CHASING SHADOWS, MOONLIGHT MYSTERY

Last night the Edmonton Oilers lost their fourth in a row and no longer have to worry about a poor start—they’re already there. Todd McLellan is a veteran coach and I’m sure he can see what the shortcomings are, but Peter Chiarelli invested in three defensemen (Andrej Sekera, Eric Gryba and Griffin Reinhart) and they aren’t enough. The season was all about seeing progress and the breakouts looked better for most of last night’s game. Barring a trade, and that’s the ticket, I’m still hopeful we see the following changes:

  • A top pairing of Andrej Sekera and Oscar Klefbom.
  • Darnell Nurse called up. Soon.
  • Fewer minutes for Justin Schultz.

These are themes I touched on this summer: here (point No. 13), here (point No. 1) and here (point No. 5). Schultz has shown in the last two games that he is what we thought he was: A skill defenseman who simply isn’t a good passer. I know many of you don’t feel that way and it gives me no pleasure in saying it—in fact, I feel like it’s picking on him unnecessarily. That said, it’s true. Schultz is somewhat unique, in that he has all of the skills one associates with an expert passer, but is in fact poor at the discipline. Meaning the Oilers have ZERO right-handed blue who can pass that damned puck! Move Sekera over, or Klefbom. It’s the right thing to do.

  • Klefbom—Sekera
  • Nurse—Fayne
  • Reinhart—Schultz

It’s far too inexperienced and they’ll get killed. That said, there’s a puck passer and mobility on every pairing, and at this point there’s no real reason to keep running Mr. Gryba out there to wave lanterns at runaway trains.

THE CALL IS COMING FROM INSIDE THE HOUSE!

nurse condors

  • Peter Chiarelli and Todd McLellan came in and took everything at face value. The Martin Marincin trade, the retention of Nikita Nikitin and Andrew Ference, the prominence of Justin Schultz in the lineup. That’s all Craig MacTavish stuff, Scott Howson too.
  • It isn’t working and the forensics should naturally send the organization in a very good direction. Culling the herd of Nikitin was a surprising and delightful early item, and the reduction in TOI for Andrew Ference and (recently) Teddy Purcell suggest the world is unfolding as it should. I think we can safely add Eric Gryba into this group and not fret about the future.

LAST NIGHT’S BLUE

oc 16 blue

A lot of things here, but I also want to send you to a fabulous post by G Money on evaluating defensemen. Very interesting read, recommend it.

  • I wondered if McLellan would give Schultz a zone start push, and he did in fact use 19 in that way in the first home game. That’s what Schultz is best at, and the advantage of his outlet passing isn’t much of an advantage at all, to my eye. I feel Klefbom is being wasted in this setup, and would use Reinhart (as suggested above) in that role instead. The rookie has a good shot and can pass the puck.
  • Mark Fayne played 11:33 at evens, and 33 seconds on the PK. Ladies, unless he was hurt or blew a shoe, that’s ANOTHER veteran losing his job. Let’s count them off: Nikita Nikitin, Andrew Ference, Teddy Purcell and Mark Fayne! Wow.
  • Sekera had a bad night, I really think he’s miscast with Fayne. Give him a mobile, effective partner like Klefbom and call them lightning.
  • Reinhart and Gryba are not a good pairing. Too similar.

ANTON SLEPYSHEV

I thought he played his best game last night and was shocked to see he played only 5:58. I seriously believe Leon Draisaitl should be in Edmonton, and have suggested in the past Slepyshev should be the guy to go. Scratch that. He needs to play more but for me that was an effective winger last night. I’ll have more on the forwards at five this afternoon.

What a beautiful, fantastic photograph. I am in complete awe of the person who took it, capturing a moment in time perfectly. It has the ‘feel’ of old photos with a haze in the distance but the subject is clear and perfect and in classic pose. I’m sure the photographer loved it the moment he or she saw it, and I’ll never know who did it, but thank you so much for being there and taking it. Awesome.

Badlands (1973) Blu-ray Screenshot

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

This morning at 10, TSN1260. A busy Friday, including some open line time at 11:05 for you to vent. Scheduled to appear:

  • Steve Lansky, Big Mouth Sports. Blue Jays v Royals brings back a flood of memories. We’ll chat about baseball’s brilliant playoffs.
  • Antony Bent, FC Edmonton. Season winding down, we’ll talk about the good, the bad and the heartbreaking.
  • Paul Almeida, SSE. Oilers lose home opener, coverage and speed remain a concern.

10-1260 text, @Lowetide twitter. Friday, with weekend games against the Flames and Canucks! Yeah, we should talk at 11.

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180 Responses to "CHASING SHADOWS, MOONLIGHT MYSTERY"

  1. Oil2Oilers says:

    Klefbom—Sekera
    Nurse—Fayne
    Reinhart—Schultz

    I agree this optimizes the current horses. Many who belong in the glue factory. Man, is it young and in experienced though.

    Beauty photo.

    Love the Orange Sweater.

  2. Visually better says:

    I just typed and deleted what I wanted to say about 8 times.. Im literally exasperated by this team. I may not be the most optimistic person to begin with, but I literally have lost all hope. There is no end in sight, Connor Mcdavid, Cam Talbot or not. The Oilers breed losers. That’s all there is to it. Bringing in players and killing their careers… It’s 4 games in and I bet you this losing stench has already ruined the excitement and hope for Mcdavid. What a joke

  3. SoCaloil says:

    Very surprised to see Edm won more face offs last night

    The oilers continue to loose bc they don’t learn from their mistakes
    rookie 2c another year
    his name may be mcDavid He should not be a 2c running against guys like Backes, Kessle, Bergeron , etc
    all much bigger and stronger 2C

    They need to win the neutral zone and they still haven’t done so
    I’m not trying to take away from the problems at D
    Those are well known
    But there are deeper issues

  4. Clarkenstein says:

    Is it too early to project who might be the first pick in the June 2016 draft??

  5. Dicky94 says:

    I agree Nurse needs to be brought up. I suggested it a few days ago and got ripped for it however. Nurse is a better option than Gryba and Ference. He is also pissed off for not really getting a shot in training camp so he has something to prove. Wouldn’t hurt to have Shultz sit out a game or two. He is turning into his old self. Not the guy I seen in pre-season at all. Might do him some good.

  6. maudite says:

    So, weren’t people expecting like 12th in West? Is it really time to panic? I get that early erroneous is tired of losing but is pulling 2 more rookies I to this losing really any benefit?

    Let drai qnd nurse push that all team until Christmas. Being them up for 2nd half of season. The first half is likely not going to be pretty.

  7. Ca$h-McMoney! says:

    I said it at the tail end of last thread.

    Why is anyone surprised we’re 0-4?

    I get it’s disappointing, but did you watch us play the Blues or Preds last year? These games have been a huge improvement. HUGE.

    The only game we should have felt we had a chance in was Dallas, and frankly that’s a hot/cold team that can lose to Buffalo or absolutely crush the top teams in the league. It happens.

    I’m not saying we’re good, because we aren’t. That said we all acknowledged it was a tough schedule, and yet when we come out and lose games we’re supposed to lose we’re all inches from the edge of the cliff.

    We have such a fragile collective psyche, it would be funny if it weren’t so sad.

  8. su_dhillon says:

    One of the things that for me spelled the doom for Mactavish was his inability to admit mistakes. in fact he often doubled down. Gryba may be fine on the bottom pairs of a lot of teams but here because of who is batting ahead in the lineup and who he has to play with it just won’t work. How quickly will Chia change directions?

    The thing for me with Schultz is, everyone agrees he has issues in his own end but I’m not sure how plus of an offensive player he is. Considering the forwards he plays with, the amount of PP time he gets with 1st unit and the zone starts, is his offense much above replacement level?
    I just can’t see him being used in anything but a soft minute bottom pair role and at his price it is always going to be bad value.

  9. Visually better says:

    Its not whether Nurse is a better fit or a better player. Its about development and if he’s ready or not. He’s not, hence why we are where we are today. But hell, they’ll call him and Draisaitl up soon because oilerz. Who cares about standings when you can fill the seats am I right? Katz for Prez

  10. Kmart99 says:

    I want Nurse and Draisaitl up with the big club as bad as the next guy, but their long term development is much more crucial than the first 20 games of this season.

    I doubt many on this blog would argue against claiming that those two make the Oilers better right now, but their time in Bakersfield is crucial.

    15 points in the first 20gp.
    60 points in the final 65gp.

    That’s my guess. 75 pts puts this team ahead of all previous Oiler teams since Hall’s arrival.

  11. Doug McLachlan says:

    Ca$h-McMoney!,

    This!

    Take a chill pill everyone. LT, you are right that the break outs were better. There were moments of pressure that seemed to take hold (that said, why do we follow up a great Nuge-Hall shift where we pin them in the zone with a shift by any line with Gadzic??!) The structure is coming, slowly, but coming.

    The adults are in charge now and they are doing what they have to do before the very dangerous decision to pick one of the Hall core to deal for pieces to bolster the obvious holes.

    You can’t make that deal without first seeing what you have and what you can do with what you have but the deal is coming and probably before the deadline. At that moment, we can panic and fret – this is all prologue to that inevitable deal.

  12. Tapdog says:

    Well with the powerplay a team can’t do much without the puck.
    Starts on the dot!
    They run Nuge 41% and McD 26% and leave Lander on the bench 55%??
    Not to mention they cannot get the puck back to save their own lives when they lose it.

    Hall – Lander- Nuge
    Pouliot – Sekera

    McDavid – Hendricks – Yak
    Eberle – Klefbom

    Lander and Hendricks (58%) stand a far greater chance of winning a draw and both are a net presence on the PP.

    Keep Shultz the h*ll off the ice on the PP, his decision making process is horrible and he wants to carry the puck so it is an epic fail to start. Third pairing limited minutes, make him look better and say goodbye in a deal. PLEASE!

    McDavid floats around in the high slot like a lost puppy on the PP, what a joke, TMac has to leverage the skill set better here.

    Agghhh

  13. Bag of Pucks says:

    Rushing our best D prospect to the bigs to solve this tire fire is so Lowe/MacT.

    This team needs a veteran #1D. There is absolutely no getting around it. That player can play big mins against the tough opps to calm the waters. They can lead the breakout to kickstart the offense. They can mentor Nurse and KBom so they develop properly.

    People have to stop insisting we can’t trade one of the core forwards to fix this problem. The team is unbalanced and it’s the most clear and obvious solution.

    Yakupov is the obvious trade candidate but I suspect even Yak with next year’s #1st rounder doesn’t bring you back a legitimate number one.

    This brings us to Hall and RNH. Yes, massive losses both, but a capable prospect in Draisaitl waiting in the wings who can play either C or LW.

    I’ve reached the conclusion that the ideal scenario is sending out Nuge for that #1D (cos it slots Leon in his natural position), but I suspect they’ll trade Hall. His initial failure to find chemistry with McDavid was likely disappointing and I think Taylor is well past the point of being sick of losing. He sees Seguin with one ring already, now passing him on the outside production wise. By my eye, he looked like an extremely frustrated player last night.

    They didn’t bring in a GM like Chiarelli to sit on his hands. He has the nerve to pull off the big trade and will do so when he’s identified the optimal scenario.

  14. godot10 says:

    Kmart99:
    I want Nurse and Draisaitl up with the big club as bad as the next guy, but their long term development is much more crucial than the first 20 games of this season.

    I doubt many on this blog would argue against claiming that those two make the Oilers better right now, but their time in Bakersfield is crucial.

    15 points in the first 20gp.
    60 points in the final 65gp.

    That’s my guess.75 pts puts this team ahead of all previous Oiler teams since Hall’s arrival.

    Krueger and Nelson were on a pro-rated 77 point pace, with worse rosters, and Krueger had an all-Western Conference compressed schedule.

  15. HeatTreaterJoe says:

    “•Mark Fayne played 11:33 at evens, and 33 seconds on the PK. Ladies, unless he was hurt or blew a shoe, that’s ANOTHER veteran losing his job. Let’s count them off: Nikita Nikitin, Andrew Ference, Teddy Purcell and Mark Fayne! Wow.”

