G2 2015-16: OILERS AT PREDATORS

Step by step, brick by brick, the Edmonton Oilers will rise again. The words from players and management match the journey ahead—specific, short term, small victories. It’s going to take awhile, the problems are rife and real.

  • Todd McLellan: “After rewatching the game, the amount of offense we created was limited. Not a lot of guys had good looks at the net, and we’re still trying to find the right combinations. In particular, I’m not sure Taylor and Connor have connected real well.” Source

One of the things I’ll be interested in moving forward is how the Oilers handle the blue under McLellan. I wrote about Reinhart—Gryba with the McDavid line here and will be looking to see where that third pairing starts their shifts in tonight’s game. I think part of the issue for Hall—McDavid came from having Reinhart—Gryba with them, and one hopes the new McDavid line gets a more capable offensive pairing. It might be an idea to have a winger who can help on the faceoffs too, something to keep in mind.

I’m not sure how long the new line will last—they’ll get shelter but Pouliot and Korpikoski are not the same calibre as offensive options. McLellan is looking for chemistry and we’re one set away from Nail Yakupov and Leon Draisaitl.

Fabulous game last night as the Bakersfield Condors won their first AHL regular season game against the Grand Rapids Griffins. It was a very good game (1-0, winner by Miller) and there were some noteworthy performances:

  • Laurent Brossoit, 31 saves and the shutout.
  • Andrew Miller, scored a goal, +1 and four shots.
  • Iiro Pakarinen, an assist (and a big role in the goal) +1 and five shots.
  • Darnell Nurse, +1 and four shots on goal.
  • Leon Draisaitl, +1 and let ’em know he was there.
  • Jujhar Khaira, three shots and won battles. Seems to be on the rise.

My sincere thanks to OilandDerp, Pouzar, Woogie 63 and Dustrock for the updates last night, made following along enjoyable. Bruce McCurdy also wrote a fine review at Cult of Hockey.

LINES AND PAIRINGS

Based on yesterday’s practice, and this is going to be a major story depending on how long things last, we’re looking at Connor McDavid in a lesser role for Edmonton. Why? McLellan is looking for two things (I believe), clean air for McDavid and a spark from Taylor Hall. The key (for me) will be Sekera or Schultz patrolling the blue on those Ozone starts with McDavid. There’s more than one way to surround the young man with skill.

  • Hall—Nuge—Purcell: This is a solid, veteran line and will be charged with Josi—Weber tonight. It’s important for this line to have success, Nuge was -3 in the opener.
  • Pouliot—McDavid—Korpikoski: McLellan cashes in skill and draws from experience with this lineup. Pouliot is an underrated player in the offensive zone, Korpikoski is an unusual choice here unless you look at the alternatives. Once again, not having Leon Draisaitl on the roster gives the coach fewer weapons. That said, this trio either clicks or moves on, it’ll be interesting to see if they stay together all night. I am interested in seeing Pouliot with McDavid, that has possibilities.
  • Slepyshev—Lander—Yakupov: This should be a fun line. Having Taylor Hall with two rookies put a lot of pressure on No. 4, but the Russian rookie hooking up with Lander and Yakupov should be fun. Both wingers are unpredictable in a good way, and the center will be looking to have more of an offensive impact in G2.
  • Hendricks—Letestu—Klinkhammer: It was an effective line in G1 to my eye, although they seemed to be chewing up more offensive zone starts than you’d like. Klinkhammer in for Gazdic.
  • Sekera—Fayne: The pairing had their moments, although Sekera’s passing was a highlight for me in game one (Music!). Fayne isn’t a fast train, so his positioning needs to be strong. Nashville can score goals and they’re going to see talented men all night long. Important pairing.
  • Klefbom—Schultz: Klefbom looked rusty, and Schultz wasn’t passing well facing live fire in G1 of the season. This pairing needs to be better.
  • Ference—Gryba: This should be an adventure but they’re on the roster and Todd McLellan has to get an idea about how often Ference can be used. My RE is 28, hope he plays 75 effective games. Go Andrew!!! Will they get those offensive zone starts with McDavid? If so, is that a good use of assets? Better than Eakins’ usage?
  • Talbot: Why the hell not?

CLEAN AIR

It’s all about clean air. In the first game of his NHL career, Connor McDavid beat Alex Pietrangelo clean when given enough clearance. He can pass anyone like a house on the side of the road and tonight Todd McLellan—an excellent offensive coach—is looking for a quiet zone in terms of opposition. We’ll know early, if Nashville is hammering the Nuge line with Josi—Weber, and that’s how things will probably go. It’s an astute move, I’d like it better if Leon were here. What an opportunity for Lauri Korpikoski.

Paigin wasn’t playing so this is predictable. Eight games into the season the big man was demoted to the minors and now he’s on a new team. He needs to play, this should be viewed as a positive.

THE OPPOSITION

Nashville has some real talent up front and Edmonton’s defense will need to have their heads on a swivel. James Neal and Filip Forsberg can do damage from the wing, and Craig Smith and Colin Wilson miles beyond their reputations (their names are bland, their games are brilliant). This is no soft game in the schedule, Edmonton could easily be 0-2 by the time I open the second bottle of wine tonight.

petry capture

ONE YEAR AGO

We were talking about the 5×5 Corsi for % from the defense in Game 1:

  1. Jeff Petry 27-9 75%
  2. Brad Hunt 21-8 72%
  3. Andrew Ference 25-11 69%
  4. Nikita Nikitin 21-12 64%
  5. Justin Schultz 21-14 60%
  6. Mark Fayne 20-14 59%

It was the goaling, dummy. Cam Talbot took care of that issue in game one, Oilers need more offensive looks tonight in order to grab a double you.

CHANGING THE STORY LINE

I was shocked to see just how many “McDavid shut out” headlines that were on the web after the first game. We all know it’s a team sport, but it’s pretty clear the pressure on this young man is enormous and far beyond anything ANY Oilers player has seen before. Hopefully he scores tonight and changes the headline, but I’m thankful this one corner of the Al Gore realizes that overreacting to one or even five games at the beginning of a career is folly.

We believe in you Connor McDavid. Make them pay for those headlines!

 

 

 

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576 Responses to "G2 2015-16: OILERS AT PREDATORS"

« Older Comments
  1. OilClog says:

    khildahl:
    Fucking Ference.

  2. pocession charge says:

    Wow. That’s all on Ference. Brutal!!

  3. BeerMe says:

    Fuck Andrew Ference.

  4. Ryan says:

    Fernuckle!

  5. DasBavaria says:

    Ference! Never again, we leave him at home for the next road trip.

  6. Lowetide says:

    In fairness, McLellan has to learn these lessons too.

  7. Zelepukin says:

    Literally was clapping. Bravo captain, bravo.

  8. Oil2Oilers says:

    Ference should have a nice view for the rest of the season

  9. jake70 says:

    Lol, Ference….get what he was trying to do, but just terrible execution.

  10. jp says:

    Haha, wow.

    Just wow.

    So, the silver lining may be that Ference literally never plays another game for the Oilers.

    The writing was on the wall, but he’s done nothing to help himself, that’s for sure.

  11. böök¡je says:

    Bah!

  12. magisterrex says:

    Ference, the gift that keeps on giving.

