MY KINGDOM FOR A POWER PLAY

The Edmonton Oilers are at the halfway point of a season that must feel like being boiled in acid. Great, great players losing all the time. 13-24-4. Noxious. Pernicious. Toxic. Foul. Horrible. Ghastly. Regrettable.

Mistake after mistake after mistake after mistake after mistake after mistake after mistake. One year’s experience five times. Addled. Stupid is as stupid does. I cannot  believe how many truly idiotic things have been done in an Oiler uniform this season. It must number in the millions.

Whew. Well, that feels better.

A bunch of smart people got together on twitter last night, and the discussion turned to Taylor Hall. His scoring rates are ‘in the range’ but his Corsi is in the ditch—which is buggering up the clear progress we’re seeing in other areas. Just absolutely galling, because the kid (he’s still a kid) has been pushing the river since he arrived and I can’t just get mad at him or think up trades—I love the guy. He’s the promised land, he’s the hero of the Springsteen song, he’s the King.

So anyway, these smart people were throwing it around and then one of the smart ones said “Corsi 5×5 Close %” and it kind of framed the season in a different way for me.

OILERS FORWARDS CORSI % FOR, 5X5 CLOSE

CORSI CLOSE FOR 5X5That looks normal from here, or close (the Fenwick numbers are basically perfect save for the wonky Perron). For me, this list makes sense understanding Taylor Hall has been neck deep in swill on a team with addled defense, while boasting a blind-man-in-the-goalie-net, who is giving up cherry rebounds. I can make my mind digest this graph satisfied and then move on emotionally.

OILERS FORWARDS CORSI % FOR, 5X5 DOWN 2+ GOALS

CORSI FOR DOWN 2+

This is what one of the bright fellows pointed out, Hall when the team is down 2+ in goals. A situational stat that indicates Hall is ineffective when the team goes down two or more goals doesn’t put him in  a good light, but then again it’s 84 minutes and maybe the net is empty (Oilers are without charm this season when they outnumber their opponent—entertainment ends and hell begins at the “Oilers power play” sign). I don’t buy Hall is giving up, but the Oilers do seem to flag when they’re down a couple, so maybe that’s something we’ll watch for the rest of this season. I suspect the answer is “the defense sucks” but then again that’s my reason for everything these days (“honey we’re out of whiskey!” “defense sucks!”).

There are positives in Hall’s season and he’s the key to the highway, so Dallas Eakins needs to figure this out right after he takes the power play out behind the barn and shoots it. Penalty-kill too while he’s at it.

5X5 OFFENSE PER 60

  1. Taylor Hall 2.28
  2. David Perron 1.98
  3. Jordan Eberle 1.86
  4. Mark Arcobello 1.86
  5. Ryan Smyth 1.57
  6. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins 1.46
  7. Will Acton 1.39
  8. Sam Gagner 1.32
  9. Ales Hemsky 1.15
  10. Ryan Jones 1.09
  11. Nail Yakupov 0.99
  12. Boyd Gordon 0.85
  13. Luke Gazdic 0.77
  14. Jesse Joensuu 0.35

The next item for coach Dallas Eakins (after Hall, the PP and PK) is Nail Yakupov. These numbers (here) show Nail Yakupov is off by more than half from one year ago (here) and are not acceptable. I’m onside with Eakins and MacTavish, but ruin that kid and that is something I do not forgive.

Whatever they’re doing with Yakupov, stop it. Go opposite George. A small germ of an idea might be to take Joensuu and his magic 0.35/60 off the 2line and task Gagner/Eberle with the Russian. I know that’s a lot of youth and very little muscle, but big men who can’t play NHL hockey all end up in Europe. I’m tiring of this experiment, and haven’t looked up the “JF Jacques” disaster to see how long it took Quinn to figure it out but it was not half of one season.

I’ll look at the defense later. For now, the things to remember about the team up front after 41 games:

  • Taylor Hall is King, but something is wrong in the kingdowm
  • The power play is the saddest thing on earth
  • The penalty kill is the second saddest thing on earth
  • What have you done to my Russian?

My Kingdom for a power play.

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97 Responses to "MY KINGDOM FOR A POWER PLAY"

  1. dawgtoy says:

    “GAME DAY PREDICTION: Oilers take the Flyers to overtime before Wayne Simmonds walks Nick Schultz and Philly wins 4-3

    OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Taylor Hall and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins put on a show for the home crowd, but the big news is Bryzgalov stopping 42 shots.”

    You pretty much nailed these predictions LT

  2. mumbai max says:

    The following table is in support of Don Cherry wanting to include Hall for Olympic consideration. There are 17 NHL players performing at a PPG or better. 11 of them are Canadians. Shouldn’t they all be in play? Most are, but I think Hall, Duchene and Seguin should be getting consideration. Don’t even get me started about Martin St. Louis. These choices should not be ‘lifetime achievement’ awards, but ‘what have you done for me lately’ awards.

    1. Crosby – 1.47 Canada
    Kane – 1.29 USA
    Malkin – 1.28 Russia
    2. Neal – 1.25 Canada
    3. Getzlaf – 1.18 Canada
    Backstrom – 1.15 Sweden
    Ovechkin – 1.13 Russian
    4. Thornton – 1.10 Canada
    Steen – 1.08 Sweden
    Zetterberg – 1.06 Sweden
    5. Seguin – 1.05 Canada
    6. Hall – 1.03 Canada
    7. Perry – 1.02 Canada
    7. Tavares – 1.02 Canada
    9. St. Louis – 1.00 Canada
    9. Sharp – 1.00 Canada
    9. Duchene – 1.00 Canada

  3. dawgtoy says:

    http://www.bostonglobe.com/sports/2013/12/29/goalie-martin-jones-latest-kings-starry-prospects/GcEviIcPXlxPXYmpbBONJP/story.html

    Interesting stuff in this article. “Rebuilding teams such as Calgary and Florida will not be successful if free agency is their preferred route toward organizational makeovers.”

  4. russ99 says:

    I don’t think anyone can refute that over-emphasis on puck possession and defense has stifled our offensive output. I’d love to see these numbers at the same games played for last season.

    For example, last night we’re up 2-0 after the first and all we can muster the rest of the way including overtime is 7 shots. That’s safe hockey, coached by Dallas “Safe” Eakins.

    And don’t even get me started on the powerplay… Even if it’s due to our nepotastic assistants, the head coach should at some point do something to fix it.

    IMO, if players are being constantly drilled in to playing a certain way 5×5, it’s not going to just switch off when playing 5×4, so the blame lies on the inflexibility of the coach as much as the assistants running the power play and the players.

  5. flyfish1168 says:

    Great article as always. After last evening game and watching our PP vs the Flyers I can’t help but think we require a big shot from the point and generally just more shots on the net, not shots towards the net. I totally agree our 2nd line is anemic as can be. Yak should be on that line. Eberle should try a stent at LW position, previous attempts with Yak there he didn’t look comfortable.

    I

  6. Woodguy says:

    You have the second chart labeled “Corsi % For, 5×5 Close” , when it should be “Corsi % For Down 2+ goals”

  7. bookje says:

    The team is underperforming. That’s on the coach. The message from management is that he is ‘fixing’ a bunch of damaged players. The power play has me worried that he may not know what he is doing. If the defensive side of the corgis was better I might be sold that they are on the difficult path to success, but it’s highly inconsistent.

    I wish they had kept Ralph and got him some technical help. At least they could fire him at this point.

  8. fuzzy muppet says:

    I don’t care about fancy stats to back up Eakins. The special teams have bottomed out on his watch and He’s ruined Yakupov. Absolutely destroyed him. 64 is infinitely more important to the franchise than Eakins.

    Playing 64 less than 10 minutes a night in a season that was over by thanksgiving is unforgivable.

    Screw continuity, Eakins must go

  9. Lowetide says:

    Woodguy:
    You have the second chart labeled “Corsi % For, 5×5 Close” , when it should be “Corsi % For Down 2+ goals”

    I can copy and paste, but not edit! :-) Thanks, WG.

  10. sliderule says:

    Simmons standing in crease with no one able to move him out pretty well sums it up for me.

    Three of the D last night under 190 lbs and five of the six under 200 just can’t move people out.

    The oilers need to find defenders big enough and good enough to move people out from in front of net.

    Unfortunately the young defenders they have in ok city are either not filled out or not ready.

  11. leadfarmer says:

    Hall showed last night why he should be in the discussion for team Canada the first 3 minutes, and then showed why he should be passed over the rest of the game. As for the pp look at where philly positioned their players and where the oilers position their players to find out why the oil are struggling. 2 players on the blue line and 2 along the side walls is not going to score goals.

  12. leadfarmer says:

    At this point we should be having a discussion if MacT is the right man for the tank job, sure he can get us a 3rd overall draft pick, but can he take us to the promised land. You might all be asking what am I proposing. But I say to you. It is time for a Tambellini encore.

  13. GordM says:

    I see two problems in the picture at the top.

    After one of our many failed PPs last night, the camera went to the bench and it showed Buchberger scribbling away on a pad of paper. While I’m sure Eakins makes the final decisions, great coaches have great assistants giving them the information/ideas to drive success.

