STARBOARD

eberle17

The Edmonton Oilers have some very nice things on right wing. A former No. 1 overall pick, one of Canada’s all-time famous international players and a recent hire with some nice bullet points on his resume. There’s also a very experienced fourth liner who is going to have a mighty mighty job this winter. A veteran group? In Edmonton? Come ON!

JORDAN EBERLE

eberle 13-14 scoring

Jordan Eberle is an offensive winger and a solid goal-scorer. His even-strength offense ranks him among the NHL’s top 10 RW’s (this is NHL.com) and suggests the Oilers top line was rolling one year ago at 5×5 despite the shot differential worry. Eberle gets less applause since the $6 million deal kicked in, but he’s a valuable player and a big part of Edmonton’s future.

NAIL YAKUPOV

NAIL YAKUPOV ES

Yakupov had a tough year, and we can see a lot of it in the Shooting percentage. 21% as a rookie is a monster, you can’t expect to see that again. 9%? Low, a little low. I’d bet on 12% or more, but even if its 10% one season from now the Russian has to shoot MORE! And it would behoove Craig Ramsay to get him lots of power-play time. Lots and lots of power-play time.

TEDDY PURCELL

purcell es

Another guy who suffered from a shooting percentage dip in 2013-14, Teddy Purcell should be a fun player to watch with the Oilers. Much has been made about his lack of physical play, so we can expect the usual criticisms about big men who play soft. Here’s the news: he’s an NHL player! Yes!

5×5/60:

  1. Jordan Eberle 2.03
  2. Nail Yakupov 1.43
  3. Teddy Purcell 1.37

Source: BTN.

You may recall that our LW look (Taylor Hall 2.91; David Perron 1.96; Benoit Pouliot 1.79) was silly good, and I’d say that Eberle number is a very nice one. Suspect there’s room for improvement with Yakupov and Purcell, and that brings us to six very interesting NHL wingers for Edmonton in 2014-15.

HOW MANY EVEN-STRENGTH GOALS?

Eberle scored 20 a year ago, that’s a terrific number. He scored 24 two years ago, so I think we can probably count on 20 this coming season. Nail Yakupov scored only 7 last season, and 11 in the short season of 2012-13. He’s a tough player to estimate because we’re not really certain of his role. I’m going to suggest 11 again because of the wide range of possibilities. Teddy Purcell scored 9 goals last season at evens, I’m going to suggest his shooting percentage improves a little and he scores 10.

So that leaves us with 41 goals from the right wingers at even strength. Fair?

HOW MANY POWER-PLAY GOALS?

This is the tough part of the process. Purcell scored only 3 goals, but had 17 points with the man advantage, suggesting he’s more passer than trigger-man. He’ll fill 89’s skates well in this regard. Eberle scored 7, and I think that’s likely again, maybe a little more.

Yakupov is the big hitter here. I think Craig Ramsay will use him much more this coming season, and the Russian is likely to at least double last season’s total (4). If Ramsay uses Yak City as  the trigger man on the power play he could blow that total out of the water.

The absence of strong alternatives have me thinking we can count on the new No. 10 for 8 goals, meaning RW should contribute 18 goals with the man advantage.

WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?

pigeons

I have a feeling Nail Yakupov is going to explode on the power play once he unlocks the code, but for this season let’s estimate the RW’s as scoring 59 or 60 goals (41 even, 19 power play or pk) from their top three options. I’ll address Matt Hendricks and the others when we look at that very specialized fourth line.

  • MacT's Neglected Helmet

    Eakins found out it’s better to keep Hall, Nuge & Ebs together towards the end of last season. I suspect they will probably play 95% of the season together which will produce nice stats for all three & more importantly it will help the team win! Secondary scoring will be much better this year with the acquisitions so it should be pretty interesting to watch.

    • Serious Gord

      I liked the number one line. Yak RNH and hall. They didn’t get much time and yak was in too much turmoil to really contribute.

      Perhaps another season of maturity and a better defense to cover off any mistakes will make that combo a winner.

      I still doubt Eakins is the coach to make it work.

      • Serious Gord

        Certainly an interesting option. Theoretically yaks defense improves (under the thesis that a good defense is a good offense).
        Adds some more proven scoring punch to the second line too.
        Pretty sure that we’ll see this type of experimentation throughout the year.

