RAGE IN THE CAGE

The great thing, and the terrible thing, about playing a 7-game series against one team, is that it exposes strengths and weaknesses in a big way. This morning, you are going to read a lot about bad luck and poor officials and there is merit to discussing them. There are also reasons beyond, we would do well to acknowledge those moments. Last night, I suspect fates were sealed for some long-time Oilers. Time will tell, but this young team paid a terrible price for truly bewildering moments from a couple of their feature players.

TALE OF THE TAPE

  • First Period: 2-0 EDM, Shots 16-10 EDM, Corsi for 5×5 19-14 EDM.
  • Second Period: 3-0 ANA, Shots 18-5 ANA, Corsi for 5×5 25-12 ANA.
  • Third Period: 1-0 EDM, Shots 11-10 EDM, Corsi for 5×5 16-15 EDM.
  • Overtime: 1-0 ANA, Shots 1-0 ANA, Corsifor 5×5 1-1.
  • Overall: 4-3 ANA, Shots 39-32 ANA, Corsi for 5×5 55-48 ANA.

It was a helluva first period, but the Oilers lost the script in the second period and struggled for most of the third. Young Drake Caggiula gave the club a chance to get the game to overtime, but it was not to be for the upstart Oilers on this night.

DEFENSE, LAST NIGHT

  • Nurse-Benning went 11-7 together in 9:58, including 3-2 with McDavid and 3-5 with Nuge. The duo went 3-4 against Rakell-Getzlaf-Perry and 5-3 against Shaw-Thompson-Wagner. These two young defenders are finding their way as third pair and may play more substantial roles in the future. This is a very good experience for both men.
  • Sekera-Russell went 19-21 in 18:10, that’s a lot of 5×5 time. Went 9-13 with McDavid and 6-2 with the Nuge line. Went 12-4 against Rakell-Getzlaf-Perry, an outstanding number, especially considering that line was 12-4 against the other duos. Sekera’s calm feet returned a bit to my eye, he has been inconsistent in the last coupe of games.
  • Klefbom-Larsson were the “also in photo” pair for most of the night, Larsson getting the golden sombrero (-4). Their coverage gaps looked bad all night, although to my eye the puck movement from the pair was very good. That’s hockey though, single events can conspire against you even when you are doing most things right. Went 16-21 in 14:31 together, including 9-9 with CMD and 3-10 with the Nuge. Went 6-10 against Rakell-Getzlaf-Perry.
  • Cam Talbot stopped 35 of 39, .897.
  • Numbers via NHL.com, NaturalStatTrick and HockeyStats.ca.

MCDAVID LINE

  • Lots of good things from this line, especially in the first period. The trio was on fire, scoring two goals and having enough chances for me to say that three goals were earned in that opening frame.
  • Went 10-16 against Cogliano-Kesler-Sifverberg on the night, and 4-12 against Lindholm. Todd McLellan deployed 97 for 6:42 against Lindholm, that’s about 36 percent of his 5×5 time. That is not a hard match, this is not the Vlasic series.
  • The combined 17:41 played by Kesler and Getzlaf against McDavid is beyond a hard match. Kesler is effective, and Getzlaf rivals the hardest screw that ever walked a turn at Shawshank State Prison. Devastating 1-2 combination, Edmonton needs a prick center macht schnell.
  • When we look back on all of this season, McDavid’s wingers inability to cash these gorgeous gifts will be the only bitter pill I own from spring 2017.

NUGE LINE

  • The line went 7-8 against Rakell-Getzlaf-Perry and that’s a good number. If you break it down by player on this line against Getzlaf: Nuge (5-8); Lucic (7-9); Slepyshev (5-2); Eberle (4-9).
  • Lucic scored his goal on the power play, as we begin discussion of next season, his 5×5 scoring is going to be a major subject. I thought he had a good game, although the early penalty was not a good moment.
  • Slepyshev looked good on this line, we may see more of him here.
  • Jordan Eberle is in a spot of bother right now, and I might be writing posts with titles like “Crossroads” and “Reckoner.”
  • Eberle’s shift from hell was so bad a cannot defend it. He cannot possibly be that bad and yet there it was. That said, I don’t think it is wise to trade a player when his value is low, and the Oilers do not have a replacement in waiting. I think he is gone this summer.
  • Nuge is my favorite player (non-McDavid division) on the team, but his heartbeat pause net front had a major impact on the game. Disappointing to have perhaps the number one person you’d want in that situation perform in that way. Single moments blah blah blah, that play was a sock to the jaw.

DESHARNAIS LINE

  • Line went 7-3 against Wagner-Thompson-Shaw. Woodguy mentioned on the Lowdown yesterday that this line should be playing more and I agree with him.
  • Pouliot had an early chance in the game, got a great look and a dangerous shot on net. He could still impact this spring, hope he does.

LETESTU LINE

  • Went 3-1 against the Ritchie-Vermette-Kase line, Letestu helped in a big penalty call against Vermette.
  • Caggiula’s goal has been a long time coming and is one of many terrific moments for a young team finding its way.

GAME FIVE

I’m not going to lie to you, the Oilers are in a tough spot now. Here are the Corsi 5×5 totals in the first four games of this series:

  • Game 1: Anaheim 56-38, 59.6 percent.
  • Game 2: Anaheim 63-34, 64.9 percent.
  • Game 3: Edmonton 47-34, 58.0 percent.
  • Game 4: Anaheim 55-48, 53.4 percent.
  • Overall: Anaheim 208, Edmonton 167. Anaheim holds the edge, 55.4

The Ducks are merely tied in this series, but if you’ve watched every frame there is a concerning trend going on. The Oilers won the two road games and can certainly do it again, but will need another Bernie Parent evening from Cam Talbot and badly need McDavid’s wingers to cash.

CAM TALBOT

“I thought that was pretty obvious. (Perry) ran into my bIocker/pad. I play with integrity and don’t flop … but maybe I have to.” Source

I don’t have a comforting answer for you on this one. That was goalie interference and the referees got it wrong. You hope that these things even out, and one always hopes for time left on the clock (and there was). Edmonton played a different game after the goal, and that’s a fact.

Nothing to disagree with here, Eberle already had issues with the coach/fans and that play got his ass stapled to the bench. I thought he recovered a little (made a nice play on the tying Caggiula goal) but my guess is the die is cast. Peter Chiarelli teams eat that puck and suffer the consequences, and Eberle’s giveaway(s) and lack of coverage in that sequence are going to linger in Peter Chiarelli’s mind.

Now. It is unwise to trade Eberle without a suitable replacement. Edmonton has none at this time. Jesse Puljujarvi was to play a feature role for Finland at the WHC’s and has been demoted to the point where he may not play in the opening game (my google translate is not strong, but that is my read). Edmonton’s depth chart for 2017-18 without Eberle would probably be Leon Draisaitl, Puljujarvi, Zack Kassian and Anton Slepyshev. Which is fine, if JP can play there. We haven’t seen his game in months, and I have growing concerns about him. Why isn’t he playing for Team Finland? Interesting days.

MY OPINION

I think the Oilers need a miracle, a big fly, a Hail Mary, and they need it right damned now. One of two things must happen in Anaheim. Either Connor McDavid finds clean air while his wingers also find their hands, or Cam Talbot doesn’t allow another goal in this series.

Edmonton’s series against the Ducks is finally showing us what we knew back in August. The balance photo is not yet earned. Will the Oilers be done playing hockey by Sunday night? We wait.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

A full boat this morning, much fun and I hope you can tune in. Scheduled to appear, TSN1260 beginning at 10:

  • Bruce McCurdy, Cult of Hockey. Bruce will take a swing at last night’s game, maybe a ref or two as well.
  • Grant McCagg, Recrutes.ca. We will drill down on the 2017 draft, trying to find some idea about how the top five will go this summer.
  • Frank Seravalli, TSN. Oilers aren’t behind in this series, it only feels like it.
  • Brayden Sullivan, Draft Geek. WHL Bantam Draft goes this morning, Brayden will tell us what is happening and who the early winners are today.

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

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180 Responses to "RAGE IN THE CAGE"

  1. RT26 says:

    Our D zone exits are what is killing us, Getzlaf has feasted on us by waiting along the boards near our blue line, intercepting the puck and then shifting to offense.

    The officials bias is unfortunate and speaks to referee ineptitude, poorly written rules and NHL desires for a major market to win – but could be overcome with smarter, safer zone exits (faster to the puck and more openness to skating it to safer locations)

  2. frjohnk says:

    A couple of things that Im pretty sure happens this summer

    1. EBERLE gets traded
    2.Chia goes after a big center

  3. Dino says:

    I don’t even want to talk about the officials last night. All 4 goals coming from direct turnovers from the Oilers is unacceptable.

    Things they’ve been doing decently well all year and last series, they have suddenly forgot how to do. Things such as gap control at the blue line and forechecking heavily. If they can go back to doing those 2 things well I think they have a chance in this series. But as long as they give up the blue line like they do and refuse to punish their injured defenders on the forecheck then this is a lost cause.

  4. Diablo says:

    Man what a rollercoaster last night. So many highs and lows – its been so long since I’ve been invested in the NHL playoffs, that it’s been like relearning how to watch hockey.

    Thinking about the game this morning, two things stand out …

    1) The Oilers played just terribly in 2nd – Anaheim probably would have come back irregardless of assistance from the refs. Both Eberle and Nuge made huge errors on their goals – I know this is their first playoffs, but they’re not rookies and they’re being paid like superstars, so those two own the goat horns.

    I agree with you LT that Eberle is gone this summer – his brand of high risk, high reward hockey plays fine in the regular season, but in the playoffs where single moments become magnified, and the ability to eat a check to make a safe play is paramount – well that’s simply not Eberle’s style. Irregardless of what happens in this series and beyond, I think the die is already cast.

    2) The refs have completely lost the script and are just making it up as they go along. I find it dumbfounding that the final decision in video review rests in the hands of the on-ice officials – they’re already biased towards their original call, and so as to not be proven incorrect they’ll assert that “there wasn’t enough evidence to overrule the call on the ice”.

    I find it absolutely pathetic that the referees are so sensitive to criticism that any comments made about them by players or team officials leads to a fine. The NHL needs to get rid of this, and make the refs accountable for their actions instead of sheltering them from the court of public opinion.

  5. russ99 says:

    The Ducks have been tough, but we haven’t played a complete game in the series yet.

    With the youth, inexperience and soft play at times, it’s possible we won’t get that from this group, but you never know.

    The one good thing is every time we’ve had our backs against the wall, we’ve responded. It’s almost like we need that pressure to play well, we slack off when the going is good.

  6. northof51 says:

    RT26,

    Every team could overcome the officiating if only they were better than the other team. Unfortunately for the Oilers, they had to be 2 goals better than the Ducks just to force OT. That is very difficult to do against a Ducks team who is very much elite.

    There is simply no excuse any more – if the NHL isn’t conspiring to produce on-ice success in non-traditional hockey markets, they have to admit to being utterly inept and incapable of properly running a professional hockey league. Last night was another black eye on a league that has been embarrassingly poor at upholding the integrity of our sacred game.

  7. Pink Socks says:

    Clear goalie interference, botched offside, botched icing. Pretty fucking unforgivable if you ask me. I can emotionally deal with the offside goal, that was close, but the first goal was just flat out the wrong decision, and the zebra who waved off the OT icing should be packed into a cannon and fired into the sun for his ineptitude.

    The Oil completely shit the bed in the second, but take away the two goals that should not have counted, because rules, and the Ducks deflate and there is no way they tie a 2-0 game and the second period would have been a totally different story.

  8. Diablo says:

    With respect to trading Eberle “while his value is low” – remember he only has 2 seasons left on his contract after this season. His value is never going to get any better than it is now. GMs make big deals with major cap ramifications only twice a year now – in the summer and at the trade deadline. If Chia’s decides to move Eberle, he should do it this summer when his fellow GMs have the cap space to maneuver.

  9. dustrock says:

    To the Tune of “Panic” by The Smiths

    Anger on the streets of Edmonton
    Anger on the streets of Bon Accord
    I wonder to myself
    Could life ever be sane again?
    The core side-streets that you slip down
    I wonder to myself

    Hopes may rise on the bleachers
    But honey pie, you’re not safe here
    so you run down to the safety of the loge
    But there’s outrage on the streets of Edmonton
    Oliver, Woodcroft, Summerside
    I wonder to myself

    Burn down the arena
    Hang the blessed zebra
    because the decisions they constantly make
    say nothing to me about my team
    hang the blessed zebra
    because the decisions they constantly make

    On the Leduc side-streets that you slip down
    The provincial towns you drive around
    Hang the zebra, hang the zebra, hang the zebra,
    hang the zebra, hang the zebra, hang the zebra

  10. canablach says:

    Παθήματα – μαθήματα
    Hope we build, a little more, on this. Step by step.
    It’s getting kind of painful though.

    And I do hope Talbot pulls a Billy Smith and whacks whomever at range this very next time.

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

    Lots of talk about shadowing Getzlaf or something to the like.

    I’m gonna come straight out and say that won’t work.

    None of his goals/assists last night were high skilled plays aside from maybe the Rackell assist (though I blame Klef more for being in no mans land), they were the plays of a player that knows when to pick his spots, it’s nearly an impossible task to shadow someone who is an expert at reading and reacting vs creating an pushing.

    I would also like to restate that the Oilers (and their fans) cannot get too enamored or wrapped up with any one player on the Ducks that is a fools errand IMO.

    They need to clean up their own play because that is what is leading to these goals against. I remain convinced that in the vast majority of metrics the Oilers are actually the better team.

    All the skill in the world doesn’t help if you decide to watch the other team play hockey instead of making a press yourself.

    Exact same trajectory as what happened in the Flames series for the Ducks. Never get to high, never get too low and always believe you can win.

    The Oilers need to pickup that belief themselves and unlike our host I don’t think there is any Hail Mary or anything like that needed at all. This is a six-inches in between the ears problem for the Orange and Blue more than anything IMO.

    Bite the bullet, pay the price, insert cheesy cliche here, but it all very true.

    I prefer ignore the shitty reffing, fight through the crap and keep your eyes on the prize. That way everyone of the haters can suck a hind teat when you come out on top.

    Loving the TSN and Sportsnet coverage (maybe even the less than MSM outlets as well..), the talking heads have this as a “deadman walking” team right now. Good, bring on the hate.

    At the video session today TMac should show the clip of Ovie’s interview after last nights game and tell them “this is what happens if you can’t take the next step, this is what happens when you let fear creep back into your game.”

    Series is tied 2-2, nobody is injured, the sky has not fallen and this one fan isn’t quite ready to put on his mourning attire yet.

    $%^ the Ducks!

    Go Oilers!

  12. SoCaloil says:

    There were so many soft plays last night.
    This team needs to dig deep and get into the mindset that every battle is worth fighting
    They do that and they stand a chance. Otherwise we’re out in 6
    The ducks got That figured out

  13. Snowman says:

    Tough loss last night. Again, when we tied 3-3 I really thought we had it.

