RE 13-14 PHIL LARSEN: LITTLE VILLAGE

The Edmonton Oilers employed some real chaos defensemen this season, and Phil Larsen sure was one of them. About the size of a hummingbird, Larsen looked at times as though he could take over the game. I have literally no idea what they’ll do with him.

Phil Larsen 13-14

  • 5×5 points per 60: 0.74 (2nd among D)
  • 5×4 points per 60: 4.31 (2nd among D)
  • Qual Comp: 3rd easiest among D
  • Qual Team: 2nd pairing
  • Corsi for 5×5 %: 42.7
  • Corsi for 5×5 % REL: -0.6
  • Zone Start:  50.2 (biggest push)
  • Zone Finish: 48.5% (best among D)
  • Shots on goal/percentage: 47 shots/6.4% (3rd among D>45 or more shots)
  • Boxcars: 30, 3-9-12
  • Plus Minus: -4 on a team that was -51
  1. What do these numbers tell us? He’s a really skilled hockey player. Some of these numbers came at forward, but he’s terrific with the puck. A really fun player to watch with the puck or in the offensive zone.
  2. Does he make good decisions with the puck? His skill set suggests he’ll be very good at it, but his lack of experience exposed him at times this season. I’m not picking on him, and he wasn’t alone, but there’s a learning curve here.
  3. How is he without the puck? Not great. Coverage issues added to being a hummingbird make Larsen the kind of defenseman who catches on with expansion-level teams. It’s unlikely he’ll have a long career.
  4. Brian Rafalski is the same size! Rafalski was 5.10, 200 and Larsen is 6.00, 183 (apparently).
  5. Same size. Look, I like Larsen but bringing up Rafalski in his defense is like mentioning Lucic when talking about Moroz. It’s technically true, but you’re forgetting the 25,000 guys who also qualify and never made the NHL. They are outliers.
  6. Larsen has come a long way! And good on him. I’m just saying the Oilers will replace him as they get better.
  7. What did you say about him before the season? Quoting this post: I think, when evaluating Philip Larsen, we need to consider the possibility that the cap room was the major asset returned in the deal, and that Larsen and the pick were so much window dressing. Just saying, not trying to bury him. He’s 23, from the 2008 draft and has been a regular (or so) in the NHL for three seasons (95, 5-14-19). This past season was not great, and he got passed by some young blue. He’s going the wrong way as a young defenseman.
  8. So, he has no future as an Oiler? Maybe he does, it’s a difficult thing. Justin Schultz occupies the “holy crap, was that guy ever out of position” portion of the future, and I can’t see Larsen playing heavy minutes at even strength. He’s not going to be a physical guy, he’s not going to help you a lot in that area.
  9. I thought you said physical guys are overrated? I think Mark Fraser’s ability to be an enforcer is overrated, but Larsen folds like a cheap suit against big, physical forwards. Can you imagine him playing against the LA Kings in the playoffs?
  10. God. You are such a pain! Too big, too small, too tough. Who DO you like? Well, if you could marry Fraser’s size to Larsen’s ability to scoot and pass the puck, I’d take that all day.
  11. Larsen’s too one dimensional? The whole defense is too much that way. I count Jeff Petry, who has an entire wing of the fanbase trying to trade him, as the one defenseman on the team who possesses a complete set of skills.
  12. What is a complete skill set? Speed, skill, ability to make and take a pass, shot, creativity, defensive coverage.
  13. You forgot about size!!! I don’t consider that to be a skill. I like to see a team with good size, but not at the expense of skill.
  14. Then you should LOVE Larsen? I like him, but for me he represents the kind of player that teams move on from when they improve.
  15. Wow, you’re not very nice. Don’t mean anything by it, I just don’t see him as part of a winning team based on his skills.
  16. Who did he play well with last season? Andrew Ference. 98 minutes and a 48.7% Corsi for % at 5×5.
  17. Who did he play poorly with? Belov and Fraser, both in the 30′s. It was not good.
  18. Is there any scenario where he plays for the Oilers next season and is productive? Maybe Dallas Eakins sees him as a strong defensive option, but I don’t think it’s likely. They may decide to keep him as a hybrid player, kind of a 14F who can also play defense. Sometimes teams do that in order to give their roster extra options night to night.
  19. But you don’t see it as a real option. No. I could be wrong, but Larsen is RFA and coming off a $1 million dollar deal. I would guess that the club flushes both Larsen and Fraser, in an attempt to find a player who possesses a wider range of skills.
  20. Like? Mike Weaver.

