GDB 05: NEED EV SCORING

Jason Gregor
January 28 2013 01:14PM

In four games the Edmonton Oilers have a whopping two goals while playing 5-on-5. Jordan Eberle scored one v. Vancouver and Taylor Hall potted the other against the Sharks. NHL.com says they have four goals at EV, but two of them came with an extra skater in the final five seconds of the game, Nail Yakupov v. LA and Sam Gagner v. Calgary, so to me those are 6-on-5 goals and come with an EV asterisk.

The Oilers have played almost 165 minutes of 5-on-5 hockey and they have a paltry two goals, and to make matters worse they've given up nine at even strength.

If the Oilers are going to stay competitive in the western conference they need to start scoring at EV, and their top line needs to produce more.

Many of you might be wondering why I said the first line needs to score more at EV, when they have the only two goals, but when you break down their minutes, Eberle, Hall and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins are getting the most EV icetime. Of course the 2nd and 3rd lines need to be much better than they have, but if Ralph Krueger continues to dish out icetime like he has in the first four games the Oilers success will rest on the shoulders of their best players.

Which is how it should be. 

Player  Pos  GP  ES TOI/G SH TOI/G  PP TOI/G  TOI/G 
Justin Schultz D 4 17:41 1:25 4:55 24:02
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins C 4 16:28 0:49 5:13 22:31
Taylor Hall L 4 16:20 0:04 4:30 20:55
Jordan Eberle R 4 16:02 0:45 4:58 21:46
Ryan Whitney D 4 15:02 0:41 3:38 19:21
Jeff Petry D 4 14:44 5:43 0:24 20:53
Nick Schultz D 4 14:06 3:50 0:01 17:57
Sam Gagner C 4 13:04 1:24 3:52 18:21
Ales Hemsky R 4 12:49 0:00 3:44 16:33
Ladislav Smid D 4 12:43 4:20 0:03 17:06
Corey Potter D 2 12:43 3:27 0:02 16:13
Nail Yakupov R 4 11:52 0:00 3:19 15:11
Mark Fistric D 2 11:14 4:03 0:00 15:17
Ryan Smyth L 4 8:20 3:38 2:54 14:53
Shawn Horcoff C 4 8:07 3:30 3:53 15:31
Magnus Paajarvi L 3 8:05 2:07 0:00 10:13
Eric Belanger C 4 7:33 3:58 0:02 11:34
Teemu Hartikainen L 3 7:02 0:00 0:31 7:33
Ben Eager L 1 6:18 0:00 0:00 6:18
Lennart Petrell L 4 5:22 3:15 0:00 8:37
Darcy Hordichuk L 1 1:11 0:00 0:00 1:11

No one can suggest Krueger isn't playing his best players the most. You all wanted the kids to play 20 minutes a night last year, and now they are doing that.

They have been very good on the powerplay with 6 goals on 22 opportunities, 27.3%, which is tied for 5th best in the league. If the Oilers can find a way to start scoring at EV the games will become much easier.

Obviously the Horcoff and Gagner lines need to do more EV, and I wonder if Krueger will look at switching them up, but ultimately this team will start winning consistently once their top line become more effective at EV. The good news for the Oilers is they are 2-2 in four games, despite little production EV.

Eberle has shown he can be productive at EV. Last season, 73.6% of his points came at EV, which was 5th best amongst the top-20 scorers in the NHL. (The first column shows were they finished in league scoring)

 

  Player  Team GP  G  A  P ESP  EV%
20 Loui Eriksson DAL 82 26 45 71 56 78.8
18 Martin St Louis TBL 77 25 49 74 58 78.3
2 Steven Stamkos TBL 82 60 37 97 72 74.2
13 Ray Whitney PHX 82 24 53 77 57 74
16 Jordan Eberle EDM 78 34 42 76 56 73.6
15 Marian Gaborik NYR 82 41 35 76 55 72.3
6 Phil Kessel TOR 82 37 45 82 59 71.9
4 Jason Spezza OTT 80 34 50 84 60 71.4
12 Marian Hossa CHI 81 29 48 77 54 70.1
8 John Tavares NYI 82 31 50 81 56 69.1
1 Evgeni Malkin PIT 75 50 59 109 75 68.8
14 Joe Thornton SJS 82 18 59 77 53 68.8
9 Henrik Sedin VAN 82 14 67 81 54 66.7
11 Erik Karlsson OTT 81 19 59 78 50 64.1
7 James Neal PIT 80 40 41 81 51 62.9
17 Anze Kopitar LAK 82 25 51 76 46 60.5
19 Jason Pominville BUF 82 30 43 73 44 60.2
5 Ilya Kovalchuk NJD 77 37 46 83 49 59.1
10 Patrik Elias NJD 81 26 52 78 45 57.6
3 Claude Giroux PHI 77 28 65 93 53 56.9

Now let's take a quick look at how the Oilers produced at EV last year.

