G28 2015-16 SABRES AT OILERS

Leon Draisaitl continues to be a major story across the NHL this season. His splendid play in OT during the Dallas game has Edmonton looking at a substantial winning streak for the first time this year. His scoring at 5×5 has him No. 3 in the entire NHL at this time. When Leon Draisaitl is on the ice with Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, his 5×5/60 is 5.30! Something to keep in mind when all the injured men return.

ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS, YEAR OVER YEAR

  • Oilers in October 2014: 4-5-1
  • Oilers in October 2015: 4-8-0
  • Oilers in November 2014: 2-9-3
  • Oilers in November 2015: 4-7-2
  • Oilers in December 2014: 2-8-4
  • Oilers in December 2015: 2-0-0
  • Oilers after 27 in 2014-15: 7-15-5, 19 points (-37 GD)
  • Oilers after 27 in 2015-16: 10-15-2, 22 points (-13 GD)

Oilers are basically playing with house money for the rest of December now, as the Oilers last year would hammer out losses until Craig MacTavish was ordered to pull the chute (my interpretation only). G28 a year ago was a 2-5 loss to the San Jose Sharks and it is here.

standings

The Oilers could be three points out of a playoff spot  (and two points behind Vancouver!) with a win today. The games-in-hand column is an issue with all other teams in the division, but the enormous cracks forming in the land of Skana are obvious. This is WAY better than talking about next year’s draft in December!

OILERS BLUE, IN A BOX 2015-16

OILERS DEFENSE OVER SEASON

Brandon Davidson is apparently back tonight and I hope we see him in a prominent role at evens and PP. If he replaces Darnell Nurse or Mark Fayne in the top 4D I won’t be surprised, if he is promoted in front of Justin Schultz it shows us Todd McLellan has very good vision.

Brandon Davidson, Oscar Klefbom and Andrej Sekera look like quality from here, and the rambunctious play of Darnell Nurse is capturing the imagination of Oilers fans (and possibly management). I would pull the 20-year old instead of the veteran Fayne from the top 4D, but there is exactly one snowball’s chance in hell of that happening. Why would I put Nurse on the third pairing? He is struggling and Sekera has to be lead man here, so giving the veteran a strong option is the right play. Suspect Todd McLellan will be forced to make a move at some point with this tandem, it is unlikely to be today.

Ference on the IR is manna, and I say that as a respectful Bruins fan who will go to my grave with the lasting image of No. 21 with the accidental finger, and the winning of everything, as the trump cards in his career. I am now reading verse with flair about Eric Gryba and his magical skills, but I am not buying nor should you.

Klefbom not practicing tells me he may be touch and go for the games this week, something to keep in mind as we move forward. The long-term development of Nurse is also in play here, Edmonton cannot employ him in the top pairing, have him struggle, and expect strong development from this player.

FORWARDS IN A BOX, 2015-16

oil forwards over season

Taylor Hall and Leon Draisaitl remain one of the truly troubling pairs for NHL teams, they carve you up and rip your flesh. Fantastic tandem.

  • Taylor Hall in the EJ: “The advance-stats nerds are going to say that we don’t deserve two points and we shouldn’t even come to practice today, but it’s the score at the end of the game.” Source

Taylor Hall doesn’t have to love advanced stats to be good at them, and so I am thrilled with this quote. I would say that advanced-stats nerds were the ones trumpeting Hall as brilliant back in the spring, when many fans and observers were wondering why he wasn’t performing at established levels (Hall had significant injuries and came back too soon, the performances bear that out). (Note: I am not a stats nerd, but have spent more than a decade trying to keep up with them).

We forget because he is on the IR, but young Connor McDavid remains an impact rookie waiting for his release date, likely to bring spirited Russian Nail Yakupov along with him on the return date. Teddy Purcell and Matt Hendricks are veterans enjoying strong seasons and are both important to this recent run.

Jordan Eberle, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Benoit Pouliot all have areas of strength based on the numbers above, but their established levels tell us they have more to give this season. History teaches that players in or entering their prime who under-perform in one segment of the season are very likely to spike at a later point. I suspect that is the case with this trio and look forward to it. Eberle appears to be finding the range as we speak.

