STEP BY STEP

We survived Tabernac Saturday, and it pleased the lord. Cam Talbot is a key player in this season for the Edmonton Oilers, and his importance was on display last night, In a playoff-style 1-1 game, the veteran goalie stopped 26 of 27 (.963) and gave his team a chance to win an important game. That’s the gig, and Talbot has been quality (in my opinion) for the team this year. Running up that hill is a lot easier when the goalie goals.

BEAUTIFUL SUNDAY, 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: 7-2-5, goal differential +3
  • Oilers in January 2016: 4-5-2, goal differential -5
  • Oilers in January 2017: 4-3-0, goal differential -3
  • Oilers after 45, 2015-16: 17-23-5, goal differential -27
  • Oilers after 45, 2016-17: 23-15-7, goal differential +7

The Oilers improvement in goal differential year over year (+34) is impressive, although the October number skews the season overall. The point improvement (+14) is solid to excellent, and you can see a few ways for this team to make the postseason (top 3 Pacific, failure of one California team, faltering Central). Edmonton finished 31-43-8 last season, meaning the club went 14-20-3 from this point to the end of the 2015-16 season. If the Oilers duplicated last year’s record, they would finish 37-35-10, for 84 points. That would be a disappointment, but would still be a significant step forward. If they continue to grab points at current rate, this Oilers team will finish with 97 points, the most since the glory days. The NHL gives out points in a different manner nowadays, but that projected point total is impressive all the same.

STARTING GOALIE NUMBERS (SP)

  • Talbot overall: .918 (No. 13 among starters)
  • Talbot at even strength: .922 (No. 18 among starters)
  • Talbot on the penalty kill: .896 (No. 8 among starters)

I would call that slightly above average, you may have a differing opinion. Talbot posted win No. 22 last night and seems destined to pass 30 between Valentine’s and the Ides of March.

DEFENSE, LAST NIGHT

  • Klefbom—Benning went 16-6 together, in a game like last night that is damned near unpossible. And of course, because nothing makes sense in nature, this pairing gave up the only EV GA by either side. Klefbom went 2-7 against Backlund’s line. Oscar is shooting the puck often, he ranks No. 6 in the NHL in shots-60 by a defender.
  • Davidson—Gryba went 5-8 together, I find myself impatient for Davidson to get up to speed, but these things take time. I still think it might have been better to have a conditioning stint. Gryba went 4-3 against Backlund, and has the second best Corsi Rel 5×5 on the team (behind the magician Benning).
  • Sekera—Russell went 6-16 together, including a monstrous 1-9 with the Letestu line. Both men made some effective plays inside getting caved in possession, Russell made a nifty play behind his own net on (I think it was) Tkachuk, as an example. Sekera went 1-12 against Gaudreau. The Oilers need a third line center.
  • Stats via NHL.com, NaturalStatTrick and HockeyStats.ca.

FORWARDS, LAST NIGHT

  • Pouliot—Nuge—Eberle performed well together, Nuge had an assist and I think Eberle earned a goal but nothing rhymes for him these days. Pouliot has regained his game, I think he was thinking too much (that must be the problem with this whole damned line). Anyway, credit to Todd McLellan for keeping them together, I think they cash this coming week. Went 5-6 against the Backlund line, 3-3 against Monahan line.
  • Lucic—Caggiula—Slepyshev went 5-6 together and I thought the trio looked good in limited minutes. Lucic spent time with Letestu (and Slepyshev) going 0-7, and that is where I noticed a lot of also in photo moments. I have no answer for it, but ML needs to get to plays a lot more often, and we are past the midway point of the season. The idea of playing on the soft minutes 3line is to dominate, and that did not happen. Milan needs to be better 5×5, a lot better. Caggiula went 3-2 against Backlund.
  • Maroon—McDavid—Draisaitl went 9-13 together, but for me the real story was an extremely quiet first 40 minutes. Things picked up in the final frame and then McDavid slammed the Flames when he got some air. Oilers need another scoring line in order to get 97 some Clearance Clarence out there. McDavid went 5-9 against Giordano, the numbers don’t show any of the forward lines being hard matched. 97 was 4-6 against Monahan and 1-3 against Stajan, 1-3 against Backlund.
  • Hendricks—Letestu—Kassian went 7-6 in some depth minutes, I didn’t think the group got a lot done. Then again, they didn’t get scored on either, so there is that. Letestu is money in the shootout, another item in what is a pretty damned handy tool kit.

ABOUT LAST NIGHT

I think the Oilers missed Adam Larsson and his steady play, and absolutely have to find a second scoring line soon. For me, that was a playoff game last night, and Edmonton was not the better of the two teams. Now, that doesn’t mean Calgary is superior, and I was impressed that the Oilers could win that style of game against the Flames—who are a good, if inconsistent, hockey club. The southern visitors were on the second of a BTB but accounted well for themselves in my opinion. As big a test as it was for the home side, this coming Saturday will be a higher mountain. Many rivers to cross.

PIKES PEAK

This is the kind of table we have been screaming for since 2006 fall, and last night’s win lets some air into the room. I think last night’s game also gives us a chance to honestly evaluate what is needed for this team to succeed—now, and into the future.

NEEDS

Edmonton heads to the deadline lacking balance in some important areas. We know all problems cannot be solved, but Peter Chiarelli should have no trouble filling his days and nights up to the deadline.

  • Two-way Center for the third line. Martin Hanzal is ideal for Edmonton, the cost is very likely too dear. I don’t have a name for you, but grabbing a veteran center, moving Drake Caggiula to the wing or minors, is an instant improvement for this team.
  • Substantial backup goalie. Cam Talbot was very good last night, but the Oilers are terribly vulnerable to injury/slump at this position, unnecessarily. Peter Chiarelli fixed this a year ago in mid-summer with Anders Nilsson, needs to do it again.
  • A Fernando Pisani. The RW depth chart last night featured Leon Draisaitl, Jordan Eberle and Zack Kassian. I have no quarrel with that group, or Anton Slepyshev (or Tyler Pitlick) long term, but Edmonton really does need a Fernando Pisani for this emerging bottom 6F. What do I mean by a Fernando Pisani? A 15-goal (even-strength goals) young veteran who can be the defensive conscience for a line while also mentoring one or two youths. I could call this spot a Marty Reasoner and it would have the same meaning. If the Oilers are going to be bringing along young, inexpensive talent in third and fourth line roles—and they are—then a foundation player is going to be required.

TODD MCLELLAN

  • “It was very playoff-like. Very little space for both teams. We really had to work for everything we got.”

This morning, as we sit and enjoy that standings table, it is also worth discussing this team as a playoff roster. Peter Chiarelli needs to replace Drake Caggiula with someone who is a veteran, needs to replace the Pitlick spot with more of a two-way mentor, and needs a significant backup goalie. The list of needs is dwindling, and defense isn’t on the needs list (depending on injury) at this time—that alone should be breaking news.

This team can make the playoffs, but it is not assured this morning. There is a lack of balance in important spots and it could cost the postseason, even now, this late in the season. Will Peter Chiarelli use some future assets to improve this roster, or will he keep his powder dry.

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140 Responses to "STEP BY STEP"

  1. square_wheels says:

    Does the acquisition of an above average 3C give Tmac the ability to set Nuge free to play more offence ?

    If him, Ebs and Looch can’t start contributing at all, let alone at Evens, playoffs are not assured.

    This is a huge challenge.

    And if anyone took my advice – Sturgill Simpson CRUSHED on SNL

  2. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    and that is where I noticed a lot of also in photo moments. I have no answer for it, but ML needs to get to plays a lot more often, and we are past the midway point of the season. The idea of playing on the soft minutes 3line is to dominate, and that did not happen. Milan needs to be better 5×5, a lot better.

    but Edmonton really does need a Fernando Pisani for this emerging bottom 6F. What do I mean by a Fernando Pisani? A 15-goal (even-strength goals) young veteran who can be the defensive conscience for a line while also mentoring one or two youths. I could call this spot a Marty Reasoner and it would have the same meaning. If the Oilers are going to be bringing along young, inexpensive talent in third and fourth line roles—and they are—then a foundation player is going to be required.

    I know he costs $6MM/yr and pushed an All Star off the roster, but does Lucic count?

  3. Lowetide says:

    Square Wheels: I think the Oilers have to count own Nuge, Eberle, Lucic and Pouliot to recover some in the final 35 games. Regression is a thing, and surely one or two of these guys will experience it. Nuge is pushing a little now, Pouliot is playing better and Eberle is getting looks. Lucic seems lost, I would love to see a veteran C on that 3line.

  4. JOFA says:

    LT,

    Does Eberle get traded this summer? Or next?

  5. Lowetide says:

    Woodguy v2.0:
    and that is where I noticed a lot of also in photo moments. I have no answer for it, but ML needs to get to plays a lot more often, and we are past the midway point of the season. The idea of playing on the soft minutes 3line is to dominate, and that did not happen. Milan needs to be better 5×5, a lot better.

    but Edmonton really does need a Fernando Pisani for this emerging bottom 6F. What do I mean by a Fernando Pisani? A 15-goal (even-strength goals) young veteran who can be the defensive conscience for a line while also mentoring one or two youths. I could call this spot a Marty Reasoner and it would have the same meaning. If the Oilers are going to be bringing along young, inexpensive talent in third and fourth line roles—and they are—then a foundation player is going to be required.

    I know he costs $6MM/yr and pushed an All Star off the roster, but does Lucic count?

    No.

  6. square_wheels says:

    Woodguy v2.0,

    Asking for a friend ??