    Nikitin, Ference, Purcell, Fayne… thanks MacT!! (though credit where due, Pouliot still looks like a great pickup)

  16. HeatTreaterJoe says:

    Despite the current tire-fire at the blue, I still don’t want Nurse (or Draisatl) brought up. It will reduce their minutes, and the constant losing won’t help their confidence (nor would I suspect they would pick up a lot of good habits in a losing culture). I’d like to see both of them in the AHL until either (a) they are legitimately dominating in the AHL, or (b) until the Oilers look and function (and occasionally win) like a real team.

    We don’t need to throw 2 more rookies into this mess.

  17. godot10 says:

    Draisaitl has no points in the AHL. Yes. He is going to help! -) Until he executes as a #1C in the AHL for awhile, he has to stay there. Pakarinen and Miller are better call-up options.

    Nurse is far closer. But needs a couple of months in the AHL at least.

    But Davidson and Reinhart have not been given decent trials yet.

    Reinhart, clearly, should not be healthy scratched again. Davidson needs more than one game.

    I’d leave Klefbom with Schultz. Reinhart is the guy I would try with Sekera. Figure out the best 3rd pairing from amongst Davidson, Fayne, and Gryba.

  18. Bag of Pucks says:

    Btw, I know he scored last night, but based on early returns, I’m not liking the Korpikoski for Gordon trade particularly in light of the way Lander is playing atm.

    The trade was likely more contract motivated than anything but man do I miss Gordo’s ability to win a defensive zone draw and get the puck moving in the right direction.

  19. RMGS says:

    Putting a couple of talented but inexperienced rookies in a line-up that already includes four NHL rookies because some of the “stop-gap” veterans on the big league roster suck is repeating the same old Oilers way of doing things that has landed them those talented rookies in the first place.

    But, barring some dangerously brilliant trade by Chiarelli, it may be the only thing left to do.

  20. blainer says:

    LT is there a stat available to gage the D’s passing abilities? if not there should be.. I agree on the passing by Shultz especially on the PP. I also believe most of our D’s passing hasn’t been great though I have liked what I’ve seen from Reinhart so far.

    I also agree with your thinking of Nurse as he really passes the puck tape to tape and hard.

  21. Bag of Pucks says:

    godot10:
    Draisaitl has no points in the AHL.Yes.He is going to help.Until he executes as a #1C in the AHL for awhile, he has to stay there.

    Nurse is far closer.

    But Davidson and Reinhart have not been given decent trials yet.

    Reinhart, clearly, should not be healthy scratched again.Davidson needs more than one game.

    I’d leave Klefbom with Schultz.Reinhart is the guy I would try with Sekera.Figure out the best 3rd pairing from amongst Davidson, Fayne, and Gryba.

    I agree that it’s definitely preferable to let Leon marinate in the A, but if you can trade Nuge for a legitimate vet #1D, I think you have to pull the trigger on that to balance the roster and stop the bleeding – even if that means elevating Leon prematurely.

    If FLA can play Barkov in their lineup, I think Leon can rise to the challenge here.

  22. bendelson says:

    Ca$h-McMoney!:
    I said it at the tail end of last thread.

    Why is anyone surprised we’re 0-4?

    I get it’s disappointing, but did you watch us play the Blues or Preds last year?These games have been a huge improvement.HUGE.

    The only game we should have felt we had a chance in was Dallas, and frankly that’s a hot/cold team that can lose to Buffalo or absolutely crush the top teams in the league.It happens.

    I’m not saying we’re good, because we aren’t.That said we all acknowledged it was a tough schedule, and yet when we come out and lose games we’re supposed to lose we’re all inches from the edge of the cliff.

    We have such a fragile collective psyche, it would be funny if it weren’t so sad.

    Your poise has been noted.
    Keep this up and you could be nominated for a “Stevezie Award” – for calm and rational comments in the midst of chaos.

  23. godot10 says:

    Jordan Eberle is humming this to all his naysayers….

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sVzvRsl4rEM

  24. Kmart99 says:

    godot10: Krueger and Nelson were on a pro-rated 77 point pace, with worse rosters, and Krueger had an all-Western Conference compressed schedule.

    Key word: ‘Pro-Rated’.
    Don’t be surprised if TMact puts together a stretch of 40 games that pro-rates to 77pts.

  25. Clay says:

    The Dither/60 in today’s thread will be high. Near HF Boards high.

  26. Obiwan Eberle says:

    I agree with some of the sentiment in here….CHILL M’ON..

    Even the most disappointed fan can see the inkling of an actual NHL team. It will take time, especially as Todd teaches them the “whens” and “When nots” of dumping the puck in.
    I only have 3 real issues:
    1. we aren’t good a puck retrieval on the PP and when we run 1 D and 4 Fwds its a bad recipe.
    2. we are playing well enough that there’s real legitimate hope….then the glaring mistake and presto
    3. I still see our fwd’s abandoning the D zone too early.

    oh and why are we allowing carried entries so much?!? And why isn’t McJesus lighting it up?!…and why….

    Crap Its Hopless, Abandon Ship!!!

    now I’m depressed

  27. Bag of Pucks says:

    Man that 2012 entry draft is looking poor in the rear view mirror.

    In hindsight (always 20/20!), the best thing Tambi could’ve done is auctioned that pick off for a #1D and a prospect.

    Remember Wilson acquired Brent Burns in trade shortly before that draft…

  28. vinotintazo says:

    I blame gazdic, he played 4 minutes :facepalm:

  29. Bag of Pucks says:

    godot10:
    Jordan Eberle is humming this to all his naysayers….

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sVzvRsl4rEM

    I really don’t understand this line of thinking. The team’s been a perennial cellar dwellar with or without Jordan in the lineup.

    Directly correlating these losses to his absence is based on what exactly?

  30. MenovOil says:

    OEL, Dougthy, Subban, Karlsson, Hedman. We need one of these guys right now. Nurse might reach that level 4-5 years from now but we don’t need it in 5 years, WE NEED IT RIGHT FUCKING NOW!

    As long as we don’t address that crucial need, a #1 25+ minutes, elite puck moving d-men, this team will be doomed to underachieve.

  31. blainer says:

    Visually better:
    I just typed and deleted what I wanted to say about 8 times.. Im literally exasperated by this team. I may not be the most optimistic person to begin with, but I literally have lost all hope. There is no end in sight, Connor Mcdavid, Cam Talbot or not. The Oilers breed losers. That’s all there is to it. Bringing in players and killing their careers… It’s 4 games in and I bet you this losing stench has already ruined the excitement and hope for Mcdavid. What a joke

    I believe most of us know the feeling. We have to be careful when making the BIG trade though.. Chia has to get more back from a Hall trade than he did with Seguin.. The clock is ticking on a trade demand from Hall ..CMD or not.. He is pissed..

    Not many have mentioned it so I will.. Talbot save % last night..862%.. just saying…

  32. HeatTreaterJoe says:

    Bag of Pucks,

    There’s no way I would trade RNH… not until McDavid is clearly the better player. Nuge does so many things well.

    If the OIlers got a legit #1 D but lost Nuge in the process, we’d still be a terrible team. Just a different terrible.

  33. vinotintazo says:

    also looks like Gryba can stickhandle better than Fayne, and thats not a good sign.

  34. PhrankLee says:

    I’m ok with this. I am betting they go .350 in the first 40 games anyway. Truly no inclination to panic.

    All I want is to threaten .500 hockey over the entire season.

    That is the improvement I am seeking.

  35. Lowetide says:

    Interesting that reaction to calling up Nurse is framed as “panic” by many. I call it good business. Play your best men and I’ll bet McLellan could guide Nurse very well.

  36. Caramel Obvious says:

    I hate to say it but Godot is right about Draisatl. If he can’t score in the AHL he won’t score in the NHL. Leave him there until he is somewhere around a pt/game. If he never scores a pt/game in the AHL he won’t score in the NHL either. Might as well find out sooner than later before you trade Hall because you don’t need him anymore.

    I think Knightown has the answer. The problem is D play more than forwards and the worst players on the Oilers are all defensemen.

  37. vinotintazo says:

    blainer,

    Bag of Pucks: you can trade Nuge for a legitimate vet #1D

    Dont trade a center. specially nuge.

  38. Psyche says:

    Time to also consider external options from other struggling teams (who are typically more motivated to make a trade). I like David Savard in Columbus. He is RH, brings some offence, and is at a good age turning 25 yrs old next week.

    Maybe Ryan Murphy in Carolina, offensive RH, but real young at 21.

    As LT has offered, Damon Severson in NJ is another solid RH option. Similar to Savard with less NHL experience.

    It would all depend on the cost.

  39. slopitch says:

    HeatTreaterJoe,

    D just isnt quite there. I agree about trying Sekera with Klefbom. I thought Schultz was ok last night actually. I dont think its all defense though. The proper puck support on breakout and while defending still isnt there from the forwards. Even the reads in the neutral zone are off and they allow easy entries from the Blues. St Louis is a good team. 0 and 4 is almost expected. Can they be 500 after 30 games with Nurse and Drai coming? It’s possible. I also though Yak had his worst game. Too many times you just wonder what he’s doing with the puck or where he is going. The team is missing Eberle more than I thought they would.

  40. vinotintazo says:

    Lowetide: Interesting that reaction to calling up Nurse is framed as “panic” by many. I call it good business. Play your best men and I’ll bet McLellan could guide Nurse very well.

    Too risky, too much inexperience on the back end IMO. I would wait more games, 10 or so to see how Nurse progresses.

    I mean Fayne has to be better. he was top 4 (albeit with greene) in NJ.

  41. godot10 says:

    McLellan threw the Nashville game by playing Ference. That is basically a self-inflicted mistake. Ference is getting paid. He has no reason to complain that he is in the pressbox.

  42. HeatTreaterJoe says:

    Lowetide,

    Hi Lowetide. I don’t think it’s considered a panic move. I think it’s considered that it could hurt the development of the players getting pulled out of the AHL early.

    My personal bias is probably formed by the fact that players spending more time in the AHL sometimes seem to turn out better:
    – Eberle drafted 22 OV, spent time in junior and AHL (playoffs) and has consistently played like a top 5 draft pick
    – Several players drafted after Gagner (who spent more time in junior) are looking better developed
    – Detroit has long history of letting players overly-ripen in lesser leagues before introducing them to the NHL, and seemingly develop good players out of nothing

    I’m not saying this is true or even a case of cause-and-effect. This is just the reason why, at least for me, I am biased and therefore don’t want to pull Drai or Nurse out of the AHL early, just because the NHL team is suffering.

  43. JDï™ says:

    Not sure if this has been mentioned yet, but Ben Bishop posted a 0.773 last night. Must have been the shitty team in front of him…

  44. Factotum says:

    Kmart99: Key word:‘Pro-Rated’.

    OK, try this then:
    The last 34 games of Renney and the 48 games of Krueger (82 games total): 79 points.
    No pro-rating required.

  45. HeatTreaterJoe says:

    slopitch,

    Agreed absolutely about Eberle. Man what a player.

    I was a bit harsh with Schultz last night, but I do admit he really does look like one of the better blue these days. Far from perfect, but better than several.

  46. blainer says:

    JDï™:
    Not sure if this has been mentioned yet, but Ben Bishop posted a 0.773 last night. Must have been the shitty team in front of him…

    Didn’t Hedman get injured last night..

  47. RMGS says:

    Lowetide:
    Interesting that reaction to calling up Nurse is framed as “panic” by many. I call it good business. Play your best men and I’ll bet McLellan could guide Nurse very well.

    Nah. I wouldn’t call it panic, though it’s certainly the pre-McLellan/Chiarelli Oilers’ way of doing business.

    I am, however, seriously concerned that a coach with McLellan’s experience considers Schultz his #1 D according to TOI, even given the sad state of the Oilers D corps.

  48. mattwatt says:

    Lowetide,

    It is not a panic move at all. His athleticism and skating will make up for his shortcomings, and this team needs his ability right now.

    I have no idea how Schultz got so far out of place on that last goal. He took himself out of the play from the word go, and was in a position where that should never happen. Mind boggling.

    I feel like Dennis Green when watching Schultz. “He is who we thought he was!” Too bad Petry will never be as good as him.

    That said, this team is playing better hockey than I have seen in the past, just don’t have the horses on defence to see truly marked improvement. Chiarelli needs to do what he can to improve in that area, even if it means sending out this years (and next years) 1st rounder. Time to turn the corner is now. Too much daylight has already been burnt.

