WE HOPED FOR THE BEST, BUT IT TURNED OUT THE SAME

If depressing a fan base was a skill, the Oilers would be Gretzky. Last night, they received a giant assist from the referees on their way to regulation loss No. 30. Hallelujah, hallelujah, someone stop the rain.

BLAND ON BLAND, 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: 3-4-1
  • Oilers after 58 in 2014-15: 16-32-10, 42 points (-61 GD)
  • Oilers after 58 in 2015-16: 22-30-6, 50 points (-29 GD)

The Oilers once again fall behind for the month and have only one month of .500 play—December. The power play cannot find an entry point, the place and chase has turned into the choke and puke, and I miss Nuge and the Swedish defenseman something fierce. For God sakes, trade someone!

DEFENSE, LAST NIGHT

oilers blue nov 30

  • Mark Fayne had a good night, he and Nurse performed well together. Once again, and I know you are sick of this, but if I am an NHL scout sent to view Schultz and or Gryba, my letter home is 75 percent about Fayne. The insiders are universal about Schultz, and you see a mention of Gryba, but if the Oilers were willing to hold some of the cap at their end, a smart team could step in and grab a very good defensive defender. I know he can’t lift a dump truck, or smash faces, but the man can play.
  • Darnell Nurse had a fine game to my eye, he was smooth when paired with Fayne and calm with Davidson. He is beginning to do things like re-set, and he enters the opposition zone, gets the puck deep, and is starting to back off more often. He has crazy recovery speed, but is not creative enough to be terribly useful with the puck down low in the opposition end. Small victories are big steps, happy to see him have a positive game (penalty aside).
  • Andrej Sekera had a tough time with the large Ducks (good lord they are giant ducks!) and a couple of times was manhandled hilariously. Still, he made good plays mostly, picked up an assist and moved the rock in a good direction.

  • Justin Schultz came in for all kinds of rage on the Al Gore, that assist he was awarded last night might be the worst in the history of the game. As a defender, he is fresh blacktop and no cops on a Sunday morning at sunrise: Miles of open road and everything feels so right. He is also too calm in moments of incredible importance. That said, he wasn’t the reason Edmonton lost last night.
  • Brandon Davidson had a tough night but I still love him. Buddy carried the puck to about center with three Ducks (Jesus Murphy they are a filthy bunch) on his back and he is still trying. I mean, there are fenders flying off the guy and his hood ornament is now his adam’s apple and he is still a game rooster. Of course, Anaheim got the puck and not enough men were covering (theme) and the bad guys were jailbreak the wrong way. He will be great again Thursday.

CENTER, LAST NIGHT

oil c nov 30

  • Mark Letestu played a lot—more than McDavid at 5×5—and that is an eyebrow raiser. He also had a weird rotation of wingers (people were being punished) but again I am left empty with his even-strength offense. He is not quick or creative in those areas of the ice that make a difference, and he costs the team offensively.
  • Connor McDavid picked up a point, didn’t get a lot of room (those damnable Habs cut off all of the oxygen and now the kid is going to have to adjust) and had a sick stick that cost him a goal. A few online were critical on some of his coverage work, I don’t think these are errors of effort but of recognition.
  • Anton Lander looked fine to me on the PK, didn’t move the needle offensively and was chasing a lot.
  • Leon Draisaitl is tired, I think that may be it. The quickness and strength we saw earlier in the year are gone, he is either injured or exhausted. That said, he played damn well to my eye against Ryan Getzlaf (7:28, 5-5).

WINGERS, LAST NIGHT

oilers f nov 30

  • Lauri Korpikoski posted two of the seven individual high-danger scoring chances last night, and benefited from time with Connor McDavid (3-1 in 1:32).
  • Iiro Pakarinen got 10 minutes last night and his possession numbers were very good. He had a few decent looks, my guess is Todd McLellan likes him enough to keep him around into next season. One individual high-danger scoring chance.
  • Jordan Eberle had two individual high-danger scoring chances. I saw him good no matter the linemates, he was working and giving effort. I think (and we will discuss the Friedman items in a minute) he is still in play this summer, depending on who is willing to play ball in the trade market.
  • Nail Yakupov took some major hits online and during the broadcast, Louie DeBrusk was especially vocal about what it might be like in the room, and how Nail may be perceived by his teammates. It is a strong tell (this is just my opinion). DeBrusk isn’t blowing smoke, and he would know.
  • As outsiders, all we can do is look at the numbers. My RE last summer suggested reasonable was .494 points-per-game, and Yakupov is currently at .389—four points off the pace. Had McDavid been healthy, had Yakupov been healthy, I think it is reasonable to suggest the young Russian would be at or close to range. Fair?
  • I am here to tell you it doesn’t matter. One day, somewhere in the near future, we will see a trade involving Nail Yakupov. It won’t be high value, so may be clouded in some and mirrors (NHL GMs always do this to cloud the return. It will be Nail, Griffin Reinhart and the rights to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle for Jamie Oleksiak and Brett Ritchie—David Staples will write 10,000 words!) and announced on a Friday before the long weekend in August. It could happen just that way, except for Sherlock.
  • Benoit Pouliot had an interesting night. He is in the McLellan doghouse now for bad penalties, and of course it is double down because that was the theme at practice. It shouldn’t matter. Look, hockey is a pretty easy game to figure out. If the coach can send out (by shift) Hall, Pouliot, Kassian and Hendricks, that is a pretty good group of LWs. Now, you need that at every position and Edmonton is wanting, but the overall impact of Benoit Pouliot is substantial. It just is. I know some of you want to carve Pouliot a new one, but the fact is Taylor Hall has been undisciplined too of late. Pouliot took some bad penalties. He can play on my team any time. If this management group trades him in a fit of pique, we would have to judge them accordingly. That is just the kind of emotional action you hire Peter Chiarelli to avoid. I do think he could be traded though, a damned shame. By whatever measure you can use, BP is an NHL player who helps you win hockey games. Fin.
  • Taylor Hall had a good night to my eye, scored a goal and had two individual high-danger scoring chances overall. I also believe his post-game comments were more accurate than McLellan’s. A lot was made about the Hall—Perry exchange, I liked it. Hall is fully engaged in the battle and was pushing all night long. The referees chose not to make a call (they were bad, like when bad is awful), but for me Hall battling was the takeaway. Wonderful player.

Coach McLellan is frustrated, and the Oilers are on the PK for far too long and that is for sure. Part of that comes from the Oilers being sad sacks, the refs haven’t given Edmonton calls since the days of Ralph the dog. That comes (imo) partly from being a loser for so long, and partly because Edmonton’s best players chirp a lot. Jmo. As it was, for me Lander was good on the PK and I would keep him in the lineup.

SCHULTZ

  • Elliotte Friedman: First was talk about Justin Schultz and Tampa Bay. The defenceman needs a fresh start, and it was rumoured the Oilers were scouting Anthony DeAngelo, the 19th overall pick in 2014. DeAngelo had a few recent healthy scratches at AHL Syracuse. The contracts do not match, so, if this was a possibility, the Albertans would have had to take back someone or some salary. The other — and I do believe it to be true — was interest in Florida’s Brandon Pirri. Unfortunately, he suffered an ugly ankle injury last weekend and will be out a while. Pirri could be a very nice fit with Edmonton’s forwards. Source

We have been discussing the value of Justin Schultz for some time (I have it pegged at a third-round selection). Both names mentioned in the Friedman piece have more value. DeAngelo is a high octane offensive defender (27 points in 44 games as an AHL rookie), Pirri is a slightly undersized LW who can score in bunches. Either would be a quality return for Schultz. I imagine there would be more to the deal than straight up.

eberle10

EBERLE

  • Elliotte Friedman: Funny how two weeks changes things. Fourteen days ago, Jordan Eberle was part of the acquisition conversation. Not now. The Oilers pulled him off the market, as he developed into a dangerous finisher alongside Connor McDavid. As one coach said, “When you find two players who work well together, you keep them together.” Edmonton wants to see how this progresses. Source

One thing to keep in mind here is the ask from the target team. We can hold these stories close, but if the Edmonton Oilers are close on a deal for their perfect fit, I suspect we will see almost any player dealt. The Chiarelli—McLellan think tank probably has McDavid, Hall, Draisaitl, Klefbom and Nurse on their ‘inner circle’ list, and I would add the Nuge to it. I don’t think management thinks that way about Burnaby Nuge.

NOTES

  • Matty has a nice quote from Todd McLellan about Anton Lander here. I have a policy about not running a quote same day as it appears, so you have to click—but it is worth your while.
  • Terry Jones tweeted out that Laurent Brossoit could be heading to Bakersfield today.
  • A lot of anger last night about the game, I though the team played pretty well. I know that this blog’s author can get stubborn on things, but blaming these players doesn’t appeal to me. This team (once again) has no balance and that is on the management—not just Peter Chiarelli but the men before him, too. Todd McLellan’s frustration is well earned, watching these men bugger up the place and chase (Nuge is excellent at it by the way) cannot be easy. I could blame the coach for not relaxing his dump rule, but the San Jose Sharks had incredible success doing this and I expect the Edmonton Oilers can, too. I would relax it for Hall, though. The man can push the river. McDavid too, he is already other-worldly.
  • The Edmonton Oilers need to learn how to pass the puck tape to tape and on the fly. Letting the puck do the work has been a theme since this beautiful game began.

there will be blood

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

A busy show, 10 this morning on TSN1260. McCurdy may erupt on the refs about 10:25, just saying. Scheduled to appear:

  • Bruce McCurdy, Cult of Hockey. About these Oilers, about lack of balance, about the value of a pass, about zebra’s we love and do not love.
  • Dan Auchenberg, Vimy and Donnan Hockey. Big changes in the structure of the women’s game. Huge.
  • Scott Cullen, TSN. Oilers, draft, Canada in spring with no team to love or hate, trade deadline, pitchers and catchers.
  • Jeff Krushell, TSN1260. Baseball lifetime ban and legalizing PED’s. Wow.

10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. Can’t wait!

written by

The author didn‘t add any Information to his profile yet.
Related Posts

189 Responses to "WE HOPED FOR THE BEST, BUT IT TURNED OUT THE SAME"

  1. HBomb says:

    I think this article should have included much more verbiage on how awful a human being Corey Perry is. But that’s just my opinion.

    Also, Pouliot and Yakupov meeting some tough love for bad decisions? All well and good. But the thing that always frustrates this observer is double standards. Eberle has NEVER met the sort of criticism Yakupov did for making a bad play in the D-zone (and he has made them) – this is an MSM double standard. And Jultz is purely a coaching double standard at this point…but we’re only 14 days, 4 hours and 19 minutes until the deadline, so we won’t have to worry about that much longer.

  2. Lowetide says:

    HBomb:
    I think this article should have included much more verbiage on how awful a human being Corey Perry is.But that’s just my opinion.

    Also, Pouliot and Yakupov meeting some tough love for bad decisions?All well and good.But the thing that always frustrates this observer is double standards.Eberle has NEVER met the sort of criticism Yakupov did for making a bad play in the D-zone (and he has made them) – this is an MSM double standard.And Jultz is purely a coaching double standard at this point…but we’re only 14 days, 4 hours and 19 minutes until the deadline, so we won’t have to worry about that much longer.

    I didn’t think Yakupov played that badly, but it doesn’t matter. It’s like guessing what time the main hatchway caves in.

  3. Woogie63 says:

    The Ducks are playing really well right now …. a glimpse into a play game?

  4. PhrankLee says:

    Thanks for the level-headed write up, LT.

    Bonkers game. I was happy we were still in it in the 3rd. That is real progress. Even if it’s sputtering.

    I knew the knives were coming out against Yak on that play but Davidson had his role in the play as well.

    Attitudes are a big part of a hockey team. Personalities are a component. Character is a component. We were out paced by a veteran group.

    I’m not discouraged. No panic trades please. And like you say no trading out of fits of pique, please.

  5. PhrankLee says:

    Lowetide: I didn’t think Yakupov played that badly, but it doesn’t matter. It’s like guessing what time the main hatchway caves in.

    He will say “Fellas, it’s been good to know ya.”

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

    I was one of the main culprits of outrage last night but mainly it was due to the fact that once again against the Ducks this was a very winnable hockey game with around 10 minutes to go. And like clockwork that meant queue the defensive brainfart (it was a bad read by CmD and Nurse and a lack of effort by the LW) that allowed Lindholm to very slowly walk through and tip the Rickell shot home. The beyond brutal effort of the final 6 guys to gain the zone during the final minute which led to the 5-3 goal was rage inducing but par for the course.

