SOLD A BILL OF GOODS

There are words and phrases I’ll never ever enjoy again because of the Oilers 2013-15: bold, relentless, swarm, visually better, Norris Trophy, forensics, BCJHL. One name I’m warming to: Todd Nelson. This courtesy Lucinius in last night’s thread:

  • 7-19-5 under Eakins (-39 goal differential, averaged 2.1 goals for, 3.39 goals against)
  • 0-3-2 under MacT/Nelson (-9 goal differential, averaged 2.2 goals for, 4.0 goals against)
  • 7-6-2 under Nelson (-1 goal differential, averaging 2.93 goals for, 3 goals against)

Call it voodoo he do, call it damnable timing, call it the whims of the hockey Gods. There’s no denying the Oilers (so far) are winning more games under Todd Nelson.

IT’S ONLY WORDS

eakins75

I guess it comes down to a simple choice, really. Get busy living or get busy dying. (Shawshank Redemption)

Dallas Eakins was on TSN’s Analytics show Saturday and spoke of many things.

  • EAKINS: “They approached me unexpectedly. I had some other opportunities and was sold a bill of goods to come in and grow and try to push a team in a certain direction. Looking back I think we would have made the same choice. I think we made some huge improvements from last year to this year.”

The ‘sold a bill of goods’ line can’t sit well with MacT, unless I misread the tone (Mrs. Lowetide says I’m no good at it). That’s not really the “I had my chance and am looking forward to the next one but it’s all on me” that we usually hear. Then again, Eakins didn’t exactly get the Cadillac roster treatment, especially at center. I think it’s likely Eakins simply used an unfortunate turn of phrase, it never appeared there was a rift between the two men.

  • EAKINS: “When I took the job the grand plan behind closed doors was to get going in the right direction by year three, get a little taste, when we went into the new building we’d be able to have a team to win a couple of rounds in the playoffs.”

I think we know this to be true, the original Lowe timeline was always five years and there is no urgency in the organization. David Perron being sent away is the obvious tell this season, Daryl Katz is more concerned about 2016-17, which makes 2014-15 difficult to live through for fans.

  • EAKINS: “This is an organization that is going to have to be patient and do things the right way.”

Yeah. I don’t think the fans are going to write that on the subway walls and tenement halls and I do not think we’ll hear the sounds of silence at the next meeting of the season-ticket holders.

  • EAKINS: “Nail is resilient, he is extremely hard working and he wants to be successful. The problem this young man has is he was picked No. 1 overall. He’s an inexperienced player, he had some good stats in that short season, he had an extremely high shooting percentage. What you’re seeing is a young player going through struggles and a lot of young players go through them. And a lot of them go unnoticed because they’re not the number one pick overall.”

I think coach Eakins—like Ralph Krueger before him—tried to unlock the key to a pretty complicated young man. This quote is perhaps the most insightful in the entire interview. I read frustration in those words but also genuine caring. I think sometimes we as fans look for some deeper answer than ‘he’s young and learning and it’s hard road’ but there you are. Patience? Really? Yes. Really.

I think Dallas Eakins will get another chance, but through his interviews as Oilers coach and now there does seem to be a lack of ownership for errors made by the coach. Now, that’s no big deal when you’re successful—Punch Imlach spent a decade in Toronto saying “I won” or “they lost”—but it may be perceived as a character flaw in Eakins makeup. Perhaps some time away will help the process.

SCOUTING THE 2015 DRAFT

bear

The good folks at the Prince George Citizen informed us Craig MacTavish was on a scouting trip on the weekend and even supplied a list of players who the GM might have been looking at:

This is a fine group of players but the Oilers can’t be interested in all of them equally. Let’s dig a little deeper.

  • MacTavish kept close watch on the most likely draft-eligible candidates – Mathew Barzal, Ryan Gropp, Keegan Kolesar and Ethan Bear of the T-birds and Jansen Harkins, Brad Morrison, Jared Bethune, Tate Olson and San Ruopp of the Cougars. Source

So if those names were being observed, how many would Edmonton have a shot at? Let’s have a look!

  1. Mathew Barzal (CS N0. 9)—Oilers will have chosen either Hanifin or Strome by the time Barzal’s name is announced. I think he’ll be top 10, Barzal is bringing it after his injury and word is the young man is extremely skilled. The injury may mean he’s underrated on draft day ala Logan Couture.
  2. C Jansen Harkins (CS No. 18)—Cody Nickolet calls him the smartest WHL player in the draft and he has two-way ability. I don’t think he’ll be around for the Oilers second pick in the first round (the Penguins pick from the Perron deal) but if he makes it Harkins would be a great selection.
  3. L Ryan Gropp (CS No. 62)—He might last until the third round but there appears to be a player here. Nickolet liked him plenty: While I still think he’s a fairly one-dimensional player, the skills he brings to the table are quite high-end. He’s got a nice frame and skates well for his size, possessing speed and power. He’s also got a very electric shot with a sharp release.
  4. R Keegan Kolesar (No. 94)—Nickolet calls him rugged and describes a player rising up his 2015 draft list. April birthday, 6.01 and he should score 25-30 goals this season. Fourth round option? Maybe.
  5. C Jared Bethune (CS No. 101)—Nickolet says he skates well and has some offense. He must be a ‘saw him good’ type, there’s nothing in the math that indicates a special player. This is where we need TOI (more in a minute).
  6. D Tate Olson (CS No. 106)—Good size, he was highly rated at one point but appears to be falling in his draft season. Big kid, if he’s a good skater, Edmonton is probably interested in him.
  7. D Nathan Bear (CS No. 133)—Nickolet: He’s a good skater and likes to play transition hockey. He really excels in the offensive portion of the game, advancing the puck up the ice and owning a bomb of a shot with a quick slapshot one-timer release. He’s 5.11, 204 and he kind of sounds like an Oilers pick (their smaller blue are usually offensive types like Hunt and Laleggia) and the skating and transition game are interesting. Fifth round pick? Seems like a reasonable bet.
  8. C Brad Morrison (CS No. 150)—Nickolet: He’s not big, listed at only 161 pounds, but he’s 5’11 and is very quick and speedy. He’s not afraid to dart in and out of traffic and should be tough to handle once he adds more bulk to his frame. He’s skilled, suspect he could go higher.
  9. D Sam Ruopp (Not Ranked)—Big kid, he’ll be 19 on draft day. He doesn’t skate well but is a good defensive player and logs tons of minutes. Among WHL overagers, I’m strong on Dryden Hunt, Rihards Burkarts, Reid Gardner, Trevor Cox, Parker Bowles and Ivan Nikolishin. Ruopp would not make my list of 10 overagers from the WHL.

 EST TOI AND EST POINTS-PER-60

  1. Jansen Harkins 23.5 minutes, 2.98/60
  2. Brad Morrison 18.27 minutes 2.60/60
  3. Ryan Gropp 23.72 minutes, 2.30/60
  4. Mathew Barzal 28.75 minutes, 2.18/60
  5. Keegan Kolesar 17.09 minutes, 2.11/60
  6. Nathan Bear 23.64 minutes, 1.57/60
  7. Jared Bethune 16 minutes, 1.57/60
  8. Tate Olson 20.93, 1.18/60
  9. Sam Ruopp 27 minutes, 0.92/60

Information from this wonderful site. Barzal’s numbers should improve now that he’s back but that Morrison kid is delivering solid production and could be a draft sleeper. Harkins is a guy who probably delivers exceptional value after No. 20 in the draft based on what we read and see here. Question: Would you like to see this for more CHL teams? Let me know. It’s an interesting exercise.

The Oilers will never learn. They just cannot get it through their heads that injuries require time to heal and that ‘rub some dirt in it’ mentality is a loser’s bet. Hall coming up hurt in the first return game is so damn typical. Oh, those Oilers. If they went Opposite George tomorrow they’d do themselves and their players an enormous favor. It sounds like the tweak on Hall was just that but the Pouliot item is a concern too. He’s a productive player and losing Pouliot is not cool. Need him back.

BALANCE

balance

Last night’s game showed some pretty nice numbers for that blue, especially the young hires. Oscar Klefbom seems to be announcing his presence with authority more often and the math and saw him good crowds are ooing and awing in unison.

  • Oscar Klefbom 62% zone start, 29-18 EV Corsi, 62%
  • Justin Schultz 81% zone start, 35-25 EV Corsi, 58%
  • Jeff Petry 73% zone start, 24-25 EV Corsi, 49%
  • Keith Aulie 45% zone start, 15-23 EV Corsi, 39%
  • Andrew Ference 75% zone start, 12-22 EV Corsi, 35%
  • Mark Fayne 62% zone start, 13-27 EV Corsi, 32%

The Klefbom—Schultz pairing appears to have some traction. That one pairing could be key for next season. I think Todd Nelson, being a coach (they all like veteran blue), will probably marry Nikitin with Fayne (or Ference with Fayne) and the club may go shopping in summer for a significant player to pair with Darnell Nurse. Brent Seabrook anyone?

NELSON’S HEROES

It’s fun to watch these kids head in a good direction but the important thing to keep in mind is improved quality and depth of roster. Todd Nelson has poured some sugar on Anton Lander, Oscar Klefbom, Justin Schultz, Matt Fraser and Nail Yakupov appears to be responding too (that assist last night was pure Siberian tiger). If Nelson can find a way for these kids to flourish, while the Nuge and Gordon lines continue rocknrolla and they sign Jeff Petry? Alas, it is too much to hope for I’m afraid.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

Angry-Cat-878

A fierce (FIERCE) show today, TSN1260 at 10 this morning. Scheduled to appear:

  • Jonathan Willis, Oilers Nation and Cult of Hockey. W5 gets to the point on the Oilers, the trade deadline and Todd Nelson’s witchcraft.
  • Lyle Richardson, Spector’s Hockey, Bleacher Report, The Hockey News. Trade deadline approaches, we go to a man who knows what’s going on.
  • Travis Yost, TSN Analytics. Oilers, Senators, Super Bowl. I PROMISE we will NOT talk about an Oilers—Senators trade. Although…..
  • Guy Flaming, Pipeline Show. Draft, Oil Kings, college men, thespians.

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

 

 

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173 Responses to "SOLD A BILL OF GOODS"

  1. leadfarmer says:

    Bruises on weight bearing bones require rest cause you worry that the weakened bone might collapse. Let us hope that is not the case. Hopefully this will shut up the people that say Hall doesn’t care, he cares in fact too much.

    Skating is an issue should be the equivalent of NEXT.

  2. supernova says:

    LT,

    Quit teasing us with Seabrook.

    He is the perfect fit on this team. Have wanted him for years.
    My brother in law is a big Blackhawks fan and he rubs it in my face knowing how bad I want Seabrook.

    Watched him in junior a lot and man was he a beast then.

  3. supernova says:

    As for Eakins,

    Eakins will get another chance most likely if he goes and works as a top assistant somewhere.

    Don’t know exactly what it is but Eakins seemed to coach for the corsi stats, not coaching to make up a winning team.

    The players aren’t second guessing themselves. It’s long past the “new coach bump”.

  4. rickithebear says:

    supernova:
    LT,

    Quit teasing us with Seabrook.

    He is the perfect fit on this team. Have wanted him for years.
    My brother in law is a big Blackhawks fan and he rubs it in my face knowing how bad I want Seabrook.

    Watched him in junior a lot and man was he a beast then.

    What do you call d that do not face the other teams best!
    Sheltered!

    I want Hjarlmasson-Oduya

    Not Chicago’s 2nd/3rd comp pairing!

  5. Hall Awaits says:

    If Hall and Pouliot are out any length of time I hope we see Yakupov taking the top line LW spot. Pakarinen and Marincin should be called up as well but I fear Marty Party won’t get the invite and they’ll just ride with Aulie.

    You don’t think Bickell will be the cap casualty in Chicago LT?

  6. nelson88 says:

    My god that “balance” picture is fantastic! to whom do we owe the pleasure.

  7. Pouzar says:

    rickithebear: What do you call d that do not face the other teamsbest!
    Sheltered!

    I want Hjarlmasson-Oduya

    Not Chicago’s 2nd/3rd comp pairing!

    According to Vollman Charts, Oduya is a passenger on that top pairing and Hjarlmasson is the motor. Just sayin

  8. Ca$h-Money! says:

    rickithebear: What do you call d that do not face the other teamsbest!
    Sheltered!

    I want Hjarlmasson-Oduya

    Not Chicago’s 2nd/3rd comp pairing!

    Ricki,

    I understand that Keith/Seabrook are given easier matchups than the Oduya pair, but no one in their right mind thinks that, at the end of the day, that makes the Oduya pair superior to the Keith pair. The coach makes that decision because it leads to an increased chance of winning for the team by improving the offensive output of the team as a whole, not because he doesn’t trust his multi time Olympian and Norris winner, who along with Seabrook has clearly been part of one of the preeminent defensive pairs in the NHL for several years.

