A MUST TO AVOID

Among all things, a Bob Sebra season is a must to avoid. Do you known about Bob Sebra? He was a starter for the Montreal Expos, came over in a screw deal with the Texas Rangers. In 1987, the Montreal Expos finished 91-71, but missed winning the division because Sebra went 6-15. Expos missed winning the division by four games, and couldn’t find a replacement starter to go 10-11. If Bob Sebra goes 10-11, Montreal at least ties for the division. A Bob Sebra season: A must to avoid.

25 OR 6 TO 4, 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: 4-3-0, goal differential +1
  • Oilers after 59, 2015-16: 22-31-6, goal differential -35
  • Oilers after 59, 2016-17: 32-19-8, goal differential +19

Edmonton is started to push beyond most other seasons in this century. There is a chance the 2016-17 regular season will represent the best year of this century for Edmonton, in terms of regular season numbers. In fact, this year is tracking as one of the best since the glory days. Los Angeles lost again, Calgary stumbled, and Anaheim is chasing the Oil Drop. Music!

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 (Expected: 2-3-1) (Actual: 1-0-0)
  • Overall expected result: 4-5-3, 11 points in 12 games
  • Overall current results: 4-3-0, 8 points in 7 games

Last night’s win sets this road trip up very well, and the truth is Edmonton is close to our expectations already. There is no sin in revising our number, but let’s see how this thing rolls out. If we are honest with each other, and look at the numbers from last night, perhaps that was a win undeserved by all but the goalie.

DEFENSE, LAST NIGHT

  • Klefbom—Larsson went 10-24 in 15:07. The pairing was 4-4 with McDavid, 6-6 with the Nuge. Went 5-16 against Panarin—Anisimov—Kane, 1-11 versus Hossa—Tanner Kero—Ryan Hartman. Yeah.
  • Sekera—Benning went 6-20 in 12:34, including 5-10 with McDavid and 6-6 with Nuge. Went 3-10 against Schmaltz—Toews—Panik, 2-9 against Hossa—Tanner Kero—Ryan Hartman. It was a decidedly large gap.
  • Davidson—Gryba went 5-10 in 10:36, including 0-5 with McDavid and 2-8 with Nuge. Tough speed match for the big righty blue, I think Gryba will not play a lot in the semifinals. 🙂 Went 1-13 against Schmaltz—Toews—Panik, Davidson made one brilliant defensive play against Hossa and I saw him good a few times.
  • Cam Talbot stopped the world. Stopped 38 of 39, .974. Now at .921 for the year, ranks No. 6 overall.

FORWARDS, LAST NIGHT

  • Caggiula—Nuge—Kassian stuck together for most of the night, going 11-16. Nuge did go 2-2 with Eberle-Lucic and it clicked.
  • Lucic—Draisaitl—Slepyshev went 7-13 together, in about eight and a half minutes. Leon jumped up to the CMD—Maroon line later in the game, going 6-6 in about six minutes. I wonder if we see the big trains back with 97 on Tuesday.
  • Maroon—McDavid—Eberle went 3-11 together, and it did not look effective at all. McDavid played 11:19 of his 16:20 against Duncan Keith (9-13), and was 4-13 against Jonathan Toews in 7:40. Although Eberle was moved off the top line, I thought he played well—back checking, pursuing the play, moving the puck quickly.
  • Hendricks—Letestu—Pakarinen got caved and the wingers didn’t play much at all. Letestu went 0-8 against Panarin—Anisimov—Kane, we saw some high octane hockey from that trio.
  • Stats via NaturalStatTrick, NHL.com and HockeyStats.ca.

MILAN LUCIC

Milan Lucic scored a big goal for his team last night, and that may spark more 5×5 offense. He is currently 1.02 5×5 per 60, half of last year’s output. Now, a lot of people are down on the big man and I get that, he hasn’t performed as hoped this year. His possession number away from Connor McDavid is not strong, his even-strength offense has been halved. Ironically, his power-play work—never a major part of his game—has been very successful. Last night’s goal might be a blip, and we could return to 20 games of zero 5×5 offense. I am hopeful Lucic can find his way, always been a fan.

CURRENT STANDINGS

The win last night, combined with losses by others who are chasing, has Edmonton in an even better position this morning. We should brace ourselves for a bit of a slide during this road trip, but there is no doubt the Oilers have done a lot of good work in putting themselves in this position.

Ethan Bear’s WHL boxcars (57, 25-36-61) have his NHLE at 24 points—a very nice number. The 25 goals is certainly an attention-getter, I wonder if we see him as a feature player on the PP in Bakersfield next season. It is good to see Bear posting such a strong number this year.

Frank identifies the major difference between January and now in Edmonton, as Anton Slepyshev has enjoyed some real success. My guess is that Edmonton passes on the opportunity. Slepyshev has stepped up in a big way. That said, it is something to monitor.

Joey Laleggia had a nice night for the Bakersfield Condors. We expect Anton Lander to fill an AHL net, and Jesse Puljujarvi (17, 6-7-13) is having a nice run (4-2-6 in his last six games). Laleggia is 8-1-9 in his last 16 games, showing that move to LW may in fact improve his NHL changes.

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169 Responses to "A MUST TO AVOID"

  1. Johnny says:

    Keith vs McDavid may be the greatest thing I have ever seen.

  2. Mr. D. says:

    Forwards were out muscled, outpassed, out skated, and pretty much left the D out to dry. You don’t get out shot, outplayed( out- corsied) that bad if the forwards are on. In a game like this missed coverage by forwards are devastating except Talbot stood on his head. Benning got the goal but he gave the puck up rimming it 4 times at least.

  3. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    WC Standings this morning using Points Percentage (represented by games so make it clear). 8th place set to 9. Ties via games broken by points percentage then ROW.

    MIN 23
    CHI 14
    SJS 14
    EDM 10
    ANA 8
    STL 5
    NSH 2
    LAK 0
    —————–
    CGY 0
    VAN -4
    WPG -5
    DAL -7
    ARI -13
    COL -25

    Starting the trip with some breathing room for the playoff spot is nice.

    Well, the result was nice, the making of it was like sausage.

    CGY was 5 seconds from losing to VAN in reg, but Dys gonna Dys and CGY is actually tied for the last wild card this morning because LAK simply can’t get their shit together.

    WPG @ OTT
    CHI @ BUF
    NSH @ CBJ
    TBY @ COL
    BOS @ SJS
    PHI @ VAN
    LAK @ ANA

    So I’m a BOS fan and LAK fan (in reg please) tonight.

    Strange rooting for one team in a playoff spot to beat one above it to improve the Oilers’ chances of hosting a playoff series.

    I like it.

  4. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Mr. D.:
    Forwards were out muscled, outpassed, out skated, and pretty much left the D out to dry. You don’t get out shot, outplayed( out- corsied) that bad if the forwards are on.

    I thought the big difference was the CHI would get multiple shots per sortie while if Edmonton actually got a shot after the puck went into the Ozone is was enough of a reason to break out the party hats.

    Speedy D who make good first passes beat the shit out of McLellan’s ozone place and chase system.

    They just do.

  5. Jethro Tull says:

    Ha Chicago, the bitter taste of moral victories, how well we know it.

    I would like to point out that although we were handily outplayed, we did manage to score to give Talbot a little run support.

    Not a game to be proud of, but certainly one to give a sly smirk, winl and nod to each other and never speak of again.

    This year’s Vezina finalists as voted by MSM: Price, Talbot, Ovechkin.

  6. Pouzar says:

    Woodguy v2.0,

    Can you remember the last we tied a game with the goalie pulled?
    The Flames did it 10 times (I think) in their last playoff run.
    **** those guys.

  7. Pouzar says:

    Woodguy v2.0: Speedy D who make good first passes beat the shit out of McLellan’s ozone place and chase system.
    They just do.

    Great observation. We need to get faster.

  8. Louis Levasseur says:

    I’ve noticed that our defencemen, in an attempt to break out, continually ring the puck around the boards to where a winger is/should be. It seems like often a winger isn’t there and it goes back to opposition defenceman, or they see it and just pinch down hard on our winger.

    It just seems very basic and not very effective. I don’t see the opposition doing the same thing and struggling to break the puck out. I’m not saying I have a solution, but it just doesn’t work.

  9. npanciroli says:

    Can we extend Talbot for another few years?

  10. Jethro Tull says:

    Pouzar: Great observation. We need to get faster.

    It’s kind of chicken/egg thing. If the deep cycle is played by big skilled guys well, then the smaller mobile D find it difficult to get the puck for said transition. If it isn’t played well and the puck is coughed up, then those bigger guys usually don’t have a chance of catching the transitioning D.

    The place and cycle works, but good execution is essential.

  11. Dino says:

    The Oil forwards were intimidated last night and tried to make fancy plays instead of driving the net and testing a shakey goalie. Thank God for Talbot.

    And I think it’s time Khaira is inserted in the lineup for Hendy or Pak and Nurse/Oesty/Russell in for Gryba. I think they can get at least 3 or 4 wins on this road trip if they play the right way and Talbs remains hot.

  12. Pouzar says:

    Jethro Tull: It’s kind of chicken/egg thing. If the deep cycle is played by big skilled guys well, then the smaller mobile D find it difficult to get the puck for said transition.If it isn’t played well and the puck is coughed up, then those bigger guys usually don’t have a chance of catching the transitioning D.

    The place and cycle works, but good execution is essential.

    100%.

    I believe that is why TMc went back to McDavid/Drai.

    Remember when Nuge/Ebs/Pou could cycle?

  13. Pescador says:

    Jethro Tull,

    You forgot Mathews,
    Go Patrick Laine!

  14. Lowetide says:

    Louis Levasseur:
    I’ve noticed that our defencemen, in an attempt to break out,continually ring the puck around the boards to where a winger is/should be.It seems like often a winger isn’t there and it goes back to opposition defenceman, or they see it and just pinch down hard on our winger.

    It just seems very basic and not very effective.I don’t see the opposition doing the same thing and struggling to break the puck out.I’m not saying I have a solution, but it just doesn’t work.

    That’s the last chance Texaco, all other options are exhausted by the time they try to Staios to Lupul ring play. I give credit to Chicago’s fast lineup, and the only defender I felt was out of place was Gryba, who cannot keep up. Credit to Chicago, they lost but brought their A game after a five day layoff.

  15. Dino says:

    Louis Levasseur,

    I’ve been complaining about this breakout strategy all season. It’s a system the coaches put into place and it’s the same thing the Penguins do except they’re more effective at it because they have more skill and speed up front. Some games it works for us but against quick teams they just look silly. Mclellan needs to adjust this strategy and make a breakout where they make short quick passes out of their zone.

  16. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    Bob Sabra is a funny way to spell Jonas Gustavsson.

    I know we are likely safely in but man is this team in a huge pile of doo-doo if Talbot gets hurt. And he is playing so DAMN much. I feel when Chia says this team has “earned” a few things going into the deadline and playoffs, top of the list has to be getting a good backup and spelling Talbot for a few games going into the playoffs. He needs some rest or he will sputter in the playoffs and people will unfairly pile on him for not being “clutch.”

    I like LB but he can get a few games in before the deadline and then go back down to Bakersfield. Get a guy in here for the post-deadline period and playoffs that has some experience.

  17. Jethro Tull says:

    Pouzar: 100%.

    I believe that is why TMc went back to McDavid/Drai.

    Remember when Nuge/Ebs/Pou could cycle?

