OH, THOSE OILERS

Emotionally, I’d settled in for a loss. The Nuge couldn’t come out to play, The McDavid is still broken, and the Kings are the Kings in every society. However, those blasted Oilers pulled me in with their fast trains and their slick moves and suddenly it’s almost Saturday night!

And THEN?

Same as it ever was, Same as it ever was, Same as it ever was.

BLUE BY YOU

When defense is poor, smart teams pull back on the youth. I count any player under 100 NHL games as ‘youth’ which means Oscar Klefbom, Brandon Davidson, Darnell Nurse and Griffin Reinhart—fully half the roster—are outside the line.

The problem? Two of the four experienced players (Eric Gryba and Andrew Ference) come with problems of their own, leaving Andrej Sekera and Mark Fayne as the veterans who are stone alone (and both had issues last night). What can Peter Chiarelli do?

When I find myself in times of trouble, CorsiRel comes to me, speaking words of wisdom, let it bleed.

CORSI REL (D) 2015-16

  1. Mark Fayne 12.7
  2. Brandon Davidson 8.3
  3. Oscar Klefbom -0.1
  4. Andrej Sekera -1.5
  5. Justin Schultz -2.2
  6. Eric Gryba -5.6
  7. Darnell Nurse -8.1
  8. Andrew Ference -10.9
  9. Griffin Reinhart -16.2

CorsiRel is a player’s on-ice Corsi% minus the player’s off-ice Corsi%; off-ice Corsi% is the percent of shot attempts taken by the player’s team when the player is not on the ice (but in games where the player is in the lineup); also known as CF Rel%.

So, we’re looking at (as an example) Brandon Davidson outperforming his team my a significant amount, but we have to factor in other elements (qual comp, qual team, etc). I like CorsiRel because it gives me a base line for all defenders and identifies suspects who are perhaps eligible for demotion/trade/waivers.

If we go back to the Vollman Sledgehammer (now up at Hockey Abstract.com)

volllman nov 14

It’s pretty clear what’s going on here. As much as you’re upset about Sekera’s mistakes, Fayne’s mistakes, Klefbom’s mistakes, you’re going to have to live with them. It’s possible to have good numbers and get noticed for negative things—single moments and events can have super importance while being exactly single moments and events.

ALL of the things advanced stats have taught me about defense boil down to this: If you insist on counting the errors on plays, blowing those plays out of proportion and making decisions on those single things, you will be chasing good defense forever. The single biggest BENEFIT of counting things beyond goals is to TELL US what is really happening on the ice.

When a goal goes in from the moon, or a wobbly one from the side, or some numb nuts forward skates it back to his net to make the damned goal against easier, ALL OF THAT is single moments that have super importance but are also single moments. Attach an error all you want, but for God sakes don’t flush the player because dumbass forward put him in a bad spot.

One thing the Rel and the Vollman are screaming at us: The Edmonton Oilers have to split up Griffin Reinhart and Eric Gryba. Now. That’s the lesson from last night’s game. They’re not even playing the toughs, for crying out loud. Now, this.

THINGS TO FEEL GOOD ABOUT

  • Oilers damned near walked away with at least a point in LA last night.
  • Taylor freaking Hall!
  • Leon bloody Draisaitl!
  • Teddy Purcell. Seriously. That man doesn’t just want an NHL contract for next season, he wants an OILERS contract for next season.
  • McDavid will heal.
  • The goalers can’t possibly be this bad.
  • The yutes are gaining experience.
  • Peter Chiarelli is about to do something. He owes it to his team, his coach and those wonderful forwards.

The day is coming, the exit is nigh. The turn north is coming into view. Stop playing Reinhart and Gryba together. It’s the right thing to do.

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222 Responses to "OH, THOSE OILERS"

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  1. sliderule says:

    Bruce McCurdy,

    A lot of the shit and abuse came from a few posters on this site.

    It was a shame because Staples was putting a lot of work into it

  2. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Bos8:

    All I know is that the games are entertaining and not cringe worthy.

    Well, they are both. I did plenty of cringing in the first and last five minutes last night. In between an excellent hockey game broke out.

  3. Pouzar says:

    blainer: This is what I have been saying for the last ten years. We need a Goalie to put up average numbers. Jeebuscanone of them show up just for one season even.

    Call up LB. Now.

    As much as I want LB to get a start or two I just don’t see it happening.

  4. leadfarmer says:

    Hey LT. How come when I click older comments they are not all available?

