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My take on the 1st 8 games so far:

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Old
02-02-2013, 06:32 PM
  #1
nexttothemoon
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My take on the 1st 8 games so far:

My take on the 1st sixth of the season... yes in this shortened season we are already 17% through the regular season... time flies when you have an angry lockout and they have to have a fast and furious make-up schedule. (sounds like many relationships)


Oilers positives so far this season:

PP is #5 in the league.
Pk is #5 in the league.

Everyone talks about the hot shot power play but quietly and steadily the PK units have been getting the job done as well.

Dubnyk has been VERY GOOD. Here's a stat to consider:

Take away that craptacular 1st period Dubnky had vs SJ and his save percentage in all his other games combined is 94.5%

Dubnyk is leading the entire NHL in minutes played and shots against right now so he's definitely getting a solid look to see if he's starter material. I think he's doing very well overall and has been the difference already in a few games. Hard to argue that he wasn't the entire reason they stole a point in SJ and he's looked solid in most games he's played..

Personally I think Dubnyk may be the type of goalie that thrives on minutes and plenty of game action and gets better the busier he is. He's also showing he's resilient and can come back and put a bad game behind him... all requirements for starter material and he's showing that so far.

And now the negatives...

As good as the special teams have been, even strength has been horrible. They are 28th in the NHL in 5on5 goals differential. They simply can't compete so far with most teams when 5 on 5.

Which brings us to the next area... the Oil are 21st in shots for per game and 28th in shots against. The differential is 6 shots per game. You can't give up that many extra shots and expect it not to hurt you eventually. Over 48 games that would be ~290 shots and even with opponents scoring at say a very low 7% conversion rate... that's giving away 20+ goals just based on the shots differential. The Oilers simply aren't good enough to make that up and that's the difference between them being a playoff team or once again on the outside looking in.

The team is 24th in faceoffs... another area which they continue to be below average (and this accounts for at least some of their terrible shots differential as well).

The giveaway/takeaway stats kept by the NHL are always a bit suspect... but here as well the Oilers have 73 giveaways vs 47 takeaways. That's an average differential of over 3 per game, and again is contributing to the shots differential we have seen so far.

The Oilers are 24th in hits. A decent indicator of the softness almost everyone acknowledges on the roster.

They are #3 in blocked shots which means they have good shot blockers... but it also means their opponents are heavily pounding away in the Oilers end and generating chances. If the Oilers blockers slip in their level of effectiveness... that's sure to result in more goals against as well.


An interesting stat is that the team has allowed 9 1st period goals, 8 in the 2nd and just 3 in the 3rd... so far they are a team that can shut down the opposition after shaky starts... a good attribute but not if they keep giving up early leads game after game after game.

There's only so many times they can go to the well and ask the PP units to get them back in the game and the goalie to keep them within a goal or 2 so they have a chance to claw back.

So basically they have been riding a hot goalie (minus that one atrocious period) and their excellent special teams... and that's what has essentially given them 9 pts through their 1st 8 games, putting them in 7th in the West currently.

They'll be very lucky to stay there if they continue to be outshot, keep turning the puck over every game and keep losing faceoffs consistently as they have been. All it takes is a slumping PP, PK or the goalie cooling off and it all falls down like a house of cards.

I'm still optimistic that they'll be a playoff team but I also see a team that can easily fall into a rut and be out of it by the halfway mark. On the other hand I've seen promising signs of resilience so once again we are seeing a Jekyll and Hyde type team... much like the fanbase. Maybe we all deserve each other.

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Old
02-02-2013, 06:46 PM
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great analysis...a lot of the negatives you pointed out shows how far this team has to go from climbing out of the cellar of the NHL

and how it's awfully tough to make a huge jmp into the playoffs

I do love how Dubnyk is proving his worth at the moment, I'm getting more and more confident with him in net

but I'll stick to my 11th in west prediction

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Old
02-03-2013, 01:14 AM
  #3
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My take: Oilers real problem is spelled experience. On top of that, when the young kids will have a bad game, which will happen more than a couple of times, who else is there? Our third line? The 4th line? Hemskey? Oilers need to trade their top picks for a solid, experienced forward and deffender. They dont need another great young player.
The only thing that can turn this around is some great trades or time.

Dubnyk have been great.

The deffence have been.. okay. Dont think whitney can do it, they need a solid experienced leader here too.

They have been better than expected.