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32 Responses to "RE 13-14 PHIL LARSEN: LITTLE VILLAGE"

  1. prairieschooner says:

    I stumbled across this blog post, it appears to be parts of the HNIC/CBC submission
    It appears to be a pretty pathetic pitch by the CBC

    http://the-legion-of-decency.blogspot.ca/2014/05/definitive-proof.html

  2. VanOil says:

    I agree that Larsen is the type of hockey player teams get rid of as they get better. Fortunately for him the Oilers are a long way from a good hockey team. Having Larsen on the roster next year as a 14F/8D would not offend me. Given his high current salary I doubt this will happen.

  3. Melman says:

    Turning him into a responsible bottom 6 RW may be worthwhile. How would you feel rolling Larsen, Hendricks and Gordon together? The kid can scoot and has some O instincts. Plus you have an 8th D hanging around in a pinch.

  4. RexLibris says:

    I’d be alright running Larsen as a depth forward/swing D for a short while next season.

    The player is intriguing, and I’d rather have an extra Larsen on the roster somewhere than a MacIntyre or Fraser.

  5. Gerta Rauss says:

    I too,would be OK with Larsen as a 14F/8D type of player next season, but I wouldn’t I lose any sleep if they flushed him.

  6. Gerta Rauss says:

    I don’t know how Montreal doesn’t sign Subban to everything he asks for. The sun, the moon, throw in the kitchen sink if you have to. They are crazy if they don’t get this kids signature on a contract.

  7. OilClog says:

    I have time on my team for Larsen long long long before I’d have ever time for Fraser. Fraser makes Barker look amazing, he’s just so bad.

    Larsen coming down the wing against Fraser.. Larsen wins that 3/5 times atleast. Hell Gazzer probably would post a even Corsi against Fraser.

  8. One-Timer says:

    Gerta Rauss:
    I don’t know how Montreal doesn’t sign Subban to everything he asks for. The sun, the moon, throw in the kitchen sink if you have to. They are crazy if they don’t get this kids signature on a contract.

    Agreed. That play to regain the zone on the PP after Markov’s bad pass was just incredible. He’s also getting hacked to pieces by Marchant and it hasn’t fazed him a bit.

  9. One-Timer says:

    The mind still says Boston, but the heart says Montreal. Gutsy win by the Habs, and they’re improving. Of course it’s nice to have a goalie who’s just as good as Boston’s!

  10. Marcus Oilerius says:

    Chara also doesn’t look like the force that he was during Boston’s Cup win, or even last year’s run.

  11. russ99 says:

    The Oilers should watch the tape from this Hawks game, they’re putting on a clinic on how to play the puck behind the net in the defensive zone. If we could play like that, that’s 10 more wins easy.

  12. One-Timer says:

    Marcus Oilerius:
    Chara also doesn’t look like the force that he was during Boston’s Cup win, or even last year’s run.

    Them blanged 30-something defencemen!

    It’s a tough tough job, and he’s three years older than Ference. There must be some post-season days when he can barely roll out of the sack.

  13. russ99 says:

    One-Timer,

    Plus don’t forget most of these guys played in the Olympics.

  14. Oilanderp says:

    Do you plan on having a blog where you don’t mention trading Petry? Why do you hate Petry, LT?

    Keep Larson. He’s utility,and he’s literally the fastest guy on the team. You don’t get rid of guys who lead your team in any category. That’s one way of getting better.

    Why do you hate Petry?

  15. One-Timer says:

    russ99,

    Man, it’s a lot of mileage on that big body.

  16. kooler says:

    i think Larsen should move up…he has good speed and enough awareness to come back and play a 2 way game. He’s a great backup in case something happens to Fraser . i would all for keeping him. Do we have better options….miss Hemsky. Can someone call him, i think all he needed was a hug.

  17. One-Timer says:

    Quietest thread in a while.

