SNOW IN SAN ANSELMO

Snow in San Anselmo
My waitress my waitress my waitress
Said it was coming down
Said it hadn’t happened in over thirty years
But it was laying on the ground
But it was laying on the ground

-Van Morrison

Now, I believe the Edmonton Oilers have some fine things, and I know about regression and random and luck and frustration and rage and demon liquor and maybe even a little about madness. I know this is the year we should head north, and I have taken care of my boots and brought in plenty of supplies and there is more than enough wood and whisky to last us until spring. But a man needs faith and a man needs hope, and it is running a little low with the long December coming into view. Heaven help us.

HARD NOSE THE HIGHWAY, 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: 2-5-1 goal differential -9
  • Oilers after 17, 2015: 6-11-0, goal differential -10
  • Oilers after 17, 2016: 9-7-1, goal differential +1

This is painful. Not exactly like personal failure, more like watching one of your children try their best, and fail (it is excruciating) at something others do easily. Blowing this start is beyond mere flesh wound. Frankly, management should have stepped in by now—and should today, now—but this is us. November totals: five points in eight games, the 15 in 15 dream seems like a distant bell. Is there a silver lining? Well, they played well in a lot of important points in the game. HDSC: 17-8, including a glorious 11-3 count in the second period where the Child King was fire but could not turn the tide.

DEFENSE LAST NIGHT

defense-nov-15

  • Klefbom—Larsson had a great night in possession and in HDSCs, including 12-0 with Lucic. The duo lined up against Nick Ritchie—Ryan Getzlaf—Corey Perry (13-0). The pairing had five shots on goal, and Klefbom played five minutes on the PP and two on the PK. Save the score, a poor KLefbom pinch and some errant PP shooting, I think he had a fine evening. This was Larsson’s best game in some time.
  • Nurse—Gryba had a strong night by the numbers (7-1 with McDavid) but Nurse was a dash three and that is not a good line on a nightly resume. I really liked elements of his game (he moved to the middle for a better angle using a Savardian spinnerama), but in several instances he lost battles or left too much air between himself and the enemy. Gryba is a solid partner for Nurse. They were 6-2 in an extended run against the Kesler line (5:49) but only 3-4 against Getzlaf.
  • Sekera—Benning were 1-6 against the Getzlaf trio and the rookie spent a bunch of time behind his own net ciphering a suitable outlet, to no avail. This club needs Brandon Davidson back soon. I like Benning’s future, but Sekera needs to take on more of the load. The first goal against had several authors, but our man Reg did not play it well.
  • Cam Talbot needs to keep this team in games longer. I am not pointing the finger at him on a specific goal, but the goalie’s job is to keep it close—he didn’t do it last night and this team needs him to be a superhero every night. That’s the gig.
  • HockeyStats.ca
  • NHL.com
  • Natural StatTrick

FORWARDS, LAST NIGHT

forwards-nov-15

  • Maroon—McDavid—Eberle had a good night in terms of possession and chances, and 97 moved all over (4-0 with Leon) in an effort to find some clean air. That breakaway was the best chance and McDavid went 10-7 against Kesler but only 1-2 in HDSCs. NHL teams are checking him hard now, he may get a break in LA if Kopitar doesn’t play. Nine shots for the line, I am not overly concerned about their being shutout against the Ducks. There was a point in the second period where CMD went to another level, but he could not cash. After that, he seemed more frustrated than effective, the first crack I have observed in the young man’s mental armor. When he breaks out, some team is going to pay and pay and pay again.
  • Lucic—Nuge—Slepyshev did well in possession and did have some chances (Nuge missed a gorgeous chance, the dog is still on the ceiling I yelled so loudly). They went 12-8 against the Getzlaf line, 3-3 in HDSCs. Despite this, the line did not cash and they need to. Lucic drilled a post, would have liked to have seen both chances cash. I think this was easily Slepyshev’s best game since Carolina. Pitlick went 7-3 in 4:49 with RNH, Slepy went 13-7 in 8:52 with Nuge.
  • Pouliot—Draisaitl—Kassian got the goal (a solo Leon) and they went 15-7 Corsi (and 7-3 HDSC) against the Vermette line. Was there a second goal out there? Pouliot took another Ozone penalty and Kassian was probably the best winger on the team last night.
  • Defensive zone faceoffs: Letestu line 6, Nuge line 3, McDavid line 3, Leon line 2.

WHO IS TO BLAME?

Blame is too strong a word in my opinion, especially for the players. Cam Talbot has to be Superman, or at least Daredevil, for this team to run. He is not close to that level now, but for me the right choice is to keep playing the No. 1 man.

The mental mistakes are also costing them (Lucic didn’t get the puck deep and the defense was addled on goal one) and coverage is a mixed bag. The offense will come if the group keeps getting chances but you want to see some goals from the Nuge and Leon lines in coming games.

I thought Edmonton would push in the third period but they were flat as flat can be, and if I am Todd McLellan that might be the most concerning thing. This team is in a tailspin and the solutions need to make themselves known. Last night, with the team down by two goals, we all expected a push but there was nothing close. The wind in the wires made a tattletale sound and a wave broke over the railing. That should trouble all souls on board.

NEXT STEP

Todd McLellan may have to move Leon to Nuge’s line, pretty sure, maybe put Lucic on the port side and see if the three strugglers can get it done together.

  • Maroon—McDavid—Eberle
  • Lucic—Nuge—Draisaitl
  • Pouliot—Lander—Pitlick

The alternative is running Eberle with Nuge and Pouliot, that might work too, has in the past. A lot of this is just bad luck and random madness, but coaches get fired over losing streaks and—while that won’t happen here—the pressure on coaching and management in Edmonton must be enormous this morning.

THE OTHER NEXT STEP

Peter Chiarelli probably guessed Jesse Puljujarvi would be helping a little more offensively by now, and he may have to bite the bullet and find an outside solution. I don’t necessarily believe that he will, but at some point the bleeding will have to stop and honestly there are reasons why these lines are struggling. As great as the Tyler Pitlick story is for us fans, chances are the young man isn’t going to score 20 this season—nor will JP, Zack Kassian, Anton Slepyshev or Taylor Beck. It is time to add a productive RW, or move Leon over.

CONDORS PLAY TODAY

At 11:30 our time this morning, the Bakersfield Condors play a home game against the Manitoba Moose. The real story so far for the Condors is the goaltending, with Laurent Brossoit and Nick Ellis performing very well. Here are the (estimated) even-strength points per 60 so far this year via Prospect-Stats:

Defense

  1. Matt Benning 2.04
  2. Frankie Simonelli 1.34
  3. David Musil 1.11
  4. Jordan Oesterle 0.94
  5. Joey Laleggia 0.85
  6. Dillon Simpson 0.77
  7. Ben Betker 0.61
  8. Mark Fraser 0.33
  9. Griffin Reinhart 0.00
  10. Bryce Aneloski 0.00

Forwards

  1. Jujhar Khaira 5.5
  2. Taylor Beck 4.06
  3. Ryan Hamilton 2.40
  4. Mitch Moroz 2.12
  5. Scott Allen 1.67
  6. Josh Currie 1.47
  7. Kris Newbury 1.44
  8. Braden Christoffer 1.41
  9. Patrick Russell 1.30
  10. Joey Benik 1.13
  11. Jaedon Descheneau 0.83
  12. Kyle Platzer 0.53
  13. Greg Chase 0.00
  14. Kellen Laine 0.00
  15. Joel Rechlicz 0.00
  16. Jere Sallinen 0.00
  17. Source

Prospects who are performing at or above expected scoring levels are underlined, but of course this is early days—David Musil will not be at 1.11/60 by season’s end. Those forwards need some additional prospects and we could see Drake Caggiula and Jesse Puljujarvi there by the end of the week.

2017 DRAFT

I had a bunch of people asking me about this after last night’s game. I will start posting on the draft when all hopes of a playoff spot are gone—this is in keeping with the past on this blog. Last season, my first draft post came on November 8, my guess is it will be some time in 2017 this year.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

A fun show today, plenty of hockey talk and an open segment for you to vent. 10 this morning, TSN1260. Scheduled to appear:

  • Bruce McCurdy, Cult of Hockey. Finding open air for McDavid, getting Nuge, Leon and Lucic rolling and getting more stops from the goalie. Plus, a look back on a time when watching a team build and rise allowed the imagination to run wild.
  • Simon Boisvert, prospect insider. We will talk of Bakersfield, and some of those prospect blue bubbling under in the CHL and college.
  • Sean Woodley, TSN1050 Toronto. The Raptors are 7-3 in their first 10 games and have the look of a team that will contend for a spot in the eastern semi’s.

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

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155 Responses to "SNOW IN SAN ANSELMO"

  1. npanciroli says:

    That game was really crushing. Want this team to win so bad.

    I actually like this team this year too.

    I blame Chiarelli for not getting a RH PP shot, but even strength I actually really like this team. How many players are performing below average or their career norms? Lucic, Pouliot, Eberle, RNH and a few defencemen? That’s basically our whole expected top 6 minus McDavid.

    edit: Draisaitl too.

  2. jake70 says:

    Didn’t see the game, read the comments last night and apparently they iced the puck on a 5 on 3 PP?. I stopped reading after that.

  3. npanciroli says:

    Was curious:

    Lucic career PPG: 0.61
    Lucic this year PPG: 0.53 (- 0.08)
    Pouliot career PPG: 0.47
    Pouliot this year PPG: 0.24 (-0.23)
    RNH career PPG: 0.69
    RNH this year PPG: 0.41 (-0.28)
    Eberle career PPG: 0.78
    Eberle this year PPG: 0.71 (-0.07)
    Draisaitl career PPG: 0.55
    Draisaitl this year PPG: 0.53 (-0.02)

    Lucic, Eberle and Drai not completely off career averages.

  4. Pink Socks says:

    I know the last few games haven’t posted results in the win column, but am I the only one not in panic mode at this point? Klefbom’s bad pinch wouldn’t have happened if the game were tied or us ahead. Maybe I need a new prescription, but with the exception of the two NYR games, I am seeing these games as the Oil as the better squad regardless of outcome. If I’m not crazy, everything should even out and the wins will start rolling with more frequency.

  5. Pouzar says:

    9th

    http://www.naturalstattrick.com/teamtable.php?season=20162017&stype=2&sit=sva&score=all&gpf=82&rate=n

    While the losing is frustrating as hell, this isn’t last year folks. Or the last decade for that matter.
    This team is missing a few pieces but we are middle of the road team and I’ll take it.

  6. HugThePost says:

    It’s beyond tragic now how this team and organization find new ways to torture its fans.

    The newest: secure the next great generational player, sort of put capable players at some spots on the team and get a magical start to the first season in the fancy new arena which is a near statistical guarantee of a playoff spot, and then proceed to shit the bed. All the while, the management just sort of stand by and let it happen, with seemingly not urgency to right the ship.

    I’m not going to start trying to figure out who is to blame, it’s gone on for over a decade now and at this point, its pretty obvious that now matter who is to blame, we the fans will just get the same old result: no playoffs.

