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 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 Romulus' Apotheosis
April 05 2013, 10:47PM
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DSF wrote:

Fistric was replaced in the Dallas lineup by Aaron Rome who was 9th on the Vancouver depth chart.

who was replaced by Cam Barker?

funny logic.

again. some of these players are valuable when actually used appropriately. ragging on them because they wear oil colors is a stupid habit of yours.

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#2 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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#3 Jason Gregor
April 05 2013, 12:42PM
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Does scoring chances or actual goals win hockey games?

How many actual goals for and goals against has Whitney been on for compared to Potter?

I'd like to see that breakdown, because for me that would illustrate actual impact positively or negatively on the outcome of the game.

I understand the theory that chances lead to goals, but I'd rather a guy be on the ice for goals, rather than chances that never result in goals.

Can you run those numbers? For the team.

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#4 Ducey
April 05 2013, 01:12PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

What about PP goals...They are a major factor in outcome of game.

Total goals, not just ES...I'd argue that PP goals play huge factor in games, especially for Oilers, considering they have 30 PP goals and 59 ES. In fact, per minutes played the PP goals grossly outweigh the ES ones for the Oilers.

Also, not a huge proponent of going by hour, considering each minute in game vs. Chicago shouldn't be equal to minutes vs. Calgary for example.

It would have to be game by game... Tedious yes, but for me that would give better insight.

No debate Whitney isn't great ES, none at all, but if you add goals he is on for at PP, he clearly impacts games.

Keep trying Gregor.

Maybe you can find some stats that show Whitney is better on Tuesdays on 5 on 3's against teams in purple uni's.

You hate Potter, but he is not the problem.

Whitney is worse than Potter by Corsi 5 x 5 and 5 on 4. He is worse by goals for and against.

REL Corsi before yesterdays game: Nick S +6.3 Ladi .2 Potter 0 Petry 0 Justin -2.3 Whitney -11.4

Is not even close. He is the worst D man they have. They should have traded Whitney when they had the chance.

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#5 Romulus' Apotheosis
April 05 2013, 01:12PM
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The correlation of Shot Differential and Winning is extraordinarily high.

http://www.boysonthebus.com/2013/03/06/the-statistical-relationship-between-hits-shots-and-points/

I have no idea why we would even dismiss the notion. It's not like it's some counterintuitive revelation.

More shots equal better chance of winning equal more actual wins.

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#6 Yep
April 05 2013, 01:21PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

Why not just show the exact amount of goals on PP rather than using the hour?

What is the exact number of goals, not rounded up. Just straight up goals.

Seems strange to me that Potter would be that close on PP since he's only played 19 minutes on the PP. How many actual goals has he been on for.

I want actual, not taking Potter's 19 minutes and projecting what they might be. That is projections, not reality.

Because the numbers dont mean anything unless you normalize for TOI. Of course Whitney is on the ice for more PP goals, he is on the ice for more PP minutes. It is not about 'rounding up' it is about determining effectiveness for a given time interval, that is the only way you can compare two players that play differing amounts.

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#7 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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#8 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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#10 David Staples
April 05 2013, 01:20PM
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Jason Gregor:

Whitney has contributed to nine goals for at even strength, while Potter has contributed to three.

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AhMC4T3agcfmdHE4bGxpaUszOHNKUXUydkhJOGRCWEE#gid=0

Whitney had made mistakes on 12 even strength goals against (often the major mistake), while Potter has made mistakes on three goals against.

So Whitney is -3, while Potter is even when it comes to helping to create and making mistakes on goals against.

Potter plays a quiet game. Whitney is high event, mistake prone. Good passer, leaks chances and goals against.

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#12 oilerjed
April 05 2013, 02:08PM
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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?

Wasnt that a major problem with the oil for the first 2\3 of the season, lots of PP goals and no ES offence. With that in mind it seems very clear that Whitney is not as useful as Potter since by the end of the year PP's dry up massively heading into the playoffs. Im still wondering how bad Fistric's numbers must be that he has sat out as long as he has when RK's plan was to keep everyone fresh. Whats the deal?

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#13 Sliderule
April 05 2013, 02:16PM
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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.

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#14 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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#15 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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#16 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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#17 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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#18 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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#19 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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#20 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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#21 dougtheslug
April 05 2013, 06:58PM
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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!

If both these players are bad and without merit, as you and so many people here are suggesting, how was Tambo going to slide that inconvenient piece of information past astute NHL GM's(Feaster, presumably, was too busy to be answering calls).Everyone knows whats going on out there, it isn't just members of ON that study staistics.

Really, if it is so obvious that these players are not useful to the Oilers, why are you so sure that other teams would find them so useful that they would be willing to part with their own assets to have them. You can't have it both ways - they are either useful or they aren't.

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#22 Eddie Shore
April 05 2013, 10:01PM
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@DSF

If you think Fistric is a defenseman you can't find in the remainder bin every offseason, I can't help you.

Your arrogant comments are getting very old. Just because you have an opinion does not make it fact. Part of what makes this site so enjoyable is the differing opinions and the respectful dialogue between those that view things differently. Having you come on here day after day after day after day and tell us all how much we dont know and how much you do is getting very tiring.

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#23 Eddie Shore
April 05 2013, 10:14PM
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@Jeremy

The way they've handled Klef, Yak and MPS has been much better hasnt it? Its easier to not rush them in when you have capable players, which we didnt have before (Gagner era).

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#24 dougtheslug
April 06 2013, 01:13AM
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Eddie Shore wrote:

The way they've handled Klef, Yak and MPS has been much better hasnt it? Its easier to not rush them in when you have capable players, which we didnt have before (Gagner era).

