A NOTE ABOUT REASONABLE

Lowetide
August 02 2012 08:02AM

The Edmonton Oilers struck gold when selecting Jordan Eberle 22nd overall in the 2008 entry draft. How good can he be? What should we expect from him this coming season? What is reasonable?

I started doing 'reasonable expectations' series a few years ago when it became clear that we as fans are pretty awful at predicting the future. One of the main reasons? We're fans. I'm certainly a person who is prone to bias (Marc Pouliot, anyone?) and those expectations usually end up in disappointment when the players we cheer for fall short of their goals.

What's that old line from Seinfield's George? It's not you it's me? That's the ticket.

CROSSING JORDAN

First of all, a few words about Jordan Eberle. I think he's top drawer. I do believe that Stu MacGregor's selection of Eberle #22 overall may end up being the best bit of draft work he'll ever do, and am thrilled the young man is an Oiler.

When I set out to do 'reasonable expectations' every year, the idea is to create a fair 'line in the sand' for each player. Considering their past performance, their age, their future role on the team and the circumstances under which they scored in the previous season.

Eberle's case this year is somewhat unique. We don't really have enough information (three years is usually good, but not always: Ryan Smyth's first four seasons were wildly dissimilar), Eberle had a major jump across the board and we don't know how much of what he did is sustainable at last season's levels.

WHAT IS REASONABLE?

The major thrust of RE is trying to draw a 'reasonable' line in the sand for a specific player. I don’t consider the RE series to be “predictions” per se. David Staples suggested in his original article that the Eberle number was a prediction and Jason Gregor picked up on it yesterday. But if we were in a ‘dobber hockey’ hockey pool then 55 points might be a little low. ‘Reasonable expectations’ is designed to create a line in the sand that says “this is the reasonable spot.” Lower would be a disappointment, higher would be a thrill! 

I am sincere in suggesting that we should be thrilled if Jordan Eberle hits 60 points this season, and that more would represent an outstanding year.

WHY?

We have no right to expect Jordan Eberle to score 76 points again this season. Why? Because he doesn't have the track record (yet) for us to reasonably project this kind of season again next year. Will he score 40 in a season? Don't know. Is the 11-12 season his career year? Don't know.

We have two NHL seasons to go on, and Eberle increased his point total by 16 GOALS AND 33 POINTS! I believe it's very reasonable to ask how he got there and if he can do it again. A few reasons for my projection:

  • 3.08 5×5/60, ranking him 2nd in the NHL. He’s a fine young player, but it is not reasonable to expect the same performance next season. He was tied for 7th in the entire NHL in even strength points.
  • His zone start was 60%. We can’t assume he’ll get the same treatment this coming season. What if Yakupov gets the push on a line without Eberle? It could happen
  • Eberle’s shooting percentage was a huge leap from his rookie year. It is not reasonable to assume he can sustain it.
  • The PP. He went 10-10-20 on the PP. With Hemsky healthy and Yakupov’s shot also available, we can’t assume Eberle will score at that level this coming season. Eberle was tied for 43rd in PP points this past season.

 

WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?

If Jordan Eberle scored 76 points again this season we can move the 'reasonable expectation' forward because it'll be closer to a proven level of ability. For a player to go from 43 point to 76 points with a zone start push and a giant leap in 5x5 and powerplay scoring is one thing, but if he can do it again? Music!

One final note: I am so impressed with the posters at Oilers Nation and Oilers bloggers and posters across the board. From everything I've encountered--the Staples article to Jason's to the comments to my conversation with Jason and Robin Brownlee on JG's show yesterday--EVERYONE involved engaged in the conversation without making things personal or bringing the discussion down with counter productive verbal.

Five years ago on many blogs and websites this kind of discussion would have derailed into name calling and general tomfoolery. I am so impressed with Oilers Nation, the posters here, my blog, the Cult of Hockey and everyone who took time to put their opinions into the internet ether. I also enjoyed--but was not surprised by--the high level of discussion with Jason and Robin Brownlee yesterday.

Now. Let's hope Jordan Eberle kicks the hell out of next season and we can re-visit this question and have a giant snicker at my RE.

All the best,

Lowetide.

