SAD SONGS AND WALTZES AREN’T SELLING THIS YEAR

For most of the century, playing in Dallas is a waste of time for the Edmonton Oilers. They made enough errors to lose last night, played well enough to keep the faith, and lost a young defenseman who is one of the best things about the season. Our youth, who are consistently derided for lack of maturity, watched the Dallas youth try to score from the moon late with a yawning, empty net—content in the knowledge they had nothing to fear. One day, out in the distance, revenge and redemption sit waiting. On that day, on the day the Oilers own Dallas deep in the heart of Texas, you and I are going to drink tequila until Mike Keane crawls out of the bottle.

FUNNY HOW TIME SLIPS AWAY, 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: 4-4-2
  • Oilers after 49 in 2014-15: 13-27-9, 35 points (-49 GD)
  • Oilers after 49 in 2015-16: 19-25-5, 43 points (-24 GD)

Todd McLellan: “The effort on the back end of a road trip & a long couple weeks was strong.”

DEFENSE, LAST NIGHT

oilers blue nov 30

  • Andrej Sekera is such a talented player, wish we had three more like him. Some day. He had a grand game in Dallas, playing against the Trunk Line. He battled that trio well (8-11 Corsi) and was one of the best Oilers on the night (along with Kassian, Yakupov, Davidson before the injury).
  • Brandon Davidson is such a terrific find, like rum ham in the middle of the ocean. He was great again until the injury, and if he is out any length of time this team will have suffered another crushing injury blow. Excuses are just that, but we are long past being able to shoo away this injury bug as something all teams endure. I am absolutely pissed off at the injuries this season, absolutely derailed progress and robbed us of so many wonderful stories. Dammit all, anyway.
  • Mark Fayne is not a great puck-moving defenseman, but he can defend. He has trouble against fast teams with great skill, and Dallas is such a team. If you review only the goals against, he shows up but not in a good way. If you view only the high danger chances, again he is there. When a defensive defenseman has a night like this one, it isn’t good no matter the Corsi.
  • Justin Schultz was one of the goats on the 0-1 goal, and had (to my eye) a difficult night in the decision-making department. I have said this many times, ordinarily calm feet for a blue is a very good thing, but not when you are about to get run over by a train.
  • Eric Gryba is a similar player to Mark Fayne, but I think he has a better chance to stay an Oiler than Fayne. He struggled alongside Nurse, but was better elsewhere, and even though he has the same speed issues as Fayne, his wingspan and gritty play made him more effective. I know many of you can’t stand him, I like him enough to be pleased should he return.
  • Darnell Nurse had an extremely tough night, and this is the instant they should let him see the game from the gondola. There is no sin here, and as I mentioned previously even a trip to the AHL isn’t surrender. Klefbom played damn near 50 AHL games at 20, Nurse needs to have the game slow down for him. Right now, it must be going 500 miles an hour.

  • Teddy Purcell on Pouliot’s own goal: “Benoit [Pouliot] is trying to do the right thing. He’s on the defensive side of his man. He’s good at tipping those pucks and he usually scores those for our team, but it was just bad luck. He was trying to do the right thing. That’s a tough one to go in, especially with two minutes left in the period when we are heading into the third.” Source

CENTERS, LAST NIGHT

oil c nov 30

  • The Leon Draisaitl Project fought the Benn line well (8-5 in about four minutes) and the numbers suggest a good game. Alas, they could not cash and the Oilers need this line to be heroes every night. The trio was also 8-4 against the Spezza line, that is some damn good Corsi.
  • Benoit Pouliot grabbed an apple on the Yakupov goal but he also tipped in the winning goal on a perfect deflection. Shiza happens. I don’t like him at center, but that probably comes from viewing 400 good wingers turned into poor centers during the MacT era.
  • Mark Letestu and his band went 7-5 against Benn in almost four minutes (McLellan rolled his lines in pursuit of fresh legs) and for me they were the best line for Edmonton. More when we discuss the wingers.
  • Anton Lander can play the hockey, I swear. This blog’s author is often (rightfully) harpooned for defending the Marc Pouliot’s and Jani Rita’s long past the death of their Oilers career, but I see no reason to change my views even in the face of overwhelming evidence. Anton Lander is an NHL player—not a perfect one, not even a top 9F on a good team, maybe. I think the Oilers cast about in summer to find a replacement, but for me he brings enough to earn a roster spot. I suspect defenders of Lander will drift away and he will become a dark meme (‘hey Lowetide, I see Lander is in the Austrailian Outback League haha!’), but this spot on the internet will defend him true. My sail on article is complete.

  • Todd McLellan on Matt Hendricks: “That’s a lot of courage to be in that lane. He needed a couple of minutes, recovered and was right back at it. He drives our team when it comes to that sacrifice level and recovery level. It was nice to see.”

WINGERS, LAST NIGHT

oilers f nov 30

  • Teddy Purcell can play on my team any time. If you isolate his shifts these days and ignore the rest, the Edmonton Oilers are playoff team. Seriously.
  • Nail Yakupov skated miles, cashed, and I thought played a pretty strong game last night. He needed it, as McLellan’s tone was not good before the game (and Yak began the evening batting eighth). In a league starved for goals the man can cash.
  • Taylor Hall looks like a man who could use a break, and I bet the All-Star weekend gives him a shot of energy for the second half of the year. You can see his frustration in losing another season, but the Oilers needed him to be Chance last night, and he wasn’t at his best.
  • Zack Kassian has quickly established himself as a useful winger and gives the Oilers a different look. We have talked forever about bringing in a big, gritty forward for the skills line. My caveat has always been that this fellow needs to be able to actually play. No Jacques, no Winchester, no way. Kassian appears to be said player, able to move the puck in a good direction while also putting the fear of God in opponents. Bet Chiarelli signs him before May long weekend.
  • Jordan Eberle had a loud post and some good looks last night—I thought he and Yakupov had some good moments—but it is clear that line misses the Nuge. Eberle’s season so far has been frustrating, but it is a reflection of his skill and determination that he remains on track for a 20-goal season. He is a helluva hockey player.
  • Iiro Pakarinen is a nice bookend for Kassian, as the Finn is also a little bit crazy. Rambunctious on the ice at Spinner Spencer levels, he is also increasingly effective in important areas of the game. I think McLellan probably loves him.
  • Rob Klinkhammer is a game rooster but when the puck is headed in a bad direction and you are chasing the Dallas Stars, hard work and determination only gets you so far.
  • Matt Hendricks is my hero.

Honest to Christ, it is mind boggling now. Are you kidding me? It’s like the hockey Gods are telling the Oilers to improve their defensive depth or else. Good lord. I mean really. How is this fair? A quick look at possible recall candidates:

  • Griffin Reinhart: Peter Chiarelli said recently he would get a shot in the second half, this could be the beginning of the look. He is 14, 1-4-5 Even in Bakersfield and +4 in his last two games.
  • David Musil: He looked good to me in the Monday game, and remember he was pretty good in his early look a year ago. Part of the reason for this season has been looking at what is available to the new coaching staff, so this might be the time for Musil.
  • Jordan Oesterle: Speedster has improved his offensive game (2-4-6 +4, nine shots in his last four games) and has the best wheels in the group I am discussing here. Substantial chaos alert.
  • Niki Nikitin: Heh.

hurdle gif

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

We have all the sports today, beginning at 10 TSN 1260. Scheduled to appear:

  • Steve Lansky, Big Mouth Sports. We will discuss Canada’s NHL teams, Hendricks manhood, Blue Jays.
  • Jeff Hauser, Radio Hauser. NFL weekend should see Tom Brady punch his ticket to the Super Bowl again. The other game is the potential classic.
  • Paul Almeida, SSE. Paul will answer several medical questions, including the one about the Oilers screwing McDavid over because he is ready to go now.
  • Antony Bent, FC Edmonton. Team Canada callups from the Eddies, signings and transfer window news and rumors.

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

 

 

 

 

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125 Responses to "SAD SONGS AND WALTZES AREN’T SELLING THIS YEAR"

  1. supernova says:

    Time to send Nurse to the farm and see what Reinhart has.

    Nurse is starting to drown and management needs to put him in a place to succeed.

    Go down reset, get your feet under you and come back stronger.

  2. Greg says:

    Yes! Rum ham! I knew you were cool…

  3. jm363561 says:

    1. As I have said before I love these match day summaries. Thank you.
    2. No mention of the (up to now, bloody awful) power play. It looked electric last night.
    3. The team has structure and I can forgive a lot if the team has heart. With an injury free spell and a top RHD we are back.

  4. thehop says:

    supernova,

    You realize our best dman was injured last night…right?

    I suppose Reinhart could replace Davidson? And the Russian cigarette could replace Nurse?

    Nurse stays friendo and Reinhart fills the bottom pairing.

  5. thehop says:

    Btw “the Russian cigarette” is one of my pet names for Nikita nikitin.

    I also call him Nikita Nicotine which eventually led to the Russian cigarette.

