Time With Ales Hemsky/Alexander Ovechkin – Debunking the Liam Reddox Myth

Jonathan Willis
July 30 2009 08:24AM

This is a pretty straight-forward post, inspired by some discussion in Jason Gregor’s post yesterday: a list of minutes played with Ales Hemsky by Oilers forwards over the course of the season.

All raw data courtesy of HockeyAnalysis.com.

Ales Hemsky’s Linemates

The chart lists first total minutes, followed by what percentage of the time each player was with Hemsky. Ales Hemsky played 1030 minutes and 23 seconds at even-strength last year. Only players with more than ten minutes are counted.

  • Shawn Horcoff - 745:02 (72.3%)
  • Dustin Penner – 353:46 (34.3%)
  • Ales Kotalik – 161:37 (15.7%)
  • Sam Gagner – 152:09 (14.8%)
  • Ethan Moreau - 134:49 (13.1%)
  • Erik Cole – 97:57 (9.5%)
  • Robert Nilsson – 94:47 (9.2%)
  • Patrick O’Sullivan – 89:42 (8.7%)
  • Andrew Cogliano – 72:34 (7.0%)
  • Kyle Brodziak – 55:59 (5.4%)
  • Liam Reddox – 28:01 (2.7%)
  • Marc Pouliot – 17:44 (1.7%)

Alexander Ovechkin’s Linemates

Meanwhile, for fun contrast, here’s the same type of chart for Alexander Ovechkin over in Washington. Ovechkin played 1316:11 at even strength last season.

  • Nicklas Backstrom – 1009:52 (76.7%)
  • Viktor Kozlov – 557:09 (42.3%)
  • Alexander Semin – 365:22 (27.8%)
  • Sergei Fedorov – 184:29 (14.0%)
  • Michael Nylander – 130:50 (9.9%)
  • Eric Fehr – 79:46 (6.1%)
  • Chris Clark – 59:59 (4.6%)
  • Brooks Laich – 52:20 (4.0%)
  • Boyd Gordon – 40:45 (3.1%)
  • David Steckel – 40:30 (3.1%)
  • Matt Bradley – 40:02 (3.0%)

The New MacT Sucks Meme

Because Lord knows we need one.

I give you a new stick to beat MacTavish with: Craig MacTavish is a lousy NHL coach because he didn’t play Liam Reddox with Ales Hemsky enough.

Matt Bradley got 3% of Alex Ovechkin’s ice-time, and he only scored 11 points in 81 games. Liam Reddox scored 12 points in only 46 games – clearly, a better offensive record. Bruce Boudreau probably would have given Reddox 5% of Ovechkin’s ice-time.

Seriously, though, I think this is definitive: Liam Reddox’s single game on the top line was an aberration – exactly the same kind of aberration that happens on every team in the NHL.  To beat Craig MacTavish’s record with it after comparing these charts is indescribably stupid; unless the consensus is that Bruce Boudreau is also a lousy coach – in which case it only takes a five second look at players like Rick Nash and Henrik Zetterberg to know that this is a common NHL occurrence.

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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 Jonathan Willis
July 30 2009, 11:48AM
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@ DanMan:

Gagner did play 142 minutes with Hemsky last year to Brodziak's 56, so I'm not totally sure where you're getting the notion that the two didn't play together.

Cogliano is the really interesting question; presumably he would have got more of a shot if he'd played LW.

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#52 Colin
July 30 2009, 11:52AM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

Cogliano is the really interesting question; presumably he would have got more of a shot if he’d played LW.

He's got to be converted to a winger at some point. I wonder if that's the sort of thing a player can work on during the summer.....

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#53 dyckster
July 30 2009, 11:53AM
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Having read pretty much every post on this site over the last 2 months or so I've come to a conclusion (one that over that same period has been brought forward more than once).