  49. Snowman says:

    Nurse has all the physical tools to play the game in the NHL. I believed in the summer that he would make the team because he is something that literally nobody else in the organization is. Fast, mean, huge, puck moving D.

    I can’t wait until he’s here full time but his preseason wasn’t great. I agree he would be better than what we have by miles.

    I’m really torn, I don’t think it would be the worst to bring him up. I just also don’t think it would be the best. I’d much rather try to package Fayne and whatever to get another puck mover. If no trade is available and we’re still being penned in our zone because “outlet passes are hard” than maybe it is time for Nurse to come up. If the Oilers are 0-6 after the weekend you’ve got to do something.

  50. RMGS says:

    godot10:
    McLellan threw the Nashville game by playing Ference.That is basically a self-inflicted mistake.

    Yeah, coupled with his comments about “wanting to get every D into a game” and about “still getting to know his players,” it’s pretty clear that these first few games are an extended pre-season period of experimentation.

    I’m still a bit in denial, but this season is looking more and more like one for McLellan and Chiarelli to suss things out and clean up some of the mess they inherited. That has to suck for players (and fans) who’ve known nothing but losing.

  51. flyfish1168 says:

    Love how Yak is playing with a some nastiness by driving brower into his own net. A few of his hits rattled the boards. Now all Yak needs to do find the quite open spot for a shot.

  52. JDï™ says:

    blainer,

    Of course! That must be it.

  53. vinotintazo says:

    Factotum: OK, try this then:
    The last 34 games of Renney and the 48 games of Krueger (82 games total):79 points.
    No pro-rating required.

    What’s the point of this? you can separate games all you want to favor your point, doesnt prove a whole lot.

    Didnt krueger go 1-9 in their last 10 or something? see what I did there?

  54. vinotintazo says:

    Snowman: puck moving D

    I wouldnt say he’s a puck mover. is he better than Kbom at it? my guess is no, at least not right now.

    Even Kbom struggles to move it sometimes. Let the man find his Pro game in the AHL first.

  55. speeds says:

    Clarkenstein:
    Is it too early to project who might be the first pick in the June 2016 draft??

    Matthews was the clear favorite heading into the season, and has had a better start than I’d imagine many were expecting.

  56. RexLibris says:

    NHL teams without a win effective Oct. 16th, 2015:

    Toronto
    Anaheim
    Carolina
    New Jersey
    Los Angeles
    Edmonton
    Columbus

    Now I’ll grant that of those teams Edmonton is the one with the most to prove given their near-decade run of ineffectiveness. However, which of those fan bases do you imagine is gripping their morning coffee the tightest right now? I’d wager there are some references to very high expectations being mentioned in Los Angeles and Anaheim at this moment.

    Meanwhile, the Arizona Coyotes, everybody’s pick for 2015-2016 NHL Roadkill award, are 8th overall with 3 wins in 4 games.

    Long season everyone.

  57. Dennis L says:

    blainer: … Not many have mentioned it so I will.. Talbot save % last night..862%..just saying…

    Your point doesn’t reflect the character of the goals that were scored against him.

  58. hunter1909 says:

    Nurse might screw things up a little, but he’d sure as anything provide comic relief.

    I wasn’t around for Buchberger, but I imagine it was similar. Superior Lowetide posters, please feel free to correct me on this point.

    October 16th, and already it feels like lottery time.

  59. Woodguy says:

    Justin Schultz is a below average NHL Dman.

    Justing Schultz is the best RH Dman on the Oiler roster.

    Both of these statements are true.

    Not good.

    Also,

    CAL is in WPG tonight and those are always physical grinding games.

    EDM should be more rested and hungry as they hung with STL until the 2nd STL goal late in the 2nd (corgi’s were about 50/50 until that point with the Oilers slightly ahead)

    They should be able to smoke the Flames if they put in the same effort against a tired team.

  60. RexLibris says:

    Oh, and leave Nurse and Draisaitl in the AHL.

    Calling kids to rescue the NHL team is more or less what got us into this spot in the first place.

    Management and the current roster have to get this figured out before we can expect anything from the farm.

  61. rich says:

    Agree w/Cash-Money’s early post.

    With the exception of the game against Dallas, the team is playing better than last year against a couple of the best in the western conference.

    Am glad though that the verbal of Hall is that he’s past moral victories.

    Still think they should keep Nurse and Drai in Bakersfield a little longer. Let them force their way up. Nurse especially needs the time to play w/more discipline. Know that means more short term pain, but the long-term gain will be worth it.

    Think it was rickithebear who posted it yesterday but the first 20 games will be a tire fire. The scheduler did us no favors. After that, the schedule – and the time spent learning McLellan’s system should begin to pay off.

    Know it’s hard after 9 years of absolute suckage, but there really is light at the end of this tunnel (and it’s not an on-coming train).

  62. Магия 10 says:

    RexLibris:
    Oh, and leave Nurse and Draisaitl in the AHL.

    Calling kids to rescue the NHL team is more or less what got us into this spot in the first place.

    Management and the current roster have to get this figured out before we can expect anything from the farm.

    +1

  63. Snowman says:

    vinotintazo,

    I would say he is a puck mover. He can skate it out of trouble at any point and he is a more than competent passer.

    He’s a better puck mover than at least 3 of our 6 D and probably 4 of our 6 D from last night. (Gryba, Fayne, Schultz, and possibly Reinhart..) His problem wasn’t moving the puck his problem was going walkabout a little too often.

  64. Ribs says:

    What a beautiful, fantastic photograph. I am in complete awe of the person who took it, capturing a moment in time perfectly. It has the ‘feel’ of old photos with a haze in the distance but the subject is clear and perfect and in classic pose. I’m sure the photographer loved it the moment he or she saw it, and I’ll never know who did it, but thank you so much for being there and taking it. Awesome.

    Whaddaya mean? It tells you who’s photo it is right in the link! 🙂 Photog is Jason Franson and it looks like he has a ton of great Oilers/Eskies photos on his site and his tumblr page!

  65. JDï™ says:

    RexLibris: Long season everyone.

    And five teams still unbeaten, while Crosby sits with zero points. Hanzal on the other hand…

    Seems to be a very strange start to the season.

  66. vinotintazo says:

    Snowman,

    He’s got speed, he can skate it out, but have you not seen him play against NHLers? small sample size, but guess what, most NHLers can skate just as fast or faster than him. I’ve seen him try to do it (skate pass NHLers) and most the time he cant. he can improve it though, thats why he’s in the AHL we need him to do this for us.

    I would agree he’s better than all of those except Schultz, schultz was > 1.4PPG in the AHL, I doubt nurse can match that.

  67. Frank the dog says:

    Sorry to break the news, but plugging in young Connor isn’t enough to bring us back to the glory days. Too much wrong, and I’m really comfortable with my 74 points about now. Which is still, better than the dementor, Mac T and Todd Nelson’s combined track record for last year.
    I’m with whoever feels Nelson is a much better coach than Eakins, that he would have likely done as well as or better than TMac has done so far, and that we should exclude the stats when Todd had MacT sitting next to him telling him what to do. Those games when Todd had the team to himself, before they took away Petry, were pleasant memories to me.
    But we don’t have buffoons behind the bench. We do have more than a few players who are not delivering according to their past results here and elsewhere.
    It does not seem to me that the management has a free hand. Give Bob, Chia, TMac a free hand and they will fix this pretty quick.
    The constant of suck is the owner. He is the only constant left. He is the one who would have the pull to force the BOTB into the conversations. He is the one who would approve the big spends. He is the one who would have a hard on against the Northlands organization for resisting him with the new arena, and with trying to insert themselves into the management of the new arena when they could not stop him. Doesn’t take a very fertile imagination to connect the dots.
    Which means the real, consistent, no holds barred trades, demotions, tactics, etc will not emerge until it’s no longer possible to make the playoffs.
    74 points. Scored mostly towards season’s end. Please prove me wrong.

  68. Ribs says:

    The thing I noticed with Schultz last night was that it’s very evident that the breakouts are to run through him and him only when he’s on the ice. It’s very predictable and by the time the puck gets to him, the other team has had more than enough time to retreat to a solid defensive position.

    There’s two problems with this. For one, they’re treating him like he’s Drew Doughty, when he’s not Drew Doughty. He’s not going to make that hard Doughty long pass up the ice or dart through three guys in past the opposing blueline. The other problem is that he’s not the greatest at getting in position for receiving the pass to start things off. He needs to work on his transition speed when receiving the pass. He needs to be in flight and ready to skate or pass the puck.

  69. Gally says:

    I read that GMoney post, and I didn’t like it. It started with a valid point that it’s harder to evaluate D, but then it went off the rails with the methodology, in my opinion.

    It took a random, subjective list of the top 25 D in the league from oen of Yahoo’s writer’s(not Wysh, Cooper, or Lambert eother) and then correlated their rankings against how they ranked in various stats. First, the list was subjective, and entirely on the whims of some guys thoughts. By and large, when looking at a list like that, it’s going to be populated by guys with high ice times, because people still have problems evaluating D. Do we believe Seabrook is actually an elite, world beater D or is he pretty good? Most would say that he’s pretty good, yet the list we’re comparing him to ranked him 13th in the NHL based off aa pretty good playoffs. Chara was 16th on the list, and he’s probably not even the best D on his team anymore.

    So I guess what I’m saying is, it’s harder to evaluate D than forwards to an extent, but just because some random guy at Yahoo made a list of D he liked, doesn’t mean he was accurate or that he should be the sole base point that we compare actual performance off of.

  70. Магия 10 says:

    Woodguy: CAL is in WPG tonight and those are always physical grinding games.
    EDM should be more rested and hungry as they hung with STL until the 2nd STL goal late in the 2nd (corgi’s were about 50/50 until that point with the Oilers slightly ahead)
    They should be able to smoke the Flames if they put in the same effort against a tired team.

    I’m rooting for the Kings and Ducks to win tonight and the Jets to win in regulation time. That would make the Battle of Alberta a battle for the division cellar. Would be great fun to boot team PDO there.

  71. Snowman says:

    vinotintazo,

    If your evidence of Schultz being an effective puck mover is AHL games he played 4 years ago I don’t find that very compelling. He’s been below average in the NHL since then. He rarely has made a good pass tape to tape in transition and even less often under pressure. He’s not a puck mover. He gets used like one because there aren’t any other options really but he’s not good at it.

  72. Amadeus says:

    Need some PP help? Call up Brad Hunt…seriously, he can’t be worse then what we have so far.
    At least he has a strong slap shot.

  73. OilCanFan says:

    In that image, I’m pretty sure that was when Schultz tried to stand up the forward in front of him who appears to be receiving the pass. Need to see the whole film on that. To me at that game, Fayne looked absolutely terrible.

  74. Frank the dog says:

    Магия 10: I’m rooting for the Kings and Ducks to win tonight and the Jets to win in regulation time. That would make the Battle of Alberta a battle for the division cellar. Would be great fun to boot team PDO there.

    Last year we lost our first road game against the phlegms by 2-5. So far our goal differential is worse than last year.
    Question for the stats guys: Has a losing team ever had a better PDO than the winning team?

  75. LMHF#1 says:

    Amadeus:
    Need some PP help? Call up Brad Hunt…seriously, he can’t be worse then what we have so far.
    At least he has a strong slap shot.

    He most certainly can be worse. He’s already proven totally ineffective.

  76. vinotintazo says:

    Snowman,

    Yes he’s not the best, i’m just saying he’s better than Nurse (at moving it) right now at it that’s all.

    I mean in the pre-season nurse couldnt quaterback a powerplay against AHLers.

  77. GriffCity says:

    Great illustration by Willis on how Jultz is consistently lackadaisical and caught out of position. For a d-man positioning is critical and Jultz just doesn’t get it. Happy about the 1 year deal right about now .

    Fayne is terrible, he’s slow and can’t make a ten foot pass to save his life.

    Reinhart is brutal, not an NHL d-man regardless of how u slice it. Maybe Chia just wanted to toss a bone to Bob Green who was no doubt plugging for Reinharts services. Those draft picks, especially Barzal, is going to bite us in the ass.

    Sekera is playing like a solid bottom pairing d-man. Not a top guy and PP QB.

    Kelfbom has been decent but gets caught watching the puck too often and needs to identify his man sooner and be meaner.

