A PINCH OF SIN

Lowetide
March 01 2012 05:11PM

There was a time when the Edmonton Oilers could find a good defenseman at midnight in a snowstorm. Last night, Cam Barker's "pinch of sin" drove home the fact that the Oilers ability to identify useful blue may well be a thing of the past.

Last night, Cam Barker played on the third pairing and did not perform well. This is not a new item. Let's have a look-see and try to find out how he's being used and what the numbers look like.

ZONE STARTS

The toughest zone starts go like this:

  1. Sutton-Whitney
  2. Smid-Petry
  3. Barker-Gilbert
  4. Peckham-Potter

However, it should be mentioned that the difference top to bottom is minimal compared to the forwards on this year's Oilers. I think it's reasonable to suggest this graph looks exactly like a blueline group that is employed by a coach who (for the most part) isn't line matching. This is a simple dance: 1-2-3, 1-2-3, 1-2-3 for the pairings. In this situation, I'd suggest Barker's zone starts are "a little easier than average" as opposed to being "easy."

QUAL COMP

Barker's qual comp is the weakest available among the NHL defensemen on the roster. Although coach Renney hasn't been the line matching demon we saw during the MacT era, we do see that Barker (and Sutton) are facing the easier opponents and situations.

In this type of role--the same as he's seen as an NHLer in Chicago and Minnesota--a player with the experience of Barker should be able to help the Oilers do some great things.

CORSIREL

The most effective defensemen this season for the Oilers by CorsiRel are:

  1. Sutton-Potter
  2. Gilbert-Petry-Smid
  3. Peckham-Barker
  4. Whitney

Whitney's number is due to his injury, or more to the point his playing while trying to come back from injury. All numbers courtesy behind the net.ca, a gift from Gabriel Desjardins to hockey fans. A veteran defender like Barker should be expected to dominate the CorsiRel based on ease of opponent and middling zone start. Sutton has a better number despite tougher zone starts and similar qual comp. I think it's reasonable to suggest Barker should be where Sutton is on this graph. Cam Barker is not having a good season, by eye or by number.

SCORING CHANCES

In the February games Barker has played since coming back from injury, here are the "Dennis King" scoring chances for each defenseman. Best to worst based on percantage of chances heading in a good direction.

DENNIS KING EV SCORING CHANCES IN CAM BARKER FEB. GAMES

  1. Andy Sutton 32-22 ,593
  2. Corey Potter 27-22 .551
  3. Tom Gilbert 27-24 .529
  4. Cam Barker 40-37 .519
  5. Ryan Whitney 46-49 .484
  6. Ladislav Smid 46-59 .438
  7. Jeff Petry 46-61 .439
  8. Nick Schultz 4-6 .400

Sutton has looked good this season, certainly playing at a level we didn't expect. Potter to my eye has been subpar after coming back from the injury, but there they are at above .500 in the chance count since Barker returned from injury. Gilbert we can all agree was having a fine season before being dealt.

Barker's position--weak opposition met by veteran defender--should be an area where the Oilers are having exceptional success in this metric. It is not a horrific number--Barker's 4th best during this period--but he should be pushing the good times based on his pedigree, experience, salary and expectation.

 

WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?

I've been staring at this for hours and can't seem to take my eyes away from the situation. The numbers suggest:

  1. Barker is facing easy opps with fairly easy zone starts
  2. Barker is getting results that CorsiRel tells us should be better
  3. and we would expect a capable veteran to post much stronger numbers against this kind of resistance, something that pushes the puck in a positive direction in a very strong manner.

Barker is posting +.500 in scoring chances during February but the number should be better based on where he is in the batting order.

Terry Jones has an interesting item up on last night's game. From that article, Tom Renney on Barker: "He was OK. We've got to work with Cam a little bit on his reads and his foot speed. I'd like him to use his size and strength. When he does he's a very effective player. He passes the puck very well. You all know about his attributes. Cam is going to get opportunities to play here and he is going to have to play well."

When a coach says "we have to work on his reads and his footspeed" during the season about a veteran hockey player it's about the same as a baseball manager talking about turning a line drive hitter into a home run machine.

In the words of Sponge Bob Square Pants, "good luck with that!"

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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#1 Big Perm
March 01 2012, 05:13PM
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Fist to say the last pic is the best and Cam needs to better if he wants to stick around.

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#2 gongshow
March 01 2012, 05:20PM
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"I've been staring at this for hours and can't seem to take my eyes away from the situation."

Pure comedy LT.

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#3 Travis Dakin
March 01 2012, 05:32PM
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gongshow wrote:

"I've been staring at this for hours and can't seem to take my eyes away from the situation."

Pure comedy LT.

Seconded

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#4 Next up, is Connor McJesus.
March 01 2012, 05:38PM
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Some of these guys figure they can get buy without having to apply themselves. Most have the necessary skillset to keep them in the NHL but if they don't add an element of emotion/intensity or the desire to do more than the bare minimum, then we're left with a mediocre hockey players.

