Jones , Smyth , Pettrel, Hordichuck ,Eager, Brown & Smithson . . It’s bad when you can name 8 guys who played as forwards. Add Habby , Whitney, Peckham, N.Schultz, Fistric, Plante & Tuebert. . We are still in trouble people .

  10. Radman says:

    Curious LT. Do you think the Oil use this latest playoff miss as an excuse to pull the trap door on Dithers ? Maybe he gets the Pat Quinn treatment. If so, hoping they don’t hand it over to Howson. Need some fresh perspective. Maybe Nill or Fenton ? Think MacT stays above the clouds but who knows.

    Time to fix that second line. Is Yak ready to be the new Hemsky ? Time to move him along +/- Gagner this summer. Transition top 4 Dman needed, until Klef and the boys are ready. Stauffer hinting that Streit is coming ?

    Is your Smytty reference a metaphor or more concrete ?

  11. Lowetide says:

    Radman:
    Curious LT. Do you think the Oil use this latest playoff miss as an excuse to pull the trap door on Dithers ? Maybe he gets the Pat Quinn treatment. If so, hoping they don’t hand it over to Howson. Need some fresh perspective. Maybe Nill or Fenton ?Think MacT stays above the clouds but who knows.

    Time to fix that second line. Is Yak ready to be the new Hemsky ? Time to move him along +/- Gagner this summer. Transition top 4 Dman needed, until Klef and the boys are ready. Stauffer hinting that Streit is coming ?

    Is your Smytty reference a metaphor or more concrete ?

    Re: Smyth. I don’t have any information beyond what I’m seeing, but I can’t see him playing another year like this.

    I don’t think Tambellini gets moved out this summer. Howson would be the replacement, though. That I’m fairly certain about, as Lowe and MacT aren’t going to get fired again.

    Nothing changes this summer in brain trust, that’s what I think happens. And if it does, it’ll be moving deck chairs as opposed to a change in philosophy.

  12. nelson88 says:

    LT. May I request that you repost VOR’s comments from the end of last nights thread. This is one of, if not the best hockey blog out there due to the quality of content/posters and acceptance (for the most part) of well thought out differing opinions. I think his comments give a very nice counterpoint to some of the generally accepted narratives.

  13. jdubbs says:

    what frustrates me about RK is he doesn’t want to mix it up or change the strategy mid-game. time and time again teams will adapt to the oilers and shut them down mid-game or mid period and they just keep on “sticking to the game plan”. its not logical, figure it out RK.
    i know the kid line is the only thing going but on the road break them up to keep the other lines afloat so you can stay in games and keep it close. then bring them back together at home. if you have scored 2 goals in 8 periods of hockey does that not constitute a mix up of the lines??? arghhhhhh last night make me mad!!

  14. Radman says:

    Lowetide: Re: Smyth. I don’t have any information beyond what I’m seeing, but I can’t see him playing another year like this. I don’t think Tambellini gets moved out this summer. Howson would be the replacement, though. That I’m fairly certain about, as Lowe and MacT aren’t going to get fired again. Nothing changes this summer in brain trust, that’s what I think happens. And if it does, it’ll be moving deck chairs as opposed to a change in philosophy.

    Sigh…

  15. DBO says:

    So if you flush all of the UFA’s or the sub quality players (including sadly Smyth), and add some of the kids who have earned it (Lander and HarskY), this is our lineup based on skill set and maybe true position if we are contenders (right now some guys are over their heads). If we fill these spots we have a real shot.

    Hall-Nuge-Eberle (true #1 line will only get better with health and maturity)
    ????-Gagner-Yakupov (MPS could be on LW, but depth wise want him on the 3rd)
    Paajarvi-Horcoff-Hemsky (this is Paajarvi’s best spot long term for this team to win, Hemsky could be trade bait)
    Hartikainen-Lander-Brown (solid 4th line with chance to grow. Much better then current).

    I think we could have a new 2 LW and 3 RW (if Hemsky is dealt to fix other issues) if we want to truly compete. We need actual depth, and the above lineup is a start. no idea where we get it, but man we need it.

    As for the D.

    ???-Shultz
    Smid-Petry
    Shultz-???

    Two big holes. Streit is a short term gap filler, and I’ve mentioned White as an improvement on Potter at 3 RD. But the lack of a true #1 will continue to haunt us if we don’t get some real NHLers in this lineup.

  16. Woodguy says:

    WC STANDINGS

    CHICAGO 0.816
    ANAHEIM 0.738
    VANCOUVER 0.641
    SAN JOSE 0.618
    LOS ANGELES 0.615
    MINNESOTA 0.605
    ST LOUIS 0.595
    DETROIT 0.551
    ———————————-
    DALLAS 0.513
    PHOENIX 0.513
    EDMONTON 0.500
    COLUMBUS 0.500
    NASHVILLE 0.475
    CAGARY 0.421
    COLORADO 0.372

    EC STANDINGS (overall so WAS leading SE doesn’t show up)

    PITTSBURGH 0.744
    MONTREAL 0.724
    BOSTON 0.711
    TORONTO 0.615
    OTTAWA 0.579
    WASHINGTON 0.538
    NY RANGERS 0.538
    NY ISLANDERS 0.538
    ————————————-
    NEW JERSEY 0.513
    WINNIPEG 0.500
    PHILADELPHIA 0.487
    BUFFALO 0.487
    TAMPA BAY 0.447
    CAROLINA 0.447
    FLORIDA 0.410

    OVERALL

    CHICAGO 0.816
    PITTSBURGH 0.744
    ANAHEIM 0.738
    MONTREAL 0.724
    BOSTON 0.711
    VANCOUVER 0.641
    SAN JOSE 0.618
    TORONTO 0.615
    LOS ANGELES 0.615
    MINNESOTA 0.605
    ST LOUIS 0.595
    OTTAWA 0.579
    DETROIT 0.551
    WASHINGTON 0.538
    NY RANGERS 0.538
    NY ISLANDERS 0.538
    DALLAS 0.513
    PHOENIX 0.513
    NEW JERSEY 0.513
    WINNIPEG 0.500
    EDMONTON 0.500
    COLUMBUS 0.500
    PHILADELPHIA 0.487
    BUFFALO 0.487
    NASHVILLE 0.475
    TAMPA BAY 0.447
    CAROLINA 0.447
    CALGARY 0.421
    FLORIDA 0.410
    COLORADO 0.372

  17. Radman says:

    Lowetide: Re: Smyth. I don’t have any information beyond what I’m seeing, but I can’t see him playing another year like this. I don’t think Tambellini gets moved out this summer. Howson would be the replacement, though. That I’m fairly certain about, as Lowe and MacT aren’t going to get fired again. Nothing changes this summer in brain trust, that’s what I think happens. And if it does, it’ll be moving deck chairs as opposed to a change in philosophy.

    Gotta say sometimes this team feels like my father-in-law’s comb over. Kinda sad and not fooling anyone.

  18. Woodguy says:

    That 2line problem remains a season long story, and I suspect we’re beyond wondering if Sam Gagner gets moved and entering into what they’ll get for him at the draft.

    I don’t mind this as long as:

    -They get a good return to fill a hole (1LD)
    -Have a plan for 2C

    Creating one hole to fill another hole will be self defeating.

    I’d actually rather keep 89 for 2RW/LW, but I suspect that isn’t in their plans.

  19. Lois Lowe says:

    Oh well, it is final exam season. I guess that means I have to study. It was fun while it lasted. Looking forward to the draft preview LT, I have kind of missed following the kids this year and only feel like I know the top 4 or so.

  20. gcw_rocks says:

    “MacT is in the thinking room and has the ear of the high foreheads. ”

    I don’t know what this means, but I think if we look at the evidence in the months that MacT has been around that it likely means absolutely nothing. Glaringly evident weaknesses continue to be ignored. We see no evidence that they have improved understanding of using advanced stats to separate good hockey players from poor ones, nor any evidence that the Oilers are any better at getting value from trades.

    I kinda get the situation with the Oilers management team leads one to grasping at straws in search of any hope, but this does not appear to be the straw to grasp for.

    “I don’t think Tambellini gets moved out this summer. Howson would be the replacement, though. That I’m fairly certain about, as Lowe and MacT aren’t going to get fired again.”

    This is the most depressing thing I have ever read on this blog.

  21. hags9k says:

    I won’t worry if we have to bring back Khabby for another year. It’s not ideal, it would be nice to have a young capable backup to push Dubnyk but the current goaltending situation is not that terrible.

    We should be FAR more concerned about the blue. I see the D the same as DBO with needs at #1LD and #3 RD. The UFA list sucks. This means a short term gap like Streit, or else brings into play LT’s feared blockbuster for a #1 which is certain to send out more talent than it brings in.

    I’ll predict that all of Smytty, Khabby, Whitney, Jones, and Potter are back in the fall.

    I expect we sign Streit and chuck ol Kelfbom right in there and away we go.

    It goes without saying that the management will remain as is.

    7 years. No end in sight. Everbody keep treading water, must be a lifeboat around somewhere.

