RE 14-15 BOYD GORDON: CACTUS TREE

Boyd Gordon had a strong season for the Edmonton Oilers. Asked to face tough opposition and do it from the dungeon, he delivered more offense than expected and did a nice job of damage control. The Oilers enjoyed his performance so much, they’ll ask him to do it again. It’s a helluva way to earn a living.

 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

VOLLMAN SLEDGEHAMMER (CORSI REL)

hall sledge corsi rel

RE 13-14 REVIEW

PPG NAME GP G A PTS
.256 BOYD GORDON RE 13-14 78 5 15 20
.284 BOYD GORDON ACTUAL 13-14 74 8 13 21

RE 14-15 PROJECTED

PPG NAME GP G A PTS
.278 BOYD GORDON RE 14-15 72 5 15 20
 
    1. Gordon’s ZS was severe. Oh my GOD yes. Second toughest among forwards in the entire NHL.
    2. Will the Oilers run a tough zone 4line with Gordon as C as rumored? They can call it the fourth line, but if we add up the TOI one suspects that Gordon will be playing third line minutes, possibly second at even strength.
    3. Who did Gordon run with most last season? Ryan Smyth and Matt Hendricks were the most common linemates. That’s $7.1 million in cap money.
    4. 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.
    5. Any regrets about his handling?Hmmm. Yes. 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.
    6. And then? 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.
    7. 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.
    8. Oh. Yes. Oh.
    9. So, Gordon on the third line? Yes. That’s why the Draisaitl/Arcobello numbers are shy, because Gordon is going to play a lot of minutes. As he should.
    10. What are the lines for your RE? I don’t want to spoil things, but Gordon’s linemates are mostly people you would expect. I nicked Pouliot a shade because he’ll play on that checking line with Gordon sometimes.
    11. What? I’ve said this before, but there will be nights in Chicago or LA when the team is in the game but the 2 and 4 lines are getting caved. I suspect Eakins will run the top line, a Pouliot-Gordon-Hendricks line and then cobble together three veterans from the other two lines (say Perron-Arco-Purcell) and then bench Gazdic and the rest.
    12. So Gordon will play a lot? Some nights I think you’ll see Nuge and Gordon over 20 minutes each, with the other two sharing the final 20. If Arcobello can win the confidence of the coach, then there is less concern. That could happen, although it did not a year ago. Leon is a complete wild card, we may be fretting over nothing. He might waltz into LA the first time and push people around—but counting on that is idiotic.
    13. What does Gordon need to succeed next season? Daniel Winnik or similar. The wowy’s tell us that Gordon-Ryan Smyth had a good time of it relatively speaking (Corsi 5×5 for % of 46.8) and that ‘actual NHL player’ is badly needed on that line.
    14. Matt Hendricks! Sure, and he played far better than I thought he would. Still, you’d like a capable two-way winger who can penalty-kill and get the puck out of the zone under control. Passing. Taking a pass, making a pass. Gordon can do that, he needs a partner in crime he can count on when the guns are running.
    15. Will he get Winnik? I suspect not.
    16. Is there an internal option? There are three. Anton Lander is a defensive player who can also take and make a pass and he can penalty-kill, too. I like him for that slot as we currently stand, but he’ll also be needed for center depth. Tyler Pitlick showed some nice things, and although he lacks experience there seems to be some awareness of Pitlick from coach Dallas Eakins. Sometimes that’s all it takes.
    17. And the third player? Will Acton.
    18. WILL Acton? He’s like a smell that won’t go away.
    19. You are killing me here! Haha. Cool.
    20. What was the quote again? Eakins: “One day he asked if he could sit in on the penalty-killing meeting. Before long, he was on the penalty kill. He’s like a smell that just won’t go away.”
    21. Do you have Will Acton on your RE? That would ruin the surprise.
    22. Does Joni Mitchell have a song called ‘I killed the blogger and ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice chianti?’ No, she’s not that kind of writer.
    23. Boyd Gordon is going to have a difficult year. Yeah, I hope he’s eating his Wheaties.
    24. Why this song? I had a helluva time finding a song for him but decided this one fits the best. I think Cactus Tree is about wanting to do more than one thing with your life and being unable to for a number of reasons. When I think of Gordon I’m reminded of a conversation I had with Sean Brown a few years ago. I asked him about his experience after leaving the NHL and heading to Europe. Brown said he fell in love with the game again, realized how much he missed passing and skating the puck up and being counted on to move the play forward. His NHL job was to be consistent and make the simple play, and finding a bigger role was like a breath of fresh air and he loved it.
    25. So Gordon’s heart is full and hollow like a cactus tree? Gordon has one of the toughest assignments in the NHL and he’s making $3 million a year. No one should feel sorry for him, but it’s a tough road. It would really help if Daniel Winnik could join him, or if Anton Lander turns into something useful.

