A TRIP TO REASONABLE

Each summer, I do a reasonable expectations series and attempt to find the line in the sand. I’m just getting started for this year’s numbers, and thought it might be fun to review. As you might imagine, when a season goes sideways as it did for the 2013-14 Oilers, there’s shrapnel everywhere.

2013-14 RE/ACTUAL AND POINT DIFFERENCE (FORWARDS)

NAME GP G A PTS ACTUAL +/-
TAYLOR HALL  70 37 45 82 75, 27-53-80 -8
JORDAN EBERLE  78 28 37 65 80, 28-37-65 -1
RYAN NUGENT HOPKINS  62 21 42 63 80, 19-37-56 -25
NAIL YAKUPOV  82 29 23 52 63, 11-13-24 -16
SAM GAGNER   82 15 37 52 67, 10-27-37 -5
DAVID PERRON 69 20 24 44 78, 28-29-57 +7
ALES HEMSKY  66 11 25 36 55, 9-17-26 -4
RYAN SMYTH  72 12 16 28 72, 10-13-23 -5
BOYD GORDON 78 5 15 20 74, 8-13-21 +2
RYAN JONES  73 9 10 19 52, 2-4-6 -8
JESSE JOENSUU 51 7 7 14 42, 3-2-5 -7
ANTON LANDER  50 4 8 12 27, 0-1-1 -5
MARK ARCOBELLO 25 2 6 8 41, 4-14-18 +5
RYAN HAMILTON 30 1 5 6 2, 0-0-0 -1
WILL ACTON 20 1 3 4 30, 3-2-5 -1
MIKE BROWN 51 1 2 3 8, 0-0-0 0
BEN EAGER  5 0 1 1 7, 0-1-1 0
ANDREW MILLER 2 0 0 0 DNP DNP
TONI RAJALA 2 0 0 0 DNP DNP

The Oilers’ forwards didn’t score at the rate I projected (170 goals for the forwards, I projected 202) and for the most part it’s shared across the roster. The two players who did not perform as projected—Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Nail Yakupov—are young and gifted, and good bets to recover. Their RE this year will reflect their difficult seasons, and I do think Nuge’s heavy work and penalty killing have impacted his offense. Interesting the players I underestimated (Perron, Gordon and Arcobello) are all newcomers.

Also interesting? Craig MacTavish has really addressed that depth scoring this summer, but had identified it as an issue one year ago (that line on we have men who the best you can hope for is a net zero result). It’s so difficult to be patient as a fan, but the fact of the matter is that the club’s forwards (wingers) are much stronger overall than the group I was projecting last summer. Jones and Joensuu delivered five of the 16 goals I predicted, and that has impact along with RNH and Yak City.

It goes without saying that a rookie NHL coach and a wayward power play also impacted the numbers.

schultz common

2013-14 RE/ACTUAL AND POINT DIFFERENCE (DEFENSE)

 

NAME GP G A PTS ACTUAL +/-
JUSTIN SCHULTZ 80 13 28 41 74, 11-22-33 -5
ANTON BELOV 60 6 16 22 57, 1-6-7 -14
JEFF PETRY 75 3 17 20 80, 7-10-17 -4
ANDREW FERENCE 76 3 14 17 71, 3-15-18 +2
LADISLAV SMID 70 1 9 10 17, 1-1-2 0
DENIS GREBESHKOV 60 1 9 10 7, 0-1-1 0
COREY POTTER 27  1 6 7 16, 0-5-5 +1
NICK SCHULTZ 35 1 4 5 60, 0-4-4 -5
OSCAR KLEFBOM 20 0 3 3 17, 1-2-3 0
MARTIN MARINCIN 0 1 1 44, 0-6-6 -9
PHIL LARSEN 0 0 0 30, 3-9-12 12
TAYLOR FEDUN 0 0 0 4, 2-0-2 2

Defensemen were closer to predicted, I suggested 29 goals and they scored 30. Belov was the big miss, but he didn’t get power play time and that was part of the projection. Two men it will be difficult to project this season? Martin Marincin and Oscar Klefbom. Marincin especially showed more offense in the minors, have to project him without power-play time.

Looking back, I really wonder about Belov and Grebeshkov. I know you won’t believe me, but their numbers have a story to tell and one wonders if there was an opportunity missed there. Shows to go, that when you have so many moving parts it’s very easy to lose some good things in your life along the way.

We’re getting close, suspect we’re a Justin Schultz signing and free-agent C addition away from being able to proceed.

