ARCO 2C? (WORDS AND MUSIC BY WOODGUY)

Mark Arcobello’s ability to be 2C on the Oilers for the 14/15 season is a current topic of conversation. His supporters point to his hot start last year (10pts in the first 10 games) and excellent Relative Corsi (the team did better when he was on the ice than when he was off the ice) His detractors point to his 8 points in his last 31 games and say he isn’t the right fit. I have fallen on both sides of this debate and decided to look deeper at his 41 games as an Oiler last season to see if we can get a more clear picture on what Mark Arcobello actually did.  41 games is not a great samples, but it is what we have to work with. I went and looked at every game he played and noted the following:

  • 1)      Game Date
  • 2)      Opposing Team
  • 3)      Home or Away
  • 4)      Most common line-mates for the game
  • 5)      5v5 CF%
  • 6)      5v5 Relative CF% (how did he do compared to the team)
  • 7)      5v5 Relative Offensive Zone start (how often did he start in the ozone compared to his team mates)

I used RelOZS% because I think it paints a clearer picture than just straight OZS. If a player has 55% OZS in a game you may automatically think he got the offensive push, but if everyone else was 60%+ then he didn’t. Using RelOZS% gives us a better look at how Eakins used Arco for that game.

I used 5v5 CF% (corsi for) to keep the sample as big as possible. There is an argument to be made that using 5v5 close CF% is better, but Oiler games were rarely close and I didn’t want to shrink a small sample to a meaninglessly small sample.

You may not think that CF% is an indicator of offence or is a good evaluation tool. That’s ok, but I do think CF% and more importantly RelCF% with line mates and usage context can tell us a lot (not nearly everything). This look at Arco relies on CF% and RelCF% along with line mate and usage context to see if he helps or hurts the hockey club.

arcobello ferguson

The data I collected is below (courtesy of extraskater.com). I put breaks in the data to indicate change.

  • The break between Oct 27 and Oct 29 indicates when Gagner returned to the line up.
  • The break between Nov 13 and Nov 28 show his first demotion.
  • The break between Dec 17 and Jan 3 shows when he was out due to injury.

Let’s examine the data and see if it tells a story.

Date Team Home/Away Common mates 5v5 CF% 5v5 Rel CF % Rel OZS%
Oct-01 WPG Home Perron – Eberle 60.9% 7.7% -12.5%
Oct-05 VAN Away Perron – Eberle – Yak 67.9% 43.5% 30.0%
Oct-07 NJD Home Yak-Perron-Eberle 54.2% 6.3% 7.7%
Oct-10 MTL Home Perron-Hall-Eberle-Hemsky 60.6% 15.8% 22.7%
Oct-12 TOR Away Eberle-Smyth 55.2% 13.1% 12.5%
Oct-14 WAS Away Eberle-Smyth 51.7% 1.7% 5.0%
Oct-15 PIT Away Hall-Eberle 53.3% 7.3% 24.5%
Oct-17 NYI Away Hall-Eberle 35.7% -8.7% 4.8%
Oct-19 OTT Away Perron-Smyth-Hall 31.6% 7.1% 15.7%
Oct-22 MTL Away Hemsky-Perron 43.8% 4.3% 67.3%
Oct-24 WSH Home Hemsky-Perron 58.3% 6.5% -12.9%
Oct-26 PHX Away Hemsky-Perron 66.7% 22.5% 15.1%
Oct-27 LAK Away Hemsky-Perron 17.9% -12.9% 24.2%
Oct-29 TOR Home Gordon-Eager 40.0% -25.5% -22.6%
Nov-02 DET Home Hamilton-Gordon-Yak-RNH 42.9% 2.5% -3.2%
Nov-05 FLA Away Gordon-Jones 57.9% 17.2% -75.0%
Nov-07 TBY Away Gordon-Omark(!)-Smyth 53.8% 3.1% -27.4%
Nov-09 PHI Away Gordon-Joensuu 52.2% 16.5% -21.4%
Nov-10 CHI Away Yakupov-Smyth 28.6% -3.1% 29.3%
Nov-13 DAL Home Yakupov-Smyth 66.7% 33.3% 12.5%
Missed 5 game, mostly at home (1 away in CAL)
http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=436710
Nov-28 NSH Away Joensuu-Jones 68.8% 20.9% 45.2%
Nov-29 CBJ Away Jones-Perron-Joensuu 53.3% 7.0% -15.0%
Dec-01 DAL Away Perron-Joensuu-Jones 44.0% -0.4% -25.3%
Dec-03 PHX Home Perron-Yak 80.0% 32.5% -7.1%
Dec-05 COL Home Hemsky-Smyth 53.8% 20.0% 3.8%
Dec-07 CAL Home Hemsky-Smyth 57.1% -9.5% -16.7%
Dec-10 CAR Home Joensuu-Hemsky 46.2% -2.4% -14.2%
Dec-12 BOS Home Hall-Hemsky 68.0% 13.3% -1.3%
Dec-13 VAN Away Hall-Hemsky 21.9% -16.9% 31.0%
Dec-15 ANA Away Joensuu-Jones-Smyth-Gazdic 20.0% -19.5% -7.6%
Dec-17 LAK Away Jones-Perron-Gazdic 28.6% -14.3% -47.8%
Out for 7 games
Jan-03 ANA Home Gazdic-Joensuu 20.0% -23.9% -10.4%
Jan-05 TBY Home Jones-Gazdic 33.3% -7.2% 57.1%
Jan-07 STL Home Gazdic-Jones 26.3% -18.8% -33.3%
Jan-10 PIT Home Eberle-Yak 59.3% 7.4% 3.8%
Jan-12 CHI Away Eberle-Yak 48.1% 17.6% 33.0%
Jan-14 DAL Away Eberle-Yak 41.9% -12.0% 26.2%
Jan-16 MIN Away Eberle-Yak 44.4% 3.5% 5.3%
Jan-18 WPG Away Joensuu-Gazdic-Perron 55.6% 20.1% -46.2%
Jan-21 VAN Home Joensuu-Gazdic-Perron 40.0% -7.1% 10.0%
Jan-24 PHX Home Yak-Joensuu 47.4% -5.2% -40.9%

arcobello3

 

