I’LL SEE YOU ON THE DARK SIDE OF THE MOON

This afternoon we got word the Justin Schultz contract soap opera will soon come to and end (could be tonight, might be tomorrow). It’s about damn time, and even though the concern was minimal, it’s always good to have everyone arrive at camp at the same time. Any lag in readiness seems to anger the hockey gods, and the Oilers often pay double in the karma department.

bartel schultz

Bartel is the PBP guy for the Kelowna Rockets, and an absolutely credible source. The details of the gap between the two sides was a steady leak all through summer (thanks, Matty!) and the fact they’re close suggests it’ll be short term and for lesser dollars.

PROJECTED DEPTH CHART 2014-15 BLUE

LEFT DEFENSE RIGHT DEFENSE
MARTIN MARINCIN (730k) JEFF PETRY (3.075M)
NIKITA NIKITIN (4.5M) MARK FAYNE (3.625M)
ANDREW FERENCE (3.25M) JUSTIN SCHULTZ (???)
KEITH AULIE (800k) OSCAR KLEFBOM ($894,167)

This makes the most sense to me, and of course we’ve discussed it previously. Rob Vollman (who will be my guest tomorrow on the Lowdown for the entire hour 11-noon) writes something similar in his Hockey Abstract 2014:

  • Vollman: Justin Schultz could nicely fill a Keith Yandle or Torey Krug type of role as a big-minutes but sheltered puck-moving defenceman, a situation in which Andrew Ference might still remain a positive contributor as support.

It just makes too much sense! Extreme zone starts for that pairing, punishing ZS’s for the other two. Keep Ference and Schultz far from the madding crowd! The only reason not to do it? You don’t trust Andrew Ference enough, and that’s an argument I will buy. A year ago, Dallas Eakins didn’t use Ference or Schultz in this way:

VOLLMAN SLEDGEHAMMER 2013-14 OILERS BLUE

vollman sledge blue 13-14If you could get Schultz over to the Larsen side, or a 55 Vollman ZS, with even easier opposition than last season? Music! Keep Petry and Marincin where they are, and plot Fayne and Nikitin somewhere along between the two pairings. I get that Marincin is unproven, and I understand Nikitin was being used less and less in Columbus. I still prefer those two men on the dark side of the moon and Schultz shining like a crazy diamond.

 

written by

The author didn‘t add any Information to his profile yet.
Related Posts

38 Responses to "I’LL SEE YOU ON THE DARK SIDE OF THE MOON"

  1. godot10 says:

    I don’t think Ference can handle playing with a chaos defensemen. Even in Boston, I think he played best with another veteran non-chaos D.

    If it is the expected six, I think they run:

    Marincin, Petry
    Ference, Fayne
    Nikitin, Schultz

    And then give Nikitin and Schultz very few D-zone starts.

  2. OF17 says:

    godot10:
    I don’t think Ference can handle playing with a chaos defensemen. Even in Boston, I think he played best with another veteran non-chaos D.

    If it is the expected six, I think they run:

    Marincin, Petry
    Ference, Fayne
    Nikitin, Schultz

    And then give Nikitin and Schultz very few D-zone starts.

    If Ference and Fayne can move the puck sufficiently, I like those pairings. I’m somewhat worried about putting too much offense into one basket, but it could work out great if Nikitin-Schultz are put into extremely offensive situations.

  3. Lowetide says:

    godot10:
    I don’t think Ference can handle playing with a chaos defensemen. Even in Boston, I think he played best with another veteran non-chaos D.

    If it is the expected six, I think they run:

    Marincin, Petry
    Ference, Fayne
    Nikitin, Schultz

    And then give Nikitin and Schultz very few D-zone starts.

    I’m not familiar enough with Fayne to know if he can move the puck extremely well. Also, Fayne’s pairing are going to face the absolute toughs. I don’t believe Ference can do it.

