GUNSMOKE

A giant walks among us, and last night Connor McDavid shone like a diamond on a giant stage. It was a beautiful game, one I will remember for a long time. Edmonton lost in the shootout, but won a lot of respect from me in regulation. In a stunning evening for entertainment, the Oilers supplied enough excitement for one hundred heart attacks before they tied the game.  The lesson from last night? When involved in an old fashioned western shootout, bring Connor McDavid and Cam Talbot. Then again, that has been the formula all year.

BANG THE DRUM SLOWLY, 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: 6-6-0, goal differential -2
  • Oilers in March 2016: 8-8-0, goal differential +5
  • Oilers in March 2017: 1-1-1, goal differential -2
  • Oilers after 67, 2015-16: 25-35-7, goal differential -37
  • Oilers after 67, 2016-17: 35-23-9, goal differential +14

We are witnessing greatness in the person of Connor McDavid. Nine shots. NINE! Need a goal? Got it! There are times in the world of sports when single performers, touched by God, can reach out and change the current, impact real time. Connor McDavid is such a player. We saw it, last night.

 WHAT TO EXPECT FROM MARCH

  • At home to: Detroit, NY Islanders, Pittsburgh, Montreal (Expected: 2-2-0) (Actual 1-1-1)
  • At home to: Dallas, Boston, Vancouver, Los Angeles (Expected: 3-1-0) (Actual 0-0-0)
  • On the road to: Anaheim, Colorado (Expected: 1-1-0) (Actual: 0-0-0)
  • At home to: Colorado, Los Angeles, San Jose (Expected 1-1-1) (Actual: 0-0-0)
  • Overall expected result: 7-5-1, 15 points in 13 games
  • Current results: 1-1-1, 3 points in 3 games

Looking good, last night was the tough game this week and the club grabbed a point. Sunday 5pm games are not exactly the wheelhouse for this young Oilers team, but early to bed and let’s get these two points and put the also-rans on the run out of town riding donkeys.

DEFENSE, LAST NIGHT

  • Sekera-Russell went 17-12 in 15:49, including 14-7 with Connor McDavid. That combination hasn’t always been successful but had the possession edge in last night’s game. Went 15-7 against the Crosby line, impressive with a who’s zooming who warning.
  • Klefbom-Larsson went 28-23 in 17:19, that is a lot of playing time for one pairing. Went 12-12 with 97, and 17-7 with Nuge. The pair was  -2 on two weird goals, and the Run Klef off a Kliff bunch were out in full voice. Keep running these men, Mr. McLellan. Went 17-9 against the Malkin line, good work in possession. As far as the GA, maybe you want Oscar to close quickly once Talbot is out of the play on the first goal, but that is asking a lot in real time.
  • Nurse-Benning went 10-9 in 13:25 as a tandem and 5-1 with the Desharnais trio. Went 6-2 against the Bonino Congregation, played a safe game together.
  • Cam Talbot stopped 28 of 30, .933. I thought he recovered well after the first period.
  • Numbers via HockeyStats.ca, NaturalStatTrick and NHL.com.

THE MCDAVID LINE

  • The line went 20-23 and were especially effective with the Sekera-Russell pairing (14-7).
  • Went 15-12 against the Crosby line (main match) and 1-6 against Malkin and his group.
  • The line had 14 shots.
  • Took 4 offensive and 5 defensive zone draws.
  • Connor McDavid is a truly amazing player. His goal was timely and brilliant, and his shootout goal was fire.

THE NUGE LINE

  • Line went 20-11 together, including 17-7 with Klefbom-Larsson.
  • Nuge had an insane chance late, no idea how he didn’t cash that chance.
  • Went 19-5 against Malkin. That is the kind of line worth remembering. Malkin is a fantastic player, Kessel and Hagelin aren’t far behind.
  • This line has chemistry now. It takes time to move a mountain.

THE HABS LINE

  • David Desharnais scored a goal in his third game, now 1-1-2. Excellent production so far.
  • Zack Kassian is getting his name on the scoresheet frequently of late.
  • Benoit Pouliot’s return looked good to me. Maybe a little rusty with the puck on his stick but good work overall.
  • The line went 12-5 together in just under 10 minutes.
  • Went 9-7 against Kunitz-Bonino-Wilson. I think that represents a successful evening for the group.

THE GAG LINE

  • The line played 6:49 together and went 5-4. Quiet.
  • Letestu jumped up to the Nuge line for one minute, went 0-3.
  • Went 5-2 against the Oscar Sundqvist line. I know. Me either.
  • This line tells us the Oilers depth still  has a ways to go before true balance is achieved.

STANDINGS

A big point last night, Edmonton stays ahead of Calgary while also putting pressure on the Anaheim Ducks. St. Louis with a big win makes life more difficult for the Los Angeles Kings and of course a bunch of games impact the race today. This is fun! Flames play  the Jets tonight, betting against Calgary lately is a bad idea, Capitals play the Kings in the late game and if LAK lose, the club would be nine points down with 15 to play.

Joey Laleggia scored in overtime for the win, and the Condors have a real chance at making the postseason now. Still a few weeks to go but the club has been winning consistently and the PK is the best in the division. If they can get the power play untracked, they might be able to make some noise in the postseason.

PROSPECTS LAST NIGHT

  • Ryan Mantha: one goal (63, 17-39-56)
  • Evan Campbell: one assist (32, 1-4-5)
  • Ethan Bear: one goal (63, 27-42-69)
  • Caleb Jones: one goal (58, 8-47-55)
  • Kyle Platzer: one assist (47, 1-7-8)
  • Joey Laleggia: one goal (52, 15-13-28)
  • Jordan Oesterle: one assist (33, 4-19-23)
  • Zach Nagelvoort interview is here.

Ryan Kennedy of The Hockey News is reporting that as many as 15 teams are after Aston-Reese, who appears to be a substantial NHL prospect.

 

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151 Responses to "GUNSMOKE"

  1. Jethro Tull says:

    That’s the RE music sorted then.

    Shine on, you crazy diamond. 💎

  2. 106 and 106 says:

    Was listening to the penguins feed for the game and they called the save on Nuge,

    “The Scorpion”

    Curse that tail.

  3. npanciroli says:

    McDavid was certainly impressive, but to me the results from the rest of the team is what was really remarkable. The Penguins got completely outplayed. The second and third line were killer.

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

    LT, I believe Matt Benning played for Northeastern in fact it appears that Matt and Mr. Aston-Reese started playing for Northeastern the same year. Very interesting player, almost exactly the type of prospect the Oilers are looking for…

  5. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    See, that 48% CF and 23-25 events doesn’t come close to doing justice to McDavid’s night. Evidence of the inherent flaws of one game sample sizes. I don’t have access to those stats but scoring chances probably look better for 97?

    That was the best performance from an Oiler that I can recall in…well since the dominant Pronger run.

    As for how Nuge did not score on the late chance the replay shows he did elevate the puck but Fleury lifted his leg for a brilliant mid-air pad save. MAF brought his A+ game last night. Too bad. A goal there by Nuge would have blown the roof off the place.

    Leon did not have a very good game. He has gone cold of late, a bit like last year late. Tired?

    They need to shake up that 4th line. If they don’t trust it to play, at least get some younger bodies in there that can skate, hit, shoot. Sub out Pakarinen and especially Hendricks. Get Slepyshev and Khaira back in there. Send Caggs down for a stint with BAK on the top lines.

    Khaira-Letestu-Slepyshev can at least hit, skate, shoot.

  6. Dino says:

    What a game! If this team showed up most games playing that level of hockey they would be 1st in the division. The top 9 was going and looked dangerous, Mcdavid is the best player in the world, best hockey I’ve seen in a while.

  7. Todd Macallan says:

    SayItAin'tSo, Gretz, SayItAin'tSo!,

    He also attended rookie camp this summer, have to think we are at least a consideration for him.

  8. Receptor Antagonist says:

    LT said – “Ryan Kennedy of The Hockey News is reporting that as many as 15 teams are after Acton-Reese, who appears to be a substantial NHL prospect”

    Not pointing this out to be dink, but because I know you strive for editorial excellence. ASton-Reese. <3

  9. mujidog says:

    Man. Connor McDavid.

    He’s already the fastest guy in the league, and he showed last night that he has yet another gear. My current favourite thing in life is watching and sensing the opposing defencman turn from “I GOT THIS” to “OH GOD NO” in the blink of an eye.

    Does he have yet ANOTHER extra gear for the playoffs? Probably. What does that even look like?? How is this even fair?

  10. dustrock says:

    Tweeted at LT last night the old saw about “20 games you win no matter what, 20 games you lose no matter what, it’s what you do with the other 42 that count.”

    When the Oilers were unlucky to be down 2-0.

    Cant Talk enough about the lack of quit in this team this season. It’s been a season long quality that you’d think would serve them well in the playoffs.

