AVALANCHE AT OILERS, G74 2014-15

Among the items Edmonton’s hockey fans rarely discuss: Things that worked out. It’s a small list compared to the disaster list but there are good things. Dreamy Oscar flew up from Oklahoma territory and stole the heart of (apparently) every red blooded girl from the north country—and based on the comments section on this blog a few males are swooning too. Good defense will do that to both sexes in this city, we’re starved for calm feet and a winning smile. There are other good things here, too.

It’s true, Mr. Pouliot is a terrific player and for a club that needed size and skill in a useful package, an absolute Godsend. How much has he impacted the team? Well, it’s tough to tell by the boxcars (he was injured) but if you look at the overalls Pouliot shines.

OILERS FORWARDS STORY (HOCKEYANALYSIS & BTN)

complete stats forwards mar 24His goal-scoring total puts him past 25 in a full season and he is one of four forwards over 50% in 5×5 shot differential. Is he the fourth most productive forward here? I think he is. I always wanted him as a Pisani for the 3line but the trading of David Perron moves BP into a feature role. The numbers suggest he’ll cover that bet. Impressive.

TODD NELSON, TODD NELSON


We’ve discussed Todd Nelson at length on this blog and endorsed him as the 13th coach (well, he’s already the 13th coach) in Edmonton’s NHL history. He passed George Burnett and Bugsy Watson on the win list, give him a little more time and he’ll pass Pat Quinn and Ralph Krueger. Did you know there are only three coaches who have won 100 or more games with the Oilers? Glen Sather, Ron Low, Craig MacTavish. John Muckler won 100 if you include regular season (75) and playoffs (25). Muckler WON 25 playoff games with the Oilers! MacT won 19, Low 10. Sather? 89! 89 and 34, that was Slats in the playoffs. Bugger. What a ride.

  • Friedman: It’s no guarantee, but it’s very clear he’s put himself deep into the conversation. The Oilers are determined to wait until after the season before making any decisions, but it’s going to take a real high-level candidate to push him out.  Source

McLellan. Babcock. Hitchcock. Julien. There aren’t many and for the life of me I can’t imagine any of them coming to Edmonton with the Oilers being in such a state. Can you? The one unknown in all of this is Bob Nicholson. Well, Nicholson and Katz but the owner hasn’t done anything through all of this, why stop now?

TOP 20 PROSPECTS AND THE 2015 DRAFT

Lots of chatter in the last few days about what the organization needs in this draft, specifically in regard to wingers. The thought process for several posters appears to be the club is set for a long time at wing. Appearances can be deceiving. Not long ago, Edmonton had six legit options at the NHL level but even that doesn’t indicate cover. NHL teams lose players to injury, trade players (Perron being an example) and erosion strikes too. Consider Edmonton’s depth on the prospect list by position:

  • Goal: Laurent Brossoit is the only legit prospect in the system at this time. A major area of need that will be addressed this summer.
  • Defense: Darnell Nurse is one of the best prospects in the system, the only negative being he’s probably a year away. After that, there’s a long list of kids who are working their way up (Dillon Simpson, Jordan Oesterle, Brandon Davidson) and an encouraging college draft pick (Joey Laleggia). The recent graduations of Oscar Klefbom and Martin Marincin from prospect status mean the club should pay attention to this position during the summer.
  • Center: Leon Draisaitl leads the way here but is not alone. The big Russian Bogdan Yakimov continues to develop in the AHL, Kyle Platzer had a quality OHL season and Jujhar Khaira looks like he may develop into a depth winger. The late development of Anton Lander is a pretty big damn deal for this team at the position.
  • Left Wing: A real area of weakness. Anton Slepyshev had a solid KHL season but is not yet signed. After that, there are some prospects, suspects and distant bells but no one you’d bet money on being a productive NHL player.
  • Right Wing: Iiro Pakarinen has the look of a guy who could contribute, plus Tyler Pitlick showed some flashes before being hurt again. Greg Chase may end up playing RW and I like his future.

The top wing positions in the NHL will be covered by Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle, Benoit Pouliot, Nail Yakupov for the immediate future but things can change. One of the things Craig MacTavish may have to do in the next few months is give up something dear for a stud defender. Where is the organizational depth? If the Oilers draft Mitch Marner, no one should be surprised. Center is not the greatest area of need at this time, even among the forward positions. We can project the 2016-17 C position from here (Nuge, Leon, Lander, 4C) and with the trading of Perron the depth on both wings is pretty much two and out as soon as Teddy Purcell’s contract expires.

