When we last checked in on our intrepid heroes, the forwards were being held captive in their own end for days at a time, Mounties were being summoned to negotiate their release, and Rexall Place was cordoned off for public safety reasons. I noted that the worst of the worst came from the bottom of the lineup:
Everything left of Arcobello has been a giant disaster, meaning anyone Eakins has tried on the bottom two lines has been in the league-worst realm.
At the time, Luke Gazdic was the 3rd-worst forward in the league in zonestart-adjusted Corsi, in front of only Frazer McLaren and Brian McGrattan. Since then, Gazdic has fallen into second-to-last, and is drawing closer to McGrattan.
The Luke Gazdic experiment has been an unmitigated disaster.
Below is a table that shows the 2013-14 Luke Gazdic on-ice shot attempts with and without Gazdic. The list includes all skaters who have been on the ice with Gazdic for more than 15 minutes at even strength. All numbers via Hockey Analysis.
|Player||Combined TOI||W/ Gazdic Corsi/60||W/O Gazdic Corsi/60||Diff|
All but two Oilers are better, and significantly so, without Gazdic. He's a huge possession sink. Will Acton has an excuse - almost all of his non-Gazdic minutes were played with Mike Brown, the worst forward in the league by zonestart-adjusted Corsi (worse than Brian McGrattan) during his time in Edmonton, before the possession machine in San Jose lifted him from the dregs.
The Oilers are -510 on the even strength shot attempts clock in 2013-14. With Luke Gazdic on the ice, they're -107. Gazdic has played just 10% of the Oilers total even strength minutes thus far, but that time accounts for 21% of the Oilers' shot attempts deficit.