  22. Woodguy says:

    gcw_rocks,

    “MacT is in the thinking room and has the ear of the high foreheads. ”

    Maybe MacT will ask his “GVT guy”

  23. spoiler says:

    This was so good last night, it deserves to be repeated:

    VOR: It came up again in this thread. Corsi is great and Whitney is bad. I am starting to wonder if you all understand that Corsi is a team statistic? It may not apply to individuals. While I think I am close to proving it has some predictive power for forwards it is much harder to show it for D and the relationship between corsi and goal differential is at best marginally significant for D. Every time I show my work to professional statisticians they find new flaws and suggest new tools and slowly the correlation for D is fading away.

    By the way, if any of you know of a single study that shows individual players should be ranked by corsi instead of, oh say, goal differential per 60 minutes played please let me know. I assume you must know of such a study (presumably published in a peer reviewed journal and sited repeatedly and used by every NHL coach) since you all state it as a factand belittle the befuddled rickithebear for daring to challenge the orthodoxy. I can find tons of material on team success correlated to corsi and other sabremetrics just nothing for individuals.

    Wait you say, it is obvious that if you collect all the best corst players from around the leagu you will have the best corsi performance as a team. Actually, not true. Opportunity matters. A great number of the top 30 D in the league so far this year in relative corsi have had unique opportunities. The most common is playing with their team’s best relative quality corsi linemates. (Corsi for D isn’t stable over time to the extent you need to see to make an argument that you are measuring anything meaningful). Some face terrible competition, some get impossibly good zone starts, some get all three. I believe in the past three years there is now no player in the top 30 in relative corsi for D all three seasons (including this one). When I started trying to prove the relationship of corsi and individual performance I could at least point at Zdeno Chara. Sadly to date this year he is not in the top 30.

    Consider the case of your favorite whipping boy, Ryan Whitney. First look at his corsi. Horrible right?

    Now recalculate it with the minutes Justin and Nick Schultz get with Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle, and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins given to Whitney and player X. Give the minutes that Whitney is saddled with Gagner, Hemsky, Paajarvi, and Yakupov to The Schultzs. Suddenly Whitney has a great corsi and Saint Justin and Nicky have horrible corsi. Ever heard of linemate effects? Don’t believe it matters that much? Try doing the math yourself.

    My point is, the opportunity only exists for a couple of D on each team to play the cushy minutes. Making player decisions based on corsi is not yet feasible. First you need to figure out how to predict what will happen to the incoming players’ corsi or the outgoing players for that matter. Then you need to if situational corsi matters (does when your corsi events happen matter?) Also, does the players corsi tell the same story as other sabremetrics?

    Consider your love affair with Justin Schultz. According to many of posters here Justin Schultz is the second coming of Paul Coffey (or better) while Ryan Whitney is useless crap. The problem is if you ignore corsi then by the rather important measure of points per 60 and goal differential, and +/- relative and =/- and so on then Whitney is the better player, and honestly, it isn’t close, at all. Equal offence, way better defence. No it isn’t down to competition effects. JS plays 5th toughest with best linemates. Whitney plays 8th toughest with 5th best. Whitney is also better than Nick Schultz, and again it isn’t close.

    Yes I know, there are times he looks like a beached whale out there. I am going to say it again – there are no style points in hockey. Yeah, Taylor Hall looked amazing tonight, Justin Schultz looked amazing, Ryan Nugent Hopkins looked amazing, Jordan Eberle looked amazing and collectively they accomplished, as is so often the case, sweet fuck all. Which is exactly what Ryan Whitney accomplished. You rave about them, but berate him, because you all think corsi means something for individual players. That it tells you something about how well they are playing. However, there is utterly no proof this is true.

    But I do realize if we could only upgrade Whitney happy days would be here again. It must be so, you all say so. You know it because the great and giving god Corsi-tut has told you so.

    I know that none of this will make any difference since what most of you are doing here is venting frustrations, both those of the common fan and those from your real life. Just try to remember a few minutes a day, that the possibility exists that hockey is not the most important thing in the world. Damn, I’ve forgotten the word for combining attacks on the orthodoxy with full frontal heresy but I am guilty of both and must now burn and my ashes be buried under a mountain in Nevada lest their very existence contaminates others.

    …Some very important points and a great read in the midst of the venting last night.

  24. BlacqueJacque says:

    gcw_rocks,

    LT has a mancrush on MacT that as far as we all can tell has absolutely no basis in reality. Just like him placing centres on the left wing or a woman with a crush on a “bad boy”, it is best to ignore it, because interfering only results in making things worse.

  25. rich says:

    It may have been Woodguy who said it last week, but I remember someone making the comment to focus on the Oilers forwards on the zone exit to see what happens. Last night watching, I noticed what has become very common for Gagner – he’s frequently up ice with the wings instead of down low helping with possession.

    Looking at his advanced stats, it’s no surprise they tell a bad story in terms of shot differential because they could never get the puck out. The sample size is too small to compare Yak and Hemsky but watching last night, you could see the wings skating up with the d-men in our zone all night.

    It seemed worse with Smyth and Jones though, because when we finally got puck possession though, the ANA defense were very aggressive pinching to break up/deflect that first pass and keep the play hemmed in. Not sure if that’s out of a lack of respect or what, but this seems to be an on-going theme this season.

    It’s also in contrast to other teams that try to outnumber you down low in their own zone to take away lanes and get puck possession. I’m not saying that’s the right system or that RK’s is right, but it’s a very distinctive contrast.

  26. BlacqueJacque says:

    spoiler,

    We belittle Ricki because he posts rambling walls of text without a coherent thought.

  27. hags9k says:

    Random season dead looking to next year thought…

    Wonder if Rajala gets a cup of coffee? Marincin?

  28. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Missed the first period last night. THe second was one of the worst periods of hockey I’ve seen that team play all year.

    This team has a lot of structural problems and when the first line can’t force the issue they are waiting there glaring at you.

    In the off season, I expect:

    Draft in top 6: pick Lazar out of batting order
    re-sign Whitney 2 years 3.5 per
    re-sign Jones 1 year same money
    re-sign Petrell 1 year same money
    re-sign fistric 2 years
    trade Gagner for Brouwer type
    pass on Peckham

    and something else horrible I can’t think of.

    lucky to be at the Leafs-Rangers game last night. Nash was a beast.

  29. denny33 says:

    Woodguy,

    I really like the idea of possibly moving Sam to wing. They did that here in Winnipeg with Bryan Little…and it worked.

    The problem as WG states is who plays 2nd line Centre….and that is the massive hole that makes us so thin.

    Having said all that – I would very much entertain the idea of moving Sam with a prospect to change the make up of this team. ( big 1st Dman or Centre spot )

    However, I don’t really trust ST to make that kind of move.

    ** This draft is so critical for this organization as we will not be picking 1st overall – we have to make it count **

    As I have been saying along with others for awhile – we have a lot of holes in this lineup.

    Further, as Brian Hayward ( insert bullets in Mr. Hayward here ) pointed out last night:

    * extremely soft in our own end ( we are a soft team folks )
    * effort and intensity very much lacking for a team fighting for playoffs

    Missed the game in LA ( afternoons – reall? ) not sure what Yakupov did to only garner 3 mins of icetime in the 1st period.

  30. VOR says:

    BlacqueJacque,

    No disrespect intended but are you sure you don’t belittle rickithebear because it is fun?

  31. VOR says:

    At the end of the last thread I posted a link to Gus Katsaros’ recent work on individual corsi.

    http://www.mckeenshockey.com/nhl-blog/nhl-top-30-scorers-fenwickcorsi-game/

    Here is his follow up where he provides the team corsi even data for the same games.

    http://www.mckeenshockey.com/nhl-blog/nhl-team-game-game-fenwickcorsi-events/

  32. abzz383 says:

    I have been following this site for years, awesome love it! But it’s like fuckinig ground hog day, we need to get bigger, we need actual nhl players, we need to stop whale hunting and just fill needs year after year after year!!! we have changed the coaches, changed the gm, same shit different day. Just shoot me now

  33. Mr DeBakey says:

    are you don’t belittle rickithebear because it is fun?

    Does he?
    Belittle Thebear?

    Yesterday, I thought the comments about Thebear’s post were generated by Ricki’s refusal to use any kind of sentence structure or rules or spell-check or grammar…
    It’s been mentioned several times over the years

    Also, Ricki has opinions which he states strongly.
    And there is often a backlash against them.
    But not more so than against the strongly put opinions of others.

    He has a unique way of looking at things.
    I like reading his stuff, when legible.
    But that doesn’t mean I have to agreee with it.

  34. G Money says:

    DBO:
    I know we moan about the Org wanting coke machines, but w got pushed around a lot, andhad a hard time containing the Ducks on the boards and in front of the net. Size with actual NHL skill is needed, as well as some heart transplants. You either bust your ass or you have high end skill (Hall combines the two very well, but that is not always the norm).

    This off season we enter the twilight zone. you know the one where they keep repeating the same spring and summer (wait, that was also Groundhog day). Once again we need:
    - real #1 dman
    - two way winger with grit
    - Actual NHLers on our bottom lines
    - some size to complement the smallish kids
    - real NHL dman depth (not broken down dmen or AHLers)

    The same shopping list we have had for 5 straight years. Insanity, twilight zone, groundhog day…… the only thing that has not changed is the men up top making decisions. Bat signal anyone?

