THE KIDS ARE ALRIGHT

I know many of you probably think this blog rambles on too much about balance and depth, but the Edmonton Oilers are going to make several decisions in the next few hours and those two items—or lack thereof—will play a big part in the final roster. Edmonton has substantial issues, we know them well.

DEFENSE, LAST NIGHT

defense-last-night

  • Nurse—Fayne had brilliant possession numbers but were not an effective pairing. Nurse had three shots, two blocks but was chasing the puck quite a bit and had trouble getting the game under control. Fayne looked very poor, he could not corral the puck and send it to a good place. He gave away the puck four times, an incredible total for a veteran in an exhibition game. I sincerely believe in not overreacting to one game, but that was a bad one for him to have on the eve of cutdown day. Both men should be considered bubble players today, suspect they make the roster. If life was fair, Brandon Davidson—Matt Benning would be the third pair, opening night.
  • Klefbom—Larsson were excellent again to my eye, good outlet passing and skated miles. Klefbom had four shots, a takeaway and a blocked shot, Larsson had two blocked shots, two takeaways and three giveaways—too many for sure, but he has been excellent this week overall.
  • There was a lot of anger last night in the comments section, but teams lose on flukey goals and for whatever reason the Oilers are often heartbreaking on Saturday.
  • If you are judging Adam Larsson on last night—or the preseason—then I think it is reasonable to question your judgement. Folks, we all need to give this top pairing some time and defensive breakdowns per 60 have been less with Klefbom—Larsson. Chin up, all is not lost.
  • Andrej Sekera—Kris Russell had some issues, one should expect it from a new pairing. I think Sekera is primed for a brilliant season, he has been quality in the exhibition season. Sekera had an assist, two shots, played well to my eye. Russell looked like a guy in his first day of training camp. We should take a longer view on him, as is the case with Larsson.
  • Cam Talbot is also taking some heat, his preseason performance was just okay to my eye, I don’t think he cost them the game last night but your mileage may vary. Peter Chiarelli will make a move—at a large cost, no doubt—if the Talbot—Gustavsson tandem cannot get it done. I remain confident in Talbot, less so with the Monster.

FORWARDS, LAST NIGHT

forwards-last-night

  • Lucic—McDavid—Eberle performed very well, this was their best game as a line to my eye.  McDavid went 1-1-2, skated miles, was dangerous from halfway through the anthem until the end of the game. I felt (apparently some disagree) this line showed far better chemistry last night, Lucic specifically making effective passes compared to his own training camp resume heading into the evening. Jordan Eberle had five shots on goal and some great looks, nice to see him rounding into form. Easy to forget his injury in preseason a year ago and the impact his loss had on the early season.
  • Pouliot—Nuge—Draisaitl were also impressive last night, which is important because at this point the trio probably represents the end of the offense on the depth chart. Benoit Pouliot scored a brilliant goal, Leon sent a stunning pass and of course the line did well in possession. One of the things we need to be aware of with this line is even-strength offense. A year ago, Taylor Hall played most often with Leon Draisaitl and Teddy Purcell. Those three men accounted for 45 goals in 205 games—or 18 per 82 games. Can the current 2line deliver that kind of offense?
  • Maroon—Lander—Puljujarvi contained exactly one sure thing NHL forward in Maroon, who has posted a dandy preseason. Maroon had four shots, Lander was 54 percent on the dot and Puljujarvi added a couple of shots. I am not absolutely certain the Finn makes this team, suspect the organization is leaning that way—confirmation (for me) coming in the Yakupov trade.
  • Slepyshev—Letestu—Kassian struggled in possession and were chasing a lot, I liked Slepyshev’s speed and determination. Kassian got the line’s two shots, Letestu was solid in the faceoff circle but did not generate much in the way of offense. I like Pitlick more than Slepyshev for the Hendricks spot, but it is interesting coach McLellan chose the Russian last night.

OPENING NIGHT ROSTER (A GUESS)

  • Milan Lucic—Connor McDavid—Jordan Eberle
  • Benoit Pouliot—Ryan Nugent-Hopkins—Leon Draisaitl
  • Patrick Maroon—??????—Jesse Puljujarvi
  • Tyler Pitlick—Mark Letestu—Zack Kassian
  • Extras: Drake Caggiula, Anton Slepyshev
  • Oscar Klefbom—Adam Larsson
  • Kris Russell—Andrej Sekera
  • Darnell Nurse—Brandon Davidson
  • Extra: Mark Fayne
  • Cam Talbot (Jonas Gustavsson)

This is the same list posted in yesterday’s GDT, and I am still not certain about the ? 3C—but am fairly confident it is not Anton Lander. Why? Speed. Edmonton badly needs more speed on the bottom two forward lines, and there should be a window of opportunity for procurement in these next hours. Perhaps it is Drake Caggiula, time will tell. I should also mention Kris Versteeg, who is not signed and for all we know may never be signed by Edmonton. I wonder what kind of injury has one side or another hesitant to sign a contract.

WAIVERS

It is probably wise to watch the waiver wire this weekend, as Edmonton still has some specific needs (backup goalie, RHD and a Pisani). Among the players currently available who may hold interest for Peter Chiarelli:

  • RC Derek Ryan, Carolina Hurricanes: Bob has mentioned him many times as an option, and Ryan is a pretty good offensive player. The Oilers badly need some offensive punch for that 3line, and maybe Ryan and Caggiula can deliver some this season.
  • L Brad Malone, Washington Capitals. I don’t think the Oilers will take him, but he does fit the Chiarelli template and could slide into the Matt Hendricks role.
  • F Landon Ferraro, St. Louis Blues. He is smaller, but has speed and some skill. Not a fabulous faceoff man, but he has a good range of skills and would be an interesting option.

50-MAN LIST

50-man-oct-9

As we have discussed all summer, the roster remains unbalanced. The addition of Kris Russell may help (Fayne is not just leaving the door open, he apparently took it off the hinges), but the backup goalie, power-play issue (no RH shot) and lack of a Pisani mean this is not a playoff team. There is still time to address that center situation, perhaps Peter Chiarelli can find a Pisani and place him there. Year two of Connor McDavid’s NHL career means finishing outside the playoffs unless the young man goes super nova, and even then the defense and goaltending may let him down. As we reach Thanksgiving weekend, the third line is a mess, now, this day. The only way to fix it? Put Leon at 3C, and that risks having only one scoring line. I think Jesse Puljuarvi makes the team and does it in a feature role. Connor, Jesse and Leon are going to get this team to the playoffs or this team is going to fail. It is on the kids, one. more. time.

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179 Responses to "THE KIDS ARE ALRIGHT"

  1. Clay says:

    “I like Pitlick more than Slepyshev for the Hendricks spot, but it is interesting coach McLellan chose the Russian last night.”

    I suspect that Pitlick has won the job, but McLellan still likes Slepy a lot and wanted to give him a final chance to make his bid for a roster spot.

    Edit:… and it will be Slepy that packs his bags today.

  2. Clay says:

    And happy Turkey Day everyone (assuming you have your bird today). Fat-pants and cranberry-stuffing sammiches all around!

  3. Pouzar says:

    Surprise but I disagree on Nurse. He maybe a bubble player but not b/c of last night. He was very good with Davidson in his games and everyone knew the Nurse-Fayne was destined for tire fires. That being said, I would let Nurse dominate in BAK at this point but we know that isn’t happening.

  4. Pouzar says:

    Clay: I suspect that Pitlick has won the job, but McLellan still likes Slepy a lot and wanted to give him a final chance to make his bid for a roster spot.

    Agreed

  5. John Chambers says:

    You know what would’ve been awesome? If Jason Demers was as psyched about playing in the new rink with Connor as much as Lucic was in late June.

    LT could’ve put up the Balance photo on July 1st.

    On another note my guess is that Fayne goes to the minors, and amazingly the Edmonton Oilers spend TEN MILLION US DOLLARS on Ference, Fayne, and Russell this year. Yuck.

  6. Max Powers says:

    Would you consider Winnipeg’s abundance of right shot defenceman as much of a problem as edmontons leftorium? It seems to me we as oiler fans may be putting a little too much emphasis on handedness. All things being equal give me a right shot but today they added a pretty good NHL defence man and I for one am happy about it.

  7. npanciroli says:

    I think I would roll,
    Lucic McDavid Eberle
    Pouliot RNH Versteeg
    Maroon Draisaitl JP
    Cagguila Letestu Kassian

    Lots of offence all around and 3 scoring lines. You could shift Cagguila into 3RW or 3C with Drai as 3RW and JP to AHL if you want.

    Really the forwards are the least of my worries this season. 2RHD and Backup concern me more.

    I would stick Nurse in the AHL to start and roll,

    Klefbom Larsson
    Sekera Fayne
    Russell Davidson

  8. knighttown says:

    No NHL has 9 very good offensive forwards. The trick to icing 3 scoring lines is to put a role player with the elite talent leaving some legit talent leftover on the 3rd line.

    Pittsburgh was just another middling team until they made this switch.

    Sidney Crosby and Geno Malkin are good enough to generate 55% possession against any matchup even if they are only given one good NHL player and a young veteran role player.

    This leaves Kessell-Bonino-Hagelin to matchup against the dregs.

    You need Crosby and Malkin to accept this and you need your 3rd star (Kessel) to accept playing on the 3rd line and all the coverage that gives you.

    The oilers are setup perfectly as they have 2 elite centres that could put up 50+% possession without hogging all the talent.

    McDavid-Lucic
    Nuge-Pouliot

    Throw Versteeg on line 2 cause they need a bit more help and Pitlick plays the Connor Sheary role.

    Lucic-McDavid-Pitlick
    Pouliot-Nuge-Versteeg

    This leaves:

    Maroon-Draisatl-Eberle

    McDavid may not win the Art Ross but this team wins a hell of a lot more games.

  9. Woogie63 says:

    Could we see Slepyshev and Pitlick make the team and Caggiula and JP be sent to Bakersfield for seasoning?

  10. GBandQ says:

    Clay,

    supposedly Pitlick has a small injury (said TMac post-game)

  11. Woogie63 says:

    knighttown:
    No NHL has 9 very good offensive forwards. The trick to icing 3 scoring lines is to put a role player with the elite talent leaving some legit talent leftover on the 3rd line.

    Pittsburgh was just another middling team until they made this switch.

    Sidney Crosby and Geno Malkin are good enough to generate 55% possession against any matchup even if they are only given one good NHL player and a young veteran role player.

    This leaves Kessell-Bonino-Hagelin to matchup against the dregs.

    You need Crosby and Malkin to accept this and you need your 3rd star (Kessel) to accept playing on the 3rd line and all the coverage that gives you.

    The oilers are setup perfectly as they have 2 elite centres that could put up 50+% possession without hogging all the talent.

    McDavid-Lucic
    Nuge-Pouliot

    Throw Versteeg on line 2 cause they need a bit more help and Pitlick plays the Connor Sheary role.

    Lucic-McDavid-Pitlick
    Pouliot-Nuge-Versteeg

    This leaves:

    Maroon-Draisatl-Eberle

    McDavid may not win the Art Ross but this team wins a hell of a lot more games.

    Buts Ebs has the chemistry with McDavid, “it is as simple as that”

  12. LMHF#1 says:

    Slepyshev is a better hockey player than Pitlick, but both should make the roster.

    People were angry with Larsson? Don’t get that one.

