RE 13-14 SAM GAGNER: UNDER PRESSURE

Sam Gagner signed a three-year contract with the Edmonton Oilers this summer, and now–finally–team and player have matured to the point where they must stand and deliver. Together.

RE 13-14: 82, 15-37-52

  1. Well, these numbers look, well, puny. I think Gagner is going to play more minutes this year, and those minutes will include more defensive zone starts. He’s also going to get fewer prime PP minutes (2:55 last season) and more PK minutes (1:35) per game. The Horcoff leaving impacts Gagner more than any other.
  2. So the numbers won’t be there? Gagner finished in a 16th place tie league-wide in PP assists (11), I think the Nuge will grab those minutes back–or at least the 1PP minutes. Gagner will be busy getting less attractive minutes, both on the PP and EVs.
  3. Minutes Horcoff got a year ago? Right. I think Gordon’s line will be the zone start guys, and that impacts their numbers. Gagner will get tougher zone starts than he did a year ago (51.4% 4th easiest among regular forwards) and he played 2nd line opposition–that is likely to remain the same. I think it impacts his EV totals slightly, and of course his reduced PP time leaves us here.
  4. How secure is Gagner? NOW? He’s golden, just signed and the GM praised him moments before taking office. The SAME general manager said yesterday “It’s incumbent on everybody in that locker-room to really work to provide the type of working environment we want. The type of productive, hard-working, non-complaining culture we want. And I’m going to be diligent in my decision-making in terms of weeding out the complainers.”
  5. Wow. Who was he talking about? Usually, losing teams have grumpy veterans. That’s just the way it is–veterans who don’t get to play, or play the role they wanted to play, or were promised. Last year’s grumps might have included Eric Belanger, Ryan Whitney, veterans who are basically watching their careers trail off into the distance without any chance of return.
  6. It’s funny, a lot of last season’s team hasn’t been signed. Probably not funny, and maybe not surprising. There’s a lot of talent still available, and the goalies plus Peckham are signed with Belanger heading out of the league. Whitney would have been signed day one, there’s no way his value would be this low without injury.
  7. Let’s get back to Samwise. How bad was he? His line was bad at shot differential, and that’s a key indicator of success. Sam’s 5×4/60 and the fact that the line cashed (shooting percentage is also amazingly consistent) a lot of their chances makes the boxcars look stronger than they might have with less luck for him and the line. Yakupov’s shooting percentage was a major help.
  8. What happened to that line? They didn’t get as many pucks at the net as one would think with the zone starts they owned, and it wasn’t a small thing. Dellow’s been doing great work, if you haven’t read his big data series then please do. It’s fascinating and Tyler’s getting an answer via all that work.
  9. I don’t like to wait–what was wrong with that line? As I said, read Dellow’s stuff. They were collapsing to the puck, and none of the forwards were driving to the net, so they’d get the puck possession and be within two feet of each other–not difficult to cover that trio!
  10. Are you surprised they signed him to that contract, and brought in Perron? No, that’s about right.
  11. NO? Come on! You didn’t see that coming. I wrote about it here in May (answer #13): What are they going to do with Gagner? I’ll guess they sign him to a three-year, $4.65M per year deal and set him up with a strong LW to go with Yakupov on the 2line.
  12. So, where do we go from here? One thing we haven’t talked about is how successful this line will need to be; I imagine the trio will be 89-Perron-64 but Hemsky is back and that may change things too. Either way, this line HAS to deliver a better shot differential and reduce the zone time in the Edmonton end of the rink. The gap between 1 and 2 lines on this team can’t remain this wide, or they’re going nowhere. I think Eakins will figure it out, he has Acton and Billy Moores now, and MacT’s a career coach too.
  13. You know Lowetide, you keep talking about systems and chaos and possession but you’re not being clear. WHAT will change? I’m not sure I know the answer, all I can tell you is the anecdotal–that’s where my fan’s ability to see the game ends and the guys who are paid to succeed in hockey take over. I know (courtesy Tyler) the Oilers 2nd line was getting fewer shots in the golden seconds between an offensive zone faceoff and end sortie, I know Nick Schultz pinched like he was a dog chasing a whistle none of the other dogs could hear as he’d drive into the opponent’s zone while the puck passed him and the jailbreak began (again). I know people keep saying the Oilers should just dump the puck in when all of the evidence (read Tulsky’s stuff on this) suggests it’s a loser’s bet and I know more than one line executed zone entry the wrong way all damn season long. I know there was so much wasted effort it was a crime to watch, let alone do all that skating. I know the hockey we saw last year is extremely unlikely to reappear because it doesn’t work. I know those things, but I can’t absolutely say the Oilers should adopt a specific system. Find a way to win possession that doesn’t involve huddling up three feet behind the FO circle as soon as puck drop, and in the name of all that is holy find that damn dog whistle that’s getting Schultz excited!
  14. Why this song? Gagner’s got pressure, all of the centers do. Gordon is imo a Godsend, but losing Horcoff means you’re back to three centermen and then a bunch of guys trying to make the grade. That means more minutes and more pressure and for Gagner it could mean the third and fourth best wingers on the team most nights. I think there’s a chance he spends a prolonged period with Hall and that could change things, but even then he’s under pressure.
  15. Is there a chance he blossoms? Of course. Sam Gagner is an excellent young player, he’ll be quality for years even if he just stays at this level. If he can turn it up another notch, well the playoffs are a promise.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

