Thoughts on the Oilers: Talbot contract, Kassian’s minutes, Nurse + Radio Hit

Joined Lowetide this morning on TSN 1260 to discuss all things Oilers. Audio below.

Couple thoughts:

Talbot

The $4 million per season was a slight overpay, but I can’t say I’m too surprised. Talbot and his agent held a lot of power going into negotiations considering that the Oilers already invested two picks in him and his impending UFA status. I’m not convinced that Talbot would’ve received $4 million in free agency, considering how the other “goalies with potential” did last summer.

If you’re interested,  I wrote about Talbot just a few days before he was signed over at The Copper & Blue. I basically looked at Corey Schenider’s 2012 contract with Vancouver and Martin Jones contract with San Jose last summer as comparables. They were different situations, but I thought those three goalies had some similarities worth exploring.

Like most people, I’m pretty high on young Laurent Brossoit. He’s getting a lot of starts in the AHL right now and playing very well. In my opinion, he should get another full year in Bakerfield before pushing for the backup role. That would mean either signing Nilsson to a value contract or dipping into free agency this summer when there are always options for cheap goaltending.

The other issue is that Laurikainen might not be ready to be a full time starter in the AHL yet. Condors head coach Fleming had this to say recently regarding pushing Brossiot too soon (Source: Oilers Nation)

I think it would be a step back in his development. He needs to play and he needs to play 75% of the games. We have a young guy in (Eetu) Laurikainen and from an organizational standpoint he can benefit and learn from working with ‘LB’ this year much like LB learned from (Richard) Bachman last year. If you asked ‘LB’ he’d be the first one to admit that watching Bachman play last year throughout the season and the playoffs that he learned a lot. You’ve got to pass that on – pay it forward. ‘LB’s playing a lot and he’s learned a lot and he now passes that on to Eetu and from an organizational standpoint everybody benefits. To bring ‘LB’ up now and have him sit on the bench would just be a big step back in his overall development to where they want him to be coming out of this year.

Kassian

The most recent acquisition has been playing steady minutes alongside Mark Letestu for the most part and hasn’t looked out of place in his first two games. Against Calgary, Kassian got a ton of ice time and played against the top six Flames forwards for the most part.

Here’s a graph courtesy of Hockey Viz that shows us how often Kassian started a face-off shift and where he started. He’s definitely not being sheltered, but we’ll have to see what happens with Hendricks, who is Letestu’s regular line mate, gets back in the line up tonight.

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Corsi

Interesting question came in during our segment this morning in regards to Corsi and why a high possession rating hasn’t translated into wins for the Habs. Having a high Corsi For % does not guarantee success…it does improve your chances of winning but, as the Kings could attest to last season, there’s a lot of randomness that has to be factored in. Highly recommend checking out this piece from Arctic Ice Hockey for more on the limitations of Corsi.

As for the Habs, since December 1st, they’ve only had 9 points and the worst goal-differential in the league despite having a Corsi For% (score adjusted) of 53.2%. The problem for the Habs is that their PDO (on-ice shooting % + on-ice save percentage), which measures luck, is the worst in the league at 94.1. Their on-ice save percentage at even-strength is dead last at 90.6% during that stretch. And their shooting percentage since December 1st is the second worst in the league at 5.5%. Prior to December 1? Their PDO was above 102, third highest in the league.

As always, let me know if you have any feedback.

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