    Gryba started the year pretty well but has not looked good at all the past couple games.

    I agree with Amadeus^^ – Bring Hunt up and limit his minutes and use him on the PP over Sekera and even Jultz while we’re at it. Let any number of Gryba, Reinhart, Ference, Fayne sit and watch.

    Terrible defense plus a terrible PP equals an 0-4 record with no real light at the end of the tunnel right now.

  78. JJ says:

    From the Globe And Mail this morning:

    Canucks coach Willie Desjardins said on Thursday.

    “It’s not the try league. It’s the get-it-done league.”

    ——————————————————————–

    Leave the kids, Nurse and Drai in the AHL until they can dominate and are fully ripened 200 foot players. Whatever problems the NHL club has does not matter.

    Draft skilled players, Develop skilled players.

  79. Clay says:

    Woodguy:
    CAL is in WPG tonight and those are always physical grinding games.

    EDM should be more rested and hungry as they hung with STL until the 2nd STL goal late in the 2nd (corgi’s were about 50/50 until that point with the Oilers slightly ahead)

    They should be able to smoke the Flames if they put in the same effort against a tired team.

    I’m going to counter this by saying that in 11 years in Calgary, tomorrow’s game represents the first time I’ve paid actual money for a *spits* Flames *spits* ticket (McJesus made me do it).

    This, by itself, means it’s guaranteed loss night for the Oilers. The Gords will not allow it to be otherwise.

    Sorry everyone.

  80. RMGS says:

    Woodguy: Justin Schultz is a below average NHL Dman.
    Justing Schultz is the best RH Dman on the Oiler roster.
    Both of these statements are true.
    Not good.

    Sadly, yes. But, is Schultz so much better than Sekera that he should be playing 3.5 more EV minutes per game than him and 4.5 more per game overall?

    He may be the team’s best RH D, but there’s no way he’s ahead of Sekera and Klefbom, who can both play the right side.

  81. Soup Fascist says:

    maudite,

    Amadeus: Need some PP help? Call up Brad Hunt…seriously, he can’t be worse then what we have so far.At least he has a strong slap shot.

    When you find yourself in a hole ……. stop digging.

    Just say “NO” to Brad Hunt in the NHL.

  82. maudite says:

    A new state should be made for shultz:

    OZ loss/60 on PP…I’ve never gotten the enthusiasm for shultz on PP. He isn’t that great of a Passer, has no slap shot, is not overly talented at even getting the sneaky wrist shot actually on net and while he can pinch to get points it almost gives up as much as is gained by breakaways by opposing teams pk. The book is out on him. He gets very little respect and space on that point for a good reason. His decision making is not quick and opposing teams know it and have exploited it quite successfully.

  83. McSorley33 says:

    Bag of Pucks,

    Rushing our best D prospect to the bigs to solve this tire fire is so Lowe/MacT.
    This team needs a veteran #1D. There is absolutely no getting around it. That player can play big mins against the tough opps to calm the waters. They can lead the breakout to kickstart the offense. They can mentor Nurse and KBom so they develop properly.
    People have to stop insisting we can’t trade one of the core forwards to fix this problem. The team is unbalanced and it’s the most clear and obvious solution.
    *************************************************************************
    Agreed….but as is readily admitted league wide, which GM *would* actually trade away a Legitimate 1D?

    Unless you are talking a Lindros like retrun – I think the answer rhymes with Hero.

    I predicted Mac T would trade 1 of the core for a 1D as well….I can’t blame Mac T because I don’t think that trade is possible.

    Would dearly love to be wrong..( No 30 year olds please )

    Like I have said for a while this rebuild goes nowhere until Klefbbm and Nurse are playing Monster minutes in the NHL.

    Sad but true…I don’t think we can rush this process…

  84. Factotum says:

    vinotintazo: What’s the point of this? you can separate games all you want to favor your point, doesnt prove a whole lot.

    I never said it proved anything, but you’re apparently certain – without any consideration – that an 82-game rolling average is completely meaningless. Good to know. You may even be correct. Thanks, though, for your truly inspiring level of intellectual rigor, and for giving me all the reason I need to spend the rest of the day elsewhere. Don’t bother responding to me again.

  85. verdad2.0 says:

    I was right about the 0 for 4.
    You absolutely count on it being 0 for 6, by Monday morning.

    Some of you, including whoever acts as thought police, on this blog resented by calling out Chiarelli as a bungler. But he so evidently is.

    This team may be worse than last year. All of you ponder the enormity of that.
    Can it actually be the case that Domi is a better player than MacDavid? I haven’t even invoked Bo Horvat yet.

    That question haunts us all.

    If anyone on the OIlers is interested in actually improving this team, which I continue to be of the view that they are not, they would first call up Nurse and Draisatl. Full stop.

    Next they simply stop playing Schultz.

    Those are two steps they can actually do. They are within their control to do.

    Next they can do whatever it takes to fix this defense within the next month. Even if the only #1 overall draft pick left standing is MacDavid, nothing else matters. Some them I can’t wait to see out of town, overrated to the core,

    This team proves that forward skill is a wasted commodity if you don’t have a competent defense.
    The Oilers are unique in acquiring defensemen that are so limited in thier utility that they don’t really deserve to on the team, or so fundamentally unsuited to the position that it is an indictment of the team’s management that it is so obtuse to not admit that.

    I also question the coaching of this team. No one can convince me that St. Louis has better forwards than Edmonton. No one. But their talent is mostly wasted , game after game. Why?
    Mostly management , but also coaching that cares more for adherence to “system” , but to what end? Utterly nothing to show for it.

    One last thing for this morning , if for no other reason than to show the fanbase some sense of accountabiity , can MacTavish and Howson be dismissed this afternoon? Could we just see that happen.

  86. delooper says:

    I surprised there’s so much panic in the air. I was hoping maybe the Oilers would have two points in their first four games. Maybe one of those teams would underestimate the Oilers and go to sleep… but it did not happen.

    Surprise surprise, the Oilers are still a bad team. Who’d have thought?

  87. RMGS says:

    Amadeus:
    Need some PP help? Call up Brad Hunt…seriously, he can’t be worse then what we have so far.
    At least he has a strong slap shot.

    THIS is panic.

  88. delooper says:

    JDï™: And five teams still unbeaten, while Crosby sits with zero points. Hanzal on the other hand…

    Seems to be a very strange start to the season.

    It’s just the first four games. The first four games of any season pretty much always looks strange. That’s why there’s the “small sample size” disclaimer phrase that people like to toss about.

  89. knighttown says:

    Woodguy:
    Justin Schultz is a below average NHL Dman.

    Justing Schultz is the best RH Dman on the Oiler roster.

    Both of these statements are true.

    Bingo!

    I’d consider LT to be the most objective and unbiased poster this side of McCurdy (who could teach a master-class on parking pre-conceived notions and remaining detached during analysis) so his anti-Schultz/pro-Klefbom viewpoint so far has me questioning what I’m seeing.

    I see a coach playing a guy 4.5 minutes more than any other defenseman as a combination of score effects and trying to win a damn and LT sees a coach overly influenced by the ex-general manager?

    I see a defenseman second on the team and tied for 14th in the NHL (with PK Subban)in shots with 10.

    I see a defenseman first among regular D in Corsi for/against while playing with the goods against the goods and not getting the insane push in zone starts.

    I see a guy that naturally hates contact LEADING this defense and 3rd on the team behind Hendricks and Yak, in hits.

    I was a massive Schultz hater and still don’t trust the guy but I’ve seen 2 very good games, 1 bad game and one pretty good game and that’s extreme progress from last year. Remember last year he could barely break 50% Corsi with the lowest possible DoDiff (Degree of Difficulty); first quartile in ZS, 1st quartile in QualTeam and 1st quartile in Qualcomp. They’ve taken off his life-jacket, floaty-vest and water wings all at once and he’s staying above water.

    Sure the PP has been struggling but I don’t see him any more at fault than the 9 other guys and in fact, Klefbom was so terrible at puck control on the 2nd PP yesterday I wouldn’t be surprised to see him pulled.

    Calling it as I see it, and not projecting into the future, I’ve been pleasantly surprised with Justin Schultz and very disappointed in Oscar Klefbom.

  90. Woodguy says:

    RMGS: Sadly, yes.But, is Schultz so much better than Sekera that he should be playing 3.5 more EV minutes per game than him and 4.5 more per game overall?

    He may be the team’s best RH D, but there’s no way he’s ahead of Sekera and Klefbom, who can both play the right side.

    Agreed all points.

  91. spoiler says:

    knighttown: Bingo!

    I’d consider LT to be themost objective and unbiased poster this side of McCurdy (who could teach a master-class on parking pre-conceived notions and remaining detached during analysis) so his anti-Schultz/pro-Klefbom viewpoint so far has me questioning what I’m seeing.

    I see a coach playing a guy 4.5 minutes more than any other defenseman as a combination of score effects and trying to win a damn and LT sees a coach overly influenced by the ex-general manager?

    I see a defenseman second on the team and tied for 14th in the NHL (with PK Subban)in shots with 10.

    I see a defenseman first among regular D in Corsi for/against while playing with the goods against the goods and not getting the insane push in zone starts.

    I see a guy that naturally hates contact LEADING this defense and 3rd on the team behind Hendricks and Yak, in hits.

    I was a massive Schultz hater and still don’t trust the guy but I’ve seen 2 very good games, 1 bad game and one pretty good game and that’s extreme progress from last year.Remember last year he could barely break 50% Corsi with the lowest possible DoDiff (Degree of Difficulty); first quartile in ZS, 1st quartile in QualTeam and 1st quartile in Qualcomp.They’ve taken off his life-jacket, floaty-vest and water wings all at once and he’s staying above water.

    Sure the PP has been struggling but I don’t see him any more at fault than the 9 other guys and in fact, Klefbom was so terrible at puck control on the 2nd PP yesterday I wouldn’t be surprised to see him pulled.

    Calling it as I see it, and not projecting into the future, I’ve been pleasantly surprised with Justin Schultz and very disappointed in Oscar Klefbom.

    Thank you for saving me a shitload of typing.

    Schultz has been a revelation so far this year. Despite every single coaching expert in the NHL stating you have to give a Dman 300 games to get to speed, very few here are showing that patience. I’m stunned actually that LT is one of those people.

    He’s showed progression from last year, other than the one game in Dallas. If he can continue on that path, we might have a real effective defensemen by the end of the year.

  92. knighttown says:

    And while I’m stating unpopular opinions:

    1. I’m very disappointed in Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. He’s four years in now and has clearly not invested in improving his faceoffs. With the loss of Gordon and the addition of McDavid (last at 28% btw), mission number one for him this offseason was to give the new coach a decent option to deploy in the faceoff circle. Four games in he’s at 41.2%. Three goals last night (including one Oiler goal) were scored directly as a result of lost faceoffs. They weren’t all Nuge but they were guys subbing in for Nuge and wingers “guessing” where to go instead of trusting their centre.

    McDavid is last and Nuge is 3rd last among qualified centres. Eichel is 44%, Galchenyuk is 50%, Horvat 52%, MacKinnon 52%, Granlund 53%.

    Even no-chinups Bennett is at 47%.

    How can a guy with his stick skills still be this terrible?

  93. RMGS says:

    Reid Wilkins ‏@ReidWilkins 3m3 minutes ago

    PP unit today of McDavid, Sekera, Yakupov, Pouliot, Letestu.
    Other is Hall, RNH, Lander, Purcell, Schultz.

  94. RMGS says:

    spoiler: Thank you for saving me a shitload of typing.

    Schultz has been a revelation so far this year.Despite every single coaching expert in the NHL stating you have to give a Dman 300 games to get to speed, very few here are showing that patience.I’m stunned actually that LT is one of those people.

    He’s showed progression from last year, other than the one game in Dallas. If he can continue on that path, we might have a real effective defensemen by the end of the year.

    Do you have Schultz ahead of Sekera and Klefbom?

  95. knighttown says:

    And…

    2. Anton Lander. He’s winning 55% of his faceoffs and his the Swiss Army Knife guy that will be called up to win faceoffs, play first PP (soon) and first PK but what is he doing at evens? His 23 SAF/60 is dead last among Oilers including the defensemen. I get that he’s had a revolving door of shiity wingers but if he wants to be more than, well, Mark Letestu, he’s got to do something?

