THE CLEAR LIGHT OF DAY

The Edmonton Oilers romped over the Dallas Stars 7-1 last night, most everyone chiming in on the scoreboard and posting a crooked number. The power play cashed, the penalty kill killed and the evens went bigly. At a time of year when the tension was perhaps running higher than it should be among the fans, last night surely let everyone find some release. It was a good night.

 WALKING AFTER MIDNIGHT, 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: 2-2-1, goal differential +1
  • Oilers after 69, 2015-16: 26-36-7, goal differential -39
  • Oilers after 69, 2016-17: 36-24-9, goal differential +17

The year over year gap is incredible, really a canyon now. It is not an historic gap, falling well short of the Snake River Canyon. That said, this is a good NHL team and we haven’t had one in our town in over a decade. After 69 games last year, Edmonton had 59 points, and this season the total is 81. A 22-point increase is massive, with the remaining question being how high can they fly?

 WHAT TO EXPECT FROM MARCH

  • At home to: Detroit, NY Islanders, Pittsburgh, Montreal (Expected: 2-2-0) (Actual 1-2-1)
  • At home to: Dallas, Boston, Vancouver, Los Angeles (Expected: 3-1-0) (Actual 1-0-0)
  • 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: 2-2-1, 5 points in 5 games
We are now back in normal range, not quite halfway through the month. If Edmonton grabs two points tomorrow night, they will be right on track with expectations. Big games tomorrow and Saturday, and Monday looms large.

DEFENSE, LAST NIGHT

  • Darnell Nurse stepped up when Oscar Klefbom went down and played (to my eye) very well. His goal came on one of his timely sorties and offered another example of why he has value as a piece of the defensive puzzle. His speed and ability to transport mean opponents have to be aware of the possibilities. Offers another dimension.
  • Nurse-Benning went 8-3 in 7:21 together, Nurse was 4-4 in less than three minutes with Adam Larsson. He even went 1-0 with Kris Russell. Benning went 1-3 with Sekera. Most successful line for the Nurse-Benning pairing was the Desharnais  line (7-0) and they faced Benn-Eakin-Hemsky most often (6-4 in 5:03). I will tell you that some of these numbers are going to be a little off, Lindy Ruff was busy line shuffling like a crazed madman.
  • Klefbom-Larsson went 5-9 in 6:07 together, Larsson also playing an extended period with Darnell Nurse. Oscar had the big shot, but made a few wobble passes, one of which resulted in a fantastic block by Larsson. The former NJD continues to impress me with his calm feet, physical play and smart decisions. A fine player. Larsson went 5-6 against Benn, Klefbom went 2-5. Pairing went 4-1 against Elie-Spezza-Seguin.
  • Cam Talbot stopped 22 of 23, .957. We will forget this and it will be lost forever, but the goalie made some big stops on the night.
  • Numbers via HockeyStats.ca, NHL.com and NaturalStatTrick.

1LINE

  • Interesting night for the top line. Maroon’s goal was a brilliant solo effort, while 97’s goal featured a gorgeous pass from Maroon to McDavid.
  • Overall, I thought the line had a tough time getting a handle on the puck, despite not being targeted by a shutdown line or pairing.
  • McDavid went 4-7 against Dan Hamhuis-Stephen Johns in 4:37, 3-5 against Elie-Spezza-Seguin.
  • The real problem was that blasted 4line (Shore-Faksa-Hemsky), 97 going 4-10 against Faksa in 4:13.
  • We aren’t going to see this line split up after they grabbed two goals, but the puck wasn’t going in a great direction, even considering score effects.

2LINE

  • Great to see this line post four points on the night, and for everyone to be involved.
  • After spending much of the year swearing to God these two wingers were oil and water, it appears they can in fact make beautiful music on the same line.
  • Line went 2-7 against Lindell-Klingberg, which I believe is the top pairing for Dallas (Mr. Ruff appeared to be trying to obscure his opinion of his best players based on matchups).
  • Line went 4-7 against Benn-Eakin-Hemsky, meaning this trio faced the toughest opposition by my estimate.
  • Jordan Eberle worked hard all over the ice. Determined on the rush, he back checked, retrieved pucks and had eight shot attempts. It was a good night for the veteran.

3LINE

  • A third scoring  line? Come on down!
  • The best player on this line is Zack Kassian, and recently (including last night) he has been the best forward on the team. Great hockey play with Pouliot for the first goal, he was rolling.
  • Line went 4-1 against Faksa and 6-0 versus defensemen Oleksiak-Nemeth.
  • The Pouliot goal was a long time coming, but also showcased his range of abilities. We can talk until Easter about Desharnais and his offensive start, but getting BP untracked could be the biggest post-deadline addition.

4LINE

  • One addition to the line and things look much better. A fourth line has to bring some options that can be plugged in higher up the order if push comes to shove. Anton Slepyshev is a fine option to slide up the batting order, and he was useful on this line last night.
  • Slepyshev’s assist came on the Desharnais goal, and featured a great individual effort that perfectly showcased him. This guy can play. Oilers, a team badly in need of young inexpensive wingers, got one from that crazy trade, it appears.
  • Matt Hendricks is still in the lineup and Jujhar Khaira is still in the pressbox. One of the reasons is that Khaira was just okay in his last appearances. Make a positive impact next opportunity, young man. The job is there for you.

STANDINGS

We have discussed the importance of this week and last night was a very good one for the Oilers. Winning allows the club to keep pace with the Calgary Flames and Anaheim Ducks, setting up a fantastic three-way race for two spots and a first-round playoff series that could be epic. I am writing this in the moments after the LAK lost in a shootout, and that feels like the kind of good fortune this franchise hasn’t been privy to for a very long time. Stay tuned, this crazy train has some more turns before we reach the end of the season.