 

blunt wild target

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

Today on the show, we touch on several things. TSN1260, 10 this morning. Scheduled to appear:

  • Bruce McCurdy, Cult of Hockey. Oilers—Avalanche, can these two teams ever turn north?
  • Nathan Dempsey, Vimy Hockey. Ask the Coach, we talk passing the puck.
  • Jesse Spector, Sporting News. Baseball!
  • Jeff Krushell, Krush Performance. NFL Rule changes.

10-1260 text, @Lowetide_ on twitter. We’ll have fun!

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238 Responses to "AVALANCHE AT OILERS, G74 2014-15"

« Older Comments
  1. LMHF#1 says:

    Yakupov could still turn out the best. Beauty sell on that play.

  2. Pouzar says:

    Dashingsilverfox: Yes I’m quite aware of that…if he had been playing D the TOI difference would have been even more pronounced.

    I’m also sure you’re aware that Perrault has missed almost 20 games and yet trails Scheifele by only 8 points.

    P/60 5V5

    Little – 1.80
    Perreault – 1.74
    Scheifele – 1.47

    No doubt who Winnipeg’s second best centre is.

    So “if” Buff played D all year
    AND
    “if” Perrault played Center all year
    They would be #1 D and #2C respectively.

    Gotcha.

  3. VanOil says:

    Crickets around here because we have all accepted hockey Fonzie has fixed the PP and saved the Yak.

  4. sliderule says:

    Dashingsilverfox,

    I don’t debate with you because you are too quick for me.

    Just like my wife.

  5. Dashingsilverfox says:

    Pouzar: So “if” Buff played D all year
    AND
    “if” Perrault played Center all year
    They would be #1 D and #2C respectively.

    Gotcha.

    Good.

  6. jp says:

    It’s funny how in previous years at this point in the season, playing out the string, I still cared. I was interested in seeing who played well and what new guys might be useful for next year. Now I just don’t care. I’m still watching, but it doesn’t really matter what happens. Not bitter, just apathetic. I have no idea why I cared so long.

  7. Eastern Oil says:

    jp:
    It’s funny how in previous years at this point in the season, playing out the string, I still cared. I was interested in seeing who played well and what new guys might be useful for next year. Now I just don’t care. I’m still watching, but it doesn’t really matter what happens. Not bitter, just apathetic. I have no idea why I cared so long.

    At this rate you many be able to see most of the Barons play some games so that could be interesting.

    Edit: and not in the good way.

  8. wheatnoil says:

    VanOil:
    Crickets around here because we have all accepted hockey Fonzie has fixed the PP and saved the Yak.

    You know, a lot of analytics tend to under-emphasis the importance of special teams, given most games are decided 5×5, and that’s not necessarily incorrect. That said, a bad PP can absolutely sink you and a good one can save your bacon.

    Nelson, so far, has really worked wonders on this Powerplay.

  9. frjohnk says:

    When Col tied it at 3 I figured oilers would lose.

    Nice to see them score the next goal and win the game.

  10. stevezie says:

    wheatnoil,

    I thought the PP is what got Eakins fired. The 5v5 stats painted a decent picture and the W-L could be hung on the goalies and percentages, but that PP was wasting chances every night and there was no way to explain it away.

    Personally, it bugged me more than the goaltending. Glad Nelson that has it going. A team that can score is never boring, even if they lose.

  11. jp says:

    Eastern Oil: At this rate you many be able to see most of the Barons play some games so that could be interesting.

    Edit: and not in the good way.

    Sure, why not.

  12. Lowetide says:

    the only minus in the game for Edmonton belongs to Nikitin but Justin Schultz is a spy.

  13. jp says:

    rickithebear:

    Khaira

    When he plays with offesive slkilled players .80PPG AHL @ 20

    Yalimpov

    In the 23 games he played withskilled line mates he is around 0.96 PPG @ 20 in AHL

    the other games largely with:
    Khaira .196 PPG
    Ewanyk .115 PPG
    Moroz .109 PPG
    yakimov was .212 PPG

    So is Khaira a skill player being dragged down by his linemates? Or is he the boat anchor to skill players? You can’t argue it both ways.

    Honestly I love this age/situational analysis, but with Khaira at least his ~8 game sample with good linemates is just too small to put much stock in.

    rickithebear:

    Khaira scored like kesler @same age in NCAA.

    This stuff provides some optimism for sure, but there must be 50 or 100 draft picks who put up 0.68 college PPG in their draft +1 who never played an NHL game. Picking one who became an elite 2C really isn’t that informative.

