RE 14-15 MARK FAYNE: DON’T INTERRUPT THE SORROW

Leading up to free agency, we were informed the Oilers were talking to Mark Fayne and Derek Engelland. That’s like saying you’re going to the store in order to buy a steak or spam—the choices should never be in the same aisle. Fortunately, Edmonton landed the better man.

MARK FAYNE 13-14

  • 5×5 points per 60: 0.52 (6th among regular D)
  • 5×4 points per 60: nil
  • Qual Comp: 2nd toughest among regular D
  • Qual Team: 3rd best available among regular D
  • Corsi for 5×5 %: 55.3
  • Corsi for 5×5 % REL: +1.5
  • Zone Start: 47.6% (toughest among regular D)
  • Zone Finish: 51.3% (4th best among D)
  • Shots on goal/percentage: 88 shots/4.55%
  • Boxcars: 72GP, 4-7-11

RE 14-15- PREVIEW

PPG NAME GP G A PTS
.149 MARK FAYNE RE 14-15 67 3 7 10
 

 VOLLMAN SLEDGEHAMMER

fayne vollman

 

  1. What should we expect from Fayne? MacT: “Fayne gives us a guy that makes simple, smart effective plays. He’s a good defender.”
  2. Where will he play in the lineup? “Andy (Greene) and I usually played against the other team’s top line (in New Jersey) and they didn’t expect too much from us offensively. Eating up minutes against the top guys. It’s a definite challenge but it keeps you on your toes.” That’s Fayne, about Fayne.
  3. This is not your favorite player type? That’s true, however he’s an ‘actual NHL player’ and the possession numbers are outstanding.
  4. I’ve heard NJD run some kind of witchcraft and the Corgi’s may not work the same in Edmonton. Oilers were the Bermuda triangle for Corgi’s last season, and kind of the year before. However, defense is defense and Fayne can retrieve the puck, make the quick pass, win battles and defend. Gold, gold, gold and gold!
  5. His numbers don’t suggest a puck mover. He isn’t, Fayne is an effective passer. Gets the puck up to the puck movers. Pat Quinn would love this guy.
  6. Still, the numbers don’t look like much. He wasn’t working for the 1984 Oilers. The Hockey News bio: Moves the puck efficiently and has offensive ability to boot. Has excellent size for the NHL game. Uses sound positioning to defend capably.
  7. What else is good about him? Oilers got Fayne at a good age. He’s 27, and has played 242 NHL games. They should get the best of him during this contract.
  8. You’re unusually positive about this, I’m worried. This is an organization that hired a recently bought-out Cam Barker as their showcase move three summers ago. Fayne is worlds away from Barker. Or Engelland. He can play the game.
  9. Was this the best move of summer? Hmmm. I’m going to say Pouliot was the best move of summer, but Fayne was also a terrific get.
  10. Who should he play with? I’d be tempted to put him with Jeff Petry.
  11. We talked about this, bad idea. Why? Because two righty’s are on the same pairing? I don’t get that, makes no sense. Their skill sets are a nice match, and they are very likely going to be Edmonton’s two best defensemen. That could form a fine shutdown pair.
  12. What else you got? I also think there’s value in a Nikitin-Fayne pairing. They’re veterans, both coming to a new situation and could integrate together. They also have complementary skill sets. Marincin-Fayne may also be a good pairing.
  13. What about Ference-Fayne? I’m sure we’ll see it, and Ference should post better numbers with Fayne than he did one year ago with Justin Schultz. I don’t think it’s an ideal use of Fayne.
  14. What about Fayne-Schultz? Maybe, it’s certainly sending your best man into the most difficult situation. If it works, you have the No. 1 problem facing the defense solved in one fell swoop. Sure, I’d like to see them try it during pre-season.
  15. Who is the Andy Greene in Oilerland? We’ll see. I think Petry is the strongest option.
  16. Is Fayne looking forward to the challenge? “The tougher thing for me is playing against the smaller, fast guys, but I’m actually looking forward to the West. My style and build (six-foot-three, 215 pounds) might be better against the bigger guys.”
  17. I’m beginning to get excited about this Fayne guy! It’s a really solid bet, and that’s all you can ask from your GM. Find good players, keep good players. This was a very good hockey decision. There are still pratfalls that could befall, but it’s a nice bet.
  18. Why did New Jersey let him go? John Fischer wrote an excellent piece here, suggesting it’s possible the Devils have less expensive, younger options. It’s a fabulous look at Fayne, recommend it.
  19. Will Fayne play more minutes this coming season? Yes, I think that’s guaranteed. Edmonton needs him more and at evens a year ago Fayne played the fourth most minutes among regulars. I expect that will increase with the Oilers. Suspect he’ll also get plenty of PK time, too. However, the main usage will be tough competition and plenty of own-zone starts. Expect to see him in the same portion of the Vollman next season.
  20. Why this song? GREAT title for a newcomer to this team. I couldn’t resist. It’s also a great song, plus there may be nights when 17 glasses of rhine wine simply isn’t enough. I’m optimistic about this team though, and Fayne is a big reason why.

