Tracking Ladi I

Early days, but check out these numbers from Behind the Net:

GA ON/60
1.53 Ladislav Smid (3 GP)
1.55 Jason Strudwick (7)
1.72 Steve Staios (5)
1.91 Lubomir Visnovsky (7)
1.98 Sheldon Souray (6)
2.64 Denis Grebeshkov (7)
2.68 Tom Gilbert (7)

+0.43 Smid
+0.21 Strudwick
+0.12 Visnovsky
+0.08 Staios
+0.06 Souray
+0.05 Gilbert
+0.00 Grebeshkov

-0.24 Souray
-0.10 Smid
-0.10 Grebeshkov
+0.02 Staios
+0.16 Visnovsky
+0.20 Gilbert
+0.37 Strudwick

... with the last listed in inverse order so that the "right" guys with the toughest assignments are at the top of the list. In about 40 minutes total TOI, Smid ranks first, first and second, which certainly supports my unscientific observation that he played damn well in those games.

Tonight Ladi draws in if Strudwick is unable to go. To me it's a no-brainer, give Struds a chance to rest and recover, he's never going to play 82 games anyway. Smid plays a similar stay-at-home game, he's not banged up and surely he's chomping at the bit to play. Based on his early returns, there's no reason to hesitate getting Ladi right back in the line-up.


Jonathan said...

Completely agree. If the choice is an injured Strudwick, go with Smid every time.

raventalon40 said...

I'm not afraid to say that Smid is more steady than Staios

Bruce said...

I missed the game entirely and I'm sure not going to PPV to record it. Relying on the stats is a distant second choice, but surveying Smid's night -- 14:58 TOI all at evens, 1 shot, 1 hit, 2 blocks, and a clean sheet w.r.t. giveaways, penalties, and minuses, I can only conclude he played a solid, low event game. On Lowetide's and OilersNation's gameday threads -- which can often allow one to get the pulse of a missed game -- the comments on Ladi all seemed to be positive.

Considering he's been in and out of the line-up and was playing with his third different partner of the young season, I can find no reason not to be encouraged by Smid's actual play. He's still in a numbers game, a big part of which boils down to $alary number$. With Strudwick playing well, the options to get him in the top 6 are limited barring injury or "personal reasons".

The guy who to my eye has been struggling is Tom Gilbert. The numbers seem to support this observation, not just the boxcar numbers (8 GP, 0-1-1, -2) but the ones charted in this post, as Gilbert ranks 7th, 6th and 6th among Oiler blueliners in GA ON/60, QC and QT. With that big new contract, though, I can't imagine he's in danger of seeing the pressbox even by rotation.

raventalon40 said...

Gilbert has been playing some pretty tough minutes with Souray and Strudwick and Staios missing time due to injury.

Bruce said...

RT40: It would seem so, although BtN's rankings are not kind to the 37-77 pairing when measuring QualComp. But as I said way up top, it's early days, and Gabe Desjardins himself confirms these numbers are volatile until they build up a bit.

Anonymous said...

I think Smid and Strudwick have both been solid this year. Smid seems to be making better decisions with the puck, and while he still loses his man on occasion he seems miles better than last year. Strudwick is the type of guy you expect to excell with Huddy/MacT, and he has...he has some nice toughness too, such that SMac can spend more time in the PB and Storts in the lineup if need be. (It is my understanding that since this is your site, Bruce, I am required by law to say something nice about Stortini)

Unrelated, but I've been very impressed with Souray's decision making with the puck. Smart player, he's slow but he'll fake a pass or chip out to buy some time to complete the outlet pass in his own end. IF he can stay healthy, he may just earn that contract this year (and by saying that I just guaranteed he'll blow his ACL and dislocate a shoulder getting out of the shower tomorrow)

docweb said...

The one thing I have noticed about Ladi, compared to say Grebs at his best, is this...Ladi is fearless at taking the man but is not nearly as good at taking the man, separating man from the puck, and then making a breakout pass. I'm sure it will come. Considering his age Ladi is right on track to be a solid top 4 defender.

raventalon40 said...

Smid is safer because he can actually make a pretty decent outlet pass