LEARNING TO FLY

Cam Talbot went into last night’s game with a lot of things flying around his life—and delivered a tremendous performance. His save with seconds left off Jeff Skinner—who should call the cops, he got robbed—represents the kind of goaltending this town loves and has not seen consistently since Roloson.

IT DON’T COME EASY, YEAR OVER YEAR

  • Oilers in October 2015: 0-4-0, goal differential -8
  • Oilers in October 2016: 3-1-0, goal differential +2

That was a big victory last night and the Oilers (along with San Jose and Vancouver) rule the Pacific this morning. It was not pretty, but it was a gutsy effort and the two points are what matters. Front line offense delivered some, but the complementary sorts came through with flying colors to seal the win. Great defensive moments by Adam Larsson, Kris Russell and others were also part of the story.

  • HD SC: 6-13 (31.58 percent)
  • SC: 10-23 (30.3 percent)
  • Corsi for 5×5 Percentage: 47.37
  • Source
  • Despite the W, teams don’t win many games with 30 percent of the scoring chances. If there is a concern for Edmonton this morning, getting the top two lines going has to be at the top.

DEFENSE LAST NIGHT

defense-last-night

  • Mark Fayne was playing well right up until the time he got hurt, and he got hurt early enough in the game for things to get difficult for the five healthy blue. Coverage issues were all over, the great part of the night involves insanely impressive recovery plays—which is not the same as good positioning and calm feet. Fayne played 1:15 of his time with Nurse, and they were good.
  • Darnell Nurse had his best evening of the season by number and view; played with Larsson (6:46, 7-6 Corsi 5×5) most of the time. I thought they played well. Nurse was +1, had two shots and a blocked shot, and his Corsi for 5×5 percentage for the season is now 49.12—and that is a good sign. Early days, good arrows.
  • Oscar Klefbom played 9:46 (8-8 5×5 Corsi) with Larsson and had three shots and a takeaway. He is so mobile that when he pulls out to pass it is like watching a race car wheel. Man I will never get tired of it. Wheel Oscar, wheel!
  • Kris Russell had some outstanding moments last night defensively. He is going to be a fan favorite by the weekend based on blocked shots, great recoveries and mobile retrievals. Seriously good four games to start his Oilers career. Eight blocked shots (that is Smid, plus a little) last night. We would be wise to remember the numbers in his resume, while also acknowledging a strong and impressive start.
  • Andrej Sekera was calm and effective, although the Corsi numbers crumbled in the third period. He is an excellent passer and recovers extremely well. Led all Oilers with 24:06 in overall playing time, he would be my defensive MVP in a strong field so far this year.
  • Adam Larsson made one of the truly phenomenal defensive plays in recent Oilers history last night on what looked like a clear breakaway. I thought for sure there was a PS or a two-minute minor, but hell boys Larsson got it done without any penalty at all. That is a play we should remember if this team actually turns north this year. Had a fluke fall/giveaway late, Talbot bailed him out.
  • Mark Fayne picked up the only points by a defenseman, with an assist.
  • Cam Talbot made several excellent saves, culminating in the stunning grab off Skinner with the clock winding down. His SP for the evening was .939 and his seasonal total moved up to .886. A great night and we await news of two new Talbot children born in our town this morning. A helluva 24 hours for Mr. Talbot.

FORWARDS LAST NIGHT

forwards-last-night

  • Anton Slepyshev had a terrific night, scoring an early goal that put Edmonton ahead for good. Had two shots, a takeaway, and had a good night on a line with Maroon and Leon. Skated miles, worked hard around the puck and was obvious many times in pursuit. Impressive game.
  • Anton Lander played his best (imo) when on the PK, also helped out on  a solid 4line with Mark Letestu and Tyler Pitlick. Seems to gain a little more footing each game, grabbed a point last night.
  • Tyler Pitlick may have had his best game as an Oiler, scoring a fine goal, three shots and a takeaway. He was physical, a pain in the ass on the forecheck and did not lose a limb. I have always liked him, he seems to know what he is doing out there. Keep going!
  • Connor McDavid did not post a point, but that was just a coincidence. If anyone could have hit an empty net, there would have been an assist. I liked plenty about his game (50 percent on the dot, drew some penalties) but a back checking play against Jordan Staal was my favorite moment. That is a Pavel Datsyuk kind of play, something this young man can and does make even at this point in his NHL career. Music! He tried to split the defense at least twice (once drawing a penalty), and in doing so reminded me of Peter Mahovlich—if big Pete had jet boots. He took some shots last night, teams are hacking him pretty consistently now.
  • Patrick Maroon had a good night on a line with Leon and Anton Slepyshev, suspect we may see the trio again. Maroon has been a little quiet offensively, so a trip up the depth chart is also possible.
  • Jordan Eberle scored, he now co-leads the team with three goals in four games. Also took a cross check (they talked about it like it wasn’t a big deal on the broadcast, but Eberle looked at least winded and possibly worse after the play). Four shots on goal, that top line now has seven goals in four games, on pace for 144 goals—that is Phil Esposito—Wayne Cashman—Ken Hodge level. I still think 82 is reasonable.
  • Milan Lucic is skating better now, the line did get a goal but couldn’t make things work as a trio. It happens, suspect the coaching staff will continue with that group (despite the Nuge line struggling) through the 20 game mark—as long as the winning continues. Puck possession and control is key to that line, Lucic is excellent in this area, so one imagines Todd McLellan will use the trio heavily in the coming days.
  • Benoit Pouliot had a nice recovery game, he was effective on the forecheck and avoided taking a penalty. He was quiet offensively—the whole line was—but they played the Stempniak line to 6-6 at Corsi for percentage 5×5. Not that it did much good—damn team got Stempniaked twice.
  • Zack Kassian has better speed this year and played well to my eye, getting pucks deep and making life as miserable as possible for Carolina defensemen. No offensive looks I can recall, that shouldn’t be counted as a negative because he is a complementary performer.
  • Leon Draisaitl had another good night, grabbing an assist and skating miles on a line with Patrick Maroon and Anton Slepyshev. He now co-leads the team with six points in four games, and represents a strong second scoring line on this team—no matter his linemates. I was worried about LD’s offense without Taylor Hall, but this has not been the case so far this year.
  • Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and his line are not getting enough good looks, RNH getting three of the four shots on net for the group last night. I liked his game away from the puck, despite the possession number. When with Pouliot at 5×5, he was 60 percent Fenwick. He makes too much for a checking line, needs to post some offense.
  • Mark Letestu had a strong game despite the Corgis. He was hovering around 50 percent when with Lander and Pitlick, but went 0-2 Corsi with McDavid-Eberle and Draisatl-Maroon. I like that 4line as it stands.

CONDORS WIN!

The Oilers gave Jujhar Khaira a push last night, placing him on a veteran line with Ryan Hamilton and Taylor Beck. He responded with two goals in a convincing 4-1 win over the Manitoba Moose in Winnipeg last night. Other prospects who showed up in a good way include Nick Ellis (29 saves on 30 shots, .968), Joey Benik (empty-netter) and assists for Joey Laleggia and Jaedon Descheneau. Khaira and Braden Christoffer had four shots on goal.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

  • Bruce McCurdy, Cult of Hockey. I know Bruce will want to talk about the Eberle hit and the breakouts breakdown. That and more from last night’s game, plus the sun and stars.
  • Jeff Krushell, Krush Performance. Blue Jays won Game 4 and now they need to win the next one. Are the bats alive today?
  • Derek Taylor, TSN Details. CFL stories range from strange releases to late signings that could impact, plus a giant turnaround on the prairies.

10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter.

 

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170 Responses to "LEARNING TO FLY"

  1. Confused says:

    Think we should mark that one down as a steal by Talbot!
    One steal, one giveaway, so he is back to evens.

    Good luck, Talbot family!!!

  2. alex87 says:

    Oilers being outchanced and severely outplayed in the third period is concerning, but I am a little surprised that many post-game comments aren’t giving a ton of acknowledgement to the fact that the Oilers played with only 5 D for nearly the entire game.

    I feel like that would catch up to you over the course of a game, and that it’s probably reflected in the numbers somewhere.

    I’m generally pleased. Edmonton would have found a way to lose this game last year.

  3. Lowetide says:

    Confused:
    Think we should mark that one down as a steal by Talbot!
    One steal, one giveaway, so he is back to evens.

    Good luck, Talbot family!!!

    Talbot was also outstanding in the first period of the Calgary game, Flames had 24 shots or some nonsense.

  4. JOHNNY OPERATOR76 says:

    The team had a great effort all night . Nobody rolled over . Pitlick was a beast.

  5. JOHNNY OPERATOR76 says:

    Also would like to say that Eberle looks like a man on a mission.

  6. frjohnk says:

    alex87: Oilers being outchanced and severely outplayed in the third period is concerning

    Score effects.

  7. Durag says:

    Pitlick is starting to show his Jason Chimera potential. For the love of god, stay healthy.

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

    alex87,

    Agreed! I mentioned last night that throughout the 2nd and 3rd period every dman had at some pointed played the right side (one of the goals against had Nurse over there I believe). The D blender was on full throttle last night and I thought the guys handled it well.

    Seriously though Sekera-Russell, I’m digging this pairing something fierce. It isn’t flashy but more often than not the correct play is being made and Russell’s scramble D is quickly climbing the charts as one of my favourite things to watch (purely by the eye test I should add).

    Also the toned down chaos by Nurse is brightening my day. As you say LT progress is being made and so far I’m liking the way the arrows are pointing.

    Big big test tomorrow but Van just knocked the Blues off last night (and oh my goodness was it boring hockey). If they can get those top lines rocking and rolling I like the Oilers chances (although we may have LB in net so who knows).

  9. JJS says:

    Hey LT – I am also a big Nuge supporter but at what point do we admit he is a third line centre (for this team) and may need to move on for more affordable assets?

    As you point out, Drais is having a great start to this season/his career and appears ready for the 2nd line job.

    Or can we attribute Drais’ success to the shelter being provided by Nuge?

    I’d keep this group intact for the year but suspect some hard decisions are needed within 12 months.

  10. Bruce Wayne says:

    Larsson has not resembled a top pairing D so far. He’ll be better I’m sure, Sekera struggled at the beginning last year too, but he doesn’t have the magical scoring chance suppressing abilities that were attributed to him. He’s a good player, hopefully as good as Sekera in the end.

    It’s funny in a tragic kind of way. I hated the Reinhart deal and it turned out much worse than I expected. I hated the Larsson deal and it is turning out worse than I expected. On the other side of it, Kris Russell has been better than I expected. But even then it just shows how absurd the notion that the Oilers had to trade Hall to fix the D. First, the D isn’t fixed. It has been terrible. Second, the Oilers got someone who is p,laying on Larsson’s level for free.

    The fun now is trying to figure out the next terrible move, which of RNH or Eberle will be traded for a bag of pucks and cap space? You know this is going to happen. It is inevitable. I’ll be here to say I told you so when it does.

    The next question is how will the lowetidians turn themselves in knots trying to justify such a move?

  11. GMB3 says:

    JOHNNY OPERATOR76:
    Also would like to say that Eberle looks like a man on a mission.

    Agreed. Best I’ve seen him by my eye for a long while. Maybe that is this “losing culture” changing..?

  12. Water Fire says:

    Talbot answered the bell. Here’s hoping the bad games get fewer and far between. Dude has some skills.

  13. SlyHolla says:

    Get Eberle back with the Nuge, please !
    Oilers are getting some nice offense from the bottom 6 forwards, but they need to get that 2nd line going. Pouliot-NugentHopkins-Eberle are a proven scoring line in this league.

  14. Bruce Wayne says:

    Finally, it is hilarious how the fanbase reacts solely to wins and losses. The team wasn’t terrible on Sunday and good on Tuesday. They certainly created more offense on Sunday, and they gave up chances both nights. They won on Tuesday because of a bad goal, a fluky goal, and excellent goaltending.

    If you are going to spend the time to think and talk about the game, it should be done with some effort at achieving some kind of clarity, and that begins with ignoring the score. Gmoney is right about this.

