Sudden Sam

Lowetide
July 19 2011 10:33AM

In the decade that began in 1997-98, no Oiler rookie approached the heights reached by Sudden Sam Gagner. Samwise. The young magician posted a big number as a teenager, and has been chasing it ever since. Is Gagner ever going to get better?

By any measure (except for the ones David Staples uses) Sam Gagner is getting better, making progess. Let's begin with the easy stuff, the boxcars:

  • Age 18 79, 13-36-49 (.620 points per game)
  • Age 19 76, 16-25-41 (.539 points per game)
  • Age 20 68, 15-26-41 (.603 points per game)
  • Age 21 68, 15-27-42 (.618 points per game)

You call that progress? Yes, yes I do. Gagner has never played on a good hockey team at the NHL level. Team wins by season were 41, 35, 27 and 25. Team GF totals per season were 235, 234, 214 and 193. So, using the brain God gave us Gagner was in on 20.8% of the offense as a rookie and 21.8% of the offense this past season.

Sam Gagner might appear to be running in place, but he is now the best offensive option at center for the Edmonton Oilers. His 5x5 points-per-60 numbers are heading in a good direction too:

  • 07-08 5x5 per 60m: 1.96
  • 08-09 5x5 per 60m: 1.69
  • 09-10 5x5 per 60m: 1.56
  • 10-11 5x5 per 60m: 1.91

RUN....IT'S MATH!!!!!

My Dad always had a saying that worked during arguments with my Mom. It went something like "if you have to work this hard to prove you're right then you're probably wrong." Not a strong argument, but it drove my Mom crazy and that was the end game (Mom and Dad were happily married btw, couples niggle away at each other. Some of us enjoy it!).

Gabriel Desjardins supplies us with a steady stream of information from year to year at behind the net. If he charged a dollar for every visit he'd own my house. I promise this won't hurt a bit, we're going to look at two measurements here that are easily explained:

CORSI REL

Let's first define Corsi:a stat for all the shots directed for and against while a player is on the ice at even strength. Includes shots, missed shots and blocked shots.

Now Corsi Rel: A players corsi rating versus the rest of his team. Calculated by subtracting the team's collective corsi rating while he's off the ice from his on-ice corsi rating. Can be used to calculate the relative corsi rating of his opponents for quality of competition purposes.

Both definitions and a very nice guide here.

  • 07-08: 0.6 (7th among Oiler F's)
  • 08-09: 6.0 (6th among Oiler F's)
  • 09-10: 10.9 (second among Oiler F's)
  • 10-11: 7.0 (tied for 4th among Oilers F's)

As you can see, Gagner has consistently been among the top 6 F's by this discipline, including last season when he played with the two rookies after Christmas. These CorsiRel numbers are very good, from beginning to end.

ZONE START/END

This measures a lot of things, not the least of which is how much does the coach trust you? During the MacT years with that young 07-09 team Shawn Horcoff didn't see many offensive zone faceoffs (as an example). Pat Quinn and Tom Renney have been less likely to play the percentages but there's still a lot to be learned from the stat. Progress would be a larger positive gap between end and start.

  • 07-08: 52.8/53.9 (+1.1)
  • 08-09: 55.4/49.7 (-5.7)
  • 09-10: 48.8/49.8 (+1.0)
  • 10-11: 50.9/53.4 (+2.5)

Overall a very positive number, with one season off the rails (Horcoff was off by 4 points this past season, as an example). The good thing about this is that the 10-11 number was posted when he was playing with two rookies (Omark and Paajarvi) and shoud bode well for the future.

There are some negatives in the Sam Gagner resume. His PP number was poor this past season, but so was Hemsky's and that guy is a ridiculous PP talent. I'm more inclined to blame the coaching/setup for the failure of the PP (same with PK by the way). His faceoff percentages are poor, and if he's going to have a career at center improvement needs to be made in the discipline.

However, with summer at its peak (it actually happened Sunday. Did you miss it?) I think it's time to put it out there: Sam Gagner is the best offensive option at center for the 11-12 Edmonton Oilers. All of Gagner, RNH, Horcoff and Belanger should post solid crooked numbers, but Gagner's age, resume and skill set suggest that it's a good bet he'll grade out as the best available centerman in offensive situations this coming season.

Should Nugent-Hopkins surpass him, it would represent an outstanding debut. Should 89 lose offensive playing time (at EVs and PP) to Horcoff and Belanger, we should consider it a major blow to Gagner's status as a top flight young player ready to emerge as a difference maker.

