HEROES SAIL

One of the themes for this season’s Oilers is the number of games they have been in, even very late. Although their record isn’t great, Edmonton has been in games, has taken points from games that would have been sure losses one year ago, and generally showed progress. This weekend marks the end of ‘paying close attention to the standings’ but the roster challenges are now fewer and obvious—and that is progress.

SPACE ODDITY, 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: 7-6-1
  • Oilers in January 2015: 5-7-1
  • Oilers in January 2016: 2-2-0
  • Oilers after 43 in 2014-15: 10-24-9, 29 points (-48 GD)
  • Oilers after 43 in 2015-16: 17-23-3, 37 points (-22 GD)

You can see what this team lacks, and when Oscar Klefbom returns they will still need a veteran at the top of the roster to still the waters—and help the power play. These things are coming into view. Peter Chiarelli must identify the solutions that will work, without overpaying or using too many assets. Offer sheet remains my weapon of choice.

DEFENSE, LAST NIGHT

oilers blue nov 30

  • Davidson—Gryba were good together, Davidson made countless quick decisions with the puck. It was the kind of game Gryba stands out, bodies everywhere holy hell. As we have (I think) agreed all year, he can defend. Playing with Davidson, it seems to work. Small sample.
  • Sekera—Fayne were solid, Sekera skated miles, made good passes, thinks the game so well. He iced the puck late, when the Oilers were trying to tie it and after a long period in their own zone. He seemed upset, don’t know why. I think I think that the Oilers would be good with two Sekera’s and Klefbom.
  • Mark Fayne played well, even though he spent the evening up against giant forwards who know the cycle well and use their size as an effective tool. Veteran stay-at-home defensemen are people, too, I hope MF stays in the lineup for the road games.
  • Nurse—Schultz were an adventure, poor Darnell coughed up the puck early, Schultz had his wobbly bits too. This was the weakest pairing to my eye, although they played the second and third most minutes on the game.
  • Lots of soft lobs on the 5×4, not just Schultz but Sekera too. Ghastly. I think that was the game, right there. Edmonton’s power play is currently run by Mr. Magoo, and it is costing them games.

CENTER, LAST NIGHT

oil c nov 30

  • Mark Letestu and his line were outstanding, scored the one goal on the evening, crashed and banged, holy hell they mixed it up. Battled along the wall, would not give an inch. After several weeks of poor possession, they fed the young line back and front.
  • Anton Lander and his crew didn’t play a lot, and kept it simple by hammering it in and chasing. The puck was in a good way for most of their time.
  • Leon Draisaitl did not have many moments. Leon made a couple of sublime passes, but nothing rhymed. They have gone cold. We need to remind ourselves that he is 20 and dry spells should have been expected after that white hot first half of the season.
  • Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and his bunch had a good battle with a pretty nice 2line. Nuge was physical and engaged, looked effective in most areas including some good moments breaking up the cycle. I was not impressed with this line in the offensive zone.
  • I was disappointed in the 5×4 and that includes four of the men here. Good grief it’s MacT all over again.

WINGERS, LAST NIGHT

oilers f nov 30

  • Korpikoski-Hendricks had a fantastic night, probably the best game Hendricks played (for me) as an Oiler. Dangerous hit on Ekblad, though, that could have been a bad injury.
  • Hall—Purcell had their moments (the disallowed goal was a brilliant effort by Hall) but they couldn’t cash. Damn shame this line is cool, because a couple of goals this weekend would have been extremely valuable. The hit on Hall was right in front of me, he looked blank and then angry, glad he scooted back to the bench to gather himself.
  • Pouliot—Eberle were fine, but there were no wow moments from the line and they did have the lesser hill to climb. I felt they were coming along before last night, hopefully the chime on the road trip.
  • Klinkhammer—Pakarinen were part of an effective 4line, I don’t think we have seen that trio play more than they did last night. Pakarinen always looks like a player when I see him, he really gets in on the forecheck.

MCDAVID INJURY

At the game tonight, heard some negativity about the Oilers being too careful with McDavid. I have to say it surprised me, and offer this reminder without further comment.

  • Sheldon Souray: “I wasn’t even ready to play when I came here, but it was like, ‘We signed you, you go out and play.’ I hadn’t been cleared to play yet, but I was being questioned by the organization:‘When are you going to be able to play?’ Source

TEN BEST PLAYERS IN THE 2016 DRAFT

  1. (1) C Auston Matthews, Zurich Lions (Swiss-A): Franchise center. Another Eichel?
  2. (3) R Jesse Puljujarvi, Karpat (Sm-Liiga): Big man with electric skill.
  3. (2) D Jacob Chychrun, Sarnia Sting (OHL): Potential No. 1 defender.
  4. (4) L Matthew Tkachuk, London Knights (OHL): Great possession player,  tremendous vision.
  5. (5) W Patrik Laine, Tappara (Sm-Liiga): Skilled forward, terrific release.
  6. (6) R Alexander Nylander, Mississauga Steelheads (OHL): High skill, terrific offensive prospect.
  7. (7) R Julien Gauthier, Val D’Or Foreurs (QMJHL): Monster scoring winger.
  8. (9) D Mikhail Sergachev, Windsor Spitfires (OHL): Complete package, only question is how much will he bring offensively?
  9. (8) R Alex DeBrincat, Erie Otters (OHL):Small sniper.
  10. (10) D Olli Juolevi, London Knights (OHL): Very fast defender with range of skills.

PHYSICAL RESPONSE

  • Todd McLellan: “I thought that’s as good a response to physicality I’ve seen from our team this year and probably in my seven years in San Jose when we played Edmonton.” Source

There are certain elements of the fan base who seem to think hammering people means wins. I haven’t read any proof that hits or intimidation result in wins, but am willing to read any links you provide. I am not one of those who puts no value on the physical side of the game, but I am bewildered by anyone who walked away from last night’s game thinking the Oilers didn’t man up. One more thing: Back in the olden days, when a hit like the Hall item happened, you didn’t see a charge toward the offending player. It was more ‘take a number’ and that player would be challenged at another time, when the game state was not in question. The ONE thing you did see back then was a reaction to goalies being hit—that was going to be met with extreme force.

I think some fans want to see RNH break his hand or Eberle slash his way through the brush, but this isn’t a reasonable thought. The Oilers have employed hooligans in the past, may well do it in the future. I was fine with last night’s response, the Hendricks hit aside. Todd McLellan was fine with the effort in that regard and we move on. RNH, Eberle, Hall, Leon, Schultz, Sekera, others, all must use the brains that God gave them to evaluate a situation. None of those men is going to do much good with pure physical violence, but each can do more in the skill department—especially on the power play. That is your lead this morning, men. If you are chasing the ‘physical reaction’ story from last night, you have missed the lead, gone past below the fold, and are now buried after the entertainment section. Unless you yourself are trying to set the agenda, talk of physical force this morning wildly misses the game story from last night. The story is:

  • Rookie makes mistake
  • Another one goes in
  • Team climbs part way back with hard work
  • Skilled men get several 5×4 opportunities and waste them all.
  • Because of the loss, no one is discussing an insane evening in possession.
  • 5×5 Individual Scoring Chances leave us disappointed with several stars. War-On-Ice numbers: Letestu (2); Hall, Eberle, Pakarinen, Lander, Klinkhammer (1). If your favorite player’s name isn’t there, you are allowed to be disappointed in them. Florida is a very good team, but the Oilers had several chances to at least gain a point. As mentioned above, points are not as important now that Edmonton is no longer in a position to push. That said, their record of staying in games until very late is a solid back story—it is something to watch for as the season rolls along.

REBEL REBEL

David Bowie spoke to the freaks and outcasts of the world, and I was one. For a young male looking for shock value, he was ideal (my Dad insisted that the album cover for Diamond Dogs not reside in our house in Maidstone, SK. Seriously) and unlike Alice Cooper and T. Rex and others, Bowie’s lyrics spoke to me. If you were an outcast in 1974—or I imagine 1984—you had to be drawn to Bowie. He reincarnated seemingly every year, going from Starman to Rebel Rebel to Young American to Heroes and beyond. A few years after our Diamond Dogs run in, my Dad and I watched a television show that featured Bowie singing ‘Little Drummer Boy’ with Bing Crosby, and we both could barely believe it. As with most things he touched, it was brilliant and original.

I don’t often get choked up about celebrity passings, suspect they have their issues same as us. Sometimes—John Candy, Princess Diana, Bowie—it hits hard and knocks the wind from you. Today is such a day. David Bowie meant a lot to me when I was 14, and he means a lot to me today. There aren’t many people in the world who have that kind of impact on anyone, without ever really knowing them.

The freaks and the outcasts lost a friend and a voice this morning. Segeln Helden.

diamond dogs

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

A busy day on the show, as we get back to the action after a couple of weeks of sporadic duty. TSN1260, starting at 10. Scheduled to appear:

  • Scott Burnside, ESPN. Ovechkin 500 making good time, how high can he go? Plus the Panthers and Dallas hits a wall.
  • Scott Zerr, TSN1260 and Oilers Nation. With a suspension to Matt Hendricks possible, is now the time to recall Zack Kassian? We’ll find out how far away he is now.
  • Sunil Agnihotri, Copper & Blue/The SuperFan. Oilers last night, what we can expect from this week and does he think they will finish 28-30?
  • Corey Graham, Oil Kings PBP. WHL trade deadline passes and the Oil Kings didn’t make a splash. Were the prices too low?

10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. Talk soon!

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151 Responses to "HEROES SAIL"

  1. leadfarmer says:

    Sail on South London Stardust !!

    The Davidson-Gryba pairing works because of Davidson. That kid is very good.

    LT, I posted a bunch of stats yesterday that at least I thought were interesting, wondering what your opinion is?

  2. frjohnk says:

    RE: Being physical

    I’ll try and find it, but just a few weeks ago, I read a stat that showed Chicago was outhit something like 182 games in a row.

    Yes, its good to be physical and last night I totally agree with McLellan as the response was very good by the Oilers.

    Its good to be physical.

    Better to be smart.

  3. PunjabiOil says:

    Regarding McDavid, it’s more about what the overly cautious stance signifies. It’s hard to read it more than anything other than surrendering the season.

    The Oilers are starting to distance themselves for another bottom 5 spot.

