BLUE MOON, WITH HEARTACHE

I fear the Oilers are causing us to divide into blame camps. I fear we are seeing a modern day Tower of Babel, although in this case instead of speaking in tongues, we are all watching the same game but reaching different conclusions. The defense sucks! The goalie is mad! Power Play! And on it goes. In truth, it seems to be a rotating ‘what bit you in the ass last night?’ season so perhaps it is predictable we would all choose our poison and yell like banshees as we go down with what may yet emerge as another lost season.

This morning, today, I believe the Edmonton Oilers can make the playoffs.

MY AIM IS TRUE, 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: 7-5-1
  • Oilers after 38 in 2014-15: 8-22-8, 24 points (-55 GD)
  • Oilers after 38 in 2015-16: 15-20-3, 33 points (-21 GD)

Well dammit, they have given back the ‘one giant leap for mankind’ December, and we are left with a solid back out of the driveway. Small victories are big steps. The goal differential, about halfway through the season, sits at +34. Good day sunshine!

DEFENSE, LAST NIGHT

oilers blue nov 30

  • Sekera—Fayne is the right thing to do. They played the Kopitar line and did well, although the fourth goal may have been prevented with a firmer stand at the blue. Fayne is slow, he barely has time to get to the puck to make the play, but the key is that he does in fact know the right play when he arrives. I would keep him there.
  • Hunt—Gryba worked like buggers last night and the results overall were far better than I imagined. Gryba ended up handling the headman passes more often than Hunt, one would hope the job gets divided up in a different manner next game.
  • Nurse—Schultz had many adventures, I could live with this duo if they were the third group on the team. Nurse fought Milan Lucic and survived, and started a dandy scoring play with a deft move out of his own zone and pass to daylight. Schultz had some wobbly bits, but the Oilers were asking more of him and he did his best to deliver. The young man is in the ‘get Tom Poti out of here’ era with the fanbase, this is the ugly side of Edmonton hockey. I sat in the stands with my boy as Oilers fans showered Poti with boos, suspect some young fan will experience the same thing with Schultz in the coming days.

I do like the fact Peter Chiarelli is searching for free and possibly effective talent (free as in no asset required) but also wonder what Richards has left. Given Todd McLellan’s penchant for employing many centers, I wouldn’t be too quick to link this rumor with the demise of Anton Lander.

CENTER, LAST NIGHT

oil c nov 30

  • Anton Lander and his line dominated possession, but Mersch got the goal. That my friends is the tale of the Swede this season. I still like his game, he is going to have to be a bat out of hell to save his job for next season, though.
  • Leon Draisaitl spent most of the evening against Kopitar (10:00, 14-14) and still managed to lead the team (tied with Korpikoski) with four individual high danger scoring chances (all evidence via War-on-Ice). Home game, McLellan could have switched up, but he let the German battle Kopitar all night night. Well done, Leon.
  • Mark Letestu scored again, his line was solid to my eye, suspect part of it comes from being committed to McLellan’s place and chase style. I am seeing him better and better as the season rolls along, ML is on pace for 11 goals.
  • Ryan Nugent-Hopkins saw the lesser opponent, was under 50 percent but did get the primary on Pouliot’s goal. He was 4-6 Corsi events in 4:18 against Kopitar (that’s fine) but only 8-8 against the Shore line—Oilers needed to make hay there.

WINGERS, LAST NIGHT

oilers f nov 30

  • Luke Gazdic was part of the Lander line and that trio played more than usual because the puck was heading in a good direction. I don’t know how he survives on the roster when everyone comes back, but this is his high water mark as an NHL player.
  • Jordan Eberle is a dangerous man with the puck on his stick, but for some reason Edmonton didn’t get it there often enough. I can’t help but think Chiarelli-McLellan confirmed their opinion about being hard on the puck last night, the Oilers are simply too easy to get the puck from.
  • Matt Hendricks was out for a prolonged period of the game, don’t know why. I love his consistent effort and his line is a good one.
  • Teddy Purcell had just one individual scoring chance, but I liked his game a lot. He helped recover the puck several times, seems to be flourishing under McLellan.
  • Taylor Hall was less effective than normal but remained a going concern. The big line has cooled off of late, I wouldn’t change them up, though. Great chem, even last night. He was 0-7 in 1:19 with Korpikoski, must have been a botched line change. Took a selfish penalty in the third.
  • Lauri Korpikoski had an uneven game, but that pass to Letestu was high skill under pressure, a very nice moment. He has been much better in recent weeks. Co-lead the team with four high-danger individual scoring chances.
  • Iiro Pakarinen got hurt. Dammit. Like this player.

ON NAIL YAKUPOV

Double dammit! Frack! The Oilers secrecy on these things lulls you into a false sense of promise. That injury was so unfair to the young man, here is hoping he gets back soon and recaptures the magic of that line. Gack! Timing is everything, if McDavid finds chem with Eberle, do they try Nail LW?

ON BRANDON DAVIDSON

That is very good news. The Ducks are trending in a better direction but are not out of the woods. Insert Davidson into the lineup and the Oilers are a better group instantly.

ON OSCAR KLEFBOM

Huh. I thought it was a finger injury? Thoughts?

Terrible goaltending by Cam Talbot. You cannot have 90 seconds like those and expect the net consistently. I remain a fan of Talbot, but this isn’t good and it has happened before. I expect we may see whale hunting in goal and (possibly) a repeat of the Nikolai Khabibulin signing of 2011. UFAs who will be available this summer? Cam Ward, Jonas Hiller, Karri Ramo, James Reimer, Anton Khudobin—mostly poor, stem to stern. The Oilers badly need Talbot to turn out, but we have seen this movie before, with Devan and Scribbles, with LaBarbera and with Fasth. If you have an answer, call the Oilers. I cheer for all these guys. You have to stop the GD puck!

princess bride

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

We’re back! But just for one day! I will also be filling in for Dave Jamieson today, so four hours of ramble on, beginning at 10, TSN1260. Scheduled to appear on the Lowdown:

  • Bruce McCurdy, Cult of Hockey. I look forward to our chats, look forward to having better subject matter than the Q and A this morning. Maybe we will talk of Pluto. Can he play defense?
  • Andrew Bucholtz, 55-Yard Line. Have you see the CFL free-agency list? Fantastic. Dare to dream!
  • Scott Burnside, ESPN. We will talk about the Kings and their strength, could we see another Stanley on the left coast?
  • Paul Almeida, SSE. Paul is in Finland for the WJs, we will find out about the food and the hockey.

10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. See you on the radio!

 

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105 Responses to "BLUE MOON, WITH HEARTACHE"

  1. Woodguy says:

    I blame Laforge.

  2. leadfarmer says:

    It amazes me how weak Talbot is between the ears. Its would be one thing if he was 21 but he will be 29 in the offseason. He lets in one bad goal and then collapses mentally. That was about the worst 90 sec Ive seen a goalie play.

  3. Lowetide says:

    leadfarmer:
    It amazes me how weak Talbot is between the ears.Its would be one thing if he was 21 but he will be 29 in the offseason.He lets in one bad goal and then collapses mentally.That was about the worst 90 sec Ive seen a goalie play.

    Meh. I don’t think any of these guys are weak, high performance athletes are stunning in their single-mindedness and attention to the task. Jeff Krushell has done a lot of work on this, and they are absolutely able to flush everything from their minds. Talbot is probably just getting used to playing in front of a team that doesn’t cover the obvious and the obscure.

    He is costing himself a lot of money, though.

  4. John Chambers says:

    Chia must think: “God, this train wreck is worse than I thought”.

    Still think the team wins games on the reg once Klef and McD return, so at least the conclusion to this season should be positive.

  5. tcho says:

    I blame the 50/50 draw folks – bad body language every game.

  6. Centre of attention says:

    I was saying the whole game I was impressed with the Oilers effort. Hall was asserting himself so well until they went down a few.

    A couple soft goals can still get this team down, but they came back out and gave the fans an honest effort in the 3rd period as well.

    Nuge is coming on lately, Eberle is starting to lay picks on the forecheck and create a bit of space and Pouliot has found the range. Good to see it happened against the kings where Nuge usually struggles.

    I have a feeling they beat the Ducks. Just a hunch.

  7. Kmart99 says:

    Have to agree on Talbot. Awful two goals by him. The Oil have done that to enough teams this year, it was bound to happen to them.

    On a positive note:
    It’s so rare for the Oilers to win the possession battle against the Kings that I’m sort of happy with a moral victory. At the end of a losing streak you lose games you should win. So I’m thinking the Oil are about to go on another decent run. The Ebs line is really picking up steam, as is Letestu’s line. Hall still shows up every game, and once Klefbom and Davidson and Connor and Yak are all back, along with Hamonic via some sort of trade at the deadline, there’s no doubt this team will be competitive.

