RE 14-15 MARK ARCOBELLO: AMELIA

If you love the underdog, Mark Arcobello is for you. Mark Arcobello couldn’t grab an NHL contract when he graduated college. He began his pro career on the lowest rung of the ladder, a minor league contract and a roster spot in the ECHL. Lordy. From there, Arcobello went about the business of passing more heralded players on the way. For Arcobello, time was and is of the essence:  He has less of it and came from farther back. So far, he’s doing just fine.

 MARK ARCOBELLO 13-14

  • 5×5 points per 60: 1.82 (4th among regular forwards)
  • 5×4 points per 60: 2.65 (7th among regular forwards)
  • Qual Comp: 10th toughest among regular forwards (3rd-4th line opp)
  • Qual Team: 5th best teammates among regular forwards (2nd line teammates)
  • Corsi Rel: 6.4 (3rd best among regular forwards)
  • Corsi for % 5×5: 48.1
  • Corsi for % Rel 5×5: +3.7
  • Zone Start: 47.7% (8th toughest among regular forwards)
  • Zone Finish: 39.5% (7th best among regular forwards)
  • Shots on goal/percentage:  70/5.7% (10th among F’s w/70 or more shots)
  • Boxcars: 41, 4-14-18

 VOLLMAN SLEDGEHAMMER (CORSI REL)

hall sledge corsi rel

RE 13-14 REVIEW

PPG NAME GP G A PTS
.320 MARK ARCOBELLO RE 13-14 25 2 6 8
.439 MARK ARCOBELLO ACTUAL 13-14 41 4 14 18

RE 14-15 PROJECTED

PPG NAME GP G A PTS
.468 MARK ARCOBELLO RE 14-15 62 8 21 29
 
  1. What happened last season? Arcobello earned 82 games, he got 41.
  2. Why? Coach Eakins made a lot of errors last season, this was one of them.
  3. Did Eakins have a good reason to abandon Arcobello? Hmmm. I would say no. Arcobello was the better option, even when in OKC.
  4. Can you offer proof? Well, Woodguy already has, here.
  5. Give me the thumbnail. First 13 games, Arcobello looks like he belongs. Oct 27 everyone has a bad game, October 29 Sam Gagner is back and Arco begins sliding down the depth chart. Eakins tries a few things but there’s no trust (plus the coach is drowning, never a good thing for the guy who isn’t established) and he’s down the road long before Valentine’s day. Woodguy’s item is a great read, recommend going over it again if only for the Gazdic effect.
  6. Why would Arcobello return to this? And that’s another thing, why did he sign that low-money deal? It’s a sweet deal for the Oilers. I think Arcobello made the deal because he sees some daylight here, and a chance to win a career in the NHL.
  7. Your RE is low, it should be higher. The trouble with both Draisaitl and Arcobello is they’re sharing (supposedly) the 2line and the 4line jobs, so it’s kind of a wonky deal.
  8. No they aren’t! Look Gordon is probably going to end up being 2nd in C’s total ice time, that’s how this team is going to do it.
  9. What are the combined numbers for Draisaitl and Arcobello? 20-43-63.
  10. You’re so wrong, that’s way too low! What were the combined numbers for Gagner and Arcobello a year ago? 14-41-53.
  11. Those are awful numbers. The less we know, the less sure we can be about RE. Draisaitl may play only 9 games, and there are going to be nights where the coach feels he’s better served by watching from the gondola. There will also be nights where Draisaitl is playing 4line because Arco is on fire (he was hot as Hades in October, remember) and times when the opposite is true.
  12. You don’t have either man grabbing the job. Right.
  13. I am most unhappy with your efforts here. Right.
  14. Do them again! Well, no.
  15. You’re SUCH a tit! I can see either man getting 45-50 points if they were clearly established as the only option at 2line C. That is not the case. 
  16. Uh, HELLO?!?! Three scoring lines? Riiiight. I’ll believe it when I see it. Oilers will have the Nuge line, the Arco/Leon line, the Gordon line and the Gazdic show.
  17. Who would you like to see on Arcobello’s wings? Ideally? Perron and Eberle. He scored well with them at 5×5 (small sample size) and all three players used their head for more than a hat rack. All three can play with skill.
  18. None of them is a driver. One of the key elements for Edmonton this season is to find someone who can push the river aside from Hall. This line (Perron-Arco-Eberle) isn’t perfect—they’re all right-handed—but there’s a chance they can push a little and Arco gives them a reliable center without the puck.
  19. Is that the pairing you’d like for Leon as well? Yes. For different reasons, but yes.
  20. What are those reasons? Well, just as Horcoff mentored Hall and Eberle as rookies, Leon’s step into  the NHL would be best served by having creative, veteran wingers who know what they’re doing. Purcell would also work, and Pouliot too although I suspect he ends up on the Gordon line with Hendricks.
  21. Back to Arcobello. Would you be shocked to see him score 50 points? Yes.
  22. More shocked to see him score 50, or Leon score 50? Arcobello.
  23. ASS! I knew you hated him! I don’t hate him, just not convinced he possesses that kind of offensive ability. He can play on my team any day.
  24. Until something better comes along? I don’t believe you have a championship calibre team if Mark Arcobello plays 2line C.
  25. You don’t really like him do you? I really like him, he’s found money—the best kind. This is our annual trip to reasonable, and I don’t think he wins the job outright from the big kid from Germany.
  26. Why this song? It’s about dreaming , being alone, restless, and in places uncharted. That’s Mark Arcobello. There’s no template, he’s a solo dash vapor trail across the bleak terrain, and a wonder in his own right.