    I remember. And i pray for the day again. Preferably in the playoffs when we’re behind in an elimination game, and Connor opens the matrix of leadership to light our darkest hour. TMac reunites that line and history is made. Also Hemsky scores GWG and is last off the ice.

  18. npanciroli says:

    Dino,

    I agree, I see no reason this D can’t handle fast forechecks. Systems issue to me also.

  19. Pescador says:

    Woodguy v2.0: I thought the big difference was the CHI would get multiple shots per sortie while if Edmonton actually got a shot after the puck went into the Ozone is was enough of a reason to break out the party hats.

    Speedy D who make good first passes beat the shit out of McLellan’s ozone place and chase system.

    They just do.

    Good point,
    With this in mind, who would be the Oilers most preferable playoff matchup?
    FYI, Chuck Norris w/goalie pads on doesn’t give a shit,
    When the twins were born, he asked the doctor to wait outside.

  20. Louis Levasseur says:

    Lowetide,

    For sure, full credit to the Hawks and their speed. You see this in amateur hockey. Clearly oppostion defencemen know this play is coming because they pinch hard. It’s like they know the ring is coming so they anticipate and pinch before the puck is rimmed.

    I much prefer Larsson’s “no other option” play where he simply flips it into the neutral zone.

  21. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    Lowetide: That’s the last chance Texaco, all other options are exhausted by the time they try to Staios to Lupul ring play. I give credit to Chicago’s fast lineup, and the only defender I felt was out of place was Gryba, who cannot keep up. Credit to Chicago, they lost but brought their A game after a five day layoff.

    After a few gripes were posted here about Gryba after Philly, I mentioned that that was exactly the kind of game you employ Gryba for. And then said Oesterle should draw back in for Chicago because of speed.

    But coach gonna coach and if there is one thing that is so annoying about old school coaches (and make no mistake, TMac is an old school coach) it is that they don’t “mess with success.” Never mind that anyone could see that vs. a speedy forward group like Chicago, having Oesterle in there instead would make a lot more sense. But nope, Gryba will keep playing until the Oilers lose, I am sure.

  22. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    Pescador,

    “preferable” aside, with the new bracket system, it’s 2 vs 3 in the Pacific. Assuming they can’t catch SJS, then we are trying to get to #2 so we can play Anaheim at home before (if we win) before facing the winner of SJS vs. #1 Wild Card (which could be a St Louis or Nashville, etc.).

  23. Ryan says:

    Woodguy v2.0: I thought the big difference was the CHI would get multiple shots per sortie while if Edmonton actually got a shot after the puck went into the Ozone is was enough of a reason to break out the party hats.

    Speedy D who make good first passes beat the shit out of McLellan’s ozone place and chase system.

    They just do.

    I didn’t watch the game that closely… and I’m just throwing this out there for the systems guys…

    Remenda made a comment about the Oilers having some initial success with zone entries on the power play, but having difficulties after Quenneville changed the forecheck.

    I’m going to get killed for saying this, but the tone of Remenda’s voice was interesting…

    I know.. what do I know about the tone of his voice…

    Anyway, it sounded like he thought Quenville had outsmarted Mclellan and that Mclellan was slow to react or had missed the change in forecheck.

    Aside from that, I like Mclellan but I share some concerns about his in game management.

    He has no answer when his system of place and chase isn’t working other than to shorten the bench or mix the lines.

  24. Hilmar says:

    This game was interesting to me for a somewhat peculiar reason.

    It’s the first game I’ve seen Tanner Kero play, and he got rocked pretty hard twice in a game where his name came up quite a bit on the hawks broadcast.

    As far as coincidences go, this one is out there as one of the bigger ones to me.
    Not only is my last name fairly rare in Sweden, and in Finland for that matter. (The name is Finnish and means mountain top, sort of, in finn if anyone is interested. Means frog in Japanese I was told, if anyone is really interested.)

    The thing though, that makes me smirk a bit every time I hear the name in an nhl broadcast is in relation to the company my great grandfather founded back in 1929.

    http://Www.kero.se

    No relation to the player as far as I know.

  25. sliderule says:

    Woodguy v2.0: I thought the big difference was the CHI would get multiple shots per sortie while if Edmonton actually got a shot after the puck went into the Ozone is was enough of a reason to break out the party hats.

    Speedy D who make good first passes beat the shit out of McLellan’s ozone place and chase system.

    They just do.

    You might add that speedy forwards that provide backpressure can beat the shit out of most systems.

    The oilers have some forwards that either are not fast enough to get back or in good enough condition to be able to keep it up.

    Then when you have Eberle standing around in his own zone and pointing his stick directing traffic rather than getting involved as Nuge did and then got unfairly called out for you have problems.

  26. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    Hilmar:
    This game was interesting to me for a somewhat peculiar reason.

    It’s the first game I’ve seen Tanner Kero play, and he got rocked pretty hard twice in a game where his name came up quite a bit on the hawks broadcast.

    As far as coincidences go, this one is out there as one of the bigger ones to me.
    Not only is my last name fairly rare in Sweden, and in Finland for that matter. (The name is Finnish and means mountain top, sort of, in finn if anyone is interested. Means frog in Japanese I was told, if anyone is really interested.)

    The thing though, that makes me smirk a bit every time I hear the name in an nhl broadcast is in relation to the company my great grandfather founded back in 1929.

    http://Www.kero.se

    No relation to the player as far as I know.

    Kero? It is the SOUND a frog makes in Japanese (i.e. the equivalent of “ribbit”); it does not mean frog, which is “kaeru” or “kawazu.”

    Pronounced with a short “e” by the way, i.e., not like hero.

  27. Jethro Tull says:

    NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”,

    Respectively disagree, old stick. TMac may be at most an amalgamation of old and new. But let’s look at the clues; he doesn’t come unglued, he advocates education, not enforcement. He’s a little slow to adapt to changing situations, but that is a failing, not a pigeon hole into a narrative. Torts, Yeo, Hitchcock he is not.

  28. Jethro Tull says:

    Ryan,

    Then again, he has to work with what he’s got.

  29. Ryan says:

    sliderule: You might add that speedy forwards that provide backpressure can beat the shit out of most systems.

    The oilers have some forwards that either are not fast enough to get back or in good enough condition to be able to keep it up.

    Then when you have Eberle standing around in his own zone and pointing his stick directingtraffic rather than getting involved as Nuge did and then got unfairly called out for you have problems.

    The style of hockey played by the Pens in last year’s playoffs was a thing of beauty.

    The Sharks had no answer for the Pens speed.

    The Pens beat them mercilessly.

    Sadly, the Oilers play more like the Sharks only not as effectively.

  30. Jethro Tull says:

    Ryan,

    Also, if I was TMac, i would just point to McDavid and say “destroy”. Coaching is easy!

  31. Hilmar says:

    NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”,

    Thanks for the clarification, I never bothered to look it up, was just told that by someone at work a while back, might have misunderstood the guy. I do know that a lot of Japanese cartoons show up on Google if you type in kero however.

  32. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    Hilmar:
    NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”,

    Thanks for the clarification, I never bothered to look it up, was just told that by someone at work a while back, might have misunderstood the guy. I do know that a lot of Japanese cartoons show up on Google if you type in kero however.

    Kero Kero Keroppi was a very popular brand character created by Sanrio in the 1980s. These are the same peope who did Hello Kitty. There never was a comic strip or TV show or anything about it, but it was a hugely popular character, who was plastered all over everything from clothes to lunchboxes.

    And now you know. 🙂

  33. jake70 says:

    sliderule:

    Then when you have Eberle standing around in his own zone and pointing his stick directingtraffic rather than getting involved as Nuge did and then got unfairly called out for you have problems.

    Ha…I noticed that too….he did have a white hat at least. And that shows leadership, being able to delegate…..lol.

  34. Johnny says:

    Woodguy v2.0: I thought the big difference was the CHI would get multiple shots per sortie while if Edmonton actually got a shot after the puck went into the Ozone is was enough of a reason to break out the party hats.

    Speedy D who make good first passes beat the shit out of McLellan’s ozone place and chase system.

    They just do.

    Yes, but on what planet do you get Keith, Seabrook, Hjalmarsson, and Campbell on the same team for an average cap hit of $4.7M? That Van Reimsdyke is a good player too.

    They are still benefiting from the pre – ‘cap circumvention rules’ on the Keith deal, and winning teams get to sign players like Campbell for cheap, but that team keeps finding good players.

  35. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    Jethro Tull:
    NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”,

    Respectively disagree, old stick. TMac may be at most an amalgamation of old and new. But let’s look at the clues; he doesn’t come unglued, he advocates education, not enforcement. He’s a little slow to adapt to changing situations, but that is a failing, not a pigeon hole into a narrative. Torts, Yeo, Hitchcock he is not.

    I meant a more narrow definition of “old school.” I guess if you think “old school” also means grumpy old tart, you are right. I did not mean that.

    I meant that TMac:

    -likes chip/dump and chase to gain the offensive zone v.s. maintaining possession as much as possible (ie, dump it in as a last resort)
    -does not hard line match, even at home
    -at least pretends to not know Corsi or Fenwick
    -likes to go with a “winning” formula, even when the matchups suggest employing a different lineup to face different types of teams.

    By those, more narrow measures to me he is “old school” not “new school.” I did not mean the term to encompass character traits or personality as well.

  36. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Pouzar:
    Woodguy v2.0,

    Can you remember the last we tied a game with the goalie pulled?
    The Flames did it 10 times (I think) in their last playoff run.
    **** those guys.

    It was against the Habs in 2014-15 when Nelson was coach. RNH tied it, then Lander won it in 4v4 overtime.

    Last year Oilers scored about 5 goals 6v5 but they all came with a 2-goal deficit. This year I don’t recall even one. *runs to check

    EDIT: yep, 4 goals 6v5 last year and 1 at 6v4. I’d have to dig to prove it but I am sure none of them actually tied a game.

    This year, no goals at all with 6 skaters on the ice & just 3 ENGA.

  37. Hilmar says:

    NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”: Kero Kero Keroppi was a very popular brand character created by Sanrio in the 1980s. These are the same peope who did Hello Kitty. There never was a comic strip or TV show or anything about it, but it was a hugely popular character, who was plastered all over everything from clothes to lunchboxes.

    And now you know. 🙂

    That’s awesome! 😊

    I guess the name might make some Japanese speaking hockey fans smirk as well.

  38. Mr. D. says:

    npanciroli:
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    Very simple. Forwards need to get back and support. My God Lucia is an absolute plug. Goal or not this guy was the WORST signing by Chia considering value and term.

  39. LMHF#1 says:

    Re: ringing the puck around the boards – the problem is that this is the first play and not the last for the Oilers most of the time.

    I feel horrible for the wingers – they very rarely receive an actual pass. It is only some absurd talent that overcomes this.

  40. Pouzar says:

    NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”: After a few gripes were posted here about Gryba after Philly, I mentioned that that was exactly the kind of game you employ Gryba for. And then said Oesterle should draw back in for Chicago because of speed.

    But coach gonna coach and if there is one thing that is so annoying about old school coaches (and make no mistake, TMac is an old school coach) it is that they don’t “mess with success.” Never mind that anyone could see that vs. a speedy forward group like Chicago, having Oesterle in there instead would make a lot more sense. But nope, Gryba will keep playing until the Oilers lose, I am sure.

    Agreed.

  41. Pouzar says:

    Bakersfield Condors ‏@Condors 3m3 minutes ago
    More
    Welcome back Oystie! #TheBosses have assigned @joesty15 to #Condorstown.

  42. Mr. D. says:

    Adapting on the fly..Babcock..is a master. Babcock is a brilliant game academic.