  13. Klima's_Bucket says:

    My wife just said,
    “Doesn’t Ference know that angle of incidence equals angle of refraction?”
    For Piss Sake!

  14. Lucinius says:

    And now he takes a penalty.

    Well done Ference.

    Well done.

    Maybe there’s a silver lining.. he might be playing his way off the team.

  15. BeerMe says:

    AND HE TAKES A FUCKING PENALTY?

  16. Visually better says:

    Forsberg assisted from Ference. And then McLellan elects to put them right back on the ice. I can’t wait to see how many minutes that pair got tonight, they’re on the ice every second shift. Oh and now a hooking penalty. Right on

  17. geowal says:

    Guessing everyone is really pleased with Ference after that one.

    But hey! He works hard!

  18. khildahl says:

    And then he takes a stupid penalty.

  19. JDï™ says:

    Out of the pan, into the fire.

  20. pocession charge says:

    Follows up the giveaway with an ill-timed penalty.

  21. B S says:

    Lowetide,

    no he doesn’t. That’s why you watch last years games.

  22. DasBavaria says:

    Ference… wow. That’s a pretty bad minute and 30 seconds there.

  23. Aron_S says:

    Wow. So brutal giveaway followed by a penalty. Is TMac trying to get Ference to take an early reitrement?

  24. Kitchener says:

    Ference with a goal & a penalty. What’s his next trick?

  25. Магия 10 says:

    khildahl:
    And then he takes a stupid penalty.

    Smart move. He’s less of a risk in the penalty box.

  26. LadiesloveSmid says:

    Leader veteran stanley cup winner Ference with just the best minute I’ve seen. Top notch assist and a smart penalty to boot!

    Smart choice on scratching Reinhart for him, TMac.

  27. dangilitis says:

    My 4 year old daughter just asked why 21 is playing so bad…

  28. Frank the dog says:

    IF this isn’t Ference’s last game for the Oilers then we’re no better off than the Renney Kreuger years at best.

  29. böök¡je says:

    I think McClellan and Chia have a clear cut reason to PB Ference.

  30. LMHF#1 says:

    If Andrew Ference plays another game ahead of anyone on the NHL or AHL roster, it will be a mistake.

    What a clown. Has been for at least a season and a half now. That ‘hockey people’ exist who can’t see that is a condemnation of them as a group.

  31. godot10 says:

    Lowetide:
    In fairness, McLellan has to learn these lessons too.

    He has videotape of pre-season, and last season.

    Time to start on all those Austin Matthews posts. If Ference keeps playing, we’ll need them by Remembrance Day.

  32. pocession charge says:

    Klima’s_Bucket:
    My wife just said,
    “Doesn’t Ference know that angle of incidence equals angle of refraction?”
    For Piss Sake!

    Yeah but what’s her VO2max?

  33. striatic says:

    What is Ference even doing on the Ice after the goal?

  34. nelson88 says:

    let’s trade the PP opportunities for SH and we would have more shots

  35. Receptor Antagonist says:

    Fuck off Ference.

    Seriously, retire.

    You’re an amazing human, but you suck at hockey.

  36. G Money says:

    The sad part is with Ference not on the ice, the Oilers weren’t just the better team – they were the dominant team.

    The story of this loss: one Sekera mistake. And Ference.

  37. Alsker says:

    So is that enough rope Chia+McL have given TFCAF to hang himself. Sorry but holy wow.

  38. LadiesloveSmid says:

    but hey,

    if they don’t score a single goal in 2 games, who cares how many they allow

  39. John Chambers says:

    NSF will have resolved itself after two games.

    N is in the minors. S has turned into an NHL player. F will be fired into the moon upon his return home.

  40. Masamax says:

    Well, I think I’ve resolved myself to not watch any game they decide to dress Ference.

  41. Lucinius says:

    G Money:
    The sad part is with Ference not on the ice, the Oilers weren’t just the better team – they were the dominant team.

    The story of this loss: one Sekera mistake.And Ference.

    And Rinne.

    Both goalies have been stellar.

  42. Frank the dog says:

    How’s our advanced stats so far? Is there a moral victory hidden in this loss?

  43. LMHF#1 says:

    G Money:
    The sad part is with Ference not on the ice, the Oilers weren’t just the better team – they were the dominant team.

    The story of this loss: one Sekera mistake.And Ference.

    And it isn’t just the GAs, it is all the muffins from the point, the dump out turnovers, the missed passes.

  44. jake70 says:

    118 minutes without a goal.

  45. 1d-aint-no-thing says:

    Did everyone see Yak on both scoring lines on one shift? Life is better.

  46. rich says:

    John Chambers:
    NSF will have resolved itself after two games.

    N is in the minors. S has turned into an NHL player. F will be fired into the moon upon his return home.

    We can only hope.

  47. godot10 says:

    LadiesloveSmid:
    but hey,

    if they don’t score a single goal in 2 games, who cares how many they allow

    Most people want to trade Eberle.

  48. Centre of attention says:

    Ference with a give away then a bad penalty. He’s just awful.

  49. Bag of Pucks says:

    Ference with the Steve Howe hat-trick.

  50. böök¡je says:

    Frank the dog:
    How’s our advanced stats so far? Is there a moral victory hidden in this loss?

    It’s only the second game of the season I would say. No reason to panic.

  51. Zelepukin says:

    Hendricks, our 6th man, because Oilers.

  52. B S says:

    1d-aint-no-thing,

    and he’s the only one not gassed at the end of the shift. Love him!

  53. remlap says:

    Masamax:
    Well, I think I’ve resolved myself to not watch any game they decide to dress Ference.

    I’m going to follow you with this pledge. What a load of horseshit.

  54. Lucinius says:

    The lack of offense is a bit troubling (especially considering all the powerplay time and our only goal of the season was an own goal by St. Louis).

    Goaltending has been good to great. Defense has been bad. Offense has been nowhere to be seen.

    Lot of work to do.. time for TMac to earn that paycheck! At least he, unlike Eakins, is likely to do so.

  55. russ99 says:

    We’re getting schooled on faceoffs, that doesn’t help either.

  56. G Money says:

    LMHF#1,

    Yup. When on the ice, the Oilers are generally stuck in their own zone.

    Someone should tell Ference that just because he loves cycling so much, he shouldn’t enable the other team to do it quite so much.

  57. v4ance says:

    Remember that time when McLellan played Ference and Nikitin together and they correctly gauged that Nikitin wasn’t good enough?

    Hopefully this pending loss is the final downpayment to make a final decision on Ference.

  58. anonymous says:

    I think there will be a significant trade by Christmas to address the D.

  59. Receptor Antagonist says:

    The thing about Ference that irritates me the most is it’s not really his age/body that’s failing him. Yes he’s slow obviously, but you would hope that could at least be somewhat compensated for by experience and being a “wily vet” by making smart plays. He literally makes boneheaded, poor choice rookie type mistakes.

    Brutal.

  60. pocession charge says:

    Why the hell is Purcell out there?

  61. B S says:

    45 seconds left and they’re dump and chasing! not impressed.

  62. Craig Zonit says:

    The shot clock is misleading tonight. Too many soft perimeter shots and futile dump-ins.