First 13 games

Arco is killing it. Only 2 negative CF% games. Both games were the 3rd in 4 nights, one against LAK.

He’s in the top 6 forwards and his line mates are the top end of the roster (Smyth excepted) He sticks with Eberle for 8 games then Perron and Perron-Hemsky for the rest.

He is usually getting a big OZ push, except for 2 home games where Eakins had them on the negative side of the OZS.

Average CF 50.6%

Average RelCF +8.8%

Average RelOZS +15.7

During these 13 games Arco looks like he fits in the top 6.

 

Games 14-20

Sam Gagner comes back from injury and Arco loses his spot as 2C.

Eakins plays Arco with Gordon for 5 games getting Malholtra zone starts and except for the game with Eager, Arco does well given the situation.

Decent relative corsi despite getting buried with Gordon in the DZ is good stuff. It bodes well if Arco is asked to be the utility infielder this year and ends up with Gordon and Hendricks for an extended stretch.

Last 2 games before Arco gets sent down, Eakins changes it up and puts him between Yak & Smyth and gives them a big OZ push. Yak is in the doghouse at this time too and they don’t get a lot of ice time. This is what I expect the 3C to look like next year. Big zone push, 12-14 minutes per game.

The game in CHI is the dreaded 3rd in 4th nights and they get killed, but relative to the team they were about even. They bounce back in the DAL game and put up nice numbers, but Arco finds himself on a plane to OKC.

I put a link to a TSN blurb about Arco being sent down because it has this line:

 

In Edmonton’s last game, a 3-0 loss to Dallas on Wednesday, Arcobello was minus-1 and managed one shot in a season-low 11:50 of ice time.

 

In Edmonton’s last game Arco also put up a 66.7%CF and +33% RelCor and drove the bus when he was on the ice. It’s funny that two people can look at the same game and come away with 2 different opinions.

Average CF 48.9%

Average RelCF +6.3%

Average RelOZS -15.4

During these 7 games Arco gets a tougher role for 5 games and comes through nicely and then marks time as the 3C for two games, then gets sent down.

His results are very similar to the first 13 games, but with a much tougher zone start. Whatever caused Eakins to send down Arco, it wasn’t his possession game.

 

Games 21-31

Arco comes back and gets put with Joenssu-Jones with a big OZS push and Arco drags them along for a big RelCor night.

The next game Eakins salts Perron in the mix and gives Arco the 2nd toughest OZS for the next two games.

It’s at this point of the season that Eakin’s use of Arco reminded me how Millie described Nuke Laloosh’s pitching (and other activities) “He’s kinda all over the place”

One night he’s getting an OZ push with weak mates, then gets buried in the DZ with slightly better players, then buried with bad players, then a push with good players, then a push with bad players. There isn’t much rhyme or reason from game to game on his usage when looked at as a whole. I’m sure Eakins had his reasons from game to game, but it doesn’t look like he had a set plan for Arco.

I guess that’s the fate of the utility infielder.

From Dec 3 – Dec13 Eakins uses Arco as a 3C with ostensibly 3 scoring lines + Gordon’s line. Except for one game with Hall-Hemsky, Arco is getting the 2nd toughest OZS on the team.

His results are decent-to-good until the dreaded 3rd in 4th nights on Dec 13 in VAN and gets buried with Hall-Hemsky despite getting the big OZ push (+31%)

The next two nights he gets put with Gazdic and other assorted Jones/Joensuu types, the bottom falls out and Arco is gone for the next 7 games.

He sustained a rib injury vs LAK and I think he was on the roster, but moved to IR on Dec 26 to make room for Horak and Marincin. I may be a little wrong here, feel free to correct me.

Average CF 49.2%

Average RelCF +2.8%

Average RelOZS -5.0%

Despite moving around the line up a bit and getting saddled with Gazdic, Arco comes through these 11 games with number very similar to the other 2 sets.

If you remove the 2 Gazdic games, Arco’s numbers look like this:

Average CF 54.8%

Average RelCF +7.2%

Average RelOZS 0.0%

Hmmmmmm. There seems to be a Gazdic effect……..

 

Games 32-41

On Jan 3 Arco gets put with Gazdic and Joensuu and gets the 2nd toughest zones starts. Welcome back from injury Mark!

The results are predictable, as are the following two nights with Gazdic and Jones. Not good.

For some reason on Jan 7 vs STL Eakins starts Arco-Gazdic-Jones in their own zone as much as he started the Gordon-Smyth-X (rotated Hemsky and Arco in there)

Its games like this where you really feel for the guy. Staring in your ozone all night with Jones and Gazdic against STL. That’s just not fair.

