THRASHER

The Edmonton Oilers have found some traction and appear locked and loaded for the drive to the top of Pikes Peak. The toughest portion begins Saturday in Chicago, it is going to be war. Today, after a nice win against the Philadelphia Flyers, we can reflect on some real success—and, maybe, more than one scoring line. Music!

HEY HEY, MY MY, 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: 9-4-1, goal differential +8
  • Oilers in February 2016: 3-8-2, goal differential -18
  • Oilers in February 2017: 3-3-0, goal differential -1
  • Oilers after 58, 2015-16: 22-30-6, goal differential -32
  • Oilers after 58, 2016-17: 31-19-8, goal differential +17

The Oilers have reached 31 wins and 70 points, matching their totals from a year ago—with 24 games to go! That is the kind of improvement we dreamed of, but dare not hope for, after a decade of misery. No matter what we get out of this, the trade deadline arrives with the Edmonton Oilers as a going concern in the Pacific Division, the Western Conference, and the NHL full stop. This train is 49 goals better than one year ago, this train has a fine goalie, this train has super nova 97, this train has a mobile defense, this train has an emerging (second) scoring line, this train is edging very close to……balance.

WHAT TO EXPECT FROM FEBRUARY

  • On the road to: Nashville, Carolina, Montreal (Expected: 1-1-1) (Actual 1-2-0)
  • At home to: Chicago, Arizona, Philadelphia (Expected: 1-1-1) (Actual 2-1-0)
  • On the road to: Chicago, Tampa Bay, Florida, Washington, Nashville, St. Louis (2-3-1)
  • Overall expected result: 4-5-3, 11 points in 12 games
  • Overall current results: 3-3-0, 6 points in 6 games

Our line in the sand after six games was in fact six points (2-2-2), so we are on track and on the way to the Windy City. Edmonton has a story to tell at the deadline, and likely beyond the end of the regular season. Dare we begin to talk about winning a round?

DEFENSE, LAST NIGHT

  • Klefbom—Larsson had an excellent night. Oscar brought the hammer for his 10th goal of the year, and Larsson showed old man strength in the defensive zone. Pairing went 21-15 together, including running 14-6 with the McDavid line. Huzzah! Went 14-6 against Schenn—Giroux—Simmonds, meaning head to head was a slam down for the Oilers.
  • Sekera—Benning went 12-20 together, including 3-5 with Leon, 2-6 with Nuge and 4-7 with Letestu. Benning’s pass to Leon for his goal was stunning and beautiful, my goodness what a nice goal. Went 5-4 against Cousins—Couturier—Voracek, and that is a good line, but got caved by VandeVelde—Bellemare—Read to the tune of 1-11. How did that happen?
  • Davidson—Gryba had their moments good and bad. Gryba crunched poor Jordan Weal and caused him to head to the dressing room. Davidson skated well, moved the puck, but the pairing had a tough time even when we take score effects into account. Went 12-28 together, including 1-8 with Letestu’s line, 5-13 with Nuge. Place furrowed brow here. Went 3-9 against Cousins—Couturier—Voracek.
  • Cam Talbot had some major stops, including a breakaway by Voracek that would have tied the score. Stopped 33 of 36, .917. Money. Money money money—Money!

FORWARDS, LAST NIGHT

  • Maroon—McDavid—Eberle are starting to look like a pack of bank robbers out there. The McDavid goal consisted of a solid back check, fine pass, drop pass, accurate shot. Five seconds? Very effective game, again. Eight shots, two goals, seven points. Went 13-5 against the Giroux line, 7-0 against the Couturier line. Next!
  • Lucic—Draisaitl—Slepyshev are building on previous success and may yet become a quality line. Leon scored on the 4×4 and the wingers showed good skill and could have posted crooked numbers. ML lost Radko Gudas (!!!) on the first Flyers goal. Went 6-4 against the Bellemare line.
  • Caggiula—Nuge—Kassian are never going to be a scoring line, but the trio did have some success. Nuge had a dandy assist 4×4 on the LD goal, and scored one by going to the net and staying there. Kassian skated miles, had a couple of decent looks and an assist. Drake Caggiula has to keep pushing, the offense will come. I really like his speed and gumption. Went 5-5 against Giroux, 3-6 against Bellemare.
  • Hendricks—Letestu—Pakarinen scored the first goal of the game, I still think it was offside. Todd McLellan played the hell out of them once the game looked decided, I am fine with it as long as the scorers are getting their points. A game like last night might kick start from road offense in the next two weeks.
  • Numbers via HockeyStats.ca, NHL.com and NaturalStatTrick.

MCDAVID V. MANNING

  • Brandon Manning on the situation: “Connor didn’t say a word on the ice today. Patrick (Maroon) said ‘good job’ afterward. We’d do the same thing if one of our superstars got hurt. I understand it. Just the chirping and the non-stop stuff kind of gets annoying, but like I said, we only see these guys twice on the year.” Source

It has been a long time since I felt genuinely bad for an opposition player, but Brandon Manning took a sound beating last night. Even taking the Maroon fight out of it, the Oilers were pure filth for 60 minutes. I give Manning credit, he did not back down and he took the fight, but holy hell it has been ages since Edmonton targeted and then followed through on an old fashioned beating. In old time hockey, this story ends with Manning being acquired in the offseason. Seriously. I respect that young man this morning. Tough night, but in life you have to man up. The Oilers, incredibly, can be dirt mean. It has been a long time—maybe December 30, 1997—since I contemplated the town team going too far in intimidation and outlaw behavior. Whoever gets them in the playoffs is going to be bleeding profusely after the series is done.

CHIARELLI AT THE DEADLINE

Alex Thomas is doing a terrific series over at The Oilers Rig on Edmonton at the deadline, latest is here with links to the previous two installments.

  • Thomas: 2008 deadline the Bruins were emerging as a young team pushing for the playoffs. Chiarelli added depth piece Shane Hnidy in January, but he didn’t overpay for players like Brian Campbell or Marian Hossa at the deadline. He let his young core fight through and make the postseason. Source

That is an excellent point, one of many made by Thomas in his article. I think a lot of this depends on prices, and am convinced there is one driving priority for PC from the deadline through July 1: Finding more cap room. At a guess, I will suggest the deadline will be spent:

  • Acquiring goalie Reto Berra
  • Acquiring winger Patrick Sharp (10.84 shots per 60 at 5×5)
  • Trading Brandon Davidson for a forward under control and worth protecting (may happen after season)
  • Laying groundwork for deal with Golden Knights (take Benoit Pouliot in the expansion draft in exchange for 2018 second-round selection—something like that).

Maybe there is a center or defenseman out there, but Sharp would be a very nice fit. Then again, Anton Slepyshev appears to be emerging and that may solve another problem. If Chiarelli decides to roll with the department of youth, as Alex Thomas suggests he has done before, then we may see a much quieter deadline. The fact these kids are giving him the option is a story worth pursuing.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

At 10 this morning, TSN1260. Friday! Scheduled to appear:

  • Steve Lansky, BigMouth Sports. Trade deadline approacheth, Leafs and Oilers will be players. Habs change coach, Phaneuf emerges!
  • Corey Graham, Oil Kings PBP. Some success follows a long and difficult losing streak.
  • Tom Lynn, Veritas Hockey. Drilling down, and grabbing some nuance, on the expansion draft and how much it could impact the deadline.
  • Paul Almeida, SSE. Oilers on a tough road trip, trade deadline.

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

 

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116 Responses to "THRASHER"

  1. Offside says:

    I must be heartless. I did not feel bad for Manning. McDavid’s skill and persona transcend both the Oilers and the Flyers. To be honest, I was hoping Lucic engaged him in fisticuffs once the game was 6-3

  2. freelancer says:

    For the trade deadline, I was adamant that the Oilers should acquire a third line centre… but if TM continues to role these lines with success I think I’m back on the scoring RW train.

  3. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    On the road to: Chicago, Tampa Bay, Florida, Washington, Nashville, St. Louis (2-3-1)

    This road trip sure is a bitch kitty.

    I was trying to figure out how they get 6pts, but I couldn’t get there.

    Mind you, the new lines are scoring more so maybe the squeak out a point were we don’t expect.

    If they come back with 6pts in 6gp I’ll be thrilled.