      • Wax Man Riley

        I liked that line too. It was scary fast. I remember when they were together the few times, defenders had a tough time when they were on the rush.

        I don’t remember them defensively though. Probably just as well.

        • Gret99zky

          Defensively? How can switch in Eberle out for Yak be any worse defensively?

          Yak is not yet as effective as Eberle, but by the end of the year he was skating further back than Eberle EVER has. Not to mention the intense passion he plays with.

          That #1 line has huge potential, would love to see it again!

      • Zarny

        Does Eakins pull marionette strings or does he just roll his eyes back and control players with his mind like Bran on GoT?

        Players play and are responsible for what happens on the ice.

        Not coaches.

        • Serious Gord

          If that were true then why have coaches and why do we let them chose the line and who gets PP time? Coaches absolutely play a role in a player’a success or failure and I think you know that.

  • Quicksilver ballet

    Little worried about these eastern conference guys coming out west for the money. Can they keep pace in the quicker more robust western conference. Can easily see this going into the shipper again under Eakins.

    Which could be great, if you’re a positive thinker like myself.

    • Alsker

      Positives…
      1) Eakins is history(bout frickin time) ….
      2) We have great odds in the McDavid draft….as much as I would like to believe that this year is going to be a step in the right direction, I’m not sure which direction that is? Happy to see there are other “positive thinkers like myself” about.

  • Action Bronson

    I’m really excited about our new additions up the wings! I of course would be pumped for a solid nhl center but the upgrades on defense and the wings along with some great players looking for a redemption rebound year is exciting!

  • Action Bronson

    It really depends on if we get a center and who is going to play what kind of minutes. Yak should probably start the season on a sheltered line. But what line would that be? Pouliot will probably get put against tougher competition. So is our second line our soft minutes line?

    • The Last Big Bear

      Kelly Hrudy: “As you can see from this angle, it looks like a pretty innocent play. Nugent-Hopkins pulls this nice little toe drag to try and get around Regehr, but he doesn’t see the backchecking Kopitar. As he gets sandwiched between the two burly Kings’ players, from this angle you can see his brains squirt out a little. In an unusual move, during the TV timeout the league has tentatively assigned the Oilers 31st place in the standings.”

  • Quicksilver ballet

    If you were into those fake Rolexes. Check out the full size/weight Stanley cup rings available on Ebay for 30 bucks. All teams who’ve won available. Made in China, but uber cool if you’re into that stuff. All 5 Oiler ones in a case for 120’ish.

    Seen one on the weekend. Surprisingly good detail.

      • Gret99zky

        Hopefully you don’t coach minor hockey. Based on your constant negative and less than intelligent comments, I suspect you’d be an awful coach. I’d also wager a bet that if your son doesn’t score the car ride home consists of you telling him it was the coaches fault. I will say a prayer for any hockey parents or coaches who have to deal with you.

        • Serious Gord

          Not a coach and not a meddling parent. My role model is Brendan shanahans dad who apparently was deliberately quiet in the stands and stayed out of his sons team activities other than to provide help setting up functions and getting his son and other kids to and from the rink.

          But I am one of those many who – as Elliotte Friedman and others have noted – see the reason for the decline in minor hockey not rooted in the cost or level of commitment from parents and children, but rather the politics and favoritism that dominates organized amateur hockey. Kids aren’t blind or naive – they see it as much or better than the parents do and when they get old enough to assert themselves many abandon it.

          (A friends kid did it in spectacular fashion a couple of seasons ago in the middle of a playoff game when the coaches son – an inept player who clearly didn’t belong at the AA level and hadn’t ever belonged for years prior went over the boards on the first line yet again – the friends kid jumped over the boards in the middle of the action skated across the rink to the exit gate and has left the rink. The kid was a VERY good player who loved the game but had had enough of the BS)

          And that climate of politics and favoritism runs right up to the very top of professional hockey.

