OILERS NO. 2 PROSPECT (winter 2015): LEON DRAISAITL

The day he was drafted, Oilers fans agreed it was great to finally have a ‘big, skilled 2C’ in the system for the first time since Jason Arnott. One year later? He’s moving down the depth chart, but he’s innocent—with an explanation.

PREVIOUSLY NO. 2 ON THE WINTER LIST

  • December 2005: C Marc-Antoine Pouliot
  • December 2006: C Rob Schremp
  • December 2007: C Andrew Cogliano
  • December 2008: R Jordan Eberle
  • December 2009: R Jordan Eberle
  • December 2010: R Jordan Eberle
  • December 2011: C Anton Lander
  • December 2012: D Justin Schultz
  • December 2013: D Oscar Klefbom
  • December 2014: D Darnell Nurse

The Oilers spent decades without drafting a quality defenseman. Their (drafted) franchise Top 5 in GP gives us a good indication of when the club was having success: Paul Coffey (1409 NHL games), Kevin Lowe (1254), Tom Poti (824), Steve Smith and Jeff Beukeboom (both 804 games). Wow. The best defenseman in GP drafted this century? Matt Greene, 589 NHL games and counting. The No. 2 slot on the Oilers list has delivered some very good players, including Jordan Eberle, Andrew Cogliano and the three defenders from 2012-14 should have successful careers. Will Leon be the best center on that list when all is said and done? I think he will.

draisaitl capture

WHAT THEY SAID ON DRAFT DAY

  • Red Line: Huge German centre is tenacious in puck pursuit with his relentless forecheck often creating chances for linemates. Dominates the game down low with outstanding puck protection. Constantly outthinks the opposition and knows where his outlets are at all times. Has learned to use his size to carve out space for himself and effectively separate opponents from the puck. Strong hockey sense in all three zones leads to good positioning. Traditional playmaking centre finds ‘mates with crisp, accurate passes. Intelligent, two-way, classically schooled centre. Outshone Reinhart in head-to-head action against Kootenay.
  • Corey Pronman: Draisaitl is a great passer who can beat defenders with skill, puck protection, determination or his shot. I’ve heard some scouts suggest him as a top-3 pick, but I’d like to see him get quicker before I put him in that range.
  • Craig Button: Leon is a big centre who is smart, can make plays and can impact the game in multiple ways. He’s the type of centre who is coveted by many NHL clubs because of his combination of size and skill.
  • Bruce McCurdy, Cult of Hockey: “The big centre (listed as 6’1, 209) was neither overly physically aggressive nor a speedster, but largely impressed this observer with his overall command of the game. The play went through his stick constantly, and for the most part, good or at least promising things developed thereafter. He showed a couple of bursts of what I would term “situational speed” but his A game is clearly one of controlling the play rather than pushing it. As I said to my voice recorder at one point, “When the puck is on Draisaitl’s stick, he owns it. Even if there’s a guy in his kitchen he’s in full control.”

PRE-DRAFT RANKINGS

  • BOB MCKENZIE, TSN: NO. 4
  • RED LINE REPORT: NO. 4
  • CRAIG BUTTON: NO. 4
  • ISS: NO. 6
  • MCKEENS: NO. 4
  • HOCKEYPROSPECT.COM: NO. 6
  • Leon was not ranked higher than No. 4 on any major list, but Edmonton selected him No. 3 overall.

drai capture

PREVIOUS RANKINGS

  • Summer 2014: No. 1
  • Winter 2014: No. 1
  • Summer 2015: No. 2
  • Winter 2015: No. 2

draisaitl orange capture1

2015-16

  • Peter Chiarelli: Chiarelli: “I really like the player. Big, strong, heavy on the puck. He makes plays from both sides of his stick, and protects the puck. I love that about him. His speed is good and getting to speed is an area he’ll find.” Source.
  • Peter Chiarelli:What we told him was – and I don’t know how much he heard, but we have to look at the big picture – ‘You had a good camp, you outplayed some people, no question there, play ramps up, things change, dynamics of the games change as games progress into the regular season. When we call you up, we want you to stay here for good. You have to work on the 200-foot game. Offensively you can play in the NHL right now, you have to work on the 200 foot game, the little stuff on the defensive side of the puck.’ Whether it’s at wing or centre – he’ll play predominantly centre down there – he now has another asset to his game because he can play both sides on the wing. We tried to send him down with a good message, he was upset but I think at the end of the day he’ll realize it was the right move.” Source

  • Todd McLellan: “I look at Leon Draisiatl, and in my opinion Nugent-Hopkins and Connor McDavid are going to be #1 and #2 centremen in our organization for a long, long time, they’re that talented and that good. Not that Leon isn’t… But career-wise, he might love to be on one of their wings and playing in the top six rather than maybe being that third-line centre. I think it’s really unfair to peg him there, but we have to look at it from that perspective. [The defensive] responsibilities as a winger are somewhat less, his boardwork is quite good, and one of the things that impressed me the most about Leon is his ability to play on his backhand. Joe Thornton has incredible eyes and makes incredible passes on his backhand. For a young man like Leon, he did the exact same thing at our summer development camp, which is something I wasn’t aware of.” Source
  • Todd McLellan: “There’s a big debate about why Leon isn’t up with us. When he’s one of the better players down there, trust me, he’ll be here.” Source

draisaitl orange

  • 5×5 points per 60: 2.87 No. 2 among forwards
  • 5×4 points per 60: 16.82 No. 2 among forwards
  • Qual Comp: No. 4 among C’s
  • Qual Team: No. 1 among C’s
  • Corsi Rel: 1.9 No. 4 among F’s
  • Corsi for % 5×5: 52.4
  • Zone Start: 65.6
  • Shots on goal/percentage: 13/23.1
  • Faceoff %: 35
  • Boxcars: 5GP, 3-4-7 (On pace for 72, 43-58-101—small sample size alert!)

Lots of unsustainable here, Leon’s shooting percentage is not going to stay at 23. Still, the goals he is scoring are from big opportunity spots, so the market correction may not be as severe as history suggests. He’s a sublime passer, I think Draisaitl ends up with a large number of assists if he plays on a skill line.

When everyone is back healthy, I do hope Leon and Lander get some time together. Suspect there may be something in that duo.

draisaitl2

DRAISAITL WOWY

leon 15-16 wowy

Leon’s hour with the rockets was very productive and we may see him playing up over the next few weeks. Leon’s obvious skills make him a strong option for C, but I’m loving that great big paddle on RH-side with those saucer passes coming early and often. Joe Pavelski, indeed.

THE FUTURE

Leon Draisaitl earned his way onto the roster, but Edmonton’s management had some cap issues and probably felt getting Griffin Reinhart at-bats was more important long term (both have massive cap bonuses). Leon strikes me as the kind of fellow who will work day and night to overcome obstacles and establish himself, and that’s exactly what he’s done so far in the NHL this season.

I think the Oilers are uncertain about how to use Leon, and there’s a chance—however slight—he’s the man moving on for help on defense. The temptation has to be high for Peter Chiarelli, but I’m hopeful the management stays the course. Skill feeds skill, and Leon’s golden passes could feed 100’s of Oilers goals rolling out over the next decade and beyond.

It’s quite unusual—especially in the modern era—to have three impact centers. Back in the olden days, Montreal had a secret weapon behind Jean Beliveau and Henri Richard (Ralph Backstrom) but the Pittsburgh Penguins of Crosby, Malkin and Staal is the most famous this century.

I don’t think this Oilers trio works, really. All three are substantial offensive players, and in order for this to work Edmonton would need six wingers who could either push the river or thrive in a complementary role. I think there’s a chance, despite his size and skill and the fact he’s a center, we see Leon play the wing for major portions of his early NHL career. This is not a checker, and three scoring lines belong in the unicorn division.

draisaitl draft board

THE 2014 DRAFT

  • Leon Draisaitl No. 3 overall and having a strong run in the NHL this season. He’s over 40 games now, he’ll graduate from this list by summer. Leon’s main calling card is skill, although his size and strength will give him some range and there’s every reason to expect he can develop as a two-way player. No. 2 prospect, Winter 2015.
  • William Lagesson No. 91 overall and starting well in his freshman NCAA season (9GP, 1-2-3). Most of his value will be defensive, but the college season will be our first real chance to run him through NHLE. A candidate for the Winter top 20.
  • Zach Nagelvoort No. 111 overall and he’s been going backwards since draft day. 4GP, 3.00, .878 so far at Michigan, he appears to be winning the No. 1 G job back but is miles from the .929SP of his draft year. A candidate for the Winter top 20.
  • Liam Coughlin No. 130 overall and is now part of the Chicago Blackhawks prospect umbrella. Peter Chiarelli dealt him to the ‘Hawks for goalie Anders Nilsson. No longer in organization.
  • Tyler Vesel No. 153 overall and struggling through 10 games in his sophomore NCAA season. His four assists in those games represent a step down from last season’s point total, but there’s plenty of time to recover. A candidate for the Winter top 20.
  • Keven Bouchard No. 183 overall and 11GP, 4.97 .847. They saw him for a period.

THE WIND CRIES LAZY

When I was young, my favorite hockey player was Frank Mahovlich. Despite being a wonderful player, ‘Big Frank’ was often criticized by fans (and Punch Imlach) for inconsistency. The phrase ‘don’t wake up Frank’ was a thing, partly because The Big M’s size and stride made him look slow and plodding. The truth is Mahovlich was  a very good skater and highly skilled, and because of Imlach’s ridiculous and juvenile treatment (often called him Mala-hovich) I think this player never got his due.

Big men often look slower, we see them skating but it doesn’t look like there’s a lot of effort. Long strides are effective ones, and Leon Draisaitl can absolutely keep up with the fast trains on the Edmonton Oilers. He does not have McDavid or Hall speed, but there’s about 650 NHL players who are just as guilty. Draisaitl’s straight away speed is very good, and his first-step quickness has improved to my eye.

I hope Leon doesn’t spend a Mahovlich lifetime having to endure criticism for something he is not (slow). He’s a good skater, better than we first saw him. In my experience as a hockey fan, young men who identify weakness and close it off are destined to become very successful. Leon Draisaitl appears to be that rare combination of hard, determined worker and genuinely gifted talent. In an era when diamonds fall from the sky each June and land in our city, it would be easy to overlook the big man from Cologne. I believe it unwise to do so.

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160 Responses to "OILERS NO. 2 PROSPECT (winter 2015): LEON DRAISAITL"

  1. Lowetide says:

    Today on the Lowdown, 10 this morning TSN1260. Scheduled to appear:
    • Jonathan Willis, Cult of Hockey. Oilers are 5-10-0, is the season over?
    • Guy Flaming, Pipeline Show. Frank Vatrano is a plum prospect who was never drafted. How do these good college kids get missed?
    • Corey Pronman, ESPN. The 2016 draft crop is hard to follow, partly because the top players are plying their trade in Switzerland and Finland. We’ll check in on their progress, and ask about this young Tkachuk fellow.
    • Brian King (PDO) NonStopSportsPicks. Eskimos begin the process of getting ready for the biggest game this decade, and we talk about the Stampeders and their injuries/issues.
    10-1260 text, @Lowetide twitter. Talk soon!

