G37 2015-16: OILERS AT FLAMES

That was whatever is beyond ugly. The Oilers had some passengers—well paid—and were shy on the puck luck, bottom line they got a point in a game they probably lose 3-1 a year ago. Lordy this team can look craptastic when they’re of a mind to do it.

  • Todd McLellan: “At the end of the night they got one by our goaltender, but it was a pretty evenly matched game. I liked a number of our players coming out of the Christmas break. I thought they had a little jump in their stride and made some plays. And then there was about five or six that I thought was pulling us down anchor-wise. And hopefully they give us better games tomorrow.” Source

This season, or at least the first half, involved a lot of evaluation. Time is running out for some of these players and I do suspect we are going to see some changes. When? Sooner than later is my guess, but a lot of that depends on when injured players return. I will say this: It is going to be fairly hard to trade Teddy Purcell when he is your best RW and you are in a playoff race.

GEORGE CANYON, 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: 7-3-1
  • Oilers after 36 in 2014-15: 7-22-7, 21 points (-54 GD)
  • Oilers after 36 in 2015-16: 15-18-3, 33 points (-16 GD)

Game 37 last season was a SO win over the Los Angeles Kings. Things began to get better a year ago after this day on the calendar. The Oilers have been very good in December, but this week’s games will go a long way to determining what kind of excitement Connor McDavid comes back to next month.

THE DEFENSE, LAST NIGHT

oilers blue nov 30

  • Sekera—Fayne had a fine night, with No. 2 going 8-1 against Henrik Sedin in 6:09 and 4-5 against Bo Horvat in 4:42. Sekera had an insane chance late and was effective with the puck, I will use adequate to describe Fayne’s puck moving. I am pleased Todd McLellan went with this pair.
  • Nurse—Schultz were an interesting story, beginning with their usage. I am going to cut Todd McLellan a lot of slack because there were no other options, but 23:26 for Nurse cannot go on. The rookie was 4-7 in 6:29 against Henrik and low event 2-3 in 5:40 against Horvat. The commentary had the Sedins chasing the third pairing but in truth the twins played about equal time against the top two pairings.
  • Nikitin-Gryba is a bad pairing. They played less than two minutes against the Sedins and it was not good, although the possession numbers didn’t reflect it. Nikitin was 3-7 against Horvat and that is probably the best result imaginable. If this pairing is out against Gaudreau tonight, they will be setting the woods on fire. Nikitin’s lunatic pass to the opposition killed the shutout, tied the game and put me in a bad mood for quite awhile.

It is a transaction worth making today—unless one of Oscar Klefbom or Brandon Davidson is available tonight. If he is healthy, and GR played last night, the Oilers should have had him on the red eye last night.

CENTERS, LAST NIGHT

oil c nov 30

  • Letestu scored the goal, looked effective and his line performed well. Coach McLellan gave him almost 12 minutes at even strength and he earned it. He was 5-0 versus the McCann line, 6-2 versus Henrik and 2-2 against Horvat. He should be proud of that point in the standings this morning.
  • Lander went 5-0 versus the Vey line, but he is now 4C and has been for a time. I don’t know if it is because there is more ask in the McLellan system but he looks less effective this year, even without the offense. My guess, along with quality of linemates, is that he just needs a damn goal to go in off his stick.
  • Draisaitl didn’t get a point but he was dangerous all night, I especially noticed him in OT. 7-6 against Henrik and 5-6 against Horvat, I have no quarrel with his performance and remember LD had two assists in the Winnipeg game.
  • Nugent-Hopkins was part of the incredibly disappointing 2line again last night. Here are his 5×5 Corsi for events: Horvat 2-7; H Sedin 1-2; Hansen 2-5; D Sedin 1-1; Vrbata 2-8; Baertschi 2-8; Dorsett 0-0; Kenins 1-4!!!; McCann 1-4; Vey 1-5; Cracknell 1-5; Prust 1-5 and he was 3-16 against Yannick Weber. I know he worked hard and I will give credit for drawing a penalty after a long period of disaster when he stole the puck in the neutral zone to make a play, but he and his linemates were beyond shoddy. Is he hurt? He was 1-3 with Taylor Hall. Nuge is now officially a concern.

