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Has Gagner proven to you to be a legit 2C?

View Poll Results: Is Gagner a legit 2C
Yes proven 2C keep him 184 67.40%
Yes proven 2C trade him 44 16.12%
No not a proven 2C 45 16.48%
Voters: 273. You may not vote on this poll

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Old
02-11-2013, 12:28 PM
  #251
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pros and Cons View Post
If this was a court case, closing arguments can also include:

1) Joe Thornton has never been on a Stanley Cup winning team (but Boston can forward all kinds of thanks)
2) Washington (even Chicago) seem to be at the top of the favourites to win each year, but fail to produce a steady # 2 big center year after year.
3) Anaheim have been off to a great start.....who is there huge guy down the middle @ 2C?
4) We have to stop comparing (and holding the bar up so high) to the Messier & Gretzky days (to now)
5) Defense wins championsips (great goaltending and superb special team play).
6) Creating a game system within the organization and on the ice will increase wins, when you surround the team with players who stick around, and wins create confidence (dangerous in the world of hockey, more so then a huge # 2 centerman)
Yep, I mentioned as well that Thornton never won the SC. Maybe its still coming. Great player, but the notion that theres one way to win is offputting to me. Agreed as well that some of this may be an ode to the Gretz-Mess days.

Yes, the reality of it is D and goaltending win championships. Not sure where this notion of shutdown D being integral got started or why.

Its really dangerous for an org to sacrifice good to great players to run some kind of preconceived script on what the recipe is. Better to keep adding quality players at every position and filling out the lineup. Sometimes those additions are innocuous picks and moves. Who thought the kidline was going to be great in 90?

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02-11-2013, 12:50 PM
  #252
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Meanashell11 View Post
I think we can all agree he is no Rob Schremp, right BBO?
Yep, at least if we move him we'll get something in return so that is a big +.

Quote:
Originally Posted by longtimeoilfan View Post
This.

Gagner simply hasn't the tools to be a top line (1a or 1b) center. His heart and drive are commendable, but its the 'tools' for the job that he lacks. If Tambellini and company want to keep him an Oiler, move him to wing - granted this would probably mean using Hemsky to get 'us' the center 'we' need. Neither Gagner nor Hemsky have any business being on the 3rd or 4th lines.

Gagner's play against Umberger last night - when Umberger scored, reminded me of the times I have watched little birds go after eagles. Try as they might (and one has to give credit to the little birds, they are determined and they are showing about as much heart as a bird is capable of), all their fluttering around amounts to little more than an annoyance. No real affect at all.
Good post!

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Originally Posted by McClelland View Post
! I see you like the tail of a couple posters who posts frequently, the big fishes needs small fishes. You questioned my love for the team when i said that hall and hemsky gags was a misfit as a line(but your guru was against it the next day) . I can tell you that none of my posts is against this team or any players, Gagners case isnt about a bad player its about a misfit for the team who needs to get bigger and stronger and our wingers needs support from the c position at fo and winning battles.

If i go up in the night to watch the games, then i have expections on my team, and the only important thing for me is to get my team better.
Im not posting to win discussion or scratching others back or take shots at other posters(you are the first one). You must respect others opinions, and post your own.

My view that Gags isnt a 2c going forward have a lot of supporters, 2 mods and others vets on the board, but you goes after a pretty new poster with english as 2 language, that says alot about you!
With all due respect just because Mods agree with you doesn't mean that you're right, although in this case you are

However as long as the discussion stays respectful and doesn't break rules no infractions will be handed out. It is also against the rules to talk about moderation on the open forum so please refrain from doing that and leave that to the moderators.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pros and Cons View Post
There are teams who are considered contenders, that have a 2nd line center that is not a Gagner type. Gagner is 23 years old with 6 years experience. When given the opprtunity I feel he is a great fit for this team now and moving forward.
Belanger/Horcoff is a pretty good fit as a 3C (but with limited offense)
When the going gets tough and say we are in St. Louis in the playoffs and they roll out David Backes against #89, do you like our chances? How about if we are in Anaheim and they roll out Getzlaf? This is how it will be when the playoffs come, key word is WHEN If we had a guy like Hanzal as the 3C or ROR then maybe we could afford to have a player like Gagner down the middle, so what do we give up to get that elite 3C?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pros and Cons View Post
I should clarify being a Gagner type doesnt mean 6 years experience and is 23 years old. I am talking about his potential in the league with the offensive and character that he has, and he has many years to keep getting better given how good he can be.
Honest question, how many years should we wait to see if he can get good enough defensively and on the faceoff dot?

