FINDING TOP DEAD CENTER

My Dad used to tune cars on Sundays. He would work in the sawmill six days a week (when I was little, they tracked back to five days and Saturday mornings, because the unions were coming to the lower mainland) and on the seventh day he would go to the Kingdom Hall, come home, put on his work clothes, and tune engines. He was pretty damned good for an amateur, he could find the sweet spot in the timing (it is actually a thing, the pistons fire in perfect rhythm and the timing rhymes) and my Auntie Stella, or cousin Dale, or Mr. Gunther or Mr. McIntosh would go home with a happy car. They didn’t pay him, not often, but always brought something. Most Sunday afternoons I remember up on Thornhill included ‘start it up’ and ‘shut it off’ time and time and time and time again.

Peter Chiarelli is trying to find top dead center. However, he is also trying to build a winning organization, with (in some cases) a threadbare depth chart on his white board. I think this organization has some areas of strength and weakness, and will be in the playoff chase far longer than some of us anticipated. Is that success, for you? Would you have driven home happy on one of those Sundays, with the car tuned as it is now? Top dead center is elusive, the Oilers are miles away. The truth is out there.

MACHINE HEAD, 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: 3-2-3, goal differential E
  • Oilers after 32, 2015: 14-16-2, goal differential -11
  • Oilers after 32, 2016: 15-12-5, goal differential +7

I mentioned yesterday on the Lowdown that the Oilers would have a hard time against the Blue Jackets, a team that has all kinds of quality and goodness. The Oilers are now eight games into the month of December, and have nine points in the month. We agreed (15 points in 15 games) on that kind of pace, so, despite last night’s frustrations, things are not so bad we have to start talking about the draft.

Last I checked, Edmonton remains in a tie (35 points) for the Pacific Division lead, but the team is now miles ahead of rest of the division in games invested. The 7-2-0 October has been followed by 23 games that delivered only 21 points (8-10-5) and we are here. I like plenty of things about this Oilers team, and am encouraged on all kinds of levels. Today, instead of running through the numbers from G32, I want to talk about things we may see between now and April. If you want to know what happened last night, my guess is flu. Oilers had a fine first period, and were not good at all in the final two. They had days off between, so should have been much sharper despite the brutal last month. These things happen. Marathon, not a sprint. We’re on to Tampa Bay. Now, for something completely different. I want to talk about some things.

JP’S BAT

puljujarvi-capture8

  • Peter Chiarelli: “He’s shown that he can play at this level. I’ve seen improvement from the start of the year. I think he’s squeezing his stick a little bit. He’s had chances to score. I think the fact he’s in position to score is a good thing.”

I want you to know that Jesse Puljujarvi is a wonderful young player—but I am not sure the Oilers drafted a high end offensive winger. Hell, I don’t even know if he is a winger, you would like to see that kind of two-way game at center if you are blue-skying the future.

How best to break in this player to the NHL? I like the kid line idea that was tried for a short time a little while ago. You get (say) Caggiula and Pitlick alongside Puljujarvi and let them roll. I expect the young Finn will eventually head down to the minors at some point, but a run with the kid line is a good idea. I was concerned early in the season about finding his offense, but am fairly certain he would flourish in the AHL. I remain curious about what his outer marker is as an NHL player. 25 goals? 50 points? Will he ever have a season of 30-30-60? I cannot see any of that from here.

NEXT!

brossoit williams 4

Photo by Mark Williams, all rights reserved

I think it is time to bring up Laurent Brossoit. I understand the idea of having veterans in important spots on the roster, but as of today, Jonas Gustavsson has played 14 percent of Edmonton’s total minutes so far this year. I bet you general managers and coaches agree on all kinds of things, but the coach is the one whose ass is grass if things don’t work out. For me, it is fairly clear Todd McLellan believes in Cam Talbot (who remains above average as an NHL goalie this season). It is also increasingly clear, based on usage, the backup may not be in a good place. I think we see Brossoit in January, that is my guess.

pouliot capture 1

MCDAVID AND POULIOT

Late in last night’s game, Connor McDavid took a whirl with Milan Lucic and Jordan Eberle. It was interesting, because 14 is actually very productive with 97, has been ever since the world began. All numbers below 2015+:

  • McDavid with Eberle: Corsi for 5×5 (52.7) and 5×5/60 (2.50)
  • McDavid w/o  Eberle: Corsi for 5×5 (53.0) and 5×5/60 (2.91)
  • Eberle with McDavid: Corsi for 5×5 (52.7) and 5×5/60 (2.30)
  • Eberle w/o  McDavid: Corsi for 5×5 (51.0) and 5×5/60 (1.34)

However, McDavid is better away, or more productive. You can see why it might benefit the Oilers to have their No. 1 RW on a line with McDavid, but there are reasons to keep him away. Edmonton badly needs the Nuge line to roll, and 14 is easily the best available for that role. What to do? Well, I think Leon Draisaitl is a fascinating option:

  • McDavid with Draisaitl: Corsi for 5×5 (58.2) and 5×5/60 (2.10)
  • McDavid w/o Draisaitl: Corsi for 5×5 (52.4) and 5×5/60 (2.85)
  • Draisaitl with McDavid: Corsi for 5×5 (58.2) and 5×5/60 (1.40)
  • Draisaitl w/o  McDavid: Corsi for 5×5 (51.4) and 5×5/60 (2.13)

McDavid is better away, or more productive. The truth is, the two men haven’t played that much together in their 1+ season as teammates. Leon’s away numbers include Hall time. While I am at it, allow me to run the Lucic numbers:

  • McDavid with Lucic: Corsi for 5×5 (55.5) and 5×5/60 (2.84)
  • McDavid w/o  Lucic: Corsi for 5×5 (53.9) and 5×5/60 (3.10)
  • Lucic with McDavid: Corsi for 5×5 (55.5) and 5×5/60 (1.51)
  • Lucic w/0  McDavid: Corsi for 5×5 (52.1) and 5×5/60 (0.96)

McDavid is better away, or more productive. It will not happen, but you know who performs well with Connor McDavid? Benoit Pouliot:

  • McDavid with Pouliot: Corsi for 5×5 (53.4) and 5×5/60 (3.22)
  • McDavid w/o Pouliot: Corsi for 5×5 (52.7) and 5×5/60 (2.64)
  • Pouliot with McDavid: Corsi for 5×5 (53.4) and 5×5/60 (2.82)
  • Pouliot w/o  McDavid: Corsi for 5×5 (49.6) and 5×5/60 (1.32)

McDavid is better with Pouliot than without. Among these three wingers, the only man who McDavid plays better with than without is Benoit Pouliot. Huh. I fully expect a pile of ‘why do you love Benoit Pouliot?’ dms and emails, but I care not who helps, only that they do. Benoit Pouliot helps, based on 300 5×5 minutes over 1+ season. Something to think about.

THE CASE FOR THE DEFENSE

  • Peter Chiarelli about Kris Russell: “Great stick, great defender, good leader in the room. At some point, we’ll sit down and talk about an extension.”

I believe Mark Fayne is a better NHL defenseman than Kris Russell. I doubt anyone reading this agrees with me, and I am certain Todd McLellan would vehemently disagree. Why? Different views on what a defenseman should be doing. Mark Fayne is a good possession defender, Kris Russell has had considerable wobble—not because he can’t play, but because of how much and when he plays.

We have discussed this before, but Russell’s speed is what McLellan and Chiarelli like most. They feel he stands the forward up at the blue line and has the ability to scoot back and at least tie for possession—something Mark Fayne is decidedly poor at in today’s fleet NHL.

If the Oilers sign Russell before the expansion draft, you and I will talk for many moons about what this does to the expansion list, but my guess is that Peter Chiarelli already has it on the whiteboard:

  • Protected List: Goal Cam Talbot; Defense Andrej Sekera, Adam Larsson, Oscar Klefbom, Kris Russell; Center Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Leon Draisaitl; Left Wing Milan Lucic; Right Wing Jordan Eberle.
  • Exempt List: Connor McDavid, Darnell Nurse, Drake Caggiula, Matt Benning, Jesse Puljujarvi, Anton Slepyshev, Nick Ellis, Ethan Bear, Caleb Jones.
  • Available List: Laurent Brossoit, Brandon Davidson, Mark Fayne, Griffin Reinhart, Dillon Simpson, David Musil, Jordan Oesterle, Benoit Pouliot, Patrick Maroon, Mark Letestu, Zack Kassian, Anton Lander, Jujhar Khaira, Tyler Pitlick, Iiro Pakarinen, Bogdan Yakimov, Mitchell Moroz, Taylor Beck.

I have spoken to some hockey people, and from what can be gathered, Brandon Davidson is the most likely selection, with the rest of the group pulled back. I have been told that Benoit Pouliot and Griffin Reinhart might be intriguing and I have a suspicion that someone like Mark Fayne, Jujhar Khaira or Tyler Pitlick might fill a roster need for Las Vegas. Remember, the Golden Seals are going to stock an NHL and AHL team, so there will be some variety in their shopping. We wait.

STATE OF THE UNION

  • Peter Chiarelli: “I’m happy where we’re at. I knew we had a good schedule to start and now we’ve had a tough one. We’ve settled to where we should be. I’ve seen improvement in every category and that makes me happy, whether it’s the statistical stuff or what meets my eye test.”

