Sunday, December 17, 2006

Lupul And Or Smid

A simple look at impact on 5on5 results. We all know that neither of these guys has had a very positive effect on special teams yet, but I'm just looking at 5on5 for now.

The Oilers so far this season, when neither Smid nor Lupul is on the ice, pro-rated to the teams icetime:
EV+73 EV-44 (net +29)

That's damn impressive.

For a point of reference, let's look at how Anaheim has done so far this season:
EV+73 EV-53 (net +20)

Yup, that trade was a beauty alright.


Blogger Lowetide said...

Ouch. It's like getting the Marriot bill at the end of a 7-day stay where you've charged it all to your room. You know it's going to be bad, but when it hits you it's a little hard to focus.


I do agree with your comment somewhere in the OB that it's better to suffer now than do it over two seasons.

Two problems that are out there are #1- are these guys worth it and #2- do the optics change if they slide into 10th and the other 4 teams in the division get some clearance?

12/17/2006 11:09 am  
Blogger PDO said...

Want it to hurt a whole lot more?

Smid has spent the entire season against the other teams 2nd line.

Joffrey has spent most of the season against the other teams third line, and when he's played against their better players he's had guys like Horcoff and Smyth playing with him.

And I keep seeing Eric Brewer and Mike Comrie and want to cry.


12/17/2006 1:08 pm  
Blogger Showerhead said...

"Ouch. It's like getting the Marriot bill at the end of a 7-day stay where you've charged it all to your room. You know it's going to be bad, but when it hits you it's a little hard to focus."

Marriot bill after 7 days, bar tab at the campus watering hole after 4 hours... - either way my mind jumped to the same type of analogy. I was not prepared to see numbers just that far out of whack. The obvious question is whether the long term benefit is worth the short term suffering...

Can MacT turn Lupul into a guy that doesn't kill you in his own end? Is Lupul smart enough to play an effective 1-2-2 when that role is required? The guy's still on pace for 20ish goals, no? You'd have to think that he's young enough that MacT at least has the opportunity to develop his game to where it needs to be.

Smid reminds me of Brewer in a few too many ways. He has a way of looking calm and collected before throwing the puck to Staios in worse position. He has a way of looking like he's got a guy contained before he bites entirely the wrong way and gets undressed. He just looks like he's got the skills to be a fantastic hockey player but the mistakes are holding this club back at present.

I still have faith in both these guys, Smid moreso, but gah. It's been frustrating enough to the effect that just last night I had at least two dreams that involved Lupul out of position and the puck in Edm's net.

12/17/2006 2:03 pm  
Blogger Lowetide said...


It'll be interesting to see what happens with Smid leading up to New Year's eve. I'd bet that MacT moves Bergeron up to play with Staios and rides the top 2 pairings heavily in the next game.

As for Lupul, I think you have to give him the at-bats but they could also go the Yvan Cournoyer route. Toe Blake didn't trust him at all (thus the famous quote "he can't check his hat) and Cournoyer spent his early 20s on the PP. As a rookie he scored seven goals in 55 games. In his second year (1965-66) 16 of his 18 goals on the PP. The following season he scored 20 of his 25 goals with the man advantage.

But I don't know how you run Hemsky and Lupul out there 5x5 and get anything close to good. Plus Lupul is performing poorly and the coach is probably running out of ideas.

I still like the trade. I also don't think they can deal either of these two guys right now because it'll be for 10 cents on the dollar.

Still like this team a ton.

12/17/2006 2:13 pm  
Blogger Bank Shot said...

Sometimes I think a big part of Lowe's motivation in the trade was to just make sure Calgary got fucked over.

Why else do you trade one of the best defensemen in the NHL to the team your team faced in the Western Conference Finals the season prior? This is a team that the Oilers will probably have to overcome if they wish to get back into the finals in the next couple years, and Kevin just boosted an already dangerous team into the dominant category. It looks like Lowe is actively trying to put Anaheim into the Finals. The conditional pick just reinforces that idea.

I wonder if part of what he liked about the deal is that even though he had to restructure the team and probably face a short rebuilding process, he also had a chance to deny a peaking Flames team a chance at the Stanley Cup.

12/17/2006 2:48 pm  
Blogger Asiaoil said...

Thing is........if we are using these kids properly with Smid on the 3rd pair with a wily vet and soft match-ups - and Lupul on the 4th line with Marty and someone like Thoresen and similar matchups - they are fine. But instead we are force feeding the kids and the predictable gag reflex is showing. I mean did anyone honestly think this was NOT going to happen???? That's what gets me - no nothings like me can tell you with a very high level of confidence that this will occur - but the Oilers mgmt still goes out and does it anyway.

Oh well - Smid has been great given his age and Lupul can clearly put the puck in the net - but enough is enough. It's time to get serious and get a dman or two - picking up a RW like Fedotenko or someone with a bit more sandpaper in their game would not bug me either.