Belanger,Horcoff,Gagner and Barker....all going through the motions last evening waiting for someone to show up so they didn't have to.

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#5 Halfwise
March 01 2012, 05:39PM
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gongshow wrote:

"I've been staring at this for hours and can't seem to take my eyes away from the situation."

Pure comedy LT.

I agree. Those are two very impressive points.

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#6 A-Mc
March 01 2012, 05:46PM
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Would assets like hers ever get old? Jesus, what a pair

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#7 WheresYourTowel
March 01 2012, 06:06PM
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So, Bad Defenceman is Bad.

Got it.

And cancer can go play in traffic. What a glorious pair.

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#8 DSF
March 01 2012, 06:22PM
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A-Mc wrote:

Would assets like hers ever get old? Jesus, what a pair

Yes, they do get old.

I would post a pic but don't want to ruin the mood. :)

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#9 Ryley
March 01 2012, 06:34PM
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Who are those womens ? Names?

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#10 sizedoesmatter
March 01 2012, 06:42PM
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If Cam Barker Has all the skills Is it bad luck why do his mistakes end up in our net?can it be fixed? kind of a shame because once and a while he does some pretty slick plays on offence.

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#11 Phil
March 01 2012, 06:45PM
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where is the last picture from

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Phil wrote:

where is the last picture from

Married with Children, Kelly Bundy.

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#13 WheresYourTowel
March 01 2012, 06:52PM
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The poster formerly known as Koolaid drinker #33 wrote:

Married with Children, Kelly Bundy.

The actress's name is Christina Applegate. You may know her recently from Anchorman, or on TV with Will Arnett on Up All Night.

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#14 PaperDesigner
March 01 2012, 06:55PM
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Renney always skews the message positive--it's a good trait in a coach, IMO, but it also makes the coach not necessarily the person to go to for objective analysis.

So when he says Barker needs to work on hockey sense and skating "a bit", it's especially condemning language.

Is there a single good player in the league that lacks hockey sense AND speed?

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#15 Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things
March 01 2012, 06:57PM
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Ryley wrote:

Who are those womens ? Names?

Not sure about the first, but the second is Christina Applegate.

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#16 spOILer
March 01 2012, 07:02PM
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Who is this Gilbert fellow of which you speak?

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#17 pelhem grenville
March 01 2012, 07:09PM
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...Christina Applegate...breast cancer survivor

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#18 DSF
March 01 2012, 07:33PM
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Why is a discussion of tits and Cam Barker not an oxymoron?

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#19 pelhem grenville
March 01 2012, 07:36PM
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first girl...

http://ca.askmen.com/galleries/doutzen-kroes/picture-2.html

Doutzen Kroes yummy Dutch Model/actress

non breast cancer survivor. . .

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#20 Milli
March 01 2012, 07:39PM
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I woulda been fist if not for that last pic!!!! WOW! Oh and Barker was awful lastnight.

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#21 Dipstick
March 01 2012, 07:51PM
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Milli wrote:

I woulda been fist if not for that last pic!!!! WOW! Oh and Barker was awful lastnight.

Studies have shown that staring at breasts is good for ones health. But for over 2 hours???!!!

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#22 Oilcruzer
March 01 2012, 08:11PM
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Dipstick wrote:

Studies have shown that staring at breasts is good for ones health. But for over 2 hours???!!!

Really it's only half an hour per eye per nip.

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#23 Oilcruzer
March 01 2012, 08:16PM
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And ya I love stats,but sometimes we gotta look at the body of work...

...Barker's reacting, and reacting slow to the play, at that. Until (if) it becomes an NHL instinct, his defensive capabilities are a liability.

So, do you teach him now or in the minors? Cuz it ain't gonna cut it here next year.

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#24 Fresh Mess
March 01 2012, 08:22PM
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"Cam is going to get opportunities to play here and he is going to have to play well" ---------------------------------------

It's 60 games into the season. He's had his opportunities. He's played very poorly.

It's time to move on from Barker. He is not an NHL caliber player. Tell Cam he can stay home while his agent looks for somewhere else for him to play.

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#25 David S
March 01 2012, 08:33PM
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Barker was/is an experiment that went sideways. Happens all the time I bet. My guess is the only reason he's getting any ice time at all is that the Oilers are trying to verify one way or the other if they keep him or let him go (by the looks of it, the latter would seem to be the proper course of action). I kinda get that. If he worked out it'd be one less thing we'd have to fix this summer.

Oh and BTW. Christina Applegate in Anchorman was still ridiculously hot.

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#26 David S
March 01 2012, 08:33PM
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*Also - BARKER SUCKS!

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#27 Harlie
March 01 2012, 08:46PM
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so...I guess no more delicious back breaking panny cakes?

http://www.tmz.com/2012/02/29/dustin-penner-jessica-welch-divorce/#.T1BB7ZjsIqs

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#28 Smokey
March 01 2012, 08:50PM
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I cry everytime Renney puts Barker in the line-up. How many points has he cost the Oil this year, 4-5 at least,

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#29 Oilers G- Nations Poet Laureate
March 01 2012, 09:14PM
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It's a good thing I wear glasses. Young Christina could have put my eyes out with those bullets.