 

Player  GP  G  A  P  ESP EV% EV TOI
Jordan Eberle 78 34 42 76 56 73.6 14:24
Ryan Smyth 82 19 27 46 38 82.6 14:26
Sam Gagner 75 18 29 47 35 74.4 14:40
Taylor Hall 61 27 26 53 32 60.3 15:06
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins 62 18 34 52 29 55.7 14:33
Ales Hemsky 69 10 26 36 27 75 15:25
Ryan Jones 79 17 16 33 24 72.7 12:06
Shawn Horcoff 81 13 21 34 21 61.7 14:03
Jeff Petry 73 2 23 25 19 76 17:59
Ladislav Smid 78 5 10 15 14 93.3 17:28
Ben Eager 63 8 5 13 13 100 8:29
Corey Potter 62 4 17 21 10 47.6 16:36
Ryan Whitney 51 3 17 20 10 50 17:49
Eric Belanger 78 4 12 16 10 62.5 11:11
Lennart Petrell 60 4 5 9 7 77.7 8:29
Magnus Paajarvi 41 2 6 8 6 75 11:56
Nick Schultz 82 1 6 7 6 87.5 16:55
Teemu Hartikainen 17 2 3 5 5 100 12:59
Darcy Hordichuk 43 1 2 3 3 100 4:20

You will notice that the top-line was the most productive at EV, but the Oilers got some solid production from Ryan Smyth and Sam Gagner.

I expect the Oilers top line to carry the bulk of the offence, but until the 2nd and 3rd lines show up it is going to be difficult to win.

So far Smyth, Horcoff, Hartikainen, Paajarvi, Hemsky, Gagner and Yakupov have zero points 5-on-5. Gagner and Yakupov did score with an extra attacker on the ice late in games, but as a pure EV tally those seven forward don't have a sniff through four games.

If the Oilers are going to put any sort of win streak together, the entire team needs to show some sort of pulse offensively during five-on-five play.

LINEUP

Hall-RNH-Eberle
Yakupov-Gagner-Hemsky
Smyth-Horcoff-Petrell
Hartikainen-Belanger-Paajarvi

Smid-Petry
N.Schultz- J.Schultz
Whitney-Potter

Dubnyk

I'm a tad surprised Fistric is out considering how well he has played on the penalty kill. Krueger said the Potter is in because he doesn't want guys sitting around very long. He also juggled his 3rd and 4th lines, and is hoping that Hartikainen and Paajarvi can find the chemistry they had in OKC.

The Avalanche is struggling to score with only nine goals in four games. The Duchene/Parenteau duo has looked good with both of them scoring a pair of goals, but the Avs really miss Ryan O'Reilly. Greg Sherman is standing firm on his stance that O'Reilly won't get much more money, if any, than Matt Duchene.

Gabriel Landeskog won't play tonight, but the Avalanche didn't want to say why he was out. Some are assuming he has a concussion, but the Avalanche, like most teams, didn`t want to say what his injury was. Rumblings suggest he injured his leg and head during the hit. 

 QUICK HITS

  • It is very early and it's only been four games, but Ryan Smyth has looked a half a step behind so far this season. He's been solid on the PK, but at EV he hasn't generated much. He was very productive at EV last season, and the Oilers desperately need him to get back on track. He didn't play during the lockout and at his age, not playing for almost eight months could be contributors to his slow start.
     
  • Krueger addressed the Oilers EV scoring woes by saying they need to be more composed and cut down on their turnovers. He also preached patience, since there hasn't been a training camp and some players haven't played in eight months. Many don't want to accept the latter, but in many cases the difference between guys who were playing and guys who weren't is pretty obvious.
     
  • The Oilers have been shorthanded 13 times in the first period so far this season, most in the NHL. It is hard to get any sort of momentum five-on-five early in a game when you are killing off that many penalties. Toss in their PP time in the first frame and that likely has played a factor into their dreadful EV scoring.
     