      • I tried it at home

        30 bucks! What are you.crazy? Bare Knuckles doesnt have that kind of money. Hes probably gone through his earnings from when he.was a cage fighter by now

  • Quicksilver ballet

    Well if Yakupov can get The tight set up man and líne-mates — Draisatl and Yakimov — then at least we might have two decent lines threatening to put up points. Pouliot and Purcell will be a huge upgrade on the fourth line with Gordon, which undoubtedly will be broken up to form two fourth lines, which will rely heavily on Perron for scoring, but who knows, maybe with the new slower Stay at home defence and better goaltending we will be able to win more (some) of those one goal games or at the very least, play for more loser points.

    • Serious Gord

      So you would like to put the struggling scorer on a line with 2 Centers, one, a rookie just out of the draft and the other a gigantic lovable oaf who is new to the North American game and is two or three years from being a gigantic lovable beast on the ice? Sir I just found out that you are the last remaining relative to my client who just died. You will inherit 10 million euros that I will directly deposit into your account as soon as you give me all of your personal info, banking info and the keys to your car, cause mine broke down because of the weight of the really big cheque in the trunk! K? Thanks!

  • ThinkingOutLoud

    This may come back to bite me but I think this will be Yak’s breakout year – watch for 20-25 goals at least. Aside from changing to #10 he’s been quiet this summer. Very quiet. Makes me hope he’s been focussing on his training. YAKCITY 2014/15!

  • Dwayne Roloson 35

    Don’t forget we have a draftee in Draisaitl that could add a whole new dimension to our power play as early as this season . Nurse may break thru as well .

    • Serious Gord

      The old boy network of which several oilers and oiler executives in the nhl continues to fester – doing favours for Nicholson and Renney and shunning players like lindros.

      • v4ance

        So other than shanking Paul Kelley in the back and setting off a coup in the NHLPA, what achievements or experience does Lindros have over Renney that makes him MORE qualified for the position of President of Hockey Canada?

          • Basshole39

            1) I’m sorry, what did Lindros do to get in the HHOF?

            2) Hockey Canada does not choose who makes the HHOF!

            3) Lindros = one of the most over rated players of all time!

          • Serious Gord

            1. Best player in the world for about five years

            2. The world of professional hockey in North America is a very close club, dominated – not surprisingly – by Canadians. Hockey Canada / the nhl / HHOF committee – there is a ton of overlap and not by coincidence.

          • Basshole39

            1) That is your opinion, not a fact. The evidence suggests otherwise!!

            2) Take a look at the selection committee and provide actual facts! Brain Burke, Anders Hedberg, Igor Larionov. At least half of them are not Canadian and the half that are a bunch are journalists or guys who never had much to do with Hockey Canada!!!!!!!

          • 2004Z06

            Lindros exclusion from the HHOF has nothing to do with his on ice activities other than his lack of a cup.

            It is the bridges he and his father burned off the ice that will keep him out of the hall.

            He is the Pete Rose of hockey.

          • Serious Gord

            Pete rose is banned from baseball for justifiable reasons. The reasons for lindros’ exclusion from the HHOF are not.

            (And I would include his mother as one of those reasons)

          • v4ance

            Paul Stewart talks about his relationship to Lindros:

            http://www.huffingtonpost.com/paul-stewart/hecklers-hooligans-and-th_b_5591462.html?1405531613

            Eric Lindros was a player I got off with on the wrong foot and we never developed a rapport because neither he nor I wanted one. It started out innocently enough.

            I was working an afternoon Philadelphia-New Jersey game at the Spectrum; the back end of a home-and-home. The Devils won the previous game, 6-4, in a game refereed by Mark Faucette. The game got chippy late in the third period, with about 40 penalty minutes being handed out in the final five minutes, including roughing penalties to Lindros and Scott Stevens in the waning seconds of the game.

            The start of the game at the Spectrum was delayed several minutes. I had to wait for the red light on the scorer’s table to indicate that the broadcast had returned from a commercial and it was OK to drop the opening faceoff.

            During the delay, I made small talk with several of the Devils and Flyers on the ice. I said hello to Mark Recchi and talked to Bernie Nicholls. I then tried to greet the 19-year-old rookie Lindros.

            “Hey, Eric. How are things going? How’s your dad?” I asked.

            The response: “[Bleep] you. Just drop the [bleeping] puck already.”

            Lindros was apparently in a bad mood because he’d recently missed 12 games with a knee injury, the team was in a losing skid, and he’d had a tough game in New Jersey. This game was also played about a week after Lindros had to go to court in Toronto after the Koo Koo Bananas incident. You know what? Those were his problems, not mine. But we were about to have a mutual problem.