  8. Woodguy says:

    PACIFIC DIVISION STANDINGS VIA GAMES (TIES BROKEN WITH ROW)

    3RD PLACE WILL ALWAYS = 0

    LAK +11
    ARI 0
    SJS 0
    ———————-
    CGY -1
    ANA -2
    VAN -2
    EDM -6

    Gonna need to go on a run to have a shot. I think they have it in them, but not having Klefbom for the majority of the homestand is really going to hurt.

    Also,

    BOTTOM IN THE NHL AND TIES VIA GAMES (TIES BROKEN WITH ROW)

    30TH PLACE ALWAYS = 0

    30 – CBJ 0
    29 – EDM +3
    28 – TOR +6
    27 – BUF +6
    26 – CAR +6
    25 – VAN +7
    24 – ANA +7

    That’s all the teams “under .500” in the NHL.

    Only Gary could create a league that has 77% of the teams at .500 or better.

    Variable points available per game (some games worth 2pts, some worth 3) is from the devil.

  9. Woodguy says:

    Centre of attention:
    I was saying the whole game I was impressed with the Oilers effort. Hall was asserting himself so well until they went down a few.

    A couple soft goals can still get this team down, but they came back out and gave the fans an honest effort in the 3rd period as well.

    Nuge is coming on lately, Eberle is starting to lay picks on the forecheck and create a bit of space and Pouliot has found the range. Good to see it happened against the kings where Nuge usually struggles.

    I have a feeling they beat the Ducks. Just a hunch.

    Playing well then getting sunk by weak goals against was really the story of the first 3 months last year too.

    Really disappointed in Talbot.

    He has the starters job within his grasp but it seems like every time he’s about to grab it he slips.

  10. haters says:

    The turning point for me is when Hunt got beat and outmuscled behind the night and the King forward just powered to the night shoving the puck five hole on Scriv.. Talbot .

    5″8 guys can’t play D in the chel.

    It was a nice try but I would prefer to see griff back playing on wrong side than that nightmare again.

    Chia needs to get that D at least bandaid fixed because those 360$ a seat tickets are looking awfully expensive in this economy.

  11. Ca$h-McMoney! says:

    Kmart99:
    Have to agree on Talbot.Awful two goals by him.The Oil have done that to enough teams this year, it was bound to happen to them.

    OK so I didn’t watch the game last night so I’m not sure what the bad goals looked like, however…

    We’ve already broken an NHL record for goals allowed from behind the goal line this year. So I’m not sure we owed one to the gods last night.

    We have let in a boatload of the ultra-soft-shouldn’t-ever-happen-in-the-nhl goals this year, before last night. Both guys, but Talbot has been worse for it by eye.

  12. Younger Oil says:

    I blame Chia for using a 1st and a 2nd round pick to get a player no better than Marincin, then trading Marincin for a 4th.

    I blame McLellan for giving Schultz so much ice time when he is so incapable.

    I blame MacT for fucking this team over with some horrible, horrible contracts.

    Chia and McLellan have done some good things so far, but have also done some bad. However, with the state the team was in, and with all the injuries, they have done ok.

    Nobody expected the Oil to be a playoff team this year, it’s just the fans have a shorter fuse with every year without postseason.

  13. Woogie63 says:

    We were told by the coach there would be games like this ….moving on

  14. Woodguy says:

    Oilers all situations (5v5 + special teams, 4v4 etc)

    2015/16 as of December 30th 2015

    SH% 8.5 (tied 20th)
    SV% .901 (25th)
    PDO 986 (26th)

    2014/15 as of December 30th 2014

    SH% 7.5 (28th)
    SV% .887 (30th)
    PDO 961 (30th)

    So its better, but not miles better.

  15. frjohnk says:

    Defence leaves a lot to be desired.

    Goaltending needs to be better.

    PP is meh.

    But 38 games into the year and we are only 4 points back.

    Reinforcements will help

  16. Seymore says:

    Great game last night if you remove the 90 seconds and Terrible officiating. Loved seeing us outshoot LA. If you want to reward skill plays and promote goal scoring you have to call a penalty when it occurs. LA got away with 6 obvious calls which took away Edmonton’s momentum. 3 Highsticks, 2 trips and crosscheck. 3 icing calls against Edmonton when the clearing attempts went off an LA player is bush league.

    I thought Lander played great, came sooo close a few times, and made some very nice skill plays. I think the offence will come very shortly given opportunity and confidence from Tmac.

    If you carefully watch the last few games, teams are targeting both goalies with goal line shots. That desperately needs to be addressed as its a momentum killer.

    Eberle continues to be weak on the boards in our own end. The outzone play cannot happen on his side. Someone has to rush it out when he is on.

    I disagree with you LT about Talbots confidence. It was so obvious he was shaken up from the first goal, the next dump in shot toward the net he stopped with his blocker and he had no idea where the rebound went. I was sitting right behind him and could see the change in his body language. My cousin even got a text from a friend saying they should pull him before the next 2 went in.

    The message should be clear to the tenders and the goalie coach to fix the goal line issue. Anytime one of those go in, auto pull.

  17. theres oil in virginia says:

    Ca$h-McMoney!: OK so I didn’t watch the game last night so I’m not sure what the bad goals looked like, however…

    We’ve already broken an NHL record for goals allowed from behind the goal line this year.So I’m not sure we owed one to the gods last night.

    We have let in a boatload of the ultra-soft-shouldn’t-ever-happen-in-the-nhl goals this year, before last night.Both guys, but Talbot has been worse for it by eye.

    Talbot cheated off the post (again) and got burned for it. That was the first goal and it started a 90-second fuck-fest. He’s got to stay disciplined. I agree with LT above that he probably is trying to anticipate and cover for the less-than-adequate defense. I saw the same thing last year.

  18. LMHF#1 says:

    On the goalie front, I’d look to Tampa and NYI.

    The lightning now appear to have two good young goalies plus Bishop. Maybe you could work something out there. On the island, Halak could be gettable if you’re want a vet on a reasonable deal.

    Amazing though that the forward quality has kept this team afloat with that group of D.

  19. JAG-041 says:

    Woodguy:
    Oilers all situations (5v5 + special teams, 4v4 etc)

    2015/16 as of December 30th 2015

    SH% 8.5 (tied 20th)
    SV% .901 (25th)
    PDO 986 (26th)

    2014/15 as of December 30th 2014

    SH% 7.5 (28th)
    SV% .887 (30th)
    PDO 961 (30th)

    So its better, but not miles better.

    What do the corgis say this year compared with last?
    I seem to remember all the corgis barking last year but we still weren’t winning.

  20. rickithebear says:

    G1: WTF schultz; keep dancing, Talbot leaves post to key on pass to lewis driving slot.
    Goalies lack of faith in slot cover!

    G2: AHLer Brad Hunt beat by AHLer with free drive in front of net!

    G3: Toffoli edge of HC area. Open hole shot over shoulder. More than 50% go in. Happen to be the game it went in.
    Study open and closed hole shots. Go thru the whole season!

    G4: WTF schultz; moved to cover player already covered. Before turning on high slot player. Should have held and pressured high slott and eliminate easy cross ice pass.The most basic box defence read. Schultz is 26 next year.

    G5: PP scramble.

    Schultz; Hunt; Schultz.

  21. böök¡je says:

    I’m a somewhat damaged Oilers fan (so say we all) so all I can wonder this morning is if Scrivens is going to outplay Talbot and Nilsson for the rest of the season and get a shutout when he plays the Oilers.

  22. HugThePost says:

    To borrow a line used around here, it literally is the Same as It Ever Was with this team.

    I’ve watched the Oilers since the glory years but we are still paying the price for having that team.

    We have a team:

    That cannot build on successes. We follow up goals with a goal against seconds later. We follow up win streaks with losing streaks that are just as long if not longer.

    Any puck that gets within 50 feet of our net has a reasonable chance of going in, even if from behind the goal line. It was like that with Tommy Salo and insert any other goalie we’ve had here since Fuhr all the way to Talbot.

    Our defence was built to facilitate the other team’s cycle. Any other team. We are the team to practice your cycle on. We also are the team to get your first NHL goal on. I don’t know the stat, but there are literally generations of players since the 90’s who have potted their first one on us.

    We are the masters of making new nhl goalies look like the second coming of Hasek.

    When the heat goes up and the fans get ornery, they blame players through the media and turn the heat away from them and onto certain players.

    This organization has ground players down, destroyed their careers, and those lucky enough to get out of this shitshow have gone on to resurrect themselves and have productive, some wildly successful careers. The one thing they are good at however is controlling their message, and that message has been “wait until _______ happens, and we will be fine”. It’s just the same shit from these guys, with a revolving door of players coming here and taking their turn through the Grinder.

    I feel bad about being so pessimistic during this time of year, but I’m tired of the same old shit from this organization. They should be ashamed of wasting years off the careers of players like Taylor Hall, Yak, and 83 and now Drai and McD. I just feel like time continues to march on and am wondering if I’m going to live to even see another fun Oiler team to watch. Nevermind playoffs or the Cup, I just want to be proud of the team again.