    It’s beyond maddening, it’s beyond tiring—seeing new characters in a story inserted here and there, but knowing deep inside exactly what the ending will be.

  7. Offside says:

    When the Oilers win but lose the CORSI, we panic. When the Oilers lose but win the CORSI, we panic. Are we only able to enjoy the games when we win both?

  8. TO10801 says:

    This losing streak has stunk, but I think we all knew it was coming. The PDO and XGF has normalized over the past 9 games and we are on pace to finish the year with 91 points. Davidson, Hendricks and Cagguila all made the trip so its safe to assume they are close to returning. I know the early portion of the schedule was fairly soft, but I think it would be silly to forget how this team handled the blues and the caps. The offense will come and Talbot will get back on track, but it needs to happen now.

    Another point in regards to the schedule is that this is perhaps the toughest stretch the oil will go through all year. 10 straight games against playoff teams from last year, with an eastern trip in there is not east. If we can grab 2 or 3 points against LA and DAL then it sets the team up to salvage the month against COL, ARIx2 and TOR at the end. If they go 6-6-3 in November, they would end the month at 13-8-3, which I don’t believe is being overly optimistic if they get some healthy bodies back

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

    Pink Socks,

    No I’m with you big time here and I’m pretty sure Blainer and Pouzer are as well.

    The lack of scoring is frustrating as sin right now. That was the only reason I was yelling at the tv last night. Gibson made big saves when it mattered and the teams mental armour cracked on the 2nd goal. I don’t like that the mental armour cracked (and earlier in the year I don’t think it would have) but everyone including McD are feeling snakebitten when it comes to putting the puck in the net.

    This team needs a blowout win ASAP. Maybe that happens when certain bodies re-enter the lineup or maybe it just all cascades when they catch a goalie that isn’t hotter than Satan’s nether regions I don’t know but a 5 goal outburst would solve all issues me thinks.

    This team was never constructed to win 2-1 games through an 82 games schedule. The players don’t want that, the coach doesn’t want that and hell I don’t even think Gary Bettman wants that.

    Stick with the team, stop running guys out of town and pray for a couple of lucky bounces!

    Go Oilers

  10. dustrock says:

    I still believe they are a mediocre team, which is a vast improvement from a decade-long tire fire.

    That being said, I blame Chiarelli completely for what is happening now.

    – Hasn’t addressed the extremely obvious, so blindingly obvious need for a QB PP and/or RHD, and I’m guessing the acquisition cost is shattering, given that we got Larsson for Hall.

    – Made the usual Oilers assumption that Puljujarvi would be assisting on offence, even though he struggled at times last year at 5v5 in the Finnish league and should be full-time in Bakersfield.

    – Dumped Yakupov for nothing – we all know it was time to move on, but I can’t help but feel Yakupov could help with some of the lack of scoring from the wings here

    – lost Versteeg to Calgary – not sure if it was Versteeg who refused to sign or Chia figured he had him in the bag. If it was Versteeg’s decision, then too bad but I don’t blame Chia as much.

    – now we have everybody below (arguably) Eberle on RW playing a line too high.

    – Talbot probably needs a break but McLellan is obviously going to play him until he passes out, and I think a stronger backup might have helped there.

    That being said, I am sure Chia and T-Mac were expecting more from RNH, Pouliot and Draisaitl, at the very least.

    The D also looks better with Davidson and Fayne and maybe Russell back.

  11. hags9k says:

    I’m hoping Caggiula and Davidson get back soon and provide a spark.

    What else can I do?

    LT was correct in withholding the balance pic. There are not enough veteran scorers, no complete Dman, and we are having to ride our #1 goalie too much already.

  12. Pouzar says:

    Would anyone else be shocked if Cagguila played in the NHL right away?
    I wouldn’t be but I should be.

  13. dustrock says:

    It’s hard to take the long view and realize the Oilers are doing some good things in terms of their shot output and they just aren’t finding the mark right now, and that every team goes through slumps at times during the season.

    It’s really the damnable timing here – were given a huge gift with the easy early schedule and they ran with it, and now have dropped the ball completely.

    The only consolation here is that the Pacific division has been all over the place so they’re not (yet) at the bottom of the division. But does anyone really think they’ll be able to stay ahead of San Jose, Anaheim and LA?

    Nah.

  14. dustrock says:

    Pouzar:
    Would anyone else be shocked if Cagguila played in the NHL right away?
    I wouldn’t be but I should be.

    You’d think he’d be in Bakersfield at the very least for a conditioning stint, but I would not be surprised to see him at 3C and Draisaitl on RNH’s wing as early as today.

  15. npanciroli says:

    hags9k,

    I think the veteran scorers are the issue on this team right now.

  16. Pink Socks says:

    SayItAin’tSo, Gretz, SayItAin’tSo!,

    Each of the next two teams on the schedule are decent blowout candidates also.

  17. Pink Socks says:

    Pouzar,

    Same boat here. Chiarelli should have got him an Uber and sent him to Bakersfield considering the convenience and necessity of getting him in an AHL game or two before his first pro game in the best pro league against the best pro players.

  18. Pink Socks says:

    And in other news, Ziyat Paigin was on the ice practicing with Kazan this morning and could be in the lineup as early as Sunday. Kazan regularly dresses 7D for their games so easier for him to draw in despite the long layoff.

  19. cc says:

    Offside:
    When the Oilers win but lose the CORSI, we panic. When the Oilers lose but win the CORSI, we panic. Are we only able to enjoy the games when we win both?

    OFFSIDE; you are completely onside with your comment. I sometimes wonder if this Oiler nation is so conditioned to worry and complaining that we generate a self-fulfilling prophesy, Hmmm…

    A second though I have, and I’m sure someone other then me has highlighted it prior. As we call individual players out on a nightly basis for their performance, yet we neglect to call out the coach on his poor performances like in NY against the Rangers or Toronto where he chose to not shorten his bench of play certain vets in the closing minute of the game. nough said.

  20. who says:

    npanciroli:
    hags9k,

    I think the veteran scorers are the issue on this team right now.

    Bingo. Who is struggling for offense. Nuge, Poo. Who was everyone expecting more from. Lucic, Eberle. For the most part it has been the veterans who have struggled. Don’t see how adding more helps.
    What I see is a team playing well enough to win most nights but struggling to score right now. These things will even out over an 82 game schedule. I think the Oilers have too much talent to struggle offensively all year. People really need to relax a little. My God, if some of you were gm we would be making roster changes after every loss.

  21. JJS says:

    npanciroli:
    Was curious:

    Lucic career PPG: 0.61
    Lucic this year PPG: 0.53 (- 0.08)
    Pouliot career PPG: 0.47
    Pouliot this year PPG: 0.24 (-0.23)
    RNH career PPG: 0.69
    RNH this year PPG: 0.41 (-0.28)
    Eberle career PPG: 0.78
    Eberle this year PPG: 0.71 (-0.07)
    Draisaitl career PPG: 0.55
    Draisaitl this year PPG: 0.53 (-0.02)

    Lucic, Eberle and Drai not completely off career averages.

    Most of this scoring was in the first 2 weeks of the season however.

    The past number of weeks have been considerably worse.

    The listed players are not currently scoring at average 5×5 rates and this is killing the Oil.

    Secondary scoring is our unicorn.

  22. Pouzar says:

    SayItAin’tSo, Gretz, SayItAin’tSo!: The lack of scoring is frustrating as sin right now. That was the only reason I was yelling at the tv last night.

    The scores recently have sucked but big picture is miles better.
    And we are still in this thing on Nov 16!

  23. Pouzar says:

    dustrock: You’d think he’d be in Bakersfield at the very least for a conditioning stint, but I would not be surprised to see him at 3C and Draisaitl on RNH’s wing as early as today.

    Yup. Exactly what I am expecting too.

  24. Scungilli says:

    Pouzar:
    Would anyone else be shocked if Cagguila played in the NHL right away?
    I wouldn’t be but I should be.

    Many teams use top college players right away. Caggiula in the right role is likely fine in the NHL. The bigger issue is ‘Oilers’ and ‘right role’.

    It is unbelievable that with ‘completely new coaches and management’ they still do Oiler things like not bring in enough of the readily available vet help they could have. A couple of right shooting vets and things would probably be different.

    Instead they stick with Fayne and Gryba and bring in the questionable Russell and no right wing. McDavid needs a vet corner playing right wing who can skate. It was so close this morning I am down on the lot of them for he first time this season.

    I don’t undervalue defensive defencemen but I also don’t value any player that is a poor skater and can’t handle the puck. The fact that Gryba is great at separating player from puck is more than given up in the fact he immediately loses possession back to the other team. He and Fayne get the team trapped way too much for me. Little Benning kicks their butts in puck movement and is probably better for the team overall even playing over his head.

  25. JimmyV1965 says:

    Not sure if last night sparks the annual death spiral, but it was certainly the first time this year the team looked utterly defeated and lost. We’re very familiar with the look, the look of a team that beats itself. Talbot absolutely can’t play the next game. I’m not blaming him, but I guess he’s played like the rest of the team; not bad but not great. He’s been the second best goalie on the ice now for about five or six games.

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

    Pink Socks,

    They are yup! It could easily swing both ways and if the Oil end up getting blown out well then shit will hit the fan haha.

    Coaching staff needs to preach patience and use a large stick to beat the Me First Heroism of the 3rd last night out of them.

    Again I ask people to go check G’s charts from last night, the Oilers actually broke the machine for cumulative possession (score effects in play but once you see the charts you’ll see that doesn’t show everything).

    They need to stick to the script and pounce the minute an opportunity arises (easier said from my work desk than done no doubt).

  27. Dustylegnd says:

    When suppertime came, the old cook came on deck sayin’
    Fellas, it’s too rough to feed ya

    .667 Winning percentage when an NHL team scores 1st

    69 The number of D men that have more points per game than Andrej Sekera Edmonton’s best

    76 The number of D men that have more points per game than Darnell Nurse Edmonton’s 2nd best

    61 The number of D men that have a better 5×5/60 points average than Russell at .93

    43 The number of D men that have a better 5×4/60 points average than Sekera at 2.14

    06 The number of points Klefbom and Larson have combined for as our top D pairing

    000 The number of NHL D men that have a better 4×5/60 points than Letang at 8.4

    000 The number of NHL D men that have a better 5×5/60 points than Brett Burns at 2.37

    12 The number of teams that have scored more goals per game than the Oilers

    17 The number of goalies with a better save percentage than Talbot

    0 The number of goalies with a better save percentage than Dubnyk

    210 The number of NHL games Oscar Klefbom and Darnell Nurse have combined for

    291 The number of NHL games Adam Larsson has played

    300 The number of NHL games D men need to play before management knows what they have

    Adam Larsson is what he is, don’t look for much to change

    We have no idea what we have with Klefbom and Nurse but we do know they are both in over their head with their current responsibilities, this is not their fault

    We still do not have D men that contribute in a meaningful way with offence at 5×5 or 4×5 Why do we expect elite success as long as this is the case….end of discussion

    The Oilers offence really really is 1 dimensional…. its called McDavid…..Teams know unequivocally if you shut down McDavid the Oilers are dead in the water

    With limited contributions of offence from the back end and the Secondary lines, the impact of relentless checking on McDavid is exponentially important

    We currently have NO ONE that can be counted on to score 30 or more per season…. McDavid included…. this is very concerning

    Chia should know better than to rely on 18 year old Rookies that can’t speak the language and have never played the North American game, to make meaningful offensive contributions….shame!