    How was Nuge last night ? Ebs and Pou looked ok. Lucic, meh.

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

    square_wheels,

    I’ll need to find the SNL video because I was out last night but based on your recommendations I gave Mr. Simpson a listen on Monday and have gone through all three albums about four times now. Love the sound, love his voice and love the experimentation on the newest album. Reminds me in a way of Corb Lund with his earlier stuff, but Sturgill is a better singer overall and the stories he tells to be a little more funny/genuine.

    Thanks for the tip on this guy, huge fan in a short amount of time.

  8. Lowetide says:

    JOFA:
    LT,

    Does Eberle get traded this summer? Or next?

    I think the money crunch for Peter Chiarelli comes summer 2018, and at that point Eberle will be one year from free agency. We don’t know the future, but there is a chance Eberle reaches free agency as an Oiler and then plans his next step independent of the organization.

  9. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    square_wheels:
    Woodguy v2.0,

    Asking for a friend ??

    How was Nuge last night, Ebs and Pou looked ok. Lucic, meh.

    No one looked good.

    Everyone around us thought the game was as dull as dishwater.

    Not a lot of entertainment value.

    I was about 50ft from the ice and the puck never lays flat.

    Jumps around hot water on a hot griddle.

    I was warm without my jacket near the ice as well.

  10. Ducey says:

    Spending any kind of useful asset for upgrades would be folly. This team will make the playoffs as is, but isn’t going anywhere once it gets there.

    If they traded a high pick for a player, that player either walks or is lost in expansion. This team still needs to keep building. That pick will be key when they are a contender for a Cup.

    If Chia can pick up a Maroon or Kassian for a distant prospect, then fine. Otherwise, just let the kids develop.

    And they already have the Pisani. His name is Letestu. A Swiss Army knife. Center, wing, pk, PP, shootouts, faceoffs. That was a damn fine signing.

  11. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    square_wheels,

    Asking for a friend ??

    Being a dink more than anything.

    The sequence where Lucic gave the puck away, sighed and started gliding on the back check was right in front of me and I was apocalyptic.

    He doesn’t seem that interested in the hockey game playing part of his job.

  12. frjohnk says:

    Ducey: Spending any kind of useful asset for upgrades would be folly.

    For a rental I agree, but if we can get someone useful under term, then pull the trigger.

  13. square_wheels says:

    Woodguy v2.0,

    As soon as he made that face my immediate thought was – hey that kinda looks like the area WG is sitting in, that’s going to end bad for Looch 😀

    Warm arenas and bouncing pucks are the absolute worst for game quality. I’m off to a game in 20mins and its +1 in Cgy…….if my laser passes suck I’ve got my excuse pre-loaded.

  14. NativeNotFrench says:

    Woodguy v2.0: He doesn’t seem that interested in the hockey game playing part of his job.

    That is what I am seeing as well and that concerns me. Year one is not a good year to look disinterested in your 6 million dollar job working along side a supernova

  15. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Woodguy v2.0:
    square_wheels,

    Asking for a friend ??

    Being a dink more than anything.

    The sequence where Lucic gave the puck away, sighed and started gliding on the back check was right in front of me and I was apocalyptic.

    He doesn’t seem that interested in the hockey game playing part of his job.

    You may have missed it because you were there, but the teleplay did a montage of ML slamming his stick into the bench on his way back off the ice. Mid-way through the game, he was up to 3-4 incidents (I may be remembering this slightly wrong).

    It’s rather odd… because I find myself falling into silly psychological projection with ML (“he’s pouting, he lacks confidence, his body language is shit… etc.”) in a way that I wouldn’t have with other players and would have criticized from other commentators.

    It’s like ML has this special power to force a mode of analysis on you, despite your best efforts. He really is a unique player.

    It’s also striking that ML seems to fall prey to a lot of the such-and-such that Taylor was accused of, yet those same accusers have always held ML up as some kind of paragon of beauty.

  16. NativeNotFrench says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: It’s also striking that ML seems to fall prey to a lot of the such-and-such that Taylor was accused of, yet those same accusers have always held ML up as some kind of paragon of beauty.

    +1

  17. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    How about that Leon?

  18. New Improved Darkness says:

    Woodguy v2.0: He doesn’t seem that interested in the hockey game playing part of his job.

    The minute after Connor turns twenty-one, there’s going to be a sit down.

  19. frjohnk says:

    Lowetide: I think the money crunch for Peter Chiarelli comes summer 2018, and at that point Eberle will be one year from free agency. We don’t know the future, but there is a chance Eberle reaches free agency as an Oiler and then plans his next step independent of the organization.

    Here is something to chew on.

    Maroon of course, will not keep scoring like he is, but could possibly hit 30 goals this year.
    If he hits 20 to 30 next year ( and he becomes UFA next summer) whats his contract look like?

    Would Maroon and Lucic 3 years from now being paid $10M or more be good for our left side?

    I think EBERLE is gone and unless Chia offers Maroon a “comfortable” contract I think he may hit UFA.

  20. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: You may have missed it because you were there, but the teleplay did a montage of ML slamming his stick into the bench on his way back off the ice. Mid-way through the game, he was up to 3-4 incidents (I may be remembering this slightly wrong).

    It’s rather odd… because I find myself falling into silly psychological projection with ML (“he’s pouting, he lacks confidence, his body language is shit… etc.”) in a way that I wouldn’t have with other players and would have criticized from other commentators.

    It’s like ML has this special power to force a mode of analysis on you, despite your best efforts. He really is a unique player.

    It’s also striking that ML seems to fall prey to a lot of the such-and-such that Taylor was accused of, yet those same accusers have always held ML up as some kind of paragon of beauty.

    Maybe I’m falling into the Mahovlich/Penner trap where a big man doesn’t look like he’s working hard, but he’s not arriving to the play on time.

    If part of the reason for trading Hall was his “lack of a 200ft game”, his replacement is worse at that aspect of the game.

  21. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    Romulus Apotheosis:
    How about that Leon?

    Good morning and tip of my cap to you, sir. How about that Leon indeed. *clap, *clap

  22. dustrock says:

    Surely it’s just another example of pro athlete signing last huge contract and one of 2 things happens, depending on whether you’re an optimist or pessimist:

    (1) ease on into retirement, seven years guaranteed boys, or

    (2) pressure is on after making big talk and signing big contract and he’s gripping the stick too tight.

    Either way, Lucic has been a huge disappointment.

  23. prefonmich says:

    Regardless of all concerns about this team, and I have my fair share, I am going to fully enjoy today for what it is worth. A decade plus of heartache was (mostly) healed last night when the Oilers pulled out a victory in a game they never would have won in the past ten years. The defense won it for them. Let me say that again- their defense and goalie won the game for them. This. is. good.
    They are where they are in the standings despite a lack of balance, a not yet up to speed ML, a slumping 6 million dollar player or two or three, some significant injuries to their back end, and a backup goalie that is not NHL calibre. That is a lot to overcome and yet we are here this morning. Let’s just ignore all of those concerns for the time being and enjoy this moment, shall we? Well I will, at least, you are welcome to join me!

  24. DBO says:

    Lucic will be money in the playoffs. Reggie Jackson esque

    Find a way to get Ryan Strome. RH centre, solid player, still young and has two way ability. And won’t kill our cap.

    As for cap. 2018 is the year. All moves need to factor that in, so having money fall off is important, but don’t forget with a couple of playoff runs and maybe a cup run in McDavids entry level deal, we will get the Chicago, Pittsburgh deal. Where ufas sign one year deals to play for the cup. That’s why Larssons deal is so important cause of lower cost certainty for where he plays in the lineup, even pouliots cause it falls off then.

  25. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    Woodguy v2.0: Maybe I’m falling into the Mahovlich/Penner trap where a big man doesn’t look like he’s working hard, but he’s not arriving to the play on time.

    If part of the reason for trading Hall was his “lack of a 200ft game”, his replacement is worse at that aspect of the game.

    Lucic seemed to play well last year in LA. A big part of the reason I was upset with Chia/Oilers’ management last summer was not the trade but the Lucic signing. 7 years was a crippling contract and it was killing me that for all the talk that he “wanted to come here to play with McDavid” it took a max term contract at full dollar to bring him here. And a NMC to boot. At his current production level and contract left, even if he had no NMC and he was exposed in the expansion draft, I think it would be unlikely he would be claimed over someone considerably cheaper.

    Let’s hope this is just an adjustment period for him, just like it is with Larsson. Because 6.5 more years… yikes! Come on, Looch, I am not cheering against you, just asking you to put my fears to rest a little bit. Too much to ask?

  26. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    New Improved Darkness: The minute after Connor turns twenty-one, there’s going to be a sit down.

    He doesn’t look like he’s enjoying himself.

    I wonder if he asks for a trade if he plays the rest of they year as 3LW?

  27. dustrock says:

    Saw on HFB Flames are 1-4 against playoff teams and 9-4 vs non-playoff teams in their last 18.

    The last 14 games of the season are brutal for them, includes Ana 2x, LA 3x, SJ 2x, Avs, Blues, Nashville, Washington, Dallas, Boston, Pittsburgh.

    So if we’re close in April, we have a shot of at least beating the godless Flames.

  28. frjohnk says:

    Romulus Apotheosis:
    How about that Leon?

    Im not worthy

  29. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    I still think the Oil can find one more gear.

    Lucic: should score more
    Nuge: should score more
    Eberle: should score more
    Kassian: could score more
    Pouliot: should score more

    McDavid: could actually score more goals, believe it or not.

    backup G: anyone could be better than Gustavsson.

