PATIENCE AND PRUDENCE IN DEVELOPMENT

Tyler Pitlick scored a goal in his return as the Edmonton Oilers defeated the Los Angeles Kings at Rexall last night. Pitlick started this season completely aware of the issues facing him and expressed just that when he was recalled at the beginning of December.

I’ve always liked Pitlick’s game but he’s not an offensive option. I thought he might grab that fourth-line role but the injury came and then Rob Klinkhammer arrived and was signed so it looked bleak. A couple of months on and Klinkhammer’s offense is more of an issue (although he’s more durable) so we’ll see. I’m cheering for him.

nelson capture34

Nelson is now 17-22-6 and back to being Edmonton’s modern Fonzie. I don’t know if he gets the job full time this summer but  think he should be considered for the opportunity. The guy can fix a power play and Stu MacGregor is probably at a point where he can drop by the office without worrying about a pink slip thanks to Nelson. Will the Oilers go with him for 2015-16? We wait.

musil young stars

 OILERS BLUE 5X5 CORSI LAST NIGHT (via hockeystats.ca)

  1. Justin Schultz 13-14 48% (OZS: 58)
  2. David Musil 15-17 47% (OZS: 25)
  3. Oscar Klefbom 16-19 46% (OZS: 50)
  4. Martin Marincin 12-20 38% (OZS: 23)
  5. Keith Aulie 7-14 33% (OSZ: 25)
  6. Brandon Davidson 7-16 30%  (OSZ: 20)

David Musil’s numbers look pretty good from here in game two, don’t know where he’ll land on next year’s depth chart but his has been a valuable look at the young man. Klefbom had a nice night, Schultz wasn’t too wobbly and Marincin plus Davidson had some angry zone starts. Aulie was lauded for big hits and fights but for me Davidson and Musil are guys who may pass him for work as early as this fall.

fraser landerAnton Lander’s progress as an NHL player is one of my favorite things about this lost season. Along with a clear step forward by Nuge, the C position looks much better. Lander’s line (Matt Fraser and Tyler Pitlick) didn’t have a lot to recommend it before last night’s game (Pitlick had been out since the beginning of the year and Fraser hadn’t scored in a long time) but the trio gave the Kings fits:

Corsi for 5×5/60 (via hockeystats.ca)

  1. Matt Fraser 12-3 80% (OSZ: 33)
  2. Anton Lander 10-3 77% (OZS: 40)
  3. Tyler Pitlick 10-3 77% (OSZ: 40)

Imagine a world where Anton Lander can grab two C-list players and cobble together enough runs to score at .5 points-per-game next season and take on less than wonderful zone starts at the same time? Added to the Boyd Gordon ‘working in the coal mine’ trio of gritty veterans, that’s a helluva rhythm section. We’re not talking Charlie Watts/Billy Wyman but they can keep the beat and you can dance to it. The Nuge line and the Roy/Draisaitl/Hanzal line could do some real damage given that kind of support.

Anton Lander, under Todd Nelson, has taken full advantage of an opportunity given. Why is this one taking while previous auditions didn’t? Well, one of the problems early came from quality of linemates (Ben Eager and ‘oops, we signed him again!’ Lennart Petrell were a memorable gift in year one) and he was also put into a role where one dimensional (defensive) play was the only option. You fail, you can’t make amends—and every youth fails because it’s the NHL.

todd simpson young stars

PATIENCE AND PRUDENCE

The lessons of this season are many but the most important (imo) is staying the course with the youngsters. I like to count arrows, good and bad, and when it comes to prospects it’s important to have many going in a good direction (because it’s impossible to have all of them turn out). Among the 40 men I discussed during the winter Top 20 prospects process, the positive arrows for this season are abundant:

  • No. 1: Leon Draisaitl. Positive arrow despite NHL time that (once again) came too soon.
  • No. 2: Darnell Nurse. Positive arrow includes WJC and impressive run with SSM that continues.
  • No. 3: Oscar Klefbom. Graduated to the NHL, already one of (if not the) best D on the Oilers.
  • No. 4: Bogdan Yakimov. Impressive camp, building AHL resume before injury.
  • No. 5: Iiro Pakarinen: Looked crazy good, one of the underrated signings by MacT.
  • No. 6: Greg Chase. Strange beginnings but a nice ending to junior career.
  • No. 8: Dillon Simpson. He’s been healthy and learning on the job in OKC.
  • No. 9: Kyle Platzer. Exceptional final season in junior, rewarded with a contract.
  • No. 10: Tyler Pitlick. He looks like a player I swear. If he could only stay healthy.
  • No. 14: Joey Laleggia. Signed a pro contract, Hobey candidate.
  • No. 15: William Lagesson. Enjoyed a solid campaign in Dubuque.
  • No. 16: Laurent Brossoit. Emerging as a legit goaltending prospect.
  • No. 17: Anton Slepyshev. After Christmas he turned a corner.
  • No. 21: Brandon Davidson. Made NHL debut and he’s been solid. Could grab an NHL job next year (7D).
  • No. 22: Jordan Oesterle. Impressed enough to get an NHL cup of coffee.
  • No. 23: David Musil. As with Oesterle, earned an NHL audition.
  • No. 26: Ben Betker. Big man played well this season.
  • No. 28: Tyler Vesel. Impressed this season, looking forward to next year and more playing time.
  • No. 29: Andrew Miller. Fantastic step forward in AHL and a quality NHL audition.
  • No. 36: Josh Winquist. I think they may have found one in the Bob Green pile.