C2a6955161684b5e3189319acfa5ebe4
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 Team 1260.
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#52 Adam
July 19 2011, 01:20PM
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@Jason Gregor

LOL, thanks, maybe if I wasn't at work, I'd be able to take the time to catch an error like that.

http://www.coppernblue.com/2011/6/1/2200114/sam-gagner-scoring-chances-2010-2011

The tables provided by Derek there demonstrate Gagner's season pretty well. The WoWY #'s (with or without you) show Gagner making Penner and Hemsky substantially better players (and them making him better in turn).

You also can notice Gagners SCA/SCF plummet later in the season when he had to carry MPS and Omark. Players whose WoWY with Gagner wasn't very good. He may not be able to carry the rookies, but he played well in his tough minutes role with Hemsky and Penner, and that's a VERY valuable ability for any player, especially a still improving 21 year old.

On the point of being special, you're splitting hairs. Gagner isn't going to be a player like Crosby or Stamkos or even Hall, but there's still a good player in there, and its obvious when you look beyond G/A/PTS/ AND +/-.

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#53 David S
July 19 2011, 01:21PM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

Here's another good example of the type of player the Oilers have in 89.

http://youtu.be/uMfCK0DIj4M

Empty net, last man back and sells his teamates out by giving the opposition the puck with an empty net. He wouldn't take a hit to make a play and advance the puck beyond the red line and prevent an icing call. Must not be one of those "greasy" areas of the rink David S was referring to.

....just sayin.

Dude. IT WAS STEVE OTT.

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#54 David S
July 19 2011, 01:24PM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

Here's another good example of the type of player the Oilers have in 89.

http://youtu.be/uMfCK0DIj4M

Empty net, last man back and sells his teamates out by giving the opposition the puck with an empty net. He wouldn't take a hit to make a play and advance the puck beyond the red line and prevent an icing call. Must not be one of those "greasy" areas of the rink David S was referring to.

....just sayin.

http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=steve+ott+cheap+hit&aq=2&oq=steve+ott

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#55 Walter Sobchak
July 19 2011, 01:36PM
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@David S

Not to add to an argument, but for every stat that shows Gagner to be a good player, there's an equal amount of evidence that suggests he's deficient in other area's.

For every 'you tube' showing a great goal there's a video of Gagner getting drilled along the boards.

For all that say he played with fringe players, he was played with elite talent as well.

What I need to know is that Gagner can make a huge step forward this year. Not a marginal increase. He has to be faster, stronger, defensively responsible, more points, better face off percentage,leader on and off the ice.

I've been a supporter of Gagner for 5 years, I don't care how old he is, this is his last year in my books unless he completely takes over the 2nd line center.

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#56 Quicksilver ballet
July 19 2011, 01:36PM
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David S wrote:

Dude. IT WAS STEVE OTT.

Most every team in the league have 2 players on the roster similar to that of Steve Ott. It's no wonder the opposition licks their chops when they look across and see Gagner rallying the troops.

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#57 Kodiak
July 19 2011, 01:38PM
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David S wrote:

Makes plays, decent shot, goes into the greasy areas, great anticipation and sees the game better than most.

LT, maybe you should have attached this clip in your article. It would have helped your case alot.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OPYYgbykeBg

~Yes. By all means let's ditch this loser at the first opportunity. We don't need any of his kind around our team. RNH WILL CRUSH HIM THIS YEAR!~

Agreed he makes plays. Decent to me means above average and I don't see above average in Gagner's shot, average at best. His goal totals seem to agree with me on this. Skates by the greasy areas trying to pick the puck out, but rarely is able to fight thru traffic or come out with the puck when engaged. Not sure how you see him as having great anticipation. He'd produce a lot more on the PP and score a lot more goals if he could anticipate plays around the net. He also goes offside a lot and that doesn't seem to be a trait of someone with great anticipation. If he saw the game better than most he'd be able to play the defensive side of the puck as well. His defensive zone coverage is very suspect, which wouldn't be the case if he was seeing the game well and anticipating well.

But of course he will improve his skating, defense and physical play because he is only 21 and all 21 year olds improve. (even though he's played 4 seasons in the NHL with marginal improvements in any of those areas to date)

It would be fun to have Horcoff play Gagner's softer minutes and zone starts and Gagner play Horcoff's including the PK and see the results. I'm pretty sure the numbers would be pretty interesting.

