DIAMONDS IN THE DEW

I learned a lot about hockey from my Dad. He would commend good plays, call bad players ‘dummies’ or ‘mutts’ and didn’t much like young players at all. I’ve told you this before, but that was an early tell about Bobby Orr. He didn’t say a negative thing about Orr, even when he was pretty new in the NHL. Sanderson was a hippie, Jim Dorey was a hood (hood was very bad) but Orr gained instant respect.

We all notice the new players who spend time with the puck. Why? A rookie who can insert himself into the game story is going to do even more good work as time goes by. If your team has a rookie doing things that involve the puck, that is a very good thing. Matt Benning is such a player, but there is some  worry from this blog’s author in regard to the fine young rookie.

Matt Benning is developing a past and the only down arrow I can find surrounds injury. He’s that rare rookie who handles the puck enough to insert himself into the story and, if he can stay healthy, we might be looking at a long-term option on RHD Top4. Benning made a pass not long ago against Philadelphia that was just so good. Faceoff, puck goes back to LHD, sends it to Benning, who waited two heartbeats and then sent a fabulous pass to Leon as he arrived in the slot. Goal! Music!

He has to stay healthy. In early February against Carolina, he got sideswiped by Viktor Stalberg and missed some games. Upon return, his offense went away and his defensive numbers also had a time: 49.3 percent Dangerous Fenwick now against elites and 3.1 percent Rel Comp against elites. WoodMoney still loves him, but that concussion packed a wallop. I hope he’s fine.

Jesse Puljujarvi is now 30gp, 10-14-24 in Bakersfield and his scoring has increased over the last couple of weeks based on Eric Rodgers’ TOI estimate. When we last looked at things, he was at 2.31/60 scoring in all disciplines. Here is the latest, along with the rest of the prospect forwards in Bakersfield.

CONDORS F PROSPECTS (RODGERS’ ESTIMATED TOI)

  • Boxcars and situational stats are from AHL.com, the rest is Rodgers.
  • Puljujarvi has seen an uptick in the last two weeks, and that period has included a cooling down period for Anton Lander.
  • I think it’s fair to say Jesse Puljujarvi’s AHL time has been a success and was the right thing to do. We are still trying to figure him out as an offensive player, but this 30-game stretch in the AHL has shown a lot.
  • Rodgers tracks all this stuff several times a year, allowing me to double back to Jan. 1 and Joey Laleggia’s move to LW. The absence of alternatives clears the mind, and the Oilers aren’t flush with scoring forward prospects. With that in mind, it seems reasonable to regard the former defenseman as one of the best scoring prospects in the pro system. He might get some NHL time.
  • Jujhar Khaira’s AHL time was textbook in terms of development. His NHL time has been injury prone, but suspect we have seen enough to project him onto next season’s roster. 4L, we’ll say. Edmonton’s ability to draft, develop and deploy forwards through their AHL system has been a very difficult thing for them to do this century. Khaira shows it can be done.
  • Let’s not go crazy, but there are signs of life for Greg Chase here. He is separating just a little bit from the other prospects in the pack.

YOUNG OILERS FORWARDS, 2016-17

  • I have been spending a lot of time in this area during 2016-17, because value contracts are going to be very important for this group.
  • Tyler Pitlick was enjoying a splendid season before injury, he was running a fantastic shooting percentage that would have (likely) corrected by season’s end. Still, hedoes have a good shot, and he shoots a lot.
  • Iiro Pakarinen hasn’t played a lot this year, so there isn’t a lot of story. His possession numbers are good so far this year, but a small sample size. Last season he was not impressive in possession. I’m uncertain about where this player fits.
  • Anton Lander got 200 games in the NHL as a No. 40 overall selection. That is a successful draft pick.
  • Anton Slepyshev has played basically half a season and shown well enough to have an inside track on a job next year, in my opinion. His possession numbers aren’t fabulous but he can do a lot of things and has an actual NHL shot. He could be one of the winners in this group.
  • Jesse Puljujarvi has posted an interesting season, it’s easy to look at these NHL numbers and wonder. The key item is the shooting percentage (2.4), something he improved in the AHL (11.4). JP’s 88 shots in 30 AHL games are also a positive. This won’t count as breaking news, but extremely likely he will be the most successful player on this list.
  • Drake Caggiula’s recent performances are most welcome, as we attempt to get his offense surrounded. His shooting percentage is a little shy and we have 53 games as a sample, so we are beginning to get a feel for his ability. Most common linemates are Slepyshev and Benoit Pouliot in a season of struggle, so we need to factor that in as well. I don’t think we know yet.
  • Jujhar Khaira is extremely likely to be in the NHL next season, hopefully with the Oilers. I really like his game.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

We’re back! 10 this morning, TSN1260. Scheduled to appear:

  • Scott Burnside, ESPN. A funny thing happened on the way to the Sharks and Wild winning their divisions. Plus, can the Oilers win the Pacific?
  • Bryan Brant, Roster Point. A massive site designed to tie players with teams, there are all kinds of interesting things about it, including a new ranking system.
  • Jason Gregor, TSN1260. Oilers coming down the stretch with a chance to win the division. How much credit should Peter Chiarelli and Todd McLellan receive?
  • Sunil Agnihotri, Copper & Blue/The SuperFan. Oilers in possession continue to slide. Why?

