A few years ago, one of my kids asked me a question that floored me and pointed out a truth about all of us–we worry too much about things we shouldn’t worry about at all. The child–who will remain nameless to protect their identity and further embarrassment as I’ve told the story many times–said "Dad, everyone is getting married. Is there going to be anyone left for me?"
Well, yes. Don’t worry.
I think it’s pretty much the same thing worrying about Paajarvi’s scoreless streak to start the season. History tells us that there will be someone for you when it’s time, and that Magnum PS will see his numbers align with historical totals. Honest.
A year ago, Paajarvi averaged 13 and a half minutes per game at 5×5 even strength and scored 1.36 points-per-60 minutes of playing time. This year, he’s averaging just over 11 minutes a night at even strength and has zero points.
Question: How many points at even strength would Paajarvi require to reach last year’s scoring total of 1.36? Answer: three. Three points would have Paajarvi at 1.34/60 for this season based on his current time on ice.
It’s random, it’s luck, it’s lack of chances leading to a crisis of confidence, it’s playing with less talented teammates, it’s being in the wrong place at the right time (Corey Potter scored a goalmouth goal the other night–that could/should have been Paajarvi when he’s going).
Last season, Magnus Paajarvi posted a nice year in a secondary role. He didn’t get the push Hall/Eberle did, and that’s cool those guys were #1 overall and a year older. This season, the lineup has established chemistry in ways that see the young Swede on the outside looking in.
Three points. 3.
Perhaps tonight, a puck will hit his skate and find twine, or a shot from the point will go off his butt and into the net. No matter, it’ll happen at some point and he’ll begin to see those numbers fall in line.
Magnus Paajarvi has the confidence of his coach and is getting at-bats. He forced a penalty by driving to the net the other night, and that chance could have turned into a fluke goal with only a little luck.
WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?
Players don’t develop or establish themselves in a straight line. Magnus Paajarvi may not be Hall or Eberle’s offensive equal–I think we have some evidence of that now–but he should be able to score 20 in a season based on his rookie season and provide the Oilers with a quality 2-way winger for any of the top 3 lines.
It’s all good, these are just growing pains and the forces of luck, confidence and timing.
Nation Radio is on the air at noon today (Team 1260). Your emails are welcome at nationradio@theteam1260 or you can tweet @lowetide_ and tell me what you’re thinking. Among the guests scheduled to appear:
- Bruce McCurdy from the Cult of Hockey. Bruce has been doing outstanding work at the Cult of Hockey and also has a tremendous memory dating back before expansion. That’s a valuable resource, and I’ll ask him to break down the reasons for the Oilers early season success.
- Thomas Drance from Canucks Army. Thomas will drop by to talk about the Canucks–who are still unable to fire on all pistons–and the early days of the NW division this season. He has some good insights.
- Cam Charron from the Nations. He’s done some comparison looking at Toronto and Edmonton, and I’d like to know if both teams can keep up this pace. There are some cracks forming–Maple Leafs goaltending and Oilers lack of depth on the blue–and I’ll ask Cam to address those things.
- Kent Wilson from Flames Nation and the Nations sites. Kent is a terrific source of information, sussing out the real story using underlying numbers and spotting trends ahead of the curve. I’ll ask him about the Flames (promise not to giggle), and whether or not he feels the Oilers could be real this season.
I always enjoy doing the show, the best questions come from you. So drop me a line here or email/tweet me.