ALMOST HOME

The Edmonton Oilers can lose games all by their lonesome, thank you very much. Can someone let the refs know there is no need to help? Sweet lord above that second goal last night was a bitter pill. It is Easter Sunday morning, there will be no profanity by this blog’s author on this day. I want you to know it required a great deal of restraint (and editing!) to make it so. Dear NHL: You are losing your public because your judgements are random, unfair and inexplicable. What a way to run a railroad.

GOOD GRIEF, 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: 4-8-2
  • Oilers in March 2015: 5-6-3
  • Oilers in March 2016: 7-7-0
  • Oilers after 78 in 2014-15: 23-42-13, 59 points (-78 GD)
  • Oilers after 78 in 2015-16: 30-41-7, 67 points (-39 GD)

It looked for a time like it was going to be 8-2 again, but the Oilers made it close at the end and gave a bit of a scare to the Kings. 1-2-0 in a week that we should have expected no more. The biggest reason for the loss? I would say it is just about what Todd McLellan said above, with a dose of rookie goalie thrown in. Sending LB against LAK was a clear indication (imo) that the organization is in fact looking at him for next year. Their answer so far is coming back ‘he’s not ready’.

INDIDVIDUAL HIGH-DANGER SCORING CHANCES

  • Two: Taylor Hall, Patrick Maroon, Matt Hendricks
  • One: Connor  McDavid, Jordan Eberle, Nail Yakupov, Zack Kassian

DEFENSE, LAST NIGHT

oilers blue nov 30

  • Sekera—Fayne had a tough night, even though the possession numbers are solid. Sekera had an also in photo evening, Fayne didn’t make it to the photo in several situations. Got fed against the Carter line (Sekera was 4-13 against him) and ended up facing the lesser Lecavalier line a hair more (5:44 to 5:40) than the Carter line. If McLellan had to move his veteran pairing from the Carter to the VL line, that is not good my friends (I don’t have the evidence to show it, but this pairing faced an unusual set of forwards overall). No other pairing had a minus number at the end of the night, Sekera was -4 and Fayne -3.
  • Nurse—Clendening did not win the possession battle but looked to have more structure and faced the Kopitar line 10:11 (going 5-14, those are the Nurse numbers). Nurse battled hard and successfully along the wall, Clendening—despite the speed issues—had some good moments and an assist on what became a pretty good California run with the boxcars.
  • Reinhart—Oesterle bent but did not break to my eye, seems they have enough chemistry to figure it out even when under fire. The Kings send giants in waves toward the corners next to Edmonton’s net, Reinhart has the skills and size to win those battles, and Oesterle can move the puck (but he can also get pasted). I am thinking more and more than both may end up having NHL careers.

CENTERS, 2015-16

oil c nov 30

WINGERS, 2015-16

oilers f nov 30

  • Maroon—McDavid—Eberle has to be one of the best lines in hockey right now. McDavid is 28, 10-23-33 since his return, and at this point, pressure should be brought to bear on those not voting him for the Calder.
  • Hall—Draisaitl—Yakupov looked good in spurts but could never get it together. Chemistry will get blamed, but big Leon looks a day late and a dollar short on every sortie these days. A sad ending to what has been a terrific season. Keep Nuge.
  • Cracknell—Hendricks—Kassian did well against the Toffoli line (Hendricks 3:28 and 3-2 against Toffoli) but were not a major factor against the other secondary moderns. Their possession numbers were not good, but I don’t think there is a reason to be negative about the trio.
  • Korpikoski—Letestu—Pakarinen had a weird night. Korpikoski’s possession numbers are impossible, and yet he played 11 minutes. I would very much like to know what the coaching staff is seeing. Mark Letestu didn’t help to my eye, and he needs to in these games. Pakarinen did well enough when playing against 3 and 4line opps, not well when he was too high in the order.

I want to talk a little about other fanbases this morning. Seems to me the lottery that won the Oilers Connor McDavid has legs, and that other teams fans are still not yet over it. I want you to remember that it is not your job to defend the NHL system, and no one’s job to explain luck as it exists. I would also like to remind you that this kind of baiting is not limited to fans, there are also media who are now openly baiting Oilers fans because of the luck that got Connor McDavid here. I would encourage you to unfollow them, to avoid the programs they appear on and to enjoy your life without this kind of cheap activity. I am still somewhat new to twitter, but remain amazed at the number of responsible people who feel that it is open season on the Oilers and their fanbase. Your eyes and your money spend just as well as anyone’s, remember you have the power to unfollow, block, and especially to ignore. Godspeed.

ziggy1

HAPPY EASTER

It is about 8:30 as I begin to write this, slept in last night and am feeling slow this morning. Ziggy has been up for about 40 minutes, she is already sleeping again (the Queen sleeps a lot). Jo is telling me the weather and telling the television ‘I don’t think you change your life if you change your bathroom, lady’ to some random commercial.

We are so well. My son is flourishing in Computer Engineering and I think he may have found his career. He seems passionate too, based on how excitedly he talks about things I don’t understand. My daughter has a job and money burning a hole in her pocket but she is getting good at spending it. I miss those days, glad she is enjoying herself. We have good kids, if you meet them I bet you would agree. I am very proud of the people they have become. If you do meet them, or work with them, remember they got their temper from their Mom. Seriously. I mean it. Lordy.

Jo is good, she keeps the madhouse from going insane. We have been married for 33 years in May and honestly I cannot really remember life without her. I don’t know how many Stanley Cups the Oilers will win in the next 10 years, and I don’t know if I will still be writing this blog or doing the radio show. I do know, lord willing and the creek don’t rise, Jo and I will be sitting together on Easter morning and telling that bathroom lady she is way off. I have been blessed since I met her.

Happy Easter, or Happy Sunday. I am blessed to have you here and thank you for visiting. Please come again.

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143 Responses to "ALMOST HOME"

  1. gogliano says:

    Connor McDavid, 19 years of age, is now second in the NHL in PPG. 1.10 PPG. Only Patrick Kane has more.

    I thought the Calder was out of reach but I’m not sure how you ignore such dominance for what is a pretty large stretch of games.

  2. Bar_Qu says:

    Happy Easter to you and yours LT. May it be a “dog day” for you as you enjoy time with your lovely bride.

    We are doing the 6 kids thing (3 of ours with my brother’s 3) heading to church then egg hunt. A good day.

    All the best to all the community here.

  3. leadfarmer says:

    LB has a long way to go and if they change the equipment he may be in trouble. He is a very good at positioning and squaring himself to the defender, but he reacts a little slow, doesnt move that great and needs to work on his rebound control. Overall he looks like an AHL goalie in the NHL. I would not rely on him as a backup next year.

    Anyways Happy Easter LT and all.

  4. Halfwise says:

    Your fine blog is a blessing in my life, LT. Thank you for your level head and crooked wit, and for your endurance when those two things are not enough.

  5. dustrock says:

    Thanks for the positive thoughts LT. Always a pleasure to come here with the morning coffee and reflect and learn.

    Things are very well with my family, though very busy. I suspect that becomes the new normal. 🙂

    Happy Easter to all.

  6. Ducey says:

    Happy Easter, all.

    That 5th goal was a killer. Broissoit will be good. He is having some jitters. Another year in the AHL will do him good.

    Hard to be upset with the gritensity last night. They didnt fold.

    Ebs with 7 shots. Nice.

    No spuds in the living room 🙂

  7. Richard S.S. says:

    Alan
    You are amazing. Thank You.
    Can you be cloned? Minimum 1000 copies please. Someone needs to bring sense to the rest of the NHL.

  8. smellyglove says:

    LT, I wish you were my uncle. You are that good of a person. Enjoy the holiday!

    That blown review, injustice is the worst pill a man can be given to swallow.

  9. Frank the dog says:

    Happy Sunday to Y’all, or Resurrection Sunday as I have come to know it.

    Last night’s reffing was neither new nor random. I believe that it as intentional aa a WWE outcome, except that the game is set by the NHL minions. I believe the players, coaches, and management are all hard working people.putting in their absolute best every single day. But I will go to my grave believing that Bettman is the overseer of the most disgraceful epoch in the history of North American history.
    I don’t believe it’s random chance nor inept management or coaching nor an inadequate roster o the Canadian teams. I don’t believe that the Canadian owners are on board with this.

    I do believe tha if what I believe is correct, then there will be a cadre of owners with of the border who do call the shots, powerful enough to keep Bettman in place and applaud the work he is doing.
    C’mon folks, one of the most powerful hockey nations in the world, and not one team in the playoffs?
    Time for a split, with the Stanley under referees of proven neutrality.
    Unless the Canadian owner can find a way to,set this ship straight
    .

  10. kinger_OIL says:

    – Great post LT!: Happy Easter to you and your family and all those part of the Lowetide community

  11. Water Fire says:

    Happy Easter!

    Thanks for your blog LT, there is no other.

    I also can’t remember life before my wonderful wife. I am also proud of my kids, and though there are challenges as they grow and at the business, I feel blessed.

    For those who might not feel blessed today, our thoughts are with you.

    There is so much potential on this team, I hope next year is the year it comes to fruition. Unless they don’t mind handedness, Oesterle is making things even more complicated at LD. I could see them seeing him with Gryba as third pair.

    I am curious and anxious to see what Chia manages to do.

  12. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    Happy Easter, LT.

    I think we Oiler fans should talk about trading McDavid and Draisaitl. Why? Because all that “trade Eberle” talk has come just before Jordan has taken his play to another level. Sure, some will say he is riding McDavid’s coattails, but Eberle is still the most proven goal scorer on this team.

    I think some people ought to acknowledge Jordan’s fine play of late (even if they still have a valid point that he may be the movable piece to return a top 4 D-man).

    What’s the number McDavid needs to hit to get serious Calder consideration? I think 2 pts/ game over the final 4 could do it. 53 points in 45 games is a seriously good number and could also put him about tied with Jack Eichel in total points.

