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In Defense of Our Overpaid Bottom Six

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Sometimes wonder what kind of return Bo would bring?

 

If there was one move of greatest benefit in this team's history, it may well have been executed by crazy b*stard Keenan. The return for Linden was an epic haul; although it must also be noted who the other lame-a$$ GM happened to be.

 

We already mopped up in the Bo/Schneids larceny. Imagine if you could turn that profit into two more worthy ELC assets?

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1 hour ago, oldnews said:

Horvat is at 40.5% ozone starts - 51% corsi....plays his share of shutdown minutes/ dual duty. 

The goal metrics on the other hand, have not been good.

 

On ice sv% has been 88.5%.

On ice shooting% only 6.3%

PDO is a poor 94.9%.

Part of that (perhaps a large part) can be expected to return to mean - however I think part of it is also a matter of 'applying' himself. 

 

The eye test has been more disappointing - at least 5 on 5 - than the possession numbers.  For me, the 2nd line hasn't been able to develop chemistry - in spite of Hoglander's outstanding puck hounding.  I would think that the Hoglander effect would be more time, space, possession and scoring chances for Horvat and Pearson, but for whatever reasons it isn't translating, at least not yet (so I understand Green experimenting with different top 6 lines).

Horvat hasn't looked like the player he's capable of being - seems to share the general lack of confidence - and determination - in general.  I wish he'd play with a bit more abandon and 'rational anger' though.

 

For me part of this might also be the demand, the weight, the distraction of being captain (at a young age) - and furthermore, in a very toxic media market.  I don't envy him having to respond to the gaggle of province dimwits and smarm he has to deal with everyday.   He's probably too polite - perhaps the odd gfy would serve him well - and take some onus off him to respond politely to idiocy day after day.

 

 

Maybe if he did not have to carry the "C" he could play with more abandon, play angry and more determined..... drive to the net and not worry about being Mr. Nice Guy.

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1 hour ago, Slegr said:

I was noticing Horvat's +/- the other day. He's never been a plus player. I know it only tells one story, but for a guy who supposedly plays a 200 foot game, that's a bit of a concern.

Then you look at a guy like Chris Tanev, who played on some pretty horrible Canucks teams through the years, and even on a bad Calgary team this year, in his 11 NHL seasons, he's had one minus year. 

I know it seems like a bit of a concern but there are some good reasons. His first year he was a -8 as a rookie which is ok. His second year he was a -30 but that was with

Sutter out for 3/4 of the season leaving us with Bo and Henrik as the top 2 center. Bo had to shoulder a huge amount of shutdown/tough minutes as a 20 year old.

This kinda also shows the true value of Brandon Sutter. For the next three seasons he was almost even (-7,-1,-4) on a pretty bad team while playing tough minutes.

Last year (-15) and this year (-9 so far) apart from playing tough minutes he is taking D zone face-offs with guys like Gaudette and Virtanen on his wings which works 

out great if he wins the face-off and gets to the bench but I'm sure this has hurt Horvat's stats. On top of that Bo, EP, Boeser, Miller, Hughes getting their plus/minus 

stats ruined by surrendering empty net goals against in masses. Also his overall Playoff plus/minus is +1

Horvat may not be elite shutdown guy (yet) but he is very very solid and produces offense at the same time.

 

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1 hour ago, knucklehead91 said:

Can you imagine Dorsett, Motte and Ferland all in the lineup.... They are what the team lacks. Its unfortunate Double D’s had to retire and Ferlands future is in question. Hopefully Motte is back soon

That would be worth watching for sure.   Hopefully JB can find another character player to replace Ferland because we're softer than Putty!

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The highest scoring bottom six player(s) are on pace for 21-points in an 82 game season.

 

That's a problem. A really big problem.

 

Special teams have been part of the problem but overall roster quality is the main problem.

 

It's easy to overlook as fans because you naturally start to like "our guys." But eventually you need to take an objective look and decide if "our guys" are even worthy of a NHL job... let alone the contracts some of them have.