    What Buchberger/Smith have done to continue to earn the right to stand behind an NHL bench alludes me to this day. Oh right…because Oilers.

  14. flyfish1168 says:

    dawgtoy: http://www.bostonglobe.com/sports/2013/12/29/goalie-martin-jones-latest-kings-starry-prospects/GcEviIcPXlxPXYmpbBONJP/story.htmlInteresting stuff in this article. “Rebuilding teams such as Calgary and Florida will not be successful if free agency is their preferred route toward organizational makeovers.”

    Excellent article. After digesting it I can see us in trouble if the cap keeps going up. St. Louis, Chicago and the LA Kings are still relatively young teams. With the Cap going up they will be able to afford their core players throughout their careers. It maybe awhile before we can catch these 3 teams. If building through the draft is still the safest way to handling the cap we should keep our lottery pick and hope to sign them to the 7 max.

    In this case Yak and Shultz will be an interesting signing this coming summer or do we do the bridge contract.

  15. Woodguy says:

    To see if this “Corsi down 2+ goals” thing is coaching, let’s look at last year compared to this year.

    I’ve removed any player not here for both years, min TOI 50min of down 2+ 5v5

    First number is this year, 2nd is last year, and 3rd is difference

    GAGNER, SAM 0.568 0.473 0.095
    YAKUPOV, NAIL 0.536 0.462 0.074
    EBERLE, JORDAN 0.531 0.514 0.017
    HEMSKY, ALES 0.511 0.558 -0.047
    NUGENT-HOPKINS, RYAN 0.495 0.53 -0.035
    HALL, TAYLOR 0.443 0.56 -0.117

    So Gagner and Yak are up substantially.
    Eberle up a hair
    Hemsky and RNH down a bit
    Hall is way off.

    Given the sample size, I’d say its pretty random with only Hall being a real concern.

    Let’s look at this year vs 2 years ago (Renney as head coach)

    GAGNER, SAM 0.568 0.515 0.053
    EBERLE, JORDAN 0.531 0.543 -0.012
    HEMSKY, ALES 0.511 0.498 0.013
    NUGENT-HOPKINS, RYAN 0.495 0.515 -0.02
    HALL, TAYLOR 0.443 0.547 -0.104

    Basicallky we see the same thing.

    Big improvement from Sam
    Eberle, Hemsky, RNH too close to call anything
    Hall way off

    I think this points to the player more than the coach.

  16. jb says:

    On the brightside, top 3 picks are extremely valuable. The Defense has been clearly identified as the weak point, and has been setup for a major retooling. Sigh… that’s all I got.

  17. anonymous says:

    Only the oilers would bury their #1 overall pick who happened to lead the team in scoring the previous year on the fourth line. Eakins is a joke. He probably had never seen Yak play previous to this year. He probably absorbed all the east coast media bashing Yak had to endure from his draft through the ice sliding celebration. Out here he took the brunt of an obvious annoyanced caused by the oil having number one overall for the third year in a row. Immediate calls for the oilers and leafs to flip picks with the oil being rewarded gunnerson for their trouble. I’m sure Eakins sees him as an easy target for some hard discipline.

  18. Woodguy says:

    And if does point to the player, what does it mean?

    I think the obvious thought, especially given Hall’s verbal about losing this year, is that he’s giving up more than he used to when down by 2 or more.

    Losing is probably wearing on him hard.

    This speaks to the need to improve this team today (2 Good Dmen, 2C).

    If you wait until the Dkids get old enough to help, Hall will probably have checked out mentally long ago or asked for a trade.

    I’m not saying its right or wrong, it just is.

  19. Woodguy says:

    I hope the resurgence of Gagner lately (his corgis are running much harder as of late) will give Eakins the confidence to put Yak back with him.

    Eakins is to Yak as Renney was to Paajarvi

    If they don’t straighten this situation out soon, LT is right and they might lose the player.

    Cratering a 1st overall is anathema, especially considering that was the point of all the tanking.

  20. Lowetide says:

    Woodguy:
    To see if this “Corsi down 2+ goals” thing is coaching, let’s look at last year compared to this year.

    I’ve removed any player not here for both years, min TOI 50min of down 2+ 5v5

    First number is this year, 2nd is last year, and 3rd is difference

    GAGNER, SAM0.5680.4730.095
    YAKUPOV, NAIL0.5360.4620.074
    EBERLE, JORDAN0.5310.5140.017
    HEMSKY, ALES0.5110.558-0.047
    NUGENT-HOPKINS, RYAN0.4950.53-0.035
    HALL, TAYLOR0.4430.56-0.117

    So Gagner and Yak are up substantially.
    Eberle up a hair
    Hemsky and RNH down a bit
    Hall is way off.

    Given the sample size, I’d say its pretty random with only Hall being a real concern.

    Let’s look at this year vs 2 years ago (Renney as head coach)

    GAGNER, SAM0.5680.5150.053
    EBERLE, JORDAN0.5310.543-0.012
    HEMSKY, ALES0.5110.4980.013
    NUGENT-HOPKINS, RYAN0.4950.515-0.02
    HALL, TAYLOR0.4430.547-0.104

    Basicallky we see the same thing.

    Big improvement from Sam
    Eberle, Hemsky, RNH too close to call anything
    Hall way off

    I think this points to the player more than the coach.

    At what point do we go from ‘this is a strange random event, let’s follow it’ to ‘man, Hall is screwing the pooch and stands alone as the only guy doing it’?

  21. bookje says:

    Woodguy,

    Fully agree with this. The Oilers are perpetuating thier losing culture.

  22. flyfish1168 says:

    I thought it would be interesting to look at Eakins previous coaching record and the team he had to work with. Interesting fact is, it is a more veteran team out side of Kadri (3 yrs)and Gardiner (2 yrs). He experience in developing players is limited.
    Best year was finals

    http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/pdisplay.php?pid=44125

    Todd Nelson definitely more coaching experience, Ralph Krueger had about the same

  23. flyfish1168 says:

    In Halls defense he probably plays hurt and maybe concern about getting hurt in a loosing cause. effort will go down. Others maybe padding point totals

  24. gcw_rocks says:

    “when the team is down 2+ in goals”

    LT – do you have this stat from last year as well? It would be interesting to see if there is a change rather than looking at the number in isolation.

  25. Woodguy says:

    Lowetide: At what point do we go from ‘this is a strange random event, let’s follow it’ to ‘man, Hall is screwing the pooch and stands alone as the only guy doing it’?

    I think it will improve because:

    1) It was said that “Eakins is an acquired taste”
    2) Pretty sure Hall didn’t acquire the taste right away
    3) Lately Eakins is talking about Hall buying in to become a 200ft player

    We’ll see.

    Sure would help if they had some D.

  26. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Lowetide: Taylor Hall is King, but something is wrong in the kingdowm

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6hVPCEIwjJ0

  27. gcw_rocks says:

    Given that this team’s talent level is marginally better than last year, I am starting to believe that a significant part of the team does not like Eakins.

    As has been pointed out here, if you isolate the Oilers’ play against Western conference teams this year and compare to last year, there really has been no improvement, but there should be.

    While last years’ zone exit strategy was a killer for the team, I can’t remember so many other fundamental breakdowns and basic mistakes. They also seemed to play hard almost every night where as this team folds like a cheap suit.

    I wonder how the stats would look if you compared games in which the Oilers got outshot by Western based teams by more than 10 shots this year to last year?

  28. Lowetide says:

    gcw_rocks:
    “when the team is down 2+ in goals”

    LT – do you have this stat from last year as well?It would be interesting to see if there is a change rather than looking at the number in isolation.

    Here is last year’s Corsi for 5×5 close (first graph)
    http://stats.hockeyanalysis.com/ratings.php?disp=1&db=201213&sit=5v5close&pos=forwards&minutes=100&teamid=12&type=corsi&sort=PCT&sortdir=DESC

    Here is last year’s Corsi for down 2+ (second graph)
    http://stats.hockeyanalysis.com/ratings.php?disp=1&db=201213&sit=5v5down2&pos=forwards&minutes=100&teamid=12&type=corsi&sort=PCT&sortdir=DESC

  29. gcw_rocks says:

    Woodguy,

    Thanks for this! Didn’t see it before I posted. Very interesting.

    I think you are right. Eakins is hitting it off with at least two of his first overalls. That’s a scary thing when they are supposed to be the future of the franchise.

  30. gcw_rocks says:

    Lowetide,

    Thank you.

  31. cabbiesmacker says:

    mumbai max:
    The following table is in support of Don Cherry wanting to include Hall for Olympic consideration. There are 17 NHL players performing at a PPG or better. 11 of them are Canadians. Shouldn’t they all be in play? Most are, but I think Hall, Duchene and Seguin should be getting consideration.

    The emphasis should be on winning and for that reason you take players who can play multiple positions if required, in multiple scenarios, usually centres because that is the most difficult forward position to play, and are exceptional or close in all areas of the ice.

    Hall is one positional and not a penalty killer at this stage of his career. He outscores per game this year, all of Toews, Pavelski, Marleau, Duchesne, St Louis, Sharp, Giroux, and Benn but there isn’t one of them I’d leave home in favour of Hall. Cherry is out to lunch as is often the case.