10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. See you on the radio!

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63 Responses to "DIAMONDS IN THE DEW"

  1. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Chase finding his footing in pro hockey is encouraging.

    Having him turn out would really help the giant development gap in the forwards.

    Shooters, shooters and shooters.

    Oilers need shooters.

    Assuming McLellan will actually play them of course.

  2. Yeti says:

    “Anton Lander got 200 games in the NHL as a No. 40 overall selection. That is a successful draft pick.”
    Yes, although it happened in a world-turned-upside-down fashion. Such a shame that many of those NHL games came early on when he just wasn’t ready for it. Then an overlong AHL maturation period, past the point where it made much sense in development terms. I guess he simply fell out of the plans: a former GM’s pick with no more organizational buy-in.

  3. Ducey says:

    Lander only had 12 shots in 22 games? Yikes.

    Seems like we can stick a fork in him. He cooled off right about the same time he is rumoured to have signed with a KHL team next year.

    We can also stick a fork in the 2009 draft. No one is left.

  4. kinger_OIL says:

    – Great post LT!

    – Isn’t your young forwards 2017: Pitlick/Jarjar/Pak/Sleppy/Cags etc proof positive of a decent crop of forward prospects + Pool-party as potential top-9: seems pretty good to me, certainly not dire straights

  5. Woodguy v2.0 says:

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

    CHI 27
    MIN 20
    ANA 18
    SJS 16
    EDM 16
    NSH 13
    CGY 13-1st wildcard
    STL 12-2nd wildcard
    ————–
    LAK 3
    WPG -1
    DAL -2
    VAN -6
    ARI -12
    COL -31

    ANA expands Pacific lead. This is a good thing if EDM stays in 2nd or 3rd. Via a combo metric that I use to predict playoff success, ANA is the Stone Killer of the Pacific and its not close.

    My metric outperforms “standings points”, “goal differential”, and “score adjusted cosi” on a regular basis to predict playoff outcome. The only one that beats my metric occasionally is “goal differential”, but over the last 7 years its pretty good.

    For the record “score adjusted corsi” is the 2nd biggest component of my metric, but not the majority.

    WC games tonight:

    NSH at NYI – important game for both teams, but more so for NYI as they are fighting for their playoff lives. NSH is the better team but predicting single game outcomes is tough.

    CHI at TBY – Like NYI, TBY is fighting for their playoff lives. CHI might come out hard after FLA spanked their ass, or they may not. They basically have the WC lead tied down and have nothing to play for.

    ARI at STL – STL’s “easiest finishing schedule” continues. ARI isn’t the pushover that COL is right now, but STL has lots to play for. Paajarvi has 2.29pts/60 5v5 in 24 games. I *knew* he’d flourish when Hitch was shown the door. EDM (and every other team) passed on picking up PRV on waivers twice in the last couple of years. Man. MacT passed once and Peter passed as well.

    COL at CGY – Almost no hope that COL wins this, but blind squirrels and trap games and all that. Was impressed with Barbario in the last two games. MTL waives him, sits Davidson and plays Emelin. Ok then. GO AVS!!! *clap,clap*

  6. Ca$h-McMoney! says:

    I love Lander.

    I agree with the “NHL games played measuring stick” as a general rule.

    I don’t think the “NHL games played measuring stick” rule works for a team like the 2009-2016 Oilers. Too many players that wouldn’t have been in the NHL on even the other bad teams. Lots of minutes to guys who should have been depth players in the KHL.

    Anton Lander is a better player than what his career numbers show, I’m sure of it. That said his GP number is BS and the gap between what his career boxcars are and what they need to be to justify NHL employment is less a crack in the sidewalk and more the Grand Canyon.

    Maybe with another organization he would have turned out better. Quite possible, though there is a chance that he simply is what he is and development is not to blame. Maybe he’s Alex Giroux. We simply will never know.

  7. Woodguy v2.0 says:

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

    WSH 32
    CBJ 29
    PIT 28
    NYR 20-1st wildcard
    MTL 18
    OTT 16
    TOR 11
    BOS 9-2nd wildcard
    ————
    NYI 8
    TBY 7
    CAR 6
    FLA 3
    PHI 3
    BUF -1
    DET -2
    NJD -8

    3rd in Atlantic and 2nd wildcard still very much up for grabs.

    CAR making a big surge late. Its probably too late, but nice to see.

    EC games tonight:

    DET at CAR – DET’s 2nd game in a row. They also play tomorrow in DET vs CAR for the very strange “3 games in 3 days” I expect CAR to prevail here.

    FLA at BUF – FLA laid a beat down on CHI last game but BUF is playing some decent hockey too. Doesn’t matter but 2 of the younger and “up & coming” teams here.

    NSH at NYI – NYI making the playoffs will seriously help the pitch to Tavares to sign another extension after July 1 (he’s FA July 1, 2018) Go Dougie!!!

    CHI at TBY – This matters a lot to TBY and not one whit to CHI. TBY is a +105 dog right now. Home dogs are the best dogs and I think that’s worth a couple units.

  8. Dac189 says:

    A rebuttal to Woodguys post yesterday,

    Quote:
    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.
    End Quote -well, it goes on to 4v5 numbers.

    The team scoring has improved more than you give them credit for.