  15. Danny29 says:

    LT, would this count as a 25 you were going to win no matter what or fall into the category of 32? Kind of a grey area haha

  16. Bag of Pucks says:

    JJS:
    Hey LT – I am also a big Nuge supporter but at what point do we admit he is a third line centre (for this team) and may need to move on for more affordable assets?

    The concern with RNH coming out of junior was on so much of his offense being dependent on the PP. Just think, we could’ve drafted Larsson instead and then we wouldn’t have had to trade Hall. But I digress…

    I’ve never understood the Dave Keon comparable. Keon was a good scorer. Potted 38 and 37 goal seasons for the Leafs.

    Nuge is our Jordan Staal and given that the Oil do have a Crosby (McDavid) and Malkin (Draisaitl), the future does not bode well for this expensive 3C. He is going to become a cap hit that Chiarelli will not want to bear at some point.

  17. frjohnk says:

    Our top 4 D so far on ice against metrics

    ……………CA…..SA…..SCA…..HDSCA
    Klefbom…57…..34.4….21.7…..8.15
    Sekera….52.9…25.51..17.96…11.34
    Larsson…58.8..33.25…19.11…9.38
    Russell…58.97..27.27..14.96….8.8

    Russell the “shot suppressor”

    Interesting that Russell away from Sekera allows more shots against, but allows less scoring chances and high danger chances against.

    But 4 games in, small samples sizes here.

    Really liking Russells game.
    Also liking Larsson, more physical than I thought.

  18. 99266in87 says:

    Infrequent poster here. From the games I’ve watched this year (all including penticton ys tourn), I’m seeing buy in from the players. Dementer!!! Grrrrrr. But, there is form to most possessions, and when we don’t have the puck. The players response last night shows TMac certainly has the room. And the players are showing respect to al least starting to play as “team”. I think Todd managing his games the way he has, by establishing accountability, is showing with the accountabled one, and the contribution from the depth. By eye, yes, a lot to clean up, but certainly not a write off as in the last decade. Good job boys, and coach. Hope all goes well Cam, and that you and your wife and family enjoy your blessed day today.

  19. murphy says:

    I like benny with nuge and think they should stay but man do they need a RW that can make a play. I used to want Jordan to go there but after seeing connor without him and not having yak to take that spot i have changed my mind. This RW has to come from outside of the organization and it was most likely PA Parenteau. Somewhere a team has a RW to give away like we gave away Yak that could work. Chia has to make a reverse oilers trade and get us an nhler for a magic bean, the concept seems foreign to us but it happens. Anaheim and silferburg would be my first hard target.

    Then i would pair that player with nuge and benny, flip lucic for maroon and keep RW with drai and lucic for the player whos hot, whether its sleppy, kassian, pitlick, etc. send pool party to the american league and scratch one of lander, pitlick, kassian, or sleppy depending on the hot/cold hand.

    This is whata real NHL team would do.

  20. HugThePost says:

    99266in87:
    Infrequent poster here. From the games I’ve watched this year (all including penticton ys tourn), I’m seeing buy in from the players. Dementer!!! Grrrrrr. But, there is form to most possessions, and when we don’t have the puck. The players response last night shows TMac certainly has the room. And the players are showing respect to al least starting to play as “team”. I think Todd managing his games the way he has, by establishing accountability, is showing with the accountabled one, and the contribution from the depth. By eye, yes, a lot to clean up, but certainly not a write off as in the last decade. Good job boys, and coach. Hope all goes well Cam, and that you and your wife and family enjoy your blessed day today.

    I agree with the team playing more as a team, no matter what the score. Too many times in the past, there were guys who strayed from the team game and tried to do things on their own. And then certain guys who keep getting ice time no matter what they did, good or bad while other guys were treated different and got the bench if they didn’t do things right.

    I think guys know now they are being treated equally, no matter where they were drafted or what they make.

    There is nothing that kills workplace morale and team identity more than when the perception sets in that there are separate rules for certain individuals.

  21. JustWatt says:

    JJS:
    Hey LT – I am also a big Nuge supporter but at what point do we admit he is a third line centre (for this team) and may need to move on for more affordable assets?

    As you point out, Drais is having a great start to this season/his career and appears ready for the 2nd line job.

    Or can we attribute Drais’ success to the shelter being provided by Nuge?

    I’d keep this group intact for the year but suspect some hard decisions are needed within 12 months.

    Calling Nuge a 3C after 4 games into the season is ludicrous. It’s akin to complaining “he’s never scored more than 50 points in a season so trade the bum!” Does he look dialed in offensively yet? No. Should we be worried after only 4 games? Good grief, I shouldn’t even have to respond to this.

    Nuge looked great in WC play. Get the man a RW to play with. Fin

  22. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Bag of Pucks: I’ve never understood the Dave Keon comparable. Keon was a good scorer. Potted 38 and 37 goal seasons for the Leafs.

    At the ages of 30 and 32.

  23. ASkoreyko says:

    JustWatt: Calling Nuge a 3C after 4 games into the season is ludicrous. It’s akin to complaining “he’s never scored more than 50 points in a season so trade the bum!” Does he look dialed in offensively yet? No. Should we be worried after only 4 games? Good grief, I shouldn’t even have to respond to this.

    Nuge looked great in WC play. Get the man a RW to play with. Fin

    I totally agree. Nuge was top 30 in C scoring 2 years ago, I am not sure how all of a sudden he has turned into a bum and will be shipped out of town as soon as possible.

    It really does seem like everyone just needs to have a player that they dislike and want traded and Nuge certainly seems to be attracting that type of attention now. Hopefully Chia will be a little more patient than some of the people on this board. I am still a huge fan of the Nuge!

  24. linkfromhyrule says:

    The team is winning and that makes me happy on its own. Too bad this team could have been so much better than this. We should be dominant.

    I hope Chia can see what a monumental blunder it was not picking up a top six RW. Yes, team is winning, but our top six has not been truly effective imo. Seems like McDavid’s line is usually awesome (because mcdavid), but the 2line has not been able to score. Probably because they need a good RW! Kassian is a good player, but not on the second line. Pool party isn’t ready. Who else?

    Now rather than pick this player up on waivers, he will likely need to make a trade. Fayne being injured has sewered the overpaid winger trade for a good while. Completely unforced error on Chia’s part.

  25. JustWatt says:

    Losing out on Versteeg and passing on the decent RW waiver options has left the team in a “rob Peter to pay Paul” position.

    The backup plan of playing Caggiula at 3C (not a good plan IMO) fell through with his injury and he’s out “weeks, not days.”

    I doubt any decent top 6 pieces are being moved this early in the year, especially with Anaheim finally signing Rakel. So target a 3C to let Drai slide up to 1/2RW.

    Cash in some leftorium chips for a 3C (right handed preferably), Chia. Please and thanks.

  26. russ99 says:

    Without a scoring forward at RW, and a checking cycle player instead, the RNH line is a 2-way checking line. Pou will cash the occasional goal too.

    In camp, though, I thought the 2 way line would be Maroon – Caggiula – Versteeg, but this has been better, at least without the puck.

    Nice that the Maroon – Draisaitl – Slepyshev line has stepped up and become our defacto second scoring line instead, hope it continues.

    Kind of odd nobody touched on the one glaring thing last night: the powerplay.

    Oh for a good old umbrella. At some time McLellan has to realize that dumping it, trapping it along the wall, eventually losing it, and then sending it the other way, often for a shorthanded break is no way to run a powerplay. In a sense, we’re giving them the extra man back by playing that way.

  27. doritogrande says:

    Has Pitlick ever scored an NHL goal in which he wasn’t a complete tire fire by the end of it? I appreciate the effort, but it doesn’t look the part of an NHLer if you’re always celebrating on your keester kid.

  28. blainer says:

    frjohnk:
    Our top 4 D so far on ice against metrics

    ……………CA…..SA…..SCA…..HDSCA
    Klefbom…57…..34.4….21.7…..8.15
    Sekera….52.9…25.51..17.96…11.34
    Larsson…58.8..33.25…19.11…9.38
    Russell…58.97..27.27..14.96….8.8

    Russell the “shot suppressor”

    Interesting that Russell away from Sekera allows more shots against, but allows less scoring chances and high danger chances against.

    But 4 games in, small samples sizes here.

    Really liking Russells game.
    Also liking Larsson, more physical than I thought.

    I would really like TMc to run Nurse with Larsson for a few games. That could really help Nurse settle in quicker at learning the game.

    Russell is making Chia look real smart IMO. Sekera was just wonderful at the worlds and is carrying it over to the Oilers.

    Maybe a mixture of Nurse and Klef with Lars depending on the situation during the games also works.

    Jeebus we miss Davey. I think Davey with Larsson ends up playing 28 mins a game by seasons end..

  29. Bruce Wayne says:

    ASkoreyko,

    You have to see the big picture. What is Chiarelli going to do if this team doesn’t win?

    Free agency? Who? How much cap space will have?

    Farm team? There isn’t anyone there, other than Puljujarvi. Is adding him next year enough?

    That leaves trades. Who is he going to trade to get the “missing piece” that he “needs”?

    Once you start thinking like Chiarelli you realize that certain moves are inevitable.

    It will be interesting to see what happens when this fails.

    How many years will McDavid actually play here?

    If McDavid leaves without this team having real success (very possible) what will it do the fanbase?

    The worst case scenario here is the fanbase finally gives up, combined with a floundering economy means the building is empty, and the team needs to leave, leaving the rest of us on the hook for an empty billion dollar piece of infrastructure.

    This is what I was thinking as I was watching the game last night. This is what is at stake here.

  30. linkfromhyrule says:

    Also, the idea of Nuge being our third best center is ridiculous right now. Drai has not in any way proven he is ready for that 2C role. The team always believes it will be fine without these top players (Hall, Yak, now possibly Nuge), but the truth is the difference is always palpable. Maybe next season, but I doubt it.

    The team has not looked the same without Hall, way WAY less dynamic. No Yak means our RW depth is pretty much terrible (though there are other circumstances in this case). Without the Nuge we no longer have a truly effective shutdown centre. We have McD, Drai, and mud. This is a terrible strategy.

    Now that I think about it, I can totally see Chia trading RNH this next off-season.

  31. Bruce Wayne says:

    linkfromhyrule:
    Also, the idea of Nuge being our third best center is ridiculous right now. Drai has not in any way proven he is ready for that 2C role. The team always believes it will be fine without these top players (Hall, Yak, now possibly Nuge), but the truth is the difference is always palpable. Maybe next season, but I doubt it.

    The team has not looked the same without Hall, way WAY less dynamic. No Yak means our RW depth is pretty much terrible (though there are other circumstances in this case). Without the Nuge we no longer have a truly effective shutdown centre. We have McD, Drai, and mud. This is a terrible strategy.

    Now that I think about it, I can totally see Chia trading RNH this next off-season.

    Welcome to the club.

  32. Lowetide says:

    Danny29:
    LT, would this count as a 25 you were going to win no matter what or fall into the category of 32? Kind of a grey area haha

    I think this would be ‘one of the 32’ 🙂

  33. Pouzar says:

    It’s just Nuge bein Ebs. /bum

  34. Yeti says:

    Bruce Wayne: The worst case scenario here is the fanbase finally gives up, combined with a floundering economy means the building is empty, and the team needs to leave, leaving the rest of us on the hook for an empty billion dollar piece of infrastructure.

    This is what I was thinking as I was watching the game last night. This is what is at stake here.

    The solution is obvious. Try to think less.

  35. dustrock says:

    Why not Lucic-RNH-Eberle?

    Pouliot or Maroon with McDavid. Maybe even Kassian with McDavid.

    I think it’s fair to ask where RNH’s creativity in the offensive zone has gone.

    Where is the player who scored 5 points against the Nucks on HNIC? The player who deked out Lidstrom? The PP monster?

    It is a good thing that he is playing well defensively, but we need him to be our version of Bergeron.

  36. vinotintazo says:

    Entertaining game yesterday.

    How many breakaways did the canes get ? like 5?

    Talbot was great, so was Russell.