  11. bendelson says:

    “1 brilliant goal, 9SH, super nova”

    There is no doubt – now we truly know what ‘going super nova’ actually looks like… what a performance from C97. Wow. Just WOW.

  12. dustrock says:

    Also love the little things in games that stand out, like Larsson flailing in front of Talbot in OT and still blocking the shot with his hand.

  13. Snowman says:

    Growing up I was a big basketball fan. I watched a lot of the Chicago Bulls because Michael Jordan, obviously.

    One of my clearest memories from back then is the 1998 NBA finals. My Dad, foolishly cheering for the Utah Jazz, was beginning to gloat about the Jazz forcing a game 7 with the Jazz leading the bulls by 3 with 40 or so seconds left after a huge 3 pointer by John Stockton. I remember thinking, it doesn’t matter, Michael won’t lose.

    And sure as hell Jordan comes out of a timeout and scores a quick two to put them down one and then on the next possession Jordan gets a steal and buries them with his iconic last minute jumper from the free throw line. You don’t cheer against Michael Jordan.

    That is how I feel watching McDavid. It’s the same feeling. You just know, when it matters most, when the pressure is highest, McDavid will deliver. Never bet against McDavid because betting against those guys is foolish. Just ask my Dad.

    I hope McDavid is an Oiler for his whole career. Start to finish. What an unbelievable hockey player.

  14. GBandQ says:

    mujidog,

    thought exactly the same thing. he seriously looked faster than usual in the 3rd period. can’t wait to see him in the playoffs.

    and i wanna see Sleppy and Khaira back in the lineup. i don’t doubt the effort of Hendricks and Iiro, but 42 and 54 bring more to the lineup at this point.

  15. treevojo says:

    A question for anyone at the game.

    Was at BPs with no volume.

    Did they do a video thingy for Shultz?

    And how were the fans in attendance response to him?

  16. barry.moore23 says:

    Wow. Way to go Oilers. Amazing.

  17. dustrock says:

    Cult of Hockey (Staples) gives Larsson a 4, Klefbom a 2,and Russell a 9.

    McDavid got an 8, mostly because of the goal against.

  18. treevojo says:

    Also would like to see drake and sleppy sub in on testubes wings for Sunday.

    Would be interested to see a little more speed and skill against other teams 4th lines.

  19. slopitch says:

    I was at the game last night. Ice was brutal and the pens struggled. Oilers played very well and were unlucky not to win. I didn’t think the pens had their legs but maybe credit to the oil.

    I thought Drai struggled. He failed to cash on several McDavid feeds and seemed to force the play a lot causing turnovers. IMO he’s fine and just needs simplify his game at times.

    Eberle is going now and Lucic seems much improved.

    Part of heavy hockey imo is the ability to make plays In confined space. Watching live yesterday, our boy Nuge doesn’t seem to be able to do this right now. It’s blocking him him offensively big time. I’m not talking about the chance he missed in tight. He seems unable to make plays near the slot. It’s like he’s still looking to fish to Hall or get the puck to the corner. I’m a fan of the overall growth on this team so perhaps the coaching staff can propell him forward. All the Chai hires (even DD) are good at this aspect of the game. I’m not saying it’s urgent, but if he can’t get going offensively, his upside is in the class of players such as Silferberg, Hagelin, Cogliano. Good player, just not 6 million good.

  20. thebiggestmanintheworld says:

    I was at the game last night, thank you for the awesome Christmas present hun, and I know one thing for sure….

    I thought I was ready, but I’m not…

    As a fan, this is the stretch drive too, and that game was intense!

    I’m just….i mean….this team….FUCK!

    whatever hate and despair from the last ten years is gone. I’m in, up to the tits, which I will not calm down until mid June at the earliest…

    Let’s go Oilers…

  21. Scungilli says:

    Acton-Reese would probably displace a current young winger from the sounds of the write up. Hmm.

    What can you say about McDavid? Only that if he learns to finish better and has a long career he’s gonna finish pretty high up the all time list. He has the drive and skill set to put up gaudy numbers not seen in a while. Really gaudy. It is why Gretzky said he hopes to see him pot 9-10 points in a game. He said it because Connor can do that, he gets that many chances. Wow.

    Nuge’s ‘big brain’ was on display last night. He is a very intelligent player – small things that can go unnoticed. If he had wingers that could pick up a little better what he’s putting down he creates quite a bit. But it is subtle – puck placement that puts players with a chance to do something good with it etc – and I truly hope as he ages a bit he develops a little more fire to finish, because that would put him up where he should be, a top tier centre.

    Has Lucic always skated like that? I hope his drive is enough to cover aging. That said he’s also smart and a freakin mastadon. The hockey IQ is probably why that line is slowly coming together.

    Eberle finished the game pretty strong.

    Russell is a decent player. As a third pairing LD at a reasonable cost with a bigger partner I’d have him. I don’t see that as a fit with the Oilers though. They need a right shooting partner for Sekera that is better than Benning I think. If that happened it would be a very solid defensive group.

    This was a good effort after a layoff, so hopefully the trend continues and they win an early game as well.

  22. Soup Fascist says:

    treevojo:
    A question for anyone at the game.

    Was at BPs with no volume.

    Did they do a video thingy for Shultz?

    And how were the fans in attendance response to him?

    No video thingy, which was a bit surprising. A few boos for the young man – but nothing serious.

    He had a couple of Jultzy moments, an especially bad give away along the boards in the third. Overall not super noticeable.

    Schultz has had a nice year. Got a ring, putting up big numbers and will get a handsome raise, though given cap issues maybe not from the Pens.

    Good for him.

  23. leadfarmer says:

    So what is a substantial prospect? Just wondering if anyone has more info on him.

    Who are these people chasing Klefbom out? I’ve criticized his play but given his injury last year he’s got a year to get healthy.

    And as the only fan of the Larsson trade I’m glad people are coming around on him. His strong play in his own end allows Klef to get involved in the o-zone more.

  24. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    leadfarmer,

    Aren’t you part of the 80% over at CoH who voted for the trade? HA HA

  25. sliderule says:

    T mac has to go to whip and get them to come out with intensity they showed in last two periods..The whip doesn’t work long term but they will need it as Blues Flames and Kings are coming on.

    Leon doesn’t have good endurance and coaches have to shorten his shifts.He tries to stay on as long as Connor (who can skate forever ) but he gets to the point were he can’t move his legs.An example was in OT when he got stuck out too long and looked frozen.Then wouldn’t you know puck ends up on stick and he feeds Coonor on breakaway that could have ended it.

    Connor needs a left winger who can skate and make some plays.Maroon has been mostly a bottom six forward for most of his career for a reason..Maybe Leon could go to left side as he has been finding his forehand passing works way better than the backhand that he used so effectively in junior that now mostly results in a turnover.

  26. leadfarmer says:

    NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”,

    Nope this is the only hockey blog I go to. I went to oilersnation for a while when LT started there but didn’t like the Fists and atmosphere. Now there’s a lot of Monday morning quarterbacks approving the trade but back when it happened it was me drowning in everyone else’s tears. I would have liked to see a poll from that week.

  27. Crazy Pedestrian says:

    If the fLames win tonight, we drop to wildcard… ugh… it will be the first time all season that Calgary has more points than the Oilers…
    Let’s all hope Calgary lays a big egg tonight against the Jets (and games beyond). I wouldn’t bet on it, but one can hope!

    Maybe Laine pots a hatty and Big Buf bulldozes through some fLames…
    4-1 Jets?

  28. Pastor of Disaster says:

    Connor obviously delivered big and showed the world he is on par with Crosby… but how on Earth did Nuge and Eberle go pointless in that game? They looked as consistently determined and dominant as McDavid, and not just during that unforgettable overtime. Eberle looks more confident with the puck than at any other point this season. That excites me.

  29. Bruce McCurdy says:

    leadfarmer:
    NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”,

    Nope this is the only hockey blog I go to.I went to oilersnation for a while when LT started there but didn’t like the Fists and atmosphere.Now there’s a lot of Monday morning quarterbacks approving the trade but back when it happened it was me drowning in everyone else’s tears.I would have liked to see a poll from that week.

    Staples and I spoke of it at some length in this week’s CoH podcast. At the time of the trade it was 74% against the Hall-Larsson trade & 26% for, with 7000 people participating. After the trade deadline Staples ran a series of polls on all of Chia’s major moves, and of 4000 respondents it was ~80/20 the other way. Larsson is growing on people, the team is better, & Hall is out of sight out of mind, at least to some degree.

    A lot of it is just fans being fans and getting behind their team. Might as well, cuz there ain’t gonna be no do-overs.

