ALL THE GOLD IN CALIFORNIA

The Edmonton Oilers started slowly and the San Jose Sharks started fast last night on the left coast. The official scorer saw more than 40 hits in the first period, and perhaps also saw the swallows return to Capistrano. The Oilers? They were all business, especially after the first period.

THE WHO BY NUMBERS

  • After 1: 0-0 score, SJS had the edge in shots 13-6 and they dominated Corsi for 5×5 26-12.
  • After 2: 0-0 score, EDM had the edge in shots 12-4 and Oilers dominated Corsi for 5×5 23-10.
  • After 3: 1-0 EDM, SJS had the edge 6-4 and 15-12 in Corsi for 5×5.
  • Final: 1-0 EDM, SJS had the edge in shots 23-22 and in Corsi for 5×5 51-47.

That was some game, the Oilers chased in the first but their structure held better than Game 1. In the second period, it was the Sharks who were forced to swim, and the third period was fairly even. Every playoff shutout is a big deal, for me Cam Talbot was busier last night than on Friday. What a game! The Sharks brought a lot of effort and a giant Thornton, but were once again bested by the northern upstarts. I cannot wait to get to the next chapter!

MCDAVID LINE

  • Todd McLellan moved Leon from  the 97 line (I believe) in order to get bigger, stronger down the middle. I counted several good chances for this line, including a McDavid wrap, two Maroon chances where he shot the puck 10 miles wide (good lord, man!) and a couple of reasonable if rushed shots by Slepyshev. I would like to see this line again.
  • Maroon may be illing.
  • McDavid faced Vlasic-Braun (12-15, 13 minutes) and went 10-8 against Marleau-Couture-Ward in nine minutes.
  • The best chance for 97 might have been on the PP, a fine pass to Mark Letestu could easily have cashed.
  • I have five (Maroon net front, Maroon two on one, McDavid wrap, McDavid right point and Letestu PP) good looks provided by 97, that’s a good night in spite of the scoreless entry in the game summary.

NUGE LINE

  • Nuge had five shots on goal, including a very good shot off the faceoff that had a chance.
  • Nuge and Lucic are coming on now, seems Lucic is the passer and Nuge the cannon, which is bass ackwards but I’ll take it. Maybe Eberle can screen the goalie. Don’t care, it’s working.
  • Nuge line went 5-5 in eight minutes against Martin-Burns and 3-2 against Karlsson-Thornton-Pavelski. This is yuge, folks. RNH played 5:25 against Joe Thornton and it we see a Mike Peca result. Sheesh! That’s good! I am loving it!
  • This is the only line that stayed intact, after a winter of eyebrow raising.

LEON’S LINE

  • I really liked the line, even without the goal. As you can see, going 8-6 together and ending with these Corsi’s tells us their previous line wasn’t working. So credit to McLellan, he found a nifty trio here.
  • Leon gets some credit for creating havoc just before the turnover that led to Zack Kassian’s goal.
  • Zack Kassian is at the pinnacle of life now, and we’re all thrilled. What a fabulous story. I love it. Nice Elvis sideburns too. If he makes an album of Elvis songs, I’ll buy that thing in every format: 8-Track, cassette and vinyl.
  • Leon went 3-4 against the Hertls.

DESHARNAIS LINE

  • This line had some good things. Pouliot and Desharnais went 10-7 5×5 Corsi events and had some promising moments. I think this might be something that can work.
  • Letestu had (to my eye) one of the best chances in the game, pass from 97 and a strong shot on the power play.
  • Letetu went 6-7 against the emerging Meier line, Desharnais went 5-1. The line was in and out with alot of other forwards, but the results were generally good for an Oilers 4line.
  • Pouliot had a selfish penalty and a point-blank chance provided by 97 in which he didn’t get a shot. Not good! Burns drilled him at the blue line and there was a lot of jack assery from San Jose, but you can’t do that in a big game that close.
  • Desharnais has a lot of things that have kept him in the NHL, and we saw several of them on display last night. Anticipates well, wonderful passer, and he gets in there despite size difference. He was back to early levels last night.

DEFENSE, LAST NIGHT

  • Klefbom-Larsson went 13-14 together, and played some heavy minutes. Went 5-6 against Karlsson-Thornton-Pavelski line, also 3-3 against the Hertls. Oscar moved the puck (mostly) well, and Larsson was Mr. Clampdown along the wall all night. The man is a menace, but in a good way. I am loving this pairing now, and they can get the puck out under control.
  • Nurse-Benning went 10-11 in 12:28. They went 4-6 against Meier-Tierney-Sorensen and 3-6 against the Hertls. Darnell is not making good decisions with the puck but is defending well, and that is a sign of maturation. Just as a young hitter can sometimes let offensive slumps impact his play in the field, that malady can strike NHL defenders. I think Nurse has overcome that issue, or at least at this time. Needs to  make better plays with the puck . Benning was in chase mode much of the night, we didn’t see his savvy play with the puck near enough. He’s a rugged player, caught a couple of Sharks with hits that hurt. I’m going to love watching him play.
  • Sekera-Russell went 7-6 against Marleau-Couture-Ward and that’s some good business.Went 16-18 together.Russell was very effective on the PK and was a whirling dervish against the Sharknado. Sekera made good decisions with the puck on a night when the blue had very little clean air.
  • I wish the Oilers could be more consistent with their breakout passes, but the Sharks are partly responsible and there has been improvement over the season.
  • Talbot stopped all 23 shots and is on a roll. Goalies man. Two late stops were especially key, both probably better than 50 percent to find the net when the rocket launched. A strong night.
  • Numbers via NHL.com, NaturalStatTrick and HockeyStats.ca.

AFTER THREE GAMES

I picked the Oilers to win this series, but in a lot of ways it looked straight up from here. Part of the issue involved SJS injuries, and we’ve seen Logan Couture play well (Game 1) and fade (Games 2 and 3). I thought Joe Thornton had a fine game last night, really added to the fearsome forwards on the Sharks. It wasn’t enough, and that’s a tell.

It is borderline treason it seems to credit Todd McLellan with making a smart move, but I’ll give credit on several fronts. He attacked the matchup issue (raised with JT’s return) by moving Leon onto the third line as a center, and didn’t shake up the impressive Nuge line while doing it. It would be no surprise if we see the same forward lines as listed above in Game 3. It’s also possible Patrick Maroon gets some time on lower units (meaning possibly Drake Caggiula gets the push).

DARMOK, IN WINTER

Sometimes, when I’m especially angry at a specific thing and have been raging about it for an hour or a day or a week, Mrs. Lowetide sends a verbal knife between my third and fourth rib. “Don’t you ever let it go?” she’ll ask, sweetly. Dammit! Can’t you see how angry I am over this thing that has no real impact on my life!!?!?!?!! We’re all prone to these outbursts, but there’s a real chance my house has seen double the norm over the years. The phrase “you’re like a dog with a bone” has also been mentioned a few times in those same years.

Folks, I think it’s time for me to let it go. That doesn’t mean you, this is for me. When the trade occurred on June 29, I reacted to it emotionally and intellectually, and both reactions had the Oilers trailing on the transaction. That doesn’t make me special, it makes me typical. I did take the time to find out about the other guy and knew a little of him too.

In order to free himself from the chains of that deal, Peter Chiarelli needed to cobble together a team good enough to make the playoffs and compete once there. After last night, that milestone has been passed. I think the trade was a loss in talent, and a win in balance and structure. Made necessary by the Jeff Petry trade, the addition of Adam Larsson has proven astute, it is a very good fit. Lots of other things have been added (including health) and talking about progress without mentioning Connor McDavid would be insane.

Peter Chiarelli solved one problem (RHD who can play the tough minutes) and added another (he needs someone to push the river on a line that doesn’t include 97). I absolutely believe one problem is more difficult to solve than the other. That is his challenge, but this season gives him the right to find the solution. In my opinion.

ZACK KASSIAN, LEGEND

During the 2005-06 regular season, Fernando Pisani was an effective two-way winger who often mentored some of the talented youths on the Oilers. An eighth-round selection (1996) from the St. Albert Saints of the AJHL, Pisani posted his best offensive year in 2005-06 (18 goals and 37 points) while serving an important role on the 3line. Those 18 goals (80 games) did little to prepare us for his brilliant offensive outburst in the playoffs, where he scored 14 goals (!!!) in 24 games. If you listen closely, you can still hear the drums of Fernando from the fields in the distance.

Zack Kassian is a little younger than Pisani was in 2006, and his career high in points (14-15-29) is probably still to come (along with a large contract). It appears the hockey Gods have chosen Kassian as this year’s Pisani, as his two game winners suggest a starring role for him. Music! What a tremendous story, I think Jake Gyllenhaal will play him in the movie. Redemption songs are the sweetest, and Kassian’s genuine humility is an added piece to a wonderful story. This is why I love sports.

TOTAL RECALLS

We’ve seen Griffin Reinhart and Nick Ellis get the call, I imagine we hear about Jesse Puljujarvi sometime in the next few days. Sail on, Timra Red Eagle, you are bona fide. I wish you had come to us in a time when management had a mind for knowing.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

I’m on the round table at nine this morning, so tune in (TSN1260) early if you can. We bring the crazy at 10, scheduled to appear:

  • Scott Burnside, ESPN. Some amazing stories across the NHL playoffs, we’ll make stops in Edmonton, Chicago and St. Louis.
  • Jake Sundstrom, Fear the Fin. Sundstrom is wicked smart and has given us great insight into the Sharks before and during the series. We’ll get his read on this weekend’s games.
  • Jason Gregor, TSN1260. What does Jason think of these line changes?
  • Sunil Agnihotri, Copper & Blue/The SuperFan. Leon in the middle opens this up, should Todd McLellan keep things this way?

10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. Talk soon!

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139 Responses to "ALL THE GOLD IN CALIFORNIA"

  1. dustrock says:

    Maroon is killing McDavid line right now. Don’t know what the solution is, because no way in heck do you touch the Nuge line.

    Team was very patient. No stupid passes, no panic. Whiffed on some decent shots, but so does every team.

  2. N64 says:

    “Todd McLellan moved Leon from the 97 line (I believe) in order to get bigger, stronger down the middle.”

    Been said on and around this blog countless times but TMc never worries about too much depth at centre.

