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02-28-2014, 08:34 PM
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Originally Posted by decma View Post
From a statistical standpoint, Yakupov has been the Oilers worst defensive forward this season, by a large margin, Eberle has been around average for the team, and Hemsky has been very good.

54 ES and SH goals have been scored against Edm when Yakupov has been on the ice. 55 have been scored against when Eberle has been on the ice, but he has played 40% more ES minutes than Yakupov.

Only 36 have been scored against when Hemsky has been on the ice, even though he has played slightly more ES minutes than Yakupov.

Projected over a full season (1200 minutes, equivalent to 80 games of 15 mins of ES ice time per game), here are the total non-PP GA against each of the Oil fwds.

Yakupov 97
Gagner 82
Hall 76
RNH 72
Smyth 71
Eberle 70
Perron 69
Hemsky 61
Arcobello 60
Gordon 56

There may be a perception that Hemsky and Eberle don't battle in the corners, forecheck, or sustain possession, but fewer goals are scored against the team when Hemsky is on the ice, accounting for ice time, than are scored against when any other top 9 winger is on the ice.

Eberle is pretty much in the middle of the wingers.

Gagner has been the worst defensive center, but a line of Hemsky-Gagner-Eberle is actually better defensively than Hall-RNH-Yakupov (collective full-season GA of 213 vs. 245).

Maybe linemates, line matchups, and zone starts have influenced these numbers, but I doubt they have enough to explain the huge difference between Yakupov's GA totals and Hemsky's, for example.
Hemsky comes off better in the numbers above because he's high priced talent put into bottomsix assignment and seeing similar opposition. Hemsky isn't even on a checking or shutdown line as such in that the Oilers largely don't line match under Eakins. What Hemsky is this year is proverbially a college student being put back into highschool and still with below average results. Hemsky should be outright owning the type of opposition he is seeing this season. One of the big pluses for him should be exploiting teams weaker lines as the better lines are assigned to our topsix.
Its no mystery Hemsky is going to have less GA. The nature of players he's facing don't score a hell of a lot of goals. Combine that with Hemsky seeing a lot of players like Gordon this year that can actually save bacon.

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