  63. G Money says:

    Just want to remind everyone I wrote this “don’t panic” article before the season started.

    https://oilersnerdalert.wordpress.com/2015/10/05/expect-the-improved-edmonton-oilers-to-run-just-400-to-the-quarter-pole/

    The key summary is:

    What I want to make clear is this: even for this improved Oiler team, the first 20 games are going to be crazy tough. A slog. A toil. A grind. A struggle to exist, to resist.

  64. gogliano says:

    STL and NAS in away games is a pretty steep climb so the 0-2 start isn’t unexpected. A lot to like these games. Talbot looks like the real deal and Jultz looks like a new man. McDavid is magic and better defensively than I would have imagined. They aren’t close to there yet but they’re settling in with a new coach and system.

  65. OilClog says:

    Nothing to be ashamed of with this game, other then dressing Ference.

    Rinne is a prick of a goaler

  66. böök¡je says:

    I do wonder about all of the soft perimeter shots and dump ins. Hall and Nuge usually score off of nice passes.

  67. lynn says:

    The “Big Trade” may be coming sooner than later. Losses won’t be allowed to pile up like they did at the beginning of last season.

  68. LadiesloveSmid says:

    As terrible as Ference is, and he’s terrible. His play doesn’t mean a thing if Edmonton can’t ever score a single goddamn goal. Florida has 7 tonight!

    Hate goddamn moral victories, how about a goal or two and a win. Talbot was quality for the 2nd time in a row. Wasted.

  69. G Money says:

    “The Predators get away with one”.

    Uh, “one”?

    Event if that’s the first digit, it’s probably still an understatement.

  70. Eastern Oil says:

    I have to say, I liked the game. Certainly a struggle second half in the first but other than those 2 glaring mistakes which cost us, I was pretty happy.

    Hall should stay with Nuge, Purcell needs to do more to stay there.

    Yak, Pou and McD should be a thing. Full stop.

  71. flyfish1168 says:

    I feel bad for Korpikoski & Lander, they do not deserve -2

  72. jp says:

    Lowetide:
    In fairness, McLellan has to learn these lessons too.

    Kitchener:
    Ference with a goal & a penalty.What’s his next trick?

    TCAF Hat Trick:

    A giveaway for the GA, a penalty, and a needless icing.

  73. fifthcartel says:

    Oh man, they cannot play Ference. He is done. Gryba playing as much as Sekera is also very strange. It feels like he’s been wayyyy over used.

  74. Kitchener says:

    1d-aint-no-thing,

    The man is earning ice time. Excellent.

  75. Woodguy says:

    godot10:
    This HAS to be the last game Reinhart is a healthy scratch.

    I’ve had enough of Fayne, Ference and Gryba for the year.

  76. LMHF#1 says:

    Craig Zonit:
    The shot clock is misleading tonight. Too many soft perimeter shots and futile dump-ins.

    One of the things that worries me about McLellan. A lot of his fundamentals always looked good, but SJ always threw too many random pucks.

  77. Aron_S says:

    So I know it’s STL and NAS, and Ference looked like he was trying to play his way into the pressbox, but why am I watching this game thinking they need to add Draisatl and get Korpikoski out of there?

    In other news, Esks win! Should have watched that instead.

  78. striatic says:

    Nuge looked very good this game at least.

  79. skidplate says:

    Eskimoes won 15-11 silver lining

  80. G Money says:

    Woodguy,

    Fayne is struggling. I thought Gryba was fine with Reinhart, and didn’t look that bad tonight. Remember, he was paired with Ference. Against NSH last year, Petry couldn’t drag Ference north of 30% CF%. His awfulness cannot be overstated.

  81. Lucinius says:

    Expected loss happened. What worries is me;

    1) Powerplay — abysmal. Serious work needed. Coaches need to stop overloading the first unit.
    2) Defense — horrific turn-overs costing us games. You expect that from Ference (because he’s Ference).. from Sekera it is troubling.
    3) Offense 5v5 — absent. Just not enough secondary chances. A lot of low percentage shots.

    It isn’t time to panic (two games in and two losses.. as expected, and honestly, the scores have been fairly decent for the Oilers outside of the lack of scoring BY the Oilers). There’s also been some good; McDavid is showing flashes of what a wonder he is.. but has yet to take the next step. Yak has looked real good. Schultz is much improved. Talbot earning every dollar of his contract thus far.

    Fix the powerplay, get more secondary scoring chances, calm Sekera down, press box Ference.. and the Oilers have a shot to win either game they’ve played.

  82. godot10 says:

    Woodguy: I’ve had enough of Fayne, Ference and Gryba for the year.

    I’m thinking….

    Reinhart, Sekera
    Klefbom, Schultz
    Davidson, Gryba

  83. Centre of attention says:

    The Oilers need an Eastern team to beat up on and gain some offensive confidence. Talbot is the one light in the darkness so far.

  84. JDï™ says:

    v4ance: Remember that time when McLellan played Ference and Nikitin together and they correctly gauged that Nikitin wasn’t good enough?

    They totally screwed up by not waiving Ference…

  85. flyfish1168 says:

    Esk win 15 -11 over stamps:)

  86. Aron_S says:

    JDï™,

    Not sure if serious. Sadly it was never an option with his NMC.

  87. linkfromhyrule says:

    Those powerplays tonight were just gawd awful. Same with maintaining possession at the opposition blue line.

    The Oilers were dumping and chasing too much for my liking. Maybe it is a system thing, and will take time to become effective, but I have not liked it at all so far. Seems to really kill the offense. It didn’t help that Rinne is actually quite good at handling the puck.

    It cannot be overstated how bad TCAF was tonight. Now Chia and McL have seen it with their own eyes. McL was PISSED after that Ference giveaway GA. Then a penalty as icing on the cake.

  88. Lowetide says:

    Corsi 5×5 For %: 51.9

  89. Aron_S says:

    So this stats sheet doesn’t reflect the game I just watched. http://hockeystats.ca/game/2015020024

    Dominate the Corsi battle but there weren’t a lot of real scoring chances by eye here.

    In other news, any word on how Marincin is doing with the Laughs?

  90. Oil2Oilers says:

    Hall-RNH-Eberle the Old Kids
    Pou-McDavid-Yakupov ConYak Poo
    Draisaitl-Lander-Slepyshev Dr. Drai and the Antons
    Wagons n’ stuff

    And now my Verdad like plan;

    Purcell (50% retain) + Fayne ($1M/per year retain) + 2016 1st + 2016 2nd for Adam Larsson

    The defense is making my eyes bleed already. Yes I expect the worst but it still turned out like always.

  91. Lowetide says:

    G Money:
    Woodguy,

    Fayne is struggling.I thought Gryba was fine with Reinhart, and didn’t look that bad tonight.Remember, he was paired with Ference.Against NSH last year, Petry couldn’t drag Ference north of 30% CF%.His awfulness cannot be overstated.

    That’s how I saw it as well.

  92. Bag of Pucks says:

    I really think starting on the road is a blessing. Lines are firming up and these 2 games should give TMac a good steer on his D pairings and usage.Talbot is a beast. They have to make sure they don’t wear him down early.

    This team will have to make hay at home when they have last change. That was a given going in.

    Btw, Klinkhammer looked invisible out there. Gazdic made a more positive impact in game one imo.

