Pragmatism

Jonathan Willis
March 13 2009 11:05AM

Reasoner

A physical game is not a prerequisite for a bottom six forward. There are those who would argue that is, but I really don’t see it as a defensible argument. Consider the following list of forwards:

  • Kris Draper – more than 1000 NHL games, mostly as a third line forward
  • Todd Marchant – more than 1000 NHL games, mostly as a third line forward
  • Radek Dvorak – more than 900 NHL games, hasn’t been a top-6 player in four years
  • Jay Pandolfo – more than 700 NHL games, mostly as a third line forward
  • Sergei Brylin – more than 700 NHL games, mostly as a third line forward
  • Matt Cullen – more than 700 NHL games, mostly as a third line forward
  • John Madden – more than 600 NHL games, mostly as a third line forward
  • Richard Park – more than 500 NHL games, mostly as a fourth line forward
  • Ryan Johnson – more than 500 NHL games, mostly as a third line forward
  • Marty Reasoner – more than 500 NHL games, mostly as a third line forward
  • Pascal Dupuis – more than 400 NHL games, mostly as a fourth line forward
  • Matt Pettinger – 400 NHL games, mostly as a fourth line forward
  • Fernando Pisani – more than 300 NHL games, mostly as a third line forward
  • Brooks Laich – more than 300 NHL games, mostly as a third line forward
  • Erik Christensen – more than 200 NHL games, mostly as a third line forward
  • Dominic Moore – more than 200 NHL games, mostly as a fourth line forward
  • Vernon Fiddler – more than 200 NHL games, mostly as a fourth line forward
  • Andy Hilbert – more than 200 NHL games, mostly as a fourth line forward
  • Jay McClement – more than 200 NHL games, mostly as a fourth line forward
  • Toby Petersen – more than 200 NHL games, mostly as a fourth line forward

I didn’t include any players with less than 2-1/2 seasons at the NHL level (200 games), and I didn’t include any retired players. I also didn’t include any players who have the reputation of having an above-average physical game. Certainly there’s some grit there – Matt Pettinger and Andy Hilbert, for example, have some decent size and definitely some grit, but they aren’t physically dominant players. The players on that list, and especially at the top of it, have made a career of either shutting down top opponents with speed and positioning, or doing something very simple: scoring more goals than their opponents.

Teams need a balance; a team without physical players is going to get pushed around, and obviously there should be some grit in a team’s bottom-six. But to argue, for example, that Marc Pouliot won’t have a career as a third line forward because he doesn’t have a dominant physical game is to ignore a host of very good players who have proved exactly the opposite.

It’s been that way all down through history – players like Rick Meagher and Bob Gainey forged reputations as defensive stalwarts, despite not being physically dominant. More recently, a player like Marty Reasoner has forged an NHL career despite a) no real physical game b) suspect skating and c) minimal offensive production.

The reason these guys have careers is because despite what people will tell you, toughness, speed and even goal-scoring aren’t the most valuable assets to a team that a player can possess. The most valuable asset is actually rather elementary – scoring more goals than the opposition. It’s how teams win games, and it’s glossed over far too often in favour of big hits and flashy but one-dimensional play.

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Jonathan Willis is a freelance writer. He currently works for Oilers Nation, Sportsnet, 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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#1 baggedmilk
March 13 2009, 11:08AM
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How dare you say that Marty Sakic has forged a career as a third liner. He spent at least a third of those games on the first line, for whatever reason that may be it's unknown.

Willis your data is skewed. ;)

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#2 Rick
March 13 2009, 11:19AM
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I think the argument about Pouliot was in respect to being a 4th line forward.

Depending on what you believe the make of a team should look like, there is a big difference between 3rd and 4th liners. I don't think you can generalize the bottom 6 like that.

Further, guys like Marty Sakic play a position that doesn't demand the same physicality that people refer to. He is a center, and much like Brodziak who also isn't physical, offers more than just energy.

Pouliot appears pigeon holed to the wing and on this team, with this make up , the 4th line wingers must be able to play with some sand in their game.

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#3 Jonathan Willis
March 13 2009, 11:24AM
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@ Rick:

For starters, Pouliot is a centre, and has developed his game to play wherever he can - a utility that should serve him well going forward. People complain about Erik Cole being jumped from left wing to right wing, but Pouliot's played all three forward positions, and that isn't something people seem to give him credit for.