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Originally Posted by Replacement View Post
Excellent post and rebuttal but not getting the attention it deserves. The latter point as well is the perfect logical extension. That really we have nobody that can go against the Thorntons of the league but then again few teams ever do. Theres different ways to win hockey games. If Joe Thornton, arguably the most physically dominating Center in hockey today was the sole recipe to winning well then...
RNH looked pretty damn good against him IMO.

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Originally Posted by Replacement View Post
Is this a condescending comment?

What behemoth center was "shutting down opponents in 05-06? Other than Stoll we didn't have a lot of size at the position. Peca's not exactly a big guy. Strong yes. Guys can get strong.

What shutdown Center did Carolina have that year?

You're potentially locking yourself in a one way to win narrative and expecting everybody to hold the same view or they are wrong.
Stoll, Peca, and Brind 'Amour are MUCH stronger than Gagner and all 3 of them play bigger as well and are better defensively, next.

So now tell me how you expect us to win a cup with Gagner down the middle.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pros and Cons View Post
If this was a court case, closing arguments can also include:

1) Joe Thornton has never been on a Stanley Cup winning team (but Boston can forward all kinds of thanks)
2) Washington (even Chicago) seem to be at the top of the favourites to win each year, but fail to produce a steady # 2 big center year after year.
3) Anaheim have been off to a great start.....who is there huge guy down the middle @ 2C?
4) We have to stop comparing (and holding the bar up so high) to the Messier & Gretzky days (to now)
5) Defense wins championsips (great goaltending and superb special team play).
6) Creating a game system within the organization and on the ice will increase wins, when you surround the team with players who stick around, and wins create confidence (dangerous in the world of hockey, more so then a huge # 2 centerman)
1) It's a team game and he's been pretty s9olid the last couple of playoffs.
2) What has Washington won? Chicago has a solid 3C in Bolland and when they did win much more size in the right places and grit than we do.
3) Getzlaf like Thornton are guys that can match up with anybody and give you the luxury of having a Gagner behind them if that is how you want to go about it.
4) Fair enough, but the goal is to win a cup is it not?
5) And so does center quality and depth.
6) Playing 2 way hockey wins hockey games, winning more than your share of puck battles wins hockey games, and high end skill wins hockey games, IMO Gagner has the latter but not the rest at least not yet.

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Old
02-11-2013, 12:56 PM
  #253
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Remember to leave the moderating up to the moderators. If you have an issue with a post then use the report function or PM a mod with the link to the post. Also talking about the ignore function in the open board in a no no.

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02-11-2013, 01:09 PM
  #254
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Originally Posted by McClelland View Post
You are close to get your self in the "elite" of posters, concerning stalk other posters.
Last night I tried to walk away from this disastrous conversation and give you the last word (post #318 in GDT). But after tossing and turning all night in frustration you for some reason felt the need to latch onto a completely unrelated post in another thread - one not directed in any way at you - and start up again with nonsensical talk about the tails of little fishes. So its odd for you to blame me for continuing a conversation that you are clearly the one pursuing.

As for "stalking" ... meh, you post on a public board you are going to get some negative feedback.
If you can't handle it, well I assume you know what your options are.
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Your obsession for small players isnt "normal" are you a midget yourself, then i can understand that you feels bad when small mentioned as something bad.
More nonsense that has nothing to do with the topic at hand. I defend the players I like. I've defended "midgets" (nice) like Penner, Souray and Stortini on this board. Gagner's size is pretty much irrelevant to me. If you actually comprehended what I have posted on the topic you'd see that.
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You cant hammer in your opinions, and you sure dont have more right because you posts 30 posts in every thread, it only makes you looking obsessed.
I have just now reached three thousand posts in seven years .... I think that averages out to 1.5 posts per day. So no, thirty posts in every thread, you must have me confused with someone else.

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02-11-2013, 01:16 PM
  #255
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If you guys want to continue this discussion take it to PM, this thread is heated enough without these kinds of pissing matches to pour gas on the fire.

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02-11-2013, 01:35 PM
  #256
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bryanbryoil View Post
Yep, at least if we move him we'll get something in return so that is a big +.



Good post!