 

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 TSN 1260.
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#1 RDS
August 02 2012, 08:05AM
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Eberle is:

F*ing Incredible Scoring Twine

when game is on the line

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#2 RDS
August 02 2012, 08:25AM
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Any chance someone can take down the "Last Game" result showing the Cancucks beating Oilers 3-0? Sick of being reminded of it every time I come here. Thanks.

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#3 Matt Henderson
August 02 2012, 09:41AM
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This article sounds a lot like "Wanye, Step back from the ledge!"

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#4 Dan the Man
August 02 2012, 01:34PM
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Reasonable: Not extreme or excessive, moderate, fair.

Expectations: The act or state of looking forward or anticipating.

Not sure why this concept was so hard to grasp for so many people?

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#5 sizedoesmatter
August 02 2012, 07:29PM
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Prediction: scores at least 75 points. Expectation:Gets a restraining order for wanye

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#6 John Chambers
August 02 2012, 08:19AM
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I live in Winnipeg and had a conversation pre-draft with a couple of hockey buddies that went like this:

JC: Hey, think the Jets would trade Kane and Enstrom for the Oilers #1 pick + Gagner?

HB's: No, the Jets don't need rookies. You know who I'd make that deal for though - Eberle. Eberle is a beauty.

Eberle is a beauty. On this we can all agree.

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#7 freeze
August 02 2012, 08:28AM
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I much prefer the methodology behind the RE series versus the usual fan over-reactions. Its fun to predict that the Oil will make the playoffs, win the cup and 2/3 of the top 9 will lead the league in scoring but that is NHL '12 material.

Of course, tell that to all the yahoos in the 300s of RX1 that scream and yell at Horc, Hemmer and Whitney every game. Not to mention Jones, Smid, Gagner, Belanger, etc.

Thanks for all the time and effort LT. This Oiler fan really appreciates it. (and the pretty ladies)

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#8 SinceRgeWHADays
August 02 2012, 09:46AM
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LT,

I assume you felt some fallout from your RE of Ebs; thus writing this in order to explain yourself, but after reading many of your articles, and listening to your radio show, IMO I don't think you should feel obligated to do so, your record, professionalism, commitment, and respect from readers speaks for itself. Having said that I happen to think it is a reasonable expectation for Ebs to maintain an above average SH%. Why? Only one reason. He is known to work on his shot like the obsessed Hockey sniper that he is. I'm not saying his % will go up, or even stay the same, but I'm convinced, over the years, we'll see him maintain a top 5 SH% simply because he works at, while also possessing a God given talent that mere mortals can only dream of.

Thanks for feeding our hockey famin with regularity. I REALY appreciate having Oiler related articles to read every day. Thanks.

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#9 Chainsawz
August 02 2012, 10:35AM
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I don't see how Eberle zone starts and powerplay time go down. Forget Hemsky and Yakupov, Eberle is the elite RW'er on this team.

He is going to be on the top PP unit somehow.

If there is an offensive zone faceoff and if him and RNH (and probably Hall) are rested, they are going out there to score a goal.

The only thing anyone can fall back on for a production drop is shooting percentage. It will also be reasonable to guess that Nugent-Hopkins is going to shoot more, possibly increase his shooting percentage and therefore give Eberle more assists. Also, with more ice time, Eberle will probably fire more pucks on net as well to make up for some of the predicted shooting percentage drop and I think is a lock for 30+ goals and 40+ assists this year in a 82 game season.

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#10 OilClog
August 02 2012, 11:16AM
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This mini Eberle Internet war is classic, here's hoping Eberle continues to make doubters eat their own hats.

Big differences between Smyth and Eberle, it's very difficult to compare the two when they started out. Completely different skill sets, Eberle can make up for any goal drop with assists. Smyth at that age, goals or nothing. His 39 goals were mostly product of Dougie if I remember correctly, while Eberle already has one play of the year under his belt with his first goal (against the flames) He can do no wrong.

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#11 Rain'sReign
August 02 2012, 03:14PM
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I won't be told that my "High Expectations" of my beloved team and it's players are "Unrealistic". When it comes to my Oilers, I shoot for the Moon and "Reality" be damned! I won't Hedge my bets by finding the "Happy Medium" between realistic and unrealistic so I can sound better at the end of the year(if not good "I told ya", if good "I was close"). I don't post for popularity or to have people think I am a "Knowledgeable fan" I post because I Believe in My Team. I will continue to Believe that my Team will excel beyond expectations. I have seen it before and, someday, will see it again(lotta naysayers when The Boys In The Back Of The Bus started out too...). I guess that means that if the Oil do as well as I hope, I am a genius, eh? And Lowetide can say "I was close"...

