Fire, Brimstone and Milan Lucic

Jonathan Willis
February 15 2017 10:30AM

27-Lucic-2

The lack of secondary scoring from the Edmonton Oilers has been a story all season, one with many authors. Old standbys Jordan Eberle and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins have earned scorn. Benoit Pouliot appears to be utterly lost. Big-name free agent acquisition Milan Lucic has been a disappointment.

Of the four of them, there isn’t any question as to which player’s poor season should be the most terrifying for the Oilers. It’s that of Lucic, who seems to be imploding at 5-on-5 just as he enters the first year of a buyout-proof forever contract.

This hasn’t gotten nearly as much coverage as it deserves, and for obvious reasons. Lucic has 31 points in 57 games, which is a perfectly reasonable number mostly in-line with his career norms. As long as that holds up, the criticism will be muted, regardless of how lethargic he looks at 5-on-5.

It isn’t news that Lucic has been essentially a power play specialist all season, or that this is out of character for him. His numbers this year are way out of whack with his career averages:

Lucic production

The blue line shows power play scoring. Most forwards fall between 2.0 and 6.0 points/hour, and as a general rule a guy scoring 4.0 points/hour is doing a good job. Lucic has never been all that good on the power play, but this year he’s having a monster season, easily the best of his career.

How good is it? In five of nine seasons prior to this one, Lucic’s scoring rate was less than half what he’s managed this year.

The orange line shorts even-strength scoring. Most forwards fall between 1.0 and 2.5 points/hour, and as a general rule a guy who can crack 2.0 points/hour is a force to be reckoned with. Lucic has long been an excellent 5-on-5 guy, topping 2.0 points/hour in five of the last six seasons. This year he’s having an awful season, easily the worst of his career.

How bad is it? In five of six seasons prior to this one, Lucic’s scoring rate was more than double what he’s managed this year.

In a nutshell: Lucic is scoring twice as much as he normally does on the power play, and half as much at even-strength. That’s exactly what happened to Dustin Brown at the same age, incidentally: His 5-on-5 scoring collapsed and his power play scoring spiked. Since then, his power play scoring has returned to previous levels while his even-strength numbers have stayed bad, turning his contract with L.A. into one of the worst in the NHL.

Still, that’s a sample of one, and should be viewed with some skepticism. Far more troubling is the way that Connor McDavid has obscured the total collapse of Lucic’s game.

I came across this tweet last night, during the intermission in the Edmonton/Arizona game. At first I shrugged; I’d seen Lucic’s lousy point totals with and without McDavid and while they were terrible I’d known that for a while. It’s been more than two months since Lucic has picked up a 5-on-5 goal and he’s mostly played on other lines, so of course the figures would be bad.

What I hadn’t realized was how badly his shot rates have deteriorated away from the Oilers’ franchise centre. It’s hard to over-stress how bad 3.3 shots/hour is.

Most people don’t spend a lot of time on shots/hour, so some context is helpful. Of the 438 forwards to get at least 200 minutes in the NHL last year, these are the five worst by shots per hour:

  • Brandon Prust: 2.45
  • Eric Nystrom: 2.78
  • Jarret Stoll: 3.21
  • Scott Gomez: 3.38
  • Paul Byron: 3.40

Lucic’s non-McDavid total is worse than 435 of the 438 forwards to spend any real time in the NHL last year. The four worst guys on that list are all out of the league now, though on a happier note Byron is having a really nice season in Montreal.

Take away McDavid, and Lucic is one of the worst shot generators in the NHL, something which hasn’t been true in the past and which speaks to not just reluctance to shoot but an inability to get into dangerous areas with the puck on his stick.

Even when Lucic does shoot, it’s from far away. Among Oilers forwards, Lucic’s average shot distance is from further out than any regular other than Pouliot, who a) has been a trainwreck this season and b) hasn’t had the luxury of having Connor McDavid boost his shot totals. Lucic’s shots are coming from 10 feet further out than McDavid’s and from three feet further out than they were a year ago in L.A.

67-Pouliot-4

The Pouliot comparison is a helpful one to go back to, just because of how bad Pouliot has been this year. He has two seasons left at an average value of $4.0 million and at this point it’s not crazy to talk about a buyout. He’s been utterly ineffective offensively.

And yet, even separated from Connor McDavid, Pouliot’s lousy 0.98 points/hour and 4.2 shots/hour are fair-sized improvements on Lucic’s numbers.

