CAN TODD NELSON SAVE ANTON LANDER?

Later this week, Anton Lander will play his 100th game in the NHL. Scott Cullen’s excellent work on draft success tells us that  a player taken at No. 40 overall (Anton Lander was taken there in 2009) has a 34% chance of playing in 100 games in the world’s best league. Success! And yet, one doubts anyone feels that way, including the Oilers and the player involved.

So far this season, Anton Lander has played four games with the big club, scoring two points. Incredible! In the previous 94 games he played in, Lander scored eight points. This year’s numbers are Ruthian in comparison.

What has changed? WHY is Todd Nelson having (early) success with this player? The first place to look is icetime. Here’s an overview of Lander’s TOI by discipline since he arrived in the NHL in 2011-12.

ANTON LANDER TOI (BY YEAR)

lander toi Lander’s PP time is all from the three most recent games but Nelson ran him over 15 EV minutes and 1.5 minutes on the PK in the one game he played in December (with MacT behind the bench helping). Lander does have a power-play point (last night) so maybe Nelson’s faith will be rewarded. The Swede was his No. 1 option in the minors and Lander delivered.

DECEMBER 19TH AHL SCORING

lander top 10 scoring

This isn’t a 29-year old AHL veteran posting a point-per-game, it’s a “Doug Jarvis checker” who is getting a power-play push. That’s some nice territory and Lander has done it for awhile now under Nelson in OKC. We see above that the Swede is getting PP time, I wonder if Nelson is using him with better linemates at evens?

LANDER AT EVENS OVER THE YEARS

  • 2011-12 (43.1 CF% 5×5) linemates: Lennart Petrell (214 minutes); Ben Eager (199 minutes); Magnus Paajarvi (94 minutes); Ryan Jones (93 minutes).
  • 2012-13 (47.6 CF% 5×5) linemates: Teemu Hartikainen (48 minutes); Ryan Jones (37 minutes); Nail Yakupov (2o minutes).
  • 2013-14 (44.1 CF%5 5×5) linemates: David Perron (100 minutes); Luke Gazdic (56 minutes); Sam Gagner (56 minutes).
  • 2014-15 (35.4 CF% 5×5) linemates: Nail Yakupov (39 minutes); Matt Fraser (29 minutes); Tyler Pitlick (10 minutes).

God those 11-12 linemates are a nightmare and even though I love Nail 2012-13 isn’t any better. Eakins got him some help last season (Perron for sure) and this year it’s a dog’s breakfast. I think Todd Nelson is trying to get something going with that Kid Line (Lander, Yak, Fraser) but would bet they take a step forward when Yakupov is removed. Nail is absolutely an albatross now, saddest damn thing.

lander ferguson 1415

IS THIS GOING TO WORK?

Todd Nelson is walking a tightrope here in that he’s auditioning for an NHL coaching job while also trying to develop players (that’s his job in this role, or at least a part of it). I’m pleased he’s been able to get Lander into the scoring column but worry about the player’s current role. A fourth “energy” line is a tough way to break in to the NHL and if Nail remains in this hideous stickhandling slump (he’s not using his brain right now, Nail’s not a dummy) it could crater three careers.

It looks like coach Nelson is going to use Lander as a power-play option and that may be a way to get the young man established offensively in the NHL. Ironic, no? A prospect with a Doug Jarvis reputation getting some traction in the league because of his work on the 2PP? And what an incredible struggle that took place with the regular PP options to allow this to be an option.

WHAT COULD MAKE THINGS BETTER

At some point, I’d like to see Lander—Fraser play with either Benoit Pouliot or Teddy Purcell. I know the lines flipped a little last night, but I’m talking about 10 games (or so). Fraser has skating issues but can shoot and Lander can pass and serve as a the defensive conscience for the line. They need a winger who can retrieve, pass and carry the puck into the offensive zone. That WAS Nail in junior but he’s wobbly as a passer now and is Han Solo most shifts.

Anton Lander is 23 years old and at this point it looks like this will be his best chance to make the NHL as a regular. Todd Nelson is finding innovative ways to use his skills and it appears to be working (early early days). I find myself intrigued to see how Nelson goes about unlocking the key to Nail Yakupov.

The season is interesting on an entirely new level.

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82 Responses to "CAN TODD NELSON SAVE ANTON LANDER?"

  1. GXL says:

    Curse that Nelson for not following 6-Ring’s game plan to retrieve McEichel! Nelson needs to go.

    Was at the game on Sunday and there was a huge difference between Nelson’s bench and Eakin’s bench. With Nelson, there’s lots of coaching between whistles and phrases for good plays. Eakins… Well let’s say he may have been occupied with not moving his hair.

    As an Oilers fan and a Nelson supporter, this year is the Oilers are in a state of Kobayashi Maru.

    GXL

  2. Well Oiled and Enthusiastic says:

    Lander isn’t about offense at the NHL level. As long as Gordon is here, glue Lander to him to learn and observe. If done properly, he will be an invaluable playoff contributor in a few years of NHL seasoning. Another truly homegrown player for the Oilers. Lander is all character. A proven leader through the years. Let him and Yakimov battle for 3C ice time down the line. Yak2 and Lander would not be a bad 3C/4C interchangeable combo for years to come.

  3. Lowetide says:

    Well Oiled and Enthusiastic:
    Lander isn’t about offense at the NHL level. As long as Gordon is here, glue Lander to him to learn and observe. If done properly, he will be an invaluable playoff contributor in a few years of NHL seasoning. Another truly homegrown player for the Oilers. Lander is all character. A proven leader through the years. Let him and Yakimov battle for 3C ice time down the line. Yak2 and Lander would not be a bad 3C/4C interchangeable combo for years to come.