That’s a lot of progress in one season. Added to Lander, Marincin and a few others at the NHL level, the development side took solid steps forward this season. That’s a big damn deal and should bode well for the future. It is vitally important for Craig MacTavish to stay the course here and to build on the progress of Lander, Marincin and others. Starting over again with a new coach may be detrimental to development and the Oilers need more players, pretty much everywhere.

Ann Margret

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

Wednesday already and time flies when you’re having fun. Scheduled to appear, 10 this morning on TSN 1260:

  • Bruce McCurdy, Cult of Hockey at the Edmonton Journal. We’ll talk about last night and the progress shown by the department of youth.
  • Nathan Dempsey, campus director at Vimy Hockey. First NHL game memories, what does it take to establish yourself at the highest levels and how do you overcome being slotted as a one dimensional player?
  • Scott Cullen TSN. The plan is to talk about the amazing NHL playoff race, but I love talking baseball with Cullen so don’t be surprised if we dip a toe into that world too.
  • (tentatively) Eric Rodgers, Tend the Farm. I want to find out about Laleggia, Platzer and the playoff race.

10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. Notice there is no underscore, my thanks to Woodguy for the tip that brought me home. 🙂

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67 Responses to "PATIENCE AND PRUDENCE IN DEVELOPMENT"

  1. smellyglove says:

    How’d you pick up the Twitter Handle, LT?

  2. slopitch says:

    I think the best play is to draft strome and take bpa with the rest of the picks. Let nurse and drai get 40 games each in the A. Trade for a dman and let the development wave build the team from within.

    Might cost MacT his job though.

    Cheering for pouliot to get 2 goals in the next 2. 20 goals would be a solid year considering he missed 20 games.

  3. Hall Awaits says:

    Definitely a highlight in a lowlight season last night.

  4. frjohnk says:

    I think Davidison and Musil are showing that the oilers have decent depth in the 7,8 holes for next year. You need good depth there as injuries always happen.

    They might be better than Nikita and Ference next year.

    Some would say right now.

  5. kinger_OIL says:

    LT – This is a great snapshot: but I’m seeing the other half of the glass I guess. I get that one can be excited about the progress of these prospects: but save Nurse (in 2 years), I see a bunch of max. 5s and 6s. And they are all at least 3 years away. Drai was horrible this year, way out of depth. He’s a few years away. If Lander is the gold standard for Oil prospects, and after 5 years he was waived and not picked up anywhere, and is having a nice run of 30 games (and an injury), I don’t know. These prospects: fun to cheer for: shouldn’t be counted on to make a difference for years.

  6. Hammers says:

    I felt Davidson looked so at home and didn’t really see any panick .Still feel managements problem with Marincin isn’t his actual game but his lack of hitting .They want a bruiser and MM and his big stick just seem to get the job done . McT will trade him and he could end being another Chara in 2-3 years .The potential there is unreal as far as I’m concerned . I can’t say enough about our “D” and if Nelsons use of what he has doesn’t get him this job then there blind .

  7. thejonrmcleod says:

    I think Bachman’s last 3 games give us a taste of what it might be like when you get decent goaltending for a season.

    Good to see lots of positive arrows listed above. Add to that the development of Yak.

  8. Hammers says:

    kinger_OIL:
    LT – This is a great snapshot: but I’m seeing the other half of the glass I guess.I get that one can be excited about the progress of these prospects: but save Nurse (in 2 years), I see a bunch of max. 5s and 6s.And they are all at least 3 years away.Drai was horrible this year, way out of depth.He’s a few years away. If Lander is the gold standard for Oil prospects, and after 5 years he was waived and not picked up anywhere, and is having a nice run of 30 games (and an injury), I don’t know.These prospects: fun to cheer for: shouldn’t be counted on to make a difference for years.

    Your right that bunch of kids are 2-3 years away including Nurse But I don’t see 5’s & 6’s I see Klef potentially top 2-3 and the same with M.M. Nurse could be a top 2 and McT picked him for both his ability and toughness / meanness . With exceptions over the years I find most Euros that way . We already have the youth all they need is the steading hands Fayne is one Schultz I still question . We still need that “D” via trade / UFA .Playoffs are 2 years away but we are getting closer mainly because all the kids are becoming young men .