    Also,

    WC standings this morning using games. 8th place set to 0. Ties broken with games in hand (pts%) and then ROW. ANA and EDM have identical pts%, but EDM has more one more ROW.

    MIN 21
    CHI 14
    SJS 12
    EDM 8
    ANA 8
    STL 5
    NSH 2
    LAK 0
    ——————-
    CGY -1
    VAN -6
    WPG -7
    DAL -9
    ARI -13
    COL -27

    8 games on the last playoff spot. LAK losing to ARI sure helped.

    Maybe ARI is real now? Beat CGY and LAK lately…….

    If the Oil can come off the road with 5 games on the last spot, I’ll be ok.

    6+ and I’ll be happy.

    7+, well I don’t dare to dream.

    Also,

    Its amazing how 5v5 scoring just happens for everyone when 14 and 27 are separated.

  4. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    Doing nothing at the deadline would be a vote of confidence for this team, imo. I would be fine if they did nothing.

    The other kind of vote of confidence would be a better version of the dreaded Jerrod Smithson trade.

    Wait out the high asking prices until just before the deadline when teams want to get anything back for their UFAs-to-be and pick up a right-handed C for a mid round pick.

    As for your Davidson and Pouliot scenario I think if the Oilers really would give a nice pick to Vegas for taking Pouliot then there is no need to trade Davidson for a forward to protect. What am I missing?

  5. nvan97 says:

    This is the type of game that helps you remember why you like this team. It’s been a long road back but they are playing like a team that cares which is something you couldn’t say very often in the last decade.
    I sometimes wonder if the analytics movement has a lot of roots in Edmonton because the Oilers lacked any and all intangibles so they have been a perfect test subject. They were a perfect baseline for a team that seemed to lack the immeasurables like grit, passion and leadership. When the team you cheer for slogs through the desert for so long you forget that there are things that you can’t count that do indeed matter.

  6. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    Woodguy v2.0,

    Orher way round, mon ami. Anaheim has one more ROW than Edmonton.

  7. russ99 says:

    Woodguy v2.0,

    I think we need to make hay now, since that last 10 game gauntlet against the division will decide playoff positions.

    We do play better on the road… I’m hoping for 8 points on this road trip.

  8. Lowetide says:

    nvan97:
    This is the type of game that helps you remember why you like this team. It’s been a long road back but they are playing like a team that cares which is something you couldn’t say very often in the last decade.
    I sometimes wonder if the analytics movement has a lot of roots in Edmonton because the Oilers lacked any and all intangibles so they have been a perfect test subject. They were a perfect baseline for a team that seemed to lack the immeasurables like grit, passion and leadership. When the team you cheer for slogs through the desert for so long you forget that there are things that you can’t count that do indeed matter.

    I have always felt the analytics link to Edmonton was tied to one moment—the Marchant goal. Most of the people driving that conversation were Oilers fans or became Oilers fans during that era. Their natural curiosity combined with comfort around analytics combined to create the industry. Toddy Marchant, kids.

  9. Ducey says:

    Jim Matheson suggests:

    “If I’m Oilers GM Peter Chiarelli, I pursue goalie Jaroslav Halak, buried on the Islanders farm, as a security blanket for Cam Talbot even if he has another year at a $4.5-million cap hit. The Isles would eat some of that contract to dump it and the Oilers can leave Halak exposed in the expansion draft or try to trade him at the draft. He’s a starter, not an NHL backup.”

    Halak was .904 in 21 games with NYI. He is .929 in the AHL in 14 games. He cleared waivers on his way down.

    I am not sure the Oilers can afford even half of his salary next year.

  10. IBleedOilBlu says:

    NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”,

    According to Sportsnet standings, Woodguy is correct and it is the OILERS with 31 wins and the ducks with only 30….

  11. nvan97 says:

    Lowetide: I have always felt the analytics link to Edmonton was tied to one moment—the Marchant goal. Most of the people driving that conversation were Oilers fans or became Oilers fans during that era. Their natural curiosity combined with comfort around analytics combined to create the industry. Toddy Marchant, kids.

    Sounds like there is a documentary waiting to be made.

  12. JDï™ says:

    Woodguy v2.0: Maybe ARI is real now?

    6 – 3 – 1 in their last 10. Not sure when he returned from injury, but having Domi back is a big help for them.

  13. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    IBleedOilBlu:
    NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”,

    According to Sportsnet standings, Woodguy is correct and it is the OILERS with 31 wins and the ducks with only 30….

    ROW — regulation or Overtime Wins. Anaheim 28, Edmonton 27.

  14. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    Ducey,

    The problem is the salary. And there are no guarantees Vegas will take Halak. They can’t afford a back up at over 2m per, as you say, even if the Isles did eat half the salary. They would need to take back Fayne, which I doubt they would do as they have a lot of depth on bottom pairing D.

  15. Wolfpack says:

    The theory of Oilers ineptitude leading to them being an ideal baseline for analytics is actually an interesting theory, and one that might have some merit. Personally, I started trying to understand analytics, and spent a lot of time on hockey blogs in general, during the 2004-2005 lock-out. There was simply not much else for me to do to feed my NHL hunger. It was a steady diet of CBA and sport law learning and trying to wrap my head around the math of analytics. I am sure I was late to the party and there was a lot going on prior to 2004 but that is really when I started to become interested in that side of the game.

    Really strange last night watching the Oilers push around the Flyers… what has happened to Philly? They have always been the bullies.

  16. dustrock says:

    Still dunno about Caligula but he’s better on the wing. Real bad pass led to the Flyers goal but that happens.

    Lucic, man. Hard not to pile on him but if he’s not scoring, you’d hope he’d be back checking hard at least.

    Good win.

  17. geowal says:

    With these lines, I’m inclined to do nothing at the deadline. Davidson is not a UFA, worry about him in offseason. Agreed we’re hooped if Talbot gets hurt, but I don’t think Barra of any other available goalie I can think of saves us either, Talbot’s been too good, not just replacement level. Light a candle.
    A centre-wing as redundancy and Caggiula upgrade wouldn’t hurt, but it’s not critical. And there is still depth on D (Nurse, Russell, Fayne) beyond last nights lineup, and fwd (landed, khaira-at playoff time, pullujarvi)
    Do nothing. It’s a growth year, don’t go all in, but don’t sell either in the “anything can happen in the playoffs) vein.

  18. geowal says:

    NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”,

    Looks like we’re on the same page.

  19. Oil2Oilers says:

    dustrock: Still dunno about Caligula but he’s better on the wing.

    Caligula should be in Bakersfield centering Puljujarvi. Bad season/dog house or not Pouliot is a better player right now in the NHL.

  20. OF17 says:

    Leon Draisaitl is 16th in the NHL in points and 18th in goals this morning. There are 11 guys that make the top 20 in both categories, and Drai is the youngest of the bunch by 3 years (over Scheifele). For fun, here’s the list:

    Crosby, Burns, Scheifele, Malkin, Marchand, Tarasenko, Carter, Draisaitl, Ovechkin, Pacioretty, Atkinson

    Drai is fast becoming one of the best Cs in the game.

  21. Ducey says:

    Oil2Oilers: Caligula should be in Bakersfield centering Puljujarvi. Bad season/dog house or not Pouliot is a better player right now in the NHL.

    Pouliot is broken.

    Healthy Caggiula > injured Pouliot

  22. russ99 says:

    Oil2Oilers,

    Caggiula works hard at both ends of the ice and doesn’t do stupid things. That has some weight with the coaching staff.

  23. Ducey says:

    MPS scored last night. (LT must be saving that for the evening post)

    He is now 8 3 1 4.
    Yak is 32 3 3 6

    Who is better? 🙂

  24. PDO says:

    When Stan Weir was born, he drove his mother home from the hospital.

    Stan Weir can kill two stones with one bird.

    Big Foot claims he saw Stan Weir.

    Last night, Connor McDavid tied the living legend Stan Weir with 114 points in an Oiler career.

    The last time we trusted in Stan Weir, we came within a goal of Stanley.

    In Connor we trust, he raises all tides.

  25. David says:

    I don’t understand while Nurse and Russel are out why Oesterle isn’t getting as many games as they can give him. He’s an RFA this year, we have decisions to make this summer on Russel, maybe going to lose Davidson or Reinhart, it would be prudent to figure out what you’ve got in Oesterle no?