    Overall I thought the team played very well against the hottest team in the league but coming away with no points sewer’s all the talk of a “good game”

    The reffing last night had me screaming at the television. Never mind the ridiculous double standard (apparently tackling Taylor Hall, pushing goaltenders and pucks into the net are simply “good hockey plays” but the pure inconsistency blew me away. For one example, I thought Pouliot’s first penalty where he knocked Kesler’s stick away was chintzy at best. Kesler had half a hand on the stick and Pouliot batted it away much more than he two-handed him. But later in the 3rd Hendricks in front of the Ducks net on what turned into a semi-decent scoring chance did the exact same thing and sent Perry’s stick flying over the net and into the meshing. The same official watched both plays but called Pouliot in the first when it was a completely nothin scenario for Kesler to lose that stick. These are the kinds of things that boggle the mind and had me in a real tiff.

    I feel bad for Nail, I really really do. The coach clearly doesn’t trust him and the injuries to he and CmD early in the year really hampered the poor guy. But at the same time he doesn’t make it easy on himself. The Svedberg goal was bad. The guy really needs to have a good game in short order here and I don’t know if this coaching staff is willing to give him the time of day to get it done. Sail young Tatar sail on!

    LT do you think if they send down Brossoit that means they are gonna bring up Nilsson as a trade bait item at the deadline?

    The last two games against big big teams I have noticed a very feisty side of Eberle come out. He doesn’t always win the physical battles but I have seen a bit of a “if you’re gonna push me around f^ckin pay me” attitude. I like it and can’t help but wonder if he keeps it up that he is bringing a “harder on the puck” attitude to his game, to further tip Chia’s hand on his future.

  7. DRFNsuperstar says:

    This article is a content packed allstar performance, nice work LT.

  8. bcoil says:

    Weh Peter C does his year review and decides who is staying and who is going the Player decisions have been beaten to death by reporters bloggers etc but i am going to be more interested in the management and support staff decisions he will make after a year of observing .

    Has he seen enough of the Howsen’s and Mac t skill sets .How about the Scouting staff and then there is the training staff who seem to have royally messed up Klefboom’s recovery . Those decisions will be interesting to watch for sure.

  9. JDï™ says:

    bcoil: and then there is the training staff who seem to have royally messed up Klefboom’s recovery

    What exactly have they bungled there?

  10. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Lowetide: I didn’t think Yakupov played that badly, but it doesn’t matter. It’s like guessing what time the main hatchway caves in.

    Interesting analogy, sounds about right.

    Yak’s timing is awful, he finally got a look on McDavid’s line and it didn’t end well. I know some here were blaming Davidson but I look at the play and Davidson didn’t get all of it on his clearing attempt but he did get the puck up to Yak who had the puck on his tape. Yak then failed to move it from about two feet inside his blueline and then was slow reacting to guy who stripped him while Davidson rotated over to Kesler. Wham.

    Both players somewhat at fault but pre-history aside the spotlight is going to fall more on the guy who actually turned it over and rightly so in my view. DeBrusk’s analysis seemed harsh but I wonder how much truth there is in it. If “Give the puck to Yak, bad things happen” gets hardwired into his teammates’ minds it is a damn tough thing to un-hardwire.

    It would also help if the guy would score a goal more than once a month to put his defensive shortcomings more into the category of “cost of doing business” but the production simply is not there. 9 games without a point for pete’s sake, and his last assist was in November.

  11. kinger_OIL says:

    – Great write-up LT! If they trade Yak, they missed the “pump” part and went straight to the dump…

    – Also, I’m glad Fayne-Nurse worked: I had asked about that before

  12. Genjutsu says:

    I’m not sure its fair to say that it turned out the same. This is a better team than what we saw last year. 30 better in goal differential and I firmly am of the belief that number would be another 15 to the good with a healthy team.

    If they can pick up Hammonic and Demers this is a playoff team next year. A Nurse/Davidson Fayne/Gryba third pairing could be a real strength for this team.

    Its going to be an interesting summer and if the pick end up top 3 its going to be able to get you much more than just Hammonic.

  13. Woogie63 says:

    Baby and bath water is a good reminder right now.

    Adjustments I would like to see,

    Shultz is, -19 (highest on the team) on this team if you replace with a dman who +1….

    Yakupov is an offensive talent find one of your three centres who can bring him to his potential…

    Ederle is -11 if he plays a full season with 97 I think he turn into a + player.

    We are a rush team in a cycle league,

    We don’t attack when teams are changing lines. The whole league stacks between the blue lines against the Oilers, Their 5 players and 3 or 4 of our guys between the blue lines leave no room to get a smooth offensive entry. We need to attack the weak side wing when teams are changing by having one forward stay on the ice on the weak side boards that will change the defensive depth and space.

  14. su_dhillon says:

    I’m not a parent yet but being a Yak fan is sort of how I feel parenting would be.
    You see all this good in him, you root like hell for him to do well, try to look past the mistakes as teachable moments but if he wasn’t YOUR kid, well ….

  15. Bruce McCurdy says:

    SayItAin’tSo, Gretz, SayItAin’tSo!: The beyond brutal effort of the final 6 guys to gain the zone during the final minute which led to the 5-3 goal was rage inducing but par for the course.

    Same thing happened on the 4-2 goal which turned out to be the game winner. Then I hear Hall saying “if you just count the non-empty net goals that’s a tie game” without a hint of “I really fucked up on that Cogliano empty-netter that cost us the game”.

    Truth be told Oilers scored three really ugly goals and didn’t much test Andersen in between times. It was not a pretty game to watch, to say the least.

  16. Water Fire says:

    Well on the bright side, while the Ducks are looking pretty good on defence with young players, Kessler is 31, Gretzlaf and Perry 30, so in a couple of years when the Oilers are contending they’ll have colostomy bags.

  17. Klima's_Bucket says:

    Water Fire: in a couple of years when the Oilers are contending they’ll have colostomy bags.

    Why will the Oilers have colostomy bags?

  18. RyMosh4 says:

    Didn’t watch last night (it’s hard in the EST).

    Can anyone offer up a summary of what DeBrusk said? LT’s “how Nail may be perceived by his teammates line” made me shudder.

  19. Water Fire says:

    Klima’s_Bucket: Why will the Oilers have colostomy bags?

    To avoid the excessive bathroom breaks and play some hockey!

  20. vinotintazo says:

    RyMosh4:
    Didn’t watch last night (it’s hard in the EST).

    Can anyone offer up a summary of what DeBrusk said?LT’s “how Nail may be perceived by his teammates line” made me shudder.

    he refers to Yak as the Elephant in the Room.

  21. flyfish1168 says:

    Bruce McCurdy: Interesting analogy, sounds about right.

    Yak’s timing is awful, he finally got a look on McDavid’s line and it didn’t end well. I know some here were blaming Davidson but I look at the play and Davidson didn’t get all of it on his clearing attempt but he did get the puck up to Yak who had the puck on his tape. Yak then failed to move it from about two feet inside his blueline and then was slow reacting to guy who stripped him while Davidson rotated over to Kesler. Wham.

    Both players somewhat at fault but pre-history aside the spotlight is going to fall more on the guy who actually turned it over and rightly so in my view. DeBrusk’s analysis seemed harsh but I wonder how much truth there is in it. If “Give the puck to Yak, bad things happen” gets hardwired into his teammates’ minds it is a damn tough thing to un-hardwire.

    It would also help if the guy would score a goal more than once a month to put his defensive shortcomings more into the category of “cost of doing business” but the production simply is not there. 9 games without a point for pete’s sake, and his last assist was in November.

    I agree with everything you said here. Just seconds earlier someone else had the puck at the centerline and failed to move it up as everyone was going forward then the chaos started with the back pedaling. But with all that aside. At this point Yak needs to learn to play on the left side. At this point bad things happen more often when they play him there and he seems to gradually fade over way to far over to his his favorite side. Logically being a left shot coaches want him to be on that side in the d-zone. It maybe a summer thing where he skates on the left side to get accustom to it, if its not to late. JMHO

  22. bendelson says:

    Funny… Korpikoski was having a good hockey game right up until the stickhandling ‘mishap’ in the 2nd. Whoops! Too many men. Crazy, if not laughable timing.

    I also didn’t like Korp. on the Lindholm goal as he missed his check in the offensive zone – on Lindholm, thereby allowing him to join the rush. The right idea with very poor execution. Ouch. (Lindholm is a wonderful player).

    That being said – Eberle needs to do WAY more on that play does he not? He was back, in position with time on his hands – do something to help Jordan! Should he have not spilled out wide to mark Rakell early – thereby making the play nothing more than a pedestrian 2 on 3? Instead, he did absolutely nothing, leaving Nurse and McDavid to figure it out. Whoops, again.

    McDavid, Nurse, Eberle and Korp. all played a role (to varying degrees) in the goal being scored. Interestingly, I didn’t mind Fayne’s pinch on the play.

    Without going into great detail on the Yakupov mistake that lead to that ‘other’ goal… I didn’t like Yakupov, Eberle, Davidson or Schultz on the play. Sloppy play all around. Poor recognition all around.

    Again, the team for the most part, played well. And again, they found a way to lose. Ugly, but not exactly unexpected.

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

    Bruce McCurdy,

    Ahh yes! I messed up my goals against there I was most definitely talking about the first empty netter not the second.

  24. meanashell11 says:

    PhrankLee: He willsay “Fellas, it’s been good to know ya.”

    “till it rang 23 (!) times”

  25. DRFNsuperstar says:

    Vatanen looked dreamy last night.

  26. Ducey says:

    Lowetide: I didn’t think Yakupov played that badly, but it doesn’t matter. It’s like guessing what time the main hatchway caves in.

    He is already out in the water, having fallen overboard on Halloween.

    He now has 4 points since then – his last 25 games. He is drowning.

    By comparison, noted sniper Eric Gryba has 5 points since Halloween (though Nail played fewer games due to his injury). The Korpse has 10 points in his last 26 games. Letstu has 8 points in his last 25. Zack Kassian has 4 points in just 13 games.

    I don’t care if he is playing with two guys from my men’s league, that is not good enough for a guy who is supposed to have some (never mind elite) offensive ability.

    Trade him. Pick up someone from the UFA free agent bin for $1 million this summer who can check and put up 25 points. The team will be further ahead.

  27. monsterbater says:

    HBomb,

    Deadline is 3 pm ET on Feb. 29 so it’s actually even sooner than that

  28. Ca$h-McMoney! says:

    DRFNsuperstar:
    Vatanen looked dreamy last night.

    **against the Oilers.

  29. frjohnk says:

    When Eberle passed the puck to McDavid for a one timer on the PP, I kinda got out of my seat (expecting a goal)

    But when the stick exploded, I fell back into my seat and said “Again?, For Fuck Sakes!”

    One play that could have changed the outcome.

    You would think that teams would be looking for something that would eliminate or at least stop the sticks from breaking at inopportune times.

    Back to wood?

  30. Bruce McCurdy says:

    DeBrusk: “I think it’s become a little bit of an elephant in the room with Nail Yakupov. And the thing is with Nail Yakupov, he’s known as an offensive player and he wants to be an offensive player. But if you want to be an offensive player in this league, you have to do the little things correctly. You can’t just rely on getting chances and hope they come, you have to create those chances with hard work. And we’ve seen those stages where Nail Yakupov does that, he’s moving his feet, he’s grinding in the corners, he’s holding on to the puck. In this game he drew a penalty because of his hard work on the puck, he goes to it, he gets dragged down.

    “But this is the negative. The negative is for Nail Yakupov, he turned the puck over, didn’t get it out of the zone, a soft play on the wall, it turns over and it’s in the back of your net. No back check on Silfverberg after he turns it over. And I’ll tell you what happens, guys: in the dressing room, guys are sitting there saying ‘do I really want to play with this guy?’ because he’s a liability on the ice. He’s now minus-80 in his career, he needs to turn that around and start playing a better two-way game, and the offence will come.”

  31. Bar_Qu says:

    What did Hall say after the game? I am not sure where to look to see his comments.

  32. Klima's_Bucket says:

    vinotintazo: he refers to Yak as the Elephant in the Room.

    If only the Oilers had an actual elephant in the room that could play hockey.
    Lordy the Ducks have some big boys that know how to play the hockey.

  33. russ99 says:

    bcoil:
    Weh Peter C does his year review and decides who is staying and who is going the Player decisions have been beaten to death by reporters bloggers etc but i am going to be more interested in the management and support staff decisions he will make after a year of observing .

    Has he seen enough of theHowsen’s and Mac t skill sets .How about the Scouting staff and then there is the training staff who seem to have royally messed up Klefboom’s recovery . Those decisions will be interesting to watch for sure.

