I’M ONE (YOU’LL SEE)

The Edmonton Oilers got off to their usual soggy 0-1 start in Los Angeles, and added another GA just to make things criminal. Back at home, as tired Edmontonians fell in and out on sleep, the youngsters were trying to dig themselves out of another deficit. A couple of goals by defenders (Nurse and Klefbom) in the second period made things interesting but this team cannot get out of its own way these days. HDSC: 5-7 in a truly dull game, where coverage issues were the theme of the day.

GETTING IN TUNE, 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: 2-6-1 goal differential -11
  • Oilers after 18, 2015: 6-12-0, goal differential -11
  • Oilers after 18, 2016: 9-8-1, goal differential -1

We are looking at a hardy candy Christmas, and the Edmonton Oilers will once again spend another season learning the lessons of balance. Is it time to panic? No sir. Is it time to take a long look at needless bets like the one this team made at RW? Oh yes, I do think so.

DEFENSE LAST NIGHT

defense-nov-17

  • No matter what the numbers say, the real issue for Edmonton last night was coverage, defense and forwards. Hockey is a lot about position and (lack of) space given to opponents, and this Oilers team is as loose as Crazy Horse at the Fillmore right now. My goodness.
  • Sekera—Larsson (yes, that is correct) played 10:19 together and went 12-7. Sekera—Benning were 3-2 in 4:46 as well. Klefbom-Larsson were 9-5 in 7:27. Sekera made a sweet play to rob Jordan Nolan of a clean breakaway shot, Larsson needed to close the seam on that 2-0 goal (that is my opinion, your mileage may vary).
  • Klefbom-Larsson were 9-5 in 7:27, Klefbom—Benning were 5-3 in 4:12.
  • Nurse—Benning went 11-3 in eight minutes and Nurse—Gryba were 5-7 in 8:10. Nurse was high event both ways, which happens with youngsters. Scored a goal and beat the jailer on another but that puck slipped past the yawning cage. I won’t point the finger on the first goal, but he lost his man on goal two and that is a reflection of youth—he will get there in time. Gryba had a poor night to my eye, and looks like the coach left him behind a few times based on TOI. Needs to make quicker, better decisions and that was made clear on the first goal.
  • It was a jumble in terms of pairings and opponents, lord lord what a blender. Sekera was 6-6 against Carter, Adam Larsson was 7-10 against Carter, Darnell Nurse was 4-5 against Carter, Eric Gryba was 2-5 against Carter, Klefbom was 4-4 against Carter and Benning was 5-0 against Carter! The mind boggles.
  • Nurse and Klefbom scored the goals last night.

FORWARDS, LAST NIGHT

forwards-nov-17

  • Lucic—McDavid—Puljujarvi did a lot of fine work but could not cash. I expect we will see this trio again, maybe even Saturday. Lucic had some starific looks late, 97 was dishing like a bandito, but he (Lucic) does not have a sniper’s eye. The mannish boy had some good moments, too, the teenager has mature skills defensively. No points from the line, six shots from the trio. McDavid went 13-5 against Doughty, 6-6 against Carter. It has become cool to rip Lucic these days, for me the big winger had a good game, won battles and had some impressive looks.
  • Maroon—Nuge—Eberle had some chem, as you would expect. Six shots for the line, and two points—and ladies, that is like pouring water on parched desert soil. They needed it. Nuge went 8-5 against Muzzin and 5-2 against Nick Dowd. Eberle called his shot on the 3-2 goal, appearing to identify clear danger before the faceoff, but unable to insert himself into the jailbreak that ensued.
  • Pouliot—Draisaitl—Slepyshev played well (JP also spent some time on the line) and Leon made a great rush from his own end on the Nurse goal. The big center is going to have to do that from time to time, as the passing game appears to have fallen away during this slump. Helluva rush, two shots for the trio and they have to be better. The line went 6-5 against Carter.
  • Kassian—Letestu—Pitlick didn’t play much, perhaps due to the stray bullet turnover on the first goal. I think this group should play more. This team is really burning the top end without letting the bottom end breathe. I wonder if that is part of the slump for McDavid.
  • NHL.com
  • NaturalStatTrick
  • HockeyStats.ca

CORSICA 5X5/60 (FORWARDS)

  1. Connor McDavid 2.45
  2. Tyler Pitlick 2.20
  3. Jordan Eberle 2.06
  4. Patrick Maroon 1.96
  5. Mark Letestu 1.58
  6. Leon Draisaitl 1.55
  7. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins 1.54
  8. Anton Lander 1.53
  9. Zack Kassian 1.45
  10. Benoit Pouliot 1.13
  11. Milan Lucic 0.93
  12. Jesse Puljujarvi 0.81
  13. Anton Slepyshev 0.70

Todd McLellan doesn’t sound overly worried about the offense, and I agree with that opinion. Connor McDavid did not have a good performance last night, and in fact his 5×5/60 number is reaching a point where we should expect a strong recovery in the coming games. His Corsica.hockey 5×5/60 a year ago was 2.67, that should be his line in the sand for this year.

IS IT TIME TO PANIC?

No. Seriously. Calm your tits. This is a marathon not a sprint and based on the lack of balance we saw leaving the train station it was pretty clear that an easy playoff slot was a distant bell. There has been real progress, as reflected (Nov 18) in the year over year Pacific Division standings:

  1. Los Angeles Kings 18gp, 12-6-0, 24 points
  2. San Jose Sharks 18gp, 10-8-0, 20 points
  3. Vancouver Canucks, 20gp, 7-7-6, 20 points
  4. Arizona Coyotes 18gp, 9-8-1, 19 points
  5. Anaheim Ducks 19gp, 6-9-4, 16 points
  6. Calgary Flames 20gp, 7-12-1, 15 points
  7. Edmonton Oilers 19gp, 6-12-1, 13 points
  8. Source

Current Standings

  1. Anaheim Ducks 18gp, 9-6-3, 21 points
  2. Edmonton Oilers 18gp, 9-8-1, 19 points
  3. San Jose Sharks 17gp, 9-8-0, 18 points
  4. Los Angeles Kings 18gp, 8-9-1, 17 points
  5. Calgary Flames 18gp, 7-10-1, 15 points
  6. Vancouver Canucks 18gp, 7-10-1, 15 points
  7. Arizona Coyotes 16gp, 5-9-2, 12 points

No team in the division this season is in the same kind of peril the Oilers were experiencing in 2015-16, but the bottom three teams need to dig themselves out and in a quick hurry. For the Oilers, this 2-7-1 record over the last 10 games hurt them but did not bury the season. Small victories are big steps.

WHAT CAN BE DONE?

Connor McDavid is in a slump and Cam Talbot lost the plot a little while back, but those two men will have better 10-game stanzas and Edmonton’s complementary group should be able to cobble together better production, too. Consider the totals from the last 10 games:

  1. Connor McDavid 10, 0-7-7
  2. Jordan Eberle 10, 2-5-7
  3. Patrick Maroon 10, 4-3-7
  4. Leon Draisaitl 10, 2-2-4
  5. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins 10, 2-2-4
  6. Tyler Pitlick 10, 2-1-3
  7. Darnell Nurse 10, 2-0-2
  8. Milan Lucic 10, 1-1-2
  9. Andrej Sekera 10, 1-1-2
  10. Oscar Klefbom 10, 1-1-2
  11. Mark Letestu 10, 0-2-2
  12. Matt Benning 9, 0-2-2
  13. Adam Larsson 19, 1-0-1
  14. Anton Lander 9, 1-0-1
  15. Jesse Puljujarvi 8, 0-1-1
  16. Benoit Pouliot 10, 0-0-0
  17. Eric Gryba 9, 0-0-0
  18. Zack Kassian 8, 0-0-0
  19. Anton Slepyshev 5, 0-0-0
  20. Kris Russell 3, 0-0-0
  21. Taylor Beck 1, 0-0-0
  22. Cam Talbot (1-6-1) 8, 3.14 .891
  23. Jonas Gustavsson (1-1-0) 2, 2.54 .896

The top line is posting crooked numbers and there is a pulse from Nuge and Leon—even Lucic chimed in a little. Mr. Pouliot needs to hammer a few past the goalie here in the coming days, perhaps Saturday will be splatterday. It has not been a good 10 games, men. It is absolutely possible now for this team to be on the outside looking in on American Thanksgiving. An easier schedule awaits next week, but these Oilers have been flushing hard and easy points at a rapid clip this November. Same as it ever was, it seems, but I remain convinced there is more iron in this group and a better story to tell. Peter Chiarelli could go us all a favor by acquiring a Pisani. Today.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

A big weekend ahead and lots to talk about, it all starts at 10 this morning on TSN1260. Scheduled to appear:

  • Steve Lansky, BigMouthSports. The trials of these Oilers, CFL playoffs and Gretzky on the Simpsons.
  • Guy Flaming, Pipeline Show. Things are looking up a little for the Oil Kings, still miles to go.
  • Matt Iwanyk, TSN1260. PointCounterPoint this week includes questions like is it time to panic? and can the Eskimos go in through the out door on the way to the Grey Cup.
  • Don Landry, CFL.ca. Divisional finals weekend, Calgary v Edmonton for Grey Cup? In Toronto??!!!

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

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186 Responses to "I’M ONE (YOU’LL SEE)"

  1. VanIsleOil says:

    LT writes – ” this Oilers team is as loose as Crazy Horse at the Fillmore right now. My goodness.”

    Made me almost spill my coffee laughing, pure gold!!!

  2. meanashell11 says:

    I would just like to say Eberle played hard last night, used his body and did some good board work. I hope everyone can at least admit that.

  3. Pouzar says:

    “but he lost his man on goal two ”

    Not so sure about what he was supposed to do there. It was a PP and he was covering the guy in the slot. Toffoli inched down to the medium/high slot and Carter made a sick pass from the half wall. If McDavid shades a hair closer to the net that passing lane is gone.

    Edit: Watched a half dozen more times. That goal is not on Nurse. McDavid has to collapse a hair more. That give a lane like that on the PK.

  4. JimmyV1965 says:

    I’m really troubled by Klef’s play on the third goal. Before the face off Ebs specifically told him to move because he was out of position, yet he did nothing. The Kings win the faceoff and one pass later it’s a two on one. If Klef had moved like he was told he would have easily broke up the pass. I’m shocked that he just ignored his teammate and even worse, didn’t recognize he was out of position, even after it was pointed out to him. Does anyone know if he was benched after that play?

  5. DBO says:

    Nice post LT.

    I like the D pairings. And even more if Russell comes back and plays with Klefbom. I think Klef needs a bit of a breather in the tough matchups, and Sekera is solid in that role. Nurse-Davidson is another nice 3-4/5-6 d pairing and while it would kill our L-R D pairings, it does make us a better all around defense.

    Like the top 2 lines as well. A better RW for Drai and Pou would be nice. Woldl like to see Pitlick there and Lander in for Slepeshev. Need a better RW for 3rd line and still missing a RH PP QB. But I am still pleased with where we are at overall. not with last 10 games, but we all woldl have taken this position to start the year if offered it. They will pull out of the slump. i hope for a trade of some sort before months end. Or maybe its Caggula who comes in and fires it up with some speed and scoring like he did in pre season.

  6. dsr29 says:

    On the 2nd goal I think Nurse drifted out of the lane while battling a Kings forward. Left the seam through the slot wide open. Suppose you could choose either defenseman to blame. Poor coverage all over right after killing the penalty.

  7. Bag of Pucks says:

    LT says, “It has become cool to rip Lucic these days…”

    Presumably, not to his face?

  8. frjohnk says:

    Games in the division are so important.

    If we would have won the last two games ( yeah I know), this is how the 4 top teams in the Pacific division would look like in the standings
    Oilers 23 points
    Ducks 19 points
    Sharks 18 points
    Kings 15 points.

    But we lost both and it looks like this
    Ducks 21 points
    Oilers 19 points
    Sharks 18 points
    Kings 17 points.

    If we want a sniff at the playoffs we will have to be at least .500 against these 3 teams.

    so far…so not good.

  9. kinger_OIL says:

    – Great post LT!: I have long advocated Sek-Larsson: they are our 2 best D, but them together.