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#12 Steve
August 02 2012, 08:27AM
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I say trade him to Calgary for Anton Babchuk.

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#13 Will
August 02 2012, 08:39AM
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It seems like the largest reason people are predicting Eberle's totals to go down is shot percentage, but no one seems to be talking on why his percentage is so good. True, he's against the statistics when it comes to other comparables, but you'd have to expect the Nuge had something to do with Eberle being able to put home such a high percentage of his shots. But won't Eberle and Nuge be one year better this year? Plus with a legitimate second scoring line, it's likely teams shut down lines will have a tougher time matching up on the road.

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#14 AutoOiler
August 02 2012, 08:44AM
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Lowetide I am a fan of the commentors here (and on your site.) Great stuff better than the articles a lot of the time.

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#15 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
August 02 2012, 08:47AM
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Will wrote:

It seems like the largest reason people are predicting Eberle's totals to go down is shot percentage, but no one seems to be talking on why his percentage is so good. True, he's against the statistics when it comes to other comparables, but you'd have to expect the Nuge had something to do with Eberle being able to put home such a high percentage of his shots. But won't Eberle and Nuge be one year better this year? Plus with a legitimate second scoring line, it's likely teams shut down lines will have a tougher time matching up on the road.

Lots of really good players, playing with other realy good players put up shooting %'s similar to Eberle's, all of them came back down to a more sustainable level.

RNH and Eberle are very very good, but not good enough to do what other pairs of very, very good players weren't capable of doing.

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#16 Cody anderson
August 02 2012, 08:47AM
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I think Eberle is going to get better and better. We will have to wait and see if that results in more or less points going forward. I see him being less sheltered this year, facing tougher competition and tougher zone starts.

Both him and Nuge are a year older, probably stronger and a little heavier which will help win puck battles. The oilers have also added a couple of weapons in Yak and Schultz. With Hemsky being healthy and Petry having more experience it is not unreasonable to think that there are a number of options that give this scoring line a stronger 3rd then they had most of last year. The passes off of the back end should be better, and I see them getting more minutes.

I can't wait for the season to start. I think Ebs will always have a high shooting percentage playing with Nuge but i do think it will slip from last year.

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#17 Edodyn87
August 02 2012, 08:56AM
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love the site and the articles!! here in Pennsylvania all we get is either Flyers or Penguins :( UGH!! I bleed Blue & Orange since I was 10! Go Oilers. Love me some OilersNation :)

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#18 The Soup Fascist
August 02 2012, 08:58AM
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Gene Principe: Not sure if Lowetide is trying to make Jordan cross or trying to make it with " Crossing Jordan".

Not likely Geno would even reach that far for a bad pun. I realize your article is not a "prediction" as much as probability. I think the 76 point season will be tough to replicate, but I believe the number will be closer to 70 than 60. The guy I am worried about is Hall. Not many come back at 100% confidence after major shoulder surgery. Hoping he is the exception.

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#19 Will
August 02 2012, 09:03AM
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@OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

No, I absolutely realize that and I've seen the tables, tandems like Thorton and Marlaue certainly jump out at me, but were any of those tandems rookies who's development curve was still on the upswing and not on a plateau? And who knows, maybe Eberle's peaked, but I doubt that's the same for Nuge. The fact he is only going to get better, means there's a chance so could the people playing with him.

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#20 They're $hittie
August 02 2012, 09:10AM
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good read and clarification, If oilersnation is so professional these days than why cant the same expectations for Thomas Drance at canucks army be held. Very unprofessional language and disappointed in the whole nation for allowing it.

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#21 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
August 02 2012, 09:15AM
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Will wrote:

No, I absolutely realize that and I've seen the tables, tandems like Thorton and Marlaue certainly jump out at me, but were any of those tandems rookies who's development curve was still on the upswing and not on a plateau? And who knows, maybe Eberle's peaked, but I doubt that's the same for Nuge. The fact he is only going to get better, means there's a chance so could the people playing with him.

I'm confident RNH will never be good enough to make Eberle sustain an 18%+ shooting percentage.