    $23M in underperforming players capable of scoring more, plus McDavid, who has been racking up chances and assists but is not cashing much himself. That and a horrible backup G.

    Even without a “fix” this team should improve.

  30. nelson88 says:

    Woodguy v2.0:
    square_wheels,

    Asking for a friend ??

    Being a dink more than anything.

    The sequence where Lucic gave the puck away, sighed and started gliding on the back check was right in front of me and I was apocalyptic.

    He doesn’t seem that interested in the hockey game playing part of his job.

    Recorded the game and watched this morning. My thoughts on Lucic as well. He was brought in to change the culture but too date he is compareable to a freshly scented dish rag. There was one sequence in particular where the young Lucic would have put the Flame through the glass, literally, and this Lucic barely bumped him. Was actually happy to see the reply when he was trashing his stick coming back to the bench, at least it showed some emotion.

  31. Lowetide says:

    DBO:
    Lucic will be money in the playoffs. Reggie Jackson esque

    Find a way to get Ryan Strome. RH centre, solid player, still young and has two way ability. And won’t kill our cap.

    As for cap. 2018 is the year. All moves need to factor that in, so having money fall off is important, but don’t forget with a couple of playoff runs and maybe a cup run in McDavids entry level deal, we will get the Chicago, Pittsburgh deal. Where ufas sign one year deals to play for the cup. That’s why Larssons deal is so important cause of lower cost certainty for where he plays in the lineup, even pouliots cause it falls off then.

    Well, that may be true, but the things Lucic does well are not currently in his game. I love his physical play, because when he is on, good things happen. He can separate the defender from the puck, hold onto it, then make an astute pass. That is a big part of his offensive value.

    What I am seeing is that the play is headed toward the other end of the rink by the time he arrives. Lucic can straight pretty well in a straight line, but if he is pointed in the wrong direction, count on a save, penalty or goal before he gets the rig turned around. That was the case in Boston and LA, and is the case here.

    I don’t buy into the idea that Lucic should be held to Taylor Hall’s level, because hockey players don’t replace other hockey players, they get signed or traded. What I do believe is that Lucic has a game to play that can be effective, and if he was playing it I would point out to folks that he is doing what he can to help.

    That is not the case at this time.

  32. LMHF#1 says:

    Not understanding why the cost on Hanzal will be too much. What’s too much? And if you sign the guy that’s an awesome move.

    Jag though. Jagr all day. Dare to dream. He still thinks he owes us one too.

  33. slopitch says:

    I listened to the game on the plane. Micheals and Stauffer went on and on about how slow a game it was till the 3rd period. The Oilers need a spark for line 2 and a spark for line 3. Might be time to try swapping 29 and 93 but I don’t know how you split up the top line.

    I think there are 3 upgrades required and both Lucic and Ebs will be ok. Not covering the price tag, but ok.

  34. John Chambers says:

    Tabernac Saturday is now an artefact, just like the Northlands Coliseum where it persisted from the moment Nikolai Khabibulin flubbed a puck late to cost us the first game of the season on HNIC in ’09, and ended with the opening of the new rink.

    There was a short pause at the beginning of the ’10-’11 season would have Eberles first NHL goal stand up to be his absolute best, but beyond that there has been a lot of avoidance of the sports section Sunday morning.

    Fact is the Oilers just ran out of Saturday night wins at Skyreach, but now that Tabernac is a thing of the past, Sunday morning offers that opiated sensation of: Two Points!

  35. Dino says:

    1. The ice may not be the best right now in Rogers place causing the puck to bounce and skip but the flames still found a way to pass it crisply more often than not. It’s not about the ice it’s about the breakout systems. They make short crisp passes in their zone until they’re out, we attempt long lob passes that get easily intercepted or miss the target. Oilers need a better breakout.

    2. Lucic isn’t doing nearly enough that’s true. But if Nuge, Ebs and Pou were scoring at their potential rate I think we would notice Lucic a little bit less. That line’s lack of production is one of the few things standing between playoffs and no playoffs. They need to be the same players they were at the end of the 14/15 season sans Hall. Nuge is a 50-55 point player, Pou could be a 40 point player and Ebs a 55-60 point player. If they start playing like it then watch out!

  36. LMHF#1 says:

    Lowetide: Well, that may be true, but the things Lucic does well are not currently in his game. I love his physical play, because when he is on, good things happen. He can separate the defender from the puck, hold onto it, then make an astute pass. That is a big part of his offensive value.

    What I am seeing is that the play is headed toward the other end of the rink by the time he arrives. Lucic can straight pretty well in a straight line, but if he is pointed in the wrong direction, count on a save, penalty or goal before he gets the rig turned around. That was the case in Boston and LA, and is the case here.

    I don’t buy into the idea that Lucic should be held to Taylor Hall’s level, because hockey players don’t replace other hockey players, they get signed or traded. What I do believe is that Lucic has a game to play that can be effective, and if he was playing it I would point out to folks that he is doing what he can to help.

    That is not the case at this time.

    He’s not hitting and he’s losing the puck left and right.

    Part of this is I don’t think McLellan knows how to use him, but he needs to step up. Big time.

    I’m hoping this is just his year of settling in after being a UFA. This is a thing in sports.

  37. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    P.S.: I give this team a shot in the arm:
    Hanzal, Vrbata both. I pay the likely high asking price if I can close the deal tomorrow, rather than wait til the deadline. At the deadline I would be unwilling to give up as much. Make the move now.

    Plus a goalie. Get a better backup. Can’t be too hard.

  38. speeds says:

    Ducey:
    Spending any kind of useful asset for upgrades would be folly. This team will make the playoffs as is, but isn’t going anywhere once it gets there.

    If they traded a high pick for a player, that player either walks or is lost in expansion. This team still needs to keep building. That pick will be key when they are a contender for a Cup.

    If Chia can pick up a Maroon or Kassian for a distant prospect, then fine. Otherwise, just let the kids develop.

    And they already have the Pisani. His name is Letestu. A Swiss Army knife. Center, wing, pk, PP, shootouts, faceoffs. That was a damn fine signing.

    Depending on Davidson/Nurse, I think you could even make an argument to go the other way, and trade Russell at the deadline if there’s a strong market for him.

  39. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Woodguy v2.0:
    square_wheels,

    The sequence where Lucic gave the puck away, sighed and started gliding on the back check was right in front of me and I was apocalyptic.

    Is that better or worse than being apoplectic?

    I mean, it was bad, but was it end-of-the-world bad?

  40. Bruce McCurdy says:

    John Chambers,

    Eberle’s first NHL goal was on a Thursday. Just saying. 😉

  41. leadfarmer says:

    I hope Bettman and the league paid close attention to last nights game. National telecast of two teams with incredible young talent who spent 3 hours taking turns whacking the puck into the boards. They could have played the game with croquet mallets with similar result. If this game was televised in the US it would have been cut to poker tournament reruns by the second period. This team is winning games but they are giving Lemaires Wild teams a run for entertainment value level

  42. Lowetide says:

    Bruce McCurdy: Is that better or worse than being apoplectic?

    I mean, it was bad, but was it end-of-the-world bad?

    I think frustration shows up differently for all of us. In watching ML, I am not upset at all, just really surprised. The one major worry I have about him, injury and breakdown, has not been an issue. I think, I THINK, this is a lot about mental, adjustment and finding a sweet spot, so remain relatively calm. I don’t worry too much about Lucic blowing off steam, seems healthy given his current situation.

  43. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Oilers are giving up about the same amount of goals at home compared to on the road, but the goals for go directly into the toilet.

    GF60 GA60 GF%
    Home 2.17 2.23 49.32
    Away 2.51 2.30 52.17

    The above is 5v5

  44. dustrock says:

    Bruce McCurdy: Is that better or worse than being apoplectic?

    I mean, it was bad, but was it end-of-the-world bad?

    The straw that broke the camel’s back is different for every super-villain.

  45. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Bruce McCurdy: Is that better or worse than being apoplectic?

    I mean, it was bad, but was it end-of-the-world bad?

    I had run out of beer, so pretty much yes.

  46. dustrock says:

    Woodguy v2.0:
    Oilers are giving up about the same amount of goals at home compared to on the road, but the goals for go directly into the toilet.

    GF60 GA60 GF%
    Home 2.17 2.23 49.32
    Away 2.51 2.30 52.17

    The above is 5v5

    How much of this is the ice?

  47. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Lowetide: I think frustration shows up differently for all of us. In watching ML, I am not upset at all, just really surprised. The one major worry I have about him, injury and breakdown, has not been an issue. I think, I THINK, this is a lot about mental, adjustment and finding a sweet spot, so remain relatively calm. I don’t worry too much about Lucic blowing off steam, seems healthy given his current situation.

    I for one welcome the obvious signs that he does in fact give a shit. He was royally pissed last night. His game just isn’t clicking for him just now & he’s working his way down the depth chart. Has to be a long way from what he envisioned, let alone the rest of us.

  48. russ99 says:

    As a five man unit, that was probably the best defensive game we’ve played all season.

    Offensively, one of the worst, they pretty much took the rush away from us, so if all we’re going to do with the puck is around the outside, all that possession doesn’t really add up to much.

    We’re going to see a steady diet of that kind of defense and lack of calls down the stretch and if we make it – in the playoffs. We have to do more with the puck when we have it.

    McLellan has to adjust at some point, there’s no Bettman points or shootouts in the playoffs,

  49. JimmyV1965 says:

    I think the Drake should have went to the minors many, many games ago, but the last couple have easily been his best.

