THOSE WHO WAVE LANTERNS AT RUNAWAY TRAINS

Losing takes a terrible toll on hockey people, you can see it and hear it in the tones of voices as another season slips away. You can also hear the sharpness in the words from Todd McLellan, who has gone from mentioning they need a power-play option to openly questioning if this group is bona fide. It is the weight of losing, mind-numbing losing, and the pressure heightened.

I find it hard to blame the players, they are batting too high in the order. Last night, in New Jersey, Edmonton’s third pair must have been dizzy most of the night—simply not able. That isn’t on those men, that isn’t on the coach—that is on management. You can pay Todd McLellan a lot to take a knife to a gunfight, but you can’t make him happy doing it.

GREETINGS FROM ASBURY PARK, 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: 4-5-2
  • Oilers in February 2015: 5-6-1
  • Oilers in February 2016: 2-3-0
  • Oilers after 55 in 2014-15: 15-31-9, 39 points (-57 GD)
  • Oilers after 55 in 2015-16: 21-29-5, 47 points (-30 GD)

The Oilers have one .500 month during the entire season (December) and February looked promising until the weekend and another step into one of those damnable elevator shafts. The club has Toronto and Winnipeg to round out the week, and the ‘box of chocolates’ season rolls along.

DEFENSE, LAST NIGHT

oilers blue nov 30

  • Sekera—Fayne now deliver reliable and dependable play pretty much every period these days. Sekera does some unusual things—he was on his way out of the corner of his zone with clean air before stopping and going back for 40 more seconds of hell—but he battles well and has skills to the sky. I really like him, he should get 30 points on a team that is not a good offensive group.
  • Fayne played less at 5×5 than any other defender, and had the best possession numbers. You can bitch about the personnel, but the math has a story to tell as well. There were better options than 14:11 Clendening, and they were on the bench.
  • Davidson—Gryba played well again, solid possession numbers and they moved the puck pretty well (Gryba lugged it with some aplomb a time or two).
  • Brandon Davidson is one of the very few defensemen this organization, drafted, developed and delivered to the NHL. His story is unusual—including a one-year delay that allowed him to fly under the radar—and maybe there is a lesson there.
  • Nurse—Clendening got fed and this cannot go on. Neither man has enough experience to be the strong partner, and frankly Nurse played mostly well to my eye but the pairing was chasing instead of solving. It will be very interesting to see what the Schultz trade (if it comes) fetches—Chiarelli may decide to bring in a veteran mentor. We wait.

CENTERS, LAST NIGHT

oil c nov 30

  • Connor McDavid and his line scored the goal (again) and I thought they had a lot of jump. Early (again) there were some fine and dandy chances, but it was followed by a hard candy Christmas.
  • Mark Letestu is playing in more of an offensive role than warranted (at even strength he is not a strong option for that slot in the other) and the result was poor possession against a pretty pedestrian line from the New Jersey side. He did have one golden chance, still have no idea how Schneider made the save.
  • Matt Henrdricks and his line skated miles, while neither side could get a thing done. Seriously. EIGHT MINUTES of even strength time and there were three Corsi events. I don’t think it is possible, probably wrote down the wrong numbers.
  • Leon Draisaitl and his line had some chances (Hall missed early and then set up Letestu for what should have been a goal) but they did not have the edge in play. A late surge helped the numbers, his only shot came as the game wound down. Leon is hurt, pretty sure.
  • Ryan Nugent-Hopkins is badly missed, as we discussed at the time of his injury.

WINGERS, LAST NIGHT

oilers f nov 30

  • Pouliot—Eberle were terrific on the goal, and I thought there was good chem there. Lots of comments about frustration over lack of execution late, but NJD are good at clogging the drain when they are up by a goal.
  • Hall—Pakarinen was not overly effective, I think Purcell moves the needle far better.
  • Purcell—Yakupov played on a weird line, the best chances (Letestu, Purcell) took place when they were not on the line. Perhaps that is the point.
  • Korpikoski—Kassian accomplished little and gave up about the same. In some weird, horrible way, Korpikoski was perfect.

INDIVIDUAL HIGH-DANGER SCORING CHANCES

  • Connor McDavid 1
  • Taylor Hall 1
  • Jordan Eberle 1
  • Iiro Pakarinen 1
  • Mark Letestu 1

POWER PLAY

The Oilers should have a point from last night’s game, but early chances were missed and Schneider was brilliant when required. I also think the power play needs to be mentioned, this team has some terrible vapor-lock moments on entries. I think they need more practice, but they looked so good 5×4 at home I wonder if there is something in the video. Exits and entries seem weird, maybe other teams have scouted them and are offering a different look. Either way, two home games to end the week and one hopes the 5×4 looks better at Rexall.

TRADING SCHULTZ

  • Elliotte Friedman: Nothing imminent as far as I can tell, but the clock is ticking on Justin Schultz in Edmonton. Like Cowen with Ottawa, it is time for both the player and organization. A deal will happen, it’s just a question of when. Source

I hope it gets done soon, Edmonton needs some help on defense and I have had enough of the story. One thing people miss (imo): Schultz may be letting you down, but I think the organization failed him miserably. If you go back and see his TOI totals and handling, it is textbook stupid. During his four NHL seasons, Schultz has averaged over 22 minutes a night. His production was best in his rookie season, and it has been downhill from there. I think a team trading for him could have success, if they understand two things: First, he is NOT a good defenseman so playing him heavy minutes hurts the team. Second, he is not a good outlet passer and does not have a great point shot. Inside the offensive zone, with the puck on his stick, Schultz can make things go. It is a narrow, but valuable window. I think a team with massive offensive tools, like Pittsburgh or Dallas or even Washington, would be an ideal fit.

FIRE THEM INTO THE SUN!

Lots of anger online and on this blog last night, completely understandable. Even a few ‘trade Hall!’ volleys, and that is my signal to have our discussion about logic and reason. No player is perfect, but the Oilers and their fans have been blessed with astounding talent since 2010. No fan base is going to feel sorry for you, nor should they, but the anger you feel need not be addressed at the players, but rather at management. For some reason, Oilers management got it into their heads that they could do a timed rebuild, having things figured out when the new arena opens. This gave rise to addled thinking, ridiculous errors in assessment (Petry v Schultz a good example) and the steaming pile of poop we see before us.

When you watch a game in which the second pairing would make a good third pairing, why do you yell at the player? Did the player bid on the opportunity, win the chance, and then fail to deliver? No sir. As was the case with Shawn Horcoff—who was wildly hated because of his (sic) $7.5M cap hit—people have to get over this need to wave lanterns at runaway trains. It is the management. Same as it ever was. Will Peter Chiarelli fix it? That is chapter next.

  • Goal: Cam Talbot
  • Defense: Andrej Sekera, Mark Fayne, Oscar Klefbom, Brandon Davidson, Darnell Nurse
  • Center: Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins
  • Left Wing: Taylor Hall, Benoit Pouliot
  • Right Wing: Jordan Eberle, Nail Yakupov

That my friends, is a mammoth talent base. My suggestion to you: Stop ripping the living crap out of these men and ask why management, with legion Jacks and Kings, remains unable to gather sixes and sevens and nines.

If you read this, and filter it as an assessment of the talent (as well as a lashing out at personnel), Todd McLellan nails it home with a Charlie Watts cymbal smash:

  • Todd McLellan: ”There are a number of young players who are trying to break into the league and create careers, are they passing the grade? I don’t know. There is a number of players who are trying to hold on and survive, are they doing what they need to do? It is a critical time in the season. And then there are others who have reputations, whether they are really strong or somewhat weak, you have an opportunity to change it or grow it and they let that go today.” Source

The Oilers have the Jacks and Kings, but they need to find balance—and that arrives on the day they stop chasing ridiculous solutions on the blue line, buckle down and find Todd McLellan some actual NHL defensemen. The rest is a shell game.

there will be blood

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

A fun day (four hours again, so Schultz trade could happen when I am on the air! Shut up! It could happen!) beginning at 10, TSN1260. Scheduled to appear:

  • Bruce McCurdy, Cult of Hockey. Oilers slink home a beaten crew.
  • Nathan Dempsey, Campus Director at Vimy Hockey. Confidence and what happens when you lose it—plus how to get it back (in a hockey sense).
  • Scott Cullen, TSN. Trade deadline, Canada’s sad hockey teams and probably some CFL.
  • Moving target for the rest, if the Eskimos snap off a big free-agent signing we will adjust our sights and grab someone to talk about it.

10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. Chin up, you. We have been through worse.

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185 Responses to "THOSE WHO WAVE LANTERNS AT RUNAWAY TRAINS"

  1. frjohnk says:

    Hey, whats the lineup during the Dave’s spot?

  2. Psyche says:

    “That isn’t on those men, that isn’t on the coach—that is on management. You can pay Todd McLellan a lot to take a knife to a gunfight, but you can’t make him happy doing it.” – LT

    Man do I wish you were my boss. I never got half as mad as McLellan and I was smeared and slandered.
    You’re a good soul Mr. Mitchell.

  3. TayLordBalls says:

    That Sir, is bang on.

    The Oil problem is not the players they have but the players they do not have.

  4. Quinlan says:

    Agreed, Mr. Lowetide.

    Also, I think it needs to be emphatically stated – the problem is NOT the coach.

  5. Centre of attention says:

    Rob Tychkowski ‏@Sun_Tychkowski · 13m13 minutes ago
    Oilers coach Todd McLellann said Oscar Klefbom is close enough to returning that he might be able to play on the upcoming homestand.

  6. dustrock says:

    The Oilers have one .500 month during the entire season (December) and February looked promising until the weekend and another step into one of those damnable elevator shafts.

    Let’s talk some more about that. Not one month of dominant play, one month of .500 play. Which is less than mediocre in this league.

    I really can’t tell anymore what this team needs. I feel for Chiarelli. I feel for those who want to blow everything up (other than McDavid). I feel for those who aren’t renewing their season tickets. I feel for those who, rather than getting upset, are simply starting to tune out.

    I think I’ve watched 10 games front to back all year and I doubt I’ll watch another 5.

  7. russ99 says:

    Great post, LT.

    Begs to ask the question, is there any rumblings/movement on MacTavish and Howson looking for a new organization, and if any of Chia’s Boston people possibly shaking loose this summer?

    Also, I’m hopeful that Katz will prefer winning over keeping his people in the new arena where playoff revenue can really bring him some serious coin.

  8. G Money says:

    Don’t know how this is possible given (as far as I’ve heard) he hasn’t even been skating, but …

    Oilers coach Todd McLellann said Oscar Klefbom is close enough to returning that he might be able to play on the upcoming homestand.— Rob Tychkowski (@Sun_Tychkowski) February 10, 2016

  9. G Money says:

    What is a hard candy Christmas?

  10. kinger_OIL says:

    Great post LT!

    – Who is right? If Yak was so talented, he’d be playing top-6 minutes. I know what I think, but management, who knows way more, doesn’t see him as part of the “mammoth talent base”

    – I totally agree LT with Jultz: and @ $2MM (which he will sign for next year), on a team where he is deployed properly, he could make it

    – I just don’t know how they convert/get rid of/speed up development/package all of Griff/ Nurse/Davidson/Fayne/Jultz into top-4 D’s. There aren’t many around, and most teams want them

    – And Klef hasn’t been healthy for a whole season ever as a pro.

  11. bcoil says:

    And we all have to hope that Todd and Peter insure that although they listen to Mr 6 rings et el they do so with the knowledge that these are the folks that have failed to determined good talent for 10 years .So listen leave the office and do what you know is right which is probably the total opposite.

  12. Dicky94 says:

    Yes it is managements fault for this never ending rebuild. Chia is partially to blame for this year but really does need time to fix this before we really rip into him. Waiting to see and assess what he had on defence was a mistake. Everybody knows Nikkitin, Ference , Shultz were not an option anymore and he didn’t bring in able bodies. Nurse should not be playing in the bigs this year. I expect at seasons end Mac T and Howson will be let go as well for their failed efforts.

  13. dustrock says:

    LT – I know it seems the heighth of foolishness to deal away your face cards, but we’ve burned through a number of talented coaches in the last decade, and there continue to be problems with focus, effort level and motivation. Every coach has commented on it. Veteran players have commented on it.

    We can talk about the misuse of Schultz, and that’s a real thing, but I wonder at one point you start to look at Hall and Eberle and RNH as damaged goods as well. They aren’t born losers or they wouldn’t be drafted #1 overall and winning WJHC games. But I wonder if they have been taught to be losers by this organization.

    Quenneville says he never has to worry about the locker room because Toews holds the players to a higher standard than he thought possible. That is partly the force of Toews’ personality and talent, but I suspect also luck is a factor in that the team started winning, and started winning Cups. Then it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

    Could Hall or Eberle or Nuge be a leader like Toews? It’s possible. But if the team doesn’t start to succeed, there’s no reinforcement of what they’re trying to say in the locker room.

    And it’s even worse for guys like Ference, who say all the right things, prepare the right way, and have been to the Cup, but don’t have the talent themselves anymore.

    I think you could plug in Toews or Bergeron or Crosby here, and initially there would be buy-in from the team, because these guys are super talented and professional and have had post-season success. But if the team dallies with another bottom 5 finish, people are going to start to tune out.

    We talk about the pressure of McDavid’s ELC, but to me there is pressure not to have Hall, Eberle and RNH become permanently soured.

    Put this another way: if Hall and Eberle haven’t requested to be traded, what’s wrong with them? 😉

  14. G Money says:

    Re: Drai … at one point last night, I saw him go somewhat tentatively into a corner after the puck, push the Devils player with one arm … and fall down.

    Given that Drai’s game is so built on strong on his skates, strong on the puck, that sure looks like someone who’s not 100%.

    Either that, or he’s losing confidence (possible, but seems unlikely, he still makes incredible plays not in traffic), or Hall’s falling down syndrome is contagious.

  15. Water Fire says:

    Nice write up LT

    I’m starting to worry not nearly enough will happen to shift momentum in the near future. Probably Oiler Fan PTSD. It’s hard to have patience at this point with management, but again they are new so we have to grant them a pass, again. I do have far more confidence in Chiarelli than anyone since Sather.

    This is a talented group of players, but it’s not the right mix, obviously. And Talyor Hall needs to drop the pouty teen thing, it’s not becoming.

  16. Aitch says:

    “Defense: Andrej Sekera, Mark Fayne, Oscar Klefbom, Brandon Davidson, Darnell Nurse”

    Individually, these might be a good five for the blueline. Unfortunately, I don’t think it’s only going to take one addition to turn this group around. Unless you can pull a legit All-Star out of their current team, I don’t see a d-man in the league that is going to be added to this group to make it that much better. At best, four of the five need to come back next season with another couple of vets who can provide some calm. Other than that, the best we can hope for is that Nurse, Klefbom and Davidson are capable of taking their games to the next level as soon as next season, a group that had a combined 95 games of NHL experience prior to this season.

  17. dustrock says:

    Water Fire: Nice write up LTI’m starting to worry not nearly enough will happen to shift momentum in the near future. Probably Oiler Fan PTSD. It’s hard to have patience at this point with management, but again they are new so we have to grant them a pass, again. I do have far more confidence in Chiarelli than anyone since Sather.This is a talented group of players, but it’s not the right mix, obviously. And Talyor Hall needs to drop the pouty teen thing, it’s not becoming.