Playing with McDavid a lot at 5-on-5 and posting career numbers with McDavid on the power play have concealed the extent to which Lucic’s game has crumbled from previously formidable heights this season. They won’t do it forever, and if Lucic can’t find a road back to his previous levels the next six years of his buyout-proof contract are going to be exceedingly difficult. 

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Jonathan Willis is a freelance writer. He currently works for Oilers Nation, Sportsnet and Bleacher Report. He's co-written three books and worked for myriad websites, including the Edmonton Journal, Grantland, ESPN, The Score, and Hockey Prospectus. He was previously the founder and managing editor of Copper & Blue.
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#51 Towersofdub
February 15 2017, 01:35PM
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Spydyr wrote:

Apples and oranges what I posted was a legitimate news story breaking all over the MSM. What he posted was a personally and IMO faulty opinion.

it's 2017. People survive many forms of cancer. It's treatable. I don't understand why this has upset so many people. Brandon Davidson is healthy enough to play NHL hockey.

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#52 McDavid's Comet
February 15 2017, 01:37PM
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Towersofdub wrote:

my comments about cancer weren't ignorant. in many cases cancer is a treatable illness. Ask Brandon Davidson or Phil Kessel. They seem like they're doing alright. so is my mom.

Dude, just give it up! I'm a cancer survivor and don't appreciate ignoramuses such as your self piping-off about experiences that you clearly have absolutely no appreciation for. So do me the favour and drop it, I'm tired of reading about your insensitivity on the subject. Own it and leave it alone.

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#53 Will
February 15 2017, 01:37PM
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My guess is Todd is using him differently. Lucic shows up for some games, and plays quietly for others. The underlying numbers are a bit alarming, but I am going to give him at least until I see his playoff performance until I write him off as a bad contract. I think he is just one of those guys that knows the most important thing about the regular season is getting in the playoffs.

How he performs there will be the real test.

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#54 McDavid's Comet
February 15 2017, 01:38PM
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Towersofdub wrote:

it's 2017. People survive many forms of cancer. It's treatable. I don't understand why this has upset so many people. Brandon Davidson is healthy enough to play NHL hockey.

That's not what you said, just give it up already!

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#55 Bills Bills
February 15 2017, 01:39PM
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I don't pay much attention to who writes the articles intil after I've read it. This one however I got to the first part and couldnt go any further. "Lucic has 31 pounts in 55 games which is on his career average. If this continues the critics will be muted". Then the article criticises the contract and where the points are coming from? I realized this was a JW article and stopped reading.

From my point of view, I don't care where the points are coming from. He's getting points. In fact he's exactly at the point totals I would expect. Maybe even a little higher. He needs 9 pounts in 25 games to hit 40. He will likely get 45 points which is a good season if your expectations are realistic for him. But he was never signed to score 60 or 70 points. He was brought in to be a leader. To add size to the lineup and to have an impact in games when they count. We could debate the last point but the games are just starting to matter. When they will really matter and where Lucic has had the biggest impact is in the playoffs. So maybe the reason it hasn't gotten the attention is because there is nothing to discuss. If this is an off year I can't wait till next year.

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#56 KenBone18
February 15 2017, 01:57PM
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Shoulda drafted Tkachuk.

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#57 Heschultzhescores
February 15 2017, 02:12PM
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Lucic Brings a whole lot more than goal scoring to this team. He is a leader in the dressing room from all accounts. His presence is worth something, and I'm sure he will perform during the playoffs, and that is something not every, so called, star can say.

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#58 Towersofdub
February 15 2017, 02:15PM
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McDavid's Comet wrote:

Dude, just give it up! I'm a cancer survivor and don't appreciate ignoramuses such as your self piping-off about experiences that you clearly have absolutely no appreciation for. So do me the favour and drop it, I'm tired of reading about your insensitivity on the subject. Own it and leave it alone.

I understand the disease enough. One parent had it and survived it thus far, a grand parent had it and died from it. I'm not being insensitive by saying it can be treated in many cases. It's a disease, i get it. In many cases, including yours apparently, it's treatable. You're alive, right?

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#59 Jordan88
February 15 2017, 02:17PM
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Lucic... what do we hate more the contract or the player?

This smells like ON and the Horcoff situation all over. I think Lucic has alot of intangibles as a player and leader.

