TRIO

A big part of Edmonton’s future is in Toronto this week playing in the World Cup of Hockey. Connor McDavid played magic man for Team NA early on a fantastic goal (with Auston Matthews), Leon scored in OT for Europe and the Nuge was Dave Keon for Team NA. I was heartened by reaction (here and elsewhere) to RNH’s efforts last night—and remain relieved the Oilers didn’t trade him this summer. From his very first stride in an Oilers uniform, Nugent-Hopkins represented peak two-way forward in terms of the yutes. Last night, for team NA, Nuge was healthy, splendid and deadly effective. Music!

The centers three give Edmonton the kind of ‘build up the middle’ head start we haven’t seen here in 30 years, I swear. Do not break this group up, even if Leon spends some time on the wing. Aside from the clearly made up team names, it was a helluva night for the Edmonton Oilers future. Nuge is tied for No. 1 in scoring, McDavid and Leon are tied for No. 6 overall. All stats here.

benning-russell-jones

IDENTIFYING TRAINING CAMP ROSTER (62)

Jim Matheson has an article up that is a worthwhile read, lots of things in it including an update on Eric Gryba. He also says ‘The Oilers will have 62 players at camp — seven goalies, 19 defencemen and 36 forwards — depending on what happens with Gryba’ and that means we may be able to surround the actual TC list. Our number is 62.

THE CORRECT 62?

  1. G Cam Talbot—Stay healthy, get your rest, flu shot too. Godspeed young man.
  2. G Jonas Gustavsson—No. 2 goalie going into camp, good home plate number.
  3. G Laurent Brossoit—There is an NHL job to be won.
  4. G Eetu Laurikainen—He could play in Bakersfield, Norfolk or Finland this year.
  5. G Nick Ellis—After strong Young Stars performance, his spot on the depth chart could be heading north.
  6. G Dylan Wells—He plays goal like Tarzan based on last night.
  7. G Keven Bouchard—May hang around for UofA game, or it could be Knapp in this spot.
  8. LD Oscar Klefbom—Is this the year for Oscar to bust a move?
  9. LD Andrej Sekera—If he can play second pair, Edmonton should have a solid top 4D.
  10. LD Brandon Davidson—May end up top 4D, a lock for the top 6D if healthy.
  11. LD Darnell Nurse—Getting mighty crowded if Kris Russell is added.
  12. LD Griffin Reinhart—He will get a long look, and will likely play a substantial number of NHL games.
  13. LD Jordan Oesterle—A strong TC could land him a job in Edmonton.
  14. LD David Musil—Waiver eligible defender, he has insane competition on LH side.
  15. LD Dillon Simpson—Under the radar, but I think he has a chance to play in the league this year.
  16. LD Mark Fraser—May grab final D spot, especially if Edmonton runs with eight blue.
  17. LD Joey Laleggia—Oilers are looking for a PP option on the blue line, he has that skill set.
  18. LD Ben Betker—He was strong at the Young Stars and should hang around in main camp for a bit.
  19. LD Mikael Tam—Strictly a Bakersfield-Norfolk option, we will see where he lands.
  20. LD Caleb Jones—Two-way defender may get an extended look in TC before heading back to junior.
  21. LD Andrew Ference—I enjoyed watching him, fine career.
  22. LD Markus Niemelainen—He was one of the best stories in Penticton. Nice range of skills.
  23. RD Adam Larsson—Two-way defender who can be effective 22 minutes a night.
  24. RD Mark Fayne—He is a good defenseman but wildly unpopular. I may call him Edsel.
  25. RD Matt Benning—I think he has a slight chance to make this team. Terrific Young Stars.
  26. RD Frankie Simonelli—AHL defender from Providence. Has yet to play an NHL game.
  27. RD Ethan Bear—Looking forward to seeing his improved mobility in camp. Quality prospect.
  28. LC Connor McDavid—A very special player. Running out of words to describe him.
  29. LC Ryan Nugent-Hopkins—A quality two-way C, actual NHL player, age 23.
  30. LC Leon Draisaitl—Big C with terrific hands and vision. A big season from him may mean playoffs.
  31. RC Mark Letestu—He is an actual NHL player, I like him as 4C.
  32. LC Anton Lander—Probably hangs around for PK, job is not secure entering camp.
  33. LC Jujhar Khaira—Big forward ideally situated for playing time in the NHL this year.
  34. RC Kyle Platzer—He should get some feature time during pre-season, big minutes in Bakersfield.
  35. C Josh Currie—Effective a year ago as a utility AHL forward.
  36. C-L Joey Benik—Great scoring instincts were on display in Penticton.
  37. C-R Ryan Vesce. Skill C has posted strong numbers in various leagues over his career. 34. TC invite.
  38. L Milan Lucic—A unique player with a range of skills. Oilers will have a different look.
  39. L Benoit Pouliot—An important player in the top 6F, underrated.
  40. L Patrick Maroon—A bargain contract, useful winger with good hands.
  41. L Matt Hendricks—Likely to play some center, important for PK purposes. Rugged F.
  42. L Drake Caggiula—He is small and skilled, Edmonton probably has room for one more.
  43. L Jere Sallinen—KHL and SM-Liiga veteran, he can also play center.
  44. L Mitch Moroz—It will be interesting to see how long he stays in main camp.
  45. L Braden Christoffer—His second pro season likely involves more AHL time.
  46. L Ryan Hamilton—In camp on a PTO, he is ticketed for California.
  47. L Scott Allen—Big winger added via PTO, on an AHL deal. May take AHL time from prospects.
  48. L Tyler Benson—Doubt he plays in UofA game, hope he is healthy soon.
  49. L Collin Shirley—He played well in Penticton, unsure if he will be in main camp.
  50. R Jordan Eberle—The best pure scorer on the team, can he score 40 with 97?
  51. R Kris Versteeg—Interesting PTO winger, he could play up and down the line.
  52. R Nail Yakupov—Despite our conversations, he could be a key player on this team. Shooter.
  53. R Jesse Puljujarvi—He enters camp with enormous buzz around him. A perfect fit: RH sniper.
  54. R Zack Kassian—Has a great chance here, a veteran at a spot with lots of uncertainty.
  55. R Iiro Pakarinen—He is in a battle for sure, but the coach likes him and that counts for a lot.
  56. R Tyler Pitlick—A strong, healthy training camp is vital for this player. Still cheering for him.
  57. R Taylor Beck—A little under the radar, there is a job open and he could win it.
  58. R Anton Slepyshev—Won an opening night job a year ago, can he do it again?
  59. R Patrick Russell—Speed is a concern based on Young Stars performance.
  60. R Greg Chase—Buried a little with the changes, his skills do fit a Chiarelli team.
  61. R Jaedon Descheneau—Skill winger on an AHL deal. He could be a revelation this year.
  62. R Joel Rechlicz—Enforcer will no doubt be a popular player in Bakersfield.

We have talked about that 2013 draft a lot in the years since it went down, Nichushkin was the choice of many who frequent this blog. To re-set the verbal, here is my top 10 from that draft:

  1. L Jonathan Drouin: The most offensive potential in the draft. Outstanding prospect.
  2. C Nathan MacKinnon: Nice range of skills, not enough to make up for the gap in offense.
  3. D Seth Jones: Franchise defender. Offensive is not outstanding, rest of the package off the charts.
  4. C Sasha Barkov: Complete player, may step into an NHL lineup immediately.
  5. C Elias Lindholm: Impressive offense, nice range of skills. Getting lost a little, incredibly.
  6. L Valeri Nichushkin: A man among boys, scoring winger with an explosive quality.
  7. C Sean Monahan: Two-way C with the ‘perfect fit’ skill set for the Oilers.
  8. D Rasmus Ristolainen: Very little negative, across the board talent.
  9. D Darnell Nurse: He’s an excellent prospect, 2-way guy with plenty of room to grow.
  10. C Bo Horvat: Two-way C, he’s a bull in the middle (6.01, 203) and I bet MacT loves him.
  11. Source

I had Nichushkin No. 6, but always felt the gap between 6-10 was not great (while hoping that Monahan would fall to Edmonton). I had no quarrel with the Nurse selection—surely we can agree it was at least partly a draft for need—but remain convinced it is vital to develop him properly. That should include possible AHL time, and hopefully third pairing in the NHL should he make the team. Does the Nichushkin bolt change your opinion of the 2013 draft rankings?

reinhart gryba capture

ERIC GRYYYYYBA!!!

Matty’s article gives hope for Gryba fans in terms of return to the Oildrop. I think the idea has merit for several reasons, not the least of which is that Gryba can actually defend (he is not a puck mover). Those who dislike Fayne (feign in Vayne?) will not like the idea, but with Oscar Klefbom and Brandon Davidson coming off injuries and 8D possible, it is a reasonable move in my opinion. It takes a village to cobble together enough defensemen for an NHL season, it would be so very nice to spend a season with capable callup options.

THAT RW DEPTH CHART

It is possible to put together the LW (Lucic, Pouliot, Maroon, Hendricks) and C (McDavid, Nuge, Leon, Letestu) depth charts without breaking a sweat, but the RW list is long and full of possibilities. This (from the above list) could represent the pro depth chart opening night (top 5 in NHL):

  1. Jordan Eberle
  2. Leon Draisaitl
  3. Nail Yakupov
  4. Zack Kassian
  5. Kris Versteeg
  6. Jesse Puljujarvi
  7. Taylor Beck
  8. Iiro Pakarinen
  9. Tyler Pitlick
  10. Anton Slepyshev

What order would you place these players in? If you had to run Leon as a RW (I think he will be a center), where do you put Yakupov? The list is somewhat easier if Leon plays C, but it is still difficult to find roles for everyone. The opinions on Versteeg vary widely, but the real battle (imo) is going to be between Yakupov, Versteeg and Puljujarvi. If JP can score goals in the NHL exhibition season similar to that second goal Friday night, he wins the day. I am not prepared to suggest there is actual competition at an Oilers training camp, but we are approaching that kind of dilemma. Haven’t seen that kind of battle for a long time.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

  • Jonathan Willis, Oilers Nation. Training camp battles? What are those?
  • Andrew Stoeten, Blue Jays Nation. Toronto with a big win last night, what about that bullpen?
  • Chris Peters, CBS Sports. Team USA with a massive game tonight, and how many Americans are on Team North America (more than you think).

All starts at 10 this morning, TSN1260. 10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. Talk soon!

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119 Responses to "TRIO"

  1. who says:

    I can’t believe we are still talking about Leon playing wing this year. I can see it if they are loading up two line’s to push for a goal in the last few minutes but otherwise I expect to see him centering the third line.
    This guy is a natural center, we have enough talent on the wing to run three solid scoring lines and we have no other potential third line centers in the system.
    So quit suggesting him as a winger. Please.

  2. Ca$h-McMoney! says:

    Man I loved RNH’s game last night. If that’s the Nuge we’re getting this season we should be in good shape.