    – Between Klef-Davidson-Russel you can cobble together a 2nd line

    – And the left-overs with Nurse and Gryba/Benning make a fine 3rd pairing:

    Sek-Larsson
    Klef-Russel
    Nurse-Davidson

  10. Bag of Pucks says:

    meanashell11:
    I would just like to say Eberle played hard last night, used his body and did some good board work. I hope everyone can at least admit that.

    Absolutely, his pass to Toffoli on the shortie was sublime. No look. Tape to tape. A quality apple.

  11. Woodguy says:

    Pouzar:
    “but he lost his man on goal two ”

    Not so sure about what he was supposed to do there. It was a PP and he was covering the guy in the slot. Toffoli inched down to the medium/high slot and Carter made a sick pass from the half wall. If McDavid shades a hair closer to the net that passing lane is gone.

    Edit: Watched a half dozen more times. That goal is not on Nurse. McDavid has to collapse a hair more. That give a lane like that on the PK.

    Agreed.

    Larsson has to close his gap faster (like LT said), but the missed coverage was 97 not shading towards Toffoli as he slipped in behind 97 into some open ice.

    Nurse had his man at the side of the net and still almost got his stick on the pass.

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

    Excellent post LT! Spot on IMO.

    Quick question on the 2-0 Goal with Nurse. I’m having trouble blaming him on that one. It seems to me that the entire team overcommitted to the strong side and got puck watching Carter. Nurse engaged his man in front but was a hair late on turning to Toffoli once he released from the slot. IN the Ducks game a similar play occurred accept it was the Dman receiving the pass, Nurse broke from his man in front (Kesler) who was wide open to tap in the rebound.

    Is Nurse responsible for both of those plays or is it a matter of being quicker at both? My own personal view is that a) Larsson needs to cut that off (you pointed this out) or b) McDavid needs to have his head on a swivel to catch Toffoli’s release. I’m not sure what the right play is there, if Nurse releases too quickly Pearson is going to have an easy tap in as Toffoli slides it back across or he’s left wide open to bang home a rebound. No right or wrong answer just curious to hear you out.

    Also agree with you about CmD and the Sniper’s eye LT. I remember an interview years back that Crosby gave when he popped in 51 that one year. He said it was a pretty big mental adjustment to become a “shooter” mentioned his instinct was to set guys up because he could create space and draw defenders leaving them wide open but he had an epiphany moment when he realized that before he would take that extended moment with the puck to create that space for others he had the time to take a shot or at least make a play with the goal of taking a shot.

    I know that seems like a very subtle difference but to someone that thinks and plays the game at such a high level I can see just how uplifting/liberating that realization would be.

    Connor needs to trust his shot a bit more. We’ve seen blips of it lately I think but he’s not getting the results and I’m worried that this has him second guessing the shot option. Its all coming together slowly in my mind but if he keeps shooting and his linemates can start cashing in these greasy areas I think things will open up for him.

    This is for Russ99 from the last thread.

    I agree and I think once all those banged up bodies come back from the infirmary JP gets that same huge pat on the back that Benning gets and is sent down to Bakersfield to run up the stats. 39 games is where an ELC year gets torched so there is lots of room there even if he plays every game the rest of the month.

    I’m ok with that happening (Drai two years back was way way behind JP in defensive coverage and posted a similar level of offense so that’s my line in the sand here), but I think we need to see more offensive production in order to say “it was worth it”

    We’ve seen from his play last year that this is a special player, he can shoot and he can create time and space, there’s no doubt about that but I also think he’s more of a cerebral player. He reads the game exceptionally well given his d-zone work but I also think he’s perhaps intimidated or at least hesitant to run the offense himself. He doesn’t have Laine’s extreme confidence in his offensive abilities which is why I think a trip to Bakersfield with the goal of lighting the lamp could really help round out his rookie season.

    Today more than any other day I think the coaches need to preach patience and perseverance to the team. There have been some glaring errors lately but there has also been very long stretches of dominance by the Oilers. I know score effects play a role but look at these summaries (and I will edit promptly if I’m not to be posting the links here)

    https://oilersnerdalert.wordpress.com/2016/11/18/g18-2016-11-17-pp-fail-ref-fail-la-fail/

    https://oilersnerdalert.wordpress.com/2016/11/16/g1672016-11-15-those-darn-quacken-were-released-again/

    https://oilersnerdalert.wordpress.com/2016/11/13/g16-2016-11-13-new-jack-visits-our-connor-mac/

    Everyone should take a long hard look at these. These numbers don’t show a team falling off a cliff, they show very long stretches of extremely good play bookended by some bad puck luck and spotting the opposing team a lead before the game is 10 minutes old. I’m very worried today that we are approaching an “ahhh fuck it moment” where the confidence of the team gets sapped en masse and they careen into the ditch for 5 games. This is where a coach earns his dollars is by keeping the spirits up in times like these.

    LT is bang on its a marathon not a sprint. There are some good arrows here and I for one would absolutely love it if everything came together in Dallas of all places tomorrow night.

    Go Oilers!

  13. Scungilli says:

    kinger_OIL:
    – Great post LT!: I have long advocatedSek-Larsson: they are our 2 best D, but them together.

    – Between Klef-Davidson-Russel you can cobble together a 2nd line

    – And the left-overs with Nurse and Gryba/Benning make a fine 3rd pairing:

    Sek-Larsson
    Klef-Russel
    Nurse-Davidson

    I like that better as well, Woodguy’s numbers regarding TOI he’s posted show the top four are playing similar minutes and comp. Balancing skills size and experience makes more sense to me. It also wastes Sekera if they don’t because he’s far better with proper help. Nurse is a bit green still for top pairs.

  14. Pouzar says:

    SayItAin’tSo, Gretz, SayItAin’tSo!,

    That my friend was a wonderful read!

  15. meanashell11 says:

    Bag of Pucks: Absolutely, his pass to Toffoli on the shortie was sublime. No look. Tape to tape. A quality apple.

    Ok, be that way. I guess haters will be haters.

  16. Bank Shot says:

    meanashell11:
    I would just like to say Eberle played hard last night, used his body and did some good board work. I hope everyone can at least admit that.

    I didn’t notice it until watching the highlights package, but Eberle made the worst change in the world at 16:45 of the 3rd. He literally glided off the ice as the Kings were breaking away on a two on one.

    It was just horrendous. He doesn’t deserve any praise for last night’s game after that one.

  17. dustrock says:

    Really liked the mad bull rush by Draisaitl, he’s a tank and he’s most effective when he’s skating like that. Nice to see the great shot from Nurse too, saw that a few times in junior for SSM but not in the bigs.

    This team needs some RW help. Jesse is doing well two-way but the offence just isn’t there, and you could rinse and repeat for Slepyshev, whose offence seems to have fallen down a well.

    Getting Davidson and Fayne and maybe yes even Russell back would help too.

    I’m not panicking – the transition is to a mediocre team, not a great team. Don’t have all the pieces yet no matter which way you slice.

    Have to say – Nuge is playing well, but man the offensive touch he had in his first 2 years just seems to have dried up.

  18. Scungilli says:

    Bank Shot: I didn’t notice it until watching the highlights package, but Eberle made the worst change in the world at 16:45 of the 3rd. He literally glided off the ice as the Kings were breaking away on a two on one.

    It was just horrendous. He doesn’t deserve any praise for last night’s game after that one.

    They really need him to turn a corner in play and scoring, even if only so that they can sell him for more than a second or some mediocre defenceman. We deserve it.

  19. Bank Shot says:

    Woodguy: Agreed.

    Larsson has to close his gap faster (like LT said), but the missed coverage was 97 not shading towards Toffoli as he slipped in behind 97 into some open ice.

    Nurse had his man at the side of the net and still almost got his stick on the pass.

    Agreed. It was McDavid on that goal.

    One has to question the coach putting out McDavid and Draisaitl together to PK.
    Poor time to experiment with Draisaitl on the PK IMO.

  20. OmJo says:

    You can blame the D for this losing streak but honestly, the forwards haven’t been helping them out in either end of the ice. This current D right now is one of the top penalty killing units in the league right now. Something doesn’t add up.

    I think, ultimately we are losing because of early goals and the inability to score, especially on the PP. The D can be better but IMO they’re the ones keeping us in games at this point.

  21. OmJo says:

    Bank Shot,

    Saw that too. Brutal change. He’s lucky he wasn’t born in some Russian town the coach can’t pronounce after the two glaring mistakes he made yesterday.

  22. Frank the dog says:

    Ever since I gave up hope I feel much better……
    Seriously, there are things the Oilers can do and things that just are what they are. It remains a fact that no Canadian team has won the Stanley since Bettman came into power. Narratives optional.

    One comment a while back was the correlation to the demise of this team and the injury to Russell.
    If we can string a good defense together between the D we have now, and the D that some day will return from injury: Russell, Davidson , Fayne, and stiffen up our Forwards with the addition of Caggiula and Henderson, I dare say that we would give up less 1st goals, and get more offense.

  23. meanashell11 says:

    Well, I am just done with this place for today.

    It is evident that today there will not be a shred of reality.

    LT, thanks for pointing out we are far from out of it! I still stand by my 90pt forecast.

    Later Haters!

  24. Bank Shot says:

    dustrock:
    This team needs some RW help.Jesse is doing well two-way but the offence just isn’t therel.

    He was a major goat on the 4th goal.

    Is JP really playing that well of a two way game or is it just fans searching for some kind of silver lining? I think its the latter. Like when Nick Schultz was getting blamed for everything wrong with Justin.

    JP just doesn’t look like an NHL to me at this time. His mistakes outnumber his positive plays 3 to 1. It’s ridiculous that this shit is still happening under Chiarelli.

  25. JimmyV1965 says:

    Bag of Pucks: Absolutely, his pass to Toffoli on the shortie was sublime. No look. Tape to tape. A quality apple.

    If you’re referring to the third goa, Eberlr had nothing to do iwith it. We’re there two shorties?

  26. frjohnk says:

    Our top 6 in TOI in the against metrics of corsi, shots, scoring chances and high danger chances

    _____________CA/60___SA/60__SCA/60__HDCA/60
    Adam Larsson___53.7____29.5___25.2_____13.4
    Andrej Sekera____51.2____26.7___19.1_____11.3
    Darnell Nurse___51.7_____31.9___18.7_____11.6
    Eric Gryba______47.7____29.8____19.8_____11.9
    Kris Russell____58.0_____29.4___20.0_____11.3
    Oscar Klefbom__50.7____28.2____24.7_____12.7

    Sekera is quietly our best defender.
    Nurse and Gryba were doing fine as our 3rd pairing before Russell got hurt. But they have been on the ice when alot of the goals are being scored as of late. They are playing too high up the batting order.

    Klefbom and Larsson continue to be on the ice when alot of chances against happen. And thats including both high danger chances and medium danger chances against
    They are also 1,2 in the league in Dmen who are on the ice when a high danger goal is scored against ( 14 for Larsson, 13 for Klefbom) Part of this is quality of teammates, and also quality of competition.
    If they were bringing a ton of offense, Id be OK with with them as our top pair, but they dont.
    Like Nurse and Gryba, I think these two are playing too high up the batting order. But other than Sekera, we have no other options for top pairing ( and then Sekera is best suited for 2nd pairing)

    Offensively, it was nice to see Nurse and Klefbom hit the scoreboard, but our offense from the backend is lacking. Man do we need a RHD Dman with a bomb for the powerplay.

    This team was 29th last year, so we shouldnt be surprised we still have major holes this year.

  27. SwedishPoster says:

    meanashell11:
    I would just like to say Eberle played hard last night, used his body and did some good board work. I hope everyone can at least admit that.

    Yeah but his drive by after the PP faceoff with just one D on the blue line combined with Klefbom being positioned too lateral lead to the 3-2 goal. I agree that he did some nice board work, especially for a smaller guy and he had some good cycles with RNH, but he has to either clean up his defensive miscues or outscore them. The reason I’m hard on him is that he’s one of the star players on the team and as such he has to play as that star or the team will struggle. He’s a key to this team being successful and one of the top earners. Thus the high standard I personally hold for him.

  28. Bag of Pucks says:

    meanashell11: Ok, be that way. I guess haters will be haters.

    Almost immediately after the Oil tie the game, they go on the PP. A massive opportunity to maintain the momentum, score the go-ahead goal, and potentially win the game.

