IF WE MAKE IT THROUGH DECEMBER

The Edmonton Oilers were either ahead or tied, very late, on every one of the three road games this week, but come home with two of a possible six points. It is not the end of the world, in fact I think this club showed some stones last night in Minnesota. That said, I also don’t think this is a playoff team, and my latest proof is this road trip. Balance. It bites you in the ass because it can. The only way to keep balance from beating you? Have balance on your side. Something to work on. HDSC: 8-3.

THE BOTTLE LET ME DOWN, 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, goal differential -6
  • Oilers in November 2016: 5-8-2 goal differential -3
  • Oilers in December 2015: 7-6-1, goal differential -9
  • Oilers in December 2016: 2-1-3, goal differential +1
  • Oilers after 30, 2015: 13-15-2, goal differential -10
  • Oilers after 30, 2016: 14-11-5, goal differential +8

I am generally encouraged by this 0-1-2 road trip, but the Oilers can do themselves an enormous favor by winning tomorrow. This was a tough haul (beginning late November) and coming out of it 14-11-5 isn’t the worst result. A 2-1-3 December has the team with seven points in six games, a little ahead of the 14 points in 14 games pace we are looking for this month.

  • Todd McLellan: “I’m proud of our group tonight. Our guys played a strong game, player one through player 20.”

DEFENSE, LAST NIGHT

defense-dec-9

  • Stats from NHL.com, HockeyStats.ca and NaturalStatTrick.
  • Russell and Sekera played an absolute ton. Overall, Sekera played 29:04. Lordy.
  • Matt Benning was a good soldier and one Irish rover last night. Here are his splits: 5-2 in 3:31 with Sekera, 4-2 in 6:07 with Simpson, 4-0 in 1:40 with Kris Russell; 4-3 in 3:07 with Klefbom and 0-1 in 46 seconds with Larsson. Wow. He was 10-2 against Staal and 5-3 against Koivi. Holy man. He was +1 on the night.
  • Klebom—Larsson went 15-10 together in 11:58. They were 8-2 with Leon, 8-4 against Staal and 5-4 against Koivu (I am using Klefbom as my guide). Klefbom had an assist, and some good moments although there remains some wobble. Larsson played the second Minnesota goal like a falling Wallenda, no real idea what the hell he was doing. It was a quick developing play, but you need him to be better there.
  • Sekera—Russell played all night, it was like a Springsteen concert out there. They went 12-15 together in 14:58, 9-8 with Leon. They were 9-10 against Staal, 3-1 against Koivu. Two road games in a row I liked their game, this is a far better pairing setup than the period where the two Swedes were apart. Sekera had eight blocked shots, and looked spent at the end of the game. If he comes calling tomorrow, I will name him two socks.
  • Cam Talbot had a dandy game, I would have named him first or second star for Edmonton.

FORWARDS, LAST NIGHT

forwards-dec-9

  • Lucic—McDavid—Caggiula went 12-5 in 14:04 together, although no man would post a crooked number. I felt they were dangerous several times, and that is reflected in the HDs. The line had eight shots on goal, I think they should stay together. The chem between McDavid and Caggiula is clear, it will be interesting to see how much they play together.
  • Pouliot—Draisaitl—Pitlick went 1-2-3 in the boxcars, with Leon getting the goal. Total shots for the line: 8. The trio went 11-6 against Eric Staal, and I think they should get at least one more game together.
  • Maroon—Nuge—Eberle got some good things going, with Nuge scoring, Eberle getting an assist and Maroon blocking out the sun on the 93 goal. Well done. Went 5-4 against Staal and 4-6 against Haula—just seven seconds against Koivu.
  • Hendricks—Letestu—Kassian went 3-4 against Graovac, two fourth lines going head to head. I think this line will house Maroon more often in the second half of the season, and it will be the third line. Unless we see a trade.

LAST SEVEN DAYS

NHL.com is the most aggravating thing about the league, and that is saying something. Their information is difficult to find, under strange names and headers, and I think they moved the damned even-strength numbers. However, there are some interesting parts of the site, including a little area that can help you see what has happened to each player in the last seven days.

last-7-days

  • I think this is pretty interesting, covering December plus the Toronto game. Leon and McDavid have been running well, but Andrej Sekera is posting some strong numbers, too. We see some recovery for Jordan Eberle and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, and Milan Lucic is rolling along.
  • Good to see Maroon and Pouliot chipping in, too.

brossoit-laleggia-williams

Photo by Mark Williams

Laurent Brossoit posted another strong performance last night, as the Bakersfield Condors won in overtime (on a Joey Laleggia goal). Based on his road outing this week, I wonder if management may be considering moving on Jonas Gustavsson. A quick recall of Brossoit to get him a start in the next few weeks could happen, suspect more than one member of the management group feels point were left out there on the road.

ROLLING TOP 20

rolling-top-20

I will post the No. 16 prospect at 5pm today, unless the Oilers make a trade or something else breaks. My plan is to post No. 17-20 next week, meaning the project will be complete by December 16. After that, I do a 21-30 post and a 31-40 post, then a wrap, so we will be done just before Christmas.

The Winter Top 20 2015 list is probably the strongest since I have been doing these, with McDavid leading the way, Draisaitl and Nurse following up. The Winter Top 20 2010 should have sustained this team for a decade, with Hall, Eberle, Petry, Paajarvi, Dubnyk, Marincin, Davidson and others in the mix.

This year’s list has a terrific Finnish winger at the top, but the 2010 and 2015 lists had far more sustain. If you take away Peter Chiarelli’s signings of college men Drake Caggiula (No. 3), Matt Benning (No. 4) and Nick Ellis (No. 14), we are looking at a very thin group of prospects.

That is reflected in the WJ rosters, with Ethan Bear and Tyler Benson not invited to Canada’s camp and only Caleb Jones likely to play in the tournament (for Team USA). There are some promising names, but I will say that ranking these gents has been difficult because very few players have made themselves known since draft day.

For a team still in need of trade assets, building blocks and plug-and-play types, the Edmonton Oilers are not in a terrific spot in terms of prospects.

ADAM LARSSON

We are through 30 games now, a chance to have a good look under the hood to see what is happening with some of Edmonton’s players. We will chat Milan Lucic tomorrow, but for today I wanted to drill down just a little on Adam Larsson. I like CorsiRel to start, although we don’t have qual comp, it does gives us a good idea about which way the wind is blowing for the unit:

  1. Matt Benning 6.8
  2. Oscar Klefbom 1.4
  3. Eric Gryba 1.2
  4. Darnell Nurse 1.1
  5. Andrej Sekera 0.7
  6. Adam Larsson -2.5
  7. Kris Russell -8.6
  8. Source

Larsson is behind in this area, and even with qual comp added I think he is behind what we would have hoped at this point. He is 50.5 Corsi for 5×5, and 51.5 with Oscar Klefbom. Without Oscar? 47.9, although his Kris Russell number (38.6) is a big reason for that total.

I have generally been impressed with the fan base, haven’t seen too many rip jobs on Larsson (it has to be a difficult position for him to be in). He needs to be better, and the adjustment period should be over by now. His coverage (or lack of) last night on the second goal was not quality, and at this point I think it is fair to say he has struggled in the first 30 games. Fair?