    What I disagree with is averaging the effects of McDavid off ice (1.57GF/60) + Mcdavid not playing (1.94GF/60) and comparing to this year McDavid off ice (1.99GF/60).
    McDavid spends most of his playing time on the first line. The off ice number does not include the play of his wingers.
    McDavid off ice (1.57 and 1.99) calculates the scoring of the 2nd, 3rd and 4th lines per 60.
    McDavid not playing (1.94) calculates all 4 lines minus McDavid. Allowing the first line wingers to improve the team GF/60.

    Therefor, to compare team improvement (not including McDavid)

    All values in 5v5 GF/60 relative to McDavid

    1.94 (last year injured) – 1.57 (last year sitting) = 0.37 (injured/sitting differential)
    1.99 (this year sitting) + 0.37 (injured/sitting differential) = 2.36 (This year if injured)

    There are some unknown variables here of course (quality of competiton during injury, hot/cold streaks, other injuries, etc…)

    2.14 = Team GF/60 last year (CMD Healthy)
    1.94 = Team GF/60 last year (CMD Injured) >>> 2.14 – 1.94 = +0.20 McDavid effect
    2.50 = Team GF/60 this year
    2.30 – 2.36 = Predicted GF/60 if injured >>> 2.50 – 0.20 = 2.30. 2.36 from above

    From this I’m seeing a much improved offense. Since 2.30 > 2.14. This year W/O CMD > Last year W CMD.
    Of course, other factors such as morale. He won us plenty of games, raised the morale of the team who now plays with confidence because of him.

    Overall McDavid seems to add 5v5 0.2GF/60 when in lineup if you look at last year injured difference as a standard.
    Some comparisons this year 5v5
    Pittsburgh (top) = 2.86 GF/60
    Toronto/Columbus/NYR ~ 2.57 GF/60
    Boston/Detroit/Calgary ~ 2.20 GF/60
    Philadelphia/Los Angeles ~ 1.85 GF/60
    Colorado = 1.73 GF/60 -Probably don’t need to tell you they’re at the bottom

    Also noteworthy
    EDM 15/16 5v5 GA/60 = 2.56
    EDM 16/17 5v5 GA/60 = 2.08

    A similar thought when comparing powerplay, in your post, you’re comparing 1st PP line vs 2nd PP line. You’re not necessarily comparing McDavid on vs off since he’s always on 1st PP.
    BTW I appreciate all the comments and stats you add to this forum, WG.

    And thanks for this hockey blog, LT.

  9. Pescador says:

    kinger_OIL:
    – Great post LT!

    –Isn’t your young forwards 2017: Pitlick/Jarjar/Pak/Sleppy/Cags etc proof positive of a decent crop of forward prospects + Pool-party as potential top-9: seems pretty good to me, certainly not dire straights

    All hail King Er,
    The Optimist!

  10. Lowetide says:

    kinger_OIL:
    – Great post LT!

    –Isn’t your young forwards 2017: Pitlick/Jarjar/Pak/Sleppy/Cags etc proof positive of a decent crop of forward prospects + Pool-party as potential top-9: seems pretty good to me, certainly not dire straights

    Oh God no. I’ve failed miserably if that is your takeaway. History tells us we should expect Puljujarvi and maybe one other guy (Slepy, Khaira, Pitlick) to be here long term. Go back to any era of Oilers where they had a plethora of good young forwards, and even then many don’t develop. Plus, there’s always a chance they trade another Satan, although the Oilers don’t have a Satan currently.

  11. LMHF#1 says:

    Any updates lately on why they won’t play Henrik Samuelsson in Bakersfield?

    Ya know, aside from the fact that the Coach down there loves playing the Ryan Hamiltons of the world?

  12. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Eric Friesen‏ @EricJFriesen 2h2 hours ago

    Top scoring duos in the NHL
    1. McDavid/Draisaitl – 158
    2. Crosby/Malkin – 154
    3. Kane/Panarin – 147

  13. Chachi says:

    Lowetide: Oh God no. I’ve failed miserably if that is your takeaway. History tells us we should expect Puljujarvi and maybe one other guy (Slepy, Khaira, Pitlick) to be here long term. Go back to any era of Oilers where they had a plethora of good young forwards, and even then many don’t develop. Plus, there’s always a chance they trade another Satan, although the Oilers don’t have a Satan currently.

    When it comes to prospect development the devil is in the details.

  14. Clarkenstein says:

    I don’t get the love for Khaira LT, No way should he be playing on the big team. As of now he as one asset… size. He carries a stick for no apparent reason. He can’t make or take a pass. Looked like a pee wee the other night on a pass that would have been a sure goal by 95% of players. He might turn this all around some day but for now… nada.

  15. Ducey says:

    LMHF#1:
    Any updates lately on why they won’t play Henrik Samuelsson in Bakersfield?

    Ya know, aside from the fact that the Coach down there loves playing the Ryan Hamiltons of the world?

    Hamilton has not played since mid Feb.

    Samuelsson is done. I think they gave him 5 games and some practices to prove it.

  16. Pouzar says:

    Who are these people? I swear the narratives that creep up about Player X when they are out of sight for a while are truly mind boggling.

