MCDAVID SKATING, FILM AT 11

Confirmation this afternoon (well, actually late morning) that Connor McDavid has been skating for the last week or so and is ahead of schedule for his return. Reports are here and here. The timeline for return remains something of a mystery—guesses range from New Year’s Eve to post All-Star break—but this has to be regarded as encouraging.

Meanwhile, Todd McLellan appears to be shuffling lines in an effort to find offense from a depleted lineup. Here are today’s lines:

  • Hall—Nugent-Hopkins—Draisaitl
  • Purcell—Hendricks—Eberle
  • Korpikoski—Letestu—Pakarinen
  • Gazdic—Lander—Khaira

Meanwhile, Benoit Pouliot is skating with the team and one would hope we will see him soon. That top line looks loaded, and there is a chance we see it when all hands return. A No. 2 line of Pouliot—McDavid—Eberle has some appeal and I do think Edmonton is anxious to see 97 and 14 together on a line. Where does that leave Nail Yakupov? Don’t know.

THREE SCORING LINES

One thing we have talked about at length on this blog: Three scoring lines, or unicorns as we often call it. I like the idea of three scoring lines, but it is very difficult to find playing time for three lines. Todd McLellan used Joe Pavelski as the 3C while also moving him up at times, maybe that is something that he could do in Edmonton.

Oilers could also run the Nuge on a shutdown line with (say) Lander and Korpikoski, but that is $6M for what amounts to a checking line—plus Nail Yakupov would be out in the cold.

BAKERSFIELD

 

 

Condors are playing an outdoor game tonight, will have updates as the evening rolls along.

No idea what they could be looking for, Edmonton doesn’t play either team in the near future. If the scout is looking for Senators, I would love to see Patrick Wiercioch, Curtis Lazar, Cody Ceci or any number of fine young players coming this way. The Sharks? No idea, but you have to think Todd McLellan’s intel would be good on their group.

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46 Responses to "MCDAVID SKATING, FILM AT 11"

  1. Diesel says:

    I really can’t see him skating for over a month until he returns…

  2. Colieo87 says:

    In my heart I believe three scoring lines is possible. Why can’t it be? you can trump everyone in the league. options can’t hurt you, especially when you have a hot line your ride there coat tales that game mix and match. bargain options. being the crazy alchemist coach and seeing what tonic and spells work to create crafty wizardry and witch craft.
    ?

  3. GCW_69 says:

    If its not Vlasic, I hope they are looking at the Sens.

  4. GCW_69 says:

    The barrier to three scoring lines, I think , will be a coach being willing to marginalize the fourth line down to close to zero EV minutes. Top forward lines run about 19 minutes or more a night total ice time. That leaves little for the fourth line.

  5. lynn says:

    I like Khaira playing on the third or fourth lines. That is where his abilities lie–good forechecker, with the ability to make plays once gaining the puck. Good skater and decent puck-handling skills.

    Jujhar has the ability to stay with Oilers for the rest of the season. Does Chia love Khaira more than Klinkhammer and Gazdic?

    Khaira playing on the Oilers in the new arena for less than $1 million makes sense.

  6. Optimism is Foolish says:

    GCW_69,

    I am not adverse to running three lines and then having your 4th as specialty players on face offs and pk. These guys can also be slotted in elsewhere in the line up during games to remind the top 9 that they are accountable. A 4th line of people like gordon, hendricks and lander gives you 3 very good pkers and talent on the dot as well as energy. If this line plays 3 to 4 min pk, and 3 min ev that leaves 18 min a night for top 3 lines that will also be adjusted based on who is on their game.

  7. Pouzar says:

    4-93-29
    67-97-14

    Sprint to playoff spot.

  8. Woodguy says:

    Five scouts listed to view #Sens/#Sharks – ARI, CHI, EDM, NJ, STL.

    Here are two facts:

    1) The last two teams in the Jultz sweepstakes were OTT and EDM.

    2) The head coach of SJS is Peter DeBoer. DeBoer was also the HC of NJD when Fayne played 1st w/ Andy Green.

  9. RexLibris says:

    To be perfectly honest…

    …I’d be thrilled if the Oilers could even dress three scoring lines with all the injuries they’ve had over the last seven or eight years.

    If they could do the warm-up without having to move someone up because somebody got a puck in the face or their head stepped on by another player.

