2013-14 Division Rivals: Edmonton Oilers vs. Anaheim Ducks

Jonathan Willis
August 12 2013 08:31AM

The Edmonton Oilers have moved to the new Pacific Division, and with the summer free agent splurge all but over it’s a good time to see how they stack up against their rivals. We start with the Anaheim Ducks, who with 66 points last season would have led all teams in the new division.

For forwards, I’ve used points from last season projected over an 82-game schedule, for defencemen time on ice per game in 2013, and for goalies their 2013 save percentage. Players in italics did not play a significant number of games in the NHL in 2012-13; red indicates numbers come from the AHL or Europe while green indicates a previous NHL season.

Forwards

The exact combinations obviously involve a bit of guesswork, and the Ducks combos in particular are a little more difficult because I’m not as familiar with them. I’ve left last year’s successful Cogliano/Koivu/Winnik trio together, and plugged in Dustin Penner on the top line for now – though of course newcomer Jakob Silfverberg may get the job, or Kyle Palmieri or Matt Beleskey (both of the latter saw some time with Perry and Getzlaf last season).

There are two obvious things that jump out about the chart above. First, the Oilers have seven players who were on pace for 40+ points last season; the Ducks have only four (though we’re splitting hairs a little given Cogliano and Bonino). Second, the bottom half of the Ducks roster looks a lot more potent than the same part of the Edmonton depth chart.

Assuming head-to-head matchups with these lines, I like the Getzlaf trio a little better than the Oilers’ kids right now, but not a lot better. For the second line matchup, I think Edmonton’s group is a better bet – Cogliano’s coming off a career-best season, Daniel Winnik has never hit 30 points in the NHL and Saku Koivu turns 39 in November. If all goes well, the Ducks have a solid group there, but a lot could go wrong. Luckily for Anaheim, they have bottom-six depth the Oilers can’t match – while I wouldn’t especially want to bet on Bonino and Beleskey, the other four guys in the group are all young and have significant upside. Anaheim’s been top-heavy for years, but they finally have a young NHL group that can address that problem.

Overall, Edmonton doesn’t match up terribly in the top-six but their depth group doesn’t look particularly good compared to the Ducks.

Defence and Goaltending

On defence, the Oilers match up pretty well in the two through eight slots; I would even be inclined to give them the edge in the depth game. The difference is in the number one slot: Francois Beauchemin is a fantastic defenceman and until they show otherwise the Oilers don’t really have a comparable all-round rearguard on their roster.

In net, I’m not convinced that Devan Dubnyk is worse than any of the goalies on the Ducks’ roster, but backups don’t come much better than Viktor Fasth and Frederik Andersen is an incredible prospect with upside that Richard Bachman simply doesn’t possess.

Again, it’s competitive but the Ducks have a lead overall in my view.

Overall

I’m not convinced that the Ducks will end up winning the Pacific Division; they rode the percentages last season and weren’t able to consistently out-shoot the other team. In the three full seasons leading up to last year, the Ducks fired at an 8.6, 8.4 and 8.2 shooting percentage at even-strength; last season they fired at a 9.4 percent clip. It doesn’t sound like a lot, but over a full season that alone works out to roughly 15 goals. Still, I feel comfortable guessing they’ll likely outperform the Oilers next season.

This is a team that the Oilers could catch with a strong season.

Recently around the Nation Network

At NHL Numbers, new writer Travis Yost breaks down every Western team's Corsi - that's shots, missed shots and blocked shots, which gives us an idea of which team controls possession - and the Edmonton Oilers in particular don't fare so well. Click the link for the shiny graph, though this segment from his conclusion may discourage our readers:

Just stare at it. Don't look away. Don't even blink. If you're an Oilers fan who watched even-half of last year's circus, you are a masochist for awful hockey. And if you made it through the entire season, you deserve the Congressional Medal of Honor.

Click the link above to read more, or check out some of my recent stuff:

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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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I dont think the Oil will finish fist in the division, but we SHOULD be ahead of the Mighty Sucks at the end of the year

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#2 Avatarget
August 12 2013, 08:48AM
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Oilers G-that un-retired Haiku writing MotherF^%$er wrote:

I dont think the Oil will finish fist in the division, but we SHOULD be ahead of the Mighty Sucks at the end of the year

What do you base that on...wishful thinking?

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#3 John Chambers
August 12 2013, 08:51AM
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The Ducks are our main enemy for that 4th playoff spot with LA and Van pretty much guaranteed the top 2 spots, and the Sharks being a much better team thantgeir recent record suggests.

