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The Marvelous Mr. Conkanen

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Old
04-21-2004, 11:15 PM
  #1
igor*
 
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The Marvelous Mr. Conkanen

Some fans are seeming pretty quick to dismiss the idea of the Conklin/Markannen tandem next season. And I'm not so sure that's wise.

Maybe it is because Conklin had a tough game in the last one versus VAN and in the last meeting with NSH Recent events seem to weigh into things a lot when it comes to our opinions ... hell, they might as well change the name the annual "Oilers MVP" award the Oilers "Player of the Fortnight" :lol But Conklin played some tremendous hockey for this team for much of the year. And Jussi was very good in his first go-round here too ... and outperformed Dunham in his stint in Manhatten.

Anyhoo, through the magic of arithmetic ... I present The Marvelous Mr. Conkannen.

Here are the top 9 starting goalies in the league last year, as measured by EVsave% (the goalie stat I like best).

EVsave% GP
0.941 38 KIPRUSOFF
0.941 57 RAYCROFT
0.940 48 ROLOSON
0.937 62 AEBISCHER
0.937 72 LUONGO
0.934 67 THEODORE
0.933 71 CONKANEN
0.931 40 ESCHE
0.930 59 NABOKOV


Anyhoo, that list pretty much looks like a list of the goalies who had the best regular seasons in the NHL in 03/04, to my mind anyways.

And Conkanen ranks 7th! Who'd a thunk it?

My point, and I do have one ---> At the very least, this tandem deserves the chance to backstop the Oilers next season, they've earned that much. And I think that there are a lot of reasons for rational fans to be optimistic about them.

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04-21-2004, 11:16 PM
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Conkannen eh?
That's going to stick.

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04-21-2004, 11:21 PM
  #3
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Excellent post igor. Here is my theory. I as most know, like to be optimistic when it comes to the Oilers, but here is my problem with this scenerio.

If it works as you say, then the Oilers make the playoffs without a number one goalie to lead them into and through the playoffs. So what do you do, allow the platoon to work throughout the playoffs? Pull the carpet from under one of the guys that got you there to give the other guy the job? Has any team aside from one year of Minnesota had this as a successful formula? To me, this situation has more questions than answers.

Then there is the downside...if it doesn't work out, then all of the jockeying for position for starting goaltenders will have been done already, whatever goalie movement is going to happen, could be done by the beginning of the regular season. We saw this year as Tommy Salo spontaneously combusted that Kevin Lowe was unable to make a solidifying deal to the goaltending with enough time to turn the season around.(Not to say the same scenerio would happen again, but it could) If history repeated itself next year, I don't think that the fan base would be as accepting of K-Lo not correcting a bad situation in a timely manner.

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04-21-2004, 11:22 PM
  #4
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He gets no respect.

He's more than good enough to get us 100pts.

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Old
04-21-2004, 11:40 PM
  #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slats432
...
If it works as you say, then the Oilers make the playoffs without a number one goalie to lead them into and through the playoffs. So what do you do, allow the platoon to work throughout the playoffs? Pull the carpet from under one of the guys that got you there to give the other guy the job? Has any team aside from one year of Minnesota had this as a successful formula? To me, this situation has more questions than answers.
...
Well, I think you do the same as you do in the regular season ... ride the hot hand. And I think that a lot of coaches hurt themselves by being dogmatic about goalies in the playoffs, that they would often have been a lot better off switching to the backup earlier in the series.

Having said that, I tend to agree that it's best to have a very good goalie going into the playoffs. Any NHL goalie can go on a hot streak ... but a star quality goalie is more likely too, and very few teams can go deep in the playoffs without a hot goalie.

But I'm not sure that a deep playoff run is in the cards for the Oilers next year anyways. They need a really solid regular season, to establish themselves as a bonafide 100 point team, before they can be considered a genuine threat to contend on a regular basis IMO. That's the first hurdle to cross.

Quote:
Then there is the downside...if it doesn't work out, then all of the jockeying for position for starting goaltenders will have been done already, whatever goalie movement is going to happen, could be done by the beginning of the regular season. ...
I don't agree. When you look at the goaltending situation in the NHL ... it isn't too difficult to find a decent goalie IMO.

