David Perron: MacTavish’s Masterpiece?

Jonathan Willis
November 24 2013 11:30AM

With the Edmonton Oilers struggling as they are, Craig MacTavish hasn’t exactly been given a free pass by fans in his first full season as general manager. What even his most ardent critics should agree on, though, is that it looks like he fleeced the St. Louis Blues when he pawned off Magnus Paajarvi and a draft pick in exchange for David Perron.

Perron was already a pretty good player when MacTavish added him. But the 25-year-old forward is on pace to exceed his previous career bests – and by a lot.

The Basic Numbers

The chart above shows Perron’s 82-game pace from every season in his career where he played more than 40 games. The only preceding season even close to his early work this year was 2011-12, where Perron rode a high shooting percentage to a 30-goal pace.

The really astonishing item here is Perron’s shot totals. Players don’t typically see huge leaps in shot totals, but Perron is running at more than double his established career rate. What’s going on?

Five-on-five

Numbers for this chart (and the next one) come from ExtraSkater.com and BehindtheNet.ca.

There really isn’t much to see at this level: Perron is a hair below his career goal numbers and a touch above his career assist numbers.

But something interesting happens when we compare Perron’s shot numbers for this season to last season. Perron had 61 shots at five-on-five in 48 games a year ago; this season he has 54 in 20 games. He’s firing the puck roughly twice as often as he has in the past once ice-time is accounted for. His goal totals are only at his career rate because his shooting percentage is half what it was last year at even-strength.

In short: he’s been good so far, but if these shot numbers are for real he’s likely going to be even better at evens in the near future. Which is frightening.

Five-on-four

Perron’s numbers are through the roof here. Some of that may come from playing on a better power play unit – it’s extremely difficult to separate teammate and coaching effects from player talent when looking at special teams numbers – and the assist totals in particular may not be ridiculous.

As for the goal totals? Digging into the shot numbers again, we find that Perron is again firing the puck at roughly twice the rate he did in St. Louis, but this time his shooting percentage is roughly double what it was last season. This to some degree will off-set the expected rise in his five-on-five shooting percentage.

In other words, these numbers are likely going to come down because that spike in shooting percentage probably isn’t sustainable, but even so he’s legitimately on pace for a career-best season.

The Biggest Question

I can’t recall an instance of an experienced NHL forward suddenly doubling his shot rates at the age of 25. One of the reasons people like me prize shot rates so much is because they tend to be pretty stable; players reach an established level of ability and move a bit but the fluctuations are nowhere near as dramatic as shooting percentage is.

I don’t know if Perron can keep up this shooting pace, and I didn’t watch him closely enough in St. Louis to hazard a guess as to what’s changed. One item that stands out – Tyler Dellow brought it to my attention on Twitter last night – is that Perron is getting a higher percentage of his shots through to the net (he has 16 missed shots on 80 shots this year; last year the number was 31 on 84) and that seems like something that probably won’t continue, but it isn’t close to being the whole explanation either.

My gut feeling is that Perron shoots a little less frequently simply because this is so far out of the norm, but at the same time it seems entirely possible to me that this is a breakout campaign and an indication of a more trigger-happy player.

If so, that’s fantastic news for Edmonton. Perron is under contract for two more years at a $3.812 million cap hit; that’s a pretty fair deal for a 50-point guy and a ridiculously good deal for a player who will challenge for 30 goals every year if he keeps shooting like this.

74b7cedc5d8bfbe88cf071309e98d2c3
Jonathan Willis is Managing Editor of the Nation Network. He also currently writes for the Edmonton Journal's Cult of Hockey, Grantland, and Hockey Prospectus. His work has appeared at theScore, ESPN and Puck Daddy. He was previously founder and managing editor of Copper & Blue. Contact him at jonathan (dot) willis (at) live (dot) ca.
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#1 D
November 24 2013, 11:39AM
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Perron for Pajaarvi is looking like a Sather type of deal right now.