    And it’s not like that would be a hindrance to the team as I’m not convinced he’s bellow Gryba’s level.

  26. John Chambers says:

    Ducey:
    Jim Matheson suggests:

    “If I’m Oilers GM Peter Chiarelli, I pursue goalie Jaroslav Halak, buried on the Islanders farm, as a security blanket for Cam Talbot even if he has another year at a $4.5-million cap hit. The Isles would eat some of that contract to dump it and the Oilers can leave Halak exposed in the expansion draft or try to trade him at the draft. He’s a starter, not an NHL backup.”

    Halak was .904 in 21 games with NYI. He is .929 in the AHL in 14 games. He cleared waivers on his way down.

    I am not sure the Oilers can afford even half of his salary next year.

    They can if they trade Fayne for him.

    NYI could retain $500K, meaning we get a cheap backup for the incremental cost over what we would be paying Fayne’s salary.

  27. Bank Shot says:

    freelancer:
    For the trade deadline, I was adamant that the Oilers should acquire a third line centre… but if TM continues to role these lines with success I think I’m back on the scoring RW train.

    If 5 years ago someone had told you that one of the Oilers biggest needs would be scoring wingers at this point you would think he was nuts.

    What a great change. Stacked down the middle, starting to get depth at defense, great in goal. Chiarelli sure filled in some mammoth holes in a hurry.

    MacT’s first big move after taking the helm was acquiring another scoring winger……

  28. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    I don’t think Oilers get Halak. He has another year left. PC just said he wants to give LB more of a chance. If they get a goalie for the playoffs this year it is probably a guy set to be a UFA in summer. Besides NYI has no use or room for Fayne. Have to consider the other team’s needs as well. They are happy to keep Halak and expose him in the expansion draft.

  29. Bruce McCurdy says:

    David:
    I don’t understand while Nurse and Russel are out why Oesterle isn’t getting as many games as they can give him. He’s an RFA this year, we have decisions to make this summer on Russel, maybe going to lose Davidson or Reinhart, it would be prudent to figure out what you’ve got in Oesterle no?

    And it’s not like that would be a hindrance to the team as I’m not convinced he’s bellow Gryba’s level.

    You talking about Eric Gryba who was one of the game stars last night? Pretty sure Oilers wanted to ice the “Heavy Unit” for last night’s outing, which doesn’t include Oesterle.

  30. Bruce McCurdy says:

    russ99:
    Oil2Oilers,

    Caggiula works hard at both ends of the ice and doesn’t do stupid things. That has some weight with the coaching staff.

    I’m guessing the coaching staff wasn’t to thrilled with that pass Caggiula threw into Letestu’s skates in the middle of the defensive slot in the last minute of the second period. Call it a “rookie mistake” rather than “stupid things” if you prefer, but I don’t imagine plays like that earn him too many brownie points.

  31. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    Bruce McCurdy,

    Agree that last night is exactly what you have Gryba on the roster for. And he was fine. vs. Chicago it makes sense to use a quicker skater like oesterle.

  32. Glass says:

    I used to be in the camp of people who thought Veteran RW > 3RhC at the deadline. However Slepyshev has been great, and I think he still has a lot more to give.

    Instead, acquiring Boyle, Bjugstad, or Hanzal would be a better move. Run Nuge/Drai/Slepyshev, and Lucic/RHC/Kassian.

    Our RW issues are slowly going away, which makes me happy. Our options for top 6 are Slepyshev, Puljujarvi, and Eberle. Bottom 6 you can run Slepyshev, Kassian, Pitlick, Pakarinen. Fair amount of depth. I might add that I think Kassian has a lot more to give, he just seems to have underrated attributes across the board while showing flashes of great hockey sense.

  33. russ99 says:

    David,

    IMO, it’s down to Davidson or Oesterle, and even though Oesterle looks a lot better in our zone since he got called up, they’re not looking to move Oesterle.

    Benning could be in the conversation too, but Benning gives us too much when we have the puck, that the others don’t.

    Against big teams, it’s obvious the coaches have decided they need more that 1 physical D, while Russell (and Nurse) is out, it has to be Gryba.

  34. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Re: Larsson & “old man strength” that one play he made on the PK where he practically kneeled on the puck to shelter it in the low slot, worked it behind the net, overpowered the checker and made a good outlet pass for the easy clear was nothing short of outstanding.

  35. Pechetr says:

    The biggest change in this team is how tight they are as a group. I haven’t seen them stick up for one another like this since 2006. I cannot believe this is the same team from last year…Oh wait it isn’t. I wonder what has changed? Hmmmmmm.

  36. russ99 says:

    Glass,

    The need for a center was more obvious when Drai was a RW, and RNH hadn’t been able to pick up the slack.

    If we keep the current lines and RNH continues his good play of last night, we’re OK at center.

    By no means should RNH be at wing, that’s throwing away his two-way play at center that we will need down the stretch, and it makes a total mess of player roles for the rest of the lines, silly to throw cohesion into chaos to get one player going.

  37. New Improved Darkness says:

    I’m unable to edit my post (there’s a missing space before a link), another one caught in the spam filter.

    Meditation on manhood. Some use of strong language. Code about code.

    It doesn’t look spammy to me. I’m at a loss.

  38. Jaxon says:

    I think you might be overly optimistic about the rest of February. Chicago and Washington could very likely be losses. St Louis has pretty much an identical record so I’d be inclined to bet on the home team. Florida has had it very tough with injuries this season but most of their players are back in the lineup now, so I think they might be a lot better than their record. Tampa Bay has also been hit with the injury bug but Tyler Johnson is back in the lineup (although Stamkos and Callahan remain out). And Nashville has had a few injuries to major players this season as well. I think the Oilers might be in for a tough stretch here and it will be hard to come up with many points in the next 6 games. I could see them coming out with just 1 win and 1 regulation tie or less,

  39. NativeNotFrench says:

    Pechetr: e biggest change in this team is how tight they are as a group. I haven’t seen them stick up for one another like this since 2006. I cannot believe this is the same team from last year…Oh wait it isn’t. I wonder what has changed? Hmmmmmm.

    LOOCH!!!!!! /s

  40. Bos8 says:

    Looch seems to be laboring under a ‘Duh’ sign all season. In picture, but looking the wrong way – yesterday’s first goal. He’s pushing that rock uphill in all directions.

  41. doritogrande says:

    The need for a center was more obvious when Drai was a RW, and RNH hadn’t been able to pick up the slack.

    If we keep the current lines and RNH continues his good play of last night, we’re OK at center.

    And this, I think, is the benefit of one Patrick Sharp. He’s taken draws before (48% career, not sure how many though) so he could conceivably slide from wing to C if for a playoff series it makes sense to load up the 97-29 line for matchups. When we’re 3C deep, I think Sharp would look excellent playing the veteran role with 93.

  42. npanciroli says:

    I can’t believe how close we are to playoffs. I love you Chia.

  43. OF17 says:

    I hope Lucic takes this season as a wakeup call. He needs to shed some muscle weight and gain quickness. That’s where most of his problems seem to come from, not being quick enough to be involved in the play. Send him to train with Maroon and Kassian over the summer.

  44. Dino says:

    I still think this team could use a skilled RW to slot in next to RNH and push Kassian back to the 4th line with Khaira and Letestu. I think a volume shooter like Vrbata or Eaves would play well next to Nuge on the 2nd or 3rd line. Plus they would help out the PP as well.

  45. Ducey says:

    doritogrande:
    The need for a center was more obvious when Drai was a RW, and RNH hadn’t been able to pick up the slack.


    If we keep the current lines and RNH continues his good play of last night, we’re OK at center.

    And this, I think, is the benefit of one Patrick Sharp. He’s taken draws before (48% career, not sure how many though) so he could conceivably slide from wing to C if for a playoff series it makes sense to load up the 97-29 line for matchups. When we’re 3C deep, I think Sharp would look excellent playing the veteran role with 93.

    Maybe. His fingerprints are on the Stanley Cup, but that has not done him much good as the second highest paid player on DAL this year. 33 7 6 13 and -17 along with his age of 35 lead me to believe he might be done. Its not like DAL is short on offensive players. Korpse is 56 7 12 19 and +8

    Sharp p/60 1.41
    Korpse p/60 1.57

    And Sharp is 9th in CF% on DAL among Forwards. Not real pretty. (Korpse is dead last 🙂 )

    I think I’d pass unless he was real cheap to acquire.

