Ryan Whitney and Corey Potter

Jonathan Willis
April 05 2013 11:58AM

The Edmonton Oilers’ most-used third-pairing this season has had some ups and some downs, but more of the latter than the former. Ryan Whitney’s ineffective play has led to him being a healthy scratch at times, while Corey Potter is often seen as a reserve defenceman who inexplicably finds himself on the regular rotation.

What’s wrong with the pairing?

The two most common explanations are typically these:

  • Both players are terrible
  • Ryan Whitney has some warts, but is being brought down by Potter

I have typically leaned towards the first explanation, but thought it might be interesting to see what the scoring chance data says.

Whitney without Potter

If Ryan Whitney is in fact a decent player shackled to an AHL’er, we would expect to see on-ice scoring chances improve in games where Potter isn’t dressed. Fortunately for these purposes, Potter has spent significant time out of the lineup, so there is a long stretch of games where Whitney played with other partners. What happened?

The following are the Oilers’ scoring chances for and against at even-strength with Whitney on the ice, first in games where Potter sat, then in games where he played:

  • Without Potter: +41/-75 (35.3% of all scoring chances are for the Oilers)
  • With Potter: +68/-91 (42.8% of all scoring chances are for the Oilers)
  • Total: +109/-166 (39.6% of all scoring chances are for the Oilers)

In both situations, Whitney’s pairing is taken out back of the woodshed by the opposition, but it’s interesting to note that things actually get worse when Potter is out of the lineup.

Potter without Whitney

Corey Potter has not played in a lot of games with Whitney out of the lineup, so there’s not nearly enough data here to be definitive but what information there is caught my eye:

  • Without Whitney: +15/-9 (62.5% of all scoring chances are for the Oilers)
  • With Whitney: +68/-91 (42.8% of all scoring chances are for the Oilers)
  • Total: +83/-100 (45.4% of all scoring chances are for the Oilers)

The “without Whitney” data is so small that it shouldn’t be seen as sustainable – I very much doubt that Potter could sustain those figures, or anything close to them, over a full season played with Mark Fistric or Theo Peckham. But it does seem fair to say that Whitney suffers more from his absence than he from Whitney’s.

Valuation

Ryan Whitney’s an interesting player because the thing he does really well – provide offence – is one of those things that tend to be disproportionally valued. By that, I mean that a guy who gets two points in a 2-0 win and makes no defensive mistakes is objectively helping his team more than a player who scores three points and makes two critical defensive errors that lead to goals against in a 4-3 loss, but more often than not the latter will get more positive attention than the former.

There’s no denying Whitney’s offensive prowess. There was a certain amount of gloating on Twitter among his more fervent supporters when he ran up two points in the Oilers’ 8-2 win over Calgary. Getting less attention was the fact that Devan Dubnyk had to be very sharp in that game because the Oilers were awfully sloppy defensively – and that Whitney was more likely to be on the ice for a chance against than any other player on the team. The offence didn’t come against Vancouver last night, but once again Whitney led the Oilers’ blue line in chances against and made two very bad defensive zone turnovers.

Looking at the data, though, I can’t help but wonder if the Oilers would be better off running Potter and Fistric as their third pairing for a few games – or if not that, pushing Whitney more toward Marc-Andre Bergeron usage, where he plays the role of power play specialist and only gets spotted at even-strength (because Whitney does add value to the power play). At five-on-five, his scoring just doesn’t seem to outweigh his defensive zone work.

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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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#51 Bill
April 05 2013, 02:16PM
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How about just removing Potter completely?

Fistric is a better penalty killer and is physical. He will not be out on the perimeter doing nothing in a scrum as evidenced by Potter's ultra-soft non-participation in the scrum between Yakupov and Glencross the other night (even though he was the largest Oiler out there).

Large 3rd pairing D who bring little or nothing else to the table shouldn't be out there pitching no-hitters. Potter did exactly that against a Flames team which was trying to beat the Oilers physically at times when they couldn't beat them on the scoreboard. Ales Hemsky is more physical than Corey Potter is.

I honestly don't know why Fistric continues to occupy a spot in the PB. Maybe now that the streak is over (that Krueger apparently attributes in some respect to Corey Potter), Fistric might draw in for a change.

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#52 OilersBrass
April 05 2013, 02:17PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

So Whitney plays more role of a role in outcome of game...He's on ice for more goals for than against.

That was my point, using just ES, especially on this team, doesn't tell the entire picture.

Not saying Whitney is great defensively, just needed to look at overall picture.

