OILERS AT DUCKS, G77 2014-15

In the Oilers last seven games, their 5×5 Corsi For % is 49.8. In all states, it’s 50.3%. That’s a very small sample size but something to track as we head into the fires of California. (Source: War-on-Ice).

The Laleggia add really helps Edmonton’s defense for next season but may well spell the end of the line for Brad Hunt. Make no mistake, Hunt is a terrific AHL defenseman—I’d call him an impact player at that level—but the chaos of his defensive play is too much for an addled defensive team like Edmonton. I do think Hunt could land somewhere.

It’s interesting to see how many players have been signed already (or are RFA) for next year:

  1. D Nikita Nikitin
  2. D Justin Schultz (RFA)
  3. D Mark Fayne
  4. D Andrew Ference
  5. D Oscar Klefbom
  6. D Martin Marincin (RFA)
  7. D Keith Aulie (RFA)
  8. D Brad Hunt (RFA)
  9. D Jordan Oesterle
  10. D Brandon Davidson (RFA)
  11. D Dillon Simpson
  12. D Martin Gernat
  13. D David Musil
  14. D Darnell Nurse (entry level)
  15. D Ben Betker (newly signed)
  16. D Joey Laleggia (newly signed)

That’s a lot of blue. There are currently 14 players (1-14 above) on this year’s 50-man list (here) and of course Edmonton began the season with Jeff Petry on the roster. There are no obvious signings from previous drafts to come but there could be another college addition and I’m always on the lookout this time of year for a Euro addition in the Belov-Grebeshkov tradition. Among RFA’s, I would guess Hunt is the most likely to go, with Marincin and Aulie also candidates.

The problem with all of these blue? Finding six who can help the team win NHL games next season. I think we may end up seeing Klefbom—Schultz, Nikitin—Fayne, Ference—Mandelbaum.

expos

UN QUESTION, UN RESPONSE!

When I was a kid the French CBC would run games that weren’t available on the English channel (Man Alive! or the White Oaks of Jalna were likely on) so any red blooded Canadian boy had to watch the Expos! They would do a one question, one response every game and the questions were lame (‘what do you call a pop fly?’ and the answer had candle in it) but I always thought it was a good idea. The Oilers do a fine job providing fans with interesting interviews on their site but it could be more fun if they went to some awkward places. Like:

  • “What does Frank Musil think about the recalls of Brad Hunt, Martin Marincin, Jordan Oesterle and Brandon Davidson?”

I think that would be an excellent question. Oilers lost Kenta Nilsson as a scout over Robert’s situation (at least, it sure looked that way) and I’m certain (look, I’m a Dad) papa Musil isn’t dancing through life with his boy sitting in Oklahoma City.

JULTZ

schultz boxcars

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about Justin Schultz. The Oilers are clearly all-in on him and the Corsi has improved (I think Dellow talked them into using Schultz as an offensive zone start regular, good on him) but the boxcars aren’t great and despite his skill set Schultz isn’t a great passer. You may disagree, because mostly these skill guys are great passers,  but Schultz just isn’t the greatest at tape-to-tape on the fly. Trust me on this, it’s something I watch closely (Orr was insane at it, the best of the modern era is probably Erik Karlsson).

The other day Jim Matheson tweeted out that Schultz should spend the summer shooting pucks but I’d have him practicing tape-to-tape coming out of the defensive zone. He may have been good at it long ago, but our skill defenseman looks like he has the yips.

I also think the club should use Martin Marincin as Schultz’ partner next season. They were successful together in the AHL and Marincin’s defensive acumen and ability to make the simple play effectively should mesh well with the stylized Schultz. That would free Klefbom for the top pairing with Brent Seabrook.

STANDINGS IN THE SHADOWS

Toronto (No. 27 overall) have a five-point lead over Edmonton (No. 28) who have a five point lead over Arizona (No. 29) who have a four-point lead over Buffalo (No. 30). The Sabres have a game in hand so you could see a flip at No. 29 but the Oilers are locked and loaded. We can probably call the top five in this year’s draft now, although there’s always a tweak or surprise it seems (Sam Bennett a year ago being one example).