            Right off the opening faceoff, Lindros bulled forward and drilled Nicholls under the chin with his stick. I ditched Lindros on a high-sticking penalty.

            Before the game, I had brought a tube filled with posters to Flyers’ equipment manager Jim “Turk” Evers. The posters, which depicted Recchi and Lindros, were to be autographed and then donated to a charity auction. I had done a similar thing in other cities, such as a Cam Neely and Ray Bourque poster in Boston, and a Mario Lemieux and Jaromir Jagr in Pittsburgh.

            After the game, I want to Turk to collect the poster tube.

            “Stewy, you’re not going to like this,” Evers said. “I don’t have them.”

            “What do you mean you don’t have them?” I asked.

            “Well, Rex signed the posters but when Eric found out they were for you, he tore every one of them up. I’m sorry about that.”

            I never spoke to Eric Lindros again.

      • BLAKPOO

        Your “old boy network” is fearsome indeed.

        I’m visualizing you in a room full of canned goods, holding a pair of nunchukas, and wearing a tin foil hat.

        You’re on to them man, and they’re coming for you.. Lock your doors.

  • Serious Gord

    Right wing. Left wing. I’m more concerned with the middle of the Oilers spectrum. Hopefully MacT makes a move there. But if not, I understand. Not an easy trade to make.

    But what I really want (which is admittedly a bit of an ask since I spend $0 on the Oilers) is that New Years 2015 hits and we are all still watching games that mean something.

  • The Last Big Bear

    Now for some context:

    New and Improved Oilers RW 5×5/60:

    Jordan Eberle 2.03

    Nail Yakupov 1.43

    Teddy Purcell 1.37

    Pathetic Bottom-Feeding Flames RW 5×5/60:

    Jiri Hudler: 2.12

    Joe Colborne: 1.45

    David Jones: 1.30

    (First call-up is likely Hanowski, at 1.54 through 11 games last year)

    The Flames are a terrible team right now, and RW is their weakest position. Im just trying to give a bit of perspective on what the 5×5/60 of an awful team looks like. It looks quite a bit like the Oilers.

      • MOOG35

        To be fair, Hudler is coming off a career year, and both Yakupov and Purcel are coming off down years. If they have years like that again, a lot of Oiler fans are gonna be sick.

          • v4ance

            Hudler career stats based on TOI/Gm:

            2013-14 54 pts (1st line Cal)
            2012-13 27 pts (1st line Cal) pro-rated to 46 pts in 82 gms
            2011-12 50 pts (2nd line Det)
            2010-11 37 pts (2nd line Det)
            2008-09 57 pts (2nd line Det) lost finals to Pens

            Hudler is 30 next season and leaving his prime scoring years. His BEST season was 57 pts on a powerhouse 08-09 Det team. As a 1st liner fed cherry minutes on the Flames, he could only get 50 pts.

            Eberle is 24 and just entering his prime scoring years. He’s made it past 57 pts TWICE already and is a solid 1st line scorer.

            Trying to argue the Flames are or will be better on the right flank is a fools bet. Eberle and Yakupov are younger than Hudler and Colborne and should be better based on their past performances.

            Ask any GM if they want Yak+Ebs or Hudler+Colb as their starting 2 RWs and 29 out 30 GMs will laugh at you just for asking the question.

          • This is how decisions are made. You can make fun of the word “should” all you like, but there are no certainties.

            Teams need to make bets on who will perform, and “should” is exactly what every analyst in the world is calculating when trying to make predictions.

          • Why not try to be fair when making comparisons?

            Hudler scored his 57 on a “powerhouse Det team” while playing about 13 minutes a game. Eberle has never played close to so few minutes.

            I know you want to defend Eberle’s honor, and I agree nobody would take Hudler over him, but Hudler has been an effective EV scorer for a while now and it’s reasonable to recognize that fact.

    • Serious Gord

      You provided Hudler and Colborne despite them being Left Wings.

      These are the legitimate Calgary forward 5v5 P/60 stats.

