BLACKHAWKS AT OILERS, G42 2014-15

Halfway through the season and much has changed in Oilerville. There’s a new head coach, David Perron is in Utopia, Marcobello lives in a land called Honalee. We got that 2C, it was Derek Roy all along. Leon went back to junior, he hasn’t written yet but it’s a busy time and he’s young and having fun. Darnell won Gold at the World Juniors and everyone said he played real good. Anyway, I better run, thought it would be nice to look back and see how much has changed since the leaves turned.

OPENING NIGHT OILERS, 2014-15

  • Scratches: Will Acton, Oscar Klefbom, Darnell Nurse
  • Goal: Ben Scrivens, Viktor Fasth
  • 1line: Hall—Nuge—Eberle
  • 2line: Perron—Arcobello—Purcell
  • 3line: Pouliot—Draisaitl—Yakupov
  • 4line: Hendricks—Gordon—Joensuu
  • 1D: Hunt—Schultz
  • 2D: Ference—Petry
  • 3D: Nikitin—Fayne

That team lost to Calgary (mostly because Ben handled the puck like a grenade) but you can’t stop Mason Raymond you can only hope to contain him. Among the men who were the in Oilers silks for the pre-game skate, Acton, Nurse, Perron, Arocbello, Joensuu and Hunt are either in another NHL city, in junior, in the minors or hovering over Finland.

BALANCE

balance 33

As I see it, Craig MacTavish has very little chance of icing a balanced roster in the fall of 2015. The sheer number of players who are signed, likely not trade worthy and who will clog up the works is quite large:

  • G Ben Scrivens, another year at $2.3M and this time a backup role likely.
  • D Niki Nikitin, who will be paid $4.5M if the Oilers don’t buy him out.
  • D Andrew Ference, $3.25M cap hit and not fast enough to serve a mentor role at this point in his career.
  • R Teddy Purcell, $4.5M of replacement-level winger.
  • L Luke Gazdic, $850,000 enforcer, which is the Edsel of hockey roles but it hasn’t gotten this far north.

That’s 21 per cent of a 23-man roster. That’s a lot of money too, over $17 million towards the cap and honestly not close to that in real value. The other problem? Edmonton will be breaking in/waiting on several younger players/rookies:

  • G LaurentBrossoit, he may well be the third man in the goalie rotation next year.
  • D Justin Schultz, miles beyond his actual ability, Edmonton sees him as a center cluster piece.
  • D Oscar Klefbom, a fine young player but he’s not there yet and will be flawed next season too.
  • D Darnell Nurse, another rookie blue (and a talented one to be sure).
  • D Martin Marincin, every game he doesn’t play this year adds inexperience to next year’s blue.
  • C Leon Draisaitl, young man will be a big part of next year’s opening night lineup, as he was this year.
  • C McDavid/Eichel/Strome, can’t imagine Edmonton showing any degree of patience (nor should they with McDavid or Eichel).
  • R Nail Yakupov, who may be sent away but it’s also possible he stays.

Which leaves us with the “heart” of the team for 2015-16:

  • D Mark Fayne, the only ‘prime time’ option on blue next season. They need more D in this age range.
  • C Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, a brilliant young player still reaching for the stars.
  • L Taylor Hall, hopefully he’ll be healthy and brilliant.
  • R Jordan Eberle, the third amigo for what has to be an impact line in 2015-16.
  • L Benoit Pouliot, a solid (imo) physical winger who can play up and down the lineup.
  • C Boyd Gordon, a very effective checker.
  • L Matt Hendricks, I take back everything said about him at the time of the trade. He’s quality in that checking role.

Seven. 30% of the roster we can safely call ‘actual NHL players’ and expect they won’t erode between now and April 2016 (Hendricks and Gordon are a bit of a worry there, too).

Good grief.

petry screen shot 3

DETROIT ROCK CITY

Matty has Jeff Petry moving on to the Red Wings (or at least pointing to a landing). The players Matheson mentioned are interesting but for my money keeping Petry remains the better plan.

  • Ryan Sproul. He’s a very useful young player, has size and some jam but the real appeal is offense. He has 45 points in his first 102 AHL games and was an exceptional offensive defender in junior. He’s also a former teammate of Darnell Nurse in SSM.
  • Tomas Jurco. He has size and speed, plus enough skill to be a very interesting young player. Oilers may see him as a reasonable replacement for Yakupov on whatever they’re calling his line now.

mcdavid

LOSERS WISH FOR LOSING

Lots of comments online and even an MSM article about the bad bad fans who cheer for losses and have begun to focus on the McDavid—Eichel sweepstakes. I find the movement interesting, as no one in the group appears to have noticed the Oilers are losing better than anyone, so this is our reality. It’s also true that this year’s draft—uniquely over the past ten years—contains an empire builder hockey player (or two). You are free to cheer for wins or losses or fights or draft picks or icings. It is not my job nor my right (nor the msm’s or twitter commenters) to tell you to be ashamed for aligning yourself with a particular portion of the fan base. You are free to roam about the earth cheering and jeering as you please, as long as you don’t harm others in doing so.

If Craig MacTavish is spending his days and nights trying to procure wins this season, he isn’t doing his job. That’s the reality of the situation. The Edmonton Oilers being involved in the McDavid—Eichel sweepstakes has literally nothing to do with the fans, they did it all by their lonesome.

