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.

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Jonathan Willis is a freelance writer. He currently works for Oilers Nation, the Edmonton Journal and Bleacher Report. He's co-written three books and worked for myriad websites, including Grantland, ESPN, The Score, and Hockey Prospectus. He was previously the founder and managing editor of Copper & Blue.
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#1 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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#2 DSF
November 24 2013, 04:49PM
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pkam wrote:

I know, and I also know the head amateur scout Kevin Prendergast for that draft has been replaced.

You know Canucks picked Patrick White just ahead of Perron, right? And you know that the Canucks picked Cody Hodgson ahead of Erik Karlsson and Jordan Eberle, right?

And you know that head amateur scout is still with the Canucks organization, right?

Yeah their amateur scouting has been a weakness forever although Edler (3rd round) Bieksa (5th round), Hansen (9th round),

Their pro scouting makes up for that pretty well by finding undrafted free agents or useful players on the waiver wire.

Alex Burrows, Chris Tanev and Eddie Lack were undrafted treasures while they've also picked up Chris Higgins, Mike Santorelli, Ryan Stanton and others for peanuts.

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#3 DSF
November 24 2013, 04:53PM
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D-Unit wrote:

Why no mention of how the Wild were busy picking Colton Gillies? Really, he had 10 points for the Wild, he turned out great, and was only picked 10 spots ahead of Perron.

Yeah, he was picked right after the Oilers picked Alex Plante.

Gillies has 157 NHL games to his credit while Plante is getting his head kicked in the Austrian league (24GP 1G 7P -11).

Remember, the Oilers didn't draft David Perron.

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#4 DSF
November 24 2013, 05:13PM
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Darrell wrote:

Just curious DSF - do other teams make mistakes in your eye or just the Oilers? It amazes me how you can continually play Monday morning QB ! What amazes me even more is that your allowed to crap on the Oilers on our own site without the admins doing something - lowetide site benefits Wanye - grow a pair !

Of course other teams make mistakes.

I'd be more that happy to discuss any team's record in the draft with you.

I amazed that you would take umbrage with any critical analysis of a team that is about to miss the playoffs for the 8th straight season.

That didn't happen accidentally you know.

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#5 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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#6 DSF
November 24 2013, 05:10PM
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Spydyr wrote:

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.

Your hindsight is astonishing.

Verifiable facts are verifiable.

The Oilers had 3 shots at hitting pay dirt in what is deemed to be the best draft, perhaps, in NHL history and came away with Sam Gagner.

While only having 2 first round picks and drafting lower than the Oilers, the Blues came away with two very good NHL players.

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#7 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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#8 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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#9 D-Unit
November 24 2013, 03:47PM
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@S cottV

I'm not saying Eakins is without fault for where this team is at, but I am very doubtful many other coaches would have the Oilers in much of a different position. One thing I do fault him for is that he assumed he was dealing with a team who understood the fundamentals of playing NHL Hockey. Any coach coming to a team who has been through as many coaches as the Oil have recently should have picked up on that. Ralph wasn't the guy to be coaching this team either. Let's face it, the only reason he was ever head coach was because Steve T didn't want to do any hard work finding a new coach last year, and didn't want to look like a bad guy.

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#10 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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#11 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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#12 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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#13 Canada 72
November 24 2013, 03:45PM
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I've yet to figure out if MacT is the real deal or not, but the evidence is starting to mount. Remember the quote from MacTavish the day Perron was acquired: "It’ll be a good test for our analytics guys. They have him with some of the game’s elite.” Hard to argue with the analytics guys getting an A on their mid-terms.

MacT also picked up Belov & Gordon and said Arcobello was worthy of a look when not many concurred. Combined with a bullet dodged in the Clarkson sweepstakes (where he had to be in the running or suffer the wrath of the fanbase), he's had a pretty nice start to his GM career.

Ticats win it 34-31. The Greenies successfully kick the tying field goal but are penalized because they have 24 guys on the field. After missing the subsequent kick after the penalty, the fans go beserk and burn down the city.