I have hated advanced stats and stats in general for many years. Eakins era finally made me completely dismiss them as nothing more than a yardstick.

I think Lucic needs to get into a conditioning routine and lose mass. I think if we could get all of our big guys to work together on that we would be perfect.

Whoever made Draisaitil as quick as he is should be on the Oilers coaching staff. In his rookie year he was slow skating, slow on the play, and slow to back check. Now he is a force. I think a lighter leaner lucic can be just as mean and punishing but faster. And I think that is scary as hell.

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#60 Oiler Al
February 15 2017, 02:24PM
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Bills Bills wrote:

I don't pay much attention to who writes the articles intil after I've read it. This one however I got to the first part and couldnt go any further. "Lucic has 31 pounts in 55 games which is on his career average. If this continues the critics will be muted". Then the article criticises the contract and where the points are coming from? I realized this was a JW article and stopped reading.

From my point of view, I don't care where the points are coming from. He's getting points. In fact he's exactly at the point totals I would expect. Maybe even a little higher. He needs 9 pounts in 25 games to hit 40. He will likely get 45 points which is a good season if your expectations are realistic for him. But he was never signed to score 60 or 70 points. He was brought in to be a leader. To add size to the lineup and to have an impact in games when they count. We could debate the last point but the games are just starting to matter. When they will really matter and where Lucic has had the biggest impact is in the playoffs. So maybe the reason it hasn't gotten the attention is because there is nothing to discuss. If this is an off year I can't wait till next year.

He got 53% of his points on the power play, by hanging around the net after others work to get the puck there.[another Penner].Cant take or make a pass often, and skates like a slug. His tough game has been limited and his leadership isnt showing up, like a lot of the Oiler games.

Dont get me started on his contract [ good for him, bad for Oilers]

This was a terrible, terrible signing by Chiarelli. Lombardi out smarted Pete on this one.

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#61 Oiler Al
February 15 2017, 02:24PM
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Bills Bills wrote:

I don't pay much attention to who writes the articles intil after I've read it. This one however I got to the first part and couldnt go any further. "Lucic has 31 pounts in 55 games which is on his career average. If this continues the critics will be muted". Then the article criticises the contract and where the points are coming from? I realized this was a JW article and stopped reading.

From my point of view, I don't care where the points are coming from. He's getting points. In fact he's exactly at the point totals I would expect. Maybe even a little higher. He needs 9 pounts in 25 games to hit 40. He will likely get 45 points which is a good season if your expectations are realistic for him. But he was never signed to score 60 or 70 points. He was brought in to be a leader. To add size to the lineup and to have an impact in games when they count. We could debate the last point but the games are just starting to matter. When they will really matter and where Lucic has had the biggest impact is in the playoffs. So maybe the reason it hasn't gotten the attention is because there is nothing to discuss. If this is an off year I can't wait till next year.

He got 53% of his points on the power play, by hanging around the net after others work to get the puck there.[another Penner].Cant take or make a pass often, and skates like a slug. His tough game has been limited and his leadership isnt showing up, like a lot of the Oiler games.

Dont get me started on his contract [ good for him, bad for Oilers]

This was a terrible, terrible signing by Chiarelli. Lombardi out smarted Pete on this one.

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#62 Oiler Al
February 15 2017, 02:24PM
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Bills Bills wrote:

I don't pay much attention to who writes the articles intil after I've read it. This one however I got to the first part and couldnt go any further. "Lucic has 31 pounts in 55 games which is on his career average. If this continues the critics will be muted". Then the article criticises the contract and where the points are coming from? I realized this was a JW article and stopped reading.

From my point of view, I don't care where the points are coming from. He's getting points. In fact he's exactly at the point totals I would expect. Maybe even a little higher. He needs 9 pounts in 25 games to hit 40. He will likely get 45 points which is a good season if your expectations are realistic for him. But he was never signed to score 60 or 70 points. He was brought in to be a leader. To add size to the lineup and to have an impact in games when they count. We could debate the last point but the games are just starting to matter. When they will really matter and where Lucic has had the biggest impact is in the playoffs. So maybe the reason it hasn't gotten the attention is because there is nothing to discuss. If this is an off year I can't wait till next year.

He got 53% of his points on the power play, by hanging around the net after others work to get the puck there.[another Penner].Cant take or make a pass often, and skates like a slug. His tough game has been limited and his leadership isnt showing up, like a lot of the Oiler games.