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45 Responses to "RE 14-15 MARK ARCOBELLO: AMELIA"

  1. Halfwise says:

    ArcoLeon Dynamite. The outsider ends up tying all the loose ends together.

    Of course, I live in a parallel universe.

  2. tcho says:

    Well, if you can’t cling to optimism & hope as an Oilers fan through this last decade…

    I am cautiously optimistic that Arco is actually going to be a good fit at 2C. And, if he proves not to be, that MacT can make a trade for a good bridge guy. It’s a defensible line of thinking, anyway.

    I’m cheering like hell for the guy anyways.

  3. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    “Why? Coach Eakins made a lot of errors last season, this was one of them.
    Did Eakins have a good reason to abandon Arcobello? Hmmm. I would say no. Arcobello was the better option, even when in OKC.”

    Correction: part of this (the lack of NHL games) is due to Arco’s injuries. And, a bigger part is due to Mgt. feeling the Barons making the playoffs (which, recall, was very, very far from certain very late in the campaign) was vital.

    MacT said as much himself:

    http://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=26833

    They’re in a playoff race now, they’ve played very well the last little while so it really is a discussion on how long we’re going to let them try and keep themselves in the race or maybe get themselves in the playoffs and then the benefit of getting them ultimately up here and have a look and give them some experience.

  4. Lowetide says:

    By the way, I’m back on the radio today! Noon to 2pm, Saturday Sports Extra Guests include Steve Lansky, Jeff Hauser (NFL) and Darrin Bauming from TSN Winnipeg. I’ll also re-play an interview with Kyle Dubas of the Sault ste. Marie Greyhounds Paul and I did back in May (it’s about Darnell Nurse, advanced numbers and the draft).

  5. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    “Why would Arcobello return to this? And that’s another thing, why did he sign that low-money deal? It’s a sweet deal for the Oilers. I think Arcobello made the deal because he sees some daylight here, and a chance to win a career in the NHL.”

    I love the deal from an Oilers’ perspective… but we should be careful about assuming Arco left money on the table. Maybe he did… but we don’t really have any insight into how the NHL market would treat him, if at all.

    I wouldn’t have been surprised to see him take a Euro contract if he and the Oil never came to terms.

  6. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    “Who would you like to see on Arcobello’s wings? Ideally? Perron and Eberle.”

    Does this idealistic vision of the future include an all #1 OV first line? Must, if I’m reading the tea leaves right here.

  7. Pouzar says:

    I think Arco is an honest to gord hockey player. I will be cheering for him big time. Just hope he gets the top 9 forward push to prove it.

  8. Lowetide says:

    Romulus Apotheosis:
    “Who would you like to see on Arcobello’s wings? Ideally? Perron and Eberle.”

    Does this idealistic vision of the future include an all #1 OV first line? Must, if I’m reading the tea leaves right here.

    It’ll come up in the look at Yakupov next week, but the Russian did some really good things when on the ice with Hall. No. 4 is passer and finisher, but the idea of having a hammer on the 1line like Yakupov is pretty compelling.

  9. Seymore says:

    I just don’t see Pouliot on the same line as Gordon. They will need him to help Arco or LD push the river. Pinzy or Pitzy will most likely line up with Gordon and Hendricks. Joensuu or Pakarinen have things to prove so look for them to surprise.