Onlookers are horrified but are also in general agreement that Regina's never looked better.

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#14 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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#15 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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#16 DSF
November 24 2013, 07:35PM
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Everyone is talking about their 2 cups in the last 10 years, or their 4 cups in the last 20 years.

Once the Oilers do that, we'll talk about it...I promise.

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#17 DSF
November 24 2013, 05:40PM
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pkam wrote:

It is really hard to not recognize the great work of the Canucks' pro scout. Just look at Zack Kassian, Keith Ballard and David Booth.

Oh, like all teams, they make mistakes but there is a reason they've made the playoffs for 7 years in a row. (might not this season).

To what do you attribute their ongoing success?

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#18 DSF
November 24 2013, 06:11PM
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Darrell wrote:

Agreed - the problem is that a good regular season means nothing if you lose in the first round every year. We would kill for a first round exit around here but drafting first is a pretty close second choice IMO as being Vancouver fan has to suck pretty bad too.

Well, Vancouver did go to game 7 of the Stanley Cup finals 3 years ago.

Drafting, badly, hardly compensates.

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#19 DSF
November 24 2013, 06:35PM
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acg5151 wrote:

I wasn't at all surprised by Perron. That dude killed me on NHL 11 and it seems like every time I watched a Blues game he did something to be noticeable which is more than most players on the Blues.

How do fans watch the Blues? I swear that they are one of the most boring teams to watch. That series from a couple years ago with the San Jose Sharks made my eyes bleed.

Also, you can't really cherry pick drafts. Each team makes mistakes and has missed a guy. Pretty much every team in 07 passed on PK Subban. And DSF, this is the first I've heard that the 07 draft is one of the deepest ever. The fact is that had the Oilers drafted Perron, he may not have turned out the way he did.

Also from the 07 draft - every single team in the league passed on Jamie Benn multiple times as he was drafted in the 5th round. The Oilers aren't the only team.

The LA Kings drafted Thomas Hickey 4th overall in 07. He played 0 games for the Kings before the Islanders picked him up on waivers. Despite this the Kings won a cup. Boston drafted Zach Hamill 8th. They still won a cup. Florida drafted Keaton Ellerby two spots ahead of Ryan McDonagh. How embarrassing is that?

So no, the Oilers aren't an abnormal team at drafting, a lot of teams make mistakes.

Dissing the Kings drafting is not the best strategy.

The number of players they've found in later rounds is phenomenal.

From the 2007 draft alone:

Thomas Hickey

Wayne Simmonds

Alec Martinez

Dwight King

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#20 DSF
November 24 2013, 06:46PM
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acg5151 wrote:

My point - even the best drafting teams make mistakes.

No argument from me.

But the Oilers are far from being one of the best drafting teams.

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#21 DSF
November 24 2013, 07:09PM
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bulldog12 wrote:

Negative negative negative You guys are really getting tiring Try coming up with something positive or remotely intelligent.

Here's an idea...

Post something positive about a team that has missed the playoffs 8 years in a row....

That doesn't have a player in the top 30 in scoring despite drafting in the top 10 year after year.

That has below average goaltending....

That has close to the worst centre depth in the league....

That has ZERO top pairing D...

Go!

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#22 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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#23 DSF
November 24 2013, 05:57PM
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Darrell wrote:

I am an Atlanta Braves fan - making the playoffs is not enough anymore when you continually find a way to screw it up. The beauty is at least the Brave won once while the Canucks continue to disappoint.

Making the playoffs is certainly not the ultimate goal but it sure beats the alternative.

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#24 Walter Sobchak
November 25 2013, 09:23AM
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While Perron is an obvious win for MacTavish, Like most Oilers fans I'm still left wanting more!

While Perron was a win, it has little consultation to myself this year.

MacTavish talk at the beginning of the year just seems to be complete lip service.

I want more, hell, I demand more after 8 years of inept management!!

Get us two top pairing defesmen, Two centermen and a third & forth line for Pete sake.

