Running Their Show?

One of the popular phrases in Oilerville is "getting their show run" in reference to the Oilers being unable to execute and match the physical play of their opposition. Is that a phrase we can apply to coach Tom Renney, too?  

So far this season, the Edmonton Oilers are Ryan Smyth’s team again. #94 was flying (as he has all season) and his line was making good things happen. At the same time, the line of RNH-Hall-Eberle was playing a secondary role, and as the game wore on the gap in TOI became more severe. There are several possibilities for this action by the coach:

  • Renney was coaching to win.
  • Renney was using playing time as a teaching tool.
  • Renney was line matching and Minnesota was dictating the chord changes by pushing their top line out again and again.

All of those are good reasons for a coach to double shift his veterans, and we also have to add in Taylor Hall’s recent flu and RNH’s tentative play for (now) the last 2 games. However, that’s the "saw him good" analysis; let’s run a few numbers and see who is getting the results offensively (all numbers via behind the

Ryan Smyth

  • EV TOI: 15.48
  • Qual Comp: 3rd toughest among forwards
  • CorsiRel: -12.7 (11th best among forwards)
  • EV points-per-60: 2.58 (2nd best among forwards)
  • Zone Start: 38.2% (3rd toughest among forwards)

This is a very strong line. The CorsiRel is negative, but good God man look at the situation: Smyth is starting in his own zone much of the time, playing the toughest available competition and posting an outstanding point-per-60 number. Ryan Smyth has turned back time (in the good way, not the Cher way) and is the best Oiler forward (in my opinion) early this season. Gabe Desjardins would want me to mention this is a very small sample size and we shouldn’t read too much into the early returns.

Taylor Hall

  • EV TOI: 12.96
  • Qual Comp: 9th toughest among forwards
  • CorsiRel: 21.7 (2nd best number among forwards)
  • EV points-per-60: 0.93 (7th among forwards)
  • Zone Start: 62.5% (2nd easiest among forwards)

Again, this is a small sample size, but we do see that coach Renney is giving the kids all kinds of opportunity against the soft parade (when possible). Hall’s CorsiRel is exceptional, but given the situation we can’t give the kids too much credit for it. The results are better 5×5/60 points for the other two kids and Hall is clearly fighting it a little in the early going. 



I think my first reaction ("Renney’s getting his show run!") is not supported by the math. He’s actually going out of his way to give the kid line a chance to impact offensively at evens and until last night aside the playing time was available in spades for the group. 

A few other things: Ryan Smyth is loaded for bear. His early season performance is running circles around his previous seasons and his 5×5/60 number is outstanding. I think we should alter our expectations of Smyth–he’s clearly in great shape and a man on a mission–for this season. Expecting him to play a secondary or support role to Taylor Hall may not happen. This may end up being Ryan Smyth’s team for the entire year, he’s playing that well.

On the other hand, Taylor Hall and the kids should be fine–especially if they get these cherry minutes–but the early season struggles may continue and Sam Gagner’s return to the lineup may impact Ryan Nugent-Hopkins status on the roster. Up until this week, I felt (and still feel) the Nuge belongs, but he played just 10:43 at evens last night and if he can’t be among the top 6F options at even strength then sending him back is the better plan.

  • Rob...

    Hi Lowetide. You said a few weeks ago you were going to “try” not to post the sexualized pictures of women. You haven’t done that. So, I’m finished visiting this site, as well as your blog.

    • book¡e

      J – you failed to respond to the respectful retorts to your position so perhaps LT felt as though you must have gone through an awakening of some sort and were no longer offended. Either that or he felt that your position is motivated by ill informed ‘morals’ that are silly at best and harmful at worst.

    • J: All the power to you.
      These pictures cater to male primative brain.

      Just like TLC objectification of child birth caters to the female Primative brain.

      My wife tells me to X off when I bring up TLC practices.

      Guess what I am saying to you about the pictures.

    • Talbot17

      LMAO, did your wife/GF tell you to write that?
      Bet she caught you reading this, cause if you are really offended by picutres, you shouldnt be on the internet altogether.

    • Quicksilver ballet

      How in the world are we ever going to be able to rehabilitate Mr. Mitchell if you quit already. Acceptance not intolerance my friend. We were oh so close to realizing our goal.

      Little is ever accomplished by quitting J.

      • OBC'84

        I dunno. Pretty girls are nice and everything, but there’s a ton of sites that run that content. I think it shows a lack of imagination. Love the Lowetide written content but I like the photoshop gags and the ironic / funny images more than I like seeing exploited female sexuality. I’m not gonna stop coming here, I love this blog, but I could use less of this stuff, for sure.

        • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

          Are you kidding. My 3 biggest loves… in order

          1) Hockey
          2) Beer
          3) Woman

          LT gives me 2 out of the 3 things I love the most!!! Now if LT buys me a beer… WOW

          ***Wishing the possibilities***

          • OBC'84

            Maybe I’m just getting old. I get so bored with semi-dressed young people romping around all over the telly, the web, the bus stop ads. I like looking at lovely women as much as you, Woogs, but really? Everywhere? It’s just so easy to plunk a pic of T&A into anything you want a bloke to look at. Boring and kinda dumb. Sorry.