    That said, if I am handicapping I’d put odds at:

    Panarin 50%
    Ghost 35%
    McDavid 15%
    right now

    A week ago I would have said Panarin 60%, Ghost 35%, McDavid 5%
    Ghost has slowed a tad.

    The best things that could happen for a McDavid calder case other than, say a 4 point game, are a) Detroit to beat out Philly for the final playoff spot, b) Panarin to continue to stall his production, c) Ghost to slow down as he has been of late as well.

    Now who do we need to lobby/campaign who could help the cause. Bob McKenzie and Elliotte Friedman?

    We should start a campaign on Twitter with them and lobby them to vote McDavid and highlight some of the reasons why.

    Panarin’s WOWY GF with Kane should be enough to hurt his case as a starting point.

  13. Soup Fascist says:

    One expression that has stuck with as my kids have made their way from childhood to adulthood is, “as a parent, you are only as happy as your unhappiest child”.

    Truer words have never been spoken. I am so glad to hear this is a happy time for you LT.

    Happy Easter to all. At the risk of being blasphemous, let’s hope next year we are talking about the resurrection of a once proud franchise.

  14. Walter Gretzkys Neighbour says:

    LT – I’ve said it before as have so many others – I love the “way” you write. The content is fantastic but it is also the tone and the ability to evoke emotion, vision and a shared experience that is so sublime. Thank you for all that you do for this community of long suffering and persecuted fanbase. All the best for Easter for you and your family. Thank you again.

    Now as to the that second LA goal last night – it’s getting clearly ridiculous. I was watching the game last night, with our 17 year old daughter who is not much of a hockey fan (except in so far as she feels a lot of the young fellas are pretty cute) and she said “OMG, even I an see that was goaltender interference!”

    Not sure I get the rationale for this evident persecution. I used to think I was seeing things with Oiler coloured glasses. but all you have to do now is watch a game. The is so much referee bias in every game against the Oilers indeed but also in other games. Take the Montreal Rangers game last night – what were there 3-4 penalties on the Rangers for “tripping” or “holding” that amounted to little more than a Ranger “being in the vicinity of a Canadian player as they fell down”.

    It’s troubling on a lot of levels, the league continually manipulates the draft rules to try to screw the Oilers, the refs ignore penalties against and call EVERY infraction by the Oilers, the fans constantly decry the worst team in the league (or near enough to) getting the best player in the draft and now the media (mostly Toronto based) take shots at the team, organization, fans and city. I just don’t get it!

    The Oilers have been a very poor team for a decade. Isn’t the whole point of the draft order to assist poor teams in trying to improve? The league would rather abuse and destroy a franchise for spite because they’ve been poorly run than maintain a fair and unbiased system or drafting, riffing and play. That’s what it feels like.

    Thanks for hearing me out. Everyone have a great Easter.

  15. supernova says:

    Happy Easter LT!

    You sound very blessed and grateful for your blessings!

    Wish you and Mrs. LT even more blessings!

  16. leadfarmer says:

    Richard S.S.:
    Alan
    You are amazing. Thank You.
    Can you be cloned?Minimum 1000 copies please.Someone needs to bring sense to the rest of the NHL.

    1000 LTs??? What are you a divorce lawyer? I think most of us already have spouses complaining about the amount of time we spend with one LT.

  17. Bar_Qu says:

    NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”,

    The rule which took the Calder away from Gretzky should also be applied to Panarin, but won’t be. Ghost makes a good case for ROY but really McDavid would be anointed if he was on any other team than the Oilers.

  18. Ben says:

    Just watched my 4 year-old repeatedly Lucic my 2 year-old out of getting to about a dozen chocolate eggs in the yard. The whole thing is under unbearably cute video review.

  19. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    Bar_Qu:
    NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”,

    The rule which took the Calder away from Gretzky should also be applied to Panarin,but won’t be. Ghost makes a good case for ROY but really McDavid would be anointed if he was on any other team than the Oilers.

    I’m long past arguing those points, my friend. There’s no point in discussing Panarin’s eligibility as a reason to not vote for him. He is eligible. Full stop. (I know you know this). There is a point in arguing that he has ridden on Kane’s coattails. Ghost has a strong case, but for some reason the NHL community seems to think missing games because he played in the AHL is fine while missing games due to injury is not. This seems silly to me.

    I think McDavid is clearly coming on strong at the end, but as of right now I’d put money that he’d finish 3rd in voting behind those two. The gap is narrowing, however, and there is still time if he can finish strong and those two falter.

  20. 719 says:

    1. The no call cross check on Yakupov really grinds my gears. Yak looked phenomenal yesterday, all over the ice, keeping pucks in the offensive zone and chipping them out in the defensive zone. Delivering pucks where they needed to go.

    2. Andrej Sekera is having the 2nd best offensive year of his career. Quietly a great signing by Chia.

    That is all, enjoy Easter however you celebrate it.

  21. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    719:
    1. The no call cross check on Yakupov really grinds my gears.Yak looked phenomenal yesterday, all over the ice, keeping pucks in the offensive zone and chipping them out in the defensive zone.Delivering pucks where they needed to go.

    2. Andrej Sekera is having the 2nd best offensive year of his career.Quietly a great signing by Chia.

    That is all, enjoy Easter however you celebrate it.

    What’s equally disturbing is how little fuss has been made about a player hitting RNH illegally to the head and RNH getting hurt as a result.

    “Oh, he’s injury prone.” Instead of outrage league wide and a suspension for hurting an important player. If this were any other team…

  22. OilSafety says:

    Happy Easter all.
    Thank you LT for your continued work and dedication to this community and to all the posters who keep it the unique place it is.

    Resurrection Sunday on this side of the fence as well, a good time for reflection. Enjoying curious George with my 1 year old daughter this morning, the bright spot in life right now. Been out of work for over a month and things don’t look optimistic on that front, cest la vie.

    These Oilers have put a smile on my face at times this year, last night was one of them, perseverance, effort, no quit. All I can ask for as a fan.

    Have a good day everyone.

  23. Surly says:

    So much easier to take this kind of officiating when the games are meaningless (or if anything…a loss actually helps). Could you imagine if last night’s L put us one point out of the playoffs? I suspect we wouldn’t be able to take Lowetide’s sage Easter advice under advisement quite as easily. I am impressed with how the coach/players have handled it for the most part. flying off the handle Mark Cuban style might lead to short-term success at the expense of long-term fairness.

    Glad CMD got his 2 points. Dearly wish the NHL would release the votes along with who voted for what (I recall Ryan Whitney calling out the voter that said Nuge was the 5th best rookie that one year).

    To compete with LA given the defence we have…impressive. Also…

    http://www.rogersplace.com/rogers-place-live-view-3/

    Can’t wait…

  24. Lois Lowe says:

    Happy Easter LT and denizens of this wonderful place.

    On the Oiler baiting, it seems like most of it is coming out of the Eastern time zone, so I doubt that many are actually watching the games (shocking, I know). The Oilers have been decimated on the back end and have been running rookies and waiver pick ups for three quarters of the season now. Some of that is on Chia and some lies at MacT’s feet.

    Dave Hodge is the worst I’ve seen so far this year and I doubt he’s watched any of the games in the western conference that didn’t take place in the east. He seems convinced that the Oilers are tanking despite the fact that they are dressing the best lineup they have. He’s never been a favourite of mine, and now I find him insufferable. The Reporters show has one good columnist in Bruce Arthur and three dinosaurs in Hodge, Simmons, and Farber that ought to be loaded into a trebuchet and fired into the sun.

    The Oilers are better than last year. They play hockey like the rest of the league now, every team plays the ‘chip and chase’ game and it’s rare league-wide to see players enter the offensive zone with possession unless they have numbers. Almost every team is lining four players on their blue line and playing one D deep to retrieve the puck and rim it around the boards to the winger.

    When the Oilers *finally* make their giant step forward next season (I’m a fan, I have to believe they will), there will be no more talk about fixing the lottery. When the Leafs collect another top 5 pick next year, all of the talk will be about how fair the new system is. Unless the expansion franchises are gifted two of the top-three picks, in which case it will be profoundly unfair once again.

  25. stephen sheps says:

    Happy Easter to you and yours, LT and happy Easter as well to those of you that celebrate it.

    This space and community has been a part of my life a long time, through 7 cities in 3 countries over the last 8 years or so. Sometimes we get angry, sometimes we go a little bit off the rails, but we always come back to this space to talk about the things we love and hold dear. The Oilers brought us all together, but the community we’ve formed in many ways goes far beyond the team, the analytics and shared love of whisky. For that I am grateful, especially during those times I am disconnected from family and friends in the real world.

    By the way, Ziggy is pretty much perfect. I had a Shih Tzu once… well, he was an ex’s dog, but he lived with me for more than 2 years. I miss that little creature and will likely get another one when I am finally settled somewhere. They are truly wonderful animals, a highly under-rated breed.

  26. flyfish1168 says:

    Happy Easter Sunday, everyone. Thanks LT your blog is something I look forward to daily.

    LOL at beleafs. I believe I watch games with minimum bias for the Oilers. I got a kick out of babcock for his rant for kadri. He should watch the $hit kicking Hall gets and the refs seem to never see it. Hall gets obstructed or interfered so often when he chips and chases the puck its crazy.

  27. JDï™ says:


    Dave Vest
    ‏@davest4yotes

    Don Maloney on possibly trading @OEL_23 for first overall draft pick in 2016: “That will never happen.”

    Somebody is not doing their share of compelting.

  28. Spydyr says:

    Draisaitl appears to have run out of gas the last two seasons. What happens if the Oilers every make the real hockey season, the playoffs?

  29. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    Spydyr:
    Draisaitl appears to have run out of gas the last two seasons. What happens if the Oilers every make the real hockey season, the playoffs?

    The last TWO seasons? Say, what?!