    Looks good, costs an arm and a leg and will kill you every time you use it.

  6. dustrock says:

    Greg: Yes! Rum ham! I knew you were cool…

    Nothing better than an Always Sunny reference unlooked-for.

    LT pulling out rum ham and track star girl, all the stops in this trying season.

    LT – Lander has the ability to be an NHL player, we’ve seen it. Really seems to be a matter of confidence, and so far Todd Nelson has been the only coach who has hit the right message with him.

    If I’m McLellan, I’m phoning up Nelson and asking him what works.

    As far as the D go, I’ll bring up Nikitin and Reinhart.

  7. dustrock says:

    oh just saw Hamonic back tonight?

  8. geowal says:

    Thanks for the gif…

  9. Pajamah says:

    Michelle Jenneke.

    As far as I am concerned, that’s worth a 6-0 win last night.

    Its Friday, and the dancing hurdler is gracing my eyeballs.

    Thank you LT.

  10. knighttown says:

    One of the many things that’s been niggling at me about this Oilers team is the almost complete absence of easy victories. I decided to investigate this a little further based on the concept of “clear victories” (a win by 2 or more non-empty net goals) that writers like Scott Reynolds delved into a few years ago. Scott dug into this and found that the percentage of “clear victories” was a far better predictor of future success than standings points.

    Here are the clear victory standings after Jan 21 games:
    1. Washington 41%
    2. Boston 33%
    3. Dallas 31%
    4. Chicago 30%
    5. NYR 30%
    6. Montreal 30%
    7. Winnipeg 26%
    8. Florida 26%
    9. Los Angeles 24%
    10. San Jose 24%
    11. Colorado 23%
    12. Toronto 22%
    13. Nashville 21%
    14. Pittsburgh 20%
    15. NYI 20%
    16. Buffalo 19%
    17. Tampa 19%
    18. New Jersey 19%
    19. St. Louis 18%
    20. Anaheim 18%
    21. Calgary 18%
    22. Ottawa 17%
    23. Vancouver 15%
    24. Minnesota 15%
    25. Columbus 15%
    26. Carolina 13%
    27. Philadelphia 11%
    28. Arizona 11%
    29. Edmonton 10%
    30. Detroit 7%

    In whole numbers, the Oilers have only had 5 clear victories this year. Of those clear victories I could remember a few like the Winnipeg win where it was just the Cam Talbot show so took a look at how many of our clear victories included us outshooting the opposition and winning by 2+ goals; let’s call it a “complete victory”.

    We’ve had just one “complete victory” this entire season, the 5-1 win over New Jersey.

    That seems to me to be a very difficult way to move up the standings. It’s an absolute grind playing endless 1 goal games. The bench gets shortened robbing the top line players of the energy needed to come back and compete the next night. In fairness, the Oilers have done a great job of being in nearly every game and as frustrating as it has been, they’ve actually won their fair share of these one goal games.

    The biggest issue this team is having is the complete lack of “clear” and “complete” victories which leaves the season hanging on a coin toss.

    If I’m MacLellan I’m working hard on turning some of these 2-0 leads into 4-1 wins. The “lock-it-down and coast” we’ve seen deployed against us so often over the years is a must have for teams in today’s NHL.

  11. G Money says:

    thehop,

    I think it absolutely would not hurt to at least sit Nurse in the pressbox, even in the current situation.

    He’s drowning most nights, and the whole point of development is to allow a player to play situations that are tough enough that they can learn, but not so tough that they become overwhelmed.

    Nurse is overwhelmed, and red lights are going off with respect to his development track.

    I say call up Reinhart and Nikitin and run

    Sekera-Fayne – an OK pairing against most teams

    Reinhart-Schultz – see if Griff has learned enough to cover for Mr. Chaos

    Gryba-Nikitin – send them out there and hope the hits for outnumber the goals against

    Give Nurse the NSH game off to watch, and get a bead on Reinhart’s situation before the ASG.

    Then you hope BDavy is back after the ASG. If he isn’t, at least you have some time for Nurse to process the game, and you make a call if and when he gets back in over either Reinhart or Nikitin.

    I do like Oesterle’s game and NHL-class wheels and wouldn’t be unhappy to see him up in place of Nikitin, but the fact that his game is still described as chaos makes it sound like that part of his game hasn’t improved very much since the last time we saw him, and that is not a good sign.

  12. Genjutsu says:

    Looking at the top end of this draft that “you don’t know how lucky you are” seems about right.

    I guess.

    Here we go again.

  13. dustrock says:

    Anaheim won like 90% of their one-goal games last season or whatever, and we’re on the opposite end.

    You hope with another year under McLellan and no injuries (sacrifices to God, Jor-El, Osiris, Easter all acceptable in my sight) you think they start to turn around the one-goal games.

  14. RPG says:

    Anyone surprised?

    Edmonton Oilers ‏@EdmontonOilers 34s34 seconds ago

    The #Oilers have recalled defenceman Griffin Reinhart from the @Condors.

  15. knighttown says:

    A few comments on your outstanding summary above LT:

    1. Nurse is about as toolsy as a player can be and therefore is the safest prospect we’ve seen in awhile. He’s an insane skater, has great size, strength and compete level and has top10 in the NHL now mobility. He could play 3rd pairing at 19 based on these tools alone and do just fine. What I mentioned a year or so ago about the player is that I had yet to see even NHL-average vision and passing. Nothing I’ve seen this year has changed that. Young defenseman…game is moving fast…I get all of that but if you were to quantify this aspect of his game right now it’d be worse than Gryba.

    His rushes inevitably go to the corner, his headman passes lack creativity and are often off target and he isn’t especially adept at either finding shooting lanes or sliding into the soft spots of the offensive zone.

    His best comparable at the time was Erik Johnson and I still see that comparison. Johnson is a guy it clicked for eventually in his mid-twenties but never really become the dominant defenseman a 1OV is expected to become.

    2. I love “frisky-Sekera”. When he’s in a mood to do it he can really transport the puck. There was one play last night where he danced across the blueline darting in and out, got semi-open to make the forward lean to block his shot and quickly turned the other way to set up his partner for a wide open point shot. He’s makes some mistakes but boy does he have great vision and awareness.

    3. Early last year LT I posted at you that Teddy Purcell is your Fernando Pisani you’ve been holding out for. A veteran, skilled winger who never makes a bad play with the puck. Thoughts?

  16. kinger_OIL says:

    – The Nurse/Griff shuffle from AHL/NHL is what I viewed as optimal development this year

    – The problem is neither get sheltered minutes with a veteran D, and asked to do too much

    – We are sick and tired of this pattern year after year.

  17. Pajamah says:

    dustrock: Nothing better than an Always Sunny reference unlooked-for.

    LT pulling out rum ham and track star girl, all the stops in this trying season.

    LT – Lander has the ability to be an NHL player, we’ve seen it.Really seems to be a matter of confidence, and so far Todd Nelson has been the only coach who has hit the right message with him.

    If I’m McLellan, I’m phoning up Nelson and asking him what works.

    As far as the D go, I’ll bring up Nikitin and Reinhart.

    “Hey Todd, its Todd McLellan, how are things in Grand Rapids?”

    “Coolsville, daddio, hows it hangin’ in Deadmonton *snort*?”

    “Good, good, do you have a minute?”

    “sure, just tuning up the Firebird, gonna head out for a rip”

    “That’s great, Todd, I wanted to ask you about Anton, how do I get this kid going”

    “Anton, that crazy Swedish bastard, love that kid”

    “Fantastic Todd, how do I get him going? He scored a bunch for you in OKC and Edmonton. I just cant seem to get through to him”

    “Have you tried playing him 1st line center? Give him the PP?”

    “Well, no. I mean, hes a 3rd line center, right?”

    “Shut up Donny”

    “What was that Todd?”

    “Sorry, just joshin with ya man, lighten up *snort*”

    “Todd, back to the point. Lander”

    “Yeah yeah, he’s the bee’s knees”

    “No, Todd, he’s not the “bees knees”, what the hell is wrong with you?”

    “……….I’m day-drunk……”

    “That explains the suits. Goodbye Todd”

    “Ciao, kemosabi”

    “Fuck you Todd”

  18. Pajamah says:

    dustrock:
    Anaheim won like 90% of their one-goal games last season or whatever, and we’re on the opposite end.

    You hope with another year under McLellan and no injuries (sacrifices to God, Jor-El, Osiris, Easter all acceptable in my sight) you think they start to turn around the one-goal games.

    The day the Oilers finish the season, Stan Weir will come by and demolish Rexall with his fists, and carry the bronze Gretzky to Rogers in 4 minutes, stopping halfway only to have a smoke. Then, and only then, will the curse be lifted.

  19. Centre of attention says:

    The #Oilers have recalled defenceman Griffin Reinhart from the @Condors and placed defenceman Brandon Davidson on Injured Reserve.

  20. Little Poteet says:

    Love the Cake reference this morning LT

  21. Szach says:

    A comment about the Spector assertion re.: the RNH for Jones offer (don’t know if anyone posted this).

