Track Record

Lowetide
November 03 2010 06:11PM

The Edmonton Oilers have been out of balance since TC 2006-07. In fact, the one time in the last ten years that the team boasted a veteran goalie, quality top 6 blue with a range of skills and a strong group at forward the team made the SCF's. If they know the template, why can't they repeat it? Is the pursuit of a lottery pick dependent on the thin blue line and lack of penalty kill? 
 

After the Stanley run, the organization has experienced long stretches without entire player-types. Important items like two-way veteran wingers, actual NHL goaltenders, faceoff men and penalty-killers. If an organization is devoid of one thing, they usually make an effort to address it the following summer.

This past summer, I suggested the club had very specific needs:

  • At least two of the small forwards will be gone (I'd guess Nilsson and O'Sullivan).
  • Moreau is flushed.
  • Sheldon Souray will be traded for a lesser defenseman.
  • A veteran RH center comes to town and settles the middle up front.
  • They bring in a big winger with some skill (possibly the new Isbister).
  • They sign one of those monsters Stauffer is always talking about on his show.
  • Oilers will deal one of the young goalies (I hope they keep DD).

It should be mentioned these items didn't require any special skill to identify, many smarter than me were pointing out the the same thing. Let's tackle these one at a time:

  • At least two of the small forwards will be gone (I'd guess Nilsson and O'Sullivan). On June 30th, the Oilers bought out Nilsson and dealt O'Sullivan to Phoenix). The club also decided to pass on the idea of signing Mike Comrie for another season.
  • Moreau is flushed. On June 30th, the Oilers lost Moreau to the Blue Jackets on waivers. It saved them over a million of buyout money.
  • Sheldon Souray will be traded for a lesser defenseman. That didn't happen, but the organization did erase him from the roster by asking him away from training camp. The deal is still out there in the ether. The club did add Kurtis Foster and Jim Vandermeer to the blue, and re-signed Jason Strudwick.
  • A veteran RH center comes to town and settles the middle up front. On June 23, the Oilers acquired Colin Fraser from Chicago for a 6th round draft pick. Although not a right-handed C, Fraser did PK in Chicago (17.8% of his overall time on ice was PK). He's being used heavily in that role with Edmonton (33.8% of his overall playing time).
  • They bring in a big winger with some skill (possibly the new Isbister). I think the Oilers might be thinking Ryan Jones is a candidate to fill this role, or possibly they decided to clear the decks for the kids. Either way, no Coke Machines were acquired for the big league roster over the summer.
  • They sign one of those monsters Stauffer is always talking about on his show. The team did in fact sign Steve MacIntyre and he is the enforcer for this Edmonton Oilers team.
  • Oilers will deal one of the young goalies (I hope they keep DD). The Oilers finally made a decision this past week, sending JDD to the farm where he is likely to stay (barring injury) until he reaches free agency next summer.

So, what can we gather from the season's first 10 games? Two things, both aided by the recent Oil Change 2.0 episode on tsn.

  1. The Oilers did in fact attempt to address need this past summer (Malhotra, Souray trade attempt, additions of Foster and Fraser).
  2. Those changes have not turned out as planned thus far and the responsibility falls on Steve Tambellini.

So, when we're talking about the horrible PK, we need to be very specific about the problem. The penalty kill is awful, but we can't accuse Steve Tambellini of inertia. He did in fact attempt to address the issue, but the results have been poor. Sooner or later, he's going to have to address the PK (and the blue) again or leave it for the next man in line.

Tomorrow is promised to Taylor Hall and the other kids, but not to Steve Tambellini. It's a harsh business.

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Lowetide has been one of the Oilogosphere's shining lights for over a century. You can check him out here at OilersNation and at lowetide.ca. He is also the host of Lowdown with Lowetide weekday mornings 10-noon on TSN 1260.
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#101 Crash
November 04 2010, 04:30PM
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D-Man wrote:

I'll keep my fingers crossed too... I'm not sure we'll want Hemsky for another five years - he'd be 34 years old by the end of that extension; I think we learned the negative impact for signing someone to that long term of a deal... Hemsky is three or four times the player that Horcoff is; I'm just not sure I'd want to be paying him or taking a cap hit of $5 million plus when he's 32 plus... If we could get a three year extension, we'd be laughing...