Dont get me started on his contract [ good for him, bad for Oilers]

This was a terrible, terrible signing by Chiarelli. Lombardi out smarted Pete on this one.

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#63 Towersofdub
February 15 2017, 02:25PM
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McDavid's Comet wrote:

That's not what you said, just give it up already!

i said being treated for cancer has less to do with courage, and character than it has to do with medicine. Just like any other disease. I had a life threatening disease, but medicine treated it. sure it was a boring old pulmonary embolism, which isn't nearly as big an industry as cancer, but when you're dead, you're dead.

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#64 McDavid's Comet
February 15 2017, 02:28PM
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Towersofdub wrote:

I understand the disease enough. One parent had it and survived it thus far, a grand parent had it and died from it. I'm not being insensitive by saying it can be treated in many cases. It's a disease, i get it. In many cases, including yours apparently, it's treatable. You're alive, right?

That's not entirely what you had first said, however I'm happy to hear that your parent is doing well and sorry to hear that a grandparent passed away from it. With that being said, you are right, yes it is treatable (obviously) but your tone did not really change until ON piled on to you. Let's just agree and be done with it, no harm done. This is a hockey form not Red Cross; let's keep it that way please.

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#65 Space Pants
February 15 2017, 02:29PM
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KenBone18 wrote:

Shoulda drafted Tkachuk.

And you should have been born a woman.

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#66 McDavid's Comet
February 15 2017, 02:32PM
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Towersofdub wrote:

i said being treated for cancer has less to do with courage, and character than it has to do with medicine. Just like any other disease. I had a life threatening disease, but medicine treated it. sure it was a boring old pulmonary embolism, which isn't nearly as big an industry as cancer, but when you're dead, you're dead.

What you said was battling cancer and the repercussions were no big deal and that fired everybody up. I've had enough of this talk let's keep it hockey.

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#67 McDavid's Comet
February 15 2017, 02:36PM
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KenBone18 wrote:

Shoulda drafted Tkachuk.

Well to his credit he's doing phenomenally better than johnny hokey-pokey and makes 1/3 the salary.

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#68 Towersofdub
February 15 2017, 02:37PM
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McDavid's Comet wrote:

What you said was battling cancer and the repercussions were no big deal and that fired everybody up. I've had enough of this talk let's keep it hockey.

duly noted.

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#69 Bills Bills
February 15 2017, 02:40PM
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Oiler Al wrote:

He got 53% of his points on the power play, by hanging around the net after others work to get the puck there.[another Penner].Cant take or make a pass often, and skates like a slug. His tough game has been limited and his leadership isnt showing up, like a lot of the Oiler games.

Dont get me started on his contract [ good for him, bad for Oilers]

This was a terrible, terrible signing by Chiarelli. Lombardi out smarted Pete on this one.

By your point he should have half of his point as garbage goals. But he has 20 assists. Did the puck just bounce off him 20 times to someone who "did the work"?

You should not comment as you make zero sense. Lucic is what he is and has a role on this team that other teams were reportedly willing to give him more money for. He chose Edmonton and we have PC to thank.

Personally I'm happy he's here and he is what I expected. If you were expecting something else, then that's on you. Not him or PC.

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#70 Towersofdub
February 15 2017, 02:42PM
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Bills Bills wrote:

By your point he should have half of his point as garbage goals. But he has 20 assists. Did the puck just bounce off him 20 times to someone who "did the work"?

You should not comment as you make zero sense. Lucic is what he is and has a role on this team that other teams were reportedly willing to give him more money for. He chose Edmonton and we have PC to thank.

Personally I'm happy he's here and he is what I expected. If you were expecting something else, then that's on you. Not him or PC.

i think he should use a longer stick.

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#71 Randaman
February 15 2017, 02:52PM
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KenBone18 wrote:

Shoulda drafted Tkachuk.

Is he playing on the 4th line? Oh wait... that's Johnny who??

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#72 Boom or Bust
February 15 2017, 03:09PM
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Towersofdub wrote:

I understand the disease enough. One parent had it and survived it thus far, a grand parent had it and died from it. I'm not being insensitive by saying it can be treated in many cases. It's a disease, i get it. In many cases, including yours apparently, it's treatable. You're alive, right?

You understand nothing you brainless twerp. You are totally insensitive and this comment just proves how ignorant you are. Sad

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#73 Boom or Bust
February 15 2017, 03:11PM
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KenBone18 wrote:

Shoulda drafted Tkachuk.