    In time it’ll happen I’d think but right now the kid isn’t mature or multi-faceted enough to get the nod.

  32. Lowetide says:

    gcw_rocks:
    Woodguy,

    Thanks for this!Didn’t see it before I posted.Very interesting.

    I think you are right.Eakins is hitting it off with at least two of his first overalls.That’s a scary thing when they are supposed to be the future of the franchise.

    I don’t look at it that way. For me, the Oilers 2010 through Eakins were like those “spares without teachers” we used to have in school. Guys are farting around doing jack while others are trying to work and nothing really gets done. It’s a waste of time, productivity is a miracle.

    And the next class takes awhile to settle down and get to work because everyone’s focus is gone. That’s what Eakins represents for me. Structure.

    Now, if he ruins the Russian I’ll be plenty pissed, but we’re not there yet. I don’t care if Eakins is a jerk, the jerks in the Hall of Fame are pretty much everybody.

  33. oliveoilers says:

    Are you guys preparing the way to somehow turn Hall into a goat? Our defensive woes should not and cannot be put on Hall, any more than they should be put on a 20yr old sophomore. I have made the point before that you don’t hitch your thoroughbred to the cart. What I see is Hall struggling with defensive skills that he maybe just doesn’t have an affinity for. If we’re relying on him and the rest of the wunderkind to be superstars defensively, then we’re in trouble. We should have 8+ other knuckle-draggers, like Gordon for that. Pretty sure Mario didn’t say to Sid when he came to the NHL “well kid, you may be an offensive superstar, but what we’re gonna do is make you the best goddam defensive forward in the league.” Sid’s D comes from pinning the team in their own zone. Now, I’m not saying Hall is Sid, but it behoves Hall’s professionalism that he isn’t bucking it more and is trying what the coaches are telling him to do.

    I just have this nagging feeling in the back of my mind that all Lowe, MacT and DE want is a team of defensive grinders. “yeah, another low scoring loss, but we’re tough to play against.” A little bit like they were perhaps? Is this what they wished they could have done to Gretz or Coffey?

    We’re coming up to the point where we can fairly compare RK to DE without corgis or Fenway Park or fancy stats and just compare league position without people complaining. 48 games vs 48 games, waddya got? Last season, I was excited to watch games as I thought that we at least had a chance ‘cos RK would give the kids a little bit of free rein. This season, I look at the sched and just think ‘lost that one, lost that one, might win that one, lost that one’. Why? Because I truly do not believe DE is the ‘Guy’ any more than RK was, but at least he’s going to get more of a chance.

    I’m sick and tired of people saying “at least we’re going in the right direction” and pulling stats out to prove they’re right. Just stop. The right direction is UP in the standings. It really can be simplified to this. I know there’s a quango on here tutting, smiling benevolently and saying “poor child is quite touched. How little he understands what the grown ups are talking about.” Dudes, I feel you have been bogged down in semantics, looking desperately for any reason to quantify why we suck so much. If there’s numbers that back up a whack job theory, so much the better. Desperation is a stinky cologne…..

    Stat bashing aside, because even I sometimes enjoy and find value in LT, WG and Rom’s analysis, I will continue to support the team, and Dallas, if you EVER read this, for Gord’s sake get some freakin’ charisma.

    Rant over, as my nephew said on the phone this morning “Happy new beard!”

  34. Lowetide says:

    Olive: No one is trying to demonize Hall. We’re just trying to figure this baffling season out. As far as I can tell, it’s

    1. Goaltending
    2. Stupid decisions and physical errors
    3. How did that go in?

  35. cabbiesmacker says:

    mumbai max,

    As a footnote I am selfishly hoping Canada finds a way to exclude Toews, Sharp, and Keith, USA omits Kane, Slovakia can see their way past Hossa, and Sweden completely ignores Hjalmarsson and Oduya for their respective Olympic squads.

  36. cabbiesmacker says:

    Lowetide:
    Olive: No one is trying to demonize Hall. We’re just trying to figure this baffling season out. As far as I can tell, it’s

    1. Goaltending
    2. Stupid decisions and physical errors
    3. How did that go in?

    You left out demoralization from having to play for a really bad hockey team with zero direction from the top 4 consecutive years.

    Thank God there are cheerleaders though. A team has to have it’s priorities.

  37. Caramel Obvious says:

    If I’m going to be critical of Eakins it won’t be for the powerplay, which while it looks terrible, isn’t doing that badly results wise. The rest of your expectations are too high. It was always going to look worse because the previous years results weren’t real. When you expect something to regress and it indeed regresses it is a fallacy to attribute that regression to the new coach. That said, their zone entries are terrible and they really lack a shot from the point.

    The thing I’d like him to do is to put Gagner, Yakupov, and Hemsky back together. That was the best I’ve seen Yakupov all year. The problem with this idea is that the best Gagner has looked all year has been with Eberle. Which goes to show there are no easy answers.

    That said, I think Eberle should take Perron’s spot, Perron should play with Gordon, and I’d have Hemsky babysit our two troubled forwards. For all his gifts Perron is a step slower than the kids, he’s more of a half-court player which should fit well with Gordon and Smyth. That’s what I would do.

    The real problem, though, is the defense, not simply in their defending, but in their service of the forwards. For all the talk of puck moving defensemen they don’t really have any.

    Petry is easily their best D but he isn’t really elite. The rest:

    J. Shultz is great at jumping in on the rush, but average at everything else.
    Belov is slow and plodding.
    N. Shultz is an off the glass and out guy.
    Ference is decent, second best D probably on the team. Good at keeping the puck in the offensive zone.
    Marincin is not nearly ready. Plays scared, just doesn’t want to make a mistake. Losing formula.

    This is a terrible D corps. Terrible. They can’t move the puck.

    This team really needs J. Schultz to live up to the hype. But he is showing no signs of being what this team needs. The powerplay is really suffering with him on it. He brings nothing. He doesn’t gain the zone, he doesn’t have a big shot, and he isn’t quick at distributing the puck.

  38. Woodguy says:

    We all need to remember that Hall had a 2nd degree MCL sprain that took him out for 3 weeks or so (when it probably should have been 4+)

    He’s still playing with a brace as far as I know.

    Regardless of how ready a player says they are, you don’t come back 100% from that.

  39. Lowetide says:

    Woodguy:
    We all need to remember that Hall had a 2nd degree MCL sprain that took him out for 3 weeks or so (when it probably should have been 4+)

    He’s still playing with a brace as far as I know.

    Regardless of how ready a player says they are, you don’t come back 100% from that.

    Sure. And the games at center. It’s all part of the record.

  40. oilabroad says:

    oliveoilers,

    I agree completely, can we honestly look at the team and say the following?

    -the pp is better
    -the pk is better
    -our defense is better
    -the kids are playing better
    -our goaltending situation is settled

    As much as I like the fancy stats, the sad reality is the team is not getting better, they are regressing. This has to fall on the coach, how long can we keep saying he is a smart guy and I have faith in him when the key indicators of getting better are clearly not being met.

    My question for LT and the others who support the coach, is what has Eakins done so far this year to give you any confidence what so ever that he knows how to run an NHL hockey team? I hear all the time how smart he is but so far I just really cant help but think hes all hat and no cattle. I hope I am wrong but man there are just way too many things not going right with this team for me to think otherwise…

  41. flyfish1168 says:

    Lowetide:
    Olive: No one is trying to demonize Hall. We’re just trying to figure this baffling season out. As far as I can tell, it’s

    1. Goaltending
    2. Stupid decisions and physical errors
    3. How did that go in?

    I totally agree with you LT, trying to figure out what went wrong and figure out the parts of the aftermath

    my belief in what went wrong is

    1) 4 different coaches in five yrs = to many diferent systems = no structure
    2) to many new faces (players) each yr is part of the necessity of a rebuild = no familiarity
    3) small defensive players. this is where size does matter. small heavy forwards like St. Louis is ok.
    but small d-men is a killer
    4) Development – class is still in and we need experience with the system Eakins is trying to implement

    To be fair I like Eakins try and his system but I don’t like how he is approaching it.

    1)Positive approach to create a better learning environment( Just think about how you like your boss treats you ). positive re-enforcement is the better approach, like training your dog.

    2)You go to class to learn then you play to show what you have learned and gain experience.

    3) Talk is cheap show what you have- example- accountability( Eakins failing here still time to turn this around)

    fancy stats is fine but the most important stats are win/loss and where you stand in the standing since year to year it is different.

  42. freedomisamyth says:

    Lowetide:
    Olive: No one is trying to demonize Hall. We’re just trying to figure this baffling season out. As far as I can tell, it’s

    1. Goaltending
    2. Stupid decisions and physical errors
    3. How did that go in?

    Completely agree with you here LT. All this blaming Eakins for ruining the team seems like just picking a scapegoat, because the only reason RK had a better record is due to a power play that was killing it, and much better goaltending than could be expected long term because that team played worse as a team than this year – but the young kids had more confidence and were finishing. It was too short a span of time to make any definitive declarations either way anyways.