 

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92 Responses to "IF WE MAKE IT THROUGH DECEMBER"

  1. dcsj says:

    On goal differential, does the shootout affect it at all? I might have known this once, but aging…

  2. frjohnk says:

    I dont blame Larsson for that 2nd goal. McDavid made a bad play that led to a turnover and Larsson was stuck in no mans land between 2 Wild Men.

  3. Lowetide says:

    dcsj:
    On goal differential, does the shootout affect it at all? I might have known this once, but aging…

    No, I regard it as a tie. Having said that, the NHL may see things differently.

  4. Lowetide says:

    frjohnk:
    I dont blame Larsson for that 2nd goal.McDavid made a bad play that led to a turnover and Larssonwas stuck in no mans land between 2 Wild Men.

    Completely fair, but I think he had a chance to be of some support.

  5. dustrock says:

    The weird thing by eye with me for Larsson is I figured he’d have an adjustment period, but I felt the 10 games to start the season were his strongest. Maybe it’s selection bias because we were winning a lot.

    But again by eye, and I think this is matched in WheatNOil work, Larsson now either passes exclusively to his D partner or dumps it out. This is either by design or he’s lost confidence.

    I saw the nice NZ passes to forwards the first 10 games, don’t see it much anymore.

  6. verite says:

    Whitewash
    Larsson is as big a failure as Chiarelli

  7. dustrock says:

    To be fair though, NJ fans said he takes a long time to get comfortable, and we might see a better performance in the 2nd half of the season. There were people who said exactly that.

    But, he does not look like a top 2 d-man right now, let alone a #1.

  8. Ryan says:

    Yes, Forgetting what we spent on him, Larsson still hasn’t been what we realistically hoped for in trade.

    While he’s certainly not Mark Fayne, he still lacks the speed and agility you’d want on the top pairing. He doesn’t create much offense at all. Ever. What’s worse is that his first pass is either off the glass and out or to his d partner.

    I am wondering what a Davidson Benning pairing might look like.

  9. Lowetide says:

    For the record, I like Larsson, he is my kind of defenseman. That said, Edmonton needs him to be a top pairing defender, and effective in that role. I think it is reasonable to suggest he is struggling this year, so far.

  10. frjohnk says:

    Larsson.

    – was noted as a shot and chance suppressor last year and it was hard to score goals when he was on the ice
    CA60….SA60…..xGA60……SCA60….GA60
    49.02_25.89___2.05____6.86____1.38
    But with the oilers this year, not so much
    CA60….SA60……xGA60…..SCA60….GA60
    56.62….31.6………2.81……..9.93………3.11

    Night and day.

    -Even though he was top 10 in the zone exits in the league last year, we see that with the Oilers he is below average being compared to Oiler Dmen. ( Having extreme d zone starts, he had a lot more opportunities to get the puck out than other Dmen, thats why he was top 10 last year)

    Ive mentioned it before, he is a smart player who is physical and nasty, but his skating is what holds him back from having much offensive creativity.

    I do think Larsson has struggled. I think some of it is the drastic change in systems and some of it are the limitations of the player.

    I think he is more suited as a 2nd pairing Dman.

  11. dustrock says:

    I might go back and check on the NJ verbal from fans after the trade but I believe his NJ career has similar wobbles. Confidence is a funny thing.

  12. kinger_OIL says:

    – LT: you say you don’tbelieve this is a playoff team and for a long time I was on the same page

    – Math, 50 years plus of data, their record to date and any site that creates a market for these things though strongly disagree with your assertion that this is not a playoff team

    – you would make a lot of money if you went to Vegas today and put money down on the oil not making the playoffs

    – of course now maybe your right but the reality is that at this point all the teams in the same situation have a very high degree of likelihood to in fact be a playoff team

    – I think it’s fair to point out your opinion is now strongly not supported by all available data.

  13. LMHF#1 says:

    That March schedule should have made it a near certainty that they’d make it if they were okay the rest of the year.

    They’re doing a phenomenal job of pissing that away through incompetence.

    They still may run the table in that month – but it will be a necessity rather than a boost into 1st. Total shame. You don’t get gifts like that very often.

  14. nelson88 says:

    Love the song reference. Reminds me of my childhood.

    Larsson has struggled but that 2nd goal was all on Connor. Can’t expect anyone to be in position.

    With reasonable health this is still a playoff team. Compressed schedule has some brutal sections and this is one of them. Have been impressed with their resilience. If they can get in the playoffs they will be a very tough first and second (yes, i’m calling it) round match up.

  15. Lowetide says:

    kinger_OIL:

    – I think it’s fair to point out your opinion is now strongly not supported by all available data.

    Quite true. Edmonton currently has an 81.5 percent chance of making the playoffs
    http://www.sportsclubstats.com/NHL.html

  16. frjohnk says:

    Larsson and Klefbom are struggling right now and by the TOI the coaches are trusting these guys to heavy minutes.

    Last night through 65 minutes of hockey.

    Andrej Sekera 29:09
    Kris Russell 26:52
    Oscar Klefbom 21:34
    Matthew Benning 18:12
    Adam Larsson 16:43
    Dillon Simpson 11:01

    Sekera and Russell played alot wow.

    Id have to look but I believe Benning took some shifts with Klefbom in the third. I think TMac was looking for more offense from that pair.

    Maybe Larsson is sick or injured, he didnt play much last night.

  17. McSorley33 says:

    Matt Benning was a good soldier and one Irish rover last night. Here are his splits: 5-2 in 3:31 with Sekera, 4-2 in 6:07 with Simpson, 4-0 in 1:40 with Kris Russell; 4-3 in 3:07 with Klefbom and 0-1 in 46 seconds with Larsson. Wow. He was 10-2 against Staal and 5-3 against Koivi. Holy man. He was +1 on the night.
    **************************************************************************************************
    There is a story here that is getting bigger by the game….

  18. Lowetide says:

    frjohnk:
    Larsson and Klefbom are struggling right now and by the TOI the coaches are trusting these guys to heavy minutes.

    Last night through 65 minutes of hockey.

    Andrej Sekera29:09
    Kris Russell26:52
    Oscar Klefbom21:34
    Matthew Benning18:12
    Adam Larsson16:43
    Dillon Simpson11:01

    Sekera and Russell played alot wow.

    Id have to look but I believe Benning took some shifts with Klefbom in the third.I think TMac was looking for more offense from that pair.

    Maybe Larsson is sick or injured, he didnt play much last night.

    Yes. Quite pronounced in ev toi (in graph above), where Benning played a tick more than Klefbom and two more minutes than Larsson.

  19. McSorley33 says:

    I mean – especially on the road – this Benning kid is seeing some premiere opposition players for some minutes now..

    10-2 against Staal ?

    Has someone told him he is a rookie?

  20. theres oil in virginia says:

    Regarding Larsson, although it’s only a snapshot, I caught the last few minutes of the Philly game (ugh), and I saw him behind the Oilers’ net all alone holding the puck, waiting for line changes presumably (great TV coverage, I could see the individual hairs on his face – which is obviously what I watch hockey for – but couldn’t see the rest of the ice), and eventually he fired the puck around the boards. He was never under pressure, and it obviously was a case of nothing being available. Maybe that speaks to his confidence to not skate it out, but I think this team does not know how to exit the zone.