    Long live Nugic-Hopkins. If he’s been a bit extreme re-tooling his game for playoff hockey there are worse problems.

  3. leadfarmer says:

    I have been wondering for a while how Slepy would look on McDavids wing. A lot of good teams saw off each other’s top lines in the playoffs and the 3rd line is where the series is won. Cant line match for 50-55 minutes a game

  4. Diablo says:

    Good game last night – it’s a tell, I think, that the Oilers have learned to win these 1-0 games – while SJ came with a lot of fury in front of their home fans – the Oilers kept everything to the outside, and patiently bided their time.

    Lol though – they need to work on scoring empty netters!

    Talbot was a boss last night – looks very calm in net.

    Really like the in-game adjustment made by TMac – maybe he reads this blog?

  5. wheatnoil says:

    The other thing moving Drai to the middle does is keep Burns from getting so much clear day.

    DeBoer has been keeping Burns away from McDavid (just 1:45 against him all game at 5×5, & some of that was at the end of a shift). As a result, Burns has been getting more than half his shifts against Letestu – Caggiula – Kassian & the Desharnais line.

    However, moving Draisaitl down means Burns plays more than half his shifts against either the Nuge line or the Drai line. Both Nuge & Drai ended up at 50% CF vs Burns, which is pretty solid to saw off against him.

    The same, of course, is true of Thornton, who got a reasonable amount of the soft underbelly of the Oilers in the first period. However, with the change, Thornton basically has to play against either Drai or Nuge. He only got out a couple times against Desharnais. Once on the second half of a long Desharnais shift and once where the Oilers quickly switched off to RNH.

  6. Jethro Tull says:

    Don’t you ever change LT, don’t you ever change. We’ve disagreed on a few things, such as Lander as a bona fide NHL player (although I do think there’s a player there), and the use of Radiohead as the RE when you said you wanted something more upbeat (who did you want for sad?). But I’ve always admired your reasoning, convictions and above all your patience in dealing with oiks like me.

    So, if you want to bury the Hall hatchet, then that’s cool (not that you need my permission), or if you want to keep questioning the validity of the trade, then that’s cool to, because you always argue from Terra Firma and shoot from the hip with the ability to reason.

    Don’t ever change. Though that bit “Folks, I think it’s time for me to let it go” had me worried. I didn’t think you were a Frozen fan.

  7. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    McLellan making in game adjustments that were good and worked gave me pure joy.

    The Oilers had no answer for SJS’s forward depth without last change.

    McLellan saw it, acknowledged it, did the exact right thing to correct and here we are talking about a win in game 3.

    That makes me pretty damn excited.

    UNICORNS!!!

    Also,

    Nuge holding SJS’s best in check (or beating them) has been key to this series so far.

    SJS loads up a Pavelski/Thornton/Karlsson line and they tread water vs 27-93-14

    My series MVPs so are are:

    Talbot
    Kassian
    Nuge

    Also,

    Agree that 19 isn’t right.

    If McLellan doesn’t want to give him the game off, his speed and style would fit with 29-44.

    36/67-97-42
    27-93-14
    19-29-44
    36/67-13-55

    Exciting times.

  8. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Also,

    “….is in a bank in the middle of Beverly Hills under somebody else’s name.”

  9. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    wheatnoil:
    The other thing moving Drai to the middle does is keep Burns from getting so much clear day.

    DeBoer has been keeping Burns away from McDavid (just 1:45 against him all game at 5×5, & some of that was at the end of a shift). As a result, Burns has been getting more than half his shifts against Letestu – Caggiula – Kassian & the Desharnais line.

    However, moving Draisaitl down means Burns plays more than half his shifts against either the Nuge line or the Drai line. Both Nuge & Drai ended up at 50% CF vs Burns, which is pretty solid to saw off against him.

    The same, of course, is true of Thornton, who got a reasonable amount of the soft underbelly of the Oilers in the first period. However, with the change, Thornton basically has to play against either Drai or Nuge. He only got out a couple times against Desharnais. Once on the second half of a long Desharnais shift and once where the Oilers quickly switched off to RNH.

    Truth.

  10. Jethro Tull says:

    Man, you have to scroll down half a page to get to the Oiler’s win on TSN today!

  11. mattwatt says:

    Lowetide,

    In regards to Jumbo Joe last night, his impact was noticeable on the game. Few times he came out on the ice where my reaction was a lot of muttering and swearing, all in anger directed at him. Guy is sublime.

    Only knock against him last evening was his inability to ward off physical play. My memory may be foggy, but I remember Jumbo Joe swallowing up pucks and not letting anyone else get to it. In the past defenders came and challenged, but Joe always came away with the puck. Last night, when it was a 1-on-1 battle for loose biscuit, don’t think Joe was above 40% in winning them. Weird to see, and didn’t jive with my previous belief of his ability.

    Was I wrong to think Joe was that strong(est) on the puck in the past? Or were my eyes deceiving me last night? Do we think it is the knee and his inability to put full weight on it?

    Have fun with the show today!

  12. Clarkenstein says:

    Very impressed with the Oil in their own end. Not a helluva lot of open chances. Good playoff D from D men and Forwards. On the other hand Maroon has turned into dog shit. Has to be frustrating for Connor.

  13. Southern Oil says:

    Jethro Tull:
    Don’t you ever change LT, don’t you ever change.We’ve disagreed on a few things, such as Lander as a bona fide NHL player (although I do think there’s a player there), and the use of Radiohead as the RE when you said you wanted something more upbeat (who did you want for sad?).But I’ve always admired your reasoning, convictions and above all your patience in dealing with oiks like me.

    So, if you want to bury the Hall hatchet, then that’s cool (not that you need my permission), or if you want to keep questioning the validity of the trade, then that’s cool to, because you always argue from Terra Firma and shoot from the hip with the ability to reason.

    Don’t ever change.Though that bit “Folks, I think it’s time for me to let it go” had me worried.I didn’t think you were a Frozen fan.

    Nicely put. I’m all over this as well because I would have to think there were a number of days over the past 10 years – wondering around the weeded wilderness – where writing a blog about this team was somewhat difficult to put it mildly. This is the sane corner of the Al Gore where reason and good arguments win the day!

  14. Spengler says:

    wheatnoil:
    The other thing moving Drai to the middle does is keep Burns from getting so much clear day.

    DeBoer has been keeping Burns away from McDavid (just 1:45 against him all game at 5×5, & some of that was at the end of a shift). As a result, Burns has been getting more than half his shifts against Letestu – Caggiula – Kassian & the Desharnais line.

    However, moving Draisaitl down means Burns plays more than half his shifts against either the Nuge line or the Drai line. Both Nuge & Drai ended up at 50% CF vs Burns, which is pretty solid to saw off against him.

    The same, of course, is true of Thornton, who got a reasonable amount of the soft underbelly of the Oilers in the first period. However, with the change, Thornton basically has to play against either Drai or Nuge. He only got out a couple times against Desharnais. Once on the second half of a long Desharnais shift and once where the Oilers quickly switched off to RNH.

    Excellent comment. Your tweets last night detailing the line match ups were fabulously informative and really matched up with what my eyes were seeing. Thanks for that.

    All day yesterday while reading the game day thread, I was struck by how calm everyone was. Gone were the nerves and beautiful over the top excitement prior to the first game, and the quiet, pissed off a thousand times bitten fans prior to game two. Just a group of fans talking about hockey. And i felt that way throughout the game.

    The sharks were on top statistically through the first but I wasn’t as nervous as in game one. And the team looked the same, like they just had a job to do. The coaching adjustments as well, were measured and done with a plan in mind. Just a professional job by a team that hasn’t seen many of those in a long time. It wasn’t anywhere near as good a performance as game one. But it was what was needed. And that’s heartening going forward, for this year and next.

  15. mattwatt says:

    Also,

    Thought for sure 3rd pairing would be a tire-fire this whole series. 1st game did nothing to make me believe I was wrong. Then addition of Benning to the line-up, and my fears are starting to subside. Feel Benning benefits Oil in this series over Gryba for following reasons:

    1. Although the bigger man, Gryba gave up too much on speed. Understand wanting Gryba in line-up since Benning didn’t end the season well, but the Sharks were too fleet of foot for him.

    2. When Gryba is chasing, so is Nurse. Feel that he had to cover too much for Gryba. With Benning, feel Nurse is chasing less. I may be blowing smoke, can’t confirm via numbers, but just feel that way. Correct me if you feel otherwise.

    3. Benning is more physical than we give him credit for. Been playing the bigger Sharks forwards well, not letting them push him around. Great to see.

    4. Benning is so much more comfortable with the puck than Gryba.

    Thank the Gords that good Benning is back. We needed him, a lot.

  16. Surgeons Knot says:

    RNH is proving again how valuable he is to this team. Please, please do not trade him! I believe his offensive numbers will return, and even if they don’t he is crucial to our success.

  17. McNuge93 says:

    Yes, great game last night. They knew a storm was coming in the first and weathered it well. From then on it was more in their favor and came down to which team would get a goal off a skate, a deflection or a softie. And the Oilers got it. Impressive win. They look like an experienced team.

  18. Scungilli Slushy says:

    wheatnoil:
    The other thing moving Drai to the middle does is keep Burns from getting so much clear day.

    DeBoer has been keeping Burns away from McDavid (just 1:45 against him all game at 5×5, & some of that was at the end of a shift). As a result, Burns has been getting more than half his shifts against Letestu – Caggiula – Kassian & the Desharnais line.

    However, moving Draisaitl down means Burns plays more than half his shifts against either the Nuge line or the Drai line. Both Nuge & Drai ended up at 50% CF vs Burns, which is pretty solid to saw off against him.

    The same, of course, is true of Thornton, who got a reasonable amount of the soft underbelly of the Oilers in the first period. However, with the change, Thornton basically has to play against either Drai or Nuge. He only got out a couple times against Desharnais. Once on the second half of a long Desharnais shift and once where the Oilers quickly switched off to RNH.

    Good points. It creates a lot of problems for the coach IMO if his second pairing has to be sheltered. It’s reasonable to have to limit exposure with the third pair.

    The league is getting more skilled IMO as Gritensity is replaced by younger players who are mobile and have puck better skills.

    As Woodguy has suggested and me as well before, there are few D that are defensively sound play drivers, and aren’t just replacing forward points with theirs.