Several journalists and bloggers on this site who are WAY more Oiler educated than I have used the term "misused" in some way shape or form, oh I dunno, lets say 647 times. From my recollection (and I agree whole heartedly with every one) according to the fine folks who contribute to this site, every one of: Moreau, Reddox, Staios, Penner, Schremp, Stortini, Cole, Nilsson, Gagne, Cogliano, Brule, Horcoff, Brodziak...were put in a role where they probably shouldn't have been over an extended period. Players fault? Absolutely not, that's all coaching folks. For the record this is not a MacT slam, all coaches have a personal philosophy on how they want to run their teams, MacT's was sort of a "flavour of the month" approach. Did it work..sometimes, but last year it appeared to be a glaring misuse of our on ice assets. The moral of my long winded story, lets not panic over the lack of moves made so far this off-season. Should we head into 09/10 with the current group we need to give Mr. Quinn and Renney an opportunity to right the ship. The hiring of those 2 gents could turn out to be Tamby's claim to oiler fame.

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#54 DanMan
July 30 2009, 11:57AM
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@ Jonathan Willis:

I know they were given some shifts together when the blender waas turned on. But I would like to see a 5-10 game audition early this year. I think once those two develop chemistry, and figure out when to just fire the puck, we will have a very exciting line 1.

I really worry that Cogliano doesn't fit it on this team positionally. IMO he is too small to be a winger, and he is such a great skater, I just wish he was good enough on the draw to be the 3rd line C. His game is best suited to be a centerman imo.

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#55 DanMan
July 30 2009, 11:59AM
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dyckster wrote:

Having read pretty much every post on this site over the last 2 months or so I’ve come to a conclusion (one that over that same period has been brought forward more than once). Several journalists and bloggers on this site who are WAY more Oiler educated than I have used the term “misused” in some way shape or form, oh I dunno, lets say 647 times. From my recollection (and I agree whole heartedly with every one) according to the fine folks who contribute to this site, every one of: Moreau, Reddox, Staios, Penner, Schremp, Stortini, Cole, Nilsson, Gagne, Cogliano, Brule, Horcoff, Brodziak…were put in a role where they probably shouldn’t have been over an extended period. Players fault? Absolutely not, that’s all coaching folks. For the record this is not a MacT slam, all coaches have a personal philosophy on how they want to run their teams, MacT’s was sort of a “flavour of the month” approach. Did it work..sometimes, but last year it appeared to be a glaring misuse of our on ice assets. The moral of my long winded story, lets not panic over the lack of moves made so far this off-season. Should we head into 09/10 with the current group we need to give Mr. Quinn and Renney an opportunity to right the ship. The hiring of those 2 gents could turn out to be Tamby’s claim to oiler fame.

This is a great post. Couldn't agree more.

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#56 Ender the Dragon
July 30 2009, 12:01PM
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dyckster wrote:

The hiring of those 2 gents could turn out to be Tamby’s claim to oiler fame.

I don't know why to this day I still have such difficulty believing that Tambo had much to do with that decision. As long as Lowe is Tambo's boss, I think there will always be a lot of speculation as to just who was really responsible for picking up Quinn/Renney.

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#57 Poo Czar
July 30 2009, 12:02PM
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Can we all agree that Reddox has already exceeded whatever expectations anyone has ever had for him? If the guy keeps improving I have no problem with him being an early call-up for bottom 6 relief.

Having him on the roster provides fodder for nearly limitless Albino/CancerBoy/GingerKid references and jokes throughout the season on game day threads, and that alone makes this signing a good one for me.

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#58 dyckster
July 30 2009, 12:06PM
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Ender the Dragon wrote:

I don’t know why to this day I still have such difficulty believing that Tambo had much to do with that decision. As long as Lowe is Tambo’s boss, I think there will always be a lot of speculation as to just who was really responsible for picking up Quinn/Renney.

Point taken, I guess though, whether it was Tamby, Lowe, Katz, Joey, Gregor, Brownlee, Willis, Wanye, or whoever, IMO the point I was trying to make is still valid.

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#59 dyckster
July 30 2009, 12:07PM
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Thanks DanMan.

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#60 Jonathan Willis
July 30 2009, 12:12PM
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Could Quinn and Renney single-handedly improve this team enough to get it to the playoffs? Maybe (along with developmnt by young players).

