G3 2016-17: SABRES AT OILERS

The Edmonton Oilers have a chance to turn a good early start into a something else this week, and that begins tonight with a game against the injury-riddled Buffalo Sabres. I chatted with Bill Hoppe yesterday and the list of wounded Sabres is borderline incredible—leading one to believe a third victory is at hand. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves, but a nice bullet point as we head into the Sunday game.

BRAM TCHAIKOVSKY, YEAR OVER YEAR

  • Oilers in October 2015: 0-2-0, goal differential -4
  • Oilers in October 2016: 2-0-0, goal differential +5

Good arrows here and the two victories this season have been earned against a Western Conference foe many believe is a playoff team. Positives all around, the key is to keep it going and not stumble against a team like the current Buffalo Sabres.

EARLY NUMBERS

  • 5X5 Scoring Chances for and against: 31-22 (No. 6 NHL)
  • 5X5 High Danger Scoring Chances for and against: 20-12 (No. 5 NHL)
  • 5X5 Corsi For Percentage: 41.88 (No. 29 NHL)
  • Source

Wildly differing snapshots but the key word here is ‘early’ and we need to wait until 20 games in to see things and make sweeping statements. You have to like those scoring chance totals though, and an argument can be made about score effects impacting possession—but early days.

FORWARDS AFTER TWO GAMES

boxcars-corsi-after-two-f

  • The points-per-60 were done by hand by me, so there might be an error here or there. I couldn’t find them anywhere, so used NaturalStatTrick TOI and NHL.com scoring totals.
  • If you play on Connor McDavid’s line, music! If not, your Corsi is in the ditch and for several important players, the offense is there too.
  • Secondary scoring is going to be important, and it is here. Tyler Pitlick and Zack Kassian are examples, but this is early. Vital for that even-strength scoring continue in the bottom six, one reason why Drake Caggiula (as an example) made this team.
  • Leon Draisaitl has had a nice start to the year.
  • Milan Lucic is the subject of some verbal surrounding his spot on the McDavid line. I think 20 games is going to be a far better measure, but his totals so far are in line with reasonable expectation.
  • Connor McDavid is beyond reasonable.

DEFENSE AFTER TWO GAMES

boxcars-corsi-after-two-d

  • Same deal as above, the points-per-60 is by hand and could be off in some areas (my addiator has seen better days).
  • The Oilers team Corsi 5×5 for percentage is 41.88, and we have talked about score effects and that blazing first period by the Flames. Still, with 41.88 as the line in the sand, and understanding that quality of competition is a real thing, we can draw some very early conclusions.
  • Kris Russell has played very well by eye, and the numbers are good to great.
  • Darnell Nurse has, to my eye, shown calm feet far more often than a year ago. His possession number is a couple of points off, but there is at least the germ of an idea that progress is possible.
  • Andrej Sekera would be my choice for best defenseman on the team so far—and it is a difficult field for once.
  • Adam Larsson has been rock solid to my eye, he is more physical than I thought he would be and makes excellent decisions. Less flashy than his partner, very good so far this season.
  • Oscar Klefbom is playing a lot, but not as much as thought (if that makes sense). I light a candle every day for his health, and hope the organization makes hay while the defensive group is (mostly) healthy.
  • Brandon Davidson cannot buy a break, and I do think that his injury may also impact Darnell Nurse. Get well soon young man, and a mean streak wouldn’t hurt.
  • Eric Gryba isn’t sexy, but he can defend. I do not know how many more years we will see this player type, but I will enjoy watching them for as long as it lasts.

Jones is posting a very strong first leg of the season (currently 9gp, 1-6-7 with the Portland Winterhawks) and is among the young prospects bubbling under we should be paying attention to this year. Others include Tyler Benson (7gp, 5-4-9 with the Vancouver Giants), Dylan Wells (Peterborough Petes goalie 7gp, 2.90, .923), and Aidan Muir (4gp, 0-5-5 for Western Michigan).

KRIS RUSSELL

  • Bruce Garrioch: The Flames tried to move defenceman Dennis Wideman this summer but didn’t find any takers. You would have to think if he was dealt Calgary would have brought back Kris Russell. Source

Russell has been solid to excellent in the first two games (I thought he was very good in Game 1), and for me the signing had some appeal on two levels. Adding actual NHL players (Russell is one) is always a good idea, and a smaller point (but an important one) is that he has real trade value (D always do) at the deadline.

The downside? If he continues to perform well, I think the Oilers may end up signing Russell long term, something that would impact the cap moving forward and the final expansion protected list. Interesting decisions.

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703 Responses to "G3 2016-17: SABRES AT OILERS"

« Older Comments
  1. Jethro Tull says:

    OmJo:
    Lander gonna score four goals in 5 minutes.

    If he doesn’t, it’ll be because he didn’t have the line mates.

  2. delooper says:

    Jethro Tull,

    The game is rigged!

  3. square_wheels says:

    Baez is a modern Sandberg for the Cubs, such a clever bugger.

  4. Jethro Tull says:

    When we’re at the nadir, the Schultz writer is the go to move, eh Klef.

  5. OmJo says:

    I think Eberle just manhandled #77?

  6. Empty Netter says:

    Does Klefbom get a bonus for firing shots at the net and not passing the puck to Puljujarvi ??

  7. OmJo says:

    Nice centring pass Gryba. Urm wrong net tho.

  8. Jethro Tull says:

    Empty Netter:
    Does Klefbom get a bonus for firing shots at the net and not passing the puck to Puljujarvi ??

    They hate Puljujarvi, it’s the only reasonable conclusion.

  9. square_wheels says:

    Kershaw has the strangest wind up in MLB, good lord it’s awful.

  10. russ99 says:

    square_wheels:
    Baez is a modern Sandberg for the Cubs, such a clever bugger.

    I live on the north side of Chicago and I’m a White Sox and Astros fan.

    The overwhelming cub-love is too much to deal with, I’m sticking in with this game on purpose to avoid it.

    Sandberg was an overrated hack, BTW. Lots of other 2Bs of the era would have been just as good playing in that bandbox and fielding behind the tall grass and watered down infield and they really shouldn’t give the gold glove to players for how many home runs they hit,

  11. OmJo says:

    Did Ron just say “lots of McDavid fans hoping for a different result”???