TRADE? WAIVER CLAIM?

Yesterday, the Edmonton Oilers called up Ryan Hamilton while also placing Benoit Pouliot on IR. That transaction is unusual because Pouliot was day-to-day and appears to have gotten worse or recovery is taking more time (I think it was the Phaneuf hit). Hamilton is an interesting recall but perhaps lacks the foot speed required to play with the speed demons at the top of Edmonton’s forward group.

Three more items make this even more interesting:

  • Edmonton also placed Andrew Ference on IR, effectively opening up a roster spot.
  • Chicago waived two-way winger Viktor Tikhonov, who has a range of skills.
  • Bryan Bickell ‘may’ be recalled today by the Blackhawks according to this report.
  • Nikita Nikitin appears to be arriving at form, scoring six points in his last five games.

Miles of speculation there, but it is possible Edmonton grabs a winger from the windy city today. Here is a very brief thumbnail sketch of the two men;

  • Bickell is 6.04, 225 and brings a physical edge to the game. He is 29 and his $4M cap hit is for this and next season. He has enjoyed some offensive success and was part of two Chicago Stanley’s. This is a Chiarelli-type.
  • Tikhonov is is 6.02, 189 and brings speed and two-way acumen to the game. He was enjoying a quality KHL career before this season (last season’s NHLE: 82GP, 11-21-32) and could be the Pisani we have been looking for all of these years.

I would prefer Tikhonov, doubt he clears waivers and I believe at least one other team has claiming rights before Edmonton. Although it is clearly a stretch, the Bickell item probably fits better into Peter Chiarelli’s established history of roster makeup.

 

 

 

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474 Responses to "G28 2015-16 SABRES AT OILERS"

« Older Comments
  1. AsiaOil says:

    Good win – nice to see Hall being the guy instigating shit along with Nurse (no surprise). Need one more big nasty dog in the top 6 and one in top 4 defense and this team will be a whole lot less fun to play. We’ve got the chips and cap room to get these guys as well – but patience for the right deal.

    To whoever wants to trade Davidson – no how no way – drafted, developed and believed in him – we likely get a home town multi-year deal. He looks increasingly like a top 4 dman in the making.

    Another nice game for my swedish friend in net. Would be rather ironic to be trading Talbot in the spring. Would still try sign him to a short-term deal and he’s commanding fewer dollars every day. He’s not the guy I wanted but he does have talent – depends on the contract he’s willing to accept.

  2. Pouzar says:

    blainer: Welcome back.. Now go again..Lol.. I’m in the mood for another three wins..

    🙂

  3. blainer says:

    Anders Nillson is an NHL Goaltender.

    Brandon Davidson is an NHL defenseman.

    Three in a row without our entire 2nd line..

    Tmac is gonna have a real challenge figuring out the ice time when we get healthy.

    Playoffs Baby !!

  4. marty62 says:

    I think now that these kids have a taste of winning, they may like it and start doing it a bit more regularly.. habit forming… dare to dream….

  5. rich says:

    “Steve Smith”: Hu?

    I don’t know.

  6. marty62 says:

    rich: I don’t know.

    Hu’s on first……

  7. LadiesloveSmid says:

    blainer,

    Khaira also 60.87% ES CF on a night they were mostly up 2, had some nice looks too

  8. Zelepukin says:

    Also loved Purcell’s game. He is really good at proving you wrong by not doing the obvious ‘throw the puck away’ play and instead either retaining possession or making something out of nothing. This is pretty much the opposite of every play made by our other old farts, Fayne and Ference.

  9. "Steve Smith" says:

    Random stat: Taylor Hall has more than twice as many shots as anybody else on the team, with an average of more than four per game. Good player, that – he can keep ignoring his Corsi, as far as I’m concerned.

  10. blainer says:

    Ca$h-McMoney!:
    Honest Question:

    Did anyone watch that game and spend any time wishing we’d thrown money and term at Franson?

    Maybe Godot..

    just kidding !!

  11. fifthcartel says:

    Man, I like Brandon Davidson and I feel like Todd McLellan agrees. 20 min TOI 3 minutes on the PK and out there during the last minute.