      Centers 5v5 P/60
      Stajan: 1.68

      Monahan: 1.45

      Backlund: 1.23

      Wingers 5v5 P/60
      Hudler: 2.12

      Raymond: 1.66 (Toronto)

      Glencross: 1.66 (38 games)

      Colborne: 1.45

      Jones: 1.30

      Galiardi: 1.1

  • The Last Big Bear

    Now for some context:

    2 year results for Forwards: Points Rank

    (6) HalL 130

    (12) Seguin 116

    (18) Benn 112

    (25) Eberle 102

    (65) Perron 82

    (67) Hudler 81

    (69) RNH 80

    (74) Purcell 78

    Oilers 5; Dallas 2; CGY 1

    __________________________1st/2nd

    (98) Spezza 71

    (110) Raymond 67

    (125) Hemsky 63

    (141) Eakin 59

    (154) Stajan; Pouliot 56

    (162) Backlund; Yak 55

    Nischuskin; Chaisson; Monohan: and Arco; all performed at a 2yr pace that would rank 148 to 170

    Dal 5; CGY 4; EDM 3

    ————————- 2nd/3rd

    (184) Glencross 50

    (192) Peverley 48 ??????????

    (206) Roussell 43

    (208) Garbutt 42

    (220) Fiddler 40

    (238) Cole 36

    (243) Gordon 35

    (257) Horcoff 32

    Dal 5; CGY 1; EDM 1

    ———————– 3rd/4th

    (272) Coulburne 28

  • The Last Big Bear

    SO by production:

    1st Line;

    Hall-RNH-Eberle

    Perron-XXX-Purcell

    Benn-Seguin-XXX

    XXX-XXX-Hudler

    2nd Line:

    xxx-Arco-XXX

    Pouliot-XXX-Yak

    XXX-XXX-Nischuskin

    XXX-Speeza-Hemsky

    XXX-Eakin-Chaisson

    Raymond-Monohan-XXX

    XXX-Stajan-XXX

    XXX-Backlund-XXX

    So 1st/ 2nd Producers

    Hall-RNH-Eberle

    Perron-Arco-Purcell

    Pouliot-XXX-Yak

    Oilers 5 1st 3 2nd 8 1st/2nd

    Benn-Seguin-Nischuskin

    XXX-Spezza-Hemsky

    XXX-Eakin-Chaisson

    Dallas 2 1st 5 2nd 7 1st/2nd

    Raymond-Monohan-Hudler

    Backlund; Stajan at C.

    CGY 1st 4 2nd 5 1st/2nd

    People need to look at our current roster not
    the one in june 2013.

  • Serious Gord

    Now here is the Oilers top nine (as projected, hopefully fairly, by me)

    Center 5v5 P/60

    RNH: 1.56
    Arcobello: 1.82
    Gordon: 0.93

    Wingers 5v5 P/60

    Hall: 2.91
    Eberle: 2.03
    Perron: 1.96
    Pouliot: 1.79 (Rangers)
    Yakupov: 1.43
    Purcell: 1.37 (Lightning)

    Comparing these to Calgary’s forwards, I know who I would want. Gotta say though, I’m surprised Backlund has such a low number. I like him as a player. The Oilers obviously need another Center to push Gordon down. I’m hoping for big things from Leon “The Professional” Draisaitl.

  • Rdubb

    I’m not trying to be rude or anything, but come on Lowetide, you had a hard on for Gagner & I think that hard on has just been passed to Nail…coincidently, two of the worst +/- guys in the NHL, and w/o looking, they must have been the two worst guys on the Oilers last season…
    Maybe Gagner gives his head a shake and FINALLY realizes that he HAS to be play defense and Tippet is just the guy to teach him, and if he doesn’t shake his head and figure it out, I could easily see PHX buying him out next season, even though he is a class act of a person, but they cannot afford a -30 guy playing on their team…
    If Yak doesn’t shake his head, and stop listening to his posse about playing only offense, then I can see him doing a ton of sitting on the end of the bench or up in the box this season. the kid can shoot and skate and has a bit of a mean streak, but he has to learn to play away from the puck and in his own zone, and when he doesn’t, the entire line is chasing and the puck generally ends up in the net, so, if Yak doesn’t learn to play away from the puck, then MacT and Eakins should send him down to OKC and see if that staff can get it into his head about playing defense….
    just a few thoughts