  17. kinger_OIL says:

    Ca$h-McMoney!,

    – I agree with you. A lot of the despair about this team was not realizing that the guys we had just weren’t good enough players and/or played way to high up the batting order/not ready:

    – Gagner, as a 3rd line guy was fine elsewhere
    – Yak
    – Dubnyk: he was a few years (and teams) away from being the goalie he is now
    – Brodziak fine as a 3rd line winger
    – RNH and Ebs <<< McD Drai as 1st liners
    – Jultz as a PP specialist, protected

    – We just did had not enough good players, and the ones who were "decent" were played above their established abilities.

    – I can't think of one player that has left this team, in last 5 years that went on to be significantly better than they were here, in the season they left (only Dubynk was a real fail, but he sucked in Nashville and Arizona before landing in a good spot)

    – We just didn't have good enough players or depth to develop.

    – McD rises all boats…

  18. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Woodguy v2.0:
    Eric Friesen‏ @EricJFriesen2h2 hours ago


    Top scoring duos in the NHL
    1. McDavid/Draisaitl – 158
    2. Crosby/Malkin – 154
    3. Kane/Panarin – 147

    Aron Vad‏ @aronvad 54m54 minutes ago

    @EricJFriesen @Woodguy55 Minutes played together at E.S.
    1. McDavid/Draisaitl – 570
    2. Crosby/Malkin – 7
    3. Kane/Panarin – 909

    This is important.

  19. kinger_OIL says:

    Lowetide: Oh God no. I’ve failed miserably if that is your takeaway. History tells us we should expect Puljujarvi and maybe one other guy (Slepy, Khaira, Pitlick) to be here long term. Go back to any era of Oilers where they had a plethora of good young forwards, and even then many don’t develop. Plus, there’s always a chance they trade another Satan, although the Oilers don’t have a Satan currently.

    – I think we are on the same page: if two of those guys in minors make it long-term: that’s a great result, and also what any team should expect from their minors in any given year

    – Unless you think we should have 3-4 NHLers in any given year bubbling in the minors?

    – Maybe a good post one day LT, as a refresher: what is RE from AHL/college signing in any year that plays 200 games in the bigs. 2 a year seems fine by me.

  20. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Dac189,

    Thanks for that.

    Interesting stuff.

    The only thing I quibble with is:

    A similar thought when comparing powerplay, in your post, you’re comparing 1st PP line vs 2nd PP line. You’re not necessarily comparing McDavid on vs off since he’s always on 1st PP.

    Not really because McDavid was the only variable in 15/16 on PP1. RNH basically took his spot when he was out and the off/out GF/60 were really close so I’m comfortable saying the GF/60 is pretty much McDavid.

  21. npanciroli says:

    Any Oiler bloggers provide systems analysis out there to go along with the advanced stats? I love the deep analytics analysis we have here but often I don’t see explanations for it like x team attacked the entry on the left side and coach y line matchedthis way and they play a trap system etc.

  22. OF17 says:

    Woodguy v2.0:
    Eric Friesen‏ @EricJFriesen2h2 hours ago


    Top scoring duos in the NHL
    1. McDavid/Draisaitl – 158
    2. Crosby/Malkin – 154
    3. Kane/Panarin – 147

    That’s pretty incredible, actually. The Crosby/Malkin duo has fewer GP, so being above them is a bit of a mirage, but I’ll take the #1 scoring duo in the league any day.

    Let’s expand those listed duos to triads to see if the Oilers keep pace.

    1. Crosby/Malkin/Kessel – 219 in 206 GP
    2. McDavid/Draisaitl/Eberle – 203 in 225 GP
    3. Kane/Panarin/Toews – 202 in 216 GP

    The Oilers have had the benefit of health, but this has also been Eberle’s worst season since his rookie year. We’re not Pittsburgh. We stack up pretty well with Chicago though. Seven more points would put the Oilers equal to Chicago’s P/G, and this is with Eberle sitting on 45 after 75GP.

  23. tcho says:

    kinger_OIL,

    I think I’m missing what you’re saying here with the players who leave not going on to be significantly better.

    You mentioned Dubnyk. Also J. Schultz, Tobias Rieder. Possibly MPS as well. However, I think I take your point that most players traded away to better teams then more-or-less perform at a slot more suited to them?

    Also, I think you are being too bullish on our forward prospects. I think it’s pretty dodgy counting guys like Pitlick and Iiro the Hero in that group (age). Khaira isn’t really trending that well. Even our best prospect (Pulijaarvi – sp?) is not a guarantee (see Yakupov, Nail).

  24. kinger_OIL says:

    tcho,

    You got it: those who did better elsewhere were slotted properly (and lower). We didn’t do any Adam Oates, Hall (Brett), Hossa trades where we sh%t the bed in evaluation

    – I’m not terribly bullish on our prospects either, but I think its not to be expect that more than 1 or 2 potential 200 game NHL’ers reside on any good team’s development per year anyways.

  25. Dennis King says:

    There are a few places that young Pitlick might fit in ie with 97 bcos well anyone can score there or also perhaps with 19-29.

    But Pitlick is so injury-prone that you really can’t depend on him or pay him any decent amount

  26. monsterbater says:

    LT.

    Completely off topic, selfish question, but is there no weekend update blog for this past weekend on ON? I know the regular season/playoffs for most is over but i love that weekly blog for checking up on guys like Bear, Jones, etc.

    Thanks for all you do there and here

    Cheers

  27. Side says:

    Any updates on Benning’s injury?

    I know Todd said Benning was walking on it and had a welt, but has there been any updates since?

