G68 2015-16: OILERS AT JETS

The Edmonton Oilers are approaching the home stretch and have some good arrows in recent days. A solid road trip—interrupted by a schedule loss in Columbus—continues in Winnipeg tonight. The team is 2-1-0 since hitting the road, 3-2-1 since that ghastly Ottawa game, and tonight should be interesting.

talbot capture 2


  • 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: 4-8-2
  • Oilers in March 2015: 5-6-3
  • Oilers in March 2016: 2-1-0
  • Oilers after 67 in 2014-15: 18-38-11, 47 points (-75 GD)
  • Oilers after 67 in 2015-16: 25-35-7, 57 points (-35 GD)

In G68 last year, the Oilers lost 6-4 to Pittsburgh and David Perron. The Goddamns are a positive over the season, but there are other things we should consider:

  • 5×5 Corsi For Percentage is 49.0, last year it was 48.1
  • 5×5 save percentage is .9157, last year it was .9019
  • 5×5 goals for per 60 is 2.03, last year it was 1.93
  • 5×5 goals against per 60 is 2.55, last year it was 2.91

I believe it important for this team to close well. Adding the Nuge and Klefbom should help, and getting the GD’s under 30 would be something to talk about over summer.

klefbom capture 1



 I would like to talk about next season if I may, beginning with the fact that 14 men have played defense this season—but only five have played more than 30 games. Klefbom’s return should settle this group down quite a bit.

Using the list above, I would suggest that the Oilers are wise to place Andrej Sekera, Oscar Klefbom and Brandon Davidson as ‘sure things’ for next year. Two others, Mark Fayne and Darnell Nurse, may or may not be included. For our purposes this morning, I will include both men—the Oilers are going to run Nurse out next season, and trading Fayne probably costs another asset and that would be foolish. That means, before free agency, Edmonton’s depth chart for next year might look like this:

  • Klefbom—Hamonic
  • Sekera—Fayne
  • Nurse—Davidson

As you read this, the chances of blurting out ‘that isn’t enough!’ are very high and I get that. There are also those who will be fretting over the lefty-righty issue and I understand that too (my point has always been L-R is preferable, but if four of your best D are lefthanded then play them despite awkward). I think this offseason comes down to Peter Chiarelli deciding on Darnell Nurse and or Mark Fayne. If the Oilers decide to put Nurse (and Reinhart) in the AHL, then the entire process becomes much easier:

  • Klefbom—Hamonic
  • Sekera—Demers
  • Davidson—Fayne

I know there are many who don’t like Fayne, but that is a solid spot for him. The problem? He costs a pretty penny for a third-pairing guy and I think Todd McLellan isn’t his biggest fan. Let’s try this with Darnell Nurse (and Reinhart) in the AHL, Fayne and a second-round pick for a third-round selection, and the trade that brings in Hamonic (plus signing Demers and Dan Boyle):

  • Klefbom—Hamonic
  • Sekera—Demers
  • Davidson—Dan Boyle

That is going to cost Peter Chiarelli a lot of assets (the Fayne trade would be pure silliness in my opinion) but those six men (plus an inexpensive 7th) give the Oilers a substantial crew in Bakersfield and a pretty mobile group—with experience—above board. I also think Brian Campbell could be someone Edmonton considers adding this summer.

nuge 2011 draft

CENTERS, 2015-16


LEFT WINGS, 2015-16


RIGHT WINGS, 2015-16


Peter Chiarelli has done quite a bit in-season to address the forwards, as the Bruinizing of the Oilers is now in full bloom. One area I hope he has taken an accurate view is center, where RNH’s value has to be obvious in every step Leon Draisaitl takes without the veteran on the team. Edmonton’s centers are here, now, even the ones Todd McLellan might like to replace.

The wingers are in motion, especially RWs. Adding Patrick Maroon to Taylor Hall and Benoit Pouliot may well be what we see next year (although I suspect management would deal off Pouliot—a mistake—if a market could be found and Milan Lucic comes available).

Right Wing has a likely trade piece (Jordan Eberle), a work in progress (Nail Yakupov) and Zack Kassian—who has earned a job for next season in my opinion. Assuming the Oilers deal Eberle in a Hamonic acquisition, and draft early, the top 12F’s might look like this in the fall:

  • Pouliot—McDavid—Yakupov
  • Hall—Draisaitl—Patrik Laine
  • Maroon—Nuge—Kassian
  • Hendricks—Letestu—Slepsyshev

I have the Oilers buying out Lauri Korpikoski, although Mark Letestu may be the target instead. The team does have some inexpensive extras (Lander, Khaira) and of course have to get lucky and finish No. 2 in the draft lottery. I had hoped Slepyshev would emerge as a substantial scorer in the minors, but we did get a bit of a break with Yakupov’s numbers (his 5×5 numbers are down after several months at sea with Letestu as his center). I don’t know that the Oilers see Yakupov as a reasonable solution to the future at RW, but I hope they do. That $2.5M contract, along with keeping Griffin Reinhart in the minors all year, gives this team some real juice in the cap wars this summer.



