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Sam Gagner's defensive game?

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Old
03-03-2012, 02:10 AM
  #1
tiger_80
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Sam Gagner's defensive game?

Just noticed a curious thing. Sam Gagner leads the team with a +6 rating, a surprising stat, given his reputation as a weak defensive player. He's averaging 16.59 per game, roughly the same as RNH (17.23) and 3 minutes less than Horcoff (20.02).
Gagner and Horcoff both average 14.18 of ES time. Yet Gagner is +6 and Horcoff is -20. RNH is -6.

I do not get to watch many games, but find these are great stats for a 2nd line centre on a 2nd worst team in the league. I hope he keeps it up and continues to develop into the player the Oilers were hoping he would become when they drafted him in 2007.

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03-03-2012, 02:13 AM
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The Nuge
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+/- is pretty misleading. He certainly hasn't been close to as bad as people always make him out to be though (especially Leaf fans)

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03-03-2012, 02:23 AM
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tiger_80
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Originally Posted by The Nuge View Post
+/- is pretty misleading. He certainly hasn't been close to as bad as people always make him out to be though (especially Leaf fans)
Yes, I realize it, but the stats can't be that misleading. Even assuming he's had all the easy match-ups behind Horcoff and Belanger, the stats at the very least seem to indicate he's done well enough in the soft minutes role, which was not the case in years past.

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03-03-2012, 03:13 AM
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McOkMcgoMcoil
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Originally Posted by tiger_80 View Post
Yes, I realize it, but the stats can't be that misleading. Even assuming he's had all the easy match-ups behind Horcoff and Belanger, the stats at the very least seem to indicate he's done well enough in the soft minutes role, which was not the case in years past.
I agree, I think it is argued a lot on these boards about how important certain stats are and the answer is..... no stat means every thing but no stat is meaning less. THe bottom line, +/- still says something. It is hard to believer Gags is horrible defensively when he is +6 on a team that is like -30.

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03-03-2012, 03:20 AM
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thadd
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He isn't bad defensively. He's cleaned up in that area a lot since coming into the NHL. That's all Mac-T would allow him to work on, really.

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03-03-2012, 05:56 AM
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Don't EVER use +/- as some kind of measurement of defensive play - or a measure of any kind of play for that matter. +/- is worse than useless, it is misleading.

The only way to determine a player's defensive effectiveness is to watch him play.

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03-03-2012, 09:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ogopogo View Post
Don't EVER use +/- as some kind of measurement of defensive play - or a measure of any kind of play for that matter. +/- is worse than useless, it is misleading.

The only way to determine a player's defensive effectiveness is to watch him play.
My favourite stat is the give away/take away ratio.

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03-03-2012, 09:39 AM
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He probably back checks harder than any of the other centres. It helps the defence because it puts pressure on the puck carrier, or alternatively takes away any passing options. What I am getting at is if the other team can not get consistent pressure in our zone then he is good in our zone.

Our whole team can get running around a little if the cycle game is working for the opposition and that is one of the cases where +/- is less effective because a player could be in perfect position defensively, but a defencemen falls/breaks his stick/etc and the puck is in the back of the net. Goal differential as a team is a very telling stat.

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03-03-2012, 09:50 AM
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DisgruntledGoat
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Originally Posted by The Nuge View Post
+/- is pretty misleading. He certainly hasn't been close to as bad as people always make him out to be though (especially Oiler fans)
Fixed.

He's a little better defensively, he's a little better in the faceoff circle, he's scoring more. . . but I think the thing I notice most is the jam and intensity he shows along the boards and in front of the night. I really like what I'm seeing from Gagner right now.

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03-03-2012, 09:58 AM
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senorchang
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I wouldn't call his defensive game "weak", but hes not horcoff or belanger is our end. Hes got good positioning and battles hard. Definitely come a long way since he was drafted.

+/- is basically if you can outscore the other team its a broken that shouldn't even be brought up in discussions.

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03-03-2012, 11:16 AM
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Some things that Gagner does well and has all season.

1)When he see's a D jump into the pinch Gagner moves back to the point immediately to cover the point. If the puck is retained he'll cycle back to forward when that is ready to occur.

2)He's one of the few forwards on this team that effectively peels back into NZ reads. In other words he assesses whether we will obtain/retain puck possession and if not he peels back to help prevent the opponent break out.

3)Providing puck support for short passing cycle game or move it out of your own end quick passes. Gagner was made for give and go, quick hits, moving the puck to get open ice, whether its in offesnsive or defensive zones. He just distributes the puck well wherever he is and limits passes of the brutal variety that so frequently occur on this club.

4)Puck carrier. Probably the most underated aspect of his game but Gagner can moe the puck up ice and gain the opposition blueline fairly effortlessly provided his linemates don't go offside multiple times like last night. Conversely I should say Gagner seldom goes offside himself. He's better at transitioning and possessing the puck than he's given credit for. He can operate in phone booths.

5)Faceoffs. Simply put Gagner isn't getting owned on the dot. He's 50% but one thing he's really worked on is trying not to loose a face off clean. Its often the clean losses in own zone that result in the opposition getting a free set play chance.

6)Reading the play well. Gagner is converging to net when the puck is about to go there whether it be in offensive or defensive zone. Next time you see a scramble in either end of the ice note that Gagner is mired right in the muck. Hardly shy about being around either net.


Last edited by Replacement: 03-03-2012 at 11:41 AM.
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03-03-2012, 11:32 AM
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reckless_abandon
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So what we are saying is that he is making strides? That settles it, trade him away! (Please don't Tambo)

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03-03-2012, 11:45 AM
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ManByng
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Originally Posted by reckless_abandon View Post
So what we are saying is that he is making strides? That settles it, trade him away! (Please don't Tambo)
one of the radio wags, it might have been Gregor? not sure suggested that if the Oil end up picking 2nd overall, they'll pick C Greigorenko, then package up Gagner + to try to get an impact d-man like Suter or someone.

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03-03-2012, 07:35 PM
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DisgruntledGoat
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one of the radio wags, it might have been Gregor? not sure suggested that if the Oil end up picking 2nd overall, they'll pick C Greigorenko, then package up Gagner + to try to get an impact d-man like Suter or someone.
I've heard this tossed out before. I dunno, I'm doubtful. Top four defensemen are at an absolute premium in this league. Who's out there that we could get? I don't see any realistic, impact acquisitons unless that '+' means '+ Eberle' which is, obviously, not cool.

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03-04-2012, 10:13 AM
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nabob
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Gagner has improved a lot in the defensive end this year IMO. But to be fair he was probably the worst player on the team in his own zone for the first 3+ years he was here. 90% of defensive play is the amount of effort you put into it. It is not surprising that his defensive game has improved in the 2nd half of this season because his effort level on the ice is much higher than it ever has been.

He still shys away from contact too much in the corner IMO for an ideal #2C but that will probably always be the case due to his lack of size and balance.

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