    I’m curious as well. Would like to see Chiarelli bring in more of his Boston people who no doubt would love to be rid of the meddlesome Cam Neely.

    As for the training and conditioning staff, something’s got to give. Even if you can’t predict or prevent something like MRSA, the obscene amount of games lost the last few years have to be close to a league record.

    Not going to rip McLellan for last night, as we obviously don’t have the horses to win playing that kind of game vs. that kind of opponent, even without the penalties. If this year is about assessment, there’s tons to assess in these kinds of losses.

    Sadly with the ton of tough West teams on the schedule the rest of the way, this could get worse before it gets better.

  34. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Bar_Qu:
    What did Hall say after the game? I am not sure where to look to see his comments.

    “If you just count the non empty-net goals, that’s a tie game,” said winger Taylor Hall. “I thought we had a pretty good effort. I thought all our lines contributed, our power play was really good tonight. Definitely some good things against a really good team.” (Source)

  35. SoCaloil says:

    I thought Pirri was healthy scratched recently.
    But then again, for Jultz, I’d be happy with that return

  36. Bar_Qu says:

    Bruce McCurdy,

    Thanks Bruce.

    I don’t know how that view lines up with all that I read after the game, but I do think the coach lost his nut last night. Benching Pou for being Pou, giving Yak the Yak treatment for (apparently) very little reason.

    I think McClellan will be happier once the season is over and he can go back to not losing every night. I think this Oilers experience has been wearing on him, personally.

  37. slopitch says:

    I look at the Ducks roster and see a stanley cup team. Then I look at the Oilers roster and player for player we should be ok. And we are. Yes they need a top pairing dman – a Hampus Lindholm typ. Thats critical to advance the needle here. After that the team still lacks big time in puck management/defensive awareness for both the forwards and the D. Thats where our young fav Yak is a big culprit. The Oilers could really use a Jacob Silverberg type 2 way forward.

    Todd Marchand said in the game last night that they have “a lot of good pieces” but that that it takes time. The Oilers currently are a case where the sum of the parts is greater than the whole. Its so rare. And McLellan is coaching his ass off.

  38. Klima's_Bucket says:

    SoCaloil: I thought Pirri was healthy scratched recently.
    But then again, for Jultz, I’d be happy with that return

    Pirri was healthy scratched recently.
    He hurt his ankle last game and is out for the next few weeks.

    Elliotte Friedman clarified on twitter that the deal was not Schultz for Pirri.
    Instead all he said was that Chiarelli is interested in Brandon Pirri.

  39. knighttown says:

    Boy there’s some good stuff in this post and in the comments already. I’ve been all over the Yakophiles lately but thought Nail was having a pretty good game for a while there. When Poo collapsed Yak was rightly given his shot it he absolutely gagged it. Awful turnover but much worse lack of backcheck and. Bruce says, Oh the timing!

    It’s actually pretty much the most Because Oilers thing in awhile.

    “Hey I’ve got this great gig on the best player in a generations left wing. Who wants it!”

    Pouliot tries to respond but pukes on himself and TMac. Yak gets called in to the office for his big shot and proceeds to piss himself. Pouliot cleans Himself up, runs back in and slips on the piss and while falling shits himself.

    “What the fuck is wrong with you two. Ok Korpikoski, it’s all yours”.

  40. DRFNsuperstar says:

    SoCaloil:
    I thought Pirri was healthy scratched recently.
    But then again, for Jultz, I’d be happy with that return

    Yep and Deangelo was healthy scratched by the Crunch

  41. Fog of Warts says:

    SayItAin’tSo, Gretz, SayItAin’tSo!: And like clockwork that meant queue the defensive brainfart

    Reminds me of the old joke (scrawled in private school bathrooms the world over): “flush twice, it’s a long way to the kitchen”.

    On that note, I can’t discount that you actually meant “queue”.

  42. Gret99zky says:

    “I could blame the coach for not relaxing his dump rule, but the San Jose Sharks had incredible success doing this and I expect the Edmonton Oilers can, too. I would relax it for Hall, though. The man can push the river. McDavid too, he is already other-worldly.”

    So relax the system on two out of the four lines? Seems unrealistic.

    The coach seems more frustrated by his players than he is by management.

    There’s not enough blacktop in the Great White North to cover the long road Chia has ahead of him to bring this team into the post-season. Probably 3 years away.

    We wait.

  43. frjohnk says:

    knighttown:
    Boy there’s some good stuff in this post and in the comments already. I’ve been all over the Yakophiles lately but thought Nail was having a pretty good game for a while there. When Poo collapsed Yak was rightly given his shot it he absolutely gagged it. Awful turnover but much worse lack of backcheck and. Bruce says, Oh the timing!

    It’s actually pretty much the most Because Oilers thing in awhile.

    “Hey I’ve got this great gig on the best player in a generations left wing. Who wants it!”

    Pouliot tries to respond but pukes on himself and TMac. Yak gets called in to the office for his big shotand proceeds to piss himself. Pouliot cleans Himself up, runs back in and slips on the piss and while falling shits himself.

    “What the fuck is wrong with you two. Ok Korpikoski, it’s all yours”.

    After The Korpse fucked up,

    TMac asked “who do we have left to play LW on McDavids line?”

    Woodcraft said “well, what do you think of Lander?”

    TMac “Fuck me!”

    Woodcraft ” ummm, McDavids line is next, should I send out Lander?”

    TMac, “Fuck me gently.”

    Woodcraft, “OK, Lander, get out there”

  44. Snowman says:

    Bar_Qu:
    Bruce McCurdy,

    Thanks Bruce.

    I don’t know how that view lines up with all that I read after the game, but I do think the coach lost his nut last night. Benching Pou for being Pou, giving Yak the Yak treatment for (apparently) very little reason.

    I think McClellan will be happier once the season is over and he can go back to not losing every night. I think this Oilers experience has been wearing on him, personally.

    I imagine Yak go the Yak treatment because coach was already pissed off and gave Yak a shot with the big boys and in the first 25 seconds makes a pretty bad error followed by a pretty weak back check on the guy that scores a goal against.

    So did Yak deserve a second chance? Maybe but that was a pretty tough pill to swallow for Tmac I’m sure.

    Also as good as Drai is (very good) you can really see the burden on Leon now that Nuge isn’t there to share the load. I’m going to dig into this a little deeper and see if I can find some numbers that match the eye test on this one but sheltering young centers is a thing that should happen. Even if you are sheltering them with someone who is 22 and 5’10 and 190 pounds. Shelter is shelter and Leon looks like he could use a break from the storm.

  45. John Chambers says:

    If you guys haven’t seen this Kendrick Lamar performance from the Grammy’s that everyone is talking about, it’s unreal:
    http://www.theverge.com/2016/2/15/11004624/grammys-2016-watch-kendrick-lamar-perform-alright-the-blacker-the-berry

  46. Acumen says:

    If we somehow turn Schultz into DeAngelo and whatever random detritus they throw our way, I will be sooooo happy.

  47. fifthcartel says:

    If they have to take back Carle for DeAngelo then I wouldn’t do it.

  48. Acumen says:

    knighttown:
    Boy there’s some good stuff in this post and in the comments already. I’ve been all over the Yakophiles lately but thought Nail was having a pretty good game for a while there. When Poo collapsed Yak was rightly given his shot it he absolutely gagged it. Awful turnover but much worse lack of backcheck and. Bruce says, Oh the timing!

    It’s actually pretty much the most Because Oilers thing in awhile.

    “Hey I’ve got this great gig on the best player in a generations left wing. Who wants it!”

    Pouliot tries to respond but pukes on himself and TMac. Yak gets called in to the office for his big shotand proceeds to piss himself. Pouliot cleans Himself up, runs back in and slips on the piss and while falling shits himself.

    “What the fuck is wrong with you two. Ok Korpikoski, it’s all yours”.

    This is gold.

    I could also see an exchange going on between the managers over the course of the game discussing the merits of a Yakupov for Vatanen swap–one that ends abruptly after the second Ducks goal.

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

    Gret99zky:
    “I could blame the coach for not relaxing his dump rule, but the San Jose Sharks had incredible success doing this and I expect the Edmonton Oilers can, too. I would relax it for Hall, though. The man can push the river. McDavid too, he is already other-worldly.”

    So relax the system on two out of the four lines?Seems unrealistic.

    The coach seems more frustrated by his players than he is by management.

    There’s not enough blacktop in the Great White North to cover the long road Chia has ahead of him to bring this team into the post-season.Probably 3 years away.

    We wait.

    Maybe its a matter of realizing that this Oilers team isn’t exactly built like the San Jose team and adjust his system accordingly? Quenville probably doesn’t ask Anisimov-Paranin-Kane to dump and chase but I’m sure he likes to see it from Mashinter-Rasmussen-Hinostrosa (seriously that is actually Chicago’s 4th line!)

    Fog of Warts,

    Haha ya totally buggered up that line “cue” was the word I was looking for.

  50. frjohnk says:

    fifthcartel:
    If they have to take back Carle for DeAngelo then I wouldn’t do it.

    yup,
    no adding of bad contracts for next year.

  51. Peter V says:

    Long time follower first time post. Wow what can I say about this Jeckyl and Hyde hockey club? Year after year same old crap. Have been following this team since their beginnings and I really question why I do this these last few years. I must have some crazy idea of punishing myself! Any ways this should turn into an interesting summer of trades, releases, maybe some sort of tryout contracts. Was at the game last night and got to see what the fuss is about regarding the possible acquisition of on Sami Vatanen. I don’t get it people. He was the smallest player on the ice! Is the idea of scoring more important than playing tougher? If the point is to get bigger to handle the tougher teams I don’t think Vatanen fits the bill. With regards to Hamonic this is a trade that should be a priority unless Winterpeg somehow manages to stay in the game. Chiarelli has traded with Snow a few times and I think Snow owes us a favour big time with all he’s gotten from Chia in the past! Hopefully this deal gets done. No more incompetence with this team I hope ( one can always hope can’t we? Cause that’s all I have left as a fan) . Look forward to posting more on this #1 site!!!

  52. Fog of Warts says:

    Bruce McCurdy: If “Give the puck to Yak, bad things happen” gets hardwired into his teammates’ minds it is a damn tough thing to un-hardwire.

    I try not to say this, because I know everyone likes the guy, but Yak is the anti-Eberle incarnate. What’s the one thing Yak is guaranteed to get right 100% of the time? With Eberle the money move is the ice-in-the-veins over-the-shoulder bullet from in tight.

    Once upon a time, Yak had a great mid-air swat. Okay, so he’s got the great hand-eye thing going. Uhh, not so fast. What, are we now talking three years ago? After how many whiffs in tight?

    The mustard on his release? See bun, unspoiled. There appears to be no situational calibration at all between force and accuracy.

    Stick handle through a crowd? For at least the first year, he was a human gumball machine on crank. Stop already! It’s just not working. But he was a stubborn learner. In the daily grind of the coaching staff pressuring him to shrink his vision of himself to match his actual skills, he drove more than one coach halfway maad.

    Cogliano like Marchant, ‘but with better hands’

    I know Spector doesn’t get a lot of love, but this is a fine piece.

    “Slats (Glen Sather) told me one time: he said, ‘Find one thing you’re good at and be good at it.’ …”

    Great. So, everyone, name that skill.

    Then there’s the great anecdote about lucky life #13.

    After a series of failed breakaway attempts in the 1997 playoffs I had written in The Journal, ‘Poor Todd Marchant, he couldn’t put the puck in the ocean from the end of the pier.’

    “You weren’t wrong,” he said. “I had a stretch there when I must have had 10 or 12 breakaways in a four-game stretch and didn’t score on any of them.”

    Then he scored the overtime winner in Game 7, his wheels having earned him that elusive 13th chance on goal that he somehow buried behind Andy Moog.

    There’s only one possibility that Yak even generates thirteen chances of any description over a four-game stretch, and it rhymes with 1997.

    What else does Yak bring?

    Does he elevate a third line into a persistent scoring threat? Pass. No, I mean let’s pass. It’s too painful to even discuss.

    His best feature? Full of sound and fury. Check.

    Indeed, that’s a line of the Macbeth soliloquy Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow.

    Once that gets hardwired into the franchise’s mindset, it is a damn tough thing to un-hardwire.

    Unfortunately, I’m in the camp where I think we need to move on from this particular piece.

  53. OilClog says:

    When they trade Yak and the remaining players still can’t win.. Who then becomes the elephant?

