G17 2016-17 OILERS AT DUCKS

The Edmonton Oilers have a three-game trip through the Western Conference this week, and could come home 9-9-1—and if that happens the fan base might embark on another ‘trailers for Kingsway’ crusade. On the other hand, a 2-1-0 trip has the town team at 11-7-1 and posting nine points in 10 November games. Can this team win two in California?

YOU CAN CHECK OUT ANY TIME YOU WANT, YEAR OVER YEAR

  • Oilers in October 2015: 4-8-0, goal differential -7
  • Oilers in October 2016: 7-2-0, goal differential +10
  • Oilers in November 2015: 4-7-2
  • Oilers in November 2016: 2-4-1 goal differential -6
  • Oilers after 16, 2015: 6-10-0, goal differential -7
  • Oilers after 16, 2016: 9-6-1, goal differential +4

November has 30 days and 15 games, our line in the sand for the Oilers is 15 points. Currently the team is on pace to post just 11 points, meaning that on the current November pace the club’s record will be (something like) 11-10-3 (25 points in 24 games). Disappointing results after such a terrific start, lack of scoring depth has us here. G17 last year was a loss to the Arizona Coyotes 4-1, OEL and Tobias Reider playing well for the home side.

OILERS MOST SUCCESSFUL LINES

  • (via Corsica.hockey and using 5×5 Corsi for percentage. These are lines over 50 minutes and posting a number more than 50 percent).
  1. Maroon—Draisaitl—Puljujarvi 56.91 in 70 minutes
  2. Maroon—McDavid—Eberle 54.48 in 62 minutes
  3. Lucic—McDavid—Eberle 54.43 in 122 minutes
  4. Pouliot—Nuge—Kassian 50.55 in 97 minutes

These are interesting lines and I do wonder if we see some shuffle on this trip. Some combination of Nuge, Leon and Lucic has to start posting strong possession numbers and creating boxcars at 5×5.

  • Todd McLellan: “I don’t know what the lines are going to be yet. I don’t think you punish a player forever, I think you give guys an opportunity and in the past he’s (Eberle) shown to be able to play there, in fact he’s one of our top scoring forwards and that line has carried us offensively. One bad night doesn’t make a season so I think there is a chance he’ll get back there.”

Moving Eberle to the Nuge line (with Poo) is probably the most reasonable bet, these three have had success in the past. Trading Taylor Hall meant the team is down to one driver (97) and it is imperative McLellan find a second line that can wheel. Leon on RW might also work, but then you are dealing with a grim landscape on lines three and four.

Leon has scored 0-2-2 5×5 with Lucic in about 70 minutes together (1.69 5×5/60) and Lucic is 1-1-2 (same 5×5), so all is not lost and the possession number comes in around 50 percent. Combined with Pitlick’s magical possession number with McDavid (69.7 in 21 minutes) perhaps the lines should look like this tonight:

  • Maroon—McDavid—Pitlick
  • Pouliot—Nuge—Eberle
  • Lucic—Draisaitl—Kassian
  • Lander—Letestu—Slepyshev

Something like that. It is perhaps too much for Pitlick, but at this point I think Todd McLellan may just want to get another line going in hopes of squeezing out sparks. We wait .

OILERS FORWARDS EVEN-STRENGTH POINTS

  1. Connor McDavid 16gp, 5-9-14
  2. Patrick Maroon 16gp, 6-2-8
  3. Jordan Eberle 16gp, 4-4-8
  4. Tyler Pitlick 16gp, 5-1-6
  5. Milan Lucic 16gp, 3-1-4
  6. Benoit Pouliot 16gp, 3-1-4
  7. Mark Letestu 16gp, 0-4-4
  8. Zack Kassian 13gp, 2-2-4
  9. Leon Draisaitl 16gp, 1-2-3
  10. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins 16gp, 0-3-3
  11. Anton Lander 15gp, 1-2-3
  12. Jesse Puljujarvi 13gp, 0-2-2
  13. Anton Slepyshev 6gp, 1-0-1

I published the 5×5/60 numbers yesterday, had some questions about differences in totals. This is the list from NHL.com, and that includes empty-net goals and various other stray even-strength moments. Now, one of the things that you should also know is the power-play totals—because some of the struggling 5×5 performers are playing well with the man advantage:

