Jump to content
News Ticker
  • News Around the NHL

Ducks Hockey Forum Coyotes Hockey Forum Bruins Hockey Forum Sabres Hockey Forum Flames Hockey Forum Hurricanes Hockey Forum Blackhawks Hockey Forum Avalanche Hockey Forum Blue Jackets Hockey Forum Stars Hockey Forum Red Wings Jackets Hockey Forum Oilers Hockey Forum Panthers Hockey Forum Kings Hockey Forum Wild Hockey Forum Canadiens Hockey Forum Predators Hockey Forum Devils Hockey Forum Islanders Hockey Forum Rangers Hockey Forum Senators Hockey Forum Flyers Hockey Forum Penguins Hockey Forum Sharks Hockey Forum Blues Hockey Forum Lightning Hockey Forum Maple Leafs Hockey Forum Canucks Hockey Forum Golden Knights Hockey Forum Capitals Hockey Forum Jets Hockey Forum

JR Ewing

Global Moderator
  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


JR Ewing last won the day on August 31

JR Ewing had the most liked content!

Community Reputation

1,764 Excellent


About JR Ewing

  • Birthday 05/01/1973

Profile Information

  • Location
    British Columbia
  • Specific Location
  • Favorite Team
  • 2nd Favorite Team

Recent Profile Visitors

8,064 profile views
  1. Ken Holland was recently asked about the trade:
  2. Neal always had better chances to bounce back. Lucic had been given tons of opportunity but hadn't returned to any kind of form in two seasons. plus there was clear physical decline which could be seen: his skating was never great but has become very poor. He can't take or make passes, etc. In Neal's case, he came into Calgary physically burned out from back-to-back short summers< quickly fell into the coach's doghouse and found himself way down the batting order. Edmonton can give him more opportunity than Calgary could to get back to form. So, he immediately finds himself on Nugent-Hopkin's wing, and on power-play 1, with McDavid, Draisaitl and RNH. I don't think so, but it's nice while it's going.
  3. @yave1964 I think it's almost all small sample size. The Sharks are outshooting their opposition, but have a shooting percentage of only 3.9% and the goalies save percentage is only .868
  4. I see him all the time, and I'm still shocked by the speed.
  5. If you ever want to know how I feel about all of this, just refer to your own signature quote. Literally every trade that Chia Pete made hollowed out the team. Every time, he was taken to the wood shed by the GM on the other end of the phone. I don't know how that's possible. That guy couldn't sell hookers to a train full of troops.
  6. We agree on some things and disagree on some others. I was happy with the Tippett hire, because he has a solid history of making chicken salad out of chicken sh|t. Nurse has developed nicely, and Bear has been good so far. I'm not very confident in Mikko Koskinen, but would love to be wrong, and their depth on the wings is so bad that after 97, 29 and 93 have put up their points, the offense will be colder than a banker's heart. NOW... Now what might be helpful... Despite my lack of confidence in Koskinen, there were literally 12 games lost when Cam Talbot allowed a goal on the first shot. A dozen games. One shot, and bam, you're already losing. The Oilers finished 5 wins and OT loss out of the playoffs. Maybe the deletion of those sorts of losses helps them out. Maybe. I'm just scared by the complete lack of scoring outside of their three centres, and I don't feel good about the ability to get around that. Perhaps being an Oilers fan has conditioned me to look at the negatives too harshly, but I would love to be wrong.
  7. @yave1964 "2019-20 predictions almost certain to be wrong" and " PLAYOFF TEAMS IN THE WEST Blues, Blackhawks, Avalanche, Knights, Sharks, Flames. Two wild cards will be the Stars and Oilers " Yup. Topic title checks out.
  8. Tell me about it. Centre-depth? Awesome. Wings? I'd say that only Jujhar Khaira is where he belongs. Everybody else is at least a slot or two above where they would be on any team half-assed properly assembled. Management like this is what you get when a fetus doesn't receive enough oxygen.