    Pou isn’t a Chia guy, his numbers are nice, very very nice. I see Chia trading that in for a defender and replacing 2LW with a player more of his liking. He wouldn’t look good creating space for Tavares? Hmmmm

    Letestu should never be high enough in the line up to play with skill, he nullifies all offence around him.

    TMac’s dump, place, and chase has its positives.. Yet asking skilled talent to remove the damn puck from their blade to only go and Gord damn chase it… Blarg.

    there’s only two acceptable reasons for skilled players to release the puck! It is to shoot or to pass.

    Anything else is madness.

    Lucic/McDavid/Stamkos
    Hall/Nuge/Drai

    Could happen.

  54. Fog of Warts says:

    I mean, there are fenders flying off the guy and his hood ornament is now his Adam’s apple and he is still a game rooster.

    What’s gotten into the water supply around here? You do know it isn’t Sunday, don’t you? Take a careful look. How many fingers am I holding up?

    Right.

    One.

    You rock.

  55. Caramel Batman says:

    Yakupov and Schultz have the same problem. They exist in a league that prioritizes defensive play above all else.

    So what happens, they try very hard to become better defensive players who make better decisions. The main result of this is they take less chances and their offense goes away, and yet they still aren’t really any better defensive players. The same thing is happening to Drouin. Skill doesn’t play in the NHL because it is of marginal value. The ideal score for an NHL coach is 0-0.

    This is the problem. Both Schultz and Yakupov are worse players today than when they entered the league. They no longer do the things that got them here and they still can’t play the simple game every single coach wants. The blame lies, like everything else, with the Bettman point.

    Anyway, it’s over for both of them. I see no path forward where they are useful NHL players.

  56. vinotintazo says:

    Caramel Batman: Skill doesn’t play in the NHL because it is of marginal value

    Yeah who needs a Patrick Kane, Benn, Seguin, Ovie, no Value….

  57. Gret99zky says:

    I hope by March 1 Chia provides us with plenty of new options in the gift shop jersey department.

    The gift shop, as it currently stands, is not getting it done.

  58. Jordan says:

    One of the questions I am dying for someone to ask about is the formal channels the NHL has to receive feedback from the coaches / NHL executives about the referees performance.

    The refs on the ice don’t do an effective job of calling the penalties anymore. There is no obstruction, there is very little holding, and when the game is on the line, roughing, boarding, slashing and hooking all seem to go out the window. Case and point the Slew foot in overtime against the Jets.

    So, why is that? Well, it’s really consistent in Oilers games, so either the refs are being coached about what they can and cannot call (likely) and it just so happens to favour other teams or all the refs have a hard on for screwing the Oilers (less likely, but possible).

    If it’s the former, why the hell doesn’t someone in the Oilers org talk to the league about it so they can tell the players what is to be expected, and plan for it? And if it’s the latter, it would seem to me to be an excellent plan to start sending Christmas cards and little blue pills to the refs and their families to start mending some fences. It doesn’t matter how much better your team gets if the refs are biased against your team, regardless of the source of the bias.

    At some level, someone is setting the agenda for what refs will and won’t call. It behooves the Oilers to find out when and how that’s done and set the agenda to their benefit.

    Unless their objective is to build a lineup of only top picks and lose for eternity.

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

    Caramel Batman,

    This has an awful lot of merit yup. Might also be the reason we continual debate why TMac prioritizes dump and chase over carry and rush.

  60. Acumen says:

    Caramel Batman,

    This is what I’m seeing as well. In a game with a small surface, fast pace, and only 5 players in motion per team, you can’t wheel your way past the opposition at the top level. The margin for error is just too damn small with those factors.

    If this were soccer, a guy like Yakupov could get away with being a striker or a winger and wouldn’t have to worry about ever doing anything of substance on his own side of the pitch. His one job would be to push the line. Likewise, Schultz could go all rover down the right side as a full back or a an attacking mid, and know that there is always 2-6 players ready to cover him positionally.

    That level of specialization just doesn’t exist in hockey at the NHL level. You have to be able to make plays and react to plays in every area of the ice. If players can’t do that, they can’t play–with very notable exceptions like a Pavel Bure. It sucks, but I’m at the point where I move them for whatever I can now as well. Schultz we all turned on long ago, but I’ve just recently been turned on Yak, who I love as a person. After 3 full seasons worth of NHL games, its clear to me that there are parts of the game that he NEEDS to be relied upon where he simply cannot.

  61. Gret99zky says:

    Acumen,

    If this were soccer the Edmonton Oilers would be relegated to a lower league.

  62. Norman Greenbaum says:

    Acumen,

    The soccer analogy doesn’t work. You absolutely have to defend even as a striker or winger. Good defense starts at the opposition’s goal line with rhe forwards both pressuring the ball carrier and taking away easy passes to the mid field. When defending a set piece such as a corner, the forwards are there to stop any late runs from unmarked opponents and to provide an outlet pass for when possession is regained.

    Watch Messi or Ronaldo. Even they defend.

  63. Lloyd B. says:

    I don’t usually go for the lets make a deal game. I’m no good at it and it takes more work than I am capable of to do the cap implication side of the game.

    I understand they are the castoffs of the DFL team but would there be a GM out there who is entering a rebuild who has a coach he believes could unlock both Yak and Shultz?

    Two young, once highly regarded players that if unlocked could provide a nice offensive boost to his club. Would it be possible to get a #3 RHD for the pair? Someone similar to that Petry fellow in Montreal ?

  64. Alpine says:

    Ronaldo doesn’t really defend much anymore.

  65. TheOrangeDesk says:

    Alot of good youung Dmen reaching RFA this year. with the cap potentially going down 4 million some may be exposed. Vatanen, Lindholm, Trouba… how many make it to July 1st?

  66. Caramel Batman says:

    The other issue is the Oilers have is their inability to have defensemen pinch to hold the line. Other teams do this to the Oilers, the Ducks pinched very aggressively and as a result the Oilers had a hard time getting the puck out of their end with control. Unfortunately, the reverse is hardly ever true.

    Hockey is a simple game. You need to win the battle at the blue lines. And the way you do that is for the D to hold the line, and the forwards, usually the center, to provide layers of defense to prevent odd man rushes. If you do this then the only play is to bank it out, which just turns possession over.

    Likewise, this is why gap control is so important. The play has to be made before the blueline to force the other team to dump it in. This is where the commentariat has it wrong. Dumping it in is always a bad play. It is what the other team wants you to do. The only problem is that turning it over at the blue line is even worse. So you have to pick your spots.

  67. Water Fire says:

    According to the Ducks site: Gretzlaff 221 Maroon 230 Ritchie 232 Stewart 231. 3 guys about 210 which isn’t huge.

    The others are average size. They have 5 players listed on the roster under 200. So they have one very large skill player.

    The size narrative about the west to me is overplayed. Entire teams aren’t huge, certain better players are like Getzlaf and Kopitar. The thing is the Ducks, like the Kings, play hard and do the little hard things that win games.

    The Oilers don’t. This is why McLellan mentioned play off type hockey. These younger guys have to learn the level of effort it takes to be where they say they want to be.

    ‘Sick dangles’ and ‘epic snipes’ do more for TSN highlight packages than they do for winning hockey games on a regular basis. I think of Marian Hossa and the subtle, deadly game he still plays. No flash, all win.

    In fact the Hawks show that determined speed and skill can beat the ogres, regularly. The trade off with being football size hockey players is speed and stamina.

  68. blainer says:

    LT.. your point about Letestu is excellent.

    I am completely perplexed on the handling of the ice time by our coach.

    I really have to question if the goal here is to win.

    On the Yak mistake last night .. that was on both Davey and Yak.

    Yak needs to request a trade. He does not fit in with this group.

    Give the poor kid a chance to show if he has the talent sooo many people think he has.

    I get the feeling that Yak is that employee all the staff back bite. Just a hunch.

    If we are missing the playoffs AGAIN I would rather we draft high hopefully one last time. No worries on that with the way this coach is using his star players..

  69. Acumen says:

    Norman Greenbaum,

    I know it’s not bulletproof, but I stand behind the gist of it. I said that forwards and wingers aren’t expected to do much on their side if the pitch, and pushing the line would be Yakupov’s main task, so I am not contradicting anything you said, just over-simplifying it. If Yak’s only defensive tasks were pressuring forwards and filling passing lanes in the offensive zone he would excel. He is a natural in both of those areas, and outside of maybe faceoffs there’s nothing to really liken a set piece to in hockey.

    But you’re not going to see almost any plays when Messi is expected to be responsible for clearing the box or holding a high line, and yesterday’s sequence with Yakupov biffing twice on clearing our blue line leading to a goal illustrates what I was saying nicely. Specialized skillsets with an absence of certain skills don’t fly in the NHL. There is a universal toolbox that all players must have.

  70. meanashell11 says:

    Question for the group. I have not seen it mentioned, if it has, apologies.

    Last night the broadcast said Nuge was scratched because of the flu? I assume that was a mistake but is there any chance Nuge is back sooner than we thought???

  71. Snowman says:

    Water Fire:
    According to the Ducks site: Gretzlaff 221 Maroon 230 Ritchie 232 Stewart 231. 3 guys about 210 which isn’t huge.

    The others are average size. They have 5 players listed on the roster under 200. So they have one very large skill player.

    The size narrative about the west to me is overplayed. Entire teams aren’t huge, certain better players arelike Getzlaf and Kopitar. The thing is the Ducks, like the Kings, play hard and do the little hard things that win games.

    The Oilers don’t. This is why McLellan mentioned play off type hockey. These younger guys have to learn the level of effort it takes to be where they say they want to be.

    ‘Sick dangles’ and ‘epic snipes’ do more for TSN highlight packages than they do for winning hockey games on a regular basis. I think of Marian Hossa and the subtle, deadly game he still plays. No flash, all win.

    In fact the Hawks show that determined speed and skill can beat the ogres, regularly. The trade off with being football size hockey players is speed and stamina.

    Bingo.

  72. DRFNsuperstar says:

    Caramel Batman:
    The other issue is the Oilers have is their inability to have defensemen pinch to hold the line.Other teams do this to the Oilers, the Ducks pinched very aggressively and as a result the Oilers had a hard time getting the puck out of their end with control.Unfortunately, the reverse is hardly ever true.

    Hockey is a simple game.You need to win the battle at the blue lines.And the way you do that is for the D to hold the line, and the forwards, usually the center, to provide layers of defense to prevent odd man rushes.If you do this then the only play is to bank it out, which just turns possession over.

    Likewise, this is why gap control is so important.The play has to be made before the blueline to force the other team to dump it in. This is where the commentariat has it wrong.Dumping it in is always a bad play.It is what the other team wants you to do.The only problem is that turning it over at the blue line is even worse.So you have to pick your spots.

    Other teams can pinch so hard on the Oilers because the Oilers D can’t make them pay with a tape to tape stretch on the weak side. You are right the Oilers D do not pinch very often and their gaps are terrible, but so would Doughty’s if his team let 4-on-2s rush down on him every game. If Purcell doesn’t play high that line usually gets caught with 3 guys deep and it takes a heroic back check to break up the play…that’s a bad recipe for winning games. Fayne has done a great job lately of pinching in the neutral zone but if a puck does make it past him it’s usually a 2-on-1 with a forward trying to hustle back. Until this team can breakout correctly and then cycle the puck in the offensive zone they are going to lose more than win.

  73. Oddspell says:

    meanashell11,

    Nuge is still on the IR. The Oilers site lists Kassian as scratched with ” flu” for 16/2/2016 so I assume he was the player being alluded to.

  74. Norman Greenbaum says:

    Acumen,

    That’s cool. Yak has to realise that you just can’t make a mistake there, and if you do, you better work to make it good.

    I’m really pulling for the kid, but I’m not sure this will end well.

  75. Gerta Rauss says:

    meanashell11:
    Question for the group. I have not seen it mentioned, if it has, apologies.

    Last night the broadcast said Nuge was scratched because of the flu? I assume that was a mistake but is there any chance Nuge is back sooner than we thought???

    I may have heard it wrong but I understood it as he in on LTIR for his hand, AND he now has the flu

  76. Adam Wu says:

    Norman Greenbaum:
    Acumen,

    The soccer analogy doesn’t work. You absolutely have to defend even as a striker or winger.Good defense starts at the opposition’s goal line with rhe forwards both pressuring the ball carrier and taking away easy passes to the mid field.When defending a set piece such as a corner, the forwards are there to stop any late runs from unmarked opponents and to provide an outlet pass for when possession is regained.

    Watch Messi or Ronaldo. Even they defend.

    The analogy with soccer, and indeed all team sports, is that defence isn’t something to be done solely in the defensive zone, or solely by defending players. Defence is a 200ft activity (hockey has no set pieces) that begins in your opponent’s zone and covers the entire rink.

