The Oilers record since game 20: 11-14-3. If you roll that out over 82 games, you get 32-41-9. That isn’t great, but it’s one helluva lot better than what they’re headed for currently (about 26-48-8 or thereabouts).
ABOUT LAST NIGHT (DEFENSE CORSI 5X5 PERCENTAGE)
- Martin Marincin 54.8
- Jeff Petry 48.6
- Anton Belov 33.3
- Nick Schultz 27.8
- Andrew Ference 27.3
- Justin Schultz 21.6
Hawks enjoyed the 5×5 Corsi edge (64%) so anything above 36% is above average, meaning the Marincin-Petry were the only guys getting the job done last night in a very big way—and as Woodguy pointed out in the comments they had a punishing zone start. Here are the forwards faced by that pairing and minutes against them:
- Sharp 6.0
- Toews 5.2
- Hossa 4.7
- Kane 4.5
I used Petry’s minutes but they’re basically the same. Toews also faced the Ference-J Schultz pairing about the same amount of time (this is all from extra skater) during the game. Toews spent a lot of EV time against Nuge’s line, I imagine Ference-Schultz must have been dominated along with that top line (Hall 29.6% Corsi For 5×5 on the night).
If MacTavish keeps Petry, Marincin, Justin Schultz and Ference for next season, that’s too many unless Marincin can maintain current levels (always a dangerous thing to count on) or Schultz the younger can play more consistently.
After they fix the defense, this team is going to need to look at Taylor Hall’s line. Whatever the problems he’s having this year, they are real and they are spectacular. His year over year Corsi for % 5×5 has gone from 50.4 to 43.4. He has ALWAYS pushed the river, but this season he’s getting his stomach pumped for sea water every night. I think this team might want a #1C or a Craig Ramsay on the other wing, because nothing rhymes this year and it’s growing from a whisper to a scream. Tyler Dellow looks at Hall’s opposition here, in response to a portion of the Staples/MacTavish interview. During that interview, MacT talks about the Oilers being a quick hit offensive team, and his trying to add people who can help sustain possession (I take that to mean heavier/cycle players). Interesting takes all around here.
If 83 is open to signing, I think the Oilers have to pull the trigger on a deal. He’s one of the Oilers best forwards this season, even though some of the offense has been kicked out of his game in the last couple of seasons. He can play with the top line and he has shown this season that he can be effective with a veteran, more complete line. The coach really likes him, he’s a better player today on RW than some of these kids and there’s zero reason the club can’t run Eberle-Yakupov-Hemsky right side for the next five years.
He could be our Alfredsson, and connect the eras for 15 years. I’m hoping this happens.
The emergence of Marincin (over 10 games, it’s early) serves as a reminder about young players: don’t give up on them too soon. Right now, Oscar Klefbom is injured (again) and his boxcars look like a guy who isn’t getting much done. And, that’s true:
- Marincin first 27 AHL games: 27, 3-11-14 +17
- Klefbom first 27 AHL games: 27, 0-3-3 -10
Marincin played 20 of those games at the beginning of the 2012-13 season, and was paired with Justin Schultz. A lot of that offense came via the guys he was hanging around with on the ice, so gave us a skewed view of the player (although Marincin does have enough skill to post some numbers). Perhaps a better comparison of the two players would be their even-strength totals this season:
- Marincin AHL 2013-14 evens: 24, 3-3-6 +5
- Klefbom AHL 2013-14 evens: 27, 0-3-3 -10
Klefbom’s calling card is going to be effective defensive play, so boxcars aren’t really going to help us with him. However, it’s also fair to say that the difference in offensive ability is far less than it may appear. Marincin’s AHL season in 2012-13 shows that defensemen who are on the ice with skilled forwards (and spend time on the power play) tend to get extra points just for showing up.
A year from now, Klefbom may be impressing Oiler fans as Marincin is doing now. Patience. Stay the course, and that goes for Nurse, Gernat and Simpson too (among others). Someone will get lost in the flood, the Oilers should let the players decide and then act accordingly.
LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE
TSN 1260 at 10, a busy week and lots of questions. Scheduled to appear:
- Tyler Dellow, mc79hockey. We’ll talk Taylor Hall, Gagner on the wing, signing Hemsky.
- David Staples, Cult of Hockey. David’s brilliant 4-part series with MacT will be discussed.
- Travis Yost, Hockeybuzz. The Senators are pushing toward a playoff spot.
- Scott Taylor, Manitoba Hockey News. The Jets fire their coach, what’s next?
10-1260 text, @Lowetide_ on twitter. See you there!