I also have to disagree with your take on Penner... I think his contract was similar to Horcoff's in the sense that it wasn't his fault that he signed that stupid offer sheet. Now - if he plays like he COULD (more physical, more in your face - and he did at times last year) and scores 30 goals - sign him for another 3 years too.. Chances are good though that he'll QUIETLY chip in 25 - 30 goals this year; that's why he receives the attacks.. Penner was my goat for the year simply because he doesn't have the personality to sustain what we saw last year... I hope I'm wrong; but if he was making only $2.5 million/year, I don't think we'd even be having that conversation...

To be honest, 2.5 mil a year doesn't really get you much these days unless it's a player who really likes where he is and signs on for cheap (ie: Alex Burrows).

I've said this before but Penner is never going to be an in your face, physical player. He never has been in his career so I'm thinking he isn't going to turn into one suddenly. Every year though that he has been here he has put up top numbers on the team. First year, tops in goals, 2nd year (even with MacT reducing his minutes played)top +/- forward and third in goals, third year top point getter, top goal scorer, top +/- forward (Hemsky was one better but only played 22 games) and so far this year he is on pace for over 30 goals and is a plus player. These kinds of numbers can't continually happen by accident can they? He appears to have the ability to make those around him better. He does use his size but not in a physical way. He protects the puck in the corners and more often than not he wins those corner battles and gets the puck to a teammate. He also is the ONLY Oiler who consistently stands in front of the opposition goal. He many times can be the cause of a goal that he doesn't get a point on.

Penner might not sustain what we saw last year but that might be due to the team having more options this year. This would cut down on Penner's ice time, PP time. Given this one should expect that he won't match last year but he'll still be good. I sit in the stands and listen to guys constantly ragging on him for anything that doesn't go Dustin's way. It's like he's never ever allowed to make a mistake or no player on the other team is ever allowed to win that battle for the puck. Or every pass, shot has to be perfect or he gets ragged on. He's a big man with great passing skills and a reach that he often uses to his advantage and he scores goals.

Right now he's once again a plus player and is scoring goals but yet the fans and media continue to rain down on this guy endlessly. He's never going to look like he's flying out there.

Anyway, to make a long story short, lol...I have a feeling Penner won't stay but I hope I'm wrong but judging from the stands there are those that would be very happy with him leaving.

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#102 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
November 04 2010, 04:47PM
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GSC wrote:

Nope. Never said that. Feel free to assume and imply all you want, however.

So what is your point then?

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#103 GSC
November 04 2010, 05:23PM
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OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F wrote:

So what is your point then?

That Horcoff is supposedly one of the answers to the problem, but the PK remains awful despite his presence.

Doesn't matter how you frame it, he isn't part of the solution.

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#104 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
November 04 2010, 06:12PM
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GSC wrote:

That Horcoff is supposedly one of the answers to the problem, but the PK remains awful despite his presence.

Doesn't matter how you frame it, he isn't part of the solution.

Like I said, he makes up roughly 5% of the total PK TOI.

He may not be particularly good at it, but he's on very small piece of the puzzle.

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#105 rindog
November 04 2010, 09:03PM
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OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F wrote:

Like I said, he makes up roughly 5% of the total PK TOI.

He may not be particularly good at it, but he's on very small piece of the puzzle.

Are you seriously using 5% of the total PK TOI as a valid argument?

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#106 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
November 04 2010, 10:18PM
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rindog wrote:

Are you seriously using 5% of the total PK TOI as a valid argument?

Are you seriously arguing aginst it?

He's not on the ice for all of the PK minutes and when he is, he's one of 4 - 5 guys on the PK.

Sure he might be a poor PK'er, but looking at the success (or lack of) of multiple 4/5 man unit's and trying to draw some type of firm conclusion from it is flat out ridiculous.

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#107 rindog
November 04 2010, 10:52PM
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OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F wrote:

Are you seriously arguing aginst it?