  30. leadfarmer says:

    Bruce McCurdy,

    Thanks Bruce. Around these parts I swear it was 99% to 1%

  31. Bruce McCurdy says:

    leadfarmer:
    Bruce McCurdy,

    Thanks Bruce.Around these parts I swear it was 99% to 1%

    You mean initially?

  32. Ca$h-McMoney! says:

    David Desharnais has a goal in a shootout loss and a huge assist (a real one, not a passive one) in a one goal win.

    He is directly responsible for 3 points in the standings.

    I love Davey. That said, trade is already worth it. Well done Chia.

  33. prefonmich says:

    sliderule,

    Good points. I think Connor’s skating is literally effortless, which completely defies physics but you can see Drai with how he skates, he manages to move pretty quick for a big man but you can see and hear the effort he puts into his stride. In OT as soon as Remenda said the Penguins were changing I was thinking uh oh these guys are going to get stuck out and be bagged, sure enough Drai was doubled over in our end and by pure luck the puck comes directly to him… Anyway, I think that line needs to shorten their shifts. Period. There is not another player that exists that can skate as effortlessly as McDavid and stay out on 60sec ++ shifts.
    On another note, it is shocking how McDavid doesn’t draw more penalties??!! Like the Fleury trip in OT being the most blatant last night. I chalk it up to refs watching in awe at the things he does, not really expecting what he manages, it’s like the scramble of dmen when they realize he’s picking up speed, i wonder if refs have that same response and then by the time they process what just happened it is too late to put up their arm and call a penalty! It’s the only explanation.

  34. kinger_OIL says:

    – great post LT!

    – the only thing I can add is “I told you so”. For at least a month I’ve stated that I think this team is good enough to get to the finals. Of course nothing is certain and luck plays a huge role

    – they have an elite top3 lines

    – nurse-benning as third pairing low minutes is a testament to the quality of our d

    – it could happen and this game shows what we have.

  35. leadfarmer says:

    Bruce McCurdy,

    Yeah that first week.

  36. prefonmich says:

    Crazy Pedestrian,

    The Flames will be missing Stone and Hamilton tonight so the chances are better they will not be as successful as the past 8 games Stone has been in. That’s two consistent puck movers they are missing. I’m wondering how did Chia not get in on Stone for the price paid??

  37. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    Bruce McCurdy: Staples and I spoke of it at some length in this week’s CoH podcast. At the time of the trade it was 74% against the Hall-Larsson trade & 26% for, with 7000 people participating. After the trade deadline Staples ran a series of polls on all of Chia’s major moves, and of 4000 respondents it was ~80/20 the other way. Larsson is growing on people, the team is better, & Hall is out of sight out of mind, at least to some degree.

    A lot of it is just fans being fans and getting behind their team. Might as well, cuz there ain’t gonna be no do-overs.

    I wonder how much of the 74% against:
    -like Larsson as a player
    -thought Hall was worth more and that more assets should have been coming back
    -thus voted against the trade.

    Despite people still insisting the two are a part-and-parcel requirement, there were a lot of Larsson fans here on this blog who just did not agree with the price paid. That’s very different from suggesting people are “coming around on Larsson” when they were already around to begin with.

    Oh well, here we are opening this can of worms again. Not worth it.

    Go Jets go.

  38. Ca$h-McMoney! says:

    prefonmich,

    An awful lot of people were quite certain Stone was a terrible pickup.

  39. who says:

    Great game. Man I wish every team in the league played like the Pens.
    Re the play of Drai. I thought he had a solid game but he will always look slow compared to Mcdavid. His skating style and his body mass requires a lot more effort to keep up to someone like Connor.
    Still would prefer him at center and JP on Macdavid s wing but that ship has sailed for this year. Really hope that is the plan moving forward though.

  40. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    kinger_OIL:
    – great post LT!

    – the only thing I can add is “I told you so”. For at least a month I’ve stated that I think this team is good enough to get to the finals. Of course nothing is certain and luck plays a huge role

    – they have an elite top3 lines

    – nurse-benning as third pairing low minutes is a testament to the quality of our d

    – it could happen and this game shows what we have.

    Before I suggest your definition of “elite” is liberal, what is your definition?

  41. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Ca$h-McMoney!:
    David Desharnais has a goal in a shootout loss and a huge assist (a real one, not a passive one) in a one goal win.

    He is directly responsible for 3 points in the standings.

    I love Davey. That said, trade is already worth it. Well done Chia.

    I’d be happier if his line wasn’t getting lit up in its own end. 3 GA and a costly penalty in the last 2 games alone.

    There is some promise there but early returns are mixed. Oilers have won three of a possible six points in his first three games and to say he is “directly responsible” for all of them is sunshine and rainbows IMO.

  42. Ca$h-McMoney! says:

    NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”,

    Yeah. That plus Hall is posting his third consecutive season of good-not-great offence to go along with missing time do to injury.

  43. Bruce McCurdy says:

    NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”: I wonder how much of the 74% against:
    -like Larsson as a player
    -thought Hall was worth more and that more assets should have been coming back
    -thus voted against the trade.

    Despite people still insisting the two are a part-and-parcel requirement, there were a lot of Larsson fans here on this blog who just did not agree with the price paid. That’s very different from suggesting people are “coming around on Larsson” when they were already around to begin with.

    Oh well, here we are opening this can of worms again. Not worth it.

    Go Jets go.

    Semantics. To belabour that aspect, the polls were both on the trade rather than on the players. I have no doubt that what you say has some truth to it, but I’d argue a lot of those 7000 voters on June 29 knew a whole hell of a lot more about Hall than they did about Larsson.

  44. leadfarmer says:

    Bruce McCurdy: I’d be happier if his line wasn’t getting lit up in its own end. 3 GA and a costly penalty in the last 2 games alone.

    There is some promise there but early returns are mixed. Oilers have won three of a possible six points in his first three games and to say he is “directly responsible” for all of them is sunshine and rainbows IMO.

    I still don’t like the price paid for Desharnais plus I worry how he will handle the California teams. He will probably give Ebs a run for who spends more time on his backside

  45. Ca$h-McMoney! says:

    leadfarmer,

    I like the mix of smaller shiftier guys with bigger stronger guys. It’s how I constructed my roster I. The classic NES game Ice Hockey (go Czechoslovakia) and I think it holds up today.

  46. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Went 19-5 against Malkin. That is the kind of line worth remembering. Malkin is a fantastic player, Kessel and Hagelin aren’t far behind.
    This line has chemistry now. It takes time to move a mountain.

    HOSANNA!

    HOSANNA TO THE HIGHEST!!

    WOOT!!!!

    Fan-fucking-tastic night for 27-93-14!!

    If only they could have cashed one.

    There is NOTHING more important for this team moving forward than 2nd line that can do that to a Malkin line. (assuming all else is equal ie: McDavid here and healthy etc)

    I was banging the drum to get 27 and 14 onto different lines given that they were Oil and water all year.

    Now we see this:

    Oct 5-Feb14 14 & 27 together: (306 min)
    50% GF
    49.9% CF
    1./37 GF/60 (a putrid number for top 6 players, who should be 2.5+)

    Feb 14-today (94 minutes)
    80% GF (4-1)
    59.8% CF
    2.53 GF/60

    I’ve never been so happy to be wrong.

    If they can keep rolling like this it bodes well for the winning.

    Also,

    Glad I wasn’t wrong (so far) on Desharnais.

    Solidifying the 3rd line and giving 67-44 an Actual NHL Center to play with is crucial.

    Like everyone else mentioned, now get the 4th line working.

    I still say:

    67-13-98
    54/51-55-44

    Is the ideal bottom 6.

  47. Scungilli says:

    Bruce McCurdy: I’d be happier if his line wasn’t getting lit up in its own end. 3 GA and a costly penalty in the last 2 games alone.

    There is some promise there but early returns are mixed. Oilers have won three of a possible six points in his first three games and to say he is “directly responsible” for all of them is sunshine and rainbows IMO.

    For me the third and fourth lines do their jobs if they break even all the time and contribute some points as well. It might not be the case but I have the impression a lot of bottom sixers do pretty well against the Oilers in the last few years.

    I am wary of the Purcell’s and probably Desharnais’ because they often look great but are liabilities at the end of the day. For the third line we know Pouliot ‘can’ be strong two ways and Kassian can be effective. But they need a solid two way centre I think.

    Letestu is fine at this point but needs appropriate wingers. They are still in experimental mode likely but next year I’d like to see the best 4 lines iced no matter who rides pine or winters in Cali.

    At the end of the day their Goal Diff needs to be with the best, at least another + 35. I think the better part of that should come from better defensive play reducing GA.

  48. prefonmich says:

    Ca$h-McMoney!,

    really? Who were ‘an awful lot of people’? I was hopeful he was a terrible pickup but was thinking that for the price they paid, we should’ve tried to get him for a trial before UFA…

  49. prefonmich says:

    Woodguy v2.0,

    I agree on your bottom 6. What do you think is McLellan’s logic for the current state of the bottom 6 vs the alternative??