There was a time when the MSM put pen to paper and had an enormous impact on the fan base. Those days are gone. I’ll leave it to others for reasons and commentary, but do want to encourage you to spend zero minutes fretting about what you’re cheering for this season. Cheer for wins, cheer for goals, cheer for McDavid. None of it makes you a bad fan, and shame shame shame on those who tell you it does. Good grief what a terrible thing to do. Frankly it’s ridiculous.

kidman2

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

At 10 this morning, TSN 1260. Scheduled to appear:

  • Steve Lansky, Bigmouth Sports. Leafs fire Carlyle, JP Parise passes.
  • Eric Rodgers, Tend the Farm. We’ll get a Barons update, post your questions!
  • Corey Graham, Oil Kings pbp for TSN1260. Three games in three nights for the OK’s, plus deadline and Bob Green.
  • Jeff Chapman from Copper and Blue helps tee up tonight’s game.

10-1260 text @Lowetide_ on twitter. See you on the radio!

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328 Responses to "BLACKHAWKS AT OILERS, G42 2014-15"

« Older Comments
  1. Zelepukin says:

    wtf did i say, keep Nicotine away from Toews line.

  2. Pouzar says:

    Push Back…atta boy Nail

  3. russ99 says:

    Hawks broadcast team spending lots of time praising Nelson.

    Crap, Nik-O-tine caught back again. 🙁

  4. Pouzar says:

    Roy is a Center in the NHL.

  5. kooler says:

    yak with a point?

  6. VanOil says:

    Yakupov seems to be able to play NHL hockey with an NHL center.

  7. Salt N Peca says:

    So who said Roy was too slow and couldn’t play anymore?

  8. Ben says:

    “Come on in, Nikki, and close the door behind you. Have a seat. Cigar? Cognac? Help yourself. Listen, Nik….I’ve got a very special assignment for you.”

    -Craig MacTavish

  9. russ99 says:

    Nice! Good goal. Roy had made quite an impact. Keep him with Yak and the goals will come.

    Ed Olczyk passed on how highly his brother Rick thinks of Nelson.

  10. Zelepukin says:

    Ben:
    “Come on in, Nikki, and close the door behind you.Have a seat. Cigar? Cognac? Help yourself.Listen, Nik….I’ve got a very special assignment for you.”

    -Craig MacTavish

    LOL

  11. Pouzar says:

    Boy the zebras never miss a chance to call one on the Oil.

  12. russ99 says:

    Oh yeah, Yak’s starting to get his mojo back.

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

    I hate to be that guy in the nosebleeds that starts the chant, but “These refs suck.”

  14. Henry says:

    Ben Scrivins is back in my good book. That was a very fine effort.

  15. russ99 says:

    Damn that 4th line is fantastic!

  16. frjohnk says:

    russ99:
    Damn that 4th line is fantastic!

    Yup

  17. Southern Oil says:

    Can someone tell me what game I am watching because this is not the normal Edmonton Oilers I am used to.

  18. Southern Oil says:

    I almost want to cheer for a W.

  19. russ99 says:

    Southern Oil,

    Starting to wonder if I can get a deal on Center Ice for the rest of the season..,

  20. Southern Oil says:

    russ99:
    Southern Oil,

    Starting to wonder if I can get a deal on Center Ice for the rest of the season..,

    If you tell them your an Oil fan, they give you a 20% discount.

  21. godot10 says:

    russ99:
    Southern Oil,

    Starting to wonder if I can get a deal on Center Ice for the rest of the season..,

    MacT will probably trade Petry soon.

  22. Pouzar says:

    Very nice Lander noticeability factor tonight.

  23. PhrankLee says:

    Lander looks like he does in OKC.

    Cagey.

    Best 2 periods I have seen him play in the NHL.

  24. leadfarmer says:

    Nikitin for only 4.5 million dollars will deliver MacDavid

  25. Pouzar says:

    PhrankLee:
    Lander looks like he does in OKC.

    Cagey.

    Best 2 periods I have seen him play in the NHL.

    This. It’s amazing what a couple of pts can do to a guy’s confidence.

    I think Mr. Nail feels pretty good now too.

  26. Zelepukin says:

    Pouzar:
    Very nice Lander noticeability factor tonight.

    Definitely. He’s actually making things happen when on the ice. Purcell looks useful for once too. Fraser hasn’t shown much though. Rather invisible out there.

  27. Klima's_Bucket says:

    The Artist formerly known as “NYCOIL”: I meant that he traded to reacquire a player who didn’t want to sign with his team originally.

    Knight’s dad is the Flames chaplain and a baptist minister.
    Grimaldi played with Knight at college and is an outspoken Christian.
    I think Knight will be happy to go to Florida.
    Either way you slice it the Cats lost this deal.

  28. Snowman says:

    Yak with Roy and Pou looks like a solid line. Im diggin it.

  29. Jonathan Willis says:

    Ben:
    “Come on in, Nikki, and close the door behind you.Have a seat. Cigar? Cognac? Help yourself.Listen, Nik….I’ve got a very special assignment for you.”

    -Craig MacTavish

    Laugh out loud funny.

  30. Магия 10 says:

    There needs to be a moratorium on other teams PRYing Yak out of here this season.

  31. Ben says:

    Poo and Yak all over the ice. Must be something going around.

  32. Klima's_Bucket says:

    Kulikov and Barkov both out last minute with the flu tonight.
    Those wanting to secure McEichel better hope Gordon and Nuge catch the bug.

  33. Adam Wu says:

    fifthcartel:
    Is Todd Nelson going to save Nail, I mean, Anton Lander?