    Jesse needs to be sent down. He’s not ready and will struggle offensively. This is the Oilers though, so he’ll be thrown in the deep end with his legs tied together.

  13. Pouzar says:

    LMHF#1:
    Slepyshev is a better hockey player than Pitlick, but both should make the roster.

    People were angry with Larsson? Don’t get that one.

    Jesse needs to be sent down. He’s not ready and will struggle offensively. This is the Oilers though, so he’ll be thrown in the deep end with his legs tied together.

    Amen to all that brutha!

  14. Klima's_Bucket says:

    GBandQ: supposedly Pitlick has a small injury (said TMac post-game)

    Spleen has already been removed, I’m guessing this time it’s probably a kidney.

  15. Klima's_Bucket says:

    If we think our bottom 6 will have troubles, just take a look at what Chicago will enter the season with for a bottom six.

    Motte Kruger Hartman
    Desjardins Rasmussen Tootoo

    *Spares* Hinostroza, Mashinter

  16. Lowetide says:

    Klima's_Bucket:
    If we think our bottom 6 will have troubles, just take a look at what Chicago will enter the season with for a bottom six.

    Motte Kruger Hartman
    Desjardins Rasmussen Tootoo

    *Spares* Hinostroza, Mashinter

    Chicago will fix their problem before the Oilers, if history holds.

  17. jm363561 says:

    Great match summary LT, although having just finished watching the game, I thought you would have been a bit more upbeat (or less downbeat). I thought the Oil looked pretty good until they eased up.

    I nearly commented before last night’s game that a Nurse – Fayne pairing was doomed from the start. Both players need a puck mover as their partner; this was setting them up to fail. I hope Davidson plays 3LD with (the still unsigned) Gryba or Fayne or, as a last resort, Benning or Oesterle. Nurse just does not look an NHL player to me at the moment (unlike Larsson, who looked terrific to my eye).

  18. innercitysmytty says:

    Klima's_Bucket,

    Exactly, and a lot of other teams have a bottom 6 that’s similar.

  19. kinger_OIL says:

    In terms of D, you have a functional D combo:

    Klef-Larsson
    Sek-Russell
    Davidson-Fayne

    – You have Nurse trying to get ice time, Gryba to stand in front of net.

    – Russell/Fayne/Davidson all can move up and down.

    – Hey it’s not perfect but the best we’ve had in 10 years.

    – This team is a lot better comparing opening nights:
    1) Larsson vs Shultz
    2) Russell vs Ferrence
    3) Lucic vs Hall (much tougher to play against, much better for McD)
    4) Kassian, Maroon, Versteeg, Letetsu in bottom-6 are all at least NHL players.
    5) Between Sleppy/Cagulia/Pitlick/Hendricks you have enough utility

    – Just a trade or 2 away from playoffs I’d say. Trouba or Burns does a lot of good. It will happen.

  20. Klima's_Bucket says:

    Lowetide,

    Why can’t the Oilers ever be the first to get their poop in a group?

  21. innercitysmytty says:

    Lowetide,

    Oilers history or Chiarelli’s? Seems Chiarelli isn’t afraid to make moves if there are issues. There’s no doubt a ways to go, but this organization has significantly more depth at forward than 2 years ago.

  22. JDï™ says:

    LMHF#1: This is the Oilers though

    Bob Stauffer ‏@Bob_Stauffer 11h11 hours ago

    For those asking. I have Puljujarvi on the team. Struggled at times with Ryan Vesce and Anton Lander at C. Progressed through camp IMO

  23. Pouzar says:

    JDï™: Bob Stauffer ‏@Bob_Stauffer 11h11 hours ago

    For those asking. I have Puljujarvi on the team. Struggled at times with Ryan Vesce and Anton Lander at C. Progressed through camp IMO

    Yup. Yup……………………yup.

  24. commonfan14 says:

    Keeping JP in the majors just to play on a bad third line is crazy, right?

  25. Klima's_Bucket says:

    Does anyone remember when Jim Matheson was making all kinds of strange faces during a press conference or post game interviews and it took to twitter with a funny hashtag?

    During the Todd McLellan Post-Game Raw video from last night I started getting flashbacks.

  26. Bar_Qu says:

    kinger_OIL,

    The challenge for the Oilers is they won’t play them that way. Your D line up has balance and players in the right spots to succeed. But it appears as though:

    Klef-Larsson
    Nurse-Russell
    Sek-Davidson
    Fayne

    is the preferred template. Which elevates what was said yesterday about playing favorites over playing the right people. Granted Fayne’s poor game yesterday makes it self-justifying to run with that line up opening night, but the Oil do themselves no favors by listening to their own echo chamber.

  27. Pouzar says:

    commonfan14:
    Keeping JP in the majors just to play on a bad third line is crazy, right?

    Yes it is especially considering there are internal options (Slepy, Pitlick, Khairia)

  28. Jethro Tull says:

    Lowetide: Chicago will fix their problem before the Oilers, if history holds.

    Which history? The one where CHG tanked to get Toews and Kane? The one where Edmonton won five cups? The one where an ex-GM of CHG tried to circumvent cap regulations?

  29. gogliano says:

    I really hope they send Puljujarvi down but I’m not seeing it based on roster choices thus far. He has a nice NHL future but the kid is a young 18 — he doesn’t turn 19 until May of next year. For a big winger that young frame is a special liability.

    The talent is evident but he really could use some extra time at a lesser level.

  30. innercitysmytty says:

    I agree with the sentiment that JP should be sent down to start. The thing is just because he starts the year here doesn’t mean he’s staying. Chia and TMac showed a willingness to shuttle guys between the minors and NHL last year and I don’t doubt that would happen this year if he starts here and struggles.

  31. godot10 says:

    Like I’ve said all summer. Fayne HAS to play with an experienced competent puck-moving veteran to be passable as an NHL defensemen. He is not an NHL defensemen if one plays him with an inexperienced D like Nurse.

    Fayne is a 2nd pairing #4D carried by a vet OR AHL quality. There is no middle.

    A really square peg for a round hole coach…and we’ve seen what this GM and coach do with square pegs. This is NOT a coach who is willing to spend any time rounding the edges of square pegs.

  32. godot10 says:

    Hunter, for your death march contest:

    The word of godot…

    Hemsky

    83 points.

  33. godot10 says:

    Pouzar:
    Surprise but I disagree on Nurse. He maybe a bubble player but not b/c of last night. He was very goodwith Davidson in his games and everyone knew the Nurse-Fayne was destined for tire fires. That being said, I would let Nurse dominate in BAK at this point but we know that isn’t happening.

    Nurse will use his physical talent in Bakersfield, not his brain. If he is going to progress, he has to learn to limit his impulsiveness, and he can only learn that in the NHL, on the 3rd pairing.

  34. Klima's_Bucket says:

    godot10,

    Godot,

    I just finished reading Waiting for Godot.

    Is there any particular reason for your name choice, or any significance to the number 10?

  35. godot10 says:

    Klima's_Bucket:
    If we think our bottom 6 will have troubles, just take a look at what Chicago will enter the season with for a bottom six.

    Motte Kruger Hartman
    Desjardins Rasmussen Tootoo

    *Spares* Hinostroza, Mashinter

    Anton Lander won’t clear waivers! -).

  36. Soup Fascist says:

    Klima’s_Bucket:
    godot10,

    Godot,

    I just finished reading Waiting for Godot.

    Is there any particular reason for your name choice, or any significance to the number 10?

    Still waiting for a response?

  37. Klima's_Bucket says:

    Soup Fascist,

    Maybe tomorrow?

  38. Pescador says:

    npanciroli:
    I think I would roll,
    Lucic McDavid Eberle
    Pouliot RNH Versteeg
    Maroon Draisaitl JP
    Cagguila Letestu Kassian

    Lots of offence all around and 3 scoring lines. You could shift Cagguila into 3RW or 3C with Drai as 3RW and JP to AHL if you want.

    Really the forwards are the least of my worries this season. 2RHD and Backup concern me more.

    I would stick Nurse in the AHL to start and roll,

    Klefbom Larsson
    Sekera Fayne
    Russell Davidson

    I take it you didn’t watch (Fayne) last night, or read LT’s post for that matter.
    Or perhaps you did & saw something I didn’t.
    I like your forward lines thou.

  39. Pescador says:

    commonfan14:
    Keeping JP in the majors just to play on a bad third line is crazy, right?

    Agreed, but I don’t see a bad line if they run Maroon-Drai-JP.
    They won’t.

  40. HugThePost says:

    It’s a different world with the current oilers.

    In a previous regime, Versteeg would have been signed to a 9 year contract and gifted the 1RW job in the twilight of his career and Russell would be playing 1LD or 2LD.

    If the Oilers make a waiver claim, is there some kind of deadline this weekend for that?

  41. Bag of Pucks says:

    Great point by Bruce yesterday re- emphasizing that the eye should confirm the analytics and vice versa.

    Fans trashing Russell based on the numbers alone should remember that Fayne came in on a wave of positive analytics buzz and he’s been largely garbage as an Oiler.

    Conversely, the numbers gang was largely apoplectic when the Oil acquired Hendricks until they got their eyes on him and realized he’s a player.

    Changing gears, agree that JP should go down to start. Once he’s ready to light it up? McD/JP, RNH/Eberle, Drai/Cag. That has definite unicorn potential.

  42. Pouzar says:

    Bag of Pucks: Fans trashing Russell based on the numbers

    Guilty.

    Liked what I saw.

    We wait.

  43. godot10 says:

    Klima’s_Bucket:
    godot10,

    Godot,

    I just finished reading Waiting for Godot.

    Is there any particular reason for your name choice, or any significance to the number 10?

    When I started using “10”, it was on a website that wouldn’t let me use “godot” alone…I can’t remember the reason. And I like binary digits because they are a minimalist set of digits.

    “Waiting for Godot” is one of the greatest works of literature of all time by one of the greatest writers. Truth revealed through existential minimalism, allusion, and absurdity. Beckett demonstrated it could be done in a few pages, and in a play.

    There may be an alternative deconstruction of “godot10”, but explaining subtext is not the author’s responsibility.

  44. Pouzar says:

    Any idea when the cuts will come down?

  45. kinger_OIL says:

    godot10: Nurse will use his physical talent in Bakersfield, not his brain.If he is going to progress, he has to learn to limit his impulsiveness, and he can only learn that in the NHL, on the 3rd pairing.

    – No offence, but this is just nonesense. I’ve never heard of a D that dominates for 25 minutes a night in the AHL, who comes up to the NHL and they say:” well that wasn’t the right development path, he was just too good down there, and it was time wasted”

    – You develop by progressing. He progressed in OHL, did well in World Junoirs, but the jump the NHL and the position he was thrust into was clearly too much.

    – It doesn’t matter, they are going to play him anyways, so at least do it 3rd pair and let him learn on the fly. That’s not optimal for the Oil winning. At least now the option to put him down is there…

  46. Pescador says:

    Bar_Qu,

    You had;
    Klef-Larsson
    Nurse-Russell
    Sek-Davidson
    Fayne.
    If you happened to catch Peter’s press conference Friday, he said it pretty clearly they prefer Darnell on the 3rd pairing. I’m guessing with Davidson, 14-16 mins a night will help the Oilers & Nurse.
    Sekera-Russell based on last night.