AHL NUMBERS

At 5pm today, unless something breaks, I will publish Eric Rodgers’ estimated time on ice totals for Oilers prospects in the AHL. It is important work, and I thank Eric for doing it. What we are looking for is some sign of offensive spark from these young prospects. Jesse Puljujarvi (who picked up an assist last night) is now 26, 9-12-21 on the season and may see NHL action before the end of the year.

Another player we may want to watch? Jaedon Descheneau. He scored again last night, now 2-3-5 in his last five Condors games. We have discussed procurement for the fall, and Descheneau should be a candidate for an NHL contract. He isn’t scoring at the rate Josh Winquist did a year ago, but he is a name to add to the list. More at 5.  I wrote about college procurement and other ideas at ON this morning, that item is here.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

At 10 this morning, TSN 1260. A fun show with interesting people! Scheduled to appear:

  • Darcy McLeod, Because Oilers. Last night’s game, McDavid’s best linemates, Puljujarvi recall?
  • Chris O’Leary, CFL.ca. Well known writer gets job with a favorite league! Music!
  • Sarah Connors, The Grid Girls. Brad Marchand reaches prime scorer at 28. Plus a fabulous racing site.

10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter.

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89 Responses to "THE CLEAR LIGHT OF DAY"

  1. Jethro Tull says:

    Good result last night. Nice to see us do to other teams what they used to do to us.

    Both Dallas goalie and Crawford last night hit pretty good in the head. Crawford from a slap shot from Shae Weber no less. No call from the guys apparently on the look out for concussions. Must have been taking a leak. The league’s going to want to take this more seriously before the next CBA.

  2. ASkoreyko says:

    So is Lucic’s recent improvement part of the adjustment process that you hear so often about when a player signs with a new team? I would imagine it was easier for him in LA since the style of play was quite similar. I have been enjoying his game lately and to be honest if he can deliver around this level of performance and also bring all the other aspects of the game that we keep hearing about I will be more than happy with the signing in the near term.

    I am quite excited to see what this team can do in the playoffs. Even guys like Matt Benning don’t appear to be afraid of anyone, should make for some entertaining hockey!

  3. treevojo says:

    LT

    I did have a few pops last night so my memory could be wrong.

    But I thought it was maroon who assisted on the mcdavid goal.

  4. hags9k says:

    The backhand pass to 97 was from Maroon no? Maybe you are referring to the play by Leon at our blue line…

    I wonder if Kassian might get a look with Connor to give Leon a breather. Krazy eyes has been flying lately.

  5. DBO says:

    I am concerned about how the McDavid line gets caved pretty consistently on shot metrics. They usually out score, but they often lose the possession battle.

    Hendricks is so slow. He works hard, but he is a step behind, loses the puck often on his stick. And he is running around a lot in our zone, so it’s not like he is an upgrade defensively. But coaches lo veterans, so here we are.

    Free Anton!

    Would rather have Lander in that spot for sure. Would make that line more dangerous offensively while really losing nothing defensively. Even Khaira brings a speed element while still having size. Heck, even to give the old guy a break so he is fresh for playoffs, let one of the others play 4LW every other game.

  6. JDï™ says:

    ASkoreyko: Lucic’s recent improvement

    Got to be worth a 6th rounder by now!

  7. Pablotypus says:

    Everyone panicking needs to settle down and remember that teams out of the playoff picture have little to play for and can be deflated pretty quickly by big strong teams. Lord knows we saw our home town boys fall victim enough times int he past. This Oilers team is in the arguement for toughest team in the league so those LA games are a worry (can you say payback) but there are plenty of victims to be had down the stretch run. Anybody who truely believes that boys would drop out of a playoff spot should think about finding another team to cheer for in the hopes of finding some happiness in life. This team is legit, the only answer we don’t yet have is how legit. I predict at worst a very tough 6-7 game series with plenty of blood and bruises, won or lost on goaltending and defense. It’s no crime to get knocked out in the first round these days, the only crime is to not show up.

    PS, our defense is plenty legit with young guys yet to show their ultimate ceiling, and who doesn’t think Talbot can play?

    We may not win a cup but we’ll be in the picture soon.

  8. Side says:

    The Oilers are such a boring team to watch. All they do is chip and chase. If they played a more exciting brand of hockey they could have scored 14 goals last night.

    Or something, I don’t know.. just trying to keep this ‘boring’ hockey narrative alive here.

  9. Pouzar says:

    Eklund has Kings surpassing Oilers.

    We’re DOOMED!

  10. Pouzar says:

    Talbot can’t even get a shutout. What a Looser.

  11. Diablo says:

    hags9k,

    Yep the ‘backhand sauce’ was courtesy of Maroon, who IMO answered a lot of critics last as he flashed tremendous skill on both goals.

  12. dustrock says:

    ASkoreyko:
    So is Lucic’s recent improvement part of the adjustment process that you hear so often about when a player signs with a new team? I would imagine it was easier for him in LA since the style of play was quite similar. I have been enjoying his game lately and to be honest if he can deliver around this level of performance and also bring all the other aspects of the game that we keep hearing about I will be more than happy with the signing in the near term.

    I am quite excited to see what this team can do in the playoffs. Even guys like Matt Benning don’t appear to be afraid of anyone, should make for some entertaining hockey!

    Could be adjustment with Lucic, maybe he was honestly saving it for the stretch drive. God knows as an NBA fan I`ve seen star players sleepwalk through the long, long, season, and then turn it up instantaneously when the games become important. Not everyone can do that.

    I think the frustration with Lucic was not only that he wasn`t scoring 5v5, but he looked like a Bad Coke Machine, behind the play in both ends, which wasn`t at all like the player I saw on the Bruins.