Benoit Pouliot is a fine NHL player, making $4 million and is a free agent in 2019. Unlike Mark Fayne, who is a solid defenseman who lacks an offensive dimension, Pouliot has something resembling a complete skill set. He is a fine offensive player, he is physical and can also interrupt offensive sorties for the other team. In one of those inexplicable things in life, I don’t think current management is terribly fond of him. None of this matters, Pouliot is a productive player who has chem with Connor McDavid. Pouliot will be here opening night 2016-17, unless.

Unless Milan Lucic reaches free agency. If the big man doesn’t sign with LAK, and decides to pass over the Canucks (who may well be in full rebuild this summer), then my guess is we see a massive offer from the Chiarelli Oilers. I have guessed 6×6 but it could be higher.

I am not saying this to scare you, although many Oilers fans are not terribly thrilled with the idea. I am saying it because—in my opinion—this is as likely as Travis Hamonic coming here this summer. Which is to say, there is a good chance.

  • Milan Lucic—McDavid—Yakupov
  • Hall—Draisaitl—Patrik Laine
  • Maroon—Nuge—Kassian
  • Hendricks—Letestu—Slepsyshev
  • Klefbom—Hamonic
  • Sekera—Demers
  • Davidson—Fayne
  • Talbot—Brossoit

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428 Responses to "G68 2015-16: OILERS AT JETS"

« Older Comments
  1. Colieo87 says:

    Can someone offer cmd a qualifying offer during is first rda year ( year 4) similar to the Penner Fiasco? And does the player have to accept or basically the oilers have to match.

  2. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Bruce McCurdy,

    He said that he does the things coaches love in that he knows how to play game and as a result will be put out in the difficult match ups.

    this pretty much mirrors our conversation of the other day. Korpikoski does some things coaches like & gets rewarded for it.

    I don’t see him as a great defensive player but he is very capable of making great defensive plays.

  3. Gerta Rauss says:

    McLellan post game audio


    “What was your reasoning for putting Korpikoski up there with McDavid..?”

    We were in a tight game and I thought that line was giving up far too many opportunities against,
    and Korpi was playing hard on the walls-this team pinches a lot, they do some heavy board work- and Korpi was real strong on the boards, so it was more a defensive maneuver on our behalf, not necessarily an offensive one

  4. G Money says:

    *** Last Chance Texaco for Credit ***

    My first BLH post, trying to ascertain whether Draisaitl is suffering from fatigue, and testing the hypothesis by using shot metrics over the course of a game, goes live tomorrow morning.

    I would very much like to make sure the person who suggested the idea of using shot metrics that way gets credit, so if you’re reading and you’re that person, please let me know.

    And thanks!

  5. admiralmark says:

    Can someone offer cmd a qualifying offer during is first rda year ( year 4)similar to the Penner Fiasco?And does the player have to accept or basically the oilers have to match.

    I’m not exactly sure why this comes up so often.. But there isn’t a chance in hell McDavid isnt signed looooooong before he’s a RFA. This is Flames nation and Leafs Nation wishful thinking. Not happening.

  6. Centre of attention says:

    Talbot has stopped 141 of last 144 shots over last 4 games

    I’m damn glad Peter was proactive with acquiring Talbot. Considering Buffalo paid a first for Lehner before the Talbot deal was done, Peter did well. Very well in hindsight.

  7. Centre of attention says:

    Jim Matheson ‏@NHLbyMatty 1m1 minute ago
    Many pro scouts have said Davidson who had testicular cancer scare few yrs back would be 2nd pairing D on many Cup contenders right now

    Interesting analysis by Matty

  8. G Money says:


    Once an RFA, other teams can send an offer sheet to that RFA.

    The player does not have to accept an offer sheet, and if so, that’s the end of the story.

    Reason #1 why small offer sheets shouldn’t be expected to work.

    If a player does accept an offer sheet (such as Vanek did when the Oilers OS’d him), then the team who owns the RFA rights can choose to match the offer sheet, in which case the same terms will now apply, but between the player and his current team.

    Or they can not match (such as when the Oilers OS’d Penner), in which case the contract with the new team becomes binding, and the appropriate compensation must be paid by the new team.