The Oilers are improved, the goal differential is better, the team has 35 points after 32 games (30 a year ago) and is on pace for 90 points. I had them at 82 for the year, so have to concede the team is running ahead. I suggested in early summer—actually the morning of the Hall deal—an approach that would bring balance to the defense:

  • Lowetide: As you may know (if you have been reading this blog all spring), Jason Demers is my choice to address the defense this summer. Why? Two reasons. First, he is easily the best RHD available in free agency, and he can effectively replace Jeff Petry (I believe). Second, and this is important, Peter Chiarelli must take what the market gives him. Get Demers, and if a Boychuk/Leddy opportunity makes itself known later, then make that move, too. The idea that making over this defense is a quick fix has always been folly. It is going to take some time, but that doesn’t mean the Oilers should hesitate in free agency. No sir. Get Demers, wait for the right opportunity (while also waiting for your current assets to rise) and try like hell to grow your own. Source

Peter Chiarelli felt that—instead of signing Demers and waiting for the Leddy—adding Adam Larsson was the right play. I am certain he did it with the knowledge that Todd McLellan was on board. The team didn’t make a second trade, but did add Kris Russell and a dandy college man in Matt Benning.

The one working theory that held water for the playoffs? McDavid winning the scoring championship and Cam Talbot playing above average in net. Both are statistically true, this morning. If you are mad about last night’s loss, that’s fine. If you are mad about where the Oilers sit currently, my question is why? Did we not talk about lack of balance? I am sure we did.

Peter Chiarelli will add pieces this summer, and it is beginning to look like the first free-agent piece is Kris Russell. So, it stands to reason that Edmonton is done or close to it on defense (Klefbom—Larsson; Sekera—Russell; Nurse—Benning) at this time. If you are looking for a righty bomb for the power play? I think it might be a forward. If balance is coming to Edmonton, it will come via development of names like Oscar Klefbom, Adam Larsson, Darnell Nurse and Matt Benning. Brandon Davidson is probably not on that list should the Oilers sign Kris Russell before the expansion draft. Pretty sure.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

A fun and potentially crazy show this morning, beginning at 10 on TSN1260. Scheduled to appear:

  • Bruce McCurdy, Cult of Hockey. It is cloudy and the Oilers lost last night, so McCurdy will be in fine form. I will ask him about last night, McDavid recently, Talbot last night, and the sun, moon and stars.
  • Guy Flaming, Pipeline Show. WJ roster close to set, and some great action going on in our own back yard that will impact the draft.
  • Derek Taylor, TSN. CFL news bubbling up from Montreal, plus some recent free-agent signings.
  • Antony Bent, Soccer Insider. The accent demon hits the airwaves the day after the Everton result, and we will talk today action.

10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter.

written by

The author didn‘t add any Information to his profile yet.
Related Posts

127 Responses to "FINDING TOP DEAD CENTER"

  1. Skeeziks says:

    LT, given the Oilers current placement in the standings, what, if any, types of moves do you see them making between now and the trade deadline?

  2. p3rsonman says:

    I am hoping Connor can recover from whatever ails him, as last night was the least McDavid-ey I’ve seen him play.

    Still, McDavid at 50% is still one of our top players.

  3. Lowetide says:

    Skeeziks:
    LT, given the Oilers current placement in the standings, what, if any, types of moves do you see them making between now and the trade deadline?

    I can see them adding a shooter on RW, calling up Laurent Brossoit, trading Matt Hendricks and Benoit Pouliot.

  4. kinger_OIL says:

    – Great post LT!

    – Re: Pulju: there have been a bunch of us who questioned his offence. I didn’t think it’s fair to have it both ways: his NHLE sucks, but in small samples (WJC for example), he scored. I think he’s a fine prospect, and the team will be much better with his outer market of 20 goals and complete player than for instance Eberle’s 25ish *ducks*

    – Re: Monster: 1W, 2L, 1T. That’s kind of what you expect. Not good enough for a Cup team, but didn’t break the bank, and Brossoit (who was not ready last year recall) gets to develop. I have no doubt Brossoit gets a few games this year, but circumstances are different, and more G depth
    * and the Monster starts the 2nd of back-backs: I bet his GAA% on those games is league average for G’s on 2nd night in a row

  5. russ99 says:

    I have only two gripes with the team:

    1) While Bakersfield may not be the most desirable place to send our young Finn, he needs to get his offensive mojo back dominating lesser players on North American ice with the space given him by tough mature AHL players. I am not seeing those “scoring chances” that Chiarelli is, I see poor shots because of lack of ice/time to do what he wants.

    2) We need to stick with what works. Kid line, Maroon – Letestu – Kassian, RNH line against the toughs, Draisaitl either buying McDavid more space or cashing on the trailer when the D overcommits, and Draisaitl/Lucic being vastly more successful on the cycle after the rush chances to buy McDavid more chances per sortie.

    McLellan throwing a hissy fit and flinging the lines into a blender when things don’t go our way is not helping, and the head down histrionics on the bench doesn’t send our team the right message – work hard and we’ll get it back.

    Everything else is much better than I expected after Chia’s heavy lifting in July and August.

  6. dammit tambellini says:

    Does anyone remember the timing of Demers visiting town and the Hall trade happening? I don’t think its out of the realm of possibility that Demers said thanks but no thanks and Chiarelli moved on to plan B.

  7. N64 says:

    “Protected List: Goal Cam Talbot; Defense Andrej Sekera, Adam Larsson, Oscar Klefbom, Kris Russell; Center Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Leon Draisaitl; Left Wing Milan Lucic; Right Wing Jordan Eberle”. (LT)

    Doubt that he protects or loses Russell if he signs him.

  8. N64 says:

    dammit tambellini:
    Does anyone remember the timing of Demers visiting town and the Hall trade happening? I don’t think its out of the realm of possibility that Demers said thanks but no thanks and Chiarelli moved on to plan B.

    Or Lucic said yes and Chia moved on to plan A.

  9. kinger_OIL says:

    dammit tambellini:
    Does anyone remember the timing of Demers visiting town and the Hall trade happening? I don’t think its out of the realm of possibility that Demers said thanks but no thanks and Chiarelli moved on to plan B.

    – There were competing/complementary agendas:
    1) Chia representing out loud to everyone that he has “other” RHD options
    2) Demers and his agent representing out loud to everyone that he has “lots of interest”

    – Whether Demers signed here or elsewhere, or whether Chia got Larsson or another, the public display was beneficial to each parties agenda

  10. Woogie63 says:

    Interesting point in time in the Bakersfield v. Oilers schedule for December

    Bakersfield -6 practice days and 8 games

    Oilers – 6 practice days and 6 games of which I can see JP drawing in for 2 games (Arizona, Vancouver)

    This might be a great time for JP and Drake to go to Bakersfield, and bring up Anton and a heavier Khaira, as we face the big Blues, Sharks and Kings

  11. frjohnk says:

    I wouldnt be surprised if they sign Russell.

    After Shattenkirk,( and he is not coming here) there is no UFA RFD of interest and if the Oilers lose Davidson to expansion, they may feel their D core would not have much depth.

    It would be
    Sekera
    Klefbom
    Larsson
    Nurse
    Benning
    Fayne

    And there are no D prospects knocking at the door.

    Love him or hate him, Russell is an NHL Dman, if they sign him, hopefully his age (30)and actual ability (depth DMan) will be reflected in term and AAV and wont hurt the team moving forward

  12. GMB3 says:

    N64: Or Lucic said yes and Chia moved on to plan A.

    If that was truly the case, Chia seriously overvalued Lucic, IMO.

  13. GMB3 says:

    Why is Anton Slepyshev not gifted the chance to get some traction at the NHL level but Drake Caggiula is?

  14. Generational Poster says:

    Far be it from me to tell one of (if not the) best hockey players on the planet how to play, so with all due respect and many grains of salt, 97 needs to shoot more! Especially on the PP…noticed many times recently where he was in prime shooting position with guys going to the net where he dished to a teammate in worse position than him…

    As for lines, I’d love to see them try something like:

    Pouliot – McDavid – Pitlick
    Maroon – RNH – Eberle
    Lucic – Drai – Caggiula
    Slep – Letestu – Kassian

    Re: Russell – if they extend him pre-expansion that is flat out nuts. Even if you want to look at bringing him back, you don’t burn a protected slot on him! Hopefully Davidson can get back to last year’s level soon.

    I wonder if Maroon is an attractive expansion target – signed until 2018, very attractive contract.

  15. kinger_OIL says:

    frjohnk,

    – I agree with this your assessement. Nothing wrong with more bona-fide D

    – It’s only a matter of term. I like:
    1) $2.5mmx4 (and if I’m Russel, I take $10MM)
    2) $3.5MMx2

    – Thats how I would negociate: do you want $7MM or $10MM?

    – If it’s a 4×4: we are fuc#d….

  16. dustrock says:

    Werenski in his draft year wasn’t as polished as Hanifin, particularly defensively, but there were several scouts who said he might have the highest ceiling, particularly on the offensive end.

    Getting a player like him would solve so many problems for this team. I would like to see the Oilers PP with an actual threat from the point.

    I would trade anyone not named McDavid or Draisaitl for that to happen.

  17. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    Never a fan of telling the media how much you like a player before you sign him to an extension. If you told me in June the Oilers’ protected list would include Kris Russell but neither Davidson nor Reinhart I probably would have called you crazy. Alas we are here then, it seems.

    I think your scenario is right: 100 point McDavid and Talbot playing 70 games to slide in for a wild card slot is the plan. Painfully thin if someone gets hurt but we will just have to hope for a healthy group from here on out.

  18. Bruce Wayne says:

    GMB3: If that was truly the case, Chia seriously overvalued Lucic, IMO.

    This is definitely the case. All the evidence points to it.