  10. gd says:

    I feel confident in saying, especially after WG’s writeup that Arco is a legit NHL top 9 F, and the Oilers have 9 legit top 9 F, including Leon, plus an elite Dzone C in Gordon. Unfortunately I don’t believe he close to being a 2nd line C. The tradeable assets that the Oilers have for this offseason are Perron, Petry and 2015 2nd round pick. I believe some combo of those can get the Oilers one of Anisimov, Eller, Bergland, Vermette, Eakin, Neilsen, Sutter. Then I feel the Oilers top 9 would be legit in the top half of the league, including Arco, plus a sheltered Leon.

    I think the acquired skilled, size this offseason means Arco is a better fit now than he was last season, and my gut says he is at least in the ballpark of being as effective or better than guys like Roy/Jokinen/Legwand/Robiero. Arco is just another guy that Eakins needs to figure out how to better utilize this year.

  11. Hammers says:

    so Yak on the 1st line with RNH & Hall . Probably worth trying . Do you see Purcell & Pouliot with Gordon if you have Ebbs & Perron with Arco . That gives us Leon with Hendricks & Pitlick/ Lander . No wonder you gave Leon an RE of 34 . Question how would Arco only get 21 assists if he played with Perron & Ebs . Love your RE series but would prefer line by line so we can see what your thinking is instead of guessing like I just did .

  12. Marc says:

    Romulus Apotheosis:
    “Why? Coach Eakins made a lot of errors last season, this was one of them.
    Did Eakins have a good reason to abandon Arcobello? Hmmm. I would say no. Arcobello was the better option, even when in OKC.”

    Correction: part of this (the lack of NHL games) is due to Arco’s injuries. And, a bigger part is due to Mgt. feeling the Barons making the playoffs (which, recall, was very, very far from certain very late in the campaign) was vital.

    MacT said as much himself:

    http://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=26833

    I suspect that keeping him from becoming waiver eligible also played a role. He is ten games from needing to clear waivers, and they sent him down ten games before the trade deadline. If they kept him in Edmonton for those games then he would have had to clear waivers when they sent him to OKC at the trade deadline to be eligible for their playoff roster. They was a real risk that he would have been claimed.

    I really don’t get all the criticism of the OIlers’ handling of Arcobello last season. It is sound asset management to take steps to avoid losing a promising player for nothing. It benefited all of the Oilers’ prospects in OKC to make the playoffs, which they almost certainly wouldn’t have done without Arcobello on the team for the second half of the season.

    By January it was already clear that the Oilers’ season was a lost cause, so it wasn’t like keeping Arcobello on the team was the difference between them making the playoffs and not. They may have made the team marginally less effective by keeping Arcobello in OKC for the second half of the season, but by doing so they didn’t lose him for nothing, got their farm team in the playoffs and still managed to resign him for another year.

    What exactly have they done wrong here? Seems like a series of solid management decisions to me.

  13. nycoil says:

    Lowetide: It’ll come up in the look at Yakupov next week, but the Russian did some really good things when on the ice with Hall. No. 4 is passer and finisher, but the idea of having a hammer on the 1line like Yakupov is pretty compelling.

    LT, you and I had this very same discussion a year ago. And it barely happened. Any new tea leaves that hint that this may finally happen?

    P.S. #20- we are on the same page here. If they are trying to form a heavy-lifting line with Gordon-Hendricks as 2/3 of it, the guy most capable of handling the job, in my opinion is Pouliot (which will hurt his offense), and send the MSM and average fan into a tizzy over spending $4M per season on a 9-goal, 30 point 4th line winger who takes a lot of penalties, and for the Oilers spending nearly $10M on the 4th line. Ah the joys of being an Oiler fan!

    Great song choice for Arco. I am rooting for him but agree with you that if an upgrade is available they need to pounce nonetheless.

  14. nycoil says:

    Lowetide:
    BREAKING UP IS HARD TO DO

    http://oilersnation.com/2014/7/26/breaking-up-is-hard-to-do

    It looks good to me. Is Eakins going to try that for long when the trade-off could be between long-term success and development for Yak and the team as a whole vs. the short-term trade-off of possibly less goals/wins and the possible loss of his job?

  15. Frank The Dog says:

    If we did not have Drai I’d say put him with Nuge. But with a solid #1 line in place let them draw the top D, and put Pouliot, Drai and Yak together on a soft minutes line to grow together.

  16. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Lowetide:
    BREAKING UP IS HARD TO DO

    http://oilersnation.com/2014/7/26/breaking-up-is-hard-to-do

    And so it comes through.

