ARC OF A DIVER

When we look back on Dallas Eakins rookie season, one of the major events has to be the Sam Gagner injury. Before that fateful game against the Canucks, Eakins appeared to be putting together a possession team. After? Steve MacIntyre. Luke Gazdic. Matt Hendricks. Mark Fraser.

At the time of the injury, Mark Arcobello received a great opportunity and took full advantage. His WOWY tells us good things happened for Arcobello—as long as Luke Gazdic wasn’t out there with him.

MARK ARCOBELLO PLAYER CARD

arco player cardThis is a very nice player card for Arcobello. He was delivering offense despite a poor shooting percentage (I don’t think we’re dealing with a first-shot scorer here but 5.7% is very low for a forward). His Corsi for 5×5 % is stellar, well clear of Sam Gagner (as a for instance).

In December I wrote:

  • His rise through the minor league system was impressive, and his early season showing was a fun curio, but if he can sustain this kind of performance the Oilers will have found this generation’s Rich Peverley. We’ll need to see it over 150 games in the NHL, but Mark Arcobello has beaten the odds over and over again. It’s like I wrote earlier this season, can’t shoot, can’t skate, too small, he’s heard it for so long he’s not listening anymore. He is, however, making a lot of noise.

In ranking him #12 overall among the Oilers prospects in November:

  • His ranking on this list reflects his potential as an NHL player: Arcobello’s hurdling is amazing, and his ability to overcome bias exceptional, but this player type rarely makes the NHL this late, and it’s Martin St. Louis-rare to see this player type enjoy a long NHL career when arriving at 25. It happens, but not often, and Arcobello’s skills—while impressive—do not include exceptional speed or strength or power that would have us compare him to Martin St. Louis or a lesser version of same. It’s very, very late for a small forward to begin his NHL career.

Arco is back in OKC, tearing up the blacktop and punishing AHL goaltenders from Maine to Abbotsford. Question: is he Peverley 2.0? or is he Peter Morris?

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76 Responses to "ARC OF A DIVER"

  1. PhrankLee says:

    This kid has character in his DNA. Seems to know a bit of a thing or two about gratitude and attitude. I wish we could keep him. I think he has good enough defensive chops to sweeten the pot in any trade. Let him loose on the NHL. I think he has the sand enough to become well above average but less than “elite” PK specialist.

  2. hunter1909 says:

    Lowetide: Looking at my previous post it’s kind of a syncronicity you’re covering Arcobello and so I’ll give you my take:

    A tiny little player showing extreme energy over a few games. Mini-Peca style positioning too. But, can he sustain it?

    Then I check over his points totals, and calculating in my own mathematical way, I decide I’m skeptical. Why the fuck shouldn’t I be?

    Tearing up the AHL means little, unless they can approximate it at NHL level.

  3. Ben says:

    “If Marco had a little more size, he’d be Marty Reasoner.”

  4. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    No mention of Hemsky?

    He plays today… unless he’s scratched… which twitter seemed to think was a possibility last night.

  5. Racki says:

    I’d like to see him work on that shot and his foot speed. If he busted his ass off like St. Louis has, maybe he’d be more than a marginal NHLer. But the shooting percent is low in my opinion because he could challenge Smytty for best muffin shot on some nights. If he could more consistently zing it and fired it with more regularity, I bet he’d be a lot more dangerous. It’s something you can work on easily too.

  6. hunter1909 says:

    Racki: If he could more consistently zing it and fired it with more regularity, I bet he’d be a lot more dangerous.

    I remember when I was still a youth once on HNIC they were explaining how an NHLer had to have about 10 major skills all at the same time, otherwise he’d be a minor leaguer where they have players short of 1 or 2 of those skills who can be short of 1 or 2 of these skills yet still be able to thrive down below.

    That’s what makes me feel cynical about Arcobello. Anyone can play out of their minds for 25 games or so.

  7. hunter1909 says:

    Romulus Apotheosis:
    No mention of Hemsky?

    He plays today… unless he’s scratched… which twitter seemed to think was a possibility last night.

    Hemsky’s this team’s equivalent of Eddie Shack playing for the 1974 Maple Leafs. A showman who contributes almost nothing to the team winning, or losing. I’m not at all surprised he’s been scratched.

