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How Improved Are The Oilers.

View Poll Results: How improved are we?
Enough to make the playoffs 57 16.62%
Enough to make us compete for the final spot 184 53.64%
Only Enough to move up a spot or two 80 23.32%
We did not improve 22 6.41%
Voters: 343. You may not vote on this poll

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Old
08-18-2013, 07:07 PM
  #126
Tedi
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I'm not dismissive at all. Krueger was an atrociously bad coach, and if he was replaced by a great, proven NHL coach it'd be something I'd find worth mentioning when trying to make intelligent predictions, the way that Perron is a proven improvement over MPS, the way that Ference is a proven improvement over, say, Corey Potter.

However, the Oilers hired a rookie who has no track record, so there's no data to look at. The Oilers were a profoundly bad team last year (that were helped to the poor finish they did achieve with a +1000 PDO) that have improved demonstrably in very few areas, and dramatically in none.

I totally get the allure of wanting to believe we'll be better. I get that people are expecting J. Schultz and Yak to be leaps better than they were last season. People had the same expectation of Nuge in his sophomore year and it didn't happen. You can't rely on "the kids getting better" to dramatically improve this team.
What?? On a team full of relatively young guys, all we have to rely on is their progression. RNH had a down year so that is the basis for all future developments. I do expect the Oil to be better this year, dramatically? well maybe I wouldn't go to that extent.

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08-18-2013, 07:25 PM
  #127
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Originally Posted by Tedi View Post
What?? On a team full of relatively young guys, all we have to rely on is their progression. RNH had a down year so that is the basis for all future developments. I do expect the Oil to be better this year, dramatically? well maybe I wouldn't go to that extent.
The problem with last year's team wasn't the kids (with the exception of J. Schultz and Yak being atrocious defensively, which was a problem). They were a dominant line, plus Yak who scored a bunch of points in garbage time at the end of the season. Them being that small percentage more dominant won't get the team anywhere of note.

Thought experiment: if every "kid" (Eberle, RNH, Yak, Hall, Schultz) on the team manages to have a better season (a massively unlikely thing), how many more points do the Oilers have at the end of the year?

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08-18-2013, 10:00 PM
  #128
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Originally Posted by Sheeshta View Post
The problem with last year's team wasn't the kids (with the exception of J. Schultz and Yak being atrocious defensively, which was a problem). They were a dominant line, plus Yak who scored a bunch of points in garbage time at the end of the season. Them being that small percentage more dominant won't get the team anywhere of note.

Thought experiment: if every "kid" (Eberle, RNH, Yak, Hall, Schultz) on the team manages to have a better season (a massively unlikely thing), how many more points do the Oilers have at the end of the year?
RNH having a bounce back year, and Ebs not having a broken finger alone should be a drastic difference in points

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08-18-2013, 10:16 PM
  #129
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its all about 5-on-5 play

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08-18-2013, 10:18 PM
  #130
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Originally Posted by The Nuge View Post
RNH having a bounce back year, and Ebs not having a broken finger alone should be a drastic difference in points
If you take the idea that Eberle and RNH had a bad last year and delete their stats entirely and replace them with stats projected by their career average (Eberle's previous two years' stats, RNH's rookie year, obviously both small sample sizes) the Oilers would have scored... 8 more goals, 7 by RNH and 1 by Eberle.

It would have made a difference in the standings, but not a drastic one I don't think.

edit: which, holy crap. I hadn't looked at RNH's numbers in a while... god damn did dude fall off a cliff last year


Last edited by Sheeshta: 08-18-2013 at 10:34 PM.
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Old
08-18-2013, 11:00 PM
  #131
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edit: which, holy crap. I hadn't looked at RNH's numbers in a while... god damn did dude fall off a cliff last year
Understandable considering he was going head to head against Thorton/Datsyuk/Sedin caliber opponents as a 19 year old, and given the role to shut them down. His production fell off, sure....but it was for the best to have him battle against some of the league's top players. I'm confident that when he adjusts to that level of play, his numbers will creep back up. I'm sure the shoulder didn't help his point totals out either.

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08-18-2013, 11:16 PM
  #132
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Originally Posted by Sheeshta View Post
If you take the idea that Eberle and RNH had a bad last year and delete their stats entirely and replace them with stats projected by their career average (Eberle's previous two years' stats, RNH's rookie year, obviously both small sample sizes) the Oilers would have scored... 8 more goals, 7 by RNH and 1 by Eberle.