  50. OilClog says:

    Someone still needs to question the coach for using test tube as 2nd shooter and not Eberle

    Big point to lose at this time of year, part of Eberles 6 million a year is/was his ability to dangle some goals into the net when the skills competition begins.

    Not sure him you reward the utility C with the opportunity when your best RW has had his game of the year.

    But still fuck the refs that game should of ended on a Mcdavid penalty shot

  51. A'bunadh says:

    dustrock,

    I’m not a Russell or Staples fan but think that’s pretty correct other than maybe McDavid a 9. Klef/Larsson were a tire fire. Ended up on the same side of the ice constantly and most of the 5 bell chances against were with them on the ice. Russell was quite invisible in his own end (in a good way) and made some nifty plays in the o-zone.

  52. OilClog says:

    *not sure how you reward the utility C

    Click to edit is not computing

  53. fifthcartel says:

    Woodguy v2.0,

    I agree with this. Not that Kassian is slow or anything but 67 and 98 flanking 13 means some serious speed. Then Kassian is a much better 4th line winger than Pakarinen and Hendricks can play sparingly in favour of JJ.

  54. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    WC standings using points %. Shown as “points over/under .500” to see spreads between teams.

    MIN 26
    CHI 22
    SJS 21
    EDM 12
    ANA 12
    CGY 11-1st wildcard
    NSH 8
    STL 7-2nd wildcard
    ————-
    LAK 4
    WPG -2
    VAN -2
    DAL -3
    ARI -12
    COL -25

    Tighter than Tilly in Pacific 2-4.

    STL beating ANA last night was important.

    WC games tonight

    NSH at SJS – two good teams. should be fun to watch
    OTT at COL – more padding for OTT in the standings
    CGY at WPG – we are all Jetland tonight. No Stone and maybe no Hamilton for CGY tonight.
    NJD at ARI – more toilet bowl action after NJD lost to COL last night
    NYI at STL – both 2nd wild cards in an important game. STL played last night so edge to NYI but not much of one
    PIT at VAN – VAN has a chance with the fast and hard game PIT played last night.
    WSH at LAK – Super Big League important game for the WC. If WSH wins and STL wins it might be close to over for LAK

  55. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    prefonmich:
    Woodguy v2.0,

    I agree on your bottom 6. What do you think is McLellan’s logic for the current state of the bottom 6 vs the alternative??

    Like most coaches, he doesn’t trust rookies, even when they are playing better than vets.

    Trust factor not to give up a 5 bell chance.

  56. digger50 says:

    NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”: I wonder how much of the 74% against:
    -like Larsson as a player
    -thought Hall was worth more and that more assets should have been coming back
    -thus voted against the trade.

    Despite people still insisting the two are a part-and-parcel requirement, there were a lot of Larsson fans here on this blog who just did not agree with the price paid. That’s very different from suggesting people are “coming around on Larsson” when they were already around to begin with.

    Oh well, here we are opening this can of worms again. Not worth it.

    Go Jets go.

    Thank you, this is a much more accurate representation.

  57. OilClog says:

    fifthcartel:
    Woodguy v2.0,

    I would agree with this. Not that Kassian is slow or anything but 67 and 98 flanking 13 means some serious speed. Then Kassian is a much better 4th line winger than Pakarinen and Hendricks can play sparingly in favour of JJ.

    Kassian is the 2nd fastest skater on the team.. not sure what the term is for speed faster then serious.

  58. Crazy Pedestrian says:

    prefonmich:
    Crazy Pedestrian,

    The Flames will be missing Stone and Hamilton tonight so the chances are better they will not be as successful as the past 8 games Stone has been in. That’s two consistent puck movers they are missing. I’m wondering how did Chia not get in on Stone for the price paid??

    I know what you mean when it comes to Stone. I remember LT talking about how the Oil should think about grabbing him before the deadline as his value will never be lower (using the buy low sell high mentality) and how he could be a good puck-mover on RD.
    Of course Calgary {spits} would pick him up first…
    For a while it seems Calgary has been picking up players (including at the draft) that LT has been mentioning that Oil should get… almost like Calgary reads this blog and uses it against us…

  59. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    EC standings using points %. Shown as “points over/under .500” to see spreads between teams.

    WSH 29
    CBJ 26
    PIT 26
    NYR 20-1st wildcard
    OTT 16
    MTL 16
    NYI 9-2nd wildcard
    BOS 9
    ————-
    TOR 8
    TBY 5
    PHI 4
    FLA 3
    CAR 0
    BUF -2
    DET -3
    NJD -5

    No one giving an inch. All 4 teams fighting for the last 2 spots play tonight (PHI doesn’t have the goalering to make a real run imo)

    PHI at BOS – Barnburner. BOS should have this
    OTT at COL – Trappy bastards are going to trap their way to 1st in Atlantic and get NYR in the first round
    CBJ at BUF – CBJ rolling, but BUF isn’t an easy out with everyone healthy
    FLA at TBY – TBY with 14pts in their last 10 games, Can turn of the computer boys for good tonight
    TOR at CAR – TOR should win, but CAR starting to hit the back of the net, but they goaler poorly.
    NJD at ARI – nothing to see here
    NYI at STL – big game for both. I want both to win.
    PIT at VAN – PIT should run over 1.5 of the 3 VAN pairs, but they’ll be tired
    WSH at LAK – some mistake free hockey that will probably be boring to watch unless WSH is feeling it. Go Caps!

  60. Melvis says:

    I quibble. In terms of asked, not answered. Along the lines of intuitive speculation.

    For those who attend Rogers Place games on a regular basis. Is there a preferred attack end – in terms of cartography – which leads to more goals for than agin for the home team. There’s a bit of inherent personal inherent psychology at play here.

    Generally speaking, I shoot left, bat left, golf left, shovel left, lead left on drum rudiments. draw and paint left handed as often as right handed…because the the latter is too slick. And I have a preference for wonky…not being totally ambidextrous.

    And then there’s hockey and a preference for a certain kind of flow. Passing to a right hander moving with speed south to north…from kiddie hockey through midget. Or really hating a former Marlie ringer in the TO beer leagues bearing down from the opposite direction.

    And then there was that weird thing about some city champions featuring more lefties,a preference for turning right leg over left – and winning more often – playing two periods pushing west to east.

    Does this shizz make a real difference in the bigs?

    Stats man…they’ll drive you nuts.

  61. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Crazy Pedestrian: I know what you mean when it comes to Stone. I remember LT talking about how the Oil should think about grabbing him before the deadline as his value will never be lower (using the buy low sell high mentality) and how he could be a good puck-mover on RD.
    Of course Calgary {spits} would pick him up first…
    For a while it seems Calgary has been picking up players (including at the draft) that LT has been mentioning that Oil should get… almost like Calgary reads this blog and uses it against us…

    Don’t confuse “not being as terrible as Wideman” with being “good”

    Stone isn’t much more than a 3RD who can play powerplay, but he’s an upgrade on Wideman and Brodie is very good.

    Oilers didn’t miss out on anything.

    I like Russell on his off side and Benning more than Stone.

  62. John Chambers says:

    Oilers also left the Penguins black and blue. Some massive hits delivered by Lucic and Maroon.

    I think the Oilers could take the Penguins in a 7-game playoff series purely by grinding them down physically.

    If only God will grant us a Pens – Oilers SCF …

  63. Melvis says:

    autoINcorrect. Drunker than usual.

  64. Rondo says:

    Exciting game last night . Pitt looks different without Letang and to a much smaller extent Hornqvist.

    Fleury was the difference.

  65. Georges says:

    slopitch:
    I was at the game last night. Ice was brutal and the pens struggled. Oilers played very well and were unlucky not to win. I didn’t think the pens had their legs but maybe credit to the oil.

    I thought Drai struggled. He failed to cash on several McDavid feeds and seemed to force the play a lot causing turnovers. IMO he’s fine and just needs simplify his game at times.

    Eberle is going now and Lucic seems much improved.

    Part of heavy hockey imo is the ability to make plays In confined space. Watching live yesterday, our boy Nuge doesn’t seem to be able to do this right now. It’s blocking him him offensively big time. I’m not talking about the chance he missed in tight. He seems unable to make plays near the slot. It’s like he’s still looking to fish to Hall or get the puck to the corner. I’m a fan of the overall growth on this team so perhaps the coaching staff can propell him forward. All the Chai hires (even DD) are good at this aspect of the game. I’m not saying it’s urgent, but if he can’t get going offensively, his upside is in the class of players such as Silferberg, Hagelin, Cogliano. Good player, just not 6 million good.

    Perceptive observations on Nuge.