    Oduya/Hjalmerson are very good, but so are
    Keith/Seabrook. They are tasked with different roles. The ability to do this is what makes Chicago so good.

  9. Pouzar says:

    Hall Awaits:
    If Hall and Pouliot are out any length of time I hope we see Yakupov taking the top line LW spot. Pakarinen and Marincin should be called up as well but I fear Marty Party won’t get the invite and they’ll just ride with Aulie.

    You don’t think Bickell will be the cap casualty in Chicago LT?

    Yak has chemistry with Roy. You don’t move him imo.

  10. Black Frank says:

    I’d like to take an effigy of Eakins and every game he coached, wrap it all in a bunch of sticks, set them on fire and throw them into a fast flowing river.
    If there’s ever a statement that succinctly sums up Eakins it’s just that. Bill of Goods.
    If I never had to think about him again in association with the Oilers that would be a good thing.
    I hope he gets to coach the Calgary Flames, Vancouver Canucks or another division rival. In the worst possible way.

  11. Ca$h-Money! says:

    Hall Awaits:
    If Hall and Pouliot are out any length of time I hope we see Yakupov taking the top line LW spot. Pakarinen and Marincin should be called up as well but I fear Marty Party won’t get the invite and they’ll just ride with Aulie.

    You don’t think Bickell will be the cap casualty in Chicago LT?

    Depends on how he performs in the playoffs. He’s generally been a monster (as I remember it) which is where 99% of his value comes from. That said the moment he stops producing in the small sample size playoffs he’s in deep trouble.

  12. Really? says:

    Having been an Oiler fan since they entered the NHL, it is deeply concerning that team management keep making two basic mistakes over and over and over.

    They look at their players and tend to over rate them. They seem to be totally unaware that because the Oilers have been a lower echelon team for so long their assets (players) have very little cache in the eyes of other team GMs.

    When this problem is combined with their second mistake, group think, it is a recipe for disaster. It, in part, explains the never ending re-build they find themselves in.

    When they decided to fire Tambellini they had a glorious opportunity to bring in a fresh set of eyes and yet they handed the reins to MacT. Don’t misunderstand me. I am a fan of MacT and believe he may be able to move this franchise forward. The fact, however, remains that they missed an opportunity. As a result, the “group think” mentality has continued.

    The Oilers, under Nelson, seem to be making progress and for that I am truly hopeful. My only regret is that this progress will in all likelihood take us out of the running for a top 3 pick in the 2015 draft.

  13. Ice Sage says:

    Glad to see MacT (and Green?) scouting the top league for draft possibilities.

    I’ve seen some of these kids play over the years – my humble takes FWIW:

    Barzal’s not a possibility and also, he’s RNH-lite in terms of skill-set and injury-prone.
    Harkins would be ideal with Pitts pick – Johansen-type.
    Morrison as a very late pick would be OK, soft and streaky though.
    I think it’s ‘Ethan’ not ‘Nathan’ Bear – a solid responsible D-man.

    Balance is a beautiful thing…grrrrr

  14. Jesse says:

    LT,

    What do you make of Eakins saying that among Yakupov’s struggles are “being coached at the rink, at home, and other places”? Does that strike you as an indication that Larionov continues to be too “hands on” with his player?

  15. Auston Matthews '16 says:

    This will generally be considered the 2nd best picture on this blog today.

  16. Hammers says:

    Eakins sounded like sour milk to me .Nelson seems to show his players he has confidence in them . Not sure what it is but Schultz & Lander are both showing better and his given Klefbom his head as well . There starting to look like a team and not individual players . Actually playing 500 hockey and that’s all most of us expected at the start of the season . I had 84 points . Time continues to tell .

  17. Yeti says:

    Simply amazing, beautiful photo, LT. Tigers are so stunningly graceful, even under water.

  18. Halfwise says:

    Auston Matthews '16:
    This will generally be considered the 2nd best picture on this blog today.

    Hendricks with the bucket on backwards, classic.

  19. thejonrmcleod says:

    I’m not sure how much we should read into Eakins’ “sold a bill of goods” comment. The context suggests he wasn’t expressing bitterness. Sometimes people use expressions imprecisely. The other day I said “ugly duckling” when I meant “black sheep.”

  20. Unicorns says:

    Ever known someone who just never seems to make the right decision that’s obvious to everyone else?

    Hall comes back early still sore and goes out again. Nobody could fairly criticize the Oilers for sitting him at this point until he’s 100%. Not getting goalies defense and centres looks like a tank, sitting an injured star when there’s no point in playing him doesn’t. Use the opportunity to do work in the video room with him.

  21. Auston Matthews '16 says:

    Follow

    Michael Augello
    ‏@MikeInBuffalo
    @DarrenDreger reports that the #Leafs likely won’t offer Cody Franson over $5 Million on a new deal. In other words, see ya Cody.

    Look MacT – get something done with Petry. Give him max term on a front loaded contract, which AAVs out at a comfortable amount.

    Offer the Leaves 2 x 2nd rounders and a prospect to negotiate with Franson for the rest of the season, with Pitt’s 1st rounder as conditional if he signs. Or something like that.

    Jayzus, but this team can’t afford to see good players walk – unless it’s through the ‘in door’.

    Then get Marty back into Nelson’s motivational clinic.

  22. Pouzar says:

    Character guy? I think HFOil just sh!t itself.

    Darren Dreger was on Edmonton’s TSN 1260 on Tuesday morning.

    As part of a discussion on how Jordan Eberle seems to be turning his game around under Todd Nelson:

    “The Eberle rumours have been ongoing since early in the season.

    “ ‘Which piece of that core could the Edmonton Oilers live without?’

    “We in the media all speculated and assume it’s Jordan Eberle. And yeah, he didn’t have a very good year last year by his standards, and maybe a slower start. But not just last night – now you’re starting to see this guy kinda come into his own again. And I know the worry from the Edmonton Oilers going into the season was, ‘Well, maybe he’s plateaued. Maybe this is as good as Jordan Eberle is going to be.’

    “They love the kid. From a character standpoint, he does so many things well. And on-ice, we can see the flashes of brilliance.

    “So it’s going to be interesting moving forward as to how the organization makes its necessary changes. Most of them will be done in the offseason. The Eberle trade rumours and other trade rumours aren’t going to go away anytime soon. But based on what we did see last night, there’s got to be some pause in that, doesn’t there?

    “You’d better get a No. 1 defenceman or a higher-end goaltender, or a piece that you absolutely need to continue on with the rebuild if you’re considering moving out both a character guy and a guy who clearly hasn’t plateaued yet.”

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

    Wow! Balance!

    Yes to Seabrook, yes to Hjalmarsson as well.

    This is why I’ve been saying clear out Purcell, Ference, Nikitin this season. Sooner the better. Nikitin a summer buyout provided he is healthy, so uh, when he comes back they should make him rest and sit out so he doesn’t get hurt again.

    Then reap the rewards of the cap space and the cap crunch.

  24. steveb12344 says:

    supernova:

    Don’t know exactly what it is but Eakins seemed to coach for the corsi stats, not coaching to make up a winning team.

    It was interesting listening to that interview on the weekend. Lil’ D basically confirmed what you just said.

    He said that he found 70% of teams who show at least a 50% Corsi make the playoffs, so he figured if he could get the team over 50% than it would mean a high probability of getting in.

    Problem is he actually had them up to 51% (his words) and they were still DFL.

    What he clearly doesn’t understand is that there is a difference in saying that as opposed to saying that 70% of teams who make the big dance have a 50% Corsi or higher.

    Looks like a small difference in semantics, but it really is a matter of causation, and correlation.

    I would say that the best teams more often than not outshoot their opponents, causing them to have a good Corsi %.

    That doesn’t necessarily mean that having a >50% Corsi will automatically make you a top team.

    Also there’s a matter of perspective as well. Sure, saying 70% of those + Corsi teams getting in sounds good like that. But it also means that out of what is more or less the top 16 teams in a 30 team league, that 5/16 of them got in despite having a <50% possession number. I don't think it looks quite so strong when you look at it that way.

  25. Hammers says:

    9 games to month end and I’m expecting us to go above Arizona . As for the East Buffalo has 30th so book it . The others can fall anywhere but if the Oil keep playing at this rate we pick 5- maybe 6 in the draft so whomever that player is he probable goes back to junior . I don’t follow junior hockey anymore so they better get that pick right and in that range I won’t be surprised to see another “D” chosen or 1 traded for .

  26. Unicorns says:

    I think players that are overpayed and underperforming (making sure it’s not simply a slump or bad luck) should be moved off the team as soon as there is a better replacement. Especially if they are not in future plans anyway. How else does a team improve and stay good?

    Trades, buyouts, demotions as soon as the chance is there take it.

  27. steveb12344 says:

    The Artist formerly known as “NYCOIL”:
    Wow! Balance!

    I don’t know where he got balance from. I almost fell off my chair when I saw that picture.

    The only way it could have been better is if there was a mirror standing behind her.

  28. sumaclab says:

    Seabrook may cost too much in organizational assets. It may be such that rob from one pot to fill the other pot. What if Chicago wants Oscar Klefbom back in trade and or Darnell Nurse? It just seems that the way to go is wait till the rope is all the way gone and then call up the Hawks. By August the Hawks will be in huge cap crunch and there time will be almost up to resolve the problem. Perhaps you get a better deal then..

    Eakins is an intelligent guy. At times. My issue is that it does not translate at times to the common man. In his niche he is seen as a knowledgeable coach and a pretty smart hockey coach. The problem for Eakins is that to Joe Shmoe he comes across as a snob and has a tendency to talk at people rather than talk to people..Compare Nelson and how he is perceived by the public and by the players.
    Eakins will land on his feet somewhere. I wish him well.

    Lowetide what do you do with Roy and Klinkhammer. At what point will MacT be left a no win situation? If someone offers you a 3rd/4th round pick for Roy do you take it? Or a 6th/7th round pick for Hammer? These 2 players have had a significant impact on the lineup since their arrivals. Roy’s chemistry with Yakupov is obvious. Klinks with BG and MH even more so. Klinks goal last night in SO cements his status within the dressing room even moreso.

    It appears that Edmonton has found its 1st and 4th line and has 2/3 of its 2cd and third lines. I think Benoit Poliout when healthy will slot into the 3rd line with Lander nicely. Teddy Purcell has been ok for me but his lack of physicality is still a concern. No doubting he can make a play and get a goal once in a while. But hopefully MacT parlay him into something on deadline day. I would prefer a more grittier forward on that 3rd line. Fraser for me is a non issue. He hasn’t enough. I would rather play Gazdic with Lander and Poliout.

    Have a nice day.

  29. Auston Matthews '16 says:

    http://lightning.nhl.com/club/news.htm?id=751520

    Interview with Wyshynski regarding the Peel interview, starts at 13:00.

  30. Pouzar says:

    sumaclab,

    ” I would rather play Gazdic with Lander and Poliout.”

    You lost me there.

  31. G Money says:

    LT sez:

    One name I’m warming to: Todd Nelson. This courtesy Lucinius in last night’s thread:

    – 7-19-5 under Eakins (-39 goal differential, averaged 2.1 goals for, 3.39 goals against)
    – 0-3-2 under MacT/Nelson (-9 goal differential, averaged 2.2 goals for, 4.0 goals against)
    – 7-6-2 under Nelson (-1 goal differential, averaging 2.93 goals for, 3 goals against)

    Call it voodoo he do, call it damnable timing, call it the whims of the hockey Gods. There’s no denying the Oilers (so far) are winning more games under Todd Nelson.

    You might remember a couple of weeks ago I posted an annotated chart with Corsi, sv%, and sh% trends that was intended as a statistical/visual “quick look” at the change from Eakins to Nelson.

    We’ve all noted that the Corsi has fallen under Nelson, though prior review of coaching changes suggests that this is quite normal. That’s why you wait 20 games to see. It would be a very unusual (pretty much unprecedented) thing for the Corsi to be consistently lower and the team to be consistently better, regardless of whether you feel Eakins was successful in coaching to Corsi.

    That said, the earlier chart showed what seemed might be an inflection point in the shot metrics – change of direction – under Nelson starting about game 41.

    I updated the chart to include the games up to last night, and I would suggest to you that the things we thought we saw early under Nelson are starting to look like a real and sustainable thing. It is still early, and the sample sizes are still small, but the positive trends are holding.

    Take a look:
    http://i.imgur.com/qojLuX9.png

    As someone said last night: Nelson cannot be stopped, he can only be contained.

  32. RexLibris says:

    Nelson is doing well right now, but he has also been given Roy who has helped Yakupov to become effective as a forward.

    Eakins has his faults, but I think if he had a veteran team with three NHL Cs instead of “maybe two” he wouldn’t have struggled to the same extent.

    Arizona has two games in hand and sits three points ahead of the Oilers in the standings.

    They are going to be trading Vermette, Moss and others while the Oilers are trading Fasth, Petry and probably sitting Hall and Pouliot for a few days or even a few weeks meaning a call up of Pakarinen or Hamilton is in the offing.