  2. Clay says:

    Love Draisaitl. To me, he’s the wildcard that can (will) take this team over the top up front.

    The Oilers with RNH and McD are elite down the middle for a long time.

    The Oilers with RNH, McD, and ze German down the middle are ridiculous, especially when he can move up and play wing at those times of the game when they need to press.

    This is Crosby, Malkin, Staal of the 2010’s, but this version of Staal is better.

    A bit off topic – next time you get frustrated over one of the young Oilers blowing a pass that ends up going the other way, just recall what Getzlaf did last night. Sheeeeeesh.

  3. frjohnk says:

    Lowetide: I hope Leon doesn’t spend a Mahovlich lifetime having to endure criticism for something he is not (slow). He’s a good skater, better than we first saw him..

    Last year Draisaitl showed good top end speed. It was his first couple of steps that were meh.

    The last two oiler broadcasts it was mentioned how Draisaitl trained his legs like a madman over the summer.

    And it definitely shows. His skating is looking good out there. And this was one of his “weaknesses”
    ( even though it was not weak). It is now turning into a strength. This is a testament to the kind of work ethic this kid has.

    Absolutely no way he ever plays an AHL again.

  4. frjohnk says:

    I think it was Woodguy who mentioned our center depth potential is like having Crosby, Datsyuk, and Kopitar. I don’t think he is much off base.

    Now we just have to get Letang, Lidstrom and Doughty defense depth.

  5. Stanley 2018 says:

    Gotta think McLellan is losing hair over having to break up the Hall Nuge Drai line, they were tearing it up. With the opportunity for a McDavid-Eberle pairing on 2nd line coming up, Oilers top 6 looks tremendous for the next few years. Love Yak City, but he’s the odd man out here unless Chia gets a decent centre to create a 3rd line.

  6. Water Fire says:

    We never see it but where Leon’s value lies inthe next few years is killing it in the playoffs as a winger and supporting on draws because of his strength.

    We see the lighter play of the regular season and we see the Oilers struggle with that. A heavy skilled winger that can play the boards and also skate is necessary for the second season to get by the Blues and Kings type teams that try to out thug to win.

    I’d trade Eberle Yak Pouliot before Leon. Maybe even Nuge. But really it would be smarter to wait for next year’s UFA’s than give up one of Connor, Nuge or Hall. This year has a fork in it, and it’s not a surprise.

  7. elgruntus says:

    “Innocent—with an explanation” – nice Luba reference. Man, this is THE best music blog going. Thanks LT!

  8. cc says:

    I would love to see McDavid, Nuge & Drai all play down the middle. If each one plays 15 minutes a night even strength and it will be tough for teams to defend once the young D ramp up.

    You could easily play Hall, Eberle & Yak as pairs with the 3 C’s and there’s complimentary players (Pouliot, Lander and ?) that can work.

  9. russ99 says:

    They really need to get back to the Hall – RNH – Drai line.

    How many chances did the Hall and RNH lines have in the Hawks game when only two forwards were in dangerous positions?

    Maybe part of that is Ebs getting his legs back, but to win we need to score.

  10. godot10 says:

    You didn’t spell Darnell Nurse correctly! -).

    The oilogosphere, mostly, has this (huge) bias to shiny young forwards.

    Nurse is already a top 4D. Draisaitl may be a 2C sometime in the medium term future. Not close, IMHO.

  11. LMHF#1 says:

    Leon’s got all the tools to either be a big part of the group or the traded piece that fills a need with a similarly young player. Sure wish he had Arnott’s clapper though. We could use a bomb from the point and wing.

  12. doritogrande says:

    It shocks me that JDD at one time had the edge over Pouliot in your eyes, LT.

    Now that we’re into the draft +2 year, I’m firmly in the party that everyone picking after Ekblad made a huge mistake not taking Ehlers. He’s Denmark’s Kopitar.

  13. LMHF#1 says:

    doritogrande:
    It shocks me that JDD at one time had the edge over Pouliot in your eyes, LT.

    Very good prospect screwed over in a number of ways including the AHL situation.

    Not saying he would have been a long term starter, but we’ll never know how it could have been with proper development.

  14. Pouzar says:

    Stanley 2018:
    Gotta think McLellan is losing hair over having to break up the Hall Nuge Drai line, they were tearing it up. With the opportunity for a McDavid-Eberle pairing on 2nd line coming up, Oilers top 6 looks tremendous for the next few years. Love Yak City, but he’s the odd man out here unless Chia gets a decent centre to create a 3rd line.

    Hall-Nuge-Drai
    Pou-McDreamy-Ebs….

    yes please.

  15. Water Fire says:

    Clay,

    frjohnk,

    TOI is the problem, usually a good 3C is a 200 ft defensive player that can score some, not an elite player.

  16. Pouzar says:

    doritogrande: Now that we’re into the draft +2 year, I’m firmly in the party that everyone picking after Ekblad made a huge mistake not taking Ehlers. He’s Denmark’s Kopitar.

    I’ll take a German Gretzky over a Danish Kopitar….and I love me some Kopitar.

  17. Water Fire says:

    doritogrande:
    It shocks me that JDD at one time had the edge over Pouliot in your eyes, LT.

    Now that we’re into the draft +2 year, I’m firmly in the party that everyone picking after Ekblad made a huge mistake not taking Ehlers. He’s Denmark’s Kopitar.

    Dorito I don’t get that comparison. They aren’t similar players, play a different position and there is a subtle size difference, in that Kopitar could eat Ehlers without chewing.

  18. Pouzar says:

    Water Fire: Dorito I don’t get that comparison. They aren’t similar players, play a different position and there is a subtle size difference, in that Kopitar could eat Ehlers without chewing.

    Yeah and there is that.
    Ehlers/Kopitar????? Strange comparison.

  19. raventalon40 says:

    doritogrande:
    It shocks me that JDD at one time had the edge over Pouliot in your eyes, LT.

    Now that we’re into the draft +2 year, I’m firmly in the party that everyone picking after Ekblad made a huge mistake not taking Ehlers. He’s Denmark’s Kopitar.

    Reminds me more of Mogilny

  20. Woodguy says:

    I don’t think this Oilers trio works, really. All three are substantial offensive players, and in order for this to work Edmonton would need six wingers who could either push the river or thrive in a complementary role.

    I don’t understand this dichotomy is deemed unattainable:

    Push the River OR thrive in a complimentary role.

    Isn’t that how most wingers break down anyhow and its nothing special?

    There are reasonably skilled forwards available every July 1 and EDM may become a place to play cheap for a year to pump your number and try to win a Cup.

    The only issue is TOI.

    You’d have to go something close to 18, 18, 18, 6 for the TOI for the 4 lines with your 4th line mostly PKing and taking the odd Dzone faceoff.

    Possible.

  21. 4th_Line_Plug says:

    With a top 6 of:

    Hall-Nuge-Drai (north->south and play the cycle game)
    Yak-Mcdavid-Eberle (East-west attack on the rush)
    Need 6 tommy wingels in the bottom

    That is a nice variety of attackers. They need to get Yak on his strong side, he struggles in the D-zone and with breakouts on his off side.

    Is it just me or is Hall hitting, and hitting hard a lot more this year?

  22. 4th_Line_Plug says:

    doritogrande,

    If that draft is redone I would say:
    1.Eckblad
    2.Draisaitl
    3.Bennett
    4.Ehlers
    5.Pastrnak
    6.Nylander
    7.McCann

  23. Woodguy says:

    russ99:
    They really need to get back to the Hall – RNH – Drai line.

    How many chances did the Hall and RNH lines have in the Hawks game when only two forwards were in dangerous positions?

    Maybe part of that is Ebs getting his legs back, but to win we need to score.

    That line played together for the 2nd and 3rd vs CHI

  24. LMHF#1 says:

    4th_Line_Plug:
    With a top 6 of:

    Hall-Nuge-Drai (north->south and play the cycle game)
    Yak-Mcdavid-Eberle (East-west attack on the rush)
    Need 6 tommy wingels in the bottom

    That is a nice variety of attackers. They need to get Yak on his strong side, he struggles in the D-zone and with breakouts on his off side.

    Yakupov has made a number of not just good but outstanding plays on the right wing this year in the defensive zone. He’s improved greatly and there’s no reason to think he’s done.

  25. Caramel Obvious says:

    From the previous thread. Gmoney replied to my comment on Reinhart with this:

    “I assume when you say this, you are describing the same mysterious game you describe when you declare there’s no such thing as a 1st, 2nd, or 3rd pairing.

    Whatever that game is, it’s not NHL hockey.

    Perhaps when the cap is gone and talent levels have risen to the point where teams can deploy 6 all-tools defensemen every night, then your statement might be true. Meanwhile back in this universe, teams have to deploy all kinds of specialists to complement their one or two all-tools guys. That almost always includes a shutdown guy or three, a ‘big shot from the point’ powerplay specialist, an offensive defenseman, and so on.

    Oh, and Nik Hjalmarsson, Johnny Oduya, Ron Hainsey, Willie Mitchell, Dennis Seidenberg, Jay Bouwmeester, and Jonas Brodin all say hi.”

    To which I say:

    I think you are conflating two issues. It is true that players have different strengths, (shot from point, moving the puck, shut down guy, etc.), I wouldn’t deny that for a second. However, while they all have different strengths they all have the same job (stop other team from scoring, retrieve puck, advance puck, get into the offensive zone, hold the line and contribute to the offense). Every single defenseman has to do all of these things. It’s one position, not six.

    That’s what I mean when I say there is no such thing as a “shut down defenseman.” It’s a term without meaning since shutting down the other team is the job of every defenseman, Justin Schultz as much as Griffin Reinhart.

    So the term “shut down D” in effect means “limited D,” because it describes only one phase of the game. Hockey isn’t Lacrosse where you can sub D for O and vice versa.

    Now my hope for Reinhart is that he is not a shut down D, that he brings more to the table. That remains possible.

    This also applies to the mythical position of third line center. There is no such position either. All centers have the same job. The only difference is icetime and salary cap issues, the job remains the same. If the jobs were actually different then a #1 center might not be able to play #3 or #4 on a different team (because different things were required) but that isn’t what happens (see Olympics). There is nothing magical about the third and fourth lines. They don’t exist, they refer to no actual thing.

