THEY LOOK GOOD IN SUITS

The Edmonton Oilers released their training camp roster yesterday (I missed by one name!) and now we begin the process of guessing the final roster. The biggest factor will be injury, with Andrej Sekera, Anton Slepyshev and (now) Jujhar Khaira all ailing. If we get a surprise name on the opening night roster, injury is likely the reason.

CERTAIN OILERS  

  • I have Slepyshev listed here, he could be on IR by opening night. The rest of the roster looks very set, meaning there will be three or four jobs available, one starting (Slepyshev) role.
  • We could see some trade activity (RHD) before opening night, Vegas and Detroit would seem to be good targets for the Oilers. Jason Garrison gets mentioned from time to time, Colin Miller also makes a lot of sense (I mention that just in case Alan Hull is reading). 🙂
  • There’s an enormous amount of pressure on the right wing position and that’s going to impact the decision making. Peter Chiarelli brought in Ryan Strome, the three kids are available, but if the lines aren’t pumping by Halloween I think we see an airlift.
  • Todd McLellan: “The right side is, in my opinion, the wild card position on our team right now. Therefore, we have pairs, left and center.” Source
  • NHL teams often given themselves cover, room to breathe, when so many at-bats at one position appear to be available to young people. I’m impressed with the confidence displayed by the organization toward Ryan Strome, Jesse Puljujarvi, Anton Slepyshev and Drake Caggiula. A lot of management teams would have more cover, although Leon Draisaitl is a helluva trump card.
  • McLellan mentioned pairs (Maroon-McDavid, Lucic-Draisaitl) and Jokinen-Nuge-Puljujarvi have a good chance to play together initially. Good idea, let the RW’s find their way.

UNCERTAIN OILERS

  • From this group, I’d guess Jujhar Khaira, Iiro Pakarinen and Yohann Auvitu make the club. If Slepyshev hits IR, perhaps Chris Kelly or Ty Rattie grab the final roster spot.
  • Mark Fayne.
  • Most of these 15 men will play at least some NHL hockey in 2017-18.
  • There are two all or nothing at all players (Kelly and Yamamoto) on this part of the list, I’d give them an equal chance of making it from here.
  • Yamamoto’s performance at the Penticton tournament shouldn’t impact his opportunity in main camp, I think we’ll know early if the club plans on giving him a push. If he plays his second game in the team’s third pre-season tilt, and gets an NHL center, suspect he’ll play a total of four or five games. If he gets an AHL C, then he might be in Spokane by next weekend.

DISTANT BELLS

  • There’s no one on this list I can see making the team from the beginning of the year.
  • Peter Chiarelli is building this team up the middle. There is going to be an excess of blue from now on, some of it will be used in trade. If we assume all of the new pro’s will take three years to develop, someone among Jones, Bear, Paigin and Mantha probably ends up being a useful NHL Oiler, someone else probably gets traded, and two someone else’s end up being journeymen tweeners. History suggests that’s about right, we can cheer for a better outcome. There’s certainly talent there.

THEY LOOK GOOD IN SUITS

You get a lot of news stories on Day One (yesterday) that are kind of predictable. Examples are Milan Lucic looking like a new torpedo, Jussi Jokinen helping Jesse Puljujarvi, Ryan Strome being asked to turn into a sniper, and a need for Jesse Puljujarvi to look more confident. They’re all feel good stories and hopefully every damned one is true, but yesterday was like those Monday morning sales meetings I used to attend. When you’re asked about your week, you lead with the good, and embellish when necessary. This isn’t a shot at the organization, rather an attempt to address what we heard a day ago. Craig MacTavish, who can pierce reality with just the right words, once said “they look good in suits” to describe a new set of recruits. I think that was yesterday.

NO OLYMPICS

It’s a crappy turn, no doubt. A young man like Connor McDavid would dream of playing for his country on the biggest available stage. I completely understand the NHL’s view, there’s no real benefit beyond making the players happy and the risk includes devastating injury to your franchise player. Still, we’ll probably lose a year of NHL hockey in the 20’s and this will be one reason.

LEON’S CONTRACT

  • Lowetide: The numbers here (82gp, 29-48-77) shine like a diamond, but the price didn’t stop going up after the regular season. Draisaitl’s enormous playoff performance is a major reason that the annual cost landed at $8.5 million. We don’t know that Leon can push the river by himself, but we’re about to find out. Source

Sometimes a young blogger will ask me reasons why Lowetide has hung around this long. My answers are I’m stubborn, I’m boring, and I try not to belabor the point and try cases over and over again. One of the things blogs do is churn out pieces that litigate things that are already proven, probably in an effort to establish deeper ties with readership. On this blog, I assume that you know the Draisaitl contract was an overpay, by $250,000 to $1 million a year. If you listened to the Peter Chiarelli interview with Bob McKenzie you know the general manager admitted as much. He overpaid Draisaitl in exchange for roster certainty over the next eight seasons. That’s the risk. You are welcome to comment on it until the end of days but in my opinion it’s basically pissing in the wind. It’s acknowledged. Peter Chiarelli has a top heavy roster because he feels that’s the right way to go. We’ll see how this turns out in due time. I can promise you that the next time someone signs a deal that may be a comparable to LD, we’ll discuss it here. I can also promise you that event won’t be an excuse to put the contract on trial all over again. I respect you enough to assume you are gifted with a good memory and you also find repetition to be overdone on the Al Gore. Fresh copy. It’s the real thing.