    I continue to notice that he gets no love from the announce team though. Entirely possible that’s just my bias coming through.

    Weird question, but has anyone here ever been to a Marlies game? Is it at all difficult to get tickets? I’m taking the family to Toronto in November and my kids favorite player will be playing for them and he wants to go. I assume it’s not hard but any advice would be appreciated.

  3. Lowetide says:

    who:
    I can’t believe we are still talking about Leon playing wing this year. I can see it if they are loading up two line’s to push for a goal in the last few minutes but otherwise I expect to see him centering the third line.
    This guy is a natural center, we have enough talent on the wing to run three solid scoring lines and we have no other potential third line centers in the system.
    So quit suggesting him as a winger. Please.

    The blog is built around conversation, and the coach has suggested he likes Leon on RW. Seems a reasonable discussion point, and I will continue to bring it up as it pertains to the coming season.

  4. Louis Levasseur says:

    I wonder is a swap of Nichushkin for Yakupov would make sense? Give both guys a fresh start, away from teams that seem to have soured on them.

  5. npanciroli says:

    Nuge is looking good so far. Would be huge if he has a good year.

    Versteeg is an interesting thing because it shows me Chiarelli actually cares about depth, same with Gryba rumours.

    Some of the past GMs would have went into this year perfectly comfortable with Eberle, Yak and JP as the top 3 RWs.

    Gryba coming in and making it harder for Nurse to make the team is a huge step forward for the Oilers from a management perspective IMO.

  6. stephen sheps says:

    Post game report from the Eurorphans vs. Team Czech – better late than never edition.

    I wanted to write this report yesterday evening but another deadline plus an entirely too convoluted and all-encompassing fantasy hockey draft swallowed up my night. (Seriously, there were 23 rounds in a 12 team keeper league, and the keepers were redistributed back into the draft and assigned rounds based on last year’s draft position for some reason. I joined this league as the token Canadian with a bunch of hockey loving mid-west and bay area rock climbers I met living in Chattanooga last year – strange but true!…)

    anyhoo…

    Sitting in the lower part of the upper deck, right on the blue line in the Czech attacking zone for periods 1 & 3, team bench side of the arena. Felt like watching an Oilers home broadcast based on the sight lines and angles.

    The game started out really slowly, both teams seemed somewhat tentative for the 1st 10 minutes or so. The Euros looked like the better team once the game started to pick up a little, though their momentum was stalled by a couple of weak penalties late in the period.

    Kopitar is an exceptional hockey player. This was my first time seeing him play in person. He is an incredibly polished 2-way player. Fierce back-checking, excellent positioning. There is a reason why young Leon has identified Kopitar as his idol; sharing the ice with him will benefit Leon greatly. In fact I think it’s already starting.

    Chara is slow. I know he scored, and it was actually really pretty, but he’s even slower in person than he looks on TV, and Sekera is propping him up in a serious way. The WoodMoney metrics and all of the analysis into handedness suggests that L/L pairings are bad, but Sekera is really in a trial-by-fire situation making up for Chara’s lack of mobility and vision at this point. This bodes ok in the event that our resident shin pad killer has to shift to the right side, but it’s certainly not ideal. That said, honestly Sekera has easily been the 2nd best defender on that team, the best being Roman Josi and it’s not even close. What an incredible skater he is, and his awareness on both ends of the ice is exceptional. I think paired with P.K this season, Josi is going to be one of the top 5 defenders in the West, though some might argue that he already is.

    From a systems perspective, I think Ralph is doing a remarkable job at managing his bench and keeping the shift lengths under control. Only Josi plays heavy minutes, otherwise it’s pretty balanced across the roster, with a couple of exceptions like Rieder and Erhoff, who quite honestly looks done. Interestingly enough, my friend and I commented a number of times about the way the Euros handle line changes, which tends to be 4 off on the fly, with the 5th player, a winger, in deep pestering the defence and then scooting off quickly to complete the change. The Czechs seemed to cluster on their changes, either doing a full 5 cycle and getting bogged down at the bench or a 3 + 2 change. It was rather interesting to simply see the difference and the results. The Euros seemed better at regaining/maintaining possession, at controlled zone entries off the change, and just overall stronger at pushing the pace. They were flying, especially during the 2nd period, and since the Euros aren’t exactly a ‘fast’ team, the line change pace and quick shifts seemed to keep the players fresh while maintaining pressure.

    Team Czech unfortunately just seemed outmatched for the entire game, yet somehow managed to make it closer than it should have been based on the flow of the game – a perfect testament to score effects and how it can impact game flow and possession.

    Players of note included Petr Mrazek, who by eye looked really good, save for the 2nd goal against. Of course the shot fluttered past his glove barely a minute after making one of the most spectacular diving glove-handed saves I’ve seen in person since Roli was between the Oiler pipes. Once again, goaltending was not the problem for the Czechs. Teams will lose more than they win when they allow a combined 91 shots over two game.

    Ales Hemsky is a beautiful man. His stride is still such a joy to watch and he’s always in the right spot on the ice. Of course he pulled a classic Hemsky move, all alone in the slot and whiffed on a perfect set-up. I wasn’t sure if after seeing the Oilers/Stars in Edmonton 2 seasons ago that I would ever see Hemsky play in person again. I made him my last pick in that epic 23 round draft last night, because Nostalgia.

    Jakub Nakladal, also of Pardubice like our man Ales, is a player. Playing on his off-side in a rare righty/righty pairing with Andrej Sustr, he has an absolute bomb on the point, played physical, moves pretty well and looks like a perfect 3RD for the Oilers. If P.C. signs Russell while this guy is just sitting there on the UFA pile, my faith in P.C. will drop a little, to be honest. (Ok, I just really don’t want Russel. Not signing Nakladal is forgivable; signing Russell is dumb).

    Finally, the player most of you actually give a shit about, Leon Draisaitl had a whale of a game. It wasn’t just the game winner, which was beautiful and happened right before my very eyes (as I said, Czech attack zone in periods 1 & 3, which meant Euro attack in OT), but the fact that Ralph seemed to trust him more and more as the game went on. At one point in the 3rd, Leon lined up for a defensive zone draw on the left side with Kopitar and Hossa and was used as the high forward on a chip/chase line change, and his pressure annoyed the hell out of an over-matched Sustr. LD was also on the 2nd unit PP cycling between the low boards behind the red line and the net-front sun blocker, and looked real good in the role. And for those who care about this sort of thing, he played exactly 13 minutes, mostly with Niederreiter and Zuccarello (a player I’m beginning to really love, btw). The only downside of his game was that he was 20% on the dot.

    But that goal though. It gives me hope. Draisaitl could be a real big part of the future, and he’s showing really well in this tournament.

    Stray observations:

    It pains me to admit this due to my hatred of the leafs, but the ACC is a really great place to watch a hockey game. The site lines are all really good from just about every seat in the house, and the upper bowl is designed really well. It never felt too far from ice level and tracking the puck from that height was surprisingly easy to do. That said, the beer was more expensive than my ticket was, so no beer for me yesterday.

    I’m going to Finland/Russia on Thursday. Expect another writeup from me either in the Thursday evening thread or Friday morning.

  7. Ca$h-McMoney! says:

    Louis Levasseur,

    I think it was probably discussed, and I think that Dallas preferred the option of having Nichushkin’s rights better than having the actual available player. If he kills it in the KHL they can always bring him back in a year or two, or they can trade him for a Dman.

    Also I think this essentially protects him from the expansion draft free of charge, and its not like they have a shortage of quality up front in the short term.

  8. OilersFuture says:

    What order would you place these players in? If you had to run Leon as a RW (I think he will be a center), where do you put Yakupov?

    I think you can flip Versteeg to LW. There would be a hole at center, and the fourth line isn’t the quickest.

    Lucic-McDavid-Eberle
    Pouliot-Nuge-Drai
    Versteeg-?-Yakupov
    Maroon-Letestu-Kassian
    Hendricks-Lander

  9. Lowetide says:

    Stephen: Great stuff! I will read again at work, but loved the Hemsky line.

  10. Doug McLachlan says:

    Leon needs to be down the middle. Period. Full stop.

    The WCH experience has been so good for the Oil kids but especially for Leon.

    I don’t know how far team Europe will go but to have Leon play in the shadow of his idol, Kopitar, is reminiscent of a young Lemieux mentoring with Gretzky.

    We drafted Draisaitl with the aim to have him become our Kopitar – this WCH experience is only speeding that process up. Music indeed.

    Pouliot – McDavid – Yakupov
    Lucic – Nuge – Eberle
    Maroon – Draisaitl – Puljujarvi
    Hendricks – Letestu – Versteeg
    xxx – Lander – Kassian

    Those look like actual NHL lines. Swap Yak and JP and I’m still ok with them.

    No issues with Gryba but still feel there is another shoe (or two) to drop on the defensive side of things.

    The Russell rumours are still intriguing but are we to take Bob Stauffer’s poo-pooing of the idea as gospel (especially as it was retweeted by the Oliers’ twitter feed)? Or does the idea still have legs?

  11. stephen sheps says:

    Lowetide,

    Thanks!

    Seriously I could watch Hemsky play forever.

  12. oilgreg says:

    who:
    I can’t believe we are still talking about Leon playing wing this year. I can see it if they are loading up two line’s to push for a goal in the last few minutes but otherwise I expect to see him centering the third line.
    This guy is a natural center, we have enough talent on the wing to run three solid scoring lines and we have no other potential third line centers in the system.
    So quit suggesting him as a winger. Please.

    I would guess you missed those games last season were Leon played on the wing. 26 points in the first 20 games, iirc. The man possesses a pretty sweet backhand pass, too, making the right side a quite reasonable option.

  13. Doug McLachlan says:

    Louis Levasseur:
    I wonder is a swap of Nichushkin for Yakupov would make sense?Give both guys a fresh start, away from teams that seem to have soured on them.

    Was discussing this very idea last night with Cameron (frequent poster here).

    Having Nichushkin now signed in the KHL, think it is a moot point.

  14. Atc-Nate says:

    Gryba is coming to Edmonton on a PTO per Rishaug

  15. jm363561 says:

    ….the RW list is long and full of possibilities
    ====
    And question marks!

    If only to give myself some closure I hope Yak gets a shot with McD and Lucic. Still not sure what to make of Versteeg – if he is so good what was he doing signing in Basle?

    Great write up from S Sheps (and LT of course) although the absence of any mention of beer prices, selection, quality, makes you wonder about priorities. Was catching up in today’s airport lounge on a couple of previous LoweTidespeak columns – fantastic spell check by the way. Very sorry to read about the lack of respect towards yourself.

  16. stephen sheps says:

    jm363561:

    Great write up from S Sheps (and LT of course) although the absence of any mention of beer prices, selection, quality, makes you wonder about priorities. Was catching up in today’s airport lounge on a couple of previous LoweTidespeak columns – fantastic spell check by the way. Very sorry to read about the lack of respect towards yourself.

