So I won’t doom and gloom this one too much. The Oilers are in a poor spot in the standings… sounds like the Corsi war is slowly being lost. The Oilers started just over 50% in the first few games, but as of late are now are around 45%, in the last couple of games (stats courtesy of ROMULUS APOTHEOSIS on Lowetide). I’m not going to concern myself with those numbers too much, as it is just two games, and we should expect that the numbers will fluctuate. The first 6 games were pretty much hovering around 50%. I’m starting to realize I have to buy into this whole Corsi thing and advanced stats in general a bit more, as voodoo as they are. I feel like Craig MacTavish, refusing to wear a Jofa bucket because it might crush my beautiful curly locks. I’m not going to focus on them too much, but I definitely will pay more attention.
I think this new “swarm defense” is SORT of working. What I’ve observed is it seems to be prone to breakdowns, very easily. Or at least, the Oilers execution of that is prone to breakdowns. Guys are often left alone in very dangerous scoring positions.. I don’t really like it at all, and have started to wonder how much longer it will last before the Oilers go to a more basic approach like zone defense. I suspect that Dallas Eakins will cling onto this like MacTavish clinging onto the no-helmet stance, and me refusing to fully buy into these newfangled advanced stats. He did seem to buckle a little bit, as he admitted recently that on the plane he really considered changing things up. I am thinking what that means is dumping the swarm. I want to make one thing straight though.. I think it’s probably a good system. I just don’t think it’s something these players are grasping well enough. So.. what’s the over under on how long until Eakins switches to zone defense? You don’t want to panic too much, but I think it’s clear that the Oilers grip on man-to-man defense last year was terrible. Apparently Detroit uses the swarm. I’m not sure if they still do, but what made me believe that is this quote from Kyle Quincey:
“In the D zone, I’d never heard of ‘the swarm’ before I got here,” said defenseman Kyle Quincey, who spent 2005-08 in the Wings organization, left for almost four seasons, then returned at the trade deadline last year. “He never talked about that eight years ago. But if you look around on video, all the teams do it now. He’s definitely a very good systems coach. He’s definitely challenged me to a better player, for sure. A lot of skating in this system.”
We all know the Oilers have been trying to follow the Red Wings model for quite some time.
It’s the wee hours of the morning.. forward lines are quite likely, as these were Friday’s practice lines. Not sure about the D-lines or starting goaltender, but I assume there won’t be changes there.
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