    And it all boils down to puck possession. The opponent can’t do anything to you offensively without possessing the puck. You can protect the box all you like, but if you let the opponent keep possession, he will just maneuver around until he penetrates, as hockey is a game of continuous motion.

    All defence is ultimately gaining possession of the puck. All offence is keeping possession of the puck. And it doesn’t matter how you do it specifically, whether by separating the puck with a solid hit, digging it out of a scrum with pure tenacity, outmuscling the other guy in the corner, or stealing it with sweet stickhanding skills. The only thing that matters at the end of it all is whose stick the puck is on.

  77. frjohnk says:

    Add another one to the injury list

    “Long-term with a knee injury… Probably at least a month.” Coach McLellan on @grybes02’s status after leaving last night’s game

  78. Lois Lowe says:

    I will say this for young Yak: at least his mistake last night was off of the left side.

  79. Generational Poster says:

    DRFNsuperstar: Other teams can pinch so hard on the Oilers because the Oilers D can’t make them pay with a tape to tape stretch on the weak side.

    Well said. It is incredibly frustrating that the speed and skill the Oilers have up front is so often nullified b/c the best their D can do most of the time is chip the puck out (and often don’t get it out at all). When they actually do get it out and get the puck in the neutral zone they are typically flat-footed and have no choice but to turn it over or dump it in. Which, again, because they are flat-footed leads to at best a “place without the chase”.

    Adding a few bonafide d-men able to execute simple, smart passes would be astronomical in all 3 zones. If you get GF and GA both moving in the right direction, the road to success shortens significantly. Or at least we could see the road from where we are.

  80. Ducey says:

    frjohnk:
    Add another one to the injury list

    “Long-term with a knee injury… Probably at least a month.” Coach McLellan on @grybes02’s status after leaving last night’s game

    That sucks.

    He would have had some value at the deadline.

  81. Jordan says:

    Ducey: That sucks.

    He was an actual NHL defenseman.

    FTFY

  82. vinotintazo says:

    so who comes up? Reinhart? Oesterle? Musil?

    I’d Take Musil

  83. meanashell11 says:

    Oddspell,

    They mentioned Kassian as well. It was Louie who said it, thought it was strange…

  84. meanashell11 says:

    Gerta Rauss,

    Ok, I guess that makes sense, I did not hear them say anything about the hand.

  85. frjohnk says:

    Ducey: That sucks.

    He would have had some value at the deadline.

    Yeah. Maybe a 3rd rounder, probably a 4th.

    But I do hope they can sign him to a reasonable contract.

  86. Ducey says:

    Jordan: FTFY

    Agreed. But I was hopeful they could trade him and then sign him in the offseason.

  87. blainer says:

    Caramel Batman:
    Yakupov and Schultz have the same problem.They exist in a league that prioritizes defensive play above all else.

    So what happens, they try very hard to become better defensive players who make better decisions.The main result of this is they take less chances and their offense goes away, and yet they still aren’t really any better defensive players. The same thing is happening to Drouin.Skill doesn’t play in the NHL because it is of marginal value.The ideal score for an NHL coach is 0-0.

    This is the problem.Both Schultz and Yakupov are worse players today than when they entered the league.They no longer do the things that got them here and they still can’t play the simple game every single coach wants.The blame lies, like everything else, with the Bettman point.

    Anyway, it’s over for both of them.I see no path forward where they are useful NHL players.

    Been saying this exact same thing for a couple of years now.

    These players are no longer if ever NHL capable.

  88. Klima's_Bucket says:

    Brian Campbell’s agent is in Florida this week to discuss contract.
    Campbell is seeking a two year term.
    Dale Tallon and Campbell have both expressed interest in bringing back the soon to be 37 year old who is the current leader in consecutive games played by a Dman.

  89. Norman Greenbaum says:

    vinotintazo:
    so who comes up? Reinhart? Oesterle? Musil?

    I’d Take Musil

    This has Jango’s name all over it.

  90. Kmart99 says:

    If the only possible way for the Oilers to fix the D was to move one of :

    Hall, Nuge, Draisaitl, Eberle, McDavid, or the 2016 1st RD Pick….

    I’d take Austin Matthews and move Nuge. McDavid is untouchable, Draisaitl is closer in age to McDavid and seems to be projecting just as well, if not better, than Nuge, and Hall is one of the 3-4 best LWs in the game. So I move one of Nuge or Ebs.

    I value centres more than wingers, and I value Nuge more than Eberle, but how deep does a team really need to be at centre? This team has zero depth at RW.

    If the Oilers draft Austin Matthews, move Nuge, and bring back a major defensive piece, that would be absolutely massive for this team.

  91. ashley says:

    Benoit Pouliot had an interesting night. He is in the McLellan doghouse now for bad penalties, and of course it is double down because that was the theme at practice. It shouldn’t matter. Look, hockey is a pretty easy game to figure out. If the coach can send out (by shift) Hall, Pouliot, Kassian and Hendricks, that is a pretty good group of LWs. Now, you need that at every position and Edmonton is wanting, but the overall impact of Benoit Pouliot is substantial. It just is. I know some of you want to carve Pouliot a new one, but the fact is Taylor Hall has been undisciplined too of late. Pouliot took some bad penalties. He can play on my team any time. If this management group trades him in a fit of pique, we would have to judge them accordingly. That is just the kind of emotional action you hire Peter Chiarelli to avoid. I do think he could be traded though, a damned shame. By whatever measure you can use, BP is an NHL player who helps you win hockey games. Fin.

    As you know, I disagree with this assessment. There is much more than math to measure a player, and Pouliot measures negatively in many respects. I do agree that he may get traded and may in fact be on the market. It’s a tough sell because of his heavy contract. If we can take back some semi-useful overpaid player, this would be a good outcome for the team IMO. Now I’m also fin.

  92. Bruce McCurdy says:

    DRFNsuperstar: Yep and Deangelo was healthy scratched by the Crunch

    Yep and Schultz was healthy scratched by the Oilers.

  93. frjohnk says:

    blainer: Been saying his exact same thing for a couple of years now.

    These palyers are no longer if ever NHL capable.

    What I find disheartening is when these two broke in during the lock out year, they were deemed significant assets moving forward. Good times were just around the corner.

    But through mismanagement and failure of both players to play to their ceiling ( or what everybody thought their ceiling is), I think the whole league sees both of these guys as reclamation projects.

    Maybe one or both can be unlocked by other teams, but the fact is that their value would not bring much back in a trade.

    I feel bad for the players and for the fans. These two not panning out, has been a major stumbling block for the rebuild

  94. Klima's_Bucket says:

    Bruce McCurdy: Yep and Schultz was healthy scratched by the Oilers.

    …three years too late.

  95. kinger_OIL says:

    Caramel Batman,

    This is money what you say: “The ideal score for an NHL coach is 0-0.”

    – It’s also a big problem that many here have talked about. The NHL product is no good.

    – The ideal score for a fan is more 4-4. Coaches go apesh$t on the players after games like that

  96. böök¡je says:

    I wonder what kind of pressure the league will put on the Oilers to trade the pick?

  97. RexLibris says:

    böök¡je:
    I wonder what kind of pressure the league will put on the Oilers to trade the pick?

    I doubt they put pressure to move the pick unless they hear that offers are out there.

    If Bettman learns that Chiarelli is shopping it to an EC team for defensive help, then he might lean on the team. If he hears that a team is offering someone for the pick then he might lean on Chiarelli.

    But I doubt he just tells Chiarelli to move the pick at all costs. More like “It would be greatly appreciated if the Oilers would look at trading out or down. This could be your Lindros moment, Peter”.

  98. Water Fire says:

    frjohnk:
    Add another one to the injury list

    “Long-term with a knee injury… Probably at least a month.” Coach McLellan on @grybes02’s status after leaving last night’s game

    Gryba really wants to stay. The Hemsky trick.

  99. ashley says:

    This Yak thing is a real shame. Edmonton has a habit of doing this to players. Every error is magnified while others get no criticism at all for the same plays. It now seems like we’re so far down the road of negative verbiage that the result (Yak trade) is inevitable.

    After he goes, maybe he gets a call of support from Poti or Niinimaa or Horcoff or Penner or Dubnyk or Gilbert or Petry. This is what Edmonton does to one unlucky player on every team. Maybe he’ll play with Gilbert and Petry. I would cheer for him.

    Who’s next up for fan sacrifice after Yak is gone? All I can ask is anyone but RNH. Please.

  100. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Gerta Rauss: I may have heard it wrong but I understood it as he in on LTIR for his hand, AND he now has the flu

    That’s what I heard too. Poor kid can’t avoid a flu bug or the injury bug. It’s been a rough year.

  101. Pouzar says:

    Jezzuz H really? Why am I surprised?

    Mark Spector (@SportsnetSpec) | Twitter

    https://twitter.com/SportsnetSpec

    Benoit Pouliot: $4M for three more seasons, and coach appears to have already had his fill. Another bad deal from MacT era.

  102. RexLibris says:

    Taking Gryba off the trade market is a kick in the bits for the Oilers.

    I’m on the fence about moving him or keeping him, mainly over concerns about how much money and term he’d get from this mgmt. group, but to have even the opportunity to entertain offers taken away is a hefty blow.

    Even if you’d only moved him for a 3rd and Purcell for a 2nd, those are two more picks you have to shop with at the draft.

  103. Lowetide says:

    RexLibris:
    Taking Gryba off the trade market is a kick in the bits for the Oilers.

    I’m on the fence about moving him or keeping him, mainly over concerns about how much money and term he’d get from this mgmt. group, but to have even the opportunity to entertain offers taken away is a hefty blow.

    Even if you’d only moved him for a 3rd and Purcell for a 2nd, those are two more picks you have to shop with at the draft.

    Great opportunity for Fayne imo. He is the better defenseman anyway.

  104. PhrankLee says:

    Great 3 part analysis of Goalies and their effect on possession. Good blog and great “useful links” page. Links to the first 2 articles in the article below. About known puck handling goalies.

    https://businessofhockey.wordpress.com/2016/02/17/can-goaltenders-have-an-effect-on-possession-statistics-part-3-evaluating-other-top-goalies/

  105. RexLibris says:

    Pouzar:
    Jezzuz H really? Why am I surprised?

    Mark Spector (@SportsnetSpec) | Twitter

    https://twitter.com/SportsnetSpec

    Benoit Pouliot: $4M for three more seasons, and coach appears to have already had his fill. Another bad deal from MacT era.

    Have to say, Pouliot isn’t one I would have pegged for receiving Spector’s unfavourable gaze.

    I guess with Nugent-Hopkins out and Eberle scoring he has to find someone to skewer, not that Pouliot isn’t making it easy for his detractors.

  106. RexLibris says:

    Lowetide: Great opportunity for Fayne imo. He is the better defenseman anyway.

    Agreed. But if we were to script it, I think we’d rather Fayne out until after the deadline so that Gryba can be moved in his stead, correct?

  107. RexLibris says:

    WRT last night’s game – I wasn’t entirely displeased with it.

    The Oilers were playing a very good team and they hung in there.

    The Ducks were the Ducks and Perry, Bieksa and Kesler behaved like,….well, let’s just say I wonder if the “D” on their crest stands for something other than Duck.

    The Oilers were almost certainly going to lose that game. It was in how that worried me. And overall, I have to say I could watch them lose another ten games that way this year if that is what the Hockey Gods (and their self-appointed magistrates on this earth in the referees and league officials) have decreed.

  108. stush18 says:

    Lowetide: Great opportunity for Fayne imo. He is the better defenseman anyway.

    Id have to disagree, at least as far as worth to the oilers.

    Fayne brings better positioning than gryba, and may be a bit faster, although it’s a tortoise racing a snail really. And I think gryba may actually be the better passer.

    Gryba has the heavier game in every aspect. For a third pairing d, that’s exactly what I want, especially on a oilers team that gets hemmed into its own end so easily.

  109. AsiaOil says:

    The Oilers are a band. They have a Stradivarius violin (CMD) a Fender Stratocaster (Hall) a smooth oboe (Eberle) a double bass (Drai) a baby grand piano (RNH) and a jazz trumpet (Yak). Beautiful music right?

    The mix is fucked up terminally – fix the mix already.

  110. Pajamah says:

    AsiaOil:
    The Oilers are a band. They have a Stradivarius violin (CMD) a Fender Stratocaster (Hall) a smooth oboe (Eberle) a double bass (Drai) a baby grand piano (RNH) and a jazz trumpet (Yak). Beautiful music right?

    The mix is fucked up terminally – fix the mix already.