    I contrast Nuge’s play to what I’ve seen of the first few games of DD. DD does not look fast. Is he quick? On the cycle, he somehow manages to come up the boards clear with the puck. He has his head up and he’s looking to make a play. It looks like he’s going for a stroll.

    Meanwhile, on the next cycle, Nuge labors to get free of the checker, battles ferociously, but never seems to get that same space for himself. What’s different about DD? Given his size, he should be completely ineffective on a cycle. He’s slower than Drake too, right? Is it experience?

    When DD goes to the front of the net, he instinctively slips into open space. Last night, on his goal, he gave a gentle cross check to Streit to clear him out and then cashed the loose puck once he was all alone. And he was alone in the offensive zone for a while before Russell sent the puck toward the net. That (being wide open) didn’t seem to bother him. At all. He didn’t go looking to pair up with an opponent.

    Nuge goes to the net and it seems like he’s looking for contact; he approaches it like a checker or a bigger guy. I think he has it in his head he has to battle. DD, out of necessity, looks for spaces where he can avoid the battle. Or he’s careful to pick spots when he engages. Nuge, for all the grace we saw in his rookie year, now plays like a bull. He’s not a bull.

    DD will have his warts. Bruce mentioned the GA so far for that line. Maybe it’s connected to DD not being tight to an opponent. But, on offense, he’s showing a calm and an instinct for attack that I hope rubs off (at least a little bit) on Nuge. That first year of Nuge was just so damn promising.

  66. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Matt Beleskey fills in Brandon Manning. And the crowd goes wild

  67. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    Bruce McCurdy: Semantics. To belabour that aspect, the polls were both on the trade rather than on the players. I have no doubt that what you say has some truth to it, but I’d argue a lot of those 7000 voters on June 29 knew a whole hell of a lot more about Hall than they did about Larsson.

    True. Not intended to put your voters down. That’s a very large sample and likely covers a whole range of fans that are anything from casual to hard core. So you are very likely right.

    The LT community that actively posts seems to be very much skewed towards hard core fan. I mean, the act of signing up and posting already implies commitment.

    Basing my opinion about what fans were really thinking on what posters here were saying is skewing my views.

    Fair to say the larger community knew very little about Adam Larsson beyond the 2011 draft when the team was considering the possibility of him as 1st overall that year.

    Also fair to say the community here knew a decent bit more about Larsson than much of that 7,000. (though of course not as much as it did about Hall)

    I know that there have been a lot of fans here on this blog of Adam Larsson for a while, and that many were stumping for him as a “buy low” candidate for several years. What happened was not “buying low” but as you say, “no do-overs” and we are happy to have him wearing 6 for copper and blue.

  68. Oil2Oilers says:

    Klefbom has emerged as a legitimate top pairing NHL Defender at the 174 game mark. That a section of the Oilers fan base does not like his play all but confirms this. The is a big damn deal. Klefbom at the 300 game mark will be widely regarded as on of the best in the game, bookjie it.

    Next year running;

    Maroon McDavid Pulujarvi
    Lucic RNH Eberle
    Pouliot Draisaitl Aston-Reace
    Letestu/Lander/Kasian/Slepyshev/Kharia/Sic Note

    McBlend as desired and upgrade Russell and last night becomes the new normal.

  69. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    Georges,

    I still think that swapping 29 and 93 for a few games would get 93’s offensive instincts going.
    I also think that other than that PP sequence, 29 is hitting the wall a little bit. 97 was balls to the wall last night and 29 was a step behind. I like 29 plenty, but he looks a bit gassed trying to keep up with 97 right now, and who can blame him?

    For multiple reasons, I would like to see that tweak.
    1) To get Nuge going offensively and get his confidence up. McDavid is that good.
    2) To see Leon lead his own line, especially as we go into contract negotiations. The eventual spot for him has to be as 2C. I hesitate to sign a large second contract based on his production as 1RW without seeing what he will bring as 2C.

    Of course, if I am wrong and it messes up two lines, then switch them back. But I would like to see this happen.

  70. Pouzar says:

    “Went 19-5 against Malkin.”

    MUSIC!

  71. theres oil in virginia says:

    Melvis:
    autoINcorrect. Drunker than usual.

    Maybe not drunk enough!

  72. Rondo says:

    Mike Vecchione > zach aston-reese ?

    He is the better skater.

  73. Melvis says:

    theres oil in virginia,

    Wazz thats posed to mean? I’m already out of sauerkraut and day after shnaps and it’s only midday.

  74. Pouzar says:

    Woodguy v2.0: I was banging the drum to get 27 and 14 onto different lines given that they were Oil and water all year.

    +1

    Now they look like they have the same mother. Ebs looks like a completely different player and is doing a lot of heavy lifting for that line and looking for Lucic at every turn.

  75. Scungilli says:

    Rondo:
    Exciting game last night . Pittlooks different without Letang and to a much smaller extent Hornqvist.

    Fleurywas the difference.

    Ya, imagine if they had their 2 best D. Yikes

  76. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    leadfarmer:
    NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”,

    Nope this is the only hockey blog I go to.I went to oilersnation for a while when LT started there but didn’t like the Fists and atmosphere.Now there’s a lot of Monday morning quarterbacks approving the trade but back when it happened it was me drowning in everyone else’s tears.I would have liked to see a poll from that week.

    The majority of people were of the same opinion of me.

    Like the player, hate the price.

    Its still true today.

  77. OF17 says:

    Jethro Tull:
    That’s the RE music sorted then.

    Shine on, you crazy diamond.

    McDavid – “Shine on you crazy diamond”
    Draisaitl – “Money”
    Talbot – “Another brick in the wall”
    Pouliot – “The thin ice”
    Nuge – “Your possible pasts”
    Letestu – “Any colour you like”
    Benning – “Have a cigar”

    Lots of good possibilities there!

  78. linkfromhyrule says:

    What a game that was. Mcdavid is a force of nature. They gave the pens everything they could handle and then some. Beautiful. A bit more puck luck and the oil win that in regulation or even OT. If only his linemates could cash!!

    As an aside though, I was a bit mystified by letestu and draisaitl in the shootout. I understand the percentages, but neither of them had a very good game overall imo. Thought ebs should have been 1 of the 3 for sure. Seems like it would make more sense to ride the hot hand/players having the best game.

    Maroon hasnt looked good on the 1 line in several games now

  79. Glass says:

    Got to thinking about the Stone trade. I mean Calgary has been pretty exceptional since. He turned out to be a good pick up for a low price to pay (3rd I think?).

    Shultz turned out to be a great pick up for the Penguins, they utilize him properly.

    Both players were from awful teams at the time.

    Maybe a bet can be placed on Barrie? He could be a great player on an awful team, you just have to have patience with him and slowly work him in.

  80. leadfarmer says:

    Woodguy v2.0: Don’t confuse “not being as terrible as Wideman” with being “good”

    Stone isn’t much more than a 3RD who can play powerplay, but he’s an upgrade on Wideman and Brodie is very good.

    Oilers didn’t miss out on anything.

    I like Russell on his off side and Benning more than Stone.

    While true about Russell and Bening, the Flames fixed their d problems for cheap. Stone had surgery in offseason and one year rule for significant injuries apply.

  81. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Glass:
    Got to thinking about the Stone trade. I mean Calgary has been pretty exceptional since. He turned out to be a good pick up for a low price to pay (3rd I think?).

    Shultz turned out to be a great pick up for the Penguins, they utilize him properly.

    Both players were from awful teams at the time.

    Maybe a bet can be placed on Barrie? He could be a great player on an awful team, you just have to have patience with him and slowly work him in.

    Stone is doing well with Brodie, but don’t be fooled by PDO.

    Stone’s results with CGY

    CF% 53
    SF% 53
    Expected GF% 57
    Actual GF% 75
    PDO 1079

    53% CF and Expected GF% of 57 are fine numbers. Brodie is very good.

    They don’t add up to a 75%GF and 1079 PDO though.

    With Stone out they’ve put Engellend up with Brodie and Wideman on the 3rd pair.

    Before he was playing 2nds with Brodie.

    Stone is an upgrade on Wideman, but he’s not the PDO Jesus.

  82. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    leadfarmer: While true about Russell and Bening, the Flames fixed their d problems for cheap.Stone had surgery in offseason and one year rule for significant injuries apply.

    I agree with that.

    I’ve examined Stone pretty closely and I don’t see much past a decent 3RD and Oilers have that.

  83. leadfarmer says:

    Glass,

    I got a feeling that team individual parts are better than the whole, like Oilers teams for previous 10 years but unlike Oilers GMs Sakic wants more than full value in return.

  84. adamjames says:

    Glass:
    Got to thinking about the Stone trade. I mean Calgary has been pretty exceptional since. He turned out to be a good pick up for a low price to pay (3rd I think?).

    Shultz turned out to be a great pick up for the Penguins, they utilize him properly.