    I think we might see a switch in front – back balance over time. With less skilled forwards who then would have to focus more on the defensive side of the game, having a guy that attacks from the blue even if less defensively sound would be helpful, the forwards compensating in the D zone.

    As the league gains more skill in the forward group, the value of defensive play from defensemen becomes more important, being able to break up attacks and get the puck to the forwards in a useful way.

    A complicating issue is that points = money, so it isn’t easy to have an offensive type D that is a ‘specialist’ on the third pair because of the cap. The Pens will face this issue with Schultz, who IMO isn’t solid in the top four defensively, at least yet.

    For the Oilers, Benning isn’t there yet consistently. It will be interesting to see what type of player they go to. For me Russell while an upgrade over last season isn’t strong enough on breakouts and ending sorties IMO. He can work, I would like better.

  19. knighttown says:

    1. Benning’s foot speed seems to have waned in recent weeks. Anyone notice the “race” to the corner that proceeded the hits and crosschecks to the back of the Shark that was laying on the ice? Benning was a couple of strides ahead and just couldn’t get there.

    How nice would it be to slide Brandon Davidson in there to give the kid a breather?

    2. McDavid can be quite disinterested in the defensive zone which is my one worry with the addition of Sleppy. Drai does a lot of the down low stuff freeing Connor to stay high. Can Sleppy make the right reads on those nifty Shark forwards?

    If you don’t believe me on Connor’s disinterest, watch the thornton one-time chance in the first. When the puck gets sent down low it creates a 2-on-1 but only cause Joe jumped past McDavid who hasn’t moved yet.

    3. Larsson is terrific in a really tough position to fill; RHD. Hall is terrific in a really tough position to fill; river pusher.

    Let’s put it this way, I wouldn’t make the trade back even though I love Hall.

  20. frjohnk says:

    When McDavid is on the ice, the Sharks go into a defensive shell. Really is not much room out there Though McDavid did have a few good looks on rushes.

    If the McDavid line is neutralized and the Nuge line neutralizes the Sharks top line, then our 3rd and 4th lines need to be better than theirs.

    While I dont doubt that we see Drai back with McDavid next game, I like the look of the Cags-Drai-Kassian line, skill, speed, size. Kassian is hot right now. Wow!

    Talbot, again is showing he is elite.

    Last nights game could have gone either way, nice we are on the right side of the result.

  21. 106 and 106 says:

    Woodguy v2.0,

    Curio, Ellis called up to give Talbot a break in practice?

    No mention of Hendricks either – Slepy getting his shot to shine!

    Full Unicorn Mode.

  22. Evilas says:

    Happy Monday folks!

    I live in Cowtown, but was in town last night to bring my spouse up to Edmonton (she started work 3 weeks ago and we decided not to relocate, as she is working on a 3 year project and I have been blessed to have a pretty decent job). I went to the new barn last night to watch the game with a couple of buddies and paid $5.00 to watch the game on the biggest tv in the province. It was unbelievable how loud it was when Kassian scored, so I cannot fathom how loud the place was for the first two games.

    If anyone plans to go in the future for the road games, I recommend you get seats as high up as possible, otherwise there is too much neck craning going on for those with with old beat up bones like me. I had a Bobby Nics burger and it was a 6/10, for those interested and haven’t tried it yet.

    I am glad I went and I hope I find an opportunity to go to an actual game during this run.

    Enjoy the ride! Goilers!!!

  23. russ99 says:

    Of the two things we need to win the series, we got one last night – 5-man team defensive effort.

    Still need the sustained pressure in their zone and creating chances off the cycle.

    For that, I’d put Draisaitl back on McDavid’s wing. Maybe we can go another road game with Drai at C, but the big problem with our first line not scoring will continue.

  24. hunter1909 says:

    Hope Kassian re-signs for 1.5 million per season, for 3-4 years. Then, he signs with the Canucks for 5 million x 6 years…

  25. Ducey says:

    LT. I don’t think “let it go” means what you think it does. Maybe if they win a round you will get there. Right now you sound like one of my kids apologizing. Somehow they just don’t say they are sorry 😁

    I am excited the Oilers seem to have solved a lot of problems with the emergence of a bunch of players.

    Nuge is a keeper. Cannot be traded. Lucic is CLUTCH. The last two years of that contract probably hurt but for now it was worth it (and maybe Linden will still be around). Don’t underestimate the impact on the culture change on this team.

    Cags and Sheppy and Benning should be locks for the lineup next year and look to have more room to grow.

    Kassian is terrific. The bottle is terrible pull, though. Sometimes it’s the success that gets you. I am praying for him. BTW the guy that plays him in the movie? Jim Carey.

    The only guy I want to see get going is Pouliot. Throw some hits Benny! Get aggressive. Get skating.

  26. Unwashed Oilfan says:

    A couple of quick things on a blizzardy Easter Monday morning in northeastern BC.

    Fuck the Sharks.
    Fuck the Flames.

    Can we please stop referring to this site as a blog. I feel we have far surpassed the blog status as low tide has turned this into a legitimate hockey-based website full of stories of the past and statistics that are nearly unrivalled anywhere else .

    WTF with this carbon tax? I drove into Grand Prairie on Saturday, my first day off in over two months and on the drive-through Hythe, Beaverlodge into Grand Prairie where the price of gas is typically always $.12-$.18 a litre cheaper than in Dawson Creek or Fort St. John I was shocked to see that the price of gas is $.05-$.06 a litre more on the Alberta side then NE BC.

    Oh yeah, final thought. Waking up to 12 inches of fresh snow on Easter Monday morning sucks ass

  27. McSorley33 says:

    Just an outstanding effort all around really…..even DD looked like an NHL player last night.

    Our top 2 D pairing are playing really well….

    Having said all of that….I think it is important to remind people that Logan Couture and Joe Thornton are clearly not 100%.

    We are catching the Sharks at the right time, for sure.

    I am actually hoping Calgary wins tonight and they can push the Ducks into war.

  28. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    106 and 106:
    Woodguy v2.0,

    Curio, Ellis called up to give Talbot a break in practice?

    No mention of Hendricks either – Slepy getting his shot to shine!

    Full Unicorn Mode.

    Never a bad idea to have a 3rd goalie around in case of illness etc in the playoffs when rosters can be as big as you want and there is no cap.

  29. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    knighttown,

    – Great post LT! Knight: this is a good summary: I doubt many would undo the trade: “what you want to trade our #1RHD, for a one-dimensional injury-prone LW, top-15 scoring LW last three years, who was the 30th highest LW goal-scorer this year with 20 goals, that has put up less points than Jagr last three years, the 77th raked forward in terms of points last three years, who is trending down”

    – Chia sold high, bought low. The salary saved pays for both Benning + Drake, @ 900k each

    – They have to play the games, but the Oil can’t be planning tee-times anytime soon…

    – I can’t seem to post with my old nick: LT confirmed I wasn’t banned! Kinger_redux is born.

  30. Jethro Tull says:

    Woodguy v2.0: Never a bad idea to have a 3rd goalie around in case of Marc Andre Bergeron.

    FIFY;-)

  31. anjinsan says:

    You gave your inner mushy teenager the pen in referencing ABBA…or maybe you’re blushing Swedish, giving in over-paying Hall for Larsson. I agree on the balance and structure improvement. And the Oilers are winning tightly fought games. Yay. It’s the over-payment that still bites. Gudbranson was had for much, much less.

  32. striatic says:

    knighttown: Let’s put it this way, I wouldn’t make the trade back even though I love Hall.

    Lucic’s improvement also makes the trade look much better. Sure, Lucic might not drive his line like Hall did, but he’s providing enough production lately to fill in the crater left by the trade and leave the ground level. Even if it is mostly PP production, and Hall was an EV superstar, the differential in the totals is acceptable and Larsson has been a rock.

    The trade and subsequent move to help fill in the hole in the lineup has generally worked out, and I’m happy about that.

  33. frjohnk says:

    anjinsan: Gudbranson was had for much, much less.

    If you comparing Gudbranson and Nurse, fine.

    Gudbranson and Larsson?

    Not even close.

  34. JDI Хоккей says:

    Woodguy v2.0: Never a bad idea to have a 3rd goalie around in case of illness etc

    It is, however, a bad idea to dress him as the backup.

  35. Lloyd B. says:

    JDI Хоккей: It is, however, a bad idea to dress him as the backup.

    Who else would you dress as a backup if one of the two NHL netminders goes down?

  36. frjohnk says:

    Lloyd B.: Who else would you dress as a backup if one of the two NHL netminders goes down?

    Russell

  37. Chachi says:

    anjinsan:
    Gudbranson was had for much, much less.

    Hahahahaha! Good one!

  38. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    striatic,

    – re: Hall. One can parse some stats to point to being elite in some things, but his body of work over the last three years: actual goals and points and games played, show a bona-fide 1st-liner.

    – Teams over time need actual points and actual games played, not adjusted stat analysis.

    – Hall just isn’t elite in real life hockey production in the last three seasons. Sure on a /60 basis, using some stats he has some elite figures.

    – But real production over three years is a better proxy of who a player actually is. He’s the 77th forward in actual points last three years: that’s pretty good.

  39. Eastern Oil says:

    LT: your Darmok, In Winter (fantastic byline by the way) was a very apt description of the struggles I had with the trade too. Loved Hall and his energy/passion but knew deep down we needed what Larsson has brought.

    I have let it go myself.

    But…. can I still be mad about the Petry trade? Pleeease??

  40. 106 and 106 says:

    frjohnk,

    LaLegglia? Position swap did him some good.

  41. digger50 says:

    Kinger_Oil.redux:
    knighttown,

    – Great post LT!Knight: this is a good summary: I doubt many would undo the trade: “what you want to trade our #1RHD, for a one-dimensional injury-prone LW, top-15 scoring LW last three years, who was the 30th highest LW goal-scorer this year with 20 goals, that has put up less points than Jagr last three years, the 77th raked forward in terms of points last three years, who is trending down”

    – Chia sold high, bought low.The salary saved pays for both Benning + Drake, @ 900k each

    – They have to play the games, but the Oil can’t be planning tee-times anytime soon…

    – I can’t seem to post with my old nick: LT confirmed I wasn’t banned! Kinger_redux is born.