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35 Responses to "RE 14-15 BOYD GORDON: CACTUS TREE"

  1. Halfwise says:

    > It would really help if Daniel Winnik could join him, or if Anton Lander turns into something useful.

    What is it they say about second and third marriages? The triumph of hope over experience, or something like that.

    One of the many things I appreciate, LT, is your steady hand on the tiller, steering us away from the shoals of hope and into the deeper waters of experience. I’m just a fan, and hope is what fans do, just before the doubt and disappointment. I think you’re saving us from the worst.

  2. nycoil says:

    Oh. Yes. Oh.

    So much this. That’s also what I said when they re-signed him for two years, but I guess having one face-puncher on the roster means at least the team won’t be sending 3rd round picks away to get more Mike Browns, etc.

    Adding Winnik to the 4th line actually does a lot to cover up for the weakness at C. I know that doesn’t sound right at all, but with him around every line could boast some veteran wingers with defensive acumen. It’s clear at this stage Nuge and Gordon are going to be on the ice a ton, the next best thing to adding a 3rd and 4th C who can do that kind of heavy lifting is lightening their burden with some capable wingers:

    Nuge-Hall-Yak
    Draisaitl-Perron-Eberle
    Arco-Pouliot-Purcell
    Gordon-Winnik-Hendricks
    Lander/Gazdic (Play Pitlick 1RW in Oklahoma I guess since I presume they don’t send Gazdic down)

    P.S.-
    Arco (Zuccarello), Pouliot, Purcell (Brassard).

    I know LT has discussed Hagelin. Hagelin is Hagelin and I have a “saw him good” problem with him, i.e. I seem him good too often. I always wanted to pry him from Slats’ grasp, much more than the more famous “power forward” Kreider. Hagelin is a rocket ship and back-checks like a demon.

  3. supernova says:

    When we seen the contract for Gordon everyone said overpaid immediately.

    It is possible in the current setup of the Oil he might actually be underpaid for the task he has at hand.

    My biggest question around Gordon.

    What can the Oilers do if Gordon gets injured for 10+ games? World of hurt

  4. JamesL says:

    I don’t understand why you WOULDN’T sign Winnik. He’s found money at this point — and together with Gordon, a bridge over troubled water. Even on a 1-year deal, the Oilers could move him at the deadline for an asset as a worst case scenario.

  5. wheatnoil says:

    If Lander can do the job on that wing, it cements his future on the team. Play 2 years on Gordon’s wing in the trenches and then get promoted to Captain of the Shit Minutes once Gordon leaves. I agree that Winnik is the smarter bet. I wonder if they’re looking at Lander and wondering if they’ve found their defensive “C” for the cluster.

    Also, in regards to Matt Hendricks, check out his delta-corsi… http://nhlnumbers.com/2014/7/19/dcorsi-introductions

    Given his usage and teammates, his corsi over the last few years has been pretty close to what the expected corsi would be, but there’s a slow trend downwards. We don’t have last year’s data through this lens because he switched teams and the model doesn’t really allow for that. It’s as we expected… he’s been serviceable, but the last couple years on his contract may be a bugger.

  6. wheatnoil says:

    JamesL:
    I don’t understand why you WOULDN’T sign Winnik. He’s found money at this point — and together with Gordon, a bridge over troubled water. Even on a 1-year deal, the Oilers could move him at the deadline for an asset as a worst case scenario.

    A Gordon-Winnik-Lander line would be my preference. Not sure what would realistically happen to Hendricks though.

