A Quick Dustin Penner Question

Dustin Penner

There are a lot of people out there who don’t like Dustin Penner. “Lazy” is a word that gets tossed around a lot, although “inconsistent” “unmotivated” and even “fat” get used sometimes too. I decided I’d take a quick look at how the first line of Ales Hemsky and Shawn Horcoff have performed this season with and without Dustin Penner.

I decided to use Vic Ferrari’s Time On Ice tool, which scans NHL shift charts, to compile the results for the first line with and without Dustin Penner.

With Dustin Penner

  • 21 goals for, 5 goals against (+16)
  • 173 shots for, 109 shots against (+64)

Without Dustin Penner

  • 9 goals for, 10 goals against (-1)
  • 281 shots for, 250 shots against (+31)

I really didn’t like the Dustin Penner offer sheet; I place great value on draft picks, and felt that Penner was too much of a question mark for such a big offer. That said, I do think that Penner’s a useful NHL player who has been made the scapegoat far too much on a team with multiple problems.

My question for those of you who don’t like Dustin Penner: Why is the first line so much better with Penner than without him?

  • Hippy

    Hi Jonathan

    Could you please do a blog article on the stats for who is on the ice for the most goals against while on the PK? In particular I am wondering if Grebeshkov is as bad on the PK statistically as he is to my eye.
    Take care

  • Hippy

    Sorry if this has already been said.

    I'm not sure it's so much an issue of him being a good or a bad player. He doesn't seem to care. Now while you can argue that results > effort, I really, really doubt that results without effort will ever win you a cup.

    I mean, if your goal is to make the playoffs, fine. That said, I think it's reasonable to think that maybe MacT is hitting him hard now, hoping that he'll bring both effort AND results in the playoffs for a run. Maybe I'd be a bad coach, but for me, if you don't think your team is capable of winning the Cup, then why the hell would you care about making the playoffs?

  • Hippy

    @ MikeP:
    My views had nothing to do with implying that Burke is an ideal “league executive.” Rather, it was simply a dumb move on Lowe's part to make such an inflated offer to a young guy who hadn't yet proven he was worth that type of money. Burke's comments to this offer were dead-on, that's all I was saying.

    The Penner signing and the prior offer sheet made to Buffalo's Thomas Vanek saw Lowe lose respect amongst his peers, perhaps why Steve Tambellini was brought on board to serve in the GM role. Some GMs may not want to deal with Lowe directly anymore (or agents).

    With this salary comes much higher expectations than perhaps Penner is capable of. Judging his responses and facial expressions to his most recent stint in the press box show he's still not yet ready to handle big league expectations and pressure. MacT is right – at this point in the season you can't sit and wait for a guy like Penner to round their game into shape. At his salary – it should already be there night after night.

  • Hippy

    Thats a really intriguing stat. I had no idea the difference with and without was so drastic with respect to points. I wonder though, why is the offensive shot production down so much with DP on the big line? The +point differential could be tipping the scales at +40 if that line could get the puck to the net… An extra 10-12 goals this year would help our Oilers alot.

    Dustin's one of the whipping boys, no doubt. He apathetic play at times certainly warrants some of it. However, numbers to numbers, he seems to be better than he appears. That offer sheet was still a mistake… for the draft pics and the cap hit.

  • Hippy

    Do we have any Canucks fans that post here? If I recall correctly, they had a lot of the same problems with Bertuzzi in the beginning and he turned out to do just fine. Can someone comment on this?

    Look at Penner down the stretch last year compared to Penner this year. He was a key cog in the machine back then, but is totally disinterested this season. He and MacT will not be able to reconcile their differences so one of them must go. The smart thing to do in my opinion is to bring in a new coach (especially if the rumors I have read/heard about MacT having lost key player support is true). However, mediocrity still appears to be okay with management, despite what they say to the contrary, so I am not certain this will happen.

    My guess is that if MacT stays for another season of ineptitude, KLowe has to buy him out. In that case, he will sign for less with another team and score 20 – 30 goals per season, which will probably be more than the leading scorer for the Oil again,unfortunately. In addition, with the lower salary cap next year, we will be stuck with a $2M plus salary cap hit, the lost draft picks, and nothing to show for it.

    On another front, how does the organization look in the eyes of other players around the league now with Cole happy to be leaving and thriving in Carolina and with the current Penner situation? My guess is that unless we draft AND DEVELOP players better, we are going to have to continue to overpay to keep (hello Horcoff and Pisani) and/or attract free agents (hello Souray).

  • Hippy

    Ryan wrote:

    Do we have any Canucks fans that post here? If I recall correctly, they had a lot of the same problems with Bertuzzi in the beginning and he turned out to do just fine. Can someone comment on this?

    I'm not a fan, exactly, but I grew up watching the Canucks (thanks, Dad).

    Todd Bertuzzi was a floater and maddeningly inconsistent in his early days in Vancouver. Didn't break out of it until he was 26/27, IIRC.

  • Hippy

    My question for those of you who don’t like Dustin Penner: Why is the first line so much better with Penner than without him?

    imagine how much better the top line would be if he actually tried hard using his body to cause chaos in all three zones. stats are relative and 21 goals from the top line with him on it seems pretty shady compared to the rest of the top lines in the league. especially when he's getting first line minutes and under .5 points a game.

    look through more stats and tell me which top line LWer is worse stats wise in offensive production.

  • Hippy

    […] Mere idiots would try to convince you that Penner was a worthwhile investment, the reality is that we could have done a heck of a lot better in replacing the slot left vacant by Ryan Smyth. […]