Edited by dank.sinatra
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2 hours ago, rychicken said:

you have not addressed the fact that our bottom 6 does not score enough, or provide enough of a threat, that the opponent would worry about them. Teams are putting all their focus on our top 2 lines because they know we have no other threat

I mean, when they all seemingly have 35-40% ozone starts, yeah scoring isn't gonna happen often. Our top 6 is unbelievably sheltered in terms of deployment. Horvat has 40% ozone starts, and it's indicitive of his 5 on 5 point totals. 10 of his 16 points are on the PP. Long story short, if you're not getting ozone starts you're not putting up points regardless of who you are. Petey has 76% ozone starts, Boeser 68% and Miller 64%. If you're gonna get deployed that favorably you better be producing. Doesn't help the one bottom 6 player getting somewhat favorable deployment is snake bit or just incapable of producing at the NHL level, that's Gaudette at 50% ozone starts.

 

The bottom 6 isn't scoring cause they are seemingly deployed purely to play a defensive role. That's hard to do cause our defense wants to pass the puck to the opposing team or in our players skates. I also think our 3rd line that should be the bottom 6 scoring line lacks any identity. They have Sutter, Roussel, and Gaudette. They have like no chemistry and the makeup isn't good for a grinder line, a shutdown line or a scoring line. It has parts of all 3. Our 4th line is fine, if the goal is just to cause havoc and not get scored on. It'll be better when Motter is back.

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The bottom 6 have struggled to add secondary scoring but not for reasons anyone predicted.  
 

Jake and Gaudette have followed up career years with ZERO production. 
 

Perhaps more predictably, Roussel has proven he’s out of gas after that knee injury.  That’s 3/6 of our bottom 6 - including two young guys who even if they maintained production from last year would have been a huge boost. 
 

I think people get defensive about the bottom 6 regarding Sutter and Beagle - who I think we could live with and have a fairly respectable bottom 6 with those two even at their salaries.  The PK has been decent. 
 

Need more from the wings, though.  We’ve been overall lucky with injuries this year but Motte adds a huge punch to that group.

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The greatest benefit we've received from our bottom-6 is likely & simply, just time. Time for other drafted young fwds to ripen on the various branches, here & there.

 

Nothing more frustrating than watching well-regarded youth rushed into the show, & promptly damaged & discarded.

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One of my Hypotheses for  Bo Horvats struggles which seems backbootywards is that... He thrived taking D zone starts against top lines. Top line players are often weak defensively.  He and co would crash and bang or win the draw gain possession and rush the puck up ice and capitalize on D on their heels.

 

He has been given more O zone starts this season and really seems to be suffering from other teams doing the exact reverse to him. 

 

To put this in other terms I think Horvat thrives as a counter puncher. I personally would love to see a line up of.

 

Hog Pete Boeser 

Pearson Miller Gaudette

Roussel Bo Sutter  ...........Motte when he returns

Hawerluk Beagle Zac   ...............Virtanen/Heinen hope that trade goes down.

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+/- just isn’t a good stat to measure a player’s effectiveness with.

Lots of it is luck, it excludes all special teams, and it ignores who is getting the toughest matchups.

 

Someone keeping McDavid to just a couple points a game is doing a lot more work than someone getting all their minutes against Khaira.

 

You can’t win games if you don’t score, so if a player isn’t scoring AND is being scored against they aren’t helping you win.  Our top few players are responsible for most of our scoring by a long shot.

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2 hours ago, Rick Blight said:

Here is a list of the bottom 6 that Edmonton played last two games along with their cap hits.

 
1. Haas......................$915,000
2. P. Russell...............$700,000
3. Archibald................$1,500,000
4. Chiasson................$2,150,000
5. Khaira.....................$1,200,000
6. Ennis......................$1,000,000
 
TOTAL Cap Hit...............$7,465,000
 
Eriksson to sit in press box = $6,000,000.
Sutter and Beagle = $7,375,000
Roussel and Virtanen = $5,550,000
 
Our bottom 6 needs to be dominant with this kind of disparity in salaries. If not, we need to reduce the bottom 6 salary structure significantly to re-allocate dollars to other areas of need. IE: top 6

OK but thats a bottom 6 thats going to get destroyed in the playoffs. 

 

I'm not sure its even fair to add Loui into that calc, given he's n the taxi squad. Put him over in the 'dead cap' column. 

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I’d like to know the stat of how many empty net goals against has Horvat been on the ice for during his time here. Over the past 5 years we’ve trailed a lot and practically everytime or so it seems there’s an empty net goal against when we are trying to tie it up. Anyone?