    3-1

  37. Bag of Pucks says:

    linkfromhyrule:
    Also, the idea of Nuge being our third best center is ridiculous right now. Drai has not in any way proven he is ready for that 2C role. The team always believes it will be fine without these top players (Hall, Yak, now possibly Nuge), but the truth is the difference is always palpable. Maybe next season, but I doubt it.

    The team has not looked the same without Hall, way WAY less dynamic. No Yak means our RW depth is pretty much terrible (though there are other circumstances in this case). Without the Nuge we no longer have a truly effective shutdown centre. We have McD, Drai, and mud. This is a terrible strategy.

    Now that I think about it, I can totally see Chia trading RNH this next off-season.

    Draisaitl had a higher ppg rate than Nuge last season, and thus far this season as well.

    From a bottom line offensive production pov, the numbers don’t support the argument that RNH is head and shoulders above Leon.

  38. flea says:

    Still so early in the season to be down on the Oilers. They are winning games that in season’s past – they lose. I think as a fan base, we are just used to losing and we are expecting them to crater at some point.

    I think it takes around 10 games to really get going. Keep in mind, all teams will get going so the games get harder. Power plays take a while to gain chemistry. Goalies always have rough Octobers and settle in as the season goes on.

    I am most interested to see if this team will catalyze and become better as a whole, or will they run in place?

    I think they will come out strong on Thursday against one of the prototypical “Western” opponents.

  39. Bag of Pucks says:

    Bruce McCurdy: At the ages of 30 and 32.

    So, you’re predicting a 38 goal season in RNH’s future?

  40. Jethro Tull says:

    Bruce Wayne:
    ASkoreyko,

    You have to see the big picture.What is Chiarelli going to do if this team doesn’t win?

    Free agency?Who?How much cap space will have?

    Farm team?There isn’t anyone there, other than Puljujarvi.Is adding him next year enough?

    That leaves trades.Who is he going to trade to get the “missing piece” that he “needs”?

    Once you start thinking likeChiarelli you realize that certain moves are inevitable.

    It will be interesting to see what happens when this fails.

    How many years will McDavid actually play here?

    If McDavid leaves without this team having real success (very possible) what will it do the fanbase?

    The worst case scenario here is the fanbase finally gives up, combined with a floundering economy means the building is empty, and the team needs to leave, leaving the rest of us on the hook for an empty billion dollar piece of infrastructure.

    This is what I was thinking as I was watching the game last night.This is what is at stake here.

    I was going to post something about your posts this morning being more pretentious than usual until i read the last line of the above post. Now i feel kind of sorry for you. Are the only times you like the game and the Oilers when they’re doing exactly what you want?

    You need to step back and take some time off from the Oilers. Maybe catch some junior games and meet some people that will remind you of what it’s like to love hockey and follow a team through good and bad.

    Before the inevitable snarky reply about not needing my pity, it’s not yours to refuse. I remember years ago, my first conversation with you when you said that people of lower intelligence need to be spoken to like disobedient dogs. I thought you needed a break then. It hasn’t got better.

    Take care. Truly.

  41. McSorley33 says:

    Bag of Pucks,

    Nuge is our Jordan Staal and given that the Oil do have a Crosby (McDavid) and Malkin (Draisaitl), the future does not bode well for this expensive 3C. He is going to become a cap hit that Chiarelli will not want to bear at some point.
    ************************************************************************************

    Jordan Staal wins face-offs. ( 71% right now if the website I am looking at is right )

    Jordan wins his fair contested puck battles.

    Let us forget the scoring for a moment.

    RNH wins *very few * contested puck battles.

    RNH is not good at wining face-offs. ( 35% again if my info is right )

    I am not sure someone with these attributes can be considered good defensively.

  42. Water Fire says:

    Bruce Wayne:
    Finally, it is hilarious how the fanbase reacts solely to wins and losses.The team wasn’t terrible on Sunday and good on Tuesday. They certainly created more offense on Sunday, and they gave up chances both nights.They won on Tuesday because of a bad goal, a fluky goal, and excellent goaltending.

    If you are going to spend the time to think and talk about the game, it should be done with some effort at achieving some kind of clarity, and that begins with ignoring the score.Gmoney is right about this.

    You’re right, but if you want a large group to always act reasonably and always agree, you will find life disappointing.

    This place dwells in the rare ether compared to any other sports blog comment section I have read. And most blog comment sections in general.

  43. Jethro Tull says:

    linkfromhyrule:
    Also, the idea of Nuge being our third best center is ridiculous right now. Drai has not in any way proven he is ready for that 2C role. The team always believes it will be fine without these top players (Hall, Yak, now possibly Nuge), but the truth is the difference is always palpable. Maybe next season, but I doubt it.

    The team has not looked the same without Hall, way WAY less dynamic. No Yak means our RW depth is pretty much terrible (though there are other circumstances in this case). Without the Nuge we no longer have a truly effective shutdown centre. We have McD, Drai, and mud. This is a terrible strategy.

    Now that I think about it, I can totally see Chia trading RNH this next off-season.

    Drai hasn’t earned the 2C job, but Yak slots right in on the top lines?

  44. Fog of Warts says:

    Bag of Pucks: Just think, we could’ve drafted Larsson instead and then we wouldn’t have had to trade Hall.

    That’s exactly the logic that people use to talk themselves up the cliff face.

    Even if you manage to bury Larsson in the AHL for two years to pay for the extra development time required by the majority of defensive prospects, so that his first 200 games on his ELC provide the same value as Nuge’s first 200 games, you’ve still kicked the can two years down the road on a critical building block of the much-ballyhooed Hall cluster.

    And all this supposing that both your AHL team and your NHL teams can provide coaching and shelter to equal degrees to nurture both player types.

    We didn’t just get Larsson (the pick). We got Larsson (the pick), plus NJ’s formative TLC, plus NJ’s stable playing environment, plus several years of Larsson’s successful on the job training.

    Meanwhile, back at the BAR BEE Q ranch, Nuge was exactly the kind of player to emerge unscathed—to at least a first degree—from the coaching carousel & highly combustible road refuse, pyred ever higher and deeper.

    Katz was simply never going to consign a handful of elite prospects to boil inconspicuously under while negotiating his arena deal. It was always going to come down under “this cluster, bright and shiny, just imagine their new home”. Katz could quite easily have deferred the steak. But there was no damn way he was going to defer the sizzle during his mission-crucial public-money marketing effort.

    Fast rebuild: instant fan engagement, decent chance of success, horrendous downside if failure to ignite on the first pump (engine block overhaul, pennies on the dollar)

    Slow rebuild: substantially deferred fan engagement, decent chance of success, modest downside if failure to ignite on the first pump

    Let history show: we went through door number one with our eyes wide open, horrendous downside edition (until we picked up a scratch-and-win Jesus off the back of the card—imagine that).

    So please, enough with the cliff-climbing revisionism already.

    (Hopefully this is the last time I’m sucked into performing a public autopsy of a deluxe $5 tube steak, years in the making.)

  45. Bag of Pucks says:

    McSorley33:
    Bag of Pucks,

    Nuge is our Jordan Staal and given that the Oil do have a Crosby (McDavid) and Malkin (Draisaitl), the future does not bode well for this expensive 3C. He is going to become a cap hit that Chiarelli will not want to bear at some point.
    ************************************************************************************

    Jordan Staal wins face-offs. ( 71% right now if the website I am looking at is right )

    Jordan wins his fair contested puck battles.

    Let us forget the scoring for a moment.

    RNH wins *very few * contested puck battles.

    RNH is not good at wining face-offs. ( 35% again if my info is right )

    I am not sure someone with these attributes can be considered good defensively.

    Fair point. Unless his faceoff acumen starts trending up in a hurry, even Jordan Staal is not a fair comparable.

    Staal was talked about as a Selke candidate early in his career and the same hype has been hypothesized for RNH. Certainly hard to make a case for Selke candidacy for Nuge atm with his absolutely brutal FO %

  46. Water Fire says:

    I can’t see Nuge staying an Oiler either. I just hope he gets it together and they get good value for him. He is another unique player, but his size and salary aren’t going to make it easier with the Oilers

  47. McSorley33 says:

    Interesting reading the comments section last night on Adam Larsson.

    Then reading GMoney’s notes.

    Adam Larsson is a good defenseman. Some people really want to see more than there is there
    though….

  48. Frank the dog says:

    SlyHolla:
    Get Eberle back with the Nuge, please !
    Oilers are getting some nice offense from the bottom 6 forwards, but they need to get that 2nd line going.Pouliot-NugentHopkins-Eberle are a proven scoring line in this league.

    Maybe Drai has just made himself the 2C.

  49. LadiesloveSmid says:

    at what game do we find the possession/scoring chance numbers really settle? 20? 25? 30?

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

    One would figure that when the Oilers start 3-1 with many positive arrows folks would be somewhat happy and suggesting constructive ways to make things better.

    Alas Chia is an idiot (accept that last year we all complained about how the 3-4 lines didn’t score and now they are which apparently means Nuge is a waste of money), TMac can’t coach to save his life (last time I checked it doesn’t matter how you draw up a power play, players need to execute and unless TMac is the one screwing up along the half wall its getting a bit old) and apparently we have moved away from Eberle being the whipping boy (huh who would have thunk scoring goals shuts up haters) and are now trading Nuge this morning (like really folks really you turn on the guy this quickly?).

    Ten years of losing does funny things to the brain but man the lack of sunshine around here lately is starting to bring me down. It gets annoying reading the same folks rehash the same arguments with a new whipping boy after each and every game. Hopefully the wins keep coming and folks can back off the negativity a bit.

  51. Pouzar says:

    doritogrande:
    Has Pitlick ever scored an NHL goal in which he wasn’t a complete tire fire by the end of it? I appreciate the effort, but it doesn’t look the part of an NHLer if you’re always celebrating on your keester kid.

    Really?

  52. Bag of Pucks says:

    Fog of Warts: That’s exactly the logic that people use to talk themselves up the cliff face.

    Even if you manage to bury Larsson in the AHL for two years to pay for the extra development time required by the majority of defensive prospects, so that his first 200 games on his ELC provide the same value as Nuge’s first 200 games, you’ve still kicked the can two years down the road on a critical building block of the much-ballyhooed Hall cluster.

    And all this supposing that both your AHL team and your NHL teams can provide coaching and shelter to equal degrees to nurture both player types.

    We didn’t just get Larsson (the pick).We got Larsson (the pick), plus NJ’s formative TLC, plus NJ’s stable playing environment, plus several years of Larsson’s successful on the job training.

    Meanwhile, back at the BAR BEE Q ranch, Nuge was exactly the kind of player to emerge unscathed—to at least a first degree—from the coaching carousel & highly combustible road refuse, pyred ever higher and deeper.

    Katz was simply never going to consign a handful of elite prospects to boil inconspicuously under while negotiating his arena deal.It was always going to come down under “this cluster, bright and shiny, just imagine their new home”. Katz could quite easily have deferred the steak.But there was no damn way he was going to defer the sizzle during his mission-crucial public-money marketing effort.

    Fast rebuild: instant fan engagement, decent chance of success, horrendous downside if failure to ignite on the first pump (engine block overhaul, pennies on the dollar)

    Slow rebuild: substantially deferred fan engagement, decent chance of success, modest downside if failure to ignite on the first pump

    Let history show: we went through door number one with our eyes wide open, horrendous downside edition (until we picked up a scratch-and-win Jesus off the back of the card—imagine that).

    So please, enough with the cliff-climbing revisionism already.

    (Hopefully this is the last time I’m sucked into performing a public autopsy of a deluxe $5 tube steak, years in the making.)

    I would suggest the ‘sizzle’ in your scenario is the team improving enough to win some games and actually compete for the playoffs prior to their arrival in Rogers Place.

    The Oilers 1OV drafting record isn’t so much an indictment on the organization as it is a indictment on BPA philosophy.

    Now that Hall and Yakupov have been dealt to fill roster ‘needs’ elsewhere, with the return much less than what you would anticipate for former first 1OVs, the argument that you can simply trade out the surplus BPA picks down the line to address positional needs elsewhere is becoming less and less tenable.