    My game ticket was $11.50. Beer was $12 for a small glass of Molson swill. Bottled water was $5.50! Outrageous. Highway robbery even!

  17. OilersFuture says:

    Doug McLachlan: Leon needs to be down the middle. Period. Full stop.

    I think that they will load up the lines from time to time. It makes sense and Leon is probably the best person to move over to wing. He reminds me a lot of Hossa.

    Doug McLachlan: The Russell rumours are still intriguing but are we to take Bob Stauffer’s poo-pooing of the idea as gospel (especially as it was retweeted by the Oliers’ twitter feed)? Or does the idea still have legs?

    I think that with Gryba signing the PTO. That Russell is less likely.

    As ATC-Nate mentioned.
    Ryan RishaugVerified account ‏@TSNRyanRishaug 17m17 minutes ago
    Can confirm Gryba will come to Edmonton on PTO.

    I like Gryba more because he will likley be 3 times cheaper, if another player comes along between now and then you aren’t on the hook for his contract.

    I looked at Russell yesterday, I think that he could be good bottom pairing defenseman but if he’s looking for more than 4 million he’s crazy. If he were to sign a contract around 2.5 million and played 15 even strength minutes he could be a good defenseman. The one thing I noticed is the Flames without Giordano were a horrible, horrible team. Russell played with Giordano only 45 minutes in the past three seasons.

    https://oilersfuture.wordpress.com/2016/09/20/kris-russell/

  18. Aitch says:

    LT, there was a moment early in the 2nd period where Nuge and Datsyuk were basically going spy vs spy as they continually stole the puck from each other. I think there might have been two takeaways each. As I watched that happen, I thought of you and the early comparisons to Datsyuk without the puck. It was a beautiful thing to watch.

  19. leadfarmer says:

    No sane man looks at the center depth chart of
    MacDavid
    Nuge
    Draisatl

    and says but how am I going to get the BeLander triangle playing time. Run these guys 18 minutes a night and make Belander penalty kill and take a few other defensive zone shifts for 6 minutes. LaTestube can play 4th line minutes and go up and down the lineup to help whoever is stinking up the faceoffs this year.

    As far as Gryba goes, I am a fan of teams carrying 8 defensemen because you need at least 10 for a season. If he is sitting on the bench playing occasional games while the others get 20 min in the AHL to develop I can live with that

  20. jm363561 says:

    who:
    I can’t believe we are still talking about Leon playing wing this year.
    This guy is a natural center, we have enough talent on the wing to run three solid scoring lines and we have no other potential third line centers in the system.
    So quit suggesting him as a winger. Please.

    ======
    In the mean time could you take a minute and reread your own post? Maybe you do not realise just how disrespectful to our host it reads and the impression it gives of you.

  21. Oddspell says:

    leadfarmer,

    I like the idea of going 3 scoring centers, and rotating them out based on form and rest. Sure, we could play Nuge, Leon, Connor 18 minutes a night, but think of the advantage of having a fresh scoring line during a back to back. Nuge, Leon play 19 minute against the Rangers, Connor plays 12, Lander plays 12. the next night, Connor, Nuge play 19 minutes against the Islanders, Drai and Lander play 12 and 12.

    As for Gryba, I’m very happy to see we’re starting the season with 3 RHD. Never a good thing to pencil in a young’un. At the very least, making Nurse/Reinhart/Oesterle/someone else prove they belong in the NHL is a big win.

  22. hags9k says:

    Lowetide,

    I wonder if they would ever try Nuge on the wing? It might become very tempting to put 97 and 93 together.

    Also, I’m really looking forward to the new player tracking data, and what insights it will reveal. Lowetide.ca might explode the internet.

  23. russ99 says:

    Better Gryba coming to camp on an invite than commit dollars and playing time to Russell.

    I still think Draisaitl should stay at wing, especially on the road, but I also see how RNH is our optimal 2-way line center.

    Would vastly prefer another veteran center in the mix to push Letestu and bump Lander off the 18 + 2 list.

    To start, I like at home:

    Lucic – McDavid – Eberle
    Pouliot – RNH – Versteeg
    Maroon – Draisaitl – Puljujarvi/Yakupov
    Hendricks – Letestu – Kassian

    On the road:

    Lucic – McDavid – Draisaitl
    Pouliot – RHN – Eberle
    Maroon – Letestu – Versteeg
    Beck – Hendricks – Kassian

  24. dustrock says:

    2013 draft

    Drouin
    Barkov
    Mackinnon
    Jones
    Risto
    Monahan

  25. slopitch says:

    I still cant believe Tampa took Drouin over Jones. Jones and Hedman for a decade woulda been unreal.

  26. Drew says:

    stephen sheps:
    Post game report from the Eurorphans vs. Team Czech – better late than never edition.

    I wanted to write this report yesterday evening but another deadline plus an entirely too convoluted and all-encompassing fantasy hockey draft swallowed up my night. (Seriously, there were 23 rounds in a 12 team keeper league, and the keepers were redistributed back into the draft and assigned rounds based on last year’s draft position for some reason. I joined this league as the token Canadian with a bunch of hockey loving mid-west and bay area rock climbers I met living in Chattanooga last year – strange but true!…)

    anyhoo…

    Sitting in the lower part of the upper deck, right on the blue line in the Czech attacking zone for periods 1 & 3, team bench side of the arena. Felt like watching an Oilers home broadcast based on the sight lines and angles.

    The game started out really slowly, both teams seemed somewhat tentative for the 1st 10 minutes or so. The Euros looked like the better team once the game started to pick up a little, though their momentum was stalled by a couple of weak penalties late in the period.

    Kopitar is an exceptional hockey player. This was my first time seeing him play in person. He is an incredibly polished 2-way player. Fierce back-checking, excellent positioning. There is a reason why young Leon has identified Kopitar as his idol; sharing the ice with him will benefit Leon greatly. In fact I think it’s already starting.

    Chara is slow. I know he scored, and it was actually really pretty, but he’s even slower in person than he looks on TV, and Sekera is propping him up in a serious way. The WoodMoney metrics and all of the analysis into handedness suggests that L/L pairings are bad, but Sekera is really in a trial-by-fire situation making up for Chara’s lack of mobility and vision at this point. This bodes ok in the event that our resident shin pad killer has to shift to the right side, but it’s certainly not ideal. That said, honestly Sekera has easily been the 2nd best defender on that team, the best being Roman Josi and it’s not even close. What an incredible skater he is, and his awareness on both ends of the ice is exceptional. I think paired with P.K this season, Josi is going to be one of the top 5 defenders in the West, though some might argue that he already is.

    From a systems perspective, I think Ralph is doing a remarkable job at managing his bench and keeping the shift lengths under control. Only Josi plays heavy minutes, otherwise it’s pretty balanced across the roster, with a couple of exceptions like Rieder and Erhoff, who quite honestly looks done. Interestingly enough, my friend and I commented a number of times about the way the Euros handle line changes, which tends to be 4 off on the fly, with the 5th player, a winger, in deep pestering the defence and then scooting off quickly to complete the change. The Czechs seemed to cluster on their changes, either doing a full 5 cycle and getting bogged down at the bench or a 3 + 2 change. It was rather interesting to simply see the difference and the results. The Euros seemed better at regaining/maintaining possession, at controlled zone entries off the change, and just overall stronger at pushing the pace. They were flying, especially during the 2nd period, and since the Euros aren’t exactly a ‘fast’ team, the line change pace and quick shifts seemed to keep the players fresh while maintaining pressure.

    Team Czech unfortunately just seemed outmatched for the entire game, yet somehow managed to make it closer than it should have been based on the flow of the game – a perfect testament to score effects and how it can impact game flow and possession.

    Players of note included Petr Mrazek, who by eye looked really good, save for the 2nd goal against. Of course the shot fluttered past his glove barely a minute after making one of the most spectacular diving glove-handed saves I’ve seen in person since Roli was between the Oiler pipes. Once again, goaltending was not the problem for the Czechs. Teams will lose more than they win when they allow a combined 91 shots over two game.

    Ales Hemsky is a beautiful man. His stride is still such a joy to watch and he’s always in the right spot on the ice. Of course he pulled a classic Hemsky move, all alone in the slot and whiffed on a perfect set-up. I wasn’t sure if after seeing the Oilers/Stars in Edmonton 2 seasons ago that I would ever see Hemsky play in person again. I made him my last pick in that epic 23 round draft last night, because Nostalgia.

    Jakub Nakladal, also of Pardubice like our man Ales, is a player. Playing on his off-side in a rare righty/righty pairing with Andrej Sustr, he has an absolute bomb on the point, played physical, moves pretty well and looks like a perfect 3RD for the Oilers. If P.C. signs Russell while this guy is just sitting there on the UFA pile, my faith in P.C. will drop a little, to be honest. (Ok, I just really don’t want Russel. Not signing Nakladal is forgivable; signing Russell is dumb).

    Finally, the player most of you actually give a shit about, Leon Draisaitl had a whale of a game. It wasn’t just the game winner, which was beautiful and happened right before my very eyes (as I said, Czech attack zone in periods 1 & 3, which meant Euro attack in OT), but the fact that Ralph seemed to trust him more and more as the game went on. At one point in the 3rd, Leon lined up for a defensive zone draw on the left side with Kopitar and Hossa and was used as the high forward on a chip/chase line change, and his pressure annoyed the hell out of an over-matched Sustr. LD was also on the 2nd unit PP cycling between the low boards behind the red line and the net-front sun blocker, and looked real good in the role. And for those who care about this sort of thing, he played exactly 13 minutes, mostly with Niederreiter and Zuccarello (a player I’m beginning to really love, btw). The only downside of his game was that he was 20% on the dot.

    But that goal though. It gives me hope. Draisaitl could be a real big part of the future, and he’s showing really well in this tournament.

    Stray observations:

    It pains me to admit this due to my hatred of the leafs, but the ACC is a really great place to watch a hockey game. The site lines are all really good from just about every seat in the house, and the upper bowl is designed really well. It never felt too far from ice level and tracking the puck from that height was surprisingly easy to do. That said, the beer was more expensive than my ticket was, so no beer for me yesterday.

    I’m going to Finland/Russia on Thursday. Expect another writeup from me either in the Thursday evening thread or Friday morning.

    Really want to get an update on Korpikoski!!!

  27. blainer says:

    who:
    I can’t believe we are still talking about Leon playing wing this year. I can see it if they are loading up two line’s to push for a goal in the last few minutes but otherwise I expect to see him centering the third line.
    This guy is a natural center, we have enough talent on the wing to run three solid scoring lines and we have no other potential third line centers in the system.
    So quit suggesting him as a winger. Please.

    The problem with Drai at center is ice time. While I do agree that he will be an awesome center it will be necessary for the team to have him on the wing at times.

    What a wonderful problem to have. Now keeping Drai as a third line center in limited ice time may just be fine also as it seems to be working out great at the worlds so there is a debate IMO for both options.

