Every Single Thing Darcy Hordichuk Did

Saturday night versus the Calgary Flames, Darcy Hordichuk made his 2013 debut for the Edmonton Oilers. He had four shifts, and played a whopping 1:11, all of it coming in the first period. After the jump, every single thing that Hordichuk did on Saturday night.

Shift One

This is Darcy Hordichuk (16 for Edmonton) entering the ice for his first shift. Ralph Krueger sent the fourth line out for a defensive zone draw, and had Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (93 for Edmonton) take Hordichuk’s spot, just in case Belanger was tossed from the circle (which is an interesting choice in its own right). After gaining possession, Nugent-Hopkins passed the puck off to Petrell (37 for Edmonton) at centre and went ot the bench to allow Hordichuk on the ice.

Hordichuk was the trailer on this play, and Petrell tried to pass to him but the puck redirected off a Flames stick; Hordichuk continued on to the net and then wheeled around.

Here he is at the blue line. After the puck went towards the blue line Petrell got on his horse and stalled the Flames breakout, eventually forcing a turnover; Hordichuk will quickly touch the puck and then immediately pass it into Eric Belanger’s skates, at which point it ricochets deep into Calgary’s zone.

The Flames chase the ricochet down and finally break out, but are stymied thanks to the efforts of Petrell and Smid. Jeff Petry takes the puck and passes it to Belanger, who in turn forwards it to Hordichuk on the offensive side of centre ice.

Hordichuk can’t handle the pass; it bounces off his stick and the Flames gain possession.

Hordichuk can’t catch up to Dennis Wideman, who takes possession and passess off to T.J. Brodie. He can’t catch up to Brodie, either, who skates up and makes a pass without trouble. After Brodie makes the pass he just glides, so Hordichuk angles towards him and throws a late but harmless hit (at the very edge of the screen). Brodie had passed the puck while inside the defensive zone faceoff circle; Hordichuk catches up with him just inside the Flames’ blue line.

Shift Two

This comes right after the Flames crashed the Oilers’ crease to make it a 1-0 hockey game.

Flames win the draw; Hordichuk goes on the forecheck.

After Petrell and Justin Schultz engage at the side boards (Petrell landing a big hit on Sven Baertschi) the Flames get the puck out; Hordichuk follows it back to his own end. Side note here: Eric Belanger picked up on Justin Schultz’s aggressive pinch immediately and responded accordingly, getting back to make this a 2-on-2 rather than 2-on-1 rush for Calgary.

Calgary gets a not especially threatening shot off, Dubnyk stops it, and that’s it for this shift.

Shift Three

Ryan Smyth (94 for Edmonton) dumps the puck in; Magnus Paajarvi (91 for Edmonton) will briefly pressure and then circle to the bench; Shawn Horcoff (10 for Edmonton) is already changing. On comes the fourth line.

T.J. Brodie collects the puck and sets up for the breakout; Darcy Hordichuk forechecks. Brodie will pass cross-ice and slightly behind him to Dennis Wideman.

Wideman (26 for Calgary) surveys his options; Hordichuk gave Brodie a little tap with the stick and then circled around to put pressure on Wideman.

Wideman takes his sweet time and then finally passes as Hordichuk lumbers into him. Hordichuk lands a good hit, and Wideman’s pass goes directly to Petrell – basically the definition of a successful forecheck.

The Oilers are bunched up a little bit because of Hordichuk switching wings – both Petrell and Belanger were already on the left side – but Justin Schultz (19 for Edmonton) jumps in to offer them a right wing option.

Petrell smartly decides to pass to Schultz, but his pass is no good – he’s sent the puck not even to where Schultz is, let alone to where he is going to be, but rather to where he was.

Eric Belanger, however, makes a quick play here, getting his stick on the puck. He can’t control the puck – he’d been going to the net, then turned suddenly and got his stick out – but he does manage to redirect it to Schultz. This isn’t really Hordichuk-related, but Belanger’s had a tough stint in Edmonton so it seemed only fair to highlight this particular nice play.

Schultz takes the puck, and Hordichuk goes to the net with his stick down. Schultz opts for the shot instead of the pass, which Kiprusoff handles fairly easily.

This is where Hordichuk does something stupid. He decides to crosscheck Dennis Wideman. The puck’s frozen (and Kiprusoff is on the other side of the net), the play is effectively over, and Wideman’s been nowhere near the puck since the last time Hordichuk hit him.

Wideman goes flying, a minor scrum ensues, and the Flames go on the power play.

Shift Four

Three seconds after Hordichuk’s penalty expires, Jay Bouwmeester’s shot squeaks between Devan Dubnyk’s legs and the Flames have a 2-0 lead. Hordichuk never makes it to the Oilers zone in time to be involved in the play; all he gets to do is collect a minus.

With more than 45 minutes left in the game, this is the last time that Darcy Hordichuk will appear on the ice. He did not have a good shift in the game. On his first, he made a bad pass, couldn’t handle a pass on his stick, and then threw a late hit. He didn’t get a chance to do much of anything on his second shift. He makes a great forecheck on his third shift, which results in a big hit and a turnover, but he negates all that by taking a bad penalty. His fourth shift lasted all of three seconds as he skated out of the box just in time to collect a minus on the Bouwmeester goal.

