CANADIENS AT OILERS G9 2014-15

hall26Taylor Hall and the top end of the Edmonton Oilers forward group are having a very nice beginning to the NHL season. If you look at their boxcars and some of the important underlying totals, there’s a helluva story forming.

OILERS FORWARDS BY THE NUMBERS

PLAYER BOXCARS CORSI FOR % OZ STARTS 5X5 PER 60
TAYLOR HALL 8GP, 4-3-7 51.7 64.6 2.00
JORDAN EBERLE 7gp, 4-2-6 48.9 60.3 2.83
TEDDY PURCELL 8gp, 1-4-5 52.0 76.8 1.22
DAVID PERRON 8gp, 0-5-5 53.8 76.2 1.83
RYAN NUGENT-HOPKINS 6gp, 3-1-4 51.3 66.7 2.02
MARK ARCOBELLO 8gp, 2-1-3 44.4 71.7 0.58
LEON DRAISAITL 8gp, 1-2-3 51.8 80.0 1.38
NAIL YAKUPOV 8gp, 1-2-3 41.6 74.3 1.41
MATT HENDRICKS 8gp, 2-0-2 47.6 13.6 0.70
JESSE JOENSUU 8gp, 2-0-2 55.6 18.5 0.72
BOYD GORDON 8gp, 0-2-2 50.9 13.3 1.34
BENOIT POULIOT 8gp, 0-2-2 46.8 70.7 1.48

There’s some nice numbers in there, the Nuge and Gordon lines are all solid and I’d throw Perron, Pouliot and Leon (!!!) in as guys who have played as well or better than I’d expected. That leaves Teddy Purcell (who has been effective on the power play), Mark Arcobello (he’s scoring, just not 5×5) and Nail (who we discussed yesterday). A nice start for the group overall.

littlem

WHAT IF?

As an Oiler and Bruins fan since 1972 and 1969, life has taught me much about the Habs. In 1971 they burned my Bruins with Ken Dryden and it began a decade of frustration with them. Sam Pollock plundered the 1970’s at the draft table and he also made incredibly astute trades like Garry Monahan for Peter Mahovlich (above). For someone my age when the great 1970’s Montreal teams are mentioned, the memories are sharp because it was the most famous team of my childhood. I remember Chuck Lefley as a rookie and I remember Yvon Lambert’s labored skating and I remember Pierre Mondou was a terrific player out of the box. I remember how to spell Jacques Laperriere even though I’ve never wanted to at any time.

When I see a new player on the scene—like Leon Draisaitl, celebrating his 19th birthday today—my memory drifts to similar player-types down through the ages. There weren’t many who combine size and puck-handling skills like Leon, but one of them played for that legendary Habs team: Peter Mahovlich. Now, Mahovlich (dubbed the “Little M” in one of the more ridiculous nicknaming moments) took forever to arrive—Detroit wasted a ton of talent during those years, gave up Lambert for dead too—but when he did Montreal possessed on the best centers in the game.

One thing I’ll say about this Draisaitl fellow: I don’t recall seeing a big teenage center with these passing skills since Joe Thornton.

eakins smilingDallas Eakins has been seen smiling of late, and he looks like he’s getting sleep. You may say “geez, Lowetide, that’s kinda weird” but last season he and Devan Dubnyk didn’t get any sleep at all and lordy that was a bad season. Sleep is important, it gives you a better chance to make the right decision, gives you a better memory, allows the creative part of your brain to hold sway, it’s a big damn deal. Dallas Eakins is a smart guy, he needs his sleep. I don’t think he got any in October or November a year ago.

By the way, I’m not addressing the Messier rumors because they’re dumb. He was my favorite Oiler, and if he wanted to be a coach he would have entered the coaching ranks and learned the business. There’s only one guy on the planet who could conceivably hire him on the spot, and we rely on MacTavish to tell him no when the batphone rings.

