HEART OF SATURDAY NIGHT

Oh those Saturday nights! Back in the 1980’s, you could be assured of one thing when heading to Northlands Coliseum on a Saturday night: It was going to be a fun game. The NHL is a tighter league now, the room  to wheel has been coached out of the game, and oxygen is in short supply. Still, it is a beautiful game when Connor McDavid is in it and last night fans could let loose midway through the third period. We are close to the playoffs now, should be sometime this week. Music!

 MISERY AND GIN, 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: 7-3-1, goal differential +13
  • Oilers after 75, 2015-16: 29-39-7, goal differential -39
  • Oilers after 75, 2016-17: 41-25-9, goal differential +29
The Oilers are now over 90 points for the first time since the good times, and the GD is +68 (!!!). Edmonton has 26 more points than they did at the same time one year ago and are headed for the postseason for the first time in one forever. That makes for a very nice Sunday morning coming down. As of this moment, March has the top goal differential (+13) for any month.

 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 4-0-0)
  • On the road to: Anaheim, Colorado (Expected: 1-1-0) (Actual: 1-1-0)
  • At home to: Colorado, Los Angeles, San Jose (Expected 1-1-1) (Actual: 1-0-0)
  • Overall expected result: 7-5-1, 15 points in 13 games
  • Current results: 7-3-1, 15 points in 11 games

We agreed at the beginning of the month that March was going to be an easier time. I did project them to post seven wins and 15 points in the month, they just got here early. Another point or two this week wouldn’t go amiss though, there’s a race for the division title going on!

DEFENSE, LAST NIGHT

  • Nurse-Benning went 8-7 together in 10:28, both men had good moments passing and transporting. Benning’s injury was a fluke but it didn’t look good. Damn. Nurse was 1-4 with Larsson and 0-5 with Sekera. Nurse was 7-6 against Colborne-Grigorenko-Compher. I think this is a good third pairing, hope Benning is okay. They should recall Mark Fayne, put him right in the lineup, but the cap the cap the cap. Nurse is emerging as a rugged defender who has a range of skills and can impact the game in several areas. Early days but nice to see.
  • Klefbom-Larsson went 8-13 in 12:16 together, went 6-6 with McDavid line and 2-5 with the Nuge line. I was miffed at Larsson for the GA, but that was a terrible line change (it was actually a lazy flip by the forward). This pairing is not crisp right now though, and that must change. Went against 8-6 Rantanen-MacKinnon-Andrighetto line.
  • Sekera-Russell scored three points between them but didn’t have the puck as much as three assists implies. Went 4-15 in 11:31 together, holy hell. Went 0-9 with the Nuge line, which sounds bad but if you saw it, then you know it was worse. Sekera went 1-16 against Landeskog-Duchene-Nieto, Russell went 2-10 against the same line. Crazy. This pairing does not break and that is their appeal, but for me (this is my opinion only) there are way too many high events against. If you’re looking for an area where Calgary trumps Edmonton, look no further than the top 4D.
  • Laurent Brossoit will get better on rebounds but he’s beginning to establish himself as a bona fide backup option while building trust with his coach. He made a fan-bloody-tastic save when it was still 2-1. Tremendous. Stopped 24 of 25, .960. Would do the Oilers a giant favor by winning the backup job, suspect the organization is pleased with his recent performances.
  • Numbers from NHL.com, HockeyStats.ca and Natural Stat Trick.

1LINE

  • The goal was fantastic, high skill and three great moves (one by each). McDavid is so so dangerous with turnovers, is anyone counting how many goals result from them? Brilliant pass by Caggiula and if Leon hadn’t scored that would have been a double into the gap.
  • This line works well with the Swedish pair (6-6). And Sekera (4-4). I think the Oilers are going to need to run a veteran puck mover on the ice with them at all times.
  • Line went 7-4 against Rantanen-MacKinnon-Andrighetto, and 7-7 against Erik Johnson. Francois Beauchemin remains a pain in the ass, 4-7 McDavid against the veteran.

2LINE

  • Nuge and his band spent the first two periods playing that game where you make yourself dizzy spinning in circles. The line got fed in possession.
  • Nuge had a dandy third period on the power play, sending a nifty pass into the slot for Caggiula and scoring a nice 5×4 goal of his own. He needs the boxcars, good to see him have success.
  • The wingers had quiet nights, although that is unfair to Eberle who did have a couple of notable chances.
  • Trio went 3-10 against the Landeskog-Duchene-Nieto line, Todd McLellan chose this line and the Sekera-Russell pairing to play what I consider the top Avs line. Results were terrible, but I’m not sure there is a better option (McDavid up against MacKinnon line and Erik Johnson pairing is a good match for 97).

3LINE

  • Kassian was once again the star of this line, he was brilliant during the game and in the postgame with Scott Oake. I think we have to give him enormous credit, posting 1.85/60 at 5×5 (scoring) while on a secondary modern.
  • The line scored the game’s first goal, nice to see Benoit Pouliot having some success. Some of these slumping forwards are closing strong.
  • Line went 1-5 against Bourque-Soderberg-Comeau, you’d hope for a better result but this line has been high event at both ends since being put together after the deadline.

4LINE

  • The line was not effective in possession, Letestu’s 20 percent Corsi well below his season average of 45 percent.
  • Went 0-8 against Bourque-Soderberg-Comeau but 2-2 against the MacKinnon line in close to four minutes.
  • Drake Caggiula is 53, 6-10-16 on the year but 2-2-4 in his last two games. I’ve said all year we don’t really know about his offense, and the last couple of games have been most encouraging. Many miles to go, but a very nice weekend arrow.

STANDINGS

This is us! The Oilers are tied for the top in the Pacific Division and have the best goal differential. The offense is superior and the goals against is way down year over year.

  • 2015-16 goals-for/against per game: 2.43-2.95
  • 2016-17 goals-for/against per game: 2.92-2.53

The Oilers are improved in both areas, but the fact they are scoring at close to three goals a game is impressive. The Oilers are the No. 3 offense in the Western Conference this morning.

SCORING LEADERS

Connor McDavid has quietly opened up a bit of a lead and others are running out of track. Leon Draisaitl’s late season surge (he is tearing up the blacktop) has him in company with some ridiculous names. Offense is not a problem for the Edmonton Oilers. Offense is not a problem for the Edmonton Oilers. Offense is not a problem for the Edmonton Oilers. Offense is not a problem for the Edmonton Oilers. Sorry, I just had to establish it in my mind.

This will be a story until it’s not a story anymore, and that could come right away or linger. Spencer Foo is a skilled right-shot winger (38gp, 26-36-62 with Union College) and his NHLE is 13-18-31. As a comparable, Drake Caggiula’s NHLE a year ago was 82gp, 22-22-44. Foo is 6.0, 180 and would be a very good fit based on need and age (he is 22). Where would I put him on the depth chart for next season? Probably 1R in Bakersfield depending on how the summer develops, but he wouldn’t have a long minor league audition before getting an NHL recall in my opinion. Peter Chiarelli is once again fishing in the right spots based on need, and RW’s with offense are badly needed. How much offense will be bring? Enough for us to be genuinely curious is my guess.

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140 Responses to "HEART OF SATURDAY NIGHT"

  1. Todd Macallan says:

    Judging by the title of today’s post, I am going to go ahead and assume you have decided on Tom Waits for the RE.

    Music!

  2. Jethro Tull says:

    Oilers: Worst team for a decade.

    Avs: Worst team in a decade.

    We’re going to the playoffs!

  3. DBO says:

    Feel for Benning. Hurts especially since no equivalent puck mover, unless they tap Osterlee as the call up. Can the cap afford Fayne call up? I hope so. Word from minors is he has been their best dman, huge help to the young guys and has been total professional. I hope they bring him up cause Nurse could use that babysitter. Our RD becomes the grinders, our LD the movers. I guess that’s kinda balance on the backend. But I know Gryba for an extended period of time does not fill me with comfort or joy.

  4. Todd Macallan says:

    Re: Benning, post game Todd said he was walking around fine, just had a big welt. Sounds like disaster averted.

  5. dustrock says:

    Not surprised that Caligula scoring on PP and with McDavid and Draiisaitl.

    We all love Maroon but I’m not convinced he’s the longterm 1LW solution.

    Talked a bit with Cam Thomson on twitter about playing some President’s Choice wingers with McDavid and now is not the time to experiment but would be interesting to see something like Caggiula and Sleppy with McDavid, put Drai with RNH.

    Ah well, overall the lines are fairly balanced.

    Hope Larsson and Klefbom tighten up a bit and Benning isn’t gone long.

    LT – Sekera-Russell gets caved in possession and Kurt Leavins calls Russell our best defenceman. Different view of the game I guess.

  6. Westchester Oil says:

    Nice to see LB play well – does this mean the Oilers won’t spend any assets for a back-up keeper in the offseason.

    Extremely small sample size but Caggiula and Draisaitl seem to have some nice chemistry.

    I’m astonished a team with Duchene, McKinnon and Landeskog can be this bad. I said the same thing a couple years ago when we had Hall, Ebs, RNH, etc., but we were never this bad.

    A little story that only Oiler fans could appreciate: i got a new car yesterday and I had a choice of 8 license plates ending in 92…up to 99. I was undecided between 97 and 99 for a while, but i ended up with 97. Got to think about the future, not the past.

  7. npanciroli says:

    Larsson and Benning actually seemed to be one the only D that could make a pass yesterday. I should check out WheatnOil D charts.

  8. leadfarmer says:

    I’m guessing Bennings out 3 weeks with a bone bruise but I hope I’m wrong. Without him I don’t like that RHD depth chart which almost completely relies on the lefty partner to move the puck, Larsson can move it but defers to Klefbom too much.

    I hope they give Brossoit another game or two. There’s a non-negligible chance he gets some time in the postseason, he could use a little time to work on those rebounds.

  9. flyfish1168 says:

    Was at the game. When Desharnais and Russell was in the ice together it was trouble for us. Was not able to complete and win puck battles.we needed bigger bodies. Can’t have two small players like that out there at the same time. JMHO

  10. anjinsan says:

    “The NHL is a tighter league now, the room to wheel has been coached out of the game, …”

    What is hockey without the room to wheel, eh?

    It isn’t just the systems coaching. The players are too big, too fast, and too fit for the NHL rink. It’s way too much a pin-ball game.

    We’re the fans. We can go on strike, too. For International ice. Fuck the owners. All they would lose is a few rows furthest from the ice with the lowest price tags.

  11. npanciroli says:

    anjinsan:
    “The NHL is a tighter league now, the roomto wheel has been coached out of the game, …”

    To me it’s this and not calling any obstruction anymore. If they started calling hooking holding interference at all PPs would skyrocket and players would stop obstructing.

