What do Nick Spaling, Joey Crabb and Jordan Eberle have in common?

Christian Petersen

The answer to our difficult quiz.

The first time around, everyone whiffed with the clue:

*Hint - the commonality is relevant to the Oilers.

The second time around, everyone whiffed with the second clue:

*Hint II: Jordan Eberle.

The question, of course, is:

What does this group of players have in common*?

Krystofer Barch, Matt Bradley, Gilbert Brule, Adam Burish, Cal Clutterbuck, Joey Crabb, Mike Fisher, Roman Horak, Nick Johnson, Leo Komarov, Lauri Korpikoski, Maxim Lapierre, Louis Leblanc, Travis Moen, Petteri Nokelainen, Patrick O`Sullivan, Rod Pelley, Fernando Pisani, Tom Pyatt, Nick Spaling, Brandon Sutter, Aaron Volpatti

The answer:

Over the last three seasons, these 22 players have posted a comparable (+/- 10%) Corsi/60 rate to Jordan Eberle's "without Taylor Hall Corsi/60" rate of -9.33

Jordan Eberle is a nice player, certainly and I hope he scores 70 goals this season, but that's not the point of this quiz. The point of the quiz is that the Oilers made a huge bet on Eberle after he shot the lights out and gave him an enormous $6 million per year contract. For someone to cover a $6 million per year bet, they have to be able to drive play, not get caught in a Nick Johnson, Matt Bradley, Adam Burish vortex.

Of course, we need context around the statement - Eberle is a goal-scorer, the comparables aren't. The comparables don't have his skillset, sure. But when it comes down to it, Eberle relies on Taylor Hall to tilt the ice so that he can skate downhill. If there ever comes a day when Dallas Eakins decides to put Hall and Nail Yakupov on the ice to create a 68% line, Eberle needs another linemate to tilt the ice for him.

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