It would have made a difference in the standings, but not a drastic one I don't think.

edit: which, holy crap. I hadn't looked at RNH's numbers in a while... god damn did dude fall off a cliff last year
It's not just the goals they would have scored. You also have to factor the goals they would have created. Say the Oilers score 15 more goals, and win 5 more games, that puts them in a tie for the 8th seed

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08-18-2013, 11:21 PM
  #133
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Originally Posted by The Nuge View Post
It's not just the goals they would have scored. You also have to factor the goals they would have created. Say the Oilers score 15 more goals, and win 5 more games, that puts them in a tie for the 8th seed
Plus we have Perron replacing MPS, Ference replacing Whitney, Belov replacing Potter, Gordon replacing Horcoff

Hopefully Jones can become half decent again too.

If Eakins is half as good of a coach as he's being advertised by the media, we get an upgrade there too.

So Nuge/Eberle healthy maybe get us into the 8-10 range, the other upgrades get us into the playoffs.

Also I would argue that Yakupov was adjusting to the NHL for most of the season and really came into his own at the end of the year, I bet there will be some carry over and he should average more points this year then last year.

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08-19-2013, 12:41 AM
  #134
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I disagree with the 5on5 focus crap. They'll run the kids anyway, but more so if both the PP and PK arent able to win the game.

I guess the team still isnt built to grind it through 5on5....right?

If I knew what I was talking about I would go on to suggest a winning strategy...but I don't.

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Old
08-19-2013, 01:26 AM
  #135
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Hall-RNH-Eberle
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N.Schultz can be traded for a 3rd liner
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08-19-2013, 01:42 AM
  #136
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Originally Posted by Sheeshta View Post
If you take the idea that Eberle and RNH had a bad last year and delete their stats entirely and replace them with stats projected by their career average (Eberle's previous two years' stats, RNH's rookie year, obviously both small sample sizes) the Oilers would have scored... 8 more goals, 7 by RNH and 1 by Eberle.

It would have made a difference in the standings, but not a drastic one I don't think.

edit: which, holy crap. I hadn't looked at RNH's numbers in a while... god damn did dude fall off a cliff last year
How on earth have you not recognized that RNH was playing with a bum shoulder all of last season--and ever since he returned from injury in his rookie season?

Shockingly, that lingering injury affected his play.

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I disagree with the 5on5 focus crap. They'll run the kids anyway, but more so if both the PP and PK arent able to win the game.

I guess the team still isnt built to grind it through 5on5....right?

If I knew what I was talking about I would go on to suggest a winning strategy...but I don't.
Good thing you don't know what you're talking about!

Krueger implemented a 5v5 system last season that didn't work well. Our defencemen were playing man-to-man instead of zonally (what NHL team does this?!), our wingers played so high up on the points that they never helped the centres, and the centres had the absurd task of covering board-to-board rather than dot-to-dot.

Our breakouts involved throwing the puck up the ice to our wingers who were isolated from our other players, so we didn't have any decent puck support. The reason why you saw Gagner fly the zone early so often is so that there would actually be a body near the winger.

If Eakins implements a real 5v5 system that actually belongs in the NHL, then we'll see a huge improvement.

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08-19-2013, 01:47 AM
  #137
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Probably just enough to finish just outside the playoffs but we couldn't afford to extend another 1st overall pick anyways so it's probably better just to try and compete and improve through trade and free agency(and of course drafting well without a top 5 pick)

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08-19-2013, 02:17 AM
  #138
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Originally Posted by Panda Bear View Post

Krueger implemented a 5v5 system last season that didn't work well. Our defencemen were playing man-to-man instead of zonally (what NHL team does this?!), our wingers played so high up on the points that they never helped the centres, and the centres had the absurd task of covering board-to-board rather than dot-to-dot.

Our breakouts involved throwing the puck up the ice to our wingers who were isolated from our other players, so we didn't have any decent puck support. The reason why you saw Gagner fly the zone early so often is so that there would actually be a body near the winger.

If Eakins implements a real 5v5 system that actually belongs in the NHL, then we'll see a huge improvement.
Nice to see recognition of this on these boards. I was aware of the coverage issues but I didnt pick up the issue with breakouts.

Good post.

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08-19-2013, 03:56 AM
  #139
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Eesh. I'd almost forgotten how Kreuger played a system that no other team in the whole league did. I already disliked his coaching style just because of his player assignments (leading 2-1 heading into the third? HOPE YOU GUYS LIKE SMYTH), but his system really handicapped a lot of our players (like how Smid was easily our most effective defenceman most nights because he didn't bother playing Kreuger's system). On this note, for all the flak that Gagner got last season for his defensive breakdowns, it's important to note just how insane the demands were on centres in Kreuger's system, especially for a guy who isn't the fastest and is supposed to cover most of the zone.