WINGERS, LAST NIGHT

oilers f nov 30

  • Hendricks was effective save for a 1-4 Corsi trip with RNH (sigh), and he did some heavy lifting too (7-8 against Hansen) although the box suggests he was playing softer opp.
  • Hall was a force (7-4 v. Henrik) and McLellan rode him hard (will again tonight) because he had no choice. What an exceptional player.
  • Pakarinen didn’t play much but when he did the puck was generally headed in a good direction. I imagine the coaching staff is beginning to love the Finn, doesn’t bring a lot of offense but can be counted on. Had an effective 59 seconds with Hendricks (3-0), although the other Finn is starting to push so that point may be moot.
  • Purcell had good numbers and some good looks, but the puck wouldn’t go in. Slick passer, he can keep the train moving with a deft pass and does a nice job of making up for lack of foot speed by waiting for a good passing seam. Smart player.
  • Korpikoski had another good night, I am really warming to his play. WOI has a category called Individual High Danger Scoring Chances and it is mostly filled with the usual suspects. Edmonton had six last night: Hall (2), Leon (1), Nuge (1) and then one each for Hendricks and Korpikoski. Letestu didn’t get one, but did score a goal. Edmonton appears to have their checking line and they do appear to have some of that Pisani offensive ability. He was 0-4 with Nuge (gack!).
  • Gazdic made a dumb banana play, icing the puck because two more strides just weren’t there and it contributed (but a whole helluva lot else happened) to the first VAN goal.
  • Eberle isn’t right, he is skating like a bag of milk and the only thing he did well last night was fold like a cheap suit along the boards in the name of comedy. I really like this player, but he hasn’t caught up after the injury.
  • Pouliot was lost in the supermarket. My Mom used to play me a 45 when I was just a little kid, it was a song I loved called Sleepwalk by Santo & Johnny. Santo & Johnny contributed as much to Edmonton’s cause as Pouliot did last night.

TONIGHT

If they play like last night, have a backup plan. This organization is going to turn north, but I don’t think everyone who plays tonight is going to be part of the solution. They were talking about turkey legs on the broadcast, I think turkey brains may have been the larger issue.

I remember when Kassian was drafted by the Buffalo Sabres, there was a sense he would eventually give them an answer to Lucic and other big forwards in the conference. It never did work out there, or Vancouver, or now Montreal. We have seen this fellow up close and personal, we have seen who he is, and it was not attractive. If the price is right and he has changed his ways, then maybe he is worth it. They better be right.

The guy Peter Chiarelli probably wants is Michael McCarron. He is big, powerful and scoring in the AHL, along with being a physical player. I mentioned this the other day, but if PC is snooping around the Habs, then McCarron is a guy he would like (6.06, 231, 29gp with 13 goals and 50pims as an AHL rookie). Chiarelli did trade NHL players for minor leaguers (Matt Hendricks for Johnny Boychuk) but I cannot imagine the Habs dealing their big winger. That is the kind of player he will be looking to add, a big winger with skill. How many are there in the AHL? Not many.

I suspect that the interest in Kassian (if it is true) springs from the lack of availability of these men and others at the NHL level. Chiarelli will have his list of players who satisfy a need,  and is probably in the market for a big winger to play inside the top 9F, with some time in the top 6F possible. It is more likely a summer thing, but that kind of player will no doubt be added and there is no one that fits in Bakersfield.