    Ummm, so what you’re saying is that this is exactly the same team as it was three years ago.

    Hate to disagree with you, but I do so EMPHATICALLY. This was the shopping list three years ago:
    - real #1, #2, #3, #4 dman (we had 5 and 6 taken care of)
    - skill AND grit
    - Actual NHLers on our top lines

    The years of stinking plus a healthy dose of luck (always a key element in a rebuild) have taken care of #2/3/4 d-men, an actual NHL top line, and skill and potential throughout. You cannot buy these things, especially in Edmonton where every UFA is an overpay, so it was the draft or nothing.

    Now we need to add grit, some size, and most difficult of all a #1 d-man (or a very deep yet cheap d corps instead). This is a lot easier to do than to buy a top line.

    Yes, it is legitimate to have concerns that the current management team do not have the chops to actually make these changes.

    But to suggest this team isn’t better off than three years ago is ludicrous.

  35. spoiler says:

    BlacqueJacque: spoiler, We belittle Ricki because he posts rambling walls of text without a coherent thought.

    I think you meant to address VOR.

    I compared Ricki’s posts yesterday to Finnigan’s Wake. Ricki might be making some good points, but as a member of his audience I don’t have the time or energy to come more than halfway to him to decipher those points. If VOR is spending that effort full credit to him, but I can’t do it.

    Something has to go back on Ricki for that, but that something is probably not “belittling”.

  36. spoiler says:

    I also think that if we focus on the “Ricki” in VOR’s post, we will be missing the more central points he is making.

  37. hunter1909 says:

    As a non-season ticket holder, I know whatever I think matters little and will change nothing…kind of like following Western “democracies” these days.
    Katz promises much, delivers the opposite, therefore deserves anything he gets; and from where I cower he’s a middle aged asshole in mid life crisis mode who is too rich for his mental health…given that everyone around him outside his teenaged daughter licks his ass all the time, every time.

    One thing I do understand, is no one likes to be made fun of, particularly middle aged jock sniffers who oversee the turning of a famous and popular franchise into an abomination, a pit of despair for it’;s fans, and the perennial laughing stock/whipping post of the rest of the league. Way to go, Katzo.

  38. spoiler says:

    And it is a real pleasure to finally see some discussion on the issues with the top 6 on this blog.

    They are not out-scoring. The 2nd line has some real struggles as does the Schultz pairing. I think PFC Schultz will improve defensively with time… Gagner I’m not so sure about because he should know better by now. He was dragging some youth around the ice with him last night, but was acting like one of the kids and not the babysitter on that line.

  39. leadfarmer says:

    Smyth, Jones, Petrell, Peckham, Whitney, Smithson all need to be let go in the offseason. Trade Yakitty Yak for Jones in this year draft. Trade up to draft Barkov. Let Barkov develop for 2 years in the minors while keeping Gagner around, then trade him. Sign new and hopefully better veterans to fill in gaps above.
    Got any better ideas for rebuild V2.0?

  40. mc79hockey says:

    Consider the case of your favorite whipping boy, Ryan Whitney. First look at his corsi. Horrible right?
    Now recalculate it with the minutes Justin and Nick Schultz get with Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle, and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins given to Whitney and player X. Give the minutes that Whitney is saddled with Gagner, Hemsky, Paajarvi, and Yakupov to The Schultzs. Suddenly Whitney has a great corsi and Saint Justin and Nicky have horrible corsi. Ever heard of linemate effects? Don’t believe it matters that much? Try doing the math yourself.

    Great story bro. FYI: Whitney’s Corsi% with Hall (45.7%), RNH (45%), and Eberle (44.9%) is crushed by Justin Schultz’s Corsi% with Hall (51.7%), RNH (50.1%), Eberle (50.7%).

    Also, let’s be serious about the size of the linemate effect here. Schultz has played 37.2% of his minutes with Eberle, 36.5% with RNH and 32% with Hall. For Whitney, it’s 29.6%, 25.1% and 24.5% respectively. Whitney would have more but the coaches don’t really trust him out there against anyone who can make a sharp turn, for obvious reasons.

    In other words, I’d be interested to see this math because I can’t see how it works out in Whitney’s favour.

  41. mc79hockey says:

    Oh – and I agree with a lot of what VOR is saying, I just think Whitney’s the wrong guy to hang the argument on. He is completely and utterly terrible, just like the Corsi says. Merit to the argument, wrong guy to make it in favour of.

    And as far as Ricki goes, I guess I’m the guy who started it yesterday. If you spell possess with a “c” and say things that are known not to be true, I’m not gonna waste my time reading your posts. Sorry.

  42. mustang says:

    LT, I agree with you “it is over”, they didn’t deserve to win last nights game as a team, but #4 deserved a lot better. Dubie played good as did #2 and #5, I also thought #15 played good as well. #19 has potential but he is lost when it comes to playing defence in the NHL. Justin will be good in time. What shall they do, trade the 1 round pick, or draft.? We aren’t ready to compete yet, Isay we draft if we can get Barkov or Monahan. I hope Smyttie pulls the plug on his own…he is done, and its sad to see…IT”S OVER

  43. denny33 says:

    leadfarmer,

    I am on record for making a monster move for Seth Jones. In 3 years – hopefully – he will be playing half the game along with J. Schultz.

    Not sure you can get 2 cornerstone players in one year….but as you mention, we still need a centreman.

    At some point, we have to find someone in the 2nd round – or dare I say it, in the later rounds.

    I like Rickithebear……and i have found I have agreed with everyone on here on at least one point or another….We are all pulling for the same thing anyway. Probably a few ways to skin the cat…

    LT does a great job here. Trying to write everyday to spur discussion…

    Outside of moving up in the draft -which I support – I am interested in 6’4 Mantha.

    Although,I have not really studied that much outside the top 4….Just like what I have initially read…
    need to verify if he has NHL feet/speed.

    Like LT said – we need to focus on the draft. Although, I feel this should have been done before the trade deadline. Wins against Calgary were literally meaningless to me….

  44. "Steve Smith" says:

    I sometimes make fun of Ricki’s communication skills – which are abominable – which probably isn’t very nice of me, but I figure it’s somewhat justified by the way he calls people who don’t immediately accept his point of view “DUMBASS!” (usually citing Red from “That 70s Show”, and usually spelled correctly).

    But it’s not accurate to say that he might have great points, and just communicates them poorly. The problem goes well beyond communication, and it’s that Ricki is what the anti-stat crowd imagines statheads are like: he chooses statistics, apparently at random, and purports to be able to make absolute (and prima facie incorrect) statements, on their basis, like “Mark Fistric is one of the five best defensive defencemen in the league.” There is no attempt to match his chosen statistics to team performance (i.e. test whether they are actually predictive of success, or even whether they’re replicatable year over year). There is no acknowledgement that “luck” (defined however you like) could help explain results (e.g. Mark Fistric has a low EVGA/60, which must be entirely attributable to his being one of the best defensive defencemen in the league, and could not be because he happens to be on the ice when his goalie happens to have a high save percentage). There is an aggressive disregard for the concept of sample size, both in that he sometimes uses tiny samples to make his points, and in that he feels (for example) that the fact that not all shots are equally good means that any statistics that consider shots in aggregate (chiefly Corsi) must be useless.

    Lurking behind those feeble communication skills is some truly awful analysis. I don’t want to pile on, but if statheads allow his assertions to go unchallenged, he provides a convenient strawman by which the “saw him good” crown can try to discredit statistics generally.

  45. "Steve Smith" says:

    Vor’s post, incidentally, bears no relation at all, in style or substance, to anything Ricki has ever written. I’m not sure why BlacqueJacque, who usually seems pretty intelligent, would suggest otherwise.

  46. denny33 says:

    Bo Horvat had a big game last night….and here is what Craig Button has done with him:

    Bo Horvat of London was one of the biggest movers this month, rising to No. 19 after being ranked 24th last month.

    Someone here has been praising Bo Horvat…and he deserves some kudos

    Sorry I can’t remember the guys name…

  47. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    denny33: Wins against Calgary were literally meaningless to me….

    As an Oiler fan you should never be brought this low. Sticking it to those jerks should always be a reason for celebration.

  48. mps91 says:

    LT,

    You mention potential overpays for a Lucic or Weber, and I have similar fears. Its not hard to envision management throwing regrettable sums of money at someone like Clowe/Clarkson. None of those would be worth what it would take to lure them here.

    What about some names like Bickell (UFA), Brouwer (WSH is somewhat cap crunched) or Mathias? I think those names are more realistic, and would make us bigger and more balanced.

    Less about the home run, and more about steady improvement throughout the lineup.

  49. Bar_Qu says:

    On top of my (soon to be confirmed) fear that ST will not be fired as a result of a yet again underperforming team, I have another fear in regards to the draft. In the pursuit of a big centre, I can easily see the Oilers giving Columbus their first pick in exchange for the picks they have from NYR and LAK, and watching the Oilers pick an inferior player when superior ones were in their grasp (“let’s party like its 2003!”). No offense, LT.

  50. hunter1909 says:

    mps91: Less about the home run, and more about steady improvement throughout the lineup.

    They’ve already had four home runs, called Eberle, Hall,RNH, and Yakupov. It’s mostly the rest of the lineup they don’t understand.

