Hard Times for Teddy Peckman

Theo Peckham’s always been a favorite of mine, a throwback to an era when the enforcers could also play. The young man played in the deep end of the pool a year ago and survived, suggesting his arrows were heading in a good direction. Early this season, the sun shines less bright on the career of a young man hired to do an insanely difficult job: clear the crease, battle giants and move the puck efficiently. What’s up with Teddy Peckman? 

By eye or by math, there’s something amiss in #24’s game. Men who play Peckham’s style often have assorted injuries throughout a season, and although none have been reported I think it’s at least possible he’s playing through some kind of malady.

Last night, Dennis King’s scoring chances tracked Peckham at 3-4 EV scoring chances while he was on the ice. Peckham’s poor choice on an outlet pass was turned over by Chris Higgins and seconds later the Oilers were down 4-3 in a game that was lost due to a quick decision not to make the simple play. That’s not really something we can blame on injury, it’s more of a brain cramp than anything. Peckham has been sending grenades up ice since the start of the season, with icing, turnovers and broken plays the predictable result.

It’s never been a strength of Peckham’s (moving the puck), but last night (and through the season so far) his sorties have been wreckless and now costly. Added to that is the fact that a year ago Peckham was playing against tougher competition (with Tom Gilbert mostly) but this season looks less effective against lesser opponents. I think he’s the likely candidate to be included out when Ryan Whitney comes available for action.

Peckham was on the ice for three chances against late in the HNIC game–one of which resulted in the fourth Canuck goal–and all three events were against the Hodgson, Higgins, Samuelsson line (the team’s 2nd line). From what I can tell, coach Renney had Smid-Gilbert or Sutton-Potter out against the Sedins at even strength for most of the night.

Peckham’s time on ice last night was definitely third pairing (with Barker, who got more TOI at evens during the game). He’s going to play and play a lot this season in the physical defender who can also drop the gloves role (Peckham is 21st in the NHL in PIMS) and fills it  very well, never turning down a fight and making the crease area a bothersome spot for the Burrows of the world.

However, of the scoring chances tracked last night for Vancouver and involving the Sedins and Burrows, the Oiler blue was consistently Sutton-Potter. Peckham’s pairing was the de facto third unit, and his turnover late in the game led directly to a GA. Now, you can also blame Cam Barker for losing his stick (man he does that a lot) and not being able to clear the front of the net or you might also suggest that Dubnyk should have saved the shot (it looked like he was screened to me).

But that goal was on Peckham, sure as hell.

WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?

There are certain points in a movie or book, or any dialogue or story, in which the character’s fortunes change markedly and is seen in a different way. Theo Peckham is a young NHL defenseman who entered this season with a secure job and miles of highway. His spotty play and last night’s costly error may not be a turning point, but the Oilers and coach Renney do have some options.

Corey Potter played well, and the new hires Sutton and Barker have played well enough to avoid the pressbox so far. Jeff Petry is likely to draw in sometime this week and Ryan Whitney is close to ready.

I’ve always been a fan of Theo Peckham, he brings all kinds of toughness and works hard every shift. He’s a homegrown talent and keeps the other side honest, important in a season when liberties will be taken by the opposition. There was a moment last night when Dale Weise took a run at Jordan Eberle and the moment called for an immediate response.

Cue Teddy Peckman. That’s what I love about the guy, by the time we’re thinking "hey, what the hell was that?" Teddy’s already throwing haymakers.

But you have to be able to make the plays when it matters, to make the good decisions, to calm the waters. Theo Peckham is in some turbulent waters right now, I think he’ll be asked to find a seat.

 

  • OutDoorRink

    Yes, losing to the knuckleheads really does suck. I look forward to the day that we turn the tables on them and they lose, lose and lose again.

    However, we are at the beginning of year 2 of a complete rebuild. We have done a better job of drafting forwards than defensemen, but historically, defensemen take a bit longer to develop.

    So we do have some good young defensemen in the system, they’re just a year or two behind the forwards in development. I remember everyone preaching patience last year. There’s no easy solution.

