He’ll be Fine

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

  • Oilers Coffey

    MPS is going to be OK, he’s going to be at the prom with some hottie, unlike Linus, who’s cussing in the basement some where in OKC. I have liked the way MPS is starting to use his speed down the wing. His chances will come and points soon thereafter.
    MPS & best pal Lander look like they get it and seem to be great team players, they keep plugging and working their butts off, its fun to watch as OILERS fans!!!

  • Oilers Coffey

    Mags is playing fine. You see when he gets on a rush and draws penalties like he did against LA, you realize why you like this guy. I wish the Oil could find a way to get him into the top six and give him 18 mins a night.

    Mags does need to get a bit more physical. He needs to learn from Danny Briere and do something questionable to gets some room out there. He needs to pull a Tommy Gilbert and hit something? He needs to spray the goalie once and while and facewash a defender. His temperament and game reminds me of Malkin, but even Geno snaps and the rest of league takes notice. If he would be a bit more physical the offence will come more freely.

    I think the Oilers got a gem and their wasting his talent. I’d like to see a Lander, Gagner, MPS line

  • a lg dubl dubl

    Like Eberle when he wasn’t scoring to start the yr off, once the got his 1st one the pucks started to go in for Ebs. Same with MPS all itll take is the 1st one to go in.

    • justDOit

      I don’t know about that – his points will come, but he’s not playing with two #1 picks.

      It would be an interesting experiment to play all the other players with Hall/Nugkins and see how they do, but I’d rather see the W’s accumulate.

      • a lg dubl dubl

        I think once Hemsky comes back and is on the line of Gagner and MPS, that could be the “new” 2nd line that Horcoff, Smyth and Jones have assumed for now and the the Oil should have a solid 3 lines that can put up good #s.

        As good as Belanger has been in the dot imo I see him more suited for the 4th line with pk mins.

        I think I’m rambling now but my point is givin time Gagner, Hemsky and MPS will produce and the Ws will be there, as long as Khabby keeps looking like he has been….solid.

  • Romulus' Apotheosis

    thanks for the “cool your jets” reminder LT.

    MP needs a greasy one. He needs to crash the net more and force luck down the throats of the opposition [FLDTTOTO]

    Keep seasoning Hartikainan. He’s bursting with power and potential, but he’s like a pig roast on a spit… you gotta turn and turn and turn that pig… take it off the spit too soon and bam trichinosis!! a parasitic invasion that will make Sean Avery’s return to the NHL look like a hangnail (granted a terrible, irritating, hangnail that you can’t get rid of because the wife put the nail clippers in some godforsaken place that no reasonable person would think of…)

    • Romulus' Apotheosis

      I suspect size and youth have a lot to say about MP over Omark. But also, I suspect that Omark has been branded within the organization for too long as a kind of “also ran.” I think the organization sort sees him as spare parts with the hope that he uses his ice time to force an issue. Last year he used his time well. But old habits die hard and I think when he failed to put up numbers early this year, he probably fell back into the spare parts category. Gags and now Hemsky coming back don’t help him either.

      Whether it’s justified or not, I suspect the mindset you criticize permeates out of the organization (not merely from the fanbase, or to be even more specific out of Arch). MP is on an altogether different track within the organization. he gets more rope… of course, to use another cliche he may very well hang himself with it.

      All that said. Omark has been given opportunity by the organization. Whether other players have been given more (rightly or wrongly we can debate), he’s been given his shot. He can only blame himself if his ice time gets cut.

      • justDOit

        Here’s a good article, outlining exactly what Omark accomplished last season:

        http://www.coppernblue.com/2011/11/1/2528166/linus-omark-shooting-percentage-and-the-illusion-of-validity#storyjump

        As a summary of the above link, Omark scores (points/60min) near the top of the team, while having one of the best shot differentials as well. The only stat that didn’t represent well was his shooting percentage – which was at an all time career low for him.

        So he gets about 50 games last year, and shows that he can learn the NA game pretty quickly (while also adjusting to a new language and living on a new continent). Then he gets 5 games this year, while playing with only one set of linemates and with the team trying something new (winning by playing a system), and he gets yanked.

        Yes, technically that’s an opportunity, but how many more 5 goal games in the AHL does this guy have to post?

        Uh oh… here comes Arch!