  12. frjohnk says:

    npanciroli:
    Larsson and Benning actually seemed to be one the only D that could make a pass yesterday. I should check out WheatnOil D charts.

    I would like to see the numbers as it seemed more than a few times, Larsson would just flip/chip the puck out when under no pressure. Other times he would make a good play.

    His puck movement is what bugs me about him ( love everything else) He has the skill to move it better but there are times he just New Jerseys it out of the zone when he has better options.

  13. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Foo story is interesting.

    Peter did a good job last year filling in the development gap on D, F and G with Benning (RH), Caggulia, and Ellis.

    This year he’s added D in Mantha (RH) and we await the F fill-ins.

    I like Green’s drafting but the strength of it so far is in the Dcorps and unless Benson gets surgery and a 100% recovery, its pretty bereft of developing F’s as McDavid and JP aren’t “bubbling under” so to speak.

  14. Lowetide says:

    dustrock:

    LT – Sekera-Russell gets caved in possession and Kurt Leavins calls Russell our best defenceman. Different view of the game I guess.

    I like Russell as a defender, but am comfortable as well in being critical in terms of being able to get that puck moving north. That pairing needs to get the puck and get out, and last night was not successful.

  15. Jethro Tull says:

    frjohnk,

    I have played a lot of team sports and a commin theme is that it takes two to make a good pass and a pass good. We have the benefit of viewing the game from distance and elevation. However, we are prone to parallax, but a few times i thought Larsson looked up and really didn’t like the options the forwards where giving him. Also remember that the opposition is doing their darndest to break those outlet passes up. Connor preys on these.

  16. leadfarmer says:

    frjohnk: I would like to see the numbers as it seemed more than a few times, Larsson would just flip/chip the puck out when under no pressure.Other times he would make a good play.

    His puck movement is what bugs me about him ( love everything else) He has the skill to move it better but there are times he just New Jerseys it out of the zone when he has better options.

    That’s been bugging me about him. He can pass the puck, but prefers to play sweeper and defer to Klefbom on the exits. He will make some nice passes and then say that’s enough of that and then chip it out for no reason. They can coach it out of him so hope we see an improvement next year

  17. PerryK says:

    Woodguy v2.0:
    Foo story is interesting.

    Peter did a good job last year filling in the development gap on D, F and G with Benning (RH), Caggulia, and Ellis.

    This year he’s added D in Mantha (RH) and we await the F fill-ins.

    I like Green’s drafting but the strength of it so far is in the Dcorps and unless Benson gets surgery and a 100% recovery, its pretty bereft of developing F’s as McDavid and JP aren’t “bubbling under” so to speak.

    Your point is well made. However, I was not very impressed that Aston-Reese ended up in Pittsburgh and not here. I see him as a lot better both defensively and offensively than Caggiula.

  18. Woodguy v2.0 says:

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

    CHI 27
    MIN 20
    ANA 17
    SJS 16
    EDM 16
    NSH 13
    CGY 13-1st wildcard
    STL 12-2nd wildcard
    ————–
    LAK 3
    WPG -2
    DAL -3
    VAN -5
    ARI -12
    COL -31

    ANA takes lead in the Pacific. SJS and MIN are free-falling.

    WC games tonight:

    MIN at DET – after getting embarrassed at home by the Dys (!!) MIN takes their shit show to another bottom feeder in DET. Will they win? Doubt it, but DET is bad.

    DAL at NJD – DAL is playing better hockey lately, but still lack D. NJD lacks D. Maybe some goals?

    VAN at WPG – I have no words about this game. At all.

    NYR at ANA – We are Rags’ fans tonight. They shut out LAK last night 3-0 and hopefully complete the 1 hotel – 2 opponents roadie in the same style.

  19. Lowetide says:

    PerryK: Your point is well made.However, I was not very impressed that Aston-Reese ended up in Pittsburgh and not here.I see him as a lot better both defensively and offensively than Caggiula.

    One thing we can say with some confidence: USA kids sign with USA teams. Birthplace matters it just does. McDavid may be able to overcome that from time to time, but Foo is probably a more likely target based on where he’s from.

  20. Woogie63 says:

    Avs win the possession battle last night, but spend the whole night on the perimeter of the ice.

  21. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    PerryK: Your point is well made.However, I was not very impressed that Aston-Reese ended up in Pittsburgh and not here.I see him as a lot better both defensively and offensively than Caggiula.

    If I’m Aston-Reese I actually see more opportunity to make the NHL team with PIT as Lucic, Maroon and Pou are all in my way and under contract next year, not to mention Khaira and Caggulia.

    PIT’s LW right now are Sheary, Kunitz (UFA), Cullen (UFA) and Kuhnhackl.

    Also,

    “hey kid, wanna play with Sid and Geno and join the Cup champs?”

    He’s got 5 points in 3 games in the AHL. Wonder if he gets the call soon?

  22. N64 says:

    So this is Pikes Peak. A bit crowded at the top. Who thought to build a Sharks and Duck tank way up here? The preliminary 75 games are done. Now begins the 5 nights of California dreaming to sort contenders and pretenders. Biggest series in a decade. MOAR bigger tests ahead.

  23. jm363561 says:

    Of the self-inflicted issues that have been really pissing me off – Penalty kill; Backup goalie; Caggiula – progress.

    Nuge, Sigh – okay, a two point night but he just seems like a boy playing in the men’s league. At the World Cup of Hockey he was hailed as the second coming of Pavel Datsyuk. What happened?

    It is difficult to understand why when we are top of of the division, and are 6-1-0 in the last seven games, it just doesn’t seem that good. This site needs fewer statisticians (other than Ricki Da Bear of course) and way more sports fan psychiatrists.

    Om. Om. Om.

  24. Dominoiler says:

    frjohnk: I Larsson

    His puck movement is what bugs me about him ( love everything else) He has the skill to move it better but there are times he just New Jerseys it out of the zone when he has better options.

    Or maybe he didn’t have better options, so he makes the low risk / low reward play instead..

  25. A'bunadh says:

    dustrock:
    Not surprised that Caligula scoring on PP and with McDavid and Draiisaitl.

    We all love Maroon but I’m not convinced he’s the longterm 1LW solution.

    Talked a bit with Cam Thomson on twitter about playing some President’s Choice wingers with McDavid and now is not the time to experiment but would be interesting to see something like Caggiula and Sleppy with McDavid, put Drai with RNH.

    Ah well, overall the lines are fairly balanced.

    Hope Larsson and Klefbom tighten up a bit and Benning isn’t gone long.

    LT – Sekera-Russell gets caved in possession and Kurt Leavins calls Russell our best defenceman. Different view of the game I guess.

    RE: Kurt Leavins. He has a ridiculous Russell bias. Totally out of touch with actually hockey stuff like passing and puck movement but shotblocking = high grades. Russell had an atrocious game recently and Leavins gave him a 5 and Nuge had 3 scoring chances for, no chances against and got the same grade. I see the game very similar to Bruce and his game grades but if Leavins is doing them I don’t even read.

  26. Woodguy v2.0 says:

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

    WSH 32
    CBJ 29
    PIT 29
    NYR 21-1st wildcard
    MTL 18
    OTT 16
    TOR 11
    BOS 9-2nd wildcard
    ——————-
    NYI 8
    TBY 7
    CAR 6
    FLA 3
    PHI 2
    BUF -1
    DET -3
    NJD -8

    BOS won the yuge game vs NYI.

    CAR is 7-0-3 in their last 10. Lack has put up a .940 since Peters told him to “make a fucking save”

    https://twitter.com/Woodguy55/status/846003275010752513

    Its too late for them, but its interesting that a good corsi team that if finally getting some goalering and has Aho and Skinner shooting over 12% and Staal over 10% is starting to win and win handily.

    EC games today:

    MIN at DET – Boudreau sounds fed up. Wonder if his players are too? Hanzal has a 56% CF but a 905 (!!!) PDO due to a .819 SV% since coming over. Wonder if this drops his price?

    DAL at NJD – I think there will be goals. O/U is 5.5 with the under being -120. Hmmm. Bookies know more than me so I’ll defer, but I’d put a unit or two on the over.

    PHI at PIT – Should be PIT in a walk, but I said that last time and PHI beat em 4-0

    NYR at ANA – NYR is meandering to the finish and ANA is coming on strong. Lundqvist is confirmed to start and is his first game back since injury March 7th. Hope he’s good! GO RAGS! *clap,clap*

  27. russ99 says:

    A’bunadh: RE: Kurt Leavins.He has a ridiculous Russell bias.Totally out of touch with actually hockey stuff like passing and puck movement but shotblocking = high grades.Russell had an atrocious game recently and Leavins gave him a 5 and Nuge had 3 scoring chances for, no chances against and got the same grade. I see the game very similar to Bruce and his game grades but if Leavins is doing them I don’t even read.

    Also this blog’s ridiculous CF% bias. That pairing got caved because the forwards stood around and they had to do heavy lifting on D, and did a pretty good job of it considering, and if you look at goals for and against, they did their job.

    Hockey is a five man unit game, you can’t single out one or two players when the three ahead of them aren’t pulling their weight,

    We won 4-1 without Talbot, don’t get why some people need players to tear down every day, just because they don’t measure up to a favorite metric. There’s lots of ways to win hockey games, winning the shot battle is only one of them.

  28. John Chambers says:

    Man is Sekara ever a polished defenseman.

    Just skates the puck out of trouble and puts a pass to the correct spot every time. Heady on offense. Best blueliner we’ve had since Pronger.

  29. Rondo says:

    Spencer Foo

    http://broadstreetbuzz.com/2017/03/17/philadelphia-flyers-college-free-agent-target-spencer-foo/

    “He’s greasy,” Starman said. “He just does a lot of little things that are fun to watch. He’s got electric speed, hands, guts. He’s not afraid to try something difficult. He’s been good. He’s just fun to watch and he plays with an edge.”

    “That consistency has been very important because it has allowed the younger players to see that through consistency breeds success,” Union coach Rick Bennett said. “Spencer is one of the hardest workers in practice each day. Hopefully, that resonates throughout the year and when he moves on. My hope is that my younger players emulate his work ethic and consistency.”- Joshua Seguin collegehockeynews.com

  30. Rosco says:

    A little Q and A with young Mr. Foo… big Oilers fan? Hmmmm, welcome aboard Spence!

    http://www.timesunion.com/tuplus-sports/article/Q-A-with-Union-hockey-s-Spencer-Foo-10977731.php

  31. frjohnk says:

    5 on 5 shots locations for
    High Danger
    Avs 10
    Oil 8

    All situation shots locations for
    High Danger
    Avs 10
    Oil 15

    Oil had 7 shots for on the PP FROM THE SLOT! That does not happen against a good team.