  10. lynn says:

    Connor Rankin joins Mount Royal–CIS. His stint with the Bakersfield Condors and the Norfolk Admirals opened his eyes: education is more important than a longshot NHL career.

    Source: http://www.mrucougars.com/sports/mice/2015-16/bios/rankin_connor_v2gs

  11. RexLibris says:

    Woodguy:
    Five scouts listed to view #Sens/#Sharks – ARI, CHI, EDM, NJ, STL.

    Here are two facts:

    1) The last two teams in the Jultz sweepstakes were OTT and EDM.

    2) The head coach of SJS is Peter DeBoer.DeBoer was also the HC of NJD when Fayne played 1st w/ Andy Green.

    So move both RD or see which offer is better, then?

  12. Revolved says:

    I can understand the issues with believing in unicorns, but I have not seen a lot of success when we top load our lines, as it appears we will against Colorado. It’s just too easy to shut down a single line.

    I would like to see the three offensive pairs rolled at evens, then loaded up on the PP or when a goal is needed. The fourth liners must all penalty kill and be trusted with D-zone face offs.

    When all are healthy, it must at least be tried!

  13. geowal says:

    lynn:
    Connor Rankin joins Mount Royal–CIS.

    Good for him.

  14. fifthcartel says:

    Woodguy,

    I was just scrolling through the comments to see if anyone mentioned Ottawa being one of the finalists for Schultz.

    Schultz for Wieircioch? Maybe they retain a bit on Schultz?

  15. BONE207 says:

    Bakersfield is the finalist for Jultz. sorry…

  16. Stanley 2018 says:

    I’m guessing he’s top loading the top line just to get these guys sticks sparking again. Gotta love McLellan’s willingness to try anything.

    As far as the 3 lines go, if you got it flaunt it! Let the lines compete for ice time and let the opponent dictate the usage. Plus it will make it easier on the youts when they get into the dog days of the season, where a push for a playoff spot might just be the goal.

  17. Oddspell says:

    fifthcartel,

    I’d be interested in a deal like that. That said, watching his skating, and shooting ability from in close, I would love to try him at forward first. We could be sitting on a useful middle six scoring winger. If he is, then surely he’s more valuable as a #6 dman AND a 40 point winger.

  18. Quinlan says:

    I have a lot of time for Patrick Wiercioch. I’d have even more time if he was a RD.

    He has a strong history of more good things happening than bad when he’s on the ice.

  19. Derek says:

    Run three scoring lines based on the pairs that worked out while the team was healthy(ish).

    Drai-Hall
    Mcdavid-Yak
    RNH-Eberle

    Rotate in Pouliot, Hendricks, Lander, Klinkhammer. Whoever seems to develop chemistry with each pair. Then change the time each pair sees depending on who is performing the best, or the schedule.

    First night of a B2B:

    Drai-Hall 18 min
    RNH-Eberle 18 min
    Mcdavid-Yak 14 min
    4th line – 10

    Game 2 of a B2B

    Mcdavid Yak-18
    Drai-Hall 18
    RNH-Eberle – 14
    4th – 10

    Obviously the numbers aren’t exact because the entire game isn’t played at even strength, but you get the idea.

    Give the forward pair that face the toughest assignments the night before fewer minutes the next night.

    If you could throttle three forward pairs and add a fourth that plays sparingly at evens to avoid shitty efforts like last night with the third game in four nights, or on the second game of back to back you may have better success in those games.

    RE: Jultz

    In my opinion he’s a naturally gifted athlete who can’t process the game at the highest level. A great skater and puck handler, but his decision making is too slow and/or erratic to be successful in the NHL.

    I can’t wait to see Mcdavid play again.

  20. PhrankLee says:

    Woodguy:
    Five scouts listed to view #Sens/#Sharks – ARI, CHI, EDM, NJ, STL.

    Here are two facts:

    1) The last two teams in the Jultz sweepstakes were OTT and EDM.

    2) The head coach of SJS is Peter DeBoer.DeBoer was also the HC of NJD when Fayne played 1st w/ Andy Green.

    I think Edmonton there to look at Anderson.

  21. stush18 says:

    Didn’t mean to run off this afternoon after posting about Schultz, but thought to continue any thoughts while at work.