MAJOR TAKEAWAYS FROM DAY ONE

  • Andrej Sekera’s injury may keep him out until January, but he could be back in November.
  • Drake Caggiula is a right winger until further notice.
  • Matt Benning is going to get a push.
  • Leon Draisaitl is a center until the Oilers are down a goal against Calgary after two periods.
  • The Oilers aren’t going to roll many rookies.
  • Anton Slepyshev and Jujhar Khaira are a little banged up.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

It feels like fall this morning and we are locked and loaded with a rock solid lineup, 10 this morning TSN1260. Scheduled to appear:

  • Steve Lansky, BigMouthSports. Are you ready? We’ll chat Saddledome, Northlands, Bob Cole and 17-18.
  • Guy Flaming, Pipeline Show. Guy and Corey Graham will be broadcasting tomorrow night’s Oil Kings-Blades game, we’ll get a preview.
  • Matthew Iwanyk, TSN1260. Point-Counter Point focuses on the Eskimos in the final weeks and roster battles for the Oilers.
  • Paul Almeida, SSE. Our friend is back and bringing the thoughtful roster ideas, we’ll get his reaction to the summer moves.

10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. Friday baby!

 

 

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81 Responses to "THEY LOOK GOOD IN SUITS"

  1. OriginalPouzar says:

    Subject to injuries, the final roster is pretty much set in stone for me – the only question is 8D and 13F or the more standard 7D and 14F and I believe Coach Todd mentioned 7D yesterday.

    Maroon / McDavid / XXXXX

    Lucic / Drai/ XXXXXX

    Jokinen / Nuge/ Puljijarvi

    XXXX / Letestu / Kassian

    Extras: Pakarinan and Khaira

    Three open spots are a battle between Strome, Caggulia and Slep.

    Strome will be 1RW or 2RW so essentially Drakr and Slep fight for the other RW spot or 4LW

    Chance Puljijarvi has a great offensive camp and slides in to the top 6.

    Klef/Larsson
    Russell/Benning
    Nurse/Gryba

    Auvitu

    Simpson with an outside chance of beating out Auvitu

    Talbot
    LB

  2. jonrmcleod says:

    OriginalPouzar,

    I’m not sure how you’re posting these comments so quickly.

  3. OriginalPouzar says:

    PP1 – McDavid, Drai, Lucic, Letestu, Klefbom – Others will battle for the Letestu spot but this PP1 was on fire to close out last year – can’t change it.

    PP2 – Nuge, Maroon, Strome, Slep/JP, Benning

  4. OriginalPouzar says:

    jonrmcleod:
    OriginalPouzar,

    I’m not sure how you’re posting these comments so quickly.

    and I’m listening to Rishaug’s morning mandate all at the same time.

    Multi-tasking.

    At some point I’ll do some elite Lawyering……

  5. OriginalPouzar says:

    I’ve been going on the assumption that Slepy will be ready for opening night – Verbal from Todd was fairly positive (not expected to skate today, day to day).

    If he can’t start the season and is actually on IR to open a roster spot – my money is on Rattie as a replacement or, potentially, an 8th D in Simpson.

  6. frjohnk says:

    OriginalPouzar: At some point I’ll do some elite Lawyering

    Please use in context.

    Lawyering/60 would be preferred.

  7. who says:

    I think you hit the nail on the head re Drai. Chia overpaid a little for long term roster certainty. I don’t have a problem with this.
    I also see it as part of a new trend where teams are more willing to spend the big money and term on players entering their prime (like Drai), rather than players that are exiting their prime ( like Lucic). This makes more sense to me.

  8. OriginalPouzar says:

    I will refuse to acknowledge Chris Kelly as a potential player with a contract and a roster spot until he shows that he’s not the least effective player in the league – I haven’t seen any positive stat from last year, in fact I’ve yet to see an OK stat from last year, they have all been awful.

  9. OriginalPouzar says:

    frjohnk: Please use in context.

    Lawyering/60 would be preferred.

    Those stats are still a year away, I can provide billable hour rate/value added time relative to the firm nationally and regionally as well as working with elite lawyers versus junior associates.

  10. frjohnk says:

    “Leon Draisaitl is a center until the Oilers are down a goal against Calgary after two periods.”

    Ha ha, yup.