  5. skidplate says:

    Log in and you should see all comments.

  6. Alpine says:

    Touching on something mentioned earlier, but I think a bigger problem than not drafting D vs F to start off the rebuild, was the pitiful draft record for talented forwards outside of the first round. And the Petry fiasco.

    Where would we have picked a D in 2010? It was Hall or Seguin. Hall was too hard to pass on. 2nd round we got Marincin who covered his bet for a bit.
    2011- RNH and Landeskog had left the top 10 in the dust as far as I’m concerned. Got Klefbom anyways. He’s comparable to Larsson and not far off Dougie anyways. Musil didn’t pan out but he was a D picked high and early on
    2012- Yak over a medley of other D who all either flew under the radar (Trouba/Lindholm), had injury issues (Murray/Rielly), or weren’t intriguing enough. Murray the only other choice in the top 2 has had injury prone years post draft. 2nd round goofed up with Moroz, Severson was a local RHD who I have no idea how we looked past.

    So basically could have maybe got Adam Larsson, Damon Severson, or a handful of guys from 2012 who were projected in or around top 10. Nurse was the almost clear choice at 7 and he can reasonably fill the void we left not getting any of the other guys.

    The bigger void was not drafting any secondary scoring in the 2nd/3rd rounds that could step up and fill in for a traded Eberle, or be packaged off for something.

    Some teams picked D earlier in their rebuild but only because it made perfect sense at their draft position. Pietrangelo, Doughty were clear BPAs. Adam Larsson wasn’t. Debatably, Ryan Ellis wasn’t either. Them’s the breaks. The Oilers stupidly flushed their one Pre-rebuild developed D to the Habs. He was right under their nose for years but they confused Jultz with him.

  7. Mr DeBakey says:

    Alpine: Where would we have picked a D in 2010? It was Hall or Seguin. Hall was too hard to pass on. 2nd round we got Marincin who covered his bet for a bit.

    Faulk and Petrovic were still on the Board when Pitlick was selected.

  8. LadiesloveSmid says:

    Alpine,

    there’s no way Edmonton competes this year, we knew that before the season started

    they just drafted McDavid, and if they stay the course they’ll still have one of the best forward depths in the league soon

    unless their first round pick this year is like Chychrun, that pick should go to a defenseman. I haven’t really vouched for that in the past like a lot have, but that really should just be the course of action this time around. McDavid changed things.

    Way things are headed that pick will be high. No big need for Tkachuk or even Matthews. Turn that into a top D at the draft.

  9. blainer says:

    Alpine:
    Touching on something mentioned earlier, but I think a bigger problem than not drafting D vs F to start off the rebuild, was the pitiful draft record for talented forwards outside of the first round. And the Petry fiasco.

    Where would we have picked a D in 2010? It was Hall or Seguin. Hall was too hard to pass on. 2nd round we got Marincin who covered his bet for a bit.
    2011- RNH and Landeskog had left the top 10 in the dust as far as I’m concerned. Got Klefbom anyways. He’s comparable to Larsson and not far off Dougie anyways. Musil didn’t pan out but he was a D picked high and early on
    2012- Yak over a medley of other D who all either flew under the radar (Trouba/Lindholm), had injury issues (Murray/Rielly), or weren’t intriguing enough. Murray the only other choice in the top 2 has hadinjury prone years post draft. 2nd round goofed up with Moroz, Severson was a local RHD who I have no idea how we looked past.

    So basically could have maybe got Adam Larsson, Damon Severson, or a handful of guys from 2012 who were projected in or around top 10. Nurse was the almost clear choice at 7 and he can reasonably fill the void we left not getting any of the other guys.

    The bigger void was not drafting any secondary scoring in the 2nd/3rd rounds that could step up and fill in for a traded Eberle, or be packaged off for something.

    Some teams picked D earlier in their rebuild but only because it made perfect sense at their draft position. Pietrangelo, Doughty were clear BPAs. Adam Larsson wasn’t. Debatably, Ryan Ellis wasn’t either. Them’s the breaks. The Oilers stupidly flushed their one Pre-rebuild developed D to the Habs. He was right under their nose for years but they confused Jultz with him.

    All roads led to McDavid.. So I am OK.

  10. Lowetide says:

    sliderule:
    Bruce McCurdy,

    A lot of the shit and abuse came from a few posters on this site.