Don't worry Gregor, I completely agree with you. Whitney is definitely the better player, and he's been getting a lot better as of late. Having him in the press box for so many games didn't help his progression either. Potter is probably gonna get cut in the summer to make room for Klefbom anyways.

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#53 Jason Gregor
April 05 2013, 02:20PM
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Mannificent wrote:

I can't take it anymore, JG - you actually made me register to comment. Big ON reader for years. Why are you defending Whitney?? He, literally, cost the last 3 losses before he was benched. PP proficiency is a small part of the game, that I think is driven more by the forwards and we would be fine playing J. Schultz more on the PP. Whitney is costing us goals against which turn into losses when scoring is so low and close. All the advanced stats just underline the obvious - he has to go. Continue to play him, we are out of the playoffs. Seriously - cherry pick stats all you want - he is a defenceman that costs goals - their job is to stop them from happening!

PP small part of the game? The Oilers have 30 PP goals and 59 ES...Calculate that per minute and you'll see how big the Oilers PP is.

Also I didn't defend him, just wanted to point out that Potter doesn't impact the overall game more. People like to pile on a player, yet when you look at overall picture he is on ice for more goals for than against, so he isn't the only reason they are losing is all.

Did I say he has to stay?

Also you stated he cost 3 losses before he was benched?

On Feb 19th they lost 3-1 and he wasn't on the ice for any goals, then didn't play again til March 1st, so not sure what you are referring to.

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#54 Bill
April 05 2013, 02:32PM
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Randaman wrote:

I would personally like to see some physicality from one or both. They both have the size obviously. If they won't provide it, insert Fistric or Peckham. I would like to see some oppoosing players pay the price at least before they score on our pourus defence.

I think that's what's being missed in this debate on the stats.

What is expected of your D on the 3rd pairing? I think most would expect some degree of physical play.

The next question might be 'who comes out in favor of a more physical player on your 3rd pairing'? To me that would depend on what the current guys on the 3rd pairing bring to the table. Corey Potter might be the softest D-man the Oilers have, despite his size and his 3rd pairing role. Other than that, he plays some PK. Whitney gives the puck away more, but I think some of that is a function of playing with Potter. Whitney makes the PP better.

To me, the question isn't so much whether Fistric should be in the lineup or not but in terms of whether Potter or Whitney come out. I'd lean more towards Potter.

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#55 Mannificent
April 05 2013, 02:33PM
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Yes, Oilers PP is good and critical - but measuring per minute is useless, when you can go a whole game without a PP. I would like to see some PP stats with/without Whitney - my main point was, I think our PP is fine without him. The 3 loss statement was going by memory - I can still visualize him coughing up the puck at the blueline and costing some games in a row - can't verify the exact stats - just made me grind my teeth. Bottom line, it was such bad play that the Coach had to bench him. Needs to be done again.

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#56 GVBlackhawk
April 05 2013, 02:34PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

Oilers have scored 30 PP goals in 132 minutes.

They've scored 59 ES goals in 1781 minutes.

Oilers success on the PP is major reason they are in games.

ES is one aspect.

Whitney makes more mistakes at ES, don't argue that, but he also makes more plays on the PP.

Only looking at ES doesn't tell the entire picture was my original point. And your stats just made that more clear. Especially on this team that needs a great PP just to stay in games.

And that is where Whitney is better than Potter, and I'd guess makes his impact in the overall outcome of games higher. No?

Whitney makes more mistakes at ES.

The majority of the game is played at ES.

Unless Whitney is being used exclusively on the PP, he creates a net negative benefit to the team.

Given this season's minutes, his PP production has not offset his ES liability.

Gregor, it seems like you are letting your emotions get in the way of your analysis of Ryan Whitney. Perhaps you know him personally(?) and that is clouding your judgement. Staples and Willis have both given you hard facts; there are other sources (eg. mc79hockey) that can expound upon Potter vs. Whitney, and they all reiterate what your colleagues have noted.

It's really unfortunate that Whitney's ankle injury has permanently affected his performance. But that is the cold truth -- his lack of mobility is killing him (and the team) in the Dzone.

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#57 Quicksilver ballet
April 05 2013, 02:34PM
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The next 2 Oiler opponents will try and wear down the Oilers. Lean on them at every opportunity. We need a secret weapon, something that will prevent them from picking our noses, a gang bang line of sorts. Put Brown,Eager and Hordichuk together for the next couple games on the west coast.

The Slapshot line rides again......

More violence has to be the key.

am I doing it right?

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#58 Romulus' Apotheosis
April 05 2013, 02:42PM
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There are two things to consider.