  47. Pouzar says:

    godot10: When I started using “10”, it was on a website that wouldn’t let me use “godot” alone…I can’t remember the reason.And I like binary digits because they are a minimalist set of digits.

    “Waiting for Godot” is one of the greatest works of literature of all time by one of the greatest writers.Truth revealed through existential minimalism, allusion, and absurdity.Beckett demonstrated it could be done in a few pages, and in a play.

    There may be an alternative deconstruction of “godot10”, but explaining subtext is not the author’s responsibility.

    When I see your name I always think of my buddy’s handle GOTO10…lol

  48. Lowetide says:

    Pouzar:
    Any idea when the cuts will come down?

    Tuesday morning is my guess.

  49. Ryan says:

    godot10: When I started using “10”, it was on a website that wouldn’t let me use “godot” alone…I can’t remember the reason.And I like binary digits because they are a minimalist set of digits.

    “Waiting for Godot” is one of the greatest works of literature of all time by one of the greatest writers.Truth revealed through existential minimalism, allusion, and absurdity.Beckett demonstrated it could be done in a few pages, and in a play.

    There may be an alternative deconstruction of “godot10”, but explaining subtext is not the author’s responsibility.

    I thought that you had aptly predicted a decade out of the playoffs.

  50. hunter1909 says:

    Hunter1909’s Oilers Death March is back for the 2016-17 season!

    Here’s how you play: Pick the exact number of points you think the Oilers will have at the end of the season.

    Then, after the usual training camp hypejobs stop and the real NHL starts, Oilers usually lose 2-3 defencemen and spent the rest of the season chasing/debating the lottery. What better way to enjoy those pointless, meaningless games than The Hunter1909 Official Oilers Death March™?

    Last year had well over 200 players. Prizes being sorted as this message gets posted for last season’s winners who will be notified at a later date.

    Contest Entry: Open until puck drop on opening night. Think of a giant guillotine blade – once the first puck drops it’s all over.

  51. frjohnk says:

    Ryan: I thought that you had aptly predicted a decade out of the playoffs.

    And Im pretty sure Godot is Dallas Eakins middle name.

  52. Klima's_Bucket says:

    hunter1909,

    In homage to my namesake.

    I’ll take 85 points.

    Long Live Petr Klima.

  53. godot10 says:

    The problem with Fayne is sort of like the problem with Reinhart in that McLellan seems to want to play him with the wrong partner.

    McLellan keeps putting Reinhart with Gryba, and that is just setting up Reinhart to fail. To steal from the our resident “bear”, Reinhart’s strength is box protection, but he needs to play with a mobile puck mover so he can play to that strength and simplify his decision making.

    Reinhart is good at defending when he doesn’t have to think too much.

  54. speeds says:

    Jordan Weal is on waivers, anyone think the Oilers take a look at him? RH shot, cheap contract, under team control for 3yrs, allowing DC and maybe JP some apprenticeship in AHL until injuries hit?

  55. haters says:

    Hunter revise my number to 75 points please. Howie Long 🙂

    The more I see Letustu the more I dislike him.
    Nurse to minors with Pulijijarvi pleaseeee.
    Stop the madness

  56. Bag of Pucks says:

    Pouzar: Guilty.

    Liked what I saw.

    We wait.

    Like what I saw too but cautious. Sample size : )

    What I saw is the value of a veteran that still has some life in the legs. The beauty of a vet is the read and reaction time compared to a player like Nurse who’s consistently a second late in reacting and then having to rely on his range and speed to close the gap caused by that delay.

    That said, I love the idea of a Davidson/Nurse pairing. I still see in Darnell that 5 tool horse with a mean streak, and the 3rd pairing is the perfect spot to season him. Davidson and Nurse have the skills to dominate soft opps. Put them in that situation to dominate and their offensive skills and creativity will blossom imo.

  57. Woogie63 says:

    Right Winger Martin Frk is claimed on waivers by Hurricanes

  58. Lowetide says:

    speeds:
    Jordan Weal is on waivers, anyone think the Oilers take a look at him?RH shot, cheap contract, under team control for 3yrs, allowing DC and maybe JP some apprenticeship in AHL until injuries hit?

    Weal would be a very interesting addition.

  59. Pouzar says:

    A grand total of one person has been claimed this off season.

  60. Soup Fascist says:

    Klima’s_Bucket:
    Soup Fascist,

    Maybe tomorrow?

    Clever!

    I am anxiously anticipating Lowetide’s new play, “Waiting for Pisani “

  61. SkatinginSand says:

    Hey, there is progress! Remember when MacTavish declared that he was happy going into another year with a top four containing Schultz, Ference and Nikitin?

  62. Pouzar says:

    Michael Smith ‏@MSmithCanes 3m3 minutes ago
    #Canes ink D-man Jakub Nakladal to one-year deal. Nakladal a right shot. Played with CGY last year, Czech in WCH.

  63. Soup Fascist says:

    Lowetide: Weal would be a very interesting addition.

    He and Ebs were like Frick* and Frack in Regina, no?

    * Not to be confused with Martin Frk.

  64. Pouzar says:

    James Mirtle ‏@mirtle 45s45 seconds ago
    Hurricanes have signed Jakub Nakladal. One year, $600,000.

  65. Bag of Pucks says:

    Larionov: I have some good news and some bad news Nail
    Yakupov: They finally traded me!
    Larionov: Da, that is the good news.
    Yakupov: And the bad news?
    Larionov: Your new coach will make Dallas Eakins look like Barry Melrose.

    Hall to the swamps of Jersey. Yakupov coached by the ultimate defensive taskmaster.

    Chiarelli doesn’t just trade you. He kills your entire family.

  66. Soup Fascist says:

    Bag of Pucks:
    Larionov: I have some good news and some bad news Nail
    Yakupov: They finally traded me!
    Larionov: Da, that is the good news.
    Yakupov: And the bad news?
    Larionov: Your new coach will make Dallas Eakins look like Barry Melrose.

    Hall to the swamps of Jersey. Yakupov coached by the ultimate defensive taskmaster.

    Chiarelli doesn’t just trade you. He kills your entire family.

    It’s the Chicago way.

  67. russ99 says:

    Versteeg had to be a concern, since he looked to make the club before the injury.

    The failed physical in Europe and the idea alluded to me by some Hawk fans that he probably wouldnt pass an Oiler physical needed to sign a contract is also a concern.

    5×5 offense has to take a front seat here, and Leon as the trailer on a RNH-Pouliot line can drive a ton of scoring chances, maybe as many as he got with Hall. Also Leon can focus on creating offense where at center he has more defensive duties.

    Puljujarvi’s play as a rookie from Finland within the system has been exemplary, but we’re not seeing him flash much individual offensive zone brilliance, maybe the ice surface difference isn’t giving him the space he’s used to.

    If we sacrifice 5×5 offense to have Leon center the third line, I don’t see the results coming, since Maroon is a cycle player and Pulju’s offensive output just isn’t there this preseason, even if they play a soft minutes role. Maybe if we get a Pisani type, this helps, but putting someone like Kassian on the RNH line limits their offensive efffectiveness.

    Would be better to use Maroon – Caggiula – Versteeg (or a pickup to replace Versteeg) in a typical McLellan-style dump-cycle-keep possession-take shots when you have it game to keep the puck in the offensive zone keeping pressure on the opposition and chalk up a few goals, like this unit did during the preseason. This will also soften things up as the game goes on for the scoring lines.

    We don’t have the flashy scorers to play three scoring lines anymore and that’s for the better, as we look to have a much more competitive team overall. Actual points over style points.

  68. flyfish1168 says:

    Pouzar:
    James Mirtle ‏@mirtle45s45 seconds ago
    Hurricanes have signed Jakub Nakladal. One year, $600,000.

    Very good signing by the Canes

  69. npanciroli says:

    Maroon Drai Puljujärvi seems like a great third line to me and probably better than most others in the league.

    Surprised by the concern of JP on the third line. Gives him easier minutes and PP time.

  70. theres oil in virginia says:

    Pouzar: When I see your name I always think of my buddy’s handle GOTO10…lol

    Oh my, FORTRAN. Yikes.

  71. Woodguy says:

    Bag of Pucks,

    Fans trashing Russell based on the numbers alone should remember that Fayne came in on a wave of positive analytics buzz and he’s been largely garbage as an Oiler.

    I know that I’ve learned a lot over the past two years about sussing out performance from fancy stats.

    Hell, I think I’m better at it today than I was in April of this year, let alone 2014.

    I know I used not pay enough attention to partners as well as other issues like deployment and overall CF% for the team.

    If we look at Fayne’s last NJD season we see this:

    CF% 55.3%
    With Andy Greene 57.6%
    Without Andy Greene 47.2%

    So we should raised a red flag right there. a 10% drop is massive.

    NJD was 54.4% as a team, so with Greene Fayne outperformed the team vs toughest comp, but without Greene he under-performed the team by over 7%.

    Massive red flag that was missed.

    Then we should have seen that 3 of his 4 most common Dpartners without Greene were all much worse with him than without him, it would have been another huge red flag.

    Player CF% with Fayne CF% without Fayne
    HARROLD, PETER 37.5 56.6
    GELINAS, ERIC 45.6 53.9
    MERRILL, JON 43.5 53.9
    SALVADOR, BRYCE 54.2 50.1

    Now these are small samples, but they also describe a not so nice pattern and add up to about 200 minutes.

    So I would lay the big miss on Fayne at the feet of the analysts (I’m the most guilty) and not that the fancystats missed that Fayne was meh.

    The evidence was there, but was missed/ignored.

    We also have Expected Goals, which is essentially weighted corsi and I think it describes play much better than corsi.

    If we look at Fayne’s RelxGF% WOWY that year we get:

    Situation Rel.xGF%

    MARK.FAYNE WITH ANDY.GREENE 7.34
    ANDY.GREENE WITHOUT MARK.FAYNE -0.42

    MARK.FAYNE WITH PETER.HARROLD -21.69
    PETER.HARROLD WITHOUT MARK.FAYNE -0.83

    MARK.FAYNE WITH ERIC.GELINAS -5.58
    ERIC.GELINAS WITHOUT MARK.FAYNE -5.08

    MARK.FAYNE WITH BRYCE.SALVADOR -16.39
    BRYCE.SALVADOR WITHOUT MARK.FAYNE -1.4

    MARK.FAYNE WITH JON.MERRILL -23.95
    JON.MERRILL WITHOUT MARK.FAYNE -2.42

    So while Fayne was pure money with Greene it wasn’t the case with other players.

    The samples are small so there are some weirdly large numbers, but we saw Fayne-Nurse put up a -11 RelxGF% last year, so maybe they’re not too weird.

    So, to sum up.

    The miss on Fayne was not due to the information being bad, it was due to the analysis being bad.

    I think I’m better at it now, but I completely shit the bed on Fayen.

    Also,

    What I see for Russell is not good and I have a post coming on it.

  72. adamjames says:

    Hunter, please put me down for 91 points. I think this is the turn north.