    The reality is IF there is very little separation between picks 1,2,3, etc. a team is far better served A) drafting to build down the middle B) addressing obvious positional deficiencies C) everything else being equal, drafting the bigger player.

    In trading a former 1OV for a player the Oilers previously passed over in the draft, Chiarelli pretty much provided graphic evidence that he disagreed with the drafting and team building philosophy of the previous regime (i.e. drafting wingers and or lean centers exclusively). Compound this with his failed effort to trade RNH for Seth Jones and it seems fairly clear that were Chia sitting at the table in 2011, he would not have drafted RNH first overall.

    That is ACTUALLY good news, cos he’s right and this team will finally start to turn north as a result of this change in philosophy, not to mention Connor McDavid.

    And btw, BPA makes absolute sense from a theoretical and odds calculation pov. The problem is it’s a philosophy that assumes scouts can actually identify the BPA with any definitive degree of certainty, which is essentially smartest man in the room thinking when you stop and think about it. And, as the record clearly shows, they’re wrong as often as they’re right.

  53. DBO says:

    I hope they shift the lines sooner then 20 games. Like Hall last year, Lucic doesn’t seem to fit with McDavid. Just like Crosby, it takes certain kinds to play well with him. Maroon worked last year, so did Pouliot. Eberle works with either Nuge or McDavid, so thats fine. Personally, I hope to see this lineup sooner rather then later

    Pouliot-McDavid-Eberle
    Lucic-Nuge-Puljarvi
    Maroon-Draisatl-Slepeshev
    Hendricks/Lander-Letestu-Pitlick/Kassian

    Puljarvi can push the river and is a shooter and Lucic I think woud be a better fit with Nuge based on their style of play. Nuge and Lucic are solid passers, play a better cycle game and all three are responsible enough to be the two way line, with Puljarvi being the trigger man.

    The 1st line worked well and I think Pou is a much better fit on that wing both with bette speed and defensively responsible..

    That third line has size, plays a cycle game and will continue to do well against 3rd pairing D. Like Maroon and Draisatl together, nice pair.

    4th line does what it does and are doing as much as can be expected.

  54. JDï™ says:

    Loved the 19 – 29 – 42 line. It looks like Slepy doesn’t want to ride the bus again – let’s hope he can keep it up.

  55. G Honey Bunches of Stats says:

    LadiesloveSmid,

    I use 10 games minimum and 20 games preferred for teams.

    For players,150 minutes minimum and 250 minutes preferred.

    (There is work showing the rationale behind those numbers but don’t have links for you at the moment)

  56. Truth says:

    Slepyshev looked motivated last night. Played really well, I hope he keeps it up.

    I think Maroon still looks better than Lucic. He did in preseason and it continues. Has to be hard being the big guy playing alongside Connor, as he makes literally everyone look slower out there. How about Lucic – Draisaitl – Kassian as a line? Pou – McDavid – Eberle, Maroon – Nuge – Slep. One of the Drai / Nuge lines would face the bottom pairing D all night, hopefully kickstart the offense for them.

  57. Wolfie says:

    doritogrande:
    Has Pitlick ever scored an NHL goal in which he wasn’t a complete tire fire by the end of it? I appreciate the effort, but it doesn’t look the part of an NHLer if you’re always celebrating on your keester kid.

    They don’t ask how… they ask how many. Last time I checked there are no descriptions on the scoresheet. Just keep putting pucks in the net and he’ll stick around.

  58. Truth says:

    I should add I think Poolparty would be best served with 40 games in the AHL. Especially if Slep can keep up the hard work and Cagguila’s preseason was for real.

  59. Truth says:

    Wolfie: They don’t ask how… they ask how many.Last time I checked there are no descriptions on the scoresheet.Just keep putting pucks in the net and he’ll stick around.

    Taylor Hall.

  60. McSorley33 says:

    I have been a big critic of PC’s…..but as currently constructed, you can definitely see a team
    that is built for Western Conference playoffs.

  61. Offside says:

    Truth,

    I think Wolfie meant “stick around” in the big leagues

  62. Caribbeerman says:

    If we’re being honest with ourselves Oiler fans, our team has been outplayed for long stretches by opponents. This far we have been able to take advantage of our offensive chances while opposing teams have not – save for the game against the Sabers. To me, while we want to be a quick transition team, the gaps between the forwards and defense is too big and we always seem to be looking for a stretch pass to set someone free instead of making the simple play. I do think that our system play will improve over the next 6-10 games at which time we could better assess the roster – line-mates and defense pairings.

    One change I would make is putting Lucic on a line with RNH as I think their games are more compatible and complementary. This would result in the following:

    Pouliot – McDavid – Eberle
    Lucic – RNH – Slepyshev/JP
    Maroon – Draisaitl – Kassian
    Lander – Letestu – Pitlick

    Klefbom – Larsson
    Sekera – Russell
    Nurse – Gryba

    Talbot
    Gustavsson

  63. Professor Q says:

    You know, Ovechkin and Kuznetzov haven’t been doing too well this year either.

    They must be third-liners as well.

  64. Confused says:

    People seem to be panicking again. We have lots of injuries making some things look more problematic than they are really.

    Short term — is about getting the Drake back, to let Drai fill in at 2RW
    Medium term — is getting Pool Party ready to play 1RW, letting Ebs play 2RW, Drai 3C, and the Drake gives depth on LW and C
    long term — replacing Russell and Fayne — unless the Trouba miracle occurs

  65. Wolfie says:

    I thought last night was a well played game by both teams. The Canes have a very competitive bunch and the forechecking they do is quick and high pressure. The Oilers got hemmed in on a couple of occasions but did a fairly good job of getting the puck up ice and still managed some dangerous chances.

    I felt the officiating had a big effect last night. I counted two times Nuge got completely tied up along the wall with a stick between his legs (1 ended up being a trip, the other he was held and the play went the other way for a chance). Both times no call. One of McDavid’s last rushes he had sticks all over him and he took a punch in the face after chipping the puck past the defender.

    The game against Buffalo was much the same. Teams are really playing close to Connor and trying to meet him at the same time he gets the puck.

    Those non-calls have a big effect on the game. The Oilers are much quicker this year as a team than they have been in the past and it shows.

    If the Oilers can start winning games like last night where the opponent’s forecheck is fierce, no calls, physical tight checking games they will have a great year.

    They can win the track meets. That’/ what Calgary tried to do the first couple of games… There seems to be enough secondary scoring that McDavid doesn’t have to do it every night. Balance might not be there quite yet but The McDavid Effect might be enough even this year.

  66. hags9k says:

    So after 4 games we are generally pleased with the goalie, defense and bottom 6 forwards, but are concerned about getting the top two lines going better offensively. The ones centered by McDavid and Nuge.
    This must be progress.

  67. Truth says:

    Offside,

    Yeah I clearly wasn’t paying attention. Meant to quote Doritogrande. Taylor Hall is the quintessential top level scorer who always ends up on his ass after the goal. He also rarely scores a truly pretty goal. Who cares how they end up in the back of the net.

  68. rickithebear says:

    THE Save;

    Was a positional save.

    What I define as a closed whole shot.

    Talbot held himself in a standard goalie position.

    Skinner shot the puck in talbots standard positioned hand.
    the puck was already in the glove before Talbot swung his arm.
    it had zero % chance of going in the net before Talbot moved his hand.

    Standard body angle; glove and arm positioning dictated by distance in tight.
    Shot angle analysis.
    what is the best glove and blocker elevation for this distance shot.

    The position Talbot had his.

  69. smellyglove says:

    Is there a statistical justification for looking at individual game fancy stats like corsi and Fenwick? My understanding is that the value in these measures comes over large sample sizes.

  70. GCW_69 says:

    Lowetide: Talbot was also outstanding in the first period of the Calgary game, Flames had 24 shots or some nonsense.

    And then he had the rest of the night off

  71. rickithebear says:

    Truth:
    Offside,

    Yeah I clearly wasn’t paying attention.Meant to quote Doritogrande.Taylor Hall is the quintessential top level scorer who always ends up on his ass after the goal.He also rarely scores a truly pretty goal.Who cares how they end up in the back of the net.

    I would hope to structure my team to get as high a shot per procession count.
    would prefer that the shots are in the HSCA .
    that the players shooting from the HSCA
    had a high SH% as well as a high Shot /gm count.

    Which would mean a whole lot more Goals.

  72. Frank the dog says:

    Let’s put it this way: there were times when we lost games we should have won. We called those moral victories.

    This was a 3-2 game that had an own goal by Carolina, and a miraculous last second save by Cam Talbot. this was a game we should never have won. I call that a moral defeat.

  73. rickithebear says:

    As I watched video of Lucic playing with Kopitar.
    Seeing lucic keep linear pace with Kopitar.
    how effective they were together.
    Watched Draisatl draw as much knowledge from Kopitar at WC.

    Seeing Lucic with Draisatl would be something we need to look at.

  74. GCW_69 says:

    Caribbeerman:
    If we’re being honest with ourselves Oiler fans, our team has been outplayed for long stretches by opponents. This far we have been able to take advantage of our offensive chances while opposing teams have not – save for the game against the Sabers. To me, while we want to be a quick transition team, the gaps between the forwards and defense is too big and we always seem to be looking for a stretch pass to set someone free instead of making the simple play. I do think that our system play will improve over the next 6-10 games at which time we could better assess the roster – line-mates and defense pairings.

    One change I would make is putting Lucic on a line with RNH as I think their games are more compatible and complementary. This would result in the following:

    Pouliot – McDavid – Eberle
    Lucic – RNH – Slepyshev/JP
    Maroon – Draisaitl – Kassian
    Lander – Letestu – Pitlick

    Klefbom – Larsson
    Sekera – Russell
    Nurse – Gryba

    Talbot
    Gustavsson

    Every time I watch this team I can’t help but believe the Oilers would be much better off if they had two of: Stempniak, Parenteau, Versteeg, or Colborne. All of them are on value contracts and bring veteran expereince to the table. All have averaged 35 points per 82 or more over the last 2-3 years (secondary scoring, who knew? Who wants it?).

  75. JDï™ says:

    Darren Dreger ‏@DarrenDreger 4h4 hours ago

    Talked about Minnesota State DMan, Daniel Brickley on InsiderTrading. 30+ NHL scouts at game on wknd to watch the college free agent.

    Darren Dreger ‏@DarrenDreger 4h4 hours ago

    Brickley is typical late bloomer. Now 6’3, 215 lbs. Good size and excellent poise with the puck. Oilers and Jets among many with interest.

  76. GMB3 says:

    I feel as though Poo and McDavid together would be better suited to create offense off the rush, where Nuge and Lucic would excel off the cycle. And I think putting Eberle with RNH would spread the scoring a bit. I miss the offense from the 52 in 62 rookie Nuge but I also enjoy his defensive play now.

  77. rickithebear says:

    Maroon – Mcdavid – Kassian
    Lucic – Draisatl – Slepyshev
    Pouliot – RNH- Eberle

  78. 99266in87 says:

    Bag of Pucks: I would suggest the ‘sizzle’ in your scenario is the team improving enough to win some games and actually compete for the playoffs prior to their arrival in Rogers Place.

    The Oilers 1OV drafting record isn’t so much an indictment on the organization as it is a indictment on BPA philosophy.

    Now that Hall and Yakupov have been dealt to fill roster ‘needs’ elsewhere, with the return much less than what you would anticipate for former first 1OVs, the argument that you can simply trade out the surplus BPA picks down the line to address positional needs elsewhere is becoming less and less tenable.

    The reality is IF there is very little separation between picks 1,2,3, etc. a team is far better served A) drafting to build down the middle B) addressing obvious positional deficiencies C) everything else being equal, drafting the bigger player.

    In trading a former 1OV for a player the Oilers previously passed over in the draft, Chiarelli pretty much provided graphic evidence that he disagreed with the drafting and team building philosophy of the previous regime (i.e. drafting wingers and or lean centers exclusively). Compound this with his failed effort to trade RNH for Seth Jones and it seems fairly clear that were Chia sitting at the table in 2011, he would not have drafted RNH first overall.