    Every time Maloney thinks he has found a way to get beneath them the Oilers find a way.

  33. slopitch says:

    I just listened to the Eakins interview, I thought as usual he was well spoken. But the results sure are much better with Nelson. Eberle, Lander, Yak and Jultz have been much improved. Derek Roy helped sure, but there is more going on and a big part of it is coaching IMO.

    I dream daily of acquiring OEL (and resigning Petry). Too bad its just that. Ive seen the Pronger impact where a 1D comes in and gives the other 5 easier minutes. OEL isnt Pronger but man he’d improve the lineup.

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

    steveb12344: I don’t know where he got balance from.I almost fell off my chair when I saw that picture.

    The only way it could have been better is if there was a mirror standing behind her.

    Since the Oilers certainly don’t have balance quite yet, and may never get there at this rate, maybe LT just decided enough’s enough. Ha ha

  35. thejonrmcleod says:

    I think coaching to win the Corsi battle is a losing strategy. It’s not that I don’t think Corsi is important. But if Corsi is preached too much to the players, I think there is a tendency to settle for lower quality of shots. Maybe it’s my imagination, but that’s what I thought I saw with the Oilers this season under Eakins.

  36. John Chambers says:

    Justin Schultz’s boxcars last night: 1-2-3 +3.

    He hasn’t had stats like that since his first season of professional hockey down in OKC.

    Who was his coach when he won AHL defenseman of the year in only a half-season?

  37. rickithebear says:

    What is becoming apparent is a quick release is not the same as an accurate release.
    Give me the Joe Sakic wrister/snap shot with Kessels open hole and goal post perimeter acuracy.

  38. John Chambers says:

    thejonrmcleod:
    I think coaching to win the Corsi battle is a losing strategy. It’s not that I don’t think Corsi is important. But if Corsi is preached too much to the players, I think there is a tendency to settle for lower quality of shots. Maybe it’s my imagination, but that’s what I thought I saw with the Oilers this season under Eakins.

    It’s definitely a losing strategy. You have to shoot to score, not just drive it into the goalie’s crest. Being satisfied with a victory on the shot clock is a loser’s mentality.

    This is when statistics become an obsession as opposed to a tool to drive the results that actually matter – goals and wins.

  39. steveb12344 says:

    thejonrmcleod:
    I think coaching to win the Corsi battle is a losing strategy. It’s not that I don’t think Corsi is important. But if Corsi is preached too much to the players, I think there is a tendency to settle for lower quality of shots. Maybe it’s my imagination, but that’s what I thought I saw with the Oilers this season under Eakins.

    It’s quite simple really.

    The best teams generally outshoot their opponents. Because, well, they’re better than them.

    That doesn’t necessarily mean that simply outshooting your opponents will make you one of the best teams.

    There is more to being a good to great hockey team than just who can attempt the most shots. There just is!

  40. jake70 says:

    thejonrmcleod: I think coaching to win the Corsi battle is a losing strategy. It’s not that I don’t think Corsi is important. But if Corsi is preached too much to the players, I think there is a tendency to settle for lower quality of shots. Maybe it’s my imagination, but that’s what I thought I saw with the Oilers this season under Eakins.

    Meaning to shoot more even if they are lower quality. This is the Oilers, they don’t shoot more, don’t worry about that. Was there ever a team in the history of hockey who had a 2 on none with time, and didn’t get a shot off? (now, I will acknowledge without comparitive numbers there seems to be an uptick in shots the last couple of seasons.)

  41. Auston Matthews '16 says:

    Queen City Kids!

  42. Dicky94 says:

    Could use the pick from Perron trade plus a prospect to get Seabrook. Hopefully he would sign an extension then. Also last night i suggested about trying to get MPS back from St. Louis. Maybe Nelson could unlock him as well. He is good friends with Lander and would look good on that line with Fraser. Petry for rights to Sobotka and Maggie. Always been a fan of MPS.

  43. John Chambers says:

    steveb12344,

    The Oilers would likely have league-worst PDO for as long as Eakins was coach. They effectively fixed one stat, Corsi, only to bleed on a more important one.

    Like improving your On-base percentage only to never hit a homerun, and substantially reduce your RBI or runs-scored totals. Lunacy.

  44. Caramel Obvious says:

    thejonrmcleod:
    I think coaching to win the Corsi battle is a losing strategy. It’s not that I don’t think Corsi is important. But if Corsi is preached too much to the players, I think there is a tendency to settle for lower quality of shots. Maybe it’s my imagination, but that’s what I thought I saw with the Oilers this season under Eakins.

    People keep saying this like they want to believe it. There is absolutely no evidence that this happened and what evidence there is says the opposite.

    If what you are saying is that the Oilers under Eakins were shooting more from outside in order to pad their Corsi numbers you are certainly wrong. That didn’t happen.

    That said, one difference under Nelson that I have noticed is that wingers are flying the zone more to try and generate odd man rushes. This would create a few more dangerous scoring chances and may (or may not) hurt your Corsi numbers. However, the difference here is going to be small in either direction.

    The difference in shooting percentage is largely noise. That’s a simple fact that is (almost) beyond dispute. Our interpretation of the difference is (almost) completely determined by what we think in advance of our interpretation. The Oilers under Nelson blew two third period leads in a row. Can you imagine if that had happened under Eakins?

    Finally, it is obvious that the Edmonton media and the Edmonton fanbase disliked Eakins from the start. And it is obvious they disliked him because he was well spoken. There are many examples of this both in the media and at this site.

  45. PhrankLee says:

    John Chambers,

    The totals seem to really point to DE coaching for corsi and expecting the rest to take care of itself.

  46. Concur says:

    I may be wrong (it happens), but Yakupov’s assist on Roy goal, by eye, it looked like Yaupov originally didn’t want to pass it away. Any thoughts on this?

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

    John Chambers:
    steveb12344,

    The Oilers would likely have league-worst PDO for as long as Eakins was coach. They effectively fixed one stat, Corsi, only to bleed on a more important one.

    Like improving your On-base percentage only to never hit a homerun, and substantially reduce your RBI or runs-scored totals. Lunacy.

    I don’ think this is a fair analogy. OBP can be improved simply by taking walks. If you had a team of nine.400 OBP guys you’re going to score a lot of runs even if you don’t hit home runs.
    How do you propose to improve PDO, exactly? There isn’t the same degree of control as OBP. Luck is a significant component of PDO whereas in OBP it has significantly less. Improving your OBP is mostly a skill. Improving your PDO is as much luck as skill, if not more luck than skill. (Yes, you can take higher percentage shots only and improve your shooting percentage: are you trying to only shoot 15 times in a game but make 7 of them very high quality? You can try to close off everything in the box and let the other team pepper 50 shots on goal at you, with as many as you can from the outside but luck, bounces, bad goaltending, etc., happen).

  48. Caramel Obvious says:

    John Chambers: It’s definitely a losing strategy. You have to shoot to score, not just drive it into the goalie’s crest. Being satisfied with a victory on the shot clock is a loser’s mentality.

    This is when statistics become an obsession as opposed to a tool to drive the results that actually matter – goals and wins.

    You know this isn’t true right. You must. No one can really believe this is what happened. Can they?

    steveb12344: It’s quite simple really.

    The best teams generally outshoot their opponents. Because, well, they’re better than them.

    That doesn’t necessarily mean that simply outshooting your opponents will make you one of the best teams.

    There is more to being a good to great hockey team than just who can attempt the most shots.There just is!

    You speak like you understand the issues, both in terms of statistics and in terms of hockey. And yet you don’t. I mean, look at that sentence. It’s astonishing. I mean have you ever, in your entire life, played a hockey game in which you were outshot and went into the dressing room and said, “you know what boys, I know we just got dominated out there but we were the better team because our shots were quality.” This is something that never happens.

    Moreover,

    jake70: Meaning to shoot more even if they are lower quality. This is the Oilers, they don’t shoot more, don’t worry about that. Was there ever a team in the history of hockey who had a 2 on none with time, and didn’t get a shot off? (now, I will acknowledge without comparitive numbers there seems to be an uptick in shots the last couple of seasons.)

    This is obviously true. To the extent that the Oilers are different than other teams, especially under Eakins, is that they passed up shots in order to try and make the extra pass. This has been true for years. So, if anything, the Oilers Corsi would be higher if they shot at will like other teams. What Steve and John are suggesting is the exact opposite of what actually happens. It’s bizarro world. How can two people be so wrong?

    John Chambers:
    steveb12344,

    The Oilers would likely have league-worst PDO for as long as Eakins was coach. They effectively fixed one stat, Corsi, only to bleed on a more important one.

    Like improving your On-base percentage only to never hit a homerun, and substantially reduce your RBI or runs-scored totals. Lunacy.

    This is ridiculous. First, this never happens nor could it. Second, RBI is an irrelevant statistic. Third, improving your on-base percentage does, in fact, increase your run-scored totals. Moreover, it does so exponentially (a team with a 1.000 OBP would score an infinite number of runs).

    So you are wrong about baseball as well as hockey. Nice!

  49. Halfwise says:

    Eakins had some turns of phrase that (to my ear) weren’t used properly. Perhaps “bill of goods” is akin to his usage of “digging in our heels”. Call me pedantic but when a person digs in his heels he resists change, and that’s not what Eakins was actually trying to convey when he talked about the team needing to push back.

    So maybe when he says “sold a bill of goods” he isn’t talking about MacT cheating him, which is what the term normally means. Maybe he’s talking about a shared misunderstanding of reality, the state and potential of the Oiler team as they viewed it.

    There’s a lot of evidence that as a pairing MacT and Eakins had their own tiny groupthink going in terms of roster composition and TOI. It’s no coincidence that Lander does well under Nelson but couldn’t get the time of day from Eakins.

    I like the way the team plays these days, but admittedly there’s a ton of confirmation bias in my opinion. They were awful before Eakins in terms of structure. Maybe they had to put up with 110 or so games of Eakins boot camp, build some conscious competence even though they looked awkward most of the time, and now under Nelson’s guidance they can relax and let things be more instinctive and less conscious / deliberate.

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

    Just a heads up to those who’ve been asking about oil, etc., the month-end squeeze from Friday continuing in crude futures today. Up to $51.65 now. We were talking about a relief rally that wouldn’t go above $60 coming back when it was at $45. Looks like we are seeing it now.

  51. nelson88 says:

    Caramel Obvious: Finally, it is obvious that the Edmonton media and the Edmonton fanbase disliked Eakins from the start. And it is obvious they disliked him because he was well spoken. There are many examples of this both in the media and at this site.

    Can’t speak for the media but as a member of the fan base I can’t agree. I didn’t like how the Eakins hiring went down but it didn’t seem like a terrible idea at the time and was generally positive on it. The major problem was what LT; and others, have pointed out in the past and have done so again today. He is a “well-spoken” leader who says all the right things but does not take any accountability for what doesn’t work. His comment about how it was “his bad” for failing to predict how poorly his players understood basic defensive concepts; and in doing so threw some very well respected pro and junior coaches unfairly under a bus, was the first red flag. Smartest guy in the room syndrome and no personal accountability is a fatal flaw in any leader.

  52. G Money says:

    Caramel Obvious: The difference in shooting percentage is largely noise. That’s a simple fact that is (almost) beyond dispute. Our interpretation of the difference is (almost) completely determined by what we think in advance of our interpretation. The Oilers under Nelson blew two third period leads in a row. Can you imagine if that had happened under Eakins?

    From the day Nelson took over, there has been an almost 3% increase in the Oilers shooting percentage, and it has held relatively steady since then. That makes it a surprisingly un-noisy trend in what should be an extremely noisy stat.

    This doesn’t seem to be because Nelson is a miracle worker – it seems that the sh% was suppressed under Eakins. If you look at the trend visually on the chart I posted earlier, you can practically see the sh% impairment under Eakins. It is steadily low – again, surprisingly un-noisy for a noisy stat.

    I do not buy any of the perimeter/close shots or sv% nonsense (since the first has not changed much at all since Nelson took over and the second is a crazy noisy stat that that has NEVER been meaningfully influenced by a head coach anywhere).

    But I do believe that it is reasonable to think that Eakins used a strategy that suppressed the effectiveness of the shooters to some meaningful degree.

    I was at the Calgary game, and the one thing that appeared very distinctly different in the structure of the Oiler attack is that it appears that Nelson coaches the team to allow the defensemen to pinch aggressively. They do it more often, and they do it more aggressively. What the team does now though, is the forwards seem to be expecting the pinch and are consistently moving to cover for gap left by the pinching defensemen.

    This appears to have resulted in more dangerous shots (not more shots and not necessarily closer shots, but more dangerous shots) than under Eakins.

    What I observed under Eakins is that he played a ‘safe’ game in that he seemed to discourage his D from pinching. It seemed to me that when the D did pinch (as the game dictates they inevitably will have to), the forwards were ‘surprised’ by this and failed to properly cover the pinch. This – again, theory based on visual observation – resulted in two negative things: fewer quality chances for, and yet ALSO more odd man rushes against.