    Reason #2 why a small offer sheet shouldn’t be expected to work. A reasonable offer sheet you would expect would *always* be matched. Only gross overpays would be problematic enough to make the other team consider not matching (like Suter and Nashville).

    I still think the best use of an offer sheet is either as a threat (which backfired in the BOS/Hamilton case), or to force a sub-cap team to match a number higher than they want, potentially freeing up other RFAs or UFAs from that team.

  9. Suntory Hanzo says:

    G Money: https://oilersnerdalert.wordpress.com/2016/03/06/g68-2016-03-06-oilers-at-another-injury-are-you-kidding/

    great…I finally make a comment at your site and I spell Oilers wrong.

  10. G Money says:

    Suntory Hanzo,

    Not to worry, I fixed it for you!

  11. AsiaOil says:

    LT – you are always looking for the “new Pisani”. May I suggest Craig Smith in NAS. Guy is having a down year scoring but is historically an elite possession player, bigger than average and can skate. I think he would be fantastic as CMD’s wingman along with Pou and “get-able” at a reasonable price.

    Hall Drai Maroon (takes on the toughs and the bigs)
    Pou CMD Smith (killer possession line that would annihilate the 2nds)
    Kassian RNH Yak
    Hendo Lander/Tube Khaira

    Fix the defense and those lines would make anyone worried in the playoffs. Lots of flexibility to load up the top line with RNH at center as well. What would we need to get Smith? I think NAS could use a young dman (GR) – and maybe that is enough – but I’m not sure. Yak and GR is too much. GR and another prospect since we are taking salary?

  12. admiralmark says:

    G Money,

    Yes but CMD will not get to RFA status. They are likely already working on that contract offer yesterday. He will be locked up well in advance. So the question of wether he can be offer sheeted is a moot point as far as i can tell.

  13. G Money says:


    Oh I agree. I’m just pointing out that the Fleafs fans who dream of getting CMD via offer sheet are [even more] full of shite [than usual]!

  14. AsiaOil says:

    G Money,

    Wanted your opinion on a guy – Craig Smith. My take is he is a very strong possession player, good size, good wheels. He’s 25 and signed to a Pouliot-like contract ($4.25 million cap hit) for another 4 years. Seems like a pretty consistent 20 goal/50 point player – but on CMD’s wing – I think he could put up more and be a great 2 way fit. Any opinions?

  15. spoiler says:

    Davidson… what a tragedy!

    Now we won’t see KBomb with a better-salted Davidson in the line up together. I suspect TMac would have slid Sekera to the starboard gunwhale, and Davidson would still be facing the same level of comp as he did when Oscar was disinfecting in his trashcan… but still.

    And this on top of never seeing a healthy top 6. Unbelievable year. Like we’re living in a noir movie. Showing this week: Jaws and a Coen doubleheader, Fargo and Raising Arizona.

    I am also worried they’re going after Lurch. I’d like to deal Fayne, get Hamonic and then find some way to get a Shattenkirk, Pietrangelo, Myers, Burns, get healthy, and get a year older and then next October find out how fast this little deuce coupe can go on a freshly-paved open road.

    I’m not worried about how hard we are at forward any more and Pouls is no sissy himself. Improve the defense and let’s go!

    Other things on the Honey list:
    –Find an AHL vet goaler w/ some NHL experience at least as good as Bachman was in case of injury on the parent club.
    –Get cheaper and better in the bottom 6 Fs. Better D means we can risk a rook or two in the support crew.

  16. Really? says:

    G Money,

    Could not agree more.

  17. stevezie says:

    Only two of four callup’s left.They need a defensive defender more than an offensive one to replace Davidson, so it is has to be Reinhart that gets the call.

    Your logic is sound, but I think injury replacements don’t count towards the callup limit. I may be mistaken.

  18. PhrankLee says:

    Hazy Davey got really hurt.

    He ran into the lake with just his socks and his shirt.

    Me and Crazy Janey were making love in the dirt.

    Singing our birthday songs.

  19. Professor Q says:

    I’ve been busy with conference things all weekend.

    What is this about Davidson?!

  20. PhrankLee says:

    Professor Q:
    I’ve been busy with conference things all weekend.

    What is this about Davidson?!

    Hit incidentally by Buff and blew out his knee. Left the facility in a wheelchair..

    Bad news. I’m sure they update it today. But it was obviously a serious injury with Buff goming down on the outside of his knee.

  21. meanashell11 says:

    and the sky is falling…..

    Let’s wait to hear the actual diagnosis before talking about blowing out his knee. Yes, it took a shudder, but given his skate was not that firmly anchored to the ice it did not appear that the torque was that bad (I hope and pray).