  51. hunter1909 says:

    Lowe’s the proverbial sucker at the poker table; constantly trying for inside straights, and four flushes, while always keeping hold of any aces in draw poker, because he knows they’re really valuable.

    TambelLowe on the other hand sits on his/their hands, while prospects are disproportionately counted on to develop as NHL starters. MPS/Lander both nearly destroyed by this idiot philosophy.

    Klefbom’s just had a vital development season wiped out – yet according to the MO is practically on the 2013-14 roster. It’s stupid, but it’s been that way since 2003.

    That’s ten long years – as long as Ritchie from “Bottom” spent fighting the Falklands War.

  52. BlacqueJacque says:

    “Steve Smith”,

    I wasn’t implying anything about VOR.

    Just explaining why I feel Ricki gets belittled. This is actually the first time I have noticed anyone stating that somewhere in his attempts at surpassing Joyce’s Ulysses, Ricki is making cogent points.

  53. asiaoil says:

    denny33:
    Woodguy,

    I really like the idea of possibly moving Sam to wing. They did that here in Winnipeg with Bryan Little…and it worked.

    The problem as WG states is who plays 2nd line Centre….and that is the massive hole that makes us so thin.

    Having said all that – I would very much entertain the idea of moving Sam with a prospect to change the make up of this team. ( big 1st Dman or Centre spot )

    However, I don’t really trust ST to make that kind of move.

    Gagner for Dubinsky – problem fixed

  54. BONVIE says:

    FrankenOil:
    What I think bugs me the most is the Oilers had two options on and pre-April 3rd:

    1)Sell off the UFA’s
    2)Make a real concerted effort to improve theteam to make a real push

    Of course, though, Dithers took option 3 – trade for a Belanger replacement (who, himself, is a pending UFA) and then sat on his hands.

    The last 3 games all of had the look of a team that knew they didn’t have the horses to run with the big boys.

    That is my problem with the Oilers GM is the missed opportunity to acquire prospects and draft picks for their veteran and depth for two trade deadlines in a row.

    The other thing is the inability to make a deal to help the team replace Belanger and Horcoff during their injuries. Then when Horcoff is back they get fleeced for a Ufa at the deadline once they are out of the playoffs and should be sellers.

    There have been several players available on the waivers throughout the season that would have helped out yet they chose to fill out 13th forward spots and depth d with good draft picks.

    I think a case can be made here for Tambelini being the worst GM in the league.

  55. Caribbeerman says:

    A few thoughts:

  56. bookje says:

    I hate the depression days of Oiler Fan Bipolarness. OMG – Steve Tambellini is going to trade the kids for Coke machines. :) Sure, that’s likely.

    Also, with regards to Rickythebear – I think he gets attacked on this website because he posts rambling, nonsensical posts and frequently professes his intelligence. Other than that, I will defer to Steve Smith’s post above – in other words – talk to my lawyer.

    Now that it is impossible for the Oilers to make the playoffs and Oiler fans everywhere are giving up, is this the point where they win 6 games in a row to give us all hope again?

  57. bookje says:

    Caribbeerman:
    A few thoughts:

    Very few!

  58. Woodguy says:

    VOR:
    At the end of the last thread I posted a link to Gus Katsaros’ recent work on individual corsi.

    http://www.mckeenshockey.com/nhl-blog/nhl-top-30-scorers-fenwickcorsi-game/

    Here is his follow up where he provides the team corsi even data for the same games.

    http://www.mckeenshockey.com/nhl-blog/nhl-team-game-game-fenwickcorsi-events/

    Other than graphing the data, I don’t see what he’s trying to do.

    What is he doing?

  59. Woodguy says:

    Edit: wrong info

  60. Zipdot says:

    Bit of a shame these choke artists can’t pull together for the big game. I think the four game win streak was as good as it gets for this edition of the team.

    What happened to Sam Gagner’s offense? It’s not been seen in a while.

    Hall, Yak, Ebs, RNH, Dubnyk, Smid, Schultz x2 still looking good. The rest of the team? Flush ‘em!

    Tired of this mess…

    FIRE LOWE

    FIRE TAMBELLINI

    FLUSH 15 “PLAYERS”

    FIRE MACTAVISH

    FIRE BUCKY

    FIRE STEVE SMITH

    FIRE KRUEGER

    FIRE LOWE LOWE LOWE LOWE FIRE LOWE FIRE LOWE LOWE FIRE HIM

  61. Caribbeerman says:

    A few thoughts:

    1) The current situation makes you appreciate that 2006 Oilers team and the value of depth and grit along with that of a proven superstar in Chris Pronger and what he meant to the team.

    2) We have been there and done that before – out of playoffs and high draft pick – I won’t mind an aggressive off season which potentially shops our 1st rd. pick.

    3) I don’t see any changes to management but I’m not sure there is a shared vision for this team by that group going forward. Overall I trust Lowe’s instincts not his patience and I can’t stand Tambi’s patience and I don’t trust his instincts! MacT is a great sounding board.

    4) I like the coach. Alot. If this guy gets flushed watch him succeed somewhere else.

    5) Bottom line – we need more players – size, speed, grit, offense, defense – everything. Where will they come form? That’s what the next few months is about – hopefully there is something to look forward to.

    6) It’s not always easy being an Oliers fan, especially when you live in the Caribbean and are starved for competent hockey banter! But I love the Oilers and keep wishing for one more Stanley in my lifetime.

  62. Kitchener says:

    While we’re bullshitting about summer, how about a deal that sends 89 and returns Alex Galchenyuk? It would be a downgrade for us a year or two, but Yak & Galchenyuk know how to play together and we’d be set on the 2nd line for years.

    Or, maybe we trade other assets for Galchenyuk: this year’s 1st, prospects, Katz’s kid, etc.

    Consolation for everyone here: we are clearly Alberta’s #1 team. Comparing our mess to Calgary’s is a dream come true.

  63. dessert1111 says:

    There are several way people could suggest to change the make up of the Oilers to help them win but the truth is almost all those scenarios are dependent on trades that may or may not be there to make. Presumably the GMs know who’s available and what they would give up to get that piece, but we rarely do, so it’s hard to offer up distinct trades that have any basis in reality.

    That being said, I’m sure someone out there would like Gagner on their team and I would be willing to sell high on the guy. It’s kind of ideal — he is putting up more points, so his value is at its peak, but his overall game seems worse, so he likely looks better to other teams than he actually is. There is no in-house replacement, but I think they will take a centre in the top 10 of the draft this year and likely rush him to the NHL. I am more concerned long-term with a top-pairing D-man, since that seems like it might be the most difficult to find and the biggest risk.

  64. cabbiesmacker says:

    The dust is settling down around Sammy it seems. I try not to let my bias against the guy for the past 4 years dissuade me from looking at what he does do well but, I just don’t see enough good to outweigh the bad. If by some unforeseen 5 minutes of clarity management actually does move him during the offseason I think the team will have added by subtracting.

    Kid has a ton of try and a big set of cajones but I just don’t see him as a viable option at 2C for the money he’s going to command. Unlike others I don’t see him being a push guy and I also don’t think we win what we want to win with him going forward. Someone earlier made mention, rather astutely I think, of Florida as a potential trade partner and I really like the idea. I’d have no trouble whatsoever with a Gagner for Drew Shore (C) and TJ Brennan (D) trade if Tallon was in the mood. A couple of kids at decent money that can grow with the rest of the herd. Horcoff can take 2C for one more year with Yak and Pajaarvi. Maybe he’ll discover a fountain of youth. I don’t think Tallon would move Kulikov so I won’t even go there BUT, if the top up was reasonable?

    It’s sad to see what Ryan Smyth has become. Last week I posted that Petrell and Jones were the worst two forwards on the roster. I didn’t want to include Ryan just out of respect but damnit.

  65. Smarmy says:

    Kevin Lowe has called a Fuck off for Barkov!

  66. asiaoil says:

    The problem with our mgmt is that they think they can just wake up one morning when the #1s are developed and form the bottom of the roster. That’s idiotic. You do it one deal at a time through trade, waivers and the development of draft picks. Our so called mgmt has been sitting on their asses doing nothing for years except losing and picking up #1 picks. This behavior will not suddenly change tomorrow – this is as good as they will ever be – and it’s pretty pathetic. Katz is an idiot to allow that collection of mgmt trash to accumulate on Kingsway.

    Lowe, Tambo, MacT & Howson are losers people….L..O..S..E..R…S

    That’s all they’ve done for 7 years and they are fine doing it for another 7 if Katz is dumb enough to keep paying them.

  67. 106 and 106 says:

    “The Edmonton Oilers have won a playoff series for the 1st time in 8 years” -2006

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aFbaiMS73Ec

    I just had to watch this to remember – That. Felt. Good. It’s like one of those moments where you remember where you were that day.

    So. So. Long. Ago.

    Being an Oiler fan is anything but easy.

  68. Kitchener says:

    cabbiesmacker,

    Yes. I like 89, but selling at an all-time high could be great for the team. Regardless, by September we should be finished talking about 89′s future: he’ll be signed long term or not.

    89 has been a smashing success: http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/draft/nhl2007e.html He doesn’t fix the team by himself, but it’s hard to blame the guy for anything.