    In game #1 one of the Sportsnet crew said that the new arena wasn’t our house (Oilers fans) but McDavid’s house.

    How long will the eastern sports tools keep erasing the Oilers and us fans from the Connor McDavid picture?

  12. OmJo says:

    We could use Gionta, for what it’s worth.

  13. stevezie says:

    kinger_OIL:
    stevezie,

    – How is the ice by the way?A few posters commented on it: Is it better now?

    this is actually the only thing i care about in regards to the new arena. I hope the ice is of a fine quality (and looks good on tv).

  14. Colieo87 says:

    Game 3 vs the buffalo sabers is talking a knife to a gun fight. Stabed inselfed wounds in my own leg. Bad tape to tape pass, Assertion, checks, defense, and goaltending. With game 1 and 2 i knew it was against Calgary and edmonton wasn’t a team yet. But glad they got kicked and i hope tmac slaps them all around in the dressing room.

  15. square_wheels says:

    russ99,

    Oh shit, you’re a Cubs hater 🙂

    My favourite player is Jose Altuve and I love the Cubs.

    Kershaw is ON tonight, think we’re going to Cali at 1-1

  16. Empty Netter says:

    The post-game livestream is as bad as the game….

  17. russ99 says:

    square_wheels:
    russ99,

    Oh shit, you’re a Cubs hater

    My favourite player is Jose Altuve and I love the Cubs.

    Kershaw is ON tonight, think we’re going to Cali at 1-1

    Lol! I dont really hate the Cubs (they have a heck of a team this year) but it’s all a bit too much this year – the fans, not the team. I’m almost more afraid of how people will react if they blow it, than if they win it.

    Altuve is my favorite player too. 🙂

  18. DenverOilFan says:

    I’ve noticed this for a while now on Lowetide’s site and just assumed it was a WordPress glitch: when I try to go back and read older comments on posts with several hundred comments, I’m only shown a fraction of those comments when I click on “Older Comments”. I’m expecting to see approximately 200 comments per Older Comments page, but I’m lucky to see more than 10. I wanted to read the heated exchange between Ricki and whomever but now I won’t get that “pleasure”. I’ve tried several different machines, browsers and Internet connections just to make sure. Anyone else notice this and know of a workaround?

  19. Jethro Tull says:

    DenverOilFan:
    I’ve noticed this for a while now on Lowetide’s site and just assumed it was a WordPress glitch: when I try to go back and read older comments on posts with several hundred comments, I’m only shown a fraction of those comments when I click on “Older Comments”. I’m expecting to see approximately 200 comments per Older Comments page, but I’m lucky to see more than 10. I wanted to read the heated exchange between Ricki and whomever but now I won’t get that “pleasure”. I’ve tried several different machines, browsers and Internet connections just to make sure. Anyone else notice this and know of a workaround?

    You have to sign in and all your troubles will simply melt away.

  20. hags9k says:

    If Sekera is our best Dman too many nights, we will be in big trouble.

    Talbot and the Swedes were very poor tonight.

    To try and sprinkle in a positive, I’ll say Eberle looked good.

    SPLAT!! Back down to earth hard landing style like the end of a Pitlick sortie.

  21. B S says:

    GF with the comment of the night: “I’m sorry, but Connor’s kind of being wasted there, on that team, isn’t he?”

    Couldn’t bring myself to respond.

    Oil lose horribly to a depleted, terrible team. The more things change, the more they stay the same.

  22. G Honey Pie Sugar Bunch says:

    Don’t get overly caught up in post facto narratives driven through the lens of the horrific score.

    The Oilers had a shit ton of great chances, whiffed on a bunch of them, and the few they didn’t whiff on were mostly stopped. The Sabres had fewer lesser chances, but scored on all of them (and by my count, three that weren’t really chances at all)

    These were two world-class tire fires, and the Oilers have a lot to clean up (just as they did after the Flames victories), but the Sabres were by far the larger and stinkier of the two.

    Goaltending extremes (good or bad) will pretty much always override whatever happens with the rest of the team.

  23. Centre of attention says:

    The Oilers had the better of the scoring chances by far 5 on 5.

    AHL level goal tending let this team down.

    I seriously didn’t mind the Oilers overall play, penalties aside. I mean, the refs really didn’t call a fair game at all. A couple calls against Oilers were correct but the fact they were only calling Oilers was laughable. Buffalo was getting away with a whole bunch of BS, I don’t blame the Oilers for getting frustrated.

    I fully expect a better effort against the Canes.

  24. Jethro Tull says:

    I liked when Georges was patting McDavid’s left pocket for change, even though he was skating on McDavid’s right.

  25. frjohnk says:

    hags9k:
    If Sekera is our best Dman too many nights, we will be in big trouble.

    Talbot and the Swedes were very poor tonight.

    To try and sprinkle in a positive, I’ll say Eberle looked good.

    SPLAT!!Back down to earth hard landing style like the end of a Pitlick sortie.

    I agree with all this.

    But never underestimate what a shitty dump in goal will do to a teams confidence.

    Talbot needs to stop those.

  26. Lowetide says:

    G Honey Pie Sugar Bunch:
    Don’t get overly caught up in post facto narratives driven through the lens of the horrific score.

    The Oilers had a shit ton of great chances, whiffed on a bunch of them, and the few they didn’t whiff on were mostly stopped.The Sabres had fewer lesser chances, but scored on all of them (and by my count, three that weren’t really chances at all)

    These were two world-class tire fires, and the Oilers have a lot to clean up (just as they did after the Flames victories), but the Sabres were by far the larger and stinkier of the two.

    Goaltending extremes (good or bad) will pretty much always override whatever happens with the rest of the team.

    Great post, and very insightful. It burns, but when Klefbom is turning over pucks and it finds twine five seconds later then maybe it isn’t going to be our night.

  27. Lowetide says:

    Centre of attention:
    The Oilers had the better of the scoring chances by far 5 on 5.

    AHL level goal tending let this team down.

