GDB 77.0: DUCKS’ DEPTH

pics_duck-hunter-tricked

The Oilers might likely need a few distractions to keep tonight’s tilt
close. The Ducks will be shooting to win 50 games for the first time in
franchise history, and they will be fired up after their stunning
comeback victory vs. the Jets on Monday. The Ducks trailed 4-0 with 23
minutes remaining, then they managed to tie the game with 23 seconds
left in the third before winning 16 seconds into OT. 

The Ducks won’t take the Oilers lightly this evening.

Last
night’s 5-4 loss was one of the more entertaining games of the season.
The Oilers top line kept them in the game. Taylor Hall, Ryan
Nugent-Hopkins and Jordan Eberle were flying as they combined for four
goals and ten points. Part of me understands why Renney, Krueger and
Eakins have split those three up at times, to get balanced scoring, but
considering how well the play together maybe Eakins should just keep
them together all year next year and see what happens.

Hall has 72 points and needs 8 points in the last 6 games to be the first Oiler to score 80 since Doug
Weight had 90 in 2001. Those three were very strong last night,
especially Hall and RNH. The big difference you see between the Sharks
and Ducks compared to the Oilers is their depth.

After David
Perron, the Oilers scoring takes a big dip and the blueline play is
significantly different at this stage. When you watch the Ducks tonight
pay attention to their secondary scoring and how much those players contribute.

The
Ducks have 12 players with 25+ points, while the Oilers have six.
Yakupov would likely have one more point if he was healthy and sit at
25, but you can say the same about Silverberg for the Ducks. The point
is the Ducks produce offence from more than just one line.

Ryan
Getzlaf and Corey Perry have 83 and 75 points respectively, but then it
drops to Nick Bonino’s 47. Their top guys score a lot, but they have solid secondary scoring from both forwards and blueliners.

Player  GP  G  A  P +/-  ESP  SHP  PPP 
Ryan Getzlaf 71 31 52 83 27 61 0 22
Corey Perry 75 39 36 75 30 58 0 17
Nick Bonino 70 20 27 47 11 27 0 20
Mathieu Perreault 62 18 22 40 14 31 0 9
Andrew Cogliano 75 21 18 39 16 35 4 0
Cam Fowler 67 6 30 36 15 20 1 15
Kyle Palmieri 64 12 17 29 10 29 0 0
Saku Koivu 60 10 18 28 5 24 4 0
Hampus Lindholm 71 6 21 27 27 24 0 3
Daniel Winnik 70 4 23 27 3 24 3 0
Teemu Selanne 59 9 16 25 6 17 0 8
Patrick Maroon 55 8 17 25 10 21 0 4

And now look at the Oilers’ scoring:

Player  GP  G  A  P +/-  ESP  SHP  PPP 
Taylor Hall 69 26 46 72 -16 56 1 15
Jordan Eberle 74 25 34 59 -11 39 1 19
David Perron 72 26 28 54 -14 43 0 11
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins 74 18 34 52 -14 33 0 19
Sam Gagner 62 9 25 34 -28 28 0 6
Justin Schultz 68 9 20 29 -19 19 0 10
Nail Yakupov 63 11 13 24 -33 18 0 6
Ryan Smyth 66 10 13 23 -15 16 0 7
Boyd Gordon 70 8 13 21 -13 15 2 4
Mark Arcobello 41 4 14 18 -7 15 0 3
Andrew Ference 71 3 15 18 -18 16 0 2
Jeff Petry 74 6 10 16 -20 14 0 2

The Oilers have 104 PPP points amongst their group while the Ducks have 98, however, the Ducks have 373 ES points compared to the Oilers 312. The Ducks thrive at ES scoring and you see that in the glaring difference in +/-. 

The Ducks lead the league in 5-on-5 goals with 175, but they’ve only allowed 124 (+51) while the Oilers have scored 122 at 5-on-5, but they’ve allowed the most in the league at 170 (-48). The Oilers need more balanced scoring, but mainly they have to improve their defensive play 5-on-5.

PUCK WATCHING…

This is a classic case of what plagues the Oilers. I don’t care which new players they bring in, if their young guys don’t cut down on their puck watching at critical times in the game, it won’t matter which veteran D-men or forwards they trade for.

This Sharks goal was scored by their fourth line, not their first, so it wasn’t a bad matchup. Petry can’t watch the puck into his goalie, because he doesn’t have enough time to react to the rebound. He is in the right position, but he needs to tie up Desjardins’ stick. These types of plays are the responsibility of the individual player. Petry isn’t the only one who suffers from puckwatchitis, but the younger players have to be aware of this virus and try to eliminate it from their games.

The coaches can harp on it all day long, but until the players decide to stop doing it, these types of goals will keep happening.