THE BLUE

ference12

A lot of chatter here and elsewhere about the Oilers’ defense, but there’s less chaos, more calm feet and some veteran hands back there. Since I was a kid, NHL coaching staffs have always preferred the veteran, and this year I think is a perfect example of why. Still plenty of chaos, but men who have flown thousands of sorties in the past know their role by rote. So, tonight when we’re screaming at Ference or Fayne, or Petry or Nikitin, we would do well to remember the kids like Chorney who spent time back there in recent Oilers history. It isn’t perfect, but it’s better. Now, about that sliding D on the PK….

lane3

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

At 10 this morning, TSN 1260. The busy lineup includes:

  • Scott Burnside, ESPN. He’s in Dallas this morning covering one of the most thrilling hockey teams in the NHL right now. We’ll talk Stars, Leafs, Islanders and more.
  • Eric Rodgers, OKC Barons’ observer who can be found on twitter and Tend The Farm. We’ll talk Barons so far this season.
  • Dennis King, Oilogosphere Icon. We’ll start with the Oilers, then World Series and NFL. There’s so much to get too!
  • Andrew Berkshire, Habs Eyes on the Prize. Update on the enemy!

Four great guests, don’t hesitate to tweet me @Lowetide_ or 10-1260 text. See you on the radio!

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447 Responses to "CANADIENS AT OILERS G9 2014-15"

« Older Comments
  1. Pouzar says:

    danny: Aren’t you in NL? Don’t you realize it’s almost 2am?

    Goodnight all!

    No I live in WPG now. Born and raised on The Rock though. Enjoyed many of those 12AM playoff starts in L.A. back in the day though. 🙂

  2. cadooo says:

    Game
    Player ZS TOI Corsi@EV
    MARK FAYNE 30 18:10 53.8
    TEDDY PURCELL 50 13:27 53.8
    LEON DRAISAITL 66.7 13:18 50
    DAVID PERRON 50 15:52 50
    MARTIN MARINCIN 27.3 17:45 50
    TAYLOR HALL 35.3 18:02 46.7
    RYAN NUGENT-HOPKINS 33.3 19:48 43.8
    JEFF PETRY 7.7 20:04 40.7
    MARK ARCOBELLO 0 13:16 39.1
    BENOIT POULIOT 30.8 16:15 39.1
    ANDREW FERENCE 8.3 18:42 38.5
    JUSTIN SCHULTZ 27.8 19:25 35.7
    JESSE JOENSUU 20 12:02 33.3
    NAIL YAKUPOV 22.2 12:36 33.3
    MATT HENDRICKS 11.1 13:25 33.3
    JORDAN EBERLE 31.3 17:27 30.8
    BRAD HUNT 25 18:26 28.6
    BOYD GORDON 9.1 14:00 20

  3. "Frank The Dog" says:

    hunter1909: Nyet.

    Не Я тоже 🙂

  4. RexLibris says:

    Now we come to the moment that LT must dread.

    Flames v Habs.

    How do you choose?

    This looked like a game the Oilers have found ways to lose over the last few (dozen) years.

    This time they had enough defensive acumen (even with Hunt and Schultz paired together) to keep even the shots down, nevermind the scoring chances.

    I’d have preferred they had more shots on Tokarski, but limiting the Canadiens to 29 shots on Scrivens alone is a good thing for this team, given the likely time of possession at even strength.

  5. Pouzar says:

    RexLibris:
    Now we come to the moment that LT must dread.

    Flames v Habs.

    How do you choose?

    This looked like a game the Oilers have found ways to lose over the last few (dozen) years.

    This time they had enough defensive acumen (even with Hunt and Schultz paired together) to keep even the shots down, nevermind the scoring chances.

    I’d have preferred they had more shots on Tokarski, but limiting the Canadiens to 29 shots on Scrivens alone is a good thing for this team, given the likely time of possession at even strength.

    I swear to Gord….I wasn’t worried one iota in the 3rd. Very very weird feeling.

  6. Lowetide says:

    RexLibris:
    Now we come to the moment that LT must dread.

    Flames v Habs.

    How do you choose?

    This looked like a game the Oilers have found ways to lose over the last few (dozen) years.

    This time they had enough defensive acumen (even with Hunt and Schultz paired together) to keep even the shots down, nevermind the scoring chances.