    We project lines, but once the team is down a goal and needs some offense, McClellan will say ” “Fuck it, McDavid, Draisaitl, Maroon, you guys are on next”. They will score two goals, Oilers win the game

  11. OriginalPouzar says:

    I’m still disappointed that the NHL players not going to the Olympics but I’ve accepted it.

    I’m the type of guy that would make sure I’m awake for the game at whatever time it starts.

    Shit, I was up a 3:55 this morning and at the gym at 4:20.

    If, for some reason, I can’t see the game live, it will be PVRd and I stay off social media to ensure I don’t find out anything about the game (do it with the Oilers – family, friends, colleagues know that I’ll often watch games on tape delay and are not permitted to talk about the game that night unless I contact them).

    Anyways, with respect to the Olympics and McDavid, I don’t see any way that the NHL isn’t there for China – that is a market they are highly interested in and they will jump on that opportunity as they will see financial gain from it.

  12. Jethro Tull says:

    MacT could pierce reality with his words, but he could also use them to paper over the Grand Canyon.

  13. Durag says:

    OriginalPouzar: Those stats are still a year away, I can provide billable hour rate/value added time relative to the firm nationally and regionally as well as working with elite lawyers versus junior associates.

    I always tell my boss my numbers look bad because I’m anchored by gritensity clients. I need to get zoomed by some elite files.

  14. Shane says:

    Todd McLellan: “The right side is, in my opinion, the wild card position on our team right now. Therefore, we have pairs, left and center.”

    Sooooo… We’re going for unicorns this year!!?

  15. OriginalPouzar says:

    Shane:
    Todd McLellan: “The right side is, in my opinion, the wild card position on our team right now. Therefore, we have pairs, left and center.”

    Sooooo… We’re going for unicorns this year!!?

    I believe we are giving the 3-4 main candidates a chance to prove they can perform in the open spots and, if it is shown that they cannot, our manager has 2 contract spots and ample cap space to try and fill deficiencies mid-season.

  16. dustrock says:

    OriginalPouzar: Those stats are still a year away, I can provide billable hour rate/value added time relative to the firm nationally and regionally as well as working with elite lawyers versus junior associates.

    Ha ha ha. I joke to my colleagues one reason I started my own practice was that lawyering was getting in the way of twitter and whatsapp hockey discussions.

  17. dustrock says:

    LT sorry if this was already discussed.but is there some reason Filip Berglund isn’t attending?

    I get that he’s staying in Sweden this year but because he’s playing men’s league, it would have been nice to see him against the NHLers and prospects to get a read on his progress.

  18. digger50 says:

    Shane:
    Todd McLellan: “The right side is, in my opinion, the wild card position on our team right now. Therefore, we have pairs, left and center.”

    Sooooo… We’re going for unicorns this year!!?

    Could be a plan. Roll three lines with the fourth full of penalty killers. Bump
    Up whoever is hot that night. (Kassian)

  19. Brantford Boy says:

    Mark Fayne.
    Matt Damon.

  20. elgruntus says:

    I care not about Leon’s contract, but…..

    Evan Polei is this year’s Braden Christoffer. Maybe I’m “pie in the skying”, but hopefully he turns into the mythical “Pisani” (**every hard checking, touch of scoring, out of nowhere rookie is a potential Pisani). The kid really impressed me with his hustle, skill and gritensity. Cheering for him and Butcher

  21. digger50 says:

    There is a chart out listing rankings using GAR and WAR. CJ Turtoro has info up on twitter and I was reading the article on “allaboutthejersey”

    Not intending to threadjack, and can’t say I fully understand the numbers. However these rankings have the Oilers with three top players which is the good news. Bad news is they lost one of those top players and only have 3 players total that rank as top 6 players. Pittsburg has 8 players that rank as top 6 players.

    This measurement of top 6 players surprised me.

  22. Professor Q says:

    elgruntus:
    I care not about Leon’s contract, but…..

    Evan Polei is this year’s Braden Christoffer. Maybe I’m “pie in the skying”, but hopefully he turns into the mythical “Pisani” (**every hard checking, touch of scoring, out of nowhere rookie is a potential Pisani). The kid really impressed me with his hustle, skill and gritensity. Cheering for him and Butcher

    Pisani wasn’t even Pisani.

  23. Fuge Udvar says:

    dustrock,

    The European leagues have already started. His contract wouldn’t let him come over. It’s better for him to be playing meaningful games anyway.

  24. CrazyCoach says:

    Hey LT,

    I’m being selfish here, but it would be nice to see Yamamoto back with the Chiefs next weekend, seeing they’re making their only trip to PG next week.

    Would be nice to see him in person and it only cost me $21

  25. Ca$h-McMoney! says:

    I’ve proposed it before, but no one takes me seriously (which is fair). I’ll say it again.

    Big money proposal for TSN and Hockey Canada:

    National beer league tournament to form team Canada for the Olympics.