    Do you remember when Mcdavid made that stick check against Lecavlier and scored in front of the Kings net? We were all excited by an excellent play by Mcdavid. Sure it wasn’t perfectly played by Lecavlier but it was more of a great play by Mcdavid. That’s what the Nuge “vapor lock” play was to me. Not a perfect play by Nuge to have that split second hesitation but to me its more a great play be Getzlaf than a poor one by Nuge.

    Eberle on the other hand is lost in the woods. His game has gone and the Ducks are a team perfectly built to expose him.

    The more I think about it the more I think that the Oilers bring in two centers. I think they need to get after Duchene in a big way to play on Nuge’s line. Duchene can play the Draisaitl face off role for that line while Nuge plays the centerman role in the Defensive zone. Duchene can help push that line at evens. He solves two weaknesses at once on that line.

    I think you just need to upgrade on Desharnais. He’s been better than I expected but he gets exposed in his own end a bit. Although they may lose Letestu in the expansion so you may need three.

    I don’t think they’re in a place to trade the Nuge this year. He’s shown his worth I think and they don’t have someone to replace him and I don’t know if there is someone out there to replace him that’s available. He’s been much more impactful than I anticipated he would be.

    Having said that, I don’t think the Oilers are quite at the same level as the Ducks and the only way I see them getting out of this is Talbot playing out of his mind for one game and Mcdavid playing out of his mind for the other.

  14. SoCaloil says:

    Oh. And everyone is forgetting Pittlick is in the system
    And he’s not known for soft plays

  15. Pink Socks says:

    Diablo:

    2) The refs have completely lost the script and are just making it up as they go along.I find it dumbfounding that the final decision in video review rests in the hands of the on-ice officials – they’re already biased towards their original call, and so as to not be proven incorrect they’ll assert that “there wasn’t enough evidence to overrule the call on the ice”.

    I find it absolutely pathetic that the referees are so sensitive to criticism that any comments made about them by players or team officials leads to a fine. The NHL needs to get rid of this, and make the refs accountable for their actions instead of sheltering them from the court of public opinion.

    Your #2 This is a major issue I agree. Of course the refs are going to be biased towards their original decision, and to leave that in their hands is a gigantic mistake.

  16. Washingtron says:

    I promise, I’m not a “blame the refs” guy. Not to mention Eberle (then Kassian) on the first goal, Nuge in the middle and Larsson on the OT are the real mistakes that cost us the game, not any that the refs made (save the reviewed goal, my review? One star) but my lord this is getting hard to ignore. Reid said yesterday before the game that they aren’t gonna call every infraction (which I’m still not clear on why that makes for good hockey) but if they at least called the ones in scoring areas he’d be happy. Well, unless the offending player wears an oil drop you can just about forget it. The injustice of it absolutely turns my stomach.

    The logic of “well they dont want to blow the whistle every five seconds” doesn’t follow for me. IF they called the penalties they saw the players would stop freaking doing them. That is why they exist in the first place.

    Why only the best referees get to call playoff games is beyond me. They have to throw out the rule book and do what would in other corcumstances would be called a terrible job of reffing once the playoffs start.

    That said. Hey, we’re in the second round and have the greatest player in the world on our team. Could be worse.

  17. Snowman says:

    SoCaloil:
    Oh. And everyone is forgetting Pittlick is in the system
    And he’s not known for soft plays

    Soft bones and organs though. Poor kid.

  18. slopitch says:

    Now. It is unwise to trade Eberle without a suitable replacement.

    The suitable replace should be findable with 6 million dollars no? You can talk about his PDO or his ES scoring in the regular season but I wont buy it. His playoff performance is a problem.

    I go back and forth on this. Im 2 parts down, 2 parts pissed at the refs. The gap btw the teams remains very small – enough that a bad call by the ref is the difference (456!). But Anaheim seems to have willed itself past the Oilers team. Its not over by any means. Momentum in playoffs can change in an instant. If they are indeed the better team then they should be able to win 2 of 3 vs Anaheim. They need some bounces, or a hero to emerge. That could still be Nuge, Eberle, whomever. I wonder if matching Drai at C vs Getzlaf is the better play. Drai is the only C who comes close to matching physically.

  19. McSorley33 says:

    NHL Films is calling it – “The Shift”

    May 3rd, 2017 – Edmonton, AB

    1:37 of the 2nd period.

    Changed the Series.

  20. Pink Socks says:

    Since the Oilers drafted Eberle and we followed him, and then watched Oil property be one of the most clutch players in World Juniors history with consecutive performances.

    So, are we more upset at the major let down because it took 7 years to get this great young player into the playoffs to watch him score all of the clutch goals and he has been a major playoff disappointment? Or is it just that he is eating $6m off the cap, and we could make a case that he has been the 12th Oiler best forward these playoffs?

    To be clear, I have always been a major fan of this player, disappointed in his performance sure, but out of any Oiler player, I wish a 3 goal performance for Eberle the most.

  21. T0ML says:

    What if the Poolparty demotion was requested by Edmonton so he could be recalled for Game 5? Just spitballing here….

  22. Scungilli Slushy says:

    Before the series I posted that the challenge with the Ducks was the 4 vet centres. They are exploiting the mental mistakes as veterans should and are stealing momentum with their face off abilities.

    When the Oilers don’t make coverage mistakes (like where were the RW and centre on the OT goal, which was the real problem), put the puck deep and skate they take the game to the Ducks.

    When they don’t place the puck well the play turns up ice quickly and they start chasing the play and seem to lose a step.

    Game 5 is going to be exciting and nerve racking. Playoff hockey is a wild ride.
    Talbot is not the problem but it would be nice if could truly steal a game or match Gibson’s level.

    I remember feeling this way when the upstart Oilers went down to the Flyers. It’s all gravy.

  23. rope-a-dope says:

    Awful officiating last night, the NHL just looks to be 40 years behind other leagues in terms accountability and standards for officials. That said, the team played hard periodically and that’s not how you win in the playoffs. Hopefully a lesson learned.

    Another example of Ewing Theory happening in Pittsburgh last night for sure.

  24. Professor Q says:

    I know it’s mean.

    And wrong.

    But what if McDavid had tried to readjust himself and shift his weight and put his foot down hard when Kesler lifted him up after that faceoff?

    An accidental blade to Kesler’s thigh or top of his foot, of his own doing?

    It would have been such a pity…

  25. Bruce Wayne says:

    The officiating is a catastrophe, but it is a catastrophe across the league, not only in Oiler games.

    Eberle looks bad now, but you aren’t going to find a better player on the free agent market, and you definitely aren’t going to get a better contract. No sane person would prefer Lucic’ contract to Eberle’s for instance.

    That said, the rumour that the Devils asked for Hall or Eberle for Larsson and that Chiarelli chose to keep Eberle over Hall really sticks in my gut right now. I’m fond of Eberle but he’s never been in Hall’s class (even when every Oiler fan I know thought he was the better player).

    This team is one Taylor Hall away from the Stanley Cup, and now Chiarelli is going to give Eberle away in the offseason for nothing.

  26. PhrankLee says:

    ..Smiles to self and tries to remember last time he read “we wait” on LT….

    Long time.

    Fucking relentless Ducks, man.

  27. Bag of Pucks says:

    I think these extracts from the NHL rule book on goalie interference give us a good sense of what the primary issues are:

    69.4 Contact Outside the Goal Crease – If an attacking player initiates
    any contact with a goalkeeper, other than incidental contact, while the
    goalkeeper is outside his goal crease, and a goal is scored, the goal
    will be disallowed.

    A goalkeeper is not “fair game” just because he is outside the goal
    crease. The appropriate penalty should be assessed in every case
    where an attacking player makes unnecessary contact with the
    goalkeeper. However, incidental contact will be permitted when the
    goalkeeper is in the act of playing the puck outside his goal crease
    provided the attacking player has made a reasonable effort to avoid
    such unnecessary contact.

    The above clause in bold is likely the reason the goal wasn’t disallowed.

    69.2 Penalty

    In exercising his judgment, the Referee should give more
    significant consideration to the degree and nature of the contact with
    the goalkeeper than to the exact location of the goalkeeper at the time
    of the contact.

    What you see in bold imo is summary evidence of how the NHL governs its rules application. It is not a league, like the NFL for instance, where rules are extremely black & white and applied accordingly, It is a league where the rules can be subject to referee judgement and interpretation.

    This is the issue with the Perry interference non-call imo. In the NHL war room, they’re not solely having black and white discussions like A) did he contact him? & B) did the offensive player make an effort to avoid the contact? They’re also likely muddying the waters with interpretative language like A) how impactful was the contact? & B) did it honesty impact Talbot’s ability to make the save?

    And they say that interfering with the goalie outside or on the edge of the crease is allegedly a penalty, but I think the history of the league has always been if the goalie is in the paint, it’s interference. If he’s outside of it or on the edge (as in this case), the contact has to be egregious to get the call.

    I’m not going to go as far as some folks and claim the Oil lost this game because of the refs, but fully agree, the league needs to move towards a more bulletproof rules application paradigm. We live in the age of 24/7 information access and multiple camera angles. This ‘interpretive’ model for rules application is simply not tenable in that climate, nor should it be.

  28. Bag of Pucks says:

    One thing that I think will result from this game is the league will look at MacLellan’s used challenge legitimately costing the Oil a goal against on the missed offside call. As Craig Simpson rightly pointed out, it’s completely nonsensical that the league is obligated to review that call in the final minute of the period but not the rest of the game. This has become a low scoring league where every goal is impactful. With that in mind, they have to commit resources to getting every goal right. Just as the NFL commits resources to reviewing every touchdown play.

  29. Jon K says:

    There are so many things to talk about from last night. One of the things that I think is most interesting is that Edmonton loses its ability to challenge an offside because they already made and lost a challenge previously. This cannot possibly be the correct way to deal with these situations, as it contemplates an obvious error being allowed to stand merely because a challenge was already made.

    NHL coaches should be allowed to challenge as many times as the need arises on the circumstances. If, after using their timeout, it is determined that the challenge is without merit or otherwise fails, the challenging team should be given a delay of game penalty.

    The NHL officiating has officially become a joke this playoffs. It’s been on a steady decline for years. This regular season was the worst I can recall. Not just for the oilers but for the league as a whole. The second round is the nadir.

  30. Pink Socks says:

    Bruce Wayne:
    The officiating is a catastrophe, but it is a catastrophe across the league, not only in Oiler games.

    Eberle looks bad now, but you aren’t going to find a better player on the free agent market, and you definitely aren’t going to get a better contract.No sane person would prefer Lucic’contract to Eberle’s for instance.

    That said, the rumour that the Devils asked for Hall or Eberle for Larsson and that Chiarelli chose to keep Eberle over Hall really sticks in my gut right now.I’m fond of Eberle but he’s never been in Hall’s class (even when every Oiler fan I know thought he was the better player).

    This team is one Taylor Hall away from the Stanley Cup, and now Chiarelli is going to give Eberle away in the offseason for nothing.

    You are right on the money with the league wide officiating. The high stick in the Pens Cap game on Bonino was a travesty. I hope Bonino gets fined for that, completely disgraceful. If that move by Bonino isn’t punished heavily the NHL will have soccer-type flopping, dropping sticks on a slash, the fake high stick sales, all of it, totally agree.

    I don’t buy the rumor that it was Hall OR Eberle. I understand the LW/RW thing and Lucic was committed so it opened up a slot at LW, but if the rumor is correct, then I would agree with your argument, I just find it really hard to believe.

    On the free agent market, I agree, there isn’t another player of Eberle’s scoring calibre, but he isn’t scoring, so the $6m on him could be very useful in adding a big, defensively responsible prick. Or maybe it is 98 that fills the role next year. I hope Eberle isn’t moved for pennies on the dollar. I like him, but he needs to find his game again, and quick.

    2-2 in second round, I’m still happy, just not happy with the circumstances surrounding last night. It should be 3-1.

  31. Bag of Pucks says:

    Bruce Wayne:
    Eberle looks bad now, but you aren’t going to find a better player on the free agent market, and you definitely aren’t going to get a better contract.No sane person would prefer Lucic’contract to Eberle’s for instance.

    That said, the rumour that the Devils asked for Hall or Eberle for Larsson and that Chiarelli chose to keep Eberle over Hall really sticks in my gut right now.I’m fond of Eberle but he’s never been in Hall’s class (even when every Oiler fan I know thought he was the better player).

    This team is one Taylor Hall away from the Stanley Cup, and now Chiarelli is going to give Eberle away in the offseason for nothing.

    Does your stereo play any other songs?

  32. Pink Socks says:

    Jon K:

    NHL coaches should be allowed to challenge as many times as the need arises on the circumstances. If, after using their timeout, it is determined that the challenge is without merit or otherwise fails, the challenging team should be given a delay of game penalty.

    Agreed. Even cap it at 3 challenges. After losing the timeout, if another challenge fails, delay of game would be acceptable. Officials are human, they make mistakes, but they can’t be negligent.

  33. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    When we look back on all of this season, McDavid’s wingers inability to cash these gorgeous gifts will be the only bitter pill I own from spring 2017.

    That supremely gifted young man needs to shoot more.

    Maybe have Gretzky look at game tape with him to show him the spots he should have shot instead of pass.

    I’m sure McDavid listens to the coaches, but when there is probably something inside of him that says “yeah, but I can make that play and its a tap in”. I know I would if I were him.

    When it comes from Gretzky, it comes from The Authority.

  34. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Single moments blah blah blah, that play was a sock to the jaw.

    Yes.

    Assuming the sock was full of quarters.

  35. dustrock says:

    I’m taking Friday off.

    I’m happy to lose to a more talented Anaheim team.

    But that hasn’t been the case.

    Oilers play pretty terribly, get jobbed not once, not twice, but thrice, and yet still lose in OT.

    Honestly Getzlaf and Silverberg are playing amazing and finding the gaps.

    Playoff hockey is about which team makes more mistakes, and right now that’s the OIlers. They were ready for a very physical and chippy series against the Sharks, but the Sharks decided to dive and overreact and not engage, and it cost them tons of PP and a couple of games. They figured it out eventually.

    I think the Oilers should be playing loose – McLellan is trying to tell them they’re playing with house money, but it’s Anaheim who looks comfortable. Oilers should be the underdogs here. The players look tentative.

    I’d hope they’d actually go back to playing physical like they did against the Sharks. There still are at least 2 more games, if not 3. Make them pay.

    But my wife and daughter don’t need to see me losing my mind for another playoff game, so I’ll skip on Friday’s game, I hope it goes well and whatever happens, the incompetent refs don’t make themselves a factor in the game.

  36. Woogie63 says:

    For me the story is the NHL selected these four men to referee a very significant play-off game, and they got it wrong, very wrong and the outcome of the game was effected.

    Play to the whistle is the default mantra in these situations where the normal play is not called. The players and the referees need to rely on a consist standard. Just like players have be in certain spots for plays to work. Referees need to be counted on to get it right, when they don’t they influence games in a bad way.

    Three goals in a play-off games called wrong is a very low standard from the league, the rest is coaches positioning for the next game.