    They know:

    1. Playoffs are still a difficult challenging task; and even if they make it, it’s a quick exit [See Calgary, 2014-2015]
    2. The on-ice metrics are still awful and still giving up 31.8 shots per game, the league worst.
    3. Top 5 picks are hell of a drug. Get another blue chip prospect, use the acres of cap space on defence, and move a guy like Eberle for a difference maker.
    4. Fans keep coming to the games, will renew seasons, and off-season moves will renew the optimism.

    No question in my mind McDavid would be playing right now if the Oilers were legit playoff or division contenders.

    No question.

    I’m also not saying it’s the wrong decision, but can understand why some are peeved. This is the same organization where Kevin Lowe recently bragged about the timeline of starting to win when the new arena opens, and equates an 11% lottery luck to a ”masterplan.”

    You can’t make this shit up.

    You just can’t.

  4. Woodguy says:

    There are certain elements of the fan base who seem to think hammering people means wins.

    This should read:

    The majority of the Edmonton print and radio MSM seem to think hammering people means wins.

    McLellan set most of them straight in the post game avail, but not much will change. (McLellan’s post game avail is MUST viewing btw)

    My best tweet on the subject was:

    Woodguy ‏@Woodguy55 9h9 hours ago

    Oilers haven’t been able to exit the dzone with the puck for 7 years and if you read/listen to the MSM the problem is lack of face washes.

    I also thought this take on McLellan’s avail was funny and succinct.

    Kev ‏@Dzl25 10h10 hours ago

    @Woodguy55 TMc answers to “immediate response” questions were basically Oilogosphere vs MSM porn. Will literally never get any more explicit

    Hours of radio time wasted and millions of pixels died in the analysis of Hemksy’s body language (often when he should have been on the IR instead of playing), Hall’s leadership, Horcoff’s paycheque, Penner’s effort level, RNH’s texture, Petry’s demeanor and passport, where exactly Yak is on the enigmatic scale, etc.

    Very, very,very, very, very few times have I heard “Maybe the Oilers should ice more than 1-2 NHL Dmen” on the radio waves, fishwrap and “professional” blogs (that’s you Spector)

    It has always been about what the poor bastards unlucky enough to be the best players on the Oilers lack that causes the losses with the MSM.

    Its never been about what actually causes the losses. The roster construction, particularly in regards to the Dmen.

    I’m pretty sick of the whole thing.

  5. fuzzy muppet says:

    The special teams have sunk this season. Even with below average defense, they would be in the mix if the PP was worth a damn.

    They simply don’t work hard enough most times on the 5 on 4.

  6. sliderule says:

    In the intermission they showed hi lights of Gryba defending with a good stick.

    This player is an underrated defender particularly with some on this site.

    In regard to hitting there is a misunderstanding on what you accomplish.

    Every hit received wears a player down and tends to make them rush the play..That is why the opposition fore checks the oiler defence so aggressively..

    Because the hits can take a toll on the hitter the heavy work goes to the bottom six and skilled players do less but they are at least expected to bump and not swoop like some oilers are prone to.

  7. Genjutsu says:

    Woodguy:
    There are certain elements of the fan base who seem to think hammering people means wins.

    This should read:

    The majority of the Edmonton print and radio MSMseem to think hammering people means wins.

    McLellan set most of them straight in the post game avail, but not much will change.(McLellan’s post game avail is MUST viewing btw)

    My best tweet on the subject was:

    Woodguy ‏@Woodguy55 9h9 hours ago


    Oilers haven’t been able to exit the dzone with the puck for 7 years and if you read/listen to the MSM the problem is lack of face washes.

    I also thought this take on McLellan’s avail was funny and succinct.

    Kev ‏@Dzl25 10h10 hours ago


    @Woodguy55 TMc answers to “immediate response” questions were basically Oilogosphere vs MSM porn. Will literally never get any more explicit

    Hours of radio time wasted and millions of pixels died in the analysis of Hemksy’s body language (often when he should have been on the IR instead of playing), Hall’s leadership, Horcoff’s paycheque, Penner’s effort level, RNH’s texture, Petry’s demeanor and passport, where exactly Yak is on the enigmatic scale, etc.

    Very, very,very, very, very few times have I heard “Maybe the Oilers should ice more than 1-2 NHL Dmen” on the radio waves, fishwrap and “professional” blogs (that’s you Spector)

    It has always been about what the poor bastards unlucky enough to be the best players on the Oilers lack that causes the losses with the MSM.

    Its never been about what actually causes the losses.The roster construction, particularly in regards to the Dmen.

    I’m pretty sick of the whole thing.

    You’re part of the problem.

    They will only go away when we all stop listening and reading that garbage.

    If you keep being an audience for it, it will never go away.

    Not ever.

  8. Ca$h-McMoney! says:

    fuzzy muppet,

    I have a hard time believing the problem is that they don’t work hard enough. We’re talking about a roster packed with kids who love to score…. PP time is fun (for anyone, at any age) and is hardly the area where lack of effort tends to be the culprit.

    Gotta be more to it.

  9. Really? says:

    I can understand why many are expressing their anger with the way this season has gone. After ten years or more, it really does suck.

    I will, however, try to contain my anger.

    If the Oiler’s brain trust does not act upon the terrible manpower deficiency on their blue line at the trade deadline, the 2016 draft and during free agency that will be an act of betrayal and that I will not forgive. I have been a fan for 35 years but not significantly improving the D corps will simply not be acceptable

    And so I wait.

  10. Bag of Pucks says:

    Waking up Monday morning to find out Bowie is gone leaves me feeling, “strung out it in heaven’s high, hitting an all-time low.”

  11. Woodguy says:

    There are only 5 NHL teams “under .500”

    This is just ridiculous now.

    Bottom 5 teams via games + ties (30th place always = 0, ties broken using ROW)

    CBJ 0
    EDM +3
    BUF +3
    TOR +6
    WPG +6

    Seeing as just a week or so ago EDM had a 6 game lead on CBJ and there is no McKlefbom until February I fully expect Kevin Lowe’s master plan to be 30th by the end of January.

  12. hunter1909 says:

    Woodguy:
    There are only 5 NHL teams “under .500”

    This is just ridiculous now.

    Bottom 5 teams via games + ties (30th place always = 0, ties broken using ROW)

    CBJ 0
    EDM +3
    BUF +3
    TOR +6
    WPG +6

    Seeing as just a week or so ago EDM had a 6 game lead on CBJ and there is no McKlefbom until February I fully expect Kevin Lowe’s master plan to be 30th by the end of January.

    January 11 and the season is as good as over.

    10 years of pure futility, in order to continue more futility.

    Fast Forward to October: New arena doesn’t seem to be working so far for the 2-5-1 Oilers. After taking the penalty in OT that lost the last game, new Oiler Milan Lucic vows to work harder.

  13. JDï™ says:

    Elliotte Friedman Verified account
    ‏@FriedgeHNIC

    EDM’s Matt Hendricks will have a phone hearing later today for the hit to Aaron Ekblad.

  14. hunter1909 says:

    I liked seeing Nurse blow that Jagr goal, since earlier I was complaining that Nurse should be in the AHL.

    Seriously, this isn’t doing his development any favors.

  15. OilClog says:

    But, that Hendricks hit did feel good, I mean who are we kidding.. It felt
    Glorious. Oilers should of been put on the power play and number #51 should of received a cross checking penalty.

    Ekblad was going after RNH all night long previous to the hit, he didn’t after the hit. Hopefully he’ll think twice about it in a couple weeks.

    The Oilers response to Halls hit was perfect, it’s a sad sad shame the refs and coaches challenge bungles the game the way it does.

    14 shots for the Panthers! No business winning that game

  16. Frank the dog says:

    “MCDAVID INJURY”
    “At the game tonight, heard some negativity about the Oilers being too careful with McDavid. I have to say it surprised me, and offer this reminder without further comment.
    •Sheldon Souray: “I wasn’t even ready to play when I came here, but it was like, ‘We signed you, you go out and play.’ I hadn’t been cleared to play yet, but I was being questioned by the organization:‘When are you going to be able to play?’ Source”

    This speaks to my belief that the Oil, within their incompetence, were doing everything they could to win the season they were in when Souray was rushed back (like others), whereas this season they are building the Arena team.
    In the circumstances it would not surprise me at all if they sent down Nurse when Klef returned. #Because Arena

  17. Lowetide says:

    OilClog:
    But, that Hendricks hit did feel good, I mean who are we kidding..

    Not to me.

  18. RPG says:

    “Sometimes—John Candy, Princess Diana, Bowie—it hits hard and knocks the wind from you.”

    Robin Williams did the same for me. Ditto John Candy. RIP

  19. SayItAin'tSo, Gretz, SayItAin'tSo! says:

    Given the current circumstances whereby the Bright Seers of the league see it fit that goal scoring is something to be slowly eliminated from the game (I honestly caught a clip of a TSN head praising Getzlaf’s defensive play as his offence “has slowed down a touch” this season) I think as general hockey fans we take a quick moment to sit back and congratulate ourselves for getting to watch Alex Ovechkin play hockey. In an era defined by “possession” he’s gone out and become the first Russian player to score 500. HIs 501 was an absolute beauty last night as he blew by “are you sure he actually plays defense anyway?” Karlsson and then chipped it over Hammonds shoulder.

    He’s been my favourite non-Oiler player since he entered the league 10 years ago, I think he is definitely in the discussion for best pure-goal scorer in hockey history and I can’t wait to watch him slowly re-write the record books for Russian players.

  20. frjohnk says:

    RPG: Ditto John Candy. RIP

    I love Planes, Trains and Automobiles.

    “Those are not pillows!!!”

  21. frjohnk says:

    SayItAin’tSo, Gretz, SayItAin’tSo!:
    Given the current circumstances whereby the Bright Seers of the league see it fit that goal scoring is something to be slowly eliminated from the game (I honestly caught a clip of a TSN head praising Getzlaf’s defensive play as his offence “has slowed down a touch” this season) I think as general hockey fans we take a quick moment to sit back and congratulate ourselves for getting to watch Alex Ovechkin play hockey. In an era defined by “possession” he’s gone out and become the first Russian player to score 500. HIs 501 was an absolute beauty last night as he blew by “are you sure he actually plays defines?” Karlsson and then chipped it over Hammonds shoulder.