Secondly, a bunch of those players on that list are wingers, and most of them (Jay Pandolfo perhaps being the best example) have spent extensive time on the fourth line. Take a look at the fourth lines of the really good teams over the last ten years - most of them have good, talented players without a physical game on not only their 3rd, but 4th lines.

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#4 Scott C. Booschock
March 13 2009, 11:28AM
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MacT was a fourth line forward who banged and stuck up for his team mates like he wants Dustin Penner to. He is a great model for any hockey player.He is also in the running for the Jack Adams award, he has done such an excellent job in a team with no skill. If the Oilers let him go he will be the next coach of the Wild.

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#5 Librarian Mike
March 13 2009, 11:32AM
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@ Scott C. Booschock:

In the running for the Jack Adams? Seriously? I'll go as far as to say that MacT is not the real problem, rather that it's the boy's club mentality in this team from the top down. Simply getting rid of MacT won't help because we all know that Huddy or Buchberger will take over and it's the same thing.

Actually, now that I think of it you're right. MacT IS in the running for the Adams, strictly speaking. I mean, he is coaching in the NHL this year so I guess that puts him in the running.

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#6 baggedmilk
March 13 2009, 11:34AM
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Scott C. Booschock wrote:

MacT was a fourth line forward who banged and stuck up for his team mates like he wants Dustin Penner to. He is a great model for any hockey player.He is also in the running for the Jack Adams award, he has done such an excellent job in a team with no skill. If the Oilers let him go he will be the next coach of the Wild.

Are you trying to be ironic/funny or something? Jack Adams? Do you even watch hockey?

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#7 Jonathan Willis
March 13 2009, 11:35AM
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@ baggedmilk:

I suspect Scott forgot to include his tilde (~).

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#8 The Towel Boy
March 13 2009, 11:41AM
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@ Jonathan Willis:

Definitely lacking in the tilde dept.

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#9 Rick
March 13 2009, 11:56AM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

@ Rick: For starters, Pouliot is a centre, and has developed his game to play wherever he can - a utility that should serve him well going forward. People complain about Erik Cole being jumped from left wing to right wing, but Pouliot’s played all three forward positions, and that isn’t something people seem to give him credit for.

I know he is a center but that isn't what's getting him into the line up is it? Until, assuming that he can, he ever establishes himself as a regular center it's pretty much moot to argue that he is one.

Jonathan Willis wrote:

@ Rick: Secondly, a bunch of those players on that list are wingers, and most of them (Jay Pandolfo perhaps being the best example) have spent extensive time on the fourth line. Take a look at the fourth lines of the really good teams over the last ten years - most of them have good, talented players without a physical game on not only their 3rd, but 4th lines.

As I said, it's my opinion that you can't group together both the third and the fourth line.

As far as saying you never see unphysical guys on the 4th line wings, I never said that either. I fully recognize that there are exceptions. There always are. I also recognize that there are times when player development vs team situation will dictate that a player starts lower down the line up. Horcoff being a prime example.

That said, I go back to my original point in that on this team, the way it's made up, you have to have some grit on the 4th line wings.

Pouliot, for what he brings, is best suited for the third line but then you have to decide if he is an upgrade over what is already slotted in there.

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#10 Jonathan Willis
March 13 2009, 11:58AM
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Rick wrote:

That said, I go back to my original point in that on this team, the way it’s made up, you have to have some grit on the 4th line wings. Pouliot, for what he brings, is best suited for the third line but then you have to decide if he is an upgrade over what is already slotted in there.

This team needs balance - that we agree on. But with Moreau, Jacques, Stortini and MacIntyre contending for roles in the bottom six, I don't see an argument that Pouliot can't cut it on this team.

Besides, right now he's a key ingredient in a very decent Gagner line. I'm looking more at the long term picture for players of his ilk - I think he has an NHL career as a third liner.

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#11 Scott C. Booschock
March 13 2009, 12:08PM
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Trying to add some humour here but I guess you all take it serious.

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#12 baggedmilk
March 13 2009, 12:09PM
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Scott C. Booschock wrote:

Trying to add some humour here but I guess you all take it serious.

That's what I was hoping you were doing, or else I would have had to track you down and shake you in an angry mother to infant fashion.