LINEUP

Hall-RNH-Eberle
Lander-Gagner-Perron
Smyth-Gordon-Hendricks
Pinizzotto-Acton-Larsen

Marincin-Petry
Klefbom-Schultz
Fraser-Belov

Fasth

Tyler Pitlick didn’t step on the ice last night. He was dressed, but not healthy enough to play. The Oilers have recalled Steve Pinizotto on an emergency basis from OKC. Pinizotto was acquired from Florida earlier this season. Pinizotto played 12 games for the Canucks in 2012/2013. He is a crash and bang type of player similar to Hendricks.

You have to keep the top line together and Eakins has to hope they can carry the game for a second straight night. Viktor Fasth will get ample opportunities to shut down his former teammates.

QUICK HITS….

  • I realize there is more to the game than just points, but you need players who can produce if you want to win. Hall has been one of the best point producers in the NHL the past two seasons, and as he rounds out his overall game he’ll become even more dominant. I’m floored by fans who suggest trading Hall would be a good idea. Hall has scored the 8th most points the past two years, and he is tied for 5th in points-per-game.
Rk Player GP G A PTS ▾ S S% PTS
1 Sidney Crosby 112 51 105 156 375 14 1.39
2 Ryan Getzlaf 115 46 86 132 293 16 1.15
3 Phil Kessel 125 56 73 129 447 13 1.03
4 Alex Ovechkin 120 80 48 128 590 14 1.07
5 Claude Giroux 123 38 88 126 333 11 1.02
6 Martin St. Louis 125 47 78 125 308 15 1
7 Patrick Kane 116 52 72 124 365 14 1.07
8 Taylor Hall 114 42 80 122 388 11 1.07
9 Nicklas Backstrom 124 22 99 121 257 8.6 0.98
10 Chris Kunitz 122 57 62 119 319 18 0.98
11 Jonathan Toews 123 51 65 116 336 15 0.94
12 Joe Thornton 125 18 96 114 196 9.2 0.91
13 John Tavares 107 52 61 113 350 15 1.06
14 Matt Duchene 118 40 73 113 349 12 0.96
15 Corey Perry 119 54 57 111 391 14 0.93
16 Eric Staal 121 36 74 110 357 10 0.91
17 Tyler Seguin 121 49 60 109 416 12 0.9
18 Evgeni Malkin 91 32 73 105 290 11 1.15
19 Thomas Vanek 111 47 58 105 354 13 0.95
20 Anze Kopitar 123 34 71 105 288 12 0.85
21 Joe Pavelski 125 54 51 105 337 16 0.84
22 Blake Wheeler 125 46 59 105 339 14 0.84
23 Jamie Benn 116 42 62 104 361 12 0.9
24 Jakub Voracek 123 43 59 102 338 13 0.83
25 Jaromir Jagr 121 40 59 99 322 12 0.82
26 Andrew Ladd 124 41 57 98 308 13 0.79
27 Patrick Marleau 125 49 48 97 420 12 0.78
28 Derek Stepan 125 33 64 97 291 11 0.78
29 Henrik Zetterberg 91 27 69 96 324 8.3 1.05
30 Jordan Eberle 122 41 55 96 323 13 0.79
31 David Krejci 122 26 70 96 255 10 0.79
32 Jarome Iginla 119 44 50 94 331 13 0.79
33 Mike Ribeiro 122 28 66 94 167 17 0.77
34 Bryan Little 125 29 65 94 246 12 0.75
35 Steven Stamkos 79 52 41 93 264 20 1.18

  • Hall is in pretty good company and as his overall game improves he will only become more dangerous. The biggest improvement I’ve seen in Hall’s game the past month is his back pressure and creating turnovers. If he demands more from himself defensively and challenges his teammates to do the same, the Oilers might eventually win more than they lose.
  • Eberle is 30th in points the past two seasons. He doesn’t dominate games like Hall, but when he’s playing well he is extremely dangerous offensively. Like Hall, his two-way game needs to improve.
  • Frederik Andersen starts for the Ducks. This will be his third straight start. Jonas Hiller hasn’t played since his shaky outing against the Oilers on Friday. It will be interesting to see who the Ducks start in the playoffs.
  • I love how hard and greasy Perron plays, but he needs to cut down on bad penalties. He has to be smarter when he retaliates or tries to get in a cheap shot. I expect he will take a few over the course of a season, just because of how he plays, but he can’t take one every second game.
  • The more I watch Klefbom the more I see him as the steady blueliner this team desperately needs. I’m not saying he’s ready to be a top-pair guy next year, but in a few years I think he’ll be a very reliable defender.

TONIGHT….

800PX-~1

GAME DAY PREDICTION: It is a major stretch to expect the Oilers to win tonight. The first line keeps it close, but Oilers lose 5-3.

OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Mean Gene Principe rattles off four or five beauty puns referencing Fasth.