  46. misfit says:

    I know Sharp is a RHS, but hasn’t he always been a LW/C?

  47. Confused says:

    We do not need a 3C — we have 3 C’s + test + JJ … TMac needs to let them play.
    We do not need a RW — JP will be back! Ebs – slepy – JP — Kass ( + pitter when healthy and signed)

    We do need — during the summer — a real RHD solution, not Russell.
    (Resign Russell only as depth, hence on the cheap (2 – 2.5) for short duration (2/3))

    Keep all the powder dry for solving this one. (and for perhaps generating some cap space)

    Next year with the correct solution and everyone being healthy could be the start of something massive,.
    _

  48. Ducey says:

    misfit:
    I know Sharp is a RHS, but hasn’t he always been a LW/C?

    He is listed as a LW on DAL website

  49. Bag of Pucks says:

    Fascinating game last night for so many reasons.

    I was particularly interested by the reaction to the Manning frontier justice plotline. For a decade, the Oilers were a team that let sand be kicked in their face. Was the transition now complete from kickee to kicker?

    Reaction seemed evenly mixed on the interwebs which gave me encouragement that our evolution into a sissified nanny state is not as complete as I had suspected.

    By contrast, my wife felt the Oilers bullied him and took umbrage to Maroon instigating a fight. Her quote, “What happened to Connor was over a year ago. Get over it.”

    To which I replied, A) It cost him the Calder & B) Imagine Connor was one of our sons and someone had intentionally broken his collarbone. Would you be ok with me firing up the lawnmower on that person? Altering the lens of perspective ever so slightly to bring it closer to home for her seemed to do the trick.

    Message sent to rest of league. Nobody fucks with the franchise! Or anyone on the team for that matter. Charles Atlas can now rest in peace.

    Oh yeah, and kudos to Manning for standing in and taking the shots

    To paraphrase Doug Glatt, “Sometimes you got to take a beating when you deserve it.”

  50. who says:

    I think if they stick with the same lines all road trip Chia will have a good idea if he needs to do any tinkering. It will be a big test but if these lines can hold their own over the next 6 games I really don’t see the need to add any skaters.
    Am I the only one who is relieved the whole Manning thing is over with? Think the media blew the whole feud way out of proportion. Once he fought Maroon, and good for him by the way, that should have been the end of it.
    All the posters on here calling for retribution til the end of time sound like WWF fans. I’ve said it before, but half the posters calling for more fights would probably piss their pants if they had to drop the gloves themselves.

  51. Ca$h-McMoney! says:

    Ducey:
    MPS scored last night. (LT must be saving that for the evening post)

    He is now 8 3 1 4.
    Yak is 32 3 3 6

    Who is better?

    MPS is.

    He is, and has always been, Dvorak/Frolik. He’s an NHL hockey player who will likely do more to contribute to his team winning than is justified by his salary.

    Yakupov has talent but can’t figure out how to earn the trust of a coaching staff, so he squanders opportunity after opportunity. I really like the kid but I don’t see him having a career in the NHL beyond, maybe, next year.

  52. OF17 says:

    Ducey: Maybe. His fingerprints are on the Stanley Cup, but that has not done him much good as the second highest paid player on DAL this year. 33 7 6 13 and -17 along with his age of 35 lead me to believe he might be done.Its not like DAL is short on offensive players. Korpse is 56 7 12 19 and +8

    Sharp p/60 1.41
    Korpse p/60 1.57

    And Sharp is 9th in CF% on DAL among Forwards. Not real pretty. (Korpse is dead last )

    I think I’d pass unless he was real cheap to acquire.

    Interesting stats. Certainly don’t paint Sharp in a great light. I know more purely stats-minded people will groan at this, but I think Sharp would still provide a lot of value from his experience. If we get down 2-0 in a playoff series, having a guy who can calm the waters, point to concrete examples of Chicago going down and battling back, and give advice on how to do it would be invaluable. Just having that guiding hand to temper a room full of mostly playoff rookies.

    I’m reminded of an article that came out before game 5 of the SCF this past year. It was talking about Matt Cullen and his effect on the Penguins’ state of mind throughout the playoffs. Specifically, the Pens were going into a game 5 that they could clinch the Cup with, and Cullen said his message to the team was to remember Fernando Pisani. Seriously. As we all know, Carolina also could’ve clinched in 5, but they gave Pisani the tiny opening he needed, and then they lost game 6, and suddenly they’re playing a game 7 and their 3-1 series lead is down to essentially a coin flip. Even on the Pens, that perspective was useful, and that’s a team with a bunch of Cup winners on it. The Oilers could certainly use some of it.

  53. misfit says:

    Also, I know Sharp has more of a resume (and an impressive one) in the NHL, but I really like what I’ve seen from Slepyshev all year, especially since his last recall. On a team with too many players looking to make just one more pass, Slepyshev is one of the few who consistently puts the puck on net.

    When Pouliot is at his best, it’s when he’s hard on the puck along the boards in gaining possession and a crease-seeking-missile when we do have it.. Ideally, these should make them great bookend wingers for any of our top 3 centers, but Pouliot hasn’t been the good Pouliot in some time.

    With Sharp in the mix at RW (but again, and I may be wrong, but I always thought he was a LW/C), that would give us a similar look on lines 2 and 3:

    Lucic – Draisaitl – Slepyshev
    Pouliot – Nuge – Sharp

    Slep on the 2nd line in a playoff push (and in the playoffs) may scare some people here, but I personally like it a lot.

  54. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    Bag of Pucks,

    “intentionally broken his collarbone.”

    come on now.

    Intentionally tried to haul him down and hammer him into the end boards. Sure.

  55. vinotintazo says:

    Ca$h-McMoney!: MPS is.

    He is, and has always been, Dvorak/Frolik.He’s an NHL hockey player who will likely do more to contribute to his team winning than is justified by his salary.

    Yakupov has talent but can’t figure out how to earn the trust of a coaching staff, so he squanders opportunity after opportunity.I really like the kid but I don’t see him having a career in the NHL beyond, maybe, next year.

    18 min/g with Las Vegas will be his last NHL chance…

  56. Bag of Pucks says:

    NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”:
    Bag of Pucks,

    “intentionally broken his collarbone.”

    come on now.

    Intentionally tried to haul him down and hammer him into the end boards. Sure.

    Yeah you’re right, it could have resulted in something minor instead like a fractured jaw or a broken neck. My bad.

  57. Younger Oil says:

    I’m fine with the concept of standing up for your teammates and playing hard against someone who injured a teammate for the next few times you see them.

    What I’m not OK with is only doing it when it happens to a star player. I know that’s the way it is, but while some argue it brings the team together, I’d argue it can do the opposite.

    What Tkachuk did to Davidson was far more blatant and intentional than anything that Manning did, more recent as well, and there was absolutely zero response. A true team treats every player as equals, and doesn’t stand up for only their superstar.

  58. Thorin says:

    misfit:
    When Pouliot is at his best, it’s when he’s hard on the puck along the boards in gaining possession and a crease-seeking-missile when we do have it

    That. I want to use that in casual conversation – crease-seeking missile. Hat tip to you, sir, for an excellent phrase.

  59. jake70 says:

    I think the priority should be a back-up G.

    Let’s say they make the playoffs, Talbot hurt first game , Brossoit or other backup comes in, craps the bed, and they are out first round – that’s one thing – but let’s say Talbot goes down just after trade deadline (just work with me here, it won’t happen but just in the event it does) Brossoit takes over, craps the bed most of the rest of the way, Monster is no better, and the team slides down the standings, other teams go on runs, to the point they just miss the playoffs – that’s a whole other kettle of ugly fish – not sure the fanbase would recover.

    Maybe Brossoit surprises but I don’t feel overly comfortable with him at the moment.

  60. Bag of Pucks says:

    Younger Oil:
    I’m fine with the concept of standing up for your teammates and playing hard against someone who injured a teammate for the next few times you see them.

    What I’m not OK with is only doing it when it happens to a star player. I know that’s the way it is, but while some argue it brings the team together, I’d argue it can do the opposite.

