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Jordan Eberle is Not the Problem

Lately the Oilers Blogosphere has boiling with hate towards Jordan Eberle. Many fans wanting him traded out for another defenceman, my question to you guys, why? Yes Jordan may have his defensive issues, the goal against Arizona blatantly showing it, but he is not a two way forward. Much like Alexander Ovechkin Eberle is not payed to stop goals from being scored, he’s payed to put up points.

A lot of people are blaming loses on Eberle’s lack of scoring, I find that completely ridiculous as he’s currently tied for second on our team in points with 17 points in 23 games. Doing simple math 23 times 3 is 69 games which is a realistic number of games played if there’s injury. 17 times 3 is 51 so he’s on pace for a 51 point season even more if he manages to stay healthy all year. How is this a player that fans want to get rid of? We have a precious need for scoring wingers and getting rid of our second or third highest scoring forward for D help is ridiculous.

Eberle Shoots In Volume

What I personally think is going on is people are seeing him get grade A scoring chances and missing or dusting it off too long. I get the aggression especially about the dusting off that grinds my gears as well but it doesn’t mean he’s a useless player. In fact seeing him in all of those spots and getting the grade A chances should be seen as a good thing. When a player can get into many different areas where there are great opportunities to score you don’t get rid of that player because he doesn’t back check, or he sometimes misses the net. Volume shooters like Eberle who averages 3-5 shots a game are going to miss often but also will produce often. The second we trade him we are going to be looking for a top line winger to replace him and we do not currently have one. Another thing with Eberle people love to criticize is how even though he did off season training to improve his one timer he’s never once used it. Well I think he doesn’t necessarily need to use it to be effective.

He Excels On The Powerplay

Currently at 17 points on the year (ranking him 22 in NHL scoring) with 5 of those points coming on the power play. That in a nutshell is where the issue is with him, he needs to be more successful on a power play where he averages 3 minutes and six seconds a night.  Let’s say that out of those 17 points 8-10 where power play points, would there still be a problem with play? I think there would be a lot less angry fans calling for his head. Realistically is lack of success on the power play really Eberle’s fault, sure he’s missed some easy chances, I concede that, but doesn’t the power play’s success ultimately fall on the shoulders of the coach running it? I am way more upset with Woodcroft’s obsession with putting Eberle on the point then I am with him not producing there. If there were someone in the organization who needs to be looked at and possibly subtracted I would look at Woodcroft even though that’d never happen since Mclellan and Woodcroft are attached at the hip. Yes it’s on the players to produce points, but it is on the coach to put them in situations where they can produce and Woodcroft hasn’t been doing that with Eberle.

Stop Scapegoating Eberle

For all you silly Edmonton Oilers fans who seemingly need to have a scapegoat to run out of town in order to be satisfied I ask you, why? Why is it necessary to throw away assets that can be used to help the team for pennies on the dime to curb your insatiable blood lust? Why can’t this fanbase just enjoy the fact that we are leading our division and have a positive record in November? I think we as fans need to collectively put down our pitchforks and raise some Edmonton Oilers flags because this is going to be an exciting ride for the next few years. As we rise up through the standings let’s enjoy the wins. The losses, well, no team is going to win them all but for a team that’s currently winning the majority of their games, there is way to much hate for players. For one final piece of evidence here’s a comparison chart between Ovechkin and Eberle, they are relatively the same. Main difference is Eberle is better at playmaking and Ovechkin’s shot is legendary.

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Ryan Boonstra
Heya, name's Ryan, I'm a blogger from Edmonton, Alberta and I write for FansTalkSports.com. I mainly talk about hockey related topics but am also an avid football fan (go Patriots!).
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