    I think the delta in goal differential we’ve seen with Nelson could be explained by that alone.

    I talked in a thread yesterday about temporal Corsi (time based Corsi) – I think the difference between Eakins and Nelson may not be apparent in ‘normal’ Corsi, but what I see by eye suggests it might show up in temporal Corsi. The Oilers get more Corsi flurries, and these I think are more likely to result in a goal.

    I do not yet have the data I need to properly test this hypothesis, but if I get it, I will certainly post here.

  53. Caramel Obvious says:

    I’ve defended Eakins a lot, but I also like Nelson. I like that they are taking a few more chances, and I like how well Lander is playing. Justin Schultz also looks better. I don’t think Yakupov is necessarily playing better, I thought he did good things under Eakins as well. He’s the poster child for the variance of shooting percentage. He had lots of chances to score under Eakins as well and they didn’t go in. Under Nelson they still aren’t going in, but he is making plays.

    All that said, it’s not like the Oilers are dominating teams or even playing particularly well. What they are doing is getting better goaltending and avoiding stretches of terrible play that marked the long losing streak.

    The best the Oilers have played this year was at the beginning of the year when they had long stretches of dominating teams like the Canucks and the Flames and the Rangers, that were largely undone by goaltending and a failure to cash on chances.. The worst they played was during the long losing streak when their will was being crushed by despair.

    This team needs to play like they did at the beginning of the year, add a pinch of offensive dynamism, and solid goaltending.

    They aren’t there now. I remind everyone that the Flames pretty solidly outplayed them last game. That’s not progress from the beginning of the year.

  54. John Chambers says:

    Caramel Obvious,

    Ahh a stats zealot! I think this is what McCurdy is referring to as the second phase of the war. 🙂

  55. Caramel Obvious says:

    G Money,

    The D under Eakins pinched very aggressively. It was the hallmark of how they played. Now it wasn’t always effective, and I agree that the forwards weren’t particularly good at covering for them, but as a factual matter I don’t think it’s true that they weren’t aggressive.

    Indeed, I would call this the most distinctive feature of how they played, especially when they were playing well.

  56. Showerhead says:

    Bill of goods: I think this is an honest, non-aggressive way of saying he expected a more competitive roster. I don’t see spite or blame.

    A lot of young players struggle: I think this is a fact, plain and simple. Separately, I perceive Yak to be quite thoroughly a heart-on-sleeve person. I doubt “hey guy, stay cool, your shooting percentage was unsustainably high” would come close to working for him.

    Yakupov was coached away from the rink: I think this means Eakins tried to get to know him personally as well. A lot of DE’s interviews when he was hired spoke of needing to get to know players as individuals. I follow Eakins on Twitter and there was at least one photo of him and Yak just “hanging out”. I think you have to jump a train, make a station transfer, and hit the airport just in time for a standby flight to take the Yak quote to mean “Larionov was messing shit up.”

    Eakins coached for Corsi: You know, I wouldn’t be surprised if this was true (but like all strategic truths, it would only be true to an extent.) I do think the number of posters who claim they knew it all along will greatly outrank the number of posters who have suggested it in the past.

    Nelson is fixing this ship: I can’t help it either, I want to believe this to be true. I just don’t understand how so many rational, mathy posters can look at a sample so tiny and decide they’ve reached their conclusions. On a blog where we acknowledge “the tournament of small sample sizes” when talking about the draft, where we understand that “clutch” narratives are often overblown in the playoffs, where we can even predict huge shifts like Colorado coming back to earth once their PDO levels out, I can’t believe that anyone is looking at these last few weeks and deciding that Nelson has absolutely fixed things.

    But I want it to be true so I love Lander’s numbers and apparently Schultz has done slightly less Jultzing and I mean they outshot San Jose and by Gord they are even winning. In Nelson I trust?

    Sigh. That hamster wheel is ever spinning in the life of an Oiler fan.

  57. PhrankLee says:

    Caramel Obvious: I remind everyone that the Flames pretty solidly outplayed them last game.

    Strongly agree. They didn’t appear to belong on the same ice as the game wore on.

  58. Caramel Obvious says:

    John Chambers,

    That is a simply ignorant statement that is betrayed by all evidence.

    Counting shots is not a statistic. It’s counting. You might as well call me a counting zealot.

    It’s as elementary as saying baseball is about avoiding outs. That isn’t a statistical statement. It is a rational one.

    I like that better and I’ll accept it. I am a Rational Zealot.

  59. G Money says:

    The Artist formerly known as “NYCOIL”:
    Just a heads up to those who’ve been asking about oil, etc., the month-end squeeze from Friday continuing in crude futures today. Up to $51.65 now. We weretalking about a relief rally that wouldn’t go above $60 coming back when it was at $45. Looks like we are seeing it now.

    You think this is purely a technical squeeze, or is there something fundamental at work?

    Of course, I’d expect that shorts inevitably lean the wrong way at bottoms.

    I ask because the OPEC minister was musing last week that he thought we had in fact seen the bottom and that the next fear should be $200 oil, not $40 oil. Right or wrong, when OPEC speaks on oil prices, you gotta listen.

    That would also be consistent with prior oil bear markets, which were the exceedingly unusual v-shape – and like all sustaining rebounds, climbed the wall of worry and left people skeptical until it was too late.

  60. VOR says:

    Returning to the scouting/draft item at the top of the blog I have been working on a “who will the Oilers take post” I can stick somewhere in a relevant thread. Most of the names on my list were not even being mentioned here when I first identified them. Now in one post Lowetide talks about three of the 8 people on my list. Of course he has already talked about Jack Eichel and touched on Roope Hintz in passing so I figure I should go ahead and list my picks before LT names them all. Remember these are the players I think the Oilers will take not the ones I think they should take.

    Assuming we hold on through the season and lottery draft and get 2nd OV

    Jack Eichel
    Jordan Greenway
    Roope Hintz
    Ryan Gropp
    Keegan Kolesar
    Ethan Bear
    Pavel Karnaukhov
    Marcus McIvor

    I am sure the Oilers covet Kolesar. He is amazingly strong and lets be kind and say he possesses a savage demeanor. In other words he is a coke machine with the hands and feet of an actual NHL player. If the goal is bigger, stronger, faster Kolesar is above average in all three.

    There is above average and then there is ridiculously far beyond normal and that brings us to the biggest project in the draft, Jordan Greenway.

    I don’t know why Greenway’s name doesn’t come up a lot here. Every ranking report says he is right in the range for the Oilers 2nd pick in the first round. He is a monster who skates as well or better than any existing Oiler. 6’5″, 222 lbs and still growing. When paired with his buddy Jack Eichel he looked like a player. Uncoupled from Eichel Greenway looks a little lost. Or maybe that should be a lot lost. He wanders the ice being out of position wherever he goes. However, many scouts look at him and see a natural center playing out of position and fighting his natural instincts. He is very good in the faceoff circle, can stickhandle far better than most big men, is a + to elite skater and loves to hit people. The downside is he can’t seem to score without Eichel. But do any of us think the Oilers, if Paul Bittner is gone (and he will be) can pass up a jumbo coke machine with NHL+ skills? Especially if they already have Eichel?

    Roope Hintz (C) will be a reach at 32 (if that is where the Oilers end up picking). I still think the Oilers go for it. I can even explain why. In Finland Hintz is compared quite regularly in the press with Esa Tikkanen. Hintz is blazing fast, many Oilers fans forget how fast Tikkanen was before the knee injury. Jesus could he fly. So can Hintz, probably the best skater in every way in the draft and almost exactly the same size as Tikk (though the odd bent over skating style made Tikk look smaller). Hintz is the best penalty killer in the draft, uncanny anticipation. Also, aggravating as all get out to play against. It is obvious why he is compared to Tikk.

    Ryan Gropp (LW) is a player who seems hard to place for ranking services. He is all over the map. It is probably the fact that there is real doubt he will ever learn to care a shit about his defensive responsibilities and for a big guy doesn’t really use his size. On the other hand the kid lives to score and will do whatever it takes to put the puck in the net.

    Ethan Bear (D) is another guy who scouts are split on. This time I don’t get it. He is an emerging star offensive D-man. Just more defensively responsible (albeit smaller) than most. But this is an elite talent that for some reason is going to be available at a bargain sale price. The Oilers like this type of player.

    Pavel Karnaukhov is another big center, this time from the Calgary Hitmen. Like Kolesar he has some offence, a big body and a gritty style. Not well liked by most OilKing fans which is probably a great recommendation right there. Hard to get a read on but definitely not an absurd pick if you are looking for possible future NHL coke machines.

    Marcus McIvor is my pick for the best overager in the draft. Right handed D who can play either side because he and his partner on the North Bay Battalion, Brenden Miller (another great overager – probably worth signing as a free agent or protecting with a later draft pick) is another right hander. McIvor is a rock. Maybe boulder would be a better word, 6″1′ and wider than he is tall. Plus skater. Stay at home defenceman who is truly great against forecheck pressure. Above average at the quick breakout pass. Not flashy, which explains why he is ending his junior career undrafted. Just gets it done night after night. Will probably step straight into a regular AHL job next year.

  61. steveb12344 says:

    Caramel Obvious: People keep saying this like they want to believe it.There is absolutely no evidence that this happened and what evidence there is says the opposite.

    If what you are saying is that the Oilers under Eakins were shooting more from outside in order to pad their Corsi numbers you are certainly wrong.That didn’t happen.

    Maybe the Corsi coaching had more to do with the defensive side of it.

    I think the idea behind the swarm may have been to get to your opponents quickly, thus limiting their ability to get off shot attempts.

    Sounds great in theory. Problem is that in reality while you may be eliminating some shot attempts, they were clearly leaving guys open in high scoring areas for the 5-bellers that seemed to happen at least once a period.

    This system might still work well with a veteran team, and some time to absorb it and implement it to their games. With a young, inexperienced group like the Oilers though, it was pretty clear that they were having a lot of trouble, not just understanding it. But executing it as well.

    At this level there is no time for thinking about what you should be doing. You have to know it cold, and react immediately. That’s why you see these veteran teams that while they don’t look like much on paper, they still always play tough, and enjoy at least moderate success. Everyone knows their job and they just execute.

    I also think that when a team is frequently giving up those almost can’t-miss scoring chances, and looks like they are lost with their defensive coverage. It has to be extremely unsettling to the Goaltenders. While I know that some here would beg to differ, I would say that a goalie who has lost confidence in his teams ability to defend, has little to no chance of playing to the best of his capabilities. At least not with any kind of consistency.

    Actually, confidence in sports is much like goaltending. It only counts for a small percentage of the overall game. Until you don’t have any, and then it’s nearly 100% of it.

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

    G Money,

    As you probably know a lot of US hedge funds got super bearish on oil very late. $46 level and from my contacts and former colleagues at the big shops south of the border, a favorite trade of these guys was short CAD, short energy names as well. And they are getting squeezed.

    I don’t really have any skin in this game so I am watching with bemusement while this unfolds. I did tell some of the guys here that remember the end of the financial crisis in 2009 March. No one called that the bottom. I mean, NO ONE. So I’m not in the habit of sticking my neck out either way. So, all I said was I saw it getting to $45. Beyond that, I don’t know. I think it rebounds back, but likely not beyond $60. And that I don’t think it falls below the financial crisis low of $32.50.

    I’m going to buy some USD if we see $1.23 though, which we are close on now.

    To me, more than what OPEC says at the moment, the interesting thing is the rig count in the US.

    I don’t know how I can send that chart to you here. It’s gone from 1943 in early December down to 1500 rigs active in the US. That’s a big cut. And, like with any other “crisis” situation, we’ve seen the energy equities become more resilient to drops in spot/futures in oil. So that an aggressive bounce has come is no surprise.

    I don’t know if I can call an ultimate bottom here, though. I mean, a relief rally was so overdue. We have it. Is it more? I don’t know yet.

  63. G Money says:

    Caramel Obvious: The D under Eakins pinched very aggressively. It was the hallmark of how they played.

    I think that might have been the verbal, but it didn’t consistently jive with what I saw. The numbers (other than the horrifically variable and unreliable sh%) are only now starting to back up the observed difference.

    You already noted two of the changes: the wingers fly the zone sooner, but seem to be doing it from deeper (in other words, the aggression is still there but the risk is a bit lower). The stretch pass is clearly part of the strategy to beat teams that clog the neutral zone.

    And the last is the pinching D. You can call the Eakins version aggressive, but what I see appears to be a pinching strategy under Nelson of “more often, deeper, but better covered”. I guess unless someone actively measures the incidence and depth of D pinching (and goes back and comparatively reviews earlier Eakins games), we won’t have an objective measure of that, just a subjective one.