  22. PhrankLee says:

    and the sky is falling…..

    Let’s wait to hear the actual diagnosis before talking about blowing out his knee. Yes, it took a shudder, but given his skate was not that firmly anchored to the ice it did not appear that the torque was that bad (I hope and pray).

    One hurt rookie D does not mean the sky is falling.

    But it’s blown.

  23. GCW_69 says:

    The oilers have to be the kings of wasting possession in the offensive zone. They have developed two disturbing habits under TMac:

    1) Have the puck down low with a winger then skate it up the boards away from the opposition net and turning it over at the opposition blue line. Hall is the master at this play. Teams now see the Oilers wingers heading back against that wall with their backs to the opposition net and know they really aren’t a threat and so attack very aggressively creating a turnover. It’s brutal. At least some times they have to bull towards the net to keep the defenders honest or this will be a dead play every time.

    2) Cycle the puck around low, then start skating the wrong direction again, pass the puck to the Oilers defenceman at the blue line who then fires a weak shot into a crowd half way between the defender and the net creating nothing but a break out for the opposition. Maybe pass the puck to the other defenceman for a one timer or across to that defender who should move it to the other half wall area for a forward to take a shot. Do something rather than waste the possession.

    Seriously. The point of hockey is to get the puck to the net. Don’t do the defenders work for them. It’s brutal.

    If every member of the Oilers doesn’t make learning how to properly execute a one timer a priority in practice and again over the summer, this team will continue to have a pop gun offense. I would love to see some stats on this but I would bet the Oilers are at the bottom of the league in one timer shots.

  24. GCW_69 says:

    I hope they call up Musil. The team needs to get a look at this kid before he becomes waiver eligible next fall.

  25. Hockey Buddha says:

    Glad you featured Leon in the photo, LT. Draisaitl doesn’t get nearly enough love with all the McDavid adulations. It’s totally justified. McDavid is the money, but Drasaitl is a magnificent young man in his own right and a key to the team’s future. He’s on pace for 58 points this season in 72 games. Sam Bennett, playing for the arch enemies to the south is on pace for 41 in 82 games. Oilers management gets no love for this pick? Hell, they get no love at all, but I think they clearly got this right against the tide of criticism about it at the time. Jury is still out for a few years, but Leon is more built for what this team needs now, and he’s quietly getting the job done at higher ppg than SB. Great kid!

  26. Jaxon says:

    I hate the idea of giving up Eberle. I just read somewhere that, with McDavid, he is on a 60 goal pace. You don’t find that kind of elite sniping very often no matter who your center is. How many players have gotten 60 goals since 2006?

    This is an Interesting table:


    400 minutes over past 4 years sorted by points/60.

    1st Line (Top 90 at 3×30)
    1. McDavid 3.03
    4. Hall 2.54
    40. Draisaitl 2.06
    51. Eberle 2.00
    58. Pouliot 1.98

    2nd Line (Top 180 at 6×30)
    113. Maroon 1.79

    3rd Line (Top 270 at 9×30)
    181. Kassian 1.62 (right at the edge of top 6)
    208. Nugent-Hopkins 1.57
    216. Yakupov 1.47

    Yakupov is still pretty good value at 2.5M.
    252. Evander Kane 1.49 (5.25M)
    253. Patrick Berglund 1.49 (3.7M)

    Maroon and Kassian are great pickups for little cost (talent and salary wise).

    2. Crosby 2.73
    3. Benn 2.59

    400 minutes over past 4 years sorted by goals/60.

    1st Line (Top 90 at 3×30)
    1. McDavid 1.44
    57. Eberle 0.88
    65. Kassian 0.85
    78. Hall 0.82

    2nd Line (Top 180 at 6×30)
    122. Pouliot 0.75
    152. Draisaitl 0.72

    3rd Line (Top 270 at 9×30)
    216. Yakupov 0.64
    251. Nugent-Hopkins 0.61
    261. Maroon 0.61


    1st Line (Top 90 at 3×30)
    3. Hall 1.72
    6. McDavid 1.59
    22. Draisaitl 1.34
    52. Pouliot 1.23
    71. Maroon 1.18

    2nd Line (Top 180 at 6×30)
    92. Eberle 1.12
    178. Nugent-Hopkins 0.96

    3rd Line (Top 270 at 9×30):
    262. Yakupov 0.83

    4th Line:
    296. Kassian 0.77

  27. Zeabs93 says:

    Hall with an excellent hit on Burns, can’t remember he last time I’ve seen that.

  28. Zeabs93 says:


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