CLOSER TO HOME

We’re counting down—Casey Kasem style—to the opening night roster for the Edmonton Oilers. In the coming days, once the list is final, I’ll publish the past baker’s dozen opening nights and we’ll see how close we are to balance. For now, we’re damned close after Brad Malone was placed on waivers today.

OILERS CURRENT ROSTER (healthy)

  1. G Cam Talbot, 30. I have him playing 64 games this season.
  2. G Laurent Brossoit, 24. I estimated 16 starts and if he can win half of them that’s a good debut.
  3. LD Oscar Klefbom, 24. Great expectations, I have him posting 40+ points.
  4. RD Adam Larsson, 24. Larsson isn’t about offense but he can defend.
  5. LD  Kris Russell, 30. I think he looks better LH side.
  6. RD Matt Benning, 23. The bet is 25 points for young defender.
  7. LD Darnell Nurse, 22. Greater expectations from the big man, he’s in a contract year.
  8. RD Eric Gryba, 29. He won the 6D job without a throw, in my opinion.
  9. LD Yohann Auvitu, 27. I think he won 7D but his position is uneasy.
  10. RD Mark Fayne, 30. He can defend but his foot speed, physicality issues.
  11. C Connor McDavid, 20. McDavid. Changed. Everything. I projected 110 points.
  12. C-R Leon Draisaitl, 21. I think he gets 80+ with 97, 60+ without him.
  13. L Patrick Maroon, 29. He can play a complementary role with 97, that has real value.
  14. L Milan Lucic, 29. He appears focused on the 5×5, and we wait.
  15. C Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, 24. Nuge can be an enormous contributor to Edmonton’s  success.
  16. C-R Ryan Strome, 24He will never get a better opportunity in his life.
  17. L Drake Caggiula, 23. He could land on any line at any time.
  18. R Zack Kassian, 26His foot speed is the best of his career, brand new player.
  19. L Jussi Jokinen, 34. Only downside is this team needs two of him.
  20. RC Mark Letestu, 32. Letestu’s 4line should be better in possession this year.
  21. R Jesse Puljujarvi, 19He is a wonderful prospect, comes with a ‘patience’ warning.
  22. L Jujhar Khaira, 23. Won 4L job on merit. Keep it going, young man.
  23. R Iiro Pakarinen, 25. He has a big shot, hammers people and the coach loves him.
  24. LC Chris Kelly, 36. He is still here. It’s going to be close.
  25. R Kailer Yamamoto, 18. I gave him a 10 percent chance to make the team.

If the five men below end up going on injured reserve, there will be a cull of two players. I’ll guess Mark Fayne and Chris Kelly go but this ended up much closer than originally expected. The biggest surprise? Young Kailer Yamamoto, who is an absolute gem. I didn’t do an RE for him, despite the fact there was a non-zero chance of making the team. I like astute predictions, but this young fellow put in the work and believed in himself. I am impressed.

OILERS CURRENT ROSTER (injured)

  1. LD Andrej Sekera, 31. He could be out until November of January. Major story. 
  2. LD Ryan Stanton, 27. Headed to IR. They like him, injury was bad damned luck.
  3. R Anton Slepyshev, 23. His injury did in fact cost him training camp.
  4. L Tyler Benson, 19. Headed for IR. Bob has him in Vancouver sometime in October.
  5. R Brian Ferlin, 25. Headed for IR. Didn’t hear much about him.

Sekera’s injury is such a big deal, Slepyshev’s appears to be short term. Stanton went to a Blue Rodeo (‘bad timing, that’s all”) at the worst possible time. Ferlin is a rumor, Benson is an echo.

TRADE?

Defense and the penalty kill. If we see a trade in the next six days, it’ll be something in that area in my opinion. The PK is very inconsistent and the blue is going to give up more chances than Calgary and other Pacific teams. Let it bleed? I don’t think that’s a plan.