    From what I’ve seen this season I think the story of the season is what you mentioned, plus confidence. The goaltending shit show at the beginning of the season trashed the season, so you have a team that is down in the dumps way too early in the season, whereas last year, it was the opposite – goaltending and some goals scored on the PP held the team in, even when they were getting destroyed during the game so they never lost their confidence totally. RK probably did help there too, never letting them get too down on themselves. The problem with that though, is that he never got them playing the right way – so while they may have been more effective due to confidence than this year, they wouldn’t have gotten effective enough to be a good team. While Eakins may not be doing the best at keeping their confidence up, for the most part they look better in how they play, so if they can ever get the confidence rolling, they may start being dangerous. Unfortunately that might be tough, as it’s hard to get in the optimal frame of mind when you know the season is effectively over. I think it may not happen until they bring in some more quality defenders.

    As for the power play, to my eye it looks like it is getting sewered by laziness and bad decision making, not coaching. Dumping it in doesn’t work for them, because they are never the first ones in to get the puck, and the Oilers usually lose 50-50 battles on the PP. Too often you see the players chasing at half speed to get in there. Carrying the puck in doesn’t work as much either because the other teams know they can’t dump it in effectively. Only Hall manages to gain the zone effectively because he keeps it simple: look for the opening and go there with speed. The others all try and stick handle through guys, which doesn’t work when the defense knows that’s exactly what they are going to do. Same thing with why they let in so many short handed chances… half the time it’s because of the point players giving it away, but half the time it’s because of lazy plays. I couldn’t believe the power play at the beginning of the second last night that set the tone for the rest of the game. Gagner made a couple hideously lazy plays, barely swinging his stick at the puck, and while I didn’t see who was at fault for coutourier being all alone at the side of the net, it was obviously the result of someone not bothering to come back down the ice.

  43. Lowetide says:

    oilabroad:
    oliveoilers,

    I agree completely, can we honestly look at the team and say the following?

    -the pp is better
    -the pk is better
    -our defense is better
    -the kids are playing better
    -our goaltending situation is settled

    1. No. the power play is NOT better, addressed that in my post. Eakins has to figure that out, this is becoming silly.
    2. No. Dealing Smid was a head scratcher, and part of the reason for not dealing him is this.
    3. The kids ARE playing better, which is different than results. I place Yakupov’s performance squarely at the feet of Eakins because he’s been so drastic, but no guts no glory.
    4. The goaltending (imo) suckage was not predictable. I think Dubnyk pays for this season with his NHL job, but there was nothing that indicated DD would be as poor as awful. MacT’s summer comments and activities aside, there was no reason to expect the elevator shaft, and even then it wasn’t like MacTavish called him awful.

    Let me turn it around: do you think the Oilers under Eakins were a cohesive group capable of playing well at both ends? Did they resemble successful teams?

    That’s what we’re seeing here imo. Transition. And we shouldn’t get lost in verbal like “Eakins is an ass” because it doesn’t matter. Sather was a prick sqaured! Love that guy.

    5 Stanley’s will do that to a fan.

  44. Numenius says:

    sliderule:
    Simmons standing in creasewith no one able to move him out pretty well sums it up for me.

    Three of the D last night under 190 lbs and five of the six under 200 just can’t move people out.

    The oilersneed to find defenders big enough and good enough to move people out from in front of net.

    Unfortunately the young defenders they have in ok city are either not filled out or not ready.

    For all his puck-moving weaknesses, Smid did this well.

    I believe he would be making a significant difference in the W column if he were still here.

    Signing Bryz and losing Smid at the same time actually resulted in no net gain. The goaltending got better, but the D got worse.

  45. Woodguy says:

    Stumbled on some interesting Home/Road splits

    Let’s look at Fen% Road vs Home for the last 3 years (3 different coaches)

    I don’t think stats.hockeyanalysis has updated last nights game yet, as according to Extra Skater, it took the Oilers below 50% in FF% Home. I’ll use what is there though.

    HomeFen%

    11/12 50.0% – 17th in NHL (Renney)
    12/13 46.8% – 27th in NHL (Krueger)
    13/14 50.9% – 17th in NHL (Eakins)

    RoadFen%

    11/12 45.5% – 28th in NHL
    12/13 43.3% – 29th in NHL
    13/14 43.0% – 28th in NHL

    Looks like one of the biggest mistake of the Tami era may have been getting rid of Renney instead of letting him see things through and build upon his teaching year after year and give the players some continuity.

    Man the Krueger year was just a debacle.

    I’d like to delve deeper as to why keep getting killed on the road.

    My first guess is too many players get exposed by the match ups.

    Oilers really only have 2 lines (1.5 really) that you don’t have to worry about match ups.

    That’s not a recipe for success.

    Not enough good players.

    Who knew?

  46. freedomisamyth says:

    flyfish1168: I totally agree with you LT, trying to figure out what went wrong and figure out the parts of the aftermath

    my belief in what went wrong is

    1) 4 different coaches in five yrs = to many diferent systems = no structure
    2) to many new faces (players) each yr is part of the necessity of a rebuild = no familiarity
    3) small defensive players. this is where size does matter. small heavy forwards like St. Louis is ok. but small d-men is a killer
    4) Development – class is still in and we need experience with the system Eakins is trying to implement

    To be fair I like Eakins try and his system but I don’t like how he is approaching it.

    1)Positive approach to create a better learning environment( Just think about how you like your boss treats you ). positive re-enforcement is the better approach, like training your dog.

    2)You go to class to learn then you play to show what you have learned and gain experience.

    3) Talk is cheap show what you have- example- accountability( Eakins failing here still time to turn this around)

    fancy stats is fine but the most important stats are win/loss and where you stand in the standing since year to year it is different.

    I don’t know that we can for sure say that he isn’t approaching it exactly like how you would like him to.

    1) He said he was happy with how Yak was playing on the 4th line, so he was going to put him back on the power play. That seems like using positive re-enforcement to me? You also don’t know how much positive reinforcement he is giving behind the scenes either – every time we talk about things like that, we are just going with our biases, not with any evidence.

    Unfortunately I don’t think Yak repaid the award with a very good game last night, so I think he got pulled from the power play again mid way through the game. Everyone also assumes that he is ‘punishing’ Yak every time he puts him on the 4th line, but that goes against everything that Eakins has ever said about it. Also, there have been so many young stars that served time on the 4th line and didn’t get ruined – it’s a pretty common way for kids to get their feet wet, so I’m not sure why the panic about it. If he fails as a player, it won’t be because he was on the 4th line, it’ll be because of his attitude. I think he’ll figure it out though.

    3) When they were struggling he has sat Petry, Belov, Smyth, Joenseau, Yak, and any of the other 4th liners. He has sent down Jones, Grebs, Acton and others when they weren’t cutting it He has put Gagner and Yak on the 4th line. How are you getting that he hasn’t been keeping players accountable? D

  47. fifthcartel says:

    One of the worst things about this season is how many people compare Petry to Gilbert like it’s an insult, and then go on to say how Edmonton needs to move Petry because he is ‘soft’ or ‘easy to play against’.

    )):

  48. flyfish1168 says:

    freedomisamyth: I don’t know that we can for sure say that he isn’t approaching it exactly like how you would like him to.1) He said he was happy with how Yak was playing on the 4th line, so he was going to put him back on the power play. That seems like using positive re-enforcement to me? You also don’t know how much positive reinforcement he is giving behind the scenes either – every time we talk about things like that, we are just going with our biases, not with any evidence. Unfortunately I don’t think Yak repaid the award with a very good game last night, so I think he got pulled from the power play again mid way through the game. Everyone also assumes that he is ‘punishing’ Yak every time he puts him on the 4th line, but that goes against everything that Eakins has ever said about it. Also, there have been so many young stars that served time on the 4th line and didn’t get ruined – it’s a pretty common way for kids to get their feet wet, so I’m not sure why the panic about it. If he fails as a player, it won’t be because he was on the 4th line, it’ll be because of his attitude. I think he’ll figure it out though. 3) When they were struggling he has sat Petry, Belov, Smyth, Joenseau, Yak, and any of the other 4th liners. He has sent down Jones, Grebs, Acton and others when they weren’t cutting it He has put Gagner and Yak on the 4th line. How are you getting that he hasn’t been keeping players accountable? D

    I agree that we will disagree with each other here. But Yak has been punished long and hard compared to the others, that’s the difference. There comes a time when he sees that the others are only punished for a period or moved down the lineup for a game or period. I just don’t want Yak’s attitude to be ” I’m not going to be treated fairly here so lets ask for a trade” then we loose. My belief is in todays society compared to even 10 years ago it is more a what about me society ,people are more impatient and selfish. Its more difficult for young players to buy in

  49. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    I just wanted to run through a couple of points and see what I can make of them.

    1. Is Joensuu terrible?

    My first answer is that I don’t know. I would have preferred Harti in the Summer and prefer him now. But JJ looked like a fine bet in the Summer (a stronger one than Ryan Hamilton for example). And, today I can’t rightly say whether it will wash out into nothing or leave behind a clean shirt.

    But, one thing I’m fairly confident about is that he is not the problem on this team. Just as Moroz is not responsible for his draft position, Horcoff is not responsible for his contract, JJ is not responsible for coaching decisions.