  1. Buffalo: C Connor McDavid
  2. Arizona: C Jack Eichel
  3. Edmonton: D Noah Hanifin
  4. Toronto: C Dylan Strome
  5. Carolina: C-R Mitch Marner

hoffs

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

Would you believe a Manic Wednesday? Well, we’ll try 10 this morning on TSN1260. Scheduled to appear:

  • Bruce McCurdy, Cult of Hockey at the EJ. We’ll talk about defense 2015-16 and tonight’s game.
  • Corey Graham, Oil Kings PBP. Our boys are up against it now, with a massive game tonight.
  • Matthew Cauz, TSN1050 Toronto. Blue Jays! Opening day roster has 15 kids! Or something like that.
  • Mike Chambers, Denver Post. Joey Laleggia is turning pro, we’ll talk about the player and his college career.

10-1260 text, @Lowetide_ on twitter. Talk soon!

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214 Responses to "OILERS AT DUCKS, G77 2014-15"

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  1. stevezie says:

    Dashingsilverfox: A rebuilding team needing to hit the cap floor will take him if they get enough another assets as part of the deal.

    I think this part is definitely true. Richards can still play on a 4th line–maybe higher on a bad team–so a low payroll team would happily take him if the Kings make it worth their while.

    I’m curious what it would take. How high of a draft pick would you want to take that contract? It’s not a matter of smarts with Lombardi at this point, it’s a matter of pride. Crow will be eaten (happens to us all).

    TO would do it if they free up the cap room. Hell, Edmonton should think about it. Richards and Martin Jones for Gernat?

    Of course the risk is Richards continues to decline. It’s one thing to have a five million dollar solid 4th line center; it’s another to have to have a five million dollar AHL 4th line center.

  2. Dashingsilverfox says:

    stevezie: I think this part is definitely true. Richards can still play on a 4th line–maybe higher on a bad team–so a low payroll team would happily take him if the Kings make it worth their while.

    I’m curious what it would take. How high of a draft pick would you want to take that contract? It’s not a matter of smarts with Lombardi at this point, it’s a matter of pride. Crow will be eaten (happens to us all).

    TO would do it if they free up the cap room. Hell, Edmonton should think about it. Richards and Martin Jones for Gernat?

    Of course the risk is Richards continues to decline. It’s one thing to have a five million dollar solid 4th line center; it’s another to have to have a five million dollar AHL 4th line center.

    He’s only 30.

    I think he can still play some.

    If LA threw in a second round pick I think someone would take a shot.

  3. justDOit says:

    Dashingsilverfox: Is this a prediction for tomorrow night’s game?

    That too. What the heck.

  4. jake70 says:

    Well “good” result considering Toronto lost to Buffalo (and no Darren MIllard, that game is not the Connor McDavid cup….that would be a Buffalo-Arizona game…not all about the Leafs). If Arizona does not win the lottry, then I agree LT, NJ might get it. Reports last week about a possible Kovulchuk return to NHL……..first thing I thought of when he stayed in Russia was NJ buyer’s remorse on his contract, the major $ trouble the team was in at that time, and they got out of that contract (Kovulchuk doing them a favor for a couple of years??).

  5. PhrankLee says:

    In the resurrection story of the decade, Nick Schultz nominated by the Flyers for the Masterton 2015.

    Being, in Philly, what Oiler fans hoped he would be when he was here.

    Is being an Oiler a gravity well for quality play? No, I don’t’ think so. Everyone hates hearing the guys we rationalized letting go of rocking it on another team. Like hot ex-girlfriends. But mark my words I fully expected him to retire and buy some Birkenstocks and start a pet grooming business on Hornby Island or something..
    I thought, based on his play here, that he was finished as an NHL player.

    ***

    After last night I cannot see how anyone could disagree about the need to get physically larger as an organization. Leon cannot get here soon enough. Darnell cannot get here soon enough. Davidson is a nice fit. I believe this is the reason management punished Marincin and Gernat this season. They failed to increase their mass. There are arguments abound, I know. But I think MacT said it and he’s doing it. Getting bigger. Full stop. He has to.

    ***

    As a man I think MacT has been careful about this balance between having who you want in the system and being biased toward infanticide on your predecessors’ prospects.

    Still a lot of depth level improvements to make along with the needs of the line up.