    Both players were from awful teams at the time.

    Maybe a bet can be placed on Barrie? He could be a great player on an awful team, you just have to have patience with him and slowly work him in.

    I like the idea of betting on players dragged down by awful teams. But the big difference between Stone/Schultz acquisitions and a Barrie trade is: 1. Big contract 2. The acquisition cost is gonna be alot higher than a combo of mid round picks.

    With 97 and 29 contracts looming, gambling on a rover with a big ticket seems pretty risky. Pass for me.

  85. leadfarmer says:

    Woodguy v2.0: Stone is doing well with Brodie, but don’t be fooled by PDO.

    Stone’s results with CGY

    CF% 53
    SF% 53
    Expected GF% 57
    Actual GF% 75
    PDO 1079

    53% CF and Expected GF% of 57 are fine numbers.Brodie is very good.

    They don’t add up to a 75%GF and 1079 PDO though.

    With Stone out they’ve put Engellend up with Brodie and Wideman on the 3rd pair.

    Before he was playing 2nds with Brodie.

    Stone is an upgrade on Wideman, but he’s not the PDO Jesus.

    PDO Jesus. I think I’ll call my rock band that.

  86. Westchester Oil says:

    Fun fact about last night’s game – from puck drop until the end of regulation was under 2 hours 20 minutes. Including OT/SO, it was about 2:30. I’ve always kind of thought that there was a negative correlation between entertainment quality and the length of the game. The 2002 Olympic gold medal game was under 2 hours.

  87. Glass says:

    adamjames,

    Yeah that’s a good point.

  88. Centre of attention says:

    I know some people don’t want to hear it, but Eberle is the catalyst for that second line.

    His ability to carry the puck or make plays in the NZ in order to gain controlled entries into the offensive zone is underrated as hell.

    Corey Sznajder does publicly available tracking of zone exits / entires and Eberle has consistently been performing at an elite level with his ability to drive play into the offensive zone.

    I think Ebs was fighting an injury earlier this year because you were seeing none of what I just described earlier. The player was definitely in a funk.

    This Eberle we are seeing now is closer to the 2014-2015 Eberle we know and love. Incredibly dynamic player with the puck on his stick and he’s improving in other areas now as well.

    For example, starting in the second period last night as the Oilers were beginning to dominate, Eberle was picking guys pockets and getting the puck moving back north in a hurry all night.

    Underrated and undervalued player. Some team is going to get a dandy of a RW over the next two summers. I believe the organization values Nuge more and Ebs is the next to go unfortunately, even though it really shouldn’t have to be that way.

  89. JDï™ says:

    OF17: good possibilities there!

    Who gets Several Species of Small Furry Animals Gathered Together in a Cave and Grooving with a Pict?

  90. Pouzar says:

    Centre of attention:
    I know some people don’t want to hear it, but Eberle is the catalyst for that second line.

    His ability to carry the puck or make plays in the NZ in order to gain controlled entries into the offensive zone is underrated as hell.

    Corey Sznajder does publicly available tracking of zone exits / entires and Eberle has consistently been performing at an elite level with his ability to drive play into the offensive zone.

    I think Ebs was fighting an injuryearlier this year because you were seeing none of what I just described earlier. The player was definitely in a funk.

    This Eberle we are seeing now is closer to the 2014-2015 Eberle we know and love. Incredibly dynamic player with the puck on his stick and he’s improving in other areas now as well.

    For example, starting in the second period last night as the Oilers were beginning to dominate, Eberle was picking guys pockets and getting the puck moving back north in a hurry all night.

    Underrated and undervalued player. Some team is going to get a dandy of a RW over the next two summers. I believe the organization values Nuge more and Ebs is the next to go unfortunately, even though it really shouldn’t have to be that way.

    Agree with all of this. I just don’t understand it. He wakes up one day and Old Ebs is back?
    Completely different looking player.

  91. ashley says:

    Bruce McCurdy: Semantics. To belabour that aspect, the polls were both on the trade rather than on the players. I have no doubt that what you say has some truth to it, but I’d argue a lot of those 7000 voters on June 29 knew a whole hell of a lot more about Hall than they did about Larsson.

    This is a great point that won’t be admitted by many. Who wants to admit ignorance? We already know it all, always have, and have never been wrong. 🙂

    I personally think that Larsson has been an enormous revelation. He was exactly what we needed and plays outstanding D. his instincts are terrific. If he had a partner that also played better D, I suspect his box cars would be higher.

    While some of us die-hards here are not ready to sing his praises, perhaps partly because of who was sent away for him and partly because we are stubborn in our initial assessmens of the trade, but I think it speaks volumes about Larsson’s play to silence the general derision/Chia hatred regarding that trade in such a short time.

    Coming to this team in a trade that saw our first born son going the other way put him in the doghouse before he played a game. Unfair for sure, but that is the reality of this fanbase. With daggers poised above his head, he has thrived under the pressure and is delivering a spectacular season at the tender age of 24 and for only 4 million. Take about value and future. This is our 1D. At last.

    I’m not sure about the mustache though.

  92. Glass says:

    I know this is obvious but you have to think Aston-Reese is a natural fit for us, and not necessarily a stretch to sign him (despite 15 teams being in on him).

    1. We have a good track record of giving college players playing time.
    2. He and Benning played together in college, and were both assistant captains in 2015-16. Have to think they have a decently close relationship.
    3. We have obvious needs at RW, and we are still looking for someone to play with McDavid when Draisaitl is running his own line.
    4. Additionally we have fine Roger’s Place facility & a team that is on the rise with an excellent young core of players and a good culture.

    He is also well known for is play away from the puck, can play C, has the size and speed.

  93. Pouzar says:

    NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”: They need to shake up that 4th line.

    Jack Michaels‏Verified account @EdmontonJack 46m46 minutes ago
    More
    Likely same lineup for EDM vs MTL tomorrow–Oilers 6-1-3 last 10 vs Habs. Talbot v Price, who’s still looking for his 1st win vs Oil in EDM.

    ARRRRRRRRRRRRRGHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  94. Scungilli says:

    Centre of attention:
    I know some people don’t want to hear it, but Eberle is the catalyst for that second line.

    His ability to carry the puck or make plays in the NZ in order to gain controlled entries into the offensive zone is underrated as hell.

    Corey Sznajder does publicly available tracking of zone exits / entires and Eberle has consistently been performing at an elite level with his ability to drive play into the offensive zone.

    I think Ebs was fighting an injuryearlier this year because you were seeing none of what I just described earlier. The player was definitely in a funk.

    This Eberle we are seeing now is closer to the 2014-2015 Eberle we know and love. Incredibly dynamic player with the puck on his stick and he’s improving in other areas now as well.

    For example, starting in the second period last night as the Oilers were begging to dominate, Eberle was picking guys pockets and getting the puck moving back north in a hurry all night.

    Underrated and undervalued player. Some team is going to get a dandy of a RW over the next two summers. (I believe the organization values Nuge more and Ebs is the next to go unfortunately)

    Sure he has offensive skill. He is a good player. I see the good plays, but also a lot of weak plays that I think are the reason he, Nuge and Hall aren’t given love around the league.

    Nuge and Eberle make as many mistakes as McDavid and Leon, and at this point they should be the pair relied upon to saw off against the toughs and give air to the rookies. Let’s say that they haven’t reached a mature level of play like top veterans do, making smart plays and not doing the things NHL coaches and those that coach international teams don’t like.

    Being on the Oilers as have been sullied the reps of Hall, Nuge and Eberle, but at the same time there is a reason they aren’t given high respect. They are thought of as skilled players but need to take that next step, as Crosby and many others did, to playing a better overall game and not making so many weak plays and unforced errors.

  95. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    leadfarmer: PDO Jesus. I think I’ll call my rock band that.

    Awesome

  96. Centre of attention says:

    Pouzar,

    You have to think that shoulder bugs him every now and then.

    Its like that with a lot of players. So many “slumps” can be attributed to “I had my shoulder pop out again during warm ups last week and its almost impossible to lean into my wrist shot” and its not just Eberle but guys all over the NHL and we just don’t hear about it.

    Hockey is such a weird sport like that. NBA player has a sprained finger and he’s out weeks and its front page news. For most guys in the NHL they’re just “in a slump” and we don’t hear about the actual wounds until the off season when they have time to do surgery.

  97. GMB3 says:

    Larsson has been jumping into the play more on the offensive zone last 20 ish games. He was a real solid pick up.

    The Oilers forecheckers laid some huge hits on denfenseman last night.

  98. Centre of attention says:

    Scungilli,

    Like I said, Eberle specifically has made strides IMO in the problem areas such as back checking & taking hits to make plays on the boards. He’s picking guys pockets and getting the puck moving north now too. What more can you ask for from a small guy like Eberle? He’s not going to get in on the forcheck and crush dudes.