    WE need to get Davidson and Russel back sooner than later, but it is not like we are waiting for the return of Seabrook and Keith is it?

    Talbot has reverted to the mean, do not look for much more un till the composition of our D changes…. he however is not the real problem

    Fantastic we won the Corsi game and HDSC game again…but guess what? the stat that matters is scoring more Goals than the other team.

    The legend lives on from the Chippewa on down
    Of the big lake they call ‘gitche gumee’
    Superior, they said, never gives up her dead
    When the gales of November come early

  28. JimmyV1965 says:

    Pink Socks:
    I know the last few games haven’t posted results in the win column, but am I the only one not in panic mode at this point?Klefbom’s bad pinch wouldn’t have happened if the game were tied or us ahead.Maybe I need a new prescription, but with the exception of the two NYR games, I am seeing these games as the Oil as the better squad regardless of outcome.If I’m not crazy, everything should even out and the wins will start rolling with more frequency.

    I agree with this, but it’s the Oilers. I also think we’re seeing a lot of teams play with the lead against us and it distorts reality.

  29. kinger_OIL says:

    – I guess I shouldn’t be surprised about the tone of most posters last while:

    1) If you thought this was a playoff team then you would be mad
    2) If you didn’t look behind the numbers from the win streak you would be mad
    3) If you don’t look at the low S/H% last bunch of games, you would be mad
    4) If you thought Pool-party would be providing more offensive against men in the NHL then he did last year playing against weaker men in Sweden you would be mad
    5) If you didn’t think losing Russel and Davidson wouldn’t be an issue you would be mad
    6) If you thought that they would do as well on road after a soft schedule to start you would be mad
    7) If you didn’t think McD/RNH/Drai/Sek had an advantage after Hockey Cup you would be mad
    8) If you expect Talbot to steal a bunch of games you would be mad

    – I’m not mad: a much better hockey team. Much better coached, virtually every player on the roster is a bona-fide NHL’er and headed in the right direction.

    – Burns at deadline/next year will put us over the top…

  30. JimmyV1965 says:

    On the bright side I did take Damon Severson in my draft and he has 12 pts. Who the hell saw that coming? Oh ya, me. Some frickin schlep watching from his couch.

  31. jooks says:

    Who to blame?

    Well, it’s gotta be ChiaPete. Should have had 1 or 3 more NHL-calibre RWs from the start.

    And maybe shoulda drafted Tkachuk, so he doesn’t slewfoot Davy (I’m kidding…maybe).

  32. OmJo says:

    Offside:
    When the Oilers win but lose the CORSI, we panic. When the Oilers lose but win the CORSI, we panic. Are we only able to enjoy the games when we win both?

    We’ve been winning one or the other for the last decade. Good teams win both. Not so good teams bask in their moral victories™.

  33. OmJo says:

    Scungilli,

    The difference is that other teams don’t play them out of their natural position. Caggiula is a raw rookie, coming off a shortened camp due to injury, and will be playing C instead of LW.

    Remember when we talked about easing McDavid into the NHL by playing him on the wing with RNH last season? Ofc McDavid didn’t need that, but if that discussion can happen, playing a cellege rookie LW at C, even 3C (on the road..), doesn’t sound like the smartest decision ever.

    It would be as smart as having JP playing in the NHL when clearly he isn’t ready yet, wasting a year of his ELC for no reason, whatsoever. Oh, wait….

    Sigh.

  34. misfit says:

    I agree with moving Leon to the wing for a bit, but if they’re going to do that, I’d put him on McDavid’s right side with Pouliot on the left.

    They have clearly wanted to get a “big man” on the line with Connor, but I don’t think Maroon or Lucic are able to play the game as quickly as they need to on a line with 97. Draisaitl has his faults and is far from a finished product, but the thing that’s impressed me most about him going back to last year and something I have noticed a lot is his ability to actually make a play when he gets the puck with little time to do something with it. He never seems to get caught off guard and the game/play never seems to be going too fast for him. Also, he plays a lot on the PP with McDavid so they have some familiarity as it is. Pouliot fit well on the McDavid line last year, is a better skater than the other options, and has more of a defensive conscience than our other LWs.

    With that, I’d put Lucic and Ebs with Nuge. Even though they haven’t played much together, Lucic seems like he would fit well with RNH. Krejci was by far his most common center in Boston where he had his most success, and I feel like Nugent-Hopkins is a better fit style-wise than Connor.

    That leaves you with a bit of a mess to sort out on the bottom 2 lines, but we should be able to cobble together a decent 3rd line from Lander, Letestu, Maroon, Pitlick, Kassian, and Slepyshev. The 4th line would play less minutes due to the increased icetime of the top 2 lines.

  35. Factotum says:

    The OIlers are who we thought they were three or four months ago.
    The roster is not good enough.
    Chiarelli surely knew it then, and surely knows it now.

    There’s more work to do, more holes to fill.
    It won’t be easy, especially because he’s already played his ace in the hole.

  36. OmJo says:

    I refuse to blame Talbot for anything at this point, including letting in softies. He’s played in all but one of our games so far this season, he’s going to wear out eventually. He’s a good goalie, just needs a break.

  37. leadfarmer says:

    When you have Klefbom as your PP qb it is no wonder that your PP struggles. I wonder if Chia could pry a third pairing defenseman that could at least qb a pp. Julius Honka, Montour, D’Angelo any of these guys may be worth high pp time and limited 5v5 time.

  38. Bag of Pucks says:

    If I’m Chiarelli, I need to see Davidson and Russell back in the lineup before I make any hasty decisions in regards to a trade.

    The NHL is all about fast transition now. NYR and MTL excel at it. The Oil are brutal at it. On the rare occasions when our D do establish clear possession in their zone, they almost inevitably take 2 or 3 seconds to setup the breakout, which gives the opposition all the time it needs to setup their neutral zone forecheck. Doing things in this way hugely nullifies the McDavid advantage.

    Earlier in the season, it seemed as if they were being coached to facilitate a quick transition and rapid breakout, but I think a few ill timed and costly turnovers have TMac pulling them back on this and it’s cost the O in a big way.

    TMac has to get some flak over this slump. ALL the lines are slumping, and he’s playing around the edges. He has to get at least 2 lines clicking asap. My concern with him is he seems to have strong biases towards the player types each line should contain. That’s a ‘system’ way of looking at things and right now, he needs to be finding some ‘human’ chemistry asap. If that means 3 of your fastest on a line, great. If it means your 3 biggest, so be it. Very few shifts where the O is delivering sustained Ozone pressure. Fixing that has to be job one.

  39. OmJo says:

    leadfarmer:
    When you have Klefbom as your PP qb it is no wonder that your PP struggles.I wonder if Chia could pry a third pairing defenseman that could at least qb a pp.Julius Honka, Montour, D’Angelo any of these guys may be worth high pp time and limited 5v5 time.

    Wisniewski? 😇

    /s (sort of)

  40. Scungilli says:

    OmJo:
    Scungilli,

    The difference is that other teams don’t play them out of their natural position. Caggiula is a raw rookie, coming off a shortened camp due to injury, and will be playing C instead of LW.

    Remember when we talked about easing McDavid into the NHL by playing him on the wing with RNH last season? Ofc McDavid didn’t need that, but if that discussion can happen, playing a cellege rookie LW at C, even 3C (on the road..), doesn’t sound like the smartest decision ever.

    It would be as smart as having JP playing in the NHL when clearly he isn’t ready yet, wasting a year of his ELC for no reason, whatsoever. Oh, wait….

    Sigh.

    I know – why I said ‘right role’.

  41. frjohnk says:

    Calgary just lost their best forward

    John Shannon ‏@JSportsnet 17m17 minutes ago
    Johnny Gaudreau. Broken finger. Will require surgery. Flames’ season just getting worse.

    They are toast.

    Something to smile about today.

    EDIT: Im smiling that Calgary will be in the gutter, not that he is injured.

  42. Scungilli says:

    misfit: That leaves you with a bit of a mess to sort out on the bottom 2 lines, but we should be able to cobble together a decent 3rd line from Lander, Letestu, Maroon, Pitlick, Kassian, and Slepyshev. The 4th line would play less minutes due to the increased icetime of the top 2 lines.

    I think the problem isn’t that they don’t have good enough players, it’s the lack of a proper third line centre. Lander and Letestu are playing like fourth line centres. If they had one Drai can move up and the lines balance good enough.

  43. linkfromhyrule says:

    Bag of Pucks: TMac has to get some flak over this slump. ALL the lines are slumping, and he’s playing around the edges. He has to get at least 2 lines clicking asap. My concern with him is he seems to have strong biases towards the player types each line should contain. That’s a ‘system’ way of looking at things and right now, he needs to be finding some ‘human’ chemistry asap. If that means 3 of your fastest on a line, great. If it means your 3 biggest, so be it. Very few shifts where the O is delivering sustained Ozone pressure. Fixing that has to be job one.

    Agreed, coaches need to shoulder some of the blame here too. How much better is our record if the PP isn’t steaming garbage? Our PP% is 16th, but our 5v4 shots/60 are bottom 5 in the league. With the players on this team there is no excuse. Woodcroft was quite clearly being zoomed by Jumbo Joe and Burns, because I haven’t seen anything resembling a dangerous powerplay since he got here.

    I remember one powerplay last night, they hold zone possession for over a minute of the PP with the first unit, passing the puck around the perimeter without a shot. Klef finally takes a shot, misses the net, and it’s out of the zone. It’s an utter waste of talent and it hardly ever looks dangerous unless an individual makes a great play. Some of it is lacking a PP QB, but the system should be adjusted to reflect that. This coaching staff appears to have difficulty making adjustments for what they have.

    Also, in my opinion, Mclellan should probably lay off double shifting McDavid so often… He’s a great hockey player, but he’s also 19…

  44. Confused says:

    frjohnk,

    Yeah, watched the game, the wild just kept slashing at his hand. REPEATEDLY!! FROM MULTIPLE PLAYERS!!!

    And as usual no penalties — lets drive all the skill out the game.

  45. StixMalone says:

    The L.A. game is crucial. Anything less than a win can turn things ugly in a hurry. A loss and we will all be saying “the more things change , the more they stay the same”…..

  46. npanciroli says:

    Confused,

    This is the most infuriating thing about the NHL. Why talk about making nets bigger and goalie pads smaller. Just call obstruction and those sorts of things – Scoring will go up for sure.