    It seems that Spector has back off his assertion on his own blog following LeBrun comments with this take on RNH ‘offer’:

    “LeBrun went one step further on TSN 1050 yesterday, claiming he knew the Oilers weren’t shopping Nugent-Hopkins. So, it sounds as though the Preds contacted the Oilers with a pitch of Jones for Nugent-Hopkins. Whether the Oilers rejected that offer, or the Jackets offer of Johansen trumped it, seems to be anyone’s guess.” Link: http://spectorshockey.net/nhl-rumor-mill-january-20-2016/

    Seems much less certain and direct as to what was initially communicated by Spector….

  22. VanIsleOil says:

    Wonder if the Australian women’s hurdling team needs a new massage therapist? Just asking…

  23. oilfan9911 says:

    Szach:
    A comment about the Spector assertion re.: the RNH for Jones offer (don’t know if anyone posted this).

    It seems that Spector has back off his assertion on his own blog following LeBrun comments with this take on RNH ‘offer’:

    “LeBrun went one step further on TSN 1050 yesterday, claiming he knew the Oilers weren’t shopping Nugent-Hopkins. So, it sounds as though the Preds contacted the Oilers with a pitch of Jones for Nugent-Hopkins. Whether the Oilers rejected that offer, or the Jackets offer of Johansen trumped it, seems to be anyone’s guess.”Link: http://spectorshockey.net/nhl-rumor-mill-january-20-2016/

    Seems much less certain and direct as to what was initially communicated by Spector….

    That’s not Mark Spector’s blog, he doesn’t have one. It’s Lyle “The Spector” Richardson’s.

  24. Pajamah says:

    Szach:
    A comment about the Spector assertion re.: the RNH for Jones offer (don’t know if anyone posted this).

    It seems that Spector has back off his assertion on his own blog following LeBrun comments with this take on RNH ‘offer’:

    “LeBrun went one step further on TSN 1050 yesterday, claiming he knew the Oilers weren’t shopping Nugent-Hopkins. So, it sounds as though the Preds contacted the Oilers with a pitch of Jones for Nugent-Hopkins. Whether the Oilers rejected that offer, or the Jackets offer of Johansen trumped it, seems to be anyone’s guess.”Link: http://spectorshockey.net/nhl-rumor-mill-january-20-2016/

    Seems much less certain and direct as to what was initially communicated by Spector….

    I’m definitely one of the first to jump on Spector when he says something stupid (which is often), I can’t rag on him too hard for this one. He was pretty obscure in his wording the first time around. Led to believe that they we’re shopping, assumptions as opposed to factually saying that they were shopping him.

    I’m also fine with a rebuttal, or his admission he may be wrong. Better than sticking to his guns when up against LeBrun’s info. And LeBrun was concrete too.

  25. linkfromhyrule says:

    knighttown: I get all of that but if you were to quantify this aspect of his game right now it’d be worse than Gryba.

    I really cannot agree that his passing is worse than Gryba. No way in hell. He’s never going to pass like a Doughty, but Gryba is undoubtedly one of the worst puck handlers on the roster. If I had to rank the D on puck handling it would go:

    Sekera
    Klefbom
    Davidson
    Schultz
    Nurse
    Reinhart
    Fayne
    Gryba

    This is not to mention the fact he is leading rookie D in icetime, playing tough competition, and still only 40 games into his NHL career.

    Edit: He is actually leading all rookies by 1:07/game at 21:04/game. That is far too much. Back his damn minutes off McLellan.

  26. Lowetide says:

    Little Poteet:
    Love the Cake reference this morning LT

    It also works as a Willie Nelson reference! 🙂

  27. Cameron says:

    I think I hurt myself on the track-star-dancer gif.

    Does the ‘Leon Draisaitl Project’ sound anything like this?;

    https://youtu.be/Mp0ZISBYidI

  28. thehop says:

    G Money,

    I can dig having nurse in the press box for a couple games. I prefer osterle to nicotine all day.

  29. Woogie63 says:

    Reinhart – what have we got here, can he be a top 4 defenseman next year?

    Musil – Can he replace Gryba and save us $1M ish, in cap space.

    Osterle – If we are going to flush another young RHD is this the replacement we have in the system?

  30. stevezie says:

    knighttown,

    I think to some degree this is a symptom of our lack of service confidence. When the game is close, we play not to lose. Why wouldn’t we? We’re a shaky team who needs points and as has been much discussed, the league encourages playing for overtime. Plus we’re a great 3on3 team. Really.

    It’s not justthat we’re incapable of pulling away from teams, it’s that we’re notneccesarily trying to.

    Not sure if that makes sense, I’m quite sleepy.

  31. Магия 10 says:

    RPG:
    Anyone surprised?

    Edmonton Oilers ‏@EdmontonOilers 34s34 seconds ago

    The #Oilers have recalled defenceman Griffin Reinhart from the @Condors.

    That’s a tell. Davidson is not going to be back Feb. 2.

    edit: just saw that he is on the IR.

  32. Eastern Oil says:

    thehop:
    Btw “the Russian cigarette” is one of my pet names for Nikita nikitin.

    I also call him Nikita Nicotine which eventually led to the Russian cigarette.

    Looks good, costs an arm and a leg and will kill you every time you use it.

    That’s gold THEHOP, gold!

    * use Seinfeld quote in every day situation…. check *

  33. GCW_69 says:

    supernova:
    Time to send Nurse to the farm and see what Reinhart has.

    Nurse is starting to drown and management needs to put him in a place to succeed.

    Go down reset, get your feet under you and come back stronger.

    No no no. The Oiler way is to throw players into the deep end, watch them drown, wait until they start figuring out after months or years of pain, and then trade them away for peanuts. Oilers are well underway with step 1 with Nurse.

  34. CrazyCoach says:

    Hey LT,

    Love the Spinner Spencer reference. I grew up in the same hometown (Fort St. James, BC), and his shadow was cast long and everlasting ever since he made the Leafs. I know he was often cast as a troubled soul and there are plenty of stories about him that show a nutcase on skates. Truth is, he was one of those guys who could never adjust to big city life. When he made the NHL, there wasn’t even a proper road into the town. In those days and even to this day, it’s a very blue collar town where the main industry is forestry. Although it is not as much of a frontier town as it was when Brian Spencer was a kid, it still is a simple place to live a quiet life.

    When CBC made the movie, “Gross Misconduct” about Brian Spencer, folks were surprised/disappointed that the FSJ scenes, were to filmed in Whitehorse. No one could figure that out until the movie was released and they we knew why. It painted FSJ as a town where lawlessness was the rule of the day and its citizens were just a step above neanderthal. I’m sure CBC would have been run out of town had they tried to film it locally.

    There were also other theories about the circumstances surrounding the death of Roy Spencer, and that’s a whole post in itself, but let’s just say his actions definitely met their goal.

    Finally, Spinner Spencer’s legacy is never forgotten at the ol’ Fort Forum and those who knew him know he wasn’t the monster many make him out to be.

  35. Bank Shot says:

    dustrock:
    Anaheim won like 90% of their one-goal games last season or whatever, and we’re on the opposite end.

    You hope with another year under McLellan and no injuries (sacrifices to God, Jor-El, Osiris, Easter all acceptable in my sight) you think they start to turn around the one-goal games.

    It seems like the Oilers are playing backups almost exclusively for the last 20+ games.

    So they might need a three goal swing to the good on many nights to win the one-goal games next next year.

  36. leadfarmer says:

    This is not how you develop players. Nurse has been drowning since Klefbom went down. The game is speeding up for him. Time to give him a breather. Let him play #1 D in the AHL and give him tons of pp time to work on his shot and offense which died months ago.

  37. Cameron says:

    dustrock:
    Anaheim won like 90% of their one-goal games last season or whatever, and we’re on the opposite end.

    You hope with another year under McLellan and no injuries (sacrifices to God, Jor-El, Osiris, Easter all acceptable in my sight) you think they start to turn around the one-goal games.

    What is the proper sacrifice to Jor-El anyway? A planet?

  38. JDï™ says:

    Columbus and Edmonton. Man.


    Shawn Mitchell
    ‏@smitchcd

    Nasty collision between Bourque and Tortorella. Coach went down hard, twisting and falling awkwardly on hip/rump. Torts still down. #CBJ

  39. Genjutsu says:

    CrazyCoach:
    Hey LT,

    Love the Spinner Spencer reference.I grew up in the same hometown (Fort St. James, BC), and his shadow was cast long and everlasting ever since he made the Leafs.I know he was often cast as a troubled soul and there are plenty of stories about him that show a nutcase on skates.Truth is, he was one of those guys who could never adjust to big city life.When he made the NHL, there wasn’t even a proper road into the town.In those days and even to this day, it’s a very blue collar town where the main industry is forestry.Although it is not as much of a frontier town as it was when Brian Spencer was a kid, it still is a simple place to live a quiet life.