  26. 4th_Line_Plug says:

    LMHF#1,

    Pulling the Luke gazdic and throwing a backhand of the glass and out only looks like a great play when Connor Mcdavid beats all the defenders to the puck. Every breakout went through Nuge or Pouliot last game.

  27. G Money says:

    Caramel Obvious,

    As I said, if this were a utopian world where every team had six all-tools defensemen (and now apparently twelve scoring forwards), we wouldn’t talk of strange things like shutdown D, powerplay specialists, checking centres, unicorn third scoring lines, and the like.

    But this isn’t that utopian world, and so we do speak of them, because they are part of the fabric of reality of the NHL, and I don’t anticipate that changing in any foreseeable timeframe.

  28. Jaxon says:

    Who won the fastest skater at the Oilers Skills Competition last December? Who skated faster than Hall and Klefbom? Yup. Draisaitl. He doesn’t just keep up with the fastest trains (if he’s got enough track), he passes them.

  29. Lowetide says:

    Woodguy:
    I don’t think this Oilers trio works, really. All three are substantial offensive players, and in order for this to work Edmonton would need six wingers who could either push the river or thrive in a complementary role.

    I don’t understand this dichotomy is deemed unattainable:

    Push the River OR thrive in a complimentary role.

    Isn’t that how most wingers break down anyhow and its nothing special?

    There are reasonably skilled forwards available every July 1 and EDM may become a place to play cheap for a year to pump your number and try to win a Cup.

    The only issue is TOI.

    You’d have to go something close to18, 18, 18, 6 for the TOI for the 4 lines with your 4th line mostly PKing and taking the odd Dzone faceoff.

    Possible.

    The Oilers have been talking about three scoring lines for a long time, that’s the dream. Chicago and Tampa Bay have had periods in the past where three scoring lines are humming, but the cap makes that a short term item.

    I’ll bet the Oilers never have six good wingers to go with these three centers for more than 20 games at any time during their tenure. Pretty confident in saying it.

  30. Caramel Obvious says:

    G Money,

    But they aren’t, indeed I have no idea how your point relates to mine. Your point is that teams are constrained by the salary cap. So what? The game remains the same, and hence what is required of each player remains the same.

    Indeed, people talked of those mythical things when there was no salary cap.

    Moreover, my point is not that all players must be 6-tool players. My point is that once you divide for the positions, all players have the same job, which they do better or worse at according to their abilities.

    It’s a basic fact that Reinhart is no more responsible for shutting down the other team than Schultz is. The responsibility is exactly the same. Schultz doesn’t get absolved of doing it and Reinhart doesn’t get extra credit. The only thing that matters is who is better overall at doing all of the things that are required of them. And what is required of them are the same things.

    If you don’t evaluate players in this way limited players are always going to be overvalued because the standard against which they are measured is lower.

    [Edit to add] The other side of this is that this is also how guys like Petry get undervalued. He’s not a “shut-down D,” he’s not a powerplay specialist, he’s not scoring 10-15 goals. What he is, however, is good. He has more goodness. That’s what matters, the amount of goodness they bring to the table. Goodness is a real thing. Shut-down Dness, on the other hand, is magical thinking.

  31. RexLibris says:

    Elliotte Friedman ‏@FriedgeHNIC 17s18 seconds ago

    Peter Chiarelli says ” a lot of variance” on the rosters for Under -23 team among the management team. About 60 per cent agreement.

  32. G Money says:

    Caramel Obvious: Moreover, my point is not that all players must be 6-tool players. My point is that once you divide for the positions, all players have the same job, which they do better or worse at according to their abilities.

    No, this is dead wrong. Dead wrong.

    The cap and also the reality of simple human differences means that teams give players different responsibilities – even when on paper they are playing the same role. Only in the simplest possible terms (“keep puck out of own net, put puck in other teams net”) are the players roles all the same.

    In reality, it is NOT the individual players that do this, it is the team, and within the context of the team, players have different responsibilities, even when they have the same titular role.

    In fact, by your logic, there are no defensemen, goalies, or forwards. Just six guys on the ice ‘all trying to do the same thing’.

    Wrong.

  33. Caramel Obvious says:

    G Money,

    One of us is wrong and it isn’t me.

    For instance, the puck is in the corner, D1 goes and gets it, the forecheck calls for an over breakout:
    What is D2’s job? Does the job change depending upon whether D2 is Reinhart or Schultz?

    Play continues, D2 moves the puck up to the wing along the boards. What’s his job? Does it changed depending if it is Eberle or Purcell? Does it change if it is Purcell playing on the first line or Purcell playing on the third line?

  34. PhrankLee says:

    Lowetide: I’ll bet the Oilers never have six good wingers to go with these three centers for more than 20 games at any time during their tenure. Pretty confident in saying it.

    Infuriatingly accurate.

    If Yak covers the bet this year we have 5 vets in the top 6 under 30 and the child prodigy.

    Under contract. I am really psyched about that!

    Leon, as you suggested, may not be a part of this group owing to his possible trade for help on D.

    I support that move but I want a famous young name 25-28 min guy coming back.

  35. doritogrande says:

    I’m taking the position that both Ehlers and Kopitar are from decidedly non-hockey markets. Both are easily their country’s best player (or will be at maturity) by the widest margin available.

  36. Caramel Obvious says:

    What you’re talking about is this.

    Luke Gazdic has the puck on a line rush. Coach tells him that he should always dump the puck in in that situation and “get in on the forecheck.” Coach tells him this because Gazdic sucks and Coach is going to minimize his suckiness as best he can.

    Hall is in a similar situation. Hall is free to think the game and make his own decision.

    So their instructions are different. However, they are only different because Gazdic sucks. His role, then, is player who sucks or, if you prefer, limited winger.

    Now it is true that every team has limited wingers. This has always been true. But that doesn’t make it a position or a role, rather it is a deficit that has to be overcome in someway. We shouldn’t turn around and say well at least Gazdic is good at being limited or some other such nonsense.

    And if you happened to have a player who wasn’t limited you shouldn’t go around limiting them just because you have other, better, players, which is what the terminology surrounding lines does. Indeed, no good team does this. Which is how you get fourth lines by icetime with good but young offensive players. Historically, this has been a problem for the Oilers. They think in terms of roles and then get rid of players who don’t fit those roles. We shouldn’t feed into the mistake that leads to those kinds of decisions.

  37. Pouzar says:

    doritogrande:
    I’m taking the position that both Ehlers and Kopitar are from decidedly non-hockey markets. Both are easily their country’s best player (or will be at maturity) by the widest margin available.

    Draisaitl says hi.

  38. LMHF#1 says:

    4th_Line_Plug:
    LMHF#1,

    Pulling the Luke gazdic and throwing a backhand of the glass and out only looks like a great play when Connor Mcdavid beats all the defenders to the puck. Every breakout went through Nuge or Pouliot last game.

    You’re not watching if this is what you’re ‘seeing’.

  39. RexLibris says:

    “Hey Dad, can I borrow the car?”

    “There’s bus fare on my dresser. Help yourself.”

    Elliotte Friedman Retweeted
    Chris Johnston ‏@reporterchris 22m22 minutes ago

    Peter Chiarelli says the 23-and-under World Cup team asked the NHL about carrying an older goalie. The answer was no.

  40. PhrankLee says:

    doritogrande,

    Pouzar: Draisaitl says hi.

    Taro Tsujimoto says hi too! Ha ha.

  41. Pouzar says:

    PhrankLee:
    doritogrande,

    Taro Tsujimoto says hi too! Ha ha.

    Teddy Purcell says hi………..oops…………nm.

  42. linkfromhyrule says:

    RexLibris: Peter Chiarelli says the 23-and-under World Cup team asked the NHL about carrying an older goalie. The answer was no.

    Hopefully that doesn’t mean we will see Zack Fucale…

    It is conceivable that we could see Laurent Brossoit if he plays well. There are veeeerry slim pickings for U-23 goalies

  43. frjohnk says:

    Pouzar: PhrankLee:
    doritogrande,
    Taro Tsujimoto says hi too! Ha ha.

    Teddy Purcell says hi………..oops…………nm.

    These two have the same amount of chance to play for the Oilers next year

  44. Pajamah says:

    linkfromhyrule: Hopefully that doesn’t mean we will see Zack Fucale…

    It is conceivable that we could see Laurent Brossoit if he plays well. There are veeeerry slim pickings for U-23 goalies

    Have to think right now Conner Hellebuyck in Winnipeg, and John Gibson in Anaheim have the best shot, seeing as how both have NHL employment on the resume.

  45. RexLibris says:

    linkfromhyrule: Hopefully that doesn’t mean we will see Zack Fucale…

    It is conceivable that we could see Laurent Brossoit if he plays well. There are veeeerry slim pickings for U-23 goalies

    Lots of U-21 prospects, but none you’d want to send out against a line of Hall-Crosby-Seguin.

    I think that when the NHL sees the WC Young Stars squad losing 7-4 every game they *might* rethink this stance.

    Of course, they could rethink it the same way they are rethinking their approach to concussions, interference and officiating. Which is to say, sit on it until the next ice age.

  46. PhrankLee says:

    frjohnk: Pouzar: PhrankLee:
    doritogrande,
    Taro Tsujimoto says hi too! Ha ha.
    Teddy Purcell says hi………..oops…………nm.
    These two have the same amount of chance to play for the Oilers next year

    I just heard Mr Bean singing Hallelujah!!

  47. RexLibris says:

    PhrankLee:
    doritogrande,

    Taro Tsujimoto says hi too! Ha ha.

    That Katanas teams was absolutely stacked. He might have been the best player not in the NHL, per Jay Feaster.

  48. Optimism is Foolish says:

    @ Lowetide

    Just thinking here …. for terms of size and cap management, if Drai performs to expectations would it not be better to move Eberle at the deadline for the younger RHD we need?

    Now I love Eberle’s clutch abilities but by moving him it opens up a lot of cap space and allows Drai to shine on the right side with other elite players.

  49. Pajamah says:

    RexLibris: That Katanas teams was absolutely stacked. He might have been the best player not in the NHL, per Jay Feaster.

    It angers me that no one got Jay Feasters reaction to the McDavid lottery on Youtube.

    Each video is 3-4 minutes of pure gold, regardless if they are Leaf/Sabre/Coyotes fans, Oiler fans, or disgruntled executives.

  50. G Money says:

    Caramel Obvious: So their instructions are different. However, they are only different because Gazdic sucks. His role, then, is player who sucks or, if you prefer, limited winger.
    Now it is true that every team has limited wingers. This has always been true. But that doesn’t make it a position or a role, rather it is a deficit that has to be overcome in someway. We shouldn’t turn around and say well at least Gazdic is good at being limited or some other such nonsense.

    And yet, this is exactly why we call Luke Gazdic a 4th line winger and Taylor Hall a first line winger.

    Because they are different.