  47. Bag of Pucks says:

    Completely unrelated to the Oil, but given the early returns from Laine, do you think the Leafs have any second thoughts about drafting Matthews 1OV?

    I think building down the middle is the right way to go and Matthews projects as a 200ft outscorer, but man is the Fin ever lighting it up.

  48. Bag of Pucks says:

    linkfromhyrule: Agreed, coaches need to shoulder some of the blame here too. How much better is our record if the PP isn’t steaming garbage? Our PP% is 16th, but our 5v4 shots/60 are bottom 5 in the league. With the players on this team there is no excuse. Woodcroft was quite clearly being zoomed by Jumbo Joe and Burns, because I haven’t seen anything resembling a dangerous powerplay since he got here.

    I remember one powerplay last night, they hold zone possession for over a minute of the PP with the first unit, passing the puck around the perimeter without a shot. Klef finally takes a shot, misses the net, and it’s out of the zone. It’s an utter waste of talent and it hardly ever looks dangerous unless an individual makes a great play. Some of it is lacking a PP QB, but the system should be adjusted to reflect that. This coaching staff appears to have difficulty making adjustments for what they have.

    Also, in my opinion, Mclellan should probably lay off double shifting McDavid so often… He’s a great hockey player, but he’s also 19…

    It’s pretty old school, but if I was TMac, I’d be ending every practice with a scrimmage right now and trying different line combos to see who is clicking with chemistry in those scrimmages. Not all of this has to happen in trial by fire under actual game conditions.

  49. Justthestatsman says:

    SayItAin’tSo, Gretz, SayItAin’tSo!:
    Pink Socks,

    No I’m with you big time here and I’m pretty sure Blainer and Pouzer are as well.

    The lack of scoring is frustrating as sin right now. That was the only reason I was yelling at the tv last night. Gibson made big saves when it mattered and the teams mental armour cracked on the 2nd goal. I don’t like that the mental armour cracked (and earlier in the year I don’t think it would have) but everyone including McD are feeling snakebitten when it comes to putting the puck in the net.

    This team needs a blowout win ASAP. Maybe that happens when certain bodies re-enter the lineup or maybe it just all cascades when they catch a goalie that isn’t hotter than Satan’s nether regions I don’t know but a 5 goal outburst would solve all issues me thinks.

    This team was never constructed to win 2-1 games through an 82 games schedule. The players don’t want that, the coach doesn’t want that and hell I don’t even think Gary Bettman wants that.

    Stick with the team, stop running guys out of town and pray for a couple of lucky bounces!

    Go Oilers

    I agree with everything except the Gary Bettman part. If Gary didn’t want all the 2-1 games, the blatent interference and gang tackling would be penalized.

  50. Lois Lowe says:

    I remain convinced that Ebs and Nuge need to be reunited. They’ve played together most of their careers. They have chemistry. It’s not about punishing the former, it’s about trying to get some offence from both. Pouliot and McDavid were great together last year (hell, they made Yak look like an actual NHL player), it’s time to get them back together. I’d probably throw Drai on the right side with them, and see if Lucic can play with the Nuge and Ebs pair.

  51. Lois Lowe says:

    Bag of Pucks,

    Laine has A LOT more help than Matthews does. Similar to the Seguin/Hall scenario.

    Winnipeg has a legit D corps. Toronto has Morgan Reilly.

  52. Spoils says:

    to many passers on this team right now. we need a goal scorers goal scorer. the guy Yak was supposed to be.

    we need Kris Russel and Brandon Davidson back (or better yet we need to add the impossible – one more DMan to push everyone including Larsson down the line).

  53. npanciroli says:

    Lois Lowe,

    Yeah I think this is worth a shot. I wonder if they do this with Cagguila on the roster.

    Pouliot McDavid Draisaitl
    Lucic RNH Eberle
    Maroon Cagguila Pitlick/Kassian

  54. dustrock says:

    Offside:
    When the Oilers win but lose the CORSI, we panic. When the Oilers lose but win the CORSI, we panic. Are we only able to enjoy the games when we win both?

    We’re trying to figure out how this team will sustain mediocrity eventually leading to a first round playoff loss.

    The early games were super exciting, the Oilers were getting drastically outshot but countering with a ton of high danger scoring chances.

    The worry there is that Corsi seems more predictive, over the long-term, for success, and the Oilers getting caved in on possession probably wasn’t a great sign.

    Now they’ve outshot their opponents as of late, which isn’t a bad sign, except for the issues that (1) many of the shots are from the perimeter and we were getting caved at times with the high danger chances, and (2) score effects were at play because we were losing.

  55. Bag of Pucks says:

    Lois Lowe:
    Bag of Pucks,

    Laine has A LOT more help than Matthews does. Similar to the Seguin/Hall scenario.

    Good point.

    That said, I do think the rarest gift for an NHL player is the ability to consistently pick the corners (i.e. snipe) and Laine seems to have that in abundance. Not to mention a quick release and a shot that most resembles an RPG.

    Fun player to watch. Jets games are rapidly becoming appointment viewing. And that’s with Armia, Connor and Ehlers still finding their way and Lemieux, Petan and Comrie on the horizon.

    if they can ever sort out the goalering, that team will win a Cup or two.

  56. Dustylegnd says:

    frjohnk:
    Calgary just lost their best forward

    John Shannon ‏@JSportsnet 17m17 minutes ago
    Johnny Gaudreau. Broken finger. Will require surgery. Flames’ season just getting worse.

    They are toast.

    Something to smile about today.

    EDIT: Im smiling that Calgary will be in the gutter, not that he is injured.

    Caring about Calgary winning or losing with the exception of games vs The Oil is a low brow attitude….

    Johnny Hockey was slashed 21/22 times last evening 1 penalty called

    The 22nd slash resulting in a broken finger and now surgery

    I will assume this means 6-8 weeks without one of the 5 most exciting players to watch in this league

    The NBA protects its STARS, its time the NHL figured this out

    The opposition continues to get more and more bold with it’s treatment of McJesus….he may be the next one to be shelved for 6-8 weeks

    The Gospel

  57. digger50 says:

    Scungilli: I think the problem isn’t that they don’t have good enough players, it’s the lack of a proper third line centre. Lander and Letestu are playing like fourth line centres. If they had one Drai can move up and the lines balance good enough.

    Yup. Brandon Piri was available. Some here were saying in September that “it’s not enough” in regards to roster changes. However many overestimated as well and felt there was no more room on the roster to get better.

    Good news is we have so much better players, I’m happy with most. Just have to mix them right and need a little seasoning, dash of this or that

    I do think that Drake can help. Another piss and vinagar forward in the line up should have an effect.

  58. Lois Lowe says:

    Bag of Pucks,

    Hellebyuck is the real deal. He’s just young.

  59. CrazyCoach says:

    dustrock: – Dumped Yakupov for nothing – we all know it was time to move on, but I can’t help but feel Yakupov could help with some of the lack of scoring from the wings here
    – lost Versteeg to Calgary – not sure if it was Versteeg who refused to sign or Chia figured he had him in the bag. If it was Versteeg’s decision, then too bad but I don’t blame Chia as much.

    Yakapov has been a healthy scratch in St. Lou. I doubt he magically would have turned into Ovie has he stayed. He was a bust here and wanted out. No use beating a dead horse.

    Versteeg leaving was his choice, He was out for 4 games recently with a groin pull. I doubt he helps much either.

  60. Pouzar says:

    dustrock: except for the issues that (1) many of the shots are from the perimeter

    Not so sure about that, we are still third in the league in HDCF.
    It warrants closer examination if the rate of these shots has decreased since the start of the season but on the whole we are still right there in HD attempts. It’s the HDCA that have gone up hence the drop in overall HD shot share.

    We are in the midst of a SH% black hole.

  61. Pouzar says:

    Lois Lowe:
    Bag of Pucks,

    Hellebyuck is the real deal. He’s just young.

    They gave him time to find his game. Many goaltenders don’t get that opportunity,

  62. CrazyCoach says:

    Lois Lowe: I remain convinced that Ebs and Nuge need to be reunited.

    I hear Peaches & Herb playing in the background here.

  63. Bag of Pucks says:

    Lois Lowe:
    Bag of Pucks,

    Hellebyuck is the real deal. He’s just young.

    I tend to not anoint Gs as the real deal until they’ve passed the biggest test, winning in the playoffs. Lots of good Gs that wilt under that pressure. The second season is definitely hardest on the men btw the pipes.

    Do agree that by eye, Connor has all the right attributes.

  64. DBO says:

    We suck
    fire everyone
    trade everyone
    sky is falling

    You would think we are last in conference and out of a playoff spot right now. Not tied for 1st in Pacific and 3rd in Conference. Are we flawed? Yes. Are we balanced? No. Can we improve? Absolutely. But lets put down the pitchforks and embrace the struggle. That is why it is so important to come out of gates strong (which we did by the way in case everyone has forgotten), so that when we slump (which every team does) it doesn’t kill us. This slump has clearly identified our weaknesses. Now they work on them or bring in people to fill them. But we are in a good spot. Now when the next run happens (and it will) we will surge and be in the fight for the playoffs.

    We will improve. We will go on a good streak. And chia will make a move to address weaknesses. It will happen. This is not the same team, coaching staff or management team of the last 10 years. Have a drink and buckle up, cause its gonna be a hell of a ride.

  65. CrazyCoach says:

    Confused: Yeah, watched the game, the wild just kept slashing at his hand. REPEATEDLY!! FROM MULTIPLE PLAYERS!!!
    And as usual no penalties — lets drive all the skill out the game.

    Yeah, there needs to be a bigger crackdown on calling penalities. I know people say it interrupts the flow of the game, etc., but I totally agree in letting the skilled players play.

  66. su_dhillon says:

    On the goalie front what I find interesting is that while we all disliked the hiring of Gustofson and I personally wouldn’t trust him to play 20-25 games you would think the GM and coach that picked him ahead of a lot of other names would.
    Yet here we are and Talbot is on pace to play over 75 games. You can want him to play every night and play well every night but there is zero evidence he or 99% of goalies in league are capable of that. Makes no sense to me that they chose the backup goalie they did over a lot of other guys and then seem to not have enough faith in him to use him at all.

  67. Bag of Pucks says:

    Dustylegnd: Caring about Calgary winning or losing with the exception of games vs The Oil is a low brow attitude….

    This seems like a reasonable statement to agree with, but ultimately if the Lions knock out Bo Levi for the season this Sunday, I’m ok with that.

    I cheer for two teams: Edmonton and whoever’s playing Calgary. Oh yeah, and Jersey. I watch their highlights regularly now : )

  68. digger50 says:

    Dustylegnd: Caring about Calgary winning or losing with the exception of games vs The Oil is a low brow attitude….

    Johnny Hockey was slashed 21/22 times last evening 1 penalty called

    The 22nd slash resulting in a broken finger and now surgery

    I will assume this means 6-8 weeks without one of the 5 most exciting players to watch in this league

    The NBA protects its STARS, its time the NHL figured this out

    The opposition continues to get more and more bold with it’s treatment of McJesus….he may be the next one to be shelved for 6-8 weeks

    The Gospel

    Excellent point!