  69. Zipdot says:

    Caribbeerman: 4) I like the coach. Alot. If this guy gets flushed watch him succeed somewhere else.

    No way, if he is fired, it will be 3 of 3 Euro coach experiments gone awry. I am very skeptical of the presumption that he’d be hired somewhere else…

    Why the hell would we want to make Sam Gagner a RW? We’ve got too many RWs as it is, especially including Omark in there. Dumb idea…

  70. Zipdot says:

    Kitchener: While we’re bullshitting about summer, how about a deal that sends 89 and returns Alex Galchenyuk? It would be a downgrade for us a year or two, but Yak & Galchenyuk know how to play together and we’d be set on the 2nd line for years.

    In. A. Heartbeat. I’d trade our first plus for Alley Galley. He’s going to be a superstar.

  71. rickithebear says:

    BlacqueJacque: spoiler, We belittle Ricki because he posts rambling walls of text without a coherent thought.

    For years this blog rejected
    my concept of Quality of comp versus zone start with a GA 3rd axis.
    (Turned out it might be lost in Translation)
    Providing averages was rejected.

    Yet now you guys look at qual Comp versus zone start with the 3rd axis Corsi bubble (vor)and the brilliance of it.
    Really!
    Really!
    But hey you guys grew a little.

    I will walk thru my curent position on expected value.

    It will be long but more concise. (skip if you wish)

    My desire has allways been.
    To be able to establish expected values for a players
    Corsi
    P/60
    GF/60
    GA/60
    Sh/60
    SA/60
    What is now the vor bubble

    Based on a 3D axis graph not 2D.
    It has allways been one of my biggest hates of the Comp Zone graph.
    it fails by not including Teamate affect
    A point many brought up when i presented the expected average for a section on the Qual comp zone start graph. but now ignored by most for there VOR conveniance.

    the 3 Axis:
    Qual Comp X axis
    Quality Teamates Y axis
    Zone start Z Axis

    I have often talked about Breaking both types of comp into axial divisions
    4 to 12 section along the x and y axis
    1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th (4section)
    upper and lower 1st………… (8 sections)
    upper, Mid, Lower 1st………. (12 sections)

    Zone start;
    Z axis divisions
    divisions based on common sense groups of data for the 435 forwards/season
    3 – 25pt groups
    30-37%; 37-40%; 40-43%
    5 50pt groups
    43-47%; 47-49%; 49-51%; 51-53%; 53-55%;
    3 40 pt groups
    55-58%; 58-60%; 60%+
    So 11 divisions on the Z axis

    As a result you can end up with varying 3D sections of the Graph Data.
    4 X 4X 11 = 176
    8 x 8 X 11 = 704
    12 x 12 x 11 = 1584
    There has been roughly 2610 players of data in the last 6 seasons.
    176 3d sections should be the break down.

    It is pretty common sense that each of the 176 3d sections of the graph will
    have a group of data for the 6 years.
    That group of data is really just the group of columned values that meet that 3 criteria of the 3 axis.
    That group of data can be averaged for the 6 values.
    6 Different coloured VOR Sphere can be displayed in that 3d portion of the graph
    An an expected players result for situation.

    So in the past when i have stated a player should have
    XXX pt/60; XXX GA/60; XXX +/-/60
    i am stating the average of the VOR sphere for my favorite BTN values
    For a givin section of the 3D graph.
    The graphs you so love.
    But a graph that also includes teamates affect.

    Which is the right thing to do.

    Cause no one is stupid enough to think facing 1st comp with 4th teamates in a 35% zone start is the same as facing 1st comp with 1st teamates in a 35% zone start.

    Does this make sense.

  72. Zipdot says:

    dessert1111: Presumably the GMs know who’s available and what they would give up to get that piece, but we rarely do, so it’s hard to offer up distinct trades that have any basis in reality.

    Not so; the GMs send emails to dangle players, and I’d guess quite a lot of that information filters down to Spector and company (or Eklund or Dreger or whoever…).

    What we don’t hear about as often are the GM one-on-one calls; but even those are exposed quite a bit. I think we do hear more than we think we hear; you’ve got to consider there are 30 GMs; someone is gonna spring a leak every day. The industry supports dozens and dozens of insiders who are paid to find and write about the juicy…

  73. FrankenOil says:

    I would like to saay the bonus of not making the playoffs is that it does leave us with our 2014 3rd rounder so we could target an RFA in the off-season, By offering a contract in the 3 to 5 million dollar range, the Oilers would only surrender their 1st and 3rd Rounders in 2014 (courtesy: http://www.pensionplanpuppets.com/2012/6/26/3117738/2012-13-NHL-Restricted-Free-Agencyrfa-compensation-table-offer-sheets).

    Some targets:

    Chris Stewart (RW) – St.Louis has to re-sign RFA’s Stewart, Berglund and Pietrangleo and possibly UFA Andy MacDonald.

    Cal Clutterbuck (RW) – Added Pominville to an already tight cap situation

    Roman Josi (D)

    Nick Leddy (D)

    Travis Hamonic (D)

    Some interesting options to consider if the Oilers are going to go the RFA offer sheet route.

  74. Zipdot says:

    Smarmy: Kevin Lowe has called a Fuck off for Barkov!

    These rhymes were always lame, but they’re getting even lamer these days. If he was declaring a tank, he’d have done so by turning our vets into picks beFORE the deadline. You can’t declare a tank AFTER the deadline — that’s not a tank, it’s just a sucky team…

  75. gcw_rocks says:

    Woodguy,

    Thanks for clearing up that the high foreheads are the stats guys. But it would be much more effective if the high foreheads have the ear of MacT then the other way around If that’s the direction of communication, then it would explain why we are seeing no difference since MacT’s arrival.

  76. gcw_rocks says:

    BlacqueJacque,

    Good point. lol.

  77. FrankenOil says:

    One other thing that has been bugging me has been the fact that organization just sat on Omark and didn’t leverage that asset into anything. You can’t tell me the Oilers couldn’t have at least traded him for a conditional 7th rounder if he plays 5 regular season game or 2 playoff games or something to that effect.

  78. godot10 says:

    Smyth may retire. His contract can’t retire (35+), except with a compliance buyout. The Oilers aren’t going to buy him out. So Smyth will likely be back next year as a 4th line/Pressbox player.

    If he retires, and leaves the cap burden, he will face the wrath of the fandom. Sorry Ryan, you are going to have to take the road trips and sit in the press box, or you will leave in a notorious way for a second time. You demanded that second year. You had better live up to it, as an extra forward.

  79. eidy says:

    If Gagner was too get traded, I would target Sean Couturier out of philadelphia. They were apparently shopping him at the deadline.

    Gagner is hot and Philadelphia is not afraid to make a deal.

  80. godot10 says:

    Gagner is 23. He has been showing (painfully) slow steady improvement. He is NOT a winger, and it would be counterproductive to his trade value to try to convert him. This was the first season the coaching staff gave him no protection. The best thing for both sides is a short term (2 year) deal for probably $4.5-$5 mil per season. He is not a perfect player, but he is an actual player, and slowly getting better.

    The Oilers will get more bang for the buck trying to fix the big holes (i.e. 2 more NHL defensemen) rather than worrying about Gagner. Draft a centre in the 1st round and in two years one will have the centre to replace Gagner if the slow incremental improvement stalls.

    Krueger wasn’t tactical this year. A first year coach shouldn’t be tactical and try to cover up the flaws in his players and protect them. It only gets you fired in the second season.

    Krueger didn’t protect Nugent-Hopkins either. It hurt his boxcars, but Nugent-Hopkins made tremendous strides in his 200-foot game.

    The Oilers didn’t dump their UFA’s at the trade deadline because they weren’t worth anything. Whitney is a bad hockey player. No competent GM would be crazy enough to offer a meaningful draft pick for him. Ditto Jones.

    If the Oilers bring back Whitney or Jones, I don’t think I will watch next year.

    I want two more legit top 4 defensemen this off season. And I will view that as a successful summer.

  81. Smarmy says:

    godot10,

    You keep repeating that nobody would of taken any of the Oiler players at the deadline except plenty of bad players went at the deadline. Whitney, Khabby and Jones had no risk. You’d pay them for 12 games and walk away from them. Plus you have no clue what offers the Oilers had at the deadline so stop pretending you do.

    As for Gagner. He can’t play center. He stinks in his own zone and he can’t do draws. The guy can generate offense so it makes a lot of sense to move him to the wing to maximize his pros and minimize his cons. Then again, the guy can command over 4 million a season so Gagner on the wing for the OIlers isn’t likely good cap value. I say he’s gone.

    Hemsky either goes this summer or at the deadline next season whenever they feel Yak can take his spot on the right side top six. If he wants to stay an Oiler he’s going to have to take a big pay cut and I don’t really see why he’d want to do that.

  82. denny33 says:

    FrankenOil,

    How successful are teams that try to sign guys to offer sheets.. ?

    Calgary was just the latest example….

    Maybe it happens more this summer with cap pressures ..

  83. cabbiesmacker says:

    eidy:
    If Gagner was too get traded, I would target Sean Couturier out of philadelphia.They were apparently shopping him at the deadline.

    Gagner is hot and Philadelphia is not afraid to make a deal.