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#22 Rod The Viking
August 02 2012, 09:19AM
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Good article,Jill H is hot.I think Jordan will be a prolific goal scorer his whole career and will someday be challenging for the Rocket Richard trophy.

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#23 Jesse
August 02 2012, 09:24AM
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As usual, a very classy response Lowetide. Thanks for all the well-thought-out writing. It's a real treat on a daily basis to be able to read.

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#24 madjam
August 02 2012, 09:25AM
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EXPECTATIONS : Not unreasonable to expect Hall and Eberle to have banner seasons . Hopkins should increase numbers and not face a sophomore jinx . Generally players numbers most often increase them the most in years 3-5 ! Hemsky should finally have that long awaited breakout season . The rest of veterans are unreliable and will probably continue their downturn . Thats probably a good thing , as many newbies will hard press those veterans for NHL duty . Could we see a passing of the torch this season with 8-10 new faces ready to take over veterans jobs on team ? Paajarvi should excel this season as he is basically into his third season Still don't know what to make of Gagner if vast improvement isn't shown by him ..

In the rear view mirror coming on like a locomotive are the likes of Yakupov , Schultz , Fedun, Gernat, Klefbom , Musil , Marincin , Lalleggaia , Teubert , Bunz and Roy, Khaira ,Martindale, Zharkov and Reider . Could we see a kid like third offensive line in the making with something like Yakupov , Zharkov , Reider or Khaira ?

Seeing as forsee veterans to continue to collapse except for Hemsky , i'd like to see a lot of newbies make our team rather than continue with an inadequate veteran base we now have . " Time keeps on slipping into the future " , and the future is now with all our outstanding youth ! I'd rather watch the youth struggle thru the season than watch a repeat of the veterans again collapsing . Limit the veterans , but not the youth that are our future .

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#25 Cody anderson
August 02 2012, 09:41AM
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OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F wrote:

I'm confident RNH will never be good enough to make Eberle sustain an 18%+ shooting percentage.

I agree that the chance of sustaining 18+ is unlikely.

However I do think there is a sniper in Eberle, and receiving passes from the likes of RNH will increase a players s%

I think it is likely that RNH will be better this year and play more games. The 3rd on this line was a revolving door and other then Hall was not a legit top 6 forward. Upgrading the other winger and adding another offensive Dman adds some additional weapons to this line.

I see them getting more icetime and more points as a line. I see Ebs shooting a career average of closer to 16% which is still very high. With the additional icetime and better support cast I see his shots on net increasing and his point total remaining 70+

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#26 etownman
August 02 2012, 09:44AM
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Nobody can truly predict the future but with Eberle's consistant play everywhere he has played i truly believe we are now seeing the level that Jordan will play at! Having said that, if he was on his own, like Hemmer was for so many years i might be skeptical about his point totals. Too many quality players around him for him to falter! I think you should be looking the other way LT, this team has chance to be a high scoring Oileresque team of the past & it's all going to start taking shape this coming year! I predict another point/game performance for Eberle based on his past performances & Jordan's desire to be the best!

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#27 madjam
August 02 2012, 09:45AM
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Huge expectations for our youth and Eberle included in that obviously , but low expectations for our veterans other than Hemsky finally having a banner season . Is that more to your liking after two failed attempts ?

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#28 Drinkin' the Oilaid
August 02 2012, 09:47AM
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LT: "Ryan Smyth's first four seasons were wildly dissimilar."

This is exactly why I look forward to your Reasonable Expectation series. We tend to remember our heroes with rose-coloured glasses. No one wants to remember the talented 22-year-old leftwinger who scored only 13 goals in 71 games two seasons after netting 39 goals in 82 games as a 20-year-old. Mullet has always played balls-to-the-wall, but he is the perfect example of why we need to be Reasonable.

I'm sure a thorough rehashing of the stats, if they existed in 96-97, would have shown us the same story as we got from Eberle last season: Smyth got cushy zone starts, top-line linemates, and easy competition. When he started facing tougher competition and tougher zone starts, he became a minus 24 player who was torn apart in the papers by the coach for his lack of defensive acumen. Notice, too, that his shooting percentage dropped from 14.1% in his 39-goal season to 8.1% in his 13-goal season. It happens. The player didn't change, but the circumstances did, and this will be the case for Eberle, Hall, and RNH.