    Ryan: I didn’t watch the game that closely… and I’m just throwing this out there for the systems guys…

    Remenda made a comment about the Oilers having some initial success with zone entries on the power play, but having difficulties after Quenneville changed the forecheck.

    I’m going to get killed for saying this, but the tone of Remenda’s voice was interesting…

    I know.. what do I know about the tone of his voice…

    Anyway, it sounded like he thought Quenville had outsmarted Mclellan and that Mclellan was slow to react or had missed the change in forecheck.

    Aside from that, I like Mclellan but I share some concerns about his in game management.

    He has no answer when his system of place and chase isn’t working other than to shorten the bench or mix the lines.

  43. Pouzar says:

    Jethro Tull: he doesn’t come unglued

    He can sure wear out a Fitbit though!

  44. Rondo says:

    STL claims Ty Rattie

  45. Lowetide says:

    Johnny: Yes, but on what planet do you get Keith, Seabrook, Hjalmarsson, and Campbell on the same team for an average cap hit of $4.7M?That Van Reimsdyke is a good player too.

    They are still benefiting from the pre – ‘cap circumvention rules’ on the Keith deal, and winning teams get sign player like Campbell for cheap, but that team keeps finding good players.

    I think the Chicago game is one to learn from, and to progress toward. Your point about cost, while true, has some good news on the Oilers side. The Swedish pairing is just over $8M, and Benning is a true value deal. Davidson has been hurt this year, but was a value deal a year ago.

    One of Edmonton’s issues on defense is inexperience. That will come, too. I am very encouraged about the Oilers defense.

  46. Pouzar says:

    Bruce McCurdy: It was against the Habs in 2014-15 when Nelson was coach. RNH tied it, then Lander won it in 4v4 overtime.

    That is mind boggling.

  47. Dee Dee says:

    The Oilers won, on Hockey Night in Canada, in Chicago, sweet.

    They beat a faster more skilled team by playing Oilers style, they certainly aren’t going to win the game playing Blackhawks hockey.

    Gryba welds some guy against the boards with a VISCOUS hit, I half expected the guy to just stick to the boards, too bad. Then he gets a bonus Twofer and gets to spank some other smurf who ends up taking an instigator penalty and the resulting power play helps the Oil take momentum in the game.

    You don’t have to win with skill, you just have to win.

    Talbot is playing great for sure, but the Oil are not giving up all the 2 and 3 on ones or 3 on 0’s that they were giving up past years and they are letting Talbot get setup and face the shooter. The team is playing defense across the board. Chicago only scored because of Nuges momentary lapse in reason.

    Starting to look an awful lot like playoff hockey.

  48. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Pouzar: Great observation. We need to get faster.

    Or try to carry more vs teams with speedy Dmen.

    Rush the blue line and make the board fight on the half wall where the forwards can get there at the same time as the defenders.

  49. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Pouzar:
    Woodguy v2.0,

    Can you remember the last we tied a game with the goalie pulled?
    The Flames did it 10 times (I think) in their last playoff run.
    **** those guys.

    There is no luck in hockey

  50. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Louis Levasseur:
    I’ve noticed that our defencemen, in an attempt to break out,continually ring the puck around the boards to where a winger is/should be.It seems like often a winger isn’t there and it goes back to opposition defenceman, or they see it and just pinch down hard on our winger.

    It just seems very basic and not very effective.I don’t see the opposition doing the same thing and struggling to break the puck out.I’m not saying I have a solution, but it just doesn’t work.

    Yup, that was the other issue.

  51. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Pescador: Good point,
    With this in mind, who would be the Oilers most preferable playoff matchup?
    FYI, Chuck Norris w/goalie pads on doesn’t give a shit,
    When the twins were born, he asked the doctor to wait outside.

    ANA (Bieksa is awful), LAK, STL in the West.

  52. Scungilli says:

    I think it’s more roster than coaching. I say this because:

    – McLellan ran a very new school system at the World Cup
    – McLellan has said the coaches are to blame as well as the players for poor play
    – McLellan was reported earlier in the season as trying to get the team to break out better in an expletive peppered drill, meaning he knows it sucks as I see it

    Then we have the players. Whereas Chicago is running pairs of Toews Hossa and Kane Anisimov who are league top pairs, the Oilers are relying on rookies and slumping vets.

    I love Leon, but he is green and makes a lot of mistakes. Eberle is at best 50/50 with his decision making. Nuge, Lucic, Maroon …………………………….

    What I see when I watch the Oilers is that they are a team with a lot of dominant minded forwards (whereas they only had Hall before basically) but they are not executing well in many games. Teh game flow and shots against are heavily driven by puck management.

    Quenneville referred to shot selection. He expects his forwards to take the correct shot, he expects them to finish. The Oilers waste a lot of looks because of a poor choice or poor execution. They are still scoring well as a steam, but take Connor out of that and I see crickets. There is too much talent for crickets.

    Gryba is positionally really good and a great cycle breaker, jumps into the play, and it is a shame he is a terrible skater at this level. They can’t use players like this anymore.

    I think when they have another year some of these issues will get ironed out with reps. I hope we have seen the end of marginal NHL players on a Connor McDavid team. They shouldn’t need to play guys like Pak or Hendricks. Love the heart, but it’s more important to win games and there have to be better options that are cheap like there are for other good teams.

    The real tell will be what the next season starts with. If it still has pylons and Brackenburys we’ll know they are making decisions not based on winning hockey games.

    EDIT: probably scoring better as a team than steam, steam is soft on the puck.

  53. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    sliderule: You might add that speedy forwards that provide backpressure can beat the shit out of most systems.

    The oilers have some forwards that either are not fast enough to get back or in good enough condition to be able to keep it up.

    Then when you have Eberle standing around in his own zone and pointing his stick directingtraffic rather than getting involved as Nuge did and then got unfairly called out for you have problems.

    Agreed.

    I think most games are won and lost in the neutral zone.

  54. Jethro Tull says:

    Pouzar: He can sure wear out a Fitbit though!

    A very underrated show:
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stressed_Eric

  55. Dee Dee says:

    Mr. D.

    My God Lucia is an absolute plug. Goal or not this guy was the WORST signing by Chia considering value and term.,

    Lucic is the Nuclear Bomb who wins playoff games, you want that guy on your side during overtime, or triple overtime, cause he will win the game.

    As much as I would like to see the guy scoring now, having him in the Oiler lineup for the start of playoffs will be a difference maker. It’s managements job to find him the best linemates and hell, anything can happen in 9 days, you never know what the trade deadline will bring the Oil.

  56. Jethro Tull says:

    Woodguy v2.0: There is no luck in hockey

    Hello from April 18th, 2015!

  57. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    All Oilers over 100 minutes GF% ON.

    Player GF%
    ANTON.SLEPYSHEV 64.29
    CONNOR.MCDAVID 61.73
    PATRICK.MAROON 61.43
    MATTHEW.BENNING 60.41
    BRANDON.DAVIDSON 56.52
    ADAM.LARSSON 55.17
    JORDAN.EBERLE 54.55
    ANDREJ.SEKERA 52.63
    TYLER.PITLICK 52.00
    LEON.DRAISAITL 51.43
    MARK.LETESTU 51.11
    OSCAR.KLEFBOM 51.11
    ZACK.KASSIAN 51.02
    KRIS.RUSSELL 50.98
    ANTON.LANDER 50.00

    MILAN.LUCIC 49.15
    MATT.HENDRICKS 45.83
    DARNELL.NURSE 45.16
    BENOIT.POULIOT 44.44
    DRAKE.CAGGIULA 44.00
    RYAN.NUGENT-HOPKINS 41.51
    ERIC.GRYBA 40.00

  58. Lowetide says:

    Dee Dee:
    Mr. D.


    My God Lucia is an absolute plug. Goal or not this guy was the WORST signing by Chia considering value and term.,

    Lucic is the Nuclear Bomb who wins playoff games, you want that guy on your side during overtime, or triple overtime, cause he will win the game.

    As much as I would like to see the guy scoring now, having him in the Oiler lineup for the start of playoffs will be a difference maker. It’s managements job to find him the best linemates and hell, anything can happen in 9 days, you never know what the trade deadline will bring the Oil.

    Lucic has scored 5×5 in the past and been a fine possession player. This season has been miles short of expectation. He is either fading early (career-wise) or having a terrible time adjusting. At this point, I don’t think there is any way to know, really. Encouraged by the goal last night, I feel his passing is getting better, we wait.

  59. Johnny says:

    Lowetide: I think the Chicago game is one to learn from, and to progress toward. Your point about cost, while true, has some good news on the Oilers side. The Swedish pairing is just over $8M, and Benning is a true value deal. Davidson has been hurt this year, but was a value deal a year ago.

    One of Edmonton’s issues on defense is inexperience. That will come, too. I am very encouraged about the Oilers defense.

    Agreed. Benning looks to be a fantastic find.

    Really unbelievable how Chiarelli was able to turn (one of) the worst bluelines in the league to one that boasts youth, depth and promise, in only two years.

  60. Scungilli says:

    Sekera is great, and when Chiarelli called him a strong second pair I though he was wrong. But he isn’t. Sekera has an offensive leaning style and maybe I’m wrong but he seems to have constant coverage issues – loosing his man and/or being off him enough to not stop a clean look.

    It creates a lot of HDSCA. I watch Larsson and I see the opposite. It is hard to get HDSCA on on him because players don’t often get any air on his side. I hope Nurse develops into Larsson with more O because of his wheels. I hope Klefbom can settle his coverage issues down to being a consistently good decision maker who executes basic plays well – a first pairing version of Sekera with size.

    If this happens as Sekera’s contract winds down it could be a pretty devastating top 4 to play against. Hopefully the system produce the next LS and RS D players.

  61. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    All Oilers over 100 minutes GF% ON WITHOUT McDavid on the ice:

    Player GF%
    SLEPYSHEV, ANTON 66.7
    BENNING, MATTHEW 59.4
    DAVIDSON, BRANDON 55.6
    LARSSON, ADAM 54.2
    LETESTU, MARK 52.5
    MAROON, PATRICK 50.0
    POULIOT, BENOIT 50.0

    KASSIAN, ZACK 48.9
    DRAISAITL, LEON 47.4
    EBERLE, JORDAN 46.7
    KLEFBOM, OSCAR 46.3
    LANDER, ANTON 46.2
    PITLICK, TYLER 45.8
    HENDRICKS, MATT 45.5
    CAGGIULA, DRAKE 45.0
    RUSSELL, KRIS 41.9
    NUGENT-HOPKINS, RYAN 39.6
    SEKERA, ANDREJ 39.4
    LUCIC, MILAN 35.7
    NURSE, DARNELL 33.3
    GRYBA, ERIC 30.4

  62. Lowetide says:

    Scungilli:
    Sekera is great, and when Chiarelli called him a strong second pair I though he was wrong. But he isn’t. Sekera has an offensive leaning style and maybe I’m wrong but he seems to have constant coverage issues – loosing his man and/or being off him enough to not stop a clean look.

    It creates a lot of HDSCA. I watch Larsson and I see the opposite. It is hard to get HDSCA on on him because players don’t often get any air on his side. I hope Nurse develops into Larsson with more O because of his wheels. I hope Klefbom can settle his coverage issues down to being a consistently good decision maker who executes basic plays well – a first pairing version of Sekera with size.

    If this happens as Sekera’s contract winds down it could be a pretty devastating top 4 to play against. Hopefully the system produce the next LS and RS D players.