    Because no team can ice four Taylor Hall’s at left wing.

    So they will be deployed differently, they will have different expectations, they likely have their instructions on the ice be different as well.

    That is why Gazdic is 4L and Taylor Hall is 1L. It is why we speak of checking centres and shutdown D.

    Pretending those distinctions don’t exist is bizarre.

    One of us is wrong and it isn’t me.

  51. G Money says:

    In the last six months, I’ve been embroiled in bizarre arguments, with people asserting:

    – there are no such things as ‘lines’ or ‘shutdown D’
    – that there is no difference between pre-season and regular season
    – that expectations for rookies and veterans should be the same (and if a rookie fails to live up to those expectations, he is clearly a failure).

    WTF.

    Is there something in the water?

  52. hunter1909 says:

    Best Blackest Reasons to watch the next Oilers game:

    – watching millionaire young people with no worries getting their hearts broken

    – watching how much Todd McLellan ages with each and every game

    Too bad they’re off tonight, lol

  53. Centre of attention says:

    Bob Stauffer ‏@Bob_Stauffer · 25m25 minutes ago
    The Edmonton Oilers have played 8 of the top 9 teams in the NHL (1-8) and are 2-9 against teams in top 15. Oilers are 3-1 vs bottom 15 teams

  54. Woodguy says:

    Lowetide: The Oilers have been talking about three scoring lines for a long time, that’s the dream. Chicago and Tampa Bay have had periods in the past where three scoring lines are humming, but the cap makes that a short term item.

    I’ll bet the Oilers never have six good wingers to go with these three centers for more than 20 games at any time during their tenure. Pretty confident in saying it.

    The Oilers may have talked about it for years, but Chia/McL have been on the job for only a few months.

    Justin Williams signed with a good team for only 3.25 x 2.

    I am willing to bet we will see easily discernible unicorns in 15/16 and for sure in 16/17.

    Might not have 2 $6MM wingers a Paddle might be RW, but it will happen.

    Book it!!

  55. Ancient Oilers Fan says:

    My most persistent memory of Big Frank was that he would get the puck about centre and circle back to his blue line to gain speed for a rush up the left wing.

    By the time he was at centre again he was flying. He’d step over the blue line and let go a slap shot. It seemed to me the goalie never moved.

    The puck would go in, hit the goalie or go wide but the goalie had to be awful lucky to get one of those shots.

    Nobody seemed to touch him so he was either to big or too fast to get in his way.

    Ah Saturday night:
    Have a bath
    Say a rosary (Us kids could really whip through the parts mom wasn’t saying but she hand to put so much meaning into every word it really slowed us down)
    Watch Hockey night in Canada (yeah Leafs. Boo Habs)
    Watch Don Messers Jubilee.
    Sir Francis Drake was my favourite for the short time it was on
    Be very quiet so the parents might forget your still up

    Oh to be young again. Nah never mind.

  56. Water Fire says:

    doritogrande:
    I’m taking the position that both Ehlers and Kopitar are from decidedly non-hockey markets. Both are easily their country’s best player (or will be at maturity) by the widest margin available.

    I get it now

  57. G Money says:

    I’m looking at the CHI game in the context of EDM-CHI games in the past two seasons.

    It’s interesting that we have all this defensive angst about the game.

    Numerically, by most measures, the game was a defensive masterwork. In some cases, it was not only better, but better by a vaster margin than any other game the Oilers have played against CHI in two years.

    For those arguing score effects, in 2/3rds of those games the margin was as wide or wider than this one, and the Oilers still couldn’t get anywhere near a respectable shot deficit.

    If these guys could learn to consistently put in that kind of effort for 60 minutes, we won’t be crying in our cups, playoffs will look like a realistic possibility, and we’ll be arguing TMc for coach of the year. (Of course, he won’t get it in any case – it will go to this years PDO darling)

  58. RexLibris says:

    G Money:
    In the last six months, I’ve been embroiled in bizarre arguments, with people asserting:

    – there are no such things as ‘lines’ or ‘shutdown D’
    – that there is no difference between pre-season and regular season
    – that expectations for rookies and veterans should be the same (and if a rookie fails to live up to those expectations, he is clearly a failure).

    WTF.

    Is there something in the water?

    I’m going to brainstorm some topics to argue over with you now.

    *ahem*

    The Muttart Conservatory was originally constructed to house barley!

  59. Lowetide says:

    G Money:
    In the last six months, I’ve been embroiled in bizarre arguments, with people asserting:

    – there are no such things as ‘lines’ or ‘shutdown D’
    – that there is no difference between pre-season and regular season
    – that expectations for rookies and veterans should be the same (and if a rookie fails to live up to those expectations, he is clearly a failure).

    WTF.

    Is there something in the water?

    I was informed today by a listener that Connor McDavid’s injury should have no impact on the team at all. Lordy.

  60. RexLibris says:

    G Money: If these guys could learn to consistently put in that kind of effort for 60 minutes, we won’t be crying in our cups, playoffs will look like a realistic possibility, and we’ll be arguing TMc for coach of the year. (Of course, he won’t get it in any case – it will go to this years PDO darling)

    I’m becoming more and more convinced that this “60 minute game” we hear so much of in all sports is something of a myth.

    I can’t think of any team that completely dominates another for the entire duration, with a few possible exceptions in a given season.

    It simply isn’t possible on a night-in, night-out basis.

    The trick, as I see it, is for those gaps to become smaller and less lethal for a team to take.

    Currently when the Oilers have a gap it ends up in the net. Story of the last two years. Before that their game was dominated by moments of lucidity clouded beneath a majority of poor play.

    The next step, logically, would be to reduce the cost of those gaps to the team’s performance, and then refocus efforts on shrinking the lapses in play to more manageable periods.

  61. frjohnk says:

    Lowetide: I was informed today by a listener that Connor McDavid’s injury should have no impact on the team at all. Lordy.

    Pretty sure it was Messier.

  62. RexLibris says:

    Pajamah: It angers me that no one got Jay Feasters reaction to the McDavid lottery on Youtube.

    Each video is 3-4 minutes of pure gold, regardless if they are Leaf/Sabre/Coyotes fans, Oiler fans, or disgruntled executives.

    He’d be gloating over the fact the Flames are ahead of the Oilers right now.

    He’s also be telling you about how strong the players he added are playing right now (Granlund, Russell, Wideman, etc), completely ignoring whatever facts disputed this reality.

    He might even mention that the Flames performed better under his management than since his leaving, outside of last season.

    Perception is a moving target with Feaster. Intellectual honesty was one of his bywords and it is astonishing how little he applied it to his own statements.

  63. Bruce McCurdy says:

    RexLibris: Lots of U-21 prospects, but none you’d want to send out against a line of Hall-Crosby-Seguin.

    I think that when the NHL sees the WC Young Stars squad losing 7-4 every game they *might* rethink this stance.

    Of course, they could rethink it the same way they are rethinking their approach to concussions, interference and officiating. Which is to say, sit on it until the next ice age.

    Their goal is to have a team that will entertain but not win. Kind of like those European teams that toured the WHA in games that counted for standings points for the home team. 7-4 sounds great.

    And hear, hear on the sentiments in the last paragraph. The stewards of our game have been been asleep at the tiller — or is that the till? — for far too long.

  64. RexLibris says:

    Lowetide: I was informed today by a listener that Connor McDavid’s injury should have no impact on the team at all. Lordy.

    One of the frequent commenters at FN told me that McDavid looked to him as another version of Daigle. He supported this assertion by saying he watched both of them play many times when they were in junior and the resemblance was uncanny.

    Every family has that crazy uncle who thinks the moon landings were faked.

  65. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Pouzar: doritogrande:
    I’m taking the position that both Ehlers and Kopitar are from decidedly non-hockey markets. Both are easily their country’s best player (or will be at maturity) by the widest margin available.

    Draisaitl says hi.

    Haha, somebody else noticed that these names were brought up in a freaking Draisaitl post.

  66. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Ancient Oilers Fan:
    Mymost persistent memory of Big Frank was that he would get the puck about centre and circle back to his blue line to gain speed for a rush up the left wing.

    By the time he was at centre again he was flying. He’d step over the blue line and let go a slap shot. It seemed to me the goalie never moved.

    The puck would go in, hit the goalie or go wide but the goalie had to be awful lucky to get one of those shots.

    Nobody seemed to touch him so he was either to big or too fast to get in his way.

    Ah Saturday night:
    Have a bath
    Say a rosary (Us kids could really whip through the parts mom wasn’t saying but she hand to put so much meaning into every word it really slowed us down)
    Watch Hockey night in Canada (yeah Leafs. Boo Habs)
    Watch Don Messers Jubilee.
    Sir Francis Drake was my favourite for the short time it was on
    Be very quiet so the parents might forget your still up

    Oh to be young again. Nah never mind.

    I remember the Juliette show coming on right after the game, which served as strong incentive to go to bed. Or in my case in the late hours of Newfoundland Standard Time, back to bed. My mom always made me put my head down for a couple hours before the game — or should I say, the broadcast — started. Games were joined in progress, typically late in the first period.

  67. hunter1909 says:

    LMHF#1: Very good prospect screwed over in a number of ways including the AHL situation.

    Not saying he would have been a long term starter, but we’ll never know how it could have been with proper development.

    Oilers are certainly the organization where young innocence comes to die.

  68. fifthcartel says:

    I’m listening to Oilers Now for fun and some of the stuff is almost comical/terrifying to hear.

    Stauffer suggesting a line of Khaira-Yakimov-Slepyshev maybe making it next year on the Oilers.

    Hinting at the Oilers (hypothetically) having to move Fayne for a 4M forward buried in the minors (sounds like Bickell) if they want to get rid of Fayne.

    Although, makes for decent radio to listen to with Spector there too.

  69. RexLibris says:

    Bruce McCurdy: And hear, hear on the sentiments in the last paragraph. The stewards of our game have been been asleep at the tiller — or is that the till? — for far too long.

    I’ll give Bettman credit for reforming the business model and bringing in some money.

    It hasn’t all worked, but he did bring the league to a better place financially today than it was when he took over.

    The Hockey Ops part though is a mess. And the funny thing is that it could cost them a lot of that “hard earned” (hard not to laugh there) money they’ve been collecting if the concussion issues go to court. The US presents the potential plaintiffs with so many different jurisdiction options, and the Canadian courts are another theater of operations entirely.

  70. Lowetide says:

    Woodguy: The Oilers may have talked about it for years, but Chia/McL have been on the job for only a few months.

    Justin Williams signed with a good team for only 3.25 x 2.

    I am willing to bet we will see easily discernible unicorns in 15/16 and for sure in 16/17.

    Might not have 2 $6MM wingers a Paddle might be RW, but it will happen.

    Book it!!