  64. Pouzar says:

    The Artist formerly known as "NYCOIL": I don’ think this is a fair analogy. OBP can be improved simply by taking walks. If you had a team of nine.400 OBP guys you’re going to score a lot of runs even if you don’t hit home runs.
    How do you propose to improve PDO, exactly?There isn’t the same degree of control as OBP. Luck is a significant component of PDO whereas in OBP it has significantly less. Improving your OBP is mostly a skill. Improving your PDO is as much luck as skill, if not more luck than skill. (Yes, you can take higher percentage shots only and improve your shooting percentage: are you trying to only shoot 15 times in a game but make 7 of them very high quality? You can try to close off everything in the box and let the other team pepper 50 shots on goal at you, with as many as you can from the outside but luck, bounces, bad goaltending, etc., happen).

    I think PDO is more akin to BABIP.

  65. steveb12344 says:

    Caramel Obvious:

    You speak like you understand the issues, both in terms of statistics and in terms of hockey.And yet you don’t. I mean, look at that sentence.It’s astonishing.I mean have you ever, in your entire life, played a hockey game in which you were outshot and went into the dressing room and said, “you know what boys, I know we just got dominated out there but we were the better team because our shots were quality.”This is something that never happens.

    You’re a real piece of work.

    First off I didn’t say any such thing. Show me where in my post that I did.

    Secondly, getting outshot, happens quite regularly without being “dominated”

    When have you ever in your life heard a team say…” I don’t care that we scored more goals, and won the game. We got outshot 53% to 47%. That is just not acceptable.

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

    Pouzar: I think PDO is more akin to BABIP.

    Yup. Agree. I was going to say that, but thought I better not throw too many different terms out there. ha ha

  67. G Money says:

    The Artist formerly known as “NYCOIL”: To me, more than what OPEC says at the moment, the interesting thing is the rig count in the US.
    I don’t know how I can send that chart to you here. It’s gone from 1943 in early December down to 1500 rigs active in the US. That’s a big cut. And, like with any other “crisis” situation, we’ve seen the energy equities become more resilient to drops in spot/futures in oil. So that an aggressive bounce has come is no surprise.

    Not to worry – I have all the rig charts for both Canada and the US that you could possibly ask for.

    I run the Canadian division of an energy services company. We sit at the tail end of the oil price business cycle whip, so this downturn is an acutely painful crack to the downside.

    And the business won’t rebound until the rig count does. I had to significantly reduce staff a few weeks ago, but now we are well positioned to ride out a year or more low-price situation. But if it runs two years, survival is very much at stake.

    (“Not to worry” might be the wrong phrase … more like “shit bricks, man, shit bricks”)

  68. G Money says:

    The Artist formerly known as “NYCOIL”: We have it. Is it more? I don’t know yet.

    On a positive note, things are so quiet around here I have lots more time to spend on hockey number crunching! The Nelson Resurgence came just in time.

  69. nelson88 says:

    A couple names I find interesting in the upcoming draft

    NoahJuulsen – RH D that is putting up some great point totals in Everett. According to reports he often is paired with Betker. Average size but reportedly willing to be aggressive. Predicted to go somewhere in the 2nd round.

    Terrell Draude – Big kid that went in the 2nd round of the Bantam draft Point totals are nothing to get excited about but they come in spurts. A long term project that just needs some consistency? Could be a great pick if he falls to the late rounds. Thoughts from anyone who sees the Hitmen games?

  70. misfit says:

    “******* ******* ******** ****** ******* ****** ******** ******** ******* ******* ******
    ******* ******* ******** ****** ******* ****** ******** ******** ******* ******* *******
    ******* ******* ******** ****** ******* ****** ******** ******** ******* ******* *******
    ******* ******* ******** ****** ******* ****** ******** ******** ******* ******* *******
    ******* ******* ******** ****** ******* ****** ******** ******** ******* ******* *******
    ******* ******* ******** ****** balance ****** ************ ******* ****** ***** *****
    ******* ******* ******** ****** ******* ****** ******** ******** ******* ******* *******
    ******* ******* ******** ****** ******* ****** ******** ******** ******* ******* *******
    ******* ******* ******** ****** ******* ****** ******** ******** ******* ******* *******
    ******* ******* ******** ****** ******* ****** ******** ******** ******* ******* *******”

    Yes…I agree completely.

  71. vinotintazo says:

    Are the oilers going to recall someone? they have 4 players injured AFAIK (Nikitin, Pitlick, Hall, Pouliot), that’s a pretty weak LW now.

    xxx-RNH-Ebs
    Yak-Roy-Purcell
    Hendricks-Gordon-Klink
    Fraser-Lander-Gazdic

    I’d probably move Lander up there, or Yak. although I would like Yak to stay with Roy…
    Recall Pakarinen? C. Hamilton?

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

    vinotintazo,

    They should IR Hall for 15 days and recall Pakarinen.
    Rather see Hall rest and get healthy.

    But these are your Edmonton Oilers.

  73. John Chambers says:

    Caramel Obvious,

    If you’re promoting ‘pucks to the net’, thereby enhancing Corsi, while foresaking passes to drive better scoring opportunities, you’re playing the game to lose and undermining the skills of your most talented players, Mr Eakins.

    Just like I stated before, if your power hitter isn’t swinging with one out and men on second and third, your over-emphasizing OBP instead of scoring runs.

    But you call me an idiot for calling some context into the discussion making me wonder I’ve bothered to reply to your vitriol.

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

    G Money,

    Well, for the sake of this country and your situation (and others here), I hope things do turn around quickly; however, the Bank of Canada’s recent decision to cut rates worries me. I don’t’ think they know what they’re doing and they’re reacting to short-term market dislocations in a knee-jerk manner.

    Relief rally aside, I’m still concerned in terms of the outlook for the next couple of years.

  75. RexLibris says:

    VOR,

    Nice read. Thanks for that.

    I had started scouting some of these kids the other day in advance of some draft writing I had planned and Hintz, Meier and the Big Russian Nurse battled with (name escapes me right now) jumped out at me.

    This is a very intriguing draft.

    Usually after the 1st round you get size or skill but not both.

    In this draft you are getting both and a lot of each at that in a number of players.

    Teams that screw up this draft are going to regret it for a long time. I’m praying that I can use the term “teams” to mean those other than the Oilers. If they do this year what they did last then I’m going to be very, very upset with them.

  76. RexLibris says:

    The Artist formerly known as “NYCOIL”:
    G Money,

    Well, for the sake of this country and your situation (and others here), I hope things do turn around quickly; however, the Bank of Canada’s recent decision to cut rates worries me. I don’t’ think they know what they’re doing and they’re reacting to short-term market dislocations in a knee-jerk manner.

    Relief rally aside, I’m still concerned in terms of the outlook for the next couple of years.

    Agreed.

    Did you read about Carney’s comments the other day wrt austerity and creating a more fluid financial union? He cites something that sounds kind of like transfer payments. http://www.theguardian.com/business/2015/jan/28/bank-england-governor-attacks-eurozone-austerity

  77. Heinz 57 says:

    Yeti: Simply amazing, beautiful photo, LT. Tigers are so stunningly graceful, even under water.

    That’s a CGI tiger. You know that, don’t you?

    Oscar Effects: How Life Of Pi caught a digital tiger by the tail

    “The hardest [scenes to film] were when the tiger was in water and especially in the storm, when the boat’s splashing around,” Westenhofer told The Los Angeles Times. “The water work and having to have water interact with hair and vice versa was, from a science standpoint, this cyclic pipeline of each affects the other. And the tiger’s being done in one software package, the water’s being done with another. We’ve got to get them all to talk to each other and to interact. They were by far the longest shots in production and the hardest that we did.”

    Actually, real tigers were used in some of the water sequences, so it’s not easy to know whether this particular shot is depiction or fantasy.

    Here’s my own balance photograph that I’ve been saving for many months.

    There’s more than a few things one might say about this photograph. First of all, if you wedge your sandal under the front wheel, don’t be surprised if you’re set upon by a Senegal tiger with sinuous mahogany limbs in a dust up for the ages.

    Anyone else for the “Because Oilers balanced brick bicycle caption competition”?

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

    Crude futures stops triggered further at 51.50. We’re now up through $54 in a flash as there is a panic short cover in the markets.

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

    So, with Bruce McCurdy and PhrankLee’s help we have a possible template for a new moniker for the Hendricks-Gordon-Klinkhammer line.

    It’s too creative so it will never stick.

    It’s a line of gods (gords). The God Line, or the Gord Line simply works around here.

    Hendrix (Guitar God)- Gordon(thank the Gords he’s here)-Thor’s Klinkhammer

  80. G Money says:

    The idea that Dallas Eakins was coaching to Corsi is an understandable post-facto explanation of what happened, but it’s not really supported by the evidence.

    First, the Oilers did not give up an in ordinate number of shots from in close, and neither has that statistic particularly improved (i.e. decreased) under Nelson.

    Secondly, the number of shots the Oilers took from the perimeter was not that unusual under Eakins, so the idea of the forwards shooting to maximize Corsi isn’t really supportable either.

    In fact, when you look at shots and goals, one thing that truly stands out is the inordinate number of goals that the Oilers gave up on shots from the blue line – which supports the claim that lousy goaltending was the biggest part of what did Eakins in.

    The other aspect of trying to deconstruct Eakins and his recent comments as to how that implies he coached, it’s not necessarily the obvious answer that he coached his players to maximize Corsi to the detriment of the rest of their game.

    It appears to me that he did the right thing, which is to use Corsi to identify teams that were actually good, then look at the things those teams were doing to model his own systems and strategies.

    An example of that is when he talked about looking at the Sharks power-play and their outstanding shot rate, then looking at the things they do (movement, drive to net, etc) to use as a model.

    This is exactly the right thing to do, otherwise you could end up looking at last year’s team standings and decide to model Patrick “Coach of the Year” Roy’s Avalanche team, in all their underlying terribleness consistently bailed out by Vezina-level goaltending.

    That’s the logical way to use Corsi, that’s likely the way Eakins probably did use it, and if you’re looking for explanations as to the change in the team post-Nelson, the explanation probably lies elsewhere.

    Personally, the most likely explanation for me is that a. Nelson is a better teaching coach working with young players, b. he’s coaching to the system he knows and uses in OKC rather than trying to model someone else’s system, c. that system is a good fit to the capabilities of the players that he has, and d. he’s getting better goaltending, at least from Fasth. Goaltending cures all.

    Eakins on the other hand might have become the Icharus of hockey systems, flying too close to the Sun of talented teams. I’d guess he tried modeling the systems of Corsi powerhouses like Boston, Chicago, San Jose, LAK, etc., and did so without ever having the skill or the size or the defensive awareness on his roster to successfully pull it off.

  81. Numenius says:

    Caramel Obvious: I don’t think Yakupov is necessarily playing better, I thought he did good things under Eakins as well. He’s the poster child for the variance of shooting percentage. He had lots of chances to score under Eakins as well and they didn’t go in. Under Nelson they still aren’t going in, but he is making plays.

    All that said, it’s not like the Oilers are dominating teams or even playing particularly well. What they are doing is getting better goaltending and avoiding stretches of terrible play that marked the long losing streak.

    I think it may be time to step away from the keyboard.

    You said that Yak is the poster child for variance in shooting percentage and yet that his shots still aren’t going in, which would mean that there is no variance.

    The second bit isn’t as problematic, but it sounds like you mean to imply that the Oilers play hasn’t really improved while at the same time saying that they’re avoiding stretches of terrible play, which would be to say that it has improved.

    Caramel Obvious: They aren’t there now. I remind everyone that the Flames pretty solidly outplayed them last game. That’s not progress from the beginning of the year.

    Yes, it’s true that the Flames game wasn’t better than the beginning of the year, and was a regression to the despairing team under Eakins.

    The San Jose game, however, showed that they are better than the beginning of the year in certain respects. Their level of play on the whole wasn’t better, but the fact that they were able to avoid despair and push back when luck was against them and pull out a character win was better than the team at the beginning of the year.

  82. Rational Zealot says:

    G Money,

    Now that was an excellent post.

  83. pocession charge says:

    Heinz 57: That’s a CGI tiger.You know that, don’t you?

    I saw a white tiger just like the one in the picture at a six flags amusement park just north of San Francisco. It dove underwater to catch its food — quite an amazing animal.

  84. RexLibris says:

    G Money,

    My sentiments exactly.

    I think Eakins was trying to do something very intelligent with his team, but the roster was unable to respond to his requests due to poor construction and too little skill. I also believe that Eakins may not be the best teaching coach, so while the theory is there the application is lacking.

    Add to that the mystery that is goaltending performance and I think you can sum up Eakins’ time here to the best of our abilities as observers.

    I like Nelson and argued for his gradual promotion to the NHL a while back. However, I have seen the Oilers peak at the tail end of the season many times before and this almost never carries over to the following year. Nelson deserves credit for getting production from Lander, improved play from Schultz and some early life signs from Yakupov. But I think Nelson is a very good teaching coach.