  • The Oilers will make a decision regarding Nikolai Khabibulin tomorrow according to Krueger. He has been practicing and if he feels good he will go on the road trip as the backup and Yann Danis will return to OKC.
     
  • Theo Peckham is on a conditioning program right now, and I'd guess that when they feel he is in game shape they will send him to OKC on a conditioning stint, and place Ben Eager on the IR to free up a roster spot.
     

GAME DAY PREDICTION: The Oilers will score two goals EV and win 4-3. Horcoff scores his first off the season.

OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: The Oilers are the only team in the NHL who has yet to score the first goal of the game, so obviously they will score first tonight. Why, because they scored first in five of the six meetings with the Avs last year. 

NOT-SO-OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Nail Yakupov scores the go-ahead goal with four minutes remaining. His celebration is very subdued compared to his knee slide; however, just after he scores he pulls a cherry out of his sock and crushes it with his skate. When asked after the game if the cherry represented Don Cherry he asks, "Who is Don Cherry?"

RECENTLY BY JASON GREGOR

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One of Canada's most versatile sports personalities. Jason hosts The Jason Gregor Show, weekdays from 2 to 6 p.m., on TSN 1260, and he writes a column every Monday in the Edmonton Journal. You can follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/JasonGregor
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#1 yawto
January 28 2013, 12:56PM
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Hopefully that fist line can start to bulge the twine when they have the same # of guys on the ice as the other team.

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#2 BigE91
January 28 2013, 01:00PM
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I'd rather see Yakupov go to the bench and pull out a basket of sour grapes and start eating them.

Always entertained by Don but he still thinks its the 70's or soemthing.

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#3 tileguy
January 28 2013, 01:03PM
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Perhaps the thinking with Fistric is if he nails their guys the other team will come back and kill ours, so it is safer to try and play a run and gun game intead of hard hitting???

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#4 A-Mc
January 28 2013, 01:04PM
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Who is Don Cherry indeeeeeeed.

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#5 lolhockey
January 28 2013, 01:05PM
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Random non-EV thought:

Eberle needs to learn how do one timers. I know the PP is good but the 'stop n snap' thing he does is concerning. Teams/goalies will expect it, if they don't already.

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#6 CopperBlueBalls
January 28 2013, 01:11PM
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Hahaha love the NSOGDP.

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#7 @eastcoasteh
January 28 2013, 01:11PM
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Said it on JW's post, but will say it again..i think Smyth needs some PP time plugged in front of the net. I realize the PP is going decently, but this would get Smytty going too. If/when they juggle the lines, I wouldn't mind seeing Smyth with Nuge/Eberle or Nuge/Hall. Let #94 go do the dirty work and get to the net. You mustn't chain up the mullet Coach K!

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#8 rubbertrout
January 28 2013, 01:12PM
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I like soup.

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#9 A-Mc
January 28 2013, 01:13PM
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I'm a little cheesed that Fistric is sitting out. He's been excellent and i just don't really care if potter gets jello legs from sitting out: Fistric is better.

GDP: The Oilers win this one. Not sure on the score but lets go with 3-2.

OGDP: King Jordan of Eberle will conjure a goal or two in epic style and we will all be reminded of his brilliance.

NSOGDP: Potter, in a desperate attempt to regain a roster spot, will over power a slapper from the blue line and fall to his face. Everyone is so busy having a chuckle at potters expense that the puck actually goes in the net. Refs call it off because while laughing hysterically at Potters ill attempt at scoring, the Avs goalie falls over backwards to draw a goalie interference call. Looking around for someone to blame, the refs point at Horcoff. "HEY YOU GUUYYYYSSSSSS" *in Goonies voice* says Horcoff.

The crowd goes absolutely silent.

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#10 A-Mc
January 28 2013, 01:14PM
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lolhockey wrote:

Random non-EV thought:

Eberle needs to learn how do one timers. I know the PP is good but the 'stop n snap' thing he does is concerning. Teams/goalies will expect it, if they don't already.

I dont think we need to point at Eberle as someone who needs to improve his ability to score.

There are 21 other members of the team that need to shape up!

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#11 Rob...
January 28 2013, 01:16PM
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Fistric and Hartikainen need to hold Smyth down while Hall forces a RedBull down his throat before each and every game. He's looking like he did in February of last year, and that's unacceptable.

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#12 Light, Sweet, Crude
January 28 2013, 01:17PM
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No Fistric hey? too bad.