1) points are subject to a higher level of contingency than shots, especially over small sample sizes.

for example, Whitney is riding a career high and highly unsustainable shooting % this year.

however, his poor corsi #s are consistent with last year:

this year:

http://www.behindthenet.ca/nhl_statistics.php?ds=30&s=29&f1=2012_s&f2=5v5&f4=D&f5=EDM&c=0+1+3+5+4+6+7+8+13+14+29+30+32+33+34+45+46+63+67

last year:

http://www.behindthenet.ca/nhl_statistics.php?ds=30&s=29&f1=2011_s&f2=5v5&f4=D&f5=EDM&c=0+1+3+5+4+6+7+8+13+14+29+30+32+33+34+45+46+63+67#

2) EV is by far the best indicator of performance for all positions except the goaltender, because it is where most of the play occurs and it offers no where to hide.

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#59 Walter Sobchak
April 05 2013, 02:46PM
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I blame Tambellin for not moving him, I don't care if it was a pick.

He will not resign in Edmonton in the summer.

We gave up Stoll, Green, and Visnovsky for this guy with zero return!

Poor asset management again! I don't buy the don't upset chemistry of the team during the playoff run, that's a load of crap.

Players realize the situation.

Tambellini weaken the team by not moving him.

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#60 DigDeepNBleedBlue
April 05 2013, 02:46PM
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Interesting stats.

It looks like Potter would be the logical choice to stay in and be paired with Fistric. But, I would suggest that Whitney and Fistric would be the better pairing going into Saturday.

I agree Whitney can be ugly defensively....

Whitney is better than Potter at offence. Fistric is better than Potter at defense and toughness. The thoroughbreds need that breakout pass and the team, overall, needs more toughness. Match made in heaven?

I would, actually, like to see J. Schultz with Fistric and Whitney with N. Schultz. But, I ain't calling the shots.

Intangible issue: Mood of the locker room. There's no stat to judge that. Yet. I only bring that up because Whitney is good friends with Eberle and Hall. I wonder if there were repercussions earlier in the season when Whitney was sitting and sulking. Another reason I believe Whitney should stay in.

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#61 Romulus' Apotheosis
April 05 2013, 02:48PM
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Here we go:

http://www.coppernblue.com/2013/4/5/4187708/wild-optimism

since 2000-01 season only one team that got outshot by 4.5 shots per game has made the playoffs.

That team had Hart and Vezina winner Theodore stopping everything.

Either DD turns in Craig Anderson's numbers down the stretch or we die.

not dumping Whitney, Jones, Belanger, Eager, Hordichuk and one of Fistric and Peckham was a huge mistake.

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#62 GVBlackhawk
April 05 2013, 02:55PM
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OilersBrass wrote:

Don't worry Gregor, I completely agree with you. Whitney is definitely the better player, and he's been getting a lot better as of late. Having him in the press box for so many games didn't help his progression either. Potter is probably gonna get cut in the summer to make room for Klefbom anyways.

Actually, Whitney has arguably his best game of the year coming off his last 4 game stint in the press box.

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#63 Quicksilver ballet
April 05 2013, 02:56PM
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Walter Sobchak wrote:

I blame Tambellin for not moving him, I don't care if it was a pick.

He will not resign in Edmonton in the summer.

We gave up Stoll, Green, and Visnovsky for this guy with zero return!

Poor asset management again! I don't buy the don't upset chemistry of the team during the playoff run, that's a load of crap.

Players realize the situation.

Tambellini weaken the team by not moving him.

Good point by you. Letting him walk for diddly squat is inexcusable. Possibly having 4 2nds this summer was nothing to sneeze at in this draft. Those seconds could've come in handy if the Oilers wanted to improve on their projected 7-10 drafting spot.

4 seconds in this draft class could've netted a surprise or two.

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#64 Jason Gregor
April 05 2013, 03:00PM
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@GVBlackhawk

Actually he doesn't create a net negative according to actual goals. Willis said he is +7. Last I checked goals are more valuable than scoring chances.

Not every mistake leads to goals. They lead to horrendous corsi and other stats, no doubt.

Just pointing out that in actual goals for/against he isn't as bad. He is brutal with advanced stats, and while those illustrate one side of the game, they don't illustrate everything. And even some stats guys will admit they aren't without fault.

Is it possible that your bias towards advanced stats might be clouding your judgement? Everyone has certain bias, so I'd assume you recognize that you and the stats guys have some as well.

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#65 SouthernOil
April 05 2013, 03:07PM
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My understanding is that Whitney lives with Hall/Eberle... anyone know if that's correct? If so maybe it had something to do with keeping him around.