    His skating and edgework looked so good last year I actually thought he was Nuge a few times but this year he looks exactly like that vanilla dreck we saw here a few years back. He gets the puck and looks immediately to unload it somewhere safe.

    Like Klefbom I have all the faith in the world in this guy but he’s got to pick it up real soon before he becomes a throw-in for a management team that has no affiliation with the player and a list of centres coming up behind him.

  96. oliveoilers says:

    knighttown: They weren’t all Nuge but they were guys subbing in for Nuge and wingers “guessing” where to go instead of trusting their centre.

    http://www.nhl.com/scores/htmlreports/20152016/FS020056.HTM

    Nuge and McD took 8 FO out of 62 last night. TMac realized they needed help, and gave it to them. The others were very good.

    Tarasenko’s goal was a carbon copy of one Ovie scored here last year. That’s on the winger to get to the shooter and the D man to either not screen the goalie or make sure all of him is in the shooting lane to make the block.

    Once again, whatever problems this team has, one of them isn’t Nuge.

  97. MagicBeans says:

    I just don’t see any way that the Oilers can turn this thing around without at least one major trade going down first. The mix on the top six isn’t right at all (we’ve been saying this for at least 3 years now) and the defense is still atrocious. To me the only untouchable players on the team should be McDavid and Talbot. Anyone else (and I mean anyone) should be available for a trade that will help the team, even if it is for a lesser valued player. I have no doubt that if we trade Schultz, or Hall, or Eberle, or Lander, or Drai etc etc they will do amazing things on other teams and will no doubt be oiler killers for years to come, but at least we’ll be getting a player back that will give the team what we are lacking. To me it is OK to make a trade and get a lesser return if the return is what your team is lacking.

    Pretty much every good team in the NHL has been built goalie, then defense, then centers, then wingers. For the first time in ages the oilers are set for the time being at goal and center. Defense needs to be the next priority, even if it comes at the expense of one of our so called “core” players and certainly if it comes at the expense of trading any of our wingers.

  98. vinotintazo says:

    knighttown: what is he doing at evens

    I think last year he was just a PP wizzard so no suprise for me. I still find him useful.

    I would use him EZ Zone starts, PP, PK.

  99. verdad2.0 says:

    oliveoilers,

    RNH lost the faceoff. Clear and simple

    Nothing more elemental for a center to do but win a face-off in the defensive zone

    After 5 years on this team, when does he ever get any better at this?

    Stop ascribing value to him he doesn’t have.

  100. Snowman says:

    knighttown,

    Do you think that perhaps two games against the league’s best face-off team might be skewing his numbers after only 4 games? He’s improved in faceoffs every season since he started in the league. I see no reason to believe that won’t be the case this season as well.

  101. verdad2.0 says:

    Snowman,

    This is like Wating for Godot, waiting for RNH to win face-offs that matter.
    In both cases, no joy in the end.

  102. Centre of attention says:

    RMGS:
    Reid Wilkins ‏@ReidWilkins3m3 minutes ago

    PP unit today of McDavid, Sekera, Yakupov, Pouliot, Letestu.
    Other is Hall, RNH, Lander, Purcell, Schultz.

    That looks like some more balanced units. If the Oilers crush the flames at home tomorrow I will consider the Oilers slightly redeemed. If they blow 5 powerplays and lose 4-2 I think I don’t even know what will happen….

  103. godot10 says:

    maudite:
    A new state should be made for shultz:

    OZ loss/60 on PP…I’ve never gotten the enthusiasm for shultz on PP.He isn’t that great of a Passer,has no slap shot,is not overly talented at even getting the sneaky wrist shot actually on net and while he can pinch to get points it almost gives up as much as is gained by breakaways by opposing teams pk.The book is out on him.He gets very little respect and space on that point for a good reason.His decision making is not quick and opposing teams know it and have exploited it quite successfully.

    Schultz wasn’t much a problem for Krueger or Nelson on the power play. Both Eakins and McLellan/Woodcroft don’t believe in a net front presence or winning the faceoff, unlike Krueger and Nelson who did.

    With no net front presence, the killers are able to put more pressure on Schultz, which is why the power play is breaking down.

    With no centre capable of winning a draw, the Oilers 1st unit wastes their energy trying to achieve a zone entry, and are then more fatigue trying to make a play, which is why the power play is breaking down.

    Horcoff and Lander in front of the net created slightly more time for Schultz at the point. Horcoff and Lander winning the occasional faceoff meant the power play could go on attack fresh.

    Mo need for high-falutin’ bring the puck up the ice and zone entry strategies.

  104. stevezie says:

    bendelson,

    Bendelsjon you doll

  105. PhrankLee says:

    I’m thrilled at the improvement over 4 games against the Blues. (eff the blues)

    Mentally tough and together is just over the horizon, I think.

    We can plug any number of players in the line up via fantasy but the roster is what the roster is.

    We were in that game last night. We were not in the game in St Louis. It wasn’t even close.

    Fuck the Flames. Bring it.

  106. BONVIE says:

    knighttown: Bingo!

    I’d consider LT to be themost objective and unbiased poster this side of McCurdy (who could teach a master-class on parking pre-conceived notions and remaining detached during analysis) so his anti-Schultz/pro-Klefbom viewpoint so far has me questioning what I’m seeing.

    I see a coach playing a guy 4.5 minutes more than any other defenseman as a combination of score effects and trying to win a damn and LT sees a coach overly influenced by the ex-general manager?

    I see a defenseman second on the team and tied for 14th in the NHL (with PK Subban)in shots with 10.

    I see a defenseman first among regular D in Corsi for/against while playing with the goods against the goods and not getting the insane push in zone starts.

    I see a guy that naturally hates contact LEADING this defense and 3rd on the team behind Hendricks and Yak, in hits.

    I was a massive Schultz hater and still don’t trust the guy but I’ve seen 2 very good games, 1 bad game and one pretty good game and that’s extreme progress from last year.Remember last year he could barely break 50% Corsi with the lowest possible DoDiff (Degree of Difficulty); first quartile in ZS, 1st quartile in QualTeam and 1st quartile in Qualcomp.They’ve taken off his life-jacket, floaty-vest and water wings all at once and he’s staying above water.

    Sure the PP has been struggling but I don’t see him any more at fault than the 9 other guys and in fact, Klefbom was so terrible at puck control on the 2nd PP yesterday I wouldn’t be surprised to see him pulled.

    Calling it as I see it, and not projecting into the future, I’ve been pleasantly surprised with Justin Schultz and very disappointed in Oscar Klefbom.

    Nicely summed up!

  107. RMGS says:

    maudite:
    A new state should be made for shultz:

    OZ loss/60 on PP…I’ve never gotten the enthusiasm for shultz on PP.He isn’t that great of a Passer,has no slap shot,is not overly talented at even getting the sneaky wrist shot actually on net and while he can pinch to get points it almost gives up as much as is gained by breakaways by opposing teams pk.The book is out on him.He gets very little respect and space on that point for a good reason.His decision making is not quick and opposing teams know it and have exploited it quite successfully.

    Well, the Oilers site has Schultz off both PP units at practice today… EDIT: the site has him back on the 1st unit.

  108. Woodguy says:

    godot10,

    Both Eakins and McLellan/Woodcroft don’t believe in a net front presence or winning the faceoff, unlike Krueger and Nelson who did.

    Godot you’re going off the deep end on Oiler coaches again.

    4 games in and you are an expert on what they believe and don’t believe in and today its “Mclellan/Woodcroft don’t believe in a net front presence or winning the faceoff”

    I guess you haven’t listened to every McLellan avail this year. I have. He mentions both every single time he talks about the PP.

    If you look at the mix up on 5v4 sets, you’ll see he has Lander taking draws on PP1 and Letestu on PP1.

    Lander is net front on PP1, Pouliot on PP2.

    When you’re relatively sane you can be a very good poster but I see signs of you being a week away from calling McLellan the same things you were calling Eakins.

    No one wants to read that.

  109. russ99 says:

    We need to look back a few years.

    We’re 4 games in to learning new systems, and while the systems are fairly sound with a few tweaks, the execution isn’t.

    Tough schedule – new systems – lack of execution = 0-4.

    I’m still looking at Chiarelli’s 10 games to see where they are.

    Also, Schultz on the PP:

    His skillset is to move the puck and not play statically on the point and take long shots. If he stops moving his feet, he’s a much worse player.

    So IMO the problem isn’t necessarily Schultz (could be, I’m not blind) but that we’re playing him with 4 forwards, and were dumping he puck in and losing it on the wall, which doesn’t even get the PP started.

    We gain and hold PP possession and deploy with another D who has a good shot, and Schultz becomes much more dangerous.

  110. Numenius says:

    RMGS:
    Reid Wilkins ‏@ReidWilkins3m3 minutes ago

    PP unit today of McDavid, Sekera, Yakupov, Pouliot, Letestu.
    Other is Hall, RNH, Lander, Purcell, Schultz.

    That looks much better.

    Lander should be able to help that 1st PP get going, and it’ll also have the nice effect of getting Lander going at evens.

  111. Bag of Pucks says:

    MagicBeans:
    I have no doubt that if we trade Schultz, or Hall, or Eberle, or Lander, or Drai etc etc they will do amazing things on other teams and will no doubt be oiler killers for years to come, but at least we’ll be getting a player back that will give the team what we are lacking. Tome it is OK to make a trade and get a lesser return if the return is what your team is lacking.

    While I agree with the overall spirit of your post, I don’t agree that Chiarelli should have to settle for anything less than full value in return.

    If your assets are properly valued in the market, you should be able to expect comparable return. And if you’re Slats, you’re actually looking to win the trade!

    Yakupov I don’t think has a ton of market value at the moment relative to his draft pedigree. He really has become a ‘project’ and if it was me, I’d give him a half season with McDavid to see if he can post crooked numbers. If he can’t score alongside that skill, you’re likely better off selling him now before he’s well and truly labelled a bust. It’s selling low but not bargain basement low.

    Around the league, I would imagine Hall is appraised as a stud albeit one with some defensive deficiencies and possibly some rumoured attitude issues. I’m not saying he has an attitude. I’m saying some around the league might think this. There’s also the injury history to consider. It impacts his value.

    Nuge? He’s not trending towards 1C elite offensive production. He projects to be a very capable two way C but like Hall, he too has some defensive dings and his contract is not the amazing value originally anticipated if his counting numbers don’t improve significantly.

    Thus, Chiarelli’s conundrum. The player he most wants to deal (Yak) has the least market value and the other two with more reasonable value both come with question marks as well.

    With Leon waiting in the wings, I deal Nuge for a legitimate vet #1 D before he’s revealed to be more Jordan Staal than Evgeny Malkin.

    But there’s definitely risk across the board when it comes to this major trade. In Chia we trust!

  112. Adam Wu says:

    At 0-2 the mood was generally optimistic.

    What has changed since then?

    They had one poor game in Dallas, but were still in it until the end, and then they played St. Louis and played even better than they did the first time, but still lost.

    It is not so much the panic but the utterly unjustifiable nature of it.

    What, again, has changed?

    Was not the running consensus, even before the first game, that 0-4 was the MOST likely record after 4 games for this team, given the schedule.

    Now, if they come out against the Flames and crap the bed…. will the city of Edmonton still be standing in the morning?

  113. jm363561 says:

    vinotintazo: Too risky, too much inexperience on the back end IMO. I would wait more games, 10 or so to see how Nurse progresses.

    J
    I mean Fayne has to be better. he was top 4(albeit with greene) in NJ.

    Sekera (on a small sample),like Fayne, is not playing as well as at his previous club (and possibly Gryba, Ference and Nikitin for that matter). Nick Shultz, Tom Gilbert and Jeff Petry all seem to be playing better than when they left the Oilers. Is it the water, or could it just be the weak defending of the forwards that makes Edmonton a graveyard for D?

    On the Nurse call up, whatever is best for his long term development, not a short term fix.

    On the need for a #1 D, how many have ever been traded since Pronger? In fact, it makes you wonder if such a trade is worth it if the five players on the ice cannot defend as a unit.

  114. Adam Wu says:

    Numenius: That looks much better.

    Lander should be able to help that 1st PP get going, and it’ll also have the nice effect of getting Lander going at evens.