  9. Hammers says:

    Hammers: Your right that bunch of kids are 2-3 years away including Nurse But I don’t see 5’s & 6’s I see Klef potentially top 2-3 and the same with M.M. Nurse could be a top 2 and McT picked him for both his ability and toughness / meanness. With exceptions over the years I find most Euros that way , No meanness . We already have the youth all they need is the steading hands Fayne is one Schultz I still question . We still need that “D” via trade / UFA .Playoffs are 2 years away but we are getting closer mainly because all the kids are becoming young men .

  10. Clay says:

    thejonrmcleod:
    I think Bachman’s last 3 games give us a taste of what it might be like when you get decent goaltending for a season.

    Ha! I was just going to write the exact same thing.

    In his 4 starts, Bachman’s SP is 0.925. The Oilers are 3-1, with 16 goals for, 10 against (7 of those against are from the loss in Carolina).

    Not suggesting Bachman is the answer, and yes, the sample size is smaller than Mitch Marner, but boy it sure would be nice to have solid goaltending.

  11. rich says:

    Hmmm. From an organization with little depth to an organization that might finally have some legit prospects? What a surprise. Guess that the amateur scouts are not as big a problem as we thought.

    You look at last night’s line-up – and really the lineup since the turn of the calendar and we’re starting to see guys drafted 4-5 years ago demonstrate that they are ready to pitch in. I think part of what is key in their path from “prospect” to actual NHL player is not turning too many of them lose at the same time and surrounding with the right supporting cast.

    But to your point, watching Lander get it done with other AHL’ers on his wings has been a very nice surprise and something this org badly needed.

    Seeing Davidson not look completely lost despite being paired with either Musil or Aulie or Nikitin is reason for hope – although you have to expect with young D there will be more bumps along the way.

    If we could at get at least 1 top pairing d-man this summer without losing Marincin and have Davidson as a #7D with call-up options being Musil, Oosterle (for the first half of the season) and then Nurse after 40 AHL games, I think it would help this unit for the long haul.

  12. Bar_Qu says:

    Imagine a world where Anton Lander can grab two C-list players and cobble together enough runs to score at .5 points-per-game next season and take on less than wonderful zone starts at the same time? Added to the Boyd Gordon ‘working in the coal mine’ trio of gritty veterans, that’s a helluva rhythm section. We’re not talking Charlie Watts/Billy Wyman but they can keep the beat and you can dance to it.

    So we are going to call Lander “Fluke Holland” now? 😉

    thejonrmcleod:
    I think Bachman’s last 3 games give us a taste of what it might be like when you get decent goaltending for a season.

    Except for the “one bad goal a game” thing. Which makes him remarkably like Dubnyk, eh?

    Last night was an amazing game, in a bittersweet way. It was nice to play spoiler, but it is hard to watch the team play that well and imagine what should have been this season. All the guys I was watching with are Flames fans, and they were all wondering how an LA could get beat by a 28th place team, which inevitably lead to the discussion of how so many 1st rounders could still fail.

    I tried, but is is hard to explain 4 years of reading this blog in a few sentences to other people, and I couldn’t just yell, “balance, dammit!”

  13. HiddenDarts says:

    kinger_OIL,

    I think someone is feeling a little dour about life this morning. Draisaitl wasn’t horrible. I believe he was rocking a 50%+ corsi for the entire duration. Plus, he had apparently the worst PDO in the ENTIRE NHL of forwards with over 30 games. Check behindthenet.ca for details, but wow. You can’t be any less lucky than that.

    I can only imagine that luck will change under a new Fonzie-led regime.

    (Oops! Looks like he’s up for the silver medal now that the Sabres’ Ryan Ellis has beat him out!)

  14. Hammers says:

    Has Pitlick made it . Does he stay on the wing . Could the lines be RNH Hall Ebs 1st , “X” Pouliot Yak 2nd , Lander Purcell Pitlick 3rd ; Gordon, Hendricks , Klinkhammer 4th , Gazdic & Pakirinen . Do we resign Roy or does Leon or Strome answer that line’s need ? Spend the extra cap money on a goalie and top”D”.

  15. dustrock says:

    The Oilers had no business winning that game last night. I look at the line of Lander-Fraser-Pitlick against ze mighty Kings and shudder. Then they win, and that line in particular dominates. Any Given Sunday.

    You keep hearing about the veterans like Ference and Hendricks talk about effort and what it takes to be successful. You then see the effort the team can put in when they choose to. You look at Renney, Krueger, Eakins and Nelson – I’m sure they’re all preaching the “be professional” message. What coach wouldn’t? In fact, it sounds like Eakins may have gone too far on the “fun spectrum” to the “no ping pong table” danger zone.