    I had low expectations for Lucic, Larsson (and Reinhart) and yet somehow they have still managed to underwhelm. Larsson is nowhere close to a top pairing defender, Lucic is slow and his so-called intangibles are invisible, and Reinhart played the single worst hockey game I have ever seen in my life.

    Now Chiarelli is going to give Russell a long term extension and Puljujarvi is rotting on the vine instead of learning to score. Calling him the worst general manager in the league is too kind. in many ways he’s even worse than Tambellini, which is shocking.

  19. Frank the dog says:

    GMB3:
    Why is Anton Slepyshev not gifted the chance to get some traction at the NHL level but Drake Caggiula is?

    Or, he really felt he needed to move Hall. (ducks and runs)

  20. dustrock says:

    http://deadspin.com/the-300-year-journey-from-classical-standard-to-gay-dis-1789831401

    Man I love soccer fans. I wish we had chants in Rogers Place like they do in pretty much any soccer stadium anywhere.

  21. PhrankLee says:

    Sekera/Russell pairing delivered 8 shots on goal last night. 6 at evens.

    That’s very good.

    Sekera has begun to find the range and is getting shots through.

  22. CalVag says:

    Bruce Wayne: This is definitely the case.All the evidence points to it.

    I had low expectations for Lucic, Larsson (and Reinhart) and yet somehow they have still managed to underwhelm. Larsson is nowhere close to a top pairing defender, Lucic is slow and his so-called intangibles are invisible, and Reinhart played the single worst hockey game I have ever seen in my life.

    Now Chiarelli is going to give Russell a long term extension and Puljujarvi is rotting on the vine instead of learning to score.Calling him the worst general manager in the league is too kind. in many ways he’s even worse than Tambellini, which is shocking.

    Good grief. Do you talk in hyperboles all the time or just on here?

  23. Dustylegnd says:

    dustrock,

    There isn’t player on this roster NOT named McDavid or Draisaitl anyone would consider in a swap for a true #1 D man, the Hall trade has to have driven that nail through our collective brains no?

  24. meanashell11 says:

    I do not see the rationale of signing Russell before the Vegas draft. If he wants to be here he can have a gentleman’s agreement. I am not protecting him and leaving Davidson unprotected.

  25. dustrock says:

    Dustylegnd:
    dustrock,

    There isn’tplayer on this roster NOT named McDavid or Draisaitl anyone would consider in a swap for a true #1 D man, the Hall trade has to have driven that nail through our collective brains no?

    Oh, the ship has sailed on a true #1 D-mean, no doubts there. I just want a real QB PP.

  26. Bruce Wayne says:

    CalVag: Good grief. Do you talk in hyperboles all the time or just on here?

    Chiarelli’s record defies hyperbole.

  27. Dustylegnd says:

    Lowetide: I can see them adding a shooter on RW, calling up Laurent Brossoit, trading Matt Hendricks and Benoit Pouliot.

    I can’t believe anyone would give up anything for Hendricks at this point maybe a 7 th round pick? and Pouliot at his price and lack production what is he worth, a 4 th round pick maybe? and then who replaces him?

    We all celebrated when Pool Party fell to us from heaven at #3 overall, I said at the time we can’t know for sure what he will be or if he was the correct pick, the punk 3 hrs south certainly is fitting in better and looking more NHL ready while bringing a prick factor that the Oilers haven’t had in about 30 years. Now the sentiment is we are not sure JP will ever provide a meaningful offensive presence. We won’t know for sure until 5 years hence, but good lord will this team ever find another true pure goal scorer? Three #1 overalls, none of which are the best player from their respective drafts…..its always darkest right before it goes PITCH BLACK.

  28. Bag of Pucks says:

    Continuing on with yesterday’s subtopic of the Oil emulating the ‘rolling scoring lines’ approach of the Penguins, the Oil may be trying to emulate the Pens approach to personnel but they are certainly not emulating their systems/tactics approach.

    Under Sullivan, the Pens pressure the puck carrier over the full 200ft of the ice. I feel like the Oil broke training camp trying to emulate that tactical approach, but somewhere along the way they’ve evolved towards a far more passive team now that cedes the blueline far too easily and then collapses to the slot. In short, they seem content to let Talbot do the bulk of the heavy lifting, thus relying on their relatively inexperienced D core to play more of a ‘beat the opposition to the rebound’ system as opposed to pressuring them to force turnovers.

    Last night was a cakewalk through the neutral zone for the Jackets. And it was happening against every line and D pairing combo. So much so, that for the first time, I found myself thinking ‘this is system, not individual.’ Rather than turnovers leading to a rapid transition, it seems like the Oil are using the neutral zone as a glorified ‘retreat zone’ to help setup their D zone positioning.

    It’s been awhile, but remember how aggressive on the puck this team was in its first two games against Calgary? They have to get back to that style of play imo. Possibly this is TMac’s reaction to injuries and depleted depth, but I don’t think this collapse to the slot system maximizes the team’s speed and youth.

    And, it probably matters little, but aggressive forechecking teams are way more entertaining to watch than zone defence squads. Aggressive on the forecheck is Oilers hockey. I hope they get back to it soon.

  29. McSorley33 says:

    I have been asking for Poo to be on McDavid’s line for some time…..when Poo is skating he can almost keep up with McDavid.

    Transition game.

  30. Bag of Pucks says:

    Dustylegnd: I can’t believe anyone would give up anything for Hendricks at this point maybe a 7 th round pick? and Pouliot at his price and lack production what is he worth, a 4 th round pick maybe? and then who replaces him?

    We all celebrated when Pool Party fell to us from heaven at #3 overall, I said at the time we can’t know for sure what he will be or if he was the correct pick, the punk 3 hrs south certainly is fitting in better and looking more NHL ready while bringing a prick factor that the Oilers haven’t had in about 30 years.Now the sentiment is we are not sure JP will ever provide a meaningful offensive presence.We won’t know for sure until 5 years hence, but good lord will this team ever find another true pure goal scorer? Three #1 overalls, none of which are the best player from their respective drafts…..its always darkest right before it goes PITCH BLACK.

    There is always teams in the hunt looking to add vet players at the deadline. Injuries are a thing.

    Hendricks may appear to be untradeable today. But the deadline is an entirely different set of market conditions.

    Will be very surprised if Chia is a buyer this year. Particularly with the expansion draft around the corner. Would think he would want to turn his UFAs into draft picks, not the other way around.

  31. sliderule says:

    The oilers have the flu.

    Flu shots not available?

    The oilers almost lost Klefbom to flesh eating staph.

    Staph infections on teams are frequently spread by shared uses and poor sanitation.

    There are more problems with this team than scouting.

  32. Bag of Pucks says:

    Here’s an interesting way to frame the Hall conversation.

    Knowing what you know now, would you have traded Hall to the Jets for the right to draft Laine?

    Doing so could have free’d up the Oil to either draft JP at #4 for the Finn combo platter or Juolevi to chase the #1D dream.

  33. Chachi says:

    sliderule:
    The oilers have the flu.

    Flu shots not available?

    The oilers almost lost Klefbom to flesh eating staph.

    Staph infections on teams are frequently spread by shared uses and poor sanitation.

    There are more problems with this team than scouting.

    The flu shot does not make you impervious to catching the flu.
    Hockey equipment is disgusting and the staph infection was bad luck.
    There are plenty of problems with the Oilers; no need to invent ones that don’t exist.

  34. LMHF#1 says:

    sliderule:
    The oilers have the flu.

    Flu shots not available?

    The oilers almost lost Klefbom to flesh eating staph.

    Staph infections on teams are frequently spread by shared uses and poor sanitation.

    There are more problems with this team than scouting.

    You’re smarter than this.

    Flu shots don’t work 100% of the time or on 100% of flus. Many things called ‘the flu’ also aren’t ‘the flu’. If somebody’s kid gave a nasty strain of daycare cold to that room, there’s really not much to be done about it.

  35. LMHF#1 says:

    Watched last night’s game from row 6. A few observations unique to that view.

    – Man, is this team ever horrible at breakouts. They’re clumsy and slow, never adjust, it was disheartening.

    – Columbus got away way more hard, quality shots than the Oilers did. So many of the home team’s attempts were weak, flippy little things that had no chance whatsoever.

    – Lucic had an utterly horrid game. Every little play that matters, he couldn’t do.

    – The Oilers get caught away from the puck and having to skate from a stop to it way too often in their own zone. It really costs them. I’m not sure I’ve seen a worse positioned squad in some time.

    Have to say, my experience made me a fair bit more pessimistic about this team. It’s only talent shining through the muck that’s winning them games right now. Their systems play is utter junk.

  36. Glass says:

    I’m optimistic. The Oilers completed their toughest stretch of the schedule in the season. I’d expect the team and a collection of individuals to bounce back… we’re due for another winning streak.

  37. russ99 says:

    Bag of Pucks:
    Here’s an interesting way to frame the Hall conversation.

    Knowing what you know now, would you have traded Hall to the Jets for the right to draft Laine?

    Doing so could have free’d up the Oil to either draft JP at #4 for the Finn combo platter or Juolevi to chase the #1D dream.

    No, the outcry would have been worse, as that just kicks the rebuild down the road 3 more years.

  38. OmJo says:

    Lucic w/0 McDavid: Corsi for 5×5 (52.1) and 5×5/60 (0.96)

  39. Timeisnow says:

    LT-“Peter Chiarelli felt that—instead of signing Demers and waiting for the Leddy—adding Adam Larsson was the right play. I am certain he did it with the knowledge that Todd McLellan was on board. The team didn’t make a second trade, but did add Kris Russell and a dandy college man in Matt Benning.”

    I think Chiarelli wanted to sign Demers(obviously) but his asking price was too high. I think there was a limit to how high he was going to pay and that was exceeded.