  73. HugThePost says:

    Huberdeau out long term

  74. Ray says:

    My personal prefrence for how to run the d would be this;
    Klefbom-Larsson
    Sekara-Davidson
    Russell-Fayne
    Gryba
    In the AHL;
    Nurse-Benning
    Reinhart-Oesterle

  75. Woodguy says:

    Here’s 2 year WOWY for Fayne 12/13-13/14

    RelCF%
    MARK.FAYNE WITH ANDY.GREENE 4.45
    ANDY.GREENE WITHOUT MARK.FAYNE 0.27

    MARK.FAYNE WITH PETER.HARROLD -16.4
    PETER.HARROLD WITHOUT MARK.FAYNE 3.43

    MARK.FAYNE WITH ERIC.GELINAS -8.82
    ERIC.GELINAS WITHOUT MARK.FAYNE -0.86

    MARK.FAYNE WITH BRYCE.SALVADOR 2.61
    BRYCE.SALVADOR WITHOUT MARK.FAYNE -6.93

    MARK.FAYNE WITH JON.MERRILL -12.75
    JON.MERRILL WITHOUT MARK.FAYNE -1.44

    Better than the one year, but not good.

    RelxGF%
    MARK.FAYNE WITH ANDY.GREENE 7.34
    ANDY.GREENE WITHOUT MARK.FAYNE 0.2

    MARK.FAYNE WITH PETER.HARROLD -21.69
    PETER.HARROLD WITHOUT MARK.FAYNE 0.17

    MARK.FAYNE WITH ERIC.GELINAS -5.58
    ERIC.GELINAS WITHOUT MARK.FAYNE -5.44

    MARK.FAYNE WITH BRYCE.SALVADOR -16.39
    BRYCE.SALVADOR WITHOUT MARK.FAYNE -5.69

    MARK.FAYNE WITH JON.MERRILL -23.95
    JON.MERRILL WITHOUT MARK.FAYNE -2.42

    Yeah, huge miss by the analysts on Fayne.

    Basically Fayne was the perfect partner for Greene and a poor partner for everyone else.

  76. blainer says:

    Woodguy:
    Bag of Pucks,

    Fans trashing Russell based on the numbers alone should remember that Fayne came in on a wave of positive analytics buzz and he’s been largely garbage as an Oiler.

    I know that I’ve learned a lot over the past two years about sussing out performance from fancy stats.

    Hell, I think I’m better at it today than I was in April of this year, let alone 2014.

    I know I used not pay enough attention to partners as well as other issues like deployment and overall CF% for the team.

    If we look at Fayne’s last NJD season we see this:

    CF% 55.3%
    With Andy Greene 57.6%
    Without Andy Greene 47.2%

    So we should raised a red flag right there.a 10% drop is massive.

    NJD was 54.4% as a team, so with Greene Fayne outperformed the team vs toughest comp, but without Greene he under-performed the team by over 7%.

    Massive red flag that was missed.

    Then we should have seen that 3 of his 4 most common Dpartners without Greene were all much worse with him than without him, it would have been another huge red flag.

    PlayerCF% with FayneCF% without Fayne
    HARROLD, PETER37.556.6
    GELINAS, ERIC45.653.9
    MERRILL, JON43.553.9
    SALVADOR, BRYCE54.250.1

    Now these are small samples, but they also describe a not so nice pattern and add up to about 200 minutes.

    So I would lay the big miss on Fayne at the feet of the analysts (I’m the most guilty) and not that the fancystats missed that Fayne was meh.

    The evidence was there, but was missed/ignored.

    We also have Expected Goals, which is essentially weighted corsi and I think it describes play much better than corsi.

    If we look at Fayne’s RelxGF% WOWY that year we get:

    SituationRel.xGF%

    MARK.FAYNE WITH ANDY.GREENE7.34
    ANDY.GREENE WITHOUT MARK.FAYNE-0.42

    MARK.FAYNE WITH PETER.HARROLD-21.69
    PETER.HARROLD WITHOUT MARK.FAYNE-0.83

    MARK.FAYNE WITH ERIC.GELINAS-5.58
    ERIC.GELINAS WITHOUT MARK.FAYNE-5.08

    MARK.FAYNE WITH BRYCE.SALVADOR-16.39
    BRYCE.SALVADOR WITHOUT MARK.FAYNE-1.4

    MARK.FAYNE WITH JON.MERRILL-23.95
    JON.MERRILL WITHOUT MARK.FAYNE-2.42

    So while Fayne was pure money with Greene it wasn’t the case with other players.

    The samples are small so there are some weirdly large numbers, but we saw Fayne-Nurse put up a -11 RelxGF% last year, so maybe they’re not too weird.

    So, to sum up.

    The miss on Fayne was not due to the information being bad, it was due to the analysis being bad.

    I think I’m better at it now, but I completely shit the bed on Fayen.

    Also,

    What I see for Russell is not good and I have a post coming on it.

    WG.

    Is there any options out there that can help Russell get those numbers up. Who can play the role of Greene here.

    Jeebus this D is STILL a big issue. I would really hope we have a RT shot D as at least the 7th D. I think they have big plans for Benning.

  77. HugThePost says:

    has Tyler Dellow re-surfaced?

    Or is he under muzzle as per some agreement with the Oilers?

  78. theres oil in virginia says:

    Woodguy: The miss on Fayne was not due to the information being bad, it was due to the analysis being bad.

    That’s always the case, and I think that’s the point. You have to know what the numbers represent and what are there limitations.

  79. Oil2Oilers says:

    hunter1909,

    Hi Hunter I am going to stick with 97-10= 87pts

    A merit based opening line up based on the pre-season;
    Lucic-McDavid-Eberle
    Pouliot-RNH-Versteeg
    Maroon-Drai-Caggiula
    Pitlick-Letestu-Kassian
    Slepyshev
    Klefbom-Larsson
    Sekera-Russell (by merit of his salary)
    Davidson-Benning
    Fayne

    Nurse in the NHL with Puljujarvi or in Winnipeg for Trouba

  80. RCN says:

    Backup goalie is an easy solution…

    U call up FLA, who is paying Reto Berra $1.5M in real $ to play in the AHL & eat up $500k buried on their cap & offer to swap em for Gustavsson’s $800k. Panthers save $700k in real $ & $500k in cap space, Oilers upgrade their backup for an extra $650k ($1.45M cap hit).

  81. JDï™ says:

    SkatinginSand: was happy going into another year with a top four containing Schultz, Ference and Nikitin?

    The Quote:

    I’m reasonably comfortable going forward with Oscar and Justin and Nikita and Andrew and Mark Fayne. Nikita was playing better. He started off slowly, I don’t think he was in the best shape he could have been and we have to get that rectified next year but he was getting into shape. He’s a top-four NHL defenceman.

    ‘Reasonably comfortable’ was the phrase, not to defend MacTavish.

    Can we just stop for a moment, and ponder how horrible it would have been if MacTavish was in Pink Floyd?

    And I… have become

    Reasonably comfortable

  82. krakman says:

    My biggest issue with Russell is not how god or bad he is but that he doesn’t play RD and thats what the Oilers still desperately need.

    What if they run this

    Klef Larsson
    Sekera Davidson
    Russell Fayne

  83. 5lowroll says:

    Hunter could you put me down for 92 please despite the poor taste left by the yak sitch the Connor coolaid just looks so delicious!

  84. Pescador says:

    Woodguy,

    Great post, I’ve been reading your stuff for as long as I’ve been tuned into Lowetide’s blog. Ive read your blog BecauseOilers & the latest development Woodmoney between you & Cash. Personally i find it all to be very impressive, hockey analytics I can understand about the only team I truely care about.
    Reading the fancy stats is hard for my brain, it’s kind of like driving in a snowstorm on slippery roads.
    Hard to do, but your happy when you get there & could use a nap.
    Let us hope that Sekera can have the same effect on Russell that Greene had on Fayne.
    If they can post a 50.1% corsi this season I will come away believing Sekera earned all of that $5.5.

  85. Lowetide says:

    JDï™: The Quote:

    I’m reasonably comfortable going forward with Oscar and Justin and Nikita and Andrew and Mark Fayne. Nikita was playing better. He started off slowly, I don’t think he was in the best shape he could have been and we have to get that rectified next year but he was getting into shape. He’s a top-four NHL defenceman.

    ‘Reasonably comfortable’ was the phrase, not to defend MacTavish.

    Can we just stop for a moment, and ponder how horrible it would have been if MacTavish was in Pink Floyd?

    And I… have become


    Reasonably comfortable

    And if the team you coach starts singing different tunes
    I’ll see you at the D-zone faceoff moon

  86. Woodguy says:

    blainer: WG.

    Is there any options out there thatcan help Russell get those numbers up. Who can play the role of Greene here.

    Jeebus this D is STILL a big issue. I would really hope we have a RT shot D as at least the 7th D. I think they have big plans for Benning.

    I’m working on a Russell thing right now.

    3rd pair with a RH partner would probably be the best spot for him.

    3rd pair with a LH partner is 2nd best spot.

    The Oilers really, really need a 2nd pair RHD who can play 2nd pair comp (fairly close to 1st pair comp) to at least a draw and Russell isn’t it.

  87. Clay says:

    GBandQ:
    Clay,

    supposedly Pitlick has a small injury (said TMac post-game)

    Death, taxes, Pitlick injured.

  88. Jethro Tull says:

    Lowetide: And if the team you coach starts singing different tunes
    I’ll see you at the D-zone faceoff moon

    There is no dark side of the moon……… it’s all dark.

  89. OmJo says:

    Pescador: I take it you didn’t watch (Fayne) last night, or read LT’s post for that matter.
    Or perhaps you did & saw something I didn’t.
    I like your forward lines thou.

    Fayne w/ Sekera >>>> Fayne w/o Sekera

    Small sample size, but I’d even argue Fayne w/ Sekera >> Russell w/ Sekera (keeping in mind one is playing on his proper side, the other not).

    For the sake of balance and depth, I would think Sekera-Fayne should be our 2nd pair. If the first pair struggles during some games, those two can fill in for their place to finish out the game.

  90. OmJo says:

    HugThePost:
    has Tyler Dellow re-surfaced?

    Or is he under muzzle as per some agreement with the Oilers?

    I fear he’s sleeping with the Tambellinni’s :/

    (Admittedly this sounded better in my head)

  91. fifthcartel says:

    Russell on the 2nd and Nurse on the 3rd makes me hesitant to think they make any big improvements.

  92. Pescador says:

    Clay: Death, taxes, Pitlick injured.

    The kid is the human equivalent of a porcelain doll. I feel for him but man, how much more evidence do you need?
    Good news for Slepyshev I guess

  93. John Chambers says:

    Lowetide: Weal would be a very interesting addition.

    Tore up the WHL with with Ebs many moons ago.

    Man has Weal ever scored well in the AHL. Good bridge solution while Puljujarvi marinades, and he’d likely get a shot on a scoring line with big boys Maroon and Draisaitl to do the old crash and bang.

  94. Pescador says:

    OmJo: Fayne w/ Sekera >>>> Fayne w/o Sekera

    Small sample size, but I’d even argue Fayne w/ Sekera >> Russell w/ Sekera (keeping in mind one is playing on his proper side, the other not).

    For the sake of balance and depth, I would think Sekera-Fayne should be our 2nd pair. If the first pair struggles during some games, those two can fill in for their place to finish out the game.