    That is ACTUALLY good news, cos he’s right and this team will finally start to turn north as a result of this change in philosophy, not to mention Connor McDavid.

    And btw, BPA makes absolute sense from a theoretical and odds calculation pov. The problem is it’s a philosophy that assumes scouts can actually identify the BPA with any definitive degree of certainty, which is essentially smartest man in the room thinking when you stop and think about it. And, as the record clearly shows, they’re wrong as often as they’re right.

    I would also add that chia had no depth a year and a half ago from Bakersfield to the top, and really, his positive transformation is quite something,,,,to the good. I’m glad and happy we have the 2 guys we do.

  79. Doug McLachlan says:

    Loved running the score up to 3-0. Could see the pressure building for a Hurricane comeback from a mile away and for the most part I thought they held firm – bend but don’t break.

    Would have been much happier with an ENG or two but will take the win and the good vibes heading into Talbot Twins day. Good luck buddy, you will need it.

  80. GCW_69 says:

    Confused: Short term — is about getting the Drake back, to let Drai fill in at 2RW

    Hard to believe this is the answer. A raw rookie playing out of position should NEVER be the answer to an under-performing team.

    Unless you are the Oilers of course. One of these decades this type of ridiculous gamble will pay off.

  81. GCW_69 says:

    Bag of Pucks: The Oilers 1OV drafting record isn’t so much an indictment on the organization as it is a indictment on BPA philosophy.

    It’s hard to say whether its an indictment on the BPA strategy because the Oilers have fucked up so many other elements of the rebuild along the way and put themselves in a weak bargaining position.

    That said, it’s a fair question now that significant trades appear to be far less prevalent in the NHL, if there is a player available in the range (say within one to three draft spots of BPA) that is a better fit balance wise, I think there is evidence that balance is worth something, and can help close the gap.

  82. Wolfie says:

    rickithebear,

    You are correct! Still looked absolutely fabulous on TV. Even the old windmill!

  83. G Honey Bunches of Stats says:

    Frank the dog: This was a 3-2 game that had an own goal by Carolina, and a miraculous last second save by Cam Talbot. this was a game we should never have won. I call that a moral defeat.

    Personally, I wouldn’t go that far. All the fancies (and eye test) might have been in CAR’s favour, but the score adjusted number (at least, *my* score adjusted number!) had the Oilers in front 50.5%.

    What that means is that based on the history of all times in which a team has taken a 3-0 lead, the extent to which the Hurricanes pushed back was actually slightly less than the average extent to which teams push back in that same situation (or put another way, the Oilers did better than the average team with respect to the extent to which the average team with that big a lead goes into a defensive shell).

    So this game actually played out pretty much the way you should expect a game like this to play out – one team takes a big lead early, then spends the rest of the game trying to hold on to the lead.

    We’d like it to be otherwise, that our team when it has a lead has a killer instinct and puts up another two or three goals, but that would be quite unique amongst NHL teams.

    If that were the case, we wouldn’t talk about the concept of score effects, but we know they exist and we know they’re strong – which suggests there is a hugely human nature element to the process.

    It’s not a game to be happy with in terms of the number of blown defensive coverages, but I also wouldn’t read too much into that either – and we got and kept the two points for a change.

  84. G Honey Bunches of Stats says:

    smellyglove:
    Is there a statistical justification for looking at individual game fancy stats like corsi and Fenwick? My understanding is that the value in these measures comes over large sample sizes.

    Yes, you are correct in that the value in the measures as a predictive tool requires larger sample sizes (as I mentioned to LLS, 10 to 20 games for teams, 150 to 250 mins EVTOI for players).

    However, the stats as a lookback on an individual game still provide a lot of value in terms of deconstructing what happened.

    In other words, at an individual game level, there is still a lot of descriptive information embedded in the statistics, even as there isn’t a lot of predictive information from that small a sample size.

    Does that help clarify, or did I make it worse?

  85. Pouzar says:

    I dunno about you about but I was cheering like mad for goal #4.

  86. stevezie says:

    Last night I realised I was cheering for a goal on every rush for either team.

    I want to see exciting hockey, I want to see the Oilers punished, and I want to shut up some of my more ridiculous friends.

    I’m mad at the Oilers organization for the open contempt they show the fans and the city (non-fans included).
    I’m mad at Oilers management for not making the moves that seem obvious to me (I might be wrong, but management has a history).
    I was mad at hockey Canada for choosing a less-exciting brand of hockey, but they’re clearly right. I absolve hockey Canada and am mad at the NHL for punishing fun hockey and rewarding monotony.

    Ian Anderson’s comments may well apply to me too. What fun am I getting out of this? I’m not sure. Definitely some. I still love the game, I enjoy a good debate, I enjoy the camaraderie of being a fan and, in spite of everything, love seeing the Oilers succeed. I love it when they score, hit, and win. I just want truth and justice to triumph too*.

    It is probably is better to be a less critical fan who just follows and cheers for the team. What sense does it make to get invested in decisions you can’t control? How does trading Hall reflect on me? This team exists for fun. LT is unparalleled in his ability to let the team ignoring his advice dampen his love. That’s why I found his inability to move on from Carolina so relieving- he is human after all.

    *If I’m wrong I’ll be glad to know it (being wrong happens all the time and shouldn’t damage anyone’s self-image).

    I won’t be happy if the Oilers get lucky and/or rise to the level of mediocre team. After so many years as an abject joke mediocrity will feel like success to some; not only will I have to watch my beloved team squander an opportunity for greatness but I will personally be sneered at by fools who can’t see would could have easily been.

    Mediocrity will be the worst of both worlds.

  87. kinger_OIL says:

    – there was a website I used to visit where you could do a break-down of how many minutes each team played with different scoring scenarios:

    – i.e. last year Edmonton played 1,200 minutes down 2 goals, 1,000 minutes, 1 goal, 500 tied, 200 up one goal, 20 up 2 goals, 1 minute up 3, etc…

    – anyway I wish I could find that: anyone?

    – My point is that the other side of the score effects equation, is that the Oil haven’t developed the skill-set to defend leads, because they haven’t had to: its an unused muscle

    – This is part of the learning curve that all teams go through. Recently we saw it with the Raptors last few years, as they went from cellar to being competitive, to closing out wins to playoffs

  88. PunjabiOil says:

    http://edmontonjournal.com/sports/hockey/nhl/cult-of-hockey/nhl-insider-speculates-about-edmonton-oilers-signing-brent-burns

    Here’s Stauffer on Burns to the Oilers: “I was say this: If the San Jose Sharks aren’t able to sign Brent Burns, it is my belief — just as a year ago at this time we talked about Milan Lucic — that Edmonton would be an option, if the Sharks don’t get Burns done, the Oilers will be an option for Brent Burns. Who else is competition?”

    Sportsnet’s Mark Spector mentioned that Peter Chiarelli was an aggressive GM and would be keen to find a right shot No. 1 d-man. But Spector doubted San Jose would let go of Burns. “This is a big dream… If I’m San Jose, I’m signing him up. No one lets the No. 1 defenceman go.”

    Stauffer added that San Jose has cap space to keep Burns, but said the Oilers would also have the cap flexibility with the expiring contracts of Andrew Ference, Kris Russell and Anton Lander. The Oilers also have to sign up Leon Draisaitl and Connor McDavid. “McDavid will get it (a big contract) and maybe they (the Oilers) would move out at that stage a Nugent-Hopkins.”

  89. stevezie says:

    G Honey Bunches of Stats,

    I was in a debate with a p.eng with a CBA last night, (“Trust me, I understand numbers better than you, arts degree”), and he said fancy stats have no predictive power and are therefore useless.

    After granting his valid criticisms of analytics I said that they can still be quite useful for predicting teams and somewhat useful for predicting players.

    My question to you (or anyone who knows): Is there a website that clearly demonstrates the predictive power of different stats? What knowledge I have comes from just following the conversation. I don’t actually know where to point anyone to for evidence that they’re any good. Like a history of fancy stats?

    It would be nice to be able to marshal some sources here.

  90. blainer says:

    Imo last night was a game we would have folded and lost last year. Score effects were in place last night as well.

    We are lucky not to be 0-4 to start but this is what good teams do .. win a few games from time to time they have no business winning. The trick is stay away from those big losing streaks.

    We just need to get back to full health and stop taking dumb penalties and get that PP and PK in order. That will happen when we get healthy. If we get out of this month with a winning record while getting back to full health we will be in great shape for my predicted 109 point season.

    The glass is still half full IMO.

  91. 99266in87 says:

    PunjabiOil:
    http://edmontonjournal.com/sports/hockey/nhl/cult-of-hockey/nhl-insider-speculates-about-edmonton-oilers-signing-brent-burns

    Here’s Stauffer on Burns to the Oilers: “I was say this: If the San Jose Sharks aren’t able to sign Brent Burns, it is my belief — just as a year ago at this time we talked about Milan Lucic — that Edmonton would be an option, if the Sharks don’t get Burns done, the Oilers will be an option for Brent Burns. Who else is competition?”

    Sportsnet’s Mark Spector mentioned that Peter Chiarelli was an aggressive GM and would be keen to find a right shot No. 1 d-man. But Spector doubted San Jose would let go of Burns. “This is a big dream… If I’m San Jose, I’m signing him up. No one lets the No. 1 defenceman go.”

    Stauffer added that San Jose has cap space to keep Burns, but said the Oilers would also have the cap flexibility with the expiring contracts of Andrew Ference, Kris Russell and Anton Lander. The Oilers also have to sign up Leon Draisaitl and Connor McDavid. “McDavid will get it (a big contract) and maybe they (the Oilers) would move out at that stage a Nugent-Hopkins.”

    In which I had posted in the summer that the hall trade also may be a re-set of the salary structure of the team, knowing 97 will be the face of the oilers. Nuge/Ebs, that’s 6m salaries that have to be corrected since oil weren’t built from the middle and up.

  92. Crakupov says:

    99266in87: In which I had posted in the summer that the hall trade also may be a re-set of the salary structure of the team, knowing 97 will be the face of the oilers. Nuge/Ebs, that’s 6m salaries that have to be corrected since oil weren’t built from the middle and up.

    Aren’t you being overly negative? Even with a brutal season there will still be fans in the seats and the team is now 3 and 1. Comeback with this kind of talk when they are 3 and 7.

  93. Evilas says:

    I will keep posting until these moves happen, I would like to see:

    Pou-McD-JP
    Big Rig-RNH-Ebs
    Looch-Drai-Sleppy
    Pitlick-Letestu-Kass
    Caguila

    Nurse + Conditional 2017 1st to Jets for Trouba

    Klef-Lars
    Sek-Trouba
    Russ-Gryba

    and eventually

    Klef-Lars
    Sek-Russ
    Davy-Trouba

  94. Blackwolf says:

    Evilas,

    ME thinks that you will be posting for a very long time.

  95. stevezie says:

    Bruce Wayne,

    I think the plan is to just “do our best” this year and then sign Burns. Then we’ll have a pretty solid top 4 and finally some offence from the blue.

    Burns is too old to be ideal but signing him is a lot better than trading Nuge for Dumba. Even eberle for a Hamonic type is nothing to high five about.

    But then “the plan” involves only one competitive year of MCDavid’s ELC. Heck, we’d have to shed a useful player’s salary right now just to make room for Burns. (Maybe not? If we can give away one year of Fayne and Ference disappears that could be enough?)

    If things break right we should finish 6th to 3rd in the west next year.

    Perhaps Chia should be applauded for patiently letting the MacT team fade away while he builds a better one. God knows we’ve seen “urgency” sink GMs before (the Burke Leafs jump to mind).

    I am irritated that the McD ELC window is not being maximized, but I could live with it if we looked to be on pace for Stanley cups.

    And considering the talent he inherited, I think it is fair to say multiple Cups will be required to call Chia a success. One will represent a pass, but many believed there was more to be mined.

    Any less than that is failure. Honest question to the group: Is that fair?

  96. stevezie says:

    Evilas,

    You want to see JP on the firs line eventually, or right now?