    Maybe Wheat-N-Oil can comment on their zone exits so far.

  21. McSorley33 says:

    frjohnk,

    Maybe Larsson is sick or injured, he didnt play much last night.
    ********************************************************************

    I thought the same….Charlie Coyle was barely aware of Larsson on some of his long term cycle plays…

    I bet it is the flu.

  22. Roughneck says:

    McSorley33:
    I mean – especially on the road – this Benning kid is seeing some premiere opposition players for some minutes now..

    10-2 against Staal ?

    Has someone told him he is a rookie?

    It’s still a game for him, and it’s a beautiful thing.

  23. Scungilli says:

    Larsson is 24. Not many said he was an elite player, and being a defenseman he certainly hasn’t reached his potential. Forwards older than him are just finding their range such as Eberle who is expanding his game with the demands of the new coaches.

    All of the D including Sekera get snookered as well because the oldest top 9 capable centre is 23. Everybody is getting used to playing with the league’s newest phenom. There is a lot going on including the goalies still being hot and cold from game to game.

    The rhythm is still being worked on. The drummer is still changing tempo but getting better and the bass player is still not 100% tight with him.

    I see Larsson as a defensive defenseman but with mobility and skill, like Vlasic, who will get his 20-30 points when all systems are green. To me these players are team anchors, and allow the offensive leaning types their creative freedom by doing the heavy lifting.

    I’m more worried about Nuge not stepping into the two way centre role ‘soon enough’ to warrant his pay. Because as has been said, he isn’t winning face offs and is blowing coverage, and that won’t work in that role. He needs to lean to offense first until he can do it all at the same time. I’m not sure he’s selfish enough though.

  24. supernova says:

    Couple thoughts on Larsson

    -don’t think he was at fault on the 2nd Goal.

    McDavid turned it over and both Klefbom & Larsson had no chance to recover

    I wonder if Larsson is “nursing” a injury. He is labouring a little when skating, something changed about 6-8 games ago.

    Everyone should look at Ryan Suter & Jared Spurgeons Numbers.

    They were tore apart last night and it wasn’t even simply McDavid

  25. McSorley33 says:

    Part of the Larsson’s struggles are tied to his partner, imo. Larsson needs Klefbom to do the skating for the pair and I think they are ideal partners in a lot of ways. One to skate and retrieve and one to break the cycle and bring mean/sticknasty to front of net.

    However, Klef has kind of wandered off the path for the last few weeks and that puts Larsson in some
    precarious situations at times.

    We have a 5 day break coming up at Christmas.

    Klef needs to come back and focus on D -and keep it simple. Part of the problem I think is Klef chasing offence sometimes.

  26. Woodguy says:

    Interesting stuff from Alan Hull on Twitter this AM:

    So EDM is +2 in 5v5 goal differential and their shot attempt diff. is +98. Both of those are good things…however…

    Approximately 92% of their positive shot attempt differential is accounted for by McDavid’s ice time…92%

    That means they are still a 50% team the rest of the time but just barely. That’s an improvement, but not as big as some think.

    Then I added:

    @alanhull There’ also this: GF% McDavid On 59.09% , GF% McDavid Off 46.73%. Early to be looking at goals, but it’s not trending well.

    Drai seems to be emerging but with the timeline of being *very* competitive being pushed back until 29 and 98 age a few years this is a one line team.

  27. Lowetide says:

    Woodguy:
    Interesting stuff fromAlan Hull on Twitter this AM:

    So EDM is +2 in 5v5 goal differential and their shot attempt diff. is +98. Both of those are good things…however…

    Approximately 92% of their positive shot attempt differential is accounted for by McDavid’s ice time…92%

    That means they are still a 50% team the rest of the time but just barely. That’s an improvement, but not as big as some think.

    Then I added:

    @alanhull There’ also this: GF% McDavid On 59.09% , GF% McDavid Off 46.73%. Early to be looking at goals, but it’s not trending well.

    Drai seems to be emerging but with the timeline of being *very* competitive being pushed back until 29 and 98 age a few years this is a one line team.

    I think there is every reason to believe that Nuge/Eberle are the key. If they cannot form a reasonably strong line offensively, the season will not end in success. The question I have had all season is this: Should PC be blamed for counting on Pouliot-Nuge-Eberle to have success offensively, as a line or individually? I think the answer is no, and remain pretty shocked by that trio (although Eberle has recovered in recent days and Nuge/Pou are showing signs).

  28. frjohnk says:

    Woodguy: GF% McDavid On 59.09% , GF% McDavid Off 46.73%.

    How do other potential playoff teams look when you take out their best player?

  29. Woodguy says:

    frjohnk: How do other potential playoff teams look when you take out their best player?

    On my PHONE right now, but will look later.

    Here’s one:

    PIT Crosby On GF% 61.29
    PIT Crosby Off GF% 61.02

  30. PerryK says:

    Scungilli:
    Larsson is 24. Not many said he was an elite player, and being a defenseman he certainly hasn’t reached his potential. Forwards older than him are just finding their range such as Eberle who is expanding his game with the demands of the new coaches.

    All of the D including Sekera get snookered as well because the oldest top 9 capable centre is 23. Everybody is getting used to playing with the league’s newest phenom. There isa lot going on including the goalies still being hot and cold from game to game.

    The rhythm is still being worked on. The drummer is still changing tempo but getting better and the bass player is still not 100% tight with him.

    I see Larsson as a defensive defenseman but with mobility and skill, like Vlasic, who will get his 20-30 points when all systems are green. To me these players are team anchors, and allow the offensive leaning typestheir creative freedom by doing the heavy lifting.

    I’m more worried about Nuge not stepping into the two way centre role ‘soon enough’ to warrant his pay. Because as has been said, he isn’t winning face offs and is blowing coverage, and that won’t work in that role. He needs to lean to offense first until he can do it all at the same time. I’m not sure he’s selfish enough though.

    Excellent points! I found myself looking for the heart symbol at the bottom!

    I am starting to develop a nasty little hate on for Chiarelli. Having said that though, I am amazed by Benning (clearly a Chia find). My original thoughts were it was stupid to not send him down for some seasoning. Hated the idea of playing him right away. That whole thing seemed to be confirmed at the indecisions that he showed in the first few games. However, as he has settled in, he looks terrific! Kudos to Chia; well deserved. I think that he would make an excellent 1st pair with Sekera. Leave Klef and Lars to find their games as 2 pair! Then if Davidson is as good this year as he looked last year, he would make an excellent 3 pair with Nurse. Please dump that useless Russell (chaos incorporated!).

    Nuge, please pick up your game! You left it behind somewhere on the World Cup ice, Where is that guy?

  31. Woodguy says:

    Lowetide: I think there is every reason to believe that Nuge/Eberle are the key. If they cannot form a reasonably strong line offensively, the season will not end in success. The question I have had all season is this: Should PC be blamed for counting on Pouliot-Nuge-Eberle to have success offensively, as a line or individually? I think the answer is no, and remain pretty shocked by that trio (although Eberle has recovered in recent days and Nuge/Pou are showing signs).

    Relying on 67-93-14 is fair, but it also begs the question of “why add a $6MM guy who *has* to play with McDavid?