    We have little chance of winning without NHLers anyway, so why not make it a feel good story? Bunch of dreamers with a chance, big tournament that I 100% guarantee would make TSN an absolute killing, and an underdog team that, frankly, most of the world would be rooting for come Olympic time if the marketing is done right.

    Why not?

  26. dustrock says:

    Fuge Udvar:
    dustrock,

    The European leagues have already started. His contract wouldn’t let him come over. It’s better for him to be playing meaningful games anyway.

    Thanks for the quick response. What i figured. Too bad, I’d actually argue, at least from an Oilers perspective, it would be very interesting for him to come up for 1-2 weeks.

  27. flea says:

    Ca$h-McMoney!,

    They’ll market it like that anyways, the story is pretty compelling if someone like Doan or Iginla decides to play, along with a bunch of rag tags. No way Hockey Canada completely sells out the team to let a beer league team play, there are still tons of great Canadian hockey players that don’t play in the NHL.

    But I agree with you, I think we’ll get a lot of the “underdog” story. I’m still excited for the Olympics, i think it will be compelling.

    I’m upset AO has decides to pack it in on playing. I was really looking forward to seeing a Russian superteam implode against a bunch of national B teams.

  28. Durag says:

    Ca$h-McMoney!,

    The COC might not want to send a team that is going to lose every game 15-0…

  29. OriginalPouzar says:

    Listening to Lowdown – I can’t imagine Bear or Jones getting an early call-up ahead of a Stanton, Lowe, etc. That’s what those guys were signed for, injury depth to allow the real prospects to develop.

    First year pro d-men drafted in the middle rounds – substantial prospects, yes, but only if they are given the opportunity to develop.

  30. hunter1909 says:

    Hunter1909’s Oilers Death March!

    Returns for another season!

    Bigger and better than ever!

    Here’s how to play: SIMPLY enter the amount of points you expect the Edmonton Oilers to get during the 2017-18 season;

    At the end of the season the player(s) with the closest total wins!

    It’s easy!!

    contest open until the opening puck drop of the 2017-18 season

  31. OriginalPouzar says:

    Group A:
    Maroon-McDavid-Strome
    Khaira-Letestu-Kassian
    Callahan-Kelly-Pakarinen
    Hamilton-Downing-Russell

  32. OriginalPouzar says:

    Reid Wilkins: Seven D in this session so a lot of rotating. Auvitu, Benning, Lagesson, Mantha, Russell, Simpson, Stanton. Talbot and Pasquale in net

  33. jtblack says:

    OriginalPouzar,

    IMO Letestu won’t be on PP1. JP and / or Strome gets that slot.

  34. vinotintazo says:

    jtblack:
    OriginalPouzar,

    IMO Letestu won’t be on PP1.JP and /or Strome gets that slot.

    I wouldnt touch PP1.

  35. OriginalPouzar says:

    jtblack:
    OriginalPouzar,

    IMO Letestu won’t be on PP1.JP and /or Strome gets that slot.

    Potentially – I am OK with that as well as less minutes for Letestu means he should be more effective on the PK and ES.

    With that said, that PP was so elite to finish the season, for a stretch, its hard not to put them back together.

    Can Strome or JP excel in the “Letestu spot”? Potentially but we don’t know that yet.

    I would like to see them both get an opportunity and I’m guessing we’ll see that in exhibition.

    We know Letestu works there so they don’t need too much time together, just a bit to get the rust off.

  36. CrazyCoach says:

    Ca$h-McMoney!,

    That sounds like a good idea.

    The underdog angle works well, but the reality is that other nations are getting good at this game.

    I do like it though. We could have that angle like the 1992 basketball team from Lithuania. If you ever get a chance, find yourself a copy of the movie, “The Other Dream Team”. Incredible movie with a story that you couldn’t write up if you tried.

    Here’s another radical idea for the Olympic team. As Canada moves forward under the guise of Reconciliation, why not send a team comprised entirely of players who are Aboriginal? I know it’s a different time, but perhaps the model of the “Carlisle Industrial School” of the early 20th century could be followed.

    I know it’s a long shot, but it would make a helluva story.

  37. Pouzar says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    Group A:
    Maroon-McDavid-Strome
    Khaira-Letestu-Kassian
    Callahan-Kelly-Pakarinen
    Hamilton-Downing-Russell

    Khaira? Good news?

  38. oscarmike says:

    McDavid won’t get the offensive numbers without playing with Leon.
    The 2nd line is a very heavy line.
    Nuge won’t be going up against the top lines anymore.
    I believe Benning can fill the role as a top 4 D.
    LB becomes a decent back-up.
    50/50 NK blows up the Olympics.

  39. OriginalPouzar says:

    Pouzar: Khaira? Good news?

    I guess he’s out there – interesting that he’s on an actual line if its a wrist thing (as opposed to just skating).