  4. Manitoba Oilers says:

    godot10:
    I don’t think Ference can handle playing with a chaos defensemen. Even in Boston, I think he played best with another veteran non-chaos D.

    If it is the expected six, I think they run:

    Marincin, Petry
    Ference, Fayne
    Nikitin, Schultz

    And then give Nikitin and Schultz very few D-zone starts.

    Ference shouldn’t be an nhl player let alone on the second pair. The only thing that will keep him playing for the oilers Is his NMC and the C on his chest

  5. eidy says:

    Shorter term, reasonable dollars is the right play.

    Any thoughts on adding Jamie McBain to add some depth to the right side of the defense. I would prefer him to Aulie

  6. jp says:

    Manitoba Oilers: Ference shouldn’t be an nhl player let alone on the second pair. The only thing that will keep him playing for the oilers Is his NMC and the C on his chest

    Can’t handle the toughs? Sure.
    Overpaid? Sure.
    Not an NHLer? Come on…

  7. Maurey says:

    If Fayne was fairing well against top competition last year and Nikitin has some offensive tools and was possibly underutilized in CBJ, would they not make the logical top pairing for tough minutes? I thought one of the biggest reasons Petry has recieved criticism is not that he’s a bad player but because he was playing over his head. He seems to be more of a 3-4 D than 1-2. And Marincin showed well until he saw too many toughs towards the end of the season, so it would seem he would fare better as a 3-4 guy.

    Nikitin – Fayne
    Marincin – Petry
    Ference – Schultz
    Aulie

    I could see Nurse getting Marincin’s minutes for the 1st 9 games and giving Marincin a little confidence booster in the AHL prior to his NHL season as long as he understands that’s a likely scenario ahead of time and is given fair warning.

    1st 9 games:
    Nikitin – Fayne
    Nurse – Petry
    Ference – Schultz
    Aulie

    Klefbom would get the first injury callup unless Klefbom really outplays Marincin in camp and pre-season, then they would swap positions. With Nurse getting first 9 and both Klefbom and Marincin in the AHL.

  8. coolwasabi says:

    The only downside about this approach – and one that I’d be okay with – is that Schultz’ boxcars will be inflated and his next contract will be expen$ive despite not being a complete defender.

  9. Mr DeBakey says:

    Maurey: If Fayne was fairing well against top competition last year and Nikitin has some offensive tools and was possibly underutilized in CBJ

    Top Eastern Conference competition.
    We’re all hoping Nikitin was only underutilized last season.

  10. VanOil says:

    Not matter which way you rattle the dice on defense it does not work.

    Ference-Fayne ~ Ference is not good enough to handle the other teams best players.
    Ference-Schultz ~ Ference is not good enough to add offense or cover the fire drills that is Schultz.
    Ference-Petry ~ Ference is not good enough.

    So basically the defense is much better with addition of two NHLers ant the emergence of Marnicin BUT it is not good enough yet. Which is all OK because neither is the 2nd line Center slot.

    Ference is an excellent Captain, he also is likely a better player this year than Klefbom. He likely won’t be next year.

  11. Melman says:

    Lowetide,

    I like the “Edmonton—famous for rushing its prospects” part!

  12. rickithebear says:

    J. Schultz

    5 X 4: 1min+ Dmen 115 TTL
    5.21 GF/60 82/115
    1.24 GA/60 91/115
    3.97 GD/60 86/115
    2.23 P/60 89/115

    5X5 12 min Dmen 188
    2.22 GF/60 118/188
    3.08 GA/60 177/188
    -0.86 GD/60 172/188
    0.86 P/60 56/188

    I was hoping we give him 1 yr on a cheap contract.

  13. rickithebear says:

    VanOil: ot matter which way you rattle the dice on defense it does not work.
    Ference-Fayne ~ Ference is not good enough to handle the other teams best players.
    Ference-Schultz ~ Ference is not good enough to add offense or cover the fire drills that is Schultz.
    Ference-Petry ~ Ference is not good enough.
    So basically the defense is much better with addition of two NHLers ant the emergence of Marnicin BUT it is not good enough yet. Which is all OK because neither is the 2nd line Center slot.
    Ference is an excellent Captain, he also is likely a better player this year than Klefbom. He likely won’t be next year.