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62 Responses to "CLOSER TO HOME"

  1. OriginalPouzar says:

    I think we see this opening night subject to something crazy happening on Sat or a trade:

    Maroon/McDavid/Yamamoto
    Lucic/Drai/Puljijarvi
    Jokinen/Nuge/Strome
    Caggulia/Letestu/Kassian
    Khaira/Pakarinan
    Slep (IR – non-roster)

    Klef/Larrson
    Russell/Benning
    Nurse/Gryba
    Auvitu

    Talbot
    brossoit

    Its almost a shame that Khaira gets bumped out of the lineup but he’ll work his way in.

  2. OmJo says:

    Nuge for Colin Miller.

    /Trolling

  3. meanashell11 says:

    Do not trade Nuge. Center depth is sooooooo important.

  4. blainer says:

    I just don’t see the Kelly add. He looks slower to me than Hendy last year and Hendy was better in the faceoff circle.

    I would like to see a trade for a PK faceoff winning player other than Kelly if that is the plan. It won’t be long IMO if Kelly makes the team before he is on waivers.

    Not sure who is available on D but that pickup by Vegas for Theodore was quite the get.

  5. cowboy bill says:

    OriginalPouzar,

    I’d rather see Khaira in the opening night lineup than Puljujarvi . In fact I doubt Puljujarvi is in the opening line up .

    maroon / McDavid /strome
    lucic / draisaitl / yamamotto
    jokinen / nuge / caggiula
    khaira / letestu / kassian

    klef / lars
    russ / benn
    nurse / gryba

    Talbot & brossoit

    Much better .

  6. Lowetide says:

    blainer:
    I just don’t see the Kelly add. He looks slower to me than Hendy last year and Hendy was better in the faceoff circle.

    I would like to see a trade for a PK faceoff winning player other than Kelly if that is the plan. It won’t be long IMO if Kelly makes the team before he is on waivers.

    Not sure who is available on D but that pickup by Vegas for Theodore was quite the get.

    The Kelly add would be for PK work imo. He isn’t a fantastic PK man and I do think the 4line would suffer with him on it (compared to Khaira as a for instance) but the 4×5 needs to be good and Kelly has that reputation.

  7. OmJo says:

    Lowetide,

    How has Khaire done 4×5 lately? I feel like we can find better options than Kelly within the organization and don’t need to waste the contract space and roster spot with him. Cagguila? IIRC he was a decent PKer last season.

  8. blainer says:

    Lowetide: The Kelly add would be for PK work imo. He isn’t a fantastic PK man and I do think the 4line would suffer with him on it (compared to Khaira as a for instance) but the 4×5 needs to be good and Kelly has that reputation.

    Hmmm.. I like that you said he isn’t a fantastic PK man as to me he is not the answer. I do understand he comes with a rep for that role but I’m not seeing it.. I just don’t think he has it anymore. JMO. It’s odd though how teams often talk themselves into these PTO’s and just don’t see that the player doesn’t have it anymore. Kelly would have been an awesome add…. two years ago.

    I really believe the way higher than normal amount of faceoff losses on the PK will drive this coach to many sleepless nights… as it would me if I were coach.

    Derek Ryan was the guy I wanted in the off season. And here we are with tons of cap space and nobody to spend it on. I’m not too worried though as we are winning the Cup despite our season opening flaws.

  9. Nuclear leak says:

    Against Calgary.. Yam deserves 9 games but for his longevity let him soak in the atmosphere from above opening night.

    Land of giants, Lucic/Drai/JP. Them or crazy eyes on ice whenever Keith’s lil twirp is out there.

    If Yam dresses, staple him to 97’s wing, Strome on third, Drake n Khaira battling for the last seat.

    Can’t imagine Yesse and Yams dressing in the same line up this year.

  10. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    This in-depth one on one interview with Kent Wilson and Chris Snow (Director Analysis for Flames) is just superb.