  93. Lowetide says:

    Aron_S:
    So this stats sheet doesn’t reflect the game I just watched.http://hockeystats.ca/game/2015020024

    Dominate the Corsi battle but there weren’t a lot of real scoring chances by eye here.

    In other news, any word on how Marincin is doing with the Laughs?

    I don’t see any Corsi domination, and did see a few moments of chaos, but far fewer. We know the issues, it’s a matter of when Chiarelli addresses. Recall Leon and Nurse, staple Ference to the pressbox and figure out the special teams. Oh and trade Fayne for a two-way D.

  94. flyfish1168 says:

    LadiesloveSmid:
    As terrible as Ference is, and he’s terrible. His play doesn’t mean a thing if Edmonton can’t ever score a single goddamn goal. Florida has 7 tonight!

    Hate goddamn moral victories, how about a goal or two and a win. Talbot was quality for the 2nd time in a row. Wasted.

    We were 15-14-3 against the eastern conference. Only 2 western teams had losing records against the east. So we need to play some eastern teams.

  95. Water Fire says:

    Rope is being dispensed daily, oddly, there seem to be takers.

  96. admiralmark says:

    Ference/Gryba experiment needs to end tonight.

    Schultz is still Schultz.. sorry i dont see it. improved yes. But improved from horrendous to horrible.

    My god is Purcell slow. Draisaitl did not get beat out by him in camp. So there’s that.

    Davidson/Reinhart/Nurse/Oesterle > Ference 🙁

    Miss Eberle quite a bit actually.

    This month is going to be a frustrating one… Can the fans take it? I expect venom if this continues with Ference. Trying to squeeze 1 more season out of him is not looking like the right way to go.

  97. Aron_S says:

    Lowetide,

    Sorry, it was hyperbolic on my part. I guess I was surprised to see some of the Oilers in the 60% CF (and Purcell at 81%?), but otherwise those were my thoughts through the game, RE: Drai and Nurse. I know they might be Scheduled Losses, but I feel like they would have had a much better shot generating some actual offense with Draisatl and likely Nurse out there. I like Fayne, but something seems off here. Too much of the same player type?

  98. AsiaOil says:

    At this point you just cut Ference when you get home and go with 22 guys for the rest of the year – then buy him out in the summer. Has any other team done this? He’s clearly worse than Davidson and Gryba on the NHL roster, and also Nurse, Nikitin and maybe even Musil the the AHL

    Only way he should avoid this is if he agrees to go down to the AHL as playing coach or some other story. What the hell do you do with a player this bad on a NMC? I know – buyout – and that was clearly a mistake by omission last summer.

  99. Woodguy says:

    G Money:
    Woodguy,

    Fayne is struggling.I thought Gryba was fine with Reinhart, and didn’t look that bad tonight.Remember, he was paired with Ference.Against NSH last year, Petry couldn’t drag Ference north of 30% CF%.His awfulness cannot be overstated.

    Truth

  100. LadiesloveSmid says:

    Gryba’s been largely fine IMO. Slow and poor with the puck, but makes a lot of smart defensive decisions. Can’t ride the “saddled with Ference” narrative with guys like Petry but not with Gryba. At least play him with Reinhart. He is what he is, partner with someone who plays to his strengths and not with someone that has zero strengths.

    Fire Ference out of a cannon. Thought Reinhart was good against STL, don’t know why he was taken out. Davidson>>Ference.

  101. Gordies Elbow says:

    “Sometimes, you’ve just got to cut a man loose.” – Gerry Bertier.

  102. RMGS says:

    Lucinius:

    Offense 5v5 — absent. Just not enough secondary chances. A lot of low percentage shots.

    This has been a thing for years. It’s getting a little better, but the Oilers’ best players don’t drive to the net and stay there enough. I’m betting on McLellan to fix it but know Chiarelli will with a roster move, if necessary.

  103. flyfish1168 says:

    AsiaOil:
    At this point you just cut Ference when you get home and go with 22 guys for the rest of the year – then buy him out in the summer. Has any other team done this? He’s clearly worse than Davidson and Gryba on the NHL roster, and also Nurse, Nikitin and maybe even Musil the the AHL

    Only way he should avoid this is if he agrees to go down to the AHL as playing coach or some other story. What the hell do you do with a player this bad on a NMC? I know – buyout – and that was clearly a mistake by omission last summer.

    That is why i hate guaranteed contracts. Ference is not even in the top 8 on the Oilers depth chart but his contract says he doesn’t loose his job

  104. flyfish1168 says:

    Lowetide: Idon’t see any Corsi domination, and did see a few moments of chaos, but far fewer. We know the issues, it’s a matter of when Chiarelli addresses. Recall Leon and Nurse, staple Ference to the pressbox and figure out the special teams. Oh and trade Fayne for a two-way D.

    I wonder how MacT feels about the work he did bringing in 40 % of our starting D, Ference, Nikitan and Fayne

  105. Gordies Elbow says:

    Best part of tonight, in my opinion? Yak and McDavid are a good kind of chaos. Yak’s skills seem to complement McDavid. Thoughts?

  106. Aron_S says:

    Gordies Elbow,

    I’m all for seeing this pairing continue. McD just needs to find Yak with open ice more often, but what I saw tonight was good.

  107. Bag of Pucks says:

    I think we have to be really encouraged by the play of Yak with McDavid.

    We had wished out loud often in the offseason that Yak could elevate to the Top 6 and not be a defensive liability.

    Hall/Nuge/Ebs is a known quantity. If Pouliot/McDavid/Yakupov becomes a viable line, that’s the blue chip, elite talent, top lines we wanted.

    And the thing is, McDavid looks excellent defensively. He covers so much ground and anticipates so well, he may be the perfect C for Yak. Yak brain farts positionally? Np, The Flash to the rescue.

  108. LadiesloveSmid says:

    This team needs a top end offensive RWer. One that can put up 65P and drive some offence. One you could describe as ‘clutch’

  109. Adam Wu says:

    Woodguy: I’ve had enough of Fayne, Ference and Gryba for the year.

    So….

    NSF has become GFF?

    The one constant is notable….

  110. Bag of Pucks says:

    flyfish1168: I wonder how MacT feels about the work he did bringing in 40 % of our starting D,Ference, Nikitan and Fayne

    He probably feels much like Ference does. They’re both cashing big cheques for doing F all.

  111. Oil2Oilers says:

    Gordies Elbow:
    Best part of tonight, in my opinion? Yak and McDavid are a good kind of chaos. Yak’s skills seem to complement McDavid. Thoughts?

    Yak has always looked like he was playing the game faster than his line mates. Making passes, decisions and breakouts faster than they could comprehend. With McDavid this is not a problem. It could be beautiful.

  112. Eastern Oil says:

    Gordies Elbow:
    Best part of tonight, in my opinion? Yak and McDavid are a good kind of chaos. Yak’s skills seem to complement McDavid. Thoughts?

    Small sample size but I saw the same, and I think Poo on the port side helps a lot too. Can keep up, defensive awareness, bit of pushback too.

    At home I think that line is even more effective if you’re putting the Eberle, Nuge, Hall line back together too.