    Adjustment, saving himself for the stretch, realizing that maybe he doesn’t have to play with McDvaid to be valuable, who knows.

  13. dustrock says:

    As we go along with the cap and trades and player signings and extensions, it is again worth noting we have 4 more years of Larsson at $4.167m and 6(!!!) more years of Klefbom at $4.167m.

  14. bbf_iii says:

    Pouzar:
    Eklund has Kings surpassing Oilers.

    We’re DOOMED!

    Geez, he has LA taking a non-wild card playoff spot, going 10-3 or 9-1-2 to close out the season with 94 points. The day before he had LA finishing at 78 points.

  15. Woodguy v2.0 says:

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

    MIN 24
    CHI 24
    SJS 22
    CGY 13
    ANA 13
    EDM 12-1st wildcard
    NSH 10
    STL 9-2nd wildcard
    ————-
    LAK 4
    WPG -3
    VAN -4
    DAL -5
    ARI -9
    COL -27

    ARI does everyone a favour. LAK closer to done.

    You can see how ridiculous the panic was after the MTL loss.

    WC games tonight:

    BOS at CGY – We’re all BOS fans tonight. If I have to hear about how a team that’s giving up 30 shots a night with .965 SV% is “playing for each other” one more time I’ll go insane.

    DET at COL – The Toilet Bowl series continues. COL can actually win this.

    STL at ANA – Big game for positioning and for STL solidifying a playoff spot. Go Blues!!

  16. 106 and 106 says:

    Can a zero still be a crooked number?

  17. Woodguy v2.0 says:

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

    WSH 28
    PIT 27
    CBJ 26
    NYR 20-1st wildcard
    OTT 17
    MTL 16
    BOS 11
    TOR 8-2nd wildcard
    ————-
    NYI 8
    TBY 8
    FLA 3
    PHI 2
    CAR 1
    BUF -2
    DET -4
    NJD -6

    TOR has .001 more pts% than NYI or TBY due to gp.

    What TBY is doing is incredible because they’re not riding the heavy PDO pony like CGY. They’re PDOing but not like CGY’s 1080, they’re doing it with a 1020. Big difference imo.

    EC games tonight:

    PIT at PHI – should be lots of goals

    BOS at CGY – Go Bruins!!!

    DET at COL – the should cancel this out of principle

  18. bendelson says:

    Jethro Tull,

    I was concerned Drai might get sent to the quiet room after crashing into the boards ackwardly in the first period. It ‘looked’ like he may have hit his head…

  19. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    I ran some Oiler results over the last month (since Feb 14) for points and shot share.

    Interesting results.

    Here’s 5v5 pts/60 (games range from 3-13 played)

    DAVID.DESHARNAIS 2.99
    CONNOR.MCDAVID 2.71
    ZACK.KASSIAN 2.70
    JORDAN.EBERLE 2.58
    IIRO.PAKARINEN 2.31
    PATRICK.MAROON 2.04
    MILAN.LUCIC 1.96
    ANTON.SLEPYSHEV 1.76
    BENOIT.POULIOT 1.71
    RYAN.NUGENT-HOPKINS 1.65
    MATT.HENDRICKS 1.52
    LEON.DRAISAITL 1.43
    MARK.LETESTU 1.40
    OSCAR.KLEFBOM 1.24
    ADAM.LARSSON 0.92
    ERIC.GRYBA 0.88
    ANDREJ.SEKERA 0.83
    KRIS.RUSSELL 0.80
    DRAKE.CAGGIULA 0.56
    DARNELL.NURSE 0.54
    MATT.BENNING 0.32
    BRANDON.DAVIDSON 0.00
    JUJHAR.KHAIRA 0.00

    Go Zack!!!

    I think someone predicted Desharnais would score better than what Craig Simpson and Ray Ferraro said he would…….. 🙂

    Drai being that far below McDavid and Maroon while playing with them is a huge concern.

  20. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Here’s the shot share:

    Player CF%
    JORDAN.EBERLE 57.13
    MILAN.LUCIC 53.25
    DARNELL.NURSE 51.55
    RYAN.NUGENT-HOPKINS 51.35
    BENOIT.POULIOT 50.30
    ADAM.LARSSON 50.30
    PATRICK.MAROON 50.12
    BRANDON.DAVIDSON 50.10
    CONNOR.MCDAVID 49.95
    DAVID.DESHARNAIS 49.70
    MATT.BENNING 49.50
    ERIC.GRYBA 48.90
    OSCAR.KLEFBOM 48.88
    ZACK.KASSIAN 48.75
    KRIS.RUSSELL 48.17
    JUJHAR.KHAIRA 48.17
    ANDREJ.SEKERA 47.87
    LEON.DRAISAITL 46.31
    DRAKE.CAGGIULA 45.65
    MATT.HENDRICKS 44.94
    ANTON.SLEPYSHEV 44.12
    IIRO.PAKARINEN 42.71
    MARK.LETESTU 42.42

    Hey, a 2nd and 3rd line!! WOOT!!! UNICORNS!!!!!

    Nurse continues to improve like he was earlier in the year. He’s a player and we couldn’t say that last year. So awesome to see.

    Need a better 4th line and McLellan has the players to make that happen.

    Drai a concern again. Much lower than his linemates. He might need a change.

    I think Kassian would fit great there and give Drai some clean air for a while.

  21. digger50 says:

    Woodguy v2.

    BOS at CGY – We’re all BOS fans tonight.If I have to hear about how a team that’s giving up 30 shots a night with .965 SV% is “playing for each other” one more time I’ll go insane.

    Yes, the narrative has been quite painful…..lol. Kelly Hrudey embarrassing himself with his flames love. Did you catch him praising coach G for having his team so disciplined they don’t even go offside?