    Lander’s issue so far has been NO offense in the NHL. 95 games into his career it has been circkets and tumbleweeds. Nelson’s job is getting Lander into situations where he can at least score a little. Early days but I’m impressed.

  4. Brackenburied says:

    It would be nice to read a Dellowesque diagnosis (not an autopsy yet) of Nail’s issues. Are there any out there?

  5. Black Frank says:

    The only reservation I have about Todd Nelson is to see how he does over his second 20 games.
    GMoney had a good point, the other Oiler HC’s had a good first 20 too.
    But I will be surprised if Todd doesn’t turn this ship around and will be disappointed if we get McD except if we get lucky from a higher spot in the standings.

  6. Klima's_Bucket says:

    Nurse is getting more help in the Soo.
    Ritchie and Boland on their way from Peterborough.
    Bailey added earlier from Kitchener and now DeAngelo heading over from Sarnia.
    Looks like Darnell is going to the Memorial Cup…

  7. Lowetide says:

    Klima’s_Bucket:
    Nurse is getting more help in the Soo.
    Ritchie and Boland on their way from Peterborough.
    Bailey added earlier from Kitchener and now DeAngelo heading over from Sarnia.
    Looks like Darnell is going to the Memorial Cup…

    Looks like Anthony DeAngelo is heading there too according to Bob McKenzie’s twitter.

  8. Klima's_Bucket says:

    For Darnell It’s another Festivus miracle

  9. VOR says:

    I think, and Lander is a great example, that even four or five years post draft we may still not be sure what a player is or will be.

    It starts with the tremendous difficulty of ranking talent in the first place. The truth is, and history proves it, that even the last player picked in an NHL draft may well have a career in the NHL. Every year I do redrafts of all the active draft classes. It is my hobby. It is amazing how often at year 9 or 10 a redraft of the top 30 players in any draft (based on career NHL performance) looks very little like the top 30 players actually drafted . Take 2003 for example, and I encourage you to do try the actual experiment, use their NHL boxcars and rank the players taken in 2003 and then take a look at where they were actually drafted.

    For my current argument what is important is to note that if you had done that in the summer of 2008 and again last summer you would have noticed a huge turnover on your list. That is because in 2008 Matt Moulson was on nobody’s top thirty, nor I would argue were Dustin Byfuglien, Tobias Enstrom, or Joe Pavelski. Lee Stempniak was an after thought and Kyle Brodziak was a fourth line center at best, and Jan Hedja was just a useful d-man. However, time marched on and now Lee Stempniak is 14th in games played amongst players drafted in 2003 and 15th in goals scored, Pavelski is a legitimate contender for top ten overall in his draft class in a redraft, Byfuglien is an impact player, Enstrom has had some truly outstanding years and Brodziak and Hedja just go on and on, 24th and 25th in games played and still active and many nights pushing the hardest ice of anybody from their draft class (Brodziak is having an off year but is still in the top thirty in goals, assists, points, and something like 33rd in penalty minutes for any player drafted in 2003).

    So when we look at Lander at 23 and say we know what his future holds remember all these guys I just listed arrived sometime between 22 and 24 as NHL players and yet 11 years post draft they are well established pros and legitimate contenders for the top thirty in any redraft of 2003 which is unquestionably the best draft year of the 2000s to date.

    Lander may be nothing or he may just be beginning a long and valuable career in the NHL. As LT says he has already covered the best for a player taken 40th OV in terms of games. We can ground true that by using the data for his entire draft class. Lander was taken 40th OV in 2009 and he is currently 40th overall in games played in his draft class. However, he is only 60th overall in points so he needs to put up some offense to truly cover the bet but he may yet do so and be a modern day version of Kyle Brodziak.

  10. Well Oiled and Enthusiastic says:

    Lowetide,

    I know we fall back to the NHL offense as a yard stick with Lander but note Gordon was:

    First 66 NHL games: 1 g, 6 A
    First 267 NHL games: 20 g, 46 A

    Its why I see Lander as Gordon v.2. Strong character, smart positioning, valuable bottom 6 centerman. I buy into the arguments you pose that he was buried three levels deep as a youngster (unfairly) – ocean bottom team (level 1), struggling linemates (level 2), sparse ice time (level 3). Give this kid a little sunshine and water and lets see what develops. I think Nelson knows this in spades and is helping him. Up to the NHL, he has risen to the occasion every single time. The AHL took a little seasoning. So too will the NHL. Hate to see him blossom as a defensive stalwart on another team.

  11. Brackenburied says:

    Lowetide:
    Jim Matheson on Nail Yakupov

    http://www.edmontonjournal.com/sports/story.html?id=10709962&cid=dlvr.it-twitter-ej_sports

    Thanks! Jimmies in depth analysis came to the same conclusion as mine; it’s the sweater number.

  12. Lowetide says:

    Well Oiled and Enthusiastic:
    Lowetide,

    I know we fall back to the NHL offense as a yard stick with Lander but note Gordon was:

    First 66 NHL games: 1 g, 6 A
    First 267 NHL games: 20 g, 46 A

    Its why I see Lander as Gordon v.2. Strong character, smart positioning, valuable bottom 6 centerman. I buy into the arguments you pose that he was buried three levels deep as a youngster (unfairly) – ocean bottom team (level 1), struggling linemates (level 2), sparse ice time (level 3). Give this kid a little sunshine and water and lets see what develops. I think Nelson knows this in spades and is helping him. Up to the NHL, he has risen to the occasion every single time. The AHL took a little seasoning. So too will the NHL. Hate to see him blossom as a defensive stalwart on another team.