Would I want to bet my playoff revenue on it if I were a GM? No.

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#61 Travis Dakin
July 30 2009, 12:20PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

What kind of information do you want, exactly?

Exactly what you have been providing us for a very long time now. It's much appreciated from most.

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#62 daveeed
July 30 2009, 12:24PM
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@ DanMan:

I don't think Gagner & Hemsky would be a good fit together as much as I'd like them to be, it seems to me from watching them play they both want to carry the puck into the other teams zones and dipsy-doodle around looking for a pass or an open seam to the net.

Horcoff is actually pretty effective playing with Hemsky, he is a solid two-way C, though the one thing that would make me slap my head often last year was that his shot power & also his timing on one-timers seemed to be off. I think he was struggling from the shoulder surgery, but I don't recall him or the team mentioning it.

It's be shown repeatedly that Penner is effective, and I am coming around to him being used on the first-line. In my opinion though an ideal fit would be a shoot-first type winger (with size would be a plus) who can put the feeds of the other two away consistently.

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#63 MattN
July 30 2009, 12:40PM
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Line combo's are a myth.

Fans and media love line combinations. Fans love to draw them up and debate over the merits of having the grinder or the speedster on the 2nd line or moving the new kid up to play with the franchise center. Media lists the line combo's in the paper before each game and make up cool monikers like "The Legion of Doom" or "The Kid Line". It's fun, it's easy to understand and it's something that the casual fan can follow. If you spend some time on other teams blogs you will see a common fan complaint. The coach doesn't leave the lines together enough (along with doesn't play the kids enough).

The truth is that every single professional coach mixes up the line combo's on every night. Around here it was refered to as the "Mac-T Blender".

Coach's tend to make adjustments during the game based on their feel for who is skating well, who pissed them off during the game day skate, what the other team is throwing over the boards, which direction the puck is moving, who blew curfew the night before, where the face off is, what the score is and many other small considerations.

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#64 Ogden Brother
July 30 2009, 12:46PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

And a quick question for everyone who dislikes looking at the performance of guys like Pouliot, Reddox, etc.: Are you hardcore fans or not? You’re camped out here at OilersNation at the middle of July (and we appreciate it, believe me) talking hockey. I get frustration with the lack of news, but these sort of articles are new information; we haven’t put them up before. Now, if this were NHL ‘99 I’d just swap Dean McAmmond for John LeClair and we’d have our shooter, but unfortunately that isn’t an option. What kind of information do you want, exactly?

Keep'em coming Willis, I'm sure their are lots of people that realistic enough to know that we only catch about 10% of the game watching it. These advanced stats give us a real look into what is actually happening rather then simply pretending we have the acumen of a pro scout and the expiernce of 1000's of games watched (including an ample sample of non-Oiler games)

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#65 Ogden Brother
July 30 2009, 12:48PM
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DanMan wrote:

I think it’s pretty sad that in the one game Horc missed, Brodziak was given the #1 C spot with Hemmer. Gagner hasn’t played one full game on the top line in the last 2 years, for a team that has missed the playoffs 3 years in a row, that is inexcuseable. Look at Stamkos, his rookie year wasn’t very different from Gagner’s. He was on the big line for at least the last 1/3 of the year. That can only help his development.

Did Stamkos play 1/3 of the year on the wing?

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#66 Greg MC
July 30 2009, 12:50PM
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Jon, really appreciate all your articles.

People are cranky waiting for a "Superstar", or even a decent option at 3C to be delivered!

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#67 Ogden Brother
July 30 2009, 12:53PM
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MattN wrote:

Line combo’s are a myth. Fans and media love line combinations. Fans love to draw them up and debate over the merits of having the grinder or the speedster on the 2nd line or moving the new kid up to play with the franchise center. Media lists the line combo’s in the paper before each game and make up cool monikers like “The Legion of Doom” or “The Kid Line”. It’s fun, it’s easy to understand and it’s something that the casual fan can follow. If you spend some time on other teams blogs you will see a common fan complaint. The coach doesn’t leave the lines together enough (along with doesn’t play the kids enough). The truth is that every single professional coach mixes up the line combo’s on every night. Around here it was refered to as the “Mac-T Blender”. Coach’s tend to make adjustments during the game based on their feel for who is skating well, who pissed them off during the game day skate, what the other team is throwing over the boards, which direction the puck is moving, who blew curfew the night before, where the face off is, what the score is and many other small considerations.