    But my post above comments exactly on that – you want Hall to be pouting because it means he cares. Would anyone blame him if he wanted out?

    30th place. Again. And again and again.

  18. rich says:

    Well reasoned post coming after 3 disappointing losses in a row.

    Much as I am tired of watching Schultz, your comment on the org failing him is fair. Can also be said that the org has failed a lot of the young men on the roster. Sending them to battle with a sub-par defense year after year is getting tiring.

    It’s also the definition of insanity.

  19. zatch says:

    Water Fire,

    I’m intrigued why, despite a lot of evidence to the contrary, you’ve decided it’s the stars instead of the glaringly obvious lack of any kind of NHL defence over the last near decade.

    EDIT: This was in reponse to Dustrock.

    Stupid fat fingers on my phone.

  20. Water Fire says:

    dustrock: But my post above comments exactly on that – you want Hall to be pouting because it means he cares.Would anyone blame him if he wanted out?

    30th place.Again.And again and again.

    I think pouting is mentally playing the victim. Use the energy to try again, it’s a tough game for everybody.

  21. TeeVee says:

    G Money:
    What is a hard candy Christmas?

    Similar to being put in the Block and taking 100 lashes on the arse.

  22. flea says:

    I think it’s unfair to rip management too much, there is only so much you can do in 1 summer with an NHL team. Chiarelli’s add’s for the most part, have been very good. Sekera, Talbot, even Gryba has been pretty good in his role. Jury is still out on Reinhart but that one is a little too early to call yet.

    The Oilers are flush on LHD and wing, some of those pieces need to be cashed for RHD. Hamonic and Trouba are available, and the Oilers need at least one of them, if not both.

    It’s time to move one of Klefbom or Nurse for Hamonic, and one of the wings for Trouba. Would Winnipeg bite on Reinhart + Yakupov for Trouba? Or will it take Eberle?

  23. Oddspell says:

    G Money:
    Don’t know how this is possible given (as far as I’ve heard) he hasn’t even been skating, but …

    Last game of the homestand is against Ottawa on the 23rd. If he starts skating this week, 7 days doesn’t seem unreasonable, especially considering his injury is an infection, not a break or sprain.

  24. PhrankLee says:

    You nailed it on the head, LT.

    How in the hell does anyone give the thumbs up for a timed rebuild?

    Like your “smartest-men-in-the-room” references of old. It reeks of organizational hubris.

    I agree strongly that the players have been mismanaged.

  25. G Money says:

    dustrock,

    I fully expect that they do demand to be traded if this nonsense keeps up.

    That said, comparisons to Toews bug the shit out of me.

    Toews was drafted 2006, spent a year post-draft in college (which, if I’m understanding the incredibly harsh assessments of our rookies made by a lot of folks, meant he should have been declared a bust then and there), and by the time he made the NHL as a 19 year old, he had 24 yo Duncan Keith and 23 yo Brent Seabrook as his defensive backstops.

    Oh, and Keith spent a year in college/Jr, and two full years in the AHL, before he made the NHL. (Another bust in other words)

    And Seabrook spent two more full years in Jr before making it to the NHL.

    They also had a 22 yo Dustin Byfuglien just getting his feet wet. Also Cam Barker, who was shuttling between the AHL and NHL, and despite his eventual failure, was one year away from his 40 pts in 68 games season.

    And Aucoin and Vandermeer and Sopel as the hairy-assed vets to babysit that uber-talented trio.

    That team (in Toews’ first year) still didn’t make the playoffs!

    But what they did have is three top notch young D in the system, 3 D who’d already had the chance to develop for several years with no pressure on them.

    Toews is a terrific player, but some of the mythology around him is ridiculous.

    if he’d been dumped at the age of 18 into this tire fire of a situation and then demanded that he turn the franchise around (as happened to Hall), we’d be writing a very different story.

  26. DRFNsuperstar says:

    LT,

    You mention a veteran partner coming back, I was thinking the same thing. Nurse needs a Brian Campbell, but who is out there? Is it Fayne? I know everyone hated the Phaneauf trade, but that is going to help Ceci and the rest of the defence for two years, then the cap hit will kick them in the nuts.

    I’ve got it down to four guys, main prerequisite is cap hit gone before the big signing year (Nurse and Mcdavid):

    Chara: 6.9 mill through 17-18
    Hamhuis: UFA sign for 4 mill through 17-18
    Wideman: 5.2 through 16-17
    Carle: 5.5 through 17-18
    Keep Fayne down in the order: 3.6 17-18

    I would be ok with:

    Klefbom-Hamonic
    Davidson-Sekera
    Nurse-Chara
    Reinhart

    How do you guys find Corsi Rel?

  27. dustrock says:

    zatch: Water Fire, I’m intrigued why, despite a lot of evidence to the contrary, you’ve decided it’s the stars instead of the glaringly obvious lack of any kind of NHL defence over the last near decade.EDIT: This was in reponse to Dustrock.Stupid fat fingers on my phone.

    I haven’t decided it was the stars. I just finished Cup of Coffee #1 of 3 so I might not have been clear.

    What I am saying is that there MAY BE problems with the leadership of the young players. That is possible. But what I am saying is that this is again the fault of the organization.

    My point is that any of them could be a leader like Toews, and they could give 110% each game, but if the team isn’t built for success, and you don’t get the success, then there’s nothing to reinforce what they’re saying.

    So I imagine the Oilers locker room is a very confused and frustrated place right now, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Hall, Eberle and RNH are just shrugging their shoulders and starting to play at 80%. It’s human nature.

    It’s like the NFL year after year drafting talented quarterbacks, throwing them to the wolves immediately in their rookie seasons, and then declaring them busts. Then everyone complains how there’s like 5 good QBs in the entire NFL.

  28. G Money says:

    G Money: But what they did have is three top notch young D in the system, 3 D who’d already had the chance to develop for several years with no pressure on them.
    Toews is a terrific player, but some of the mythology around him is ridiculous.

    For clarity, what this means is that when the Hawks won their first Stanley Cup in 2010, people focus on the fact that Toews was only 22, and this causes them to mythologize about him, and point fingers at our youngsters.

    What they seem to forget is that for the team at that point, Duncan Keith was 27 years old, Brent Seabrook was 26, and Dustin Byfuglien was 25. Three ridiculously good defensemen in the primes of their careers [though Byfuglien regularly shuttled to wing, as I recall].

    If you want to understand the difference between the Oiler and Blackhawk rebuild timelines for success, you need look no further.

  29. sunnyways says:

    Lots of positive support for this post, and rightful blame at the management level, but I think the major takeaway deserves to be challenged. Consider an alternative, plausible scenario: some of the jacks and kings are no more than 10’s dressed up in fancy clothing. As many mistakes that have been made during the multiple rebuilds, the most costly one going forward would be to hitch ourselves to a couple top end players that won’t cut it. Are we really just a couple of defenseman, 3rd, 4th line mortar players away from glory? How confident is the current management group in that assessment, I wonder?

  30. dustrock says:

    G Money,

    G Money – yes, that is the point I’m trying to make. I have no doubt Toews is very talented and has a force of personality, but the luck component for the Hawks is that everything started to click at the same time.

    Hall might have been another Toews but he’s been handed a sack of shit each year for his career.

    The question to me is: will Hall, Eberle or RNH be the leaders we hope/expect if the team becomes successful, or has it been beaten out of them?

  31. Nate780 says:

    dustrock,

    same thing they’ve always needed, defense

  32. dustrock says:

    G Money,

    Cult of Personality. We love the idea of “natural born” leaders.

  33. dustrock says:

    Nate780: dustrock, same thing they’ve always needed, defense

    Yes, the 2 constants on the ice for the last several years have been the “core” players and a lack of NHL defence. But that’s not my point.

    Mine is more of a philosophical/prospective comment on leadership and what we can expect from RNH, Hall and Eberle at this point with respect to being “leaders” on this piece of shite organization.

  34. kinger_OIL says:

    – The Jets are short of left-handed defensemen: Davidson + Gryba + for Trouba. What is that +?

    – A Nurse/Dion pairing would have worked. You send away Dion at expansion draft later
    * maybe that’s the play: you get these expensive D, pay up for a few years, then dump them at expansion draft: that’s thinking out of the box…

  35. commonfan14 says:

    Mark Letestu is playing in more of an offensive role than warranted (at even strength he is not a strong option for that slot in the other) and the result was poor possession against a pretty pedestrian line from the New Jersey side. He did have one golden chance, still have no idea how Schneider made the save.

    I think the replay showed pretty clearly how Schneider was able to make the save.

    Letestu had the whole left side and 3/4 of the top of the net open, but put the puck directly into Schneider’s pad in the bottom middle of the net.

    He does that kind of thing.

  36. vinotintazo says:

    commonfan14: He does that kind of thing.

    also… cannot lift the puck to save his life…

    I agree the first save was easy based on positioning. the second one was harder.

    we could complain about the PP and PK yesterday, but we had our chances, Devils just had the better goaltending yesterday.

  37. G Money says:

    dustrock: The question to me is: will Hall, Eberle or RNH be the leaders we hope/expect if the team becomes successful, or has it been beaten out of them?

    It’s possible, but Hall and RNH in particular seem to start every season, including this one, full of piss and vinegar and determined to turn the teams fortunes around. So if it’s happened, it hasn’t happened yet.

    Then by mid-season, it hits them (as it hits most fans, who start the year optimistic) that the team’s roster is yet another sack of shit that Hall & Co. have been asked to turn into bread and wine, and so the ‘blame the rotten core’ noise starts back up.

    Then we start to get mad that they don’t put 110% effort into every game every night. While in the back of their head the anger must just be making them see red that they’ve been putting their bodies and careers on the line every night while management sits up in the box with shit-eating grins on their faces.

    Questioning their leadership is ridiculous.

    There is no leadership in the world that can turn Ference back into an NHL quality defenseman, and no leadership in the world that can turn this roster into a winner.

    You need talent, and you need it on the defense most, the spot where this team lacks most of all.

    Nothing’s going to change until Chia fixes that.

    Nothing.

  38. dustrock says:

    And we’ll have to pay the piper to fix the D, we all know it.

  39. bendelson says:

    kinger_OIL: You send away Dion at expansion draft later

    Perhaps this has been covered already and I missed it, but do we actually know how any upcoming expansion drafts are going to handle a NMC and/or NTC in a contract?

  40. Pouzar says:

    G Money:
    Re: Drai … at one point last night, I saw him go somewhat tentatively into a corner after the puck, push the Devils player with one arm … and fall down.

    Given that Drai’s game is so built on strong on his skates, strong on the puck, that sure looks like someone who’s not 100%.

    Either that, or he’s losing confidence (possible, but seems unlikely, he still makes incredible plays not in traffic), or Hall’s falling down syndrome is contagious.

    Exhibit A against the insanity of trading RNH.

  41. Bruce McCurdy says:

    kinger_OIL:
    – The Jets are short of left-handed defensemen: Davidson + Gryba + for Trouba.What is that +?

    – A Nurse/Dion pairing would have worked.You send away Dion at expansion draft later

    Sure let’s trade the two defencemen who are outperforming their contracts for another kid who by all accounts is digging in to ask for a big payday.

    i wish people would quit trading Brandon Davidson. He is part of the solution.

  42. Clay says:

    Goal: Cam Talbot
    Defense: Andrej Sekera, Mark Fayne, Oscar Klefbom, Brandon Davidson, Darnell Nurse
    Center: Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins
    Left Wing: Taylor Hall, Benoit Pouliot
    Right Wing: Jordan Eberle, Nail Yakupov
    That my friends, is a mammoth talent base.

    I think you’ve outlined this perfectly without directly addressing it. The Oilers have plenty of really talented players, but they’re just a really shitty team.

    Look at the roster that beat them last night. Up front they’re a cobbled together mish-mash of spare parts. All of five Jersey forwards are under contract for next year. Their top scorer is Stempniak, whose on his EIGHTH team, top scoring dman is Flames cast-off Schlemko who signed basically for minimum wage to save his career. They’ve only got 2 real defencemen in Larsson and Greene, and the rest of the blueline is replacement level or below, on paper at least. They have real quality in net, I’ll give them that.

    Yet in the same amount of games, they have 61 points, 14 more than our “massive talent base”. 61 points in the Pacific puts you in 2nd place right now.

    We can say the problem isn’t the coach, and the problem isn’t the players, and the problem is this, that, and the other thing. You want to know why so many of us are frustrated? It isn’t the losing. It’s the massive amount of underachieving.

    The team, flawed in construction as it is, and even with the injuries they’ve had, should be better. This is not the 30th worst roster in the league.

  43. PhrankLee says:

    I hope Justin Schultz reflected on how a simple mental mistake like Clendening made costs actual points in the standings.

    That penalty tied at 1 cannot happen. Lost the game on a delay of game penalty.

  44. PhrankLee says:

    Pouzar: Exhibit A against the insanity of trading RNH.

    Hear, hear.

  45. G Money says:

    sunnyways: Are we really just a couple of defenseman, 3rd, 4th line mortar players away from glory?

    Not necessarily from glory (that will take a yet-better roster, maturity, and some luck), but as has been pointed out several times, adding even just one top pairing D to your team pushes everyone else down a level, and that has the effect of letting your entire defense play better.

    Ignore handedness for a moment, but if this team had Drew Doughty playing RHD for 25 minutes a night at the top of the roster, he pushes Sekera to 2D, Klef when healthy to 3D, and everyone else to 4D or lower. It likely pushes Nurse into the AHL for another year.

    That one add makes the _entire_ lineup better. [yes, it does. Better matchups means better performance]

    A better D lineup across the board makes every line better, because they spend less time in their zone putting out fires, and more time getting the puck out, under more control more often.

    There is a positive domino effect when that happens.

    The Oilers are living the opposite of that domino effect, where a lack of talent at the top end of the D means every pairing and every line suffers, and have been pretty much since Pronger left.

  46. Spydyr says:

    “That my friends, is a mammoth talent base. ”

    The team’s record states otherwise.

  47. Oilers8833 says:

    Once again I think we overvalue what our team is exactly. I think as it stand right now we have McDavid, Hall, RNH, Draisaitl, Klefbom, Sekera…and maybe Davidson (steady/value contract) that are players/contracts that you build around. The rest are either good players but not a good fit for what this team needs (ie. Eberle,Yak…possibly Pouliot), flat out average or worse NHL calibre players (Fayne, Gryba, Korpse, Pak, Letestu, Lander ….on and on) or unproven but talented prospects (Nurse,Reinhart).

    As you can see the list of average or the 4,5,6s are the bulk of that list and I haven’t even included the goalies that have been average and the high end and below replacement level at worst (barring some chunks of good play here and there).

    Where I think we overvalue players is on how they fit the team’s needs and not necessarily their talent level. Eberle for example is great when he is scoring but provides little when he is not doing the one dimension of his game he does well. Yakupov, while I love his effort is really Justin Schultz on offence (1 years experience 4 times and unsupported by the organization).