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#59 Dman09
July 19 2011, 01:44PM
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Don't want to make anyone mad or anything but I think we need to stop focusing on just Gagner and look at the overall picture which is the team.

Regardless I think we can all agree that we hope to see RNH fill out the 1C position and I think we can agree that Gagner isn't likely to ever be a 1C. With that said I think you need to assess the team and what it needs.

We have Horcoff and Belanger for at least the next three years and add to the RNH. Now it has been mentioned that Lander is possibly a future 2C and could be similar to Kesler. Regardless of that assessment I'm sure he will make a good 3C. Horcoff's stats and abilites allow him to be a good option for the 2C as well and Belanger is a perfect 3 or 4 C.

The way I see it Gagner isn't going to be a vital piece of the future, yes he is a good player but I think he will command too much money to play as a third liner and doesn't possess the skills and size to be a defensive expert, I think the biggest benefit for the team would to use him to try and trade for a top 2 defenseman. Hocoff can play 2C and out up similar if not better numbers until lander is ready, which could be sooner than people think.

I don't think its urgent but if I was Tambo I would slowly be looking at offers and interest to package Gagner and a defensive prospect for a Top defenseman.

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Gagner is so young still! I can't believe all the hate this guy is getting. He's put up decent numbers for his age. He's played for three different coaches in four years. If RNH cranks it and becomes our #1 centre then great. RNH as #1 and Gagner as #2, that's pretty good.

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#61 Walter Sobchak
July 19 2011, 01:47PM
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@Lowetide

Like I said, I was a big supporter of Gagner, you just outlined a couple more things he has to prove this year. I willing to give him this year, in hopes that some of the new talent helps him.

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#62 Kodiak
July 19 2011, 01:49PM
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Lowetide wrote:

Gagner is challenged in the dot, no doubt. I'm not certain how much veteran wingers have to do with that kind of thing but would suggest it's at least part of the problem (so many kids everywhere).

He's also inconsistent on the PP and that might impact him as soon as this season. Although I believe Gagner will be a better PP option than RNH (who has never played in the NHL before) it probably won't take long for the coach to try something else.

I agree with you on the faceoffs Lowtide. Our wingers have done a pretty poor job of helping in that department. I watched countless draws where the two centermen are tied up, the puck is loose but the opposition wingers take control. I'm betting the FO% of which ever center has Smytty on his left side will go up quite a bit this year.

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#63 Pajamah
July 19 2011, 01:50PM
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Gagner can only be a Elite superstar 1C or a 4C for a bottom feeder, which means he is a plug

State your case, go, boom!!!

I will not tolerate semantics!!!*

*Will, infact, tolerate semantics

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#64 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
July 19 2011, 01:57PM
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Clyde Frog wrote:

Try something for me. Ignore Gagner's stellar rookie season and pretend he only put up 8 points.

Now look at his career totals, looks like an exciting prospect?

So offensively he hasn't smashed down any doors, but please look at the injury history and how we have lacked our top flight offensive players for large stretches..

Its not like they have been riding him on the first line and giving him nothing but sugar time with our best players...

The kid has solidified his production as a 2nd line centre, if he progresses great! If not we can sleep soundly knowing our 2nd line will be producing at the clip we need until we KNOW we have a better talent ready to step up.

Exactly, that's what's most frustrating about this.

I think he raised the bar too high his first year and set us up with unrealistic expecations.

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#65 Dman09
July 19 2011, 02:01PM
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The poster formerly known as Koolaid drinker #33 wrote:

Gagner is so young still! I can't believe all the hate this guy is getting. He's put up decent numbers for his age. He's played for three different coaches in four years. If RNH cranks it and becomes our #1 centre then great. RNH as #1 and Gagner as #2, that's pretty good.

I still like Gagner and I've been following him since before he was drafted. I just look at the direction of the team and what the team needs and he doesn't seem to fit. Gagner would be a nice addition to a team that is already filled with a lot of big guys. I could see him fitting in a place like Dallas maybe San Jose.

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#66 Dman09
July 19 2011, 02:09PM
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Dman09 wrote:

I still like Gagner and I've been following him since before he was drafted. I just look at the direction of the team and what the team needs and he doesn't seem to fit. Gagner would be a nice addition to a team that is already filled with a lot of big guys. I could see him fitting in a place like Dallas maybe San Jose.