  23. G Money says:

    Wondering what the expectations are for this team right now? The angst suggests expectations are high.

    If so – why?

    To my mind, the Oilers less Klefbom, the revelatory Davidson, Yak, and McDavid are a bottom 5 team.

    They’re a 20th place team with those guys in and healthy.

    With them out? It’s a shit roster, with Hall and some decent talent up front, and Sekera and pretty much no talent on D.

    With this team, lose the goaltending, lose the game, every time. Wins come from a goalie standing in his head.

    For this lineup to win the possession battle – and that includes the DTM xG metrics that account for distance and type of chances – against LA is hella impressive, and much more than I would have expected.

    Kings are again a legit contender, and the Oil a bottom feeder. A reprise of the 5-0 Van beatdown wouldn’t have surprised.

    Bring on those stupid waterfowl and hope for some goalie magic.

  24. Rebilled says:

    Younger Oil,

    Some people expected the Oilers to be a playoff team this year. They’re 4 points out right now.

    However, some people knew we were cursed when Eberle got hurt in the preseason and then McDavid gets hurt the day before he returns. Oh yeah, and the ref killing Yakupov.

  25. Klima's_Bucket says:

    I watched the Panthers/Habs game last night.
    Barkov was stellar.

    Ben Scrivens made at least seven incredible saves or that game could have been 8-1 Florida.

    Why can’t the Oilers ever get a tender like that???

  26. G Money says:

    It seems that with regular players, most observers of the game have the ‘recency bias’ dial set to 5, but as soon as they start watching the goalers, the recency bias dial gets set to 11.

  27. stush18 says:

    I really think this team is one defensemen, centre and a goalie away from competing.

    Whether it’s hamonic or buff, and a goalie like reimer, or the emergence of talbot or nillson.

    I love Purcell, prolly one of his biggest supporters, but I think the smart play is to deal him at the deadline if we are out of it.

    Kassian is such a huge wildcard. Even if he plays on the fourth line I think he can make a difference

  28. G Money says:

    I’m getting Asian ads on the site right now due to my location … and interestingly enough, one of them is for SAS with Hadoop for big data analytics.

    To which I think, for fucks sake, my handwritten scripts are more reliable than the NHL’s SAP platform for generating basic stats from the play-by-play . The ad on a hockey stats oriented site is not the most convincing of juxtapositions .

  29. G Money says:

    stush18,

    I’d say two top four defenseman rather than a defenseman and a centre. A competent goalie is of course a must – as always goaltending is half the game unless you don’t have it, in which case it’s 100% of the game.

    Those plus getting our injured players back and this is actually a playoff team, something I have not believed for the last five years. ( my hunter prediction for the season was 82 points and I continue to stand by it)

  30. Woogie63 says:

    rickithebear,

    I don’t see the 4th goal laid completely at Shultz feet.

    Brown and King are driving the net, if Shultz moves away from that action he leave
    Nurse in a 2 v 1.

    King is driving on Nurse’s inside shoulder which will place a “King” between Nurse and the puck, Shultz is correct to plug up the homebase.

    Hall and or Driasaitl need to take the third man, imo

  31. Clay says:

    I entered “Bob MacKenzie top 10” in my google search bar today, a full two months later than normal.

    Small victories are big steps.

  32. GCW_69 says:

    Oilers are on pace for ~70 points. That’s not play-off territory, that’s lottery territory.

    Chia decided to burn this year to get some bad contracts off the books and its burning, baby, its burning. When he says nonsense like that he needs to see the defence all healthy together to judge it, that’s total BS being thrown out there to justify inaction. He has all of last season’s tape at his disposal, plus almost half a season of games from this year. It doesn’t take more than that to figure out what you have and don’t have with this defence.

    On the goaltending – get LB up here and see what he can do. If he can’t take the job from Talbot and Nilsson, go get Freddy Andersen in the summer. Sure looks like he will be available.

  33. GCW_69 says:

    John Chambers:
    Chia must think: “God, this train wreck is worse than I thought”.

    Still think the team wins games on the reg once Klef and McD return, so at least the conclusion to this season should be positive.

    He must think, “wow, this is one angry fan base. Why aren’t they watching the Patriots to distract themselves?”

  34. godot10 says:

    stush18:
    I really think this team is one defensemen, centre and a goalie away from competing.

    Whether it’s hamonic or buff, and a goalie like reimer, or the emergence of talbot or nillson.

    I love Purcell, prolly one of his biggest supporters, but I think the smart play is to deal him at the deadline if we are out of it.

    Kassian is such a huge wildcard. Even if he plays on the fourth line I think he can make a difference

    Reimer is NEVER healthy.

    When he starts playing well he gets hurt. See Pitlick.

  35. oliveoilers says:

    GCW_69:
    Oilers are on pace for ~70 points.That’s not play-off territory, that’s lottery territory.

    Chia decided to burn this year to get some bad contracts off the books and its burning, baby, its burning.When he says nonsense like that he needs to see the defence all healthy together to judge it, that’s total BS being thrown out there to justify inaction.He has all of last season’s tape at his disposal, plus almost half a season of games from this year.It doesn’t take more than that to figure out what you have and don’t have with this defence.

    On the goaltending – get LB up here and see what he can do.If he can’t take the job from Talbot and Nilsson, go get Freddy Andersen in the summer.Sure looks like he will be available.

    So, he’s damned because he’s using this season to see what he’s got, but he should get LB up here…..to see what he’s got?

  36. Kmart99 says:

    Good goalies go on bad runs. I still believe Talbot can grab the starter job this year and finish +.915. Look at Lundquist. Not to compare, but he’s having a brutal go of it atm.

    Talbot still has a long enough track record of good goal tending. These sub .900 games happened to him in NYR and they’ll happen here.

    Being without some key players is the biggest factor, and unfortunately the Oilers have to keep trucking along.

    I said this 5 game stretch would be a 2-2-1 so they’re right on track at 0-2-1 🙂 ! Here come 2 wins in a row!

  37. Pouzar says:

    I just hope LB gets his shot sooner rather than later.
    You won’t be seeing those cheapie goals going in on him. Stellar positioning all around.
    Even more impressed by him when I saw him live this year.

  38. ohhell says:

    HugThePost: Nevermind playoffs or the Cup, I just want to be proud of the team again.

    This!

  39. fifthcartel says:

    Sam Gagner finally gets some time to develop in the AHL!

  40. GCW_69 says:

    oliveoilers: So, he’s damned because he’s using this season to see what he’s got, but he should get LB up here…..to see what he’s got?

    He’s damned because there is was no reason on earth to believe in the defence he started the season with. He knows exactly what he has there and there is no help coming from Bakersfield. Not saying making a trade is easy but he isn’t being paid chump change either. He is well paid to figure out ways to make the team better, sooner.

    On the other hard, in net, he has two unproven goalies who are at best turning in uneven performances. Down in Bakersfield he has a goalie that seems to be playing very well, and very consistently, and this is following a very strong year last year as well. There also seems to be less evidence that goalies improve much the longer they hang around in the AHL, unlike defencemen. So, its a different situation. The only plausible reason not to give LB a shot is that he believes the defence is so bad no goalie can offset it. If you believe that, how could you enter the season with that defence? Finding out what he has in LB now provides the opportunity to not spend assets fixing the problem yet again this summer. Getting an Andersen won’t be cheap, so I would want to exhaust all internal options before I went and got him.

  41. Woodguy says:

    Pouzar:
    I just hope LB gets his shot sooner rather than later.
    You won’t be seeing those cheapie goals going in on him. Stellar positioning all around.
    Even more impressed by him when I saw him live this year.

    I like LB too.

    Turns 23 in March.

    If he posts north of .920 in the AHL he should be the back up next year.

  42. stevezie says:

    I really agree that watching the Oilers right now is a bit of a personality test. What do you think was the problem?

    I think it’s good to admit what’s out of your control (goaltending), and focus more on doing things right than not doing things wrong. So I’m not mad at Schultz or Hunt Or Hall’s mistakes, I’m mad we only scored 2 goals and seemed to lose a lot of puck battles.

    Not that the other stuff wasn’t a problem.

    I did think Hunt earned himself another game. He wasn’t a pp all-star, but moved the puck well and shot a lot.

  43. Woodguy says:

    JAG-041: What do the corgis say this year compared with last?
    I seem to remember all the corgis barking last year but we still weren’t winning.

    5v5 Corgis Oct1 – Dec 30 for both seasons

    14/15
    49.8% (18th)

    15/16
    48.4% (21st)

    There’s a reason some of us liked the team but not the results last year.

  44. ohhell says:

    Not sure if others felt the same, but my confidence level with Hunt on the PP far exceeds that of Shultz.