    What Tkachuk did to Davidson was far more blatant and intentional than anything that Manning did, more recent as well, and there was absolutely zero response. A true team treats every player as equals, and doesn’t stand up for only their superstar.

    True dat. Fair to say the media played a part in this particular instance?

  61. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    Bag of Pucks: Yeah you’re right, it could have resulted in something minor instead like a fractured jaw or a broken neck. My bad.

    hyperbole doesn’t help your argument. It would be just as valid even if McDavid hit the boards hard and got up and skated off.

    This is where, for example, basing NHL punishment on the result, rather than the intent in dishing out suspensions does not make sense. If a player slewfoots a guy, he should be suspended whether the victim is hurt or not. They need to cut the illegal and dangerous plays out even if the victim lucks out in not missing games.

    Same for sticking up for a teammate when he is the victim of an illegal and dangerous play. Manning needed to face up to the hit, which was dangerous, regardless of whether McDavid was in fact hurt or not. I would have hoped for the same result even if McDavid missed a game or two due to a shoulder sprain and then came back.

    Am I making sense here?

    To say Manning intentionally broke his collar bone, however, is an exaggeration. He had intent on the hit, but that does not mean he intended to break his collar bone. Also, I would have hoped the Oilers stood up to Manning for a dangerous play, regardless. The lost Calder was an unfortunate by-product but not additional reason to punish Manning.

    I know you probably know this so I am just pointing that out.

  62. JDï™ says:

    Younger Oil: What Tkachuk did to Davidson was far more blatant and intentional than anything that Manning did

    Fair enough, but I doubt that Maroon would have sought that fight if the game was close.

    I can’t remember if any of the games against Tkacooke were well in hand in the later stages.

    The other thing is that Davey can take matters into his own hands if he wants. I never want to see McDavid fight again, if only for the fact that it’s five minutes of the game he isn’t on the ice.

  63. Bag of Pucks says:

    russ99:
    Glass,

    The need for a center was more obvious when Drai was a RW, and RNH hadn’t been able to pick up the slack.

    If we keep the current lines and RNH continues his good play of last night, we’re OK at center.

    By no means should RNH be at wing, that’s throwing away his two-way play at center that we will need down the stretch, and it makes a total mess of player roles for the rest of the lines, silly to throw cohesion into chaos to get one player going.

    Can you afford $6 mil per for a two-way center?

    First, the try is good with RNH but he’s not the second coming of Guy Carbonneau. Team worst -11 this season. Eberle next closest at -6. And his FO% hampers his ability as a defensive C.

    Second, I would think they gave him the longterm luxury contract with the express expectation of him consistently producing points like a Top 6 F, if not a Top 3. He was a 1OV after all.

    The reason I try him at LW alongside Connor is to see if you can unlock the massive offensive production you were hoping for when you drafted him that high and signed him to that deal.

    You can acquire defensively solid 3C nearly every offseason. Top 6 Ws? Worth their weight in gold, particularly when Connor and Leon sign their big deals.

    If we’re saying RNH’s future is now at 3C; I think what we’re really saying is he doesn’t have a longterm future with this team past McDavid and Draisaitl’s contract signings.

  64. Bag of Pucks says:

    NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker": hyperbole doesn’t help your argument. It would be just as valid even if McDavid hit the boards hard and got up and skated off.

    This is where, for example, basing NHL punishment on the result, rather than the intent in dishing out suspensions does not make sense. If a player slewfoots a guy, he should be suspended whether the victim is hurt or not. They need to cut the illegal and dangerous plays out even if the victim lucks out in not missing games.

    Same for sticking up for a teammate when he is the victim of an illegal and dangerous play. Manning needed to face up to the hit, which was dangerous, regardless of whether McDavid was in fact hurt or not. I would have hoped for the same result even if McDavid missed a game or two due to a shoulder sprain and then came back.

    Am I making sense here?

    To say Manning intentionally broke his collar bone, however, is an exaggeration. He had intent on the hit, but that does not mean he intended to break his collar bone. Also, I would have hoped the Oilers stood up to Manning for a dangerous play, regardless. The lost Calder was an unfortunate by-product but not additional reason to punish Manning.

    I know you probably know this so I am just pointing that out.

    Everything you’ve said here is fair, but if you recall, the goal of the original statement was to convince my wife. When that’s the case, I’m playing the ’emotion’ card over the ‘logic’ card nearly every time. Cos I’ve been married for 24 years and I know it works! ; )

  65. Ca$h-McMoney! says:

    vinotintazo: 18 min/g with Las Vegas will be his last NHL chance…

    LV will have 15 forwards from the expansion draft that are of the same caliber as the guys who have been pushing him out of 3rd line minutes in St Louis all year.

    He might get 18 minutes/gm for the first 3 or 4 games, but after that their coach will react the same way to him as his last few coaches did. He will lose their trust and slowly but surely work his way into the press box.

  66. jake70 says:

    Bag of Pucks: Can you afford $6 mil per for a two-way center?

    The reason I try him at LW alongside Connor is to see if you can unlock the massive offensive production you were hoping for when you drafted him that high and signed him to that deal.

    Interesting….who would your R wing be with those 2?

  67. Bag of Pucks says:

    jake70: Interesting….who would your R wing be with those 2?

    I’d try Maroon on his off wing to start, as his job is essentially crease crasher and garbage conversion anyway. If he struggles on the cycle with his stick away from the boards, I’d try Sleppy next.

    Real shame Pitlick’s out for the season as he was turning into another nice option up and down the lineup.

    If Connor and RNH showed serious chemistry as a pair though, it sets you up nicely to potentially slot in Puli as their RW next season.

    I don’t see Eberle as a fit as I just don’t see a line with both him and Nuge as the Ws being able to thrive on the cycle. I think that RWer has to have some beef and willingness to go to the hard areas.

  68. rickithebear says:

    OF17: Drai is fast becoming one of the best Cs in the game.

    I allways do a weakly running list:
    Forwards
    #1
    top 5
    top 10
    top15
    top 20
    top 25
    top 30
    top 40
    top 50
    top 60
    top 75
    top 90

    three lists: from todays data:
    Best overall
    G-A-P
    1. Crosby 8.7M
    2. Schiefle 6.125M
    2. Malkin 9.5M
    2. Marchand 6.125M
    ———————– Top 15 in all 3
    5. Seguin 5.75M
    6. Kessel 8.0M
    7. Draisatl RFA
    ———————– Top 25 in all 3
    8. Tarasenko 7.5m
    9. Pavelski 6M
    10. Kucherov 4.77M
    11. Tavares 5.5M
    ———————– Top 30 in all 3
    12. Mcdavid ELC
    13. Kane 10.5M
    14. Benn 9.5M
    15. Panarin 6M 2yr bridge to UFA
    16. Ehlers ELC
    ———————– Top 40 in all 3
    17. Ovechkin 10.7M
    18. J.T. Miller 2.75M
    19. Kesler 6.875M
    19. JVR 4.25M
    ———————– Top 50 in all 3
    21. Backstrom 6.7M
    22. Wheeler 5.6M
    ———————– Top 60 in all 3
    23. Carter 5.27M
    23. Mik. Granlund RFA
    25. Pastarnak RFA
    26. E. Staal 3.5M
    27. Nidereitter RFA
    28. M Koivvu 6.75M
    29. Saad 6M
    ———————– Top 75 in all 3

    Skilled Finnisher
    G-P
    1. Crosby 8.7M
    ———————– Top 5 in G & P
    2. Tarasenko 7.5M
    3. Scheifele 6.125M
    ———————– Top 10 in G & P
    4. Carter 5.27M
    4. Malkin 9.5M
    4. Marchand 6.125M
    7. Ovecnkin 9.54M
    ———————– Top 15 in G & P
    8. Pacioretty 4.5M
    8. Atkinson
    10. Draisaitl RFA
    ———————– Top 20 in G & P
    11. Laine ELS
    12. Seguin 5.75M
    12.Pastarnak RFA
    12. Kessel 8M
    15. Kucherov 4.77M
    ———————– Top 25 in G & P
    16. Mathews ELC
    17. Pavelski 6M
    18. Tavares 5.5M
    ———————– Top 30 in G & P
    19. Mcdavid ELC
    20 Kane 10.5M
    21. Kadri
    21. Benn 9.5M
    21. Panarin 6M
    24. Foligno
    24. Ehlers ELC
    26. Kesler 6.875
    26 JVR 4.25M
    26. Niederreitter
    ———————– Top 40 in G & P
    29. Oshie
    29. Simmonds
    31. Stone
    31. Anisimov
    31. Miller 2.75
    34. M. Johannsson
    ———————– Top 50 in G & P
    35. Backstrom
    36. Krieder
    37 Wheeler
    38. Trochek
    39. Arvidsson
    39. Horvat
    39. Saad
    ———————– Top 60 in G & P
    42. Mik. Granlund
    43. Couture
    43. Turris
    43. E. Staal
    43 Koivu
    47. Skinner
    47. Okposo
    47. Hoffman
    50 B. Schenn
    51. Zucker
    ———————– Top 75 in G & P