    When does the message stick for good? Everyone talks about having more fun playing for Nelson, but we’ve seen some terrible performances under him as well (Leafs, Kings 8-2, etc).

  16. Melman says:

    LT – what do you do with Bachman? Let him see if he can catch on somewhere else? It almost appears is if he could be a backup to a legit, workhorse starter.

  17. judgedrude says:

    Don’t forget Musil with the apple!

    Which begs the question: Why were a D in his 2nd game and Yak doing defending a one goal game against the defending Stanley Cup Champions. “They should be benched for the third!”, so said not Nelson.

  18. leadfarmer says:

    With what Bachman went through this week, giving up a goal from center ice is not a big deal. Him bouncing back afterwards mentally and shutting down the Kings the rest of the way shows how mentally strong he is. Seivens would have completely fallen apart after that goal.

  19. Pouzar says:

    frjohnk:
    I think Davidison and Musil are showing that the oilers have decent depth in the 7,8holes for next year.You need good depth there as injuries always happen.

    Theymight be better than Nikita and Ference next year.

    Some would say right now.

    Right now

  20. kinger_OIL says:

    HiddenDarts,

    He was horrible for a 2C, worste one in the league by a mile – Had no business being in the NHL at his stage: granted not his fault he was gifted those minutes and lush OZ starts…Not cranky: just realist. For the last 8 years, it’s always 2-3 years out for the Oil development. Plus ca change…

  21. rich says:

    dustrock,

    One of the things that stood out about Hendricks last night was his play in the defensive zone. LA had several chances to put rebounds home and Hendricks did a very nice job of tying his man up.

    Little things like that make a huge difference in the locker room and on video.

    Also liked the addition of Pitlick last night – not afraid to take or make a hit. Everyone knew LA was going to come out and try to intimidate and there guys were out trying to run our show the entire game but the kids did not flinch and instead dished out more hits than I’ve seen in a long time. Was actually very enjoyable to watch.

  22. stephen sheps says:

    To echo some of the sentiment around here, and mindful of the very small sample size both this season and throughout his limited NHL playing time, what if Bachman at age 27 might actually be a little more than a steady #3?

    He seems to have the mental toughness and good humour to shake things off, and given his small stature (by modern goalie standards), he battles hard and recovers positioning rather quickly. Not saying Bachman is the answer to the team’s goalie question, but I wonder if he’s worth another contract and maybe a longer look at the NHL level? His OKC numbers are solid and since half the Barons D could potentially be Oilers next year anyway, there would be an established level of comfort and communication between the goalie and defenders.

    Another plus is that he doesn’t handle the puck like a live grenade.

  23. dustrock says:

    I’d honestly prefer Bachman over Scrivens as a backup.

    I just don’t see how Scrivens can’t work on the glaring hole (upstairs) in his game. Seems that the entire NHL is aware of it. Then there’s the puck handling.

    Bachman’s biggest issue is indeed size, but I don’t see a huge flaw in his game otherwise.

  24. PhrankLee says:

    dustrock: the glaring hole (upstairs) in his game. Seems that the entire NHL is aware of it.

    This was always the scouting report on Doobie too. It galled me that a 6’5″ goalie was regularly beat over the shoulder.

    He has taken a new tack and has been rewarded for it in Min.

  25. dustrock says:

    maybe we can trade for Sean Burke in the offseason. Or Bill Ranford.

  26. Loweblow says:

    Watch the OKC Barons game last night and your golden boy D.Simpson was ugly. In fact the whole Barons D was ugly and were man handled like a bunch of puppy dogs. Especially the ones from the NCAA. Joey Laleggia looks to be offensive threat, but his size was his worst enemy and was pushed around at will. He also tried to do too much, but this could be to 1st game jitters. Pairing him with D.Simpson wasn’t the brightest of ideas. Without Davidson and Musil these boys lacked the protection or babysitter they have had most of the season.

  27. godot10 says:

    Lou Lamorello and New Jersey look like the most probably landing spot for a head coaching job for Todd Nelson. Nelly is Lou’s type of guy. Nelson would be great for all his young D.

    Lowe and MacT can’t stand anyone who isn’t part of their good ol’ boys club.

  28. PhrankLee says:

    godot10: Lowe and MacT can’t stand anyone who isn’t part of their good ol’ boys club.

    As much as I tire of this narrative it is proofed over and over.

    Too many times to be ignored.

    So how excited will everyone be when Messier is named HC?

    Ha ha. I kid.

    (God no, please no.)

  29. Ca$h-Money! says:

    Loweblow:
    Watch the OKC Barons game last night and your golden boy D.Simpson was ugly. In fact the whole Barons D was ugly and were man handled like a bunch of puppy dogs. Especially the ones from the NCAA. Joey Laleggia looks to be offensive threat, but his size was his worst enemy and was pushed around at will. He also tried to do too much, but this could be to 1st game jitters. Pairing him with D.Simpson wasn’t the brightest of ideas. Without Davidson and Musil these boys lacked the protection or babysitter they have had most of the season.