    I’d have preferred they had more shots on Tokarski, but limiting the Canadiens to 29 shots on Scrivens alone is a good thing for this team, given the likely time of possession at even strength.

    You hope for a sound trouncing of Calgary. Montreal is no longer an organization that matters UNLESS they’re playing the Oilers.

  7. RexLibris says:

    By the way, Edmonton is ranked 8th in the league in Corsi For % when the score is close. Behind Wpg, Min, Chi, StL, Bos, Pit, Ana.

    Current PDO is listed at 101.27, nearly par.

    Some encouraging possession numbers here, should they continue along the general trend.

    Worst Fen % teams: Buf, Cgy, Ott, Car, Col.

    Worst Corsi For % teams: Buf, Cgy, Col, Car, Ott

  8. wheatnoil says:

    Total Time On Ice:
    Petry 20:04
    Schultz 19:25
    Ference 18:42
    Hunt: 18:26
    Fayne 18:10
    Marincin 17:45

    All 6 D within 2 minutes and 19 seconds of ice time in this game.

    Forwards:
    #1 Nugent Hopkins 19:48
    #12 Joensuu 12:02

    Now this is total TOI, not even-strength. That’s about as close to rolling 4 lines as I’ve ever seen the Oilers run.

    Edit: I screwed something up here. Those D numbers can’t be right. You can’t have all D less than 20 minutes.

  9. One-Timer says:

    One-Timer:
    Hey Rishaug, I’ve got some info for you.

    To be the best offensive player in a game (Galch?), you have to… SCORE!

    Wups. That was Mike Johnson. Rishaug was nowhere in sight.

  10. RexLibris says:

    Lowetide: You hope for a sound trouncing of Calgary. Montreal is no longer an organization that matters UNLESS they’re playing the Oilers.

    Yes, I imagined that would be the case.

    Always cheer alphabetically: Anyone But Calgary.

    I wonder if it wouldn’t be more fun to see the Flames continue to win despite terrible underlying numbers just to see how the fan base and organization reacts.

    Imagine what a playoff dalliance with that roster could convince Burke and Treliving to do?

    Also, the only time I really want to see the Flames get spanked is when the Oilers are playing them.

  11. striatic says:

    Oilers need to win at least 1 of the next to games, if only to prove to themselves that they can challenge within the western conference.

    This still isn’t a good team. They aren’t going to win by total dominance of possession, yet. This game against the Habs fits the mould of what they need to do to get some success this year. Get a lead, cheaply if necessary, then hold the other team of under 30 low quality shots.

    It’s like any of the obviously over gunned teams in the Olympics, you can get traction if you can score a cheap goal and play that brand of team defence that stifles high quality chances. It doesn’t win championships but it will spare the team embarrassment after embarrassment and create a little room to learn how to dominate, eventually.

  12. striatic says:

    RexLibris: Behind Wpg, Min, Chi, StL, Bos, Pit, Ana.

    One of these things is not like the others …

  13. Clarkenstein says:

    wheatnoil: Total Time On Ice:Petry 20:04Schultz 19:25Ference 18:42Hunt: 18:26Fayne 18:10Marincin 17:45All 6 D within 2 minutes and 19 seconds of ice time in this game.Forwards:#1 Nugent Hopkins 19:48#12 Joensuu 12:02Now this is total TOI, not even-strength. That’s about as close to rolling 4 lines as I’ve ever seen the Oilers run.Edit: I screwed something up here. Those D numbers can’t be right. You can’t have all D less than 20 minutes.

    I would say your numbers are probably right. Don’t forget the time forwards play the point on the PP.

  14. rickithebear says:

    Box shots:
    Edm
    0-15 6 shots 3 unchallenged goals
    15-30 6 shots
    12 of 19 box 64%

    MTL
    0-15 5 shots all challenged
    15-30 8 shots
    13 of 29 box shots. 45%

  15. Hammers says:

    Expected a tie and will take the win . Nashville then Van and we need points against teams from the west . For me Gordon deserved a star .

