Apparently Rob Tychkowski Dislikes Dustin Penner

Jonathan Willis
February 28 2009 11:31AM

Dustin Penner

It probably isn’t a good idea to read Rob Tychkowski’s latest column if you’re at all a fan of Dustin Penner, as I am. An excerpt:

Shut out. Out-shot 17-5 in the second period. And as you looked down at that flea-bitten dog Thursday night you couldn't help wondering if some of those players even care.

Dustin Penner, the NHL poster boy for comfort zones and inconsistency, refused to comment on the state of the team yesterday. "There's other guys in there to talk to," he sniffed as he walked out of the dressing room at Millenium Place. Leaving the unpleasant work for somebody else? Why should his interviews be any different than so many of his games?

Those are some fairly gratuitous shots at Penner, so I thought I’d see how he performed against the Blue Jackets in that 1-0 loss. His NHL.com stats sheet didn’t show anything atrocious – 2 shot (leading all Oilers forwards), 3 shots directed at net (leading all Oilers forwards), 1 hit, 14:27 TOI (behind six other forwards, including Ethan Moreau and Fernando Pisani).

So, I went over to the scoring chances count that Dennis has been logging: 8 chances for, 7 chances against, numbers that put him ahead of his usual linemates from that game (Horcoff and Hemsky).

Then I went over to Vic Ferrari’s Time On Ice tool to see who Penner had played against. Here are the top two defensemen and top three forwards he played against in terms of ice-time vs. Columbus:

Rick Nash – 6.1 minutes Jason Williams – 4.9 minutes Jakub Voracek - 4.2 minutes

Jan Hejda – 7.3 minutes Mike Commodore – 6.8 minutes

So Penner was playing in a power-vs.-power role with Horcoff and Hemsky against Rick Nash’s line for the majority of the evening. His ice-time is only average, but despite that he comes out on top in scoring chances and leads all Oilers forwards in shots and shots directed on net.

With Dustin Penner on the ice, the Oilers directed 15 shots at the Columbus net while only allowing 12 the other way (+3). Of the 16 even-strength shots the Oilers took that reached the net, 9 of them were recorded with Penner on the ice. Let’s contrast that with, say, Ethan Moreau. Moreau was on the ice for 2 shots for and 12 shots against. That’s a 6:1 ratio, folks.

I can understand some anger at Penner; he’s rather indifferent with the media (I’ve seen him shoot down Principe a few times) and he just looks lazy sometimes on the ice. That said, the media was awfully quick to rip him a new one whenever MacTavish sat him, so perhaps Penner has some reasonable resentment. The most important point is that against Columbus Penner wasn’t part of the problem. Just for the record, here is how every player ranked in terms of shots for and against in that game:

Penner: (9/6) +3 Horcoff: (9/8) +1 Cole: (5/4) +1 Stortini: (2/1) +1 Hemsky: (9/9) EV Gagner: (5/5) EV Reddox: (0/1) -1 Nilsson: (3/5) -2 Cogliano: (2/7) -5 Brodziak (0/6) -6 Pisani: (0/8) -8 Moreau (2/12) -10

Gilbert: (10/6) +4 Smid: (6/7) -1 Strudwick: (1/3) -2 Peckham: (4/7) -3 Souray: (6/10) -4 Staios: (5/15) -10

I’d say the problems against Columbus are fairly apparent; obviously you can’t judge a player’s entire contribution by the shot clock but looking at the numbers at the bottom of this list isn't it obvious who wasn’t getting the job done? Since we’re looking at that list, the fact that Steve Staios led all players in ice-time (25:07) probably reflects on the coaching staff, doesn’t it?

I think it’s probably fair to say that Rob Tychowski was venting his personal feelings when he took those shots at Penner, rather than making an unbiased comment on the game against Columbus.

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Jonathan Willis is a freelance writer. He currently works for Oilers Nation, the Edmonton Journal and Bleacher Report. He's co-written three books and worked for myriad websites, including Grantland, ESPN, The Score, and Hockey Prospectus. He was previously the founder and managing editor of Copper & Blue.
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#51 Jonathan Willis
February 28 2009, 05:38PM
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GSC wrote:

Here are the only numbers that I need to look at to know that Penner is crap: 29 points, $4.25 MIL in salary. End of discussion.