        Edit: I’m NOT saying that MPS should sit in place of O!, but there’s another small guy on this roster who really isn’t showing well so far.

  • a lg dubl dubl

    Magnus needs a line to call home with some good linemates. Once the roster is more set he’ll do better.

    With a little more experience a Swede line could be a pretty solid and dangerous third.

  • Lowetide

    Re: Paajarvi vs. Hartikainen

    Paajarvi already understands the defensive side of the game. He has above average NHL defensive reliability.

    Hartikainen is still learning defensive reliability. Hartikainen will need a soft minutes line when he breaks into the NHL, probably for good, next year.

    Whereas, one could play Paajarvi now with Horcoff and Smyth against the best lines in the league.

  • Chris.

    Re: Paajarvi vs. Omark

    See Paajarvi vs. Hartikainen, and replace Hartikainen with Omark.

    Except Hartikainen is 6’1″, 210 lbs, and Omark is 5’10”, 180 lbs, and the Oilers have too many small players already.

    • Romulus' Apotheosis

      You have to be high to believe Hartikainen is a better player than Omark.

      Repeat after me. There is no such thing as roles.

      Repeat after me. Size doesn’t matter.

      Repeat after me. All that matters is quality.

      Teams that understand this win. Teams that don’t, lose.

        • I think there is no such thing as a top six forward or a bottom six forward. I think there is no such thing as an energy line.

          I think that people who believe these tropes unnecessarily limit the quality of their team to play worse players who contribute less to the team.

          That’s what I figure.

          • That pretty much flies in the face of every shred of evidence that has ever been collected, but I guess you can believe whatever you want.

            Maybe you want to look at things like ice time, power plays, penalty kills, and on-ice matchups. A cursory look should provide you with enough to see that teams often use their players in specific ways designed to maximise their chances at winning.

          • I disagree. There is no evidence, either empirical or rational, to support what you are saying.

            Good teams do not make roster selections on the basis of roles. Rather they use their players on the basis of roles. Which is not at all the same thing. You shouldn’t confuse the words that they say with what they actually do.

            Roles are about organizing those players you have in as efficient a manner as possible. However the determining factor in these cases is always the quality of players involved. Hence Horcoff and Smyth aren’t put out against the other teams best players because they are good checkers they are put out against the other teams best players because they are the Oilers best players.

            The use of the word “roles” obfuscates what actually happens. For instance in the choosing of the Olympic team a lot of lip service is given to the importance of roles. Nonetheless the actual players chose for these roles are nonetheless first line players. Brandon Morrow and Patrice Bergeron are amongst the best players in the league. They aren’t role players.

            Likewise the Oilers should be playing their best players as measured on an absolute scale and then choosing when to play them according to the situation of the game.

          • Jerk Store

            Then why not just take the top 12 Canadian scorers and top 6 scoring defenseman for the 2014 Olympics. Should work, right? I mean MA Bergeron is going to be far more valuable than Shea Weber. Step aside Mike Richards, Alex Tanguay is hot. There is a reason Toewes was our best Olympian. He knew his ROLE and played it to perfection. Role players by definition “fill a role”. Possibly the craziest thing I have heard. Are you channeling Madjam or something?

          • I know it is too much to expect basic literacy around here but I didn’t say that the 12 best scorers were the 12 best players.

            Toews role on the Olympic team was to contribute to more goals than he lets in. That’s it. He is an excellent player because when he is on the ice his team has the puck and this leads to more goals going into the opposition net than go into his net.

            The way you are using role isn’t just sloppy it is magical. It is literally non-sense.

  • Romulus' Apotheosis

    Hey LT, off topic here, do you think we Columbus’ desperation and Khabby’s hot start, we could put a package of Khabby + for Columbus’ first pick? I may be way out in left field with this trade idea here, but that pick has the chance to be a very very good player. Not to be Debbie downer here, but who knows if, or how long Khabby will continue to play this well. The only reason I wouldn’t want to is that it sends the wrong message to the team about pushing for a playoff spot this year. Thoughts?

    • Romulus' Apotheosis

      The Oilers have reached the stage where wins are more important than extra draft picks. The losing must stop this year. Contending for a playoff spot all year is crucial to the development of the young talent the Oilers already have.

      • Romulus' Apotheosis

        Hell even QB/Moneypuck seems to have come around and is cheering for wins…

        that said… talk is building that this year the draft might be hella deep. It would be nice if we could do both… we do seem to have a deep bench at certain positions right now. getting into the top 6 pics could be huge.