    I guess people aren’t too fired up either way about Larsen.

  18. Woodguy says:

    The weird thing about the Larsen numbers is that he and Ference were playing toughest comp together for the most part, and it was his best results.

    Was Ference’s best results as well.

    I think there might be every chance that Larsen isn’t that much different that Shultz.

    They are less than a year apart in terms of age.

    The weak D, skilled RHD slot is taken by Shultz, so no room at the Inn.

    Just like the “needs to be sheltered” LHD spot is sewn up by Ference for the next few year (while they play a ton of rooks at LHD!, Good times ahead….)

    Boy the Oilers have a lot of 4-7 Dmen!

  19. Woodguy says:

    Good example of twitch muscles working well:

    http://www.thescore.com/mlb/news/496764

  20. Younger Oil says:

    Moroz with two assists in a 3-2 comeback win for the Oil Kings. Good for him.

  21. G Money says:

    One-Timer:
    Quietest thread in a while.

    I guess people aren’t too fired up either way about Larsen.

    It’s the sheer volume of articles. None of us can keep up with LT!

  22. Lowetide says:

    G Money: It’s the sheer volume of articles.None of us can keep up with LT!

    8:30 and 5. It’s like clockwork!

  23. Hammers says:

    Lowetide: about the Gagner tradehttp://oilersnation.com/2014/5/6/expected-return-for-gagner

    If your correct I keep him on the 3rd line RW with Gordon & Hendricks .Wait and see if he bounces back with 40-50 points

  24. Ca$h-Money! says:

    Hammers: If your correct I keep him on the 3rd line RW with Gordon & Hendricks .Wait and see if he bounces back with 40-50 points

    If Gagner plays RW with Gordon and Hendricks and scores 40 to 50 points, given the zone start and qualcomp he will be facing, I’ll push for him to get nominated for the Selke. Seriously, that would be by far his best season.

  25. wintoon says:

    From what I saw of Larsen this past season he would add both speed and skill to the bottom 6 forward group. Given that he is a defenseman, he should have D zone awareness and ability as a bottom 6 forward. When you couple that awareness with his skating you potentially have Pisani lite. As he also has some offensive ability he could be a swing forward/D Man of value. The fall Training Camp will be very important, if he is still with the Oilers.

  26. RexLibris says:

    Lowetide: 8:30 and 5. It’s like clockwork!

    I have a friend whose Grandfather used to say the same thing about his bowel movements.

    He’d lost his verbal filter a few years earlier.

  27. Lowetide says:

    RexLibris: I have a friend whose Grandfather used to say the same thing about his bowel movements.

    He’d lost his verbal filter a few years earlier.

    Well, there are similarities. :-)

  28. Ribs says:

    Better keep Larsen around. Schultz is about due for a long term injury, isn’t he? It’s the Oilers way! *knocks on wood*

  29. Caramel Obvious says:

    Love Larsen. That is all.

  30. rickithebear says:

    Larsen career minus Dubnykis
    7.2% even Dman with only 26.2% of shots inside 20 Ft.
    and a shot success rate of 16.4% which is better than Average.
    Larsen was 3.60+ evga/60 with Frasr/Belov/Smid
    Larsen was 1.43 EVGA/60 with the rest of the D.
    1.43 EVGA with Marincin/Schultz/Ference/Petry.
    I looked at this yesterday when reviewing Ference and thought 4th line RW with the ability to slot cover at D if young D having bad game.

    Larsen was .164 EVA/GM facing 2nd Comp with 3rd/4th teamates.
    That kind of Even puck movement is Ideal.

  31. rickithebear says:

    Pretty obvious that my Dman Mantra is
    Pucks to perimeter.
    Reduce shot success
    Good even assist dmen

    Our current signed and rights Hold Dmen
    Petry: Yes; Yes; maybe
    Ference: Yes; Yes; Yes
    Marincin: Yes; Yes; Maybe
    Schultz: No; No; Yes
    Larsen: Yes; Yes;Yes

    Petry; Ference; Marincin could
    cover the bet while facing 1st comp.

    Larsen could cover the bet while facing 2nd comp.
    Ference-Petry
    Marincin-XXX
    Klefbom-Larsen

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