  6. GCW_69 says:

    So, anyone know what the record is for most number of times giving up a goal on first shot of the game by a goaltender in one season?

    #recordbreaking

  7. GCW_69 says:

    Dashingsilverfox: Remember when Roberto Luongo was “untradeable” for those very same reasons?

    As they say in the car business…there’s a bum for every seat.

    He’s got 4 years left with a declining salary.

    A rebuilding team needing to hit the cap floor will take him if they get enough another assets as part of the deal.

    I’d wager Toronto is a good place to look if they move out Kessel, Phaneuf and Bozak.

    I agree. With his declining salary, if you could get three good years out of him then it’s worth making the trade. The buyout as a percent of cap even if you had to buy out the last three years would be manageable.

  8. sliderule says:

    It’s not size gents its compete level.

    The average of ducks defence roster 206 lbs

    Oilers just under 208

    Ducks forward roster 204 lbs average

    Oilers forward roster 199 lbs average

    Don’t expect players like Leon and Nurse to make a difference as they are not men yet

    If oilers allowed their player to mature we might have a heavier and more battle hardy bunch.

  9. Pouzar says:

    We have a below average AHL defence. Don’t over think it folks.
    Oh and there’s that goalie thing. We can roll out a pretty decent set of lines when healthy.

  10. Ca$h-Money! says:

    sliderule:
    It’s not size gents its compete level.

    The average of ducks defence roster 206 lbs

    Oilers just under 208

    Ducks forward roster 204 lbs average

    Oilers forward roster 199 lbs average

    Don’t expect players like Leon and Nurse to make a difference as they are not men yet

    If oilers allowed their player to mature we might have a heavier and more battle hardy bunch.

    I’m not disagreeing with you; playing big and being big are not the same. From a measurement standpoint Mike Richards in his prime weighs the same as Sam Gagner, and no one ever suggested he was too small.

    I think, though, that there needs to be a lbs/minute ratio to get a true sense of team size.

    Getzlaf/Perry/Maroon (or whomever they run there) play a lot of important minutes, it’s not just that they’re running massive goons on the 4th line playing 5 minutes a night.

    With that said, again, competitiveness (compete level is on my list of most annoying hockey sayings) is more important.

  11. sliderule says:

    Ca$h-Money!,

    I think that a better word for compete is battle.

    There is a reason oilers were having battle drills about a month ago.

    There battle level came up after that but last night I didn’t see any fight

  12. russ99 says:

    We’re always at a disadvantage against the big West teams on the road, can’t line match. Until we have a well-rounded roster on both ends of the ice, that’s not going to change.

    At least Eakins isn’t around adding fuel to the fire by dumping and cycling against teams that excel at getting the puck in their own zone and getting it out. I’d rather see a bunch of odd man breaks against us than not even try to score.

  13. rickithebear says:

    kooler:
    Dashingsilverfox,

    We traded him for a 2nd round pick in 2013? Think he’ll be a useful NHL player one day?

    TAMBO traded him for a 2nd round pick in 2013? Think he’ll be a useful NHL player one day?

  14. rickithebear says:

    Evilas:
    rickithebear,

    Ricki,

    The problem here is who votes for these awards.They are typically popularity contests…..Price is famous AND because it is well-know by the Hockey Writers how poor Mtl’s D is.Price likely won this award in January…..

    In my mind Dubnyk is clear cut for the Hart and the Masterton, the Wild haven’t announced their candidate and some blogger figured the Wild’s candidate should be Parise/Suter.I highly doubt that is a popular choice, lol.

    NO arguement from Me.

    He is the best goalie in the game.

    Even i doughtd him in the Eakins pinch period of his career.

    When Dubnyk had the terible start to 13-14.

    I lok back at Price and Dubnyk’s 3 years before:
    Dubnyk: 09-10 to 12-13
    120GP 113.6 60min gms
    3615 shots 31.8 Shots/gm
    3314 saves .9167 Save%

    Price: 10-11 to 12-13
    176gm 173.3 60min gms
    5079 shots 29.3 shots/gm
    4657 saves .9169 Save%

    Dubnyk played with the worst team in the league.
    30th; .916
    30th; .914
    24th: .920
    that averaged 28th place

    Price played with a team
    14th; .923
    28th; .916
    4th; .905
    that averaged 15th place

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