What about maybe Gagner, a defensive prospect like Chorney and draft picks too San Jose for Brent Burns.

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#67 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
July 19 2011, 02:09PM
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Dman09 wrote:

Don't want to make anyone mad or anything but I think we need to stop focusing on just Gagner and look at the overall picture which is the team.

Regardless I think we can all agree that we hope to see RNH fill out the 1C position and I think we can agree that Gagner isn't likely to ever be a 1C. With that said I think you need to assess the team and what it needs.

We have Horcoff and Belanger for at least the next three years and add to the RNH. Now it has been mentioned that Lander is possibly a future 2C and could be similar to Kesler. Regardless of that assessment I'm sure he will make a good 3C. Horcoff's stats and abilites allow him to be a good option for the 2C as well and Belanger is a perfect 3 or 4 C.

The way I see it Gagner isn't going to be a vital piece of the future, yes he is a good player but I think he will command too much money to play as a third liner and doesn't possess the skills and size to be a defensive expert, I think the biggest benefit for the team would to use him to try and trade for a top 2 defenseman. Hocoff can play 2C and out up similar if not better numbers until lander is ready, which could be sooner than people think.

I don't think its urgent but if I was Tambo I would slowly be looking at offers and interest to package Gagner and a defensive prospect for a Top defenseman.

Agreed we need to look big picture, but it doesn't make a whole bunch of sense for a 30th place team to be counting on 2 guys in their mid 30's.

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#68 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
July 19 2011, 02:11PM
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Dman09 wrote:

What about maybe Gagner, a defensive prospect like Chorney and draft picks too San Jose for Brent Burns.

They just traded a superior version of Gagner and a prospect for Burns....

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#69 Dman09
July 19 2011, 02:15PM
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OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F wrote:

They just traded a superior version of Gagner and a prospect for Burns....

I'm just using it as an example. I think a trade like that is worth getting a top defensman even if you have to add say a 2 rounder in 2013.

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#70 Dman09
July 19 2011, 02:20PM
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OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F wrote:

Agreed we need to look big picture, but it doesn't make a whole bunch of sense for a 30th place team to be counting on 2 guys in their mid 30's.

Well I think once Belanger contract is finsihed someone like VV will be ready to take on a similar role or another FA signing to fill the gap. I think Horcoff may have another 6 years in him so I wouldn't worry to much about that. I think he will be similar to Smyth and will want to finish his career in Edm likely in a 4th line role. Still enough time to develop or sign a replacement. I think Horcoff next contract will also be a lot less and I think Gagner could be looking for 3+ million and unless he becomes a lot better defensively and maintains his offensive production, I don't see him being worth that salary.

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#71 godot10
July 19 2011, 02:21PM
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Gagner isn't blessed with physical gifts. His strengths are his intelligence and his passing ability. It takes longer for most players with average physical gifts to develop as an NHL player.

Gagner is tracking well to be a solid 2nd line centre in a couple of years.

Many players like the Sedins, like Zetterberg and Datsyuk didn't breakout till 24ish.

Gagner and his two rookie winger had a few disastrous games that really hurt their defensive stats. The Ranger game, and one LA game when LA through the Kopitar line against Gagner and the two rookies.

But they usually responded with bounce back games. They were high event, which is what one would expect with a 21-year old and two rookies.

Without the flukey slashed hand last year he would have had 55 points.

He's tracking to be a solid 60 point second line centre, Does his defensive game still need work? You bet, but he's 22, not 25.

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#72 David S
July 19 2011, 02:22PM
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Dman09 wrote:

What about maybe Gagner, a defensive prospect like Chorney and draft picks too San Jose for Brent Burns.

INFINIBUILD™!

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#73 Clyde Frog
July 19 2011, 02:22PM
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@Dman09

LOOK AT THE STATS FOR WHAT CENTRES PRODUCE:

60+ point Centres over the last 3 years : 21, 26, 22

**DISCLAIMER** Any Centre posting 55+ points should be considered a legit 1st line producer.

Over the last 3 years Sam has moved from 61st, to 54th to 48th overall in scoring for Centres.

Sam has shown consistent improvement in production compared to his fellow Centres, is that not the best measure of production year by year? How he is producing relative to those in the same position?

Sam did start as a fringe 2nd line centre but has since produced enough compete for a job on any team not blessed with 2 first line centres.

Sam's size will dog him, but production wise it has not knocked him out of a second line centres role at all.