    When CBC made the movie, “Gross Misconduct” about Brian Spencer, folks were surprised/disappointed that the FSJ scenes, were to filmed in Whitehorse.No one could figure that out until the movie was released and they we knew why.It painted FSJ as a town where lawlessness was the rule of the day and its citizens were just a step above neanderthal. I’m sure CBC would have been run out of town had they tried to film it locally.

    There were also other theories about the circumstances surrounding the death of Roy Spencer, and that’s a whole post in itself, but let’s just say his actions definitely met their goal.

    Finally, Spinner Spencer’s legacy is never forgotten at the ol’ Fort Forum and those who knew him know he wasn’t the monster many make him out to be.

    Great post, thanks for that.

    It’s a film so you’re never going to have great accuracy, however this is all too typical in hockey media. Misses the point entirely.

    Hopefully there are better mechanisms in place now to help these kids adjust to life as a pro.

    Can’t imagine it’s easy to get handed that kind of cash and fame as a teenager.

  40. godot10 says:

    Nurse doesn’t stop being assertive when he is overwhelmed. Reinhart, earlier in the season, when he was overwhelmed, wasn’t be assertive. He was hesitant (which makes him look slow, which he isn’t…it was just slow decision-making.) So the AHL was better for Reinhart.

    So Nurse was more ready for the NHL, and to stay in the NHL.

    I don’t think the AHL would help Nurse. It would be nice to give him a more sheltered role in the NHL, but it really isn’t possible at this point. Maybe next year.

    We get to see if Reinhart has improved.

    I’d like to see Reinhart-Schultz rather than Reinhart-Gryba…play him with a more mobile better passing D.

  41. CrazyCoach says:

    Genjutsu: Hopefully there are better mechanisms in place now to help these kids adjust to life as a pro.
    Can’t imagine it’s easy to get handed that kind of cash and fame as a teenager.

    There sure is these days. Larry Playfair followed Brian Spencer and Jim Playfair followed his brother. Larry played 12 seasons, Jim eventually made his way as Head Coach of the Flames.

    Many kids from FSJ have played major junior (one won a Memorial Cup) and minor pro.

    Still a hockey crazy town and most kids these days have agents/advisors and there are plenty of people around who can offer sound advice.

    Great place to be from. I always call it Northern BC’s True Hockey Capital.

  42. Dr. Taboggan says:

    GCW_69,

    Very true. We do not want to mess with the Oiler development path. By this time Nurse could be good enough to trade him at the deadline for a 2nd & a 3rd.

  43. Dr. Taboggan says:

    Bank Shot,

    Oilers have faced 13 starters in their last 20. Some of the teams that did not ice starters have goalie injuries.

    Also, does it really matter if the goalie is a starter? What matters is the save percentage for the goalie/ save percentage that gets posted each game against the Oilers.

    Many back-ups have better sv% than starters so I highly doubt facing more starters would mean the Oilers would need to score that many more goals.

  44. Water Fire says:

    Hall and Nurse can rise to very high levels based on how much they trade trying to beat everyone with physicality and will, and add in decision making.

    Hall should be on the Olympic team etc, it’s this that holds him back from higher levels and greater things, more respect in the hockey world.

    I think it would also allow them both to be more explosive, if they aren’t doing everything at 150% all game, and trying to out-skate their weak decisions. Nobody has that much energy over a season or even a run of close together games.

    I’m pretty sure McLellan is working on it, perhaps the break will give them time to work on team play and making the best choices.

  45. vinotintazo says:

    Man… that play in the final 2 minutes where Fayne tried to pass is out of the zone and hit no-one… its just killing us.

  46. alice13 says:

    Pajamah,

    That was a sweet little dialog, esp.

    “Shut up Donny.”

    Nicely done!

  47. dustrock says:

    I really like Nurse’s future, but I think his skating ability has covered up some problems he’s been having.

  48. commonfan14 says:

    Pajamah: I’m also fine with a rebuttal, or his admission he may be wrong. Better than sticking to his guns when up against LeBrun’s info. And LeBrun was concrete too.

    Spector is not backing off at all. Posted this after the LeBrun comments:

    Big Daddy ‏@loc8ingoil Jan 19
    @SportsnetSpec Had a source when he wrote about Oilers shopping RNH

    Mark Spector ‏@SportsnetSpec Jan 19
    . @loc8ingoil If by “shopping” you mean “offered in a deal for Jones,” you’re right. And a very, very good one.

    I wonder if MacT is the source.

  49. TemujinBC says:

    :-0 lowetide blogged a tweet of mine!?

    I’m famous!

    Loved the show this morning, LT, the comments on the injuries and Hendricks were hilarious. Great radio.

  50. Quinlan says:

    dustrock:
    I really like Nurse’s future, but I think his skating ability has covered up some problems he’s been having.

    Isn’t that one of the primary benefits of skating?

    Mistakes will happen, the mobile defenders are able to cover for them with skating, which is why it’s such an important skill. It’s also why poorer skaters like Fayne and Gryba have such a small margin for error and have to play a more conservative game.

    Honestly, the same could be said for Erik Karlsson, PK Subban, and Drew Doughty – they certainly have problems in their game but their skating ability covers them.

  51. Pajamah says:

    commonfan14: Spector is not backing off at all. Posted this after the LeBrun comments:

    Big Daddy ‏@loc8ingoilJan 19
    @SportsnetSpec Had a source when he wrote about Oilers shopping RNH


    Mark Spector ‏@SportsnetSpecJan 19
    . @loc8ingoil If by “shopping” you mean “offered in a deal for Jones,” you’re right. And a very, very good one.

    I wonder if MacT is the source.

    Yeah, saw that after the fact. Spector Hockey, which isn’t Mark Spector. Worst off, it goes against what I said. The guy cant even admit when he was wrong. I hope Chiarelli has a press conference where he calls Spector a moron.

  52. ruotsalainen says:

    Bob McKenzie ‏@TSNBobMcKenzie 2h2 hours ago
    Andersson (DEt) on waivers.

  53. Oilspill says:

    What about Gryba to the flames for a third? They have enough offensive types and could use his toughness on a third pairing.

  54. Centre of attention says:

    Oilspill:
    What about Gryba to the flames for a third? They have enough offensive types and could use his toughness on a third pairing.

    How about lets not give the flames a hard-to-play against d who can actually bust the cycle and punish opponents.

    I would give them Schultz though.

  55. hunter1909 says:

    Sekera – real NHL defenceman

    Klefbom – serious injury prone possibilities, therefore cannot be counted on 100%

    Nurse – needs AHL time, getting thrown to the wolves as are most young Oiler prospects

    Reinhart – In AHL where he belongs. Unless he follows his press clippings he’s a great bet for the future

    Davidson – pleasant surprise

    Schultz – please trade this player if only for his own good. He’s finished as an Oiler.

    All in all a pretty motley defence. Unless Chiarelli adds two bona fide defencemen before training camp, it’s probably going to be just more of the same incompetence for the upcoming season.

  56. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Centre of attention: How about lets not give the flames a hard-to-play against d who can actually bust the cycle and punish opponents.

    Really.

    Besides, they’ve already got Deryk Engelland at >2x the cap hit and 3x the term at 3RD. Not sure why they’d be a good fit for Gryba.

  57. hunter1909 says:

    Oilers defence are so bad it’s like the team is playing shorthanded every time it’s in it’s own end(which happens to be a lot).

  58. Bruce McCurdy says:

    kinger_OIL:
    – The Nurse/Griff shuffle from AHL/NHL is what I viewed as optimal development this year

    – The problem is neither get sheltered minutes with a veteran D, and asked to do too much

    – We are sick and tired of this pattern year after year.

    Nurse has been getting third-pairing minutes with Gryba of late. That’s about as sheltered as you could hope for with this bunch.

    Didn’t stop him from getting his head kicked in last night.

    Nurse + Gryba +6/-19
    Nurse + Schultz +1/-8
    Gryba + Sekera +8/-1

  59. hunter1909 says:

    Zack Kassian’s providing much needed comedy relief for the fans. He’s also a decent hockey player.

    Whatever happened to Anton Lander, “future captain of the Edmonton Oilers”?

  60. dustrock says:

    Quinlan: Isn’t that one of the primary benefits of skating?Mistakes will happen, the mobile defenders are able to cover for them with skating, which is why it’s such an important skill. It’s also why poorer skaters like Fayne and Gryba have such a small margin for error and have to play a more conservative game. Honestly, the same could be said for Erik Karlsson, PK Subban, and Drew Doughty – they certainly have problems in their game but their skating ability covers them.

    Right. But I think when you’ve got veteran D, who can do better risk assessment and reads, you take the occasional poor gamble in stride.

    Nurse looks like he’s drowning the last 10 games and I guess what I’m saying is the stats say he’s drowning, but by eye some nights it doesn’t seem that bad because he’s such an athlete.

  61. Water Fire says:

    hunter1909:
    Zack Kassian’s providing much needed comedy relief for the fans. He’s also a decent hockey player.

    Whatever happened to Anton Lander, “future captain of the Edmonton Oilers”?