When you adjust for his ice-time, do you know how many Oilers have more points than Dustin Penner? I'll tell you: 1. Ales Hemsky.

At even-strength, Penner is head and shoulders above where he was last season; where he isn't producing points nearly as well is on the powerplay. Oddly enough, the team scores more goals with Penner on the powerplay than just about anyone else - Staples credits him with a bunch of "unofficial assists", shots that were screened by Penner and the like.

In short: it's hilarious that you criticize stats and then turn to the most simplistic possible statistical measures to back up your point. You don't think Penner's a player because you don't like his effort? Fine. Reality disagrees.

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#52 oilersseasonticketholdersince99
February 28 2009, 05:44PM
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Blame K lowe,Mac T and the scouting staff for Penner not living up to expectations,who in there right mind would not have signed that contract.k lowe was despereate he should have never tried to sign Vanek he lost out then he goes after Penner not putting his hurt ego aside,he then pisses Burke off (and a handfull of other managers) who by the way more less stated that this would happen.we give up 3 good picks for a player who gets blasted by his coach in public and wonder why he has no drive if it was me i would have told mac T to go f-ck himself, there are bigger problems with this team and organization than dustin penner,it wasnt him who asked for that contract ,I bet if he could go back he probably would have passed,why are we quick to blame the players?where is the accountability from the coaching staff, managemnent and our scouting department?

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#53 Librarian Mike
February 28 2009, 05:50PM
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@ Jasmine:

...And we wonder why players don't want to come here.

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#54 oilersseasonticketholdersince99
February 28 2009, 06:02PM
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Librarian Mike wrote:

@ Jasmine: …And we wonder why players don’t want to come here.

Edmonton would be at the front of my list? Ya right with a coach who blasts players in public and the good old boys club in management and scouting,I would avoid Edmonton like the plague! wait a minute thats been happening here for how long ? 8 years who has been coaching and the Gm in that time? It is Pretty obvious as to the problems with our team

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#55 Didsdave
February 28 2009, 06:06PM
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MacT wants to turn all our offensive players into defensive specialists. It's very hard to motivate yourself as player if you are not that type of player. Note that all cup winning teams have a good mix of both offensive and defensive players ( role players).

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#56 Zamboni Driver
February 28 2009, 06:14PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

GSC wrote: Here are the only numbers that I need to look at to know that Penner is crap: 29 points, $4.25 MIL in salary. End of discussion. When you adjust for his ice-time, do you know how many Oilers have more points than Dustin Penner? I’ll tell you: 1. Ales Hemsky.

Yeah, but that's rather like saying I'm plenty good enough to nail Heidi Klum, if only I were charming enough to get her to talk to me.

Staples credits him with a bunch of “unofficial assists”, shots that were screened by Penner and the like.

For a stat guy, that's really not a great argument, with respect. Penner gets unofficial assists for having a fat @ss? 4.5 for that?

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#57 GSC
February 28 2009, 08:20PM
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@ Jonathan Willis:

Comparing Bertuzzi to Penner, that's rich...Again, you either have an eye for the game or you don't. With you, I'm going with the latter because there is no comparison between those two whatsoever.

Throwing around numbers the way you and your compadres do is proof that one can make statistics say anything. But please, tell us again how someone's mathematical formula makes Penner a valuable asset? My eyes see a vastly overpaid winger who doesn't pull his weight.

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#58 GSC
February 28 2009, 08:21PM
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@ Jonathan Willis:

And those "simplistic stats" that you refer are the only stats that matter when the day is over. Is he providing the bang for the buck? Nope. Not even close.

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#59 MikeP
February 28 2009, 09:07PM
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Dennis wrote:

If you want to go Big Picture and opine that 27’s ticket is The topic because it hinders overall team building, then you’ve got a point.

If the team holds his contract against him, it's not that much of a team.

I thought Tychowski was being a bit gratuitous too, but whatever. Penner's fired a few zingers at the media, but at least they can't complain he's just feeding them cliches.