    I think the issue is our forwards can all play beautiful music but our D are broken amps and frayed wires.

  111. pocession charge says:

    RexLibris: Have to say, Pouliot isn’t one I would have pegged for receiving Spector’s unfavourable gaze.

    I guess with Nugent-Hopkins out and Eberle scoring he has to find someone to skewer, not that Pouliot isn’t making it easy for his detractors.

    Someone forgot to tell Spector that Pouliot HITS!

  112. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Caramel Batman:
    Yakupov and Schultz have the same problem.They exist in a league that prioritizes defensive play above all else.

    So what happens, they try very hard to become better defensive players who make better decisions.The main result of this is they take less chances and their offense goes away, and yet they still aren’t really any better defensive players. The same thing is happening to Drouin.Skill doesn’t play in the NHL because it is of marginal value.The ideal score for an NHL coach is 0-0.

    This is the problem.Both Schultz and Yakupov are worse players today than when they entered the league.They no longer do the things that got them here and they still can’t play the simple game every single coach wants.The blame lies, like everything else, with the Bettman point.

    Anyway, it’s over for both of them.I see no path forward where they are useful NHL players.

    Great rant, & your conclusion about the Bettman Point is bang on the money. It is a virus that has infected the game at the cellular level, mandating that “neutral is good, and risk-taking is not rewarded”. Mistakes are magnified to a greater level than positive contributions, a concept which is actively reinforced by the Bettman math that corrupts the standings.

    Meanwhile a player who can put in 10 or 15 or 20 minutes a night where absolutey nothing happens has value because he takes you that much closer to the 60-minute buzzer which increases the value of the game itself from 2 to 3 points only in the event it remains unresolved. Logic and big data statistics tell us this is a useful survival strategy for both teams in the long term and therefore within the context of any given game.

    If that argument doesn’t convince you consider this little thought experiment. Taken to its logical extreme a hypothetical team that played 82 0-0 ties & split its shootouts would not merely survive it would WIN THE PRESIDENTS’ TROPHY. Whereas a team that scores 200 goals and allows 200 with random distribution will be in tough to even make the playoffs, and a team with +250/-250 even more so.

    The system has been broken by fools with no apparent understanding of logic or game theory, who are showing no inclination of recognizing their folly let alone fixing it.

    /rant

  113. pocession charge says:

    Pajamah: I think the issue is our forwards can all play beautiful music but our D are broken amps and frayed wires.

    The forwards have had several games where they displayed a lack of effort, unwillingness to play near the blue paint, lost board battles, cheated for offense, and did not support the defence down low. I agree that the defence sucks and is the Oilers biggest Achilles heal, but the forward group has problems — it’s not all beautiful music, unfortunately.

  114. Gret99zky says:

    Anyone being considered for a trade should be pulled out of the line-up immediately.

    This team can not stay healthy.

    Trust no one.

  115. Pajamah says:

    pocession charge: The forwards have had several games where they displayed a lack of effort, unwillingness to play near the blue paint, lost board battles, cheated for offense, and did not support the defence down low.I agree that the defence sucks and is the Oilers biggest Achilles heal, but the forward group has problems — it’s not all beautiful music, unfortunately.

    That’s why I qualified my statement with “can”. They can play beautiful music. They can also sound like an elementary school Christmas concert.

    I just imagine what these forwards could do if they had a defense that could move the puck. The teams most reliable passer is Brandon Davidson for gords sake. That’s horrifying.

  116. ashley says:

    This is an exceptional blog post today.

    Part of that comes from the Oilers being sad sacks, the refs haven’t given Edmonton calls since the days of Ralph the dog. That comes (imo) partly from being a loser for so long, and partly because Edmonton’s best players chirp a lot. Jmo.

    This is an astute observation. The former (refs give more breaks to good teams) is a fact and the only way around it is to become good.

    The latter is a common problem of youth (after age 12 or so), but something that can be controlled with discipline.

    It may not be well known to those who haven’t played or reffed sports before, but chirpy players are irritating at every level. I can assure you that the refs find Hall very irritating regardless of his skill, and delight in giving him penalties. All his bitching after the call adds fuel for the next bad call.

    Hall’s game has shown astonishing progression since his first days here, but his maturity has lagged. He’ll get there, but he’s now at an age where he should be able to behave more professionally on the ice and on the bench. Perhaps this latest string of penalties will open a window of self-reflection.

  117. Protagonist says:

    ashley:
    Hall’s game has shown astonishing progression since his first days here, but his maturity has lagged.He’ll get there, but he’s now at an age where he should be able to behave more professionally on the ice and on the bench.Perhaps this latest string of penalties will open a window of self-reflection.

    Not wanting to give him an excuse, but you have to think that all this time losing and never getting any call has worn on him somewhat. When you continually get calls against you, it builds resentment. A good player will rise above but I don’t think it’s entirely the same thing to criticize someone who gets swept away in the tide.

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

    ashley,

    I agree to an extent but think there is another angle to it here. Chirppy players come in two types, those who chirp but will also lay a stick or a punch when the time comes (aka Kesler, Perry, Lucic etc) who are allowed to get away with their antics because it harkens back to “old time hockey.” The double standard comes in for guys who chirp but aren’t predisposed to whacking a guy later on (Hall, Crosby etc). These guys usually get labeled “whiny” while the latter are labeled “tough” strictly because they are more physically aggressive rather than emotional.

    I honestly don’t think its a maturity thing as much as it a stereotype into how hockey players “should” behave.

  119. flyfish1168 says:

    böök¡je:
    I wonder what kind of pressure the league will put on the Oilers to trade the pick?

    John Scott like pressure. Then we will make sweet music when we get there 🙂

  120. rickithebear says:

    Since 13-14: Goal production and shooting % with oilers:
    Mcdavid C (3.775M) .429 GPG 20.9%
    Eberle RW (6m) .340 GPG 14.3%
    Hall LW (6M) .323 GPG 9.7% SH%
    Draisatl C (3.4M) 15/16 .313 GPG 16.5%
    Pouliot LW (4M) .299 GPG 15.8%
    RNH C (6M) .252 GPG 11.3%
    Kassian RW (1.75m) (VCR/EDM) .203 GPG 16.0%
    30.925m for these 7 FWDS.
    ————————————————- Don’t let the Door hit your A………..
    Purcell RW (4.5M) .164 GPG 8.6%
    Yakupov RW (2.5M) .161 GPG 7.5%
    korpikoski LW (2.5M) (ARZ/EDM) .117 GPG 8.3%
    9.5M for these 3
    ————————————————– Get the FO%, ZS, PK pass
    Letestu C (1.80M) .134 GPG 9.8%
    Hendricks LW (1.85M) .094 GPG 7.2%
    Lander C (.988M) .053 GPG 4.9%

  121. AsiaOil says:

    Have a look at opinions outside the EDM bubble and respected people are pretty much unanimous in their view – the Oilers are a one dimensional squad that has no hope of success in a league that actively discourages the effectiveness of that dimension. You’re dreaming if you think that a defenseman or two will suddenly turn this group of forwards into cup contenders – it won’t. The “kids” are now 5 year vets and the limited “improvements” this year were produced by rookies like Drai and CMD. The Oilers are trying to make a sports car win a tractor pull – it’s not only pointless – it’s demonstrably stupid. Step one is accept the reality of the modern NHL – it’s 2016 – not 1986.

    Pajamah: That’s why I qualified my statement with “can”. They can play beautiful music. They can also sound like an elementary school Christmas concert.

    I just imagine what these forwards could do if they had a defense that could move the puck. The teams most reliable passer is Brandon Davidson for gords sake. That’s horrifying.

  122. ashley says:

    Bruce McCurdy: Great rant, & your conclusion about the Bettman Point is bang on the money. It is a virus that has infected the game at the cellular level, mandating that “neutral is good, and risk-taking is not rewarded”. Mistakes are magnified to a greater level than positive contributions, a concept which is actively reinforced by the Bettman math that corrupts the standings.

    Meanwhile a player who can put in 10 or 15 or 20 minutes a night where absolutey nothing happens has value because he takes you that much closer to the 60-minute buzzer which increases the value of the game itself from 2 to 3 points only in the event it remains unresolved. Logic and big data statistics tell us this is a useful survival strategy for both teams in the long term and therefore within the context of any given game.

    If that argument doesn’t convince you consider this little thought experiment. Taken to its logical extreme a hypothetical team that played 82 0-0 ties & split its shootouts would not merely survive it would WIN THE PRESIDENTS’ TROPHY.Whereas a team that scores 200 goals and allows 200 with random distribution will be in tough to even make the playoffs, and a team with +250/-250 even more so.

    The system has been broken by fools with no apparent understanding of logic or game theory, who are showing no inclination of recognizing their folly let alone fixing it.

    /rant

    This is thoughtful analysis. I have to say that if I was a coach of an underskilled team with valuable points on the line affecting the standings and my job, I would do it exactly the same. A handful of skilled players and then a bunch of speedy unskilled players whom I would teach a great defensive system to stymie the most skilled forward lines in the game. A middling result is the floor and with a bit of luck, a ticket to the post season dance.

  123. Woodguy says:

    WE HOPED FOR THE BEST, BUT IT TURNED OUT THE SAME

    I was really hoping not to read that and nod my head in agreement this year.

    Man.

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

    AsiaOil:
    Have a look at opinions outside the EDM bubble and respected people are pretty much unanimous in their view – the Oilers are a one dimensional squad that has no hope of success in a league that actively discourages the effectiveness of that dimension. You’re dreaming if you think that a defenseman or two will suddenly turn this group of forwards into cup contenders – it won’t. The “kids” are now 5 year vets and the limited “improvements” this year were produced by rookies like Drai and CMD. The Oilers are trying to make a sports car win a tractor pull – it’s not only pointless – it’s demonstrably stupid. Step one is accept the reality of the modern NHL – it’s 2016 – not 1986.

    http://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/nhl/ron-maclean-nhl-phil-kessel-steven-stamkos-connor-mcdavid-oilers-toronto-maple-leafs-mike-babcock-auston-matthews/

  125. godot10 says:

    AsiaOil:
    Have a look at opinions outside the EDM bubble and respected people are pretty much unanimous in their view – the Oilers are a one dimensional squad that has no hope of success in a league that actively discourages the effectiveness of that dimension. You’re dreaming if you think that a defenseman or two will suddenly turn this group of forwards into cup contenders – it won’t. The “kids” are now 5 year vets and the limited “improvements” this year were produced by rookies like Drai and CMD. The Oilers are trying to make a sports car win a tractor pull – it’s not only pointless – it’s demonstrably stupid. Step one is accept the reality of the modern NHL – it’s 2016 – not 1986.

    This is unfair. Hall put this team on his back and carried it for the first half of the season. Draisaitl (without Hall) wouldn’t be anything to write home about.

  126. 719 says:

    Re: DeAngelo

    The issue seems to be more of a character issue rather than the ability to play. He has a habit of making inappropriate comments.

    http://www.syracuse.com/crunch/index.ssf/2016/01/is_syracuse_crunchs_anthony_deangelo_skating_on_thin_ice.html

    http://boltsbythebay.com/2014/10/06/lightning-prospect-anthony-deangelo-suspended/

  127. Pajamah says:

    AsiaOil:
    Have a look at opinions outside the EDM bubble and respected people are pretty much unanimous in their view – the Oilers are a one dimensional squad that has no hope of success in a league that actively discourages the effectiveness of that dimension. You’re dreaming if you think that a defenseman or two will suddenly turn this group of forwards into cup contenders – it won’t. The “kids” are now 5 year vets and the limited “improvements” this year were produced by rookies like Drai and CMD. The Oilers are trying to make a sports car win a tractor pull – it’s not only pointless – it’s demonstrably stupid. Step one is accept the reality of the modern NHL – it’s 2016 – not 1986.

    The kids can’t improve if no one can get them the puck. The fact Hall is a top 10 scorer, and Drai and CMD are points per game wizards in the perspective of having the worst defense in the league, not to mention an inability to get the forwards the puck, is mind boggling.

    You can’t ask them to do it all, and based on the successes of other teams forwards, I would say the Oilers forwards are doing their part (graded on points per game, possession metrics, dangerous fenwicks etc.)

    The Defense is a gord damned black hole where we can’t stop offense from the opponent, and cant produce it for the forwards. It is catastrophically bad any way you slice it.

    Hamonic and Demers makes this a playoff team next season. You can see the goaltending creep back to league average, and the goal differential becomes drastically better. The team competes in close games. Stop 2 more sorties, and create 1, and this team takes another step.

    The forwards can only do so much.