  45. Woodguy says:

    Here are some other comparisons:

    5v5 Scoring Chances:

    14/15
    SCF/60 – 24.1
    SCA/60 – 25.1
    SCF% 49%

    15/16
    SCF/60 – 26.1
    SCA/60 – 27.6
    SCF% 48.6%

    5v5 High Danger Scoring Chances
    14/15
    HDSCF/60 – 9.5
    HDSCA/60 – 11.0
    HDSCF% 46.3%

    15/16
    HDSCF/60 – 10.5
    HDSCA/60 – 12.2
    HDSCF% – 46.4%

    Its stunning how close some of these numbers are, especially the ratios.

    So much for “Eakins coached to corsi” and “Swarm opened up more dangerous shots”

    Oilers this year are slightly more high event each way, but the ratios are very, very similar.

    This team needs a new Dcorps.

  46. Pouzar says:

    Chris Wescott ‏@TheChrisWescott 10s11 seconds ago
    No Pakarinen on ice this morning. Left last night’s game after taking a hit & did not return. Davidson/Klinkhammer skating again. #Oilers

  47. ohhell says:

    Five Canadian teams in the bottom ten of the league as of this morning. Only two in the playoffs with Ottawa barely holding on to a spot. From a pure percentage perspective, Canadian teams have under-performed league average for what seems like years. I often wonder how is this possible? Is it bad management? Is it because Canadian markets don’t feel the economic need to over-perform? Is it the players choosing non-Canadian markets?

  48. Pouzar says:

    Woodguy: This team needs a new Dcorps.

    Theme of the year. Ride out the bad contracts and keep the powder dry.

  49. oliveoilers says:

    GCW_69: He’s damned because there is was no reason on earth to believe in the defence he started the season with.He knows exactly what he has there and there is no help coming from Bakersfield.Not saying making a trade is easy but he isn’t being paid chump change either.He is well paid to figure out ways to make the team better, sooner.

    On the other hard, in net, he has two unproven goalies who are at best turning in uneven performances.Down in Bakersfield he has a goalie that seems to be playing very well, and very consistently, and this is following a very strong year last year as well.There also seems to be less evidence that goalies improve much the longer they hang around in the AHL, unlike defencemen.So, its a different situation.The only plausible reason not to give LB a shot is that he believes the defence is so bad no goalie can offset it.If you believe that, how could you enter the season with that defence?Finding out what he has in LB now provides the opportunity to not spend assets fixing the problem yet again this summer.Getting an Andersen won’t be cheap, so I would want to exhaust all internal options before I went and got him.

    OK, in the first paragraph, you sound a little like Verd*D. PC knew what he started the season with. However, unless we’re back to believing we can compelt the other 29 GMs into ludicrous trades in our favour, we have to build in steps. I think he’s made a decent start, considering what he inherited.

    Second paragraph: The defense has no impact on save %. We’ve been over that here ad nauseam.

    Wait until trade deadline day. If we’re still 4 pts from the playoffs in a weak division, there may not be trades. If we’re done, then expect a few trades of expiring contracts.

  50. Woodguy says:

    Pouzar: Theme of the year. Ride out the bad contracts and keep the powder dry.

    Its trying the patience, but that is the right course of action.

  51. oliveoilers says:

    Pouzar: Theme of the year. Ride out the bad contracts and keep the powder dry.

    YES, yes! Well done, that chap/chapette!

    Ever tried to totally renovate a house without moving a thing in it?

  52. Pouzar says:

    Chris Wescott ‏@TheChrisWescott 36s36 seconds ago
    Eric Gryba is not on the ice. #Oilers

  53. Pouzar says:

    oliveoilers: YES, yes! Well done, that chap/chapette!

    Ever tried to totallyrenovate a house without moving a thing in it?

    Are you drunk?

  54. rickithebear says:

    Woogie63: I don’t see the 4th goal laid completely at Shultz feet

    Schultz has already turned before Nurse has lost position which does not happen cause he vacates a huge hole in the middle. Hold position. Not a ManVMan move but zona.l Protect lanes and slot. Common sense box play. leave low prob result for high prob result.
    Harder pass to slot; harder pass to finisher.

    Anyone who plays games that require strong off and Def play knows a world caliber athlete can read that fast.

    2 choices:
    1. Schultz lack of arm length and in ability to leverage large players might be the reason he cannot hold but has to guess rather than protect.
    2. He does not think fast enough for his skill set.
    Tons of failed Muscle machines in sports cause the computer is a PET.

    Other 2 forwards are obvious!

    As for Player selection:

    Defence: Skaters with Length; great outlet pass.

    Our current :
    Fayne 6’3 212lb
    #7 D comp
    #146/172 HSCA60 11.97
    #119/129 PKGA D 9.79

    Klefbom 6’3″ 215lb
    #16 D comp
    #64/172 HSCA60 10.12
    #13/129 PKGA D 3.82
    #45/91 PPGF D 6.53

    Davidson 6’2″ 210lb
    #96 D comp
    #31 HSCA60 9.11
    #38/129 PKGA D 5.54

    Sekera 6’0″ 200lb
    #32 D comp
    #139/172 HSCA60 11.73
    #129/129 PKGA D 14.77
    #39/91 PP GF D 6.96

    Nurse 6’4″ 213lb
    #49 D comp
    #170/171 HSCA60 13.73
    #122/129 PKGA D 9.86

    Schultz 6’2″ 193lb
    #73 D comp
    #169/172 HSCA60 D 13.55
    #84/91 PPGF D 3.11

    Gryba 6’4″ 228lb
    #80 D comp
    #171/172 HSCA60 D 13.74

    1st comp Even: Klefbom; (Fayne or better allowing slot down)
    2nd comp Even Davidson; Sekera
    3rd comp even:
    #7 D Nurse

    1-1st unit PP Sekera
    1-2nd unit PP Klefbom

    1st unit PK pair Klefbom; Davidson
    2nd unit PK pair.

    We miss Klefbom and davidson’s
    Even defence and PK D

    Keep Schultz off the PP.

  55. oliveoilers says:

    Pouzar: Are you drunk?

    For agreeing your point?

    You ask if I’m drunk?

    I’m trying to remain upbeat.

    Are you on downers?

  56. Comicoil says:

    First time poster here been a reader since 2010. LT thanks for all the great work on the blog. Love it here. Has been the only place where sane Oiler fan discussion can take place other than in person and even that is sometimes hit or miss.

    Injuries have been a real problem for this team this year and anyone who says it’s and excuse is lying to themselves.

    Man Games lost 14/15

    35

    Man Games lost 15/16

    160

    I understand the D corpse is bad. But man those numbers aren’t even in the same ballpark.

  57. rickithebear says:

    GCW_69: On the goaltending – get LB up here and see what he can do. If he can’t take the job from Talbot and Nilsson, go get Freddy Andersen in the summer. Sure looks like he will be available.

    Let Mcdavid; Yakuppov; Klefbom get healthy!

    Hall-Draisatl-Purcell

    Pouliot- RNH-Eberle
    Only question is “the new NHL footspeed” to drive line?

    XXX-Mcdavid- Yakupov
    Insert kassian for his tryout?

    Korpikoski-Letestu-Lander
    Korpikoski footspeed!
    Do you sacrafice Landers Pk and FO%

    Klefbom-Fayne
    Davidson-Sekera
    XXX-XXX ??????? F. if I know
    Nurse to AHL

    Nilsson
    Talbot

    this is the 20gm viewing PC talks about.

  58. Pouzar says:

    oliveoilers: For agreeingyour point?

    You ask if I’m drunk?

    I’m trying to remain upbeat.

    Are you on downers?

    I mean…….who renovates houses?
    Tried a flip once, lost my shirt. 🙂

    fyi, misery loves company.

    *takes another gulp*

  59. geowal says:

    Woodguy: December 30, 2015 at 8:53 am
    PACIFIC DIVISION STANDINGS VIA GAMES (TIES BROKEN WITH ROW)
    3RD PLACE WILL ALWAYS = 0
    LAK +11
    ARI 0
    SJS 0
    ———————-
    CGY -1
    ANA -2
    VAN -2
    EDM -6

    So is what you are doing here a “games back” ala baseball standings to remove the game in hand factor?
    Thx

  60. dangilitis says:

    Klima’s_Bucket:
    I watched the Panthers/Habs game last night.
    Barkov was stellar.

    Ben Scrivens made at least seven incredible saves or that game could have been 8-1 Florida.

    Why can’t the Oilers ever get a tender like that???

    Yet, if we’re being honest, its not fair to compare Scrivens to Talbot over 1 night’s work.
    Also, Talbot and Nilsson have made many great saves as well, yet their SPG are .901 and .908.
    If we want to make comparisons, Scrivens enters NHL with a .900 showing last night.

    Frankly, I think the lot of them are interchangeable as far as dependability goes.
    Nilsson .903 over 45GP (51% as Oiler), Scrivens .905 over 130 GP (44% as Oiler), Talbot .924 over 76 GP (25% as Oiler). There is clearly a trend here – the higher perecentage of games you play as an Oiler, the more likely you are to tarnish your career stats.