    So much information and detail and questions the regular MSM wouldn’t think to ask.

    Pieces like this are why the Athletic is so different.

    No one has interviewed Snow in depth and he’s been with the Flames since before the entire management team.

    Its well worth your time: https://theathletic.com/111287/2017/09/28/a-one-on-one-chat-with-flames-director-of-hockey-analysis-chris-snow/

  11. wheatnoil says:

    Lowetide: The Kelly add would be for PK work imo. He isn’t a fantastic PK man and I do think the 4line would suffer with him on it (compared to Khaira as a for instance) but the 4×5 needs to be good and Kelly has that reputation.

    Thought Kassian did well on the PK last night. They seem to like McDavid taking a PK shift particularly at the end. I thought Caggiula struggled a bit on positioning though despite the set up for the PK goal. If they run Kassian, McDavid, Letestu, RNH, Jokinen… then either Cags or Khaira? That’s not a murderer’s row for Kelly to break through.

    One thought is putting JP on there. Doubt he’s earned the coach’s trust but I think he’s got the defensive chops for it.

  12. hunter1909 says:

    Hunter1909’s Oilers Death March is back for the 2017-18 season!

    Here’s how you play: Pick the exact number of points you think the Oilers will have at the end of the season.

    Then, after the usual training camp hypejobs stop and the real NHL starts, Oilers usually lose 2-3 defencemen and spent the rest of the season chasing/debating the lottery. What better way to enjoy those pointless, meaningless games than The Hunter1909 Official Oilers Death March(TM)?

    Last year had well over 300 players. Prizes being sorted as this message gets posted for last season’s winners who will be notified at a later date.

  13. blainer says:

    Nuclear leak:
    Against Calgary.. Yam deserves 9 games but for his longevity let him soak in the atmosphere from above opening night.

    Land of giants, Lucic/Drai/JP. Them or crazy eyes on ice whenever Keith’s lil twirp is out there.

    If Yam dresses, staple him to 97’s wing, Strome on third, Drake n Khaira battling for the last seat.

    Can’t imagine Yesse and Yams dressing in the same line up this year.

    The very thought of Yammer starting the season with the Oil over the summer was a nonstarter for me.

    Man he comes into camp and says get outta my way I’m gettin a spot on this team.. at least that is the way he has played. Now I’m still for sending him back but to this point this young lad has deserved and earned every bit of his status soo far.

    As they say it’s not the size of the dog in the fight but the size of fight in the dog. This could not describe Yammer better.. Oh and just for the record I was pissed we never drafted Vesaleinen.. It looks like management might have gotten this one right..we wait..

  14. Zelepukin says:

    Sure Yams with McD makes sense in terms of chemistry and speed, but I’m more interested in seeing how he stacks up against the best D in the league, every single shift.

  15. Bar_Qu says:

    Hunter, please put me down for 101, because prime number.

    I too would be disappointed if Kelly made it on reputation for PK. Its an important role, but if the Oil have smart players in their top 9, then there has to be guys who can step in and help out. KY for example. I know that would be a big ask of an 18 yr old, but it sounds like he has the smarts for it.

    My (less than) 2 cents.

  16. OriginalPouzar says:

    cowboy bill: Subscribe to our RSS FeedFollow us on Twitter

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    I’d like to get Jujhar in the lineup as well but I don’t wan’t them to keep Puljujarvi on the roster to sit him in the press box.

  17. stush18 says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    I think we see this opening night subject to something crazy happening on Sat or a trade:

    Maroon/McDavid/Yamamoto
    Lucic/Drai/Puljijarvi
    Jokinen/Nuge/Strome
    Caggulia/Letestu/Kassian
    Khaira/Pakarinan
    Slep (IR – non-roster)

    Klef/Larrson
    Russell/Benning
    Nurse/Gryba
    Auvitu

    Talbot
    brossoit

    Its almost a shame that Khaira gets bumped out of the lineup but he’ll work his way in.