  97. stush18 says:

    Bruce Wayne:
    ASkoreyko,

    You have to see the big picture.What is Chiarelli going to do if this team doesn’t win?

    Free agency?Who?How much cap space will have?

    Farm team?There isn’t anyone there, other than Puljujarvi.Is adding him next year enough?

    That leaves trades.Who is he going to trade to get the “missing piece” that he “needs”?

    Once you start thinking likeChiarelli you realize that certain moves are inevitable.

    It will be interesting to see what happens when this fails.

    How many years will McDavid actually play here?

    If McDavid leaves without this team having real success (very possible) what will it do the fanbase?

    The worst case scenario here is the fanbase finally gives up, combined with a floundering economy means the building is empty, and the team needs to leave, leaving the rest of us on the hook for an empty billion dollar piece of infrastructure.

    This is what I was thinking as I was watching the game last night.This is what is at stake here.

    Jesus you are a bucket of joy.

    What if slepy turns into a top six scorer?

    What if mcdavid signs for below market value like stamkos?

    What is chiarelli going to do when all of our defensive prospects are knocking on the door? Trade for a another goal scorer?

    What happens when brossoit steals the starter job like Murray?

    Try the other angle sometimes. It’s easier on your stomach. Or troll. Whatever.

  98. Pouzar says:

    Evilas:
    I will keep posting until these moves happen, I would like to see:

    Pou-McD-JP
    Big Rig-RNH-Ebs
    Looch-Drai-Sleppy
    Pitlick-Letestu-Kass
    Caguila

    Nurse + Conditional 2017 1st to Jets for Trouba

    Klef-Lars
    Sek-Trouba
    Russ-Gryba

    and eventually

    Klef-Lars
    Sek-Russ
    Davy-Trouba

    I suggest you download the “Trouba” app and ask him if he would come to EDM.

  99. Pouzar says:

    Just for some context.

    PK rank: 17th
    PP rank: 12th

  100. Evilas says:

    stevezie,

    Since they have him with the team and he isn’t producing many chances, why not give him a go with McD. I would like to see him with faster linemates (McD too) and see what they can do.

    I think Nuge and Ebs can produce together and Looch and Drai would complement each other as well.

  101. G Honey Bunches of Stats says:

    stevezie,

    This is probably a good starting point: http://www.pensionplanpuppets.com/2013/7/10/4508094/what-statistics-are-meaningful-in-a-given-season-corsi-fenwick-PDO-hits-fights-blocked-shots

    Handy table showing the various predictive measures, and a good example of why Corsi has been old reliable for so long.

    One thing that may trip you up is that someone will bring up a science fair definition of science (“hypothesis-experiment” etc). Not that this isn’t a preferred and rigorous approach even at the high end, but it’s generally not practical in most endeavours.

    We don’t have the luxury of setting up a double blind A vs B type of experiment in hockey, nor in most endeavours in sociology, physical sciences, deep space physics, etc.

    Modern science instead now relies heavily on a body of statistical methods (some call it a new paradigm of science: https://www.amazon.ca/Fourth-Paradigm-Data-Intensive-Scientific-Discovery/dp/0982544200, but I’m not sure I agree) applied to large volumes of data as a substitute for the experimental method.

    Many (I’d say the vast majority) of modern scientific/technological advances in the last thirty years depend more on these methodologies than they do the classic experimental method.

    We are taking many of those same methodologies and applying them to hockey. It’s one of the ways we try to resolve the old “correlation is not causation” issue for example.

    And I do get a bit of a chuckle when someone suggests hockey is too complicated to analyze via these methods, while typing the comment through a vastly more complicated computer system/network that is inherently dependent on and wouldn’t exist without many of those same methodologies.

  102. Evilas says:

    Pouzar,

    I would, but I have a flip phone and haven’t figured out where to plug the appliance you speak of into.

  103. stevezie says:

    Evilas,

    I think his game suggests he should be on the farm for now.

    If we it’s unacceptable to play Yak with McD- a player we had every incentive to see immediate numbers from (deserved or not), then it would be downright bizarre to put JP up there (now).

  104. stevezie says:

    G Honey Bunches of Stats,

    Thanks honey bunches.

  105. JustWatt says:

    G Honey Bunches of Stats,

    Great recap and what a wonderfully level and positive evaluation. And saying that they did a basically average job of holding on to the 3-0 lead in the third is actually a step forward for this team. Both teams badly wanted to win this game and Edmonton came out on top. That’s nothing to sneeze at even with its warts

  106. Eastern Oil says:

    smellyglove:
    Is there a statistical justification for looking at individual game fancy stats like corsi and Fenwick? My understanding is that the value in these measures comes over large sample sizes.

    I like using them in a single game as a back story, both good and bad. If I see Drai scores two goals that’s great, but he also had his head caved in with Corsi and DFF, I know he had some tough moments. And when guys are criticized for whatever reason, but seemed to have the other team hemmed in, that’s nice to know too.

    I used the (poor) metaphor last night of a picture that gets 9 straight outs but all were on hard hit balls to the track. The result doesn’t change but the batters are seeing him very well.

  107. Evilas says:

    stevezie,

    I agree 100% that he should be on the farm. However, since it doesn’t appear he will be sent down anytime soon, why not put him with McDavid?

    Yak was in a different situation altogether, I think he was not going to get any “favours” from this coaching staff. He sealed his fate with his attitude at practice last year I think.

    Also, I wonder if the Oil will cut JP loose for WJ’s this year, I hope so….

  108. jm363561 says:

    Bruce Wayne: Welcome to the club.

    Bruce Wayne: Welcome to the club.

    This would be the high repetition, low positivity club presumably.

    You invariably make good points and I respect your views but you make the same points over and over and over again – we get it. Personally I would prefer a less negative and abrasive tone, but I can live with that – it’s the same points being made over and over and over again that sucks the life out of the blog. If you could just avoid making the same points over and over and over again .. sorry, lost my thread here. Anyway, living in Asia there are not too many LT blog readers to hang out with and rationalise away Chia’s lynchworthy deals but I have a feeling I am not alone in hoping to not have to read the same points over and over and over again.

  109. stevezie says:

    G Honey Bunches of Stats: And I do get a bit of a chuckle when someone suggests hockey is too complicated to analyze via these methods, while typing the comment through a vastly more complicated computer system/network that is inherently dependent on and wouldn’t exist without many of those same methodologies.

    This is a great point, but I have recently been enjoying educating myself on the difficulties of studying human behaviours. For example, did you know there’s no solid evidence that flossing is any good for you? it probably is- experts seem quite convinced. But human behaviour is just so confounding that no one has been able to mount any evidence in either direction.

    So I’m right there with anyone who says stats don’t tell the whole story. But I don’t have a lot of time for people who say they don’t tell you anything.

    Even if all they do is descriptive, that’s pretty useful.

  110. JJS says:

    ASkoreyko: I totally agree. Nuge was top 30 in C scoring 2 years ago, I am not sure how all of a sudden he has turned into a bum and will be shipped out of town as soon as possible.

    It really does seem like everyone just needs to have a player that they dislike and want traded and Nuge certainly seems to be attracting that type of attention now. Hopefully Chia will be a little more patient than some of the people on this board. I am still a huge fan of the Nuge!

    I don’t recall calling him a bum or questioning his ability to play the hockey. In fact, the opposite.

    The question is whether Drais is projected to be the 2nd line centre next season.

    If the answer is ‘yes’, it puts Nuge at risk in terms of being an Oiler in 12 months.

    If Nuge posts big numbers this year, it may change the conversation but I don’t foresee that happening given his history.

  111. stevezie says:

    Evilas,

    I may be wrong, but I actually do expect he’ll be sent down soon.

    The Oilers have the advantage of not having to make a permanent choice on JP. They can send him down and recall him right back up. With this in mind, sitting him/playing him less than ten minutes a game would be downright bizarre.

  112. RT26 says:

    After watching 4 games, I would love to see this in the short term:

    Pouliot McDavid Eberle
    Lucic Nuge Draisaitl
    Maroon Letestu Kassian
    Slepy Lander Pitlick

    Creates two scoring lines that can play PvP, and a strong 3rd line that can occasionally chip in with some offense. I have always loved having a kid line and would slot in Caggiula into Slepy or Lander’s spot when he returns.

  113. stevezie says:

    Unrelated: I’m going to try listening to Steely Dan one more time before I take these records to the store for whatever I can get.

    Even less related: You know who loves Steely Dan? Kanye. True story. His samples are full of seventies prog rock. Some of you might have more in common with him than you realise.

  114. Lowetide says:

    stevezie:
    Unrelated: I’m going to try listening to Steely Dan one more time before I take these records to the store for whatever I can get.

    Even less related: You know who loves Steely Dan? Kanye. True story. His samples are full of seventies prog rock. Some of you might have more in common with him than you realise.

    I loved Steely Dan, even though their albums are actually quite different. For me, Aja was the peak, that album was so well written and played. Perfection.

  115. Younger Oil says:

    1. Agree that Lucic-Drai needs to be explored more.

    2. Third period last night was a fire drill, but in past years the Oilers would have lost that game in OT.

    3. It’s good that the team can see they can win a game without McDavid being elite.

    4. Great bounce-back from Talbot.

    5. Pitlick and Slepyshev may be the stories of the season. Puljujarvi should be sent down IMO.

    6. Still don’t think this team has the depth of a playoff team, but good to see them getting some wins in.

  116. frjohnk says:

    Twitter does not have enough characters for me to write.

    Kris Russell
    CA__SA__SCA_HDCA
    66.4_31.5_22.8_10.5 CAL14-15
    62.4_31.5_22.6_9.85 CAL15-16
    61.2_25.0_25.0_10.89 DAL15-16
    58.9_27.2_14.9_8.8 EDM

    Adam Larsson
    CA__SA___SCA_HDCA
    50.5_27.0_17.4_8.5 NJ14-15
    48.7_25.8_16.3_7.9 NJ15-16
    58.8_33.2_19.1_9.3 EDM

    Russell has better shot and chance suppression on ice mtrics when compared to last year and his metrics are better than Larssons as an Oiler. In the last two years, Larsson blew him away.

    Here is the quality of team mates and TOI with each.
    Adam Larrson__TOI______Kris Russell___TOI
    Oscar Klefbom_47.36____Andrej Sekera__50.71
    Connor McDavid29.28__ Connor McDavid__24.31
    Milan Lucic____24.81___Jordan Eberle___22.56
    Jordan Eberle__23.96___Milan Lucic_____22.01
    Patrick Maroon__17____RNH___________20.7
    RNH__________16.9___Zack Kassian____18.86
    Mark Letestu___16.89___Patrick Maroon___16.7
    Leon Draisaitl___16.71__Benoit Pouliot____16.0
    Tyler Pitlick____15.33___Leon Draisaitl___15.43
    Zack Kassian__15.28___Mark Letestu____12.08

    Looks like Larsson and Klefbom are getting a slightly bigger push with the McDavid line while Russell and Sekera are with RNH a tad more. So while I cant say for sure, I’m gonna guess that the quality of competition is probably around the same for each Dman.

    I do like WheatNOils stuff,I think some of it is a better representation of a Dmans ability as compared to shot metrics. Id like to see how our D look year to date in that.

    Only 4 games in.

  117. Frank the dog says:

    G Honey Bunches of Stats: Personally, I wouldn’t go that far.All the fancies (and eye test) might have been in CAR’s favour, but the score adjusted number (at least, *my* score adjusted number!) had the Oilers in front 50.5%.

    What that means is that based on the history of all times in which a team has taken a 3-0 lead, the extent to which the Hurricanes pushed back was actually slightly less than the average extent to which teams push back in that same situation (or put another way, the Oilers did better than the average team with respect to the extent to which the average team with that big a lead goes into a defensive shell).

    So this game actually played out pretty much the way you should expect a game like this to play out – one team takes a big lead early, then spends the rest of the game trying to hold on to the lead.

    We’d like it to be otherwise, that our team when it has a lead has a killer instinct and puts up another two or three goals, but that would be quite unique amongst NHL teams.

    If that were the case, we wouldn’t talk about the concept of score effects, but we know they exist and we know they’re strong – which suggests there is a hugely human nature element to the process.