He's not on the ice for all of the PK minutes and when he is, he's one of 4 - 5 guys on the PK.

Sure he might be a poor PK'er, but looking at the success (or lack of) of multiple 4/5 man unit's and trying to draw some type of firm conclusion from it is flat out ridiculous.

I honestly do not know what to say to that?

So your saying that because MacIntyre takes an even strength shift, he is equally as responsible for the even strength offence as Hemsky is?

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#108 Archaeologuy
November 05 2010, 12:04AM
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C-DOG wrote:

Stall playing with wingers like MP TH JE etc.. would be a great 2 way 2nd line centre with size p.k ability and selke potential.

Brind'amour, Macdonald , Zetterberg or Datsyuk ,Malkin or Crosby depends which you consider to be the 2nd line centre and Sharp were the 2nd line centres for the 5 cup champs in the salary cap era making around 4 mill as second line centres. and the cap was lower in all of those seasons.

Translation great for hockey and salary cap reasons.

Brindamour had 70 points that year. McDonald had 78. Datsyuk + Zetterberg had 97 + 92. Malkin and Crosby had 113 and 103. Sharp had 66.

Jordan Staal has never scored more than 49 points in a season.

Staal does not belong in the conversation for great 2nd line centres. He isnt one. He has never even been one before.

So yeah, you wanna pay 4 million for a player on your second line who scores more than 65 points in a season, then your best best is to keep Hemsky and hope Eberle is so good when he's 23 that the 4 million dollar player on the 2nd line is Hemsky.

You pin your hopes on Staal and you've just wasted the best player on your team for another run of the mill 2nd line centre.

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#109 GSC
November 05 2010, 12:38AM
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OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F wrote:

Like I said, he makes up roughly 5% of the total PK TOI.

He may not be particularly good at it, but he's on very small piece of the puzzle.

You just admitted that I'm right.

Thanks for playing.

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#110 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
November 05 2010, 07:24AM
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rindog wrote:

I honestly do not know what to say to that?

So your saying that because MacIntyre takes an even strength shift, he is equally as responsible for the even strength offence as Hemsky is?

No, that is not what I'm saying. In fact I'm saying the opposite.

What I'm saying is that you can't judge an individuals level of ability based on the performance of the group.

ie Hemsky scoring with MacIntrye on the ice likely tells us NOTHING about MacIntyre's individual offensive ability.

This isn't a difficult concept

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#111 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
November 05 2010, 07:25AM
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GSC wrote:

You just admitted that I'm right.

Thanks for playing.

No, I didn't. I didn't say he wasn't good, I said he may not be good. I remember him looking quite effective when we had multiple players capable of playing solid PK. The last few years haven't looked good (just like the results haven't been good)... but circiling back to my original point, I don't think you can draw a solid conclusion of one persons contributions when he's a small part of the group.

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#112 rindog
November 05 2010, 08:51AM
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OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F wrote:

No, I didn't. I didn't say he wasn't good, I said he may not be good. I remember him looking quite effective when we had multiple players capable of playing solid PK. The last few years haven't looked good (just like the results haven't been good)... but circiling back to my original point, I don't think you can draw a solid conclusion of one persons contributions when he's a small part of the group.

So by your logic, we don't know if Hemsky is a good PP player since he is on with 4 other players?

You need to understand, some of us are having a very hard time understanding your reasoning?

A group is only as good as the sum of it's parts.

Horcoff is the major player on our PK for forwards. He has also been on the ice for more PP goals against than any other forward.

Other forwards (that have been on with the most of the same personnel) have not allowed a single PP goal against.

Is it not reasonable to say that either Horcoff hase been very unlucky or he might be a large chunk of the problem (atleast 25% since there are only 4 players on the ice at a time)?

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#113 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
November 05 2010, 09:02AM
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"He has also been on the ice for more PP goals against than any other forward."

So far, but we have a very small sample size for this year, if by the end of the year the team has given up more goals/minute with him on the ice then without, then you will have a case.

"Horcoff is the major player on our PK for forwards"

That's right, and he has been for years. Thus far 3 head coaches have all agreed that he is one of the teams best PK forwards. That holds some merit.