    Wow.
    Who gives us the better second pairing, Fayne or Russell?
    This truly is an Oilers debate

  95. BustedSoulO says:

    hunter1909,

    Put me down for 87
    39-34-09

    (2 pts out of the playoffs)

  96. Woodguy says:

    Pescador:
    Woodguy,

    Great post, I’ve been reading your stuff for as long as I’ve been tuned into Lowetide’s blog. Ive read your blog BecauseOilers & the latest development Woodmoney between you & Cash. Personally i find it all to be very impressive, hockey analytics I can understand about the only team I truely care about.
    Reading the fancy stats is hard for my brain, it’s kind of like driving in a snowstorm on slippery roads.
    Hard to do, but your happy when you get there & could use a nap.
    Let us hope that Sekera can have the same effect on Russell that Greene had on Fayne.
    If they can post a 50.1% corsi this season I will come away believing Sekera earned all of that $5.5.

    I appreciate the kinds words.

    I really fear Russell’s effect on Sekera.

  97. Woodguy says:

    Pescador: Wow.
    Who gives us the better second pairing, Fayne or Russell?
    This truly is an Oilers debate

    As the roster currently sits I like:

    Klef-Larsson
    Davidson-Sekera
    Russell-Fayne/Benning

    Those top two pairs have to do well.

  98. Germoil says:

    I don’t know if this has been mentioned yet, and sorry for nitpicking, but you have Maroon on the top line and the third line in your breakdowns LT.

  99. adamjames says:

    I seem to recall that Weal’s name was speculated as the sweetener for taking Mike Richards from LA prior to the infamous border crossing. Edm was in there like a dirty shirt. Maybe a little bit of interest in Weal ?

    John Chambers: Tore up the WHL with with Ebs many moons ago.

    Man has Weal ever scored well in the AHL. Good bridge solution while Puljujarvi marinades, and he’d likely get a shot on a scoring line with big boys Maroon and Draisaitl to do the old crash and bang.

  100. OmJo says:

    Woodguy,

    I think Sekera is good enough to overcome whatever negative effect Russell may bring. May even help Russell in the same way he does Fayne with more time.

  101. OilClog says:

    Klef/Lars
    Sekera/Trouba
    Davidson/Russell
    Gryba

    Nurse becomes a jet and hurts 1.2 Oilers per year.

    Fayne ends up back in the Jers

  102. stush18 says:

    flyfish1168: Very good signing by the Canes

    Man the canes are really running under the radar as a very good team.

    They need a legitimate starter and one number one centre man. They might have there number one goalie in Alex nedelijkovic.

    Building from the backend out, they need to tank to get Nolan Patrick

  103. Picturesque says:

    I promise I’m not jinxing anything here, but if Puljujarvi gets injured in one of these first 9 games, can he still be sent down to AHL? Or does he have to remain on the roster and it burns a year off his ELC?

  104. Bruce Wayne says:

    There is no debate to be had between the numbers and the eye, simply because the eye possesses no internal criterion against which it may be measured. As a result when the eye disagrees with itself (i.e. when you and I do not see the same thing, or when I see the same thing in two ways), there is no way of separating truth from falsehood. The numbers, on the other hand, do possess an internal criterion (the relationship between any given set of numbers and goals), thus while any particular analysis may always be mistaken, the criterion by which that mistake may be identified exists within the numbers themselves. Thus, no additional criteria (which itself would require some kind of validation) needs to be imported from without.

    Thus all of the debate is actually a debate on the numbers, and even those who dispute the numbers have to resort to them sooner or later.

    Thus, it doesn’t matter whether someone sees Russell good, or not. Someone else will see it differently and there is no way to settle this opposition. The opposition can only be transcended by a common criteria, and this common criteria can only emerge out of the numbers.

    Likewise, the eye possesses no scale, hence there is no way based on the eye that you can compare players whose arrows point in the same direction. The eye might like two players, but you can only compare the players by putting them on the same scale. It does no good to say that player A is good, but player B is gooder, if player A costs 600K and player B costs 3 million. You have to be able to answer, with as much precision and accuracy as you can muster, whether player B is worth the additional 2.4 million. My eyes tell me he is “gooder: is not going to help you with that question.

  105. stush18 says:

    LT or people who a technologically inclined.

    Is anyone having trouble with the site? I post predominantly on my iPhone, and the screen no longer follows the text as I type. As soon as I try to slide the screen over to see what I’ve typed, the screen slides up and away from me. Then I have to “exit” my text box, re-orientate where I’m typing, and continue the process.

    Is this the site LT?

  106. Pescador says:

    Woodguy: As the roster currently sits I like:

    Klef-Larsson
    Davidson-Sekera
    Russell-Fayne/Benning

    Those top two pairs have to do well.

    I agree, but based on what we’ve heard from Chia I suspect we see
    Klefbom-Larsson
    Sekera-Russell
    Nurse-Davidson on opening day.
    Playoff D? Probably not.
    Improvement over last year? 4 out of 5 squinted eyes say yes

  107. hoser313 says:

    Hunter,

    81 points for me please.

    Cheers,

  108. JDï™ says:

    stush18: I post predominantly on my iPhone

    If you’re using Safari, try another browser.

  109. Johnny Larue says:

    It would be great if we could know what’s going on with Versteeg if it’s just a minor thing a and he is back soon the he could slot in with Nuge. That would leave Leon to centre the third line put Pitlick on right wing. On the 4 line the Drake can play left wing and start JP in the minors. The defence the first pair is set 2nd pairing Andre /? , 3rd ?? With Nurse Davidson Russell and Fanye being the pieces in the puzzle. It looks like Gryba is odd man out and Versteeg is on hold for now as Chia waits to see what shakes loose in the next few days. Interesting times indeed

  110. kinger_OIL says:

    Pescador: I agree, but based on what we’ve heard from Chia I suspect we see
    Klefbom-Larsson
    Sekera-Russell
    Nurse-Davidsonon opening day.
    Playoff D? Probably not.
    Improvement over last year? 4 out of 5 squinted eyes say yes

    – With both Fayne and Gryba available, there are enough pieces.

    – McL needs to win more than he needs to be stubborn

    – There is enough D with different skills that they can make this work untill trade

    – Next year’s 1st, Nurse, Davidson, Fayne with salary retained, Musil, Simpson etc: we have the assets to finally get to the promised land

    – That’s why Hunter’s contest is tricky this year: there are going to be assets moved this season

  111. russ99 says:

    Johnny Larue,

    Versteeg didn’t skate with Nuge this preseason, right?

    Versteeg – Maroon seemed to be McLellan’s pair.

    Also, Russell is a heck of a lot more steady on D after one preseason game than Fayne was all last year.

    So I think Sekera would do better with Russell on the right side than Fayne even though the handedness isn’t optimal.

    If we’re keeping Nurse on third pairing, he needs someone better in the Oilers zone than Fayne or Gryba.

    So maybe go:
    Sekera – Russell
    Nurse – Davidson

    Or

    Sekera – Davidson
    Nurse – Russell

  112. --hudson-- says:

    The impression I got from Chia’s availability yesterday was:
    – If there is a mutual agreement between Versteeg and Oilers, he can still be signed after the PTO expires.
    – The Oilers have some cap management to do. Chia was vague on this, it could be the paper transaction to LTIR Ference.

    I expect the Oilers to sign Versteeg the day after they need to be cap compliant or the day he is ready to play again (to save some cap dollars).

    Johnny Larue:
    It would be great if we could know what’s going on with Versteeg if it’s just a minor thing a and he is back soon the he could slot in with Nuge. That would leave Leon to centre the third line put Pitlick on right wing. On the 4 line the Drake can play left wing and start JP in the minors. The defence the first pair is set 2nd pairing Andre /? , 3rd ?? With Nurse Davidson Russell and Fanye being the pieces in the puzzle. It looks like Gryba is odd man out and Versteeg is on holdfor now as Chia waits to see what shakes loose in the next few days. Interesting times indeed

  113. Water Fire says:

    russ99:
    Johnny Larue,

    Versteeg didn’t skate with Nuge this preseason, right?

    Versteeg – Maroon seemed to be McLellan’s pair.

    Also, Russell is a heck of a lot more steady on D after one preseason game than Fayne was all last year.

    So I think Sekera would do better with Russell on the right side than Fayneeven though the handedness isn’t optimal.

    If we’re keeping Nurse on third pairing, he needs someone better in the Oilers zone than Fayne or Gryba.

    So maybe go:
    Sekera – Russell
    Nurse – Davidson

    Or

    Sekera – Davidson
    Nurse – Russell

    Russell and Davie are battling for 4th best D I would say, but it concerns me that both R and Sekara are undersized and I can see that being an issue long term with the way the Oilers have always been and the current coach and GM

    I don’t want to see Nurse playing 2nd pair this season he needs to earn it and he has miles to develop

  114. ashley says:

    Woodguy:
    Bag of Pucks,

    Fans trashing Russell based on the numbers alone should remember that Fayne came in on a wave of positive analytics buzz and he’s been largely garbage as an Oiler.

    I know that I’ve learned a lot over the past two years about sussing out performance from fancy stats.

    Hell, I think I’m better at it today than I was in April of this year, let alone 2014.

    Now you are starting to sound more like a scientist. The problem as I see it is that analytics gurus on the internet tend to be very sure of themselves, even two years ago, when in retrospect, their analysis has limitations.

    In fact, with most new ways of looking at things, the first runs at it tend to generate lots of ideas and excitement, but are primitive in hindsight. History shows us many examples. This is why a scientist almost always approaches their profound new research with a healthy dose of humility. They will downplay their findings to the press as “building blocks…avenues to new research”. They will highlight limitations and will cast aside conclusive statements journalists try to get them to commit to.

    Yes it’s opening new doors to new ideas and understanding things better than we have understood in the past, but to assume and argue vehemently that we have it right and that anyone who questions us is wrong will very likely leave us looking foolish some years down the road.

    I think the analytics community would do a lot better if they approached their work with real time humility. Not only is it less irritating to those reading about the interesting work, it allows the researcher to keep an open mind to the limitations of what they are deploying. It also avoids the embarrassing moments of staking our flag in the ground and dying on a hill only to learn that the hill wasn’t what we thought it was.

    Of course it’s not easy since fancy stats have never been more advanced, and it’s tempting to see them as a final powerful product that will endure in their current format for years to come.

  115. Oilspill says:

    Fayne can only move down…to the BC.

    kinger_OIL:
    In terms of D, you have a functional D combo:

    Klef-Larsson
    Sek-Russell
    Davidson-Fayne

    – You have Nurse trying to get ice time, Gryba to stand in front of net.

    – Russell/Fayne/Davidson all can move up and down.

    – Hey it’s not perfect but the best we’ve had in 10 years.

    – This team is a lot better comparing opening nights:
    1) Larsson vs Shultz
    2) Russell vs Ferrence
    3) Lucic vs Hall (much tougher to play against, much better for McD)
    4) Kassian, Maroon, Versteeg, Letetsu in bottom-6 are all at least NHL players.
    5) Between Sleppy/Cagulia/Pitlick/Hendricks you have enough utility

    – Just a trade or 2 away from playoffs I’d say.Trouba or Burns does a lot of good.It will happen.

  116. stush18 says:

    JDï™: If you’re using Safari, try another browser.

    Google chrome

  117. speeds says:

    ashley,

    Even if they are primitive vs. 5 years from now, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s worse than the current alternative method.

  118. Richard S.S. says:

    The Defense with Klefbom and Larsson as First Pair will be amazing. I think it’s possible they will become one of games top pairings by Christmas. Of course, if someone gets injured, the timing might change, not the abilities.