  113. Gordies Elbow says:

    LadiesloveSmid:
    This team needs a top end offensive RWer. One that can put up 65P and drive some offence. One you could describe as ‘clutch’

    If only they could find one… Who’s name rhymes with “berle”…

  114. RMGS says:

    Gordies Elbow:
    Best part of tonight, in my opinion? Yak and McDavid are a good kind of chaos. Yak’s skills seem to complement McDavid. Thoughts?

    They could be like Coltrane and Dolphy. Beautiful chaos.

  115. lynn says:

    Greg Chase no points, -2, 1 shot on goal, no PIMs for Norfolk tonight in an exhibtion game against Reading. Lost 5-4.

    ECHL season starts next weekend.

  116. Water Fire says:

    I hope/think McL has given everyone space given his own comments.

    That Yak was better than Hall hopefully lights a fire. It’s a big spark.

  117. Oil2Oilers says:

    @EdmontonOilers
    “Our offence has to get better and a lot has to do with the PP. Our PP sucked the life out of us.” #Oilers Coach McLellan on the 2-0 loss

    @EdmontonOilers
    “I thought it was better than what we had. There was a jump that triggered energy in our game.” Coach McLellan on putting 97/10 together

  118. Oil2Oilers says:

    If TMac adds “and Ference was a dumpster fire” we can be sure he was watching the same game as us.

  119. Adam Wu says:

    Receptor Antagonist:
    The thing about Ference that irritates me the most is it’s not really his age/body that’s failing him. Yes he’s slow obviously, but you would hope that could at least be somewhat compensated for by experience and being a “wily vet” by making smart plays. He literally makes boneheaded, poor choice rookie type mistakes.

    Brutal.

    How many concussions has he had in his career?

  120. Adam Wu says:

    Klima’s_Bucket:
    My wife just said,
    “Doesn’t Ference know that angle of incidence equals angle of refraction?”
    For Piss Sake!

    The old saw, “the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak”.

    The mind may know the math, but the muscles just can’t do it no more.

  121. Bag of Pucks says:

    This will be said many, many times but it is truly a pleasure to watch Connor McDavid play hockey.

    It’s SRV playing guitar, Jordan’s jump shot, Messi’s ball skills. The greats make it look so fluid and effortless. It’s art.

  122. Gordies Elbow says:

    Bag of Pucks:
    This will be said many, many times but it is truly a pleasure to watch Connor McDavid play hockey.

    It’s SRV playing guitar, Jordan’s jump shot, Messi’s ball skills. The greats make it look so fluid and effortless. It’s art.

    Simply put, it’s awesome.

    I love that other fans are commenting that not scoring in his first two games indicates that he’s a bust.

    Watching him play – he’s going to be a great player in the NHL for a very long time. I still can’t believe that we won the lottery.

    Awesome.

  123. Zelepukin says:

    I think it’s more fallout of seasons past, but Yaks really hasn’t been that bad on the defensive despite everyone continuing to mention it.

  124. Samson Loveblast says:

    At least it’s clear cut. The precedent has been set that Ference can sit in the press box already and secondly the give away egregious and black and white in nature, there’s no argument the other way. I don’t know how you don’t sit the guy for an extended period. Let’s see if Reinhart can get in a groove and own that spot in the lineup now.

    Also, Talbot was good…gave them every chance.

  125. geowal says:

    I like our chances of not making Dallas look like it has elite NHL goaltending

  126. Henry says:

    Lowetide: lol. The great thing about going on record is you own it. BEWARE of those who don’t. On an unrelated note, Marc Pouliot scored for Fribourg-Gotteron tonight.

    The raclette in Fribourg is really tasty and good for a two-day gut wrencher.

  127. stush18 says:

    I know it early. And I’m not going to freak out. There were positives.

    But how does this team not understand simple fundamentals from hockey? Like stuff we learn as peewee and bantam hockey players, and then master as midgets?

    No turnovers on the blue lines
    Stay on your feet. (Hall)
    Wingers come down to the hash marks. Not top of the circle. Hash marks.
    Stops and starts.
    Box out. (Mr. Bear has a point)
    Outwork your opponent on the powerplay. Puck retrieval. It isn’t time to rest, play with the puck. You should be coming off more tired than your opponent.
    Put the puck in smart places.

    Things are better, you can see it. And obviously McClellan has his own systems in play and I’m not going to disagree or judge that. I just can’t understand watching the game how these elite hockey players are unable to play this way.

    Ok rant over.

  128. lynn says:

    Saw glimpses of Chiarelli on the telecast tonight. He had the look of MacT from last season. Yikes!

    I hope he has the courage to make some trades that make sense.

  129. Pechetr says:

    Hilarious. All the hate for Ference yet none of our so called offence has had a single goal in 2 games. Can’t win if you don’t score folks. Whether it was 1-0 or 2-0 does it really matter? I think you might be focusing on the wrong things.

  130. Eastern Oil says:

    This has no bearing on the current conversation but how good is Yak’s english now? Still struggles a tad getting his point across but he’s fully immersed, imparting emotion, even has some cliche’s down.

    I think he just works hard at whatever he does.

  131. stevezie says:

    Oil2Oilers:
    @EdmontonOilers
    “Our offence has to get better and a lot has to do with the PP. Our PP sucked the life out of us.” #Oilers Coach McLellan on the 2-0 loss

    @EdmontonOilers
    “I thought it was better than what we had. There was a jump that triggered energy in our game.” Coach McLellan on putting 97/10 together

    The coach and I see eye to eye.

    We’re boned.

  132. Woodguy says:

    Oiler’s corsi and ZS, sorted by corsi

    Teddy Purcell 81.82 — 50
    Ryan Nugent-Hopkins 68.75 — 33.33
    Taylor Hall 64.71 — 41.67
    Nail Yakupov 62.5 — 66.67
    Benoit Pouliot 60 — 87.5
    Connor McDavid 59.09 — 80
    Lauri Korpikoski 45.83 — 75
    Anton Slepyshev 40 — 62.5
    Anton Lander 38.89 — 54.55
    Matt Hendricks 33.33 — 30
    Mark Letestu 25 — 25
    Rob Klinkhammer 23.08 — 25

    Justin Schultz 56 — 45.45
    Oscar Klefbom 56 — 40
    Eric Gryba 55.56 — 53.85
    Andrew Ference 52 — 53.85
    Mark Fayne 51.72 — 50
    Andrej Sekera 51.61 — 70

    So other than Sekera the Dmen were not deployed by zone and the forwards were.

    RNH-Hall-Purcell got the tough sledding and owned the puck. A true first line that will look very good when Ebs comes back.

    Yak unlocks McDavid. Who knew? Big OZS push but that is exactly who should get a big OZS push.

    Lander’s line has a tough night and Letestu’s line has a tough night with tough sledding.

    Great to see Hall look like Hall again.

    2 good lines.

    Now about that Dcorpse……..yeessh

    The corgis were barking, but man by eye it was not good.

    At all.

  133. G Money says:

    If war-on-ice was updating their data files on a game by game basis, I could run my bleepin’ scripts and the Danger Adjusted Fenwick would tell you whether the Corsi was truly deceptive, and whether the dangerous chances were truly in Nashville’s favour.