    I suspect, like this past year, we might be in for an informal set of lines. Until Leon is ready, I just don’t see the stability of roster needed to set lines.

    Or, I think Eakins will probably (at the top) swing back and forth between: “They can’t just rely on Hall… someone else has to score, we need to find scoring up and down the lines” and “we needed offence, I had no choice but to go back to RNH-Hall-Eberle”

  17. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Marc: I suspect that keeping him from becoming waiver eligible also played a role. He is ten games from needing to clear waivers, and they sent him down ten games before the trade deadline. If they kept him in Edmonton for those games then he would have had to clear waivers when they sent him to OKC at the trade deadline to be eligible for their playoff roster. They was a real risk that he would have been claimed.

    I really don’t get all the criticism of the OIlers’ handling of Arcobello last season. It is sound asset management to take steps to avoid losing a promising player for nothing. It benefited all of the Oilers’ prospects in OKC to make the playoffs, which they almost certainly wouldn’t have done without Arcobello on the team for the second half of the season.

    By January it was already clear that the Oilers’ season was a lost cause, so it wasn’t like keeping Arcobello on the team was the difference between them making the playoffs and not. They may have made the team marginally less effective by keeping Arcobello in OKC for the second half of the season, but by doing so they didn’t lose him for nothing, got their farm team in the playoffs and still managed to resign him for another year.

    What exactly have they done wrong here?Seems like a series of solid management decisions to me.

    I forgot about the waiver situation. Is that the right number of games?

    At any rate, I don’t think it is as clear cut as you suggest here. I think you can make a solid argument that Arco should have been in the NHL late in the year.

    And, I think when Gagner came back, fiddling with Arco was a mistake. Eakins/MacT missed an opportunity to shut Gagner back down for a time and/or run Arco at 3C

  18. RexLibris says:

    Lowetide:
    BREAKING UP IS HARD TO DO

    http://oilersnation.com/2014/7/26/breaking-up-is-hard-to-do

    I like this way of approaching the roster.

    Also, we’ve discussed Hall’s defensive abilities on the wing and Nugent-Hopkins’ defensive prowess down the middle.

    This is apparently Yakupov’s big shortcoming, so maybe by being paired with those two he can both learn and be sheltered a little bit on his line.

    Maybe he sees Hall’s backchecking and realizes that Eakins doesn’t necessarily need him to skate 200 ft and stand in his own crease every time the opposition gets the puck, but just hustle back, pick up your man and stay in the lanes.

    Also, Eberle and Perron may not have the best chemistry on paper right now, but I think their games could work well enough together and at some point it is incumbent upon the players to find a way to make their games work.

    Mostly, I just really love that 3rd line of Pouliot – Arcobello – Purcell. That is some very nice depth and Arcobello/Pouliot are both terrific possession players against secondary competition. Size, skill, speed and smarts on a line. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if they could make that work.

  19. RexLibris says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: And so it comes through.

    I suspect, like this past year, we might be in for an informal set of lines. Until Leon is ready, I just don’t see the stability of roster needed to set lines.

    Or, I think Eakins will probably (at the top) swing back and forth between: “They can’t just rely on Hall… someone else has to score, we need to find scoring up and down the lines” and “we needed offence, I had no choice but to go back to RNH-Hall-Eberle”

    I think there is now a collection of forwards who have played together often enough that we could expect some significant tinkering without any serious setbacks (at least not on a team that routinely finishes in the bottom of the league). Perron, Eberle, Hall, Nugent-Hopkins should be able to slide around the top six and mix and match to allow for some flexibility when it comes to the last two top-6 spots, be they filled by Arcobello, Draisaitl, or Yakupov.

  20. Henry says:

    nycoil: LT, you and I had this very same discussion a year ago. And it barely happened. Any new tea leaves that hint that this may finally happen?

    P.S. #20- we are on the same page here. If they are trying to form a heavy-lifting line with Gordon-Hendricks as 2/3 of it, the guy most capable of handling the job, in my opinion is Pouliot (which will hurt his offense), and send the MSM and average fan into a tizzy over spending $4M per season on a 9-goal, 30 point 4th line winger who takes a lot of penalties, and for the Oilers spending nearly $10M on the 4th line. Ah the joys of being an Oiler fan!

    Great song choice for Arco. I am rooting for him but agree with you that if an upgrade is available they need to pounce nonetheless.

    nycoil,

    Pouliot would be fine with Gordon, but it might be a better use for Lander. Pouliot can add some needed size to a line with Arcobello. Yakupov might fit in there too on the road. They can shelter a Yak and Leon combo at home with Perron.