"Is it not reasonable to say that either Horcoff hase been very unlucky or he might be a large chunk of the problem (atleast 25% since there are only 4 players on the ice at a time)?"

Yes, it is reasonable, and in fact that is what I've been saying. ie you can't draw a firm conclusion.

"You need to understand, some of us are having a very hard time understanding your reasoning?"

That's unfortunate, it's a simple concept.

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#114 rindog
November 05 2010, 09:21AM
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OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F wrote:

"He has also been on the ice for more PP goals against than any other forward."

So far, but we have a very small sample size for this year, if by the end of the year the team has given up more goals/minute with him on the ice then without, then you will have a case.

"Horcoff is the major player on our PK for forwards"

That's right, and he has been for years. Thus far 3 head coaches have all agreed that he is one of the teams best PK forwards. That holds some merit.

"Is it not reasonable to say that either Horcoff hase been very unlucky or he might be a large chunk of the problem (atleast 25% since there are only 4 players on the ice at a time)?"

Yes, it is reasonable, and in fact that is what I've been saying. ie you can't draw a firm conclusion.

"You need to understand, some of us are having a very hard time understanding your reasoning?"

That's unfortunate, it's a simple concept.

So then are we ever able to draw any firm conclusions? If each player is part of small group, how do we know if they are individually any good? With that logic, they should get paid them same, get the same icetime, etc.

We have had the worst (or very close to the worst) PK in the league with these 3 coaches that you speak of. If Horcoff was the major player on the PK why can't we conclude that he might not be that good at it? Or might not be the best option?

The fact is, he is responsible for a large chunk of the PK time for this team and the PK is horrible.

Trying to use the 5% number just seems like a naive way to try and spin something that can't be spun...

The PK is (and has been) broke - time to fix it!

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#115 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
November 05 2010, 09:29AM
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@rindog

"So then are we ever able to draw any firm conclusions? If each player is part of small group, how do we know if they are individually any good? With that logic, they should get paid them same, get the same icetime, etc."

Because once apon a time the PK was good and he was a solid member of it.

"We have had the worst (or very close to the worst) PK in the league with these 3 coaches that you speak of. If Horcoff was the major player on the PK why can't we conclude that he might not be that good at it? Or might not be the best option?"

I've already concluded that he MAY not be good...I've posted that exact thought multiple times in this blog.

"Trying to use the 5% number just seems like a naive way to try and spin something that can't be spun..."

Not really, at that point the discussion wasn't broken down to which playes were on for the most goals. The discussion was: the PK has been bad, Horcoff is bad.

The fact is that He's a small part of the teams overall PK.

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#116 rindog
November 05 2010, 09:42AM
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@OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

"Because once apon a time the PK was good and he was a solid member of it."

"The fact is that He's a small part of the teams overall PK."

So he is a "solid member" of a good PK, but a "small part" of a bad one?

This is where we will have to agree to disagree.

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#117 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
November 05 2010, 09:50AM
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rindog wrote:

"Because once apon a time the PK was good and he was a solid member of it."

"The fact is that He's a small part of the teams overall PK."

So he is a "solid member" of a good PK, but a "small part" of a bad one?

This is where we will have to agree to disagree.

Ok, I'll change my point to:

Because once apon a time the PK was good and he was a member of it.

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#118 rindog
November 05 2010, 10:39AM
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OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F wrote:

Ok, I'll change my point to:

Because once apon a time the PK was good and he was a member of it.

Okay, just so it's clear...

You don't feel that player X (let's use Horcoff) has any more or any less to do with a certain element (let's say PK) than player Y (let's use Paajarvi) does?

They have both seen some time on the PK and therefore are equally responsible for its success or it's failure?

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#119 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
November 05 2010, 11:11AM
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@rindog

I'm assuming you haven't been following the conversation since it's inception.

Once we finally got to GCS's main point, which was:

"That Horcoff is supposedly one of the answers to the problem, but the PK remains awful despite his presence."

Now, he may in fact not be a good PK'er, the fact that the PK has been weak for a few years now certainly supports this line of thinking.

