LIGHTNING AT OILERS G6, 2014-15

NHL: Edmonton Oilers at Anaheim DucksIf we’re to believe the Sunday practice lines, Martin Marincin will be playing with Mark Fayne. It’s a good idea, as Marincin is a better player today than Andrew Ference, and with Nikita Nikitin’s wonky ankle this is the right call. The second pairing (Ference-Petry) will get plenty of heavy lifting, while chaos incorporated (Nikitin-Schultz) will be used in the O-zone often. This is the kind of rational thought Eakins couldn’t apply to defense previously because he was using a teenager and a broken guy in the first week and a half of the season.

Memo to the Oilers: Start with a balanced roster. It’s the right thing to do.

oiler van

POSSIBLE LINEUP

This is how they rolled on Sunday:

  • Hall—Nuge—Eberle
  • Purcell—Draisaitl—Perron
  • Pouliot—Arcobello—Yakupov
  • Hendricks—Gordon—Joensuu

Man there’s some good thinking going on here. I’m NOT buying the unicorn lineup (three scoring lines) but Boyd Gordon’s line doesn’t give a rat’s ass. The early season woes of this team are obscuring one of the best runs for a 4line since Jim Dowd walked among us. Lordy. And if they can score at all, it’ll be even better than that moving forward.

  • Marincin—Fayne
  • Ference—Petry
  • Nikitin—Schultz

If Nikitin can get healthy before the season is flushed, this unit could do some nice things. I’m pretty pumped about that top pairing, and if one of these fellows can score a goal (Oilers have 2 goals from the blue so far this season, 9 from forwards) that would help, too. Fayne, men. I think he might be getting more comfortable.

F CORSI THROUGH FIVE GAMES (5X5 EV, WAR ON ICE)

fwd corsi through 5

This shows that Gordon line just killing it, and added to the ZS chart it’s heroin. These numbers are skewed by the Calgary game, but Edmonton has through the first five games done a much better job of possessing the puck. EXECUTING with the puck, scoring on the chances they’re creating, getting average or above goaltending, those things are betraying them. The puck possession side—that thing that has haunted them for years—has come around as it did last year early.

Will the results stay positive? Will the Oilers start winning? Something has to give. You cannot have these kinds of possession stats and lose at the current rate. If the goalie can’t stop the puck, find someone else. Luck will even out (this isn’t Vegas, this is hockey) and the Oilers should pass Calgary in due time.

Roll over Beethoven, and tell the Corgi’s the news.

D CORSI THROUGH FIVE

(5X5 EV, WAR ON ICE)

d corsi through 5

The Marincin number comes from an extreme zone start (which he should be getting more of) and should correct as the season rolls along. Jeff Petry, on his way to Toronadelpia or some such, always did show up on the good end of this graph. Whatever is causing the Oilers to contemplate trading him—including a relationship soured, if that is the case—is the gap between this team winning anything of significance and spending the rest of my life in the second division.

 LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

At 10 this morning, TSN 1260 the Lowdown hits the blacktop and the working week is underway. The lineup is a little different today, goes like this:

  • 10:05—Dennis King talks Oilers, defense and MLB.
  • 10:25—Open Line and you get to talk/text. 10-1260 text and 780.444.1260 phones. No profanity, but a genuine opportunity to be heard.
  • 10:45—Eric will laugh at me for my Pools and Props performance.
  • 11:00—Scott Burnside from ESPN will talk Rick Nash’s start, and hot/cold starts for 2014-15.
  • 11:25—Andrew Bucholtz from 55-yard line drops in to talk about the terrific CFL weekend and the Eskimos Grey Cup chances.
  • 11:45—Dave Jamieson talks NFL, CFL, MLB

See you on the radio!

 

Note: My sincere apologies for the different look in today’s GDT. GoDaddy helped me in a big way yesterday and I’ll be on the phone again with them later today in an effort to get things back to normal. Thanks for being patient, it’s appreciated.

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626 Responses to "LIGHTNING AT OILERS G6, 2014-15"

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  1. striker says:

    Side note, I saw Palat very good today. Like the way he plays. Only 180 lbs based on what I’ve read but he doesn’t play like it. Skilled as well. Yzerman has him at 3.3 for the next 3 years.

  2. striker says:

    Lowetide: 1-4-1. It ain’t much, but it’s ours.

    Tonight, I’ll take it!!!!!!