    As a fallback, I run an “estimated danger weighted Corsi” calculation instead:

    High Danger Chances x 2 + Regular Scoring Chances + All Other Corsi Events x 0.5

    For this game it looks like this:

    EDM: 8×2 + 11 + 23×0.5 = 16 + 11 + 11.5 = 38.5
    NSH: 10×2 + 6 + 22×0.5 = 20 + 6 + 11 = 37

    So the danger-weighted Corsi is still 50.99% in Edmonton’s favour.

    If that seems wrong to you, breaking the game down might make it more clear. The downfall for the Oilers was the popgun PP and the fact that the Oilers were the better team for about 50 of the 60 minutes but couldn’t score.

    The reason the eye makes it seem the Preds were more dangerous is that the Oilers turned those 50 dominating minutes into just 8 dangerous opportunities, while the Preds turned their ten minutes of fame and fortune into 10 dangerous opportunities.

    So on balance, yeah, the Preds looked like a way more dangerous team. It’s glossing over the 50 minutes where the Oilers were better territorially, but didn’t threaten very often.

    They need to get much better at that, without a doubt.

    But still a pretty decent game on balance against (yet another) top notch defensive team playing at home.

  134. Woogie63 says:

    Lander would look better with a 16 on the back of his uniform…

  135. lynn says:

    Pechetr,

    True. Where are the glory boys?

  136. Woodguy says:

    Everyone who played at least 5min against Weber.

    Their TOI against Weber then their corsi against Weber:

    Ryan Nugent-Hopkins – 13:54 – 69.23
    Taylor Hall – 13:51 – 65.38
    Teddy Purcell – 10:45 – 83.33
    Justin Schultz – 06:51 – 66.67
    Andrej Sekera – 05:56 – 63.16
    Oscar Klefbom – 05:35 – 60
    Mark Fayne – 05:28 – 61.11
    Eric Gryba – 05:26 – 60
    Andrew Ference – 05:17 – 55.56

    Suck it Weber.

    RNH, best 3rd line C in the league.

  137. G Money says:

    Pechetr:
    Hilarious. All the hate for Ference yet none of our so called offence has had a single goal in 2 games. Can’t win if you don’t score folks. Whether it was 1-0 or 2-0 does it really matter? I think you might be focusing on the wrong things.

    Here’s how it works:

    – When a competent puck moving defenseman gets the puck in the defensive zone, he advances the puck either by passing or by skating, with intent of getting the puck to the forwards on the fly, who can then go down to the other end and have a chance at scoring.

    – When Ference is on the ice, chaos ensues. After spending what seems like endless minutes chasing the puck, IF the team gets it back and it ends up on Ference’s stick, it will often end up going off the glass and right back into the other teams hands. They are now free to carry it back into the offensive zone and start the process all over again. Or, the puck ends up in the feet of the forwards on the fly, resulting in a turnover and often a partial break the other way.

    Either way, the team not only gives up a ton of scoring chances, but precious minutes tick away without an opportunity to score. It’s a double whammy.

    Offense starts with the ability of the defensemen to either win the race to the puck, win the puck battles on the boards, or get sticks in passing lanes and force a turnover; and then move the puck quickly to the forwards.

    When Ference is on the ice, those good things rarely happen. In essence, every minute he’s on the ice is basically a shorthanded minute for the Oilers.

    He needs to go in the pressbox and not come back on the ice until and unless at least three players ahead of him are injured (even Nikitin is a significant improvement).

  138. JDï™ says:

    Maybe you just play him until he can no longer go through with it, and waives a move to the minors – then you loan him to San Diego. Nice city, familiar surroundings.

  139. russ99 says:

    I hate to say this but with the caveat of playing on the road vs. two tough teams but our offense resembles last year’s Eakins’s “eminem style” : round the outside, round the outside.

    We’re letting our oppositon set up their defensive group in the magic box, and rarely can get space near the net to do anything. Not being able to win offensive zone faceoffs and poor D-zone clearances only make this worse.

    I’m with Woodguy, we need better breakout passes and zone entries on the rush. If we’re just going to cycle and throw the puck to the net from distance, we’re playing to our opponents’ strengths.

  140. fifthcartel says:

    In other depressing news, Arizona Coyotes right-wing Tobias Rieder scored his second goal of the season and has 3 points already. That darn depth chart.

  141. dustrock says:

    Have to say was clear right away RNH’s goal would be waved off, but I was encouraged at Hall and RNH taking the body and getting the turnover there.

    Would also like to point out their hustle leaded to 5 PP opportunities in the road arena. Hard to beat Nashville 5v5 so you need to hustle and kill them on the PP – that’s how Chicago does it.

    You see the same PP with a variety of coaches and you start to wonder if it’s the players. Sure doesn’t look like San Jose’s PP, at any rate. Schultz can’t QB a PP. We want him to be Shattenkirk but he’s not even remotely close.

  142. dustrock says:

    Condors playing back to back. Down 2-0 after one.

  143. dustrock says:

    4-0 Ontario with 6 minutes left in the 2nd.

  144. lynn says:

    The Condors and the Oilers are twins–both can’t score goals.

  145. Woogie63 says:

    0-5 Condors are getting killed and LB has played ok. Too many turnovers.

  146. dustrock says:

    5-0.

  147. dustrock says:

    Switching to the Sharks game. Condors must be tired or something, not the same team J saw last night.

  148. Keith says:

    Woodguy,

    Do I understand correctly that Purcell had a corsi of almost 82 on the night?

    Thanks for the stats, btw.

  149. G Money says:

    dustrock: You see the same PP with a variety of coaches and you start to wonder if it’s the players. Sure doesn’t look like San Jose’s PP, at any rate. Schultz can’t QB a PP. We want him to be Shattenkirk but he’s not even remotely close.

    Nelson’s PP was deadly. And it wasn’t riding unsustainable sh%s, it was generating shots at an elite (dare I say – Sharks like) level.

    Let’s give the team and TMc at least a few games, maybe a home game or two, and a few against some of the non-elite teams, before we figure to draw a bead on how the team is doing.

  150. Магия 10 says:

    G Money: Nelson’s PP was deadly.And it wasn’t riding unsustainable sh%s, it was generating shots at an elite (dare I say – Sharks like) level.

    Let’s give the team and TMc at least a few games, maybe a home game or two, and a few against some of the non-elite teams, before we figure to draw a bead on how the team is doing.

    Fire! Aim! Ready!

  151. Jonathan Willis says:

    Keith:
    Woodguy,

    Do I understand correctly that Purcell had a corsi of almost 82 on the night?

    Thanks for the stats, btw.

    Made the primary pass on four shots himself, including the Oilers’ best of the night – Hall at point blank range.

  152. Ice Sage says:

    yay moral victories!

    now, can someone pls score a goal?

    thx

  153. Frank the dog says:

    Just as the dementor brought us CMD, TMac and Chia, if it took these games to figure out that Yak was made for CMD, and Ference doesn’t fit any more, then that makes these two games worthwhile.
    Dump Purcell while you’re about it.
    Hall Nuge Ebs
    Pou CMD Yak
    Slep Lander someone other than Purcell.
    Edit: Love Purcell’s Corsi, maybe he would be ok with Lander after all…
    Edit Edit – until Drai arrives

  154. Ryan says:

    G Money: Here’s how it works:

    – When a competent puck moving defenseman gets the puck in the defensive zone, he advances the puck either by passing or by skating, with intent of getting the puck to the forwards on the fly, who can then go down to the other end and have a chance at scoring.