    Long story short until we can get more NHL calibre players, especially on defence and a different mix of forwards to support the core of McDavid,Hall,RNH and Draisaitl, we will be spinning our wheels and getting deeper in the mud like the last lost decade of my life as an Oilers fan.

    With that said its not all doom and gloom, but the next six months is probably the most important time in franchise history. It either sets the team in the right direction or sinks us into the abyss for another decade.

  48. Truth says:

    PhrankLee:
    I hope Justin Schultz reflected on how a simple mental mistake like Clendening made costs actual points in the standings.

    That penalty tied at 1 cannot happen. Lost the game on a delay of game penalty.

    In fairness, a delay of game penalty by flipping the puck over the glass is not the players fault. Just a gimmick to increase scoring in the league.

  49. Магия 10 says:

    G Money:
    What is a hard candy Christmas?

    Imagine hard candy in a Christmas stocking and nothing under the tree. Also a Dolly song with this refrain:

    Fine and dandy
    Lord it’s like a hard candy Christmas
    I’m barely getting through tomorrow
    But still I won’t let
    Sorrow bring me way down

  50. BAUCE says:

    Spydyr:
    “That my friends, is a mammoth talent base. ”

    The team’s record states otherwise.

    There are many teams that do much more with much less “talent”.

  51. kinger_OIL says:

    Bruce McCurdy,

    – Trouba next year will be in T+4 in NHL and he’s a RHD: sure, lets wait for Davidson to go through his inevitable growing pains, and hope he turns into a top-4 D.

    – Trouba is by virtually all numbers, bona-fide top-4. You have to give to get better next year

    http://www.stanleycupofchowder.com/2016/2/9/10944392/there-may-be-trouba-ahead-how-bruins-can-target-jacob-trouba

  52. wheatnoil says:

    G Money: Not necessarily from glory (that will take a yet-better roster, maturity, and some luck), but as has been pointed out several times, adding even just one top pairing D to your team pushes everyone else down a level, and that has the effect of letting your entire defense play better.

    Ignore handedness for a moment, but if this team had Drew Doughty playing RHD for 25 minutes a night at the top of the roster, he pushes Sekera to 2D, Klef when healthy to 3D, and everyone else to 4D or lower.It likely pushes Nurse into the AHL for another year.

    That one add makes the _entire_ lineup better.

    A better D lineup across the board makes every line better, because they spend less time in their zone putting out fires, and more time getting the puck out, under more control more often.

    There is a positive domino effect when that happens.

    The Oilers are living the opposite of that domino effect, where a lack of talent at the top end of the D means every pairing and every line suffers, and have been pretty much since Pronger left.

    Not that I disagree with what you write here, but I think this line of thinking has paralyzed management for a long time. You could see it a year and a half ago (it seems like ages) when MacT was talking about not being able to have too many D making $4M… that you need to have one D making $7M and maybe one or two making $1 or $2M.

    This blue-line was constructed based on a mythical Pronger coming in to save it of all its sins. Outside of Subban, Karlsson, Doughty… maybe Byfuglien and Weber… there are 24 other times that are able to put together a D-core without a McDavid-esque blueline saviour. Case in point… New Jersey, yesterday.

    The Oilers have been throwing away Top 4 D because they’re not #1D since the time Pronger left. Petry, Gilbert, Souray, Vishnovsky, Spacek, maybe Hejda to name a few off the top of my head.

    I think we need to stop looking for a stud #1 RHD and just look at getting an array of Top 4 D. Maybe let’s get “a bunch of D making $4M”. If you have too many Top 4 D and a #1D comes available… well you’re going to need to send one of those Top 4s over there to get him anyways.

    And even if you do get Doughty and add him to this team today, that still leaves exactly TWO legitimate Top 4 D-men who have played that role consistently for 82 straight games.

  53. kinger_OIL says:

    Clay,

    – I agree: we just have emotional fan connections to those players: put that in front of another fan in another organization, they don’t say: “wow”, becausee that group of “talent” is last-place hockey

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

    Clay,

    This right here 100%

    30 place teams (theoretically) are so horribly contructed that they cannot help but finish in 30th place because they are incapable of generating the requisite chances/goals to actually win hockey games.

    The last three games have been so incredibly frustrating because in my eye it wasnt really about the roster construction (the advanced stats showed this) it had everything to do with folding the damn tent and packing it in. It was mental more than physical.

    That is what has me so damn worked up for the last week. These were all winnable hockey games if the team could have found another step. They had the step in the first two games after the ASB and kicked the crap out of teams that were similarly constructed and unbalanced. I’m all for railing against a management but dammit these three losses are mental losses against equal or lesser (based strictly on reading the lineups on paper) opposition and the team completely crapped the bed. That kind of stuff isn’t on management, that’s on players willing to dig a bit deeper and make smart hockey plays.

    A couple of very quick and in no way representative examples:
    Sekera is being paid to make smart decisions but with Hall-Drai on the ice, down a goal in the final few minutes he button hooks back into is on end, gets trapped and wastes the shift for those guys. Ditto with Clandennings absolutely bizarre flip the puck ver everyone for an icing when he had CMD and Eberle ahead of him both open for a pass. To go to the game winner, why in girds name do town men who have played hockey for decades decide that staring at the puck after a shot is more important than tying up a stick or grabbing a man? Pouliot stared at the shot and his check was busy putting the 2-1 behind Talbot. That isn’t roster construction that’s laziness.

    These are the types of errors that aren’t on management, that is on the player and that kind of crap loses hockey games.

  55. Spydyr says:

    Goal:

    Cam Talbot Bottom half of the NHL in starting goalies

    Defense:

    Andrej Sekera- good 3-4 defenceman playing above his level in top pairing
    Mark Fayne-4-5 defenceman playing above his level,
    Oscar Klefbom-Good young defenceman show promice but injury prone early in his career
    Brandon Davidson, – Nicest surprise on the Oilers in a while could one day be a dependable 3-4 guy
    Darnell Nurse-Monster should turn into a beast -potential top pairing guy

    Center:

    Connor McDavid-Next best player in the NHL
    Leon Draisaitl,-Big centre great skater show promise but has been hot and cold early in his career which should be expected.-potential here
    Ryan Nugent-Hopkins-Smart two way center does not get enough credit from many for what he does bring at such a young age

    Left Wing:

    Taylor Hall-Skates like the wind puts up points but is far from having a complete game.. Too many giveaways at both bluelines.Still plays too much of a junior game,Can be lackadaisical on the back check If he learns to skate back as hard as going to the net he could be a great player.
    Benoit Pouliot-Support player.Disappears for lengths of time.

    Right Wing:

    Jordan Eberle-All world hands,great finisher in close.Weak without the puck especially along the boards and on the backcheck.Sam Gagner with better finish.
    Nail Yakupov-Looks lost on the ice. Never in the right spot.Skates miles to nowhere.Could very well be a draft bust

  56. Quinlan says:

    So Ehrhoff anyone?

  57. Quinlan says:

    Bob McKenzie ‏@TSNBobMcKenzie now7 seconds ago
    Christian Ehrhoff (LAK) on waivers.

  58. Ca$h-McMoney! says:

    kinger_OIL,

    To me I’d rather have Hamonic than Trouba simply because of the contract.

    I’d try to flib Ebs for Trouba and Trouba for Hamonic. I think the Jets could use Ebs scoring touch, and they certainly don’t want to pay him a lot to play 3RD, and I think the Isles would love Trouba for Hamonic.

  59. frjohnk says:

    Pouzar: Exhibit A against the insanity of trading RNH.

    The insanity of trading RNH would be in not getting a good return.

    Trading RNH is insane if we get a 3rd pairing D man, a 3rd line center and late 1st round pick.

    But if the return is possible, not trading RNH for a top pairing Dman would be insane. We can still have 3 scoring lines with the pickup of a center who can play the 3rd line.

    If we are to draft BPA, at some point we need to trade for need.

    Now if we can keep RNH, Drai and McDavid as our 3 centers and get 4 top 4 D men ( with 2 top pairing in this group) for next year, then I’m all for it.

    But at some point, this team needs balance.

    The way I see it, is that we have two major trade chips I would use first to get a top pairing D man before looking at RNH as a trade chip. UFA will not fix the D.

    The 2016 1st rounder and Eberle. Now both alone wont fix it, but some kind of package with these pieces could get it done.

    I’m not advocating a RNH trade…..yet. But if we ever want balance, he might be the piece that goes.

  60. Younger Oil says:

    Erhoff on waivers.

    11 points in 40 games this season.

    -11 on a team with a +25 goal differential.

  61. wheatnoil says:

    Quinlan:
    So Ehrhoff anyone?

    I wanted him during the summer. I still think the season would’ve been different had they signed him and bought out Nikitin. Maybe there would’ve been a taker for Schultz last off-season, who knows, though Ehrhoff probably wasn’t interested.

    Los Angeles is a ridiculous team. Just absolutely ridiculous.

  62. kinger_OIL says:

    Ca$h-McMoney!,

    – Agree:but if you got both…Does the ‘Peg want to add a steve austin salary though?

  63. Oil2Oilers says:

    Bruce McCurdy: i wish people would quit trading Brandon Davidson. He is part of the solution.

    If Brandon Davidson is the 3D pairing Left Defenceman next year the Oilers might have a decent defence.

    The Left Defense depth chart on current ability, as I see it; Klefbom, Sekera, Davidson, Nurse, Reinhart.

    I like both Nurse and Reinhart but would prefer they beat Davidson out of the spot on merit. This might take a few years to happen.

    Because Oilers, myself and I assume everyone else here, don’t think this will happen. The prize young horses will be trotted out before their time.

  64. Water Fire says:

    Errorhoff is exactly what the Oilers need.

  65. dustrock says:

    Tencer tweeted that the Oilers are on track to finish in the top half for 5v5 scoring since 2008 but don’t have a player in the top 100 for PP points.

  66. Ribs says:

    Erhoff would make a good Schultz replacement. Bigger, can play on the right side (left hand shot, though), scores about the same, UFA at the end of the year if he sucks. Hmmm…

  67. wheatnoil says:

    Water Fire:
    Errorhoff is exactly what the Oilers need.

    … at the start of the year. Now it makes little sense to put in a claim. Contract expires at the end of the year and an older player.

    He’s been a positive possession player in LA (though I would be a positive possession player in LA). I think the main reason he gets waived is his PDO is second lowest on the team among D. That and LA is ridiculously good on D and could probably use every penny of cap room if they want to make another add at the deadline.

  68. Younger Oil says:

    If we have a pick in the top 3 this year, I bet we can trade down a few spots and get a decent defender as well, and then trade the pick in the 5-10 range and a prospect for a top 4 defender, or with someone like Eberle for a top 2 defender.

    Something along turning a top 2-3 pick and a prospect/pick into the 5th-10th overall and Ceci from Ottawa or Trouba from Winnipeg, and then the 5th-10th OV and Eberle for a whale (let’s just say Pietrangelo for arguments sake).

    Then go into next year with:

    Hall-Nuge-Drai
    Pou-McD-Yak
    Kassian-Lander-Purcell
    Hendricks-Letestu-Korpse

    Sekera-Pietrangelo
    Klefbom-Ceci/Trouba
    Davidson-Fayne

    Talbot
    Brossoit

    3rd line could use some work, but that defence is a sight for sore eyes, without even factoring in Nurse or Reinhart (one of whom may have to be an added piece in one of the suggested trades).

  69. alice13 says:

    In fairness to the assembly of defence, one of your top pair has been out and That pushes everyone up the roster. The ‘top pairing add’ to push everyone down the roster is on IR. Would it be nice to have been deeper? Sure. But Nurse and Clendening are where they are at least partly due to Kfefbom’s injury, and secondarily the misread on Reinhart. As planned – with both those contributing – Chia had made a pretty reasonable bet on the blue line. In February that’s hard to remember though.

  70. PhrankLee says:

    Truth: In fairness, a delay of game penalty by flipping the puck over the glass is not the players fault.Just a gimmick to increase scoring in the league.

    Well that equates to a missed assignment at a very significant time in a very tight game.

    That is on the player. Mental toughness. What coaches call bearing down, if you will.

    Gimmick or not it is a penalty and it is avoidable.

  71. DRFNsuperstar says:

    So if Erhoff is on waivers how the shit does anyone expect to get a return on Schultz?….

  72. G Money says:

    wheatnoil,

    You’re echoing my playbook, my good man. I’ve made a dozen posts pointing out that these ridiculous trade proposals that consist of trading garbage for a 1D are pipe dreams.

    We are not getting a 1D for anything short of McDavid.

    Building around a 1D is not an option for this team. This team needs to build around its 3 elite centres, one elite winger, and a top notch D corps that consists of 6 Top 4 quality D. [we have two of them right now, and one is on IR]

    The point of explaining the effect of a Doughty or a Suter etc is to point out one of the reasons why a team built around a guy like that has an easier time of building a passable D corps.

    And also why comparisons of our youngsters to Toews (who had Keith, Seabrook, and Byfuglien in their prime as his top 3 D) are meaningless.

  73. DRFNsuperstar says:

    Also, don’t we get last dibs on waiver wire?

  74. G Money says:

    Ehrhoff was a good risk signing at the start of the year, which presumably is why LA signed him.

    The risk was primarily around whether his concussion history (combined with age) had long-term (or permanently) reduced his level of play.

    I think we have the answer.

  75. linkfromhyrule says:

    Right, let’s just completely ignore the fact that NJD are rocking a team SV% that is a full .018 better than ours. It’s definitely our core and not our inconsistent goaltending.
    (all situations)
    NJD Tied for 3rd @ .922 SV%
    EDM Tied for 24th @ .904 SV%

    If we swapped just our goaltending, EDM would give up 32 less goals, NJD would give up 29 more goals. That is simply outrageous. With all the one goal games we have lost, how many more wins is that? It would put as 9th in GA/G at 2.44, representing a 0.58 reduction in GA/G. Unreal.

    In addition to their goaltending being vastly superior, their shot suppression is also much better. NJD have always been strangely good at this, regardless of their roster.

    NJD 9th SA/G @ 28.8
    EDM 26th SA/G @ 31.3

    NJD have mostly awful F (dead last in GF/G), but it’s their goaltending and D that are vastly superior to ours. The lack of depth is just the cherry on top for our roster. I feel for them.

    Taylor “Sisyphus” Hall, definitely the problem.

  76. vinotintazo says:

    linkfromhyrule: if we swapped just our goaltending, EDM would give up 32 less goals, NJD would give up 29 more

    Your dont honestly think is that simple right?

    NJD Play a great team defence game.

    they have a good PP%

    and good goaltending.

    its not just he goaltending that wins them games, just gives them a chance.

  77. sliderule says:

    The oilers are 22nd in goal for and 23rd in shots for.

    That is with all the number one pick forwards on team.

    To my eyes other than Eberle and hopefully Mcdavid they can’t finish.

    Hall is a chance machine but he doesn’t shoot accurately .His breakaway was an example of why he isn’t used in shootouts .

    Yak mostly flays at puck mostly whiffing ,missing net or into pads.I am amazed he scored all those goals in junior.

    Leon was shooting hot but he has cooled off.Injured?

    These players the oilers are counting on to score are young and they could improve but so far Hall hasn’t so I wonder.

