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, 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 The Towel Boy
July 27 2009, 01:49PM
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~Ya'but Brule doesn't have awesome YouTube videos of fancy shootout goals n' stuff.

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#2 Curious
July 27 2009, 01:58PM
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From what I remember, Brule seems to be a better all around player then Schremp. Brule could play 3rd or 4th line but Schremp cant. Thats why Brule will be favoured based on the current roster to stick around this year.

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#3 OvenChicken8
July 27 2009, 02:07PM
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If they do keep Brule over Schremp, who gets first crack at him via waivers? Is it basically the same order as the draft?

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#4 Antony Ta
July 27 2009, 02:08PM
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Interesting stuff again Willis. But this still screams to me one important point: we need a bigger sample from Schremp. What do you think? I think he's NHL ready.

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#5 Curious
July 27 2009, 02:13PM
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@ OvenChicken8: Did Schremp sign a one way deal?

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#6 OvenChicken8
July 27 2009, 02:16PM
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@ Curious: I don't believe he has resigned yet but from what I've heard, via radio from Gregor and Tencer, is that he'll have to clear waivers if the Oilers send him back down to Springfield.

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#7 Curious
July 27 2009, 02:21PM
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That makes things a little more interesting. I didnt know he had to clear waivers, I thought he could just go down again. You are probably correct, he is getting to that age where you either give him a chance or you part ways.

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#8 ronaldo
July 27 2009, 02:26PM
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@ Anthony Ta Shremp should get bigger sample when earned in minors. No, he's not nhl ready. (God Tambo, please put Shremp in package for anybody so this stops coming up.)

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#9 homie
July 27 2009, 02:27PM
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After that stellar year in the AHL, how could he not be ready? He is the new Peter White but with less jam.

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#10 Jasmine
July 27 2009, 02:32PM
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@ Curious:

What I don't understand is why Schremp has to clear waivers and Dubnyk doesn't. I know Dubnyk is a goalile but both players were drafted in the same year. It makes no sense that Schremp has to clear waivers to be sent down. None.

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#11 Jamie
July 27 2009, 02:35PM
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@ Jasmine: But it IS because he's a goalie. The rules are different for them.

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#12 Curious
July 27 2009, 02:41PM
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@ Jasmine:

Maybe someone who knows more about it can answer the question. You have an interesting point and I dont understand how that works either. I remember someone trying to explain what the situation was with Brule too. I think they said if he plays 4 more NHL games then he would have to clear waivers - but I dont remember for sure.

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#13 Joey Moss
July 27 2009, 02:48PM
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did you hear that!? the oilers spoiled what could have been the greatest offensive season ever by sending down rob schremp! what a bunch of maroons.

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#14 MattL
July 27 2009, 03:02PM
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While I'm not Schremp-niac, I will at least give him this:

Pouliot was never better for the Oilers than the 2 or 3 games he spent with Schremp.

I still hope Schremp can improve enough to make this team, I think he can add at least what Nilsson adds, especially if he can keep his feet moving through an entire shift. If he can, we will have one more 2nd line forward on the expendable list to get us some picks/3rd liners.

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#15 oilitsinyoutogive
July 27 2009, 03:05PM
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all i know is, if we have the kids, why not give them a chance? i would rather watch us lose with the kids learning then keep loosing with the same old same old.

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#16 myteammytown
July 27 2009, 03:10PM
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oilitsinyoutogive wrote:

all i know is, if we have the kids, why not give them a chance? i would rather watch us lose with the kids learning then keep loosing with the same old same old.

to late for that now.

another year of no playoffs wont be good at all

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#17 oilitsinyoutogive
July 27 2009, 03:15PM
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myteammytown wrote:

oilitsinyoutogive wrote: all i know is, if we have the kids, why not give them a chance? i would rather watch us lose with the kids learning then keep loosing with the same old same old. to late for that now. another year of no playoffs wont be good at all

and somehow weve become a playoff team in the off season? did i miss something that made us better? besides the exit of rolo and the addition of the wall.

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#18 DanMan
July 27 2009, 03:16PM
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How in the heck can you say Schremp got lucky?

Schremp was the best player on the ice in the Vancouver game. In his 4th NHL game, playing a little over 10 minutes.

We don't need stats to show us that the guy creates offense. The question is: Can Schremp give you more offensively than he is liable for defensively. Seeing that he is a forward, to me, the answer is clearly yes.

The behind-the-back pass was pure skill and vision displayed by not many in the NHL nowadays.

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#19 Curious
July 27 2009, 03:24PM
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@ DanMan:

The question you have to ask yourself is if Schremp can play on one of the top two lines. If he cant then you are better off having a guy like Brule, who can play on the 3rd or 4th line here. No doubt Schremp has offensive abilities but I cant see him on the top two lines yet.

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#20 DanMan
July 27 2009, 03:30PM
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I know it was only a couple games, but I did not see anything that led me to believe he couldn't be a top-6er.

What I'm worried about is his confidence being destroyed at this point. I don't know how anyone could expect him to have a great year in Springfield after being bashed publicly (twice) by the coach on the big team.

