Thursday, May 18, 2006

Horcoff v Thornton In Game 6

Not much time right now, but I thought I'd post a bit on this because I have not heard any mention of it all series from the radio or print media.

Horcoff is already getting a lot of love from Oiler fans, but he should be getting more. Really the Horcoff/Smyth tandem.

Pronger gets a whack of credit for playing tough minutes (and he should) but Horcoff does the same, and though they play fewer minutes obviously the forwards drive results a hell of a lot more than defencemen, that's why virtually every head coach runs the forward matchups themselves and delegates the D matchups to an assistant.

Anyhow, last night vs Thornton at 5on5, and only as accurate as the shift chart:

Joe's 5on5 icetime ...
vs Oilers: 11.7

vs Pronger: 9.8
vs Spacek: 1.4
vs Bergeron: 0.8

vs Horcoff: 6.9
vs Peca: 2.1
vs Stoll: 2.0
vs Murray: 1.3

Using Ruff's "shots directed at net metric" while Joe Thornton was on the ice at 5on5:
Joe vs Horcoff ... SJ had 9 shots, EDM 12
Joe vs the rest ... SJ had 14 shots, EDM 2

I think that says it all.

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And a couple of bits and pieces:

* The Peca line logged a bunch of icetime vs the Marleau line and did well. As did Staios and Spacek.

* Matt Greene played all of 6 seconds vs Thornton. Looks like Dennis and Huddy are on the same page with this one. :D

* Harvey somehow only played 7.4 minutes in 14 shifts. All 5on5. All of it against either Thornton or Marleau, and he did well.

* Hemsky played only 5.9 5on5 minutes. Most of it soft icetime (1.1 vs Thornton, 1.7 vs Marleau) ... got a couple of minutes with 10/94 as well. At this point he's a depth forward at 5on5 and a PP specialist. And for those calling talk radio clamouring for Schremp in the lineup ... he's probably 3 years away from being where Hemsky is right now. Seriously.

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If this team is healthy, then when Dvorak gets back they are going to have a tremendous top nine forwards IMO, and a terrific PP specialist in Hemsky and tough guy in Georges besides.

8 Comments:

Blogger Black Dog Hates Skunks said...

Great post Vic - I didn't think I heard Hemsky's name too much last night.

Good to see Harvey contributing - now if they can get DVO back - apparently he's day to day now.

How much icetime does the Ducks' fourth line eat up? Cox says they roll four lines - is that really the case?

Saw a graphic - Horcoff played 25 minutes last night.

He's something!

5/18/2006 11:27 am  
Blogger RiversQ said...

As for the Ducks 4th line question. I had a quick look and Fedoruk, Getzlaf and Perry have only been playing about 8min or less per game at ES in the playoffs. I'd say that's basically rolling the lines, but they are sheltering the 4th line a little bit.

Marchant, Niedermayer and Friesen are playing upwards of 12min ES/game.

The Oilers' numbers are skewed by the 3OT game, but they're definitely closer to a 3 line team than the Ducks have been. Dvorak is needed IMO. It would be nice to get him back.

5/18/2006 11:42 am  
Anonymous pdo said...

Just question, how much should Lowe be throwing at Horcoff this summer to lock him up for 3-4 years? 8 over 3? 12 over 4? IIRC, he will be a UFA come next summer, so locking him up should be a huge issue.

That Jokinen deal had to have pissed Lowe off quit a bit.

If that contract is signed, his name is going on the back of my jersey this summer.

5/18/2006 12:38 pm  
Blogger Black Dog Hates Skunks said...

pdo - that's the big question

the good news is that he's proving he can do it as the first line centre at crunch time - he's probably MVP of round 2

what's he worth? I'd say 3 1/2 over 4 yrs, or 12 over 3 - they've needed a #1 centre for a long time, better not let him get away - Smyth probably would get the same.

Is that too much? Considering they have 4 1/2 invested in them this year plus 4 in Peca, 1 in LeGG, 1 1/2 in Dvorak - I think they can do it. Others may disagree.

5/18/2006 1:08 pm  
Blogger Dennis said...