    He’s been my favourite non-Oiler player since he entered the league 10 years ago, I think he is definitely in the discussion for best pure-goal scorer in hockey history and I can’t wait to watch him slowly re-write the record books for Russian players.

    I think a great case can be made that Ovechkin is the greatest goal scorer….ever

    501 goals since 2005.
    Iginla is second with 351
    Nash is third with 332
    Marleau 4th with 317
    Crosby 5th with 314

    150 goals gap. Incredible

  22. CrazyCoach says:

    sliderule: In regard to hitting there is a misunderstanding on what you accomplish.
    Every hit received wears a player down and tends to make them rush the play..That is why the opposition fore checks the oiler defence so aggressively..
    Because the hits can take a toll on the hitter the heavy work goes to the bottom six and skilled players do less but they are at least expected to bump and not swoop like some oilers are prone to.

    The primary objective of a body check is to separate the puck carrier from the puck. What you mention is gravy on top.

    I would wager a guess that good puck possession teams get out hit regularly because they possess the puck more, and teams that hit more are doing so because they don’t have the puck as much.

  23. Lloyd B. says:

    frjohnk: I think a great case can be made that Ovechkin is the greatest goal scorer….ever

    501 goals since 2005.
    Iginla is second with 351
    Nash is third with 332
    Marleau 4th with 317
    Crosby 5th with 314

    150 goals gap.Incredible

    Perhaps the greatest goal scorer of this generation. Ever … is a long time.

  24. Weighting for more says:

    The handling of the McDavid issue has a lot of support out there but what people are missing is that being extra cautious may not actually equate to being safer or better. If he is being held out because he hasn’t healed yet that is fine, but If he is healed and he is being held out for an extra 4 weeks you could actually be harming him.

    Skating with the team and working out in the gym is not the same as NHL Hockey. Every player who returns from an injury takes a little time ‘get their legs and timing back’ and the longer you are off the harder it is to get that back, so you can’t expect him to be 100% his first game back no matter how long he rehabs. The bigger issue is the psychological message you are sending that says “You are made of glass and we need to keep you under this bubble wrap”. The longer he is out the more anxiety there will be about reinjury not less. If you or I worked a physical job and were injured we are best served getting back to physical work as soon as we safely can, after the tissue has healed, and taking extra time would actually increase the chances of failure. The way the oilers are handling this is not best practice if he was “ahead of schedule” but to be honest I don’t really believe much of what is said in the media with respect to injuries.

    On another note Spector and Rishaug’s attitude towards the way hockey should be played really bothered me. They want violence and they want it quickly and they will humiliate you if they don’t see it fast enough. I know you have to push back when when a team is pushing you around physically but what the oilers did was fine. Do you know what would have felt nice after that hit on Hall? A goal by us. Too bad it didn’t happen.

  25. Pouzar says:

    CrazyCoach: The primary objective of a body check is to separate the puck carrier from the puck.What you mention is gravy on top.

    I would wager a guess that good puck possession teams get out hit regularly because they possess the puck more, and teams that hit more are doing so because they don’t have the puck as much.

    Without looking I would hazard to guess the Kings are up there in hits?

  26. SayItAin'tSo, Gretz, SayItAin'tSo! says:

    He scored his 500th in game 801 which puts him behind only Gretzky, Lemieux, Bossy and Hull for quickest to reach 500.

    Given the vastly differing styles of play, skill and size of the goaltenders and the fact that two out of those five are considered two of the best to ever play the game period I think we can begin a very real conversation about the Great 8 being in the upper stratosphere of historical NHL talent.

  27. oliveoilers says:

    LT, on the subject of offer sheets, I had a good conversation on a thread here about a month ago. I can’t remember with whom, but I broke down how many offer sheets have been made and how many have been successful. I’m on my phone so I can’t repost easily so I’ll cut a long story short: There hasn’t been many successful offer sheets, something like only 12% since their inception.

    I guess what I’m saying is that they’re not a feasible weapon of choice. Would have to be a perfect situation and if you’re going to do it just to shake other players loose then that team would be unlikely to deal with you.

  28. CrazyCoach says:

    Weighting for more: The bigger issue is the psychological message you are sending that says “You are made of glass and we need to keep you under this bubble wrap”. The longer he is out the more anxiety there will be about reinjury not less. If you or I worked a physical job and were injured we are best served getting back to physical work as soon as we safely can, after the tissue has healed, and taking extra time would actually increase the chances of failure.

    I’ve said it on here before numerous times and I’ll say it again.

    A player can return to activity if they,
    1) Have 100% strength in the injured area.
    2) Have 100% range of movement in the area.
    3) Psychologically ready to play.

    The difficulty remains in #3 as you really have no field tests to determine whether a player is 100% psychologically ready, because every person is different.

    I don’t think the message is about being made of glass, but one of “You are a special player who is still developing mentally and physically and we do not want to in any way stunt or deter that growth” There is also the question of rushing a player back in a season that is quickly turning into a non-playoff one. Why risk further injury for a 10th place finish?

    Not sure what the CBA says, but if McDavid is injured long enough, will he get in enough games to blow through year one of the ELC?

  29. frjohnk says:

    RE: Hitting

    Team Defense men who have taken hits. Listed in order of most to least.

    MTL 549
    FLA 540
    PIT 535
    STL 482
    EDM472
    CHI 467
    NYI 467
    ARI 451
    BOS 442
    DAL 436
    L.A 419
    N.J 414
    S.J 411
    OTT 408
    VAN 405
    T.B 399
    TOR 397
    ANA 391
    WPG389
    CBJ 377
    CAR 371
    WSH371
    PHI 356
    BUF 329
    NSH 327
    NYR 324
    COL 318
    MIN 309
    DET 293
    CGY 265

    Teams forwards who have given hits. Listed in order of least to most.

    ARI 415
    DAL 446
    VAN 475
    MTL 533
    CAR 550
    MIN 550
    T.B 567
    CHI 568
    EDM568
    DET 570
    BUF 624
    COL 637
    TOR 641
    CGY 646
    WSH660
    WPG671
    N.J 675
    S.J 676
    FLA 690
    BOS 700
    NSH 715
    NYR 715
    OTT 715
    ANA 717
    PHI 718
    CBJ 750
    PIT 750
    L.A 759
    STL 759
    NYI 904

  30. Loxy says:

    I can’t bother with another last placed team. I can’t do it. It’s been more than enough losing for the last 25 years. And while I’ve been alive for all the cups, I don’t much remember them. So my Oilers franchise is a cup run a decade ago, playoff struggles with Dallas, and a ton of losing.

    Good teams aren’t “responding physically” in tight games. They are scoring goals.

  31. Quinlan says:

    If anyone seriously thinks the Oilers are to be criticized for holding McDavid out, you’re dead wrong.

    This is a message that they’re giving up on the season? huh? They have a generational player coming off of a serious injury that required serious surgery and serious recovery time.

    They better take every precaution before clearing him for a return.

    We’re talking about Connor McDavid. He’s a huge part of the future of the league, let alone the Oilers.

  32. stevezie says:

    I’m baffled that anyone is disappointed with the physical response. There were scrums, crosschecks, heavy hits, one dangerous hit, and three fights. Even if you like the physical stuff, it was all there.

    Louis Debrusk admitted it is difficult to jump a guy when the puck is in transition. This kind of stupidity is disheartening.

  33. frjohnk says:

    Some of the best hitting teams are also the best possession teams ( LA 1st, NSH 2nd, ANA 3rd, STL 7th in poss)

    10 of the 12 teams where the defense get hit the most are in a playoff spot. Of course, Oilers are 1 of the 2!

  34. 4th_Line_Plug says:

    “There are certain elements of the fan base who seem to think hammering people means wins. I haven’t read any proof that hits or intimidation result in wins, but am willing to read any links you provide.”

    You then provided your own evidence:

    “Because of the loss, no one is discussing an insane evening in possession.”

    Possession is the outcome of effectively removing the puck from your opponent and then controlling it. The easiest way to do that is by hitting them. Hitting also sends anger through the other teams bench making them think about hitting you back instead of focusing on their game plan.

    “Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth”- Mike Tyson

    The Hendricks hit crossed the line a little bit, probably one game suspension. Eckblad is way bigger than Hendricks so if you’re going to hit a guy like that you have to commit early and throw your body into it, Eckblad looked the he was going to turn and take the puck on his forehand but instead looked behind him and reversed the puck. Hendricks was already committed at that point. GudBranson on Hall was a nice check but he had 5 inches and 30 pounds on Hall, that is a much easier match up to knock a guy on his ass.

    I really like your comment about taking a number. The refs had already set the precedent when he gave Bjustad an extra for instagating on Gryba. If anyone went after Gudbranson they would have been on the PK after, and already down 2-1 that would be stupid.

    The oilers roster is not made to physically intimidate anyone (yet) so teams need to be scared of taking penalties and getting scored on by a dangerous powerplay. The oilers do not have a dangerous powerplay so teams are not scared to take some liberties.

    That game was exciting and AL Montoya played well.

  35. CrazyCoach says:

    frjohnk: Some of the best hitting teams are also the best possession teams ( LA 1st, ANA 3rd, STL 7th in poss)

    So I guess my original thought on the primary objective being to separate the puck from the puck carrier rings true.

    I badly lost the other wager though.

  36. Gret99zky says:

    I don’t think gooning it up has a lot of merit. (broken hands and slashing majors)

    However, finishing your checks is a real thing. And can go a long way in making the opposing defensemen feel some pressure and perhaps cough it up from time to time.

    Finish. Your. Checks.

  37. Rube Foster says:

    I
    I wish you could swim
    Like the dolphins
    Like the dolphins can swim

    And I also wish the Oilers had a 1929 Eddie Shore… a 1977 Larry Robinson wouldnt hurt either.

  38. godot10 says:

    fuzzy muppet:
    The special teams have sunk this season.Even with below average defense, they would be in the mix if the PP was worth a damn.

    Exactly. Most disappointing thing about McLellan and crew so far. Krueger and Nelson, with worse teams and even with Justin Schultz, used special teams to get to a 77-point pace.

    Things are getting better. This is not anything like the dementoring era where there was no hope and guaranteed despair. It is just damned frustrating. So close, and the turning is still just beyond the crasp.