    Skilled set-up
    A-P
    1. Mcdavid
    ———————– #1 in A & P
    2. Backstrom
    2. P. Kane
    ———————– Top 5 in A & P
    4. Malkin
    4. Marchand
    4. Seguin
    7. Kessel
    ———————– Top 10 in A & P
    8. Crosby
    8. Mik. Granlund
    8. Schiefele
    11. Benn
    ———————– Top 15 in A & P
    12. Panarin
    12. Pavelski
    ———————– Top 20 in A & P
    14. Voracek
    15. Draisaitl
    15. Marner
    17. Wheeler
    ———————– Top 25 in A & P
    18. Wennberg
    19. Tarasenko
    20 kucherov
    21 Tavares
    22. Ehlers
    22. j.t. Miller
    ———————– Top 30 in A & P
    24. Getzlaf
    25. Zuccarello
    25. Kuznetsov
    27. Coyle
    27. Giroux
    29. Radulov
    29. E. Staal
    31. Hayes
    ———————– Top 40 in A & P
    32. Ovechkin
    33. R.Johansen
    34. Perry
    34. Stepan
    36. Zetterburg
    37.ivu
    37. Kesler
    37. JVR
    ———————– Top 50 in A & P
    40. Bailey
    40. Vrbata
    42. Steen
    43 Krejci
    ———————– Top 60 in A & P
    44. Carter
    44. Thorton
    46. Pastarnak
    47. Niederreiter
    48. Saad
    48. Mackinnon
    48. O’rielly
    51. Backlund
    52. Nylander
    52. Reinhart
    52. Hall
    52. Bozak
    ———————– Top 75 in A & P

    I look Drai’s last 2 years and wonder if Cap and Term may be much larger than expected.

  69. ashley says:

    Klefbom’s goal is a good example of what I was referring to the other day in finding the right linemates for CMD. I don’t think Maroon is the guy. He shoots everything from everywhere just like Taylor Hall and Mike Gartner. That works on some lines, but on a CMD line, you need guys with better vision than that.

    CMD gets the puck in the high slot with his back to the net and a defender in front of him. 80%+ of players in that position try either a backhand shot or a spin around and forehand shot that is either blocked, wildly off target, or easily saved because of the lack of power.

    How many times have you ever seen CMD shoot a low percentage shot like that? Instead, he KEEPS possession by feeding it back to the point that results in a Klefbom goal.

    Same thing on Tuesday. He wheels down the ice trying to go wide but the defender is equal to the task. Many players in that situation shoot an off balance sharp angle shot from near the end line hoping for something magical to happen because it happened once two years ago. Or they skate into a crowd behind the net and lose possession.

    CMD button hooks and retreats creating time and space and finds not just one but two trailers. They are covered so he makes the correct decision to feed the puck to the point for a shot and Maroon pokes in the rebound for a goal.

    Those goals never happen without CMD.

    Eberle has similar vision and they look fantastic together. Maroon shoots from everywhere completely unaware of what his linemates are doing and what is unfolding.

    I think that line needs Cagguila or Slepyshev. I was really impressed with Slepyshev last night. Lots of energy, great speed and excellent vision. I would put Slep on that line with CMD and Eberle and watch the fireworks. I think Maroon is handicapping CMD.

    Where were guys like Pitlick and Slepyshev when this team was hurting so bad for the past 8 years? This is one of the biggest stories of the turnaround. Every player is a threat to score because suddenly we have filled all those slots occupied by the likes of JFJ, Brule, and the Ryans (Potulny, O’Marra, Jones). It wouldn’t have mattered if we had CMD in 2010. We didn’t have a chance without the 6’s, 7’s and 9’s.

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

    Cam Talbot is 3rd in wins, tied for 4th in Shutouts, tied for 10th in Save Percentage and tied for 11th in Goals Against

    That right there is a helluva stat line

    Well done Dadbot well done

    To go along with Dadbot, Connor McDavid leads the NHL in scoring and has already tied last years top scorer, Dr Drai is hovering near the top ten in scoring, Klef and Rej are on track to be the first two Oiler dmen to crack 30 points in the same season since Lubo and Gilbert did it back in 09/10 and the Oilers as a team are currently on pace for 100 points for the first time since 1986-87…

    Pinch me

  71. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Via Mark Potash of the Chicago Sun Times:

    With the Kings’ loss to Ariz., teams coming off the bye in Feb. are 0-5-0, losing 5-1, 6-3, 4-1, 5-0, 5-3 — down a combined 21-3 after 2 pds

    CHI’s last game was the Saturday night one in Edmonton.

    7 days without a game.

    I think that might be help EDM get to 6pts on this roadie.

  72. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    Bag of Pucks: Everything you’ve said here is fair, but if you recall, the goal of the original statement was to convince my wife. When that’s the case, I’m playing the ’emotion’ card over the ‘logic’ card nearly every time. Cos I’ve been married for 24 years and I know it works! ; )

    Hahaaaa. You have me there! I will definitely defer to you on that one!! 🙂

  73. JDï™ says:

    Condors’ coach coming up right away on that ‘other’ sports radio show.

  74. JDï™ says:

    Edmonton Oilers ‏@EdmontonOilers 3h3 hours ago

    Coach McLellan says d-men Kris Russell & Darnell Nurse are both likely to be available to the #Oilers on this road trip.

  75. Professor Q says:

    Younger Oil:
    I’m fine with the concept of standing up for your teammates and playing hard against someone who injured a teammate for the next few times you see them.

    What I’m not OK with is only doing it when it happens to a star player. I know that’s the way it is, but while some argue it brings the team together, I’d argue it can do the opposite.

    What Tkachuk did to Davidson was far more blatant and intentional than anything that Manning did, more recent as well, and there was absolutely zero response. A true team treats every player as equals, and doesn’t stand up for only their superstar.

    To be fair, Tkatchuk seems to escape response from not only every team, but the league itself.

    Are we as spectators really the only ones noticing this crap?

  76. GMB3 says:

    OF17:
    I hope Lucic takes this season as a wakeup call. He needs to shed some muscle weight and gain quickness. That’s where most of his problems seem to come from, not being quick enough to be involved in the play. Send him to train with Maroon and Kassian over the summer.

    Lose muscle weight?

  77. nvan97 says:

    jake70:
    I think the priority should be a back-up G.

    Let’s say they make the playoffs, Talbot hurt first game , Brossoit or other backup comes in, craps the bed, and they are out first round – that’s one thing – but let’s say Talbot goes down just after trade deadline (just work with me here, it won’t happen but just in the event it does)Brossoittakes over, craps the bed most of the rest of the way, Monster is no better,and the team slides down the standings, other teams go on runs, to the point they just miss theplayoffs – that’s a whole other kettle of ugly fish – not sure the fanbase would recover.

    Maybe Brossoit surprises but I don’t feel overly comfortable with him at the moment.

    Worst case scenario is that you make a trade for a backup after the trade deadline that isn’t going to make the playoffs (NYI for example) and that goalie can’t play in the playoffs. Then you hope that Talbot is back for the playoffs.
    Players traded for after the deadline can play just not in the playoffs.

  78. JOHNNY OPERATOR76 says:

    LT, I was wondering about your thoughts on the chance of Cam Talbot beginning to be in the Vezina conversation?

  79. OF17 says:

    GMB3: Lose muscle weight?

    He’s too bulky. He could stand to lose a bit of brute strength in favor of quickness.

  80. GMB3 says:

    OF17: He’s too bulky. He could stand to lose a bit of brute strength in favor of quickness.