  3. sesame_oil says:

    oilinthepeg: Couldn’t agree more.
    What a fantastic hockey player.
    He is moving in the right direction and the ice time will come, as will the offense to match the stellar responsibility and hard work on the puck to generate opportunities.
    Geez, he’s looking like you could throw him on with JJ and Gordon for a shift or two on that 4 line.
    That’s a pretty remarkable turnaround… (I realise that’s probably an exaggeration of his two-way ability, but honestly… I have been seeing him that good).

    yeah, I thought yak played well today. Rob Brown just mentioned Yak was getting the lowest minutes because the other players were better?

  4. []JUST[]KEEP[]CALM[]AND[]CORSI[]ON[] says:

    book¡je: So, can someone explain to me what management was doing for the first couple of weeks of Oct.

    Limbering up. Don’t want to pull a coaching muscle early in the season.

  5. Adam Wu says:

    About the “fourth” line.

    Check back to preseason, and note that they were playing together in preseason quite a bit. Almost from the first game all three of them dressed for they were together, and they stayed together the rest of the way, mostly.

    Getting players a chance to establish some chemistry with linemates in the preseason pays dividends.

    Who knew?

  6. striker says:

    striker: Side note, I saw Palat very good today. Like the way he plays. Only 180 lbs based on what I’ve read but he doesn’t play like it. Skilled as well. Yzerman has him at 3.3 for the next 3 years

    However, I should note he made the key giveaway to Eberle on the final goal.

  7. Bling says:

    book¡je:
    Just finished watching on delay.That was a really well played and coached game overall.

    So, can someone explain to me what management was doing for the first couple of weeks of Oct.

    Shrooms.

  8. "Frank The Dog" says:

    book¡je:
    Just finished watching on delay.That was a really well played and coached game overall.

    So, can someone explain to me what management was doing for the first couple of weeks of Oct.

    We can only guess.

  9. VanOil says:

    Last season there was a school of thought, lead by Strudwick if I recall correctly, that said complaining about the Oilers 4th line was a waste of time. They theorized that the 5 minutes they played were immaterial to the outcome and the toughness they brought was vital.

    I would like to state that the Chicago model of 4th line, long championed by Woodguy, and displayed this season to great effect by the Oilers is very material to winning. Sure they are playing more than 5 minutes but that is OK when they don’t suck.

  10. Zelepukin says:

    Yak with another consistent game. Man, they need to get him some line mates who can get him the puck cause he is having to work his ass off (which he is) to get some looks.

    Disappointed he wasn’t on the 2nd PP later in the game. I think they ran Purcell Drai and Perron with Petry and Nik. I’m just waiting for that moment where it clicks that setting up Yaks for the side one-timer is going to be Ovechkin money. His shot is too crazy for it not to get to that point.

  11. Suntory Hanzo says:

    Too bad Yakupov is more often passing to Arco instead of the other way around.

    I’m glad Eakins addressed the TOI for Yakupov. Made sense about line matching and basic luck of the draw.

    I’m a fan of 10. Always have. He looks really solid now. Back checking like a demon. I just wish they would try to use his one timer more. It’s a god damned Gauss gun that shot. Even have his slip n slide goal celly as my avatar on boardgamegeek.

  12. Kmart99 says:

    Petry, Fayne, Marincin, and even Ference all looked solid tonight. Although Ference had a stud beside him.

    Outside of the top line and Gordon’s line, I thought Yak was the best of the rest. He was hardly out there but he made it happen when he was. His confidence with the puck is showing and there’s no way he stays sub 15min/night for long. So happy Scrivens played well, and some of the bounces actually didn’t end up behind him(outside of the first goal)

  13. Woodguy says:

    AZOIL: So you say that because jultz was given the offensive push at 67.5% but was still sub 50 on the scoring chances correct? Whereas petry was the opposite? Am understanding these numbers right?

    Yes.

  14. anonymous says:

    sesame_oil: yeah, I thought yak played well today. Rob Brown just mentioned Yak was getting the lowest minutes because the other players were better?

    Another Eakins apologist. This AHL coach is gonna ensure a number 1 overall pick plays the bulk of his career in another town.

    Plenty of chances to get him ice time, pulled him off the power play as soon as he got out there. This all but ensures difficult contract negotiations at the least and most likely a trade.

    Fire Eakins.

  15. flyfish1168 says:

    i wonder what eakins means when Yak draws the short end of the stick with ice time. Isn’t it eakins that decides to replace yak with Perron in the dying minutes of the game? Wow i was liking eakins and again he has interesting chose of words to the media and by eye and analysis it does not compute.

  16. "Frank The Dog" says:

    VanOil: Imagine if the Oilers played a game without there best defence man. Oh wait.

    How about if they went all the way, played without 2 of their top 4, and then gave the strongest remaining D the least minutes? Nah, no-one would ever do that……

    But happily that was then and this is now….. for now. Hopefully Eakins will become intoxicated with the sound of happy Tier 1 fans.