  39. rocket says:

    Woodguy,
    Regulation Wins
    Edm 8
    Cal 10
    Phil 10
    Ott 12
    Van 12
    Tor 12
    Col 12
    NJD 13
    Buff 13

    To say the least – 2015-16 has been disappointing….

  40. frjohnk says:

    Nate780:
    frjohnk,

    https://imgflip.com/i/x6mvt

    Actually on sportsnet have compared Ovechkin to other players in other generations and made the case that he was the best goal scorer ever.

    http://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/nhl/why-alex-ovechkin-could-be-the-best-goal-scorer-in-nhl-history/

  41. 4th_Line_Plug says:

    hunter1909,

    Duncan Keith made that same mistake 3 nights ago so your argument is junk. Players make mistakes, usually a competent defence partner would be pulling back into the middle of the blueline to support their partner Jultz was Jultzing over on the far boards.

  42. Nate780 says:

    Loxy,

    The Oilers could lose every single game for the rest of my life, and i will still cheer for them and watch every possible game that i can.

  43. Bruce McCurdy says:

    frjohnk: I think a great case can be made that Ovechkin is the greatest goal scorer….ever

    501 goals since 2005.
    Iginla is second with 351
    Nash is third with 332
    Marleau 4th with 317
    Crosby 5th with 314

    150 goals gap.Incredible

    1968-78
    ———-
    Phil Esposito 525
    Yvan Cournoyer 344
    Garry Unger (!) 341

    1979-89
    ———-
    Wayne Gretzky 637
    Mike Bossy 451
    Jari Kurri 441

    180-goal gaps in both cases, for a 10-year span. Nothing against Ovi who clearly belongs on the short list, but his current dominance is not unprecendented.

  44. Weighting for more says:

    CrazyCoach: I’ve said it on here before numerous times and I’ll say it again.

    A player can return to activity if they,
    1) Have 100% strength in the injured area.
    2)Have 100% range of movement in the area.
    3)Psychologically ready to play.

    The difficulty remains in #3 as you really have no field tests to determine whether a player is 100% psychologically ready, because every person is different.

    I don’t think the message is about being made of glass, but one of “You are a special player who is still developing mentally and physically and we do not want to in any way stunt or deter that growth”There is also the question of rushing a player back in a season that is quickly turning into a non-playoff one.Why risk further injury for a 10th place finish?

    Not sure what the CBA says, but if McDavid is injured long enough, will he get in enough games to blow through year one of the ELC?

    My point is that extra time does not make #3 better. People who get back on the horse do better. Telling the player that they are still developing mentally and we are going to be safe doesn’t build resiliency in a person.

    I’m not talking about ‘rushing back’. The timelines they are following are way longer than I would expect for a fracture that has been fixated.

  45. rocket says:

    Weighting for more,

    I believe it has to do with extra year before RFA kicks in FULL STOP.

  46. Bruce McCurdy says:

    4th_Line_Plug:
    hunter1909,

    Duncan Keith made that same mistake 3 nights ago so your argument is junk. Players make mistakes, usually a competent defence partner would be pulling back into the middle of the blueline to support their partner Jultz was Jultzing over on the far boards.

    Yeah, Schultz’s fault! Nurse off the hook, we can all blame Jultz.

    Are you saying when one point man has clear possession of the puck, his partner should leave the offensive zone on the odd chance that the guy coughs it up to the nearest opponent?

  47. Nate780 says:

    frjohnk,

    Gretzky scored 500 in 575 games, he’s hands down the best goalscorer in league history, IMO.

  48. Loxy says:

    Nate780:
    Loxy,

    The Oilers could lose every single game for the rest of my life, and i will still cheer for them and watch every possible game that i can.

    Then you are a better fan than I am.

  49. Weighting for more says:

    rocket,

    I thought I saw someone post that the extra year is not based on gp but rather being with the team. So this time on the IR does not help the oilers with that situation. Can anyone confirm that?

  50. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Lloyd B.: Perhaps the greatest goal scorer of this generation. Ever … is a long time.

    No “perhaps” about the current generation. Ovechkin is the #1 goal scorer of the Dead Puck Era by a considerable margin.

  51. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    “One night a few years after “Planes, Trains and Automobiles” was released, I came upon John Candy (1950-1994) sitting all by himself in a hotel bar in New York, smoking and drinking, and we talked for a while. We were going to be on the same TV show the next day. He was depressed. People loved him, but he didn’t seem to know that, or it wasn’t enough. He was a sweet guy and nobody had a word to say against him, but he was down on himself. All he wanted to do was make people laugh, but sometimes he tried too hard, and he hated himself for doing that in some of his movies. I thought of Del. There is so much truth in the role that it transforms the whole movie. Hughes knew it, and captured it again in “Only the Lonely” (1991). And Steve Martin knew it, and played straight to it.”

    http://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/great-movie-planes-trains-and-automobiles-1987

  52. barry.moore23 says:

    Nate780: The Oilers could lose every single game for the rest of my life, and i will still cheer for them and watch every possible game that i can.

    Ha. I’m with you. Call me hardheaded …..

    OT – I thought that guy that came with Tmac (Woodcroft ??) was/is supposed to be a power play wizard ?? I must have him confused with someone else.

    Go Oilers !!!

  53. Pouzar says:

    frjohnk:
    Some of the best hitting teams are also the best possession teams ( LA 1st, NSH 2nd, ANA 3rd, STL 7th in poss)

    10 of the 12 teams where the defense get hit the most are in a playoff spot.Of course, Oilers are 1 of the 2!

    http://www.sportingcharts.com/nhl/stats/team-hit-statistics/2015/

    Doesn’t quite jive with what you have. Not sure how accurate this is.

  54. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Weighting for more:
    rocket,

    I thought I saw someone post that the extra year is not based on gp but rather being with the team.So this time on the IR does not help the oilers with that situation.Can anyone confirm that?

    Yes. Year One of McDavid’s ELC has been burned already.

    Note: He may yet be eligible for the Calder next year if he somehow plays no more than 25 games this year. that one is based strictly on GP.

  55. frjohnk says:

    Bruce McCurdy: 180-goal gaps in both cases, for a 10-year span. Nothing against Ovi who clearly belongs on the short list, but his current dominance is not unprecendented.

    I agree his current dominance is not unprecendented.

    and I may have jumped the gun on Ovechkin as being the best, but he is clearly near the top.

    The sportsnet article I linked is where I’m basing my argument from.

    But there are a lot of different factors in comparing players from different eras that are not in that article as well.

  56. frjohnk says:

    Pouzar: http://www.sportingcharts.com/nhl/stats/team-hit-statistics/2015/

    Doesn’t quite jive with what you have. Not sure how accurate this is.

    Go back to the two lists I made. It focuses on hitting by forwards and hits taken by D.

  57. rocket says:

    Bruce McCurdy,

    Thank you for clarification

  58. pts2pndr says:

    Lowetide,

    Lt
    This is what the Olers have to do to gain respect! Do not go after the goon that runs your star palyer but go after one of their skill players. That we you negate the instigator penalty and show that you will respond. See what has happened over the years since the advent of the instigator penalty. We have at least two players on ltir courtesy of bad hits where penalties have no even been called. I do not agree with the high hit but all else was what has to happen on a regular basis to get leaugue respect. Once the officials realize they have to call penalties whenOilers are hurt maybe our injurie mangames lost goes down!

  59. Woogie63 says:

    Lets see the PowerPlay changes with this personal;

    Onto the PowerPlay

    McDavid, Yakupov, Klefbom

    Off the PowerPlay

    Lander, Letestu, Shultz

  60. RexLibris says:

    Lowetide: Not to me.

    I liked that Hendricks came in fast on the forecheck and finished the check.

    I liked that the Oilers were the ones being aggressive around the ice without losing position to chase the hit.

    I did not like seeing Eklbad struggle to get up. That worried me and the resulting cross-check/fight did nothing to encourage me as a fan.

  61. Gret99zky says:

    “… And these children
    that you spit on
    as they try to change their worlds
    are immune to your consultations.
    They’re quite aware
    of what they’re going through…”

    -David Bowie

  62. Nate780 says:

    Bohologo,

    what a tool

  63. Bruce McCurdy says:

    PunjabiOil: No question in my mind McDavid would be playing right now if the Oilers were legit playoff or division contenders.

    No question.

    McLellan: “We have determined that Connor is not physically ready to play between now and then [the ‘Olympic break’].”

    Should he have added “Read my lips”?

    McDavid himself let slip that his initial timeline was four months, and it looks like he will be back a full month ahead of that.

    I’m not sure I see a whole lot to criticize here.

  64. G Money says:

    To people who think that the Oilers are “holding McDavid back”: do you honestly think that a player taking shots and practicing faceoffs is adequate ‘proof’ of a player being ready to face opposing NHL players with malicious intent in a real game situation?

    Yeesh.

    I talked to a handful of doctors I know (which is a lot) at the time of the injury, and all of them with knowledge of that type of injury said “8 to 10 weeks”.

    The 9th was 8 weeks, the absolute earliest it would make sense for him to return. That’s best case, not average case.

    10 weeks is January 23rd, which basically takes us to the all-star break.

    Additionally, the research that I did at the time indicates that this type of injury is more common in younger athletes because the clavicle doesn’t finish hardening until the age of 20 or so.

    McDavid not returning yet, and waiting til after the all-star break, gives NO REASON to think the Oilers are doing anything other than the right thing with this injury.

  65. Pouzar says:

    Bruce McCurdy,

    I am not reading PunjabiOil’s post as criticism…I could be wrong.

  66. Pouzar says:

    Who are the people criticizing McDavid being held back?
    I haven’t read everything the last few days.

    It’s a bummer but man………

  67. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Pouzar:
    Bruce McCurdy,

    I am not reading PunjabiOil’s post as criticism…I could be wrong.

    I was referring more to the “some people being peeved” that he referenced. Not sure what they are peeved about. Circumstances, maybe; I’m peeved about those myself. But the organization is being prudent with their major asset in my view, and I’m OK with that. Impatient, but OK.

  68. Nate780 says:

    Bohologo,

    sorry, i meant Eakins, i could not stand that guy. 2 weeks in and i was done with him as a coach.