    – When Ference is on the ice, chaos ensues.After spending what seems like endless minutes chasing the puck, IF the team gets it back and it ends up on Ference’s stick, it will often end up going off the glass and right back into the other teams hands.They are now free to carry it back into the offensive zone and start the process all over again.Or, the puck ends up in the feet of the forwards on the fly, resulting in a turnover and often a partial break the other way.

    Either way, the team not only gives up a ton of scoring chances, but precious minutes tick away without an opportunity to score.It’s a double whammy.

    Offense starts with the ability of the defensemen to either win the race to the puck, win the puck battles on the boards, or get sticks in passing lanes and force a turnover; and then move the puck quickly to the forwards.

    When Ference is on the ice, those good things rarely happen.In essence, every minute he’s on the ice is basically a shorthanded minute for the Oilers.

    He needs to go in the pressbox and not come back on the ice until and unless at least three players ahead of him are injured (even Nikitin is a significant improvement).

    Haha, I’ve been disagreeing with you quite often lately.

    As far as this post is concerned, not a word out of place …

  155. Picturesque says:

    Talbot has a looked elite…and that’s a concern, because isn’t he UFA at the end of this season? I’m already wondering if he’ll test the waters, especially if the Oilers have another underwhelming year.
    A great year in net for Talbot means he’s also playing for a big money contract – and unfortunately that not be for Edmonton. It’s a tough picture to acknowledge : (

  156. Woogie63 says:

    Nurse eats a few left hands in a fight

  157. healthyscratch says:

    I was at the game tonight and have a few thoughts. ..

    This is the best I have seen the Oilers play in Nashville in years, and I was at a 6-1 victory a few years back. A big part of the improvement might be Talbot, but other than 2 or 3 in the first period the Preds didn’t have too many great chances. Let’s not forget they were the best team in the league for 65 games last year.

    If anyone has the scoring chances with and without Ferrence I’d like to see them. ..he made me throw up in my mouth a few times. I was sitting right behind the goal on his gaffe in the third period and Gryba looked absolutely dumbfounded and demoralized after the play. McClellan will have a tough time winning over the team if he doesn’t play the best players.

  158. McSorley33 says:

    It is not about Andrew Ference anymore……it is all on Chia and Tmac.

    Hall needs to stay with RNH.

    Am I the only one that thinks Yak is one of our better forwards?

    We played a decent game….but hard pressed to think of any really top notch scoring chances.

    Rinne with quite a few ‘Fair Catches’…..and a lot of infield flies.

  159. Zelepukin says:

    Arizona has looked reborn these first 2 games. Smith is playing like his old self and they actually have young guys who can score, *cough* Reider *cough*.

  160. Магия 10 says:

    McSorley33:
    Am I the only one that thinks Yak is one of our better forwards?

    The baseline for Yak this year should be playing with Lander soft minutes. The more he plays well and moves up the lineup to play with CMD the better. Especially at home or trailing or when Lander is doing lots of PK time.

  161. G Money says:

    At EV, the Oilers had 33 unblocked shot attempts with an average distance of 38.2 ft.

    The Predators had 24 unblocked shot attempts with an average distance of 36.0 ft. It’s actually 25 and 41 ft, but one of them was a 170 ft “shot”, so I removed it.

  162. Магия 10 says:

    G Money: one of them was a 170 ft “shot”, so I removed it.

    One of the Preds was missing Scrivens. 😉

  163. AsiaOil says:

    I’ll ask this one again – has any team ever “cut” a guy with a NMC and kept only 22 guys on the active roster for an extended period?

  164. SwedishPoster says:

    Offense obviously still not clicking, the PP terrible, the giveaways on both goals were horrific but I don’t see the awful defense a lot of you guys are seeing. Ference struggled individually but overall it was ok. Talbot is a great goalie and did some bailing out, but if you look at the chances against on almost everyone there’s an Oiler there to sweep away the rebound. After a dodgy start I think the team D got better and better, they closed down the neutral zone and forced Nashville to make easily obtainable dump ins. Also helped that Klefbom increased his dreamy/60 as the game went on.
    McD and Yak looked promising, both are very intense players on the ice and they had some good forecheck going on, at times they went to the same areas but that comes from spending very little time together before and should get better with some ice time together. Yak has been good these first two games, just wish he could get into more shooting positions, part of it is on other player not getting him the puck in good areas, part of it is on him not being decisive enough when around the offensive zone and in puck possesion.

    In line with what Woodguy, G Money et al have been discussing the last few days I’ve been looking into ways to get another look at D-men and their work. Tonight I looked at puck gains, basically looking at every defensive play leading to the Oilers gaining possession, whether it’s a poke check, hit, steal, puck battle, read that leads to the Oilers getting back possession from the other team. I looked at EV only. I only look at plays that actually took some effort/defensive awareness so dump ins where the player is pretty much given the puck or unforced giveaways didn’t count. It’s different from the takeaway stat in that it counts things like reads and so on, but also that plays where a D poke check the puck to a teammate or makes a hit that leads to his D partner getting to the puck first, outside the obvious plays where the player regains possession for himself. I’m still figuring out the outlines so these first few games the numbers likely won’t be perfect but this is what I got from tonight games:
    Sekera: 3 puckgains
    Fayne: 2
    Schultz: 6
    Klefbom: 6
    Ference: 3
    Gryba: 7

    The total number of puckgains went down as the game went on which makes sense as the Oilers carried the play more and the forwards started becoming the guys who got the puck back more often. Grybas number jumps out, he did the majority of his work in the first period with five, Nashville did almost all of their attacking on Oilers right side, didn’t have any gains in the third.
    When I did a test drive of this a few weeks ago where I counted this for a game from last year there were a lot more gains in total, the majority of the top 6 were around 10, I don’t know which one is an anomaly or if my counting was off in some regard but we’ll see as I get a better hang of it and a basic structure down.

    So take if for what it is, an early draft, I thought I should present the early results despite it still having some growing pains to get some feedback.
    I’ve been contemplating only counting plays made in the defensive and neutral zone, ie not pinches, though they are a key to a good defensive game. Thoughts?

  165. G Money says:

    AsiaOil:
    I’ll ask this one again – has any team ever “cut” a guy with a NMC and kept only 22 guys on the active roster for an extended period?

    Not sure, but if not, we should probably be the first!

  166. G Money says:

    SwedishPoster,

    Very cool, SP, very very cool.

    Lots of subjective data gathering work being done on zone entries and exits and passing plays, plus David Staples’ Neilsen numbers, but those seem all more oriented toward scoring.

    IMO, we need more info like this on defensemen.

    It *sounds* like the data you’re collecting should help to produce some sort of assessment, though more volume is needed. Labour intensive though, huh! Wonder if this is something that could be crowdsourced?

  167. SwedishPoster says:

    G Money,

    It’s fairly easy to do while watching the game tbh, just keep the #s of the players that made the plays in mind until the next break in play and then jolt it down, I watch all games after the fact due to time zones anyway so if I’m ever uncertain I can pause and rewatch. I have to stay focused though, so no eating breakfast during the game anymore…

    Also would be interesting the other way around, pucklosses, but it’s impossible to keep track of both.

