I was hoping to see Anton Lander play with skill for a prolonged period at the end of the season. Why? Two reasons. First, can he score enough to justify a top 9F role? Second, what do his possession numbers look like when playing with good NHL players. It looks like we have our answer.
EXTRA SKATER, THANKS!
I’m a big fan of Extra Skater. There’s good, good stuff available there on every player and it allows us to break things out. For instance, Lander’s NHL time this season is broken into three phases:
- October 27 (1 game)
- December 5 to January 2 (11 games)
- March 14 to March 25 (6 games)
Lander has one point this season, but the second callup sees him playing with better linemates, and getting more time on ice.
- December 27 to January 2 (10+ minutes per game)
- March 14 to March 25 (17.5 minutes per game)
Lander is getting a good look in March. Now, part of that is injury, but the Oilers do have options (Smyth, others) they could have pushed, and chose the Swede. His possession numbers also improved:
- October 27 (3-20 Corsi events, 13% Corsi for 5×5)
- December 27 to January 2 (59-73 Corsi events, 44.7% Corsi for 5×5)
- March 14 to March 25 (77-76 Corsi events, 50.3% Corsi for 5×5)
- Overall (139-169 Corsi events, 45.1% Corsi for 5×5)
The March number, by my adding, is over 50%. Lander is not scoring—he has 1 assist, and that came in the March 18th game against Nashville—but the possession numbers are better.
WHO IS HE PLAYING WITH?
It’s a moving target, but he’s playing with better linemates. In the Oilers most recent game, he spent his 5×5 time with (mostly) Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Jordan Eberle. The two wingers were north of 50% Corsi 5×5 for in the game.
WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?
The Oilers are trying to rope a few AHL players who can step up and play a complementary role for them in 2014-15. Anton Lander isn’t providing a lot of offense, but given quality linemates the possession numbers look good in a small sample size.
Not ground breaking, but interesting and a tell about Anton Lander. Is it enough? That’s for MacT and Dallas Eakins to decide this summer.