Eakins then pushes him back up the line up with Eberle and Yak for 4 games. They get a OZ push for 2 of the 4 games and put up reasonable possession numbers with one bad game in DAL on Jan 14.

For the last 3 games of the season he gets mixed around with Joensuu-Gazdic-Perron and Yak gets thrown in there on his last game.

It’s interesting to note that at this point in the season Eakins is burying two lines and giving a huge push to the other two.

On Jan 18 vs the Jets the ZS break down like this:

Hall-RNH-Eberle 75%OZS

Gagner-Jones(!) 50%OZS

Arco-Joensuu-Gazdic 0%OZS

Gordon-Hendricks-Smyth 14%OZS

Perron subs in for Gazidc a bit while playing on Gagner’s line and end up with 28.6% OZS

I wonder if Eakins is going to go that way next year?

CHI and NYR tend to go hard on one line and spread the OZS among the other 3. I’m not sure going with 2 lines on either side of the ledger is smart. It might be, but that’s half your team climbing uphill. Not sure about that.

  • Average CF 41.6%
  • Average RelCF -2.6%
  • Average RelOZS 0.5%

Arco’s worst results of the year.

Let’s break out the 5 games he played with Gazdic and look at the last 10 games again.

Last 10 games Without Gazdic

  • Average CF 48.2%
  • Average RelCF 2.3%
  • Average RelOZS 5.5%
  • Last 10 games With Gazdic
  • Average CF 35%
  • Average RelCF -7.4%
  • Average RelOZS -4.5%

The Gazdic effect is pretty clear.

If we look at Arco’s 5v5 Gazdic WOWY for the year we find this: (via stats.hockeyanalysis.com)

  • Arco overall 490min 48.3%CF
  • Arco with Gazdic 38min 29.9%CF
  • Arco without Gazdic 452min 50%CF

That’s amazing.

Gazdic plays 7.6% of Arco’s total ice time and drags his CF% down 1.7%.

Arco’s WOWY’s

Now that we’ve broken down specific games and seen Arco with all kinds of different players and situations, let’s take a more global look at Arco’s season using his WOWY’s.

WOWY’s are “With and Without You” looks at player’s CF% when playing with a player and then without that player.

It’s a great way to scratch the surface on the question “Does he make the other players around him better?”

Here are Arco’s net CF% effect on everyone he played more than 30min 5v5 with last year, sorted from most TOI together to least.

If the number is positive, the player is better with Arco, if its negative the player is worse with Arco. (via stats.hockeyanalysis.com)

  • Ference +2.7
  • Petry +7
  • Perron +8.4
  • Jultz +9.1
  • Belov +8.9
  • Nultz -3.7
  • Eberle +5.4
  • Hemksy -1.1
  • YakCity +6.4
  • Smyth +12.3 (zoinks!)
  • Hall +4.2
  • Jones +3.7
  • Joensuu -0.7
  • Smid +0.1
  • Gordon +1
  • Larsen +0.7
  • Gazdic -8.2
  • Marincin +6.6

14/18 Oilers are have a better CF% when they play with Arco. As we saw in the game break downs, Arco’s role changed a ton so I don’t think we can say that player’s CF improved with Arco due to the players getting an easier role. It was Arco who moved roles and most of his team mates staying in their roles, so I think this is actually Arco making others better.

So, is Arco a 2C?

I don’t think we can confidently call Arco a 2C. He doesn’t have a track record of success at that position beyond what we saw last year. The long term 2C on the Oilers is Leon Draisaitl. The Oilers need a 2C for 2-3 years to compete competently until Draisaitl can hold his own in that spot. Can Arco fill in at 2C for a year or two? If we are going to trust the numbers from 41 games last year, I think the answer is yes.

To see how Arco did in a “top 6 role” I went through all the games and removed the ones where one of Hall, Eberle, Hemsky, Perron, and Yak (even though he had a bad year) wasn’t among his top 2 line mates for the game. If his line mates were Perron-Joensuu I still considered that a top 6 role due to Perron’s presence.

This left us with 29 games where he played with “Top 6/9” talent.

His averages in these 29 games are:

  • Average CF 49.96%
  • Average RelCF 6.4%
  • Average RelOZS 6.2%

Those numbers are better than any other Oiler forward last year and we see that he’s not getting a huge OZS push that would inflate his CF%. Hall, RNH, Eberle, Gagner, and Perron didn’t spend a whole lot of time with the Jones and Jonesuus of the roster either, so I think this is a fair way to evaluate him.

NOTE: I know that using “average” corsi by adding the CF% and then dividing by games isn’t giving me the true number because of lack of TOI, but for the purposes of this overview the results are close enough to be discussed usefully.

Is Arco better than other options out there?

I think we can answer this by asking “Is there a C who played a top 9 role with 50%CF and RelCor of 6% or so?” As of the date of writing (July 12, 2014), then the answer is “not really” Andrei Loktionov is probably as close as there is still available. It may be a good “safety” option to add him to the roster to play the utility role along with Arco.

Derek Roy is an interesting option. He was a negative RelCor last year, but as we learned in this little exercise, who you play with is a major determining factor in your results.

Roy played mostly with Stewart and Morrow last year and they were huge drags on his corsi. He put up nice number with Taresenko, Sobatka and even Ott (*spits*)

I would have preferred Legwand for a year as he has a long history of being a good NHL 2C and think we would have all felt “safer” with him on the roster because injuries will come and without good C depth, they can be devastating.

I’m not sure what MacT is going to do, but I don’t think that running Arco at 2C needs to be causing all the weeping and gnashing of teeth that it elicits from Oiler fans.