  8. misfit says:

    Aside from the fact that many people like Lander more, I don’t see any real reason why Arcobello wouldn’t be an excellent long-term option for the 4C spot. Good possession numbers, can play on both special teams, wins more faceoffs than he loses, and engages physically at seemingly every opportunity. And having produced on a 36 point pace, I think he’s shown that he can satisfy MacT’s comment about being even somewhat a threat to score and having the ability to make a play with the puck.

    Sounds like exactly the kind of guy you’d want centering your 4th line to me. It’s a shame that being 5’8″ immediately excludes him for that role in so many people’s eyes despite all of those qualities.

  9. hunter1909 says:

    misfit: Sounds like exactly the kind of guy you’d want centering your 4th line to me. It’s a shame that being 5’8″ immediately excludes him for that role in so many people’s eyes despite all of those qualities.

    He was probably bullied in junior high too. That’s got to be worth another 10 games playing in the NHL, right?

  10. misfit says:

    Romulus Apotheosis:
    No mention of Hemsky?

    He plays today… unless he’s scratched… which twitter seemed to think was a possibility last night.

    According to Czech media, Hanzal is a scratch too (and Smid). Surely Hemsky and Hanzal would be improvements on Novotny and Nedved, no?

  11. Racki says:

    hunter1909: I remember when I was still a youth once on HNIC they were explaining how an NHLer had to have about 10 major skills all at the same time, otherwise he’d be a minor leaguer where they have players short of 1 or 2 of those skills who can be short of 1 or 2 of these skills yet still be able to thrive down below.

    That’s what makes me feel cynical about Arcobello. Anyone can play out of their minds for 25 games or so.

    Im skeptical too, but there are things he does quite well. I think he does have a pretty good hockey sense too but for some reason (again I think a weak shot) his finish really isn’t anywhere NHL level. I’m not sure a guy can just fix that but I think with work that’s one area you should be able to improve on. If he can jist develop a quick and hard release…

    But Ya, I’m skeptical too. I think he is an OK part time solution for the interim until either he gives those issues or fades away

  12. Lowetide says:

    I think there are teams Arcobello could play for in the NHL, and one of those teams probably grabs him. I don’t think he’s more than a complementary player, meaning if you put him with two terrific skill guys he’ll post a number but isn’t going to drive the bus.

    can he be productive in the NHL? In a specific role, yes. Will it be in Edmonton? No. Look to Detroit, Dallas, hell San Jose.

  13. PhrankLee says:

    Racki,

    Racki:
    I’d like to see him work on that shot and his foot speed. If he busted his ass off like St. Louis has, maybe he’d be more than a marginal NHLer. But the shooting percent is low in my opinion because he could challenge Smytty for best muffin shot on some nights. If he could more consistently zing it and fired it with more regularity, I bet he’d be a lot more dangerous. It’s something you can work on easily too.

    Um he was a regular HS in ECHL not too long ago. He has busted his ass off, imho. He is at the plateau of his skills physically. Mentally he can contribute. I love watching him with Nuge on the PK.

  14. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    misfit: According to Czech media, Hanzal is a scratch too (and Smid).Surely Hemsky and Hanzal would be improvements on Novotny and Nedved, no?

    have you got a link?

    Also… If this is true — not to mention the Vrbata and Hudler snubs — the whole Kunitz thing looks like nothing…

    Let this be a lesson to everyone who relies on the authority of hockey decision makers for their arguments about players… they basically have no idea what they are doing.

  15. Racki says:

    PhrankLee:
    Racki,

    Um he was a regular HS in ECHL not too long ago. He has busted his ass off, imho. He is at the plateau of his skills physically. Mentally he can contribute. I love watching him with Nuge on the PK.

    I’m not sure you can unequivocally say he’s plateaued, but you are likely right, in which case id agree with LT that he is expendable

  16. vangolf says:

    LT,
    Lumping Hendricks in with gazdic, McIntyre and Fraser is wrong on so many levels and you know it. It is like you are trolling your own blog…haha.

  17. Lowetide says:

    vangolf:
    LT,
    Lumping Hendricks in with gazdic, McIntyre and Fraser is wrong on so many levels and you know it.It is like you are trolling your own blog…haha.