    Love the Benning signing this kid can play. Didn’t know much about him, but sure like what he’s doing. I sure hope that Davidson can stay healthy and have a good 50 games and get protected. He may have to get a bit nastier for his own safety. I hope they wait signing Russell, no need to before free agency.

  40. Fog of Warts says:

    Any day is a fine day that starts with a My Cousin Vinny reference.

    ———

    Would you have driven home happy on one of those Sundays, with the car tuned as it is now?

    Good question.

    ———

    So I read this long article yesterday, passed along by a fiend, in which a certain Nerd King was questing for the Crisp Clean Elixir of Pure Additive Models.

    Also known as player cards. Sum of. Get good players, keep good players.

    [*] Categories need not apply. Leftorium scissor lift, no load limit.

    ———

    In these models, balance is generally not a modelled thing.

    Works great if you define balance as “more here, more there, more everywhere”.

    Definitely a good problem to have, for the organization whose biggest long-term worry is running out rafters for the retired (once you reach the 75-man limit, one jersey goes up while another jersey comes down, in a beautifully balanced ballast ballet).

    ———

    The thing is, there are two modes of balance: static balance and dynamic balance.

    One would think any thick-skulled biped would be all over dynamic balance—it’s how you get from home plate to first base, for example, without a planted foot passing directly under your pizza-pocket plumb-line—even once.

    (I suppose a balance-oriented league could replace the base paths with four long balance beams. Perhaps that would make for a interesting sport, red socks ditched for counter-chiral ribbons, pinstripes for pinks, and Priscilla Stratton as the new Georgia Peach—baseball cap to 180, secure your twelve, Plum of the Mets, inbounding solo.)

    ———

    Dynamic balance applies to team construction just as much as static balance.

    Dynamic balance means always having the right sweetener, back of pantry, to seal the deal on any value proposal that waves hello. Maybe your sweeteners are not so sweet, but they fit a need—a dependable need of the needy, of the kind that arise every year … one so dependable it could even be modelled.

    Dynamic balance means that your infirmary doesn’t end up calling the shots on any given cold, bleak Shivuary. Because arrangements, type viable. (When you’ve got a kick-ass canteen of Pisani, who needs gum?)

    Dynamic balance means that your blender blends smooth, because you always have the right Bob Weight.

    ———

    Another video highlight: One side affects the other. (And you can only go so deep.)

    For the true gearhead, this clip goes into extra shimmings at Drilling Crank part II.

  41. OmJo says:

    I never thought Kris Russell would be the hill that TMac and Chiarelli would choose to die on. Hm.

    Every mantra from this organization over the summer to justify the stupid things they’ve done have been thrown out the window. You trade Hall for ‘balance’ on the back end and then sign and play another LD while Fayne sits there collecting dust (when he isn’t injured). You talk about players needing to ‘earn’ their position with regards to Yakupov but you have Lucic sewn to McDavid by the hip despite being brutal this season and giving favourable minutes to Cagguila while sitting guys like Pitlick and Slepyshev, and waiving Lander.

    This shit just baffles me how the tunes changed so quickly from July 1st to October 12th.

    I don’t know who’s riding McDavids coattails more at this point, Lucic or Chiarelli lol….

  42. Confused says:

    Russell is not the answer.

    Signing him to trade him or make him expansion draft available as some sort of deal makes sense.

    Otherwise only a one-year offer to provide depth makes sense.

    Russell long-term says you are settling for mediocrity.

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

    sliderule,

    Are we seriously going to blame the Oilers hockey club for the players getting sick during the season when everyone in North America gets sick? Like really?

    Bag of Pucks,

    Agree with this and I hope to Gord it is part of the classroom session tomorrow and the practice sessions after that. Huge missing component and they have the speed to do it.

    frjohnk,

    At the end of last season both coach and GM praised the steps Davidson had taken with the reward being a nice but very very reasonable three year deal for the man. I highly doubt that entire thought has magically up and disappeared because Chia signed Russell at 11:59pm the night before the season (not actual time of course).

    Davey’s injury, much like Nurse’s, has robbed the team of 30 games to view the player and see if he can take another step forward. Plus we have heard verbal (I believe from Chia but maybe it was Sportsnet) that other GMs would be chomping at the bit to get their hands on Davidson. Considering they sent Hall away for a 24year old dman locked into a reasonable contract long term I really don’t think they’ll expose Davidson to protect Russell IF Davidson returns to form over the rest of this season.

    They’ve either completely lost the script (which I admit could happen) and are head over heels for the guy or maybe they are pumping tires because they saw the type of package that Russell fetched at the deadline last year?

    I’m unwavering in that this season as much as it is a turn North is also an extended audition for who gets to ride the train for the long haul.

    20 games left until the trade deadline. Good mix of opponents, nice stretches of down time in between games, a couple of road trips and a 6 game homestead right smack in the middle.

    Go Davidson Go!

  44. Dominoiler says:

    I dont know if its already been said, but why does signing Russell mean that the oil have to protect him?.. If anything, doesnt it provide cover to have more assets that could be selected while protecting as many crucial pieces as possible?.. I dont see why they would protect russell.. I think having him and Davidson exposed means they could lose one but then have cover, so why protect one and force the issue, while exposing another asset as well.. I say protect maroon or pouliot (depending on remainder of the season) and leave both mentioned dmen exposed.. If the oilers have a position of strength, if, then its L-D..

  45. McSorley33 says:

    Bag of Pucks,

    Great question…..

    Watching Provorov and Werenski – both still 19 – makes me wish we aimed a lot higher
    on the Taylor Hall trade.

    Both 19 and playing like this?

    I think we just received a glimpse of the next gen 1D studs in the NHL.

  46. Professor Q says:

    meanashell11:
    I do not see the rationale of signing Russell before the Vegas draft. If he wants to be here he can have a gentleman’s agreement. I am not protecting him and leaving Davidson unprotected.

    If he signs with Vegas, that’d count as Edmonton’s offering, I believe.

  47. McSorley33 says:

    Werenski is 2nd on Blue Jackets in TOI

    Provorov is 1st on the Flyers in TOI

  48. LadiesloveSmid says:

    Pouliot-McDavid-Pulju
    Lucic-Draisaitl-Pitlick
    Maroon-RNH-Eberle (and a swift kick in RNH’s ass)
    Slepyshev-Letestu-Kassian

  49. Timeisnow says:

    OmJo:
    I never thought Kris Russell would be the hill that TMac and Chiarelli would choose to die on. Hm.

    Every mantra from this organization over the summer to justify the stupid things they’ve done have been thrown out the window. You trade Hall for ‘balance’ on the back end and then sign and play another LD while Fayne sits there collecting dust (when he isn’t injured). You talk about players needing to ‘earn’ their position with regards to Yakupov but you have Lucic sewn to McDavid by the hip despite being brutal this season and giving favourable minutes to Cagguila while sitting guys like Pitlick and Slepyshev, and waiving Lander.

    This shit just baffles me how the tunes changed so quickly from July 1st to October 12th.

    I don’t know who’s riding McDavids coattails more at this point, Lucic or Chiarelli lol….

    I get what your saying. One thing we don’t know is this, maybe Connor has a say where Lucic is playing. There is a chance he likes having a bull on the left wing, knowing that the “big brother” is over seeing things. Like it or not in a physical sport like hockey these stars like a little protection, even though the game has changed.

  50. Professor Q says:

    McSorley33:
    Werenski is 2nd on Blue Jackets in TOI

    Provorov is 1st on the Flyers in TOI

    Neither were available. Don’t know about handedness either.

  51. GMB3 says:

    Bag of Pucks,

    I agree. Columbus constantly pressured the puck and there were tons of neutral zone turnovers, especially at our own blue line when we tried to break out. Columbus utilized lots of short passes and gaining the neutral zone with speed, opposed to Edmontons forwards flying the coop and waiting for passes in the neutral zone.

  52. stush18 says:

    Lemme get this straight.

    Nurse, gryba, fayne out with injuries, Davidson just returned from long term injury, benning playing above his head, and were upset with how the oilers are doing?

    If you guessed 107 points this year in hunters pool, then ya go ahead and grumble.

    But we finished 29th last year. This is an amazing jump in points.

    Obviously though everyone complaining about the roster makeup could have done much better. It’s obviously an easy job.

  53. GMB3 says:

    OmJo:
    I never thought Kris Russell would be the hill that TMac and Chiarelli would choose to die on. Hm.

    Every mantra from this organization over the summer to justify the stupid things they’ve done have been thrown out the window. You trade Hall for ‘balance’ on the back end and then sign and play another LD while Fayne sits there collecting dust (when he isn’t injured). You talk about players needing to ‘earn’ their position with regards to Yakupov but you have Lucic sewn to McDavid by the hip despite being brutal this season and giving favourable minutes to Cagguila while sitting guys like Pitlick and Slepyshev, and waiving Lander.

    This shit just baffles me how the tunes changed so quickly from July 1st to October 12th.

    I don’t know who’s riding McDavids coattails more at this point, Lucic or Chiarelli lol….

    Thanks OMJO, sums up how I feel.

  54. stush18 says:

    Professor Q: Neither were available. Don’t know about handedness either.

    If only we would have drafted werenski that year instead of that Connor guy.

  55. Frank the dog says:

    sliderule:
    The oilers have the flu.

    Flu shots not available?

    The oilers almost lost Klefbom to flesh eating staph.

    Staph infections on teams are frequently spread by shared uses and poor sanitation.

    There are more problems with this team than scouting.

    Maybe they all got their flu shots!