    Avs had 17 shots for from the “arrow” while the Oil had 12 during 5 on5
    But including special teams Avs had 18 while the Oil had 20.

    Oilers were very good in boxing out the Avs during the PK.

    So its either Avs PP is brutal/Oil PP is great. Probably a combination.

  32. A'bunadh says:

    russ99: Also this blog’s ridiculous CF% bias. That pairing got caved because the forwards stood around and they had to do heavy lifting on D, and did a pretty good job of it considering,and if you look at goals for and against, they did their job.

    Hockey is a five man unit game, you can’t single out one or two players when the three ahead of them aren’t pulling their weight,

    We won 4-1, don’t get why some people need players to tear down every day, just because they don’t measure up to a favorite metric. There’s lots of ways to win hockey games, winning the shot battle is only one of them.

    I never mentioned CF%. I don’t care for it, especially for dmen. Doesn’t change the fact that he is in his own zone way too much because he allows zone entries and struggles to move the puck. Russell also plays with the same forwards that the other D do so confusing that the puck in our zone more with Russell on the ice is not a reflection on Russell?
    On top of that, my comment was with regard to Leavins seeing things much different than most, including our host, not a bash on Russell because of poor CF%.

  33. Jethro Tull says:

    Off season rescue mission for Duchene!

    I’d give two 1st rounders as a start.

  34. jp says:

    Bakersfield had a real nice weekend too, taking 2 straight from Eakins and the Gulls (#3 team in the AHL heading into the weekend). Condors now 4 pts up on Stockton for the last playoff spot.

    Huge weekend for Gustavsson, allowing 2 goals on 76 shots, and scoring one himself.

  35. frjohnk says:

    Dominoiler: Or maybe he didn’t have better options, so he makes the low risk / low reward play instead..

    If he were to have more patience with the puck, then he wouldnt be doing the low risk/low reward play so much. There were at least a few times when Larsson could have grabbed the puck and easily moved laterally and found an open forward or passed to an open Klefbom ( once was Sekera) but he chipped the puck off the glass. I dont think we gained possession any time.

    Most top pairing Dmen have the patience to move the puck well even under pressure. Yes, sometimes the best option is chipping it off the glass. But options such as using skating to get the puck out could be used, Larsson doesnt use this option much. Is this New Jerseying it out still in his head or lack of skating skill to move it out? I think he has the skill.

    I dont know the running tally now, but WheatNoiLs numbers earlier in the year that Larsson was below average on the Oilers in skating and passing the puck out. Maybe his numbers are better now and he is average, but I believe he has the skill to be better than average.

    I know Im probably judging Larsson very harshly but man I want him to be an good top pairing around stud on D and see that his puck moving is probably his biggest weakness. He fixes that he enters into a ” good top pairing Dman” territory.

  36. Lowetide says:

    Jethro Tull:
    Off season rescue mission for Duchene!

    I’d give two 1st rounders as a start.

    If he’s available, the Oilers should push hard imo. Duchene is a fantastic player.

  37. OilClog says:

    If there was a problem with Landers speed in the bigs, Fayne will not be getting any call ups. Different position, same cement feet.

  38. leadfarmer says:

    frjohnk: If he were to have more patience with the puck, then he wouldnt be doing the low risk/low reward play so much.There were at least a few times when Larsson could have grabbed the puck and easily moved laterally and found an open forward or passed to an open Klefbom ( once was Sekera) but he chipped the puck off the glass.I dont think we gained possession any time.

    Most top pairing Dmen have the patience to move the puck well even under pressure.Yes, sometimes the best option is chipping it off the glass.But options such as using skating to get the puck out could be used, Larsson doesnt use this option much.Is this New Jerseying it out still in his head or lack of skating skill to move it out?I think he has the skill.

    I dont know the running tally now, but WheatNoiLs numbers earlier in the year that Larsson was below average on the Oilers in skating and passing the puck out.Maybe his numbers are better now and he is average, but I believe he has the skill to be better than average.

    I know Im probably judging Larsson very harshly but man I want him to be an good top pairing around stud on D and see that his puck moving is probably his biggest weakness.He fixes that he enters into a ” good top pairing Dman” territory.

    Completely agree. He has the incredible ability to take a high end forward, steer him towards the boards, and rob him blind. He should be better with passing the puck. The skill is there, the want isn’t always there. Three things a dmen has to do: defend, skate, and pass the puck. Without Benning that last point of needing to be able to pass the puck is highlighted and underlined.

  39. Woogie63 says:

    Rosco:
    A little Q and A with young Mr. Foo… big Oilers fan? Hmmmm, welcome aboard Spence!

    http://www.timesunion.com/tuplus-sports/article/Q-A-with-Union-hockey-s-Spencer-Foo-10977731.php

    Foo have been at the SJS and Flames development camps.

    I went to the Calgary camp but can’t remember Mr. Foo standing out amounts this peer group.

  40. leadfarmer says:

    Woodguy v2.0:
    EC standings using points %. Shown as “points over/under .500” to see spreads between teams.

    WSH32
    CBJ29
    PIT29
    NYR21-1st wildcard
    MTL18
    OTT16
    TOR11
    BOS9-2nd wildcard
    ——————-
    NYI8
    TBY7
    CAR6
    FLA3
    PHI2
    BUF-1
    DET-3
    NJD-8

    BOS won the yuge game vs NYI.

    CAR is 7-0-3 in their last 10.Lack has put up a .940 since Peters told him to “make a fucking save”

    https://twitter.com/Woodguy55/status/846003275010752513

    Its too late for them, but its interesting that a good corsi team that if finally getting some goalering and has Aho and Skinner shooting over 12% and Staal over 10% is starting to win and win handily.

    EC games today:

    MIN at DET – Boudreau sounds fed up.Wonder if his players are too? Hanzal has a 56% CF but a 905 (!!!) PDO due to a .819 SV% since coming over.Wonder if this drops his price?

    DAL at NJD – I think there will be goals.O/U is 5.5 with the under being -120.Hmmm. Bookies know more than me so I’ll defer, but I’d put a unit or two on the over.

    PHI at PIT – Should be PIT in a walk, but I said that last time and PHI beat em 4-0

    NYR at ANA – NYR is meandering to the finish and ANA is coming on strong. Lundqvist is confirmed to start and is his first game back since injury March 7th.Hope he’s good!GO RAGS!*clap,clap*

    I hope Carolina ends the Ward era. They have a pretty good team with a good young d corp but have been cratered by terrible goalering. Bring in Darling and another center and they could be a playoff team next year.

  41. Centre of attention says:

    russ99,

    Hey, all I’m saying (as well as others before me) is that winning the shot battle is the most repeatable way to win over the long haul.

    A’bunadh: I never mentioned CF%.I don’t care for it, especially for dmen.Doesn’t change the fact that he is in his own zone way too much because he allows zone entries and struggles to move the puck.Russell also plays with the same forwards that the other D do so confusing that the puck in our zone more with Russell on the ice is not a reflection on Russell?
    On top of that, my comment was with regard to Leavins seeing things much different than most, including our host, not a bash on Russell because of poor CF%.

    This is a wonderful analysis. I’m with you, even the most ardent anti-corsi guy must see with his own eyes that Russel has lost a step since that second groin injury.

    There were nights earlier in the year when Russel actually did OK in terms of transporting the puck out, and he had a strong run of shot share that coincidentally reflected that.

    But since coming back from that second groin injury (Stauffer named the specific injury the other day on OilersNow) he definitely seems to be struggling.

    He can usually wheel pretty good in his own zone and recover nicely under opposition pressure, blocking lanes ETC but he does a lot of standing still nowadays.

    The Rakell goal was a perfect example. He got twisted right around and looked completely immobile on the play, very concerning when you take into account moments like that are where he usually looked best in the past.

  42. kgo says:

    Lowetide: If he’s available, the Oilers should push hard imo. Duchene is a fantastic player.

    I doubt we make any big acquisitions for Leftys either up front or on D. I’m convinced we’re after a large righty centre to play with Looch and to trigger the PP…

    How would y’all feel about Jeff Carter with 30% retained. Not sure what we send back but LAK are desperately trying to rid salary

  43. Brantford Boy says:

    Just wanted to give a quick shout out to the Oilers After Hours guests this season… it’s been a real treat to watch some class and grace talk about real stuff with Scott Oake. I like the boys honesty and the coach and GM’s frankness, although Peter does keep his cards close to his chest.

    My two cents is to recall Fayne for a 2 game stint (LA and SJ) if Benning isn’t good to go and if the cap allows for such a move.

    Playoffs baby, playoffs!
    I can hardly wait to see what McDavid, Draisaitl, Lucic and Larsson have in store for the next gear… Go Oilers!

  44. Diablo says:

    kgo: I doubt we make any big acquisitions for Leftys either up front or on D.I’m convinced we’re after a large righty centre to play with Looch and to trigger the PP…

    How would y’all feel about Jeff Carter with 30% retained.Not sure what we send back butLAK are desperately trying to rid salary

    They may be trying to get rid of salary, but they are not moving out any of Doughty, Carter, Muzzin or Toffoli.

    They may consider moving Kopitar though.

    Although Bettman will probably find some way to bail them out of their salary cap mess.

  45. Diablo says:

    Jethro Tull:
    Off season rescue mission for Duchene!

    I’d give two 1st rounders as a start.

    Plus what else?

    If you were an Avalanche fan would you be happy with a couple of low 1st round picks + some mediocre prospects for a player of Duchene’s caliber?

    Probably not.

    If I’m the Av’s GM, I’m not moving him unless I get a top 4 D in return – that’s the only thing that’s going to turn that organization around. Who here wants to trade Nurse or Klefbom?

    Both Anaheim and Nashville will be forced to trade a D-man cause of expansion:
    – Nashville can offer Ekholm, who’s on a fantastic contract.
    – Anaheim can offer up any of Vatanen, Lindholm, and Fowler – they can’t keep em all, unless they want to protect 4 D and expose Silfverberg – better to just trade for Duchene and protect 7-3-1. They have both Theodore and Montour waiting in the wings.

    Duchene to Edmonton is never going to happen, unless we are willing to add Nurse.

  46. Ryan says:

    dustrock:
    Not surprised that Caligula scoring on PP and with McDavid and Draiisaitl.

    We all love Maroon but I’m not convinced he’s the longterm 1LW solution.

    Talked a bit with Cam Thomson on twitter about playing some President’s Choice wingers with McDavid and now is not the time to experiment but would be interesting to see something like Caggiula and Sleppy with McDavid, put Drai with RNH.