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#2 oilersinsider
November 24 2013, 11:43AM
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And I never would have thought he'd draw penalties better than MPS, but he does. Perron brings the Oilers exactly the kind of sandpaper they needed and he's and offensive weapon.

Just like he said in his first presser. MacTavish will be judged on his work and his forwards are a plus. His defense is still up for debate.

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#3 the tikk
November 24 2013, 11:55AM
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Admit it, the resemblance is stunning:

http://www.fanpop.com/clubs/hyenas-from-lion-king/images/30679343/title/ed-photo

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#4 A-Mc
November 24 2013, 12:00PM
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When I heard that we were getting Perron, I watched some StL games to see what he was about. In those games he looked shifty with his hands but he definitely didn't look like a constant threat. Also, he wasn't as gritty as we have seen so far from him.

I was on the fence at first but now that we have seen what he consistently brings, he was a steal! His play looks different by my eye but it doesn't look unreasonable or unsustainable.

Some players just fit better with certain teams/systems; I really hope Perron has found HIS catalyst for good Play, here in edm.

If you're going to have small forwards, you want them to be gritty like Perron.

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#5 Thumby
November 24 2013, 12:08PM
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oilersinsider wrote:

And I never would have thought he'd draw penalties better than MPS, but he does. Perron brings the Oilers exactly the kind of sandpaper they needed and he's and offensive weapon.

Just like he said in his first presser. MacTavish will be judged on his work and his forwards are a plus. His defense is still up for debate.

Belov looks like a nice pickup...

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#6 Wäx Män Riley
November 24 2013, 12:16PM
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My guess is that Perron is a true professional. He came in here a little older and a little more mature, with an outside view of this organization. When he sees that the team needs grit, and the coach asks for more grit, he delivers.

When he sees that this team needs to shoot more, and the coach says that you can't pass the puck into the net, he thinks "ok then I will shoot more."

I think it is simply Perron realizing what needs to be done and doing it. He is leading by example, and I hope the rest of the team takes note.

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#7 Rob...
November 24 2013, 12:21PM
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Thumby wrote:

Belov looks like a nice pickup...

My fear with Belov is that he'll continue to improve and get snatched up by a contender instead of re-signing with the Oilers.

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#8 a lg dubl dubl
November 24 2013, 12:24PM
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Hes not 6'4 240lbs lets trade him for Lucic!! SELL HIGH!!!!*

*As it is spoken by the haters

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#9 a lg dubl dubl
November 24 2013, 12:30PM
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If MacT can pull another trade like he did with Perron, for a top 2 dman this season, he should be handed the GM of the year award, even if the Oilers finish dead last again.

Petry and this yrs 1st rounder for Letang or something along that line.

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#10 andrewmk20
November 24 2013, 12:40PM
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@A-Mc

He was actually pretty gritty in St Louis but his linemates were Backes and Oshie on most nights so he didn't play that role as often as he does here because he didn't need to. I was always a Perron fan and was surprised when I heard about the deal because he's a skill guy with some edge and they didn't give up much for him. I guess St Louis had to decide between him and Oshie because they're fairly similar players, kind of like Neal and Benn in Dallas. Those deals always make me scratch my head though because unlike Edmonton having too many skill perimeter players, having more than one of Benn, Neal, Oshie, or Perron seems like a good thing.

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#11 DSF
November 24 2013, 12:59PM
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andrewmk20 wrote:

He was actually pretty gritty in St Louis but his linemates were Backes and Oshie on most nights so he didn't play that role as often as he does here because he didn't need to. I was always a Perron fan and was surprised when I heard about the deal because he's a skill guy with some edge and they didn't give up much for him. I guess St Louis had to decide between him and Oshie because they're fairly similar players, kind of like Neal and Benn in Dallas. Those deals always make me scratch my head though because unlike Edmonton having too many skill perimeter players, having more than one of Benn, Neal, Oshie, or Perron seems like a good thing.

Perron was moved as a salary dump so the Blues could sign Chris Stewart and TJ Oshie.