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#66 GVBlackhawk
April 05 2013, 03:08PM
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Romulus' Apotheosis wrote:

Here we go:

http://www.coppernblue.com/2013/4/5/4187708/wild-optimism

since 2000-01 season only one team that got outshot by 4.5 shots per game has made the playoffs.

That team had Hart and Vezina winner Theodore stopping everything.

Either DD turns in Craig Anderson's numbers down the stretch or we die.

not dumping Whitney, Jones, Belanger, Eager, Hordichuk and one of Fistric and Peckham was a huge mistake.

Tambellini saw a team that was riding a hot streak and completely ignored the underlying numbers.

Asset management is not Oilers' management's strong point.

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#67 CaptainLander
April 05 2013, 03:09PM
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So what does the Oilers D look like next year??

As I see it:

J Shultz ???? Smid Petry N Schultz Klefbom Potter

Fistric trade not looking to good for a press box warmer that may not get re-signed

I do not dislike this group at all if '????' is a legitimate 25 minute a night all around experience good defenseman. Mark Streit maybe?

Klefbom maybe starts in OKC as he will not have played in almost a year and never in north America. So maybe you keep Fistric if the deal is reasonable.

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#68 GVBlackhawk
April 05 2013, 03:10PM
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SouthernOil wrote:

My understanding is that Whitney lives with Hall/Eberle... anyone know if that's correct? If so maybe it had something to do with keeping him around.

Yeah he tucks them into bed at night with a nice soft blankey and some nursery rhymes.

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#69 Jason Gregor
April 05 2013, 03:11PM
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@Romulus' Apotheosis

He is a D-man, honestly SH% has little bearing on his overall play. If you've seen his goals, most have come from jumping in the play. It's not like he's shooting from the point and getting lucky bounces off of legs.

Whitney is on pace to score 11 goals in a full season. He's topped that twice before. He just hasn't shot very much this year.

You can critique his game based on corsi stats, that is fair, but his overall point totals aren't out of whack from previous years in his career. Far from it actually...

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#70 Mannificent
April 05 2013, 03:20PM
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"Actually he doesn't create a net negative according to actual goals. Willis said he is +7. Last I checked goals are more valuable than scoring chances....Is it possible that your bias towards advanced stats might be clouding your judgement? Everyone has certain bias, so I'd assume you recognize that you and the stats guys have some as well."

Honestly, who has the bias here? You cannot look at someone's +/- including PP, when they don't play or count SH, at least. If a player played only PP time - his +/- would be great - no matter how bad he is! Again, I think our PP is fine without him, so what value is he bringing - since you are clinging to his PP stats?

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#71 Mannificent
April 05 2013, 03:22PM
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@Mannificent

Just noticed the 'Reply' button - cool - will use in the future.

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#72 Jimmer
April 05 2013, 03:26PM
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Eric Brewer was a bum...gone. Tom Poti was a bum...gone. Tom Gilbert was a bum...gone.

Now Whitney is a bum...soon to be gone?

I'm sure when Smid gets half a step slower in the next couple of years he will be the next "bum."

Being a d-man on the Oilers could be the worst job in Edmonton...other than Mayor of course.

Mandel...bum.

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#73 Jason Gregor
April 05 2013, 03:31PM
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Mannificent wrote:

"Actually he doesn't create a net negative according to actual goals. Willis said he is +7. Last I checked goals are more valuable than scoring chances....Is it possible that your bias towards advanced stats might be clouding your judgement? Everyone has certain bias, so I'd assume you recognize that you and the stats guys have some as well."

Honestly, who has the bias here? You cannot look at someone's +/- including PP, when they don't play or count SH, at least. If a player played only PP time - his +/- would be great - no matter how bad he is! Again, I think our PP is fine without him, so what value is he bringing - since you are clinging to his PP stats?

How do you know for sure that there will be no dip on the PP? Remember when people said that about Horcoff. Pretty sure that when he was out the PP struggled.

I used the numbers Willis presented and you say I'm still biased. Classic. They were his numbers, not mine.

You can think the PP will be fine without #6, but that doesn't mean it will be. That is fine, but your argument is only based on what if, nothing factual.

This year the Oilers need their PP to stay in games, they will need to be better ES in the future, no doubt, but until that happens their PP success plays a huge role.

And players who only play the PP don't last in the NHL, so again a moot point.

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#74 northof51
April 05 2013, 03:35PM
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Mannificent wrote:

"Actually he doesn't create a net negative according to actual goals. Willis said he is +7. Last I checked goals are more valuable than scoring chances....Is it possible that your bias towards advanced stats might be clouding your judgement? Everyone has certain bias, so I'd assume you recognize that you and the stats guys have some as well."