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#60 MikeP
February 28 2009, 09:47PM
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B-rad wrote:

anyone know the lines tonight?

Roli in net again, Pouliot grateful his skates are touching the ice, Stortini in the sniper position, Reddox top LW, and Penner under the bus.

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#61 Jonathan Willis
February 28 2009, 11:55PM
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GSC wrote:

@ Jonathan Willis: And those “simplistic stats” that you refer are the only stats that matter when the day is over. Is he providing the bang for the buck? Nope. Not even close.

Those simplistic stats are hardly the only ones that matter, or Marc Savard would have a Hart Trophy at this point.

GSC wrote:

@ Jonathan Willis: Comparing Bertuzzi to Penner, that’s rich…Again, you either have an eye for the game or you don’t. With you, I’m going with the latter because there is no comparison between those two whatsoever.

You gave me the six things that are "essential" ingredients in power forwards. I didn't compare Penner to Bertuzzi; re-read my statement. I compared Bertuzzi to your rather arbitrary list of power-forward essentials to show that, well, you're wrong.

GSC wrote:

Throwing around numbers the way you and your compadres do is proof that one can make statistics say anything.

Ah. Do you know who came up with the Corsi number? Not me, and not Oilers bloggers. Rather, it's a long-time NHL assistant. Do you know who uses EVGA-EVPTS as a primary measuring stick for his forwards? Not me, and not Oilers bloggers. Rather, it's an NHL head coach who could very well finish his career in the top-five in career wins. Do you know who the Minnesota Wild hired as their director of hockey operations, with a mandate to come up with advanced statistics? A 25-year old newspaper writer.

If you think I'm being dishonest with my statistics, disprove it, but don't torpedo measures which have been borrowed from NHL teams. Put up or shut up - although I've got a strong inkling that you'll do neither.

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#62 GSC
March 01 2009, 01:40AM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

GSC wrote: @ Jonathan Willis: Those simplistic stats are hardly the only ones that matter, or Marc Savard would have a Hart Trophy at this point.

In the salary cap world, bang for the buck is the most significant stat of them all. If you're not producing and are making a hefty salary (highest amongst forwards until Horcoff's extension kicks in), then you're dead weight and cap space being wasted. I'm not worried about a player winning individual accolades, I'm looking for a player who does what is expected of him. Marc Savard does, Dustin Penner does not. If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it's a duck.

You gave me the six things that are “essential” ingredients in power forwards. I didn’t compare Penner to Bertuzzi; re-read my statement. I compared Bertuzzi to your rather arbitrary list of power-forward essentials to show that, well, you’re wrong.

Arbitrary list, eh? You asserted that Bertuzzi was rather inconsistent. Seasons of 50, 55, 85, 97, 60, and 71 points in his prime with Vancouver (1999-00 to 2005-06). 5 of those seasons included 25 goals or more, including seasons of 25, 25, 36, and 46 goals from 1999-00 to 2002-03. If this is inconsistency in the same age range as Penner is currently in, then I'll take inconsistency and run. There is nothing to suggest that Penner will be able to do the same as a scorer. In fact, his goal-scoring totals suggest he's regressing already (from 29, to 23, to on pace for 18 this season).

But those are just numbers, your specialty. If you watched Bertuzzi play during those years, there is little to argue that he was a force on the ice. He was a formidable presence, both because of his scoring ability and his hot temper. He played with an edge, and when he combined it with his natural skill it made for a beauty of a hockey player.

Ah. Do you know who came up with the Corsi number? Not me, and not Oilers bloggers. Rather, it’s a long-time NHL assistant. Do you know who uses EVGA-EVPTS as a primary measuring stick for his forwards? Not me, and not Oilers bloggers. Rather, it’s an NHL head coach who could very well finish his career in the top-five in career wins. Do you know who the Minnesota Wild hired as their director of hockey operations, with a mandate to come up with advanced statistics? A 25-year old newspaper writer. If you think I’m being dishonest with my statistics, disprove it, but don’t torpedo measures which have been borrowed from NHL teams. Put up or shut up - although I’ve got a strong inkling that you’ll do neither.

