Boyd Gordon’s signing sounded like a good idea at the time, and he delivered as advertised. Facing some of the toughest situational hurdles in the game, he crawled through a river of (bleep) and came out clean on the other side.
BOYD GORDON 13-14
- 5×5 points per 60: 0.93 (10th among regular forwards)
- 5×4 points per 60: 6.85 (1st among regular forwards)
- Qual Comp: 6th toughest among regular forwards (2nd-3rd line opp)
- Qual Team: 8th best teammates among regular forwards (3rd line teammates)
- Corsi Rel: -4.1 (11th best among regular forwards)
- Corsi for % 5×5: -42.1
Corsi for % Rel 5×5: -2.4
- Zone Start: 20% (toughest among regular forwards, 2nd toughest in NHL)
- Zone Finish: 39.5% (worst among regular forwards)
- Shots on goal/percentage: 80/10% (5th among F’s w/ 80 or more shots)
- Boxcars: 74, 8-13-21
- Plus Minus: -15 on a team that was -51
RE 13-14: 78, 5-15-20 .256
Actual: 74, 8-13-21 .284
- RE is good. Yes. He stopped scoring later on and they had to shut him down at the end but lordy he was a man for this hockey team.
- The ZS was severe. Oh my GOD yes. Second toughest among forwards in the entire NHL.
- Will the Oilers run their 3rd line the same way next season? There’s some verbal running around that Gordon’s line will be the 4line next season, but I don’t see it happening.
- Chicago’s fourth line runs with the severe zone starts. It’s a tremendous advantage. Chicago’s fourth line (Marcus Kruger, Brandan Bollig and Ben Smith) have very severe zone starts. Two differences: they also enjoy solid to incredible Corsi for 5×5 %’s and the trio costs about $2.5 million toward the cap. That’s insane value, I don’t think the Oilers will get the same results and they’ll certainly spend more doing it.
- Who did Gordon run with most this season? Ryan Smyth and Matt Hendricks were the most common linemates. That’s $7.1 million in cap money.
- Couldn’t the Oilers run Gordon-Hendricks and say Anton Lander on a 4line? I don’t think so. The Oilers seem devoted to having Luke Gazdic as an every day player, so the fourth line will be used as an energy-enforcer line.
- Do smart teams use enforcers? John Scott played most of two seasons with Chicago, Colorado has Cody McLeod, Anaheim Patrick Maroon, San Jose Mike Brown and Dallas has Antoine Roussel. Some good teams have enforcers.
- Back to Gordon. Any negatives? Not from here. I think you could make a very good argument for Gordon as MVP. He took the dirty end of the stick and survived it, throwing 8 goals onto the pile for good measure.
- What’s the ideal situation for him? I’d like to see the Oilers acquire Moss and Winnik and put the band back together. Although that third line would cost you over $7 million dollars, it’s a proven piss-cutter trio and would do wonders for the skill lines.
- Would you use that line the same way, severe zone starts? You could do either. Run them with heavy ZS’s or have them handle the tough opposition. Ideally, you could find an inexpensive fourth line similar to Chicago’s—say Lander, Horak, Pinizzotto or Pitlick—and run the Gordon line against the best qual comp’s.
- Why can’t they do that? I love that idea! Because Gazdic. You need three guys who can contest every pass or loose puck for that inexpensive line, and Gazdic’s skills don’t lend themselves to that style of play.
- I thought you liked Gazdic? For his player type, Gazdic is perfect. Didn’t cost anything to acquire, won’t cost a lot of money, a great teammate based on what we know, and there won’t be any third round picks used or sent away in the name of acquiring one while he’s here and productive.
- But it impacts the roster. Oh yeah, in a big way. Your fourth line becomes a survival line and their time on ice opens a window for fighting. If hockey were a musical, the song would be “The Rumble!” before getting back to the plot.
- So, the Oilers could have a good bottom six but their bias toward old time hockey prevents it? That’s one way of looking at it. I would frame it this way: Dallas Eakins and Craig MacTavish were days away from beginning the season with 12 forwards who could take and make a pass, think the game in real time, execute coverage and display enough hockey acumen to either fill a role or project themselves into filling a role by season’s end.
- And now? They added Gazdic and others and now we’re left with badly needing an effective third line because the four line is spent a different way.
- Are you so sure that Gazdic has no actual value? I’m sure he is unable to play the type of fourth line minutes Chicago asks of their 4line, if that’s what you mean. I can’t answer the larger question (do NHL teams need enforcers?) because math says no and NHL players say yes. Whatever Luke Gazdic does for an NHL team can’t be measured from here. Does that mean it has no value?
- Well? Does it? The Chicago Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup in 2010. In the fall of 2010 and 2011 John Scott was on their club. Scott is replaced in 2012-13 by Brandon Bollig, and bam! Stanley Cup.
- That’s very simplistic. Sure.
- This became a fourth line discussion more than a Gordon RE. It’s central to the bottom 6F and the Oilers success next season. What kind of team do they want to run? Do they want an enforcer? Can they find one who can play those tough DZ minutes?
- I have one: Can Gordon and Gazdic play together effectively? Dallas Eakins had them both for the entire season, they were on the ice together 5×5 for 14 minutes.
- Oh. Yes. Oh.