    Maybe Anton never really needed saving. Maybe, if he had not been rushed, but developed properly in the AHL under Nelson, now would be exactly the time that he got to the point where he was ready for the NHL. Perhaps all that happened was we got to see, in his struggles at the NHL, what was the reality all along, that he was not ready, and that his developmental path had not been affected, only made more visible.

    Maybe the only difference between the prospects developed “properly” with the “overripe” model and those that are rushed is that with the first group we fans never SEE them before they are ready.

    We will never know. Hypotheses contrary to fact….

  34. dangilitis says:

    Snowman:
    Any chance we keep Roy? I like his game.

    I’ve thrown this question out 2x in last week. Roy for 1-2 year extension would be something i would do. This guy was putting up about a ppg before his injury riddled season and then came back and never had the same opportunity to chew up soft line mins from what I can gather. He’s still fairly young. At worst he’s a a cheaper Purcell on the wing while they integrate draisaitl and yet another teen c from this years draft. At best he plays the 2c until draisaitl takes over.

  35. Clay says:

    Craig Ramsay should have a standing order that Andrew Ference is never allowed to pinch. Ever.

  36. russ99 says:

    Scuffling this period, we look like the guys on the back-to-back.

    Time out to settle them down?

  37. PhrankLee says:

    How many times is Gordo going to get tossed out?

    These NHL linesmen are terrible.

  38. russ99 says:

    dangilitis: I’ve thrown this question out 2x in last week. Roy for 1-2 year extension would be something i would do. This guy was putting up about a ppg before his injury riddled season and then came back and never had the same opportunity to chew up soft line mins from what I can gather. He’s still fairly young. At worst he’s a a cheaper Purcell on the wing while they integrate draisaitl and yet another teen c from this years draft. At best he plays the 2c until draisaitl takes over.

    I’m all for it for one big reason. If he leaves or is traded we’re back to 2-3 nhl centers. What happens if one of our centers is out for an extended period?

    We’re still a hair above bare minimum.

  39. Pouzar says:

    Can anyone get SOG totals for Defenseman by team?

    The Oil have to be last.

  40. Snowman says:

    This Anton Lander is good at the hockey.

  41. russ99 says:

    Klinks is putting on a clinic on how to keep the puck under pressure

  42. LMHF#1 says:

    So, this almost looks like hockey they’re playing.

  43. russ99 says:

    Boooo!!! Penalty shot…,

  44. russ99 says:

    Oh yeah!!!!

  45. Snowman says:

    Oh snap! YAK!!

  46. VanOil says:

    That was a slightly different 2 on 0 than the last one we saw the Oilers have.

  47. Pouzar says:

    Pouzar:
    I am predicting a Yak goal tonight.

    AHEM

  48. Adam Wu says:

    Could we be witnessing the salvation of Nail Yakupov?

  49. russ99 says:

    Damn, this is fun, let’s do it again sometime.

  50. dangilitis says:

    What I’m surprised to see on the comment boards is despair to the point that gutting this team and adding Eichel (by all likelihood) has been deemed better than correct decisions.

    Option a
    1. Petry were sorry we fucked up well give you 5-6 yrs at the going rate for a dman of your caliber. He’ll well make it 4.5-5 per season
    2. Schultz you’re too damn good you deserve better. Sell that to any team for a good pick in this draft or a roster player without takng much back in salary
    3. Purcell how you like a fresh start again – trade
    4. Roy how’d you like to continue this fresh start, be a leader and get one more shot at a good contract – sign
    5. Nelson continues to develop the kids like we know he can- lander and yak are the big projects on f, marincin and klef on d. Still review coaches available in the summer to make sure he’s best available. Man Eakins shit the bed and I will go out on a limb eben with the small sample size with Nelson
    6. Keep Gordon kernel Klink and Hendricks and send gazdic away
    7. Give Fraser the season to figure it out, or find a replacement or better in summer
    8. Keep the no 2-4 pick and give him time.
    9. Find another top 4 dman in the offseason without giving up roster players (ufa or prospect and picks)
    10. Get the intel on nikitin. Is his ankle like Whitney’s foot or is he just this bad. If it’s latter get rid of him. Maybe the khl will do us a solid
    11. Find best goalie coach you can. Sell fasth and look for better goalie in off season without breaking the bank.

    There. I’m not nearly as smart as anyone else here and have I not reasonably set this team up to be competitive both in the short and better in the long?

    Option B.
    1. Trade petry for scraps
    2. Sign j Schultz for 5 mil
    3. Trade yak for scraps
    4. Trade Roy, Purcell, Gordon, fasth, anyone you can
    5. Resign dubnyk because you lack faith in scrivens
    6. Don’t be excited about games like this because you’re hoping the chance of McDavid increases

    I can’t believe there is debate about this

  51. Snowman says:

    Todd Nelson is an NHL coach. Players play for him.

  52. Магия 10 says:

    Pouzar: AHEM

    I was expecting 8 pts from yak tonight. A bit short but not bad.

  53. dangilitis says:

    Adam Wu,

    No individual in the nhl deserves it more. Seriously.

  54. Магия 10 says:

    Snowman:
    Todd Nelson is an NHL coach. Players play for him.

    even a goal up with 3 min left. can’t imagine why LT never saw the need to bring the young guns along with veteran linemates.

  55. PhrankLee says:

    Pouzar: AHEM

    On the Yakhand, no less.

  56. russ99 says:

    dangilitis,

    Epic sneaky slash by Yak on Kane near the end, Hawks announcers were pissed nobody made him pay.