Recently by Jonathan Willis

  • Pat Hughes ruled

    And for this he makes more than life-saving doctors, the P.M and so on. Hey season ticket holders you are paying this man a good salary to do what?????? oh yeah he is the young turks grunt/ bodyguard/bitc… My talent is I get beat up and sit on the bench. Well worth his salary. Not

  • Pat Hughes ruled

    I don’t really agree with your final assessment. I myself can’t stand when any given player is judged based on 1 1/2 minutes of on ice play. While he may not have looked good, he didn’t look bad. The problem we had was all defensive strategy. Are defense needs to just protect against breakout players better. Kreuger was for sure out coached, but I can’t respect the way this… article?… was written in anyway when you focus on one 4th line player who barely so enough time on ice to even be penciled into the game sheet. You should be looking more at the terrible play of Ryan Whitney, or how Belanger, more often than not, is a waste of open space on the ice and bench.

    • So often I get sucked into reading Willis articles by the headlines, and then I regret it almost immediately. He is the king of small sample size, useless stats and unqualified analysis. I wish someone would give him an NHL team to manage just so we could all laugh at how useless they are.

    • Well, it’s a free country. If you’d like to demonstrate those points the same way I have here, feel free to start a blog.

      As for how Hordichuk looked, if you watch every shift he played – there are pictures above, but you feel free to hunt down the video – he played 1:11 of ice-time and still managed to hurt the team badly. In a one-goal game, that penalty may very well have been the difference between a win and a loss.

      You can say he didn’t look bad, but I think I’ve presented enough evidence to conclusively say otherwise.

      P.S.: I thought Belanger actually had a fairly decent game against Calgary, and judging by the 1:11 sample above – and more importantly his NHL career – he’s an infinitely better player than Darcy Hordichuk. You may disagree, but no NHL coach handing out ice-time ever has.

  • Pat Hughes ruled

    I think J.W.’s point is that he can’t skate,pass or help in any other way that he played one minute . No one will fight him because he is not worth fighting. He is not a top five heavyweight and beating him up will get you nothing. He did not have a preseason. So what he is a pro and should have been doing something during the lockout i.e skating clinics, working on his skill set etc. He is a good guy who cares and lot of good guys don’t play on NGL teams. The guy is a waste of a roster spot, waste of cap space and a waste of a good number. Eric B. another good topic to discuss. Another waste of money.

  • Truth

    This article is an analysis of Hordichuk’s first 1:11 in the last 9 months. I’d like to see any other NHL players first minute of action for the year.

    Hordichuk’s not the problem. Not to say Horcoff is the only issue, but I would love to see an analysis like this of his games. Pass to Horcoff, can’t handle puck, into corner. Horcoff passes puck 14 ft in front of Smyth, turnover. Horcoff great opportunity for hit, taps stick on opponents shin pads and skates by. Horcoff in decent defensive position, doesn’t realize guy on back door, goal. Horcoff great opportunity in front, flubs it into goalies glove.

    The reason for the loss is pretty simple, Oilers thought they had an easy W and didn’t show up. Flames were winless, knew they had to show up to beat the Oilers and did.

    Also, the Oilers desperately need a player (or a couple of players) willing to play physical on the top 6. I know everyone is hoping that player is Hartkainen (sp?), but he’s a ways away and they need someone now if they want to win now. Ryane Clowe?

  • Belanger and Hordichuk both serve a purpose on this team and both earn their spots on the roster by filling in very specific roles. Hordichuk is a forth line grunt who is expected to get in a few fights and make other teams aware that their bs will not be tolerated. I find it a little bit unsettling when Smid has to step up and protect the young guns. That is Hordichuks job and when he’s not in the lineup our shutdown dmen work double time as the enforcers? Doesn’t make any sense to me.

    As for Belanger (And Horcoff as well) he’s a faceoff man that can kill penalties. Thats it. He’s not going to score goals, he’s not going to provided high energy shifts, he’s not setting anyone up. He takes faceoffs and kills penalties.

    It seems that a lot of you don’t put any value in these roles but maybe you should. On the late Yakupov goal against the kings, who took and won that draw? And who is supposed to stand up for RNH, Hall, Ebs and Yak? Maybe Hordichuk isn’t one of the top 5 heavy weights but he’s the best we have and until that changes he deserves a spot on the roster.

    Now if you guys simply want to throw some people under the bus I’d recommend looking at Corey Potter and Shawn Horcoff. I cring watching those two flub around the ice. I don’t think a shift passes where Potter doesn’t get himself out of position and Horcoff looks so slow out there it is painful to watch.

    And if you are looking for a play that lost the Calgary game, I would look no further than the Backlund goal. The instant that goal was allowed you could just feel the night wasn’t going to go our way. Especialy after all of the disallowed goal controversy against the Kings followed by having the same officiating pair that blew the call then allow the Backlund goal the very next game.