  7. JamesL says:

    wheatnoil,

    If we signed Winnik, I would have no hesitation trading Hendricks for a 2017 6th round pick or the like. Anything to rid us of his contract.

  8. RexLibris says:

    supernova,

    LT found the article you had asked for. Posted in the previous thread, but I’ve put it here as well just in case.

    http://nhlnumbers.com/2013/5/24/who-are-the-oilers-best-scouts

  9. RexLibris says:

    SIgning Winnik might mean the end of Lander.

    Ideally MacTavish would find a way to sign Winnik and then deal for Cody Eakin. If the Eakin package involved sending away Lander then it would be another sign of gradually moving the roster closer to balance, both in skill and NHL capability.

    The thing about signing Winnik is that at this stage it would almost certainly be on a one-year deal.

    Were Hendricks, Winnik and Gordon to come over the boards for a shift or on the PK…I might actually cry with relief.

  10. nycoil says:

    I think adding a guy like Winnik for say, one-year $1M adds lots of options and, good Gord, depth. The Oilers have just handed jobs to kids and hoped for the best for 8 years now, with limited success, to say the least.

    I don’t think signing WInnik means giving up on Lander or sending him away. There are going to be times when Leon struggles and should have a seat from upstairs to have a view from there. Think LT’s RE on him had 66 games or something? Which seems perfectly reasonable. Everyone is going to get banged up from time to time and the 13th forward on this team is likely going to still play 65+ games. I see Lander in that role. If he then shows he is better than the hired guns like WInnik, fantastic! That’s a win-win-Winnik situation (sorry). Lander wins, the Oilers win from his development, Winnik then gets traded to a contender at the deadline. Happy days all around!

  11. Lloyd B. says:

    •Zone Start: 20% (toughest among regular forwards, 2nd toughest in NHL)
    •Zone Finish: 39.5% (worst among regular forwards)

    ZF is horribIe. Worst on the team. Run the bum out of town ! ( Sorry Jasmine ) I don’t have the time to look it up but a 19.5% uptick in Zone start vs Zone finish is likely one of the highest in the NHL. Get good players…keep good players.

  12. flyfish1168 says:

    I feel Mact tried hard to sign some of these free agents. But if they don’t want to come due to climate, lifestyle or wives than I prefer them not to come due to over payment.

    I due believe Lander will surprise us.

  13. Pouzar says:

    Some here still on the Hendricks contract? *sigh*

    Anyways……

    I talked to a fellow countryman who played against Teddy P in his younger years on the Rock and said
    Teddy was a tiny little 5’5″ kid at the time and obviously avoided the corners at that size. Said he “owned” the puck but was always a target for the bigger less talented kids. Said he had some pops after games with him and that he was an awesome guy. Nothing new here but thought I would pass it along.

  14. Hammers says:

    Lander is getting his shot with Gordon and Pouliot maybe on the other side . Wouldn’t surprise me at all . As for Hendricks he could end up on Arco’s line as the banger & crasher with Purcell . Leon gets Ebs & Perron . I don’t disagree that Gordon gets more minutes but no way he hits 20 a game . I just hope RNH gets less PK minutes .Gazdic is probably out the first 9 games with his injury allowing Leon his initiation . That’s when decision time comes along . Funny thing is Pitlick & Acton may very well be 13 & 14 . Whoever gets any combo with Leon will get 15 + minutes . You find out very little if Leon only gets 10 . Any injuries & Purcell moves up & Pitlic or Acton in . They must find out what they have in Lander and playing with Gordon 15 a night will soon tell them .

  15. gd says:

    I don’t see why Lander can’t become the Ben Smith to Gordon’s Kruger. He is 3 years younger, and seems to have had a similar minor league stat profile, though I think he might not skate quite as well as Smith. I think having Lander compete with Pitlick/Joesnsu for that Dzone RW is a reasonable bet that one of them can handle it.

    I can’t figure out why Winnik is so toxic. He had 5th most F minutes on the West’s best regular season team, yet the Ducks have no desire to sign him, even though they have the cap space, they are cup contenders, they have a guy as prickly as Kesler, and they were willing to sign Heatley. I do think he is a no-brainer for the OIlers to sign if they trade Perron for either Anisimov, Eller or Sutter though.