  57. LMHF#1 says:

    Like what I’m seeing as the style of play Nelson I’d implementing gets some practice time. Imagine if he had some horses.

    Speaking of, get Marincin up here already.

  58. frjohnk says:

    Good game for yak. Good for him.

    A fun game to watch.

    4th line battles hard. Love those guys

    I’ll sleep well tonight

  59. Zangetsu says:

    Yak needs to close the season strong. Kid needs confidence going into offseason training. You can only give your best for so long without results.

    Other than that we are screwing up ELPH. This is the team we could have had if we didn’t piss up wind. Best thing now is losses, and there’s a special place in hell reserved for MacT for this.

  60. striatic says:

    What would we say are the most important, concrete, identifiable aspects of the Todd Nelson style of play compared to the Dallas Eakins style of play?

  61. gogliano says:

    Nice to see Yak finally break the slump. Hard not to cheer for the kid. FTR, Hall seemed super stoked the outsider Yak took the shot on the 2-0 and got the goal.

  62. Zelepukin says:

    striatic:
    What would we say are the most important, concrete, identifiable aspects of the Todd Nelson style of play compared to the Dallas Eakins style of play?

    Logical deployment. The right personnel factors into that though. Adding Roy, Klef, Klink and getting rid of the slow footspeed of Perron, Drai and Gazdic.

  63. gogliano says:

    striatic:
    What would we say are the most important, concrete, identifiable aspects of the Todd Nelson style of play compared to the Dallas Eakins style of play?

    Winning

  64. Snowman says:

    Zangetsu:
    Yak needs to close the season strong. Kid needs confidence going into offseason training. You can only give your best for so long without results.

    Other than that we are screwing up ELPH. This is the team we could have had if we didn’t piss up wind. Best thing now is losses, and there’s a special place in hell reserved for MacT for this.

    Enjoy the wins. Enjoy whatever pick we get. This is the easiest time to be an oil fan. You can be happy about wins and losses.

  65. Zelepukin says:

    Perfect example of actually fixing what isn’t working was Nelson matching Petry and Ference against the Toews line after Nicotine showed to be a bad match on the first couple goals.

  66. dangilitis says:

    Smid -3 after returning from injury. I will admit I was in the camp that hated the Smid (and they still could have gotten more) but that trade was a definite win.

  67. Zelepukin says:

    Eakins would still be putting out Jultz and Nicotine for 20+ mins.

  68. Captain Smarmy says:

    Nelson for mother fucking mayor

  69. Zelepukin says:

    I also loved hearing that Nelson spent time with Yaks going over video in the last couple days. I didn’t even know they kept video of games in the Eakins era.

  70. Pouzar says:

    And Leon drives off wing holding off defender and roofs it to tie game late in 3rd period. 1-1.

  71. cadooo says:

    Draisaitl scores late in the third in Kamloops.

  72. Adam Wu says:

    Магия 10,

    Here’s a thought. If Yak is fully restored to the player we thought he could be when he was drafted (remember, his numbers were saying legitimate alternative to Taylor Hall), is that worth more to the team the difference between McEichel and HaniStrome?

    IE for next season, all of Hall, RNH, and Yak primed to go supernova plus Hanifin/Strome/etc drafted (or the pick traded) vs McEichel plus Hall, RNH and Yak with whatever the tank does to their motivation and confidence?

    Door number one or door number two?

    Which is the better outcome, which is easier/more likely to achieve if one actively tries for it?

    Is it better to chase the birds in the bush, or to properly nurture the birds in hand?

  73. Магия 10 says:

    striatic:
    What would we say are the most important, concrete, identifiable aspects of the Todd Nelson style of play compared to the Dallas Eakins style of play?

    winning

  74. godot10 says:

    striatic:
    What would we say are the most important, concrete, identifiable aspects of the Todd Nelson style of play compared to the Dallas Eakins style of play?

    Tempo. Play fast. When you play with tempo, the system slowly becomes “instinctual”, and the players start playing and stop thinking. And that build resiliency over time.

  75. Adam Wu says:

    dangilitis:
    Smid -3 after returning from injury. I will admit I was in the camp that hated the Smid (and they still could have gotten more) but that trade was a definite win.

    You can’t really pin much bad trading on MacT. From where this observer sits most of his trades have turned out. It is the other aspects of the GM job where criticism is warranted.

  76. Adam Wu says:

    I’m not in the Eakins sucks camp but in the end results matter and in this business competent coaches fail and need to be replaced all the time.

    But Eakins’ and Nelson’s preNHL resumes were virtually identical on paper. And things like “the players will play for him” is the coach equivalent of “compete and grit” for players.

    Do we need to develop some fancy stats for coaches? Or are coaches, like goalies, voodoo?

  77. Магия 10 says:

    Adam Wu:
    Магия 10,

    Here’s a thought. If Yak is fully restored to the player we thought he could be when he was drafted (remember, his numbers were saying legitimate alternative to Taylor Hall), is that worth more to the team the difference between McEichel and HaniStrome?

    IE for next season, all of Hall, RNH, and Yak primed to go supernova plus Hanifin/Strome/etc drafted (or the pick traded) vs McEichel plus Hall, RNH and Yak with whatever the tank does to their motivation and confidence?

    Door number one or door number two?

    Which is the better outcome, which is easier/more likely to achieve if one actively tries for it?

    Is it better to chase the birds in the bush, or to properly nurture the birds in hand?

    relatively speaking eberle, hall, hopkins got shelter when needed. the height of arrogance was deciding that yak could magically fit in without the same shelter. trying to slot in the 4th young gun is harder not easier. he should move about based on results, but pouliot and roy sure look like bedrock for yak.