  56. OmJo says:

    Timeisnow,

    That could be true, although I don’t really see Lucic protecting him very much anymore. Didn’t do anything with Kadri or that one dude in Philly, whatever his name is (lol). Not saying he should have pummeled Kadri into the ground, but he seems a lot less Lucic-y out there. Just slow and big and I can count many times he has blown D coverage that has cost us goals against.

    And I don’t see most teams taking liberties on Connnor. If a team really wanted to take McDavid out, they could very easily. And having Lucic on the ice when it happens won’t bring him back any sooner if it happens or won’t reverse it from happening if teams really want to. I don’t think Lucic is about to beat somebody so bad he gets charged with assault afterwards because somebody broke McDavid’s collar bone.

    I would rather minimize that by having 3 offensive threats on the line, so teams can’t just focus on him without being burned on the scoresheet.

    But that is who he wants on his LW, fair enough. I can’t complain then. Even though I kind of just did lol.

  57. Spoils says:

    Philosophy 1- Put anyone on McDavid’s wing. Doesn’t matter. it is like the bub slug cartoons when he started playing hockey and was banking goals off players butts.

    Philosphy 2- While I love Draisaitl on McDavid’s wing, I prefer having three dangerous lines (nb. please can Nuge get his mojo back please)

    Pouliot-McDavid-Cagiula
    Maroon-Nuge-Ebs
    Lucic-Draisaitl-????
    Pitlick-Letestu-Kassian

    I love the idea of sending Puljajarvi to the minors to develop. if you just take off the orange colored glasses that have him shining on the line with Draisaitl, because he isn’t producing at the NHL level.

    So who goes on that line???

  58. Frank the dog says:

    OmJo:
    I never thought Kris Russell would be the hill that TMac and Chiarelli would choose to die on. Hm.

    Every mantra from this organization over the summer to justify the stupid things they’ve done have been thrown out the window. You trade Hall for ‘balance’ on the back end and then sign and play another LD while Fayne sits there collecting dust (when he isn’t injured). You talk about players needing to ‘earn’ their position with regards to Yakupov but you have Lucic sewn to McDavid by the hip despite being brutal this season and giving favourable minutes to Cagguila while sitting guys like Pitlick and Slepyshev, and waiving Lander.

    This shit just baffles me how the tunes changed so quickly from July 1st to October 12th.

    I don’t know who’s riding McDavids coattails more at this point, Lucic or Chiarelli lol….

    Be very careful of calling “stupid” anything people do that is inexplicable to you. You are not stupid, but none of us are in possession of the information on which people at that level base their decisions. Stupid people do not build track records that include Stanley Cups.

  59. McSorley33 says:

    stush18,

    Professor Q: Neither were available. Don’t know about handedness either.

    If only we would have drafted werenski that year instead of that Connor guy
    *************************************************************************************
    Yep, that pretty much captures the line of thinking I was talking about and responding to from BOP ….

  60. Bag of Pucks says:

    russ99: No, the outcry would have been worse, as that just kicks the rebuild down the road 3 more years.

    Suspect you’re right, but it begs the question, what is the ultimate goal of the rebuild? To get competitive for the first season in Rogers or to win the Cup?

    Cos I would suggest that Laine plus Juolevi gets you closer to being a Cup contender than Lucic and Larsson.

  61. Frank the dog says:

    We should rename this team the Edmonton Shoguns, or perhaps the Edmonton Groundhogs.
    We change owners, managers, coaches, stadiums and rosters but everything remains the same.
    Sort of.

  62. OmJo says:

    Spoils:
    Philosophy 1- Put anyone on McDavid’s wing. Doesn’t matter. it is like the bub slug cartoons when he started playing hockey and was banking goals off players butts.

    Philosphy 2- While I love Draisaitl on McDavid’s wing, I prefer having three dangerous lines (nb. please can Nuge get his mojo back please)

    Pouliot-McDavid-Cagiula
    Maroon-Nuge-Ebs
    Lucic-Draisaitl-????
    Pitlick-Letestu-Kassian

    I love the idea of sending Puljajarvi to the minors to develop. if you just take off the orange colored glasses that have him shining on the line with Draisaitl, because he isn’t producing at the NHL level.

    So who goes on that line???

    I think Lance should be on the third line in that case. Have Slepy in his place on the fourth line.

    Only problem is Lucic is abysmal away from McDavid. So I think to get the most out of him you need to keep him on that line.

  63. Timeisnow says:

    OmJo:
    Timeisnow,

    But that is who he wants on his LW, fair enough. I can’t complain then. Even though I kind of just did lol.

    Yes, that’s kind of the point. It doesn’t matter what we think or what anybody thinks, if Connor wants Lucic on his wing then he’ll be there, TMac could try and convince him of something different, but the safety blanket is a real thing.

  64. Fog of Warts says:

    Ballast = counterweight, which is probably the better joke, given what follows, but it spoils the cadence.

    The word play was too Fast and Furious in that one for my own good. All crank, no (grease) nipple. Stray but a little while resolving the retrograde ball-cap bill arithmetic, the 12-o’clock high Top Gun slang (threat from above), or transposing Georgia Peach into Ty Cobb, and I suspect many miss the plummy “plummet” joke, hard upon inbounding (Hans) solo.

    That’s a long summer list to process in the short span of fifteen words.

    Funny.

    But not balanced.

  65. OmJo says:

    Frank the dog: Be very careful of calling “stupid” anything people do that is inexplicable to you. You are not stupid, butnone of us are in possession of the information on which people at that level base their decisions. Stupid people do not build track records that include Stanley Cups.

    That Stanley Cup line sounds eerily similar to the infamous “I know a thing about winning” line from Lowe a couple of years ago lol. He won a cup. Good for him. He also traded Hall for a 2RD to sign his friend to a contract that will bite us in the ass for years to come. On top of that, seems likely to give an extension to a 3LD who he seems to be fine with having play 2RD to an extension.

    I’m not saying he hasn’t done good here. He brought in Sekera, Talbot, Maroon, and Benning. Those were great moves. But they can almost be countered with bad moves…. Russell, Gustafsson, Lucic, and Reinhart.

    If it wasn’t for McDavid and Talbot he would probably be fired by now.

  66. who says:

    Either Connor has requested Lucic as his winger or Chia made a vebal promise to get him to sign.
    Either way this is literally the elephant in the room when we discuss which linemates are best for Connor. Since Eberle was moved, the Oilers have tried JP, Cags and now Pitlick on the right side. All of these players have looked good to my eye. They can all keep up with Connor. JP and Cags certainly have the skill to play with him and Pitlick seems to be able to create a lot of chaos and energy in the offensive zone.
    Lucic, on the other hand or wing, seems to me to contribute very little and is actually the big drag on this line no matter who is on the right side. His best skill seems to be the little bump pass to Connor in the dzone to start the breakout but he is pretty much useless off the rush and he has not looked good around the net. The right wingers may not be scoring but they are at least getiing shots on net when they get the chance. Luci seems to either whiff completely or deflect his goal mouth passes into the corner. I also don’t see this possession monster LT is talking about. He seems to lose more puck battles than he wins. This would be a better team if Lucic was moved to a different line that played to his strength, which seems to be cycling the puck in the ozone.
    There are a lot of people still complaining about the Reinhart and Hall trades but I wonder if the Lucic signing won’t turn out to be Chia’s worst move. I think he is a good player but I also think the Oilers spent way too much money and term on a guy who basically has the same skill set as Maroon.

  67. Side says:

    Bruce Wayne: This is definitely the case.All the evidence points to it.

    Except for the part where it was reported that Demers took less money than was offered by other teams to go to Florida.

    Unless you have evidence that Pete didn’t offer Demers a contract and that Demers wanted to go to Edmonton if a contract was offered.

  68. Bruce Wayne says:

    Frank the dog: Stupid people do not build track records that include Stanley Cups.

    Are you serious? This is becoming true in three of the four major sports (all but hockey) which have been taken over by a new kind of seriousness, but it certainly isn’t true of the history of any of the major sports.

  69. Bruce Wayne says:

    Side: Except for the part where it was reported that Demers took less money than was offered by other teams to go to Florida.

    Unless you have evidence that Pete didn’t offer Demers a contract and that Demers wanted to go to Edmonton if a contract was offered.

    We’ve been over this countless times. There is plenty of evidence that Edmonton never offered Demers a contract at all, and the fact that he came here is evidence that Demers would have considered a contract had it been offered.

  70. Timeisnow says:

    who,

    It’s definitely fair to criticize Lucic and how he has performed. He needs to be better, no doubt about it. 5×5 he’s not up to snuff, pretty good on the PP as Lowetide has mentioned many times.

    He’s not the only player that needs to get it going. My biggest concern with the forward position is Nuge, think he’s starting to get things going but he can be better, much better. I would like to see him engage physically in front of the net and on the boards. Stand your ground young man and fight for that puck.

  71. Side says:

    sliderule:
    The oilers have the flu.

    Flu shots not available?

    The oilers almost lost Klefbom to flesh eating staph.

    Staph infections on teams are frequently spread by shared uses and poor sanitation.

    There are more problems with this team than scouting.

    The flu shot doesn’t make you immune to all flus.

    What I understand is, they look at flus that are a threat or are common in some of the highest populated areas of the world (China, for example) and they include those types of flus in the flu shot.

  72. Side says:

    Bruce Wayne: We’ve been over this countless times.There is plenty of evidence that Edmonton never offered Demers a contract at all, and the fact that he came here is evidence that Demers would have considered a contract had it been offered.

    Care to share the evidence?

    And is this actually evidence, or are we just making leaps and assumptions?