  119. Pescador says:

    kinger_OIL: – With both Fayne and Gryba available, there are enough pieces.

    – McL needs to win more than he needs to be stubborn

    – There is enough D with different skills that they can make this work untilltrade

    – Next year’s 1st, Nurse, Davidson,Fayne with salary retained, Musil, Simpson etc: we have the assets to finally get to the promised land

    – That’s why Hunter’s contest is tricky this year: there are going to be assets moved this season

    I like your optimism Kinger, as someone pointed out the other day-assets are only worth what another GM will give you for them. See: Hall,Taylor.
    The problem with trading next years 1st is twofold; We have no second rounder & it makes more sense to wait until you know what that pick is (plus always worth more at the draft).
    Now if Chiarelli can pull a last minute “Cap relief trade” RHS PP QB out of his ass,
    I’ll be the first one inside the Playoffs Party Wagon,
    Glen Anderson is driving, Grant Fuhr is already in the hot tub with the sexy half of the Swedish bikini team. Erdinger is on tap & Bob Marley is on the radio.
    It’s my Wagon.

  120. ashley says:

    In the first year or two that this blog was established, I recall having a disagreement (a pleasant one) about CF and shots. My argument as a former player and observer was that we cannot just take all shots for minus shots against and make sweeping conclusions about the quality of a player or their performance because every shot is different. The counter was – No, it really is just that simple. A shot is a shot is a shot. They are all equal and it doesn’t matter the circumstance or distance. Here is a link to prove it.

    Obviously we know much better now. Interesting that ricki was posting about difference in shot quality years before it seemed to be formally studied….and heavily criticized for his opinion.

    It will be interesting to see where things go in the coming years, but given the lukewarm manner that NHL professional managers and coaches have embraced fancies, it tells us that something is still missing.

    My idea? I think a stat that measures the outcome of a play after a player has handled the puck (or the outcome of a play when the opposition has handled the puck). What irritates coaches is when the puck frequently dies with a certain player (turnover, bad shot, off the boards and out, bad pass) without creating a chance.

    How many touches does the player get? How often do those touches turn into quality, chances? How often do they turn into average chances? How often do they turn into low percentage chances (off balance shot from the side wall just past the blue line).

    How often does the opposition get a quality chance or poor chance, or no chance (this alludes to LT’s “disruption of sorties” he often refers to).

    I think when someone comes up with such a measure and measures it, it will replace all the primitive corsi based stats and will give a much richer analysis of a player. It will also more closely match what the professional coaches and managers see with their eyes, and will be more thoroughly embraced.

  121. ATLOil says:

    ashley: Now you are starting to sound more like a scientist.The problem as I see it is that analytics gurus on the internet tend to be very sure ofthemselves, even two years ago, when in retrospect, their analysis has limitations.

    In fact, with most new ways of looking at things, the first runs at it tend to generate lots of ideas and excitement, but are primitive in hindsight.History shows us many examples.This is why a scientist almost always approaches their profound new research with a healthy dose of humility.They will downplay their findings to the press as “building blocks…avenues to new research”.They will highlight limitations and will cast aside conclusive statements journalists try to get them to commit to.

    Yes it’s opening new doors to new ideas and understanding things better than we have understood in the past, but to assume and argue vehemently that we have it right and that anyone who questions us is wrong will very likely leave us looking foolish some years down the road.

    I think the analytics community would do a lot better if they approached their work with real time humility.Not only is it less irritating to those reading about the interesting work, it allows the researcher to keep an open mind to the limitations of what they are deploying.It also avoids the embarrassing moments of staking our flag in the ground and dying on a hill only to learn that the hill wasn’t what we thought it was.

    Of course it’s not easy since fancy stats have never been more advanced, and it’s tempting to see them as a final powerful product that will endure in their current format for years to come.

    This x 1000. Well said. However humility seems to be in short supply lately.

  122. El Duderino says:

    ashley,

    Ashley, you are bang on, subject of course to further time and research.

  123. ashley says:

    speeds,

    Oh for sure. I didn’t mean to imply that the current advanced analysis had no value. Only that we would do well to accept that there are very likely limitations in what it tells us about players in the present, not just in hindsight.

  124. Dino says:

    I think Puljujarvi will be on the roster come opening night only if Versteeg is still injured. If Versteeg is healthy or they claim a useful player off of waivers I see Puljujarvi starting in the AHL. I believe the healthy lineup will be something like:

    Lucic Mcdavid Ebs
    Pouliot RNH Drai
    Maroon Cagg Versteeg
    Pitlick Letestu Kassian

    If/ when Mclellan wants to play his 3 centres I think the lineup becomes:

    Lucic Mcdavid Ebs
    Pouliot RNH Versteeg
    Cagg Drai Maroon

    Don’t forget last season when they first acquired Maroon he played RW on a line with Hall and Drai. Say what you will about Chiarelli, he has bolstered the roster and there is far more depth down the lineup than there ever has been and he deserves his Kudos for that. Barring injuries to key players I think this lineup has a shot at being competitive this season all the way to March. I predict 90 points if all goes accordingly.

  125. russ99 says:

    It’s all about the realization that current analytics don’t tell the whole story, and alternate (and non-math based) ideas have to at least be considered.

    For me shot-based data is flawed, since data from 10 skaters are distilled down to one number for one player, and shots only occur in one zone on the ice, the offensive zone of the team that has the puck.

    PDO also drives me crazy, as there are so many factors that can go into scoring and save percentage, and most teams end up either well above or well below 100%, so that balance point where PDO can tell us something doesn’t really exist.

    Any info on the player and puck tracking they did for the World Cup? That, like sportVU in the NBA could open up a whole new world of quantifying player performance.

  126. so polar says:

    Picturesque:
    I promise I’m not jinxing anything here, but if Puljujarvi gets injured in one of these first 9 games, can he still be sent down to AHL? Or does he have to remain on the roster and it burns a year off his ELC?

    Puljujarvi will burn the first year of his ELC whether he plays in Edmonton or Bakersfield. Unsure about the injury’s effect; Sam Bennett played only 1 game his rookie year and was docked the year from his ELC, although the 11 playoff games may be the cause, here.

  127. JDï™ says:

    stush18: Google chrome

    Well maybe there’s something in Chrome now that doesn’t like this site, but I remember others complaining about Sufferari in the past.

    I can tell you that it works fine on a Windows 8.1 phone with IE, if that helps.

  128. Bag of Pucks says:

    LT, our Eagles look like they are in very capable hands with Wentz. This young lad has the look of a QB that can finally bring Philly the Lombardi trophy.

  129. kinger_OIL says:

    ashley,

    – I use the analogy of the difference between a retail investor and an institutional one

    – I know for a fact that corsi not used (or only as a small small piece of info) by the pros

    – We just don’t have the data or the background, and are not attuned to the reality of the flow of information that the NHL is. Sure some of the data that is parsed here is very interesting for us to read. And we certainly have a lot more access to information than we did before. And from time to time we are onto something.

    – But the reality of the NHL is a lot different. So when a blogger concludes definately based on their data anything: you are wise to take it with a big grain of salt: we are “retail”!

    – That’s not to say that there isn’t a lot of great stuff happening on the internet. And a lot of bright people, adding some great perspectives.

    – Keep it real!

  130. Spengler says:

    One thing that occurs to me is that we don’t know what teams are measuring. We can assume that it is the same things that are being analyzed by the bloggers and mathematical glitterati assembled here and elsewhere but there is a reason that analysts who’ve been hired by teams have to take their sites down and that Fellowship, whilst no longer a member of the team hasn’t piped up with a long list of what the Oilers in particular are working on. We can speculate, and evaluate the evidence of repeated failures to say it doesn’t appear to be working, but we can’t know for certain that they’re even looking at the same things we are.
    Oh for sure.I didn’t mean to imply that the current advanced analysis had no value.Only that we would do well to accept that there are very likely limitations in what it tells us about players in the present, not just in hindsight.

  131. Richard S.S. says:

    The Defense with Sekera and Russell as Second Pair will be a work in progress, but both are quality NHL Defenseman in their own right. I think this will be a good pairing, but results will get better as games played together increase. Sekera can play up if necessary due to injury and should be fine with either Klefbom or Larsson as pairing.

  132. Dino says:

    I think analytics are great and they allow us to push the conversation forward when it comes to hockey. I think they are a good indicator of useful players and they let us see the hidden facets of someone’s game that is often missed with the simple “eye test”. However I don’t think they’re 100% accurate and indicative of a player’s efficiency all the time.

    For example, Reinhart played a very slow and terrible game on Thursday night. He played himself right off the team that evening and yet he won the analytics battle. He had the best corsi on the entire team that night. If Reinhart played 82 identical games he would be considered a corsi God on paper but on the ice he was a turnover machine constantly getting walked every shift. Then again last night Nurse and Fayne had the best analytics of last nights game but on the ice they were chaos, couldn’t make a pass to save their lives and kept losing battles along the boards. I would directly fault that pair on the GWG.

    This all goes to show that although analytics can be a useful tool of player evaluation, sometimes it doesn’t tell the full story. I also think players can have better or worse analytic results depending on the systems that a coach implements on his team. A good example of this would be Patrick Roy’s Avs team. A team full of good players that had the worst analytics in the league.

    So many people were quick to discredit Russell as a player because of some numbers, without even giving him a chance to prove his worth on the ice. I think that is wrong and unfair. Kris Russell actually had decent numbers in Columbus but his numbers faltered in Calgary and during Dallas’s playoffs. Could it be the systems don’t compliment his player style? Only time will tell. All I know is he’s an NHL calibre defenseman and it certainly doesn’t hurt to have depth in that role.

  133. Spengler says:

    kinger_OIL,

    I believe we said the same thing in different ways!

  134. Jethro Tull says:

    Is there a glitch in the matrix? I feel as if I’ve read this thread 90 times already.

    Ashley, the best reason fancy stats haven’t been fully embraced is because they are fighting a hundred years of “seen him good” bias. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. When the first team to win a Stanley acknowledges that the fancies played an integral part of their success, then you’ll see the transition pick up steam.

    And to be honest, those at the forefront of the stats revolution haven’t used Corsi for anything meaningful for a while.

  135. Richard S.S. says:

    The Defence with Nurse and Davidson will be fun to watch, and could develop exceptionally well as they are reasonably well matched for each other. I suspect that while both might individually function okay as top pairing, neither should ever be considered as more than quality second pairings material.

  136. DocFan says:

    Hunter,

    Please put me down for 164 points.
    Oilers go 80-0-2.

    This is the only way I can survive this team – with utter optimism.
    Also, sort of the reverse 1 dollar bid popular on the price is right.

    Thanks!

  137. John Chambers says:

    adamjames:
    I seem to recall that Weal’s name was speculated as the sweetener for taking Mike Richards from LA prior to the infamous border crossing. Edm was in there like a dirty shirt. Maybe a little bit of interest in Weal ?

    Oh for sure. He’s the Weal Deal!

  138. Woogie63 says:

    NFL viewership is down here is at least one reason why,

    4th quarter, Patriots v. Browns

    42 minutes to play the quarter
    15 minutes of football
    3 minutes and 15 seconds of whistle to whistle actual play time
    9 points

  139. Picturesque says:

    so polar: Puljujarvi will burn the first year of his ELC whether he plays in Edmonton or Bakersfield. Unsure about the injury’s effect; Sam Bennett played only 1 game his rookie year and was docked the year from his ELC, although the 11 playoff games may be the cause, here.