  99. 106 and 106 says:

    Pouzar,

    Will Davidson be in the lineup?

    Will be strange seeing him.

    Just like the Habs will double take at the (old) Habs line.

  100. McSorley33 says:

    Woodguy v2.0,

    Hendricks has tested this theory quite a few times this year…..

    However, you are right about Tmac’s faith in veterans.

  101. Pouzar says:

    106 and 106: Will Davidson be in the lineup?

    Not sure…he was a scratch last game no???

  102. Centre of attention says:

    106 and 106,

    According to MTL media Davidson is going to be a scratch if I’m reading twitter correctly.

    Reid Wilkins‏Verified account @ReidWilkins 50m50 minutes ago
    More
    Reid Wilkins Retweeted Marc Antoine Godin
    Davidson not expected to play tomorrow against Oilers.

  103. fifthcartel says:

    I agree the fourth line is awful and could use either/both of Hendricks/Pakarinen scratched.

    Last game Montreal’s fourth line was Martinsen-Ott-McCarron. McCarron is an interesting prospect, but Martinsen was -4.8% CF rel in Colorado and Steve Ott is Steve Ott.

    Against Vancouver it was Martinsen-Ott-Mitchell, so Montreal might be running a fourth line just as poor as Edmonton.

  104. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    Pouzar: Jack Michaels‏Verified account @EdmontonJack46m46 minutes ago
    MoreLikely same lineup for EDM vs MTL tomorrow–Oilers 6-1-3 last 10 vs Habs. Talbot v Price, who’s still looking for his 1st win vs Oil in EDM.

    ARRRRRRRRRRRRRGHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    That line was so bad they played 10% of the game. Think about that for a second. Yes, McDavid played 26/65, but still.

    So lets do it again, shall we?

    Honestly this team is so close to being able to roll 4 lines and the coaches just refuse to try.

  105. Pouzar says:

    NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”: That line was so bad they played 10% of the game. Think about that for a second. Yes, McDavid played 26/65, but still.

    So lets do it again, shall we?

    Honestly this team is so close to being able to roll 4 lines and the coaches just refuse to try.

    We could do a 3 for 3 swap and kill it on Line 4.

  106. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    Pouzar: We could do a 3 for 3 swap and kill it on Line 4.

    Khaira-Lander-Slepyshev could be one of the best 4th lines in the NHL. But Letestu with his right shot and PP presence won’t sit. So I would settle for subbing out the wingers at this stage.

  107. Crazy Pedestrian says:

    Pouzar: Agree with all of this. I just don’t understand it. He wakes up one day and Old Ebs is back?
    Completely different looking player.

    He must have switched back to his original stick or something. Maybe the new smelling salts?
    Me thinks Maroon needs a new brand… or flavour… like: Cinnamon-Habanero Fire Roasted Smelling salts… would make his muscles hyper twitch to McDavid-like levels… or at least Super-human levels…

  108. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Brandon Manning ends a memorable afternoon by tipping a shot past his own netminder with 5 seconds left in regulation & the Flyers come away with nothing but heartbreak in a 2-1 loss to Boston. Oh well, I hear it’s a nice bus ride to the Lehigh Valley.

  109. Centre of attention says:

    Bruce McCurdy:
    Brandon Manning ends a memorable afternoon by tipping a shot past his own netminder with 5 seconds left in regulation & the Flyers come away with nothing but heartbreak in a 2-1 loss to Boston. Oh well, I hear it’s a nice bus ride to Lehigh Valley.

    He also got his head punched into the 3rd row by Belesky. That one impressive punch caught him square.

  110. Scungilli says:

    Centre of attention:
    Scungilli,

    Like I said, Eberle specifically has made strides IMO in the problem areas such as back checking & taking hits to make plays on the boards. He’s picking guys pockets and getting the puck moving north now too. What more can you ask for from a small guy like Eberle? He’s not going to get in on the forcheck and crush dudes.

    No, but he still has to win the puck above 50% other wise the Oilers are losing the battle. There are lots of smaller players now, and he is trying, but failing isn’t an option anymore.

    He needs to figure it out. I think it’s clear he knows it know which is why he is making strides. There won’t be any more lightweights in style on the Oilers methinks.

    Nuge also has a ways to go. I see Nuge as the better player of the two overall and he seems to get a little more slack than Ebs, but they won’t pay either 6 M for mediocre offense and spotty two way play.

  111. treevojo says:

    OilClog:
    Someone still needs to question the coach for using test tube as 2nd shooter and not Eberle

    Big point to lose at this time of year, part of Eberles 6 million a year is/was his ability to dangle some goals into the net when the skills competition begins.

    Not sure him you reward the utility C with the opportunity when your best RW has had his game of the year.

    But still fuck the refs that game should of ended on a Mcdavid penalty shot

    Might want to give the Crosby interview a listen.

    When he is saying the ice was a mess and didn’t want to try handling the puck it gives a little better context to who Todd picked for shooters last night.

  112. digger50 says:

    Bruce McCurdy: Semantics. To belabour that aspect, the polls were both on the trade rather than on the players. I have no doubt that what you say has some truth to it, but I’d argue a lot of those 7000 voters on June 29 knew a whole hell of a lot more about Hall than they did about Larsson.

    Not much substance to the poll really.

    Edit: I should have said more. The poll vas very simplistic, answer too broad to draw specific results from. If the target audience was well educated, ask them more specifics.

    Was the trade fair value?
    Has Larson lived up to expectations?
    Did the trade help the team this season?
    Do you feel there was other ways to improve team?
    Has Halls production been felt, or has team managed to replace that production…

    Off the top of my head but a more specific poll of educated fans should produce more specific results to interpret.

  113. hunter1909 says:

    When people rip McLellan I don’t get it.

    He has a team with a certain level of talent. He’s been getting them to play at a reasonable level, per that talent.

    Scotty Bowman/Toe Blake might have been great coaches, but look at the talent that they had to be great with. Similarly, Al Arbour sucked until his Islanders gelled, after they acquired lots of uber talent.

    Doesn’t this prove that a coach doesn’t have as much effect on the team as some believe?

    Oilers are playing better than many of us thought they were capable of playing. The Hunter1909 Oiler’s Death March estimates prove this fact, since 90% of the predictions were south of where the team is headed today.

    McLellan is doing great. Ditto Chiarelli.

  114. digger50 says:

    Scungilli: No, but he still has to win the puck above 50% other wise the Oilers are losing the battle. There are lots of smaller players now, and he is trying, but failing isn’t an option anymore.

    He needs to figure it out. I think it’s clear he knows it know which is why he is making strides. There won’t be any more lightweights in style on the Oilers methinks.

    Nuge also has a ways to go. I see Nuge as the better player of the two overall and he seems to get a little more slack than Ebs, but they won’t pay either 6 M for mediocre offense and spotty two way play.

    Both played excellent last five games. Why jump on then now? If it’s because of thier price tag that wasEdmontons price during gloom years. If Connor makes 12m will we be all over him? What willexpectations be “at that price?”

  115. bill needle says:

    Who’s Hall?

  116. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Westchester Oil:
    Fun fact about last night’s game – from puck drop until the end of regulation was under 2 hours 20 minutes. Including OT/SO, it was about 2:30. I’ve always kind of thought that there was a negative correlation between entertainment quality and the length of the game. The 2002 Olympic gold medal game was under 2 hours.

    The last 2 games there have only been 41 and 45 faceoffs in 60 & 65 minutes respectively. Subtract the faceoffs to start th period & that means just 79 stoppages in 125 minutes of hockey. Few than 2 whistles every 3 minutes. That is a whole lot of free flow action.

    Worth noting the Oil went 57/86=66% on the dot in those 2 games. They are good against the Isles and All-World vs the Pens.

  117. Bruce McCurdy says:

    JDï™: Who gets Several Species of Small Furry Animals Gathered Together in a Cave and Grooving with a Pict?

    I don’t know if I Get it but I know I’ve Got it

  118. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Pouzar: Jack Michaels‏Verified account @EdmontonJack46m46 minutes ago
    MoreLikely same lineup for EDM vs MTL tomorrow–Oilers 6-1-3 last 10 vs Habs. Talbot v Price, who’s still looking for his 1st win vs Oil in EDM.

    ARRRRRRRRRRRRRGHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Michaels will have to go some to outdo Kevin Quinn’s excellent record of things like “the Islanders haven’t scored a powerplay goal in their last five road gam…oh look they scored”

    😡

  119. OF17 says:

    JDï™: Who gets Several Species of Small Furry Animals Gathered Together in a Cave and Grooving with a Pict?

    Lowe + MacT? Or perhaps they’re “Candy and a Currant Bun.”

  120. JDï™ says:

    OF17,

    Careful With That Axe Zachary.