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The Lowdown hits the airwaves at 10 this morning (Team 1260) and we have quite the lineup today. Calls and texts and tweets welcome. Scheduled to appear:

  • Rob Vollman from ESPN and Hockey Prospectus visits to give us a book update (hockeyabstract.com) and we’ll have a long look at the 13-14 Oilers and their chances of success. 
  • Matt Gresiuk my soccer insider is going to break my heart with news on Gareth Bale’s future. 
  • Rob Soria from Oil Drop will talk Billy Moores, strategies to improve the 2line and will Ryan Smyth spend the season at center?
  • Brian King (PDO!) will discuss the Eskimos and their early season.
  • Kent Simpson Oil Kings color commentator will touch base on the Oil Kings one month away from getting things started all over again!!!! We’ll talk changes in the roster and I’ll ask about their chances this coming season.

@Lowetide_ on twitter and 10-1260 via text. Hope you can tune in!

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43 Responses to "RE 13-14 SAM GAGNER: UNDER PRESSURE"

  1. godot10 says:

    On my top ten list of desert island single tracks. Freddie Mercury is really irreplaceable on the track though.

  2. godot10 says:

    godot10,

    Freddie Mercury was irreplaceable, period.

  3. Ca$h-Money! says:

    godot10,

    The self reply. Nice.

  4. Lowetide says:

    I like this version, that girl can sure sing!

  5. Lowetide says:

    Oh, that”s Gail Ann Dorsey, she’s outstanding.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gail_Ann_Dorsey

  6. bookje says:

    Wow, David Bowie totally stole that opening riff from Vanilla Ice !

  7. russ99 says:

    Speaking of Freddie Mercury, did you guys hear about this:

    http://www.bbcamerica.com/anglophenia/2013/07/the-story-of-those-freddie-mercury-and-michael-jackson-demos/

    Thriller-era MJ & Freddie? What they come up with has to be incredible.

    Not sure if Gagner is the linchpin of whether we make the playoffs or not, IMO his wingers need to be more responsible too, and there is a question if Yak can make that leap in his second year and if Perron will be less system-oriented that he’s out of Hitchcock’s meat grinder.

    Hopefully the old system more than Gagner himself is to blame for him arriving late to the play on defense so much.

    Yet I don’t expect it to turn around right away, as Eakins is a rookie coach too, Some things he’ll do won’t work.