  42. Pink Socks says:

    Jethro Tull:
    Man, you have to scroll down half a page to get to the Oiler’s win on TSN today!

    But Zaitsev is in! Zaitsev is in!

  43. Lloyd B. says:

    digger50,

    Hey Digger.

    LT earns business on his site. Your last sentence can cause him to lose said business. Perhaps you could delete it.

  44. LuckyRoseCity says:

    Lloyd B.:
    digger50,

    Hey Digger.

    LT earns business on his site. Your last sentence can cause him to lose said business.Perhaps you could delete it.

    Agreed.

  45. Washingtron says:

    The only worry with Kassian being crowned the new Pisani is that it will come with the playoff earned salary overpay that was never worth the money afterwards. I remember being so thrilled with Pisani and that the local boy made good and got to bank a huge ole contract after playing out of his skull, but I also remember resenting his shiny new contract almost every game afterwards. Now, to show how the playoffs will turn a person’s brain upside down, I’m actually relieved Kass had all those goals called back during the regular season as that may keep his money down.

    What a dang story. Can’t help but shake your head at it, smile, and go about your day with your shoulders a little lower than usual.

  46. Pouzar says:

    knighttown: Benning’s foot speed seems to have waned in recent weeks. Anyone notice the “race” to the corner that proceeded the hits and crosschecks to the back of the Shark that was laying on the ice?

    I remember that chase into the corner thinking ‘is Benning skating in quicksand?”

  47. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    digger50,

    – Look, I read LT’s excellent bit on the Hall thing as an acceptance that the trade happened for reasons that with hindsight, he can now accept (but that he misses Hall), and Chia deserves some praise for the team as it is now constituted

    – I didn’t read it as “No more talking about Hall”

    – I think its fair to agree that most wouldn’t take back Hall for Larsson.

    – I also think its’ fair to counter some selected stats that point to elite player with some actual production results over a significant time-period. Actual results help “re-frame” the trade.

    – I also don’t think that anything I have ever posted deserves your comment. IT’s not LT worthy

  48. treevojo says:

    digger50,

    The Oilers players are starting to look like they are not giving a full effort.

    I wish Chiarelli acted more like Fletcher at the deadline so our players could have responded like the wild players have.

  49. SoCaloil says:

    I was very impressed with Eberle’s game last night. He was winning puck battles against the boards, being at the right places, cycling, and getting the puck moving north.

    Fourth line had some good jump too.. Great quick passing. Generating great chances.

  50. N64 says:

    Jethro Tull:
    Man, you have to scroll down half a page to get to the Oiler’s win on TSN today!

    In fairness in spite of the 3 breathless leafs headlines all of today’s games are ahead of yesterdays.

    Love the power rankings featured above the fold.

    12 Sharks
    13 Flames
    14 Hawks
    15 Wild
    16 Jackets

    Who saw that coming?

  51. Diablo says:

    Washingtron:
    The only worry with Kassian being crowned the new Pisani is that it will come with the playoff earned salary overpay that was never worth the money afterwards.I remember being so thrilled with Pisani and that the local boy made good and got to bank a huge ole contract after playing out of his skull, but I also remember resenting his shiny new contract almost every game afterwards.Now, to show how the playoffs will turn a person’s brain upside down, I’m actually relieved Kass had all those goals called back during the regular season as that may keep his money down.

    What a dang story.Can’t help but shake your head at it, smile, and go about your day with your shoulders a little lower than usual.

    I’m less worried about that – the Pisani contract has to be taken in context – after the playoffs ended, there was a mass exodus of vets including Peca, Pronger, Spacek and Samsonov. Lowe was in a poor bargaining position with Fernando’s contract, and got taken out to the woodshed by his agent, And then Pisani’s Crohn’s disease flared in a terrible way – otherwise Fernando might have been full value for the contract.

    Even if Kassian has a huge spring, his bargaining position is weakened by the fact that (i) Edmonton is good fit for him professionally and personally, and (ii) we have a fairly stable contract situation heading into next summer.

    Personally I would not be surprised if Chia left him unprotected in the expansion draft – McPhee is a smart man – he’s not going pick a player with addiction issues to go play in Viva Las Vegas.

    I think Chia offers 2-3 years x 2 million, irregardless of his playoff performance. His agent would be wise to push for more term though.

  52. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    JDI Хоккей: It is, however, a bad idea to dress him as the backup.

    “Backups don’t matter in the Cup finals” – MacT

  53. Pouzar says:

    So do people think the new line changes will stick?
    I think they have to do based on Wheat’s excellent analysis above but I am not confident.

  54. leadfarmer says:

    Pouzar: I remember that chase into the corner thinking ‘is Benning skating in quicksand?”

    Given that hes averaged 36 games in the last 3 seasons and has had some injury issues this year is anyone really that surprised.

  55. blainer says:

    A very well coached game last night with the coach using all his players in the correct spot after the 1st. Love the new road lines and they will be handful and agree with moving caggs up in maroons spot if another tweak is needed.

    On Larsson. He has made me forget the Hall trade. Just a great trade for us IMO. I would just like to see the coach play him more. He was playing 26 to 27 mins a night in jersey at times. Man he is just a beast to play against.

    Talbot is the one who gets us the cup. If we win he WILL get the Conn Smythe.

  56. Dee Dee says:

    What I am enjoying the most during these playoffs: (in no particular order)

    – Commitment to team defense.

    – Toughness level

    – Talbot standing on his head

    – Players playing for each other

    – Humility of the players, no Prima Donna’s here

    – Spread out scoring

    – The team is not relying on McDavid to do all the scoring

    This organization has effected such a massive change. Players such as Jesse Puljujärvi and Griffin Reinhart are learning their craft in the AHL. Past regimes would have thrown them in to sink or swim.

    The cliques and divisions are gone. Winning helps, but they had to trade away 98% of the team to accomplish that.

    They have elevated their play in a systematic way. A team with a young core are finally playing to their level of ability (over even) but the best part is that expectations have risen to make this the new norm and not just a flash in the pan single season happening.

  57. Diablo says:

    I keep reading that the last two years of Lucic’s contract are going to be regretful. Yet he’s never had a serious injury, and he works hard in the off-season to take care of his body. He’s been a consistent point producer his whole career. He’ll be 33 and 34 in those last two years – in a league where guys like Zetterberg can post a 68 point season at the age of 36, is that really that old?

    No one can know the future – but there seems to be a ‘certainty’ that we are going to regret the last two years of Milan’s contract – this certainty is based on historical projections. But players train better and eat better now than they did even 10 years ago.

    Lucic strikes me as a man who takes his job as hockey player very seriously, and Chia knows him well from their time together in Boston. Based on that I’m actually comfortable with the length of his contract. Of course I’d have preferred it to be 1-2 years shorter, but that’s not a realistic expectation of our GM, given that Eriksson and Ladd both got 6 years, despite being 2 years older than Lucic (now those were terrible contracts).

    Anyways, just my ramblings for the day – time will tell of course, but for now I’m very happy that Milan Lucic is an Edmonton Oiler.

  58. New Improved Darkness says:

    I also remember resenting his shiny new contract almost every game afterwards.

    That’s a Scrooge McDuck narrative.

    No-one puts up those numbers the in playoffs without playing in heavy traffic, throwing cation to the wind risking life and limb. Doesn’t get paid before, doesn’t get paid during, and somehow you manage a slow burn over his getting paid after? How does that work? Did I miss one?

    And what did the Oilers get out of this? Eight more playoff home games? Well, I see you pencil-pushing point: that doesn’t expand the cap, though it certainly expands the belt (all the better to hold the newly fattened pocketbook under the belt).

    So give him a straight-up $3 m signing bonus for heroics bought and paid for with lumber and blood, and then draw up a nominal 4×$1.75; or if that still boils your blood, give him a $5 m signing bonus and 4×$1.25. Glory gonna cost ya. That’s the general manager’s code.

    These days you happily pay $10 million for one season of any player with a realistic chance of going on that kind of run in the post season.

    Well I for one have no buyer’s remorse stemming from 2006. (Take a deep, deeep, deeeeep, deeeeeeeeep breath for the decade that follows.)

    Next time we get a screaming deal like that one—if we’ve been especially good all year—it will be Conner earning $11 while delivering $16. Or possibly $20. Once, twice, thrice? How many times?

    That about sums up the small difference between a true star and merely a shooting star that bursts into the atmosphere of Planet Sublime at the exact moment Darth wheels to line Luke up in his innersights.

    Try not to resent either.

  59. frenchfrog says:

    “I wish you had come to us in a time when management had a mind for knowing.”

    Funny how the “unknowing” management has their team up 2-1.

  60. who says:

    I think worrying about Kassians next contract is “much ado about nothing”. He scored 7 goals this season and has two in the post season. Even if he scores 6 or 7 in a long playoff run I can’t see him breaking the bank. I would be happy with something like 2 mil per year over 3 years. I would almost lean to another year if the price is right.
    I think this player would be wise to go shorter term. I think his best days are still ahead of him and he might be in line for a bigger payday in a year or two.

  61. knighttown says:

    Pouzar: I remember that chase into the corner thinking ‘is Benning skating in quicksand?”

    And it wasn’t that late in his shift. The “late in his shift” came AFTER losing that foot race. I wonder if his brain is tired as much as his legs.

    Man, no regrets on the Hall trade really but giving away Brandon Davidson for no good reason really pisses me off.

    Playing Lander at 4C instead of DD and having Davidson play with Nurse is almost optimal.

  62. Scungilli Slushy says:

    I thought Pouliot had a good game and his speed was a factor. I thought he was going to get one on his backhand but Cags skated into his lane. He might be good with McDavid, probably better defensively than Cags and gets less penalties at this point

  63. knighttown says:

    One other rambling:

    will the lines stay the same?

    In basketball they call them rangy. In baseball they are 5-tool guys. In football, there just called athletes. In hockey I’m seeing this player type really starting to emerge. Zach Kassian and Benoit Pouliot on our side. Timo Meier and Tomas Hertl on theirs. Geno Malkin is probably the granddaddy of them. They tend to skate in swoops like a hawk and love that play on the forecheck where you pursue the defenseman and give him a whack so he thinks you are still pursuing and then at the last second you break off the other way to pick off a potential reversal.