    That Dubnyk fellow, on the other hand, remains steady at .917.
    Dubnyk .914 over 239 GP (66% as Oiler). 2/3 of his games as an Oiler, and has maintained a save percentage better than all but Talbot. We’ll be able to compare Talbot and Dubnyk by the end of the season a bit more reasonably, and the stats will likely favour Dubnyk, with a greater body of work to show for the Minny netminder.

    In other news, 3 points for Rieder last night against Chicago, while Gustafsson had an assist and was +3.

  61. Lloyd B. says:

    G Money:
    Wondering what the expectations are for this team right now?The angst suggests expectations are high.

    If so – why?

    To my mind, the Oilers less Klefbom, the revelatory Davidson, Yak, and McDavid are a bottom 5 team.

    They’re a 20th place team with those guys in and healthy.

    With them out? It’s a shit roster, with Hall and some decent talent up front, and Sekera and pretty much no talent on D.

    With this team, lose the goaltending, lose the game, every time.Wins come from a goalie standing in his head.

    For this lineup to win the possession battle – and that includes the DTM xG metrics that account for distance and type of chances – against LA is hella impressive, and much more than I would have expected.

    Kings are again a legit contender, and the Oil a bottom feeder.A reprise of the 5-0 Van beatdown wouldn’t have surprised.

    Bring on those stupid waterfowl and hope for some goalie magic.

    Trust you are having a great time in India. If you take out three of the players you mention, Klefbom, Davidson and McDavid, replace Petry with Sekera and nothing has changed on the defence. Two unproven goalies with loads of potential.

    This is the same line up as last year. The names may have changed but the player types haven’t. Why would we expect to be much better in the standings?

    **edit** see WGs numbers. THIS IS THE SAME TEAM !! Two points out of DFL still.

  62. dangilitis says:

    I would ride it out and go with the tandem of Talbot and Nilsson for this season, unless both remain cold simultaneously.

    If Talbot and Nilsson continue this path, I would probably re-sign Nilsson as an RFA. Talbot would have to be walked unless he grabs the reigns, and it’s sadly not looking that way at the moment.

    There are not many free agent options, but you mentioned Reimer, LT. if he is available, do you make an offer? I don’t have lots of stats to support this, but he’s handled a similar situation in Toronto (porous D, media frenzy, constant speculation about job insecurity) and with a .915 SPG over 192 games, he’s seemingly handled it better than Scrivens, Talbot, Nilsson and for longer. Arguably better than Dubnyk as well, given his lack of prlonged inconsistent stretches. The big knock would be the most games in a season for him stands at 37, so he would seem more like a 1A than a no. 1. However, by the end of the season, he looks like he may be getting the lion’s share of starts so we will see what happens to his .936 average thus far for the season.

  63. Oil2Oilers says:

    G Money:
    I’m getting Asian ads on the site right now due to my location … and interestingly enough, one of them is for SAS with Hadoop for big data analytics.

    To which I think, for fucks sake, my handwritten scripts are more reliable than the NHL’s SAP platformfor generating basic stats from the play-by-play . The ad on a hockey stats oriented site is not the most convincing of juxtapositions .

    This amused me greatly. After working on enough SAP implementations I can often tell as a customer or supplier if a company uses SAP. Even with the 10 digit codes now masked there is a certain evil and inflexible logic that can be detected in the service and decision making. There poor and arrogant adventure with the NHL site has not surprised me.

  64. dangilitis says:

    Woodguy:
    Here are some other comparisons:

    5v5 Scoring Chances:

    14/15
    SCF/60 – 24.1
    SCA/60 – 25.1
    SCF% 49%

    15/16
    SCF/60 – 26.1
    SCA/60 – 27.6
    SCF% 48.6%

    5v5 High Danger Scoring Chances
    14/15
    HDSCF/60 – 9.5
    HDSCA/60 – 11.0
    HDSCF% 46.3%

    15/16
    HDSCF/60 – 10.5
    HDSCA/60 – 12.2
    HDSCF% – 46.4%

    Its stunning how close some of these numbers are, especially the ratios.

    So much for “Eakins coached to corsi” and “Swarm opened up more dangerous shots”

    Oilers this year are slightly more high event each way, but the ratios are very, very similar.

    This team needs a new Dcorps.

    I don’t disagree with you, but by this time last year, the blue had only lost Klefbom 2 games to injury, and Nikitin out for 13 games was likely a blessing in disguise.

    Thus far, we have lost Sekera (1), Davidson (6), and Klefbom (8). Could have also had 10 more games of Fayne and another 9 of both Davidson and Nurse. Although, we also had the pleasure of being out Schultz for 14 games. Do you have splits with/without Schultz in the line-up?

  65. Woodguy says:

    geowal: So is what you are doing here a “games back” ala baseball standings to remove the game in hand factor?
    Thx

    Basically yes.

    Using pts%, but it reads easier in this format.

  66. steveb12344 says:

    geowal: So is what you are doing here a “games back” ala baseball standings to remove the game in hand factor?
    Thx

    It is the baseball standings method, though he has eliminated the half games and effectively doubled the numbers.

    For example, LAK being 11 games up would be 5.5 on baseball standings. Oilers 6 games is actually 3 games etc.

  67. Oil2Oilers says:

    rickithebear: Let Mcdavid; Yakuppov; Klefbom get healthy!

    Hall-Draisatl-Purcell

    Pouliot- RNH-EberleOnly question is “the new NHL footspeed” to drive line?

    XXX-Mcdavid- Yakupov
    Insert kassian for his tryout?

    Korpikoski-Letestu-Lander
    Korpikoski footspeed!
    Do you sacrafice Landers Pk and FO%

    Klefbom-Fayne
    Davidson-Sekera
    XXX-XXX ??????? F. if I know
    Nurse to AHL

    Nilsson
    Talbot

    this is the 20gm viewing PC talks about.

    I like this line up Ricki. For the F. I don’t know how about a very young, 3 pair minutes only, Nurse-Reinhart. Getting those two NHL at bats is an investment in next season.

  68. Woodguy says:

    dangilitis: I don’t disagree with you, but by this time last year, the blue had only lost Klefbom 2 games to injury, and Nikitin out for 13 games was likely a blessing in disguise.

    Thus far, we have lost Sekera (1), Davidson (6), and Klefbom (8). Could have also had 10 more games of Fayne and another 9 of both Davidson and Nurse. Although, we also had the pleasure of being out Schultz for 14 games. Do you have splits with/without Schultz in the line-up?

    Nope.

  69. RexLibris says:

    Woodguy:
    I blame Laforge.

    I think this is more than an Engineering problem.

    Unless you harbour some deep seated Reading Rainbow angst we haven’t discussed yet.

  70. Bag of Pucks says:

    ohhell:
    Five Canadian teams in the bottom ten of the league as of this morning.Only two in the playoffs with Ottawa barely holding on to a spot.From a pure percentage perspective, Canadian teams have under-performed league average for what seems like years.I often wonder how is this possible?Is it bad management? Is it because Canadian markets don’t feel the economic need to over-perform?Is it the players choosing non-Canadian markets?

    Good question. Probably a worthwhile topic for a thread of its own.

    I would suspect impatience of the fan bases and media scrutiny are definitely hugely contributing factors.

    Markets like Calgary, Vancouver and Ottawa have been unwilling to commit to full rebuilds, attempting instead to rebuild on the fly. Until Edmonton committed to its rebuild x3, it’s clear management was making decisions based largely on optics rather than meaningful competitive advantages, chasing whales, etc. What LT refers to as making decisions other than winning. This happened as recently as Hall’s draft year when Paajarvi was fast tracked to debut alongside Eberle and Hall as ‘the future of the franchise.’

    You also can’t underrate Canada’s punitive luxury taxes and climate. If you’re an uber rich athlete,there are better places to ply your trade. CA teams will always have the draw for the homegrown athlete, but if you’re Russian or American, where would you rather play, Tampa or Calgary?

  71. Water Fire says:

    Woogie63:
    rickithebear,

    I don’t see the 4th goal laid completely at Shultz feet.

    Brown and King are driving the net, if Shultz moves away from that action he leave
    Nurse in a 2 v 1.

    King is driving on Nurse’s inside shoulderwhich will place a “King” between Nurse and the puck, Shultz is correct to plug up the homebase.

    Hall and or Driasaitl need to take the third man, imo

    That’s how I saw it, have to cover the biggest threat first and hope someone else does their job.

    Oiler forwards are causing a lot of the issues IMO. Losing battles all over the ice, blowing coverage. It affects the D and goalie who have to try to cover too many options. They also don’t give enough options on breakouts and the D get blamed.

    The forwards also do a lousy job of maintaining offensive zone pressure which means the D and goalie face more pressure. Like in football, if you have the D on the field too much they get tired and breakdown.