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#13 Scott C. Booschock
March 13 2009, 12:11PM
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Did MacT ever stick up for a team mate.....ever fight...no

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#14 R-Gib
March 13 2009, 12:27PM
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JW - "...big hits and flashy but one-dimensional play."

Sounds to me like you are singling out a Norris runner up from last yr... just sayin ;)

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#15 Jason Gregor
March 13 2009, 12:32PM
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If you don't think that Marchant didn't play with grit then you never watched him play. He played much bigger than he was. He competed hard and never avoided a collision.

Draper is one of the best 3rd liners of all time, so trying to allude that Pouliot is in his category is a large stretch. And we know this started with the comment regarding him and a Potulny possible effectiveness as a 3rd line player.

Pandolfo won loads of battles and was a stellar penalty killer on championship teams.

John Madden is a Selke winner and plays much more physical than Pouliot.

I've always said there is room for Pisani or Pouliot, not both. And Pisani doesn't get knocked off the puck easily.

I agree the top end guys on the list played a major role on their team, but they are also some of the best at it.

The rest are players that fill a roster spot but haven't made much impact on their team, or league wide.

Of all the players listed after Madden, only Laich because he has size and uses it from time-to-time and Dominic Moore because he can win a draw, are any of the others players you would want here?

Are they better than what the Oilers have?

And yesterday you said that scoring in the AHL does mean something to the NHL. I used your guys that you stated are good NHLer's and compared the numbers for you.

Kris Draper – Averaged 0.5 PPG in the AHL and 0.32 PPG in NHL.

Todd Marchant – Only played 49 games in AHL and had 61 points. His best year in the NHL he had 60 points, but is a career 0.45 PPG player in the NHL.

Radek Dvorak – Never played in the minors. Jay Pandolfo – Averaged 0.77 PPG in the minors, and.0.28 in the NHL.

Sergei Brylin – Was a 0.91 PPG player in the AHL, and 0.40 in the NHL.

Matt Cullen – Had 36 pts in 27 AHL games, and is a 0.51 PPG in the NHL.

John Madden – Had 98 point year in the AHL, 41 is his best in the NHL.

Richard Park – In 338 AHL games he had 261 points. In 589 NHL games he has 220 points. 0.77 PPG in AHL, 0.32 in the NHL.

Ryan Johnson – 0.75 PPG in over 200 AHL games, 0.18 PPG in 593 NHL games.

Marty Reasoner – 125 points in 122 AHL games, and 200 in 530 NHL games.

Pascal Dupuis – He had 0.61 PPG in IHL, and 0.39 PPG in NHL.

Matt Pettinger –0.50 PPG in the AHL and averaged 0.28 in the NHL.

Fernando Pisani – Career best 37 points in NHL, and 60 in the AHL.

Brooks Laich – 0.47 PPG in the AHL and 0.38 in the NHL.

Erik Christensen – 0.68 PPG in the AHL and 0.43 in the NHL.

Dominic Moore – 0.59 PPG in the AHL, and 0.32 in the NHL. Vernon Fiddler – 0.49 PPG in the AHL and 0.30 in the NHL.

Andy Hilbert – Scored 0.90 PPG in the AHL and 0.34 PPG in the NHL.

Jay McClement – 0.53 PPG in the AHL and 0.36 in the NHL.

Toby Petersen – Scored 338 points in 442 AHL games, and has 55 points in 220 games. A 0.76 PPG in the AHL and 0.25 in the NHL.

Not one of them matched their AHL production and in most cases it was quite a bit lower. I think that proves that what Potulny does offensively in the AHL has no bearing on the type of numbers he will put up with the Oilers. Which will be minimal since he won't ever crack this lineup, outside of being an emergency call up.

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#16 yo
March 13 2009, 12:35PM
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Pouliot? He is a first round bust. He's in the line-up so the boneheads on Kingway can massage the optics. Wise up already.

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#17 topshelf
March 13 2009, 12:36PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

Besides, right now he’s a key ingredient in a very decent Gagner line. I’m looking more at the long term picture

I would hope that next year the oilers plan on upgrading him on the 2nd line, regardless of what he is doing right now. We all saw what happened last year with the kid line and how far has that got us this year?

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#18 Bruthah
March 13 2009, 12:47PM
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Jdub......... can you please stop using big words in your titles, thanks.

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#19 William
March 13 2009, 12:57PM
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Gregor you impress me with you ability to back up your opinion. I didn't think you were that much of a stat guy. I respected your opinion on players before, but with your rebuttle here you get a thumbs up from me. And I'm a stat guy more than a effort/role guy.