  73. treevojo says:

    OmJo: That Stanley Cup line sounds eerily similar to the infamous “I know a thing about winning” line from Lowe a couple of years ago lol. He won a cup. Good for him. He also traded Hall for a 2RD to sign his friend to a contract that will bite us in the ass for years to come. On top of that, seems likely to give an extension to a 3LD who he seems to be fine with having play 2RD to an extension.

    I’m not saying he hasn’t done good here. He brought in Sekera, Talbot, Maroon, and Benning. Those were great moves. But they can almost be countered with bad moves…. Russell, Gustafsson, Lucic, and Reinhart.

    If it wasn’t for McDavid and Talbot he would probably be fired by now.

    Signing Russell to a one year contract was a bad move?

    I always thought depth on defense was a good thing.

    I guess Russell has held back musil’s nhl development this year.

    Chia is sooo stupid.

  74. Ryan says:

    Stauffer just mentioned a vague trade idea. What’s interesting is that he used the “Oilers could make a trade of Taylor Hall for a player like Hamonic or Larsson” voice instead of his spitballing voice.

    He said that the they’re looking for a player that can shoot the puck for Connor… a vet with term not a rental. Trade would involve a lottery protected first and a prospect. He previously reiterated that Chiarelli was happy with the defense.

    It sounded like he was talking about a right winger, but that could be wrong. Who might he be referring to?

  75. Professor Q says:

    McSorley33:
    stush18,

    Professor Q: Neither were available. Don’t know about handedness either.

    If only we would have drafted werenski that year instead of that Connor guy
    *************************************************************************************
    Yep, that pretty much captures the line of thinking I was talking about and responding to from BOP ….

    He’s a bum. Losing the scoring race to guy named Sid. I think we should trade him. ~

  76. who says:

    Timeisnow:
    who,

    It’s definitely fair to criticize Lucic and how he has performed. He needs to be better, no doubt about it. 5×5 he’s not up to snuff, pretty good on the PP as Lowetide has mentioned many times.

    He’s not the only player that needs to get it going. My biggest concern with the forward position is Nuge, think he’s starting to get things going but he can be better, much better. I would like to see him engage physically in front of the net and on the boards. Stand your ground young man and fight for that puck.

    Not really criticizing Lucic. Think he is a useful player but he is not being used correctly right now.
    The only problem I have with Nuges game right now is his work in the faceoff circle. If he could just hold his own there I don’t see a lot of holes in his game. The last few games have been encouraging in that regard.

  77. digger50 says:

    To continue your analogy LT.

    Some mechanics troubleshoot and diagnose, figuring out problems and solutions before acting. Other mechanics just replace parts, and keep replacing parts till they hit the solution.

    Problem with the second mechanic is it can be very costly just replacing parts if you are not sure what the problem is.

  78. Timeisnow says:

    who: Not really criticizing Lucic. Think he is a useful player but he is not being used correctly right now.
    The only problem I have with Nuges game right now is his work in the faceoff circle. If he could just hold his own there I don’t see a lot of holes in his game. The last few games have been encouraging in that regard.

    Ok, maybe you’re not criticizing Lucic. I am, he needs to be better. I agree Nuge needs to be better on the dot, I would like him to be more aggressive on the puck in front of the net and on the wall. He’s not a small man, he played a bigger game when he was a rookie than now. He’s a very good player he needs to bring it.

  79. Oddspell says:

    Ryan,

    Assuming he didn’t mention RW specifically: JVR?
    Seems like a strange combo of moves overall considering the expansion draft.

  80. Bank Shot says:

    Bruce Wayne: Are you serious? This is becoming true in three of the four major sports (all but hockey) which have been taken over by a new kind of seriousness, but it certainly isn’t true of the history of any of the major sports.

    I remember the prevailing wisdom from a poster or two back in the beginnings of the stats revolution was that NHL GMs are by and large idiots, and a well educated GM would run circles around them.

    Now the Oilers have a guy who graduated from Harvard, has a law degree, worked as a player agent, and some complain about what an idiot he is and wish he would build his team like that ex-goalie has in Pittsburgh…….

    Its come full circle.

  81. treevojo says:

    Ryan:
    Stauffer just mentioned a vague trade idea. What’s interesting is that he used the “Oilers could make a trade of Taylor Hall for a player like Hamonic or Larsson” voice instead of his spitballing voice.

    He said that the they’re looking for a player that can shoot the puck for Connor… a vet with term not a rental.Trade would involve a lottery protected first and a prospect. He previously reiterated that Chiarelli was happy with the defense.

    It sounded like he was talking about a right winger, but that could be wrong.Who might he be referring to?

    I just looked at the rosters of the teams I thought might be up for such a trade right now.

    The only name I could come up with was James Van Riemsdyk

  82. treevojo says:

    Oddspell:
    Ryan,

    Assuming he didn’t mention RW specifically: JVR?
    Seems like a strange combo of moves overall considering the expansion draft.

    Lol. I like the way your thinking!

  83. trencan says:

    dustrock:
    http://deadspin.com/the-300-year-journey-from-classical-standard-to-gay-dis-1789831401

    Man I love soccer fans.I wish we had chants in Rogers Place like they do in pretty much any soccer stadium anywhere.

    Best atmosphere on football stadiums in Europe (yes we call it football): Anfield Road, Westfallenstadium, Old Trafford, Nou Camp, Santiago Bernabeu….

    Best fans during Euro championship: England…………………………………………………….Germany

    Back to hockey. I am very surprised by the atmosphere on many NHL stadiums, you seem to be very very quit. Well to be honest I have never been in US on hockey, only what I watched on TV. But I heard Wachovia Center has really good atmosphere. We sing and scream a lot more here in Europe during hockey game. The core of fans are standing during whole match, singing, druming… Oh and I love the BIG flags and transparents with club logo… Sorry for my english…

  84. frjohnk says:

    Ryan:
    Stauffer just mentioned a vague trade idea. What’s interesting is that he used the “Oilers could make a trade of Taylor Hall for a player like Hamonic or Larsson” voice instead of his spitballing voice.

    He said that the they’re looking for a player that can shoot the puck for Connor… a vet with term not a rental.Trade would involve a lottery protected first and a prospect. He previously reiterated that Chiarelli was happy with the defense.

    It sounded like he was talking about a right winger, but that could be wrong.Who might he be referring to?

    Kris Versteeg.
    Book it 🙂

  85. treevojo says:

    JVR for protected 1st and Griffin Reinhardt

  86. Oddspell says:

    treevojo,

    Would like a deal like that. Can he play right side? I’d have to imagine that a move like that sees either Eberle or RNH gone before expansion.

    Perhaps not if we’re exposing Davidson and Pou.

  87. hoser313 says:

    Finnish kid has a pretty good shot. Needs to shoot the puck more.

    If they can’t put him in a position to succeed, then send him down to the AHL right now. He’s clearly still adjusting to the smaller ice.

    He doesn’t need to be Tkachuk on this team.

    I’d be happy with a 2-way 20 goal winger.

  88. Colieo87 says:

    So far lucic isn’t worth 7 million bag of bugs. Junk

  89. treevojo says:

    Oddspell,

    I think the oilers will go 7 & 3 in expansion.

    They will lose Davidson or Russell if the defense stays the same between now and then.

  90. treevojo says:

    Colieo87:
    So far lucic isn’t worth 7 million bag of bugs. Junk

    But full value for 6 million?

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

    Bank Shot,

    And you good sir win today’s thread! (Though secretly I wish you said something about the Thoroughly Mediocre Coach that the imbecile GM hired…)

    ‘Clap clap clap’

  92. JimmyV1965 says:

    meanashell11:
    I do not see the rationale of signing Russell before the Vegas draft. If he wants to be here he can have a gentleman’s agreement. I am not protecting him and leaving Davidson unprotected.

    If they did sign Russell to a reasonable contract with reasonable term, I would be okay with that. There is no way they give him a no-movement clause. I don’t have a lot of faith in Chia at this time, but even he’s not that stupid. If that’s the case, it gives us another player to make available to Vegas, which makes sense to me.

  93. treevojo says:

    JimmyV1965,

    3 yrs for 10 mil?

  94. JimmyV1965 says:

    Bag of Pucks:
    Here’s an interesting way to frame the Hall conversation.

    Knowing what you know now, would you have traded Hall to the Jets for the right to draft Laine?

    Doing so could have free’d up the Oil to either draft JP at #4 for the Finn combo platter or Juolevi to chase the #1D dream.

    We should have taken the deal on the table and traded our 4OV for Hamilton.

  95. JimmyV1965 says:

    Frank the dog: Be very careful of calling “stupid” anything people do that is inexplicable to you. You are not stupid, butnone of us are in possession of the information on which people at that level base their decisions. Stupid people do not build track records that include Stanley Cups.

    I don’t want to sound like a complete ahole, but I really don’t appreciate this comment. My wife and I have went to two games this year and the cost so far is over $1000. Chia makes a lot of money and at the very least, this should open him up to public criticism. And I’m not one of those guys who bemoans the players and managers for making millions. These guys are obviously elite at what they do and that”s why they get paid big money.

    And while we can never know what’s happening behind the scenes – that’s what I dislike the constant chatter about Hall being a cancer in the dressing room – we as fans pay the dollars and we are allowed to critique a player’s performance and a manager’s decision. In my experience, there are many capable people who have earned great things. There are also many people who have risen to positions of greatness based on things other than skill and intelligence.

    If we follow your advice, we can no longer question the decisions of any one in pro sports because we will never know what happens behind the scenes.

  96. --hudson-- says:

    digger50:
    To continue your analogy LT.