    Hendricks possession stats aren’t awesome or anything. I do like his PK ability

    http://www.extraskater.com/player/517/matt-hendricks

  18. FastOil says:

    Racki:
    I’d like to see him work on that shot and his foot speed. If he busted his ass off like St. Louis has, maybe he’d be more than a marginal NHLer. But the shooting percent is low in my opinion because he could challenge Smytty for best muffin shot on some nights. If he could more consistently zing it and fired it with more regularity, I bet he’d be a lot more dangerous. It’s something you can work on easily too.

    St Louis:

    http://blogs.thescore.com/nhl/2014/02/06/canada-fills-steven-stamkos-spot-with-martin-st-louis-and-it-was-the-right-decision/

    There is short and there is small.

    After almost posting on the Belov thread (because I like to catch up and immediately forget everyone has gone home), I was looking at the Hawks roster to see if they had any D that can’t skate (and I don’t think they do, mobile and puck moving).

    I also noticed the Hawks are not a small team anymore, having a few small skill guys. There was a time when the Flames had to build a team that could handle the Oilers to have any hope of ever getting to the final (of course the time they did it was a gift, a most generous gift from the Oilers).

    If the Oilers are ever to have success I think building a team that can handle the younger already strong teams is absolutely crucial. There are a few strong teams that age and averages are going to deal with, but I see the Hawks and Blues as being in the hunt for at least a few years, and the Avs a few smart moves away from being a really well put together team.

    For me this will be the basis on which I view what Eakins and MacT do.

  19. linkfromhyrule says:

    Racki,

    I’m not quite sure the oilers are in any position to say arcobello is expendable. I mean, we’re not exactly loaded up on quality centers. Arcobello is small, sure, but really given half decent linemates he plays well in a complimentary role. Plus, compete! Effort! Narratives!

    IMO the oilers would be off their rockers not to sign him unless they have a certain FA signing this summer at center. Unfortunately, he is back in OKC. Unless they are just letting him play over the break or to help with the playoff push, this is a bad sign.

  20. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Lowetide: Hendricks possession stats aren’t awesome or anything. I do like his PK ability

    http://www.extraskater.com/player/517/matt-hendricks

    How much do you prefer him to Petrell, if at all?

    I don’t think I do.

    Petrell cost nothing. was younger. just as “truculent”. excellent PKer. crap 5×5. and most importantly 1 year deals. easy to walk away from.

    Hendricks is basically the same player with a much better rep.

  21. LMHF#1 says:

    Arcobello could be a pretty good 4th line C on pretty much any team in the league. Not to mention he’s the right kind of 4C – one who can move up the lineup and play special teams in a pinch.

    Eakins thinks he’s a square peg though…

  22. Jon K says:

    PhrankLee:
    Racki,

    Um he was a regular HS in ECHL not too long ago. He has busted his ass off, imho. He is at the plateau of his skills physically. Mentally he can contribute. I love watching him with Nuge on the PK.

    Yeah, undrafted guys who start out in the ECHL never improve. We can definitely close the book on them after a season or two of middling results in the NHL by age 26.

    Oh wait…
    http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/pdisplay.php?pid=55145

    Arcobello has the ability to play in the NHL. He might not pan out, as others point out above, but there were very promising results in the AHL and NHL when he was paired with skilled wingers. That’s a heck of a lot more than we’ve seen from the big bodied prospects we routinely waste 2nd and 3rd round picks on.

    If the Oilers pass on him because of a perceived organizational lack of skill down the middle, it won’t be the first time.
    http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/pdisplay.php?pid=71418&encode=TRUE

    Find guys who can play and then find ways to play them.

  23. vangolf says:

    Lowetide,

    Not saying he is awesome, but he doesn’t make me sweat like rest when we are in our own zone. Not even close. Also, I know the stats-heads will say correlation and not causation (or scrivens the magnificent), but this team is better since he arrived.

  24. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    I’ll add that Hendricks has the benefit (over Petrell) of being a C. Other than that time Renney put Petrell at C because of freak events… haha

    That’s valuable in a 12-14 F.

  25. Pouzar says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: How much do you prefer him to Petrell, if at all?

    I don’t think I do.

    Petrell cost nothing. was younger. just as “truculent”. excellent PKer. crap 5×5. and most importantly 1 year deals. easy to walk away from.

