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)
|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|
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.
2013-14 RE/ACTUAL AND POINT DIFFERENCE (DEFENSE)
|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||3||0||1||1||44, 0-6-6||-9|
|PHIL LARSEN||3||0||0||0||30, 3-9-12||12|
|TAYLOR FEDUN||2||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)|