  50. speeds says:

    Q for all:

    If Lucic’s play doesn’t materially change the rest of the year, would it be inappropriate, in your opinion, for Chiarelli to ask Lucic to waive his NMC for the purpose of the expansion draft?

  51. Lowetide says:

    Bruce McCurdy: I for one welcome the obvious signs that he does in fact give a shit. He was royally pissed last night. His game just isn’t clicking for him just now & he’s working his way down the depth chart. Has to be a long way from what he envisioned, let alone the rest of us.

    Yes. He should work well with any of the four centers on this team, to be honest. I mean, Lucic would not work well with Sam Gagner 2010 at C, but mostly he spends his time being in a place where he can impact a play. I go back to Leon as the best chem item, and secretly wish the Oilers could find a way to get David Krejci from the Bruins.

  52. russ99 says:

    speeds:
    Q for all:

    If Lucic’s play doesn’t materially change the rest of the year, would it be inappropriate, in your opinion, for Chiarelli to ask Lucic to waive his NMC for the purpose of the expansion draft?

    Hardly.

    Not sure what you guys are expecting from him at this point. We’re not playing offense similar to the ways he was successful with in Boston and LA.

    Do you expect him to carry three guys to the net and use one of their sticks to put it in the net?

    Other than Maroon and McDavid, nobody is scoring off the cycle, so do you think everyone on the team suddenly forgot our play hockey, or McLellan is adamant in his systems in an Eakins-like way to the detriment of his players.

    I know which one I think.

  53. The Trade Guy says:

    Woodguy v2.0: No one looked good.

    Everyone around us thought the game was as dull as dishwater.

    Not a lot of entertainment value.

    I was about 50ft from the ice and the puck never lays flat.

    Jumps around hot water on a hot griddle.

    I was warm without my jacket near the ice as well.

    Makes me sad that hockey games that should be real good are now boring affairs. And nothing bothers me more then how the league is fine with crap ice surfaces. The game is so fast and the puck just bounces around and garbage goals are the norm.

    Its a pipe dream but I wish the owners would get a commish that actually cared about the quality of the game (and not having lockouts)

  54. Lowetide says:

    speeds:
    Q for all:

    If Lucic’s play doesn’t materially change the rest of the year, would it be inappropriate, in your opinion, for Chiarelli to ask Lucic to waive his NMC for the purpose of the expansion draft?

    Not at all. It won’t happen, but I think the GM should do what is right for his team, up to and including flushing a player he brought in on a big contract.

  55. Bag of Pucks says:

    Lucic aside, I think the biggest concern has to be ‘rebuild core one’ flatlining.

    Funny how we started off the season talking about the vets doing the heavy lifting while Connor, Leon continued to develop. Instead the vets are slumping in a big way and the kids are lighting it up.

    If we ever get these two cores moving in the same direction at the same time, we might have something here.

    And they really need to find a consensus at Rogers on the venue temp. Poor ice quality at this latitude is not acceptable.

  56. Pescador says:

    frjohnk: For a rental I agree, but if we can get someone useful under term, then pull the trigger.

    No kidding, if Chiarelli can trade assets for players that will help the Oilers get into the playoffs he has to do it. I’m not advocating 1st round picks here, we have 2 3rd’s in this draft 2018 2nd rounder and a lot of left handed D prospects.
    You can’t understate the importance of this group getting playoff experience this season. Are they cup contenders after a trade or 2? No, but Chiarelli is a wheeler and he will be on the hunt as we speak. I’m all for it.

  57. teddyturnbuckle says:

    ” and Edmonton was not the better of the two teams.” I surprisingly disagree with this statement. I watched every second of last nights game and came away with a feeling that the Oilers were the better team last night. Especially in overtime. Good game last night. Surprised Jujar didn’t play last night. I really liked his game!

  58. Shane says:

    teddyturnbuckle:
    ” and Edmonton was not the better of the two teams.” I surprisingly disagree with this statement. I watched every second of last nights game and came away with a feeling that the Oilers were the better team last night.Especially in overtime.Good game last night.Surprised Jujar didn’t play last night. I really liked his game!

    It was reported before last nights game that Jujhar was out with an illness.

  59. dcfalk says:

    i really don’t see how you think Calgary was the better team? Edmonton was buzzing for lots of the night with good speed and i think did a great job neutralizing the Flames dangerous offense at times. To me it also wasn’t an ugly win, it was a solid hardworking win and without Larsson i was even more impressed. This win was nothing to become negative about, business as usual, these boys look good

  60. OriginalPouzar says:

    No goals once again, which is frustrating, however, from my eye, the Pouliot/Nuge/Eberle line was our best line for large parts of that game last night which was confirmed via the ES Corsi.

    They had the most consistent offensive zone time and came close to potting a couple of goals.

    I am confidant that Eberle will pot at least a couple of goals this week – he’s playing well – they have to come, don’t they?

  61. PhrankLee says:

    As for ML it’s only been 45 games.

    I am prepared to be patient with him. I hated Sekera his first 40 games or so. He had a tough time early on showing why he had been signed.

    ML is built for battle and as games get closer and nastier I believe we will appreciate having him for the heavy lifting late in the season and hopefully in the playoffs.

    I do not have Edmonton making it in this year (91). But they could just squeak in…

    That would destroy a lot of the debate as to weather the team is “actually better”, imo.

    What I am concerned about is that it is taking everything in the tank to beat NJ and CAL.

    If they had played that game against ANA or SJ they would be crushed. That suggests they are still finding their way as a squad.

    Slow starts have to be addressed.

  62. Melvis says:

    Back up gaolers? Curtis McElhinney looked pretty decent last night, if anybody watched Leafs/Senators. Too bad.

    As for Looch, this is a mirror year to 2012-13 in Boston. Frankly, I’m not sure if that’s good or bad. Ok…not so good.

    I don’t know what his playing weight has been yoy, but dropping 10 lbs and laying off the potatoes wouldn’t hurt at age 28. It’s not as if he’s playing a heavy weight role anymore.

  63. Scungilli says:

    speeds:
    Q for all:

    If Lucic’s play doesn’t materially change the rest of the year, would it be inappropriate, in your opinion, for Chiarelli to ask Lucic to waive his NMC for the purpose of the expansion draft?

    Lucic has trade value even if sucking. Maroon probably has trade value. Eberle and Pouliot don’t according to Freidman, if I was GM and wanted out of a contract with term especially for a popular player to clear cap (whom I can’t get anything for anyway) I’d be trying to move Eberle. I believe there are players in the system now that can play as well given the usage and gifted TOI.

    As for Lucic, because he’s going nowhere I am glad to see them trying to ignite players not in the plans and playing him down the order. I really hope they do get it going so something helpful comes back and value is retained for the picks used. Only BP was a freebie.

  64. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    dustrock: How much of this is the ice?

    Don’t know.

    The goals against are fairly close so I’m not sure it’s a thing.

  65. oscarmike says:

    Oilers are lucky to have a guy like Lucic who can inspire his team to be tougher and gives them confidence to play their game knowing Luicic has their back. That goes a long way for player development especially on the Oilers where most of the players are still under 24.
    You know that the Oilers are a good team when they have 5 players who are stagnant but are still making playoffs

    When a team like the Oilers don’t make playoffs for 10 years, they’re going to have to overpay to get any player. However Lucic had a chance to sign for more money in Montreal but he didnt. So give him
    a break. Most definitely he would be on pace for 60 points in Montreal.

    STOP THINKING SHORT TERM. LUCIC CONTRACT WILL SAVE OILERS MONEY.

    Nobody is going to care about Lucics contract in 4 years because the Oilers are going to be a power house. Competitive Stanley cup contenders don’t overpay players. For example, Benoit Pouloit. No other team was going to sign this guy for $4mil/year. I bet if the Oilers were a playoff team they probably offer Pouliot $2mil/yr.

    Within 4 years Oilers have to re-sign Drai, Drake, Pitlick, Benning, Nurse, Talbot and whover else. How much money do you think the Oilers will save on their contracts?

  66. Lowetide says:

    oscarmike:
    Oilers are lucky to have a guy like Lucic who can inspire his team to be tougher and gives them confidence to play their game knowing Luicic has their back. That goes a long way for player development especially on the Oilers where most of the players are still under 24.
    You know that the Oilers are a good team when they have 5 players who are stagnant but are still making playoffs

    When a team like the Oilers don’t make playoffs for 10 years, they’re going to have to overpay to get any player. However Lucic had a chance to sign for more money in Montreal but he didnt.So give him
    a break. Most definitely he would be on pace for 60 points in Montreal.

    STOP THINKING SHORT TERM. LUCIC CONTRACT WILL SAVE OILERS MONEY.

    Nobody is going to care about Lucics contract in 4 years because the Oilers are going to be a power house. Competitive Stanley cup contenders don’t overpay players. For example, Benoit Pouloit. No other team was going to sign this guy for $4mil/year. I bet if the Oilers were a playoff team they probably offer Pouliot $2mil/yr.

    Within 4 years Oilers have to re-sign Drai, Drake, Pitlick, Benning, Nurse, Talbot and whover else. How much money do you think the Oilers will save on their contracts?

    The Oilers, and their fans, have a right to expect something resembling Milan Lucic on their investment. He was a 2.00/60 5×5 player offensively last season. This is not a good season, full stop. I am a Lucic fan, but he needs to be much better.

  67. Bag of Pucks says:

    Lowetide: The Oilers, and their fans, have a right to expect something resembling Milan Lucic on their investment. He was a 2.00/60 5×5 player offensively last season. This is not a good season, full stop. I am a Lucic fan, but he needs to be much better.