With Backes, Stewart, Oshie, Reaves, Cracknell, Sobotka and Lapierre, the Blues are a very gritty team.

No surprise that Perron is a different player now that he's not playing Hitchcock's D first system.

Too bad the Oilers didn't draft him when they had a chance.

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#12 DSF
November 24 2013, 01:02PM
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some Oiler trade chatter from Garrioch:

"Edmonton GM Craig MacTavish has been calling around to get a blueliner to replace D Ladislav Smid, who was dealt down the street to Calgary.

The Oilers need help everywhere, however, teams are asking for young players in return. “They want to do something but they overrate their players which means the prices are high,” said a league executive.

He should be able to get a top pick for UFA RW Ales Hemsky"

http://www.ottawasun.com/2013/11/23/phillys-captain-claude-giroux-set-for-sochi-olympics

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#13 Spydyr
November 24 2013, 01:02PM
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DSF wrote:

Perron was moved as a salary dump so the Blues could sign Chris Stewart and TJ Oshie.

With Backes, Stewart, Oshie, Reaves, Cracknell, Sobotka and Lapierre, the Blues are a very gritty team.

No surprise that Perron is a different player now that he's not playing Hitchcock's D first system.

Too bad the Oilers didn't draft him when they had a chance.

Too bad the other 28 teams didn't either.

Good grief.

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#14 HOFFFF
November 24 2013, 01:09PM
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DSF wrote:

Perron was moved as a salary dump so the Blues could sign Chris Stewart and TJ Oshie.

With Backes, Stewart, Oshie, Reaves, Cracknell, Sobotka and Lapierre, the Blues are a very gritty team.

No surprise that Perron is a different player now that he's not playing Hitchcock's D first system.

Too bad the Oilers didn't draft him when they had a chance.

His point totals are almost identical to the guy we did draft. What is your point? Actually I don't want to hear it but I'm sure we will anyways. We could have also picked Jakub Voracek or Logan Couture or Jamie Benn, heck even PK. But we didn't.

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#15 David S
November 24 2013, 01:09PM
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I'm continually amazed that some people who rely on stats are confounded by the possibility that a pro athlete might do something different or change something about his game to acquire massive improvements (legally I mean - not "The Armstrong way"). Being at the top of your sport doesn't mean you can't always strive to get better. Sometimes in the course of doing so you discover something simple that puts you on a new level. That's one of the coolest things about sport.

On the other hand, Perron's improvement might be the result of something as inane as a training camp conversation like this:

Eakins: Hey David, you ever thought about shooting more? Might help.

Perron: Nope. But I'll give it a try and see what happens.

*High fives*

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#16 DSF
November 24 2013, 01:20PM
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Spydyr wrote:

Too bad the other 28 teams didn't either.

Good grief.

Well, considering he was drafted 26th and by the Blues, while the Oilers had 3 first round picks before that, that would leave only 22 teams who passed.

Some of those were busy picking the likes of Patrick Kane, JVR, Kyle Turris, Karl Alzner, Jakub Voracek, Logan Couture, Lars Eller, Ken Shattenkirk, Ryan McDonagh and Max Pacioretty, so it appears only a few teams missed and only one of them had 3 first round picks.

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#17 DSF
November 24 2013, 01:22PM
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HOFFFF wrote:

His point totals are almost identical to the guy we did draft. What is your point? Actually I don't want to hear it but I'm sure we will anyways. We could have also picked Jakub Voracek or Logan Couture or Jamie Benn, heck even PK. But we didn't.

You know the Oilers picked Alex Plante and Riley Nash ahead of Perron, right?

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#18 Spydyr
November 24 2013, 01:28PM
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DSF wrote:

Well, considering he was drafted 26th and by the Blues, while the Oilers had 3 first round picks before that, that would leave only 22 teams who passed.