  69. 4th_Line_Plug says:

    Bruce McCurdy,

    Yes Bruce you should have learned it in Peewee. As a weak side D man you should be atleast in the middle a little south of the blue. One, your D partner doesn’t have to make a pass across the entire width of the ice to you. Two, you’re there for support incase he mishandles the puck.

    http://www.thescore.com/nhl/news/933322

    Jagr and another panther were between Nurse and Schultz! Players mishandle pucks every game, good teams have tworked layers of protection, great teams have three layers. The oilers have one. If a guy makes a mistake it’s probably going in the net.

  70. Pouzar says:

    Bruce McCurdy: I was referring more to the “some people being peeved” that he referenced. Not sure what they are peeved about. Circumstances, maybe; I’m peeved about those myself. But the organization is being prudent with their major asset in my view, and I’m OK with that. Impatient, but OK.

    Yeah I just read his whole post. Gotcha.

    It sucks but nothing to see here.

  71. G Money says:

    Pouzar:
    Bruce McCurdy,

    I am not reading PunjabiOil’s post as criticism…I could be wrong.

    I interpreted PO’s statement It’s hard to read it more than anything other than surrendering the season … The Oilers are starting to distance themselves for another bottom 5 spot. as an interpretation that McDavid is in fact ready to play today, but the Oilers are holding him back in order to deliberately continue sewering the season and lock up another high draft pick.

    I’ve re-read it, and can’t parse it any other way.

    And I think it’s dead wrong.

    It’s heartening to see McDavid skating, shooting, and working on faceoffs because it means he hasn’t had any setbacks that would extend the timeframe from the normal 8 to 10 weeks into three months or more.

    But ready to come back and deliberately being held back? No way.

  72. Pouzar says:

    Nate780:
    Bohologo,

    sorry, i meant Eakins, i could not stand that guy. 2 weeks in and i was done with him as a coach.

    Sitting directly behind the Oiler bench I was dumbfounded at the lack of communication between coaches and players. Those ear pieces were sure cute though.

  73. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Pouzar:
    Statistical analysis from the Finnish League: Jesse Puljujärvi and Patrik Laine

    http://www.jatkoaika.com/Artikkeli/statistical-analysis-from-the-finnish-league-jesse-puljuj%C3%A4rvi-and-patrik-laine/174753

    Interesting stat about “average shot distance for” and “average shot distance against” while a player is on the ice. Not sure I’ve seen that one before. Provides some context to the raw Corsi.

  74. Psyche says:

    Bruce McCurdy,

    I’m sorry, but that statement creates more questions for me.

    The bone is likely healed. Are they concerned with upper body strength not being optimal for play? I imagine McDavid lost shoulder, chest and back muscle while recovering. If that’s the case – why not share that information? I don’t see it being harmful.

  75. godot10 says:

    Bruce McCurdy: Interesting stat about “average shot distance for” and “average shot distance against” while a player is on the ice. Not sure I’ve seen that one before. Provides some context to the raw Corsi.

    Gmoney is extremely disappointed in you.

  76. Quinlan says:

    Pouzar:
    Statistical analysis from the Finnish League: Jesse Puljujärvi and Patrik Laine

    http://www.jatkoaika.com/Artikkeli/statistical-analysis-from-the-finnish-league-jesse-puljuj%C3%A4rvi-and-patrik-laine/174753

    Great article.

    Boy, does that help to give some context to the boxcars. It’s going to be really difficult to choose between the two. I’ve been bouncing back and forth between the two. Laine is just so stinkin impressive – very noticeable player all over the ice, and for pre-dominantly good things.

    Puljujarvi is incredible too – in a very different way, he’s got a subtler game than Laine. Both are very good skaters, distributors and carriers.

    Overall impact on the game, I have to give to Laine. But those are the early returns. Projecting the two is even more difficult.

  77. Quinlan says:

    Edmonton Oilers ✔ @EdmontonOilers
    “There’s a chance (Yak) might be ready for tomorrow. I think he’s pretty darn close. He’s worked really hard.” Coach McLellan

    Also of note, Pakarinen practicing with the Top 6, Pouliot dropping down?

  78. godot10 says:

    Psyche:
    Bruce McCurdy,

    I’m sorry, but that statement creates more questions for me.

    The bone is likely healed. Are they concerned with upper body strength not being optimal for play? I imagine McDavid lost shoulder, chest and back muscle while recovering. If that’s the case – why not share that information? I don’t see it being harmful.

    A casual use of google would tell one that the average recovery time (i.e. return to activity) for a broken collarbone is 10 weeks…which is right before the all-star break.

    Would he have played in the last week of January if the Oilers had games….probably. But they don’t play in the last week of January.

    So do you play him early for one game or two before a nine-day break (early on average) or do you take the 9-day break.

  79. frjohnk says:

    Bruce McCurdy: Interesting stat about “average shot distance for” and “average shot distance against” while a player is on the ice. Not sure I’ve seen that one before. Provides some context to the raw Corsi.

    Funny that in that article, there is a mention of Laine being in a comparison to Ovechkin. Laine is big, skilled and has a great shot not unlike Ovie. At one time in the final, he obliterated a Russian not unlike Ovie. I thought that during the WJC’s a few times.

    I might be reaching as there is ALOT OF TRACK TO GO but in time, Laine could become the greatest goal scorer….ever 🙂

  80. Strapping Jocks says:

    So “Laine, Trains and Automobiles” to the Cup? 😉

  81. frjohnk says:

    Bruce McCurdy: Interesting stat about “average shot distance for” and “average shot distance against” while a player is on the ice. Not sure I’ve seen that one before. Provides some context to the raw Corsi.

    I have not seen “average shot distance against” but there is “average shot distance for” at behind the net.
    http://www.behindthenet.ca/nhl_shot_statistics.php?c=0+1+3+5+7+9+10+11+12+13&ds=13&f5=

  82. Psyche says:

    godot10:

    So do you play him early for one game or two before a nine-day break (early on average) or do you take the 9-day break.

    An 18 year old athlete heals at a greater rate than the average person. I think the bone is healed for those 1 or 2 games before the Oilers long ASG break. But I believe it’s related to strength. A player needs the muscles to support the joints for the physical grind.

  83. G Money says:

    godot10: Gmoney is extremely disappointed in you.

    Very disappointed!

  84. G Money says:

    Bruce McCurdy: Interesting stat about “average shot distance for” and “average shot distance against” while a player is on the ice. Not sure I’ve seen that one before. Provides some context to the raw Corsi.

    Geez, Bruce, I must give you not one, but MULTIPLE sad faces: 🙁 🙁 🙁

    I publish those for every defender and every defensive pairing on the Oilers after every game. I also use those numbers as part of the process for calculating Dangerous Fenwick, which is in the end, Fenwick WITH shot distance and shot type context built right into the statistic!

  85. admiralmark says:

    At the beginning of the season I looked at the make up of this team and thought 10th in the West was a realistic guess. I stand by that one. However, I will say had this team ben relatively healthy this season they would be right around that playoff mark. My thoughts were IF they acquire a 1st pairing D i’d bet on playoffs for sure. If they acquired another 2nd pairing D then they would be on the bubble.

    IF Chiarelli does nothing between now and trade deadline to shore up the D i.e. Shattenkirk. Then lets start lookin at this years prospects again. 🙁 If he does get a Shattenkirk’ish level D man and dumps Schultz in the process then we know they are serious at their attempts to get the 8th spot. I get the feeling the goal was never to make an honest attempt at playoffs. It was only a bonus if that were to happen. Or the alternative is they(he) completely over estimated the D(this saddens me).

  86. Kmart99 says:

    Jan 13 is ten weeks.

    I’m glad they are being careful with this injury. I fully support the decision to wait until after the AS break.

    However, it wasnt unreasonable to think Connor could be back after 10 weeks.

  87. Pastor of Disaster says:

    Re: Bowie

    Found out about his death just before midnight, sulking over the Oilers. Immediately re-read the review on Pitchfork about his newest album (released less than a week before his death). The review opens with these words:

    “David Bowie has died many deaths yet he is still with us. He is popular music’s ultimate Lazarus.”

    Tough words to read.

    http://pitchfork.com/reviews/albums/21332-blackstar/

  88. John Chambers says:

    Open question about Darnell Nurse:
    This is obviously a player we need to develop into his potential as a 22-25 min / night defender who consistently makes smart, athletic plays, in order for the team to become a contender.

    But can he?

    This past summer Nurse was unanimously deemed untradeable. And rightfully so – he is the best defensive prospect in the system since … forever. Combined with Reinhart, the future of the Oilers’ D seemed bright with big, strong, intelligent, puck-moving blueliners just entering their 20’s.

    But in hindsight, if we could’ve traded Nurse in a package for Dougie Hamilton, and if we could’ve similarly acquired Hamonic instead of Reinhart, would that have been a better plan for both current AND future?

    My question to the crowd is: is there concern about Nurse hitting his potential (Reinhart’s is undoubtedly in question), and would Chiarelli have been better off trading Nurse for a more proven, if older and more expensive, defensemen to hedge the risk of enduring the learning curve and having to develop blueliners through years of on-the-job training.

    Or is staying patient the best way to improve our blue? I was convinced of this, but watching Nurse struggle as he has, has diminished my expectation of the player’s ceiling.

    Interested in the blogosphere’s thoughts …

  89. russ99 says:

    As big of a problem I have with the ideal that hitting wins games, I have just as big of a problem with the ideal that possession wins games.

    Would love to see what our numbers are from the magic box this year compared to outside of it. Would guess ad least 6×1 and maybe even 10×1.

    Would love to see a coach in Edmonton putting his players in a position to win rather that making sure everyone plays the system the right way. Maybe next year.

  90. Bman says:

    Back in the day when I played competitively, I would always take a number for those guys who took a cheap shot or went after your best players.

    It is too bad that in todays day and age, most teams do not do that. There always seems to be immediate retribution for a good hockey play or hit.

    Gunbrandson should also have a phone call as his first point of contact was Hall’s head. The approach form the Oiler’s was appropriate and loved how T Mac got all over the media. I think that was the first time I ever saw him lose his cool with the media.

    Hopefully that is not the start of him becoming somewhat like Eakins and trying to be smarter than the media and playing games with them.

  91. Bman says:

    Bruce McCurdy: I was referring more to the “some people being peeved” that he referenced. Not sure what they are peeved about. Circumstances, maybe; I’m peeved about those myself. But the organization is being prudent with their major asset in my view, and I’m OK with that. Impatient, but OK.