    He got Oilered.

  62. Ca$h-McMoney! says:

    Oilspill:
    What about Gryba to the flames for a third? They have enough offensive types and could use his toughness on a third pairing.

    How about Gryba to the flames for their best Goalie prospect?

  63. RJ2016 says:

    I find all of the commentary on whether Chiarelli offered Nuge in a trade to CBJ amusing.

    Chiarelli neither confirmed nor denied, so unless Poile spills the beans there is no way we are actually going to know. That doesn’t mean it’s improbable.

    Consider this: Chiarelli is also the GM for Team North America, and McLellan is the coach. Is it really a stretch to think that they have taken a long look at Jones and said, he’d be a great fit on the Oilers? Jones is a projected top-2 for that team.

    I get that it’s hard for Team Nuge to accept, but it’s at least plausible that Jones was targeted by Chiarelli as a major add to the Oilers blueline, and that they offered Nuge to get him.

  64. Seymore says:

    Anyone who says Shultz is a good passer has not watched Oiler games in full or focuses in on the Defence. Game after game he misses tape to tape passes when the other team is changing and gets an icing call. Most of our too many men calls against are from a long Shultz pass deep in his end along the Oiler’s bench. Dozen of no look give aways on the blue line in the offensive zone and defensive zone right in the slot. Shultz is a TERRIBLE passer plane and simple. Not an NHL defenseman either. Elite AHLer that’s all. Greg Hawgood/Brad Hunt material.

  65. Woogie63 says:

    hunter1909,

    a ray of sunshine….

    Sekera – agree

    Kefbom – Injuries happen, counting 100% on any player is foolish

    Nurse – is playing 23 minutes a night in a sheltered capacity, will 4 more minutes a night in the AHL make progress faster?

    Reinhart – Why would anyone declare a career is over after 13 NHL games seems …. a guess

    Davidson – agree

    Shultz – i am disppointed as well, but finished as an Oiler seems … an overstatement

  66. Centre of attention says:

    Chris Nichols ‏@NicholsOnHockey · 49m49 minutes ago
    Friedman: “History has shown that Edmonton made a very wise move signing those guys (Hall, RNH, Eberle) to those contracts.” #Oilers

  67. GCW_69 says:

    RJ2016:
    I find all of the commentary on whether Chiarelli offered Nuge in a trade to CBJ amusing.

    Chiarelli neither confirmed nor denied, so unless Poile spills the beans there is no way we are actually going to know. That doesn’t mean it’s improbable.

    Consider this: Chiarelli is also the GM for Team North America, and McLellan is the coach. Is it really a stretch to think that they have taken a long look at Jones and said, he’d be a great fit on the Oilers? Jones is a projected top-2 for that team.

    I get that it’s hard for Team Nuge to accept, but it’s at least plausible that Jones was targeted by Chiarelli as a major add to the Oilers blueline, and that they offered Nuge to get him.

    Also, offering Nuge for a specific player or players and shopping him are not the same thing.

  68. visiondude says:

    Watched the sportsnet coverage of the game last night…do not like Remenda, but I digress. John Shannon or Louis made a comment about how Dallas went power vs. power against Dr. Drai and company…results were not good for the Oil as it seems the big line was on for 2 of the 3 goals. Now with the Nuge in the lineup, does Dallas still do that? Or if they don’t go power vs. power, does the Nuge have easier sledding against Spezza and co? I think we are now seeing the value of having an NHL experienced, albeit young, center to shelter Dr. Drai and McMagic.

    …and agreed…shopping the Nuge is different offering him as part of a deal….the former involves talking to all the GM’s and the latter only one…

  69. Centre of attention says:

    Chris Nichols ‏@NicholsOnHockey · 1h1 hour ago
    Friedman on Griffin Reinhart: “It is way too early to write this kid off.” #Oilers

  70. frjohnk says:

    Centre of attention:
    Chris Nichols ‏@NicholsOnHockey· 49m49 minutes ago
    Friedman: “History has shown that Edmonton made a very stupid move signing a rotten core (Hall, RNH, Eberle) to those contracts.” #Oilers

    I fixed it to reflect the proper narrative

    Friedman knows nuthin.

    🙂

  71. frjohnk says:

    Centre of attention:
    Chris Nichols ‏@NicholsOnHockey· 1h1 hour ago
    Friedman on Griffin Reinhart: “A slow pylon who is a marshmellow, a terrible waste of assets to get him.” #Oilers

    I fixed this one as well to reflect the proper narrative

    Friedman knows nuthin.

    🙂

  72. Bank Shot says:

    visiondude:
    Watched the sportsnet coverage of the game last night…do not like Remenda, but I digress.John Shannon or Louis made a comment about how Dallas went power vs. power against Dr. Drai and company…results were not good for the Oil as it seems the big line was on for 2 of the 3 goals.Now with the Nuge in the lineup, does Dallas still do that?Or if they don’t go power vs. power, does the Nuge have easier sledding against Spezza and co?I think we are now seeing the value of having an NHL experienced, albeit young, center to shelter Dr. Drai and McMagic.

    According to behindthenet.ca the level of competition that Draisaitl and RNH face is pretty similar.

    Ergo, RNH really isn’t sheltering anyone.

    Hopkins is a good young player but the comparisons to Bergeron and Datsyuk look a little off at this point. Daymond Langkow is looking like a better comp.

  73. Protagonist says:

    Bank Shot: According to behindthenet.ca the level of competition that Draisaitl and RNH face is pretty similar.

    Ergo, RNH really isn’t sheltering anyone.

    Hopkins is a good young player but the comparisons to Bergeron and Datsyuk look a little off at this point. Daymond Langkow is looking like a better comp.

    That’s sort of demonstrably false. If Drai gets 50% of his time against the opponents #1 line and 50% against the #2 line, and we assume the same with RNH, then it’s entirely possible to have Drai’s line get 100% of the #1 line of the opposition once he’s out, thus raising his QUALCOMP quite substantially.

    Just because when they are both on the ice they have similar QUALCOMPs doesn’t mean that in the absence of RNH Draisaitl’s won’t go up (and thus he was being sheltered).

  74. Centre of attention says:

    Elliotte Friedman ‏@FriedgeHNIC · 3m3 minutes ago
    Hearing Russian free-agent D Nikita Zaitsev is telling teams his intention is to sign with TOR next season. Would be a one-year ELC.

    Why don’t we get any of the sexy free agents?

    If someone mentions Schultz they are getting smacked 😛

  75. Protagonist says:

    Centre of attention:
    Elliotte Friedman ‏@FriedgeHNIC· 3m3 minutes ago
    Hearing Russian free-agent D Nikita Zaitsev is telling teams his intention is to sign with TOR next season. Would be a one-year ELC.

    Why don’t we get any of the sexy free agents?

    If someone mentions Schultz they are getting smacked

    Because we are not:

    A) A good climate
    B) A world class city (I love Edmonton to death but it’s true)
    C) A good team

    Solve at least one of those and you’ll start seeing people drop the “shitty situation” fee. Just look at Florida, Toronto, or Detroit (in that order).

  76. Really? says:

    Every year around the entry draft we hear the mantra “Draft the Best Player Available ( BPA ). Do not draft specifically for need”.

    Why? Well, because these young players are assets with value. By drafting the BPA, you give your team the best possible assets for improving your team via trades.

    The problem for the Oilers, and many of their fans, is they become emotionally attached to these drafted players and have difficulty objectively assessing their values. They also have trouble identifying the value of young players developing in other organizations. Despite the potential backlash from the fan base when there is talk of trading a favorite player. Chiarelli’s job demands that he do just that to fix, for example,the D Corps of the Oilers.

    I expect the 2016-2017 Oilers to be quite different from the current iteration. I also expect them to be a solid playoff contender and participant. If not questions must be asked regarding the job being done by Chiarelli.

  77. JDï™ says:

    frjohnk,

    Are you still chugging beers?

    😉

  78. LadiesloveSmid says:

    Bank Shot,

    when Langkow was 22 he had 33P, at 23 he had 23P

    maybe Langkow’s production in his prime is comparable to RNH’s early in his career, if that’s what you’re getting at

  79. Bank Shot says:

    Protagonist: That’s sort of demonstrably false. If Drai gets 50% of his time against the opponents #1 line and 50% against the #2 line, and we assume the same with RNH, then it’s entirely possible to have Drai’s line get 100% of the #1 line of the opposition once he’s out, thus raising his QUALCOMP quite substantially.

    Just because when they are both on the ice they have similar QUALCOMPs doesn’t mean that in the absence of RNH Draisaitl’s won’t go up (and thus he was being sheltered).

    I think you are just redefining what the phrase “being sheltered” means.

    It has always been used to describe one player taking on the lion’s share of the tough matchups in order to provide an easier path for the second player.

    If Drai and RNH are seeing the same level of comp then one is not sheltering the other. They are peers.

    The term shelter loses all of its meaning if you are going to apply it that way.

  80. Protagonist says:

    Bank Shot: I think you are just redefining what the phrase “being sheltered” means.

