Martin Marincin good, too much else bad

Jonathan Willis
January 24 2014 10:55PM

 

Martin Marincin continues to impress just over 100 games into his professional career. He was asked to take on heavy minutes in the Oilers' 4-3 loss to Phoenix on Friday, and unlike so many others on the team he didn't disappoint. 

Marincin picked up his first career NHL point against the Coyotes and played a career-high 23:53, the third time in the last six games that the rookie has topped the 20:00 mark. He finished the game plus-one, which makes him one of very few Oilers to be a plus on the season. The Oilers were excellent with him on the ice, out-chancing Phoenix 8-3 when he skated at even-strength. He was a bright spot in a loss, and he's been a bright spot in a losing season. 

Scoring Chances & Brief Thoughts

  • The Oilers' top line had a pretty good evening, all things considered. Or, at least, they did at even-strength - those kids also powered a misfiring power play that failed to manage even one chance per opportunity and went 0-for-6 in the goals department.
  • The second line was a problem. Ryan Smyth has been good in a third line role and showed flashes, but his foot speed is a problem on a scoring line and without any kind of shot he seems better off in the bottom-six. This is particularly so when Sam Gagner continues to flounder.
  • Matt Hendricks took three penalties but looked good when he wasn't offending the officials. The third line overall, as it has been for much of this season, was a strength. 
  • It was a mixed night from the fourth line. Mark Arcobello is a favourite but had a quiet evening, while both Nail Yakupov and Jesse Joensuu had nice offensive moments and bad defensive moments.
  • Andrew Ference left the game early and Justin Schultz's transition to low-event play in major minutes continues. Mostly, the defence wasn't terrible against Phoenix - though Anton Belov sticks out like a sore thumb, doesn't he?
  • Ilya Bryzgalov was awful. He faced 11 scoring chances total on the night and surrendered four goals and two posts. The Oilers made quite a few mistakes against the Coyotes but if they'd had even semi-competent goaltending they would likely have earned at least a point.
  • Also: be sure to check out Lowetide's look this evening at Aaron Ekblad. 

Recently by Jonathan Willis

74b7cedc5d8bfbe88cf071309e98d2c3
Jonathan Willis is a freelance writer. He currently works for Oilers Nation, Sportsnet, 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.
Avatar
#101 K_Mart
January 25 2014, 12:52PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
5
cheers
Bucknuck wrote:

If your goalie lets in a bunch of easy shots in this league, you are most likely going to lose. I understand why MacT is spending so much energy on the goalie position, because without it you are dead in the water.

I actually thought the Oilers played pretty well, except Bryz, who seemed better later on in the game, but by then it was too late. The goalies have lost a lot of gmaes for the Oil this year, but can't remember them stealing any.

They are due.

The goalies have stolen 3 i'd say. Bachman against LA stole us a point. Dubnyk against Ottawa, and bryz against Nashville.

However, the goaltending has cost this team at least 10 games this year.

When you're as bad as the Oilers you need at least a .920 sv% backing you to even get a sniff of the playoffs.

A top end goaltender could definitely hide a ton of the problems this team has, but i'm not sure that luongo, lundqvist, rinne ... or any of the top goalies could get this team to the playoffs.

Avatar
#102 K_Mart
January 25 2014, 01:03PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
7
cheers
toprightcorner wrote:

JW, I like stats, but would you sat Hendricks is proving they don't tell the whole picture?

His intensity, leadership, character and positive energy is exactly what the team needs and can have an unmeasurable positive impact on the team.

I still believe he was a good addition and even though he is being paid $750k more than he should, that's a cheap price to pay out of next years $70 mill cap hit to teach these attributes to the younger players.

If somehow Hendricks can rub off on the others and get players to amp up the intensity even while he's on the bench, than that's invaluable. But it's also impossible to measure.

Avatar
#103 Cynic
January 25 2014, 02:05PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers
Danger Pay wrote:

Congratulations, you've watched games at other arena's. But did you go to the locker rooms to get interviews a those 15 Buildings? I've heard, that behind the scenes at Rexall is "Dusty""Old" " Dingy" and " Played Out".

When a business is run in an Old, Out Dated Building your telling me it doesn't have an overall effect on the business or it's employees? I'm pretty sure everyone would rather come to work in a building constructed in 2016, and was Clean, Modern, Fresh and Updated as apposed to 1977, Old, Dingy, Dusty,Overall Embarrassing.

Ray Ferraro has said, On Air " He can feel the negative energy when he enters the building" I was hoping JW could confirm what Ferraro has experienced as plausible or BS.

shorter Danger Pay (Staples? LaForge?): The New Arena Will Fix Everything (c).

Avatar
#104 K_Mart
January 25 2014, 02:21PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
6
cheers
fasteddy wrote:

Your point would make more sense if you were referring to front line players.......I look and wonder where the major blunders have been, and dont see much. Certainly nothing more than most other teams. I realize we all want a pound of flesh, but the screamers on here calling for Lowe's head are fools for thinking things would have been drastically different with someone else at the helm.