  9. It's the never-ending gift of Peter Chiarelli. THIS level of assett management is the creme de la creme of the sh|t de la sh|t. He's like the opposite of the guy that was able to turn a paperclip into a house in a series of trades. Jordan Eberle became Ryan Strome who was turned into Ryan Spooner who was moved for Sam Gagner who has now been waived. I doubt he'll be claimed, and he could well find himself playing for Edmonton sooner than later. Tippett mentioned something about wanting to not expose Patrick Russell to waivers, so I'm guessing they think that Gagner is a safe guy to do it with. Feast your eyes on these lines: Jurco/McDavid/Neal Nygaard/Draisaitl/Kassian Granlund/Nugent-Hopkins/Chiasson Khaira/Sheahan/Archibald I'm 46 years old, and my hair has been white for about 10 years now. I think we all know why. (╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻ No thanks. He's 23-years old and has never exactly lit up the AHL or ever found a way to gain traction on a team that's been waiting for him for years now. He's entering the late stages of prospect status and is perilously close to tweener status. Pass.
  10. The Buffalo Sabres power play finished ranked 16th in the NHL last season, executing at a 19.5% rate. As expected, Ralph Krueger appears to have brought in a new approach to the Sabres strategy with the man advantage. Improving their success rate on the man advantage this season could be one way the club exceeds expectations that have them finishing in the mid-’80s in terms of total points. Finding consistency in their special teams is a way to make up for some shortcomings in their game at 5 on 5. Looking Back Last year, the power play approach under Phil Housley and Davis Payne focused on one-timers from any of the three players at the top of the umbrella. For those of you that don’t know, the top of the umbrella are the three players that are at the top of the zone. Note the picture below for reference. The power play essentially ran through Jack Eichel last season. According to Natural Stat Trick, he had 124 shot attempts with the man advantage last season. The next closest player (Jeff Skinner) had 89. At times they would try what I called the “pop pass” play last season. They would work the puck down low to Sam Reinhart. He would then try to pop the puck out to either Skinner or another forward in front. See the goal below from Conor Sheary as a reference to this play. Looking through Meghan Hall’s excellent power play data, you can start to see some shortcomings in the power play last season. During 5 on 4 advantages, they didn’t have a problem getting shots off. Meghan had them ranked eighth overall in unblocked shot attempts per 60. The flip side is that their expected goals per 60 were in the bottom half of the league at 18th overall. Their “core unit” of Dahlin, Ristolainen, Skinner, Eichel, and Reinhart ranked 26th according to Meghan’s data in expected goals per 60 among the other 30 “core units”. They wanted to utilize their one player with elite shooting talent but to a fault. While Eichel has that dangerous shot from the face off dot, it was relatively inaccurate. As I mentioned, he had 124 shot attempts, but only 68 of those shot attempts (54%) made it on goal. Overall the Sabres ranked 22nd in shooting percentage on the man advantage. A team like the Tampa Bay Lightning can overcome shooting from lower quality scoring areas because of their shooting talent on the roster. The Sabres didn’t have that last season. New Approach In the four preseason games, you can notice a new focus on the power play. That focus is on cross-ice passes. The unit has been able to get their opponent out of position with the puck movement and going cross-ice. According to Corey Sznajder’s tracking data, the Sabres only made cross-slot passes 8.7% of the time on the power play during the games he tracked. Of course, cross-slot passing doesn’t directly lead to success, but if you can execute it properly with speed, you can get the defense off balance. A good example of this is the goal scored by Sam Reinhart against the Columbus Blue Jackets. Eichel moves along the wall with the puck. Skinner, who is by the goal line on the opposite side of the ice, skates toward the face off dot anticipating the middle lane to open. Eichel sends the puck cross-ice to Skinner. Now, look at every players in white. They’re all looking at Skinner and you Reinhart start to creep out from below the net. Skinner quickly moves the puck back across the ice to Reinhart for the deflection at the far post and the goal. You can see the full sequence in the GIF below: So far this preseason, the Sabres have mostly set up in a 1-3-1. On the top unit, Dahlin is at the top and then Eichel is on the near wall. On the far wall Skinner and Victor Olofsson have rotated. Whichever one is not on the far wall, is located in the middle of the ice. Reinhart appears to be more of a rover, but he’s mostly back to being the net-front player. An area he’s succeeded at in the past and