    To whoever (cash money maybe) replied saying corsi isn’t the best tool we have to analyze dmen, agreed. However it’s a great starting point, and I want positive possession dmen. Seems to me the problem with possession is its hard for defensemen to impact that part of the game. The fact Schultz is positive over the past two years is impressive to my eye.

    To woodguy, who said we needed context, and showed him with and away from klef, also agreed. My argument would be that away from klef, what decent defensemen has he ever actually been paired with? It seems like if he doesn’t play with klef he plays with ference fayne gryba or nikitin. That why I brought up corsi rel, which to my understanding, shows he’s positive in regards to his teammates? I may be incorrectly using that, if so please let me know. I’ve assumed that’s how most “rel” works.

    The real issue comes with his contract, which he isn’t worth. And I don’t have much argument about that

  22. PhrankLee says:

    Detroit is so tenacious.

    Great comeback.

  23. Centre of attention says:

    Burns.

    I would love me some Brent Burns.

    Fayne++ for Burns and don’t ever look back.

    Weircioch would be cool but doesn’t he play left side?

    Peter is doing is work though and its obvious hes searching high and low for a quality top 4 defenseman.

  24. Picturesque says:

    PhrankLee: I think Edmonton there to look at Anderson.

    Talbot + Schultz for Anderson? Hmmmm.

  25. Aron_S says:

    Rain delay in California for the Condors/Heat outdoor game. Sounds interesting. I wonder if they would cancel if it impacts the ice too much?

    Also sucks to watch Vancouver get two points in the 7 round shootout after blowing a few leads. Amazing how many Pacific division teams I can cheer against while hoping the Oilers can get into the playoffs with 50 games to go.

  26. godot10 says:

    Picturesque: Talbot + Schultz for Anderson?Hmmmm.

    Why would one trade an emerging mid-career goaltender for an aging goaltender. Anderson will be done just as the Oiler should be contending. Talbot will be peaking. That would be horrid roster planning.

    Nilsson and Talbot are in the sweet age spot.

    Man, talk about giving up on an potentially outstanding goaltender too soon.

  27. Quinlan says:

    Why in the world would Ottawa trade Anderson?

    33 games into the season and he has started 26 of them.

    Undisputed #1. At this point, a much more proven commodity than Talbot.

  28. Lowetide says:

    Doubt the Senators have plans to deal Anderson.

  29. MrEd says:

    Did I just hear that Matt O’Donnell just donated $10 000 to the Stollery?
    Dude.

  30. Centre of attention says:

    why are we talking about trading for a goalie. Peter has scouts scouring the NHL for defense assets.

    Maybe a middle 6 forward with some “heaviness” who can cash riding shotgun with some impressive line mates is also in the cards.

  31. Lowetide says:

    MrEd:
    Did I just hear that Matt O’Donnell just donated $10 000 to the Stollery?
    Dude.

    Yep. Awesome.

  32. LMHF#1 says:

    Why is Hendricks getting a bump? He’s been doing a whole lot of nothing.

  33. Woodguy says:

    stush18:
    Didn’t mean to run off this afternoon after posting about Schultz, but thought to continue any thoughts while at work.

    To whoever (cash money maybe) replied saying corsi isn’t the best tool we have to analyze dmen, agreed. However it’s a great starting point, and I want positive possession dmen. Seems to me the problem with possession is its hard for defensemen to impact that part of the game. The fact Schultz is positive over the past two years is impressive to my eye.

    To woodguy, who said we needed context, and showed him with and away from klef, also agreed. My argument would be that away from klef, what decent defensemen has he ever actually been paired with? It seems like if he doesn’t play with klef he plays with ference fayne gryba or nikitin. That why I brought up corsi rel, which to my understanding, shows he’s positive in regards to his teammates? I may be incorrectly using that, if so please let me know. I’ve assumed that’s how most “rel” works.

    The real issue comes with his contract, which he isn’t worth. And I don’t have much argument about that

    Here’s his player page on stats.hockeyanalyis for his career: http://stats.hockeyanalysis.com/showplayer.php?pid=1683&withagainst=true&season=2012-16&sit=5v5

    Here’s his player page on BTN for his career: http://www.behindthenet.ca/nhl_statistics.php?c=0+1+3+5+4+6+7+8+13+14+29+30+32+33+34+45+46+63+67&ds=1&f3=JUSTINSCHULTZ&f1=2015_s+2014_s+2013_s+2012_s

  34. Woodguy says:

    LMHF#1:
    Why is Hendricks getting a bump? He’s been doing a whole lot of nothing.