  28. Louis Levasseur says:

    Ca$h-McMoney!,

    That makes sense. Damn expansion and salary cap, etc. Tough to make a straight trade that makes sense just from a hockey point of view.

  29. Drew says:

    blainer: The problem with Drai at center is ice time. While I do agree that he will be an awesome center it will be necessary for the teamto have him on the wing at times.

    What a wonderful problem to have. Now keeping Drai as a third line center in limited ice time may just be fine also as it seems to be working out great at the worlds so there is a debate IMO for both options.

    short the 4th line center and load the 1st three centers with time (as already mentioned). Build your game plan to the assets we have rather than some convention.

  30. DRFNsuperstar says:

    The Oilers have a roster that can compete for a playoff spot if healthy and a farm team that should be able to make the playoffs while having their core players aged 19-24…we should have built a new arena and hired a vet GM years ago!

    The C’s:
    Mcdavid-18 min per night
    Nuge- 18 min per night
    Leon-15 min per night
    Letestu- 9 min per night
    Music!

    PS I hope Europe gets to the semi’s and Ralph gets the Vegas coaching job…and Lowe gets fired via Skype

  31. blainer says:

    leadfarmer:
    No sane man looks at the center depth chart of
    MacDavid
    Nuge
    Draisatl

    and says but how am I going to get the BeLander triangle playing time.Run these guys 18 minutes a night and make Belander penalty kill and take a few other defensive zone shifts for 6 minutes.LaTestube can play 4th line minutes and go up and down the lineup to help whoever is stinking up the faceoffs this year.

    As far as Gryba goes, I am a fan of teams carrying 8 defensemen because you need at least 10 for a season.If he is sitting on the bench playing occasional games while the others get 20 min in the AHL to develop I can live with that

    I like the idea of running them 18 mins a night but score effects will most likely get the coach to play Drai on the wing from time to time. I do think you are on to something though. TMc like to spread out the ice time.

    Again what a wonderful problem.

  32. stephen sheps says:

    Drew: Really want to get an update on Korpikoski!!!

    Ha!

    oh, wait… you might be serious…

    fine, if he’s notable I’ll include him.

    I’m genuinely excited to see Ovechkin play. I’ve never had the opportunity to see him live before.
    And I hear that Laine kid is pretty good, too.

  33. misfit says:

    I’m really glad we have this dilemma (if you want to call depth a dilemma) with McLellan coaching the team. If anyone has experience dealing with a 3 headed monster at C, it’s him. In San Jose, he had Thornton/Marleau/Pavelski, and then Thornton/Pavelski/Couture. If anyone knows how to juggle 3 centers capable of playing on the top 2 lines, it’s him.

    Personally, I’d keep them all at center and let game flow dictate whether or not anyone slides to the wing for a time. Yes, you’re limiting icetime of one or all of your stud centermen, but it also increases the amount of time where you have one of them on the ice. The goal is to win hockey games, not to pad a specific player’s stat lines.

  34. Litke 94 says:

    I would love to see Drai as centre for much of the time. It’s just wonderful when you can trot out three lines that can score and always have options in case 1 or 2 lines go dry for a night or two or more. And yes, I do believe strongly that with the proper placement of wingers, all three lines should be able to score and drive possession at a respectable rate.

    What is that sound? 3 scoring lines? Prayers be to good health… we may just see a unicorn come October.

  35. Water Fire says:

    Given Nakladal scratches the Oiler size itch, I would rather they sign him than Gryba. They are over loading on guys that will fight but are slower, and I don’t like Fayne and Gryba having puck issues, given Nurse has a ways to go as well.

    The price for Trouba is probably dropping as well.

  36. blainer says:

    Drew: short the 4th line center and load the 1st three centers with time (as already mentioned). Build your game plan to the assets we have rather than some convention.

    Also a good idea. I wonder if TMc plays him on the wing though ala Seguin in Boston for his first couple of years.

    He sure does look like he can handle center in a best on best tourney like this though ..his recent play may change TMc’s mind from playing him on the wing.

    For what it’s worth I like him at center first as well.

  37. B S says:

    Nuge will get plenty of PP and PK time. One of the ways to spot Leon more ice time, especially if he’s rockin’ and rolling, could be to stick him between Nuge’s wingers, especially after a PK shift, since neither Ebs or Pouliot spend time on the PK.

    I think it’s also important to remember that there aren’t absolutes in positions and lines for these players. Suggesting that Drai can play wing doesn’t mean that that’s the only position he will play, but rather that it can be used depending on the situation. Same with Yak on the first line, or Lucic with Nuge. Nobody says it’s the only way to do it. Just combinations worth considering.

  38. Rondo says:

    RNH looked great last night but he also had 2 great wingers who would rank #2 and #3 on the Oilers as the best players on the team.

  39. Ice Sage says:

    Oilers need the 3 wonder centers playing their positions for the reasons stated above and for injury replacement.

    In a do-over of that draft, it’s looking like: McKinnon, Monahan, Ristolainen = Jones, then TBD. Glad Oilers didn’t take Valeri – the noise on ‘the Russian factor’ was loud IIRC.

  40. kinger_OIL says:

    stephen sheps,

    – Great post LT! And great write-up Stephen. I didn’t realize you were in T.Dot!

    – I’m going to the young guns vs Sweden tmrw: in sexy-time platinum tickets. My report won’t be as good as yours, but I will write something up. Really looking forward to McD vs strong D.

    Klef-Larsson
    Sek-Fayne (656 mins together, CF% 49.4%)
    Davidson-Gryba (283 mins together, CF%52.1)

    -This is better than the bottom-3 D corp from the last 5 years if Klef/Davidson ok, and Larsson competent(pretty big if’s), I’d say they that is around bottom third, assuming health.

    – Still don’t see how all of Griff/Nurse/Davidson get the chance to play enough games slotted with a proper D in the bottom pairing (where they should all be) to develop at the NHL level this year

    – Sek/Davidson played pretty well together last year as well (not sure which one was RD), with pretty tough zone starts, over a smaller sample size)

  41. slopitch says:

    Klef-Larsson
    Sek-Fayne
    Davidson-Gryba

    I see Davidson, Nurse or Reinhart eating Faynes lunch for top 4 ice time shortly. Fayne is gonna be 7D by seasons end.

    Drai will absolutely play C and RW. Nuge isnt the strongest on the draw and late in games, having Drai on the ice with him will allow him to cheat more then normal (or let Drai take the draw if he’s better on a certain side). I trust Hendricks and Letestu more than say Drai + Yak + Maroon. It makes sense to move Drai up to RW at times. At that point Versteeg will likely get some minutes cut as well.

  42. Ca$h-McMoney! says:

    kinger_OIL,

    Davidson is 25, has played 64 NHL games and about 220 pro games total.

    Klefbom is 23, has played 107 NHL games and about 230 pro games total.

    I get being cautious with Davidson, heck I agree with it, but I think lumping him in with Griff and Nurse is as inaccurate as saying he’s bona fide. He’s played lots of pro games, is older, has been captain of his AHL team and a relied upon all situations guy.

  43. kinger_OIL says:

    Ca$h-McMoney!:
    kinger_OIL,

    Davidson is 25, has played 64 NHL games and about 220 pro games total.

    Klefbom is 23, has played 107 NHL games and about 230 pro games total.

    I get being cautious with Davidson, heck I agree with it,but I think lumping him in with Griff and Nurse is as inaccurate as saying he’s bona fide.He’s played lots of pro games, is older, has been captain of his AHL team and a relied upon all situations guy.

    – Maybe lumping them all in is wrong, but I see Davidson’s optimal current usage on a good team as bottom-pair minutes given his less than 80 games in as an NHL defender.

    – He’s shown the potential to be higher, but slotting him on 2nd pair is hoping too much IMO

    – So if he is correctly slotted bottom-pair, how does Nurse/Griff get minutes to hopefully get to Davidsons current level and beyond? I can’t make it work with current configuration.

    – Ideally Davidson progresses and maybe after 40 games he gets “promoted”, and you hope he works with Sek. Then is Gryba good enough to help Griff/Nurse as bottom-pairing?

  44. Drew says:

    stephen sheps: Ha!

    oh, wait… you might be serious…

    fine, if he’s notable I’ll include him.

    I’m genuinely excited to see Ovechkin play. I’ve never had the opportunity to see him live before.
    And I hear that Laine kid is pretty good, too.

    Have not heard from “Steve Smith” and i wanted to keep the snark up. 🙂
    in homage!

  45. OF17 says:

    Lucic-McDavid-Versteeg
    Pouliot-RNH-Eberle
    Maroon-Draisaitl-Yakupov
    Hendricks-Letestu-Kassian

    Those forward lines make the most sense to me. Gives us two legit PvP lines and a soft minutes 3rd that should be able to eat up soft ice. Man am I excited for those top two lines. When was the last time we had two PvP lines like that? And then there’s that 3rd line backing them up. No one playing above their heads, no one in a role they can’t play. What happened to our Oilers?

    Like most I’d imagine, I’d sign Gryba or Nakladal as well and run him and Davidson on the 3rd pair with Nurse in the AHL and Oesterle in the press box. Depth, development, and L-R balance all for about $900,000. Not a bad deal.

  46. Ducey says:

    Water Fire:
    Given Nakladal scratches the Oiler size itch, I would rather they sign him than Gryba. They are over loading on guys that will fight but are slower, and I don’t like Fayne and Gryba having puck issues, given Nurse has a ways to go as well.

    The price for Trouba is probably dropping as well.

    Gryba is 5 months younger than Nakladal, is much bigger and has about 218 NHL games to Nakladal’s 27. He makes more sense as a limited minutes/ 7 D to me.

    I know that the Wood money stuff points to Nakladal being under rated but that is based on 27 games and 12 minutes a night. Small sample size.

    I am not trying to be argumentative, but don’t see the upside of a soon to be 29 yr old who has trouble staying healthy (I am guessing based on GP), bounces around so much (he must have some bad sideburns), and has never put up much in terms of offense.

    Is there any precedent for a guy like this coming over so late and turning into something very useful?

  47. stephen sheps says:

    kinger_OIL,

    Yeah I moved back here in July. In many ways I’m thrilled to be back but I miss the simplicity of my life in the south. And also having a job, but that’s a side issue. There aren’t any academic positions open in Toronto and I moved back here anyway.

    Your write-up will be plenty good. Looking forward to reading your report from the lower bowl!
    Drew,

    hahaha. Well done!

    I miss “Steve Smith” too

  48. who says:

    Lowetide: The blog is built around conversation, and the coach has suggested he likes Leon on RW. Seems a reasonable discussion point, and I will continue to bring it up as it pertains to the coming season.

    It got a response from me so it’s a very good discussion point. I just am having trouble seeing the other side of the argument. I do not see an alternative third line center in the system and think Leon will get plenty of ice time centering our third line and playing on the powerplay. Other than a late push for a goal I see no reason to load up two lines and have Letestu or Lander killing any offensive potential in our third line.