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61 Responses to "RE 14-15 MARK FAYNE: DON’T INTERRUPT THE SORROW"

  1. Ryan says:

    How the Devils get the Corgi’s to bark so loudly is a question that Dellow had contemplated over at his site. The early returns on this were his conclusions that they were playing a different sport, :)

    Finding a guy who’s in his prime age-wise who plays top opposition is so not Oilers. We’re more accustomed to getting guys in their early 30′s with the wheels starting to fall off.

    I guess if I had to vocalize our concern, it would be called the Clarkson-effect… Or how a Devil’s possession stats look outside of their system. I personally don’t think that’s an issue here.

  2. Lowetide says:

    Ryan: Great points. I’m hoping Eakins matches him with a capable veteran and then really gives that pairing a chance to battle the toughs. Even if they don’t saw it off at 50% Corgi—let’s say it ends up at 47%—it allows the rest to wheel.

  3. Ryan says:

    Speaking of Dellow… Did my comment on May 1 portend the future?

    http://lowetide.ca/blog/2014/05/the-mother-of-invention.html/comment-page-1#comment-313592

    Anyway Dellow if you’re reading this, no pressure but 2006 was a long time ago bro. :)

  4. Mr DeBakey says:

    Mark Fayne and Derek Engelland. That’s like saying you’re going to the store in order to buy a steak or spam—the choices should never be in the same aisle. Fortunately, Edmonton landed the better man.

    Good News! Engelland signed with the Flames.
    Fayne here, Engelland there could by itself push the Oilers past the Flames in the standings.

  5. Ryan says:

    Lowetide:
    Ryan: Great points. I’m hoping Eakins matches him with a capable veteran and then really gives that pairing a chance to battle the toughs. Even if they don’t saw it off at 50% Corgi—let’s say it ends up at 47%—it allows the rest to wheel.

    Agreed. I’ve been shuffling the deck in my head and the one stumbling block is Ference.

    You’ve noted that the Oilers are likely to try him (Ference) with Fayne. I agree that this would be a waste of Fayne’s talents.

    Unfortunately that leaves us with either Ference-Petry or Ference-Schultz. I guess if you have to pick your poison, I’d go with Ference-Schultz and 3rd pairing minutes.

  6. JohnnyRocket says:

    I think this is the best pick up of the summer. I love Pouliot (and I am happy that you have a Pouliot back LT), but I believe that Fayne will add the most value to the team. While Pouliot will forecheck like mad and help keep the puck in the offensive zone, two areas where the Oilers are in desperate need of improvement, Fayne will add something even more important. He’ll calm the waters, as you say, but more importantly, because he’ll likely be out against the toughs, he’ll be doing it against the big guns and likely playing most of his minutes with our top line, allowing them to play their transition game more often. I believe this will lead to more possession and offense from Hall and company. With the added benefit of preventing the monster first lines in the west from eating our lunch on a regular basis. I am looking forward to seeing Fayne winning battles in the corners, chipping it up to Nuge who passes it up to Hall all season long. If Fayne and his partner provide this, than he’ll be the most valuable add for me.

  7. flyfish1168 says:

    Interesting how he wasn’t retained by Lou. Can’t help think that NJD is closer to home and a easier schedule for travel. Maybe they know something we don’t. We sit and hope till the season starts. JMHO

  8. Ryan says:

    Ryan: Agreed.I’ve been shuffling the deck in my head and the one stumbling block is Ference.

    You’ve noted that the Oilers are likely to try him (Ference) with Fayne.I agree that this would be a waste of Fayne’s talents.

    Unfortunately that leaves us with either Ference-Petry or Ference-Schultz. I guess if you have to pick your poison, I’d go with Ference-Schultz and 3rd pairing minutes.

    For the record… While I do think that Dellow used to come across as an arrogant prick over the internet, I do LOVE that the Oilers hired him. :). I am just clarifying that I do love his work and like the person himself despite this observation about his older internet persona. :)

    He certainly sounds quite cogent and affable over the radio…

    Anyway, I think Dellow’s thing is looking for actionable strategies that impact the Corgis. He had been digging into the Devil’s secrets, so there’s some hope that he can whisper Corgi’s into Dalkas’ ear this season.

    Tyler Dellow…the Corgi whisperer!!!

  9. Surly says:

    Fayne (and to a lesser extent Nikitin) are my favourite additions simply because the most frustrating part of last season for me was the amount of goals against that were a result of complete mental breakdowns in our own end. I know we haven’t address C adequately which is part of the problem as well (although one could argue Gagner’s departure is addition by subtraction in that regard). To what extent the Swarm was responsible for those 5-bell chances against in the slot is beyond my comprehension.

    I remain hopeful with the veterans on D and some calmer feet in the crease, we will all be yelling a little less at our televisions this fall.

  10. Gino says:

    The best addition for this team on defense this off season and will bring them closer to sending out on the ice a reasonable core of NHL ready d-men. With Fayne, Petry, Nikitin, Ference we have some experience in these four. Adding Fayne and subtracting Belov IMO will make a big difference as well as the Nikitin addition minus N.Schultz or am I drinking this summer’s version of fresh coolaid!