Honestly, who has the bias here? You cannot look at someone's +/- including PP, when they don't play or count SH, at least. If a player played only PP time - his +/- would be great - no matter how bad he is! Again, I think our PP is fine without him, so what value is he bringing - since you are clinging to his PP stats?

Fistly, welcome to the Nation!

Secondly, I completely agree with your point here. The unfortunate part for the Oilers is that they can only dress 18 skaters per night. I don't think we are in a position to dress 11 forwards and 7 dmen, but if we did, we could run Fistric/Wreck'um at most evens and all PK, then throw Whitney out for the PP... Maybe?

I love the debate here - even though we don't all agree, most comments are educated and informed. So much better discussion than hearing my buddy say he hates Petry "cause he sucks".

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#75 Rama Lama
April 05 2013, 03:37PM
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Well if both of these players are bad and without merit as the stats suggest..........then why did Mr. Dithers not trade these guys and at least acquire a couple of draft picks/prospects??

Mr. Dithers reasoning was he did not want to send the wrong message to the team, how pathetic is that line of reasoning. Not playing Fistric ( for the last five games due to one error) is not only bad for his confidence, but fails to impress why we got him in the first place! I believe that he was brought in to be a physical force out there, which he has accomplished rather nicely IMHO.

Peckham is far better than Potter or Whitney and played well in the two games Krueger has had him play.......but he sits??

THis team is not designed to win the way it is currently put together, especially the bottom two lines and the third pairing defense. I'm glad we won five in a row but nothing has been changed on this team to improve our chances of making the playoffs........Tamby has to wear that.

I'm also not buying the narrative from the Oilers Brass that there were no deals to be made out there.........that my friends is called bullsh-t!

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#76 GVBlackhawk
April 05 2013, 03:38PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

Actually he doesn't create a net negative according to actual goals. Willis said he is +7. Last I checked goals are more valuable than scoring chances.

Not every mistake leads to goals. They lead to horrendous corsi and other stats, no doubt.

Just pointing out that in actual goals for/against he isn't as bad. He is brutal with advanced stats, and while those illustrate one side of the game, they don't illustrate everything. And even some stats guys will admit they aren't without fault.

Is it possible that your bias towards advanced stats might be clouding your judgement? Everyone has certain bias, so I'd assume you recognize that you and the stats guys have some as well.

Yes, everyone has some bias. However, I would rather have my biases confirmed with stats rather than confirmed 'by eye'. The numbers don't lie.

Mistake filled hockey does indeed impact the performance of the team. Scoring chances, shot differential and goal differential are the best indicators of teams who win more often than they lose.

Why are you using goals as your only metric for evaluating player effectiveness? That is ludicrous. It is the same reason why I don't only use RelCorsi to determine player effectiveness -- you have to look at the entire picture.

Whitney is a +7 net in goals. Potter is a net +5 in goals. Whitney gets way more PP time. The result is approximate equivalence. This is not a great measuring stick (not even mentioning the poor sample size).

If you review player grades at Cult of Hockey, Whitney has had eight 3's, four 2's, a 1, and has been a healthy scratch on three separate occasions. Potter has a better overall grade, and only has one 1, and one 2.

No one has even gotten into a cost comparison either. Potter is a way cheaper option.

Lastly, arguing over 6-7 Dmen is counterintuitive here. The Oilers should be exploring options to upgrade on both Whitney and Potter.

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#77 Walter Sobchak
April 05 2013, 03:45PM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

Good point by you. Letting him walk for diddly squat is inexcusable. Possibly having 4 2nds this summer was nothing to sneeze at in this draft. Those seconds could've come in handy if the Oilers wanted to improve on their projected 7-10 drafting spot.

4 seconds in this draft class could've netted a surprise or two.

You see, someone get's it!

Not to mention the Oilers prospect pool need's serious attention in OKC.

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#78 Walter Sobchak
April 05 2013, 03:46PM
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Rama Lama wrote:

Well if both of these players are bad and without merit as the stats suggest..........then why did Mr. Dithers not trade these guys and at least acquire a couple of draft picks/prospects??

Mr. Dithers reasoning was he did not want to send the wrong message to the team, how pathetic is that line of reasoning. Not playing Fistric ( for the last five games due to one error) is not only bad for his confidence, but fails to impress why we got him in the first place! I believe that he was brought in to be a physical force out there, which he has accomplished rather nicely IMHO.

Peckham is far better than Potter or Whitney and played well in the two games Krueger has had him play.......but he sits??