  72. Bag of Pucks says:

    Just got back from a weeklong family ski trip. In reading through some of the threads, it seemed a good time to not be watching this club.

    Sad that this hockey team seems to dump a lump of coal in the stocking at this time, every damn year.

    I’m still optimistic they can go on a run once/if healthy.

  73. square_wheels says:

    Pouzar,

    Yes, this is my next tattoo….seriously need to care less and just appreciate the emergence of Davidson, the gift of CMD and the cap space that is summer 2016.

    I still think Chia is going to leave us jaw-dropped when he moves some players for “heavy” players and we will have months of debate about short term vs long term reverberations of the deals.

  74. Derek says:

    G Money:
    Wondering what the expectations are for this team right now?The angst suggests expectations are high.

    If so – why?

    To my mind, the Oilers less Klefbom, the revelatory Davidson, Yak, and McDavid are a bottom 5 team.

    They’re a 20th place team with those guys in and healthy.

    With them out? It’s a shit roster, with Hall and some decent talent up front, and Sekera and pretty much no talent on D.

    With this team, lose the goaltending, lose the game, every time.Wins come from a goalie standing in his head.


    For this lineup to win the possession battle – and that includes the DTM xG metrics that account for distance and type of chances – against LA is hella impressive, and much more than I would have expected.

    Kings are again a legit contender, and the Oil a bottom feeder.A reprise of the 5-0 Van beatdown wouldn’t have surprised.

    Bring on those stupid waterfowl and hope for some goalie magic.

    I don’t find this impressive at all. Playing against a team on the second of a back to back you should always expect to beat them in the fancies. Even if it is the Kings.

    As has been stated, this was a 20th placed team at best when healthy. The blueline was going to be bottom 1/3rd of the league if healthy. Now Edmonton has their best blueliner hauling around the corpse of Mark Fayne, an outstanding rookie babysitting the Sam Gagner of the rearguards and if that wasn’t enough the third pairing over the boards is the Hunt-Gryba experience.

    The forwards are fine, we’ll spend the rest of the season learning whether Talbot can be a #1 on this team. The defense is rotten. We all knew this. I believe the frustration is reaching its boiling point because the team finally has a very competitive forward core but the defense is paying for the mistakes of the past, and the goaltending is the same as it ever was.

  75. Water Fire says:

    Woodguy: 5v5 High Danger Scoring Chances
    14/15
    HDSCF/60 – 9.5
    HDSCA/60 – 11.0
    HDSCF% 46.3%

    15/16
    HDSCF/60 – 10.5
    HDSCA/60 – 12.2
    HDSCF% – 46.4%

    Its stunning how close some of these numbers are, especially the ratios.

    Comicoil: Man Games lost 14/15

    35

    Man Games lost 15/16

    160

    I understand the D corpse is bad. But man those numbers aren’t even in the same ballpark.

    If you take into account the injuries it could also be seen as a sign of a much stronger team that they held ground.

  76. Derek says:

    Water Fire:
    If you take into account the injuries it could also be seen as a sign of a much stronger team that they held ground.

    To that end:

    http://www.mangameslost.com/nhl-man-games-lost-december-30-2015/

    Mangameslost:

    The Edmonton Oilers (160), Buffalo Sabres (156), and Detroit Red Wings (150) have suffered the most man-games lost to injury.

    Edmonton (1st) and Detroit (2nd) face the greatest cumulative impact of injured forwards or defensemen by the IIT-skater metric. The Winnipeg Jets and Los Angeles Kings have faced the least impact due to injuries.

  77. square_wheels says:

    rickithebear,

    I’m in the keep Schultz off the ice camp, the ability to make correct decisions has left him. Possibly a waiver claim put on him but at this point are we really going to get anything for him in a trade ?

    if its a 4th rounder at the deadline, so be it, but at 26 yrs old….this is the player he is.

  78. Woodguy says:

    NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”:
    Not sure if this has been posted here yet.
    http://nhlnumbers.com/2015/12/29/let-s-talk-about-martin-marincin-s-under-appreciated-game?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

    If so, forgive me.

    Runs and hides regardless)

    His analysis is weak.

    He’s saying he’s elite, but the others in the category are mostly heavily sheltered 3rd pairing Dmen.

    Ryan Murphy, top of the list, is a marginal NHLer imo.

    That’s the problem with using Shots and Shot Attempts to evaluate Dmen because sheltered guys see a lot of Gazdics and Korpokoskis who may or may not shoot every third game.

  79. admiralmark says:

    I look at this team in 5 sections 1&2 Forward Lines, 3&4 Forward Lines, Top 4 D, 3rd Pair D, and Goalies.

    1st and 2nd Forwards line: If they had stayed relatively healthy were playoff capable this year.

    3rd and 4th Forward lines: Some warts and inconsistency. Lander has been less then expected. But cant discount that had the 1st 2 lines been healthy the quality would of been here to call it playoff capable.

    Top 4 D: We have Petry(I mean Sekera). And rookies Klefbom/Davidson/Nurse with Fayne/Schultz. All spending sometime in the top 4. In terms of players being in the right position on D to make this a “playoff capable” D. Here’s how i see it.

    Sekera-Could play 1st pair(With a true 1st pair D partner) but is truly ideally suitable for a 2nd pair role.
    Klefbom- Is a capable 2nd pair D man today.
    Davidson-Miraculously is a capable 2nd Pair D man
    Nurse- Is also a capable 2nd Pair D man today. Prob 1st pair down the road.
    Fayne- is an ok 2nd pair D. Needs a much more mobile and 1st pass D like Sekera. Sekera/Fayne are actually a capable 2nd Pair D line.. Too bad they are playing 1st pair.
    Schultz-Not good enough D for a top 4 role. And not enough Offence for a specialized 3rd pair role. This is an experiment that never seems to end.

    3rd pair. Just like every NHL team this is and easy spot to fill as long as you have correct D in the Top 4. Gryba/Reinhart/Fayne/Schultz could all fit in here if the Top 4 was NHL Playoff caliber.

    Goalies- Can we just see 1/2 a season with 2 goalies like these 2… When they are behind an “actual” NHL playoff capable D core??

    In Fact to sum all this up. All this tweaking here and there and blaming here and there. Tell me what would this team look like healthy and with an actual 1st Pair D? Not to get stuck on one player because thats not the point but plug Hamonic in this D core. Hamonic/Sekera, Nurse/Davidson, Klefbom/Gryba.

    i won’t get into criticizing Chia too much just yet. I do feel he mis judged the D in the Summer. I also feel that he was likely made uncomfortable in blowing up the Schultz experiment and was made to believe that there was a player there. But I will admit I truly do not know what the inner workings were. And more importantly I am not aware of what opportunities he’s had to get that player to slot in the 1st pair and what the price would be. But I truly believe this team is that far from clicking in a real way. I believe if the team was healthy and all the D core could slot down that 1 rung on the ladder… The Goalies would improve. The forward lines would improve… It’s the missing Key. Albeit a very very expensive and difficult key to get… But dammit pay the price. If this does not happen at the trade deadline… i can say fine the price was exorbitant and the team will miss playoffs 1 more year. But if the deal isn’t made before next season its unforgivable.

  80. pocession charge says:

    Bag of Pucks:
    Just got back from a weeklong family ski trip. In reading through some of the threads, it seemed a good time to not be watching this club.

    Sad that this hockey team seems to dump a lump of coal in the stocking at this time, every damn year.

    I’m still optimistic they can go on a run once/if healthy.

    I’m trying to decipher your post. I don’t see the ‘trade RNH’ comment but I know it’s in there somewhere. Like looking for a panda in the midst of a page of snowmen.

    Only kidding. Happy New Year!

  81. AsiaOil says:

    Repeat from last night given the topic seems OK. With unproven goalies there are periods where they go rogue and can’t stop a beachball. I knew Nilsson’s streak a few weeks back would not last – and until now – we had been lucky that the Swede and Talbot were taking turns sucking.There would be a point where they both suck at the same time given their lack of experience Welcome to that world. Thing is – they both have solid potential – but both need to be 1B behind a vet 1A. Anderson from OTT was my pick for 1A last summer and he’s been wonderful this season. Where to go? Depends on what these guys want sign for. I’d resign Talbot on a 2 year bridge deal at reasonable dollars and wait on Nilsson until the summer since he’s RFA. If Talbot does not want to sign said reasonable deal then you trade him. Bernier is still a quality goalie waiting to be rehabed (like Dubnyk) and it won’t happen in TOR. So dealing Talbot and Fayne for Bernier works for me on a couple of levels if Talbot won’t sign. But I’m willing to be patient with both of our goalies unless someone good is unexpectedly available at a bargain price. Our guys have some talent – but like the defense – they’re playing one slot too high.