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Old
02-03-2013, 01:15 AM
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Good analysis, I completely agree with the house of cards idea. We are lucky to be doing as well as we are right now. We cant rely on goaltending and special teams, we need to be better even strength and I think that has alot to do with our depth on forward.

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02-03-2013, 01:44 AM
  #5
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I'm not worried entirely about our first line 5on5. I have seen nothing but improvement. I only caught the first period today, but how dangerous our first line has been during that period has carried over and improved over X games.

That being said, apparently they stunk it up afterwards. So many things I could blame, such as the tail end of a road trip that was played pretty early. Maybe a late night, who knows. All I know is that what concerns me is the second line. The pass from Hemsky to Yak for the goal should be a routine that happens multiple times a game (The play and passes, not the goal). The fact that it doesn't lands square on Hemsky as he's the man who is supposed to be play making that line.

I miss energy and Harti is bringing it in spades. Love the guy and is exactly what we need for our 3rd line. Add a smart bruising hitter on that line and you got yourself a penalty drawing, energy and momentum creating prototypical 3rd line.

The 4th line should be labeled the Retirement Home.

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Old
02-03-2013, 02:05 AM
  #6
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The PK stands out to me, I wonder how long that will last.

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Old
02-03-2013, 02:26 AM
  #7
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once duby regresses back to his mean this team will go where it belongs.

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02-03-2013, 06:24 AM
  #8
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Game 1 Vancouver...They played well enough to win and did. Luongo played very well. ---Win
Game 2 San Jose... They got killed in period #1 but held there own after that --lose
Game 3 LA ... Quick played great or this one would have been more one-sides--Win
Game 4 Calgary... Terrific start and then it went down hill.--Loss
Game 5 Colorado... They pretty much dominated the first half of the game and then let Collorado dictate the play when they were up 3-1. --Win
Game 6 Phoenix ---Very good road game in a tough building. Dubnyk played great but so did Johnson--Win
Game 7 SJ---Another very good road game against the best team in the league right now--SO Loss
Game 8 Colorado---Pretty much a repeat of the Calgary game ---Loss

I don't see this hous of cards stuff. It looks to me that they have been full measure for the points they have earned and that they have deserved their 3 regulation losses. Honestly I am not sure what people are expecting from this team.

Yes I wish they would have played better against the weaker teams like Calgary and Colorado. But in both cases those teams played extremely well. The Oilers are not yet at the stage where they can dictate the play at will.

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02-03-2013, 09:09 AM
  #9
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No Eastern Conference games to beast on this year

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Old
02-03-2013, 09:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fourier View Post
Game 1 Vancouver...They played well enough to win and did. Luongo played very well. ---Win
Game 2 San Jose... They got killed in period #1 but held there own after that --lose
Game 3 LA ... Quick played great or this one would have been more one-sides--Win
Game 4 Calgary... Terrific start and then it went down hill.--Loss
Game 5 Colorado... They pretty much dominated the first half of the game and then let Collorado dictate the play when they were up 3-1. --Win
Game 6 Phoenix ---Very good road game in a tough building. Dubnyk played great but so did Johnson--Win
Game 7 SJ---Another very good road game against the best team in the league right now--SO Loss
Game 8 Colorado---Pretty much a repeat of the Calgary game ---Loss

I don't see this hous of cards stuff. It looks to me that they have been full measure for the points they have earned and that they have deserved their 3 regulation losses. Honestly I am not sure what people are expecting from this team.

Yes I wish they would have played better against the weaker teams like Calgary and Colorado. But in both cases those teams played extremely well. The Oilers are not yet at the stage where they can dictate the play at will.
Pretty much agree with this. Oilers are much better than they were in the cellar years (remember when they couldn't even break out of their own zone? Remember when they couldn't overcome an opposition's lead or hold a lead?).

They are a prototypical bubble team. Might make playoffs - might not.

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Old
02-03-2013, 09:47 AM
  #11
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All this talk about regressing to the mean is fair but you also have to consider progressing to the mean too. Dubnyk and the PK have been better than we could ask for in the long haul and will likely come back to earth. At the other end of the spectrum...

-Will RNH continue scoring 0 goals?
-The top 5 PP is certainly sustainable
-Gagner won't be a PPG player all year but he's also much better than 0.5 PPG that a lot of people write him off for. Healthy I expect 35 in 48 games this year.
-Will our bottom six continue to do nothing offensively? Especially when Jones comes back?