    Sekera is not an overly physical player, but for me represents what Edmonton wants more of moving forward. Larsson is a better defender, certainly, but how much time do you want to spend defending? Sekera, Benning and Oscar help with the push, and as much as I like defensive defensemen, the mixture needs to work. Nurse, as you say, could certainly add much needed speed and transportation.

  63. pocession charge says:

    Lowetide: Sekera is not an overly physical player, but for me represents what Edmonton wants more of moving forward. Larsson is a better defender, certainly, but how much time do you want to spend defending? Sekera, Benning and Oscar help with the push, and as much as I like defensive defensemen, the mixture needs to work. Nurse, as you say, could certainly add much needed speed and transportation.

    In an ideal world (next season?), they run Sekera on the third pairing with Davidson or Nurse. The defence at that point would be one of the best in the league.

    Side question: what do you think it would take to trade for Philip Grubauer (Rangers backup)?

  64. Bruce McCurdy says:

    I dunno about everyone else, but when a guy scores the game winner for my team in fucking Chicago I’m not going to spend the next day bitching about that guy. Plenty of time for that without today needing to be one of those times.

  65. Lowetide says:

    pocession charge: In an ideal world (next season?), they run Sekera on the third pairing with Davidson or Nurse.The defence at that point would be one of the best in the league.

    Side question:what do you think it would take to trade for Philip Grubauer (Rangers backup)?

    I think Sekera will be on second pairing, with Nurse on third pairing, next year. Grubauer is Capitals backup, no?

  66. Lowetide says:

    Bruce McCurdy:
    I dunno about everyone else, but when a guy scores the game winner for my team in fucking Chicago I’m not going to spend the next day bitching about that guy. Plenty of time for that without today needing to be one of those times.

    Oh Bruce. Oilers won in Chicago just yesterday. Happens all the time! 🙂

  67. rocket says:

    best year of the century…
    2006-07 82 32 43 7 71
    2007–08 82 41 35 6 88
    2008–09 82 38 35 9 85
    2009–10 82 27 47 8 62
    2010–11 82 25 45 12 62
    2011–12 82 32 40 10 74
    2012–13 48 19 22 7 45
    2013–14 82 29 44 9 67
    2014–15 82 24 44 14 62
    2015–16 82 31 43 8 70

  68. pocession charge says:

    Lowetide: I think Sekera will be on second pairing, with Nurse on third pairing, next year. Grubauer is Capitals backup, no?

    I think you’re right at the start of the season, but Nurse or Davidson could definitely push him down before Christmas. It would speak to amazing defensive depth to have Sekera on the third pairing. He’s a perfect mentor to a 6/7D partner and he can play up when injuries strike.

    Yes, the Capitals (not Rangers) backup. I like the look of him. Wondering what you think it would take to get him.

  69. Georges says:

    Lowetide: Sekera is not an overly physical player, but for me represents what Edmonton wants more of moving forward. Larsson is a better defender, certainly, but how much time do you want to spend defending? Sekera, Benning and Oscar help with the push, and as much as I like defensive defensemen, the mixture needs to work. Nurse, as you say, could certainly add much needed speed and transportation.

    When I look at Larsson’s WOWY page, everyone’s GF60 seems to improve with him than away from him. Larsson does better on GF60 and GA60 without Klefbom. Klefbom does a little better on GF60 and gets killed on GA60.

    http://stats.hockeyanalysis.com/showplayer.php?pid=1526&withagainst=true&season=2016-17&sit=5v5

    And Larsson has 14 EV points, 3 behind Klefbom.

    http://www.nhl.com/stats/player?aggregate=0&gameType=2&report=points&pos=D&reportType=season&seasonFrom=20162017&seasonTo=20162017&filter=gamesPlayed,gte,&sort=evPoints,points

  70. pocession charge says:

    Bruce McCurdy:
    I dunno about everyone else, but when a guy scores the game winner for my team in fucking Chicago I’m not going to spend the next day bitching about that guy. Plenty of time for that without today needing to be one of those times.

    People love their narratives Bruce. Takes a long time to shake it once it is established. One poster in today’s thread commented on Eberle’s lack of defensive back pressure. No mention of the great backcheck that led to the Lucic goal. It’s unfortunate, really. Players who are struggling can still have strong games (and vice versa) and they are impervious to praise (or criticism).

  71. Lowetide says:

    pocession charge: I think you’re right at the start of the season, but Nurse or Davidson could definitely push him down before Christmas.It would speak to amazing defensive depth to have Sekera on the third pairing. He’s a perfect mentor to a 6/7D partner and he can play up when injuries strike.

    Yes, the Capitals (not Rangers) backup.I like the look of him.Wondering what you think it would take to get him.

    I think it is very important to bring these young defenders along slowly. Klefbom isn’t what he is yet, Benning is just getting started and Nurse, too. Sekera belongs in the top 4 on merit, and these youngster have plenty of promise, but fortunately Edmonton no longer needs to push them into prominent roles.

  72. Scungilli says:

    Hilmar:
    This game was interesting to me for a somewhat peculiar reason.

    It’s the first game I’ve seen Tanner Kero play, and he got rocked pretty hard twice in a game where his name came up quite a bit on the hawks broadcast.

    As far as coincidences go, this one is out there as one of the bigger ones to me.
    Not only is my last name fairly rare in Sweden, and in Finland for that matter. (The name is Finnish and means mountain top, sort of, in finn if anyone is interested. Means frog in Japanese I was told, if anyone is really interested.)

    The thing though, that makes me smirk a bit every time I hear the name in an nhl broadcast is in relation to the company my great grandfather founded back in 1929.

    http://Www.kero.se

    No relation to the player as far as I know.

    Cool stuff, too bad so expensive in Can $

  73. PerryK says:

    Jethro Tull: I remember. And i pray for the day again. Preferably in the playoffs when we’re behind in an elimination game, and Connor opens the matrix of leadership to light our darkest hour. TMac reunites that line and history is made.Also Hemsky scores GWG and is last off the ice.

    All of that can’t happen! Hemsky always leaves the ice first, just ask Spector. 🙂

  74. Johnny skid says:

    Dee Dee: Gryba welds some guy against the boards with a VISCOUS hit, I half expected the guy to just stick to the boards, too bad. Then he gets a bonus Twofer and gets to spank some other smurf who ends up taking an instigator penalty and the resulting power play helps the Oil take momentum in the game.

    i very much enjoyed that sequence of events.

  75. Lowetide says:

    Georges: When I look at Larsson’s WOWY page, everyone’s GF60 seems to improve with him than away from him. Larsson does better on GF60 and GA60 without Klefbom. Klefbom does a little better on GF60 and gets killed on GA60.

    http://stats.hockeyanalysis.com/showplayer.php?pid=1526&withagainst=true&season=2016-17&sit=5v5

    And Larsson has 14 EV points, 3 behind Klefbom.

    http://www.nhl.com/stats/player?aggregate=0&gameType=2&report=points&pos=D&reportType=season&seasonFrom=20162017&seasonTo=20162017&filter=gamesPlayed,gte,&sort=evPoints,points

    One of Larsson’s nine 5×5 assists is a primary. Who’s zooming who? I think larsson is a dandy defender, and I like him. However, he is more a defender than a mover. Need lots of movers.

  76. Roughneck says:

    Bruce McCurdy,

    When next I have a dram. I shall toast this post.
    Could be soon!!!

  77. OilClog says:

    pocession charge: People love their narratives Bruce.Takes a long time to shake it once it is established.One poster in today’s thread commented on Eberle’s lack of defensive back pressure.No mention of the great backcheck that led to the Lucic goal.It’s unfortunate, really.Players who are struggling can still have strong games (and vice versa) and they are impervious to praise (or criticism).

    Here’s what no one is saying about that Eberle backcheck…

    The Oilers won the face off in Chicago’s zone, Nuge back to Eberle.. what did Eberle do.. he fucking mishandles and whiffs on the puck.. thus resulting in everyone needing to scramble back to the damn Oilers zone.

    Yea, Eberle was all world on his back check 🙃

    Lucic goal was not a goal many players in Oilers silks have had the ability to do in a long time, lots of hope rope for him yet. He’s just saving himself for the playoffs.

  78. pocession charge says:

    Lowetide: I think it is very important to bring these young defenders along slowly. Klefbom isn’t what he is yet, Benning is just getting started and Nurse, too. Sekera belongs in the top 4 on merit, and these youngster have plenty of promise, but fortunately Edmonton no longer needs to push them into prominent roles.

    That is exactly the beauty of what we are seeing unfold. The young guys are not being forced but forcing their way up the depth chart. I love Sekera and think he’s had a fantastic year and don’t even see a third pairing role as a demotion. The development of Klefbom, Benning, Larsson, and Davidson has been tremendous. The last 20 games of the season plus playoffs could really push this group to the next level going into next year. I haven’t put Nurse into this group because of the injury but I wouldn’t count him out playing top four minutes next season, either. It’s a very exciting situation.

  79. Centre of attention says:

    Lowetide: One of Larsson’s nine 5×5 assists is a primary. Who’s zooming who? I think larsson is a dandy defender, and I like him. However, he is more a defender than a mover. Need lots of movers.

    I think it’s fair to say Larsson’s passing game has improved since the season began. It was tough sledding with #6 for quite some time but lately he’s been getting the puck to good places and being rewarded with the odd second assist.

    PS: How come nobody here ever ragged on Taylor Hall for killing it with secondary assists? I joke I joke. 🙂

  80. pocession charge says:

    OilClog: Here’s what no one is saying about that Eberle backcheck…

    The Oilers won the face off in Chicago’s zone, Nuge back to Eberle.. what did Eberle do.. he fucking mishandles and whiffs on the puck.. thus resulting in everyone needing to scramble back to the damn Oilers zone.

    Yea, Eberle was all world on his back check 🙃

    Lucic goal was not a goal many players in Oilers silks have had the ability to do in a long time, lots of hope rope for him yet. He’s just saving himself for the playoffs.

    So because he mishandled the puck (so does every other player), his great backcheck should be denigrated? I don’t see it that way at all. With all due respect to Looch, there is no magic switch that gets turned on at playoff time. He needs to be firing on all cylinders starting now.

  81. Scungilli says:

    Lowetide: Sekera is not an overly physical player, but for me represents what Edmonton wants more of moving forward. Larsson is a better defender, certainly, but how much time do you want to spend defending? Sekera, Benning and Oscar help with the push, and as much as I like defensive defensemen, the mixture needs to work. Nurse, as you say, could certainly add much needed speed and transportation.

    For sure. For me the coverage weaknesses in the slot are the main thing that hurts the team. As I see it Larsson is really good at moving the play forward. He isn’t skating the puck a lot, but he is getting effective getting it to a player in a good place to keep it going. Better as he goes along, so I’m not sure he isn’t as good as Sekera at moving it forward now and far stronger defensively. Larsson to me is also the quickest at retrieval and turning it north in a useful way usually.

    In fact I think in terms of effectiveness and game impact he’s tied in second with Talbot, behind McDavid. If Talbot wasn’t so hot/cold he’d be clear in second. Larsson is a rock.

    One thing I eyeball is what happens to the puck after a player moves it. I am happy with every player on the roster in general now – all hockey players for the first time in a long time. Still, when I mention players it’s often because of puck management leading to the puck coming back on the team too often.

    I mentioned Eberle, and he is playing a better more complete game, but I see so many weak passes and poorly placed pucks, and yes single events stand out, but the puck comes back hard a lot after he makes a poor play, a 5 bell rush.