    Spending precious cap space to bolster the best player in the world isn’t cap efficient, esp. after his ELC and he’s making 9.7MM

    Also,

    67-93-14 have a total of 43 minutes together this year.

    I’d that” s the plan, then the coach better know about it or buy in.

    With 14 starting the year with 97 I don’t think that “67-93-14 can be our secondary scoring” ever crossed their minds.

  32. Confused says:

    Think Klefbom has been poor and had dragged Larsson down with him.

    Davey and Nurse returning gives options in pushing him down the line-up.

    Still in the picture, defenders return, stop hopeful, go oilers!

  33. JimmyV1965 says:

    This team has definitely regressed in a big way. Larsson and Klefbom are leading the charge, but RNH is not far behind. They have all been awful lately. The Parise-Staal-Coyle line absolutely owned us last night. As far as first lines go, where would these guys rank? Bottom half of the league I would imagine. We were hemmed in our zone for long stretches last night. Brings back horrific memories of the past. Ya, I’m thinking this is not a playoff team.

  34. Pescador says:

    So impressed with Benning thus far, no he’s not the second coming but he is a rookie performing well in a tough situation, love and the Pouges reference Lowetide. Thx
    Caggiula is showing his quality on the top line going up against the NHLs elite D. He is really good a making the tough pass in the tight areas.

  35. JimmyV1965 says:

    kinger_OIL:
    – LT: you say you don’tbelieve this is a playoff team and for a long time I was on the same page

    – Math, 50 years plus of data, their record to dateand any site that creates a market for these things though strongly disagree with your assertion that this is not a playoff team

    – you would make a lot of money if you went to Vegas today and put money down on the oil not making the playoffs

    – of course now maybe your right but the reality is that at this point all the teams in the same situation have a very high degree of likelihood to in fact be a playoff team

    – I think it’s fair to point out your opinion is now strongly not supported by all available data.

    That data has to be scewed in a big way by the first 10 games. This is simply not the same team.

  36. PerryK says:

    Pescador:
    So impressed with Benning thus far, no he’s not the second coming but he is a rookie performing well in a tough situation, love and the Pouges reference Lowetide. Thx
    Caggiula is showing his quality on the top line going up against the NHLs elite D. He is really good a making the tough pass in the tight areas.

    He may make the transition if given time, but Caggiula is clearly a LW! That’s where he plays his best hockey. We need to play him in that position, not RW or C if we want to maximize his talents.

  37. BONE207 says:

    Hi guys…answer me this
    Fans say it, commentators say it, players say it.

    Lost confidence!!

    How is that possible???

    These guys have made it to the best league in the world and there’s no easy way to do that. I don’t believe that you can forget how you got there. Losing confidence to me is a cop out. I’ve played sports for 40 + years and none of it for money and very little glory. I know I can’t be the best I can be for every game but I know if I make a mistake, I can discuss it with my partners & coaches in game to try to rectify it. I can bear down, focus on my approach or simplify my game to at least not be detrimental to the team. These guys get paid millions and I don’t consider them stupid. They must be able to figure out what they need to do better. Larson must know that facing his keeper when the guy behind him has got the puck is wrong. Fix it. I can’t comprehend this from an athlete’s point of view. Lowetidians can figure this out and the coaches or partners give input after watching the video. Why does this happen repeatedly?

  38. leadfarmer says:

    Was at the game last night sitting behind the Oil bench. Here’s a few thoughts.

    Sekera truly is a master turd polisher. Just declare him the number one d already. Does so many little things so well.

    Russell is really good at chasing the puck which is good cause he does it often. It’s not always his guy that he is chasing so I think he is unfairly credited with extra chases but he still chases a lot.

    Larsson. Tv doesn’t show how much he cheats for defense. He plays like a guy who has no faith in his partner. He plays sweeper position for you soccer fans.

    Klefbom does not look like a guy you lock up long term. Don’t think the gap between him and Simpson is that big. He did miss a lot of time last year but needs to be better. Looks nothing like those small sample sizes from last year.

    Simpson closed a gap so fast in the first that caught the Wild player off guard. Quiet game for him and Benning really. Neither look out of place

    MetaMusil warmed up with team. He is big. Like really big

  39. Lowetide says:

    Woodguy: Relying on 67-93-14 is fair, but it also begs the question of “why add a $6MM guy who *has* to play with McDavid?

    I don’t think the Oilers view Lucic as you do, so *has* to play with McDavid is probably unfair to Lucic. They want him there. As for the Nuge line, Pou-Nuge has been so bad this year I am not surprised they had Eberle elsewhere. The move of Leon and then Caggiula to RW seems to have helped a little, and that is good news.

  40. Lowetide says:

    BONE207:
    Hi guys…answer me this
    Fans say it, commentators say it, players say it.

    Lost confidence!!

    How is that possible???

    These guys have made it to the best league in the world and there’s no easy way to do that. I don’t believe that you can forget how you got there. Losing confidence to me is a cop out. I’ve played sports for 40 + years and none of it for money and very little glory. I know I can’t be the best I can be for every game but I know if I make a mistake, I can discuss it with my partners & coaches in game to try to rectify it. I can bear down, focus on my approach or simplify my game to at least not be detrimental to the team. These guys get paid millions and I don’t consider them stupid. They must be able to figure out what they need to do better. Larson must know that facing his keeper when the guy behind him has got the puck is wrong. Fix it. I can’t comprehend this from an athlete’s point of view. Lowetidians can figure this out and the coaches or partners give input after watching the video. Why does this happen repeatedly?

    Oh, I don’t know. The Edmonton Oilers beat down Jeff Petry for years, no doubt in my mind there were confidence issues with that player.

  41. Silver Streak says:

    Whats the latest on Davidson`s return….is Nurses anywhere to be seen…Im wondering if he`s still in a walking boot…..we could sure use one or both vs: the Jets…..

  42. BONE207 says:

    Lowetide: Oh, I don’t know. The Edmonton Oilers beat down Jeff Petry for years, no doubt in my mind there were confidence issues with that player.

    Ok then…working with/for assholes was never in the cards for me. I would reward myself with beer after the game. If it’s that simple, hell, I’ll continue my career as a ditch digger. Nobody there utters a peep.

  43. leadfarmer says:

    Talbot. Solid but as a 70 game starter I wish he was capable of passing the puck to the forwards on the pp when there is no Wild players on the ice. He really should be able to do more than just stop the puck behind the net.

    Lucic accidentally took a fullbacks gear at the airport. Those shoulder pads are not hockey pads.

    McDavid had trouble finding open ice and the Wild did a pretty good job containing him. Really sucks that all the opposition has to do is contain McDavid to get two points.

    Nuge and Pitlick look like you could sneak them onto the world junior team. Sat by Wild fans who knew Pitlicks dad

    Please don’t dump and chase to Eberles corner. It’s a guaranteed loss of possession and F bombs on his way to the bench.

    Pou looks like he needs to hit the gym. His body type should have more muscle

    Kassian I really don’t get what he is doing on this team. This isn’t the 2009 Edmonton midgets. Chases the puck more than Russell. Accomplishes very little.

    Drai tends to coast back, definitely needs to back check harder

    Maroon definitely felt that shot early.