    On the draw, Eberle is pinched in off the left point on what is obviously a set play designed to win the draw to him for a quick shot. Ebs’ job is to take that shot should the Oil win the draw cleanly or support the C to scramble the draw if not. Firstly, poor PP design by the Oil and great advance scouting by the Kings as Toffoli breaks for the open point immediately off the draw. Betting against the Oil losing an Ozone draw is never a bad gambit. If Carter were to win the draw cleanly, the Oil were hooped regardless.

    But hey, it’s a scrambled draw and Ebs does get his stick on it with a chance to win possession. So, crisis averted and the momentum can continue, right?

    Afraid not, as our man Ebs grabs the puck and turns and fires a pass directly to the left point that he should know is vacated (because he’s the bloody guy that vacates it on the set play) and the breaking Toffoli for the odd man rush.

    Kings score what turns out to be the game winner. Momentum swings back. Eberle’s clear mental error is a massive back breaker for this particular game.

    So, yeah I’m a hater. I expect our highest paid and most veteran players not to make a pass that you wouldn’t make playing in peewee.

  29. frjohnk says:

    OmJo:
    Bank Shot,

    Saw that too. Brutal change. He’s lucky he wasn’t born in some Russian town the coach can’t pronounce after the two glaring mistakes he made yesterday.

    EBERLE’s back was towards the play at the bench getting ready to change when the Kings gained possession and started the rush towards the Oilers end

    Bad change by EBERLE, but someone on the bench should have saw what was happening and told him of the incoming danger and he needed to defend.

  30. Woodguy says:

    Here’s the Oiler games this year with the Scoring Chance% (as per corsica) and their record

    OPP…..SCF%…..W/L/T
    LAK…..38.10…..L
    ANA…..62.64…..L
    NYR…..36.04…..L
    DAL…..40.56…..L
    PIT…..58.32…..L
    DET…..67.99…..W
    NYI…..28.28…..T
    NYR…..29.37…..L
    TOR…..48.65…..T
    OTT …..34.57…..L
    VAN…..53.35…..W
    WSH…..62.99…..W
    WPG…..65.42…..W
    STL…..66.00…..W
    CAR…..32.24…..W
    BUF…..60.62…..L
    CGY…..61.68…..W
    CGY…..72.01…..W

    Now, its doesn’t match the win/loss record perfectly because our friend PDO dominates small samples and there are some score effects, but you can see the trend.

    The most alarming trend is that the SC Against is going up significantly.

    McLellen’s right in that the SCF has been ok (last night it wasn’t but the trend isn’t bad), but LT’s observation of “coverage issues” is reflected in the Against numbers.

    They laid an absolute egg in almost every respect last night. Didn’t get to the scoring areas and didn’t keep LAK out of the scoring areas.

    I agree that Sekera has been EDM’s best LHD and maybe its time to move him up the roster instead of playing 3rd with Benning.

    I think McL will move Klef off the 1st pairing (correctly)

    One pairing that LT missed in his write up was Klef-Gryba. They actually played together a hair more than Klef-Benning.

    Klef-Larsson 7:27 (9-5)
    Klef-Gryba 4:57 (2-0)
    Klef-Benning 4:12 (5-3)

    I think we may see:

    Sekera-Larsson
    Klefbom-Gryba
    Nurse-Benning

  31. fifthcartel says:

    I’m very curious how Adam Larsson was ever mistaken for an offensive defenseman.

  32. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Bag of Pucks: Absolutely, his pass to Toffoli on the shortie was sublime. No look. Tape to tape. A quality apple.

    If you saw a pass on that play it may be time to get new glasses. The old ones are delusional.

    EDIT: I went back to review the goal & yes there is one angle that might be interpreted as a whiffed pass by Eberle but it was in fact Carter’s pass after the bigger (not to mention faster) man won the puck battle off the scrambled draw. It was a clusterfuck however you slice it.

  33. Bag of Pucks says:

    Bruce McCurdy: If you saw a pass on that play it may be time to get new glasses. The old ones are delusional.

    You may want to check the overhead cam view on the NHL highlights before you render the verdict on that one, judge.

  34. Lois Lowe says:

    I’ve invested in pitchforks recently, they’ve seen a massive spike in demand and I am going to become rich!

  35. Woodguy says:

    For those interesting in the SCF and SCA results per game, here they are.

    You can see the SCF is actually trending ok, but SCA is in the toilet.

    These are all score and venue adjusted to they look a little weird with decimal places.

    OPP…..SCF60…..SCA60…..W/L/T
    LAK…..6.72……….10.92……….L
    ANA …..16.26……….9.7………..L
    NYR….10.74………19.05……….L
    DAL …..4.74……….21.6……….L
    PIT…..9.43……….6.74……….L
    DET…..6.87……….3.23……….W
    NYI…..4.09……….10.38……….T
    NYR…..5.54………13.33……….L
    TOR…..16.33……..17.24………T
    OTT…..3.74……….7.09……….L
    VAN…..8.38……….7.33……….W.
    WSH…..13.69…….8.05……….W
    WPG…..11.84……6.26……….W
    STL…..12.63……..6.51………W
    CAR…..6.75……..14.18……….W
    BUF…..13.07……..8.49……….L
    CGY…..11.66………7.24……..W
    CGY…..10.86……..4.22……..W

    This team misses Russell or Davidson or both.

  36. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Bag of Pucks: You may want to check the overhead cam view on the NHL highlights before you render the verdict on that one, judge.

    See my edit. Remain convinced it was Carter’s backhand pass that triggeed the jailbreak, & that overhead camera shows it

  37. JDï™ says:

    Looks to me like he was trying to sweep it back to the right point, and Carter’s stick got just enough of the puck to change the direction.

  38. Pouzar says:

    Woodguy:
    For those interesting in the SCF and SCA results per game, here they are.

    You can see the SCF is actually trending ok, but SCA is in the toilet.

    These are all score and venue adjusted to they look a little weird with decimal places.

    OPP…..SCF60…..SCA60…..W/L/T
    LAK…..6.72……….10.92……….L
    ANA…..16.26……….9.7………..L
    NYR….10.74………19.05……….L
    DAL…..4.74……….21.6……….L
    PIT…..9.43……….6.74……….L
    DET…..6.87……….3.23……….W
    NYI…..4.09……….10.38……….T
    NYR…..5.54………13.33……….L
    TOR…..16.33……..17.24………T
    OTT…..3.74……….7.09……….L
    VAN…..8.38……….7.33……….W.
    WSH…..13.69…….8.05……….W
    WPG…..11.84……6.26……….W
    STL…..12.63……..6.51………W
    CAR…..6.75……..14.18……….W
    BUF…..13.07……..8.49……….L
    CGY…..11.66………7.24……..W
    CGY…..10.86……..4.22……..W

    This team misses Russell or Davidson or both.

    Would love to see these numbers for the first 18 games last year.

  39. frjohnk says:

    fifthcartel:
    I’m very curious how Adam Larsson was ever mistaken for an offensive defenseman.

    Few ever said he was.
    Some believed there was some untapped offense ( like me)
    I Still believe so, but Im not expecting much.

    He is very physical and I love that.

  40. Dustylegnd says:

    Woodguy,

    Woodguy, quick question, how many games do NHL teams win when Goalies save% is sub 850

  41. Bag of Pucks says:

    Bruce McCurdy: See my edit. Remain convinced it was Carter’s backhand pass that triggeed the jailbreak, & that overhead camera shows it

    You can clearly see the puck’s speed increase substantially after Eberle’s stick is on it.

    If he didn’t pass it, it’s the veritable magic loogie.

    Pause it frame by frame and you can clearly see Eberle’s stick in front of Carter’s. It looks like Eberle was trying to fire in the direction of the half wall or anywhere other than Toffoli and unfortunately he passed it right to him.

  42. DBO says:

    why the F would they expose Lander to waivers when you can send Sleppy down with no risk? Annoyed. I may be the last guy on the Lander bandwagon, and still believe he was a big part of that 4th line success this year. I would sooner have him then Letestu. Must be the sideburns.

    Grand scheme, no real biggie. They need an upgrade at 3RW and Hendricks activated with Kassian to 3 RW isn’t quite the upgrade I am hoping for.

  43. JDï™ says:

    Edmonton Oilers Verified account
    ‏@EdmontonOilers

    The #Oilers have placed Anton Lander on waivers.

  44. Bag of Pucks says:

    JDï™:
    Edmonton Oilers Verified account
    ‏@EdmontonOilers

    The #Oilers have placed Anton Lander on waivers.

    Remember when Tambo drafted him and talked about how great he was in the room?

    No mention of the quicksand skating style in that presser if I recall.

    Chiarelli and TMac continue to play around the edges. Don’t think this is going to have the seismic impact they’re anticipating. lol

  45. Jethro Tull says:

    Bag of Pucks: Remember when Tambo drafted him and talked about great he was in the room?

    No mention of the quicksand skating style in that presser if I recall.

    Chiarelli and TMac continue to play around the edges. Don’t think this is going to have the seismic impact they’re anticipating. lol

    It means Puljujarvi stays, Hendricks back, Cags close.

  46. Little Poteet says:

    Bag of Pucks,

    I think you are right, but it depends who is taking his spot on the club. I don’t know that Hendricks moves the needle, but maybe cags can bring offense and kassian can kill more penalties

  47. OmJo says:

    DBO:
    why the F would they expose Lander to waivers when you can send Sleppy down with no risk? Annoyed. I may be the last guy on the Lander bandwagon, and still believe he was abig part of that 4th line success this year. I would sooner have him then Letestu. Must be the sideburns.

    Grand scheme, no real biggie. They need an upgrade at 3RW and Hendricks activated with Kassian to 3 RW isn’t quite the upgrade I am hoping for.

    I thought he worked well on the fourth line too. Slepy or JP should be the ones going down (yes even after yesterday – I think JP would benefit from a stint in the A where he can adapt offensively to the north american ice).

  48. Diablo says:

    People here keep saying “wait until so and so is back …”

    Last the night the Kings were missing Quick and Kopitar, and they thoroughly beat the Oilers last night.
    If MacDavid and Talbot were out – do we think the Oilers could rally the way the Kings have?

    We need to stop making excuses for this team – we need to stop giving this team a pass.
    10 years out of the playoffs guys – I’ve been patient. I’ve drank gallons of the koolaid, When I’ve been back in E-town, I’ve paid money for the games.

    I’m tired of watching my team play bad hockey.

  49. Pouzar says:

    JDï™:
    Edmonton Oilers Verified account
    ‏@EdmontonOilers

    The #Oilers have placed Anton Lander on waivers.

    Somebody is ready to go

  50. SwedishPoster says:

    Bruce McCurdy: See my edit. Remain convinced it was Carter’s backhand pass that triggeed the jailbreak, & that overhead camera shows it

    To me it doesn’t really matter if he tried to pass it or not. My issue is him just skating past the situation, if there’s a scramble you stop unless you’ve secured the puck. Especially with just one man on the blue, you have to recognize the situation. I also would like to point out that I don’t think it’s a lazy or soft play, just a bad defensive play in a key situation and we see it too much from one of our top players for it to be acceptable.
    I think McDavid has a few too many dodgy defensive plays the last few but he at least has the benefit of still being a teenager.

  51. JDï™ says:

    Pouzar: Somebody is ready to go

    Hendricks?

  52. Pouzar says:

    JDï™: Hendricks?

    That’s my guess.

  53. JDï™ says:

    Pouzar: That’s my guess.

    Well good luck in Phoenix, Anton.

  54. OmJo says:

    What’s out team FO% without Lander?

  55. godot10 says:

    The set play on the PP that let to the shortie was horribly designed, and Eberle, Klefbom, AND McDavid seems to have no clue what each other was doing on the play.

    McDavid is as much to blame on the shortie as anybody.

  56. Pouzar says:

    Bob Stauffer (@Bob_Stauffer) · Twitter

    https://twitter.com/Bob_Stauffer

    Brandon Davidson and Dillon Simpson are not on the ice this morning for practice. Kris Russell is one of 7 Oilers D today

  57. pocession charge says:

    JDï™:
    Looks to me like he was trying to sweep it back to the right point, and Carter’s stick got just enough of the puck to change the direction.

    It was definitely deflected. No question.

  58. square_wheels says:

    Pouzar,

    Davidson injury is a damn shame, don’t think we appreciate his impact to this D corps. He’d push Gryba out, and Nurse/Russell down.