    Maybe that’s in part because he’s playing with such slow left wingers that can’t help with that, but then a vet should be avoiding that like the plague – get it deep and on their tape fast because they aren’t beating anyone in a foot race.

    Overall great, and when/if they clean up the poor plays I think the game will flow better for them especially in the NZ.

  82. HT Joe says:

    Dee Dee: Lucic is the Nuclear Bomb who wins playoff games, you want that guy on your side during overtime, or triple overtime, cause he will win the game.

    I’m cheering for Lucic to find and demonstrate his groove, but for now, I don’t want him anywhere near 3-on-3 overtime…

    *EDIT* So I don’t sound harsher than I feel… let me please clarify that I’m thrilled with his goal last night, and if he can string a couple of games together where he gets some points, the coaching staff could start to rely on him as the guy who could help win playoff games and games in OT

  83. Roughneck says:

    Updating the Vancouver analytics conference.
    Tickets left.
    Analytics conference 2
    Pens vs Nucks 1 (can secure more “reasonably”)

  84. Jethro Tull says:

    Roughneck:
    Updating the Vancouver analytics conference.
    Tickets left.
    Analytics conference 2
    Pens vs Nucks1 (can secure more “reasonably”)

    Foward to Jim Benning.

  85. Clarkenstein says:

    The first period was nauseating. How can professional athletes and coaches allow it to happen on a fairly regular basis? I don’t see any leadership out there during those periods. None. Our C is not the one to do that as he leads by example. Where are Lucic, Hendricks, Eberle et al? When you have a teammate not moving his feet sometimes you have to get on his ass a bit. Oil are, without doubt, the easiest team in the league to play against in their own end. Why? Because the wall goes virtually uncontested. TMac HAS to employ a different strategy. Finally, when your 4th line centre does not win a faceoff during the ENTIRE game he’s not a 4th line centre. Winger perhaps but not centre.

  86. Ben says:

    So what else did you like about the Oilers beating the Hawks on the road?

    Clarkenstein:
    The first period was nauseating. How can professional athletes and coaches allow it to happen on a fairly regular basis? I don’t see any leadership out there during those periods.None.Our C is not the one to do that as he leads by example. Where are Lucic, Hendricks, Eberle et al? When you have a teammate not moving his feet sometimes you have to get on his ass a bit.Oil are, without doubt, the easiest team in the league to play against in their own end. Why? Because the wall goes virtually uncontested. TMac HAS to employ a different strategy. Finally, when your 4th line centre does not win a faceoff during the ENTIRE game he’s not a 4th line centre. Winger perhaps but not centre.

  87. Spengler says:

    I am fully on board with the criticism of the style of play for both the Oilers zone exits and entries. However, I think we might be slightly over critical based on two games against a really good Hawks team. A quick look at the two defensive units on the teams shows that the Hawks top 3 defencemen have played 900, 890 and 600 games, all with Chicago. Then there’s Campbell at 1050 gp, almost 300 with Chicago. Even van Riemsdyck has played only 30 less nhl games than Klefbom. All those games were also played under 1 coach, in a set system year after year.

    Alternatively, the Oilers D have played very few games. Sekera and russell about the same as Hjarlmarsson, though for 4 and 5 different teams. Larsson 330, new to the team. Gryba 240, Benning rookie, Nurse 96 etc. Multiple coaches, teams and systems for the vets, inexperience for the rest.

    Systems and cohesion take time. This isn’t the only issue, obviously. And for all the improvements made this year thee are miles to go before they are truly amongst the elitentirely, if they ever do get there.

    I’ll celebrate the improvements in record (Woot!), defensive fortitude, confidence and everything else. I’ll also note the difficiencies. And I’ll try to temper my aggravation and annoyance with their play with the fact that they’ll need to play another 5 seasons together to achieve the cohesion demonstrated by the Hawks last night.

  88. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Lowetide: One of Larsson’s nine 5×5 assists is a primary. Who’s zooming who? I think larsson is a dandy defender, and I like him. However, he is more a defender than a mover. Need lots of movers.

    He’s also got a bunch of third assists, such as on Lucic’s game winner which was started with a good Larsson defensive stand & outlet pass in Oilers territory. By the time the puck hit the net Larsson was on thr bench and didn’t get so much as a plus. But it was his key play to both get the puck & get it moving north.

  89. Clarkenstein says:

    Ben:
    So what else did you like about the Oilers beating the Hawks on the road?

    What part did you disagree with?

  90. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Clarkenstein: What part did you disagree with?

    I disagreed with the part where the captain gets a free pass on leadership while the whipping boys get whipped. And a few other parts.

  91. Georges says:

    Lowetide: Lucic has scored 5×5 in the past and been a fine possession player. This season has been miles short of expectation. He is either fading early (career-wise) or having a terrible time adjusting. At this point, I don’t think there is any way to know, really. Encouraged by the goal last night, I feel his passing is getting better, we wait.

    Not directed at you LT, because I know you like the player, but when analysts take issue with Lucic’s 5v5 play without giving due consideration to his overall play, I’ll say the same thing to them that they’re saying to Lucic. Up your game.

    Lucic’s overall points output is below his career rate but not that far off. Focusing on his 5v5 numbers necessarily means ignoring his PP contribution. Oilers have a top 10 PP. I think they’re a goal away from being top 5. Although 5v5 play is still the best predictor of overall success this season, special teams results have a statistically significant relationship to winning even when you take 5v5 play into account. Lucic’s contribution here is very important.

    As far as his 5v5 results go, Lucic has played with CMD with Eberle, Drai, and JP. The GF60 results are fine with everyone but Eberle. His points production with the other two is well within his career confidence limits.

    When Lucic hasn’t played with CMD, he’s spent time with Caggiula, Nuge, and Drai as his centers. Nuge and Caggiula with Lucic have generated next to no offense. Last night’s goal by the Nuge-Lucic-Eberle line was, I believe, their first.

    Lucic and Eberle don’t work. Both of them are good with the puck. Neither of them are good at getting the puck back. Play them together and you get the results you’re getting.

    This is why you can’t play Drai on CMD’s line. It kills offense from the rest of the lineup.

    Lucic is very good in open space and when he gets to the front of the net. In Boston and LA, he had teammates who could create that for him by their board work and their speed. Drai-Lucic-Slep should work. They’ve been close a few times so far. Putting Lucic back with CMD and subtracting Eberle should also work.

    Lucic is a unique player in the NHL, a very big guy who can contribute offense. He’s been a very good player on strong teams. That goal yesterday looks like goals he’s scored before, at distance, relying on the strength and accuracy of his shot. Those are skill goals.

    I don’t think Lucic’s skill has gone anywhere. He’s a great player. For 5v5, it comes down to usage and learning from what’s been tried.

  92. Pouzar says:

    Bruce McCurdy: He’s also got a bunch of third assists, such as on Lucic’s game winner which was started with a good Larsson defensive stand & outlet pass in Oilers territory. By the time the puck hit the net Larsson was on thr bench and didn’t get so much as a plus. But it was his key play to both get the puck & get it moving north.

    This. Just ask Berkshire.

  93. Georges says:

    Lowetide: One of Larsson’s nine 5×5 assists is a primary. Who’s zooming who? I think larsson is a dandy defender, and I like him. However, he is more a defender than a mover. Need lots of movers.

    So Larsson’s effect on his teammates’ GF60…?

  94. Side says:

    Clarkenstein:
    The first period was nauseating. How can professional athletes and coaches allow it to happen on a fairly regular basis? I don’t see any leadership out there during those periods.None.Our C is not the one to do that as he leads by example. Where are Lucic, Hendricks, Eberle et al? When you have a teammate not moving his feet sometimes you have to get on his ass a bit.Oil are, without doubt, the easiest team in the league to play against in their own end. Why? Because the wall goes virtually uncontested. TMac HAS to employ a different strategy. Finally, when your 4th line centre does not win a faceoff during the ENTIRE game he’s not a 4th line centre. Winger perhaps but not centre.

    Did you use a time machine? Are you confused or do you think you’re in a 2015-2016 thread?

    The only accurate point you made is that the Oilers suck at winning face offs.

  95. HT Joe says:

    Georges: Lucic’s overall points output is below his career rate but not that far off. Focusing on his 5v5 numbers necessarily means ignoring his PP contribution. Oilers have a top 10 PP. I think they’re a goal away from being top 5. Although 5v5 play is still the best predictor of overall success this season, special teams results have a statistically significant relationship to winning even when you take 5v5 play into account. Lucic’s contribution here is very important.

    I may need to soften my opinion of Lucic based on your comment. I found the first sentence difficult to believe, so I checked out his historic numbers, and prepped his pro-rated points per 82 games, per season:

    Season Pro-Rated Points (per 82 games)
    2007-2008 28.8
    2008-2009 47.8
    2009-2010 32.8
    2010-2011 64.4
    2011-2012 61.8
    2012-2013 48.1
    2013-2014 60.5
    2014-2015 44.5
    2015-2016 55.7
    2016-2017 44.5
    Career 49.8

    He’s only off pace by 5 points this season to match his career average. Considering how he does not belong with McDavid, but they got glued together seemingly forever, maybe a season stapled to Draisatl or RNH (without Eberle) could get him back up to his typical 50 points / season.

    Expecting more than 50points/season is simply unfair to him, even though I was one of the people hoping he would automatically put up 60+ point seasons if playing with McDavid… I can’t be the only one with unrealistic expectations of him can I??

  96. blainer says:

    Last night was some good payback for those few games where the other teams back up goalies beat us on their back to back.

    Thanks Cam..

    It is odd that people are picking on some of our players today. I am still predicting we win the division and yes ahead of the sharks.

    I feel for Davey though as I think he will be the odd man out when all the D are back and with the way Benning has been playing.

    This team has surprised even me a little with their record in February.

    We really need a top notch Faceoff guy for the playoff run. Boyle would be good for a third and next years fifth. I suspect TMc is asking Chia for this as he seems to bring up the importance of faceoffs when the team struggles.

  97. Pescador says:

    Spengler:
    I am fully on board with the criticism of the style of play for both the Oilers zone exits and entries. However, I think we might be slightly over critical based on two games against a really good Hawks team.A quick look at the two defensive units on the teams shows that the Hawks top 3 defencemen have played 900, 890 and 600 games, all with Chicago. Then there’s Campbell at 1050 gp, almost 300 with Chicago. Even van Riemsdyck has played only 30 less nhl games than Klefbom. All those games were also played under 1 coach, in a set system year after year.

    Alternatively,the Oilers D have played very few games.Sekera and russell about the same as Hjarlmarsson, though for 4 and 5 different teams. Larsson 330, new to the team. Groban 240, Benning rookie, Nurse 96 etc. Multiple coaches, teams and systems for the vets, inexperience for the rest.

    Systems and cohesion take time. This isn’t the only issue, obviously. And for all the improvements made this year thee are miles to go before they are truly amongst the elitentirely,if they ever do get there.

    I’ll celebrate the improvements in record (Woot!), defensive fortitude, confidence and everything else. I’ll also note the difficiencies. And I’ll try to temper my aggravation and annoyance with their play with the fact that they’ll need to play another 5 seasons together to achieve the cohesion demonstrated by the Hawks last night.

    Great post, I’ll add a +1.

  98. --hudson-- says:

    Spengler:
    I am fully on board with the criticism of the style of play for both the Oilers zone exits and entries. However, I think we might be slightly over critical based on two games against a really good Hawks team…

    Systems and cohesion take time. This isn’t the only issue, obviously. And for all the improvements made this year thee are miles to go before they are truly amongst the elitentirely,if they ever do get there.