  12. Pretendergast says:

    Water Fire,

    Thats Hockey Tonight showed one highlight with Leon, and that was the pocket pick. Forget Mcdavid Eichel’s new enemy is Leon.

  13. RexLibris says:

    Sharks next after they play the Flames the night before.

    Good test for this team coming off a short break and with a small streak going.

  14. RPG says:

    Sad trombone.
    McLellan says he doesn’t expect Yakupov to play before Christmas.

  15. blainer says:

    LadiesloveSmid:
    blainer,

    Khaira also 60.87% ES CF on a night they were mostly up 2, had some nice looks too

    Man he is looking like he wants no part of heading back to Bakersfield..

    Really like him on that line with Nuge and Ebs.. plays the Poo role perfectly and is an even bigger body..

    The back half of this season we are gonna be tough to play against.. Not to mention that Yak2 Sleppy and LB are simmering on the farm

    Very bright days ahead indeed !!

  16. RexLibris says:

    “Steve Smith”:
    Random stat: Taylor Hall has more than twice as many shots as anybody else on the team, with an average more than four per game.Good player, that – he can keep ignoring his Corsi, as far as I’m concerned.

    Hall sees Corsi every morning when he looks in the mirror.

    LT calls him Chance and I can’t think of a better name.

  17. "Steve Smith" says:

    blainer: Really like him on that line with Nuge and Ebs.. plays the Poo role perfectly and is an even bigger body..

    …not that the Oilers have, in recent history, been short of players who play like poo.

  18. MrEd says:

    When did Eberle grow up? He’s the man too.

  19. hunter1909 says:

    RPG:
    Sad trombone.
    McLellan says he doesn’t expect Yakupov to play before Christmas.

    Roman or Orthodox Christmas?

  20. blainer says:

    "Steve Smith": …not that the Oilers have, in recent history, been short of players who play like poo.

    Lol…sooo true…but that’s changing.. Finally !

  21. Ice Sage says:

    RexLibris:
    Sharks next after they play the Flames the night before.

    Good test for this team coming off a short break and with a small streak going.

    No pressure but this is an important game, standings-wise, 4 point swing and all that. Sharks are a team the Oil have to leapfrog to make the promised land this year. Agree, big test, but there seems to be some confidence brewing.

  22. Lackadaisical says:

    Pouzar,

    Welcome back!

  23. marty62 says:

    "Steve Smith",

    That was awesome that was beer out my nose funny..

  24. Gerta Rauss says:

    gogliano:
    When was the last time we were still in the playoff hunt in December?

    In December of 2012 we had the same number of points as the best teams in the NHL

  25. G Money says:

    Shot data up. https://oilersnerdalert.wordpress.com/2015/12/06/g28-2015-12-06-oiler-vs-bison-bison-shot-and-distance-data/

    This is the biggest differential between Fenwicks and Dangerous Fenwicks that I’ve seen yet.

    The regular metrics show this was moderately in the Oilers favour. The DFFs say the Oilers kicked ass. You be the judge as to which is more accurate!

    Feeling good about the new charts too.

  26. frjohnk says:

    fifthcartel:
    Man, I like Brandon Davidson and I feel like Todd McLellan agrees. 20 min TOI 3 minutes on the PK and out there during the last minute.

    Im also really liking Davidson.

    Kinda reminds me of Petry when Petry first came up with the Oilers. I don’t think Davidson is as good as skater, but he can skate the puck out of trouble, can make a good first pass and can launch the puck not unlike Petry.

  27. frjohnk says:

    Gerta Rauss: In December of 2012 we had the same number of points as the best teams in the NHL

    And Theo Peckham’s Corsi was tied with Crosby.

  28. Halfwise says:

    Gerta Rauss: In December of 2012 we had the same number of points as the best teams in the NHL

    Gerta Rauss: In December of 2012 we had the same number of points as the best teams in the NHL

    Those of course were round numbers. All of them.

  29. theres oil in virginia says:

    Pouzar: You’re welcome.

    Do the Oilers still have an AHL affiliate? I’ve lost track since about a few days ago.