  37. Dustylegnd says:

    Eberly’s game is ill suited for many of the teams that occupy the upper echelon’s of the West

    Here are his 2016/17 stats vs Anaheim

    Scor Scor Scor
    Date G Tm Opp G A PTS
    2017-04-01 78 EDM ANA 0 0 0
    2017-03-22 73 EDM ANA 0 0 0
    2017-01-25 50 EDM ANA 0 0 0
    2016-12-03 26 EDM ANA 0 3 3
    2016-11-15 17 EDM ANA 0 0 0

    3 points in 5 games all assists in a single game, 0 goals

    2015-2016 vs Anaheim

    Scor Scor Scor
    Date Tm Opp G A PTS
    2016-03-28 EDM ANA 0 0 0
    2016-02-26 EDM ANA 1 0 1
    2016-02-16 EDM ANA 0 1 1
    2015-12-31 EDM ANA 0 0 0
    2015-11-11 EDM ANA 0 0 0

    2 points in 5 games, 1 goal ever 10 games across 2 seasons

    I would say the expected outcome of Eberle’s point production vs the Ducks in the playoffs is unfolding right before our eyes, we should not be all that surprised

    I suspect LT is correct that Chia has seen enough and will trade Ebbs like he did Schutz and Yak before him, Yak was a tire fire from season 2 forward. Schultz now thrives on an insanely talented and deep team in a system well suited for his game in a conference much better suited to his game. Expectations and pressure are amazing things.

    I see a similar fate for Ebbs, he will thrive in the speed and skill of the east and may even be lucky enough to land on a team with D that can move and pass the puck with precision…good on him, I can’t be sure what the return will be but i expect not much based on the $6 mill price

    The Ducks are massive, fast and talented, their D moves the puck so well it is next to impossible to effectively forecheck them and they don’t even have Despres, impressive.

    Ducks drafted Manson in the 6th round and he is their Larsson, we traded a former 1st overall to get Larsson.

    We drafted Yak and the Ducks drafted Lindholm…the Ducks have been a good organization for years

    Chia has done a very good job of cleaning up the shit of the 9 years that precede his tenure, thank god he has made the deals he has, his vision is now crystal clear to me. Lets hope pool party evolves into a beast, because we need him in the worst way if we want to take it to the next level in the West

    The Ducks are a very experienced playoff team at the pinnacle of their powers. These playoff lessons are invaluable for the Oil and this series is far form over…time to dig deep and decide what each and every player on the oil wants to be when they grow up

  38. Bag of Pucks says:

    Dustylegnd,

    Good post!

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

    geowal,

    Saw this as well.

    Excellent news for the player!

    Here’s hoping he continues to push and evolve in the Pro leagues

  40. Oilin4 says:

    The sweetness of tomorrow’s victory is intensified by the bitterness of last night’s defeat. This is playoffs with the team you love. Breath Oil fans. No way refs, Nuge, Eberle and Larsson make such horrible plays again tomorrow.

  41. misfit says:

    T0ML:
    What if the Poolparty demotion was requested by Edmonton so he could be recalled for Game 5?Just spitballing here….

    He could be recalled regardless of being demoted. It was mentioned when it first was announced that he’d be going.

  42. stush18 says:

    Quick take.

    Tommy eye, sekera is the one struggling on his pairing right now, not russel.

    He’s getting thrown around by the ducks forwards. He’s had a bunch of bad giveaways

  43. dustrock says:

    If Puljujarvi isn’t coming back to North America to help the Oilers, should we be concerned that he cant’ make the Finnish WHC roster?

  44. StixMalone says:

    Hate to say this but Oil deserved the loss. Amazing how a team can turn it up and then come out flat footed in the next period. Reverting to chase mode again instead of continuing what makes them successful and that is speed. It doesn’t help that Carlyle is giving a coaching clinic either. This team is frustrating to watch but they do have potential. With a couple of more tweaks they could be a legitimate threat. But as of today my gut is telling me the ride is over. Man I hope I’m wrong. Reffing is an altogether different beast but we did not lose because of it. Meltdowns in periods kill us. To be honest we have been outplayed by the Ducks. They need to sort out their heads right now and a few players need a gut check. This is the playoffs. Lax efforts hurt. I expect a better period or two in Anaheim but wont hold my breath for a complete game. Maybe they should I to Disneyland for the day and clear their thoughts. Still rooting for you boys but stop playing chasers and be more proactive,
    Signed,
    Fan who knows shit but still love ya all

  45. Jethro Tull says:

    There are none so blind as those that won’t see.

    I propose that after the regular season, the referee’s association vote the Stanley Cup champions and then we can all go golfing or camping.

  46. Woogie63 says:

    Rishaug’s tweeter feed is disportionately full with negative Eberle comments, are we watching another witch hunt from the local MSM?

  47. dustrock says:

    Woogie63:
    Rishaug’s tweeter feed is disportionately full with negative Eberle comments, are we watching another witch hunt from the local MSM?

    He’s never liked Eberle, that’s been pretty consistent.

    As LT said, in the playoffs, these things get exposed.

  48. Georges says:

    LT:

    I think the Oilers need a miracle, a big fly, a Hail Mary, and they need it right damned now. One of two things must happen in Anaheim. Either Connor McDavid finds clean air while his wingers also find their hands, or Cam Talbot doesn’t allow another goal in this series.

    Edmonton’s series against the Ducks is finally showing us what we knew back in August. The balance photo is not yet earned. Will the Oilers be done playing hockey by Sunday night? We wait.

    CMD has yet to play and lose an elimination game. I’ll wait until that actually happens before I count our team out. (Oh, and Drai is pretty good too.)

    Meanwhile, the Ducks finished a whole 2 points ahead of the Oilers in the regular season. They’ve scored 1 more goal than the Oilers in a series that’s tied 2-2. We talk about what our team would look like without CMD and Talbot? What would their team look like without Getzlaf and Gibson?

    The Ducks are well within the realm of possible for the present Oilers team. And nowhere near the outskirts. Lest we forget, this impressive veteran team exited last year’s playoffs following a similar path against Nashville. They’re really not that good. They have yet to win at home this series. And they haven’t won anything in 10 years.

    I was saving this line for the next round but it applies here too. If it bleeds, we can kill it.

  49. T0ML says:

    misfit: He could be recalled regardless of being demoted.It was mentioned when it first was announced that he’d be going.

    Yes, but this would mean no chance of injury and potentially en-route very soon. The Finnish team would not want to keep him practicing if a recall was imminent….Especially considering he was initially practicing on the 1st line, and shortly after demoted off the roster entirely …. You cant tell me a hand full of practice / pregames caused that in the span of what? a week.

  50. gregsaint says:

    I didn’t watch the third last night…partly because kids, partly because I just can’t watch Kesler and co crosschecking the back of heads after face-offs and the similar garbage that goes on. This brand of hockey the NHL is OK with trickles down to all the minor leagues and beer leagues. It’s what enables a guy to punch me in the face in front of the net and chirp at me that “That’s hockey!”…just drains the fun and sportsmanship right out of it.

  51. Scungilli Slushy says:

    dustrock: Playoff hockey is about which team makes more mistakes, and right now that’s the OIlers.

    Truth. Getzlaf, Rakell and Silfverberg are taking what is being given as opposed to be being too much to handle. When the Oilers give them nothing they do nothing. If the lads can learn the lesson of doing the thing right in front of them as well as the opponent quickly they can win. Usually it takes longer, we’ll see.

  52. Georges says:

    As for keying on Eberle, here’s some other playoffs 5v5 results to ponder:

    Player, GF, GA

    Eberle, 1, 7
    Lucic, 1, 7
    RNH, 2, 6
    Larsson, 4, 11
    Klefbom, 6, 9
    Letestu, 0, 5

    Playoffs require adjustments.

    The RNH-Lucic-Ebs line has been shown not to work. Can’t score goals. Can’t stop goals.

    They’re all good players.

    Time for adjustments, TMac. (Please, please don’t keep Lucic and Ebs together.)

    Letestu needs less 5v5 time, maybe?

    Here’s the good side of the 5v5 ledger:

    Player, GF, GA

    Drai, 9, 4
    Benning, 5, 3
    Desharnais, 4, 2
    Maroon, 7, 6

  53. Dustylegnd says:

    Bruce Wayne,

    I think we have to give management a little more credit than this…it is very clear that Hall is the far better player and better suited to West division hockey than Ebbs. Stauffer called this deal months before it happened, “Chiarelli will not choose who gets traded the rest of the league will” and Shero chose wisely these GM’s are not fools.

    You can’t know that Chiarelli is giving Ebbs away for nothing, nobody can know what will happen, and there is no requirement to trade Eberle based on cap or otherwise. I have faith the asset will be properly managed, but based on Eberle’s playoff performance and his performance specifically vs heavy west playoff teams he is not the correct fit.

    Until “this Team has a D man that can move/pass the puck on an Elite level and play 28 minutes a night, (Klefbom in 3 years perhaps) we are more than one Taylor Hall (and those are next to impossible to find) away from a Stanley cup.

  54. Jethro Tull says:

    Is there any hard evidence of NJ asking for Hall or Eberle? Because if i remember, just after the trade Chia stated that Hall was the ask and it was firm and Shiro pointed out that we got Larsson and $2M cap relief that was factored into the trade. At no point have i evem heard whispers that Eberle could have been sent instead, unless it was Eberle + +.

  55. Dustylegnd says:

    Georges,

    Your point is well taken Looch and RNH had 2 points each vs the Ducks in 5 regular season games 2016/2017….this line has not performed vs the Ducks in the regular season or play offs.

  56. Bag of Pucks says:

    Guys, I think we’re forgetting that Eberle does the hardest thing to do in this league…score goals.

    In international play, meaningless regular season contests, EA NHL 2017, etc.

  57. D says:

    Might be oversimplifying here, but the Oilers lost because they didn’t play the second period the way they played the first. At some point these guys will learn to bring it for three periods and that will be all she wrote. I think this will happen in Game 5 and Game 6, but even if it doesn’t, lessons are being learned.

  58. Scungilli Slushy says:

    Woogie63:
    Rishaug’s tweeter feed is disportionately full with negative Eberle comments, are we watching another witch hunt from the local MSM?

    It’s too bad because Eberle is not alone in playing below the level needed. It’s weak journalism to single out a player after a game like that. Canadian sports journalists seem to have no oversight from their superiors regarding quality other than getting clicks and tweets.

    Only Russell and maybe Benning played well enough last night on D for example. The usually best three had a rough night overall. Lots of accountability to go around.

  59. CrazyCoach says:

    dustrock: He’s never liked Eberle, that’s been pretty consistent.

    I Used to play rec hockey with Rishaug’s brother and he plays like Eberle, so maybe there’s a sibling jealousy there, being played out.

  60. cartoil99 says:

    Love reading the work you do here lowetide
    maybe I am going on emotions but what if we start something for game 6 where everyone wears white gloves

  61. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    – Great post LT!

    – Back to the series at hand. After 4 games, we are lucky to be tied 2-2. They are dictating the terms far more than we are. Sure scoring effects account for some of this (when you lead games by 2 goals, in the playoffs the other team is going to dominate you, it’s just a fact)

    – There are times we play great, and that should provide comfort. There are swings

    – I still think they pull it off: but regardless it’s been a great experience

    – The microscope on the officiating on this blog comes from not watching playoff hockey IMO

    – Officiating is same as it ever was: we are just more attuned to it now…

    – I’m not saying officiating is good: and there is more chatter about making more changes to it, but hand to heart: whose been the better team so far?

  62. fuzzy muppet says:

    frjohnk:
    A couple of things that Im pretty sure happens this summer

    1. EBERLE gets traded
    2.Chia goes after a big center

    He has a big center

    Wouldn’t it be easier to find a winger on the cheap and move Drai to his natural position? It’s much more cost effective. Think penguins

  63. cartoil99 says:

    Wife works at Airport ducks just walked by her Getzlaf pushed her security watched they didn’t do anything

  64. dustrock says:

    cartoil99:
    Wife works at Airport ducks just walked by her Getzlaf pushed her security watched they didn’t do anything

    ha ha ha amazing

    Getzlaf was sitting next to me on the plane and he ate my pretzel snacks and the flight attendant didn’t do anything

  65. Clarkenstein says:

    Bruce Wayne:
    The officiating is a catastrophe, but it is a catastrophe across the league, not only in Oiler games.

    Eberle looks bad now, but you aren’t going to find a better player on the free agent market, and you definitely aren’t going to get a better contract.No sane person would prefer Lucic’contract to Eberle’s for instance.

    That said, the rumour that the Devils asked for Hall or Eberle for Larsson and that Chiarelli chose to keep Eberle over Hall really sticks in my gut right now.I’m fond of Eberle but he’s never been in Hall’s class (even when every Oiler fan I know thought he was the better player).

    This team is one Taylor Hall away from the Stanley Cup, and now Chiarelli is going to give Eberle away in the offseason for nothing.

    Ha ha ha ha… where do you buy your shit? I want some!

  66. Scungilli Slushy says:

    fuzzy muppet: He has a big center

    Wouldn’t it be easier to find a winger on the cheap and move Drai to his natural position?It’s much more cost effective.Think penguins

    You think it would cause more issues for the Ducks running McDavid Leon Nuge. I think it would match their centre strength better. Maybe game 6 if …. won’t say it out loud.

    I thought Slepy’s speed was helpful last night.

  67. cartoil99 says:

    dustrock,

    lol lol ha ha that’s good

  68. bsmart says:

    The way I see it, yes the oilers played a bad 2nd period but…….

    The first goal was goalie interference… should have been no goal, timeout not lost
    Perry’s offside and had the first call been correct, coach challenge would have came and goal disallowed
    The overtime goal, that was bloody icing, complete garbage, it was obvious and the D thought it was obvious and stopped skating.

    Like I said the way I see it there should have been 3 goals disallowed. This is series changing 🙁

  69. Chachi says:

    Bruce Wayne: That said, the rumour that the Devils asked for Hall or Eberle for Larsson and that Chiarelli chose to keep Eberle over Hall really sticks in my gut right now. I’m fond of Eberle but he’s never been in Hall’s class (even when every Oiler fan I know thought he was the better player).

    There is no way that an intelligent person should believe this “rumour”. Are we at the point where its ok to just believe and/or repeat straight up bullshit about the Oilers? Good grief.

  70. Chachi says:

    Jethro Tull:
    Is there any hard evidence of NJ asking for Hall or Eberle? Because if i remember, just after the trade Chia stated that Hall was the ask and it was firm and Shiro pointed out that we got Larsson and $2M cap relief that was factored into the trade. At no point have i evem heard whispers that Eberle could have been sent instead, unless it was Eberle + +.

    Anyone suggesting anything other than what the trade turned out to be is trolling. Trolling hard.

  71. Pouzar says:

    I am not watching another second of this shit show series.
    No goalie interference? Offsides? No Icing?

    I don’t give 2 flyin F***s about “deserved…”….the team with the most frickin goals WIN and
    they were gifted 2 and arguably 3 of em. I am too old to get this worked up over a hockey game
    so I will dutifully follow this fine blog and twitter for my fix.

  72. Scungilli Slushy says:

    Chachi: There is no way that an intelligent person should believe this “rumour”.Are we at the point where its ok to just believe and/or repeat straight up bullshit about the Oilers? Good grief.

    Plus there is almost always a lot more to the story than we hear. It’ll come out in a book someday.