If the season started today I have the Oilers penciled in to actually make the playoffs - they would finish 5th in their own div, but back of only Chi, Stl, and Min in the other. A date with Chelsea Dagger come April.

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#5 OilClog
August 12 2013, 09:05AM
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The getzlaf line over hall?? Are you kidding me?!

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#7 The Soup Fascist
August 12 2013, 09:31AM
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I will be interested to see your take on the Canucks considering what they have (have not) done in the off season that leads you to believe they are a virtual lock for top two in the division.

The Sedins are 33 years old. Kesler has yet to show he is going to be the same guy he was pre-injury. I am not sure outside of these 3 guys who will score goals. As much as the Oilers have no center depth from what I can see 3C and 4C are Schroeder and Santorelli - unless Horvat makes the team as a rookie and / or they play Brandon Gaunce another rookie at center. They have fouled up their goaltending situation so badly, it is unbelievable. Had Luongo not been a true professional this could REALLY be ugly, but at the same time he is the same guy they were trying to run out of town two years ago - just older.

The saving grace is they have a solid defense core. I just don't see a team that is going to score enough goals. I could be wrong - I often am - but I see a team on the precipice.

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#8 Lochenzo
August 12 2013, 09:36AM
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I think you're overestimating the Canucks. Van could be one of the top teams, but there's a chance things can implode. A lot hinges on how their roster adjusts to Torts. But their depth is nowhere near what they had a few years ago. And, unfortunately for them, there is this perception around the league generated from the SCF vs the Bruins that if you lean on them, they'll go away. I'm sure Luongo will be professional and be a good goalie for them...at least until the Olympics.

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#9 John Chambers
August 12 2013, 09:41AM
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@Jonathan Willis

Yeah the way I see it there'll be four teams challenging for two playoff spots: Anaheim, Edmonton, Dallas, and Phoenix.

LA, San Jose, Vancouver, Chicago, Stl, and Minny are locks, while Colorado, Calgary, Nashville, and Winnipeg are hopeless.

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#10 The Soup Fascist
August 12 2013, 09:45AM
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Lochenzo wrote:

I think you're overestimating the Canucks. Van could be one of the top teams, but there's a chance things can implode. A lot hinges on how their roster adjusts to Torts. But their depth is nowhere near what they had a few years ago. And, unfortunately for them, there is this perception around the league generated from the SCF vs the Bruins that if you lean on them, they'll go away. I'm sure Luongo will be professional and be a good goalie for them...at least until the Olympics.

Thanks, I forgot about the coaching change. You are right if things are all sunshine and roses off the start, I am sure Tortorella will be a breath of fresh air, if things get off to a rocky start ..... the circus may be coming to town.

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#11 Will
August 12 2013, 09:46AM
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I know he's not signed yet, but does anyone really believe Selanee wanted to go out on last year's season? He'll be back and that definitely changes things a bit.

Looking forward to more of these.

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#12 oilerjed
August 12 2013, 09:50AM
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John Chambers wrote:

The Ducks are our main enemy for that 4th playoff spot with LA and Van pretty much guaranteed the top 2 spots, and the Sharks being a much better team thantgeir recent record suggests.

If the season started today I have the Oilers penciled in to actually make the playoffs - they would finish 5th in their own div, but back of only Chi, Stl, and Min in the other. A date with Chelsea Dagger come April.

Im with Soup on this one, I am not exactly expecting too much from the Cansucks this year. Their dressing room seems to be unraveling and Gillis didnt do much in the ways of improvements to their lineup this year. They are trending down the last few years, being in the lowly NW div propped them up IMO. Its the middle of the off season and the Van media is already talking shots at the GM about how the team hasnt changed enough to remain relevent. Now Torts is there to light the fuse. This is the year that they tumble and then their fans and media will eat them alive and hit the self destruct button.

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#13 DSF
August 12 2013, 09:50AM
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From the Ducks website:

Forwards

Jakob Silfverberg - Ryan Getzlaf - Corey Perry

Emerson Etem - Nick Bonino - Dustin Penner

Andrew Cogliano - Saku Koivu - Daniel Winnik

Matt Beleskey - Peter Holland - Kyle Palmieri

Brad Staubitz - Patrick Maroon

Defensemen

Sheldon Souray - Francois Beauchemin

Cam Fowler - Ben Lovejoy

Bryan Allen - Luca Sbisa

Sami Vatanen

Goaltenders

Jonas Hiller

Viktor Fasth

NOTES: If Selanne decides to return and signs a new contract, Penner could drop to the third line in place of Winnik. Pairing him with Bonino and especially Etem would make one of the fastest lines in the League.