    Yep. And VOR’s point about five years is true too. Hell boys Jeff Petry is too damn inexperienced to be sending away! (I know you all know that but couldn’t resist)

  13. fifthcartel says:

    Lowetide:
    Jim Matheson on Nail Yakupov

    http://www.edmontonjournal.com/sports/story.html?id=10709962&cid=dlvr.it-twitter-ej_sports

    I think Stauffer said something similar to Matheson in that he could see MacT moving him for a high pick that hasn’t panned out just yet.

    I’m not sure how I feel about Larsson, or that type of move, but they’re in a bind with Yakupov.

  14. Lowetide says:

    fifthcartel: I think Stauffer said something similar to Matheson in that he could see MacT moving him for a high pick that hasn’t panned out just yet.

    I’m not sure how I feel about Larsson, or that type of move, but they’re in a bind with Yakupov.

    I think we’re at a point where it’s best to send him down the line and get a second opinion from another NHL team. Oilers blew it, not on draft day but in the days following. jmo.

  15. book¡je says:

    I would like to see Yakupov have a month or more with Nelson before any thoughts of trading him are entertained.

  16. Lowetide says:

    book¡je:
    I would like to see Yakupov have a month or more with Nelson before any thoughts of trading him are entertained.

    Yeah, good point. End of season, that’s 40 games.

  17. Klima's_Bucket says:

    My vote would be to play Yakupov beside Nuge for the remainder of the season.
    He’s the closest thing the Oilers have to a #1 centre.
    If Yak falters move on. If Yak finds his game… Music.

  18. John Chambers says:

    book¡je:
    I would like to see Yakupov have a month or more with Nelson before any thoughts of trading him are entertained.

    I wonder if Yak wouldn’t have value as part of a package to a team like Arizona, Buffalo, or Toronto looking to start aggressively re-building.

    For example, the Oilers can dangle a package that includes Yak, the Perron pick, and the 2016 1st. If either Maloney or Nonis are keen to torch it, perhaps it helps net a return of Yandle and Hanzal (1&2 years left on their deals after the season), or Bozak and Bernier, or Hodgson, Grigorenko and Gorges, etc.

    All I’m saying is rather than trade Yak straight up for Grigorenko or Ryan Murphy, perhaps he gets buried in a package that gets us a few veteran players to help advance the rebuilding process and give a nod to Taylor & co that management is serious about moving forward.

    This of course is premised on the idea that there are teams willing to enter a few years of suck and therefore can afford to take a risk on a player like Yak playing on their top line.

  19. godot10 says:

    Black Frank:
    The only reservation I have about Todd Nelson is to see how he does over his second 20 games.
    GMoney had a good point, the other Oiler HC’s had a good first 20 too.
    But I will be surprised if Todd doesn’t turn this ship around and will be disappointed if we get McD except if we get lucky from a higher spot in the standings.

    Eakins did not have a good start. The Oilers were out of the playoff race by Halloween last season.

  20. John Chambers says:

    Klima’s_Bucket:
    My vote would be to play Yakupov beside Nuge for the remainder of the season.
    He’s the closest thing the Oilers have to a #1 centre.
    If Yak falters move on.If Yak finds his game… Music.

    Problem with that is that he hasn’t earned the opportunity and sends a message to the team that draft pedigree matters more than results.

    I think it’s the culture the team is adamant about changing.

  21. godot10 says:

    Klima’s_Bucket:
    My vote would be to play Yakupov beside Nuge for the remainder of the season.
    He’s the closest thing the Oilers have to a #1 centre.
    If Yak falters move on.If Yak finds his game… Music.

    Nugent-Hopkins sees the best lines of the opposition. That is burying Yakupov. You have to walk before you can run. That means you start on lower lines, and win against weaker opposition and then move up.

  22. Lowetide says:

    godot10: Nugent-Hopkins sees the best lines of the opposition.That is burying Yakupov.You have to walk before you can run.That means you start on lower lines, and win against weaker opposition and then move up.

    I’d like to see, and mentioned it when Roy arrived, a Yakupovx—Roy—Pouliot line. Having said that, Nail has played with Roy a little and ends up in the same damn spot as Roy!

  23. Ben says:

    Yup, if they can do Yak for a similarly-struggling D prospect, I say go for it.

    Gormley?
    Pysyk?
    Larsson?
    Beaulieu?

  24. Hammers says:

    Lander should get the push till season end. The worst thing would be trading or not resigning him then him catching on with another team . If he can pick up 10 to 15 points in this last 40 games he fills a role for sure . Gordon will be gone if not this season then by this time next year . These player types are always needed and best if his one of our draft picks . Nelson I think Will get what’s needed from Lander . Would you consider a real shuffle in the lines like Lander with Hall and Ebs . RNH gets Yak and Purcell and Roy gets Pouliot and Fraser. Dangerous maybe but it sure would raise eyebrows .

  25. Hammers says:

    One last thing is Lander can pass and win face offs so a line that could take on tough opposition .

  26. fifthcartel says:

    Ben,

    There’s also Gudbranson, and Dumba, who both shoot right.

  27. Moose says:

    I try to get Austin Watson out of Nashville. Been percolating in AHL for 3yrs and visually has some Pacioretty in him. Could blossom in right situation.

  28. G Money says:

    John Chambers: Problem with that is that he hasn’t earned the opportunity and sends a message to the team that draft pedigree matters more than results.

    I think it’s the culture the team is adamant about changing.

    Which is funny if you think about it, because virtually every member of the “core” (Hall, Eberle, RNH, Jultz) has been gifted time, linemates, opportunities galore, regardless of how poorly they were playing or how badly their defensive gaffes were costing the team.