  17. "Frank The Dog" says:

    Zelepukin:
    Yak with another consistent game. Man, they need to get him some line mates who can get him the puck cause he is having to work his ass off (which he is) to get some looks.

    Disappointed he wasn’t on the 2nd PP later in the game. I think they ran Purcell Drai and Perron with Petry and Nik. I’m just waiting for that moment where it clicks that setting up Yaks for the side one-timer is going to be Ovechkin money. His shot is too crazy for it not to get to that point.

    From what this dog has seen so far, Drai has the sublime passing skills to compliment what we are looking for from Yak. Arco is more compatible with Yak than Nuge, who belongs with Eberle, but I still feel that he should be with Drai every minute he is on the ice, and then with Arco for the remainder of his minutes.

  18. "Frank The Dog" says:

    Kitchener:
    On the scale of 6s, 7s & 9s, this 4th line is… ?

    4’s? 🙂

  19. "Frank The Dog" says:

    Hammers:
    We saw the beginning of a formula for success . Play Schultz less toi but ozone starts .Play Petry more toi plus helping Ference . Marty & Fayne look like there time should go up a couple of minutes but keep them together.Find more time for Yak . Keep Gazdic on the bench . Can we get that 11 points in 11 games we all said they had to have . Sure hope so but it starts with the next game and then the next . Eakins plays it smart and it could happen .

    If Gazdic plays any shifts it should be on Arco’s line. Keep hm away from Drai’s and the “4th”.

  20. Marcus Oilerius says:

    Zelepukin: Yak with another consistent game.

    If only he had consistent ice time.

  21. Hammers says:

    Regarding Yak as related to his ice time . For me right now the only way his ice time goes up is if McT trades Perron for a “C” .10+ minutes won’t cut it and Gordons line has played great from game 1 . So how do they adjust and what benefit will there be .Perron should get us a 2 way center who then plays with Yak & Pouliot . Arco gets Leon & Purcell on his wings with Leon slowly taking more time down the middle . If Yak doesn’t start getting the ice time and the team would sooner keep Perron then Yak needs to be traded for the “C” but for me long term I keep Yak.

  22. russ99 says:

    IMO, it’s all about confidence with these guys. Up until the penalty shot, it looked like we were going to give another game away. Then the crowd has something to cheer about and these guys look like a totally different team than the one in the west coast shellacking.

    Seems that if we get down a goal or two, we play much worse, and the cherry home schedule vs. more open-style Eastern teams ends at some point.

    Yak is suffering the most with the lack of NHL quality centers. A bad contract for bad contract move of Ference (if he’ll waive the NMC) for Weiss wouldn’t be a bad move to get him with a decent playmaker.

  23. Kmart99 says:

    So far Yak has a CorsiRel of -9 and an overall 5v5 corsi of 46%. Numbers like that usually belong to the “weak” players on good teams. To say that 46% is a team worst when the team was sub 45% last season is not really all that bad. …Although, if you just remove the CGY game he gets quite a bit worse at 5v5 Corsi @42% and CorsiRel at -6%.

    With Yak it’s a really small sample size when you take his TOI into account, but for whatever reason, when he’s on the ice the team just isn’t all that good. Yak has looked great in the OZ and DZ BY EYE, but if the Corgi’s don’t start to turn there’s reason to worry I think.

    Of note… Corgi’s haven’t been liking baby Nuge all that much either but he’s been starting on the DZ more than usual for him.

    With players like Hall, Nuge, and Nail, it’s easy to understand that they don’t need AS MUCH time in the offensive zone to make things happen as say a Hendricks. Duh, I know.

    Matt Hendricks could spend twice as much time in the OZ as Yak and score half the points. His p/60 support that idea. Yak 1.9/60, Hendo .9/60. And Hendricks has spent most of the season if the OZ. For Yak it’s about making the most of the time he has in the OZ and preventing the bleeding in his own end as best as possible.

  24. russ99 says:

    Kmart99,

    The corgis can’t help him with a tire fire behind him, and that he had to play defense on that breakaway.

  25. godot10 says:

    comment:

    If Marincin and Fayne are being forced to take on the toughest line and heavy d-zone starts, this might suppress their TOI a bit, because one is going for the matchup and situation to play them. And the minutes they do play are more brutal minutes than the other minutes.

    So if they take 15-18 minutes of TOI, the toughest line, and heavy d-zone starts, that is a pretty heavy workload. All minutes aren’t equal. Consider role-and-situation-adjusted TOI.

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