    He could lose weight. No pro athlete goes into the off season with the idea to lose muscle. The quickest athletes are NFL players and they are absurdly strong and big.

  81. GMB3 says:

    Realistically he’s better spent dropping some weight and working with a skating coach to improve his not so visually appealing stride

  82. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    Marincin told to bulk up, became too heavy and slow.
    Nuge scored the most as a frail teenager.

    I think Lucic, if he is the pro’s pro everyone says he is, will stick with what works for him, and if he feels too heavy he may employ Kassian/Maroon methods or find his own. I think we have to trust that he will take care of himself on his own. $42m is riding on that and he is too young still to break down.

    I say that as a critic of his overall play so far.

  83. wheatnoil says:

    JDï™:
    Edmonton Oilers ‏@EdmontonOilers 3h3 hours ago


    Coach McLellan says d-men Kris Russell & Darnell Nurse are both likely to be available to the #Oilers on this road trip.

    Trade deadline coming up as the roster gets healthy. If everyone comes back and no new injuries, I think it’s 50/50 that Brandon Davidson gets traded.

    As it is, I think he’s going to be 7th D-man and they carry 8 b/c I don’t see them waiving Gryba and risking someone picking him up. (I’ve been critical of Gryba, but I don’t mind him as right handed D-depth with the playoffs coming up and injuries almost inevitable, so I’m okay with carrying 8 D for this purpose.)

  84. npanciroli says:

    wheatnoil,

    Amazing we are talking about roster configurations for the playoffs.

  85. Ducey says:

    JDï™:
    Edmonton Oilers ‏@EdmontonOilers 3h3 hours ago


    Coach McLellan says d-men Kris Russell & Darnell Nurse are both likely to be available to the #Oilers on this road trip.

    I hope they don’t rush Nurse back. A few games in BAK would be in order, I would think.

  86. Professor Q says:

    OF17: He’s too bulky. He could stand to lose a bit of brute strength in favor of quickness.

    Have you seen J. J. Watt play hockey? He’s actually fairly good (hockey was his first love, even over football). Insane natural athlete.

    6’5″, 290 lbs.

    Quick, strong, skilled. He’d put Byfuglien to task.

  87. Ducey says:

    npanciroli:
    wheatnoil,

    Amazing we are talking about roster configurations for the playoffs.

    You guys are all deluded. No way the Oilers make the playoffs.

    *reverses jinx

  88. wheatnoil says:

    npanciroli:
    wheatnoil,

    Amazing we are talking about roster configurations for the playoffs.

    Book it! We’re in!

    Time to start scouting Anaheim!

  89. Doug McLachlan says:

    wheatnoil,

    I tend to agree. Davidson is a fantastic story and a testament to a justifiably maligned Oilers’ management group finally showing uncharacteristic patience in a player (see also Pitlick, Tyler) but he’s the odd man out of the NHL leftorium.

    Klefbom and Sekara play ahead of him now and well into the future. Nurse is the heir-apparent for the number 3 pairing so Davidson would have to justify playing ahead of one of these three, which he can’t, or slide over the right side.

    Larsson is our best right side D and should be paired with Klefbom for years. Benning has been a revelation and a real coup for Chia (seriously, the physicality was nice to see) and should pair with Sekara. So who is the best right side D for Nurse heading into the playoffs? Gryba? Davidson or Russell on their off-side?

    We may not like it but TMac seems more comfortable playing Russell on his off-side than Davidson.

    Davidson is the odd man out and while he may be good to have as injury insurance – we have Reinhart and Osterle and Fayne in reserve.

  90. JDï™ says:

    Ducey: don’t rush Nurse back.

    I think those days are gone, and I believe that this regime will have a good idea of where Nurse is in recovery from the injury.

    As I stated before, given his athleticism and skating ability, it wouldn’t surprise me that he exceeds all expectations in coming back. It’s already been reported that his first on-ice session with the club looked very good.

    In the time since he’s been injured, he should still have been able to hit the gym and work on upper body stuff, and hopefully be involved in video sessions as well (not sure if this is legal when on IR).

    And if a player comes off IR, and is sent down for conditioning, I think they still occupy a roster spot on the big club.

  91. wheatnoil says:

    Ducey: I hope they don’t rush Nurse back. A few games in BAK would be in order, I would think.

    It’s possible they do just because of the log-jam and b/c they can without waivers (& saves some money on the cap).

    Interestingly, I’m not sure what specifically is in Nurse’s Schedule A bonuses, but he is unlikely to hit the goals, assists or points bonuses. Which means all that is left is ice time, blocked shots, and plus/minus as possibilities. ALL of those require a minimum of 42 games played.

    Nurse currently has played 25 games in the NHL this year and so needs 17 more to hit the minimum of 42 games. There’s only 24 games left in the season.

    So, if Nurse is injured, in the AHL, or scratched for whatever reason for 8 more games, he will be unable to hit any of his performance bonuses, which may be relevant to the Oilers if they want to add on any salary without going into an overage situation.

  92. geowal says:

    Ducey: I hope they don’t rush Nurse back. A few games in BAK would be in order, I would think.

    I’d give that a 0.000001 % chance of happening. So I’m saying there’s a chance.

  93. Doug McLachlan says:

    I like the idea of a Sharp even more than a Vanek as a RW addition. I also hope that JP shows well enough in Bakersfield to justify a return to the big club down the stretch-drive.

    I still wonder about the back-end and am curious to know if there is interest amongst us in Mike Green?

    Yes the $6M cap-hit for this year and next is steep – we would need to throw back salary (perhaps Pouliot or Fayne) and that would raise the acquisition cost – but that looks like an impressive NHL defense to into the playoffs with:

    Larsson – Klefbom
    Sekera – Benning
    Nurse – Green
    (Russell – Gryba)

    Say Davidson, Pouliot and a first for Green and Detroit’s second.

    If Green pans out then we are probably looking at adding him to the protected list – 4-4-1 – but we’ve contemplated doing this for Davidson so it’s hardly a stretch to do it for a player of Green’s pedigree.

    I wouldn’t normally think that Detroit would ever contemplate such a trade but the passing of Mr. I and the reality of the standings ought to be a wake-up call for the management team in Hockey Town, the gig is up and there needs to be some serious re-tooling. To be a cap team at the bottom of the standings simply doesn’t add up unless you are tying one last time to catch lightning in a bottle for an ailing owner. I suspect the streak died with him and now the rebuilding can begin.

  94. Alpine says:

    I thought the Kassian experiment in the top 9 was dumb but he actually has a pretty respectable 1.65 pts/60 this season despite a slightly fortunate bump in On ice SH%. In his last two seasons for VAN he had just under 2 pts/60 in both, with positive FF rel in both.

    Between him and Maroon why did PC think he needed to do all he did to sign Looch?

  95. digger50 says:

    My opinion on Manning vs Oilers?

    I highly doubt he had any ability let alone intention to injure Connor. We all watched Connor lose an edge and then a big pile up that happened in under two seconds. Hard to formulate an evil plan in those split seconds.

    What goes without question is that Manning did say something to Connor last game. Connor did not state what was said to the press, but he sure as hell told the dressing room. Players say sh*t all the time, nobody pays attention. Manning’s chirping must have gone above and beyond in order to rile up an entire roster. Many could understand the pile up into the boards, but they could not tolerate the purposeful taunt last game.

    Sure brought the team closer together. And I would not want to face a fully charged and motivated
    Marroon at the start of a shift.

  96. Professor Q says:

    digger50,

    One of them did grab Connor’s hip in attempt to at least knock him down cheaply.

    No reason for the second Flyer to jump on him while sliding into the boards. Even Cherry said it was intentional, and apparently Manning did too.

  97. wheatnoil says:

    wheatnoil: It’s possible they do just because of the log-jam and b/c they can without waivers (& saves some money on the cap).

    Interestingly, I’m not sure what specifically is in Nurse’s Schedule A bonuses, but he is unlikely to hit the goals, assists or points bonuses. Which means all that is left is ice time, blocked shots, and plus/minus as possibilities. ALL of those require a minimum of 42 games played.

    Nurse currently has played 25 games in the NHL this year and so needs 17 more to hit the minimum of 42 games. There’s only 24 games left in the season.

    So, if Nurse is injured, in the AHL, or scratched for whatever reason for 8 more games, he will be unable to hit any of his performance bonuses, which may be relevant to the Oilers if they want to add on any salary without going into an overage situation.