    So far this year two things have hurt JJ and his estimation by those that watch: a) injury; b) he is “big” and the coach values “big” too much and lacks horses, so he either gets the plush, feather boa treatment and plays with Eberle or he gets the all fat and gristle treatment and he gets Acton and Gazdic.

    This is a horrible vantage point to gauge this player. I’d like to see him on a real 4th line (say Lander-JJ-Jones) that plays 8-10 minutes a night for 25 games.

    But in the interest of reality, here’s his numbers over the past 4 games, where he’s seen elevated TOI:

    Blues: TOI(EVs not listed) 13.8; EVCorsi% 65.2
    Jets: EVTOI 9.3; EVCorsi% 61.5
    Flames: EVTOI 13.6; EVCorsi% 35.3
    Flyers: EVTOI 14.6; EVCorsi% 48.4

    http://www.extraskater.com/player/886/jesse-joensuu/gamelog/2013

    Now… I’m positive quality of linemates are a big factor here and this run is hardly a slam dunk… but it is far from basement levels, esp. considering how badly we fared against the Blues and the Flyers.

  50. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    2. The powerplay. While it is absolutely true that the PP is an ungodly mess, we keep losing track of a few tangible items. Let’s go through them.

    a) we know (mostly) that on the PP, just like at 5×5, generating shots is the key (I’ll post links next so as to avoid moderation).

    b) we know that sv% and sh% are vile, fickle whores that don’t come when called.

    c) we know last year shot generation went to crime alley and died, but there we loved up all the whores we could find.

    2012-13
    5x4SF60: 41.5 (29th in the NHL)
    SH%: 16.86 (2nd in the NHL)
    PDO: 1139 (3rd in the NHL)

    d) we know that this year shot generation is finding some daylight, but the whores have found new friends.

    2013-14
    5x4SF60: 51.5 (18th in the NHL)
    SH%: 10.86 (19th)
    PDO: 878 (30th)

    We are generating exactly 10 more shot per 60 at 5×4 this year. 10 More!!! If we shot at last year’s levels this year, we’d be sitting at 27th in the NHL in SF60.

    e) For fun let’s expand the map and look at Renney’s years (to take in all the “kid/Hall” years):

    2011-12
    5x4SF60: 44.5 (24th in the NHL)
    SH%: 16.07 (1st in the NHL)
    PDO: 1031 (17th)

    2010-2011
    5x4SF60: 41.6 (30th in the NHL)
    SH%: 12.06 (13th)
    PDO: 1092 (4th)

    What this looks like to me is a team that has historically struggled mightily to generate shots on the PP and yet managed to attract the love of fickle women with their coquettish youth.

    This year, the bloom is off the rose, but the actual business is starting to get done. It looks to me that the PP is still a calamity. But is much better than previous years and merely suffers from terrible luck.

  51. boxman says:

    Sigh…… I want to be mad but sigh…….

  52. Woodguy says:

    fifthcartel:
    One of the worst things about this season is how many people compare Petry to Gilbert like it’s an insult, and then go on to say how Edmonton needs to move Petry because he is ‘soft’ or ‘easy to play against’.

    )):

    Smid-Petry
    Ference-Gilbert
    Belov-J.Shultz

    I like that a whole lot better than what’s going on the ice.

  53. John Chambers says:

    fifthcartel,

    I hear a lot of rumor about criticism of Petry, but I never actually see criticism of Petry, on this site, on ON, or on C&B.

    Who has been on Petry’s case exactly, or is there just a fear that soon folks will be on his case?

  54. Lowetide says:

    I don’t think Hartikainen should replace Joensuu, but I don’t think Joensuu delivers close to enough offense for the size tradeoff. I’m all for big wingers, but lordy let’s get one who can play at least a complementary game.

  55. Woodguy says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    ) we know that this year shot generation is finding some daylight, but the whores have found new friends.
    2013-14
    5x4SF60: 51.5 (18th in the NHL)
    SH%: 10.86 (19th)
    PDO: 878 (30th)
    We are generating exactly 10 more shot per 60 at 5×4 this year. 10 More!!! If we shot at last year’s levels this year, we’d be sitting at 27th in the NHL in SF60.

    Ha!

    I was just going to post this.

    Glad I refreshed the thread before I gathered the numbers.

    To list out the 5v4 SF/60 by year:

    11/12 44.5 -24th in NHL
    12/13 41.5 – 29th in NHL
    13/14 51.5 – 18th in NHL

    Man the Krueger year was just a disaster on all fronts.

    Also,

    I need to add that the Oilers were getting really close to 60SF/60 right around when they were running 5 forwards.

    That is elite company.

    Since then the SF/60 got taken out behind the barn and shot.

    Eakins needs to go back to what was working.

    I think we saw the start of it (I hope) in the last to PP’s last night.

    Much better zone entries and puck movement in the zone.

  56. Woodguy says:

    John Chambers:
    fifthcartel,

    I hear a lot of rumor about criticism of Petry, but I never actually see criticism of Petry, on this site, on ON, or on C&B.

    Who has been on Petry’s case exactly, or is there just a fear that soon folks will be on his case?

    There’s lots on ON and lots on twitter.

    Guys like Spector always use him as the “he doesn’t hit” whipping boy too.

    Same as he did for Gilbert.

  57. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Lowetide:
    I don’t think Hartikainen should replace Joensuu, but I don’t think Joensuu delivers close to enough offense for the size tradeoff. I’m all for big wingers, but lordy let’s get one who can play at least a complementary game.

    Do you mean in general, or in some specific assignment (say his current top 6 position)?

    I’d think Harti could play in the bottom 6 on this team right now, no problem.

    With JJ… I still don’t know and think it is too early to say he can’t play a complementary game. Like I said, I’d like to see him run for 8-10 minutes on a reasonable 4th line.

    It would help if he PKed though. Some combo of Petrell, Harti and JJ surely combines into a fully formed Finn complementary player.

  58. Woodguy says:

    Just to finish off the Shot rate stuff.

    A good way to judge the PK is Shots Against per 60

    11/12 47.1 – 10th in NHL
    12/13 53.2 – 25th in NHL
    13/14 56.4 – 23rd in NHL

    The PK is getting worse.

    Was best, by far under Renney (and the roster he had)

  59. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Woodguy:
    Just to finish off the Shot rate stuff.

    A good way to judge the PK is Shots Against per 60

    11/12 47.1 – 10th in NHL
    12/13 53.2 – 25th in NHL
    13/14 56.4 – 23rd in NHL

    The PK is getting worse.

    Was best, by far under Renney (and the roster he had)

    I’m glad more and more people are stepping out of the RK vs Eakins comparison and expanding it to include Renney.

    I think it does a few things:

    1). it excludes the narratives about “old boys” and lack of managerial accountability, which are important but cloud analysis.

    2) It depersonalizes the analysis… the whole RK vs. Eakins/MacT thing isn’t very helpful.

    3) most importantly, though, it gives us more data to look at.

    I think the more evidence we gather in this light, the more Renney looks like the guy that got shafted, not RK. Renney made some curious decisions, but he had basically the same team going in the right direction.

    So… KLowe cans Tambo, Bucky and Smith and keeps Renney… hires a new GM.

  60. Lowetide says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: Do you mean in general, or in some specific assignment (say his current top 6 position)?

    I’d think Harti could play in the bottom 6 on this team right now, no problem.

    With JJ… I still don’t know and think it is too early to say he can’t play a complementary game. Like I said, I’d like to see him run for 8-10 minutes on a reasonable 4th line.

    It would help if he PKed though. Some combo of Petrell, Harti and JJ surely combines into a fully formed Finn complementary player.

    He’s not scoring at even strength, just like Hartikainen last season. I don’t think he has a history of posting big numbers, and at best he’s Hal Morris.

  61. WeirsBeard says:

    Re the PP, good on Rom for pointing out shooting rates. I seem to recall MC79 pointing out a marked improvement in this aspect this season.

    Re the shot from the point: fans love the booming slapshot from the point, but our eyes can deceive us. Ray Bourque was probably the best ever at getting pucks through from the point, but I always remember a smooth wrist shot, about 6″ off the ice, no big show slap shot.

    As far as Joensuu, how many minutes has he played so far? Enough to truly make a decision? They need to find that guy who will initiate like G Anderson, even if he doesn’t score like old #9- elbows, crash the net etc.

  62. G Money says:

    sliderule:
    Simmons standing in creasewith no one able to move him out pretty well sums it up for me.

    Three of the D last night under 190 lbs and five of the six under 200 just can’t move people out.

    The oilersneed to find defenders big enough and good enough to move people out from in front of net.

    Unfortunately the young defenders they have in ok city are either not filled out or not ready.

    I agree with your comment about Simmonds – in fact, what we need is a guy exactly like Simmonds who will park himself in front of the net at the first opportunity, is tough to move, and knows what to do when the puck gets in his vicinity.

    Re: the defenders, I posted this in the game thread yesterday in response to some musings on Phagoof signing an extension in Toronto:

    A quick dig through a few information sites suggests the likely UFA D shopping list for MacT (characteristics: UFA, 32 yrs or younger, has played most games and min 18 mins a night on current team, at least 200 lbs, not a Flame unless named Giordano) should be:

    - Niskanen
    - Girardi
    - Hainsey
    - Gilbert (yeah, yeah, shut up)
    - Quincey
    - Ranger
    - Fayne

    Not great stuff, but certainly getting pretty much any two of those guys, especially the first three, would be a substantial improvement.