  59. frjohnk says:

    Pouzar:
    Bob Stauffer (@Bob_Stauffer) · Twitter

    https://twitter.com/Bob_Stauffer

    Brandon Davidson and Dillon Simpson are not on the ice this morning for practice. Kris Russell is one of 7 Oilers D today

    Don’t be surprised to see Russell back in the lineup just as we start winning.

    And then watch the verbal on that “coincidence”

  60. square_wheels says:

    godot10,

    Was about to point that out, he was gawking at Toffoli as he skated up ice, must have forgot he was the LW on the Face off.

  61. fifthcartel says:

    frjohnk,

    Sorry, I should have clarified. I mean at the time of his draft when he was talked about being the next big Swede with offense.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fZ4ovCvVXRs

    “.. a right-handed shooting blue liner with lots of offense.” (1:16)

    I also had hoped NJ was stifling his offense and he may surprise with some hidden scoring but, man that does not seem to be the case.

  62. OmJo says:

    I wish Oilers fans would stop trading Ebs. Part of the reason we are in this mess is because we have no RW depth. Making it worse won’t help.

  63. Georges says:

    Bruce McCurdy,
    godot10,

    Whatever happened on the execution, that play design by Woodcroft was definitely hmm. Time and space, you try and get them for yourself and take them away from the other guy. As Bag of Pucks pointed out as well, all Toffoli had to do was skate into the space we left uncovered. By design.

    Lots of people have been pointing out recently that we get very little offense from our defense. We’re noticeably bad at it. We only play 2 defensemen on our PP units. Most teams play 3 or 4. The PP is where defensemen can up their offense totals and develop the attack side of their game. That attack instinct (keeping pucks in, getting pucks through, reading the play, coming off the point) helps their teams on scoring and possession.

    By using only 1 defenseman on each pp unit, we’re limiting the opportunity to develop the attack skill in our defenders. Woodcroft is running his one part of the business and he’s incentivized to make that business line work. If it was producing like gangbusters, he gets to do what he wants. But it’s not. TMac and Chiarelli are responsible for the whole business. And it’s in the long term interest of the whole business to develop NHL defenders that can attack as well as defend.

    I’m rooting for Nurse (whose shot volume resembles top tier) and Larsson (because he’s the guy we traded a great player for).

  64. Bag of Pucks says:

    OmJo:
    I wish Oilers fans would stop trading Ebs. Part of the reason we are in this mess is because we have no RW depth. Making it worse won’t help.

    I wish Eberle would play better so talk of trading him didn’t come up.

  65. JDï™ says:

    Gregor saying that Davey, Russell and Caggs also close to returning.

  66. Dino says:

    I feel like I should be panicking but I’m just not. I’m not overly worried about this team because just like the 7-1 start wasn’t realistic to who they are, this last stretch of losses doesn’t indicate who they really are either. They’re somewhere in between but closer to being good than being bad.

    Take a quick look at the players slumping, do we really expect players like Nuge and Pouliot and Lucic to never score again? i highly doubt that, this team has plenty of talent and offensive weapons that are cold right now but they’ll heat up again. It’s a long season people we aren’t even a quarter of a way through it.

    As for the chances against and the goals they’re allowing, it’s mainly just annoying but if you take a look at the defence, how young it is in key areas, you can kind of understand the mental lapses. When Russell and Davidson return fully healthy I think we see a MAJOR improvement in the chances against.

    I’m not worried, just annoyed to watch them lose when I know they could win. It’ll come.

    Ps: Woodguy, I lowkey think someone in the Oilers organization heard you on Oilersnow and listened to your advice about the lines last night lol. Keep up the good work.

  67. Scungilli says:

    SwedishPoster: Yeah but his drive by after the PP faceoff with just one D on the blue line combined with Klefbom being positioned too lateral lead to the 3-2 goal. I agree that he did some nice board work, especially for a smaller guy and he had some good cycles with RNH, but he has to either clean up his defensive miscues or outscore them. The reason I’m hard on him is that he’s one of the star players on the team and as such he has to play as that star or the team will struggle. He’s a key to this team being successful and one of the top earners. Thus the high standard I personally hold for him.

    These are salient points. By signing that contract he, Hall and Nuge took responsibility for being the leaders of the team. In being first round or first overall they were supposed to be why the team improved. Not single handedly, but move the dial forward and it never happened. To me a lot of that was because other than Nuge their play didn’t improve, same old mistakes, no growth, and coaches paid the price. He and Nuge need to get it together or I’m sure they’ll move them and probably at a loss. My biggest fear around the team right now.

  68. Bag of Pucks says:

    Diablo:
    I’m tired of watching my team play bad hockey.

    Try watching the opposing team more. I find it helps.

  69. Pouzar says:

    JDï™:
    Gregor saying that Davey, Russell and Caggs also close to returning.

    And there’s the mystical 3 for 1!!!!!!!!!

  70. Confused says:

    Pouzar,

    think you can take caggs out.

    Davie + Russell = RHD

  71. Dino says:

    fifthcartel,

    Actually he put up decent numbers earlier in NJ when they gave him some
    O’zone starts and some PP time. Didn’t he have over 30 points 2 years ago? But they started using him more and more for defence and he STILL posted 18 points last year with no PP time. That’s pretty impressive for a stay at home defender to post 18 even strength points in a season especially considering his usage and playing for the lowest scoring team in the entire league too. I think he has untapped offensive potential and could be a 30 point guy if he was encouraged to use his offensive tools a little more and put on the PP. In my humble opinion, his shot seems harder and more accurate than Klef’s but he rarely uses it and is less offensively creative than Klefbom.

  72. SwedishPoster says:

    OmJo:
    I wish Oilers fans would stop trading Ebs. Part of the reason we are in this mess is because we have no RW depth. Making it worse won’t help.

    I haven’t seen anyone trading Ebs just being critical of his play. There’s a difference. We can’t really afford trading Eberle as he’s our only real skill winger and consistent offensive threat outside of McDavid.

  73. Durag says:

    OmJo:
    Making it worse won’t help.

    Wise words.

  74. Bag of Pucks says:

    SwedishPoster: I haven’t seen anyone trading Ebs just being critical of his play. There’s a difference. We can’t really afford trading Eberle as he’s our only real skill winger and consistent offensive threat outside of McDavid.

    I agreed with everything in this post with the exception of the inclusion of the word, ‘consistent.’

    Ebs is as streaky a scorer as there is. His goals comes in bunches and he can also disappear off the scoresheet for a good stretch of games.

    He makes his living producing against rush teams and is largely ineffective against cycle teams. It’s no coincidence that he broke out of his G slump this season against the Pens.

    Ironically, for a non-speedster, he’s better off the fast break than he is in the half court game. Probably why he stays stapled to McDavid’s side.

  75. SwedishPoster says:

    Bag of Pucks,

    I mean season over season, but yeah he’s a bit streaky in season.

  76. Bag of Pucks says:

    SwedishPoster:
    Bag of Pucks,

    I mean season over season, but yeah he’s a bit streaky in season.

    Gotcha

  77. Bruce Wayne says:

    I can’t believe more isn’t being said about the officiating. Until that changes, nothing will change.

    The problem isn’t simply that they don’t call anything, it is that the non-calls only go in one direction.

    McDavid gets mugged on every shift. No calls.
    How many ticky-tacky penalties has Pouliot taken this year?
    How many diving penalties has the other team gotten this year?
    How many instigator penalties has the other team gotten this year?

    Everyone wants the Oilers to respond with the hooking and slashing, but when they do they get penalties.

    I am not a homer, and I don’t know what the answer is, but there is a systematic bias against the Oilers in the officiating. I don’t think it is targeted, or intentional, just that the officials are instructed to officiate in a certain way by the league, and this is harmful to the Oilers, and bad for the league in general. It is still run by guys operating off of a tough guy imagination of the past. The ironic thing is that this past never existed, the game is far rougher today on a consistent basis than it was in the past. The past had fights and cheap shots, the present has constant hitting and stickwork that are part and parcel of what has come to be taken for granted as ordinary defensive play.

    And the league wonders why goals are down and no one can score 100 points. The answer is obvious.

  78. Confused says:

    Hopefully Russell can go against Dallas and we can see the back of Gryba.
    He is so slow and the puck is so problematic for him that it causes problems everywhere.

    First goal last night all him, Nurse and Kassian.
    Lots of passing it around the back, which they cannot handle, both defenders not moving and creating openings.

    Followed by — we have no options left — rockets one up the middle to Kassian which he could not control.

    Leading to a turnover at central ice and the first goal.

    Mr. leadboots days are over we need to move on and let him be the beef at Bakersfield.

  79. OmJo says:

    SwedishPoster,

    Nothing wrong with criticising him, I do it too. I’m not his biggest fan either, but he’s important to this team until JP steps up and starts producing.

    That post was out of frustration of reading ON comments, but there is a growing segment of the fanbase who want to trade him. As I mentioned on ON, he has more goals and points that our three other RWs, combined. So he’s definitely not as expendable as some make it out to be.

  80. Woodguy says:

    Dustylegnd:
    Woodguy,

    Woodguy, quick question, how many games do NHL teams win when Goalies save% is sub 850

    Quick answer: not many

    Question are:

    Is the goalie shutting the bed?

    is the other team getting a lot of shots from the SH% areas?

    Both?

  81. OmJo says:

    Bruce Wayne,

    I refuse to complain about reffing losing us games until our PP scores more than one PP goal every 5 games. Both need to be way better.

  82. Lowetide says:

    User Actions
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    Patrick C
    ‏@ChunkletsHockey
    #KHL: Ak Bars coach Z. Bilyaletdinov says Ziyat Paigin may draw in vs. Lada on Sunday: https://translate.google.com/translate?sl=ru&tl=en&js=y&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&u=http%3A%2F%2Frsport.ru%2Fhockey%2F20161118%2F1112389918.html&edit-text=&act=url … #Oilers

  83. JDï™ says:

    OmJo: reading ON comments

    Well there’s your problem right there.

  84. Bruce Wayne says:

    Until this team learns some fundamental management principles it will never win. They are:

    1) The team with the most talent is the best team. Always. There is no secret recipe. You cannot make your team better by taking a loss on talent but improving your mix. It is impossible. You make your team better by adding talent.

    2) Adding talent is the goal of every transaction, be it a trade, the draft, or waivers. Never do anything for need. Ever. The plain truth of the matter is you don’t know what you need.

    3) The cheapest way to add talent is in the latter part of the summer and in the pre-season. This is when you can get freely available talent to fill holes. Filling your holes in house with guys who are waiver exempt or guys who are unlikely to be claimed is always a bad idea.

    4) Never play players who are not likely to be instant stars in their draft + 1 year. It doesn’t make them better players and it doesn’t make you a better team.

    5) Don’t sign ok to good players for big dollars.

    If you just ran your team like this you could rebuild (points 1 and 2) and try and win (points 3 and 4) in harmony.

    The Oilers have done the opposite of this forever. Chiarelli is no different, indeed he may be the worst offender.

    The good news is that it is never too late to do things right. The goal isn’t to win this year, it is to win. Send Puljujarvi to the minors, don’t trade Eberle for a draft pick, don’t sign the next Lucic, keep your first round picks, be on the lookout for bargains, sign next year’s equivalents of Pirri, Versteeg, and Parenteau.

    All of Chiarelli’s good moves (Maroon, Kassian, Talbot, Caggiula, Benning all added talent for little or no cost) fit this criteria, while his bad moves of comission cost talent (Hall, Reinhart, Lucic), or omission (the cheap moves he didn’t make–Pirri, Versteeg, Parenteau) also cost talent.

    The job isn’t that hard. Get good players. Keep good players. There is no such thing as losing the battle to win the war. Stop trying to make the mix better, just get better players.

  85. JimmyV1965 says:

    Bruce McCurdy: If you saw a pass on that play it may be time to get new glasses. The old ones are delusional.

    EDIT: I went back to review the goal & yes there is one angle that might be interpreted as a whiffed pass by Eberle but it was in fact Carter’s pass after the bigger (not to mention faster) man won the puck battle off the scrambled draw. It was a clusterfuck however you slice it.

    Tbank you for this BM. Eberle now getting blamed for things he didn’t do. What makes it even more frustrating is Ebs clearly gesture to Klef to move over before the puck was dropped. If Klef listened to him he would have easily intercepted the pass.