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#13 Light, Sweet, Crude
January 28 2013, 01:20PM
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lolhockey wrote:

Random non-EV thought:

Eberle needs to learn how do one timers. I know the PP is good but the 'stop n snap' thing he does is concerning. Teams/goalies will expect it, if they don't already.

Eberle's shot is perhaps the thing I am least worried about regarding the Oilers.

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#14 Next up, is Connor McJesus.
January 28 2013, 01:20PM
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Okay, Okay......

After the first week of the season i'm pretty sure leadership on this club is an issue. We should search the waiver wire, or the vastness of this interweb thingy and bring in any kid by the name of Billy Wallace.

The beauty of this concept is he doesn't even need to know how to play the game. He can spend his entire carrer on the IR.

FREEEEEDOMM! from mediocre hockey.

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#15 justDOit
January 28 2013, 01:21PM
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JG: That has to be one of the best NSOGDPs ever.

I remember watching Don yell 'get up' when a player is lying on the ice after a big hit, but when Quick is lying on the ice feeling sorry for himself, it's 'ssh - don't embarrass him'.

I thought I was going to regret cutting off cable and watching the games on-line, but missing Don I am NOT.

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#16 justDOit
January 28 2013, 01:25PM
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lolhockey wrote:

Random non-EV thought:

Eberle needs to learn how do one timers. I know the PP is good but the 'stop n snap' thing he does is concerning. Teams/goalies will expect it, if they don't already.

RNH and Eberle both possess that quick release and are able to get the shot away in the middle of a deeke. They're also very accurate with that shot.

You know that Kipper was expecting that shot from the slot in the Flames game, but Ebs still beat him. It's not something you can 'get used to'.

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#17 Romulus' Apotheosis
January 28 2013, 01:34PM
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I'd like to see Whitney sit a game and see how Potter pairs with Fistric.

I think the problem at evens is glaring... but maybe a bit too brightly at the moment because of the specialty teams... these 4 games have seen an inordinate amount of PK and PP... that disturbs the flow.

still these guys need to score more... where are the 5 and 6 goals games we should be seeing?

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#18 Tyler
January 28 2013, 01:41PM
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I'd argue playing Smyth. Horc, and co. as the fourth line. If those guys can't get it going vs. plugs, then we have an issue. Tell the new "3rd" line to keep it really simple and roll the bottom of the roster as a 3a, 3b sort of thing.

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#19 2004Z06
January 28 2013, 01:49PM
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Here's a thought....STOP dangling and shoot the damn puck!

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I like the look of the 4th line. I predict they chip in an EV goal tonight.

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#21 Spydyr
January 28 2013, 02:08PM
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"Ryan Smyth has looked a half a step behind"..... Yes, for over a calendar year now.

Mr. Dithers is accessing the situation.

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#22 rickithebear
January 28 2013, 02:09PM
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Scotty bowaman says you build Fwd lines with the most effective pairs. GOAL performance rates @ EV 2010-11 & 2011-12

GFR is a ratio GF divided by the goals scoredby both while on the ice.

Example: onthe ice for 10GF and 10GA is 50% .500 On the ice for 10 GF and 20 GA is 33.3% On the ice for 20Gf and 10 GA is 66.6% Anything over .500 you are beating the opposition. over .600 is outclassing your opposition.

Obviouslly we want to be outscoring.

Hall: W/ Horc 21GF 13GA 459:48 EVTOI .618GFR .913GF/20 W/ Eberle 51GF 44GA 986:03 \ .537GFR 1.034GF/20 W/ RNH 17GF 15GA 381:51 .531 GFR .890GF/20 Taylor Hall was most Productive and defensively dominate facing 1st/2nd with Horcoff. Rather than 2nd/3rds with RNH-Eberle.

Hall-Horcoff-XXX

Gagner W/ Eager 1.000GFR 1.737GF/20 W/ Smyth 10GF 3GA 152:52 .769GFR 1.308GF/20 W/ hartikainen .667GFR .664GF/20 Most effective with Smyth and Eager

EBerle: W/ Smyth 24GF 10GA 275:26 .706GFR 1.743GF/20 W/ Hartikainen 6GF 3GA 115:07 .667GFR 1.042GF/20 W/ RNH 35GF 24GA 645:44 1.084GF/20 Most dominate with Smyth, but highly effective with hartikainen at LW.