    I believe the report was that he’d miss the early preseason games but I don’t think its thought to be serious.

  40. VOR says:

    Digger50,

    I assume you mean this chart.

    https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1fC57yNGQD5DVXaxigV8LAoWHruClh9DO3wx5hVamSek/edit#gid=364330483

    The explanation for this chart is here:

    https://www.allaboutthejersey.com/2017/9/6/16257752/the-devils-have-a-true-top-6-in-2017-gar-says-yes

    The chart itself was created by CJ Turtoro. But it is simply presenting info from Dawson Springings and Emmanuel Perry and averaging that data.

    If this chart was actually predictive of something real then a) the Oilers got hosed trading the number 20 forward (Jordan Eberle) for the number 312 forward (Ryan Strome). On the other hand $8.5 million per year for a 21 year old who is the #15 forward in hockey doesn’t seem quite so unreasonable. And Oscar Klefblom is incredibly dreamy (#5 among defencemen). The problem is Sam Gagner is #181 among forwards and Milan Lucic is #218 – and which would you rather have on your team?

    The GAR/WAR model has enormous potential but it seems quite a long ways from ready for prime time when you go through the results in detail.

  41. Dino says:

    hunter1909,

    Hunter put me down for 97 points

  42. Colieo87 says:

    Hey guys we haven’t really discussed the rule changes for the 17 – 18 season. I think special teams are huge this year. With the 2 min delay a game for the couch is challenge. To no time out after icing. Thoughts please.

  43. Oilers8833 says:

    hunter1909,

    Put me down for the McDavid amount of points…..97 of course!

  44. CrazyCoach says:

    On another note.

    I forgot which one of you wrote the novel, “Heathen”.

    I got it, and I loved it.

  45. Melvis says:

    Ca$h-McMoney!,

    Why not indeed?

    There are a lot of guys in Canada that can play the game at a high level. Give them something to shoot for, and it gets much higher. I’m thinking the 1980 US Miracle on Ice team.

    Thing is, there’s only four months in which to choose those players, coaches etc…plus practice time. IOW…a decent idea a bit too late?

  46. digger50 says:

    I’m not that good with the numbers, or calculating cap issues. Thus I spend more time listening. And all indicators I read tell me that the cap will be a real issue to manage starting next year. We may get worse as we work our way through a couple of years.

    Thus what are we doing for this year?

    I was looking forward to a bigger summer of additions.

    Pouliot for Jokinen was an upgrade
    Eberle for Strome was a downgrade (until proven otherwise)
    Lots of depth additions
    Hope new talent develops and emerges

    A second rounder would have brought a good return during expansion draft. Or to a cap strapped team. It won’t get us the same at the deadline.

    We have some elite players. We have middle of the pack defensive core. It’s not enough to get past Pittsburg.

    a huge amount has been accomplished, this is true. Congratulations are in order. But look at the future and you can see we need a run this year so don’t stop now Peter, it’s not too late.

  47. Gerta Rauss says:

    Colieo87: With the 2 min delay a game for the couch is challenge.

    If I was allowed a couch’s challenge I’d be in Hall of Fame by now

  48. jake70 says:

    Olympics – I have no problem with it at all (NHLers not going), looking forward to watching (but then again, love watching the Spengler cup so….). Exception – Would absolutely love to see Crosby and McDavid together…mercy. Sometimes I think Crosby is getting better.

  49. digger50 says:

    VOR,

    Yes, that is the chart that I was looking for opinions on. Thanks for posting the link.

    It’s all lagging numbers of course, no predictive indicators that might represent increase or decrease in performance, and like al numbers, no indicators of other value such as the case with Milan,

    However, still some interesting rankings.

  50. raventalon40 says:

    hunter1909:
    Hunter1909’s Oilers Death March!

    Returns for another season!

    Bigger and better than ever!

    Here’s how to play: SIMPLY enter the amount of points you expect the Edmonton Oilers to get during the 2017-18 season;

    At the end of the season the player(s) with the closest total wins!

    It’s easy!!

    contest open until the opening puck drop of the 2017-18 season

    110 points

  51. Ribzyrich says:

    The Oilers Instagram had a video of Slepy going hard on the bike yesterday. I think that has to be a good sign.

  52. godot10 says:

    jake70:
    Olympics – I have no problem with it at all (NHLers not going), looking forward to watching (but then again, love watching the Spengler cup so….). Exception – Would absolutely love to see Crosby and McDavid together…mercy.Sometimes I think Crosby is getting better.

    Bylsma was a less than mediocre coach.

  53. frjohnk says:

    digger50: But look at the future and you can see we need a run this year so don’t stop now Peter, it’s not too late.

    I think the team is in a position that it is comfortable enough to see what they really have from Drake, Sleppy, JP, Nurse, Benning. These guys are mostly part of the complimentary core for this year.