  28. Bag of Pucks says:

    kinger_OIL:
    Ca$h-McMoney!,

    – I agree with you.A lot of the despair about this team was not realizing that the guys we had just weren’t good enoughplayers and/or played way to high up the batting order/not ready:

    –Gagner, as a 3rd line guy was fine elsewhere
    – Yak
    – Dubnyk: he was a few years (and teams) away from being the goalie he is now
    – Brodziak fine as a 3rd line winger
    – RNH and Ebs <<< McD Drai as 1st liners
    – Jultz as a PP specialist, protected

    – We just did had not enough good players, and the ones who were “decent” were played above their established abilities.

    –I can’t think of one player that has left this team, in last 5 years that went on to be significantly better than they were here, in the season they left (only Dubynk was a real fail, but he sucked in Nashville and Arizona before landing in a good spot)

    – We just didn’t have good enough players or depth to develop.

    – McD rises all boats…

    Couldn’t agree more. The big issues with laying sole blame at the feet of player development when players fail to reach their prospect ceiling are:

    1) If the development process is bad, how then do you explain the players that do thrive within the process?

    2) If the development process is bad, then there should be marked improvement in a number of players exiting the system to other organizations (even if that improvement is simply from bad to mediocre).

    3) Outside the lottery picks, the odds are solidly stacked in favour of failure. Imo if you respect and acknowledge the reality of those odds, you’re far less inclined to place so much weight and blame on the development process.

    4) One of the key factors in most prospects failing is their inability to bring their offense to the higher level. Most HCs in the NHL will tell you they can’t coach offensive skill and production out of a prospect. They can coach defensive play, system play, conditioning habits, work habits, etc. But they can’t help the player to put the biscuit in the basket. The player has to execute on that task himself. Yakupov is the shining example here. He couldn’t consistently hit the net and being a shooter/sniper was supposed to be his greatest strength. How anyone can lay blame for an inability to hit the net at the feet of a coach is beyond me.

    5) We don’t have full intel on the player motivations and commitment to their development plan. Jultz is fodder for this point. Much of the verbal surrounding this player was the alleged entitlement issues until he finally bottomed out on Pitt’s depth chart and as a result, found a renewed work ethic.

    Fully agree the lack of organizational depth/cover threw many of the Oilers recent prospects to the wolves, but imo there’s a tendency to confuse roster inadequacies with development process. Once you commit to ‘burn it down’ you’re also committed to lack of cover for your rooks. That is the Catch 22 of the full teardown and rebuild. But that doesn’t presuppose that your coaches and organizations immediately lose the ability to teach and develop the prospects. Babcock is doing it in TO and TMac here. Hell, Babcock’s even making progress with his inherited vets, actually turning Kadri into a player capable of sheltering others.

    Now, all that said, Renney’s comments that he fell out with management when they forced him to play the rooks above their heads does speak to a clear disconnect between coaching and management on the preferred development approach at that point in this organization’s history. So, if we want it, there’s a viable complaint for some of the prospects of that era to latch onto. But it still doesn’t address the issue that for every Yakupov and Schultz that washed out, there’s a Hall or Eberle that did not.

    At the end of the day, I fully believe the cream finds a way to rise.

  29. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Woodguy v2.0: Aron Vad‏ @aronvad54m54 minutes ago


    @EricJFriesen @Woodguy55 Minutes played together at E.S.
    1. McDavid/Draisaitl – 570
    2. Crosby/Malkin – 7
    3. Kane/Panarin – 909

    This is important.

    Parse it as “Duo X & Y were involved in Z *different* goals” & Corsby/Malkin will have a healthy lead of several dozen.

  30. OriginalPouzar says:

    Woodguy v2.0:
    Eric Friesen‏ @EricJFriesen2h2 hours ago


    Top scoring duos in the NHL
    1. McDavid/Draisaitl – 158
    2. Crosby/Malkin – 154
    3. Kane/Panarin – 147

    That’s awesome to see – one caveat to remember though is that both Connor and Leon have played every game (*knock on wood”) and both Malkin and Crosby have missed time.

    With that being said, I don’t think Malkin and Crosby really ever play together at even strength – are they really a “duo”?

  31. OriginalPouzar says:

    While I do like JJ as a player – love his speed and physicality, I don’t see him becoming anything more than an effective 4th line player and penalty killer.

    That in itself is a valuable player, however, I just don’t think he has the hands to produce the offence to bat any higher in the order. He hasn’t shown the offence at any other level and, watching his NHL time, we can see why – the hands!

    With his speed, I think he can excel on the PK in time.

  32. OriginalPouzar says:

    Side:
    Any updates on Benning’s injury?

    I know Todd said Benning was walking on it and had a welt, but has there been any updates since?

    He isn’t skating today but McLellan hasn’t had his media avail yet so no information.

  33. N64 says:

    Bruce McCurdy: Parse it as “Duo X & Y were involved in Z *different* goals” & Corsby/Malkin will have a healthy lead of several dozen.

    Why stop there? They have more unique minutes.

    UG/U60? Lol.

  34. jonrmcleod says:

    ***SPAM ALERT***

    Not much new here, but I did quote one lucky Lowetide commenter:

    http://www.theoilersrig.com/2017/03/oilers-targeting-college-star-spencer-foo/

  35. classict says:

    Bruce McCurdy,

    Yea Malkin has 0 pts with Crosby at even strength.