RNH: W/ Harti .667 GFR 2.00GF/20 W/ Smyth .619GFR 1.42GF/20 W/ Eberle Most efective with Hartikainen and Eberle

Smyth: w/ Gagner W/ Kopitar 9GF 3GA .750 GFR 1.227GF/20 W/ Eberle W/ J. williams 31GF 20GA .608GFR .981GF/20

Smyth is most effective w/Gagner & Eberle Hartikainen plays equally with Smyth, Gagner, RNH, Eberle.

Smyth-Gagner-Yakupov/Eager

Hartikainen-RNH-Eberle

Hemsky W/ MP 9GF 4GA .692GFR 1.075GF/20 W/ Gagner 27GF 24GA .529GFR .755GF/20 W/ Penner 20GF 19GA .519GFR 1.053GF/20 Most effective with MP

MP: W/ Hemsky W/ belanger 5GF 3GA .625GFR .441GF/20 W/ Hall .500GFR .901GF/20 W/ gagner 24Gf 26GA .480GFR Mp highly effective with Hemsky, Belanger

Belanger: w/ Korpikoski 11GF 4GA .733GFR 1.038GF/20 W/ Stempniak 14GF 7GA .667GFR W/ MP W/ Pyatt .625GFR .986GF/20 W/ Eager .600GFR .759GF/20

MP-Belanger-Hemsky

Jones: W/ Eager .667GFR 1.129GF/20 W/ lander .571GFR .857GF/20

these three lines have two sets of pairs that were effective on each line:

Smyth-Gagner-Eager/Yakupov Hartikainen-RNH-Eberle MP-Belanger-Hemsky

This pair was dominate versus the others best.

Hall-Horcoff-XXX

These have worked for the last two years.

Yakupov(-3)-Gagner(-3)-Hemsky(-3) Smyth(-1)-Horcoff(-1)-Hartikainen(-1) Hall(+3)-RNH(+2)-Eberle(+2) MP(-3)/Hordichuk(-1)-Belanger(even)-Eager(even)/Pettrell(-2)

Opinions: Definition "points of view not based on Fact or Knowledge."

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#23 westcoastoil
January 28 2013, 02:16PM
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Romulus' Apotheosis wrote:

I'd like to see Whitney sit a game and see how Potter pairs with Fistric.

I think the problem at evens is glaring... but maybe a bit too brightly at the moment because of the specialty teams... these 4 games have seen an inordinate amount of PK and PP... that disturbs the flow.

still these guys need to score more... where are the 5 and 6 goals games we should be seeing?

I agree on seeing a Potter/Fistric combination. Whitney to my eye has been the least effective of the 3. Too bad, I didn't expect him to light it up as he did before his injury, but I thought he'd be better than he is.

Smyth does look a half step slower and recalling Sundin's 1/2 season in Vancouver I'm not sure he can get it back during the course of the year

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#24 westcoastoil
January 28 2013, 02:19PM
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@rickithebear

You've just put 2 of your top 3 wingers with your 3rd and 4th line centres. This makes no sense at all.

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#25 Truth
January 28 2013, 02:22PM
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For all the apparent power skating Whitney was taking in the off-season, he sure is slow. It is extremely evident that he is hampered by his ankle/foot. Is he worth anything at all in the trade market right now? He would probably pull a Jason Arnott in the required physical anyways, I suppose. Unfortunate.

I think you have a the Belanger and Horcoff lines reversed in there actual order. Belanger has been way more impressive than Horcoff to me so far. Horcoff has had a game in which the puck was continuously bouncing right to him but he couldn't do anything with it. More luck than playing well, IMO.

The Oilers need an element of physicality in the top 6.

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#26 Romulus' Apotheosis
January 28 2013, 02:31PM
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westcoastoil wrote:

I agree on seeing a Potter/Fistric combination. Whitney to my eye has been the least effective of the 3. Too bad, I didn't expect him to light it up as he did before his injury, but I thought he'd be better than he is.

Smyth does look a half step slower and recalling Sundin's 1/2 season in Vancouver I'm not sure he can get it back during the course of the year

Whitney looks slow. Smyth looks gassed.

Maybe that's a distinction without a difference... but Smyth looks like he could play with some speed (not a lot mind you) in limited bursts... but simply gets tired...

maybe the lack of conditioning affected him worse than others... but I'd hold out a sliver of hope for him.

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#27 I'm a Scientist!
January 28 2013, 02:33PM
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That 4th line sure looks like a 3rd line to me...the ol' switch a roo! It will be interesting to see who has more minutes tonight #3 or #4 as listed above.