    It has always been used to describe one player taking on the lion’s share of the tough matchups in order to provide an easier path for the second player.

    If Drai and RNH are seeing the same level of comp then one is not sheltering the other. They are peers.

    The term shelter loses all of its meaning if you are going to apply it that way.

    Depends on which version of sheltered you want to talk about. The one that I prefer is pretty simple:

    Player A shelters player B if Player B’s QUALCOMP is lower when Player A is around

    And in that case, when RNH isn’t around and other teams are free to match against the only effective line that the Oilers have, the Hall-Drai-X line, then Draisatl’s quality of opponent significantly raises. Thus, Draisaitl has a less easy time when RNH is not present. I call that sheltering, you can call that what you will.

  81. Snowman says:

    Protagonist,

    Edmonton is a world class city.

    We’ve got excellent festivals, wonderful parks and green space larger than any in North America, We have a tremendous musical/arts community. We have some of the best restaurants on Earth as recognized internationally. Our theater community and many musical venues provide world class entertainment and draw the biggest acts from all around the world.

    I’ve traveled lots. I’ve been to some of the world’s great cities. Glasgow, Sydney, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Vancouver and dozens of others. Edmonton is as good or better than all of them.

    If you don’t recognize Edmonton for what it is you are missing out just like the rest of the planet. Edmonton is as good as they come. Only thing that makes some of those other cities “better” is location and more history. Otherwise there is nothing appreciably better.

    I will argue this point until I’m blue in the face. Edmonton is a world class city and it gets better every year.

  82. kooler says:

    Centre of attention,

    Because we destroy Russian defenseman ….Anton Belov gone, Nikita Nikitin almost gone.

  83. Bank Shot says:

    LadiesloveSmid:
    Bank Shot,

    when Langkow was 22 he had 33P, at 23 he had 23P

    maybe Langkow’s production in his prime is comparable to RNH’s early in his career, if that’s what you’re getting at

    Langkow scored 50 points in his draft season +5.
    RNH was on pace for 53 points before injury in his draft season +5.

    RNH started off ahead but Langkow effectively caught him by 22.

    That was the year Philly had injures at C and Langkow got his first chance to play with talent on the first line. RNH has had that opportunity his entire career. Perhaps Langkow in a similar situation would have producing a similar amount all the way along. We don’t really know. We do know that the gap was pretty much gone by draft +5 though.

  84. Derek says:

    Bank Shot: I think you are just redefining what the phrase “being sheltered” means.

    It has always been used to describe one player taking on the lion’s share of the tough matchups in order to provide an easier path for the second player.

    If Drai and RNH are seeing the same level of comp then one is not sheltering the other. They are peers.

    The term shelter loses all of its meaning if you are going to apply it that way.

    Drai and RNHs quality of competition are similar because at home Mclennan uses RNH to face up against the top competition and hides Hall and Drai. On the road he cannot do this as often. If you don’t think this is significant, check the home and away splits for Draisaitls point production.

  85. frjohnk says:

    Protagonist: Depends on which version of sheltered you want to talk about. The one that I prefer is pretty simple:

    Player A shelters player B if Player B’s QUALCOMP is lower when Player A is around

    And in that case, when RNH isn’t around and other teams are free to match against the only effective line that the Oilers have, the Hall-Drai-X line, then Draisatl’s quality of opponent significantly raises. Thus, Draisaitl has a less easy time when RNH is not present. I call that sheltering, you can call that what you will.

    I could be wrong but it seems like Hall and company face the tough competition on the road, while at home McLellan would get RNH to face the toughs.

    Hall at home
    23 games 29 points
    on the road
    26 games 18 points

    Dallas does the same thing, they will get Benn and Seguin to face easier competition at home ( not always, but usually) and they face the toughs on the road.

    Same thing for Benn (he is in my draft)
    at home
    23 games 35 points
    25 games 22 points on the road

  86. Bank Shot says:

    Protagonist: Depends on which version of sheltered you want to talk about. The one that I prefer is pretty simple:

    Player A shelters player B if Player B’s QUALCOMP is lower when Player A is around

    And in that case, when RNH isn’t around and other teams are free to match against the only effective line that the Oilers have, the Hall-Drai-X line, then Draisatl’s quality of opponent significantly raises. Thus, Draisaitl has a less easy time when RNH is not present. I call that sheltering, you can call that what you will.

    I get the point. That’s just not how anyone else has historically used the term.

    It’s probable that with RNH out, someone like Letestu will see a larger increase in QUALCOMP rather than Drai, as forwards aren’t hard matched all that often. Certainly not to the level that a team matches their top pairing D to the other team’s top forwards.

  87. Protagonist says:

    Snowman:
    Protagonist,

    Edmonton is a world class city.

    We’ve got excellent festivals, wonderful parks and green space larger than any in North America, We have a tremendous musical/arts community. We have some of the best restaurants on Earth as recognized internationally. Our theater community and many musical venues provide world class entertainment and draw the biggest acts from all around the world.

    I’ve traveled lots. I’ve been to some of the world’s great cities. Glasgow, Sydney, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Vancouver and dozens of others. Edmonton is as good or better than all of them.

    If you don’t recognize Edmonton for what it is you are missing out just like the rest of the planet. Edmonton is as good as they come. Only thing that makes some of those other cities “better” is location and more history. Otherwise there is nothing appreciably better.

    I will argue this point until I’m blue in the face. Edmonton is a world class city and it gets better every year.

    I’m not entirely sure I believe you that Edmonton is as good or better than most of those cities that you’ve listed, especially for the top 1% of wage-earners (which hockey players by definition are). And I’ll state again that I do live here and even if I was a top 1%’er I’d definitely still live here (thought I’d definitely have a summer home somewhere warm) but I think that calling Edmonton as good (again for the top 1%) as a New York, Dallas or Montreal is a little disingenuous.

    I’m not trying to say that Edmonton is a hole or anything (again, happily lived here my entire life) but at the very least, it’s not internationally recognized as a “world’s great city.” And that recognition is a big component of the pull and appeal of one “world class city” over another. Chicago is a big city, but New York has that magnetism (real or imagined) that pulls people in. That mystique, that je ne sais quoi that gets you a title of, “world class city.” Real or imagined, the effect exists whether you want to believe it or not, and you can choose to ignore the effect if you want but it’s there.

    No one is leaving Edmonton because of the city but I also don’t think anyone is coming here because of the city.

    Which is a shame. We’ve got some great tacos here. 🙂

  88. BONVIE says:

    Im excited to see Rheinhart play again. Very underated defenseman with his positioning in closing gaps entering the zone and protecting the scoring areas of the ice. Nurse is really struggling with puck watching in the scoring areas instead of physically eliminating the intended target.

    I seen some suggest calling up Nikitin which to me is a bad idea, he and Hunt are not NHL defenseman if they feel a call up is necessary to have Nurse play some more minor league games(which i don’t believe is necesarry) than I think Osterle and a few others remain a better option. Osterle has been playing great with Rheinhart, as of late and is a small dman, but actually has some structure to his game. Musil and Simpson are also better options than both Nikitin and Hunt they actually are interested in playing defense.

  89. Derek says:

    frjohnk: I could be wrong but it seems like Hall and company face the tough competition on the road, while at home McLellan would get RNH to face the toughs.

    Hall at home
    23 games 29 points
    on the road
    26 games 18 points

    Dallas does the same thing, they will get Benn and Seguin to face easier competition at home ( not always, but usually) and they face the toughs on the road.

    Same thing for Benn (he is in my draft)
    at home
    23 games 35 points
    25 games 22 points on the road

    Thank you for doing the actual work, I looked for a site to seperate the numbers and gave up quickly. The Drai numbers were mentioned during a recent game and the difference was much more pronounced.

    Of course Remenda and Quinn attributed it to home cooking or some other dumb shit, but that’s the world we live in.

  90. frjohnk says:

    Gaudreau faces the toughs on the road
    22 games 3 goals 10 assists

    at home he is sheltered
    23 games 17 goals 16 assists 33 points

    Gaudreau wont do well if matched up against a very mobile defenceman that has very good gap control. If Gaudreau does not have time and space, he is neutered.

    But he will shred 3rd pairing, and slow moving d man that allow big gaps.

  91. frjohnk says:

    JDï™:
    frjohnk,

    Are you still chugging beers?

    lol. no.

  92. frjohnk says:

    Derek: Thank you for doing the actual work, I looked for a site to seperate the numbers and gave up quickly.The Drai numbers were mentioned during a recent game and the difference was much more pronounced.

    Of course Remenda and Quinn attributed it to home cooking or some other dumb shit, but that’s the world we live in.

    http://espn.go.com/nhl/player/splits/_/id/3114727/leon-draisaitl

  93. frjohnk says:

    We know that Nurse is struggling, but there was a play last night that made me smile.