    You used some interesting numbers, but you didn’t “prove” a thing.

  14. wheatnoil says:

    Lowetide:
    the only minus in the game for Edmonton belongs to Nikitin but Justin Schultz is a spy.

    Justin Schultz managed to have team worst -10 raw corsi despite having the most offensive zone starts. Impressive.

    Edit: Should add for fairness that his corsi percentage may not have been the worst… I think Aulie was lower, but was lower event in total, so his raw corsi wasn’t as bad. I was just looking at the war-on-ice data.

  15. TemujinBC says:

    depending on health of Fayne/Ference and who they call up #Oilers could dress 5 dman under 25 and Nikitan Vs. the #Stars on Friday night— Dean Millard (@DuckMillard) March 26, 2015

    Ooof.

  16. godot10 says:

    Musil, Musil, Musil, Musil….

    The contrarian chant goes out! -).

  17. wheatnoil says:

    godot10:
    Musil, Musil, Musil, Musil….

    The contrarian chant goes out! -).

    It’s him or Oesterle again. I think you’re right. They could give Musil a spin to see how he looks. If I’m doing my math right, that would be the 12th different D-man to suit up for the Oilers this year. (Schultz, Klefbom, Fayne, Nikitin, Marincin, Aulie, Ference, Petry, Hunt, Nurse, Oesterle so far)

    Edit: Forgot Davidson!

  18. flyfish1168 says:

    Interesting stat i found tonight. Watching phlegm game and notice how many take away monahan had tonight. I googled it and I notice the top 10.

    http://www.sportingcharts.com/nhl/stats/player-takeaway-statistics/2014/

  19. rickithebear says:

    jp: So is Khaira a skill player being dragged down by his linemates? Or is he the boat anchor to skill players? You can’t argue it both ways.

    Honestly I love this age/situational analysis, but with Khaira at least his ~8 game sample with good linemates is just too small to put much stock in.

    This stuff provides some optimism for sure, but there must be 50 or 100 draft picks who put up 0.68 college PPG in their draft +1 who never played an NHL game. Picking one who became an elite 2C really isn’t that informative.

    You used some interesting numbers, but you didn’t “prove” a thing.

    Do not know:
    but if he can crank FO%.
    Hendricks-Khaira-XXX is not bad.

  20. jp says:

    rickithebear: Do not know:
    but if he can crank FO%.
    Hendricks-Khaira-XXX is not bad.

    Sure, he could turn into a 4th line player. If he’s with Hendricks he doesn’t even need to take draws.

    But you suggested he could score and compared him to Kesler. If we agree his extreme upside is a 3rd liner we have no quibble. I just don’t see Selke winner and 7 time 20 goal scorer in Khaira’s future.

  21. Lois Lowe says:

    Andrew Miller had a good game. MacT gets some credit for that acquisition. He’s got excellent speed and is Arco-like in his ability to simply be effective. Nice player to have on the depth chart.

    There were a few times (because I stream the games for free as every good Tier 4 fan does and the quality is poor) when I mistook the Double Agent for Keith Aulie. That’s not good. Not good at all for an Olympian.

    Near the end of the game, just prior to Jultz taking his penalty, the Avs has a good shift of sustained pressure inside the Oilers zone. With just over two minutes left, I couldn’t believe that the Jack Adams winning coach didn’t pull his goalie. Roy went old school and waited until the last minute.

  22. dangilitis says:

    Lois Lowe:
    Andrew Miller had a good game. MacT gets some credit for that acquisition. He’s got excellent speed and is Arco-like in his ability to simply be effective. Nice player to have on the depth chart.

    There were a few times (because I stream the games for free as every good Tier 4 fan does and the quality is poor) when I mistook the Double Agent for Keith Aulie. That’s not good. Not good at all for an Olympian.

    Near the end of the game, just prior to Jultz taking his penalty, the Avs has a good shift of sustained pressure inside the Oilers zone. With just over two minutes left, I couldn’t believe that the Jack Adams winning coach didn’t pull his goalie. Roy went old school and waited until the last minute.

    Here’s the thing, though – we had a more experienced Andrew Miller in Arcobello, and then they put him on the 2nd/3rd line as a C and expected him to mentor Yak even though he had less NHL experience. Yes, Arco was traded for Roy, but Arco was misused and they didn’t need to trade him to Nashville. The team could have picked Roy up for free. Or, they could have made Nashville take a worse player in return if they insisted on them eating a contract. Instead, the team is going to likely spend another year developing Miller in the AHL and NHL so he can become Arcobello (whose 11 pts in 19 GP in Arizona is similar to his 2013-14 production for EDM in a similar role).