    • Quicksilver ballet

      yes the pictures are sexualized, and yes they really serve no content to the blog, but why are you so offended?

      i find that when someone talks to me or i see things that offend me i look away or don’t listen. i am not fixated by what offends me but what i appreciate.

      LT writes really good blogs and to judge him/villify him because of pictures is overly sensitive and really quite immature.

      best case scenario is for you to not read anymore if you won’t read what matters and ignore what bothers.

      • Romulus' Apotheosis

        Better alert the local police and get a permit. The place is going to be packed. I’ll be down there early to get a good parking spot.

        I’m starting a “Come back J fund” under the title “Moral Scolds are People Too, People who NEED to Constantly Tell Everyone How Disappointed We Have Made Them” – you can donate to (not a real website)

  • Talbot17

    After the last two games do you keep RNH or Lander? Just get a back vibe when Renney decided to not play that line down the stretch…

    The teams got to get going sooner or later here. Should almost think about Petrell swap with Harki, install some energy into this team

  • Zamboni Driver

    I agree with a few other comments here that the passing has been terrible.

    Hall’s stick is too long. He’s trying to make plays in tight but his stick is way out in front of him.

    Paarjavi was flying last night! I think he will have a big game soon.

    With the Oilers one goal per game efforts i am not sure if King Henrik will be the goalie to get some goal droughts ended.

  • Zamboni Driver

    Stauffer was livid last night during the end of the 3rd and into the overtime to the shootout at Renney. He was upset that we were in protection mode for the last 5 minutes of the game and the overtime and that RNH wasn’t sent out once. And then when RNH was sent out for the shootout Bob said “you think RNH is going to be able to do anything now that he has sat on the bench for a full 20 mins of real time? The kid is cold now”. I totally agreed with Bob. But to my eye, it looked like we were in defensive mode from the start of the 3rd period.

    C’mon Renney let the kids run! Let them make mistakes or let them be hero’s.

  • Oilers Coffey

    I am of the side that says let the kids play!
    This is still a year that has all the pundits picking the OILERS as a lottery team, I honestly think the team is progressing. The team found ways to lose last year, but now it’s like they need to find that killer instinct! They need to find that next level to keep the petal to the metal and put teams away in the third. It’s coming but the kids are the future, they gotta learn this too!

  • What a load of horsesh!t! I am sooo pissed at the game last night. again, they couldn’t hold it together till the end.

    All things considered it was and extremely unlucky bounce.

    The Oilers played a very good defensive hockey game. It is the offense that has dissappeared. I thought Taylor and all the youg guns would be scoring in bunches. Mind you the last two games have seen goaltenders playing lights out which won’t happen all the time.

    Hopefully it is a different story against the Rangers, I’ve got tickets and I do not want to be dissappointed. Please for the love of God and all things Holy, score more than twice in a game!

  • Rob...

    Line should be:

    Hall – RNH – Eberle (the soft minutes line)

    Smyth – Horcoff – Gagner (keep Gagner out of the circle, lessen his defensive responsbilities)

    MPS – Lander – Omark (see what they can do, use Belanger when the zone start is in the defensive zone)

    Eager – Belanger – Jones (use Belanger on the PK a lot)

    PS – I was pleased the Oilers gave Barker a shot, but unless there is some significant improvement in the next two weeks, he needs to go down to OKC so Petry can work with Sutton.

  • The team looked defensively sound for a good 50 minutes of hockey last night. Khabby was rock solid for 59 mins. This newfound defensive play is hampering the offence a bit and I believe it will turn around. The team is getting some grade A scoring chances and they will soon get rewarded. MPS was flying last night and playing with some grit. That line seems so close to breaking out. I think having Gagner back and giving RNH the odd night off will be very beneficial to his development.

    Smytty has been fantastic but man, he looked slow last night. Barker is awful. He seems unable to make a quick decision in either zone and often elected to do nothing but hold the puck on the boards. Not a fan of that signing. Thank god Tambo didn’t give him a 3 year deal like Eager.

    I noticed that both Hall and Horcoff were dragging and behind the play. Hopefully they start feeling better before Saturday. The Rangers look strong and the team will need to be 100% into that game.

    edit: Why can’t this team make a pass! The passing in the last two games has been just horrid. Constantly into the players skates, ahead or behind. And all too often the forward in the neutral zone is standing still. I hope that is driving Renney crazy too!

  • One of the popular phrases in Oilerville is “getting their show run” in reference to the Oilers being unable to execute and match the physical play of their opposition.


    “Something Bob Stauffer says a lot that MAKES MY EARS BLEED IT’S SO GODDAMN AWFUL…”


  • i dislike how Renney has coached so far. far too much protect and shelter and not near enough trying to win the war by sending out the bullets in the gun.

    soft minutes yes they are getting that, but do they need that?

    win face-offs? yes Horc and Belanger can do that but do they have game changing offense, i think not.

    Horcoff is playing well but should still be on the third line not every line all the time. jeez.