  1. Connor McDavid 16gp, 0-5-5
  2. Leon Draisaitl 16gp, 2-1-3
  3. Milan Lucic 16gp, 2-1-3
  4. Jordan Eberle 16gp, 1-2-3
  5. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins 16gp, 2-0-2
  6. Patrick Maroon 16gp, 0-1-1
  7. Jesse Puljujarvi 13gp, 1-0-1

YAKETY YAK

yakupov draft capture

  • Ken Hitchcock on Nail Yakupov’s benching and possible scratch: “Yak got out of sorts positionally, and we needed to grab it back. That’s the best way to describe it.” Source

I hope the young man finds a place, but really Hitchock is not the first coach I would have picked for him. Nail is scoring (1.83 5×5/60) enough to stay in the lineup but the team is struggling compared to its own expectations. NHL teams always need some firepower and Yak has some nice things. Soldier on, young man.

MOVING ON

  • Taylor Hall: “I probably watched every game I could at the start of the year. Lately I haven’t tuned in too much. I’ve got too much going on here and to be honest I just kind of care less and less as the weeks go on.” Source

Completely healthy approach, good to see the young man moving on with his life. I think a lot of Oilers fans have moved with him, ala Peyton Manning to the Broncos. I did not make that emotional journey, but do understand why people have trouble taking a next step—whatever that may be for them. I think Taylor Hall is going set the New Jersey swamps on fire, and hope he wins a Stanley there.

UNTIL WE MEET AGAIN

standings-nov-15

  • Oilers are unlikely to hold off the California teams much longer, and then it comes down to Arizona and the two Canadian clubs.
  • There is a sense that the Oilers have lost six of eight and the other teams have been hot, but in truth no team in this division is close to being consistent. San Jose’s 6-4-0 represents the best record in the division over the last 10 games, and is just three points better than Edmonton’s 4-5-1 record.
  • Oilers GF-GA of 45-41 is a hair better than league average (42-42).
  • Edmonton’s save percentage (.920) remains clear of league average (.913).
  • The power play has scored eight goals, one shy of the rest of the league.
  • PK has given up just five goals, nine being the average.
  • Connor McDavid (16gp, 5-14-19) is tied for No. 3 in points this season, Jordan Eberle (16gp, 5-7-12) is tied for No. 41. Patrick Maroon (16gp, 6-3-9) and Milan Lucic (16gp, 5-4-9) are tied for No. 101 in scoring league wide.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

Today on the show, we kick some butt and take some names. Scheduled to appear:

  • Jonathan Willis, Cult of Hockey. Avoiding a prolonged slump will be key to Edmonton’s playoff hopes. How do they do it?
  • Scott Cullen, TSN. Edmonton’s fade and the Eastern Conference spike, plus Mark Scheifele emerging.
  • Andy McNamara, TSN4Downs. Dallas Cowboys are going to win the Super Bowl again, the only question is when?

10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. Talk soon!

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411 Responses to "G17 2016-17 OILERS AT DUCKS"

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  1. Pouzar says:

    frjohnk: Yup.

    Put Kassian there.Anybody with a right shot.

    If we are going to be competing for a playoff spot, a PP like this might be a big reason why we dont make it.

    There is absolutely no plan on the current PP. It’s pass and hope. Teams know there is no shot coming so just be disciplined in your positioning and stay at home.

  2. Ca$h-McMoney! says:

    Pouzar: There is absolutely no plan on the current PP. It’s pass and hope. Teams know there is no shot coming so just be disciplined in your positioning and stay at home.

    Reading the verbal about our powerplay on these boards I figured we must be in or around dead last in the league.

    Our powerplay is 19th. Ahead of teams like Min, Was, LA.

    If we had scored 1 more goal it would be 14th, just ahead of Chicago and just behind San Jose.

    Does it need work? Absolutely. I’d like it to be in the top 10, I think that’s reasonable given the type of team we’re supposed to be.

    But it’s hardly the end of the world right now.

  3. Scungilli says:

    Coaching for offense is hard. They all can coach for defense but those teams don’t win in the playoffs too often for me, like the Wild and Preds for years for example. What a huge difference when Johnson took over in Pitts. McLellan is worrying me.