  73. Chachi says:

    Scungilli Slushy: Plus there is almost always a lot more to the story than we hear. It’ll come out in a book someday.

    Chiarelli runs a tight ship and its unlikely anything from the Oilers’ side of things will come out any time soon, if ever.

  74. Scungilli Slushy says:

    bsmart:
    The way I see it, yes the oilers played a bad 2nd period but…….

    The first goal was goalie interference… should have been no goal, timeout not lost
    Perry’s offside and had the first call been correct, coach challenge would have came and goal disallowed
    The overtime goal, that was bloody icing, complete garbage, it was obvious and the D thought it was obvious and stopped skating.

    Like I said the way I see it there should have been 3 goals disallowed. This is series changing

    As said there has always been issues with refs especially in playoffs. To succeed you have to roll with the punches and play in a way that you can win with. If that means playing cleaner because they are calling you tight and the others not, then it’s a decision the team has to make – do we want to win, or do we want to be right and find justice in this two weeks? Take it on the chin and put the puck in the net.

  75. Yegfoundation says:

    I give credit to Lowetide who continues to demonstrate his integrity with an accurate assessment of Eberle’s playoff performance, despite the player being a long time favorite of his.

    I’m surprised that Eberle is showing an unwillingness to compete, like others, i had hoped he would raise his level of competitiveness during the playoffs. I wouldn’t be surprised if a few his teammates had some choice words for him.

    My opinion is that because his coaches, and most likely his teammates, have lost confidence in him, you find a way to move the player, even if you don’t have an ideal replacement at this time. Addition by subtraction. I see no reason to believe that he is willing to raise his level of compete.

  76. Professor Q says:

    Woodguy v2.0:
    When we look back on all of this season, McDavid’s wingers inability to cash these gorgeous gifts will be the only bitter pill I own from spring 2017.

    That supremely gifted young man needs to shoot more.

    Maybe have Gretzky look at game tape with him to show him the spots he should have shot instead of pass.

    I’m sure McDavid listens to the coaches, but when there is probably something inside of him that says “yeah, but I can make that play and its a tap in”.I know I would if I were him.

    When it comes from Gretzky, it comes from The Authority.

    Indeed. There was a chance last night where he could have backhanded it in, but passed instead.

    It’s frustrating because he’s so skilled that you sort of expect this. But then remember he’s young and almost too skilled, so shooting and taking the reigns more consistently will come in time.

  77. Professor Q says:

    Oilin4:
    The sweetness of tomorrow’s victory is intensified by the bitterness of last night’s defeat. This is playoffs with the team you love. Breath Oil fans. No way refs, Nuge, Eberle and Larsson make such horrible plays again tomorrow.

    Plus it’ll be my mother’s birthday. They need to win for her.

    She’s a Bruins fan so I’m sure Lowetide would love her.

  78. Stelio Kontos says:

    Ryan Getzlaf slithering like the snake he is. Oh my god. RKO outta nowhere.

  79. Georges says:

    Ryan Getzlaf is playing 23:06 per game so far in the playoffs (23:55 against the Oilers). He’s played 2 OT games that were over in a couple of minutes.

    Here’s Getzlaf’s TOI in recent playoffs

    13-14 21:25
    14-15 22:25
    15-16 22:05
    16-17 23:06

    Let’s look at TOI for 1C’s (the C’s with the most TOI/GP) for Cup finalists in recent years:

    15-16

    Pavelski 20:46
    Crosby 20:26

    14-15

    Toews 20:54
    Filpulla 19:13

    13-14

    Kopitar 21:13
    Stepan 19:46

    Given that these players would have seen longer OT games, I’m guessing that if we were to compare the proportion of available game time, Getzlaf’s usage this year is a fair bit higher than his peers in recent years.

    Is he so unique among elite NHL players that he can handle the extra minutes and still be effective throughout?

    The Ducks haven’t made the Finals in the past 3 years, so I’m thinking maybe no. At some point, the bill for Getzlaf’s TOI comes due. And the Ducks aren’t deep enough that Carlyle can afford handing Getzlaf’s minutes to other options.

  80. northof51 says:

    Pouzar,

    Pouzar:
    I am not watching another second of this shit show series.
    No goalie interference? Offsides? No Icing?

    I don’t give 2 flyin F***s about “deserved…”….the team with the most frickin goals WIN and
    they were gifted 2 and arguably 3 of em. I am too old to get this worked up over a hockey game
    so I will dutifully follow this fine blog and twitter for my fix.

    I’m with you. I just wish there were more people that would hit the NHL where it hurts, and stop pouring money into this league. Until that happens, there won’t be any changes.

  81. Georges says:

    Caggiula did 2 amazing things yesterday. He scored the tying goal and he engaged Getzlaf physically, i.e., he finished a check. If Carlyle is going to leave him out there for that long, maybe both player and coach should pay a price.

  82. Professor Q says:

    Georges:
    Caggiula did 2 amazing things yesterday. He scored the tying goal and he engaged Getzlaf physically, i.e., he finished a check. If Carlyle is going to leave him out there for that long, maybe both player and coach should pay a price.

    And had a nice chance for a second goal. His shot is getting better, faster, but still needs to be more accurate.

  83. frjohnk says:

    Georges:
    Ryan Getzlaf is playing 23:06 per game so far in the playoffs (23:55 against the Oilers). He’s played 2 OT games that were over in a couple of minutes.

    Here’s Getzlaf’s TOI in recent playoffs

    13-14 21:25
    14-15 22:25
    15-16 22:05
    16-17 23:06

    Let’s look at TOI for 1C’s (the C’s with the most TOI/GP) for Cup finalists in recent years:

    15-16

    Pavelski 20:46
    Crosby 20:26

    14-15

    Toews 20:54
    Filpulla 19:13

    13-14

    Kopitar 21:13
    Stepan 19:46

    Given that these players would have seen longer OT games, I’m guessing that if we were to compare the proportion of available game time, Getzlaf’s usage this year is a fair bit higher than his peers in recent years.

    Is he so unique among elite NHL players that he can handle the extra minutes and still be effective throughout?

    The Ducks haven’t made the Finals in the past 3 years, so I’m thinking maybe no. At some point, the bill for Getzlaf’s TOI comes due. And the Ducks aren’t deep enough that Carlyle can afford handing Getzlaf’s minutes to other options.

    I think the elite players like Getzlaf can easily handle it.

    And Getzlaf is a smart player, so he picks his spots. Rarely do you see him expending energy running around trying to drive a guy through the boards, though he can and will do it if the opportunity arises.

    Elite players can handle higher minutes. What usually slows them down in the playoffs is injuries.

    The Oilers need to make Getzlafs TOI difficult, basically what Kesler does to McDavid. Try to throw Getzlaf off his game. Not sure they can do that this year.

    Thats why I see the Oilers getting a big center this summer who can match up against centers like Getzlaf.

  84. Melman says:

    Woodguy v2.0:
    Single moments blah blah blah, that play was a sock to the jaw.

    Yes.

    Assuming the sock was full of quarters.

    I have a hard time getting fully on board with the “single moments” concept. In theory I understand that if player X has a normal sample size of corsi, fenwick, shooting % then there will be single moments in there that get “absorbed”, for lack of a better description, by the overall events. Where I get stuck though is not all single events are created equally and some can create a much more dangerous scoring play. Offensively, shooting % of player X picks that up. Defensively though if player X has a repeating high danger bad single event moment, a D who can’t help himself from the bad pass into the slot, or Ladi taking 3 years to figure out the backdoor play – those single event mistakes are far more severe than your everyday run of the mill turnover. And so I have a hard time reconciling that Eberle’s turnover is like any other turnover. Any enlightenment would be appreciate.

    Getzlaf dumping Klef 3 feet in front of the ref with no call was another important single event – we need a new stat: “Crapsi” which measures shitty reffing errors that lead to goals. I get that ANA took their lunch money in the 2nd, but a non-call on Klef gives the Ducks a scoring chance (credit to them for cashing it) goalie interference, offside and icing. grrrrr

  85. who says:

    Bruce Wayne:
    The officiating is a catastrophe, but it is a catastrophe across the league, not only in Oiler games.

    Eberle looks bad now, but you aren’t going to find a better player on the free agent market, and you definitely aren’t going to get a better contract.No sane person would prefer Lucic’contract to Eberle’s for instance.

    That said, the rumour that the Devils asked for Hall or Eberle for Larsson and that Chiarelli chose to keep Eberle over Hall really sticks in my gut right now.I’m fond of Eberle but he’s never been in Hall’s class (even when every Oiler fan I know thought he was the better player).

    This team is one Taylor Hall away from the Stanley Cup, and now Chiarelli is going to give Eberle away in the offseason for nothing.

    This has to be the stupidest thing you have ever posted. No matter what you think of Chia you can’t actually believe that he, or any other GM, would choose to trade Hall rather than Eberle, for the same return.
    The thing that disappoints me the most about Eberles performance in these playoffs, is not that he is hurting the team, but that is trade value is swirling down the drain. Does anyone still think a trade based around Eberle for Hamonic is even a possibility.
    The real disappointment about last nights game was that the Oilers folded their tents after the first goal against them. They were feeding it to the Ducks for the entire first period, have one call go against them, and they disappear for the next 30 minutes. Championship teams have to be mentally tougher than that.
    I don’t think the Ducks are outplaying them, but they do seem more resilient. AND BETTER AT FACEOFFS.

  86. Wolfie says:

    Bag of Pucks,

    It is bulletproof. They have written their rule book like a lawyer would. Open to interpretation therefore you can never make the absolute wrong call.

    Being a Winnipeger and witnessing the greed of the NHL first hand. Seeing the same thing almost happening in Edmonton save for some brave souls. I have come to the conclusion that the NHL is best viewed as entertainment. Every “sport” should be in fact. It’s at the point where it’s no different from watching WWE or even Big Brother.

    The fact the NHL has a rule book that is so convoluted and wishy washy, allows them the ability to manipulate results. in my experience, most people take advantage when they a vested interest and the means to do so. The attempt at transparency and honesty that the NHL tries to do with the video reviews just highlight the glaring holes that are exploitable by the League.

    If you chose to believe that the NHL isn’t in the Officials ear during the review telling them exactly what call they want you’re fooling yourself.

    FIFA is know for corruption and match fixing. Pete Rose bet on baseball. The NBA had officials involved in points shaving. The NHL is most certainly not immune.

    Add to the fact that gambling and sports has exploded in the last 20 years. The amount of money that it generates through gambling is ridiculous. The fact that the results are clearly able to be manipulated. There is no one to be accountable to because it’s your league. You can do what you want.

    At what point does this kind of activity become illegal? Insider trading, knowledge of outcomes. Screwing with odds. Wasn’t there an article that just came out where one sports book had the Oilers as favourites to win?

    The Oilers may benefit from all this shadiness at some point Because McDavid but only when the league sees fit. Hell Crosby only has 2 Cups and he’s been the best player in the league for the last decade or so.

    During the game my Oilers Fandom was at peak levels. Afterwards I was calm. We are Fans because we expect a level playing field and hope the town team wins. How can you continue to be a fan of a league that is dishonest. It is just downright dishonest. The Oilers have some wonderfully skilled players and when they play their brand of hockey it is beautiful and exilerating. Winning the Cup is beyond anything we can hope for. Because NHL. It’s not like it was in the 80s

    I guess we should just enjoy the ride. But it’s hard to watch your love screw you over time and again before enough is enough. Once bitten, twice shy.

  87. Georges says:

    frjohnk: I think the elite players like Getzlaf can easily handle it.

    And Getzlaf is a smart player, so he picks his spots.Rarely do you see him expending energy running around trying to drive a guy through the boards, though he can and will do it if the opportunity arises.

    Elite players can handle higher minutes.What usually slows them down in the playoffs is injuries.

    The Oilers need to make Getzlafs TOI difficult, basically what Kesler does to McDavid.Try to throw Getzlaf off his game.Not sure they can do that this year.

    Thats why I see the Oilers getting a big center this summer who can match up againstcenters like Getzlaf.

    Agreed on making his life difficult, agreed he picks his spots, not as sure about the need for a big center.

    My point was that even among elite centers, Getzlaf’s TOI is at the far end. I don’t think his point of diminishing returns is so far outside his peer group. You have to get him into his less effective minutes faster by making him expend more energy.

    Tik was a winger when he shadowed the opposing top players, wasn’t he? Why not Kass? Kass can keep up and if he keeps his cool and doesn’t hack or retaliate, Getzlaf has a bit of the biggest guy in the gym attitude that he could exploit. Kass seems to get under the other team’s skin.

    EDIT: Slepy could keep up too. Not as irritating but maybe he has potential.

  88. frjohnk says:

    Georges: Agreed on making his life difficult, agreed he picks his spots, not as sure about the need for a big center.

    My point was that even among elite centers, Getzlaf’s TOI is at the far end. I don’t think his point of diminishing returns is so far outside his peer group. You have to get him into his less effective minutes faster by making him expend more energy.

    Tik was a winger when he shadowed the opposing top players, wasn’t he? Why not Kass? Kass can keep up and if he keeps his cool and doesn’t hack or retaliate, Getzlaf has a bit of the biggest guy in the gym attitude that he could exploit. Kass seems to get under the other team’s skin.

    The reason I say big center is that we all know that Chia likes big players and if we look at our center depth going into next year, only Drai ( if he plays center) is above average in size.

    As for TOI, I have not seen anything that would suggest that Getzlaf is tired. Maybe it does happen, but it wont be this series. Unless something changes, not making life difficult for Getzlaf will be one of the reasons we lose, as he has been dominating.

    I agree with you that Kassian would be the guy Id use to try and drive Getzlaf up the wall.

  89. --hudson-- says:

    Here’s a fun read: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/dc-sports-bog/wp/2017/05/04/oh-my-god-im-so-sick-of-hearing-that-the-caps-outshot-an-opponent-but-lost/?utm_term=.50ee1c9b1f12

    I hope when Chia decides to trade a contract out he partners with a GM in an equally desperate position. There is no reason to trade at ten cents on the dollar. It looks like Washington will be a team we can trade with, that team will be looking to shake up their chemistry.

  90. fuzzy muppet says:

    Why not run Drai at C? Let him lean on Getzlaff for a game and see how effective it can be.

    They keep going the way it is now and Getlaffs going to beat them. Nuge simply can’t handle him

  91. Professor Q says:

    Wolfie,

    Agree with most.

    But Peter Rose only ever bet on himself to win.

  92. Seismic Source says:

    -Ebs and -6 mill?

    Please.

  93. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    Chachi,

    – Another poster said their “source” told them that it was Ebs or Hall: hater’s have it as gospel.

    – And if you are inclined to think that Chia is #mediocre GM# or whatever, you run with it…

    – And LT gets props for his analysis…

    – Ebs = Kessel-lite: not as good a scorer,will do well on the 3rd line of an elite team, and score timely goals against lesser-competition. That’s his optimal position

    – Hopefully McL keeps him on “4rth line”, and he does what he does best: score.

  94. Seismic Source says:

    Eberle is a tough contract to move. Low value, high cap hit. He is some shitty tasting medicine and we need to take it. Lots of per/60 or 5 on 5 verbal representing him in court but he’s done. Getting rid of a bad contract is the priority. What does 6 get you across the league?