    Agreed. Same accountability applies to RNH, Eberle, Pouliot?

  68. oscarmike says:

    Lowetide,

    He’s not miracle worker.
    LA is a better team than the Oilers. Especially last year.
    Look who he was playing with. LA had better everything

  69. oscarmike says:

    Give your head a shake. I don’t care who you are. Any good player that comes from a good team to a bad team is going to struggle a bit.

  70. Chamucks says:

    I don’t think saying Lucic needs to play better means you hate the Oilers or are whining.
    I think it means just that and that alone. The big fella is famous for doing things that he isn’t currently doing. Here’s to hoping he comes around soon.

    I trade the first rounder and other things for Hanzal and Vrbata but the deal has to be today. I don’t move it at the deadline for a rental.

  71. Chamucks says:

    oscarmike,

    Lucic spent most of his minutes with the leading scorer in the NHL. Not sure what point you are making anymore to be honest.

  72. Diablo says:

    Lots of comments today about Lucic being slow on the forecheck, which I think is true. But it was also true of all the other forwards not named McDavid. I think its more that the current system doesn’t play to Lucic’s strengths. In Boston and LA, the D carry the puck more often to the red line and dump it in, allowing the forecheckers to activate from the blue line and get behind the defenders, and establish possession along the boards, with one guy driving to the net.

    But currently our system has the D-men out-letting the puck to the winger at our blue line, whose responsibility is then to get the puck over the red line and dump it deep into the opposition zone – the Calgary D was able to keep our forwards in front of them all night. Even McDavid was bottled up, and never got a clean look.

    It was very noticeable last night, as the Calgary D (Brodie, Giordano, Hamilton) was carrying the puck through the neutral zone more confidently than ours were. Maybe we need another puck mover from the blue line, but I think we have the horses in house to do it (Klefbom, Sekera, Nurse). TMac seems reluctant to let them roam.

  73. oscarmike says:

    Chamucks,

    Yeah and look how hard it was for Pittsburg to find wingers for Crosby

  74. John Chambers says:

    Bruce McCurdy:
    John Chambers,

    Eberle’s first NHL goal was on a Thursday. Just saying.

    How are you wise to such detail?

    Well you’re right, but rather that admit to being a monkeys uncle as that was an HNIC game, it being on a Thursday only stands to underscore the legitimacy of Tabernac Saturday.

  75. JDï™ says:

    teddyturnbuckle: I surprisingly disagree with this statement. I watched every second of last nights game and came away with a feeling that the Oilers were the better team last night.

    Here’s a little snippet of stats from GMo after two periods:

    Oilers Nerd Alert ‏@OilersNerdAlert 14h14 hours ago

    After two:

    CF% = 42.9
    SACF% = 41.6
    FF% = 40.0
    DFF% = 34.6
    SF% = 47.1
    (All) FOW% = 54.5

    Face slaps all around.

    Of particular note is the DFF, which is embarrassing. And my eyes agree with these stats completely.

  76. oscarmike says:

    Chamucks:
    I don’t think saying Lucic needs to play better means you hate the Oilers or are whining.
    I think it means just that and that alone. The big fella is famous for doing things that he isn’t currently doing. Here’s to hoping he comes around soon.

    I trade the first rounder and other things for Hanzal and Vrbata but the deal has to be today. I don’t move it at the deadline for a rental.

    WHAT?
    A first rounder and others for Hanzel and Vrbata. Is that a Joke?

  77. Lowetide says:

    Bag of Pucks: Agreed. Same accountability applies to RNH, Eberle, Pouliot?

    Yes. I think Pouliot may have been a bit self-inflicted by the coach, but that is a guess. RNH and Eberle have been given enough rope to choke a horse, I am past worried and now in the period where all is spent, we are having a bottle of suds as the sun goes down, and talking about the good times to push down the current times.

  78. Well Oiled and Enthusiastic says:

    I haven’t had the opportunity to enjoy the new arena, but if the ice is not as crisp and cold as it possibly can be, you are certainly blunting the outrageous effectiveness of one of the most gifted skaters to play the game. If it’s an engineering challenge, get it solved. You must do everything you can to play to your strongest attributes. Puttiing McDavid on slushy ice is nuts. For it to be your own ice, is unforgivable. Remember when we played Dallas in the playoffs and their ice was porridge. That was brutal stuff to behold.

  79. Ryan says:

    Two-way Center for the third line. Martin Hanzal is ideal for Edmonton, the cost is very likely too dear. I don’t have a name for you, but grabbing a veteran center, moving Drake Caggiula to the wing or minors, is an instant improvement for this team.

    Agreed. The 3c slot is a huge pressure point and an opportunity for significant improvement if Drake is moved to the minors. 39% on the dot…

    LT, do you ever have the opportunity to interview player agents and ask general questions about the type of playing guarantee that can be included in contracts clauses for college signings like Drake?

  80. Chachi says:

    speeds:
    Q for all:

    If Lucic’s play doesn’t materially change the rest of the year, would it be inappropriate, in your opinion, for Chiarelli to ask Lucic to waive his NMC for the purpose of the expansion draft?

    Inappropriate? No. Futile, counterproductive, premature? Yes.

  81. Bruce Wayne says:

    The idea that Lucic has any trade value is quite funny. He signed a max contract and has proceeded to woefully underperform that contract.

    The other side of this is that is Lucic, has a halo around him in the hockey world, but that halo has already been priced into his contract.

    We’ll never know this empirically, because it will never be tested, but if you think through the issue you can see that any team that has space to add six million to the payroll can do much, much, better than Lucic, for much less long term risk.

  82. speeds says:

    Chachi: Inappropriate? No. Futile, counterproductive, premature? Yes.

    Premature, if you wait until the end of the year to see how things play out? Doesn’t really make sense to ask him after the expansion draft 😉

  83. Lowetide says:

    Ryan:
    Two-way Center for the third line. Martin Hanzal is ideal for Edmonton, the cost is very likely too dear. I don’t have a name for you, but grabbing a veteran center, moving Drake Caggiula to the wing or minors, is an instant improvement for this team.

    Agreed. The 3c slot is a huge pressure point and an opportunity for significant improvement if Drake is moved to the minors. 39% on the dot…

    LT, do you ever have the opportunity to interview player agents and ask generalquestions about the type of playing guarantee that can be included in contracts clauses for college signings like Drake?

    Yes. Player agents are extremely pro player (bulletin!) so you will get a very skewed view of things, while also getting nothing really in terms of specifics. I can say that, whether these things are written in the contract or not, they are understood to be very important to the player. So, when the player is sent down, it has enormous impact on the relationship. An example might be Bogdan Yakimov, although I have no proof of it.

  84. Confused says:

    Lucic needs to play on a heavy slower line.

    So it is either with Drai as center.

    Or rearrange the bottom 6

    Lucic – letestu — Kassian
    JJ — Cags — slepy

  85. Chachi says:

    speeds: Premature, if you wait until the end of the year to see how things play out?Doesn’t really make sense to ask him after the expansion draft 😉

    More that it is a waste of time to ask a guy who signed a seven year contract to waive his NMC to go to one year later. Even if this turns out to be a nightmare season for him do you think he would actually consider going to an expansion team? Do you think Buffalo should ask Okposo to waive his NMC? Should Vancouver ask Eriksson?

  86. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Bag of Pucks: Agreed. Same accountability applies to RNH, Eberle, Pouliot?

    Its starting to look like those guys are Pakleds and Hall was Geordi Laforge.

  87. speeds says:

    Chachi: More that it is a waste of time to ask a guy who signed a seven year contract to waive his NMC to go to one year later. Even if this turns out to be a nightmare season for him do you think he would actually consider going to an expansion team? Do you think Buffalo should ask Okposo to waive his NMC? Should Vancouver ask Eriksson?

    I don’t know if he would waive it. But if he plays at a similar lever for the rest of the year, I would think it extremely unlikely LV would claim him in the expansion draft, so it would open up a protection slot for the Oilers to trade for and/or protect someone else.

  88. oscarmike says:

    Martin Hanzel. Hahahhahahaha.
    What the heck is Hanzel doing for Arizona that make him so special that the Oilers should even be interested in.
    Has 15 point and a -17 in 36 games
    On a good team he would be a 4th line center or a healthy scratch.
    Oilers need more production from some of their players.
    Giving up draft picks for another teams junk isn’t going to help

    Oilers are better off making JJ or Lander a 4th line center and moving Letestu to the 3rd line.

    Look at Caleb jones and Ethan bear. Both drafted in the
    4th and 5th round. Both will be Top 4D in the NHL play when
    there ELC expires.

  89. Chachi says:

    speeds: I don’t know if he would waive it.But if he plays at a similar lever for the rest of the year, I would think it extremely unlikely LV would claim him in the expansion draft, so it would open up a protection slot for the Oilers to trade for and/or protect someone else.

    Sure, I get that it would be nice to have that extra spot on the protected list and if his crappy play continues it might be plausible that Vegas would pass on him, but how do you convince Lucic of that? It is fun to discuss these things hypothetically, but when you take into consideration that these players are human beings these scenarios become ludicrous.

  90. npanciroli says:

    The Oilers D looked lost last night without Larsson, wonder how much he calms them down as a group.

  91. speeds says:

    Chachi: Sure, I get that it would be nice to have that extra spot on the protected list and if his crappy play continues it might be plausible that Vegas would pass on him, but how do you convince Lucic of that? It is fun to discuss these things hypothetically, but when you take into consideration that these players are human beings these scenarios become ludicrous.

    What’s ludicrous about actually asking him? I agree, he may well say no.