    Was that because Puljujarvi played last year in Sweden? I forgot that burning a year off ELC only applies to those who played in junior last year – thanks for the reminder!

  140. JDï™ says:

    DocFan: Oilers go 80-0-2.

    You mean 162?

  141. ashley says:

    Jethro Tull:
    Is there a glitch in the matrix? I feel as if I’ve read this thread 90 times already.

    Ashley, the best reason fancy stats haven’t been fully embraced is because they are fighting a hundred years of “seen him good” bias. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. When the first team to win a Stanley acknowledges that the fancies played an integral part of their success, then you’ll see the transition pick up steam.

    And to be honest, those at the forefront of the stats revolution haven’t used Corsi for anything meaningful for a while.

    And you give a good example of the point I’m trying to make.

    To wit: The best reason that advanced stats are not readily embraced by the pros is that the little guys are fighting a 100 year old institution.

    Why do you think this is correct? Why are you so sure? Could there be another explanation for this poor reception?

  142. commonfan14 says:

    John Chambers: Oh for sure. He’s the Weal Deal!

    Hopefully they feel they’re big enough now to accommodate a smaller skilled player like Weal.

    I mean, a Maroon-Drai-Weal line is still plenty big.

  143. Bruce Wayne says:

    The idea that NHL teams are the “institutional investor” in this analogy is pretty funny.

    Now, it is true that they should be, but it is pretty clear that they don’t understand the “amateur” numbers let alone are ahead of the curve developing or advancing knowledge.

    Of course, NHL teams have hired a good number of “amateurs” in the past few years, so those amateurs may be developing things we don’t know about. However, if they do, that is evidence in favour of the amateurs. Though, from what I can tell, NHL teams mostly ignore the people they hire and then fire them for not being useful.

  144. Richard S.S. says:

    The Defense, with what is left, should do all right. Mark Fayne is an NHL RD who needs an experienced partner to succeed. As such, he carries too big a Cap Hit for a 7th Defenseman. He should never play first pairing. Matthew Benning is a very good RD who is very close to making the Team. He may need AHL time to refine his game, but he’s still very close. Griffin Reinhart may or may not be an NHL D, but apparently he failed to work on his issues during the offseason. At present he’s still an option on D. How much longer will he be the option depends on how fast other are moving up.

  145. speeds says:

    so polar: Puljujarvi will burn the first year of his ELC whether he plays in Edmonton or Bakersfield. Unsure about the injury’s effect; Sam Bennett played only 1 game his rookie year and was docked the year from his ELC, although the 11 playoff games may be the cause, here.

    He doesn’t burn an ELC year if he’s in the AHL all year.

  146. Frank the dog says:

    John Chambers:
    You know what would’ve been awesome? If Jason Demers was as psyched about playing in the new rink with Connor as much as Lucic was in late June.

    LT could’ve put up the Balance photo on July 1st.

    On another note my guess is that Fayne goes to the minors, and amazingly the Edmonton Oilers spend TEN MILLION US DOLLARS on Ference, Fayne, and Russell this year. Yuck.

    Fwiw /iirc, I think it was between Larsson and Demers. From what I read, Diners wanted to come here. But Chia wanted Larsson more than Demers but, again, didn’t want to give up Hall unless he could secure Lucic.
    The moment Lucic committed, he pulled the plug on Demers and traded Hall out.
    I’m sure most would have preferred Hall and Demers but I’m good with Lucic and Larsson.

  147. Bruce Wayne says:

    ashley: And you give a good example of the point I’m trying to make.

    To wit: The best reason that advanced stats are not readily embraced by the pros is that the little guys are fighting a 100 year old institution.

    Why do you think this is correct?Why are you so sure?Could there be another explanation for this poor reception?

    You act as if this play hasn’t already been written. The exact same thing happened in baseball 30 years ago. Hockey has followed the script line by line, even to the point where there have always been “old guards” who were crypto-new-guards, and whose success stemmed, in large part, from the fact that they did things differently from the old guard, the chief characteristic of which is not simply the inability to change, but a deeply embedded misunderstanding of what leads to success.

    In baseball, it was Branch Rickey and, to a lesser extent, Earl Weaver. Pick your hockey examples (I’ll go with Roger Nielsen and Bowman), but the pattern is identical. Now every team in baseball operates under almost the same principles, and what separates them isn’t old school vs. new school, but good at new school or bad at new school. The same thing will happen in hockey. It is written in the stars.

  148. JDï™ says:

    commonfan14: smaller skilled player like Weal.

    Did he suffer through injuries last year? Listed as only playing 14 games, unless some data has been missed by hockeydb: http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/pdisplay.php?pid=110234

  149. kinger_OIL says:

    Spengler:
    kinger_OIL,

    I believe we said the same thing in different ways!

    – Yup! And neither of us have hubris!

  150. Lowetide says:

    Frank the dog: Fwiw /iirc, I think it was between Larsson and Demers. From what I read, Diners wanted to come here. But Chia wanted Larsson more than Demers but, again, didn’t want to give up Hall unless he could secure Lucic.
    The moment Lucic committed, he pulled the plug on Demers and traded Hall out.
    I’m sure most would have preferred Hall and Demers but I’m good with Lucic and Larsson.

    I heard a similar version, Demers having interest but Edmonton’s fading once they acquired Larsson.

  151. Professor Q says:

    Does anyone else notice/think that Puljuj’s helmet is too small, or fits oddly?

  152. Spengler says:

    kinger_OIL: – Yup!And neither of us have hubris!

    I’m keeping mine locked up; to be used only at the appropriate time. Much like a certain long promised picture…

  153. sliderule says:

    Is anyone concerned that in a game were they dominated possesion the oiler defence had 11 giveaways compared to Canucks three.

    It is a concern for me.

  154. Frank the dog says:

    godot10:
    The problem with Fayne is sort of like the problem with Reinhart in that McLellan seems to want to play him with the wrong partner.

    McLellan keeps putting Reinhart with Gryba, and that is just setting up Reinhart to fail.To steal from the our resident “bear”,Reinhart’s strength is box protection, but he needs to play with a mobile puck mover so he can play to that strength and simplify his decision making.

    Reinhart is good at defending when he doesn’t have to think too much.

    That might be correct during the season when points count. Better hockey minds than me have pointed out that the pre-season is to evaluate players and combinations of players. Even last night I believe the third period was for trying certan players out for a final chance.

  155. so polar says:

    speeds: He doesn’t burn an ELC year if he’s in the AHL all year.

    Had misinterpreted the slide rule, thinking it only applied if Puljujarvi went back to Liiga. Thanks for the correction. For anyone interested, here’s capfriendly:

    If a player who is signed to an entry-level contract and is 18 or 19 years of age (as of September 15 of the signing year), does not play in a minimum of 10 NHL games (including both regular season and playoffs; AHL games do not count), their contract is considered to ‘slide’, or extend, by one year.

    Explains why Bennett’s first year counted against his ELC as well.

  156. Das Zuke says:

    Posted this late last night well after attending the game and was looking for some opinions on both Lucic comments and McDavid points this season …. despite the final score I saw a much improved Oiler team for most of the game (yes the third period was not as intense).
    First I would like to give praise to the new arena… lots to like – better sight lines, amazing score clock, like the option of wider seats (which I am thankful I chose to purchase), better food options and wider corridors (no longer squashed like a sardine). My seats are located in the upper bowl and I was expecting to be somewhat disappointed ( heard a few negative reports that the upper bowl is so much inferior in quality and service…. not even as good as the old Rexall ) but was very pleased with what I found.
    Back to the game. Many eyes were on the new guy Russell. Considering he had no pre season games, not familiar with his defence partner(s) / teammates or the arena ice, I thought he had a solid game and will help the Oilers be a better team. He by no means was perfect but his passing and hockey sense showed a lot of promise. Next to McDavid, Pouliot stood out with a real solid game closely followed by of all players Kassian (really) …I was impressed by Kassian’s intensity on most shifts, he hit, back checked, fore checked and even killed penalties (easily his best outing and displaying what the Oilers need to see from him …. I hope he can keep it up) Nuge also had a very consistent game and should have a very good year.
    It has already been said, but worth repeating Nurse and Fayne together spells DEFEAT …they were the cause of the last two goals and Fayne in particular started the game okay but as it wore on became a real liability when on the ice. It makes me think they should reconsider signing Gryba for insurance as I believe Fayne’s time on this team will be short lived (definitely gone at the trade deadline if not sooner). Other than pairing up with Sekera (which seems to work ok) he does not match up well with anyone else on the defence. Unfortunately or fortunately, depending on your viewpoint the Finnish wonderkid needs to go to Bakersfield and work on his game ( he needs to get comfortable with the smaller ice surface, faster pace of game and even the English language which can all be worked on in the AHL) Nurse was hot and cold … not too sure how much of this was due to Fayne being his partner but we can use this excuse for for now.

    I know it is early, and most will not agree with this thought but I am thinking Lucic is too slow for McDavid both in skating and in handling his sublime passes. I would really like to see how either Pouliot or even Maroon (who slimmed down in the off season and is now faster) looked with McDavid . Both of these men can also provide a degree of physicality to that line and more finesse with the puck than Lucic ( i.e. Pouliot’s goal tonight was a beauty …I do not see Lucic potting that goal with the same opportunity)
    I am still quite optimistic that with the return of Davidson (exit Fayne), Cags for 3rd line centre (bye bye Lander) and Hendricks for the PK the Oilers will be playoff bound (excluding any significant injuries)
    One more thing … while there is no official posted contest but I am predicting McDavid gets 120 points this year and wins the scoring title … any other guesses as to how many points McDavid gets?

  157. stush18 says:

    JDï™: Well maybe there’s something in Chrome now that doesn’t like this site, but I remember others complaining about Sufferari in the past.

    I can tell you that it works fine on a Windows 8.1 phone with IE, if that helps.

    Might have to try the site on a different browser. Funny thing is I’ve always used chrome on this phone, so I’m bout sure why these issues are popping up. Also my spelling and thoughts are all over the place because I can’t see what I’m writing.

  158. Frank the dog says:

    stush18: Might have to try the site on a different browser. Funny thing is I’ve always used chrome on this phone, so I’m bout sure why these issues are popping up. Also my spelling and thoughts are all over the place because I can’t see what I’m writing.

    I’m using a Lumia phone running W10 and an Edge browser, basically an enhanced rt OS. No problems here.

  159. Zelepukin says:

    Das Zuke: know it is early, and most will not agree with this thought but I am thinking Lucic is too slow for McDavid both in skating and in handling his sublime passes. I would really like to see how either Pouliot or even Maroon (who slimmed down in the off season and is now faster) looked with McDavid . Both of these men can also provide a degree of physicality to that line and more finesse with the puck than Lucic ( i.e. Pouliot’s goal tonight was a beauty …I do not see Lucic potting that goal with the same opportunity)
    I am still quite optimistic that with the return of Davidson (exit Fayne), Cags for 3rd line centre (bye bye Lander) and Hendricks for the PK the Oilers will be playoff bound (excluding any significant injuries)

    It’s going to be interesting to see how either Lucic/Ebs play themselves off of McD’s line. As long as both of them can create space for McD by driving the net, make the breakout pass and more importantly, learning to keep their damn sticks on the ice and tap in all these impossible passes, then there will be no reason to switch up the lines.