  8. Bar_Qu says:

    Mirtle tweeted out this link to a Fear the Fin article on how SJ is using Corsi to scout junior players. Interesting stuff.

  9. Lowetide says:

    Bar_Qu:
    Mirtle tweeted out this link to a Fear the Fin article on how SJ is using Corsi to scout junior players. Interesting stuff.

    I damn near fell off my chair when Gross said that.

  10. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Freddie. It’s no contest. But, personal taste wants what it wants.

    ———
    Gagner! I think the RE is about right. I expect Gagner to have a solid Gagner season. All the detractors will find this underwhelming for some inexplicable reason.

    One thing I think we should keep an eye out for is the possibility that the corsi-black-hole doesn’t entirely fade away. Eakins will probably find a way to re-build the leaky ship en route… but I still think the combo of Gagner-Perron-Yakupov is going to be a bit of chaos machine.

    Gagner’s defensive play is unlikely to bloom in a major way. Yakupov is still raw and Perron is licking his chops at a more offensive system… If Eakins can tamp that enthusiasm for fleeing the zone down, he will have this team in very, very good shape.

  11. SinceTheWHADays says:

    LT,

    “Nuge will grab those minutes back–or at least the 1PP minutes. Gagner will be busy getting less attractive minutes, both on the PP and EVs.”

    I think this whole RE is indicative of an assumption that you know how the new coach is going to run his lines, but all indications of DE are that he’s a “hot hand” kinda coach. I have no idea how DE is going to run his lines, PP, and PK, but I do think things are going to be much more fluid than your assumptions if regularity.

  12. tcho says:

    If Gags can hit these numbers WHILE improving f/o (sweet baby Jesus, please, something close to a 50/50?) and correcting the corsi disaster that was last year… That’s a really good 2 line C. If the 1 line can deliver (and I think they’ll do better than last year), we have a good chance at the 2nd season.

  13. Hammers says:

    I won’t be surprised to see Hemsky & Perron together if Hemmer stays . Eakins seems to believe in player pairs over actual lines and I think these 2 could easily be a pair due to both there backgrounds. Having said that I see Gags with Yak and RNH with Ebs . Hall can play with anyone. If Gags gets lucky especially at the start of the season he may draw Yak & Hall and if he does his RE will be higher than shown . He could get 15+ points in the first 20 games with those two and then its decision time when RNH returns. We are now down to how Eakins views things and if McT is done as he claims we may see some surprise moves from the coaching staff.PS Freddie was great.

  14. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Hammers: I won’t be surprised to see Hemsky & Perron together if Hemmer stays . Eakins seems to believe in player pairs over actual lines and I think these 2 could easily be a pair due to both there backgrounds.

    I’m guessing one member of his pairs would be a center… but I could be wrong.

  15. remlap says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: I’m guessing one member of his pairs would be a center… but I could be wrong.

    Yea, with the pairs that Hammers laid out, you’re essentially forcing Perron and Hemsky into playing with Gordon. Which then by extension, puts someone like Jones, Smyth, or Joensuu into the top 6.

    Won’t work.

  16. G Money says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: One thing I think we should keep an eye out for is the possibility that the corsi-black-hole doesn’t entirely fade away. Eakins will probably find a way to re-build the leaky ship en route

    It should be noted that one of the reasons many fingers are pointed at Krueger’s system is that this last season, almost every player on the Oilers fell down a Corsi rathole – probably none moreso than Gagner and Hemsky.

    2011-2012 CorsiOn, CorsiRel, CorsiQOC:
    Hemsky = 1.51, 8.6, 1.265 (note every number positive, and QOC second toughest of regulars behind THall)
    Gagner = -2.18, 6.3, 0.708 (note absolute Corsi negative, but CorsiRel strongly positive, AND it should be noted his Corsi numbers were better than Eberle or the Nuge that season, while facing tougher competition).