  22. hunter1909 says:

    Hunter1909’s 2016-17 Oilers Death March Update:

    Oilers win last night. With the win, Oilers currently enjoying a 96 point season pace. The Death March players who predicted a 96 point season ending finish are:

    Frank the Dog
    Inner City Smytty
    Waffle Fries
    StevieG_8
    The Boo Bird
    Pink Socks
    Punk In Drublic
    Reneh
    Jaxon

  23. Snowman says:

    Hard to bet against the Flames. Luck is good until it isn’t. It would be spectacular for the Bruins to lay a beat down in Calgary tonight and come in to Edmonton and in turn receive a sound beating.

    That second and third line are making me a lot more confident. This is getting closer to a three line team. Not necessarily the third line anyone had in pencil at the start of the year but definitely a legitimate third line. Kassian is turning into an excellent depth player.

    I’m wondering if this home stand (read: terrible ice at Rogers) is impacting McDavid’s scoring. Puck doesn’t sit for him and bounces all over the damn place. I’d bet when the Oilers hit the road again he puts up some bigger numbers.

  24. npanciroli says:

    Woodguy v2.0,

    I think forcing a left handed shot into a RW role is hard on a player this early in their career.

    Such a natural center.

  25. Jethro Tull says:

    bendelson:
    Jethro Tull,

    I was concerned Drai might get sent to the quiet room after crashing into the boards ackwardly in the first period.It ‘looked’ like he may have hit his head…

    Yeah, for sure. Slow to get up too. First i thought it was a slew foot, but on review, he tried to put his weight back on the d man and the d man backed off and gave the tiniest of shoves.

  26. N64 says:

    Updated races for 4th playoff seeds

    4th seed Pacific: Edmonton (Calgary +1 Anaheim +1, LA -8)
    4th seed Central: St Louis (Nashville +1 LA -4)
    4th seed Atlantic: NYI (Boston +3 Tampa Bay 0 Toronto 0)
    4th seed Metropolitan: NYR (Columbus +6 Pittsburgh +7 Washington +8)

    Update: Did not realize 1st wild card teams could cross over. My bad.

  27. Jethro Tull says:

    digger50: Yes, the narrative has been quite painful…..lol. Kelly Hrudey embarrassing himself with his flames love. Did you catch him praising coach G for having his team so disciplined they don’t even go offside?

    If you’ve ever played Microsoft Hearts (or as we used to call it ‘Chase the Lady’ or ‘Hunt the C…….nevermind), you’ll know that if you collect all the scoring cards you can either half your own score or double everyone else. I believe the Flames are trying to do the same by fitting every single hockey narrative out there into one season. It’s a bold strategy, Cotton. Lets see if it pays off.

  28. McSorley33 says:

    The best player on this line is Zack Kassian, and recently (including last night) he has been the best forward on the team.
    *****************************************************************************
    I have to agree….Mr. Kassian is walking a fine line to being one our best forwards here.

    His game is going/should to translate very well into playoff hockey.

    Size, speed and some ability with the puck…..I think he has found his game.

  29. Chachi says:

    Side:
    The Oilers are such a boring team to watch. All they do is chip and chase. If they played a more exciting brand of hockey they could have scored 14 goals last night.

    Or something, I don’t know.. just trying to keep this ‘boring’ hockey narrative alive here.

    You have to work in “mediocre”, “7th round pick” and “Matt Barzal”.

  30. flea says:

    N64,

    Couldn’t you also put the Oilers in the Central Race and the Blues in the Pacific race? Not to mention San Jose could conceivably pass Chicago/Minnesota and it would flip your standings around.

    With all the crossover possibilities trying to handicap the “4th Seed” race is kinda pointless IMO.

  31. TheOrangeDesk says:

    where do you move drai? I really like the look of 2nd and 3rd lines and wouldn’t adjust them when they are clicking

  32. npanciroli says:

    TheOrangeDesk,

    Yeah that is kind of the issue I see right now also. Almost need to keep rolling that first line.

    Could possibly give Pouliot a couple extra shifts and Kassian or Slepyshev and give Drai or Maroon a bit of a rest. Drai looks burnt out.

  33. StixMalone says:

    1) Last night was my first Oiler game in the new building.
    2) First night wearing my Eberle jersey
    3) Higher seat let me see the whole game from a new perspective
    4) Enjoyed the national anthem singer more than the regular guy
    5) I think we should give singing job to new guy (superstition maybe)
    6) That scoreboard!
    7) Hendricks is SLOW last kick at the can for him ( or puck to can ) lol
    8) Ice still looks like community league quality ( although some might be better)
    9) Sleppy needs power play time on the point
    10) That escalator to second floor! Wow who thought that one out…
    11) We won because I was there
    12) I’m the new lucky charm
    13) If we want to continue to win I must be there
    14) Anyone wanting to give me tickets to game to ensure winning continues?
    15) See numbers 11 and 12

    Lol good game but Boston is in town after playing Calgary and we need to carry this forward…

  34. slopitch says:

    Kassian was fantastic last night. Maroon and Lucuc as well. Eberle had another good game.

    Pouliot had a good goal and he has a great shot. Good for him. I still think he goes into corners completely lost. Either he’s hurt, has lost his confidence is scared to take a penalty or something. Im not sure what. But yes, Pou recovering his game from here on in would help a lot.

    I do think the Kassian, Maroon, Lucic combo is gonna be fun come playoffs. Oh ya, McDavid too.

  35. frjohnk says:

    DBO: I am concerned about how the McDavid line gets caved pretty consistently on shot metrics. They usually out score, but they often lose the possession battle.

    A big part of this is that these guys probably get more scoring chances ( if you count scoring chances without a shot attempt) than they do shot attempts. Any time there is an oddman rush, they often pass the puck 1 time too much and there ends up being no shot attempt.