    Yak of course has been the lone young man on the “hard time” plan – “here, we’ll give you plugs for teammates, no-one who can get you the puck, now go and shine and don’t you dare make a mistake because it will immediately cost you PP time.”

    The way in which this team has destroyed that young man’s confidence, swagger, game, everything is unforgiveable.

    On the topic of Eakins, I don’t agree with Godot very much, but this is one thing that Eakins must wear in a huge way. And it really is unforgiveable.

  29. judgedrude says:

    So, Lander (@40) > PRV (@10) ??

  30. Klima's_Bucket says:

    godot10: Nugent-Hopkins sees the best lines of the opposition. That is burying Yakupov. You have to walk before you can run. That means you start on lower lines, and win against weaker opposition and then move up.

    So what if Nelson did this:

    Pou – Nuge -Yak
    Hall – Roy – Ebs

    Would the opposition throw its best against the Nuge line or the Hall/Eberle show?
    If Yak and Nuge falter that’s one step closer to McDavid.
    If they don’t falter… then Music.

  31. Lowetide says:

    judgedrude:
    So, Lander (@40) > PRV (@10) ??

    I don’t think Paajarvi’s story is over yet.

  32. rickithebear says:

    Klima’s_Bucket: So what if Nelson did this:

    Pou – Nuge -Yak
    Hall – Roy – Ebs

    Would the opposition throw its best against the Nuge line or the Hall/Eberle show?
    If Yak and Nuge falter that’s one step closer to McDavid.
    If they don’t falter… then Music.

    Since the Yak line is guaranteed to be -1 at the end of the night.
    You know the answer!

  33. G Money says:

    Nelson’s #1 development task is not Lander – it is Yak. It is vitally important that Yak get rebooted.

    If the right situation (a playmaking centre and not overly harsh opposition until he gets his instincts back) cannot be found here, since the AHL is not an option, maybe lending Yak to the KHL for a year might work.

    What the Edmonton Oilers have done to Yak is not just a crime against a talented and enthusiastic young hockey player, it is basically a crime against hockey.

    Just a few reminders about Yak for those who are somehow convinced by watching the current result of Eakins’ butchery that Yak “has no hockey sense” or other nonsense.

    As a rookie, Yak:

    – Put up .82 ppg in the KHL, including 10 goals in 22 games, in a pro league that is notoriously tough on young players

    – Put up .65 ppg in the NHL, slightly ahead of Taylor Hall as a rookie (.64 ppg), and perfectly in line with his expected performance from Jr.

    – Had three multi-goal games in 48, including a hat trick.

    For comparison, in 40 games so far, Eberle has two multi-goal games, Hall has 2 in 35, and RNH has 0 in 40. None have a hat trick yet.

    – And in case you’d forgotten, Yak did all that as a rookie entirely against Western opposition. No Eastern softies for him.

    Like I say, what this team, and Eakins have done to this young man, whose love for hockey is still evident, is unforgiveable.

  34. Lowetide says:

    G Money: Agree Yak was mishandled but he has to show some sign of life here.

  35. Woodguy says:

    I think this year Eakins used Yak the best he could.

    Massive ozone starts, every chance he could.

    Can’t play him with toughs and RNH. Can’t give him death dzone starts and toughs with Gordon so he got the best C he could with DrySaddle and when that wasn’t working it was Arco. That’s on the GM.

    It should have been a Horcoff/Roy type with those cherry zone starts, not a raw rookie and AHL/NHL tweener.

    For conversation, here are Yak’s GFON/60 and Corsi For/60 (we won’t worry about defence in this little list) with each of his centers in each of his years (5v5 only):

    12/13
    Gagner – 277min
    GFON/60 = 2.38
    Corsi For/60 = 47.76

    Horcoff – 118min (“My Kaptain!)
    GFON/60 = 5.05
    Corsi For/60 = 42.42

    13/14

    Gagner 318min
    GFON/60 = 2.45
    Corsi For/60 = 53.70

    RNH 227min
    GFON/60 = 2.10
    Corsi For/60 = 45.60

    Arco 103min
    GFON/60 = 1.74
    Corsi For/60 = 55.14

    14/15

    Arco 193min
    GFON/60 = 1.55
    Corsi For/60 = 51.93

    DrySaddle – 180min
    GFON/60 = 0.996
    Corsi For/60 = 55.74

    He’s played with Lander and RNH this year, but the samples are under 40min so I hesitate to use them

    Seems like an indictment against management for not replacing the abilities of Gagner and Horcoff.

    Remember Horcoff centered a couple of raw rookies in 10/11 and helped them figure out where to go in Hall and Eberle.

    It is interesting though to see DrySaddle’s numbers away from Yak.

    Remember with Yak:

    DrySaddle – 180min
    GFON/60 = 0.996
    Corsi For/60 = 55.74

    DrySaddle away from Yak:

    217min
    GFON/60 = 2.20
    Corsi For/60 = 63.15

    That corsi number is more what I’d expect even a rookie to get when he’s getting 75% OZS, not the 55.74 he got with Yak

    Btw, since the Devils fired DeBoer they have been playing Larsson on the top pair with Greene.

    Severson came in and ate everyone’s lunch and was playing top pair (shut down) with Greene but hurt his ankle a while back.

    I’m not sure you can get Larsson for Yak, but probably as they have a lot of good young D and need help scoring.

    I’m sure many NHL GM are salivating at the chance to “fix” the kid that broke Stamkos’ OHL rookie goal scoring record, but most will want to do it on the cheap.