    Hendricks is basically the same player with a much better rep.

    Come on LT…if yer gonna drop the Corgi bomb on some but not others we cease to have a civil dictatorship!

    And you know I love R.A. :)

  26. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    BTW Hemsky is playing today. 4th line.

  27. Lowetide says:

    Pouzar: Come on LT…if yer gonna drop the Corgi bomb on some but not others we cease to have a civil dictatorship!

    And you know I love R.A. :)

    lol. Hendricks is better than I thought he’d be. Better? :-)

  28. Lowetide says:

    what channel is the hockey on?

  29. Pouzar says:

    Lowetide,

    I’ll Take it!

  30. vangolf says:

    Lowetide,

    Much!!

  31. stevezie says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    I’ll say Hendricks has a slight more edge in truculence, versatility, leadership, and shootout skills.

    Now, none of these are such major factors that they justify his contract, but in a straight up comparison he stacks up well enough to Petrell to justify his own existence. I want him on the 4th though. I see him as Jones’ replacement, not a Petrell’s.

  32. hoser313 says:

    Really like the player but the number of times this season I’ve heard “Arcobello!….rings one off the glass…” would suggest to me that shooting percentage isn’t likely to improve dramatically.

    In any event, this is a good 4C and it will be sad to see him go if that’s what the Oilers do.

    Didn’t have time to post on Belov yesterday, so I’ll post here instead. Is there really much downside to signing him for a 1 year $2M or even $2.5M and getting him some power skating help in the off-season? To me this is much preferable than resigning Fraser.

  33. oilersfan says:

    How do the corsis take into account zone starts?

    Hendricks starts every shift in his own end, so how can he be expected to be at 50%?

  34. misfit says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: have you got a link?

    Also… If this is true — not to mention the Vrbata and Hudler snubs — the whole Kunitz thing looks like nothing…

    Let this be a lesson to everyone who relies on the authority of hockey decision makers for their arguments about players… they basically have no idea what they are doing.

    No, the info came 3rd hand, but I see he’s now listed on the roster here: http://stats.iihf.com/Hydra/388/IHM400C01_54B_1_0.pdf

    Still odd that Hanzal isn’t in though. He must have an injury of some kind. Also, Pavelec isn’t even backup here. Not a bad call either, looking at the numbers the other two put up in the KHL this year.

  35. stevezie says:

    Acrobello… every argument against him made today is valid, but, for the life of me, I just cannot get past how competant he looked as a second line centre during Gagner’s abscence. He looked like he could actually do the job.

    Now, maybe that was the best month of hockey he will ever play. Fine. But a guy who can play like that is at least an ideal 4th liner.

    Que VOR asking me to define “ideal 4th liner” (which I would do if someone else said it). The ideal 4th liner is cheap, sound defnesively, and endowed with a try hard attitude that enables him to be engaged if only playing <10 minutes a game, AND (in order to be ideal, not just competant) be able to move up the lineup when required.

    His offence means that if we're down by a goal and need to shorten the bench the coach can tell whoever the defensive specialist playing on the third line that he is sitting and Arco is taking his shifts. As the man already said, he is good enough to compliment skill. That's before we even consider injuries.

    Arco is hilariously tiny, but the right linemates can balance that. I see a potential value contract. Maybe I'm blinded by his first month.

  36. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    stevezie:
    Romulus Apotheosis,

    I’ll say Hendricks has a slight more edge in truculence, versatility, leadership, and shootout skills.

    Now, none of these are such major factors that they justify his contract, but in a straight up comparison he stacks up well enough to Petrell to justify his own existence. I want him on the 4th though. I see him as Jones’ replacement, not a Petrell’s.

    If they were both on one year same $$ contracts, I’d be fine with taking Hendricks over Petrell.

    But for a 4th line, PK, spare F… that contract is murder (I’m being hyperbolic here… but it isn’t anything like smart management)

  37. Jordan says:

    I’m having issues with the main streams – anyone else having issues?

    Cze vs. Swe – nice UK Stream at http://lag10.com/channel35

    Haven’t seem much of Ales yet.