  78. striatic says:

    godot10: Tempo. Play fast. When you play with tempo, the system slowly becomes “instinctual”, and the players start playing and stop thinking. And that build resiliency over time.

    I’m also noticing fewer attempts at cycling the puck in the corners.

    Oilers are toothless while doing it, so Nelson has them not doing it unless they are truly forced into it.

    They seem more likely to chip the puck in toward the net and attack the net with numbers as soon as possible rather than attempting to set up the cycle.

  79. striatic says:

    Adam Wu: But Eakins’ and Nelson’s preNHL resumes were virtually identical on paper. And things like “the players will play for him” is the coach equivalent of “compete and grit” for players.

    Similar results but with very different AHL teams.

  80. Pouzar says:

    Woodguy ‏@Woodguy55 4m4 minutes ago
    Yak “Roy helps me every shift..teaching me…telling me where to go to be better…”. LOVE IT!!

  81. godot10 says:

    Adam Wu:
    I’m not in the Eakins sucks camp but in the end results matter and in this business competent coaches fail and need to be replaced all the time.

    But Eakins’ and Nelson’s preNHL resumes were virtually identical on paper. And things like “the players will play for him” is the coach equivalent of “compete and grit” for players.

    Do we need to develop some fancy stats for coaches? Or are coaches, like goalies, voodoo?

    Nope. Nelson coached in more than one league with different type of teams and relative strength and was successful. He put non-first rounders into the NHL. Also about twice the head coaching experience.

    Eakins had only worked for one organization (like Kelly Buchberger) and had veteran laden teams with good goaltenders, and the only players he put into the NHL were 1st rounders.

  82. Captain Smarmy says:

    Adam Wu:
    I’m not in the Eakins sucks camp but in the end results matter and in this business competent coaches fail and need to be replaced all the time.

    It’s all that matters. LT should ask Dennis King about the time he set his slow pitch lineup based on OPS.

  83. Ca$h-Money! says:

    You know what I was happiest about tonight? Seeing Yak on the ice with 10 minutes left protecting a 1 goal lead.

    The coach showing a little trust. Minutes later, the coaches faith being rewarded. Magical.

  84. Southern Oil says:

    Pouzar:
    Woodguy ‏@Woodguy554m4 minutes ago
    Yak “Roy helps me every shift..teaching me…telling me where to go to be better…”. LOVE IT!!

    Those two should be stapled together for the balance of the year IMO. Best game I’ve seen from Yak in quite some time. Not trying to suggest it’s all on Roy, but for the love of gord, don’t change it.

  85. Auston Matthews '16 says:

    Southern Oil: Those two should be stapled together for the balance of the year IMO.Best game I’ve seen from Yak in quite some time.Not trying to suggest it’s all on Roy, but for the love of gord, don’t change it.

    Quoted for repetition. And truthiess.

  86. Numenius says:

    Nelson is a hockey player whisperer. So nice to see Yak with 2 pts and Lander with his 3rd point in 3 games.

  87. 8p0intgame says:

    dangilitis,

    I am not interested in debating you. In fact I am not opposed to any of your suggestions. I think it would be difficult to sign Petry and to trade Purcell and Schultz and I hope Oilers’ management gathers more data on Roy (see: larger sample size) before they offer him a contract but, for the most part, I agree. I just want to explain why I am also not opposed to blowing the whole thing up and starting over.

    1.) I am not convinced the Oilers can be a competitive team while transitioning to a new group of core players. I would argue our team has one proven RW (Eberle), two proven C (Gordon and Nugent-Hopkins) and three proven LW (Hall, Hendricks and Pouliot) most nights. The D is, quite simply, a mess and while I don’t think goaltending is the primary problem, it is certainly not part of the solution and could probably use an upgrade. There are just too many holes to fill and while the Oilers may have already acquired some plugs (Klinkhammer and Roy) and there may be some prospects in the organization ready to fill some key roles (Lander and Marincin), I don’t think the 2015-16 opening night roster will be any more balanced than 2014-15 one.
    2.) The Oilers finally have the pieces in place to attempt a Chicago-style rebuild. They have 3 very good defensive prospects in Klefbom, Marincin and Nurse; with Nurse playing both sides at the World Juniors, I don’t think it’s unreasonable to imagine Klefbom and Nurse as the top pairing in a few years. Also, with Nugent-Hopkins and Draisaitl already in the system and almost being guaranteed another high end centre in the 2015 draft (Strome, if not McEichel), the Oilers are set to build from the back and middle. Yes, it’ll take a few years while Draisaitl, Nurse and possibly the 2015 pick percolate but it’ll be worth it.

    In short, the Oilers did well tonight but they have always had the Blackhawks number. In my opinion, the Oilers should…

    1.) Draft a centre in the 2015 draft (fingers crossed for McEichel, but Strome will do in a pinch).
    2.) Put Draisaitl and Nurse in the AHL for the 2015-16 season.
    3.) Sign Yakupov to a one-year, two-way contract (qualifying offer with AHL max) and put him in the AHL to get his game back and improve his chemistry with Draisaitl.
    4.) Hire a better AHL head coach then Bucky. Sorry, Bucky.
    5.) Trade Hall and Eberle for the right pieces. I know this an unpopular opinion and I am certainly not suggesting a knee-jerk trade. I am saying make a calculated move that will improve the team long term because, by my estimate, Hall and Eberle’s contracts will be expiring by the time team is truly competitive again.