    You can laugh at me for the size thing, and I understand the need for competence more than size, but the Oilers can’t honestly afford to get smaller on D. They only average 195 lbs right now, and it’s a safe bet that this summer they’ll already be sending away two of their three 200+ lb guys in Potter and Nultz. Without those two, the average drops to 193 lbs. And that’s with Belov at 218 lbs. Without him, Ference, Jultz, and Petry average 190 lbs. If you want to look at a big part of the source of our troubles in the Western Conference, look no further.

  63. G Money says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: I think the more evidence we gather in this light, the more Renney looks like the guy that got shafted, not RK. Renney made some curious decisions, but he had basically the same team going in the right direction.

    I think I’ve said it a few dozen times now … the comparisons of Eakins to RK are pointless, in our frustration this season, we seem to have forgotten just how putrid the team was last season (worse than this season in my opinion), saved primarily by Dubnyk and Hall.

    The real mistake was not hiring Eakins, it was firing Renney.

  64. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Lowetide: He’s not scoring at even strength, just like Hartikainen last season. I don’t think he has a history of posting big numbers, and at best he’s Hal Morris.

    Well, he certainly has Harti’s “leave other league scoring at the door when entering the NHL” problem. But it does appear that he’s had some scoring success in the past elsewhere and basically none of it has come on the PP:

    http://www.hockey-reference.com/players/j/joensje01.html

    Don’t get me wrong. This team needs a bottom 6 that can play and JJ looks like he’s not going to make it. He certainly wouldn’t beat Winnik or Kulemin out of a bottom 6 role. But I’m not yet convinced he can’t show us something.

  65. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    G Money: I think I’ve said it a few dozen times now … the comparisons of Eakins to RK are pointless, in our frustration this season, we seem to have forgotten just how putrid the team was last season (worse than this season in my opinion), saved primarily by Dubnyk and Hall.

    The real mistake was not hiring Eakins, it was firing Renney.

    I’ve heard it here many times and said it myself… but it is nice to see it repeated. I’d love for our framing of this question to be indelibly shifted away from the RK vs. Eakins/MacT narrative. It is lousy with excess baggage.

  66. G Money says:

    LOL, I just went over to Parkatti’s site to check on the EG carnage from last night and saw these two tweets in the sidebar. Says it all:

    Michael Parkatti @mparkatti
    Only players discernibly worse than last season are Hall, RNH, and NSchultz. Most of the rest are up, the rest are sideways.
    12h

    Michael Parkatti @mparkatti
    Jesus even looking at last year’s stats makes me want to shit myself. What a train wreck. Hard to believe this year is better, but it is.
    12h

  67. Andy P says:

    Woodguy: Just to finish off the Shot rate stuff.A good way to judge the PK is Shots Against per 6011/12 47.1 – 10th in NHL12/13 53.2 – 25th in NHL13/14 56.4 – 23rd in NHLThe PK is getting worse.Was best, by far under Renney (and the roster he had)

    WG, let’s say the problem wasn’t Renney, and we had kept his coaching staff, including Krueger intact.
    Where do you think we would be today?

  68. Andy P says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: I’m glad more and more people are stepping out of the RK vs Eakins comparison and expanding it to include Renney.I think it does a few things:1). it excludes the narratives about “old boys” and lack of managerial accountability, which are important but cloud analysis.2) It depersonalizes the analysis… the whole RK vs. Eakins/MacT thing isn’t very helpful.3) most importantly, though, it gives us more data to look at. I think the more evidence we gather in this light, the more Renney looks like the guy that got shafted, not RK. Renney made some curious decisions, but he had basically the same team going in the right direction.So… KLowe cans Tambo, Bucky and Smith and keeps Renney… hires a new GM.

    Rom,
    IIRC if you go two coaches further back I think you might see that the coach that produced the very best numbers of the entire group was the one Tambo inherited from Lowe.

  69. Ryan says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: Do you mean in general, or in some specific assignment (say his current top 6 position)?

    I’d think Harti could play in the bottom 6 on this team right now, no problem.

    With JJ… I still don’t know and think it is too early to say he can’t play a complementary game. Like I said, I’d like to see him run for 8-10 minutes on a reasonable 4th line.

    It would help if he PKed though. Some combo of Petrell, Harti and JJ surely combines into a fully formed Finn complementary player.

    Recent corsi results and excuses of QOT only take you so far before you realize what’s in front of you.

    JJ is hitting so far below the mendoza line at 5v5 that’s he’s in the proud company of Colton Orr, Zenon Konopka, and Brian McGrattan.

    In other words, if you’re batting a 0.31 5v5 per 60 and you want to play in this NHL, you’d better learn how to punch.

    http://www.behindthenet.ca/nhl_statistics.php?ds=20&f1=2013_s&f2=5v5&f4=C+LW+RW&f7=20-&c=0+1+3+5+2+4+6+7+8+10+17+18+19+20#snip=f

  70. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Andy P: Rom,
    IIRC if you go two coaches further back I think you might see that the coach that produced the very best numbers of the entire group was the one Tamboinherited from Lowe.

    Yes… but Renney is a good stopping point as the 2010-11 team is fairly close to today’s team.

    rosters:
    2008-09 (MacT’s last year)
    http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/leagues/seasons/teams/0000412009.html

    2010-11 (Renney’s first year)
    http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/leagues/seasons/teams/0000412011.html

    2013-14 (Eakins)
    http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/leagues/seasons/teams/0000412014.html

  71. misfit says:

    Yakupov has been completely terrible all season. How much of that lands on the player, and how much can you realistically put on the coach? I would probably have an easier time buying the “he had ___ points in ___ games under Coach X and ____ points in ____ games under Coach Y so Coach Y was better” argument if there weren’t an equal amount of examples of players having similar swings in production from year to year under the same coach. I mean, Craig MacTavish was considered a guru with young players after the way the Nilsson-Cogliano-Gagner line finished the 07/08 season. The same line playing under the same coach didn’t have nearly the same results in the years to follow, and all of a sudden “MacT can’t coach youth” was gospel.

    At the start of the year, all of the analysts trotted out the famous “he needs to improve his play without the puck” and “he needs to learn to play better defensively” lines whenever asked to explain Yakupov’s troubles (quoted directly from the hockey analysis handbook under “young Russian forward”). That’s all fine and good (most players should work on those things all the time), but how does that explain the fact that his play WITH the puck and in the offensive zone have been the worst part of his game all year? How many times have we seen Yakupov with the puck entering the zone and hold onto it until there is absolutely no play to make before ultimately turning it over?

    Play him on the 1st or 2nd line? Why, so we can completely destroy any hope of one of those lines affecting the game in a positive way? His two best games of the year have been the last 3 where he was on the 4th line and only getting ~6 min a night. Wouldn’t that be an argument for keeping him there? We can’t send him to the AHL, and junior won’t do him any good, so why not let him gain confidence and work on areas of his game while facing 4th line opponents each night? Does a 20 year old sophomore have to play 19 minutes a game to not be “ruined”?

    So far this year, Yakupov has 6 goals and 14 points in 39 games with an .082 SH%
    Last year, he had 10 goals and 23 points in 39 games with a .21 SH%

    With the same unreasonably high shooting percentage this season, he’d have the same point total with 5 more goals at the same point in the season. So is he better than his numbers this year, or was he just not that great last year either? Is the coach to blame for his 8.2% shooting rate?

  72. teddyturnbuckle says:

    Agree, the mistake was firing Renney. As for MacT his judgement will come next season if he is able to change the mix on this team or not. From where we stand now I think it is a massive stretch to think we will be a playoff team next year. Bottom 5 to top 16? Not a chance. We need to make significant improvements though. Remember, if all it takes is to be 29th to 30th overall for a few years to build a championship team then any of us could be an NHL GM.

    As for last nights game I noticed a few things. Too many players not stopping on the puck when it was leaving our zone. Guys continue to fly the zone praying that someone else will get the puck past the last defender for an odd man rush. Yak and Hemsky were culprits in my eye along with many others. At least Yak was finishing checks out there though which is more than I can say for the rest of the team.

    Now the power play and penalty kill. I noticed as soon as Philly had a chance to shoot they did. Even right off the draw. The Oilers penalty kill looked terrible. They don’t seem to be pressuring the puck at the point. The Oilers are stopping at the top of the circle waving their sticks and giving them all day at the point to do whatever they want. When the Oilers are on the power play they don’t get to the puck first on the dump in and they generate zero point shots. Like another poster said, we seem to have two guys on the wall and no one in front of the net.

  73. WeirsBeard says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: Yes… but Renney is a good stopping point as the 2010-11 team is fairly close to today’s team.

    rosters:
    2008-09 (MacT’s last year)
    http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/leagues/seasons/teams/0000412009.html

    2010-11 (Renney’s first year)
    http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/leagues/seasons/teams/0000412011.html

    2013-14 (Eakins)
    http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/leagues/seasons/teams/0000412014.html

    Truly mesmerising how he vaporized NHL D. Sigh.