    You contrast that with the Corsi cliff from last year (which should be noted is also a smaller sample size) and you should
    a. be scratching your head, and
    b. be very tempted to point the finger at RK since the cliff applied to every player other than the first line, and
    c. be relatively confident that with a more traditional defense-oriented system, young Sam (and his compatriots) should actually swing back much closer to his original upward trending Corsi trendline.

    In fact, with Perron on one side and a 2nd-year Yak on the other (correct) side, I fully expect that the second line will be able to hold its own w.r.t. Corsi, and be on the positive side in terms of Goal Diff (simply because both Yak and Perron are terrific snipers and Gagner is no slouch).

    My worries remain that unless BOTH Lander and Joensuu pan out as capable 4C and 3L respectively (which seems to be asking a bit much from the probabilities), our 3/4 lines will remain goal sinks that torpedo our playoff hopes.

  17. nycoil says:

    Posted this in the RNH RE thread, but could see the following lines working out:
    Line 1A: Gagner-Hall-Yakupov (Two whirling dervishes on Sam’s wings that are going to push opposing d-men back on their heels with their rifles and wrecking ball mentalities, leaving Gagner to focus more on improving his deficiencies in face-offs and defending and rounding out his game)
    Line 1B: RNH(Arcobello)-Perron-Eberle (Bit small, but give them more of the soft parade. Perron seems to have some defensive awareness to his game, and if he can bring some of Hitchcock’s discipline and Eakins reinforces it, this could work. Eberle, I think has more to give defensively also. His work on the PK his rookie year had some nice things (and some glaring holes). This trio could be a stick-checking, positionally aware, three-headed monster with a quick transition game and three pairs of silky smooth mitts that will give the opposing soft parade fits. Use 1A and the Gordon line against the opposition’s best and let 1B go to work against softer opposition.

    As I mentioned above, I do see Sam rounding out his all-around game more and ceding a few scoring opportunities as a result. I think contract secure, he has it in him to improve. But, man oh man, if he doesn’t clear the 60pt hurdle this year with a plus/minus near even ( I know, I know) the average Joe is going to call for his head on a platter.

    Oh, and I have to side with the Freddie fans here on this one. Lady’s got a nice voice but this version lacks the strained passion.

  18. Bag of Pucks says:

    I’m begrudgingly coming to the conclusion that the Oilers will never try Hall at center and I think it’s a crying shame, particularly this season when the optics are perfect to give it a shot.

    With RNH out for the first month or more, I would think the condition are perfect to roll with Hall and Gagner as the Top 2Cs. Worst case scenario, it doesn’t work, but now you know that definitively and can move Hall back to the wing upon Gagner’s return. Best case scenario, he successfully makes the Messier move, and now you’ve got two potentially dominant two way Cs and you can move Gagner to the wing.

    But what will this team do? Roll with Arcobello as it’s 2C for a month. Because Oilers.

    Speaking of playing out of position, onboard with those commenting that you can’t replace Mercury, but what really stands out for me in this clip is Bowie as the consummate musician and professional. It doesn’t seem to matter who he’s playing with, they’re always extremely well rehearsed, tight, and musical. I think that speaks to Bowie’s skills as a musician and bandleader. He’s savvy enough to hire great talent (his guitar roster alone includes such standouts as Mick Ronson, SRV, Peter Frampton and Reeves Gabrels over the years) but he’s also enough of a perfectionist to demand the best from them. He’s like Sting in that way. Superlative talent AND strong management skills. A lethal combo. Let’s hope this is the year the Oilers achieve the same!

  19. G Money says:

    For those more visually inclined, I made a chart that shows the “Corsi Cliff” in a rather stark visual:

    http://i.imgur.com/MBYxoS2.png

    (all data from behindthenet.ca)

  20. wordbird says:

    There will only be one Freddy Mercury, but Gail can really sing, and shit, she’s all over that tasty baseline, too.