    It’s awfully hard to judge anyone on that team right now, given their utter lack of AHL players throughout the lineup. Between NHL callups and injuries that’s about as decimated as any roster I’ve seen.

  30. rich says:

    godot10:
    Lou Lamorello and New Jersey look like the most probably landing spot for a head coaching job for Todd Nelson.Nelly is Lou’s type of guy.Nelson would be great for all his young D.

    Lowe and MacT can’t stand anyone who isn’t part of their good ol’ boys club.

    That would piss me off something fierce.

    Wouldn’t shock me if Lou came in while MacT is being strung along by McClellan.

  31. stephen sheps says:

    godot10:
    Lou Lamorello and New Jersey look like the most probably landing spot for a head coaching job for Todd Nelson.Nelly is Lou’s type of guy.Nelson would be great for all his young D.

    Lowe and MacT can’t stand anyone who isn’t part of their good ol’ boys club.

    Sigh. Yeah. If (when) MacT doesn’t do the smart thing and retain Nelson, I think Godot might just be correct.

  32. dustrock says:

    stephen sheps: Sigh. Yeah. If (when) MacT doesn’t do the smart thing and retain Nelson, I think Godot might just be correct.

    Shouldn’t the OIlers do their due diligence for once and look at some veteran coaching prospects?

    I mean, the Sophie’s Choice for Mac T is: (a) give Nelson a real chance with an improved roster and training camp, or (b) find a solid veteran presence like a McLellan.

  33. TheseColoursDontRun says:

    stephen sheps: Another plus is that he doesn’t handle the puck like a live grenade.

    RIGHT?! Also, sometimes Scrivens seems sharp but in the same game he’ll be flopping around like a swimmer for the Madagascar National Swim team. I swear he does this far more than other goalies I watch.

  34. Cobbler says:

    Despite the Corsi number I thought Davidson looked great last night. He seems to have the chops to play at this level.

    And this:

    Matt Fraser 12-3 80% (OSZ: 33)
    Anton Lander 10-3 77% (OZS: 40)
    Tyler Pitlick 10-3 77% (OSZ: 40)

    Wow, just wow.

  35. PhrankLee says:

    Cobbler,

    I believe this is a product of excellent coaching. The message being keep your feet moving.

    They were so nice to see mixed up in every play and supporting each other responsibly.

  36. stephen sheps says:

    dustrock: Shouldn’t the OIlers do their due diligence for once and look at some veteran coaching prospects?

    I mean, the Sophie’s Choice for Mac T is: (a) give Nelson a real chance with an improved roster and training camp, or (b) find a solid veteran presence like a McLellan.

    It’s not that I don’t think due diligence is important, (it is!) I just see the value of retaining Nelson. A McLellan (or whomever else not named Babcock) that may shake loose might have more pedigree, but Nelson has been paying his dues as a head coach at many levels for a long long time and the players on this crap roster seem to respond to his message. This is a fragile team – more changes may cause more problems. Plus, the coaching carousel in this organization is ridiculous. If I were a recently fired coach, I would probably want to go to a team with stability instead of a team that is years away and a complete disaster at the top. The McLellans Hitchcocks and Bylsmas of the world are not coming to Edmonton, (Ok, maybe Hitch since it’s home for him), but otherwise it is not happening.

  37. leadfarmer says:

    Cobbler,

    Fraser looks pretty good when playing against slow teams, it’s when teams bring speed he really struggles to keep up. Him and Musil are made for late 90s clutch and grab hockey.

  38. leadfarmer says:

    Cobbler,

    unfortunately after the game Tyler Pitlick came down with Dengue fever and a touch Tse Tse sleeping sickness.

  39. Bar_Qu says:

    leadfarmer:
    Cobbler,

    unfortunately after the game Tyler Pitlick came down with Dengue fever and a touch Tse Tse sleeping sickness.

    Don’t forget the consumption and dropsy diagnoses.

  40. Numenius says:

    dustrock: Shouldn’t the OIlers do their due diligence for once and look at some veteran coaching prospects?

    I mean, the Sophie’s Choice for Mac T is: (a) give Nelson a real chance with an improved roster and training camp, or (b) find a solid veteran presence like a McLellan.

    Fit is also an issue and Nelson has shown he is a nice fit for Edmonton.

    Other coaches might be “solid veteran presences”, but it’s risky whether they’ll be a fit, no matter how much due diligence you do.

    Unless you’re talking someone at the Babcock level, the solid veteran presence idea is easily overrated.

    Just ask Vancouver how much they liked Torts over Desjardins.