    These guys have great skating mixed with size and wingspan and have this ability to contort themselves to get sticks on pucks or bodies on bodies. You wouldn’t call them cerebral…well Malkin is…but they can overwhelm with their athleticism and at this time of the year with almost no time and space that can be enough.

    I can’t help look at Meier and think that Jesse Pujuujarvi might yet have a role to play as a 4th line rangy guy. Pouliot-Letestu-Puluujarvi could be a real pain in the ass to play against with no pressure on the kid to actually score.

  64. knighttown says:

    Scungilli Slushy:
    I thought Pouliot had a good game and his speed was a factor. I thought he was going to get one on his backhand but Cags skated into his lane. He might be good with McDavid, probably better defensively than Cags and gets less penalties at this point

    Agree on that play. Didn’t think either player did anything wrong. Caggiula was just trying to get to the net but Pouliot look quite alarmed to see his stick in that spot. Seemed like he almost though Drake (on his forehand) was going to shoot.

  65. wheatnoil says:

    Scungilli Slushy:
    I thought Pouliot had a good game and his speed was a factor. I thought he was going to get one on his backhand but Cags skated into his lane. He might be good with McDavid, probably better defensively than Cags and gets less penalties at this point

    Pouliot did have success with McDavid last year with both Eberle and Yakupov as the other winger. He’s had a rough year but he seems to be coming around a bit. In theory, he’s a potential fit for McDavid on the left wing is Maroon isn’t quite 100%.

  66. Lowetide says:

    frenchfrog:
    “I wish you had come to us in a time when management had a mind for knowing.”

    Funny how the “unknowing” management has their team up 2-1.

    Lander came to us 2011 TC.

  67. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    anjinsan,

    Gudbranson was had for much, much less.

    And VAN was still completely hosed on the deal

  68. Pechetr says:

    Lowetide, It is nice to see you letting go of Taylor Hall and embracing Adam Larsson. As good a talent as Hall is/was, I will remember him not for the flashes of brilliance, but for the lack of maturity. I have always appreciated his talent, but more often than not, his character was on display. I know some will disagree and of course all have that right, but little things spoke volumes of his time here.

    I also respect that he hated losing, and this organization at the time was the cause of much angst from the players and the fans. Everything you need to know about Taylor Hall is summed up in three events for me. The stick smash over the crossbar and subsequent comments directed towards the coach after an EN goal. (lip reading required), the infamous water bottle incident and finally the response to Kassian after Hall’s elbow off the draw. Taylor hall was tormented by the opposition while here both between whistles and after yet he was left alone on all of those occasions to fend for himself with no support from his team mates. That to me was a tell. Conversely, no one messes with Connor without a response.

    I doubt Lucic would have signed had Hall still been here and Chia knew that early enough in negotiations to make the deal. I look at the Hall deal not as a one for one, but a one for 2. Yes Lucic is not as offensively talented as Hall, but he brings some things that Hall never did and I suspect never will.

    Larsson is a beast. He is not flashy, but can break the cycle and calm the masses in times of panic. I still believe he has more to bring as he grows. Again, this is my opinion and I respect yours as well, just the way I saw things.

  69. Dennis King says:

    Woodguy v2.0:
    McLellan making in game adjustments that were good and worked gave me pure joy.

    The Oilers had no answer for SJS’s forward depth without last change.

    McLellan saw it, acknowledged it, did the exact right thing to correct and here we are talking about a win in game 3.

    That makes me pretty damn excited.

    UNICORNS!!!

    Also,

    Nuge holding SJS’s best in check (or beating them) has been key to this series so far.

    SJS loads up a Pavelski/Thornton/Karlsson line and they tread water vs 27-93-14

    My series MVPs so are are:

    Talbot
    Kassian
    Nuge

    Also,

    Agree that 19 isn’t right.

    If McLellan doesn’t want to give him the game off, his speed and style would fit with 29-44.

    36/67-97-42
    27-93-14
    19-29-44
    36/67-13-55

    Exciting times.

    If MacLellan is interested in sticking with this lineup and actually using the last change at home? welll….

  70. Dennis King says:

    knighttown:
    1. Benning’s foot speed seems to have waned in recent weeks.Anyone notice the “race” to the corner that proceeded the hits and crosschecks to the back of the Shark that was laying on the ice?Benning was a couple of strides ahead and just couldn’t get there.

    How nice would it be to slide Brandon Davidson in there to give the kid a breather?

    2. McDavid can be quite disinterested in the defensive zone which is my one worry with the addition of Sleppy.Drai does a lot of the down low stuff freeing Connor to stay high.Can Sleppy make the right reads on those nifty Shark forwards?

    If you don’t believe me on Connor’s disinterest, watch the thornton one-time chance in the first.When the puck gets sent down low it creates a 2-on-1 but only cause Joe jumped past McDavid who hasn’t moved yet.

    3. Larsson is terrific in a really tough position to fill; RHD.Hall is terrific in a really tough position to fill; river pusher.

    Let’s put it this way, I wouldn’t make the trade back even though I love Hall.

    83’s skating in the open ice has been rough ever since he took that shot off the knee. He was never Paul Coffey but now he looks more like Paul Ysebeart

  71. Dennis King says:

    One last thing about the new lines: right now 97 is still running everything though seam-passes or rush-passes to 19. Oil don’t have much time to practice now but we really need to see him key on getting 42 the puck more.

  72. Georges says:

    knighttown:

    2. McDavid can be quite disinterested in the defensive zone which is my one worry with the addition of Sleppy.Drai does a lot of the down low stuff freeing Connor to stay high.Can Sleppy make the right reads on those nifty Shark forwards?

    If you don’t believe me on Connor’s disinterest, watch the thornton one-time chance in the first.When the puck gets sent down low it creates a 2-on-1 but only cause Joe jumped past McDavid who hasn’t moved yet.

    I don’t believe you on Connor’s disinterest in the defensive zone. Doesn’t fit the numbers. Doesn’t fit the eye test. Doesn’t fit the player.

  73. Seismic Source says:

    I’m going to game 5. Paid a fortune for tickets. Do not care. I need to experience that atmosphere.

  74. leadfarmer says:

    Welcome to the Dark Side LT. We’ve been expecting you.

    When people think of skill, most people dont think taking a forward, steering him to the boards and robbing the forward blind as a skill, but it is a skill. And Larson does it beautifully. I cant wait in 15 years how LT will phrase that cause I’m sure he will do it much better than me, with pretty sounding words and stuff.

  75. ashley says:

    I was watching the game last night, and I would say the biggest change year over year is the forward’s commitment to defense. The defenders look better partly because there are some new guys and the others are older, but mostly because they are being supported by their forwards.

    It’s a whole team effort. They are all on the same page. I saw Benning hung out to dry on a bad read last night, and Slepy slides down to play the near post like you would see a Dman defending the cycle. Eberle, Letestu, Hall, Pou, Yak were all wandering near the blue line last year, or often half way to the red line without the team even having puck possession. That’s the kind of thing that was missing and has made an enormous difference.

    Maybe this is what Chia was referring to as “culture change” in the summer, rather than all the character problems we assume.

  76. Lowetide says:

    Dennis King:
    One last thing about the new lines: right now 97 is still running everything though seam-passes or rush-passes to 19. Oil don’t have much time to practice now but we really need to see him key on getting 42 the puck more.

    Great point. I hadn’t thought of that, but running through the game in my mind that makes sense. Slepy has a good shot, but 97 has to find him.

  77. ashley says:

    Larsson is truly incredible. He does things that I know most of you notice, but the average fan wouldn’t. A classic example last night was dangerous Jumbo Joe coming in with Pavelski across the blue toward the left faceoff circle. The Oilers forwards are changing and a SJ trailer is coming in for 3v2. Larsson angles Joe to the boards. Thornton, the savvy veteran recognizes that and makes a move to the inside. Larsson poke checks the puck back a little, just enough to slow Thornton’s progress. By now, Klef is all by himself with two sharks in the slot and a great scoring opportunity awaiting if the puck makes it over. Larsson seizes the momentary loss of puck possession to close the physical gap on Thornton and push him against the boards. With his other hand he pokes the puck out to the blue line and the play moves the other direction.

    A very dangerous scoring chance was imminent, completely neutralized in 1.5 seconds by the savvy play of Larsson. This happens dozens of times every game.

    That has a LOT of value.

    He’s a lot like Pronger. You put him out there, and you know that the Oilers are probably going to be ok for 45 seconds.

  78. ashley says:

    Also, RNH is doing a masterful job of the role of defensive centerman. He’s sneaky quick and very clever defensively. I would imagine that he would be frustrating to play against. There weren’t a lot of really good chances for the sharks after the first 10 minutes.

  79. OmJo says:

    Woodguy v2.0:
    McLellan making in game adjustments that were good and worked gave me pure joy.

    The Oilers had no answer for SJS’s forward depth without last change.

    McLellan saw it, acknowledged it, did the exact right thing to correct and here we are talking about a win in game 3.

    That makes me pretty damn excited.

    UNICORNS!!!

    Also,

    Nuge holding SJS’s best in check (or beating them) has been key to this series so far.

    SJS loads up a Pavelski/Thornton/Karlsson line and they tread water vs 27-93-14

    My series MVPs so are are:

    Talbot
    Kassian
    Nuge

    Also,

    Agree that 19 isn’t right.

    If McLellan doesn’t want to give him the game off, his speed and style would fit with 29-44.

    36/67-97-42
    27-93-14
    19-29-44
    36/67-13-55

    Exciting times.

    19-29-44 would be a joy to watch.

  80. Jethro Tull says:

    Dennis King:
    One last thing about the new lines: right now 97 is still running everything though seam-passes or rush-passes to 19. Oil don’t have much time to practice now but we really need to see him key on getting 42 the puck more.

    I’m always a bit leery about giving this year’s Art Ross winner tips on how to score more.

  81. ashley says:

    Finally, regarding Hall; I don’t know if we will ever know all the details of what was contemplated in that trade. There are things about Hall I miss, and others that I don’t. He had value and was exchanged for something we really needed.

    All that hockey stuff aside, I want to say this: On a personal level, I feel really bad for the guy. He put his heart and soul into this franchise with the hope of being part of something special. A better day was promised, but was snatched away from him just as it was about to be delivered. Now he finds himself in the same or worse situation in a different town but approaching a decade older – his prime years half gone.