  69. Scungilli says:

    Dustylegnd: Caring about Calgary winning or losing with the exception of games vs The Oil is a low brow attitude….

    Johnny Hockey was slashed 21/22 times last evening 1 penalty called

    The 22nd slash resulting in a broken finger and now surgery

    I will assume this means 6-8 weeks without one of the 5 most exciting players to watch in this league

    The NBA protects its STARS, its time the NHL figured this out

    The opposition continues to get more and more bold with it’s treatment of McJesus….he may be the next one to be shelved for 6-8 weeks

    The Gospel

    Because the league won’t protect the good players they either have to do it themselves or the team has to. It’s always been the way.

    I don’t see the point of getting big players if they don’t retaliate at dirty plays on the skill. Lucic is not as good a player as Hall, so if neither are going to play the crazy role I’ll take Hall thanks.

    Kassian needs to do this as well. It doesn’t stop injuries but it tones a lot of it down if they know a hack is coming back at their skill or a guy like Lucic is going to grab them.

    These guys need to stand up for each other and need to treat every game like a battle they need to win by whatever means.

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

    DBO,

    Thank you thank you thank you!

    linkfromhyrule,

    Again it isn’t the coach who is passing it around the perimeter, it isn’t the coach who is telegraphing passes/setups for 15 seconds before pulling the trigger, it isn’t the coach who fires the puck ten feet wide and six feet high after doing the first two for the first minute of the PP. The coach is the one who sets the PP lineup and gives them a broad outline of how to play it.

    The Oilers PP is a smouldering heap because the players are having confidence issues right now. There was as sequence on the 1st PP last night (or maybe against the Rangers?) where the passes were fast, players were moving and in a quick tick tack toe Lucic ended up wide open on the far post and proceeded to shoot it wide. Thats a lot of good work wasted because the guy is gripping his stick too tight.

    I agree a PP QB defensemen would be great! But the price is high on those types of guys and the last thing a team can afford to do is waste cap dollars when the supposed fix is useful for a grand total of 5 minutes a night. I’d love that option, I’d also love for Eberle to have an Ovechkin level one-timer, alas its tough to get those things.

    PP is ranked 16th in the league, which isn’t good but it isn’t horrible either. They need to shoot more and then be in positions to grab a loose rebound. Shea Weber’s shot is great but 29 other teams don’t have that shot so you need to get creative.

    I know its easy and fashionable to yell “they don’t have depth!” but its also worthwhile admitting that half the lineup is in a serious offensive funk right now. I for one see a regression to the mean as most likely, I don’t think all of Eberle, Lucic, Nuge, Pouliot, Drai and CmD collectively have forgotten how to score, they’re just a wee bit peckish.

    Last year in a game like last night there wouldn’t have been any pushback, there wouldn’t have been the Oilers winning a shot battle against the Ducks, they would have folded and gone home.

    Progress isn’t linear, it has fits and starts, and even in this slump there is more good than bad.

  71. dustrock says:

    CrazyCoach: Yakapov has been a healthy scratch in St. Lou.I doubt he magically would have turned into Ovie has he stayed.He was a bust here and wanted out.No use beating a dead horse.

    Versteeg leaving was his choice,He was out for 4 games recently with a groin pull.I doubt he helps much either.

    Well, bit of hindsight there on Versteeg – maybe he doesn’t get hurt on the Oilers?

    And with Yakupov, I know of his many faults, but his scoring numbers were pretty decent, particularly playing with McDavid.

    Was kinda hoping to see the McYakPoo line this year, but Big Acquisition Lucic and Eberle had those spots locked up 100%. Until they didn’t.

  72. meanashell11 says:

    As for some context, I had the Oil at 90 points this season. As bad as they have been the last week there are not out of it by any stretch.

    We need to get Russell and Davidson back, that will settle the D.

    Talbot has been fine, not sure I sit him the next game but he needs a break soon.

    Yes, the forwards have to start scoring, but the way the refs are calling nothing right now, the “heavy” this team brought in has to play it’s role. McD was head down last night, can’t blame him. Young, captain, best player but the veterans have to stand up and be counted and lead as well. I thought at the end of the second with the pushing of Kessler they would come out and hit everything that move. Not, and that’s why McD hung his head. That was the time for push back and it was not there. I do not care about instigator penalties, other teams have to know we will pay any price for respect and with that respect will come room.

    We got big for a reason…..

    Oh, and the PP coach can fuck right off.

  73. digger50 says:

    Bag of Pucks:
    If I’m Chiarelli, I need to see Davidson and Russell back in the lineup before I make any hasty decisions in regards to a trade.

    The NHL is all about fast transition now. NYR and MTL excel at it. The Oil are brutal at it. On the rare occasions when our D do establish clear possession in their zone, they almost inevitably take 2 or 3 seconds to setup the breakout, which gives the opposition all the time it needs to setup their neutral zone forecheck. Doing things in this way hugely nullifies the McDavid advantage.

    Earlier in the season, it seemed as if they were being coached to facilitate a quick transition and rapid breakout, but I think a few ill timed and costly turnovers have TMac pulling them back on this and it’s cost the O in a big way.

    TMac has to get some flak over this slump. ALL the lines are slumping, and he’s playing around the edges. He has to get at least 2 lines clicking asap. My concern with him is he seems to have strong biases towards the player types each line should contain. That’s a ‘system’ way of looking at things and right now, he needs to be finding some ‘human’ chemistry asap. If that means 3 of your fastest on a line, great. If it means your 3 biggest, so be it. Very few shifts where the O is delivering sustained Ozone pressure. Fixing that has to be job one.

    Great post, I’m a believer here.

  74. meanashell11 says:

    SayItAin’tSo, Gretz, SayItAin’tSo!:
    DBO,

    Thank you thank you thank you!

    linkfromhyrule,

    Again it isn’t the coach who is passing it around the perimeter, it isn’t the coach who is telegraphing passes/setups for 15 seconds before pulling the trigger, it isn’t the coach who fires the puck ten feet wide and six feet high after doing the first two for the first minute of the PP. The coach is the one who sets the PP lineup and gives them a broad outline of how to play it.

    The Oilers PP is a smouldering heap because the players are having confidence issues right now. There was as sequence on the 1st PP last night (or maybe against the Rangers?) where the passes were fast, players were moving and in a quick tick tack toe Lucic ended up wide open on the far post and proceeded to shoot it wide. Thats a lot of good work wasted because the guy is gripping his stick too tight.

    I agree a PP QB defensemen would be great! But the price is high on those types of guys and the last thing a team can afford to do is waste cap dollars when the supposed fix is useful for a grand total of 5 minutes a night. I’d love that option, I’d also love for Eberle to have an Ovechkin level one-timer, alas its tough to get those things.

    PP is ranked 16th in the league, which isn’t good but it isn’t horrible either. They need to shoot more and then be in positions to grab a loose rebound. Shea Weber’s shot is great but 29 other teams don’t have that shot so you need to get creative.

    I know its easy and fashionable to yell “they don’t have depth!” but its also worthwhile admitting that half the lineup is in a serious offensive funk right now. I for one see a regression to the mean as most likely, I don’t think all of Eberle, Lucic, Nuge, Pouliot, Drai and CmD collectively have forgotten how to score, they’re just a wee bit peckish.

    Last year in a game like last night there wouldn’t have been any pushback, there wouldn’t have been the Oilers winning a shot battle against the Ducks, they would have folded and gone home.

    Progress isn’t linear, it has fits and starts, and even in this slump there is more good than bad.

    But you can’t fire the team, you can replace the coach.

  75. Dustylegnd says:

    Bag of Pucks,

    True gratification is knowing you are good enough to dominate their best with your best, true competitors want to play and beat the best…..if we have to rely on the other teams losing their most talented players so that we can win….”we” are pathetic.

    Hence let us wish the worst on Ray Shero because he fleeced our GM

    let us wish the worst on Stan Bowman because he keeps finding amazing complimentary players at reasonable prices without having to give much up

    or maybe we can make a proper diagnosis and realize the puck moving ability and offensive contributions of our D men are unequivocally unacceptable thus preventing our forwards from reaching anything near their collective offensive capability

    Gods speed to all the injured players in this league that are worth paying to watch

  76. Woodguy says:

    As great as the Tyler Pitlick story is for us fans, chances are the young man isn’t going to score 20 this season

    He will if he plays with McDavid.

    Book it!!

  77. who says:

    Confused:
    frjohnk,

    Yeah, watched the game, the wild just kept slashing at his hand. REPEATEDLY!! FROM MULTIPLE PLAYERS!!!

    And as usual no penalties — lets drive all the skill out the game.

    It would be nice to see a suspension out of this. The Wild were clearly targeting his hands. People may see this as an over reaction but Gaudreau is one of the players people will actually pay good money to watch. The NHL needs to protect these players. They would sure as hell have penalized the Flames for going after Sutter or Stall after the slashes so maybe the league needs to step up here. You can’t have it both ways. You either protect the stars or get out of the way and let the players do it themselves.

  78. OmJo says:

    Scungilli,

    My bad, that post wasn’t directed towards you, the sigh was for the Oilers.

  79. npanciroli says:

    Woodguy,

    Pitlick! Pitlick!

    I’m a little surprised he hasn’t received a shot with McDavid. Has the speed to somewhat keep up and plays with more fire than almost every other winger on this team.

  80. OmJo says:

    Scungilli: Because the league won’t protect the good players they either have to do it themselves or the team has to. It’s always been the way.

    I don’t see the point of getting big players if they don’t retaliate at dirty plays on the skill. Lucic is not as good a player as Hall, so if neither are going to play the crazy role I’ll take Hall thanks.

    Kassian needs to do this as well. It doesn’t stop injuries but it tones a lot of it down if they know a hack is coming back at their skill or a guy like Lucic is going to grab them.

    These guys need to stand up for each other and need to treat every game like a battle they need to win by whatever means.

    Still waiting for our new swagger to start swaggin’.

  81. Pink Socks says:

    meanashell11:

    Yes, the forwards have to start scoring, but the way the refs are calling nothing right now, the “heavy” this team brought in has to play it’s role.

    I do not care about instigator penalties, other teams have to know we will pay any price for respect and with that respect will come room.

    We got big for a reason…..

    Oh, and the PP coach can fuck right off.

    Yes, all of this. The heavy and the PP coach quoted for extreme truth.

  82. OmJo says:

    dustrock,

    I honestly think the Blues are using this season to ‘rebuilf’ Yakupov and keep him under 15 goals. This way, they keep their second and get him on a discount contract this summer. His 5v5 scoring is on pace with Lucic, Draisaitl, and Nuge this season, despite being scratched for four games now.

    I miss both him and he-who-shall-not-be-named on this team. Our winger depth took a big hit this summer.

