Brule vs. Schremp

Jonathan Willis
July 27 2009 01:25PM

Among the various Oilers’ callups last season were a pair of players who were highly regarded as scorers in their respective draft years: Gilbert Brule and Rob Schremp.

The two players both scored three points: Schremp did it in just four games, Brule in eleven. Clearly than, Schremp played better, yes?

The short answer is no. I watched every game Schremp played, and the majority of Brule’s games as well, so I’d feel comfortable saying that without looking at any of the underlying numbers. That said, there are two good reasons to look at the numbers:

  1. This article would be really short if I just described what I watched (Brule was better than Schremp - The End).
  2. They highlight rather radically how a player can benefit or suffer at the hands of on-ice save/shooting percentage.

With regard to that second point, on one end of the scale we have Gilbert Brule.

Gilbert Brule

  • Shots For/Against: 41/50 (-9)
  • Goals For/Againt: 3/6 (-3)
  • On-Ice Even-strength Shooting %: 7.3%
  • On-Ice Even-strength Save %: .880

Like virtually every young bubble player in the history of young, bubble players, the shot clock is tilted against Brule (although not atrociously; Liam Reddox, for example was a much worse +152/-232). So Brule – again, like virtually every developing player – wasn’t driving possession (if you haven’t taken the hint yet, I’m very ‘meh’ about this; players like Gagner and Cogliano have the same problem while they develop).

Anyways, moving on the save percentage behind him was abysmal (remember – this is even-strength SV% only). By way of contrast, the (occasionally) re-animated remains of Curtis Joseph put up the worst numbers of any goalie in the league in this category with a .892 SV%. Patrick Lalime put up .897. Andrew Raycroft put up .905. These are the lousiest numbers in the league. Dwayne Roloson managed .926, and the team average was just below that at .925. The key thing worth noting here is that an increase to the team average would have seen Brule on the ice for only 4 goals against; that may not sound like much, but it represents a 33% reduction in goals scored against him.

While we’re on the topic, Brule’s on-ice shooting percentage was also well below the team average of 8.8%. Long story short – Brule’s better than his GF/GA numbers last season. I’d even feel comfortable saying that based on this he likely deserved a roster spot ahead of Liam Reddox (although Reddox did kill penalties, and Brule had a nasty habit of taking stupid ones).

Rob Schremp

  • Shots For/Against: 21/27 (-6)
  • Goals For/Againt: 4/2 (+2)
  • On-Ice Even-strength Shooting %: 19.0%
  • On-Ice Even-strength Save %: .926

Schremp bled shots against at a higher rate than Brule (a little over 20% in this admittedly small sample). Much like Brule, this is to be expected – players fighting for a roster spot very rarely help their teams win games.

Still, there were a chorus of “did you see how many points he put up and they sent him down!!!!!” cries from the fanbase when Schremp was demoted. Schremp’s good results were largely based on that ridiculous on-ice shooting percentage number – a number which, had it been sustained, would have marked Schremp as the greatest offensive talent in the history of the game. Gretzky in his prime, shooting against worse goaltenders couldn’t manage that number. That’s an even-strength save percentage for opposing goaltenders of .810. Ales Hemsky only managed 8.4%. Moving to bigger fish, Alexander Ovechkin recorded 9.0%, while Sidney Crosby put up 10.4%. Reducng it to Crosby’s number (which assumes that Schremp creates goal-scoring plays as well as Crosby) reduces his goals for total to 2. In other words: Schremp got very, very lucky.

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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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#51 DanMan
July 27 2009, 07:04PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

You saw the San Jose game and the Florida game, right?

Yeah, saw them both 8-10 minutes in San Jose, benched in the last 5.

And the Florida game, oh the Florida game. 52 weak shots on Craig Anderson, lose 2-0. Rob Schremp was benched from the late-2nd period on for a concussed Sam Gagner. When you have 52 less-than-quality shots, you don't bench your second most creative player 2/3 through the game. That was BS. MacT bashed him after the game, and from that point on he really dovetailed in Springton.

And no Jonathan, I have never been insulted in front of co-workers by my boss. But the problem was Schremp was insulted through the media, which travels fast these days. He was insulted in the media when he was in the MINORS. Can you remember any organization doing that?

Thats like me being insulted by a boss I don't have at a job I don't work at.

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#52 DanMan
July 27 2009, 07:11PM
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*criticized not insulted

Schremp was kinda insulted imo.

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#53 DanMan
July 27 2009, 07:18PM
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Death Metal Nightmare wrote:

both players suck and this write up will be obsolete in about a year when theyre both gone from the org.

This is great stuff. Explain how after 14 games combined, you have concluded that they suck.

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#54 DanMan
July 27 2009, 07:20PM
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The Towel Boy wrote:

~Ya’but Brule doesn’t have awesome YouTube videos of fancy shootout goals n’ stuff.

I would argue the goal he scored against St. Louis was youtube worthy.

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#55 Jonathan Willis
July 27 2009, 09:25PM
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@ DanMan:

Well, if you saw the S.J. game and the Florida game and still think there's no reason why Schremp can't be a top-six winger, we clearly view the game differently.

Which is fine, of course.

Cheers.