    As for the song, I think if you imagined a collab of Mercury and Bowie, you’d be hard-pressed to
    top what they actually came up with. two brilliant and distinct talents.

  21. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    LT!

    how can this conversation with Vollman about passing not mention Tarasov?

    Why do you hate Belov!?

  22. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    G Money:
    For those more visually inclined, I made a chart that shows the “Corsi Cliff” in a rather stark visual:

    http://i.imgur.com/MBYxoS2.png

    (all data from behindthenet.ca)

    I’m aware of the coaching/systems variable… hence my repeated mention of Eakins and I wasn’t suggesting the corsi wouldn’t rebound. I think it absolutely will… I just think we should prepare ourselves for the possibility (which I qualified several times) that the bounce back is more modest than we hope.

    that said. I like your graph a lot… great visual aid.

  23. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    “I’ve heard people describe Johnny Cash as country”

    “I’ve never seen The Princess Bride”

    We should start a fake twitter account for LT’s producer and just tweet things that have actually come out of his mouth. Hilarious.

  24. Bushed says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    Agree re possible chaos defensively and agree even more with your last paragraph.

    It will be very interesting to see how Eakins handles Sam (under pressure?–no kidding!) and his line. And we’ll find out soon if the underdeveloped D zone coverage skills can suddenly emerge.

    Interesting wild card in all this is if we give MacT’s comments re Sam as a winger more consideration? Creates lots more roster problems short term, but what if a trade allows for it?

  25. G Money says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: I just think we should prepare ourselves for the possibility (which I qualified several times) that the bounce back is more modest than we hope.

    Duly noted.

    The purpose of my visual aid was simply to point out that even a modest bounce back – specifically in Gagner’s case nothing more than a reversion to his previous four season mean of Corsi of about -2.5 and a CorsiRel of 5 ish – would be an enormous improvement. And I do think he will do better than that, because of the combo of age, system, and trend.

    And on that note, this graph reflects the shots differential for the team as a whole over the last five years. Again – last year was by far the worst of a putrid lot, and relatively speaking a cliff-like drop.

    http://i.imgur.com/lSmiTsb.png

    Given that most of the personnel were similar, and the first line was better than in years, it speaks to a team wide decline which, excepting a really bad system, is almost inconceivable (and I’m pretty sure that word means what I think it means*) for such a young upwardly mobile team.

    * Mandatory PB reference

  26. Bag of Pucks says:

    Romulus Apotheosis:

    We should start a fake twitter account for LT’s producer and just tweet things that have actually come out of his mouth. Hilarious.

    The Edmonton version of shitmydadsays?

  27. denny33 says:

    G Money,

    Thanks – that is really clear.

    Still really nervous about Sam’s 2nd line in the Dzone….have a feeling that Eakins will make
    Gagner’s more accountable in his own end.

  28. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    G Money: Duly noted.

    The purpose of my visual aid was simply to point out that even a modest bounce back – specifically in Gagner’s case nothing more than a reversion to his previous four season mean of Corsi of about -2.5 and a CorsiRel of 5 ish – would be an enormous improvement.And I do think he will do better than that, because of the combo of age, system, and trend.

    And on that note, this graph reflects the shots differential for the team as a whole over the last five years.Again – last year was by far the worst of a putrid lot, and relatively speaking a cliff-like drop.

    http://i.imgur.com/lSmiTsb.png

    Given that most of the personnel were similar, and the first line was better than in years, it speaks to a team wide decline which, excepting a really bad system, is almost inconceivable (and I’m pretty sure that word means what I think it means*) for such a young upwardly mobile team.

    * Mandatory PB reference

    I completely agree with this. I think we are both trying to set reasonable expectations for that 2 line and getting bogged down in worrying over how modest is too modest.

    As much as you are trying to keep the Gagner is going to stink camp at bay, I way just trying to keep the Gagner miracle crowd honest.

    At the end of the day, these kinds of cautionary comments are probably unnecessary for LT’s crowd.