  36. VanOil says:

    40 games of;

    Poo-RNH-Eberle
    Hall-Roy-Yak
    MacT Guy-Lander-MacT Guy (MacT guy’s creeping out of the 4th line is not good news)
    WagonsRus

    Yak was most effective in the counting stats playing with Hall at the end of his first year.

    This line up will ensure a tank but also evaluate if Yak contribute with skill. RNH is the player smart teams worry about not Hall.

  37. Zelepukin says:

    Woodguy: I’m sure many NHL GM are salivating at the chance to “fix” the kid that broke Stamkos’ OHL rookie goal scoring record, but most will want to do it on the cheap.

    …which would probably involve one or both of these things: feed him off-wing PP one-timers till the cows come home and tell him to stop putting adderall in his waterbottle so he stop the spastic stick-handling. We get it, you can stick handle faster than anyone, sadly they don’t keep stats on that.

  38. flyfish1168 says:

    Very difficult to succeed when there was not accountability from the coach. Can’t have two sets of rules. Now we have a lost sole. Yak appeared like a happy go lucky guy when he came to us and he tried hard to re-invent himself this past summer. He is the most under appreciated 1st overall ever. Least ice time of any 1st over all, never a sniff at overtime, not even one attempt at any shoot outs, how often he gets caught with a minus because of lazy line changes from others. Ridiculous level of accountability from management and coaches that is a 30 place team. JMHO

  39. Lowetide says:

    Early in the second period, Leon gets an assist on a goal by Dillon Dube. 2-1 Kelowna. PP goal.

  40. Lowetide says:

    Leon has a goal now, 3-1 Rockets.

  41. VanOil says:

    Lowetide:
    Leon has a goal now, 3-1 Rockets.

    He is setting the bar pretty high right now; I will expect him to out point McJesus the rest of the year.

  42. flyfish1168 says:

    Looking at the rosters on the game summary sheet it appears that Josh Morrissey is not playing tonight.

  43. Zangetsu says:

    Maybe the best move for yak is to let him go back to russia for next season. It would give him a chance to rediscover himself in a more comfortable enviroment. It would also allow the oil to have him an extra rfa year, and would give him a bigger payday than he will get this summer. Only problem is everyone would have a heart attack. Might make it easier to draft russians after they fall huge in the draft though.

  44. Auston Matthews '16 says:

    VanOil: I will expect him to out point McJesus the rest of the year.

    He’ll need one more point in this game then!

    Kidding aside, I’m glad for Leo to get this opportunity. He showed well for a young-un in the NHL, and now this Rockets ride is going to be interesting!

  45. Tarkus says:

    Draisaitl goes 1+1 for his Kelowna debut in a 4-2 win. Named the game’s first star.

  46. Black Frank says:

    For whatever reason Yak lost his confidence under Eakins and has yet to recover. We all thought Dubnyk was no good either, and look what happened there.

    Godot may have some thoughts on this subject. 🙂

  47. slopitch says:

    I’d love to know what’re guys in charge think about yak. You can’t compare kucherov to yak and think your getting the raw end of the deal. Stick with him. In a year that doesn’t matter you gotta invest in your highest potential (sure shop him but spend every bit of energy you have supporting the guy).

  48. Auston Matthews '16 says:

    Black Frank: Godot may have some rants on this subject.

    Fixed. Like my dog, and me.

  49. Auston Matthews '16 says:

    Zangetsu: best move for yak is to let him go back to russia for next season.

    Problems abound for the KHL this year, let alone next. The best opportunity would have been the AHL with Nelson, but that boat sailed a few dozen games ago. Let’s sort out the team’s problems first, and then see how Yak does. I’m still of the mind that he needs an opportunity to succeed, and an environment to support him. This coaching carousel and roster jumble hasn’t been ‘it’.

  50. PunjabiOil says:

    I’d keep Yakupov. He has enough talent – eventually I suspect he’ll get it. He hasn’t exactly been playing with linemates that compliment his talent.

    Confidence is huge. Eakins stripped it away from him early on (called him out on a goal against in a press conference) and he hasn’t recovered. The Oilers have also failed in not giving him 1st unit PP time with his caliber of shot.

    But he’s 21, and lead the team in goals in his rookie season. No sense selling him at pennies on the dollar.

    Have a look af Joffrey Lupul’s outlier season in Edmonton and subsequent production.

  51. cabbiesmacker says:

    Zangetsu:
    Maybe the best move for yak is to let him go back to russia for EVER

    Took the liberty of editing this for myself

    All this talk re management needing to forget about draft pedigree yet some here are guilty of the same.

    Dude is showing nothing other than how to be an ice spazz. Nada. Adios muchachos

  52. Lowetide says:

    I’d love to keep Nail but think it’s best to send him to another team that isn’t so confused.

  53. Hammers says:

    Auston Matthews ’16: Problems abound for the KHL this year, let alone next. The best opportunity would have been the AHL with Nelson, but that boat sailed a few dozen games ago. Let’s sort out the team’s problems first, and then see how Yak does. I’m still of the mind that he needs an opportunity to succeed, and an environment to support him. This coaching carousel and roster jumble hasn’t been ‘it’.

    He can’t go to the AHL without passing waiver wire and that won’t happen . Yak needs both a good “C” and a winger that gets the puck . That isn’t Lander & Fraser although no disrespect to them . He needs Pouliot if on R or Purcell if on the L . I would give him RNH as we have nothing to loose .Leave Hall & Ebs together with Lander or Roy . Time to stir the drink and mix it up .

  54. cadooo says:

    Went to Rockets game tonight. Pretty excited to have Leon in Kelowna.

    Tracked his Corsi and it was about 64.9% in all situations.