  92. rickithebear says:

    our players 12-13 to 15-16
    Lucic avg
    80gm 19G 52P 13.9 SH%
    16-17 pace
    82gm 18G 49P 9.8 SH%
    11.8% gets 22G 53P

    Healthy Eberle avg
    74gm 25G 58P 13.1 SH%
    16-17 pace
    82gm 15G 47P 7.2% SH%
    11% gets 23G 55P

    RNH 13-14 to 15-16 avg
    71gm 18G 48P 11.6 SH%
    16-17 pace
    82gm 15G 39P 6.6%
    10% gets 23G 47P

    Pouliot with oilers
    57gm 17G 36P
    16-17 pace
    73gm 9G 15P

    Lucic is performing as expected!

    the other 3 are not!
    RNH and Eberle can be rescued by SH% in 2nd half.

    Pouliot is in need of

    the lucic not performing narritive is inaccurate.
    he has delivered everthing asked!
    Physical
    Genrating at his normal pace.
    Leader.
    Another classic hysterical junior high Girl narative!

    This needed to be called out!

  93. N64 says:

    ~ All this angst about ML. He’s been gold on shootouts. Oh. Never mind. ~

  94. Bag of Pucks says:

    Lowetide: Yes. I think Pouliot may have been a bit self-inflicted by the coach, but that is a guess. RNH and Eberle have been given enough rope to choke a horse, I am past worried and now in the period where all is spent, we are having a bottle of suds as the sun goes down, and talking about the good times to push down the current times.

    We’re all praying for regression, and I’m thinking, haven’t they regressed enough this season already?

  95. JimmyV1965 says:

    teddyturnbuckle:
    ” and Edmonton was not the better of the two teams.” I surprisingly disagree with this statement. I watched every second of last nights game and came away with a feeling that the Oilers were the better team last night.Especially in overtime.Good game last night.Surprised Jujar didn’t play last night. I really liked his game!

    Although the Oil clearly dominated OT with all that extra room to fly, the play was really close in the first three periods. Each team had a handful of opportunities. Each goalie made good saves, The game was really choppy and boring. I would have expected more from a game both teams were geared up for. And maybe that’s it; they were too afraid of making mistakes.

  96. Pechetr says:

    Ryan,

    Just ask Justin Schultz

  97. frjohnk says:

    Woodguy v2.0: Its starting to look like those guys are Pakleds and Hall was Geordi Laforge.

    “Geordi Laforge” could enter the zone at warp speed like few others

  98. JimmyV1965 says:

    Eventually the coach has to split up McDavid and Drai. They are both capable of driving offence and it spreads out the the scoring. The same reason we split up McDavid and Hall. Here’s what I think we will see at some point this season:

    Maroon – McDavid – Eberle
    Lucic – RNH – Drai

  99. JimmyV1965 says:

    Scungilli: Lucic has trade value even if sucking. Maroon probably has trade value. Eberle and Pouliot don’t according to Freidman, if I was GM and wanted out of a contract with term especially for a popular player to clear cap (whom I can’t get anything for anyway) I’d be trying to move Eberle. I believe there are players in the system now that can play as well given the usage and gifted TOI.

    As for Lucic, because he’s going nowhere I am glad to see them trying to ignite players not in the plans and playing him down the order. I really hope they do get it going so something helpful comes back and value is retained for the picks used. Only BP was a freebie.

    Friedman and the rest of the crew on HNIC are bozos. Their opinions mean zero to me when it comes to the Oilers. They are plugged into one team – the Leafs. Oh ya, Hrudey is locked in on the Flames as well. I would rather listen to Remenda. The last thing I need to hear is one of them comment on Mathews losing a face off on purpose, just so he can craftily gain possession. LOL

  100. treevojo says:

    After visiting the oilers site it is nice to see that Chiarelli finally found a job that Mactavish can excel at.

    “Back and to the left”

  101. hodgkins says:

    Pechetr:
    Ryan,

    Just ask Justin Schultz

    Speaking of Schultz, he was highlight fodder last night for the Red Wings “goal of the year”.

    Also, mood seems pretty cranky around here considering the result last night. Reminds me of hanging out with a bunch of people who have hangovers.

  102. ASkoreyko says:

    oscarmike:
    Martin Hanzel. Hahahhahahaha.
    What the heck is Hanzel doing for Arizona that make him so special that the Oilers should even be interested in.
    Has 15 point and a -17 in 36 games
    On a good team he would be a 4th line center or a healthy scratch.
    Oilers need more production from some of their players.
    Giving up draft picks for another teams junk isn’t going to help

    Oilers are better off making JJ or Lander a 4th line center and moving Letestu to the 3rd line.

    Look at Caleb jones and Ethan bear. Both drafted in the
    4th and 5th round. Both will be Top 4D in the NHL play when
    there ELC expires.

    Man, show a little respect to LT on his own site. You might find people will engage in actual discussion with you if you tone this act down.

    Unless you want to just keep yelling across the room at people.

  103. ATLOil says:

    All the angst over Milan yet he has more points than Eberle and RNH and the same number as the mighty Hall. Hmmmmm…

  104. JDï™ says:

    ATLOil: All the angst over Milan

    It’s as if they want to make Minskmeat out of him.

  105. Georges says:

    Nice that Calgary wakes up shedding tears over what might have been. Solid road game against a rival that’s a little ahead of them in the standings. Mostly smothered the opposing attack in regulation. Had the better chances. Hit lots of posts. Talbot robbed them on some great looks. A beautiful day up here in Edmonton.

    Slepyshev looked fast. How fast is Slepyshev? May he inherit Pitlick’s luck.

    Benning didn’t crater after he made a mistake. He played the whole game. That’s great.

    Nuge is Pisani. He just happens to be a 1OV making $6M/year.

    Lucic has to be better. What’s the over/under on better? Hall?

    CMD-Maroon-Drai should be the death lineup, deployed in key situations. For the rest of the game, the rest of the team needs CMD or Drai.

    A while back, I posted that the variance in shot attempts was decreasing and that this is to be expected when teams are taught that winning the shot attempts battle has a strong correlation to winning and that shot attempts is a variable they can control. I was behind the curve. This guy said it last season.

    http://whartonmagazine.com/blogs/why-the-hockey-analytics-revolution-may-be-its-own-undoing/

  106. Réal Goudenyéu says:

    ATLOil:
    All the angst over Milan yet he has more points than Eberle and RNH and the same number as the mighty Hall. Hmmmmm…

    He’s the current whipping boy apparently.

  107. JDï™ says:

    Georges: How fast is Slepyshev?

    Apparently half a second slower than Pou in the skills contest. That’s still pretty fast.

    And then McDavid puts in a lap a half second faster than Pou.

  108. OriginalPouzar says:

    Hanzal would be a very nice pick up for the stretch run – he’d provide some nice depth at the center position and another very big body. His boxcars are down this year, however, at the age of 29, that’s likely a function of his team – they can’t score and play one of the least offensive styles in the game.

    Yes, he’s a minus 17 but his team has a goal differential of -44.

    Its too bad he doesn’t shoot right, however, he’s almost the perfect type rental for this team, subject to acquisition cost.

    Unfortunately the acquisition costs might be a little too expensive for this team – if we had a 2nd round pick this year, maybe there would be a potential deal.

  109. Chachi says:

    speeds: What’s ludicrous about actually asking him?I agree, he may well say no.

    speeds: What’s ludicrous about actually asking him?I agree, he may well say no.

    There’s no realistic scenario in which he says yes to waiving his NMC to be exposed to the expansion draft so there’s no point in asking him to waive it.

  110. Woogie63 says:

    Woodguy v2.0:
    and that is where I noticed a lot of also in photo moments. I have no answer for it, but ML needs to get to plays a lot more often, and we are past the midway point of the season. The idea of playing on the soft minutes 3line is to dominate, and that did not happen. Milan needs to be better 5×5, a lot better.

    but Edmonton really does need a Fernando Pisani for this emerging bottom 6F. What do I mean by a Fernando Pisani? A 15-goal (even-strength goals) young veteran who can be the defensive conscience for a line while also mentoring one or two youths. I could call this spot a Marty Reasoner and it would have the same meaning. If the Oilers are going to be bringing along young, inexpensive talent in third and fourth line roles—and they are—then a foundation player is going to be required.

    I know he costs $6MM/yr and pushed an All Star off the roster, but does Lucic count?

    Is Letestu our Pisani? SO (and PP) goals in 2016 is as valuable or more valuable than even-strength goals in 2006.

  111. Offside says:

    prefonmich:
    Regardless of all concerns about this team, and I have my fair share, I am going to fully enjoy today for what it is worth. A decade plus of heartache was (mostly) healed last night when the Oilers pulled out a victory in a game they never would have won in the past ten years. The defense won it for them. Let me say that again- their defense and goalie won the game for them. This. is. good.
    They are where they are in the standings despite a lack of balance, a not yet up to speed ML, a slumping 6 million dollar player or two or three, some significant injuries to their back end, and a backup goalie that is not NHL calibre. That is a lot to overcome and yet we are here this morning. Let’s just ignore all of those concerns for the time being and enjoy this moment, shall we? Well I will, at least, you are welcome to join me!

    I’ll join you

  112. DaveWatchesHockey says:

    You guys are crazy 🙂

    After reading all the angst about Eberle and lucic I went and looked at the high scorer list. Top 120 so solidly top 2nd line production (list includes d). Not perfect I know but I don’t think we are in “expose at the expansion draft or trade for bag of pucks” territory here.

    Oilers also have the 2nd most goals in the western conference… there are only so many to go around lol.