Young Mr. Platzer is emerging as an interesting prospect in the AHL this season. The rookies are beginning to push for playing time, interesting top 5 freshman (in scoring) so far:

  1. Kyle Platzer 27gp, 5-7-12
  2. Joey Laleggia 27gp, 3-7-10
  3. Greg Chase 15gp, 1-5-6
  4. Anton Slepyshev 19gp, 4-1-5
  5. Braden Christoffer 22gp, 1-3-4

Platzer leads the way, Laleggia is getting some time at forward, and Chase is beginning to show up on the score sheet after beginning the year in Norfolk. I think Slepyshev will have the strongest NHL career but we are just getting started.

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641 Responses to "G37 2015-16: OILERS AT FLAMES"

« Older Comments
  1. Zelepukin says:

    I’m out of booze so the only thing that will make me feel better at this late hour is typing this shit out:

    Hall – Drai – Purcell
    Hendy – Nuge – Ebs
    Pou – McD – Yaks
    Klink – Lander – Korp

    Klef – Fayne
    Nurse – Seks
    Reinhart – Davidson

  2. BONVIE says:

    Centre of attention:
    SayItAin’tSo, Gretz, SayItAin’tSo!,

    I was directing my “Wtf why are people mad at Todd” comments mainly at Bonvie, and Beerme who seem to be convinced Todd is now the root of the Oilers problems. Instead of the roster, which is frankly completely in shambles due to injuries.

    What would ever make you think I thought Todd wasn’t a good coach because I said people are tired of hearing the excuses?

    The only thing I can say was even critical of Mcllelan was continually putting 4 forwards on the PP, instead of using guys like Nurse.

  3. rickithebear says:

    Zelepukin might want to look at

    Who both RNH and Ebs WoWy Goal dif is strong with.

    Khaira-RNH-Eberle

  4. rickithebear says:

    SayItAin’tSo, Gretz, SayItAin’tSo!:
    rich,

    He could start by changing up the fucking power play lines

    He could copy Nelson’s #3 PP.

  5. v4ance says:

    Elliotte Friedman ‏@FriedgeHNIC
    Going to bed. No confirmation on Kassian for Scrivens, but I believe it’s being worked on. We will see what tomorrow brings.

  6. SwedishPoster says:

    The season is slipping away from us. Wins for Arizona and Anaheim as well. Klefbom needs to come back, desperately. Bringing in Brad Hunt to save the D feels like bringing a spoon to an uzi-fight.

  7. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Zelepukin: Nurse – Seks

    Now THAT sounds promising.

  8. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Just read the thread & saw nothing but hate for Gryba. I don’t understand it, not based on tonight. Corsi of +28/-14,Fenwick +19/-11, shots of +14/-8. Was +1 on the night & had a role to play on the goal. Relatively little trouble against. Had 3 of the Oilers’ 8 (eight!) hits.

    He’s the anti-Schultz, yet people seem to hate on the guy almost as much as they hate on Schultz.

  9. AsiaOil says:

    Bruce McCurdy,

    We all have our biases and inclinations – but the good thing about this site – is that people will challenge those with evidence. Helps to give credit where due to the guys people tend to slag on – and a well deserved kick in the butt to the untouchables.

    …..and yeah Gryba is a perfectly serviceable 3rd paid dman who brings a fair bit of nasty that this team lacks. Hope they bring him back and he works on his skating over the summer.

  10. G Money says:

    Bruce McCurdy,

    The ‘G Money’ stats really liked Gryba the last few games before Davidson went down. Encouraging to hear he continues to play serviceable third pairing D. Oilers problem as always occurs when asking players like him to bat too far up the lineup.

  11. G Money says:

    Remember last season when our opening night top pairing was Hunt-Schultz?

    Good times, good times.

  12. flyfish1168 says:

    v4ance:
    Elliotte Friedman ‏@FriedgeHNIC
    Going to bed. No confirmation on Kassian for Scrivens, but I believe it’s being worked on. We will see what tomorrow brings.

    If the Habs are concern about toughness I would be willing to throw in Gazdic to make this work.

  13. Mr. D. says:

    Yes it should..Schultz won’t due it. KLEFBOM might. To get an A player you need to give up A players. Two b’s is a dream for the dreamers. GM’s aren’t stupid.

    NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”: Nurse’a ceiling is much higher. Oilers lose that trade.

    I’m all for acquiring Hamonic, but there’s no way it should cost Nurse.

  14. theres oil in virginia says:

    One thing I can say definitively about Schultz is that he is making it very difficult for me to offer anything positive about him.

  15. Loyal2theoil says:

    Kassian Trade for Scrivens official

  16. Loyal2theoil says:

    Hope Scrivy can get something going for him in MTL. Also might be nice for him to be somewhat closer to Jenny

  17. Woodguy says:

    Oilers retain 24% of Scrivens’ salary as per LeBrun.

  18. Centre of attention says:

    Scrivens for Kassian straight across. Kassian to report to the Minors.

  19. Woodguy says:

    Good Luck Ben!

    Hope you can revive your career in MTL.

    Say hi to Petey for us.

  20. Oil2Oilers says:

    Woodguy:
    Good Luck Ben!

    Hope you can revive your career in MTL.

    Say hi to Petey for us.

    Remember that time the Oilers traded Gilbert for some guy Yzerman liked.

    Sail on Mr. Scrivens

  21. PhrankLee says:

    I have to learn to be careful what I wish because I just might get it.

    To trade Scrivens for Kassian seems a little, Idk, unclean….

    I’m not looking for moar biggar, as the insult goes around here.

    I’m looking for size with ability in the O zone.

    Kassian has that. But we just traded a universally loved Oiler for the most hated player in Edmonton since, well I’m having trouble drawing comparisons.

    Joel Otto?

  22. theres oil in virginia says:

    So, they trade a professor for a MENSA (DENSA). Very intellectual. For some reason, I don’t hate this as much as I thought I would…yet.

  23. misfit says:

    I don’t care how low the cost, I just hope this Kassian experiment ends shortly after it begins.

    I loathe this player, and not even in that “hate hime when you play against him, but love him when he’s on your team” kind of way.

  24. Dicky94 says:

    I like the trade. Kassian is still young and has great potential. He will be motivated to prove everyone wrong and deserves another chance. Good on Chia for doing it.

  25. fuzzy muppet says:

    Dicky94,

    Agreed. Just from an asset management stand point it’s a good move.

    Scrivens was done in Edmonton. They moved him for a guy who could possibly impact. That’s good asset management.

    All this “locker room poison” talk is just talk. He can’t make them worse.

    It’s low risk, high reward. If it doesn’t work, you cut bait. pretty simple

  26. oliveoilers says:

    Kassian is now playing for a contract, if not here, then somewhere else.

    This should be spelled out for him, maybe good cop, bad cop way by Chia and TMac.

    He fucks this up, he doesn’t get another shot.

  27. Seismic Source says:

    I’m all for second chances. These young men get tempted on a level we can only imagine. I remember my early twenties (some of it anyways). I shudder to think what I would have done with money and fame.

    Good Luck Kassien. Stay clean, stay focused.

    Good Luck Scrivens. What a great opportunity for a good guy.

  28. sliderule says:

    Flames bottom six had 12 hits

    Oiler bottom six had 2 hits

    Food for thought

  29. oliveoilers says:

    sliderule:
    Flames bottom six had 12 hits

    Oiler bottom six had 2 hits

    Food for thought

    Flames had 5 goals.

    Oilers had 3.

    Food for thought.

  30. leadfarmer says:

    So we traded a player that we don’t want for a player we soon will not want. Sounds fair.

  31. flyfish1168 says:

    I like the trade. Big last chance texaco. Has potential that he my finally fulfill. Heavy game with top 6 potential. Knows Taylor well. Hopefully he gets it and we benefit from this

  32. PhrankLee says:

    oliveoilers: sliderule:
    Flames bottom six had 12 hits
    Oiler bottom six had 2 hits
    Food for thought
    Flames had 5 goals.
    Oilers had 3.
    Food for thought.

    The oilers were pushed around like a sack of corn all night. All damn night.