  44. Silver Streak says:

    Lowetide,

    if Lucic is the guy on McD right side then He best be keeping one eye on who the hell ever gets in McD `s kitchen…..absolutely insulting to have the ” Brandon Mannings” of the world get away with that crap TWICE…

    on Sportsnet last night someone suggested Lucic should skate by the opposition bench as tell them if anyone goes near 97 he ( Lucic ) would be going after their number one guy…..
    Isn’t that precisely why we got bigger this year ??? We have 3 guys who are being paid to among other things, supply the fear to elemanate that crap that teams like Phili love,

    Im sounding like an angry old man……but, after a few good messages sent i think McD would find fewer hacks and slashes aimed his way with more open ice…..who knows, it might result in an Art Ross trophy in Edmonton !!

  45. Woodguy says:

    Lowetide,

    As for the Nuge line, Pou-Nuge has been so bad this year I am not surprised they had Eberle elsewhere.

    They started Eberle with McDavid.

    67-93-14 have been together for 45min, had a 45.2% CF and 50% GF

  46. A'bunadh says:

    I wonder what this would look like if Pitt had traded Malkin for Larsson?

    Woodguy: On my PHONE right now, but will look later.

    Here’s one:

    PIT Crosby On GF% 61.29
    PIT Crosby Off GF% 61.02

  47. Woodguy says:

    frjohnk: How do other potential playoff teams look when you take out their best player?

    SJS:
    Thornton on 53.33
    Thornton off 50.00

    CHI
    Kane on 55.88
    Kane off 61.90

    TBY
    Kucherov on 57.89
    Kucherov off 43.86

    STL
    Tarasenko on 60.0
    Tarasenko off 45.16

    PHI
    Giroux on 51.12
    Giroux off 45.78

    OTT
    Karlsson on 55.26
    Karlsson off 40.0

    WPG
    Scheifelle on 53.66
    Scheifelle off 41.67

    DAL
    Seguin on 45.45
    Seguin off 48.21

    BOS
    Pasternak on 73.3
    Pasternak off 35.56

    You can tell which teams will be competitive as deep playoff threats just by looking at this.

    One line teams can make the playoffs and win a round, but I think it takes more talent to go deep.

  48. godot10 says:

    Lowetide:
    For the record, I like Larsson, he is my kind of defenseman. That said, Edmonton needs him to be a top pairing defender, and effective in that role. I think it is reasonable to suggest he is struggling this year, so far.

    Klefbom went a bit wobbly. The time with Russell killed his break even possession numbers. And the Oilers forwards are weak in defensive coverage (unlike the Devils).

    Larsson is adjusting to the lack of or to less reliability in his teammates.

    I think one could run Sekera Larsson like Greene Larsson and everything would be better for Larsson statistically, but the Oilers need to and should run Sekera and Larsson on different pairing.

    Russell will kill the Oilers in the top 4 unless he is paired with Sekera. Russell might be okay with someone else if it were 3rd pairing minutes. Sekera is really the only D the OIlers have who can carry Russell or Fayne in top 4 role.

    Sekera is an elite #3D…and probably would qualify as a competent #2D.

    This team would be so much further ahead if they still had Jeff Petry.

    Sekera Larsson
    Klefbom Petry

  49. Georges says:

    There are two players Adam Larsson has made worse this season: Andy Greene and Cory Schneider.

    Greene and Larsson had a 1.35 GA60 and a GF% of 53.5 at 5v5 last season.
    Greene and Severson have a 2.82 GA60 and a GF% of 40.74 this season.

    Schneider was facing 27.2 SA60 and had a 92.9 sv%.
    Schneider is now facing 30.3 SA60 and has a 91.3 sv%.

    With Larsson, NJD was low event, high save percentage. Without him so far they’ve been high event, low save percentage. High event, low save percentage teams are bad teams.

    Adam Larsson has played 304 games in this league. Andy Greene has played 668.

    Oskar Klefbom has played 137 NHL games. Damon Severson has played 150.

    Two veterans with two younger guys. Our vet is 24 years old. New Jersey’s is 34.

    Adam Larsson can play and I’m unreservedly rooting for him. He’s very likable and his game is more than sound.

    The organization has a Hall-sized incentive in building up and getting the most out of this young player.

  50. Lowetide says:

    Woodguy:
    Lowetide,

    As for the Nuge line, Pou-Nuge has been so bad this year I am not surprised they had Eberle elsewhere.

    They started Eberle with McDavid.

    67-93-14 have been together for 45min, had a 45.2% CF and 50% GF

    And kept him there for a time, in spite of Nuge struggling. If Edmonton misses the playoffs, and I think they will, it will be interesting to see where we as a group place the blame. I think the GM and coach were reasonable in expecting Nuge to deliver more offense.

  51. godot10 says:

    Woodguy:
    Interesting stuff fromAlan Hull on Twitter this AM:

    So EDM is +2 in 5v5 goal differential and their shot attempt diff. is +98. Both of those are good things…however…

    Approximately 92% of their positive shot attempt differential is accounted for by McDavid’s ice time…92%

    That means they are still a 50% team the rest of the time but just barely. That’s an improvement, but not as big as some think.

    Then I added:

    @alanhull There’ also this: GF% McDavid On 59.09% , GF% McDavid Off 46.73%. Early to be looking at goals, but it’s not trending well.

    Drai seems to be emerging but with the timeline of being *very* competitive being pushed back until 29 and 98 age a few years this is a one line team.

    Shouldn’t one be quoting PDO with those with and without Connor of GF%, especially with the small datasets. We know Nugent-Hopkins/Pouliot is having an awful run of bad luck/PDO.

  52. A'bunadh says:

    I know there has been constant chatter about the Larsson for Hall trade but am actually surprised it hasn’t escalated more. Adam Larsson is an average defenseman. There are probably 70 defensemen better than he is. He’s maybe not even the 3rd best defenseman on his own team. Taylor Hall has the highest points per game in the league for left wingers. He’s a bonafide top 3 left winger in the game. A true driver. WTF did Chiarelli do? Why why why?!?!?

  53. Melvis says:

    The coach and his fuckin expectations gave Nuge less ice in the first period than Barley Worsens Gord…er…Worley Parsons Gord. So it goes.

  54. Pajamah says:

    A’bunadh:
    I wonder what this would look like if Pitt had traded Malkin for Larsson?

    I truly love Larsson as a long term Oiler, but I don’t think Pittsburgh would have ever done something so stupid.

    AND that’s why people here and all Oiler fans in general may never reconcile the Hall trade as good. You may really need a work truck, and there may need to be bells and whistles, but there is zero reason to think your Porsche 911 is fair trade in value

  55. Lowetide says:

    A’bunadh:
    I know there has been constant chatter about the Larsson for Hall trade but am actually surprised it hasn’t escalated more.Adam Larsson is an average defenseman.There are probably 70 defensemen better than he is.He’s maybe not even the 3rd best defenseman on his own team.Taylor Hall has the highest points per game in the league for left wingers.He’s a bonafide top 3 left winger in the game.A true driver.WTF did Chiarelli do?Why why why?!?!?

    I think it would be a bigger issue but everyone has drawn a conclusion and there is little left to say. The number of people defending the deal, or saying let’s wait and see, has been reduced, but we eventually end up yelling as madmen across the water. As the Oilers are the relief from real life, I think people have moved on for their own sanity.