This site gets better every day. You guys all make for a good read.

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#20 Word
March 13 2009, 01:00PM
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I'm getting confused by this whole NHL/AHL transitive thinking exercise that Willis is getting curb-stomped for.

A statement that reads, "All players that score points in the NHL and played in the AHL, scored points in the AHL," does not mean that all AHL players who score points will go on to score points in the NHL. That's a transitive error. Willis is saying that it's a stepping stone.

Offensive ability at the AHL level is a preceding requirement for players to show offensive ability at the NHL level. The only valid argument to counter Willis' logic would be to state that no (or, alternatively, very few) AHL players who put up good offensive numbers can translate those numbers to the NHL level.

In other words, "No player that scores at the AHL level goes on to score at the NHL level."

I don't follow stats closely enough to be able to say if that's the case, but if it is, our scouts have been fooking us even worse than we though 'cause the only way to get a natural goal scorer would be to draft them straight into the NHL.

I don't think anyone is naive enough to suggest that a 60 point player in the minors will automatically be a 60 point player in the N. That would be like saying that the AHL is of equal caliber to the NHL. However, if you're a 10-point player in the A, you better have all sorts of jam, grit, sandpaper, moxie, panache and other coachable cliches or you may as well start selling cars now.

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#21 CurtisS
March 13 2009, 01:04PM
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If Reasoner was here one of Cogs or Gagner wouldnt be getting ice time. Yes thats how Mact rolls.

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#22 Boardroom Jimmy
March 13 2009, 01:07PM
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He can use big words cause he is a fancy man!

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#23 GSC
March 13 2009, 01:12PM
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Nobody is arguing that Reasoner can't be a useful player, when placed in the right situation. That's the problem I had with him being on the roster, and it wasn't so much a problem with him as it was with MacTavish putting him in situations that he had no business being in (such as an extra attacker in the final minute).

I'd have loved for Marty to get another year here as a shutdown centre, but given MacT's tendency to use him as a top 6 forward at times probably made his coming back all the less likely.

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#24 Word
March 13 2009, 01:18PM
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@ GSC: I couldn't agree with you more dude. Even now we have the same problem:

Ginger Reddox.

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#25 Chris
March 13 2009, 01:26PM
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yo wrote:

Pouliot? He is a first round bust. He’s in the line-up so the boneheads on Kingway can massage the optics. Wise up already.

Willis may be correct... Pouliot may develop into a useful third line player... so saying Pouliot is a bust may be an overstatemnt. There is one point that nobody can argue: Pouliot is a disappointment when you consider some of the other players available in his draft class.

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#26 Bruce
March 13 2009, 01:33PM
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Nice piece, JW.

Rick Meagher was a beauty, a great shutdown centre at age 35. I remember one week where in consecutive games he drew shadow assignments against Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux, Steve Yzerman and Denis Savard: the fearsome foursome scored a total of one point against the Blues, and that on the powerplay. That was one time when the NHL would have been perfectly justified naming a defensive specialist as their Player of the Week. Didn't happen of course, but it should have. Players like that almost never get their due.

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#27 Ogden Brother
March 13 2009, 01:34PM
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yo wrote:

Pouliot? He is a first round bust. He’s in the line-up so the boneheads on Kingway can massage the optics. Wise up already.

Tough to say that's what the plan is when the optics are that 95% of the fan base is pissed that he's in the line-up.

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#28 roughneck
March 13 2009, 01:42PM
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I am drawn to an observation that the list provided could also be used in a contraction argument: I always thought... "u suck" and "i make money playing professional hockey" were irreconcilable.

*** scurries off to cuddle his sergei priakin rookie card***

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#29 nutsandgum
March 13 2009, 01:49PM
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baggedmilk wrote:

Scott C. Booschock wrote: MacT...is also in the running for the Jack Adams award... Are you trying to be ironic/funny or something? Jack Adams? Do you even watch hockey?