  21. Lowetide says:

    nycoil: LT, you and I had this very same discussion a year ago. And it barely happened. Any new tea leaves that hint that this may finally happen?

    P.S. #20- we are on the same page here. If they are trying to form a heavy-lifting line with Gordon-Hendricks as 2/3 of it, the guy most capable of handling the job, in my opinion is Pouliot (which will hurt his offense), and send the MSM and average fan into a tizzy over spending $4M per season on a 9-goal, 30 point 4th line winger who takes a lot of penalties, and for the Oilers spending nearly $10M on the 4th line. Ah the joys of being an Oiler fan!

    Great song choice for Arco. I am rooting for him but agree with you that if an upgrade is available they need to pounce nonetheless.

    The absence of alternative clears the mind. Eakins is going to cast about looking for answers, and two of them can be solved by putting Yakupov (struggling player in need of confidence) in place of Eberle (who should help the scoring by pushing on a second line).

    But there’s no verbal I’ve seen suggesting they are thinking this way.

  22. Henry says:

    Marc: I suspect that keeping him from becoming waiver eligible also played a role. He is ten games from needing to clear waivers, and they sent him down ten games before the trade deadline. If they kept him in Edmonton for those games then he would have had to clear waivers when they sent him to OKC at the trade deadline to be eligible for their playoff roster. They was a real risk that he would have been claimed.

    I really don’t get all the criticism of the OIlers’ handling of Arcobello last season. It is sound asset management to take steps to avoid losing a promising player for nothing. It benefited all of the Oilers’ prospects in OKC to make the playoffs, which they almost certainly wouldn’t have done without Arcobello on the team for the second half of the season.

    By January it was already clear that the Oilers’ season was a lost cause, so it wasn’t like keeping Arcobello on the team was the difference between them making the playoffs and not. They may have made the team marginally less effective by keeping Arcobello in OKC for the second half of the season, but by doing so they didn’t lose him for nothing, got their farm team in the playoffs and still managed to resign him for another year.

    What exactly have they done wrong here?Seems like a series of solid management decisions to me.

    Sending him down made some sense in that they wanted to look at Lander and make a call on him and the season was well lost already. It sucked for Arcobello unless he was told that he was in the plans for the next season and they wanted him to lead OKC into the playoffs. Apparently he was in the plans.

    Sending him to the PB and the fourth line when Gagner was obviously struggling with his face and confidence was the big mistake. Eakins had problems everywhere in November (he was headed to a 4-15 record) and missed this call.

    Arcobello is a utility infielder and sometimes those guys have long careers by being smart and ready. I love the guy.

  23. Marc says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: I forgot about the waiver situation. Is that the right number of games?

    At any rate, I don’t think it is as clear cut as you suggest here. I think you can make a solid argument that Arco should have been in the NHL late in the year.

    And, I think when Gagner came back, fiddling with Arco was a mistake. Eakins/MacT missed an opportunity to shut Gagner back down for a time and/or run Arco at 3C

    His magic number for losing waiver exemption was 52 NHL games as per Capgeek. He has played 42 career games to date and got sent down exactly 10 games before the trade deadline. I don’t think this was a coincidence.

    He could have been called up for up to 9 games late in the season (remember that players can still be claimed on waivers after the trade deadline, they just can’t be included on a playoff roster) – I suspect that was actually the plan when they sent him down. But given how perilous OKC’s playoff situation was (they didn’t qualify till the final weekend of the regular season IIRC) there would have been a real risk that OKC wouldn’t have made the playoffs without him.

    Is whatever incremental benefit to either Arcobello or the Oilers of him playing 9 meaningless regular season games worth the risk of not getting the other OKC prospects some playoff action?

    I don’t think you can criticise the Oilers for deciding that it was not.

  24. gogliano says:

    Lowetide:
    BREAKING UP IS HARD TO DO

    http://oilersnation.com/2014/7/26/breaking-up-is-hard-to-do

    The Edmonton Oilers: Where spreading the wealth means a #1 line composed of 3 first overall draft picks.

  25. russ99 says:

    That was a fair assessment of Arco. I’d prefer we have better options (thats with an “s”) than Arco at center, but he’s shown he can at least put up replacement level in a pinch and could give us close to the same level on the 4th line as Glencross did with the best 4th line I’ve ever seen.