I never said that you're being dishonest, but what I am suggesting is that statistics can be manipulated to say just about anything. There is always more to the story, and that's where this wonderful thing called "the eye" comes in.

Sure, NHL coaches and team personnel may use such mathematical models to SUPPLEMENT what they SEE on the ice. When it all comes down to it, scouts use their eyes to determine if a player has the goods. You assert that Penner wasn't the worst Oiler on the ice against Columbus, and that's fine and likely correct given your in-depth statistical analysis. What Tychkowski asserts is that Penner was, yet again, a non-factor in a game that a player of his potential could take control of. He's not making $4.25 MIL just to be merely adequate.

Just because Penner did what any reasonable person would do by accepting a massive overpayment doesn't absolve him of the expectations that come with it. What I see in your analysis is a fan who feels sorry for the guy rather than being entirely objective about his production.

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#63 Antony Ta
March 01 2009, 03:46AM
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What I don’t understand, and likely won’t since I’m not in Edmonton, is why Penner gets crapped on by almost everyone, while guys like Gagner are given more and more chances.

That's right! Sam Gagner should be ripping it up in the AHL, gaining confidence, not wallowing around in the NHL doing nothing in particular. If the numbers are any indication Gagner got worse this year, not better - and we're not talking about just an offensive sophomore slump here.

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#64 Jonathan Willis
March 01 2009, 09:03AM
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GSC wrote:

But those are just numbers, your specialty. If you watched Bertuzzi play during those years, there is little to argue that he was a force on the ice. He was a formidable presence, both because of his scoring ability and his hot temper. He played with an edge, and when he combined it with his natural skill it made for a beauty of a hockey player.

In point of fact, I didn't even look at the numbers. You see, although the Oilers are my team, I live in B.C., and during Bertuzzi's years as a Canuck I probably saw him play personally over 200 times.

And what I saw was that despite the numbers you could never tell which Bertuzzi you were going to get night-in and night-out. Those 50-points seasons you talk about; those were years when Todd Bertuzzi was the biggest engima in a Canucks uniform; every so often he would excel, but he'd disappear over stretches too. Even when he started putting up more points, it was difficult to say that he'd show up every game, and he had this nasty habit of going quiet in the postseason.

Anybody who watched Todd Bertuzzi game in and game out over those years knows that he, more than any other member of his line, was prone to taking a stupid penalty, or letting the opposition have an odd-man rush the other way. Equally, anybody who watched him game in an game out knew that when he was on he was a force to be reckoned with.

I've never claimed (and wouldn't) that Penner does as much to help his team win as Bertuzzi, but Bertuzzi - even in his prime - was not a consistent player, and he often seemed to have flagging work ethic and motivation.

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#65 deepoil
March 01 2009, 10:00AM
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wiggs22 wrote:

when i watch penner play. it’s so weak and there is no energy. when he was on the 4th line with brodz and huggy bear, theyhit and he stood still… and got praised form it.. i didn’t see our “biggest” guy on the boards doing the work…he’s too valueable. psshhhh in other games, i see a 6′4 245 lbs guy getting pushed off the puck from a guy gagners size. he is useless. he can score goals..i will not deny that, but he’s not the one who earns those goals and i personaly don’t think we need that on this team.

R-DAWG wrote:

I think the unfortunate part is that the Oiler fans have inherited a team of heartless millionaires!! To single out 1 player consistently is borderline retarded. I’m just as pissed as everyone else, but look at the big picture…if you made millions of dollars to play a game, you would play like a bunch of douches too! Due to the fact that the Oil shit the bed last game, I would expect them to come out for this one…and then promptly shit the bed again next game. Wouldn’t you think that this team would get tired of answering the same questions?? We are stuck with Penner and Horcoff for a few more years so get used to it, crappy planning on behalf of last years management will dog us for a year or so yet and until we adopt the Detroit Red Wing philosophy of signing because you like it here and not trying to cash in, we will be dragged through the mud year after year!!