12/17/2006 4:00 pm  
Blogger Asiaoil said...

So here is my solution...Mikhnov, MAB, Winchester anda pick to TAM for Boyle and Fedotenko. Then add Matvichuk for a picks or a prospect and we are ready to role.

94 10 83
14 16 34
71 78 Feds
15 19 28

Boyle 21
29 24
2 5 Matvichuk

12/17/2006 4:30 pm  
Blogger Dennis-IOF said...

I don't think Smid's great for his age. Is he good for his age? Yeah probably but there's nothing great about this game. And Lain I really can't see how you'd keep saying you still like that trade. I was worried about Lupul as an Oiler the moment I started reading his quotes and it could be three years before you can watch Smid play without wanting to vomit. Plus he enriched an already impressive team that was in his conf.

No surprise that the numbers are so bad, but I'm inclined to be easier on Smid that I am on Lupul.

12/17/2006 8:24 pm  
Blogger Lowetide said...

Dennis: The Oilers didn't need to win this trade by Christmas. I agree that they should have acquired a veteran defender (said it all summer) and it's a curious choice to make Smid the top 4 guy over some others (do we really know what Hejda is? really?) but Smid shows flashes and at 20 that's what you get.

I like the trade because I love Lupul's talent. Flat out talent. Am I wrong? Could be. But I liked the trade at the time and don't think 30 games (even as bad as he's been) are enough to shove him the gaspipe.

12/17/2006 10:10 pm  
Blogger oilerdiehard said...

Just curious but is Steve Staios not on the ice ES pretty much at all times when Smid is? I realize it would be too confusing with all the line mates Lupul has had but should Staios not be included in this equation as Smid's partner? Or is it just all Smid's fault one way or the other?

Dennis I just do not see the vomit factor in Smid's overall game. Are you sure you had not made your mind up on the kid from the start and nothing is about to change that?

I agree with LT, I think Lupul's talent will shine through and he will get it going and soon.

12/18/2006 10:42 am  
Blogger Vic Ferrari said...


Read the post below, the icetimes of the D is explained there quite simple I think.

12/18/2006 12:41 pm  
Blogger Vic Ferrari said...


Well obviously Smid is eight kinds of terrible, and has been from day one. The decision making especially is just fucking appalling, and as a consequence the puck just spends way too much time in the Oiler end of the rink when he's out there.

But he's 20 years old, and he's playing a lot of minutes. I would be stunned if the Oilers mgmt and coaching staff didn't know this is exactly what would happen. I suspect he's going to be a better player sooner because of it though. And so long as the Oilers don't miss the playoffs because of it that's probably the smart move.

Lowetide has him pegged as a Tommy Albelin comparable, which seems pretty reasonable to me, granted I'm an optimist by nature. Albelin was a very good player, a guy who would have done well in the new NHL I think. And if he'd played significant minutes against a middling level of NHL competition as a 20 year old, I'm pretty sure he would have struggled just as mightily as Smid has.

I also think the Oilers are doing the right thing in deflecting blame away from Lupul and Smid. Public scrutiny sure as hell wouldn't help either of them. And the veterans are being paid enough to shoulder that sort of stuff anyways.

Personally I'm more optimistic about Lupul than most. He's played a lot of good games in there, and isn't the drifter I thought he would be. He's younger than Hemsky, it takes time. And the puck will start going in for him soon enough I think.

12/18/2006 1:00 pm  
Blogger Vic Ferrari said...

Lowetide said:

"... are these guys worth it ... ?"

That's the $64 question Lowetide.

If the Oilers can somehow manage to win the division while still pushing these guys, up the developmental curve in accelerated fashion ... then they've won the lottery. Hell, if they even make the playoffs with this stuff going on they've made the smart bet for the long run I think.

Reading your stuff lately, clearly you're ready to bail on the project kids now. Hell, I was ready to bail out on that in early October, but I'm not much of a prospects fan. But history has shown us that, aside from maybe a game or two when the team is on the skids, MacTavish won't budge until March. He was marching Hemsky out there against quality opposition up until game 91 last season for crying out loud, then never even once more in the playoffs. It wasn't far off of that with the Semenov madness in 02/03, then remarkably he's being sheltered from Modano in the playoffs, and to an extreme.

It's their team, they can do what they want. And as long as they make the playoffs all is forgiven, in fact praise is due because they've made some young guys much better along the way. But if they miss the playoffs ... sharpen the knives, LT. :)

12/18/2006 1:18 pm  
Blogger Dennis-IOF said...

Well maybe the vomiting thing was a bit too much;) but as bad as Smid's numbers are they're being covered somewhat by both Staios and Roloson who are both having great years.