    Which seems the most reasonable part of the entire transaction.

  56. Melvis says:

    I’m beginning to feel like some irrational conspiracy theorist -in that the principle mandate of the current coach and gm is simply getting rid of everyone preceeding McDavid – regardless of cost and on ice consequences.

    And I wouldn’t feed this lunch time over jammy, over oaked shiraz to the pigs. Sheesh.

  57. BONE207 says:

    As the Oilers are the relief from real life, I think people have moved on for their own sanity.

    Yes, I know how that feels. My sanity has been stretched as of late but I take solace from knowing it’s almost Christmas and the Oilers are in the playoff talk. Miles of road left to go and we haven’t seen the Texaco yet!! If they gutted out the tie yesterday, perhaps we can still believe for a few months in something emerging. Tough to let the sphincter fully relax but it keeps you sharp and the pants clean.

  58. Professor Q says:

    Well, maybe it helps in signing Draisaitl, if anything. We’d have to give up one eventually. Might as well get an anchor at D like we haven’t had in 10 years for the effort.

  59. Gordies Elbow says:

    Count me in the group that says that the second goal was on McDavid.

    Behind the back pass to Granlund uncovered in the corner, Larsson tried to block the pass to the open Zucker. You can’t give the puck away in your own zone, much less to create a two on one situation down low. That’s the type of play this team needs to stop making in a 1-1 game.

  60. Woodguy says:

    frjohnk,

    Forgot an important one (although I’m not sure they’re a playoff team)

    NJD
    Hall on 44%
    Hall off 51.3%

    Wow.

    Had a look at Hall w/ his 3 main C’s (mostly Zajac and Henrique) and found this:

    Player GF%
    HALL, TAYLOR 44
    ZAJAC, TRAVIS 60
    HENRIQUE, ADAM 28.6 (PDO 893)
    ZACHA, PAVEL 100

    So a shitty start for Hall, but has been good since, so I’d expect that number to come up similar to RNH’s number coming up over the season as well.

  61. Melvis says:

    The Oilers aren’t a repreive from real life. If only… They tend to exarcebate, and or, magnify it’s extremities.

  62. Woodguy says:

    Lowetide: And kept him there for a time, in spite of Nuge struggling. If Edmonton misses the playoffs, and I think they will, it will be interesting to see where we as a group place the blame. I think the GM and coach were reasonable in expecting Nuge to deliver more offense.

    Yeah, 93 and 14 should be able to produce without Hall as they had in the past.

    Last 3 years 93 & 14 without Hall:

    1034 min CF% 51.4%, GF% 45.3 PDO 978 (SV% .8921) so the disconnect between CF% and GF% looks mostly to be SV% driven as they scored 2.67GF/60 (not a good number, but not terrible)

    This year only:

    93 & 14 they are scoring at 1.87 GF/60 which is not acceptable, but its been improving.

    PDO hates Nuge this year and it shows in his GF%

    Oiler F GF%

    Player Name GF%
    SLEPYSHEV, ANTON 100
    PULJUJARVI, JESSE 68.8
    LANDER, ANTON 62.5
    MCDAVID, CONNOR 60.5
    MAROON, PATRICK 55.2
    KASSIAN, ZACK 54.2
    POULIOT, BENOIT 52.4
    LUCIC, MILAN 51.3
    PITLICK, TYLER 47.6
    DRAISAITL, LEON 45.7
    EBERLE, JORDAN 45.7
    CAGGIULA, DRAKE 44.4
    LETESTU, MARK 42.1
    NUGENT-HOPKINS, RYAN 37
    HENDRICKS, MATT 20

    Wow, you can make a lot of fun of McLellan with that list:

    Player Name GF%
    SLEPYSHEV, ANTON 100 – YOU WHO NEVER GETS SCORED ON, YOU’RE SCRATCHED AGAIN!
    PULJU JARVI, JESSE 68.8 -YOU’RE SCRATCHED TOO ROOKIE!
    LANDER, ANTON 62.5 -YOU’RE OFF THE TEAM YOU BUM!
    MCDAVID, CONNOR 60.5
    MAROON, PATRICK 55.2
    KASSIAN, ZACK 54.2
    POULIOT, BENOIT 52.4
    LUCIC, MILAN 51.3
    PITLICK, TYLER 47.6
    DRAISAITL, LEON 45.7
    EBERLE, JORDAN 45.7
    CAGGIULA, DRAKE 44.4 – I WILL NEVER SCRATCH YOU SON!
    LETESTU, MARK 42.1
    NUGENT-HOPKINS, RYAN 37
    HENDRICKS, MATT 20 – YES, I WANT MORE OF THIS GUY INSTEAD OF THE GUYS AT THE TOP!

  63. GCW_69 says:

    Lowetide: I think there is every reason to believe that Nuge/Eberle are the key. If they cannot form a reasonably strong line offensively, the season will not end in success. The question I have had all season is this: Should PC be blamed for counting on Pouliot-Nuge-Eberle to have success offensively, as a line or individually? I think the answer is no, and remain pretty shocked by that trio (although Eberle has recovered in recent days and Nuge/Pou are showing signs).

    Eberle is now on track for 63 points. His career average per 82 games is 64 points. Eberle is not the problem. The slow starts by Nuge and Pouliot is. Of they were running at thier normal pace, they would be much better positioned.

    It is disappointing to see Nuge struggle to drive a line without Hall or Eberle. That said, his history with Eberle shows a Nuge Eberle based line can produce, and we now know McDavid can produce with anyone. So, keeping Eberle and Nuge together is a must.

    And, I would really like to see Lucic with Nuge and Eberle. Lucic played his best hockey with Krejci, and Nuge and Krejci are a lot alike imo.

  64. Melvis says:

    At this point, I’m sorely in need of some back pages from Roger Angell. Or, in a pinch, some W.P Kinsella romanticism.

    Or Mike Babcock’s oft repeated, “I’m greedy.”

  65. sliderule says:

    Nuge is turning into a higher priced Cogliano.

    He has shown more offensive ability but has same problems defensively.as Cogs.

    Lack of strength results in poor face off ability and can’t win puck battles.

    The coach basically called him out by referring how hard Draisaitl works on face offs and others don’t..I am not sure he was fair as when you have build like a greyhound no matter how much you work out you aren’t going to get stronger.

    If they want to get better value for the buck flip him to Connors wing and watch him takeoff..He has the speed and shot to be effective with him.He is also Avery good back checker which requires speed more than strength.

    Call up Lander who was one of their best face off centres and problem solved.

  66. Woodguy says:

    godot10: Shouldn’t one be quoting PDO with those with and without Connor of GF%, especially with the small datasets.We know Nugent-Hopkins/Pouliot is having an awful run of bad luck/PDO.

    Good point.

    When us GF% (especially this early when it doesn’t mean as much as CF%) you should always add PDO

    McDavid on PDO 1013
    McDavid off PDO 990

  67. GCW_69 says:

    sliderule:
    Nuge is turning into a higher priced Cogliano.

    He has shown more offensive abilitybut has same problems defensively.as Cogs.

    Lack of strength results in poor face off ability and can’t win puck battles.