    Just think, reuniting Hall-Nuge-Eberle with Pouliot-McDavid-Yak as your top six. Let’s ignore the defensive pairings that would come with that top six

    Oh well…

  83. Bank Shot says:

    I really have a hard time with fans blaming Oilers coaching for anything at this point in time. They have went through numerous coaches and have finally gotten one that has been very successful before coming to Edmonton.

    I think it’s safe to say that it’s the roster that is the problem. TMAC doesn’t encourage Draisaitl to go out and play like a limp noodle in the defensive end.

    The three centers was supposed to be one of the Oilers greatest strengths going into the season. Centers 2 and 3 have been nothing more than disappointing.

    I think the defence, goaltending and depth forwards have performed about as well as can be expected.

    Drai, RNH have been let downs. Pouliot is outright dragging the team down. If he doesn’t snap out of it he will be another Mactavish immovable contract.

  84. Woodguy says:

    I’m on Stauffer’s show at 1:35pm or so if anyone is interested in listening to me ramble.

    Also known as the “crap we had a guest cancel, quick phone someone who has nothing to do” spot.

  85. Woodguy says:

    npanciroli:
    Woodguy,

    Pitlick! Pitlick!

    I’m a little surprised he hasn’t received a shot with McDavid. Has the speed to somewhat keep up and plays with more fire than almost every other winger on this team.

    Truth.

  86. --hudson-- says:

    I just looked at this quickly:
    First 5 games – 53 HDCF, 39 HDCA for 57.6% HDCF%
    Games 6 to 10 – 42, 43, 49.4%
    Games 11 to 15 – 39, 59, 39.7%
    Games 16 & 17 – 36, 27, 57.1%

    Note those are raw counts, not adjusted for time on ice. If I adjust them for TOI they become:

    First 5 games – 13.9 HDCF/60, 10.2 HDCF/60, 57.6 HDCF%
    Games 6 to 10 – 10.2, 10.4, 49.4%
    Games 11 to 15 – 9.72, 14.7, 39.7%
    Games 16 & 17 – 21.7, 16.3, 57.1%

    As you noted, we’re getting tons of chances the last 2 games (as you would expect with score effects and tired NYR team) and also giving up a lot.

    Pouzar: Not so sure about that, we are still third in the league in HDCF.
    It warrants closer examination if the rate of these shots has decreased since the start of the season but on the whole we are still right there in HD attempts. It’s the HDCA that have gone up hence the drop in overall HD shot share.

    We are in the midst of a SH% black hole.

  87. Pouzar says:

    Woodguy:
    I’m on Stauffer’s show at 1:35pm or so if anyone is interested in listening to me ramble.

    Also known as the “crap we had a guest cancel, quick phone someone who has nothing to do” spot.

    You can’t see spreadsheets over a phone line?

  88. Dustylegnd says:

    OmJo: Still waiting for our new swagger to start swaggin’.

    Well the sad part is this, if they slash your best player the most effective response is to slash their best player,

    Lucimodo allegedly has a code, thus we pay 6/year for 20 G and 25 assists, and if you too are 6’2″ plus and 215 plus and Lucimodo is feeling it, maybe just maybe he will dial you in….or he may just tell you “Why I otta!!!” like he did with Kadri….

    No ill will to Kadri a masterful job that Tik would have been proud of

    While I am on that topic “we” seem convinced PJ was a gift from heaven falling to 4th yet the kid down the road 3 hrs is a complete prick to play against at 18 and is scoring at 2.6 5×5/60 and a HDSF% of 56 nor does he discriminate who he will be a prick to…believes in equal opportunity prickdom

    These are early days I have no conclusion to make other than we don’t know who will be better in 5 years and I WIL SAY IT AGAIN Scheifle

  89. blainer says:

    A lot of upset fans here today.. I get it. Most here agreed that we will know the real team by the end of November.

    Last I looked it isn’t the end of November but boy have we have dug a big hole. Still little offense from the D. We knew this going in that it wasn’t fixed. G called it back in the summer that Larsson is closer to a number 4 than he is a number two.

    Trading for D players that play in New Jersey is dangerous. Still early days for Lars but I have been very disappointed so far for the price we paid.

    We need to get back to being healthy again. Tabs needs to be the better goaltender and the PP HAS to start scoring.

    Still believe though we make the playoffs as I was expecting a tough November.

  90. su_dhillon says:

    Woodguy:
    As great as the Tyler Pitlick story is for us fans, chances are the young man isn’t going to score 20 this season

    He will if he plays with McDavid.

    Book it!!

    This is why I hated the idea of signing a high priced player to ride shotgun with 97. He is so good that you should be able to find cheaper alternatives that can produce alongside him even it’s just mixing guys in and out and riding them while they play well.
    It’s why I would have kept Yak because at that price and production level with 97, he was a good fit. If you save money on his wings you can allocate it to the other other lines or the D. You do not need 12-14m of wingers on 97 lines. its a waste of cap space.
    Maroon, Pitlik, Yak all have had good runs with McDavid, I would use one of his wings as a perennial pump and dump spot, sign mid level FA’s, play them with 97 then use them to get other pieces you need.

  91. GCW_69 says:

    dustrock:
    I still believe they are a mediocre team, which is a vast improvement from a decade-long tire fire.

    That being said, I blame Chiarelli completely for what is happening now.

    – Hasn’t addressed the extremely obvious, so blindingly obvious need for a QB PP and/or RHD, and I’m guessing the acquisition cost is shattering, given that we got Larsson for Hall.

    – Made the usual Oilers assumption that Puljujarvi would be assisting on offence, even though he struggled at times last year at 5v5 in the Finnish league and should be full-time in Bakersfield.

    – Dumped Yakupov for nothing – we all know it was time to move on, but I can’t help but feel Yakupov could help with some of the lack of scoring from the wings here

    – lost Versteeg to Calgary – not sure if it was Versteeg who refused to sign or Chia figured he had him in the bag.If it was Versteeg’s decision, then too bad but I don’t blame Chia as much.

    – now we have everybody below (arguably) Eberle on RW playing a line too high.

    – Talbot probably needs a break but McLellan is obviously going to play him until he passes out, and I think a stronger backup might have helped there.

    That being said, I am sure Chia and T-Mac were expecting more from RNH, Pouliot and Draisaitl, at the very least.

    The D also looks better with Davidson and Fayne and maybe Russell back.

    You missed a couple of other mistakes:

    1) Failed to grab Parenteau off waivers. Veteran right shot shooter with good PP history and strong career possession numbers.

    2) Right from the start of camp TMac seemed to want to play Leon on the wing. If that really was what TMac wanted, then not getting a 3C like Colborne ($2.5M in free agency) to provide C depth was a miss.

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

    meanashell11,

    If you fire a coach because you are sitting in the middle of the league in PP percentage you’re doing it wrong. In fact most people would consider that a giant overreaction, much like the commentary lately that has the sky falling.

    Also this

    http://www.espn.com/nhl/story/_/id/18061141/devils-send-taylor-hall-back-new-jersey-further-evaluation

    Considering Jersey is on a West Coast trip right now I’m guessing this isn’t a day- to day injury

  93. JustWatt says:

    Watched the game until the fourth GA then quit (it was very late here out East). A truly frustrating game to watch, they had all the possession and dominated the play and nothing rhymed while every good chance against (and one that wasn’t a good chance) went in.

    Haven’t had time to read all the previous comments today so forgive me if I’m repeating others.

    Up to the fourth goal they looked to me like a team that should have been winning the game. If Talbot grabs the open look shot and Lucic doesn’t ring it off the iron or McD cashes the breakaway it’s a tie game and they had all the momentum.

    Sure they cashed it in after 4-1 (who wouldn’t?) but up to that point they looked like a team at the end of a losing streak that was losing but deserved to win.

    What with the dominating play and all the meats that need regressing to, I think there is a chance that this is the last game of this losing streak. Assuming they don’t get really down about this loss. Hope dies last….

  94. CrazyCoach says:

    OmJo: I honestly think the Blues are using this season to ‘rebuilf’ Yakupov and keep him under 15 goals. This way, they keep their second and get him on a discount contract this summer. His 5v5 scoring is on pace with Lucic, Draisaitl, and Nuge this season, despite being scratched for four games now.

    I’m sure his agent, who demanded a trade out of Edmonton is going to point this out during the next round of contract talks.

  95. meanashell11 says:

    SayItAin’tSo, Gretz, SayItAin’tSo!,

    Well if you average the PP’s position since he got here and take into account he is running one of the leagues top players and pretty darn good past PP players, 16(I wont even look at the average since he took over) is not that great. What’s our capitalization rate on pulling the goalie down a goal with a minute to go. Probably last in the league.

  96. russ99 says:

    There’s ups and downs in a season and we’re hitting tough sledding, and these buildings are tough for anyone to get points out of.

    For me the only real issue here is effort, and it’s been a problem for a decade where this team puts on the “woe is me” hat and doesn’t buckle down and work harder to get through it,

    We get all butterfingery in the tough areas of the ice and our supposed rock at such things, Lucic being the poster boy of that at this point is quite worrisome.

  97. ashley says:

    I didn’t mind that game last night compared to the last few. The result is, of course, not what we hoped, but I think the Oilers quality of play was high. They matched up well against them and on a different night – a future night, they will get a better result than that.

  98. CrazyCoach says:

    dustrock: Well, bit of hindsight there on Versteeg – maybe he doesn’t get hurt on the Oilers?
    And with Yakupov, I know of his many faults, but his scoring numbers were pretty decent, particularly playing with McDavid.

    Very true on Versteeg.

    I liked Yak, I really did. Saw the profiles on TV about him and the articles written. He was always very affable and easy to like as a person. I just know that he wasn’t happy here and with all the talk surrounding the new players (via trades, free agency, the draft), he perhaps saw himself slipping down the depth chart or was like the shiny new toy that’s not so shiny and new. Added to that, was his agent, who wanted out almost two years ago, and you have the recipe for a not happy ending. Those sorts of situations test everyone on a team right from the GM, down to the players as you don’t know/feel/guess, just how committed a player is to the team and to other players.

    If they were going to trade him, they should have done it sooner. I know that leaves a huge whole on the RW, but addressing that in July and August is a lot easier than now.

  99. digger50 says:

    Sometimes you have to slow down to go faster.

    I think this applies to the last few games. The Oil seem to be going all out and getting nothing done. Slow down, take a breath, get in the right position.

    Everybody knows you need attitude to win. You need it to win one on one battles, then shift by shift and period by period. We still need more attitude. Announce your presence. Every play, scrum, look has to be ” I take no shit”. We are not there, the ducks are still thinking “it’s the Oilers” and worrying about their pizza toppings instead of the game.

    We have 5 games plus playoffs with California teams. A few FU penalties are just fine to establish some respect. No comparisons to Pittsburgh, they don’t have to do it. They are at the top. Oilers are suffering years at the bottom, they must do it.

    When the team reaches this attitude I will be a happy fan. It’s a big deal in hockey. Respect from your opponent and respect from your fan base.