  30. Soup Fascist says:

    Ben:
    Just watched my 4 year-old repeatedly Lucic my 2 year-old out of getting to about a dozen chocolate eggs in the yard. The whole thing is under unbearably cute video review.

    For the sake of your 4-year old, pretend that you are an NHL official and your youngest, getting mugged is McDavid or Hall.

    “That is a good Easter Egg hunt play. There was no infraction noted on the play”.

  31. sliderule says:

    To me that game opens up the possibility of trading Leon for a number one D.

    He was drafted to play against the big teams and he plays poorly against them.They hit him and bump him and you could see that he could hardly move his legs.

    If you are going to trade someone from top six I would rather see him go than Nuge Hall or Eberle.

  32. square_wheels says:

    NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”,

    Spydyr:
    Draisaitl appears to have run out of gas the last two seasons. What happens if the Oilers every make the real hockey season, the playoffs?

    Last season he dominated not only the WHL playoffs but the Mem Cup. He’s been dealing with a few knocks and had a lull for about 15 games. In recent games I’ve seen the old Leon holding off the west’s best D and just having some tough luck finishing, as is Hall.

    Injuries impact players, nothing more to it.

  33. Genjutsu says:

    If you want to live in a world that doesn’t contain Dave Hodge and his ilk don’t watch him on TV.

    Change the channel when he or Simmonds or any of numerous others that hurt our game by misleading the fan base rather than actually doing their job and informing the public.

    Every dollar you spend is a vote for the type of world you want to live in.

  34. JDï™ says:

    sliderule,

    He’s 20, and drew the Doughty (no pun intended) matchup most of the game.

  35. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    square_wheels,

    Did you mean to direct that at me?

  36. square_wheels says:

    sliderule,

    It’s fucking Easter, STOP TRADING OUR CENTERS !

    Sorry LT, I swear 7 days a week and extra on Christian holidays 🙂

    Edit – I’m sore today, woke up to German based Scottish buddy yapping about how awesome LA is going to be in the playoffs and all I could think of was drop kicking half their roster with skates on. I’m going to listen to Frank Turner now for a huge dose of positive energy.

  37. Zed says:

    Ha! So true.

    leadfarmer,

    leadfarmer: 1000 LTs???What are you a divorce lawyer?I think most of us already have spouses complaining about the amount of time we spend with one LT.

  38. square_wheels says:

    NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”,

    I’m having IPad issues, no, that was for Spydyr.

  39. flyfish1168 says:

    Spydyr:
    Draisaitl appears to have run out of gas the last two seasons. What happens if the Oilers every make the real hockey season, the playoffs?

    2014-15 season when Leon finished at the Memorial cup he was far and away the best player and played big minutes with the opposition draped all over him. He won MVP during the short tourney if I remember correctly. I didn’t think he was playing out of gas.

  40. Spydyr says:

    NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”: The last TWO seasons? Say, what?!

    Draisaitl appears to have run out of gas the last two seasons. What happens if the Oilers every make the real hockey season, the playoffs?

    Last year he was sent back to the WHL when he stopped producing. It did appear as if he ran out of gas.Trying to hold your own against men in the NHL is very different than dominating boys in junior.

  41. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    square_wheels,

    Ah, yeah. I was just being the court jester. You and Flyfish are correctly informing Spydyr of LD’s strong finish to last year.

    Spydyr, I don’t think there’s cause for concern. This is Leon’s first “full” season, and it isn’t even full. He will build up his strength and season-long stamina soon enough.

  42. Spydyr says:

    flyfish1168: 2014-15 season when Leon finished at the Memorial cup he was far and away the best player and played big minutes with the opposition draped all over him. He won MVP during the short tourney if I remember correctly. I didn’t think he was playing out of gas.

    See above.

  43. Wolfie says:

    As usual I have an opinion on goaltending….

    LB seems to have the tools. The difference is the gap in talent between the NHL and the AHL. That statement seems obvious at face value. He needs to make the adjustments in order to succeed at the NHL level. I’m not sure spending more time in the AHL will help him develop further.

    It’s a little bit of a catch 22 situation in that the experience he needs comes at a tremendous cost. The start of next year isn’t the time to let him learn. The time to get him games was the moment they traded Nilsson.

    Talbot has been very good and as the starter needs the net but in my opinion the split of games needed to be closer to 50/50.

    LB needs those extra at-bats to work on the little things he needs to improve in order to be an NHL caliber goalie. That extra bit of aggressiveness in terms of positioning.

  44. square_wheels says:

    flyfish1168,

    You’ve got it correct, he played nearly 100 games between playoffs and mem cup. I see plays every game where he holds off the games best D and makes later passes directly into sticks, all while being in what essentially his first pro season.

    Leon is a beast, just wait until he’s 24 and has this league figured out.

  45. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    Spydyr: Draisaitl appears to have run out of gas the last two seasons. What happens if the Oilers every make the real hockey season, the playoffs?

    Last year he was sent back to the WHL when he stopped producing. It did appear as if he ran out of gas.Trying to hold your own against men in the NHL is very different than dominating boys in junior.

    Draisaitl didn’t run out of gas last season. He was in over his head and the Oilers should have sent him down after 9 games, but they didn’t because MacT had a plan (a bad one).

  46. square_wheels says:

    Spydyr,

    That’s a valid point, he’s facing the leagues best the entire time CMD was gone and took some serious late hits and slash/cross check action as the year progressed.

    But let’s not trade a 20yr old that’s already able to do what he’s done this early in his career.

  47. rich says:

    LT,

    Great read this morning. Thanks much for all you do.

    Happy Easter all.

    Re: Drai – JDI nails it (no pun intended). You’re in your 2nd year in the NHL and you go up against Doughty – it’s not going to be easy. Won’t be surprised if we read he’s been hurt for awhile at the end of the season. Still like him better than Sam Bennett and he’s put up a lot more offense.

    Re: Reinhart/Oesterle – like what I’m seeing from both of them. Together they are a good 3rd pairing and hope that next season, they start in Bakersfield, get monster minutes and are the 1st call-ups after injuries hit. Oesterle moves the puck well, Reinhart is getting that snarl. But if Nurse is in the NHL next season, you have to have him on the 3rd pairing. He’s not yet ready for more than that.

    Re: LB. Yup, he’s not ready for prime-time and there’s no shame in that. Good we’re finding this out now. Make’s Chia’s list this summer very clear.

    Have to say, I’ve liked Chia’s in-season work better. You’re not going to hit a home run on every move, but he’s obviously got a vision and plan for getting there that is much better than the cluster that MacT created in trying to undo the dismantling that Tambo did.

    Doesn’t feel like it at the end of another poor season, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel here.

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

    Some thoughts.

    Let the haters hate, Connor McDavid is an Oiler for now and likely into the very distant future if they improve from year over year. Have fun hating clowns we will simply enjoy the show that has guys like Subban and Giordano already scratching their heads. Actually I’ll take it a step further, it is by pure dumb luck that he’s an Oiler so you know what be humble and turn the other cheek. Connor will make them all look stupid and we will be the ones that get to enjoy it.

    2) Eastern media is eastern media. Toronto hasn’t been a good team for 50 years and turns out the Habs were a paper tiger hiding behind the best goalie in the league (although Holtby is giving him a run for his money this year). Again let the haters hate and enjoy the show.

    3) I hope at the end of year pressed that Katz agrees to compensate TMac and Chia later on and they absolutely unleash on the officials. I know it won’t happen but after the Yak cross-check, the Nuge hit, the disallowed goals all year and the completely bogus handling of Kassian is San Jose (ya dumb play but he did not deserve a game misconduct for his action not even fricken close) there has to be a breaking point. There is a 45 second back and forth between TMac and Gregor I believe in the post game last night and you can hear the exasperation in McClellans voice. Hopefully they speak their minds but I’m not holding my breath.

    4) I’m thankful for this blog, my girlfriend cannot stand my obsession most days but this place is a fantastic outlet for an Oilers fanatic who is now sandwiched between the two most entitled markets in hockey. Cheers to you all for widening my perspective of the game and for adding hard numbers to things that we have all seen but could never quite pin down.

    5) there are 4 games left in this forgettable season but what should not be overlooked is that there is the potential for the team to have their best season since 2008/2009. I’ve gone from feelings of optimism, sadness, anger, rage, acceptance and now at this point back to optimism. There has in fact been a turn North this year and while injuries, less than complete buy-in to defensive aspects of the game and some wonky goalering to start off the year surely impacted the scale of the turn but it has in fact happened. It’s been a long long decade and finally finally I see a light. I don’t see the end of the tunnel yet but I do see a light.

    6) We have Connor McDavid as a centreman. That. Is. All.

    Happy Easter to you all and thanks to LT for coming up with something every single day to keep us all interested in this silly hockey team in the frozen Great White North!

  49. Spydyr says:

    NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”: Draisaitl didn’t run out of gas last season. He was in over his head and the Oilers should have sent him down after 9 games, but they didn’t because MacT had a plan (abad one).

    You see it one way I see it another.It’s all good.

  50. Chachi says:

    NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”: What’s equally disturbing is how little fuss has been made about a player hitting RNH illegally to the head and RNH getting hurt as a result.

    “Oh, he’s injury prone.” Instead of outrage league wide and a suspension for hurting an important player. If this were any other team…

    6’4 Connor Murphy jumps up to launch his shoulder into Nuge’s head and there isn’t even a thought that it might have deserved a penalty. Brutal.

  51. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Other than the trapezoid fiasco, I’m interested to know which goals the community feels Brossoit should have stopped?

  52. Fog of Warts says:

    When I’m at home, I respond to every commercial personality to appears within these walls as if a guest I invited into my home just blurted something like that out. Retorts such as “lady, are you sniffing glue?” are well to the warm and hospitable side of the ledger.

    After losing the battle in their own castle with the nightly newsfeed, people feel the need to out onto the internet and fight the whole world.

    What a sad inversion of social decorum.