    It was a shame because Staples was putting a lot of work into it

    I do think it is fair to bring up the bias issue, though. That’s why an independent compilation would have more value.

  11. Woodguy says:

    Alpine,

    You didn’t go far enough back.

    Dmen to help this core would have been drafted 2000-2009

  12. Bag of Pucks says:

    With Nurse and KBom in the fold, I’m not as convinced that the Oil need a dominant top pairing D as they need an D who projects favourably as a PP QB and someone whose mins you can bump when you need an offensive lift. WG mentions Shattenkirk a lot and he would certainly cure a lot of what ails with the transition game. Ultimately, this is what Schultz is supposed to be, so it’s possible that TMac may have all the horses he needs without a trade? This assumes a belief in young Jultz I do not have unfortunately.

    In terms of teams needing what we have to offer (offensive Fs) and possessing some of what we are looking for (blue chip D with offensive chops), Carolina represents an interesting potential trade partner.

    Their rebuild has failed as badly as the Oil. They are seriously lacking in O, don’t have the fan support to sustain protracted ongoing failure and they have 3 solid young D in Faulk, Fleury and Hanifan. To top it off, they have Eric Staal going UFA at the end of the year.

    With that in mind, you can make a cogent argument that an Eric Staal and Noah Hanifan for RNH and Justin Schultz deal makes a lot sense. The counter obviously is there’s no way in hell you can resign Staal without blowing your cap all to hell. The reality though is you ship out $10 mil per with Nuge and Jultz and you’ve got Hanifan with tremendous value with the ELC.

    3 years down the road, what does this team need more? Hanifan or Nuge? With McDavid and Drai, I think there’s a solid case to be made for Hanifan. And if you can resign Staal, he can play the Spezza role aka Dallas.

    Thoughts?

  13. Centre of attention says:

    Woodguy:
    Talked to someone who was at the game last night and I guess after the game Sutter mentioned “what a load 29 was” all night and that “when they get Nugent-Hopkins and McDavid back that’s the team you won’t want to play”

    Baby steps….

    This made me smile on a cloudy November day. Icing a top 9 consisting of some combination of Hall, Nuge, McDavid, Draisaitl, Eberle, Yakupov, Pouliot plus assorted guests will be a force to be reckoned with.

    Three scoring lines? Unicorns? Try flying dragons with fricken laser beams attached. With a little bit of luck the Oilers could be rolling out that kind of onslaught as we speak. But no nice things for Oiler fans. Not yet at least :'(

  14. Frank the dog says:

    Pouzar: As much as I want LB to get a start or two I just don’t see it happening.

    I can. How else to see whether he needs more seasoning without risk?

  15. Frank the dog says:

    leadfarmer:
    Hey LT.How come when I click older comments they are not all available?

    Login and they will show up. It’s an “undocumented feature”

  16. vishcosity says:

    Centre of attention,

    You know what? I think I’ve come over to the dark side. I agree that a top nine like that would be the first ever and if there is any way to cobble together a remotely functional d whilst keeping that intact, I think is worthy of every effort.

    Trading Nuge for Faulk is the easy way out. Or Hall for…well, I can’t think of anybody right off. But you get the idea.

  17. Cameron says:

    verdad2.0:
    Ice Sage,

    OEL for Hall is the play, always has been.

    Who would turn it down if available?

    Arizona, for starters. They have things set up correctly for their rebuild. A young corps of defenders lead by a Norris caliber guy just entering his prime, and a host of not-quite-ready-for-primetime forwards who won’t win too many games as they cross their fingers for a lottery win. Dealing OEL for Hall would set their rebuild back.

  18. v4ance says:

    stephen sheps: I think that’s a bit of a stretch. It’s unlikely that any fan of the team wants the Oilers to be in the basement for another decade, but after nearly 30 years of trading away everyone who’s ever been good, it would be preferable to keep Hall and see him win a Stanley in Edmonton.

    I get that you have to give up big pieces in order to get big pieces back, but there have to be limits, Right now there are only 5 untouchables on this team. McDreamy, Nuge and Hall up front, Klef and Nurse on the back end. Everyone else can and should be on the table for the right defensive piece coming back.