    I also think that these players did not arrive at the Oilers without having at least some potential to do what they are doing now, so some credit goes to them as well.

    Regardless of what Nelson does this season the Oilers absolutely have to go into the off-season interviewing potential replacement coaches. They have wasted the last five years dithering around in this regard. They need to get it right this time.

    If that means Nelson, fine. But don’t pick Nelson without at least exploring options on Babcock, McLellan and others.

  85. Woodguy says:

    Where is that woman’s nipples?

  86. John Chambers says:

    G Money,

    Excellent post.

  87. Unicorns says:

    I think a team with the core players being young should expect to be out shot, probably out chanced, but can win games still because of talent and youthful drive. Mature players are more even, young players streaky.

    What could change Corsi in a major way? Better players. The Oilers have many new players, but I wouldn’t say that there’s is much of a net benefit and the first line is the same. Pouliot is offset by Nikitin and so on.

    Systems would. They aren’t playing that much differently than when Eakins left, minor tweaks. They are more relaxed for sure and that will cause players to play better in itself. Really other than getting older and physically more mature for some guys, they shouldn’t be a higher Corsi team at this point, just like the Av’s aren’t with all their talent.

    Big gains will only be made when weak players are replaced with better players. Small gains from players maturing and I think a stable goalie which allows the team to settle and play better.

    As for Seabrook, he is a beauty, but are we thinking about 25 year old Seabrook with 6-7 years of contract left, or turning 30 Seabrook with a year left on his contract and a huge payday on the horizon in a cap tight era?

  88. Auston Matthews '16 says:

    G Money,

    Eakarus. Nice!

  89. RexLibris says:

    Woodguy:
    Where is that woman’s nipples?

    I was wondering the exact same thing. Then I started to look for the seam of where a bodysuit might be. Nada. LT must’ve photoshopped it for us to make SFW.

  90. spoiler says:

    The Artist formerly known as “NYCOIL”: I did tell some of the guys here that remember the end of the financial crisis in 2009 March. No one called that the bottom

    Respectfully, the crisis isn’t over, take one look at interest rates and yield curves. All that happened was the crisis was turned into slow motion Kabuki theatre, and the central banks decided to steal from the poor & the middle class to blow some asset bubbles and buy some time to give the banking system a chance to regain some appearance of solvency.

    Nothing fundamental has changed. Not one thing other than more debt, devalued currencies, greater income disparity, more misallocation of capital…

    Not to mention it appears we are entering another echo crisis… just as 07-09 was an echo crisis of the dotcom bubble, which in itself was an echo crisis of the mid-90s crisis, which was echo of the 1980s crises, which echoed the USA defaulting on foreign debt obligations in 1971.

    G Money,

    This could get very bad.

    Canada is already in a recession. Australia too. China is teetering, Japan is wandering the hinterlands, Europe is in a recession in many countries if not all, Russia has been forced into a recession, US data has been pretty bad this quarter.

    There is already over-production in the Oil sector, even with the cut in rig count. If over-supply persists with the lower rig numbers, we are going down down down.

    Maybe things improve, but the rig count was where it was due to misallocation of capital. Government spending, central bank pumping and ZIRP policy makes it difficult for economic actors to make the right decisions. Japan building roads and bridges to nowhere, and China building vacant cities created false demand and interest rate policies incentivized meeting that demand.

    And now we are going to pay for it.

    JMHO.

  91. Lowetide says:

    Woodguy:
    Where is that woman’s nipples?

    Ha!

  92. book¡je says:

    Lowetide: Ha!

    It’s funny because everyone looked for them.

  93. linkfromhyrule says:

    Woodguy:
    Where is that woman’s nipples?

    Finally someone asks the real question

  94. spoiler says:

    RexLibris: Agreed.

    Did you read about Carney’s comments the other day wrt austerity and creating a more fluid financial union? He cites something that sounds kind of like transfer payments.http://www.theguardian.com/business/2015/jan/28/bank-england-governor-attacks-eurozone-austerity

    He’s absolutely correct in that the Euro stands no chance of surviving without fiscal unity, but I would expect nothing less than promoting such a view from a socialist like Carney. All of his other points are a load of disingenuous BS including a complete lack of accountability for central banking’s central role in the ongoing financial crises.

  95. RexLibris says:

    spoiler: He’s absolutely correct in that the Euro stands no chance of surviving without fiscal unity, but I would expect nothing less than promoting such a view from a socialist like Carney.All of his other points are a load of disingenuous BS including a complete lack of accountability for central banking’s central role in the ongoing financial crises.

    Ever read Global Minotaur by none other than the man of the hour, Yanis Varoufakis?

    He excoriates the banking systems in both the US and EU, perhaps even more so the EU, for their decisions leading up to but mostly in response to the 2008 crash.

    I’m very interested to see what he has planned here. Not very often someone writes something on geopolitics or economics and then is put into precisely the position to effect their proposed resolutions.

  96. spoiler says:

    Woodguy:
    Where is that woman’s nipples?

    She does have them:

    NSFW!!

    The link is to a Google image search page, not directly to any site or pix. Still, I will be pulling it in 15 minutes, due to the nudity involved.

  97. Auston Matthews '16 says:

    spoiler: I will be pulling it in 15 minutes

    Out of context giggles ensue…

  98. spoiler says:

    RexLibris: Ever read Global Minotaur by none other than the man of the hour, Yanis Varoufakis?

    He excoriates the banking systems in both the US and EU, perhaps even more so the EU, for their decisions leading up to but mostly in response to the 2008 crash.

    I’m very interested to see what he has planned here. Not very often someone writes something on geopolitics or economics and then is put into precisely the position to effect their proposed resolutions.

    He once worked for the Valve/Steam start up, which is famous for employing Hayek in its corporate philosophy. I’m not sure what Syriza is, but they aren’t your typical lefties. The open letter by Tsipras to Handelsblatt read like it had been written by Austrians.

    If you haven’t read it, you can find it here. I can’t disagree with a single word he says.

    Edit: But no, to answer your question have not yet read GM myself.

  99. spoiler says:

    Auston Matthews ’16: Out of context giggles ensue…

    Hahahaha!

    …Hmmmm.

  100. Cameron says:

    spoiler,

    ….and now I’m looking at naked women doing yoga.

    This is not the direction I expected my visit to Lowetide to go.

  101. spoiler says:

    Cameron:
    spoiler,

    ….and now I’m looking at naked women doing yoga.

    This is not the direction I expected my visit to Lowetide to go.

    Lol… well no one made you click the link.
    😉

  102. Cameron says:

    spoiler,

    I wasn’t exactly complaining.

  103. RexLibris says:

    spoiler: He once worked for the Valve/Steam start up, which is famous for employing Hayek in its corporate philosophy.I’m not sure what Syriza is, but they aren’t your typical lefties.The open letter by Tsipras to Handelsblatt read like it had been written by Austrians.

    If you haven’t read it, you can find it here.I can’t disagree with a single word he says.

    Edit: But no, to answer your question have not yet read GM myself.

    Highly recommend reading it. I read a wide variety of books and rarely buy any, but this one I have purchased.

    There was no shortage of authors spewing vitriol at the banking system, governments, etc following the 2008 crash. Most used the opportunity to push one ideology or another, bang the populist drum in some fashion or exploit it as a cudgel on their political opponents.

    Varoufakis goes further into the system than just 2008. He goes back to the turn of the previous century and traces the movements away from Gold Standard and the like to the breakdown of the modern surplus recycling system.

    You can see what he argues for in that the system is trapped in a state of entropy being furiously resisted by banking systems and nations with a very heavy interest in prolonging that system for as long as possible.

    He also touches on exploitative rather than invested wealth strategies.

    I may be biased but I don’t recall finding any particular ideological motive hidden within the text (something for which I keenly watch) although I’m certain that those who follow markets to any extent will find some of his arguments to be a little off-putting.

    http://yanisvaroufakis.eu/books/the-global-minotaur/

  104. RexLibris says:

    spoiler: She does have them:

    So you’re saying she isn’t a Cylon? That’s a relief.

  105. RexLibris says:

    Cameron:
    spoiler,

    ….and now I’m looking at naked women doing yoga.

    This is not the direction I expected my visit to Lowetide to go.

    And people wonder how Oiler fans make it through the day.

    Riddle: solved.

  106. sliderule says:

    Eakins was right about the selling of a “bill of goods” but he was the seller not the buyer.

    He came in to interview as an assistant and walked away with a head coaching job.

    He then instead of getting down to work like the coach the Eskimos hired he went underground.He was occasionally spotted at marathons but he was pretty much under the radar for a good part of summer.

    He comes to camp admittedly without looking at video and puts in a defence that his assistant said had been tried but found wanting .

    When the swarm goes bad he claims it’s because his players have no defensive fundamentals.A familiar theme was emerging that it was not his fault .

    Over the next season and a third he piles on players like yak.Tells the media and team that they have no offensive ability and manages to get the players afraid to make a mistake.

    After being fired he has this TSN interview were he throws an unnamed reporter under the bus for apparently calling his favorite hire a bad name.Wow he has had a sheltered life for hockey guy.

    The question I have did the reporter get the right name when he called the oilers pr guy.

  107. Woodguy says:

    spoiler: She does have them:

    NSFW!!!

    The link is to a Google image search page, not directly to any site or pix. Still, I will be pulling it in 15 minutes, due to the nudity involved.

    What a wonderful example of the human body.

    Thanks for that.

  108. Dicky94 says:

    spoiler,

    It could be a guy with a huge set of waxed testicles. Hope I caught you before your alone time. Lol.

  109. VOR says:

    RexLibris,

    The Russian kid’s name is Alexander Dergachyov. Ironically, if both Bittner and Greenway were gone I think the Oilers might reach and take Dergachyov. Exactly how big a reach that would be isn’t clear ISS has him at 28th OV and yet Central Scouting has him 14th amongst European skaters. Kid is a beast.

  110. RexLibris says:

    Arizona (27th) v Columbus (26th)

    Ottawa (23rd) v New Jersey (25th)

    These games should prove very interesting wrt to the draft dive many believe to be going on right now.

  111. spoiler says:

    Woodguy,

    You’re welcome, but can you do me a favour and kill the quoted link so LT doesn’t drive down to Cochrane and smack me upside the head?

  112. VanOil says:

    G Money: Take a look:
    http://i.imgur.com/qojLuX9.png
    As someone said last night: Nelson cannot be stopped, he can only be contained.

    I love this style of chart. Thank you. That it shows promising things is also nice.

  113. RexLibris says:

    VOR:
    RexLibris,

    The Russian kid’s name is Alexander Dergachyov. Ironically, if both Bittner and Greenway were gone I think the Oilers might reach and take Dergachyov. Exactly how big a reach that would be isn’t clear ISS has him at 28th OV and yet Central Scouting has him 14th amongst European skaters. Kid is a beast.

    Thank you. I knew it was something like that but couldn’t recall exactly and lacked the time to look it up.

    Question: would he be a reach with a late 1st? I’d rather wait and take him with the early 2nd, as I suspect there will be some local kids who get pushed up the rankings on account of a Memorial Cup drive.

    Adding him to the stable (not quite a figurative expression if his vitals are correct) and imagining him alongside Yakimov and Slepyshev does warm the heart a little.

  114. Woodguy says:

    G Money:
    The idea that Dallas Eakins was coaching to Corsi is an understandable post-facto explanation of what happened, but it’s not really supported by the evidence.

    First, the Oilers did not give up an in ordinate number of shots from in close, and neither has that statistic particularly improved (i.e. decreased) under Nelson.

    Secondly, the number of shots the Oilers took from the perimeter was not that unusual under Eakins, so the idea of the forwards shooting to maximize Corsi isn’t really supportable either.

    In fact, when you look at shots and goals, one thing that truly stands out is the inordinate number of goals that the Oilers gave up on shots from the blue line – which supports the claim that lousy goaltending was the biggest part of what did Eakins in.

    The other aspect of trying to deconstruct Eakins and his recent comments as to how that implies he coached, it’s not necessarily the obvious answer that he coached his players to maximize Corsi to the detriment of the rest of their game.

    It appears to me that he did the right thing, which is to use Corsi to identify teams that were actually good, then look at the things those teams were doing to model his own systems and strategies.

    An example of that is when he talked about looking at the Sharks power-play and their outstanding shot rate, then looking at the things they do (movement, drive to net, etc) to use as a model.

    This is exactly the right thing to do, otherwise you could end up looking at last year’s team standings and decide to model Patrick “Coach of the Year” Roy’s Avalanche team, in all their underlying terribleness consistently bailed out by Vezina-level goaltending.

    That’s the logical way to use Corsi, that’s likely the way Eakins probably did use it, and if you’re looking for explanations as to the change in the team post-Nelson, the explanation probably lies elsewhere.

    Personally, the most likely explanation for me is that a. Nelson is a better teaching coach working with young players, b. he’s coaching to the system he knows and uses in OKC rather than trying to model someone else’s system, c. that system is a good fit to the capabilities of the players that he has, and d. he’s getting better goaltending, at least from Fasth.Goaltending cures all.