If Selanne doesn't return, the Ducks still might be all right on offense. Silfverberg could have a breakout season, and Penner almost certainly will not shoot such a poor percentage (3.3 percent) in 2013-14. Either of those wings could produce 20-25 goals, as could speedy Etem, who looked a like a future all-star against the Red Wings in the playoffs.

Anaheim's third line was also great against Detroit, and young players Noesen and Rickard Rakell could push for a lineup spot during training camp. Beleskey and Palmieri each saw time in the top six during the playoffs, and forward depth could finally be a strength in Anaheim after being a struggle at times in recent seasons.

Vatanen and Hampus Lindholm, a 2012 first-round pick who played in the American Hockey League during the lockout but missed the NHL season because of a concussion, each could earn a place in the top-six on defense.

Hiller and Fasth were a solid tandem in net, and the Ducks have one of the top goaltending prospects in the world, John Gibson, who will likely be the starter in the AHL and could make his NHL debut if Hiller or Fasth miss time with an injury.

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#14 DSF
August 12 2013, 09:59AM
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John Chambers wrote:

Yeah the way I see it there'll be four teams challenging for two playoff spots: Anaheim, Edmonton, Dallas, and Phoenix.

LA, San Jose, Vancouver, Chicago, Stl, and Minny are locks, while Colorado, Calgary, Nashville, and Winnipeg are hopeless.

I really wouldn't be too quick to write off Colorado.

A new GM, a new coach, adding McKinnon, a full season of Ryan O'Reilly and a healthy Landeskog and Downie will make them a much different team.

They still have some question marks on the back end but they certainly have the cap space ($10M) to address that if need be.

And watch out for Tyson Barrie...he's going to be a beast.

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#15 Mikey
August 12 2013, 10:00AM
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John Chambers wrote:

Yeah the way I see it there'll be four teams challenging for two playoff spots: Anaheim, Edmonton, Dallas, and Phoenix.

LA, San Jose, Vancouver, Chicago, Stl, and Minny are locks, while Colorado, Calgary, Nashville, and Winnipeg are hopeless.

Honsetly, I don't see Van and Minny as locks. More as sure bets.

And COL is not hopeless. They will be challenging for a playoff spot just as Edmonton should.

Every year people pick "Locks" and most never pan out. Did anyone really think ANA were going to be as good as they were? Honestly? What about MIN? Weren't they going to be a dominate team?

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#17 Rama Lama
August 12 2013, 10:08AM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

I'm sort of thinking that's where this is going - I'm going to go through the whole division and see what it looks like, but I'm betting Edmonton ends up on the bubble and perhaps in competition for the crossover spot.

You are underestimating our new coach........yea he may not be a motivational speaker, but he does live in a van down by the river!

Dallas will take us to the promised land.

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#19 Mikey
August 12 2013, 10:12AM
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DSF wrote:

From the Ducks website:

Forwards

Jakob Silfverberg - Ryan Getzlaf - Corey Perry

Emerson Etem - Nick Bonino - Dustin Penner

Andrew Cogliano - Saku Koivu - Daniel Winnik

Matt Beleskey - Peter Holland - Kyle Palmieri

Brad Staubitz - Patrick Maroon

Defensemen

Sheldon Souray - Francois Beauchemin

Cam Fowler - Ben Lovejoy

Bryan Allen - Luca Sbisa

Sami Vatanen

Goaltenders

Jonas Hiller

Viktor Fasth

NOTES: If Selanne decides to return and signs a new contract, Penner could drop to the third line in place of Winnik. Pairing him with Bonino and especially Etem would make one of the fastest lines in the League.

If Selanne doesn't return, the Ducks still might be all right on offense. Silfverberg could have a breakout season, and Penner almost certainly will not shoot such a poor percentage (3.3 percent) in 2013-14. Either of those wings could produce 20-25 goals, as could speedy Etem, who looked a like a future all-star against the Red Wings in the playoffs.

Anaheim's third line was also great against Detroit, and young players Noesen and Rickard Rakell could push for a lineup spot during training camp. Beleskey and Palmieri each saw time in the top six during the playoffs, and forward depth could finally be a strength in Anaheim after being a struggle at times in recent seasons.