    Ah well, overall the lines are fairly balanced.

    Hope Larsson and Klefbom tighten up a bit and Benning isn’t gone long.

    LT – Sekera-Russell gets caved in possession and Kurt Leavins calls Russell our best defenceman. Different view of the game I guess.

    While we all love the pugnacious Maroon, there are contract issues to consider moving forward.

    Next year, he should continue represent an extreme value contract. If he scores another 20 goals on McDavid’s wing, then what?

    Late round draft pick… Truculent big body forward who plays a very heavy game with a surge in offense in his late 20’s while playing with McDavid. What could possibly go wrong on his next contract?

    For some reason, I think of a guy like Dustin Penner who obviously had a better offensive career. He also didn’t play Maroon’s heavy style of hockey, but both had success cleaning up garbage around the net.

    Penner had a career year at 28 and was out of the league by what 30?

  47. Diablo says:

    Brantford Boy:
    Just wanted to give a quick shout out to the Oilers After Hours guests this season… it’s been a real treat to watch some class and grace talk about real stuff with Scott Oake.I like the boys honesty and the coach and GM’s frankness, although Peter does keep his cards close to his chest.

    My two cents is to recall Fayne for a 2 game stint (LA and SJ) if Benning isn’t good to go and if the cap allows for such a move.

    Playoffs baby, playoffs!
    I can hardly wait to see what McDavid, Draisaitl, Lucic and Larsson have in store for the next gear… Go Oilers!

    If Draisaitl finishes 10th in scoring the Oilers will be over the cap, and will have to pay a penalty for next season. There’s no reason to compound the problem by bringing up Fayne unless Benning is seriously hurt. Especially cause TMac will just put Fayne in the PB and Gryba on the ice.

  48. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    leadfarmer: I hope Carolina ends the Ward era.They have a pretty good team with a good young d corp but have been cratered by terrible goalering.Bring in Darling and another center and they could be a playoff team next year.

    Unless Quebecor buys and moves them I think they stay with Ward/Lack next year as both are under contract and every penny counts for CAR.

    I think there will be a bidding war for Darling (which will be won on term, I predict $4.1 x 4 years) and CAR can’t get in that fight with current ownership.

  49. Diablo says:

    Ryan: While we all love the pugnacious Maroon, there are contract issues to consider moving forward.

    Next year, he should continue represent an extreme value contract. If he scores another 20 goals on McDavid’s wing, then what?

    Late round draft pick… Truculent big body forward who plays a very heavy game with a surge in offense in his late 20’s while playing with McDavid. What could possibly go wrong on his next contract?

    If he gets a Clarkson offer from someone, than I’m sure Chia will wish him luck elsewhere.

    Maroon’s next contract with the Oilers needs to be less than the gross overpay that was signed by Pouliot. If Maroon likes winning and playing on McDavid’s line, then he’ll take less than ‘market value’ on his next deal.

  50. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Diablo: They may be trying to get rid of salary, but they are not moving out any of Doughty, Carter, Muzzin or Toffoli.

    They may consider moving Kopitar though.

    Although Bettman will probably find some way to bail them out of their salary cap mess.

    If I were Brown or Gaborik I wouldn’t take any luggage when crossing boarders for a while.

  51. frjohnk says:

    Diablo: If he gets a Clarkson offer from someone, than I’m sure Chia will wish him luck elsewhere.

    Maroon’s next contract with the Oilers needs to be less than the gross overpay that was signed by Pouliot. If Maroon likes winning and playing on McDavid’s line, then he’ll take less than ‘market value’ on his next deal.

    Im guessing Maroon looks at going to St Louis to be closer to his boy

  52. Admiral Ackbar says:

    I have a feeling the puck struck the muscle on that Benning block from point-blank. I bet his leg went completely numb and he panicked. I bloody hope it’s not a bone bruise. That pairing looked better than their usual chaos last night.

    If Benning is out, I hope Fayne is ready to go. He’s a much better option that Gryba IMO

  53. frjohnk says:

    Woodguy v2.0: If I were Brown or Gaborik I wouldn’t take any luggage when crossing boarders for a while.

    Ha Ha.

  54. frjohnk says:

    Not sure I will have time to dig for some more data but I looked last night and found

    Last Night 5on5 Flames
    Non perimeter shots for 9 ( 3 HD)
    19 non perimeter shots allowed ( 9 HD)
    1 game but they found 14-15 horseshoes?

  55. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Diablo: If Draisaitl finishes 10th in scoring the Oilers will be over the cap, and will have to pay a penalty for next season. There’s no reason to compound the problem by bringing up Fayne unless Benning is seriously hurt. Especially cause TMac will just put Fayne in the PB and Gryba on the ice.

    You probably know this, but I haven’t seen it mentioned in regards to Fayne being brought up so I’m going to mention it so everyone has the information.

    The cap difference between bringing up Fayne and Reinhart is ~$87,000

    When a player is “buried” like Fayne, the Oilers (or any other team) can only “bury” $950K of the salary. The rest sits on the cap so while Fayne has been in the AHL he’s cost $2.675MM on the cap.

    Reinhart’s salary is $863K. Fayne’s “buried” amount is $950.

    The difference is $87K

    That $87K might be important, but its not a matter of millions.

  56. OriginalPouzar says:

    Jethro Tull:
    Off season rescue mission for Duchene!

    I’d give two 1st rounders as a start.

    How do we fit this in to the cap?

  57. jp says:

    Diablo: If Draisaitl finishes 10th in scoring the Oilers will be over the cap, and will have to pay a penalty for next season. There’s no reason to compound the problem by bringing up Fayne unless Benning is seriously hurt. Especially cause TMac will just put Fayne in the PB and Gryba on the ice.

    Weird they’re keeping Khaira around then if they’re that worried about $$. He’s barely been playing and they’re carrying 15 forwards. Bakersfield could use him too.

    I get why they’ve kept him up, but he could easily have sent out to “stay in game shape” if they were scraping pennies together.

  58. Oil2Oilers says:

    Off topic today but I have been mulling over what to do about Nuge.

    The best answer I can come up with is nothing, he is a wonderful player and we should keep him for ever. The only flaw in his game is face offs and that is of dubious benefit and will likely over correct as he ages. By 25 he will likely be one of the best face off men in the league.

    Should the Steve Austins contracts become an issue, with Lucic contract being an anchor and Eberle’s trade value not as high as Nuge’s I propose the following;

    Sign Hanzal for something in the 4’s for 3 years
    Trade Nuge for Tanev and pic (2018 1st for me, a lot less for Chia)
    Let Russell walk

    Cap wise it roughly works, defence is upgraded, but Hanzel is not as good as Nuge and is old and often injured.

    So again keep Nuge, but Sekera-Tanev would sure be a sweet 2nd pair.

  59. DeeJay says:

    Westchester Oil,

    A little story that only Oiler fans could appreciate: i got a new car yesterday and I had a choice of 8 license plates ending in 92…up to 99. I was undecided between 97 and 99 for a while, but i ended up with 97. Got to think about the future, not the past.

    nice….

  60. Admiral Ackbar says:

    OriginalPouzar: How do we fit this in to the cap?

    Put Ebs out to pasture?

  61. Bag of Pucks says:

    Random thoughts:

    How can Kassian be so soft spoken off the ice and such a trash talker on it? Classic Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

    Seemed as if Caggiula is adding a little edge to his game. Good to see. Is this the famed functional toughness effect, where even the small players start feeling their oats with big brothers to back them up? By my eye, he’s passed Khaira, Hendricks and Pouliot on the overall contract depth chart. Lock for Top 9 next season. Still hope they resign Pitlick.

    Passing aside, why doesn’t Larsson skate it out more? Whatever your opinion on ‘the trade,’ the offensive ceiling doesn’t seem terribly high with this player.

    Brossoit is dreadful at rebound control.

    Gap control. Active sticks. That sums up this team under TMac for me. Crickets from the anti TMac pundits now and rightfully so. +28 in goal diff. Tied for first in the division. No one saw that coming this year. What a memorable and enjoyable first season in Rogers.

    Canada geese coming home, snow melting and Oiler playoff hockey around the corner. This is how spring is supposed to be.

  62. Oil2Oilers says:

    frjohnk: Im guessing Maroon looks at going to St Louis to be closer to his boy

    Maroon for Paajarvi at next years deadline!

  63. frjohnk says:

    Oil2Oilers: Maroon for Paajarvi at next years deadline!

    Throw in a conditional Yak.

  64. Bag of Pucks says:

    Call up Fayne. Thank you, LT. Always great to start the day with a robust belly laugh.

  65. Glass says:

    Lets sign both Foo & Vecchione.

  66. Ducey says:

    Any evidence that Fayne > Gryba?

    Has Fayne even been the best D on the farm?

    I would guess it’s Gryba in with Oesterle getting recalled

  67. Bag of Pucks says:

    As much as we think the Hall trade will define the Chiarelli era, his tenure in Boston shows us that the contracts he cuts are the more definitive moves. The decisions made on the McDavid, Draisaitl and Maroon contracts this offseason are all fraught with peril and carry the potential to be franchise altering. As does the Lucic deal.

    Lucic was not given Austins money to play 2LW and now Maroon’s taken that spot, legitimately.

    If Maroon and Lucic both have strong playoffs, you can make a very tenable argument for selling high on Lucic in the offseason and resigning Maroon even if he merits a big, big raise.

    No way Chiarelli could predict Big Rig’s breakout, but does it have him second guessing the term he handed Looch? He’s a smart guy, so I’m guessing, yes.

  68. Jaxon says:

    Woodguy v2.0:
    Foo story is interesting.

    Peter did a good job last year filling in the development gap on D, F and G with Benning (RH), Caggulia, and Ellis.

    This year he’s added D in Mantha (RH) and we await the F fill-ins.

    I like Green’s drafting but the strength of it so far is in the Dcorps and unless Benson gets surgery and a 100% recovery, its pretty bereft of developing F’s as McDavid and JP aren’t “bubbling under” so to speak.

    PerryK: Your point is well made.However, I was not very impressed that Aston-Reese ended up in Pittsburgh and not here.I see him as a lot better both defensively and offensively than Caggiula.

    I like Foo. He is an Edmonton kid, leading the NCAA in plus/minus (that doesn’t scream that there are many forwards better defensively), only 8 months older than Aston-Reese and scoring at the same pace, but depending on your sources, he is anywhere from 5 lbs to 24 lbs lighter than Aston-Reese. Right shot RW.

    Lowetide: One thing we can say with some confidence: USA kids sign with USA teams. Birthplace matters it just does. McDavid may be able to overcome that from time to time, but Foo is probably a more likely target based on where he’s from.