With all due respect just because Mods agree with you doesn't mean that you're right, although in this case you are

However as long as the discussion stays respectful and doesn't break rules no infractions will be handed out. It is also against the rules to talk about moderation on the open forum so please refrain from doing that and leave that to the moderators.



When the going gets tough and say we are in St. Louis in the playoffs and they roll out David Backes against #89, do you like our chances? How about if we are in Anaheim and they roll out Getzlaf? This is how it will be when the playoffs come, key word is WHEN If we had a guy like Hanzal as the 3C or ROR then maybe we could afford to have a player like Gagner down the middle, so what do we give up to get that elite 3C?



Honest question, how many years should we wait to see if he can get good enough defensively and on the faceoff dot?
how many minutes a night is Steckel playing?


RNH looked pretty damn good against him IMO.



Stoll, Peca, and Brind 'Amour are MUCH stronger than Gagner and all 3 of them play bigger as well and are better defensively, next.

So now tell me how you expect us to win a cup with Gagner down the middle.



1) It's a team game and he's been pretty s9olid the last couple of playoffs.agreed
2) What has Washington won? exactly - people looked passed that when they picked them based on offense Chicago has a solid 3C in Bolland and when they did win much more size in the right places and grit than we do. why does Chi not give Bolland @ 2C
3) Getzlaf like Thornton are guys that can match up with anybody and give you the luxury of having a Gagner behind them if that is how you want to go about it. But tend to have issues with speedy teams
4) Fair enough, but the goal is to win a cup is it not? exactly
5) And so does center quality and depth. I believe Boston couldn't buy a goal on the PP in the cup run but yet still won without Savard and Bergeron
6) Playing 2 way hockey wins hockey games, winning more than your share of puck battles wins hockey games, and high end skill wins hockey games, IMO Gagner has the latter but not the rest at least not yet.
I will agree Gagner needs to be stronger, but he can be. You can't teach skill, but you can be tought how to win battles (RNH as an example, and he is smaller then Gags)

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02-11-2013, 01:40 PM
  #257
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Originally Posted by Bryanbryoil View Post
If you guys want to continue this discussion take it to PM, this thread is heated enough without these kinds of pissing matches to pour gas on the fire.
Using me as an example, I was enjoying our debate BBO. I trust I wasn't stepping out of line and coming off incorrectly.

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02-11-2013, 01:46 PM
  #258
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I never understood the Gagner hate around here, kid is 23 and is always trying his hardest to improve.

He's one of my favourite Oilers and appears to be thriving this year.

I remember after we drafted him and he played his first few games here everyone was high on him and pinned the future of the club on his back, and now people are ripping him when he's done nothing but get increased responsibility. he's 23 and has played 6 NHL seaons, he will only improve, he's the kind of player we need more of, gives 100% every night.

legit 2nd Center in my eyes.

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02-11-2013, 01:54 PM
  #259
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Originally Posted by Declassified View Post
I never understood the Gagner hate around here, kid is 23 and is always trying his hardest to improve.

He's one of my favourite Oilers and appears to be thriving this year.

I remember after we drafted him and he played his first few games here everyone was high on him and pinned the future of the club on his back, and now people are ripping him when he's done nothing but get increased responsibility. he's 23 and has played 6 NHL seaons, he will only improve, he's the kind of player we need more of, gives 100% every night.

legit 2nd Center in my eyes.
Bravo. This guy even drops the gloves from time to time. He seems to have a great attitude and has paid some dues. How many times has he been in the doghouse, but when you watch the games, he was 100% effort night in and out. His production will increase with guys who can put the puck in the net. When you sit back and watch him in the offensive zone, he is always creating chances, it is notis fault if he was mismatched on odd lines. Now you give him some skill on the wings (consistently) and lets see what happens.

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02-11-2013, 01:58 PM
  #260
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Originally Posted by Declassified View Post
I never understood the Gagner hate around here, kid is 23 and is always trying his hardest to improve.

He's one of my favourite Oilers and appears to be thriving this year.

I remember after we drafted him and he played his first few games here everyone was high on him and pinned the future of the club on his back, and now people are ripping him when he's done nothing but get increased responsibility. he's 23 and has played 6 NHL seaons, he will only improve, he's the kind of player we need more of, gives 100% every night.

legit 2nd Center in my eyes.
Hey, we have this 23 year old vet and he's OVER 1PPG, pretty good eh?

Yeah man - that's awesome. But how are his faceoffs?

Oh, bad - less than 40% this year.