    🙂

  30. blainer says:

    We had 25 hits tonight.. We play better when we are hitting.. it gets us In the game.

    Really like it when that number is in the thirties.

  31. Gerta Rauss says:

    TMac post game

    -we talk about confidence from the crease out, and right now, we have that. He feels good when he’s in there, and I can tell you that the 23 guys feel good about him, they believe he’ll make that save

  32. marty62 says:

    Gerta Rauss:
    TMac post game

    -we talk about confidence from the crease out, and right now, we have that. He feels good when he’s in there, and I can tell you that the 23 guys feel good about him, they believe he’ll make that save

    Its been a long long long time since this team had that, and that is a big damn deal

  33. Lowetide says:

    G Money:
    Shot data up.https://oilersnerdalert.wordpress.com/2015/12/06/g28-2015-12-06-oiler-vs-bison-bison-shot-and-distance-data/

    This is the biggest differential between Fenwicks and Dangerous Fenwicks that I’ve seen yet.

    The regular metrics show this was moderately in the Oilers favour.The DFFs say the Oilers kicked ass.You be the judge as to which is more accurate!

    Feeling good about the new charts too.

    Score effects? Looking at the overalls, seemed to me that was a factor.

  34. Pouzar says:

    theres oil in virginia: Do the Oilers still have an AHL affiliate?I’ve lost track since about a few days ago.

    Not too sure… 😛

  35. Ice Sage says:

    G Money:
    Shot data up.https://oilersnerdalert.wordpress.com/2015/12/06/g28-2015-12-06-oiler-vs-bison-bison-shot-and-distance-data/

    This is the biggest differential between Fenwicks and Dangerous Fenwicks that I’ve seen yet.

    The regular metrics show this was moderately in the Oilers favour.The DFFs say the Oilers kicked ass.You be the judge as to which is more accurate!

    Feeling good about the new charts too.

    Wow G that is an elegant quantification of a hockey game – thank you for sharing. I didn’t see the game but between this and the comments above (well, most of them) the net experience is a ‘reasonable facsimile’! Looks like a lot of work – I hope you are feeding / paying / rewarding your minions accordingly!

  36. Chamucks says:

    blainer,

    Probably don’t have the puck a whole lot if you have a tonne of hits.

  37. Ryan says:

    Pouzar:

    I’m pretty much toast on our bet.

    27 gp with zero goals and two apples.

    Someone needs to put a center on waivers quick. 🙂

    Edit: only one HS so far.

  38. Centre of attention says:

    Taylor Hall has 120 shots in 28 games. More then 4 shots a game for #4.

    I think he cracks the 30 goal barrier this season. Book it.

  39. G Money says:

    Lowetide,

    No question. The gap definitely expands (from ~52 to ~55) with the score adjusted numbers.

  40. Pouzar says:

    Ryan: I’m pretty much toast on our bet.

    27 gp with zero goals and two apples.

    Someone needs to put a center on waivers quick.

    Edit: only one HS so far.

    Win-Win 🙂

  41. blainer says:

    Chamucks:
    blainer,

    Probably don’t have the puck a whole lot if you have a tonne of hits.

    Ya thought too but the good teams do hit a lot.. I think for me it’s more about finishing your checks which we are doing a little more lately..

    Now a lot of blocked shots is defiantly a bad stat for a team..

  42. G Money says:

    Ice Sage,

    Thanks Ice! Glad you found it useful.

    Wish I had minions – all of it is the result of my fevered brain, amped up on hefty doses of coffee!

  43. geowal says:

    G Money:
    Shot data up.https://oilersnerdalert.wordpress.com/2015/12/06/g28-2015-12-06-oiler-vs-bison-bison-shot-and-distance-data/

    Jeebus that looks like a pile of work to do each game, well done. Like the charts.

  44. böök¡je says:

    “Steve Smith”:
    I would just like to note, for the record, how distraught I am to have missed the Hu-what fest from the previous page of comments.And some inspired work from that asshole Bookjie on the origins of the phrase “Don’t panic.”

    That phrase, “Don’t Panic”, was first popularized by Moroccan-born rapper, French Montana in his classic video of the same name. It caught on there and is known world wide. It’s particularly popular in the UK.