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

    meanashell11,

    I don’t see how Jay Woodcraft is responsible for Drai, McDavid, Lucic and Eberle standing still on a power play. I don’t see how Jay Woodcroft is responsible for Kelfbom missing the net 10/12 times on the power play, or having Sekera firing the puck into guys shin pads. I would love it if Jay could hop out on the ice and will the players to make better plays, move their damn feet and give Klefbom Shea Weber’s shot but none of those things are realistically possible.

    Smarter people than I on this blog have shown that when the chips are down coaching doesn’t actually have that large of an effect on the team. I highly doubt PP’s are so intrinsically different that they can buck this trend.

    Its a confidence issue and a lack of willingness to be “greasy” for lack of a better word. There were flashes last night of the Oilers playing a “greasy” power play and Gibson made a could of good saves in tight.

    I’ll blame the coaches for being stubborn on rolling lines in close games and for refusing to change lines when things aren’t going well but given that everyone seems to be in an offensive slump right now why are people surprised that the power play is in a similar state?

  101. Woodguy says:

    Pouzar: You can’t see spreadsheets over a phone line?

    Imma gonna describe all the cells in minute detail

  102. Scungilli says:

    It’s less about the players this year and more about the team play (weak) and the holes not filled the way I see it.

    Frustration will set in again if Chiarelli doesn’t fill the holes with good players, or if he trades down again.

  103. Woodguy says:

    su_dhillon: This is why I hated the idea of signing a high priced player to ride shotgun with 97. He is so good that you should be able to find cheaper alternatives that can produce alongside him even it’s just mixing guys in and out and riding them while they play well.
    It’s why I would have kept Yak because at that price and production level with 97, he was a good fit. If you save money on his wings you can allocate it to the other other lines or the D. You do not need 12-14m of wingers on 97 lines. its a waste of cap space.
    Maroon, Pitlik, Yak all have had good runs with McDavid, I woulduse one of his wings as a perennial pump and dump spot, sign mid level FA’s, play them with 97 then use them to get other pieces you need.

    Agree entirely.

    McDavid will drive offense for anyone who plays with him, just be fast, go to the net, keep your stick on the ice and dig the pucks out of corners and give it back to him.

    Drai and RNH need help scoring and they should get Eberle, Lucic, and Maroon (not kidding, best Oiler away from McDavid in Oct and Nov so far)

    Need another RW in there as JP is not ready and I like Kassian for what he is, but not on the 2 other scoring lines unless there are injuries.

  104. Bruce Wayne says:

    I usually think talk of perfecting the line recipe is making mountains out of molehills. But here, I agree with the emerging consensus. If teams are going to load up on the road to stop McDavid, play three scoring lines by giving RNH and Draisatl the best wingers.

    The problem is that here, again, Chiarelli screwed up. He should have signed both Versteeg and Parenteau, and ended up with neither.

    So go something like:

    Maroon-McDavid-Pitlik
    Lucic-RNH-Eberle
    Pouliot-Draisatl-Kassian

    and then play those three lines as much as you can.

  105. stevezie says:

    CrazyCoach: If they were going to trade him, they should have done it sooner

    Im a Yak lover and i agree. I wanted then to trade the pick and have been agitating for a trade every year since.

    I also thought Calgary would make the playoffs this year.

  106. RexLibris says:

    Blame is too strong a word in my opinion…

    I blame the haircuts and hemlines of today!

  107. RexLibris says:

    Pouzar: You can’t see spreadsheets over a phone line?

    Chaa, what about dial-up!

    😉

  108. RexLibris says:

    Woodguy: Imma gonna describe all the cells in minute detail

    For those of you wondering what that is going to be like…

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H4IrfObVzJo

  109. Hope is a good thing says:

    I truly believe this is a critical time for TMac to be very careful in how he handles the team. He pushed them hard when they were winning (the right time to push), but lately he has singled individuals out, detailing their mistakes, and isn’t getting the desired results. I believe he needs to praise more in public, criticize in private, and emphasize the many positive developments in their game; the coaches need to help inject some confidence. The Oilers are not at the level the Sharks were when he coached them,and I think he was attempting to get them up to that range in light of their start. Back up a couple steps, deal with the reality of how many young, relatively inexperienced players you are trying to win with, and get back to playing 6 actual NHL defencemen ASAP!

    My 2 cents.

  110. meanashell11 says:

    SayItAin'tSo, Gretz, SayItAin'tSo!,

    But who actually cares about Jay Woodcroft. I sure don’t. It is obvious whatever he is doing, it’s not working and has not since he got here. Obviously the PK is stymying the PP, so adjust. That is what coaching is. Fire him. What would be the downside?

  111. JimmyV1965 says:

    Very few shifts where the O is delivering sustained Ozone pressure. Fixing that has to be job one.

    I think this is absolutely not the case. The last couple games the Oil have spent an ungodly amount of time in the o-zone. Now we can argue that this is an illusion because the other teams are protecting the lead, but we have controlled much of the play. The problem is we can’t finish.

  112. Bag of Pucks says:

    According to TMac, and in fact Eakins before him, the HC likes to settle on strong pairs and then keep an open W spot available to change things up as/when it’s needed.

    Rather than focus on what the lines should be then, maybe we should look at what the consistent pairings should be to start?

    I think i’d be inclined to start with something like this:

    McDavid/Pitlick
    Lucic/RNH
    Pouliot/Drai

    That leaves us Maroon/Ebs/JP/Kassian/Sleppy to slot in as the situation warrants and the on ice results merit.

  113. Bag of Pucks says:

    JimmyV1965: I think this is absolutely not the case. The last couple games the Oil have spent an ungodly amount of time in the o-zone. Now we can argue that this is an illusion because the other teams are protecting the lead, but we have controlled much of the play. The problem is we can’t finish.

    I think where we are differing on this is in our definition of what ‘Ozone pressure’ means. My definition is shots leading to rebounds leading to shots leading to goals.

  114. dcsj says:

    Not that this has anything to do with the thread, but Taylor Hall is out 3-4 weeks following arthroscopic surgery on torn meniscus per my NHL app

  115. delooper says:

    I don’t understand the dour mood. The Oilers are an **average** NHL team now. This is a **huge** improvement over every other Oilers team for the past 10 years.

    If anyone thought they’d stay #1 at the NHL all season they were nuts.

    Average isn’t so bad, given what we’re used to.

    I doubt there’s any magic solutions to the OIlers problems. They need to get some bodies back. They need to ease up on the rookie, send him to the AHL. They need to find a way to demand less from CMD. It looks like the season might be wearing him down a bit.

    I’m pretty happy for the Oilers. The hot streak at the start of the season was nice, but that’s way too much to expect.

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

    meanashell11,

    You piss off the head coach who you have signed for another four years because he and Woodcroft have always worked together?

    Also as per NHL.com Taylor Hall will miss 3-4 weeks after undergoing surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee.

    (edit: and I was beaten to it)

  117. delooper says:

    Ouch. I hope meniscus surgery has better average outcomes than they used to.

    That’s the kind of thing that can set skating back for a long time, if not permanently.

  118. OmJo says:

    Bank Shot:
    I really have a hard time with fans blaming Oilers coaching for anything at this point in time. They have went through numerous coaches and have finally gotten one that has been very successful before coming to Edmonton.

    I think it’s safe to say that it’s the roster that is the problem. TMAC doesn’t encourage Draisaitl to go out and play like a limp noodle in the defensive end.

    The three centers was supposed to be one of the Oilers greatest strengths going into the season. Centers 2 and 3 have been nothing more than disappointing.

    I think the defence, goaltending and depth forwards have performed about as well as can be expected.

    Drai, RNH have been let downs.Pouliot is outright dragging the team down. If he doesn’t snap out of it he will be another Mactavish immovable contract.

    Up until this point, Nuge and Drai have been playing with spare parts. The refusal to “spread the wealth” – which needs to be done due to shortsightedness by management this summer – is on the coaching staff.

    There’s no reason why Eberle cannot be playing with Nuge. The insistance that Eberle he joined to McDavids’ hip, at the cost of scoring depth, is on coaching. Draisaitl and Nuge went from playing with Hall on their line, to players like Kassian and Pouliot. I like these players, but they’re not the same calibre of player that Hall is. That’s on management more than the players, IMO, for ignoring the lack of RW depth all summer, when we were practically gifted options through FA, PTO, or waivers.

    The players need to be better, but the coaching staff needs to show some – any? – flexibility with the lineup. I’m not at the ‘fire TMac’ stage, yet, but I will say I really, really, really miss Krueger and Nelson.

  119. OmJo says:

    dcsj:
    Not that this has anything to do with the thread, but Taylor Hall is out 3-4 weeks following arthroscopic surgery on torn meniscus per my NHL app

    🙁

  120. Bank Shot says:

    meanashell11:
    SayItAin’tSo, Gretz, SayItAin’tSo!,

    But who actually cares about Jay Woodcroft. I sure don’t. It is obvious whatever he is doing, it’s not working and has not since he got here. Obviously the PK is stymying the PP, so adjust. That is what coaching is. Fire him. What would be the downside?

    Why do fans think we should have a good PP in the first place?

    We have McDavid sure. Great talent. Outside of that only Eberle and RNH have any kind of history of being solid PP contributors.

    Klefbom is the QB for crying out loud and he’s never shown much offence at any level.

  121. meanashell11 says:

    SayItAin'tSo, Gretz, SayItAin'tSo!,

    He should be the guy getting Woodcroft to fix that PP. They may be friends, but this is a business and Tmac understands that. Oh, my choices are I get to coach McD for the next four years minimum or be pissed because my assistant, who could not figure how to get a PP with McD, Lucic, RNH, Ebs and Kbom open to score so I will walk and watch McD be the player for the next decade in the NHL while my assistant can’t get the PP on the AHL team I now coach to score.

    It’s a business. Woodcroft better figure it out or we all know who will pay the price…..

  122. Lois Lowe says:

    Woodguy,

    I agree except for the keeping Yak part. McDavid is now seeing top D pairs and getting hard matched on the road. Yak would get eaten alive.

  123. Pouzar says:

    Weird how the two primary pieces of the next big blockbuster trade got injured at the same time. #JohnnyHall

  124. HT Joe says:

    Pouzar:
    Weird how the two primary pieces of the next big blockbuster trade got injured at the same time. #JohnnyHall

    Oh lord… don’t even joke about that. I am legitimately cheering for the Devils now, and I have never cheered for any team other than the Oilers. It would be crushing to have Hall play on the Flames.

  125. Woodguy says:

    Bruce Wayne:
    I usually think talk of perfecting the line recipe is making mountains out of molehills.But here, I agree with the emerging consensus.If teams are going to load up on the road to stop McDavid, play three scoring lines by giving RNH and Draisatl the best wingers.

    The problem is that here, again, Chiarelli screwed up.He should have signed both Versteeg and Parenteau, and ended up with neither.

    So go something like:

    Maroon-McDavid-Pitlik
    Lucic-RNH-Eberle
    Pouliot-Draisatl-Kassian

    and then play those three lines as much as you can.

    I would make one slight change:

    67-97-15
    27-93-14
    19-25-44/98

    The reason for this?