  23. dangilitis says:

    What if LaLeggia decides not to sign with Edmonton, and we end up losing out on our own high-profile college free agent with great potential?

    http://www.tsn.ca/ten-ncaa-hockey-talents-to-watch-1.239978

    At least we have Justin Schultz, right?

    Speaking of which, what are the odds that he gets an offer sheet over the summer? If he does, wouldn’t that be the best case scenario – they would have to go higher to qualify, which would mean good draft picks and even better, we don’t have to play Schultz anymore…

  24. Tire Fire says:

    dangilitis: Here’s the thing, though – we had a more experienced Andrew Miller in Arcobello, and then they put him on the 2nd/3rd line as a C and expected him to mentor Yak even though he had less NHL experience. Yes, Arco was traded for Roy, but Arco was misused and they didn’t need to trade him to Nashville. The team could have picked Roy up for free. Or, they could have made Nashville take a worse player in return if they insisted on them eating a contract. Instead, the team is going to likely spend another year developing Miller in the AHL and NHL so he can become Arcobello (whose 11 pts in 19 GP in Arizona is similar to his 2013-14 production for EDM in a similar role).

    I don’t think they play all that similar. Miller much, much faster, and Arcobello way, way better on the boards and with smart area passes. I agree w/ your point of keeping Arcobello around as he’s very useful and crazy cheap. 15 goals on the year so far too.

  25. Ice Sage says:

    Lois Lowe:
    Andrew Miller had a good game. MacT gets some credit for that acquisition. He’s got excellent speed and is Arco-like in his ability to simply be effective. Nice player to have on the depth chart.

    There were a few times (because I stream the games for free as every good Tier 4 fan does and the quality is poor) when I mistook the Double Agent for Keith Aulie. That’s not good. Not good at all for an Olympian.

    Near the end of the game, just prior to Jultz taking his penalty, the Avs has a good shift of sustained pressure inside the Oilers zone. With just over two minutes left, I couldn’t believe that the Jack Adams winning coach didn’t pull his goalie. Roy went old school and waited until the last minute.

    LOL Roy may have ‘issues’ with goalie deployment decisions, just a hunch.

    Credit due: Baby steps vs a mediocre team but I was impressed with the pressure the Oilers brought after Col tied it up. Scrivens (spell checked as ‘scurviness’, props) won the ‘tendy war.

  26. dangilitis says:

    Serious question, if you had to ice the following D-corps for the Oilers in 2015-16, which would you prefer?

    1: Schultz, Klefbom, Nikitin, Fayne, Ference, Marincin, AHL grad (Simpson/Oesterle)vs. LaLeggia
    (e.g. do absolutely nothing)

    OR

    2: Nurse, Klefbom, Fayne, Marincin, AHL grad/LaLeggia, Hanifin, Ference
    (e.g. buyout Nikitin, trade Schultz or don’t requalify him, draft best D-man available and throw all the youngsters to the wolves)

    I honestly don’t see how the defence would be any worse in scenario 2 vs what we have now, and we free up considerable cap space to sign a real player that can help the team in other areas (including a real D-man should one shake loose)

  27. stevezie says:

    dangilitis: Serious question

    I mean… relatively.

  28. dangilitis says:

    Do you think the management has honestly considered other options? What’s not serious about the state of this teams defence?

    When the so called veterans and Norris trophy candidates are shitting the bed and guys like klef and marincin making contributions, why not have a couple more of them in the lineup and a couple less nikitins

  29. Suntory Hanzo says:

    Looked like Jultz did his darndest to give away the game.

    I’m an Oiler fan in Canuck country, and I feel embarassed in my house to wear my Schultz T-Shirt. Luckily my girls are young enough to not judge me as a bad dad yet.

  30. Suntory Hanzo says:

    Went to go look at the Oiler hilights now that kids are in bed and house in order. Cricket in the background. I search ‘Oilers’ in Safari.

    Right side shows the Oilers stats – owner, coach, stanleys… Then a roster which starts with Hall, Yakupov, Eberle, RNH and Scrivens as the top 5. Rest of the roster is current and accurate except for one/two problems.

    Eric Belanger is listed not once, but twice on the Oilers roster. I thought they should add one more as triangles have three sides.

  31. rickithebear says:

    jp: But you suggested he could score and compared him to Kesler. If we agree his extreme upside is a 3rd liner we have no quibble. I just don’t see Selke winner and 7 time 20 goal scorer in Khaira’s FUTURE.