    We’re in a small galley cabin in one of the spaceships of the Vogon Constructor Fleet.

  45. jp says:

    G Money,

    Impressive numbers, even for a poor opponent.

    Is that DFA/60 = 10 for Gryba a record so far? And the 9.5 for Davidson/Gryba?

    Nice numbers nonetheless.

  46. "Steve Smith" says:

    böök¡je: We’re in a small galley cabin in one of the spaceships of the Vogon Constructor Fleet.

    That’s odd: I can’t see, hear, feel, smell, or taste a damned thing.

    Well, at least I’ve got some tea.

    [Checks inventory]

    Fuck.

  47. LMHF#1 says:

    I wonder who made the choice of calling up Khaira? They look like a genius at the moment.

    And Nilsson keeps getting better. Impressive stuff.

  48. Lowetide says:

    "Steve Smith": That’s odd: I can’t see, hear, feel, smell, or taste a damned thing.

    Well, at least I’ve got some tea.

    [Checks inventory]

    Fuck.

    But you sure play a mean pinball!!

  49. G Money says:

    jp:
    G Money,

    Impressive numbers, even for a poor opponent.

    Is that DFA/60 = 10 for Gryba a record so far? And the 9.5 for Davidson/Gryba?

    Nice numbers nonetheless.

    For players who played that much, definitely. There have been a few really low numbers, but they usually were for someone who played a minute and didn’t give up a shot. But that low for that long? Wow.

  50. "Steve Smith" says:

    Lowetide: But you sure play a mean pinball!!

    Anytime, LT – even at your favourite table.

  51. Chamucks says:

    Sent down Hamilton. Anyone have any idea what that was about?

  52. Lowetide says:

    Chamucks:
    Sent down Hamilton. Anyone have any idea what that was about?

    A just in case, but he also gets a day of major league salary and that is a nice bonus.

  53. marty62 says:

    Chamucks:
    Sent down Hamilton. Anyone have any idea what that was about?

    Like Mclleland said before the game Hamilton was a safety net in case some of the forwards werent healthy enough to play… Hendricks and a few others are nursing bruises for sure

  54. Oilanderp says:

    This result is acceptable.

  55. JDï™ says:

    Chamucks:
    Sent down Hamilton. Anyone have any idea what that was about?

    Usually when you IR someone, you want to be as close to the cap as possible. Maybe that was the play here.

  56. JDï™ says:

    rich: I don’t know.

    THIRD BASE!

  57. Henry says:

    I missed the game. Is it safe to think the Nuge is a nice hockey player again?

  58. JDï™ says:

    Henry,

    Not until his snarl/60 is above 17.

  59. G Money says:

    geowal: Jeebus that looks like a pile of work to do each game, well done. Like the charts.

    Thanks Geo.

    Fortunately, all the work is done by the scripts I’ve written, so when it’s all said and done, I just run the scripts, then arrange the resulting tables and charts into a semi-legible blog post. That’s why I can even post the head to head charts after every period.

    Now the writing of the scripts on the other hand … !

  60. leadfarmer says:

    theres oil in virginia: Do the Oilers still have an AHL affiliate?I’ve lost track since about a few days ago.

    Yeah I’m pretty sure they are called the Edmonton Oilers this year. The real Edmonton Oilers are on IR.

  61. Soup Fascist says:

    Gerta Rauss: In December of 2012 we had the same number of points as the best teams in the NHL

    God damn Mayans!!

  62. Bank Shot says:

    G Money:
    Shot data up.https://oilersnerdalert.wordpress.com/2015/12/06/g28-2015-12-06-oiler-vs-bison-bison-shot-and-distance-data/

    This is the biggest differential between Fenwicks and Dangerous Fenwicks that I’ve seen yet.

    The regular metrics show this was moderately in the Oilers favour.The DFFs say the Oilers kicked ass.You be the judge as to which is more accurate!

    Feeling good about the new charts too.

    Oilers definitely were the better team in this game so your charts aren’t lying. The Oilers had some grade A chances they couldn’t bury.

    It’s fun to watch Hall this season. He’s flying. The Oilers need to get him a dynamic offensive defenseman and he could compete for the Art Ross.