NOT-SO-OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: RNH scores a pair of goals to give the Oilers four 20-goal scorers for the first time since 2006. What isn’t obvious is that RNH scores in his 2nd straight game en route to scoring again on Friday for his first ever three-game goal scoring streak.

RECENTLY BY JASON GREGOR:

  • From Gene:

    “Tonight the Oil will Fasth-en up their seat belts and prepare for 60 minutes in the Fasth-lane with one of the NHLs Fasth-est teams.”

    *Pulls out a rookie card of Viktor Fasth*

    “It says here he has a 0 to 60 of 2.76…oh my that’s Fasth! Wait, that’s just his goals against average. Hopefully tonight he can un-Fasth-en the Ducks offense and bring home a stead-fasth performance.”

  • Jason Gregor

    That goal could have been prevented if they would just take the man,I think they teach you that in peewee,dont look at the puck look at the crest on the sweater.

    • M22

      Looking at the crest is always better than looking at the puck. However, the best place to focus upon is right about where the navel is. A rushing player can still use his upper body (crest) to deke a D-man, but it’s pretty difficult for him to deke using his mid-section. There’s just not as much lateral movement as the upper body.

  • Jason – I’m curious to know what you think has happened to Gagner’s game. Is it possible that by missing so much time and coming back far too early his fitness isn’t where it needs to be? Timing? Confidence? I honestly thought after the Olympic break he’d be somewhat back to normal but this isn’t the case. If anything he’s tailed off.

    From what you see can you offer any thoughts?

    • Zamboni Driver

      Sure. He probably is.

      which of the ‘young superstars with huge upside, great speed and a wicked onetimer™” you gonna move?

      Gotta pick one.

      Gagner and the rights to Reijo Roustalanen ain’t gonna do it.

      • D-Unit

        Doesn’t really matter who the Oil get rid of, or how well he does on a new team, as long as whoever comes back in the deal makes the team better. Everyone knows a good player needs to go to make the Oilers better. 3rd and 4th liners, a collection of bottom 3 d men, or hope of random prospects are not going to bring back a difference maker. The Oilers are not going to be better with our collection of identical sized top 6 forwards.

      • D-Unit

        Yeah, I agree, it would take that kind of deal. We all know the top 6 needs to be rejigged. As much as some deluded Oiler fans might think it, RNH-Hall-Eberle aren’t going to have 10 point nights going forward after last night. Staal’s a winner and he’s the hard nosed veteran, power forward Edmonton desperately needs. Staal’s just one name but 6Rings and MacT need to look at that kind of deal if they really are about improving the team.

  • Ducks like to roll out four lines, which will bode them well in the play off run

    TO have half a chance, they have to try and shut down Getzlaf and Perry, first and foremost.

    Hope the First line has another good run tonight,even if they loose..just make a hardworking game.

    PS Would be nice to get some goals from the second line and the backend.

    Also less chaos by the d men around the net.

  • vetinari

    We, generally, suck in back-to-back games so…

    GDP: Ducks 5 Oilers 2

    OGDP: Our fourth line will reunite in OKC this fall and become known as the “Friend’s Line” (“P-A-L”)

    NSOGDP: To make it sporting, the Ducks offer to play the Oilers a man short for the entire third period to keep the game interesting and to help their penalty killers get some practice in before the playoffs… and we still give up two goals in the third…

      • vetinari

        The Ducks are passing around the petroleum jelly and lubing up their sticks as we speak…

        On the plus side, I am happy for Cogs that he gets to head into this thing called… the playoffs. Apparently, 16 teams can extend their season and get a chance to win some kind of trophy if they can win four rounds of best of seven hockey.

        • D-Unit

          Lubing up would be nice for the Oil, though they do seem to like it dry, look back a couple weeks ago in the 8-1 loss to the Flames. Oil all just laid there and took it dry, and weren’t even embarrassed or upset by it.

  • Serious Gord

    The team played much better with some average goal tending. Imagine what will happen if Mac T can add some decent defence.

    And oh my goodness, dare to dream, what would this team be like if the top six were a bit more balanced?

    WHEN YOU WISH UPON A STAR……

  • Do what Weight did?

    Haven’t heard anyone talk about Eberle responding to Logan Couture. I’d love to see more of that fire from 14.

    Also, thanks to TSN for pointing out the kick pass to Thorton as the highlight of the night. The Sportsnet crew didn’t even notice it or show a decent replay. I saw the leg move while watching the game, but the TSN guys really broke it down for us. Kevin? Louie?

    And speaking of Sportsnet: all three stars are Oilers? We must have won by a bunch… Facepalm

    • @ Jason Gregor – It is interesting to see how the players that spend more time in OKC react defensively. Whether it is young forwards or the d-men, they seem more defensively aware, know how to support their teammates and react faster defensively than the “NHL” players on the Oilers roster do. I thought that the NHL and AHL teams were teaching the same system? If that is the case, maybe the Oilers need to look at how Nelson et al. teach the game in OKC as their approach seems to be more effective.