    It is notable how rapidly McLellan adapts. Whether it is switching McDavid off Hall to Yakupov, or this, or PBing Ference.

    It does seem that he is wont to give his players at least a real NHL game to prove themselves before lowering any booms, even if that means risking the outcome of the game. But this builds trust with the players – they know he’ll give them a fair shake, and it will be real game performance that determines what happens to them.

  115. Ca$h-McMoney! says:

    Bag of Pucks:
    With Leon waiting in the wings, I deal Nuge for a legitimate vet #1 D before he’s revealed to be more Jordan Staal than Evgeny Malkin.

    But there’s definitely risk across the board when it comes to this major trade. In Chia we trust!

    Ugh.

    Saying “Leon is waiting in the wings” is soooooooo Oilers Fan.

    I like Leon, I do. But he has proven nothing at the NHL level. NOTHING.

    Heck, he’s proven nothing at the AHL level.

    If we move out Nuge we don’t have a 1C. McDavid will get there by next year, but then we won’t have a #2.

    Nuge isn’t going anywhere.

  116. Adam Wu says:

    jm363561: Sekera (on a small sample),like Fayne, is not playing as well as at his previous club (and possibly Gryba, Ference and Nikitin for that matter). Nick Shultz, Tom Gilbert and Jeff Petry all seem to be playing better than when they left the Oilers. Is it the water, or could it just be the weak defending of the forwards that makes Edmonton a graveyard for D?

    On the Nurse call up, whatever is best for his long term development, not a short term fix.

    On the need for a #1 D, how many have ever been traded since Prongo?

    With all the acquired D seeming to play less well upon arrival here, what guarantee do you have that that sparkly expensive #1D you manage to get will still be able to play at #1D level once he gets here?

    There are no easy miraculous fixes to this situation, folks.

  117. vinotintazo says:

    jm363561: Sekera (on a small sample) is not playing as well as at his previous club

    Yeah, I think he will be ok, I mean he was good in Buffalo, Canes, LA.

  118. godot10 says:

    Nugent-Hopkins is the most critical player for the proper development of McDavid.

    If the losing continues, there are only two core forwards, when the blow-it-up begins. Those two centres.

  119. Spoils says:

    love the show Lowetide, but I really want the rhetoric to change about trades. There is NOTHING wrong with a trade. There’s this fear that our players are undervalued now, so we can’t trade them etc. That’s hogwash. GMs are professionals who can assess real asset values and PC doesn’t have to take a bad offer. Shop some players, move them if the right deal come.

    It is preposterous to assume that 4 first overalls constitute a good mix of assets at their true value.

    Toews = McDavid
    Kane = Hall
    Keith = ???

    Everybody knows we need a #1D. And we need better supporting D. Until we get that this team is toast and headed for Matthews.

    brutes.

  120. G Money says:

    Adam Wu: Now, if they come out against the Flames and crap the bed…. will the city of Edmonton still be standing in the morning?

    Nope. If they crap the bed, I’m heading up to Edmonton and burning the motherfucker down myself.

  121. G Money says:

    Thanks for the shoutout, LT!

  122. spoiler says:

    RMGS: Do you have Schultz ahead of Sekera and Klefbom?

    On the right side, yes. Offensively, yes. Thus far this year, yes. Both Sekera and KBomb look like they’re fighting the puck a bit.

    Schultz was putrid in Dallas. But other than that he’s played better than last year.

    Klef is going to be a heckuva defenseman, but I recall a game against San Jose last year where he was playing the right side and got exposed by Thornton. It’s so tough to do against elite opposition who knows how to use the way you hold your stick against you.

    What I’m actually surprised at is that Sekera and Schultz have seen little if any ice time together. But that’s probably a function of the fact that neither is especially big and strong.

  123. ashley says:

    I’m still not worried about this team. I think they are a lot better than last year. The results will come very soon.

    There are two much more significant things to worry about as the impact our roster flexibility into the future:

    1) McClellan doesn’t trust Fayne. We are paying him a lot of money to play very few minutes. He’s a Nurse callup away from the pressbox. His contract runs for what…3 more years? Another brutal Dman signing for the Oilers. No wonder the league is always laughing at us on July 1.

    2) Sekara has not shown well yet. It’s a small sample and early days, but I’m starting to bite my nails. Not because I want to win the Stanley Cup this year or that I think we’re an LA Sekara away from playoffs, but because we’re paying him 5.5 million for 6 years. Six! That’s a lot of money that can keep good players on the Oilers roster when it’s their turn to get paid tied up in a player that is playing like a third pairing Dman.

    It was posted that Sekara >>> Petry on the first game thread. I’m not sure about that. I would trade Sekara for Petry right now. Any chance Montreal is interested?

    I’m really hoping he has another gear for us because, well, 6 years is a long, long time.

  124. BONVIE says:

    GriffCity:
    Great illustration by Willis on how Jultz is consistently lackadaisical and caught out of position. For a d-man positioning is critical and Jultz just doesn’t get it. Happy about the 1 year deal right about now .

    Fayne is terrible, he’s slow and can’t make a ten foot pass to save his life.

    Reinhart is brutal, not an NHL d-man regardless of how u slice it. Maybe Chia just wanted to toss a bone to Bob Green who was no doubt plugging for Reinharts services. Those draft picks, especially Barzal, is going to bite us in the ass.

    Sekera is playing like a solid bottom pairing d-man. Not a top guy and PP QB.

    Kelfbom has been decent but gets caught watching the puck too often and needs to identify his man sooner and be meaner.

    Gryba started the year pretty well but has not looked good at all the past couple games.

    I agree with Amadeus^^ – Bring Hunt up and limit his minutes and use him on the PP over Sekera and even Jultz while we’re at it. Let any number of Gryba, Reinhart, Ference, Fayne sit and watch.

    Terrible defense plus a terrible PP equals an 0-4 record with no real light at the end of the tunnel right now.

    Not even one point you made in that entire post made a bit of sense or reflects reality.

    First the illustration of Willis to me shows a blue liner holding the line on the puck side, and Klefbom has moved over to the centre of the ice and is in great position to be able to take the puck carrier on either side. Any coach at any level wants the blue to hold the line in a high percentage of plays, probably in the range of 60% to 80% of the time a Dman that consistently leaves the zone when the puck is approaching the blue on his side is probably going to get an earful. Correct me if I am wrong cause I don’t have access to the live clip, but looking at Willis’s stills I’m thinking Shultz steps up and makes a challenge in order to step up you skate forward, when the play is coming towards you if you lose the challenge you will be out of position, that’s why he has teammates the whole team knows that the D will likely step up on the puck side so the closest forward will recognize this immediately, the Other Dman should be right where Klefbom was and ready to exit the D zone, and can angle to the left board or right. In the second frame I see nothing wrong with what’s going on except Korpikoski should be between the puck carrier and the passer preferably, and other than that Kbom has great position on the puck carrier.

    You call Rheinhart terrible and not an NHL Defenseman, and I see him as very consistent and as possibly there best dman to this point. I see him as a regular from this point on, and I believe he will play in the top 4. I myself couldn’t give a crap about a prospect that we gave up to get him, 80% chance Barzal does nothing in the NHL. At this point in Rheinhart’s career he has established himself as a sure NHL caliber Defenseman who will play in the league, it’s a matter of wether he is a top pair or top four dman this is his upside and I believe he will make it.

    When you said Hunt should be called up to run the power play you just qualified yourself, to any intelligent poster.

  125. G Money says:

    jm363561: Sekera (on a small sample),like Fayne, is not playing as well as at his previous club

    Two of Sekera’s strengths (historically) have been his mobility and decision making. Neither of them have been good in the four games we’ve seen him.

    On the mobility front, I think he may still be battling the effects of rehab from the knee injury. He hurt it in late March, which is a real sucky time to be injured because much of your summer of training is compromised. Plus he hasn’t played any hockey in six months.

    I’m hoping he’ll get his groove back soon (and it can’t be soon enough).

    Gally,

    Indeed, while my analysis in general was never indeed to be overly rigorous (someday I may end up writing some of my stuff up as a formal paper, but today is not that day), the comparison list being a subjective list is certainly up for discussion.

    That said, I don’t think its helpful to ad hominem attack the source of the list. It could have been written by LT’s puppy for all I care – the point is, it still looks like a reasonable list of “elite D”. You can substitute any list you want, but I suspect the source won’t matter much. Most lists aren’t going to look radically different.

    And given the complete lack of correlation between this “reasonable” list and the various stats I pulled, I think the conclusion that the stats don’t correlate well with subjective impressions of the quality of defensemen is a valid conclusion.

    You might argue that one should never use a subjective impression for assessing a statistic, but I think that’s false. We use them all the time. In fact, in general I reject the validity of any statistic that gives consistently non-intuitive results. (This is my issue with many Rickistats)

    If you’re using a measure that is supposed to assess the quality of a team, and it consistently tells you CHI is bad and EDM is good – I’m not going to trust that stat.

    But if it gives solid (intuitive) results for 60% or 80% of the teams, then I’ll trust the statistic has some meaning and relevance. And when it does produce a counterintuitive result, then that will signal further investigation “Is that good team actually not as good as we think, or is that bad team maybe better than we think?” That’s what a good stat should do.

    And what I’m trying to highlight is that none of the stats (other than TOI) that I looked at met that initial test. Which means that when a particular stat tells you a D is good or bad – don’t trust it, because it hasn’t established its street cred.

  126. LoDog says:

    So much hate for Schutlz it has blinded people. He looks much improved over last year.

    One of the top coaches in the NHL is playing him #1 minutes but hey what does he know.

    Why doesn’t Willis show what what happened in between those two screen caps?

  127. Bag of Pucks says:

    Adam Wu:
    At 0-2 the mood was generally optimistic.

    What has changed since then?

    Taylor said last night that the time for moral victories is over. I agree with him.

    It’s not enough anymore for this team to show progress without results. There has to be some results sprinkled in along the way as well. Continual losing after drafting McDavid will crush the spirits of this group. They have to see signs of progress asap imo.

    For me, what’s changed the tenor is the realization that the first core is simply not elite. Rebuild #1 is officially a failure. That core is in or approaching their prime now and are nowhere close to being outscorers against the other team’s best. We drafted with the expectation of ‘great’ and we got ‘good’ instead. And the team is still badly imbalanced despite the lottery windfalls.

    Everyone advocating against trading core players starts with the argument that A) they’re the best we have & B) they can’t be replaced.

    The reality is ‘the best we have’ can’t win a game, so why are they irreplaceable somehow?

    I’m sure many Winnipeg Jets fans viewed Evander Kane as irreplaceable but they changed up their mix/roster with that trade and it’s done wonders for the team.

    This isn’t Mess, Kurri, Coffey etc. constantly flashing signs of potential but losing every second game because of the mistakes of youth. We see ‘intermittent’ flashes of potential and in some cases, Yakupov, it’s potential that never translates into actual production. In other words, we see ‘signs’ that Nail may eventually become a player some day and that wishful thinking skews our perspective.

    In fact, this is not even the Thrashers drafting Heatly and Kovalchuk and failing to build around them cos that duo did in fact become elite and showed signs of it from the beginning.

    This is the San Jose Sharks but on a far more inept scale. A team that always looks better on paper than they do on the ice.

    Or possibly it’s the Oakland Raiders. An org trading on fading glory, continually getting high draft picks and then blowing them on the likes of Robert Gallery, Darren McFadden, JaMarcus Russell and Darius Heyward Bey. Always a fashionable offseason pick as the team sure to show the most improvement, and then, nothing.

  128. G Money says:

    Schultz looked OK (much improved) to me in the first two games, absolutely sh*t the bed like the rest of the team in Dallas, and looked OK at times last night (“hit HARD by Schultz”) and looked like Jultz other times.

    I have no conclusion at this time as to whether Schultz is sustainably better this year than his last few years, but I’m willing to wait a few games for the entire team to start looking like it knows what it’s doing before I pull the chute on him.

  129. spoiler says:

    Last night on the Habs broadcast, the talking heads used some passing stats in their analysis, and they even mentioned the source and now I am cursing myself for not writing that name down.

    I’ve googled it, but have found nothing that triggers my memory.