    Im not worried when McDavid loses the possesion battle. His line creates alot more than the other team the majority of the time. But they need to shoot more.

    Speaking of oddman rushes, how many did the Dallas D allow? Im not sure whats worse, the goaltending or the defense. WOOF!

  36. russ99 says:

    TheOrangeDesk:
    where do you move drai? I really like the look of 2nd and 3rd lines and wouldn’t adjust them when they are clicking

    IMO, an easy fix to get Drai on track is to reduce his ice-time.

    Shift Kassian and Ebs on the top line at times would be a good way to get there.

  37. slopitch says:

    Hendricks is a good solider. And 30 playoff games which is valuable on this roster. Man though he doesnt add much to the game right now. Reminds me of Ethan Moreau’s last few games. Hard to lead when you cant lead by example. JJ gets his spot next year.

    If JJ and JP could step up in the next month, Id sure like to see them on the 4th line.

  38. Wolfpack says:

    russ99: IMO, an easy fix to get Drai on track is to reduce his ice-time.

    Shift Kassian and Ebs on the top line at times would be a good way to get there.

    I agree with this – Drai looks tired and this might be a good way to get him some rest.

    It is really easy to cheer for Kassian these days. He has kept his head on straight and seems to be getting the most out of his skills. Kudos to the coaching staff too I guess for putting him in a position to succeed.

    The other guy i find myself cheering hard for is Larsen. Sublime player, does a lot of small things well, filthy in the corners. Exactly what the doctor ordered for this team. And I completely get that he does not drive the offence but he has 17 points, all at evens, Klef has 19. Just found that interesting.

  39. N64 says:

    flea:
    N64,

    Couldn’t you also put the Oilers in the Central Race and the Blues in the Pacific race? Not to mention San Jose could conceivably pass Chicago/Minnesota and it would flip your standings around.

    With all the crossover possibilities trying to handicap the “4th Seed” race is kinda pointless IMO.

    Update: Just caught up with your comment about top seeds. My bad. Thought the crossover rule only sent 5th place division teams across (i.e. only one team could crossover like in the CFL ). My mistake. 4th place in the Pacific is not going to be a lock to play against San Jose like I thought. And Rangers are a lock to crossover if they stay in 4th.

  40. treevojo says:

    slopitch:
    Hendricks is a good solider. And 30 playoff games which is valuable on this roster. Man though he doesnt add much to the game right now. Reminds me of Ethan Moreau’s last few games. Hard to lead when you cant lead by example. JJ gets his spot next year.

    If JJ and JP could step up in the next month, Id sure like to see them on the 4th line.

    Did you do that on purpose?

    URBAN DICTIONARY

    SOLIDER

    Badass mambajamba who voluntarily gives and sacrifces more than anyone else.

  41. Dino says:

    RE:Draisaitl

    I want to see him switch positions with Nuge and become the 2C between Looch and Ebs. Then Nuge can play the wing on Mcdavid’s line.

    I wouldn’t want to disrupt the newfound chemistry between 27 and 14 and I think 29 could compliment their game pretty well, while also playing a little less and lesser competition. And Nuge could compliment Mcd with his good wrister, speed and huge hockey brain. I think 93 and 97 could make some good music together.

  42. Side says:

    Chachi: You have to work in “mediocre”, “7th round pick” and “Matt Barzal”.

    Ouu good call.

    I also forgot to mention Chiarelli’s track suit, too.

  43. Chachi says:

    Side: Ouu good call.

    I also forgot to mention Chiarelli’s track suit, too.

    Also a combo reference to Ralph Krueger and Todd Nelson.

  44. who says:

    TheOrangeDesk:
    where do you move drai? I really like the look of 2nd and 3rd lines and wouldn’t adjust them when they are clicking

    That is a good question. I would move him to third center but that is not going to happen for three reasons.
    1. They won last night so the lineup probably stays the same.
    2. Tmac likes his SJ model of three centers in the top six.
    3 . Chia traded Davidson for DD so they are going to play him. Just hope they don’t talk themselves into resigning him. He is not that good. Kassian is the man driving the third line right now.
    Solid game by Slepy. He looks like one of those shoot first wingers everyone says we need. Saddling him with Letestu and Hendricks isn’t helping him much.
    I am not a heartless bastard, and I appreciate that they are rewarding a good soldier,but Hendricks is done. He spent more time on his ass last night then he did on his skates. It is getting embarrassing. No need to play him every game.

  45. npanciroli says:

    Anyone see Larsson tweet Re: Nurse?

    He’s got an unexpectedly good social media game.

  46. the_real_socaloil says:

    Does anyone else think that JJ should be in for Hendo? Hendo’s slowing down and JJ should be in the lineup w/ Sleps and Letestu.

  47. the_real_socaloil says:

    treevojo,

    slopitch,

    Agreed!

  48. Jethro Tull says:

    http://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/nhl/disciplined-defenceman-klefbom-deserve-praise/

    All hail the Klef. Set dreaminess to stun…….ning.

  49. linkfromhyrule says:

    Jethro Tull:
    http://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/nhl/disciplined-defenceman-klefbom-deserve-praise/

    All hail the Klef.Set dreaminess to stun…….ning.

    Good article, Klef sure does show up well in a lot of places. MacT’s evaluation of Dmen shall never again be questioned! 🙂

    Gryba doesn’t show up well in that first graph though

  50. bendelson says:

    the_real_socaloil:
    Does anyone else think that JJ should be in for Hendo? Hendo’s slowing down and JJ should be in the lineup w/ Sleps and Letestu.

    Yes, virtually everybody would agree with the exception being old-timey,
    onion belt wearing, Barbara Ann Scott storytelling coaching regimes…

    No doubt, Hendo is struggling.