    Interesting Spencer Foo trivia that may help in convincing him to come to Edmonton. He played with Craig MacTavish’s son, Sean, in Bantam AAA and Midget AAA, and they were the leading scorers so quite likely linemates. They may still be close friends. That might mean a lot since MacT is still involved.

  69. Johnny Larue says:

    Bag of Pucks:
    As much as we think the Hall trade will define the Chiarelli era, his tenure in Boston shows us that the contracts he cuts are the more definitive moves. The decisions made on the McDavid, Draisaitl and Maroon contracts this offseason are all fraught with peril and carry the potential to be franchise altering. As does the Lucic deal.

    Lucic was not given Austins money to play 2LW and now Maroon’s taken that spot, legitimately.

    If Maroon and Lucic both have strong playoffs, you can make a very tenable argument for selling high on Lucic in the offseason and resigning Maroon even if he merits a big, big raise.

    No way Chiarelli could predict Big Rig’s breakout, but does it have him second guessing the term he handed Looch? He’s a smart guy, so I’m guessing, yes.

    Milan is not going anywhere he has a no move clause

  70. leadfarmer says:

    Woodguy v2.0,

    Kinkaid has given up less than 4 goals once in his last 4 starts and the team in front of him played last night.

  71. Chachi says:

    leadfarmer:
    Woodguy v2.0,

    Kinkaid has given up less than 4 goals once in his last 4 starts and the team in front of him played last night.

    The team in front of him is arguably also the worst Devils team since 1989.

  72. Scungilli says:

    Jethro Tull:
    frjohnk,

    I have played a lot of team sports and a commin theme is that it takes two to make a good pass and a pass good. We have the benefit of viewing the game from distance and elevation. However, we are prone to parallax, but a few times i thought Larsson looked up and really didn’t like the options the forwards where giving him. Also remember that the opposition is doing their darndest to break those outlet passes up. Connor preys on these.

    I agree 100%. The Oilers need a lot of things as most teams do, but wingers are last on my list. The Oilers have further to go defensively to get their goal diff where the best teams are than with scoring. As said you need someone to pass to in a good position.

    The Oilers are thin at centre IMO. Desharnais is probably playing his last NHL games unless Chia very mistakenly signs him. Leon is a good player but has little NHL experience at centre which is as hard to learn to play well as D IMO. So Leon will need shelter some if he goes there.

    Letestu is fine but cannot do well without proper wingers it seems. He can’t carry two rookies, sometimes not even one. I’m not sure what they should do with all of the rookie wingers as while promising none can carry weight with Letestu yet. How many can they hide?

    Nuge isnt doing bad for his age going against top players as someone showed a while back, but he’s not exactly strong, yet, and probably has a suitcase packed.

    Boyle and Hanzal are UFA but both are slow and are going to have oppressive contracts. Probably not great three C options for the Oilers. Maybe a miracle happens and it’s not Nuge that goes but I doubt it.

    If they can bolster centre the next issue is that they need a better player than Russell. Sekera is being wasted dragging rookies and weak vets around. I also dont think Klefbom is a first pair D at this point. I’d like to see Larsson with a stronger partner and Klefbom playing second pair. If they found a strong second right could play Sekera on the first pair and Nurse Benning are good enough for third pair.

    It will be interesting to see what they do. We ll probably be surprised.

  73. In the Grease says:

    Curious – this must have been discussed already, and sorry if I missed it – but how have the Oilers been able to have 24 players on their roster, for a while now… ?

    Extra forwards last night were; Slepyshev, Hendricks, Pakarinen & then Gryba 7th D

    That’s 15 forwards, 7 D, 2 goalies

    Checked Oilers site roster listing, and Bakersfield roster listing… it doesn’t add up?

    What did I miss?

  74. slopitch says:

    If you can get duchene, you do it. I’d offer 2 1sts plus Reinhart. Then you keep everyone for a one year cup run. Shop Nuge for a fall type but unless anyone bites keep that forward group. It’s solid.

    But that’s next year. This year, the west is wide open. Chicago and the rest. Gonna be fun to watch playoff hockey again with some skin in the game.

  75. Lowetide says:

    In the Grease:
    Curious – this must have been discussed already, and sorry if I missed it – but how have the Oilers been able to have 24 players on their roster, for a while now… ?

    Extra forwards last night were; Slepyshev, Hendricks, Pakarinen & then Gryba 7th D

    That’s 15 forwards, 7 D, 2 goalies

    Checked Oilers site roster listing, and Bakersfield roster listing… it doesn’t add up?

    What did I miss?

    After the deadline, rosters can expand. Oilers sent Jujhar Khaira down and then called him back right away so he would be eligible for the clear day roster and AHL playoffs. He is the 24th, but it’s all legal after rosters expand.

  76. Ryan says:

    Scungilli,

    Agreed, If Nuge is traded for a Faulk-type defenseman, then we’re eerily thin at centre.

    Letestube is a very rare breed. First, he’s an undersized player with relatively slow boots who has managed to carve out a pretty effective NHL career.

    Secondly, he’s already 32 and still having a very good season. I don’t know what the league survival rate is for non-elite NHL players past 30, but it’s not high.

  77. Woogie63 says:

    frjohnk: Im guessing Maroon looks at going to St Louis to be closer to his boy

    That is a long stretch pass for Connor.

  78. Bank Shot says:

    I’d like to see the Oilers land Spencer Foo just to see Gene make the inevitable “Pity the Foo” reference.

  79. bendelson says:

    Woodguy v2.0: If I were Brown or Gaborik I wouldn’t take any luggage when crossing boarders for a while.

    Nicely done WG. A polite golf clap for you…

    ____

    Re: Larsson and his puck movement. I appreciate what has already been said, and on some levels agree that his default ‘flip’ is a little too conservative at times, but in regards to his tendency to pass to his partner too much… here’s another perspective… When paired with a bonafide puck mover like Dreamy, I don’t think there is much to complain about when Larsson is continually placing the puck on Klefbom’s stick, with time and space, in his own zone. Is Larsson not placing his partner is a situation to succeed? Is the puck not on the right players stick when Dreamy’s moving it North? Perhaps something to consider… perhaps not.

    ___

    SO… the Oilers are tied with SJ and Anaheim after game 75 with home games against both teams this week. Oh yeah, and I have tickets to both games… FUCK YEAH. This is going to be fun.

    Well done Oilers!

  80. fifthcartel says:

    Happy to see RNH get a couple points. There’s not much difference, but finishing with ~40+ points feels so much better than 35-39.

    He should be much closer to 20+ goals than he currently is.

  81. godot10 says:

    Bag of Pucks:
    Random thoughts:

    Gap control. Active sticks. That sums up this team under TMac for me. Crickets from the anti TMac pundits now and rightfully so. +28 in goal diff. Tied for first in the division. No one saw that coming this year. What a memorable and enjoyable first season in Rogers.

    The first gulp of water after a decade in the desert has some people giddy. The Oilers are still a pretty mediocre team, considering McDavid is a generational player.

    Crosby was a generational player.
    #EvenBylsmaWonACupWithCrosby

    With less than a generational player…

    #EvenHitchcockWonACupWithModano
    #EvenTortorellaWonACupWithLecavalier
    #EvenCarlyleWonACupWithGetzlaf
    #EvenSutterWonTwoCupsWithKopitar
    #EvenJulienWonACupWithBergeron

    McLellan, crickets with Thornton.

    McLellan has to win two Cups with McDavid to conclusively demonstrate that he is more than a mediocre coach. It is sort of a stalemate with one Cup, as lots of mediocre to good coaches have won Cups with less than generational players.

  82. In the Grease says:

    Lowetide,

    Thanks LT!

    I honestly didn’t realize rosters can expand after the deadline. Is there a limit?

    And isn’t there a limit on call-ups as well – unless deemed an emergency? – the OIlers have 3 left?

    Thanks for scratching the itch, lol

  83. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Dominoiler: Or maybe he didn’t have better options, so he makes the low risk / low reward play instead..

    When I did my zone exits project a few years ago I took to using football terminology as a shorthand: rush, pass, punt. Russell is a punter. Larsson is the safety-first quarterback who will throw the ball out of bounds on third-and-fifteen rather than force it into double coverage.

    (This is of course American football we’re talking about, where low risk/medium reward quarterbacks are valuable items, and where conservative coaching generally rules the day.)

    I didn’t track turnovers, but “fumbles” and “interceptions” are the obvious terms of reference. A smart veteran D will keep those to a bare minimum, even if it sometimes means maintaining good field position and relying on his (team’s) defence.

    Saw a rare look of frustration on Larsson’s face after one rather obvious punt last night. Whether it was at teammates for not giving him a decent option, at himself for not taking the decision to skate it out, or just general frustration with the way the ice was tilting is impossible to guess.

    I would say this last three games has been his worst stretch in a while, and that this observer is ZeroPointZero concerned about the player.

  84. godot10 says:

    If Russell signs for 4 x $4 million in Edmonton, that is a repeat of the Ference contract. Ference’s hip was essentially already done, and it is likely Russell’s groin is done.

    Maroon’s next contract if it is 5 x $5 million will be like Ryan Clowe’s final contract in New Jersey. That is the best comparable for Maroon.

  85. rickithebear says:

    This years offence could not outscore last years defence.
    Yet our offence is even better than last year with hall.

    Hmmmm!

    Must be the 4th line level scoring from our defence at evens!

  86. Admiral Ackbar says:

    godot10:
    If Russell signs for 4 x $4 million in Edmonton, that is a repeat of the Ference contract.Ference’s hip was essentially already done, and it is likely Russell’s groin is done.

    Maroon’s next contract if it is 5 x $5 million will be like Ryan Clowe’s final contract in New Jersey.That is the best comparable for Maroon.

    I PRAY that you’re wrong. 4 more years of Russell resets will make me bald myself like Homer Simpson discovering Marg is preggers.

  87. Younger Oil says:

    Some people have said Drai hits all of his bonuses if he finishes in the Top 10 in points, and I’ve heard others say it’s if he finishes in Top 10 in PPG for players who have played more than half of a season.

    Do we know definitively which one it is?

  88. Lowetide says:

    Wrote about some expansion opportunities that may come available for the Oilers
    https://oilersnation.com/2017/03/26/expansion-opportunities/

  89. Lowetide says:

    In the Grease:
    Lowetide,

    Thanks LT!

    I honestly didn’t realize rosters can expand after the deadline. Is there a limit?

    And isn’t there a limit on call-ups as well – unless deemed an emergency? – the OIlers have 3 left?

