Brule vs. Schremp

Among the various Oilers’ callups last season were a pair of players who were highly regarded as scorers in their respective draft years: Gilbert Brule and Rob Schremp.

The two players both scored three points: Schremp did it in just four games, Brule in eleven. Clearly than, Schremp played better, yes?

The short answer is no. I watched every game Schremp played, and the majority of Brule’s games as well, so I’d feel comfortable saying that without looking at any of the underlying numbers. That said, there are two good reasons to look at the numbers:

  1. This article would be really short if I just described what I watched (Brule was better than Schremp – The End).
  2. They highlight rather radically how a player can benefit or suffer at the hands of on-ice save/shooting percentage.

With regard to that second point, on one end of the scale we have Gilbert Brule.

Gilbert Brule

  • Shots For/Against: 41/50 (-9)
  • Goals For/Againt: 3/6 (-3)
  • On-Ice Even-strength Shooting %: 7.3%
  • On-Ice Even-strength Save %: .880

Like virtually every young bubble player in the history of young, bubble players, the shot clock is tilted against Brule (although not atrociously; Liam Reddox, for example was a much worse +152/-232). So Brule – again, like virtually every developing player – wasn’t driving possession (if you haven’t taken the hint yet, I’m very ‘meh’ about this; players like Gagner and Cogliano have the same problem while they develop).

Anyways, moving on the save percentage behind him was abysmal (remember – this is even-strength SV% only). By way of contrast, the (occasionally) re-animated remains of Curtis Joseph put up the worst numbers of any goalie in the league in this category with a .892 SV%. Patrick Lalime put up .897. Andrew Raycroft put up .905. These are the lousiest numbers in the league. Dwayne Roloson managed .926, and the team average was just below that at .925. The key thing worth noting here is that an increase to the team average would have seen Brule on the ice for only 4 goals against; that may not sound like much, but it represents a 33% reduction in goals scored against him.

While we’re on the topic, Brule’s on-ice shooting percentage was also well below the team average of 8.8%. Long story short – Brule’s better than his GF/GA numbers last season. I’d even feel comfortable saying that based on this he likely deserved a roster spot ahead of Liam Reddox (although Reddox did kill penalties, and Brule had a nasty habit of taking stupid ones).

Rob Schremp

  • Shots For/Against: 21/27 (-6)
  • Goals For/Againt: 4/2 (+2)
  • On-Ice Even-strength Shooting %: 19.0%
  • On-Ice Even-strength Save %: .926

Schremp bled shots against at a higher rate than Brule (a little over 20% in this admittedly small sample). Much like Brule, this is to be expected – players fighting for a roster spot very rarely help their teams win games.

Still, there were a chorus of “did you see how many points he put up and they sent him down!!!!!” cries from the fanbase when Schremp was demoted. Schremp’s good results were largely based on that ridiculous on-ice shooting percentage number – a number which, had it been sustained, would have marked Schremp as the greatest offensive talent in the history of the game. Gretzky in his prime, shooting against worse goaltenders couldn’t manage that number. That’s an even-strength save percentage for opposing goaltenders of .810. Ales Hemsky only managed 8.4%. Moving to bigger fish, Alexander Ovechkin recorded 9.0%, while Sidney Crosby put up 10.4%. Reducng it to Crosby’s number (which assumes that Schremp creates goal-scoring plays as well as Crosby) reduces his goals for total to 2. In other words: Schremp got very, very lucky.

  • Hippy

    @ DanMan:

    Sorry, of course Ludzik was the other exception – I forgot about that. I even mentioned Ludzik in the incredibly massive profile of Schremp I did a few months ago.

    @ Archaeologuy:

    Except of course that most of them weren't calups in their third and fourth games trying to hang on to a job.

    The first game Schremp was up I went – 'my god, that can't be the same player I saw last year' because his forechecking game was completely new. It was gone by the third game.

  • Hippy

    BTW, let's can this myth that poor Robbie Schremp was only getting "8-10 minutes" a night. Here is his TOI from those four games:

    Dallas: 14:32
    L.A.: 13:51
    San Jose: 13:59
    Florida: 11:56

    He got powerplay ice-time in every game, and averaged better than 14 minutes until he was dropped down to 12 minutes for the Florida game.

  • Hippy

    Jonathan Willis wrote:

    Well, if you saw the S.J. game and the Florida game and still think there’s no reason why Schremp can’t be a top-six winger, we clearly view the game differently.

    I watched all the games and saw no reason for Liam Reddox to be a top 6 FW.

  • Hippy

    Hemmertime wrote:

    I watched all the games and saw no reason for Liam Reddox to be a top 6 FW.

    ~What about his "Jam", isn't that the biggest reason to play on a top line?~

    I would rather have Schremp and Brule both in the line-up and see Moreau and Poo sit in the press box.

  • Hippy

    ScubaSteve wrote:

    I would rather have Schremp and Brule both in the line-up and see Moreau and Poo sit in the press box.

    You cheer for Calgary, I take it? If so, you should note that you only want that scenario to takep lace during Flames games, because otherwise you'll be giving points to your conference rivals.

  • Hippy

    Riddle me this, Schremp-fans (and I ask this as an honest question):

    Why should Rob Schremp get an NHL job over Ryan Potulny? Potulny's at least as good a shooter (better, going by AHL results) around the same age, coming off a better season, is better defensively and looked good in the NHL last year.

  • Hippy

    Jonathan Willis wrote:

    Why should Rob Schremp get an NHL job over Ryan Potulny? [snip] around the same age…

    Can't say I'm a Schremp fan but to be fair Potulny is 2 years older.

    Neither should 'get' an NHL job – I think they'd both have to impress mightily in camp to earn a spot. The fact that Philly gave Potulny up for Syvret and the fact that the oil didn't seem to give him much of a look last camp makes me think NHL-types see him as a career AHLer.