  88. book¡je says:

    Well, LT and WG, it looks like Nelson is going all opposite George on us. MacT needs to go back behind the bench or it’s over.

  89. striatic says:

    book¡je,

    there’s still plenty of time for this to go south all by itself.

  90. Numenius says:

    8p0intgame: 3.) Sign Yakupov to a one-year, two-way contract (qualifying offer with AHL max) and put him in the AHL to get his game back and improve his chemistry with Draisaitl.
    4.) Hire a better AHL head coach then Bucky. Sorry, Bucky.

    Note that Yakupov cannot play in the AHL without going through waivers, so that’s out.

    Also Bucky is not the AHL head coach. It’s Gerry Fleming, at least for the interim.

  91. 8p0intgame says:

    Numenius,

    It was duly noted that he had to clear waivers on his current contract. However, I believe he can be sent to the AHL without clearing waivers if he signs a two-way contract.

    Did not know about Flemming though. My mistake.

  92. Jonathan Willis says:

    8p0intgame:
    Numenius,

    It was duly noted that he had to clear waivers on his current contract. However, I believe he can be sent to the AHL without clearing waivers if he signs a two-way contract.

    Did not know about Flemming though. My mistake.

    Waivers has nothing to do with whether a player is on a one-way or two-way deal. It’s based on age and NHL games played.

  93. vinotintazo says:

    Omg this gaame made my day, along with the lamers losing 6-5 to florida lol!

  94. geowal says:

    dangilitis:
    Smid -3 after returning from injury. I will admit I was in the camp that hated the Smid (and they still could have gotten more) but that trade was a definite win.

    Given the amount of excuses we gave semi injured players around here. I think Smid might deserve the benefit of the doubt on this one game. Also, ask yourself this: how many Dmen on the current roster would you replace with Smid if you could, straight up? I’d argue as many as four (of 7)

  95. 8p0intgame says:

    Jonathan Willis,

    Good to know. Thanks, Jon.

    Very disappointed that Yakupov has to sink or swim in the NHL though. Seems unfair to the player.

  96. Магия 10 says:

    book¡je:
    Well, LT and WG, it looks like Nelson is going all opposite George on us.MacT needs to go back behind the bench or it’s over.

    They need MacT behind the bench for Game 1 of every season.

  97. LMHF#1 says:

    striatic: I’m also noticing fewer attempts at cycling the puck in the corners.

    Oilers are toothless while doing it, so Nelson has them not doing it unless they are truly forced into it.

    They seem more likely to chip the puck in toward the net and attack the net with numbers as soon as possible rather than attempting to set up the cycle.

    More passing plays from behind the net, less from the corners. Makes a huge difference. Wayne’s office is where you want to be.

  98. Woodguy says:

    book¡je:
    Well, LT and WG, it looks like Nelson is going all opposite George on us.MacT needs to go back behind the bench or it’s over.

    Yeah, no way they finish low playing like this.

    Great game to watch.

    So putting Yak with a vet C who has a history of scoring in the NHL and can teach Yak how to play in the NHL is really helping him.

    Who knew?

  99. Woodguy says:

    8p0intgame:
    Numenius,

    It was duly noted that he had to clear waivers on his current contract. However, I believe he can be sent to the AHL without clearing waivers if he signs a two-way contract.

    Did not know about Flemming though. My mistake.

    2 way contract means different pay level at NHL and AHL.

    1 way contract means same pay level at NHL and AHL.

    Has nothing to do with waivers.

  100. Lowetide says:

    Just back from the game. Todd Nelson can’t be stopped. Oh my what a fun game. Took my daughter and we had a blast. I don’t think she enjoyed my rendition of Sweet Caroline but we both loved the game.

  101. RexLibris says:

    It appears the poles of the Hockey World inverted sometime today: http://flamesnation.ca/2015/1/9/post-game-hockey

    I thought the Yakety-sax was the Oilers’ theme song!

  102. book¡je says:

    Lowetide:
    Just back from the game. Todd Nelson can’t be stopped. Oh my what a fun game. Took my daughter and we had a blast. I don’t think she enjoyed my rendition of Sweet Caroline but we both loved the game.

    That’s great LT – she enjoyed it – but the laws regarding coolness won’t allow her to tell you that.

  103. TemujinBC says:

    PhrankLee: On the Yakhand, no less.

    Yakhand.

    Priceless.

  104. dangilitis says:

    8p0intgame,

    Those are all fair critiques. The options, as I presented them, were
    Option A: what common sense tells us a smart GM would do, give or take a few things that are debatable. (E.g. Petry isn’t getting resigned at this point, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be trying like crazy instead of leaking Detroit rumors to Matheson)
    Option B: What has been pitched

    Your idea is interesting, in that the D prospects are ahead of the F, and the C position is in much better shape. But I have no proof that Nurse and Klefbom are going to be bonafide 1-2, any more than I have proof that Draisaitl and the C this year are the right ones.

    Where I differ is in the fact that retooling beats rebuilding if you know what you’re doing. If you don’t, then rebuilding perpetually is perhaps preferable if you get a generational talent in return, so I can empathize with this opinion. I just see how Nashville and NYI essentially fixed big holes in a day, using little money, and not necessarily the most attractive cities or hockey teams. It is early, but we have already reaped the benefit of 1 of Nashville’s selected solutions.

