We’re 25% into the season now and it’s interesting to see how head coach Dallas Eakins is handling the roster—and the differences between this and last season for the Edmonton Oilers. Since the Corsi for % isn’t showing improvement, is there anything we can point to as an improvement?
WHO’S ON THE PENALTY-KILL?
- Krueger’s PK: Belanger 3:08; Petrell 2:35; Smyth 2:31; Horcoff 2:29; Lander 1:45; Gagner 1:35; Jones 1:23
- Eakins PK: Gordon 3:03; Acton 2:06; Eberle 1:49; Smyth 1:41; Arcobello 1:35; Gagner 1:04
So, Gordon gets the Belanger role (and is an upgrade), Eberle is playing the Petrell minutes, Acton replaces Horcoff and Smyth and Gagner remain the same but are penalty-killing less. Arcobello has the Lander spot. Is this progress? Is this year’s team better suited to kill penalties? I should mention that Taylor Hall (0:49), Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (0:45) and Ales Hemsky (0:31) are also getting a turn. None of these guys got much time (Eberle either) a year ago. This year’s PK is strumming along at 81.7 and last year it was 83.4.
I’m all for getting rid of Lennart Petrell, because even though he was a good 4×5 player he was NOT a good 5×5 winger. Still, you need penalty-killers and Ryan Jones would be able to help in this area based on the past.
BTN CORSI ON 2012-13
The Krueger Oilers had that top line doing good things against bad people, and they did it with the Nuge down a quart. The rest of the group was mostly Sonny on the Causeway, that Belanger number is a monster. Nail hung in there okay, didn’t he?
BTN CORSI ON 2013-14
It feels like there are more NHL players here, but Gazdic is an enforcer and I’m not smart enough to know if Acton is a player because he’s always out there with Gazdic, Brown or Eager. It’s a tragedy for Joensuu but he’s been hurt and his zone starts are stark (Gordon’s zone starts are horribible btw). I really like this team’s forwards, the Hall-Nuge-Eberle and the Gagner-Perron-Hemsky and the Gordon-Kulemin-Yakupov.
One thing that chart shows: Arcobello’s sideburns are a monster.
- Mark Arcobello 2.53
- Taylor Hall 2.24
- David Perron 2.12
- Jordan Eberle 2.00
- Will Acton 1.88
- Ryan Smyth 1.58
- Ryan Jones 1.54
- Ben Eager 1.42
- Ryan Nugent-Hopkins 1.25
- Luke Gazdic 1.24
- Boyd Gordon 1.22
- Ales Hemsky 1.17
- Nail Yakupov 0.95
- Sam Gagner 0.87
- Jesse Joensuu 0.00
Arcobello’s no good, that’s pretty clear. And what of Acton? Is that pure luck? Has to be. Hall, Perron and Eberle are fine by me and Smyth is over 1.50 and damned if Jones isn’t right on the career average. If you’re looking for someone to blame offensively, Gagner, Yakster, Hemmer and Joensuu (who’s doing the JF Hartikainen at even strength) are good places to start.
That Gagner-Yakupov-Hemsky seems to be turning North, that’ll be a big help.
LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE
- Bruce McCurdy from the Cult of Hockey. We’ll talk about tonight’s game and go in search of a complete defenseman.
- Noah Love from the National Post. Leafs—will they sign Phaneuf?
- Ryan Batty, Copper and Blue. Arcobello’s sideburns and the Anton Belov.
- Harrison Mooney, Go Daddy. Canucks can’t even be the enemy properly.
Barons have an early game today, Curtis Hamilton has been activated (have no idea if he’ll play). The ‘snail trio’ of Tyler Pitlick, Hamilton and Ryan Martindale have all been injured this season, but at least they broke through to play some NHL games (3, by Pitlick). It’s a sad reflection of their pro careers that those three games may represent the total sum of their efforts.
There’s still time for Hamilton, Joe Frank and Reynolds but it might be an idea to stay healthy and do something.