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1 hour ago, N7Nucks said:

I mean, when they all seemingly have 35-40% ozone starts, yeah scoring isn't gonna happen often. Our top 6 is unbelievably sheltered in terms of deployment. Horvat has 40% ozone starts, and it's indicitive of his 5 on 5 point totals. 10 of his 16 points are on the PP. Long story short, if you're not getting ozone starts you're not putting up points regardless of who you are. Petey has 76% ozone starts, Boeser 68% and Miller 64%. If you're gonna get deployed that favorably you better be producing. Doesn't help the one bottom 6 player getting somewhat favorable deployment is snake bit or just incapable of producing at the NHL level, that's Gaudette at 50% ozone starts.

 

The bottom 6 isn't scoring cause they are seemingly deployed purely to play a defensive role. That's hard to do cause our defense wants to pass the puck to the opposing team or in our players skates. I also think our 3rd line that should be the bottom 6 scoring line lacks any identity. They have Sutter, Roussel, and Gaudette. They have like no chemistry and the makeup isn't good for a grinder line, a shutdown line or a scoring line. It has parts of all 3. Our 4th line is fine, if the goal is just to cause havoc and not get scored on. It'll be better when Motter is back.

 

I was gonna leave it alone, but you guys parroting ozone %'s in here need to realize its not the end all stat for offence totals. The guys getting more defensive starts aren't producing on the other 75% of their shifts that start at centre, a line change or the offensive zone. If they were producing, they would get more offensive starts.

 

Corsi is overrated, and I see it being misused way too often on here

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3 hours ago, Jimmy McGill said:

this thread is doing a good job of showing how valuable Sutter would be for Edmonton e.g. and the impact he'd have on their actually mediocre bottom 6. I think his value could be pegged at a 2nd round pick, in part due to him not having to wait 2 weeks to play this year. 

It is also why i've brought up the idea of keeping him - and paying him to stay as a medium term Beagle replacement.   Every game he's had scoring chances - same with Beagle really - Motte was their finisher and they and the team for sure is missing that.   AG and JV .... figure it out or enjoy a new chance somewhere else or watch a different player come in a bump you to the bench.    Sutter and Beagle and Motte especially, are the least of our issues.   We do need secondary scoring ... at third line making up for the lack of 5 on 5 differential in the top six is one of the main differences so far from this and last season.    For sure our top two lines face the stiffest competition despite where they start.   

 

Half the banked money is going to raises - thankfully the other half should help plug some holes.   I agree that our bottom six isn't a problem although the team is definitely missing Motte, who prior to the start of the season was bold enough to say he should get a chance on the second line.   He's earned it. 

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4 minutes ago, Davathor said:

 

I was gonna leave it alone, but you guys parroting ozone %'s in here need to realize its not the end all stat for offence totals. The guys getting more defensive starts aren't producing on the other 75% of their shifts that start at centre, a line change or the offensive zone. If they were producing, they would get more offensive starts.

 

Corsi is overrated, and I see it being misused way too often on here

I agree possession is a little passé.   Has been since CHI and LA were winning cups and PIT, a right in the middle possession club, came in and won two cups.  To see it properly through a more accurate lens, one also needs to delve a little deeper into quality of competition.   And you can bet our top six is getting most of those assignments, and last year at least we had a sheltered third line that produced well and made a lot of overall difference in the win and loss columns (because they were actually producing).    

 

Corsi and Fenwick, outside of goalie prep and usage for what Corsi was originally designed for, aren't the be all end all anymore - to some traditionalists delight (the eye test folks).   

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1 hour ago, Jimmy McGill said:

OK but thats a bottom 6 thats going to get destroyed in the playoffs. 

 

I'm not sure its even fair to add Loui into that calc, given he's n the taxi squad. Put him over in the 'dead cap' column. 

And we aren't the only team with dead cap .... although i'm sure without a lot of research, we are one of the teams with an abundance of it.  LE, Bear, Spooner and Luongo...yikes.   Ladd.   Well Buffalo had dead cap in their lineup in a huge way with Okposo and Skinner ... 15 million of basically Beagle and AG lol.  

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2 hours ago, N7Nucks said:

I mean, when they all seemingly have 35-40% ozone starts, yeah scoring isn't gonna happen often. Our top 6 is unbelievably sheltered in terms of deployment. Horvat has 40% ozone starts, and it's indicitive of his 5 on 5 point totals. 

Honestly, oZone and dZone % are a terrible stat that is WAY overused here.