Shoulda stayed away..no one misses you...oh ya remember when we swept you. Sigh. Good times good times!!

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#74 Action Jackson
February 15 2017, 03:12PM
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The Future Never Comes wrote:

I agree Lucic's passing abilities have been visibly terrible thus far. I read that someone said it's okay because he still "brings the boom". I have not really seen said "boom" this year. The only game I saw what I expected from him was against Nashville when he exploded through McCloud. He drew a retaliatory penalty which ultimately led to him burying a goal on the PP. What started this whole sequence was that bone crushing hit. This play has been vacant from his repertoire the whole season, and until he gets back to that ferocious style he will continue to be a non-factor. He is playing outside of the skill-sets that brought him to the NHL, he will continue to dwindle as long as he tries to reinvent his game. He needs to be physically invested to be an asset, when he's not he's a non-factor at best.

Your concerns are valid, both on his health and dip in physical play. The sample is not big enough yet to definitively say he is no longer the same player, but an eyebrow is raised. My main point about bringing the boom isn't one thing in particular. It is just nice to have a monster on your team that can also play. Whether that is hitting, fighting, or just staring a player down he is a player that can definitively change the mood of the game on his own. Lucic remains the nuclear option.

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#75 Keepyourstickontheice
February 15 2017, 03:13PM
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KenBone18 wrote:

Shoulda drafted Tkachuk.

You shoulda beat the Coyotes.

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#76 Towersofdub
February 15 2017, 03:14PM
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Boom or Bust wrote:

You understand nothing you brainless twerp. You are totally insensitive and this comment just proves how ignorant you are. Sad

hardly, but have your say, get all your bad vibes out. I can take it.

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#77 dawgbone98
February 15 2017, 03:16PM
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Bills Bills wrote:

I don't pay much attention to who writes the articles intil after I've read it. This one however I got to the first part and couldnt go any further. "Lucic has 31 pounts in 55 games which is on his career average. If this continues the critics will be muted". Then the article criticises the contract and where the points are coming from? I realized this was a JW article and stopped reading.

From my point of view, I don't care where the points are coming from. He's getting points. In fact he's exactly at the point totals I would expect. Maybe even a little higher. He needs 9 pounts in 25 games to hit 40. He will likely get 45 points which is a good season if your expectations are realistic for him. But he was never signed to score 60 or 70 points. He was brought in to be a leader. To add size to the lineup and to have an impact in games when they count. We could debate the last point but the games are just starting to matter. When they will really matter and where Lucic has had the biggest impact is in the playoffs. So maybe the reason it hasn't gotten the attention is because there is nothing to discuss. If this is an off year I can't wait till next year.

Games aren't just starting to matter. This team hasn't made the playoffs in 10+ years, all of the games matter.

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#78 Slipknot 8
February 15 2017, 03:23PM
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I'm going to add a little something that was missing from the article if I may, I'll let the posters discuse if it's a legitimate issue with Lucic game.

If I could get Mr.Willis to even comment on it that would help push the debate further.

Q - How much better would Lucic be if he had a RHC (right handed centre) on his line? I'm not talking Letestu, I'm talking Carter or Krejci types.

Seems to me Lucic has had problems with LHC and could be effecting his play, specifically in the defensive zone where he seems to make unusually bad passes.

There's many articles and interviews saying as much from Lucic himself, let me know what y'all think.

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#79 Petrolero
February 15 2017, 03:38PM
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I'm torn on lucic. One side of the coin had this player having one of the worse seasons of his career scoring wise after having just signed a big sweet contract that's going to anchor the Oilers if this is the new normal for him.

On the other side the amount of criminal hits on key players has goine down. So much so that the Oilers top six has pretty much played all games and the top 3 d have also been mostly healthy. And the team is making a playoff push and sticks for each other they're not bullied anymore. I strongly believe lucic is a big part of this.

I have to say that all things considered his scoring troubles don't bother me that much.

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#80 The poster formerly known as Koolaid drinker #33
February 15 2017, 03:44PM
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There will come a time in the playoffs when Lucic will takeover and flip the game upside down and sideways to give the Oil a chance to win.

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#81 S cottV
February 15 2017, 04:07PM
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Slipknot 8 wrote:

I'm going to add a little something that was missing from the article if I may, I'll let the posters discuse if it's a legitimate issue with Lucic game.