Bingo!

I'm very relieved to see that others have noticed.

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#68 dyckster
July 30 2009, 01:01PM
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MattN wrote:

Line combo’s are a myth.

Maybe, but there also something to be said with respect to giving players an opportunity to work together for extended periods. Ask 99 & 17 (one of many successful examples). Knowing (not guessing) where your linemate is without actually seeing him there can play a huge part in the success of a line and therefore a team.

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#69 Rogue
July 30 2009, 01:11PM
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Ahh yes....The summer of discontent continues.....

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#70 DanMan
July 30 2009, 01:23PM
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Coaches often have to mix it up. Game misconducts, injuries, penalties force coaches to change stuff up. That's not really what this discussion is about. On most successful teams, they keep the top two lines (at least) together if they can.

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#71 Asciutto
July 30 2009, 01:51PM
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"they keep the top two lines (at least) together if they can"

Exactly! Which is one of the reasons, perhaps the major reason, why Reddox got shifts with Horcoff when Hemsky was hurt. MacT didn't want to screw around with the other lines.

We progress.

Now, Potulny is better than Schremp because 38-7= __????

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#72 DanMan
July 30 2009, 01:58PM
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@ Asciutto:

If MacT didnt want to screw with lines, why were Penner and Brodziak yo-yo's last year? MacT's blender is out whether there are injuries or not. MacT switches them up every period some games. That is not conducive to chemistry for the forwards. Not only that, but the blender seemed to include every ingredient other than Shawn Horcoff on line 1. Nobody will be safe under the Quinn/Renney regime.

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#73 Ogden Brother
July 30 2009, 02:05PM
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DanMan wrote:

@ Asciutto: If MacT didnt want to screw with lines, why were Penner and Brodziak yo-yo’s last year? MacT’s blender is out whether there are injuries or not. MacT switches them up every period some games. That is not conducive to chemistry for the forwards. Not only that, but the blender seemed to include every ingredient other than Shawn Horcoff on line 1. Nobody will be safe under the Quinn/Renney regime.

Watch a few other teams 8-10 times.... or make it easy, go to other teams chat boards.

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#74 Asciutto
July 30 2009, 02:05PM
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"why were Penner and Brodziak yo-yo’s last year?"

You'd have to ask them why. But I'm guessing its no accident that both were traded this summer.

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#75 rindog
July 30 2009, 02:08PM
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@ OvenChicken8:

I am not trying to be confrontational but I watched every shift that Moreau played on the first line. He rarely (if ever) created any offense himself.

As a matter of fact; he killed alot of the offense that his linemates created by firing a puck on net from the halfboards.

Moreau can thank Kiprusoff (brutal goal), Ward (incredibly brutal goal), Mason (weak shorthanded goal) and an empty netter versus the Carolina for having any goals at all in the first 24 games of the season.

Actually I lied. He did score a nice one that Hemsky basically banked in of his stick into an open net against the leafs.

Moreau got almost a dozen games on the first line and only had 5 goals in the first 24 games of the season. I would hardly call that deserving his time? He was grossly misused (amongst other players) and there is no way to rationalize it?

It all filters back to MacT trying ot put square pegs into round holes...

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#76 rindog
July 30 2009, 02:11PM
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@ Asciutto:

Asciutto wrote:

“they keep the top two lines (at least) together if they can” Exactly! Which is one of the reasons, perhaps the major reason, why Reddox got shifts with Horcoff when Hemsky was hurt. MacT didn’t want to screw around with the other lines.

Is that why Moreau and Pisani both saw extended time on the top two lines at the start of the season?