  168. AsiaOil says:

    Let’s get this out of the way first – Andy Ference is a good human being…….but……….I just can’t remember anyone so mediocre getting a NMC of that length at that stage of his career.

    Sure there are other big contracts that went south – but guys like Yashin, Richards etc were at least elite at one point. Ference was never anything but a journeyman and Boston didn’t want him at any price point. So we signed him for 4 years, threw him a full NMC, and made him captain. WTF does not come close to describing it. The situation is nutty – and it’s why I ask the question – I can’t remember a guy with a NMC who within 18 months of signing is essentially a mediocre AHL player.

    Just cut him and run with 22 – massive addition by simple subtraction – plus the guy is just embarrassing himself at this point which is sad (although the $3.5 million likely soothes the pain).

    G Money: Not sure, but if not, we should probably be the first!

  169. AsiaOil says:

    I’ll toss this up now but will move it tomorrow because I’m sure it will create a bit of a stir. Are Hall, RNH & Eberle as a group simply too soft to win? They are all skilled player, but as a group, they intimidate no one and have really never been known to “push back” or “play heavy” to use the language of our GM and coach. I think we need to trade at least one of these guys in the new year or next summer, and it’s going to be really interesting to watch which one makes the most sense.

    For me – I think it’s Hall. Many guys (but especially RNH) often seem better without him and he doesn’t really mesh with anyone except his BFF Eberle. He’s had the leader tag on him from the beginning, but I’ve never really seen it. I think he’s more a complimentary player than a guy who stirs the drink. He’s Glen Anderson with the reckless speed but without the dirty edge that made him so effective. He’s definitely not Mess – no way – no how. He’s a target and not a missile as others have described.

    It’s also interesting watching what could be a split in this team between Hall/RNH/Ebs and the newer core guys like CMD/Yak/Drai. None of the new young guys appear to be able to play with the older guys – and we always seem to end up with Hall/RNH/Ebs back together. From my “know nothing” perspective – it doesn’t look a cohesive team – and I think Chia may make a big splash this season to change the dynamic of the room.

    So I’ll call it right now – Hall for Faulk or Leddy at some point this season. Chia’s not scared to make a deal but I’m sure he wants to see a bit more before he pulls the trigger on trading one of top line guys.

  170. SwedishPoster says:

    Hall is always a slow starter, let’s remember that, and he did fire nine shots on goal last night. I also think he’s shown chemistry with Yak in the past as well as in the Lander-Miller combo. Him and McDavid didn’t mesh but let’s revisit that once the both of them have found their stride before writing it off completely, I don’t think their styles suit very well but I’d like to see them together when they are both heating up before I call it completely. With that being said I’d have no issues trading Hall for the right return, though that goes for any player save McDavid really(and RNH as well imo, strength down the middle is so important and diffcult to obtain and he’s on a solid contract for a long time).
    I doubt we see any trades before christmas anyway, unless it’s a dump of one of the underperforming vets.

  171. kinger_OIL says:

    – Wow: got slammed a week ago for suggesting that Yak should be playing with the most talented

    – The counter was: “no play him with 3rd line, with worse guys because he will be “sheltered”

    – Even WG said he was wrong (but not that I was right!)

  172. godot10 says:

    kinger_OIL:
    – Wow: got slammed a week ago for suggesting that Yak should be playing with the most talented

    –The counter was: “no play him with 3rd line, with worse guys because he will be “sheltered”

    – Even WG said he was wrong (but not that I was right!)

    We wanted Yak to be ready and earn it. We were not saying never.

    Plus, I was saying the same thing pretty much with regards to Nurse and Draisaitl. Make sure you play them where they can succeed first. Check off all the boxes before you move up a step.

    Plus, it is usually better to play 18-year olds with proven veterans. We were also concerned with McDavid.

    Yakupov’s game actually might be more aligned with McLellan’s philosophy. Yak’s chip and chase game is better than some of the other 1st rounders, because he is better at puck retrieval.

    It is also better for Yakupov to feel and know that he has earned it, rather than being gifted to him. It means he won’t defer. In the pre-season on the two on nothing with McDavid he passed up an open shot to pass the puck to McDavid.

  173. stephen sheps says:

    Final thoughts from the game.

    Yak/CMD made sense in a lot of ways and it looked like the team had more jump once that switch was made. Poo is going to be fine on that line too. He’s a smart player.

    Ference – there are no words for that 3rd period he had, though he was slow and out of position most of the game. It’s painful to watch though I can’t imagine how he must be feeling about his own play, too. He’s not a dumb guy. He knows he’s becoming a liability.

    Let’s ease off on the hall discontent. We spend so much time focusing on the mistakes he makes that we tend to forget the 7-10 really incredible things he does in a game. That line was buzzing all night and Hall looks better as the primary puck carrier. He’s turning into Scotty Hartnell with all of his falling down, but there were a few shifts that hall did incredible work along the boards. The almost goal was all Taylor.

    Sekera-Fayne isn’t quite right. I wonder how Davidson would look there. Or Griff on his off-side.

    Lander wins face offs. McDavid does not.

    Talbot is a revelation. He’s every bit as calm and steady in the net as I hoped. If the team could finish, he will steal some games. It’s been a long time since the Oilers had a goalie who can do that.

    Nashville fans are terrible. They treat hockey like college sports. Their chants after goals and on power plays (all involving the phrase “you suck”) comes straight outta NCAA. Call me old fashioned, call me grumpy but man do I ever not like it. The building is fantastic however and I see the appeal of having the arena in the heart of an entertainment district. Gives me hope for the new building and its potential.

  174. godot10 says:

    stephen sheps:

    Ference – there are no words for that 3rd period he had, though he was slow and out of position most of the game. It’s painful to watch though I can’t imagine how he must be feeling about his own play, too. He’s not a dumb guy. He knows he’s becoming a liability.

    After the game (see video at the OIlers site) Ference attributed the giveaway of the reveral to just “a bad bounce” off the boards, not to a bad play on his part. That’s #leadership #owningit!!!

  175. Caramel Obvious says:

    That reminded me a lot of the good Eakins’ teams. Play well, deserve better, sunk by terrible mistakes.

    In an alternate universe where Talbot was on the team last year things would have been very different.

    The Ference problem is easily correctable. The offense, on the other hand, is somewhat concerning. It had an Eakins flair to it, lots of possession without a lot of great chances.

    Yakupov can’t buy a goal.

  176. Hockey Buddha says:

    Caramel Obvious:
    That reminded me a lot of the good Eakins’ teams.Play well, deserve better, sunk by terrible mistakes.

    In an alternate universe where Talbot was on the team last year things would have been very different.

    The Ference problem is easily correctable.The offense, on the other hand, is somewhat concerning.It had an Eakins flair to it, lots of possession without a lot of great chances.

    Yakupov can’t buy a goal.

    The power play is a real concern. The Oilers had a number of PP opportunities and, sadly, did nothing with them. Hall isn’t playing like he can, or he would have stepped around Rinne instead of shooting the puck into his pads before Nuge kicked the puck into the net. Pouliot gets in front of the net, but he is one of the few. The Oilers might need more diversity in their forward group.

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