    I think there is a chance caguilla sits to open. Reward for khaira. He’s played very well in preseason.

    The only other one is JP. Him, Yamamoto, and cags might rotate through the lineup until slepy returns.

  18. OriginalPouzar says:

    Lowetide: The Kelly add would be for PK work imo. He isn’t a fantastic PK man and I do think the 4line would suffer with him on it (compared to Khaira as a for instance) but the 4×5 needs to be good and Kelly has that reputation.

    I agree the PK is a concern, however, for the role describable above, poor 4th line ability and average PK ability, is it worth the 49th contract? What about the potential for Yamamoto’s contract not to slide?

  19. Lowetide says:

    OriginalPouzar: I agree the PK is a concern, however, for the role describable above, poor 4th line ability and average PK ability, is it worth the 49th contract? What about the potential for Yamamoto’s contract not to slide?

    I’m not arguing for the Kelly addition, for me I would prefer a faster man. Nevertheless, the fact he remains is a tell itself. As for the 50 contracts, PC could trade someone away to make room (and keep one roster spot available)

  20. stush18 says:

    I think they will keep Yamamoto for his nine game tryout, but it will be spread out a little longer.

    They basically have

    Maroon-mcdavid-xxx
    Lucic-Leon-xxx
    Jussi-nuge-strome
    Xxx-letestu-kassian

    So I think khaira, caguilla, JP, and KY will split time between those three positions. Once slepy is back, I wouldn’t be surprised if he is sent to the AHL for a “conditioning sprint”.

    If they time it right, Yamamoto will be sent down at his nine game tryout right as slepyshev is being brought back up from the minors.

    Then we will have slepy, cags, khaira, and JP fighting for playing time.

    Of course another injury could change all of this, but I think this would be a good plan to follow

  21. GMB3 says:

    What is a realistic offer for Miller from VGK?

    Is there a possibility TMac kept Fayne up as long as he has in an effort to showcase him/raise his perceived value? Does Caggiula + Fayne get it done? Gives them a veteran RHD

  22. bsmart says:

    hunter1909,

    Hunter put me down for 111

  23. OmJo says:

    GMB3,

    I think they’re hoping Fayne gets claimed on waivers. I’m not sure why LV trades one of their two RHD instead of their own Leftorium.

  24. EtownDre says:

    I’d love to see Juicy (Yama… cause he’s so sweet) get his 9 games but worried of how thats impacts on pool party. I think Juicy gets last cut and is first skill callup

  25. Georges says:

    Lowetide: The Kelly add would be for PK work imo. He isn’t a fantastic PK man and I do think the 4line would suffer with him on it (compared to Khaira as a for instance) but the 4×5 needs to be good and Kelly has that reputation.

    Last season, we were 17th on PK%.

    From that PK group, we’re missing:

    Sekera (#1D on TOI)

    Pouliot (#3F)
    Hendricks (#6F)
    Lander (#7F)

    The missing forwards add up to 194 minutes of SH TOI. By comparison, Letestu, our #1F, had 166 minutes. Jokinen had 93 minutes last season with FLA. As for promoting from within, Slepy, Khaira, and Pak had under 5 minutes in total.

    Kelly had 172 minutes of SH TOI for OTT last season. Their PK was worse than ours.

    You’re right. Kelly has a chance on that alone.

    I’ll be watching the PK with my fingers crossed and my eyes closed this season.

    Not worried one bit.

  26. McNuge93 says:

    EtownDre,

    He cant be called up if sent back to junior

  27. Lowetide says:

    Condors up 5-0 after two:

    Some stats thru the 2nd:
    Tyrell 1g-1a +2
    Butcher 0g-2a +2
    Polei 0g-2a +2
    Paigin is +4

    Pasquale 15/15

    via Condors twitter

  28. stush18 says:

    Georges: Last season, we were 17th on PK%.