I just want to see what he could do in say 10-15 games getting second-line minutes. Even just to showcase him. IMO, he should have been traded in 07 when his asset value peaked. Especially if K-Lo had planned to keep MacT here long-term.

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#21 OvenChicken8
July 27 2009, 03:33PM
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DanMan wrote:

What I’m worried about is his confidence being destroyed at this point. I don’t know how anyone could expect him to have a great year in Springfield after being bashed publicly (twice) by the coach on the big team.

I think he's going to be alright, he had a pretty candid interview with Tencer last week and he seems extremely pumped for this year. He also called MacT's antics unprofessional which was good to hear, sometimes a guy just needs to stand up for himself.

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#22 Curious
July 27 2009, 03:35PM
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I think Schremp is the kind of guy who holds a little bit of a grudge. There have been some clips where he comments to the Pipeline Show guys about his skating. I hope he come in to camp with a chip on his shoulder and tries to prove that he belongs. If he does that, he will get his shot. His offense is what is needed here - hopefully he can live up to what alot of people think he can be.

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#23 Ender the Dragon
July 27 2009, 03:45PM
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homie wrote:

After that stellar year in the AHL, how could he not be ready?

I was drafting a scathing rebuttal before I realized tha you must have just forgotten your tildes. I insert them for you. No thanks are necessary.

~After that stellar year in the AHL, how could [Schremp]not be ready?~

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#24 swany
July 27 2009, 03:53PM
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oilitsinyoutogive wrote:

myteammytown wrote: oilitsinyoutogive wrote: all i know is, if we have the kids, why not give them a chance? i would rather watch us lose with the kids learning then keep loosing with the same old same old. to late for that now. another year of no playoffs wont be good at all and somehow weve become a playoff team in the off season? did i miss something that made us better? besides the exit of rolo and the addition of the wall.

Mact stated last year that this was the most SKILL we have had in a long time Since then we lost Cole (who did nothing) and Roli. Now we have PattyO (who can't be worse than Cole) and Habbi (I think him and Roli are a wash). So was our coach on crack or was it bad coaching, with the coaching change are we a playoff team I say yes, I thnik coaching alone will give us 5-8 more wins, this team still has alot of skill (just undersized) and Brule will centre the thrid line this year between Moreau, and Pies, unless there is a trade of Nilsson I don't see Shremp playing here again this year.

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#25 Jonathan Willis
July 27 2009, 03:54PM
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DanMan wrote:

I know it was only a couple games, but I did not see anything that led me to believe he couldn’t be a top-6er.

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

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#26 Jonathan Willis
July 27 2009, 03:56PM
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@ swany:

You argument, as I understand it (feel free to correct me if I misunderstood) is this:

MacT thinks this is the most skilled team he ever coached -> the only reason they didn't make the playoffs last year was bad coaching -> O'Sullivan is better than Cole -> therefore they are a playoff team

So you claim MacT is a bad coach, but you accept his evaluation of the team?

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#27 Jonathan Willis
July 27 2009, 03:57PM
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DanMan wrote:

What I’m worried about is his confidence being destroyed at this point. I don’t know how anyone could expect him to have a great year in Springfield after being bashed publicly (twice) by the coach on the big team.

You've never had a boss criticize you? In front of coworkers?

I didn't like it either, but I went out and proved him wrong rather than sulking.

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#28 Jonathan Willis
July 27 2009, 03:58PM
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Antony Ta wrote:

Interesting stuff again Willis. But this still screams to me one important point: we need a bigger sample from Schremp. What do you think? I think he’s NHL ready.

I thought he was, in a narrow role, and then he did nothing in the AHL.

He has the talent - but that's never been the problem. I don't know that he has his other issues under control enough to be ready for an NHL spot.

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#29 Asciutto
July 27 2009, 03:58PM
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"Pouliot was never better for the Oilers than the 2 or 3 games he spent with Schremp"

Ol Vanilla Pouliot got hot in December. Big Whoop.

The question is Which of the big guys: Paukovich, Lefebvre, McDonald or Stone make the jump with Potulny?

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#30 Jonathan Willis
July 27 2009, 03:59PM
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DanMan wrote:

How in the heck can you say Schremp got lucky?

If you read above, I explained it in the article. Nobody consistently has 19.0% of the shots taken while they're on the ice go into the net - nobody. Not even Wayne Gretzky in his prime.

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#31 Jonathan Willis
July 27 2009, 03:59PM
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MattL wrote:

Pouliot was never better for the Oilers than the 2 or 3 games he spent with Cogliano.

Fixed it for you.

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#32 Death Metal Nightmare
July 27 2009, 04:02PM
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both players suck and this write up will be obsolete in about a year when theyre both gone from the org.

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#33 swany
July 27 2009, 04:04PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

@ swany: You argument, as I understand it (feel free to correct me if I misunderstood) is this: MacT thinks this is the most skilled team he ever coached -> the only reason they didn’t make the playoffs last year was bad coaching -> O’Sullivan is better than Cole -> therefore they are a playoff team So you claim MacT is a bad coach, but you accept his evaluation of the team?