CURRENT OILERS DEPTH CHART

LEFT WING CENTER RIGHT WING
TAYLOR HALL (6M) RYAN NUGENT-HOPKINS (6M) JORDAN EBERLE (6M)
BENOIT POULIOT (4M) MARK ARCOBELLO (600k)***
DAVID PERRON (3.8125M)
NAIL YAKUPOV (925k)
LEON DRAISAITL (1M-est)
TEDDY PURCELL (4.5M)
JESSE JOENSUU (950K)*** BOYD GORDON (3M) MATT HENDRICKS (1.85M)
LUKE GAZDIC (600k)-IR
ANTON LANDER (600k)*** TYLER PITLICK (600k-est)***
LEFT DEFENSE RIGHT DEFENSE
MARTIN MARINCIN (730k) JEFF PETRY (3.075M)
NIKITA NIKITIN (4.5M) MARK FAYNE (3.625M)
ANDREW FERENCE (3.25M) JUSTIN SCHULTZ (4M-est)
KEITH AULIE (800k) OSCAR KLEFBOM ($894,167)***-callup
   
BEN SCRIVENS (2.3M) VIKTOR FASTH (2.9M)

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33 Responses to "A TRIP TO REASONABLE"

  1. Lowetide says:

    I’m doing the noon to 2 show on TSN 1260 this afternoon. Guests include Paul Almeida, Ryan Batty, Brian King (PDO) and Dean Millard, plus maybe a surprise or two. See you there!

  2. nycoil says:

    Extra props for the Eberle prediction. Next week’s 6/49 numbers, please.

    If you haven’t seen this yet, it’s well worth checking out. Love the pics of Esa Tikkanen! Wish we had a clone of him. I guess Perron is the closest thing we have, but we could really use Tikk.

    https://twitter.com/keeperofthecup

  3. godot10 says:

    Jordan Eberle is Joey Mullen re-incarnated.

    Just leave his spot alone for the next 15 years.

  4. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    on Grebs.

    this is how I think it went.

    he shows up a bit out of shape. The coach makes a note in his book. he gets sent down.

    He comes up and plays early in the season when everything was a mess.

    http://www.nhl.com/ice/player.htm?id=8470268&season=20132014&view=log

    The corsi numbers look ok

    http://www.extraskater.com/player/1188/denis-grebeshkov#gamelog

    but, like the rest of the team, it’s the “big mistake” that gets noticed once the loss is in the books.

    The coach, already having marked him as “out of shape” now, in a pique and looking for culprits, finds Grebs with his tinfoil hat gambling down by the river.

    Coach misses the forest, sees the trees. Sends Grebs packing. Tells the GM, “don’t bring me him again.”

    The GM experiences the same thing. Thinks the same. Mid-season he tells David Staples, ON THE RECORD, Grebs was a “failed experiment”

    Grebs was a victim of circumstances. perfect fall guy. imperfect player.

  5. RexLibris says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    I saw Grebeshkov as a gamble and when it didn’t work they blamed the dice.

    Both sides screwed up. Grebeshkov showed up out of shape, the team was a disaster that, even in his prime, Grebenshkov would not have been able to fix, and he was flushed with a lot of other players who were pinned with being part of the problem.

  6. nycoil says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    And Grebs took the cap space that purportedly caused the Smid trade because of the Bryz signing. Dominoes!

    Now, I had no issue with trading Smid. I took issue with the return (trading for futures and sending up a white flag on the season) and all people here told me was to shut up because he sucks. Seriously still think there was a missed opportunity sending him out east straight up or as part of a package for a bona fide C. We’d be talking about how good a move that was right now. Laddy had higher value back then and several Eastern GMs expressed surprise he was available.

  7. sliderule says:

    Last season all the teams who made the playoffs had an even or positive goal differential.

    If you take the players retained scoring from last year and add new players and Leon’s Re plus call up scoring like they had you get to 2.53 goals / game.

    The oilers gave up 32.9 shots against and if Scrivens can maintain his .913 save percentage that will give them a goals against of 2.86.

    If the defence can reduce their shots against to 31 ,save percentage of.913 and somehow come up with 14 more goals over the season they might have a chance to contend for playoffs.

    Lots of ifs for the oil.

  8. John Chambers says:

    Think Columbus is going to have to offload some salary to accommodate that Dubinsky contract?

    If Dubinsky is worth almost $6M, Woodguy could be right about O’Reilly.

  9. nycoil says:

    Dubinsky’s extension covered UFA years. ROR and RyJo looking at RFA years. If ROR wants 7+ it isn’t because of Dubinsky; it is because he got paid 6.5 this year and has had acrimonious negotiations in the past over money. Also his father likes to weigh in, and based on his tweets seems to equate respect with money.

  10. Ducey says:

    John Chambers:
    Think Columbus is going to have to offload some salary to accommodate that Dubinsky contract?

    If Dubinsky is worth almost $6M, Woodguy could be right about O’Reilly.

    ROR will get $8 million/ yr in two years when he is UFA – at least that’s his plan.

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    Are you really complaining that the Oilers missed out on using Grebs more? Really? He was a depth defenseman who came to camp out of shape. If he was a big, knuckle dragger you would be saying “told you so”. They waived him and no one else wanted him.