  95. Professor Q says:

    I do admit. A bit worried about Puljujärvi. Not too much, but a bit.

  96. Seismic Source says:

    Kinger_Oil.redux:
    Chachi,

    – Another poster said their “source” told them that it was Ebs or Hall: hater’s have it as gospel.

    – And if you are inclined to think that Chia is #mediocre GM# or whatever, you run with it…

    – And LT gets props for his analysis…

    – Ebs = Kessel-lite: not as good a scorer,will do well on the 3rd line of an elite team, and score timely goals against lesser-competition.That’s his optimal position

    – Hopefully McL keeps him on “4rth line”, and he does what he does best: score.

    What does that mean? Variables unknown to us played a role in that trade. It’s done. It’s over. Let’s focus on how can we get rid of a younger Matt Moulson. (PDO 5on5!!!) sorry, just preemptively getting ready to stuff truselantce in my eyes

  97. Seismic Source says:

    We are out in 6. Great try. I need Roebuck and Millbury to tell me the catalogue is a super American thing.

  98. Woogie63 says:

    Scungilli Slushy: It’s too bad because Eberle is not alone in playing below the level needed. It’s weak journalism to single out a player after a game like that. Canadian sports journalists seem to have no oversight from their superiors regarding quality other than getting clicks and tweets.

    Only Russell and maybe Benning played well enough last night on D for example. The usually best three had a rough night overall. Lots of accountability to go around.

    The lack of a strong editor to force better journalism is big problem for MSM.

    And the next news cycle needs new fresh material.

  99. New Improved Darkness says:

    I foretell that Jeberle will yet score a clutch, ice-in-the-veins, OT game-winner in the withering sand furnace of NHL playoff hockey.

    ———

    Here’s some visual bycatch from my post yesterday.

    Myself—and perhaps some others here—grew up with the 1972 Canada–Russia series as a formative memory. For me, it was elementary school, and we were all herded into the gymnasium during the school day for a couple of games at the end of time the series.

    At that age, after the game, regardless of outcome, most of us* were happy again faster than we could say banana bike three times.

    [*] The one thing a truly competitive child can not control at that age is the waterworks.

    There are days when everyone could use a dose of the old magic charm. Unfortunately, someone must have squeezed the ©harmin.

    Mr. Whipple is seen looking around the corner of the super market(either he is at the checkout or stocking shelves) at a female customer, commenting that first she’s squeezing the tomatoes, then she’s squeezing the melons, and then when she gets to the Charmin, that’s the last straw, and he walks over to her and utters his famous plea “Please don’t squeeze the Charmin!” for the first time.

    This was before HP Sauce came in plastic bottles.

  100. BrazilianOil says:

    Yesterday and for just one shift, Ebs played with RNH and Pouliot and i thougt they did it great.

    67-93-14
    27-29-42
    19-97-44

    Anyone?

  101. Hockey Project says:

    One of my little rules in life which I’ve long tried to live by, and have repeatedly taught to my kids, is that when the same things keep happening to you, you need to ask yourself a question: “Is it always the other guy’s fault, or is there a chance that my actions have something to do with this?” If the Oilers are being similarly introspective and honest with themselves this morning, even though at least two of those goals shouldn’t have counted, they need to acknowledge that they continually placed themselves in the position of needing help from the officials. They are the common denominator in their own problems.

  102. stener says:

    I wonder if the NHL would ever consider releasing videos breaking down goalie interference reviews similar to how the DoPS does for suspensions

  103. Bag of Pucks says:

    Wolfie,

    It’s entirely possible. I’m not one to leap to conspiracy theories as the most obvious explanation, but you’re absolutely right in identifying that any league has an inherent conflict of interest on this stuff.

    Personally, I can’t go there because if I honestly believe the league is directly rigging results, I can’t watch or accept this product anymore. So, I don’t think it’s a case of directly influencing results as much as it as a case of influencing the look and feel of the product. And on that front, there’s no doubt in my mind that NHL officials are expected to interpret the rule book with the objective of facilitating as much league wide parity as possible.

    In fact, we have direct evidence of this. The NHL changed the offsetting minors rule because the Gretzky era Oilers were absolutely killing the rest of the league 4 on 4.

    For me, it’s not as much a case of the NHL fixing the games as it is a cultural history and tradition of letting their officials make judgement calls to set their tone for the game.

    There is a ton of unwritten codes that exist around this.

    > Refs are more stringent in the regular season and they swallow the whistle in the playoffs.
    > Penalties are called early in a game to let the players know what’s acceptable with less penalties called late when the game is on the line
    > Special rules for the star players
    >Calling the game to avoid excessive penalties and play stoppages (hurts tv ratings).

    Why does the NHL only allow that one challenge that directly cost the Oil on the offsides goal? A) Too many challenges slow down the game & B) It takes control out of the hands of traditional referee judgement which they’re loathe to do.

    Well, now we have graphic evidence of them getting it wrong not once but twice, in a pivotal playoff game.

    This is where the NFL is a smarter league imo. They’re confident enough in the ability of their sport to withstand downward pressure on tv ratings that they’d prefer to ‘get the call right’ even if that means excessive delay or impact on the entertainment value. Honestly, this is where gambling actually has a beneficial impact on a sport, because gamblers want predictability and consistency in rule governace. A wishy washy league where rules change from one night to the next is a gambling deterrent.

  104. Side says:

    “I don’t believe in all rumours, but when I do, I believe ones that fit my narrative”

    Oilers played bad in the second, but I wonder how much of that was because of 2 bullshit goals that shouldn’t have counted.

    The reffing is atrocious, and saying “well the Oilers should have been better” is true but it detracts from the more important issue.

    The refs are baddd. If they aren’t going to call blatant penalties, they should at least call blatant non-goals.

  105. Woogie63 says:

    Hockey Project:
    One of my little rules in life which I’ve long tried to live by, and have repeatedly taught to my kids, is that when the same things keep happening to you, you need to ask yourself a question: “Is it always the other guy’s fault, or is there a chance that my actions have something to do with this?” If the Oilers are being similarly introspective and honest with themselves this morning, even though at least two of those goals shouldn’t have counted, they need to acknowledge that they continually placed themselves in the position of needing help from the officials. They are the common denominator in their own problems.

    Three ref impacted goals will change any games.
    If Katz loses a home game because of this loss that is serious money we are talking about. I would bet Mr. Katz calls his employee named Gary and the conversation is one way.

  106. Scungilli Slushy says:

    Georges: Agreed on making his life difficult, agreed he picks his spots, not as sure about the need for a big center.

    My point was that even among elite centers, Getzlaf’s TOI is at the far end. I don’t think his point of diminishing returns is so far outside his peer group. You have to get him into his less effective minutes faster by making him expend more energy.

    Tik was a winger when he shadowed the opposing top players, wasn’t he? Why not Kass? Kass can keep up and if he keeps his cool and doesn’t hack or retaliate, Getzlaf has a bit of the biggest guy in the gym attitude that he could exploit. Kass seems to get under the other team’s skin.

    EDIT: Slepy could keep up too. Not as irritating but maybe he has potential.

    Lucic should be doing it. Getzlaf isn’t fast. If Nuge’s line is getting Lucic should hit him at every opportunity and hack away, he seems to have rope as well. That would be a contribution that would count off of the score board.

  107. digger50 says:

    Oilers have been getting outbattled for six games now, despite the outcomes.

    I want to watch Matt Hendricks in a playoff game. Say what you will about him, he will give you all he’s got and then some.

    Players will make mistakes, that can be forgiven. Biased refs – unacceptable. Biased media unacceptable to me. Lack of compete – unacceptable.

    If Oilers go out this round, as a fan I want to see they gave everything they have. Do that and we can be disappointed yet satisfied this summer.

  108. LMHF#1 says:

    I’m quite surprised no one is giving Maroon a hard time.

    He’s been absolutely putrid. And I’m saying this as one of his main defenders. Should have been right there demoted with Eberle. I’m not sure what’s wrong, but it looks like he’s got an extra 40 pounds attached and is half-sleeping out there. Regular season Maroon has at least 2 goals last night, and a bunch of hits.

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

    Is how I would start next game.

  109. VOR says:

    Digger50,

    How do you define level of compete? How do you measure it?

  110. Chachi says:

    Kinger_Oil.redux: Another poster said their “source” told them that it was Ebs or Hall: hater’s have it as gospel.

    Sure, the MSM who sniff around the head office garbage cans for information and offer to carry the team’s water in exchange for access don’t have any of this information, but these “sources” are always being mentioned online by people with absolutely no connection with the team.

  111. digger50 says:

    VOR:
    Digger50,

    How do you define level of compete? How do you measure it?

    One on one battles

    All game, all over the ice.

  112. Bruce Wayne says:

    This season there were 43 forwards who had cap hits between 5 and 6.5 million.

    Eberle ranked right in the middle of that group for points, in a poor year with much reduced powerplay time.

    Eberle is what you get for 6 million dollars. Worse than Eberle is what you get for 6 million dollars in the free agent market.

  113. delooper says:

    If the Oilers didn’t let their foot off the gas after the first two (questionable) Anaheim goals, they would have been fine. They let a little setback become a big one.

    This Oilers team can beat Anaheim, but they’ve got some growing up to do, between the ears.

  114. Doug McLachlan says:

    Man that was an unpleasant experience.

    After an opening 20 minutes, figured we had not only the game but the series. Now, not so much.

    I was, and probably will again, defending Eberle’s MSM character assassination yesterday before the game but feel like one of my client’s just went on the stand and undercut their own case.

    Brutal play that feeds right into the narrative. As soon as he coughed it up I felt physically sick – my body could anticipate the outcome and the aftermath. Uggg.

    I hope he gets his redemption moment before this series is out because he has been a joy to watch in Oilers silk during this decade of darkness but, as LT points out, he’s gone before October.

    Agree that his price has bottomed out but wonder if he might be part of the package you toss to Vegas to take Pouliot/ Fayne (could be a huge cap $ win) in exchange for some expansion exposed assets (on that note, anyone think Anaheim is exposing Silferberg at this point)?

    Eberle is an incredibly capable first-line winger and would probably be the most talented player in Vegas if he’s dealt. The cap burden would be very easy to manage for McPhee’s squad (where it would be harder for most other GMs, even assuming interest) but he’s not able to play Chia/McLellan hockey.

    For the remainder of this series – and hopefully further into the post-season – you have to get him off the Nuge/Lucic line.

    Maroon – McDavid – Drai (Dance with the one what brung you line)
    Lucic – Nuge – Slepyshev (Good on TMac for seeing what Slepy has brought)
    Pouliot – DD – Eberle (Hope Eberle can find some fresh air)
    Caggs – Letestu – Kassian (Kass, smash)

  115. Bruce Wayne says:

    Doug McLachlan,

    You don’t have to get Eberle away from Nuge, you have to get Lucic away from both. Replace Lucic with Pouliot and that line is immediately better.

    Now the coach will never do this because he trusts RNH and he doesn’t trust Pouliot and Eberle. I get why he would have doubts about Pouliot and Eberle right now, but tell me what in the world Lucic has done to have the trust of his coach. Lucic is the one covering nothing but air as much as anyone.

  116. Dicky94 says:

    I still believe in this team and I still believe they will win this series. The bounces will start going are way again. Chin up boys and girls!!

  117. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    Bruce Wayne:
    This season there were 43 forwards who had cap hits between 5 and 6.5 million.

    Eberle ranked right in the middle of that group for points, in a poor year with much reduced powerplay time.

    Eberle is what you get for 6 million dollars.Worse than Eberle is what you get for 6 million dollars in the free agent market.

    – Eberle is tied with Lucic, as NHL’s 7th highest paid LW’ers. They both aren’t coming back

    – Ebs 20 goals gets team replaced and then some next year with a “cheaper” LW, and a better D

    – $16MM on Lucic/Ebs/Pou is awful allocation of resources on LW

    – All below 500K less than Ebs to Pou (exhaustive list, not commenting individually)

    – Pou is an excellent example of the cost you pay for FA, (vs a trade)

    >Andrew Ladd
    >Jaden Schwartz
    >Jamie Benn
    >Evander Kane
    >Mike Hoffman
    >Brayden Schenn
    >Matt Moulson
    >Mikhail Grabovski
    >Marian Gaborik
    >Ryane Clowe
    >Scott Hartnell
    >Chris Kreider
    >Marcus Johansson
    >Artem Anisimov
    >Brad Marchand
    >Max Pacioretty
    >Alexander Killorn
    >Drew Stafford
    >James Van Riemsdyk
    >Justin Abdelkader
    >Nikolai Kulemin
    >Carl Hagelin
    >Adam Henrique
    >Bryan Bickell
    >Mikkel Boedker
    >Jussi Jokinen

  118. VOR says:

    Okay, lets reprise:

    What the facts tell us:

    Up to the end of the 9th game the Oilers played in this years playoffs:

    Jordan Eberle was playing on Edmonton’s second line and that line was statistically outplaying its opponents who were also the toughest competition overall, and especially so on the road. According to heat maps, while Eberle might not have been getting away many shots from high danger scoring areas he was spending significant time there. Additionally, his line as a whole was generating a lot of opportunities from high danger scoring areas (mainly RNH and to a lesser extent Lucic but still they were getting their looks as a line). Meanwhile the second line, Eberle in particular, was getting a lot more shot attempts for than they were giving up. The puck just wasn’t going in for any of the three of them. Eberle’s SAT% was first on the team and his SAT was second on the team to Leon. (Still is, even after last night)

    What I think:

    So when the coach was asked about Eberle’s play he could have said, “well that line is getting some looks and playing pretty well against stiff competition but obviously we’d like to see those three guys start to put the puck in the net.” He is veteran. I am sure he knew just as well as I that Eberle hadn’t been the worst Oiler in the playoffs up to that point. Instead he said “not enough.” That set off a vicious campaign of hate led by a couple of members of the local media. Then the piling on began in the blogosphere.

    I know there are some posters here who believe that players shouldn’t let this sort of thing get to them but the list of NHL players with rabbit ears includes Frank Mahovlich and Patrick Roy among many, many others. It clearly gets to at least some portion of even the top 100 players of all time. It sure looked like it got to Eberle last night. Can we all agree he was brutal and contributed impressively to the Oilers’ loss?

    If we can, then the haters, and the coach who lit the fuse bare significant culpability. Turning a decent one dimensional player who is working hard to do the right things while outplaying above average competition into a complete and total liability is not what great coaches do. As for the haters, and that is what the two miscreants in question are, haters not journalists, their personal animus meant that Jordon Eberle wasn’t just playing against the Anaheim Ducks but also had to deal with processing the nonsense the haters spent several days throwing around.

    This is the exact same crap that sent Mahovlich to hospital with depression twice. When asked what had changed when following the trade away from Toronto his offence returned (and then some) he took the high road and said simply, “Alex and Gordie”. More than a decade later, when his offence again evaporated and he was asked about it he simply said, “my linemates aren’t Alex (Delvecchio) and Gordie (Howe).” Years later it turned out that by example, by deed, and by word the Big M’s two Detroit linemates helped him become a healthier person off the ice as well as making him a better player on the ice. They taught him to block out the distractions and turn inward for inpsiration and motivation. It is ironic as hell that it is neither Toronto or Detroit that benefited from Mahovlich learning how to be his own man but rather the Montreal Canadiens.