    I seriously didn’t mind the Oilers overall play, penalties aside. I mean, the refs really didn’t call a fair game at all. A couple calls against Oilers were correct but the fact they were only calling Oilers was laughable. Buffalo was getting away with a whole bunch of BS, I don’t blame the Oilers for getting frustrated.

    I fully expect a better effort against the Canes.

    The D turned over pucks a lot, Oscar, Darnell, Gryba skated himself into numerous issues.

  28. square_wheels says:

    Centre of attention,

    Ummm. Talbot started the game with a set of forwards outside the zone while the swedes wrestled with a floppy puck. Down a goal.

    Then a PP and a wonky bounce.

    Then more PP and more shitty coverage and bounce.

    Game 3. Let’s reset.

  29. Centre of attention says:

    Lowetide: The D turned over pucks a lot, Oscar, Darnell, Gryba skated himself into numerous issues.

    Yeah Klefbom had a tough night agreed. There was more than one moment it looked like the Oilers were getting there sh*t together though, passes connecting and sustained pressure, then Ryan O’Reilly scores from center ice.

    That goal took the wind out of their sails. Weird bounce and it probably won’t happen again, but the team as a whole needs to be mentally stronger.

    Can you really blame them for being mentally fragile after all these years though? I struggle to.

    square_wheels,

    Yeah, I would start Talbot again against Carolina, give him a chance to redeem himself. (On a side note, do they really have an alternative?)

  30. Oilspill says:

    Though RussEl SekAra played well. Thought Gryba (other than penalties) was solid. Nurse seemed to struggle and Klef was a cluster f****. The puck was bouncing like crazy. What’s with the ice?

    Lowetide: The D turned over pucks a lot, Oscar, Darnell, Gryba skated himself into numerous issues.

  31. Woodguy says:

    Well fuck.

    Back to earth I guess.

  32. Woodguy says:

    Lowetide: The D turned over pucks a lot, Oscar, Darnell, Gryba skated himself into numerous issues.

    Yeah, other than Sekera/Russell is was a shit show from the word go every shift. Larsson wasn’t much better either.

  33. square_wheels says:

    Lowetide,

    We need to ask why our elite D was turning over pucks ?

    I seen 3-2 Sabres in the high slot all night and wingers nowhere to be found.

    Cheating for breakouts and losing hash mark battles – this is where we need the Pisani’s.

  34. square_wheels says:

    I find it interesting, worth a Wg/G study on how a big heavy forechecking and trap team like Buffalo didn’t eat Kris Russel for lunch but did eat our Swedes and our big 5/6 ?

    Russel and Sekera have good sticks, they outlet very well. Buffalo scored a lot of goals on pucks that should have went up the boards and out but instead ended up cutoff and in 3 on 2 chances for the Sabres.

    Our 5 man unit dzone coverage was dogshit.

    PK goal was a bit of the same, Gryba too high and Lander gets caught having to back track and that leaves an odd man back door.

    I feel like Ricki tonight, only my anger is directed to our coaching staff.

  35. fifthcartel says:

    I don’t think Nurse and Gryba are a particularly good pair. Neither moves the puck well and Gryba’s awful penalties (but Pouliots are the medias favourite thing ever) don’t help either.

  36. RoadWarrior says:

    Not that the Oilers did themselves many favours tonight but weird how Mick Mcgeough was the officiating supervisor tonight….

  37. sliderule says:

    I don’t go to a lot of games but went today to see team live and arena.

    Arena is great but needs benches or tables to stand and eat.

    Team is a tire fire.

    Klefbom was brutal but he is still basically a rookie.

    Nurse made a couple of miscues but made some good passes and recovered from mistakes.

    Larsson was very physical without taking a penalty in comparison to Pouliot ,Gryba etc.

    Puljujarvi was noticeable in that he played his position well marking a man and engaging.Only 18 but they are not going to send him down as he is better than options.

    Buffalo played the oilers the way most teams will ,forecheck the hell out of them and stay out of penalty box.

  38. Bank Shot says:

    G Honey Pie Sugar Bunch:
    Don’t get overly caught up in post facto narratives driven through the lens of the horrific score.

    The Oilers had a shit ton of great chances, whiffed on a bunch of them, and the few they didn’t whiff on were mostly stopped.The Sabres had fewer lesser chances, but scored on all of them (and by my count, three that weren’t really chances at all)

    These were two world-class tire fires, and the Oilers have a lot to clean up (just as they did after the Flames victories), but the Sabres were by far the larger and stinkier of the two.

    Goaltending extremes (good or bad) will pretty much always override whatever happens with the rest of the team.

    The first two goals the Oilers gave up were gimmies for the Sabres.

    Good teams don’t allow two goals that easy in the first ten minutes of a game.

    You can say it was a one off, but the Oilers did the same thing in their two games with Calgary as well (play terrible defensively).

    This is still a team that has major failures on the defensive side of the game, and they will never be good until they fix that aspect.

    So frustrating that the Oilers couldn’t just have a good start to the season for once. They took that little bit of hope we had, then put dog shit on it, and lit it on fire.

  39. who says:

    Boy they layed an egg tonight. Talbot was awful and Klef was a turnover machine. I thought they were going to take over in the second after those goals at the end of the first but then the coach put the lines in a blender and they really didn’t get much going after that.
    I understand what he was doing with benching Poo but maybe it wasn’t the time. Seemed to kill whatever momentum they had.
    They got better together as the night went on, but I am not a big fan of the Drai-Connor pairing. Seems like Drai likes to hang on to the puck a little too much to be with Connor. Saw him pass up a couple of chances to get the puck to Connor with speed in the neutral ice. Think Drai needs to be the centerpiece of his own line.

  40. Jethro Tull says:

    I look forward to reading many posts by Mr. C. Little tomorrow. Better buy a heavy duty hat.

  41. square_wheels says:

    McLellan on Pouliot: “We have some foundation and fabric things that we have to continue to fix. Stupidity is one of them.”

    This is where Tmac loses me.

    He was 100% out coached by Bylsma.

    85 games in and our special teams are still poor. Our preparation seems to be lacking and we had no clue an injured and slow Buffalo D weren’t going to trap ?