  4. frjohnk says:

    Pouzar: There is absolutely no plan on the current PP. It’s pass and hope. Teams know there is no shot coming so just be disciplined in your positioning and stay at home.

    Ive always maintained that we have too many left handed skill guys and nothing on the right side and that limits the options of what a PP can do.

    Even if JP in a couple of years can hammer it like a mini Ovechkin, we will still need a RHD with a bomb. Otherwise the opposing team will just cheat to cover JP. A RHD with a bomb will help create the seam needed for McDavid to feather those passes.

    Ovechkin and Backstrom have been dynamite over the last 8 years on the PP. But what also helps is that Mike Green and John Carlson also have had bombs from the point. So Backstrom has had two very good right handed options and the PK could not cheat to just cover Ovie.

    We need two good right handed options. JP might be the home grown one ready in a couple of years. But we have nothing on D.

    So either sign Burns
    or
    trade RNH for Dumba.

    Thats what will happen

  5. frjohnk says:

    Shots for per 60 ( 5×4)
    Winnipeg Jets 63.1
    San Jose Sharks 62.2
    Washington Capitals 60.2
    Tampa Bay Lightning 58.3
    Anaheim Ducks 58.1
    Pittsburgh Penguins 58.1
    Philadelphia Flyers 57.7
    New York Rangers 55.9
    Toronto Maple Leafs 54.9
    St Louis Blues 54.8
    Los Angeles Kings 54.8
    Dallas Stars 54.7
    New Jersey Devils 54.4
    Nashville Predators 54.3
    New York Islanders 54.0
    Boston Bruins 53.1
    Buffalo Sabres 53.0
    Chicago Blackhawks 51.4
    Florida Panthers 50.6
    Ottawa Senators 49.3
    Columbus Blue Jackets 48.9
    Detroit Red Wings 48.1
    Calgary Flames 47.8
    Minnesota Wild 46.4
    Edmonton Oilers 44.9
    Colorado Avalanche 41.5
    Vancouver Canucks 40.0
    Carolina Hurricanes 38.9
    Montreal Canadiens 37.3
    Arizona Coyotes 37.2

  6. frjohnk says:

    On the PP

    Average NHL team takes 98 shot attempts per 60
    51.45 shots hit the net.
    52% of shot attempts hit the net.

    Edmonton takes 92 shot attempts per 60
    44.8 shots hit the net.
    48.5% of shot attempts hit the net.

    Below average here.

  7. Pouzar says:

    Ca$h-McMoney!: But it’s hardly the end of the world right now.

    Actually ‘right now’ is exactly when it’s a prob. We are dominating teams 5 on 5 recently with nothing to show for it. You need a functional PP to give you a chance to at least get a game to OT when the PDHo is kickin yer ass.

  8. Pouzar says:

    frjohnk: trade RNH for Dumba.

    My Gawd that would be awful.
    What’s Corey Potter up to?

  9. Pouzar says:

    frjohnk:
    On the PP

    Average NHL team takes 98 shot attempts per 60
    51.45 shots hit the net.
    52% of shot attempts hit the net.

    Edmonton takes 92 shot attempts per 60
    44.8 shots hit the net.
    48.5% of shot attempts hit the net.

    Below average here.

    Matches my eye.

  10. hags9k says:

    If only the PP had a cannon at the top things would be groovy. We could really use the odd goal from the point 5×5 too.

    To find the first Oiler D in league scoring, you have to scroll and scroll down (to 71st) to find Sekera’s 17gp 1-4-5 line.

    Larsson, while a very good player, does not appear to represent a solution to the 1D problem.

    If the plan is to do it by committee, the committee better get going.

  11. Ca$h-McMoney! says:

    Pouzar: Actually ‘right now’ is exactly when it’s a prob. We are dominating teams 5 on 5 recently with nothing to show for it. You need a functional PP to give you a chance to at least get a game to OT when the PDHo is kickin yer ass.

    But again, it’s the #19 PP, and it’s 1 goal away from being better than most including some pretty great teams. That’s the thing with small samples.

    So yes, you are right, it’s not helping. But it’s not something worth getting all that excited about either. The way you are talking about it you’d think we were in dead last in PP%.

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