    The coach basically called him out by referring how hard Draisaitl works on face offs and others don’t..I am not sure he was fair as when you have build like a greyhound no matter how much you work out you aren’t going to get stronger.

    If they want to get better value for the buck flip him to Connors wing and watch him takeoff..He has the speed and shot to be effective with him.He is also Avery good back checker which requires speed more than strength.

    Call up Lander who was one of their best face off centres and problem solved.

    If Lander could score at all at the NHL level, he would look good next to Nuge.

  68. Klima's_Bucket says:

    Question:
    How can Benning look so good jumping straight from college to the NHL? (with the exception of a brief spell in the minors)
    Yet Justin Schultz was a complete garbage tire fire defensively for years in this same organization? While getting the half season of prep in the AHL where he tore that league a new one.

  69. JimmyV1965 says:

    A’bunadh:
    I know there has been constant chatter about the Larsson for Hall trade but am actually surprised it hasn’t escalated more.Adam Larsson is an average defenseman.There are probably 70 defensemen better than he is.He’s maybe not even the 3rd best defenseman on his own team.Taylor Hall has the highest points per game in the league for left wingers.He’s a bonafide top 3 left winger in the game.A true driver.WTF did Chiarelli do?Why why why?!?!?

    I wonder when the MSM picks up on this, if they ever do. With the way Larsson is playing now, you would think some analysts would revisit this trade. Make no mistake, though, I love the way Larsson started the year. He brought some real stability to the defence and a nice edge to his game. That stability has largely evaporated though.

  70. JimmyV1965 says:

    Lowetide: I think it would be a bigger issue but everyone has drawn a conclusion and there is little left to say. The number of people defending the deal, or saying let’s wait and see, has been reduced, but we eventually end up yelling as madmen across the water. As the Oilers are the relief from real life, I think people have moved on for their own sanity.

    Which seems the most reasonable part of the entire transaction.

    I think this true of the fans. We are largely divided and very set in our opinions. As for the MSM, I certainly have the impression they adopted the narrative that this was the price you pay for a RHD. Or the notion that everyone knew the Oilers needed a RHD so all the GMs in the league upped their asking price. Both are ridiculous of course, but this is my impression of what the MSM has been saying.

  71. Melvis says:

    I was at the area gym this morning. The running track is situated above, and circumnavigates the indoor soccer pitch. I usually avoid Saturdays. It’s way too packed to the gills with kids and soccer moms. And admittedly, some of the latter can prove a bit of a distraction to the workout routine, which I already hate.

    More so, the game played by, I dunno, 12 year olds. I was stunned. Surprisingly coherent on O and D. I stopped dead in my tracks and just watched. Fluid. Beautiful. Artful. Entertaining. Those kids all brought it. Complete games. COMPLETE fucking games played by kids who seemingly understood the game and it’s underlying structures.

    Today, I console myself with the “seen it good” of kiddie footie and amateur athletics. After the last few Oilers games of brutal game mismanagement in the dying minutes.

  72. Klima's_Bucket says:

    Woodguy,

    Which site are you pulling this data from?

  73. kinger_OIL says:

    Klima’s_Bucket:
    Question:
    How can Benning look so good jumping straight from college to the NHL? (with the exception of a brief spell in the minors)
    Yet Justin Schultz was a complete garbage tire fire defensively for years in this same organization?While getting the half season of prep in the AHL where he tore that league a new one.

    – Its pretty easy to understand actually: when a team is good it is easier for rookies to break-in

    – When teams are bad, it is hard for rookies to break in

    – Plus Benning is playing 3rd pairing minutes, a low minutes, vs deployment of Shultz

    – This is somewhat a cause and effect: they didn’t have many “better” than Shultz. Benning is clearly the 8th – 10th best D on the depth (well maybe Shultz was as well, but you get the point!)

  74. Georges says:

    Lowetide: And kept him there for a time, in spite of Nuge struggling. If Edmonton misses the playoffs, and I think they will, it will be interesting to see where we as a group place the blame. I think the GM and coach were reasonable in expecting Nuge to deliver more offense.

    At this stage, if we miss the playoffs, the most likely reason is that Talbot rolls below median save percentage numbers like he’s been doing since November and we have no plan B. Talbot’s numbers haven’t been Brian Elliot bad but they’ve been bad. And we’re still very much in this.

    He needs to make one more save every third game. One more every third game and we’re good. Good news is he closed out last season strong. So he can get hot. Let’s hope he gets Chad Johnson hot.

    Saying Cam Talbot is an Oilers MVP when he is below median sv% league-wide is probably not right. Even yesterday, that Zucker goal, the tough one where he had to come across the crease, he reached for the pass, missed, and barely contested the shot. When he’s hot, he gets one of those right. And he hasn’t had to make so many of those getting across the crease saves by my eye. Too many pucks are getting through space he should be occupying.

    But my habit is to cheer for the players on my team not against them. So I’m looking forward to a north of .92 save % the rest of the way from our goalie, something he’s very capable of.

  75. Georges says:

    Lowetide,

    As for Nuge, the coach has him checking the other team’s best at 5v5. He doesn’t need to score at his career rate. He needs to come out even in +/-. All of Nuge’s numbers would improve if the coach stopped playing him in a third line shutdown role. But that’s what the coach wants.

    Nuge is being the good soldier here. He’s Ethan Moreau by 5v5 usage. Who got mad at Moreau for not scoring? Nuge has to come out close to even to do his job.

    (Does anyone know where you can pull data on line matchups?)

  76. Gordies Elbow says:

    Georges,

    In my opinion, goalie save percentages reflect the team, and the decisions that the players make. If McDavid carries the puck forward rather than the backhand pass intended for Klefbom, the Zucker goal doesn’t occur. At the NHL level, it’s easy to see the mistakes, as they end up in the back of the net.

    On a positive note, the team is trending to have 752 giveaways this season, which is 129 fewer than last season, and well below 2011-12’s 996. Their game is tightening up, and they have the depth to withstand 84.5 mangames lost to injury by Davidson, Nurse, Gryba, and Fayne.

    I think that the real story this season is depth – I’m looking forward to the handwringing posts about who should be in or out of the lineup.

  77. Bruce Wayne says:

    JimmyV1965: I think this true of the fans. We are largely divided and very set in our opinions. As for the MSM, I certainly have the impression they adopted the narrative that this was the price you pay for a RHD. Or the notion that everyone knew the Oilers needed a RHD so all the GMs in the league upped their asking price. Both are ridiculous of course, but this is my impression of what the MSM has been saying.

    The media is in full chearleader mode on the team. It doesn’t matter the station, everyone is fully on board to defend any and all moves they make. They might as well be paid employees, which in a way they are.

  78. Georges says:

    Gordies Elbow,

    Didn’t know about the giveaways stat. That’s what it looks like now for the most part, doesn’t it? I’m not looking away or expecting the worst like last season. And you’re right on depth. The team can play hockey and every once in a while they play it really, really well. What the hell, Drai?!

    We’ve fumbled a bunch of games late, but, hey, that’s an OK problem. Like McDavid said, we’re learning.

    I remember teams in the past few years, even last year, dominating us in a way that a one-goal game might as well have been a three-goal game. I’ve blanked out the actual three-goal games. Those were not good times.