  38. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    misfit: No, the info came 3rd hand, but I see he’s now listed on the roster here: http://stats.iihf.com/Hydra/388/IHM400C01_54B_1_0.pdf

    Still odd that Hanzal isn’t in though.He must have an injury of some kind.Also, Pavelec isn’t even backup here.Not a bad call either, looking at the numbers the other two put up in the KHL this year.

    The goaltender move makes sense… it’s the other moves from roster to lineup moves that make you scratch your head.

  39. Racki says:

    linkfromhyrule:
    Racki,

    I’m not quite sure the oilers are in any position to say arcobello is expendable. I mean, we’re not exactly loaded up on quality centers. Arcobello is small, sure, but really given half decent linemates he plays well in a complimentary role. Plus, compete! Effort! Narratives!

    IMO the oilers would be off their rockers not to sign him unless they have a certain FA signing this summer at center. Unfortunately, he is back in OKC. Unless they are just letting him play over the break or to help with the playoff push, this is a bad sign.

    Expendable is a poor choice of word perhaps… Replaceable a better term. I guess anyone really is, but I’m sure you get what I mean. He’s good for now but I’d be looking to upgrade if he doesn’t significantly improve a couple areas. But in the meantime, he’s far from a detriment.

  40. FastOil says:

    I agree with LT that Arco is capable enough to play in the league but the Oilers don’t have the wingers to capatlize on what he’s good at. He doesn’t bring what the Oilers are short of. That being said better him than a plug at 4C or anywhere else in the line up, he does have jam.

  41. misfit says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    Yeah, there are a few moves on the defensive side that had me wondering as well.

    I’ve always thought the Czechs had a lot of underrated but effective defensemen available to them, but they seemed to leave a few of them at home this time around. Names like Hejda, Polak, and even Kindl stand out to me. The thing that worries me (or would if I was a Czech hockey fan) a little is that there don’t seem to be a whole lot of really good young players coming up through the system to replace the Kaberles, Zidlickys, Kubinas and Roszivals in Czech hockey.

  42. russ99 says:

    Considering that he was sent to OKC (yes, due to a roster jam) in the midst of a season where he played like he at the least belong in the NHL, IMO, Arco is being set up to be yet another of those AAAA players the OIlers seem to love to dump in the offseason.

    Also, nice title LT.

    The summer that song came out by Steve Winwood, my brother was in a pretty serious bike accident, hit by and went over a speeding car. Luckily he only ended up with a concussion and a broken leg.

    Waiting in the hospital that night, I must of heard that song 20 times. I immediately associate that song to that day.

  43. Pouzar says:

    russ99:

    Also, nice title LT.

    The summer that song came out by Steve Winwood, my brother was in a pretty serious bike accident, hit by and went over a speeding car.Luckily he only ended up with a concussion and a broken leg.

    Waiting in the hospital that night, I must of heard that song 20 times. I immediately associate that song to that day.

    LT,

    Why do you hate Russ? :)

  44. Jordan says:

    Wow – Sweden up 4-1 right now, and they’re killing the Czech team.

    It’s hard to know if this a reflection of the Swedish team (which is expectedly good) or of how bad the Czech team is. Especially the goaltending. Pavelec may have been a sizable upgrade.

    This could be quite the battle for a medal if Sweden can maintain this level of play. The big question for me is Russia. Are they going to play like a world hockey power, or a has-been hockey power? If they’re a has-been, I’m hoping for a Canada-Sweden Final. If they come out like the old Soviets… a Canada Russia final would be dynamite!

  45. icecastles says:

    4-2 now. Jagr just scored. It’s only halfway through the game. If you think it was over at 4-1 with 45 minutes to play, you don’t watch a lot of hockey.

    I wouldn’t oversell the Swedes, Jordan: Czech is not a strong team this year and they’re not playing their best goalie this game.

    Sweden is also missing two key guys from their lineup. They may be in the medal rounds, but I dont’ see them being a legitimate threat to win gold this year.

    As to Russia, I’m not sure what you mean by hockey power vs. has-been hockey power.

  46. justDOit says:

    I wouldn’t criticize any of the upper echelon teams this early in the tournament. Give them a game or two, and then we’ll have a better outlook on how they’re going to do.

    One thing I am happy about, is that CZE and SVK don’t get to play together any more! Hossa, Gaborik, Handzus, Halak and Chara inserted into the CZE lineup would change things considerably.