    If they stumble, or injuries hit, I have no doubt Chia will pull the trigger on a rental. We have tons of cap space this year

  54. OriginalPouzar says:

    Group A also included Auvitu/Simpson/Lagesson as a “pair” with rotation – Nice to see the two guys battling for 7D together plus Willy (who I loved at rookie camp):

    Groups B and C skate at 12:45 – group C just in the community rink.

    My guess is we’ll see the 2nd and 3rd lines and the other two pairing in Group B.

  55. Dominoiler says:

    I keep looking at this roster, seeing the hole on 2nd line RW and thinking kassian would be a wild adventure there..

    Lucic Drai Kassian would be a lot of beef, dump it in either corner and watch out.. until Jesse is ready to light the world on fire w McD, pushing strome down to 2nd line, then i see kassian as being an interesting option compared w the other tweeners (top 6 or bottom 6?!).. so yes, i like the pair’s approach, just don’t count kassian out of mix, i think he’s got more game than 4th line duty reflects..

    Bash away..

    Edit: i also think slep and cags deserve a shot, just that kassian (at his best) may out perform them..

  56. Dominoiler says:

    flea,

    If the KHL sends their pros then Russia will crush everyone else, every time, no?..

  57. OriginalPouzar says:

    Dominoiler:
    I keep looking at this roster, seeing the hole on 2nd line RW and thinking kassian would be a wild adventure there..

    Lucic Drai Kassian would be a lot of beef, dump it in either corner and watch out.. until Jesse is ready to light the world on fire w McD, pushing strome down to 2nd line, then i see kassian as being an interesting option compared w the other tweeners (top 6 or bottom 6?!).. so yes, i like the pair’s approach, just don’t count kassian out of mix, i think he’s got more game than 4th line duty reflects..

    Bash away..

    Edit: i also think slep and cags deserve a shot, just that kassian (at his best) may out perform them..

    Kass has the skill to play up the lineup but I’m remiss to do it right off the bat. Kass has embraced his role as a bottom 6 energy player and penalty killer. His new game is predicated on being aggressive on the forecheck, quickly getting in and banging bodies and turning the puck over.

    I fear that he’d lose some of that if he moved up the lineup as history seems littered with successful bottom 6 players that change their games when they move up the lineup and are not successful.

    If there is an injury to the top 6, maybe Kass is an option over a guy like Rattie?

    Guess that might depend on how that 4th line is helping the team.

    I love having a 4th line that can take a regular shift and create energy.

  58. OriginalPouzar says:

    Dominoiler:
    flea,

    If the KHL sends their pros then Russia will crush everyone else, every time, no?..

    Oh, yes, Russia is by far the favorite.

    The career KHLers plus guys like Kovalchuk, Datsyuk, etc.

    I’m still going to be very interested in watching the Olympics and to cheer for Canada. What if a team backstoped by Ben Scriven and led by Gilbert Brule medalled? What if there is another “Miracle on Ice”?

    That would be awesome.

    Unlikely but I’ll cheer for it.

  59. CrazyCoach says:

    I’m thinking Russia is the gold medal favourite right now, with Sweden and Finland not far behind.

    Canada has a shot, but theoretically, the host nations does as well.

    Ironically, Ovi will miss out on something that his mother participated in and that’s winning a gold medal.

    But Ben Scrivens could be the next Jim Craig and Gilbert Brule could be the next Mike Eruzione.

  60. OriginalPouzar says:

    No surprises yet:

    B group has:

    Lucic-Draisaitl-Caggiula
    Jokinen-RNH-Puljujarvi

  61. LadiesloveSmid says:

    CrazyCoach,

    I might actually give a shit about the upcoming Olympic hockey if the Canadian AAAA players make a run for gold.

  62. OriginalPouzar says:

    I wonder who Yamamto is playing with today – as well as Maksimov and Safin.

    Wonder if those 3 made it in to Group B or if they are on the secondary ice on group C?

  63. flea says:

    LadiesloveSmid,

    It could be a great story. Or it might amount to nothing. I for one am excited for the early morning games, I’m up early for work often, so getting up an hour sooner and having a spiked coffee at 4 am with some Olympic Hockey sounds like a great way to start the day.

  64. Doug McLachlan says:

    The sample sizes are so small as to be meaningless, to be sure, but when I look at the PuckIQ WOWYs (and of course we don’t have Jokinen or Strome WOWYs to compare) the fancies are really, really tempting so much so that I am drawn to the following line-up combinations:

    Maroon – McDavid – Puljujarvi
    Lucic – Draisaitl – Slepyshev
    Jokinen – Nugent-Hopkins – Strome
    Kharia – Letestu – Kassian
    Caggiula – Pakarinen

    Klefbom – Benning
    Nurse – Larsson
    Russell – Gryba
    Auvitu

    Talbot
    Brossoit

  65. OriginalPouzar says:

    Mantha is the only member of the “Fab Four” D in Group B – each of Bear, Jones and Paigin is in Group C on the secondary ice.