  29. Big Dan says:

    Gagner again, eh?

    He’ll score a lot in the beginning and then RNH will come back and Gagner will fall off a cliff – in the 50 point pace for the season.

    Nobody will talk about him after the first month – at least not for a couple years. We’ll all be ogling over our new toys like David Perron or our beloved saviours RNH, Hall, Eberle, and Yakupov. I also think Justin Schultz will score more than last year when he just flat out ran out of gas. A different player from Game 5 vs. 48 = I hope Eakins utilizes him properly.

    Glad Gagner signed for under $5M/year. Now he can blend into the scenery as a secondary scorer.

  30. Магия¹º says:

    “Gagner is going to play more minutes this year, and those minutes will include more defensive zone starts. He’s also going to get fewer prime PP minutes (2:55 last season) and more PK minutes (1:35) per game”

    Darn right. If he wanted more PP he should have signed longer. They should have skewed him to defensive zone starts last year and he might already be on a long term contract.

  31. Jordan says:

    Hadn’t seen this until now.

    http://oilers.nhl.com/club/news.htm?id=679334&navid=DL|EDM|home

    There’s also an article about it up at COH

    http://blogs.edmontonjournal.com/category/cult-of-hockey-4/

    —-

    The only think I can think of in reading this:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dzOHq5WbQ8k

    My only question now is: Is there anyone left from the old team who needs to be brought back into the fold?

    Also – I’m calling this right now: meet your 2016 NHL Stanley Cup winning Edmonton Oilers.

  32. Jordan says:

    Sorry for the double post, but when I read this, I had to highlight it:

    Craig MacTavish: We’re going to do a coaching symposium this year, where we’re going to welcome in coaches from some of the NHL feeder leagues, and try and create partnership with those guys that they can help us and we can possibly help them with player recruitment.

    Now, maybe this is nothing, but it sure sounds like there is an opportunity here for the Oilers to be trying to leverage a lot of other coaches outside the organization and offer a two-way street on information about hockey players.

    When information is paramount in selecting and retaining personnel, more information (presuming it’s manageable) is always an asset.

    Improving the coaching staff, providing them with better resources, and finding ways to build relationships that can permit professional development are great tools for expanding the sphere of influence of the Oilers in Hockey in general.

    If any of this is realized, it could create the kind of advantage the Canadiens had during the middle of the 20th Century. As an Oilers fan, I approve.

    Edit: This presumes the symposium becomes and annual event the Oilers host.

  33. LMHF#1 says:

    My lasting memory of Billy Moores is a discussion he had with Stoll on the bench.

    He kept trying to say that Stoll screwed up. Stoll kept trying to interrupt him but Moores just kept talking.

    Stoll was interrupting because he hadn’t even been on the ice during the play Moores was talking about. It was hilarious and kinda sad.

  34. Jordan says:

    LMHF#1,

    Yeah… I guess that could be one of the benefits of him staying on as a coaching consultant – he can bring things to the coaching staff that they might find useful, but he’s not actually involved in coaching the oilers players.

    I can’t imagine anyone being as polite as Stoll was there. Good memory!

  35. RexLibris says:

    Not sure if anyone here has seen it, but Travis Yost has a terrific, nay spectacular! article up at NHLNumbers looking at adjusted Tier to Team Corsi. What it says about the Oilers is hardly news to this crowd, but seeing it laid out on a graph and compared to every other Western Conference team just takes your breath away.

    http://nhlnumbers.com/2013/8/1/western-conference-line-vs-team-production#comment-416902

  36. G Money says:

    RexLibris,

    That is some fantastic work.

    It does however reinforce my belief that our third and fourth lines pissed away any plusses that the top line brought.

    It also reinforces my fear that we have not significantly improved those lines from last year, and so the fourth line especially will be yet another pit mine.