Does this mean I'd place money on your RE "predictions"? Am I hoping Ebs scores only 24 goals? Absolutely not. But if I entered the season expecting a repeat on 2011-12 and he only scores 28 goals, I'd be disappointed. Being reasonable allows me to accept that 28 goals is still better than 24.

Now, the ball is in Ebs's court to kick your ass on the ice for your RE numbers. Here's hoping.

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#29 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
August 02 2012, 09:51AM
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Cody anderson wrote:

I agree that the chance of sustaining 18+ is unlikely.

However I do think there is a sniper in Eberle, and receiving passes from the likes of RNH will increase a players s%

I think it is likely that RNH will be better this year and play more games. The 3rd on this line was a revolving door and other then Hall was not a legit top 6 forward. Upgrading the other winger and adding another offensive Dman adds some additional weapons to this line.

I see them getting more icetime and more points as a line. I see Ebs shooting a career average of closer to 16% which is still very high. With the additional icetime and better support cast I see his shots on net increasing and his point total remaining 70+

Lots of work has and is being done on the effect that elite passers will have on other players shooting %.

I haven't spent a tonne of time going through it, but from what I have seen it appears that elite playmakes like Sedin and Brad Richards can, on average add about 1% to teamates shooting percentage.

I think we can all agree that Sedin and Richards are pretty good examples of players that we hope RNH can be... ie it's highly unlikely that he's better then them.

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#30 Boourns99
August 02 2012, 10:15AM
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Shooting percentage aside (and it will go down - nobody can keep up a pace of scoring 1 of every 5 shots!) I think Ebs has three things going for him that will continue to make him an almost ppg guy.

1) Increased ice time, and more specifically increased ice time with RNH. More icetime means more shots (which will offset the lower shooting percentage)

2) Some of the best hockey sense I've seen on a player. The kid sees the game at a different level than most - and this is only going to get better.

3) The two C's - he's wildly Competitive and is ridiculously Clutch. I don't see his shooting % dropping to Gagner level (JW I am looking at you) simply because he won't let it - he wants to win

I am looking forward to a whole bunch of '...we told you so - we told you he would be a ppg guy!' blog posts from you and JW, Lowetide. And I will be the first to remind you that you were WAY wrong.

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#31 Hammers
August 02 2012, 10:32AM
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Thanks for your perspective LT . Your correct, but only to a point if RNH plays 80 games I think Ebbs can get 65-70 point . I think RNH is the key if he has a bad year Eberle may drop below 50 points .I would also expect a better complementary winger to play with that pair. All based on there actually being a full season .

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#32 ubermiguel
August 02 2012, 10:32AM
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Cody anderson wrote:

I agree that the chance of sustaining 18+ is unlikely.

However I do think there is a sniper in Eberle, and receiving passes from the likes of RNH will increase a players s%

I think it is likely that RNH will be better this year and play more games. The 3rd on this line was a revolving door and other then Hall was not a legit top 6 forward. Upgrading the other winger and adding another offensive Dman adds some additional weapons to this line.

I see them getting more icetime and more points as a line. I see Ebs shooting a career average of closer to 16% which is still very high. With the additional icetime and better support cast I see his shots on net increasing and his point total remaining 70+

Even 16% seems a bit high, has any player in the last 20 years averaged that over a career? I looked up a few players: Sakic and Jagr are 14%, Yzerman & Selanne are 15%.

That's the career range I think (hope? pray?) Eberle can match.

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#33 Jay Gray
August 02 2012, 10:33AM
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Remember who the coach was last year? Mr. Renney did not give his best players (The Kids) sufficient ice time. I believe his numbers will increase with King Ralph at the helm. The shooting percentage will be tough to maintain, but Eberle will be getting many more shots this season.

Let Out The Horses Ralphie Boy! She's Goal Scorin' Time!

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#34 Ben
August 02 2012, 11:07AM
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I believe he'll slip into the 65 point category. Teams will pay more attention to him, but he'll still get it done, his hands and shot are too good to let him slip that far. 30 goals and 35 assists are what I'm looking for.

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#35 Quicksilver ballet
August 02 2012, 11:10AM
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Haven't you heard yet LT, Jordan's on the trade block now due to forecastable unsustainable numbers.

No way we should hang onto this kid if this is the case. Where do you think he'll end up, if the media crystal ball types wildest accusations come true?