THis team is not designed to win the way it is currently put together, especially the bottom two lines and the third pairing defense. I'm glad we won five in a row but nothing has been changed on this team to improve our chances of making the playoffs........Tamby has to wear that.

I'm also not buying the narrative from the Oilers Brass that there were no deals to be made out there.........that my friends is called bullsh-t!

Yes!!! This ^

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#79 Jason Gregor
April 05 2013, 03:48PM
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@GVBlackhawk

The numbers don't lie? You sure about that. If you believe that Corey Potter is a better NHL player than Whitney, then the stats are misleading. And player grades done over the TV that don't show the entire picture, aren't going to be completely accurate. Just saying.

And, we agree, the Oilers should explore other options. They will do that this summer.

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#80 Mannificent
April 05 2013, 03:48PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

How do you know for sure that there will be no dip on the PP? Remember when people said that about Horcoff. Pretty sure that when he was out the PP struggled.

I used the numbers Willis presented and you say I'm still biased. Classic. They were his numbers, not mine.

You can think the PP will be fine without #6, but that doesn't mean it will be. That is fine, but your argument is only based on what if, nothing factual.

This year the Oilers need their PP to stay in games, they will need to be better ES in the future, no doubt, but until that happens their PP success plays a huge role.

And players who only play the PP don't last in the NHL, so again a moot point.

I don't have the stats, that is why I asked if someone has deciphered them. I find it hard to believe our PP is not good without Whitney - especially with J. Schultz looking very effective. You used Willis numbers which is ES+PP - I don't know who else does that - they are assessed separately for a reason. If everytime you play ES and it is a firedrill in your end (playing against 3rd and 4th lines) - you won't last - in effect what you said. So, I agree there.

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#81 Mannificent
April 05 2013, 03:53PM
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northof51 wrote:

Fistly, welcome to the Nation!

Secondly, I completely agree with your point here. The unfortunate part for the Oilers is that they can only dress 18 skaters per night. I don't think we are in a position to dress 11 forwards and 7 dmen, but if we did, we could run Fistric/Wreck'um at most evens and all PK, then throw Whitney out for the PP... Maybe?

I love the debate here - even though we don't all agree, most comments are educated and informed. So much better discussion than hearing my buddy say he hates Petry "cause he sucks".

Thanks for the Welcome. I also like civility and good discussion - this forum has been very good reading, for the most part - I appreciate it.

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#82 DigDeepNBleedBlue
April 05 2013, 03:55PM
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Rama Lama wrote:

Well if both of these players are bad and without merit as the stats suggest..........then why did Mr. Dithers not trade these guys and at least acquire a couple of draft picks/prospects??

Mr. Dithers reasoning was he did not want to send the wrong message to the team, how pathetic is that line of reasoning. Not playing Fistric ( for the last five games due to one error) is not only bad for his confidence, but fails to impress why we got him in the first place! I believe that he was brought in to be a physical force out there, which he has accomplished rather nicely IMHO.

Peckham is far better than Potter or Whitney and played well in the two games Krueger has had him play.......but he sits??

THis team is not designed to win the way it is currently put together, especially the bottom two lines and the third pairing defense. I'm glad we won five in a row but nothing has been changed on this team to improve our chances of making the playoffs........Tamby has to wear that.

I'm also not buying the narrative from the Oilers Brass that there were no deals to be made out there.........that my friends is called bullsh-t!

Tambellini is not the coach. The coach is the one that is not playing Fistric or Peckham.

Tambellini didn't want to move someone off the team, not out of the lineup. There is a difference there. No?

Could the GM make the Coach play them? Sure. But, then why doesn't he just coach?

Direct your anger towards the coach if you have problems with the lineup. I would, however, point out that Krueger himself is learning this NHL game.

Also, If you call someone a name your opinion is not humble. Just a thought.

This is a year to grow. Making a push, PUSH, for the playoffs is the ultimate goal. That push will teach valuable lessons to the core for next season and seasons beyond.

I'm sure roster spots will be addressed in the off season. Lets see what these cats can do this year. It's not over yet, peeps.

Dare to believe....

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#83 vetinari
April 05 2013, 03:57PM
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Interesting stats Jonathon-- do you have anything for last year for comparison purposes? All of these players were part of the organization last year and there would be a greater sample size to compare from?

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#84 DieHard
April 05 2013, 04:01PM
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Sliderule wrote:

I would like to know what the oilers were offered for Whitney if anything.

Boston was supposedly the destination but were not even scouting him.

It wouldn't surprise me if the best offer was not much say third rounder and minor prospect that was surplus.

I really doubt if there was on offer at all.