  74. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Ryan: Recent corsi results and excuses of QOT only take you so far before you realize what’s in front of you.

    JJ is hitting so far below the mendoza line at 5v5 that’s he’s in the proud company of Colton Orr, Zenon Konopka, and Brian McGrattan.

    In other words, if you’re batting a 0.31 5v5 per 60 and you want to play in this NHL, you’d better learn how to punch.

    http://www.behindthenet.ca/nhl_statistics.php?ds=20&f1=2013_s&f2=5v5&f4=C+LW+RW&f7=20-&c=0+1+3+5+2+4+6+7+8+10+17+18+19+20#snip=f

    How much of that is sample size and injury affected?

    2012-13 (again small sample size) P/605×5: 1.69 (7GPs)
    2011-12 DNP in the SHL
    2010-11 1.13 (42GPs)

    And his total AHL numbers:
    177 42-69-111
    (only 3 goals on the PP suggest most is via 5×5)

    I’m not saying I know this is a useful player. I’m saying those who are certain he isn’t might be jumping the gun. At any rate, we’ve got the rest of the year to find out.

  75. RexLibris says:

    Draisaitl had a bad day today. 8-0 loss and 25 PIMs. On the bright side he was even on the day thanks to a game misconduct.

    If the Oilers are drafting around 5th overall I think we’re looking at Bennett, Draisaitl, and Del Colle at the top end of the spectrum with Perlini and McCann in the next tier. My preference would be for either Draisaitl or Del Colle.

  76. G Money says:

    misfit,

    Nice synopsis. The only part I don’t agree with in terms of your summary (and in terms of Eakins’ handling of Yakupov) is the PP time aspect. The idea that Yak is learning the EV part of the game but his laser cannon of a shot should/would be the deadliest part of the PP, and yet he has to “earn” his PP time by being good at EV is actually kinda stupid.

    It seems to me that Yak on the PP would a. help the PP which has an allergy to shooting, and b. would help Yak’s confidence which, just based on observation of many players over many years, would likely improve his EV play rather than hurt it.

    WeirsBeard: Truly mesmerising how he vaporized NHL D. Sigh.

    I assume by “he” you mean Tambo?

  77. teddyturnbuckle says:

    LT,

    What is going on with Klefbom? 0 goals 3 assists in 27 games. Not good (sigh). I think Oiler media (Bob Stuaffer) should stop talking up prospects as saviours until they actually make an impact at the NHL level. He doesn’t look like a Brent Seabrook left handed version to me.

  78. Lowetide says:

    teddyturnbuckle:
    LT,

    What is going on with Klefbom?0 goals 3 assists in 27 games.Not good (sigh).I think Oiler media (Bob Stuaffer) should stop talking up prospects as saviours until they actually make an impact at the NHL level. He doesn’t look like a Brent Seabrook left handed version to me.

    It means—among other things—that he doesn’t get any PP time. It’s easy to forget just how much defenseman are impact by PP points.

    OVERALL

    TAYLOR FEDUN 23, 3-11-14
    KLEFBOM 27, 0-3-3

    EVEN STRENGTH

    TAYLOR FEDUN 23, 1-6-7
    OSCAR KLEFBOM 27, 0-3-3

    So, it looks far more severe than it is, just because Fedun’s getting the boxcar push. HAVING said that, as I mentioned in my prospect post he isn’t going to post big boxcars
    http://lowetide.ca/blog/2013/11/2-prospect-d-oscar-klefbom.html

  79. misfit says:

    Yakupov is 8th on the team in PPTOI/G. He was 8th last year as well, and spent most of his time on the 2nd unit.

    I agree that he should be a fixture on one of the two units, and in exactly the role he has been for the most part. Last year, he was best when they had Hemsky on the left half-wall and he was able to be the trigger man on the right. This year, he played long stretches on the point, which I didn’t agree with, and he’s been off the PP completely for the last few games. He was missing the net a lot at the start of the year, and it was clearly getting to him (he was visibly rattled a lot during the first month or so). Lately they’ve had Hemsky in that spot on the right half wall, and Eakins seems to like it. I still think he’s best QBing the PP from the left, which also puts Yakupov in a spot to do what he does best.

    The day they put Ference on the point on the powerplay was the day I knew they were too focused on not allowing short handed goals against and that they weren’t gong to be turning around the PP anytime soon. The funny thing is, Ference’s inability to hit the net with this point shot is one of the worst offenses for allowing chances the other way.

  80. Lowetide says:

    Joensuu is 40% CF

    http://stats.hockeyanalysis.com/showplayer.php?pid=1140&withagainst=true&season=2013-14&sit=5v5

    What was Petrell’s number? And Petrell could PK and never got to play with the skilled guys.

  81. Woodguy says:

    Andy P: WG, let’s say the problem wasn’t Renney, and we had kept his coaching staff, including Krueger intact.
    Where do you think we would be today?

    Assuming that Renney would have taught team defence and not let the inmates run the asylum (h/t to Bruce), I’d say they would be better defensively overall as a team.

  82. jp says:

    Caramel Obvious,

    Woodguy,

    Romulus Apotheosis:
    2. The powerplay. While it is absolutely true that the PP is an ungodly mess, we keep losing track of a few tangible items. Let’s go through them.

    a) we know (mostly) that on the PP, just like at 5×5, generating shots is the key (I’ll post links next so as to avoid moderation).
    b) we know that sv% and sh% are vile, fickle whores that don’t come when called.
    c) we know last year shot generation went to crime alley and died, but there we loved up all the whores we could find.
    2012-13
    5x4SF60: 41.5 (29th in the NHL)
    SH%: 16.86 (2nd in the NHL)
    PDO: 1139 (3rd in the NHL)

    d) we know that this year shot generation is finding some daylight, but the whores have found new friends.

    2013-14
    5x4SF60: 51.5 (18th in the NHL)
    SH%: 10.86 (19th)
    PDO: 878 (30th)

    We are generating exactly 10 more shot per 60 at 5×4 this year. 10 More!!! If we shot at last year’s levels this year, we’d be sitting at 27th in the NHL in SF60.

    e) For fun let’s expand the map and look at Renney’s years (to take in all the “kid/Hall” years):

    2011-12
    5x4SF60: 44.5 (24th in the NHL)
    SH%: 16.07 (1st in the NHL)
    PDO: 1031 (17th)

    2010-2011
    5x4SF60: 41.6 (30th in the NHL)
    SH%: 12.06 (13th)
    PDO: 1092 (4th)

    What this looks like to me is a team that has historically struggled mightily to generate shots on the PP and yet managed to attract the love of fickle women with their coquettish youth.

    This year, the bloom is off the rose, but the actual business is starting to get done. It looks to me that the PP is still a calamity. But is much better than previous years and merely suffers from terrible luck.

    I was going to post something to this effect too (not about the whores, but the PP shots/goals discrepancy). It’s not quite as ugly as it looks, just as it wasn’t as pretty as it looked last year.

    A couple of other points:

    1) As bad as the PP looks this year, the results (goals) are actually pretty average on a league wide basis. The Oil are no where near the bottom of the league.
    5X4 GF/60
    13-14 – 5.9 (17th)
    12-13 – 7.1 (9th)
    11-12 – 7.2 (3rd)
    10-11 – 5.3 (22nd)

    2) And about the SH goals against. DD may be there whore in this case. The Oilers are giving up 1.9 G/60 (30th) on 7.5 SA/60 (18th best). The most SH goals against in the league on a basically average number of shots against. That’s possible thanks to a tidy .750 5X4 team SV%.

    Recent historical perspective on 5X4 GA/60, SA/60 and SV%:
    13-14 – 1.9(30th) 7.5(18th) .750(30th)
    12-13 – 0.2(3rd) 8.3(19th) .971(3rd)
    11-12 – 1.1(24th) 8.0(16th) .857(26th)
    10-11 – 0.3(T2nd) 9.0(14th) .971(2nd)

    I’m not trying to say here the PP shouldn’t be better than it has – it should be with the wonderkids, but like a lot of things this year, it’s not nearly as bad as it seems.

  83. oilabroad says:

    Lowetide,

    Okay so if you say the kids have gotten better (which I keep hearing Hall and Eberle are not up to par and Yakupov is off the tracks), is it age, experience and natural progression or is it Eakins? How much credit do you give him for this if you do believe they are better?
    Goaltending I will grant you but they are still part of the team.
    So back to my actual question, what has he done that you can point to and say ‘yes he has done a good job there’? I cant think of one, and that is a problem. I can however point to many key stats (ie standings, pp, pk), and say ‘yes they are not doing things as well as they were last year before we took this bold move forward with MacT and Eakins…

    So I am not going to beat a dead horse here, I really was just curious as to what small victories we could point to with regards to Eakins that we couldnt say about any of our last 3 coaches… He has not been given the tools but he certainly has a much better looking outfit than Krueger had.