        • Romulus' Apotheosis

          I agree with you godot10, but like Romulus’ said the draft is very deep this year with some very strong players at the top. Winning is definitely important this year and playing in a playoff race in march and april is huge for our young guys. However, is Khabby going to be able sustain a high level of play throughout the whole season? I don’t expect him to play as amazing as he is now, but is this just a hot streak for him? Or is the last couple of years more indicative of his play. Why not use his hot start and the desperation of another team to cash in? If we are able to steal away Columbus’ first rounder and Khabby returns to the last couple of years we could be looking at getting Yakupov first overall. Also Khabby won’t be the fix in net here long term, so it would be good to get Dubnyk some quality minutes. Just thinking of buying low and selling high that’s all.

          • Romulus' Apotheosis

            I think vying for that spot is an option. But i’m not sure Khabbie is the way to do it. Why would they want him…? it just seems unlikely they would trade away that pick for him (even if the pot was sweetened).

            It is also a funny situation that you would be trading NHL ready assets to a team that sucks. Why would they want them other than to win right now… and if they win right now… we lose in the Lotto! a catch 22!

          • Well my thought process (dream) is that with Columbus’ goalie Steve Mason not being able to stop a beach ball in net there that they are in the market for a goalie. We happen to have the hotttest goalie in the game right now and couple that with the fact that Scott Howson is in desperation mode to save his job. I realize that it’ll take more than just Khabby to get this first round pick, maybe Khabby and Gagner or Khabby, Omark and a second??

            Also I might be pessimistic, but I don’t think Khabby will keep this up throughout the year, but if we make this deal while he is hot and he returns to the form of last year at some point with Columbus that gives us a good chance to land a lottery pick. It is possible that Khabby has a great year and if we trade him the pick that we get isn’t as great as what I think. It’s still early, but they have a lot of ground to make up. Basically what I’m trying to say is I’m hoping to try and pry something out of a team that is in a desperate situation.

        • Quicksilver ballet

          Winning is always a pleasant distraction.

          Still think we need one or two more top 5 picks to set this team up long term. We may not be able to count on one of those being our own but i still feel a significant efforts be made to gather shots at these higher end selections. If it takes a two swap process to achieve something like that, so be it, we are still in rebuild mode aren’t we?

  • oilredemption

    I think once Paajarvi gets himself a garbage goal they will come in bunches. If not put Hemmer on his right side (when he recovers) and let him make room for the young swede. Paajarvi has the speed and the shot he just needs to get some room to wheel and who better to play with then Hemsky.

  • I am not comparing the two players, I’m making a point about Omark. He has much more of a track record for scoring than MPS does but, while every one assumes MPS will start scoring soon, Omark is done in everyone’s books.

    • BArmstrong

      I can’t wait for Omark to be traded for a 4th round pick or a number 6 AHL dman, THEN put up 25-40-65, THEN never be mentioned on this site again… kinda like Souray.

          • BArmstrong

            Arch – those are good places to start. But take off your “I hate that little cocky Swede” glasses for a second. Omark has plenty of talent. What sets apart good NHL players from bad is figuring out how to use ones talents against other world class players.

            The point Tiger Under Glass makes is that Omark is not be afforded that opportunity.

            My point is it won’t be the first time a small player has been cut loose from this team after not immediately panning out, or not ordained by management and perhaps ends up succeeding elsewhere (Ray Whitney? to name just one)

            Anyway – who cares:) The Oilers are on a six game winning streak without that little bastard:)

    • I’d be surprised if there was anyone in the knowledgable ranks here who thinks Omark is “done”. We are witnessing something called “managing depth” here, not the end of a player.

      Besides his track record for scoring so far, Omark also has a track record for disappearing for stretches. Omark also has a track record of hot-dogging: a “high risk, high reward” type of play that has only really worked out half of the time.

      MPS skates a bit harder, and really competes defensively night in, night out. At least one or two times per game MPS makes the right stick check, or draws a penalty that changes the game.

      If this were a comparison of scoring alone, we should feel that many in our lineup should be sitting/ on the farm. But it’s not, and that’s why Omark is down (not for long I bet) and MPS is still here.