    Seguin got the puck in the neutral zone close to our blue line and Nurse was the only man back. Seguin attacked with speed and if it was anybody else back there, Seguin may have blew by them.
    I noticed that Nurse really focused on Seguins chest, did not focus on the puck, did not give up much gap and skated backwards at warp speed. Seguin tried a couple of moves but Nurse neutralized Seguin and the puck went harmlessly into the corner.

    It was a perfect play against one of the best 1 on 1 players in the league.

  94. oliveoilers says:

    Going to game tomorrow.

    See LT, sometimes us punk ass kids do listen to their elders and betters!

    Anyone else out and about tomorrow?

  95. Bank Shot says:

    Derek: Drai and RNHs quality of competition are similar because at home Mclennan uses RNH to face up against the top competition and hides Hall and Drai.On the road he cannot do this as often.If you don’t think this is significant, check the home and away splits for Draisaitls point production.

    So on the road RNH gets the easy matchups?

    Then why does he also score more at home?

    16 to 14.

  96. Snowman says:

    Protagonist,

    Being recognized as being world class and actually being world class are two different things. Edmonton is world class whether people come here for that reason or not.

    Taylor Hall hasn’t been recognized as an elite level hockey player until this year. Doesn’t mean he wasn’t an elite player before this. Edmonton is the same way. What people think of it and what it actually is are two different things.

    Chicago is by far a better city than New York and Boston is even better. New York has the “mystique” sure. Doesn’t mean its better because its not.

    What people think doesnt change the reality of what Edmonton is. World class.

  97. fifthcartel says:

    I think Chairelli moves Reinhart this summer.

    Virtually everyone agrees the Oilers need to add a defensemen, and I’m of the mind they need two for sure, as hard as that may be to acquire.

    I’m not sure if they have the room to run with both Nurse and Reinhart having so little games played, and considering Chiarelli’s Boston teams had a lot of experienced defensemen that’d be a lot of green defensemen in Nurse/Reinhart/Klefbom. There’s no Chara or Boychuk here to stick a rookie with, or even Burns or Vlasic in McLellan’s case.

    The trade was a bit curious considering Reinhart is left-handed and doesn’t project to bring a lot of offense. I’ve read good things about his shot, but I’m not sure it’d be right to call him a future power-play specialist.

    Anyways, with Nurse and Klefbom here you’d think that left-side is pretty much set unless they were projected to have Reinhart on that third pairing.

    Adding Sekera to the left-side makes it even more crowded and even if one of them switch to the ride side, say Klefbom or Sekera, you’d still want a fourth option that brings a lot of offense.

    Something like:

    Klefbom-Sekera
    Nurse-Shattenkirk/Barrie

    That would make some sense, and maybe they see Reinhart replacing Sekera but that’s a pretty big assumption and again, leaves the top 4 without a lot of offense considering I don’t think either Nurse or Reinhart will be big point producers.

    Now if they project him to play on the third-pairing for a while, that’s a curious move because you can generally get those players for less than the price Chiarelli paid for Reinhart, which is why I’m thinking they move him to get a right-handed defensemen this off-season.

    I think Chiarelli thought Reinhart was more NHL ready than he is and it wasn’t worth keeping him in the NHL and losing Brandon Davidson on waivers. Davidson has made things really interesting because he has performed very well on the third-pairing, and he should be very cheap and that has a lot of value on a team like the Oilers who will have big contracts and need cheap ones to perform, like Davidson.

    The Oilers sent Reinhart down and it seems like they decided to have Nurse developing (drowning?) in the NHL and then Reinhart getting more minutes in Bakersfield.

    I’m not very high on Reinhart, but he drafted pretty high and I bet has a decent reputation around the league still. What I’m thinking is he could be the cheap defensemen replacement to a team that wants to add a forward for a defensemen, and maybe is close to the cap/is a budget team.

    Shattenkirk comes to mind, maybe St.Louis wants to move some money from defence to forward as they have Parayko to replace Shattenkirk and few LH D outside of Bouwmeester.

    But I think this makes a lot of sense because if you can have Davidson and someone else occupy the bottom pairing next year, then Reinhart could be very valuable as a trade chip to finally add a significant piece if added with a forward.

  98. kinger_OIL says:

    Snowman:
    Protagonist,

    Chicago is by far a better city than New York and Boston is even better. New York has the “mystique” sure. Doesn’t mean its better because its not.

    What people think doesnt change the reality of what Edmonton is. World class.

    – Huh? If you said: “in my opinion” Chicago or Boston are far better cities than NY I’d let it pass.

    – Chicago’s self-proclaimed nickname is “The Second City”, second to NY.

    – Boston is a wonderful city, and by any number of personal definitions your entitled to believe its “better” than New York, but that’s subjective, and you’d be in the minority

    – Edmonton is a top-50 city in North America in terms of size, and relevance. It’s world class like Charlotte or Austin, or Indianapolis: i.e. not really world class. San Fran, in the same ball-park in terms of population: that’s a “world-class” city

    – Of course I too am subjective, if by world-class you mean they have the ammenities of a big city, then yes Edmonton is world class: it has a university, museums, nice restaurants, great people, etc.. Edmonton is a wonderful city, by any definition

    – World class to me though means relevance culturally, attracting the imagination of people everywhere, attracting the best and brightest immigrants, quality of life, the wealth of its population, social diversity, arts, science and cultural scene, job opportunities, transit, etc

    * and its too cold in Edmonton for too long of the year!

  99. Water Fire says:

    Nuge is a bum, but he’s our bum.

  100. frjohnk says:

    fifthcartel:
    I think Chairelli moves Reinhart this summer.

    Virtually everyone agrees the Oilers need to add a defensemen, and I’m of the mind they need two for sure, as hard as that may be to acquire.

    I’m not sure if they have the room to run with both Nurse and Reinhart having so little games played, and considering Chiarelli’s Boston teams had a lot of experienced defensemen that’d be a lot of green defensemen in Nurse/Reinhart/Klefbom. There’s no Chara or Boychuk here to stick a rookie with, or even Burns or Vlasic in McLellan’s case.

    The trade was a bit curious considering Reinhart is left-handed and doesn’t project to bring a lot of offense. I’ve read good things about his shot, but I’m not sure it’d be right to call him a future power-play specialist.

    Anyways, with Nurse and Klefbom here you’d think that left-side is pretty much set unless they were projected to have Reinhart on that third pairing.

    Adding Sekera to the left-side makes it even more crowded and even if one of them switch to the ride side, say Klefbom or Sekera, you’d still want a fourth option that brings a lot of offense.

    Something like:

    Klefbom-Sekera
    Nurse-Shattenkirk/Barrie

    That would make some sense, and maybe they see Reinhart replacing Sekera but that’s a pretty big assumption and again, leaves the top 4 without a lot of offense considering I don’t think either Nurse or Reinhart will be big point producers.

    Now if they project him to play on the third-pairing for a while, that’s a curious move because you can generally get those players for less than the price Chiarelli paid for Reinhart, which is why I’m thinking they move him to get a right-handed defensemen this off-season.

    I think Chiarelli thought Reinhart was more NHL ready than he is and it wasn’t worth keeping him in the NHL and losing Brandon Davidson on waivers. Davidson has made things really interesting because he has performed very well on the third-pairing, and he should be very cheap and that has a lot of value on a team like the Oilers who will have big contracts and need cheap ones to perform, like Davidson.

    The Oilers sent Reinhart down and it seems like they decided to have Nurse developing (drowning?) in the NHL and then Reinhart getting more minutes in Bakersfield.

    I’m not very high on Reinhart, but he drafted pretty high and I bet has a decent reputation around the league still. What I’m thinking is he could be the cheap defensemen replacement to a team that wants to add a forward for a defensemen, and maybe is close to the cap/is a budget team.

    Shattenkirk comes to mind, maybe St.Louis wants to move some money from defence to forward as they have Parayko to replace Shattenkirk and few LH D outside of Bouwmeester.

    But I think this makes a lot of sense because if you can have Davidson and someone else occupy the bottom pairing next year, then Reinhart could be very valuable as a trade chip to finally add a significant piece if added with a forward.

    When Chia traded for Reinhart, Sekara was still a UFA, and nobody projected Davidson as a top 6 option for the upcoming season.

    Oilers had
    Klefbom- only real top 4 option on D

    Fayne- a possible top 4 option

    Schutlz-?????

    Nikitin- a slow moving D man with questionable decision making

    Nurse- was he NHL ready?

    Ference- was done

    Marincin- not a Chia type player

    Chia had to fix the D and could not count on UFA. At that time, getting Reinhart was not a bad idea.

    I think though with the Sekara signing and the Davidson emergence, somebody on the left could probably go for help on the right side. Reinhart could be that guy.

  101. blainer says:

    It is really hard to believe the amount of injuries we have suffered this year. I am really beginning to believe there is a curse at Rexall and can’t wait to get out of there even though a lot of the injuries have occurred on the road.

    I would guess Tmc has never experienced injuries like this in his entire coaching career.

    It is becoming very difficult to watch lately as we are not going to get a chance to even play one game with a healthy squad this year . Just a shame.