I'm sh!t-disturbing here I know, but as an NHL coach, he's technically in the running for the Jack Adams, since that's the requirement. Whether he's got a shot, well that remains to be seen (only by a blind man :))

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#30 esa tikkanen
March 13 2009, 01:51PM
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Jonathan I asked you twice now to write a blog about who is on the ice on the PK the most when the other team scored. I noticed AGAIN that Grebeshkov was on last night. I think he has been on for every goal scored against on the PK since he got back, or close to it. I like him as a player, 5-5 excellent, on PP ok on second line, but on PK he is terrible, and I don't think Gilbert is much better, thus the 28th ranked PK in the league that is costing them major points.

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#31 rindog
March 13 2009, 01:58PM
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@ Jason Gregor:

I think one of us missed the point ofJW's post regarding scoring in the AHL vs the NHL???

I was under the impression that he meant that scoring in the AHL was better than not scoring in the AHL?

You were right - just because a guy scores in the AHL doesn't mean that he will soore in the NHL....

BUT

If a guy doesn't score in the AHL, he definitely won't produce in the NHL...

I think what he is saying is that guys like Potulny should atleast be given a shot over guys that haven't produced at the AHL level???

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#32 Harlie Chuddy
March 13 2009, 02:22PM
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Lord Stanley the chick magnet http://www.theworldofisaac.com/2008/05/hot-chicks-with-lord-stanley.html

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#33 GSC
March 13 2009, 02:35PM
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And I agree with Johnny Willis here...sounds like a future porn star name, no?

Pouliot may prove to be a very useful bottom 6 centre, provided he wins draws and plays a smart two-way game.

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#34 Jason Gregor
March 13 2009, 02:56PM
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rindog wrote:

I think what he is saying is that guys like Potulny should atleast be given a shot over guys that haven’t produced at the AHL level???

Why? He won't score in the NHL. The numbers back it up. Where would he play? And why do you want him? Will he produce better than Pouliot, Pisani, Moreau, Penner, O'Sullivan? No chance. So why do you want him.

And while JW didn't say it, Dennis claimed that JW would rip my arguement apart about how scoring in the AHL doesn't translate at all to scoring in the NHL. Dennis infered that Potulny's AHL numbers meant he would be able to bring similar numbers to the NHL. And I like I said originally there is few, if any, players who back that up. I don't think JW needs people speaking for him, just like I don't. We are both man enough to speak for ourselves...haha

Brule can bring an intangible that Potulny can't, so he could start as an energy guy and work his way up. Potulny can't.

GSC wrote:

Pouliot may prove to be a very useful bottom 6 centre, provided he wins draws and plays a smart two-way game.

If you think that,then he is takes the spot of Brodziak, who has more goals, points and is better in the faceoff, or he takes Cogliano's spot as #3. I don't think anyone sees that a realistic possibility, or one they would be happy to see.

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#35 Fiveandagame
March 13 2009, 02:57PM
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~ Wait... You win by scoring more goals than the other team????

See this is why I tune into this web/book thing, ground breaking game analysis.

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#36 Chris
March 13 2009, 03:00PM
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@ Jonathan Willis:

If I were GM, physical play WOULD be a prerequisite for a bottom six forward... unless said forward was clearly a playing prospect with obvious top-line potential. I like a physical game... Pouliot bores me.

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#37 GSC
March 13 2009, 03:05PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

If you think that,then he is takes the spot of Brodziak, who has more goals, points and is better in the faceoff, or he takes Cogliano’s spot as #3. I don’t think anyone sees that a realistic possibility, or one they would be happy to see.

I think he COULD be useful in the bottom 6, but he's not going to take Brodziak's spot. Not a chance. As for Cogs being a 3rd line centre, do you see that lasting in the long run? I still think he has top 6 potential, he's not another Todd Marchant (although that wouldn't be horrible, either).

By the way, love the show...I tune in online from my home in Ohio every chance I get. Shameless plugs be damned!

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#38 Q
March 13 2009, 03:06PM
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@ Chris: This is the thing Chris, when you have too much physicality, you lose the ability to throw out a line that can give secondary scoring AND stop the other team from scoring on you.

This is one of the big differences between the Oil and the Flames. The Oil only have Horcoff to stop other teams (I won't get into Penner's effectiveness here) and the bottom two lines can't put the puck in the net most nights. Whereas the Flames know that if Iginla's line won't do it, then GlenX's will or even the 4th line might. It leads to a balanced team effort. Maybe they hit too, but that's not the main reason for having them out there.

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#39 GSC
March 13 2009, 03:07PM
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And in that list is a player that I believe the Oilers NEED to sign in the offseason: Vernon Fiddler.