    Also, some people are forgetting that the Oilers were one of the most injury-stricken NHL teams the last few years. That’s not going to go away. May be lessened due to the law of averages, but it’s impossible to complete a season with 12 forwards, 6 defensemen and 2 goalies all healthy.

    We need players like Arco and Lander to fill in, but I’d also love to see us get a skilled forward in OKC over the next year or two to take up some slack if any of the top 6 get hurt.

  26. gogliano says:

    Arco signing the deal is the best indication we have that he felt he had a future with the team. He seems like a smart guy and if he thought Eakins and MacT didn’t have him slotted in the NHL with some playing time I’m sure he could and would have went elsewhere.

    So I suspect his demotion must have included words about his long term role with the organization. He can be 4C on a cup contending team. A better Rem the Gem for 2016.

  27. gd says:

    Lowetide:
    BREAKING UP IS HARD TO DO

    http://oilersnation.com/2014/7/26/breaking-up-is-hard-to-do

    One thing the acquiring of Pouliot and Purcell accomplish is that Eakins will have a lot more flexibility with his lines as we now have lots of guys that can play either wing and move up and down the roster. As much as that hole at C is stressing us out, the team now has at minimum top 5 in the league Left Wingers, top 5 in the league DZone C, and top half in league Right Wingers (as long as Yak has a half decent year). So as long as Eakins/Acton/Ramsay have some degree of competence in deploying the forwards, they should be competitive with most teams, except those with two elite C, like Anaheim and LA.

    Every team in the salary cap era has holes. Chicago came within OT in game 7 of winning two cups in a row with Handzus as 2nd line C, Crawford in net and a 5th and 6th Dman that they didn’t trust in many situations. At least the Oilers should now have 18 legit NHLers on their opening night roster for the first time since 2006.

  28. Lowetide says:

    the other thing about these projections at center is that they will change if the Oilers acquire a Cody Eakin.

  29. VanOil says:

    Hall-RNH-Yak We’re #1, We’re #1
    Perron-Arco-Eberle Devo line: Whippet(s), Whippet real good http://youtu.be/Xbt30UnzRWw
    Pouliot, Draisaitl, Purcell DaftPunk line: Bigger, Faster, Stronger http://youtu.be/gAjR4_CbPpQ

  30. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Lowetide:
    the other thing about these projections at center is that they will change if the Oilers acquire a Cody Eakin.

    have you ever considered doing REs for first and second round picks headed back to the CHL?

    I realize that would be a lot of work. But, I’d be curious to hear your take on LD or Roy or Chase for next year on the assumption they play the full year in the CHL.

  31. G Money says:

    RexLibris: Also, we’ve discussed Hall’s defensive abilities on the wing and Nugent-Hopkins’ defensive prowess down the middle.
    This is apparently Yakupov’s big shortcoming, so maybe by being paired with those two he can both learn and be sheltered a little bit on his line.

    Lowetide: Eakins is going to cast about looking for answers, and two of them can be solved by putting Yakupov (struggling player in need of confidence) in place of Eberle (who should help the scoring by pushing on a second line).

    I think the key to next year for Yak is less about Yak’s teammates (though they matter of course), and more about Eakins figuring out what happened to Yak that put his season into the toilet after an excellent start.

    Yeah, that’s right, you heard me – excellent start!

    Jon Willis did a nice deconstruction (http://blogs.edmontonjournal.com/2014/05/01/is-nail-yakupov-on-his-way-out-of-the-edmonton-oilers-organization/) on Yak’s sh% and sv% i.e. PDO i.e. luck contrast the last two seasons, and showed that if you took last years PDO and applied it to Yak’s first season, you took an even +- player and made him -37. Without changing even a single Corgi bark!

    I noticed something interesting in Jon’s article – the odd trend in Yak’s rolling Corsi, and deconstructed that further: http://www.coppernblue.com/2014/5/3/5677352/the-two-weeks-that-wrecked-yak

    Basically, Yak was lighting it up Corsi-wise until December. He was positive Corsi, positive CorsiRel, and trending UP to boot through the first 30ish games of the season. He finished that string with a tremendous three (out of five) 5×5 CF% games:
    83% against the Coyotes
    100% (!!) CF% against the Flames (that’s on 12 CF, so no minor occurrence – this guy’s going to be a true Oiler, a Flames Killer, when he gets untracked)
    64% against the Big Bad Bruins

    Then something happened.

    His game went completely off the rails in the last two weeks of December. After that brilliant 100% CF game against Calgary, Yak posted a 0% CF against Philly just two weeks later.