    It’s not a game to be happy with in terms of the number of blown defensive coverages, but I also wouldn’t read too much into that either – and we got and kept the two points for a change.

    Welcome back!

  118. classict says:

    http://oilersnation.com/2016/10/19/general-fanager-closes-wanye-rages

    Apparently I was way off the other day figuring was a partnership. Brutal for ON.

  119. OF17 says:

    RT26:
    After watching 4 games, I would love to see this in the short term:

    PouliotMcDavidEberle
    LucicNuge Draisaitl
    MaroonLetestuKassian
    SlepyLanderPitlick

    Creates two scoring lines that can play PvP, and a strong 3rd line that can occasionally chip in with some offense.I have always loved having a kid line and would slot in Caggiula into Slepy or Lander’s spot when he returns.

    I like that a lot. For all of the hang wringing we’ve done over the bottom 6 recently, guys like Pitlick, Lander, and Slepyshev have certainly showed up to play. I think that 4th line could be surprisingly useful. 3rd line could use some upgrades, but hey, it’s not terrible.

    Those top 2 lines would be pulling 18+ min a night each, which is probably the best use of our forward talent right now.

  120. Bag of Pucks says:

    stevezie:
    Unrelated: I’m going to try listening to Steely Dan one more time before I take these records to the store for whatever I can get.

    Even less related: You know who loves Steely Dan? Kanye. True story. His samples are full of seventies prog rock. Some of you might have more in common with him than you realise.

    Exactly the reason I despise an artist like Kanye.

    Those Steely Dan records are perfection because the recorded performances are generally from world class jazz and r&b musicians who’ve paid for those chops with years of wood shedding and live performance dues paying. The music is difficult to play and the fact these musicians play it impeccably is a big part of the appeal.

    In sampling that music to essentially shortcut a process to associate himself with that level of musicianship, Kanye is basically repackaging the work of more authentic artists in much the same way that english musicians ripped off blues musicians in the late sixties.

    The key distinction of course is that at least those English musicians learned how to play that music themselves before repackaging it to the white masses. And in many cases, they did pay homage to the artists involved, the Rolling Stones being the best example; Zeppelin the worst.

    In praising sampling, we are essentially praising a ‘cut and paste’ approach to art that lessens the value of craft instead placing the emphasis on the value of celebrity. In marrying a Kardashian, Kanye has certainly mastered the latter.

  121. Hall of Shame says:

    G Honey Bunches of Stats: Yes, you are correct in that the value in the measures as a predictive tool requires larger sample sizes (as I mentioned to LLS, 10 to 20 games for teams, 150 to 250 mins EVTOI for players).

    However, the stats as a lookback on an individual game still provide a lot of value in terms of deconstructing what happened.

    In other words, at an individual game level, there is still a lot of descriptive information embedded in the statistics, even as there isn’t a lot of predictive information from that small a sample size.

    Does that help clarify, or did I make it worse?

    Shorter G:

    Goals or shots or shot locations in one game don’t project the future. But they all say a lot about player performance in that game.

  122. MrFancypantss says:

    Hi,
    Don’t post a bunch, but read everyday. One thing about moving Ebs off of the McDavid line is that he is a notoriously slow starter. This year he is looking as engaged as I’ve ever seen him, why mess with it?
    Keep up the great work Lowetide!

  123. Yeti says:

    stevezie: Unrelated: I’m going to try listening to Steely Dan one more time before I take these records to the store for whatever I can get.

    You can sell your disks, but Stevezie don’t lose that number!

  124. Hall of Shame says:

    Yeti: You can sell your disks, but Stevezie don’t lose that number!

    Ricky didn’t lose that number. It’s preserved in a sealed postmarked envelope. 😉

  125. Picturesque says:

    A lot of talk about trying Lucic with Drai, but is it possible he has some contractual agreement to play with McDavid? Remember the presser the day he signed and he talked about playing with this generational talent? Is it possible that his contract stipulates he *must* play on the “first line” and be guaranteed a certain amount of minutes?

  126. stevezie says:

    Bag of Pucks,

    I agree with you on Zeppelin and Kardasian.

    However, and I can say this with some authority, you vastly underestimate the amount of time and talent it takes to engineer a song. Just because something is done on a computer does not mean it isn’t musical, or that it’s easy.

    I can teach you three guitar chords and after a weeks practise you can play a bunch of songs. That doesn’t mean you’re ready to go pro.

    Similarly, you can learn to cut a sample pretty quickly. It’s probably going to take years before you’re able to make anything that sounds good to anyone not related to you. Kanye wood-shedded big time.

    Also, Kanye plays keyboards. He is musical, and makes music.

    Which is not the same thing as saying you ought to like it.

    Lowetide,

    That’s the one I was just listening to. I can hear everything that people like about it- these guys have chops. Mad, wild chops. But it’s just not moving me. Jazz, man.

    frjohnk,

    I’ve been quite impressed with Russel, but I remember the first twenty games of Corey Potter too well to start begging forgiveness for doubting just yet.

    Still, early credit where it is due.

  127. Chachi says:

    Picturesque:
    A lot of talk about trying Lucic with Drai, but is it possible he has some contractual agreement to play with McDavid? Remember the presser the day he signed and he talked about playing with this generational talent? Is it possible that his contract stipulates he *must* play on the “first line” and be guaranteed a certain amount of minutes?

    The answer to your question is No.

  128. Yeti says:

    Hall of Shame: Ricky didn’t lose that number. It’s preserved in a sealed postmarked envelope.

    Ricki certainly didn’t lose the number, but at times I worry he’s seen a bit too much Dr. Wu.

  129. RexLibris says:

    Here’s what’s funny: the Oilers played a closer game last night, letting the Hurricanes back in late, and missing on roughly 82 consecutive empty net chances in the dying minutes.

    Yet, I feel much more confident now than I was after the more dominant Calgary games?

    Why?

    Because they won without McDavid getting a point and in direct response to McLellan reinforcing his systems after the Buffalo debacle.

    That says two things: they can win without having to rely entirely on McDavid so the depth is still there and not only developing but contributing; and that the scheme McLellan is putting in place is one in which a team can both score early and often (despite two of those goals being somewhat weak) AND retain a lead into the dying seconds.

    Both of those things translate into a team that at least has the potential to vie for a playoff spot.

    Absent either one of them, I would suggest that much more tinkering needed to be done to this group – coaching included.

  130. Melman says:

    Evilas:
    I will keep posting until these moves happen, I would like to see:

    Pou-McD-JP
    Big Rig-RNH-Ebs
    Looch-Drai-Sleppy
    Pitlick-Letestu-Kass
    Caguila

    Nurse + Conditional 2017 1st to Jets for Trouba

    Klef-Lars
    Sek-Trouba
    Russ-Gryba

    and eventually

    Klef-Lars
    Sek-Russ
    Davy-Trouba

    I’m sure Lucic will be thrilled to be on the 3rd line

  131. RexLibris says:

    G Honey Bunches of Stats:
    stevezie,

    This is probably a good starting point: http://www.pensionplanpuppets.com/2013/7/10/4508094/what-statistics-are-meaningful-in-a-given-season-corsi-fenwick-PDO-hits-fights-blocked-shots

    Handy table showing the various predictive measures, and a good example of why Corsi has been old reliable for so long.

    One thing that may trip you up is that someone will bring up a science fair definition of science (“hypothesis-experiment” etc). Not that this isn’t a preferred and rigorous approach even at the high end, but it’s generally not practical in most endeavours.

    We don’t have the luxury of setting up a double blind A vs B type of experiment in hockey, nor in most endeavours in sociology, physical sciences, deep space physics, etc.

    Modern science instead now relies heavily on a body of statistical methods (some call it a new paradigm of science: https://www.amazon.ca/Fourth-Paradigm-Data-Intensive-Scientific-Discovery/dp/0982544200, but I’m not sure I agree) applied to large volumes of data as a substitute for the experimental method.

    Many (I’d say the vast majority) of modern scientific/technological advances in the last thirty years depend more on these methodologies than they do the classic experimental method.

    We are taking many of those same methodologies and applying them to hockey. It’s one of the ways we try to resolve the old “correlation is not causation” issue for example.

    And I do get a bit of a chuckle when someone suggests hockey is too complicated to analyze via these methods, while typing the comment through a vastly more complicated computer system/network that is inherently dependent on and wouldn’t exist without many of those same methodologies.

    Just quoting this for the sake of showing my enthusiastic support of the statement.

    Hear hear!

  132. Bag of Pucks says:

    Yeti: Ricki certainly didn’t lose the number, but at times I worry he’s seen a bit too much Dr. Wu.

    Best fan sign I ever saw at an NFL game was at a crucial 49ers playoff game following a recent spate of fumbles by Ricky Watters.

    “Ricky don’t lose that football!”

  133. stevezie says:

    Bag of Pucks,

    He’s no great keyboardist, but he can play. Not good enough to be pro on just that though, that’s for sure.

    I like me the malt. I also like plenty of “complicated” music, but have tough time with Jazz. Other than the drumming- jazz drumming is incredible.Whiplash was a helluva movie. Not totally giving up yet. The Royal Scam has a cool album cover, and that’s not nothing.

  134. Melman says:

    Melman: I’m sure Lucic will be thrilled to be on the 3rd line

    Sorry Evilas, on reading it my comment sounded rather dickish and I didn’t mean it to be. Cheers

  135. Bag of Pucks says:

    stevezie:
    Bag of Pucks,

    He’s no great keyboardist, but he can play. Not good enough to be pro on just that though, that’s for sure.

    I like me the malt. I also like plenty of “complicated” music, but have tough time with Jazz. Other than the drumming- jazz drumming is incredible.Whiplash was a helluva movie. Not totally giving up yet. The Royal Scam has a cool album cover, and that’s not nothing.

    Listening to standards is a good gateway. My wife leaves the room if I’m playing Coltrane or Bird, but she absolutely loves Sinatra and Billie Holiday.

    Most folks need some melody they can latch onto. Bebop is DEFINITELY an acquired taste.

    Punk is like a great 4th line energy guy. Not much finesse there, but fun as hell in its exuberance.

  136. Lowetide says:

    Bag of Pucks I deleted your post and apologize sincerely. Thought I was quoting it, am going to give myself a stern lecture.

  137. frjohnk says:

    Lowetide:
    Bag of Pucks I deleted your post and apologize sincerely. Thought I was quoting it, am going to give myself a stern lecture.

    For dump ins, make sure you get your body in front of the puck.

  138. Bag of Pucks says:

    Lowetide:
    Bag of Pucks I deleted your post and apologize sincerely. Thought I was quoting it, am going to give myself a stern lecture.

    No apologies necessary good sir ; )

  139. JDï™ says:

    Lowetide: am going to give myself a Stern lecture.

    Hopefully it’s Mike and not Howard.

  140. stevezie says:

    Bag of Pucks,

    Oh yeah, the standards I love. Who doesn’t? I have a lot of Nat King Cole, Dorsey-era Frank,Billie is great…

    I have no problem putting myself in with the masses when it comes to melody. That said, I have a lot of Parker, Baker, Coltrane, Gillespie… basically every famous person a poseur would want and a few more cooler picks from a jazz friend on my computer. I keep saying I’m going to listen to them and see what I like, but there’s always something I already like staring at me.

    After Steely Dan today I went to some George Jones. No problem loving that. Drank Sinatra called ol’ George the second best singer in the world, and if you don’t know who he was slotted behind then you don’t know much about Frank.

    Anyway, I’ll stop derailing now. Go hockey.

    EDIT: If you like some finesse with your punk, it’s pretty tough to beat …And You Will Know Us By The Trail of Dead, but that’s probably a whole nother conversation.

  141. Water Fire says:

    Lowetide: I loved Steely Dan, even though their albums are actually quite different. For me, Aja was the peak, that album was so well written and played. Perfection.

    I read that Larry Carlton was the ‘foreman’ on Aja. He was the point person for the session musicians directing traffic so to speak. Did a pretty nice job. He’s had his fingers in a lot of jam(s).