What? That's a garbage player - we need to get rid of him ASAP. Trade him straight up for Zenon Konopka. Because scoring goals doesn't win hockey games, winning faceoffs does.


I just have to laugh at the people so entrenched in their negative view of Gagner that they refuse to acknowledge what is staring them straight in the eye - even with his deficiencies, the kid is a very very good 2C - borderline 1C.

Keep harping on "not strong enough", "not good enough on faceoffs" while he's making spectacular plays all over the ice and leading this team in scoring.

He has been light years ahead of the golden child RNH this year. (this'll bring em out of the woodwork ) - easily our best C so far, AINEC.

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02-11-2013, 02:06 PM
  #261
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The sad thing is, even if Gagner ups his faceoff win percentage to say 50% over time, he still won't be good enough for a lot of posters here because he isn't a couple inches taller. It's ridiculous.

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02-11-2013, 02:11 PM
  #262
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Originally Posted by SeriousBusiness View Post
The sad thing is, even if Gagner ups his faceoff win percentage to say 50% over time, he still won't be good enough for a lot of posters here because he isn't a couple inches taller. It's ridiculous.
Well it's a valid concern. At 5'11" you can't be a legitimate NHLer. You can only become legit at 6'.

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02-11-2013, 02:25 PM
  #263
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Thing is everyone has their opinion some like Gagner some don't but boy does it get heated in any thread about him he is the hf oil agitator

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02-11-2013, 02:30 PM
  #264
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Originally Posted by Oiltankjob 4 93 64 View Post
Thing is everyone has their opinion some like Gagner some don't but boy does it get heated in any thread about him he is the hf oil agitator
Would not want to play against him if he left.

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02-11-2013, 02:32 PM
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Would not want to play against him if he left.
I like him I think he does not deserve the hate but its like a liberal conservitive debate when his name is mentioned,

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02-11-2013, 02:42 PM
  #266
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I like him I think he does not deserve the hate but its like a liberal conservitive debate when his name is mentioned,
I don't think its hate. The thought seems to be, he is not suited for his role.
I respectfully disagree.

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02-11-2013, 03:16 PM
  #267
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Good post!
heh, the guy is talking about birds, eagles, and undefined tools and its a good post. At least you know why you feel that way.

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With all due respect just because Mods agree with you doesn't mean that you're right, although in this case you are
heh

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However as long as the discussion stays respectful and doesn't break rules no infractions will be handed out. It is also against the rules to talk about moderation on the open forum so please refrain from doing that and leave that to the moderators.
Oh, I don't miss this stuff.



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When the going gets tough and say we are in St. Louis in the playoffs and they roll out David Backes against #89, do you like our chances? How about if we are in Anaheim and they roll out Getzlaf? This is how it will be when the playoffs come, key word is WHEN If we had a guy like Hanzal as the 3C or ROR then maybe we could afford to have a player like Gagner down the middle, so what do we give up to get that elite 3C?
I'n chronically guilty of overthinking but even I don't think its imperative to make moves today to cover up weaknesses that we might have in a contending team years down the road. The only constant being that a lot changes between then and now. As much as I like all the players you mention all have limitations. What has Getzlaf done lately and without Pronger what would he have ever accomplished in his career besides nothing? Which brings up the real point that its world class D that create shutdown. We have one of those now. You know the Schultz I'm talkng about. The brilliant one.

Quote:
Honest question, how many years should we wait to see if he can get good enough defensively and on the faceoff dot?
Stoll wasn't all that great at faceoffs either at one point. I seem to recall Adam Oates taking the centers under his wing. Trouble is we don't have a good on ice teacher in that regard. horc isn't too accomplished himself or we wouldn't be having years of problems.


Quote:
RNH looked pretty damn good against him IMO.
Well I'm not sure what to say about this. Thornton can muscle anybody around and bull to the net. Most forwards don't stand much of a chance with this guy.



Quote:
Stoll, Peca, and Brind 'Amour are MUCH stronger than Gagner and all 3 of them play bigger as well and are better defensively, next.
Pretty sure I acknowledged that earlier. Curiosly enough there was no end of people busy here getting rid of Stoll before and after that year because he just ain't good enough. But now he's he guy we need. I don't disagree but we discard our players like confetti.

Quote:
So now tell me how you expect us to win a cup with Gagner down the middle.
I expect Gagner to get stronger and imagine he will. Obviously no Brindy, but enough that he could stand in the dot better and contain better. Above we're comparing Gagner to a couple players much older than him and who were in prime of life, and Stoll who is just a fine broth of a lad.