    He never recovered. The rest of his season his Corsi, CorsiRel, and trend were all negative.

    Even if you don’t read either article, it’s worth looking at the chart: http://cdn2.vox-cdn.com/imported_assets/2179613/Mdw77mj.png

    This change did NOT coincide with anything specific that I can find. Not the Western Conference. Not Gagner’s return. Not the shortie. Not MacT’s “Yak is going to fail” headline.

    I’d bet it’s either injury or a change in usage or system i.e. coaching.

    Whatever happened, I can tell you this:

    If Eakins can figure it out and/or when that injury heals, if Yak can match or improve on his early season Corsi and marry it with a decent sv% and sh% – watch out. He’s going to blow the doors off. I think he will.

    And suddenly everyone’s going to remember why he was a #1 pick, and nonsense like “doesn’t have hockey sense” will suddenly revise to “sophomore slump – I knew it all along”.

  32. PhrankLee says:

    My worry from the beginning of last year is that we would offload Sam without replacing the production with proven NHL caliber C. I have read a few articles now about rushing youngsters and Sam’s name is always in there as an example of what not to do with your young, upcoming stars. So we admit that mistake for a while now almost casually for a few years and it became awkward, like a fart in the elevator, for Sam in Edmonton.. boom he’s gone and now we want to slot our, #3 pick, gifted from heaven above, on the second line!! In the Western Conference!? This is turning into another crisis before the season begins. Problem is it’s the same crisis we created in Sam Gagner the NHL player. I am pretty baffled even if amused at the irony.

  33. speeds says:

    I know lots of the posters here are stats guys, but I do half-wonder if the “not enough offence” tag comes from Arco missing some chances at the start of the year.

    Yes, many identified Yakupov’s high shooting percentage as something that might come down, but I haven’t heard much about the idea that Arco’s might rise.

    Does him missing some chances mean he can’t finish at the NHL level? It might.

    Might it also be a sample size issue? Possibly.

  34. Lloyd B. says:

    G Money,

    I recall an Article that Dellow did that showed a dramatic change in face off percentage around the middle of December. I think he even identified the date and game. Perhaps Yakopovs fall off at the same time is related to the same strategy change. Unless you believe in coinsidence.

  35. Lowetide says:

    speeds:
    I know lots of the posters here are stats guys, but I do half-wonder if the “not enough offence” tag comes from Arco missing some chances at the start of the year.

    Yes, many identified Yakupov’s high shooting percentage as something that might come down, but I haven’t heard much about the idea that Arco’s might rise.

    Does him missing some chances mean he can’t finish at the NHL level?It might.

    Might it also be a sample size issue?Possibly.

    Shooting percentage should improve, but I’m not sure his shot is going to get him into a big number for shooting percentage. outer marker 15 goals? 20?

  36. Henry says:

    Lowetide,

    If he gets 15 goals at even and short, we’ll be pretty happy I suspect.

    If Arco sees a lot of PP, there will have been a lot of injuries. Bad news.

  37. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Lowetide: Shooting percentage should improve, but I’m not sure his shot is going to get him into a big number for shooting percentage. outer marker 15 goals? 20?

    Careful now, that’s Gagner territory.

  38. Lowetide says:

    Bruce McCurdy: Careful now, that’s Gagner territory.

    lol.

  39. G Money says:

    Lloyd B.,

    Yeah, that would be a logical conclusion. As I recall, Dellow’s articles focused on RNH and Gagner (he didn’t see the same drop for e.g. Gordon), but that would certainly affect Yak in a big way whenever he was centred by Gags.

    The baffling part is the CorsiRel, which also fell in a big way.

    In other words, Yak wasn’t just performing worse against the other team a la Dellow, he was also performing worse against his own teammates. That’s part of the mystery.

    Now you could argue that the change in faceoff strategy post Dec 7 had a worse effect on Yak because, as a virtual rookie (basically 80 games into his career at that point) the strategy change left him more confused as to what to do than others, who had encountered different strategies and were more able to adapt. That confusion would coincide with what the eye saw many nights.

    Or … it could be the injury.

    Either way, as I said in my article and post – it is critical that the Oilers and Eakins in particular understand what happened and figure out how to address the situation.

    To also bring it full-circle in terms of the topic of the day, Arco – that same faceoff strategy change may very well have affected him as well, which would also play into the “two distinct halves” effect we also saw with Arco’s scoring.

  40. G Money says:

    speeds,

    I went and looked at Arco’s game by game shooting percentage to see if I could identify a trend.