That's not exactly it, I think the WHOLE team gave up in the last half of the season, don't you think with the new coaches that we should win atleast 5-8 more games? I'm not saying that this roster doesn't need a shakeup but is it really as bad as we all think? Did Mact know how to evaluate talent? Or was he mistaken on the SKILL level of this team. I think the reason they never made the Playoffs was because of Mact and that they didn't compete, they were in 6th place with 20 games to go and then let everyone walk all over them (that's a coaching issue) what do you see?

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#34 Curious
July 27 2009, 04:08PM
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@ Jonathan Willis:

Johnathan can you clarify the situation regarding Schremp and Pouliot in regards to them clearing waivers to be sent down to the minors? Can either of these two be sent down without clearing waivers first?

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#35 Asciutto
July 27 2009, 04:10PM
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"Can either of these two be sent down without clearing waivers first?"

Both must clear as must Potulny and Brule

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#36 Curious
July 27 2009, 04:12PM
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I meant Brule not Pouliot. Sorry

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#37 Curious
July 27 2009, 04:14PM
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If they have to clear waivers first, then I would think if either doesnt have a very good showing at camp, Tambo will have to try to move them. You would have to think someone would take a chance on a couple of former first rounders if you put them on waivers

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#38 Asciutto
July 27 2009, 04:17PM
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I'd like to see Brule as the throw in guy in the Kessel trade.

As for Schremp, decisions, decisions - Blues, Pelicans or Jokerit?

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#39 Jonathan Willis
July 27 2009, 04:38PM
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Schremp needs to clear waivers.

MY understanding - note: this is a contentious issue and there doesn't seem to be a clear read - is that Gilbert Brule must clear waivers to be sent to the minors.

I should probably re-read the applicable bit in the CBA, but that's what I think.

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#40 MattL
July 27 2009, 04:41PM
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I'll do you one better

Jonathan Willis wrote:

MattL wrote: Pouliot was never better for the Oilers than the 2 or 3 games he spent with anybody with offensive talent.
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#41 Oilersordeath
July 27 2009, 04:46PM
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I dont see any reason why if Brule can stay healthy going into training camp can produce the same numbers as Burrows. They are to me the exact same type of player in & out. Brule even has a better set of hands IMO. Dammit this kid is on the verge of breaking out it has to be now!! As far as Shremp I'm really not sure where he fits on this team UNLESS he can out battle Bobby Nilsson which would be E-ffin awesome!!

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#42 Jonathan Willis
July 27 2009, 04:56PM
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Oilersordeath wrote:

I dont see any reason why if Brule can stay healthy going into training camp can produce the same numbers as Burrows.

Because he isn't going to play with the Sedins?

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#43 Lofty
July 27 2009, 05:06PM
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swany wrote:

I thnik coaching alone will give us 5-8 more wins, this team still has alot of skill (just undersized) and Brule will centre the thrid line this year between Moreau, and Pies, unless there is a trade of Nilsson I don’t see Shremp playing here again this year.

I really doubt the oilers will win 5-8 more games than they did last year. You cant expect Souray to tie for the lead in goals on the team next year. The Oil havn't added anymore offense therefore goals are gonna be even tougher to come by for the 09/10 season.

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#44 Oilersordeath
July 27 2009, 05:09PM
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@ Jonathan Willis: Yes you're exactly right about that, still I'd like to see him skate with Cogs and Gagner. I think him and Cogs would fly out there as wingers.

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#45 Hemmertime
July 27 2009, 05:19PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

In other words: Schremp got very, very lucky.

Or made very good passes. A good shot vs shot from the point show the same on the stats sheet. I'm not one of the Schremp pushers (anymore) but I still do believe putting up 3 pts in 4 games deserves a longer look on a team where the defense occupies 4/6 top spots in scoring at times

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#46 Hemmertime
July 27 2009, 05:20PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

obody consistently has 19.0% of the shots taken while they’re on the ice go into the net - nobody. Not even Wayne Gretzky in his prime.

Other players got a chance. Moot point, he if offensively talented but that is not what is keeping him out of the league

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#47 misfit
July 27 2009, 06:01PM
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Hemmertime wrote:

but I still do believe putting up 3 pts in 4 games deserves a longer look on a team where the defense occupies 4/6 top spots in scoring at times

Am I the only person who noticed Schremp hadn't touched the puck at all, but still got credit for an assist on what I think was his 3rd point?

Either way, Schremp played pretty well for the first 2 games and stunk in the second 2 games. He pretty much proved in his 4 game callup why he deserved the call in the first place, and also why he deserved the demotion.

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#48 misfit
July 27 2009, 06:04PM
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I like how in that video, Schremp made a beauty of a pass to set up the goal, but gets completely denied in the post-goal celebration.

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#49 EMAC
July 27 2009, 06:23PM
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Schremp will be our first line center by December and will better Krejci's numbers last years breakout year.

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#50 Jonathan Willis
July 27 2009, 07:02PM
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Hemmertime wrote:

Or made very good passes.

Better than Gretzky ;)

Stupid Oilers.

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