  16. Hammers says:

    RexLibris: supernova, LT found the article you had asked for. Posted in the previous thread, but I’ve put it here as well just in case.http://nhlnumbers.com/2013/5/24/who-are-the-oilers-best-scouts

    Just reread this article and boy does it point out the Euro group plus more blue than when it was written . I don’t think we get as much from our pro scouts as our junior scouts .

  17. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    “Gordon’s ZS was severe. Oh my GOD yes. Second toughest among forwards in the entire NHL.”

    I’ve got the toughest

    http://www.extraskater.com/players/dashboard?dir=reverse&min_gp=10&sort=zs_pct

    even with a min of only 8 games.

  18. bendelson says:

    Are the Oilers forwards wanting in the PK department this season?
    Gordon, Hendricks, Pouloit(?), Lander(?)

    Am I missing a key component here?
    That seems awfully thin.

  19. JonyPro says:

    What is Matt Hendricks current contract anyway?

  20. bendelson says:

    JonyPro:
    What is Matt Hendricks current contract anyway?

    3 more years.
    I billion dollars (approx.)

  21. Lowetide says:

    Romulus Apotheosis:
    “Gordon’s ZS was severe. Oh my GOD yes. Second toughest among forwards in the entire NHL.”

    I’ve got the toughest

    http://www.extraskater.com/players/dashboard?dir=reverse&min_gp=10&sort=zs_pct

    even with a min of only 8 games.

    http://www.behindthenet.ca/nhl_statistics.php?ds=63&s=63&rs=t&f1=2013_s&f2=5v5&f7=40-&c=0+1+3+5+4+6+7+63+67+57+58+59+60+61+62+64+65+66#

  22. godot10 says:

    I think Hendricks, Lander, and Arcobello should be used as a Kruger-like line, and Gordon given better wingers and more balanced zone starts, to used his face-off ability to help sustain O-zone time.

    Hall, Nugent-Hopkins, Eberle (power vs power)
    Perron, Gordon, Purcell (tough minutes, balanced zone starts)
    Pouliot, Draisaitl, Yakupov (soft minutes, easy zone starts)
    Hendricks, Lander, Arcobello (dzone starts against non first lines of the opposition)
    Gadzic, Pitlick

  23. Lowetide says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: curious. there must be some difference in the data collection (BTN vs ES) to account for that.

    This has happened before, with Vollman. WG pointed out a gap between the two in terms (iirc) quality competition among centermen when I mentioned Zack Smith. Anycase, I use BTN and Vollman, which differ slightly from ES.

  24. bigbadbruin24 says:

    Hard to argue with Gordon’s contribution to the Oilers last season…solid, solid signing. I also agree it would be nice to have Winnik on board as his sidekick…assuming the Oilers have a roster spot available.

    I still believe they have a potential trade brewing elsewhere. I am strongly thinking with the Flyers but also considering the Coyotes and my Bruins as potential options. I thought it was going to be something like Gagner, a minor prospect and a pick for Yandle and Samuelsson. Gagner eventually made it there via other means, lol.

    Anyway, always enjoy the read.

    Cheers

  25. Lowetide says:

    Brandon Sutter isn’t a good idea. I don’t think.

    http://www.puckrant.com/slapshot/SUTTER_HINTS/3811

  26. jp says:

    bendelson:
    Are the Oilers forwards wanting in the PK department this season?
    Gordon, Hendricks, Pouloit(?), Lander(?)

    Am I missing a key component here?
    That seems awfully thin.

    Oilers 4X5 TOI leaders last year (among those who remain) are Gordon, Hendricks, Acton, Lander, Arcobello, RNH (all over 1 min per game). Smyth was the only departed player over 1 min per game. Eberle, Perron and Hall also dabbled. Pouliot and Purcell basically haven’t PKed at all, they likely won’t start now.

    Seems like Arco will be a key component. RNH will probably get a lot more time than we like too. Agreed it looks a little thin, though maybe the plan is for the kids to take a more feature role??

  27. supernova says:

    RexLibris,

    Thanks Rex and LT,

    Personally I think scouts tend to hate fancy stats more than GMs do.