    Totally agree. Could you imagine if you rushed McDavid back ala Souray?

  92. frjohnk says:

    John Chambers:
    Open question about Darnell Nurse:
    This is obviously a player we need to develop into his potential as a 22-25 min / night defender who consistently makes smart, athletic plays, in order for the team to become a contender.

    But can he?

    This past summer Nurse was unanimously deemed untradeable. And rightfully so – he is the best defensive prospect in the system since … forever. Combined with Reinhart, the future of the Oilers’ D seemed bright with big, strong, intelligent, puck-moving blueliners just entering their 20’s.

    But in hindsight, if we could’ve traded Nurse in a package for Dougie Hamilton, and if we could’ve similarly acquired Hamonic instead of Reinhart, would that have been a better plan for both current AND future?

    My question to the crowd is: is there concern about Nurse hitting his potential (Reinhart’s is undoubtedly in question), and would Chiarelli have been better off trading Nurse for a more proven, if older and more expensive, defensemen to hedge the risk of enduring the learning curve and having to develop blueliners through years of on-the-job training.

    Or is staying patient the best way to improve our blue? I was convinced of this, but watching Nurse struggle as he has, has diminished my expectation of the player’s ceiling.

    Interested in the blogosphere’s thoughts …

    All young defense men struggle at times. Nurse is no exception.

    I know he is not healthy right now, but just before Klefbom got hurt, he was probably the best D man on the roster, and leaguewide, I would say he was a number 2/3 D man. Some, like Sunil, on LT’s show today, have written he is top pairing. But two years, the same age Nurse is right now, Klefbom was playing bottom pairing at the AHL. But the tools were there.

    Nurse has some of the similar tools and I have no doubt with his hard work and determination he will make a substansial jump within two years not unlike Klefbom. The kid is a gamer.

    My belief is that Nurse’s ceiling is a number 2 D man. He will have all the defense to be a number 1. He will have some offense, but probably not enough to be a true number 1. But then again, Nurse is the type of guy you don’t bet against.

  93. Revolved says:

    I know you put a lot of thought into your post game stats LT. I like that you have tried new things and that you are willing to try on new stats.

    One of the most interesting fancy stat discrepancies I have seen is how certain players do not have equally good (or bad, as is more common with the oil) corsi, fenwick, sc and hdsc rates.

    To me, the rate at which forwards produce, and defenders give up, hdsc’s is one of the best stats with which to judge a player. These are, after all, what everyone on the ice is trying to produce (or prevent).

    Is there any way you could fit the hdsc data into your write ups for comparison with corsi and sc data? Your spreadsheets contain all other vital info I’d say.

    Thanks!

  94. GCW_69 says:

    Re: Bowie

    When I was at teenager, Let’s Dance was probably my favorite. I bought my first Walkman so I could listen to it wherever I was going.

    Saw him at commonwealth stadium for the glass spider tour with Duran Duran and Georgia Straights. Great great show that came with the bonus of watching Duran Duran fans and straights fans duke it out on the grass.

    Sad day.

  95. frjohnk says:

    russ99: Would love to see what our numbers are from the magic box this year compared to outside of it. Would guess ad least 6×1 and maybe even 10×1.

    From last year

    Total Shots on Net From the Perimeter Per 60
    Edmonton….12.7 (Shots For)
    Edmonton….12.59 (Shots Allowed)
    League Av…13.45

    Total Shots on Net From Medium Danger Area Per 60
    Edmonton….8.00 (Shots For)
    Edmonton….8.24 (Shots Allowed)
    League Av…7.98

    Total Shots on Net From the High Danger Area Per 60
    Edmonton…..7.76 (Shots For)
    Edmonton….9.11 (Shots Allowed)
    League Av….8.37

    And broken down shots for

    Eastern Conference
    Perimeter Shots…..14.1
    Med Danger Shots. 7.93
    High Danger Shots..8.39

    Western Conference
    Perimeter Shots…..11.7
    Med Danger Shots. 8.04
    High Danger Shots..7.4

    *********************************************************************************

    I don’t have up to date stats for this year, I believe this was until game 20 or so. I have not tallied the rest.

    Shots For
    Low Danger 13.41
    Med Danger 7.91
    High Danger 8.18

  96. frjohnk says:

    russ99: As big of a problem I have with the ideal that hitting wins games, I have just as big of a problem with the ideal that possession wins games.

    Take a look at this.

    http://becauseoilers.blogspot.ca/2015/01/shot-attempt-data-doesnt-predict-who.html

  97. speeds says:

    John Chambers:
    Open question about Darnell Nurse:
    This is obviously a player we need to develop into his potential as a 22-25 min / night defender who consistently makes smart, athletic plays, in order for the team to become a contender.

    But can he?

    This past summer Nurse was unanimously deemed untradeable. And rightfully so – he is the best defensive prospect in the system since … forever. Combined with Reinhart, the future of the Oilers’ D seemed bright with big, strong, intelligent, puck-moving blueliners just entering their 20’s.

    But in hindsight, if we could’ve traded Nurse in a package for Dougie Hamilton, and if we could’ve similarly acquired Hamonic instead of Reinhart, would that have been a better plan for both current AND future?

    My question to the crowd is: is there concern about Nurse hitting his potential (Reinhart’s is undoubtedly in question), and would Chiarelli have been better off trading Nurse for a more proven, if older and more expensive, defensemen to hedge the risk of enduring the learning curve and having to develop blueliners through years of on-the-job training.

    Or is staying patient the best way to improve our blue? I was convinced of this, but watching Nurse struggle as he has, has diminished my expectation of the player’s ceiling.

    Interested in the blogosphere’s thoughts …

    He was not unanimously deemed untradeable – I would have moved him in a deal for Hamilton (right or wrong) depending on the contract Hamilton would have signed, and I don’t think I was the only one around here.

    As for trading Nurse, I would still look at it but I also wouldn’t be horribly concerned that he’s struggled recently (if he has, I’ve only seen a few games in the last month), he’s a young D, many of them do.

  98. commonfan14 says:

    The Drai review from last night got me thinking about how nutty it is that the NHL is cracking down on offsides so hard with the coach’s challenge. Also got me thinking about the rule itself.

    Did some research on the history of it, and the rule was apparently brought in in 1930 specifically to REDUCE scoring after a huge boom that resulted from the advent of the forward pass.

    In a league that’s looking all over for ways to increase scoring, why not have a look at junking a rule that was brought in to solve a “too many goals” problem form 85 years ago?

    Instead of whistling offensive rushes dead for no real reason, why not do away with the blue lines entirely and encourage more offense?

    What would be the horrible result of this? Rampant cherry-picking? I doubt coaches would allow guys to throw away their defensive responsibilities entirely to just go hang out in the offensive zone all game.

    And even if you did get some cherry-picking , why would that be a bad thing? You’d get essentially a powerplay situation at one end and a potential home-run break on the other end. Both of those things sound exciting to me as a fan.

    I mean, I’m not really even joking about this. Is there a really good reason for keeping the offside rule other than, “that’s how we’ve always done it” (it isn’t) or “you’d get guys cherry-picking” (who cares)?

    Would junking the blue lines increase or decrease scoring, and would it make the games more exciting or less exciting?

    These seem like good questions to be asked.

  99. Factotum says:

    godot10: …the average recovery time (i.e. return to activity) for a broken collarbone is 10 weeks…which is right before the all-star break.

    Actually, 10 weeks post-surgery will be the day after tomorrow (as Kmart pointed out), but I agree with what you’re saying in principle. By waiting 11 more days, you can buy Connor three more weeks of rehab/strengthening time. Obviously the Oilers have decided that’s a reasonable trade-off, and I too am perfectly ok with it.

  100. Pouzar says:

    John Chambers:
    Open question about Darnell Nurse:
    This is obviously a player we need to develop into his potential as a 22-25 min / night defender who consistently makes smart, athletic plays, in order for the team to become a contender.

    But can he?

    This past summer Nurse was unanimously deemed untradeable. And rightfully so – he is the best defensive prospect in the system since … forever. Combined with Reinhart, the future of the Oilers’ D seemed bright with big, strong, intelligent, puck-moving blueliners just entering their 20’s.

    But in hindsight, if we could’ve traded Nurse in a package for Dougie Hamilton, and if we could’ve similarly acquired Hamonic instead of Reinhart, would that have been a better plan for both current AND future?

    My question to the crowd is: is there concern about Nurse hitting his potential (Reinhart’s is undoubtedly in question), and would Chiarelli have been better off trading Nurse for a more proven, if older and more expensive, defensemen to hedge the risk of enduring the learning curve and having to develop blueliners through years of on-the-job training.

    Or is staying patient the best way to improve our blue? I was convinced of this, but watching Nurse struggle as he has, has diminished my expectation of the player’s ceiling.

    Interested in the blogosphere’s thoughts …

    Not a single worry here at all. Not one. It’s the flashes you have to look at. The one sequence a few games ago where he rushed back to his own zone, rubbed the guy out behind his own net, took the puck and rushed up the ice and started a beautiful 3 way passing play culminating in a Pouliot goal. The whole entire sequence was such a high end display of skill I would guess there are only a small percentage of d-men in the league could pull it off. He is nowhere near a finished product. I expect a dominate #1 D minutes eater. I remember Klef at this age in the AHL and the guy oozed potential but he was lost at times positionally. I’d say without a doubt Nurse looks better at the same age from my viewings of Klef in OKC. In a limited sample size (17 games) Oscar put up very similar possession numbers to Nurse in the NHL. Lots of improvement to be had here and I predict a similar trajectory to Oscar.

  101. raventalon40 says:

    Just an idea for a 3-way trade:

    Eberle+Lander to St Louis (re-unite Lander with Paajarvi)
    Shatterkirk+Schultz toNYI (replace Hamonic a warm body with potential for injured Boychuk)
    Hamonic+Lee+pick to Oilers (Oilers get their defensive D and right age for the core)

    What say you? Is this a team that can challenge for the last spot?

    Hall-Draisaitl-Purcell
    Pouliot-McDavid-Yakupov
    Lee-RNH-Kassian
    Hendricks-Letestu-Korpikoski

    Sekera-Fayne
    Klefbom-Hamonic
    Davidson-Gryba
    Nurse

  102. Bruce McCurdy says:

    godot10: Gmoney is extremely disappointed in you.