Reliable, affordable bottom 6 centre (and an Edmonton native).

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#40 Q
March 13 2009, 03:10PM
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@ GSC: What are his numbers like?

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#41 RossCreek
March 13 2009, 03:12PM
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GSC wrote:

And in that list is a player that I believe the Oilers NEED to sign in the offseason: Vernon Fiddler. Reliable, affordable bottom 6 centre (and an Edmonton native).

I agree he should be a guy they at least have a convo with. Decent player.

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#42 Jonathan Willis
March 13 2009, 03:15PM
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@ Jason Gregor:

That's a nice job discrediting a column I didn't write, but let's go through it point by point.

If you don’t think that Marchant didn’t play with grit then you never watched him play. He played much bigger than he was. He competed hard and never avoided a collision.

No kidding. Same thing with Hemsky. Same thing with most of that list in fact - but playing with grit isn't the same thing as having a dominant physical game, is it? Hemsky's gritty, Moreau's physical, yes?

Draper is one of the best 3rd liners of all time, so trying to allude that Pouliot is in his category is a large stretch. And we know this started with the comment regarding him and a Potulny possible effectiveness as a 3rd line player.

That's amazing. Marc Pouliot is 23 years old - do you know where Kris Draper was at 23? He had just been traded from Winnipeg to Detroit. In exchange, Winnipeg got 1 dollar. Look it up.

In other words, saying that Pouliot, at 23, could never be a two-way guy like Draper is asinine - Draper at 23 wasn't Draper. Of course, Pouliot may never reach that level, but unless you've got a crystal ball, you don't know that.

Pandolfo won loads of battles and was a stellar penalty killer on championship teams. John Madden is a Selke winner and plays much more physical than Pouliot. I’ve always said there is room for Pisani or Pouliot, not both. And Pisani doesn’t get knocked off the puck easily.

Neither are big hitters. Both are hard on the puck, which is essential and is something that Pouliot does when he's on. In any case, you just contradicted yourself - why couldn't the Oilers have two intense, two-way guys without big hitting games if the Stanley Cup champion Devils did? Given that the Devils also had Brylin, what's the magic number of bottom sixers without a big hitting game? 4? Of course, it depends on Pouliot being an intense, hard on the puck guy, but he's shown that he can do it, the light just needs to stay on.

I agree the top end guys on the list played a major role on their team, but they are also some of the best at it. The rest are players that fill a roster spot but haven’t made much impact on their team, or league wide.

You don't play 500 NHL games without making an impact, Jason.

Of all the players listed after Madden, only Laich because he has size and uses it from time-to-time and Dominic Moore because he can win a draw, are any of the others players you would want here? Are they better than what the Oilers have?

Either Marty Reasoner or Ryan Johnson would be a big help - elite penalty killers who win faceoffs. Probably more help than say, J-F Jacques, who brings a physical game, or Ales Kotalik, who drew a 2nd round pick from Tambellini.

And yesterday you said that scoring in the AHL does mean something to the NHL. I used your guys that you stated are good NHLer’s and compared the numbers for you. Kris Draper – Averaged 0.5 PPG in the AHL and 0.32 PPG in NHL. Todd Marchant – Only played 49 games in AHL and had 61 points. His best year in the NHL he had 60 points, but is a career 0.45 PPG player in the NHL. Radek Dvorak – Never played in the minors. Jay Pandolfo – Averaged 0.77 PPG in the minors, and.0.28 in the NHL. Sergei Brylin – Was a 0.91 PPG player in the AHL, and 0.40 in the NHL. Matt Cullen – Had 36 pts in 27 AHL games, and is a 0.51 PPG in the NHL. John Madden – Had 98 point year in the AHL, 41 is his best in the NHL. Richard Park – In 338 AHL games he had 261 points. In 589 NHL games he has 220 points. 0.77 PPG in AHL, 0.32 in the NHL. Ryan Johnson – 0.75 PPG in over 200 AHL games, 0.18 PPG in 593 NHL games. Marty Reasoner – 125 points in 122 AHL games, and 200 in 530 NHL games. Pascal Dupuis – He had 0.61 PPG in IHL, and 0.39 PPG in NHL. Matt Pettinger –0.50 PPG in the AHL and averaged 0.28 in the NHL. Fernando Pisani – Career best 37 points in NHL, and 60 in the AHL. Brooks Laich – 0.47 PPG in the AHL and 0.38 in the NHL. Erik Christensen – 0.68 PPG in the AHL and 0.43 in the NHL. Dominic Moore – 0.59 PPG in the AHL, and 0.32 in the NHL. Vernon Fiddler – 0.49 PPG in the AHL and 0.30 in the NHL. Andy Hilbert – Scored 0.90 PPG in the AHL and 0.34 PPG in the NHL. Jay McClement – 0.53 PPG in the AHL and 0.36 in the NHL. Toby Petersen – Scored 338 points in 442 AHL games, and has 55 points in 220 games. A 0.76 PPG in the AHL and 0.25 in the NHL. Not one of them matched their AHL production and in most cases it was quite a bit lower. I think that proves that what Potulny does offensively in the AHL has no bearing on the type of numbers he will put up with the Oilers. Which will be minimal since he won’t ever crack this lineup, outside of being an emergency call up.