    I’ll celebrate the improvements in record (Woot!), defensive fortitude, confidence and everything else. I’ll also note the difficiencies. And I’ll try to temper my aggravation and annoyance with their play with the fact that they’ll need to play another 5 seasons together to achieve the cohesion demonstrated by the Hawks last night.

    Very much agree with this, wouldn’t take too much from these games against the Hawks, cause it would be difficult to decipher much from them. Similarly you wouldn’t take too much from when the Oilers beat the Hawks 5-0 in November. The Hawks/Pens/Wild are the outermark the Oilers need to work towards.

    I am hopeful it comes together quickly though. They’ll have to hit the elite level of play within 2 years from now to get a chance at Stanley imo (about the time the rookies from this year have 200 games and around the time Toews/Kane/Perry/Getzlaf hit 30). In 2 seasons McLellan will be in the last year of his contract, he may not be the coach that takes us to the next level.

  99. Johnny says:

    Lowetide: One of Larsson’s nine 5×5 assists is a primary. Who’s zooming who? I think larsson is a dandy defender, and I like him. However, he is more a defender than a mover. Need lots of movers.

    Larsson is the guy separating the opposition from the puck and making the first pass. In a lot of ways, THIS should be considered the primary assist.

  100. Lowetide says:

    Georges: So Larsson’s effect on his teammates’ GF60…?

    No, it was a two-part question and the portion you quoted addressed the other item.

  101. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Oilers currently rank 6th in the NHL in GA/GP. Which by my math makes them the 25th easiest team to play against in their own end.

    Yes I know, goaltending. Last time I checked the goalie usually plays in his own end. 😐

    Oilers rank 8th in blocked shots while allowing the 20th most shots to get through to their goalie. Oh yeah, & 5th in hits including 2 D-men in the top 10 in Hits/GP.

    I realize not all of those stats are everyone’s cup of tea, but as a set they don’t exactly scream “easy to play against”.

  102. russ99 says:

    IMO ten years out of the playoffs, Oilers fans forgot what it takes to win in the playoffs.

    And that’s the ultimate goal here, not promoting systems that won’t help us in the postseason.

    I was really happy with McLellan’s comments after the game yesterday, most nights if you abandon the systems, you lose, thankfully Talbot was up to task.

    Again, speed and breakout passes didn’t win the Pens the cup last year, it was limiting opponent offensive sorties and forecheck to increase their own chances, which they vastly were better at than the Sharks. The speed was only what connected the two.

    Also, it’s what the Hawks did really well last night, and the Oilers didn’t.

  103. wheatnoil says:

    Johnny: Larsson is the guy separating the opposition from the puck and making the first pass.In a lot of ways, THIS should be considered the primary assist.

    Do we know this to be true?

    I like Larsson and believe he is a Top 4 NHL defender. However, do we know for fact that he is the one separating the opposition from the puck and making the first pass at a greater frequency than other defenders on the Oilers? If so, how much greater?

    I don’t know that we can make such statements with certainty in a manner that properly measures impact.

  104. Spengler says:

    Pescador,

    Thank you.

  105. Lowetide says:

    Bruce McCurdy:
    Oilers currently rank 6th in the NHL in GA/GP. Which by my math makes them the 25th easiest team to play against in their own end.

    Yes I know, goaltending.Last time I checked the goalie usually plays in his own end. 😐

    Oilers rank 8th in blocked shots while allowing the 20th most shots to get through to their goalie. Oh yeah, & 5th in hits including 2 D-men in the top 10 in Hits/GP.

    I realize not all of those stats are everyone’s cup of tea, but as a set they don’t exactly scream “easy to play against”.

    All of this is true and welcome. The Oilers can defend, and Larsson is an enormous part of it. I love the guy. Honestly.

  106. Pouzar says:

    blainer: I feel for Davey though as I think he will be the odd man out

    Maybe. I love Nurse but he should be playing in BAK to start but there is a less than zero percent chance this happens.

  107. Lowetide says:

    Oilers scout spotted at Red Wings-Penguins game.

  108. wheatnoil says:

    Lowetide:
    Oilers scout spotted at Red Wings-Penguins game.

    Schultz is coming home! 🙂

  109. Jethro Tull says:

    wheatnoil: Schultz is coming home!

    Brightened up this snowy Sunday afternoon! I hope it’s Nick.

  110. Pescador says:

    Next seasons forward roster I would like to see:
    Maroon McDavid Eberle.
    Speedy new winger. Draisaitl Slepyshev
    Lucic. Nuge. Puljujarvi
    Caguilla Letestu Kassian
    Khaira
    Pouliot (hopefully Chia can find a taker)

  111. speeds says:

    Lowetide:
    Oilers scout spotted at Red Wings-Penguins game.

    I assume you’ve already got the “Vanek at the Disco” title readied?

  112. Lowetide says:

    speeds: I assume you’ve already got the “Vanek at the Disco” title readied?

    I re-use everything. 🙂

    Wrote about Matt Benning over at ON
    http://oilersnation.com/2017/2/19/matt-benning-shining-like-a-diamond

  113. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Johnny: Yes, but on what planet do you get Keith, Seabrook, Hjalmarsson, and Campbell on the same team for an average cap hit of $4.7M?That Van Reimsdyke is a good player too.

    They are still benefiting from the pre – ‘cap circumvention rules’ on the Keith deal, and winning teams get to sign players like Campbell for cheap, but that team keeps finding good players.

    True.

    The Seabrook contract isn’t value today though and still has 7 years to run and Campbell is 38 in May,

    That Keith contract is a total cheat.

  114. blainer says:

    Pouzar: Maybe. I love Nurse but he should be playing in BAK to start but there is a less than zero percent chance this happens.

    I was thinking the same thing. I really don’t want to see him struggle and lose confidence coming back in a pressure cooked playoff push. But am I ever glad we never traded him. I really would like to see him with Lars.

    I am getting happier everyday with that Larsson trade.

  115. hunter1909 says:

    Woodguy v2.0: That Keith contract is a total cheat.

    You might not believe this, but there are a substantial amount of Calgary Flames fans who say that about Oilers having McDavid.

  116. Clarkenstein says:

    Side: Did you use a time machine? Are you confused or do you think you’re in a 2015-2016 thread?

    The only accurate point you made is that the Oilers suck at winning face offs.

    As a matter of fact this is probably the only part of their game that continues from last year. If they get this solved the sky might be the limit.

  117. Centre of attention says:

    Lowetide,

    Check my twitter time line LT, if what you say is true that’s the second game in a row that an Oiler scout is watching the red wings because I tweeted out a scouting list of a RedWings game the other night with an Oiler scout present as well.

    Man, if the Oiler’s could grab one of those young speedy wingers that would so perfect. I wonder who they are looking at?

  118. Clarkenstein says:

    Bruce McCurdy: I disagreed with the part where the captain gets a free pass on leadership while the whipping boys get whipped. And a few other parts.

    No free pass for Connor. He’s 19 and wouldn’t be expected to yell and kick garbage cans. Not yet. In the meantime, the previously mentioned names better do their best to motivate teammates as sometimes they do little else. Even if your man Lucic scored on a one in a hundred shot!!
    Leadership Bruce, nobody wins without it.

  119. blainer says:

    Bruce McCurdy:
    Oilers currently rank 6th in the NHL in GA/GP. Which by my math makes them the 25th easiest team to play against in their own end.

    Yes I know, goaltending.Last time I checked the goalie usually plays in his own end.

    Oilers rank 8th in blocked shots while allowing the 20th most shots to get through to their goalie. Oh yeah, & 5th in hits including 2 D-men in the top 10 in Hits/GP.

    I realize not all of those stats are everyone’s cup of tea, but as a set they don’t exactly scream “easy to play against”.

    Well said Bruce. I was going to post something along the same lines.

    You always seem to say the right things at the right time.

  120. hunter1909 says:

    Ryan: I didn’t watch the game that closely…

    Ryan: I like Mclellan but I share some concerns about his in game management.
    He has no answer when his system of place and chase isn’t working other than to shorten the bench or mix the lines.

    Last night, Hawks were all over the Oilers in the 1st period. It was insane how much the Hawks were all over the Oilers until the 2nd period when the Oilers came out and started fucking up the Hawks by playing physical.

    I understand I’m not the sharpest hockey fan, but when a team changes it’s approach by that much in 15 minutes between periods, that something other than “Go out and play the same way guys” is going on.

    In closing, Chiarelli+McLellan have taken a silky soft bunch of entitled babies and replaced them with a junkyard dog type of hockey team – inside 2 seasons.

  121. Hilmar says:

    Scungilli: Cool stuff, too bad so expensive in Can $

    Yeah, definitely more on the luxury products side than your everyday wear and tear. That’s unfortunately the only viable outlet for many big operation handicrafts in high standard of living societies.

    You don’t get reindeer leather from a lot of places though, so it’s kind of warranted.

  122. Lowetide says:

    Centre of attention:
    Lowetide,

    Check my twitter time line LT, if what you say is true that’s the second game in a row that an Oiler scout is watching the red wings because I tweeted out a scouting list of a RedWings game the other night with an Oiler scout present as well.

    Man, if the Oiler’s could grab one of those young speedy wingers that would so perfect. I wonder who they are looking at?

    It is a pretty interesting group. Thomas Vanek would be a nice add, still cannot believe Detroit isn’t going to sign him. They must not be able to trade any of those veterans with term.

  123. Pescador says:

    Woodguy v2.0: True.

    The Seabrook contract isn’t value today though and still has 7 years to run and Campbell is 38 in May,

    That Keith contract is a total cheat.

    They should have to forfeit their second round pick this year, to the Oilers

  124. spoiler says:

    wheatnoil: Do we know this to be true?

    I like Larsson and believe he is a Top 4 NHL defender. However, do we know for fact that he is the one separating the opposition from the puck and making the first pass at a greater frequency than other defenders on the Oilers? If so, how much greater?

    I don’t know that we can make such statements with certainty in a manner that properly measures impact.

    There was no comparative aspect to his statement, which was more “we should look at guys who break up plays and start the play back the other way” in its tome and context.

  125. frjohnk says:

    Lowetide,

    Just a few questions about your “balance photo” and how that now pertains to this team.

    From the beginning of the year until now, there have been many question marks favorably answered to certain degrees ( Talbot, Draisaitl, Nurse) to nice surprises ( Benning, Maroon, Kassian, Letestu)

    While there are still some holes, many have been filled.

    We are a top 10 team in pts, pts per game, goal differential and probably a bunch of other stats, but for me, top 10 in pts 10 days before the trade deadline is significantly better than most figured we would be at this time. We are not elite, but definitely a playoff a team. ( I picked 93 points for the Oilers to finish the year in Hunters poll, it looks to be short :))

    -How close is this team for you to reveal the balance photo?

    -At this point of the year, what additions would be needed to achieve balance?

    -At the moment, what teams in the league would you consider worthy of the balance photo?

  126. wheatnoil says:

    spoiler: There was no comparative aspect to his statement, which was more “we should look at guys who break up plays and start the play back the other way” in its tome and context.

    That’s fair. I meant more, ‘do we know Larsson is the guy that does this more on his pairing or is that Klefbom’?

  127. spoiler says:

    NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”: He needs some rest or he will sputter in the playoffs

    While I also think getting a backup is a number one priority, this trope is not the reason why.

    We can’t know this to be true and in fact it is as likely that the opposite is true… spelling him off more than he has might actually hurt his play.