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#36 Sizzler
August 02 2012, 11:12AM
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@Willis & @Lowetide

Has anybody in NHL ever had +18% shooting percentage in first 2 yrs in NHL?

To be reasonable atleast playing 30-40 games.

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#37 Hoodlum
August 02 2012, 11:20AM
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@They're $hittie

What do you expect from canuck fans? If they don't caere about they're city, they surely don't care aout the site!!

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#38 RexLibris
August 02 2012, 11:32AM
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First let me say that Ms. Hennessy's genetic structure needs to be bottled and mass distributed. That is an aesthetic that this world could use a whole lot more of.

About Eberle, my personal, and perhaps over-thinking-it, preference would be for him to slump into December, sign a long contract extension at a reasonable (there's the word of the day again) rate, then blow the doors off the rest of the season, preferably with a 10-point Sittler-esque night against Calgary.\

On a more grounded note though, I suspect that this past season will become the norm over the length of his career, but that this season coming up will have a slight moderation in his numbers. Perhaps slightly higher than the RE, but probably not in the same range as '11-'12.

By the way, LT, thanks for giving us something to talk about in August and if the Oilers fans are keeping it classy it is because a tone has been set by those we follow.

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#39 Aitch
August 02 2012, 11:48AM
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Everyone's entitled to their own opinion and your own definition of what's "reasonable." I must admit that when I first read your RE for Eberle, I too, was a little flabbergasted. Perhaps it's the oil-coloured glasses, perhaps it's the drunken memories of WJ heroics, perhaps it's just that I'm an optimist. However, there was one line of reasoning in your RE that struck me as unreasonable.

[quote]What is Eberle’s established level? You need 3 seasons, so let’s NHLE his final junior season (82, 22-24-46). That doesn’t punish him for injury but it gives us 3 seasons to work with as a projection. If we add that number to his NHL seasons and divide by 3, then you get 76, 25-30-55.[/quote]

To me, this line of thinking is flawed. For a young player such as Eberle, it's unreasonable to look for an established level. History has shown us that most offensive players will continue to improve through their first few seasons in the league, as they get more comfortable, as they grow stronger, etc. However, I read your reasoning on how you come up with the numbers as "he's not going to get any better." To suggest that he'll only be as good in his third season as the average of his first two seasons (+ the NHLE) is ignoring so much else about the development of a player. It's also ignoring the development of the other highly-rated young players he'll be surrounded by. The biggest crux to your argument is that he can't sustain the shooting %, nor will he be as likely to receive the exaggerated zone starts that helped him out. Those may be true, but as many others have pointed out, those returns to the norm should be counter-balanced by an improving player on an improving team who should, theoretically take on a more important role. To me reasonable may be 10 points higher and that'll still have him in the conversation as a above average 1st line RW. 55 says he is only a low-end 1st liner and I think that would be a disappointment.

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#40 mharco
August 02 2012, 05:39PM
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To the 3-0 Vancouver Score... Yeah, the last few off seasons we have had to see this. Can it be a default Edmonton 100 Calgary 0. That way I would smile each time I see it.

Besides, I don't remember the last time OilersNation had a winning game posted there over the summer.

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#41 David Staples
August 02 2012, 07:08PM
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Nicely said Allan.

I must admit, still trying to get my head around difference between "prediction" and "reasonable expectation."

Is is a kind a prediction, it seems to me. Is a reasonable expectation best seen as a "conservative prediction" perhaps?

I say this because when others make predictions, I'm sure they think they're being reasonable as well, otherwise they'd make some other prediction.

Finally, what is your prediction for Eberle next year? :)

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#43 Ralph
August 02 2012, 07:46PM
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Aitch wrote:

Everyone's entitled to their own opinion and your own definition of what's "reasonable." I must admit that when I first read your RE for Eberle, I too, was a little flabbergasted. Perhaps it's the oil-coloured glasses, perhaps it's the drunken memories of WJ heroics, perhaps it's just that I'm an optimist. However, there was one line of reasoning in your RE that struck me as unreasonable.