    There are more problems with this team than finding a number one defenceman.

  78. linkfromhyrule says:

    vinotintazo,

    Lol maybe if you read the rest of my post you would see it. Schneider has a career long sample size of above average SV%. He is one of the best in the league. You can’t deflect and say that he just “gives them a chance”

    without Schneider, NJD is nowhere close to being a playoff team. They are dead last in GF/G ffs.

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

    vinotintazo,

    Was watching their feed last night, PP has only jumped in the last six games And I don’t think that’s a good comparison considering the theoretical firepower that Edmonton has on its PP.

    Someone just mentioned that the Oilers don’t have a single player in the top 100 on the PP. how the hell is tat actually possible? I’m all for blaming the management when 5v5 scoring is an issue but to have those kinds of offensive horses and be that bad on the PP is mind boggling.

    That’s one area that has been a black hole for a long while and I’m not sure Tavis Hamonic (defensive savior de juer) can do anything to help fix that.

    sliderule,

    This lines up with what I wa starting to get at above and I agree. I’m not going to pile on Hall but I don’t think that any of the Oilers high draft picks are legitimate scorers. Which is probably why we see so many passes and few shot attempts on PPs.

    Someone also said it earlier and I hate to admit but am again feeling the same way about poor Yak. 1 years experience 5 times, his reads going in on the forecheck or in his own zone just don’t seem to have improved year over year. Hopefully he’ll get it sorted out because he’s a great person but as many on here have already noted it’s time to see some calculable improvement

  80. linkfromhyrule says:

    SayItAin’tSo, Gretz, SayItAin’tSo!: That’s one area that has been a black hole for a long while and I’m not sure Tavis Hamonic (defensive savior de juer) can do anything to help fix that.

    Two words: Justin Schultz.

    The Oilers PP TOI leader.

  81. frjohnk says:

    Looking at shots against from the low, medium and high danger areas

    EDM ranks
    9th in allowing the most shots from the low danger area
    7th in allowing the most shots from the medium danger area
    6th in allowing the most shots from the high danger area

    If we add the medium and high danger shots together, this is where 83% of all goals are scored from
    EDM ranks
    6th in allowing the most shots from the medium and high danger areas with 17.5 per game

    Worst is Van at 19.1 per game
    Best is NSH at 14.2 per game
    League average is 16.2 per game

    Now if we see that the Oilers defense is basically at the bottom with points for, Id say our defense needs a ton of work.

  82. The Hermit says:

    Runaway Train

    http://youtu.be/NRtvqT_wMeY

    Fits my mood at the moment.

  83. Water Fire says:

    wheatnoil: … at the start of the year. Now it makes little sense to put in a claim. Contract expires at the end of the year and an older player.

    He’s been a positive possession player in LA (though I would be a positive possession player in LA). I think the main reason he gets waived is his PDO is second lowest on the team among D. That and LA is ridiculously good on D and could probably use every penny of cap room if they want to make another add at the deadline.

    I meant to be sarcastic there

  84. knighttown says:

    I find it hard to blame the players, they are batting too high in the order. Last night, in New Jersey, Edmonton’s third pair must have been dizzy most of the night—simply not able. That isn’t on those men, that isn’t on the coach—that is on management. You can pay Todd McLellan a lot to take a knife to a gunfight, but you can’t make him happy doing it.

    Oh come on LT. After watching a Devils team beat the Oilers you’re really going to say the Oilers took a knife to a gun fight?

    So is it Bobby Farnham you want from this incredible roster? Joseph Blandisi? Reid Boucher? Jordan Tootoo? Sergey Kalinen? Steven Gionta? Jacob Josefson? Tyler Kennedy? Seth Helgeson? David Schlemko? These guys are all AHLers and waiver wire fodder. And I have avoided the “good” Devils who also suck and were on waivers because that would cause unnecessary debate about how good Lee Stempniak is.

    The Oilers have the gun is this preposterous scenario but the issue is that they are holding it facing the wrong direction.

    You can’t possibly look at this roster and say the Oilers were outmanned. Doing so distracts from whatever the fuck the real problem is, which is, constantly underachieving to their talent level.

    It can’t be coaching cause we’ve had a dozen. Injuries haven’t helped but c’mon, they are still miles ahead of the Devils on paper.

    I honestly don’t know what the issue is but it certainly isn’t Mark Letestu playing too high in the batting order.

    Someone really needs to look at these rosters and find out why one is in the playoffs and one isn’t. If healthy:

    Hall-Draisatl- Purcell vs Blandisi-Henrique-Stempniak (Oilers win)
    Pouliot-McDavid-Eberle vs Kalinen-Zajac-Palmieri (Oilers win)
    Boucher-Josefson-Kennedy vs Yak-Nuge-Kassian (OIlers win)
    Farnham- Gionat- Kennedy vs Hendricks-Pakarinen- Letestu (Oilers win)

    Sekera-Klefbom vs Greene-Larsson (wash)
    Davidson- Gryba vs Gelinas-Schlemko (wash)
    Nurse- Fayne vs Severson-Moore (wash)

    The answer to this is the answer to whatever is wrong with this team

  85. digger50 says:

    Excellent Post thank you LT

    This team has undeniable talent, that is a truth. As they say, talent is not enough and again this is true, the results are underwhelming. The question is why?

    Talented drafted players have not been developed properly? Perhaps and that needs looked at going forward, but not going to help today.

    Players not playing to potential? What drives a player to play his best? Usually the answer is they play for each other and a coach. Demoralized players feeding off each other is toxic. (or they end up playing for themselves, contract or stats)
    Confidence and encouragement are critical – we are in a negative cycle here. If they don’t get it through wins how can this be promoted?

    Coaching? Somewhat true. We draft players for their skills and then ask them to play their weaknesses. We do this out of necessity as we don’t have enough different types of players. Nobody drives the net because they never have as they developed through all years of minor hockey. The star players are the shooters, the playmakers, not the muckers.

    Leadership? Talented players breaking into the league must have leadership, not be counted on to be that leadership. They have their hands full already. Who do they watch and lean from? That is the difference with someone like Towes. He watched, he learned and then stepped forward.

    Put any of these high draft picks on different teams and they do better. Why? They have more confidence. They are sheltered. They have others to learn from. They are deployed to their strengths.

    LT you call it balance and I feel it is the obvious missing ingredient. Too much one dimensional skill does not work. The reason the team is not doing well is due to the players it does not have yet. We need different types of talent. The coach needs more tools, more dimensions to build lines and play situations.

    We need a true captain. (please don’t say McDavid) Veteran leadership
    We need the best muckers/grit players we can find
    We need a defenseman that has skills the present group lacks (balance)
    We need everyone to go and get drunk in Calgary, raise some shit, back each other up and come together as a team.

    Enjoying the posts today, so much more reasonable than the Oilers Nation posts.

  86. Ribs says:

    knighttown: Hall-Draisatl- Purcell vs Blandisi-Henrique-Stempniak (Oilers win)
    Pouliot-McDavid-Eberle vs Kalinen-Zajac-Palmieri (Oilers win)
    Boucher-Josefson-Kennedy vs Yak-Nuge-Kassian (OIlers win)
    Farnham- Gionat- Kennedy vs Hendricks-Pakarinen- Letestu (Oilers win)
    Sekera-Klefbom vs Greene-Larsson (wash)
    Davidson- Gryba vs Gelinas-Schlemko (wash)
    Nurse- Fayne vs Severson-Moore (wash)

    So your answer is goaltending 🙂

  87. jonrmcleod says:

    A little something I wrote as we wait for the inevitable Justin Schultz trade. 🙂

    http://www.theoilersrig.com/2016/02/12273/

  88. Water Fire says:

    G Money:
    wheatnoil,

    You’re echoing my playbook, my good man.I’ve made a dozen posts pointing out that these ridiculous trade proposals that consist of trading garbage for a 1D are pipe dreams.

    We are not getting a 1D for anything short of McDavid.

    Building around a 1D is not an option for this team.This team needs to build around its 3 elite centres, one elite winger, and a top notch D corps that consists of 6 Top 4 quality D. [we have two of them right now, and one is on IR]

    The point of explaining the effect of a Doughty or a Suter etc is to point out one of the reasons why a team built around a guy like that has an easier time of building a passable D corps.

    And also why comparisons of our youngsters to Toews (who had Keith, Seabrook, and Byfuglien in their prime as his top 3 D) are meaningless.

    Good points.

    Getting a D or two more rounded than Fayne and Gryba would help a lot and push the youth to third pair.

    They will have to draft that special D like everyone else did. I think Chychrun might be that player, better than anyone they currently have.

  89. godot10 says:

    Quinlan:
    Agreed, Mr. Lowetide.

    Also, I think it needs to be emphatically stated – the problem is NOT the coach.

    But the coach ISN’T helping. Yeah, the roster has problems, but that is no excuse for not getting 77 points. If he can’t match Krueger or Nelson, when he has a better roster.

  90. vinotintazo says:

    godot10: but that is no excuse for not getting 77 points.**

    **Projected

    FTFY

  91. godot10 says:

    kinger_OIL:

    – And Klef hasn’t been healthy for a whole season ever as a pro.

    Klefbom was healthy all of last season pretty much.

  92. VanIsleOil says:

    The Hermit:
    Runaway Train

    http://youtu.be/NRtvqT_wMeY

    Fits my mood at the moment.

    I concur, but after watching this last trifecta of games, it has me more in this mood… CRAZY TRAIN

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k1lG1y0R6sU

  93. Water Fire says:

    knighttown:
    I find it hard to blame the players, they are batting too high in the order. Last night, in New Jersey, Edmonton’s third pair must have been dizzy most of the night—simply not able. That isn’t on those men, that isn’t on the coach—that is on management. You can pay Todd McLellan a lot to take a knife to a gunfight, but you can’t make him happy doing it.

    Oh come on LT.After watching a Devils team beat the Oilers you’re really going to say the Oilers took a knife to a gun fight?

    So is it Bobby Farnham you want from this incredible roster?Joseph Blandisi?Reid Boucher?Jordan Tootoo? Sergey Kalinen?Steven Gionta? Jacob Josefson? Tyler Kennedy? Seth Helgeson?David Schlemko?These guys are all AHLers and waiver wire fodder.And I have avoided the “good” Devils who also suck and were on waivers because that would cause unnecessary debate about how good Lee Stempniak is.

    The Oilers have the gun is this preposterous scenario but the issue is that they are holding it facing the wrong direction.

    You can’t possibly look at this roster and say the Oilers were outmanned.Doing so distracts from whatever the fuck the real problem is, which is, constantly underachieving to their talent level.

    It can’t be coaching cause we’ve had a dozen.Injuries haven’t helped but c’mon, they are still miles ahead of the Devils on paper.

    I honestly don’t know what the issue is but it certainly isn’t Mark Letestu playing too high in the batting order.

    Someone really needs to look at these rosters and find out why one is in the playoffs and one isn’t.If healthy:

    Hall-Draisatl- Purcell vs Blandisi-Henrique-Stempniak (Oilers win)
    Pouliot-McDavid-Eberle vs Kalinen-Zajac-Palmieri (Oilers win)
    Boucher-Josefson-Kennedy vs Yak-Nuge-Kassian (OIlers win)
    Farnham- Gionat- Kennedy vs Hendricks-Pakarinen- Letestu (Oilers win)

    Sekera-Klefbom vs Greene-Larsson (wash)
    Davidson- Gryba vs Gelinas-Schlemko (wash)
    Nurse- Fayne vs Severson-Moore (wash)

    The answer to this is the answer to whatever is wrong with this team

    There is a certain way you have to play in the NHL to be successful and the Oiler’s players won’t do it. Talented hockey players aren’t in short supply. Talented disciplined players that win are.

    It’s why Chicago has kept winning. Somebody posted a link the other day that had a quote where Quenneville said Toews holds guys to such a high standard they keep a level he could never keep them at.

    He works harder and is more disciplined than the others, leads by example. This is another thing the Oilers lack and McL referred to the other day, no one is stepping up. It’s more than just talking, part of it is on the ice, playing the right way.

    As great as Hall is, who can he call out for weak play? His game has miles to mature yet. CMD is too green. Nuge is the hardest working player on the team as I see it, maybe that’s not in his nature though.

  94. kinger_OIL says:

    godot10: Klefbom was healthy all of last season pretty much.

    He played 60 games last year…

  95. LadiesloveSmid says:

    kinger_OIL,

    I would count the games he spent in the AHL

    Hamonic never plays more than 70 games and we’re going gaga for him

  96. GXL says:

    The Oilers have the Jacks and Kings, but they need to find balance—and that arrives on the day they stop chasing ridiculous solutions on the blue line, buckle down and find Todd McLellan some actual NHL defensemen.

    What it comes down to is the terrible PRO scouting the Oilers have had over the years. I’m amazed that when things got sour two years ago that McGregor wore the hat when year after year it was the pro scouts that couldn’t find a single player to help a young team. They didn’t even have to find great skill players but players who could fill in the support role. Korporkosi is a good example of a terrible player that we brought on. Yes Chiraelli ultimately wears this trade but where did he get his info from?

    GXL

  97. vinotintazo says:

    kinger_OIL: He played 60 games last year…

    To be fair, I think he started in the AHL.

  98. digger50 says:

    jonrmcleod,

    I watched your video clip here ten times and now my eyes are watering. Still laughing.

  99. Sevenseven says:

    The projected free agent forward group looks deep. I think a 3 for 1 would be the only way to fix the defense. I remember the pronger trade hurt, I hated to see Brewer go. But if it takes one of our top lefties, that might be what it takes. Wingers are a dime a dozen. They make it to free agency. Defensman who play almost 30 min a night and dominate at all disciplines are not cheap, if ever available. I’d argue they are more valuable than a first line center. It’s too bad it’s the cap era. Quebec won the Lindros trade, hands down. If they could get a haul like that for McDavid….

  100. islandoilerfan says:

    First time poster, I enjoy LT.s site as for the most part the posters are of reasonable sanity compared to some sites. I believe the oilers have some unbelievable talent but they just don’t fit together. I agree with Knighttown that on paper that MacL was not outgunned by the NewJersey roster as well as a good third of the teams they face. I don’t believe adding one top RHD will fix what ails this team, and as much as it will hurt, a few of the core will have to leave before they achieve a balanced roster and consistant success. Peter C. has a huge task ahead of him.

  101. jonrmcleod says:

    digger50,

    I can’t take credit for it. But it’s really the ultimate “adding insult to injury.”

  102. knighttown says:

    Water Fire: There is a certain way you have to play in the NHL to be successful and the Oiler’s players won’t do it. Talented hockey players aren’t in short supply. Talented disciplined players that win are.

    It’s why Chicago has kept winning. Somebody posted a link the other day that had a quote where Quenneville said Toews holds guys to such a high standard they keep a level he could never keep them at.

    He works harder and is more disciplined than the others, leads by example. This is another thing the Oilers lack and McL referred to the other day, no one is stepping up. It’s more than just talking, part of it is on the ice, playing the right way.

    As great as Hall is, who can he call out for weak play? His game has miles to mature yet. CMD is too green. Nuge is the hardest working player on the team as I see it, maybe that’s not in his nature though.