Some of those were busy picking the likes of Patrick Kane, JVR, Kyle Turris, Karl Alzner, Jakub Voracek, Logan Couture, Lars Eller, Ken Shattenkirk, Ryan McDonagh and Max Pacioretty, so it appears only a few teams missed and only one of them had 3 first round picks.

My bad only 22 other teams missed him. Keep cherry picking drafts.Hindsight is always 20/20.

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#19 HOFFFF
November 24 2013, 01:28PM
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DSF wrote:

You know the Oilers picked Alex Plante and Riley Nash ahead of Perron, right?

Yep. Was just laughing about that too.

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#20 Fresh Mess
November 24 2013, 01:29PM
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I hated this trade when MacLooselips made it. I thought MPS had turned a corner in his play last season and was starting to protect the puck with his body and take it to the net. I thought MPS AND a second rounder was a terrible price to pay for Perron. I thought he was another small skill player on a team already overloaded with them.

I was wrong.

I knew Perron had skill and great hands. What I didn't know was how much grit and agitation he had in his game. He has been excellent, and I am happy to admit I was very wrong about that trade.

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#21 27Ginge
November 24 2013, 01:30PM
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DSF wrote:

Well, considering he was drafted 26th and by the Blues, while the Oilers had 3 first round picks before that, that would leave only 22 teams who passed.

Some of those were busy picking the likes of Patrick Kane, JVR, Kyle Turris, Karl Alzner, Jakub Voracek, Logan Couture, Lars Eller, Ken Shattenkirk, Ryan McDonagh and Max Pacioretty, so it appears only a few teams missed and only one of them had 3 first round picks.

Kevin Shattenkirk is pretty good but this Ken fellow must be a bust because I've never heard of him.

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#22 S cottV
November 24 2013, 01:31PM
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No question that the Perron deal was an excellent move by MacT. Hiring a rookie Coach that killed playoff aspirations by mid Nov was quite the opposite. Eakins let his ego get in the way, by trying to implement too much change too soon. Suspect new systems overly confused the player group and led to avoidable losses. You don't have to put "your stamp" on a hockey club right out of the gate. The Eakins way could have been staged in over time. Run more familiar systems with the focus being a strong start, not playing Eakins hockey. The swarm was a disaster and has for the most part been scrapped, but the damage is done to this season. An experienced coach would not have made these mistakes and this club is no worse than.500 at this point. Don't blame the goaltenders, this one is on MacT - for hiring a rookie Coach. Oilers should have had a chance to rally for a playoff spot this year.

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#23 Fresh Mess
November 24 2013, 01:36PM
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David S wrote:

I'm continually amazed that some people who rely on stats are confounded by the possibility that a pro athlete might do something different or change something about his game to acquire massive improvements (legally I mean - not "The Armstrong way"). Being at the top of your sport doesn't mean you can't always strive to get better. Sometimes in the course of doing so you discover something simple that puts you on a new level. That's one of the coolest things about sport.

On the other hand, Perron's improvement might be the result of something as inane as a training camp conversation like this:

Eakins: Hey David, you ever thought about shooting more? Might help.

Perron: Nope. But I'll give it a try and see what happens.

*High fives*

exactly the point I have tried to make with advanced stat cultists.

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#25 DSF
November 24 2013, 01:41PM
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Spydyr wrote:

My bad only 22 other teams missed him. Keep cherry picking drafts.Hindsight is always 20/20.

Keep ignoring reality if you like.

At least 10 of those teams drafted better players and only 2 teams in that draft had more than 1 first round pick.

St Louis came away with Lars Eller and David Perron and the Oilers came away with Sam Gagner and a fist full of nothing.

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#26 THRNHJE
November 24 2013, 01:43PM
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Wrong thread DSF, go back to the thread about MacG, this one is about MacT.

I must agree that our drafting has been historically dreadful. Someone on the other page said offer SJ's scouts copious amounts of money to come here... I could get behind that idea.

OH and on topic, I liked Magnus more than most fans did, but I thought it was a good trade when I saw it. It has turned out to be evem better than I expected.