  41. dustrock says:

    Numenius: Fit is also an issue and Nelson has shown he is a nice fit for Edmonton.Other coaches might be “solid veteran presences”, but it’s risky whether they’ll be a fit, no matter how much due diligence you do.Unless you’re talking someone at the Babcock level, the solid veteran presence idea is easily overrated. Just ask Vancouver.

    Right, because none of called that Tortarella was a terrible choice from the get-go. lol

  42. Adam Wu says:

    So that gaping hole at C everyone moaned about last offseason is well on its way to fixing itself through internal development.

    When it comes down to it, there are no free lunches in this universe. You want something, you have to spend something to get it. Either you give up money (free agent signing), players and picks (trade) or time (another season in the basement). By accident or design, the team went with door 3.

    The hole at D will likely fix itself with time too. (And these are prospects that management is already on record as loving, so there is little risk of the undervaluing problem)

    When we moan about “lost seasons” we are really complaining about spending time as an asset to get something done. But this complaint should not be made in isolation – we need to think of time as an asset on equal footing with money and players. Sometimes th smart choice is to wait and be patient.

  43. Dashingsilverfox says:

    Central Scouting has it final rankings out:

    http://www.nhl.com/ice/news.htm?id=761663

  44. TheOtherJohn says:

    Dashingsilverfox,

    Thank God, they got Lawson Crouse into the top 5

    See Carmine Buono is the 2nd ranked BCJHL’er ranked at 188. Oilers will take him in the 4th round because we know the BCJHL

  45. stephen sheps says:

    TheOtherJohn:
    Dashingsilverfox,

    Thank God, they got Lawson Crouse into the top 5

    To be fair, he’s in the top 5 North American skaters. They haven’t provided an overall ranking. That said, I’m one of the biggest Crouse fans in this community (the benefit of living in Kingston for a while), so he’s basically my version of MAP – but for him to be ranked ahead of Marner is stupid.

  46. linkfromhyrule says:

    So I guess the Oilers are finally following the Detroit Model now that half our NHL team is made up of players from our AHL team!

    That Central Scouting thing is crazy, but seems like they’re just trying to manufacture controversy. They can’t be that daft, can they? I’m not sure I want to know the answer.

    Hopefully they will give Bachmann the rest of the starts to see what he’s capable of. Crazier things have happened than a goalie like him breaking through late. He’s looked solid to me, and Scrivens is totally broken right now. I hope it’s covered under the warranty…..

  47. Unicorns says:

    That was an enjoyable game, so many guys played well, a lot of positive energy from the team. As many of us have been saying the past while, just having decent capable players in the place of those that mostly struggle makes a world of difference to this team. It would to any team.

    For me, as the only experienced centre in the lineup, Roy sure created a lot of possession losses with passes to covered guys and just not efficiently done. This is what torpedoes the Oilers – vets playing worse than rookies. No improvements if they ice that type of player. Purcell also got owned on a night like that.

  48. alice13 says:

    On Nelson, I think it’s wise to think about what Scotty Bowman said about coaches (I’m paraphrasing) “The best coach is usually the guy who gets off the bus with the best players”, and coaching itself “I always thought most of my job was having the right people out at the right time”.

    There’s no magical bench-whisperer, it’s keeping the keel steady and the oars in the water for 82 games, holding people accountable and learning to use what the GM and the injury/PDO Gords give to you.

    Maybe it’s like goalies, outside of a couple of elite souls there’s a lot of guys who can fill the shoes of ‘replacement-level NHL coach’, and Nelson looks to be very much among them. Double-clutching and changing gears this summer accomplishes Nothing, imo.

  49. Loweblow says:

    Ca$h-Money!,

    True, but it would also shows who has ability and who was sheltered by other players play. The Barons D was one of their strong points, now it has become a major weakness. If any of them had any grit, things wouldn’t be that bad, but they don’t. Most Barons fans would tell you that D.Simpson plays a real soft game. He also has problems getting back into the play, is that due to his poor skating or lack of effort, your guess is as good as mine. Oesterle is a little tougher, and skates much better, but he still needs that physical protection, gets pushed around too much. With Joey Laleggia you can see the offensive skill, but when it comes to the defensive zone he’s a nightmare, that could be due to 1st night jitters or being paired with Simpson. Would be questioning some of these MacT signings and are they really going to help the Oilers. Another problem could be the coaching, some of us have noticed the Kelly Buchberger has been doing more of the work behind the bench. The Barons PP that was the best in the AHL under Nelson, looks like the Oilers old PP under Eakins and it stinks.

  50. Pouzar says:

    I saw Joey Leggs fine in the defensive zone. Uses his long stick well and was in good position with his head on a swivel (no Jultzing here). Just what I saw. Like the crisp passing on the breakouts. First game so we’ll see.