    It would be an actual argument if the omission of Oiler physicality led to scoring chances against.

    They do not. Not with this squad.

    It works with the Sedin brothers.

    They are trying to get bigger and stronger to compete within the actual WC.

    Not the theoretical WC. Or the theoretical world where Cody Franson is a solid defender.

    The actual conference where being big and strong helps create space for your skill forward.

    We talk about balance all the time. Balance on each line is what the coach wants. He has to put someone out there with our skill guys who can create physical pressure. If not someone to be physically punishing.

    We are too timid and avoid tough areas.

    That’s food enough.

  33. square_wheels says:

    Bruce McCurdy,

    The problem with Gryba playing well is then were tempted to resign yet another 5-7 D, blocking the spots that should be filled by Reinhart, Schultz and to some degree Nurse.

    This black hole that is our D needs some bold moves to address, as holding out the Buff wants to play in western Canada might be a dream.

  34. Pajamah says:

    oliveoilers: Flames had 5 goals.

    Oilers had 3.

    Food for thought.

    Precisely. Don Cherry is replicated 10 times over at Sportsnet.

    3rd star, Sam Bennett, he had hits don’tcha know! Really turned the tide of the game.

    its like fighting. It’s been proven that they have no bearing on the game whatsoever.

  35. square_wheels says:

    PhrankLee,

    So we should not be complaining about acquiring a young “project” RW that’s capable of actually playing and seems to have no issue making contact with the opposition.

    Sather used to find these players every year, with no internet we probably had only anecdotal evidence of why they were available, but we have always been a team that seems to cobble together great bottom 6 forwards from the Hinterlands.

  36. Halfwise says:

    flyfish1168:
    I like the trade. Big last chance texaco. Has potential that he my finally fulfill. Heavy game with top 6 potential. Knows Taylor well. Hopefully he gets it and we benefit from this

    Is Taylor Hall’s leadership going to be tested here? Former teammate, guy whose career path has diverged from Kassian’s in a good way. “Taylor, we need your help to salvage this wreck.”

  37. Kmart99 says:

    So is the plan:

    hall-drai-purcell
    Pou-CMD-Yak
    Kassian-Nuge-Ebs
    Hendo-Lander-Letestu
    ?

    Klefbom-Davidson
    Nurse-Sekera
    Gryba-Reinhart
    ?

    I still don’t like that D core. Unless Nurse finds another level of play.

  38. sliderule says:

    Pajamah,

    Fighting has zero effect on the game is true.

    Hitting has a lot of effect on the game.

    You don’t have to beleive me .

    You can ask any of the thirty coaches in NHL and almost any league.

  39. PhrankLee says:

    Pajamah: It’s been proven that they have no bearing on the game whatsoever.

    I’d like to see that proof.

    Big hits are sensational, dangerous and memorable. I grant you could be right in that example. I am actually against big open ice hits and boarding and fighting.

    The hits that have a huge bearing on the game are in the corners and in front of the net.

    They are rarely big impacts. The NHL is allowing all manner of pick plays as well.

  40. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    Mr. D.:
    Yes it should..Schultz won’t due it. KLEFBOM might. To get an A player you need to give up A players. Two b’s is a dream for the dreamers. GM’s aren’t stupid.

    Who said anything about Schultz? Who said anything about GMs being stupid?

    Hamonic asked for a trade, to Western Canada specifically. Snow has less leverage.

    If the Oilers wanted Hamonic and they offered Klefbom this trade would have already been done. It certainly would not cost Nurse.

    Go tell that to whatever dreamers you are addressing.

  41. Bruce McCurdy says:

    square_wheels:
    Bruce McCurdy,

    The problem with Gryba playing well is then were tempted to resign yet another 5-7 D, blocking the spots that should be filled by Reinhart, Schultz and to some degree Nurse.

    So when someone has the temerity to suggest Gryba did play well the best policy is to stick our fingers in our ears and go “LALALALALALA” ?

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