    Once it was clear this team wasn’t going anywhere there was not any point in keeping him around. He is 30 yrs old. The Oilers were right in trying out others – Marincin, Klefbom, Larsen, even Belov – instead of giving minutes to someone who projected as a 6-7 going forward.

  11. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Ducey: Are you really complaining that the Oilers missed out on using Grebs more? Really? He was a depth defenseman who came to camp out of shape. If he was a big, knuckle dragger you would be saying “told you so”. They waived him and no one else wanted him.
    Once it was clear this team wasn’t going anywhere there was not any point in keeping him around. He is 30 yrs old. The Oilers were right in trying out others – Marincin, Klefbom, Larsen, even Belov – instead of giving minutes to someone who projected as a 6-7 going forward.

    Not sure how you read that as a complaint.

    It’s a fair reading of what happened IMO.

    He played better than he saw and fell victim to circumstance.

    As I said, imperfect player. Perfect fall guy.

    FWIW, I do think he should have been given a fairer shake through the year.

    Nick Schultz should have been scratched more based on performance and Fraser never should have seen the ice. In both those cases, Belov should have gotten the ice time ahead of Grebs.

  12. nycoil says:

    Ducey,

    Grebs’ KHL season prior to MacT bringing him back was no screaming hell, either. The evidence was ample that it was a bad gamble.

  13. Hammers says:

    I guess this season will come down to RNH , Yak , Leon .The first 2 must have huge increases and Leon needs close to his RE . Players coming in will take care of Gags , Smyth , Hemsky & Jones points, or will they , as that’s 95 points . Pouliot & Purcell need 45+ points each . Next season as we sit today falls on those 3 kids and our “D” increasing there points over last years 111 points . I think with a better PP our “D” should be close to 130 points and from less players 12 last year hopefully a max of 9 this . Hopefully Ramsay & Eakins are magicians as that is what is needed or that 2nd line “C” .

  14. book¡je says:

    nycoil:
    Ducey,

    Grebs’ KHL season prior to MacT bringing him back was no screaming hell, either. The evidence was ample that it was a bad gamble.

    It was a really bad gamble based in ‘ Remember him good’ , however MacT sent him down and didn’t force the issue so I have no problem with it. GMs need to take the odd gut instinct gamble. How they respond when it doesn’t work is how you judge them. Tambellini would have kept pushing Grebs waiting for it to work.

  15. mumbai max says:

    John Chambers:
    Think Columbus is going to have to offload some salary to accommodate that Dubinsky contract?

    If Dubinsky is worth almost $6M, Woodguy could be right about O’Reilly.

    According to Gapgeek they have 16 M left with Ryan J and Erixon to sign. Lots of room. Dubinsky’s new contract begins next year when there is more cap room. They may have an internal cap, who knows for sure.

  16. nycoil says:

    book¡je,

    Yeah, it’s not a major complaint on my part. Just pointing out it looked like a poor bet from the start. And he did send him down so no issues with that part of it. MacT does more in a week than Tambo in a season.

  17. jake70 says:

    It’s not funny so don’t know why I am chuckling here but poor Yak, man you gave him more goals than he had actual points….Larionov watching money melt away…lol. If he still in Edmonton and his year gets off to a similar start, man will get ugly.

    And didn’t realize RNH’s +- was so low at -25, ouch.

  18. Lowetide says:

    I’m thinking EDM will grab an offensive player if they go free agent C. I was hoping for more of a two-way type, because LD isn’t going to check much and that leaves Nuge and Gordon for the heavy work.

    What it means, if they hire an offensive C, is that Draisaitl (once he plays 9 games) forces the Gordon line to be exactly that—and may force Nuge into less of an offensive role.

    He’s the second choice for DZ starts.

  19. Lowetide says:

    jake70:
    It’s not funny so don’t know why I am chuckling here but poor Yak, man you gave him more goals than he had actual points….Larionov watching money melt away…lol.If he still in Edmonton and his year gets off to a similar start, man will get ugly.

    And didn’t realize RNH’s +- was so low at -25, ouch.

    That isn’t plus minus, it’s the total points I missed the bet, by player.

  20. Bar_Qu says:

    Reasonable! Look at all those minuses! Fire them all! Rebuild 5.0 right now!

    That’s reasonable

    (the above is strictly intended as satire, regardless of efficacy or relevance)

  21. hfairfield says:

    I’m not seeing the math right on RNH. You projected him at 63 points and he got 56. Isn’t that -7 (as opposed to -25)? Also, some of the other ones seem off. Hall says -8, but 82 – 80 is 2.

  22. belcolt91 says:

    hfairfield,

    You’re missing the games played.

  23. mumbai max says:

    LT, I think you are being far too hard on yourself and perhaps even negatively misleading to include games missed in your ‘off the mark’ tally. You cannot be expected to anticipate games played.