We had 7 forwards for 6 spots on the top two lines to start the season and yet MacT somehow managed to add those two to the mix???

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#77 DanMan
July 30 2009, 02:14PM
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rindog wrote:

As a matter of fact; he killed alot of the offense that his linemates created by firing a puck on net from the halfboards.

This is one of the most astute statements I've read from someone actually watching the games

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#78 DanMan
July 30 2009, 02:18PM
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DanMan wrote:

rindog wrote: As a matter of fact; he killed alot of the offense that his linemates created by firing a puck on net from the halfboards. This is one of the most astute statements I’ve read from someone actually watching the games

This is why you want talented offensive players on the first line, if they are available on the roster. Guys who have good one-on-one skills to get themselves in better shooting or passing situations. Reddox and Moreau just don't have that kind of game.

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#79 Asciutto
July 30 2009, 02:20PM
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I was referring more to Gagner-Cole when Hemsky was hurt

"Is that why Moreau and Pisani both saw extended time on the top two lines at the start of the season?"

Did not Pisani start the seson as third line Center?

Pisani played 9 ES minutes with Hemsky, 91 with Horcoff during the season.

Meanwhile, Moreau played 100 minutes with Horcoff.

Is that extended time?

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#80 rindog
July 30 2009, 02:29PM
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@ DanMan:

Exactly my point....

Too many times our coach tried putting square pegs into round holes!

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#81 smiliegirl15
July 30 2009, 02:39PM
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Asciutto wrote:

MacT didn’t want to screw around with the other lines.

Were you watching this last season at all? Didn't screw with the other lines? Those guys had no idea what line they'd be on next nor who else was going to be on their line with them.

Asciutto wrote:

But I’m guessing its no accident that both were traded this summer.

Did we miss something?

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#82 Asciutto
July 30 2009, 02:46PM
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"Did we miss something?"

I don't know, did we?

Brodziak was given away at the Entry Draft.

Penner was bundled up in a package of players and traded to Ottawa, a deal which is in a holding pattern reight now.

That's two exciting things we missed.

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#83 Jonathan Willis
July 30 2009, 02:47PM
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DanMan wrote:

Guys who have good one-on-one skills to get themselves in better shooting or passing situations. Reddox and Moreau just don’t have that kind of game.

True about Moreau, not true about Reddox. Reddox doesn't have the necessary ingredients to translate his junior game to the NHL (IMO) but he's actually quite an opportunistic scorer and he has some pretty impressive puck skills (he can deke at speed, has a legitimate shot, and finds seems well). I won't get into his negatives because it's a long list, but he was a junior and AHL scorer for a reason - and the biggest part of that reason was good offensive instincts.

Moreau, IIRC, was more of a north/south player who was always questionable to bring his junior offense to his professional career.

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#84 Jonathan Willis
July 30 2009, 02:48PM
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BTW, if you don't believe me that Reddox is an opportunistic scorer, there's somthing like 100 videos or so of his junior play. He has instincts around the net, whatever his other failings.

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#85 Asciutto
July 30 2009, 02:49PM
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"Reddox is an opportunistic scorer"

But, he's no Robbie Schremp

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#86 rindog
July 30 2009, 02:49PM
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@ Asciutto: Asciutto wrote:

Did not Pisani start the seson as third line Center? Pisani played 9 ES minutes with Hemsky, 91 with Horcoff during the season. Meanwhile, Moreau played 100 minutes with Horcoff.

Yes Pisani did start out as the third line center (another square peg in a round hole). He then got moved up to play on the 2nd line (right around the time MacT had given up on Nilsson, Cole, etc)

Moreau played 100 minutes with Horcoff (all of which were even strength minutes) which equates to about 10 games. When you consider that Gagner took a few spins on the top line with Hemsky and Moreau as well - you will see my point.

It wasn't the fact that MacT wanted to keep his other lines intact as much as it was him not being able to coach his offensive minded players. He would always default to his "safe" players whenever he got in a bind.