    Thanks for scratching the itch, lol

    You are (I believe) limited to three or four recalls, Khaira being one. Teams don’t usually use them right away, as injury may dictate who gets recalled But you could have 26 or 27 depending on the actual number.

  90. rickithebear says:

    Letestu signing was roof of a trended thought I had the last 6 years.
    Spending 1.8M for an Elite PP specialist center with good FO% and tough zs draw skills and Pk ability is cap robbery!

  91. Diablo says:

    godot10:
    If Russell signs for 4 x $4 million in Edmonton, that is a repeat of the Ference contract.Ference’s hip was essentially already done, and it is likely Russell’s groin is done.

    Maroon’s next contract if it is 5 x $5 million will be like Ryan Clowe’s final contract in New Jersey.That is the best comparable for Maroon.

    Chia has been aggressively going after college free agents, presumably to create a pipeline of players to fill in the wings and bottom pairing D – I think this is as good an indication as any that he has learned from his past mistakes with the Bruins, and won’t overpay the veteran depth guys.

    We all love what Maroon’s done since he got here – but Edmonton is a hockey savvy market – Chia does not HAVE to keep Maroon if the price is not right. Fans will understand if he takes a Clarkson contract somewhere else.

    I doubt Russell is back with the Oilers next season.

    jp: Weird they’re keeping Khaira around then if they’re that worried about $$. He’s barely been playing and they’re carrying 15 forwards. Bakersfield could use him too.

    I get why they’ve kept him up, but he could easily have sent out to “stay in game shape” if they were scraping pennies together.

    Is Khaira waiver eligible now?

  92. Georges says:

    (Using stats.hockeyanalysis)

    1. On the importance of winning the shot battle. Correlations between team 5v5 CF% and 5v5 GF% in the same season:

    07-08 .65
    08-09 .54
    09-10 .52
    10-11 .52
    11-12 .72
    12-13 .31
    13-14 .63
    14-15 .59
    15-16 .35
    16-17 .30

    Here’s what I would read from those numbers:

    – over the past 10 seasons there’s evidence of a statistically significant relationship between winning the Corsi battle and winning the goal battle at 5v5
    – the strength of this relationship is moderate; the variance in CF% accounts for less than half the variance in GF%
    – the relationship has weakened considerably in the 2 most recent seasons

    2. On the repeatability of winning the shot battle. Year over year correlation of 5v5 CF%:

    07-08 .75
    08-09 .56
    09-10 .57
    10-11 .57
    11-12 .58
    12-13 .82
    13-14 .64
    14-15 .65
    15-16 .66

    – there is a statistically significant relationship between a team’s 5v5 CF% in one season and its 5v5 CF% in the next season
    – the strength of this relationship is moderate; the variance in this season’s 5v5 CF% accounts for less than half of the variance in next season’s 5v5 CF%

    3. On the repeatability of winning the goal battle. Year over year correlation of 5v5 GF%:

    07-08 .35
    08-09 .24
    09-10 .52
    10-11 .60
    11-12 .36
    12-13 .54
    13-14 .47
    14-15 .65
    15-16 .34

    – since 2009-2010, there is a statistically significant relationship between a team’s 5v5 GF% in one season and its 5v5 GF% in the next season
    – the strength of this relationship is weak to moderate

    4. On the predictive power of winning the shot battle. Correlation between this year’s 5v5 CF% and next year’s 5v5 GF%:

    07-08 .27
    08-09 .34
    09-10 .57
    10-11 .59
    11-12 .34
    12-13 .48
    13-14 .43
    14-15 .55
    15-16 .39

    – since 2009-2010, there is a statistically significant relationship between a team’s 5v5 CF% in one season and its 5v5 GF% in the next season
    – the strength of this relationship is weak to moderate
    – for year-over-year results, using GF% or CF% to predict future GF% works out to about the same thing, i.e., for year-over-year, goals predict future goals just as well as CF%

  93. Scungilli says:

    godot10:
    If Russell signs for 4 x $4 million in Edmonton, that is a repeat of the Ference contract.Ference’s hip was essentially already done, and it is likely Russell’s groin is done.

    Maroon’s next contract if it is 5 x $5 million will be like Ryan Clowe’s final contract in New Jersey.That is the best comparable for Maroon.

    Is Russell’s groin done from getting kicked in the junk all game long?

  94. Centre of attention says:

    Woof Dubnyk way out of his crease followed by an actual face plant on Detroits GWG.

    My how the mighty have fallen.

  95. Chachi says:

    godot10: The first gulp of water after a decade in the desert has some people giddy.The Oilers are still a pretty mediocre team, considering McDavid is a generational player.

    Crosby was a generational player.
    #EvenBylsmaWonACupWithCrosby

    With less than a generational player…

    #EvenHitchcockWonACupWithModano
    #EvenTortorellaWonACupWithLecavalier
    #EvenCarlyleWonACupWithGetzlaf
    #EvenSutterWonTwoCupsWithKopitar
    #EvenJulienWonACupWithBergeron

    McLellan, crickets with Thornton.

    McLellan has to win two Cups with McDavid to conclusively demonstrate that he is more than a mediocre coach.It is sort of a stalemate with one Cup, as lots of mediocre to good coaches have won Cups with less than generational players.

    LOL

  96. Marc says:

    Diablo: If he gets a Clarkson offer from someone, than I’m sure Chia will wish him luck elsewhere.

    Maroon’s next contract with the Oilers needs to be less than the gross overpay that was signed by Pouliot. If Maroon likes winning and playing on McDavid’s line, then he’ll take less than ‘market value’ on his next deal.

    Maroon started his pro hockey career in 2008. By the time his current contract expires in 2018, guess how much money he will have earned during that 10 year period.

    He’ll have earned approximately $7.7M total – and that’s before taxes, agent fees, union dues, escrow etc have been deducted.

    He’ll only get one chance to get a big contract that sets him and his family up for the rest of his life. There is a zero percent chance he’ll get it from the Oilers. Not when McDavid, Nurse and Benning’s new contracts will be kicking in in the 18/19 season.

  97. OF17 says:

    I gotta say, perhaps my favorite part of Chia’s work so far has been his emphasis on UFA prospects. Already, less than a year into the trend, we’ve gotten valuable NHL minutes from two college signings who look to have futures on this team in support roles. Heck, signing Benning was like getting Josh Manson for free. Building that kind of supplemental prospect pipeline is incredibly useful, and it speaks to a GM that has sustainable success on his mind.

    Our “free” prospects list this year already includes Benning, Caggiula, Ellis, and Mantha, and we might still add Spencer Foo. If that was our matriculating class of late-round picks from the last two drafts, we’d feel pretty darn good about it. But we also have Jones, Bear, and Paigin to add to that. Talk about pro prospect procurement. I think we have to give Chiarelli an A+ for his work so far outside the top 100 of the draft.

  98. Georges says:

    godot10: The first gulp of water after a decade in the desert has some people giddy.The Oilers are still a pretty mediocre team, considering McDavid is a generational player.

    Crosby was a generational player.
    #EvenBylsmaWonACupWithCrosby

    With less than a generational player…

    #EvenHitchcockWonACupWithModano
    #EvenTortorellaWonACupWithLecavalier
    #EvenCarlyleWonACupWithGetzlaf
    #EvenSutterWonTwoCupsWithKopitar
    #EvenJulienWonACupWithBergeron

    McLellan, crickets with Thornton.

    McLellan has to win two Cups with McDavid to conclusively demonstrate that he is more than a mediocre coach.It is sort of a stalemate with one Cup, as lots of mediocre to good coaches have won Cups with less than generational players.

    Quenneville escapes the #Even treatment but Sutter doesn’t. Hmm…

    The fact that Crosby and Malkin have only two Cups is a big knock on the PIT organization. They seem to have their act together now. Don’t like it. Hope CBJ can beat them.

    “The Oilers are still a pretty mediocre team.” Lucky for us, every team out West is also pretty mediocre.

    #EvenTMacCanMakeHisFirstFinals

  99. Little Poteet says:

    As much as I love Maroon, I’m afraid he is the next Joe Colburn. Huge breakout year with skill players. I’m scared next season will be the 10 point one

  100. Diablo says:

    Lowetide: https://oilersnation.com/2017/03/26/expansion-opportunities/

    I’ve been having the same thought – the expansion draft could be an opportunity to plunder some young low-cost NHL players AND deal with the future cap crunch at the same time.

    First I think a lot of GMs are going to expose some big names with big contracts in the hope that LV will bite – looking at your list of players LT, there’s no big names on it – in a town like LV, they are going to need some “names’ to sell tickets. I think we could see the likes of Bobby Ryan, Paul Stastny, and Mikkel Boedker exposed. Not saying McPhee will pick any of those guys, but he’s going to be looking for a ‘star’ player to headline his show.

    So what if we offered up RNH (or Eberle)? A former first overall pick like Nuge would be very attractive to upstart franchise.

    McPhee would have to agree to select Pouliot and leave our other cheap young talent alone.

    And they would have to send us back ….
    – a RHC (like Calle Jarnkrok – signed for another 5 years x 2 million)
    – a RHD (like Josh Manson, Ville Pokke or Ryan Pulock)
    – and Nichushkin (who still has another year on his KHL contract)

    Jarnkrok slides in to 3C – not a replacement for RNH per se but maybe a better fit in that role.
    We get a RHD for the third pairing – no need to resign Russell – another 3 million dollar saving.

    13 million out – less than 3 million in.

    We use the money saved to resign Leon and get a UFA winger – like a Hemsky/Sharpe/Vrbata on a 1 year deal. Basically a stop gap at RW until Jesse is ready.

    And we save our cap space to take a run at Tavares next summer (or, you know, do the boring thing and simply resign McDavid to a max deal).

    Next year’s opening lineup looks like this …

    Maroon – McDavid – Hemsky/Jesse
    Lucic – Draisaitl – Eberle
    Caggiula – Jarnkrok – Pitlick/Slepyshev
    Khaira – Letestu – Kassian
    Klefbom Larsson
    Sekera Benning
    Nurse Manson
    Reinhart Gryba

  101. giddy says:

    I’m not one of those people who puts a fair amount of emphasis on +/-, but how is our supposed fantastic two-way center Nuge a team worst -13? Even Eberle is +3.

    I don’t know what we’re going to do with Nuge moving forward. In fact, I don’t know what his problem is overall. I never thought he was going to be a consistent PPG player, but he used to show these occasional flashes on offensive brilliance that made you think that as he matured, put on a bit more muscle and entered his prime, there would no question he’d be a legit #1 center moving forward. The way he has played this year, I’m not even sure if I would call him a #2 center.