    So, later this season we’ll have three scoring lines? By “scoring lines” what is your line in the sand? I honestly don’t see it. For RE I had:

    1. No. 1 line (79 goals)
    2. No. 2 line (60 goals)
    3. No. 3 line (37 goals)

    You believe we’ll have three lines above 50 goals/82 by season’s end?

    http://lowetide.ca/2015/08/21/goals-goals-goals/

  71. G Money says:

    RexLibris,

    DAMN YOU! STAY OFF MY LAWN!

  72. RexLibris says:

    fifthcartel: Hinting at the Oilers (hypothetically) having to move Fayne for a 4M forward buried in the minors (sounds like Bickell) if they want to get rid of Fayne.

    Don’t blame Stauffer, he’s just reading from the old “undermine your assets before you trade them for peanuts” script.

    If the conditions were right we’d start hearing “Hall for Bozak” talk BecauseOilers.

  73. RexLibris says:

    Lowetide: So, later this season we’ll have three scoring lines? By “scoring lines” what is your line in the sand? I honestly don’t see it. For RE I had:

    1. No. 1 line (79 goals)
    2. No. 2 line (60 goals)
    3. No. 3 line (37 goals)

    You believe we’ll have three lines above 50 goals/82 by season’s end?

    http://lowetide.ca/2015/08/21/goals-goals-goals/

    I recently had a discussion as to the extracurricular activities of some minor-league players which would suggest that there does indeed exist three “scoring” lines in hockey today.

    Maybe we need to make sure we’re all talking about the same thing?

  74. Water Fire says:

    RexLibris: I’ll give Bettman credit for reforming the business model and bringing in some money.

    It hasn’t all worked, but he did bring the league to a better place financially today than it was when he took over.

    The Hockey Ops part though is a mess. And the funny thing is that it could cost them a lot of that “hard earned” (hard not to laugh there) money they’ve been collecting if the concussion issues go to court. The US presents the potential plaintiffs with so many different jurisdiction options, and the Canadian courts are another theater of operations entirely.

    Sure but wasn’t it the Oilers who thunk up the outdoor game which is a big money maker? A lot of the money is just the growth of the North American economies, and that hockey is so awesome not even the NHL can stymie it.

  75. RexLibris says:

    G Money:
    RexLibris,

    DAMN YOU!STAY OFF MY LAWN!

    Now you’ve done it.

    Before, I thought of you as an urbane, outdoorsy Calgarian.

    Then, I imagined you as peculiar type of bear we classified as a Goala.

    Now, you will forever be known to me as this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mIP3wZwWJA4

    🙂

  76. G Money says:

    RexLibris,

    Agree, I think that performance that results in any kind of domination for 60 minutes is next to impossible. Even blowouts have push back.

    I’m really talking more about having the battle scars and werewithal to recognize that you have to bring that mysterious blend of effort and urgency right from the start of the game.

    In the Hawks game (and the Flames game, and the Montreal game, and the …), there was a distinct lack of urgency to start.

    It’s watching the players and getting a distinct sense of “well, it’s early, and we won the last game, so it doesn’t really matter at this point if I’m first or second to the puck” or “well, it’s early, we won the last game, and it doesn’t really make that much of a difference as to who wins this battle for the puck” or “well, it’s early, better to conserve energy than to fight for position in front of the net” and so on.

    Hard to quantify when that light comes on, but when it does it’s really visible, whether it’s midway through the period or to start the second period. Usually down by a goal or three.

    It’s that sense of urgency that they need to bring from the beginning of the game. Often that’s not going to lead to domination, since most good teams already bring that sense of urgency. All it brings is an even up battle, rather than a losing one.

  77. Bruce McCurdy says:

    RexLibris: I recently had a discussion as to the extracurricular activities of some minor-league players which would suggest that there does indeed exist three “scoring” lines in hockey today.

    Maybe we need to make sure we’re all talking about the same thing?

    Nope. One is “he shoots he scores!”, the other is “he scores he shoots!”

  78. G Money says:

    RexLibris,

    Man, the resemblance is uncanny. UNCANNY I TELLS YA.

  79. RexLibris says:

    Water Fire: Sure but wasn’t it the Oilers who thunk up the outdoor game which is a big money maker? A lot of the money is just the growth of the North American economies, and that hockey is so awesome not even the NHL can stymie it.

    He went to war with the union to bring in the cap.

    That saved the NHL from itself.

    The North American economy’s surge post-lockout was coincidental, nothing more.

    The NHL is spread out amongst so many cities and with so many owners with diverse economic means that a boon to one area could coincide with a shortfall to another. Before, these things didn’t have anyway of evening themselves out.

    The new system essentially puts into place equalization payments in a watered down form.

    Bettman’s problem now is that he has grown to the point of seeing himself as an extension of the league.

  80. RexLibris says:

    G Money:
    RexLibris,

    Man, the resemblance is uncanny.UNCANNY I TELLS YA.

    I can’t blame you, though.

    If I lived there I’d be taking shots at the locals too.

    They’re awfully suspicious-looking. All twitchy-eyed and machete-wielding.

  81. RexLibris says:

    Bruce McCurdy: Nope. One is “he shoots he scores!”, the other is “he scores he shoots!”

    Either way, overseas they pronounce it: “GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL!”

  82. Cameron says:

    RexLibris: That Katanas teams was absolutely stacked. He might have been the best player not in the NHL, per Jay Feaster.

    Throwing the groin shots early today are we, Rex? ☺

    (FWIW Jankowski 7gp, 10pts, and he looks like a completely different player from when drafted)

  83. RexLibris says:

    Flames get a 30-goal scorer, or his approximate equivalent according to Hartley, back tonight: http://flamesnation.ca/2015/11/10/micheal-ferland-returns-to-flames-lineup-tonight#comment-762575

  84. RexLibris says:

    Cameron: Throwing the groin shots early today are we, Rex?

    (FWIW Jankowski 7gp, 10pts, and he looks like a completely different player from when drafted)

    Has he gone into witness protection? Or is he finally able to grow a Movember Moustache?

    It was Cervenka who was the best player not in the NHL, if I recall correctly.

    I always found that argument curious, when one considered the lower end of the talent threshold amongst 700-odd NHL players.

    I mean, Paul Bissonnette was still active at the time.

  85. russ99 says:

    Lowetide: The Oilers have been talking about three scoring lines for a long time, that’s the dream. Chicago and Tampa Bay have had periods in the past where three scoring lines are humming, but the cap makes that a short term item.

    I’ll bet the Oilers never have six good wingers to go with these three centers for more than 20 games at any time during their tenure. Pretty confident in saying it.

    The other issue being that both McLellan and Chiarellii had success deploying the standard bottom six with a quality 2-way line and a checking/defense first line.

    Does anyone really see them shifting away from this and towards what MacT/the old regime wanted?

    If the talent is there and they think that 3 scoring lines is the best way to utilize them, fine.

    However as Chiarelli gradually molds the team into his image, I really don’t think the talent will be there. So this year may be the only year they attempt this.

  86. Water Fire says:

    Bulging Twine:
    you all see this?:

    http://www.tsn.ca/statistically-speaking-measuring-d-by-quality-of-shots-against-1.391447

    From Scott Cullen

    Perhaps he reads here. Call your lawyer G!

  87. Bulging Twine says:

    2006 #2 on the list, Rob Schremp, now 29, is back in the AHL, playing for the Florida Panthers affiliate Portland Pirates on an AHL only deal.

    In the last 6 years he’s played on 10 teams in 7 different leagues.

    He’s off to a very good offensive start;
    9 GP 6 G 2 A 8 Pts minus 3

  88. Bank Shot says:

    Cameron: Throwing the groin shots early today are we, Rex?

    (FWIW Jankowski 7gp, 10pts, and he looks like a completely different player from when drafted)

    He had a 4 point first game. I bet he continues to trail off from there.

  89. Water Fire says:

    RexLibris: He went to war with the union to bring in the cap.

    That saved the NHL from itself.

    The North American economy’s surge post-lockout was coincidental, nothing more.

    The NHL is spread out amongst so many cities and with so many owners with diverse economic means that a boon to one area could coincide with a shortfall to another. Before, these things didn’t have anyway of evening themselves out.

    The new system essentially puts into place equalization payments in a watered down form.

    Bettman’s problem now is that he has grown to the point of seeing himself as an extension of the league.

    He has become self aware! Call Sarah Conner.

    Agreed the cap was good, again a borrowed idea. The financial side of the league is a reflection of it’s greater environment, in the same way that gov’t deficits are relative to GDP. Couldn’t sell boxes at one time, can’t even buy seats in this era.

    He’s a good manager, but the sport suffers. And the reffing is ridiculous. The league owes teh Oilers for the Heritage Classic, could at least give us the calls unless we’re playing Snider’s boys.

    EDIT: I mean can’t buy seats in good markets, like where it snows. The ‘get a better TV deal because we’re in every major market in the US’ franchises don’t count.

  90. RexLibris says:

    Bank Shot: He had a 4 point first game. I bet he continues to trail off from there.

    That would leave him with 6pts in the remaining 6 gp.

    I’ve always thought Jankowski could make it, if at all, as a two-way winger in a kind of Lee Stempniak fashion. He’ll need to carry at least a ppg pace through this season if he hopes to graduate any offense to the AHL.

    Personally, I think there’s a good chance Treliving moves him in a package deal this year.

  91. LoDog says:

    Cameron,

    So he isn’t the best player selected in 2012 anymore?

  92. RexLibris says:

    LoDog:
    Cameron,

    So he isn’t the best player selected in 2012 anymore?

    Jankowski should sue Feaster for defamation for that comment.

  93. Bank Shot says:

    RexLibris: That would leave him with 6pts in the remaining 6 gp.

    I’ve always thought Jankowski could make it, if at all, as a two-way winger in a kind of Lee Stempniak fashion. He’ll need to carry at least a ppg pace through this season if he hopes to graduate any offense to the AHL.

    Personally, I think there’s a good chance Treliving moves him in a package deal this year.

    Well he had seven points in his first 3 and 3 in his last 4. He’s going down.

    Jankowski has had no history of producing anywhere near Stempniak’s level in college. A poor man’s Stempniak maybe.

  94. RexLibris says:

    Water Fire: He has become self aware! Call Sarah Conner.

    Agreed the cap was good, again a borrowed idea. The financial side of the league is a reflection of it’s greater environment, in the same way that gov’t deficits are relative to GDP.Couldn’t sell boxes at one time, can’t even buy seats in this era.

    He’s a good manager, but the sport suffers. And the reffing is ridiculous. The league owes teh Oilers for the Heritage Classic, could at least give us the calls unless we’re playing Snider’s boys.

    EDIT: I mean can’t buy seats in good markets, like where it snows. The ‘get a better TV deal because we’re in every major market in the US’ franchises don’t count.