EDIT: I see 'Truth' said the same thing. Dat's da Truth!

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#28 keilan
January 28 2013, 02:58PM
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@eastcoasteh wrote:

Said it on JW's post, but will say it again..i think Smyth needs some PP time plugged in front of the net. I realize the PP is going decently, but this would get Smytty going too. If/when they juggle the lines, I wouldn't mind seeing Smyth with Nuge/Eberle or Nuge/Hall. Let #94 go do the dirty work and get to the net. You mustn't chain up the mullet Coach K!

Under Kruger, players earn their ice time! Should R. Smyth ever earn his, I’m confident that Ralph will adjust his opportunities. No one is holding Smyth back from doing the “dirty work” other then Smyth himself!

Smyth didn’t begin last season particularly well either, the first 3 games he lead the Oilers in penalty minutes (21 minutes or more then one period out of nine). He improved his play from game 4 to about game 22 of the season and was a liability for the next 60 or so games….

Management was critical of their veteran players last year and by all accounts Smyth is struggling once again…. struggling might be too polite.

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#29 Next up, is Connor McJesus.
January 28 2013, 03:00PM
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Yakupov's like a twister in a trailer park tonight. 3 goals in a 6-2 Oiler win.

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#30 rickithebear
January 28 2013, 03:03PM
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I enjoyed when a reporter asked obout the oiler first line:

Kruger gave the reporter the look Red from the 70 show gave his son just before he called him Dumbass. Kruger asked, Which first line.

it would be nice if you clarify which first line we are talking about: Our current listed.

-The facing the toughs first line. Smyth-Horcoff-Hartikainen

- the sheltered more offensive zone softer competition first line. Hall-RNH-Eberle

-PP first line PP Gf rank in league last year: Hall(4)-Horcoff(15)-RNH(8)-Eberle(19)-Schultz

jones was ranked (24)

- Our PK First line GA rank Smyth-Horcoff

- our shootout first line with shooting % and rank of 180 active players with 10 Shots. Horcoff 20 SHots 50% (6/180) Hemsky 56 Shots 35.7% (70/180) Eberle 21 Shots 33.3% (81/1800 Gagner 47 shots 31.9% (93/180) Hall 11 shots 27.3% (122/180) Smyth 32 shots 25% (133/180)

Lets buyout Horcoff!

Que Red and Ralph Kruger. What did you say .............

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#31 Walter Sobchak
January 28 2013, 03:13PM
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I think Smyth and Horcoff come around, they need to get up to game speed.

Whitney however is a product of his injuries, really is actually sad to see such a capable good defensmen deteriorate right in front of our eyes.

Petrell and Hartikainen belong in the AHL and Paarjarvi is barley hanging on(I'm being nice to Paarjarvi here).

So far this season our goaltending has looked average.(been average)

Our bottom six is terrible. This puts to much pressure on the top to produce the points all the time, it's to much to ask.

This isn't on Ralph or Tom before. This is a damning indictment of the Oilers management and not to make changes is borderline negligence.

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#32 Spydyr
January 28 2013, 03:31PM
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Walter Sobchak wrote:

I think Smyth and Horcoff come around, they need to get up to game speed.

Whitney however is a product of his injuries, really is actually sad to see such a capable good defensmen deteriorate right in front of our eyes.

Petrell and Hartikainen belong in the AHL and Paarjarvi is barley hanging on(I'm being nice to Paarjarvi here).

So far this season our goaltending has looked average.(been average)

Our bottom six is terrible. This puts to much pressure on the top to produce the points all the time, it's to much to ask.

This isn't on Ralph or Tom before. This is a damning indictment of the Oilers management and not to make changes is borderline negligence.

"I think Smyth and Horcoff come around, they need to get up to game speed."

Game speed circa 2006.

Game speed now.Too slow.

Out with the old in with some new.Perhaps in the off-season.

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#33 Smytty's Jibs
January 28 2013, 03:34PM
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@lolhockey

I agree whole heartedly with this. I know exactly what you mean, and its been bugging me too for the past couple games.

There have been about 5 instances where a cross crease pass has come his way, and instead of one timing it, he stops it. It was his signature last year to tap in the cross creasers... but he's totally over thinking it this year. I'm sure he'll figure it out, but its been frustrating to watch.

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#34 rickithebear
January 28 2013, 03:36PM
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Westcoast:

Youare acting like the reporter kruger basically called dumbass!

First, 2nd 3rd, What? The game is situationally more complex than that.