    I was a glass half full guy at the beginning of the season.. would be shocked if we now finish any higher than 27th. We are getting yet another lovely pick come June.

  102. bendelson says:

    oliveoilers:
    Going to game tomorrow.

    See LT, sometimes us punk ass kids do listen to their elders and betters!

    Anyone else out and about tomorrow?

    I’m at the game tomorrow Olive.
    I’ll buy you a beer if you show up with the flight attendant.

  103. Derek says:

    Bank Shot: So on the road RNH gets the easy matchups?

    Then why does he also score more at home?

    16 to 14.

    I’m at a loss Bankshot. That 2 point discrepancy has made Swiss cheese of my entire theory.

    Edit to add:Although it is troubling that RNH and his partners haven’t been able to make more of their easier opposition on the road. It jives with G moneys cumulative possession numbers showing the RNH line losing the possession battle more often than not. Is it possible to get home and away splits for those as well….? Just asking in case you’ve been getting too much sleep lately G. 🙂

  104. FunsTuff says:

    News of James Reimer looking for a big pay day has me boggled. Does no one remember his last few seasons? He was barely looking like a back up behind Bernier.
    Fans either have the worst memory, or the idea of a “small sample size” is bullshit.

    This team and fans are no different. The immediate conclusion that draisaitl is the legitimate number two after a successful first half, regardless of his performance the year before and the constant complaining about his performance in the ahl this year. Hopkins falling from a core pillar to a 3rd line hrudey center because of ANOTHER season being entirely too consistent.

    I worried about how people would react to this season. Expecting more wins, more points. The success for a team that can manage to lose out of the post season prior to the half way mark shouldn’t be a miraculous turn around, but arrows in the right direction.

    My reasonable expectation for this team was not more wins, but a closer game. Upgrades over a summer from where this team was in the standings isn’t a significant amount of wins, but a reduction in the goal differential. How many times over the last few years has this team lost 6-0? 5-0?
    4-2 is still 0 points, but confidence can still build from structured play, regardless of the outcome.

    This team has been the best one dressed in a decade, and I hope this ridiculously impatient market understands the success the team has had in comparison.

    As an aside. Drai, and the Nuge are, in my opinion, both keystones to the success of this franchise. Personally I don’t like Hall’s style of play, but respect his talent and if I could do it again, would still draft him over Seguin, BUT he can’t push a river alone on the wing and DEPTH at centre is more important than a winger. His brush with disenchanted fans last year was less uncomfortable for me (but just as ridiculous).

  105. JDï™ says:

    Derek: I’m at a loss Bankshot

    You either move the goalposts, or ignore that data!

  106. commonfan14 says:

    It’s horribly unfair that Nuge’s injury will keep us from seeing the full potential of the roster anytime soon. My secret hopes of a big run down the stretch are pretty much extinguished.

    However, the silver lining is still pretty incredible.

    My favourite TV show, aka “Connor McDavid playing hockey,” is coming back on February 2nd.

    He’s been gone so long that I think we’ve all kind of forgotten he was real. Plus we saw him so briefly that it hadn’t really set in yet just how good he already is and how amazing he’s going to be.

    Everything else that’s happened this season, even Drai’s amazing emergence, is going to be an afterthought when all’s said and done.

    That lottery happened, the Oiler card was gold. It’s real.

    And we’re 11 days away from living it again.

    Happy Friday everyone.

  107. Bank Shot says:

    Derek: I’m at a loss Bankshot.That 2 point discrepancy has made swiss cheese of my entire theory.

    Well if the level of comp that Drai and RNH play is roughly equal that means whatever easy comp Draisaitl gets at home, RNH would get on the road. If this weren’t true then their level of comp wouldn’t be equal.

    If Drai is only tearing it up at home because of weak comp, then shouldn’t RNH be tearing it up on the road?

    Anyway, is there any evidence that Draisaitl doesn;t play tough comp at home? Here’s the last game against Dallas at home and it looks like Drai plays as much time against Benn as RNh does.

    http://nullisecund.us/nhl/toi.php?id=20386

    Against the bruins Drai is basically hard matched to Krecji.

    Then Winnipeg comes to town and Drai sees a whole bunch of Wheeler,Ladd and Little.

    It’s all there on nicetimeonice.com

    Why are people trying to sell the narrative that Nuge is doing all the heavy lifting for Draisaitl when it isn’t true?

  108. raventalon40 says:

    Question: if Couturier comes back soon and Oilers are still within striking distance of the last playoff spot, do you initiate a trade for Gagner? He’s UFA at the end of the season and he’ll fill the gap for RNH until he gets back. Not saying he’s an equal player by any means, but the player is familiar with the organization and city, and has shown in the past he can play on the third or fourth line (where he once lined up next to Zach Stortini and Andrew Cogliano).

  109. Pouzar says:

    raventalon40:
    Question: if Couturier comes back soon and Oilers are still within striking distance of the last playoff spot, do you initiate a trade for Gagner? He’s UFA at the end of the season and he’ll fill the gap for RNH until he gets back. Not saying he’s an equal player by any means, but the player is familiar with the organization and city, and has shown in the past he can play on the third or fourth line (where he once lined up next to Zach Stortini and Andrew Cogliano).

    You shit on Eberle and advocate for Gagner? Alrighty then.

  110. Snowman says:

    kinger_OIL,

    If you don’t think that Edmonton is among the world’s best cities for attracting the best and brightest immigrants, quality of life, the wealth of its population, social diversity, arts, science and cultural scene, job opportunities I’m not sure where you’ve got your head buried. Edmonton and Calgary are the youngest cities in Canada. Immigrants do travel here for education and work from all around the world. Edmonton is wealthier than almost anywhere on Earth. 23 richest city per capita in 2014 on the planet. It’s getting more and more recognition globally as a place to visit. National geographic named it one of the best 10 summer places to visit for 2015. We have some of the most renowned festivals on the planet. We have a brand new world class art gallery. We’re getting a brand new world class museum. There University of Alberta contributes tremendously to medical research globally and is consistently recognized and participating in cutting edge research and treatment. The Mazankowski is globally recognized as one of the world’s leading cardiac hospitals. I don’t really know what you’re looking for here. Our crime rates are low. our air is clean. Our water is clean. The only thing Edmonton lacks is a warm winter and an Ocean view. I understand that nobody moves here because its Edmonton like they might for New York or Paris. Edmonton has a top end mix of all the things you mentioned. It might not be the best for any one thing but it’s extremely good at all of them.

    No we’re not among one of the cities that captures people’s imaginations. And our transit is complete shit. Again those things don’t mean we’re not a world class city.

  111. Bad Seed says:

    Snowman,

    Former mayor Bill Smith everyone!

  112. oliveoilers says:

    bendelson: I’m at the game tomorrow Olive.
    I’ll buy you a beer if you show up with the flight attendant.

    I’m sure Mrs Olive will fall in love with me all over again for my gallant act of taking care of a 24 yr old flight attendant and her friends.

    I’ll buy you a beer if you don’t tell her.

  113. Lois Lowe says:

    Snowman,

    I love your passion! I think it’s great that Edmontonians think so highly of the city they live in.

    It is not a world class city by any means though. I’d argue that only Montreal, Toronto, and Vancouver are (and that’s even a stretch).

  114. Ryan says:

    Bank Shot,

    Draisatl is taking Nuge’s lunch money.

  115. bendelson says:

    oliveoilers: I’m sure Mrs Olive will fall in love with me all over again for my gallant act of taking care of a 24 yr old flight attendant and her friends.

    I’ll buy you a beer if you don’t tell her.

    Hmm, maybe not such a wonderful idea after all… just trying to help out a lonely flight attendant.

    Perhaps Snowman can spend the evening taking the birthday girl and friends around town, showing off his world-class hospitality in our world-class city?

    (I’ll still buy you that beer Olive).

  116. oliveoilers says:

    bendelson,

    Sounds good.

    I’ll be in 227.

    I’ll drop you a line on tomorrow’s gdt.

  117. Lowetide says:

    frjohnk:
    http://ckom.com/article/505056/2-confirmed-dead-shooting-la-loche-school

    Terrible.

    EDIT: 5 dead

    So so sad. Heartbreaking. I pray for those families and that community.

  118. bendelson says:

    oliveoilers:
    bendelson,

    Sounds good.

    I’ll be in 227.

    I’ll drop you a line on tomorrow’s gdt.

    Ha!
    I’m within earshot in 228.
    If you stand up during a break in the play and call out ‘Bendelson’, we can take it from there…

  119. oliveoilers says:

    bendelson: Ha!
    I’m within earshot in 228.
    If you stand up during a break in the play and call out ‘Bendelson’, we can take it from there…

    It shall shouted as Shatten-Kirk shouted Shatten-KHAAAN!

  120. raventalon40 says:

    Pouzar: You shit on Eberle and advocate for Gagner? Alrighty then.

    Just mentioning him as a cost-effective stopgap. In my mind, Eberle’s pretty much trade bait for a defenseman already.

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