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#56 Sandra
July 27 2009, 11:32PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

@ DanMan: Well, if you saw the S.J. game and the Florida game and still think there’s no reason why Schremp can’t be a top-six winger, we clearly view the game differently. Which is fine, of course. Cheers.

a much cheaper version of Robert Nillson, only coachable. He would play well with Gagner, as they seem to know and practice with each other.

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#57 David S
July 27 2009, 11:40PM
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Sandra wrote:

He would play well with Gagner, as they seem to know and practice with each other.

That alone scares the crap out of me. Our best young talent spending the summer with somebody who had no problem with tanking his last AHL season. If Sam shows up at training camp with a huge d-bag tatoo on his back, I'm heading for the unfenced section of the high level bridge.

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#58 Jonathan Willis
July 27 2009, 11:41PM
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Sandra wrote:

only coachable

Schremp's had troubles with every coach who he's ever played for - his junior coach, the USA WJC coaches, his AHL coaches, his NHL coach.

The sole exception is Kelly Buchberger.

In other words, why would you call Schremp coachable?

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#59 Archaeologuy
July 27 2009, 11:46PM
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@ Jonathan Willis: JW, the Florida game and the SJ game are terrible reasons to say that Schremp cant play. In both of those games the entire team played like AHLers. San Jose was arguably the best team in the league at the time. All the while MacT was giving Schremp less and less ice time.

I will not claim for a second that Schremp will be an all around player or an all-star, but his performance in those 2 games mirrored the performance of the seasoned Vets that were given every benefit of the doubt all year long. They werent ever benched for crap play.

And being called out in public by your boss is one thing, but MacT wasnt his boss. Schremp was essentially told for the last 2 years that no matter what happens he wouldnt land a job. Sulking? Maybe, but it wasnt his boss that called him out, it was the man in direct control of whether or not Schremp would actualize his dreams of playing in the NHL. Kind of a big deal.

1 bad year in the AHL doesnt make the kid a bust, especially when he didnt have anything to play for. As for Brule, if he has half the career of a Daigle, I'd be surprised.

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#60 DanMan
July 28 2009, 12:02AM
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@ Archaeologuy:

Well put

Jonathan Willis wrote:

Schremp’s had troubles with every coach who he’s ever played for - his junior coach, the USA WJC coaches, his AHL coaches, his NHL coach.

I'll agree with every one of these except junior. Steve Ludzik played Schremp close to half the game, and absolutely loves Schremp. There was a great interview with his on JAG where Ludzy praised MacT for the most part, but strongly disagreed with how he handled Schremp.

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#61 Jonathan Willis
July 28 2009, 08:16AM
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@ DanMan:

Sorry, of course Ludzik was the other exception - I forgot about that. I even mentioned Ludzik in the incredibly massive profile of Schremp I did a few months ago.

@ Archaeologuy:

Except of course that most of them weren't calups in their third and fourth games trying to hang on to a job.

The first game Schremp was up I went - 'my god, that can't be the same player I saw last year' because his forechecking game was completely new. It was gone by the third game.

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#62 Jonathan Willis
July 28 2009, 08:22AM
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BTW, let's can this myth that poor Robbie Schremp was only getting "8-10 minutes" a night. Here is his TOI from those four games:

Dallas: 14:32 L.A.: 13:51 San Jose: 13:59 Florida: 11:56

He got powerplay ice-time in every game, and averaged better than 14 minutes until he was dropped down to 12 minutes for the Florida game.

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#63 Hemmertime
July 28 2009, 01:05PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

Well, if you saw the S.J. game and the Florida game and still think there’s no reason why Schremp can’t be a top-six winger, we clearly view the game differently.

I watched all the games and saw no reason for Liam Reddox to be a top 6 FW.

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#64 ScubaSteve
July 28 2009, 01:23PM
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Hemmertime wrote:

I watched all the games and saw no reason for Liam Reddox to be a top 6 FW.

~What about his "Jam", isn't that the biggest reason to play on a top line?~

I would rather have Schremp and Brule both in the line-up and see Moreau and Poo sit in the press box.

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#65 Jonathan Willis
July 28 2009, 01:41PM
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ScubaSteve wrote:

I would rather have Schremp and Brule both in the line-up and see Moreau and Poo sit in the press box.

You cheer for Calgary, I take it? If so, you should note that you only want that scenario to takep lace during Flames games, because otherwise you'll be giving points to your conference rivals.

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#66 Asciutto
July 28 2009, 03:42PM
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"I watched all the games and saw no reason for Liam Reddox to be a top 6 FW"

No one did. No one.

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#67 Jonathan Willis
July 28 2009, 04:27PM
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Riddle me this, Schremp-fans (and I ask this as an honest question):

Why should Rob Schremp get an NHL job over Ryan Potulny? Potulny's at least as good a shooter (better, going by AHL results) around the same age, coming off a better season, is better defensively and looked good in the NHL last year.

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#68 Asciutto
July 28 2009, 04:29PM
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His banana hammock isn't as dynamic?

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#69 ChiliChunk
July 28 2009, 05:16PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

[snip] Why should Rob Schremp get an NHL job over Ryan Potulny? [snip] around the same age...

Can't say I'm a Schremp fan but to be fair Potulny is 2 years older.

Neither should 'get' an NHL job - I think they'd both have to impress mightily in camp to earn a spot. The fact that Philly gave Potulny up for Syvret and the fact that the oil didn't seem to give him much of a look last camp makes me think NHL-types see him as a career AHLer.

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