    • Talbot17

      Horc: has been one of our best player this year.

      Since the lockout He has been top 30 to top 15 in assist production top 50 to 30 for goal production for centers except 09-10. 5 of six years One of the better set-up men in hockey. With a defensive game.

      Horcoffs problem is having to yeild the set-up role to Hemsky. Horcoff hangs back as hemsky wandered for the last three years.

      Those two should not be playing together. But they were the only ones who had any chance against the other teams best. Now we have a Power VS. Power line. Keep them apart.

      Now he is back with two scorers and taking the primary set-up role. He is often the first entry in to the zone. I would be more than happy with a .7PPG pace 18G (Top 40 C) 38 Assist (top 20 C) season facing the other teams best.

      While your provado is wonderful. What I thought was the case after smyth left is being proven.

      Keep Horcoff, RNH, Hemsky, Gagner Apart. They are all low goal High assist guys who need to be the set-up man on different lines. Which is kind of a problem. 3 scoring lines and 4 set-up players.

      Thou RNH shows more Defensive game than he in red deer.

      The soft minutes action needs to go to the kids cause The two road games they were outmatched when the other team had last change.

      Plus game changing offence? Top 20 for assists and shut the other best. What you give up counts as much as what you get. Get 4 give up 5. Awsome stats offensively but lose the game.

      A good team shuts down (breaks even) the others teams best. (Smyth-Horc-Jones) and they others kill the soft ??????????? Still waiting! Hope for the return of Gagner and Hemsky.

      While your provado is wonderful. What I thought was the case after smyth left is being proven.

      Educate yourself on what number is required for each stat
      top 10: 30G 45A 70P

      top 20: 23G 35A 60P

      Top 40: 18G 30A 48P

      Center production.

      Gagner top 20 once; top 50 3 times

      Heck with RNH, Gagner, Horcoff we have two centers who have been top 20 in assists and one that is sure to be. Belanger has been top 50 twice.

      With these three we need wingers who point production is at least 40% goals.

      LW: Hall 50%; Smyth 46%; MP 44%
      RW: Eberle 40%; Hemsky 33%; Jones 63%

      Who to play with whom when Gagner and Hemsky return.

      • thanks for the lesson. i am certain there are some usefull stats produced by you.

        the thing is i am basing my opinion on watching the games and not staring at the hockey database website. good for you for doing the research and i had the smallest inclination to do that i could. i don’t.

        you want to use advanced stats to further your cause, float your boat. not me i like watching.

        • Crackenbury

          Porn! You were watching porn! Cause your comments say you were mnot watching the game! So it has to be Porn! Cause “YOU LIKE WATCHING.”

          i had written Horcoff off last year. But this year he has been the Tough Comp Shutdown Center (plays them near even) who is top forty in Scoring. There are only 5 to 6 of them a year. He was 4 of the last 6 hope this is 5 of 7. Oh and average salary 5.5M

          • Romulus' Apotheosis

            i was watching the game and my kids. darn kids distract me from the game.

            i never said Horcoff was bad nor do i dislike, but at this time with what kind of team we can become (hopefully Renney doesn’t f**k it up) he is our 3rd line center. sure play him the tough minutes that’s fine.

            you didn’t learn to do stats work and write really long answers by your mom telling you what to write and typing for you, did you? most likley not you learned thru experience. kinda like the kids need to as well.

  • I like how Renney is coaching this year, and at a cursory glance, the last two comebacks we’ve allowed have been more of being unable to execute defensively, or sheer f**king luck (see: Heatley, Dany)

    If our defense stays solid as a whole, the offense is just too good to stay this quiet.

    • Kodiak

      What’s wrong with you Arch? I thought you’d see Gagner’s return as the perfect opportunity to have Omark run out of town instead of Lander. I will admit that although Omark has shown well at times he hasn’t done enough, and I would prefer to keep Lander over him. That would mean either Lander or Gagner get moved to the wing and I don’t see that as an issue. For now, just slide Lander where you have Hemsky slotted.

      • I must be getting soft. Actually I’m hoping that they trade him, not move him to OKC.

        His complete and utter lack of finish rivals only Horcoff on this team.*

        *I think Horc is playing OK but I stand by my belief that he does not belong on the PP.

          • The poster formerly known as Koolaid drinker #33

            The thing that has really bugged me watching the past couple of games is that Renney is not coaching to win, he is coaching to not lose which is totally different. Second game in a row where a late lead is blown because the team starts to back off and try to play defense with a weak blue line and group of forwards that is best suited to an attacking style of play.

            FWIW, if Renney really were looking to win he would not have put Smid out for the last shift. He is the current team’s version of Janne Ninimaa – whether he is directly at fault or not, when Ladi is on the ice in cruch time bad things happen. Two games in a row now he is on the ice for the opposing team’s final goal. He has the tools but lacks the tool box and blueprints to put it all together. This has been evident for a while now. I love watching him hesitate with the puck when he is behind the Oilers’ net with time. He is physical and can skate half decently, but he does not have the hockey sense needed to be a solid 2nd pairing d-man long term.