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#27 DSF
November 24 2013, 01:43PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

David, if it's so simple why doesn't it happen more often?

I've looked over the 15 years of data the NHL has, and as far as I can tell no other player has seen this kind of jump in his shots totals at this age .

If it were just a matter of a conversation in training camp, you'd think we'd see this more often, no? After all, Dallas Eakins isn't exactly the only coach in the NHL who wants his players to shoot more.

I'm not sure what you do for work, David, but do you have a conversation with your boss and then decide to be twice as productive as you have ever been in your life? Is it really that easy?

Your view seems like a gross oversimplification, something that you're relying on because it's a hell of a lot easier to say 'oh, he just decided to be twice as good' when someone asks 'what happened' than it is to try and answer the question in any kind of meaningful way.

How much of it might be system related?

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#28 @stevegregson02
November 24 2013, 01:46PM
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Two things.

Time table for full recovery from a severe concussion like the one Perron had is iffy if not impossible to predict. Often it takes a year or two for a player to feel Fully comfortable or to get back to even Being close to what they were. I have a feeling this injury, along with a very deep blues sqaud, eroded Perrons value - who prior to concussion - was pegged by many in st Louis to be a future star and an asset they wouldn't trade. His career best pace (albiet shooting inflated) i belive came in his injury year.

Second thing is and I have heard Hitchcock say this before in interviews, that players would "waste" low percentage shots and give up possession. Hitch's system has always been possession based cycle games in the o zone where shot attempts come from the point (shattenkirk - petro or Zubov - Sydor) and he likes to post players in the slots for tips or - high percentage cycle based chances. It is likely, since hitch took over (if I remember interview correctly) that he would have muzzled Perrons shot attempts from side angles - 2 of 8 of his goals this year have come off of bad angle shots - in order to not give up possession.

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#29 BC BOY
November 24 2013, 01:50PM
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Seems like MacT knows a good player when he sees one, Belov, Gordon, Perron, Nurse.

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#32 David S
November 24 2013, 02:22PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

David, if it's so simple why doesn't it happen more often?

I've looked over the 15 years of data the NHL has, and as far as I can tell no other player has seen this kind of jump in his shots totals at this age .

If it were just a matter of a conversation in training camp, you'd think we'd see this more often, no? After all, Dallas Eakins isn't exactly the only coach in the NHL who wants his players to shoot more.

I'm not sure what you do for work, David, but do you have a conversation with your boss and then decide to be twice as productive as you have ever been in your life? Is it really that easy?

Your view seems like a gross oversimplification, something that you're relying on because it's a hell of a lot easier to say 'oh, he just decided to be twice as good' when someone asks 'what happened' than it is to try and answer the question in any kind of meaningful way.

It's NOT simple and it DOESN'T happen more often. But it does happen.

Alot of the time I simplify to make a point because let's face it, I don't take hockey too seriously. But I have in the past been involved with elite level athletes and seen something seemingly stupid like a minor adjustment in technique be the difference between one performance level and the next.

With respect to work, it is entirely possible to be twice as productive as you ever have been before in your life. All it takes is an attitude adjustment. True, not many can make the leap but I've seen it done and the results are astounding.

To me the cool thing would have been that you noticed a quantum leap in Perron's performance and set about trying to figure out what he did that enabled the leap. You're in Oklahoma as a media person. Why don't you ask Todd Nelson for his opinion?

Instead you default to "the stats don't play out for me so...I dunno" (and yes, another simplification). But there's a really cool story going on here. Why not go ask a human what's going on instead of opening up another spreadsheet in search of clarity?

Sorry if that sounds harsh Jonathan. Stats analysis is your gig and you're damn good at it. My point is that stats are only part of the equation. They can identify anomalies but sometimes you have to chase the human factor to make sense of that story.

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#33 Woodguy
November 24 2013, 02:27PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

Both good points.

As to the second one, I had a similar thought last night, but when I looked at Perron's shot locations chart it didn't look to me like his shot quality has suffered at all.