    Top 40 Box protection D on oilers.
    Marincin
    Petry
    Nikitin
    Fayne
    Ference
    Aulie

    EVGA/60
    Ference-Petry 2.24 EVGA/60 1st comp
    Ference-Schultz 3.23 EVGA/60 w/o 2.11 EVGA/60

    Ference .64 EVP/60 118/188
    Doughty .67
    Myers .65
    Couburn .63
    Bieksa .62

    When you look at facts and understand Ferences leverage technique (like OG)
    He tor his pEc late JAN.
    Facts and Video
    you Ference feelings are feelings…………………

  14. rickithebear says:

    LT can you run Volman’s Before mid Jan.

  15. jp says:

    rickithebear:
    J. Schultz

    5 X 4: 1min+ Dmen115 TTL
    5.21 GF/6082/115
    1.24 GA/60 91/115
    3.97 GD/60 86/115
    2.23 P/6089/115

    5X5 12 min Dmen 188
    2.22 GF/60 118/188
    3.08 GA/60 177/188
    -0.86 GD/60 172/188
    0.86 P/6056/188

    I was hoping we give him 1 yr on a cheap contract.

    I don’t think you’re going to like the terms of the new deal.

    rickithebear:

    When you look at facts and understand Ferences leverage technique (like OG)
    He tor his pEc late JAN.
    Facts and Video
    you Ference feelings are feelings…………………

    And Jesus, could you take just a little more time to express your thoughts in a coherent manner. There’s no need for this.

  16. Hammers says:

    Play Marincin with Schultz soft pairing . Petry gets Nikitin as 1st pair & Fayne gets Ference as 2nd pair . Martin & Justin need to play in the offensive situations and I think Martin will show more than just giving him a defensive role . Aulie goes on IR and Nurse gets his 9 in 15 replacing Ference & Martin but NURSE has to go back unless he blows the doors off and then we only carry 1 extra forward & 2 “D” . I see Nurse with Fayne next year . Nurse & Klefbom may make this a tougher decision than which “C” gets which wingers .

  17. Woodguy says:

    rickithebear,

    Where do you get your shot data from?

    Are you scraping game sheets?

    Can you post your data somewhere?

  18. russ99 says:

    Good deal, we don’t need Schultz to miss any camp.

    I’m hoping for a 2-year deal, hopefully some savings on the first year and an overpay making up the compromise on the second, which hopefully doesn’t set him up for Subban-like sticker shock in two summers.

    Completely unrelated, I’m really digging the NHL 15 demo on PS4. There’s a button press to skate backwards on the shootout, so I suspect I’ll perfect the “Linus Loop” in no time. :)

  19. Lowetide says:

    rickithebear:
    LT can you run Volman’s Before mid Jan.

    No. I might be able to find an old one from a GDT thread. Let me look.

  20. jp says:

    Maurey:

    I could see Nurse getting Marincin’s minutes for the 1st 9 games and giving Marincin a little confidence booster in the AHL prior to his NHL season as long as he understands that’s a likely scenario ahead of time and is given fair warning.

    Unless he completely shits the bed I just don’t see how you could possibly send Marincin back to OKC. That’s seriously messing with a guy who should be a cornerstone of your D. A veteran will be sent to the press box or IRed before Marincin is sent down.

    If he is sent down I think we can expect to see him in another city by Christmas.

  21. flyfish1168 says:

    Justin is an example of a player that has gotten away with to much bad play. He would have and still may be a player that needs to see the ice from upstairs and learn. If he continues this coming season it is time for a reset. I hope he didn’t peek down in the A.

  22. russ99 says:

    flyfish1168,

    Naw, he’ll be fine if they just stop throwing him to the wolves all season with crazy ice time and pick his spots better.