    I went through this on Twitter, but according to the CBA minimums for Schedule A bonuses, it seems unlikely Nurse hits any of his Schedule As even if he does play 42 games.

    In addition, it’s unlikely Caggiula hits any Schedule As. Slepyshev and JP have a chance at being top 3 in +/-, which (IF they have that in their contract) is a possible $212,500 bonus fo them. Otherwise they’re unlikely to hit any Schedule As.

    Drai and McDavid will max out their Schedule As and McDavid, of course, will hit his Schedule Bs.

    SO, the Oilers have ~$4.5M in cap space according to CapFriendly. McDavid will get $2.85M in bonuses. Draisaitl will get $0.85M in Schedule As. There is a POSSIBLE chance of Slepyshev or JP (unlikely both, but possible) could get $212,500 in Schedule As if they have a +/- bonus and they actually hit it. I’ll add $212,500 for one of them.

    That leaves ~$0.5M in cap space, which is about $2.25M in deadline space if I did my math right (that increases to ~$3.6M if there’s no JP or Slepyshev bonus).

    So long as Drai doesn’t hit his Schedule Bs, the Oilers could add that type of cap hit and not get any overages, so long as my math is right (and let’s face it, it’s probably not, but I tried!)

  98. who says:

    Professor Q:
    digger50,

    One of them did grab Connor’s hip in attempt to at least knock him down cheaply.

    No reason for the second Flyer to jump on him while sliding into the boards. Even Cherry said it was intentional, and apparently Manning did too.

    Well if Cherry said it was intentional it must be true.
    ROLLS EYES, LOOKS AT CEILING, SHAKES HIS HEAD

  99. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    One thing that perhaps has not been mentioned when discussing Vanek, or Sharp for that matter.

    Vanek Playoff Stats:
    63GP 20G 14A for 0.539 PPG

    Sharp Playoff Stats:
    142GP 47G 40A for 0.612 PPG

    Vanek also has a reputation for “not showing up in the playoffs.” Now that may not be fair, but if everyone is touting chemistry, experience and leadership around this team as one reason for the improvement over last year, which you can’t say has not been front and centre this week in all the discussion around Ference’s comments, well, then Sharp’s experience is going to count for something.

    If these factors are at play then Sharp is the more logical target to be able to teach guys “what it takes” to go deep in the playoffs, much more so than Thomas Vanek.

    Now, I am not saying unequivocally that one is better than the other, but if this team is going to rent a veteran forward Sharp does make some sense. He can play C, he has the experience, he has a reputation as a Cup winner, and yes, he shoots right.

    Also, a lot depends on the asking price, but Vanek is having a decent year (although slowing down lately). Sharp has had a bad year on a bad team. I would think the cost to acquire him is thus lower. And I am not interested in giving up significant futures for a rental.

    Between the two I would go for Sharp for these reasons. That is, if they are going to rent someone. I would be equally okay with sitting it out if prices are too high.

  100. Doug McLachlan says:

    NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker",

    Price is always the issue but agree if the price is right, Sharp over Vanek.

    Thoughts on Boyle?

  101. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    Doug McLachlan:
    NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”,

    Price is always the issue but agree if the price is right, Sharp over Vanek.

    Thoughts on Boyle?

    I like Boyle. Problem is the Oilers have no 2nd rounder. A 3rd won’t be enough for Boyle and what he brings as lots of teams will be after him, and of course a 1st is too much. Tough to think of something that would work.

  102. Diablo says:

    I want Patrick Eaves or Patrick Sharpe – Dallas owes us one!

  103. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    GMB3: He could lose weight. No pro athlete goes into the off season with the idea to lose muscle. The quickest athletes are NFL players and they are absurdly strong and big.

    I think it would be a matter of not re-building as much muscle as he’s used to doing in the offseason.

    The football analogy isn’t a good one because the average football play is 6-7 seconds, whereas the average NHL shift is about 45-50 seconds.

    NHL player must have a much better cardio vascular conditioning than football players, especially the bigger players.

    Taxing those muscles for 45 seconds compared to 6-7 uses a ton of oxygen to produce ATP for energy.

    Also,

    Maroon reportedly “felt faster” after coming in slimmer (by 20lbs not sure how much of that was less muscle)

    I remember when Gagner bulked up (all muscle) and he reported feeling slower all year and didn’t rebuild as much muscle in the ensuing summer.

    I hope Lucic can re-figure his body a bit to the benefit of his skating speed and endurance.

    It doesn’t look very good today.

  104. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    Woodguy v2.0,

    Dunno if you saw my comment earlier, my friend, but Anaheim 28 ROW, Oilers 27 ROW so they are actually ahead on the tie-breaker.

  105. Doug McLachlan says:

    NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”,

    A third and Musil for Boyle?

  106. OilClog says:

    Chia has said no big moves, but he did say he owes this team a chance.. wheres Nedved

  107. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    Doug McLachlan:
    NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”,

    A third and Musil for Boyle?

    Works for the Oilers but I think Tampa can and will do a lot better than that.

  108. Doug McLachlan says:

    NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”,

    Fair enough.

    If the Oilers are comfortable going McDavid, Draisaitl, Nuge, Letestu down the middle than maybe you focus on the wings.

    Be curious to see if they feel comfortable bringing JP up before the end of the season. Everyone plays well with McDavid but you probably slot him in with Nuge and try and feed him some soft minutes.

    Nice to contemplate the depth.

  109. spoiler says:

    NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”: I like Boyle. Problem is the Oilers have no 2nd rounder. A 3rd won’t be enough for Boyle and what he brings as lots of teams will be after him, and of course a 1st is too much. Tough to think of something that would work.

    I’m guessing, of course, but I think one of Chia’s primary objectives this deadline will be to acquire draft picks. A minimum of one.

    For eg. Pouliot to the Habs, Davidson to the Avs, etc.

  110. Lowetide says:

    spoiler: I’m guessing, of course, but I think one of Chia’s primary objectives this deadline will be to acquire draft picks.A minimum of one.

    For eg. Pouliot to the Habs, Davidson to the Avs, etc.

    Agree completely.

  111. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”:
    Woodguy v2.0,

    Dunno if you saw my comment earlier, my friend, but Anaheim 28 ROW, Oilers 27 ROW so they are actually ahead on the tie-breaker.

    yes

  112. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    spoiler: I’m guessing, of course, but I think one of Chia’s primary objectives this deadline will be to acquire draft picks.A minimum of one.

    For eg. Pouliot to the Habs, Davidson to the Avs, etc.

    I agree with you. I think he wants to both buy and sell. He wants a pick, probably a 2nd. Can he do it without moving Davidson? We will see.

  113. GMB3 says:

    Woodguy v2.0: I think it would be a matter of not re-building as much muscle as he’s used to doing in the offseason.

    The football analogy isn’t a good one because the average football play is 6-7 seconds, whereas the average NHL shift is about 45-50 seconds.

    NHL player must have a much better cardio vascular conditioning than football players, especially the bigger players.

    Taxing those muscles for 45 seconds compared to 6-7 uses a ton of oxygen to produce ATP for energy.

    Also,

    Maroon reportedly “felt faster” after coming in slimmer (by 20lbs not sure how much of that was lessmuscle)

    I remember when Gagner bulked up (all muscle) and he reported feeling slower all year and didn’t rebuild as much muscle in the ensuing summer.

    I hope Lucic can re-figure his body a bit to the benefit of his skating speed and endurance.

    It doesn’t look very good today.

    Yeah, human kinetics is my niche. There’s more emphasis in training to your lactic threshold levels instead for focusing on power-speed like football, but at the end of the day losing mobility is from putting on too much weight not too much muscle. Or too much emphasis on size over strength, and letting your mobility suffer. I gained 30 pounds from my freshman to senior baseball seasons and got significantly faster and there was definitely a translation to my speed (especially acceleration and changing direction) on the ice as well.

  114. Ice Sage says:

    “The Oilers, incredibly, can be dirt mean. It has been a long time—maybe December 30, 1997—since I contemplated the town team going too far in intimidation and outlaw behavior. Whoever gets them in the playoffs is going to be bleeding profusely after the series is done.”

    The Raffi Torres era circa 06-07 was close

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