    It would be great if the Oilers dressing room had a couple of guys who could teach Jordan to look inward and find his own fire, but I am guessing they don’t. The Oilers will trade him away, and at this point I am thinking they don’t have much choice. It is not inconceivable that somewhere out there he will meet his Alex and Gordie and go on to score more than a few memorable Stanley Cup goals. But courtesy of a simple “not enough” that set off a tire fire of hate the one thing we can know for sure is that the Oilers won’t get fair value back for Eberle or probably have full use of his services for the rest of this year.

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

    Bruce Wayne,

    Truth

    LMHF#1,

    Also truth! He could have had himself an excellent rebound opportunity half way through the 3rd last night but after he missed the first chance he looked straight into the rafters. Seems to be a new thing with him lately.

    delooper,

    Totally 100% agree. Last night was the first time in a long time that I saw the “fear” creep back into the team. They managed to squish that mangy bastard late in the 3rd but make no mistake he is around right now.

    TMac needs to calm everyone down, no need to slam players (the media is doing enough of that), just calm them down, reassure them, point out how easily mistakes can be corrected and then for good measure show some highlights of games against Pacific Division teams where they kicked the crap out of them.

    They can and will win this series if they believe they can

    (I kinda feel like a Disney Movie right now with all the cliches but meh I’m also convinced I am right so here we are haha)

  120. digger50 says:

    Marc Spector

    “Any Whining Oiler Fans are Missing the Big Picture”

    Insulting headlines and insulting write up Marc. In your eyes I am a whiner and too stupid to see the big picture.

    Wonder what happens when you start talking your nonsense face to face down at the local
    Pub Marc? You’re welcome to come down.

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

    VOR,

    You’re bang on my friend.

    There seems to be a deep seated hatred among Spector, Staples and certain posters for any player associated with the Decade of Darkness.

    The minute Eberle is traded they will turn their sights on Nuge and god help Oscar Klefbom if he has a rough patch (oh wait that already happened this year and more than a few people were looking to trade him away for Tyson Barrie haha).

  122. VOR says:

    Digger50

    Fair enough, one on one battles all over the ice it is.

    But what exactly should we be looking for? How many battles they engage in, how many they win, how they lose them, how they win them, subsequent outcomes, what exactly are you measuring? And does compete level matter as much to one on one battles as say size, skill, how long each player has been on the ice. Are there enough one on one battles to offer us a fair sample size? I mean at the playoff level every shift is a battle but often there are multiple players involved and the play isn’t manno a manno. I grew up watching an Oilers team that had guys who would win puck battles outnumbered as much as three to one. Were they competing harder than their teammates or did Tikannen, Anderson, Messier, and the rest of the Murder’s Row that was the dynasty Oilers (God, Kenny Linesman – there was a guy that could take on multiple opponents in a battle and make them not just look silly but fear for their safety) just have a particular skill for going in the corners and coming out with the puck?

    I am not trying to be difficult. I have spent a decade trying to come up with a way to measure compete and pushback and other intangibles and like you I started out thinking one on one battles would be a good proxy for some, maybe most intangibles. I am no longer so sure. If you have ideas for resolving some of the above issues, if anyone does, I’d love to hear them.

  123. bendelson says:

    It’s all so emotional…

    Woot? Woot?

  124. Scungilli Slushy says:

    VOR: It would be great if the Oilers dressing room had a couple of guys who could teach Jordan to look inward and find his own fire, but I am guessing they don’t.

    I understand your sentiment and agree that players are people first and have feelings, very few are immune to what is said about them. The smart ones don’t ‘read the papers’ – I ‘ve heard many players say so.

    None of us know what goes on behind closed locker room doors, but plenty of players have recently said how close the team is, family, care about each other and hang out. Lucic and Connor come across as reasonable, measured and supportive individuals.

    Please realize in your support for Eberle, you called out his teammates and coaches as likely inadequate. To me that seems like the same thing you’re saying Eberle shouldn’t have to put up with. I think most readers here hope for the best for Eberle and the team and would love to see some more big goal heroics from him.

    As for the click bait MSM attacks on Oiler players and the team, it’s a sign of their lack of professionalism and quality of ideas.

  125. Scungilli Slushy says:

    bendelson:
    It’s all so emotional…

    Woot?Woot?

    WOOOOTTT!!

  126. Bag of Pucks says:

    digger50:
    Marc Spector

    “Any Whining Oiler Fans are Missing the Big Picture”

    Insulting headlines and insulting write up Marc. In your eyes I am a whiner and too stupid to see the big picture.

    Wonder what happens when you start talking your nonsense face to face down at the local
    Pub Marc? You’re welcome to come down.

    He’s trolling for clicks cos that’s essentially the only way former print journalists can maintain a viable career now. If you really take offense, the best recourse is not to punch him in the face, but simply stop clicking on the troll bait.

  127. treevojo says:

    As the old saying goes

    a series doesn’t start until the away team loses.

    League wide this playoffs it has been an advantage to be on the road.

    Oilers are a good road team.

    I like our chances.

  128. Chachi says:

    VOR:
    Okay, lets reprise:

    What the facts tell us:

    Up to the end of the 9th game the Oilers played in this years playoffs:

    Jordan Eberle was playing on Edmonton’s second line and that line was statistically outplaying its opponents who were also the toughest competition overall, and especially so on the road. According to heat maps, while Eberle might not have been getting away many shots from high danger scoring areas he was spending significant time there. Additionally, his line as a whole was generating a lot of opportunities from high danger scoring areas (mainly RNH and to a lesser extent Lucic but still they were getting their looks as a line). Meanwhile the second line, Eberle in particular, was getting a lot more shot attempts for than they were giving up. The puck just wasn’t going in for any of the three of them. Eberle’s SAT% was first on the team and his SAT was second on the team to Leon. (Still is, even after last night)

    What I think:

    So when the coach was asked about Eberle’s play he could have said, “well that line is getting some looks and playing pretty well against stiff competition but obviously we’d like to see those three guys start to put the puck in the net.” He is veteran. I am sure he knew just as well as I that Eberle hadn’t been the worst Oiler in the playoffs up to that point. Instead he said “not enough.” That set off a vicious campaign of hate led by a couple of members of the local media. Then the piling on began in the blogosphere.

    I know there are some posters here who believe that players shouldn’t let this sort of thing get to them but the list of NHL players with rabbit ears includes Frank Mahovlich and Patrick Roy among many, many others. It clearly gets to at least some portion of even the top 100 players of all time. It sure looked like it got to Eberle last night. Can we all agree he was brutal and contributed impressively to the Oilers’ loss?

    If we can, then the haters, and the coach who lit the fuse bare significant culpability. Turning a decent one dimensional player who is working hard to do the right things while outplaying above average competition into a complete and total liability is not what great coaches do. As for the haters, and that is what the two miscreants in question are, haters not journalists, their personal animus meant that Jordon Eberle wasn’t just playing against the Anaheim Ducks but also had to deal with processing the nonsense the haters spent several days throwing around.

    This is the exact same crap that sent Mahovlich to hospital with depression twice. When asked what had changed when following the trade away from Toronto his offence returned (and then some) he took the high road and said simply, “Alex and Gordie”. More than a decade later, when his offence again evaporated and he was asked about it he simply said, “my linemates aren’t Alex (Delvecchio) and Gordie (Howe).” Years later it turned out that by example, by deed, and by word the Big M’s two Detroit linemates helped him become a healthier person off the ice as well as making him a better player on the ice. They taught him to block out the distractions and turn inward for inpsiration and motivation. It is ironic as hell that it is neither Toronto or Detroit that benefited from Mahovlich learning how to be his own man but rather the Montreal Canadiens.

    It would be great if the Oilers dressing room had a couple of guys who could teach Jordan to look inward and find his own fire, but I am guessing they don’t. The Oilers will trade him away, and at this point I am thinking they don’t have much choice. It is not inconceivable that somewhere out there he will meet his Alex and Gordie and go on to score more than a few memorable Stanley Cup goals. But courtesy of a simple “not enough” that set off a tire fire of hate the one thing we can know for sure is that the Oilers won’t get fair value back for Eberle or probably have full use of his services for the rest of this year.

    Characterizing McLellan’s “not enough” as some kind of attack on Eberle’s character is ridiculous. Suggesting that McLellan saying “not enough” was sent Eberle into some kind of spiral that affected his performance last night is insulting to Eberle.

    Attack the media who overreacted to the comment and carved him on print and on tv all you want. They are largely composed of hacks and blowhards who believe the only way for them to survive is to spread their hot takes like diarrhea all over the media toilet bowl.

    I suspect Eberle has support from the coaches and from the team and has enough pride and professionalism to recover from a couple of rough games and find the best version of his game again. In fact, he bounced back quite nicely in the 3rd period of yesterday’s game and contributed to the tying goal – not the kind of play you would expect from someone who was mentally defeated. If he doesn’t have the support he needs from the team it is probably best for everyone if he and the team part ways.

  129. Lowetide says:

    Professor Q: Plus it’ll be my mother’s birthday. They need to win for her.

    She’s a Bruins fan so I’m sure Lowetide would love her.

    She’s perfect! 🙂

  130. treevojo says:

    Bag of Pucks: Does your stereo play any other songs?

    Pretty sure this is his jam.

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=vS-z93V0DgA

  131. bendelson says:

    Scungilli Slushy,

    Atta boy Slushy!

    treevojo,

    Always really enjoyed the Violent Femmes cover of that song…

  132. McSorley33 says:

    There are also reasons beyond, we would do well to acknowledge those moments. Last night, I suspect fates were sealed for some long-time Oilers. Time will tell, but this young team paid a terrible price for truly bewildering moments from a couple of their feature players.
    ****************************************************************************
    As always, LT’s writing is so good.

    This beautifully captures what inarticulate people like me are thinking.

    Make it so this summer, PC. Make it so.

  133. treevojo says:

    bendelson:
    Scungilli Slushy,

    Atta boy Slushy!

    treevojo,

    Always really enjoyed the Violent Femmes cover of that song…

    Nobody does it better then George Stitzer.

  134. jake70 says:

    Wow, I finally saw an overhead clip of the OT winner. I was wondering where the two late forwards were on that play (Lucic and the 2 D were in D-zone). They were both off to the bench right from the O-zone for a change. Silfverbergl was having tea and toast waiting for Getzlafs pass to him…man. They obviously reacted to the linesman’s hand up???

  135. who says:

    Bruce Wayne:
    This season there were 43 forwards who had cap hits between 5 and 6.5 million.

    Eberle ranked right in the middle of that group for points, in a poor year with much reduced powerplay time.

    Eberle is what you get for 6 million dollars.Worse than Eberle is what you get for 6 million dollars in the free agent market.

    Rating the wingers on points is one way to rank them, I guess. I just tend to look at their play over a period of time.
    For instance, ask yourself how many times this season has Eberle looked like a dangerous offensive player. How many scoring chances has he created for himself and his linemates. That is the measure of his value because he really doesn’t bring anything else to the table. He is not physical, he is not particularly fast, he is not strong on the boards or in front of the net, he doesn’t kill penalties and he is not a strong defensive player. His worth will always be measured by how much offense he provides. That is his skill set.
    I view him as a nice complimentary player but not worth 6 mil a year. For the record I view Lucic the same way. Much different skill set but a complimentary player as well. I think Nuge is the guy who has been making that line go through these playoffs.
    Another way of looking at Eberle is what kind of numbers would Kassian or Slepeshev or JP put up if they were given the same linemates, the same minutes and the same pp minutes. We have no way of knowing this but I suspect these guys might put up 40+ points in the same situation at a much cheaper price point.
    I think Eberle was worth that contract when he signed it because he was an offensive driver on this team. He no longer seems like that player to me and he hasn’t for quite some time.

  136. VOR says:

    scungilli slushy,

    I think you are right. I did leave, unintentionally, the impression I was saying that Eberle’s coach and teammates were inadequate. I merely meant to suggest that the head coach Todd McLellan spoke without thinking and he doesn’t have much cover given he is a veteran of the Stanley Cup playoffs. However, just as I believe we have to allow players to make mistakes and learn from them the same is true of coaches. Overall McLellan has been great in this year’s playoffs and did (my opinion) a well above average job in the regular season. I am, however, increasingly convinced he is not the right coach for Jordan Eberle.

    I didn’t, however, hate on McLellan. Did I assassinate his character, question his work ethic, call him a coward, or otherwise demean or degrade either McLellan or any other member of the Oilers? That is what the haters do. There is a perfectly legitimate place for criticism in any human endeavor. it is very easy, however, to step over that line into being a hater rather than a critic. It is also, sadly easy to give the haters ammunition and opportunity.

    As for Eberle’s teammates you wouldn’t necessary expect to find the combination of players on the Oilers that could lift Eberle out of his funk. There is this strange chemistry that develops between some linemates that is very special. Mahovlich, Howe, and Delvecchio had it.

    Howe was the perfect guy to shelter a fragile Frank Mahovlich. Howe, and I got this from listening to multiple interviews with Ted Lindsay, was obsessed with the believe that he wasn’t good enough to play in the NHL and that he was going to be cut from the team in training camp. This persisted long after Howe was clearly the best player in the league. He showed up to training camp every year a basket case, an incredibly fit, impossibly motivated basket case.

    Mahovlich was fighting very similar demons. He also didn’t think he was good enough to play in the NHL. He had what we would now call impostor syndrome. Fats Delvecchio was the guy who took the pressure off Howe, took the cork out of the bottle is the way Lindsay put it and he turned out to be able to do much the same for Mahovlich. Delvecchio is one of those guys who really doesn’t get as much credit as he deserves.

    I don’t know what demons Eberle is fighting but I think there is mounting evidence that the pressure cooker that is playing NHL hockey in a hockey mad place like Edmonton is beginning to exact a toll. It isn’t a knock on his teammates to say they may not have the right combination of understanding, support skills, and ass kicking to help him get back on track. A different hockey culture and community may be a big part of the solution if Eberle is ever going to get back to being a 1st line star.

  137. Admiral Ackbar says:

    The game seemed like a good close game to the eye. I’ve only become enraged after seeing the replays 100 times each and listening to Ron McLean & Kerry Fraser (two former referees!) hang out their colleagues to dry.

    Up until now the referees have been able to hide behind a veil of reasonable doubt in the ambiguity of “letting them play” and “playoff hockey”. Now, I fear that they’re utterly incompetent and vulnerable to manipulation (by veteran hockey players).

    The league has an officiating system that makes it difficult for young players to win. The officiating makes it difficult for integrity to win. The league perpetuates the “if you don’t cheat you aren’t trying” mentality. This is a league where 3 of the 4 goals last night are seriously questionable according to the rule book. This is a league where Sidney Crosby gets crosschecked to the head, is out with a concussion (for the n’th time) and there’s no suspension.

    I’m losing faith in this league.

  138. VOR says:

    Chachi,

    I didn’t say or even suggest that McLellan was attacking Eberle. Merely that he lit the fuse that set off the bomb of hate. I didn’t suggest he did it deliberately, merely that he should have known it was a risk.

