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What is different from last year?

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12-21-2003, 11:24 AM
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What is different from last year?

As the time continues the annual December slide, I thought it would be worth taking a look at some numbers and see what has changed from last year, in terms of the role that players are filling. I'm focusing on the skaters, rather than the tenders, but I think we can all agree that goaltending has been a problem. Two of those goals last night were bush league goals-I'm having flashbacks to the days of Essensa and Shtalenkov. Bad times, bad times. In addition, I'm only looking at players who have been on the team both seasons, in order to see how their role has changed. Igor, if you read this, I'd love to see something appended looking at how players +/- have changed from last season, so that we can maybe get an idea of which players are worthy of the larger role that they are getting, and which players maybe aren't.

Without further ado...
Stoll	3.97	51.36%
Hemsky	3.66	30.32%
Staios	2.50	11.22%
Pisani	2.31	21.55%
Cross	2.27	13.06%
Horcoff	2.17	16.10%
Dvorak	2.08	13.19%
Reason	1.86	12.55%
Fergus	1.40	11.40%
Berger	1.28	7.76%
Moreau	1.27	9.41%
York	0.98	5.14%
Chimera	0.12	1.12%
Laraque	0.00	0.00%
Smith	-0.40	-1.84%
Isbiste	-0.42	-3.05%
Smyth	-0.73	-3.77%
Semenov	-1.71	-8.69%
Brewer 	-2.90	-11.64%
These are the total ice time numbers. The number on the right is total change in terms of minutes, the number on the left is the increase that represents over the average TOI of last season. In my mind, the surprises are down near the bottom. Of the five players who are down in ice time from last year, three of them are guys that we would consider our go to guys in my opinion. Brewer is particularly baffling, but maybe Igor can shed some light on that with some total +/- numbers. I also have no idea what has caused Smyth to drop. I would expect Stoll's big jump to fall back as the season progresses-a healthy Reasoner will no doubt have a negative impact on his ice time. For all of the Horcoff haters, which includes myself, I think its interesting to note that he has had the fourth biggest increase in terms of his role. This is a really rough analysis, but I decided to check which of the forwards were had increased their offensive numbers by a number commensurate with their increased or decreased ice time. The results are as follows.
York	0.70	0.72	-2.97%
Hemsky	0.69	0.51	35.21%
Smyth	0.64	0.92	-31.15%
Dvorak	0.52	0.47	10.39%
Horcoff	0.38	0.42	-11.36%
Moreau	0.30	0.40	-23.75%
Pisani	0.33	0.37	-10.26%
Isbiste	0.35	0.42	-18.01%
Reason	0.62	0.44	38.96%
Stoll	0.33	0.25	33.33%
Chimera	0.18	0.35	-48.76%
Laraque	0.12	0.20	-40.92%
It's pretty useless looking at Stoll because of the tiny sample size from last year, and all of these are based on small sample sizes from this year, but its interesting to note that very few guys are even close to justifying their increased or decreased roles in terms of points. As I noted last summer, stopping goals is just as important is scoring them, and if Igor can show the goal differential is improved for these guys, then I guess they can justify their increased ice times. In terms of increase/decrease of PPG - increase/decrease of ice time it looks like this

Chimera	-49.87%
Laraque	-40.92%
Moreau	-33.16%
Pisani	-31.80%
Horcoff	-27.46%
Smyth	-27.37%
Stoll	-18.03%
Isbiste	-14.96%
York	-8.11%
Dvorak	-2.80%
Hemsky	4.89%
Reason	26.41%
Offensively at least, the only guys who can justify their increase in ice time with increased offence are Reasoner and Hemsky. Everyone else has been just brutal in that regard with Laraque and Chimera being outstandingly bad.

I have a lot more to say about this, in terms of special teams-why is Mike York down a minute a game on the PK, its not like the guys we have right now are getting the job done, or that we don't take enough penalties, but I've got a paper to finish, so it'll have to come later. Either way, food for thought.

Last edited by mudcrutch79: 12-21-2003 at 12:25 PM.
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12-21-2003, 11:42 AM
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Well, Hemsky's position in the lineup was nowhere near solidified at this point in the season last year. He was playing on the fourth line and had limited minutes.

This season, Hemsky has been probably one of the Oilers' only consistent threats offensively and his icetime has elevated as the result.

It's funny to see MacT put him on the pk. While he's nowhere near as poor defensively as last season, is he the best candidate to be put on the pk? Do we want to risk him getting injured blocking a point shot?

But at the very least, this speeds up his defensive awareness I suppose.

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12-21-2003, 12:05 PM
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the difference is we dont have Todd Marchant who was here for what, 10 years??? & the other difference is Mike Comrie held out & he was our top line centre. I dont see why people expected the Oilers to be really good this year. we're also without Janne Ninimaa & Anson Carter who were dealt at the deadline last March. so not only our top 2 line centres from last year (Comrie & Marchant), but also our top line right wing (Anson Carter) & one of our better d-men the last 6 seasons..

Comrie 51 points
Carter - 55 points (before he was dealt)
Niinimaa 28 points (before he was dealt)
Marchant 60 points

total - 194 points...

Todd Marchant was also our best penalty killer for the last several seasons. we're just going through some growing pains, & we're looking to post-2004, so just be patient & after a new CBA is hammered out & there's a level playing field, we'll have a lot of success, but til then, just be patient!!

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12-21-2003, 02:43 PM
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i couldnt agree more... there is LOTS different (though i realize that the idea of this post wasnt to talk about the changes in personel but rather the changes in how the personel is being utilized)

but the changes that have killed us are, in order of importance according to me:

1. terrible goaltending, as opposed to just bad goaltending last year
2. no "real" 1st line center, while i love york he is a 2nd line center
3. the worst specialy teams play ive almost ever seen by an NHL team
4. lack of centers - though once oates gets his act together and reasoner gets back this will improve (but by then we could be WELL out of a playoff position)
5. a very young team - while we have always had a young team, this year other circumstances (see above) have put greater pressure on the team

what really gets me is the fact that out of these 5 reasons only the specialty teams play and the youth factor is more than likely going to improve next season..... we still wont have a #1 tender once they release salo, conklin is a capable backup but i dont think hes a starter capable of playing 50+ games...... we still wont have a legit #1 centermen next year (or prolly the next, unless niinimaki or some other player all of a sudden turns into one, but that is VERY unlikely)..... we will still have a lack of centers as the ones we have that are ready to step in are 3rd-4th line centermen, not 1st-2nd liners...... i dont really see the team addressing any of these needs either to be honest, unless they do some trades later on in the season or at the deadline, but that isnt very likely with the CBA looming

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