    I agree with this.

  103. digger50 says:

    jonrmcleod,

    Put it on the Rexall Jumbotron, my god we need to have more fun.

  104. JDï™ says:

    VanIsleOil: I concur, butafter watching this last trifecta of games, it has me more in this mood… CRAZY TRAIN

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k1lG1y0R6sU

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zj5A7W-0zPY

  105. wheatnoil says:

    Water Fire: I meant to be sarcastic there

    Ah… nevermind then! 🙂

  106. Professor Q says:

    I think Brossoit will do well, I really do.

    Hopefully Nilsson gains some confidence and stability down in Bakersfield, too.

  107. LoDog says:

    Younger Oil: Christian Ehrhoff

    Weren’t Ehrhoff and Franson popular targets around here? One on waivers the other Buffalo can’t give away.

  108. wheatnoil says:

    Brossoit up, Nilsson down.

    Try-outs for next year begin now.

  109. russ99 says:

    The sad thing is we could have a reel like that for every one of our defensemen, except Davidson and maybe Sekera, and even he had a bad first month.

  110. Professor Q says:

    Water Fire: There is a certain way you have to play in the NHL to be successful and the Oiler’s players won’t do it. Talented hockey players aren’t in short supply. Talented disciplined players that win are.

    It’s why Chicago has kept winning. Somebody posted a link the other day that had a quote where Quenneville said Toews holds guys to such a high standard they keep a level he could never keep them at.

    He works harder and is more disciplined than the others, leads by example. This is another thing the Oilers lack and McL referred to the other day, no one is stepping up. It’s more than just talking, part of it is on the ice, playing the right way.

    As great as Hall is, who can he call out for weak play? His game has miles to mature yet. CMD is too green. Nuge is the hardest working player on the team as I see it, maybe that’s not in his nature though.

    McDavid holds himself to a higher level than he holds himself to – hence why it keeps rising.

    I’m sure he’ll be able to have that ooze out into his teammates like he did in Erie and elsewhere.

    Eventually, of course.

  111. godot10 says:

    Water Fire:
    Errorhoff is exactly what the Oilers need.

    Ehrhoff, of five years ago, is exactly what the Oilers need. Not the Ehrhoff of today. Plus he is another left shot D.

    The OIlers got the better version of him last summer in Sekera.

  112. Racki says:

    wheatnoil:
    Brossoit up, Nilsson down.

    Try-outs for next year begin now.

    Saw a lot of him as an Oil King, and I was ecstatic when the Oilers traded for him. He’s in tough… playing goal on this team is no easy task. But I’m anxious to see how the young chap does. I think it will be good though…. if he doesn’t do well… well, that could be chalked up to how tough a team it is to goaltend for. If he does well.. then that will do wonders for a young guy’s confidence. Either way, I’m sure he’ll be happy at the chance to play a handful of games with the big club.

  113. Pouzar says:

    LB!!!!

    He was starting to wear down a bit though the last few starts in the “A”.
    Hopefully he gets a jolt of adrenaline being called up.

  114. Pouzar says:

    Mark Spector (@SportsnetSpec) | Twitter

    https://twitter.com/SportsnetSpec

    4 mins ago – View on Twitter

    #Oilers bring goalie G Laurent Brossoit up, farm Anders Nilsson out. The final tweak in the rebuild.

  115. AsiaOil says:

    It’s the right move……..see if he’s ready to backup net year.

    Too bad about the Swede – nice size and talent but his form just went completely south in December and never came back.

    wheatnoil:
    Brossoit up, Nilsson down.

    Try-outs for next year begin now.

  116. LMHF#1 says:

    Sevenseven:
    I remember the Pronger trade hurt, I hated to see Brewer go.

    You’re making a funny joke here right?

    Either that or you were the only sad Oilers fan that evening.

  117. godot10 says:

    kinger_OIL: He played 60 games last year…

    He missed about 5 games sitting in the press box to start the season plus 9 games in the AHL. And there were one or two shuttles.

    So 69 actual games + 5 games in the OIlers PB to start the season + one or two shuttling, and he is well into the mid-seventies in games played. He was healthy.

  118. kinger_OIL says:

    vinotintazo,

    Yes that’s fair, but he did miss games last year (he’s missed games every year). Not saying its a problem, just saying its a fact: he hasn’t played a complete year ever as a pro.

  119. dustrock says:

    I know some of us watched the CHL Prospects game but here’s some comments from McKeen’s:

    http://www.mckeenshockey.com/prospects-blog/chl-top-prospects-game-report-dubois-laberge-lead-standouts/

  120. Adam Wu says:

    godot10: But the coach ISN’T helping. Yeah, the roster has problems, but that is no excuse for not getting 77 points.If he can’t match Krueger or Nelson, when he has a better roster.

    He HAD a better roster. In training camp.

    The moment Eberle was injured, his roster became only marginally better.

    When McDavid went down, his roster was instantly worse.

    When Klefbom went down, his roster became significantly worse.

    His roster will not return to being better until Klefbom and RNH get back.

  121. kinger_OIL says:

    – In 2013 Klef came back after 11 months from shoulder surgery
    -In 2014 he was injured and missed his call-up (Hunt came up instead)
    – in 2015 he’s been out

    *I’m not saying its an issue, just providing the history

  122. ashley says:

    I’m not sure it’s a 6’s and 7’s thing, though our 6’s and 7’s have never been good.

    The Oilers free agency work and trading of NHL calibre players has been atrocious. We are always so excited to add players, especially on July 1 or off the waiver wire, but reviewing the list of players brought in is nauseating.

    No one was going to give Benoit 4 million/year. No one was going to pay Fayne 3.5 million/year. These guys are easy to replace with minor leaguers bubbling under on most teams. This really hamstrings the team in a cap world. Sekera is a 4 million dollar second pairing dman making 6 million for 6 years. We trade Petry for nothing. We trade Lubo for a player with a well known injury problem. We trade Penner for Teubert.

    With only room for 2 on the 50 man list, we add Clendenning to the mess.

    We are the laughing stock of the NHL, and every time there is a transaction, everyone checks the news for a good laugh at another overpay, dumping another player of value, or “plucking” Ryan Jones from the waiver wire.

    It’s frustrating. Why can’t we fill out the bottom of the roster with speedy, smart 500-1000k players like every other team does?

    The cap world is an exercise in efficiency. We are very inefficient.

  123. PhrankLee says:

    ashley: With only room for 2 on the 50 man list, we add Clendenning to the mess.

    This move in particular made me think an imminent trade was going down. But a trade has not materialized and that spot is usually pretty important to GMs at this time of year…

    It remains a concern.

  124. jake70 says:

    ashley:
    I’m not sure it’s a 6’s and 7’s thing, though our 6’s and 7’s have never been good.

    The Oilers free agency work and trading of NHL calibre players has been atrocious.We are always so excited to add players, especially on July 1 or off the waiver wire, but reviewing the list of players brought in is nauseating.

    No one was going to give Benoit 4 million/year.No one was going to pay Fayne 3.5 million/year.These guys are easy to replace with minor leaguers bubbling under on most teams.This really hamstrings the team in a cap world.Sekera is a 4 million dollar second pairing dman making 6 million for 6 years.We trade Petry for nothing.We trade Lubo for a player with a well known injury problem.We trade Penner for Teubert.

    With only room for 2 on the 50 man list, we add Clendenning to the mess.

    We are the laughing stock of the NHL, and every time there is a transaction, everyone checks the news for a good laugh at another overpay, dumping another player of value, or “plucking” Ryan Jones from the waiver wire.

    It’s frustrating.Why can’t we fill out the bottom of the roster with speedy, smart 500-1000k players like every other team does?

    The cap world is an exercise in efficiency.We are very inefficient.

    Penner got the pick which is Klefbom. Also, Petry would have been an overpay is my guess.

  125. jake70 says:

    Would sure like to know how many players have Edmonton on their no-fly zone in their contracts. This would hamstring the best of GMs.

  126. Klam says:

    The biggest problem I see with this team is they do not get in dirty. Way less skilled guys get more goals in this league cause they pay the price to score goals.

    Just look at our power play as the greatest example of this. Pound the rubber at the net, push everyone out of the way, deposit puck in goal.

    Smytty, Holmstrom, is the type of player we need. If Pouliot or Kassian, or Yak do not push this then find someone who will! Can Khaira learn this skill? They need that bruiser in front of the net otherwise the skill guys just get pushed out, no room to make something happen in the danger areas. We needs some damn ugly goals for a change.

  127. godot10 says:

    Adam Wu: He HAD a better roster. In training camp.

    The moment Eberle was injured, his roster became only marginally better.

    When McDavid went down, his roster was instantly worse.

    When Klefbom went down, his roster became significantly worse.

    His roster will not return to being better until Klefbom and RNH get back.

    Krueger’s centres:

    A one-shouldered Nugent-Hopkins, Gagner, Belanger, Smyth (Horcoff and Lander were injured most of the season). Horcoff played the last 8 games that Nugent-Hopkins missed.

    McLellan has had two of Nugent-Hopkins, McDavid, and Draisaitl. Plus Letestu, Lander, and Hendricks.

    Advantange Mclellan.

    Krueger’s D:

    Petry, Smid, JSchutlz, NSchultz, one legged Ryan Whitney, Potter, Fistric

    McLellan

    Sekera, Klefbom, Schultz, Fayne, Gryba, Nurse, Reinhart

    Advantage McLellan.

    We’ll call Dubnyk vs Talbot a wash.

    Hall, Eberle, Yakupov…the same for both.

    Pouliot > Paajarvi
    Purcell == Hemsky
    Gazdic/Kassian > Eager
    Korpikoski > Petrell
    Hendricks > Jones
    Pakareinen > Mike Brown

    McLellan has a far superior roster to Krueger, and it isn’t close.

    It is more complicated for Nelson, whose roster was always in turmoil, but he played without Hall and without Petry for about half of his games. And no goaltender could stop a puck. Musil, Aulie, Ference, and Nikitin all played significant minutes on D.

  128. G Money says:

    I know you can work yourself into a complete meaningless knot over this, especially as past events unfold chaotically and even one minor change would likely have changed the entire course of multiple franchises (for good or for worse) …

    But just like mulling over how you’d spend your money if you win the lottery, one can’t help but thinking about these things …

    So one wonders what would have happened if
    – In 2007, instead of picking Sam Gagner, we’d picked McDonagh or Shattenkirk, and
    – In 2007, instead of picking Riley Nash or Alex Plante, we’d picked PK Subban, and
    – In 2009, instead of MPS we’d gotten Ellis, de Haan, or Kulikov

    None of those players would have helped in time for 2010, so Taylor Hall would still be an Oiler, as would the Nuge.

    And right now, we’d have those two players backed up by a Top 3 set of D more in line with what Jon Toews had in Chicago.

    Sadly, this is the real recipe for a successful rebuild: either pick D that turn out to be legit top end guys before you even know you’re really rebuilding, OR pick up a generational player a la Crosby early in your rebuild rather than eight years in.

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

    godot10,

    And you beat me to it!

  130. knighttown says:

    Water Fire: There is a certain way you have to play in the NHL to be successful and the Oiler’s players won’t do it. Talented hockey players aren’t in short supply. Talented disciplined players that win are.

    It’s why Chicago has kept winning. Somebody posted a link the other day that had a quote where Quenneville said Toews holds guys to such a high standard they keep a level he could never keep them at.

    He works harder and is more disciplined than the others, leads by example. This is another thing the Oilers lack and McL referred to the other day, no one is stepping up. It’s more than just talking, part of it is on the ice, playing the right way.

    As great as Hall is, who can he call out for weak play? His game has miles to mature yet. CMD is too green. Nuge is the hardest working player on the team as I see it, maybe that’s not in his nature though.

    I noticed something last night during the Devils game I think might give some insight. There was a nothing play at centre ice where the Devils had about 60% of gaining possession (but a 40% chance of the Oilers gaining possesion). McDavid was cruising around centre ice and due to a bounce or whatever the odds quickly tilted to 60:40 in favour of the Oilers. But just before that, the Devils centre looked over his shoulder to find McDavid and when that bounce happened, McDavid took one stride and the Devil took two and instead of McDavid blasting through the neutral zone with open ice he ran into a Devil and the puck turned over.

    It struck me that I had never seen an Oiler do that. This puck had a 60% chance of going to the Devils but instead of joining the offense the Devils centre searched out McDavid.

    I surmise that the Oilers stars don’t respect the individual talent level of the other teams enough.

    Because the Oilers stars are better than almost everyone they face individually they play a bit of cat-and-mouse (Oiler star as mouse, opponent as cat) and try to get space away from the other team as they would have learned since they were 6 years old but the result is that when we get the puck we’ve got no time and space and when they get the puck they have lots. The mouse is always running from the cat but when the cat gets the puck there’s no mouse to be found.

    I don’t mean on those 90/10 or 10/90 pucks as the Oilers are much better at avoiding the terrible reads.

    I guess what I mean is that this player type thinks offense first on a 50/50 puck where a Devil thinks defense first even when it’s 60/40 for or even 70/30.

    If you’ll allow me to expand, I play hockey still 4 days per week and in one of my over 40 skates I’m the young guy. It’s just me and my buddy in our early 40s and a bunch of guys that are late 40s or older and so he plays “white” and I play “dark”.

    I play more like Hall; a terrible shitty version or Hall but he plays like Shitty Bergeron. He can skate and is strong but isn’t flashy but he makes it his mission to keep me under control. I like to curl and support the puck carrier in the hope of getting the puck with speed in the neutral zone but when he’s on the ice, as soon as I get the puck he’s right there. It’s to the point that I’ll actually stay out of the offensive zone to keep him away and open up space for my linemates.

    But because I’m always staying clear of him, even if I see a 25% chance at a loose puck, I’m going for it and in those moments he gets 10 steps on me and because he’s also pretty good, he gets the pass and goes in and gets a scoring chance.

    At the end of the night, even though I’m “better” I might score 2 but be minus 2. It’s not laziness or refusal to back check it’s just that I don’t respect his offense as much as he respects mine and so when he gets the puck he gets it in dangerous places but when I get it it’s under control.

    Is this sensible at all?

  131. kinger_OIL says:

    G Money,

    -Yeah but because of all that we got McD. Honestly, without McJesus, I’d be done with the OIL

    – This franchise would be in so much trouble without him….

  132. Sevenseven says:

    LMHF#1: You’re making a funny joke here right?

    Either that or you were the only sad Oilers fan that evening.

    An NHL player who ended up with a career over 1000 games? Yeah I did hate to see him go. He was not close to as good as pronger, but he was a pretty good defensemen.

  133. G Money says:

    Oh brother. Back to the Krueger and Nelson love, are we?

    Never mind that Krueger’s teams, with the exception of Nail Yakupov, looked disorganized and unmotivated most of the season, once the AHL effect wore off.

    Never mind that his bizarre ‘wingers high centre covers everything’ system probably did more to destroy Sam Gagner’s career than anything else.

    Never mind that Dubnyk’s solid (and transitory) season as a Top 10 5v5 sv% and Top 3 PK goalie had more to do with Krueger’s limited success than anything else. Otherwise the team generally looked bad from start to finish. (If you think the game threads today sound frustrated about this being a ‘soft’ team that doesn’t try hard, just go back and read the threads from Krueger’s season)

    Never mind that the team was in freefall once the AHL effect wore off, and in a full season would likely have finished dead last (as per custom).