  53. JDï™ says:

    Spydyr: Last year he was sent back to the WHL when he stopped producing.

    When he STOPPED producing? What part of his 9 points in 37 games was considered his productive period? He shouldn’t have been in the league, and he shouldn’t have been coached by Eakins. But yes, the 20 year old is a bum, can’t produce against the biggest team in the west, and should be traded.

    You’re almost as bad as verdud.

  54. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    rich:
    LT,

    Great read this morning.Thanks much for all you do.

    Happy Easter all.

    Re: Drai – JDI nails it (no pun intended).You’re in your 2nd year in the NHL and you go up against Doughty – it’s not going to be easy. Won’t be surprised if we read he’s been hurt for awhile at the end of the season.Still like him better than Sam Bennett and he’s put up a lot more offense.

    Re: Reinhart/Oesterle – like what I’m seeing from both of them.Together they are a good 3rd pairing and hope that next season, they start in Bakersfield, get monster minutes and are the 1st call-ups after injuries hit.Oesterle moves the puck well, Reinhart is getting that snarl.But if Nurse is in the NHL next season, you have to have him on the 3rd pairing.He’s not yet ready for more than that.

    Re: LB. Yup, he’s not ready for prime-time and there’s no shame in that.Good we’re finding this out now.Make’s Chia’s list this summer very clear.

    Have to say, I’ve liked Chia’s in-season work better.You’re not going to hit a home run on every move, but he’s obviously got a vision and plan for getting there that is much better than the cluster that MacT created in trying to undo the dismantling that Tambo did.

    Doesn’t feel like it at the end of another poor season, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel here.

    On Chia’s in-season vs. off-season work.

    I wonder if framing it in two eras makes some sense because something similar seemed to happen in Boston when he arrived (I believe there was a quote from Chia a while back saying he deferred some of the decision-making back then. Or he had to as he wasn’t allowed to directly meddle?)

    In Edmonton, off-season:
    Deferral to existing staff: not buying out Nikitin, keeping Ference on payroll, re-signing Schultz, trading for Griffin Reinhart

    Can’t speak for Talbot, Korpikoski and Letestu acquisitions. Not sure the old regime would have advocated any of that.

    In Edmonton, in-season:
    Burying Nikitin in minors, putting Ference on LTIR, trading away Schultz, trading for Kassian and Maroon

    Maybe Chia is now putting his stamp on the team and trusts MacT and Howson’s judgment at the pro level less. As for Bob Green’s Reinhart call, jury is still out.

  55. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    Bruce McCurdy:
    Other than the trapezoid fiasco, I’m interested to know which goals the community feels Brossoit should have stopped?

    First goal rebound control was bad. I blame that one on Brossoit.

  56. square_wheels says:

    Bruce McCurdy,

    The Cracknell as Defenceman after a poor Sekera pinch, he was too deep and Toffoli always shoots high. Want him out to challenge the shooter there.

    That’s really the only one that wasn’t our D being, you know, Oiler D.

  57. Psyche says:

    Happy Easter Lowetide,

    I appreciate the NHL / railroad reference. It’s a little like AMC’s ‘Hell on Wheels’ at times.

    We had a great morning of pancakes followed by the first egg hunt for our 2.5 year old daughter. She was so enthusiastic – great times.

    Now, if only the remaining snow would melt (here in Sask). That would be an Easter miracle!

  58. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    Spydyr: You see it one way I see it another.It’s all good.

    Honestly, though, “ran out of gas at the pro level last year” is a really weird way of framing it. He wasn’t ready. Period. He didn’t really bring the gas at all to start with. This entire site was in agreement he needed to be sent down at the 9 game mark, and LD put up like a 2 point game or something around game 8 and they kept him. It was stupid.

    This year, I agree he has run out of gas, but last year he was simply in over his head and not ready. I don’t understand how you see him as having run out of gas since he went down to his peer level and flat-out dominated once he was there.

  59. Spydyr says:

    JDï™: When he STOPPED producing? What part of his 9 points in 37 games was considered his productive period? He shouldn’t have been in the league, and he shouldn’t have been coached by Eakins. But yes, the 20 year old is a bum, can’t produce against the biggest team in the west, and should be traded.

    You’re almost as bad as verdud.

    Slow down.take a deep breath. Who said trade him? I made an observation that his last two seasons in the NHL IMO he appeared to run out of gas.At no point was a trade even suggested or implied.. Eat a snickers you will feel better.

  60. hags9k says:

    Happy Easter LT.

    We’ve been enjoying a nice holiday in the okanagan with my sister. All the kids are having a blast, parents and G-parents too. Thanks for your ability to keep putting our passion for this crazy team in perspective.

    P.S. Saw Lucas Johansen real good on Friday night.

  61. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    Spydyr,

    Anyway, to answer your question about what happens when the Oilers make the real season, ie, playoffs, I say…
    “Playoffs?! You want to talk about playoffs?!”
    And then I say
    “I wouldn’t worry too much yet. By that stage, Draisaitl should have further strength and stamina to cope. “

  62. square_wheels says:

    Spydyr,

    Today might turn into a “Dont make dad stop this car, it’s fucking Easter. You will walk home from Granny’s farm and do extra chores and be grounded from street hockey! ”

    Or maybe I’m having flashbacks ?

  63. Spydyr says:

    NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”:
    Spydyr,

    Anyway, to answer your question about what happens when the Oilers make the real season, ie, playoffs, I say…
    “Playoffs?! You want to talk about playoffs?!”
    And then I say
    “I wouldn’t worry too much yet. By that stage, Draisaitl should have further strength and stamina to cope. ”

    We do agree on that.

  64. Spydyr says:

    square_wheels:
    Spydyr,

    Today might turn into a “Dont make dad stop this car, it’s fucking Easter. You will walk home from Granny’s farm and do extra chores and be grounded from street hockey! ”

    Or maybe I’m having flashbacks ?

    Don’t make me stop this car…..Too funny.

  65. square_wheels says:

    If LT is taking votes on the RE series music, I want to place 1 Billion on Blue Rodeo.

    God damn are they awesome, been revisiting their catalogue since he mentioned them as a possibility.

    Cash and U2 are as good as consolation prizes get (not feeling the Byrds, sorry).

    Old BR has such a bluesy feel, they really defined their own sound.

  66. flyfish1168 says:

    Spydyr: See above.

    Your definition of “out of gas ” is different than mine.

    http://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/run+out+of+gas

    See the stats

    http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/pdisplay.php?pid=160174

    32 games with rockets

    http://www.mastercardmemorialcup.ca/stats/show/top_scorers/51/0

    Can’t do this if you are out of gas.

    NHL is a hard league on rookies. He was over his head for the 9 games he played last season. This season he is playing more games and deeper into the regular season. As teams get ready for the PO it becomes more difficult with the tight checking. With Hall on his line he will face the oppositions best D-men.

  67. Walter Gretzkys Neighbour says:

    Bruce McCurdy:
    Other than the trapezoid fiasco, I’m interested to know which goals the community feels Brossoit should have stopped?

    I’m actually thinking the one goal that should have been “stopped” was the one the refs screwed up on in the goaltender interference call. Though I must admit it did bother me a bit that LB seemed to just lay there floundering rather than trying to get back up…

    LB isn’t there yet, but where the heck else can he get NHL level competition without is costing a lot? So of course if we try to use these games as “evaluation” the media choose to see this as tanking. But 14 AHL call-ups for Toronto is “good asset management and assessment”

  68. Professor Q says:

    gogliano:
    Connor McDavid, 19 years of age, is now second in the NHL in PPG.1.10 PPG.Only Patrick Kane has more.

    I thought the Calder was out of reach but I’m not sure how you ignore such dominance for what is a pretty large stretch of games.

    He has been for some time, actually. I do believe he was first for a while?

    Same with Drai, although that obviously hit a plateau.

  69. Woodguy says:

    Soup Fascist: For the sake of your 4-year old, pretend that you are an NHL official and your youngest, getting mugged is McDavid or Hall.

    “That is a good Easter Egg hunt play. There was no infraction noted on the play”.

    That’s fabulous.

    Well done.

  70. Professor Q says:

    Lois Lowe:
    Happy Easter LT and denizens of this wonderful place.

    On the Oiler baiting, it seems like most of it is coming out of the Eastern time zone, so I doubt that many are actually watching the games (shocking, I know). The Oilers have been decimated on the back end and have been running rookies and waiver pick ups for three quarters of the season now. Some of that is on Chia and some lies at MacT’s feet.

    Dave Hodge is the worst I’ve seen so far this year and I doubt he’s watched any of the games in the western conference that didn’t take place in the east. He seems convinced that the Oilers are tanking despite the fact that they are dressing the best lineup they have. He’s never been a favourite of mine, and now I find him insufferable. The Reporters show has one good columnist in Bruce Arthur and three dinosaurs in Hodge, Simmons, and Farber that ought to be loaded into a trebuchet and fired into the sun.

    The Oilers are better than last year. They play hockey like the rest of the league now, every time plays the ‘chip and chase’ game and it’s rare league-wide to see players enter the offensive zone with possession unless they have numbers. Almost every team is lining four players on their blue line and playing one D deep to retrieve the puck and rim it around the boards to the winger.

    When the Oilers *finally* make their giant step forward next season (I’m a fan, I have to believe they will), there will be no more talk about fixing the lottery. When the Leafs collect another top 5 pick next year, all of the talk will be about how fair the new system is. Unless the expansion franchises are gifted two of the top-three picks, in which case it will be profoundly unfair once again.

    I agree. I brought this up yesterday as well when I gave Hodge a Thumbs Down for stating that despite the most ridiculous luck, reffing, and injuries to important players, Edmonton is clearly tanking, while top teams who have benefited from drafting highly over the years get one injury and it’s ‘woe is them’ and the draft system to be blamed.

  71. fifthcartel says:

    McDavid leads the league in 5 on 5 points/60 with 2.92. Also the first rookie since Malkin to be a point per game in the rookie season.