In my view we win because we are an explosive team with speed, skill that other clubs have difficulty containing. We win through puck possession, smart play up and down the ice, and through whittling our opponents down.

Kreugers view is that we win by making other clubs worry about our arsenal and damage we can do rather then what the opponent can do. What this does is open things up somewhat so that the offensive plaeyrs on this club can get confident. work in progress obviously but I think we had been over rating our D. I really don't think it was that good and Petry, Smid, Whitney, Peckham, etc being chronically over rated. Now that we have a ringer like J Schultz people can see plain as day what a very good D looks like in comparison. Hopefully Klefbom isn't too put behind schedule without all the hockey he's missed. Maybe Fistric learns some things. I really think we have to have better D overall.

When I look back at the Carolina series I don't think they beat us at the Center position at all. I think we were stronger at that position. How Carolina beat us is through scoring depth. They had mixed lines of scoring. Really after game one Brindy didn't do a whole lot in that series. Without the first game Roli disaster I don't know if he's big in that game either.

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02-11-2013, 04:48 PM
  #268
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Originally Posted by Hoogaar23 View Post
He has been light years ahead of the golden child RNH this year. (this'll bring em out of the woodwork ) - easily our best C so far, AINEC.
You are apparently equating 'best' to offensive production. No doubt Sam has better offensive numbers to RNH so far this year. But there are many more traits that make up a good C than offense. The improvements in RNH's defensive game this year have been phenomenal. To see a 19 yer old obviously take the time over the summer and down in OKC to learn the little nuances of the defensive side of the game bodes well for his future. Unfortunately Sam is in year six and hasn't quite grasped the same defensive concepts that RNH has already grasped as a 19 year old. But I'm sure it will happen in year seven. Or eight.

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02-11-2013, 05:32 PM
  #269
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Originally Posted by bellagiobob View Post
You are apparently equating 'best' to offensive production. No doubt Sam has better offensive numbers to RNH so far this year. But there are many more traits that make up a good C than offense. The improvements in RNH's defensive game this year have been phenomenal. To see a 19 yer old obviously take the time over the summer and down in OKC to learn the little nuances of the defensive side of the game bodes well for his future. Unfortunately Sam is in year six and hasn't quite grasped the same defensive concepts that RNH has already grasped as a 19 year old. But I'm sure it will happen in year seven. Or eight.
I think it quite possible that this is seeing what one wants to see. You colorfully wrote all the bolded without saying one concrete thing. Its all superlatives. Both are exhibiting, developing, and making sound defensive plays. Both are also making mistakes.

Its odd indeed after a game in which Gagner made yet another brilliant ownzone, shorthanded play, aggressively pursuing, stripping a puck, and causing the winning goal that we are talking about all his D liability. Did he make mistake on the umberger goal sure, but note that he's consistently in the right areas to make plays. Sometimes its the players that are horribly out of position that get less mention when a GA comes because they're no where to be seen. Not saying on the Umberger play, but just in general.

For the moment Gagner is bad at faceoffs. Somewhat small. Objectively thats what you got. The rest is subjective and with us all to some degree seeing different things. Which is fine.

ps I didn't get back to your last reply to me and you've expressed yourself, as usual, quite well. You write with brilliant nuance.

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02-11-2013, 06:12 PM
  #270
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This fanbase sometimes makes me want to drive nails into my skull. Why does everyone want to get rid of Gagner? Just because he's not 6'2? He's 23, of course Mike Peca and Rod Brind'Amour were stronger then Gagner is now, because they had man strength. Gagner is still a kid basically. He's starting to fill out, and it's showing this year, he's much heavier on his stick.

I think if anything we just have to do is use to size we have on the wings and try running either three lines to score.

Harti/RNH/Eberle
Hall/Gagner/Yakupov
PRV/Belanger/Hemsky

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02-11-2013, 06:16 PM
  #271
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Gagner can pass the puck as well as anyone, but to bed a legit top 2C or even a top-six forward he needs to gain strength and a bit more 2-way ability I think.

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02-11-2013, 06:23 PM
  #272
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Originally Posted by longtimeoilfan View Post
This.