    Scouts spend their life watching, and going from rink to rink in the dead of the winter, talking to everyone from the stick boy to the zamboni driver to the play by play guy.

    Now along comes a guy with a computer who might not have even seen a 60 minute game in his entire life and him and his spreadsheet tells the scout he is wrong.

    I have parked myself in many a small junior hockey rink as close to the scouts as I can and try and listen and look for what they are looking for. Very very interesting. Over the last few years I have seen more scouts holding there own computer and camera then ever before.

    The new wave of scout is doing both.

    The words you here when you are listening are also very interesting. Especially when you have 2 scouts from the same team side by side in Playoff time. Sometimes they love a guy but unless they are willing to sacrifice their job they know the GM will never select a certain player.

    The scout that has the ear of the GM is quite powerful.

  28. JamesL says:

    JonyPro,

    Three more years at $1.85m/per. He’ll be (almost) 36 years old by the end of it.

  29. supernova says:

    Lowetide:
    Brandon Sutter isn’t a good idea. I don’t think.

    http://www.puckrant.com/slapshot/SUTTER_HINTS/3811

    Good article, I would be interested in Sutter for the Oilers dependant on the cost of acquiring and the contract.

    4 years and $15 M is a very solid offer for the player in my opinion. That makes Sam Gagner almost look like a value deal.

    Sutter seems the type of guy who is at the wrong place at the wrong time and hasn’t accept his role.

    To me this sounds like our new Oiler Pouliot.

    Poo has stated quite clearly his game changed once he accepted top 9 instead of top 6.

    Maybe just maybe Sutter comes back to Gods Country and says I am happy to be close to home,I will do whatever it takes to be the best 3rd line Center in the league.

    He has the skills just needs to find the will.

  30. bendelson says:

    jp: Oilers 4X5 TOI leaders last year (among those who remain) are Gordon, Hendricks, Acton, Lander, Arcobello, RNH (all over 1 min per game). Smyth was the only departed player over 1 min per game. Eberle, Perron and Hall also dabbled. Pouliot and Purcell basically haven’t PKed at all, they likely won’t start now.

    Seems like Arco will be a key component. RNH will probably get a lot more time than we like too. Agreed it looks a little thin, though maybe the plan is for the kids to take a more feature role??

    So Pouliot doesn’t penalty kill? It’s worse than I thought.
    Acro and Lander in the mix is one thing. Relying on them to take on top 4 PK minutes is quite another…
    RNH? OK.
    Who was it that was so against the Oilers ‘wasting’ his energy on the PK?

    More reason to suspect a defensively aware 2C/3C is coming… and desperately needed.

  31. bendelson says:

    One more thought about the PK.

    Not a peep about Arco playing this season on the PK from LT (or anyone else) in Arco’s RE post and yet he is penciled in as a go-to-guy on the PK depth chart going into the season?

    He doesn’t sound like a key component to the PK.

  32. gd says:

    Lowetide:
    Brandon Sutter isn’t a good idea. I don’t think.

    http://www.puckrant.com/slapshot/SUTTER_HINTS/3811

    I see what the possession stats say, but if I recall Sutter was one of the Oilogosphere’s favourite target a couple of years ago, as the perfect 3rd line C to RNH/Gagner. He seems like a guy they could be buying low on, he really has had the dregs of Pittsburgh weak depth as his wingers, and he seems like he is around the age where a guy like Cogliano got it, accepts his role, forgets that he is a 1st round pick and makes himself the best 3rd liner possible.

    If I had to rank my picks for the C acquisition and the max I would be willing to trade for him, it would be;

    1. Eakin (Petry and a 2nd)
    2. Anisimov (Perron)
    3. Neisen (Petry and a 3rd)
    4. Eller (Perron)
    5. Sutter (Petry or Perron)
    6. Berglund (2nd and Gernat or Musil)
    no other options: Bailey/Kelly for as low a pick as possible.

  33. Oilers Sign Draisaitl, Center Depth Still Uncertain - Two Pad Stack - Two Pad Stack says:

    […] Gordon – the only other bona-fide NHL center on the roster, Gordon was arguably the team’s MVP this past season.  Tasked with taking on the toughest competition on the worst team in the league, while posting […]

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