Regarding Lupul...he's blown a tonne of good scoring opps so in that respect he's at least hitting the ball hard. But at the end of the day he's done fuckall with a lot of soft time and I don't think he's meant to play in his hometown and there's no accounting for that.

We don't know what other packages were available but I think the Oilers got too caught up in what Smid might be like in 4 years and they didn't want to think about how hard it would be to try and break in Lupul and they didn't spend nearly enough time wondering if he could fit into MacT's system.

It's hard to defend this trade WITHOUT Pronger being in Ana. But with him there?

You can't do it.

12/18/2006 4:00 pm  
Blogger Lowetide said...


I'm not really ready to bail but lordy they need to decrease the inexperience on the ice by a factor of several. Losing Moreau has had a big time effect just because there are fewer times of calm conditions. I think it's easier to work in rookies one at a time and tandems only work if it's Trammel and Sweet Lou.

Lots of coaches have lost their jobs trying to work in more than one defender on defense (most famous: Punch Imlach) and this club has often had to back up a chaotic shift with another set of subpar (at this time) defensemen.

I don't understand why they didn't add a defenseman in the summer. Strike that, I know (they were going for silly money) but driving on a flat tire this long is going to do some serious damage.

I saw some video the other night of Smyth playing defense maybe they'll try that. I'll say this: add a veteran stay-at-home defender and the offense gets better just because there's structure and flow.

12/18/2006 5:08 pm  
Blogger mudcrutch79 said...

I'm somewhere between Dennis and Vic on the Lupul continuum I think (it goes, in decreasing order of hatred, Dennis----Vic-----Lowetide-----Brownlee).

I don't know about this though:

He's younger than Hemsky, it takes time.

Sure, he's younger than Hemsky. By a month and a half. He's gotta be at least a season and a half behind him in development though - I've got him as maybe ahead of where Hemsky was in 03-04 by virtue of his goal scoring but not by much. Hemsky turned into one of the best PP players in the league last year and looks to be again this year as well. Lupul is nowhere near that.

That might not be the fairest standard in the world to hold him to, I'll admit - not many guys have the development patterns of Ales Hemsky because not many guys are that good. If you're going to point out that he's younger than Hemsky though, in fairness, it has to be acknowledged that it's pretty damn close and he's got nowhere near Ales' game.

That said, I agree with your point about the Oilers being ahead by banking this development time now. It'd sure be nice if Lupul would fucking do something with it though.

12/18/2006 8:01 pm  
Blogger Lowetide said...

MC: Lupul had a decent year on the PP last year, right?

12/18/2006 8:13 pm  
Blogger mudcrutch79 said...

He didn't actually. He was at about 3.5 PPP/60, IIRC. In fairness to him, he doesn't look to have been on the first unit. He's not a great fit for the Oilers PP though, because he's a shooter and Hemsky passes from the same side. Given that they've made the commitment to Hemsky, it's hard to see where Lupul fits.

12/18/2006 8:21 pm  
Blogger Earl Sleek said...

He was at about 3.5 PPP/60, IIRC. In fairness to him, he doesn't look to have been on the first unit.

I think most of the time, actually, Lupul was on the first unit, sort of playing the spot Kunitz does today.

JavaGeek ran some correlated ice time metrics a while ago, and his numbers said that 68% of Selanne's PP time was spent with Lupul / 77% of Lupul's PP time was spent with Selanne.

So long as someone does 90% of Lupul's work, then he's a good player. I figured that dependency would improve, though.

12/19/2006 10:01 am  
Blogger Vic Ferrari said...


Of course every team would be better with more proven veterans, especially on the blue line. I mean in terms of this season ANA is surely better off with DiPenta than they would be with Smid.

The problem for the Oilers is that Smid and Greene are the obvious guys to replace. And they need to play.

Fans will clamour for Tjarnqvist or Staios or Bergeron to be replaced by someone in trade, but realistically adding Brad Stuart, Barret Jackman or Eric Brewer on the roster in place of one of these three guys (and I know their roles would shift) ... it isn't likely to make a damn bit of difference. Because these guys aren't the problem.

And Greene and Smid need to play if they are going to get better. And the Oilers are clearly trying to fast track the pair of them, though the latter obviously projects to be the better player.

What to do?

12/19/2006 1:32 pm  
Blogger Lowetide said...


I think they needed to break in Smid the way they broke in MAB and Semenov (and Greene to a certain extent).



23=32gp (so far)


20=32gp (so far)

Smid could use a week or so right now to get his head straight but he's unlikely to get it. I suspect MacT will make some changes tonight if Smid is exposed early in the game like he was on the Brunette play.

Bottom line they need someone in the Hejda/Roy role who can play with either of the kids and hang around in case of injury.

Igor 3 years ago, that kind of guy. But he isn't out there and so they'll need to get Eric Brewer.

12/19/2006 2:11 pm  

Post a Comment

<< Home