    Couturier wasn’t available. Both sports networks said many had asked and all had been denied..

  84. godot10 says:

    Smarmy:
    godot10,

    As for Gagner. He can’t play center. He stinks in his own zone and he can’t do draws. The guy can generate offense so it makes a lot of sense to move him to the wing to maximize his pros and minimize his cons. Then again, the guy can command over 4 million a season so Gagner on the wing for the OIlers isn’t likely good cap value. I say he’s gone.

    Gagner is 23. He is smart with only average physical gifts. These types of players take patience, until he figures out how to play against physically more gifted players. That is why his progress is slow, but there is steady progress.

    Nugent-Hopkins and Horcoff (or 3rd line centre replacement) can take the tough minute roles. The issue of what to do with Gagner is not an urgent one.

    I have no problem looking for a replacement for Gagner, or considering trades involving Gagner, but there is no urgency to do so. He is an imperfect player, but he he is a player. Gagner is reasonably consistently productive at a level that his trade value is not going to disappear.

    The defense is the urgent problem. The Oilers problem is not their imperfect players, but their lack of enough actual players. Every team has some imperfect players. Every team will always have some imperfect players.

    Unless one gets an offer that one cannot refuse, the best thing to do with Gagner is kick the can a little ways down the road. Not all the way, but a little way.

    Focus on the urgent problems instead.

  85. cabbiesmacker says:

    Kitchener:
    cabbiesmacker,

    89 has been a smashing success: http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/draft/nhl2007e.htmlHe doesn’t fix the team by himself, but it’s hard to blame the guy for anything.

    I don’t think smashing success means what you think it does Kitchener.

    Forget about career stats vs where those 2007′s are at right at the NOw in their careers. There’s 6 guys drafted after Gagner in the first round only that I’d move him for in a heartbeat.

    His value may be high enough to get two real solid prospects and based on that and what we see from him this season I think he’s expendable.

  86. rickithebear says:

    Steve:
    On Fistric:

    I have watched the game for many years.

    Why does he have a Good GA.?
    Counter to Corsi.
    By result he is a top GA dman.
    @ even.

    My statement is about the stats matching the play of the game.
    It is what the stat supports.
    1. we know all shots are not the same.
    we know a tight position Dman limits the type of shots a player can get off.
    Reduced Shooting %?

    2. we Know shot location is critical.
    The interference of zone entry is not allowed per post 04-05 lockout.
    But the pre 04-05 front of net mayhem has returned.
    You want in the high % shooting areas young man. Earn it.
    I looked at many of the leading GA dmens shot allowed charts @ ninja.
    When i last looked.
    Fistrics shot chart was a u along the boards and blue line. The high % area was a do not enter zone.

    3. We know moving from shot to Corsi eliminates the defensive affect of a Dman.
    Blocks and Forcing misses. Fistric is one of the better blocks and hit guys in the game.
    I hate his out of position big hit crap. Minimal this year..
    His engage and drive along the boards from top of circle to goal line is one of the best.
    Remember Souray?.

    To me it is how the game is being called this year.
    We better have his type of player on every d pair.
    A major down fall of the schultz – Schultz Pr.

    Schultz a great blocker
    Great reduced GA Comp guy post 04 lockout.
    but not big enough for the new front of net game.
    Same reason Gilbert is back to his 3.30EVGA/60 form.

    Sadly this is the key to a change in Forward size needs.
    Need @ least one large downlow pocession forward for each line.
    Kessey, Moroz. for the future.

    Acquisition of Smithson in D zone.
    Well ahead of VOR SPHERE for +/- average.

    Steve my writing is bad.
    Pointed that out early post pronger trade.
    Victim of ability in those days.
    10% on English,
    nevermind he has 100% in math , Science, Phys Ed.
    Ah the 70′s.

  87. FrankenOil says:

    denny33,

    I agree that it’s a long-shot but it has happened (see Pancakes Penner). I’m just saying a team like St.Louis, that doesnot spend to the cap (this year they are running a payroll of 51 and that is after acquiring J-Bo). They will be at 39 with MacDonald as a UFA, Pieterangelo and Shattenkirk need big raises on the backend, Berglund is also up. All of this leads to one wondering how/where are they going to get the money to sign Stewart to a deal with an AAV of $5 million plus?

  88. Bar_Qu says:

    MC79 nails it with another post about the past season

    http://www.mc79hockey.com/?p=5731

    Good read, sums up some of what we have been talking about here.

  89. denny33 says:

    godot10,

    In the last two games, our team was supposed to be fighting for our playoff lives, we have scored 1 goal in each game.

    For most of the year we have been BURRIED at the bottom of the league for even strength scoring.

    Sam is a big minus player – playing against 2nd line comp. in the NW division.

    Not saying we don’t need a 1st line D-man – but I think you sub another centre in for Sam G – and our 2nd line tilts the ice the other way.

    I guess I am going to make the case our even strength scoring is the bigger problem and our 2nd line bleeds chances against our at best avg. D.

    Klefbom is coming – J. Schutz is going to get better.

    As you mention, not sure we are not seeing the best of Sam G. if he has not learned to stop bleeding chances against WEAK 2nd line guys in the NW – he is likely to always be that kind of player…

    I am willing to bet he finally gets moved this summer…

    We have to score more than 1 goal per game. It is both embarrassing and Urgent we fix that problem.

  90. denny33 says:

    FrankenOil,

    I hear you……I am not against what you are saying…

    I suspect – St. Louis will simply match and trade or maybe even just trade the player before they run into budget concerns.

    Said on TV that St.Louis has NEVER made money in all they years they have been in the NHL.

    If true, that is incredible…

  91. godot10 says:

    denny33:
    godot10,

    In the last two games, our team was supposed to be fighting for our playoff lives, we have scored 1 goal in each game.

    For most of the year we have been BURRIED at the bottom of the league for even strength scoring.

    Sam is a big minus player – playing against 2nd line comp. in the NW division.

    Not saying we don’t need a 1st line D-man – but I think you sub another centre in for Sam G – and our 2nd line tilts the ice the other way.

    I guess I am going to make the case our even strength scoring is the bigger problem and our 2nd line bleeds chances against our at best avg. D.

    Klefbom is coming – J. Schutz is going to get better.

    As you mention, not sure we are not seeing the best of Sam G. if he has not learned to stop bleeding chances against WEAK 2nd line guys in the NW – he is likely to always be that kind of player…

    I am willing to bet he finally gets moved this summer…

    We have to score more than 1 goal per game. It is both embarrassing and Urgent we fix that problem.

    The forwards will all be better with an NHL defense behind them. See Colin Fraser in LA. Brule and Pouliot in Phoenix last year.

    The sub par NHL defense puts a ball and chain on the ankle of each forward.

    One can change all the forwards that one wants, but the team is not going to improve to any degree without 2 more legit top 4 NHL defensemen.

  92. rickithebear says:

    Steve my writing is bad.
    Pointed that out early post pronger trade.
    Victim of ability in those days.
    10% on English,
    nevermind he has 100% in math , Science, Phys Ed.
    Ah the 70′s.

    I think my major failing is:
    when I state something
    I often fail to point out what
    I percieve to be common sense to everyone.

    One of my strongest traits was in game play being able to instantly see the play advance in my head and go to a position before play got there.

    i remember, on a provincial team, one guy saying how the fuck did you know to be here.
    Shrug Shoulders!

    i want to be at the end of the play. Re hockey stats.
    How do we get there?
    Shrugs Shoulders.

    I know the end game.
    analysis of every player variable per shift.
    But that is insane to set up.
    Se pro Football Focus Histroy!

  93. FrankenOil says:

    denny33,

    I’ve heard that too. Crazy to think when they were trying to be one of the big boys and stole Weight from us.

  94. DeadmanWaking says:

    DBO: The same shopping list we have had for 5 straight years. Insanity, twilight zone, groundhog day…

    Absolutely, crossing a major item off that shopping list would have vaulted us three rungs higher up the standings. We’d now be in year four of “missed him by that much”. We wouldn’t have Yakupov, we might not have Nugent, but we would have a freshly starched list of proximal complaints, almost as long as the original list. The Groundhog day scenario where management does just enough to finish 9th through 12th year after year is the one that really never ends.

    If one fixates on the standings, it appears not much has happened. If one fixates on the nucleus, it looks more like great balls of fire.

    I’m thinking back to the BPA chorus on draft day. Yes, it’s a good idea. No, it’s not an express train to arrive at destination playoffs. People get that, don’t they? Two years ago the BPA was thin, thin, thin. Last year the BPA was green, green, green. Three years ago the BPA was rash, rash, rash. This year’s bonus BRA (best ronin available) was curt, curt, curt–what’s the longest season Justin ever played in college? If you’re sitting in the back seat going “Dad, are we there yet?” then we should have burned the BPA template and selected players from the Landeskog tree of five-minute mighty oats. A sure-fire way to avoid missing the playoffs for seven straight years is to become good enough to make the playoffs–exactly once–right there in the middle. Problem solved.

    Owner: Droughts are bad. Terrible things. Bad, bad, bad. My parents grew up in the depression. I think if we miss the playoffs for four consecutive years my father might have a heart attack. This absolutely must not happen.