    Fair. I was talking about seeing it presented in that matter with other stats from some other league. But you are of course correct that Gmoney has done some excellent work in this area. I should have chosen my words more carefully.

    So let’s do that now: “Nice to see Gmoney-type statistical analysis creeping in to the wider media.”

    Sorry, G!

  103. Bruce McCurdy says:

    frjohnk: Funny that in that article, there is a mention of Laine being in a comparison to Ovechkin. Laine is big, skilled and has a great shot not unlike Ovie.At one time in the final, he obliterated a Russian not unlike Ovie. I thought that during the WJC’s a few times.

    I might be reaching as there is ALOT OF TRACK TO GO but in time, Laine could become the greatest goal scorer….ever

    I loved Laine’s play in that tourney. Really liked his heavy right-handed shot off the left wing. (Private to Woodguy: are you OK with that? Or should wingers play on their strong side?)

    Not sure if he plays LW all the time or simply that was a result of having two right-shooting wingers on the top line. But he sure looked comfortable over there.

  104. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Psyche:
    Bruce McCurdy,

    I’m sorry, but that statement creates more questions for me.

    The bone is likely healed. Are they concerned with upper body strength not being optimal for play? I imagine McDavid lost shoulder, chest and back muscle while recovering. If that’s the case – why not share that information? I don’t see it being harmful.

    I’m pretty satisfied with “we have determined he will be physically unable to play” as explanation enough. If Klefbom deserves “privacy” w.r.t. his injury, isn’t McDavid entitled to a little? Or do we want “the fourth screw from the outside got bent a little and was difficult to extract”?

  105. Rondo says:

    Bag of Pucks,

    George Jonas and David Bowie died yesterday.

  106. böök¡je says:

    G Money: Geez, Bruce, I must give you not one, but MULTIPLE sad faces:

    I publish those for every defender and every defensive pairing on the Oilers after every game.I also use those numbers as part of the process for calculating Dangerous Fenwick, which is in the end, Fenwick WITH shot distance and shot type context built right into the statistic!

    Once Bruce got all famous with his Edmonton Journal blog, he started to ignore us little people holding the fort here at LT’s. I’m pretty sure he just sends his intern over here every so often to make a few comments just to keep everyone happy.

    Well, Bruce, it isn’t working (intern reading this please let Bruce know) – Gmoney sad!

  107. Thoughts on the Oilers: Loss against Florida, Retribution, Talbot + Radio Hit | The SuperFan says:

    […] Lowetide this morning on TSN 1260 to discuss the Oilers. Audio […]

  108. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Gregor says Klefbom has a staph infection.

  109. sliderule says:

    CrazyCoach,

    I would say that most hits are made after the puck has already been passed or dumped.

    I have absolutely no evidence to confirm my assertion .?

  110. judgedrude says:

    Offer sheet remains my weapon of choice.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XQ7z57qrZU8

  111. Lowetide says:

    Bruce McCurdy:
    Gregor says Klefbom has a staph infection.

    Ouch. That can be very serious.

  112. Bruce McCurdy says:

    frjohnk: I have not seen “average shot distance against” but there is “average shot distance for” at behind the net.
    http://www.behindthenet.ca/nhl_shot_statistics.php?c=0+1+3+5+7+9+10+11+12+13&ds=13&f5=

    Yeah, it is the juxtaposition of the two that I find interesting. I don’t agree quite with MacT’s statement “it’s not what you make but what you leave” but I would make the case “it’s about what you make AND what you leave”.

    This data combined with Corsi (or my preference, shots, so we are measuring the same events) gives a multi-dimensional view at both ends of the rink. A statement that “Player A’s team gets 55% of the shots while he’s on the ice, AND they are 10% closer to the net on average” is a very different statement from ” “Player A’s team gets 55% of the shots while he’s on the ice, BUT they are 10% further from the net on average”. In one case you have two factors that amplify each other, in the other they cancel each other out to some degree.

    Either way you can plot a data point for [SF%, SFAD/SAAD] on a graph rather than a number line.

    In the case of Puljujarvi and Laine, both showed really well by both metrics — though of course there remains plenty of context we don’t have. But at face value that shot data is pretty positive for them, and in two dimensions. And to be able to look at players on different teams and get the same data for both, for and against, seems a step forward even from Gmoney’s brilliantly outstanding work. 🙂

  113. sliderule says:

    Bruce McCurdy,

    That is not good.

    It seems to me that he had a bad skate cut that got infected when he was in SEL

  114. Bruce McCurdy says:

    PS: Isn’t BtN shot distance data for a player’s own shots? Unless I’m misreading the Finnish data, it is for all on-ice shots. If it isn’t, then somebody needs to explain to me how one accrues the “against” figures.

  115. frjohnk says:

    Bruce McCurdy: PS: Isn’t BtN shot distance data for a player’s own shots?

    yes.

  116. Pechetr says:

    Weighting for more,

    I would argue that they aren’t asking for violence per se but “pushback” The Oilers have played soft for far too long, been bullied, pushed around and subsequently injured a great deal because every team in the league takes liberties with them with no fear of reprisal. You don’t have to play dirty to have a spine and a pack mentality. Far too often we have seen an Oilers player crumpled on the ice in a heap with not another Oiler in sight. I point to McDavid’s injury as an example. We can argue whether or not the play was clean or dirty, but not a single Oiler player responded with so much as a face wash. Taylor Hall has been crushed several times and injured as a result with no defense from his team mates. I guarantee other teams will continue to target our skill if there is no back up waiting to level the playing field. What happens next time McDavid goes down to a questionable hit? Will anyone respond? It is Ales Hemsky all over again.

  117. LadiesloveSmid says:

    Nurse’s problem is that he’s 20 and is making the mistakes he should be making in the minors, on the big team. Call up Reinhart and send down Nurse for a dozen games.

  118. Quinlan says:

    At this point, I think it’s fair to say that the Oilers are in a position where it makes sense to offer huge money to Byfuglien, and/or substantially sweeten the pot in the Hamonic sweepstakes.

    If we have cap concerns with signing Byfuglien, there are plenty of players to move out.

    Two jobs for Peter Chiarelli before next season:

    1) Open up cap space for the future. Fayne, Pouliot, Purcell, Schultz, Nikitin, Ference, Korpikoski, Hendricks, Letestu represent around 30M(!) in cap space. Of all those players, I think Purcell (today) contributes most to winning. Another player can be found to do his job though.

    2) Use that cap space to acquire some game changers. I’m thinking primarily of Dustin Byfuglien here, but the 3rd line could stand to be revamped, and the 4th line should be more affordable than it currently is (Hendricks, Korpikoski, Letestu). If Shattenkirk can be had, then go for it. Make your choice, and sign him long-term.

    I’d be willing to give Byfuglien 7M X 7 years. I wouldn’t like it. But that’s the position the Oilers find themselves in.

  119. Bruce McCurdy says:

    commonfan14: Did some research on the history of it, and the rule was apparently brought in in 1930 specifically to REDUCE scoring after a huge boom that resulted from the advent of the forward pass.

    Before 1929 there was no forward passing & they were basically applying rugby rules on ice. As systems got better, scoring dried up, to the point that in 1928-29 George Hainsworth had 22 shutouts in 44 games and an 0.98 GAA and scoring league-wide was at what remains a historic low.

    It was brought in midway through the 1929-30 season after an initial rule change to allow forward passing over-corrected the initial problem. This from a web page on major NHL rule changes:

    “1929-30 – Forward passing permitted inside all three zones but not permitted across either blue line. ”

    “December 21,1929 – Forward passing rules instituted at the beginning of the 1929-30 season more than doubled number of goals scored. Partway through the season, these rules were further amended to read, “No attacking player allowed to precede the play when entering the opposing defensive zone.” This is similar to modern offside rule.”

    … and this from the next season:

    “A further refinement of the offside rule stated that the puck must first be propelled into the attacking zone before any player of the attacking side can enter that zone; for infringement of this rule a faceoff to take place at the spot where the infraction took place.”

    It’s been a while since i read about that era but my recollection is that there was a lot of goal-sucking, that if the team got the puck across the blueline they could then feed the guy who had been hanging out in the zone. So they brought in the rule about attacking players not allowed to precede the puck. But it was in reaction to another major rule change.

    I think they got it pretty right, myself. I would hate to see another gimmick strip away a fundamental tenet of the game, such as “no more offsides”. I don’t want rugby on ice, but i don’t want lacrosse either.

  120. John Chambers says:

    Thanks for the balanced responses, all.

    I can see why teams are hesitant to draft defensemen with high picks. Not only do they take a long time to learn their craft, but they experience a lower success rate than forwards do. I’m not sure Florida drafts Gudbrandson ahead of Johanson in a re-draft.

    It seems though that drafted defensemen have a really high value as they exit Junior and after they’ve starred at the WJC or Memorial Cup. From there they have 2-3 years of professional development until they matriculate into top-4 NHL D – and this might be when their trade value is highest, hence our ability to trade Nurse in a package for Hamilton, or the high cost of obtaining Reinhart.

    Interesting sinusodal value that D have from draft through to their eventual growth into NHL D, and very puzzling that a guy like Brandon Gormley wouldn’t be attractive to any NHL teams given the miles of development already invested in him.

  121. RPG says:

    Ryan Whitney wrote this about playing in Russia. Awesome!

    http://www.theplayerstribune.com/ryan-whitney-russia-khl/

  122. godot10 says:

    If Nurse is playing 15-20 minutes in the NHL, there is no reason to send him down.

    He is going to be a rookie sometime. Get the rookie mistakes out of the way this year. He is more ready to play assertively than Reinhart (who was tentative in his decision making at the NHL level).

    Because of that Nurse is more ready at the moment for the NHL than Reinhart.

    Rookie D are going to make mistakes.

    Nurse seems to take his mistakes in stride. As long as he is getting playing time, the NHL is the better place for him.

    Reinhart and Osterle should both get a pretty good look after the trade deadline.

  123. RPG says:

    I never would have guessed Klef had a staph infection, but it most certainly explains a lot.