    Get this guy some defense to play with. I’d be messaging Sakic every day about Barrie if they don’t make the playoffs.

  72. rich says:

    NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”,

    I think you have it circled there. When Chia came on board, he didn’t say he had all the answers on this team. He knew there was work to do and he kept (right or wrong) a couple of the guys around from the previous regime to help him get up to speed.

    Also – and I can’t find it anywhere now, he was not able to bring some of the people he trusted over from Boston because they were still under contract.

    Given this, and the amount of work to be done, he made some good decisions and others that have not worked out. As he is more familiar with what he has now, he’s able to put his stamp on it – and I think this summer will be that next phase that will launch the team forward. Call me an optimist (it is Easter), but I think the big leap forward is next season. Learning curves, growing pains with a young D are going to be behind us.

    Balance.

  73. rich says:

    NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”: First goal rebound control was bad. I blame that one on Brossoit.

    Would also include two of the goals against Nashville where Neal sniped him. Playing to deep in the net.

    No shame in that, he’s a kid, he’s learning.

  74. godot10 says:

    Chiarelli is looking at a “Sophie’s Choice” summer. Hopefully, he can channel an inner Captain Kirk and outwit the Kobayashi Maru scenario.

    MacT, under similar circumstances, just flew the ship directly into the Dementor Black Hole.

  75. square_wheels says:

    Lois Lowe,

    Thanks for posting, we don’t see you enough around here. I enjoy your sensible, level headed optimism and have recently found myself looking at this roster like I do work.

    I work in “big oil”, have for nearly 20 years. The industry, like so many before it (dot com) , and more that will surely follow it (solar), will be faced with some ugly self reflection. I’ve always welcomed difficult times, not only should we be specifically singled out for some public scrutiny in light of climate change, but regardless of what the public thinks we owe it to ourselves to fix what ails us (another topic).

    There is unending doom in Calgary these days, the downtown is devoid of smiling faces and good news regarding job opportunities. I tell my team all the time, so much that I’m sure they’ve grown tired of hearing it, but it’s important to understand if my company, or any other wants to come out of this capable of thriving at $50 oil.

    Look at your data objectively, make decisions based on them. Set up strong but adaptable processes but ruthlessly enforce their use, and the clincher – do good work everyday, no matter how hard or emotionally conflicted it may seem. Greatness comes from doing good things for a long time, you can’t become great over night.

    I’ve seen some good things from this club, a healthy D, some additions to that group and some reshaping of the bottom 6 gets us into the middling range. From there……who knows, just like the run in 09 or the next 12 months in Calgary, who friggin knows.

    Just get to good, then be patient (and creative 🙂 )

  76. wheatnoil says:

    Happy Easter, LT and to all who are here.

  77. Johnny skid says:

    SayItAin’tSo, Gretz, SayItAin’tSo!: 5) there are 4 games left in this forgettable season but what should not be overlooked is that there is the potential for the team to have their best season since 2008/2009. I’ve gone from feelings of optimism, sadness, anger, rage, acceptance and now at this point back to optimism. There has in fact been a turn North this year and while injuries, less than complete buy-in to defensive aspects of the game and some wonky goalering to start off the year surely impacted the scale of the turn but it has in fact happened. It’s been a long long decade and finally finally I see a light. I don’t see the end of the tunnel yet but I do see a light.

    i can certainly relate to this comment.

  78. Woogie63 says:

    I would like to see LB play in 3 games balance of year.

  79. Woogie63 says:

    Do you every wonder how a “hockey insiders” knows the coach is frustrated with the forward group, but they can’t tell what the specific injury is that keeping a player out of the line-up?

  80. Lowetide says:

    wheatnoil:
    Happy Easter, LT and to all who are here.

    You too, and all back!

  81. J-Bo says:

    Happy Easter everybody! LT, I come for the excellent and insightful Oilers coverage. I stay for the pieces of your story that are woven into it all. May God bless you and yours today my friend! 🙂

  82. G Money says:

    Happy Easter to all who Easterize (and to those who don’t too).

    Especially LT – your family-related posts are always heart-warming.

  83. bendelson says:

    I hope everyone has a great day with family and friends today… I’ll be on the farm with my wife’s family.
    Always a good time…

    So, THAT goal last night.
    I count 4 problems/errors with the call in the ice:
    1) No penalty on the play. It could have been blown dead with Lucic receiving 2 min for tripping.
    2) The ref could have hedged his bet and not called a penalty but could have blown the play dead due to ‘incidental’ contact with the goalie.
    3) Instead, the only call that allows the goal to stand is that Pak. drove Lucic into our goalie (never happened). Play on.
    4) The final issue is the NHL itself. Ask the same ref to ‘revisit’ his call through the coach’s challenge and don’t bring in any outside help. Useless. Bad call upheld of course (but thankfully he took a second look).

    It takes real work to get something that wrong.
    Ug.

    Thanks to LT for all you do…

  84. bobinyvr says:

    Thank you Lowetide for your insights and the impressive amount of content (and smiles) you produce.

    Funniest thing about this season for me was that winning the lottery hardly seemed real. And with McDavid’s injury it seemed like a tease or mirage. Yet now as he dazzles and dangles it too seems unreal – like I can’t believe my eyes.

    I’m somewhat encouraged by this year – principally with McDavid, Drai, Talbot, Maroon, Davidson.

    I’ll be crossing all my fingers and toes for lottery night and anxious to see what Chia has in store.

  85. Bruce McCurdy says:

    NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”: First goal rebound control was bad. I blame that one on Brossoit.

    Toffoli tipped the original shot from directly in front of the net. In that situation the goalie’s first job is to react & make the save, &’rebound control is a secondary objective. If the initial shot comes straight through from the point, yeah sure, that puck should be in the corner. But when your defence allows the other team’s top sniper free rein to tip a shot, then have full access to the leavings without anybody so much as breathing on the guy, I’m looking at other guys than the goalie to blame. That was terrible.

  86. Bruce McCurdy says:

    square_wheels:
    Bruce McCurdy,

    The Cracknell as Defenceman after a poor Sekera pinch, he was too deep and Toffoli always shoots high. Want him out to challenge the shooter there.

    That’s really the only one that wasn’t our D being, you know, Oiler D.

    The other team’s top sniper is allowed to walk in unmolested & his perfect shot tickles iron on the way in. Goalie’s fault!

    Maybe he could have played that different, but holy moly. Cracknell didn’t even know which way to pivot.

  87. G Money says:

    BTW, here is a test viz which seems to reflect ‘what really happened’ pretty well:

    http://i.imgur.com/Nqgb83Z.png

    It blends the individual +- for Corsi (in blue) and for Dangerous Fenwick (in red). Purple of course is where they overlap. The key is to look for big deltas.

    On the plus side, Maroon, McD, Eberle, Nurse and Clendening had much better games than what the raw Corsi shows.

    Reinhart, Oesterle were both somewhat better, while Yak and Crack were both slightly worse than the raw numbers suggest.

    Fayne, Sekera, and Korkpikoski were all noteably worse than their raw numbers suggest. (Amazing in Korpi’s case, given how bad his raw numbers were).

    So the questions for everybody thinking about hockey this fine Easter Sunday morning:

    a. do those results meet the smell test based on your eye test?

    b. is there value in the visualization? Worthwhile overview of the whole team and the interplay between the two stats, or too complicated?

  88. One-Timer says:

    square_wheels:
    Lois Lowe,

    Greatness comes from doing good things for a long time, you can’t become great over night.

    That’s the Lowetide blog in a nutshell, right there.

    Keep up the great work, LT. You’re the industry standard.

    And Happy Easter!

  89. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Walter Gretzkys Neighbour: I’m actually thinking the one goal that should have been “stopped” was the one the refs screwed up on in the goaltender interference call. Though I must admit it did bother me a bit that LB seemed to just lay there floundering rather than trying to get back up…

    LB isn’t there yet, but where the heck else can he get NHL level competition without is costing a lot? So of course if we try to use these games as “evaluation” the media choose to see this as tanking. But 14 AHL call-ups for Toronto is “good asset management and assessment”

    Watch the reverse angle of that & watch LB’s eyes. He’s been spilled to the ice from behind & he’s searching for the puck in all the traffic. When he finds it it’s on Carter’s stick. His job at that point is to make himself as bog as he can & hope the shooter hits him or the iron. Carter didn’t miss. Sorry, i am not putting that on the goalie. The referees botched the penalty call & the challenge both.

  90. square_wheels says:

    Bruce McCurdy,

    Cracks pivot was hilarious, there’s guys in my rec league that get shaken beers for that play.

    I thought he should have come out further, but Toffoli, like most elite shooters, gives lots of goalies problems.

    Did anyone else catch Kypreos trying to show off Perry’s blade and long stick pre-game ? Lordy, SN needs a makeover or a second feed for adults.

  91. @YegThoughts says:

    Isn’t it a good feeling at least to finally be able to have optimism that we will see some good hockey moves take place in the off-season?
    I know that after sticking by this team through ten years of thin that I have not been this hopeful in that time.
    We do have the pieces to make the right moves, we will have a state of the art arena to experience and we have an elite hockey star being born right in front of our eyes.
    Whoops! I meant to post that on Thanksgiving – my bad.
    McHappy McEaster McSunday to one and all…

  92. GCW_69 says:

    Happy Easter all!

    LB trial run may cost TMac the ability to finish the season at Nelson’s pace. 72 points is the bar. Anything less is a dismal failure.

    I will give TMac credit for this though, when down his team pushes back harder than Nelson or Eakins. That’s something but given the underlying premise begins with being behind, I wouldn’t write home to mama about it.

  93. Centre of attention says:

    I made french toast this morning with the Family. Wonderful bonding time, until the breakfast sausages started sticking to the damn skillet.

    No regrets. Happy Easter all!