Is it safe to say that Penner, Horcoff and Cole are like leased vehicles - depreciating and you are looking for leasebusters to get you out of this deal.... when the 48 months are up on the commitment - you give this car back to the dealer (nhl pool) and run like hell hoping they don't notice the nicks and scratches known as wear and tear... based on RB's gentleman's approach on JAG.... Cole would be a good fit to say goodbye and go back to Carolina with familar faces where home is home. To all oiler nation that are coming down on the kids - as per RB's statement again - they have 2 - 3 years to develop - judging them on last years miracle maturity is not fair - but getting back to our financial disaster - no GM would take Penner or Horcoff's contract at the start - nevermind now after their performance of implusion is now verified.... factors outside LOWE's control such as the economic 911 last september has changed the cap and willingness for teams to commit. Are there any $4 or 7mm players in the league that are not playing up to potential that a trade of new address would be beneficial - I love the Briere for Horcoff one - as his performance as a $7mm man is embarrassing - and the term of his contract is frightening - how did Lowe get away with this and not have any public outroar - remember people the monies being spent may not be ours - but it is our cap to be armchair GM...... I see $15mm down the drain this year and that is less as PISANI was on an insurance life raft. The signings were weak based on being held hostage after the cup run - same as folding like a tent for Pronger instead of waiting for few months.....

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#66 Fiveandagame
March 01 2009, 10:05AM
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Dennis wrote:

Rindog: Just wanted to add that we’re not unlike a lot of other teams in this regard but we really don’t have a top four D with 71 gone. And I think this stretch has shown that he’s the best blueliner we have.

Dennis man I swear sometimes you sound like a guy who knows his hockey other times you sound like a donkey braying.

Sheldon Souray has 17 goals and is tenth in league scoring. Would have to say that makes him a top 4 guy in any league.

Tom Gilbert has more points than Jay Bouwmeester and as many as Dion Phaneuf.

He is a top 4 guy on ANY team.

Some people have rose coloured glasses when they look at their team, YOU however are the opposite.

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#67 deepoil
March 01 2009, 10:10AM
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GSC wrote:

Jonathan Willis wrote: GSC wrote: @ Jonathan Willis: Those simplistic stats are hardly the only ones that matter, or Marc Savard would have a Hart Trophy at this point. In the salary cap world, bang for the buck is the most significant stat of them all. If you’re not producing and are making a hefty salary (highest amongst forwards until Horcoff’s extension kicks in), then you’re dead weight and cap space being wasted. I’m not worried about a player winning individual accolades, I’m looking for a player who does what is expected of him. Marc Savard does, Dustin Penner does not. If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it’s a duck. You gave me the six things that are “essential” ingredients in power forwards. I didn’t compare Penner to Bertuzzi; re-read my statement. I compared Bertuzzi to your rather arbitrary list of power-forward essentials to show that, well, you’re wrong. Arbitrary list, eh? You asserted that Bertuzzi was rather inconsistent. Seasons of 50, 55, 85, 97, 60, and 71 points in his prime with Vancouver (1999-00 to 2005-06). 5 of those seasons included 25 goals or more, including seasons of 25, 25, 36, and 46 goals from 1999-00 to 2002-03. If this is inconsistency in the same age range as Penner is currently in, then I’ll take inconsistency and run. There is nothing to suggest that Penner will be able to do the same as a scorer. In fact, his goal-scoring totals suggest he’s regressing already (from 29, to 23, to on pace for 18 this season). But those are just numbers, your specialty. If you watched Bertuzzi play during those years, there is little to argue that he was a force on the ice. He was a formidable presence, both because of his scoring ability and his hot temper. He played with an edge, and when he combined it with his natural skill it made for a beauty of a hockey player. Ah. Do you know who came up with the Corsi number? Not me, and not Oilers bloggers. Rather, it’s a long-time NHL assistant. Do you know who uses EVGA-EVPTS as a primary measuring stick for his forwards? Not me, and not Oilers bloggers. Rather, it’s an NHL head coach who could very well finish his career in the top-five in career wins. Do you know who the Minnesota Wild hired as their director of hockey operations, with a mandate to come up with advanced statistics? A 25-year old newspaper writer. If you think I’m being dishonest with my statistics, disprove it, but don’t torpedo measures which have been borrowed from NHL teams. Put up or shut up - although I’ve got a strong inkling that you’ll do neither. I never said that you’re being dishonest, but what I am suggesting is that statistics can be manipulated to say just about anything. There is always more to the story, and that’s where this wonderful thing called “the eye” comes in. Sure, NHL coaches and team personnel may use such mathematical models to SUPPLEMENT what they SEE on the ice. When it all comes down to it, scouts use their eyes to determine if a player has the goods. You assert that Penner wasn’t the worst Oiler on the ice against Columbus, and that’s fine and likely correct given your in-depth statistical analysis. What Tychkowski asserts is that Penner was, yet again, a non-factor in a game that a player of his potential could take control of. He’s not making $4.25 MIL just to be merely adequate. Just because Penner did what any reasonable person would do by accepting a massive overpayment doesn’t absolve him of the expectations that come with it. What I see in your analysis is a fan who feels sorry for the guy rather than being entirely objective about his production.