    Khaira had his best night. He’s likely always going to be shy offensively, but you can’t knock him over. I think he’s not the best fit on a skill line, but he didn’t drag the second line too much offensively.

    I was off about sending Nillsson to the minors to start the season. He’s been great the last few games. He got some post luck tonight, but I’ll take it.

  63. striker says:

    G Money: Shot data up. https://oilersnerdalert.wordpress.com/2015/12/06/g28-2015-12-06-oiler-vs-bison-bison-shot-and-distance-data/

    This is the biggest differential between Fenwicks and Dangerous Fenwicks that I’ve seen yet.

    The regular metrics show this was moderately in the Oilers favour. The DFFs say the Oilers kicked ass. You be the judge as to which is more accurate!

    Feeling good about the new charts too.

    Missed the game so just caught highlights and the post-game stuff. Thanks for these charts G. It’s awesome to have these visualizations to examine after the game. I especially like those head to head charts where you divide up the teams by forward lines and d pairs. Must be a lot of work. Thank you!!!

    Sounded like a fun game. Hope they keep it going v San Jose.

  64. striker says:

    Looks like 3rd line (Letestu-Korp-Hend) played most against the Sabres 4th line but still got caved in again on possession. Not good.

    Also notice that Schultz had the lowest TOI of all the dmen. He also ended up with a nice CF%. However those shot locations when he Klef/Shultz were on the ice are not encouraging. If I’m reading the diagram (linked in G’s recap) correctly, the many close shots indicated as being given up by that pair are on the right side (i.e. Schultz’s side). Is Schultz backing off the attacking forwards too quickly or giving up the slot too easily?

  65. SwedishPoster says:

    Lagesson made the swedish junior team as one of 8 D, seven will play in Finland. Kylington didn’t make it which is a joke, neither did Rasmus Andersson, so no Flames prospects which you can enjoy as an Oiler fan but as a swede it’s kind of sad. Grönborg has gone with a bunch of similar defensive D instead but a lack of good passing and only one elite skater. Oh well still a fun tournament. The forward group I really like. The only player I miss is Kovacs.

  66. oliveoilers says:

    Chamucks:
    Sent down Hamilton. Anyone have any idea what that was about?

    Shae Weber deal fell through.

  67. jp says:

    Nilsson now 15th in overall SV% (among goalers with at least 10 GP).

    Average never felt so good!!

    And makes you realize how bad the tenders have been over the past few years. THIS is normal.

  68. Woodguy says:

    JDï™: Usually when you IR someone, you want to be as close to the cap as possible. Maybe that was the play here.

    That’s probably it along with Klinkhammer probably coming off the IR right away.

  69. Bos8 says:

    Woodguy,

    That was an excellent summation in Cult of Hockey. Enjoyed it.

  70. jake70 says:

    Sabres gave them space and time. Love Hall and Draisaitl pair.

  71. Woodguy says:

    Bos8:
    Woodguy,

    That was an excellent summation in Cult of Hockey.Enjoyed it.

    Thanks!

  72. Bos8 says:

    jake70:
    Sabres gave them space and time.Love Hall and Draisaitl pair.

    True. But you can see the team structure more and more which leads to space and time. I especially like the development of the three young D. Sekera is as advertised. Nurse is mayhem under control. There are less and less breakdowns. The team was dominant.

  73. Water Fire says:

    jake70:
    Sabres gave them space and time.Love Hall and Draisaitl pair.

    My take as well. I was able to watch the first 2 periods, the Oilers were controlling play. The first Buf goal was typical, a weak moment in otherwise pretty solid play and a savable goal, but no blame to Nilsson who made that one up for sure.

    They are deadly if you let them play their game. The turn north part is learning how to play their game regardless of the team. Of course every team has their nemesis, hope fully the list gets really short.

  74. Kiltymcbagpipes says:

    Is it just me or is the coffee tasting better every day? It’s amazing what consistent above average goaltending can do to a team’s confidence. Let’s just pretend we traded 3 draft picks for Nilsson and signed Talbot UFA. Ahh, that’s better. Let’s keep it rolling.

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