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#25 DSF
November 24 2013, 05:32PM
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OILERSORDEATH wrote:

Wow yeah such gems, wonder why such an offensive juggernaut can just yet again score 1 goal in a game. Top notch drafting, really Impressive.

Vancouver's drafting is among the worst in the league...has been for years.

Their lack of scoring this year is a bit of a head scratcher since they have some of the best possession numbers in the league.

http://www.extraskater.com/teams/on-ice?type=total&sort=corsi_pct

That their PP is also tied for 29th best is also a big issue for them.

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#26 Darrell
November 24 2013, 07:22PM
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DSF wrote:

Here's an idea...

Post something positive about a team that has missed the playoffs 8 years in a row....

That doesn't have a player in the top 30 in scoring despite drafting in the top 10 year after year.

That has below average goaltending....

That has close to the worst centre depth in the league....

That has ZERO top pairing D...

Go!

We are Oiler fans on Oilersnation and belong here - done! What are you ? Let me give it a shot; you are a Bully looking for attention because no one has ever kicked your ass for it and its impossible in cyberspace where your safe ? its easy continually picking on a last place team just like the small kid at the park like people like you get off on. Go pick on someone else as we have enough to deal with around here without you calling us on it. How was that for a kick at the cat for calling your BS old man ?

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#27 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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#28 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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#29 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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#32 Darrell
November 24 2013, 05:18PM
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DSF wrote:

Of course other teams make mistakes.

I'd be more that happy to discuss any team's record in the draft with you.

I amazed that you would take umbrage with any critical analysis of a team that is about to miss the playoffs for the 8th straight season.

That didn't happen accidentally you know.

Why do you login to OilersNation if we suck so bad ? Go find a winning team!

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#33 Fresh Mess
November 24 2013, 05:30PM
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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?

Grebeshkov and Smid were horrendous moves.

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#34 DSF
November 24 2013, 05:37PM
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Rocket wrote:

Does anyone here watch St. Louis games a lot? I'd like to know how Paajarvi is doing from someone who actually watches Blues games.

His stats are not great but I don't know exactly why? He's a smart defensive forward so I would have thought he would fit in with a Hitchcock style of play.

I'm glad The Oilers got Perron though and I would make that trade again in a second but I always kinda liked Paajarvi and wouldn't mind seeing him do well.

I've watched a few STL games and Paajarvi is pretty much the same perimeter player you saw in Edmonton.

In 7 games played he's only registered 3 SOG (although 1 of them went in).

At that rate, he would only have 35 SOG over an 82 game season which, at his career shooting percentage, would give him only 2-3 goals.

Unless he can transform his game somehow, I think him returning to Sweden is a pretty good bet.

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#35 S cottV
November 25 2013, 08:17AM
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D-Unit wrote:

I'm not saying Eakins is without fault for where this team is at, but I am very doubtful many other coaches would have the Oilers in much of a different position. One thing I do fault him for is that he assumed he was dealing with a team who understood the fundamentals of playing NHL Hockey. Any coach coming to a team who has been through as many coaches as the Oil have recently should have picked up on that. Ralph wasn't the guy to be coaching this team either. Let's face it, the only reason he was ever head coach was because Steve T didn't want to do any hard work finding a new coach last year, and didn't want to look like a bad guy.

I would have to disagree. An experienced coach would have this team at .500 with an outside chance at rallying to make the playoffs. This is a disaster because it would have put the club in a position to play very serious must win hockey games for the remainder of the year. A great learning experience for the club, whether they ended up making the playoffs this year or not. Now - they will try to put a brave face on it - say the right things - maybe get the players to rally somewhat around the bigger picture beyond this year - but - very difficult to play 60 games with no chance to make the playoffs. The fact that we have had such turnover with the Head Coach was probably all the more reason to avoid too many system changes - too soon. The players looked like they were over thinking - second guessing themselves left and right through too many avoidable losses this year. I read a post not long ago that was apparently from an inside source which said something like "it might take 30 or 40 games for the players to totally get what Eakins is trying to do." OMG! Information overload - and it sure looked like it. With a 4 year contract, you dont have to fully put your stamp on a team until mid way through year 2, after a decent run at the playoffs year 1 and well on the way to making the playoffs in year 2. Arrogance, ego and inexperience got in the way. Geez - will this team make the playoffs next year? Only 140 more games to go, before we find out I guess...

