David Staples caused a little conversation today with his recent article "Ryan Smyth rocks it on the road, while Nugent-Hopkins drops it." I’m thrilled at the title, which is at least as long as some of mine. As for the idea behind it, well what is reasonable? What should we be expecting after 17 games?
MATH ISN’T MY SPECIALTY
I spend a few hours every summer trying to estimate "reasonable" boxcars for Oiler players. It’s a fun item, I don’t pretend to have any special ability at the discipline (thank God, it’d be a tough thing to defend) but it does give us an idea about each player. What should we expect from Oilers forwards at the 17 game mark?
OILER FORWARDS 11-12 REASONABLE EXPECTATIONS (DELIVERY)
- Ryan Smyth 4-5-9 (10-7-17) +8
- Ryan Nugent-Hopkins 3-6-9 (7-7-14) +5
- Jordan Eberle 5-6-11 (4-9-13) +3
- Ryan Jones 1-3-4 (3-3-6) +2
- Shawn Horcoff 4-5-9 (3-6-9) EVEN
- Lennart Petrell 1-2-3 (1-1-2) -1
- Ales Hemsky 2-4-6 (0-4-4) -2
- Ben Eager 2-2-4 (0-1-1) -3
- Anton Lander 1-3-4 (0-1-1) -3
- Linus Omark 1-2-3 (0-0-0) -3
- Taylor Hall 8-6-14 (3-7-10) -4
- Eric Belanger 3-6-9 (0-3-3) -6
- Sam Gagner 2-6-8 (0-2-2) -6
- Magnus Paajarvi 4-4-8 (0-1-1) -7
Players in bold have exceeded "reasonable expectations" and in the cases of Smyth and RNH I’d argue that it is a significant item. Mr. Staples point about the road trip can be argued (I’d suggest the kid performed well based on age and toughness of opponent), but overall the season has been good for Ryan’s and Jordan’s.
The blue is a little harder to read, as their RE is all about the offense and doesn’t reflect their defensive play. Still, it’s worth having a look at if only to measure expectations for the offensive side of their game.
OILER DEFENSE 11-12 REASONABLE EXPECTATIONS (DELIVERY)
- Corey Potter 0-3-3 (2-6-8) +5
- Colten Teubert 0-0-0 (0-1-1) +1
- Tom Gilbert 1-5-6 (2-4-6) EVEN
- Andy Sutton 0-1-1 (1-0-1) EVEN
- Jeff Petry 0-2-2 (0-1-1) -1
- Theo Peckham 1-2-3 (1-1-2) -1
- Ryan Whitney 0-2-2 (0-0-0) -2
- Ladislav Smid 0-2-2 (0-0-0) -2
- Cam Barker 1-3-4 (1-0-1) -3
Not much here beyond Potter having a very nice early run and Gilbert covering his bet during a fine start. Barker’s expectations are based on his powerplay time (I assumed he’d play a lot) and he does have a marker (along with Potter and Gilbert) but is behind expectations based on his current games played.
That’s one thing I should say: the estimates are based on the GP currently compared to the number I estimated.
WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?
Ryan Smyth, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Jordan Eberle, Ryan Jones, Shawn Horcoff, Corey Potter and Tom Gilbert are as good or better than predicted. Magnus Paajarvi could be seeing time on the farm, Sam Gagner should feel some pressure and Taylor Hall is off the pace.
It’s early, this is an exceptionally small sample size. Fussy britches here should have kept her gun in the holster. But there’s trouble brewing in Dodge City.