  49. 31saves says:

    who,

    I thinks its more about phrasing of the response. By asking LT to stop bringing up this discussion point, the conversation ends right there, despite Draisatl at wing being a very valid point.
    I remember last year’s training camp Drai and McDavid had a lot of nice chemistry on the same line. Along with his success on the Nuge/Hall line, I can understand the appeal Mclellan might have to put him there.

    I agree with you, the team looks better with Drai at 3C, but we have to consider the reality of Mike Richards/Letestu as the 3C and two stacked top lines.

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

    stephen sheps,

    The thing I noticed with Ovechkin the first time I saw him play live is just how physically big he is. Some guys (Chara) don’t really surprise when you see them in the flesh but Ovechkin is an absolute monster on the ice. When he lines up for a draw he will always (save against Lucic perhaps) will dwarf them. Also pray that you get to see him let go of one of those high circle one-timers. I don’t care what the shot clock in the all-star game says there isn’t a harder clapper in the league than when Ovi lets that one fly.

  51. russ99 says:

    I’d rather see RHN with two wingers who can play well without the puck playing a shutdown role with leads this year than trying to go all offense all the time, which didn’t work out too well for us the last decade.

  52. Woodguy says:

    I always had more time for Gryba than your average fancystats Oiler fan (at least on twitter they seem to dislike him a lot)

    Gryba takes too many penalties, but his possession is decent.

    I ran a super-wowy on Gryba, making sure that Klefbom, Davidson or Sekera were not on the ice.

    The Oilers’ CF% for the 365min that Gryba was on the ice, but Klef, Davidson and Sekera weren’t on the ice was 53%.

    That’s a solid number for a 3rd pairing Dman on any team, let alone the fact that Gryba achieved that playing with Rookie Nurse, Rookie Griff, Ference, Nikitin and Schultz.

  53. Richard S.S. says:

    Mark Fayne is a Right-Shot D, best utilized as third pairing D. People on this site I respect say playing him higher will cost the Oilers games. Eric Gryba is a Right-Shot D, best utilized as third pairing D. People on this site I respect say playing him higher will cost the Oilers games. Neither generate Offense.

    Signing Kris Russell LD could be significant. He could easily be a #4 or a #5 LD per need, and could be better than the above two RD. He doesn’t generate Offense either. But, as per Lowetide, “Peter Chiarelli may have a deal in place to trade a LHD for a RHD.” I agree with this.

  54. Drew says:

    russ99:
    I’d rather see RHN with two wingers who can play well without the puck playing a shutdown role with leads this year than trying to go all offense all the time, which didn’t work out too well for us the last decade.

    I prefer an “outscorer role myself”

  55. 31saves says:

    russ99:
    I’d rather see RHN with two wingers who can play well without the puck playing a shutdown role with leads this year than trying to go all offense all the time, which didn’t work out too well for us the last decade.

    I think the best winger to pair with Nuge is probably Pouliot. Pretty good defensively, pretty good offensively, a nice complement to a 2-way line

  56. Atc-Nate says:

    In regards to minutes for our centers:

    There is more than 60 minutes available in a 60 minute game. Because of PP crossover and possibly PK (if Nuge and Letestu pk together) there’s quite possibly an extra 6 plus minutes a game available to play these guys. Especially if we are running 4 forwards on the PP.

    Example:

    McDavid and Leon play on first PP unit for 1 minute before Nuge comes on. McDavid double shifts for an additional 30 seconds while Nuge stays on for the final minute of the PP.

    In 2 minutes of game time, McDavid has 1:30, Nuge 1 min, Leon 1 min.

    Total 3:30. I realize I’m using an extreme to prove my point and that’s not likely in EVERY pp, but if we average 3 power plays a game and there’s an additional 1 minute of overlap per PP that makes for 63 minutes of Center time per game. Not to mention that I pulled 3 PP out of thin air, possibly the number is significantly more.

  57. Frank the dog says:

    DRFNsuperstar,

    I think Ralph will take whatever team he coaches to the Stanley Cup finals within 3 years of assuming the HC role of an NHL team.

  58. Frank the dog says:

    slopitch:
    Klef-Larsson
    Sek-Fayne
    Davidson-Gryba

    I see Davidson, Nurse or Reinhart eating Faynes lunch for top 4 ice time shortly. Fayne is gonna be 7D by seasons end.

    Drai will absolutely play C and RW. Nuge isnt the strongest on the draw and late in games, having Drai on the ice with him will allow him to cheat more then normal (or let Drai take the draw if he’s better on a certain side). I trust Hendricks and Letestu more than say Drai + Yak + Maroon. It makes sense to move Drai up to RW at times. At that point Versteeg will likely get some minutes cut as well.

    I saw Nuge was winning 57% of his draws in this tournament. That doesn’t exactly look weak to me.

  59. Frank the dog says:

    Lucic-McDavid-Yakupov
    Pouliot-RNH-Eberle
    Maroon-Draisaitl-Versteeg
    Hendricks-Letestu-Kassian

    Look the most likely to me.

  60. stephen sheps says:

    SayItAin’tSo, Gretz, SayItAin’tSo!,

    Yeah I hope he lets that shot of his rip early and often. I’m genuinely giddy about seeing him play live.
    Frank the dog,

    Ralph isn’t coming back to the NHL. He’s publicly stated he expects this to be his last trip to this particular rodeo and was surprised he even got the call to coach this team in the first place. He’s got a really great job in the UK and his entire other career in politics (world economic forum) and motivational speaking. He’s a great coach and the Oilers (and MacT) were incredibly shortsighted for letting him go, but he’s had the last laugh and a far more interesting life than being a career coach.

  61. Oilspill says:

    With the cap not going up much and new RFA players to sign the league has skillfully dropped the money paid for solid defensive D.
    They initially flooded the market with a bunch of buyouts to create a surplus. Then used PTO’s as the mode to drive down the price. Seems it was enforcers, then defensive D. The league has been moving towards more scoring.

  62. godot10 says:

    Atc-Nate:
    Gryba is coming to Edmonton on a PTO per Rishaug

    Was the Russell rumour a Chiarelli leak to push Gryba off the fence, and sign the damn PTO?

  63. slopitch says:

    Frank the dog: I saw Nuge was winning 57% of his draws in this tournament. That doesn’t exactly look weak to me.

    Fair enough. Historically Nuge hasnt been a world beater on the FO. If he wants to continue down the Bergeron/Keon development path, its something he’ll need to improve on. He started with such a slight figure that it may come naturally as he develops old man strength.

  64. theres oil in virginia says:

    stephen sheps: I miss the simplicity of my life in the south

    Yep.

  65. rickithebear says:

    Woodguy:
    I always had more time for Gryba than your average fancystats Oiler fan (at least on twitter they seem to dislike him a lot)

    Gryba takes too many penalties, but his possession is decent.

    I ran a super-wowy on Gryba, making sure that Klefbom, Davidson or Sekera were not on the ice.

    The Oilers’ CF% for the 365min that Gryba was on the ice, but Klef, Davidson and Sekera weren’t on the ice was 53%.

    That’s a solid number for a 3rd pairing Dman on any team, let alone the fact that Gryba achieved that playing with Rookie Nurse, Rookie Griff, Ference, Nikitin and Schultz.

    1: what was the comp he faced?

    2. who were the forwards?
    the players driving CF?
    what was his CA with those forwards?
    What was his C diff?

    3. What was his OZ/NZ/DZ start FO win/loss numbers?

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

    slopitch,

    And I’m convinced Nuge looks bigger in this tournament. I’d love to see the non-fudged player weight/height digits that teams almost surely write down during training camp physicals. That aside he played “hard” last night against the Russians. Lots of quality board battles and as someone mentioned earlier a game of Spy vs Spy with Datsyuk. On top of that I am also convinced that Nuge was taking “the shot” rather than automatically deferring for a pass to MacKinnnon. These are very very good arrows.

  67. digger50 says:

    WOW, it strikes me today that we are in such a different place than previous years. Just awesome selection of talent this year, really impressive.

    Prior to Versteeg I was convinced Drai would play with with Nuge. Now I’m not so sure. To me it’s not so black and white but a good debate. Build a third line around Drai or play him with Nuge. They would be fantastic together boosted by some net front presence from the left wing. Change these one goal losses into one goal wins.

    Could Vesce be getting a look for third line centre?

    Great to have Gryba coming in.

    Nurse will stick and I believe Pjarvi will stick causing some surprises. Lestetu is going to find himself in trouble.

  68. Richard S.S. says:

    Connor McDavid is a legend-in-the-making, nothing else does him justice.
    Ryan Nugent-Hopkins is showing everyone he’s a two-way Front Line-caliber Centre, with massive trade value. With the right Wingers he could have a huge year.
    Leon Draisaitl is telling the world how good he is, a true two-way Front-Line Centre, basically beyond price. Playing him on wing wastes his talent and sends the wrong message, despite the need.

    For the first time in a very long time the Oilers have three extremely talented Centres and the potential for three dominant scoring lines. The Postseason now looks achievable. Is the rest of the Team good enough to get them there?

  69. godot10 says:

    who: It got a response from me so it’s a very good discussion point. I just am having trouble seeing the other side of the argument. I do not see an alternative third line center in the system and think Leon will get plenty of ice time centering our third line and playing on the powerplay. Other than a late push for a goal I see no reason to load up two lines and have Letestu or Lander killing any offensive potential in our third line.

    Ralph has Leon in the role of Phil Kessel in PIttsburgh last year, with 3rd line easier competition minutes and PP killer role. He keep Leon fresh and Leon is killing it. Less is more.

    Maroon Draisaitl Puljujarvi seem to be an ideal 3rd scoring line able to dominate easier minutes.

  70. godot10 says:

    Richard S.S.:
    Mark Fayne is a Right-Shot D, best utilized as third pairing D.People on this site I respect say playing him higher will cost the Oilers games.Eric Gryba is a Right-Shot D, best utilized as third pairing D.People on this site I respect say playing him higher will cost the Oilers games.Neither generate Offense.

    Signing Kris Russell LD could be significant.He could easily be a #4 or a #5 LD per need, and could be better than the above two RD.He doesn’t generate Offense either.But, as per Lowetide, “Peter Chiarelli may have a deal in place to trade a LHD for a RHD.”I agree with this.

    Mark Fayne is a #4D or a #7D. He is not a good third pairing D. He is only competent if one plays him with a competent puck moving veteran. Fayne cannot recover from breakdowns, so playing him 3rd pairing with a lesser D exposes him more than playing with a competent #3D on the 2nd pairing.

  71. Spoils says:

    watching JPulj it is going to be hard to hold him back. he’s a beast.

  72. Oddspell says:

    godot10,

    Maybe someone has looked into this, but Is it possible that it’s not that Mark Fayne plays well with a competent partner, but that Sekera (and Greene as well) is so good that he makes Fayne look like a #4? Kind of like Petry-Smid?

  73. Water Fire says:

    blainer: The problem with Drai at center is ice time. While I do agree that he will be an awesome center it will be necessary for the teamto have him on the wing at times.