  11. Woodguy says:

    A bunch of us had Stralman and Fayne as our 2 targets for the Oilers.

    After Nikitin got signed it was obvious that they were only going for one more and I’m thrilled that they got Fayne.

    I’m so used to seeing other teams make smart signings that I forgot what it felt like for the Oilers to do it.

    I think Nikitin-Fayne get extended time together in pre-season as the defacto shut down pair, MacT loves big Dmen and they are both large men.

    I think they get a ton of time behind Gordon’s line and RNH’s line.

    Getting 2 Dmen who push all the others down the depth chart is by far the most team altering moves of the summer.

    I know the jury is out on Nikitin, but he has some history there too.

    Great signing.

  12. Gino says:

    Woodguy,

    Nikitin had played top 4 minutes with Jackets in 11-12 & 12-13 and I see no reason why he couldn’t provide that again. He kind of became pushed down the depth chart with the Jackets.

  13. Woodguy says:

    To be clear, signing Nikitin (hopefully) and Fayne pushed all the other D down the depth chart.

    Those two signings therefore made the Oilers better at all 6 Defensive spots and not just two.

    That’s the magic of getting top end depth, pushing others down the chart makes everyone better.

    I expect the D to be worlds better than they have been since 2009.

  14. Woodguy says:

    Gino:
    Woodguy,

    Nikitin had played top 4 minutes with Jackets in 11-12 & 12-13 and I see no reason why he couldn’t provide that again. He kind of became pushed down the depth chart with the Jackets.

    Agreed.

    If he struggles then maybe he and Marincin swap.

    The key is keeping Ference at 3LD.

  15. Gino says:

    Lowtide, this RE series has been great but the burning question and no I haven’t forgotten is who the F…….K is our 2nd line center this fall. I think this will be the downfall of the Oil this season by not addressing a need so transparent. If they don’t make a move to upgrade I believe this will again be a non playoff team. Playing Dr.Dra & Gordon in your top 9 is the worst of circumstances for this team. I know you mentioned Eakin from Dallas as a target but there is no way they move him (never say never) but he fits perfectly into what they are building and no thanks as to Kelly with the Bruins as we all ready have Gordon for that role. The best target is Anisimov with the Jackets as Johansen & Dubinsky are the top 2 center-man and the Jackets are in need of wingers. If you were planning to move a Oiler winger + to bring about such a move who would you move.

  16. bassguy says:

    Hi again LT..hope you are having a nice summer!!..my wife is from lone rock sask..you probably dont know where that is..south of lloyd by 20 miles..on a farm..anyways, I didnt recognize the song name but I sure recognize the tune!..great bass playing by max bennett I believe..he was a LA main stay and was in the original Tom Scott and the LA express..like I said before, this album was panned by rolling stone, but its a great record..i think it is the record that lets her fly because after this it is coyote, hejira(sp) and her collaboration with Jaco..max bennett also played on Valdys hit album, Rock and Roll song is on it, but he used an LA section..

  17. Gino says:

    An Oilers top 12 of the following would sure look nice.

    Hall, Nuge & Eberle
    Pouliot, Anisimov, Yakapov
    Draisaitl, Gordon, Purcell
    Lander, Arcobello, Hendricks

    You can see who is missing from the equation.

  18. dessert1111 says:

    I don’t know if I have seen this much, but I would like the following d pairs:

    Fayne-Petry
    Nikitin-Ference
    Marincin-Schultz

    Shut down pair, quasi veteran pair, and a pair who had success in OKC.

    Interesting to see what they will do with zone starts and who plays with which forwards.

    I think it is best to slot in a battle between marincin and klefbom for the final left side pair.

  19. G Money says:

    I still think we see Fayne-Schultz (with Fayne substituting for Ference as the defensive yin to Jultz’s offensive yang) and Petry-Marincin as the Top 4, and Nikitin-Ference on the third pairing, at least as an experiment coming out of preseason.

    We already know Petry-Marincin works. The handedness on the other two doesn’t necessarily work ideally, but I think the size / strengths / skillsets combinations on each pairing have a chance of meshing nicely.

    Schultz led the team in ice time last year.

    WG made a strong argument in the previous thread that he was still second pairing based on Road QoC. I looked at TOI, QoC and Against You times, all of which put Jultz on the top pairing.

    WG looked at home-road splits which show that Petry plays against the best of the other team more often, and this puts him as 1D despite the large TOI differential. However, I would counter that by pointing out that Schultz’s WOWY’s show that he played with the top line (Nuge/Hall/Eberle) significantly more than Petry did. Conversely, Petry played a lot more with Gordon. I’d suggest this means that the Oilers don’t see Petry as their 1D, they see him as the anchor of their shutdown pairing.

    Either way, even with the new hires, given the TOI and WOWY and QoC, and combined with the “core” verbiage coming from MacT, I think they see Jultz as top pairing material, and I just don’t see them pushing him to third pairing.

    Nikitin makes up his time deficit on the PP. That has the interesting effect of making all five of Petry, Fayne, Marincin, Nikitin, and Jultz the “Top 4″, and Ference is far and away the definitive third pairing guy, which I think would be a very very good thing.