    On a personal level, I wish it could have been different for him. I would feel better if he landed with a team that was in the playoffs – a team that had a chance. I hope he gets that chance someday.

  82. blainer says:

    ashley:
    I was watching the game last night, and I would say the biggest change year over year is the forward’s commitment to defense.The defenders look better partly because there are some new guys and the others are older, but mostly because they are being supported by their forwards.

    It’s a whole team effort.They are all on the same page.I saw Benning hung out to dry on a bad read last night, and Slepy slides down to play the near post like you would see a Dman defending the cycle.Eberle, Letestu, Hall, Pou, Yak were all wandering near the blue line last year, or often half way to the red line without the team even having puck possession.That’s the kind of thing that was missing and has made an enormous difference.

    Maybe this is what Chia was referring to as “culture change” in the summer, rather than all the character problems we assume.

    That play by sleppy last night got him some serious love from the coach’s. It’s the kind of play that keeps a player like Sleppy in the lineup and can even earn you a promotion on the top line.

    I am big fan of this player and hope he has a hat trick with Connor the next game..

  83. striatic says:

    ashley:
    Also, RNH is doing a masterful job of the role of defensive centerman.He’s sneaky quick and very clever defensively.I would imagine that he would be frustrating to play against.There weren’t a lot of really good chances for the sharks after the first 10 minutes.

    RNH has had some trouble with zone exits, but he’s been very good at helping to keep the play to the perimeter, stripping pucks and being in perfect position to support his D.

    He’s had some weird, largely unforced errors getting the puck out of the zone in a way that leads to immediate counterattacks though, early in games.

  84. JOFA says:

    Pechetr: half

    100% agree with the Hall comments. I can honestly say I’m happy he’s gone.

  85. Georges says:

    Dennis King:
    One last thing about the new lines: right now 97 is still running everything though seam-passes or rush-passes to 19. Oil don’t have much time to practice now but we really need to see him key on getting 42 the puck more.

    If he does that, he’d be getting the puck to the guy who scored 4 5v5 goals instead of the guy who scored 24 5v5 goals. He’d be choosing the guy with a 5v5 sh% of 7.27 over the guy with a 5v5 sh% of 16.90.

    Once the puck drops, I’ll cheer for Slepy just like I cheer for every Oiler. But, until he shows otherwise, he’s just a placeholder on the first line. Nothing (a track record of results) for the Sharks to worry about. It’s really up to him to make them worry.

    Slepyshev on the first line makes the first line easier to defend and easier to attack. TMac made a decision to ice a less competitive first line so he could ice a more competitive lineup.

    Here’s to Slepy scoring like Guentzel and throwing all of this back in my face.

  86. blainer says:

    Georges: If he does that, he’d be getting the puck to the guy who scored 4 5v5 goals instead of the guy who scored 24 5v5 goals. He’d be choosing the guy with a 5v5 sh% of 7.27 over the guy with a 5v5 sh% of 16.90.

    Once the puck drops, I’ll cheer for Slepy just like I cheer for every Oiler. But, until he shows otherwise, he’s just a placeholder on the first line. Nothing (a track record of results) for the Sharks to worry about. It’s really up to him to make them worry.

    Slepyshev on the first line makes the first line easier to defend and easier to attack. TMac made a decision to ice a less competitive first line so he could ice a more competitive lineup.

    Here’s to Slepy scoring like Guentzel and throwing all of this back in my face.

    I think Tmc goes back with Drai in Edmonton unless Sleppy has a breakout game. This lineup change had to be made as we were getting creamed in possession on the road.

    Sleppy can keep up with Connor and has a great shot but he is not the Talent Drai is. At least not yet. I get where your coming from on Maroon but I think Sleppy might just surprise if given a longer audition.

  87. Georges says:

    Woodguy v2.0:

    36/67-97-42

    As good as Connor is, is he that good?

  88. trencan says:

    Sorry, I know nodody cares about the draft this year (thanks god) but Vesalainen is having fantastic tournament WJC18 – 8 points in 3 games. He is strong and has good shot. I thought he could be interesting partner for Jesse in the future (not sure but think they played together previous year in the same line on WJC18 ) but based on this stats he will not be available for us in the first round. Finland has again really strong team this year.

  89. wheatnoil says:

    Georges: As good as Connor is, is he that good?

    He might be.

    Connor McDavid has had 7 different line combinations with at least 50 5×5 minutes since he started in the NHL. Every single one is over 50% corsi, over 50% fenwick, over 50% shots on net, over 50% in xGF, and ONLY the line of Lucic – McDavid – Draisaitl has a goals for of less than 50% (& even then they had an amazingly low PDO of .905).

    Among those 7 combinations includes the combination of Pouliot – McDavid – Yakupov.

  90. Bag of Pucks says:

    This is definitely one of those mornings where the fancies have surprised, and pleasantly so.

    By eye, I thought the Sharks were the better team for most of the night, particularly with territorial advantage and zone time in the front half of the game. But obviously the possession stats in the cold light of day depict a more favorable picture. I think this ‘bend but don’t break’ approach can play tricks with the mind’s eye.

    There were instances where the Sharks forecheck really bottled up the Oil in their own end, but they did a great job managing their panic threshold. The frequent resets by the D can be frustrating but this team has definitely learned the pros of eating the puck as opposed to coughing it blindly up the boards under duress.

    The transition game is almost nonexistent which is a really tragic fact to ponder with Connor in the lineup, but sometimes you have to win ugly, particularly on the road.

    The one note of caution I would add is the shot differential stats don’t tell the full story on Talbot’s importance to the win last night. SJ did get some five star chances from the slot and imo that win does not occur last night without Talbot having a first star worthy performance. Would suggest that’s not a recipe for sustainable success (i.e. your goalie having to be absolutely lights out to win) but it’s great to get it when you need it.

    Finally, this team deserves more PP time. Always a homer thing to say, but there were definitely some missed calls against our boys last night.

  91. wheatnoil says:

    wheatnoil: He might be.

    Connor McDavid has had 7 different line combinations with at least 50 5×5 minutes since he started in the NHL. Every single one is over 50% corsi, over 50% fenwick, over 50% shots on net, over 50% in xGF, and ONLY the line of Lucic – McDavid – Draisaitl has a goals for of less than 50% (& even then they had an amazingly low PDO of .905).

    Among those 7 combinations includes the combination of Pouliot – McDavid – Yakupov.

    Actually, if I lower that down to 10 minutes, we end up with 11 different line combinations and ALL of them are over 50% in raw corsi, fenwick, shots and xG.

    Now, McDavid tends to play with really good players, but still. That’s unreal!

  92. Lowetide says:

    trencan:
    Sorry, I know nodody cares about the draft this year (thanks god) but Vesalainen is having fantastic tournament WJC18 – 8 points in 3 games. He is strong and has good shot. I thought he could be interesting partner for Jesse in the future (not sure but think they played together previous year in the same line on WJC18 ) but based on this stats he will not be available for us in the first round. Finland has again really strong team this year.

    I have him No.23and have been told I’m crazy. 🙂

    http://lowetide.ca/2017/04/11/shine-a-light/

  93. blainer says:

    Lost in a lot of the talk today on how much better the fancies were in the final two periods is the fact we were playing much more disciplined and by that I mean we stayed out of the Box.

    We need to continue this. That was a very close game last night and by no means is this series even close to over. A sharks win tomorrow night and right back to square one. My gut says this is going seven but have to say I do feel better with the lineup changes on the road.

    If we win in five or six I believe the coach’s should be praised for their ability to switch things up the correct way.

  94. Georges says:

    wheatnoil: He might be.

    Connor McDavid has had 7 different line combinations with at least 50 5×5 minutes since he started in the NHL. Every single one is over 50% corsi, over 50% fenwick, over 50% shots on net, over 50% in xGF, and ONLY the line of Lucic – McDavid – Draisaitl has a goals for of less than 50% (& even then they had an amazingly low PDO of .905).

    Among those 7 combinations includes the combination of Pouliot – McDavid – Yakupov.

    5v5 Goals Scored

    36 5
    42 4
    67 8

    Though anything is possible, I think what’s probable is that 19-97-29 start scoring 5v5 goals. The Sharks have held them off the 5v5 scoreboard for 3 games now and we’re still ahead in the series. They’re still getting their chances. They’ve led the team for most of the season.

    Interesting to see TMac’s thinking on this when we see the lines in game 4.

  95. Younger Oil says:

    I think that

    Caggiula-McDavid-Kassian
    Lucic-Nuge-Ebs
    Desharnais/Maroon-Draisaitl-Slepyshev
    Pouliot-Letestu-Desharnais/Maroon

    Could be a solid lineup.

  96. trencan says:

    No, you are not crazy LT 🙂 A lot can change but Vesalainen will be likely a riser in the draft. And I also see this year some similarity between Liljegren and Chychrun. Quality defender falling in draft from top positions . But I still think it will be very lucky team which draft him.

  97. Rocknrolla says:

    Seismic Source:
    I’m going to game 5. Paid a fortune for tickets. Do not care. I need to experience that atmosphere.

    What did they run you? Thinking the same….

  98. ashley says:

    blainer:
    Lost in a lot of the talk today on how much better the fancies were in the final two periods is the fact we were playing much more disciplined and by that I mean we stayed out of the Box.

    We need to continue this. That was a very close game last night and by no means is this series even close to over. A sharks win tomorrow night and right back to square one. My gut says this is going seven but have to say I do feel better with the lineup changes on the road.

    If we win in five or six I believe the coach’s should be praised for their ability to switch things up the correct way.

    This is a great point. I liked all the energy, but a couple of guys were too close to the edge in game 2. Despite all the penalties, several were still missed and could have been the difference in that game.

    These teams are so close to each other that the difference between winning and losing this series could come down to a single PP goal. The details are important. Keep the checks legal and be mindful of your stick. If you get crunched on the boards or smoked in the open ice, take it and move on.

    The coaches must have delivered such a message because the Oilers were much more disciplined save for the Pouliot revenge crosscheck.

  99. Seismic Source says:

    Rocknrolla,

    My brother and I payed 650 each. Good seats but pricey. The website was all over the map for prices. There were worse seats that were going for a lot more. I live overseas and don’t come back too often so I figured why not.

  100. JDI Хоккей says:

    blainer: playing much more disciplined and by that I mean we stayed out of the Box.