    We can see the light at the end of the tunnel, we just have to keep sluggin away. Van went to the SCF last year, and we finished DFL. I think it’s looking pretty good when our best Dman, and one of our best forwards is out and we can still outplay the SCF team.

  • a lg dubl dubl

    Maybe its just me, but I see abit of Jason Smith in Peckham maybe not “c” material but smilar style of play. Give Teddy some time he’ll come around. The d as a whole sucked the hind banana last night.

    RNH is not goin anywhere 😀

  • neojanus

    Well, I was pretty ticked last night (I hate losing to the Canucks especially).

    The truth is, it was another mindless bone-headed play from a lackluster defensive effort from a consistently unremarkable blue line.

    It’s a different player every game, but at some point a d-man craps the bed at an important moment.

    A player with an NHL IQ does not make that play in that situation. Not ever.

    The Oilers are in a situation (and have been in a situation for the last few years) where low level d-men are given assignments too large to carry-out over the long haul.

    We’ve seen the same stuff from Gilbert in the past and we’ll probably see the same stuff from others in the future.

    No amount of coaching can fix a problem like this because no coach has ever said make a play like that. The bottom-line is that we need to ice a better a defense. Whitney will be a sight for sore eyes when he is back (assuming he stays in the lineup). Sutton has been the best d-man on the ice so far. Barker may have lost his stick but he’s been solid. The fact that nothing exciting happens on the ice when he is on is a great sign that he is a pretty reliable player. Potter looked good.

    There were some good things yesterday, but the Oilers need to address finding some smarter players for their defense. At this point, I’d be happy for someone who will never ever score a point, but who always makes the smart play.

    I hate losing to the Canucks…grumble.

  • ButtermilkBiscuitsAKAoilers2k10

    brutal giveaway leads to keystone cops leads to GA. Smid made a pass along the back boards right to where a VC forward in the 3rd period.The Hoptrick aside we looked sloppy in our defence zone coverage on the 3rd goal. The PP goals are what they are. Can’t stop them all. To me Dubnyk looked more active in the net. He looked more floppy and less the oaktree I want him to be in net. He is better when he his standing tall in the net rather than in the butterfly. Teddy needs to give his head a shake and realize he isn’t Nick Lidstrom. The fourth goal wouldn’t have happened had he just put it off the boards or the glass. He had time and space to make that play. Brain cramp. Someone should tell Cam Barker to use some stickum on his gloves to hold his stick. Its not theat he breaks his stick he just gets it knocked out of his hand. Remember Stoll and the broken sticks he used to go through? Dosen’t anymore.Learned to use a better stick.

  • Max Powers - Team HME Evans

    I don’t know if it’s a long trend but this years start was bad, last years good, the year before it was horrible (weight issues) and the year previous to that he looked promising. Maybe he works his way into a comfort zone and gets a little too comfy.

  • OilFan

    Agreed.

    #24 used to be Steady Steve…now it’s Turbulent Teddy. Go back to #49 Teddy Peckman!

    Potter impressed last night imo. Petry could be on a train to OKC in the near future. Don’t get me wrong, I like Petry and see huge potential there but he’s the odd man out if Potter continues to play well.

  • Dipstick

    “Cue Teddy Peckman. That’s what I love about the guy, by the time we’re thinking “hey, what the hell was that?” Teddy’s already throwing haymakers.”

    He certainly did a better job of making the nucks accountable for running at our stars than Hordi did.

    • Unfair comment….

      Keith Ballard hit of our players last night (can’t remember who… Hall?) and Hordichuk was immediately on the ice (Ballard was throwing some big hits all night). Unfortunately on that play Hordichuk tried to throw a big hit and ended up knee-on-knee and getting the worst of the hit, including going ass-over-tea-kettle.

      Don’t make it sound like he sat on his hands last night. The intention was there. I’m pretty certain that Hordichuk will get his opportunity in a future match-up.

      He’ll get his revenge: “I don’t think it’s going to be that long (that he’ll be injured). At least we get to play Vancouver five more times.”

  • OilFan

    Teddy’s not alone in tough times. RNH has 4 of the teams 5 goals this season. Lots of players need to step up and score some ugly goals in tough spots to get going.