It IS difficult to unload an average goaltender into a market that is gradually becoming saturated with cheaper youngsters that can put up similar numbers. And this latter point was the dilemma that Lowe found himself in with Salo.

As well ... Lowe has his eggs in two baskets here. Maybe one guy will fall off the map (I doubt it, but anything is possible). But BOTH of them I know that neither has a tonne of games under their belt, but still, just seems unlikely to me.

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04-21-2004, 11:53 PM
  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by igor

I don't agree. When you look at the goaltending situation in the NHL ... it isn't too difficult to find a decent goalie IMO.
OK...I don't necessarily agree with this statement because this is where we differ. If Conkannen craps the bed by December, pretty much every team will have their goaltending set and the Oilers will have to look at leftovers. For example, I think that Buffalo will make their move. I think that Anaheim will make their move. I think that NJ will have their's set up. I think that Ottawa will make their changes. If it comes down to December do you actually think there will be a couple of quality goaltenders floating around at decent cost and willing to take one of our guys in return, or will Lowe be willing to buy out a contract to get a deal done? Who are we going to end up with as a decent goalie...Garth Snow? Brian Boucher? Zack Bierk? Johan Hedberg? Byron Dafoe? Arturs Irbe?

igor I want the platoon thing to work if that is the way it is going to go, but 1 and 1A goes down the tubes at the wrong time and the Oilers could end up having a similar year to what we just experienced.

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04-22-2004, 12:15 AM
  #7
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The real question everyone should be asking Igor is:

Why did Markkanen get 5 letters and Conklin only 4?

Playing favourites are we?????

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04-22-2004, 12:17 AM
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slats432
...
igor I want the platoon thing to work if that is the way it is going to go, but 1 and 1A goes down the tubes at the wrong time and the Oilers could end up having a similar year to what we just experienced.
Ya, but you could say the same for any team, slats432. If Belfour has a bad year (and he's had a couple terrible ones in the past) the leafs are hooped. If Brodeur has a bad year (and he's had them before) N.J could very well miss the playoffs IMO ... seriously.

At least with a 1 and 1A scenario ... all your eggs are not in one basket. And with the relatively low salaries, you can jettison one guy if he really craps the bed, and without breaking the bank.

Time will tell.

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04-22-2004, 12:24 AM
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by igor
Ya, but you could say the same for any team, slats432. If Belfour has a bad year (and he's had a couple terrible ones in the past) the leafs are hooped. If Brodeur has a bad year (and he's had them before) N.J could very well miss the playoffs IMO ... seriously.

At least with a 1 and 1A scenario ... all your eggs are not in one basket. And with the relatively low salaries, you can jettison one guy if he really craps the bed, and without breaking the bank.

Time will tell.
True, and again, it could work, but since there aren't too many examples of this model being successful, I err on the side of caution. I believe that Buffalo did the shell game with the goalies for the first half of last year and it didn't work out so good for them, that is possibly where my trepidation lays.

The other part is the concern that if it doesn't work, it will be tough to fix it.

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04-22-2004, 12:29 AM
  #10
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Well

we've seen such terrible below league average netminding from Salo the last two full regular seasons that I'm not worried at all about going with Ty/Jussi and trying to ride the hot hand. I just hope the Oilers are as open to letting Jussi take the reigns as they are with Ty because right now I'd guess they'd want Conklin to be the man. Though what that constitutes I don't know, maybe 50 GP?

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04-22-2004, 12:58 AM
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matts
we've seen such terrible below league average netminding from Salo the last two full regular seasons that I'm not worried at all about going with Ty/Jussi and trying to ride the hot hand. I just hope the Oilers are as open to letting Jussi take the reigns as they are with Ty because right now I'd guess they'd want Conklin to be the man. Though what that constitutes I don't know, maybe 50 GP?
I might be in the minority here but I feel that Markkanen is actually the better goaltender right now. In any event, I too believe that Conklin will end up with more starts over the long haul.

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04-22-2004, 01:10 AM
  #12
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Ty gets 45-50 and Jussi gets 30-35 would be ideal I'd say. Ty has a higher ceiling than Jussi, which is not to slight Jussi, he's a very good goalie and I've always said he really really shoulda been kept here. Ty's just got more talent and ability to come up big over the long haul, especially when he gets rollin. He's better than Salo positionally, and makes the easy saves and actually stops point shots (what a miracle!). Whoever said Salo was better positionally and that Ty relies totally on reflexes has it completely backwards. Salo stopped trusting his instinct, and abandoned his reflexes, then the weakness of his positioning was exposed.