    For instance, the D is not as badly in disarray as you might think. I could live with Ference’s bad contract, I would eat a fraction of Nikitin’s if he is damanged goods, but to tack on Justin’s albatross, that would be far worse than anything they do this summer. In fact, I would argue trading Justin is one of the smartest moves they can make in the next few months, because that money can be better spent on better D.

    The forwards are a pretty decent group, especially if Lander or Yak are reclaimed, and Roy is retained. Even better with Draisailt, #1/31 in 2015 added in next few years, plus the development of an OKC hopeful, with additions of Chase, Platzer,

    The G situation, IMO, is the biggest problem facing this team. Scrivens, even if he rebounds, does not project to be a top 10 G, and when your team is not Chicago/Pitt your chances of Stanley glory are pretty poor without one. Did anyone think Nashville is a #1 team at this time of the season? Montreal continues to surprise me and Price is a big part of that. Ottawa would be down with Edmonton if not for Anderson, and Toronto would have collapsed a lot sooner if not for their goaltending for the first 50-60 games.

    If I was trading a player of Hall’s caliber, it would be because I know I am getting a consistent top 10 goalie or a possible Norris candidate not named Justin. Eberle would only be traded in my mind for a legitimate top pairing D man (Brodie quality) or a goalie who has been top 10-15 as a starter with a bit more risk for inconsistency.

    Agree with point on Bucky (although I know Carla doesn’t want him there long-term any ways), and I don’t think there’s any turning back with Yak to the AHL, nor do I think he needs to be there if he is given the same opportunities and coaching he has received in 2015.

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

    Lowetide,

    Who are these guys and what has Todd done to them?

    Glad you got to go and for a great game, too. Was thinking during that 3rd period that the Oilers of old would have sat back trying to defend the lead but instead they kept pressing. Great effort. Happy to see.

    Also very happy for Yak. He looked like a new man and that was a very nice goal on the 2-on-0 when Hall and his stick tied up.

  106. book¡je says:

    Woodguy: 2 way contract means different pay level at NHL and AHL.

    1 way contract means same pay level at NHL and AHL.

    Has nothing to do with waivers.

    We need to get a permalink to some kind of awesome webpage that explains this using a catchy tune – like that one we had when we had Kotalik here.

  107. Captain's Log says:

    gogliano:
    Nice to see Yak finally break the slump.Hard not to cheer for the kid.FTR, Hall seemed super stoked the outsider Yak took the shot on the 2-0 and got the goal.

    Yeah it seemed to me on the play that Hall positioned himself to slow down the backchecking defender moreso than get in on the play. Good to see some chemistry between the two dynamos.

  108. book¡je says:

    Woodguy: Yeah, no way they finish low playing like this.

    Great game to watch.

    So putting Yak with a vet C who has a history of scoring in the NHL and can teach Yak how to play in the NHL is really helping him.

    Who knew?

    The real problem with all of this is when you realize that Nelson is going to do enough with this roster to miss out on #1 and #2 picks BUT that the guys who didn’t realize some very basic things about the play of their team (i.e. Petry should play more – Shultz less, they need a veteran centre for Yak – any veteran, that rookies need mentoring and protecting, etc) are still running the show.

    Watch them run at 0.60 through the remainder of the season and then lose Todd Nelson to some other team while they chase Babcock after he told them he is not interested.

  109. dangilitis says:

    geowal,

    Fair enough on the injury, but him and Engelland weren’t a good line even before the injury, even while facing easier minutes.

    I would not replace any D with him right now, to be honest, other than Nikitin (but I would much prefer Marincin over both)

  110. dangilitis says:

    Woodguy: Yeah, no way they finish low playing like this.

    Great game to watch.

    So putting Yak with a vet C who has a history of scoring in the NHL and can teach Yak how to play in the NHL is really helping him.

    Who knew?

    Don’t tell that to Robin Brownlee.

    http://oilersnation.com/2015/1/9/fail-yakupov

    His failing of Yakupov has been because he was given opportunity playing alongside Gagner previously, and his regression this year (in spite of the fact that the whole fucking team had regressed this year). Then, instead of wiping egg off his face tonight, he stated that Yak played well, but so did the rest of the team.

    I still have no idea why an individual chooses to cover a hockey club when he is not even a fan of a team, not even a well-wisher…

  111. SwedishPoster says:

    Woodguy: Yeah, no way they finish low playing like this.

    Great game to watch.

    So putting Yak with a vet C who has a history of scoring in the NHL and can teach Yak how to play in the NHL is really helping him.

    Who knew?

    Also playing on his right wing. Who knew? 🙂

  112. Black Frank says:

    Adam Wu:
    I’m not in the Eakins sucks camp but in the end results matter and in this business competent coaches fail and need to be replaced all the time.

    But Eakins’ and Nelson’s preNHL resumes were virtually identical on paper. And things like “the players will play for him” is the coach equivalent of “compete and grit” for players.

    Do we need to develop some fancy stats for coaches? Or are coaches, like goalies, voodoo?

    The fanciest stat for coaches is % wins over a meaningful statistical sample. Everything else is supporting data. Corsi just indicates whether your wins are solid or stolen. 🙂

  113. Black Frank says:

    Woodguy: Yeah, no way they finish low playing like this.

    Great game to watch.

    So putting Yak with a vet C who has a history of scoring in the NHL and can teach Yak how to play in the NHL is really helping him.

    Who knew?

    You have to admit MacT has done some things to redeem himself of late, in particular:
    Firing his incompetent best friend
    Bringing on the coach he should have brought in the first pace
    Revealing that Drai was only here until PA traded his rights to a good junior team
    Bringing in the veteran C he always had his eye on.