  55. PunjabiOil says:

    I’d love to keep Nail but think it’s best to send him to another team that isn’t so confused.

    “It’s not you, it’s me.”

  56. sesame_oil says:

    Yeah I agree with gmoney, we spend a year losing to get a firdt overall pick and we throw it out like the trash in 3 years. We are so used to picking high, we can continue to tank for the next new toy. Look at our core, I never seen them play 12-14 min a night on the 3rd or 4th line and expect to produce.

    Now they are making 6 mill each and has less points than johnny hockey.

    Rnh and hall maybe per best players now but I rarely hear them get criticize.

    We hear how great rnh is and how datsyukian he is but datsyuk picked his pocket like he was taking candy from a baby.

  57. Lowetide says:

    sesame_oil:
    Yeah I agree with gmoney,we spend a year losing to get a firdt overall pick and we throw it out like the trash in 3 years. We are so used to picking high,we can continue to tank for the next new toy.Look at our core,I never seen them play 12-14 min a night on the 3rd or 4th line and expect to produce.

    Now they are making 6 mill each and has less points than johnny hockey.

    Rnh and hall maybe per best players now but I rarely hear them get criticize.

    We hear how great rnh is and how datsyukian he is but datsyuk picked his pocket like he was taking candy from a baby.

    RNH is 21. When Datsyuk was 21, he was two years from his NHL debut. Nuge is the least of our worries, along with Hall.

  58. PunjabiOil says:

    Matt Henderson @Archaeologuy · 10h 10 hours ago

    21 of RNH’s 25 points come from 5v5. Tied with Stamkos and Bergeron in 5v5 points at 19th in the NHL In 5v5 Goals he is 11th in the NHL

    _________________

    The powerplay issues are structural.

    He’s growing before our very own eyes.

  59. PerryK says:

    Ben:
    Yup, if they can do Yak for a similarly-struggling D prospect, I say go for it.

    Gormley?
    Pysyk?
    Larsson?
    Beaulieu?

    None of the others have the proper pedigree for a straight up swap, except Larsson. With his skating and size, I would be willing to let Nelson work on making Larsson a 3/4 D. Plus he is Right Shot which is critical to the Oilers.

    I really like Pysyk (saw him lots with the Oil Kings). Another RS D. Smart, economical puck mover that has reasonable wheels. Maybe a little small in weight, but I have seen that improve in the past with others. However, we need to get a little more back in return.

  60. PerryK says:

    sesame_oil:
    Yeah I agree with gmoney,we spend a year losing to get a firdt overall pick and we throw it out like the trash in 3 years. We are so used to picking high,we can continue to tank for the next new toy.Look at our core,I never seen them play 12-14 min a night on the 3rd or 4th line and expect to produce.

    Now they are making 6 mill each and has less points than johnny hockey.

    Rnh and hall maybe per best players now but I rarely hear them get criticize.

    We hear how great rnh is and how datsyukian he is but datsyuk picked his pocket like he was taking candy from a baby.

    Funny thing about your memory! Yes, Datsyuk did that to him, but he also did exactly the same to Datsyuk! Some how you managed to miss that!

  61. And your name is? says:

    With mdash: Lander—Fraser

    With ndash: Lander–Fraser

    … at least one authority considers name pairs, where the paired elements carry equal weight, as in the Taft-Hartley Act to be “simple”, while others consider an en dash appropriate in instances such as this to represent the parallel relationship, as in the McCain–Feingold bill or Bose–Einstein statistics. However, a compound surname is written with a hyphen, thus the Lennard-Jones potential is named after one person, while Bose and Einstein are two people.

    Personally, I think Taft-Hartley is daft—by which I mean the supposed Taft“-”Hartley Act.

    So there it is. Lennard-Jones gets the hip weld, while Lennart–Jones gets the short handcuff.

    ———

    The All-Time post-retirement Bob Cole worst-nightmare team.

    C: Nugent-Hopkins, Audy-Marchessault
    W: Zuccarello-Aasen, Smith-Pelly, Létourneau-Leblond
    D: Grand-Pierre, Ekman-Larsson
    G: Beckford-Tseu

    Clearly, the starting line is the llama-kazoo line:

    Létourneau-Leblond–Audy-Marchessault–Zuccarello-Aasen

    Nuge and Sm-elly sit as alternates.

    ———

    The individual achievement award goes to Pierre-Luc “Mr Bondo” Létourneau-Leblond.

    He plays a physical game and is known as an agitator and a fighter. He is an extremely tough player, who very rarely falls when fighting. He is known as having some of the longest fights.

    Those fights probably started in elementary school until he got his first sympathetic teacher. “Alright class, anyone who doesn’t write their full name on their test sheet, I’m awarding all your marks to Pierre-Luc.”

    ———

    Mister Llama, come back to Kalamazoo
    Don’t you realize how much we need you
    ‘Cause when you take the Llama out of Kalamazoo
    The only thing that’s left is a… kazoo, wooh
    A kazoo, wooh-ooh
    A silly kazoo, wooh, an annoying Kazoo, wooh-ooh

    And no, that’s not my own verse. It comes from this dude of the signature “soulful beach groove” who offers up the song for sale ($0.75) on Soundclick.

    LLAMA FROM KALAMAZOO

    So there it is. Beaten to the punch.

    ———

    Finally, just who is this Marc-André Bergeron who has yet to discover Beano?

    Edmonton Oilers
    New York Islanders
    Anaheim Ducks
    Minnesota Wild
    Montreal Canadiens
    Tampa Bay Lightning
    Carolina Hurricanes

    ———

    Late edit: Clearly I haven’t got out much for a few days.