  121. Bruce McCurdy says:

    digger50: Not much substance to the poll really.

    Edit: I should have said more. The poll vas very simplistic, answer too broad to draw specific results from. If the target audience was well educated, ask them more specifics.

    Was the trade fair value?
    Has Larson lived up to expectations?
    Did the trade help the team this season?
    Do you feel there was other ways to improve team?
    Has Halls production been felt, or has team managed to replace that production…

    Off the top of my head but a more specific poll of educated fans should produce more specific results to interpret.

    What do you think this is? Hahvahd?

  122. blackadder says:

    Centre of attention:
    106 and 106,

    According to MTL media Davidson is going to be a scratch if I’m reading twitter correctly.

    Reid Wilkins‏Verified account @ReidWilkins50m50 minutes ago
    More
    Reid Wilkins Retweeted Marc Antoine Godin
    Davidson not expected to play tomorrow against Oilers.

    Davdson has only played one games since the trade – I think Emelin and Benn have been played ahead of him on the third pairing.

  123. JDï™ says:

    OF17: Lowe + MacT?Or perhaps they’re “Candy and a Currant Bun.”

    Brain Damage, Nobody Home, Point Me At The Sky (preferably the sun) – lot’s of good titles for them.

    And we also have: Marooned, Come In Number 51 Your Time Is Up, Ebb and Flow, and Interstellar Overdrive, to name a few.

    But LT will often pick songs based on the lyrics and not just the title, which should still give a Pink Floyd RE a lot of options.

  124. JDï™ says:

    blackadder: Davidson not expected to play tomorrow against Oilers.

    I guess being in the eastern conference for a long time, Julien doesn’t know about the curse of former Oilers.

    Just as well.

  125. spoiler says:

    Does anyone know of a YouTube replay of last night’s match?

    Got caught up watching the amazing Jordan Peterson and couldn’t tear myself away.

    Even his lectures are compelling. Alberta should be very proud of producing this brave intellect.

    But I am sad I missed the game.

  126. jzed says:

    It is apparent that the ice is too soft, this brand spanking new refrigeration plant is underpowered? Or turned down for patron comfort? Most of the patrons have witnessed many a game where you can see your breath in the stands, not sure is has to be that cold, but seeing our skill players able to stick handle and pass without the puck bouncing all over the place would be a no brainer compromise I think. Have any reporters asked the question , aren’t the players pissed?

  127. JDï™ says:

    spoiler,

    One of these links should work:

    http://nhlreplays.com/pittsburgh-penguins-vs-edmonton-oilers-nhl-10-mar-2017/

    They divide every game up into four parts, so that you can’t tell if it went to OT/SO or not.

  128. dustrock says:

    T-Mac I love you but please why Hendricks. Whyyyhyy.

  129. GMB3 says:

    spoiler:
    Does anyone know of a YouTube replay of last night’s match?

    Got caught up watching the amazing Jordan Peterson and couldn’t tear myself away.

    Even his lectures are compelling.Alberta should be very proud of producing this intellect.

    But I am sad I missed the game.

    A quick google gives me nhlreplays.com

  130. Ryan says:

    hunter1909,

    Can you remind me of my prediction?

  131. Chachi says:

    Rondo:
    Mike Vecchione > zach aston-reese ?

    He is the better skater.

    Easy, I’m a supporter.

  132. hunter1909 says:

    JDï™:
    spoiler,

    One of these links should work:

    http://nhlreplays.com/pittsburgh-penguins-vs-edmonton-oilers-nhl-10-mar-2017/

    They divide every game up into four parts, so that you can’t tell if it went to OT/SO or not.

    I just tried watching that then got one of those “Your Mac is infected with a virus” messages. If I wasn’t as cynical as a pawn shop owner it might have got ugly in a hurry.

  133. hunter1909 says:

    Ryan:
    hunter1909,

    Can you remind me of my prediction?

    There I was…preparing to have a huge go at you for expecting me to troll through hundreds of entries, without a freaking clue…then bingo!

    95 points.

    : p

  134. JDï™ says:

    hunter1909,

    You want free and safe pirated sports streams?

    This isn’t Hahvahd.

  135. Dominoiler says:

    “Sekera-Russell went 17-12 in 15:49, including 14-7 with Connor McDavid. That combination hasn’t always been successful but had the possession edge in last night’s game. Went 15-7 against the Crosby line, impressive with a who’s zooming who warning.”

    I thought Russell had a really good game (started watching 1/2 thru 2nd) and feel like we should celebrate a solid performance, not trip over ourselves praising Sekera.. Sure, Sekera is playing very well, arguably the Oilers top (‘all the tools’) Dman, but I wouldnt expect him (or Benning) to block that dangerous Malkin slapper in the dying minutes.. Russell had a good game, by my eye, and that has value..

    *edit: I also like the blend of skill sets with Sekera/Russell and Nurse/Benning, DD/passer, whereas Sekera/Benning brings the most skill but leaves the third pair without a skilled passer. Nurse/Benning are soo young right now, yes, but hopefully these reps payoff along the way..

  136. hunter1909 says:

    JDï™:
    hunter1909,

    You want free and safe pirated sports streams?

    This isn’t Hahvahd.

    I want it all.

  137. hunter1909 says:

    leadfarmer: PDO Jesus. I think I’ll call my rock band that.

    I prefer Led Farmer.

  138. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    jzed:
    It is apparent that the ice is too soft, this brand spanking new refrigeration plant is underpowered? Or turned down for patron comfort? Most of the patrons have witnessed many a game where you can see your breath in the stands, not sure is has to be that cold, but seeing our skill players able to stick handle and pass without the puck bouncing all over the place would be a no brainer compromise I think. Have any reporters asked the question , aren’t the players pissed?

    The issues is air flow and humidity as per this piece: http://www.edmontonsun.com/2017/01/15/edmonton-can-boast-nhls-best-player-but-not-best-ice

    They recently discovered that 9 of the roof exhaust fans are not working well and will be replaced.

    They specifically mentioned that the exhaust fan issue did not effect ice quality, but if the whole issue is based on air flow I don’t see how they wouldn’t

  139. JDï™ says:

    hunter1909: I want it all.

    Install Kodi and then the Phoenix add-on. There’s a sports replay section in there that seems to work well, but the games take longer to appear.

    My 10 yr old Mac won’t even play those nhlreplay links – what I get reminds me of an Elvis lyric:

    She looked like she learned to dance

    From a series of still pictures

    Costello, that is.

  140. JDï™ says:

    hunter1909: I want it all.

    Try this one then: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ediagJNJR_o

  141. spoiler says:

    JDï™,

    It took down my browser, hard.

  142. JDï™ says:

    spoiler,

    It used to be good – honest!

  143. JDï™ says:

    spoiler,

    Here’s a condensed game highlight package: http://www.dtmts.com/?id=2016020999&vid=50237403

  144. hunter1909 says:

    JDï™,

    It’s ok. I never was any good at watching old games when I know the score in advance. Ironically, I’ll happily watch the last ten minutes of the 1987 SCF anytime, anywhere.

    “That crazed dude with the ‘stache…he’s winding up to shoot…”

  145. spoiler says:

    JDï™:
    spoiler,

    It used to be good – honest!

    Lol… I’ve got it to fly in Chrome. Thank you, Sir.

  146. Dominoiler says:

    I’m curious if others picked up on this..

    Remember a couple days ago, convo about stadium noise, and how the oiler fans may have lost a few decibels through the last grinding decade of defeats.. Last night was the first time in many, MANY, years since I’ve heard a booming “Lets Go Oilers” chant that carried weight well beyond those I’ve hear occasionally over these past seasons.. Last night, it took time for that chant to gain strength.. at first, it was familiar, you know – ok, nice to actually have the fans there get behind the team.. and I think it was the second chant that night, after the Oilers had pushed the Penguins back with more sustained pressure, when that same ol familiar chant started to rise up from the depths (of the decade of despair).. and continued to grow, gaining strength, rising, till it broke through, resounding, echoing, resonant.. First time since 2006 I’ve heard a chant quite like that..

    I totally agree with NYC.. “A goal there by Nuge would have blown the roof off the place.”

    This whole ‘Turning North’ thing, not so bad.. kinda nice..

  147. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    Dominoiler,

    Awesome. I definitely noticed that, too. For the first time in a long time. Going against the Champs, McDavid elevating his game and willing his team to the comeback after being the goat on the unfortunate second goal. Right down to losing in the Shootout after going the distance against the Champs…yes, it was a bit like Rocky (Part I).

    I think that was a very important game in the history of this franchise–as long as they follow up on that game from here on out. Potentially a vital turning point in the course of this, Connor McDavid’s franchise.

  148. Centre of attention says:

    Guys, guys. They are showcasing Hendricks to up his value before the trade deadline, maybe they can get something for him right…?

    Wait

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