    The other possibility is what LT suggested, that Fayne joins Petry to form a true shutdown pairing. But then you have to combine Nikitin, Marincin, Jultz, and Ference somehow, and I just can’t find a combo I think works well, so the benefits of a shutdown pair might not be worth it.

    Woodguy: I expect the D to be worlds better than they have been since 2009.

    I agree. And perhaps the most optimistic aspect of performance next season is the follow-on effect: a decent D means less time in the D zone means quicker breakouts more often means more offence. A better D improves *everything*, not just the D.

  20. Gino says:

    dessert1111,

    dessert1111:
    I don’t know if I have seen this much, but I would like the following d pairs:

    Fayne-Petry
    Nikitin-Ference
    Marincin-Schultz

    Shut down pair, quasi veteran pair, and a pair who had success in OKC.

    Interesting to see what they will do with zone starts and who plays with which forwards.

    I think it is best to slot in a battle between marincin and klefbom for the final left side pair.

    I like your top 4 and would like to see Marincin with Schultz. I believe Aulie will push Klefbom down to OKC and will fill in for Ference and Marincin on occasion or be available in case of injuries.

  21. Lowetide says:

    bassguy:
    Hi again LT..hope you are having a nice summer!!..my wife is from lone rock sask..you probably dont know where that is..south of lloyd by 20 miles..on a farm..anyways, I didnt recognize the song name but I sure recognize the tune!..great bass playing by max bennett I believe..he was a LA main stay and was in the original Tom Scott and the LA express..like I saidbefore, this album was panned by rolling stone, but its a great record..i think it is the record that lets her fly because after this it is coyote, hejira(sp) and her collaboration with Jaco..max bennett also played on Valdys hit album, Rock and Roll song is on it, but he used an LA section..

    I rarely talk about Joni Mitchell (she’s an acquired taste) but Hissing has always been my favorite album. It’s her voice. Mature, lots of range, very musical.

  22. VanOil says:

    This Boston Globe article makes the case for smart pairings based on stats not which hand players shoot. For example Keith is Chicago’s best defenseman but does not play the highest Quality Comp because Chicago’s stats guy convinced Quenville that he was best deployed else where. Very interesting.

    http://goo.gl/FML5vP

    Edit: Oh and apparently Hemsky is a good player and will score on a line with Jamie Benn and Seguin

  23. VanOil says:

    More from that Boston Globe article:

    The point is also to adjust game strategy and roster composition to mesh with the data. If teams board the analytics train, coaches will pull their goalies earlier to erase deficits. Forwards will leave a shot alone instead of blocking it. GMs will consider a roster with weight diversity — some 220-pounders with some 175-pound water bugs — instead of body uniformity. Coaches will not dress an enforcer who plays four minutes and chases the puck. Organizations will invest in forwards and goalies more than defensemen.

    http://goo.gl/FML5vP

  24. gcw_rocks says:

    Matt and Coz (sp?) claim the credit for Dellows getting hired. They told him, when Dubas was hired, that if he stopped calling himself a blogger and started calling himself an analytics consultant someone would give him a six figure salary.

    They have the tape to prove it.

  25. Gino says:

    VanOil,

    Thanks for the link: Some things that caught my eye.

    Duncan Keith is Chicago’s best defenseman. But Keith sits against first lines. Chicago deploys Niklas Hjalmarsson in a shutdown role. That allows Keith to flourish in situations that play to his strengths: quickness, speed with the puck, accurate passing, and offensive instinct.

    Switch Schultz’s name with Keith (not that he’s Keith) and Hjalmarsson with Fayne and I think the Oil can do the same in theory.

    Coaches will not dress an enforcer who plays four minutes and chases the puck.

    Re: Gazdic

    http://www.bostonglobe.com/sports/2014/08/09/nhl-brink-intelligence-explosion/rzB1N81iptBsR1NQkslbGM/story.html?event=event25

  26. Oddspell says:

    Hey guys, long time reader first time commenter,

    I still consider myself a novice when it comes to advanced stats but I noticed something interesting in regards to Fayne.

    According to Extra Skater his best years in terms of corsi and corsirel come in 2012-13 and 2010-11 when he played significantly less time with Greene (compared to 2012 playoffs and this past season). During this time he also suffered worse zone starts and/or harder competition than Greene. Is this enough to suggest (maybe) Fayne is a more valuable treasure than many who attribute his success to Greene make him out to be? At the very least it seems to suggest that Greene wasn’t holding Fayne’s hand.

    Am I getting ahead of myself? Is this old news?
    Thanks!

  27. bassguy says:

    Lowetide: I rarely talk about Joni Mitchell (she’s an acquired taste) but Hissing has always been my favorite album. It’s her voice. Mature, lots of range, very musical.

    Thats interesting that you like this record..only because its not the fave..and i agree with your thoughts!..by the way, my wifes father, who has passed on, grew up in lashburn and my wife remembers hearing the “mitchell” name as she grew up…apparently big farm people!!..awesome!