  86. Woodguy says:

    Georges,

    By using only 1 defenseman on each pp unit, we’re limiting the opportunity to develop the attack skill in our defenders.

    I’ve seen data where 4F1D 5v4 powerplays significantly outscore 3F2D 5v4.

    That’s every teams over 5+ years of data.

  87. JimmyV1965 says:

    Bag of Pucks: You may want to check the overhead cam view on the NHL highlights before you render the verdict on that one, judge.

    There was clearly a scramble for the puck. Lots of confusion. Surely you must admit that. And surely you realize Klef was out of position. And clearly he was told this before the puck dropped and he chose to remain out of position.

  88. Woodguy says:

    Woodguy:
    Georges,

    By using only 1 defenseman on each pp unit, we’re limiting the opportunity to develop the attack skill in our defenders.

    I’ve seen data where 4F1D 5v4 powerplays significantly outscore 3F2D 5v4.

    That’s every teams over 5+ years of data.

    And 2RF + 2LF + 1D >>> 1RF + 3LF + 1D

    Having balanced shots on the 5v4 is everything.

  89. JimmyV1965 says:

    Diablo:
    People here keep saying “wait until so and so is back …”

    Last the night the Kings were missing Quick and Kopitar, and they thoroughly beat the Oilers last night.
    If MacDavid and Talbot were out – do we think the Oilers could rally the way the Kings have?

    We need to stop making excuses for this team – we need to stop giving this team a pass.
    10 years out of the playoffs guys – I’ve been patient. I’ve drank gallons of the koolaid, When I’ve beenback in E-town, I’ve paid money for the games.

    I’m tired of watching my team play bad hockey.

    This is what drives me nuts, especially Caggs. The guy has never played a game in the NHL The only possible difference maker is Davidson. Maybe.

  90. Bag of Pucks says:

    JimmyV1965: There was clearly a scramble for the puck.Lots of confusion. Surely you must admit that.And surely you realize Klef was out of position.And clearly he was told this before the puck dropped and he chose to remain out of position.

    Lots of confusion?

    Honestly, is this where we’re reaching now to find excuses for Eberle passing directly to Toffoli?

    What’s next? The sun was in his eyes?

  91. Bruce McCurdy says:

    SwedishPoster: To me it doesn’t really matter if he tried to pass it or not. My issue is him just skating past the situation, if there’s a scramble you stop unless you’ve secured the puck. Especially with just one man on the blue, you have to recognize the situation. I also would like to point out that I don’t think it’s a lazy or soft play, just a bad defensive play in a key situation and we see it too much from one of our top players for it to be acceptable.
    I think McDavid has a few too many dodgy defensive plays the last few but he at least has the benefit of still being a teenager.

    Yeah he overskated the puck. The whole play seemed to be designed for the four Oilers forwards to go forward and the two King forwards to go forward and whoever won that puck battle was in good position. Carter won it decisively, and wham. I’m not trying to excuse Eberle, I just didn’t see it as a bad pass so much as a lost battle. Which as you say, doesn’t really matter.

    Losing streaks make me cranky, what can I say. >:o

  92. JimmyV1965 says:

    Bag of Pucks: Lots of confusion?

    Honestly, is this where we’re reaching now to find excuses for Eberle passing directly to Toffoli?

    What’s next? The sun was in his eyes?
    Was Klef out of position and was he told this by Eberle before the puck dropped?

    Was Klef out of position and was he told this by Eberle before the puck dropped?

  93. Pouzar says:

    My imaginary ignore button is working wonderfully today.
    Certain posters long for these losing streaks.

  94. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Georges:
    Bruce McCurdy,
    godot10,

    Whatever happened on the execution, that play design by Woodcroft was definitely hmm. Time and space, you try and get them for yourself and take them away from the other guy. As Bag of Pucks pointed out as well, all Toffoli had to do was skate into the space we left uncovered. By design.

    Not sure if that was Woodcroft or the guys on the ice free-lancing. Remenda pointed out the talking and gesticulating that went on immediately before the puck drop. As I put it in my post-game report:

    Tonight’s lone powerplay appeared about as well organized as a bunch of kids playing sandlot football and drawing up plays in the dirt, a plan that backfired spectacularly right off the drop of the puck. At some point the coaching staff needs to take ownership of a special team that is doing more than its part towards killing this club’s playoff hopes.

    During the current losing streak the powerplay has 0 for, 1 against in 12 opportunities. -1 for 12. Still waiting some kind of sign, any sign at all, that Jay Woodcroft knows WTF he is doing, but he’s been here for 100 games now and his powerplay has been hot garbage for a lot of that time.

  95. JDï™ says:

    Bruce McCurdy: but he’s been here for 100 games now

    Eakins got 113 games to show his worth.

  96. Bag of Pucks says:

    JimmyV1965: Was Klef out of position and was he told this by Eberle before the puck dropped?

    Does it really matter when the goal could’ve been prevented by Eberle simply not letting the puck get to Toffoli? Eberle was the player with the greatest opportunity on the play to directly prevent the odd man rush, and in fact, he started it!

    To Pouzar’s snark, there should be an ignore button for Eberle apologists.

  97. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Woodguy: Quick answer: not many

    Is the goalie shutting the bed?

    Well he’s certainly not shutting the door!

  98. Pouzar says:

    #FreeLB

  99. Bruce McCurdy says:

    OmJo:
    Bruce Wayne,

    I refuse to complain about reffing losing us games until our PP scores more than one PP goal every 5 games. Both need to be way better.

    Agree. I hate shitty officiating as much as anyone, but I hate a shitty powerplay even more. As I, noted ref-baiter, said in above-mentioned game report: “This game wasn’t helped by carte blanche officiating, but when your powerplay just shoots itself in the foot anyway then your finger is likely pointing in the wrong direction.”

    The NHL does need to get its head out of the sand in terms of showcasing and marketing — not to mention, protecting — its talented players. Going to be hard for Johnny Gaudreau to sell many tickets in the next month, now isn’t it?

  100. bringbackslats says:

    LT,
    I love your analogies and insightful witticisms and observations. One of the first writings I reach for in my daily morning routine.
    I know you’re a numbers guy and that’s cool. I’m not a disbeliever in math but only question how it’s interpreted. Sometimes I find myself frustrated by your apparent insightfulness on the one hand, but dogged determination not to recant a bit on the other. I was a proponent of drafting Nurse and have always believed he will lead us on the backend at a point in time when the young man matures. So I’m not surprised at all by his better play this year and if anything it has just reaffirmed my conviction that he will emerge one day as a No. 2 Dean and possibly a 1. My issue with you and Willis on our D corps stems from an unaldulterated love for Klefbom. The kids got a good toolkit but I don’t think he sees the ice any better than a second pairing guy and at times a 3rd. He’s ok. Hopefully a solid player at best.
    So how is it that you guys rip on KRussel like he’s the Defensive zone anti christ when it’s clear to many that he’s a reason we were winning. A big damn reason.
    Gregor even went so far as to track his game . Painstakingly going through every shift. As he did he basically refuted your Corsi/Rel assault claiming his ineffective play.
    I was really hoping you’d post something about that. In this case your analytics don’t hold water. So admit there’s a flaw. And if you don’t believe it track other games. Your theory, at least on validating Dmen is deeply flawed and I thank holy McJesus that PC isn’t hiring either of you to advise on our blue lines. Again, it’s the interpretation. The math is true, but if a guy tell me the sky’s not blue in August I have to wonder what lens he’s looking through.
    I do respect your writing a great deal Sir. Just like to see that broader minded view we all know you posess.

  101. JDï™ says:

    Pouzar:
    #FreeLB

    Exactly. With Ellis also playing well, it’s not like the Condors will be left hanging for even a short call up.

  102. Fog of Warts says:

    Pursuant to what I said yesterday about wet-blanket expertise, I had one today, a wet-blanket encounter of the grim kind.

    Vancouver Transplant, line one.

    More blood work, please, a sweet but harried lady—whom we once met for an hour—requested deferentially, out of long habit (I would use her given name, but there’s an enclosing frame to keep as low electronic profile as reasonable—though not exactly zip-it, because it is your life after all—lest some gory Algorian busybody connect the wrong dots).

    Her deference amuses the hell out of me. In for a penny, in for a pound; or—as I almost said on the phone—in for a pipette, in for a pint.

    Blood work phase I was a long ordeal. This merely gets you your cup of coffee in the chain building algorithm. Now we have a tentative chain, and my lemon tree and her secret kidney shopper must commingle their fluids directly, in the final compatibility assay.

    Phase II Act I was last Monday. Phase II Act II is now next Monday.

    Phase II Act I degenerates into Phase II Act II for only one possible reason: Wet Blanket Expertise, writ large. Rejection. It’s a thing. Hurts like hell. And if you lost a rib tip or two on the way by, well kiss it good-bye (though I don’t advise you to bend that far) it’s now gone forever.

    Perhaps at this juncture, some unwitting donors begin to suspect they are getting the run-around from an inefficient, indifferent, and surprisingly incompetent bureaucracy. Fear not, sweet lady, this particular milk-run bus stop is not so deluded. If any slight doubt lingers that another fresh vial might resolve, call call again (we’d appreciate a day off during the xmas vacation week, but oh well, we’d suck it up for that, too).

    Expert.

    What we want the word to mean: one-stop shopping.

    What it actually means: fact and attitude all stitched up with a thousand patient loops—roughly one loop per gradschool-day—of Ben Franklin’s very best (and very long) kite thread.

    Method of manufacture: insert needle, carefully pull and tension thread for twelve long hours; lather, rinse, repeat.

    Some experts (dentists and architects, mainly) are more cosmetic than others. Everyone is well advised to learn how to discern a voodoo sew-job at the drop of a pin, whether the stitch-work is showing or not.

  103. digger50 says:

    Bag of Pucks: Almost immediately after the Oil tie the game, they go on the PP. A massive opportunity to maintain the momentum, score the go-ahead goal, and potentially win the game.

    On the draw, Eberle is pinched in off the left point on what is obviously a set play designed to win the draw to him for a quick shot. Ebs’ job is totake that shot should the Oil win the draw cleanly or support the C to scramble the draw if not. Firstly, poor PP design by the Oil and great advance scouting by the Kings as Toffoli breaks for the open point immediately off the draw. Betting against the Oil losing an Ozone draw is never a bad gambit. If Carter were to win the draw cleanly, the Oil were hooped regardless.

    But hey, it’s a scrambled draw and Ebs does get his stick on it with a chance to win possession. So, crisis averted and the momentum can continue, right?

    Afraid not, as our man Ebs grabs the puck and turns and fires a pass directly to the left point that he should know is vacated (because he’s the bloody guy that vacates it on the set play) and the breaking Toffoli for the odd man rush.

    Kings score what turns out to be the game winner. Momentum swings back. Eberle’s clear mental error is a massive back breaker for this particular game.

    So, yeah I’m a hater. I expect our highest paid and most veteran players not to make a pass that you wouldn’t make playing in peewee.

    You need to take another look. You are wrong. And in peewee who’s job is it to pick up the man and slow him down off the face off? Who alliesToffoli to bust through? He should be picked up to allow time for the point shot.

  104. Pouzar says:

    JDï™: Exactly. With Ellis also playing well, it’s not like the Condors will be left hanging for even a short call up.

    Full disclosure…I am a Full LB Fanboy/Apologist with a great ignore button but no one will convince me he isn’t a better option than Gus.

  105. russ99 says:

    Jethro Tull: It means Puljujarvi stays, Hendricks back, Cags close.

    Dumb move. Pulju needs to be sent down and Lander was solid on the PK.

    I hope he clears waivers.

    A bit odd where a management group seems to value some things quite highly and then doing the opposite when it comes to deployment and player moves.

  106. JimmyV1965 says:

    Bag of Pucks: Does it really matter when the goal could’ve been prevented by Eberle simply not letting the puck get to Toffoli? Eberle was the player with the greatest opportunity on the play to directly prevent the odd man rush, and in fact, he started it!

    To Pouzar’s snark, there should be an ignore button for Eberle apologists.

    Bag of Pucks: Does it really matter when the goal could’ve been prevented by Eberle simply not letting the puck get to Toffoli? Eberle was the player with the greatest opportunity on the play to directly prevent the odd man rush, and in fact, he started it!