    Eakins on the other hand might have become the Icharus of hockey systems, flying too close to the Sun of talented teams.I’d guess he tried modeling the systems of Corsi powerhouses like Boston, Chicago, San Jose, LAK, etc., and did so without ever having the skill or the size or the defensive awareness on his roster to successfully pull it off.

    Best summary and conclusions about Eakins’ that I’ve read.

    Thanks for that sir.

  115. Woodguy says:

    spoiler:
    Woodguy,

    You’re welcome, but can you do me a favour and kill the quoted link so LT doesn’t drive down to Cochrane and smack me upside the head?

    Done

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

    spoiler,

    Quite possible. From where I sit from an equities perspectve, it’s hard to argue that S&P @ 666 wasn’t the end of the financial crisis given we reached ~2,100. Is a new one in the works? Probably.

    From your global macro perspective, sure. Like Japan is hosed. Has been for a long time and it’s just getting worse. And yes, global central banks are culpable as they are just flooding the markets with free money. That’s why I said I don’t like what the Bank of Canada has just done. I also said I’m pretty cautious on markets at the moment. We’ve had a good run (I’m not talking about energy here, obviously, but broader markets). I’m reducing my personal exposure to equities. Still keeping some, but am less invested than I was a year ago.

    As they say, we live in interesting times.

  117. spoiler says:

    RexLibris: Highly recommend reading it. I read a wide variety of books and rarely buy any, but this one I have purchased.

    There was no shortage of authors spewing vitriol at the banking system, governments, etc following the 2008 crash. Most used the opportunity to push one ideology or another, bang the populist drum in some fashion or exploit it as a cudgel on their political opponents.

    Varoufakis goes further into the system than just 2008. He goes back to the turn of the previous century and traces the movements away from Gold Standard and the like to the breakdown of the modern surplus recycling system.

    You can see what he argues for in that the system is trapped in a state of entropy being furiously resisted by banking systems and nations with a very heavy interest in prolonging that system for as long as possible.

    He also touches on exploitative rather than invested wealth strategies.

    I may be biased but I don’t recall finding any particular ideological motive hidden within the text (something for which I keenly watch) although I’m certain that those who follow markets to any extent will find some of his arguments to be a little off-putting.

    http://yanisvaroufakis.eu/books/the-global-minotaur/

    Thank you for the link.

    Agreed. There are many writers/economists who look at it the same way, as do I. Really this all begins just before the onset of WWI with a big kick in the ass forward in the 1920s, again in the 1930s and then again with the Nixon shock of 1971.

  118. Cameron says:

    RexLibris: So you’re saying she isn’t a Cylon? That’s a relief.

    Later model Cylons have nipples. Does her spine glow during sexual congress? Cylon. Does she hear whacked out Bob Dylan covers when there is no music playing? Cylon (or just schizophrenic).

    Given the Cylons were hardcore monotheists, they might see nipples as proof of God’s existence.

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

    RexLibris: So you’re saying she isn’t a Cylon? That’s a relief.

    Is that a vote for Tricia Helfer to make an appearance on this blog? Seconded, if so.

  120. godot10 says:

    Caramel Obvious:

    Finally, it is obvious that the Edmonton media and the Edmonton fanbase disliked Eakins from the start.And it is obvious they disliked him because he was well spoken.There are many examples of this both in the media and at this site.

    No. It was pretty much only me at the start. It was me alone on the “Eakins-is-guaranteed-dud-coach” bus. Most everyone else fell for the Toronto hype and the silver tongued lizard initially.

  121. leadfarmer says:

    godot10,

    No there was actually a few of us, and before the season started I said he will be gone by Christmas.

  122. VanOil says:

    The Artist formerly known as “NYCOIL”: To me, more than what OPEC says at the moment, the interesting thing is the rig count in the US.

    Thanks for your and GMoney’s analysis. I am looking at long term prices decision but relief rallies are always welcome.

    Other factors to weigh are how sustainable/likely the cuts to the Saudi welfare state are given the demographics of the leadership versus the population and if pipeline approvals lower the Western Select to WTI spread.

    How soon/long it takes for the leap to the 3d generation of the house of Saud will be interesting times, to early to call what that means, but this years Saudi budget and if they stick to it will be a tell. The boys in the Oil patch seem confident that there men in Ottawa and Washington will get at least some of the pipelines approved.

  123. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Dang, I was in a teleconference & missed my 15 minute window of opportunity.

  124. VOR says:

    RexLibris,

    Like you I think this is not a draft you want to blow. That the chance of a big draft (ie. a team joining the top ten drafts of all time is high and the overall average draft crop is also likely to be high). Thus a below average draft this year could set you back five years and a home run draft could set you up for the next decade or more.

    I think of it as the year of the beast. There are a number of huge young men with real skill who could make some scout famous. They could also make some scout look like an idiot and there lies the rub.

    I know a lot of people here have been proposing rules for draft selections and I have dabbled in this area. But history says we will remember this draft for the team that went off the board and won or lost big. Lets say, for sake of argument the Oilers step up to the mike and say at #23 OV we are proud to select from HC Kosice, Radovan Bondra. Press reports say some NHL scouts are showing up at Kosice games (sadly I can’t find any mention of which teams scouts are showing up.) HC Kosice apparently only have two players who are draft eligible. Bondra and Erik Cernak who I pointed out last night mysteriously appears on Bob McKenzie’s list at #23. Somebody is getting ready to take a huge gamble on one or the other kid. Cernak, courtesy of MacKenzie is the more likely contender but Bondra makes sense in a lot of ways.

    He isn’t fast in a straight line but he is an unnaturally gifted skater capable of turning defenders inside out. He is massive. He protects the puck as well as anybody in this draft class. Like Greenway who I mentioned earlier he has all the tools and none of the results. Classic high risk, high return player.

  125. Woodguy says:

    sliderule:
    Eakins was right about the selling of a “bill of goods” but he was the seller not the buyer.

    He came in to interview as an assistant and walked away with a head coaching job.

    He then instead of getting down to work like the coach the Eskimos hired he went underground.He was occasionally spotted at marathons but he was pretty much under the radar for a good part of summer.

    He comes to camp admittedly without looking at video and puts in a defence that his assistant said had been tried but found wanting .

    When the swarm goes bad he claims it’s because his players have no defensive fundamentals.A familiar theme was emerging that it was not his fault .

    Over the next season and a third he piles on players like yak.Tells the media and team that they have no offensive ability and manages to get the players afraid to make a mistake.

    After being fired he has this TSN interview were he throws an unnamed reporter under the bus for apparently calling his favorite hire a bad name.Wow he has had a sheltered life for hockey guy.

    The question I have did the reporter get theright namewhen he called the oilers pr guy.

    I think this is mostly correct.

    I have been an Eakins supporter, mostly on the technical improvements in the team this year, but the bogey was always the relationships.

    It started bad and never got better than “meh” with a couple of groups.

    We should have been prepared for this when he said he didn’t watch film because he wanted to come to his own conclusions.

    That really doesn’t make any sense.

    He had the rest of the coaching staff from the year before (forced on him by MacT) and could have asked for details of their system and watched film to see who was getting it who wasn’t and also look for bad habits.

    He came in hot and swinging and misfiring like a rookie and it was just coming together (imo) in late November (were playing great around the road game in NSH) but the SH% and SV% couldn’t save his job.

    Add in not having Pouliot for a big stretch and DrySaddle instead of Roy and that’s pretty much the difference of what was then compared to now.

    Fasth starting to make saves from B grade shots has helped a bunch too.

  126. VanOil says:

    VOR: Roope Hintz (C) will be a reach at 32 (if that is where the Oilers end up picking). I still think the Oilers go for it. I can even explain why. In Finland Hintz is compared quite regularly in the press with Esa Tikkanen. Hintz is blazing fast, many Oilers fans forget how fast Tikkanen was before the knee injury. Jesus could he fly. So can Hintz, probably the best skater in every way in the draft and almost exactly the same size as Tikk (though the odd bent over skating style made Tikk look smaller). Hintz is the best penalty killer in the draft, uncanny anticipation. Also, aggravating as all get out to play against. It is obvious why he is compared to Tikk.

    Thanks for your scouting reports. Like many others I have been pained by the Oilers search for the next Lucic. The search for the next Tikkanen should be ongoing and eternal! A smart, great skating prick with a enough size to back it up, Bring on the Roope!

  127. LMHF#1 says:

    So, unless I’m missing something Eakins used “Bill of goods” rather strangely.

    Is he saying he didn’t know it was a multi-year plan to start? That’s the only way it would make sense but it isn’t clear.

  128. Woodguy says:

    The only structural difference I’ve seen in the forecheck/ozone is what the F3 is doing.

    Eakins had the Dmen pinch often, but they had to make sure that F3 was in the right spot before they did it.

    This led to too much thinking and not enough reacting.

    Led to a pile of 2 on 1’s and break-aways as well when the D pinched without the help from the F.

    Nelson has the F3 patrol high in the ozone when the pucks are not fully under control in the ozone.

    This allows the Dmen to pinch without thinking when the opportunity arises.

    Less odd man rushes as a result, and that was the real fly in Eakins’ ointment

    A little more zone time too, but I don’;t think that side of the ledger changed nearly as much as the cutting down on the odd man rushes.

  129. sliderule says:

    godot10,

    I actually gave the exact date he would be fired Dec15th.

    At the same time I said that Nelson was the coach in waiting.

    When they brought Rocky in as an assistant it was a sign.

  130. Woodguy says:

    LMHF#1:
    So, unless I’m missing something Eakins used “Bill of goods” rather strangely.

    Is he saying he didn’t know it was a multi-year plan to start? That’s the only way it would make sense but it isn’t clear.

    He used “bill of goods” and then not a minute later said “I’d do it all again”, so the simplest answer is that he used the phrase incorrectly..

    My guess is that he was referring to getting 3 years without having to worry about winning so he could “teach them the right way to play”, but then getting the pipe because the natives had become too restless with 1 win in 19 games.

  131. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Woodguy: We should have been prepared for this when he said he didn’t watch film because he wanted to come to his own conclusions.

    That really doesn’t make any sense.

    It’s not like it’s impossible to reach some conclusions BY watching film.

  132. VOR says:

    RexLibris,

    I think Dergachyov is a reasonable first rounder but much more likely to go in the second somewhere. He’d also be more palatable to the fan base there. One of the problems is that he is great in the MHL but I don’t trust the few NHLE that have been suggested. I love the way Bittner, Gropp and Dergachyov approach offence. They take the puck and head to the net. But if they are thwarted they are all three tricky SOBs with long reaches and tricky moves. Imagine a 6’4″ kid who likes to crash the net but can dangle like Eberle. That is what some scouts think they see in Dergachyov. Haven’t seen him enough to have an opinion.

  133. Lowetide says:

    Bruce McCurdy:
    Dang, I was in a teleconference & missed my 15 minute window of opportunity.

    Sweet sweet deliverance, Bruce. Lordy.

  134. spoiler says:

    Bruce McCurdy:
    Dang, I was in a teleconference & missed my 15 minute window of opportunity.

    Bruce, if you let me know you are still reading, I will post it back up for a couple of minutes.

  135. Gerta Rauss says:

    spoiler: Bruce, if you let me know you are still reading, I will post it back up for a couple of minutes.

    Yes, yes he’s reading..:)

  136. Pouzar says:

    spoiler: Respectfully, the crisis isn’t over, take one look at interest rates and yield curves.All that happened was the crisis was turned into slow motion Kabuki theatre, and the central banks decided to steal from the poor & the middle class to blow some asset bubbles and buy some time to give the banking system a chance to regain some appearance of solvency.

    Nothing fundamental has changed.Not one thing other than more debt, devalued currencies, greater income disparity, more misallocation of capital…

    Not to mention it appears we are entering another echo crisis… just as 07-09 was an echo crisis of the dotcom bubble, which in itself was an echo crisis of the mid-90s crisis, which was echo of the 1980s crises, which echoed the USA defaulting on foreign debt obligations in 1971.

    G Money,

    This could get very bad.

    Canada is already in a recession.Australia too. China is teetering, Japan is wandering the hinterlands, Europe is in a recession in many countries if not all, Russia has been forced into a recession, US data has been pretty bad this quarter.

    There is already over-production in the Oil sector, even with the cut in rig count.If over-supply persists with the lower rig numbers, we are going down down down.

    Maybe things improve, but the rig count was where it was due to misallocation of capital.Government spending, central bank pumping and ZIRP policy makes it difficult for economic actors to make the right decisions.Japan building roads and bridges to nowhere, and China building vacant cities created false demand and interest rate policies incentivized meeting that demand.

    And now we are going to pay for it.

    JMHO.

    100% agree with all that.