    My only reservation about Todd’s Kool-Aid is whether it grows stale after 20 games like all the others, as per GM.

  114. Bank Shot says:

    Black Frank: You have to admit MacT has done some things to redeem himself of late, in particular:
    Firing his incompetent best friend
    Bringing on the coach he should have brought in the first pace
    Revealing that Drai was only here until PA traded his rights to a good junior team
    Bringing in the veteran C he always had his eye on.

    My only reservation about Todd’s Kool-Aid is whether it grows stale after 20 games like all the others, as per GM.

    None of those are redeeming moves. Mact is getting paid to have foresight.

    The fact that he can recognize mistakes and move to correct them long after it has become patently obvious to everyone in the world that they are terrible mistakes is not a desirable trait in a GM.

    The Oilers need a GM that doesn’t make obvious blunders, thus avoiding the need to make moves to fix them.

  115. Adam Wu says:

    I still have no idea why an individual chooses to cover a hockey club when he is not even a fan of a team, not even a well-wisher…

    If I had to hazard a guess, it is green, rectangular, made of paper composites, and is the same reason some unrestricted free agents agree to play in places like Edmonton.

  116. hunter1909 says:

    I said they could win.

  117. hunter1909 says:

    book¡je: Watch them run at 0.60 through the remainder of the season and then lose Todd Nelson to some other team while they chase Babcock after he told them he is not interested.

    Yeah but I get to win my own Death March.

  118. anonymous says:

    “Coaching continuity” should still be the hill Mact is left dead on. Who knows where they’d be if they hired an ” actual” NHL gm.

  119. hunter1909 says:

    It’s incredible how much healthier Todd Nelson looks compared to other Oilers’ staff. MacT almost looks like a frigging mummy. Lowe looks like a drunk Irish farmer(100% certified and bonded actually).

    Dallas Eakin’s name mentioned as next coach of Toronto. Riight.

    Yakupov finally gets to play with NHLers.

    .600 hockey baby!

  120. Black Frank says:

    Bank Shot: None of those are redeeming moves. Mact is getting paid to have foresight.

    The fact that he can recognize mistakes and move to correct them long after it has become patently obvious to everyone in the world that they are terrible mistakes is not a desirable trait in a GM.

    The Oilers need a GM that doesn’t make obvious blunders, thus avoiding the need to make moves to fix them.

    We have to concede that had DE been able to walk his talk we’d have been contending last year let alone this year. Dallas had a lot of astute people on this blog fooled for quite some time.
    MacT lost a lot of face in firing Dallas. I’ll grant that may have been forces on him and the promotion of Todd the only one he was allowed. So kudos to whoever was behind those moves if not MacT.
    But fair’s fair we have to credit MacT for Drai and Roy. Had we known that MacT would send Drai down to any team except Germany and P A, and recognized his need for someone like Roy but would not overpay, maybe we would have been a little less impatient on those two fronts.
    Except DE’s performance overshadowed everything.

  121. Woodguy says:

    SwedishPoster: Also playing on his right wing. Who knew?

    If he was LW tonight he would have got a hat trick.

  122. Woodguy says:

    Black Frank: We have to concede that had DE been ableto walk his talk we’d have been contending last year let alone this year. Dallas had a lot of astute people on this blog fooled for quite some time.
    MacT lost a lot of face in firing Dallas. I’ll grant that may have been forces on him and the promotion of Todd the only one he was allowed. So kudos to whoever was behind those moves if not MacT.
    But fair’s fair we have to credit MacT for Drai and Roy. Had we known that MacT would send Drai down to any team except Germany and P A, and recognized his need for someone like Roy but would not overpay, maybe we would have been a little less impatient on those two fronts.
    Except DE’s performance overshadowed everything.

    I’m hesitant to give MacT credit for moves that were so obvious that even the majority of HF boards posters thought they should be done.

    He needs to put the team in a position to win in the pre-season, not after a 35 games debacle.

  123. SwedishPoster says:

    Woodguy: If he was LW tonight he would have got a hat trick.

    Touche.

  124. godot10 says:

    hunter1909:
    I
    Dallas Eakin’s name mentioned as next coach of Toronto. Riight.

    He has one fantastic PR machine.

  125. Adam Wu says:

    I have heard, re the Roy-Arcobello trade, some claim that the Oilers could have gotten him for nothing off waivers.

    But the timing of the two events are such that it seems virtually certain to me that trade negotiations must have been ongoing for some time before Roy was waived. Is there not a rule somewhere that some players need to clear waivers before being traded? If so, could the trade have been predicated on the Oilers promising not to claim Roy when he was waived, and absent that agreement, the player would not have been put on waivers at all?

  126. Adam Wu says:

    hunter1909:

    Dallas Eakin’s name mentioned as next coach of Toronto. Riight.

    Well, those who hate both Toronto and Eakins ought to be very happy then.

    But I fear for Godot. His commentary became so much more rational once he stopped talking about Eakins. His mental state might just be the biggest loser of all should Eakins make a return to NHL coaching.

  127. v4ance says:

    Klima’s_Bucket,

    I remembered when Knight chose the Flames over the Oilers and now think WTF is going on with this player:

    http://blogs.edmontonjournal.com/2013/06/18/tsns-bob-mckenzie-says-corban-knight-picked-the-calgary-flames-over-the-edmonton-oilers/

    He got to choose his landing spot a la Jultz and still couldn’t make it work. The Flames giving up on him after only a season and a half is a bad sign to me….

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