I would say that the value we got for Visnovsky and Souray was a disgrace. And those two players represent the front line of a once average d core. Those blunders were huge, and I'm fearful that there will be more.

Avatar
#105 oilersd
January 25 2014, 03:14PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

@Dman

Couldn't hurt his confidence any.

Avatar
#106 Johnnydapunk
January 25 2014, 03:35PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
3
cheers

On a semi unrelated note, despite all the bitterness and anger and stuff, it seems like the skills competition was quite nice and maybe a welcome break from everything. I like seeing that stuff as there were quite a few kids in the crowd and it's good to see the players looking like they were having some fun out there.

Despite all the bad stuff going on, it's little breaks like that from the pressure that must be good for the team and fans, especially the younger ones. I feel that if you can complain about the bad, you should also praise the good when it happens and this event I will say was good for the Oil to do.

Avatar
#107 Smokey
January 25 2014, 03:37PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers

Im glad he made up for the Riley Nash fiasco. We actually got the way better player. There hasn't been that much chaos to his game so far, but that may come as the workload comes. Hope he elevates his game for the Olympics. Im happy to watch him play.

If he can get that 15 pounds of muscle he will be a solid defender.

Avatar
#108 Ed in Edmonton
January 25 2014, 04:55PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
4
cheers

Someone put a bug in my ear yesterday about Eakins intense aerobic program for the players may be having a negative impact. The players are apparently doing a lot of off ice work to increase their aerobic capacity and stamina. On first blush this seems like a good thing. However, the theory proposed to me is that exercises designed to improve stamina are great for marathon runners but counter-productive for hockey players. Quick reflex muscles regress is such programs and therefore hockey performance regresses. If games were 6 periods long you might see a benefit.

Does anyone know if there is any validity to this? Could this explain why so many players seem off tis year?

Avatar
#109 Serious Gord
January 25 2014, 06:07PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
5
cheers
Ed in Edmonton wrote:

Someone put a bug in my ear yesterday about Eakins intense aerobic program for the players may be having a negative impact. The players are apparently doing a lot of off ice work to increase their aerobic capacity and stamina. On first blush this seems like a good thing. However, the theory proposed to me is that exercises designed to improve stamina are great for marathon runners but counter-productive for hockey players. Quick reflex muscles regress is such programs and therefore hockey performance regresses. If games were 6 periods long you might see a benefit.

Does anyone know if there is any validity to this? Could this explain why so many players seem off tis year?

This is something that I and others have been musing about ever since he was hired. How a coach can consider himself a conditioning expert is the height of arrogance and ignorance.

Avatar
#110 S cottV
January 25 2014, 06:17PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
7
cheers
@Oilanderp wrote:
To those who have tied themselves to the rhetorical mast that we have fired so many that to fire another is counterproductive I ask: you would fire him if that wasn't the situation because he is incompetent, why would you keep because it is the situation? In either circumstance he is incompetent.

Your argument here seems to be:

1. Eakins is incompetent.

2. One should fire an incompetent coach regardless of past coach performance.

3. Eakins should be fired.

While I completely agree with #2, I really don't know about the truth of #1, and you've done nothing to show me that this is the case. However, there is at least a bit of evidence that #1 is NOT the case.

Assume P=Players, C=Coach.

If P+C1 = fail, P+C2=fail, P+C3=fail, P+C4=fail, P+C5=fail ....

Are you SERIOUSLY suggesting to me that P + C6 = success?!?!?!? It seems to me that any reasonable person would have a look at 'P'.

Look at a game and tell me with a straight face there isn't a problem with P, or am I just 'P'ing in the wind here?

At a certain point it doesn't matter about the P, because the C - must reach the P, no matter whether or not the P is in the right or in the wrong.

The C must win over the P - period.

A reasonable time to accomplish this is a given and by anyones standards you really have to be thinking that present conditions warrant that time is just about up.

I am the first to acknowledge that this player group must be a major challenge. Young core of hot shot first overalls and first round draft picks that don't know how to play yet and have big egos. Too many small skill forwards. A weak d corp and weak goaltending. Frustration amongst the group from several years of failure and big time pressure to turn it around. It's all very tough - no question.

Still - the Coaches job is to win them over, take what is handed to him and extract over achievement.

Over achievement is subjective, but I really believe that even the most favourable to Eakins, would be hard pressed to identify even a morsel that qualifies. Those harshest to Eakins would declare that there is not a damn thing that represents any indication of over achievement with this player group.

It did not take Paul Maurice - more than a week and a half to produce some evidence of over achievement from the Jets player group. We have had Dallas Eakins for 6 months and I really cant point to anything that comes close to a comparison.

The C is a very tough job, given the P that is in place. Only the very best of the C stands a chance. Our C - is not even close to being one of the very best C's out there.

He has no chance.

Comments are closed for this article.