  28. WadeRed says:

    I’m glad to see your optimism about Fayne and the D situation this year LT, as well as the Pouliot signing. As with anything, only actual game action will tell the full story, but I am often guilty of drinking too much Kool-Aid during the offseason giving myself an inflated sense of size….er I mean confidence. But I figure if LT and I are on the same page, bring me some more Kool-aid please, extra sweet.

  29. Pouzar says:

    VanOil:
    This Boston Globe article makes the case for smart pairings based on stats not which hand players shoot. For example Keith is Chicago’s best defenseman but does not play the highest Quality Comp because Chicago’s stats guy convinced Quenville that he was best deployed else where. Very interesting.

    http://goo.gl/FML5vP

    Edit: Oh and apparently Hemsky is a good player and will score on a line with Jamie Benn and Seguin

    Nice find. I knew Keith played 2nd QC minutes but didn’t it was because of that.

  30. Woodguy says:

    gcw_rocks:
    Matt and Coz (sp?) claim the credit for Dellows getting hired. They told him, when Dubas was hired, that if he stopped calling himself a blogger and started calling himself an analytics consultant someone would give hi
    m a six figure salary.

    They have the tape to prove it.

    It’s public knowledge now, but Tyler did a presentation for the Oilers coaches and MacT last year.

    He stayed in with Eakins throughout the year as well.

    Eakins mad all this public in a radio interview that was linked in one of the previous posts here in the last few days.

  31. Ryan says:

    G Money,

    If the Oilers brought in Nikitin to play bottom pairing for $4.5m, someone should get fired.

  32. Ryan says:

    Woodguy,

    I thought I heard something about Eakins having read Tyler’s blog for awhile.

    Many of the early analytics guys would tout their black box systems which would churn out some time of player ratings without wanting to disclose how their proprietary systems work. None of these black box systems tended to pass the smell test.

    Tyler’s brilliance seems to be his ability ask the right questions rather than blindly churn out numbers.

  33. Zangetsu says:

    Why is the Vollman blue? I thought it was supposed to be deep red.#Oilers

  34. Ryan says:

    Zangetsu:
    Why is the Vollman blue? I thought it was supposed to be deep red.#Oilers

    The Vollman is a brilliant tool though the one challenge is comparing players like Petry and Fayne…

    They’re both rhs tough minutes defenders though the Devils are a dominant possession team and the Oilers have been getting their heads kicked in.

    The cool thing with this particular question is that we’ll get our answer in terms of who the Oilers think is the better defender via the Vollman this up coming season.

  35. Woodguy says:

    G Money,

    I think the most confusing thing is what our internal definitions are for “1st pairing, 2nd pairing, 3rd pairing”

    For me it’s rank of QC.

    There’s every possibility that Jultz finished 1st or 2nd in 5v5 TOI with 3rd QC.

    A posted pointed out that while Fayne had the toughest QC he was actually 4th in 5v5 TOI.

    I think we’ll see that here too.

    There will be confusion all year because we’ll all use slightly different definitions of “1st pair etc.l

    For me it’s QC, not 5v5 TOI and as we saw in NJD and with Keith in CHI they can be mutually exclusive.

  36. blainer says:

    Oddspell:
    Hey guys, long time reader first time commenter,

    I still consider myself a novice when it comes to advanced stats but I noticed something interesting in regards to Fayne.

    According to Extra Skater his best years in terms of corsi and corsirel come in 2012-13 and 2010-11 when he played significantly less time with Greene (compared to 2012 playoffs and this past season). During this time he also suffered worse zone starts and/or harder competition than Greene. Is this enough to suggest (maybe) Fayne is a more valuable treasure than many who attribute his success to Greene make him out to be? At the very least it seems to suggest that Greene wasn’t holding Fayne’s hand.

    Am I getting ahead of myself? Is this old news?
    Thanks!

    Welcome aboard.. I also used to just read and then I couldn’t take it anymore and had to pass on my opinion. Yes this has been mentioned in the past and is one of the many reasons we are all so high on Fayne. Also both Fayne AND Pouliot have been to the finals recently and know what it takes to win.. Hopefully this rubs off on all our players. Nikitin also posted some decent numbers a couple of years ago but was scratched at times this year. If we get the nikitin from a couple years back then the defence should be much improved just by pushing Ference down the lineup.

  37. Lowetide says:

    Woodguy:
    G Money,

    I think the most confusing thing is what our internal definitions are for “1st pairing, 2nd pairing, 3rd pairing”

    For me it’s rank of QC.

    There’s every possibility that Jultz finished 1st or 2nd in 5v5 TOI with 3rd QC.

    A posted pointed out that while Fayne had the toughest QC he was actually 4th in 5v5 TOI.

    I think we’ll see that here too.

    There will be confusion all year because we’ll all use slightly different definitions of “1st pair etc.l

    For me it’s QC, not 5v5 TOI and as we saw in NJD and with Keith in CHI they can be mutually exclusive.

    Jultz will get a zone start push for sure, that’s just good business. I agree completely that the standard pairing definitions, along with everything else, is a moving target in the new world of hockey combined with analysis.