    Never mind that Krueger’s unsustainable run of luck over a shortened season probably cost us Mackinnon or Jones (though I do love me some Nurse).

    Never mind that Nelson’s team went 17-25-9. They way people talk, you’d think he went 25-17-9.

    Never mind that his team didn’t improve on Eakins’ shot metrics (at all … I think they got worse, including in the High Danger realm).

    The one thing that I will give credit to Nelson is for the powerplay, because he generated some very impressive shot rates. And that the improved powerplay scoring was the ONLY thing that made the team *actually* better than it did under Eakins. Call him the Power Play Whisperer. It’s clear that the team enjoyed playing under Nelson more than under Eakins, but other than that, the team didn’t get substantially better in any other way.

    Sure, anoint those guys as some sort hockey geniuses.

    In fact, Saint Krueger’s genius is so massive, he’s now not even working in hockey at all. Apparently, his hockey knowledge is so massive, it even applies to soccer. Amazing.

  134. G Money says:

    kinger_OIL,

    True.

    But for the purposes of daydreaming (hey, it’s no less realistic than trading for a 1D), imagine if we had Hall, RNH, Shattenkirk, Subban, and Ellis. And Petry.

    Maybe not as exciting as having McDavid, but when it comes to actually winning hockey games …

  135. Snowman says:

    ashley:

    No one was going to give Benoit 4 million/year.No one was going to pay Fayne 3.5 million/year.These guys are easy to replace with minor leaguers bubbling under on most teams.This really hamstrings the team in a cap world.Sekera is a 4 million dollar second pairing dman making 6 million for 6 years.

    Actually Poulliot’s contract is a very reasonable one. He probably outperforms it.

    http://edmontonjournal.com/sports/hockey/nhl/cult-of-hockey/cult-of-hockey-benoit-pouliots-contract-looks-like-a-big-win-for-the-edmonton-oilers-so-far

    Fayne is a top 4 D. Is he worth 3.5M? I’m not sure he is but I’m also not sure he isn’t. He’s had some rough patches but pointing the finger at Fayne is probably not the starting place. He’s easily one of the best 4D on the team. Sekera and Petry are probably pretty comparable and they have pretty comparable contracts. Doesn’t seem very inefficient there.

    The problem is that you can’t have Schultz making $4M and playing 20 minutes a night, Ference making $3.5M, Purcell making $4.5M, and then 4 rookies on D and expect to compete. Add Scrivens to that. Add trading Petry to that.

    The Oilers are inefficient but not where you say they are. They’re incredibly bad at assembling a competitive D corps. Everything else… like you said.. should be replaceable with guys in the minors.

    The makeup of the Forwards needs to change and the D needs to actually have some people who are in fact bona fide NHL Dmen.

    Pou, Sekera and Fayne are not the problem. I would suggest they are in fact part of the solution.

  136. Woodguy says:

    knighttown:
    I find it hard to blame the players, they are batting too high in the order. Last night, in New Jersey, Edmonton’s third pair must have been dizzy most of the night—simply not able. That isn’t on those men, that isn’t on the coach—that is on management. You can pay Todd McLellan a lot to take a knife to a gunfight, but you can’t make him happy doing it.

    Oh come on LT.After watching a Devils team beat the Oilers you’re really going to say the Oilers took a knife to a gun fight?

    So is it Bobby Farnham you want from this incredible roster?Joseph Blandisi?Reid Boucher?Jordan Tootoo? Sergey Kalinen?Steven Gionta? Jacob Josefson? Tyler Kennedy? Seth Helgeson?David Schlemko?These guys are all AHLers and waiver wire fodder.And I have avoided the “good” Devils who also suck and were on waivers because that would cause unnecessary debate about how good Lee Stempniak is.

    The Oilers have the gun is this preposterous scenario but the issue is that they are holding it facing the wrong direction.

    You can’t possibly look at this roster and say the Oilers were outmanned.Doing so distracts from whatever the fuck the real problem is, which is, constantly underachieving to their talent level.

    It can’t be coaching cause we’ve had a dozen.Injuries haven’t helped but c’mon, they are still miles ahead of the Devils on paper.

    I honestly don’t know what the issue is but it certainly isn’t Mark Letestu playing too high in the batting order.

    Someone really needs to look at these rosters and find out why one is in the playoffs and one isn’t.If healthy:

    Hall-Draisatl- Purcell vs Blandisi-Henrique-Stempniak (Oilers win)
    Pouliot-McDavid-Eberle vs Kalinen-Zajac-Palmieri (Oilers win)
    Boucher-Josefson-Kennedy vs Yak-Nuge-Kassian (OIlers win)
    Farnham- Gionat- Kennedy vs Hendricks-Pakarinen- Letestu (Oilers win)

    Sekera-Klefbom vs Greene-Larsson (wash)
    Davidson- Gryba vs Gelinas-Schlemko (wash)
    Nurse- Fayne vs Severson-Moore (wash)

    The answer to this is the answer to whatever is wrong with this team

    I’ll agree ln the forwards KT, but not the D .

    Actual pairings yesterday:

    Sekera-Fayne vs. Greene-Larrson : NJD in a walk. Neither Oiler Dman would replace either of those if they were on the same roster.

    Davidson-Gryba vs Moore-Severson: NJD again. Severson is a fine young RHD and Moore is a 25 year old former 1st rounder who can skate

    Nurse-Clendenning vs Shlemko-Hegleson : wash. Schlemko has 278gp which probably trumps the rest, but it’s a wash.

    The top 2 pairs, who play the most important minutes are NJD and it’s not close.

    I agree that the forwards need to play better and stop flying by the slot and actually stop, screen, fight for a rebound and create chaos.

  137. Alpine says:

    Just got to have to those two solid top four pairings and I think everything is better. Sekera and Klefbom are 50% of that. Davidson is probably 10% of that maybe 25% this time next year. Nurse won’t be a solution till next season, at the earliest.

    Eberle for Hamonic fills one of those. Just do it before WPG or whoever gives up a good D who they’re having trouble signing. You can replace Eberle through the draft even if it takes a year. Or move the pick for a D that someone can’t afford, like we should have done with the Reinhart picks. Then find another Eberle-lite for RW, much easier to find than hoping dumb luck and spare parts lands you a top 4 RH defensemen.

  138. Pechetr says:

    Well I can only partially agree with you Mr. Mitchell. Lack of quality NHL players is certainly on the management side, but lack of character, lack of effort, lack of consistency is all on the players. Too many nights we have seen multiple players with zero give a shit. Even the coach has commented on the number of passengers repeatedly.

  139. G Money says:

    Snowman,

    Back in May of 2014, I did an analysis of cap hit vs ppg to see if I could get a baseline for what could reasonably be considered over- or underpaid.

    You can see the chart that resulted from this work here:

    http://cdn0.vox-cdn.com/imported_assets/2214585/IFenXtZ.png

    The r-value on that line was so high that I had to double check it to make sure it wasn’t in error!

    The equation for that I came up with was ppg = 0.1014 * caphit + 0.172.

    If your players career ppg was above that calculated ppg, you have a bargain. If it’s below, you have a below average contract.

    Using that equation, Poo’s cap hit of $4M should buy you 0.5776 pts/game. Poo is at a career 0.468, but in his time in Edmonton he is at 0.596 ppg.

    So I gotta say that Poo, on a league wide comparison, is producing about as many points as he should be given his cap hit. It’s a fair contract, not a bargain and not a rip off.

    Of course, the cap has gone up since then, so this equation is now overly conservative i.e. the actual ppg value per $ is higher. So if Pouliot was signing a contract now, he could probably demand more than that given his recent production. So in that sense he is something of a bargain.

    If you want to read the whole article, it was from before I started my blog, so I wrote it as a C&B FanPost: http://www.coppernblue.com/2014/5/26/5752148/whats-a-ufa-worth

  140. frjohnk says:

    G Money:
    Snowman,

    Back in May of 2014, I did an analysis of cap hit vs ppg to see if I could get a baseline for what could reasonably be considered over- or underpaid.

    You can see the chart that resulted from this work here:

    http://cdn0.vox-cdn.com/imported_assets/2214585/IFenXtZ.png

    The r-value on that line was so high that I had to double check it to make sure it wasn’t in error!

    The equation for that I came up with was ppg = 0.1014 * caphit + 0.172.

    If your players career ppg was above that calculated ppg, you have a bargain.If it’s below, you have a below average contract.

    Using that equation, Poo’s cap hit of $4M should buy you 0.5776 pts/game.Poo is at a career 0.468, but in his time in Edmonton he is at 0.596 ppg.

    So I gotta say that Poo, on a league wide comparison, is producing about as many points as he should be given his cap hit.It’s a fair contract, not a bargain and not a rip off.

    Of course, the cap has gone up since then, so this equation is now overly conservative i.e. the actual ppg value per $ is higher.So if Pouliot was signing a contract now, he could probably demand more than that given his recent production.So in that sense he is something of a bargain.

    If you want to read the whole article, it was from before I started my blog, so I wrote it as a C&B FanPost: http://www.coppernblue.com/2014/5/26/5752148/whats-a-ufa-worth

    Other than taking a few dumb penalties and sometimes tipping pucks into the wrong net, Pouliot has been a very good UFA signing by the Oilers. Also, this signing was on the right side of 30.

  141. Fog of Warts says:

    SayItAin’tSo, Gretz, SayItAin’tSo!: That kind of stuff isn’t on management, that’s on players willing to dig a bit deeper and make smart hockey plays.

    Squeeze! We must have moar!

    Nicolette picks up a bullwhip and, with a flick of her wrist, cuts a neat line in a yellow Post-It stuck on the back of the front door. Target practice.

    (That from The Mystery of Larry Wachowski, suitable for private browsing, in dark-draped private rooms, situated on small private island estates, owned privately. Did I say “privately”? Enter at your own risk.)

    Yesterday I learned that ‘orange’, subtype “clockwork”, actually refers to the fleshy programmable fruit and not its colour, and that the Royal Black Institution, a circle within a circle which relates to the Orange Order in Canada, once infamous as the political main spring of Toronto the Good (whose massive karmic debt, accrued over more than a century, continues to rankle the hockey gods), is apparently still a going concern in Upper Fundie (and possibly also explains why Newfoundland hasn’t won a cup in living memory either) and that in this case we are dealing with orange, uptight subtype “William of”.

    Back on privacy island, there are two references to “yellow”—three, so far, if you count the Post-It Note twice then immediately leave the room—the other being the yellow legal pads upon which the ur-original script of The Matrix was scribbled longhand. In this case, I think “the curtains were fucking blue” as explained by the image caption double chin at Everyone Is Jesus in Purgatory (what your teacher thinks: “the curtains represent his immense depression and his lack of will to carry on.”) But I’ll keep the file open.

    A Brutal Process

    Planters called their method of labor control the “pushing system.” Each slave was assigned a daily picking quota, which increased steadily over time. Baptist, who feels that historians too often employ circumlocutions that obscure the horrors of slavery, prefers to call it “the ‘whipping-machine’ system.” In fact, the word we should really use, he insists, is “torture.” To make slaves work harder and harder, planters utilized not only incessant beating but forms of discipline familiar in our own time — sexual humiliation, bodily mutilation, even waterboarding. In the cotton kingdom, “white people inflicted torture far more often than in almost any human society that ever existed.” When Abraham Lincoln reminded Americans in his Second Inaugural Address of the 250 years of “blood drawn with the lash” that preceded the Civil War, he was making a similar point: Violence did not begin in the United States with the firing on Fort Sumter.

    As ever going waaay back—"hope for the best" hadn't even been invented yet—the stinging snap is delivered with no shortage of suck and blow:

    Baptist has a knack for explaining complex financial matters in lucid prose. He relates how in the 1830s Southern banks developed new financial instruments, bonds with slaves as collateral, that enabled planters to borrow enormous amounts of money to acquire new land, and how lawmakers backed these bonds with the state’s credit. A speculative bubble ensued, and when it collapsed, taxpayers were left to foot the bill. But rather than bailing out Northern and European bondholders, several states simply defaulted on their debts. Many planters fled with their slaves to Texas, until 1845 an independent republic, to avoid creditors. “Honor,” a key element in Southern notions of masculinity, went only so far.

    I believe the author’s long, oral account of his book (Talks at Google) explains the system whereby the slaves were expected to give it the Walmart squeeze, year over year (pray—and I mean pray—for rain; the tiniest down tick of climate would surely be written in your own blood). Actual productivity rose enormously. It was a well-oiled torture machine. The negro slaves were passing efficiency-in-motion tips among themselves with a vengeance, long before Edgar Rice Burroughs purloined the pulp, and waaay long before Frederick Winslow Taylor requisitioned the rind.

    [Burroughs’] The Efficiency Expert features Jimmy Torrance, a talented young college student who is a great athlete and natural leaders and all around great guy to have at a party but does not take his studies seriously. When he is almost tossed out of college during his senior year for having no apparent hope of completing the curriculum in four years, Torrance buckles down and somehow passes.

    (Don’t hunt it down, it sucks even by the not-so-lofty Princess of Mars standard.)

    Anyways, it’s high pumpkin time for me IRL. I’ve already made my point well enough, so today I’ll just have to skip my summary send up.

    Moral of the story: Yes, there is always MOAR—hang your eyes upon the towering task masters of yore, and [*] despair.

    [*] help wanted: must supply your own Poe-tic tick tock

  142. Loyal2theoil says:

    http://www.tsn.ca/reading-the-trade-market-tea-leaves-1.436138

    Very bottom of this article:

    Any other news on Jon Martin?

  143. maudite says:

    I take erhoff if not somehow injured, in a heartbeat.

    why not?

  144. Snowman says:

    G Money,

    Once again G you’re a smart guy. I like the simplicity of that sort of analysis.

    I’d say Pou adds even more value to the Oilers specifically with regards to him being more rugged and faster and a vet. He scores well and can play up and down the lineup.

  145. RexLibris says:

    maudite:
    I take erhoff if not somehow injured, in a heartbeat.

    why not?

    Oilers are at 49 contracts with a maximum of 50.

    They need to be at 48 by the deadline in order to be able to really wheel and deal.

    Ehrhoff is a player I argued for here during the summer, but they need contract flexibility right now more than another reclamation defender.

    They need to move Schultz for a pick or perhaps even a good CHL prospect if they can swing it.

    Then they can start to move out guys for picks and bad contracts, etc.

  146. RexLibris says:

    MacKenzie is suggesting Russell would use Petry and Sekera contracts as comparables if he goes to free-agency.

    Please let the Flames sign him to a 5×5 contract!

  147. Snowman says:

    RexLibris: Oilers are at 49 contracts with a maximum of 50.

    They need to be at 48 by the deadline in order to be able to really wheel and deal.

    Ehrhoff is a player I argued for here during the summer, but they need contract flexibility right now more than another reclamation defender.

    They need to move Schultz for a pick or perhaps even a good CHL prospect if they can swing it.

    Then they can start to move out guys for picks and bad contracts, etc.