Take tarasenko he has played 6 games and has a zone start 77.5%

Basiclly ever 10 draws he starts 8 in OF zone and 2 in Def Zone. The kind of sheltering The sedins have allways got.

Gagner has a 29.8% zone start. Every ten draws 3 in offensive zone and 7 in defensive zone.

Yet there are complete idiots out there who think that is an equal opportunity situation.

Pretty simple for all situations: -what level of competition are you facing - what level of teamates. - were are you starting.

Hall scored goals at his best rate with Horcoff at center and he outscored his competition. (toughest)

Can you really say you want to keep him with RNH-Eberle at even when he is less effective against weaker opposition in that case?

Especially when you have Hartikainen who gets better results with -RNH-Eberle facing the same competition.

You had ideas in your mind and look at the even line combinations. Take the next step.

A large 5 of the guys wayne crowd i liken to the baby on dinosaurs.

Speaking of

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ucmNHX1lTmQ

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#35 vetinari
January 28 2013, 03:45PM
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What I take out of the article's stats is this: we should start the first period by pulling our goalie and blitzing the Avalanche 6 on 5.

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#36 DSF
January 28 2013, 03:55PM
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rickithebear wrote:

Westcoast:

Youare acting like the reporter kruger basically called dumbass!

First, 2nd 3rd, What? The game is situationally more complex than that.

Take tarasenko he has played 6 games and has a zone start 77.5%

Basiclly ever 10 draws he starts 8 in OF zone and 2 in Def Zone. The kind of sheltering The sedins have allways got.

Gagner has a 29.8% zone start. Every ten draws 3 in offensive zone and 7 in defensive zone.

Yet there are complete idiots out there who think that is an equal opportunity situation.

Pretty simple for all situations: -what level of competition are you facing - what level of teamates. - were are you starting.

Hall scored goals at his best rate with Horcoff at center and he outscored his competition. (toughest)

Can you really say you want to keep him with RNH-Eberle at even when he is less effective against weaker opposition in that case?

Especially when you have Hartikainen who gets better results with -RNH-Eberle facing the same competition.

You had ideas in your mind and look at the even line combinations. Take the next step.

A large 5 of the guys wayne crowd i liken to the baby on dinosaurs.

Speaking of

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ucmNHX1lTmQ

Ricki.

Your zone start math is of the voodoo variety.

While the O zone stats are accurate, your simple extrapolation that all the rest of the stats are in the D Zone is wrong.

You've forgotten that most starts are in the neutral zone.

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#37 OilClog
January 28 2013, 04:06PM
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I like Whitney but he's done, he's a liability on the ice. Would be very hard for any partner knowing they have to try and cover for his no response time. It's not just his ankle, it's everything of his that is getting beat out there. Zero reaction time.

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#38 keilan
January 28 2013, 04:10PM
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DSF wrote:

Ricki.

Your zone start math is of the voodoo variety.

While the O zone stats are accurate, your simple extrapolation that all the rest of the stats are in the D Zone is wrong.

You've forgotten that most starts are in the neutral zone.

DSF, thanks for keeping these guys honest!! I don't have the energy :)

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#39 John Chambers
January 28 2013, 04:10PM
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The Oilers PDO is also among the lowest in the league, and their 5x5 shooting % is un-Eberle-like.

I think they've been a bit unlucky at ES to date. The top line has been creating chances and they're bound to pop a few. With all the talent they sometimes try and make it too fancy.

For years I can remember the Oil getting outplayed, outshot, and outchanced, and they've only faced a ton more rubber in the first period against San Jose, and the second half of the game against Calgary.

Like Willis says, they haven't been that bad, but haven't been all that good.

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#40 @Oilanderp
January 28 2013, 04:30PM
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@rickithebear

I would love to see those lines tried. Interesting reasoning behind them too.

You could almost Pat Quinn it out with those lines, rolling all four over and over.

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#41 @Oilanderp
January 28 2013, 04:36PM
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@Romulus' Apotheosis

I wouldn't mind seeing a Potter/Fistric combo either. Whitney doesn't look great, but to be fair I noticed quite a few times where he was forced to just hug the wall with the puck instead of moving it out because the winger on his side was nowhere to be found. Still, his speed has suffered for sure. It's only early but even his formerly crisp passes lack their usual excellence. I am very concerned for him.

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#42 Oilers Coffey
January 28 2013, 05:03PM
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This one will be a physical game, too bad the Oilers wont have anyone to give any push back. The one physical element the Oilers had Saturday night is sitting in the press box tonight.

