The Edmonton Oilers lost a terrific hockey game last night, with some encouraging visual and reasonably impressive numbers to back it up. The Oilers hung in there in the shots department (just under 50% Corsi for at 5×5) and some of the blue were impressive indeed.
|PLAYER||EV CORSI FOR/AGAINST||EV CORSI FOR +/-||CORSI FOR %||EV OZ STARTS|
Klefbom—Schultz got the zone-start push but delivered some nice results against a quality team. The Marincin—Fayne tandem also performed pretty well, save some wobbly moments from Marincin (that’s going to happen with young blue). The third pairing received good zone starts but couldn’t get anything to rhyme; it’s a very unusual pairing and I don’t think we should be surprised. I think Jordan Oesterle is an interesting prospect but the fact that he is on the NHL roster today reflects on the progress of men like Martin Gernat and David Musil.
Question for you: If the Oilers run Klefbom—Schultz and Ference—Nikitin next season as pairs (the most likely scenario), is Phaneuf—Fayne enough to make the starting six good hum? I don’t think it is. I suspect the combination of Ference and Nikitin inside the three pairings will crush the team’s defense. Oilers have to make a decision on their captain this summer. Will they? I’d like to feel good about this team’s defense for 2015-16 and watching Klefbom makes it oh so easy. Difficult decisions have to be made, tough buyout decisions and acknowledgement of bad bets made.
OHL pt leaders: 1-Mitch Marner 43-76-119 in 56 gms; 2-Dylan Strome 37-75-112 in 60 gms; 3-Connor McDavid 39-68-107 in 40 gms.
— Mike Morreale (@mikemorrealeNHL) March 5, 2015
TOP 30 PLAYERS IN THE 2015 DRAFT
- (1)C Connor McDavid, Erie Otters (OHL) 2GP, 2-5-7 this week
- (2)C Jack Eichel, Boston U (NCAA) 1GP, 2-1-3 this week
- (3)R Mitch Marner, London Knights (OHL) 4GP, 3-5-8 this week
- (4)C Dylan Strome, Erie Otters (OHL) 2GP, 2-4-6 this week
- (5)D Noah Hanifin, Boston College (NCAA) 1GP, 0-1-1 this week
- (6) D Ivan Provorov, Brandon Wheat Kings (WHL) 3GP, 1-1-2 this week
- (7) D Zach Werenski, Michigan (NCAA) 2GP, 0-0-0 this week
- (9) C Mathew Barzal, Seattle Thunderbirds (WHL) 4GP, 1-3-4 this week
- (8) D Oliver Kylington, Farjestad (SHL) Did not play in SHL this week
- (12) C Travis Konecny, Ottawa 67’s (OHL) 2GP, 2-1-3 this week
- (10) C Nick Merkley, Kelowna Rockets (WHL) 3GP, 0-1-1 this week
- (11) C Anthony Beauvillier, Shawinigan Cataractes (QMJHL) 3GP, 2-0-2 this week
- (13) L Evgeni Svechnikov, Cape Breton (QMJHL) 2GP, 0-4-4 this week
- (14) R Mikko Rantanen, TPS Turku (SML) 2GP, 1-0-1 this week
- (15) R Timo Meier, Halifax Mooseheads (QMJHL) 3GP, 3-4-7 this week
- (16) C Jansen Harkins, Prince George Cougars (WHL) 3GP, 1-3-4 this week
- (17) L Jake Debrusk, Swift Current (WHL) 4GP, 0-2-2 this week
- (20) C Pavel Zacha, Sarnia Sting (OHL) 2GP, 2-1-3 this week
- (21) R Daniel Sprong, Charlettown Islanders (QMJHL) 4GP, 4-4-8 this week
- (19) D Mitchell Vande Sompel, Oshawa (OHL) 2GP, 1-1-2 this week
- (23) C Filip Chlapik, Charlottetown Islanders (QMJHL) 4GP, 3-4-7 this week
- (24) C Kyle Connor, Youngstown (USHL) 2GP, 4-3-7 this week
- (18) L Lawson Crouse, Kingston Frontenacs (OHL) 3GP, 0-0-0 this week
- (22) D Jeremy Roy, Sherbrooke Phoenix (QMJHL) 1GP, 0-0-0 this week
- (30) D Travis Dermott, Erie Otters (OHL) 2GP, 0-4-4 this week
- (25) D Jakub Zboril, Saint John Seadogs (QMJHL) 2GP, 0-0-0 this week
- (27) R Nikita Korostelev, Sarnia Sting (OHL) 2GP, 0-0-0 this week
- (NR) D Noah Juulsen, Everett Silvertips (WHL) 3GP, 0-3-3 this week
- (26) L Paul Bittner, Portland Winterhawks (WHL) 2GP, 2-2-4 this week
- (28) D Thomas Chabot, Saint John (QMJHL) 2GP, 0-0-0 this week
I’m going to post a complete mock over at ON later today, including all Oilers picks in all rounds for 2015. At this point it’s reasonable to suggest the Top Six players in this draft have a chance to be impact players. Fascinating draft.
I received plenty of reaction yesterday in regard to my comments on Craig MacTavish as GM. For the record, there are several moves that have worked out, several more that should have worked out but there’s also a galling tendency to march right up to the door without ever threatening to kick it in. His inability to add a center this summer, the now growing number of stories about getting ‘almost Coburn’ or ‘almost Anisimov’ and the inability to properly value men like Jeff Petry are very strong tells for fans.
I’m cheering like hell for him but it’s also true his track record has real and significant issues. His lack of experience is costing this organization useful talent like Petry and that’s not tolerable. A building team losing men in their 20’s, with 300 games experience? Who does that?
If we’re going to be fair on this blog and we try, then we have to look at the manager with a critical eye no matter how we feel about the individual. I enjoyed Craig MacTavish as a player and he taught me an enormous amount as a coach. As a manager? I have very little confidence he’ll make five moves this summer that tumble and click and rattle and hum.
We can cheer and we can hope but we cannot ignore the record of this manager.