[quote]What is Eberle’s established level? You need 3 seasons, so let’s NHLE his final junior season (82, 22-24-46). That doesn’t punish him for injury but it gives us 3 seasons to work with as a projection. If we add that number to his NHL seasons and divide by 3, then you get 76, 25-30-55.[/quote]

To me, this line of thinking is flawed. For a young player such as Eberle, it's unreasonable to look for an established level. History has shown us that most offensive players will continue to improve through their first few seasons in the league, as they get more comfortable, as they grow stronger, etc. However, I read your reasoning on how you come up with the numbers as "he's not going to get any better." To suggest that he'll only be as good in his third season as the average of his first two seasons (+ the NHLE) is ignoring so much else about the development of a player. It's also ignoring the development of the other highly-rated young players he'll be surrounded by. The biggest crux to your argument is that he can't sustain the shooting %, nor will he be as likely to receive the exaggerated zone starts that helped him out. Those may be true, but as many others have pointed out, those returns to the norm should be counter-balanced by an improving player on an improving team who should, theoretically take on a more important role. To me reasonable may be 10 points higher and that'll still have him in the conversation as a above average 1st line RW. 55 says he is only a low-end 1st liner and I think that would be a disappointment.

Well, look at it from this perspective. Say a goalie posts a .930. Is it more likely that the goalie is a true talent .930+, a true talent !.930, or maybe a .920 having a really good year? There are a lot of players that aren't good enough to hit threshold X consistently but do when they have a good season every now and then. The safe bet typically is to bet the under, bet against a guy being *incredibly* good.

Frankly, I think most people would subconsciously accept the need for a repeat performance. Give Eberle, let's say, 70 points in 80 games in 12-13. That'll make for 189 points in 227 games, just over 0.82 points per game. Since the lockout, only ten players have hit 0.82 points per game over their first three seasons (minimum 200GP): Ovechkin, Crosby, Malkin, Stamkos, Toews, Backstrom, Getzlaf, Kane, Kopitar, and Tavares. At this point it looks to me like as many as seven or eight or even nine of these players are on HOF tracks. I wouldn't be shocked if everyone on that list ends up in the HOF. I can say that with a straight face.

Can you say with a straight face that you think Eberle is a HOF-level player? ("Might be" doesn't count)

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#44 Ralph
August 02 2012, 07:58PM
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Meanwhile, since the lockout, the following players have scored at least 70 points in a season before or at age 23 and in one of their first two seasons, per H-R: Ovechkin, Crosby, Malkin, Stamkos, Backstrom, E. Staal, Vanek, Bergeron, Semin, Kane, Kopitar, Eberle, Stastny.

I know the sample size is small, but this makes sense to me. Eberle hitting 70 points in his second season is pretty good. He's could easily be an all-star level player. But sustaining that elite performance for three, four, five years, or even two years, that's ridiculously hard. A good player can have one great season.

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#45 Wanye
August 02 2012, 08:42PM
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It's a good thing I have been working on my science projects in an underwater laboratory or I would have gone on the radio too and called everyone involved names before dissolving into tears and running around the radio station naked until they had to call the SWAT Team.

End scene.

Eberle production in 12-13: GP 43* G 87 A 113 200 PTS

*Strike shortened season

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#47 G dude
August 03 2012, 10:53AM
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Just wondering if drawing penalties is ever considered. It seems that adding a dynamic player such as Yak would increase the number of power plays and this would benefit Ebs point totals. ?

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#48 NewAgeSys
August 04 2012, 09:11AM
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Eberles points totals are only dependant on games played,in fact I dont even bother with these types of thoughts because old water has already passed under the bridge and new water isnt that much different than the old stuff,nobody giftwrapped anything in the NHL for Ebbs,in fact a lot of pundits were waiting to see if he was going to be able to live up to the hype.Case closed.

If our top six can stay healthy there is no limit to the number of points they can put up,we are still unable to make an assesment without intimate system data,because without a system first --we dont know how to evaluate our manpower intangibles.If we play one iota more defensive next year we will be picking first overall for a record 4th time IMHO.

I have always wondered how fans and pros can even begin to ponder season performance without spitting out the words system and teammates in every sentence.

Heres the real question,will any of our players make any significant changes top their games over the summer???I doubt it,how much have you or I changed over the last three months??

With a system that focuses on flow and offence and not on defense I say Ebbs will remain at the top of the points leaderboard on this team or any team,he will put up as many points as he is pushed to score to stay on top,he is a competitorg,he just seems to somehow fool people,not me,he wants to be the best of the bunch,he isnt catalysed by the NHL he is catalysed by the team he plays on and the talent here pushes him to his maximum every night.