    Is there some sort of syndrome that prevents happiness after 10 years of complete abysmal failure when things are finally starting to look up? Like maybe we should be organizing some type of group therapy or something 🙂

    Dave

  113. Georges says:

    Also important to get Drai away from CMD to get more data on what Drai is capable of generating without players like CMD and Hall. There’s a contract coming up. Contracts are commitments. They set expectations. It’s good to know as much as you can about a player so you can set reasonable expectations. Besides, JP will be playing RW with CMD long term, right?

  114. Professor Q says:

    JimmyV1965:
    Eventually the coach has to split up McDavid and Drai.They are both capable of driving offence and it spreads out the the scoring.The same reason we split up McDavid and Hall. Here’s what I think we will see at some point this season:

    Maroon – McDavid – Eberle
    Lucic – RNH – Drai

    Actually, the reason Hall and McDavid were split up was because they had 0 chemistry together.

    Draisaitl and McDavid have a plethora of chemistry together, and that is rare for McDavid.

  115. Chamucks says:

    DaveWatchesHockey,

    If you’re not last you’re first?

    I don’t feel there is anything wrong with discussing potential issues with the team. Pointing out areas of weakness or slumping players does not mean I hate the team at all. The goal in the end is a Stanley or 3, can this team right now do that? No? Well, why not?

    I enjoy the wins as much as the next guy but if we sit here and talk about how great we are for not being last anymore the conversation is pointless.

  116. kinger_OIL says:

    DaveWatchesHockey,

    – I’m in the Dave/Ricki camp: “You guys are crazy”

    – LT doesn’t concede that math/history/trend/consensus/league-scuttlebutt/commen sense/actual performance/comps etc suggests that this is almost certainly a playoff team.

    – Betting against the team not making the playoffs: I’ll run a book all day against them not making it: straight up. Have at ‘er: all proceeds to Lowetide: who bets not playoffs, and how much?

    – Milan and Hall have exactly the same goals and assists (although Hall has missed 11 games).

    – Our offence is a lot better, we let in a lot less goals, our PP works, our G doesn’t suck, our D has depth, we win a lot more games, we aren’t fun to play against.

    – So no we aren’t a multi-year Cup run team, but there are way more positives than negatives.

    – I guess after 10 years of sky falling, it’s tough to believe. You all should.!

  117. DaveWatchesHockey says:

    Chamucks:
    DaveWatchesHockey,

    If you’re not last you’re first?

    I don’t feel there is anything wrong with discussing potential issues with the team. Pointing out areas of weakness or slumping players does not mean I hate the team at all. The goal in the end is a Stanley or 3, can this team right now do that? No? Well, why not?

    I enjoy the wins as much as the next guy but if we sit here and talk about how great we are for not being last anymore the conversation is pointless.

    I know what you are saying. We need to talk about something. But the rhetoric about some of these players who have performed historically well is a little much.

    This is a very stats oriented blog. Well one of the most important things to remember about stats is sample size. And you are looking at very small sample sizes. Heck for lucic I’m not even sure he’s deviating from his norm (5×5 I guess…)

    Dave

  118. stevezie says:

    Woodguy v2.0,

    Nice deep cut.

    The roles were reversed come boating licence time. Fortunately he wanted to be nothing if not persistent.

  119. JimmyV1965 says:

    Professor Q: Actually, the reason Hall and McDavid were split up was because they had 0 chemistry together.

    Draisaitl and McDavid have a plethora of chemistry together, and that is rare for McDavid.

    I think that may have been the original reason, but TMac played them together at the Worlds and they played well together. If he really wanted to see them together for the Oil he would have done it again. They only played together five games or so.

  120. kinger_OIL says:

    Chamucks:
    DaveWatchesHockey,

    If you’re not last you’re first?

    I don’t feel there is anything wrong with discussing potential issues with the team. Pointing out areas of weakness or slumping players does not mean I hate the team at all. The goal in the end is a Stanley or 3, can this team right now do that? No? Well, why not?

    I enjoy the wins as much as the next guy but if we sit here and talk about how great we are for not being last anymore the conversation is pointless.

    – “Lucic has trade value even if sucking”: really?

    – “This team can make the playoffs, but it is not assured this morning” – they SHOULD make playoffs.

    – “playoffs are not assured” – nothing is assured. Likely, not assured

    – “I know he costs $6MM/yr and pushed an All Star but does Lucic count?” – comeon man

    – “He doesn’t seem that interested in the hockey game playing part of his job.” – comeon man

    – “If part of the reason for trading Hall was his “lack of a 200ft game”, his replacement is worse at that aspect of the game.” – comeon man,

    – “Year one is not a good year to look disinterested” – really?

    – “He’s not hitting and he’s losing the puck left and right” – wow

    – “he needs to be much better”

    Man…

  121. JimmyV1965 says:

    Chamucks:
    DaveWatchesHockey,

    If you’re not last you’re first?

    I don’t feel there is anything wrong with discussing potential issues with the team. Pointing out areas of weakness or slumping players does not mean I hate the team at all. The goal in the end is a Stanley or 3, can this team right now do that? No? Well, why not?

    I enjoy the wins as much as the next guy but if we sit here and talk about how great we are for not being last anymore the conversation is pointless.

    You’re right of course. These types of blogs are vehicles for criticism. I’m thrilled with the Oilers this year but there will always be some kinda of issue. There will never be 500 posts gushing all over the team. It’s just the way it works. And this blog is a haven for sanity compared to others.

  122. treevojo says:

    JimmyV1965: I think that may have been the original reason, but TMac played them together at the Worlds and they played well together.If he really wanted to see them together for the Oil he would have done it again. They only played together five games or so.

    Maybe we will get to see tmac try them together again in China 2022.

  123. spoiler says:

    TMac on Lucic, post-game:

    “I thought he did a good job of checking tonight and that line was effective.”

    Publicly any way, there doesn’t seem to be a concern.

    Although, NHL coaches are notoriously more patient than internet commenters despite the commenters alleged awareness of sample size.

  124. OilClog says:

    Tbh any points Lucic puts up is a plus, players on this team stand up taller then they ever have, they’re coming to each others aide, holding themselves accountable. He’s a main contributor to the culture change, if you’re not seeing that aspect of the game, you’re using a far too narrow view on what’s going on.

    Lucic is snake bitten, and should be in 67’s spot.

    He’s giving up time to Maroon which is expected, yet was out scoring Maroon before the line changes.

    With Eberle not scoring, everyone suffers.

    People want to trade away Lucic when this team is going to go on some Mcdavid runs to the playoffs over the course of the next decade.. That’s batshit crazy. Regardless of points, he’ll be bringing much needed qualities to survive the post season.

    Culture chance = Lucic. Everyone in the gym after working out for an hour knows who the biggest dog is, they’ve responded to Lucic bark and it’s showing, Lucic’s personal stats will come.

  125. Zelepukin says:

    OilClog:
    Tbh any points Lucic puts up is a plus, players on this team stand up taller then they ever have, they’re coming to each others aide, holding themselves accountable. He’s a main contributor to the culture change, if you’re not seeing that aspect of the game, you’re using a far too narrow view on what’s going on.

    Lucic is snake bitten, and should be in 67’s spot.

    He’s giving up time to Maroon which is expected, yet was out scoring Maroon before the line changes.

    With Eberle not scoring, everyone suffers.

    People want to trade away Lucic when this team is going to go on some Mcdavid runs to the playoffs over the course of the next decade.. That’s batshit crazy. Regardless of points, he’ll be bringing much needed qualities to survive the post season.

    Culture chance = Lucic. Everyone in the gym after working out for an hour knows who the biggest dog is, they’ve responded to Lucic bark and it’s showing, Lucic’s personal stats will come.

    Truth and as always Ricki brings the stats to support the Lucic storyline of his play has been as advertised.

    Comments like, he doesn’t seem that interested in playing hockey, are as Kinger commented, absolutely ridiculous. If anything Lucic is one of most emotionally driven players on the whole team.

    My belief is that Lucic’s value as a leader and game-changer, either through physical play or on the bench, will only increase as the season winds down and into the playoffs.

    As someone mentioned earlier, our breakout systems definitely don’t play to his strengths. His acceleration isn’t great so the standing- still bank pass or requiring him to skate with the puck through the neutral zone are horrible options. He needs to be the first winger in on a dump-in.

  126. Chelios is a Dinosaur says:

    Not always wrong per se but always condescending. I sure hope they don’t renew Bruce Wayne’s contract next season. Bring back Louie Debrusk!

  127. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Mr. The Bear,

    Lucic avg
    80gm 19G 52P 13.9 SH%
    16-17 pace
    82gm 18G 49P 9.8 SH%
    11.8% gets 22G 53P

    The angst around Lucic is his 5v5 production.

    From 12/-13 – 15/16 he put up 1.95pts/60 5v5.

    He was over 2pts/60 every year but the one where his father passed away, that is first line production.

    He was ostensibly brought in to replace Hall’s production (or a portion thereof, I guess 75%)

    His 5v5 productions this year is: 1.12pts/60, which places his 12th among Oiler fowards who have played at least 50 minutes and is 4th line production.

    That is the source of the angst.

    You are correct that his overall production is in line with his history.

    That is because his 5v4 production is far higher than his history

    12/13-15/16 he produced 3.05 pts/60 playing 5v4.

    This year he has produced 6.32pts/60, 2nd on the Oilers behind only Draisaitl.

    So overall he’s on track.

    The debate can be “are PP points less valuable than 5v5 points?”