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#85 Oiler Al
April 05 2013, 04:03PM
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No fuss here, Whitney and Potter both have yet to score a power play goal this year!Although Whitney has a 16.7% shooting on 23 shots = 4 goals. Potter on 23 shots has one goal.All Evs.

Whitney is -5 and Potter +3. , compared to Nick -10 and Justin -12.

Half of Whitneys 13 points are @ evs. Potter has only 2 pts @evs. but played 5 less games.

Potter has a decent shot but only has 19 minuetes on PP vs 71 min. for Whitney.

Based on stats . Whiteny is more productive @Evs. than on the power play.

Not a fan of either, as both are train wrecks on defense, but are they that much worse than the rest of the crew.

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#87 RexLibris
April 05 2013, 04:07PM
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"wonder if the Oilers would be better off running Potter and Fistric as their third pairing for a few games"

Yes, please and thank you.

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#88 HugThePost
April 05 2013, 04:15PM
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The recent win streak, as fun as it was, came at the worst possible time. It enabled Tambo to dither some more, citing his concern about team chemistry and sending the wrong message to the team in the midst of their run to the Dance.

Now, we are stuck with Whitney who will leave and we get nothing for him. We are also stuck with Jones who will no doubt continue to cheat cheat cheat for his offence and fall all over the place while he refuses to play in our zone, all while a younger, stronger better player in Harti plays in the minors.

Anybody who has played hockey knows that the guys will notice who is a sieve on defence and who is a lollygagger who won't do the work in his own zone. I wonder what message Tambo sent to his players by keeping such dead wood around when there was reportedly interest in them from other teams at the deadline?

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#89 jdrevenge
April 05 2013, 04:16PM
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Whitney has been a victim of the Yak vortex dump this year as well.

Whitney's gaps and pickups are a bit slow but I've seen the back pass from Yak a tonne this year. Yak will hit Whitney with an own zone pass after trying to skate the puck up ice for a break out and running out of room. This ends up being a solid 30 second shift in the Oilers zone for the away team fairly consistently. I can almost see the pain in Whitney's eyes every time.

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#90 Rama Lama
April 05 2013, 04:32PM
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@DigDeepNBleedBlue

Really? You are buying the "wait till the summer", message from Mr. Dithers? Just how many summers are we talking about? I have heard this excuse not to try and improve this team with a significant trade, one too many times.

If Mr. Dithers cannot bring in players that the coach has confidence in, then why bother?

I for one would have moved Whitney, Potter, Jones or Hemsky for draft picks/prospects and then used these as leverage at the draft to try and move up to draft a player of need.

Not improving this team to make the playoffs or our draft position is the real issue here.

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#91 DigDeepNBleedBlue
April 05 2013, 04:59PM
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Rama Lama wrote:

Really? You are buying the "wait till the summer", message from Mr. Dithers? Just how many summers are we talking about? I have heard this excuse not to try and improve this team with a significant trade, one too many times.

If Mr. Dithers cannot bring in players that the coach has confidence in, then why bother?

I for one would have moved Whitney, Potter, Jones or Hemsky for draft picks/prospects and then used these as leverage at the draft to try and move up to draft a player of need.

Not improving this team to make the playoffs or our draft position is the real issue here.

Is the real issue not making the playoffs or draft position? Because, it sounds like you somehow want both.

We do not have any info on what was offered for any player at the TDL. We have no idea aside from what WE think could have been acquired or what rumours suggest. Unfortunately, that means absolutely nothing.

Why wouldn't I believe it is good to wait until the draft to make more substantial moves?

Hemsky and Potter have another year on their contacts. There's no rush.

Whitney, Khabi, Fistric, Petrell and Jones may leave at the end of the year without any compensation. Will that ruin this team going forward? I'm guessing probably not.

Personally, I hope they re-sign Fistric. Others could be retained as well.

GM gave them a chance, with this team, to compete for a playoff spot. I can respect that and, currently, the team is doing just that.

Enjoy the ride, brah! This is the most exciting hockey we've watched since Gagner's rookie season.

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#92 Mac962
April 05 2013, 05:10PM
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Since its Friday and 22.5 hrs before game time, what on earth do we do to beat a Big Kings Team @ Home ? This as we know is a must have and the Kings don't scare me as much as the Duck for some reason..

I would bet Hemsky is just loathing the Fact Regehr is most likely in the lineup and RR is licking his chops at another chance to remove Hemmers head from his body.

Must crash the net no matter what happens and skate like there is no tomorrow, cause there may not be.

And...staying out of the box would help.

Brilliant aren't i ? Thats all i got.