If you are desperate to trade him, you better find a bonafide top 6 forward or top 2 defensemen coming back. Because right now, without any growth to his game, Sam deserves to line up as a second line centre no questions asked in the NHL and he has been improving compared to his competetion each and every year since breaking into the league, and still has 8 more years in the NHL before he turns 30...

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#74 Dman09
July 19 2011, 02:23PM
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OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F wrote:

They just traded a superior version of Gagner and a prospect for Burns....

Also Devin is three years older than Gagner and in the last two season has put up less points on a much better team. I do believe he is a fair step up defensively however.

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#75 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
July 19 2011, 02:24PM
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Dman09 wrote:

I'm just using it as an example. I think a trade like that is worth getting a top defensman even if you have to add say a 2 rounder in 2013.

Well ya, if you can get a high end defender that is still say.... 28 or younger for Gagner without giving up a pile of other assets then ya it would be worth it.

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#76 Mike Modano's Dog
July 19 2011, 02:24PM
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Dman09 wrote:

I'm just using it as an example. I think a trade like that is worth getting a top defensman even if you have to add say a 2 rounder in 2013.

Like for Bogosian, for instance? Not saying he's available, but a trade like that would be welcome to me. It's not that I'm not valuing Gagner at all - it's that I do see his value and feel we would be better served by moving him for another rising prospect that would serve our team better than he could. My opinion.

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#77 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
July 19 2011, 02:36PM
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Looks like Stamkos just signed, 5 year 7.5 per.

Can we stop obsessing about saving every penny of cap space for Hall/Ebs/MPS now?

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#78 Dman09
July 19 2011, 02:38PM
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Clyde Frog wrote:

LOOK AT THE STATS FOR WHAT CENTRES PRODUCE:

60+ point Centres over the last 3 years : 21, 26, 22

**DISCLAIMER** Any Centre posting 55+ points should be considered a legit 1st line producer.

Over the last 3 years Sam has moved from 61st, to 54th to 48th overall in scoring for Centres.

Sam has shown consistent improvement in production compared to his fellow Centres, is that not the best measure of production year by year? How he is producing relative to those in the same position?

Sam did start as a fringe 2nd line centre but has since produced enough compete for a job on any team not blessed with 2 first line centres.

Sam's size will dog him, but production wise it has not knocked him out of a second line centres role at all.

If you are desperate to trade him, you better find a bonafide top 6 forward or top 2 defensemen coming back. Because right now, without any growth to his game, Sam deserves to line up as a second line centre no questions asked in the NHL and he has been improving compared to his competetion each and every year since breaking into the league, and still has 8 more years in the NHL before he turns 30...

I don't disagree with you on how good he is and could end up. I still think his defensive game will never be that great. As a 2C I think its important to be good defensively, which is y I like lander as a 2C, and you need bigger energy guys in the bottom 6.

I think he would make a better 1C for stictly scoring but are you willing to pick Gagner over RNH? Also you have to remember that with the kind of numbers he puts up and is likely to put up, his contract is likely to get a fair bit bigger. If Cogs can get a 2.39m a year contract what do you think Gags will get. Probably closer to 4.

An ideal 2nd line situation for Gagner would be on a team that has a large top line that can take care of the checking and energy as well. That would open the 2nd line to just go out and score. That won't be in Edmonton.

I agree that the only way I would trade him is for a Top2 dman. I wouldn't even consider a move for a top 6 forward because thats not what the team needs. As it stands right now the two best assets to get a top dman are Gagner and Hemsky. I don't think the oil will trade hemsky and he will likely sign another contract extension with the club. That leaves Gagner, he improves your team if you keep him but if you get a top dman for him that improves the team much more right now.

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#79 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
July 19 2011, 02:43PM
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Dman09 wrote:

I don't disagree with you on how good he is and could end up. I still think his defensive game will never be that great. As a 2C I think its important to be good defensively, which is y I like lander as a 2C, and you need bigger energy guys in the bottom 6.

I think he would make a better 1C for stictly scoring but are you willing to pick Gagner over RNH? Also you have to remember that with the kind of numbers he puts up and is likely to put up, his contract is likely to get a fair bit bigger. If Cogs can get a 2.39m a year contract what do you think Gags will get. Probably closer to 4.

An ideal 2nd line situation for Gagner would be on a team that has a large top line that can take care of the checking and energy as well. That would open the 2nd line to just go out and score. That won't be in Edmonton.