  38. Woodguy says:

    Woodguy,

    I meant to type that “there’s every possibility that Jultz FINISHES 1st in 5v5 TOI and in 3rd pair via QC”

  39. TheOtherJohn says:

    Loved the Fayne get. Ditto Pouliot (albeit at a rich price)

    If NN and Fayne can play agaist the best quality of competition and be at or near even on Corsi our D will take a huge step forward. It allows Petry and Marincin slide down a level in terms of QofC and allows Ference and Schultz to play easier opponents with decent zone starts 5 x 5.

    Remain skeptical re Nikitan but if he can revert to 212/13 form we should be noticeably better. Hope my skepticism is misplaced. Ah, to have a NHL caliber D. It has been a very long time

    Would also act as a very nice bridge to allow Klefbom, Nurse develop at a conservative pace which has not been the Oiler model

  40. "Steve Smith" says:

    blainer: Also both Fayne AND Pouliot have been to the finals recently and know what it takes to win.

    blainer: …the defence should be much improved just by pushing Ference down the lineup.

    Alrighty, then.

  41. TheOtherJohn says:

    Original introduction to the Vollman player usage charts was to see his chart for Detroit and Chicago. Lidstrom, Datsyuk, Zatterbeg, etc were KILLING against 1st level Q of C while Chicago had Toews and Kane doing the same against a lower level of competition. Smart coaching by Chicago to get their best against easier opponents.

    It also showed how with Lidstrom Detroit did not need to worry about match ups. Incredible luxury

  42. G Money says:

    Woodguy,

    Lowetide,

    Yup, that’s exactly it I think.

    I think it’s fair to say that Eakins’ goal will be to walk that tightrope of giving Jultz a ton of time primarily via OZS and in conjunction with the top line, while at the same time trying to keep his QoC as low as possible to protect his defensive shortcomings. Which hopefully will be at least a tad bit ameliorated by Ramsay’s coaching.

    The pairing terminology gets a bit vexing, but I’d still be inclined to assign pairing nomenclature by TOI, which the coach controls directly, moreso than QoC, which a coach does not control except indirectly at home, which is why I call Jultz the de facto 1D and why I don’t think we can see him having “third pairing” duty next year.

    That’s kind of why I think we may very well see that odd situation I described: by EVTOI, PPTOI, QoT, and QoC, we’re going to have 5 “Top 4″ D and one guy (Ference) by himself on the “third pairing”!

    Ryan:
    If the Oilers brought in Nikitin to play bottom pairing for $4.5m, someone should get fired.

    I actually disagree with you for two reasons:

    1 – If Nikitin does pair with Ference and plays EV third pairing, then it’s actually $8M for the third pairing. *That* must enrage you!

    The offset is I think Nikitin is going to be the designated big shot on the PP and he’ll get plenty of primo PP time as a result.

    One of the big weaknesses I thought on the PP last year is that the lack of a dangerous point shot meant that teams didn’t have to respect the point, and would instead clog up the middle, which took away the slick cross-ice pass that is and was the Oilers PP bread and butter (someone posted a statement similar to this on a blog post recently, but this is not conceptual plagiarism on my part – I posted an extensive comment with this exact opinion on one of the threads about mid-season).

    So I think Nikitin is being paid a premium for his PP time, not his EV prowess. (and it would be great if he found his EV form from a few seasons ago and does end up being a solid Top 4 option, but the Oilers track record of having defenders come in here and outperform their recent history is not so good, so I’m not holding my breath).

    2 – The Oilers do not have a true 1D. Such things are not easy to get, and I think the best we can hope for is that Nurse or Klefbom develop into one. Until and unless that happens, it is defense by committee for the Oilers. So I don’t think we’ll see the salary disparity between pairings that other teams that have a legit 1D have, simply because the skill/value disparity is not there either.

  43. G Money says:

    Oddspell: Fayne is a more valuable treasure than many who attribute his success to Greene make him out to be? At the very least it seems to suggest that Greene wasn’t holding Fayne’s hand.
    Am I getting ahead of myself? Is this old news?

    Certainly, Fayne’s fancy stats have been deconstructed quite a bit!

    The worry, as has been noted a few times, is that NJD are a bizarrely anomalous high Corsi team, so you have to wonder if some of Fayne’s numbers are bloated.

    The flip side, as you say, is that Fayne’s CorsiRel and his WOWY’s suggest that he’s the guy on his pairing that consistently drives the Corsi bus. The team does better with him on the ice, and his pairing does better when he’s on the ice, almost regardless of who he’s paired with.

    Will he be that good in Edmonton? Who knows.

    What I am confident in is that we’re getting a legit NHL Top 4 D who’s big enough and smart enough to play well against the best in the league, and we’re getting him BEFORE he’s hit his peak, and both of those things are massive upgrades on OBAU (Oiler Business As Usual).

  44. Ryan says:

    Am I alone in terms of the analytics curiosity of Petry vs Fayne?

    Fayne has successfully (Corsi + Corsi rel) played the toughest minutes on a strong possession team while Petry has done admirably well playing those same minutes albeit ultimately unsuccessfully on a piss poor possession team.