    Not much needs to be said about the defense – mediocre when healthy – AHL level with injuries. Need Klef and Davidson back and add a clear #1 to push everyone down a slot to their proper level. Looking forward to a very busy trade deadline to flush Shultz, Fayne and Niki. I don’t expect a big add at the deadline as getting vets at this point in the season is expensive. Maybe a deal with NJD that has Eberle for Severson at the core with a bunch of cap crap (Ruutu/Zubris) coming back out way to even out the salary? That’s about all you can reasonably expect at the deadline. Not that keen about a deal like that (even though I like Seversen) because it makes our defense even younger. We need a vet #1. Better strategy is to sell vets high at the deadline for draft picks – and then sell those picks high at the draft for vets. Won’t be fun but this should be the last spring we are in loser mode.

    Need our original 2nd line back from injury because the existing 2nd line is not pulling it’s weight and it’s putting too much pressure on Hall who is playing with a rookie and a fringe vet fighting for another contract. Funny how players suddenly look great with Hall – he’s a horse and difference maker. His line rolls with most anyone. Story on the 2nd line was supposedly they can “play top opposition even” and let other lines make hay. News flash – they are not trusted by coach to play the other team’s top line and they are getting their teeth kicked possession-wise and on the score sheet by lesser competition 3 games out of 4. Unacceptable for a $16 million investment. When CMD and Yak get back – put Pou back with them on the 2nd line – and move RNH up with Hall and Drai on RW.

    In summary: patience with the goalies, massive change necessary on defense, and a healthy roster fixes most of the issues with the forwards.

  82. PhrankLee says:

    LT:
    “Oilers in December 2014: 2-8-4
    Oilers in December 2015: 7-5-1
    Oilers after 38 in 2014-15: 8-22-8, 24 points (-55 GD)
    Oilers after 38 in 2015-16: 15-20-3, 33 points (-21 GD)
    Well dammit, they have given back the ‘one giant leap for mankind’ December, and we are left with a solid back out of the driveway. Small victories are big steps. The goal differential, about halfway through the season, sits at +34. Good day sunshine!”

    +34 halfway through 14/15 is such a good point. It clears away a lot of my gloomy fears. I am very happy with the improvement of the team. Good examples of maturity.

  83. LMHF#1 says:

    Anybody watching USA v Switzerland? I know it is back to back games, but Canada is sure weak this year by comparison.

  84. Bag of Pucks says:

    pocession charge: I’m trying to decipher your post.I don’t see the ‘trade RNH’ comment but I know it’s in there somewhere.Like looking for a panda in the midst of a page of snowmen.

    Only kidding.Happy New Year!

    Now that the MSM has picked up on the ‘Trade Nuge’ theme, I feel the groundwork has been sufficiently laid for this meme ; )

    I can now return to the regularly scheduled programming of ‘Trade Eberle’ and/or ‘Waive Ference’ and/or ‘Sell Schultz.’

    The one bandwagon I hope to avoid is the ‘Reinhart is a bust’ hysteria. Smacks a little of the ‘Lynch Poti’ mindset LT describes imo.

    Happy New Year right back at ya : )

  85. Messier11edm says:

    Trust in Ron Maclean….Oilers will win the cup in 4 years! Bank it.

    Look, we knew the first quarter /half of the season was going to be an exploratory period for PC and TMAC. They wanted to see what this team could look like with proper coaching and structure. They also wanted to see which players would drink the Kool-Aid, which ones wouldn’t, and which ones would ask, with a dumbfounded look “hey, where’s the Kool-Aid”? (Shultz)

    With the “Next One” going down, as well as the many other injuries that occurred, it took some of the pressure off and allowed them to really see what they had both in terms of players, and also prospects. We know for example, what Draisatl is, and what Yakapov isn’t. We know what Nurse is, and what Schultz isn’t., etc…

    I’d like to think that the coach and the “Moustached one” know who they want to keep, who is expendable, and where the dead weight is. The problem that they may have and will continue to have is in evaluating the goalies. Our defense is so bad, our goalies are losing trust and confidence with each game. I’m not absolving them of their sporadic play, but if there’s anything the Dubnyk thing should teach us, is that we very likely have an above-average goalie in our midst (may even have 2 of them) but we’ll never know till they have the confidence and trust in their dmen.

    I say this with absolutely no exaggeration, the Oilers will win a cup before any Canadian team, and I strongly believe they will do it within 4 years. They have the right coach (don’t think anyone can argue with what he’s done with this team, especially when you consider all the man-games lost to injury). I also think the mustached one is smart, ambitious, and understands what it takes to win in today’s NHL (the last point is something the previous GMs all didn’t understand).

    Fear not my friends.

  86. Professor Q says:

    Klima’s_Bucket:
    I watched the Panthers/Habs game last night.
    Barkov was stellar.

    Ben Scrivens made at least seven incredible saves or that game could have been 8-1 Florida.

    Why can’t the Oilers ever get a tender like that???

    If only we had the D like Montréal as well, like that Petry fellow…

  87. Professor Q says:

    Messier11edm:
    Trust in Ron Maclean….Oilers will win the cup in 4 years!Bank it.

    Look, we knew the first quarter /half of the season was going to be an exploratory period for PC and TMAC. They wanted to see what this team could look like with proper coaching and structure. They also wanted to see which players would drink the Kool-Aid, which ones wouldn’t, and which ones would ask, with a dumbfounded look “hey, where’s the Kool-Aid”? (Shultz)

    With the “Next One” going down, as well as the many other injuries that occurred,it took some of the pressure off and allowed them to really see what they had both in terms of players, and also prospects.We know for example, what Draisatl is, and what Yakapov isn’t. We know what Nurse is, and what Schultz isn’t., etc…

    I’d like to think that the coach and the “Moustached one” know who they want to keep, who is expendable, and where the dead weight is.The problem that they may have and will continue to have is in evaluating the goalies.Our defense is so bad, our goalies are losing trust and confidence with each game.I’m not absolving them of their sporadic play, but if there’s anything the Dubnyk thing should teach us, is that we very likely have an above-average goalie in our midst (may even have 2 of them) but we’ll never know till they have the confidence and trust in their dmen.

    I say this with absolutely no exaggeration,the Oilers will win a cup before any Canadian team, and I strongly believe they will do it within 4 years.They have the right coach (don’t think anyone can argue with what he’s done with this team, especially when you consider all the man-games lost to injury).I also think the mustached one is smart, ambitious, and understands what it takes to win in today’s NHL (the last point is something the previous GMs all didn’t understand).

    Fear not my friends.

    Montréal has a good shot, though.

    Toronto if they get Stamkos and Calgary might give Edmonton a run, too.

    But I do mostly agree, indeed.

  88. Ice Sage says:

    Why is Klefbom not skating if it’s a finger injury?

    Mike Richards recent decline and substance use are probably intertwined – a fully clean MR could be useful. Any Oilers ads for a sobriety babysitter yet?

  89. rickithebear says:

    On the subject of Eberle (25) 4 yr @ 6M
    13.3 shooting % since lockout
    2.39 shots /gm avg 78 gm last 3.46 seasons
    4.11 shot attempts/gm
    58.2% get through
    78 X 2.39 = 186.4 HSots X .133 = 24.8 Goals
    4.13 G/ M.
    That would be awful to see go!

    Brouwer (30) RW 6’2″ 215lb 3.75M salary
    #56/150 PK fwd
    14.2 Shooting %
    1.81 SH/gm
    3.31 shot attempts/gm
    54.7% get through
    averages 82gm/season
    82 x 1.81 = 148.4 X .142 = 21G
    5.60G/M

    Eriksson (31) 6’2″ 195lb 4.5M salary
    Avg 77gm/season
    14.2 shooting % DAL
    13.8 Shooting % post injury BOS
    2.00 Sh/gm
    3.08 SA/gm
    64.9% get through
    77 X 2 = 154 X .138 = 21.3G
    4.73G/M

    Hall 6’1″ 201lb 5 yr @ 6M
    avg 70gm /season since lockout
    10.0 shooting %
    2.87 Sh/gm
    4.96 SA/gm
    57.9% get through
    70 x 2.87 = 200.9 x .100 = 20.1G
    3.35G/M
    This is about G scoring .
    Do not get your pants in a tither

    RNH:
    Avg 78gm
    12.4 shooting %
    2.28 sh/gm
    4.47 sa/gm
    51.0% get through
    78 x 2.28 = 177.8 X .124 = 22G
    3.68G/M
    RNH 45.7 FO%

    F. Neilsson (31) 6’1″ 180lb 3.5M UFA
    avg 80gm
    12.5 shooting %
    2.14 sh/gm
    3.88 sa/gm
    55.2% get through
    80 x 2.14 = 171.2 X .125 = 21.4G
    6.11G/M
    49.3 FO% last 3 years
    46 more pocessions in a season.

    I would be very happy if we signed
    Brouwer and Neilson reasonably for 3 yrs.

    It should give us flexibility Re RNH ANd Eberle as tradeable assets.