for some reason did not get put in that position last season. The goal from Victor Olofsson gives a good look at the 1-3-1 setup and again the cross-ice passing that results in a goal. For good measure, here’s another look on the Tage Thompson goal against the Pittsburgh Penguins. At this point, I haven’t been able to figure out their zone entry strategy. It appears as though they still want to enter the zone with possession. In the last two games, 11 of their 15 entries on the power play have been controlled entries. Eichel and Dahlin have been the main puck carriers to enter the zone on the top unit. On the second unit, Colin Miller, Casey Mittelstadt, and Marcus Johansson have played that role. Looking at some entries, the one thing I can take away is they want the puck carrier to enter with speed and carry the puck in for the setup. If the defense collapses, then they have the option to distribute the puck to either of the two wingers standing on the blue line. Conclusion We’ll see if we can get a better idea of how successful their entries are early on in the season. They may have dumped that drop pass that people didn’t like (it was effective) but the current approach looks to be simple. Throughout the preseason, the Sabres have scored four goals on 15 opportunities with the man advantage. That’s a 26.6% success rate, which would put them near the top of the league in the regular season. The new strategy in-zone looks promising, so far. If they continue to move the puck quickly and get the defense off guard they should have success. It’s also nice that they’ll add another elite shot in Olofsson to go along with Eichel. Meghan’s data had the Sabres as one of the teams that utilized the 3-2 deployment (three forwards and two defenders) the most last season. That’s primarily because they deployed Ristolainen and Dahlin on the top unit for a lot of last season. Most teams have at the very least transitioned to the 4-1 deployment (four forwards and one defender). It’ll be interesting to see if that continues with the second unit this season. In the last few games, we’ve seen both Miller and Ristolainen on the ice together after the core unit has their opportunity. Again, an improved power play gives the Sabres a chance to make up for areas they lack at 5 on 5 from game to game. A top 10 power play, along with a handful of other things, could allow them to surprise some with a higher point total in the standings. [Hidden Content]
  11. Even better is the boxscore: [Hidden Content] After the big donnybrook in the 2nd period, the boys must have all worked out their frustrations, because the only penalty in the 3rd was a minor for hooking.
  12. Many times over the years, when talking about hockey with friends (whether that's in person or online) you could quote me as asking "Would Ken Holland do that?". A search of this site shows a number of quotes from me on that, and former forums are inundated with me pondering what Holland would do. He was always perfectly fine with drafting a skinny but talented kid, because he had no intention of playing a boy in a men's league, and gave them time to develop in all of the ways that a player grows. He doesn't have a spotless record, and things slipped towards the end of his time in Detroit, but he's a GM for whom I've long had tremendous respect. As far as not rushing kids to the NHL, it seems so obvious that it's difficult to see why some organizations never seem to learn their lesson from it, but I guess they can be like fans, too, and want to see that hot prospect sooner than later. It's a huge gamble, and if it works out, you look smart and prescient. When it doesn't work out, you get the Oilers of the last decade+. You could almost read their minds on draft day: "We can trade THIS guy off, and now that we've drafted THAT kid, we have our 2C!" Ugh.
  13. I know you're mostly kidding, but let's pretend the rumours are out there. Unless it's a trade-and-sign with a big paycheque to moving STL, I just can't see them getting Pietrangelo. They spent that money on John Tavares already.
  14. Bouchard had a VERY good camp, and is probably NHL ready. After last night's game, Ken Holland still did the right thing and sent him down to Bakersfield to give the young man an opportunity to play a lot of minutes of prove his worth as a player. It's almost shocking to see the Edmonton Oilers make this sort of prudent decision with an eye towards long term development.
  15. I guess that means Pietrangelo is available next summer.
  • Create New...