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#93 NewAgeSys
April 05 2013, 05:13PM
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Different skating strides and different fight or flight instincts, but both tall,lanky, long reach d-men, missing only the stand-up hitting ability on the blueline.

Different passing game, different puck managment vision, both offensive but one a catalyst and the other not.

They can both get the same job done but in very different ways.

We need them both and them both playing well, split their ice-time everywhere including the PP.

Smid-Petry Potter-j Schultz Whitney-N Schultz

Potter has a better stride and overall skating style to fit JSs game, he also sees the ice the same way and has a mean protective streak. N Schultz who we dont need activating offensively can work effectively with Whitney.

Smid and Petry need to bring more offense to the table, our top lines need the defense to be aware and able to score goals for 60 mins, and our skill players need them available for prime passes all the time.

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#94 GVBlackhawk
April 05 2013, 05:28PM
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jdrevenge wrote:

Whitney has been a victim of the Yak vortex dump this year as well.

Whitney's gaps and pickups are a bit slow but I've seen the back pass from Yak a tonne this year. Yak will hit Whitney with an own zone pass after trying to skate the puck up ice for a break out and running out of room. This ends up being a solid 30 second shift in the Oilers zone for the away team fairly consistently. I can almost see the pain in Whitney's eyes every time.

This is completely ridiculous. How many times has Yakupov sabotaged Whitney in this manner? Which games are you referring to? Because I don't recall that happening very much.

Targeting Yakupov as a reason for Whitney's Dzone problems is garbage.

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#95 Romulus' Apotheosis
April 05 2013, 05:34PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

He is a D-man, honestly SH% has little bearing on his overall play. If you've seen his goals, most have come from jumping in the play. It's not like he's shooting from the point and getting lucky bounces off of legs.

Whitney is on pace to score 11 goals in a full season. He's topped that twice before. He just hasn't shot very much this year.

You can critique his game based on corsi stats, that is fair, but his overall point totals aren't out of whack from previous years in his career. Far from it actually...

The point about shooting % is simply to note that points and goals are far more contingent than shots, or prone to luck, streaks, etc.

In the short term a player can out perform their shot differential by luck, great goaltending and sh % and have points to show it... but in the long term they will always come back down to earth.

you simply can't give up more shots and expect to win.

And, his SH% is way up from avg. his PPG are up from last year and his GPG are way up:

http://www.hockey-reference.com/players/w/whitnry01.html

also look how his Shots PG are down this year and last over his career avg.

He's simply not the player he once was.

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#96 Jason Gregor
April 05 2013, 05:53PM
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@Romulus' Apotheosis

You are using 29 games as sample. Too small...

He is not overacheiving offensively at all..Sorry man you are way off-base.

His Sh% means nothing...he isn't a goal scorer.

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#97 Rama Lama
April 05 2013, 06:09PM
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@DigDeepNBleedBlue

I agree with your last point but I so much want to see playoff games.........that sometimes I can't contain myself.

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#98 Romulus' Apotheosis
April 05 2013, 06:18PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

You are using 29 games as sample. Too small...

He is not overacheiving offensively at all..Sorry man you are way off-base.

His Sh% means nothing...he isn't a goal scorer.

but that's precisely the point. the sample is too small to take his points seriously, when his shot differential is so poor.

I'm not relying on shooting %. what I said was it was an example of how points are more contingent and luck based than shots.

His Corsi is worst among D and his PDO is well above 1000:

http://www.behindthenet.ca/nhl_statistics.php?ds=30&s=29&f1=2012_s&f2=5v5&f4=D&f5=EDM&c=0+1+3+5+4+6+7+8+13+14+29+30+32+33+34+45+46+63+67#

the points he's getting have a lot of luck packed in there. unless his shot differential repairs itself that luck will eventually crack.

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#99 Cutterov
April 05 2013, 06:36PM
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What is our love affair with potter? He is not really an offensive d man, he sure is not a defensive physical presence, he is just there. Going back to the Nashville game potter came across the ice to play the man who Fistric had lined up to hit, to me it appears the Fistric was thrown under the bus for a play that I don't not believe was potters to make. Put it this way if Potter is a top 6 d man, we are not a playoff team, Potter is at best a number 7 guy. I'd give absolutely everything to be out there roughing up a guy like Glencross to make sure my boys (Nail and the boys) don't have to worry about that and yet potter grabs a guy for a junior high slow dance and makes Nail battle.

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#100 Eddie Shore
April 05 2013, 06:37PM
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Whitney can make an excellent first pass. Potter cannot. THIS is why he is more valuable to this team than Potter, warts and all. Its a shame there isn't a stat for that.

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