Who ever said that players bring all of their offensive production to the NHL? Nobody. You've misstated not only my argument, but that of Dennis as well. Speaking for myself, I subscribe to the conversion that Gabriel Desjardins came up with a few years back (you can find it here) which states that an AHL player brings roughly 40-50% of his offense with him to the NHL. The players you listed fit into that curve nicely, don't you think? In other words, those nice numbers you listed above just prove my point - that AHL offense is related to NHL offense. Nobody other than you ever mentioned a 1:1 conversion.

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#43 RossCreek
March 13 2009, 03:15PM
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Q wrote:

@ GSC: What are his numbers like?

Vernon Fiddler, C/W 5-11, 204 lbs. Edmonton, AB 05/09/80 07-08: 79-11-21-32-47

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#44 Jonathan Willis
March 13 2009, 03:16PM
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Chris wrote:

If I were GM, physical play WOULD be a prerequisite for a bottom six forward…

I take it then that "Chris" isn't a pseudonym for Lou Lamoriello or Ken Holland.

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#45 Jonathan Willis
March 13 2009, 03:18PM
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Fiveandagame wrote:

~ Wait… You win by scoring more goals than the other team???? See this is why I tune into this web/book thing, ground breaking game analysis.

And it's amazing how many people argue that you win, not by scoring more goals, but by throwing more hits than the other team.

Hits are helpful only insofar as they help you score more goals than the other team.

Obviously.

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#46 Jonathan Willis
March 13 2009, 03:19PM
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rindog wrote:

I think one of us missed the point ofJW’s post regarding scoring in the AHL vs the NHL??? I was under the impression that he meant that scoring in the AHL was better than not scoring in the AHL? You were right - just because a guy scores in the AHL doesn’t mean that he will soore in the NHL…. BUT If a guy doesn’t score in the AHL, he definitely won’t produce in the NHL… I think what he is saying is that guys like Potulny should atleast be given a shot over guys that haven’t produced at the AHL level???

Rindog - you absolutely followed my point. A player who scores a point per game in the AHL won't automatically score a point per game in the NHL (in fact, it's pretty likely that he won't).

But I've yet to see a guy who didn't score in the AHL score in the NHL.

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#47 Jonathan Willis
March 13 2009, 03:20PM
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@ esa tikkanen:

I replied to you at the end of your last request, and left my email if you had any other questions.

Please feel free to contact me.

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#48 Jonathan Willis
March 13 2009, 03:21PM
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Boardroom Jimmy wrote:

He can use big words cause he is a fancy man!

A fnacy man with a firm grasp of English 12 ;)

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#49 GSC
March 13 2009, 03:46PM
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@ Q

This season: 64 GP, 9-15-14, -11, 13:28 Average Icetime, 55% on Faceoffs.

The vitals and last season's stats listed above by RossCreek are also correct.

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#50 Jonathan Willis
March 13 2009, 03:54PM
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Just to amplify a little on my early reply to Jason - it would be hard to present numbers that show more clearly the link between AHL and NHL scoring. Note how close the transition is between players - Player A loses X% of his offense, Player B loses a very similar percentage, and so on and so on.

The relation becomes even clearer if you look at only their last AHL season and first NHL season. Than it fits quite tightly with the Desjardins link I posted above.

I really appreciate Jason putting those numbers up (even though they were off topic). I would eventually have gotten around to proving my point that AHL offense is related to NHL offense, and now he's saved me the trouble.

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