You can tell a lot about a team's future when you assess overachievers, underachievers and players right on mark. If there's more overachievers than underachievers it's only a matter of time until you come down to earth. Look at this team through 8 games (5 is the norm):

RNH 3 - He's the most snakebitten player on this team by far. Only a matter of time until the bounces go his way for a change.

Eberle 5 - Was very good for the first 5 or 6 games and not so good for the past few. This is what you can expect I feel out of Eberle as a whole.

Hall 6 - Production wise he's been better than anticipated but his play as a whole hasn't been very good I feel. The points aren't sustainable but he should be a better player as time goes on.

Gagner 8 - Not going to be above a PPG but he's a lock to crack the 50 point prorated pace that he's been at throughout his career. Definite overachiever so far.

Yakupov 6 - He's been lucky offensively so far but he's becoming a better overall player and you can already sense it. Not going to score goals at this pace but wouldn't surprise me to see him average a goal every 3 games.

Hemsky 5 - What you can expect from Hemsky really and the Colorado game was Hemsky in a nutshell. Creates a goal for us and is the cause for direct blame on a couple against as well.

Horcoff 4 - Slight underachiever so far but I don't expect a ton more than what he's brought. Not a good offensive player anymore but if he can win draws and play solid defense I'm content as long as he's bought out.

Smyth 2 - I don't expect much out of Smyth either but he's been downright awful to the point where there's nowhere to go but up. Should be able to put up more than an assist in an 8 game chunk.

Hartikainen 5 - Pretty much what we can expect out of Harti. Shows flashes and some good grit and it's only a matter of time until he puts up a few goals, not that I expect much offense yet.

Petrell 7 - He's done more than I expected so far defensively and on the PK and he got a goal. Could be more physical but I have no complaints about a guy that's not really one of my favourites.

Belanger 5 - Need more offense out of him considering he's not playing with talentless plugs for the most part but he's been good on the PK and on the dot.

J Schultz 6 - Kind of cooled down lately but I think we can expect some nice numbers over the long haul given the minutes he gets on this team.

N Schultz 6 - I've liked his game lately especially and they've been our best D pair over the first 8 games. Wasn't so good early on but he's been as steady a D as we have over the last 4 games or so.

Petry 3 - Not a good start for this guy after a great finish to last year. I think he'll come around as I feel like he's an OK second pairing defensemen at this juncture. Not a good option to be facing elite competition though.

Smid 5 - Been a beast on the PK but he's made some uncharacteristic gaffes and turnovers. As a whole I think this is Laddy Smid's norm.

Potter 5 - He's been poor but he's also not a very good player to begin with. When he's on the ice and you're 4 on 6 trying to hold a lead what do you expect?

Whitney 2 - The guy has been awful so far and I think he does have some hockey left in him. Seeing as how he's playing for a contract you have to think he'll turn it around at some point. Massive underachiever so far.

Dubnyk 7 - He's been excellent in all but 2 games and I'm pretty critical of goalies. Was poor against Calgary and SJ but other than that he's been lights out. As a whole he's been lights out and bound to come down to earth slightly although I think he's a legit starter in this league so it won't be by as much as some are suggesting. No reason why he can't have a sv% between 915 and 920 for the year.


The average score is pretty much a 5 and this team is 4-3-1 which is right on the cusp of a playoff spot which is probably where we are at this point. Some players will get better (Whitney, bottom six, RNH) and some will regress (Gagner, Dubnyk) but I think this team is a 4-3-1 in an 8 game stretch kind of club at this point.

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Old
02-03-2013, 10:33 AM
  #12
Tyrolean
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lessy View Post
All this talk about regressing to the mean is fair but you also have to consider progressing to the mean too. Dubnyk and the PK have been better than we could ask for in the long haul and will likely come back to earth. At the other end of the spectrum...

-Will RNH continue scoring 0 goals?
-The top 5 PP is certainly sustainable
-Gagner won't be a PPG player all year but he's also much better than 0.5 PPG that a lot of people write him off for. Healthy I expect 35 in 48 games this year.
-Will our bottom six continue to do nothing offensively? Especially when Jones comes back?

You can tell a lot about a team's future when you assess overachievers, underachievers and players right on mark. If there's more overachievers than underachievers it's only a matter of time until you come down to earth. Look at this team through 8 games (5 is the norm):

RNH 3 - He's the most snakebitten player on this team by far. Only a matter of time until the bounces go his way for a change.