      • Rick Stroppel

        FACTS ARE STUBBORN

        There are 30 teams in the AHL and the OKC Barons are second last in goals against.

        There are 30 teams in the NHL and Edmonton is tied for last in goals against (tied with Florida).

        IMHO, unsound defensive play is a problem throughout this organization.

      • D-Unit

        Don’t disagree with you, but the guys that have spent more time in OKC are also learning at a lower level. The NHL is not a developmental league, like the A. Learning in the AHL builds a foundation. The Oilers have a lot of players that don’t have the foundation and are having a hard time getting it in the best league in the world. The NHL doesn’t allow mistakes the way the AHL does.
        Simply put, many guys on the Oilers were not developed properly, and it is causing major issues.

    • YEGFan

      Did you look at the list? Too many people write Eberle off as negligible or as someone we can trick another team into taking for a big forward or top four defenseman.

      If the Oilers trade Eberle it will be a major subtraction from the top end of this team (an area that has not yet been a strength for the Oilers). The fact of the matter is, top 30 point producers are rare and hard to replace. The Oilers do not have enough scoring to justify trading Eberle unless it is an amazing return. I’m not categorically against trading him, but getting anything less than premium
      price will set this team back years (yes, it can get worse).

      The top line will go from “full of potential and talent” to something resembling the Atlanta Thrashers when Heatley left and they only had Kovalchuk.

      • 24% body fat

        and how do you get a premium, you trade him when his value is high. It is never going to be higher than it was the year he signed his extension. Back than he was a shoe in for the olympic team. No he is third on the oilers to make it.

        He is not what he appeared to be that year. He is still good be he is not going to be an elite player. Yes he is in the top 30 in points but so are other defensively incapable players.

        Sell High Buy Low.

        The exact opposite we did with gagner. And now we have bought high on eberle and it is time to get a return before the value deminishes.

        He is not a 35-45-80 point player you think he is going to be. He is a compliment to that line and a good one. But a big two way center an a top 2 d is much harder to find than a compliment for a top ten scorer and a future number one center.

        • Harry2

          Dude, Eberle is 23. A little to early to say what he isnt going to be. On a botton feeding team with zero defence and awful goaltending for the first 3 years of his career.

          I agree, a big trade is needed badly. But id start with Gagner, Yak, either Klef or Marincin and our 2015 1st as bait way before Eberle

          • Harry2

            Eberle.will have twice the points Hemsky has.by the time.hes his age. Really come on now. Hemsky had two, countem, two 70 pt seasons in his Oiler career. Not only that but it was no secret that he was lazy. And to top it all off he gets traded then throws the entire team under the bus saying crap like “they need to step up and produce more”.

            What was Hemsky doing besides being outplayed by a bunch of rookies?

          • Harry2

            Not gonna get into an argument over it. I like ebs. Maybe you’re too young to remember how good hemsky is and was. Ebs is playing with far better players (laughably better) then Hemmer ever has, and hemsky carried this team for a decade and to a Stanley cup final. Show some respect.

          • Harry2

            Dont play the Old man knows best BS with me. Hemsky was and is LAZY. The defence and Roloson carried Edm to the finals in ’06.

            Im no Hemsky hater bit to say Eberle is a poor mans Hemsky after 3 years is awfully ignorant.

            Show some brains

          • Admiral Ackbar

            Ok, maybe poor man’s hemsky was a little too much, but you won’t convince me eberle is any better than hemsky. And to say hemsky is lazy is naive and moronic.

          • Harry2

            Its long been known that Hemsky rarely put the time and effort into improving his game. Then to call out all the younger players on the team on top of it is spineless.

            Hemsky has passed the 40 point mark once in the last 5 seasons. And in his entire career hes passed 60 pts 3 times.
            Eberle has done it in 2 of his first 3 full seasons.

            Pretty easy to tell whose gonna have the better career

          • Serious Gord

            In fairness to hemsky he had no one to play with compared to what eberle has to work with.

            That said eberle is head and shoulders better than ales. He needs to be more consistent and focused.

          • PlayDirty

            Was Hemsky not on the same team as Eberle for the last three years? He didn’t deserve to play ahead of Eberle in the line up. He would not have 8 years ago either.

          • Czar

            +1. The original poster is out to lunch re: Hemsky and is the ignorant one. Eberle floats just as much as Hemmer did, probably even more if you include his almost Gagner-like lack of defensive effort and awareness.

            Eberle is a complementary finisher that has difficulty creating scoring chances away from faster players (i.e. Hall) that create space for him.

            Hemsky is a complementary play maker that creates scoring chances due to his speed and puck handling ability, but is not a great finisher.

            Both players would be assets on a more balanced team.