    He hasn’t shown any improvement on the dot despite this being his sixth season playing center, his point production has regressed since his first season (despite now playing on a far superior Oilers team), and those aforementioned occasional flashes of offensive brilliance are nowhere to be seen. He just doesn’t seem like his previous self at all. $6m for a guy like that is hard to justify.

    I don’t know. Maybe it is just a bad season. Frankly, I think Chia likely wants to move on from Nuge, and I think a change of scenery would do Nuge good as well. Not sure who Chia would slot in as a replacement for him, though. I suppose depends on if they’re going to put Draisaitl as the #2 center.

  102. OF17 says:

    Diablo,

    That team is worse than this year’s IMO. No sense taking steps back just to save some cap dollars.

  103. Side says:

    godot10: The first gulp of water after a decade in the desert has some people giddy.The Oilers are still a pretty mediocre team, considering McDavid is a generational player.

    Crosby was a generational player.
    #EvenBylsmaWonACupWithCrosby

    With less than a generational player…

    #EvenHitchcockWonACupWithModano
    #EvenTortorellaWonACupWithLecavalier
    #EvenCarlyleWonACupWithGetzlaf
    #EvenSutterWonTwoCupsWithKopitar
    #EvenJulienWonACupWithBergeron

    McLellan, crickets with Thornton.

    McLellan has to win two Cups with McDavid to conclusively demonstrate that he is more than a mediocre coach.It is sort of a stalemate with one Cup, as lots of mediocre to good coaches have won Cups with less than generational players.

    Are you ever going to explain why Todd is a “mediocre” coach?

    You say the Oilers are a mediocre team even with McDavid, and you say Todd is a mediocre coach.. ok, well the Oilers don’t have mediocre results so care to explain what is not “mediocre” that got them here?

    In other words #addsubstancetoyourpostplease
    #yourhatefortoddisirrational
    #hashtagsdon’tworkhere
    #don’tthinkyouknowhowtheywork

  104. Side says:

    Oilers are top 10 in a 30 team league.

    But that somehow means they are not very good.

    lol what..

  105. jzed says:

    Just think of the lline nick names with a Foo in the line up, hours of fun.

  106. leadfarmer says:

    Woodguy v2.0: Unless Quebecor buys and moves them I think they stay with Ward/Lack next year as both are under contract and every penny counts for CAR.

    I think there will be a bidding war for Darling (which will be won on term, I predict $4.1 x 4 years) and CAR can’t get in that fight with current ownership.

    Ya I don’t see them buying either out. If I was a wealthy guy that’s what I would do. Could probably buy the team for 200 million and move the team to Quebec and pat myself on the back for saving myself 300 mil on expansion fees and I get a quality roster that has a chance for the playoffs next year

  107. leadfarmer says:

    jzed:
    Just think of the lline nick names with a Foo in the line up, hours of fun.

    Foo to Pouliot would result in Fouliot

  108. Scungilli says:

    Georges:
    (Using stats.hockeyanalysis)

    1. On the importance of winning the shot battle. Correlations between team 5v5 CF% and 5v5 GF% in the same season:

    07-08 .65
    08-09 .54
    09-10 .52
    10-11 .52
    11-12 .72
    12-13 .31
    13-14 .63
    14-15 .59
    15-16 .35
    16-17 .30

    Here’s what I would read from those numbers:

    – over the past 10 seasons there’s evidence of a statistically significant relationship between winning the Corsi battle and winning the goal battle at 5v5
    – the strength of this relationship is moderate; the variance in CF% accounts for less than half the variance in GF%
    – the relationship has weakened considerably in the 2 most recent seasons

    2. On the repeatability of winning the shot battle. Year over year correlation of 5v5 CF%:

    07-08 .75
    08-09 .56
    09-10 .57
    10-11 .57
    11-12 .58
    12-13 .82
    13-14 .64
    14-15 .65
    15-16 .66

    – there is a statistically significant relationship between a team’s 5v5 CF% in one season and its 5v5 CF% in the next season
    – the strength of this relationship is moderate; the variance in this season’s 5v5 CF% accounts for less than half of the variance in next season’s 5v5 CF%

    3. On the repeatability of winning the goal battle. Year over year correlation of 5v5 GF%:

    07-08 .35
    08-09 .24
    09-10 .52
    10-11 .60
    11-12 .36
    12-13 .54
    13-14 .47
    14-15 .65
    15-16 .34

    – since 2009-2010, there is a statistically significant relationship between a team’s 5v5 GF% in one season and its 5v5 GF% in the next season
    – the strength of this relationship is weak to moderate

    4. On the predictive power of winning the shot battle. Correlation between this year’s 5v5 CF% and next year’s 5v5 GF%:

    07-08 .27
    08-09 .34
    09-10 .57
    10-11 .59
    11-12 .34
    12-13 .48
    13-14 .43
    14-15 .55
    15-16 .39

    – since 2009-2010, there is a statistically significant relationship between a team’s 5v5 CF% in one season and its 5v5 GF% in the next season
    – the strength of this relationship is weak to moderate
    – for year-over-year results, using GF% or CF% to predict future GF% works out to about the same thing, i.e., for year-over-year, goals predict future goals just as well as CF%

    Hey George

    Here are the averages of your study
    1. .57
    2. .64
    3. .45
    4. .44

    It seems the first two are a fair amount stronger than the last two. Does this not matter statistically?

  109. HT Joe says:

    #EvenCarlyleWonACupWithGetzlaf:

    How about I fix this one for you…

    #EvenCarlyleWonACupWithPronger&Neidermeyer

    That’s not even mentioning Selanne, who scored nearly twice as many goals as Getzlaf did in 06-07. Selanne had almost 100 points the season the Ducks won the cup… tied for 11th in points that year.

    I agree with so much of what you write, but pretending that Getzlaf was even close to being the top player on the ducks the year they won is outrageous.

    *EDIT* For clarity, are you actually implying that neither Pronger nor Neidermeyer is a generational player?

  110. N64 says:

    Younger Oil:
    Some people have said Drai hits all of his bonuses if he finishes in the Top 10 in points, and I’ve heard others say it’s if he finishes in Top 10 in PPG for players who have played more than half of a season.

    Do we know definitively which one it is?

    Either.

    Any of:

    top 10 forward in the league in goals/assists/points/points per game (min 42GP);
    top 5 in league in Hart/Selke/Richard voting;
    NHL First or Second team all star; Conn Smythe

  111. Bruce McCurdy says:

    #EvenMikeKeenanWonACupWithMessier&Anderson&Tikkanen&MacTavish&Graves&Lowe&Beukeboom
    #&ohyeahLeetch&Richter

    This is fun

  112. Diablo says:

    OF17:
    Diablo,

    That team is worse than this year’s IMO. No sense taking steps back just to save some cap dollars.

    I disagree, but to each his own – but here’s the thing …. unless the cap goes up substantially in the next few years, we won’t be able to keep RNH (and maybe not even Eberle) anyways. One of them will definitely need to go to keep the rest of the lineup intact. Jarnkrok is cost-controlled for 5 years. Manson is a very good RHD who can step onto our 2nd pairing. Nichushkin could replace Maroon in a year. Not to mention the enormous cap saving – Cap Space is an asset even if it doesn’t play a minute on the ice.

    If RNH couldn’t get you Justin Faulk last year, why does anybody think its going to be good enough this year? For that matter, why would Carolina trade their top D-man at all – I’ve noted the salary escalation in his deal, and I still don’t buy it – if Francis trades Faulk for RNH, then he deserves to be fired.

    For that matter why would Sakic trade Duchene for 2 first rounders and Reinhart – has he been hitting the sauce too much?

    After watching Hall get traded for Larsson, you would think that Oiler’s fans would have sobered up to the reality that guys like RNH and Eberle are not worth as much we thought they were. Unless those guys have phenomenal playoffs, that reality is not going to change.

  113. Diablo says:

    HT Joe:
    #EvenCarlyleWonACupWithGetzlaf:

    How about I fix this one for you…

    #EvenCarlyleWonACupWithPronger&Neidermeyer

    That’s not even mentioning Selanne, who scored nearly twice as many goals as Getzlaf did in 06-07.Selanne had almost 100 points the season the Ducks won the cup… tied for 11th in points that year.

    I agree with so much of what you write, but pretending that Getzlaf was even close to being the top player on the ducks the year they won is outrageous.

    *EDIT* For clarity, are you actually implying that neither Pronger nor Neidermeyer is a generational player?

    Yeah, that D was phenomenal.

  114. godot10 says:

    Side: Are you ever going to explain why Todd is a “mediocre” coach?

    In other words #addsubstancetoyourpostplease
    #yourhatefortoddisirrational
    #hashtagsdon’tworkhere
    #don’tthinkyouknowhowtheywork

    I don’t hate McLellan. Most people in this blog know from direct experience when I actually hate a coach! -). #MediocreDoesNOTMeanIncompetent It means #NoWinsAboveReplacement It took DeBoer one year to go further than McLellan with basically the same players.

    When #TMC wins two cups with McDavid, get back to me. I’ll admit I was wrong.

    I am will to let time be the test of my thesis about McLellan.

  115. godot10 says:

    HT Joe:
    #EvenCarlyleWonACupWithGetzlaf:

    How about I fix this one for you…

    #EvenCarlyleWonACupWithPronger&Neidermeyer

    That’s not even mentioning Selanne, who scored nearly twice as many goals as Getzlaf did in 06-07.Selanne had almost 100 points the season the Ducks won the cup… tied for 11th in points that year.

    I agree with so much of what you write, but pretending that Getzlaf was even close to being the top player on the ducks the year they won is outrageous.

    *EDIT* For clarity, are you actually implying that neither Pronger nor Neidermeyer is a generational player?

    #EvenCarlyleWonACupWithoutAGenerationalPlayer

  116. Side says:

    #top10teamintheleague
    #top8inscoring
    #11thteamingoalsagainst
    #aka
    #mediocreteam
    #mediocrecoach
    #boringchipandchasehockey
    #peterchiarelli’stracksuit
    #ifwestillhadhallwewouldhaveastanleybynow

  117. GMB3 says:

    russ99: Also this blog’s ridiculous CF% bias. That pairing got caved because the forwards stood around and they had to do heavy lifting on D, and did a pretty good job of it considering,and if you look at goals for and against, they did their job.

    Hockey is a five man unit game, you can’t single out one or two players when the three ahead of them aren’t pulling their weight,

    We won 4-1 without Talbot, don’t get why some people need players to tear down every day, just because they don’t measure up to a favorite metric. There’s lots of ways to win hockey games, winning the shot battle is only one of them.