  51. pocession charge says:

    Is the expression ‘untracked’ or ‘on track’? ‘Could of’ or ‘could’ve’?

  52. pocession charge says:

    bendelson: Yes, virtually everybody would agree with the exception being old-timey,
    onion belt wearing, Barbara Ann Scott storytelling coaching regimes…

    No doubt, Hendo is struggling.

    Hendricks tends to play well for the first 2-3 games after he has sat out. Then he falls off a cliff and is terrible. If TMc would just make a small adjustment and sit him out once every few games he might be rewarded with an increase in performance. Or he could just sub in Khaira who is much better.

  53. pocession charge says:

    Dino:
    RE:Draisaitl

    I want to see him switch positions with Nuge and become the 2C between Looch and Ebs. Then Nuge can play the wing on Mcdavid’s line.

    I wouldn’t want to disrupt the newfound chemistry between 27 and 14 and I think 29 could compliment their game pretty well, while also playing a little less and lesser competition. And Nuge could compliment Mcd with his good wrister, speed and huge hockey brain. I think 93 and 97 could make some good music together.

    Seconded. I really like this idea.

  54. Jaxon says:

    Schedule notes:

    Lots of very meaningful games coming up.

    7 of their last 13 games are against ANA(2x), LAK(3x so these are huge to guarantee a playoff spot!!!) and SJS(2x).

    Thursday is their last game against an Eastern Conference team (BOS).

    They must win their 5 games win the weaker COL(2x) and VAN(3x) as they will be in tough against the rest.

    If they beat LAK in all 3 games they will have 14 point lead for the other 10 games. That is huge as far as having their destiny in their own hands.

    LAK play CGY 3 times and ANA once, so for making the playoffs, we will probably be cheering for CGY and ANA to beat the Kings. It may leave the taste of vomit in our mouth, but it will be worth it just to make the playoffs.

    LAK have a tough road trip where they play CGY then EDM on back-to-backs, and then EDM then CGY on back-to-backs the next week, so both teams may be able to take advantage of a tired LAK club on the 2nd nights. LAK also face NYR and CHI, yay!!!

    Exciting times!

  55. Diablo says:

    Wolfpack,

    He’s a RHD version of Vlasic (with some of the viciousness of Gator mixed in) – the kind of player TMac knows well. Suspect Larsson could put up 30 points per year with power play time, but that would limit his availability on evens and on the PK. He’s going to shelter young RHD D-men for years to come. A tremendous asset on a great contract – New Jersey made a mistake letting him go.

  56. treevojo says:

    linkfromhyrule: Good article, Klef sure does show up well in a lot of places. MacT’s evaluation of Dmen shall never again be questioned!

    Gryba doesn’t show up well in that first graph though

    Some days when people are ripping into Chiarelli I like to go back and read the quotes from Mactavish on March 2 2015.

    It really puts things into perspective.

  57. HT Joe says:

    treevojo: Some days when people are ripping into Chiarelli I like to go back and read the quotes from Mactavish on March 2 2015.

    It really puts things into perspective.

    Can’t Oilers fans just hate everybody?

  58. StixMalone says:

    Elliot not playing in Calgary tonight due to “illness”. Johnson playing. Is tonight the end of the winning streak?

  59. Pastor of Disaster says:

    StixMalone:

    4) Enjoyed the national anthem singer more than the regular guy
    5) I think we should give singing job to new guy (superstition maybe)

    I thought the exact same thing. Dude was a smooth powerhouse. Did anyone listening to the broadcast get an explanation for the singer switch? He should stick around.

    Of note: after a particularly long and challenging shift, the 1Line was slow to change. All of Rogers Place heard someone on the bench shouting “GET OFF!!” to Draisaitl, Maroon and McDavid (mostly Drai, probably). Curious if anyone knows who that was?

    Was fun bringing my 11 year old nephew from Ontario to his first NHL game, wearing all orange, white and blue gear and getting to witness that beatdown. The Oilers may have created one more fan for life. I fear unrealistic expectations though.

  60. bendelson says:

    StixMalone,

    Personally, I don’t care who sings the anthems so long as they are on skates and given room to roam… what could go wrong?

  61. N64 says:

    Jaxon: LAK play CGY 3 times and ANA once, so for making the playoffs, we will probably be cheering for CGY and ANA to beat the Kings. It may leave the taste of vomit in our mouth, but it will be worth it just to make the playoffs.

    1 pt back on 2nd and 3rd place. Want Kings to sweep Anaheim and Calgary and be swept by the Oil.

  62. StixMalone says:

    bendelson,

    That would be fun to watch. Especially the auditions……..

  63. dustrock says:

    http://www.corsica.hockey/highlights/

    Has anybody checked this site for highlights?

    You can check the goal highlights for any specific player.

    Looks like you could ask for any assists on goals or shots as well, but I couldn’t get that to load.

    Neat.

  64. GMB3 says:

    npanciroli:
    Woodguy v2.0,

    I think forcing a left handed shot into a RW role is hard on a player this early in their career.

    Such a natural center.

    That’s quite a narrative

  65. npanciroli says:

    GMB3,

    Just a theory.

  66. ASkoreyko says:

    dustrock: Could be adjustment with Lucic, maybe he was honestly saving it for the stretch drive.God knows as an NBA fan I`ve seen star players sleepwalk through the long, long, season, and then turn it up instantaneously when the games become important.Not everyone can do that.

    I think the frustration with Lucic was not only that he wasn`t scoring 5v5, but he looked like a Bad Coke Machine, behind the play in both ends, which wasn`t at all like the player I saw on the Bruins.

    Adjustment, saving himself for the stretch, realizing that maybe he doesn’t have to play with McDvaid to be valuable, who knows.