    To Pouzar’s snark, there should be an ignore button for Eberle apologists.

    Bag of Pucks: Does it really matter when the goal could’ve been prevented by Eberle simply not letting the puck get to Toffoli? Eberle was the player with the greatest opportunity on the play to directly prevent the odd man rush, and in fact, he started it!

    To Pouzar’s snark, there should be an ignore button for Eberle apologists.

    Bag of Pucks,

    Love it. Smartest guy in the room syndrome. It does matter. If Klef set up where he was clearly told to go he would have easily intercepted the pass. It’s one thing to lose the puck in a scramble when a lot of things are happening. It’s quite another to choose to set up in the wrong place before the puck is dropped when nothing is happening. I’m no Eberle apologist. It just gets tiring when people trash him all the time. I guess that’s what all the really smart people are doing these days.

  107. PhrankLee says:

    The Oilers can chalk their slowly evening record up to being scored on first too many times.

    It’s not an overhaul to bear down there and to hone an actual PP.

    Make even limited progress in those areas and we are on pace.

    What is the sense of watching a play frame by frame?

    I cannot agree that excuses are being made for the Oilers on this blog in general. I think we argue the minutiae too often at times but being relevant in the division in December and the chance to be relevant beyond is something I have been praying for for 10 years. We are relevant.

    Fuck the Kings.

  108. digger50 says:

    If the players do not know – educate them. If they will not execute or comply, discipline. If nothing improves it’s on the coach.

    I responded with a very redneck comment last night. The team needs to grow a set of balls. And Maclelland needs to get out of the way and let them do it.

  109. Bag of Pucks says:

    JimmyV1965: Bag of Pucks,

    Love it. Smartest guy in the room syndrome. It does matter. If Klef set up where he was clearly told to go he would have easily intercepted the pass. It’s one thing to lose the puck in a scramble when a lot of things are happening. It’s quite another to choose to set up in the wrong place before the puck is dropped when nothing is happening. I’m no Eberle apologist. It just gets tiring when people trash him all the time. I guess that’s what all the really smart people are doing these days.

    Players lose gaps or get out of position all the time, some of which result in a shot against, some of which do not. But passing it directly to the opposition to start an odd man rush will almost always result in a high danger chance against.

    You don’t need to be the smartest man in the room to know that. Not by a long shot.

    I agree. This is getting tiring.

    Let’s agree to disagree, and have a great day.

  110. JDï™ says:


    Dallas Stars Verified account
    ‏@DallasStars

    Lindy Ruff expects Patrick Sharp to return to the lineup tomorrow vs. Edmonton.

    Good time to ease him back into the lineup.

    Saturday, on the road, in Dallas. What could go wrong?

  111. Woodguy says:

    Pouzar: Would love to see these numbers for the first 18 games last year.

    I went to do it, but the data looks wrong.

    Have a look at Natural stat trick.

    natrualstattrick.com -> teams -> then pick team and season

    Don’t forget to choose score and venue adjusted for best results.

  112. Confused says:

    Simpson assigned.

    Looking forward to Russell coming back

    Sekera — Larsson
    Kelfbom — Russell
    Nurse — Benning

  113. russ99 says:

    Confused,

    Nice. When Davidson is back, I’d go:

    Sekera — Larsson
    Klefbom — Davidson
    Nurse — Russell

    That’s three good pairings.

    Looks like Hendricks may be back too.

  114. Bag of Pucks says:

    russ99:
    Confused,

    Nice. When Davidson is back, I’d go:

    Sekera — Larsson
    Klefbom — Davidson
    Nurse — Russell

    That’s three good pairings.

    Looks like Hendricks may be back too.

    Those are the pairing I’d prefer as well. Unfortunately, I think Chia and TMac both see KBom and Lars as tied at the hip.

  115. kinger_OIL says:

    russ99:
    Confused,

    Nice. When Davidson is back, I’d go:

    Sekera — Larsson
    Klefbom — Davidson
    Nurse — Russell

    That’s three good pairings.

    Looks like Hendricks may be back too.

    – Nurse-Russel is too much chaos, but in terms of descending order of current actual NHL D ability this is the top-6.

  116. stush18 says:

    Gotta lay at least half that blame on nurses feet for the second goal.

    One of the biggest things you learn as a dman on the pk is to never get tied up with one man in front. Now I’ll admit nurse is in a tough position there, but in reality that guy is not going to score from that position. You can cross check and grab, but don’t allow your stick to be tied up with him.

  117. Diablo says:

    russ99: Dumb move. Pulju needs to be sent down and Lander was solid on the PK.

    I hope he clears waivers.

    Agreed. Lander was one of the few players on this team who was playing his role well, busting his tail off night after night, and not making bone-headed mistakes that directly lead to goals. Jesse on the other hand looks lost. Can’t understand this at all.

    Coach has his favourites – I’m not one for the fire the coach bandwagon, but I’m starting to question the decision making here. Looking at the Penguins last year – the narrative around them would be completely different now if they hadn’t replaced Johnston with Sullivan. They too were playing listless hockey, out of a playoff spot, with a PP that was firing blanks.

    I’m not saying that’s the answer, but thinking hypothetically …. and maybe practically sooner than you think, if this losing streak extends to 7 games with Dallas and Chicago coming up …. who would be people like to see as coach? Are there better alternatives?

    (And no, I doubt Kruger would come back here)

  118. JDï™ says:

    Diablo: who would be people like to see as coach?

    Well Jack Adams winners Roy and Hartley are available.

    http://tinyurl.com/o33f5zz

  119. pocession charge says:

    Dino:
    I feel like I should be panicking but I’m just not. I’m not overly worried about this team because just like the 7-1 start wasn’t realistic to who they are, this last stretch of losses doesn’t indicate who they really are either. They’re somewhere in between but closer to being good than being bad.

    Take a quick look at the players slumping, do we really expect players like Nuge and Pouliot and Lucic to never score again? i highly doubt that, this team has plenty of talent and offensive weapons that are cold right now but they’ll heat up again. It’s a long season people we aren’t even a quarter of a way through it.

    As for the chances against and the goals they’re allowing, it’s mainly just annoying but if you take a look at the defence, how young it is in key areas, you can kind of understand the mental lapses. When Russell and Davidson return fully healthy I think we see a MAJOR improvement in the chances against.

    I’m not worried, just annoyed to watch them lose when I know they could win. It’ll come.

    Ps: Woodguy, I lowkey think someone in the Oilers organization heard you on Oilersnow and listened to your advice about the lines last night lol. Keep up the good work.

    Exactly. Inflated PDO = great record = not sustainable. Deflated PDO = losing streak = not sustainable. When we see regression to the meat (another dead cat!), the team will get a few more wins than losses.

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

    stush18,

    Kesler scored in the last game from that very spot on a rebound after Nurse broke to pickup the dman slightly higher than Toffoli. Tough spot for Nurse but I think CmD had a role their as well.

  121. Woodguy says:

    Pouzar: Full disclosure…I am a Full LB Fanboy/Apologist with a great ignore button but no one will convince me he isn’t a better option than Gus.

    I really don’t think anyone needs convincing of that.

    Gustavsson is the Wacky Waving Inflatable Arm Flailing goalie guy.

  122. Lowetide says:

    Nine times out of 10 arguing about the 12-14Fs is ridiculous, but Lander is a pretty good PK guy and he is faster than Hendricks. Not convinced this is a net positive.

  123. stephen sheps says:

    Spam Alert:

    So for the last little while I haven’t been around much, mostly because I went on tour with a friend’s band last week (if you’re Edmonton-based and like punk music, go see Audio/Rocketry at the starlite room on Dec 3 for their album release party) and was finishing up some edits for an academic article (it’s getting published!), so not only have I not been around here much lately, but I also haven’t been watching a lot of games…

    Now that I am off the road, I figured it would be time to actually do something at the Oilers Rig, so here it is: http://www.theoilersrig.com/2016/11/value-coaches-teachers-revisited/

    end spam

    and now I will go back to the top of the thread and catch up on the news of the day.

  124. OF17 says:

    Canes may be shopping Murphy. Could be a chance to make a “Schultz” acquisition for a 3RD with some offense to him.

    http://www.thescore.com/nhl/news/1158698?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

  125. Woodguy says:

    bringbackslats,

    So how is it that you guys rip on KRussel like he’s the Defensive zone anti christ when it’s clear to many that he’s a reason we were winning.

    I would say that people were happy when he was good and unhappy when he wasn’t good.

    I don’t know why people thought all his games were good.

    They weren’t.

    Here are the scoring chances with him on the ice for every game:

    Game………….SCF…..SCA…….SCF%
    CGY at EDM…..6……….0……….100
    EDM at CGY…..5……….3……….62.5
    BUF at EDM…..9……….3……….75
    CAR at EDM…..3……….11………21.43
    STL at EDM….12……….5……….70.59
    EDM at WPG….3……….7……….30
    WSH at EDM….5……….6……….45.45
    EDM at VAN……4……….4……….50
    OTT at EDM……1……….6……….14.29
    EDM at TOR…..5……..12……….29.41
    EDM at NYR…..3……….7……….30

    He’s not responsible for every SCF or every SCA (more responsible for those), but it helps us parse what happened on the ice.

    The final score tends to dictate how people view games and the Oilers stole the CAR game and no one played well defensively.

    So if we account for everything thinking the CAR game was fine, his first 5 games by eye and numbers were good, some games were excellent.

    The writers starting writing how the Oilers won the Hall trade and fancy stat people were wrong about Russell etc. during that PDO + SC fueled winning streak.

    But his play fell off significantly (maybe that’s when he got hurt?) and though he wasn’t the sole reason they were losing games, he certainly wasn’t why they were winning.

    You don’t lose the SC battle most nights and “be the reason they were winning”

  126. sliderule says:

    Is it just me.

    Refs call hooks that touch hands every time.

    Refs do not call slashes unless it breaks a stick.Johny hockey will bear witness to that.

    Mcdavid gets interfered and grabbed until he can hardly move yet no call.

    Gryba accidentally bumps in to a forward who is staying on side and off you go.

    Is Chris Pronger dictating to the refs😂

  127. Scungilli says:

    Lowetide:
    Nine times out of 10 arguing about the 12-14Fs is ridiculous, but Lander is a pretty good PK guy and he is faster than Hendricks. Not convinced this is a net positive.

    Well at least we know they are progressive and have their fingers on the pulse of the NHL.

  128. Woodguy says:

    Bruce McCurdy: Well he’s certainly not shutting the door!

    I’d go back and fix it but I like your response too much

  129. Bag of Pucks says:

    kinger_OIL: – Nurse-Russel is too much chaos, but in terms of descending order of current actual NHL D ability this is the top-6.

    I think there’s some compelling reasons why these pairing could work.

    Sekera — Larsson

    Gives Larsson a more experienced vet to create a truer shutdown pairing. Enables Sekera to be more the puck carrier and less the physical stay at home presence than he has to be with either Russell or Benning. Plays to Reg’s strengths

    Klefbom — Davidson

    Two big mobile lads who need some seasoning. Better development path hopefully facing less of the top lines. Puts both in a nice pairing with a clear path to compete for and eventually replace Sekera at 2D

    Nurse — Russell

    Sekera and Russell could get overwhelmed by big physical lines. Nurse is thus a better compliment to the smaller Russell. Like that Russell joins the rush but as vet knows when to pick his spots. That’s the type of learning Nurse most needs so KR could be a good real-time mentor here. Darnell’s bite is a good tonic for the softer board/corner play of Russell. KR is also good at anticipating the retrieval which is something Nurse also needs to get better at.

  130. McSorley33 says:

    Just watched TMac pressed from a few days ago…

    I think Jordan Eberle could walk out on the streets of a Edmonton, shoot someone and still be elected President in here.

    Sort out the blame as you wish….but Eberle and Klefbom both looked foolish on that PP.

    New coaches same old PP effort….

  131. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Woodguy: And 2RF + 2LF + 1D >>> 1RF + 3LF + 1D

    Having balanced shots on the 5v4 is everything.

    Yes. This matches what the eye sees. Indeed, to my eye it’s so obvious I’d be stunned if it were otherwise. The D can shoot either way, although at present there happens to be a preponderance of righties running powerplays around the league. Ideally, your centre-point guy is opposite-handed of your half-wall guy, giving him another one-timer option, and causing the weak-side penalty-killer(s) fits, not to mention bruises.