    Don’t forget SA has dominated OKC to the tune of 9-1-2 this year so it’s no only this d-corps that has gotten dominated.

  51. RexLibris says:

    Last night’s game from the perspective of a Flames fan.

    http://flamesnation.ca/2015/4/8/that-time-we-all-sincerely-cheered-for-the-edmonton-oilers-or-playoff-pushes-are-really-weird

    A good read, proving they aren’t all bad.

  52. Ca$h-Money! says:

    Loweblow,

    Hey I agree that some of those guys likely aren’t part of the long term solution, that’s going to be true of any team in the AHL. I guess what I’m saying is that it’s hard to judge individual performance when virtually everyone is playing above where they should be. For the D, there is also the issue of not having the right forwards to come back and help out, and vice versa. It’s still a team game after all.

    But yes, I hear what you are saying with respect to D. Simpson, we’ve certainly heard that and I think the general fan is less high on him than they were 12 months ago.

  53. Ca$h-Money! says:

    Dashingsilverfox:
    Central Scouting has it final rankings out:

    http://www.nhl.com/ice/news.htm?id=761663

    I’m going to quickly plug Andrew Nielsen, ranked #52 on that list. It’s admittedly a biased choice because I’m a fan, and I am by no means equipped or interested in arguing about the merits of his numbers.

    I’ll be rooting for him come draft day.

  54. Numenius says:

    dustrock: Right, because none of called that Tortarella was a terrible choice from the get-go.lol

    The Canucks aren’t sad they hired Desjardins over Bylsma either.

  55. Ca$h-Money! says:

    Numenius: The Canucks aren’t sad they hired Desjardins over Bylsma either.

    Every NHL coach was, at one point, a rookie NHL head coach. True story.

  56. TheOtherJohn says:

    Ca$h-Money!,

    hired after a search, interviews, tested the market etc, too

  57. pocession charge says:

    Ca$h-Money!: I’m going to quickly plug Andrew Nielsen, ranked #52 on that list.It’s admittedly a biased choice because I’m a fan, and I am by no means equipped or interested in arguing about the merits of his numbers.

    I’ll be rooting for him come draft day.

    I’m going to plug Connor McDavid. I think he’s on the list. The kid can really play ice hockey.

  58. pocession charge says:

    It is amazing how much discrepancy exists between central scouting and Craig’s List. I’m going to go out on a limb and suggest that it’s not an exact science….that there isn’t a true BPA after McD and Eichel.

  59. Alpine says:

    To be honest, I half-hated that win last night. I wish we would have won on Saturday instead but thems the breaks. I hate helping those goddamned Flames.

  60. TheOtherJohn says:

    Alpine,

    Am sure youd much rather they missed playoffs, won lottery, selected McDavid and had them play 3 series deep in playoffs for next 5 years

    Undoubtably some will point out McDavid has an unsustainably high sh% too

  61. John Chambers says:

    leadfarmer:
    Cobbler,

    unfortunately after the game Tyler Pitlick came down with Dengue fever and a touch Tse Tse sleeping sickness.

    Is it recommended they take anti-Malarials and sleep under mosquito nets in OKC?

    Maybe it’s a bit of quinine withdrawal

  62. rickithebear says:

    I accept that we tied Calgary and Thrashers/jets for playoff incompetence by an org.
    We have now gone 9 seasons in a row without a playoff series win. 9/10 for the post lockout decade.

    Short of the 10/10 by TOR; FLD; CBJ.

    Though in a perfect world. Both CGY and WPG make the playoffs. lose out in first round and tie the league record of 0 series wins in a decade.

    Makinlg them one of the worst playoff orgs for any 10 seasons in history.

    we are not there yet!

  63. Heinz 57 says:

    HiddenDarts: I think someone is feeling a little dour about life this morning. Draisaitl wasn’t horrible. I believe he was rocking a 50%+ corsi for the entire duration. Plus, he had apparently the worst PDO in the ENTIRE NHL of forwards with over 30 games. Check behindthenet.ca for details, but wow.

    Dry Saddle was handed his “gift” revocation card precisely when the horse-whisperer rode into town and shell-swapped Corsi with PDO. He was coached for Corsi, and to some degree he achieved Corsi.

    ———

    Lander arrives and he needs two things: a big chunk of playing time to adapt to the size, speed, intensity of the NHL; and a big chunk of playing time where he can complement his defensive game by bringing his offensive game up to somewhat the same level, achieved against competition he can actually handle.

    Story 1A

    He arrives. He’s deemed not worthy of being “gifted” his NHL minutes. He gets sent down where he matures nicely, showing flashes of offensive ability heretofore lacking. He’s promoted to the NHL where he goes through the usual (slow) adaptation curve, before finding his game at the NHL level. All involved are granted honorary degrees from the Supreme Institute of the Slow and Steady.