    Despite this, I’m not sure that Petry is in inferior of the two.

    Having the opportunity to ultimately compare the two on what’s still a piss poor possession team is like waiting for a solar eclipse for data….

  45. Woodguy says:

    Lowetide: Jultz will get a zone start push for sure, that’s just good business. I agree completely that the standard pairing definitions, along with everything else, is a moving target in the new world of hockey combined with analysis.

    That’s important too because one thing Tyler was digging deeper into before the Oilers shut down his blog down was that Jultz actually isn’t “a puck moving Dman”

    He’s called one because of his offensive abilities, but those abilities do not include “the good first pass”

    Jultz’ ability seems to be able to help create scoring once the puck is in the Ozone, but he’s pretty Meh on his ability to get the puck to the Ozone.

    Ozone is where he should start 60%+

  46. Lowetide says:

    Woodguy: That’s important too because one thing Tyler was digging deeper into before the Oilers shut down his blog down was that Jultz actually isn’t “a puck moving Dman”

    He’s called one because of his offensive abilities, but those abilities do not include “the good first pass”

    Jultz’ ability seems to be able to help create scoring once the puck is in the Ozone, but he’s pretty Meh on his ability to get the puck to the Ozone.

    Ozone is where he should start 60%+

    True. I still haven’t decided if it’s a bad first pass, or a bad decision, but the point is moot. “Schultz on a promising breakout” doesn’t mean what people think it means.

  47. blainer says:

    Woodguy,

    I agree he should get a big Ozone push. His attempt at a first pass was often a takeaway or his pass just never connected. I heard a poster suggest there should be a stat for passing and I agree.. As for the defense I must agree it is by committee and we really have 5 top 4 Dman… some for the Ozone push and some for the Dzone some for the PP and PK… Overall we are in a much better place in an awful long time. NN is defiantly the wild card as I think we all have a good feel for the rest. Nice to not have to rush the youngins…I also think Aulie has the ability to surprise… kinda Andy Suttonish…

  48. Ryan says:

    G Money,

    I personally think Nikitin’s a case of a ‘saw him good’ defenseman by howson. Big dman with a great underrated slap shot yet no great track record of pp success in terms of his career 5v4/60.

    Here’s what Dellow thinks: http://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/nhl/nikita-nikitin-a-poor-signing-by-oilers/

  49. Numenius says:

    Gino:
    Woodguy,

    Nikitin had played top 4 minutes with Jackets in 11-12 & 12-13 and I see no reason why he couldn’t provide that again. He kind of became pushed down the depth chart with the Jackets.

    I think you’re right. Nikitin’s poor play last year seems primarily due to injuries rather than a drop off in talent. This was something I only realized after some googling, and it really reassured me about the deal. So as long as he gets over the injuries, he’ll likely provide the top 4 minutes of ’11-12 and ’12-13.

    About not having a 2C, I think Arcobello is going to surprise us in a good way. It’s a small sample size, but his stats from last year were very encouraging when playing with skill. His P/60 was a respectable 1.82 (1.75 is the average for 2nd liners; Anisimov’s is only a little more, 1.9) and his WOWY with Perron, his most common linemate last year who would likely be the same this year, was fantastic (55.6 GF% and 52.8 CF%). He also had excellent WOWY CF% (and often GF%) with all of the other main skilled wingers.

    Arco’s CF% playing with wingers (in order of TOI together):
    Eberle 50.9
    Hemsky 48.6 (and 60 GF%!!)
    Yakupov 50.3
    Smyth 56.3
    Hall 48.3 (and 66.7 GF%!!)

    His numbers went down significantly when not playing with skill, though those were very small sample sizes.

    He also had solid WOWY with skilled D, especially our problem child, J.Schultz:

    Arco’s CF% playing with (in order of TOI together):
    Petry 52.8%
    J.Schultz 50.7 (and 63.6% GF%!!!)
    Belov 53.7

    He had poorer WOWY with poorly skilled D, Ference (45.3 CF%) and N.Schultz (38.5 CF%). These are not really his fault.

    These stats may not be repeatable, but they do give a precedence for the idea that Arco can play 2C, and do it well. He at least deserves the chance, unless there’s a relatively painless way to find another 2C who is better than Arco.

    They also suggest that trading Perron for Anisimov now would be a terrible, terrible, terrible move. Not only is it unclear if Anisimov is a better player than Perron, but there also is good evidence that we already have our own Anisimov (except for the size), and so you’d be losing Perron basically for nothing.

    In sum: Do not count Arco out as 2C and sell the future (or present) for a different 2C!

    As long as Arco is surrounded with skill (and some size; Perron and Purcell would do), the evidence suggests that he will produce like a real 2C.

  50. Woodguy says:

    Lowetide: True. I still haven’t decided if it’s a bad first pass, or a bad decision, but the point is moot. “Schultz on a promising breakout” doesn’t mean what people think it means.

    I think the skill is there.

    The decision making is suspect.

    The fact that he bails on 50/50 pucks and moseys everywhere doesn’t lend him to get the puck to make a pass in the first place.