Just a couple of things to add to this:

- Matt Greene is a total adventure. You can't hide the kid on the road. On the bright side he didn't look as inept handling the puck last night. I still like Tarnstrom over him and I don't know if he's hurt or not.

- I don't know if it was Mc or RQ that swayed me but MAB should be done as an Oiler. I want to like the kid and he puts up some good numbers at ES but he's just too big of a gamble. He's signed forever and for next to nothing so we should be able to get a goalie for him.

- the way you listed the forwards, including Dvorak, is almost word for word the way I had things going over at OF last night. I'd go with Pisani up with 94-10 and power vs power vs Selanne. Then I'd have Torres-Peca-Dvorak and Sammy-Moreau-Moreau. I might even switch Moreau with Torres. At home that Stoll line's gotta get the softest mintues anyway. Like you I'd have Hemsky as the 10th guy and he's the PP specalist. I'd play him at least 1:30 on every adv and I'd shove him in the top nine here and there in close games or when we're leading and I'd only get him into a regular ES rotation when we were trailing and/or when we're at home and we get the last change. Then I'd go harv as 4th line centre and Winchester as the 12 forward. He can still be useful on some shifts and BG can't. And I wouldn't play BG on the road anymore.

- at the presser MacT said Buchy said Harv only played a little over 7 min because he was taking 25 second shifts:) I honestly clapped for his effort on the Horc goal. he slips by McLaren...he busts his ass to join the forecheck...he seperates Ekman from the puck...and then he slips a pass to Horc.

- One last thing...I dearly want this guy out of the lineup but did anyone else feel really good when Murray ripped off Erhoff's head behind the net early in the first period? I'm not saying that Murray the good was ever a pussy but everyone's buying in at this point. It's fun to see guys getting caught up in it all.

5/18/2006 1:13 pm  
Blogger Black Dog Hates Skunks said...

Dennis - I'd say Tarnstrom is hurt - he didn't look that out of place when he was out there, not as much as Greene; having said that I don't think MacT likes him either, why not have him on the PP then, maybe something behind the scenes.

Man, getting Dvo back would sure help. Harvey sure did.

one good thing about the Ducks - they're deep but don't have that high level talent that the Wings or Sharks have - should be (should be) a little easier to get Greene/MAB and the 4th line some softer minutes

Moreau's going to get tired playing centre and the wing on one line - that's what you call a true double shift :)

5/18/2006 1:25 pm  
Anonymous momentai said...

Dennis:

While I would agree that in the San Jose series, MacT tried to avoid placing Hemsky out against their like the plague...

Is that really going to be the case in the Anaheim series?

MacT seemed more than comfortable at home and away leaving the Horc/Smyth/Hemsky line against the checking of Rob/Sami/Hedstrom during the regular season.

Carlyle didn't match the Selanne line against that line so it would seem to indicate that "strength" for "strength" isn't in the cards for this series.

5/18/2006 2:06 pm  
Blogger Dennis said...

Good points.

It must have been an Amerk bcast where I heard this mentioned but they were talking about line matching and how sometimes you gotta be careful because the other coach will wind up running your bench.

In keeping with that theme I was talking with RQ and he was saying how the Selanne line's getting the third most ES strenght mintues and are behind the Lupol-Marchant-Penner and Friesen-Pahlsson-Neidermayer units.

So in thinking about how things are gonna go when we take this back to Rexall...I'm sure MacT would be glad to give the maj of his min to the Horc line and let Carysle match up the Pahlsson like with them. Just how many goals is that line gonna score at ES? And we could always make sure we get the peca line to check Selanne's and then go Stoll vs Marchant.

The Ducks roll 12 forwards and we roll 10 though that will go back to 11 once Dvorak returns.

The Ducks PP is as cold as a witch's titty and the only adv I can see for them is if their kid tender keeps playing out of his head.

I've never been more confident about the Oilers heading into a playoff series and that worries me. Then again maybe I should just get it in my head that we've got a sold tender, an excellent top four D, depth at forward and this crew is for real.

5/18/2006 3:03 pm  

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