  79. Gordies Elbow says:

    Georges,

    They’re a much deeper team, and have better players at most of the positions.

    Opening night 2014-15:

    Hall – RNH – Eberle
    Pouliot – Roy – Yakupov
    Hendricks – Lander – Purcell
    Klinkhammer – Gordon – Fraser

    Ference – Schultz
    Nikitin – Fayne
    Klefbom – Marincin

    Scrivens
    Fasth

    Last night:
    Lucic – McDavid – Caggiula
    Maroon – RNH – Eberle
    Pouliot – Draisaitl – Pitlick
    Hendricks – Letestu – Kassian

    Sekera-Russell
    Klefbom – Larsson
    Simpson – Benning

    Talbot
    Gustavsson

    And that’s without playing Nurse, Davidson, Fayne, Gryba, Puljujarvi, and Slepyshev, and with players like Lander, Kharia, and Beck in the minors.

    The offense is humming – 5th in team scoring, 5th in shots per game, with two players in the top 15 in scoring, 5th in power play %.

    The defense still needs work, they’re currently 10th in PK%, but they’re 26th in goals against. That is with missing Davidson for 29.5 games and counting, Nurse for 5 and counting.

    This team missed Brandon Davidson.

  80. Woodguy says:

    Klima’s_Bucket:
    Question:
    How can Benning look so good jumping straight from college to the NHL? (with the exception of a brief spell in the minors)
    Yet Justin Schultz was a complete garbage tire fire defensively for years in this same organization?While getting the half season of prep in the AHL where he tore that league a new one.

    Benning plays a game in which defending includes using your body to separate man from puck, or at the very least stop the progress of the opposing player.

    I think the physicality of the NHL “scared” Schultz and he’s just now feeling comfortable with it.

    That’s just based on observation.

  81. Woodguy says:

    Klima’s_Bucket:
    Woodguy,

    Which site are you pulling this data from?

    The ON/OFF stuff is from corsica.hockey

    The GF% for the forwards was stats.hockeyanalysis.com

  82. Woodguy says:

    kinger_OIL: – Its pretty easy to understand actually: when a team is good it is easier for rookies to break-in

    – When teams are bad, it is hard for rookies to break in

    – Plus Benning is playing 3rd pairing minutes, a low minutes, vs deployment of Shultz

    – This is somewhata cause and effect: they didn’t have many “better” than Shultz.Benning is clearly the 8th – 10th best D on the depth (well maybe Shultz was as well, but you get the point!)

    These are good points too.

    Jultz was thrown in over his head.

    That said, Benning’s results vs. Elite forwards are excellent.

    Some of that is Sekera for sure, but the games with Nurse were good also.

  83. Woodguy says:

    Gordies Elbow,

    Opening night 2014-15:
    Hall – RNH – Eberle
    Pouliot – Roy – Yakupov
    Hendricks – Lander – Purcell
    Klinkhammer – Gordon – Fraser
    Ference – Schultz
    Nikitin – Fayne
    Klefbom – Marincin

    Roy wasn’t here opening night, they traded for him in December for Arcobello

    Arcobello was there opening night, where is he?

    Matt Fraser was a waiver pick up in December

    Where is Petry?

    Klefbom started in OKC.

    I think you have the end of the season roster confused with the opening night roster.

  84. Woogie63 says:

    Need to remember,

    This is a very young team sprinkled with some really good pros helping leading the way.

    New young core

    Name. NHL games

    McDavid. 75
    Caggulia. 12
    Driasaitl 139
    Puliarjarvi. 22
    Pitlick. 54
    Slepyshev. 25
    Larson. 304
    Klefblom. 137
    Nurse. 96
    Benning. 21
    Davidson. 64
    Reinhart. 37
    LB. 6

    Total. 1002 or an average of 77 games

    Eric Staal. 955

  85. bendelson says:

    A couple of things:

    I expected an unreadable thread complete with anger, hostility and promises of impending doom… and instead found a whole lot of reasonable. Nicely done gang.

    Woodguy: That was a fascinating set of numbers in regards to GF%. Pittsburgh. Impressive. If you decide to bet against the Pens again this spring, give me a shout – I’m your huckleberry.
    A couple of questions emerged when looking at the Tampa numbers: Pre-injury, how does Stamkos factor in to the Kucherov equation and perhaps even more interesting (and likely difficult to discern), how is Hedman shading Kucherov’s number? The numbers surprised.

    Georges: The numbers you posted on Greene and Schneider this season vs last, were also very interesting. Thanks for posting that perspective.

    ____

    Three random thoughts:

    1) The Chia NCAA additions are absolutely killing it.
    2) Leon is a beast.
    3) Waiting for Brossoit…

  86. GMB3 says:

    Anton Slepyshev needs to be in the lineup over Matt Hendricks…. That is one of the biggest head scratchers I’ve seen in a while

  87. GMB3 says:

    I feel like too many times we have our defensive pairing going D to D, and have all three of our forwards are not even in screen. At times you could throw a blanket over all three forwards near the Minnesota blueline in the third period.

  88. Woodguy says:

    bendelson,

    Kucherov with Hedman 58.3% GF, 50% CF
    Kucherov without Hedman 57.7% GF, 53.4% CF (maybe some QoC effects there)
    Hedman without Kucherov 47.6% GF, 47.8% CF

    As for the Stamkos questions, it will take more work to figure that out.

    Kucherov has 387 5v5 min and 136 of that is with Stamkos, which is most of Stamkos’ 218 5v5 TOI this year so it on the surface the “one line team” holds as they played together when Stamkos was healthy

  89. Georges says:

    Woodguy:
    Interesting stuff fromAlan Hull on Twitter this AM:

    So EDM is +2 in 5v5 goal differential and their shot attempt diff. is +98. Both of those are good things…however…

    Approximately 92% of their positive shot attempt differential is accounted for by McDavid’s ice time…92%

    That means they are still a 50% team the rest of the time but just barely. That’s an improvement, but not as big as some think.

    Then I added:

    @alanhull There’ also this: GF% McDavid On 59.09% , GF% McDavid Off 46.73%. Early to be looking at goals, but it’s not trending well.

    Drai seems to be emerging but with the timeline of being *very* competitive being pushed back until 29 and 98 age a few years this is a one line team.

    Depends on what you choose to compare those numbers to. I wouldn’t compare to other teams. I’d compare to ourselves to see whether we’ve improved.

    There’s your best player and the rest of your team. Before McDavid, our best player was Hall.

    From 2010-11 to 2015-16, the rest of the team’s numbers when Hall was off the ice:

    CF%: 45.25
    GF%: 40.66
    PDO: 99.01

    In 2016-17, the rest of the team’s numbers when McDavid is off the ice:

    CF%: 50.29
    GF%: 45.71
    PDO: 98.95

    So, a much improved rest of the team.

  90. Oilanderp says:

    I wonder how much the Kris Russell ‘rift’ (between math and eye) is responsible for the lack of focus on Larsson?

    It could be that Russell blocks shots OFF the ice as well.

  91. Gordies Elbow says:

    Woodguy,

    Yep, that was the roster the last game of the season.

    Amazing changes since then.

  92. russ99 says:

    We need to keep Leon on McDavid’s line. They score when they’re together.

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