    Also, on the topic of last nights game: I’m not even that mad. The Oilers were winning most shifts & generally out playing the Kings until that call. That really took the wind out of their sails, completely changed the momentum. Then that short handed goal pretty much wrapped it, though they did push late.

    I like Oesterle. Is he a smaller “Eric Brewer” in the mythic 3-for-1? Stay tuned.

  94. stush18 says:

    Merry Easter ya filthy animals!

    Missed the games this weekend cuz my gfs family isn’t into hockey that much.

    Sounds like LB is struggling a little. Hopefully he isn’t just a bug goalie doing well in the AHL. I think he just needs experience.

    As far as these calls from the refs go, I honestly think the oilers have built up a solid reputation as whiners When they first broke in as teenagers and were manhandled. Now they still carry that with them.

    Also size does play into these decisions. As a former ref, it’s a hard line trying to decide whether or not to punish a large player for being large. If Connor Murphy isn’t 6’4″, then he prolly doesn’t clip nuges head. Add in that it’s all happening as such fast speeds, and that the oilers had a rep of complaining, and I don’t see things changing unless the NHL goes back to its no nonsense rules they had when Crosby broke into the league. And they might do that for the new generational player in town.

  95. G Money says:

    Bruce McCurdy,

    The value of Danger ratings at the individual shot level is somewhat questionable, but FWIW, not a single LAK goal was rated below 1.0 (i.e. average). The ranged from 1.28 to 3.0.

    That said, while I don’t blame LB for the loss, at the same time, I’m not convinced that LB was ‘strong’ in this game either. I say that in the sense that even though at an atomic level you can look at any given goal and say they were all tough to unstoppable, in fact, NHL goalies routinely stop 8 out of 10 high danger chances.

  96. Rondo says:

    LT,

    How will they do the draft lottery for TV.

    Will they draw for 1st overall first? Will they draw for #3 first? Will they draw in the back room and start at #14 and go down for TV?

  97. Lowetide says:

    Rondo:
    LT,

    How will they do the draft lotteryfor TV.

    Will they drawfor 1st overallfirst? Will they draw for #3 first?Will they draw in the back room and start at #14 and go down for TV?

    Well, the best way to do it is back to front, so No. 14 through No. 1. We might know a team is out of order, but won’t know if they are 1, 2, or 3. Now, the television people are going to have a way better idea than me, but suspect it will go that way.

  98. square_wheels says:

    Rondo,

    I was hoping they would contract The Count to come in and make the call.

    Oilers with the numver Vuuuuuunnnn pick ha ha ha.

  99. 31saves says:

    Lowetide,

    I’m hopeful they do it the same as last year, from 14 to 1, only that there will be a gold, silver and bronze card. Keep running through the draft order until all three cards are shown.

  100. Bruce McCurdy says:

    G Money:
    BTW, here is a test viz which seems to reflect ‘what really happened’ pretty well:

    http://i.imgur.com/Nqgb83Z.png

    It blends the individual +- for Corsi (in blue) and for Dangerous Fenwick (in red).Purple of course is where they overlap.The key is to look for big deltas.

    On the plus side, Maroon, McD, Eberle, Nurse and Clendening had much better games than what the raw Corsi shows.

    Reinhart, Oesterle were both somewhat better, while Yak and Crack were both slightly worse than the raw numbers suggest.

    Fayne, Sekera, and Korkpikoski were all noteably worse than their raw numbers suggest.(Amazing in Korpi’s case, given how bad his raw numbers were).

    So the questions for everybody thinking about hockey this fine Easter Sunday morning:

    a. do those results meet the smell test based on your eye test?

    b. is there value in the visualization?Worthwhile overview of the whole team and the interplay between the two stats, or too complicated?

    Damn straight there is value. After the game I was scratching my head at 2-5 having by far the best Corsi when they had been burned for several goals. The other D had crappy Corsi but fewer tire fires, & i think that shows here.

    As for Korpikoski, it’s hard to believe his game could have been any worse than his raw shot metrics which were beyond horrible, but Korpi keeps finding new ways to surprise us.

  101. One-Timer says:

    On the theme of Johan Cruyff (rip) being the comparable for CMD…
    That move where he undressed Vinnie (the second time, I mean) leading to the assist: could we call it The McDavid Turn?

  102. Bruce McCurdy says:

    G Money:
    Bruce McCurdy,

    The value of Danger ratings at the individual shot level is somewhat questionable, but FWIW, not a single LAK goal was rated below 1.0 (i.e. average).The ranged from 1.28 to 3.0.

    That said, while I don’t blame LB for the loss, at the same time, I’m not convinced that LB was ‘strong’ in this game either.I say that in the sense that even though at an atomic level you can look at any given goal and say they were all tough to unstoppable, in fact, NHL goalies routinely stop 8 out of 10 high danger chances.

    Yeah that’s fair. i graded LB a “3” while mentioning how much shit happened to him. The danger is that some in the fanbase see a big 5 on the scoreboard with maybe one bad goal & jump to the erroneous conclusion that the goalie is somehow responsible for the entire damn mess. but when your defence parts like the red sea twice in the first 20 seconds, that’s more than just a goaltending problem.

  103. rickithebear says:

    G Money:
    Bruce McCurdy,

    The value of Danger ratings at the individual shot level is somewhat questionable, but FWIW, not a single LAK goal was rated below 1.0 (i.e. average).The ranged from 1.28 to 3.0.

    That said, while I don’t blame LB for the loss, at the same time, I’m not convinced that LB was ‘strong’ in this game either.I say that in the sense that even though at an atomic level you can look at any given goal and say they were all tough to unstoppable, in fact, NHL goalies routinely stop 8 out of 10 high danger chances.

    Shot faced are a measure of the D.

    Did you break the low, med, high shots down to a group of 6 open and closed shots?

  104. who says:

    Woogie63:
    I would like to see LB play in 3 games balance of year.

    I would too. We need to lose 3 out of four to cement our draft position. Seriously. I am getting genuinley concerned that the Oilers will sweep their last 3 games and finish 25th, thereby screwing themselves out of a top 3 pick. Don’t think we can rely on luck every year. We gotta put in the effort. Now is not the time to go on a winning streak.
    Did not see LB particularly bad on any goal last night except the 5th. Did not look good laying on his belly while Carter patiently waited and then threw it in the top half of the net. The bigger concern for me was his inability to swallow up shots that hit him in the chest. There was a few times there when the Oilers could have used a stoppage and the puck would bounce 10 ft away from him and the Kings would cycle it for another minute.

  105. fifthcartel says:

    Lowetide,

    I think this is how the NBA does it and it sounds incredibly suspenseful. They cut to break before they draw the top 3 so you only know the three teams there, but not the position they pick.

    It won’t compare to the McDavid lottery in terms of excitement, but it’ll still be really interesting.

  106. B S says:

    NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker": there is still time if he can finish strong and those two falter.

    I doubt there’s time. I’d bet most of the so-called “hockey writers” have already cast their vote. I’d bet they made up their mind the moment McDavid missed 20 games. It happened when Yakupov missed even being a finalist (the first top rookie scorer to ever have it happen, despite having a +/- only marginally worse than Huberdeau), I didn’t expect him to win, but at least be a finalist, too bad the votes were already tallied two weeks before the season was even over. It happened when Nuge was robbed of the Calder his year, despite equaling Landeskog in far fewer games.

    I predicted at the beginning of the season that McDavid wouldn’t win the Calder. I am disappointed and frustrated to be on the cusp of being right, but not surprised.

  107. speeds says:

    31saves:
    Lowetide,

    I’m hopeful they do it the same as last year, from 14 to 1, only that there will be a gold, silver and bronze card. Keep running through the draft order until all three cards are shown.

    More tension can be built LT’s way, would be surprised if they don’t do it that way.

    Probably do 14-4, which would let the audience know which 3 teams have the top 3 picks, but not the order. Then take a commercial break, and reveal, 3 and then either 2, then 1, or just reveal 1 once they’ve already revealed 3.

  108. McSorley33 says:

    Happy Easter.

    We tend to focus on the areas we disagree on, but…..

    There are no words, sometimes, for watching Letestu and Korpse.

    The numbers almost defy belief. Does anyone actually doubt their eyes when watching Korpse play?

    Letestu played 16:20 / Hendricks 11:55

    Korpse actually was allowed on the ice for 14:45…only slightly less than Maroon.

    They were OWNED by Clifford/Dowd/Andreoff?

    Shoulder Tap, …Mark, Lauri go rock the PP

  109. AsiaOil says:

    Bruce McCurdy,

    Bruce I don’t blame him at all for the Carter goal – he was friggin dumped on his ass, and as you said, just trying to cover some net. The refs excuse is bullshit and they know it. That said – he has been playing too deep, too passively and too tentatively for the last several starts and he can be knocked off his game pretty easily by a bad bounce.

    He’s not a bad goalie – just clearly not ready – no shame in that and back to the AHL he goes next year unless he shows up in TC looking markedly better. I would get a vet backup for TC with the understanding that he gets a totally fair shot at the job. Should not be hard as Chia did exactly that with Nillsen last TC.

  110. AsiaOil says:

    I have only 2 words that I can find to describe the deployment of certain guys like Tube, Corpse, Yak, Lander etc etc over the 2nd half of the sked.

    Stealth Tank

    That’s all I got unless you believe the coach and GM are utter morons.

    McSorley33:
    Happy Easter.

    We tend to focus on the areas we disagree on, but…..

    Korpse actually was allowed on the ice for 14:45…only slightly less than Maroon.

    There are no words, sometimes, for watching Letestu and Korpse.

    The numbers almost defy belief. Does anyone actually doubt their eyes when watching Korpse play?

    Letestu played 16:20 / Hendricks 11:55

    They were OWNED by Clifford/Dowd/Andreoff?