    I don’t know how many of those might be combined on the PP, but even if Malkin got a point on all 37 of Crosby’s PP points, that would still be 117 ‘unique’ points.

  36. Lowetide says:

    Jason Gregor‏Verified account @JasonGregor 11m11 minutes ago
    More
    Benning is day to day. He was close to skating today and will be available this week according to McLellan. #Oilers

    Good news!

  37. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Since development is a topic today, thought I’d put this out there.

    The Ducks and Lightning have been the best at drafting and developing over the last few years.

    Here’s the Ducks AHL roster with future NHLers over the years:

    10/11 – Pat Maroon, Kyle Palmeri, Nick Bonino, Matt Belesky, Peter Holland

    11/12 – Maroon, Holland, Pameri, Bonino, Emmerson Etem, Devante Smith-Pelly

    12/13 – Maroon, Vatanen, Holland, Smith-Pelly, Etem, Hampus Lindholm, Chris Wagner

    13/14 – Etem, Smith-Pelly, Wagner, Richard Rakell, William Karlsson, Vatanen, Luca Sbisa, Fredrick Andersen, John Gibson, Josh Manson

    14/15 – Wagner, Karlsson, Etem, Shea Theodore, Brandon Montour, Rakell, Gibson, Michael Sgarbossa, Manson

    15/16 – Montour, Theodore, Nick Ritchie, Sgarbossa, Gibson – its early so may be some others here

    Some of these guys haven’t played 200 yet, but I only put in the ones I thought to be a lock to do it.

    Sgarbossa is at 44, Wagner at 88, but I think they’ll qualify, the rest are slam dunks or have already done it.

    Ducks draft well, but imo they develop well too as they PLAY THE KIDS HIGH UP IN THE BATTING ORDER REGARDLESS OF WINS/LOSSES.

    Now some of that may have been lack of $$$ to sign vets in Norfolk, but if it was they stumbled upon a great system.

    Now that the Duck’s AHL affiliate has moved to San Diego there is more money (they average over 8000 people/gm) they had added the odd vet, but only the odd one.

    This year they have Cory Tropp on a 2 way deal ($250K in AHL) and AHL only deal for Laganiere (who was a Duck prospect for 3 years)

    I’d probably like it more without Tropp, but I understand the need to be slightly more competitive in San Diego than in Norfolk and the funds to do it, but they aren’t loading up on vets either in the key spots.

  38. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Lowetide:
    Jason Gregor‏Verified account @JasonGregor11m11 minutes ago
    MoreBenning is day to day. He was close to skating today and will be available this week according to McLellan. #Oilers

    Good news!

    *whew*

  39. OriginalPouzar says:

    OriginalPouzar: He isn’t skating today but McLellan hasn’t had his media avail yet so no information.

    As per coach: No broken bones – a bit of swelling – close to skating today – status for LAK game is TBD

  40. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    kinger_OIL,

    – Dubnyk: he was a few years (and teams) away from being the goalie he is now

    Team Sv%
    EDM 91.57
    EDM 91.45
    EDM 92.06
    EDM/NSH 89.10
    ARI/MIN 92.92
    MIN 91.80
    MIN 92.58

    He’s actually been remarkably stead since 11/12 until the twins and MacT and whatever else crashed him in 13/14

    Team GSAA/60
    EDM 0.29
    EDM 0.20
    EDM 0.38
    EDM/NSH -0.66
    ARI/MIN 0.25
    MIN -0.05
    MIN 0.05

    If we use Goals Saved Above Average, he was actually better as an Oiler until MacT asked the question.

    I don’t think he could have stayed here once he cratered, but I’m not sure he craters if MacT doesn’t run at the mouth in the pre-season avail.

    Doobie has mentioned it multiple times in interviews as it got in his head.

  41. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Top 10 NHL goalies in 12/13 with minimum 1500 minutes (all situations) via Goals Saved Above Average

    HENRIK.LUNDQVIST 0.477
    CORY.SCHNEIDER 0.469
    SERGEI.BOBROVSKY 0.459
    COREY.CRAWFORD 0.434
    TUUKKA.RASK 0.422
    DEVAN.DUBNYK 0.378
    JIMMY.HOWARD 0.350
    KARI.LEHTONEN 0.251
    ANTTI.NIEMI 0.131
    EVGENI.NABOKOV 0.127

    Doobie was 6th a MacT had to ask the question 6 months later.

  42. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Bruce McCurdy: Parse it as “Duo X & Y were involved in Z *different* goals” & Corsby/Malkin will have a healthy lead of several dozen.

    They might lead everyone since Gretzky/Messier.

    I want to say Sakic/Forsberg but they played together quite a bit.

  43. Ducey says:

    Woodguy v2.0:
    kinger_OIL,

    – Dubnyk: he was a few years (and teams) away from being the goalie he is now

    TeamSv%
    EDM91.57
    EDM91.45
    EDM92.06
    EDM/NSH89.10
    ARI/MIN92.92
    MIN91.80
    MIN92.58

    He’s actually been remarkably stead since 11/12 until the twins and MacT and whatever else crashed him in 13/14

    TeamGSAA/60
    EDM0.29
    EDM0.20
    EDM0.38
    EDM/NSH-0.66
    ARI/MIN0.25
    MIN-0.05
    MIN0.05

    If we use Goals Saved Above Average, he was actually better as an Oiler until MacT asked the question.

