SHARKS AT OILERS, G81 2014-15

Get good players. Keep good players. Sign Mark Fayne, sign Benoit Pouliot, make good bets. It sounds so easy and yet there always seems to be a Niki Nikitin thrown into the fray. Add that to the two major issues I have about this season (no center until the Roy deal, no attempt to address goaltending all year) and it’s very difficult to cobble together coherent thought about this management group doing constructive things this summer. How do we begin a conversation about the summer’s doings when the list includes ‘get Jeff Petry back?’ and ‘the list this summer is pretty much the same as last summer’? HOW can we begin the process of guessing the moves of summer when the men pulling the levers appear addled?

It’s a tough spring, folks, leading to an impossible summer.

MACT’S SUMMER 2014 LIST

  1. A veteran top pairing defenseman.  (Nikitin was the salve but there was a nasty, predictable reaction).
  2. A 2line C with experience and the ability to play a two-way game.  (Derek Roy arrived much too late and isn’t a two-way C).
  3. A legit two-way winger who can score 12-15 goals.  (Benoit Pouliot, a brilliant addition).
  4. Find a way to get value, or make use of, Sam Gagner. (Teddy Purcell, I’m going to give MacT credit for getting Purcell although your mileage may vary).
  5. Improve the bottom 6F’s. (Lander, Klinkhammer and a bunch of extra’s like Pitlick and Pakarinen helped out. There seems to be enough depth to consider the issue heading in a good direction).
  6. Retain as much of the young cluster as possible, understanding that the player who represents #1 on this list might cost a young D who will one day fill that role. (MacT kept them all).
  7. Get Petry signed long term.  (MacT failed in this area, completely).
  8. Sign Schultz but DO NOT break the bank. (Punted the problem down the road, to this summer).

I’ll give MacT a passing grade on points 3, 4, 5, 6. He failed on 1, 2, 7 and 8. What’s more, there are a bunch of things that need to be added, partly because of what he failed to do last season (Petry, etc).

Antti-Niemi-Sharks-2011

MACT’S SUMMER 2015 LIST

  1. A No.1 goaltender. (Most obvious solution is Antti Niemi).
  2. A veteran top-pairing defenseman. (Niki Nikitin is the answer).
  3. A replacement for Jeff Petry. (Martin Marincin is right here!)
  4. A 2line C with experience and the ability to play a two-way game. (Derek Roy).
  5. Trade Justin Schultz. (You’re kidding, right?)

Well, the list is shorter than a year ago, but Holy Jesus that’s Mount Everest.

PROJECTED OPENING NIGHT ROSTER FALL 2015

projected 2014-15 lineup

 

WHAT DO TO ABOUT MACTAVSH SUMMER 3?

brossoit ferguson 14153The OKC invasion continues tonight, as Laurent Brossoit and Curtis Hamilton join the crew. The number of players who have dressed for both the Barons and Oilers this season is very large:

  1. C Anton Lander 36GP, 6-14-20
  2. D Oscar Klefbom 58GP, 2-17-19
  3. R Andrew Miller 9GP, 1-5-6
  4. D Martin Marincin 39GP, 1-3-4
  5. R Steve Pinizotto 18GP, 2-2-4
  6. L Luke Gazdic 38GP, 2-1-3 (rehab)
  7. R Iiro Pakarinen 17GP, 1-2-3
  8. D Brad Hunt 11GP, 1-2-3
  9. L Ryan Hamilton 16GP, 1-1-2
  10. R Tyler Pitlick 15GP, 2-0-2
  11. D Keith Aulie 29GP, 0-1-1
  12. D Brandon Davidson 10GP, 1-0-1
  13. D Jordan Oesterle 6GP, 0-1-1
  14. D David Musil 2GP, 0-1-1
  15. C Will Acton 3GP, 0-0-0
  16. C Bogdan Yakimov 1GP, 0-0-0
  17. L Curtis Hamilton 0GP, 0-0-0
  18. G Richard Bachman 6GP, 2.84 .911
  19. G Laurent Brossoit 0GP, 0.00 .000

That’s a lot of Barons for one season. I think the sure keepers for the future are Lander, Klefbom, Marincin, with guys like Miller, Pakarinen, Pitlick, Hunt and Davidson coming along. Just getting started but part of the future? I’ll count Musil, Yakimov and Brossoit. One other interesting fellow? Richard Bachman. I don’t think they sign him for OKC but he’s an interesting goaltender and if the club retains him it’s fine by me.