    I thought he was the best Oiler in CHI

    Went 8/11 on the dot too.

    In McLellan’s avail today he mentioned that playing against the best in the world is grinding on Saddle a bit.

    I mentioned on twitter last night that McLellan moving RNH up with Hall was probably more to do with Toews eating Saddle’s lunch than “mixing up the karma”

    Giving him a break and a chance to reset a bit.

    Good of the coach to recognize it and make a move.

    Now if he would only move Nurse off the top pair……….

  35. Zelepukin says:

    Woodguy: I thought he was the best Oiler in CHI

    Went 8/11 on the dot too.

    In McLellan’s avail today he mentioned that playing against the best in the world is grinding on Saddle a bit.

    I mentioned on twitter last night that McLellan moving RNH up with Hall was probably more to do with Toews eating Saddle’s lunch than “mixing up the karma”

    Giving him a break and a chance to reset a bit.

    Good of the coach to recognize it and make a move.

    Now if he would only move Nurse off the top pair……….

    Truth. Especially with Nurse. Every night this kid has to physically and psychology prepare himself to play against the best forwards in the world for the first time. That’s messed up when you think about it. It’s one thing to be ready for the speed and pace of the NHL, it’s another thing to go up against forwards who have decades of experience and know nothing about what their nuances are.

  36. leadfarmer says:

    LMHF#1:
    Why is Hendricks getting a bump? He’s been doing a whole lot of nothing.

    If by nothing you mean the best bottom 6 player on this team that is versatile enough to play any forward posiition while having known leadership qualities to be named US captain last year then yes he’s done nothing.

  37. leadfarmer says:

    Woodguy: I thought he was the best Oiler in CHI

    Went 8/11 on the dot too.

    In McLellan’s avail today he mentioned that playing against the best in the world is grinding on Saddle a bit.

    I mentioned on twitter last night that McLellan moving RNH up with Hall was probably more to do with Toews eating Saddle’s lunch than “mixing up the karma”

    Giving him a break and a chance to reset a bit.

    Good of the coach to recognize it and make a move.

    Now if he would only move Nurse off the top pair……….

    I’ll never understand the games on back to back nights or 3 games in 4 nights. It makes no sense. only way they should do it is if both teams played that same schedule which rarely happens.

  38. Woodguy says:

    stush18,

    Here’s a good object lesson on why RelCor isn’t a good tool for evaluating Dmen without a whole lot of context.

    NSH’s Dmen via RelCor:

    SETHJONES 16.8
    BARRETJACKMAN 15.3
    MATTIASEKHOLM 2.8
    RYANELLIS 2.3
    SHEAWEBER -13.6
    ROMANJOSI -16.3

    Is Barret Jackman the 2nd nest NSH Dman?

    Is Josi the worst?

  39. AsiaOil says:

    Wanted Anderson instead of Talbot last summer – but that ship has sailed – content to keep developing the guys we have.

    Quinlan:
    Why in the world would Ottawa trade Anderson?

    33 games into the season and he has started 26 of them.

    Undisputed #1. At this point, a much more proven commodity than Talbot.

  40. G Money says:

    Hello from the Far East!

    Just checking in. Lovely afternoon, eh wot?

    Take care of young Connor while I’m away , sounds like he’ll be back about the same time as I.

  41. stevezie says:

    I was just looking at the NHL scoring leaders, and I hadn’t realised the degree to which it is four guys out ahead (Kane, Seguin, Benn and Karlsson) and then thirty guys within a couple of points of each other.

    I say this not to disparage Hall, who is on top of the “everybody else” pile, but to compliment Draisatl. The sample size is growing and his ppg remains incredible.

  42. Yeti says:

    G Money,

    How far east are you? Nova Scotia far east??

  43. Ryan says:

    Yeti:
    G Money,

    How far east are you? Nova Scotia far east??

    Dubai.

  44. commonfan14 says:

    stevezie,

    Huh? Hall is a point behind Karlsson.

  45. stevezie says:

    commonfan14,

    There’s a pretty big difference between a winger scoring like that and a dman

  46. leadfarmer says:

    TMac can’t be that smart. Any man that plays Schultz on the pp needs to have his head examined

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