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#36 bulldog12
November 24 2013, 06:56PM
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Negative negative negative You guys are really getting tiring Try coming up with something positive or remotely intelligent.

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#37 bulldog12
November 24 2013, 08:08PM
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Who's this DSF guy? He's an idiot and to respond to him is a waste of time, space and lowers yourself to his intellect.

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#38 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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#39 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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#40 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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#41 Darrell
November 24 2013, 06:04PM
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DSF wrote:

Making the playoffs is certainly not the ultimate goal but it sure beats the alternative.

Agreed - the problem is that a good regular season means nothing if you lose in the first round every year. We would kill for a first round exit around here but drafting first is a pretty close second choice IMO as being Vancouver fan has to suck pretty bad too.

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#42 war
November 25 2013, 10:19AM
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Mact did great getting Perron,Gordon and Ferrence,and I gotta think theres something coming after getting rid of Smid,so i give him a b+ for that.He gets a d+ for the goaltending issue though and hope he fixes that during the off season

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#43 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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#44 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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#46 Spydyr
November 24 2013, 04:50PM
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@DSF

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.

Your hindsight is astonishing.

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#47 A-Mc
November 24 2013, 05:39PM
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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.

Actually this happens all the time in the work place but it's staged a little different.

People can only do so much, but if given the green light, they can focus on one aspect of their job to exceedingly increase production in that category.

In Perron's case, the oilers may have given him the green light to focus on a few things that he wasn't allowed the freedom to do in STL.

He isn't taking his normal work accomplishments and then doubling them, because that would likely be impossible. He's more than likely taking FROM one aspect of his game and refocusing in another. Because the refocus has been offense and offense is king, we notice it more.

A poster earlier talked about systems *heavily Defensive) and another posted about possession. Maybe these are aspects that have suffered to make his Off. So much better.

Just a thought.

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#48 Darrell
November 24 2013, 05:53PM
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DSF wrote:

Oh, like all teams, they make mistakes but there is a reason they've made the playoffs for 7 years in a row. (might not this season).

To what do you attribute their ongoing success?

I am an Atlanta Braves fan - making the playoffs is not enough anymore when you continually find a way to screw it up. The beauty is at least the Brave won once while the Canucks continue to disappoint.

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#49 acg5151
November 24 2013, 06:14PM
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I wasn't at all surprised by Perron. That dude killed me on NHL 11 and it seems like every time I watched a Blues game he did something to be noticeable which is more than most players on the Blues.

How do fans watch the Blues? I swear that they are one of the most boring teams to watch. That series from a couple years ago with the San Jose Sharks made my eyes bleed.

Also, you can't really cherry pick drafts. Each team makes mistakes and has missed a guy. Pretty much every team in 07 passed on PK Subban. And DSF, this is the first I've heard that the 07 draft is one of the deepest ever. The fact is that had the Oilers drafted Perron, he may not have turned out the way he did.

Also from the 07 draft - every single team in the league passed on Jamie Benn multiple times as he was drafted in the 5th round. The Oilers aren't the only team.

The LA Kings drafted Thomas Hickey 4th overall in 07. He played 0 games for the Kings before the Islanders picked him up on waivers. Despite this the Kings won a cup. Boston drafted Zach Hamill 8th. They still won a cup. Florida drafted Keaton Ellerby two spots ahead of Ryan McDonagh. How embarrassing is that?

So no, the Oilers aren't an abnormal team at drafting, a lot of teams make mistakes.

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#50 Slats
November 24 2013, 10:48PM
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Nimrod wrote:

Perron has been a pleasant surprise, but his offensive numbers will probably come down. I suspect Eakins likes him because unlike many of the other top six forwards there is some sandpaper to his game, even if he's not the biggest guy.

Perhaps when Perron cools off Yaks will start to heat up . . .

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