  62. The Artist formerly known as "NYCOIL" says:

    Good morning, LT. It seems Rob Tychowski reads your blog! Hi, Rob!

  63. GCW_69 says:

    Lowetide:
    I’d love to keep Nail but think it’s best to send him to another team that isn’t so confused.

    I would be talking to Lou about Larsson for Yakupov. New Jersey’s short on prospects with offensive potential. Larsson has probably shown a little better than Yak, so throw in a draft pick or Shepelev (if Lou is interested) if you have to to close the deal.

  64. GCW_69 says:

    Hammers: He can’t go to the AHL without passing waiver wire and that won’t happen .Yak needs both a good “C” and a winger that gets the puck . That isn’t Lander & Fraser although no disrespect to them . He needs Pouliot if on R or Purcell if on the L . I would give him RNH as we have nothing to loose .Leave Hall & Ebs together with Lander or Roy . Time to stir the drink and mix it up .

    What about:

    Pouliot – RNH – Eberle

    Hall – Roy – Yakupov

  65. SwedishPoster says:

    Still don’t see the point in trading Yak when his value is in the bin. Unless ofc he refuses to sign but we haven’t heard anything suggesting that so really no point in speculating.
    I don’t care for draft pedigree at all, once the draft is over every player is equal and need to prove themselves equally, first or seven rounder alike. Yak has however shown he can score at the NHL level, at a very young age at that. History suggests players who score at that clip at that age will be able to repeat. Add to that the fact he’s been a high caliber scorer at every level up ro that point and is constantly praised for being a hard worker who really wants to improve I don’t see how trading him at 21 when his value is extremly low makes any sense at all. Especially when your team as a whole is nowhere near being a contender. To me a 2 year bridge is the logical choice. If he hasn’t figured it out halfway through the 16/17 season by all means trade him, his value is probably even worse but it’s not exactly brilliant today. And the odds that he figures it out, finds his confidence or hits a hot streak to improve his value are easily good enough to take that bet imo. The reward is clearly better than the risk since there is so little to lose.

    I’d be more inclined to trade him if he had just slowly faded. Instead he just came crashing down which to me means it’s either an injury, which isn’t the case from what we’re told, or it’s a confidence issue which rhymes with what we see.

  66. The Artist formerly known as "NYCOIL" says:

    Lowetide,

    Oh, and, really? People are worried about Nuge? He’s the best player on this team, all due respect to Hall.

  67. PhrankLee says:

    The Artist formerly known as “NYCOIL”:
    Good morning, LT. It seems Rob Tychowski reads your blog! Hi, Rob!

    The entire NHL journalism world reads LT.

    It is a benchmark for balance.

    A cornerstone of credibility.

    A sanctuary of sentience.

    Also a denizen of misanthropes, rancorous cacophony and booze.

  68. The Artist formerly known as "NYCOIL" says:

    GCW_69,

    I have long advocated for buying low on Larsson.

    I don’t consider Yakupov for Larsson buying low. That said, Yak’s value has deteriorated so much at this point that that is probably a very fair swap.

    However, I would keep Yak. I would not cut him loose until we see a team with balance. He’s a young, hard worker, it wouldn’t take too much of a hot streak to get his confidence back up. I think that comes with a veteran C.

    I talked at length at the beginning of the year how the Oilers were sacrificing Yak’s development in order to develop Draisaitl. This result (Drai being sent down beecause he wasn’t ready, Yak floundering unable to find any chemistry or confidence with anyone) is not surprising in the least.

    This isn’t hindsight. I wasn’t alone and many far smarter than I here were saying the Oilers needed more centres and Draisaitl needed to go down at the 9 game mark. Then he had that one good game and we all called correctly that the Oilers would keep him up #becauseOilers. And we all predicted it would be a mistake. It was.

    The frustration comes because MacT’ should be gone for the debacle at C this year, and for him to have his head in the sand and say he didn’t make a mistake haviing only two actual NHL centres on the roster, gifting Arcobello and Draisaitl two critical slots on the team without any competition, and leaving Yak twisting in the wind. That is 100% on him. ONE HUNDRED PERCENT.

    Rant aside, if the Sharks miss the playoffs, that’s our best hope. We trade the 2016 1st, along with a prospect or whatever to get Thornton or Marleau.

    Hall-Nuge–Eberle
    Pouliot-Thornton-Yakupov
    Draisaitl-Roy-Purcell
    Hendricks-Gordon-Lander

    Send Eichel or Strome or whoever it is we get back to junior or NCAA

    You run that for a full season before you trade Yak.

  69. The Artist formerly known as "NYCOIL" says:

    PhrankLee,

    I know that. It was a comment that Rob’s latest article seems directly related to LT’s SHOUT post yesterday.

  70. Pouzar says:

    The Artist formerly known as “NYCOIL”: Lowetide, Oh, and, really? People are worried about Nuge? He’s the best player on this team, all due respect to Hall.

    This.

    Love the 5X5 boxcars too. Nice stat there Punjabioil

  71. PhrankLee says:

    The Artist formerly known as “NYCOIL”:
    PhrankLee,

    I know that. It was a comment that Rob’s latest article seems directly related to LT’s SHOUT post yesterday.

    I know that you know that. You have been here a long while.

    I’m not obsessed with clarifying other’s thoughts or posts. Indeed the entire landscape is a misfit for me because I have no inclination to correct people who are wrong on the internet. Lt is a good example to all bloggers. Very few trolls survive here. It’s great!

    Part of what I love about this blog is that it strips away a lot of bluster-fuck arguments and seeks a grounded, demonstrable presentation with fact.

    Not that I am capable of producing such facts or “stats” as you call them.. I am not.