We can be skeptical because the sample is small, but his results with top 6 players did not tail off during the year even though the points did.

I do think they need to add another C because after Lander there isn’t another player who can play C on the roster and that’s just not good depth in the NHL, but I’m not as leery about Arco at 2C as I was when I started this little project.

 

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63 Responses to "ARCO 2C? (WORDS AND MUSIC BY WOODGUY)"

  1. Clay says:

    So WG, how do you have time for other stuff, like eating or sleeping? This seems like a ton of work, and kudos to you for sussing through a lot of data!

    I think it confirms what many thought last year – Arco was a far and away better option at 2C than Gagner (at the level Gagner was playing last year), so why the hell did he get the pipe, when Gagner was allowed to be “also in picture” for about 11 million goals against? Rookie head coaching?

  2. Lowetide says:

    Clay: Want to throw my thanks in, too. I don’t know what bell chimed for WG to go looking for the Gazdic in the rigging, but very revealing.

  3. D says:

    So if Gagner didn’t come back from injury last season, would that have meant more sustainability (points-wise) for Arco?

  4. Gerta Rauss says:

    I’ll be disappointed if they start the season with Arco at 2C. That’s not an indictment of Arco, but more of MacT. This hole in the roster is too important to be auditioning players in the hope that they can be succesful.

    I’ll be even more disappointed if they run status quo with the C position(s), and don’t add a RW for the Gordon line(tough zone starts)

    If you’re going to cheat a bit on the C position, you need to add an NHL player for the Gordon line.

    edit*-stunning amount of work by Woodguy here-wow

  5. Pouzar says:

    Fantastic stuff. I just wanna see Arco get a full season playing in the top 9 with actual hockey players.
    I think he gets 40 pts and is a positive CorsiRel player whether or not it’s 2nd or 3rd comp (which Tyler Dellow has said there isn’t a big diff which is something a lot of us are missing……i know I was).

  6. bucknuck says:

    I am so happy that you did this analysis, Woodguy. I am a lot less worried about Arco as 2C than I was before I read it. It’s also encouraging, since this year they have some good sized wingers coming in, which might give Arcobello a little more space to make magic. I am encouraged. Thank you.

    Lowetide, when you read this analysis, did it give you more or less faith that the Oilers Coach (Eakins) and Manager (MacT) actually understand who is pushing the river.

  7. gd says:

    LT,

    Is it just me, or does it seem like there has been very little movement this offseason. I’m assuming the low Salary Cap has impeded a lot of teams. I’m assuming the RFA and their Arb hearings need to get done before a lot more can take place. It seems like there are the cap-strapped teams that are going to have to do something, and there are teams that might go full bore on “Cavin for McDavid”, so is that what MacT is waiting for.

    I am happy to have Arco be one of the top 3 C, as the better D and size up front should insulate him a bit, I’ve got to think MacT has one more move in his mind. It seems like he is keeping that extra $4Mill in cap space for something.

  8. judgedrude says:

    I’ve always liked what I’ve seen from Arco, and I think that this may be a value contract to help in the search for the mythical 1D.

  9. John Chambers says:

    RNH-Arcobello-Horcoff-Gordon

    Two o-zone/pp guys and two d-zone/pk guys.

    Joensuu and a 7th to Dal for Horc with $1.5M salary retained.

  10. Lowetide says:

    bucknuck:
    I am so happy that you did this analysis, Woodguy.I am a lot less worried about Arco as 2C than I was before I read it.It’s also encouraging, since this year they have some good sized wingers coming in, which might give Arcobello a little more space to make magic.I am encouraged.Thank you.

    Lowetide, when you read this analysis, did it give you more or less faith that the Oilers Coach (Eakins) and Manager (MacT) actually understand who is pushing the river.

    Overall, yes. I think the moves made this summer recognize the issues and attempt to deliver reasonable solutions. However, I don’t think the Oilers believe in Arcobello as a legit 2C, he’s going to have to show it over a full season.

  11. rich says:

    Quality stuff Woodguy, thanks for doing a lot of painstaking work on this.

    Arcobello may not fit a lot of fans image/perception as a cable C, but he’s shown that he’s earned the opportunity. I’m going to cheer like mad for the kid to succeed.

    Can’t wait for September to get here and see how things unfold.

  12. Gordies Elbow says:

    Cost of a top six centre?

    For free agency? Money, and cap space. Works well if you have players wanting to join your team. Not so well if they’re “lukewarm” to it. As much as we can talk about who they should have signed, it takes two to tango. For a number of reasons, I can see why Edmonton didn’t sign one of the free agent centres. If you’re David Legwand, could it be as simple as playing in the east, with less travel? Not having to play the Pacific teams as often? Maybe it is that simple?

    So, that leaves a trade. What’s the going price for a top 9 centre, preferably with size, preferably younger? Something tells me, unless it’s a team that cap strapped, it would be significant.

    Fortunately, there are a few GM’s that will be either looking to waive players to get under the cap, or trade for cheaper, young players to get there, as we approach training camp.

    With prospects, this site has taught me that you can’t really judge them until five years after the draft. I think that a similar thing exists for GM’s. You can’t really judge their off-season until the summer is really over. With the addition of Fayne, Nikitin, Pouliot, and Purcell at the cost of Gagner and a 5th, and it looks like they’re addressing needs. I’ll wait to see the opening night roster before judging MacT too harshly.