    Some mechanics troubleshoot and diagnose, figuring out problems and solutions before acting. Other mechanics just replace parts, and keep replacing parts till they hit the solution.

    Problem with the second mechanic is it can be very costly just replacing parts if you are not sure what the problem is.

    Haha I love that analogy! The dealerships tend to hire the new mechanics and as they develop, they price themselves out, and need to start their own shops or they remain stagnant at the dealership. There are a few levels to this analogy.

  97. vangolf says:

    Criticism of Chia is definitely warranted in some cases and he has had a number of moves that I think even the most optimistic would want a do over on. That said, the one move that gets no press (even on this blog!) is the absolute steal of a contract he locked Talbot into. According to http://www.spotrac.com/nhl/rankings/average/goaltender/ Talbot is the 24th highest paid goalie and is locked in for Goldilocks term (not too short, not too long). The value of this deal if Talbot continues this form cannot be understated in the cap world.

  98. bendelson says:

    Curious: is there a website that tracks McCurdy points (all games worth a total of three points)? You know, the logical point allocation system the NHL won’t implement?

  99. Chachi says:

    Bank Shot: I remember the prevailing wisdom from a poster or two back in the beginnings of the stats revolution was that NHL GMs are by and large idiots, and a well educated GM would run circles around them.

    Now the Oilers have a guy who graduated from Harvard, has a law degree, worked as a player agent, and some complain about what an idiot he is and wish he would build his team like that ex-goalie has in Pittsburgh…….

    Its come full circle.

    Wonderful post.

  100. russ99 says:

    The thing with Lucic is this:

    We spent all last year slogging through games so that we could be able to execute and win in a dump/cycle based system.

    This year, it’s like we threw that all away to live dangerously on the rush. Is there a metric as to how many shots per o-zone sortie it takes for a team’s goals? Because we probably have one of the lowest numbers in the league 5×5.

    It’s like someone kidnapped McLellan and replaced him with a doppleganger.

    Lucic is well above league average playing last year’s systems, which is why he’s so effective on the powerplay, where he’s a close-crease presence. And he’s well below average if our only good chance is on the rush, with plan B being push it back to the point for the D to take a shot.

    If I had to grade our units so far, I’d give our forwards a C+, our defensemen a B, goaltending an A and coaching a D-.

  101. LadiesloveSmid says:

    Ryan:
    Stauffer just mentioned a vague trade idea. What’s interesting is that he used the “Oilers could make a trade of Taylor Hall for a player like Hamonic or Larsson” voice instead of his spitballing voice.

    He said that the they’re looking for a player that can shoot the puck for Connor… a vet with term not a rental.Trade would involve a lottery protected first and a prospect. He previously reiterated that Chiarelli was happy with the defense.

    It sounded like he was talking about a right winger, but that could be wrong.Who might he be referring to?

    Nick Foligno? Mike Hoffman? Patrick Sharp?

  102. LadiesloveSmid says:

    hoser313:
    Finnish kid has a pretty good shot.Needs to shoot the puck more.

    If they can’t put him in a position to succeed, then send him down to the AHL right now.He’s clearly still adjusting to the smaller ice.

    He doesn’t need to be Tkachuk on this team.

    I’d be happy with a 2-way 20 goal winger.

    Pulju’s scoring better than Drai did as a 19YO in his rookie season. He’ll be fine.

  103. sliderule says:

    Chachi: The flu shot does not make you impervious to catching the flu.
    Hockey equipment is disgusting and the staph infection was bad luck.
    There are plenty of problems with the Oilers; no need to invent ones that don’t exist.

    Well The medical community says flu shots work and it sounds like it’s an epedemic on the oilers.

    If you want to do research you will find that yes staph is a problem on teams because of sharing but their are ways of controlling it.

    By the way Klefbom was not the only oiler who got a serious stap infection.

  104. N64 says:

    bendelson:
    Curious:is there a website that tracks McCurdy points (all games worth a total of three points)?You know, the logical point allocation system the NHL won’t implement?

    This site does it for past years:

    https://hockeystandings.info/threepoints

    Like what this college league did:

    http://www.uscho.com/2016/08/23/wcha-announces-3-on-3-overtime-and-shootout-three-point-standings-structure-and-new-nhl-sized-nets/

    3 points to winning team:

    • Game decided in regulation
    • Game decided in 5-on-5 1st overtime (five minutes, sudden death)

    2 points to winning team, 1 point to losing team:

    • Game decided in 3-on-3 2nd overtime (five minutes, sudden death)
    • Game decided in shootout (sudden death)

  105. frjohnk says:

    I was just running some numbers for RNH and wondering why if he is missing Hall.
    From 2013 to 2016
    RNH with Hall GF% 52% CF% 49.5% 1.55 points per 60
    RNH WO Hall GF% 42% CF% 46% 1.49 points per 60

    But what about the best offensive DMan?
    RNH with Schultz GF% 54% CF% 47.9% 1.78 points per 60
    RNH WO Schultz GF% 41.8%, CF% 47.9% 1.38 points per 60

    Throwing EBERLE into the equation how does this look
    From 2013
    RNH with Hall and EBERLE 1160 minutes
    55 goals for 46 goals against CF% 51% 2.84 GF/60

    RNH with Hall, EBERLE and Schultz 470minutes
    33 goals for 20 goals against, CF% 51.5% 4.22 GF/60

    RNH with Hall and EBERLE but without Schultz 690 minutes
    22 goals for 26 goals against 50.7% CF% 1.91 GF/60

    As bad as Schultz was defensively, he definitely was the best offensive Dman we have had since RNH broke into the league.

    Schultz and these 3 guys were given higher Ozone starts, but if we are wondering why RNH is lacking in offense, I would suggest its partly because the team has not replaced Schultz’s offense from the backend.

  106. bendelson says:

    N64,

    Yeah, I saw the hockey standings website. I was searching for running totals this season… But thanks anyways!

  107. Thorin says:

    Spoils:
    Philosophy 1- Put anyone on McDavid’s wing. Doesn’t matter. it is like the bub slug cartoons when he started playing hockey and was banking goals off players butts.

    I used to think I was the only one who remembered Bub Slug.

    Once upon a time he was a cop, too, and the new seatbelt law came into effect, and he jammed his seatbelt and bent the metal part, and then had to stop and write himself a ticket every hundred feet.

    https://www.reddit.com/r/Edmonton/comments/50nu0z/bub_slug_not_betty_anyone_else_have_old_pictures/

    “Mark Messier: His long flowing locks and boyish good looks have endeared him to fans throughout the NHL”

    Man, I actually remember that page.

  108. season not played says:

    I like Chiarelli and his work here, except for the Reinhart trade, but signing Russell to any kind of term for money is a poor allocation of cap space. I don’t even mind Russell but unless the plan is to max out Darnell Nurse as a third pair guy isn’t the natural progression of this something along the lines of

    Klefbom Larsson
    Nurse Sekera
    Davidson Benning
    Reinhart Fayne/Gryba.

    To me, signing Russel is a signal they have little confidence in Nurse being anything more than a 5/6, have no confidence in Reinhart and don’t see anything worth while coming down the pipe.

    Man that Griffen Reinhart deal….

  109. Chachi says:

    sliderule: Well The medical community says flu shots work and it sounds like it’s an epedemic on the oilers.

    If you want to do research you will find that yes staph is a problem on teams because of sharing but their are ways of controlling it.

    By the way Klefbom was not the only oiler who got a serious stap infection.

    You won’t find a doctor anywhere who would guarantee you that getting a flu shot will guarantee you won’t get the flu. Every team in the NHL gets flu shots (in Calgary they even steal them from children and senior citizens!) and invariably every team in the NHL has the flu go through the team during a season.

    Care to share which other Oilers have had staph infections? We would all be curious to know. It seems that the Oilers did a fine job of preventing the infection from spreading to other players, but you seem to know more than the rest of us.

  110. Georges says:

    Bag of Pucks,

    I miss the early season Oilers too and not just because they were winning. They were dangerous, attacked at both blue lines, broke up plays before they got started, reestablished an attack quickly to get the puck back when they turned it over, and they made clever short passes and worked as a unit to get the puck out. And their goalie was stopping the shots he was supposed to and stopping one or two tough ones he wasn’t supposed to.

    At some point last night, I started watching Columbus, and, yeah, that’s what that looked like.

    Now Columbus is a super high shooting percentage team on the PP and a high sh% team 5v5. They don’t have elite talent so they’re riding luck and they’re going to fall back down, right?

    Tortorella doesn’t have a track record of coaching high sh% teams like Bob Hartley. His teams are usually good on shot metrics even though he said Corsi doesn’t apply to the game of hockey. Here’s a quote from him from November:

    I’d rather spend time doing that than listening to this crap about the Corsi and the Fenwick, because those stats do not apply. I don’t care what anybody says in this league, they don’t apply to the game of hockey. The scoring chances for and [against] is what tells you the story of the individual player and your team concept, as far as what’s going on.

    Saying you want to win the scoring chance battle but you don’t care about Corsi is saying you have a plan to out-PDO the other team.

    Does Columbus have a plan? Their power play doesn’t shoot a whole lot. They don’t set up a screen; Gagner operated from the middle of the ice. They were looking to get lateral passes through seams in the defense. Everyone does I suppose because those passes create 3 on 2’s or 2 on 1’s (or open shots) during a 5 on 4 power play. CrazyCoach talked about that. Little windows. Even in 5v5 play, it seemed Columbus was hanging on to the puck and looking to create odd man opportunities.