Vatanen and Hampus Lindholm, a 2012 first-round pick who played in the American Hockey League during the lockout but missed the NHL season because of a concussion, each could earn a place in the top-six on defense.

Hiller and Fasth were a solid tandem in net, and the Ducks have one of the top goaltending prospects in the world, John Gibson, who will likely be the starter in the AHL and could make his NHL debut if Hiller or Fasth miss time with an injury.

Unless Cam Fowler turns his game around (which is entirly possible and probable) ANA D is weak.

Even then Souray started the season on fire, as he did in Dallas, then stopped producing but was still solid on D. He is 37.

Beauchemin had a career year at 33. Probably wont happen again.

I would be willing to put money on Edmonton winning the season series against ANA.

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#21 DSF
August 12 2013, 10:18AM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

You like Emerson Etem and Nick Bonino (and their combined 43 career NHL points) as two-thirds of the second line?

Um.

As stated...that projected lineup is straight from the Ducks website.

I assume they have some insight into what management is thinking.

I also assume your projections are entirely based on last year's performance with no consideration given to changing roles or progression by young players.

For example, you have Silvferberg on the 3rd line and pegged him at 39 points when it's more likely he plays on the top line with Getzlaf and Perry where he should be able to surpass that number without breaking a sweat.

You also have Emerson Etem on the 4th line when it's much more likely he will get 2nd line minutes and blow your 22 point projection out of the water.

And, of course, there is no provision for the likely return of Selanne which would bump Penner to the 3rd line and he is likely good for 25 goals and 50 points if he returns.

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#22 The Soup Fascist
August 12 2013, 10:22AM
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DSF wrote:

I really wouldn't be too quick to write off Colorado.

A new GM, a new coach, adding McKinnon, a full season of Ryan O'Reilly and a healthy Landeskog and Downie will make them a much different team.

They still have some question marks on the back end but they certainly have the cap space ($10M) to address that if need be.

And watch out for Tyson Barrie...he's going to be a beast.

I agree Colorado could be better than expected, especially considering their depth at centre. But goaltending could be scary (scary bad not scary good).

And Tyson Barrie could be Marc-Andre Bergeron. He may turn out better than MAB, but I am certain I will never call him a "beast".

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#23 DSF
August 12 2013, 10:22AM
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@Mikey

Hampus Lindholm and Sami Vatanen are very good young defensemen.

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#24 Benji
August 12 2013, 10:23AM
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Nuge with 49 points?? Ya right, the healthy, no shoulder issue, nuge will at least be on pace with ebs. I would project him around 65 points in 75 games

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#25 John Chambers
August 12 2013, 10:26AM
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@Mikey

The Avs D is just awful. They could add Jason Strudwick to their depth chart to push someone out of the top-6.

It reminds me of the D the Oilers boasted during the ELPH years (are those over yet?), with a nice forward corps who will score goals only to surrender them at an even highe rate.

Calgary, Colorado, Winnipeg, Florida, and Buffalo are all steering toward the lottery.

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#28 DSF
August 12 2013, 10:38AM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

Do me a favour: link to it. In any case, projecting Etem and Bonino as second-liners given their careers to date is blue-skying regardless of the source.

And as much as I value the contribution of the webcrew of ducks.com, given that Koivu, WInnik and Cogliano finished 3, 4 and 6 in forward ice-time on the team last season, the website can call them third liners all they want - I'm not buying it.

Finally: those point totals are simply last seasons numbers projected over 82 games. The wording in the article above is confusing, so I'll make it clearer, but I wasn't trying to peer into the future.

Here ya go:

http://ducks.nhl.com/club/news.htm?id=679431

Regarding ice time, remember than Silvferberg wasn't with the team and Etem was just starting to find his way playing in only 38 games.

I don't think it's much of a stretch to project him playing more games with more minutes going forward especially since he tore it up in the playoffs against Detroit. (3G 2A 5P +4 in 7GP)

Projecting last year's numbers straight across isn't very helpful and I would think the whole purpose of this series is "trying to peer into the future".

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#29 Mikey
August 12 2013, 10:39AM
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DSF wrote:

Hampus Lindholm and Sami Vatanen are very good young defensemen.

So was/is Justin Schultz. Point being you can't bet on inexperience.

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#30 DSF
August 12 2013, 10:45AM
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@Mikey

Are the Oilers betting on Justin Schultz?...yes they are.