    From that PK group, we’re missing:

    Sekera (#1D on TOI)

    Pouliot (#3F)
    Hendricks (#6F)
    Lander (#7F)

    The missing forwards add up to 194 minutes of SH TOI. By comparison, Letestu, our #1F, had 166 minutes. Jokinen had 93 minutes last season with FLA. As for promoting from within, Slepy, Khaira, and Pak had under 5 minutes in total.

    Kelly had 172 minutes of SH TOI for OTT last season. Their PK was worse than ours.

    You’re right. Kelly has a chance on that alone.

    I’ll be watching the PK with my fingers crossed and my eyes closed this season.

    Not worried one bit.

    I’m pretty sure paks percentage of pk two yrs ago was high. TMac used him a lot on the kill.

    I’m sure kassian will be one of the leaders in ice time this year too in that discipline.

  29. stush18 says:

    Lowetide:
    Condors up 5-0 after two:

    Some stats thru the 2nd:
    Tyrell 1g-1a +2
    Butcher 0g-2a +2
    Polei 0g-2a +2
    Paigin is +4

    Pasquale 15/15

    via Condors twitter

    Polei was playing on the fourth line too.

    He’s going to get a contract. Book it!

  30. who says:

    Don’t think Kelly is going to make or break the season but 1 more dman would sure help.

  31. LadiesloveSmid says:

    Vancouver’s B team giving it to Calgary’s A team

  32. who says:

    Was at the game in Saskatoon last night. Defense looked ok but not thrilled with Auvitu. Seems to spend a lot of time chasing in his end and I didn’t see any elite puck skills. He does skate well.
    People who don’t like Russells numbers really need to watch him play. Great skater, anticipates well, and closes quickly on the puck carrier. The man can play.
    Canes were missing their top four dmen so Macdavid and Drai had a field day.
    The other two lines didn’t do much. Strome was invisible at center. The lone exception was Kassian, he had a good night. Still think he should be playing in the top 9.

  33. LadiesloveSmid says:

    If they’re sending Caggiula to VGK I hope they’ve got a forward option to cover his bet that is not Iginla.

  34. Munny says:

    We could farther–or closer–to balance than it appears from the pre-flight routine.

    Till the prototype plane gets off the ground, no one can say for sure if it will fly level or if the landings will be soft. Sure we can test it in wind tunnels and look at past prototypes, and they will give good clues, but till that baby is up in the air, we don’t know.

    I suspect we’re closer to balance than it appears.

    Sekera will come back. All teams face D injuries, some seasons worse than others, but he’s only gone for a couple of months. I’d much rather those be the first two months over the last two months of the season. Does balance get nicked because his injury happens to be out of the gate?

    And I don’t see TMac making a move for a 2nd pairing guy for only two months, if such animals were even available and decent at their jobs.

    As for PK, Jokinen is a nice replacement for missing minutes. McD will obviously get some more time there,… Letestu, Nuge, Jokinen, Kassian, McD, Khaira and possibly Yamamoto is not a bad fighter wing and should be league average if faceoffing holds up. No reason Drai can’t take a turn either.

    I think the concern here is more anxiety over change/turnover than a real hole. It’s the most teachable role… bad PKing is usually a failure of goaltending or coaching, not personnel.

    And the units allowed no goals last game and 2 of the 3 goals in the prior game were on 2 man advantages. Taking penalties is a much bigger concern than killing them… and we have yet to see how the rulebook will play out in the regular season.

    It’s almost time to taxi out on the runway and see if this baby can fly. We can shift the luggage aroumd later if needs be,

  35. Badger says:

    OmJo,
    I like your line up . Yammy is the most intelligent and skilled rw in the lineup regardless of age. He will rise to the level needed to play with CMD. The second line is a juggernaut. They will strike fear in to the hearts of the opposition. Nuges line will shine. I am expecting great things from them this year. The fourth line is the best in the league and there are a lot of interchangeable parts going forward.