    The oft-repeated Hall for OEL trade is asinine. You don’t trade the 2nd best LW in hockey for maybe the 8th best (if we’re feeling generous) d-man, but that’s almost beside the point. The reality is, as good as Doughty, Keith, PK, Hedman, Weber, Suter, McDonagh, Karlsson and OEL are, the way the team is currently built will still be flawed even if any of these top flight defensemen are acquired. Same with bringing in a 2nd tier/player on the rise type (WG’s shrine to Spurgeon included… though I am really high on that idea, too). These players, as good as they are, don’t single-handedly will their teams to glory. It takes time to build chemistry and build a team, especially one that has been so bad for so long.

    2006 was an aberration, not the norm. It was the perfect convergence of vets and youth as well as a D that had not only CfP but also many other very good veteran players who were not asked to play roles they were not suited for. And even with CfP, that team was barely a playoff team until quality goaltending was procured and lightning was bottled. The Oilers right now are not a 1RD away from Stanley.

    Draft and develop is a fine way to play the medium to long game, and a real hockey trade from a position of strength rather than weakness is an even better way to help bolster a team on the rise. Trading Hall is a desperate move, not a smart one.

    End rant.

    http://thesuperfan.ca/2015/02/10/looking-back-at-the-oilers-2005-2006-season/

    The Oilers put together some fantastic numbers over a full season, and compare well to some of the more recent top teams.(2013-14 LA, CHI, STL) The Oilers were a strong possession team over 82 games and had the sixth highest offensive zone starts. The team allowed the fewest shots in the league, but had the worst on-ice save percentage.

    2006, the Oilers were actually an elite possession team that suffered from weak goaltending. It wasn’t a total aberration but the team lost key pieces in Pronger, Peca, and Spacek in the offseason. Lowe tried to tinker with the roster over the next few years but almost all his bets resulted in losses.

  19. Cameron says:

    Given that it is nigh impossible to find a D-man in the right age group, wouldn’t it be prudent to find a couple outside the right age group, and then wait for the kid-corps to develop?

    I’m thinking, picks+prospects to StLouis for Jay Bouwmeester (exiting his prime, but still very good), and a similar deal to Boston for Chara (closer to exiting his prime, but should thus cost less).
    Yes, it is an imprudent use of picks/prospects, yes, it does nothing to address the need for a D-man in the right age group, and no, it won’t make you contenders for the Stanley in the period of time those two guys have left, BUT; it will stop the bleeding, it will right the ship for the youngsters to get their legs (Nurse, Reinhart, Klefbom, Jultz), and bump them down to roster spots that make sense, and it will give everyone a sense that Mgt cares enough to stop losing to actually make moves to stop losing.

    I’m willing to believe Oilers mgt. has tried to land a young franchise defenseman using the assets at hand, and simply not been able to make it work. If that deal isn’t there (and outside of dealing a C like Nuge, I don’t believe it is), than the next best thing is to find guys that will simply help to make the losing stop.

  20. Gret99zky says:

    Snowman:
    Gret99zky,

    If you trade Hall, you open up a gigantic hole. We’re not exactly drowning in leftwingers.

    I think D prospects and picks are the way to go. The unbelievable truth is the only place we really have any depth is at C. We’ve got a bit of depth on the RW now. We have just enought LWs.

    We’ve got a million D prospects and picks that we don’t need at the minute. You have to deal from those areas. Any other trade is just robbing Peter to pay Paul…

    Err.. actually I guess it would be Peter Chiarellirobbing Paul to pay Pedro… or something like that.

    Depends on who you trade him for.

    I would rather have a franchise defenseman than a franchise winger.

    I’m not suggesting trading Hall just for the sake of trading him.

    I’m suggesting there are some fans who refuse to entertain the idea in any way, shape, or form.

  21. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Alpine:
    Touching on something mentioned earlier, but I think a bigger problem than not drafting D vs F to start off the rebuild, was the pitiful draft record for talented forwards outside of the first round. And the Petry fiasco.


    The bigger void was not drafting any secondary scoring in the 2nd/3rd rounds that could step up and fill in for a traded Eberle, or be packaged off for something.

    My favourite secondary scoring sequence was this one in 2010:

    46. EDM Martin Marincin D
    47. LAK Tyler Toffoli F
    48. EDM Curtis Hamilton F

    61. EDM Ryan Martindale F

    Toffoli and Martindale were part of the same high-powered line with Ottawa 67s but Oilers missed their chance(s) at the driver, then took the passenger not long after.

    Fack.

  22. Edmonton blog roundup: Nov. 16, 2015 | Seen and Heard in Edmonton says:

    […] On Lowetide, Allan Mitchell crafts a rhythmic and heartfelt post about yet another Oilers loss. […]

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