Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Fernando Pisani

I'm not really sure what the consensus is about this picture, but for my money it was the absolute highlight of the 2006 playoffs. Just when all hope seemed lost Fernando burst in on that break and just wired it. Very few moments in life are as perfect as that one.

Of course everyone knows about Pisani's bout with ulcerative colitis, something will never truly go away but for now (and hopefully for a very long time) it's under control.

It's hard to find a player with such a lack of flair that is as celebrated (at least in the Oilogosphere) as Fernando Pisani. It's like he's some sort of lightning rod of appreciation for both the traditional scouting (he always seems to be in the right place, he does the little things right, he reads the play well) and the great statistical revolution.

The great thing about Pisani is that he proves right those people who appreciate great 'smart hockey.' Substance over style.

Check out these desjardins numbers from Pisani on an injury reduced season. We can see that he was on the bottom third of the roster for teammates, but he was on the top third for quality of competition. Babysitting a bit perhaps?

His GF/60 isn't too shabby either. Of returning Oilers from 07-08 only 3 players were better than him per minute (Horcoff, Brodziak, Cogliano). Strangely Pisani was not very strong on first assists; perhaps the people he was playing with simply weren't finishing off chances very often.

From the sounds of things MacT is looking to put Pisani at center on the third line - IMO it's the forward position needing the most endurance and the most thinking. Pisani should be fine.

Projection: 3rd line
Key Stat: 4th for forwards in Quality of Opposition

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