    I don’t think he could have stayed here once he cratered, but I’m not sure he craters if MacT doesn’t run at the mouth in the pre-season avail.

    Doobie has mentioned it multiple times in interviews as it got in his head.

    He mentioned somewhere that when he hit rock bottom he started some sort of vision/ visualization training, and credited this with his turn around.

    Whether he ever does that in EDM, who knows? Likely not. Had he stayed in EDM he could blame the Oilers, etc. Once you are on your 5th team, been in the minors and cleared waivers, it becomes clear where the issue is.

  44. kinger_OIL says:

    Ducey,

    – Just to follow-up on this: he was doing fine, playing less than half the games as an Oiler.

    – Then he got MacT’d: and was both given the keys as the starter, and disparaged by the GM.

    – so he failed as the starter with the Oil, bounced around untill he was ready and is the starter now

    – Just another example IMO of the Oil and not having enough to put guys in position to succeed and/or not being good enough full stop. It’s a combo of the two

    – McD changes everything: every player on the team is better because he is so awesome

  45. delooper says:

    Dubnyk always was a good goaltender. The Oilers just made it near-impossible to see it.

    Let’s face it, we all admit goalies are hard to evaluate. Oilers and Oiler fans did a terrible job of it.

  46. admiralmark says:

    delooper:
    Dubnyk always was a good goaltender.The Oilers just made it near-impossible to see it.

    Let’s face it, we all admit goalies are hard to evaluate.Oilers and Oiler fans did a terrible job of it.

    I always felt Dubie was an NHL goalie. But his last season was so horrendous even I lost faith. Looking back however 3 successive years he had a GAA of .914 or better. And that was in the midst of the Oiler dumpster fire that was. So perhaps lesson learned 3 years in a row of good stats considering the team he was on should of bought him another year to straighten it out.

  47. delooper says:

    admiralmark: I always felt Dubie was an NHL goalie. But his last season was so horrendous even I lost faith. Looking back however 3 successive years he had a GAA of .914 or better. And that was in the midst of the Oiler dumpster fire that was. So perhaps lesson learned 3 years in a row of good stats considering the team he was on should of bought him another year to straighten it out.

    I think if you put any hall-of-famer goalie in his prime in front of the “dumpster” Oilers teams 2008-2015, they’d look just as bad.

    Goalies are more heavily affected by the general functionality of the rest of the team.

  48. kinger_OIL says:

    Woodguy v2.0,

    – but you agree that for a myriad of reasons, he was thrust into a roll with the Oil that he wasn’t prepared/able to fulfill: he clearly wasn’t starting goalie calibre: that’s my point (and ducey’s)

  49. frjohnk says:

    Woodguy v2.0:
    kinger_OIL,

    – Dubnyk: he was a few years (and teams) away from being the goalie he is now

    TeamSv%
    EDM91.57
    EDM91.45
    EDM92.06
    EDM/NSH89.10
    ARI/MIN92.92
    MIN91.80
    MIN92.58

    He’s actually been remarkably stead since 11/12 until the twins and MacT and whatever else crashed him in 13/14

    TeamGSAA/60
    EDM0.29
    EDM0.20
    EDM0.38
    EDM/NSH-0.66
    ARI/MIN0.25
    MIN-0.05
    MIN0.05

    If we use Goals Saved Above Average, he was actually better as an Oiler until MacT asked the question.

    I don’t think he could have stayed here once he cratered, but I’m not sure he craters if MacT doesn’t run at the mouth in the pre-season avail.

    Doobie has mentioned it multiple times in interviews as it got in his head.

    I really believe the environment around Duby at the start of that year was the biggest reason he face planted. And when I say environment I mean the inability of the Oilers team to play the swarm correctly. This led to many odd man rushes/ guys alone in front. Duby got burnt and this affected his confidence.

  50. LMHF#1 says:

    Dubnyk himself said that he didn’t really care, would ignore goalie coaches and wouldn’t have turned it around if he hadn’t fallen on his face and been traded for nothing. I can’t remember where the quote is but I’m sure someone out there can.

    Should the Oilers psych/player development/guidance department have been able to find and fix this? Probably, but there were bigger fires out there. The fact that no one was able to salvage Patrick O’Sullivan, despite his being a ridiculously talented hockey player, shows how limited NHL teams’ abilities still are in this area.

  51. delooper says:

    Sure, but Dubnyk would have never fallen on his face so hard if it wasn’t for the awful team he was playing for.

    If he had some decent structure to play with, he likely would have been fine.

    Just look at the Oilers now. They’ve got a servicable D. One of the strongest forward groups in the league. And all of a sudden, they’re playing good structured hockey and all their goalies look pretty good.

    Not only that, but players that might have never emerged on the previous team (Benning, Nurse, and perhaps the Kassian bet might not have worked, etc) are suddenly looking like good players.

  52. TheBusDriver86 says:

    I miss Pitlick. 🙁

  53. The Original JDI says:

    delooper: Dubnyk would have never fallen on his face so hard if it wasn’t for the awful team he was playing for.

    So you’re saying that the 13/14 Oilers were much worse than the 10/11, 11/12, or 12/13 teams? Because in the three years previous to his crater season (or question season), he put up rather good numbers. Specifically, a .916, .914, and a .921 in the shortened season.