  • Grumpy OM

    MPS has been working hard and has played well, his points will come, he is one of those guys that every team needs if they are to be successful. He brings his game every night and if nothing else is leading buy example, although right now there are 21 guys leading by example.

    Hey, just wondering , I put in a team for the Nation Draft , where do I find out how I’m doing ?

  • All that said. Omark has been given opportunity by the organization. Whether other players have been given more (rightly or wrongly we can debate), he’s been given his shot. He can only blame himself if his ice time gets cut.

    The problem is that he did perform. We have all last season to see that he is a better hockey player than Jones for example, but 5 games cold when nobody else on his line has scored either and he’s out? That is not being given a shot.

    • Jones has scored AND kills penalties. I dont think that its at all obvious that Omark is a better player than Jones.

      1 goal per 10 games played. Brutal +/-. Doesnt contribute to the PK. Older than all the other prospects. Smaller in size than all the other prospects. Can be no higher than 3rd on the depth chart for RWs.

      He had his shot and failed. If he has the will to do so he will fight for his chance to play at the AHL level. Too bad all indicators point to him being a heartless player who will tuck tail and run back to Europe.

    • Romulus' Apotheosis

      And @Justdoit

      I see what both of you are saying. My comment was less “Omark isn’t worth ice time” and more “I think these are the underlying factors (some of them matters of perception more than performance) that have led to the current result.”

      Omark is on a different track in the Org. than MP (for example, or Jones, or Gags for that matter) and so he needs different things to happen to get his shot. You can’t simply ignore the organization’s long term goals when factoring these things (you can argue with them but you can’t ignore them).

      Now, given where he is… 5 games is pretty good. Lots of players would kill to have 5 games in the show to prove themselves. Is he undervalued in the organization? Does he have to work harder to get noticed? to get time? Maybe. But that is the situation he is in… He is in command of it at some level. If the organization is making him push harder than other players to make it… he should rise to the occasion and take his success as a point of pride.

      Possible swaps: Jones is a totally different player and it is harder to compare them one to one. Besides he’s going to have to be reevaluated in favor of Hemsky anyway.

      Gags is a proven player coming off an injury; too soon is the only valid question. He has earned ice time at this level and deserves a bit of rope.

      MP is on a different tract within Oil. development and so that is why i think he gets the slight edge (that and size, youth, play, of course). But i could see him coming out a few games… even then it doesn’t put him with Omark which many here seem to think is the solution to both their woes.

      All in all, it’s a log jam of players and a tough call to make. I think it’s best for Omark to be in OKC and actually playing right now. The best I can suss out for him in the show (excepting injury) is a platoon position with someone… and that doesn’t sound like recipe for success for him or the Oil.

      • justDOit

        But on the flip side of Gagner ‘earning’ some rope, comes some responsibility. If he’s an established player he shouldn’t need much time to get back into it. And given that he’s moved to a much less difficult role on the team just magnifies that.

        And I’ve defended Gagner a lot over the years, but I really feel that this year he’s playing himself off of this team – or that the newer kids are playing him off.

        What ever the case may be, O! did not get a fair opportunity this year, after posting some pretty good numbers last year. Yes, it’s a business first and he has to accept that. He’s not waiver eligible and Gagner is, and Lander/Petrell are not comparables. O! can’t take their place.

  • BArmstrong

    @ LT.

    Thing is…there is a finite number of games in a season.

    If you go pointless in 12 of those games, you don’t get them back.

    You have to score at a significantly higher rate than last season in the remaining 72 games to end up in the same place.

    Given that he is not being afforded the same quality of linemates and PP time he was last season, it is highly unlikely he will match last season’s already tepid scoring rate.

    It should also be noted, that as bad as his shooting percentage was last season (8.3%), it also was a high water mark for him since he was closer to 5-6% in the SEL.

    He is on pace for 164 SOG this season, which is only slightly below last season’s 180 so it would appear his shooting percentage is reverting to the mean.

  • excellent article,have to agree magnus is going to be fine and I think he fits better with our long term plans than omark(we need some size)he will develop into a 20 goal scorer and i think Hemsky coming back and magnus getting a few better chances will turn this around.omark and ganger will be trade bait for a defenceman,and hartikkianan is going to be part of the long term oilers plan as well.

  • Jerk Store

    Interesting to note that, on a team that is +10 in goal differential, there are only two players that are giving up more than they’re getting while playing middling competition.