    WTF ?

    But let’s throw the obvious bone out there that Pouliot took bad penalties and not take any accountability for insisting on playing the neutral zone puck carry game that was straight into their game plan ?

  42. G Honey Pie Sugar Bunch says:

    Bank Shot,

    Oh, there’s no question the Oilers were awful tonight.

    The main point I’m trying to make is, if you look at it objectively, the Sabres were actually worse. They gave up deadly chance after deadly chance (I’m ffwding through the game a second time and that’s what you see repeated over and over – Nuge, Pulju, McDavid, Looch, and on it goes…) and the Oilers just didn’t cash.

    While the Sabres had just a handful of chances and cashed on every one. And a bunch they didn’t have either.

    The other thing to remember is that while it is possible to look at a goalie and not fault him on any number of individual goals, NHL goalies are still supposed to stop on average 4 out of every 5 deadly chances.

    So looking at each goal individually, you can say ‘well, that was almost impossible to stop’, but in fact, that is exactly what defines an NHL goalie – the ability to make stops on shots that ordinary mortals have no chance of stopping.

  43. Kraz says:

    DenverOilFan,

    I’ve had this issue before to. You have to log into your account and this issue will go away

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

    square_wheels,

    Didn’t the Oilers get their only powerplay with five minutes left in the game? Tough to be out coached when you don’t have any opportunities to respond. It’s the third game of the year still lots of kinks to work out (ooof Klef had a rough game) but as G has been saying, we still need to keep the positives in mind. Russell is still practically a noob (he hasn’t been with the team for just over week hasn’t he?) And Talbot has looked rocky. Carolina is in town on Tuesday. Chance to start the year 3-1, Go Oilers!

  45. Younger Oil says:

    ls it just me, or do Drai and Lucic seem to have decent chemistry?

    They have directly assisted each other on three goals this season, and yet I don’t think the coach has put them on for a regular shift together at all.

    Not sure if it happened at all in the third, I stopped watching after the 4th goal.

  46. square_wheels says:

    SayItAin’tSo, Gretz, SayItAin’tSo!,

    I don’t disagree, it’s early and it’s just one game.

    But Tmac and his staff have yet to convince me they’re capable of coaching this group.

    Poor special teams were last years major issue. Early signs point to PK troubles again, but even bigger for me is his unwillingness to adjust his game plans.

    He’s stubborn and it’s getting obvious he can be out coached.

    That is a huge issue.

  47. fifthcartel says:

    Its going to be bad when they trade/dump Pouliot because of this overblown penalty issue. He brings some much needed speed to LW and this team, but I have no doubt he’ll be gone by the end of the year.

  48. Frank the dog says:

    DenverOilFan:
    I’ve noticed this for a while now on Lowetide’s site and just assumed it was a WordPress glitch: when I try to go back and read older comments on posts with several hundred comments, I’m only shown a fraction of those comments when I click on “Older Comments”. I’m expecting to see approximately 200 comments per Older Comments page, but I’m lucky to see more than 10. I wanted to read the heated exchange between Ricki and whomever but now I won’t get that “pleasure”. I’ve tried several different machines, browsers and Internet connections just to make sure. Anyone else notice this and know of a workaround?

    If you login then you see everything.

  49. Bank Shot says:

    G Honey Pie Sugar Bunch:
    Bank Shot,

    Oh, there’s no question the Oilers were awful tonight.

    The main point I’m trying to make is, if you look at it objectively, the Sabres were actually worse.

    Well I think a lot of it was score effects. Buffalo just went into full trap mode as soon as they got their lead.

    So you could say that Buffalo didn’t do all that well at locking it down, but they were certainly the better team tonight.

    If Edmonton gifts a team like St.Louis two goals in the first half of the first period, that game is already finished.

  50. Bank Shot says:

    square_wheels:
    McLellan on Pouliot: “We have some foundation and fabric things that we have to continue to fix. Stupidity is one of them.”

    This is where Tmac loses me.

    Pouliot has taken 5 selfish, stupid penalties in the last 2 games. When does a guy learn?

    He has every right to be called out for being a complete bonehead, and I don’t see how anyone could defend him on this.

  51. Centre of attention says:

    square_wheels:
    SayItAin’tSo, Gretz, SayItAin’tSo!,

    I don’t disagree, it’s early and it’s just one game.

    But Tmac and his staff have yet to convince me they’re capable of coaching this group.

    Poor special teams were last years major issue. Early signs point to PK troubles again, but even bigger for me is his unwillingness to adjust his game plans.

    He’s stubborn and it’s getting obvious he can be out coached.

    That is a huge issue.

    At a certain point you have to look at lack of execution as well.

  52. Centre of attention says:

    Rob Tychkowski ‏@Sun_Tychkowski 43m43 minutes ago
    “It’s not as good as their last ice (at Rexall Place)” – Sabres Ryan O’Reilly, echoing a common refrain among players about Rogers Place.

  53. Lloyd B. says:

    G Honey Pie Sugar Bunch:
    Bank Shot,

    Oh, there’s no question the Oilers were awful tonight.

    The main point I’m trying to make is, if you look at it objectively, the Sabres were actually worse. They gave up deadly chance after deadly chance (I’m ffwding through the game a second time and that’s what you see repeated over and over – Nuge, Pulju, McDavid, Looch, and on it goes…) and the Oilers just didn’t cash.

    While the Sabres had just a handful of chances and cashed on every one.And a bunch they didn’t have either.

    The other thing to remember is that while it is possible to look at a goalie and not fault him on any number of individual goals, NHL goalies are still supposed to stop on average 4 out of every 5 deadly chances.

    So looking at each goal individually, you can say ‘well, that was almost impossible to stop’, but in fact, that is exactly what defines an NHL goalie – the ability to make stops on shots that ordinary mortals have no chance of stopping.

    Welcome back G. I really appreciate your insight and comments. Not your fault the summer turned into some kind of Zombie thing.

    I don’t comment much anymore since being taken out behind the woodshed this summer as well. It wasn’t you but during the same era. ( Is there an era when the internet is concerned?)

    Anyway, welcome back G.