    Eberle did find his feet later in the game. I agree with you completely about that. However, I think you are going to find that we have in fact reached the point where Eberle needs, and will get, a chance with another team.

    I could easily be wrong about this last point. He may be that rare sort of individual that can overcome the character assasination and rebound. Or the Oilers locker room may be the sort of place where he will find the support he needs to overcome. I am just doubtful. I have seen the haters win way too many times to be optomistic.

    By the way, it isn’t just Eberle’s head the haters are trying to get into, it is Todd McLellan and Peter Chiarelli’s as well. That is how running a player out of town happens. That is the goal here, make no mistake.

    I am betting we will see Eberle gone soon and not for fair value. The haters will rejoice in their power. The last GM I saw buck the trend was Slats back in the day. He didn’t give a flying fridge what the press or the fan base thought. is that an attack of McLellan or Chiarelli. Not even slightly, it is just me acknowledging one of the constants of being an Oiler’s fan, the media’s ongoing desire to play GM.

  139. digger50 says:

    Bag of Pucks: He’s trolling for clicks cos that’s essentially the only way former print journalists can maintain a viable career now. If you really take offense, the best recourse is not to punch him in the face, but simply stop clicking on the troll bait.

    But dammit I can’t stop my finger from clicking!!!

  140. Georges says:

    Bruce Wayne:
    Doug McLachlan,

    You don’t have to get Eberle away from Nuge, you have to get Lucic away from both. Replace Lucic with Pouliot and that line is immediately better.

    Now the coach will never do this because he trusts RNH and he doesn’t trust Pouliot and Eberle. I get why he would have doubts about Pouliot and Eberle right now, but tell me what in the world Lucic has done to have the trust of his coach. Lucic is the one covering nothing but air as much as anyone.

    In fairness, Lucic’s mistake in OT was more costly than Eberle’s mistake in the 2nd period. Larsson looks over his shoulder, sees Lucic along the boards, looks down and backhands the puck. In between those two actions, Getzlaf has slipped in front of Lucic , who is backing out of the zone. Getzlaf gets the puck. Lucic is too far back to lift his stick. Bang. Bang. Done.

    Somebody’s always going to look bad when you put a goal against under the microscope.

    I agree with you on one thing. Don’t play Lucic with Eberle. My reasons are different from yours, though. I think they’re both good players who have no (or not enough) offensive chemistry with each other. As godot has pointed out, their games don’t mix.

    Let’s keep it orderly. The Oilers are winning this series.

  141. digger50 says:

    VOR:
    Chachi,

    I didn’t say or even suggest that McLellan was attacking Eberle. Merely that he lit the fuse that set off the bomb of hate. I didn’t suggest he did it deliberately, merely that he should have known it was a risk.

    Eberle did find his feet later in the game. I agree with you completely about that. However, I think you are going to find that we have in fact reached the point where Eberle needs, and will get, a chance with another team.

    I could easily be wrong about this last point. He may be that rare sort of individual that can overcome the character assasination and rebound. Or the Oilers locker room may be the sort of place where he will find the support he needs to overcome. I am just doubtful. I have seen the haters win way too many times to be optomistic.

    By the way, it isn’t just Eberle’s head the haters are trying to get into, it is Todd McLellan and Peter Chiarelli’s as well. That is how running a player out of town happens. That is the goal here, make no mistake.

    I am betting we will see Eberle gone soon and not for fair value. The haters will rejoice in their power. The last GM I saw buck the trend was Slats back in the day. He didn’t give a flying fridge what the press or the fan base thought. is that an attack of McLellan or Chiarelli. Not even slightly, it is just me acknowledging one of the constants of being an Oiler’s fan, the media’s ongoing desire to play GM.

    Good reasonable opinion thanks.

    I have not loved Ebs game for some time, but if he’s on the team he deserves support. And I have time for building a well rounded team and that sometimes means one player has an over abundance of one skill and needs compensated by a teammate on another slill and vice versa.

    But if you look for fault you will find fault always. We tend to see what we are looking for.

  142. Admiral Ackbar says:

    All this concern over Lucic or Eberle is certainly seen through the tint of blame in our glasses.

    Without these refereeing gaffs, we sure wouldn’t be so irate. The costs of these mistakes were big but neither should have resulted in a goal against.

  143. Chachi says:

    VOR:
    Chachi,

    I didn’t say or even suggest that McLellan was attacking Eberle. Merely that he lit the fuse that set off the bomb of hate. I didn’t suggest he did it deliberately, merely that he should have known it was a risk.

    Eberle did find his feet later in the game. I agree with you completely about that. However, I think you are going to find that we have in fact reached the point where Eberle needs, and will get, a chance with another team.

    I could easily be wrong about this last point. He may be that rare sort of individual that can overcome the character assasination and rebound. Or the Oilers locker room may be the sort of place where he will find the support he needs to overcome. I am just doubtful. I have seen the haters win way too many times to be optomistic.

    By the way, it isn’t just Eberle’s head the haters are trying to get into, it is Todd McLellan and Peter Chiarelli’s as well. That is how running a player out of town happens. That is the goal here, make no mistake.

    I am betting we will see Eberle gone soon and not for fair value. The haters will rejoice in their power. The last GM I saw buck the trend was Slats back in the day. He didn’t give a flying fridge what the press or the fan base thought. is that an attack of McLellan or Chiarelli. Not even slightly, it is just me acknowledging one of the constants of being an Oiler’s fan, the media’s ongoing desire to play GM.

    If a coach can’t say something as innocuous as “not enough” without it being the lit fuse that set off the bomb that chased a player out of town then the “media” has already won. Why would anyone coach or play in a market like that?

  144. Oilin4 says:

    Admiral Ackbar:
    The game seemed like a good close game to the eye. I’ve only become enraged after seeing the replays 100 times each and listening to Ron McLean & Kerry Fraser (two former referees!) hang out their colleagues to dry.

    Up until now the referees have been able to hide behind a veil of reasonable doubt in the ambiguity of “letting them play” and “playoff hockey”. Now, I fear that they’re utterly incompetent and vulnerable to manipulation (by veteran hockey players).

    The league has an officiating system that makes it difficult for young players to win. The officiating makes it difficult for integrity to win. The league perpetuates the “if you don’t cheat you aren’t trying” mentality. This is a league where 3 of the 4 goals last night are seriously questionable according to the rule book. This is a league where Sidney Crosby gets crosschecked to the head, is out with a concussion (for the n’th time) and there’s no suspension.

    I’m losing faith in this league.

    If the NHL were run well, officials would be scrutinized like they are in other leagues. Check out this piece in SI about how thoroughly NFL officials are graded, and how much money is on the line for them. If the NHL did the same, with the intent of ensuring they follow the rule book rather than other ‘initiatives’, we could all enjoy this beautiful game more. Imagine a league where talent (rather than antics) wins championships. Where skill mattered more than size. Where McDavid was free to roam and Getzlaf’s and Kesler’s antics weren’t the difference in the series / the path to victory.

    http://mmqb.si.com/2013/12/04/peter-king-spends-week-with-nfl-refs

  145. Georges says:

    Chachi: Characterizing McLellan’s “not enough” as some kind of attack on Eberle’s character is ridiculous. Suggesting that McLellan saying “not enough” was sent Eberle into some kind of spiral that affected his performance last night is insulting to Eberle.

    Attack the media who overreacted to the comment and carved him on print and on tv all you want. They are largely composed of hacks and blowhards who believe the only way for them to survive is to spread their hot takes like diarrhea all over the media toilet bowl.

    I suspect Eberle has support from the coaches and from the team and has enough pride and professionalism to recover from a couple of rough games and find the best version of his game again. In fact, he bounced back quite nicely in the 3rd period of yesterday’s game and contributed to the tying goal – not the kind of play you would expect from someone who was mentally defeated. If he doesn’t have the support he needs from the team it is probably best for everyone if he and the team part ways.

    Very nice last paragraph.

    Eberle had lots of jump and try at the end. The best version of Eberle’s game beats many, many players in this league.

  146. digger50 says:

    Admiral Ackbar:
    The game seemed like a good close game to the eye. I’ve only become enraged after seeing the replays 100 times each and listening to Ron McLean & Kerry Fraser (two former referees!) hang out their colleagues to dry.

    Up until now the referees have been able to hide behind a veil of reasonable doubt in the ambiguity of “letting them play” and “playoff hockey”. Now, I fear that they’re utterly incompetent and vulnerable to manipulation (by veteran hockey players).

    The league has an officiating system that makes it difficult for young players to win. The officiating makes it difficult for integrity to win. The league perpetuates the “if you don’t cheat you aren’t trying” mentality. This is a league where 3 of the 4 goals last night are seriously questionable according to the rule book. This is a league where Sidney Crosby gets crosschecked to the head, is out with a concussion (for the n’th time) and there’s no suspension.

    I’m losing faith in this league.

    Wasn’t Ron McLean refreshing? Pulls out the rule book, dares the rest of the panel to defend the call.

  147. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    Oilers mostly outplayed when the going has been tight. Call it veteran play from the Ducks, call it the officials, whatever you want, but key gaffes have been made by everyone from the goalie out. It’s part of learning playoff hockey.

    Yet despite that the team is tied 2-2 against the best of the West. Calgary got run out of the rink.

    I know it feels like pitchfork time, but in fact it is is pick-me-up time.

    Go Oilers from Tokyo

  148. season not played says:

    Go Oilers.

    Last night was a hard lesson.

    They can still win it.

  149. digger50 says:

    Chachi: If a coach can’t say something as innocuous as “not enough” without it being the litfuse that set off the bomb that chased a player out of town then the “media” has already won. Why would anyone coach or play in a market like that?

    The atmosphere that has been the Oilers in days gone by is the reason why we had to overpay. Overpay free agents and overpay regulars. I don’t begrudge Eberle his money now. I would rather begrudge all the wasted contract dollars to those who have been paid to leave, or play in the minors, or retire.

  150. Nuclear leak says:

    What does ovi look like with Mcdavid

  151. godot10 says:

    1) For a good hockey team, every playoff game is an isolated event uncorrelated to previous and future games.

    2) I said this a few days ago. The Ducks have either played the Oilers even, or dominated them in every game this season, modulo score effects.

    3) Like the Sharks players, Getzlaf knows McLellan’s systems better than the Oilers players know them.

    4) Corey Perry demonstrated his brilliance on the incidental contact just outside edge of the crease on the first goal. A referee that called it incidental contract live is not going to overtutn a call of incidental contact on video review. Most crease crashers would have created additional contact with Talbot after the skate contract, but Perry made his skate touch and then executed a brilliant pivot out and away. That was textbook borderline incidental contact. It is like he knew exactly how far he could go.

    5) Eberle is the new Justin Schultz. Duchene’s boxcars are pretty horrid this year. Duchene >> Eberle. Eberle is a good player with flaws, whose coach is not utilizing him to accentuate his strengths and obscure his weaknesses.

    6) Lander would help against the Ducks. Pouliot-Lander-Kassian could take a few of Nugent-Hopkins minutes against Getzlaf and ease Nuge’s burden. Lander has a bit of Swedish Kessler in him. He would agitate Getzlaf.

    7) Carlyle and the Ducks are closer to playing the new fangled fast hockey, particularly with their D. Too bad Bieksa got hurt, Montour is an upgrade. McLellan and the Oilers play old school slow hockey. Slow wingers who can’t get in on the forecheck against the Ducks fast puck-moving mobile D. This will be a longer term issue for the Oilers. McLellan and his cloistered group of coaches are falling behind the new hockey that Pittsburgh, the Rangers, the Blue Jackets, the Predators, and the Ducks are playing.

    8) The OIlers are too slow to forecheck against the Ducks, and McLellan’s breakout systems are too slow for the Oilers to successfully rush attack enough, except for when McDavid or Draisaitl have moments of brilliance. Nugent-Hopkins has his hands full with Getzlaf.

    8) Talbot and McDavid can together or individually still steal this series, but the Ducks are the better team, but not so much that variance cannot happen.

  152. Admiral Ackbar says:

    Oilin4: If the NHL were run well, officials would be scrutinized like they are in other leagues. Check out this piece in SI about how thoroughly NFL officials are graded, and how much money is on the line for them. If the NHL did the same, with the intent of ensuring they follow the rule book rather than other ‘initiatives’, we could all enjoy this beautiful game more. Imagine a league where talent (rather than antics) wins championships. Where skill mattered more than size. Where McDavid was free to roam and Getzlaf’s and Kesler’s antics weren’t the difference in the series / the path to victory.

    http://mmqb.si.com/2013/12/04/peter-king-spends-week-with-nfl-refs

    Great Post. In that league, we’d see the difference between Getzlaf and Kesler. Getzlaf would still be an absolutely excellent hockey player, Kesler would never be shone in the same light as Patrice Bergeron nor Pavel Datsyuk (Selke winners).

    Wake up NHL. You’re all D and no Cohones.

  153. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    Nuclear leak:
    What does ovi look like with Mcdavid

    Actual benefit < cost to acquire + huge contract.

    Oilers need to find McDavid a Guentzel, not an Ovi.

    The big bucks will be committed to McDavid, Lucic, Draisaitl up front.

  154. Admiral Ackbar says:

    Georges:

    Eberle had lots of jump and try at the end. The best version of Eberle’s game beats many, many players in this league.

    He actually looked great in the softie minutes in the second half of the game. Anaheim’s top 6 is as good as any in the league – I’m not going to condemn him for not measuring up. He has to take that hit to make a play though.

  155. godot10 says:

    Chachi: If a coach can’t say something as innocuous as “not enough” without it being the litfuse that set off the bomb that chased a player out of town then the “media” has already won. Why would anyone coach or play in a market like that?

    The coach has to know what the media is up too with when the question was being asked, and the hockey market he is working in.

    Belichek would has skewered the reporter instead of skewering his player.

  156. Admiral Ackbar says:

    NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”:

    Oilers need to find McDavid a Guentzel,not an Ovi.

    Exactly. We aren’t looking for a Kurri, we’re looking for a Kevin Stevens.

    Kurri + Gretzky + Messier + Coffee + Fuhr could never have existed in the cap era. It’s money puck now!

  157. Side says:

    godot10:
    1) For a good hockey team, every playoff game is an isolated event uncorrelated to previous and future games.

    2) I said this a few days ago.The Ducks have either played the Oilers even, or dominated them in every game this season, modulo score effects.

    3) Like the Sharks players, Getzlaf knows McLellan’s systems better than the Oilers players know them.

    4) Corey Perry demonstrated his brilliance on the incidental contact just outside edge of the crease on the first goal.A referee that called it incidental contract live is not going to overtutn a call of incidental contact on video review.Most crease crashers would have created additional contact with Talbot after the skate contract, but Perry made his skate touch and then executed a brilliant pivot out and away.That was textbook borderline incidental contact.It is like he knew exactly how far he could go.

    5) Eberle is the new Justin Schultz.Duchene’s boxcars are pretty horrid this year.Duchene >> Eberle.Eberle is a good player with flaws, whose coach is not utilizing him to accentuate his strengths and obscure his weaknesses.