Barring the easy acquisition of a BIG-TIME goalie, go with Conkanen next season, we won't regret it. Spend that money on getting us a scorer and a d-man, let's win by scoring 4 goals most games.


Last edited by LoudmouthHemskyfan#1: 04-22-2004 at 01:13 AM.
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04-22-2004, 01:12 AM
  #13
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I agree with Cerebral here. I favor Markkanen over Conklin. It appears he shows up more often in the big games.

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04-22-2004, 01:18 AM
  #14
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I know that minnesota is the only example that I can think of that played a tandem in the playoffs and succeeded, but i also can't think of anyone that has used a tandem and failed. My hockey memory isn't great, I really only remember the oilers, but maybe someone else could?
I too think that Markkaanen is the better goalie right now, he's looked much calmer out there, played VERY well in some big games (im thinking st.louis 1-1 and calgary 1-1) late in the stretch. The vancouver game was the only one that was questionable i thought, and even there the goals he let in for the most part were pretty nice goals (apart from bryan allens' big slapshot. I sure wouldn't have stopped it though). Also, in the last game against vancouver he absolutely stoned naslund, that was pretty sweet.

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04-22-2004, 09:10 AM
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LoudmouthHemskyfan#1
Ty gets 45-50 and Jussi gets 30-35 would be ideal I'd say. Ty has a higher ceiling than Jussi, which is not to slight Jussi, he's a very good goalie and I've always said he really really shoulda been kept here. Ty's just got more talent and ability to come up big over the long haul, especially when he gets rollin. He's better than Salo positionally, and makes the easy saves and actually stops point shots (what a miracle!). Whoever said Salo was better positionally and that Ty relies totally on reflexes has it completely backwards. Salo stopped trusting his instinct, and abandoned his reflexes, then the weakness of his positioning was exposed.

Barring the easy acquisition of a BIG-TIME goalie, go with Conkanen next season, we won't regret it. Spend that money on getting us a scorer and a d-man, let's win by scoring 4 goals most games.
Ty's problem is that he makes things extremely difficult on himself. He is continually forcing himself to make additional saves because of his lack of anything in terms of rebound control. The worst part is, he forces himself to make acrobatic saves on the 2nd and 3rd shots. Then on his off nights, he is getting prepared to make an acrobatic save on the 2nd shot before the first shot is even taken, which usually results in him giving up a softie.

Jussi's rebound control isn't the greatest either, but he puts himself in the position where he can get square to 2nd and 3rd shot opportunities. Jussi runs into troubles and has off-games because he doesn't get himself into good position on the 2nd and 3rd shot opportunities.

Both guys as a tandem fit good together. Either one of them can have a great game, most nights they are more than adequate. Both however have fundamental flaws to their game. Conklin is prone to soft goals, and Jussi is prone to rebound goals. I can't fathom why one guy would get 20 more starts than the other, and I wouldn't be suprised to see them split it up the middle. Conklin's only advantage is that he can get insanely hot for a long stretch, which he has shown (at least at the AHL level, and to a minor extent in the NHL). Jussi hasn't quite done that yet.

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04-22-2004, 09:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hemsky_Gretzky
I know that minnesota is the only example that I can think of that played a tandem in the playoffs and succeeded, but i also can't think of anyone that has used a tandem and failed. My hockey memory isn't great, I really only remember the oilers, but maybe someone else could?
I too think that Markkaanen is the better goalie right now, he's looked much calmer out there, played VERY well in some big games (im thinking st.louis 1-1 and calgary 1-1) late in the stretch. The vancouver game was the only one that was questionable i thought, and even there the goals he let in for the most part were pretty nice goals (apart from bryan allens' big slapshot. I sure wouldn't have stopped it though). Also, in the last game against vancouver he absolutely stoned naslund, that was pretty sweet.
The year Carolina went to the cup finals they used Irbe and Weekes for large stretches.

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04-22-2004, 09:39 AM
  #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dawgbone
The real question everyone should be asking Igor is:

Why did Markkanen get 5 letters and Conklin only 4?