    Ha, I have visions now of Bettman siting down to watch a game and “seeing the matrix”.

    Tenting his fingers, arching a eyebrow and muttering “everything is proceeding as I have foreseen”.

    Oilers will get another outdoor classic likely next year or the year after.

    McDavid.

  95. Bar_Qu says:

    RexLibris: Jankowski should sue Feaster for defamation for that comment.

    That was a hell of a thing to saddle a kid with especially drafting him so much higher than expected.

  96. dustrock says:

    Bulging Twine: you all see this?:http://www.tsn.ca/statistically-speaking-measuring-d-by-quality-of-shots-against-1.391447From Scott Cullen

    Reinhart looking great on this stat.

    Marincin not looking at good over the last 3 years. Ditto Jultz.

  97. Bulging Twine says:

    Todd Nelson is off to a rough start in Grand Rapids.

    1-7

    They are having trouble scoring, only getting 11. They’ve given up 28.

    This is his second time coaching Grand Rapids, he was an assistant coach in 2002-03. A good sign when a former employer hires you again.

    Most of that young talent that led the Griffins to the AHL championship 3 years ago have graduated to the NHL. They still have some of the vets from that team like Jeff Hoggan 37 and Nathan Paetsch 32. They have a couple of good young Dmen; Ryan Sproul 22 who is leading the team in scoring with 5 points; and Xavier Ouellet 22. They also have a couple of higher profile 20 year old forwards, Anthony Mantha 8-1-1-2 minus 3, and Tyler Bertuzzi 7-0-1-1 minus 8.

  98. Bulging Twine says:

    Water Fire: Perhaps he reads here. Call your lawyer G!

    Maybe GMoney IS Scott Cullen

  99. oilswell says:

    G Money:
    In the last six months, I’ve been embroiled in bizarre arguments, with people asserting:

    – there are no such things as ‘lines’ or ‘shutdown D’
    – that there is no difference between pre-season and regular season
    – that expectations for rookies and veterans should be the same (and if a rookie fails to live up to those expectations, he is clearly a failure).

    WTF.

    Is there something in the water?

    Frankly, it sounds to me like some of those issues stem from having different points of view. I think having different points of view are good and normal. For example I think Chiarelli and McLellan should (should) have different points of view on things like rookie performance.

    From a coach’s point of view he’s got a hand dealt and an on ice strategy to implement that maximizes the team performance. It is folly to think the optimal deployment is going to treat players as completely interchangeable.

    At the same time I feel comfortable in claiming a normative model of what players typically do is not without value. Are there more things in common between the roles of Gazdic and Hall than Klefbom and Hall? If yes a normative model can help capture that with value without describing a specific team instantiation of a team.

    But, if I’m honest, I think the biggest cause if disagreements like these is believing team results can be decomposed into individual roles. Listen to McLellan for more than 5 minutes and I think you hear that thought from him.

    First line LW versus shutdown D? Nah, there are 3, 4, or 5 man units playing in particular circumstances.

    Better still is looking at it from a team point of view. Third pairing d seeing fewer shots from high danger scoring areas than the first pair? Yeah, what would happen if you switched their ice time. I know intra-team relative metrics are commonly used, but they beg an important question.

    The fancy stats have a long ways to go. Units rather than individuals, and then whole teams if there’s time in the day.

    Or we could bicker about whether Nugent-Hopkins is a first line center.

  100. G Money says:

    Water Fire: Perhaps he reads here. Call your lawyer G!

    You know, I’m absolutely convinced that there are quite a few MSM types that read this blog!

    Interesting work by Cullen though.

    Bulging Twine: Maybe GMoney IS Scott Cullen

    Hmmm. Unless it’s “Steve Smith”!

  101. blainer says:

    G Money:
    In the last six months, I’ve been embroiled in bizarre arguments, with people asserting:

    – there are no such things as ‘lines’ or ‘shutdown D’
    – that there is no difference between pre-season and regular season
    – that expectations for rookies and veterans should be the same (and if a rookie fails to live up to those expectations, he is clearly a failure).

    WTF.

    Is there something in the water?

    I do agree that Carmel’s take doesn’t make much sense to me. The debate on pre season vs the regular season was that it was mentioned that pre season wasn’t important as it was basically training camp for players.

    That was also true but pre season is important as a lot of players are competing for spots.. see Srcivens Ben. etc.

  102. HeatTreaterJoe says:

    oilswell,
    “Or we could bicker about whether Nugent-Hopkins is a first line center.”

    I thought we were bickering over whether RNH was a 3rd line center.

    *drops microphone, trips over microphone wire, falls off stage*

  103. G Money says:

    oilswell,

    Sure. There’s a ton of nuance here that a simple declaration one way or the other would never capture.

    But to remind you of the context of the discussion, I earlier defended Griffin Reinhart as an excellent rookie “shutdown D”, which Caramel feels is a meaningless statement since all D have the same job.

    Caramel then contradicts his own point by contrasting Gazdic and Hall, both of whom are left wingers – but are deployed in radically different situations, with different purposes and different expectations.

    All D may have the same basic job (prevent scoring chances against, retrieve the puck, get it moving in the right direction). But the deployments and strengths of the actual humans playing D is radically different.

    If the team is behind with one minute to go and you have an o zone faceoff, Justin Schultz is your guy.

    If the team is ahead with one minute to go and you have a d zone faceoff, I’d rather have Griffin Reinhart out there.

    Because one is an offensive defenseman, and one is a shutdown D. They have the same role on the ice, but that glosses over that fundamental difference in what they do or don’t do well, which reflects the individuals and therefore their deployment and therefore their actual (not theoretic) role.

    (Interestingly, the Cullen article shows the same as what my eyes and my version of the fancystats show – which is that shots get converted to dangerous chances at a low rate when Reinhart is on the ice. He can do that now against bottom and mid line opposition. I expect him to be able to do that against top line opposition as he gets more experience. The same role – shutdown D! – he played so dominantly in the Oil Kings MemCup run).

  104. PhrankLee says:

    oilswell: Or we could bicker about whether Nugent-Hopkins is a first line center.

    What I love about this argument is now he doesn’t have to be!

    He can be the 2 C he was born to be. The best 2 C in the damn NHL by the end next year, I bet.

  105. Cameron says:

    RexLibris: Has he gone into witness protection? Or is he finally able to grow a Movember Moustache?

    It was Cervenka who was the best player not in the NHL, if I recall correctly.

    I always found that argument curious, when one considered the lower end of the talent threshold amongst 700-odd NHL players.

    I mean, Paul Bissonnette was still active at the time.

    I’ll say this for Feaster, he did not lack for the confidence of his convictions. And you are right, I confused the hyperbole over Cervenka with his hyperbole over Jankowski. The guy spoke in paragraphs of hyperbole, part of his charm.

  106. Bulging Twine says:

    G Money: You know, I’m absolutely convinced that there are quite a few MSM types that read this blog!

    Interesting work by Cullen though.

    Hmmm.Unless it’s “Steve Smith”!

    I wonder who Elliotte Friedman is?

  107. Cameron says:

    Bank Shot: Well he had seven points in his first 3 and 3 in his last 4. He’s going down.

    Jankowski has had no history of producing anywhere near Stempniak’s level in college.A poor man’s Stempniak maybe.

    I’ll settle for ‘actual NHL player’ at this point. He did have a wicked good camp this year though, so he’s got that going for him.

  108. G Money says:

    blainer,

    Yeah, you bet. The original assertion was that you can’t really assess the performance of veterans with established spots in the pre-season, because they tend to be playing at well below regular season intensity.

    The pre-season really matters only to rookies and bubble veterans trying to win a spot. And even if you have a great pre-season, it doesn’t mean you won a spot. Just a chance to prove you belong. That’s why those nine game auditions for rookies have such importance.

    Which is also why pre-season records are meaningless – because teams with a bunch of rooks and bubbles playing hard and veterans taking it easy doesn’t give you a remotely accurate read on the team’s or the opposition’s capabilities. (The Oilers were 6-1-1 in pre-season!)

    But somehow all of this became a controversial position.

  109. hunter1909 says:

    Bulging Twine:
    2006 #2 on the list, Rob Schremp, now 29, is back in the AHL, playing for the Florida Panthers affiliate Portland Pirates on an AHL only deal.

    In the last 6 years he’s played on 10 teams in 7 different leagues.

    He’s off to a very good offensive start;
    9 GP6 G2 A8 Ptsminus 3

    With the season fast approaching “Draft Lottery” status, why not trade for Schremp to fill in for McDavid? Gives the fans some comedy relief.

    Also, trade for Keegan Lowe asap. Play him 20 minutes a game in all situations. Provides the fans the aforementioned comedy relief, while at the same time providing revenge on the Dog who invented this disaster.

  110. Bulging Twine says:

    Driesettl has impressed me with his smarts with the puck, especially for a young guy. I’ve seen him make the safe play when pressured.

  111. speeds says:

    G Money,

    I think you and Caramel Obvious are both making good points, but just talking about different things.

  112. hunter1909 says:

    Today I’m really enjoying you stats people on Lowetide. Given the fact the Oilers are virtually unwatchable, it’s understandable how numbers can provide ersatz entertainment.

  113. Bulging Twine says:

    Jaxon:
    Who won the fastest skater at the Oilers Skills Competition last December? Who skated faster than Hall and Klefbom? Yup. Draisaitl. He doesn’t just keep up with the fastest trains (if he’s got enough track), he passes them.

    Is that true? Did he win fastest skater?

  114. Water Fire says:

    Bulging Twine: Maybe GMoney IS Scott Cullen

    Never thought of that. has anyone seen them in the same blog room?

  115. Woodguy says:

    Lowetide: So, later this season we’ll have three scoring lines? By “scoring lines” what is your line in the sand? I honestly don’t see it. For RE I had:

    1. No. 1 line (79 goals)
    2. No. 2 line (60 goals)
    3. No. 3 line (37 goals)

    You believe we’ll have three lines above 50 goals/82 by season’s end?

    http://lowetide.ca/2015/08/21/goals-goals-goals/

    Bah!

    Meant 16/17 and opening night 17/18

  116. oliveoilers says:

    G Money: But somehow all of this became a controversial position.

    It’s not a controversial position, it’s just something that you strongly believe in and other people disagree with you.

    Wouldn’t you be suspicious if everybody started agreeing with every thing that you say?

  117. Water Fire says:

    G Money: Water

    Has anyone ever seen G, Cullen AND Steve Smith in the same blog room?

  118. Lowetide says:

    Jack Michaels Verified account
    ‏@EdmontonJack

    Lines: Hall-Draisaitl-RNH, Pouliot-Letestu-Yak, Purcell-Lander-Eberle, Gazdic-Miller-Pakarinen. Hendricks left ice before battle drills.