    GM: Well, that’s not hard to do, but then your cupboard is bare before you make any noise, and then it’s right back to another cycle all over again.

    Owner: Damn the cupboard, full speed ahead to barely sufficient!

    GM: If that is really what you want, we could probable keep that going indefinitely. We’d get three good first round picks in the years we miss, and probably a middle round pick in the year we make it in. The fans might notice, eventually, so it could get a bit hot; and I might not be so employable down the road, so you’d have to lock me in, long term, but it’s an achievable objective … if that’s what you want.

    Owner: You’re what, 55 years old? Ten years, locked in, so long as you never miss four years running. Let’s shake on it.

    GM: Huh … by the end of the term I won’t be able show myself in public without a bag over my head … but meanwhile I’d sleep at night, and all my retirement dreams would be locked in … with palm trees and a private pool far, far away … I think it’s a go. Deal!

    Excluding Samwise (because of his contract situation), 40% of our nucleus presently consists of raw rookie professionals. Nugent and Yak both drew deep from their psychological reserves at the WJC. After a thrilling seven game series against Chicago, they’ll show up at training camp next season more numb than recovered.

    As far as “the” rebuild is concerned, management was striking the match a long time ago, and they got an ignition or two (Eberle) but they didn’t get the crumpled paper to catch until we finally drafted Hall. And then we heaped on a giant armload of hardwood kindling, finely splintered but still awfully green. Right now it’s smoking like a peat bog and soiling the drapes. For a brief, glorious moment there was enough heat to catch a draft and drive the smoke up the chimney as it began to roar, but then it hit another damp patch, the roar sputtered out, and more smoke poured out into the room, burning our eyes.

    Damn, if we’d only laid in a few more Presto logs, we’d have a steady heat by now. But we still wouldn’t have the glowing bed of hardwood coals we’ve been waiting for all these years. Smoke or no smoke, that can only be rushed a tiny bit.

    The big risk we run is that new CBA chimney can’t support the air flow this nucleus requires and we’ll have to unload some of the hardwood before the toasty sticky mellow roast–a fraught process which could mess up the coal bed so that it never develops that ideal, smoke-free heat.

  95. Kitchener says:

    cabbiesmacker,

    Would you trade a 6th overall for:
    – 255 points through 405 games
    – young guy contracts through over those games
    – great attitude & likeable guy; a guy Hall called one of his best buds
    – options galore with an RFA 23 yr old centre scoring almost a point per game that most teams would like to add (good trade value OR a dependable piece to sign long term)

    Of course you would. Ask LA, Phoenix, and Boston how their top-10 pick panned out that year. Yes, 20/20 hindsight leaves other players unpicked until later in the draft (Perron, Subban, Benn, etc.), but drafting Gagner had/has almost no downside.

    What really makes my eyeballs hurt is Plante & Nash taken at 15 & 21 overall.

  96. sven says:

    Is it reasonable to assume a young team needs more coaching than an older, more experienced group of players? In a compressed season like this one, the young Oilers have had little time to practice systems and unit play, and were often being individually counselled on the airplane while travelling from one venue to another, if I read Krueger’s comments correctly. They didn’t have the benefits of the usual pre-season to start bringing it together. If this had been a regular season with significant periods between games for rest and practice, do you think the Oiler would have a better record than they have now?

  97. Woodguy says:

    gcw_rocks:
    Woodguy,

    Thanks for clearing up that the high foreheads are the stats guys.But it would be much more effective if the high foreheads have the ear of MacT then the other way aroundIf that’s the direction of communication, then it would explain why we are seeing no difference since MacT’s arrival.

    It was a joke (lame perhaps) regarding Eric T (nhlnumbers.com broadstreetbullies.com) who presented a zone entry paper at the Sports Analytics Conference this year.

    MacT was near his booth and Eric asked MacT to come over and look at his zone entry stuff.

    MacT replied “we already have a GVT guy”

    GVT has nothing to do with zone entries, hence the joke.

    Also,

    Eric does work with some NHL teams.

    Pretty sure all of them are in the playoffs this year.

    Could be coincidence, maybe not.

  98. cabbiesmacker says:

    Kitchener:
    cabbiesmacker,

    .Yes, 20/20 hindsight leaves other players unpicked until later in the draft (Perron, Subban, Benn, etc.), but drafting Gagner had/has almost no downside.

    What really makes my eyeballs hurt is Plante & Nash taken at 15 & 21 overall.

    Add Voracek, Couture, McDonagh, Shartenfart, and Pacioretty to that list Kitchener.

    Totally hear you re the Plante and Nash picks but hey, the Oilers have always been smarter than the other 29 teams when it comes to player talent haven’t they? FN innovators. How else to explain the Pouliot and Niinimaki picks?

  99. commonfan14 says:

    FrankenOil: One other thing that has been bugging me has been the fact that organization just sat on Omark and didn’t leverage that asset into anything. You can’t tell me the Oilers couldn’t have at least traded him for a conditional 7th rounder if he plays 5 regular season game or 2 playoff games or something to that effect.

    I’m not sure what Omark is these days exactly, but I don’t think “asset” is the right word if the best you’re hoping for in leveraging him is a conditional 7th rounder.

  100. Ice Sage says:

    The only reason to watch the Oil down this stretch is if Yak or JSchultz can be given a boost for the Calder.

  101. sliderule says:

    I complain about Stu more than anyone but they have gone with BPA available in first round.

    This means that we should get a good player in the draft.

    Whoever we pick and it will probably be a center will not play with oil next year.

    That means we have to improve internally.Hall Nuge Hatikainen getting stronger and more experienced.

    Klefbom Fedun and or Marcinin will get a shot at staying with big team

    I think they will try to trade Gagner for a top four defenceman.Who knows how that will work out.

    They will stay with RK.It will be critical for him to add a coach who can teach defensive positioning and a new fore checking system that matches our players skills.

    In our own end we blame our defence but a big part of the problem is we never cover the slot .Our forwards position themselves in no mans land between the point and slot and cover neither.

    If they don’t add to RKs staff things will not go well for oil next year.

    Lander will have to step up to take Gagners place

  102. VOR says:

    MC79,

    I think I didn’t explain myself very clearly. I was trying to assert that part of what drives our impression of Whitney as a bad player this year is that he spends an ungodly amount of time without the puck. Like any offensive player he needs possession to make things happen. The common orthodoxy around here is that he can’t get those opportunities because of his injury/surgeries. That is, that he just doesn’t skate that well anymore. We also assume he will never recover and be the player that he was.

    I would like to think I am fairly stating the majority position in regards to Whitney.

    I simply thought I could use Whitney to expose one of the main flaws in corsi.

    Lets make this very simple and say you switch the amount of time Whitney plays with Hall, Eberle and Nugent-Hopkins straight across for Justin Schultz’s. That is he steps in and plays 8% more with Ebs, 12.2% more with RNH, and 8% more with Hall. Additionally, assume that this time is removed from his playing time with Gagner, MPS, and Hemsky (you can use Yakupov if you prefer). Now if we assume, and this is a big one given what people here believe, that forwards are driving the bus and d are just riding – then Whitney’s corsi on will improve by 4.7 and his corsi relative by 5.41.

    However, what if we also give him fair access to Nick Schultz, yes I know many of you think he is playing terribly but his corsi is #1 in terms of Oilers D. Then Whitney isn’t playing with Potter and Fistric. Instead he is with Nick Schultz. Now his corsi improves (all other things being equal) by 8.29 and his relative corsi by 9.37. He would now be right behind Ladi Smid as the 2nd best regular defenceman on the team in corsi on and closing on Jeff Petry for 3rd in corsi relative.

    One final step, now instead of taking the minutes Whitney is now playing with RNH etc. from Gagner etc. take it from his playing time with Belanger, Smyth and Jones. Now Whitney’s corsi on improves by 10.38 (to second on the Oilers). His relative corsi improves by 11.73 to -0.4 and his corsi is -9.69. On the Oilers, a very bad corsi team, this makes him a decent defenceman.

    Is it possible that Whitney would pull Hall, Eberle, and Nugent-Hopkins down. I am sure that will be the most common counter argument my critics bring up. I should tell you in advance I considered it and dismissed it for very good reasons. Justin Schultz is worse than any of RNH, Ebs, Hall, and Nick S in SF/60 and SA/60 the two biggest drivers. He is actually further below them than Whitney is below Gagner, Hemsky, and MPS. He may well have a much bigger down draft than Whitney.

    I choose Whitney precisely because people believe the evidence of their eyes is supported by Whitney’s corsi numbers. My argument goes that if Whitney is the victim of opportunity costs with regards to his corsi and you still believe he is shit then you have to consider the possibility that corsi isn’t a particularly good way of measuring defencemen. I do not for a moment believe that Whitney is better than Smid and Petry – they are infinitely better. However, with a very minor tweak to the opportunity matrix he suddenly appears to be better in terms of corsi. Thus suporting my point that way too much of a defenceman’s corsi is determined by opportunity for it to be a reliable sabremetric for d-men.

    I will gladly send you all the excel spread sheets and statisical support materials for this argument if you drop me a line at dennis@wildmaninstitute.org. I have trouble submitting these sheets which are loaded with macros to many email accounts so something big and friendly would be good. By the way, I still hope to have my own blog up and running soon and that will make it easier for me not to have to fill this one with such verbage.