    But I heard Kris Russell uses a whippy stick!!! 😚😚

  118. Side says:

    godot10: I don’t hate McLellan.Most people in this blog know from direct experience when I actually hate a coach! -).#MediocreDoesNOTMeanIncompetentIt means #NoWinsAboveReplacementIt took DeBoer one year to go further than McLellan with basically the same players.

    When #TMC wins two cups with McDavid, get back to me.I’ll admit I was wrong.

    I am will to let time be the test of my thesis about McLellan.

    Why 2 cups though? Seems like an arbitrary number to choose.

  119. godot10 says:

    Side:
    #top10teamintheleague
    #top8inscoring
    #11thteamingoalsagainst
    #aka
    #mediocreteam
    #mediocrecoach
    #boringchipandchasehockey
    #peterchiarelli’stracksuit
    #ifwestillhadhallwewouldhaveastanleybynow

    I mostly didn’t take a side in the Hall-Larsson debate, except saying that it was grossly unfair to Hall, but Chiarelli isn’t required to be sentimental or fair.

  120. godot10 says:

    Side: Why 2 cups though? Seems like an arbitrary number to choose.

    #EvenBylsmaWonACupWithCrosby

  121. Side says:

    godot10: #EvenBylsmaWonACupWithCrosby

    Is Babcock a mediocre coach since he only one 1 cup even though he had an amazing Red Wings team for multiple years?

  122. OF17 says:

    Side: Is Babcock a mediocre coach since he only one 1 cup even though he had an amazing Red Wings team for multiple years?

    #EvenBabcockWonACupWithLidstrom&Datsyuk&Zetterberg&Rafalski&Holmstrom&0.930SV%Osgood

    I’m beginning to sense a trend here. Maybe it’s the players that win the Cup after all?

  123. Professor Q says:

    I think Godot has no sense of nuance, nor what makes a player generational or even an elite superstar.

  124. Marc says:

    Diablo: I disagree, but to each his own – but here’s the thing …. unless the cap goes up substantially in the next few years, we won’t be able to keep RNH (and maybe not even Eberle) anyways. One of them will definitely need to go to keep the rest of the lineup intact.

    This isn’t actually true.

    According to Capfriendly (https://www.capfriendly.com/teams/oilers), the Oilers have over $23M in cap space for the 17/18 season. They have two key RFAs to sign (Drai and Kassian – let’s assume $6.5M and $2M for them). They need to leave space for earned ELC bonuses (this season they ran roughly $4M under the cap, so let’s assume the same next year). And if Drai hits his A bonuses, they’ll lose roughly $1M off next year’s cap (let’s assume he does).

    That adds up to $13.5M, which would still leave almost $10M in cap space.

    Baring any unforeseen moves/injuries, both goalie spots, 5 of 7 D spots (Sekera, Larsson, Klefbom, Benning, Nurse) and at least 11 of 14 F spots (McDavid, Drai, Maroon, Eberle, Nuge, Lucic, Letestu, Kassian, Puljujarvi, Caggiula, Pouliot) are already spoken for by guys under contract or who will be signed. NHL ready young F (Slepy, Khaira, Pakarinen, Pitlick (assuming he re-signs)) and D (Reinhart, Oesterle, Simpson) under contract will probably take 1 of the D spots and 2 of the F spots. That means at best they are shopping for only two UFAs in the offseason – 3C and 2/3RD – and have $10M to spend. And that’s assuming that they don’t buy out Fayne (which would save roughly $2M in cap space next season) or bribe LV to take Pouliot (which saves another $4M).

    So in actual fact the Oilers have a ton of cap space in 17/18, even if they keep Nuge and Eberle.

    18/19 is trickier because McDavid, Nurse and Benning will all be starting new contracts. Those will likely carry a combined cap hit that is a good $15M higher than their current combined hits (around $5M with bonuses).

    But simply by being prudent this offseason and filling the 3C and 2/3RD openings with guys on 1 year contracts (either from UFA bargain bin or by trade), they can effectively roll over the $10M cap space they have this offseason. Letestu, Maroon, Fayne and Korpikoski’s buyout coming off the books frees up another $7M in space. Buying out the last year of Pouliot’s contract (assuming he’s still here) would give another $2.5M in space.

    So just by not being stupid and handing out multi-year contracts this summer, they should have $20M or so in space to cover the McDavid, Nurse and Benning contracts, plus fill any other holes on the roster. Again, there is absolutely no cap reason to dump Nuge or Eberle.

  125. Tarkus says:

    jzed:
    Just think of the lline nick names with a Foo in the line up, hours of fun.

    Play Foo with Slepyshev and Kassian–and this is what you’d have:

    Foo-fighter-S

  126. Lois Lowe says:

    Todd Nelson and Dallas Eakins’ respective teams are almost tied in win% .685 to .675

  127. stush18 says:

    Diablo,

    I would love jarnkrok.

    Do you think Nashville exposes him? I can’t see it, but if he is, I would rather we just trade for him.

  128. Professor Q says:

    Tarkus: Play Foo with Slepyshev and Kassian–and this is what you’d have:

    Foo-fighter-S

    Who would play centre?

  129. gogliano says:

    N64: Either.

    Any of:

    top 10 forward in the league in goals/assists/points/points per game (min 42GP);
    top 5 in league in Hart/Selke/Richard voting;
    NHL First or Second team all star; Conn Smythe

    Interesting.

    So top ten points is really his best shot and the marker worth paying attention to, unless he goes on a Conn Smythe run or unless he gets injured (in which case PPG might come into play if other players falter).

    I have him at 12th in PPG once you subtract players without enough GP, but if he slides up to 10th he’s probably also handily hitting top 10 in total points as well. Similar story in the assists department.

  130. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Re: Oilers scoring this year vs. last year

    When you see On Ice vs Off Ice those are goals in games in which McDavid played. If they happened when McDavid was injured they are “Not playing”

    5v5

    Last year:
    97 On ice 3.44 GF/60 (36 goals)
    97 Off ice 1.57GF/60 (38 goals)
    97 Not playing 1.94 GF/60 (58 goals)

    97 Off ice and Not playing combined – 1.74 GF/60 (96 goals)

    This year:
    97 On ice 3.53 GF/60 (70 goals)
    97 Off ice 1.99 GF/60 (80 goals)
    97 Not playing – 0

    TOI
    Last year:
    97 On Ice 627min
    97 Off Ice 1450min
    97 Not playing 1792

    This year:
    97 On Ice 1191min
    97 Off Ice 2410min
    97 Not playing 0

    So what does this tell us?

    Well, if we go back and give McDavid the same GF/60 ON/OFF but assume this year’s total TOI we see:

    McDavid On 3.44 GF/60 (68 goals)
    McDavid Off 1.74 GF/60 (70 goals)

    So using last year’s goal rates but 97’s TOI ON/OFF this year the Oilers are 2 goals worse with Connor (lol rookie last year) on ice and 10 goals better when he’s off the ice this year over last.

    That’s 10 goals in 75 games so 0.133 5v5 goal/game.

    10 goals is nothing to sneeze at, but its not like the Oilers are all of the sudden a 5v5 juggernaut compared to last year.

    As far as 5v5 goes, there is a very slight increase in scoring from non-97’s, but most of the gain is 97 playing every game.

    Now, 5v4

    Last year:
    97 On ice 7.72 GF/60 (17 goals)
    97 Off ice 4.63 GF/60 (9 goals)
    97 Not playing 4.47 GF/60 (14 goals)

    97 Off ice and Not playing combined – 4.50 GF/60 (23 goals)

    This year:
    97 On ice 8.44 GF/60 (28 goals)
    97 Off ice 5.02 GF/60 (14 goals)
    97 Not playing – 0

    TOI
    Last year:
    97 On Ice 132min
    97 Off Ice 116min
    97 Not playing 188

    This year:
    97 On Ice 199min
    97 Off Ice 165min
    97 Not playing 0

    So what does this tell us?

    Well, if we go back and give McDavid the same GF/60 ON/OFF but assume this year’s total TOI we see:

    McDavid On 7.72 GF/60 (26 goals)
    McDavid Off 4.63 GF/60 (13 goals)

    So using last year’s goal rates but 97’s TOI ON/OFF this year the Oilers are 2 goals better with Connor and 1 goal better when he’s off the ice this year over last.

    That’s 1 non- Connor goal in 75 games so 0.013 5v4 goal/game.

    Summary

    If we give McDavid ON/OFF the same rates as last year but this year’s TOI the Oilers are 11 goals better this year compared to last when McDavid is not playing

    If we pro-rate last year’s goals/game at the 75 game mark they would have had 182 goals. This year at the 75 game mark they have 218.

    They are 36 goals better.

    11 of that is due to the team.
    25 of that is due to 97 playing every game.

    Good to see an increase in “97 OFF” for sure, but 97’s health is everything.

  131. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Professor Q:
    I think Godot has no sense of nuance, nor what makes a player generational or even an elite superstar.

    Does that mean you don’t rate Thornton as elite?

  132. Professor Q says:

    Woodguy v2.0: Does that mean you don’t rate Thornton as elite?

    What?

  133. Professor Q says:

    I don’t know what’s worse, Mantha punching McKegg while he was down on the ice or the media praising it.

  134. commonfan14 says:

    This is likely the worst full season McDavid will play for the next several years.

    Fun times.

  135. treevojo says:

    Tarkus: Play Foo with Slepyshev and Kassian–and this is what you’d have:

    Foo-fighter-S

    Play pitlick and desharnais and foo together.

    You get pity da foo.

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=pG0yq2ATWbc

  136. Scungilli says:

    treevojo: Play pitlick and desharnais and foo together.

    You get pity da foo.

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=pG0yq2ATWbc

    Pouliot Des and Kassian did play together:

    De Pou Fight

  137. HT Joe says:

    godot10: HT Joe

    Wow… high bar for the generational player I guess. Fair response.

    Just out of curiosity, who would you consider to be a generational defenceman if not Pronger or Neidermeyer? I can’t think of any better blueliners than those in their prime (some as good, but none better) from 2000 to 2010.

    Am I drawing a blank here? Thanks!!

  138. HT Joe says:

    HT Joe,

    I mean, Pronger was so exceptional, that the Oilers, Ducks and Flyers went to the cup finals the first year he joined each respective team. Doing this 3 times in 5 years… I can’t think of a better blueliner at the time.

  139. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Professor Q: What?

    When you questioned Godot’s def. of Elite I thought that was in direct reference to Thornton in SJS with McLellan but wasn’t sure, so I asked.

  140. Crazy Pedestrian says:

    Tarkus: Play Foo with Slepyshev and Kassian–and this is what you’d have:

    Foo-fighter-S

    I was thinking play Foo with Pouliot and Kassian to get the “Poo-Foo-Sassin” line, using just a touch of word play on Kassians name… 🙂

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