I agree that the only way I would trade him is for a Top2 dman. I wouldn't even consider a move for a top 6 forward because thats not what the team needs. As it stands right now the two best assets to get a top dman are Gagner and Hemsky. I don't think the oil will trade hemsky and he will likely sign another contract extension with the club. That leaves Gagner, he improves your team if you keep him but if you get a top dman for him that improves the team much more right now.

I think alot of people are getting way ahead of themselves with Lander.

The guys NHL equivalancy was roughly 30 points last year.

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#80 MaestroFreshMess
July 19 2011, 02:49PM
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Wow, Ducks give Cogliano nearly 2.4 million per year for 3. Good for him.

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#81 Dman09
July 19 2011, 02:52PM
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OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F wrote:

I think alot of people are getting way ahead of themselves with Lander.

The guys NHL equivalancy was roughly 30 points last year.

Did you read the article on point production. Not a lot of 2nd line centers produce 50 points. I think 40 points a season is possible for Lander and he brings a good defensive game and a lot of leadership.

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#82 Dman09
July 19 2011, 02:58PM
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Dman09 wrote:

Did you read the article on point production. Not a lot of 2nd line centers produce 50 points. I think 40 points a season is possible for Lander and he brings a good defensive game and a lot of leadership.

35 centers last season put up 50 points or more. which would lead one to believe that only 5 2nd line centers were able to get 50 points. Its likely different in that there are some 1C that didn't hit 50 points and more 2C that did but you get the general idea. Only 56 Centers got more than 40 points. Thats not even 2 centers a team scoring more than 40 points. I think you may have unreasonable expectations of a second line players.

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#83 Clyde Frog
July 19 2011, 02:58PM
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What?

Energy and checking as the skillset of your 2nd line?

What?

A second line takes the scoring pressure off the first and should make it tough to roll out the shutdown defensive pair against your first all night.

A good second line produces points. Defensive play is an added bonus, but if they don't produce they aren't called a second line...

I think our expectations have gone even further out of whack...

Energy and checking come from your 4th, hell few teams even run their 3rd lines as shutdown lines anymore.

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#84 cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan
July 19 2011, 03:00PM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

Most every team in the league have 2 players on the roster similar to that of Steve Ott. It's no wonder the opposition licks their chops when they look across and see Gagner rallying the troops.

list them.

50ish players similar to steve ott? c'mon now

1 on almost every team i can see. 13ish goals, 30ish points, 130ish PIMs... pain in the ass who can play a decent amount of minutes...

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#85 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
July 19 2011, 03:02PM
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Dman09 wrote:

35 centers last season put up 50 points or more. which would lead one to believe that only 5 2nd line centers were able to get 50 points. Its likely different in that there are some 1C that didn't hit 50 points and more 2C that did but you get the general idea. Only 56 Centers got more than 40 points. Thats not even 2 centers a team scoring more than 40 points. I think you may have unreasonable expectations of a second line players.

No I've got a pretty good grasp on what resonable expectations for 2nd liners are. What I think is that I don't want to slot Lander in as our 2C until I see that he can produce at a resonable clip in the NHL.

And yes, 40 points would be an absolute bare minimum IMO.

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#86 JCA
July 19 2011, 03:07PM
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No matter if Hopkins plays Gagne needs Hall and Hemsky as his wingers . If he doesn't put up 60+ points with a decent defensive game the team finds out what they have . This is his year to grasp a permanent spot . If RNH plays give him the Swedes or Smyth & Eberle .

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#87 David S
July 19 2011, 03:10PM
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Clyde Frog wrote:

What?

Energy and checking as the skillset of your 2nd line?

What?

A second line takes the scoring pressure off the first and should make it tough to roll out the shutdown defensive pair against your first all night.

A good second line produces points. Defensive play is an added bonus, but if they don't produce they aren't called a second line...

I think our expectations have gone even further out of whack...

Energy and checking come from your 4th, hell few teams even run their 3rd lines as shutdown lines anymore.

^THIS!

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#88 Dman09
July 19 2011, 03:11PM
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Clyde Frog wrote:

What?

Energy and checking as the skillset of your 2nd line?

What?

A second line takes the scoring pressure off the first and should make it tough to roll out the shutdown defensive pair against your first all night.

A good second line produces points. Defensive play is an added bonus, but if they don't produce they aren't called a second line...

I think our expectations have gone even further out of whack...

Energy and checking come from your 4th, hell few teams even run their 3rd lines as shutdown lines anymore.