    There was also a noticeable lack of Peel and Lee last night, which couldn’t hurt the number of PKs either.

  101. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    treevojo:
    digger50,

    The Oilers players are starting to look like they are not giving a full effort.

    I wish Chiarelli acted more like Fletcher at the deadline so our players could have responded like the wild players have.

    I’m assuming this is a dig at MIN players.

    If so, its off base.

    If not, well then its more info. *the more you know rainbow*

    Shots per game (MIN-STL)

    1) 41-31
    2) 24-22
    3) 52-26

    They are outshooting STL 117-79 and the scoring changes, xGoals etc are about the same ratio.

    MIN isn’t down 3-0 because of player effort.

    They are down because Allen has an all situation SV% of .974

    I’ve watched about half of this series and the shots that haven’t gone in are ridiculous.

  102. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Pouzar:
    So do people think the new line changes will stick?
    I think they have to do based on Wheat’s excellent analysis above but I am not confident.

    Based on McLellan saying they changed in response to SJS getting Joe back I think they stick

  103. spoiler says:

    The fact that many people didn’t understand the Hall-Larson trade is both a condemnation of State Education and of Mainstream Media. Engage with either at your peril.

    It is great to see LT come around on the issue and frame it (mostly) properly.

  104. Bulging Twine says:

    Dougie Hamilton = Michel Petit ??

  105. Georges says:

    wheatnoil: Actually, if I lower that down to 10 minutes, we end up with 11 different line combinations and ALL of them are over 50% in raw corsi, fenwick, shots and xG.

    Now, McDavid tends to play with really good players, but still. That’s unreal!

    You track zone entries, correct? (Please ignore the rest if not the case.)

    I have a couple of assumptions:

    – teams generate more CF events per controlled zone entry than uncontrolled zone entry
    – CMD has a high rate of controlled zone entries

    Am I off base?

    Also, do you track goals following zone entries as well? Do you know the goal breakdown for:

    – controlled
    – uncontrolled
    – OZ start

    Thanks!

  106. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Georges: As good as Connor is, is he that good?

    97’s even better than that.

    He did this for this guy:

    Player Season Goals
    PATRICK.MAROON 20122013 2
    PATRICK.MAROON 20132014 10
    PATRICK.MAROON 20142015 7
    PATRICK.MAROON 20152016 7
    PATRICK.MAROON 20162017 24

    Also,

    I think Sleppy has a much, much better shot than Maroon.

    A lot of Maroon’s goals have been goal mouth tips and rebounds.

    If Sleppy adds that to his game he could score a ton with 97.

    Also,

    Maroon with 97 this year: 2.88pts/60
    Pouliot with 97 last year: 2.95pts/60

  107. wheatnoil says:

    Georges: You track zone entries, correct? (Please ignore the rest if not the case.)

    I have a couple of assumptions:

    – teams generate more CF events per controlled zone entry than uncontrolled zone entry
    – CMD has a high rate of controlled zone entries

    Am I off base?

    Also, do you track goals following zone entries as well? Do you know the goal breakdown for:

    – controlled
    – uncontrolled
    – OZ start

    Thanks!

    I haven’t been tracking zone entries. However, those that have tracked those have found that your two assumptions are true. The go-to source for zone entries (and really all tracking) is Corey Sznajder. He told me he expects to have the Oiler playoff games up in the next few days. (I usually track zone exits but am not doing so for the playoffs since Corey is getting the Oilers work up.)

    As for the answer to your question, Corey has a team page up for Edmonton but I haven’t got a chance to look at it closely yet. It’s from 30 games tracked during the regular season (he’s working on the rest of season). It’s at theenergyline.wordpress.com .

  108. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Georges: 5v5 Goals Scored

    36 5
    42 4
    67 8

    Though anything is possible, I think what’s probable is that 19-97-29 start scoring 5v5 goals. The Sharks have held them off the 5v5 scoreboard for 3 games now and we’re still ahead in the series. They’re still getting their chances. They’ve led the team for most of the season.

    Interesting to see TMac’s thinking on this when we see the lines in game 4.

    Context.

    You need more context sir.

    Raw numbers without context, especially counting numbers, can paint a false picture of a player.

    See my comment above on Maroon and Pouliot’s scoring.

    Who you play with is crucial to production. Crucial. Massive.

    That’s one reason that Kassian’s 1.74pts/60 is so excellent this year.

    Only 4 points with McDavid.

    Mind you, even he got the McDavid bump:

    Kassian without McDavid 1.53 pts/60
    Kassian with McDavid 6.32 pts/60 (!!!) (4pts in 38 minutes)

  109. Georges says:

    The Oilers have trailed for just one second in the series so far. In game situations where you’re tied or leading, the benefit of scoring a goal is less than the cost of giving up a goal. So our defensive play has been prioritized over our offensive play. We don’t know enough about the Oilers offensive play in the playoffs to reach conclusions that override what we’ve learned about the Oilers offensive play in the regular season. And we’re not in desperate times call for desperate measures mode.

    TMac moving Drai to 3C is rational because he lost some confidence in DD at 3C and Letestu should not be playing 3C. If DD can play with more jump (like last night) and outscore his opponents (still waiting), Drai goes back to the first line. DD isn’t a bit player on this team.

  110. wheatnoil says:

    Georges:
    The Oilers have trailed for just one second in the series so far. In game situations where you’re tied or leading, the benefit of scoring a goal is less than the cost of giving up a goal.

    Isn’t this mostly true in the regular season where you get a point for a regulation tie? In a winner-take-all scenario, wouldn’t the cost of giving up a goal be the same as the benefit of scoring a goal when the game is tied?

  111. Bruce McCurdy says:

    wheatnoil: Isn’t this mostly true in the regular season where you get a point for a regulation tie? In a winner-take-all scenario, wouldn’t the cost of giving up a goal be the same as the benefit of scoring a goal when the game is tied?

    Agree with this take on a theoretical level, though my own is that Bettman Point motivations have infected the game at the cellular level to value defence over offence.

  112. frjohnk says:

    Bruce McCurdy: Agree with this take on a theoretical level, though my own is that Bettman Point motivations have infected the game at the cellular level to value defence over offence.

    Just curious if you know what the rate of regular season games go to OT? How many playoff games go to OT?

  113. Pouzar says:

    Georges: If he does that, he’d be getting the puck to the guy who scored 4 5v5 goals instead of the guy who scored 24 5v5 goals. He’d be choosing the guy with a 5v5 sh% of 7.27 over the guy with a 5v5 sh% of 16.90.

    Once the puck drops, I’ll cheer for Slepy just like I cheer for every Oiler. But, until he shows otherwise, he’s just a placeholder on the first line. Nothing (a track record of results) for the Sharks to worry about. It’s really up to him to make them worry.

    Slepyshev on the first line makes the first line easier to defend and easier to attack. TMac made a decision to ice a less competitive first line so he could ice a more competitive lineup.

    Here’s to Slepy scoring like Guentzel and throwing all of this back in my face.

    Opportunity is a thing. I think Slepy is one of the most gifted players on the team. People forget he was a 1st rd rated talent but didn’t get drafted due to sign-ability issues.

  114. Dennis King says:

    Georges: I don’t believe you on Connor’s disinterest in the defensive zone. Doesn’t fit the numbers. Doesn’t fit the eye test. Doesn’t fit the player.

    I had a DM convo with someone awhile back about how 97 isn’t the full-on two-way player that he was at the start of his career

  115. treevojo says:

    Woodguy v2.0,

    No

    It’s actually in response to something digger said a few days ago.

    It had to do with Oilers players using Chiarelli’s lack of deadline activity as an excuse not to put in a full effort post deadline.

    It was cheek.

  116. Pouzar says:

    Georges: As good as Connor is, is he that good?

    I give you Jake Guentzel(3rd rounder) and Conor Sheary (Undrafted).

  117. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Scungilli Slushy: A complicating issue is that points = money, so it isn’t easy to have an offensive type D that is a ‘specialist’ on the third pair because of the cap.

    One interesting example of the type is a guy Chiarelli signed as a free agent right out of college (imagine!), namely Torey Krug. He occupied exactly the role you described at first, averaging 17:30 a game his rookie season, then 19:35 before making it to 21:36 each of the last two. Each year he has led the team in PPTOI and has scored nearly 45% of his career points on the PP. Meanwhile over the four years he has seen his cap hit ramp up from (last year ELC) to $1.4 (bridge) to $3.4 (second bridge) to $5.25 (first year of a four-year deal) MM. This year did see a surge in his scoring rates from his usual 40 points to 50, & his PP scoring surged to 25 (no other Bruins D-man had more than 3!).

    At even strength he is playing #3 minutes, so not bottom pair, but a clear example of a guy who is get paid first & foremost to score points.

  118. Jethro Tull says:

    Dennis King: I had a DM convo with someone awhile back about how 97 isn’t the full-on two-way player that he was at the start of his career

    Dennis, with the greatest respect, I don’t know where you’re going with this. Georges is right. And after watching him score that shorty, McDavid may just be the only player in the NHL that the numbers match the (vast majority) of eyes. The examples of back-checking stick lifts is endless in this series alone. He’s the current Art Ross winner. He not only tilts the ice, but weighs it down like a super massive blackhole. And it doesn’t seem to matter who he plays with. They’re caught in the event horizon.

    This may seem like fan boy adoration, but buddy, are you seeing what you want to see or playing devil’s advocate? Because the evidence just isn’t there.

  119. Dennis King says:

    Georges: If he does that, he’d be getting the puck to the guy who scored 4 5v5 goals instead of the guy who scored 24 5v5 goals. He’d be choosing the guy with a 5v5 sh% of 7.27 over the guy with a 5v5 sh% of 16.90.

    Once the puck drops, I’ll cheer for Slepy just like I cheer for every Oiler. But, until he shows otherwise, he’s just a placeholder on the first line. Nothing (a track record of results) for the Sharks to worry about. It’s really up to him to make them worry.

    Slepyshev on the first line makes the first line easier to defend and easier to attack. TMac made a decision to ice a less competitive first line so he could ice a more competitive lineup.

    Here’s to Slepy scoring like Guentzel and throwing all of this back in my face.

    Or, you know, it could be about passing to two guys on a line instead of one fellow and a fellow who’s scoring has slowed down and is probably playing hurt.