  47. icecastles says:

    Perhaps you mean if they play like a very good hockey team, they will be very good. If they play like a no-longer-good hockey team, they won’t be very good.

    Well, I suppose I can’t disagree with that…

  48. icecastles says:

    justDOit: I wouldn’t criticize any of the upper echelon teams this early in the tournament. Give them a game or two, and then we’ll have a better outlook on how they’re going to do.

    Most of the players (KHLers excluded to some extent) are known, well-understood quantities. Their histories, playing styles, lineups and injuries are known quantities. We can criticize or condone before a single game is played based on those things.

    That’s why people bet on games before they are played and not halfway through the match. You can’t know an outcome, but you can calculate the odds. If two of your best players are out of the lineup, the odds decrease.

    Also, yellow is the colour of cowardice. Fucking modular flat-packed alan-key-requiring hockey team. Booooooo Sweden. Yaaaay Czech!

  49. justDOit says:

    icecastles,

    I’m talking about the teams, not the players. New coaches, systems, teammates and roles for the players, means don’t put too much weight on their play early. And then you have rule and ice size changes for some players to adapt to.

    I almost dread the first game(s) Canada plays. They should mop the ice with Snoreway… should.

    But yeah, Go CZE!

  50. Lucinius says:

    What is with international hockey that evokes such retarded coaching decisions? The Czech line-up makes no sense whatsoever. Hemsky basically stapled to the pine with roofing nails. Seems to get one shift a period. Dumb coach. His top six don’t make any kind of sense as lines and a lot of the players haven’t looked happy, even before the puck dropped.

  51. icecastles says:

    justDOit: I’m talking about the teams, not the players. New coaches, systems, teammates and roles for the players, means don’t put too much weight on their play early.

    Ah, good point: I see what you’re saying. My thinking is that most questions can be answered by the lineup though, especially as there isn’t much time for the coaches to get a team up to speed playing anything but stock systems with which they’re already familiar, but that is 100% speculation on my part. I suppose especially for teams like Canada, the US, Russia etc, we’re dealing with guys with experience and insanely high hockey IQs. They probably learn and adapt pretty fast.

    Lucinius: Hemsky basically stapled to the pine with roofing nails

    I’m wondering if Hemsky’s injury isn’t 100% recovered. But yeah, terrible decisions by the look of it so far.

  52. Lucinius says:

    icecastles,

    He’s played two shifts, one a period, for a total of 1:23 after two periods. I’m dead serious. That’s mind-boggling, and he looked fine the two times he was out there.

    Imo, Hemsky has to have a talk with his coach after the game. I can’t see Hemsky going over to Sochi to watch his team get man-handled and play 2 minutes a game, especially since the Czech line up isn’t that strong.

  53. icecastles says:

    Lucinius,

    Ridiculous. And this is a team with Petr fucking Nedved in the lineup playing the same position. Not like he’s getting sat in favour of Crosby an Teowes.

  54. icecastles says:

    Lucinius, what number is Hemsky wearing?

  55. Jordan says:

    Hemsky with a GLORIOUS chance 4 feet from the net and…

    ..wait for it…

    … he passes it away and his team make doesn’t receive the pass.

    Oh Ales… :*(

  56. Lucinius says:

    It was amusing that when the coach finally started to play Hemsky.. the Czechs started to press the offense a whole lot more.

  57. book¡je says:

    Apparently Smid spent the entire game on the bench (according to the announcer).

  58. Derek says:

    Man that troop deployment by the CZE coach was so goddamn bizarre. He doesn’t dress Pavelec who is his only NHL goaltender (although a poor one), he dresses Smid who doesn’t skate a single shift, he dresses Hemsky who gets 2 shifts until the third period, then plays LW with Krejci and Frolik , including the majority of the last 5 minutes of the game. On about half of their powerplays they had Michael Frolik as their primary shooting option!

    I was rooting for the Czechs, it’d be nice to see hockey take a prominent place in CZE sports once again. As was stated earlier they don’t really produce a lot of great young talents anymore. Krejci, Voracek, Frolik are nice young players but they’re not Jaromir Jagr, or even Patrick Elias in his prime.