    Last 8 years:
    6’1’+ 180lb + centres with similiar PPG
    14-15:none
    13-14: none
    12-13 Devin shore #61 2012 6’1″185lb .68) PPG
    12-13 Khaira 6’3″ 210lb #63 2012 .68)
    11-12 di guiseppe 6’1″200lb #38 2012 .65)
    10-11 C. foyle 6’3’215lb #28 2010 .70)
    10-11 Bugstad 6’5″ 220lb #18 2010 .68

    his numbers trend with a collection of big successful producing forwards.
    If it walks like a duck; swims like a duck; and quacks like a duck.
    you would think it is a duck.

    If it is not that is shit luck.

    Khaira is quacking and waddling with offensive players.

    you are guaranteeing shit luck.

    there are a tonne of people that say.
    trending Bad!
    yes we are going to have all are players
    go against expected peer history.
    everyone else will be successful except only the oilers prospects.
    khaira
    yakimov;
    Slepyshev.

    Beauty!

  32. LadiesloveSmid says:

    LMHF#1:
    Yakupov could still turn out the best. Beauty sell on that play.

    how’s Satan for a career comparable for Yak?

  33. stevezie says:

    dangilitis,

    I just meant because we’re talking about hockey. Sorry, it’s really late here. Or early. Whichever sounds worse to you.

  34. LadiesloveSmid says:

    rickithebear: Last 8 years:
    6’1’+ 180lb + centres with similiar PPG
    14-15:none
    13-14: none
    12-13 Devin shore #61 2012 6’1″185lb .68) PPG
    12-13 Khaira 6’3″ 210lb #63 2012 .68)
    11-12 di guiseppe 6’1″200lb #38 2012 .65)
    10-11 C. foyle 6’3’215lb #28 2010.70)
    10-11 Bugstad 6’5″ 220lb #18 2010 .68

    his numbers trend with a collection of big successful producing forwards.
    If it walks like a duck; swims like a duck; and quacks like a duck.
    you would think it is a duck.

    If it is not that is shit luck.

    Khaira is quacking and waddling with offensive players.

    you are guaranteeing shit luck.

    there are a tonne of people that say.
    trending Bad!
    yes we are going to have all are players
    go against expected peer history.
    everyone else will be successful except only the oilers prospects.
    khaira
    yakimov;
    Slepyshev.

    Beauty!

    what do your numbers say about Houck?

    worthy of an ELC? AHL deal? reentry?

  35. jp says:

    rickithebear: Last 8 years:
    6’1’+ 180lb + centres with similiar PPG
    14-15:none
    13-14: none
    12-13 Devin shore #61 2012 6’1″185lb .68) PPG
    12-13 Khaira 6’3″ 210lb #63 2012 .68)
    11-12 di guiseppe 6’1″200lb #38 2012 .65)
    10-11 C. foyle 6’3’215lb #28 2010.70)
    10-11 Bugstad 6’5″ 220lb #18 2010 .68

    his numbers trend with a collection of big successful producing forwards.
    If it walks like a duck; swims like a duck; and quacks like a duck.
    you would think it is a duck.

    If it is not that is shit luck.

    Khaira is quacking and waddling with offensive players.

    Problem is he’s only quacking like a duck some of the time. You picked his best season (and those are a nice series of comps) then ignored or explained away his lack of production the following 2 years. Also, every player you listed aside from Khaira was a top 40 pick.

    A similar set of comps using his draft +2 WHL season simply won’t have NHL caliber players on it.

    As I’ve said before, I really do hope you’re correct on this, I just don’t see it.

  36. doritogrande says:

    DSF and Pouzar:

    To continue your Jets point from earlier, Perrault was not playing C for the Jets in the months leading up to his injury. He was shifted to the wing in or around December because he couldn’t hack it at C.

    The Jets depth chart at C for a while has been Little-Scheifele-Lowry-Slater. As you were.

    On an unrelated note: Schultz? I know we were already down a man, but after the boneheaded turnover and dumb as soup penalty, you staple his ass to the bench full stop. Unless there’s a different directive from up higher than Nelson (likely) he shouldn’t be playing over Keith Aulie.

  37. TemujinBC says:

    Does the Camera ever pan up to the GM’s booth anymore? I would have liked to see MacT’s face after the Schultz giveaway last night.

  38. GCW_69 says:

    godot10:
    Musil, Musil, Musil, Musil….

    The contrarian chant goes out! -).

    Davidson. Anyone who doesn’t want Davidson hates puppies and Santa Claus.

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