Eberle 5 - Was very good for the first 5 or 6 games and not so good for the past few. This is what you can expect I feel out of Eberle as a whole.

Hall 6 - Production wise he's been better than anticipated but his play as a whole hasn't been very good I feel. The points aren't sustainable but he should be a better player as time goes on.

Gagner 8 - Not going to be above a PPG but he's a lock to crack the 50 point prorated pace that he's been at throughout his career. Definite overachiever so far.

Yakupov 6 - He's been lucky offensively so far but he's becoming a better overall player and you can already sense it. Not going to score goals at this pace but wouldn't surprise me to see him average a goal every 3 games.

Hemsky 5 - What you can expect from Hemsky really and the Colorado game was Hemsky in a nutshell. Creates a goal for us and is the cause for direct blame on a couple against as well.

Horcoff 4 - Slight underachiever so far but I don't expect a ton more than what he's brought. Not a good offensive player anymore but if he can win draws and play solid defense I'm content as long as he's bought out.

Smyth 2 - I don't expect much out of Smyth either but he's been downright awful to the point where there's nowhere to go but up. Should be able to put up more than an assist in an 8 game chunk.

Hartikainen 5 - Pretty much what we can expect out of Harti. Shows flashes and some good grit and it's only a matter of time until he puts up a few goals, not that I expect much offense yet.

Petrell 7 - He's done more than I expected so far defensively and on the PK and he got a goal. Could be more physical but I have no complaints about a guy that's not really one of my favourites.

Belanger 5 - Need more offense out of him considering he's not playing with talentless plugs for the most part but he's been good on the PK and on the dot.

J Schultz 6 - Kind of cooled down lately but I think we can expect some nice numbers over the long haul given the minutes he gets on this team.

N Schultz 6 - I've liked his game lately especially and they've been our best D pair over the first 8 games. Wasn't so good early on but he's been as steady a D as we have over the last 4 games or so.

Petry 3 - Not a good start for this guy after a great finish to last year. I think he'll come around as I feel like he's an OK second pairing defensemen at this juncture. Not a good option to be facing elite competition though.

Smid 5 - Been a beast on the PK but he's made some uncharacteristic gaffes and turnovers. As a whole I think this is Laddy Smid's norm.

Potter 5 - He's been poor but he's also not a very good player to begin with. When he's on the ice and you're 4 on 6 trying to hold a lead what do you expect?

Whitney 2 - The guy has been awful so far and I think he does have some hockey left in him. Seeing as how he's playing for a contract you have to think he'll turn it around at some point. Massive underachiever so far.

Dubnyk 7 - He's been excellent in all but 2 games and I'm pretty critical of goalies. Was poor against Calgary and SJ but other than that he's been lights out. As a whole he's been lights out and bound to come down to earth slightly although I think he's a legit starter in this league so it won't be by as much as some are suggesting. No reason why he can't have a sv% between 915 and 920 for the year.


The average score is pretty much a 5 and this team is 4-3-1 which is right on the cusp of a playoff spot which is probably where we are at this point. Some players will get better (Whitney, bottom six, RNH) and some will regress (Gagner, Dubnyk) but I think this team is a 4-3-1 in an 8 game stretch kind of club at this point.
You left out Paarjiv and Hordichuk. Personally MP should be on the roster and not Hordi.

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Old
02-03-2013, 11:56 AM
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I figured that they would be better 5 on 5, but everything else is pretty much par on course to what most of us expected.

Add on jones and one more big physical guy that can score and hope that Whitney can play like not a pile of crap, I think this is a playoff team.

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Old
02-03-2013, 12:20 PM
  #14
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28th goals against 5on5.... Their play away from the puck is slightly disturbing. However... It's a new system with new players (rookies included) and everyone needs to be on board. If they steady the course, they continue to get better, and right now they are in seventh... They are a team capable of pulling out big wins in big games, it's only a matter of maturity now.

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Old
02-03-2013, 01:04 PM
  #15
Lessy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tyrolean View Post
You left out Paarjiv and Hordichuk. Personally MP should be on the roster and not Hordi.
I can count on my fingers the number of shifts Hordichuk has had and Paajarvi is currently in the AHL. Both I guess are 5's but ultimately neither has major impact on NHL games.

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