    The debate can also be “is it ok that Lucic’s product 5v5 is poor because his 5v4 production is good?”

    I don’t think its debatable that his 5v5 production is poor though.

    Also,

    Agreed with you on those other players.

    There is a lot of expensive stink right now and they all need to burn their sticks at center ice and ask The Hockey Gords to forgive them for whatever transgressions has incurred their wrath.

    Might improve the ice a bit as well.

  128. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    kinger_OIL,

    Yes, really.

  129. spoiler says:

    Woodguy v2.0: His 5v5 productions this year is: 1.12pts/60, which places his 12th among Oiler fowards who have played at least 50 minutes and is 4th line production.

    I think people are gonna hate Hanzal then…

    @ EVs

    P/60: 0.88 or 25 percent below above-mentioned 4th line production. 12th on ARI

    Most common teammates: Vrbata, OEL, Reider, Domi, Goligoski
    Opposition: 2nd toughest to toughest

    FF% 44.7 or 11th among ARI Fs (4 percent and 6 spots lower than last season)

    2 EV assists on the year.

    Slower than Lucic, LHS, injury prone.

    Bright spot: 21st in the League in FO percentage, with a stellar 54 percent won.

    He’s not a player I would chase, and I certainly would not give up a significant asset to rent him.

  130. spoiler says:

    Georges: A while back, I posted that the variance in shot attempts was decreasing and that this is to be expected when teams are taught that winning the shot attempts battle has a strong correlation to winning and that shot attempts is a variable they can control. I was behind the curve. This guy said it last season.
    http://whartonmagazine.com/blogs/why-the-hockey-analytics-revolution-may-be-its-own-undoing/

    This was an excellent read. Thank you for the link. The quantum mechanics of hockey.

  131. maxwell_mischief says:

    I thnk that it is less a matter of the oilers needing veterans
    and more a matter of the veterans we do have playing like real nhl players
    RNH, Pouliot, Eberle, Fayne….
    worth 20+ million
    and right now combine for 21 goals
    I think you’d have trouble finding a group of veterans making that kind of money, doing less for their teams

  132. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    spoiler,

    Me neither

  133. Scungilli says:

    kinger_OIL: –“Lucic has trade value even if sucking”: really?

    – “This team can make the playoffs, but it is not assured this morning” – they SHOULD make playoffs.

    – “playoffs are not assured” – nothing is assured.Likely, not assured

    – “I know he costs $6MM/yr and pushed an All Star but does Lucic count?” – comeon man

    – “He doesn’t seem that interested in the hockey game playing part of his job.” – comeon man

    – “If part of the reason for trading Hall was his “lack of a 200ft game”, his replacement is worse at that aspect of the game.” – comeon man,

    – “Year one is not a good year to look disinterested” – really?u

    – “He’s not hitting and he’s losing the puck left and right” – wow

    – “he needs to be much better”

    Man…

    I think it would take more than this run of games on a new team
    to destroy the rep of the leagues most sought after power forward.

  134. SwedishPoster says:

    The “oh he doesn’t care” or “his heart isn’t in it” explanation is used way too often when athletes underperform(Or if it’s a player you really like, “he must be injured”)
    It’s rarely the problem with elite athletes. And I doubt it has anything to do with Lucic, Ebs et al not being up to par this season.
    In the case of Lucic I’d argue a few different angles.
    A. He’s flat out losing his step. There were some comments out of LA suggesting that he wasn’t as effective as he used to though the reports were conflicting and Kings management seemed keen on resigning him. He’s not so old that the drop off should arrive already but it happens, he’s played a demanding style his entire career.
    B. He came into the season with high hopes on his performance, playing next to McDavid he may very well have imagined a career year and when the fit between the two wasn’t there he lost his confidence and timing. When you’re not performing the way you’d like there’s a risk you start questioning a lot of the things that gave success in the first place. If he tried to tweak his game to fit Connor, it did look like that at times imo, it might have been enough to throw his game off.
    C. We’re overreacting, he’s just in a bit of a rough patch and just need two-three strong games to lose the frustration.

    In the case of Eberle the B option works pretty neatly. I guess C as well. I think the last few games he’s started to look better, he holds on to the puck better and is starting to carry it into heavy traffic more which is usually a sign that he’s heating up.

    In the case of RNH it’s an issue that’s gone on longer, his offense has been slightly underwhelming for a while, at least for a guy with his skillset, there’s a bigger contributer in there. Imo he’s lost a lot of his creativity offensively the last few seasons, my theory is that the task of being cast as a #1C from pretty much day 1 of his NHL career made him so focused on playing a 200 ft game he lost his offensivemojo, he tries to be so clever and perfectly coached all the time he overthinks things. All that covering for his defensively idiotic wingers has taken it’s toll I guess. I personally think that Nuge is miscast as the twoway hero he’s often lauded as, his defensive game is ok to good due to being a hard worker but he’s not a natural in his own end, he’s better cast a primarily offensive playmaker who holds his own defensively and all that focus on being a defensive stalwart is taking away from his main assets.

    Pouliot has always struggled with consistency. I also think he’s been coming on the last few games. If they keep that 2nd line together I think the goals will start coming.

    And that’s all my wild speculation for the day.

  135. treevojo says:

    maxwell_mischief:
    I thnk that it is less a matter of the oilers needing veterans
    and more a matter of the veterans we do have playing like real nhl players
    RNH, Pouliot, Eberle, Fayne….
    worth 20+ million
    and right now combine for 21 goals
    I think you’d have trouble finding a group of veterans making that kind of money, doing less for their teams

    Minnesota is the first team I checked

    Parise, pominville, brodin and Thomas vanek.

    Roughly 19 mil

    16 goals for Minnesota this year

  136. maxwell_mischief says:

    treevojo,

    19.75

    Vanek is on the Wings

    If the Wild wanted to offer Parise, Pominville, Brodin for Nuge, Ebs, Pouliot, Fayne… i would take that trade

  137. Scungilli says:

    SwedishPoster:
    The “oh he doesn’t care” or “his heart isn’t in it” explanation is used way too often when athletes underperform(Or if it’s a player you really like, “he must be injured”)
    It’s rarely the problem with elite athletes. And I doubt it has anything to do with Lucic, Ebs et al not being up to par this season.
    In the case of Lucic I’d argue a few different angles.
    A. He’s flat out losing his step. There were some comments out of LA suggesting that he wasn’t as effective as he used to though the reports were conflicting and Kings management seemed keen on resigning him. He’s not so old that the drop off should arrive already but it happens, he’s played a demanding style his entire career.
    B. He came into the season with high hopes on his performance, playing next to McDavid he may very well have imagined a career year and when the fit between the two wasn’t there he lost his confidence and timing. When you’re not performing the way you’d like there’s a risk you start questioning a lot of the things that gave success in the first place. If he tried to tweak his game to fit Connor, it did look like that at times imo, it might have been enough to throw his game off.
    C. We’re overreacting, he’s just in a bit of a rough patch and just need two-three strong games to lose the frustration.

    In the case of Eberle the B option works pretty neatly. I guess C as well. I think the last few games he’s started to look better, he holds on to the puck better and is starting to carry it into heavy traffic more which is usually a sign that he’s heating up.

    In the case of RNH it’s an issue that’s gone on longer, his offense has been slightly underwhelming for a while, at least for a guy with his skillset, there’s a bigger contributer in there. Imo he’s lost a lot of his creativity offensively the last few seasons,my theory is that the task of being cast as a #1C from pretty much day 1 of his NHL career made him so focused on playing a 200 ft game he lost his offensivemojo, he tries to be so clever and perfectly coached all the time he overthinks things. All that covering for his defensively idiotic wingers has taken it’s toll I guess. I personally think that Nuge is miscast as the twoway hero he’s often lauded as, his defensive game is ok to good due to being a hard worker but he’s not a natural in his own end, he’s better cast a primarily offensive playmaker who holds his own defensively and all that focus on being a defensive stalwart is taking away from his main assets.

    Pouliot has always struggled with consistency. I also think he’s been coming on the last few games. If they keep that 2nd line together I think the goals will start coming.

    And that’s all my wild speculation for the day.

    Good points Swedish as usual. Overall offense is spotty but it isn’t the problem. GA is the problem. The elite teams have similar GF to us but lower GA. Maybe Lucic is trying to help on the GA side and messing up his game.

    I agree about Nuge. The best thing would be to acquire a tough minutes centre that could take say half of the elite comp off Nuge and let him relax and play the game like he did for team NA. Lucic could play with the other centre.

    The holes I see aren’t new. For me what would take the team to the next level right now is a proper back up of course, and a third line centre preferably RHS on a decent contract brought in to saw off more than score which makes the decent contract possible. I would prefer the player fit with what the team should be with it’s leader being Connor – a guy with some pace and tenacity.

    The last piece for me is a solid 2RHD. Benning should be playing third on a good team. Oscar as well till he gets the wobbles out. He and Nurse should be alternating behind Sekera depending on whose more steady. I prefer a two way type, as Burns and Weber aren’t available and I’m not convinced about the names that pop up that are offensively geared. I also am not a fan of having to shelter 5-6 M $ players 5v5

  138. treevojo says:

    maxwell_mischief,

    Vanek is still being paid 1.5 this year and 2.5 next year by Minnesota.

    I would not make the trade of their 4 salaries for our 4.

  139. JimmyV1965 says:

    maxwell_mischief:
    treevojo,

    19.75

    Vanek is on the Wings

    If the Wild wanted to offer Parise, Pominville, Brodin for Nuge, Ebs, Pouliot, Fayne… i would take that trade

    Thank god you’re not the GM.

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