I see Jordans intangibles as being his superspeed ability to read the play and not in terms of what it will evolve in to but in terms of in the moment split second reaction positional changes to intercept plays or to turn them into something offensive,Jordan finds tiny transitional cracks in the plays as they evolve and utilises them as an asset to always be in the right place at the right time,in the last seconds of games he is focused or ultra-focused on positional play so he doesnt puck follow he goes to the best holes.

Because I believe Nugent Hopkins is going to break out this year and Hall will begin to establish the 30 goal mark,Yakupov will push guys,and Gagner will likely lead the team offensively behind or beside Nuge,Ebbs will stay on the first line and benefit from Nuges breakout season,so i say OVER a PPG pace number of games decideing final totals.Top three scorers at the end of the year,Gagner-Nuge-Ebbs---in any given order.Someone is going to have a monster year and drag people with him thats for sure.

I feel the evolvement of maturity levels will result in more goals from almost everywhere.Our core isnt wide-eyed anymore they are hungry and willing to give blood at the door.

I have to stress that I am baseing this on an offensive system.If we play an IOTA more defensive next year I peg Ebbs for 65 pts and still in the top three with everyone adjusted down to the 65 pt level,give or take a few pts.

Teams already expect full press offense from us and are going to treat us that way eternally,so we might as well accept we cannot EVER play Possum,we might as well just open up every night and go for the blowout----everyone needs a reputation and they get one wether they like it or not so why not choose ours before someone else gives us one??

One of our strengths has got to be playing a full 60mins of offensive pressure,we need to establish a reputation as a team that is coached to play all out for 60mins and run the score up or suffer in practice,we need to taske pride in running up the point totals through system execution,not through bullying,remember every regular season game is a playoff step,so we need to show the league how important those games are to us,so important we will bury them over a full 60 mins scoreing 4 or more goals per game and TEN if we can,this is not a respect issue it is a team that has missed the playoffs so much it is starved for rewards,so we have a right to become predators and define our own destinys,lets choose our own reputation and lets make it be that we are Goal Hunters who will light you up for a FULL 60 mins,it is a championship attitude,and whats the fear anyways ,what are opponents going to do,take something more out on us than they already plan to??Ha ha ha,we need to maintain the iniative for 82 games and continue to evolve our teams persona.

I predict this is the path management may also recognise,and therefore i believe we will see an offensive system and Ebbs will put up over a point per game,and the ceiling is his to define,he could well stay in the top ten all year in NHL scoreing and I think he will,there were no gaurantees who would hit the stratosphere first here,we just knew there would be fire-works sooner than later.

I dont think we will see any drop off at all points wise from Ebbs or anyone else,because i think we were held back in many ways last year from executeing the 60 mins of offense we require to be sucessfull with our skill level.

And if by some act of God,Mr.kruger embraces and executes the NewAge Hockey System we will be an early playoff lock and set a new bar for excellence here in Edmonton,I love the pressure and believe that this is a pivotal year for many things with a lot of contracts comeing up in the next few years,if we dont show signs of a defined team persona of maddog Cup fanatics who will ruin you over 82 games,we might see difficultys with our young guns staying here,playtime is over--its time to become predators and that means running up the scores on EVERYONE,and getting our young stars addicted to the feeling before we have to do more serious contract negotiations with them,lets make them want to stay right now by feeding them teams every night to feast on,who wouldnt want to stick around for that kind of fun??

Ebbs-Gagne-Nuge---I just cant decide who will squeak to the top over the entire season,who will stay healthy enough to put in the most games???This is the key with this much talent,it becomes an issue of health and committment to 82 games,this is something you CAN teach so we are in a great position,lets let them have it this year Oilers,light em up Ebbs.

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#49 Wax Man Riley
August 04 2012, 04:42PM
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@NewAgeSys

↑ Gagne does not play on our beloved team

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#50 NewAgeSys
August 04 2012, 07:15PM
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@Wax Man Riley

Thank you ,I am sure Sam Gagner appreciates being addressed and referred to properly.Perfect illustration of something I need to work a little harder on,correct spelling may seem like something less than a priority,but no one ever intentionally mis-addresses another --although accidentally in certain context it may be documented in print as such if left uncorrected.Nice heads up,thanks.

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