(WTF!!! Serious Kruger???)

Outside of Yakupov no one in the top 9 finish their checks, why is this??? Well I Lied The Nuge is also finishing 50% of his hits; but seriously if this doesn't change. The whole league, is going to know the Oilers are push overs. (Oh they probably already know that!) This area needs to be addressed, I for one cant wait for Jones to get back into the line up, you know he is going to finish everyone of his hits.

Still think the Oil will win but a 3-2 game. Duby lets in his bad goal early, then plays solid. Eberle, Yakupov & Paajarvi score for the GOOD GUYS .

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#43 Walter Sobchak
January 28 2013, 05:14PM
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Spydyr wrote:

"I think Smyth and Horcoff come around, they need to get up to game speed."

Game speed circa 2006.

Game speed now.Too slow.

Out with the old in with some new.Perhaps in the off-season.

Agreed, I do think Smyth can play in a bottom six role on this team, just not the minutes anymore.

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#44 Eddie Shore
January 28 2013, 06:01PM
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Nice to see Bergevin stand his ground with Subban. Hopefully a sign of things to come.

Oh, and Goilers!

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#45 MarcusBillius
January 28 2013, 06:15PM
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You know, people talk of "sheltering" the Sedins or our top line, but I don't see it that way.

I see it as maximizing their effectiveness. Remember, this is the scoring line because the players know how to score goals, or make passes that lead to goals. That doesn't mean they're great defensively, but neither does it mean that they're bad defensively. The scoring line players have their jobs because they have a high ability to score goals. That's why they get paid.

Conversely, a checking line is made up of players who don't typically have a high ability to score goals. They're on the checking line either because they were never great primary threats and learned to play defense, or because they lost their jobs on the scoring lines and used their natural talents to become checkers.

So why wouldn't you put these lines in the situations they're best at, most practiced at, and most suitable for?

Should a first line be able to take a face-off in its own zone and carry the play out? Absolutely, but if your goal is to win games, then you need to score goals and keep them out of the net. What better way than by putting the scorers out for more scoring opportunities, and the defenders for defensive ones?

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#46 Crooked
January 28 2013, 06:16PM
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Sitting Fistric is an odd move. So is playing Hartikainen for only 7.5 minutes a night. A team as small and lacking in muscle as the Oilers should probably make more use of their physical players to wear down the opposition, no?

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#47 Dog Train
January 28 2013, 06:24PM
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Fistric>Potter.

This team we are icing tonight is soft as marshmallows. Luckily, the Avs are not much of a physical team but still.

We've had some success recently against the Avs so I will say that the win one, lose one trend continues tonight. 4-3 Oilers. Goals by Yakupov, Gagner, Eberle and Hall.

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#48 Milli
January 28 2013, 06:30PM
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We have 2 hitters, one is a healthy scratch and the other is hurt....awesome! As for diamond Don Cherry, I like the guy, he is funny, but when he is talking up the leafs because they are up 2 to 0 on 3 shots, but they have swagger, cuz there tough, swagger? Swagger in the first maybe, but is was stagger by the trird. Anyone, and I have a few fights here in BC about MY BOY YAK, anyone who cannot appreciate that passion and excitement, they don't get sports I guess. I was jumpin and dancin around my living room!!! Hell I think my wife and kids thought I'd gone crazy...AGAIN!!! The kid is great, and he is fun to watch, don't change him, embrace him!

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#49 Spydyr
January 28 2013, 06:30PM
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Walter Sobchak wrote:

Agreed, I do think Smyth can play in a bottom six role on this team, just not the minutes anymore.

Smyth was one of my favourite Oilers for a decade.

Unfortunately he is done.Time to move on.Time has caught up with him.

Sad but true.

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#50 StHenriOilBomb
January 28 2013, 06:51PM
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I'm a little amazed at all of this ragging on Whitney when I think he, in many ways, had his best game Saturday night against Calgary. There were a few times where he was in a tough situation in front of the net, and his solid body positioning and awareness led to good stick plays breaking up scoring opportunities. Also he started some decent breakouts and had a few shot blocks, I believe. I agree that he's slower than he was - maybe most noticeably in his acceleration - and hasn't had the offensive spark that he used to, but he surprised me a few times on Saturday night, and for that I am going to give him some credit. On a bad night, he was okay. Let's let him make that 12 game mark that Willis was talking about before we toss him to the curb.

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