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#31 Mikey
August 12 2013, 10:46AM
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John Chambers wrote:

The Avs D is just awful. They could add Jason Strudwick to their depth chart to push someone out of the top-6.

It reminds me of the D the Oilers boasted during the ELPH years (are those over yet?), with a nice forward corps who will score goals only to surrender them at an even highe rate.

Calgary, Colorado, Winnipeg, Florida, and Buffalo are all steering toward the lottery.

You're right about their D, it's pitiful. They will make some sort of trade I assume

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#32 Mikey
August 12 2013, 10:48AM
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DSF wrote:

Are the Oilers betting on Justin Schultz?...yes they are.

Yep, but at least he has half a year in the NHL. Still not a very good bet in my books

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#34 **
August 12 2013, 11:01AM
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I watched the entire season. Please send my medal encased on a 22k gold frame encrusted with diamonds.

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#35 Gaz
August 12 2013, 11:17AM
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@DSF

Why didn't you address comment #18 from JW?

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#36 DSF
August 12 2013, 11:19AM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

Thanks. That article is actually repackaged content from NHL.com, not originally from the Ducks' website. NHL.com does a pretty good job (here's their Oilers depth chart) but they're doing the same thing I'm doing - projecting a lineup they feel is reasonable.

As for using last year's numbers, there's a lot that goes into projecting next year's numbers and I'd rather let people form their own conclusions anyway.

Here is your projected lineup for tomorrow piece.

http://canucks.nhl.com/club/news.htm?id=679770

A couple of notes based on what I'm hearing:

Kassian will likely play on the top line with Burrows moving to Kesler's wing.

Brad Richardson is pencilled in at #3C (as per the link above) but Brendan Gaunce and Bo Horvat will be given every chance to try and crack the lineup.

The #4C position will be a dog fight between Gaunce, Schroeder, Santorelli, Horvat and NCAA free agent signing Kellan Lain.

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#37 The Soup Fascist
August 12 2013, 11:46AM
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DSF wrote:

Here is your projected lineup for tomorrow piece.

http://canucks.nhl.com/club/news.htm?id=679770

A couple of notes based on what I'm hearing:

Kassian will likely play on the top line with Burrows moving to Kesler's wing.

Brad Richardson is pencilled in at #3C (as per the link above) but Brendan Gaunce and Bo Horvat will be given every chance to try and crack the lineup.

The #4C position will be a dog fight between Gaunce, Schroeder, Santorelli, Horvat and NCAA free agent signing Kellan Lain.

Hmmm. Interesting the blogger in the piece you highlighted does in fact have Richardson as 3C. He is listed with the Canucks as a RW and IIRC primarily played RW (when in the lineup) in LA with Curt Fraser as his centre.

If that is the case I feel much better with Boyd Gordon as the #3 centre in Edmonton. His offensive numbers are unlikely to be stellar, but I like him much better than Richardson.

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#38 DSF
August 12 2013, 11:59AM
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The Soup Fascist wrote:

Hmmm. Interesting the blogger in the piece you highlighted does in fact have Richardson as 3C. He is listed with the Canucks as a RW and IIRC primarily played RW (when in the lineup) in LA with Curt Fraser as his centre.

If that is the case I feel much better with Boyd Gordon as the #3 centre in Edmonton. His offensive numbers are unlikely to be stellar, but I like him much better than Richardson.

I think that is just the Canucks fall back position.

They really want Gaunce or Horvat to win the job in camp but with rookies you never know.

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#39 oilerjed
August 12 2013, 12:00PM
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@JW Why so much hate for Ebs on the NHL site? Overrated? I cant help but think he will put up at least 80pts this year if healthy. Is this a fantasy of mine or is there something that I am missing? Lats year was an aberation IMO.

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#41 DSF
August 12 2013, 12:26PM
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Interesting move by the CBJ.

They've hired player agent Bill Zito as their AGM.

http://bluejackets.nhl.com/club/news.htm?id=680011

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#43 DSF
August 12 2013, 12:39PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

Anything can happen - Patrice Bergeron cracked the Bruin's roster after being a second round pick, and it was the right call - but history suggests Horvat won't be ready and if Gaunce wins the job that probably says more about the Canucks options than Gaunce. Similarly, Kellan Lain's professional debut last season doesn't exactly inspire confidence.

But that's tomorrow's conversation.

As you say anything can happen.