    What a wonderful problem to have. Now keeping Drai as a third line center in limited ice time may just be fine also as it seems to be working out great at the worlds so there is a debate IMO for both options.

    I would rather they didn’t over play anybody as they have done. While the guys like it, it’s a long season and the point of it all is playoffs, so you have to save something for them.

    Good teams don’t seem to overplay guys as much as the Oilers, with a few exceptions. Plus Leon seems to get tired. 20-17-15-8 if everyone is healthy and playing well. Reality is there are injuries and slumps, match ups that aren’t favourable, so it’s always changing anyway.

  74. Richard S.S. says:

    Lowetide: The blog is built around conversation, and the coach has suggested he likes Leon on RW. Seems a reasonable discussion point, and I will continue to bring it up as it pertains to the coming season.

    “… the coach has suggested he likes Leon on RW…”
    Wasn’t this said before:
    1) Kris Versteeg sign PTO;
    2) Jesse Puljujarvi showed how good he is;
    3) Leon Draisaitl announces his presence to the World?
    I think it’s possible the narrative has changed.

    If the Oilers need an offensive push for a desperate goal (tie the game, two-man advantage, regulation win), then I see Leon in top 6 playing major minutes. Otherwise the Oilers crush their opponents rolling out scoring line after scoring line after scoring line – the entire game.

  75. Water Fire says:

    Ducey: Gryba is 5 months younger than Nakladal, is much bigger and has about 218 NHL games to Nakladal’s 27.He makes more sense as a limited minutes/ 7 D to me.

    I know that the Wood money stuff points to Nakladal being under rated but that is based on 27 games and 12 minutes a night. Small sample size.

    I am not trying to be argumentative, but don’t see the upside of a soon to be 29 yr old who has trouble staying healthy (I am guessing based on GP), bounces around so much (he must have some bad sideburns), and has never put up much in terms of offense.

    Is there any precedent for a guy like this coming over so late and turning into something very useful?

    Not many, but all they need is a guy to play soft minutes that can actually make a pass. I see a main reason the Oilers get pinned so often and for so long at times is because they have D who had to find their partner or off the glass and out.

    It is very predictable and easy to defend. Just cut off the lane and Fayne or Gryba and often Nurse give you the puck back.

    Weak plays with the puck kill IMO. Passing is essential to diverting pressure, but also to conserve energy because not running around and chasing all the time.

  76. kinger_OIL says:

    godot10: Mark Fayne is a #4D or a #7D.He is not a good third pairing D.He is only competent if one plays him with a competent puck moving veteran.Fayne cannot recover from breakdowns, so playing him 3rd pairing with a lesser D exposes him more than playing with a competent #3D on the 2nd pairing.

    – And that’s why I struggle with how you are going to develop all of Davidson/Griff/Nurse.

    – If Davidson is going to be good enough to be “promoted” top-4 at some point this year: Fayne’s wowy’s from last year suck with anyone other than Sekera.

    – Oddspell gut is right: Fayne is no good with anyone other than our best D last year, who was Sek. (Klef doesn’t count, he didn’t play the season)

    – At least Davidson-Gryba were fine 3rd pairing in sheltered minutes (CF%53.7 together 283 mins TOI). Gryba sucked though too with everyone else except Sekera: so endless feedback loop!

    – Can’t solve with the puzzles in this jigsaw for an optimal current pairing settings + develop and progress Davidson/Griff/Nurse properly

  77. Ca$h-McMoney! says:

    kinger_OIL: – And that’s why I struggle with how you are going to develop all of Davidson/Griff/Nurse.

    – If Davidson is going to be good enough to be “promoted” top-4 at some point this year: Fayne’s wowy’s from last year suck with anyone other than Sekera.

    – Oddspell gut is right: Fayne is no good with anyone other than our best D last year, who was Sek. (Klef doesn’t count, he didn’t play the season)

    – At least Davidson-Gryba were fine 3rd pairing in sheltered minutes (CF%53.7 together 283 mins TOI).Gryba sucked though too with everyone else except Sekera: so endless feedback loop!

    – Can’t solve with the puzzles in this jigsaw for an optimal current pairing settings + develop and progress Davidson/Griff/Nurse properly

    I think the answer to this issue of Davidson as third pairing guy or not (you addressed it earlier) is that it comes down to injuries.

    I agree that I’m not comfortable penciling Davidson into a top 4 role. I want him on my ideal 3rd pairing.

    That said, I assume that 2 of our top 6 D are hurt at any given point. So while I’m not comfortable assuming Davidson is a capable #4, and am comfortable having him play second pairing our of necessity as required. In that scenario one or more of Nurse/Reinhart/Oesterle can play on the bottom pairing.

    Typically 8D play reasonably big minutes over the course of the season. To me, Davidson is #5 on the depth chart. That means ideally he’s third pair, but realistically most of the time he’s doing more than that. And that’s reasonable in my opinion.

  78. digger50 says:

    WOW, it strikes me today that we are in such a different place than previous years. Just awesome selection of talent this year, really impressive.

    Prior to Versteeg I was convinced Drai would play with with Nuge. Now I’m not so sure. To me it’s not so black and white but a good debate. Build a third line around Drai or play him with Nuge. They would be fantastic together boosted by some net front presence from the left wing. Change these one goal losses into one goal wins.

    Could Vesce be getting a look for third line centre?

    Great to have Gryba coming in.

    Nurse will stick and I believe Pjarvi will stick causing some surprises. At. Some point this year Letestu is going to find himself in trouble.

  79. RexLibris says:

    Lowetide: The blog is built around conversation, and the coach has suggested he likes Leon on RW. Seems a reasonable discussion point, and I will continue to bring it up as it pertains to the coming season.

    I’d hope they get enough out of Versteeg and Yakupov that Leon looks best as 3C. Mixing it up on the PP works fine for me, but due to the likelihood of this club trading Nugent-Hopkins for cap reasons as they re-sign McDavid and Draisaitl, I’d like them to start working Leon into that role sooner rather than later.

  80. RexLibris says:

    stephen sheps,

    Awesome review, thanks.

    Your viewing on Nakladal is spot-on. This guy represents everything that the Oilers are looking for and he’s sitting….right….there.

    Big body, skates well, passes effectively, affordable, right-handed, shot from the point.

    If the Flames find a way to dump Wideman and re-sign Nakladal I will be mightily displeased.

  81. kinger_OIL says:

    Ca$h-McMoney!,

    – I think we are on same page with Davey and his “deployment path”: So who do we partner Griff or Nurse with when he’s being bumped up because of the injuries?

    – Fayne+ Gryba were awful with Nurse & Griff, as expected. All 4 of them need to be paired with decent D to either tread-water for the former pair, or to develop for the latter pair.

    – Davidson ends up batting too high, you hope he learns on the fly, while Nurse/Griff have no adequate partner on 3rd pairing available to develop with, and the D ends up a tire-fire: again….

  82. Lowetide says:

    RexLibris: I’d hope they get enough out of Versteeg and Yakupov that Leon looks best as 3C. Mixing it up on the PP works fine for me, but due to the likelihood of this club trading Nugent-Hopkins for cap reasons as they re-sign McDavid and Draisaitl, I’d like them to start working Leon into that role sooner rather than later.

    If he runs the top two lines 18-22 minutes a night, Leon might be sitting a lot. McLellan is going to push (imo) the McDavid line more this season, he is more mature and the Oilers are a different team with him on the ice. Nuge is a 19-20 minutes a night center, leaving about 22 minutes for the 3 and 4 lines. Suspect they want to run Leon more than the minutes that may be made available to the 3line.

  83. dustrock says:

    RexLibris:
    stephen sheps,

    Awesome review, thanks.

    Your viewing on Nakladal is spot-on. This guy represents everything that the Oilers are looking for and he’s sitting….right….there.

    Big body, skates well, passes effectively, affordable, right-handed, shot from the point.

    If the Flames find a way to dump Wideman and re-sign Nakladal I will be mightily displeased.

    You all know the Kings or somebody will sign Nakladal. Hawks, Bolts, etc.

    Hard to believe Chiarelli wouldn’t be turning the screws on him getting signed.

  84. dustrock says:

    Lowetide: If he runs the top two lines 18-22 minutes a night, Leon might be sitting a lot. McLellan is going to push (imo) the McDavid line more this season, he is more mature and the Oilers are a different team with him on the ice. Nuge is a 19-20 minutes a night center, leaving about 22 minutes for the 3 and 4 lines. Suspect they want to run Leon more than the minutes that may be made available to the 3line.

    Leon could do 3rd line minutes then play the wing in the 3rd for 5v5 close.

  85. leadfarmer says:

    kinger_OIL: – And that’s why I struggle with how you are going to develop all of Davidson/Griff/Nurse.

    – If Davidson is going to be good enough to be “promoted” top-4 at some point this year: Fayne’s wowy’s from last year suck with anyone other than Sekera.

    – Oddspell gut is right: Fayne is no good with anyone other than our best D last year, who was Sek. (Klef doesn’t count, he didn’t play the season)

    – At least Davidson-Gryba were fine 3rd pairing in sheltered minutes (CF%53.7 together 283 mins TOI).Gryba sucked though too with everyone else except Sekera: so endless feedback loop!

    – Can’t solve with the puzzles in this jigsaw for an optimal current pairing settings + develop and progress Davidson/Griff/Nurse properly

    Sekera is the ultimate turd polisher. He can drag any partner into decent numbers. I actually dont think Fayne is a lock to make this roster and wouldnt be suprised for a flip for Wideman in a I’ll take your problem for my less expensive problem before the season starts.

  86. Oddspell says:

    leadfarmer: I actually dont think Fayne is a lock to make this roster and wouldnt be suprised for a flip for Wideman in a I’ll take your problem for my less expensive problem before the season starts.

    I was just about to propose such a trade. Give the Flames cap space this year, gives us cap space a year early, and gives us a right shot D with offense. If we can fit it under cap then that seems like a good trade for both sides. I hate to do the Flames a solid though.

  87. Ducey says:

    Lowetide: If he runs the top two lines 18-22 minutes a night, Leon might be sitting a lot. McLellan is going to push (imo) the McDavid line more this season, he is more mature and the Oilers are a different team with him on the ice. Nuge is a 19-20 minutes a night center, leaving about 22 minutes for the 3 and 4 lines. Suspect they want to run Leon more than the minutes that may be made available to the 3line.

    If Leon plays wing on the second PP unit with RNH he will get his ice time as 3C

    If the Oilers get 6 PP minutes a game and have 6 minutes of PK

    Connor – 16 min 5×5, 4 min PP, 1 PK = 21 minutes
    Nuge 15 min 5×5, 2 min PP, 1 PK = 18 min
    Leon 12 min 5×5, 2 min PP (on with Nuge), 0 PK = 14 min
    Letestu 5 min 5×5, 4 min PK = 9 min

    Not sure why we worry anyway. Every coach turns on the blender. If Yak is playing with Connor, he is not going to keep up with him for 21 minutes night.