    This is the part I’m most panicked about. Being at 49 contracts right now is bad for business. I’d love if they could get down to 47. Before the deadline. This is an important February.

  148. frjohnk says:

    RexLibris:
    MacKenzie is suggesting Russell would use Petry and Sekera contracts as comparables if he goes to free-agency.

    Please let the Flames sign him to a 5×5 contract!

    If the Flames were smart, they would trade Russell at the deadline and get whatever for him.

    Try to get rid of Wideman ( would have to retain)

    Then put their 1st round pick and a prospect on the table for Hamonic in the summer.

    Brodie, Giordano, Hamilton and Hamonic would be the best top 4 in the league.

  149. Dr. Taboggan says:

    frjohnk,

    Why must you say things like this? I just threw up in my mouth.

  150. Hope is a good thing says:

    I have consistently held to low expectations this year, based upon:

    1. having far too many rookies in the lineup (learning on the job),

    2. new coaches (time to figure players out, implement systems etc.)

    3. too many players in their first year in Edmonton (adjusting to new teammates, coaches, systems etc.), and,

    4. too many soft players (Gryba, Nurse, Kassian have certainly helped, but fall into the other categories).

    This was ALWAYS going to be a transition year, despite tantalizing and hope-inducing moments of offensive brilliance. The injuries have simply cemented it. That hasn’t prevented many, many curse-at-the-TV moments.

    The good news is the number of at bats the kids have received WILL pay off big in the future.

    McDavid, Draisaitl, Davidson, Klefbom, Nurse, Pak, Talbot and Reinhardt will ALL be even better next year (not sure which team some will be playing for). And more consistent.

    Chiarelli WILL make changes: additions and subtractions. McClellan will know his group better.

    No more looking in the rear view mirror; that decade is gone. It’s all about the next 5.

    Cloudy today, sunny tomorrow. 🙂

  151. RexLibris says:

    frjohnk: If the Flames were smart, they would trade Russell at the deadline and get whatever for him.

    Try to get rid of Wideman ( would have to retain)

    Then put their 1st round pick and a prospect on the table for Hamonic in the summer.

    Brodie, Giordano, Hamilton and Hamonic would be the best top 4 in the league.

    Moving Russell doesn’t count as smart, merely sentient and not brain-dead, but otherwise I agree. 🙂

    Wideman isn’t going anywhere until we hear about the suspension, which likely won’t be today because unless Bettman lowers it to 5 games and prepares for an NHL official’s work stoppage, the PA will push it to an arbitrator (whom I’m hoping would enforce the original 20 game suspension per the NHL’s own rulebook).

    As for Hamonic, I’d move Giordano for him before that new contract kicks in, then see if Winnipeg wants to part with Trouba or make calls on Brodin. Brodie, Hamilton, Hamonic and Trouba/Brodin is a very nice, young D corps.

    My hope is the Flames re-sign Russell to “Engelland+” type money and term.

  152. ashley says:

    Snowman: Actually Poulliot’s contract is a very reasonable one. He probably outperforms it.

    http://edmontonjournal.com/sports/hockey/nhl/cult-of-hockey/cult-of-hockey-benoit-pouliots-contract-looks-like-a-big-win-for-the-edmonton-oilers-so-far

    Fayne is a top 4 D. Is he worth 3.5M? I’m not sure he is but I’m also not sure he isn’t. He’s had some rough patches but pointing the finger at Fayne is probably not the starting place. He’s easily one of the best 4D on the team.Sekera and Petry are probably pretty comparable and they have pretty comparable contracts. Doesn’t seem very inefficient there.

    The problem is that you can’t have Schultz making $4M and playing 20 minutes a night, Ference making $3.5M, Purcell making $4.5M, and then 4 rookies on D and expect to compete. Add Scrivens to that. Add trading Petry to that.

    The Oilers are inefficient but not where you say they are. They’re incredibly bad at assembling a competitive D corps. Everything else… like you said.. should be replaceable with guys in the minors.

    The makeup of the Forwards needs to change and the D needs to actually have some people who are in fact bona fide NHL Dmen.

    Pou, Sekera and Fayne are not the problem. I would suggest they are in fact part of the solution.

    I recall that analysis, but I’m inclined to disagree. I think ppg is a good measure in above average players, but at the rate guys like Pouliot score, it is a crude measure since that offence can be replaced. We know this since many players who score at the rate Pouliot does bounce around and from team to team. There are many players that can do what Pouliot does, but bring a smarter, more 2 way game to the ice.

    At the lower levels of the roster, the player has to bring more than ppg. I don’t think Pouliot is worth 4 million, and I think we can do better. His next contract will be revealing, assuming he gets one.

    And as far as Fayne is concerned, skilled NHL men don’t agree with you. Just check his ice time. Who’s right, the math wizards or Chia/McLellan? Fayne is not long for this league and that is a substantial indictment on the weight given to the mathematical analyses of these players. I believe there is a role for advanced stats, but I am now of the mind that it misses a big part of what is going on with these players and their value to the team.

    Agree that the money being spent on those other players is much worse. That I left out Ference, Nikitin, Barker, Khabibulin amongst others in my rambling tirade is alarming. The list is so long, I would rather do almost anything else than google search how bad non-draft player procurement has been.

  153. frjohnk says:

    Dr. Taboggan:
    frjohnk,

    Why must you say things like this? I just threw up in my mouth.

    Well, its just something that could possibly happen. Calgary is one of the handful of teams that Hamonic could go to.

    But the Flames are lacking up front, so Id see them use their pick on a forward.

    The Flames have only 1 1st line player in Gaudreau. And when he plays tough competition or a physical team, he can be neutralized. Not very good without the puck.

    Monahan is at best, a good second line center. Imagine how many points Monahan would have put up in the last couple of years with a defense like the Oilers. I know some fans believe Monahan >RNH. But if those two switched teams, and RNH got to play with Brodie and Giordano, Monohan played with the Oilers D, RNH would beat him in points.

    Bennett is still quite raw.

    Looks like they get picks and/or prospects for Hudler.

    Frolik is a decent 2nd line player.

    Other than that, their forwards are meh.

    Id bet they use their first rounder on a forward.

  154. RexLibris says:

    frjohnk: Well, its just something that could possibly happen.Calgary is one of the handful of teams that Hamonic could go to.

    But the Flames are lacking up front, so Id see them use their pick on a forward.

    The Flames have only 1 1st line player in Gaudreau. And when he plays tough competition or a physical team, he can be neutralized. Not very good without the puck.

    Monahan is at best, a good second line center.Imagine how many points Monahan would have put up in the last couple of years with a defense like the Oilers.I know some fans believe Monahan >RNH.But if those two switched teams, and RNH got to play with Brodie and Giordano, Monohan played with the Oilers D, RNH would beat him in points.

    Bennett is still quite raw.

    Looks like they get picks and/or prospects for Hudler.

    Frolik is a decent 2nd line player.

    Other than that, their forwards are meh.

    Id bet they use their first rounder on a forward.

    They should re-sign Hudler and Ramo, trade Russell and Hiller and then take the best forward available when they select.

    However, that all looks pretty obvious to us and the word coming out of Calgary is that they are pushing to re-sign Russell and want to move on from Hudler with crickets about Hiller and Ramo. So who the heck knows what Treliving, and by extension Burke, are thinking.

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

    frjohnk,

    Its an interesting debate here. I know a couple of Flames fans who love (and I mean love) Russell, thought seems to be he increases their “gritensity” level by a factor of 3. Obviously I don’t buy it and would laugh to the bank if someone signs him at Sekera/Petry money.

    On that note I can’t help but think just how alike those players are. Very solid defensemen but prone to the “WTF was that?” play per game. I don’t like to think about Jeff though, it just pisses me off how badly that all turned out.

    How much more stability would a dcore of (see below) have?

    Sekera-Petry
    Klefbom-Fayne
    Davidson-Gryba
    Nurse (Reinhart)

    (Please don’t rip the pairings themselves you can alter them as you wish its just for illustrative purposes)

    This is still raw for me and I have yet to actually get over the stupidity of the move. The D would have had borderline depth if that one player could have been retained and our good friend Jultz sent packing. Now imagine adding Hamonic to that mix and man that is a legit looking defense. It would have been a bit more costly but not so much that we would lose sleep at night over it. The absolute fumbling of that asset alone should have cost MacT, Howson and anyone else that thought his sideburns were to long to been fired into orbit eight months ago. Damn that was a stupid play by MacT.

    On that note, nobody should be surprised that the Oilers farm system developed a legitimate dman in Davidson, they did the exact same with Petry until the Old Boys rode in and buggered it all up.

  156. Snowman says:

    ashley,

    I think we’ll have to agree to disagree on Poulliot and Fayne. Poulliot is a very effective veteran player and I don’t beleive his offense is easily replaced. And certainly not easily replaced at a cheaper cap hit.

    Fayne I think had a tough time with Maclellan’s system. It doesn’t match his skill set. But I still maintain he’s easily one of the 4 best D options on the roster currently and likely even when Klef gets back. I don’t see how you can argue that Fayne has been worse than Schultz, Nurse, Reinhart, Gryba or Clendenning without using words like grittier, fighting and beard.

    And that highlights the problem with this team… a guy who cleared waivers is easily one of the best 4 D on the team. A guy who cleared waivers is easily one of the best 4 on the team…. That is inexcusable.

  157. G Money says:

    SayItAin’tSo, Gretz, SayItAin’tSo!,

    I now reflexively shake my fist at my screen whenever anyone mentions Petry *shakes fist* or Tobias Rieder *shakes fist*, two players who were actually developed properly into solid players and that would have been exceedingly valuable to this team right now … but were given away for basically nothing.

    Developing then abandoning useful players is something a team with this shallow a roster and this poor a track record at drafting (those three first round picks in the Gagner draft *shakes fist* are still beyond belief) can afford to do less than almost any other team.

    Poor teams are poor for a reason.

    BLARGH.

    *Shakes fist again for good measure*

  158. GCW_69 says:

    Pouzar: Exhibit A against the insanity of trading RNH without replacing him with an appropriate 3C who can step up to 2C in a pinch.

    Fixed that for you. The assumption that the Oilers will trade Nuge and not address center depth is understandable given the Oilers’ history, but not how we should expect Chiarelli to roll.

  159. frjohnk says:

    ashley: I recall that analysis, but I’m inclined to disagree. I think ppg is a good measure in above average players, but at the rate guys like Pouliot score, it is a crude measure since that offence can be replaced. We know this since many players who score at the rate Pouliot does bounce around and from team to team. There are many players that can do what Pouliot does, but bring a smarter, more 2 way game to the ice.
    At the lower levels of the roster, the player has to bring more than ppg. I don’t think Pouliot is worth 4 million, and I think we can do better. His next contract will be revealing, assuming he gets one.

    These are the forwards that are paid between 3.8M and 4.5M this year. ( 25)

    Kadri, Nazem
    Hudler, Jiri
    Laich, Brooks
    Anisimov, Artem
    Henrique, Adam
    Nyquist, Gustav
    Burrows, Alexandre
    Dupuis, Pascal
    Pacioretty, Max
    Pouliot, Benoit
    Kunitz, Chris
    Beleskey, Matt
    Saad, Brandon
    Jokinen, Jussi
    Michalek, Milan
    Jones, David
    Read, Matt
    Hemsky, Ales
    Simmonds, Wayne
    Bickell, Bryan
    Perron, David
    Kulemin, Nikolai
    Stafford, Drew
    Hornqvist, Patric
    Gionta, Brian

    Then if we take out the guys who will be making over $5M next year which is
    Saad
    Pacioretty
    Kadri is RFA, so he probably hits that
    Hudler probably does

    Id say from that first list that
    Simmonds ( in 2 years his contract hits $5M)
    Henrique
    Anisimov
    Nyquist

    are better than Pouliot

    So that would mean he is better than most ( there are 26 in that list, including Pouliot) in his pay range. And the kicker here, is that at $4m, Pouliot is in the bottom tier of that list.

    Yeah, we can replace Pouliot with a better player.

    But unless its a player on a ELC or bridge contract, you wont be paying that player $4M. It would be more.

  160. frjohnk says:

    The more I’m looking at it, the Pouliot signing could be one of the better UFA signings in the league in the last few years.

    Scores at a very good 2nd line pace at even strength. If using points/60, he scores at a 1st line pace

    I think he needs to be in front of the opposing goalie to tip pucks in, not in front of ours

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

    frjohnk,

    I think what Ashley is getting at with Pouliot comes down to the eyes bias, because I to suffer from it with this player.

    Take last nights game for example, great pass to Eberle to setup the 1-1 goal off the McDavid feed but then an “also in the picture” play on the GWG on the PK in the third. He’s a give and take player for fans IMO. He gives you the scoring and he takes your breath away with some of his other plays.

    That being said he does constantly put up points and I agree with LT that he does a lot of little things (particular in the d and neutral zones) that don’t show up on the score sheet but helps create a bit of space for his line mates. I like the player and I am for the most part convinced that we got what we paid for with the contract. He has been very consistent over the years and that is worth its weight in gold on a team that has a tendency to sign guys who are on their final legs as NHL players.

  162. Adam Wu says:

    godot10: Krueger’s centres:

    A one-shouldered Nugent-Hopkins, Gagner, Belanger, Smyth(Horcoff and Lander were injured most of the season).Horcoff played the last 8 games that Nugent-Hopkins missed.

    McLellan has had two of Nugent-Hopkins, McDavid, and Draisaitl.Plus Letestu, Lander, and Hendricks.

    Advantange Mclellan.

    Krueger’s D:

    Petry, Smid, JSchutlz, NSchultz, one legged Ryan Whitney, Potter, Fistric

    McLellan

    Sekera, Klefbom, Schultz, Fayne, Gryba, Nurse, Reinhart

    Advantage McLellan.

    We’ll call Dubnyk vs Talbot a wash.

    Hall, Eberle, Yakupov…the same for both.

    Pouliot > Paajarvi
    Purcell == Hemsky
    Gazdic/Kassian > Eager
    Korpikoski > Petrell
    Hendricks > Jones
    Pakareinen > Mike Brown

    McLellan has a far superior roster to Krueger, and it isn’t close.

    It is more complicated for Nelson, whose roster was always in turmoil, but he played without Hall and without Petry for about half of his games.And no goaltender could stop a puck.Musil, Aulie, Ference, and Nikitin all played significant minutes on D.

    You post this as if you think your personal assessment of the relative quality of those rosters is obvious and self-evident.

    It isn’t.

    I find your opinion of the quality of Krueger’s roster rather uncharitable.

  163. RexLibris says:

    If Kadri plays tomorrow night I’ll be surprised. His throat-slashing gesture to Giordano was pretty blatant as was his mouthing the words “You are F—–g dead!”.

    He deserves to sit for a game. Of course, it being the Oilers, he’ll play, score and help the Leafs win before sitting out a suspension the following game.

  164. spoiler says:

    knighttown: I noticed something last night during the Devils game I think might give some insight.There was a nothing play at centre ice where the Devils had about 60% of gaining possession (but a 40% chance of the Oilers gaining possesion).McDavid was cruising around centre ice and due to a bounce or whatever the odds quickly tilted to 60:40 in favour of the Oilers.But just before that, the Devils centre looked over his shoulder to find McDavid and when that bounce happened, McDavid took one stride and the Devil took two and instead of McDavid blasting through the neutral zone with open ice he ran into a Devil and the puck turned over.