And, interesting that you used Patrice Bergeron as an example since that is the player I've heard most often used as a comparable for Horvat.

Don't really know anything about Lain's few games in the AHL but I doubt that the Canucks are counting on a 6'6" 225 pound 4th line C to score a lot of points.

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#44 OilClog
August 12 2013, 12:41PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

Well, I like Taylor Hall a lot better than Dustin Penner.

But if Corey Perry were on the Oilers instead of Jordan Eberle right now, would Edmonton's first line be better this year? I think so. If Ryan Getzlaf were on the Oilers right now instead of Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, would Edmonton's first line be better? Again, I think so.

Long-term, I'm bullish on Nugent-Hopkins. Maybe he takes the next step this year - I wouldn't be at all surprised if he does. It's just that right now I'd take Getzlaf over him in a 1-on-1 matchup.

And while I'm not big on brawn over brains, that projected Ducks top line has an *average* size of 6'4", 225 pounds - and that just gives it a dimension the Oilers' top line doesn't have.

Who cares what they're projected size is Willis. Penner is big, we've been there. Getz is big, but he's no bruiser. Perry the smallest of them is also the toughest.. Maybe our top line doesn't have this Size dimension you love so much, but Anahiems top line, doesn't have anywhere near the offensive ceiling that our top line has either. And it's not even close.

I don't think Perry is a better choice over Eberle, maybe a few seasons ago, but as it stands now it's a wash. Or what Eberle has done in the last 3 years mean absolutely nothing..

Nuge, is better defensively then Getz, and has a much higher offensive ceiling, which has already been displayed as well. If Getz came to Edmonton, he would be #2 center, behind Nuge, today. nuff said.

Hall, is a beast, any line he's on, is the best line in the game. That's the type of player he is, today, yesterday, and tomorrow. And there is no one in Anahiem that is a comparable on the left flank. NO ONE!

How about those Corsi #'s stats guy, how does the top line of Anahiem corsi compare to the wonder kids.

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#45 OilClog
August 12 2013, 12:44PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

NHL.com was specifically referring to him as a fantasy team pickup; personally I wouldn't be surprised if Eberle put up ~70 points but I haven't put a lot of though into it yet.

is it because he already has, and every blogger in the universe seems to hate on Ebs. The guy only goes out every single season, and produces. Let's keep questioning his abilities until he retires, then continue to say he can't do this can't do that some more! whoop!

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#46 John Chambers
August 12 2013, 12:48PM
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DSF wrote:

As you say anything can happen.

And, interesting that you used Patrice Bergeron as an example since that is the player I've heard most often used as a comparable for Horvat.

Don't really know anything about Lain's few games in the AHL but I doubt that the Canucks are counting on a 6'6" 225 pound 4th line C to score a lot of points.

I seem to recall a lot of "blue sky" valuations on both Anaheim's as well as Minnesota's prospects prior to last season.

Let's see how DSF's favorites turned out:

Peter Holland - 5 pts in 21 NHL games, and 39 points (and minus -13) in 45 AHL games. This from a guy drafted 5 spots after Paajarvi. Specifically you said Anaheim wouldn't be a legitimate trade destination for Gagner because of Holland's inevitable emergence. Huh.

Charlie Coyle - 14 points in 37 NHL games, and 25 points in 47 AHL games. A far better pick than Tyler Pitlick indeed, but certainly not a difference maker on the Wild last season. Will almost certainly have a middle-6 role this season however.

Mike Granlund - just 8 points in 27 games. Bummer. I actually had high hopes for this player after a near PPG performance in the AHL at the beginning of last season. Like Coyle he'll probably play on the 2nd line this year.

These aren't bad players by any stretch, but to think that players with limited NHL experience will play meaningful roles on their clubs next year ... well that's just little boys' with hockey cards logic now isn't it?

Avatar
#48 Smokey
August 12 2013, 01:00PM
Trash it!
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trashes
+1
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props

@DSF

Goshaweful defence and goaltending is their Achilles heal. Forward depth and talent is as good as the Oilers.

Avatar
#50 oilerjed
August 12 2013, 01:03PM
Trash it!
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trashes
+1
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props

@oilclog

ummm did you just say that Gretzky would play behind Nuge?????? Nuge is good and all but cmon. You even have the benefit of seeing what 99 did throughout his career and before he went pro. What has RNH done that would make you think this? This statement is asinine.

Edit: ok Now that I reread it I see that I may have added a letter to getz. My bad

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