    The devastating Caps powerplay is the tallest mountain in this particular range. Has crushed it for years.

  132. Scungilli says:

    OF17:
    Canes may be shopping Murphy. Could be a chance to make a “Schultz” acquisition for a 3RD with some offense to him.

    http://www.thescore.com/nhl/news/1158698?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

    I doubt Lowe is calling Chiarelli every hour about getting Murphy, they never man crushed him or anything.

    Bye Nuge.

  133. Bag of Pucks says:

    Lowetide:
    Nine times out of 10 arguing about the 12-14Fs is ridiculous, but Lander is a pretty good PK guy and he is faster than Hendricks. Not convinced this is a net positive.

    Surprised to hear “Lander is faster than ‘anyone’ ” frankly.

    Why do you hate the guy that will block a shot with his bag, LT?

    If there’s life in Hendy’s legs, he’s a glue guy.

  134. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Bag of Pucks: Lots of confusion?

    Honestly, is this where we’re reaching now to find excuses for Eberle passing directly to Toffoli?

    What’s next? The sun was in his eyes?

    If you still think Eberle passed it to Toffoli, maybe the sun was in Your eyes. 😉

  135. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Bag of Pucks: Surprised to hear “Lander is faster than ‘anyone’ ” frankly.

    Why do you hate the guy that will block a shot with his bag, LT?

    If there’s life in Hendy’s legs, he’s a glue guy.

    Soon to be a glue Factory guy, but yeah.

  136. kinger_OIL says:

    Bag of Pucks,

    – I agree with this line of thought. Of course untill Davidson and Russel come back its moot. And with them back, maybe Klef-Larsson works better because they aren’t the only bona-fide D pairing

    – All of Nurse-Benning-Gryba as 50% of the D = too much holes: better than last year after injuries to be sure, but still asking too much.

  137. Lowetide says:

    Bag of Pucks: Surprised to hear “Lander is faster than ‘anyone’ ” frankly.

    Why do you hate the guy that will block a shot with his bag, LT?

    If there’s life in Hendy’s legs, he’s a glue guy.

    Sports is cruel.

  138. Bag of Pucks says:

    McSorley33:
    Just watched TMac pressed from a few days ago…

    I think Jordan Eberle could walk out on the streets of a Edmonton, shoot someone and still be elected President in here.

    Arnott, Salo, Hemsky, Gilbert, Eberle. The streets of Oilerville are littered with teflon fan favourites and their apologist contingents.

    Player loyalty meets confirmation bias.

    In a weird way, it reminds me of parents who can’t accept acknowledging any negative traits in their offspring. It’s an interesting phenomena to be sure.

  139. Bag of Pucks says:

    Lowetide: Sports is cruel.

    So is a puck in the nards.

  140. Bag of Pucks says:

    Bruce McCurdy: Soon to be a glue Factory guy, but yeah.

    I thought us ‘older’ fans were supposed to look on the older vets as sentimental favourites? ; )

    Does this seem like a team LESS in need of vets atm?

  141. JDï™ says:

    Bruce McCurdy: Soon to be a glue Factory guy, but yeah.

    It behooves me to request that you hold your horses.

  142. Bag of Pucks says:

    Bruce McCurdy: If you still think Eberle passed it to Toffoli, maybe the sun was in Your eyes.

    Easy way to settle it. You’ve got a media credential or a connect to a mate who does. Why not ask Ebs who was last to touch the puck before Toffoli, him or Carter?

  143. pocession charge says:

    Lowetide:
    Nine times out of 10 arguing about the 12-14Fs is ridiculous, but Lander is a pretty good PK guy and he is faster than Hendricks. Not convinced this is a net positive.

    A big negative if they lose Lander on waivers for Hendricks. He was awful in the preseason and more limited defensively than Lander. And half the cap hit. Very questionable decision.

  144. Lowetide says:

    Bag of Pucks: So is a puck in the nards.

    He certainly played balls out.

  145. pocession charge says:

    Bag of Pucks: Arnott, Salo, Hemsky, Gilbert, Eberle. The streets of Oilerville are littered with teflon fan favourites and their apologist contingents.

    Player loyalty meets confirmation bias.

    In a weird way, it reminds me of parents who can’t accept acknowledging any negative traits in their offspring. It’s an interesting phenomena to be sure.

    All players have their weaknesses and have bad games. I’ve never seen a player who plays mistake-free hockey. Eberle is not the problem/weak link on the team.

  146. Pouzar says:

    Woodguy: I went to do it, but the data looks wrong.

    Have a look at Natural stat trick.

    natrualstattrick.com -> teams -> then pick team and season

    Don’t forget to choose score and venue adjusted for best results.

    Got it will do thx

  147. pocession charge says:

    Woodguy: I really don’t think anyone needs convincing of that.

    Gustavsson is the Wacky Waving Inflatable Arm Flailing goalie guy.

    His technique isn’t very strong. That rebound control on the fourth goal was a real killer. They were pushing hard for tying goal until that happened.

  148. stephen sheps says:

    Bruce McCurdy: Soon to be a glue Factory guy, but yeah.

    JDï™: It behooves me to request that you hold your horses.

    and these exchanges are why I keep coming back. That and LT bringing back ‘calm your tits’ so early into the season.

    well done, gents. well done.

  149. Truth says:

    OF17:
    Canes may be shopping Murphy. Could be a chance to make a “Schultz” acquisition for a 3RD with some offense to him.

    http://www.thescore.com/nhl/news/1158698?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

    What do the fancy stats say of Murphy? By eye he seems a lot like a Schultz in that he relies on one dimension that is barely NHL caliber.

  150. Bruce Wayne says:

    Bag of Pucks: Arnott, Salo, Hemsky, Gilbert, Eberle. The streets of Oilerville are littered with teflon fan favourites and their apologist contingents.

    Player loyalty meets confirmation bias.

    In a weird way, it reminds me of parents who can’t accept acknowledging any negative traits in their offspring. It’s an interesting phenomena to be sure.

    The irony of this statement is, well, ironic.

    Being an oiler fan demands that you blame the skilled player for the failings of the unskilled. It is in the oilers nation constitution.

    Guys like Eberle and Klefbom (like Hemsky and Petry before them) are blamed for everything while so-called glue guys are lauded for filling their roles.

    The day the Oilers no longer have any glue guys on the roster, and replace them with skill guys, is the day they will start winning.

    The Klefbom example here has been illustrative. Every mistake Klefbom makes is noted, examined, and catalogued meanwhile, to hear some talk about it, Larsson never makes a mistake. The cognitive dissonance is stunning.

    It is the result, I think, of a misplaced heuristic. Identifying mistakes is a good formative exercise, it should be used by coaches to make players better. Conversely, identifying mistakes is a terrible evaluative exercise, the player who makes the most mistakes is not necessarily, or even probabyl, the worse player.

    Coaches (and ourselves) make a mistake when they cannot separate the two types of exercises. Managers make a catastrophic mistake when they evaluate on the basis of mistakes.

  151. Pouzar says:

    pocession charge: His technique isn’t very strong.

    That’s why I love LB. His technique is solid. Hope the kid gets a shot.

  152. Truth says:

    Pouliot has been horrendous lately. Looks totally disengaged. Watch him solely for a couple shifts, he’ll take every pass while not moving his feet and pass it again before taking a stride, then coast to the net or back into his zone after his pass gets picked off. That’s my observation of him the previous two games plus the last homestand while I was in the building.

  153. Bruce Wayne says:

    stephen sheps,

    Nice piece, though the contrast with the Socratic method is misplaced (see The Meno).

  154. stephen sheps says:

    Bruce Wayne,

    agreed. the contrast was partly a reductive oversimplification because I’m lazy. Didn’t feel like doing all the work of showing why they actually are two sides of the same pedagogical coin. If I am being entirely honest, I put the socratic reference in there for you to pick up and pick apart, because I like you…

  155. pocession charge says:

    Truth:
    Pouliot has been horrendous lately.Looks totally disengaged.Watch him solely for a couple shifts, he’ll take every pass while not moving his feet and pass it again before taking a stride, then coast to the net or back into his zone after his pass gets picked off. That’s my observation of him the previous two games plus the last homestand while I was in the building.

    Pouliot is one of a few players who could use some motivational rest.

  156. Professor Q says:

    Lowetide: He certainly played balls out.

    ‘Twas a testesment to his fortitude.

  157. pocession charge says:

    Pouzar: That’s why I love LB. His technique is solid. Hope the kid gets a shot.

    I don’t mind that idea, but they need to give LB more games than Gus has received. Talbot has been overworked to this point and I think he could stand to have his workload reduced. I think overplaying and overtraining is a real issue for athletes.

  158. McSorley33 says:

    pocession charge,

    He has played 18 games in a top 9F role and he has 3 more points than Mark Fayne….

    Benoit – posed no threat of scoring last night.

    I repeat my call to try him for some time up on McDavid’s wing with speed.

    Again, not that he has earned that spot.

  159. Bag of Pucks says:

    Bruce Wayne: The irony of this statement is, well, ironic.

    Being an oiler fan demands that you blame the skilled player for the failings of the unskilled.It is in the oilers nation constitution.

    Guys like Eberle and Klefbom (like Hemsky and Petry before them) are blamed for everything while so-called glue guys are lauded for filling their roles.

    The day the Oilers no longer have any glue guys on the roster, and replace them with skill guys, is the day they will start winning.

    The Klefbom example here has been illustrative.Every mistake Klefbom makes is noted, examined, and catalogued meanwhile, to hear some talk about it, Larsson never makes a mistake.The cognitive dissonance is stunning.

    It is the result, I think, of a misplaced heuristic.Identifying mistakes is a good formative exercise, it should be used by coaches to make players better.Conversely, identifying mistakes is a terrible evaluative exercise, the player who makes the most mistakes is not necessarily, or even probabyl, the worse player.

    Coaches (and ourselves) make a mistake when they cannot separate the two types of exercises.Managers make a catastrophic mistake when they evaluate on the basis of mistakes.

    I agree with the vast majority of what you’re saying here, but don’t think it’s as simplistic as just skill vs glue.

    There’s plenty of teflon examples of both. On the glue side, there’s fans convinced that Ryan Smyth or Jason Smith or Fernando Pisani could never do wrong. On the skill side, for every Hall, Nuge or Eberle, there are fans convinced those lads are bulletproof.

    The value of identifying the individual mistakes is having it act as a reality check and reset on the confirmation bias.

    For example, I absolutely love Taylor Hall as a hockey player, but as my wife was fond of pointing out, ‘he sure falls down a lot,’ and ‘why does he go wide EVERY time?’ She’s got no dog in the hunt, so those oft valid criticisms were a nice brake against going down the fanboy “Taylor is a God!” road.

    All that said, Mark Messier was a perfect hockey player. It’s quite possible he’s a cyborg ; )

  160. Georges says:

    Woodguy:
    Georges,

    By using only 1 defenseman on each pp unit, we’re limiting the opportunity to develop the attack skill in our defenders.

    I’ve seen data where 4F1D 5v4 powerplays significantly outscore 3F2D 5v4.

    That’s every teams over 5+ years of data.

    We have a middle of the road power play but, for the past few years, unusually low scoring from our defensemen. You’re thinking about the first problem. I’m thinking about the second.

  161. Bruce Wayne says:

    Bag of Pucks,

    Right. If I’m coaching Hall, I might want to point out how if he didn’t go wide all the time, options might open up which would help him create chances.

    However, if I am evaluating Hall, I don’t care how he creates chances, I just care how many he creates. I also care how many he gives up, but I don’t care if he gives them up because of turnovers.

    But don’t you see that there is something broken about a fanbase that it is willing to deify Tyler Pitlick while wanting to ship Eberle out of town? Guys like Pitlick (or Hendricks) are always judged against a lower set of expectations. That is irrational, since everyone has the same job (to outscore the other team). This gives rise to the ludicrous notion that if someone like Eberle isn’t scoring he isn’t helping you win while someone like Pitlick helps you win even if he isn’t scoring.

  162. OmJo says:

    Bruce Wayne,

    Just out of my own curiosity, does ‘CupsInCanada’ mean anything to you?