Gagner simply hasn't the tools to be a top line (1a or 1b) center. His heart and drive are commendable, but its the 'tools' for the job that he lacks. If Tambellini and company want to keep him an Oiler, move him to wing - granted this would probably mean using Hemsky to get 'us' the center 'we' need. Neither Gagner nor Hemsky have any business being on the 3rd or 4th lines.

Gagner's play against Umberger last night - when Umberger scored, reminded me of the times I have watched little birds go after eagles. Try as they might (and one has to give credit to the little birds, they are determined and they are showing about as much heart as a bird is capable of), all their fluttering around amounts to little more than an annoyance. No real affect at all.
Who can we trade Hemsky for to centre our second line?

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02-11-2013, 06:24 PM
  #273
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I think it quite possible that this is seeing what one wants to see. You colorfully wrote all the bolded without saying one concrete thing. Its all superlatives. Both are exhibiting, developing, and making sound defensive plays. Both are also making mistakes.

Its odd indeed after a game in which Gagner made yet another brilliant ownzone, shorthanded play, aggressively pursuing, stripping a puck, and causing the winning goal that we are talking about all his D liability. Did he make mistake on the umberger goal sure, but note that he's consistently in the right areas to make plays. Sometimes its the players that are horribly out of position that get less mention when a GA comes because they're no where to be seen. Not saying on the Umberger play, but just in general.

For the moment Gagner is bad at faceoffs. Somewhat small. Objectively thats what you got. The rest is subjective and with us all to some degree seeing different things. Which is fine.

ps I didn't get back to your last reply to me and you've expressed yourself, as usual, quite well. You write with brilliant nuance.
We all see different things. No doubt about that. But you asked for some concrete stats, so here are a few prior to the game yesterday. And this is with RNH for the most part playing against superior opposition.

GFON/60 at ES

Gagner 2.13
RNH 2.01

GAON/60
RNH 1.6
Gagner 3.41

+-On/60
RNH +.41
Gagner -1.28

Again, I appreciate Sam's offensive abilities. I just see his skillset better utilized on the wing.

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02-11-2013, 06:35 PM
  #274
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Originally Posted by bellagiobob View Post
We all see different things. No doubt about that. But you asked for some concrete stats, so here are a few prior to the game yesterday. And this is with RNH for the most part playing against superior opposition.

GFON/60 at ES

Gagner 2.13
RNH 2.01

GAON/60
RNH 1.6
Gagner 3.41

+-On/60
RNH +.41
Gagner -1.28

Again, I appreciate Sam's offensive abilities. I just see his skillset better utilized on the wing.
With all due respect this is silly.

Theres zero validity in posting GFOn/OFF stats at this point. This is a known. These stats have no statistical validity at such limited sample size nor do they correct which players are corelated on the ice.

Everything you stated above is likely explained by one variable. Matched D pairings. The topline has often had the number 1 pair Schultzes on it while the second line has often had Whitney and whatever other dreck. I assure you that would be the salient operative variable right now.

Interestingly this changed yesterday and I welcome it. Nice to see Gagner getting the support of J Schultz and rid of Whitney for at least one game.

Heres a simpler stat but probably more meaningful.

Gagner 13pts

Nuge 5pts (despite that Nuge is playing with the most elite talented players on the club and with J Schultz driving much of the production that the line has)

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02-11-2013, 06:45 PM
  #275
bellagiobob
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With all due respect this is silly.

Theres zero validity in posting GFOn/OFF stats at this point. This is a known. These stats have no statistical validity at such limited sample size nor do they correct which players are corelated on the ice.

Everything you stated above is likely explained by one variable. Matched D pairings. The topline has often had the number 1 pair Schultzes on it while the second line has often had Whitney and whatever other dreck. I assure you that would be the salient operative variable right now.

Interestingly this changed yesterday and I welcome it. Nice to see Gagner getting the support of J Schultz and rid of Whitney for at least one game.

Heres a simpler stat but probably more meaningful.

Gagner 13pts

Nuge 5pts (despite that Nuge is playing with the most elite talented players on the club and with J Schultz driving much of the production that the line has)
Gagner plays with Whitney 3:48min/G

Gagner plays with Potter 2:16min/G

RNH plays with Whitney 3:23min/G

RNH plays with Potter 1:54min/G

Basically 20 seconds difference.

You can call the stats silly, but you asked for some concrete evidence. I guess I could comb thru the video archives and show you examples of why I think RNH has improved his defensive zone play by leaps and bounds, but like you said, we all have our own points of view, and those aren't likely to change.

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