    Eh, all of that’s probably seeing what I’m thinking. But I do know that sh% is higher during the PP. If you have one more guy than the other team, you’re going to create better scoring chances. So, is Columbus looking for little windows of PP opportunity during 5v5? That can’t work in a competitive league where you have no talent edge, right? That’s not a plan…

  111. Tapdog says:

    LadiesloveSmid: Nick Foligno? Mike Hoffman? Patrick Sharp?

    All LW’ers with Sharp being the exception with being a right shot. He would probably be the only one available.

    What about Wheeler in WPG? Would they move on with Laine and Ehlers doing well. Their left side seems weak? Pouliot plus?
    Wheeler is a 5.6 cap hit for the next two years too?

  112. N64 says:

    bendelson:
    N64,

    Yeah, I saw the hockey standings website.I was searching for running totals this season… But thanks anyways!

    The raw counts you need are here:

    https://www.sportingcharts.com/nhl/stats/team-win-loss-record-by-type-regulation-overtime-and-shootout/2016/

    Here are the current reg W-L (ot+so W-L), current, 3 pt, and 3 pt%:

    Hawks are benefiting from Bettman rules. Rangers would love the 3 pt. system.

    Montreal 29 17-6 (2-4) 42 59 .678
    Chicago 31 12-8 (7-4) 42 54 .581
    Pittsburgh 29 16-7 (3-3) 41 57 .655
    NYR 31 19-10 (1-1) 41 60 .645
    Columbus 27 14-5 (4-4) 40 54 .667
    Washington 28 14-7 (4-3) 39 53 .631
    Philadelphia 31 11-10 (7-3) 39 50 .538
    Minnesota 28 13-8 (3-4) 36 49 .583
    St.Louis 30 12-10 (4-4) 36 48 .533
    SanJose 29 14-11 (3-1) 35 49 .563
    Anaheim 30 14-10 (1-5) 35 49 .544
    Edmonton 32 13-12 (2-5) 35 48 .500
    Ottawa 29 11-11 (5-2) 34 45 .517
    Boston 30 12-12 (4-2) 34 46 .511
    Calgary 31 11-13 (5-2) 34 45 .484
    Nashville 28 13-11 (0-4) 30 43 .512
    LosAngeles 28 8-12 (6-2) 30 38 .452
    NewJersey 28 6-10 (6-6) 30 36 .429
    Tampa 29 12-13 (2-2) 30 42 .483
    Carolina 29 10-11 (2-6) 30 40 .460
    Florida 30 6-13 (7-4) 30 36 .400
    Detroit 30 7-13 (6-4) 30 37 .411
    Dallas 31 11-13 (1-6) 30 41 .441
    Winnipeg 32 9-16 (4-3) 29 38 .396
    Toronto 28 10-11 (1-6) 28 38 .452
    Buffalo 28 9-11 (2-6) 28 37 .440
    NYI 28 8-12 (3-5) 27 35 .417
    Vancouver 30 5-16 (7-2) 26 31 .344
    Arizona 29 6-14 (4-5) 25 31 .356
    Colorado 27 8-15 (3-1) 23 31 .383

  113. frjohnk says:

    Jonathan Willis ‏@JonathanWillis 3m3 minutes ago

    #Oilers top-four D by TOI:
    1. Russell: 21:34 (EV/PK)
    2. Sekera: 21:33 (EV/PK/PP)
    3. Klefbom: 21:27 (EV/PK/PP)
    4. Larsson: 20:03 (EV/PK)

    Pretty much suggests to me that the Oilers figure they have 2 2nd pairing D pairs.

    I think PDO is swaying the coaches decision on ice time (IIRC the numbers, I did the calculations a couple days ago)
    Russell and Sekera together have a PDO of just over 105
    Klefbom and Larsson together have a PDO of around 96.

  114. JDï™ says:

    Doesn’t look like the coach was the problem:


    Darren Dreger Verified account
    ‏@DarrenDreger

    Dale Tallon is resuming control of management duties and Hockey Ops in Florida. Panthers need to get back on track and stabilize things.

  115. stush18 says:

    Tapdog: All LW’ers with Sharp being the exception with being a right shot. Hewould probably be the only one available.

    What about Wheeler in WPG? Would they move on with Laine and Ehlers doing well. Their left side seems weak? Pouliot plus?
    Wheeler is a 5.6 cap hit for the next two years too?

    Captain. Doubt they move him. One of the best right wingers in the game.

    Does any team actually have a surplus on right wing? Cuz left wingers are pretty easy to find.

  116. REDRIGGER says:

    LT

    (when I was little, they tracked back to five days and Saturday mornings, because the unions were coming to the lower mainland)

    Powell River?

  117. Tapdog says:

    stush18,

    Yeah I hear you there, I have been looking through but most unlikely to get one without the over pay?
    Oshie? Silfverberg?

  118. who says:

    Tapdog: All LW’ers with Sharp being the exception with being a right shot. Hewould probably be the only one available.

    What about Wheeler in WPG? Would they move on with Laine and Ehlers doing well. Their left side seems weak? Pouliot plus?
    Wheeler is a 5.6 cap hit for the next two years too?

    Love the trade suggestions I see on here. Poo plus for wheeler. Sure and while we’re at it let’s package Hendricks plus for Doughty.

  119. Tapdog says:

    who,

    Thanks for interpreting the “plus” to be a bag of crap???? You are a smart guy!!

    You already know better…..right?

  120. Lowetide says:

    REDRIGGER:
    LT

    (when I was little, they tracked back to five days and Saturday mornings, because the unions were coming to the lower mainland)

    Powell River?

    The mill at Ruskin, and then the one up towards Whonnock, cannot remember the name.

  121. sliderule says:

    Chachi: You won’t find a doctor anywhere who would guarantee you that getting a flu shot will guarantee you won’t get the flu. Every team in the NHL gets flu shots (in Calgary they even steal them from children and senior citizens!) and invariably every team in the NHL has the flu go through the team during a season.

    Care to share which other Oilers have had staph infections? We would all be curious to know. It seems that the Oilers did a fine job of preventing the infection from spreading to other players, but you seem to know more than the rest of us.

    The inference the press was giving was that the flu was rampant with the oilers

    Normally 5-20 percent of population gets the flu and vaccination apparently will give you a 60 percent chance of avoiding that.

    If they all got ther flu shots I guess they just have had bad luck.

    Bad luck follows the oilers as an oilers management guy who was assisting on ice in Bakersfield got a serious staph infection on his arm

    But you know that don’t you Chachi

  122. who says:

    Tapdog:
    who,

    Thanks for interpreting the “plus” to be a bag of crap????You are a smart guy!!

    You already know better…..right?

    Sorry if that was a little harsh but when you say Poo plus you are implying that Poo is the major piece. If the plus is the major piece than you should specify what the plus is or could be. Either way I don’t think Edmonton has the pluses to pry Wheeler from the Jets.

  123. Chachi says:

    sliderule: The inference the press was giving was that the flu was rampant with the oilers

    Normally 5-20 percent of population gets the flu and vaccination apparently will give you a 60 percent chance of avoiding that.

    If they all got ther flu shots I guess they just have had bad luck.

    Bad luck follows the oilers as an oilers management guy who was assisting on ice in Bakersfield got a serious staph infection on his arm

    But you know that don’t you Chachi

    Boy that staph infection started in Oscar Klefbom’s foot bought a plane ticket to Bakersfield and snuck into a trainer’s arm? Yes, that is organizational incompetence if I have ever seen it.

  124. Ryan says:

    Oddspell:
    Ryan,

    Assuming he didn’t mention RW specifically: JVR?
    Seems like a strange combo of moves overall considering the expansion draft.

    Jvr can score some goals though he’s a left shot with only one more year left on his contract.

  125. Tapdog says:

    who,

    Thanks for the advice on how to post my thoughts. While we are on that page perhaps next time you are commenting on a persons suggestions or thoughts maybe you can model what you preach.

  126. Jaxon says:

    I’ve always thought they should put Pouliot with McDavid, based on the numbers and based on their styles of play being a good match. Pouliot is the fastest LW of the available options and he has a similar one-handed-chip-thepuck-to-good-spots style. He is a good forechecker and responsible on the defensive side of the puck. I don’t think Puljujarvi is quite ready to play with McDavid but I wouldn’t mind seeing Pouliot/McDavid/Puljujarvi before they send Puljujarvi down to the AHL. I think that would be the fastest line and I’ve seen both Pouliot and Puljujarvi have some of the quickest, most deceiving releases all year and that is what they should be putting on McDavid’s line. I’ve never seen a surprising, quick release from anyone else but maybe Nuge, but he isn’t finding the back of the net and he is needed elsewhere in the lineup to go against toughs and help take pressure away from both McDavid and Draisaitl.

    Pouliot / McDavid / Puljujarvi
    Lucic / Draisaitl / Eberle
    Maroon / Nugent-Hopkins / Pitlick (Iginla, Doan, Vrbata, Burrows?)
    Caggiula / Letestu / Kassian

    Another bonafide scoring RW would help immensely.

    Who might be the first team far enough out to trade one of their upcoming UFAs? Colorado’s Iginla? Arizona’s Doan? Both local boys whose teams are in 29th and 30th right now and who have not won a cup. 28th place Vancouver’s Radm Vrbata or Alex Burrows? 26th place Buffalo’s former Cup winner Brian GIonta is still playing 17 minutes per night? 24th place Winnipeg’s Drew Stafford? I think Dallas would have to implode a bit and drop in the standings before they start to think about dumping a Patirck Eaves or Ales Hemsky?

    I’d love to see Iginla or Doan on the Oilers if they are in the playoff hunt at the deadline.

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!
© Copyright - Lowetide.ca