    However I did find this:

    https://public.tableau.com/profile/spencer.mann#!/vizhome/PassingDataDefense/Glossary

    You can pull Justin Schultz’s stats sample from that site. I tried to link directly to him but appears everything is embedded in Flash.

  130. BONVIE says:

    Ca$h-McMoney!: Ugh.

    Saying “Leon is waiting in the wings” is soooooooo Oilers Fan.

    I like Leon, I do.But he has proven nothing at the NHL level.NOTHING.

    Heck, he’s proven nothing at the AHL level.

    If we move out Nuge we don’t have a 1C.McDavid will get there by next year, but then we won’t have a #2.

    Nuge isn’t going anywhere.

    Your right on this point. Trading Nuge would be the most bizarre move right now. Moving Gordon hurt us a lot, moving Nuge without replacing him would get us a lottery pick for the next two years.

  131. G Money says:

    spoiler,

    Search for Ryan Stimson. He’s the ‘crowdsourced’ source.

    The other is SportLogiq, who I think are working with the Canadiens among a few others. That data is probably big $ purchase only though.

  132. MagicBeans says:

    Bag of Pucks,

    In a perfect world I’d agree with you that Chiarelli shouldn’t have to settle for less than equal value, but this isn’t a perfect world and the Oilers have been a bad hockey for far to long to sit back and let things play out. They need to make a move asap to shake things up and if they can’t get fair value, so be it as long as it serves the Oiler’s needs.

    I’d also argue that an “A” level player can be equal to a “B” level player if a “B” is what you need. As another poster put it a day or two ago, the Oilers are like a starving man with a bowl of soup and lots of forks but no spoons. Eventually you need to trade one of your forks for a spoon or your going to starve. Even if that spoon isn’t as nice as your fork. An assets value goes up when its what you need.

  133. spoiler says:

    G Money:
    spoiler,

    Search for Ryan Stimson.He’s the ‘crowdsourced’ source.

    The other is SportLogiq, who I think are working with the Canadiens among a few others.That data is probably big $ purchase only though.

    Thank you! SportLogiq was the source they quoted. I figured it would be a pay service.

  134. Bag of Pucks says:

    MagicBeans:
    Bag of Pucks,

    In a perfect world I’d agree with you that Chiarelli shouldn’t have to settle for less than equal value, but this isn’t a perfect world and the Oilers have been a bad hockey for far to long to sit back and let things play out. They need to make a move asap to shake things up and if they can’t get fair value, so be it as long as it serves the Oiler’s needs.

    I’d also argue that an “A” level player can be equal to a “B” level player if a “B” is what you need. As another poster put it a day or two ago, the Oilers are like a starving man with a bowl of soup and lots of forks but no spoons. Eventually you need to trade one of your forks for a spoon or your going to starve. Even if that spoon isn’t as nice as your fork. An assets value goes up when its what you need.

    I see your point. Where I think Chia can gain fair value is trading on the idea (that many orgs likely hold) that players like Hall and RNH are still world class prospects/talents and the Oilers have just screwed up their development. In other words, blame it on Lowe and MacT, and bank on the fact that your trading partner thinks they can do a better job realizing that potential.

    It’s debatable whether that’s true or not, but if you’re dealing a 1st OV, history has shown it’s better to do it sooner when the other team still thinks it’s getting a Sundin as opposed to them thinking they’re actually getting a Stefan.

  135. krash101 says:

    We’ve had 3 coaches for this team who managed to have a functional power play, I am curious to why some coaches just can’t get it working on this team.

    Eakins attempted to implement SJS-style of systems, is this more of the same? Just looking for input.

  136. BONVIE says:

    Bag of Pucks: I see your point. Where I think Chia can gain fair value is trading on the idea (that many orgs likely hold) that players like Hall and RNH are still world class prospects/talents and the Oilers have just screwed up their development. In other words, blame it on Lowe and MacT, and bank on the fact that your trading partner thinks they can do a better job realizing that potential.

    It’s debatable whether that’s true or not, but if you’re dealing a 1st OV, history has shown it’s better to do it sooner when the other team still thinks it’s getting a Sundin as opposed to them thinking they’re actually getting a Stefan.

    So true!!

    With this being said Kane was traded at the end of last season for a top Notch game changing Defenseman in Tyler Myers, I would hope the Oilers at least had conversations with Buffalo on a possible trade.

    It’s obvious that these top notch Dmen are rarely available in a trade but when they are we need our GM to really go after it.

    Right now i see Winnipeg as the most likely team to give up a Defenseman that will help us. Dustin Buff, Myers, Trouba, Ennstrom. I would like to think we have extra offence to trade them although in reality Yakapov is probably the only really expendable player with value, and I think the value is probably very low, which leaves us this year’s first round pick as the best centrepiece, especially with an 0-4 start. No lottery protection on the pick I wonder if we couldn’t find a willing suitor, to bet on the Oilers being terrible by the end of season judging by the last 6 years it seems like a bet that there would be a lot of GM’s to take that bet.

  137. MagicBeans says:

    Bag of Pucks,

    Completely agree. At this point I’d trade anyone except for McDavid or Talbot. I think the best bet would be to dangle Hall and see if anyone bites. Not because of his possible attitude issues or because of a rough couple of games or anything like that, but just because I think he’ll get you the best return and he’s a winger. Apart from McDavid, I think the rest of the league still perceives Hall to be our best asset. I’d trade Hopkins or Yak as well if someone was interested though and the return was what we needed.

  138. threeputtdouble says:

    Relax folks. Still a young team here, it’s not going to be a good season. We may see some development later on in the year but we knew it was going to be a tough start.

    It would be nice to see a signing, somewhere, sometime, outperform expectations. When was the last one?

    Watch the Jays. Tune back into hockey in a couple of weeks.

  139. stevezie says:

    Unrelated note: i remain indebted to LT for inspiring me to buy Quadrophenia on vinyl. This is a lot better than good. Rom was also right about Astral Weeks, it’s a great closer.

    And while i don’t want to “Lander” Slepy, wouldn’t calling Drai up now just “Lander” him?

  140. vishcosity says:

    Bag of Pucks: Or possibly it’s the Oakland Raiders.

    Could you imagine if history proves DSF was right the whole time?

    Maybe its best he’s not around much anymore.

  141. hunter1909 says:

    Relax. Katz’s making money. This is what it’s all really about, right?

  142. hunter1909 says:

    vishcosity: Could you imagine if history proves DSF was right the whole time?

    + Verdad 2.0

  143. stevezie says:

    godot10: Both Eakins and McLellan/Woodcroft don’t believe in a net front presence or winning the faceoff, unlike Krueger and Nelson who did.

    Well Verdad, I hope you enjoyed your time with the self-parody belt, cuz the king is coming for his crown!

  144. threeputtdouble says:

    stevezie,

    The ‘Phenia on vinyl — nice!’

    Best pick scrape in the history of rock at the end of the instrumental. Among other moments.

  145. Gordies Elbow says:

    Edmonton has now played four games, 2 against the best team in the central (4th in the NHL last season,) 1 against the 2nd best team in the central (6th in the NHL last season, with arguably the best defense and goaltending group in the entire NHL) and 1 against the 2nd best offensive team in the NHL (261 goals for, last season.)

    Over those games, Edmonton has allowed 11 goals. Prorated over the year, and you’d be looking at 225 goals against, for around 18th overall in the NHL. Last year, Edmonton was dead last, with 283. Goaltending helps, who knew?

    The schedule maker likely did the Oilers a favor. Really good, hard teams early. They’re learning alot, and while they didn’t win last night, I saw a number of really good things. Pouliot gets mugged in front? McDavid grabs a defender. A hard hit by Schultz. Hard forechecking by Korpikowski.

    Way, way to early to panic.

  146. Gordies Elbow says:

    MagicBeans:
    Bag of Pucks,

    In a perfect world I’d agree with you that Chiarelli shouldn’t have to settle for less than equal value, but this isn’t a perfect world and the Oilers have been a bad hockey for far to long to sit back and let things play out. They need to make a move asap to shake things up and if they can’t get fair value, so be it as long as it serves the Oiler’s needs.

    I’d also argue that an “A” level player can be equal to a “B” level player if a “B” is what you need. As another poster put it a day or two ago, the Oilers are like a starving man with a bowl of soup and lots of forks but no spoons. Eventually you need to trade one of your forks for a spoon or your going to starve. Even if that spoon isn’t as nice as your fork. An assets value goes up when its what you need.

    Chia traded the 16th and 33rd picks for Griffin Reinhart. Do you think that it was a case of trading a Barzal (fork) for a spoon?

    (PS: There is no spoon)

  147. G Money says:

    Gordies Elbow: The schedule maker likely did the Oilers a favor. Really good, hard teams early. They’re learning alot, and while they didn’t win last night, I saw a number of really good things.

    Ha, I completely agree with your other points, but I ranted last night that the schedule maker was probably a Leafs fan who made the schedule right after the McDavid lottery!

    No question these four games are a heavy duty learning lab, and they will be under no illusions as to how hard they have to work or how consistent they have to be to win in the NHL as a result. And not one of even othe most optimistic predictors should have expected the Oilers to be in STL’s class this season. We’re not close, and it showed. But the showing on the ice was credible more often than not, and that’s something.

    But the equally relevant concern for this team, and why I accuse the schedule maker of bitterness, is that starting the season this way could be a devastatingly hard mental barrier to overcome for the second youngest team in the NHL. They learn lots – but they also learn to lose. It’s a concern, I have to say.

  148. McSorley33 says:

    I thought the Dallas Stars had a Brutal, brutal D core last year…..that was all the talk.

    2014-/15 Stars D:

    John Klingberg 22 –
    Trevor Daley – 30
    Alex Golioski – 29
    Jason Demers -26
    Jordie Benn -27

    Why can the Dallas Stars forwards drive offence with that D core?

    Dallas was 2nd in GF in the entire league last ear…..why?

    Oduya is 33 this year.

    There are teams out there that get by with marginal D cores….why are we always at the bottom of GF?

  149. G Money says:

    McSorley33,

    Wouldn’t say it was brutal, I’d say it was mediocre. Any of the Dallas D would slot in Top 6 on the EDM D, and most of them would be Top 4. Benn would be top pairing.

    They aren’t championship calibre with that D corps, but better than the Oil at both ends of the ice.

    IMO, goaltending last year was a bigger problem for the Stars than the D was.

  150. Truth says:

    How about sending Slepyshev down and signing Glencross to play 5-10 minutes per night? He plays with an edge and has put up pts in the past. Draisaitl and Slepyshev can play 20 mins per night in the AHL for a while.

    Also, I can’t see the Oilers going anywhere without their young D-men maturing at a miraculous rate or them going out and acquiring some actual defencemen. It’s becoming obvious why LA used Sekera in a limited role down the stretch last season. He can’t handle the big players in the Western Conference. Totally unwilling to engage physically. He knows it, the opponents know it, he’s a non-factor in turning over the puck from the opponents possession.

  151. G Money says:

    Truth: It’s becoming obvious why LA used Sekera in a limited role down the stretch last season.

    “Limited role”?

    You mean how he played 20+ minutes in six of his last seven games, including a 26+ min game?

    The only game being under 20 minutes in that stretch being the last one, where he injured his knee?

  152. Lowetide says:

    G Money: “Limited role”?

    You mean how he played 20+ minutes in six of his last seven games, including a 26+ min game?

    The only game being under 20 minutes in that stretch being the last one, where he injured his knee?

    Issue framing!!!!

  153. LMHF#1 says:

    “But, for now, cut him some slack.” – Matty on Andrew Ference.

    No. No I will not. Nor will I cut the slack of those who decided to keep him this offseason.

    Why do these media types fight so hard for players that are done and/or nothing but try-hards?

  154. JDï™ says:

    Truth,

    GlenX flunked out of two PTOs this preseason. I think that’s telling.

  155. TheOtherJohn says:

    Calgary is going to get physically pounded in Winnipeg tonight (regardless of the score) and if we cannot beat the Flames in Calgary Saturday night with a days rest, we could legitimately start this season 0-6.

    Canucks play tonight with a day off before playing us in Vancouver Sunday night.

    Not enough NHL players, too many 5/6/PB D men and no fully developed prospects on the farm. Do not think bringing up Nurse or Draisatl makes any sense right now.