    Story 1B

    He arrives. He’s deemed not worthy of being “gifted” his NHL minutes. He gets sent down where he matures nicely, showing flashes of offensive ability heretofore lacking. He’s promoted to the NHL where he goes through the usual adaptation curve, but for some reason no-one can precisely pinpoint he struggles to find his game at the NHL level and washes out. Perhaps he’s spent too many years dominating lesser talents, he didn’t see the ardours of the NHL coming, and wasn’t given a big enough taste early enough in his development process to make vital corrections. Scouting staff is awarded the Tweener Prune. No honorary degrees are revoked from the Supreme Institute of the Slow and Steady.

    Story 2A

    He arrives. He’s sound enough defensively to put out on the ice in a limited role, and the team is desperate for bodies. Besides, as soon as next season, they could be in the thick of an actual playoff race, and it will only get harder to procure rookie minutes—and there are so many rookies nuzzling their way toward the oversubscribed rookie tit. Might as well slot him in now while we have the chance.

    However, it soon becomes apparently that he doesn’t have the maturity to handle adversity, and he’s in way over his head. He’s sent down, works on his offence, but clearly his NHL failure has crushed his soul. Soon he jets off to the KHL where he’s starved for minutes, and two years later vanishes from hockey altogether. Observers everywhere hang their heads. No awards are handed out. Half a dozen young prospects follow the same path. Reluctantly, the day eventually comes where Katz picks up his pink Skype phone (Designer Edition Extreme) and presses the big fat button labelled “Conference call: all hands”.

    Story 2B

    He arrives. He’s sound enough defensively to put out on the ice in a limited role, and the team is desperate for bodies. Besides, as soon as next season, they could be in the thick of an actual playoff race, and it will only get harder to procure rookie minutes—and there are so many rookies nuzzling their way toward the oversubscribed rookie tit. Might as well slot him in now while we have the chance.

    He seems to have the maturity to handle the challenge, but eventually the man’s game wears him down, but he has certainly learned what he’s ultimately up against. He’s sent down, works on his offence for what seems like years and years, with full knowledge of what challenges lie ahead, then he finally returns to the big club and looks like a keeper. Wow! Who knew? Giant vats of boiling tar are reluctant wheeled back into motor city out-buildings all over town.

    ———

    Then a miracle happens.

    Story 1A and story 2B meld together like a Siamese Heisencat viewed through rotating prisms into the same future timeline of a valued prospect made good.

    Really?

    The gods must be crazy!

    Pay it no mind, it’s not important.

  64. alice13 says:

    TheOtherJohn,

    Better than an interview, said candidate had a similar job in one of our other business units, and further has been capable in the actual role on an interim basis.

    Outside of hockey knowledge and some coaching experience – table stakes, they’re all going to have this – the only assets a coach has is the respect of his players and the confidence of his GM. Different ones will bleed these out in different ways, but they will all bleed out eventually. Losing depletes both rather quickly, regardless. Is Paul Maurice a bad coach? His team lost, and he got moved. Is Detroit a perennial contender because Babcock is their coach, or has he become the perennial coach because they’ve been contenders?

    Very important job, but the notion that you can put them on a scale and somehow measure what their future effectiveness will be, I don’t believe that. Otherwise you’d see cookie-cutter coaches, when the reality is successful coaches seem to come in every style imaginable.

    My thinking is you could have the most rigorous process imaginable and – again, my opinion only – I don’t believe your chances of besting what Nelson brings would be better than a coin flip. And you might well do worse.

  65. stush18 says:

    Interesting seeing hanifin fall on buttons list, im not sure how much i trust his judgement. I think i trust mackenzies the most. However ive been reading lots online and im almost leaning back towards strome. Dont really care though, either of those two wiuld be great.

    The international rankings were released, and kylington fell to the 6th ranked international skater, from 1 at christmas. They say he had a poor second half, and may fall to the second round.

    Im thinking if we end up drafting
    3/4(edmonton) strome
    20(pittsburgh) roy/kylington
    33(edmonton) Pilion/bittner

    That those are three really good players.

    After this it really depends on where teams finish, and i dont wanna make guesses and jinx our luck. Are we happy with something like that? It all depends where kylington is ranked i think, but you could get a number one scoring center, and two top 3 dman, depending you mileage.

  66. SwedishPoster says:

    alice13,

    My thinking on coaching is that it’s much more common that a bad coach or a bad fit as a coach on a team kills a teams performance than a great coach being the reason a team overperforms. If you find a good fit who goes well with the team, gets good individual performances from the players and is tactically advanced enough to not ger outcoached night in, night out, you need to keep him/her around. I don’t see how much you can gain from bringing in a new coach unless a) the message has gone stale or b) he’s lost the room. The slight advantage you might get from swapping out the coach you know has the ear of his team is not really worth the risk. Imo.

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