    Yamamoto is indeed with group B – don’t know who he’s skating with though.

  66. OriginalPouzar says:

    GROUPS B AND C

    Lucic-Draisaitl-Caggiula
    Jokinen-RNH-Puljujarvi
    Laleggia-Gambardella-Yamamoto
    Christoffer-Malone-Rattie/Chase

    Klefbom-Larsson
    Nurse-Gryba
    Betker/Lowe-Fayne

    Brossoit
    Ellis

    GROUP C

    O’Brien-Currie-Butcher
    Maksimov-Platzer-Safin
    Benson

    Jones-Bear
    Paigan-Samorukov

    Skinner/Starett/Wells

    Benson skated

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

    Doug McLachlan,

    As the season wears on I think this lineup is where the dice will fall at least in the forward groupings. D will be close but I think the return of Reg will throw things for a slight loop depending on the matchup.

    I’m very bullish on PoolParty this year, no real reason other than I love the kid’s skill set and am convinced he’ll end up the 2nd fastest skilled player in the league behind CmD. There are just too many tools in his tool box and I don’t think it’s a case like Darnell where we are waiting for him to put it all together. His issue is confidence based more than anything (edit I now see that TMac said the same thing a day or two ago) me thinks and starting the year with RNH and Jussi feasting on the soft underbelly of teams will be a good place to build that confidence.

  68. OriginalPouzar says:

    I’ve become more bullish on JP over the last few weeks:

    1) I realize he was the youngest player in both the NHL and the AHL last year

    2) he had a material knee injury that he had to rehab last off-season

    3) things will be more familiar to him – much less adjustment and acclimation this season

    4) there is a history of top 10 draftees from the European leagues spiking in their second seasons in NA

    5) please Jesse, pretty please.

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

    OriginalPouzar,

    Agreed on all fronts. Plus – speed, hands, playmaking and shooting ability.

    Man if I didn’t know any better I swear I was writing about Taylor Hall (ducks).

  70. Dominoiler says:

    OriginalPouzar,

    Thanks for the reply, a perspective to chew on..
    Cheers

  71. Thinker says:

    “I try not to belabor the point”

    That dry humour tho…

  72. Thinker says:

    Hunter. Put me down for 92 pints, but do it quickly before LT’s website deletes my post for a third time on the basis of heresy.

  73. Doug McLachlan says:

    SayItAin'tSo, Gretz, SayItAin'tSo!,

    I have no issue with JP starting on Nuge’s line but like you have a very upbeat expectation for him this season.

    Curious if Caggiula would have been placed so high up to start if Slepy was 100%. Caggiula is so hard to get a real sense of given how he was force-fed 3rd line center minutes last year. I have him as an extra forward when camp breaks because his versatility could see him in so many roles for short bursts of time.

    I have zero expectation that TMac goes with my proposed D-pairings but I keep coming back to Chia’s end of season verbal remarking how well Nurse and Larsson played together against the Ducks when injuries forced the issue. It’s something that clearly left a positive impression and the regular season fancies (albeit very small sample size) seem to agree. Larsson w/ Nuse 52.5 CF%, 61.8 DFF!! and a 70.0 GF%!!!

    Once you broach the idea of pairing Nurse (who, let’s face it, just LOOKS like he’s supposed to be a top-4 D) with Larsson you are obligated to figure out how the rest of the pieces look together and pairing Benning with Klefbom sounds risky but the small sample size we have looks dreamy: Benning w/ Klefbom 54.3 CF% and 61.5 GF%. Oh, and as a result Russell has to be on the third-pair with Gryba. The time the two played together over the season last year was microscopic (24.6 min) but, I suspect because of the switch to his “correct” handed alignment Russell w/ Gryba was 56.9 CF%, 54.4 DFF% and a 50% GF% – which would be absolutely amazing were he able to maintain it.

    I would have put this ides to bed but for Darcy McCleod (IIRC) bringing up the same point – and coming to the same conclusion for the remaining D-pairs, btw – speaking to LT on the Lowedown back in August. Darcy went the extra mile and suggested signing Franson to replace Gryba – music! 🙂

  74. who says:

    Dominoiler:
    I keep looking at this roster, seeing the hole on 2nd line RW and thinking kassian would be a wild adventure there..

    Lucic Drai Kassian would be a lot of beef, dump it in either corner and watch out.. until Jesse is ready to light the world on fire w McD, pushing strome down to 2nd line, then i see kassian as being an interesting option compared w the other tweeners (top 6 or bottom 6?!).. so yes, i like the pair’s approach, just don’t count kassian out of mix, i think he’s got more game than 4th line duty reflects..

    Bash away..

    Edit: i also think slep and cags deserve a shot, just that kassian (at his best) may out perform them..