When we have 7 forwards for 6 spots - guys like Moreau and Pisani should never see time on the top two lines. If injuries occur to the players on the top two lines - you bring up offensive players (Potulny, Schemp, Brule, Truhkno) to fill their spots. I didn't see Kris Draper fill in for Datsyuk when he was injured???

If you want to play Moreau a few shifts with Hemsky or Horcoff than double shift one of those two. Don't pull a top 6 forward off their line to give Moreau his shot. Give more icetime to the guys that actually create offense.

JW makes a point of stating how Ovechkin played a certain number of minutes with the pluggers on Washington's roster....I can guarnatee you that those minutes were not at the expense of Semin, Backstrom or Kozlov. They were additional minutes given to the best player on the team.

What a interesting idea hey? Giving your best player extra minutes???

If you take away O'Sullivan and Kotalik (late additions bringing average icetimes from other teams); Moreau and Pisani are 5 and 3 seconds (respectively) away from being 4th and 5th (behind Hemsky, Horcoff & Gagner) on our team for even strength average icetime per game for forwards.

Is it any wonder we got outshot and outplayed so frequently?

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#87 Ogden Brother
July 30 2009, 02:55PM
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rindog wrote:

I didn’t see Kris Draper fill in for Datsyuk when he was injured???

Your right, when Datsyuk was hurt you didn't see Draper taking his place, you seen Abdelkader.

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#88 smiliegirl15
July 30 2009, 02:56PM
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rindog wrote:

What a interesting idea hey? Giving your best player extra minutes???

Hemsky seems to have a point where he hits the wall though. He can't keep up the pace of lots of minutes every game. I agree though, that MacT played bottom 6 players in the top 6 at the expense of the top 6 guys. He had his own agenda last season and didn't seem to care about the team as a whole. It seemed to be more about personal issues with certain players.

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#89 Asciutto
July 30 2009, 03:07PM
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“He then got moved up to play on the 2nd line (right around the time MacT had given up on Nilsson, Cole, etc)” Pisani played 28 ES minutes all season with Gagner. Pisani played 50% of his minutes with Moreau/Cogliano. No one else was over 20% - Horcoff was highest, own zone draws?

“Moreau played 100 minutes with Horcoff (all of which were even strength minutes) which equates to about 10 games 12:45 per game, means about 8 games. It was obvious all season that MacT had problems with the compete level of several players. I am not endorsing his decisions, But it seems clear why he made them.

Is it any wonder we got outshot and outplayed so frequently? Pisani doesn’t contribute to being outshot.

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#90 rindog
July 30 2009, 03:32PM
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@ Asciutto: Asciutto wrote:

Pisani doesn’t contribute to being outshot

When a shutdown guy(s) is/are playing in your top 6 - you are not taking a proactive approach to creating offense. You are taking a defensive approach which does not facilate outplaying or outshooting the opposition.

Asciutto wrote:

Pisani played 28 ES minutes all season with Gagner

He also played minutes with Horcoff (top two lines).

Asciutto wrote:

12:45 per game, means about 8 games

In addition to time with Gagner as his centermen (with Hemsky) would give you the other 2 or 3 games...

My point being, Moreau was given any top line icetime at the expense of our other offensive players.

Asciutto wrote:

It was obvious all season that MacT had problems with the compete level of several players. I am not endorsing his decisions, But it seems clear why he made them.

And yet Moreau managed to bang in a solid 5 goals in the first 24 games (alot of those games on the top line). Penner (or another offensive player would have done the same or better given the opportunity). You can still compete from the 3rd or 4th line - but you can't squeeze an orange and get lemonade...

The only thing that seems clear is that MacT never had a clue how to define roles for the players which lead to inconsistent play and inferior results...

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#91 ScubaSteve
July 30 2009, 03:38PM
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Asciutto wrote:

MacT didn’t want to screw around with the other lines

~Yeah, let's not mess up our 4th line just to have a solid 1st line, let's just put an AHL plug there until the injuries are over.~

What an asinine statement, I understand the stats here, but the point is not that "other people do it too", but that putting pluggers on the first line is just plain bad coaching. I know there are a couple MacT apologists here, so here's a challenge:

Barring any more moves this off-season, what point increase would convince you that MacT is just a plain old bad coach?