    6) Lander would help against the Ducks.Pouliot-Lander-Kassian could take a few of Nugent-Hopkins minutes against Getzlaf and ease Nuge’s burden.Lander has a bit of Swedish Kessler in him.He would agitate Getzlaf.

    7) Carlyle and the Ducks are closer to playing the new fangled fast hockey, particularly with their D.Too bad Bieksa got hurt, Montour is an upgrade.McLellan and the Oilers play old school slow hockey.Slow wingers who can’t get in on the forecheck against the Ducks fast puck-moving mobile D.This will be a longer term issue for the Oilers.McLellan and his cloistered group of coaches are falling behind the new hockey that Pittsburgh, the Rangers, the Blue Jackets, the Predators, and the Ducks are playing.

    8) The OIlers are too slow to forecheck against the Ducks, and McLellan’s breakout systems are too slow for the Oilers to successfully rush attack enough, except for when McDavid or Draisaitl have moments of brilliance.Nugent-Hopkins has his hands full with Getzlaf.

    8) Talbot and McDavid can together or individually still steal this series, but the Ducks are the better team, but not so much that variance cannot happen.

    Wait.. so now you’re blaming Todd because the players are slow?

    Kinda hard to coach and play fast hockey when you have slow players.

    Pretty sure the Ducks are coming out on top because they have a more complete team. Not because of Todd’s coaching.

  158. Bag of Pucks says:

    MacLellan coached Eberle to make a soft chip up the wall to avoid a hit?

    You’re right. That is using him poorly.

  159. digger50 says:

    VOR:
    Digger50

    Fair enough, one on one battles all over the ice it is.

    But what exactly should we be looking for? How many battles they engage in, how many they win, how they lose them, how they win them, subsequent outcomes, what exactly are you measuring? And does compete level matter as much to one on one battles as say size, skill, how long each player has been on the ice. Are there enough one on one battles to offer us a fair sample size? I mean at the playoff level every shift is a battle but often there are multiple players involved and the play isn’t manno a manno. I grew up watching an Oilers team that had guys who would win puck battles outnumbered as much as three to one. Were they competing harder than their teammates or did Tikannen, Anderson, Messier, and the rest of the Murder’s Row that was the dynasty Oilers (God, Kenny Linesman – there was a guy that could take on multiple opponents in a battle and make them not just look silly but fear for their safety) just have a particular skill for going in the corners and coming out with the puck?

    I am not trying to be difficult. I have spent a decade trying to come up with a way to measure compete and pushback and other intangibles and like you I started out thinking one on one battles would be a good proxy for some, maybe most intangibles. I am no longer so sure. If you have ideas for resolving some of the above issues, if anyone does, I’d love to hear them.

    Nope, I do not have the metric for this. However I am happy that you see where I’m going.

    Many coaches would say win your one on one battles, win the shift, the period and the game. How then are those coaches measuring this compete level? I think if you are on the bench or in the room you just know.

    But to my original comment, as a fan I just watch the game. I apreciate stats and add some narrative for color, but ultimately my eye tells me if I am enjoying the game. So if I see a guy going and doing the best he can on a given night in a given circumstance with all that god gave him, that’s all you can ask.

  160. Professor Q says:

    Admiral Ackbar: Exactly. We aren’t looking for a Kurri, we’re looking for a Kevin Stevens.

    Kurri + Gretzky + Messier + Coffee + Fuhr could never have existed in the cap era. It’s money puck now!

    Can Puljujärvi be that?

    Sigh.

  161. vishcosity says:

    Bag of Pucks: It’s entirely possible. I’m not one to leap to conspiracy theories as the most obvious explanation, but you’re absolutely right in identifying that any league has an inherent conflict of interest on this stuff.

    Personally, I can’t go there because if I honestly believe the league is directly rigging results, I can’t watch or accept this product anymore.

    Sure you can, and in fact, you may like it way better. Way.

    I’m learning this, slowly. My wife can “view” sports without the emotional investment that I still clearly struggle to escape. She, a hockey fan since the 1980 Olympics, cares little who wins, but still watches when it’s around with the “Justin Williams is still playing?” commentary.

    To her it’s just bank logo 1 vs. bank logo 2. Of the Oilers, there is nothing particularly Edmontonian, or Canadian for that matter, except some corporate lease. They are not us, I am not them. There is no “we”, it is only them. Not long after the Six Ring Presser, we cancelled cable and haven’t given the team a single dime since.

    I think the burden of proof is on the “it’s not fixed” camp. Given what we’ve learned about government, what would make you think it’s not fixed? That seems almost ludicrous, given the opportunity and the amount of money associated.

    I do like watching McDavid score the goals tho.

  162. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    Professor Q: Can Puljujärvi be that?

    Sigh.

    I fear we are pinning a lot of hopes on those two being a long-term fit.

    I still see Jere Lehtinen in Jesse but whether he can score enough at the NHL level remains to be seen.

    Maybe he slots in at 2RW for the long haul and becomes a 25-30 type player while being defensively responsible.

    Yet somehow with where expectations are it will seem like he is a disappointment because he isn’t 40-40 with McDavid.

  163. Professor Q says:

    NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”,

    I’d be perfectly fine if he matched up well with Draisaitl. Just, I do hope for at least a top-2 line player eventually (crossing my fingers and hoping).

    Just recent concerns due to recent narratives and events with the WHC/Finnish National Team is all.

    Although that would still leave spots to fill aside McDavid.

    The search continues. We wait.

  164. Admiral Ackbar says:

    Professor Q: Can Puljujärvi be that?

    Sigh.

    Not anytime soon…. considering his demotion on the Finish WHC team. He’s at least a few years out. We’ve been spoiled by the development’ of Drai – PoolParty ain’t going to be that.

  165. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Pouzar:
    I am not watching another second of this shit show series.
    No goalie interference? Offsides? No Icing?

    I don’t give 2 flyin F***s about “deserved…”….the team with the most frickin goals WIN and
    they were gifted 2 and arguably 3 of em. I am too old to get this worked up over a hockey game
    so I will dutifully follow this fine blog and twitter for my fix.

    Drink more.

    Or less.

    I’m not sure.

  166. Scungilli Slushy says:

    VOR:
    scungilli slushy,

    I think you are right. I did leave, unintentionally, the impression I was saying that Eberle’s coach and teammates were inadequate. I merely meant to suggest that the head coach Todd McLellan spoke without thinking and he doesn’t have much cover given he is a veteran of the Stanley Cup playoffs. However, just as I believe we have to allow players to make mistakes and learn from them the same is true of coaches. Overall McLellan has been great in this year’s playoffs and did (my opinion) a well above average job in the regular season. I am, however, increasingly convinced he is not the right coach for Jordan Eberle.

    I didn’t, however, hate on McLellan. Did I assassinate his character, question his work ethic, call him a coward, or otherwise demean or degrade either McLellan or any other member of the Oilers? That is what the haters do. There is a perfectly legitimate place for criticism in any human endeavor. it is very easy, however, to step over that line into being a hater rather than a critic. It is also, sadly easy to give the haters ammunition and opportunity.

    As for Eberle’s teammates you wouldn’t necessary expect to find the combination of players on the Oilers that could lift Eberle out of his funk. There is this strange chemistry that develops between some linemates that is very special. Mahovlich, Howe, and Delvecchio had it.

    Howe was the perfect guy to shelter a fragile Frank Mahovlich. Howe, and I got this from listening to multiple interviews with Ted Lindsay, was obsessed with the believe that he wasn’t good enough to play in the NHL and that he was going to be cut from the team in training camp. This persisted long after Howe was clearly the best player in the league. He showed up to training camp every year a basket case, an incredibly fit, impossibly motivated basket case.

    Mahovlich was fighting very similar demons. He also didn’t think he was good enough to play in the NHL. He had what we would now call impostor syndrome. Fats Delvecchio was the guy who took the pressure off Howe, took the cork out of the bottle is the way Lindsay put it and he turned out to be able to do much the same for Mahovlich. Delvecchio is one of those guys who really doesn’t get as much credit as he deserves.

    I don’t know what demons Eberle is fighting but I think there is mounting evidence that the pressure cooker that is playing NHL hockey in a hockey mad place like Edmonton is beginning to exact a toll. It isn’t a knock on his teammates to say they may not have the right combination of understanding, support skills, and ass kicking to help him get back on track. A different hockey culture and community may be a big part of the solution if Eberle is ever going to get back to being a 1st line star.

    I appreciate your thoughtful posts, I don’t mean to pile on. We don’t agree on this on some levels and we don’t have to. My comment you responded to at first has to do with how reasonable commenters who don’t agree with popular views (quite often from those with an interest inthe stats side of things, which I also share, and I’m not singling anyone out in particular) get treated at times.

    Things are much friendlier in that regard than years ago when it could be quite vitriolic in the Oilogosphere, and thanks to our host for being a big part of that change. Part of my nature repels at politically correct types who can’t tolerate different views and are rigid in their thinking and can get quite nasty about it. That used to be a big part of the stats debate, and when I sense it I want to comment/

    It also irks me that after taking their quips and it turns out they’re wrong you don’t hear a peep and they’re on to their next infallible position to start it all over. I’m not saying that is what you are doing or have, but that is why I called for a response about Eberle getting benched.

    As I said I certainly hope he finds a groove and the team as well. I hope this was clear enough to understand, rambling a bit. Go Oilers!!

  167. Admiral Ackbar says:

    Woodguy v2.0: Drink more.

    Or less.

    I’m not sure.

    Definitely more. And make sure it’s whisky.

  168. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Chachi: Sure, the MSM who sniff around the head office garbage cans for information and offer to carry the team’s water in exchange for access don’t have any of this information, but these “sources” are always being mentioned online by people with absolutely no connection with the team.

    MSM’s record on calling trades before they happen is below 5% and that’s probably generous.

  169. Scungilli Slushy says:

    Admiral Ackbar: He actually looked great in the softie minutes in the second half of the game. Anaheim’s top 6 is as good as any in the league – I’m not going to condemn him for not measuring up. He has to take that hit to make a play though.

    I don’t see why Pouliot and Eberle wouldn’t be bad with DD or Tube against easier QoC. Line 3 and 4 played about the same minutes. Spread talent, experience and speed out and exert more pressure down their line up. I also liked speed on Connor’s right to complement Maroon’s size and net presence.

    Eberle getting air might actually be more productive if we are worried about trade value. Or at least a break physically and mentally. Lots of coaches spread things out for balance .

  170. Chachi says:

    Woodguy v2.0: MSM’s record on calling trades before they happen is below 5% and that’s probably generous.

    Random person on internet calling trades before they happen is around 0%. There’s a reason for that. Good GMs don’t allow leaks to anyone including the media, the team accountant, your cousin’s best friend’s hair dresser or whatever other good “source” people think they have.

  171. Chachi says:

    godot10: The coach has to know what the media is up too with when the question was being asked, and the hockey market he is working in.

    Belichek would has skewered the reporter instead of skewering his player.

    I would rather use a microplane grater on my genitals than read another word from you on Bill Belichek, Todd McLellan or any other coach in any other league in any other sport.

  172. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    Admiral Ackbar: Definitely more. And make sure it’s whisky.

    Checks clock. 8:35am Japan Standard Time.
    Checks bottle of whisky.
    It’s 5 o’clock somewhere, right?
    Whisky, it’s what’s for breakfast.

  173. Admiral Ackbar says:

    NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”: Checks clock. 8:35am Japan Standard Time.
    Checks bottle of whisky.
    It’s 5 o’clock somewhere, right?
    Whisky, it’s what’s for breakfast.

    I tip my hat to your ambition, sir.

  174. Admiral Ackbar says:

    Scungilli Slushy: I don’t see why Pouliot and Eberle wouldn’t be bad with DD or Tube against easier QoC. Line3 and 4 played about the same minutes. Spread talent, experience and speed out and exert more pressure down their line up. I also liked speed on Connor’s right to complement Maroon’s size and net presence.

    Eberle getting air might actually be more productive if we are worried about trade value. Or at least a break physically and mentally. Lots of coaches spread things out for balance .

    Agreed 100%. DD, Pou + Ebs would likely eat up those softie minutes, especially with Perry on the top line with Eaves out.

    Now, if they can figure out their 2nd line, that’d be pleasing. Nuge got son’d yesterday by Getzlaf. It was painful to watch. Obviously it’ll teach him and he’ll bounce back.

    Ebs learning curve however seems a lot steeper. He’s quickly learning in this series that one has to be big or fast. He, being small and slow (more often than not) is not a recipe for success. He also needs to learn that if he can’t control the play, he absolutely can’t make mistakes. Those that are at best neutral-impacting players have to be low-event players = no mistakes.

  175. Pouzar says:

    Woodguy v2.0: Drink more.

    Or less.

    I’m not sure.

    Has to be MORE. Waaaaaaaaaaay more.
    I’ve calmed down since the debacle but there is no way I watching anymore of this series.

  176. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Chachi: Random person on internet calling trades before they happen is around 0%. There’s a reason for that. Good GMs don’t allow leaks to anyone including the media, the team accountant, your cousin’s best friend’s hair dresser or whatever other good “source” people think they have.

    Sure.

    That doesn’t make the MSM any better.

    Appealing to the fact that a group that doesn’t get much right until it’s registered with the league didn’t have this rumour is paper thin.

    I happen to be acquainted with source of this rumour.

    He is in the hockey business on the East Coast. Not in the NHL, but the hockey community is small.

    I don’t think I believe him.

    I know I don’t want to.

  177. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Pouzar: Has to be MORE. Waaaaaaaaaaay more.
    I’ve calmed down since the debacle but there is no way I watching anymore of this series.

    It’s amazing how the bad calls in the game dominated every sports show today.

    Even “Collie” Campbell was on Bob McCown’s show today explaining the calls. (poorly)

    I expect ANA to get called for everything Friday.

  178. Pouzar says:

    Woodguy v2.0: It’s amazing how the bad calls in the game dominated every sports show today.

    Even “Collie” Campbell was on Bob McCown’s show today explaining the calls. (poorly)

    I expect ANA to get called for everything Friday.

    I can take the penalties but man this is new kind of incompetence.

    I am staying away and chillin the hell out.

    I hope you are right about ANA getting the calls against them.

  179. Chachi says:

    Woodguy v2.0: Sure.

    That doesn’t make the MSM any better.

    Appealing to the fact that a group that doesn’t get much right until it’s registered with the league didn’t have this rumour is paper thin.

    I happen to be acquainted with source of this rumour.

    He is in the hockey business on the East Coast. Not in the NHL, but the hockey community is small.

    I don’t think I believe him.

    I know I don’t want to.

    Sure, the MSM doesn’t get anything teams don’t want to feed to them, which is not much. All these “rumours” are basically people throwing crap at the wall. Chiarelli seems like a “snitches get stitches” kind of guy. That East Coast hockey guy is either making shit up or is straight up trolling Oilers fans. You are right, the hockey world is small and if you get a rep as a guy who makes shit up it could be a career limiting move and you might even find yourself having to work for a scumbag like “Colie” Campbell if you’re not careful. I can’t believe someone who actually knew the details of potential trades would be willing to take the risk to divulge that information just for shits and giggles knowing that the leak could eventually get traced back to them.

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