    Shoulder Tap, …Mark, Lauri go rock the PP

  111. Bar_Qu says:

    NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker",

    I fully agree with you. I’ve personally given up any hope McDavid has to get the trophy. And I’m not really serious about the Panarin eligibility – just grinding my teeth at the league’so inability to maintain consistency on any number of fronts /rules.

    Happy Easter man.

  112. flyfish1168 says:

    Bruce McCurdy: Watch the reverse angle of that & watch LB’s eyes. He’s been spilled to the ice from behind & he’s searching for the puck in all the traffic.When he finds it it’s on Carter’s stick. His job at that point is to make himself as bog as he can & hope the shooter hits him or the iron. Carter didn’t miss. Sorry, i am not putting that on the goalie. The referees botched the penalty call & the challenge both.

    I kept thinking lucic should of gotten a penalty for goaltender interference. He went in on his own intentional wanting to do take out LB.

  113. stephen sheps says:

    AsiaOil:
    I have only 2 words that I can find to describe the deployment of certain guys like Tube, Corpse, Yak, Lander etc etc over the 2nd half of the sked.

    Stealth Tank

    That’s all I got unless you believe the coach and GM are utter morons.

    Stealth tank? I’m not sure I buy it, but it’s as plausible as anything else we can speculate about w.r.t. certain player deployment decisions – a stealth tank compounded by injuries and the already imbalanced roster. Sure. I like it.

    Also it’s kinda fun to say ‘stealth tank’ and even more fun to visualize it in a more literal sense… a cloaking device is involved I suppose?

    Oxymorons are fun 😉

  114. sumaclab says:

    Just got released today from hospital after major surgery. My wife of 19 years there to pick me up and ensure all the things I need are given and prescribed and doled out before I came home for a long 3 month recovery. Having her and my 12 year son are the foundation on which God has given me my greatest joys in life. Smelling the roses takes time but its worth it.

    LD looks drained. The load has been a lot this season. Thank God for Nuge and CM next year.TM should be coach of the year.His lineup has been so depleated at times he looked like an old west gunfighter with a water pistol. His team seldom this year has had any semblance of what should be its A squad. For that he should be commended.
    Chia may have been given a gift horse in the form of Patrick Maroon. Who when the trade happened must have been thinking Why Me? At this point you think he is thinking anythink other than I am playing with the best player on the planet. 11pts in 10games. Goes to the paint.Fights.Goes to the corner.What else can you ask of him?
    The inconsistency of Zack Kassian is going to cost him money. He won’t be requalified.Resigned at 1.3 to 1.5. If not JJK is available and IP at much lower costs. If i’m Zack I say thank you for my paycut.Stay in Edmonton all summer.Skate.Shoot pucks and maybe fish the river a little for sturgeon. His best summer story would be I did nothing but work out coach to TM this fall.He has the skills and TM will and can turn him into a useful player.
    The Oilers defense has so much potential I shudder to think how good they can be with a couple more years of TM and his staff teaching them how to play. This group imo includes Osterle.Nurse.Rheinhart and Davidson.I see Sekera and Klefbom in the 1-2 pairing.I like Gryba and Pardy.I would sign both.One as my 7th and the other as my AHL guy.
    There are those who would expend picks and players on the likes of Vatenen or Hamonic. Folks if oyur looking to trade an Eberle for a Hamonic give your head a shake. CM with Eberle in a 82 game season equals a bucket load of goals. Eberle gets 40 in that scenario. Maroon gets 15 to 20.CM gets whatever he wants.
    We’ll see Hall,LD and RNH together next season. Hall will be a 75 pt player next season.
    If I am betting anything Chia takes his draft pick and drafts BPA.If its in the top 5 we are laughing. If its top 3 I think Puljujarvi who can be play either wing or center.
    The biggest change coming this summer will come in the form of a legitimate 3rd line center. ML has performed as expected and he LK and MH make a decent 4 th line. if LK plays like has since being named to the Finnish national team. His contract is way above his value. Not his fault but consistency is needed.
    I see the BP and Yak both on the third line with a more skilled centerman. someone who knows where the net actual is.
    I see Kassian and IP in the 13-14 slot.

    I really do not see the need to take this team apart this summer. TM has made great strides with this team. His commentary has been dead on this season. Who has found an argument against anything he has done this season. I have had one bone only this year to pick and its ML on the PP.but I understand why. The PP performance has been slack. Klefboms return next season should improve those numbers. So should having Maroor and Kassian in the paint. CM at 82 games. RNH and Ebs.
    Hall and Drai. The Aces are there. The work Chia has done is solid. The feeling I get is that this team has the pieces and the coaching to utilize them properly.
    Remember CM is only 19.LD 21 and RNH 22. HALL AND EBS 25 and 26.
    There is so much right going on on this team. A little patience and a whole lot of teaching goes a long way.
    Imagine if this team was still being run by Eakins? Ponder that.
    Happy Easter

  115. slopitch says:

    Happy Easter all!

    I had Easter dinner with a Flames fan buddy of mine who I know is quite a knowledgeable hockey guy. He told me how he didn’t enjoy the playoffs last year because the lottery win by Edmonton ruined it for him. He said he swore at the tv for 10 minutes after the announcement. I’m still smiling by that mental image.

    Fix the D and let’s start the real ascent. This years team has been wasted on the worst D they have had (and that’s saying something). It’s funny seeing Leafs, Jets and Flames fans cheer for loses. You can’t out oiler the oilers people. The losing runs deep. Good thing for McDavid.

  116. Lowetide says:

    Slopitch: Awesome story. I am smiling.

    Sumaclab: Awesome post, thanks for sharing and hope you get better soon!

  117. RexLibris says:

    Lowetide,

    Boy LT, I’m getting a little verklempt reading that. I’m just going to blame it on the game last night, though okay? Thanks.

    Your point about blocking, unfollowing, or just plain ignoring anyone (media included) who wants to start something is exactly right.

    Here’s what I find perplexing about social media – at the end of the day, you have the choice to stand up and walk away from the screen. If it’s your phone, then turn the thing off, or switch to candy crush or something else.

    I learned early on that some folks want you to fight them. They don’t care enough about your argument or position to ever think they’ll have lost in the end, they just want to make you get angry or feel miserable. And some will hold a trump card, be it physical intimidation or verbal insults, that will allow them to walk away feeling they got the better of you because you’ve just been dragged down to their level.

    I’m relatively new to the twitters as well, but the first thing I realized was that the principal function was it allowed me to directly control the sources of information, so while I try to follow a few that I know I’m not likely to agree with, I’m also careful to craft a community of people whose opinions and input I do value.

    When I have been trolled or baited on forums I’ve tried to either take the comments at face value and reply objectively or recognized they were inflammatory and simply offered a glib, humourous response to defuse and hopefully neuter the discussion.

    One thing I cannot help myself from doing, however, and this you have mentioned in the past, is I will not forget those who behave in this fashion. I’m very willing to forgive, but it takes an awful lot to get me to forget what someone has said in the past.

  118. G Money says:

    Nail Yakupov: 'I asked a trade and #Oilers gave a permission to speak to other teams, about 8 of them were interested, but smth went wrong'— Igor Eronko (@IgorEronko) 27 March 2016

    Eronko is a KHL writer.

    Doesn’t surprise me at all.

  119. Centre of attention says:

    G Money: Eronko is a KHL writer.

    Doesn’t surprise me at all.

    Suddenly everything becomes more clear. Important question is when did he ask?

  120. Sugar Reijo says:

    B S:
    I predicted at the beginning of the season that McDavid wouldn’t win the Calder. I am disappointed and frustrated to be on the cusp of being right, but not surprised.

    Then I guess Auston Matthews will be the Oilers first ever Calder winner.

    The Gords rarely work in mysterious ways.

  121. Lowetide says:

    Igor Eronko
    ‏@IgorEronko

    Nail Yakupov: ‘I asked a trade and #Oilers gave a permission to speak to other teams, about 8 of them were interested, but smth went wrong’

    Oh good.

  122. Centre of attention says:

    Yak probably asked out around deadline. Thats why all the insiders were hinting at some interest. 8 teams interested, I wonder about return? I remember reading somewhere Chiarelli is stubborn on the price and thats probably why things fell apart.

    Very interesting development. Not good for the Oilers. This went public for a reason.

  123. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Lowetide: I would too. We need to lose 3 out of four to cement our draft position. Seriously. I am getting genuinley concerned that the Oilers will sweep their last 3 games and finish 25th, thereby screwing themselves out of a top 3 pick. Don’t think we can rely on luck every year. We gotta put in the effort. Now is not the time to go on a winning streak.

    Ditto that on both counts. Glad to hear you’re returning to such a good home, Sumaclub. Best wishes.

  124. RexLibris says:

    Bruce McCurdy: Yeah that’s fair. i graded LB a “3” while mentioning how much shit happened to him. The danger is that some in the fanbase see a big 5 on the scoreboard with maybe one bad goal & jump to the erroneous conclusion that the goalie is somehow responsible for the entire damn mess. but when your defence parts like the red sea twice in the first 20 seconds, that’s more than just a goaltending problem.

    Brossoit looked familiar last night. Familiar in the sense that I recall him having those kinds of games earlier in his WHL career.

    I wasn’t entirely convinced that Brossoit was that good a goaltender in his first season or two with the Oil Kings, there seemed to be a lot of inconsistency, and this from someone who admits that the CHL is often defined by inconsistencies due the nature of the age of their talent pool.

    However, in his last season I noticed a marked change where he began to do less to get in front of pucks and had brought some new efficiency to his game, but also, and perhaps more importantly, he was anticipating the play to a greater degree and controlling those things he could in his end (rebounds, dump-ins, etc).

    It didn’t hurt that his defense corps at that time was as solid as one was likely to find in the CHL.

    He had a few small errors that resulted in goals, but I scribbled down a few notations through the 1st two periods (haven’t yet finished the 3rd) about crease-crashing and what I termed “douchebaggery” behaviour by the Kings in the crease. There were four, outside of the interference no-call, that I counted, so the Kings did their job well in making things very, very hard on a young goaltender.