    I agree with this and really question why everyone including the coaching staff seems to be pencil him in on the fourth line.
    In a couple of years both JP and Yamamoto will probably show more skill but right now I’m not sure the oilers have a better right winger.

  75. bendelson says:

    To hell with reasonable… 117 points is my prediction Hunter.
    We haven’t seen McDavid go supernova – yet.

  76. Doug McLachlan says:

    who,

    Again, I am wasting valuable work time pouring over PuckIQ for answers on Kassian’s centers.

    Kassian’s CF% is only 46.1 with CMD but the sample size is only 37+ min. Yes his GF% is 60.0 but, really, whose isn’t? 🙂

    He fares better with Draisaitl, 50.4 CF% in 66.83 minutes but the GF% drops to 44.4.

    He looks dreadful with Nuge, 45.7 CF% and only 38.9 GF% in a more significant 217+ minutes.

    With Letestu, some 314+ minutes, he is a 48.7 CF% and a 55.0 GF%. Interestingly Letestu is the only center of these four whose CF% drops w/out Kassian! I think he’s in the right spot.

  77. Doug McLachlan says:

    Doug McLachlan,

    Oh, and with a heaping dose of “Small Sample Size Salt” I would note that Kassian and Khaira’s 20.05 minutes together the two managed a 73.3 CF%, a 75.7 DFF% and a 66.7 GF%!

    Find excuses to get these two more time together, TMac – seriously that’s unreal.

  78. OmJo says:

    OriginalPouzar: Oh, yes, Russia is by far the favorite.

    The career KHLers plus guys like Kovalchuk, Datsyuk, etc.

    I’m still going to be very interested in watching the Olympics and to cheer for Canada. What if a team backstoped by Ben Scriven and led by Gilbert Brule medalled? What if there is another “Miracle on Ice”?

    That would be awesome.

    Unlikely but I’ll cheer for it.

    Are we ready to see MA Pouliot score the gold medal winning goal, assisted by Teddy Purcell and Cam Barker?

  79. OriginalPouzar says:

    Doug McLachlan:
    SayItAin’tSo, Gretz, SayItAin’tSo!,

    I have no issue with JP starting on Nuge’s line but like you have a very upbeat expectation for him this season.

    Curious if Caggiula would have been placed so high up to start if Slepy was 100%.Caggiula is so hard to get a real sense of given how he was force-fed 3rd line center minutes last year.I have him as an extra forward when camp breaks because his versatility could see him in so many roles for short bursts of time.

    I have zero expectation that TMac goes with my proposed D-pairings but I keep coming back to Chia’s end of season verbal remarking how well Nurse and Larsson played together against the Ducks when injuries forced the issue.It’s something that clearly left a positive impression and the regular season fancies (albeit very small sample size) seem to agree.Larsson w/ Nuse 52.5 CF%, 61.8 DFF!! and a 70.0 GF%!!!

    Once you broach the idea of pairing Nurse (who, let’s face it, just LOOKS like he’s supposed to be a top-4 D) with Larsson you are obligated to figure out how the rest of the pieces look together and pairing Benning with Klefbom sounds risky but the small sample size we have looks dreamy: Benning w/ Klefbom 54.3 CF% and 61.5 GF%.Oh, and as a result Russell has to be on the third-pair with Gryba.The time the two played together over the season last year was microscopic (24.6 min) but, I suspect because of the switch to his “correct” handed alignment Russell w/ Gryba was 56.9 CF%, 54.4 DFF% and a 50% GF% – which would be absolutely amazing were he able to maintain it.

    I would have put this ides to bed but for Darcy McCleod (IIRC) bringing up the same point – and coming to the same conclusion for the remaining D-pairs, btw – speaking to LT on the Lowedown back in August.Darcy went the extra mile and suggested signing Franson to replace Gryba – music!

    If Slepy was healthy right now, I think Khaira would be skating as an extra and one of Caggulia and Slep would be 4LW and one 2RW.

    With respect to Nurse and Larsson, you make good points and there is the chance that it could be or become a very good pairing but right now the sample size makes the results somewhat meaningless. What was it, a game in the playoffs? Via PuckIQ they played 61 minutes together in the regular season – although they have a 70% goal differential in those limited minutes.

  80. OriginalPouzar says:

    OmJo: Are we ready to see MA Pouliot score the gold medal winning goal, assisted by Teddy Purcell and Cam Barker?

    Gilbert Brule caused the turnover and Ben Scriven got he shutout.

  81. Jethro Tull says:

    oscarmike:
    McDavid won’t get the offensive numbers without playing with Leon.
    The 2nd line is a very heavy line.
    Nuge won’t be going up against the top lines anymore.
    I believe Benning can fill the role as a top 4 D.
    LB becomes a decent back-up.
    50/50 NK blows up the Olympics.

    Well , we’ve never had a ‘Drai zooms McDavid’ meme yet, but here we are.

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