If I could get Mr.Willis to even comment on it that would help push the debate further.

Q - How much better would Lucic be if he had a RHC (right handed centre) on his line? I'm not talking Letestu, I'm talking Carter or Krejci types.

Seems to me Lucic has had problems with LHC and could be effecting his play, specifically in the defensive zone where he seems to make unusually bad passes.

There's many articles and interviews saying as much from Lucic himself, let me know what y'all think.

Drai has a world class back hand pass.

So distribution to Lucic shouldn't be a problem.

Drai can vary his speeds, so with some time to work things out, to play into Lucic's strengths - it's gonna get better.

I hope a lot better.

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#82 wiseguy
February 15 2017, 04:29PM
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Oiler Al wrote:

He got 53% of his points on the power play, by hanging around the net after others work to get the puck there.[another Penner].Cant take or make a pass often, and skates like a slug. His tough game has been limited and his leadership isnt showing up, like a lot of the Oiler games.

Dont get me started on his contract [ good for him, bad for Oilers]

This was a terrible, terrible signing by Chiarelli. Lombardi out smarted Pete on this one.

Hanging around the net - you mean that tough area of the ice that Oilers players are traditionally adverse to? Because so many goals are scored outside of those tough areas in todays NHL?

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#83 wiseguy
February 15 2017, 04:33PM
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KenBone18 wrote:

Shoulda drafted Tkachuk.

You mean the Oilers should've drafted Tkachuk so the Flames would've had Puljujarvi instead? I can completely understand why a Flames fan would feel that way.

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#84 Oiler Al
February 15 2017, 04:44PM
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wiseguy wrote:

Hanging around the net - you mean that tough area of the ice that Oilers players are traditionally adverse to? Because so many goals are scored outside of those tough areas in todays NHL?

If you are making $7 million a year , you have to be more than a pylon infront of the net, otherwise you have a short career....Penner says hello.

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#85 Hadley
February 15 2017, 04:46PM
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@Spydyr

It's time to stop posting

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#86 Oiler Al
February 15 2017, 04:53PM
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Bills Bills wrote:

By your point he should have half of his point as garbage goals. But he has 20 assists. Did the puck just bounce off him 20 times to someone who "did the work"?

You should not comment as you make zero sense. Lucic is what he is and has a role on this team that other teams were reportedly willing to give him more money for. He chose Edmonton and we have PC to thank.

Personally I'm happy he's here and he is what I expected. If you were expecting something else, then that's on you. Not him or PC.

Yes I expected a heck of a lot more for the amount he is getting paid!He is not playing tough really [ I dont mean face punching] and for locker room leadership, who knows? But if you are not doing it on the ice, then you keep quite in the room.

But at end I am glad you are happy with his play, I have always set higher standards.

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#87 BigMcD97
February 15 2017, 05:05PM
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wiseguy wrote:

You mean the Oilers should've drafted Tkachuk so the Flames would've had Puljujarvi instead? I can completely understand why a Flames fan would feel that way.

Well done!

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#88 Bills Bills
February 15 2017, 05:09PM
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Oiler Al wrote:

Yes I expected a heck of a lot more for the amount he is getting paid!He is not playing tough really [ I dont mean face punching] and for locker room leadership, who knows? But if you are not doing it on the ice, then you keep quite in the room.

But at end I am glad you are happy with his play, I have always set higher standards.

That doesn't make you right Al. It just means your expectations are out of touch with reality. He has intangibles like size, intimidation and regardless to what you want to believe he is still a decent player at 40+ points every year. He's a respected veteran that can legitimately play in the top 6. Those are facts and also things this team was missing. There were other teams that know exactly what he is and were going to pay him the same or more than PC signed him for. So if you don't like the contract, that's up to you. But again, if you're expecting him to be something he's not then that's on you.

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#89 wiseguy
February 15 2017, 07:15PM
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Oiler Al wrote:

If you are making $7 million a year , you have to be more than a pylon infront of the net, otherwise you have a short career....Penner says hello.

Short career? Lucic has already passed the average length of career. Pylon that has the 4th highest point total on a top 10 scoring team? Sure...