    Here’s a list of the players with a positive Expected Goal ratio (50%+) away from McDavid for October and November:

    Oct
    OSCAR.KLEFBOM WITHOUT CONNOR.MCDAVID 55.6
    ANTON.SLEPYSHEV WITHOUT CONNOR.MCDAVID 54.51
    ADAM.LARSSON WITHOUT CONNOR.MCDAVID 51.97
    JESSE.PULJUJARVI WITHOUT CONNOR.MCDAVID 51.25
    PATRICK.MAROON WITHOUT CONNOR.MCDAVID 51.24

    Nov
    Situation xGF%
    PATRICK.MAROON WITHOUT CONNOR.MCDAVID 62.98
    JESSE.PULJUJARVI WITHOUT CONNOR.MCDAVID 55.01
    LEON.DRAISAITL WITHOUT CONNOR.MCDAVID 50.28
    ADAM.LARSSON WITHOUT CONNOR.MCDAVID 50.12

    Only Maroon and JP are there twice for forwards and Larsson for Dmen (!!)

    Maroon with Drai and JP were doing their job driving offense from the 3 slot so they should be left to keep doing it.

    Pouliot has played well with McDavid in the past and Pitlick’s numbers are as good as any winger with McDavid as well (small sample….)

  126. Woodguy says:

    Lois Lowe:
    Woodguy,

    I agree except for the keeping Yak part. McDavid is now seeing top D pairs and getting hard matched on the road. Yak would get eaten alive.

    Yak?

    You still drinking?

  127. Woodguy says:

    JDï™:
    Who is writing under the name Loserpoints for ON?

    http://oilersnation.com/2016/11/16/why-the-scoring-chance-is-a-flawed-metric-and-how-we-can-improve-on-it

    That’s a very good piece.

    His name is Alan, is from Florida.

    Been following him on twitter for a bit.

    Worth a follow: @loserpoints

  128. RexLibris says:

    Woodguy: 67-97-15
    27-93-14
    19-29-44/98

    So why are you playing Pouliot, Lucic and Maroon at center and McDavid, RNH and Draisaitl on the wing?

  129. JDï™ says:

    Woodguy: That’s a very good piece.

    +1

  130. npanciroli says:

    Woodguy,

    Exactly how I want to see the lines.

  131. Pink Socks says:

    SayItAin'tSo, Gretz, SayItAin'tSo!:
    meanashell11,

    I don’t see how Jay Woodcroft is responsible for Kelfbom missing the net 10/12 times on the power play, or having Sekera firing the puck into guys shin pads.

    Totally agree with this portion, Woodcroft unfortunately does not have a legitimate option to QB the PP and that undoubtedly hurts the overall effectiveness of any PP.

    SayItAin'tSo, Gretz, SayItAin'tSo!:
    meanashell11,

    I don’t see how Jay Woodcraft is responsible for Drai, McDavid, Lucic and Eberle standing still on a power play.

    This part I disagree with. Woodcroft knows he is lacking the QB, so the answer is to have more movement down low. If these 4 star-level players have their feet stuck in cement there is a problem. Sure, part of it is on the players, but the underlying strategy outlined for this unit is not working. Feet not moving is a direct result of trying to make something happen that doesn’t exist and waiting for something to open up. That is in the zone. The other huge problem to my eye is the zone entries and not having the ability to sustain control of the puck on entry.

    So the zone entries are a mess, and when we do gain control, the results are weak and success is extremely limited. The entire strategy needs scrapping.

    I know there are zone entry fancy stats, but I’m not sure if there are many fancies on PP zone entries and the correlating success in relation to said entries. Maybe one of the far smarter folks on here has that data.

  132. Scungilli says:

    The Oilers have 4 skill right wingers, the problem is experience.

    Eberle
    JP
    Slepyshev
    Pitlick

    And Kassian isn’t without ability. I would play Pitlick and Sleps on a skill line before Kassian because I think they are better there.

    Chiarelli didn’t know Pitlick would start hot, so it was a gamble. I do believe he and Sleps would do at least ok if given regular top 6 minutes, with ice time and settling in, they have the skill tenacity and speed to help.

    I agree anybody getting Connor for 60 games will likely score 20 if they have any hands. Connor needs guys to get physical and get the puck back and create a distraction for teh defense to deal with, other just him. Breaking down the defensive system is the to possession offense. Some do it by skating, some by grinding.

  133. JDï™ says:


    Joe Smith
    ‏@TBTimes_JSmith

    BREAKING: #tblightning Steven Stamkos out indefinitely with a lateral meniscus tear

    Ouch.

  134. Woodguy says:

    RexLibris: So why are you playing Pouliot, Lucic and Maroon at center and McDavid, RNH and Draisaitl on the wing?

    You mistake me for our gracious host.

    I don’t try to offend The Hockey Gords by putting the C on the left.

  135. OmJo says:

    JDï™:

    Joe Smith
    ‏@TBTimes_JSmith


    BREAKING: #tblightning Steven Stamkos out indefinitely with a lateral meniscus tear

    Ouch.

    Well, there goes any potential of a Eberle + Reinhart for Stamkos and Hedman trade 🙁

  136. OmJo says:

    Woodguy,

    Lucic would make a terrifying C though.

  137. Woodguy says:

    Pink Socks,

    Joe Thornton QB’s the PP off the half wall, so can McDavid on unit 1 and RNH on unit 2.

    They just need 2 RHS options.

    Right now there is one RHS option so the opposing teams take that away and ignore the player high on the right side of the ozone.

    Put a RS there (Pitlick, Slepy, JP) and that will force them cover that option which will open up the RH low shot more.

  138. kinger_OIL says:

    JDï™,

    – I mentioned a few weeks ago that according to my sources, NHL doesn’t really use Corsi. Good timing with this article: it distorts Tortorella’s comments about his use of data somewhat. But even that article concedes that teams are using different stats than corsi to evaluate performance.

    – Ricki was probably the most attuned to the reality of the limitations of corsi in terms of evaluating teams, individual performance or for comparative analysis.

  139. RexLibris says:

    Woodguy: You mistake me for our gracious host.

    I don’t try to offend The Hockey Gords by putting the C on the left.

    This blog could host a debate on the proper format of lines that could make Constantine’s Nicean council look like a PTA meeting.

    “Your orthodoxy is heretical and against the laws of Gord and man!”

    “I denounce you and your apostasy for the hell-inspired abomination that it is!”

  140. OmJo says:

    Maroon-McDavid-Eberle / JP-Dman
    Lucic-Draisaitl-Pitlick / Nuge-Dman

    Maroon and Lucic make their presence known in front of the net.
    Eberle and Pitlick stay open for the pass from McDavid and Drai.
    JP open for the blast from the point, RNH open for the sneaky wrist shot he has.
    The two defenceman are there to um… Declare war on all shinpads and the boards/glass behind the net. Heh.

    Or, we can put Letestu on the PP and watch the magic happen.

  141. RexLibris says:

    OmJo,

    My only concern there would be placing the defensive responsibility of “last man back” on Puljujarvi at this stage of his career.

    Odd as this is going to sound, I’d put Benning there instead.

    Watching him the other night (not the Ducks game) he reminded me of Petry’s first season. Or of a young Gilbert.

    So I guess that means we should expect him to be booed and traded for a 6th round pick and an ECHL contract by this time next season.

  142. Pink Socks says:

    Woodguy,

    Yes, agreed. Any of Pitlick, Slep, JP changes the mix and changes the look. Much needed IMO.

  143. Scungilli says:

    Looking at Loserpoints graphs they are doing good things offensively and bad things defensively. If they clean up the defensive zone play they should be sitting good when the snakebitten get some luck back.

    For the PP you gotta dance with the one you brung. Put some right shooters in those positions and let them play until they get it. I’d rather they suck while training than just suck.

  144. Klima's_Bucket says:

    Would you rather:

    a) Trade Hall for Larsson
    b) Trade Eberle for Severson

    Which is worse?

  145. Bruce Wayne says:

    kinger_OIL:
    JDï™,

    – I mentioned a few weeks ago that according to my sources, NHL doesn’t really use Corsi.Good timing with this article: it distorts Tortorella’s comments about his use of data somewhat.But even that article concedes that teams are using different stats than corsi to evaluate performance.

    – Ricki was probably the most attuned to the reality of the limitations of corsi in termsof evaluating teams,individual performance or for comparative analysis.

    I thought it was well established that NHL teams have no idea what they are doing in terms of the statistical evaluation of players. That they are using scoring chances instead of shots is a step backward, not forward, as the article above demonstrates, and I have argued many times (in the context of Staples individual scoring chances metric.

  146. Bruce Wayne says:

    Klima’s_Bucket:
    Would you rather:

    a) Trade Hall for Larsson
    b) Trade Eberle for Severson

    Which is worse?

    Considering there is an argument that Severson might be better than Larsson, that is a pretty easy question.

  147. Factotum says:

    True of false?

    A winning team cannot be conjured, it has to be built.
    The past cannot be undone.
    In the NHL, management mistakes are built to last.*

    *If true, the “why” factors hypothesis might consider things like: depth of the talent pool relative to the number of teams, roster/contract limits, salary cap, and guaranteed contracts.

    I’m not expecting miracles. I love the Oilers beyond reason, and I root like hell for all of the players who wear the crest.

    Did I mention that I’m not expecting miracles? I’m not, but damn this team is hard to watch at times.

  148. JDï™ says:

    Klima’s_Bucket:
    Would you rather:

    a) Trade Hall for Larsson
    b) Trade Eberle for Severson

    Which is worse?

    I’d trade them both for what’s behind door #2.

  149. VanIsleOil says:

    JDï™: I’d trade them both for what’s behind door #2.

    Door #2…

    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/a/a6/2009lmadzonkgoat.jpg

  150. JDï™ says:

    VanIsleOil,

    Wah wah wah…

  151. OmJo says:

    RexLibris:
    OmJo,

    My only concern there would be placing the defensive responsibility of “last man back” on Puljujarvi at this stage of his career.

    Odd as this is going to sound, I’d put Benning there instead.

    Watching him the other night (not the Ducks game) he reminded me of Petry’s first season. Or of a young Gilbert.

    So I guess that means we should expect him to be booed and traded for a 6th round pick and an ECHL contract by this time next season.

    That was a concern too, but out of the players with shots who aren’t defence, I think he’s the best one defensively. There aren’t a lot of candidates, I realize that too though… hm…

    Does Russell have a shot? I thought he was brought in to be a PP guy, but I don’t recall seeing him on the PP very much before being injured.

  152. FinnOil says:

    Oilers record this far seems to be quite similar with season 2011-12. Back then Oilers started 9-3-2 followed by four game losing streak. In the end of November Oilers record was 13-11-3 and finally ended up drafting Yakupov as first overall.

    Now they started 9-3-1 followed by four game losing streak (and counting)….

    Ok well my point isn’t to compare the team back then with the current team. But just pointing out that similar rollercoaster has happened in not so distant history.

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