I agree with this observation - good teams with solid rosters don't play young players "too soon" because they are geniuses at player development, but because there is no room for rookies on the active roster. Bad teams with spotty rosters elevate rookies because often they are the best they've got at the position. Sure it can be risky but show me the evidence that it is always a bad thing. You can't go back and see if Sam Gagner would have developed quicker if he had spent 2 or 3 years in the minors.

As the Oiler roster fills with the fruits of their suckage years they will begin to enjoy the luxury of allowing players to apprentice - again, not because they suddenly realize the value in that, but because they can.

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#25 cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan
April 06 2013, 08:39AM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

Good to have DSF back after the vendetta was lifted for yesterdays game. Good to see not everyone's wearing the rose colored glasses that are often present.

Tough day for our Oilers. One loss and suddenly we're 4 pts out again.

yes, what fun would it be to have a fansite over run with fans.

DSF got run from hfboards (search dashingsilverfox for some EPIC swings and misses from our friend DSF) ... in time maybe the nation with be a DSF free zone as well.

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#29 Jason Gregor
April 05 2013, 12:58PM
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@Jonathan Willis

What about PP goals...They are a major factor in outcome of game.

Total goals, not just ES...I'd argue that PP goals play huge factor in games, especially for Oilers, considering they have 30 PP goals and 59 ES. In fact, per minutes played the PP goals grossly outweigh the ES ones for the Oilers.

Also, not a huge proponent of going by hour, considering each minute in game vs. Chicago shouldn't be equal to minutes vs. Calgary for example.

It would have to be game by game... Tedious yes, but for me that would give better insight.

No debate Whitney isn't great ES, none at all, but if you add goals he is on for at PP, he clearly impacts games.

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#30 Team Hall
April 05 2013, 01:22PM
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Well, after every loss, out comes negative nancy with a scathing article.

I kind of think that the Oil have already eliminated Whitney for next year, and Potter will be our 7th dman or callup.

Don't worry, I think signing a UFA or two is already in the plans.

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#32 Yep
April 05 2013, 01:23PM
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Just want to add: I welcome someone to come up with a stat OR a convincing 'saw him good' that shows Whitney being an effective player for this team, this year.

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#33 Dutchscooter
April 05 2013, 01:26PM
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Let's face facts: Whitney has degenerated into a bigger, slower, more expensive version of M A Bergeron. Good at one thing (offensive plays), scary at every other aspect of his game.

And what did Bergeron garner at the trade deadline? A seventh rounder?

Welcome to your new career path, Whitney. Keep a bag packed and a cushion for the pine you'll be riding.

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#34 therealfoz
April 05 2013, 01:28PM
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mlcsellil wrote:

I agree that there are times that Whitney and Potter can both be an asset, but those times are few and far between. I can understand Tambellini wanting to stay loyal to the team on trade deadline day, however I don't think he did the Oilers any favors by not sending them elsewhere. Both of these guys are turnover machines and that doesn't usually end well for us. Being so close to getting in the playoffs, it's a shame the Oilers didn't bring in a reliable defenseman, because Potter and Whitney, either together or separately, are too inconsistent to bring much confidence to this die hard fan. Hopefully over the summer, changes are made and we get lots better on the back end. In the meantime I'll continue supporting our beloved Oilers and hope for the best.

As someone who thought Potter would be Edmonton's worst defender this season, I can understand wanting to ship both out. But, Potter is still signed next year and has shown himself to be at least as competent as Whitney, and at least as trusted as Fistric - so I can understand why he's still here.

Whitney on the other hand is damaged goods and a UFA, and if there was a return to be had at the deadline in exchange for his services, Tambellini should have pulled the trigger.

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#35 northof51
April 05 2013, 01:50PM
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Eddie Edmonton wrote:

It has more to do with the forwards they play with, usually 3rd-4th lines. Too many youth and slow old guys.

Out of all 8 dmen, Whitney plays with the 3rd best Quality of Teammate, while (and again, out of ALL 8 dmen) he plays against the weakest competition.

So many things have been said in the comments that speak to this, but I am in the JW camp - Whitney is a major liability at even strength but can be a PP asset.

The question for management will be, does his liability out weigh his gains?

The answer to me seems clear (despite JG's comments) - No. Whitney can only be used in a Bergeron role and if we can't afford him that opportunity, he should be gone.

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#36 northof51
April 05 2013, 01:55PM
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@Jonathan Willis

Favourite comment from the Journal Player Grades, "(Whitney) looked more like Cam Barker than Cam Barker did".

I shared this with some Canucks fans and they almost died laughing. While they found it humourous, they appreciated the depth of that statement. None of them can believe how far a former 3rd overall pick has fallen. (Barker that is)

They also agreed that Whitney was noticeably bad last night.

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#37 Mannificent
April 05 2013, 02:07PM
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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!

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#38 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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#39 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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#40 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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#41 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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#42 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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#43 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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#44 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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#45 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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#46 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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#47 DieHard
April 05 2013, 07:07PM
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The reason Whitney and Potter are playing and why ST didn't make any moves is because:

1. It's April and we're still in the playoff hunt

2. We're a couple of points away from a top 10 pick.

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#48 GVBlackhawk
April 05 2013, 07:13PM
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Cutterov wrote:

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.

That play was not Potter's fault. Fistric was lining up Potter's man while his own skated right on to the net for a goal. He put himself out of position and gave Nashville an odd man rush. It was an awful play that got him rightfully benched.

No love affair for Potter going on. I also think that he's a number 7 defenseman.

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#49 Rob...
April 05 2013, 08:11PM
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@DSF

"Good grief, the defensively challenged Dallas Stars cut Fistric loose."

Yup, just like the Oilers cut Brodziak loose. Who did that bum go to again? Pathetic argument.

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#50 Eddie Shore
April 05 2013, 09:24PM
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@DSF

Thing is, nobody has asked for your help.

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