  13. Lowetide says:

    gd:
    LT,

    Is it just me, or does it seem like there has been very little movement this offseason. I’m assuming the low Salary Cap has impeded a lot of teams. I’m assuming the RFA and their Arb hearings need to get done before a lot more can take place. It seems like there are the cap-strapped teams that are going to have to do something, and there are teams that might go full bore on “Cavin for McDavid”, so is that what MacT is waiting for.

    I am happy to have Arco be one of the top 3 C, as the better D and size up front should insulate him a bit, I’ve got to think MacT has one more move in his mind. It seems like he is keeping that extra $4Mill in cap space for something.

    I think there’s some cat and mouse going on, teams like Chicago and Boston will make moves but are waiting to get their best deal. There’s a lot of unbalanced rosters.

  14. PhrankLee says:

    Great job, WG. I agree with LT suggesting MacT may have overplayed his hand at 2C. I do not like the almost certain pressure it puts on Leon to develop too quickly. I was not happy that #93 was not seasoned either. I really feel it cost him last year.

  15. hoser313 says:

    Nicely written. I for one am glad they didn’t make a mistake on overpaying on term for a crappy FA centre when the team may well have cap issues next year.

    The team needs affordable roster players too. They can’t pay every forward $4M.

  16. striatic says:

    MORE POSTS LIKE THIS!

    Seriously, this was very, very good and fun to read and enlightening and all that.

  17. "Steve Smith" says:

    I don’t think anybody’s happy with Arcobello as a #2 centre – a good team would have him starting at #4 centre (with skill, not with Gazdic), with an opportunity to move up in case of injuries or in case his play gives them no choice. I’m not even confident that Arcobello has a realistic chance of establishing himself as a legitimate NHL #2 centre at any time in the future.

    But the question isn’t whether Arcobello is, or is likely to ever become, a legitimate #2 centre in the NHL. The question is whether he’s far enough short that the Oilers have no choice but to give up something of quality (Jeff Petry, the 2015 or 2016 first rounder, or whatever else you might care to name) to get somebody who is as a stop-gap while we wait for Draisaitl. I’m satisfied that we’re probably better off with Arcobello than we are with giving up Petry or meaningful futures, even as I suspect that it will make for another frustrating year.

    I would have preferred that MacTavish manage to get us a proper corps of centres for this year, and he hasn’t. But he inherited enough of a mess, and has made enough progress in fixing it, that I can live with Marc Arcobello as the Oilers’ #2 centre in 2014-2015.

    But if Ryan Nugent-Hopkins is injured, I will probably kill myself.

  18. gd says:

    I don’t know if anyone has looked too closely at next year’s potential UFA list, but it is already thin. There are maybe 15 above decent guys. If the cap goes up to around $75 Mill, it could be a lot of money chasing Bobby Ryan, Krecji, Sekera and Andy Greene. It looks to me like you could comfortably take on up to a three year overpay contract if it gets a guy who can fill the right hole.

  19. Woodguy says:

    “Steve Smith”,

    The question is whether he’s far enough short that the Oilers have no choice but to give up something of quality (Jeff Petry, the 2015 or 2016 first rounder, or whatever else you might care to name) to get somebody who is as a stop-gap while we wait for Draisaitl. I’m satisfied that we’re probably better off with Arcobello than we are with giving up Petry or meaningful futures, even as I suspect that it will make for another frustrating year.

    Very astute.

    I had something like that written in my head, but then I had to go fix our fountain and forgot to put it in.

    That is the question and I don’t think the dropoff from “Player X” to Arco is enough to give up assets unless player X is someone like ROR or Neilson, and I could be persuaded on Anisimov.

    That is only because Petry is FA in a year though, but I’d love to see the Oilers run with the current D depth for a year.

  20. Woodguy says:

    Clay:
    So WG, how do you have time for other stuff, like eating or sleeping?This seems like a ton of work, and kudos to you for sussing through a lot of data!

    I think it confirms what many thought last year – Arco was a far and away better option at 2C than Gagner (at the level Gagner was playing last year), so why the hell did he get the pipe, when Gagner was allowed to be “also in picture” for about 11 million goals against?Rookie head coaching?

    I had this kicking around my head for a while.

    My sister took my daughter out to the lake for the weekend so my wife and I are alone for the weekend. (going RGE RD tonght! WOOT!)

    My wife likes to sleep in so I put this together from about 7am-1pm today.

  21. Woodguy says:

    Lowetide:
    Clay: Want to throw my thanks in, too. I don’t know what bell chimed for WG to go looking for the Gazdic in the rigging, but very revealing.

    Gazdic revealed himself.

    When I was looking up the game info I would get Arco’s CF, RelCF and RelOZS first, then I had to scroll down to get his line mates.

    By the end of 12 games I could pretty accurately guess his mates by the first 3 numbers.

    A few games suprised (like Arco-Hall-Hemsky getting ass kicked), but most didn’t.

  22. Woodguy says:

    Pouzar:
    Fantastic stuff. I just wanna see Arco get a full season playing in the top 9 with actual hockey players.
    I think he gets 40 pts and is a positive CorsiRel player whether or not it’s 2nd or 3rd comp (which Tyler Dellow has said there isn’t a big diff which is something a lot of us are missing……i know I was).

    Tyler’s right that 2C and 3C see a lot of the same opposition once you balance home and away games (opposing coaches will chase your 3rd line with their best)

    At home though the coach can really shelter the 3rd and their life will be easier.