  88. Lowetide says:

    dustrock: Leon could do 3rd line minutes then play the wing in the 3rd for 5v5 close.

    Seems reasonable, and of course special teams.

  89. flea says:

    I think the gnashing of teeth over Leon on the third line is overblown. There are going to be injuries, likely at least one of the three centers is going to miss time this year. It’s inevitable. (Let’s hope it isn’t McDavid) If it isn’t a center, a winger will go down at some point, and one of those three guys might make more sense to fill a hole than one of the bottom 6 wings..

    Trying to fit all the pieces right now won’t work, and I think that is by design. Management knows injuries are coming, hockey is a tough game. It also promotes a competitive environment, and when injuries do hit, it provides depth.

  90. Richard S.S. says:

    Lowetide
    Leon need to develop as a Centre, that’s a priority. Injury possibilities and an unlikely but possible RNH trade increase that priority. And three quality scoring lines could overwhelm opponents.

    Leon should get PP minutes as Centre or Wing. When an equalizing or game wining goal is needed, they should run two lines with Leon on the Wing. If he should have more minutes make him #2 Centre.

  91. kinger_OIL says:

    leadfarmer,

    – Sek is a good turd polisher with Fayne, but his CF% with Nurse @ 44.1% and Nurse not top-4 zone ready, and he sucked with Davidson @ 46.2% and played only 13 mins with Griff.

    – He’s clearly polishing Fayne, but not so much with our 3 other D in need of partners.

    – But Chia et al know this way better than we do, they are working all the angles.:

    – Gryba-Fayne-Griff-Nurse-Davidson = way too many current bottom-pair D at different stages of career. Some on the way up, some on the way down, and some we hope for: but they all don’t fit

  92. JDï™ says:

    Harvey Fialkov
    ‏@hfialkov

    The Panthers have decided to bring Ekblad home. #FlaPanthers

    Damn.

  93. Doug McLachlan says:

    RexLibris,

    Just as Gryba and the Oil have a pre-existing relationship that led to this PTO and potentially another one-year deal, I sense that Nakladal and the Flames know each other well enough that they are confident that the other will be there when the dust settles.

    So yes, Nakladal is available but unless Chia throws him an offer so far in excess of what he feels he can bank on from Calgary he’s going to wait for the Flames to get their cap in order and sign in Calgary.

    May well be wrong about this but that is my sense.

  94. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Woodguy:
    I always had more time for Gryba than your average fancystats Oiler fan (at least on twitter they seem to dislike him a lot)

    Gryba takes too many penalties, but his possession is decent.

    I ran a super-wowy on Gryba, making sure that Klefbom, Davidson or Sekera were not on the ice.

    The Oilers’ CF% for the 365min that Gryba was on the ice, but Klef, Davidson and Sekera weren’t on the ice was 53%.

    That’s a solid number for a 3rd pairing Dman on any team, let alone the fact that Gryba achieved that playing with Rookie Nurse, Rookie Griff, Ference, Nikitin and Schultz.

    You & me both, brother. Liked him in Ottawa, was happy when Oilers got him, & was generally happy with his play. Other than one early-season brain freeze in Minnesota, he did very little to hurt the team outside of those penalties, which are part of the territory for any greaseball bottom-pairing defenceman. I call it the SOB role in honour of the wonderfully-acronym’d Shane O’Brien, but it’s a player-type that dates back to early days where teams even dressed 6 d-men, with Don Jackson being an early prototype. (Of course there have always been greaseball #4 & #5 defencemen as well.)

    Think of all the plugs Oilers have deployed in the position in recent years. Just in the 8 years since Matt Greene left town, only Andy Sutton & arguably Marc Fistric even belong in the convo with Gryba. It’s a longer list of guys who didn’t really measure up — in no particular order Teddy Peckman, Mark Fraser, Jason Strudwick, Keith Aulie, Jim Vandermeer, Dean Arsene & don’t get me started on Colten Teubert or Alex Plante.

    Now I get that some folks are opposed to the role period, would rather see a skill guy like, I dunno, Philip Larsen or Brad Hunt in the #6 spot. That’s a philosophical difference of opinion. If, like me, you are resigned to the reality of hockey men doing hockey things & trying to get a SOB for your bottom pairing, Eric Gryba is a pretty damn good choice AFAIC. Especially a cheap Eric Gryba. Very happy Oilers will have first crack at him, hope that he is fully recovered from the knee injury that cost him two months of hockey and very possibly, several million dollars.

  95. Drew says:

    Bruce McCurdy: You & me both, brother. Liked him in Ottawa, was happy when Oilers got him, & was generally happy with his play. Other than one early-season brain freeze in Minnesota, he did very little to hurt the team outside of those penalties, which are part of the territory for any greaseball bottom-pairing defenceman. I call it the SOB role in honour of the wonderfully-acronym’d Shane O’Brien, but it’s a player-type that dates back to early days where teams even dressed 6 d-men, with Don Jackson being an early prototype. (Of course there have always been greaseball #4 & #5 defencemen as well.)

    Think of all the plugs Oilers have deployed in the position in recent years. Just in the 8 years since Matt Greene left town, only Andy Sutton & arguably Marc Fistric even belong in the convo with Gryba. It’s a longer list of guys who didn’t really measure up — in no particular order Teddy Peckman, Mark Fraser, Jason Strudwick, Keith Aulie, Jim Vandermeer, Dean Arsene & don’t get me started on Colten Teubert or Alex Plante.

    Now I get that some folks are opposed to the role period, would rather see a skill guy like, I dunno, Philip Larsen or Brad Hunt in the #6 spot. That’s a philosophical difference of opinion. If, like me, you are resigned to the reality of hockey men doing hockey things & trying to get a SOB for your bottom pairing, Eric Gryba is a pretty damn good choice AFAIC. Especially a cheap Eric Gryba. Very happy Oilers will have first crack at him, hope that he is fully recovered from the kness injury that cost him two months of hockey and very possibly, several million dollars.

    very happy with Gryba as a 6 – 7 RD. does provide a presence and can retrieve the puck. allows puck movers to gradually grow into the LD role in a 3 pair

  96. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Frank the dog,

    Ralph isn’t coming back to the NHL. He’s publicly stated he expects this to be his last trip to this particular rodeo and was surprised he even got the call to coach this team in the first place. He’s got a really great job in the UK and his entire other career in politics (world economic forum) and motivational speaking. He’s a great coach and the Oilers (and MacT) were incredibly shortsighted for letting him go, but he’s had the last laugh and a far more interesting life than being a career coach.

    I heard Ralph auditioned for the role of the next Dos Equis guy & they just stopped everything & hired him on the spot.

  97. frjohnk says:

    Bruce McCurdy: You & me both, brother. Liked him in Ottawa, was happy when Oilers got him, & was generally happy with his play. Other than one early-season brain freeze in Minnesota, he did very little to hurt the team outside of those penalties, which are part of the territory for any greaseball bottom-pairing defenceman. I call it the SOB role in honour of the wonderfully-acronym’d Shane O’Brien, but it’s a player-type that dates back to early days where teams even dressed 6 d-men, with Don Jackson being an early prototype. (Of course there have always been greaseball #4 & #5 defencemen as well.)

    Think of all the plugs Oilers have deployed in the position in recent years. Just in the 8 years since Matt Greene left town, only Andy Sutton & arguably Marc Fistric even belong in the convo with Gryba. It’s a longer list of guys who didn’t really measure up — in no particular order Teddy Peckman, Mark Fraser, Jason Strudwick, Keith Aulie, Jim Vandermeer, Dean Arsene & don’t get me started on Colten Teubert or Alex Plante.

    Now I get that some folks are opposed to the role period, would rather see a skill guy like, I dunno, Philip Larsen or Brad Hunt in the role. That’s a philosophical difference of opinion. If, like me, you are resigned to the reality of hockey men doing hockey things & trying to get a SOB for your bottom pairing, Eric Gryba is a pretty damn good choice AFAIC. Especially a cheap Eric Gryba. Very happy Oilers will have first crack at him, hope that he is fully recovered from the kness injury that cost him two months of hockey and very possibly, several million dollars.

    Put me the group that likes Gryba.

    Looks like he can be had for cheap.

    And like you mentioned, he is probably one of the better “heavy” Dmen the Oilers have deployed over the years in the role he played in.

    I’ll probably get a scolding from you know who but I like Gryba in a 3rd pairing role at $1.5M or so compared to Fayne at $3.6M in the second pairing role.

    And I have a hunch Oilers might feel that way as well. If Gryba makes the team, I’m not sure that Fayne does.

  98. JDï™ says:

    Bruce McCurdy: Liked him in Ottawa

    Up until that dirty knee hit on Hall, yes. But that’s water under a bridge now.

  99. Ca$h-McMoney! says:

    kinger_OIL:
    Ca$h-McMoney!,

    – I think we are on same page with Davey and his “deployment path”: So who do we partner Griff or Nurse with when he’s being bumped up because of the injuries?

    – Fayne+ Gryba were awful withNurse &Griff, as expected. All 4 of them need to be paired with decent D to either tread-water for the former pair, or to develop for the latter pair.

    – Davidson ends up batting too high, you hope he learns on the fly, while Nurse/Griff have no adequate partner on 3rd pairing available to develop with, and the D ends up a tire-fire: again….

    Let’s say we lose Klefbom and Nurse to injury. 1 top guy, 1 bottom guy.

    Sekera/Larsson
    Davidson/Fayne
    Reinhart/Oesterle

    That’s fine. Or maybe Davidson/Larsson and Sek/Fayne with an even minutes distribution, whatever.

    Griff/Oesterle as a third pairing was OK last year. There were games when they looked, at least to me, like our best pair. Of course there were games where they didn’t too. Is it Ideal? No. Tire fire? No, not in my book, at least not most of the time.

    The above D is fine, given the hypothetical injury situation. Not perfect certainly, but not terrible.

  100. rickithebear says:

    Player EVP/60 rank for offensive D:
    and
    EVGA d rank with # of 352 forwards that can generate (GA + .31) = wild card playoff GF

    #151 1.52 EVP/60 Karlsson #190 EVGA D 2.73; 19 fwds
    —————————————– #6 player
    #188 1.42 EVP/60 Gustafsson #44 EVGA D 1.86; 172 fwds
    #199 1.39 EVP/60 Burns #118 EVGA D 2.22; 106 fwds
    ————————————— #7 player
    #224 1.32 EVP/60 Carlson #38 EVGA D 1.88; 170 fwds
    #230 1.30 EVP/60 Brodie #178 EVGA D 2.56; 35 fwds
    #237 1.27 EVP/60 Hedman #20 EVGA D 1.68; 216 fwds
    —————————————– #8 player
    #241 1.25 EVP/60 Byfuglien #158 EVGA D 2.46; 47 fwds
    #245 1.23 EVP/60 Orlov #143 EVGA D 2.32; 75 fwds
    #255 1.21 EVP/60 Subban #164 EVGA D 2.48; 45 fwds
    #255 1.21 EVP/60 Vlasivc #101 EVGA D 2.17; 115 fwds
    —————————————– #9 player
    #276 1.14 EVp/60 Paayko
    so in what world is the #7 to #9 player offence worth getting Defence that can almost be unscoreable from a Wild card playoof standard.