  160. Lowetide says:

    sliderule:
    Is anyone concerned that in a game were they dominated possesion the oiler defence had 11 giveaways compared to Canucks three.

    It is a concern for me.

    I think first game of training camp for Russell and Fayne clearly having an insanely bad night helps. Larsson had three, but I will tell you he looked damn good to me in the two earlier games this week, while playing well overall again last night.

  161. Das Zuke says:

    Zelepukin,

    I am probably judging Lucic a bit prematurely….. give him and Eberle 15-20 games and things should be clicking in high gear. Watching the pre season games and seeing how many times McDavid is setting up linemates one come away with the impression that McDavid should be getting 3-5 points per game …which if course is an unrealistic expectation….however my 120 pts for McDavid this season (1.5 pts / game over 82 games) I believe is attainable.

  162. Gerta Rauss says:

    stush18,

    I’ve been having problems for several weeks(Surface 3)-I’m running Win10 with 3 different browsers…Chrome, Firefox and Edge..I have problems with all 3.

    I also have problems at work(PC)with Win 7 and IE and Firefox…various issues with pages loading and hanging, but primarily “a script has stopped working”

    With that said however, I also have problems with Oilersnation, so it’s always pointed back to my PC/tablet and not necessarily the site(s)

    The iPhone has always had problems here-apparently the Puffin browser solves the problems(free from iTunes)

  163. JDï™ says:

    Gerta Rauss: various issues with pages loading and hanging, but primarily “a script has stopped working”

    I was having those problems too (edit on Win7) – ON wasn’t bearable. I then set my Firefox browser to ask to activate Shockwave Flash add-on whenever a site requests it, instead of just loading it automatically. Denying it to load on ON and some other sites, cleared everything up, but caused a problem for video on sportsnet.ca.

    I lived with that for a while, and then had to enable Shockwave for something and forgot about it. It seems that it’s working now – must have been the pile of updates I did recently.

    I’ve also started using uBlock, which is a great ad blocking plugin. This could also be helping.

    Of course, I disable uBlock for LT’s site.

  164. Pescador says:

    kinger_OIL: – Yup!And neither of us have hubris!

    I have a rather large hubris,
    just don’t know how to use it. 😄

  165. Gerta Rauss says:

    JDï™,

    Yeah, thanks

    I noticed that the “script stopped working” issue was less frequent lately as well

    I’ve been reluctant to enable ad-blocking of any kind but it may come to that shortly

  166. Lowetide says:

    In regard to fancy stats, I feel we are in a period comparable to the tower of Babel. Seems everyone is busy with their own theory and talking across criticism or useful insight. No idea how to get beyond it, although I am very interested in seeing WoodMoney in real time.

  167. stush18 says:

    Gerta Rauss:
    stush18,

    I’ve been having problems for several weeks(Surface 3)-I’m running Win10 with 3 different browsers…Chrome, Firefox and Edge..I have problems with all 3.

    I also have problems at work(PC)with Win 7 and IE and Firefox…various issues with pages loading and hanging, but primarily “a script has stopped working”

    With that said however, I also have problems with Oilersnation, so it’s always pointed back to my PC/tablet and not necessarily the site(s)

    The iPhone has always had problems here-apparently the Puffin browser solves the problems(free from iTunes)

    Thanks everyone. I’ll try downloading puffin.

    I’ll be honest you’re all speaking Greek to me (or danish? Lol).

    I’m 23 and I’m very technologically inept. If I was born twenty years sooner I woulda fit right in. Things like math or electrical come easy, but put a keyboard in front of me and I look like a fish trying to climb a tree.

    Took a coding course in university. Jesus Murphy was that an adventure.

  168. RedNed says:

    Hunter – please put me down for 84 points. Would’ve been higher except oilers.

    Re Vancouver game. I liked Russel. Did he play on the right side for periods of time, or was that just my eyes seeing that?

  169. JDï™ says:

    Gerta Rauss: I’ve been reluctant to enable ad-blocking of any kind but it may come to that shortly

    It’s a must-have for some of those sketchy hockey streaming sites, and I leave it enabled for most other sites now too. uBlock works well and is easy to disable for sites you don’t want it blocking.

    Youtube doesn’t fool around when they notice you’re blocking. It’s as if they transfer all of your streaming requests to the server on the 14.4 kbps modem – pauses and buffer wheels is all you get.

  170. LadiesloveSmid says:

    Dylan Wells at .933 through 5 games

  171. Woodguy says:

    OmJo:
    Woodguy,

    I think Sekera is good enough to overcome whatever negative effect Russell may bring. May even help Russell in the same way he does Fayne with more time.

    Russell significantly impaired the results of:

    Hamilton
    Wideman
    Demers
    Goligoski

    last year.

    It’s best not to have a drag on the 2nd pair.

    It’s way too important.

  172. Woodguy says:

    ashley,

    Ricki was heavily critisized for attributing SV% to Dmen.

    That still stands today.

    Even the best “box-protection” Dmen can barely move the needle on SV%

    What they can do is effect the volume of the most dangerous shots, but the goalie still needs to save the puck

  173. spoiler says:

    ashley,

    All Corsi originally was attempting to do was provide a proxy for possession stats. Where was the puck during the game? Mostly in your end, or mostly in the oppositions?

    There was no attempt, by the serious Statsies, to stretch that measure from quantitative to qualitative. Ie., what was happening when the puck was in that end of the ice?

    However, that isn’t to say there wasn’t desire within the Stats community to see if a meaningful measure of a player’s ability to affect possession and subsequent scoring, for and against couldn’t be derived.

    For that work to be attempted and refined and tested etc, first there needs to be conversations. And an acknowledgement that these discussions and theories are a process.

    And we should all know–by now– there’s danger in (a) small sample sizes, in (b) inability to control for variables like coaching systems, unknown injuries etc, and (c) there’s always a danger when applying general data to a specific player. These dangers will never go away.

  174. Woodguy says:

    russ99,

    PDO also drives me crazy, as there are so many factors that can go into scoring and save percentage, and most teams end up either well above or well below 100%, so that balance point where PDO can tell us something doesn’t really exist.

    This is incorrect and was shown to be incorrect years ago.

    Teams cluster around 100 (as do players over time) with most outliers being SV% which can be directly attributed to one or two players.

    Here’s team PDO from the last 3 years:

    15/16
    Team PDO
    NYR 102.44
    FLA 102.07
    WSH 101.22
    OTT 101.2
    T.B 100.88
    ARI 100.75
    MIN 100.7
    NYI 100.68
    PIT 100.59
    COL 100.51
    PHI 100.43
    STL 100.17
    BOS 100.05
    S.J 100
    CBJ 99.79
    L.A 99.72
    DAL 99.7
    N.J 99.66
    DET 99.64
    WPG 99.64
    CHI 99.57
    NSH 99.47
    VAN 99.36
    CGY 99.33
    MTL 99.27
    BUF 99.08
    ANA 99.03
    EDM 98.59
    CAR 98.34
    TOR 98.29

    14/15
    Team PDO
    NYR 101.92
    MTL 101.56
    COL 101.36
    CGY 101.15
    NSH 101.14
    OTT 101.04
    T.B 100.97
    N.J 100.7
    WPG 100.7
    STL 100.49
    WSH 100.49
    CHI 100.38
    PHI 100.31
    MIN 100.24
    ANA 100.23
    L.A 100.16
    BOS 100.03
    PIT 100.02
    DET 99.93
    CBJ 99.75
    DAL 99.7
    FLA 99.59
    BUF 99.49
    VAN 99.39
    TOR 99.35
    NYI 99.3
    S.J 99.05
    EDM 97.29
    ARI 97.2
    CAR 97.11

    13/14
    Team PDO
    BOS 102.46
    ANA 102.32
    COL 101.75
    TOR 101.2
    MIN 101.13
    CBJ 100.74
    STL 100.65
    MTL 100.54
    T.B 100.53
    PHI 100.27
    DAL 100.26
    ARI 100.25
    DET 100.21
    WSH 100.16
    L.A 100.11
    PIT 100.06
    CHI 99.91
    NYR 99.74
    S.J 99.7
    OTT 99.53
    VAN 99.5
    CAR 99.42
    WPG 99.38
    EDM 99.08
    NSH 98.97
    CGY 98.75
    N.J 98.59
    NYI 98.4
    FLA 98.2
    BUF 98.17

    12/13
    Team PDO
    TOR 102.99
    PIT 102.82
    CHI 102.03
    ANA 101.72
    CBJ 101.63
    WSH 101.41
    DAL 101.29
    T.B 101.23
    MTL 101.03
    NYR 100.92
    BUF 100.65
    EDM 100.6
    VAN 100.59
    BOS 100.51
    ARI 100.34
    DET 100.19
    WPG 99.57
    OTT 99.55
    NSH 99.54
    S.J 99.51
    STL 99.25
    L.A 99.07
    PHI 99.03
    NYI 98.95
    MIN 98.81
    COL 98.49
    CAR 98.41
    N.J 97.51
    CGY 97.33
    FLA 96.09

    Every shot is a save or a goal.

    So league wide PDO is 100.

    Its not something to “believe” or “disbelieve”

    It just is.

  175. Bruce Wayne says:

    spoiler:
    ashley,

    All Corsi originally was attempting to do was provide a proxy for possession stats.Where was the puck during the game?Mostly in your end, or mostly in the oppositions.

    This is flatly untrue, as is proven by the very existence of Fenwick. The possession term has been a misnomer from the beginning and has put back understanding more than any single thing.

  176. Woodguy says:

    Bruce Wayne: This is flatly untrue, as is proven by the very existence of Fenwick.The possession term has been a misnomer from the beginning and has put back understanding more than any single thing.

    I remember reading Vic’s site and Tore Purdy’s is still up.

    It was a proxy for possession.

    The whole “a hah!” moment was when Vic found that corsi was highly correlated with zone time (when the NHL still published it)

  177. Woodguy says:

    Bruce Wayne: This is flatly untrue, as is proven by the very existence of Fenwick.The possession term has been a misnomer from the beginning and has put back understanding more than any single thing.

    Fenwick exists because Matt Fenwick thought that blocking a shot was a positive and should count as a negative to the guys on the ice.

    So corsi was possession and Fenwick started down the path towards expected goals/scoring chances.

  178. jm363561 says:

    Oil2Oilers:
    hunter1909,

    Hi Hunter I am going to stick with 97-10= 87pts

    A merit based opening line up based on the pre-season;
    Lucic-McDavid-Eberle
    Pouliot-RNH-Versteeg
    Maroon-Drai-Caggiula
    Pitlick-Letestu-Kassian
    Slepyshev
    Klefbom-Larsson
    Sekera-Russell (by merit of his salary)
    Davidson-Benning
    Fayne

    Nurse in the NHL with Puljujarvi or in Winnipeg for Trouba

    Based on the training camp this looks a good roster. But just as Tkachuk, Joensuu, et al flattered to deceive, Caggiula and Benning need time in the AHL to learn and prove their stamina and consistency, and I have never believed that Versteeg can be more than a bottom six depth guy. We have a hole at 3C or 2RW, depending where Drai plays. For RD, too soon to say but Russel might be okay – we wait on Woodguy; if all else fails sign Gryba and play him with St Brandon.

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