    I also expect Eakins to give some really cherry OZS to the 3rd line next year and that helps too.

    The 2nd line will probably have fairly balanced starts.

  23. Masamax says:

    I think we are approaching the realization with post and others that the available upgrades on C through free agency are basically a wash for Arco at best. That leaves a trade that will put the balance we have finally achieved on defense up in the air, or sacrificing the strength on wings.

    One thing I also think we have to take into account is how Arco himself might see this situation. If there’s one player that we know is not going to take a nigh off this year, it is him. He’s on a bargain contract and about to be given a once in a lifetime opportunity to become an actual NHLer. He has every reason in the world to play lights out this season in terms of effort. One thing I noticed with Arco’s play last year was, despite his size, he was tenacious on puck retrieval. I personally look forward to seeing what he can do with more minutes and better line-mates over a full season.

  24. blainer says:

    First off…great job WG. I felt ok with Arco but have really come around after this read. After reading this I got to thinking there must be comparable players that were like Arco ..then got a chance or break to play. This is the player I compare him to in an optimistic way..Am curious what you and LT think of this comparison. David Desharnais. He was up and down with Hamilton and then at around the same age as Arco is now had a wonderful breakout season of 60 pts + 10 with decent possession numbers. Is this the player we could get …maybe ..he is also very similar in size. I say play him with at least one big winger and a scorer maybe yak or ebs…I must say I am coming around a lot on this player.

  25. Zangetsu says:

    I’m not comfortable with arco at 2c, but thats not on him. With the season lost, gagner playong poorly, and arco showing well, the team should have found out what they had. If gagner wasn’t rushed back, arco would have a better sample size, and gagner wouldn’t have been so worthless. I don’t want to argue about who in the org is to blame, but fact of the matter is the oil overpaid a young player, which caused him to be worthless after a mediocre season. Gagner should have been paid in the 3.5-4 range short term, or traded. Instead we ran one of our useful trade chips into the groung.

    When the team saw gagner struggle , and decided in their minds to trade him (i inagine this was the case by the deadline), arco should have got a chance to show what he was. Now we sit here with another teenager who will need sheltered minutes (drat has no defensive resume) and an unproven nhl player. Poor asset management by the oil again.

  26. rickithebear says:

    Arco is:
    51% FO% is 5 points better than Gagner.
    Backes; Weiss; Krejci; Turris; Legwand

    1.9 hits/gm. top 20 for centres.
    Shaw; Fisher;T. Lews; Boyle; Kesler.

    His .43 to .46 takeaway/gm is top 50 for centres.
    Dubinsky; Fisher; Backes; Grabo; J. Carter; Coyle

    2,45 EVP/60 2nd/3rd comp
    Spezza 2.51; Tavares 2.33; McKinnon 2.33

    I like to know who he is performing like.

    WG: great break down of the player.

    I look at comparable peers for performance.
    Behind the net to get a rough comp.
    Use stats.hocketanalysis to break them down by teamates.
    look at game charts for teamates and opposition.
    look at shot charts to get Idea of distance penetration of lines.

    For myself.

    Would never do up a list like that on the site!

    Just on my blue 20LB bond!

    Arco:
    we have
    Backes FO% and Take aways rate
    Fishers Hits/gm and take away rate.
    tavares EVP/60 production.

    yup!
    No chance at being 2C!

  27. barry.moore23 says:

    WG, Great job. Thanks for the hard work. Even if we are where we are to start the season I’d like to think better than last year ?? We wait ….. B

  28. justDOit says:

    This place is getting to be like The Daily Show – tune in for Jon Stewart, but there’s so much more to look forward to.

  29. Hammers says:

    Woodguy this was / is a fantastic job but also makes me ask the Question . What the hell did Eakins think he was doing . When you see that much movement put on the shoulders of player like Arco ,did he do the same to some of the others . Talk about kneejerk reactions . For me what this shows is Arco can cut it with capable wingers . Give him one with size like Pouliot and Yak or Perron ( Not sure if Eakins will run them as L or R wing) . If Leon is the 2nd or 3rd doesn’t matter as they ( Eakins & Ramsay) can float remaing top 6 anyway they want . I would still pick up a Mueller at this stage if a trade can’t be made . When McT was a coach he always seemed to have 5 centers on the ice .

  30. godot10 says:

    Looks like Kevin Hayes may be “BlakeWheelering” “JustinSchultzing” the Blackhawks. 4-year BC 2010 1st round draft pick, Hobey Baker candidate. UFA August 15.

    Probably looking to go playing in the NHL immediately with his buddy Jonny Gaudreau in Calgary. No wonder Burke has gaping holes his right wing depth chart.

    No tampering though.

  31. TheOtherJohn says:

    Great read WG

    Of the 2 options:Arco or Draisatl I hope it’s Arco playing 2C Would love to see Draisatl “ease” into tough minutes. Expect that doesn’t happen though.

  32. flyfish1168 says:

    We should not count out Lander. He maybe able to cycle occasionally into 2C position. He will be a year more ready and maybe that is what he needed. JMHO

  33. Lowetide says:

    Fly: If he had ANY bat at all, I’d be with you. He’s Marc Sullivan.

  34. JamesL says:

    Lowetide,

    Re: Lander. It’s almost unfathomable to me how someone can go 18-34-52 in 46 games in the AHL, and 0-1-1 in 27 NHL games — all in the same season! I know, different roles, different leagues, and all that, but the complete and utter lack of translation of his very good AHL offense seems extraordinary to me.