    I want a backup sheerly for injury risk. Keep Talbot in the exact same games played rhythm he has been drumming all year. Do NOT force extra time off on him.

  128. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Lowetide: All of this is true and welcome.The Oilers can defend, and Larsson is an enormous part of it. I love the guy. Honestly.

    That post wasn’t specific to Larsson, it was generally a counter to the claim further up this thread that “Oil are, without doubt, the easiest team in the league to play against in their own end.”

  129. Lowetide says:

    Bruce McCurdy: That post wasn’t specific to Larsson, it was generally a counter to the claim further up this thread that “Oil are, without doubt, the easiest team in the league to play against in their own end.”

    I didn’t say that, so can’t defend it.

  130. Lowetide says:

    frjohnk:
    Lowetide,

    Just a few questions about your “balance photo” and how that now pertains to this team.

    From the beginning of the year until now, there have been many question marks favorably answered to certain degrees ( Talbot, Draisaitl, Nurse) to nice surprises ( Benning, Maroon, Kassian, Letestu)

    While there are still some holes, many have been filled.

    We are a top 10 team in pts, pts per game, goal differential and probably a bunch of other stats, but for me, top 10 in pts 10 days before the trade deadline is significantly better than most figured we would be at this time. We are not elite, but definitely a playoff a team. ( I picked 93 points for the Oilers to finish the year in Hunters poll, it looks to be short :))

    -How close is this team for you to reveal the balance photo?

    -At this point of the year, what additions would be needed to achieve balance?

    -At the moment, what teams in the league would you consider worthy of the balance photo?

    The balance photo is only applicable for the following season. Balance photo, should it come to pass, would probably be posted at the end of the RE series, which would be mid-August. I agree they are far closer now.

  131. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Clarkenstein: No free pass for Connor.He’s 19 and wouldn’t be expected to yell and kick garbage cans.Not yet.In the meantime, the previously mentioned names better do their best to motivate teammates as sometimes they do little else. Even if your man Lucic scored on a one in a hundred shot!!
    Leadership Bruce, nobody wins without it.

    Who won the game last night?

  132. Bruce McCurdy says:

    hunter1909:
    Last night, Hawks were all over the Oilers in the 1st period. It was insane how much the Hawks were all over the Oilers until the 2nd period when the Oilers came out and started fucking up the Hawks by playing physical.

    I understand I’m not the sharpest hockey fan, but when a team changes it’s approach by that much in 15 minutes between periods, that something other than “Go out and play the same way guys” is going on.

    In closing, Chiarelli+McLellan have taken a silky soft bunch of entitled babies and replaced them with a junkyard dog type of hockey team – inside 2 seasons.

    Related: it’s easier to kick garbage cans in the dressing room than it is on the bench while a period is in progress.

  133. Bruce McCurdy says:

    blainer: Well said Bruce. I was going to post something along the same lines.

    You always seem to say the right things at the right time.

    Thank you. Things really are turning around, even as there are still some warts.

  134. Pescador says:

    Shame we didn’t get to see Oesterle, I hope there is patience on both sides for next season.
    I don’t see them bringing back Gryba, Davidson or hopefully Rienhart will most likely be gone in expansion. I wouldn’t be shocked if one of these players were dealt at the deadline. Guessing Fayne gets the buyout, no guarantee they re-sign Russell (most likely the do). Who is left?
    2017/18:
    Larrson. Klefbom.
    Benning. Sekera.
    Russell. Nurse
    Oesterle. Rienhart.
    I want the Oilers to try to find a way to keep Davidson but I don’t see a more attractive player for Vegas.
    I’m sure Chiarelli will add to this d-core in the summer but maybe he doesn’t.

  135. spoiler says:

    Woodguy v2.0:

    Woodguy v2.0 says:

    February 19, 2017 at 10:21 am

    All Oilers over 100 minutes GF% ON.
    Player GF%
    ANTON.SLEPYSHEV 64.29
    CONNOR.MCDAVID 61.73
    PATRICK.MAROON 61.43
    MATTHEW.BENNING 60.41
    BRANDON.DAVIDSON 56.52
    ADAM.LARSSON 55.17
    JORDAN.EBERLE 54.55
    ANDREJ.SEKERA 52.63
    TYLER.PITLICK 52.00
    LEON.DRAISAITL 51.43
    MARK.LETESTU 51.11
    OSCAR.KLEFBOM 51.11
    ZACK.KASSIAN 51.02
    KRIS.RUSSELL 50.98
    ANTON.LANDER 50.00

    Sleppy at FF%… 44.5% (last on the Oilers)

  136. GMB3 says:

    pocession charge: I think you’re right at the start of the season, but Nurse or Davidson could definitely push him down before Christmas.It would speak to amazing defensive depth to have Sekera on the third pairing. He’s a perfect mentor to a 6/7D partner and he can play up when injuries strike.

    Yes, the Capitals (not Rangers) backup.I like the look of him.Wondering what you think it would take to get him.

    Is this a joke?

  137. spoiler says:

    Bruce McCurdy: Related: it’s easier to kick garbage cans in the dressing room than it is on the bench while a period is in progress.

    I really wish the leaders would give the non-leaders a dressing down right on the ice after a whistle so that fans can see the leadership happening right before their eyes. That would be something. 😉

  138. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Lowetide: I didn’t say that, so can’t defend it.

    oops, sorry I messed up with the attributed comment which got replaced with the item on my clipboard and somehow showed up as the quoted comment from you. No, you most certainly did not say that.

    I have fixed my own comment above to properly attribute your comment that I was actually replying to, with apologies to you.

  139. pocession charge says:

    GMB3: Is this a joke?

    Normally I wouldn’t even respond to this. Are you a joke?

  140. Lowetide says:

    Bruce McCurdy: That post wasn’t specific to Larsson, it was generally a counter to the claim further up this thread that “Oil are, without doubt, the easiest team in the league to play against in their own end.”

    Yeah, it is kind of crazy. By eye, by math and by moonbeam this team is so much tighter it is crazy. Chicago showed Edmonton a lot about possession last night, but I think the Oilers showed they can defend and have a fantastic goalie. It is coming together, thank Gord and Greyhound.

  141. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    hunter1909: You might not believe this, but there are a substantial amount of Calgary Flames fans who say that about Oilers having McDavid.

    Yeah, but fuck those people.

  142. Pescador says:

    Bruce McCurdy: oops, sorry I messed up with the attributed comment which got replaced with the item on my clipboard and somehow showed up as the quoted comment from you. No, you most certainly did not say that.

    I have fixed my own comment above to properly attribute your comment that I was actually replying to, with apologies to you.

    Not enough,
    Now that Lowetide is a full patch member of the Triads anything less then your pinky finger will be considered a sign deep disrespect to the entire blog

  143. Pescador says:

    pocession charge: Normally I wouldn’t even respond to this.Are you a joke?

    Ladies! Ladies!
    Purses at dawn

  144. fifthcartel says:

    I’d rather they acquire than the center route that has been talked about. There’s really few options for C’s at the deadline and acquiring 1-2 good wingers would help the scoring depth more imo.

  145. rickithebear says:

    these are the forwards currently on pace for 16G 44P four seasons in a row:
    Bergeron
    P. Kane
    Saad
    Seguin
    Benn
    Eberle
    Lucic
    O’rielly
    Okposo
    Carter
    Pacioretty
    Tavares
    Stepan
    Simmonds
    Giroux
    Malkin
    Crosby
    Kessel
    Hornquist
    Pavelski
    Marleau
    Steen
    H. Sedin
    Wheelwr
    Ovechkin
    Backstrom
    this are the consistently elite #1 off forwards the last 4 years!

  146. Bruce Wayne says:

    Watching the Lucic catastrophe unfold this season has made me wonder about PP points, as Lucic’ defenders will often use his total points as a bit of sophistry to defend his horrific play.

    On most power play goals three points are awarded. My suggestion is that, contrary to even strength play, the awarding of these points does not reflect contribution to goals in a consistent way.

    For instance, power play goals rely on three things, zone entries, a power play quarterback usually on the half wall, and a trigger man. The other guys are there for puck retrieval, get rebounds and tips, etc.

    The first set of jobs are hard to find, these are the key guys who separate power plays, but the replacement level for the second is much higher, since every team has guys who can do this, but the differential in power play points is smaller than the differential in contribution since the latter guys still manage to touch the puck and pick up cheap assists.

    If you went back and watched the tape I bet you would find Lucic getting a bunch of cheap power play assists.

    This makes sense, the guy who can’t skate, can’t take a pass, and can’t make a pass isn’t suddenly going to play well on the powerplay. He isn’t playing well there, he is riding the coat tails of his betters.

    And before Bruce goes all contrarian here, defending Lucic isn’t contrarian, since he hasn’t gotten a sniff of the criticism he deserves precisely because the people and the media love him so much. The narratives love Lucic and hate Eberle, but Eberle is a good player, while Lucic is player on the team (who isn’t waiver bait).

  147. Jethro Tull says:

    Pescador: Ladies! Ladies!
    Purses at dawn

    I keep a house brick in mine.

  148. Jethro Tull says:

    Bruce Wayne:
    Watching the Lucic catastrophe unfold this season has made me wonder about PP points, as Lucic’ defenders will often use his total points as a bit of sophistry to defend his horrific play.

    On most power play goals three points are awarded.My suggestion is that, contrary to even strength play, the awarding of these points does not reflect contribution to goals in a consistent way.

    For instance, power play goals rely on three things, zone entries, a power play quarterback usually on the half wall, and a trigger man.The other guys are there for puck retrieval, get rebounds and tips, etc.

    The first set of jobs are hard to find, these are the key guys who separate power plays, but the replacement level for the second is much higher, since every team has guys who can do this, but the differential in power play points is smaller than the differential in contribution since the latter guys still manage to touch the puck and pick up cheap assists.

    If you went back and watched the tape I bet you would find Lucic getting a bunch of cheap power play assists.

    This makes sense, the guy who can’t skate, can’t take a pass, and can’t make a pass isn’t suddenly going to play well on the powerplay. He isn’t playing well there, he is riding the coat tails of his betters.

    And before Bruce goes all contrarian here, defending Lucic isn’t contrarian, since he hasn’t gotten a sniff of the criticism he deserves precisely because the people and the media love him so much.The narratives love Lucic and hate Eberle, but Eberle is a good player, while Lucic is player on the team (who isn’t waiver bait).

    As Brian said, when faced with “only the true messiah would say that he isn’t the messiah!”: What bloody chance does that give me?

    Meaning, you’ve tried some sophistry and debate manipulation yourself here. Don’t know why you singled Bruce out though. I thought Bruce of a feather flocked together.

  149. rickithebear says:

    forwards on pace for 19G 51P last 2 seasons
    Kesler
    Marchand
    Okposo
    Skinner
    Saad
    Atkinson
    Panarin
    Kane
    Benn
    Seguin
    Draisatl
    Trochek
    Carter
    Pacoretty
    Tavares
    Stone
    Hoffman
    Schenn
    Simmonds
    Kessel
    Malkin
    CRosby
    Pavelski
    Tarasenko
    Kucherov
    Wheeler
    Schiefle
    Oshie
    Backstrom
    Ovechkin
    your most consistent #1 fwds ssn to ssn the last 2 years.

  150. jm363561 says:

    Good morning from Manila. Catching up on the thread with my toast and cereal. As the Hawks game was on a weekend I was able to watch it live and my amateur observation is that circa November time TMac changed things. We had played exciting, attractive hockey in the opening 7-1-0 run then headed off on a road trip and played superbly in New York (Rangers) and Pittsburgh but lost two tight games.