  103. BlacqueJacque says:

    VOR,

    I really have no idea where to find these WOWY stats, but how are Potter/Fistric without Whitney?

    Wouldn’t that help settle the argument?

  104. leadfarmer says:

    Cant wait till next year when we ice the same lineup plus a rookie or two and expect better results.

  105. FastOil says:

    Vaunted giant LA sports out their top 6 scoring forwards 2 that are “big”, Kopitar and Stoll:

    Kopitar 6’3″…225
    Williams 6’1″…191
    Carter 6’4″…. 199 (I know he’s skinny at that weight, I am a similar build but heavier than him)
    Brown 6’0″…204
    Richards 5’11″… 199
    Stoll 6’1″…213

    7th & 8th:
    Lewis 6’1″… 194
    Penner 6’4″…242 (could have him back for little if smart enough)

    The Oilers problem isn’t size related. It’s temperament and playing style related. To move forward the possession issues have to be addressed, they need players that are harder on the puck and can play a high tempo style. Size isn’t the same as these things necessarily. They need the new Anderson and Linseman, both of whom I am sure weren’t popular amongst opponents.

    They also need a second decent vet centre to provide some shelter. It would make the team much harder to play because someone would be getting the soft parade. Horcoff can’t cover the 2nd and 4th lines getting outplayed and Smithson is not that guy.

  106. godot10 says:

    FastOil:
    Vaunted giant LA sports out their top 6 scoring forwards 2 that are “big”, Kopitar and Stoll:

    Kopitar 6’3″…225
    Williams 6’1″…191
    Carter 6’4″…. 199(I know he’s skinny at that weight, I am a similar build but heavier than him)
    Brown 6’0″…204
    Richards 5’11″… 199
    Stoll 6’1″…213

    7th & 8th:
    Lewis 6’1″… 194
    Penner 6’4″…242 (could have him back for little if smart enough)

    The Oilers problem isn’t size related. It’s temperament and playing style related. To move forward the possession issues have to be addressed, they need players that are harder on the puck and can play a high tempo style. Size isn’t the same as these things necessarily. They need the new Anderson and Linseman, both of whom I am sure weren’t popular amongst opponents.

    They also need a second decent vet centre to provide some shelter. It would make the team much harder to play because someone would be getting the soft parade. Horcoff can’t cover the 2nd and 4th lines getting outplayed and Smithson is not that guy.

    The defense of the Oilers isn’t good enough. It leaves the Oilers forwards in compromised positions. There is nothing particularly wrong with the compete level of the Oiler forwards. They are are just playing with a handicap.

    Look at Philadelphia’s forwards now that they are playing in front of a sucky defense this year, instead of a good one.

    Just look at how Carolina has fallen off a cliff because of injuries to their defense.

  107. sliderule says:

    The size on Kings comes from Clifford King and Nolan who are all bigger and meaner than anything we can throw on the ice to try to match them.

  108. BlacqueJacque says:

    Willis has a good article up on ON about just how bad this team is.

    http://oilersnation.com/2013/4/9/meaningful-games-in-april

    Dubnyk this year is a significant improvement over Khabi last year, and Hall and Gagner have made great strides in scoring… and we’re actually off the pace on goals for/against and just slightly ahead in points.

  109. VanOil says:

    I am impressed by the high brow commentary of the last two days on this blog site. Learned men and women discussing the merits of hockey evaluations of skill, size and statistics. I have learned a lot and the inane minutia distract me from the greater upset of another losing season.

    I wish the Oilers did not have the power to ruin my day where ever I find myself in this world. I am thankful that as a boy growing up in the 80s in Edmonton I was able to witness greatness. A belief that ‘world class’ was an achievable goal even if you hailed from a frozen back water was instilled. I am getting less and less sure it is worth the heart break that has followed and followed.

    While not as controversial statistically as claiming Whiteny is a good hockey player. Despite knowing this sites emotional connections with the events of the spring of 2006 I am seeing it more and more as an anomaly. It is 20+ years since I have had real and profound hope that this team, my team, could take on the world and win. It is wearing on me.

    So I will utter this negative sentiment, I don’t believe the debate should be whether Whitney is a now a good hockey player post injury or not. I don’t believe he ever was a good hockey player. It was his offensive burst on what was still and OK defensive corps when he first arrived in Edmonton that was the outlier. Well I don’t approve of sentiments such as soft being used to describe hockey players the rest of the analysis written on this link 5 years ago describes the player I and the stats see today: http://icejunkies.blogspot.ca/2008/02/ryan-whitney-is-most-dangerous.html

  110. Woodguy says:

    BlacqueJacque:
    VOR,

    I really have no idea where to find these WOWY stats, but how are Potter/Fistric without Whitney?

    Wouldn’t that help settle the argument?

    WOWY stats can be found here:

    http://stats.hockeyanalysis.com/showplayer.php?pid=451&withagainst=true&season=2012-13&sit=f10

    You can do it for goals, fenwick, corsi etc.

    Here are Whitney’s corsi zone start adjusted WOWY’s with his most common D partners.

    J.Shultz is actually his 2nd most common D partner, not Fistric

    Often after a PK, RK throws those two out together as they do not PK.

    He also had them together for a disastrous few games:

    POTTER, COREY 157:53:00 40.6 137:08:00 47 -6.4
    SCHULTZ, JUSTIN 88:07:00 43.4 456:20:00 45.7 -2.3
    FISTRIC, MARK 59:13:00 41.3 133:58:00 46.3 -5
    PECKHAM, THEO 32:22:00 41 21:41:00 38.5 2.5
    PETRY, JEFF 28:08:00 42.2 537:45:00 45.4 -3.2
    SMID, LADISLAV 17:43:00 41.9 524:26:00 45.5 -3.6
    SCHULTZ, NICK 06:30:00 41.5 493:17:00 46.9 -5.4

    First number is TOI together then Corsi For % (shot attempts for)

    The third number is TOI apart, then CF% apart.

    The last number is increase or decrease in CF% with Whitney compared to away.

    After Fistric the sample sizes are really, really small and should be ignored, but I thought I’d leave it in if anyone asked about them.

    Only Theo has a better CF% with Whitney than without.

    There are lots of other variable to consider, but Potter and FIstric with Whitney should see about the same comp and line mates as without.

    Also,

    This whole season is short, so the picture is far from complete, but it does show the beginning of the picture.

  111. BlacqueJacque says:

    Woodguy,

    Did I miss the link?

  112. Woodguy says:

    BlacqueJacque,

    Probably

  113. VOR says:

    Woodguy, Blacque Jacque – You do understand I am not even remotely concerned in my argument with what effect playing with Ryan Whitney has on other people. Only what effect playing with other people has on Whitney. I am not discussing whether Whitney is good or not but whether or not corsi is too labile (in this case linemate performance reliant) to be used to say anything about a defencemen. It is. Whitney is proof of concept. Try to move past your hatred and just look at the numbers.

    WWOY to date Whitney has a CF% of 55.6% with Nick Schultz. He is 43.2% with Corey Potter and 34.8 with Justin Schultz. He also has a much better CF% playing with Hall (45.7), Eberle (44.9), and Nugent-Hopkins (45.0%) than with MPS (38.1), Yakupov (39.7), and Gagner (39.5). Thus Whitney’s WWOY data offers support for my assertion that if we reassign those extra minutes as I suggested in my last post that Whitney’s corsi would improve in a non-trivial way. I see no evidence in WWOY that suggests I am wrong in my assertion he would be #2 in corsi on for defence on the Oilers. By the way both his goals for and goals against would improve dramatically.

    He would almost certainly be a plus player because he has serious game that young Mr Schultz does not. Don’t believe me. Look at what happens to Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle, and RNH’s GF and GA data when they get to play with Whitney. Ain’t that something. Who knew, old, burnt out, injured Ryan Whitney can make the young guns stop firing blanks. With him they get fewer chances but convert far, far more. they also do better on defence.

    So now I have debunked corsi and proven Ryan Whitney isn’t a piece of shit. Aren’t numbers fun.

  114. FastOil says:

    sliderule: Fast

    Clifford 6’2″ – 208 – 11 pts
    King 6’3″ – 234 – 10 pts
    Nolan – 6’3″ – 227 – 5 pts

    Is this where the Kings are winning games? I think it is more likely the players that are outscoring opponents, who are more skilled and smaller than these guys. Notice the smallest guy is the most productive.

    Pajaarvi is similar in size to Clifford and has the same points. i would take more players who have all hockey skills like skating, passing and shooting combined with tenacity, over mass every time.

    The Oilers biggest issues are a second line that bleeds chances and loses the goal differential battle, and a fourth line and bottom pairing manned by guys that aren’t NHL quality players ever or anymore.

    Put 2 competent if not great D on 3rd, and find a reasonable C for 4th that can play harder minutes, and these easy changes make a different world for the Oilers. Add more players that can hold their own and look out.

  115. FastOil says:

    Penner is bigger than these guys and a better player, freely available. If MacT would leave him alone that might be a nice addition to 3rd or 4th line. I think he is not only better than Petrell and Brown but could beat them both up at the same time.

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