Edmonton's Left Wing Problems And The Impact On Shawn Horcoff

via cdn.picapp.com

It's en vogue to bash Shawn Horcoff for his play this year, and the more ignorant media types bash his "seven million dollar cap hit", but allow me to mount a defense of the man.  Bear with me while we dive into some advanced stats after the jump.

I know that those who attack Horcoff don't want to hear excuses for his play, and rightfully so.  He was signed at $5.5 million per year you yokels, not $7 million, to be the number one outscoring center on this team for awhile.  However, it's widely agreed that the weakest position in the entire organization (before the trade deadline anyway) is left wing.  In fact, it's so weak that everyone agrees that the left wings that have played the second and third most minutes for the Oilers shouldn't even be in the NHL.  It also happens that Shawn Horcoff has spent almost 50% of his even strength ice time with those two left wings that shouldn't be in the NHL.  The results, via Vic Ferrari's timeonice.com site, are not pretty.

 



% TOI
GF
GA
Corsi Ratio
EV Sv
EV Sh
PDO
Horcoff
100%
22
44 .465 .896
5.8% .954
Horcoff & Moreau
18%
2
8 .401 .927 2.5% .952
Horcoff & Jacques
29%
8
15
.421
.870 9.5% .965
Horcoff & O'Sullivan
9%
2
8
.456
.858 3.3% .891
Horcoff & Comrie
8%
3
3
.477
.944 5.5% .999
Horcoff & Penner
23%
7
10
.531
.886 6.7% .953
Horcoff w/o Moreau, Jacques
53%
12
21
.517
.896 5.6% .951

 

So Horcoff isn't good enough to outshoot or outscore with Ethan Moreau and Jean-Francois Jacques.  His Corsi with Moreau and Jacques -- .411 -- ouch.  In the other 53% of the time he's spent on the ice, Horcoff is outshooting his opponents and might be breaking even in the goals department, even with his terrible shooting luck, if he had average goaltending instead of the .896 trainwreck that he's played in front of this year.  The numbers above prove that there's been a real problem with left wing depth this year and an even bigger problem in how that depth has been used at even strength.  The numbers above also prove that Horcoff isn't nearly as bad as his detractors say he's been, and if there were a couple of forwards that weren't playing hockey in quicksand, Horcoff might just be back to his old ways.

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