I thought 13 played pretty well, until I found said glasses.

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#30 samwise17
March 01 2012, 09:28PM
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@Oilcruzer

I tend to agree with you, but if we put him in the minors, who do you tip to be the project to build into next year? it's one of those things, he could click in 5 games time and every one will say what a smart idea it was to persist. having said that, the smart money leans towards him flopping into a poor career i think

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#31 keg on legs
March 01 2012, 09:56PM
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@samwise17

Again, I just have to say: Why, with one of the biggest most aggressive teams in the league, do you take Sutton out? Did I miss a press release?

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#32 samwise17
March 01 2012, 10:19PM
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keg on legs wrote:

Again, I just have to say: Why, with one of the biggest most aggressive teams in the league, do you take Sutton out? Did I miss a press release?

No i agree i'm only saying that we are talking about Sutton, who is turning 37 in a handful of days. thats an eleven year senior over barker. I'm thinking future here. We are going to have a pack of forwards that will strike fear into any team for years to come, i just like the idea of some young d men (not saying it will be barker) now who can go with them into the future, If i'm out of line then i'm happy for you to shut me down.

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#33 RexLibris
March 01 2012, 11:15PM
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Read a great line on FN last night that, strangely enough, kind of has some relation to the trend of this thread (and you'll pardon if this is a tad politically incorrect), but one might describe Barker as the type who "if he fell into a barrel of tits he'd come out sucking his thumb".

Anyway, had to pass that on.

I think the Oilers can safely move on from Cam Barker and let him revive his career at another stop on the road. Best of luck to him, but it isn't going to work out here.

Sorry to say, but I think Peckham is also on his way out this summer. Maybe not, but time will tell.

Thanks for the pics, LT.

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#34 Reg Dunlop
March 02 2012, 12:17AM
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Stumbellini took a chance on Barker. It was a gamble,a good gamble that sadly didn't pay off. If Dumbellini moves on to another reclaimation project next year, fine, thats part of the job. If he re-signs Barker hoping for a different outcome next year, well thats just plain crazy. I hope I'm wrong but I think young Cam will be losing his stick and skating like the boys put tape on his blades again next year. Oh... where did you find that picture of my high school prom date? I dumped her when she refused to pay at Dennys.

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#35 Fresh Mess
March 02 2012, 06:58AM
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one word: Europe.

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#36 Bicepus Maximus - Huge fan boy!
March 02 2012, 08:12AM
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RexLibris wrote:

Read a great line on FN last night that, strangely enough, kind of has some relation to the trend of this thread (and you'll pardon if this is a tad politically incorrect), but one might describe Barker as the type who "if he fell into a barrel of tits he'd come out sucking his thumb".

Anyway, had to pass that on.

I think the Oilers can safely move on from Cam Barker and let him revive his career at another stop on the road. Best of luck to him, but it isn't going to work out here.

Sorry to say, but I think Peckham is also on his way out this summer. Maybe not, but time will tell.

Thanks for the pics, LT.

Awesome!

Tits and jokes FTW!

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#37 Dman09
March 02 2012, 08:26AM
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2 way 1year contract, try to convert him to forward, if he doesn't want to turf his ass because he sure as hell isn't a defenseman.

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#38 Gitagrip
March 02 2012, 08:31AM
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Barker and Dubnyk on the ice at the same time. It's by design. Think about it.

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#39 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
March 02 2012, 08:42AM
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Resonable gamble considering where the team is/was.

He sucks though, desperatly need to upgrade him.

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#40 Talbot17
March 02 2012, 08:58AM
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keep barker playing here or there, guarantees us that #2 pick ;)

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#41 BaconWrapped
March 02 2012, 09:57AM
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gongshow wrote:

"I've been staring at this for hours and can't seem to take my eyes away from the situation."

Pure comedy LT.

You said what we were all thinking...

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#42 Shane
March 02 2012, 11:21AM
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Dman09 wrote:

2 way 1year contract, try to convert him to forward, if he doesn't want to turf his ass because he sure as hell isn't a defenseman.

Noooooooooooo! To this ^

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#43 Next up, is Connor McJesus.
March 02 2012, 11:24AM
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Gitagrip wrote:

Barker and Dubnyk on the ice at the same time. It's by design. Think about it.

LOL!

Bullseye!

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#44 oilbaron
March 02 2012, 11:52AM
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he just flat out cant skate. if he would be able to move his feet he would be a much better defenceman. he has a good shot and can make a decent first pass but it really all comes down to his lack of speed/acceleration/agility. I thought he was a great signing by us in the offseason and thought that all he needed was a fresh start. Boy was i ever wrong. How on earth was he ever drafted #3 overall?

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#45 OilLeak
March 02 2012, 12:29PM
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Cam Barker the worst regular defenseman in the NHL and it's not even close.

Defensive lineup for tonight:

Nick Schultz + Sutton

Smid + Petry

Whitney + Potter

Thank God.

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