  84. flyfish1168 says:

    oilabroad:
    Lowetide,

    Okay so if you say the kids have gotten better (which I keep hearing Hall and Eberle are not up to par and Yakupov is off the tracks), is it age, experience and natural progression or is it Eakins? How much credit do you give him for this if you do believe they are better?
    Goaltending I will grant you but they are still part of the team.
    So back to my actual question, what has he done that you can point to and say ‘yes he has done a good job there’? I cant think of one, and that is a problem. I can however point to many key stats (ie standings, pp, pk), and say ‘yes they are not doing things as well as they were last year before we took this bold move forward with MacT and Eakins…

    So I am not going to beat a dead horse here, I really was just curious as to what small victories we could point to with regards to Eakins that we couldnt say about any of our last 3 coaches… He has not been given the tools but he certainly has a much better looking outfit than Krueger had.

    oilabroad,
    I believe we are marginally better with close/fenwik and close corsi numbers. But so marginally that it insignificant compared to the stats that do matter win/loss record, goals for/against and conference standings.

    I posted this earlier that I feel strongly about.
    my belief in what went wrong is

    1) 4 different coaches in five yrs = to many diferent systems = no structure
    2) to many new faces (players) each yr is part of the necessity of a rebuild = no familiarity
    3) small defensive players. this is where size does matter. small heavy forwards like St. Louis Blues forwards is ok.
    but small d-men is a killer
    4) Development – class is still in and we need experience with the system Eakins is trying to implement

    To be fair I like Eakins try and his system but I don’t like how he is approaching it.

    1)Positive approach to create a better learning environment( Just think about how you like your boss treats you ). positive re-enforcement is the better approach, like training your dog.

    2)You go to class to learn then you play to show what you have learned and gain experience.

    3) Talk is cheap show what you have- example- accountability( Eakins failing here still time to turn this around)

    I do believe we would be better at this point with Renney or Krueger just on the fact of having some consistency and our fancy stats probably be better too.

  85. DeadmanWaking says:

    I clearly recall when Renney was let go that the narrative around here was that Renney had no clue how to fill out a line card.

    It’s a complete waste of time to compare any season to the Krueger season, which had no training camp, a compressed schedule, and a totally different mix of opponents.

    Renney didn’t have Yak and JS to coddle, plus he had the vastly underrated dirty-Russian Swiss army knife to spread his protective wings. This was back when we still took it for granted that 1st overall picks develop in straight lines, consequently Renney wasn’t garnering any credit for the stunning success at the top of the wunderkind batting order.

    We started the season with a 57% chance of making the playoffs, on the butts/chair ratio. Thirty days later–after losing 4-0 to Toronto–our odds stood at 15%, this after playing a weak stretch of opponents. Another 15 days after that, our chances stood at 2.4% after a 3-1 loss to San Jose (there was a 5-0 loss to Detroit and a 3-0 loss to Dallas in that stretch).

    This is such a disastrously bad start that the season is officially rendered Not Comparable.

    Management, coaches, and players have one foot in the present mess, and the other foot in the Hunt for Ready October, ten months hence.

    Krueger was still dreaming of sugar plum Ws right up to the fateful day when the airline lost Jerrod Smithson’s irreplaceable supersuit. Tambi was last seen with a long Diogenetic beard wandering baggage claim carousels in the world’s most remote airports. The abandoned US airport on Nukufetau atoll is proving to be a particularly difficult nut to crack, but Tambi is undeterred–tides, time and tenacity lift all jerry-built rafts (especially in the tropics).

    If we’re ruining Yak by making him suffer through the proper motions during a long, lost season then we deserve to be last for a long time yet. If he’s going to dial out and hate us forever as a result, good riddance.

    If he’s still towing sand-bags on the fourth line next October, then Houston we have a real problem here.

    The double-ended laser sword. Now that is a seriously good way to cause major injuries to yourself. So you know anyone who dares to attempt to wield one of these suckers in battle is either incredibly good, or incredibly stupid. And if they were that stupid, they wouldn’t be standing in front of you with all four limbs still attached.

    No, you missed a case: at nineteen-years-old, those limbs grow back.

    Eakins’ laser eye sockets twitch in his dreams like Cylon fido during a tent-kitten Alamo over penciling in his BCG sniper on the second line, just as soon as he cures his Big Celly Gunner of his Art Major Physics and dicey forays.

  86. Woodguy says:

    DeadmanWaking,

    Get that clear, reasoned thinking out of this thread!

  87. WeirsBeard says:

    G Money:
    misfit,

    Nice synopsis.The only part I don’t agree with in terms of your summary (and in terms of Eakins’ handling of Yakupov) is the PP time aspect.The idea that Yak is learning the EV part of the game but his laser cannon of a shot should/would be the deadliest part of the PP, and yet he has to “earn” his PP time by being good at EV is actually kinda stupid.

    It seems to me that Yak on the PP would a. help the PP which has an allergy to shooting, and b. would help Yak’s confidence which, just based on observation of many players over many years, would likely improve his EV play rather than hurt it.

    I assume by “he” you mean Tambo?

    Yes, though like Beetlejuice, don’t say it three times in a row.

    As far as JJ, he makes me think better of Ryan Jones. I am not quite sure what that means…

  88. Woodguy says:

    to Mike’s thing on most players being better other than Hall, RNH, and N.Shultz, here’s some HomeFen and RoadFen numbers.

    This year compared to last year:

    Forwards HomeFen

    YAKUPOV, NAIL 0.392 0.539 0.147
    HEMSKY, ALES 0.412 0.528 0.116
    GAGNER, SAM 0.42 0.508 0.088
    SMYTH, RYAN 0.454 0.537 0.083
    NUGENT-HOPKINS, RYAN 0.536 0.532 -0.004
    EBERLE, JORDAN 0.536 0.519 -0.017
    HALL, TAYLOR 0.515 0.478 -0.037
    JONES, RYAN 0.509 0.393 -0.116

    So Yak and Hemsky are way up.
    Gagner and Smyth up well.
    RNH, Eberle either even or off
    Hall off some and Jones fell down the shaft

    Lets look at RoadFen for forwards:

    SMYTH, RYAN 0.427 0.462 0.035
    JONES, RYAN 0.401 0.435 0.034
    GAGNER, SAM 0.447 0.46 0.013
    HEMSKY, ALES 0.453 0.454 0.001
    EBERLE, JORDAN 0.491 0.456 -0.035
    NUGENT-HOPKINS, RYAN 0.473 0.436 -0.037
    HALL, TAYLOR 0.49 0.445 -0.045
    YAKUPOV, NAIL 0.448 0.401 -0.047

    Big gainers are Smyth and Jones.
    Gagner, Hemsky basically the same
    Eberle, RNH, Hall, and Yak falling down

    I asked Tyler his opinion and he mentioned that since the Oiler’s Eastcoast swing was in their “black period” of the year its skewing thing, but I don’t think that all of it.

    Not sure what it is.

    It might be fair to say that while Hall drives the bus, when he’s driving it downhill he’s taking some people with him.

    Just a guess though.

    Never underestimate the injury ramifications.

  89. bookje says:

    I take a very balanced approach to Eakins.

    Today I think he is doing the difficulty work of building this team into a contender.
    Tomorrow I will think he and everything about him is a disaster.
    The following day I will be back to the ‘building the contender’ attitude.
    and so on.

    This team is driving me crazy.

  90. Pouzar says:

    I am the most impatient person I know. Building a square pine box would send me into a frenzy so I can’t imagine trying to rebuild an NHL team. But when it comes to these Oilers I know I am watching a severely flawed team personnel wise. We have a core of kids that are still developing, we have nothing even close to a 1st pairing D, we are short a legit 2nd line center, we have a shortage of legit bigger bottom 6 forwards who can actually play (Winnik, Moss, Kulemin please) and we have no goalies signed for next year. I just can’t get into analyzing the fancy stats for this team knowing that it will, come hell or high water, look a lot different next year and the year after.

  91. oliveoilers says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    Not to mention Holland snapped up Renney like a hobo on a quarter. And what the hell does he know about building a contending team, eh?

  92. "Steve Smith" says:

    This is a terrific thread, which is so nice to see, because I’ve felt that the frustration of being Oilers fans has maybe dragged some of the recent ones down a bit. I have nothing to contribute – as I usually don’t to good threads, because anything that is within my grasp to post would drag down the average quality – but I wanted to make that one observation. Thanks, all.

  93. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Lowetide:
    Joensuu is 40% CF

    http://stats.hockeyanalysis.com/showplayer.php?pid=1140&withagainst=true&season=2013-14&sit=5v5

    What was Petrell’s number? And Petrell could PK and never got to play with the skilled guys.

    But… we’ve allowed for injury and small sample size in other places, no?

    Chances are you are dead right and the player is a bust. But, I don’t get the rush to judgment here. If only because this team is already terrible and were stuck with the player for another year anyway.

  94. Lowetide says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: But… we’ve allowed for injury and small sample size in other places, no?

    Chances are you are dead right and the player is a bust. But, I don’t get the rush to judgment here. If only because this team is already terrible and were stuck with the player for another year anyway.

    That’s fair, and it’s also true that he has a second year. I think the problem comes from

    1. Yakupov’s struggles
    2. Joensuu’s injury has kind of addled his season
    3. No one else has been able to step in
    4. Gagner and Eberle are really similar players

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