  16. book¡je says:

    wheatnoil:
    Total Time On Ice:
    Petry 20:04
    Schultz 19:25
    Ference 18:42
    Hunt: 18:26
    Fayne 18:10
    Marincin 17:45

    All 6 D within 2 minutes and 19 seconds of ice time in this game.

    Forwards:
    #1 Nugent Hopkins 19:48
    #12 Joensuu 12:02

    Now this is total TOI, not even-strength. That’s about as close to rolling 4 lines as I’ve ever seen the Oilers run.

    Edit: I screwed something up here. Those D numbers can’t be right. You can’t have all D less than 20 minutes.

    4 forwards on PP= less than 120 D time

  17. nycoil says:

    Just a red herring here. Is Jeff Carter really 5G-7A-12P, +12?! right now? What!!!!

  18. nycoil says:

    danny:
    I’m going to partake in my Sapporo #’s 5 and 6 during the 3rd

    My mom’s side of the family is from that area. Hokkaido, that is.

  19. VanOil says:

    rickithebear,

    Marincin by eye was a Man’s Man in the Box all night

  20. Hammers says:

    Lowetide: Yep. Corsi Close via War-on-IceMTL 51.52EDM 48.48

    The first 2 periods most of there shots were from the outside but Scrivens made some really good saves in the 3rd . As for Corsi you still have to look at the Ebb & flow of a game . Both teams PP sucked . Liking what I see . Someone else said what my son text F—— Ass—- on Sportsnet . So true. Can’t wait until the time comes when they have to say something good about the Oilers .

  21. slopitch says:

    Lots to like in that game. Gordon and Hendricks were great. Yak as well. Best game for Pouliot. Drai was decent. My favorite play he made was on the PP. The puck was contested by he had the puck. Drai turned his ass to the defender and calmly made a pass. So simple and yet so effective.

  22. Suntory Hanzo says:

    nycoil,

    Sapporo is nice. Asahi super dry is my fave Japanese beer. Had a ton of that whilst in Tokyo.

    I love how you can bring your own beer and food into soccer games. Crazy. Load up the pockets with tall boys and yakisoba!!

  23. Numenius says:

    Good to hear Eakins mention “Tyler” in his presser. There’s obviously some information getting through.

    The context was why block shots. Tyler told him that if the puck gets to your net, there’s a 7% chance it goes in and if there’s a rebound, there’s a 25% chance it goes in. If you block the shot, it cuts down those chances.

  24. delooper says:

    Suntory Hanzo:
    nycoil,

    Sapporo is nice. Asahi super dry is my fave Japanese beer. Had a ton of that whilst in Tokyo.

    Sapporo feels like such an American city. A grid. Straight roads. Neo-roman, colonial architecture. But thankfully it’s not too hot in the summer.

  25. 9,998,383,750,001 says:

    I hope Tyler also models man games, mobility, and mojo lost to repeatedly blocking pucks with the same bruise. It all adds up, and the bill comes due in February.

  26. VanOil says:

    9,998,383,750,001:
    I hope Tyler also models man games, mobility, and mojo lost to repeatedly blocking pucks with the same bruise. It all adds up, and the bill comes due in February.

    But then we can have Gadzook as the net presence on a newly vital PP so the injuries won’t matter.

  27. Prince Rupert's Oildrop says:

    slopitch: My favorite play he made was on the PP. The puck was contested by he had the puck. Drai turned his ass to the defender and calmly made a pass. So simple and yet so effective.

    Me too! Yeah the two Habs players who had a chance to get the puck from him both gave up and skated back to their PK positions when he did that. Like, “not gonna happen, not against Draisaitl! Might as well go home…”

  28. Woodguy says:

    hunter1909:
    Bitch slapping hockey game!

    For the first time since 2006, game 6, this Oilers team looks like it’s going places. Lots and lots of good, interesting players to watch. No more “Taylor Hall’s line scores or else it’s the highway” suckage.

    Props to MacT. Fucker’s put a hockey team together.

    Yay Happy Hunter is back!

    Nice words for MacT and everything.

    Winning cures all.