  35. Frank The Dog says:

    JamesL:
    Lowetide,

    Re: Lander. It’s almost unfathomable to me how someone can go 18-34-52 in 46 games in the AHL, and 0-1-1 in 27 NHL games — all in the same season! I know, different roles, different leagues, and all that, but the complete and utter lack of translation of his very good AHL offense seems extraordinary to me.

    Coaching and/or liinemates?

  36. flyfish1168 says:

    I thought at times Lander looked in shock and awe of being in the NHL. He was better the last time up. He may just need this summer to regroup and comeback in a better frame of mind. He is young and really when you think about it there has been lots of changes from 3 coaches and lifestyle. Some may need more time to adjust. Here is hoping.

    On a second note Pitlick is one year younger, but I think is behind Lander’s pace in development. JMHO

  37. JamesL says:

    Frank The Dog,

    I’m sure a lack of PP time had something to do with it, too. If he’s in a fourth line role, I’d like to see how he could do with some Winnik/Moss types on his wings, but I suppose I’ll have to settle for Hendricks/Pitlick instead.

  38. flyfish1168 says:

    Lowetide,

    Marc faded pretty young. Injuries ??

  39. Lowetide says:

    flyfish1168:
    Lowetide,

    Marc faded pretty young. Injuries ??

    No, his Dad got him the job and he couldn’t do it.

  40. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Magnus redux!!

    I love a good, long WG read.

    What a blessed place this is.

  41. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    I still think, as I posted yesterday, that if you can’t find a trade for a clear upgrade worthy of assets spent (ie. ROR, Nielson, Anisimov), you run with Arco…

    with the proviso that you can still insulate him on the cheap with two of Loktionov, Winnik and Mueller. There’s room to add some depth here and create some roster competition

    I realize WG isn’t pitching it this way, so I’m not arguing with him on this point, but I wanted to put it back out there that keeping Arco lightly pencilled into the 2C spot doesn’t mean we have to settle for that outcome. MacT can still push him and insulate him with UFA options.

  42. Hammers says:

    Romulus Apotheosis:
    I still think, as I posted yesterday, that if you can’t find a trade for a clear upgrade worthy of assets spent (ie. ROR, Nielson, Anisimov), you run with Arco…

    with the proviso that you can still insulate him on the cheap with two of Loktionov, Winnik and Mueller. There’s room to add some depth here and create some roster competition

    I realize WG isn’t pitching it this way, so I’m not arguing with him on this point, but I wanted to put it back out there that keeping Arco lightly pencilled into the 2C spot doesn’t mean we have to settle for that outcome. MacT can still push him and insulate him with UFA options.

    I agree but its Leon I’m thinking about not Arco .They better be 100% sure that Leon is ready . I would as I said earlier still add Mueller.

  43. leadfarmer says:

    Bravo Woodguy. I was wondering how long until LT would let you write on here.

  44. Lowetide says:

    leadfarmer:
    Bravo Woodguy.I was wondering how long until LT would let you write on here.

    WG has supplied us with great content in the past, notably on Magnus Paajarvi.

    http://lowetide.ca/blog/2013/03/why-magnus-paajarvi-is-already-one-of-the-best-defensive-fwds-on-the-oilers-by-woodguy.html

  45. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    I was promised music by the way.

  46. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Lowetide: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GlzzCSVCqOc

    doesn’t quite hit the bar of “that’ll do”

    did lead me to this hilarious video:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YH5Arbm47IQ

    the part at 2:00 on when he starts stripping is really something.

  47. Lowetide says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: doesn’t quite hit the bar of “that’ll do”

    did lead me to this hilarious video:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YH5Arbm47IQ

    the part at 2:00 on when he starts stripping is really something.

    Hmm
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1g6nPYyIS_I

  48. Frank The Dog says:

    I’d love to see how Arco compares to Dr Drei age for age. Except of course that Arco is 4’2″ and Drei is 11’9″

  49. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Lowetide: Hmm
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1g6nPYyIS_I

    appealing to my jazz interests now, are you?

    you all may enjoy the thoroughness and abrasiveness of this:

    http://www.jazzoasis.com/methenyonkennyg.htm

  50. Well Oiled and Enthusiastic says:

    Thanks for this Woodguy. Concise and revealing. There is certainly an inset bias towards Arco’s size which just isn’t supported by data or casual observation. The man plays hard and holds his ice.

    What is lost in the commentary often with Arco is that he was a rookie. Same as any rookie. Overwhelmed and nervous on making mistakes. Confidence would be in short supply. He clearly had the rubber stick on his shots on net as he was often anxious and rushed to shoot.

    I think Eakins sucked the confidence out of Arco with the Gagner blunder. Arco was a better player in his first dozen games than I ever witnessed from Gagner in his entire time in Edmonton. Just plays the game better both ways and has hockey smarts. He has something to truly prove this year and his opportunity window continues to narrow. He gets it…..he’s a position holder for Draisaitl but its his opportunity to play in the NHL and get his professional toehold – here or elsewhere. I think he will be a pleasant surprise for many and for a damn affordable price point.

    They may go and get some 2C solution before the start of the year, but I personally don’t see the need. 40+ pts, defensively responsible, hits with consistency, strong on the dot, and light on the pocket book with some nice upside potential. We won’t be leaking with Arco’s line on the ice. Just what is needed until LD is ready for prime time, the centre ice position gets crowded with the young guns bubbling under and the team is ready to run with the bulls.