  54. CrazyCoach says:

    That was just plain awful.

    I’m glad I have a limited understanding of advanced stats, because fully understanding that and seeing that game through my coaches eyes, wow!

    Oh well, oldtimers game tonight and how can you not have fun actually playing the game?

    That has been my saving grace since I first picked up a stick at 5 years of age.

  55. "Steve Smith" says:

    Centre of attention:
    Rob Tychkowski ‏@Sun_Tychkowski43m43 minutes ago
    “It’s not as good as their last ice (at Rexall Place)” – Sabres Ryan O’Reilly, echoing a common refrain among players about Rogers Place.

    Wasn’t Rexall ice really shitty by the end? Is Rogers ice even worse? Wasn’t that supposed to be the one reason we Tier 2 fans were supposed to be happy about the new barn?

  56. Water Fire says:

    Talbot is 29 and has no history of good play over time. If he doesn’t right his ship pronto he is a backup and they need to get a starter .

    The baby thing doesn’t fly with me. It’s a little different when money isn’t an object. I’d probably try to not lose my career over it.

    I don’t have any more mulligans for these guys. It’s only one game, but there better be a solid response from the players. The coaches aren’t on the ice.

    And for goodness sake send the struggling young players down and sign some vets

  57. JimmyV1965 says:

    I don’t like to blame the goalie, but I’m doing just that. Talbot was a tire fire out there and killed the team’s momentum. Sure, they made a crapload of mistakes but so did the Sabres. Their goalie, however, made a number of great stops. In reality, aren’t most shots on net the result of some kind of mistake. Sometimes the goalie has to make the save. We had a lot of shots tonight without a single powerplay and most of them were in close, not from the perimeter.

  58. Centre of attention says:

    “Steve Smith”: Wasn’t Rexall ice really shitty by the end?Is Rogers ice even worse?Wasn’t that supposed to be the one reason we Tier 2 fans were supposed to be happy about the new barn?

    I don’t know what to believe anymore 🙁

  59. B S says:

    JimmyV1965,

    Holy crap, you’re almost right, we had one PP late in the 3rd period. I thought the reffing was terrible (not the only, or even top 5 excuse for the Oiler’s game, but noticeably awful), but just checked the game sheet and yeah, lots of Edmonton penalties, hardly any to Buffalo, in an all around dirty game. And two of those penalties were bogus. Pouliot had his stick lifted into another guys face (his other penalties were his own dumb fault), and Lander’s was similar, just try to get his stick free, as another player passes by. Fuck Magou.

  60. Zelepukin says:

    Centre of attention: I don’t know what to believe anymore

    I want to believe that we’ve had some of the best ice experts in the world and getting the new ice as good as the old, has probably been their #1 priority in planning since Rogers started construction.

    This is just me interneting, but I’m guessing the size of the building must be a huge factor. Northlands was small and confined, not the greatest air circulation and probably built upon decades of hidden permafrost… the Parkland arena of the NHL.

  61. Zelepukin says:

    Further on the ice, if they were smart their #1 consultant on the quality should be McD. Hey Connor, what can we do to make this the absolute fastest ice for you?

  62. G Honey Pie Sugar Bunch says:

    Lloyd B.,

    Thanks Lloyd!

    I was talking to WG yesterday and he told me I better start posting again or else. If there’s one thing I’ve learned in this business it is that “you can do anything. But never go against the Woodguy.” (only works if you use your best Marlon Brando voice)

    On a more serious note, it’s almost impossible to chase me away from anything, I have a ridiculously thick skin.

    However, unless I’ve been grossly misinformed about the compensation model, we post here because it’s supposed to be enjoyable. If it’s no longer enjoyable, the only sensible thing to do is to walk away.

    I was spending far too much of my posting time defending things I never actually said, and also (for reasons that escape me) being coached by occasional posters as to how I could be so much better a poster if only I would post only the things that they like and not the things that they don’t like.

    That one mystified me, whisky tango foxtrot bizarre. And as a conversation, also dull, repetitive, and distinctly not fun.

    That wasn’t my first hiatus (I’m thinking eighth) and I’m certain it won’t be my last! But I’ll have fun while I’m here.

    (I highly recommend that anyone annoyed by my posts in my previous reincarnation should please, until Lowetide implements a mute/block function, ignore all posts from my current reincarnation! … though I have this funny feeling that if they didn’t before, they won’t now…)

  63. "Steve Smith" says:

    G Honey Pie Sugar Bunch: I was spending far too much of my posting time defending things I never actually said,

    Speaking of which, I’m still waiting for an explanation of that theory you had about our government being run by a secret partnership between Hal Johnson (from those “Bodybreak” TV spots), 1972 Olympic gold medallist Frank Shorter, and Christopher “Daddy Mac” Smith of early 1990s Hip-Hop duo “Kris Kross”. I have an open mind, but that one struck me as a bit out there.

  64. Pastor of Disaster says:

    The degree to which I love McCaptain owning his own poor performance on this night (“We came out flat and it begins with me”) is the same degree to which I hate McLellan publicly throwing Pouliot under the team bus to the media. Connor was not to blame tonight, but he stepped up as the face of the team’s failure. Pouliot was not solely to blame tonight, but his coach took the low road regarding Pouliot’s contribution to the loss.

    Just another dismal Sunday in Oil Country.

    And yet… hope remains. Counting on a huge bounce back game when I take my 8 year old daughter to the game on Tuesday!

  65. "Steve Smith" says:

    Pastor of Disaster: Connor was not to blame tonight…

    He was to blame insofar as he has to be dominant for the Oilers to win, and he wasn’t dominant. I agree that he wasn’t bad (unlike some of his teammates), but when he’s just “not bad”, the Oilers will lose nine out of ten games.

  66. G Honey Pie Sugar Bunch says:

    “Steve Smith”,
    I am no longer obligated to answer that question as I have become a Freeman on the Land, and you are only talking to the agent named G Money but not the actual person G MONEY who under Maritime Law is ipso habeas a corpse and I DO NOT CONSENT!!! or something like that

    Pastor of Disaster: And yet… hope remains. Counting on a huge bounce back game when I take my 8 year old daughter to the game on Tuesday!