    Belanger and Paajarvi.

    For the more traditional among you, it’s no surprise they are the only two current roster forwards who are in the red in plus/minus.

    • Quicksilver ballet

      2 players with games so different as to be night and day. MP is not going to succeed with Belanger as his center. Next week the stars will align and see him playing alongside Gagner and Hemsky. The Oilers will make a roster move and it will be one most of do not expect. I think we’ll see Horichuck sent to OKC . Some say Lander. I believe that the prescence of Eager in the lineup along with Peckham gives the Oilers a formidable deterent. Hordichuck is either sent to the minors or traded to for pick to make the room the Oilers need in the lineup.

      • Jerk Store

        Agree that MPS will see numbers improve with better linemates and Belanger is not helping his cause in the offensive sense. But would you not keep Hordi around because he knows his ro… (Perhaps I will use a different word)… Value to the team and is willing to sit in the PB until needed. If you put a Lander or an MPS in the PB for an extended time are you not doing them a disservice? That was one of the arguments for keeping a Petrell over Harty. Although that worked out favourably for Petrell.

          • Jerk Store

            Ha. You said it …. Not me. Point is veterans are far more willing to sit in the PB without a pout on or causing a disruption than a younger player. Plus Hordi sitting a few out in a row out is not seeing his development stalled.

  • Jerk Store

    Thanks for the edification. You are the one using words in a reckless manner. Who are the “best” players. Best scorers, best passers, best penalty killers, best shot blockers, etc? You are throwing around a word without definition in this context. What does best mean? I will keep this very basic for you as your hockey knowledge could be scribed on a childs thumbnail. Succesful teams are typically built with a mix of scoring, pk, checking and physical play among others. Each individual knowing and filling their ROLE. Some may play 25 mins some may play 7. So while your team, the Fantasyland Utopians, will be excellent with the “best players” the rest of us will have fun discussing how the Oil Management are going to fill the various Roles required to build a competitive team. Good day, sir.

    • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

      This is, once again, mythological thinking. Moreover, it gets in the way of conversation. You might as well be saying blah, blah, blah, blah, for all the substantive content in your post.

      • Jerk Store

        If I may translate for others not familiar with your M.O.

        “I have no response for your well reasoned response so I will throw out well thought out English terms like ‘blah blah blah’ along with “moreover” and “substantive” so I can get back to studying for my psych 101 class after cleaning Mom’s basement”

        Please don’t arbitrarily throw out simplistic ideas like -duh, just pick the best players, and then drag out the Thesaurus to try and respond. To paraphrase Jack Nicholson in A Few Good Men “I’d prefer you just say Thanks for the lesson and then be on your way”. Be well.

      • You’re only kidding yourself if you think roles dont exist or arent created by coaches for players to fill. Your response to everyone here has been the equivalent of plugging your ears and yelling “no no no no no.”

        • Quicksilver ballet

          I’m curious, what do you imagine these roles to be? There is such a thing as positions (center, winger, defense, etc.). What roles do you imagine there would be in addition to this?

          Do you think third-line center is a real role? Do you think that it would be a good idea to get trade a first-line center to get a third-line center if you didn’t have one? Or are you thinking that every line needs a “guy who tries hard.” Is “guy who tries hard,” a role.

          Honestly, define me a role. Other than the already existing positions, I don’t think you can. (PK and powerplay don’t count because if these aren’t quite positions they also aren’t roles in the way you are using the term.

          • What are you talking about? Being a penalty killer is certainly a role a player can have. So is being the guy who will be taking the bulk of the faceoffs in the D-Zone. Being a shutdown D man. Being a shadow is a role. Being a fighter is a role.

            Jesus. The Oilers’ Jo Shmo line knows that every game their role is to shut down the opposition’s best line. Horcoff and Belanger know their roles include winning faceoffs. Eager knows his role is to be physical and stand up or his linemates. Jones knows that his role moving forward will be largely on the PK. As long as Jones can be an effective PKer he will be an NHLer because that’s his role.

            And if players start to fail at fulfilling their roles they will be replaced. That is what winning teams do.

          • You should be smart enough to know that these statements don’t mean anything.

            It isn’t a “role” to shut down the opposing best line. First, “shut down” is an euphemism for “play better than,” and second, that is everyone’s “role.” Is there anyone’s role that is “play worse than the other team’s players?” It can’t be a role if everyone is expected to do it.