  163. Bank Shot says:

    Bruce Wayne:
    Bag of Pucks,
    But don’t you see that there is something broken about a fanbase that it is willing to deify Tyler Pitlick while wanting to ship Eberle out of town?Guys like Pitlick (or Hendricks) are always judged against a lower set of expectations.That is irrational, since everyone has the same job (to outscore the other team).This gives rise to the ludicrous notion that if someone like Eberle isn’t scoring he isn’t helping you win while someone like Pitlick helps you win even if he isn’t scoring.

    Well there is really two sides of the coin. Some fans don’t really criticize the top players, and think the weak links are to blame. Other fans don’t really criticize the depth players, and think the top dogs are the problem when losses happen.

    There are valid points on both sides. I do believe that the performance of a team’s top players is far more important than anything that the bottom players do though. I’ve seen guys melt down because a guy like Gryba is in the lineup, but Chicago keeps winning no matter how much dreck they cycle through the bottom of their roster.

    I think generally depth players aren’t that good across the league, and what the top players do, determines how a team fairs in the standings. That said, screaming about dumping Eberle for anything doesn’t really help matters either. Top players are hard to replace with something better.

  164. Bag of Pucks says:

    Bruce Wayne:
    Bag of Pucks,

    But don’t you see that there is something broken about a fanbase that it is willing to deify Tyler Pitlick while wanting to ship Eberle out of town?Guys like Pitlick (or Hendricks) are always judged against a lower set of expectations.That is irrational, since everyone has the same job (to outscore the other team).This gives rise to the ludicrous notion that if someone like Eberle isn’t scoring he isn’t helping you win while someone like Pitlick helps you win even if he isn’t scoring.

    I suspect part of the reason for this is the salary cap. The reality of that model probably forces higher expectations on your highest paid players as it’s so vital to extract maximum value from your most cap prohibitive contracts.

    Even without a salary cap, that’s been a pro sports flashpoint for time immemorial. With the big bucks comes the big microscope. An Ebs at 4mil per would probably get WAY more slack during times like these. See Pouliot for proof of concept.

    Horcoff was obviously the poster boy for this behaviour.

    The other side of this is that Edmonton is a blue collar town and so, the one unforgivable sin for a massive chunk of the fanbase, is a perceived lack of effort by a player. If you don’t bring your lunchpail to work every day, you end up in the doghouse in this moonbase we call a City. And once you wind up in that doghouse, whoo boy, she’s a long road out.

  165. stush18 says:

    Bag of Pucks: I agree with the vast majority of what you’re saying here, but don’t think it’s as simplistic as just skill vs glue.

    There’s plenty of teflon examples of both. On the glue side, there’s fans convinced that Ryan Smyth or Jason Smith or Fernando Pisani could never do wrong. On the skill side, for every Hall, Nuge or Eberle, there are fans convinced those lads are bulletproof.

    The value of identifying the individual mistakes is having it act as a reality check and reset on the confirmation bias.

    For example, I absolutely love Taylor Hall as a hockey player, but as my wife was fond of pointing out, ‘he sure falls down a lot,’ and ‘why does he go wide EVERY time?’ She’s got no dog in the hunt, so those oft valid criticisms were a nice brake against going down the fanboy “Taylor is a God!” road.

    All that said, Mark Messier was a perfect hockey player. It’s quite possible he’s a cyborg ; )

    MY gf likes to watch oilers games with me only cuz she loves eberle. She also knows less about hockey than all these stats nerds here.

    One of the things she mentions after a few games last year

    “Why does hall fall over all the time? I thought he was good? ” lol

    “Good players can fall down too dear”

    “Well he obviously isn’t as good as eberle, ebs never falls down. Mcdavid falls down a lot too. Is he really that good?”

    I know people say we are misremembering, but if someone who doesn’t understand hockey is making these observations, there must be something behind it. Also, We don’t watch a lot of oilers games together anymore haha

  166. Professor Q says:

    I love how today that McLellan FINALLY called out the referees and acknowledged that they should be calling penalties and penalty shots on infractions on McDavid, instead of sidestepping it to not offend the refs and saying Connor needs to play through it. With the caveat that they need to play as to not rely on the refs, but still.

  167. Woodguy says:

    Georges: We have a middle of the road power play but, for the past few years, unusually low scoring from our defensemen. You’re thinking about the first problem. I’m thinking about the second.

    I’m saying that defensive scoring is over rated, especially on the powerplay.

    Having the correct number of opposite shots as the QB means more than anything.

    Oilers don’t need a “Dman PP QB” either (not that you said this but I’m ranting)

    Best PP QBs are your best forward, usually on the half boards.

    SJS-Thornton
    WAS – Backstrom

    Are the two best examples.

    Both of those PP’s have two right shots to shoot from the LH QB and both have a hammer from the top of the circle (Burns and Ovi)

    It’s not rocket surgery, yet Oiler PPs get run with 1 RHS low for LHS QBs while RHS Pitlick and Slep sit.

    It’s maddening.

  168. Woodguy says:

    To be clear about Russell:

    I said this on Stauffer’s show Wednesday as well.

    The Oilers miss Russell.

    His injury forced Benning into the line up and McLellen chose Sekera to hold his hand in 3rd ppairing.

    They’ve done great there, but the result is:

    77-6 playing even more time vs. elites.

    25-62 moving up to 2nd pair (which is a big jump in TOI vs. Elites)

    All while the best or 2nd best Dman on the team (Sekera) plays less against the elites due to his new assignment.

    This may be the main reason the SCA have ballooned since Russell went down.

    Remember that Davidson (high end 3rd pair) and Fayne (low end 2nd pair) are both out of the line up.

    Missing your 4, 6, and 7th Dmen hurts a lot.

    Add to this the drop in SH% from ~10% to ~6% and you have November for the Oilers.

    Russell and Davidson coming back will be a very good thing.

  169. Frank the dog says:

    Professor Q:
    I love how today that McLellan FINALLY called out the referees and acknowledged that they should be calling penalties and penalty shots on infractions on McDavid, instead of sidestepping it to not offend the refs and saying Connor needs to play through it. With the caveat that they need to play as to not rely on the refs, but still.

    This. All day long.

  170. OmJo says:

    Woodguy,

    So the Oilers aren’t missing Russell the player, but they are instead missing what Russell is?

    Has there been any updates on Fayne? I’d still like to see if him and Sekera can rekindle the magic they’ve had in the past as a borderline top pairing D. I know it will never happen but who said a man isn’t allowed to dream?

    Klefbom-Larsson
    Sekera-Fayne
    Nurse-Davidson or Davidson-Russell
    Gryba or Russell

    We have too many D.

  171. OmJo says:

    Btw Woodguy you made me Twitter famous for like, two hours last night lol I’ll repay the favour once I make it big 😎

  172. Centre of attention says:

    D Michael Stone is apparently available. Young, offensive-minded Right-Shot D who has a bomb from the point. Solid-to-good underlying numbers.

    Giddyup, Chiarelli.

  173. Frank the dog says:

    What a difference a good defence made. The forwards came back, helped the D, but the outlet passes continually turned the Forwards back up ice.
    Look who is out right now:
    Day to day:
    Kris Russell. Cant get back soon enough! This could make a huge difference if the comments I have seen on this blog are reasonably correct.
    Week to week:
    Brandon Davidson (big deal)
    Iiro Pakarinen
    Matt Hendricks
    Drake Caggiula (big deal)
    Out indefinitely
    Mark Fayne
    I suggest we will lose less games with Kris Russell back, more so with Brandon Davidson and Drake Caggiula available. to upgrade the lineup. After all, we were winning with the Lucic-McDavid-Eberle line, weren’t we? Despite the reffing.

  174. GMB3 says:

    I really admire that McDavid keeps his composure with the refs. Like comparing him to how Jose Bautista treats umpires, I’d take McDavid’s reaction over than anytime. Trying to show up officiating is bush and it never helps.

  175. Georges says:

    Woodguy,

    I can only contribute the observations of a fan on fixing the PP. Your tactical understanding here is way ahead of mine.

    We’re not a great team. We need to develop an advantage with a couple of metrics and be close to the middle with all the rest to give ourselves a chance to finish in the top half. Having an obvious weakness here drains whatever advantage you managed to gain there. That’s why the very low offense from the defense bothers me. I think that seeps into so many other areas, including possession. Nurse clearly wants to attack so encourage him, and it’s in our interest to have Larsson become as complete a player as possible before we condemn him to defensive defenseman. After all, we’re not a low event team like the Devils. We’re not going to win 2-1. We have to win 3-2.

    I’m going to respond to your scoring chance question from yesterday. I need to set aside time to write an explanation that’s as short as possible.

  176. JDï™ says:

    Frank the dog: Drake Caggiula (big deal)

    Stauffer said as much today, that the Oilers are going to be getting an important player when he returns. Skilled, can make plays in tight spaces, and tenacious on the puck.

  177. Woodguy says:

    OmJo:
    Btw Woodguy you made me Twitter famous for like, two hours last night lol I’ll repay the favour once I make it big

    Ha!

    Omar?

    If so, are you related to the West Meadowlark Jomha’s?

  178. Centre of attention says:

    JDï™: Stauffer said as much today, that the Oilers are going to be getting an important player when he returns. Skilled, can make plays in tight spaces, and tenacious on the puck.

    I read Marchand comparisons (best case scenario), and watching highlights I see why. He has that agitating factor to his game as well as some nifty mittens.

    Very excited to see this player but I think we should all be prepared for a slow start. In a perfect world he would rip up the AHL for a weekend or two and be here firing on all cylinders. Knowing the Oilers, (a very imperfect world) they will have him in the NHL lineup as soon as Monday vs Chicago.

  179. Pouzar says:

    pocession charge: I don’t mind that idea, but they need to give LB more games than Gus has received.Talbot has been overworked to this point and I think he could stand to have his workload reduced.I think overplaying and overtraining is a real issue for athletes.

    LB has played a ton of minutes in the last couple years. Now he is splitting time with Ellis. I actually think is good prep for becoming a backup.

  180. Pouzar says:

    Woodguy: I’m saying that defensive scoring is over rated, especially on the powerplay.

    Having the correct number of opposite shots as the QB means more than anything.

    Oilers don’t need a “Dman PP QB” either (not that you said this but I’m ranting)

    Best PP QBs are your best forward, usually on the half boards.

    SJS-Thornton
    WAS – Backstrom

    Are the two best examples.

    Both of those PP’s have two right shots to shoot from the LH QB and both have a hammer from the top of the circle (Burns and Ovi)

    It’s not rocket surgery, yet Oiler PPs get run with 1 RHS low for LHS QBs while RHS Pitlick and Slep sit.

    It’s maddening.

    QFT…especially the maddening part.

  181. Woodguy says:

    Georges,

    Having an obvious weakness here drains whatever advantage you managed to gain there. That’s why the very low offense from the defense bothers me.

    That’s understandable and I used to feel the same way.

    Now I think the Dmen who help the offense the most do these things:

    1) Stop the opposition sortie quickly
    2) Make the first pass correctly to get the puck going the other way

    Forwards account for a the majority of the offense and the more you have them in the Ozone, the more offense a team will have.

    If some Dmen can score a bit, that’s good but not if they are just taking points that would otherwise happen and increase their own cost. (thinking from the team’s perspective, not the player’s obv.)

    Offence from the D on the PP is a whole different subject and that comes down to how its designed and the Oilers haven’t had a good PP for a long time due to the abundance of LHS imo

  182. OmJo says:

    Woodguy,

    Yeah lol, is that a good thing 😅

    Live near there haha

  183. Woodguy says:

    OmJo:
    Woodguy,

    Yeah lol, is that a good thing

    Live near there haha

    Yes it is.

    Grew up with Ed (Adnan) who is a Dentist and AJ (Ahmed) who is also a dentist.

    Mohammed at Hair Vice has cut my hair since I was 13.

    29 years.

    He went back to Lebanon for a few years and Sam cut my hair while he was gone, but that was 20 years ago or so.

  184. OmJo says:

    Woodguy,

    Cool haha, small world hey?

    Hair Vice is owned by my grandmother’s siblings. The teo dentists are my father’s cousins. Been trying to write this post for an hour now but customers keep interrupting lol.

    Been going there since I was a baby lol. Back when the mall was actually a mall.

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