    It kind of made me laugh to be honest.

    Arco’s sh% was consistently zero in every game he played except for the three games where he scored goals. His sh% there was 50% (2 on 4), 20% (1 on 5), and 100% (1 on 1)! That’s where his total of 4.1% for the year came from.

    In other words, that data doesn’t give you much to *really* argue sh% reversion one way or the other.

    Rolling in his AHL stats, he shot 18% this season in just 15 games this year, but shot around 10% his previous two full seasons.

    I’m sure part of his sh% increase is that he really has matured as a player, and so he’s getting more and better looks. But there’s no way his 18% is sustainable either. Small sample size as you say.

    There’s not much definitive you could say about his shooting at this point. BUT if I were a betting man, I would say you might expect maybe 8% as reasonable (50% of his AHL %), which would have put him at 5 or 6 goals instead of 4. 10 to 12 goals over a full season.

    I’d say he’s not now and never going to be an NHL sniper!

  41. jb says:

    Marc: I suspect that keeping him from becoming waiver eligible also played a role. He is ten games from needing to clear waivers, and they sent him down ten games before the trade deadline. If they kept him in Edmonton for those games then he would have had to clear waivers when they sent him to OKC at the trade deadline to be eligible for their playoff roster. They was a real risk that he would have been claimed.

    I really don’t get all the criticism of the OIlers’ handling of Arcobello last season. It is sound asset management to take steps to avoid losing a promising player for nothing. It benefited all of the Oilers’ prospects in OKC to make the playoffs, which they almost certainly wouldn’t have done without Arcobello on the team for the second half of the season.

    By January it was already clear that the Oilers’ season was a lost cause, so it wasn’t like keeping Arcobello on the team was the difference between them making the playoffs and not. They may have made the team marginally less effective by keeping Arcobello in OKC for the second half of the season, but by doing so they didn’t lose him for nothing, got their farm team in the playoffs and still managed to resign him for another year.

    What exactly have they done wrong here?Seems like a series of solid management decisions to me.

    Arco was good enough to stay 2C, it just wasn’t about him. The load was put on Gagner to make a decision on his future. The only thing I don’t like about Arco is his 1 yr contract and the potential for him to get some points as a full time 2C.

  42. Old School G says:

    Something I think. Emphasis on the think, is certain, is that if you bump Yak City to the 1Line he will deliver. We know what Chance and The Nuge offer every night. A confident Yak will be a nightmare for opponents, he’ll be a check-finishing, one-timing, feet moving, marking his man up and down the ice, player. I fully think I believe this and think good things are coming in this area, it will click, he’s too good.

    On Arco. I think much the same about him on the 2Line, it will click. I think showing confidence in him and taking advantage of his 2-way game will be a perfect fit on the 2Line, he just needs to keep the puck moving in the right direction out there, he’s good at that. We have the wingers that can shoulder the load up front for the first time in a while. Ebs is a beauty he’ll play wherever and be just fine, reliable player. This is looking like an almost middle of the pack hockey club.

    Young Leon is a story that is just too good, I cannot believe how this worked out for us. I’m trying to be realistic but he was picked at #3 overall, my imagination is running. On this summer day, I think he’s more than capable of 3L W/C, 2 Unit PP, a bit of time on the 2Line when the opposition allows it, a little time up in the press box with Rocky when the opposition calls for it, player this season.

    Basically, I truly think, I believe that for the first time in a while it’s all good, injuries can’t be predicted but the team is maturing and more able to adapt to adversity each season.

    Where’s the kool-aid jug now? Cup’s almost empty.

  43. Seymore says:

    Why do so many people keep talking about bringing in a Center. It is not going to happen !! Only if you bring in someone on a one year deal is it going to work. Look at Cap geek, After we sign LD and Shultz there is not much money left. Next year we have to resign Yak and Marincin, If Yak has a half decent as well as Marincin someone significant is going to have to be let go. Most likely Petry and hope one of the rookies can fill the gap for the cheap. Basic Math.

  44. godot10 says:

    Kane is average defensively. Most of the time, for Chicago, that means it is best to not play him with Toews, so he plays weaker competition, while Toews and Hossa face the toughest minutes.

    Yet people here want to play Yakupov, who is still pathetically weak defensively against the toughest opposition by playing him with Hall. This is a poor tactical use of both Hall and Yakupov.

    Hall is going to attract the best of the opposing team. The Oilers should give him the best linemates, not players, like Yakupov, who are still learning to play.

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