    If I were evaluating Brossoit in this game, it would be almost entirely based on his reactions following goals and a post-game interview with the coaches on how he felt about it more than his actual performance.

  125. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Fair comments on LB being a little tentative & on failing to contain some shots. There was one in the second period that hit him right in the breadbasket & spilled out while all 5 of his mates were sucking wind (or just plain sucking). Gotta have those.

  126. G Money says:

    ‘I asked a trade and #Oilers gave a permission to speak to other teams, about 8 of them were interested, but smth went wrong’

    I think we all assume that ‘smth’ is a Twitter shortening for ‘something’, but I’d say there’s an equal chance it stands for ‘Scott [howson] and Mact’s Thick Heads”

  127. square_wheels says:

    G Money,

    Holy hell I laughed out loud.

    Curious if he’s changed his mind in requesting a trade or if the team feels like he’s better off with a new start ?

    He still doesn’t score enough, but the piss cutter efforts recently are pleasant. At the end of the day though, I think this club needs to use his spot for a 2way vet.

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

    Lowetide:
    Igor Eronko
    ‏@IgorEronko

    Nail Yakupov: ‘I asked a trade and #Oilers gave a permission to speak to other teams, about 8 of them were interested, but smth went wrong’

    Oh good.

    Well sounds like Laine will have a spot on next years roster. Probably also means that Eberle is somewhat safe and that Nuge is the likely trade chip?

    Anywho I think this is probably a good thing. The team drastically mishandled the asset but I also see a Schultz situation with Yak of ones years experience four times but who knows. I’ll continue to cheer for the kid, he’ll be my new Chimera!

  129. Wolfie says:

    Bruce McCurdy: The other team’s top sniper is allowed to walk in unmolested & his perfect shot tickles iron on the way in. Goalie’s fault!

    Maybe he could have played that different, but holy moly. Cracknell didn’t even know which way to pivot.

    Bruce, I know you belong to the goalie guild. Going by memory of the first goal I wasn’t a fan of the rebound… Until you reminded me of the deflection…. I would still like LB to be a little more aggressive and be at the top of his crease rather than in the blue paint.

    If I’m being really picky, I wasn’t a fan of Toffoli’s 2nd snipe. Credit the shooter on a great shot but to me LB once again is just a tad too far back in his net. A skate length farther out and maybe it clips his chest protector…

    I prefer to see the goalies be more aggressive but I’m old school that way….

    I remember getting tickets to a Canucks/Oilers game a few Decembers ago. Khabi was on the shelf so JDD started the game and Dubnyk backed up….

    Our tickets were 7th row behind the net on the blocker side. It was 4-0 after the first and every goal was scored upstairs. Perfect view of these gigantic goalies giving up huge holes top shelf because the were stuck on their goalline. I remember 1 PPG where Edler walked off the blueline and sniped top corner. I could see him eyeing that corner from my seat and if there wasn’t a net or glass it would have hit me in the face. I think the game ended 7-2 and it was a Tabernac Saturday.

    I couldn’t get over how two huge goalies could cover so little net.

    Anyways, I go back to my comment on the AHL. The shooters aren’t as accurate which allows these big goalies to rely on their frames to stop pucks. NHL shooters can hit those smaller windows so you need to be a touch more aggressive. I think that’s the lesson here for LB. if he can make that adjustment he’ll be ok

  130. square_wheels says:

    CHL Sunday night game of SN is Rebels/Hitmen…..2-1 Cgy after 1st.

  131. Oddspell says:

    Lowetide,

    I’m skeptical. If Yakupov’s camp was trying to facilitate the deal, then why weren’t any NHL insiders in on this? It’s not exactly subtle.

    Oh, now Friedman is reporting it.

  132. B S says:

    Sugar Reijo: Then I guess Auston Matthews will be the Oilers first ever Calder winner.

    The Gords rarely work in mysterious ways.

    No, he’ll score 40 goals and 80 points, 30 points clear of the next contender, but they’ll argue that it’s only because he’s playing behind McDavid and McD is taking the all the tough competition, so despite playing all 82 games and scoring the most points they’ll find an excuse, they always do. Or the NHL will pull up some obscure rule that says that the 5th 1st overall to an NHL franchise always goes to Arizona.

  133. godot10 says:

    On Yakupov:

    It bugs me that Kevin Lowe and MacT are still employed by the OIlers. I don’t mind them being invited for 80’s nostalgia events, and I’m okay with and for Lowe’s #4 being raised to the rafters, but it is galling that they are still employed.

    For management to ask for accountability on the ice, they has to be accountability in the boardroom.

  134. AsiaOil says:

    Is anyone surprised Yak asked out? After Kruger was dismissed with all the class of street hustle – the 2 years of the Dementor/MacT represented bizarre mishandling and devaluing of a 1OV pick. It’s even worse that Yak is a damn good human being without any of the usual ego 1OVs typically have.

    Let’s not forget the kid led the league in rookie points and goals and he was just getting warmed up and comfortable in the strike-shortened season. Sure he had warts – what 18 year old CHL scoring machine doesn’t? Two years with the dementor/MacT totally demoralized the kid but a new coach and GM gave him a bit of hope along with actually being given a few top 6 minutes at the beginning of the year. But as soon as Eberle came back it was right back to the same bullshit. In fact the only reason Yak gets any time in the top 6 is because of injury no matter how well he plays or how responsible he is (and GMoney has proven that his possession numbers and scoring have been good this year when played with any kind of talent).

    A little thought experiment – put Eberle on a line with Korpse and Tube with no PP time – and tell me how good he is going to look? Like crap is how he would look (they would never get out of their own end) but we would never think of doing that would we? It’s the stupidest thing I have ever seen an NHL team do to 1OV. A lot of it was the demenetor and the fact that Yak was the 3rd (4th if you count Eberle) high pick and we all know how much attention the #4 or #5 kids get in a family no matter how precocious they are.

    Yak is offensive predator and the Oilers have tried to turn him into a quiet unassuming 3rd line grinder with some offense. Idiotic. So he’s asked out and I don’t blame him. I love this this team – but in this case it’s “fuck you Edmonton Oilers”. I hope the kid has a long and successful career and shoves it down this organization’s throat on a regular basis. I will cheer for him.

  135. godot10 says:

    sumaclab:

    TM should be coach of the year.His lineup has been so depleated at times he looked like an old west gunfighter with a water pistol. His team seldom this year has had any semblance of what should be its A squad. For that he should be commended.

    Krueger and Nelson did more with less than #ThoroughlyMediocreCoach. One can even use the productivity of Yakupov, and the productivity of special teams as litmus tests.

    Todd McLellan doesn’t get one any wins above replacement, and that is disappointing, since he is going to be the coach.

  136. Chachi says:

    AsiaOil,

    The only surprise is that it took this long for him to ask out. I would bet money he held
    off longer than any “good Canadian boy” would have under similar circumstances.

  137. Ryan says:

    Here’s the fun part…

    Let’s set aside all emotions and casting of blame, at least for the moment.

    Now for the million dollar question… What does Yakupov fetch in a trade?

    Now, the easy answer could include “not much,” or a “flagging prospect(s).”

    I could see a second rounder for sure.

    What do you guys think?

  138. rich says:

    AsiaOil,

    Well said. Would love to see what Ebs would do w/Letetsu & Korpse as linemates.

    I hope he goes somewhere and thrives. Personally, I really like the kid.

  139. AsiaOil says:

    Ryan,

    Better question is what do the Oilers deserve for Yak – answer – not much and they deserve every last little bit of almost nothing they get.

  140. Professor Q says:

    I am not entirely sure how much weight I put on these rumours, but any tinkering on Montréal’s interest level?

  141. Skeeziks says:

    I have been a hockey fan since I was about 7 or 8 years old (over 55 years ago). I have been an Oiler fan since they joined the NHL. I have never been quite as concerned about the state of the game as I am right now.

    There are three things which have happened in the past week which illustrate my point.
    1. After Nurse beat up Polak because of a perceived dangerous play against Hendricks, every body who has watched hockey knew that he would be required to “answer the bell” when next these two teams met. What is absolutely amazing and cowardly is that the San Jose Sharks organization had to lower themselves to bringing up a goon from the AHL to answer the bell that they wanted to ring. It stuns me that no action was taken by the NHL disciplinary committee for such an act. Nurse is a hockey player who can fight. Haley is a fighter who may be able to play hockey. The lack of character demonstrated by the Sharks management and coaching staff on this issue goes a long way to explaining why they have never won anything of consequence in the NHL.
    2. The quality of refereeing this year has been far, far below standard even for the NHL. A case in point would be the repeated actions by Gudas with the Flyers. How many times this year has he initiated a dangerous or borderline dangerous play? How many times has he been suspended? When he hit Doanfrom behind he ran a risk of injuring him seriously. Given Gudas’ behaviour, how can anybody possibly be critical of Hanzal and his check on Giroux? Because the rules do notallow the players to police the game through fighting they have been forced to police the game in a different way. “You cheap shot one of ours and we will do the same to one of your stars” Somehow this just does not seem right.

    I would like to see what, if anything , Mr. Bettman will do about this type of vigilante justice which poor refereeing has created.

  142. Soup Fascist says:

    Skeeziks,

    Concern that Doan was on the receiving end of a cheap shot, is akin to feeling bad that someone trash talked Alexander Burrows.

    Gudas is a hazard, no question, but Doan getting a small taste of hockey karma is not the worst thing to happen.

  143. Skeeziks says:

    Soup Fascist,

    I certainly agree that Doan is probably due for a taste of hockey karma. What concerns me is that Gudas “type” actions combined with terrible officiating are beginning to change the way players play the game.

    The concern I have is the vigilante justice angle. Somehow I have this terrible picture of some twit taking revenge on McDavid for something another Oiler did. That is basically what happened when Hanzal went after Giroux.

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