    I am capable of detecting nuance, though. And frustration. LT can keep on keeping on but his tone has changed decidedly post Chipchura.

    I read this blog because it has an emotional arc every season.

    I love hope. So what?

  72. GCW_69 says:

    The Artist formerly known as “NYCOIL”: However, I would keep Yak.

    I rank the value of positions on a hockey team in this order:

    Goalie
    Defender
    Centre
    Winger

    If I could trade Yak for Larsson or that Russian goalie in Tampa I would do it in a second, not because I don’t think Yak could be good, but because improving the other positions should have a bigger impact on the team.

  73. PhrankLee says:

    GCW_69: I rank the value of positions on a hockey team in this order:
    Goalie
    Defender
    Centre
    Winger

    This is exactly my position.

    We should have started last summer obtaining a bona fide 1G. And a 1 or 2 D.

    Foundation is required for the spire to reach the heavens.

  74. Pouzar says:

    You know in the past I was mildly annoyed with all the talk of Yak not having the right linemates or a veteran center etc. I thought “he’s a #1 overall pick, he should be making others better…”.
    I do still believe that to an extent but…… He was consensus #1, and outside of Horcoff he hasn’t played with an actual competent NHL center for any extended period of time. I wasn’t a big believer in that….actually I was, but I wouldn’t allow myself to accept it because I was too busy whining that we didn’t have Stamkos 2.0 by now.

    I believe we need to force feed Yak minutes with Roy, an actual center even if way past his best before date, for the rest of the year. Keep him away from Lander. He has his own issues of trying to find a consistent NHL game. Yak has to play 2nd line minutes with vets from this point forward. I don’t care about QofC. We aren’t making the playoffs. Tell the kid to go out and forget about it. Just score damnnit!

    The idea of trading Yak now makes me mildly ill. I think Todd gets the kid goin.

  75. Really? says:

    I repeatedly hear posters talking about how talented Yak is. So, what is his talent?

    – not his level of defensive responsibility
    – not his possession numbers
    – not his speed (have never seen even 1 breakaway or him beating a defender with speed)
    – not an intimidating force
    – not a playmaker
    – not a scorer at the NHL level

    In all sincerity, please tell me what his talents are. I simply do not see an NHL player here. His game and positional smarts are questionable and he seems to be lost wherever he is on the ice. While he may have a hard shot, he doesn’t hit the net or score so what good is it?

    At this point, despite his draft pedigree, he would not be good value in return for Larsson. We would be lucky to get Dumba.

  76. Lowetide says:

    Really?:
    I repeatedly hear posters talking about how talented Yak is. So, what is his talent?

    – not his level of defensive responsibility
    – not his possession numbers
    – not his speed (have never seen even 1 breakaway or him beating a defender with speed)
    – not an intimidating force
    – not a playmaker
    – not a scorer at the NHL level

    In all sincerity, please tell me what his talents are. I simply do not see an NHL player here. His game and positional smarts are questionable and he seems to be lost wherever he is on the ice. While he may have a hard shot, he doesn’t hit the net or score so what good is it?

    At this point, despite his draft pedigree, he would not be good value in return for Larsson. We would be lucky to get Dumba.

    Nail is a sniper. He doesn’t look it now but when his head is on straight he has a quick release and a heavy shot. It’s certainly good enough to score and he was (as a junior and in his rookie season) fairly accurate.

    Nail can also pass and take a pass (a very underrated skill) and has a quick first step. He’s a bit of a dink who can get the opposition off his game and he’s as determined as an ox.

    Underestimating Nail Yakupov is a very dangerous thing to do. He doesn’t have success but he has talent and years and years to roll out as far as they eye can see.

  77. Unicorns says:

    GCW_69: I rank the value of positions on a hockey team in this order:

    Goalie
    Defender
    Centre
    Winger

    If I could trade Yak for Larsson or that Russian goalie in Tampa I would do it in a second,notbecause I don’t think Yak could be good,but because improving the other positions should have a bigger impact on the team.

    If a team is doing the best thing and drafting BPA it is actually a necessary part of the process, or the process will likely fail. Yak or whomever from a position of relative strength for an equal asset in a position of greater need or value.

  78. Unicorns says:

    Lowetide: Nail is a sniper. He doesn’t look it now but when his head is on straight he has a quick release and a heavy shot. It’s certainly good enough to score and he was (as a junior and in his rookie season) fairly accurate.

    Nail can also pass and take a pass (a very underrated skill) and has a quick first step. He’s a bit of a dink who can get the opposition off his game and he’s as determined as an ox.

    Underestimating Nail Yakupov isa very dangerous thing to do. He doesn’t have success but he has talent and years and years to roll out as far as they eye can see.

    He’s also got a bit of crust although I think he resents using it, makes him feel like a grinder. It is possible that in trying to add that defensive, take the body aspect to his game that he was asked to do that it has thrown his rhythm’s completely off.

    I agree he will never stop trying to get better, and if he puts the offense back in place and some idea of what he’s doing he’ll be a really solid player at least. He still has value because of his age.

  79. GCW_69 says:

    Unicorns: If a team is doing the best thing and drafting BPA it is actually a necessary part of the process, or the process will likely fail. Yak or whomever from a position of relative strength for an equal asset in a position of greater need or value.

    That’s part of why MacT’s “I won’t touch the core” statements are frustrating. Trades are necessary. Looks at LA for Richards and Carter.

    On the other hand, I don’t trust these clowns to make a good trade. Thier talent evaluation is terrible.

  80. Oilers sign Anton Lander | The SuperFan says:

    […] Can Todd Nelson Save Anton Lander – Lowetide […]

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