  142. maxwell_mischief says:

    Evilas,

    i’m sure the oilers management checks the board, they will do these moves for you very soon, I’m sure of it.

  143. TO10801 says:

    Betker is up. Gotta think it is just to practice. The only way he gets in is if they want a big body against the Blues/Jets, but that’s what Gryba is for

  144. Centre of attention says:

    Edmonton Oilers ‏@EdmontonOilers 2m2 minutes ago
    The #Oilers have recalled defenceman Ben Betker from the @Condors & placed defenceman Mark Fayne on Injured Reserve.

    Because why not add another lefty.

    I thought Benning would have been first call up?

  145. Bag of Pucks says:

    stevezie:
    Bag of Pucks,

    EDIT: If you like some finesse with your punk, it’s pretty tough to beat …And You Will Know Us By The Trail of Dead, but that’s probably a whole nother conversation.

    Thanks for the heads-up. Always appreciate being tipped to new bands.

    Love the old country and western (remember when it was still called that?), especially in the ‘outlaw’ vein (Nelson, Kristofferson, Cash, Waylon, Jones, etc.). Oddly enough, I hated it when my Dad played it growing up. Now I see what all the fuss was about! Like the blues, I think you have to have a few women do you wrong before you can fully appreciate the genre ; )

  146. sliderule says:

    The oilers lost the turnover battle 13-7

    I know LT says that they are just points in time and don’t necessarily reflect the total picture but to my eyes too many of them result in a scoring chance.

    I have a bad feeling about the team if they don’t reduce these errors

  147. stevezie says:

    Bag of Pucks,

    Wouldn’t you know it, I just spent a dollar on a Kristoferson record yesterday. The Silver-Tongued Devil and I. The man has a certain charm.

    If that’s your kind of country music I highly, highly recommend The Drive-By Truckers. You may already know them, but in case you don’t you should. And Lydia Loveless. Newish, not famous yet, but she will be (country-punk hybrid).

    Betker, hey? That has, “Okay kid, here’s what the show looks like” written all over it. If he plays I’ll be surprised. But you never know, we do have injuries.

    Bad luck for Fayne. Real bad.

  148. G Honey Bunches of Stats says:

    sliderule: The oilers lost the turnover battle 13-7

    I know LT says that they are just points in time and don’t necessarily reflect the total picture but to my eyes too many of them result in a scoring chance.

    I have a bad feeling about the team if they don’t reduce these errors

    Giveaways (as recorded by the NHL) are a justly maligned stat because they most often occur as errors of commission and don’t actually lead to anything other than a failed sortie.

    However, the defensive zone giveaways that lead directly to shots against, or offensive zone giveaways that lead to breakaways, are of course notably bad.

    I have mulled on isolating these and adding to my stats package.

    Will make note here if I end up doing that (a few other things stacked up on my plate right now).

  149. Bag of Pucks says:

    stevezie:
    Bag of Pucks,

    Wouldn’t you know it, I just spent a dollar on a Kristoferson record yesterday. The Silver-Tongued Devil and I. The man has a certain charm.

    If that’s your kind of country music I highly, highly recommend The Drive-By Truckers. You may already know them, but in case you don’t you should. And Lydia Loveless. Newish, not famous yet, but she will be (country-punk hybrid).

    I will check those out. I have LT and this community to thank for hipping me to Sweetheart of the Rodeo. I may have eventually got there, cos I’m a big Stones fan and Parsons and Richards were in the same orbit for a time, but the many folks on here with good taste in music, hootch and hockey clubs helped speed the journey along.

    Some of these journeys take time. My sons are still trying to convince me that Tool is the greatest band…ever? That’s the great thing about being young. Zeppelin, Rage against the Machine, System of a Down, etc. I think they’re both on their 4th or 5th greatest band ever phase now. lol

    Btw, someone on here turned me onto Alberta Premium for a spell and THAT was a bad call. Beguiling in its smoothness but total rot gut in the processing phase.

  150. Yeti says:

    Ben Betker? Wasn’t Sébastien Bisaillon available?

  151. thurmtim says:

    I agree some hardcore jazz is an acquired taste. A good gateway genre is jazz fusion, you might like the Yellowjackets or Weather Report. iMHO there is a reason Heavy Weather is often quoted as one of the best recordings of the 20th century… Zawinul, Pastorius and Shorter, oh my!

  152. Bag of Pucks says:

    thurmtim:
    I agree some hardcore jazz is an acquired taste. A good gateway genre is jazz fusion, you might like the Yellowjackets or Weather Report. iMHO there is a reason Heavy Weather is often quoted as one of the best recordings of the 20th century… Zawinul, Pastorius and Shorter, oh my!

    Great suggestion. I’m a guitar guy, so along similar lines, Mahavishnu was the fusion gateway that helped bridge the gap between rock and jazz for me. Billy Cobham’s Spectrum was a great record too. Saw him play an incredible gig at a natural Greek ampitheater in Cyprus overlooking the Med. More chops than a Benihana’s!

  153. thurmtim says:

    Bag of Pucks: Great suggestion. I’m a guitar guy, so along similar lines, Mahavishnu was the fusion gateway that helped bridge the gap between rock and jazz for me. Billy Cobham’s Spectrum was a great record too. Saw him play an incredible gig at a natural Greek ampitheater in Cyprus overlooking the Med. More chops than a Benihana’s!

    Thanks. I still thrill when I hear cuts like Birdland and ARemark You Made…

  154. PeOiler says:

    Apres being Stempniak’d for that second goal, I asked my brother (a dastardly Canes fan) just who Stempniak really thought he was. He is under the impression that Lee is in fact Corey Stillman 2.0.

    Stupid Canes.

  155. Bag of Pucks says:

    thurmtim: Thanks. I still thrill when I hear cuts like Birdland and ARemark You Made…

    Oh, and Jeff Beck’s Wired is pretty damn good too. Crap, I really shouldn’t get started on the subject of records I love!

  156. thepeetso says:

    stevezie:

    EDIT: If you like some finesse with your punk, it’s pretty tough to beat …And You Will Know Us By The Trail of Dead, but that’s probably a whole nother conversation.

    Relative Ways is a solid jam.

  157. OF17 says:

    The two best albums to get into jazz IMO are Kind of Blue by Miles Davis and Time Out by Dave Brubeck. Most would know the former I’d imagine, but the latter is as good or better and has a similar sense of open beauty. You don’t need to dig deep to enjoy it, but at the same time there’s as much complexity there as you care to find.

    Here’s the first track from Time Out for those interested: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RUxc5ZxgIc8&list=PL3C1DEE2A0840861B

  158. meanashell11 says:

    JJS: I don’t recall calling him a bum or questioning his ability to play the hockey.In fact, the opposite.

    The question is whether Drais is projected to be the 2nd line centre next season.

    If the answer is ‘yes’, it puts Nuge at risk in terms of being an Oiler in 12 months.

    If Nuge posts big numbers this year, it may change the conversation but I don’t foresee that happening given his history.

    One word – Depth. Gotta have it.

  159. meanashell11 says:

    RexLibris:
    Here’s what’s funny: the Oilers played a closer game last night, letting the Hurricanes back in late, and missing on roughly 82 consecutive empty net chances in the dying minutes.

    Yet, I feel much more confident now than I was after the more dominant Calgary games?

    Why?

    Because they won without McDavid getting a point and in direct response to McLellan reinforcing his systems after the Buffalo debacle.

    That says two things: they can win without having to rely entirely on McDavid so the depth is still there and not only developing but contributing; and that the scheme McLellan is putting in place is one in which a team can both score early and often (despite two of those goals being somewhat weak) AND retain a lead into the dying seconds.

    Both of those things translate into a team that at least has the potential to vie for a playoff spot.

    Absent either one of them, I would suggest that much more tinkering needed to be done to this group – coaching included.

    I feel the same way. As I was watching I said to no one in particular, if they can do this without the first two lines scoring, we have depth.

  160. prairieschooner says:

    Happy enough with the way things are going so far.
    Betker up to sit in the press box
    The Met office just got a 97million pound computer to predict the weather one year in advance with 62% accuracy
    Chia appears to fixing the Oilers better than 62%
    The D is better
    The Forwards are scoring goals
    Enjoy it Oilers fans

  161. Bag of Pucks says:

    meanashell11: One word – Depth. Gotta have it.

    Along these lines, one of the notions that may becoming antiquated is ‘The Top 6’

    Pittsburgh won last year with the unicorn (3 scoring lines with a solid pairing on each). That seems to be the best way to maximize your cap outlay.

    We’re pot committed to Lucic now, so can you win the Cup with this as the eventual formula?

    McDavid/Pulijarvi
    Lucic/Draisaitl
    RNH/Eberle

    I think the key to answering that question is how much Leon and JP will command after their ELC deals.

  162. Ice Sage says:

    Adios, Edwin.

  163. stevezie says:

    Bag of Pucks,

    Jeff Beck is another that i just couldn’t grab. Maybe i need to admit that rock-jazz is not my bag.

    His rock stuff is the goods though.

  164. Yeti says:

    Bag of Pucks: Oh, and Jeff Beck’s Wired is pretty damn good too. Crap, I really shouldn’t get started on the subject of records I love!

    If you’re into that kind of thing, might I recommend the recent release by a completely unknown Finnish fusion band called the Rantama Trio? The album is titled ‘Catching the Mystery Train’ and it rocks for a first release. A very positive musical discovery from my year in Helsinki…

  165. Oilspill says:

    frjohnk:
    Subscribe to our RSS FeedFollow us on Twitter

    HomeContact

    Thereally is a lot to like in Russell game BUT BUT BUT we’ll see how he does against some big fast skating powerhouses. Other than a few blocked shots his play has been less than spectacular around the net.

  166. Oilspill says:

    8 mill for 7 depending how MCD does this year. For the fans that want Burns and Troubadour. Wake up. Our D caps space is already pretty much maxed out. Your 3rd pairing need to be under 1.6 mil and that pretty much eliminates the top 5 we have now.

    Bag of Pucks: Along these lines, one of the notions that may becoming antiquated is ‘The Top 6’

    Pittsburgh won last year with the unicorn (3 scoring lines with a solid pairing on each). That seems to be the best way to maximize your cap outlay.

    We’re pot committed to Lucic now, so can you win the Cup with this as the eventual formula?

    McDavid/Pulijarvi
    Lucic/Draisaitl
    RNH/Eberle

    I think the key to answering that question is how much Leon and JP will command after their ELC deals.

  167. sliderule says:

    G Honey Bunches of Stats: Giveaways (as recorded by the NHL) are a justly maligned stat because they most often occur as errors of commission and don’t actually lead to anything other than a failed sortie.

    However, the defensive zone giveaways that lead directly to shots against, or offensive zone giveaways that lead to breakaways, are of course notably bad.

    I have mulled on isolating these and adding to my stats package.

    Will make note here if I end up doing that (a few other things stacked up on my plate right now).

    Watching jets Leafs and of 12 turnovers one goal and at least 5 scoring chances resulting in a shot at net or on goal.
    I would be surprised if teams are not doing their own internal stats on turnover consequences

  168. Professor Q says:

    stevezie:
    Bag of Pucks,

    Jeff Beck is another that i just couldn’t grab. Maybe i need to admit that rock-jazz is not my bag.

    His rock stuff is the goods though.

    What about Beck Hansen?

  169. stevezie says:

    Professor Q,

    It’s tough to make a sweeping statement about that guy. I like a lot.

    Hanson Brothers had some great songs. (NoMeansNo and D.O.A formed a band to do original Ramones covers)

  170. Pechetr says:

    linkfromhyrule,

    Really? Lowetide pointed it out early in this article. Goal differential. A 10 goal swing over 3 games and if not for a flukey goal against the Sabers it would be 11. That is all you need to know about the Taylor Hall trade. Balance…..Tmac said the Oilers needed to find 42 goals this year and in three games they already found 10. Taylor Hall is gone!!!!!! Thank Gord. Time for everyone to stop bringing it up. Larsson has played 3 games as an Oiler. Give the guy a chance to establish himself. Let’s see what the team looks like at the 20 game mark

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