    Who could say for sure

  120. Pouzar says:

    Jason Gregor‏Verified account @JasonGregor 1h1 hour ago
    More
    “If we mapped out first three games and had controlled McDavid and had almost 5 PPs a game we’d expect a better outcome,” Deboer. #Sharks

    No Chit. The refs are trying their best though.

  121. russ99 says:

    Georges:
    The Oilers have trailed for just one second in the series so far. In game situations where you’re tied or leading, the benefit of scoring a goal is less than the cost of giving up a goal. So our defensive play has been prioritized over our offensive play. We don’t know enough about the Oilers offensive play in the playoffs to reach conclusions that override what we’ve learned about the Oilers offensive play in the regular season. And we’re not in desperate times call for desperate measures mode.

    TMac moving Drai to 3C is rational because he lost some confidence in DD at 3C and Letestu should not be playing 3C. If DD can play with more jump (like last night) and outscore his opponents (still waiting), Drai goes back to the first line. DD isn’t a bit player on this team.

    I think we have seen enough to make a judgement. A disproportionate amount of offense came from the rush during the season, and this dries up for the most part in the playoffs where good teams sit back and deny space on entry.

    We’re still not cycling to create chances enough for my taste. We’ve gotten timely goals, but little sustained offense other than that one fantastic power play where we didn’t score on Friday night.

    Thankfully the team-wide commitment to limiting the opposition offense has been much more solid thus far.

  122. Dennis King says:

    Jethro Tull: Dennis, with the greatest respect, I don’t know where you’re going with this.Georges is right.And after watching him score that shorty, McDavid may just be the only player in the NHL that the numbers match the (vast majority) of eyes.The examples of back-checking stick lifts is endless in this series alone.He’s the current Art Ross winner.He not only tilts the ice, but weighs it down like a super massive blackhole.And it doesn’t seem to matter who he plays with.They’re caught in the event horizon.

    This may seem like fan boy adoration, but buddy, are you seeing what you want to see or playing devil’s advocate?Because the evidence just isn’t there.

    I’m saying that early on I saw him playing way deeper in his own zone and while he isn’t exactly Pavel Bure these days, he’s not Pavel Datsyuk either. Now, maybe it’s been a change in tactics where they’re telling him to hang higher in his own end, that I cannot speak towards

  123. Georges says:

    wheatnoil: Isn’t this mostly true in the regular season where you get a point for a regulation tie? In a winner-take-all scenario, wouldn’t the cost of giving up a goal be the same as the benefit of scoring a goal when the game is tied?

    This is a good question.

    I looked at goal scoring in the regular season many years back. I calculated the expected value in terms of points earned for home and away based on the current score differential and the time left to play. That’s where the GA’s cost more than GF’s in tied and leading situations comes from.

    I didn’t do the work for playoffs.

    Informally, in OT, given equally matched teams, each team’s expectation (if we say the value of a win is 1) is 0.5. In that situation, GF benefit and GA cost are the same.

    Before OT, the benefit/cost of GF/GA in tied situations…? hmmm…

    Giving up a goal, you’d have to outscore your opponent by at least 2 the rest of the way to win the game. If you score a goal, you’d have to score at least the same number of goals as your opponent the rest of the way to win the game.

    But, if I looked at 10 games between evenly matched teams (expectation 0.5) and in 8 of the games the team that scored went on to win then the GF would be worth 0.3 (0.8 – 0.5) and the GA would cost 0.3 (0.2 – 0.5). Actually, I guess I can extend that argument to all playoff game situations and conclude a GF is worth as much as a GA (in absolute value). As you say, whatever you gain in expected value by scoring, the opponent has to lose by giving up the goal.

    Headache inducing. I’ll mull it through a little more. Unfortunately, I don’t have playoff box scores so I can’t test out any of the mulling against real data.

  124. Bruce McCurdy says:

    frjohnk: Just curious if you know what the rate of regular season games go to OT?How many playoff games go to OT?

    Regular season games is right around 25%. Playoff games a little higher I believe, though without an “OTL” column it’s a little tougher to work out.

  125. Georges says:

    Pouzar: I give you Jake Guentzel(3rd rounder) and Conor Sheary (Undrafted).

    I’ll take them.

  126. Pouzar says:

    Georges: I’ll take them.

    I’ll take Sid. 🙂

  127. Georges says:

    Pouzar: Opportunity is a thing. I think Slepy is one of the most gifted players on the team. People forget he was a 1st rd rated talent but didn’t get drafted due to sign-ability issues.

    Opportunity is a thing. If Slepy gets the opportunity, then it’s go-go Slepy. No debate at that point.

  128. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Georges: Before OT, the benefit/cost of GF/GA in tied situations…? hmmm…

    I wrote this back in 2009 and stand by it.

  129. JDI Хоккей says:

    They’re (FTF commenters) advocating Boo-urns to be put on the 1st line to help bring some offense.

    I’m not sure I like that idea, but I don’t really know their blue line depth either.

  130. Jethro Tull says:

    JDI Хоккей:
    They’re advocating Boo-urns to be put on the 1st line to help bring some offense.

    I’m not sure I like that idea, but I don’t really know their blue line depth either.

    So the 1st line will be Boo-urns, Rat Boy and the wrong Karlsson?

    TBH, Burns has been nice and quiet this series, and may he stay as such. And they are trying everything to keep him away from McDavid. Probably since watching tape of what he did to Doughty.

  131. npanciroli says:

    Larsson has been our best defenceman these playoffs so far. Just a pleasure to watch. Such a calm, punishing force on the back end.

    I agree with others, Maroon looks off.

    Cagguila McDavid Kassian
    Lucic RNH Eberle
    Maroon Draisaitl Slepyshev
    Pouliot Letestu DD

    Is what I run.

  132. Georges says:

    Pouzar: I’ll take Sid.

    Wait, what are my choices? If I’m choosing among:

    A. Crosby-Guentzel-Sheary
    B. CMD-Guentzel-Sheary
    C. Crosby-Drake/Pouliot-Slepy
    D. CMD-Drake/Pouliot-Slepy

    I’m going with B.

    If there’s an E

    E. Crosby-CMD-X

    I’ll go with E. X can be that cat mascot of ours in full cat gear. I’ll still go with E.

  133. JDI Хоккей says:

    Jethro Tull: So the 1st line

    What I saw was Lil J, Big J, Boo-urns. Coots and Marloo on the 2nd.

    Yeah, I don’t like that.

    But it’s still nice to drop in to FTF and drink up all those salty comments.

  134. McSorley33 says:

    Georges,

    TMac moving Drai to 3C is rational because he lost some confidence in DD at 3C and Letestu should not be playing 3C. If DD can play with more jump (like last night) and outscore his opponents (still waiting), Drai goes back to the first line. DD isn’t a bit player on this team.
    *******************************************************************************
    David played 6 min in game 1.
    6 min in game 2
    9 min in game 3

    He has yet to get a shot on goal.

    He has had no impact on this series so far.

  135. Georges says:

    Woodguy v2.0: 97’s even better than that.

    He did this for this guy:

    PlayerSeasonGoals
    PATRICK.MAROON201220132
    PATRICK.MAROON2013201410
    PATRICK.MAROON201420157
    PATRICK.MAROON201520167
    PATRICK.MAROON2016201724

    Also,

    I think Sleppy has a much, much better shot than Maroon.

    A lot of Maroon’s goals have been goal mouth tips and rebounds.

    If Sleppy adds that to his game he could score a ton with 97.

    Also,

    Maroon with 97 this year: 2.88pts/60
    Pouliot with 97 last year: 2.95pts/60

    – Maroon does score with CMD; more than half a season’s worth of games established this

    – the Maroon-Pouliot comparison doesn’t have TOI; Per 60 rates without TOI are tricky to interpret; I’m guessing JP’s P60 with CMD is pretty good too

    – I’m reading Slepy has a better shot, Slepy can easily do what Maroon does (tips and rebounds… how about beat the crap out of Manning?) Slepy could score a ton with CMD. Ebs and Lucic didn’t. Ebs is much closer to a scoring a ton kind of player than Slepy, having actually scored a ton. Chemistry and luck are also things. So who knows? Is now a good time to find out what we have in 42? Aren’t injuries the kind of things that open doors for players to shine in the playoffs? Who’s injured?

  136. Georges says:

    Woodguy v2.0: Context.

    You need more context sir.

    Raw numbers without context, especially counting numbers, can paint a false picture of a player.

    See my comment above on Maroon and Pouliot’s scoring.

    Who you play with is crucial to production.Crucial.Massive.

    That’s one reason that Kassian’s 1.74pts/60 is so excellent this year.

    Only 4 points with McDavid.

    Mind you, even he got the McDavid bump:

    Kassian without McDavid 1.53 pts/60
    Kassian with McDavid 6.32 pts/60 (!!!) (4pts in 38 minutes)

    I have no doubt any player will score more with CMD than without. It’s just curious to me that we’re looking to move players (who have worked extremely well with CMD in the stretch and helped him run away with the scoring title) off of CMD’s line based on what we’ve seen so far. Then again, why am I using we? Obviously, you and I are seeing things differently. My trigger finger is so not itchy right now.

  137. Georges says:

    Bruce McCurdy,

    I’ll have a look. Thanks, Bruce!

  138. Georges says:

    McSorley33:
    Georges,

    TMac moving Drai to 3C is rational because he lost some confidence in DD at 3C and Letestu should not be playing 3C. If DD can play with more jump (like last night) and outscore his opponents (still waiting), Drai goes back to the first line. DD isn’t a bit player on this team.
    *******************************************************************************
    David played 6 min in game 1.6 min in game 29 min in game 3

    He has yet to get a shot on goal.

    He has had no impact on this series so far.

    Not much of a debate from me on the numbers so far. He has been on the ice for the OT GA and hasn’t been on the ice for any GF. He hasn’t been the 3C I thought we had in his first few games. It’s in his interest (UFA) and ours that he gets to that level. You can’t play Letestu at 3C and also have him on the PK and PP1. My take is simple. DD is a veteran scorer that we’re asking to play limited minutes bottom 6 C and come out ahead. Hasn’t happened yet. I think it could.

  139. spoiler says:

    J. Geils passed away? Did not know that.
    RIP big fellah.

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