    If they win big, your daughter will become the Oil Country/Lowetide Official Good Luck Charm(tm) and you will be required to bring her to all future games, home and away.

    Shoulda checked the fine print man, that “Steve Smith” is one tricky fellow!

  67. frjohnk says:

    G Honey Pie Sugar Bunch,

    Welcome back.

    WATCH THE SPREADSHEETS, JOCK!!!

  68. "Steve Smith" says:

    G Honey Pie Sugar Bunch:
    “Steve Smith”,
    I am no longer obligated to answer that question as I have become a Freeman on the Land, and you are only talking to the agent named G Money but not the actual person G MONEY who under Maritime Law is ipso habeas a corpse and I DO NOT CONSENT!!!or something like that

    That’s actually remarkably close (almost too close…). Throw in a bit about declining to contract with me, and you’d have it pretty much nailed.

    (One of many nice things about defence work is that we don’t have to deal with the free-folk on the land, or indeed with unrepresented parties generally – Her Majesty seldom self-reps.)

  69. Lowetide says:

    All this corpse talk is going to sound brilliant a year from now when we look back and read this thread when the good ship Oilers 17-18 leaves the gate. Brent Burns will have scored twice, McDavid with three assists and I will be singing Merle’s If we Make it Through December and impressing (my Merle gets better with age) you rock and roll people.

  70. godot10 says:

    //GODOT10 says:
    October 16, 2016 at 12:27 pm
    I am going to blame Kanye West for the loss today. I don’t think many of the boys were in bed early last night.//

    McDavid FAILS his first test as captain, with him and the boys taking in the Kanye West concert the night before an early Sunday game, instead of being home in bed with an early curfew.

    No professional athlete is going to perform their best on less than normal sleep, after being blasted by loud noise for two hours the night before, probably with some drinking and bad food.

    This is a lack of professionalism demonstrated by the players. Where the f#$% are their priorities?

  71. godot10 says:

    That and #ThoroughlyMediocreCoach is not going to produce any wins above a replacement level coach.

    Tmc is not a good bench coach. He doesn’t make adjustments because he doesn’t see the game from the bench well, and the adjustments/corrections only come after reviewing the video the next day. This is a systems coach who has to look at the tape to see why his systems don’t work. He has no vision…okay, mediocre vision, from the bench.

  72. Lloyd B. says:

    G Honey Pie Sugar Bunch,

    I also have a ridiculously thick skin. Comes from working in a field for a couple of decades we are verboten to speak about. (Shhh…politics…Shhh.)

    I’ve found it best to lurk during the summer and ignore the bafflegab. Even though your great work partially funded by that guy with a woody needed to be set free. CHEERS!

    Now back to the basement…NOT my mothers…my own!

  73. John Chambers says:

    godot10,

    Yeah but that’s life because the players are people, not robots.

    If this was a playoff game you’d have a point.

  74. godot10 says:

    John Chambers:
    godot10,

    Yeah but that’s life because the players are people, not robots.

    If this was a playoff game you’d have a point.

    The Oilers have NOT make the playoffs for ten years, and are on the verge of setting a record. They have stunk out of the gate for three seasons in a row, and effectively out a playoff spot by November. There should be some sense of urgency for an impeccable start.

    Don’t blame Talbot’s newborns, or soon to be newborns. Blame Kanye’s deafening sound system.

  75. godot10 says:

    This rift between McLellan and Pouliot is NOT a good thing. Another squarish peg is going to be discarded.

    It is going to be quite a challenge for Chirarelli to find enough perfectly round pegs for this rigidly round hole only coach.

  76. Frank the dog says:

    godot10: The Oilers have NOT make the playoffs for ten years, and are on the verge of setting a record.They have stunk out of the gate for three seasons in a row, and effectively out a playoff spot by November.There should be some sense of urgency for an impeccable start.

    Don’t blame Talbot’s newborns, or soon to be newborns.Blame Kanye’s deafening sound system.

    Seriously did that actually happen? They all went out on the town to watch Kanye the night before?

  77. OF17 says:

    godot10:
    This rift between McLellan and Pouliot is NOT a good thing.Another squarish peg is going to be discarded.

    It is going to be quite a challenge for Chirarelli to find enough perfectly round pegs for this rigidly round hole only coach.

    There’s a difference between being a squareish peg and a complete liability. Pouliot has been a liability these past two games. Tonight, he first gave up a PP on an offensive zone penalty that got us in a 2-0 hole and then took another that took the wind out of the sails of a comeback. We had scored twice to tie it up with less than 2 minutes to go before the intermission, when things were clicking and players had a “Let’s get these fuckers” shine in their eyes, and Pouliot takes his 5th offensive zone penalty in 3 periods. That’s simply not acceptable, especially for a player that has underperformed during the rest of play these first 3 games.

    G2 against Calgary, McDavid was there to bail out Pouliot’s stupidity. Tonight he wasn’t, and while Pouliot wasn’t the only reason we lost this game, he put the team behind the 8 ball in a serious way. Pouliot’s offensive zone penalties are a wart on an otherwise effective player when they happen every 5-10 games. When they happen 5 times in 3 periods, they’re a serious liability, and he needs to change that in a hurry.

  78. godot10 says:

    Frank the dog: Seriously did that actually happen? They all went out on the town to watch Kanye the night before?

    Maybe not ALL. Probably more like MOST.

  79. wheatnoil says:

    For those interested, tracking stats are threaded here.

    https://twitter.com/wheatnoil/status/787880475859845120

  80. Stelio Kontos says:

    OF17,

    You realize Pouliot draws more penalties than he takes right?

  81. Gret99zky says:

    G Honey Pie Sugar Bunch:
    Don’t get overly caught up in post facto narratives driven through the lens of the horrific score.

    The Oilers had a shit ton of great chances, whiffed on a bunch of them, and the few they didn’t whiff on were mostly stopped.The Sabres had fewer lesser chances, but scored on all of them (and by my count, three that weren’t really chances at all)

    These were two world-class tire fires, and the Oilers have a lot to clean up (just as they did after the Flames victories), but the Sabres were by far the larger and stinkier of the two.