I got the feeling that Ty felt he was blown off by Penner and his interest for the team and to stand up for the loss was not his to take - go ask an assistant or our captain - I am not paid to make statements - I am paid to play hockey - the player does not have to talk to the media - but just back it up on the ice - show so jam (as per mact) - but i think his agent has to have a chat - as changing his performance in the last year of his contract is not a play that is going to break the bank again - Oilers are required to raise his salary by 10 - 15% with a conditional offer.... can you say pass - and his rights are gone - very different than when COMRIE had free will NOT to sign here as an RFA and was burned in efigy.... strange but true that the Edmonton fans think that a player owes a city under the collective bargaining agreement - but when it is the other way around - and the team cuts him loose - the fans move on without guilt - this is having your cake and eating it too - yes I am pissed at LOWE and the fans for not understanding COMRIES right to play anywhere he wants under RFA status - why did LOWE have so much patience with MIKEY on had a premature issue with Pronger - really.... both were trades - one made in haste - the other denied due to spite - total class right.....

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#68 Jonathan Willis
March 01 2009, 10:27AM
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@ Fiveandagame:

I think Dennis meant that the Oilers didn't have a solid top-four group with Visnovsky out; 37-77, 44-24 doesn't quite cut it.

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#69 Rick
March 01 2009, 10:33AM
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Penner is on pace to finish with less than 20 goals this year. The price of his contract aside he was brought in to score goals on the first line and he isn't doing it.

In the games he shows interest in, his skill set is evident so this isn't a case of a guy that can't get it done, it's a case of a guy that simply isn't getting it done.

Disecting his stats within the game is a fool's quest at this point because when the final buzzer sounds it is the offence that they need in large part from him that is found missing.

On a team that isn't getting over the hump due to the inability to score goals, outchancing and hard minutes played only serves to compare the players on the same team, most of which aren't supposed to be filling the role he has anyways. It doesn't do anything to show how well he is playing vs how well he can play.

This team is stuck on the playoff bubble because of too many guys underperforming and Penner is as good of a poster child for that as anyone.

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#70 Mike
March 01 2009, 10:54AM
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Rick wrote:

Penner is on pace to finish with less than 20 goals this year. The price of his contract aside he was brought in to score goals on the first line and he isn’t doing it.

Yeah, but he's also not going to have 82 games of first-line time, or first line power play time.

We're into a chicken and egg scenario. Is he getting demoted because he's not producing, or is he not producing because he can't fart or cough without ending up on the 4th line?

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#71 Rick
March 01 2009, 11:03AM
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Mike wrote:

We’re into a chicken and egg scenario. Is he getting demoted because he’s not producing, or is he not producing because he can’t fart or cough without ending up on the 4th line?

I don't see anything that resembles a chicken and egg argument.

I see a guy who is getting demoted because his give a **** meter is stuck on zero more games than not.

There is a lot to critisize MacT for but one consistant about him is that he can quickly identify who is working hard and who isn't and they will be treated accordingly. That is a good trait for any coach to have.