The way people talk about it makes it clear they don’t know what the stat is measuring.  I have explained it before but people keep misusing it.

 

It is measuring the ratio of those starts just 5 on 5 that are ALSO just in either offensive or defensive zone... and excludes all the on the fly and neutral zone shift starts, which is the bulk of them.  For most players it ranges around 80-90% of their total shifts that are entirely excluded from this stat.  It also doesn’t account for how many minutes they are on the ice and how many shifts they take.  A guy who plays 4 shifts a game, 3 of them in the neutral zone, and one in the dZone gets a 100% dZone start %.  A guy who plays 30 shifts a game and gets 5 shifts in the dZone, 5 in the oZone, and 20 on the fly or in the neutral zone gets a 50% dZone start %... if you use the % to explain the first guy is taking  the hardest defensive minutes... you are just wrong... it is really meaningless and tells you nothing.

 

The difference between a 45% dZone start and 55/% is about a shift every 2 games depending on the player.  If you are using that to measure a player’s performance, you are making a massive mistake.... because it doesn’t tell you much of anything at all.

 

Horvat had 259 dZone starts in 69 games last year (3.75 a game) and 49.4% dZone start ratio.

 

Beagle had 171 dZone starts in 55 games last year (3.1 shifts a game) and a 77% dZone start ratio.

 

Which guy was leaned on more heavily defensively?  The % ratio indicates almost nothing.  Horvat had vastly more dZone starts overall and showed over 27% lower dZone start ratio?

 

Horvat has the most dZone starts again this season of all our forwards  but he is a sheltered top 6? He has 72 vs. Roussel’s 45... who is getting the tough defensive minutes?

 

The stat is really just bad and shouldn’t be used how folks are using it.

 

 

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Provost said:

+/- just isn’t a good stat to measure a player’s effectiveness with.

Lots of it is luck, it excludes all special teams, and it ignores who is getting the toughest matchups.

 

Someone keeping McDavid to just a couple points a game is doing a lot more work than someone getting all their minutes against Khaira.

 

You can’t win games if you don’t score, so if a player isn’t scoring AND is being scored against they aren’t helping you win.  Our top few players are responsible for most of our scoring by a long shot.

That's what I was thinking.  

Pearson - Horvat - Hoglander get paraded out against other teams' top lines as the matchup line when Bo isn't really the shutdown center that he was advertised as in his draft year (not that he hasn't been good but the defensive end a la Bergeron/ ROR simply isn't his forte), and Schmidt/ Edler/ Hughes have all routinely gotten burned so I wouldn't fault the top forwards too much when they face the Scheifele's and McDavid's of the world AND play often on the PP.
  
The bottom 6 on the other end has contributed nothing, OP.  Besides MacEwen (who I agree needs more playing time) and possibly Sutter (who's done his part on the PK), 
- Roussel is +3 but his bad penalties and lack of discipline have led to the team getting burned while he's in the box;
- Beagle's hardworking and carries a heavy PK load so I'll give him a pass but scoring isn't really his thing to warrant a large +;
- Virtanen, despite a mild -3, has been a drifter and a ticking time bomb for a penalty (and he's lacked the finish to be a positive); 
- Gaudette sports an unsightly 4% shooting percentage, but he's worked hard and has been deployed erratically so I'll actually give him a pass too, plus he's had bad luck so I actually want to see him in Jake's spot before assessing him (something's gotta give for him, when he had a 16% shooting last year);
- no comment on Hawryluk (NR) and Motte (injured but our bottom 6's MVP)     

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3 hours ago, Rick Blight said:

Here is a list of the bottom 6 that Edmonton played last two games along with their cap hits.

 
1. Haas......................$915,000
2. P. Russell...............$700,000
3. Archibald................$1,500,000
4. Chiasson................$2,150,000
5. Khaira.....................$1,200,000
6. Ennis......................$1,000,000
 
TOTAL Cap Hit...............$7,465,000
 
Eriksson to sit in press box = $6,000,000.
Sutter and Beagle = $7,375,000
Roussel and Virtanen = $5,550,000
 
Our bottom 6 needs to be dominant with this kind of disparity in salaries. If not, we need to reduce the bottom 6 salary structure significantly to re-allocate dollars to other areas of need. IE: top 6

And people still argue that Benning didn’t over spend, a lot of these FA/resigns/signings didn’t come as advertised either. 

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