  59. russ99 says:

    I’m super-psyched to get up tomorrow morning at 6:30A to see Marincin play for Slovakia vs. USA.

    Hope he gets more ice time than Hemmer did today… From the threads at HF, looks like he’s on the 3rd pairing.

  60. Jordan says:

    icecastles: As to Russia, I’m not sure what you mean by hockey power vs. has-been hockey power.

    For a country to be a hockey power, they need sustained success at the international level.

    The Russians haven’t had that for a long, long time. I think this event could be an opportunity to change that, but I’m not sold it will happen.

    I think Russia’s D isn’t good enough to make it to the Finals. I think they’ll do well in transition with all the puck-movers they have, but they are going to have a hell of a time cycle-breaking.

    Here’s the big 4 and their D corps.

    Russian Defense:
    Ilya Nikulin
    Nikita Nikitin
    Slava Voynov
    Fedor Tyutin
    Alexei Emelin
    Anton Belov
    Andrei Markov
    Yevgeny Medvedev

    Canadian Defense:
    Jay Bouwmeester
    Drew Doughty
    Dan Hamhuis
    Duncan Keith
    Alex Pietrangelo
    P.K. Subban
    Marc-Édouard Vlasic
    Shea Weber (A)

    American Defense:
    Cam Fowler
    John Carlson
    Paul Martin
    Ryan Suter – A
    Kevin Shattenkirk
    Ryan McDonagh
    Brooks Orpik
    Justin Faulk

    Swedish Defense:
    Oliver Ekman-Larsson
    Niklas Hjalmarsson
    Henrik Tallinder
    Alexander Edler
    Johnny Oduya
    Jonathan Ericsson
    Niklas Kronwall – A
    Erik Karlsson

    That Russian lineup just doesn’t strike fear in my heart I’m much more worried about the D of both the US and Sweden – better defenders. JMO

    – - –

    Honestly, one of the items that I’m most curious about it the Russian powerplay. Ovechkin’s goals are coming mostly off that great PP system the caps use. Will the Russians do something similar? If not, how will the PP perform? How will AO perform in a different PP.

    Sure, it’s small samples and all that, but I’m hoping the results can provide some insights… After all – The Oilers PP isn’t running at 30% yet – still more work to do!

  61. Racki says:

    Jordan,

    Canada hasn’t even had sustained success at the Olympics. We are quite successful outside the Olympics though of course. I think the tides have turned a bit is all. Russia is still a strong hockey nation. They’re working to revive their strong glorious hockey heritage (sound familiar?). I think they will turn things around. There are definitely more teams now that can compete at different levels. The Czechs and Finns, even.. The Swedes, as always, USA in recent decades… It’s not just Canada Russia anymore but Russia are still strong contenders in most tourneys, I feel. Sounds like last Olys were a big coaching issue for Russia and there is good buzz about their replacement.

    Anyways, I agree that Russia’s D on paper looks awful. Their forward group is very lethal though, so they may have that edge on a lot of teams at the Olys. Defense wins championships though, as they say, so I’d be surprised too if they won gold.

  62. justDOit says:

    icecastles:

    …They probably learn and adapt pretty fast.

    Hopefully faster than the Oilers adapt to a new system!

  63. justDOit says:

    Racki,

    Well, it looks like Sweden has the hottest goalies.

  64. Marcus Oilerius says:

    Is anyone watching Arsenal/ManU?

    It suddenly struck me how badly soccer needs mandatory concussion testing protocols.

  65. Marcus Oilerius says:

    justDOit:
    Racki,

    Well, it looks like Sweden has the hottest goalies.

    At first, I thought “wow, those yoga pants kinda fall weird around her knee” and then I realized she probably squats my weight as a warmup.

  66. Derek says:

    Marcus Oilerius: At first, I thought “wow, those yoga pants kinda fall weird around her knee” and then I realized she probably squats my weight as a warmup.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jg_rV4wXp3Q

    I’m not 100 percent sure how this pertains to LT’s blog or the Edmonton Oilers… but its entertaining.

    CT Fletcher is hilarious and motivating at the same time!

  67. Henry says:

    Arcobello is the 8th best forward on the Oilers right now. Until that slips to 10th or so and a specialist be it a pugilist, dirtbag or Lander needs to play, Arco should be playing.