I think that’s where it’s at for me as a fan at this point. I’ve looked at the available free agents, I’ve experienced the ‘sign a famous goaltender’ solution and none of it rhymes for me. I’d rather see the Oilers bring back Nelson, continue to develop these kids ala Lander and Klefbom, and this time next year maybe they’ve solved one or two of these impossible problems.

Nurse, Brossoit, Marincin, Draisaitl, Yakimov, maybe add that college goalie. I’m not in the mood to see another Nikitin brought on board for too many seasons and too many dollars. Whatever free agency brings in terms of benefit, the Oilers aren’t fishing where the best fish are, so I would like Darryl Katz to take away the purchase order forms and cut off the money line. Please and thanks.

WHAT DOES THAT MEAN FOR TAYLOR HALL?

Five years in and Hall plus Eberle haven’t had a sniff of the playoffs. What’s more, that beautiful contract is wasting away because the team that finally procured jacks and kings can’t figure our the sixes and sevens and nines. I know there’s concern that Hall will one day throw his arms up and ask out, and that’s a legit concern because it could happen.

The key for me is this: If Craig MacTavish goes out and sinks the team’s cap future by signing Antti Niemi and Mike Green, we’re looking at being cap screwed through 2020. I don’t think it’s possible to ask Hall, Eberle and Nuge to stay. Craig MacTavish is boxed in, he doesn’t have the experience to get himself out and the assessment of talent by this organization at the pro level is wayward in the extreme.

Tell me I’m wrong. No sir. The play here is to draft and develop. Surely Darryl Katz has friends who live in Edmonton who are beginning to grumble on the other end of the line. There are no palace gates to storm, there are no easy fixes and once they lose the lottery I suspect management will have run out of ideas. When free agency comes, keep your powder dry, Mr. Katz. The answer isn’t more millions, the answer is the first two sentences of this post: Get good players. Keep good players. Oh, and fire your friends.

tomei4

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

Fun show this morning, plenty of Oilers talk. 10 on TSN 1260:

  • Dennis King, Oilogosphere icon. We’ll talk Oilers at the end of another losing season and about the summer. We’ll also chat baseball!
  • Eric Rodgers, Tend the Farm. We’ll talk Brossoit and Hamilton, plus Laleggia, Houck and Platzer.
  • Andrew Bucholtz, 55-yard line. New CFL rules should make 55-48  games the norm beginning this season.

A couple of other irons in the fire, we’ll see how this thing goes. 10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. Talk soon!

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413 Responses to "SHARKS AT OILERS, G81 2014-15"

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  1. PhrankLee says:

    Lowetide: Let’s be nice, folks. Baiting will be punished by comment deletion and responding to baiting will suffer the same fate.

    ..If I have to turn this car around I will…

    …I’ll give you something to cry about..

    Ha ha, LT is a dad.

    I read these in the morning because I’m old. Well lazy is more accurate but same diff.

    But to LT’s credit at least he doesn’t fly out of the kitchen, belt in hand, wild of eye and smelling of black strap rum..

    He says be nice.

    I like that approach. As alien as it is to me I like it.

  2. Pouzar says:

    Yeah I don’t like Pens chances of missing the playoffs *sigh*
    1 pt up on Bruins who have 1 game left on the road against a TB team looking to finish 1st in Conf.

  3. Woodguy says:

    oilersfan,

    Word is monahan and gaudreau both want $7 million x 7-8 years . I bet gio wants. 8-9 million and hudler 7 too.

    Word has been sniffing glue again hasn’t he?

  4. Ca$h-Money! says:

    Woodguy:
    oilersfan,

    Word is monahan and gaudreau both want $7 million x 7-8 years . I bet gio wants. 8-9 million and hudler 7 too.

    Word has been sniffing glue again hasn’t he?

    To be fair, they probably do want that.

    I want that. No one’s going to give me that…. but I want it.

  5. rich says:

    Woodguy:
    oilersfan,

    Word is monahan and gaudreau both want $7 million x 7-8 years . I bet gio wants. 8-9 million and hudler 7 too.

    Word has been sniffing glue again hasn’t he?

    Woodguy wins the thread with that comment.

  6. leadfarmer says:

    Why did someone bet DSF that Monahan will shoot less than 12%. Now he will hold it against all of us. While it is unlikely that Monahan is one of the three best shooters in the league, there is a lot of evidence that he will be in the top 150. You better hope he plays less than half the season.

    Notice how he completely ignored my bet for the corsi. Come on DSF bottle of vodka that the Oil will have more than 37% corsi for avg next year.

  7. stevezie says:

    Wow. Keegan Lowe can really throw ’em. Don’t remember noticing that when he played here.

