Over the last week or so, I’ve been asking some of my guests on LDWLT the following question: if the Oilers trade for a stud defenseman, and have to send one of Justin Schultz or Jeff Petry away, which would it be?
The reaction has been solidly Justin Schultz. Petry’s range of skills give bloggers I talk to the edge. I’ve been wondering lately if Dallas Eakins feels the same way. How would we know? Well, there’s a few ways.
EVEN STRENGTH TIME ON ICE
- Jeff Petry 18:19
- Justin Schultz 18:14
- Phil Larsen 18:12
- Andrew Ference 17:26
- Anton Belov 16:49
- Ladislav Smid 15:20
- Nick Schultz 13:57
- Corey Potter 12:14
- Denis Grebeshkov 11:14
- Taylor Fedun 10:58
Fascinating, isn’t it? ALL of the right-handed puck movers are getting a push at even strength. Petry and Schultz the younger are used the same amount, and when Schultz went down they just moved Larsen in there to replace him. I think that’s a tell about Dallas Eakins preference, don’t you? Look at the LD stayat home TOI totals—from Ference down through Schultz the elder he’s not running anyone ragged. The Petry TOI total is 41st in the league—Edmonton has no stud on blue—and Ference’s TOI is ranked 74th, or second pairing.
I think we can safely say that the future Oilers blue will have more in common with Jeff Petry and Justin Schultz than it will with Ladislav Smid.
CORSI ON (BTN)
- Justin Schultz 0.00
- Anton Belov -3.97
- Jeff Petry -9.95
- Nick Schultz -9.98
- Andrew Ference -11.28
- Phil Larsen -11.33
I’ve restricted this list to 5 or more gp so we can see what’s going on. Schultz the younger has a better CorsiON than anyone, but we would expect him to be playing easier competition that Petry so there’s another shoe to drop. That’s a fairly ghastly number for Ference, one would hope he’s playing tough competition as an explanation. Belov scores well here.
QUALITY OF COMPETITION (BTN)
- Phil Larsen 2.790
- Andrew Ference 0.160
- Jeff Petry -0.230
- Nick Schultz -0.576
- Anton Belov -1.059
- Justin Schultz -1.584
Haha. It’s kind of funny because the Qual Comp marches in lock step with CorsiON: The easy minutes are going to Schultz the younger and Belov and they perform well in shot differential. Mid-level qual comp goes to Nick Schultz, Petry and Ference and they occupy the mid-level of the Corsi graph; and Phil Larsen represents the Christians during the time of Nero. Remember, this is in a very small sample size (8 games for Larsen) so there may be another answer, but his being scratched currently suggests the Oilers see it the same way as Desjardins’ addiator.
WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?
I think Dallas Eakins values Jeff Petry as the better defender, but he also likes the offense Justin Schultz delivers and gives him just as much icetime. Another guess would be the Oilers are targeting a lefty defender who can play heavy minutes, and that once he arrives the top 4 might end up being new guy, Schultz (J), Petry and Ference. Belov on deck. Ideally, he’d like a lefty Petry for the toughs and then a reasonably priced shutdown guy for J Schultz (is my guess).
- Belov-J Schultz together are 49.6% and they have been together for 151 minutes 5×5.
- Smid-J Petry together were 45.4% and they were together for 173 minutes 5×5.
- N Schultz-Ference together are 43.3% and they have been together for 132 minutes 5×5.
- Ference-J Petry together are 41% and they have been together for 133 minutes 5×5.
- Belov-Larsen together are 36.5% and they have been together for 79 minutes 5×5.
The best pairing they’re running a lot is Belov-Justin Schultz and Petry’s most successful partner has been…..Anton Belov.
I think the two guys on each end of the graph (Petry and Justin Schultz) are the future, and Ference is here because of his status as captain and role of bringing leadership. Belov’s an interesting cat, Schultz is better but can’t make a pass, and Larsen is one of these things that doesn’t belong.