  29. book¡je says:

    hunter1909:
    Bitch slapping hockey game!

    For the first time since 2006, game 6, this Oilers team looks like it’s going places. Lots and lots of good, interesting players to watch. No more “Taylor Hall’s line scores or else it’s the highway” suckage.

    Props to MacT. Fucker’s put a hockey team together.

    Man, optimism is high now. I kind of wonder how they are going to crush it this time.

  30. Woodguy says:

    book¡je: ether.
    Man, optimism is high now. I kind of wonder how they are

    That’s the spirit!

  31. Washingtron says:

    Were the Oil just playing possum in the first five games? Then maybe they were like, okay other GM’s, I’m starting to get the hang of this, and then the GM’s are like y’know it’s even more fun if you put money on the games, and then MacT winks at Eakins and says, oh yeah? How’s a million a game sound?

  32. Kmart99 says:

    48.5% CorsiClose isn’t anything worth writing home about, but it was against a top team in the east, and 48% is a decent marker for a bubble team to be at or close to the playoff cutline. Even if Scrivens finishes the year @ .915 this team has the forward depth to be at or near 8-11th in the west. Not great, but definitely respectable.

    Oilers have a real shot at 10pts on this home stand. Good prediction(so far) WG.

    On another note, Klefbom seems to be dominating and ready for the jump but I’m with RexLibris, he’s seasoning well, let him season for another 20 games until he’s bursting at the seams with NHL readiness. The Oilers and Nelson deserve a large amount of credit for how they’ve handled Marincin and Klefbom so far. I just hope they find a way to keep Petry AND Klefbom. Now THAT would be real D depth.

    Also, good on Ramsay for nipping those MASSIVE DZone coverage mistakes quickly. Still tons of chaos in their Dzone, but at least they are protecting the house well.

  33. Kmart99 says:

    Klefbom : 4gp, 5pts. +4. Team is outscoring the opposition with him on the ice. Nelson made it clear that he seems to be the best dman in the AHL right now.

    Wish Cors/Fenwick was available for AHL.

  34. Pouzar says:

    Kmart99:
    48.5% CorsiClose isn’t anything worth writing home about, but it was against a top team in the east, and 48% is a decent marker for a bubble team to be at or close to the playoff cutline.Even if Scrivens finishes the year @ .915 this team has the forward depth to be at or near 8-11th in the west.Not great, but definitely respectable.

    Oilers have a real shot at 10pts on this home stand.Good prediction(so far) WG.

    On another note, Klefbom seems to be dominating and ready for the jump but I’m with RexLibris, he’s seasoning well, let him season for another 20 games until he’s bursting at the seams with NHL readiness.The Oilers and Nelson deserve a large amount of credit for how they’ve handled Marincin and Klefbom so far.I just hope they find a way to keep Petry AND Klefbom.Now THAT would be real D depth.

    Also, good on Ramsay for nipping those MASSIVE DZone coverage mistakes quickly.Still tons of chaos in their Dzone, but at least they are protecting the house well.

    The Corsi close was fine. The top line didn’t do **** so that’s actually encouraging.

    As for Klefbom, keeping him down is a luxury we can only afford if NN is good to go. Can’t continue with Brad Hunt imo.

    The most encouraging thing I heard last night was from Jason York talking about Craig Ramsay was very vocal in coaching up the Oiler D. It made me cry. I said it earlier, but how NHL coaches can stand back there and not talk to their players is something I can’t fathom. I swear Acton hasn’t talked to anyone since he was hired. Strange.

  35. khildahl says:

    wheatnoil,

    Washingtron:
    Were the Oil just playing possum in the first five games?Then maybe they were like, okay other GM’s, I’m starting to get the hang of this, and then the GM’s are like y’know it’s even more fun if you put money on the games, and then MacT winks at Eakins and says, oh yeah?How’s a million a game sound?

    Katz has been playing a really long con? 🙂

  36. spoiler says:

    book¡je: Man, optimism is high now.I kind of wonder how they are going to crush it this time.

    That’s easy: Road Games.