    So if youp lay your best off d with your 4th line Forwards it might be worth the risk.
    otherewise
    GET THE DAMN PUCK TO THE FORWRDS!

  101. Bruce McCurdy says:

    JDï™:


    Harvey Fialkov
    ‏@hfialkov

    The Panthers have decided to bring Ekblad home. #FlaPanthers

    Damn.

    Fucking Komarov

  102. ashley says:

    Lots of positive comments here today. I’m working through some of the summer threads after vacation, and wow some of them are negative.

    This is a good roster, no matter how much we miss Hall. This is as good as it’s ever been and we have a better chance at the post-season than we have had in years. The mood here on today’s thread would seem to agree, but that would not have been the case in the middle of summer!

    I think this roster has plenty of speed. I love that Yak is still here (said the exact same thing last year after it was correctly predicted he would be traded imminently 0 out of 14 times).

    Interesting discussion about why Hall got traded in the mid-summer….that his only fault is that he was the most valuable trading chip for a RHD. I have fairly close information to the Oilers braintrust that this is NOT true. Many teams were asking for RNH (assuming that Chia was blowing things up and trading all kinds of valuable things), but he balked at trading RNH. Even Shero wanted RNH. It looks like what we find to be the most valuable Oiler as fans and what the GM’s find to be the most valuable Oiler player are not on the same page.

    Someone above mentioned 97-93 on a line. I think it concentrates talent too much and exposes other lines, but would love to see them together with Sekara or Davidson in OT.

    BTW, McClellan would not draw the LW depth chart as we do. He thinks Davey is top pairing, definitely not third. Don’t be surprised to see minutes reflecting as much. Davey-Larsson is much more likely than Klef-Larsson.

  103. rickithebear says:

    Bruce McCurdy: Fucking Komarov

    Florida’s going to get them some Mathews.
    Head on a swivel young man.

  104. theres oil in virginia says:

    Lowetide: If he runs the top two lines 18-22 minutes a night, Leon might be sitting a lot. McLellan is going to push (imo) the McDavid line more this season, he is more mature and the Oilers are a different team with him on the ice. Nuge is a 19-20 minutes a night center, leaving about 22 minutes for the 3 and 4 lines. Suspect they want to run Leon more than the minutes that may be made available to the 3line.

    Is Ralph limiting his minutes because Leon is more effective in limited minutes? He’s looking pretty good in that role.

  105. rickithebear says:

    kinger_OIL:
    leadfarmer,

    – Sek is a good turd polisher with Fayne, but his CF% with Nurse @ 44.1% and Nurse not top-4 zone ready, and he sucked with Davidson @ 46.2% and played only 13 mins with Griff.

    there are 12 forwards and 6 D onin a game on all 30 teams.
    top 540 players.
    of the top 275 EVP/6 players (50.9%)
    263(95.6%) are forwards.

    you might want to look at the forward line Dmen are playing with!
    cause?
    FORWRDS DRIVE THE F………….. OFENCE!
    almost every dman is below average!and the ones that are not
    are almost allways EVGA playoff blackholes!

  106. Lowetide says:

    theres oil in virginia: Is Ralph limiting his minutes because Leon is more effective in limited minutes?He’s looking pretty good in that role.

    He sure does, but I have to say that it irks me he isn’t getting more play.

  107. Visually better says:

    Only because i’ve never actually realized until now, and from what I’ve seen (or in the case; the lack thereof), how come Lucic never even gets a snuff around roster naming time for these tournaments? Or World Championships or anything of the like?

    Any ideas?

  108. JDï™ says:

    Bruce McCurdy: Fucking Komarov

    He was at it today as well: https://streamable.com/xvsp

  109. Bruce McCurdy says:

    JDï™: Up until that dirty knee hit on Hall, yes. But that’s water under a bridge now.

    Haha nice GIF. We ran a reader poll on the Gryba-Hall hit at CoH & a plurality called it a “hockey play”. It was crude to be sure. But even a fair number of Oilers fans weren’t too enraged by it — & normally such polls are “the hanging judge” when Oilers are on the receiving end of questionable hits.

  110. Bruce McCurdy says:

    JDï™: He was at it today as well: https://streamable.com/xvsp

    I saw that. Dirty & gutless both. He should be thrown out of the tournament for that garbage.

  111. rickithebear says:

    Average EVEN minutes per game 47-49
    Avearge PP and PK 5.5 to 6.5 each

    when talking the 4 lines

    Upr 1st line:
    #1 to 15 EVTOI Fwds
    #1 Kane 15.9 EVTOI
    #15 Lucic 14.55 EVTOI
    #1 to 90 15.90 to 12.97

    Upr 2nd line:
    #91 to 105 EVTOI Fwds
    #91 Nelson 12.96 EVTOI
    #105 Simmonds 12.72 EVTOI
    #91 to 180 12.96 to 12.23

    Upr 3rd line
    #181 to 195 EVTOI fwds
    #181 Lewis 12.22 EVTOI
    #195 D. Jones 11.80 EVTOI
    #181 to 270 12.22 to 10.75

    Oilers last year
    Hall LW 15.21
    Lucic LW 14.55; 14.00 in BOS
    RNH C 14.46
    Draisatl C 14.42
    Mcdavid C 13.89
    Eberle RW 13.51
    ————————- 1st line minutes
    Pouliot LW 12.75
    ————————- 2nd line minutes
    Yakupov RW 11.83
    Kassian RW 11.77; 11.91 in VCR
    Letestu C 10.80; 10.33 in CBJ
    ————————- 3rd line minutes
    Maroon LW 10.66; 11.07 in ANA
    Hendricks LW 10.49
    Pakarinen RW 9.06
    Lander C 9.03

  112. sliderule says:

    Lowetide: He sure does, but I have to say that it irks me he isn’t getting more play.

    Leon turned it over at his own blue a couple of times and was benched .

    Since then Ralph put him on a leash .

    He has been letting out the leash as Leon has limited his turnovers.

  113. Bruce McCurdy says:

    As for Leon playing the wing, I’m just visualizing a California road trip facing Thornton on Thursday, Kopitar on Saturday, Getzlaf on Sunday with a side trip to Hanzal on Tuesday on the way home. I thought the whole point of drafting a big centre was to have, you know, a big centre. Plenty of size with a modicum of skill on the flanks already in Lucic, Maroon, even Kassian. But there is only one big centre, unless you want to move Hendricks into the middle to fill the hole let by Draisaitl. Not sure I like it.

    oilgreg: I would guess you missed those games last season were Leon played on the wing. 26 points in the first 20 games, iirc.The man possesses a pretty sweet backhand pass, too, making the right side a quite reasonable option.

    Except most of those 20 games were at pivot. Leon was called up for Game 11 (right after Eberle qualified for LTIR) & did start out at wing with Hall & Nuge. But McDavid went down in Game 13 & that was that. As I recall McLellan tried to stay with 4-93-29 for a game or two but soon wearied of trotting out Letestu / Lander / Hendricks as the 2/3/4 pivots. So Leon moved into the middle, Purcell moved up, Nuge went back with Eberle & at least there were two lines that Could score. Short version, a top 6 C went down (McDavid) a top 6 RW came back (Eberle) & the obvious move was to shift the German back into his natural position.

    That said, that Leon is capable of playing wing is useful, & I subscribe to the same notion that many here do that McLellan will stack his top six based on game situation. Whether it’s Leon or Nuge that moves to the wing may depend on whether the Oilers are in California or not. 🙂

    If I’m not mistaken, McLellan had a couple seasons with the Sharks where Thornton-Pavelski-Couture were 1-2-3 in ice time AND 1-2-3 in faceoffs taken. I have every confidence that it’s a situation McLellan can handle.

  114. Ca$h-McMoney! says:

    rickithebear:
    Average EVEN minutes per game 47-49
    Avearge PP and PK 5.5 to 6.5 each

    when talking the 4 lines

    Upr 1st line:
    #1 to 15 EVTOI Fwds
    #1 Kane 15.9 EVTOI
    #15 Lucic 14.55 EVTOI
    #1 to 90 15.90 to 12.97

    Upr 2nd line:
    #91 to 105 EVTOI Fwds
    #91 Nelson 12.96 EVTOI
    #105 Simmonds 12.72 EVTOI
    #91 to 180 12.96 to 12.23

    Upr 3rd line
    #181 to 195 EVTOI fwds
    #181 Lewis 12.22 EVTOI
    #195 D. Jones 11.80 EVTOI
    #181 to 270 12.22 to 10.75

    Oilers last year
    Hall LW 15.21
    Lucic LW 14.55; 14.00 in BOS
    RNH C 14.46
    Draisatl C 14.42
    Mcdavid C 13.89
    Eberle RW 13.51
    ————————- 1st line minutes
    Pouliot LW 12.75
    ————————- 2nd line minutes
    Yakupov RW 11.83
    Kassian RW 11.77; 11.91 in VCR
    Letestu C 10.80; 10.33 in CBJ
    ————————- 3rd line minutes
    Maroon LW 10.66; 11.07 in ANA
    Hendricks LW 10.49
    Pakarinen RW 9.06
    Lander C 9.03

    I know I’ve mentioned this before, but you’d get a lot more mileage and responce out of your posts if you would put a sentence or two at the bottom clearly articulating the point you are trying to make. I’m sure there are lots of people who see that and blow right by it without any thought to the point you’re trying to get across.

    You put a lot of work into this stuff, and while I don’t always agree with your points I appreciate what you bring to the conversation. A quick note for the less “factually inclined” folks at the bottom of your post would be a huge difference maker.

  115. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Bruce McCurdy:
    Frank the dog,

    I heard Ralph auditioned for the role of the next Dos Equis guy & they just stopped everything & hired him on the spot.

    Haha Tim & Sid just referred to Krueger as “the most interesting man in the World… cup of hockey”. They must read Lowetide.

  116. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Great interview with Krueger. Whatever you think of him as a coach, he’s an extraordinary human being. Am genuinely sorry he didn’t stick around Edmonton a little longer than the one runt season.

  117. Frank the dog says:

    Bruce McCurdy:
    Great interview with Krueger. Whatever you think of him as a coach, he’s an extraordinary human being. Am genuinely sorry he didn’t stick around Edmonton a little longer than the one runt season.

    If MacT hadn’t Skyped him out for the dementor we probably wouldn’t have sunk low enough to get CMD et al.

  118. Oilers Training Camp Primer • The Oilers Rig says:

    […] The Oilers full training camp roster hasn’t been announced to this point, but Lowetide has it surrounded. You can view the list here. […]

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