  128. kinger_OIL says:

    – Just completed a depressing exercise, full of adrenalin as markets rallied:

    Kinger, daydreaming: “next year with McD for the whole year they will better”

    * does back of envelope math: Conner has played 21 games (give him credit for Philly, and win, even though he didn’t finish.) in 21 GMs: 8 wins 1 OTL, 12 losses, 17 points = .809 pts/game

    * In the other 37 games, sans McD, 33pts = .892 pts/game

    -* fa$k: small sample yes, but this team gets more points without McD than with…

  129. godot10 says:

    kinger_OIL:
    – Just completed a depressing exercise, full of adrenalin as markets rallied:

    Kinger, daydreaming: “next year with McD for the whole year they will better”

    * does back of envelope math: Conner has played 21 games (give him credit for Philly, and win, even though he didn’t finish.)in 21 GMs: 8 wins 1 OTL, 12 losses, 17 points = .809 pts/game

    * In the other 37 games, sans McD, 33pts = .892 pts/game

    -* fa$k:small sample yes, but this team gets more points without McD than with…

    The key correlation is not with or without McDavid, but with or without Klefbom, who is a legit top 2 NHL defensemen already.

  130. sliderule says:

    Did you see Leon huffing like a choo choo when he scored his goal.

    I saw Hall huffing and puffing a couple of times.

    I know Leon doesn’t have good cardio but I think there are a few of them that are not in great shape.

    Is this lack of conditioning the reason they have to make poorly timed line changes.Other teams are always catching us but we never seem to be able to catch them.

    The coaching staff may have had to spend too much time teaching new systems that they overlooked conditioning until it is was too late.

  131. Pajamah says:

    719:
    Re: DeAngelo

    The issue seems to be more of a character issue rather than the ability to play.He has a habit of making inappropriate comments.

    http://www.syracuse.com/crunch/index.ssf/2016/01/is_syracuse_crunchs_anthony_deangelo_skating_on_thin_ice.html

    He likes to beak. That can be fixed.

    Seems like he would be a fantastic add if Chiarelli can get him for Schultz. Hope is the Oilers would retain on Schultz and not have to eat an ugly contract on the way back.

  132. Water Fire says:

    The puck movement issue isn’t one or the other F or D. Everybody needs to be better, and of course better players play better. Still other teams get decent play out of rosters like the Oilers or worse. Many of them even take pride in their group and team and not losing!

  133. 719 says:

    Pajamah,

    Yes it can, example Kassian.

    This is a guy though that has been a problem since Junior Hockey, I can see why the TB Lightning would trade him. His beak has been directed at officials, team-mates and opposing players.

    You would hope he changes but… (reference title blog)

  134. Adam Wu says:

    Kmart99:
    If the only possible way for the Oilers to fix the D was to move one of :

    Hall, Nuge, Draisaitl, Eberle, McDavid,or the 2016 1st RD Pick….

    I’d take Austin Matthews and move Nuge. McDavid is untouchable, Draisaitl is closer in age to McDavid and seems to be projecting just as well, if not better, than Nuge, and Hall is one of the 3-4 best LWs in the game. So I move one of Nuge or Ebs.

    I value centres more than wingers, and I value Nuge more than Eberle, but how deep does a team really need to be at centre?This team has zero depth at RW.

    If the Oilers draft Austin Matthews, move Nuge, and bring back a major defensive piece, that would be absolutely massive for this team.

    1. This would mean running a 20y old, a 19y old, and an 18y old, with barely 100 NHL games between them (thanks to the injury situation this year) as your top 3C’s next year. It would take a very major defensive piece indeed to make that worthwhile.

    2. So long as your C’s can also play wing when called upon, you literally cannot be “too deep” at C in today’s NHL.

    The problem with trading Nuge for D is that none of the readily available options out there, like Hamonic, would be enough to justify giving up RNH and his experience, and the teams that have the few D who WOULD be enough to justify it probably aren’t going to be willing to exchange those D for RNH.

    The advantage of using Eberle as the trade chip is that you can actually exchange Eberle for one of the available, Hamonic-level options, and not lose the trade.

    The advantage of using the 1OV as the trade chip is that its perceived value around the league, particular near draft time, is higher than RNH’s, and high enough that you might be able to pry one of those really major D pieces that no one would be willing to exchange just for RNH, for the pick.

    So my suspicion is that, of all the available trade options we have for getting our D shored up, a trade involving RNH is probably the least likely to work out.

    Suppose we actually do draft Matthews and trade Eberle for Hamonic or an equivalent D. We could easily break Matthews into the NHL as a RW on a line with RNH. He replaces Eberle AND gets a more ideal developmental path for a young C. 1-2 years later, you can trade one of Drai/RNH/Matthews for more D help.

  135. godot10 says:

    1) The test of who is a good coach, who is a mediocre coach, and who is a bad coach is how effectively they can use the square pegs on their roster.

    Yakupov, Lander, Schultz, Fayne (half square) are square pegs. Paajarvi was a square peg.

    All these players were made useful under Nelson.

    2) Pouliot’s bad penalties are not a bug. They are a feature. NYCOil told us this before the Oiler’s signed him. I doubt that one can eliminate the bad penalties without impacting the good things Pouliot does. It is the edge Pouliot has to get too to be effective.

  136. Lois Lowe says:

    sliderule,

    You know Drai doesn’t have good cardio? How did you learn this important information?

    Did you tell the Oilers when they were drafting him?

  137. Adam Wu says:

    godot10: This is unfair.Hall put this team on his back and carried it for the first half of the season.Draisaitl (without Hall) wouldn’t be anything to write home about.

    Hall was almost superhuman during that period, and it is entirely possible that the reason he has come back to earth the last little while is simply because he can’t physically sustain that level of play for an entire season without more support from the rest of the team.

  138. DRFNsuperstar says:

    Water Fire:
    The puck movement issue isn’t one or the other F or D. Everybody needs to be better, and of course better players play better. Still other teams get decent play out of rosters like the Oilers or worse. Many of them even take pride in their group and team and not losing!

    And then they regress to the meat

  139. stush18 says:

    Adam Wu,

    If we end up drafting one of the young forwards, then eberle is as good as gone I think, and drai will move to right wing.

    Hall-nuge-drai
    Poo-mcd-yak
    Xxx-Mathews-kassian

    And when mcdavids deal is up, nuge is moved to free up space

    Edit* or laine or pullijarvi. I don’t think the oilers draft tkatchuk

  140. kinger_OIL says:

    godot10,

    I would have liked to see an increase in points with Conner to give me even more hope.

    – Klef’s absence hurts but its just a relative level of stench w or w/o:

    * Klef in 30 games: 28 points: .933 pts/game = 77 point season (including 4 gm win streak in Dec)

    * w/o Klef 28 games: 22 points: .786 pts/game = 64 point season
    * we are on a current 71 point pace

    – Even with Klef this is a last place hockey team but w/o Klef DFL hockey: as bad as last year…

  141. stush18 says:

    Question for the group, although I’m sure we’ve asked it lots.

    Say we win Mathews.

    Do you trade Mathews + klef/nurse for OEL plus Arizonas pick?

    Would they?

  142. Lowetide says:

    stush18:
    Question for the group, although I’m sure we’ve asked it lots.

    Say we win Mathews.

    Do you trade Mathews + klef/nurse for OEL plus Arizonas pick?

    Would they?

    Three years of OEL versus seven years of Matthews? I take the pick and find another way. OR I trade down from No. 1 to No. 2 and get a substantial return that allows me to add that D.

  143. Lowetide says:

    RexLibris: Agreed. But if we were to script it, I think we’d rather Fayne out until after the deadline so that Gryba can be moved in his stead, correct?

    As long as McLellan is cool with the idea of keeping Fayne I keep him. Not certain that is the case.

  144. Pajamah says:

    Lowetide: Three years of OEL versus seven years of Matthews? I take the pick and find another way. OR I trade down from No. 1 to No. 2 and get a substantial return that allows me to add that D.

    Its so tough to get that #1D. And I’m not sure the Oilers really need that elite #1D, just 2x #3’s.

    If Arizona offers OEL for Matthews, I’d still take it based on cost to acquire said asset. I mean, its easy to get #1 overall picks, the Oilers have proven this. Franchise defender? Seems too difficult to trade for.

    But trade down 1 spot, still get Puljujaarvi or Laine, and a top 4 D. Still a good call.

  145. Oilspill says:

    Seems Fayne and Gryba are redundant. Gryba will me easier to move pending he leg.

    Lowetide: As long as McLellan is cool with the idea of keeping Fayne I keep him. Not certain that is the case.

  146. frjohnk says:

    Widemans appeal falls on deaf ears.

    Still gets 20 games.

  147. pocession charge says:

    Lowetide: As long as McLellan is cool with the idea of keeping Fayne I keep him. Not certain that is the case.

    Lately, there wouldn’t be many players that McLellan would be too sad to lose. I think the changes are going to be substantial this time (i.e. core players and role players).

  148. godot10 says:

    stush18:
    Question for the group, although I’m sure we’ve asked it lots.

    Say we win Mathews.

    Do you trade Mathews + klef/nurse for OEL plus Arizonas pick?

    Would they?

    I would trade Matthews for OEL, but there is no way I include a cost controlled Klefbom (for 8 years) or Nurse (who will likely be cost-controlled for 10 years).

    Matthews and Reinhart for OEL would be my best offer.

    I doubt Arizona would trade OEL, even for Matthews.

  149. Pajamah says:

    frjohnk:
    Widemans appeal falls on deaf ears.

    Still gets 20 games.

    Good.

  150. stush18 says:

    Lowetide: Three years of OEL versus seven years of Matthews? I take the pick and find another way. OR I trade down from No. 1 to No. 2 and get a substantial return that allows me to add that D.

    Last year that was suggested with eichel and ristolainen, but was dismissed.

    Do you really see mathews as that much bette than laine? To me it’s very close between those two.

  151. RexLibris says:

    Lowetide: As long as McLellan is cool with the idea of keeping Fayne I keep him. Not certain that is the case.

    I think you’ve got it right that Fayne doesn’t have the skill set that McLellan needs. He may be a good player, but he’s not the right fit for the defense and the rest of the group is so addled and injured that McLellan can’t get by with it. He needs Fayne not only to be more, but to be different, and as we know, that rarely works well.

    So yes, Fayne likely gets moved, but perhaps it isn’t with $ retained but rather it is over the summer in a swap of contracts that addresses the needs of both teams, almost certainly involving the EC.

    Another question for you: you once said that if the Oilers screw up Yakupov you’d never forgive them. I imagine your feelings about this today are more complicated than just that and likely will become more so if/when he is moved, so how would you describe your feelings towards Yakupov as they relate to that earlier statement?

    And for fair measure, my own feelings on this started off very much like yours but I have reached a point where I believe that Yakupov has some measure of culpability in this although the majority lies with the incompetence of the organization that acquired him, and for his sake I hope he is traded sooner rather than later. I want him not to share the fate of Gagner after he leaves this team, but would rather see him blossom in a new role more like Cogliano, Chimera, Cleary or Dubnyk.

  152. kinger_OIL says:

    – So if Klef is a + 13 point difference to this team in terms of points in standings, and lets call him a 4+/3D, he alone gets the team to a 77 point team.

    – Adding another top-3 D, marginal utility goes down, so lets say that next #3 D gets you 50% marginal improvement: you have a 85 point team, and add another top-4 you are close to 90

    – Plus the remaining, non-rotting core gets a bit better, goalers more established, you are mid-90s

    – Get more 4+/3D I say!

  153. RexLibris says:

    frjohnk:
    Widemans appeal falls on deaf ears.

    Still gets 20 games.

    Good.

    Frank Seravalli Verified account
    ‏@frank_seravalli

    Wideman sent text msg to teammate on Feb. 2: “(t)he only problem and the only reason I’m here is cause the stupid refs and stupid media.”

  154. fifthcartel says:

    Another thing that confuses me is members of the media complaining about Pouliot’s penalties (way overblown imo) when Gryba’s penalties taken due to his lack of speed or puck-moving ability aren’t really talked about, or when they are they are even a positive (for real, I heard someone said he racks up PIMS like it was a good thing).

    I know one plays in the top-six and the other is a bottom-pairing guy, but it’s interesting how there’s all his talk of them ‘needing’ to re-sign Gryba while Pouliot is dragged through the mud despite being a really effective player.

  155. Water Fire says:

    Nobody is trading one of the few elite D in prime for a pick. There just aren’t that many. If the Oilers want one they have to draft defence with the first rounder, like every else mostly did. They don’t need top 6 forwards anymore. Especially when the forwards are not clearly going to be bigger impact players than the D. Matthews is not Tavares or CMD.