    You are spot on about his play. I wasn’t concerned with the points but there was more than a few times he looked WAY to slow to be in the NHL and the play would die with him getting stripped of the puck with ease.

    His speed has seemed to have improved and he is finally making the little plays and passes that LT has been talking about. I wasn’t expecting him to be a world-beater but he was looking a lot like JFJ out there for stretches.

    If Lucic becomes a playoff performer (which he seems to do if you discount the 2010-2011 season) then we will be in a great spot.

  67. ASkoreyko says:

    JDï™: Got to be worth a 6th rounder by now!

    As long as we are also including our 2nd round pick. Right?

  68. trencan says:

    I am happy with the result against Stars but still not the believer. Stars were poor last night but I liked Klingberg in their team. I am missing chemistry in our lines and missing also depth on some positions. The best line is Habs line. Biggest positive surprise are Kassian and Desharnais in last few games. Still a lot to do. Lets go Oilers.

  69. LMHF#1 says:

    The coach does have to notice eventually that #42 is the answer to his powerplay question – right?

  70. N64 says:

    LMHF#1:
    The coach does have to notice eventually that #42 is the answer to his powerplay question – right?

    in about 7.5 million years.

  71. JDï™ says:

    N64,

    You’re saying there’s a chance?

  72. N64 says:

    JDï™:
    N64,

    You’re saying there’s a chance?

    I’m saying by the time they get that answer they’ll forget the question.

  73. Little Poteet says:

    N64,

    That is some Deep Thought logic right there.

  74. magneto says:

    Little Poteet:
    N64,

    That is some Deep Thought logic right there.

    Let’s pretend I ALSO have a witty Adams-related reference

  75. Lewis Grant says:

    Wolfpack: The other guy i find myself cheering hard for is Larsen. Sublime player, does a lot of small things well, filthy in the corners. Exactly what the doctor ordered for this team. And I completely get that he does not drive the offence but he has 17 points, all at evens, Klef has 19. Just found that interesting.

    Larsson is tied for 57th in EV points by a Defenseman.

    At 57th overall, Larsson is objectively a top pairing OFFENSIVE defenseman in the NHL.

    Would you believe he is tied with OEL in EV points? (By the way, when are we finally going to trade Hall for OEL?)

  76. npanciroli says:

    Lewis Grant,

    And that sexy moustache.

  77. N64 says:

    Little Poteet:
    N64,

    That is some Deep Thought logic right there.

    Yes. If the question and the answer ever co-exist something even more inexplicable will happen.

  78. N64 says:

    magneto: Let’s pretend I ALSO have a witty Adams-related reference

    When in doubt wave your playoff rally towel.

  79. Admiral Ackbar says:

    What’s Calgary’s PDO again? I hope regression to the mean occurs sooner rather than later – I can’t wait to see the pain in their fan’s eyes.

    McD looks a bit disheartened at times. He sets up guys for grade A chances endlessly and they endlessly miss the net. Kid needs a finisher. Just for a few shifts, please try Schlepy!!!

    Nice result last night. Still, too many giveaways. Gotta get that part of the game figured out. I want to see the team that swept the Blues & Flames. I want the team that rolled SJ in SJ before the break.

  80. Frank the dog says:

    pocession charge:
    Is the expression ‘untracked’ or ‘on track’?‘Could of’ or ‘could’ve’?

    Ok I’ll take the bait regardless, starting with everyone has the freidum 2 spael stuff aniehow they wont .
    The original iteration was of course, “could have”. This was abbreviated in the spoken word to “could’ve” but somewhere between boomers and gramer nawt cownting it’s become “could of’ because that’s how “could’ve” sounds and most folks don’t know at better, nor do they care.

    Me, I’m past caring, like I’m past caring about whether we make the playoffs unless we actually do make the playoffs and then I’ll be glued to every game. I can only imagine how Rogers will rock, that is if enough people can afford the seats to fill the stadium.

  81. Professor Q says:

    Frank the dog: Ok I’ll take the bait regardless, starting with everyone has the freidum 2 spael stuff aniehow they wont .
    The original iteration was of course, “could have”. This was abbreviated in the spoken word to “could’ve” butsomewhere between boomers and gramer nawt cownting it’s become “could of’ because that’s how “could’ve” sounds and most folks don’t know at better, nor do they care.

    Me, I’m past caring, like I’m past caring about whether we make the playoffs unless we actually do make the playoffs and then I’ll be glued to every game. I can only imagine how Rogers will rock, that is if enough people can afford the seats to fill the stadium.

    Actually, its first known usage was in the early 1800s (although you’re absolutely correct on how dialectic and phonetic misnomers – various types and names for them, haha, which I can’t recall – contribute to miscommunication, misunderstanding, convergence, divergence, and evolution of languages):

    http://english.stackexchange.com/questions/48686/how-did-the-use-of-could-of-and-should-of-originate-and-is-it-considered-co

  82. Dicky94 says:

    Frank the dog,

    I hope it’s louder than what it is now. The fans need to pick it up! It always sounds like its quiet there, unless it’s different actually being at the game. It needs to be like 2006 Rexal. Help the boys out!!

  83. Bruce McCurdy says:

    ASkoreyko:
    You are spot on about his play. I wasn’t concerned with the points but there was more than a few times he looked WAY to slow to be in the NHL and the play would die with him getting stripped of the puck with ease.

    His speed has seemed to have improved and he is finally making the little plays and passes that LT has been talking about. I wasn’t expecting him to be a world-beater but he was looking a lot like JFJ out there for stretches.

    If Lucic becomes a playoff performer (which he seems to do if you discount the 2010-2011 season) then we will be in a great spot.

    ***IF*** Lucic becomes a playoff performer??

    Currently he stands 39th among active players in Playoff Games Played with 101, at age 28 one of the very youngest players in the triple digits. (I didn’t check every player, but Jagr and Hossa are #1-2 and it follows from there.)