  124. stevezie says:

    RPG:
    Ryan Whitney wrote this about playing in Russia. Awesome!

    http://www.theplayerstribune.com/ryan-whitney-russia-khl/

    Read this

  125. northof51 says:

    Bruce McCurdy: I think they got it pretty right, myself. I would hate to see another gimmick strip away a fundamental tenet of the game, such as “no more offsides”. I don’t want rugby on ice, but i don’t want lacrosse either.

    Admittedly, I am not 100% sure of where the offensive zone begins and ends. I was always taught that to put myself “onside”, I had get both of my skates into white ice that makes up the neutral zone…

    Based on the call last night, however, the offensive zone appears to begin on what was Florida’s white ice. If it was moved to be the start of the blue (as Edmonton attacked), Hall’s goal stands, no?

    Seems like a small change that might add a few more goals here and there.

  126. 719 says:

    RPG:
    Ryan Whitney wrote this about playing in Russia. Awesome!

    http://www.theplayerstribune.com/ryan-whitney-russia-khl/

    Great Read

  127. lynn says:

    Greg Chase has been returned to the Norfolk Admirals by the Bakersfield Condors. The Condors are a team with injury problems. What does that say about Chase? Is he still a prospect? Maybe I’m being too harsh: players could be returning the Condors’ roster.

    Anyway, Chase hasn’t bumped anyone from the Condors’ roster.

    Source: https://twitter.com/Condors/status/686653840922288128

  128. speeds says:

    What would you be willing to give up for Drouin, if you were in Chia’s shoes?

  129. sliderule says:

    northof51,

    The blue line is considered to be part of whatever zone puck is in.

    Thus Leon had to advance the puck to the white zone before any oiler entered.

  130. Lowetide says:

    lynn:
    Greg Chase has been returned to the Norfolk Admirals by the Bakersfield Condors. The Condors are a team with injury problems. What does that say about Chase? Is he still a prospect? Maybe I’m being too harsh: players could be returning the Condors’ roster.

    Anyway, Chase hasn’t bumped anyone from the Condors’ roster.

    Source: https://twitter.com/Condors/status/686653840922288128

    Probably being sent down in anticipation of an Oilers roster move (activating Yakupov). Either way, I think the stigma of playing in the ECHL is way overblown. He is getting at-bats, that is a big item. It also tells me Marco Roy outplayed him.

  131. Oddspell says:

    northof51: Admittedly, I am not 100% sure of where the offensive zone begins and ends. I was always taught that to put myself “onside”, I had get both of my skates into white ice that makes up the neutral zone…

    Based on the call last night, however, the offensive zone appears to begin on what was Florida’s white ice. If it was moved to be the start of the blue (as Edmonton attacked), Hall’s goal stands, no?

    Seems like a small change that might add a few more goals here and there.

    I believe there needs to be white ice between the puck and the blue line to be onside.

  132. LadiesloveSmid says:

    lynn,

    he had 7P in 19 games, that’s fine to me. Play top line and PP1 in Norfolk.

    scoring at a better clip than our boy Klimchuk in Stockton

  133. godot10 says:

    speeds:
    What would you be willing to give up for Drouin, if you were in Chia’s shoes?

    All the Oilers tradeable assets should be used on improving the D.

    The Oilers already have too many young forwards learning how to play without the puck. They don’t need another.

  134. BAUCE says:

    RPG:
    Ryan Whitney wrote this about playing in Russia. Awesome!

    http://www.theplayerstribune.com/ryan-whitney-russia-khl/

    Excellent!

  135. lynn says:

    Lowetide: Probably being sent down in anticipation of an Oilers roster move (activating Yakupov). Either way, I think the stigma of playing in the ECHL is way overblown. He is getting at-bats, that is a big item. It also tells me Marco Roy outplayed him. Beyond that, I am always interesting to know why people consider players in the first year of entry-level deals as no longer prospects. Hope you have more patience with your kids!

    I respect your opinion. Chase has also been outplayed by Josh Currie, an ECHLer; and Braden Christoffer, on an AHL contract; besides being outplayed by Marco Roy, also on an AHL contract.

    I didn’t have kids, by choice, but I had two cats, and they taught me many lessons in life.

    I hope Greg Chase makes the Oilers in the future–Norfolk to Edmonton is a long climb.

  136. Thor762 says:

    Mr Lowetide, what in your opinion is Shattenkirk worth to the Oilers? If the Blues might be considering trading him for scoring help as according to the TSN link. RH shot, powerplay specialist, excellent puck moving, 26 year old defenceman to me screams OILERS NEED in about 22 different languages. Even at an overpay price.

    http://www.tsn.ca/mondaymustread-will-the-blues-move-shattenkirk-for-scoring-help-1.421109

  137. theres oil in virginia says:

    David Bowie meant a lot to me when I was 14, and he means a lot to me today. There aren’t many people in the world who have that kind of impact on anyone, without ever really knowing them.

    I know what you mean. I’ve got a list too, Bowie isn’t on it, but I’m a bit younger. It’s a funny thing how you know them, but they don’t know you. Cheers.

  138. CrazyCoach says:

    John Chambers: My question to the crowd is: is there concern about Nurse hitting his potential (Reinhart’s is undoubtedly in question), and would Chiarelli have been better off trading Nurse for a more proven, if older and more expensive, defensemen to hedge the risk of enduring the learning curve and having to develop blueliners through years of on-the-job training.
    Or is staying patient the best way to improve our blue? I was convinced of this, but watching Nurse struggle as he has, has diminished my expectation of the player’s ceiling.

    I would be on the side of hanging on to Nurse and letting him develop. I don’t think he should be in the NHL right now, and 22-25 minutes a night is not the best. He is the best prospect in the system right now and I cold see him being an Oilers mainstay for 10 seasons.

    Of course I am basing my thoughts on his potential which right now boils down to a couple nice plays per game, but some wild head on a swivel moments as well.

    I also know that the widely accepted notion in hockey circles is that defensemen take the longest to develop due to the need for physical maturation and a wide range of cognition skills. As anyone who has ever played the position knows, it is a delicate balance and involves timing that can only be developed through practice.

    Those are my thoughts.

  139. CrazyCoach says:

    sliderule: I would say that most hits are made after the puck has already been passed or dumped.
    I have absolutely no evidence to confirm my assertion .

    Then in that case a message is definitely being sent, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

    I know when I played forward, my first shift, I would always hammer someone. Never did damage to anyone, but it sure kept my head up the rest of the game.

  140. OF17 says:

    Problem with Shattenkirk is I don’t think we have the pieces to get him. The Blues are shopping him because of salary concerns, which means that Nuge and Eberle are out barring making the deal more complex, and the only low-salaried offensive piece we have that we’d want to give up is Yakupov, who I don’t think has as much value as Drouin. So I’m not sure we’d be able to get Shattenkirk, even though he would be an almost ideal addition.

  141. G Money says:

    Bruce McCurdy: And to be able to look at players on different teams and get the same data for both, for and against, seems a step forward even from Gmoney’s brilliantly outstanding work.

    OK, now I can cancel all those sad face icons!

    Note that the scrapers and data mungers and chart/table generators that I’ve written can pull and chart all the play by play, roster, and and shift data from any game, and summarize it for any team.

    In fact, my programs generate data for d pairs, forward lines, and 5 man units that nobody else is doing. Anywhere!

    Nothing Oiler-specific is actually embedded in the code other than the name table that I built to handle duplicate names on a team now has Oiler nicknames in it as well, which is why you see “Drai” in my data summaries instead of “L. Draisaitl”.

    If you want to see any specific data, for any specific game (regardless of team), let me know, very easy for me to pull the full set of charts and tables.

    Also, if there’s other types of data that you are interested to see, I can probably add it, I literally get every NHL data point for every game. The data pages I publish have evolved quite a bit, partly because I’m endlessly looking for newer cooler ways of showing data, and partly through suggestions and requests.

    Speaking of which: LT, I assume your after-game next day posts which have data summaries are something you have to build manually from multiple sources? FYI, I can almost certainly generate these for you completely automatically with almost no effort if you want! (exception being WOI-proprietary data like SCA and HDSC … though I believe Dangerous Fenwick is actually at least as good as both of them). Just let me know, happy to do that for you.

    My current data workplan is: shot distance arena bias fix (this week) -> cumulative data (next week) -> WOWYs for Dangerous Fenwicks (the week after that).

  142. lynn says:

    Glad I didn’t have to listen to Danny Gallivan talk about a player’s Corsi stats. Hockey then was about watching and enjoying. Hockey has become a science.

    Maybe that is why I watch less; read about the game the next day.

  143. John Chambers says:

    RPG:
    Ryan Whitney wrote this about playing in Russia. Awesome!

    http://www.theplayerstribune.com/ryan-whitney-russia-khl/

    Awesome.

    I played on a beer league team with former NHL’er Ian White last year prior to him getting on with an AHL team, who had spent part of the previous season in some desolate city in the KHL.

    “What was it like, Ian?” I asked him in the dressing room after he scored five and set up three more in an 8-7 win over Transcona.

    “So boring.” He recalled. “You can’t go for coffee anywhere, you can’t rent a video. The internet sucks. The girls are ugly and don’t speak English. We finished our last game and I was on a plane within two hours over Siberia to make a long trip home. I’d rather play beer league in Winnipeg for no money than go back.”

  144. lynn says:

    John Chambers: Awesome.

    I played on a beer league team with former NHL’er Ian White last year prior to him getting on with an AHL team, who had spent part of the previous season in some desolate city in the KHL.

    “What was it like, Ian?” I asked him in the dressing room after he scored five and set up three more in an 8-7 win over Transcona.

    “So boring.” He recalled. “You can’t go for coffee anywhere, you can’t rent a video. The internet sucks. The girls are ugly and don’t speak English. We finished our last game and I was on a plane within two hours over Siberia to make a long trip home. I’d rather play beer league in Winnipeg for no money than go back.”

    And Yakimov went back for that, over a nice gig in California. Each has his taste.

  145. PunjabiOil says:

    RE: McDavid – if this were the playoffs, I think he would be playing. Perhaps even 1 or 2 weeks ago.

    The circumstances (which I outlined in the first post) has lead management to err on the side of caution. Again, I’m okay with that.

    Season ticket holders who are witnessing a 10th consecutive playoff miss (must be close to the record) may feel otherwise and may construe this cautious approach, rightly or wrongly, as waving the white flag.

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