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#92 rindog
July 30 2009, 03:42PM
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@ Ogden Brother: Ogden Brother wrote:

Your right, when Datsyuk was hurt you didn’t see Draper taking his place, you seen Abdelkader.

Yeah a guy (Abdelkader) that had put up 227 points in 212 games before turning pro.

He would seem somewhat more suited to replace an offensive player than a guy like Draper or Moreau -wouldn't you think?

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#93 dyckster
July 30 2009, 03:47PM
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ScubaSteve wrote:

Barring any more moves this off-season, what point increase would convince you that MacT is just a plain old bad coach?

8 or more.

IMO anything less than that would be attributed to luck, "special" circumstances, whatever you want to call it.

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#94 Asciutto
July 30 2009, 03:48PM
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Liam Reddox: Peterborough Petes 208-86-124-210 [OHL Career]

"let’s not mess up our 4th line just to have a solid 1st line"

Who would you have played there? Remember, Horcoff's line gets matched against the other team's best whenever possible.

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#95 rindog
July 30 2009, 03:53PM
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@ Ogden Brother: rindog wrote:

Yeah a guy (Abdelkader) that had put up 227 points in 212 games before turning pro.

I know you might want to rebut that Moreau put up good numbers in junior as well. You are right. However, Moreau has also had 13 years to prove he is not/can not be an offensive player at the NHL level.

Abdelkader had/has yet to prove that he won't produce at this level. Which be default; makes him a good (or atleast better) choice to replace an offensive player rather than a guy (Draper/Moreau) that the coach knows can not fill that role.

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#96 ScubaSteve
July 30 2009, 04:00PM
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Asciutto wrote:

Who would you have played there?

Hmmmm, Penner, Cogs, Nilsson, even Poo or Potulny would be a better choice.

And then, don't match power vs power once Hemsky goes down, start protecting the top line by using your defensive guys in the proper role.

This all stems from an inability to use players in the roles they will excel at. In other words, from bad coaching.

And you still didn't answer. ScubaSteve wrote:

Barring any more moves this off-season, what point increase would convince you that MacT is just a plain old bad coach?
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#97 rindog
July 30 2009, 04:00PM
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@ Asciutto: Asciutto wrote:

Remember, Horcoff’s line gets matched against the other team’s best whenever possible.

Which is fine when Horcoff's line is a true #1 line. The minute you put an AHL player like Reddox on that line - it no longer becomes a line that can match up against the other team's top line.

MacTavish should have adjusted his thought process and tried actually defending againt the opposition's toplines (with Moreau, Pisani, Brodziak, etc); rather than try to go #1 vs #1 when it was destined for failure (which indeed did prove to be the case).

My question is:

Why could most of us armchair coaches see it and MacTavish couldn't?

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#98 MattL
July 30 2009, 04:02PM
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rindog wrote:

@ DanMan: Exactly my point…. Too many times our coach tried putting square pegs into round holes!

Haha, I just assumed you were the same person, but changed your moniker. You will be fast friends.

To be fair, the only round peg the Oil had last year was Penner, and his problem was that he was too round. Seeing a guy like Reddox or Moreau on the 1LW was never about them being better scorers, I think it was about rewarding caring about your team, and effort. Agree with it or not, that's what was going on.

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#99 rindog
July 30 2009, 04:04PM
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@ MattL: MattL wrote:

Seeing a guy like Reddox or Moreau on the 1LW was never about them being better scorers, I think it was about rewarding caring about your team, and effort. Agree with it or not, that’s what was going on.

And where did that get us?

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#100 Asciutto
July 30 2009, 04:15PM
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"Hmmmm, Penner, Cogs, Nilsson, even Poo or Potulny would be a better choice."

We're looking for a RW Most of those guys aren't And You can't prove who would've been the best replacement for an injured Hemsky.

As I recall, the options, without breaking up the other lines, were Reddox, the utility guy or Brule, who MacT did not want to put in the PvP situation

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