    Not sure how management was going to get rid of Ference without his agreeing to whatever the deal was. I.e. he had a veto

  156. JDï™ says:

    Keks is angry with his team:

    Four consecutive losses out of the gate have plummeted Columbus to dead last in the NHL with a league-worst minus-11 goal differential and 20 goals against…

    http://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/nhl/columbus-blue-jackets-jarmo-kekalainen-off-the-rails-confidence-0-4-start-coach-todd-richards-johansen-foligno-hartnell-bobrovsky/

  157. Snowman says:

    Guys I’ve got a good feeling about this. I think we crush the Flames.

    We’re due for a few goals from people. The powerplay cannot stay this bad. It’s just math. Eventually they score. The Oil are fresh off battling the Blues and by comparison the phlegms should look like a bunch of sissy girls (which they are). If they bring the same effort and the same game against the Flames I think we’re good. Ditto Canucks.

  158. McSorley33 says:

    G Money,

    Wouldn’t say it was brutal, I’d say it was mediocre. Any of the Dallas D would slot in Top 6 on the EDM D, and most of them would be Top 4. Benn would be top pairing.
    They aren’t championship calibre with that D corps, but better than the Oil at both ends of the ice.
    IMO, goaltending last year was a bigger problem for the Stars than the D was.
    *******************************************************************************
    Lets agree on Goaltending..

    Trying to figure out how they can generate that much Offence with a very, very average at best D.

    Mabye that D core is better thank I think…or maybe they are a bit of an anomaly.

    I guess I fear that some forwards – to a certain extent – can overcome marginal D play.

    Or a more likely scenario our D core is really just that Bad…

  159. McSorley33 says:

    Snowman,

    Guys I’ve got a good feeling about this. I think we crush the Flames.
    ***********************************************************************
    Since the Flames are playing an extremely well rested Winnipeg Jets team tonight….I would have to assume we should eat Calgary’s lunch on a back to back.

  160. JDï™ says:

    Snowman: Guys I’ve got a good feeling about this. I think we crush the Flames.

    You going big with a proline bet then?

  161. TheOtherJohn says:

    JDï™,

    Yeah I wouldn’t be wagering big $$ on the Oil just yet

  162. G Money says:

    McSorley33,

    You remember when Ryan Whitney was here during Ralph Krueger’s lockout season?

    During that season, Whitney only had one working ankle. He was less mobile than Gryba and Ference teaming up to run a three-legged race.

    But Ralphie kept rolling Whitney out there, almost 20 godawaful defensive minutes a night.

    But there was a method to his madness. Because there is one thing, one sad beautiful thing, that Ryan Whitney could do that no other defenseman has come within 100km of doing since he left. And that is the headman pass.

    When Whitney did get the puck in the d zone, he could spot the forwards streaking out of the zone and hit them with a tape to tape pass. Fucking beautiful.

    And that’s why he played almost 20 minutes a night on one leg.

    This, more than anything else, is what the Oilers are lacking today. Schultz should be that guy, but he isn’t. Sekera could be that guy, but he hasn’t been so far. Klefbom probably won’t be that guy – he’s got a ton of tools, but the headman pass is not one of them.

    Reinhart will never be that guy.

    Ference and Gryba, still running, are the guys that coaches use to show young defenseman how NOT to headman pass.

    The Dallas D are mediocre, but they do appear to be OK at moving the puck up the ice, especially Jordie Benn. That makes all the difference in the world.

  163. vishcosity says:

    hunter1909: vishcosity: Could you imagine if history proves DSF was right the whole time?

    + Verdad 2.0

    The horror!

  164. Nostradumbass says:

    LMHF#1:
    “But, for now, cut him some slack.” – Matty on Andrew Ference.

    No. No I will not. Nor will I cut the slack of those who decided to keep him this offseason.

    Why do these media types fight so hard for players that are done and/or nothing but try-hards?

    He’s played one game…not relevant really to the 0-4 start

  165. Snowman says:

    JDï™: You going big with a proline bet then?

    Absolutely not. I’ve had many “good feelings about this” over the years. I’d say I’m 50/50.

  166. Stelio Kontos (Formerly Zangetsu-Formerly Thinker) says:

    What part of you hasn’t wanted to trade all of our players for OEL just to prove Verdad wrong?

  167. RexLibris says:

    JDï™: And five teams still unbeaten, while Crosby sits with zero points. Hanzal on the other hand…

    Seems to be a very strange start to the season.

    Last year around Christmas I believe (too lazy to check) the Blackhawks were 17th overall and struggling. Their sh% was low and the team seemed stuck in neutral.

    I think they turned it around.

    Of course, they have far, far less to prove than this motley crew, but the point remains, there are 82 games and while you can do harm to your season by struggling early, it is by no means a death knell for the entire year.

  168. RexLibris says:

    Reid Wilkins Verified account
    ‏@ReidWilkins PP unit today of McDavid, Sekera, Yakupov, Pouliot, Letestu. Other is Hall, RNH, Lander, Purcell, Schultz.

    You know what they say, if it ain’t fix don’t broke it!

  169. RexLibris says:

    Hockey Canada ‏@HockeyCanada 4h4 hours ago

    Congratulations to Todd McLellan, named head coach of Team North America at World Cup of Hockey. #WCH2016

    But, I thought this team was a horror show filled with irredeemable reprobates coached by an inflated ignoramus?!

    Or is it two out of three?

    🙂

  170. Ducey says:

    RexLibris: Last year around Christmas I believe (too lazy to check) the Blackhawks were 17th overall and struggling. Their sh% was low and the team seemed stuck in neutral.

    I think they turned it around.

    Of course, they have far, far less to prove than this motley crew, but the point remains, there are 82 games and while you can do harm to your season by struggling early, it is by no means a death knell for the entire year.

    Come on man! Get real! They are 6 points out of playoff spot right now with only 78 games to go. There is no way they could ever make it up! All is lost!

  171. bendelson says:

    Snowman: Absolutely not. I’ve had many “good feelings about this” over the years. I’d say I’m 50/50.

    I am far more confident in Saturday night’s game than you. I wouldn’t hesitate to bet WG’s house on a victory. Just for fun, put Ference back in! I’ll still make that bet.

    Note: I rarely win bets.

    WG: You live in that fancy-pants concrete and glass ‘house’ that overlooks Buena Vista Park, right?

  172. Rebilled says:

    Are the Oilers the worst passing team in the NHL?

    The whole team, not just the defence.

    It sure looked like it last night.

    The Blues on the other hand: Very good at passing.

  173. AsiaOil says:

    No need to panic and no one should be surprised. I was hoping for 1-2 not the road and maybe a win at the home opener. That would essentially be like going undefeated given the team and schedule. The only game I have an issue with was Dallas.

    As for the dmen – well it’s MacT’s gift that keeps on giving. Our RHD are a tire fire as others have said. Too bad we can’t run Shultz and Fayne on the 3rd pair as that is where they belong – but man – that’s $7 million of 3rd pair dmen to go along with $8 million of PB/AHL dmen. Best we can do is GR & Shultz on the 3rd pair and protect them – then Klef & Sekera on the top pair. The 2nd pair is the tire fire and I don’t know what you can do about it at this point – Nikitin/Fayne? Yuk…. Gryba and Davison are #7s

    Klef / Sekera
    xxx / xxx
    Reinhart / Shultz

    GR needs to be able to make the jump to the 2nd pair next season with a solid RH vet we trade for or sign as UFA – then Nurse can break in on the 3rd pair with another vet – but that’s next season – today is a problem.

    Our top 6 winger are photocopies who are weak on the puck for the most part – and our centers are talented but weak as well. Strong teams just overwhelm these guys. We need a trade for a PF or a RH dman. The dman is more important but the mix in the top 6 is terrible and has to be addressed as well. I like RNH – but if Drai becomes a legit NHL center – then I’m trading him for a bigger stronger player. Just not now.

    The old core of Hall, RNH, Ebs and Shultz is weak and unbalanced – and at least 2 of these guys (or maybe even 3) will be gone by the end of the year. Yak is young enough to be part of the new young core but we will see. What is certain is that a couple of trades need to be made – and if these are the right ones – then we could be on the road to success quite quickly. A bad deal would be a very difficult setback because there is no room for error given the mess the previous regime left.

  174. TheGreatMcMutato says:

    Just beat Calgary.

    Just beat Calgary.

    Pleeeeeeeeeae, just beat Calgary.

    I don’t care about anything else right now. Just beat Calgary.

    I’m not going withing sniffing distance of panic until some point at which the Oilers dominate the Falmes for 60 minutes only to see the corgis chased down, boxed up, and sent to Yulin for that damned Dog Meat Festival.

    Just beat Calgary. And beat them soundly.

  175. Truth says:

    G Money: “Limited role”?

    You mean how he played 20+ minutes in six of his last seven games, including a 26+ min game?

    Admittedly, I was going off memory and didn’t look up the exact numbers. Looks like he played ~17 mins/night for the 9 games prior to the stretch you mention.

    By eye he’s been horrendous this season. You could say that about a lot of Oilers right now, but it’s especially tough to stomach the long term FA signing be an early disappointment.

  176. Water Fire says:

    McLellan and Chiarelli aren’t getting fired anytime soon. McLellan is playing the long view. They aren’t making the playoffs because they couldn’t sort out the backend, I’m sure they knew this heading into the season.

    Still it’s different than Eakins because they know what to do and are getting it onto the ice already despite only having two rounded defensemen.

    It sucks but it is changing. There will be trades.

    Schultz. I feel for him in some ways, even though he has become a multi millionaire and has done Zippo ding ding. He doesn’t do what offensive D are supposed to be good at. It was a mistake to keep him and not sign Franson. AT least Franson can pass and shoot. Justins fatal flaw is neck up, its not going to change. I’d cut bait.

  177. RexLibris says:

    Bob McKenzie Retweeted
    ZSC Lions ‏@zsclions 2m2 minutes ago Zurich, Switzerland

    9th goal of @A_Matthews34 tonight. Most points of the team together with Robert Nilsson (11). #facts #zsclions #ZurichHockey

    Anyone know anything about this Nilsson kid? Could be a magical player.

  178. Water Fire says:

    AsiaOil:
    No need to panic and no one should be surprised. I was hoping for 1-2 not the road and maybe a win at the home opener. That would essentially be like going undefeated given the team and schedule. The only game I have an issue with was Dallas.

    As for the dmen – well it’s MacT’s gift that keeps on giving. Our RHD are a tire fire as others have said. Too bad we can’t run Shultz and Fayne on the 3rd pair as that is where they belong – but man – that’s $7 million of 3rd pair dmen to go along with $8 million of PB/AHL dmen. Best we can do is GR & Shultz on the 3rd pair and protect them – then Klef & Sekera on the top pair. The 2nd pair is the tire fire and I don’t know what you can do about it at this point – Nikitin/Fayne? Yuk…. Gryba and Davison are #7s

    Klef / Sekera
    xxx / xxx
    Reinhart / Shultz

    GR needs to be able to make the jump to the 2nd pair next season with a solid RH vet we trade for or sign as UFA – then Nurse can break in on the 3rd pair with another vet – but that’s next season – today is a problem.

    Our top 6 winger are photocopies who are weak on the puck for the most part – and our centers are talented but weak as well. Strong teams just overwhelm these guys. We need a trade for a PF or a RH dman. The dman is more important but the mix in the top 6 is terrible and has to be addressed as well. I like RNH – but if Drai becomes a legit NHL center – then I’m trading him for a bigger stronger player. Just not now.

    The old core of Hall, RNH, Ebs and Shultz is weak and unbalanced – and at least 2 of these guys (or maybe even 3) will be gone by the end of the year. Yak is young enough to be part of the new young core but we will see. What is certain is that a couple of trades need to be made – and if these are the right ones – then we could be on the road to success quite quickly. A bad deal would be a very difficult setback because there is no room for error given the mess the previous regime left.

    The top 6 play light. MacT say this and said that there wasn’t any diversity among them which was the problem. Still he didn’t change it.

    I don’t know if they will move anyone but I would think they are looking for a couple of physical wingers with skill that can play now as the in house options aren’t panning out so far.

    I am so curious to see what Chia does.

  179. PhrankLee says:

    G Money: Reinhart will never be that guy.

    Why on earth would you say that? GR is an excellent passer. I think you forget his age.

    Ryan Whitney was a good passer. That came with experience.

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