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08-19-2013, 08:06 AM
  #140
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How on earth have you not recognized that RNH was playing with a bum shoulder all of last season--and ever since he returned from injury in his rookie season?

Shockingly, that lingering injury affected his play.

Good thing you don't know what you're talking about!
What? Have I been denying RNH's injury in my sleep?

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08-19-2013, 09:22 AM
  #141
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How on earth have you not recognized that RNH was playing with a bum shoulder all of last season--and ever since he returned from injury in his rookie season?

Shockingly, that lingering injury affected his play.

Good thing you don't know what you're talking about!

Krueger implemented a 5v5 system last season that didn't work well. Our defencemen were playing man-to-man instead of zonally (what NHL team does this?!), our wingers played so high up on the points that they never helped the centres, and the centres had the absurd task of covering board-to-board rather than dot-to-dot.

Our breakouts involved throwing the puck up the ice to our wingers who were isolated from our other players, so we didn't have any decent puck support. The reason why you saw Gagner fly the zone early so often is so that there would actually be a body near the winger.

If Eakins implements a real 5v5 system that actually belongs in the NHL, then we'll see a huge improvement.
Great post. RNH has been playing with shoulder issues since Junior. Can't wait to see him 100% healthy. I believe he will turn out to be the best of the bunch.

Also can't wait to see the 5on5 systems(s) Eakins implements.

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08-19-2013, 09:28 AM
  #142
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Nice to see recognition of this on these boards. I was aware of the coverage issues but I didnt pick up the issue with breakouts.

Good post.
For those interested...a link to different defensive systems in the NHL. Maybe Eakins will use a variety of these depending on opponent strengths??

http://nhlguides.net/defensive-zone-systems/

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08-19-2013, 09:56 AM
  #143
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The point I was trying (poorly) to make re: the kids getting better isn't whether or not the team will be better if all of the kids improve: it will be, though how much better is a question. I'm saying that it's massively unlikely that that actually, you know, happens. There are a bunch of ifs going into next season:

If Nuge returns to form after surgery
If the Hall at centre experiment works well enough to get the team through an unbelievably tough October schedule that they're not in a five game hole by Nov. 1
If J. Schultz manages to better his offensive output while improving his atrocious defence and doesn't sophomore slump
If Yak manages to improve his offensive output while improving his atrocious defence and doesn't sophomore slump
If Eakins is an actual NHL coach
If the Oilers brass are sudden geniuses and Joensuu, Hamilton, Grebeshkov and Belov are actually all NHL players somehow
If Gordon is the real deal and not a product of playing in PHX & with David Moss

then everything is great in Oilers town. However:

If Hall goes down again in classic Hall fashion
If Nuge goes down again or struggles for the first 20 games back
If Smyth regresses even further
If Hemsky disappears entirely in a 3rd line sulk
etc. etc.

then we're right back where we started. You can't just expect all of the positive ifs to happen and none of the negatives. I mean, you can, sure, but I'll think you're weird.

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08-19-2013, 10:05 AM
  #144
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3 seasons, and his game has apparently eroded. He hasn't represented Russia in international events, and his KHL stats have been bad, the last season especially.

He was an erratic offensive D-man probably best suited for 3rd pairing when he was here. Hopefully he has settled done a bit and is more dependable. Maybe he lost a step. Hard to say. 3 seasons can be a long time in hockey years.

Horcoff went from 50 in 53 games to 36 in 77 in two seasons.
Keep in mind his play eroded after the Lokomotiv plane crash.

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08-19-2013, 10:50 AM
  #145
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Originally Posted by Sheeshta View Post
The point I was trying (poorly) to make re: the kids getting better isn't whether or not the team will be better if all of the kids improve: it will be, though how much better is a question. I'm saying that it's massively unlikely that that actually, you know, happens. There are a bunch of ifs going into next season:

If Nuge returns to form after surgery
If the Hall at centre experiment works well enough to get the team through an unbelievably tough October schedule that they're not in a five game hole by Nov. 1
If J. Schultz manages to better his offensive output while improving his atrocious defence and doesn't sophomore slump
If Yak manages to improve his offensive output while improving his atrocious defence and doesn't sophomore slump
If Eakins is an actual NHL coach
If the Oilers brass are sudden geniuses and Joensuu, Hamilton, Grebeshkov and Belov are actually all NHL players somehow
If Gordon is the real deal and not a product of playing in PHX & with David Moss

then everything is great in Oilers town. However:

If Hall goes down again in classic Hall fashion
If Nuge goes down again or struggles for the first 20 games back
If Smyth regresses even further
If Hemsky disappears entirely in a 3rd line sulk
etc. etc.

then we're right back where we started. You can't just expect all of the positive ifs to happen and none of the negatives. I mean, you can, sure, but I'll think you're weird.
Yakupov's "atrocious defense" was actually not an issue over the last 15-20 games. By that point he was back checking hard. blocking shots, actually seemed to know what he was doing. From March 13th onwards he was +8 despite the team being a disaster for much of that period.