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#90 Homer
February 15 2017, 07:18PM
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Wow an awful lot of hate for my favourite power forward!!!! Most of it completely unwarranted I might add as well. JW is almost as big a downer as Henderson,Lucic is Lucic he's played this way his entire career. You can't play his style of game every night and still be a force in the playoffs. The man is a complete nuclear deterrent who puts up points can play top 6 and can change a game with one hit, I'm sure glad JW isn't running our team maybe he could work for Arizona or Florida they seem to like crunching numbers

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#91 Homer
February 15 2017, 07:21PM
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Bills Bills wrote:

That doesn't make you right Al. It just means your expectations are out of touch with reality. He has intangibles like size, intimidation and regardless to what you want to believe he is still a decent player at 40+ points every year. He's a respected veteran that can legitimately play in the top 6. Those are facts and also things this team was missing. There were other teams that know exactly what he is and were going to pay him the same or more than PC signed him for. So if you don't like the contract, that's up to you. But again, if you're expecting him to be something he's not then that's on you.

Two thumbs up Bill

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#92 camdog
February 15 2017, 08:30PM
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I'm pretty sure the individual most disappointed with Lucic's season is Lucic. I'm guessing he'll come into camp a lttle lighter next season like Maroon and Kassian have over the years. If he can't find an extra step it's going to be a tough ride for Lucic and the Oilers.

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#93 Muddy
February 15 2017, 08:32PM
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Spyder you are as annoying as my Apple updates pop ups.

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#94 TigerUnderGlass
February 16 2017, 12:36AM
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The fact that so many fans are happy to see the team pay $6M to a guy for a 45 point season because 'grrrr' says more about what is wrong with this franchise than anything else I can come up with.

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#95 Petrolero
February 16 2017, 01:53AM
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TigerUnderGlass wrote:

The fact that so many fans are happy to see the team pay $6M to a guy for a 45 point season because 'grrrr' says more about what is wrong with this franchise than anything else I can come up with.

You have some pretty stupid opinions but you think they're smart. That's just sad.

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#96 wiseguy
February 16 2017, 03:19AM
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TigerUnderGlass wrote:

The fact that so many fans are happy to see the team pay $6M to a guy for a 45 point season because 'grrrr' says more about what is wrong with this franchise than anything else I can come up with.

The fact that some fans (and bloggers) are so unhappy to see the team pay $6M to a guy instead of crediting them for moving from 29th to 10th place because 'grrr' says more about what is wrong with these fans than anything I can come up with.

Anyone who says they predicted the Oilers would end up top 10 in the league is a liar. Gregor was most optimistic and closest but even his call of 4th in the Pacific would be a where calgary currently sits at 17th in the NHL.

http://oilersnation.com/2016/10/11/the-2016-17-oilers-pre-season-roundtable

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#97 russ99a
February 17 2017, 05:59AM
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It's obviously mostly due to McLellan's systems, considering how much we cycle just to keep possession (reduce oppoinent chances rather than get shots from high danger areas) and tthe end result of our cycling is a shot from the point rather than a shot close to the net, which is how the Kings and Bruins cycle.

I have seen more attempts the last two games to get the puck in close, with Draisaitl's goal last night the best example.

So if Lucic can get to the crease like he does on the powerplay instead of solely playing to keep possession, the goals will come,

The second factor is conditioning. He seems to bit slow on every play. If he focuses on his conditioning the way Maroon and Kassian have done this summer, he'll be a lot better next year. The grind of the hockey season not being the time to do so.

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#98 TrumpeterSwan
February 17 2017, 10:23AM
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KenBone18 wrote:

Shoulda drafted Tkachuk.

You make a good point and I tend to agree with you, although it's still too early to see who is the better player. I was worried when that Finn Columbus GM passed on PJ. The oilers thought we won the lottery there but maybe he had more knowledge than we did?

For the first 11 games in Bakersfield pj was 1 and 5. Hardly a dominant force or a guy you would think about calling up. In the last 4 games he seems to have turned it around, but too small a sample size. If you watch the Bakersfield games he looks ok to the eye but still has that deer in the headlights look around the net. I don't think pj is ready this year and maybe not next. I don't think he is a top line guy and in hindsight I wish we would have gotten Tkachuk as he would have fit in well on the second line of the oilers.

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#99 Kr55
February 17 2017, 12:47PM
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Relax "We should trade Drai because he sucks without hall" guy. Lucic still has a lot of good years left, he hasn't dealt with many injuries in his career, and he is not nearly as bad a skater as people like to claim. I think he is going to end up meshing with Drai over time. Sek took a long time to get comfortable with his new team as well.

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