    Regular season (716 GP) per 82: 20-30-50, 102 PiM, +13
    Post season (101 GP) per 82: 21-31-52, 129 PiM, +31

    Looks to me like he can sustain his performance levels rather well. Indeed, most players see their rates decline in the post-season. I did a detailed comp of that quite a few years ago, haven’t checked recently but doubt if it’s changed. Something on the order of 10%. Not so for Lucic.

    Not sure why you would want to discount his 2011 playoffs. Sure, his scoring numbers tailed off a bit from his team-leading 62 in the regular season, but with 25 GP, 5-7-12, 63 PiM, +11 it’s not like he was a passenger. Not to mention his team won the Stanley Cup. I don’t suppose HE discounts that playoff run.

    As for that gaudy +/-, his career gross +38 in the playoffs is second among active players, squashed between Zetterberg (+41) and Keith/Chara (+37), not bad. Say what you will about plus/minus but I value it especially over the longer term when sample sizes get real. (And I have to admit to being an “outscorers” snob generally.)

    Remember, all those stats are in the playoffs, when players don’t get a chance to pad their stats at the expense of the Avs/Yotes/Stars of the day.

    Lucic has taken a while to come around, but to my eye appears increasingly comfortable by the week. And when he says things like “this is the time of year that competitors should love” you can bet every ear in that room is hearing it. My own ears perked up when he said “competitors”, that’s the magic word AFAIC.

    Let’s just say that I don’t consider him a weak link. JFJ? Not hardly. He’s the most experienced player on the team, both regular season and especially the playoffs. That contract might come back to haunt the Oilers when he’s into his deepening 30’s, but for the moment he’s a key element. And for all he’s having a “bad year” he hit the 40-point mark last night with a month to go in the season.

    And all that said, I agree with your final point that “if” Lucic delivers what he usually does in the stretch drive and playoffs, the Oilers will be in a good spot. But I say that more with relish than trepidation. From a distance he has always struck me as a guy who lives for this time of year. Am looking forward to seeing that from close range.

  84. LMHF#1 says:

    Dicky94:
    Frank the dog,

    I hope it’s louder than what it is now. The fans need to pick it up!It always sounds like its quietthere, unless it’s different actually being at the game.It needs to be like 2006 Rexal. Help the boys out!!

    It is quiet. They still haven’t proven anything and people are scared to get into it for fear of having hopes crushed. 10 years of disaster teaches you to expect it’s all fake.

  85. N64 says:

    Frank the dog: . This was abbreviated in the spoken word to “could’ve” but somewhere between boomers and gramer nawt cownting it’s become “could of’ because that’s how “could’ve” sounds and most folks don’t know at better, nor do they care

    It coulda happened that way.

  86. Lowetide says:

    Khudobin v Johnson is interesting. Could be 7-6 tonight in Calgary.

  87. Ford Prefect says:

    N64: When in doubt wave your playoff rally towel.

    Definitely DON’T PANIC

  88. rickithebear says:

    Entertaining!
    Nurse and Klefbom are entertaining!

    Quite frequently I see them down low in the Ozone near the net.

    I think
    1. #%$*&^% mayhem!
    2. Well this is entertaing!
    3. What is there $%#@^&* EVGA?
    Nurse 2.40 EVGA/60
    Klefbom 2.57 EVGA/60
    4. what is there GA/CA ratio?
    Nurse 2.40/52.60 = 4.56%
    Klefbom 2.57/54.32 = 4.73%

    6. Wonder what the other d’s numbers are?
    16-17
    Russell 1yr 1.68/56.61 = 2.97%

    Larsson 1yr 2.29/55.64 = 4.12%
    w/Russell 1.57/53.88 = 2.91%

    Benning 1yr 2.13/49.96 = 4.26%

    15-16 to 16-17
    Davidson 2yr 1.87/51.83 = 3.61%

    Sekera 2.20/56.14 = 3.92%
    w/ Russell 1.29/ 56.62 = 2.28%
    w/ Davidson 2.09/62.61 = 3.34%
    w/ Nurse 2.94/58.94 = 4.99%
    w/ Benning 2.51/49.76 = 5.04%

    Gryba 2.17/54.95 = 3.95%
    w/ Davidson 1.86/50.84 = 3.66%
    w/ Nurse 1.80/51.59 = 3.49%
    w/ klefbom 3.89/51.64 = 7.53%

    Fayne 2yr 2.54/56.92 = 4.46%
    w/ Marincin 2.17/55.39= 3.92%
    w/ Sekera 2.37/56.46 = 4.20%
    w/ Klefbom 2.70/53.79 = 5.02%
    w/ Nurse 3.36/69.13 = 4.86%

    Nurse 2yr 2.76/58.62 = 4.71%

    Klefbom 2yr 2.60/53.74 = 4.84%
    w/ Davidson 0.74/48.06 = 1.54%
    w/ Larsson 2.32/55.39 = 4.19%
    w/ Benning 2.41/46.30 = 5.21%

    13-14 to 14-15
    Marincin 2yr 1.99/57.41 = 3.47%
    w/ Fayne 2.17/55.39= 3.92%
    w/ Petry 2.91/57.04 = 5.10%

    Petry in MTL
    2.43/53.65 = 4.53%

  89. GMB3 says:

    LMHF#1: It is quiet. They still haven’t proven anything and people are scared to get into it for fear of having hopes crushed. 10 years of disaster teaches you to expect it’s all fake.

    Isn’t Edmonton historically pretty quiet during the games? During the regular season I mean. People actually watch and understand the game.

    Jay Onrait mentions as much in his second book anyways.

    I imagine the acoustics in the new arena play a role as well.

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