    The two big positives:
    - I remain steadfast in my belief that RK system effects will dissipate (the Corsi’s for the Oilers for one year previous would have looked quite a bit better), and the team will walk back up what was a Corsi cliff last year
    - We have (effectively, not positionally) replaced Whitney with Ference, and our depth as gone from [Potter, Fistric, Peckham] to [Belov, Grebeshkov, Klefbom, Potter]. That means much less bleeding of shots/chances/goals, and that should in itself should pump Corsi (not to mention wins) across the board.

    Going to be an interesting year.

  37. linkfromhyrule says:

    RexLibris,

    Thank you for posting this, that was a great (albeit extremely depressing) article. That really puts it into perspective just how bad our bottom six was. That last chart made me kinda sick to my stomach.

    but hey, at least we aren’t the worst overall! I think we were only 4th or 5th worst in our conference…..!

    that being said, I think we will improve overall on this. our 4th line can’t be any worse this year….can it?!

  38. RexLibris says:

    With regards to the third and fourth lines, I’ve had this debate with some friends recently.

    On the one hand we now have our former 1st line RW on our 3rd line (Hemsky) and Jones and Gordon are playing closer to their natural levels than in previous years.

    On the other hand, I can’t help but look at the the bottom six names and think of that episode of Friends where Rachel makes half-Trifle/half-Shepherd’s Pie. The layers just don’t match together.

    I wish it were as simple as Joey’s comment: “What”s not to like? Meat. Good! Peas. Good! Fruit. Good!”

    I’d dearly love for Hemsky to find some chemistry with Gordon and Jones, but he is the ultimate freelancer and this team has broken my heart so many times before. The needle is moving closer to “balance” but there remains much work to do and I think it will be a moving target that is addressed mid-season.

  39. DeadmanWaking says:

    nycoil: But, man oh man, if he doesn’t clear the 60pt hurdle this year with a plus/minus near even (I know, I know) the average Joe is going to call for his head on a platter.

    Someone used that expression the other day and it was bugging me ever since, kind of an ear worm, but I finally placed it.

    I know. I know.

    If you can’t spare two minutes, open the transcript and search for “Mom!” and madly click there. It will start playing at around 1:44.

    Julia Sweeney played the reprobate in Pulp Fiction and had a good moment, but I mainly like how effortlessly she slips into the bold font in her self-confessional monologues.

  40. Hammers says:

    remlap: Yea, with the pairs that Hammers laid out, you’re essentially forcing Perron and Hemsky into playing with Gordon. Which then by extension, puts someone like Jones, Smyth, or Joensuu into the top 6.

    Won’t work.

    Exactly . A line with experience that can play against a top line thereby freeing the Nuge line some easy going . Hockey is not a game of checkers but a game of chess . The 3rd line needs to be able to play basic “D” plus offence and those 3 could do that . By the way who really thinks McT is done.

  41. theres oil in virginia says:

    DeadmanWaking,
    Never change, man. Never change.

  42. Numenius says:

    Bag of Pucks:
    I’m begrudgingly coming to the conclusion that the Oilers will never try Hall at center and I think it’s a crying shame, particularly this season when the optics are perfect to give it a shot.

    With RNH out for the first month or more, I would think the condition are perfect to roll with Hall and Gagner as the Top 2Cs. Worst case scenario, it doesn’t work, but now you know that definitively and can move Hall back to the wing upon Gagner’s return. Best case scenario, he successfully makes the Messier move, and now you’ve got two potentially dominant two way Cs and you can move Gagner to the wing.

    But what will this team do? Roll with Arcobello as it’s 2C for a month. Because Oilers.

    I’m not so sure. I wonder if McT’s opposition to getting another C is precisely to try Hall there. McT is smart and was a C himself, and it would make good sense of his actions.

    One key problem though would be what to do with Gagner. Eberle and Yak are strongly set on RW, so Gagner would either have to move to the third line or play LW. Has he ever played LW? I haven’t been paying attention long enough to know.

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