  51. Woodguy says:

    Back from another excellent meal at RGE RD.

    Thanks for the nice words everyone.

    I really enjoy looking deeper into stuff, I learn so much more as I do it.

    Thanks to LT for the electronic moveable type press so everyone can read it.

  52. Woodguy says:

    Hammers,

    What the hell did Eakins think he was doing . When you see that much movement put on the shoulders of player like Arco ,did he do the same to some of the others . Talk about kneejerk reactions .

    I think he was just trying to plug holes and win hockey games.

    I have a visual image of a Looney Tunes character stretched out over an array of plumbing with every body part covering a different leak, but new leaks springing out anyway.

    As good as Arco was compared to Gagner there is a saying in sports that you don’t lose your spot due to injury.

    That said, Arco was kicking out the jams and Sam started slow so you would hope Arco would get a longer look.

    For the organization to put their $4.8MM 2C back in his spot and run with him wasn’t something we can call them out on I think.

    Leaving him there when the results were bad and demoting Arco is something we can call them out on.

  53. Woodguy says:

    TheOtherJohn:
    Great read WG

    Of the 2 options:Arco or Draisatl I hope it’s Arco playing 2C Would love to see Draisatl “ease” into tough minutes. Expect that doesn’t happen though.

    I don’t think they run DrySaddle at 2C unless there is an injury or he’s killing it.

    I think the coach and GM learned a lot last year.

  54. Woodguy says:

    There is some serious addition by subtraction and addition by addition corgi-wise on the Oilers for 14/15

    Out: Gagner, Jones, Nultz, Eager, Fraser

    In : Arco, Pouliot, Purcell, Fayne, Nikitin

    There’s a whole lot of corgis in the second set of names compared to the first.

    If Ramsay can help Eakins fix the corgi leaks there is lots to be excited about.

  55. Woodguy says:

    blainer:
    First off…great job WG. I felt ok with Arco but have really come around after this read. After reading this I got to thinking there must be comparable players that were like Arco ..then got a chance or break to play. This is the player I compare him to in an optimistic way..Am curious what you and LT think of this comparison. DavidDesharnais. He was up and downwith Hamilton and then at around the same age as Arco is nowhad a wonderful breakout season of 60 pts + 10 with decent possession numbers. Is this the player we could get …maybe ..he is also very similar in size. I say play him with at least one big winger and a scorer maybe yak or ebs…I must say I am coming around a lot on this player.

    I think Desharnais is a great comparable.

    Nice one.

  56. Woodguy says:

    Woodguy:
    There is some serious addition by subtraction and addition by addition corgi-wise on the Oilers for 14/15

    Out: Gagner, Jones, Nultz, Eager, Fraser

    In : Arco, Pouliot, Purcell, Fayne, Nikitin

    There’s a whole lot of corgis in the second set of names compared to the first.

    If Ramsay can help Eakins fix the corgi leaks there is lots to be excited about.

    If Joensuu is pushed down and Gadzic only plays 3min a night for 30 games that will help as well.

  57. slambanna says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: appealing to my jazz interests now, are you?

    you all may enjoy the thoroughness and abrasiveness of this:

    http://www.jazzoasis.com/methenyonkennyg.htm

    That link made my night. I think it should be okay to post a little excerpt. Take note lowetider’s this is how a proper rant is done.

    But when Kenny G decided that it was appropriate for him to defile the music of the man who is probably the greatest jazz musician that has ever lived by spewing his lame-ass, jive, pseudo bluesy, out-of-tune, noodling, wimped out, fucked up playing all over one of the great Louis’s tracks (even one of his lesser ones), he did something that I would not have imagined possible. He, in one move, through his unbelievably pretentious and calloused musical decision to embark on this most cynical of musical paths, shit all over the graves of all the musicians past and present who have risked their lives by going out there on the road for years and years developing their own music inspired by the standards of grace that Louis Armstrong brought to every single note he played over an amazing lifetime as a musician. By disrespecting Louis, his legacy and by default, everyone who has ever tried to do something positive with improvised music and what it can be, Kenny G has created a new low point in modern culture – something that we all should be totally embarrassed about – and afraid of. We ignore this, “let it slide”, at our own peril.

    What a cathartic read. LT I’m hitting the paypal button today. You owe WG and maybe even Rom a beer.

  58. Yeti says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    Kenny G as ‘musical necrophilia’. Now that is acerbic!

  59. haters says:

    Having arco at 2c this year would mean the team is heading in a proper direction. The single most worth while quality about him is that he puts his team first. Always. It was evident in his assist totals and he’s attention to defense. Team players win championships. Selfish players play on bottom feeder teams * ahem *oilers * cough **

  60. theres oil in virginia says:

    I’m off of caffeine (2 days and counting) and I couldn’t finish reading this last night and comment (napped from 5-7 PM and still in bed before midnight), so I’m late.

    Good job, man. It reads like a scientific paper. Very thorough.

    Alright, that was tiring. Time for another nap.

  61. wordbird says:

    Woodguy: If Joensuu is pushed down and Gadzic only plays 3min a night for 30 games that will help as well.

    Yes, this. Adding one more piece from the Winnick/Moss tree surely pushes Gadzooks from “in-the-mix” to “in-the-pressbox”.

  62. Will the Oilers Trade Jeff Petry for a Centre? - The Oilers Rig - The Oilers Rig says:

    […] a post on Lowetide, well-known Oilogosphere contributor “Woodguy” carefully examined Arcobello’s […]

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