  54. Aron_S says:

    Speaking of Dubnyk, there have been some comments lately on roundtables (I think Friedman is the last respected voice I heard mention it), that Minnesota could turn their recent losing surge around if Dubnyk could stop the puck.

    Was that an unfair knock on him? Has anyone noticed if he’s been letting softies and beachballs in again lately? I haven’t caught any Wild highlights, so haven’t noticed either way.

    His save percentage has dropped from .933 at the beginning of March to .926 today. That’s not a significant drop, but it is consistent for the past month.

    http://forecaster.thehockeynews.com/player/4383/gamelog

  55. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    kinger_OIL:
    Ducey,

    – Just to follow-up on this: he was doing fine, playing less than half the games as an Oiler.

    – Then he got MacT’d: and was both given the keys as the starter, and disparaged by the GM.

    – so he failed as the starter with the Oil,bounced around untill he was ready and is the starter now

    – Just another example IMO ofthe Oil and not having enough to put guys in position to succeed and/or not being good enough full stop.It’s a combo of the two

    – McD changes everything: every player on the team is better because he is so awesome

    Very fair.

    My only quibble is “less than half”

    In 12/13 (his best year and the year after which MacT “asked the question”) he played 38 of 48 games (lockout)

    That is a starter’s workload, albeit in an abbreviated season.

    The year before in 11/12 he appeared in 47 games of 82. Almost a starters load, but certainly more than half.

  56. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    The Original JDI: So you’re saying that the 13/14 Oilers were much worse than the 10/11, 11/12, or 12/13 teams? Because in the three years previous to his crater season (or question season), he put up rather good numbers. Specifically, a .916, .914, and a .921 in the shortened season.

    Yeah, there’s not an argument there.

    The Oilers were not markedly different in 13/14 than the previous 3 years where they finished 30th, 29th and 24th.

    You can make a good argument they only got to 24th in 12/13 because of Doobie.

    Plus, I posted the GSAA numbers which come from a weighted shot average which is geared to remove “bad team” bias that we see in SV%.

  57. The Original JDI says:

    My favorite subtext to Doobiegate, was that Hunter’s favorite mgmt team fired the goalie coach after jettisoning Devan.

  58. dsr29 says:

    I love how often you mention Jim Dorey. He’s a family friend and his son is amazed that the Internet remembers who he is.

  59. Pescador says:

    LMHF#1:
    Dubnyk himself said that he didn’t really care, would ignore goalie coaches and wouldn’t have turned it around if he hadn’t fallen on his face and been traded for nothing. I can’t remember where the quote is but I’m sure someone out there can.

    Should the Oilers psych/player development/guidance department have been able to find and fix this? Probably, but there were bigger fires out there. The fact that no one was able to salvage Patrick O’Sullivan, despite his being a ridiculously talented hockey player, shows how limited NHL teams’ abilities still are in this area.

    Traded for nothing? Did he mean Matt Hendricks?
    Part of me wished it had gone the other way for him, Varlamov, Steve Mason, Bryzgalov, Hammond come to mind. Yes different players & circumstances but sometimes guys rebound sometimes they keep sliding.
    When he started leaving Edmonton with 2 points every single damn time, it pissed me off. 17 saves in front of the worst trap team since NJD circa 2002. He would constantly chirp his old teammates on the ice. He was acting like the Oilers made a huge mistake in trading him. I remember it differently, the team was shitty but he gave up on them just as hard. He was no Mike Smith.
    Whenever the Oilers play the Wild, fuck that guy!

  60. Bos8 says:

    In the late sixties, Toronto brought in four young D that looked like cookie cutters. McKinney, Dorey, Glennie and Pelyk. The future looked bright.

  61. Crazy Pedestrian says:

    Pescador: Traded for nothing? Did he mean Matt Hendricks?
    Part of me wished it had gone the other way for him, Varlamov, Steve Mason, Bryzgalov, Hammond come to mind. Yes different players & circumstances but sometimes guys rebound sometimes they keep sliding.
    When he started leaving Edmonton with 2 points every single damn time, it pissed me off. 17 saves in front of the worst trap team since NJD circa 2002. He would constantly chirp his old teammates on the ice. He was acting like the Oilers made a huge mistake in trading him. I remember it differently, the team was shitty but he gave up on them just as hard. He was no Mike Smith.
    Whenever the Oilers play the Wild, fuck that guy!

    On the note of trap teams… has anyone noticed how many more teams are playing the trap now a days!? And most of the teams that play it regularly are in a playoff position!! What’s up with that?!?!

  62. Lowetide says:

    dsr29:
    I love how often you mention Jim Dorey. He’s a family friend and his son is amazed that the Internet remembers who he is.

    I couldn’t forget Jim Dorey if I tried. I thought he was awesome. Mad as a hatter, but awesome.

  63. Centre of attention says:

    Lowetide: I couldn’t forget Jim Dorey if I tried. I thought he was awesome. Mad as a hatter, but awesome.

    For some reason I remember watching OHL games during the spring of 2015, and the Eerie play by play crew nick named Connor the “Mad Hatter”

    For awhile, I didn’t get it.

    Seeing him bend the space-time continuum while rending defensive pairs to shreds I am starting to get it now 🙂 The kid is 100% nuts.

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