2nd lines are used to try and shut down top scoring line most of the time if you are line matching. they do need to put up points but expecting all your 2nd liners to put up 50+ points a season is not realistic. They don't have to be energy checkers, they need to be defensively capable of shuting down a top line which usually goes hand in hand with high energy and heavy checking.

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#89 David S
July 19 2011, 03:13PM
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People. For the love of all that's holy, it's GAGNER. G.A.G.N.E.R.*

*Peeve exposed

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#90 Dman09
July 19 2011, 03:14PM
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@Dman09

matching top lines with 3rd and 4th lines for most teams is consider a big mismatch.

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#91 justDOit
July 19 2011, 03:23PM
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MaestroFreshMess wrote:

Wow, Ducks give Cogliano nearly 2.4 million per year for 3. Good for him.

It might be good for him, or it might be a minors-dump or buyout in two years.

It'll be a softer landing for him in Ana than it was in Edm, that's for sure. A deeper roster and fans who know more about the shovel girls than the players will help.

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#92 Walter Sobchak
July 19 2011, 03:26PM
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@Dman09

Not to out date myself or live in the past, but. The Oilers second line was Messier-Anderson-Simpson 50 goal scores and 100 point players. Hardly a checking line.

Checking lines use to be the third line generally.

4th was an energy/aggressive line

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#93 TigerUnderGlass
July 19 2011, 03:27PM
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Dman09 wrote:

2nd lines are used to try and shut down top scoring line most of the time if you are line matching. they do need to put up points but expecting all your 2nd liners to put up 50+ points a season is not realistic. They don't have to be energy checkers, they need to be defensively capable of shuting down a top line which usually goes hand in hand with high energy and heavy checking.

I'm not even sure where you are getting this information.

The current trend used by most teams is to play power vs power. Historically a number of teams used a third line as a dedicated checking/shut down line to play against the opponents best.

I have never heard of the second-line-as-shut-down-line tactic.

Second lines are almost always the LEAST defensively responsible of the top 9 and are used against the softest possible opposition to generate offense.

There are obviously variations in how lines are used by coaches, and ranking lines by minutes played makes a difference sometimes, and team depth plays a large part in it, but if we are talking of traditional line roles then you seem way off with this line of thinking.

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#94 Clyde Frog
July 19 2011, 03:27PM
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@Dman09

Damn,

2nd line players now score 50-60 points AND shutdown the first line?

Dman, I think most of us use the classic definition of hockey lines when talking about players. I think you may be using a different definition set than the rest of us.

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#95 Ender
July 19 2011, 03:29PM
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justDOit wrote:

It might be good for him, or it might be a minors-dump or buyout in two years.

It'll be a softer landing for him in Ana than it was in Edm, that's for sure. A deeper roster and fans who know more about the shovel girls than the players will help.

Let's be fair. They have some shovel-girls worth knowing.

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#97 Walter Sobchak
July 19 2011, 03:37PM
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@Lowetide

Ya, those days were the days, I remember thinking Tim Spelliscy hair was a rug! nope I was wrong.

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#99 Dman09
July 19 2011, 03:42PM
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Clyde Frog wrote:

Damn,

2nd line players now score 50-60 points AND shutdown the first line?

Dman, I think most of us use the classic definition of hockey lines when talking about players. I think you may be using a different definition set than the rest of us.

If you actually read properly I was putting a lot of weight on the fact that second line players are not likely to score more than 50 point in a season. And Kelser is a good example of a second line player that was used as a shut down role. Their offense is in part their defense because they also use high energy and checking to accomplish that.

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#100 David Staples
July 19 2011, 03:45PM
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One thing about Rel. Corsi, Bruce McCurdy just did a study -- for second year in a row, teams that were outshot one more games than teams that had more shots. So correlation between outshooting and winning is negative.

What does this mean for Corsi?

Well first off, for Corsi to make any sense you have to factor in ZoneStarts, as players who take a lot of own zone faceoffs tend to have weaker Corsi numbers.

You must also factor in that with that some players will have better Corsi than others due to score effects, so a good-offence, poor-defence guy will see his Corsi bumped up because he's out there a great amount of time when his team needs to press and the other team goes into a defensive shell.

Then you have to wonder if it's worth doing any of this factoring and taking into account, because outshooting isn't related to winning any more.

So I get it that not everyone will go by Neilson numbers. That's perfectly OK. They are a subjective stat, after all.

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