Thread: Rumor: Gagner New Captain?
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08-29-2013, 12:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Replacement View Post
Thanks for the reply and acknowledging.

Gagner can't be considered a good defensive center at this point in time but that doesn't occur in a vacuum either. This club, despite their apparent offensive depth struggled mightily to produce last year. Gagner was one of the handful that did produce.
But the lack of offensive production and pressure resulted in the Oil adopting some consistent risk situations that involved massive use of D jumping into the play. Of course all teams utilize this to some degree but with the Oilers excessive. But what one saw if looking for it is RNH, Paajarvi, and Gagner would recognize D pinch and peel back fairly consistently with Gagner doing this several times a game and on some occassions actually making a reasonable to good D type play. (bad ones as well) But thing is when you're back as a forward on an odd man rush upcoming bad things are likely going to happen. People like Staples will attribute an error stat. But meanwhile a guy like Eberle who is the least likely player on this club to get back on time gets no error because he isn't even in the frame of view when a GA occurs. Think about that. Think as well about Omark, who was rarely seen in ownzone in his rookie year, had less errors attributed on such a stat and a good apparent ratio of chances created vs errors. But again David Staples was using a poor metric and Centers being penalized in the error stat on the basis of something like losing a faceoff(which results in an immediate biased per posiition played metric)

What people should focus on is which players are INVOLVED both offensively and defensively and which make efforts on both ends of the ice. Gagner did, and consistently. By doing so he would have exposed some flaws and areas of work. But those being on display because of him playing positionally improved hockey and being in the heat areas in ownzone.

Additionally Gagners pk numbers last year were very good. Really the best on the club. just saying
Gagner played the 7th most shorthanded minutes per game of any Oilers forward last season.

Here are the players who played more than him on a per game basis:

Eric Belanger: 3:08 TOI/G
Jerred Smithson: 2:57 TOI/G
Lennart Petrell: 2:31 TOI/G
Ryan Smyth: 2:29 TOI/G
Anton Lander: 1:45 TOI/G

What a distinguished list of players to be viewed as a second option to.

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