Jon,

NHL.com has Perron with 80 shots and the SSS has him at 37 shots.

What am I missing?

Also,

Nice post.

Saw you and Tyler tweeting about it last night.

Got me thinking about last game and Perron passed up more than one "good pass" to Gordon in the slot to take a low percentage from closer to the corner.

Wonder if he's doing that by design or just "Feeling it" so he keeps hammering away.

9 shots last game out of the total 35 the Oilers took.

Love it.

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#34 @stevegregson02
November 24 2013, 02:35PM
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@jonathonwillis

Another thing - Perron has played RW last three games with Smyth on left side. In same time frame he has 19SOG. Previous two games he had 6SOG on Left side. Maye he's better suited for right side of the ice in Ozone.

I think the Hitchcock system was a factor. Think about this. You cycle puck predominately on one side of ice. To do this effectively you need three men, two in boards, one in slot. If Perron or another Blue were to fire the puck from sharp angle after gaining forecheck and cycle position - and miss net, glance goalie - puck goes ino opposite corner where single D man for offense is most likely outmanned by D zone coverage.

I know Perrons shot quality hasn't been hurt per say, but I believeany of those random side of the net prayers he throws up a game would have been a no no in a cycle system based on size, strength an positioning to wear down the opposition.

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#35 Rocket
November 24 2013, 02:36PM
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@BC BOY

What about Grebeshkov?

I mostly agree with you though. MacT (so far) has been better than Tambellini.

But still, Grebeshkov? What was MacT thinking?

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#36 THRNHJE
November 24 2013, 02:43PM
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Rocket wrote:

What about Grebeshkov?

I mostly agree with you though. MacT (so far) has been better than Tambellini.

But still, Grebeshkov? What was MacT thinking?

Do you remember the quality play Grebs had under MacT as coach? He thought if he could get that kind of Dman again for very little, it would be amazing, if not, no big deal. Low risk move with high potential upswing, just like Belov, and Larsen in the Horcoff cap dump. I dont see picking Grebs up as a bad move, getting Larsen, Belov, and Grebs and banking on one to work out and if more did, all the better.

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#37 Katzhater
November 24 2013, 02:51PM
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David S wrote:

It's NOT simple and it DOESN'T happen more often. But it does happen.

Alot of the time I simplify to make a point because let's face it, I don't take hockey too seriously. But I have in the past been involved with elite level athletes and seen something seemingly stupid like a minor adjustment in technique be the difference between one performance level and the next.

With respect to work, it is entirely possible to be twice as productive as you ever have been before in your life. All it takes is an attitude adjustment. True, not many can make the leap but I've seen it done and the results are astounding.

To me the cool thing would have been that you noticed a quantum leap in Perron's performance and set about trying to figure out what he did that enabled the leap. You're in Oklahoma as a media person. Why don't you ask Todd Nelson for his opinion?

Instead you default to "the stats don't play out for me so...I dunno" (and yes, another simplification). But there's a really cool story going on here. Why not go ask a human what's going on instead of opening up another spreadsheet in search of clarity?

Sorry if that sounds harsh Jonathan. Stats analysis is your gig and you're damn good at it. My point is that stats are only part of the equation. They can identify anomalies but sometimes you have to chase the human factor to make sense of that story.

Stats analysis is not his gig. The advanced stats analysis on this site is enough to make anybody with a statistics education want to throw up.

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#38 michael
November 24 2013, 02:55PM
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Like where Perron is heading. Partly due to the fact he is on the 3rd line matched against lesser opponents. Also playing with a center who knows where his bread is buttered. You think Gordon has not been a revelation since he came in lieu of Belanger.

Perron also has seen first unit PP time that is choice. I really see a huge upside to Perron in Eakins system. His skill set matched with his desire for the puck. A grade hockey sense. His shooting from anywhere and we'll see what happens is what we need more of from all of the Oilers.