  8. G Money says:

    leadfarmer,

    LOL, that was me. The 12% kind of exposes DSF’s hypocrisy, doesn’t it? Even he doesn’t believe his own crap.

    A few people thought I should have held his feet to the fire and insisted the bet be what he’s actually been spouting, that Monahan will be 15% next year (“NO EVIDENCE FOR REGRESSION!”). But you know he wouldn’t take that bet.

    On the other hand, I do believe that, while Monahan is going to be a decent shooter, he’s not a driver of play. He, and that line, get their heads kicked in, badly, night after night.

    The elite shooters of the league, the guys who are consistently high shooters, do not. That entire line and the team finished second in the league in sh% (a hair back of TB), and way way above much more talented teams. (And notably of course, all those good shooting teams are drivers of play, unlike the Flames who by every sustainable measure are right in COL territory, just above BUF).

    I do think long term Shonahan will be above 12%, but he’s already had two unjustifiably bloated years, and they are all due for an enormous regression not year, not just a small one.

    It’s not a sure thing, it never is, but it makes for a more fun bet.

    The biggest risk in my view is not Monahan, but Burke doing something smart with his cap space. But the team has such a long way to go that it seems pretty unlikely to me, especially after this season will convince them that they’re so much better than they are, like what happened with Toronto and Colorado the last few years.

  9. G Money says:

    This article is particularly good, since it was written at the start of the season, has clearly understandable graphs, and what turns out to be a nice assessment of what ended up happening (“It seems that every year in the NHL, there’s an analytics-defying team that achieves success despite having very poor underlying numbers. Two years ago, as most readers of this site will be familiar with, that team was the Toronto Maple Leafs. … which team this season will defy the analytics and ride an inflated shooting percentage and heroic goaltending to the playoffs?”).

    http://corsihockeyleague.com/2014/09/18/team-level-year-to-year-stat-repeatability/

    If you don’t feel like clicking, here’s the key: the correlation of a teams sh% from year to year in hockey is 2.5%.

    The money line is the conclusion: it’s incredibly unwise to get an inflated sense of a team’s ability based on a season with great shooting and save percentages.

  10. Mike Wazowski says:

    Dark Asia,

    Interesting comments… they’re pretty slanted though.

    How exactly was Dubnyk “treated like trash”? He had at least two poor seasons not “17 games” where he had consistently given up poor goals and the fans, as much as anyone, rode him out of town.

    I’m as happy as anyone to see him turn his game around but Dubnyk admits that he had to perform better. I’ve always appreciated that he was honest about his performances. It took two trades and not performing as a starter for any of the other teams he played for last season to get his head straight along with getting some training in the off-season.

  11. Mike Wazowski says:

    I really feel that this years Flames are the Oilers from the Gagner/Cogliano/Nilsson era around ’07 – ’08. They can hang around 8th but may never get a whole bunch better and will hover +/- 2 spots for several years.

    They are a team with a goalie having an unreal season, one very good defencemen along with two good ones and two potential first line players. Their entire first line has played out of their minds this season but will likely come back to earth (Yes, I’ve seen DSF’s “arguments” contrary) a la Toronto and Colorado. You can’t get out-shot and out-chanced that badly season over season and produce like they have.

  12. Dark Asia says:

    Mike Wazowski:
    Dark Asia,

    Interesting comments… they’re pretty slanted though.

    How exactly was Dubnyk “treated like trash”?He had at least two poor seasons not “17 games” where he had consistently given up poor goals and the fans, as much as anyone, rode him out of town.

    I’m as happy as anyone to see him turn his game around but Dubnyk admits that he had to perform better.I’ve always appreciated that he was honest about his performances.It took two trades and not performing as a starter for any of the other teams he played for last season to get his head straight along with getting some training in the off-season.

    Categorically wrong – he was .920 in front a a farcically bad defense the year before and league average before that. He had 17 losses in 2 games with EDM and 2 starts with NAS who never wanted him anyway and just wanted to dump Hendricks contract. So MacT threw away a guy coming into his prime and will now pay dearly for it while watching his star elsewhere.

  13. Mike Wazowski says:

    Dark Asia,

    At the time of the trade NAS was desperate for a goalie as Rinne was injured and none of their backups were performing. Dubey didn’t either so the “never wanted him” doesn’t fly.

    I’m a goalie so I know how the team in front of you can affect your performance. However, how many wristers and shots from the blue line did Dubey give up? He was terribly inconsistent here even with a .920 sv%.

    By all reports his time with Brian Burke and training in the off-season helped him immensely not just going to a different team.

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