            Similarly it isn’t Horcoff or Belanger’s “role” to win faceoffs. That is the job of every center. Is there such thing as a center that isn’t expected to win faceoffs?

            You are right that being a fighter is a role which is all you need to know about the importance of roles. Someone who’s “role” is defined by fighting is the definition of a useless hockey player.

            You could try again but my arguments here can’t be refuted. You were better off when you were arguing that Omark wasn’t one of the Oilers best 12 players. You’d be wrong but that is at least possible. As a matter of logical necessity it is impossible for there to be such things as roles.

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

            Just so we’re clear here, when Renney is discussing with say Belanger and RNH what he expects out of them (ie what their roles are)… do you think he tells them the exact same thing?

          • His expectations of all players are the same. Play as well as they can. If his instructions are different it is only with regard to maximizing their abilities (i.e. Jones should play a simple game). This isn’t because playing a simple game is a role but because players shouldn’t try and do things they aren’t capable of.

            The funny thing is that my beef isn’t with you guys. You think Omark is a bad hockey player. That’s wrongheaded but coherent. If Omark is a bad hockey player he shouldn’t be on the team.

            My beef is with those that believe that Omark is a good hockey player but that somehow the Oilers don’t have room for good hockey players because of a misguided notion concerning roles. That’s incoherent.

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

            I agree to an extent regarding roles (ie it’s non-sense that people say Omark is top 6 or nothing).

            However theirs clearly something to bringing differing skill sets to an NHL team, otherwise guys like Robert Nilsson and Nik Zherdev would be in the league instead of guys like Justin Abdelkader and Dan Paille.

          • Well I think Abdelkader and Paille are quite good hockey players while Nilsson is not. I’d certainly rather have Abdelkader or Paille than Nilsson whether or not I had a role for them.

            I don’t think Omark is anything like Nilsson or Zherdev. Those guys are both lazy. Omark isn’t lazy and he isn’t a bad defensive player. He’s not a dominant physical force but you don’t have to be to be effective. Dominant physical force isn’t a role either.

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

            Well that’s where we disagree I guess, I see Omark as a slightly better version of Nilsson who was a slightly better version of Schremp.

            So far the numbers support my claim, and it from what we can tell it looks like the coach is in agreement as well.

          • What are you talking about? Their careers look nothing alike. You don’t get to keep harping on age and then ignore it when comparing their 1 season each in the KHL. Omark has had less than 30 games in the AHL and Nilsson never accomplished anything in Sweden.

            The numbers before coming here suggested he is a 40+ point player with some determination behind his game, and his play since getting here shows the exact same thing.

            Your personal distaste for him is evident, but the numbers do not support you.

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

            Your Omark googles must be extra snug today.

            Omark

            SEL .59PPG (18/19/20/21/22)

            KHL .64PPG (22/23)

            AHL 1.16PPG (23/24)

            NHL .53PPG (23/24)

            Nilsson

            SEL .34PPG (17/18/19)

            KHL .66PPG (26)

            AHL .95PPG (20/21/22)

            NHL .47PPG (20/21/22/23/24/25)

            ~Ya, no similarities there.~

            Don’t worry Tiger, he’ll be out of the league soon and I’m sure you’ll have lots of time to tell us it’s a league wide conspiracy and that his underlying numbers are good.

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

            (ie it’s non-sense that people say Omark is top 6 or nothing)

            I guess its all up to the way you count. In most cases the “top 6” are more of your skill guys, you know the guys who can score, the guys you put on the power play. That means if you are counting the way most people do, the “bottom 6” is left to the checkers, Pk specialists, the grinders, and the bangers. I can’t beleive that even the most ardent Omark fan can see him in any of those above mentioned role.

            Omark is a top 6 or he doesn’t really fit and should be sent down to OKC. Hang on, thats just what Renney did.

    • book¡e

      You need to learn to be more respectful in How you discuss topics. You lose respect, credibility and the interest of other readers when you resort to attacking others as opposed to focusing on the argument.

  • Quicksilver ballet

    Lowetide – MPS is Ok due to a strong first season???? Cogliano had a great rookie season and went into the sewr from there. Regretfully, I don’t see more positive from PRV than Cogliano, and that is too bad.