    Goaltending extremes (good or bad) will pretty much always override whatever happens with the rest of the team.

    So, moral victory?

  82. Bank Shot says:

    Stelio Kontos:
    OF17,

    You realize Pouliot draws more penalties than he takes right?

    That’s not true for the last two seasons according to the behindthenet.ca

    For a guy that doesn’t get any heavy defensive responsibility, that’s not good.

  83. OF17 says:

    Stelio Kontos,

    If Pouliot ends the season drawing more penalties than he takes, hey, that’s great any day. So far he’s taken six and drawn zero though, so yeah, he’s been a huge liability in the penalties department.

  84. "Steve Smith" says:

    OF17:
    Stelio Kontos,

    If Pouliot ends the season drawing more penalties than he takes, hey, that’s great any day. So far he’s taken six and drawn zero though, so yeah, he’s been a huge liability in the penalties department.

    I agree with your overall point, but he definitely drew one in game 2.

  85. SwedishPoster says:

    There were some awful individual performances, mainly Talbot and Klefbom, and really only one good individual performance, Eberle(though I didn’t like him leaving his position early on both Klefs and Nurses giveaways, on both occasions he started fleeing the zone getting behind his player with the D-men carrying the puck on their backhand, that’s just bad hockey on his behalf and not a team first approach, with the puck on his stick he was brilliant though and the only player really going)

    But my main concern with this game was the coaching, I think it was a terrible display of in-game coaching last night and a prime example of a coach being way too emotional way too early while not having any kind of strategic ideas to change the game. The loss was on Talbot but the team falling apart was on McLellan. It’s ok for a coach to show emotions but he can’t act upon emotion, he’s supposed to lead a bunch of testosteron packed, adrenalin pumped 18-30something year olds playing a very intense game, he has to be the guy who keeps his head in the game. He failed at that. An unimpressive performance from the head coach to say the least. Showed no sense on which lines or players that had some jump to them, no ability to calm the waters when players started running around.
    I agree that Pouliots penalties are tiresome but if the coach’s only way to get through to his otherwise effective player who looked good to start the game is to bench him and kill the only line that seemed to somewhat mesh early he’s not a great coach. It’s not like his benching of Pouliot got the team to stop taking supid penalties so clearly the message didn’t get through. And then he puts Pouliot in the penalty box when they needed a body in there after he’d been sitting all game, that’s just childish.
    In general I think McLellan is an ok NHL coach, not nearly as good as he’s hyped up to be but not terrible either, but last night he was bottom of the barrel acting like it was more important to send a message than to win the game and to me that sends a stupid message. He can’t afford getting cranky on the bench, that job is for us guys posting on blogs.

  86. Pescador says:

    Frank the dog: Seriously did that actually happen? They all went out on the town to watch Kanye the night before?

    Kids these days, yeesh!

  87. Gret99zky says:

    Hopefully TMac can find a way to break through the trap. Otherwise more teams are going to figure out its effectiveness and use it.

    Also, Josh Gorges seemed to be frustrating McDavid tonight with the clutching and holding and, in doing so, neutralized him quite a bit. Doesn’t look like the refs (assholes) are going to help him so the Captain will have to adjust when it becomes another team’s game plan.

  88. Pescador says:

    SwedishPoster:
    There were some awful individual performances, mainly Talbot and Klefbom, and really only one good individual performance, Eberle(though I didn’t like him leaving his position early on both Klefs and Nurses giveaways, on both occasions he started fleeing the zone getting behind his player with the D-men carrying the puck on their backhand, that’s just bad hockey on his behalf and not a team first approach, with the puck on his stick he was brilliant though and the only player really going)

    But my main concern with this game was the coaching, I think it was a terrible display of in-game coaching last night and a prime example of a coach being way too emotional way too early while not having any kind of strategic ideas to change the game. The loss was on Talbot but the team falling apart was on McLellan. It’s ok for a coach to show emotions but he can’t act upon emotion, he’s supposed to lead a bunch of testosteron packed, adrenalin pumped 18-30something year olds playing a very intense game, he has to be the guy who keeps his head in the game. He failed at that. An unimpressive performance from the head coach to say the least. Showed no sense on which lines or players that had some jump to them, no ability to calm the waters when players started running around.
    I agree that Pouliots penalties are tiresome but if the coach’s only way to get through to his otherwise effective player who looked good to start the game is to bench him and kill the only line that seemed to somewhat mesh early he’s not a great coach. It’s not like his benching of Pouliot got the team to stop taking supid penalties so clearly the message didn’t get through. And then he puts Pouliot in the penalty box when they needed a body in there after he’d been sitting all game, that’s just childish.
    In general I think McLellan is an ok NHL coach, not nearly as good as he’s hyped up to be but not terrible either, but last night he was bottom of the barrel acting like it was more important to send a message than to win the game and to me that sends a stupid message. He can’t afford getting cranky on the bench, that job is for us guys posting on blogs.

    Mr Swedish, might I say that you never fail to bring the goods. Always enjoy every post of yours I get to read.

  89. square_wheels says:

    godot10,

    Thanks, was starting to think I was alone in my Tmac assessment.

  90. square_wheels says:

    SwedishPoster,

    Bingo !

  91. kinger_OIL says:

    sliderule,

    What is the ice like? I hear comments about puck bouncing around: its that a narrative, or is the ice just not hard enough? Shitty-ice really sucks for a “skilled” team….

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

    SwedishPoster,

    I think with Pouliot you need to look at TMac’s choices in context. For a team that doesn’t yet have all of their ducks in a row its pretty important to keep things on a even keel. I for one am glad the coach benched Pouliot and I’m glad he called him out. So far Poo taken 6 minor penalties in three games and if my eye test confirms 4 of them were in the offensive zone and one more (while in the neutral zone) was for mouthing off a ref. Now maybe over 82 games things will regress to the meat but for the first three games of the year one player put his team down by a man for ten minutes while outside of areas where goals and/or chances can be prevented, that isn’t good enough.