    At that point we seemed to move to an “old school” Italian soccer style relying on error minimizing, bend-don’t-break D, goal tending, and opportunistic scoring (puck luck; opposition error; or McD magic). In the more recent 7-0-1 run I kept looking at the screen wondering how on earth we had won six of those games, but win we did.

    Obviously it is working and I would imagine as (i) the roster improves, (ii )the systems continue to bed down, and (iii) Anton Lander is unleashed, we will see better hockey.

    it’s cool folks, it’s just really fucking cool. Play off city baby.

  151. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    5v4 Primary Points per 60 (first assists and goals only)

    P160
    LEON.DRAISAITL 6.76
    MILAN.LUCIC 4.60
    MARK.LETESTU 3.15
    JORDAN.EBERLE 2.60
    CONNOR.MCDAVID 2.59
    DRAKE.CAGGIULA 2.47
    RYAN.NUGENT-HOPKINS 2.00
    PATRICK.MAROON 1.98
    OSCAR.KLEFBOM 1.80
    ANDREJ.SEKERA 0.90
    BENOIT.POULIOT 0.00

    I don’t think its coincidence that the top on this list are also the top on this list:

    Player iSF60
    MARK.LETESTU 14.20
    MILAN.LUCIC 13.02
    LEON.DRAISAITL 12.77
    PATRICK.MAROON 11.86
    JORDAN.EBERLE 10.85
    DRAKE.CAGGIULA 10.69
    BENOIT.POULIOT 9.90
    ANDREJ.SEKERA 8.98
    OSCAR.KLEFBOM 8.56
    CONNOR.MCDAVID 8.52
    RYAN.NUGENT-HOPKINS 8.00

    Connor needs to shoot more.

  152. hunter1909 says:

    Bruce Wayne: Watching the Lucic catastrophe

    I’m not exactly sure what you mean by “Lucic catastrophe”, but if it’s Lucic helping to galvanize a hitherto sissy NHL squad of total losers into division lead chasing killers I’m with you 100%

  153. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Bruce Wayne: If you went back and watched the tape I bet you would find Lucic getting a bunch of cheap power play assists.

    Why don’t You go back & watch the tapes rather than making assertions & challenging others to do the proving?

  154. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Bruce Wayne,

    That said, it’s easy enough to look at Lucic’s scoring log and find he has 5 goals, 7 primary assists and 4 secondaries on the powerplay.

    Interesting to note that 6 of those 7 primary helpers were on goals by Draisaitl = 60% of Leon’s overall PP goals. I distinctly remember some beauty goal mouth feeds involved in several of those snipes.

    Didn’t even have to look at the tapes!

  155. Georges says:

    Lowetide: One of Larsson’s nine 5×5 assists is a primary. Who’s zooming who? I think larsson is a dandy defender, and I like him. However, he is more a defender than a mover. Need lots of movers.

    Are movers supposed to get primary points then? Or just get the puck out and up to the forwards?

    If they’re supposed to get primary points, then, as a group, they don’t do a very good job at this. They’re completely outclassed by forwards. But this makes sense because defensemen, as a group, play further away from the opponent’s net than forwards. Goals happen near the net. For a defenseman to be generating a lot of primary points he has to, in general, be playing closer to the opponent’s net. That is, be out of position as a defenseman. It’s true, Larsson is rarely out of position as a defenseman, so he doesn’t generate a whole lot of primary points.

    Using primary points to assess forward play seems fair. They’re playing close to the opponent’s net. They should have a pretty good share of the last two links (G and A1) in generating goals.

    Using primary points to assess defenseman is whimsical. It’s valuing defenseman at doing something that 3 other players on the ice can do better than they can. Why discount secondary assists for defensemen? Don’t secondary assists suggest that they got the play or kept the play moving, i.e., they were doing their job?

    But let’s say (as I think Ricki does) the job of a mover is not to put up points but to simply move the puck out of his zone and up to forwards. And his role in the offensive zone is to keep the puck in and get it back down to forwards. How would this show up in the numbers? Maybe in GF60 and GA60?

  156. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Georges,

    How would this show up in the numbers? Maybe in GF60 and GA60?

    CF/60 and CA/60 and/or xGF/60 and xGA/60 are better in-person than goals.

    And it’s best to break it down with each center so you aren’t looking at a blended number that loses information.

    And it’s best to do it with pairs as its next to impossible to remove pair effects from a Dman

  157. N64 says:

    Caggiula-Nuge-Kassian 11-16
    Lucic-Draisaitl-Slepyshev 7-13
    Lucic-Nuge-Eberle 2-0 (GWG)

    ~ Yep. Another horrible night for Nuge and Lucic. ~

    (Maroon—McDavid—Eberle 3-11)

  158. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Woodguy v2.0:
    Georges,

    How would this show up in the numbers? Maybe in GF60 and GA60?

    CF/60 and CA/60 and/or xGF/60 and xGA/60 are better in-person than goals.

    And it’s best to break it down with each center so you aren’t looking at a blended number that loses information.

    And it’s best to do it with pairs as its next to impossible to remove pair effects from a Dman

    Luckily, I did exactly this recently:

    http://becauseoilers.blogspot.ca/2017/02/a-look-at-how-oilers-d-pairs-have-done_12.html?m=1

    As you can see the 3rd pair Dmen tend to look better via shot metrics so you need to temper your results through the lens of QoC

  159. New Improved Darkness says:

    Woodguy v2.0:
    Connor needs to shoot more.

    Part of the problem with his shot volume is that a piss-cutter requires two blades to one tuck.

    Are you a hockey player who feels you’re not getting the goals and assists you think you should be given? Check to see if your jersey isn’t tucked into your pants. If it is, take it out. You might find you’re finally getting the points allocated to you that you deserve because officials see the whole name — and number — better with a jersey that hangs as it’s meant to be. (source)

    On game day, about ten minutes after breakfast, one of the Connor’s would pounce and declare “tuck mate!—no sauce [delivery] for you!” and by that formula the disentucked Conner would become that night’s designated trigger man.

    ———

    I didn’t realize this, but during my time in residence, I passed up an opportunity to get into the action on the ground floor.

    In now occurs to me that mirror in the bathroom blaring from 5′-tall speakers every second day was a form of braggadocio trash talk.

    ———

    Law of unintended consequence: for the rest of their lives, neither Connor would ever again pass by a reflective surface without sneaking a quick glance.

    ———

    In the post-game press conference he said that he saw Coffey’s reflection in the glass, so it wasn’t a blind pass.

    Edit: I have passed the spam test.

  160. Georges says:

    Admiring Chicago’s play in a game they lost is a good diversion. Our underlying Corsi numbers are not that different. I didn’t watch the first period. Apparently we weren’t that good there. In the last two periods, Chicago did a whole bunch of holding onto the puck and moving it around in our zone trying to find a hole in a 5-man defense. Meanwhile we had multiple 2-on-1’s and near wide open looks. I don’t think their defensive play is that much better than ours or that deserving of admiration, prior Cup winners on value contracts among their d-corps notwithstanding.

    GSAA60 5v5 (via Corsica)
    Talbot .508
    Crawford .493

    (By the way, Pittsburgh’s Murray who plays behind the model, mobile defense that everyone should emulate has a GSAA60 of .693.)

  161. norm_klassen says:

    I like larson and rssels abilities to keep shots away from the dangerous areas. By eye bye it seems they can limit shots to the outside of the box.

  162. Chachi says:

    Woodguy v2.0:
    All Oilers over 100 minutes GF% ON.

    PlayerGF%
    ANTON.SLEPYSHEV64.29
    CONNOR.MCDAVID61.73
    PATRICK.MAROON61.43
    MATTHEW.BENNING60.41
    BRANDON.DAVIDSON56.52
    ADAM.LARSSON55.17
    JORDAN.EBERLE54.55
    ANDREJ.SEKERA52.63
    TYLER.PITLICK52.00
    LEON.DRAISAITL51.43
    MARK.LETESTU51.11
    OSCAR.KLEFBOM51.11
    ZACK.KASSIAN51.02
    KRIS.RUSSELL50.98
    ANTON.LANDER50.00

    MILAN.LUCIC49.15
    MATT.HENDRICKS45.83
    DARNELL.NURSE45.16
    BENOIT.POULIOT44.44
    DRAKE.CAGGIULA44.00
    RYAN.NUGENT-HOPKINS41.51
    ERIC.GRYBA40.00

    This is fancy +/- and should be taken as seriously as +/- no?

  163. Chachi says:

    Woodguy v2.0:
    All Oilers over 100 minutes GF% ON WITHOUT McDavid on the ice:

    PlayerGF%
    SLEPYSHEV, ANTON66.7
    BENNING, MATTHEW59.4
    DAVIDSON, BRANDON55.6
    LARSSON, ADAM54.2
    LETESTU, MARK52.5
    MAROON, PATRICK50.0
    POULIOT, BENOIT50.0

    KASSIAN, ZACK48.9
    DRAISAITL, LEON47.4
    EBERLE, JORDAN46.7
    KLEFBOM, OSCAR46.3
    LANDER, ANTON46.2
    PITLICK, TYLER45.8
    HENDRICKS, MATT45.5
    CAGGIULA, DRAKE45.0
    RUSSELL, KRIS41.9
    NUGENT-HOPKINS, RYAN39.6
    SEKERA, ANDREJ39.4
    LUCIC, MILAN35.7
    NURSE, DARNELL33.3
    GRYBA, ERIC30.4

    This is much more meaningful fancy +/-

  164. Dee Dee says:

    pocession charge: there is no magic switch that gets turned on at playoff time.

    What about?
    Claude Giroux
    Daniel Briere
    Ken Linesman
    Mark Messier
    Trevor Linden
    John Maclean
    Ken Morrow
    Bob Bourne
    Doug Gilmour
    Brian Leetch
    Johan Franzen
    Steve Payne

    Those guys all improved massively during the playoffs, but the Playoff Switch King had to be Claude Percy Lemieux. Man that guy slept through entire regular seasons, but come playoffs different Beast entirely.

  165. npanciroli says:

    Had some people over for the game yesterday and we were saying Chiarelli probably gets some GM of the year votes this year.

  166. Pescador says:

    Dee Dee: What about?
    Claude Giroux
    Daniel Briere
    Ken Linesman
    Mark Messier
    Trevor Linden
    John Maclean
    Ken Morrow
    Bob Bourne
    Doug Gilmour
    Brian Leetch
    Johan Franzen
    Steve Payne

    Those guys all improved massively during the playoffs, but the Playoff Switch King had to be Claude Percy Lemieux. Man that guy slept through entire regular seasons, but come playoffs different Beast entirely.

    Fernando Pisani?
    Ridiculous comment

  167. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Chachi: This is fancy +/- and should be taken as seriously as +/- no?

    Pretty much

  168. pocession charge says:

    Dee Dee: What about?
    Claude Giroux
    Daniel Briere
    Ken Linesman
    Mark Messier
    Trevor Linden
    John Maclean
    Ken Morrow
    Bob Bourne
    Doug Gilmour
    Brian Leetch
    Johan Franzen
    Steve Payne

    Those guys all improved massively during the playoffs, but the Playoff Switch King had to be Claude Percy Lemieux. Man that guy slept through entire regular seasons, but come playoffs different Beast entirely.

    Sure, you can always find a few examples to support a claim, but overall there is no playoff switch. Even most of the examples you provided were good regular season players (Leetch, Giroux, Messier, Gilmour, Linden, Briere). Some players get hot or go cold for whatever reason.

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