  137. VOR says:

    vanoil,

    Much as I think the Oilers will go on looking for Lucic I think management is finally getting the idea that they need to be faster, possibly intimidatingly fast. This is why I think they will take Hintz. He isn’t small but man is he fast.

    The thing I like best is that at 18 he is an elite penalty killer in a decent men’s professional league. The Oilers need to get better on special teams. You can coach your heart out but you have to have the horses if your PK and PP are going to be elite. If I thought Hintz was going to be available in the 4th round like Tikk, which he won’t be, I’d be 100% on board with drafting him. I’m just not sure about high in the 2nd round. Like many of these super talented kids in this year’s draft he is not putting up the numbers. Unlike Bondra, Dergachyov, and Greenway he is playing a shutdown role against men in a good professional league. He is probably, therefore, a safer bet than any of them.

  138. Alpine says:

    nelson88:
    A couple names I find interesting in the upcoming draft

    NoahJuulsen – RH D that is putting up some great point totals in Everett. According to reports he often is paired with Betker. Average size but reportedly willing to be aggressive. Predicted to go somewhere in the 2nd round.

    Noah? Juulsen? A Noah to pair with our other future Noah? Juulse the New Age Jultz?

  139. Alpine says:

    VOR,

    The funny thing about teams chasing the next Lucic, is that Lucic isn’t even the best big, mean power forward. I’d rather have the next Ladd, or the next Backes, next Benn etc.

  140. spoiler says:

    Gerta Rauss: Yes, yes he’s reading..:)

    OK gents. 5 minute window only this time.

    NSFW!!

    And… poof!

  141. VanOil says:

    VOR: I think management is finally getting the idea that they need to be faster, possibly intimidatingly fast

    I hope you are right. The lack of team speed recently has worried me. The Oilers may end up with multiple 3d round picks if they sell of assets over the next month so hopefully Hintz could be picked up there.

    Skating is the most under rated talent in hockey.

  142. spoiler says:

    Woodguy:
    The only structural difference I’ve seen in the forecheck/ozone is what the F3 is doing.

    Eakins had the Dmen pinch often, but they had to make sure that F3 was in the right spot before they did it.

    This led to too much thinking and not enough reacting.

    Led to a pile of 2 on 1’s and break-aways as well when the D pinched without the help from the F.

    Nelson has the F3 patrol high in the ozone when the pucks are not fully under control in the ozone.

    This allows the Dmen to pinch without thinking when the opportunity arises.

    Less odd man rushes as a result, and that was the real fly in Eakins’ ointment

    A little more zone time too, but I don’;t think that side of the ledger changed nearly as much as the cutting down on the odd man rushes.

    I think this is accurate, and I am pretty sure I have heard the same thing on the F3 from Nelson.

  143. PhrankLee says:

    My goodness! And to think I was chided once for having the hots for the curling lassies in yoga pants no less.. Too funny this blog.

    LT and raucous, lusty assembly I cannot imagine tomorrow without you.

  144. PhrankLee says:

    VanOil: The lack of team speed recently has worried me.

    And it’s magnified or pronounced with Taylor Hall at anything less than 95%.

  145. PhrankLee says:

    Woodguy: Nelson has the F3 patrol high in the ozone when the pucks are not fully under control in the ozone.

    I have always loved this set as the C can punch down the middle and cover the O point from the same deployment. Needs a largish guy, usually.

  146. RexLibris says:

    The Artist formerly known as “NYCOIL”: Is that a vote for Tricia Helfer to make an appearance on this blog? Seconded, if so.

    And local.

  147. RexLibris says:

    Cameron: Later model Cylons have nipples. Does her spine glow during sexual congress? Cylon. Does she hear whacked out Bob Dylan covers when there is no music playing? Cylon (or just schizophrenic).

    Given the Cylons were hardcore monotheists, they might see nipples as proof of God’s existence.

    SPOILER ALERT (the phrase, not the commenter)

    Not all heard Watchtower, just four of the final five. There is nothing suggesting that the 8s, 6s, or even 1s ever heard Hendrix/Dylan. They’d probably have been slightly less inclined towards nuclear genocides had they though.

  148. slambanna says:

    Scouting Alert: On TSN 1 now

    Eichel and Boston University vs Havard

    Followed by:

    Hanifan and Boston College vs Northeastern

  149. RexLibris says:

    I wonder what the BoC would think of the productivity drop that LTs site is likely responsible for?

    Naked Yoga, book referrals, economic discussions, rantings over statistical methods, steak and whiskey recipes/recommendations…

  150. Lowetide says:

    RexLibris:
    I wonder what the BoC would think of the productivity drop that LTs site is likely responsible for?

    Naked Yoga, book referrals, economic discussions, rantings over statistical methods, steak and whiskey recipes/recommendations…

    Based on the people I’ve met who contribute to this blog, the productive folks are here. 🙂

  151. Cameron says:

    RexLibris,

    ….and Cylon nipples

  152. RexLibris says:

    Lowetide: Based on the people I’ve met who contribute to this blog, the productive folks are here.

    Of course. But I bet you are the bane of many clock-watching bosses. 😉

    Personally I work best with a variety of tasks available to work on at any given time. This attribute isn’t always appreciated by supervisors, however.

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

    RexLibris,

    Such a great show for 3 seasons and then such a let down after, and that’s not really spoiling anything.

  154. spoiler says:

    RexLibris:
    I wonder what the BoC would think of the productivity drop that LTs site is likely responsible for?

    Naked Yoga, book referrals, economic discussions, rantings over statistical methods, steak and whiskey recipes/recommendations…

    I was wondering what Varoufakis will think when he checks his website’s stats and sees a bunch of referrals from an Edmonton Oilers hockey blog.

  155. RexLibris says:

    The Artist formerly known as “NYCOIL”:
    RexLibris,

    Such a great show for 3 seasons and then such a let down after, and that’s not really spoiling anything.

    I liked the 4th season. But I read many reviews and commentary by those who were disappointed.

    Frankly, though, I don’t see how you possible take on that plot line without risking extreme disappointment. You have to arrive at Earth, so is it going to be past, present or future? Each one presents a host of writing problems.

    As to the criticisms on the God’s Plan angle, well, I guess I just felt like they had spent the previous three years warning everyone that this was a thing and was headed towards taking a larger part in the storyline.

    Altogether, I felt it was fantastic at the very least for how it coloured in the many shades of humanity, many of them ignoble, amongst virtually every one of the characters, be they human or Cylon.

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

    spoiler: I was wondering what Varoufakis will think when he checks his website’s stats and sees a bunch of referrals from an Edmonton Oilers hockey blog.

    He probably looks up the Edmonton Oilers, sees their place in the standings and says, ah, that makes sense. They’re in the toilet, too.

  157. RexLibris says:

    spoiler: I was wondering what Varoufakis will think when he checks his website’s stats and sees a bunch of referrals from an Edmonton Oilers hockey blog.

    Heh, that would be pretty funny.

    I suspect he’s busy with other stuff right now though, so we’ll have to wait.

  158. PhrankLee says:

    spoiler,

    He’s riding the Reddit wave too.

  159. VOR says:

    There is something going on with Erik Cernak. I just checked Corey Pronman’s January 26th list and he is 26th there. This from a guy Central Scouting has listed 24th amongst European skaters and Craig Button has 79th. That is one hell of a difference.

  160. RexLibris says:

    The Artist formerly known as “NYCOIL”: He probably looks up the Edmonton Oilers, sees their place in the standings and says, ah, that makes sense. They’re in the toilet, too.

    Yes. The Edmonton Oilers need a debt-restructuring plan in order to augment their current skill-austerity situation and encourage growth in order to normalize the GDP-debt ratio.

    Last I read Greece was at something around 175%. Anyone want to take a stab at what the Oilers’ would be?

  161. Auston Matthews '16 says:

    Interesting timing on this article about the medical staff.

    http://oilers.nhl.com/club/news.htm?id=751518&navid=DL|EDM|home

  162. RexLibris says:

    VOR:
    There is something going on with Erik Cernak. I just checked Corey Pronman’s January 26th list and he is 26th there. This from a guy Central Scouting has listed 24th amongst European skaters and Craig Button has 79th. That is one hell of a difference.

    Getting a push? Teraveinen experienced something similar, if I recall correctly. Around this time too, I think. Scouting Euros seems to have seasonal ups and downs. Jan/Feb usually is high time for skilled Europeans and then the CHL playoffs kick off and attention returns to big farm kids from Canada.

  163. Lowetide says:

    Oilers recall Pakarinen, article up and another to follow at 5

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

    RexLibris: Yes. The Edmonton Oilers need a debt-restructuring plan in order to augment their current skill-austerity situation and encourage growth in order to normalize the GDP-debt ratio.

    Last I read Greece was at something around 175%. Anyone want to take a stab at what the Oilers’ would be?

    The Oilers have a goal differential of -50 in 51 games. So a 98% debt to GDP (game days played) ratio. Not quite as bad as Greece. Still bad. The current wild card teams are at +7 goal differential, so to be in the area of a normalized, middle of the pack wild card contender, they’re going to have to find a way to cover a 114% shortfall.

    Rather than agreeing to a haircut that pays back some of the debt but not all (buying out Nikitin), the Oilers will likely find some other creative way to make no progress whatsoever.

  165. RexLibris says:

    The Artist formerly known as “NYCOIL”: The Oilers have a goal differential of -50 in 51 games. So a 98% debt to GDP (game days played) ratio. Not quite as bad as Greece. Still bad. The current wild card teams are at +7 goal differential, so to be in the area of a normalized, middle of the pack wild card contender, they’re going to have to find a way to cover a 114% shortfall.

    Rather than agreeing to a haircut that pays back some of the debt but not all (buying out Nikitin), the Oilers will likely find some other creative way to make no progress whatsoever.

    I’m thinking they should just do what all countries do when they are faced with this problem but don’t completely understand it: print LOTS of money. I mean, it’s money right, and then you just pay back the debt with all that money you just made because it is exactly the same as the money you have right now!

    So, to put this in hockey terms the Oilers’ directive on how to improve in the face of this debt ratio would be to instruct their players to score more goals and let fewer in. It’s so simple!

  166. VOR says:

    So it turns out that the excitement around Erik Cernak is that the Dallas Stars, New York Rangers, and Chicago Blackhawks are all scouting him. Jiri Hrdina who now scouts for Dallas said he would be a good fit in Dallas and would be a reasonable first round pick and wouldn’t go later than the 2nd round. This is because he won’t turn 18 until May of 2105, is already 6’3″ and 203 and captained Slovakia’s under 18 team. He is also a gifted skater and already playing against men. In other words he is projectable, another talented big man without outstanding stats playing in a league where it is very hard to evaluate him. So when Hrdina gives him the big endorsement suddenly every NHL team is interested explaining the now routine pilgrimages to see him play by nearly every NHL team wondering if they are missing something. I am guessing Dallas isn’t very happy with Hrdina. There is no word if Edmonton is one of the team’s scouting Cernak but it sounds like almost every NHL team is and thus is rise in McKenzie’s poll and it sounds like he might rise even further.

  167. Halfwise says:

    RexLibris: I’m thinking they should just do what all countries do when they are faced with this problem but don’t completely understand it: print LOTS of money. I mean, it’s money right, and then you just pay back the debt with all that money you just made because it is exactly the same as the money you have right now!

    So, to put this in hockey terms the Oilers’ directive on how to improve in the face of this debt ratio would be to instruct their players to score more goals and let fewer in. It’s so simple!

    They might declare unilaterally that not only do goals count as goals, but so do assists, and shots count as goals, and eventually shot attempts also count as goals. But only on the Oilers’ side of things. Other teams are supposed to play by the old rules.

    Then look at all the wealth we’ll have! Goal differential will go through the roof.

  168. RexLibris says:

    Halfwise: They might declare unilaterally that not only do goals count as goals, but so do assists, and shots count as goals, and eventually shot attempts also count as goals. But only on the Oilers’ side of things. Other teams are supposed to play by the old rules.

    Then look at all the wealth we’ll have! Goal differential will go through the roof.

    As would the sanity differential. Although I think we’re near the tipping point already.

  169. Halfwise says:

    RexLibris: As would the sanity differential. Although I think we’re near the tipping point already.

    If by “near” you mean “past”, I’m with you. Monetary policy and building a winning team, equally.

  170. Woodguy says:

    Bruce McCurdy:
    Dang, I was in a teleconference & missed my 15 minute window of opportunity.

    I felt proud be of the same specie as that woman.

  171. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Woodguy: Bruce

    Argh missed it again. I need a key word or something to find it for myself. I’m strangely fascinated

  172. russ99 says:

    Last night shows what RNH, Hall and Eberle can do with the puck and some space, instead of dumping and cycling. Music.

    Also, Yak seemed to be doing fairly well before Eakins had to change his game to hitting someone every shift.

    Bill of goods indeed…

  173. skidplate says:

    Bruce McCurdy,

    Hey Bruce, search nude yoga. It is worth it. Careful which ones you chose

    It is the Luba Shumeyko Yoga

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