  119. G Money says:

    hunter1909:
    Today I’m really enjoying you stats people on Lowetide. Given the fact the Oilers are virtually unwatchable, it’s understandable how numbers can provide ersatz entertainment.

    A month or so back, Travis Yost tweeted that one of his favourite hockey ironies is that the hockey stats movement really grew out of Alberta, which houses two of the worst teams of the new era.

    I tweeted back that we’ve recognized this for a while, and that the active theory is that we have no playoffs to distract us from our spreadsheets.

  120. G Money says:

    speeds,

    We do that a lot. It’s half the fun.

  121. DBO says:

    Lowetide:
    Jack Michaels Verified account
    ‏@EdmontonJack

    Lines:Hall-Draisaitl-RNH, Pouliot-Letestu-Yak, Purcell-Lander-Eberle, Gazdic-Miller-Pakarinen. Hendricks left ice before battle drills.

    3 scoring lines? Sorta Unicorn? Maybe?>>>>?????????……../

  122. G Money says:

    oliveoilers: It’s not a controversial position, it’s just something that you strongly believe in and other people disagree with you.

    Wouldn’t you be suspicious if everybody started agreeing with every thing that you say?

    Yes, that would be strange.

    But these particular arguments over topics that are virtually axiomatic are also strange.

    It’s fun to argue over the nature of reality. Arguments over whether the earth is round are boring and pointless, and counterpoints of “well that’s just what *you* believe” are not counterpoints at all.

  123. frjohnk says:

    Lowetide:
    Jack Michaels Verified account
    ‏@EdmontonJack

    Lines:Hall-Draisaitl-RNH, Pouliot-Letestu-Yak, Purcell-Lander-Eberle, Gazdic-Miller-Pakarinen. Hendricks left ice before battle drills.

    It looks like we have a bonafide number 1 line, 2 number 3 lines and a AHL line.

    Man if there is ever a time Lander needs to start putting up something other than a 0 on the scoreboard, its now.

  124. Centre of attention says:

    Is it just the format he tweeted? Is Nuge really on RW and Drai in the middle?

    Interesting to say the least.

  125. Lowetide says:

    DBO: 3 scoring lines? Sorta Unicorn? Maybe?>>>>?????????……../

    I think they’re trying, but there’s just not enough. I like the idea, but w/o McDavid (who really IS a difference maker despite the texts I was getting today) imo splitting Nuge and Hall is the better way. That lineup is a mess. Honestly.

  126. G Money says:

    But these particular arguments over topics that are virtually axiomatic are also strange.

    I should point out that the ‘pre-season means everything’ arguments arose the day after the Canucks beat the Oilers in OT, with the Sedins scoring the winners.

    In the post-game interview, Sedin (can’t remember D or H) was asked whether he’d been worried about only having a single point through pre-season.

    He shrugged and said something along the lines of: of course not. I’m a veteran with a spot on the team. Pre season is meaningless for me.

    A sentiment repeated by uncountably many veteran players over uncountably many years. A reality that can be observed simply by watching those players play. Simply by looking at the relationship between pre-season results and regular season results.

    I don’t expect everyone to agree with me – and they don’t and that’s a great deal of the fun – but “pre season means just as much as the regular season”, an argument actually advanced at the time, is a flat earth argument.

  127. Caramel Obvious says:

    G Money,

    My point with the Gazdic–Hall example was to demonstrate that I knew what you were talking about and to demonstrate an instance of it. That isn’t contradicting myself, it’s listening.

    The further point, which perhaps wasn’t as clear, was to show that the differences in role, such as it is, is derived from the limitations of the player, not the intrinsic value of the role itself. Hence, to evaluate Gazdic by the limited expectations of him, or of a fourth line player, is to transform a vice into a virtue. There is no necessity to icing a line that plays like a typical fourth line. It is not required by the rules of hockey nor does it provide strategic value. Hence there is no role of fourth line LW like there is a role of goalie, or center, etc. That teams do it is a choice, a choice that is not required of them.

    And you didn’t respond to my example of the break-out. That’s real hockey, and everyone’s job is the same.

  128. G Money says:

    Lowetide: Lines: Hall-Draisaitl-RNH, Pouliot-Letestu-Yak, Purcell-Lander-Eberle, Gazdic-Miller-Pakarinen. Hendricks left ice before battle drills.

    Man, I hope that has the effect of kick starting Lander while allowing Poo/Yak to be productive.

    What I fear is that it will deaden the effectiveness of BOTH the second and third lines, and the fourth line is going to get run over by a steamroller.

    Or I can just meditate on the fact that “there are no lines” and “all lines have the same job”. 😀

  129. DBO says:

    Hall-Nuge-Draisatl
    Pouliot-McDavid-Yak
    Erickson-Lander-Eberle
    Hendricks-Letestu-Korpikoski

    Sekera-Chara
    Nurse-Klefbom
    Reinhart-Schultz

    Yes I am once again stumping for the two older dudes from Boston who Chiarelli has traded for in the past.. Next years first, any other prospect not on the above list, Fayne, some first born kids, whatever is needed. We aren’t getting a 25 year old top 2 dman, so we take what we can get that fills a need right now. Those two solidfy our team this year and for up to 3 years up to the next McDavid contract.

  130. vinotintazo says:

    how can we have 3 scoring lines, without even having 1 scoring line?

  131. G Money says:

    Caramel Obvious,

    OK, fair enough. You’re right, to some extent I was arguing your previous point rather than the point you made in that later comment.

    But let’s also recognize that if your Gazdic example is one where his role is constrained, hell created, by his limitations and lauding that turns a vice into a virtue, then my Reinhart example is the opposite: it is a matter of understanding what someone does extremely well (prevent dangerous chances). And treating that as a subject of disdain turns a virtue into a vice.

    I’m not sure what your point on the breakout was, though. Once the puck has been retrieved, then yeah, it is the job of every D to get it moving. Some do it better than others. None of the Oiler D do it well.

    Reinhart isn’t particularly good at it, but he isn’t bad at it either – other than the fact that the first option he has to move it to most nights is Gryba.

    What Reinhart appears to be exceedingly good at doing – better than any of the other Oiler D, and better in fact than any Oiler D we’ve seen in five years – is preventing non-possession situations from turning into dangerous chances against.

    This is a critically valuable skill for any defenseman, and treating Reinhart with contempt because he’s so good at it but not an all-tools defender is inappropriate and unfair.

    As I said in the very first post that you took issue with, Nurse, Klefbom, and Reinhart are going to be patrolling the left side of the Oiler d zone for the next decade, and this is a fantastic thing.

  132. vinotintazo says:

    G Money,

    with CMD down we NEEED lander to produce, hes getting the looks, but seems to have the finish of 2010-2013…

  133. godot10 says:

    Bulging Twine:
    Todd Nelson is off to a rough start in Grand Rapids.

    1-7

    They are having trouble scoring, only getting 11.They’ve given up 28.

    This is his second time coaching Grand Rapids, he was an assistant coach in 2002-03.A good sign when a former employer hires you again.

    Most of that young talent that led the Griffins to the AHL championship 3 years ago have graduated to the NHL.They still have some of the vets from that team like Jeff Hoggan 37 and Nathan Paetsch 32.They have a couple of good young Dmen; Ryan Sproul 22 who is leading the team in scoring with 5 points; and Xavier Ouellet 22.They also have a couple of higher profile 20 year old forwards, Anthony Mantha 8-1-1-2 minus 3, and Tyler Bertuzzi 7-0-1-1 minus 8.

    Grand Rapids is leading, or close to leading the AHL in shots per game, and are dead last in goals per game.

    So it looks like a combination of snake-bit shooters, and poor goaltending (the save percentages are around .900). Mrazek graduated to Detroit.

  134. dustrock says:

    Lowetide: Jack Michaels Verified account‏@EdmontonJackLines: Hall-Draisaitl-RNH, Pouliot-Letestu-Yak, Purcell-Lander-Eberle, Gazdic-Miller-Pakarinen. Hendricks left ice before battle drills.

    Pray for Mojo.

    I mean Eberle.

  135. DBO says:

    dustrock: Pray for Mojo.

    I mean Eberle.

    Seems like they are trying to find a 3rd line, and allow Letestu to be in McDavid’s spot temporarily, then hopefully slide back to the 4th. Definitely trying to find a solid 3rd line. In Eberle we pray.

  136. bendelson says:

    Lowetide: I was informed today by a listener that Connor McDavid’s injury should have no impact on the team at all. Lordy.

    The Oilers can handle ONE of Korpikoski or McDavid to be injured but having them both out of the line-up at the same time… well that’s just a recipe for disaster.

  137. Bulging Twine says:

    godot10: Grand Rapids is leading, or close to leading the AHL in shots per game, and are dead last in goals per game.

    So it looks like a combination of snake-bit shooters, and poor goaltending (the save percentages are around .900).Mrazek graduated to Detroit.

    Interesting, thank you. ya Mrazek was the goalie of that championship team. then posted .924 the next year. AHL vet Andy Miele only has 4 pts in 8 games. He’s had about a point per game the last two years.

  138. G Money says:

    vinotintazo:
    G Money,

    with CMD down we NEEED lander to produce, hes getting the looks, but seems to have the finish of 2010-2013…

    I think he was getting the looks against CHI. I thought that was his best game of the season so far.

    I’d have to say though that he was not playing well in previous looks. Not so much snakebit, but wasn’t getting into scoring position. It led to much well-deserved gloating from Ryan.

  139. blainer says:

    Lowetide: I think they’re trying, but there’s just not enough. I like the idea, but w/o McDavid (who really IS a difference maker despite the texts I was getting today) imo splitting Nuge and Hall is the better way. That lineup is a mess. Honestly.

    Man this is just flat out crazy.

    You are absolutely correct on Nuge and Hall.

    I am quickly losing confidence in the management and coaching. Could this be a way to show case somebody for a possible trade ?

  140. Caramel Obvious says:

    G Money,

    The point of the breakout example is that we can describe the players anyway we like but when they are on the ice they are going to be expected to do similar things, i.e. any D in the situation I described is going to be expected to play more or less the same.

    And that’s just it, “shut down D” is a description of Reinhart’s ability (which may or may not be true) it is not a description of his role. In the same way there is no such thing as “defensive” catcher in baseball. All catchers have to play defense. For years a “defensive” catcher was just another way of saying a catcher that couldn’t hit.

    This is a rehashing of the old Dave Tippett quote concerning the good defender who spends all his time defending. To me that’s what a “shut down D” is, and you can’t win that way. It’s a vice not a virtue (though better, I’ll agree than a guy who spends all his time defending and who isn’t good at it).

    Now Reinhart may be better than a good defender who spends all his time defending, but he’ll have to be to b a valuable player.

  141. RexLibris says:

    G Money: Bulging Twine: Maybe GMoney IS Scott Cullen

    Hmmm. Unless it’s “Steve Smith”!