    It struck me that I had never seen an Oiler do that.This puck had a 60% chance of going to the Devils but instead of joining the offense the Devils centre searched out McDavid.

    I surmise that the Oilers stars don’t respect the individual talent level of the other teams enough.

    Because the Oilers stars are better than almost everyone they face individually they play a bit of cat-and-mouse (Oiler star as mouse, opponent as cat) and try to get space away from the other team as they would have learned since they were 6 years old but the result is that when we get the puck we’ve got no time and space and when they get the puck they have lots.The mouse is always running from the cat but when the cat gets the puck there’s no mouse to be found.

    I don’t mean on those 90/10 or 10/90 pucks as the Oilers are much better at avoiding the terrible reads.

    I guess what I mean is that this player type thinks offense first on a 50/50 puck where a Devil thinks defense first even when it’s 60/40 for or even 70/30.

    If you’ll allow me to expand, I play hockey still 4 days per week and in one of my over 40 skates I’m the young guy.It’s just me and my buddy in our early 40s and a bunch of guys that are late 40s or older and so he plays “white” and I play “dark”.

    I play more like Hall; a terrible shitty version or Hall but he plays like Shitty Bergeron.He can skate and is strong but isn’t flashy but he makes it his mission to keep me under control.I like to curl and support the puck carrier in the hope of getting the puck with speed in the neutral zone but when he’s on the ice, as soon as I get the puck he’s right there.It’s to the point that I’ll actually stay out of the offensive zone to keep him away and open up space for my linemates.

    But because I’m always staying clear of him, even if I see a 25% chance at a loose puck, I’m going for it and in those moments he gets 10 steps on me and because he’s also pretty good, he gets the pass and goes in and gets a scoring chance.

    At the end of the night, even though I’m “better” I might score 2 but be minus 2.It’s not laziness or refusal to back check it’s just that I don’t respect his offense as much as he respects mine and so when he gets the puck he gets it in dangerous places but when I get it it’s under control.

    Is this sensible at all?

    You cheat for offense, he cheats for D, which is a pretty apt analogy for the Devs and the Drips. If this were a test, I suspect your friend would’ve answered the same way… but in one quick paragraph, lol.

  165. Racki says:

    RexLibris:
    If Kadri plays tomorrow night I’ll be surprised. His throat-slashing gesture to Giordano was pretty blatant as was his mouthing the words “You are F—–g dead!”.

    He deserves to sit for a game. Of course, it being the Oilers, he’ll play, score and help the Leafs win before sitting out a suspension the following game.

    I don’t really get why people get all in an uproar about it. I know there’s been some controversy over it in NFL, if not mistaken (i don’t really watch), but maybe because some of those guys might actually kill you one day after football. To me, it’s all just part of intimidating your opponent. Kadri has no intent on really killing the guy he gestured to. I don’t really get the fuss. I think Wisniewski’s gesture (while hilarious) was a lot worse, just because that’s probably not what you want kids seeing at games. Of course, you could argue the same about the throat slash, but I just think it’s really not that bad.

    He will likely sit at least a game though.

  166. JDï™ says:

    LT:

    Instead of a ‘sail on’ post for Justin, may I suggest an alternate title:

    Badgers? We don’t need no steenking badgers!

  167. Racki says:

    How about Sail the f— on, Cleveland Steamer…

  168. RexLibris says:

    Racki: I don’t really get why people get all in an uproar about it. I know there’s been some controversy over it in NFL, if not mistaken (i don’t really watch), but maybe because some of those guys might actually kill you one day after football. To me, it’s all just part of intimidating your opponent. Kadri has no intent on really killing the guy he gestured to. I don’t really get the fuss. I think Wisniewski’s gesture (while hilarious) was a lot worse, just because that’s probably not what you want kids seeing at games. Of course, you could argue the same about the throat slash, but I just think it’s really not that bad.

    He will likely sit at least a game though.

    I think a game is appropriate for that kind of behaviour.

    Guys say stuff all the time that is far worse but we don’t hear it and can’t lip read it on tv. So be it.

    But that gesture just speaks to a really low level of behaviour and needs to be addressed.

    Not enforcing it means you allow for a certain level of disrespectful animosity that could easily escalate, and I think that is ultimately what the NHL wants to avoid.

  169. Lowetide says:

    knighttown:
    I find it hard to blame the players, they are batting too high in the order. Last night, in New Jersey, Edmonton’s third pair must have been dizzy most of the night—simply not able. That isn’t on those men, that isn’t on the coach—that is on management. You can pay Todd McLellan a lot to take a knife to a gunfight, but you can’t make him happy doing it.

    Oh come on LT.After watching a Devils team beat the Oilers you’re really going to say the Oilers took a knife to a gun fight?

    The Devils are pretty famous for what they bring, I don’t think the Oilers forwards were bad last night. One of those early chances go in, or the PP clicks, and we are having a different conversation. I believe it is the defense. Jmo.

  170. Racki says:

    RexLibris: I think a game is appropriate for that kind of behaviour.

    Guys say stuff all the time that is far worse but we don’t hear it and can’t lip read it on tv. So be it.

    But that gesture just speaks to a really low level of behaviour and needs to be addressed.

    Not enforcing it means you allow for a certain level of disrespectful animosity that could easily escalate, and I think that is ultimately what the NHL wants to avoid.

    Yah I get you. I personally see it as pretty harmless, but I also see that the NHL has to nip it in the bud immediately so it doesn’t have potential to escalate worse (And also so that they don’t appear accepting of that, as well as potentially look bad if something DOES happen and they didn’t do anything beforehand to try and stop it).

  171. RexLibris says:

    From MacKenzie’s article today: http://www.tsn.ca/reading-the-trade-market-tea-leaves-1.436138

    Finally, this isn’t trade related news, but you may recall we talked earlier this season about the Swift Current Bronco captain and unrestricted free agent overage forward Jon Martin being courted by multiple NHL teams.

    A late bloomer of sorts, the 6-foot-2, 218-pound Martin now has 34 goals and 59 points in 50 WHL games this season after scoring only 32 goals in the previous four seasons in Kootenay.

    Martin is on the verge of making a decision on where he’ll eventually sign his NHL entry-level contract. Edmonton, Arizona and San Jose were believed to be the teams that showed significant interest. While nothing is likely to be made official until March, the expectation is Martin is most likely to be a Shark when all is said and done.

    Hard to see how that gets done at 49 contracts, but we’ll see.

  172. Cameron says:

    RexLibris: They should re-sign Hudler and Ramo, trade Russell and Hiller and then take the best forward available when they select.

    However, that all looks pretty obvious to us and the word coming out of Calgary is that they are pushing to re-sign Russell and want to move on from Hudler with crickets about Hiller and Ramo. So who the heck knows what Treliving, and by extension Burke, are thinking.

    I think the whole ‘re-signing Russell’ thing is a smokescreen. I firmly believe he’s traded by the deadline, along with Hudler, and one of Ramo/Hiller, for picks/prospects.

    I also think Wideman is dealt, but most likely at the deadline if his suspension is served, or more likely at the draft.

    Chances of Calgary picking a forward early in the draft are very good, but I wouldn’t be shocked if they went after Chychrun – Burke LOVES big mobile DMen.

  173. LadiesloveSmid says:

    RexLibris:
    If Kadri plays tomorrow night I’ll be surprised. His throat-slashing gesture to Giordano was pretty blatant as was his mouthing the words “You are F—–g dead!”.

    He deserves to sit for a game. Of course, it being the Oilers, he’ll play, score and help the Leafs win before sitting out a suspension the following game.

    when Stamkos slew footed Kassian, Kassian either said “you f—ing suck” or “you’re f—ing dead” based on my professional lip reading ability

  174. G Money says:

    Racki,

    I’m with Racki on this one. For the most part, could give a shit what the players say they’ll do to each other on the ice.

    When you consider that the league didn’t even see fit to hand out a suspension for this kind of garbage:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LKIKf7PXjnQ

    The kind of thing that could actually have ended a career.

    The kind of thing that, in my opinion, probably deserves an assault with a deadly weapon charge. If the cross check to the neck doesn’t deserve it, the cross check once Crosby is down and prone on the ice definitely does. You’re outside the rules of the game at that point.

    Then you turn around and give Kadri a game for a gesture? Are you kidding?

    Fuck the NHL. Fuck them in the stupid dangerous harmful parts of their brains where their humanity should reside but doesn’t. Assholes.

  175. Snowman says:

    G Money:
    Racki,

    I’m with Racki on this one.For the most part, could give a shit what the players say they’ll do to each other on the ice.

    When you consider that the league didn’t even see fit to hand out a suspension for this kind of garbage:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LKIKf7PXjnQ

    The kind of thing that could actually have ended a career.

    The kind of thing that, in my opinion, probably deserves an assault with a deadly weapon charge.If the cross check to the neck doesn’t deserve it, the cross check once Crosby is down and prone on the ice definitely does. You’re outside the rules of the game at that point.

    Then you turn around and give Kadri a game for a gesture? Are you kidding?

    Fuck the NHL.Fuck them in the stupid dangerous harmful parts of their brains where their humanity should reside but doesn’t.Assholes.

    How do you really feel about this G?

  176. LadiesloveSmid says:

    frjohnk,

    did you just call Toews a 2nd line centre? 😉

    flames fans seem to have soured on Monny Toews and bumped up the obsession for JG

  177. Adam Wu says:

    Lowetide: The Devils are pretty famous for what they bring, I don’t think the Oilers forwards were bad last night. One of those early chances go in, or the PP clicks, and we are having a different conversation. I believe it is the defense. Jmo.

    If McDavid’s breakaway post had bounced the other way, the entire game’s complexion probably would have changed.

    But we’re talking about the team being in it to the end against opposition with a record above 0.500 here, so I don’t get this “its so terrible they lost to New Jersey” thing.

  178. theres oil in virginia says:

    JDï™:
    LT:

    Instead of a ‘sail on’ post for Justin, may I suggest an alternate title:

    Badgers? We don’t need no steenking badgers!

    Careful, there’s a deadly meme lurking close by…

  179. Woodguy says:

    godot10,

    Krueger’s D:

    Petry, Smid, JSchutlz, NSchultz, one legged Ryan Whitney, Potter, Fistric

    McLellan
    Sekera, Klefbom, Schultz, Fayne, Gryba, Nurse, Reinhart

    Advantage McLellan.

    Imma gonna haveta disagree with you here Tim.

    Top 6 Dmen via 5v5 TOI:

    Kruger:
    Petry
    Jultz
    Smid
    Nultz
    Whitney
    Potter

    McLellan:
    Sekera
    Nurse
    Gryba
    Schultz
    Fayne
    Davidson

    Advantage: Saint Ralph

    When I was doing my research for my upcoming “Taylor Hall has played on a team with a top 4 Dman on the ice 22% of the time” post, I actually concluded that St. Ralph’s Dcorp has been the best of Hall’s career.

    Sekera = Petry

    Nurse worse than Rookie Jultz

    Gryba worse than Smid

    Jultz worse than Nultz (as being a NHL DMan)

    Fayne better than Whitney

    Davidson better than Potter

    You have to look at TOI to see the story.

    You listed Klefbom 2nd, but he’s 7th in 5v5 TOI due to the injury.

    Top of the D roster was better with His Holy Name.

    Actual context matters.

  180. square_wheels says:

    G Money,

    Swearing helps me as well G, and it’s far more masculine than screaming into a pillow.

  181. smellyglove says:

    Oh my god, did you all see this?

    Kevin Lowe finds freedom in new management role: http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/nhl-puck-daddy/kevin-lowe-finds-calm-in-new-management-role-221549001.html

    ““The team is winning hockey games,” Lowe said. “They’ve been in just about every game they’ve played this year. There’s a lot of steps to take. The good thing is (owner) Daryl Katz and I (believed) the team needed to be trending upwards or getting good by the time we go into the new building, and it looks like the master plan is unfolding as we hoped.””

  182. BONVIE says:

    Water Fire: There is a certain way you have to play in the NHL to be successful and the Oiler’s players won’t do it. Talented hockey players aren’t in short supply. Talented disciplined players that win are.

    It’s why Chicago has kept winning. Somebody posted a link the other day that had a quote where Quenneville said Toews holds guys to such a high standard they keep a level he could never keep them at.

    He works harder and is more disciplined than the others, leads by example. This is another thing the Oilers lack and McL referred to the other day, no one is stepping up. It’s more than just talking, part of it is on the ice, playing the right way.

    As great as Hall is, who can he call out for weak play? His game has miles to mature yet. CMD is too green. Nuge is the hardest working player on the team as I see it, maybe that’s not in his nature though.

    Two Great posts to sum up our situation here in Oilersland.

  183. BONVIE says:

    knighttown:
    I find it hard to blame the players, they are batting too high in the order. Last night, in New Jersey, Edmonton’s third pair must have been dizzy most of the night—simply not able. That isn’t on those men, that isn’t on the coach—that is on management. You can pay Todd McLellan a lot to take a knife to a gunfight, but you can’t make him happy doing it.

    Oh come on LT.After watching a Devils team beat the Oilers you’re really going to say the Oilers took a knife to a gun fight?

    So is it Bobby Farnham you want from this incredible roster?Joseph Blandisi?Reid Boucher?Jordan Tootoo? Sergey Kalinen?Steven Gionta? Jacob Josefson? Tyler Kennedy? Seth Helgeson?David Schlemko?These guys are all AHLers and waiver wire fodder.And I have avoided the “good” Devils who also suck and were on waivers because that would cause unnecessary debate about how good Lee Stempniak is.

    The Oilers have the gun is this preposterous scenario but the issue is that they are holding it facing the wrong direction.

    You can’t possibly look at this roster and say the Oilers were outmanned.Doing so distracts from whatever the fuck the real problem is, which is, constantly underachieving to their talent level.

    It can’t be coaching cause we’ve had a dozen.Injuries haven’t helped but c’mon, they are still miles ahead of the Devils on paper.

    I honestly don’t know what the issue is but it certainly isn’t Mark Letestu playing too high in the batting order.

    Someone really needs to look at these rosters and find out why one is in the playoffs and one isn’t.If healthy:

    Hall-Draisatl- Purcell vs Blandisi-Henrique-Stempniak (Oilers win)
    Pouliot-McDavid-Eberle vs Kalinen-Zajac-Palmieri (Oilers win)
    Boucher-Josefson-Kennedy vs Yak-Nuge-Kassian (OIlers win)
    Farnham- Gionat- Kennedy vs Hendricks-Pakarinen- Letestu (Oilers win)

    Sekera-Klefbom vs Greene-Larsson (wash)
    Davidson- Gryba vs Gelinas-Schlemko (wash)
    Nurse- Fayne vs Severson-Moore (wash)

    The answer to this is the answer to whatever is wrong with this team

    Yes this is the original post I was looking for. Just look at the team New Jersey has iced they look like an expansion team, a bunch of cast offs that have been given a chance and have bought in and work hard ever game and play the right way.

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