However, he was also a member of a very good PK a few years ago so that leads support that he may in fact be a good (or at least adaquate). The fact that three NHL coaches have played him a large amount of time on the PK also supports the theory that he may in fact be good at it (or at least one of, if not our best option).

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#120 rindog
November 05 2010, 11:25AM
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@OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

I have followed the conversation, I just don't know what would inspire to you pull the 5% stat out?

Whether we think he is a good PK'er or not is irrelevant.

The point I am trying to make is that to say that he is only a small part of it - when in fact he is a integral part - seems way out of line.

It seems (I am not trying to put words in your mouth) that you might just be arguing for the sake of arguing?

I may just be being stubborn, but to hear a comment like that from you (which I respect); doesn't seem right to me...

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#121 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
November 05 2010, 11:41AM
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rindog wrote:

I have followed the conversation, I just don't know what would inspire to you pull the 5% stat out?

Whether we think he is a good PK'er or not is irrelevant.

The point I am trying to make is that to say that he is only a small part of it - when in fact he is a integral part - seems way out of line.

It seems (I am not trying to put words in your mouth) that you might just be arguing for the sake of arguing?

I may just be being stubborn, but to hear a comment like that from you (which I respect); doesn't seem right to me...

5% is his total of the total minutes the team spends on the PK.

GSC stated:

That Horcoff is supposedly one of the answers to the problem, but *the PK* remains awful despite his presence.

In other words we were discussing the Oilers PK as a whole (ie not just when one guy is on). Obviously we can't blame/credit a guy for when he isn't involved.

So, Horc (or whomever) is one guy out of five (or four) and he's only on for roughly 30% ish of the time.

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#122 rindog
November 05 2010, 12:47PM
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@OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

Now you are starting to make more sense.

If people (you) insist on putting a percentage to the responsibility a single player has on the PK, 30% is a far more useful number.

Considering the Oilers have been taken 51 minor penalties, the maximum amount of time they could have been shorthanded was 102 minutes.

We both know that the 102 number is high because some of those minors were coincidental and not all of the minor penalties lasted the entire 2 minutes (most likely because Horcoff was out and they got scored on...lol -j/k).

We also know that Horcoff has played roughly 28 minutes shorthanded this year.

So the 28 minutes out of a probable 90-102 total PK minutes works out to roughly 30% of the time/responsibility.

Now, I know that you are not arguing for or against Horcoff, but when guy plays 30% of the time and is on the ice for 60% of the PP goals against, something doesn't add up?

Which I think is kinda what GSC was referring to...

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#123 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
November 05 2010, 02:08PM
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rindog wrote:

Now you are starting to make more sense.

If people (you) insist on putting a percentage to the responsibility a single player has on the PK, 30% is a far more useful number.

Considering the Oilers have been taken 51 minor penalties, the maximum amount of time they could have been shorthanded was 102 minutes.

We both know that the 102 number is high because some of those minors were coincidental and not all of the minor penalties lasted the entire 2 minutes (most likely because Horcoff was out and they got scored on...lol -j/k).

We also know that Horcoff has played roughly 28 minutes shorthanded this year.

So the 28 minutes out of a probable 90-102 total PK minutes works out to roughly 30% of the time/responsibility.

Now, I know that you are not arguing for or against Horcoff, but when guy plays 30% of the time and is on the ice for 60% of the PP goals against, something doesn't add up?

Which I think is kinda what GSC was referring to...

Not what I meant.

He's on the ice for 30% of the PK's

Now why on earth would you want to say he gets 100% credit or blame for every play he's on the ice for?

Theirs certainly no way he's 100% responsible for EVERY thing that happens when he is on there... after all he is only 20% of the team that's out there.

If Horc gets 30% of the blame for the 69% PK, then what % does the other 15 or so guys that are likely to play 50+ minutes on the PK this year get? (not to mention the tender)

Also, this year is obviously a miniscule sample size for a guy that's played almost 650 NHL games. If the 30/60 pace is still in play at the end of the year then you probably have a case.

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#124 Microsoft Office 2007
November 05 2010, 09:29PM
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