    Could I suggest you convert to PPG and then calculate your RE PPG minus the actual PPG.

    This will give you an accurate percentage differential.

    So for instance you estimated Taylor Hall to gain 82 points in 70 games for a 1.17 PPG. He actually got 80 points in 75 games for a 1.06 PPG. Your RE was -.11

    That seems to me a better way to give yourself a mark than getting beaten up for games missed when you might have been extremely accurate on PPG which seems much more important as a measure.

    Just an idea.

  24. godot10 says:

    I’m more optimistic about this season (but not October) because Ramsey is around to take over in November.

  25. mumbai max says:

    godot10:
    I’m more optimistic about this season (but not October) because Ramsey is around to take over in November.

    It is comforting to know he is there at the ready.

  26. Frank The Dog says:

    mumbai max: It is comforting to know he is there at the ready.

    Nelson too.
    I wonder who would replace Nelson in OKC if they called him up to replace Eakins? You have to believe that the succession planning is already in place, as due diligence in any competent organization.

  27. justDOit says:

    Ladies and gentlepersons, your 2013-14 Oilers’ Corgi! Yes, that’s a wheelchair, or sorts.

  28. OilClog says:

    Anyone that thinks Ramsay was brought in to replace Eakins as HC at any point this upcoming season has gone bat shit crazy.

    Narrative.

    Lots of new players, new assistants, rookies, injuries, only season 2 of the MacT rebuild.. Not a chance Eakins is axed and replaced with the assistant he brought in. Ramsay is here to help Dallas succeed not eyeing a carcass like a vulture.

  29. Ca$h-Money! says:

    OilClog:
    Anyone that thinks Ramsay was brought in to replace Eakins as HC at any point this upcoming season has gone bat shit crazy.

    Narrative.

    Lots of new players, new assistants, rookies, injuries, only season 2 of the MacT rebuild.. Not a chance Eakins is axed and replaced with the assistant he brought in. Ramsay is here to help Dallas succeed not eyeing a carcass like a vulture.

    Clog is correct, with the caveat that if it’s an absolute nightmare, they might hit the panic button (think 1 – 14 type of a start).

    On a personal note, glad to see someone else use the term “bat shit crazy”, I’ve described my mother this way for years but wasn’t ever really sure it was an actual expression.

    On a second personal note, upon reading that, I might not be a great person…

  30. Deadman Waiting says:

    I think RE is going to be a difficult exercise again this season. It’s eight months and half a roster since we last witnessed a meaningful game.

    ———

    Concerning Willis’s recent piece over at Cult: J.Ro on cap-era economics is like having the last samurai tweet on drone warfare. I tried to find some humour in this at greater length, but it was like rescuing a corpse that’s been too long under water: my hand kept pushing through bloated flesh against no resistance.

    ———

    godot10:
    I’m more optimistic about this season (but not October) because Ramsey is around to take over in November.

    It must have grieved you that Aragorn came to Minas Tirith with the Dead Men of Dunharrow in tow; his ascension to the white throne of devastation would have been so much more direct had he kept his nose clean during the first defense.

  31. cc says:

    Hey LT,

    I think in fairness to Hemsky his real numbers are 13-30-43 and he beat projections. Unfortunately he had to move to a team who had complementing line-mates. The reality is that he was playing with otherwise un-enabling line-mates, who couldn’t play at his level or with him.

    Secondly, Ebs is bang on, meaning he’s a complete producer. I still think if Nuge wasn’t so snake bitten shooting last year, you could probably add 10+ points to both their totals.

    Third, and related to the second point, I would like to know if you have done any statistical work, or know where to find it, on who is the greatest beneficiary of Ebs assists. What are the ratio’s and how would this reflect on point 1 – if Hemsky played with Ebs and where Hall would be without Ebs.

    Thanks for your thoughts.

  32. Frank The Dog says:

    I think the intent is to give Eakins everything he asks for, and if he starts like last year then there will doubtless be a succession plan already in place. I do not think that succession plan would include Ramsay unless the plan is to go to market for a replacement at that time and have Ramsay fill in on a temporary basis, because Ramsay has made it clear he has no interest in the HC position.

    More likely a succession plan would have someone like Nelson step in, with further succession plans down the line.

    I’m not saying Eakins will fail, I think he has every chance of becoming a mediocre coach at the very least. I think he lost some of his arrogance last year, and I am sure it will be a pleasure to have the full support of his coaching team, something he may not have enjoyed to this extent last season.

    But every well managed company does risk management and has succession planning in place, and I doubt the Oilers organization is any different.

  33. Between or Beyond: The Curious Case of Grebeshkov’s Final NHL Season - The Oilers Rig - The Oilers Rig says:

    […] A number of days ago, Lowetide opened up an interesting can of worms. […]

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