Playing favourites are we?????
CONK(lin)(Markk)ANEN
4 and 4 by my math.

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04-22-2004, 10:06 AM
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kyle
CONK(lin)(Markk)ANEN
4 and 4 by my math.
CONK(lin) and (Mark)KANEN

4 and 5... it's a conspiracy I tell you!!!!

They share the K!!!!!

But I guess technically, it's 3.5 and 4.5

Still, it's slighted, and it's just plain wrong!!!!!!!!!!!!

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04-22-2004, 10:54 AM
  #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dawgbone
CONK(lin) and (Mark)KANEN

4 and 5... it's a conspiracy I tell you!!!!

They share the K!!!!!

But I guess technically, it's 3.5 and 4.5

Still, it's slighted, and it's just plain wrong!!!!!!!!!!!!
meh...
Conks gets top billing.
That's worth 1 letter.

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04-22-2004, 11:17 AM
  #20
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I'm with Igor in terms of thinking that the need for a #1 is a little bit overblown. For the historically minded amongst us, take a look at the following

83-84
Moog 38GP
Fuhr 45GP

84-85
Moog 39GP
Fuhr 46GP

86-87
Fuhr 44GP
Moog 46GP

The next season, Moog leaves, Fuhr plays 75 games, and since then, the two goalie tandem has been out in Edmonton. Now neither of these guys is even Andy Moog, let along Grant Fuhr, but I think that there is something to the theory that this obsession with having your #1 and your #2 has evolved out of the money being paid to goalies.

Think about this logically. What could the negative impact, in terms of goals against, be next year from going with these guys, as opposed to spending Salo dollars for someone? Personally, I really can't imagine it being that much-10? 15? With the three mil that you're saving, I'm sure that that can be made up elsewhere in the lineup.

So, despite not really being thrilled about it, I'll sign on for the Conkanen duo for next season. Personally, I'd prefer that Jussi be the #1, as I really don't like Conklin when the puck is in close (more to come on this post-exams) but I'd be satisfied with that duo for now.

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04-22-2004, 11:36 AM
  #21
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"Player of the fortnight"? Funniest thing I've read on here in a long time...true as well.

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04-22-2004, 01:58 PM
  #22
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Conkkanen? Sure!

Better than Tyussi. or Jussty. Or Marklin. Blech.

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04-22-2004, 05:14 PM
  #23
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I like Jussi more as well

I don't think it's poor rebound control taht kills Jussi on his offnights, I think he just flubs the initial shot.

Here's hoping the Oilers are open to either guy stepping up

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04-22-2004, 05:39 PM
  #24
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I think you have to go with Conkanen – they certainly were successful at the end this season and no other reasonable option looks obviously better to me (eg. Noronen, Garon, Biron, Lalime etc etc etc). Any of these guys could be better – but any of them could also be worse - and we would have to trade players/picks to obtain them. Conkanen’s salary also frees up more than $3 million over the failed Salo/Conks duo – and we can use that to sign a decent #1 center.

So I favor using Conkanen, getting JDD to Toronto ASAP, and drafting a goalie in the first round of the draft. However, unless we rate Schwarz or Montoya as a top 5 player and they are still available at #14 - we should wait until the Philly pick to select who every is left between Schwarz, Montoya or Dubnyk.

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04-22-2004, 06:27 PM
  #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Asiaoil
I think you have to go with Conkanen – they certainly were successful at the end this season and no other reasonable option looks obviously better to me (eg. Noronen, Garon, Biron, Lalime etc etc etc). Any of these guys could be better – but any of them could also be worse - and we would have to trade players/picks to obtain them. Conkanen’s salary also frees up more than $3 million over the failed Salo/Conks duo – and we can use that to sign a decent #1 center.

So I favor using Conkanen, getting JDD to Toronto ASAP, and drafting a goalie in the first round of the draft. However, unless we rate Schwarz or Montoya as a top 5 player and they are still available at #14 - we should wait until the Philly pick to select who every is left between Schwarz, Montoya or Dubnyk.
Agreed 100% with your post!
1. Go with Conkannen.
2. Hopefully see JDD in Toronto soon.
3. Draft a goalie with Philly pick.

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