    There are two very good D in this draft with all the requisite size and skill, unfortunately they are lefties. They also provide the same cap advantages looking a few years ahead when salary will need reducing, and should have a shorter development timeline than second and third rounders which is critical if you want to replace D without waiting draft plus 5.

  156. prairieschooner says:

    This was a loss but not a lack of effort loss it was a lack of concentration loss.
    They all hurt but a developing team will have them
    Brandon Davidson is found money

  157. Johnny skid says:

    RexLibris: Good.

    Frank Seravalli Verified account
    ‏@frank_seravalli

    Wideman sent text msg to teammate on Feb. 2: “(t)he only problem and the only reason I’m here is cause the stupid refs and stupid media.”

    i really enjoy negative news when its flames related. i hope they drag this out further.

  158. flyfish1168 says:

    ashley: This is thoughtful analysis.I have to say that if I was a coach of an underskilled team with valuable points on the line affecting the standings and my job, I would do it exactly the same.A handful of skilled players and then a bunch of speedy unskilled players whom I would teach a great defensive system to stymie the most skilled forward lines in the game.A middling result is the floor and with a bit of luck, a ticket to the post season dance.

    Sounds like the F***ken Phlegms of 2015

  159. Pouzar says:

    Scott Cullen ‏@tsnscottcullen 3h3 hours ago
    Benoit Pouliot, scoring at career-best rate and with solid possession as always, is now a bad player because of a couple of bad penalties.

  160. Pouzar says:

    Jonathan Willis ‏@JonathanWillis 2h2 hours ago
    Gerry Fleming just raving about Jordan Oesterle on @OilersNow, mentioned too both he and Musil have played RD this year.

  161. geowal says:

    stush18:
    Question for the group, although I’m sure we’ve asked it lots.

    Say we win Mathews.

    Do you trade Mathews + klef/nurse for OEL plus Arizonas pick?

    Would they?

    Absolutely trade Mathews, but also find a gm drooling over him enough so we’re not the ones throwing in a kicker.

  162. Drew says:

    Am listening to Gregor now… i usually am ok with him. his take is a little different but so be it. the narrative now with Brownlee and Rishaug is off the charts dumb. Yak is getting killed. oh well.

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

    Pouzar:
    Scott Cullen ‏@tsnscottcullen3h3 hours ago
    Benoit Pouliot, scoring at career-best rate and with solid possession as always, is now a bad player because of a couple of bad penalties.

    How dare those outsiders at TSN use facts and reason to disrupt the local broadcasters favorite pastime!

  164. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    I thought it was: “we hoped for the best, but it turned out like always”

    or something like that.

  165. AsiaOil says:

    Fayne would be a fine 3rd pair guy with Nurse – and when the inevitable injuries strike – he can play up to the 2nd pair for a while without it being a total debacle. Same with Sekera or Klef on the 2nd pair. The #1 guy goes down and there is replacement who can still be reasonably effective.

    IMHO we need 2 more RHD – a Hamonic type or better on the top pair, and a Vatanen type or better for the 2nd pair. If we can get one at the trade deadline and one at the draft we are set – and can use UFA/trade to address bottom 6 forwards with size and possibly a top 6 RW with size (Okposo type) if we deal Yak and Ebs for the dmen.

    We still have way too many LHD though and the majority are 3rd pair: Nurse, Davidson, Reinhart. If we keep Klef and Sekera (and we absolutely should) then a deal must be made with at least one of those three moving out for the RHD or big RW. The last thing we need is any of those young guys starting the year on the 2nd pair – because as I said above – they are then one injury away from being on the top pair and the usual tire fires can be lit. Optimal starting lineup for defense in the fall:

    Klef Hamonic
    Sekera Vatanen
    Davidson Nurse Fayne

    You could also trade Fayne and keep GR but that leaves you 3 LHD on the bottom pair and no depth if one of the top 4 RHD get injured – again asking for trouble.

    Lowetide: As long as McLellan is cool with the idea of keeping Fayne I keep him. Not certain that is the case.

  166. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    how important is the hunt for a late, late 2nd round pick either this year or next to be gifted to the Bs?

  167. The Hermit says:

    RexLibris: Wideman sent text msg to teammate on Feb. 2: “(t)he only problem and the only reason I’m here is cause the stupid refs and stupid media.”

    Stupid game on stupid tv with stupid replays of a stupid player.

    In other news, Wideman to appear on an upcoming episode of The Simpsons. Doh!

  168. AsiaOil says:

    I think we have to give up our own pick – not a substitute.

    Romulus Apotheosis:
    how important is the hunt for a late, late 2nd round pick either this year or next to be gifted to the Bs?

  169. sliderule says:

    Water Fire:
    Nobody is trading one of the few elite D in prime for a pick. There just aren’t that many. If the Oilers want one they have to draft defence with the first rounder, like every else mostly did. They don’t need top 6 forwards anymore. Especially when the forwards are not clearly going to be bigger impact players than the D. Matthews is not Tavares or CMD.

    There are two very good D in this draft with all the requisite size and skill, unfortunately they are lefties. They also provide the same cap advantages looking a few years ahead when salary will need reducing, and should have a shorter development timeline than second and third rounders which is critical if you want to replace D without waiting draft plus 5.

    I have been beating this drum for a while and I am glad to see your post.

    I like Chychrun a lot but Sergachev(sp)may even be better.

    If we win the lottery and one of teams that want Mathews is in top five you might get another really good player as a bonus along with top D oil need.

  170. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    AsiaOil:
    I think we have to give up our own pick – not a substitute.

    Not the case at all.

    As an example, SJS received the pick we got from STB (late 3rd) in the Magnus trade (compensation for McLellan).

  171. sliderule says:

    Lois Lowe,

    Just watch after about 30 seconds.

    He can barely get to bench

  172. godot10 says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: Not the case at all.

    As an example, SJS received the pick we got from STB (late 3rd) in the Magnus trade (compensation for McLellan).

    San Jose and Edmonton negotiated. San Jose took the pick so it wouldn’t be delayed to later seasons. I don’t think the Bruins are particularly open to negotiating.

  173. Woodguy says:

    Lois Lowe:
    sliderule,

    You know Drai doesn’t have good cardio? How did you learn this important information?

    Did you tell the Oilers when they were drafting him?

    I rarely agree with sliderule, but he’s right here.

    I was watching him closely last night (at the game) and he starts sucking wind pretty hard at about 20 seconds into a shift.

    Something he needs to work on in the off-season.

  174. AsiaOil says:

    We had this discussion a while ago. Seems the rules say you owe your own pick – but – the team owed can choose to accept a different pick for whatever reason they choose (want it earlier, better draft year etc etc). BOS could choose to accept a very late 2nd round pick this year – but you can reasonably expect the Oilers pick next year to be mid-pack at least and next years draft may be better.

    Romulus Apotheosis: Not the case at all.

    As an example, SJS received the pick we got from STB (late 3rd) in the Magnus trade (compensation for McLellan).

  175. Woodguy says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: Not the case at all.

    As an example, SJS received the pick we got from STB (late 3rd) in the Magnus trade (compensation for McLellan).

    If Chia is going to use offer sheet threats to help land a RFA like Vatanen he needs his 2nd in 2017, so its best to try to pick one up during this deadline to give to BOS this year.

    If everything turns right (hahahahahaha) they won’t be sellers at next year’s deadline when picks are as cheap as they ever get so it should be done this year.

  176. Lowetide says:

    Woodguy: I rarely agree with sliderule, but he’s right here.

    I was watching him closely last night (at the game) and he starts sucking wind pretty hard at about 20 seconds into a shift.

    Something he needs to work on in the off-season.

    Or it could be the rib issue we have discussed.

  177. AsiaOil says:

    He probably focused on strength rather than endurance last summer as his skating has improved – plus it’s a long season for a kid, plus injury. Just needs a couple of years to put it all together.

    Woodguy: I rarely agree with sliderule, but he’s right here.

    I was watching him closely last night (at the game) and he starts sucking wind pretty hard at about 20 seconds into a shift.

    Something he needs to work on in the off-season.

  178. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    godot10: San Jose and Edmonton negotiated.San Jose took the pick so it wouldn’t be delayed to later seasons.I don’t think the Bruins are particularly open to negotiating.

    The negotiated time or they negotiated picking order?

    Where’s the text of the clause?

  179. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Or… you know… maybe Drai is injured, or ill.

    jackals.

  180. RexLibris says:

    Lowetide: Or it could be the rib issue we have discussed.

    That’s my guess.

    Sore ribs would explain someone whose cardio looked solid for most of the season suddenly tanking immediately after a very physical game and some heavy hits.

    Those high hips MacT raved about coupled with his skating style I think leave his ribs open to being hit.

  181. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    This isn’t the text, but it an explanation.

    If it’s correct, I stand corrected:

    “One condition on the draft picks is that the pick must be either the team’s own selection, or a selection higher in the round than their own pick.

    An interesting example arose in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft where the Edmonton Oilers owed a 3rd round pick to the San Jose Sharks for the signing of head coach Todd McLellan. The Oilers did not have their own 2015 3rd round pick (previously traded to Anaheim), and did not have a pick higher in the 3rd round to forfeit (their pick was #3 in the 3rd round). As a result, the Oilers could not elect to forfeit their 2015 3rd round draft pick, so the Central Registry encumbered their 2016 3rd round pick, assigning it to San Jose. However, Edmonton did have a later 3rd round pick, 2015 STL 3, acquired in a previous trade. The pick was #26 in the round, so much later than the Oilers’ selection, but the Sharks had interest in the pick. The Sharks and Oilers came to an agreement to essentially trade the encumbered 2016 EDM 3 back to Edmonton in exchange for 2015 STL 3. The pick provided to San Jose did not technically meet the conditions of the personnel compensation rules, but was a satisfactory resolution for both sides.”

    http://www.generalfanager.com/cba

    I continue to be astounded that the hockey media world has no idea how to properly cite anything, or provide links and/or references to primary sources.

  182. rich says:

    Romulus Apotheosis:
    Or… you know… maybe Drai is injured, or ill.

    jackals.

    Flu is going around the team – not that we should let that get in the way of a narrative.

  183. GCW_69 says:

    Lowetide: Three years of OEL versus seven years of Matthews? I take the pick and find another way. OR I trade down from No. 1 to No. 2 and get a substantial return that allows me to add that D.

    I take the three years of OEL. No reason to think you can’t resign him if the team starts winning, and adding him goes a long way in that regard.

    I don’t throw in nurse or Klefbom though. Reinhart if you have to do an add. With OEL being a lefty, you can play him and Sekera together. But, that leaves Klefbom, Davidson and Nurse for two spots on the left side. My guess is you trade one for Hamonic.

  184. russ99 says:

    I blame three things for the dearth of creative teams:

    1) Copycatting the Bruins and Kings. It’s a fad and it will pass, probably sooner than we think if those teams and those copying aren’t successful in the postseason. Would be nice to see other teams copy the Blackhawks, since it seems they especially have the offense vs. defense mix right.

    2) The refs not calling the rulebook (especially obstruction and stick penalties), the ticky-tack BS where some teams get calls and others don’t. It leads to a culture where players think thy can clog up space and play dirty and there’s minimal repercussions. If the refs are going to mess up so badly why are there two of them clogging up the ice even more.

    3) Bettman point, though this usually only comes into play later in games. I doubt teams play for a point in the first and second period, Also it has no bearing on the playoff games.

  185. Centre of attention says:

    So the Oilers called up Nikki.

    I swear I hear that gong again.

  186. Centre of attention says:

    Bakersfield Condors Retweeted
    Edmonton Oilers ‏@EdmontonOilers 20m20 minutes ago
    The #Oilers have recalled defenceman Nikita Nikitin from the @Condors and placed defenceman Eric Gryba on Injured Reserve.

    I’m not even kidding.

  187. GCW_69 says:

    Who does Musil have to kill to get a call up? Calling up Nikitin makes no sense.

  188. StixMalone says:

    Centre of attention:
    Bakersfield Condors RetweetedEdmonton Oilers ‏@EdmontonOilers20m20 minutes ago
    The #Oilers have recalled defenceman Nikita Nikitin from the @Condors and placed defenceman Eric Gryba on Injured Reserve.

    I’m not even kidding.

    Why? There must be interest from some team? He sure isn’t deserving of a call up…….

  189. Edmonton blog roundup: Feb. 23, 2016 – Seen and Heard in Edmonton says:

    […] depressing a fan base was a skill, the Oilers would be Gretzky,” writes Lowetide. […]

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!
© Copyright - Lowetide.ca