    I think the last part is the crucial issue.

    He doesn’t get the puck back on his own much.

  51. Woodguy says:

    Numenius,

    I agree with the Arco thing.

    I had a closer look at Arco here and came to the same conclusions: http://lowetide.ca/blog/2014/07/arco-2c-word-and-music-by-woodguy.html

  52. blainer says:

    Numenius,

    Agreed. I say give Arco a shot and leave Perron where he is. It seems as though we have centers in the pipeline… hopefully maybe even this year if Yak2 or JJ surprise us while on the farm… Those a great stats even as small sample size..

  53. Evilas says:

    bassguy: Hi again LT..hope you are having a nice summer!!..my wife is from lone rock sask..you probably dont know where that is..south of lloyd by 20 miles..on a farm..anyways, I didnt recognize the song name but I sure recognize the tune!..great bass playing by max bennett I believe..he was a LA main stay and was in the original Tom Scott and the LA express..like I said before, this album was panned by rolling stone, but its a great record..i think it is the record that lets her fly because after this it is coyote, hejira(sp) and her collaboration with Jaco..max bennett also played on Valdys hit album, Rock and Roll song is on it, but he used an LA section..

    Holy Moly Bassguy, My wife is from Lone Rock too! Crazy small world. Where do you live, we are in Cochrane..

  54. dangilitis says:

    Mr DeBakey,

    I think Oilers spoke with Engelland so as to get the Flames interested in him. At least I hope that was the case…

    Where does the 67/82 GP prediction come from? Past injury history? If so, that’s a lot of games missed

  55. Hammers says:

    Hopefully Fayne gets about 22 minutes a game & Schultz drops to 20 max . Still think Schultz / Nikitan are a pair including PP time for both . Who plays with Fayne , maybe Marincin leaving Ference with Petry . My guess is Ference & Nikitan are both around 18 minutes .I’m sure Ramsay is already looking at his options . It will be an interesting training camp .

  56. Numenius says:

    Woodguy:
    Numenius,

    I agree with the Arco thing.

    I had a closer look at Arco here and came to the same conclusions: http://lowetide.ca/blog/2014/07/arco-2c-word-and-music-by-woodguy.html

    That’s right, I had forgotten that post. Nicely done. Much more thorough than my research.

    About Nikitin, I just read Dellow’s article on him, and now I’m less optimistic than I was in my comment. The fact that Dellow didn’t factor in the injuries last year slightly weakens his argument in my mind, but I can still agree that Nikitin is a highly questionable gamble.

    Hope it pays off.

  57. Woodguy says:

    Numenius,

    I actually disagree with Tyler a bit on Nikitin.

    Aside from the injury thing, I thing they are significantly under-estimating the effect of play with Rookie Savard.

    Carrying a newb isn’t easy and he Savard was over 2% better with Nikitin than away.

    He has put up good numbers with decent players for 3 years despite being a little wobbly last year.

    It’s not clear cut like it is for Fayne, but I am more hopeful than most on him.

  58. Numenius says:

    Woodguy:
    Numenius,

    Makes sense.

  59. Bank Shot says:

    Hopefully this guy lives up to his billing. The Oilers haven’t had a quality top pairing defenseman in forever.

    I’ll be a little surprised if he will be able to make a pass though. Looking through his highlights from last season 6 out of his 7 assists came from rebounds/deflections.

  60. Evilas says:

    Bank Shot: Hopefully this guy lives up to his billing. The Oilers haven’t had a quality top pairing defenseman in forever. I’ll be a little surprised if he will be able to make a pass though. Looking through his highlights from last season 6 out of his 7 assists came from rebounds/deflections.

    I found this story very interesting and in line with your comment.

    http://www.inlouwetrust.com/2014/7/28/5901789/efficiency-and-transition-offense

    He will need to be paired with Petry or Marincin.

    I think the optimal pairs would be:

    Fayne-Petry
    Marincin-Schultz
    Ference-Nikitin

    But I guess we will soon find out.

    BTW, why is it taking so bloody long to sign Schultz, is this a bad sign?

  61. Oddspell says:

    blainer

    G Money: Certainly, Fayne’s fancy stats have been deconstructed quite a bit!

    The worry, as has been noted a few times, is that NJD are a bizarrely anomalous high Corsi team, so you have to wonder if some of Fayne’s numbers are bloated.

    The flip side, as you say, is that Fayne’s CorsiRel and his WOWY’s suggest that he’s the guy on his pairing that consistently drives the Corsi bus.The team does better with him on the ice, and his pairing does better when he’s on the ice, almost regardless of who he’s paired with.

    Will he be that good in Edmonton?Who knows.

    What I am confident in is that we’re getting a legit NHL Top 4 D who’s big enough and smart enough to play well against the best in the league, and we’re getting him BEFORE he’s hit his peak, and both of those things are massive upgrades on OBAU (Oiler Business As Usual).

    I came to those same conclusions so it’s good to know I’m more or less in line with the thinking around the web. I thought I had my finger more or less on the pulse of the blogging world though so it’s less comforting to know I’m probably months behind on this discussion!

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