Perron and Yakupov and eating up Eakins coaching and its starting to pay dividends on the ice.

3 wins in a row does not a season make. But it feels good to see the Oilers not looking like keystone cops for a change.

Chicago tomorrow night is going to be fun. 7-6 Edmonton in a SO win.

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#41 RexLibris
November 24 2013, 02:58PM
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Wasn't it the Perron trade where MacTavish referenced his "stats guys" absolutely loving Perron?

And Perron himself stated repeatedly when he came here that he was looking forward to playing in a more aggressive, offensively-oriented scheme.

So to tap into the other thread that is going on about the Oilers' draft miscues in that 2007 class, perhaps when it comes to professional analytics the Oilers are beginning to get things right?

With regards to the draft hindsight argument, this is virtually always the case. Ken Holland said that if he and his group were really so smart to recognize what kind of players Datsyuk or Zetterberg would become, why did they wait so long to pick them?

The draft begins with identifying and prioritizing talent, but it includes healthy doses of development and sheer luck (Joey Hishon and Alexei Cherepanov are two quick examples of the latter).

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#44 Ron Burgundy
November 24 2013, 03:09PM
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Have been a fan of Perron for years and have owned him on various fantasy teams, so have watched him where I could and followed his stats almost daily for several years. My feeling on his increased production is that there are two reasons: 1. System. 2. Health. Even in Hitch's defense-focussed system Perron went on some good runs, but these have in the past frequently been interrupted by injury. St Louis is so deep that this may have led to Perron losing his spot on a line when he came back, though I don't know that for sure. All I know is, I cheered out loud when I heard about the deal, and he has not disappointed. More please.

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#45 justDOit
November 24 2013, 03:23PM
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@Jonathan Willis

In trying to find another player who has seen a big jump in shots/gm, try looking for someone who might be obvious.

I don't know where to look this stuff up, nor do I have the time, but I'm willing to bet at least one guy on the 88-89 LA Kings saw an uptick in sh/gm. I'm not saying that Perron is playing with Gretzky here in Edmonton, just trying to find another example.

http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/leagues/seasons/teams/0000401989.html

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#46 Johnnydapunk
November 24 2013, 03:26PM
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Rob... wrote:

My fear with Belov is that he'll continue to improve and get snatched up by a contender instead of re-signing with the Oilers.

That's my fear as well. With Belov as he doesn't seem to be interviewed much, it's hard to gauge what his mindset is. He is getting a lot of minutes and seems to have been left to just worry about hockey so that might work in the Oilers favour. He seems like a fairly principled guy, the signing of one year deals to keep his hunger to have to play for a new contract and also keep his options open is different, but kind of refreshing.

I think we are just starting to see him come into his game, he has a surprisingly nasty streak in him which has only just started to come out. This video from the KHL is what happens when you piss him off :-)

Belov reaction

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#47 BC BOY
November 24 2013, 03:31PM
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@Rocket

Yeah he hasnt been a good signing so far but it wasn't a high risk signing only one year

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#48 Jon
November 24 2013, 03:38PM
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Did no one catch the quote from David Perron when asked why he's having more success this year??

His answer was "I'm shooting more than I ever have".

There you have it.

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#49 Hockey Problems
November 24 2013, 03:43PM
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Johnnydapunk wrote:

That's my fear as well. With Belov as he doesn't seem to be interviewed much, it's hard to gauge what his mindset is. He is getting a lot of minutes and seems to have been left to just worry about hockey so that might work in the Oilers favour. He seems like a fairly principled guy, the signing of one year deals to keep his hunger to have to play for a new contract and also keep his options open is different, but kind of refreshing.

I think we are just starting to see him come into his game, he has a surprisingly nasty streak in him which has only just started to come out. This video from the KHL is what happens when you piss him off :-)

Belov reaction

That's Awesome. I can't wait for see more of this from him.

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#50 Thumby
November 24 2013, 03:44PM
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DSF wrote:

How much of it might be system related?

DSF hit this nail on the head.

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