    They should also sign him to a bit less than Jones contract. Maybe he is exposed against Hanzal and Kopitar, so is everyone else. Dude can play with skill and with Gordon.

    The Czech game was hilarious. My Mom is 88 and would have coached that game better.

  68. Henry says:

    However, if they do decide to let Arco loose at the deadline, I hope MacT holds out for the many teams on the playoff bubble that are at the cap. They won’t be in the market for Nick Schultz’ contract for a pick, but Arco can help a good team’s security during the playoffs and doesn’t make much money. That should have value if marketed right.

  69. Hammers says:

    Arco needed expansion to be a permanent NHL player but having said that he really did play better than Gags this year . good passer , not afraid , Defense minded , gives 100% every game plus got some nice assists . If he doesn’t go elsewhere in the offseason (Europe) a team that could sign him to a 2 way contract & bring him up if needed would get a great secondary player .We still may see him if Gags is gone .

  70. PhrankLee says:

    Jon K: Yeah, undrafted guys who start out in the ECHL never improve. We can definitely close the book on them after a season or two of middling results in the NHL by age 26.

    Oh wait…
    http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/pdisplay.php?pid=55145

    Arcobello has the ability to play in the NHL. He might not pan out, as others point out above, but there were very promising results in the AHL and NHL when he was paired with skilled wingers. That’s a heck of a lot more than we’ve seen from the big bodied prospects we routinely waste 2nd and 3rd round picks on.

    If the Oilers pass on him because of a perceived organizational lack of skill down the middle, it won’t be the first time.
    http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/pdisplay.php?pid=71418&encode=TRUE

    Find guys who can play and then find ways to play them.

    You totally missed my point. I made the point that he HAS worked out. Earned respect and TOI. After putting his mind to it AFTER being a HS in the ECHL. Nelson coached him into what we have, thank the Gords. Wish we could keep him. I do not think we can. He is a true to life feel good success in our system. I am starving for stories like his. He is not getting any faster, he is 25. He is not going to fill out any more, he is 25. He is not going to develop better puck skills, he is 25. But he can get smarter and make better and better vetran decisions in situations that require a cagey, wily guy. I think he gets a decent job out there. We won’t be using him and it’s too bad, really and makes sense for this club. But too bad nonetheless.

  71. prairieschooner says:

    Arco is like found money

    Whatever the oilers do I hope they spend him wisely

  72. Truth says:

    Arco needs one of three things to happen to make the roster this season:

    1) Gagner gets traded

    2) One of Yak, Nuge, Hall, Eberle, or Gagner gets injured for an extended period

    3) He has a miracle growth spurt of four to six inches. If this happened over the off-season Gagner would have put up a few points in black, silver, and white by now.

  73. Jon K says:

    PhrankLee: You totally missed my point. I made the point that he HAS worked out. Earned respect and TOI. After putting his mind to it AFTER being a HS in the ECHL.Nelson coached him into what we have, thank the Gords. Wish we could keep him. I do not think we can. He is a true to life feel good success in our system. I am starving for stories like his. He is not getting any faster, he is 25. He is not going to fill out any more, he is 25. He is not going to develop better puck skills, he is 25. But he can get smarter and make better and better vetran decisions in situations that require a cagey, wily guy. I think he gets a decent job out there. We won’t be using him and it’s too bad, really and makes sense for this club. But too bad nonetheless.

    I missed the context of your first post praising Arcobello, my apologies.

    I don’t agree with your point that we can simply assume that his “physical” attributes such as skating and shooting cannot improve anymore.

    We routinely hear of players that find new methods of training and new ways to improve some relatively minor aspect of their skating or shooting, with resultant improvements in their performance.

    Players such as Burrows show that improvement can be an ongoing process, even past 25. Martin St. Louis, referenced by the other poster, is another example of a player who didn’t even break into the NHL around 25-26. He continued to show improvement beyond that point.

    My point is, is that Arcobello showed better defensively than Gagner has at any point in his whole career. From his brief time with skilled wingers, he seemed to be at least Sam’s equal. This is all important in a game where what you leave is just as important as what you create.

  74. Marcus Oilerius says:

    Was it Lowetide who said Hemsky is the king of almost-goals?

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