  37. Woodguy says:

    5v5 TOI last night (courtesy of waronice.com)

    Justin.Schultz 14.8
    Mark.Fayne 14.2
    Brad.Hunt 13.6
    Jeff.Petry 13.2
    Martin.Marincin 13.2
    Andrew.Ference 12.8

    Ryan.Nugent-Hopkins 14.3
    Jordan.Eberle 14
    Taylor.Hall 13.4
    Benoit.Pouliot 10.9
    Matt.Hendricks 10.9
    David.Perron 10.3
    Boyd.Gordon 10.2
    Jesse.Joensuu 9.4
    Mark.Arcobello 9.1
    Leon.Draisaitl 7.8
    Nail.Yakupov 7.7
    Teddy.Purcell 6.1

  38. nycoil says:

    delooper: Sapporo feels like such an American city.A grid.Straight roads. Neo-roman, colonial architecture.But thankfully it’s not too hot in the summer.

    Asahi Super Dry is the gaijin’s favourite beer for sure.
    Sapporo is boring except when the summer beer gardens are on, or the Snow Festival. My family is from Otaru, though. Much nicer. But my mother lives in Sapporo these days for convenience. The rest of Hokkaido is where it’s at, though. Magnificent beauty, like Canada, really.

  39. russ99 says:

    book¡je,

    Western conference road games, LOL

    Plus we got fairly lucky last night. Goalie standing on his head, desperation blocks in front of the net and we capitalized on their mistakes in our zone leading to a break for both goals.

    The winning streak is nice, but I’m just not seeing sustainable above average play on both ends of the ice like I do with our playoff competition.

  40. Chris says:

    There was a moment last night where I was “oh no why is Justin Sultz on the penalty kill?” Only to realize the only other defenseman available was Brad Hunt and it was probably the right call on that basis. But it is gratifying to see the Oilers rise from “tire fire” to the heights of “mediocre”/ After the last couple years I’ll totally take mediocre.

  41. G Money says:

    Kmart99: 48.5% CorsiClose isn’t anything worth writing home about, but it was against a top team in the east, and 48% is a decent marker

    Maybe LT should do an RE for Corsi!

    I wrote this on a thread a few games ago (either before or early in the winning streak), that my expectation for this team this year was to be a mid-pack team.

    That would in turn be supported by winning the 5×5 Corsi (esp. Close) against poor teams (say 53%+), sawing off against other mid-pack teams (say 48% to 52% in any given game), but still losing against the top tier teams (47% or less).

    So far this team has not been very consistent in that regard, but at least shows signs that we’ll be in that ballpark by seasons end.

    That’s a HUGE improvement over last year.

    48.5% 5×5 Corsi Close against the Canadiens (who are currently first in the East and tied for first overall, but more of a mid-upper-tier team overall) is just fine.

  42. 719 says:

    Woodguy:
    5v5 TOI last night (courtesy of waronice.com)

    Brad.Hunt13.6

    This win is even more impressive considering Brad Hunt was one of our defencemen.

  43. nycoil says:

    Woodguy,

    One more win to go. Two tough tests coming up, though!

    Oilers get some “love” on ESPN.

    http://espn.go.com/nhl/notebook/_/page/pucks_central_102814/highlights-oct-27

  44. j says:

    Sadly, I saw Eberle really bad last night. It had been mentioned that the play seems to be dying on his stick too often. Additionally, he is getting dispossessed in high risk zones. I like the player a lot but am beginning to wonder whether he has shown us his full potential (whereas Hall and Nuge are still ascending). Thoughts?

  45. Lowetide says:

    j:
    Sadly, I saw Eberle really bad last night.It had been mentioned that the play seems to be dying on his stick too often.Additionally, he is getting dispossessed in high risk zones.I like the player a lot but am beginning to wonder whether he has shown us his full potential (whereas Hall and Nuge are still ascending).Thoughts?

    He’s injured.

  46. stevezie says:

    Aren’t we all a bit injured? Who am I to judge fasht when I have skatedmyself to the bench with a third degree strain of the soul?

    Not the same as “quit” though.

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