    I really like Pouliot the player, I like his edge and I like what he brings to the team but so far this year I have been less than impressed and that is partly because he’s spent so much time in the friggen box that his line hasn’t yet been able to gel. Stop taking dumbass penalties and maybe those things won’t happen.

    Everyone on here talks about commitment and consequences for someone like say Eberle if he messes up a board battle but if Poo is being Poo then its doesn’t matter because it will equal out over a year.Nope not buying that. 6 minors in three games is too many. 6 minors in three games where each penalty was nowhere near your own end is worthy of a benching, no question in my mind.

    Now after that let us all hope that Talbot gets rid of the bees that seem to have coalesced around his helmet to start the year. Jitters abound and man would it be unfortunate if they kept up for any sustained period of time.

  93. kinger_OIL says:

    Centre of attention:
    Rob Tychkowski ‏@Sun_Tychkowski43m43 minutes ago
    “It’s not as good as their last ice (at Rexall Place)” – Sabres Ryan O’Reilly, echoing a common refrain among players about Rogers Place.

    – That’s a real shame, real big shame. $1B rink, and bush league ice. That will haunt this team

    – When the Oil were really good, and the ice was the best, it was a real advantage: they took advantage of that ice for speed and passing. It was a home-field advantage.

  94. sliderule says:

    The oilers lost the turnover battle 12-4

    They had 12 turnovers in first game but Flames gave back 12 of their own.

    The oilers have to try to keep the turnovers down to 5 or less or this season will be déjà vu.

  95. frjohnk says:

    wheatnoil:
    For those interested, tracking stats are threaded here.

    https://twitter.com/wheatnoil/status/787880475859845120

    Love that you are doing this.

    Thanks

  96. sliderule says:

    kinger_OIL,

    The flood is freezing quickly so the ice plant is working properly.

    If they are not doing it they should look at removing oxygen from flood water.The oxygen makes the ice softer.

  97. Water Fire says:

    SwedishPoster:
    There were some awful individual performances, mainly Talbot and Klefbom, and really only one good individual performance, Eberle(though I didn’t like him leaving his position early on both Klefs and Nurses giveaways, on both occasions he started fleeing the zone getting behind his player with the D-men carrying the puck on their backhand, that’s just bad hockey on his behalf and not a team first approach, with the puck on his stick he was brilliant though and the only player really going)

    But my main concern with this game was the coaching, I think it was a terrible display of in-game coaching last night and a prime example of a coach being way too emotional way too early while not having any kind of strategic ideas to change the game. The loss was on Talbot but the team falling apart was on McLellan. It’s ok for a coach to show emotions but he can’t act upon emotion, he’s supposed to lead a bunch of testosteron packed, adrenalin pumped 18-30something year olds playing a very intense game, he has to be the guy who keeps his head in the game. He failed at that. An unimpressive performance from the head coach to say the least. Showed no sense on which lines or players that had some jump to them, no ability to calm the waters when players started running around.
    I agree that Pouliots penalties are tiresome but if the coach’s only way to get through to his otherwise effective player who looked good to start the game is to bench him and kill the only line that seemed to somewhat mesh early he’s not a great coach. It’s not like his benching of Pouliot got the team to stop taking supid penalties so clearly the message didn’t get through. And then he puts Pouliot in the penalty box when they needed a body in there after he’d been sitting all game, that’s just childish.
    In general I think McLellan is an ok NHL coach, not nearly as good as he’s hyped up to be but not terrible either, but last night he was bottom of the barrel acting like it was more important to send a message than to win the game and to me that sends a stupid message. He can’t afford getting cranky on the bench, that job is for us guys posting on blogs.

    nice

  98. Water Fire says:

    sliderule:
    kinger_OIL,

    The flood is freezing quickly so the ice plant is working properly.

    If they are not doing it they should look at removing oxygen from flood water.The oxygen makes the ice softer.

    This. It baffles the mind that bad ice happens. I knew a guy that sold water treatment who didn’t like hockey, mentioned it causally and he spits out the solution. I think it was during a Florida playoff game, he tells me treated correctly it’ll freeze above zero also.

  99. Water Fire says:

    Gret99zky:
    Hopefully TMac can find a way to break through the trap.Otherwise more teams are going to figure out its effectiveness and use it.

    Also, Josh Gorges seemed to be frustrating McDavid tonight with the clutching and holding and, in doing so, neutralized him quite a bit. Doesn’t look like the refs (assholes) are going to help him so the Captain will have to adjust when it becomes another team’s game plan.

    Just skate harder. Eventually it gets called. The thing is crap happens and the league goes awol on penalties. Teams have to play through it, put their heads down and count it as part of teh challenge

  100. B S says:

    Water Fire: Just skate harder. Eventually it gets called

    and then offset by a bogus diving penalty.

  101. Water Fire says:

    B S: and then offset by a bogus diving penalty.

    Connor doesn’t dive!

  102. G Honey Pie Sugar Bunch says:

    Gret99zky: So, moral victory?

    I’d say not.

    To my mind, a moral victory is when a team plays well, well enough to win, but external circumstances (the other goalie pitches a 35-save shutout, or the refs shit the bed again, or the losing goal bounces off two Oiler defenders and goes in) result in a loss. Sometimes you just lose to a better team.

    Moral victories are worth noting.

    Most of the above does not apply to this game. The main point is that the Oilers lost because they let in six goals – two on blatant giveaways (one of which arguably still should have been stopped), two softies, and a poor PK that happened because of bonehead penalties.

    Meanwhile at the other end of the rink, glorious chance after glorious chance was generated and whiffed.

    As such, the idea that “Buffalo outworked them” or “BUF shut them down” and other related narrative will be floated, and IMO it’s misguided and generated as a result of the score, not the game itself.

    The Oilers gave the game away because of bonehead mistakes. And it wasn’t just Poo – Klef and Larsson, two guys this team depends on heavily, were in on it. McDavid was ineffective.

    Do we believe that dumbness is an inherent long-term problem, and if so, is it even fixable?

    Or is it a one-game thing, where the team came out unprepared, or Kanye-d, or complacent, and shit the bed one game?

    Which you believe it is determines your course of assessment and action.

    Which it actually is determines whether your chosen course of action will help or hurt.

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