    I can’t believe I am agreeing with Tiger, but I think that Omark is a player, but regretfully not with the Oilers, much like Satan or Whitney. What will hurt is that we won’t get value for him when he gets traded.

    Arch is wrong that Omark is not a player but he is right that the Oilers don’t have room for him. Trade both Gagner and Hemsky and we still don’t have room for him.

    • BArmstrong

      I too think there’s no room for Omark. I like him, I think he has a good upside, and I think he’ll stick on an NHL team in a top six/2nd PP unit role – just not here.

      I’d like to see the Oil showcase him – then trade him. Play him with Hall and RNH maybe. Throwing Eberle, on a line with Gags, and MPS might be just what the underachievers need. I don’t know, but like someone else said earlier, I’d try something like that on NHL 2012 at least:)

      • BArmstrong

        Omark has to play top six, but not here. He would be a nice fit in Detroit for their next cup run. Detroit just has a way of recycling Oilers. Or maybe in Buffalo like Miro.

        I wish they could find a way to showcase him, but don’t know how that will happen. Too bad.

        Someone will blame Tambo for this of course.

  • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

    I hope he proves me wrong tonight but I think mps needs time in okc to get his confidence back and prove he is an NHL player.

    Too my eye I have seen him throwing snow.You don’t have to hurt but you have to bump and win puck battles.RNH at about 30 lbs lighter wins way more puck battles.

  • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

    @ Captain Obvious Incapable of an independent thought? What a joke, their were a few of us that knew Omark was a sham right from the begining while the masses were drooling over his u-tube videos and Euro stats.

  • Why do people put so much stock in top 6 vs bottom 6?

    Everyone wants to be Detroit, so why can a team like Detroit use a guy like Hudler regularly in their bottom 6?

    Sure he gets some top 6 minutes, but when they have been healthy he has slotted onto the 3rd or 4th line more often than not. Is Hudler secretly some sort of gritty defensive dynamo?

    Why is it ok for successful franchises to use players like that in the bottom 6 but not Edmonton? Are we that desperate to see “thunderous bodychecks”?

    • Jerk Store

      You are right in the sense that as teams evolve they develop into a top 9 structure. Chicago certainly had that two years ago. But you still have room for specialists on the 4th line. Namely a couple of PK specialists, physical “energy” guys, face off specialists, pests even a few (gasp) fighters in the league, some all rolled into one. To be honest the 4th line can give you your identity. And you do need a physical presence – though not necessarily fighters. Hockey is a great game, but it is not a nice game. The notion that you can just roll four “even” skilled lines, while laudable, is not practical or sustainable. In my opinion.

  • Romulus' Apotheosis

    Wow… you take the wife to the Bay for a few hours to return a busted Kettle and everything goes to pot on here…

    On “roles” I think I get what the good captain is getting at. But not sure how important this semantic debate is. If I follow right Captain is explaining away the attributes people usually cobble together under various “roles” and either taking them individually or simply calling them the necessary things teams need to win. If that is all this debate is about, then whatever. People will keep referring to “energy” guys and “grind lines” and “power play specialists” and “locker room guys/talkers” etc. etc. etc. and Coaches will continue to line match and so forth… and Captain will continue to object to this classification. fine. I’m not clear on what the real problem is or why it matters. happy to let it rest.

    The question with Omark is more interesting… room on the team is interesting. There is lots of room on the team. The question is why has Renney chosen to fill all those spots without Omark? Here I think several things come into play: how good is he? how good is he playing right now? and repeat these question regarding how the OIlers perceive him? who does he potentially play with? who comes out? which line? what would be expected of him? checking? hitting? scoring? two-way? etc..? whatever bundle of attributes he has and can be maximized by the team (his role if you will) is that already filled by someone who is better, or who the team thinks is better, or who the team thinks for a variety of reasons deserves a spot more (ie. draft pedigree, youth, size, etc)

    anyway… game time boys… put your oil-family hats on and lets dance!

  • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

    If you are approaching an opposing player with the puck and he passes the puck away a split second before you reach him, are you supposed to finish your check, staple him to the boards and then skate hard to your own end, or are you supposed to peel away from the player and lackadaisically skate towards where the puck is now in play?

    I can’t count how many skill players light up the scoreboard in the CHL, SEL, AHL and KHL every year. Some of them finish their checks; plenty more just peel away.

    If Omark goes back to Europe, then good riddance.