    It is, but not the one you’re thinking of.

    The other one.

    No, further to the left.

    Nope, behind him.

    Almost.

    Yes, that one.

    Or maybe that’s his brother.

  142. PhrankLee says:

    blainer: Could this be a way to show case somebody for a possible trade ?

    Well it features Leon quite prominently.

    About as front and center as it gets.

  143. blainer says:

    PhrankLee: Well it features Leon quite prominently.

    About as front and center as it gets.

    Yup. If this is not a showcase I wonder what the betting would be that the lines are back to normal after the first.

    2nd Period

    Hall Nuge Ebs

    Poo Drai Yak..

  144. RexLibris says:

    G Money: A month or so back, Travis Yost tweeted that one of his favourite hockey ironies is that the hockey stats movement really grew out of Alberta, which houses two of the worst teams of the new era.

    I tweeted back that we’ve recognized this for a while, and that the active theory is that we have no playoffs to distract us from our spreadsheets.

    I’ve always found it interesting that Edmonton has such a rich analytics community.

    Years ago I used to write various odd thoughts about the Oilers and sports in general.

    One of the things I’d argued for was the Oilers tapping into the many people working furiously on these concepts.

    I compare it to the old area-rights caveat the NHL had where the Canadiens basically owned the soul of every young hockey player in Quebec whether they liked it or not.

    The Oilers could have extended token employment packages (say, $30,000/year) to guys who crunch the numbers on their evenings and weekends and after a few years winnowed down the herd to a collection of a few good analysts. Taking that information off the market and, for a relatively negligible investment, ensnared a great young crop of amateur hockey minds.

    Not that I have any complaints about this stuff entering public domain, because we are all richer for it, and the spread of ideas has spawned more and more intelligent analysts taking their own look at things.

  145. Bulging Twine says:

    Lowetide:
    Jack Michaels Verified account
    ‏@EdmontonJack

    Lines:Hall-Draisaitl-RNH, Pouliot-Letestu-Yak, Purcell-Lander-Eberle, Gazdic-Miller-Pakarinen. Hendricks left ice before battle drills.

    Interesting. Well, there we go, if they do run with these lines it’s chance to see if Lander can produce with a good offensive player in Eberle. The question is, if he doesn’t, is it his last chance.

  146. RexLibris says:

    G Money: I think he was getting the looks against CHI.I thought that was his best game of the season so far.

    I’d have to say though that he was not playing well in previous looks.Not so much snakebit, but wasn’t getting into scoring position.It led to much well-deserved gloating from Ryan.

    I saw something in Lander’s last game that frustrated me.

    He broke in with a winger who had the puck and he had position on his defender.

    Winger shot and the deflection was kicked straight out to the middle of the ice.

    Lander had moved about six or eight feet closer to the boards rather than move towards the net.

    The puck was picked up by a trailing Hawk who took it down for either a goal or scoring chance.

    Had Lander gone towards the net, even if he hadn’t gotten the puck, he may have caused enough confusion or defensive commitment from the Hawks to have retained OZone pressure for a while longer.

    He was basically cheating for defense off the rush and it absolutely pissed me off. And I like Lander’s two-way game.

  147. oliveoilers says:

    G Money: Yes, that would be strange.

    But these particular arguments over topics that are virtually axiomatic are also strange.

    It’s fun to argue over the nature of reality.Arguments over whether the earth is round are boring and pointless, and counterpoints of “well that’s just what *you* believe” are not counterpoints at all.

    I believe the pre-season is a great time for players to grow sideburns in the eyes of certain executives that have a say in how the club is run.

    And I don’t think something can be virtually axiomatic.

    Your numbers are black and white, your work excellent and irrefutable. But everything else can and should be argued to death. Except for trading Ebs. (BoP, if you’re listening.)

    😉

  148. Water Fire says:

    To weigh in on the CO GM debate, I think all players need to be able to skate, pass and shoot the puck like they play in the NHL, not a beer league.

    The difference should be offense which is the rare skill as our gracious host says time to time, and what costs money. Davidson >>>Gryba even if they both score zero because Davidson can skate and keeps his pucks roundish.

    If Reinhart can make quiet ice in the good guy’s end and get the puck somewhere helpful that’s worth something. If he doesn’t score much he helps the cap too.

    The only use, which many disagree with, for a non hockey player is the threat of violence against opponents who aren’t designated fighters. If Gryba protects the goalie that has value, only because no else will on this team right now.

    If Gryba and Gazdic can play a decent shift and get after the other team if they start running around, which is different than fighting the other team’s fighter, that IMO has value. Most of the good teams have that, excepting maybe the Hawks at the moment. Problem is neither are doing that, protecting the goalie or the team, and aren’t playing good hockey, so why have them at all? Use skill if that’s the case.

  149. godot10 says:

    Re: wrt the CO and GMoney argument.

    Ideally, one would have six D who can do everything a defensemen has to do well. But the world is not ideal.

    So in a non-ideal world, one wants a set of defensemen where the entire spectrum of duties can be covered on a situational and matchup basis well.

    Reinhart has particularly strong defending skills. He has size and has decent mobility and skating ability. And his passing will be fine once he is more experienced. But he is non-phenom rookie D, wo he starts in the 3rd pairing.

    Ideally, his 3rd pairing partner/mentor would be Dan Boyle (or in an ideal squared world, Bryan Campbell) a better than average mobile veteran puck mover, but he has Eric Gryba instead, who isn’t that.

    So it will be a slightly challenged pairing in moving the puck, so like most 3rd pairings, it becomes important who they are matched against.

    Gryba, being a poor puck mover, might actually force Reinhart to improve as a passer more quickly.

  150. Factotum says:

    hunter1909:
    Today I’m really enjoying you stats people on Lowetide. Given the fact the Oilers are virtually unwatchable, it’s understandable how numbers can provide ersatz entertainment.

    Lowetide: my preferred destination for ersatz entertainment for 9+ seasons. And counting.

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

    RexLibris: I’ve always found it interesting that Edmonton has such a rich analytics community.

    Years ago I used to write various odd thoughts about the Oilers and sports in general.

    One of the things I’d argued for was the Oilers tapping into the many people working furiously on these concepts.

    I compare it to the old area-rights caveat the NHL had where the Canadiens basically owned the soul of every young hockey player in Quebec whether they liked it or not.

    The Oilers could have extended token employment packages (say, $30,000/year) to guys who crunch the numbers on their evenings and weekends and after a few years winnowed down the herd to a collection of a few good analysts. Taking that information off the market and, for a relatively negligible investment, ensnared a great young crop of amateur hockey minds.

    Not that I have any complaints about this stuff entering public domain, because we are all richer for it, and the spread of ideas has spawned more and more intelligent analysts taking their own look at things.

    I like the thinking, but if we are being realistic, there are 1000s of people more qualified than a Dellow. There are real staticians out there who could do a much better job than us casual fans can do. If I were the oilers, and serious about advanced stats, I would be scouring universities not basements. Really all we do is take conventional hockey wisdom and add a stat to it (the team that takes the most shots usually wins). I also think there is a little too much back patting from the community. Its fun to read, and adds strength to an argument, but really, nobody has done anything that impressive. Not like baseball for example.

  152. Bulging Twine says:

    What do you think about Cullen’s HD/CA% stat?

    I don’t think it can be a good stand alone stat because in a way it rewards players for getting shots against that aren’t HDSCA against. It seems to me it is a modifier of other SC or CA stats. Like, player X gives up lots of shots against, ya but they aren’t good quality scoring chances. A shot against is still a bad thing right. It means the puck is in the wrong zone.

    On Cullen’s stat, a defender who gives up both a ton of shots and HDSCA will look better than defender who gives up less HDSCA but a lot less shots.

  153. Dominoiler says:

    G Money: You know, I’m absolutely convinced that there are quite a few MSM types that read this blog!

    I am also quite convinced that msm / sportsnet types frequent this blog. So many of the interesting thoughts of a thread / week just happen to get raised by a talking head the next broadcast; things that make you go hmmmmm….

  154. Pouzar says:

    Wow those are horrid lines. Which means they’ll win.

  155. BONE207 says:

    G Money,

    WTF G Money…I’m going to buy you a hooker and a bottle of CR. You need some down time.

  156. BONE207 says:

    Lowetide,

    Well my neck feels fine. What’s stopping the rest of the team from playing 60 minutes?

  157. Lowetide says:

    bendelson: The Oilers can handle ONE of Korpikoski or McDavid to be injured but having them both out of the line-up at the same time…well that’s just a recipe for disaster.

    Heh. Well played.

  158. oilswell says:

    G Money: But to remind you of the context of the discussion, I earlier defended Griffin Reinhart as an excellent rookie “shutdown D”, which Caramel feels is a meaningless statement since all D have the same job.
    Caramel then contradicts his own point by contrasting Gazdic and Hall, both of whom are left wingers – but are deployed in radically different situations, with different purposes and different expectations.

    I may not grok the full context, but can we just assume you win the argument and try to move the discussion forward? FWIW I agree with you more.

    Pronger was a shut down defender. And a pp specialist. And a thug. And so was Jason Smith. Just not as good at any of those things, but better at some than others. Like virtually every defender ever. You accurately identify roles that are appropriate only within the context of on ice situations. For instance defending a one goal lead against the Sedins in the last 30 seconds of the game you don’t need a player to play the pp Specialist role. That’s a role. When you hope for Reinhart to become a great shutdown defender isn it more useful to make a statement about his relative strengths rather than box him into a role that is used to define him as a player? Category error and willfull discarding if useful nuance. Jmo.

    Plus I can easily imagine a useful exercise comparing players on the same dimensions.

    Trying to understand your argument, it seems to rest upon the possible conflation of playing roles and players, and the assertion without proof that fixed role specialization throughout the lineup is the only way to win in a cap world. I find the role specialization hypothesis as difficult as the opposite declaration that one needs a defender that is elite in all dimensions to win. I’m not sure, either way but it does seem like you are resting your argument on some necessity to have specific defined roles allocated to individuals. And if you add money puck to the discussion one also must ask about undervalued skills that alter the profile of players “forced” on the go by the cap.

  159. oilswell says:

    godot10:
    Re: wrt the CO and GMoney argument.

    Ideally, one would have six D who can do everything a defensemen has to do well.But the world is not ideal.

    ….

    So it will be a slightly challenged pairing in moving the puck, so like most 3rd pairings, it becomes important who they are matched against.

    On homogeneous skills being ideal, Reece PB cups say hi. Not a clear ideal to me unless you make additional constraints, such as (a) individually all players are maximally skilled on all dimensions, (b) individually every player on the team is no worse than the best player on the other team, or (c) something about collective superiority.

    On the pairing being poorly matched, that’s a great point about collectively having the right mix.

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