Yakupov is very coachable he'll be fine defensively if he is asked to be.

J. Schultz will also be better I would expect. (N. Schultz too I believe). He had his moments in OKC but on the whole was very good down there. He really seemed to struggle with Krueger's system. But he was far from alone in that regard.

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08-19-2013, 11:16 AM
  #146
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I wonder if some of the difficulty Yakupov had in the defensive end was suddenly having to learn a new system he'd never ever see anyone use before?

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08-19-2013, 11:27 AM
  #147
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I wonder if some of the difficulty Yakupov had in the defensive end was suddenly having to learn a new system he'd never ever see anyone use before?
That and, you know, him being an 18 year old.

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08-19-2013, 01:47 PM
  #148
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What? Have I been denying RNH's injury in my sleep?
It sure sounded like it! I don't know why you would project RNH's offence last season based upon an average of his first two seasons. The way that you were talking about him (e.g. "falling off a cliff") seemed to imply that you were blaming things on a sophomore slump rather than injury.

RNH did great 5v5 in his defensive duties, which is remarkable given how much the centres had to carry defensively.

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Yakupov's "atrocious defense" was actually not an issue over the last 15-20 games. By that point he was back checking hard. blocking shots, actually seemed to know what he was doing. From March 13th onwards he was +8 despite the team being a disaster for much of that period.

Yakupov is very coachable he'll be fine defensively if he is asked to be.

J. Schultz will also be better I would expect. (N. Schultz too I believe). He had his moments in OKC but on the whole was very good down there. He really seemed to struggle with Krueger's system. But he was far from alone in that regard.
I agree about Yakupov.

I expect both Schultz's to be far better next year as well. I've said this time and again, but Nick Schultz is a player whose defensive acumen is defending off the rush, positional play and stickwork. He's someone who reads the game well and defends technically rather than through athleticism and aggression.

Krueger's system made the defence play so high that they were constantly dealing with pucks dumped into the corners, which made exposed the weaknesses of both Justin and Nick.

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Nice to see recognition of this on these boards. I was aware of the coverage issues but I didnt pick up the issue with breakouts.

Good post.
To expand on this, the failed breakout that I saw time and again had the wingers try to tip the puck to an onrushing player. These plays require that the wingers are good along the boards and at holding off their check...but our wingers are like Chicago's, not LA's.

(Furthermore their tips, when successful, would go to no man's land because the centres were usually so damn far away.)

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08-19-2013, 02:18 PM
  #149
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Defence

Trade Hemsky for Huddy. Bring back Charlie Huddy to co-coach our defence. When he was here, our defensemen did rather well with improvements particularly Grebs, Gilbert and Smid. After he was let go and left for Dallas, the trio suffered setbacks. The Oilers had a chance to get him after Dallas ended Huddy's term but Jets got him instead. Our defensemen has to improve much greater than they have. I believe Huddy would be the guy to help immensely. Take a look at Bogosian and how well he has come along under him. For awhile Zack was an enigma wrapped in a mystery.

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08-19-2013, 03:33 PM
  #150
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It sure sounded like it! I don't know why you would project RNH's offence last season based upon an average of his first two seasons. The way that you were talking about him (e.g. "falling off a cliff") seemed to imply that you were blaming things on a sophomore slump rather than injury.

RNH did great 5v5 in his defensive duties, which is remarkable given how much the centres had to carry defensively.
Not at all. His cratered production was obviously a result of playing hurt.

All I'm saying is that when trying to gauge how improved the team is you have to take into account that it's not a given (as we have literally seen with Eberle and RNH) that production will not increase linearly season over season, specifically because these players are a) inexperienced and b) as prone to injury as any other player.

My only argument is that the way to improve the team is by establishing depth at key positions. Eberle, Nuge and Hall being dominant will help, but not much. We need real, actual NHL players at all of the other positions if the team's going to be more than a spot or two better.

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