  90. rickithebear says:

    Bag of Pucks: Now that the MSM has picked up on the ‘Trade Nuge’ theme, I feel the groundwork has been sufficiently laid for this meme ; )

    well that “Neilson and Brouwer can soften the blow” was well timed

  91. Messier11edm says:

    Professor Q,

    Toronto – I think Stamkos is a great player, but I’m afraid we may not see the Stamkos that existed in the years 2009-2013. He’s still only 25, so anything is possible – TO would need to provide him with the right supporting cast. Between Lou and Babcock, no doubt this team will be competitive – but win a cup before the Oilers? No chance. McDavid is the trump card ( nearly felt sick using the word ‘trump’)

    Monteal – They are the Red Wings of Canada. World-class org., fantastic fans, amazing environment, in fact it probably makes more sense to say the Red Wings are the Canadiens of the US). However, they will always be 1-2 pieces short. They will be perennial contender that never wins it all. Still, I would say they would be the Oilers biggest threat, in being the first Canadian team to bring Lord Stanley back home.

    Calgary – this team excites me, and I agree, this team will give Edm a run. In fact, it will be reminiscent of the runs in the 80s. That team probably had the second best team in the league, the problem was that just north of them was a team that was even better. Can you imagine what flames fans must’ve been going through when they saw Bill Daly show the “golden Oilers ” placard???? PAIN, DEEP PAIN, …pain that reminded them of a certain time and a certain player…#99. So bottom line, yes they will be good, very good, but with McDavid and co., we will be better.

  92. Messier11edm says:

    PhrankLee,

    PhrankLee:
    LT:
    “Oilers in December 2014: 2-8-4
    Oilers in December 2015: 7-5-1
    Oilers after 38 in 2014-15: 8-22-8, 24 points (-55 GD)
    Oilers after 38 in 2015-16: 15-20-3, 33 points (-21 GD)
    Well dammit, they have given back the ‘one giant leap for mankind’ December, and we are left with a solid back out of the driveway. Small victories are big steps. The goal differential, about halfway through the season, sits at +34. Good day sunshine!”

    +34 halfway through 14/15 is such a good point.It clears away a lot of my gloomy fears. I am very happy with the improvement of the team. Good examples of maturity.

    McLellan and company have done a fine job. You can actually start seeing structure in their game. I’m very happy that he’s the coach. 2nd best move by the org in the off-season. Hiring PC was the first.

  93. Eastern Oil says:

    NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”:
    Not sure if this has been posted here yet.
    http://nhlnumbers.com/2015/12/29/let-s-talk-about-martin-marincin-s-under-appreciated-game?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

    If so, forgive me.

    Runs and hides regardless)

    Steve Burtch was talking about MM on twitter a bit, he really likes what MM brings. Ironically enough, the responses to his tweets mirror what was said about him while he was in Edmonton as well.

    You can say what you want about MM, but with NN spending time in the AHL along with Fayne, wouldn’t he look ok beside Gryba as a 3rd pairing? We have no room already but I hate that because Gryba came here we HAD to get rid of MM (or so it seems) but I don’t think it had to be mutually exclusive.

    Either way, I wish him all the best although without some points he will face steady criticism.

  94. rickithebear says:

    Oil2Oilers: I like this line up Ricki. For the F. I don’t know how about a very young, 3 pair minutes only, Nurse-Reinhart. Getting those two NHL at bats is an investment in next season.

    Sign Brouwer; Ericksson; Neilson 3yr each.
    Trade Eberle -> Hamonic ……
    Trade RNH ->S. jones.
    🙂

  95. Eastern Oil says:

    Messier11edm,

    Re: Calgary. I hate the Flames as an Oilers fan but do actually enjoy watching them (spits). They do not take a shift off and seem relentless. Having such a strong D corps helps. What is interesting though is how they manage their cap the next couple of years with Johnny, Monahan, Bennett & Co. coming up.

    Edm will have their own problems too, don’t get me wrong, but that could be a big stumbling block for them.

  96. PhrankLee says:

    rickithebear: Sign Brouwer; Ericksson; Neilson 3yr each.
    Trade Eberle -> Hamonic ……
    Trade RNH ->S. jones.

    Now my pants are in a tither.

    I better be getting more than Hamonic for Eberle…

  97. Messier11edm says:

    rickithebear: Sign Brouwer; Ericksson; Neilson 3yr each.
    Trade Eberle -> Hamonic ……
    Trade RNH ->S. jones.

    My understanding is that the Eberle for Hamonic was already rejected by Snow.

    RNH for S Jones – No way Preds will make that trade. They would want more than just RNH.

  98. Messier11edm says:

    Eastern Oil:
    Messier11edm,

    Re: Calgary.I hate the Flames as an Oilers fan but do actually enjoy watching them (spits).They do not take a shift off and seem relentless.Having such a strong D corps helps.What is interesting though is how they manage their cap the next couple of years with Johnny, Monahan, Bennett & Co. coming up.

    Edm will have their own problems too, don’t get me wrong, but that could be a big stumbling block for them.

    Agree. The cap will absolutely be a factor for both.

  99. PhrankLee says:

    Messier11edm: They would want more than just RNH.

    My opinion is that whomever ends the day in possession of RNH wins that trade. All day.

  100. dessert1111 says:

    Meh, I think the team is frustrating because we see what they can do in spurts. Consistency is part of maturity, and they’ll get there.

    I think this team is a top 4 RH defenseman from competing, ideally top pair of course. Thing is making a trade to get one puts a hole elsewhere in the roster. We have some forward depth but that’s gone the moment you trade one of the big names. Could trade Yak I suppose but that likely won’t get much.

    With the cap crunch, I think they can get a good RH D thru trade or free agency this summer, possibly at the deadline depending on how the other teams are doing. By trading dead contracts, hopefully they can shore up some picks to include in a trade package. Something like a decent to good prospect and picks for a D.

    I think if they do that they’ll be fine and will continue to grow next year. I think playoffs are still possible this year but the real push will come next year and then hopefully that will continue for the next decade +.

    Better times ahead, certainly. I think the worst is over. Last night was a good game with some weak goaltending, which happens to everyone time to time.

  101. Messier11edm says:

    PhrankLee: My opinion is that whomever ends the day in possession of RNH wins that trade. All day.

    I love RNH – the minutes he plays, his work ethic, his back-check, his quick hands….but at the end of the day, the preds are likely just as keen on Jones and what he brings to the table, especially with an aging Weber.

  102. dessert1111 says:

    Also, I liked Hunt on the PP yesterday, though at even strength he is worse than Nikitin IMO. Would be fine if they gave Davidson and his shot a chance on the first unit, but the thing about Hunt is he’s a willing shooter, gets his shot thru and passes quickly. You could see the defense respecting him and backing off a bit, which opens up the ice and gives the other shooters space.

    I wouldn’t mind seeing Hunt instead of Gryba for a game, though Davidson isn’t quick enough to form an ideal pair with him (though a better fit than Gryba I think). Maybe go Schultz-Davidson Nurse-Hunt, especially if they’re intent on playing Schultz in the top 4, which they probably are until Klefbom is back. Nurse also has the speed to cover for Hunt and it would get him down to more reasonable minutes and matchups, especially on this home stand.

  103. Messier11edm says:

    dessert1111:
    Also, I liked Hunt on the PP yesterday, though at even strength he is worse than Nikitin IMO. Would be fine if they gave Davidson and his shot a chance on the first unit, but the thing about Hunt is he’s a willing shooter, gets his shot thru and passes quickly. You could see the defense respecting him and backing off a bit, which opens up the ice and gives the other shooters space.

    I wouldn’t mind seeing Hunt instead of Gryba for a game, though Davidson isn’t quick enough to form an ideal pair with him (though a better fit than Gryba I think). Maybe go Schultz-Davidson Nurse-Hunt, especially if they’re intent on playing Schultz in the top 4, which they probably are until Klefbom is back. Nurse also has the speed to cover for Hunt and it would get him down to more reasonable minutes and matchups, especially on this home stand.

    Hunt isn’t the answer. He’s a one-trick pony and unfortunately is really bad in his own zone.

    As David Staples tweeted, “…One major defensive mistakes for every good PP pass or shot”

  104. 4th_Line_Plug says:

    RNH stays until the cap forces him to leave. This whole “need to give value to get value” is BS rhetoric. Leddy gotten for picks and prospects, Boychuck for picks, Hamilton for picks.

    I really hope Eberle, Schultz, Teddy, Nikitin, Fayne all leave at the deadline for picks and prospects. Ebs would be worth a kings ransom to a team struggling to score (nashville) at the deadline.

    Jason Demers, Chris Stewart, and some PTOs would be a good start to the season.

    Right before the cap crunch in September you trade some picks for a RHD or goalie that shakes loose due to cap.

    #1 Centreman for a 3rd pairing D because Mark Spector likes him…come on

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