    Hopefully Ramsay will be a good mentor for him as well. Pretty sad that Todd Nelson was our best defenseman coach last season…

  23. flyfish1168 says:

    russ99:
    flyfish1168,

    Naw, he’ll be fine if they just stop throwing him to the wolves all season with crazy ice time and pick his spots better.

    Hopefully Ramsay will be a good mentor for him as well. Pretty sad that Todd Nelson was our best defenseman coach last season…

    I’m not as confident as you are. Justin level of compete in the defensive zone corner scrums even when 1st one to the puck was horrific. He was in the bottom 10 in the NHL in +/- and bottom in individual corsi. 2 year player and he brought this type of compete. I sure hope we don’t pay him to much for a bridge contract. I do believe his stats will look better because the team will be better. Justin should be playing with a shorter leash. JMHO

  24. VanOil says:

    rickithebear: you Ference feelings are feelings…………………

    I feel Ference murdered puppies 43% of the time. I will take your word that the 7% of extra shots that were given up when he was on the ice were meaningless because they happened outside the box.

  25. russ99 says:

    flyfish1168,

    A NHL player’s second year is always the toughest, and considering the new coach and new systems – that didn’t make things any easier.

    And don’t forget they started they year with that utter disaster called “The Swarm”, and both goalies who started the year bombed out.

    Not a very conducive environment for a young defensemen, especially if he’s getting the most icetime of any defenseman regardless of fitness or level of play.

    A steady more controlled hand by Ramsay could make all the difference this year, starting the year on the right foot and improving from there.

  26. justDOit says:

    Top commenters I would like to meet (in no particular order):

    ricki
    WG
    DMW
    Rom
    GMoney

    Might be missing someone, but that’s what comes to mind right now. This is assuming that LT would obviously be fist.

  27. Ca$h-Money! says:

    justDOit,

    Ricki for sure. I imagine his whole house looks like the garage in A Beautiful Mind.

    I mean that in the best possible way.

  28. flyfish1168 says:

    russ99:
    flyfish1168,

    A NHL player’s second year is always the toughest, and considering the new coach and new systems– that didn’t make things any easier.

    And don’t forget they started they year with that utter disaster called “The Swarm”, and both goalies who started the year bombed out.

    Not a very conducive environment for a young defensemen, especially if he’s getting the most icetime of any defenseman regardless of fitness or level of play.

    A steadymore controlled hand by Ramsay could make all the difference this year, starting the year on the right foot and improving from there.

    You are correct. Other players also endured this too. Justin never got a reset or watched from above. He received preferential treatment. That is on eakins. Even when thy abandon the swarm justin was still horrible in his own end right to the end of the season. JMHO and I will leave it at that since you and I may never agree

  29. RexLibris says:

    Lowetide:
    Here’s the Vollman graphs from DEc
    http://lowetide.ca/blog/2013/12/oilers-at-flames-g40-13-14.html

    I remember Rob used to do regular posts (weekly, I think) on FN called Black Box that were literally data dumps of the Flames’ roster’s analytics. They were a good, well “read” might not be the best term to use, but they were very informative.

    Readership struggled with it because you were responsible for interpreting the data on your own.

    If I recall correctly, Rob has some fanl affiliations with the Flames and/or Jets.

    Smart guy, does some very good work. I’m not sure how my schedule is going to break down tomorrow, but if I’m at my desk at 11 I know what I’ll be listening to.

  30. justDOit says:

    Oiler joke for you.

    How do you get Robbie Schremp off your front step?

    Pay him for the pizza.

  31. art vandelay says:

    Sounds like a lot of softly spoken magic spells.

  32. leadfarmer says:

    justDOit,

    You forgot about dead cat bounce and Art

  33. oliveoilers says:

    There is no dark side of the moon……it’s all dark. (If I remember the quote correctly from the original vinyl that my mate used to play non-stop.)

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

© Copyright - Lowetide.ca