Penner isn't talented enough to get the job done if he isn't working hard. Penner's demotions and benchings are all on Penner.

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#72 GSC
March 01 2009, 11:11AM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

In point of fact, I didn’t even look at the numbers. You see, although the Oilers are my team, I live in B.C., and during Bertuzzi’s years as a Canuck I probably saw him play personally over 200 times. And what I saw was that despite the numbers you could never tell which Bertuzzi you were going to get night-in and night-out. Those 50-points seasons you talk about; those were years when Todd Bertuzzi was the biggest engima in a Canucks uniform; every so often he would excel, but he’d disappear over stretches too. Even when he started putting up more points, it was difficult to say that he’d show up every game, and he had this nasty habit of going quiet in the postseason. Anybody who watched Todd Bertuzzi game in and game out over those years knows that he, more than any other member of his line, was prone to taking a stupid penalty, or letting the opposition have an odd-man rush the other way. Equally, anybody who watched him game in an game out knew that when he was on he was a force to be reckoned with. I’ve never claimed (and wouldn’t) that Penner does as much to help his team win as Bertuzzi, but Bertuzzi - even in his prime - was not a consistent player, and he often seemed to have flagging work ethic and motivation.

Well then, it appears that we're not as far off as I previously asserted.

Again, I'm not at all suggesting that your statistics are inherently wrong and dishonest. They can be quite useful as a supplement to what we see on the ice. I think we can agree on that, no?

The main point is that far too often Penner is a non-factor in games that he should be a dominating force in. Bertuzzi had that kind of clutch, decisive presence. As did Bill Guerin and John LeClair, to name two more prominent power forwards (who also could be accused of playing lazy and disinterested from time to time).

I will ask you this, Jonathan: Do you foresee a book coming out for hockey that is "Moneyball"-esque? I'm in the camp that baseball is much more statistically readable than hockey due to the continuous one-on-one, pitcher vs. batter matchup. IMO, there are too many other contributing variables during a hockey game to make some of the same numerical arguments that baseball allows. Just my two cents...maybe someday you'll be the author of that book, Mr. Willis?

-GSC

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#73 deepoil
March 01 2009, 11:23AM
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Mike wrote:

Rick wrote: Penner is on pace to finish with less than 20 goals this year. The price of his contract aside he was brought in to score goals on the first line and he isn’t doing it. Yeah, but he’s also not going to have 82 games of first-line time, or first line power play time. We’re into a chicken and egg scenario. Is he getting demoted because he’s not producing, or is he not producing because he can’t fart or cough without ending up on the 4th line?

Case of had the opportunity and blown it.... reminds me of the lost potential in Alexander Daigle - big money - no desire - lost in translation. You hear stories of some NHLer's (forget who) working on farms, and other odd jobs during the off season - shows pride, work ethic, and a desire to keeping it real - this Winkler MB native seems to have fooled LOWE and is a victim of his of demise with the help of MACT with the ERIK COLE experiment. Fool me once shame on you - fool me twice you know

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#74 Jonathan Willis
March 01 2009, 11:38AM
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@ GSC:

No, I suppose we really aren't that far off. One of the things I hate about the internet is how minor misunderstandings on either end can result in full blown arguments that would easily be settled by face-to-face discussion.

I think the numbers have value and should be used in combination (rather than independantly) with other measures, but which numbers have the most value hasn't been proven publicly yet.

As for the book, if I had to bet money I'd say that Ron Wilson is the guy who write it.

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#75 Fiveandagame
March 01 2009, 03:49PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

@ Fiveandagame: I think Dennis meant that the Oilers didn’t have a solid top-four group with Visnovsky out; 37-77, 44-24 doesn’t quite cut it.

I hope thats what he meant. I really think Smid deserves to be top four guy on this team and. Grebeshkov and Smid would be a nice second pairing in my own opinion.

On the Gilbert front, he's looking worth his 4mil cap hit. You wouldn't believe how many guys are making WAY more to do WAY less. I know MR. Brownlee figures he'll never be worth his contract, but he's 17th in league scoring in just his second full season... I say that bodes well considering the maturation period for defenseman is usually a little longer.

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