  36. OriginalPouzar says:

    Lowetide:
    Condors up 5-0 after two:

    Some stats thru the 2nd:
    Tyrell 1g-1a +2
    Butcher 0g-2a +2
    Polei 0g-2a +2
    Paigin is +4

    Pasquale 15/15

    via Condors twitter

    I think Keegan Lowe had a goal.

    Paigin – I like plus 4.

    Also, ice dogs lost in OT but Safin had an assist on the tieing goal with about 5 min left.

    Wells stopped all but two of 37 shots in a 4-2 win.

  37. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    RE: PK

    Oilers ranked 20th in Shots Against/60 with 54.9/60

    Median was 53.5

    Best was CAR with 38.96
    Worst was BUF with 68.09

    Here’s every Oilers’s SA/60 short handed who played at least 50 PK minutes last year:

    Player SA/60
    Benoit Pouliot 38.33 – gone
    Matt Hendricks 49.11 – gone
    Andrej Sekera 51.88 – hurt
    Connor McDavid 53.81
    Kris Russell 54.90
    Eric Gryba 54.93
    Adam Larsson 55.63
    Oscar Klefbom 57.52
    Zack Kassian 57.83
    Mark Letestu 59.41
    Ryan Nugent-Hopkins 59.89
    Darnell Nurse 63.06

    So the best left is Connor with 53.8

    If they don’t improve the scheme the PK will probably allow more shots/60 this year than last year.

  38. OriginalPouzar says:

    who:
    Was at the game in Saskatoon last night. Defense looked ok but not thrilled with Auvitu. Seems to spend a lot of time chasing in his end and I didn’t see any elite puck skills. He does skate well.
    People who don’t like Russells numbers really need to watch him play. Great skater, anticipates well, and closes quickly on the puck carrier. The man can play.
    Canes were missing their top four dmen so Macdavid and Drai had a field day.
    The other two lines didn’t do much. Strome was invisible at center. The lone exception was Kassian, he had a good night. Still think he should be playing in the top 9.

    Russell is a materially better play on his natural left side – at least he looks that was through exhibition.

  39. OriginalPouzar says:

    Woodguy v2.0:
    RE: PK

    Oilers ranked 20th in Shots Against/60 with 54.9/60

    Median was 53.5

    Best was CAR with 38.96
    Worst was BUF with 68.09

    Here’s every Oilers’s SA/60 short handed who played at least 50 PK minutes last year:

    PlayerSA/60
    Benoit Pouliot38.33– gone
    Matt Hendricks49.11 – gone
    Andrej Sekera51.88 – hurt
    Connor McDavid53.81
    Kris Russell54.90
    Eric Gryba54.93
    Adam Larsson55.63
    Oscar Klefbom57.52
    Zack Kassian57.83
    Mark Letestu59.41
    Ryan Nugent-Hopkins59.89
    Darnell Nurse63.06

    So the best left is Connor with 53.8

    If they don’t improve the scheme the PK will probably allow more shots/60 this year than last year.

    Awesome – I was looking for the PK shot suppression stats last night.

    Where do you find these?

  40. OriginalPouzar says:

    I knew that Pouliot was the best forward last year on thevPK but I didn’t know how poor the rest were.

    Do we have these suppression stats broken down via completion – first unit PP vs 2nd.

  41. OriginalPouzar says:

    I think the players to add to that list for this year are:

    Jokinen
    Caggulia

  42. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    I knew that Pouliot was the best forward last year on thevPK but I didn’t know how poor the rest were.

    Do we have these suppression stats broken down via completion – first unit PP vs 2nd.

    – Looking at last year’s stat doesn’t fit what I was expecting based on the narrative:

    – The Oil allowed 43 PP GA. This was tied for 10th for fewest allowed.

    – With PK GA at home, they were 3 goals away from being best team in the league

    – On the road they were average team: 25 GA in the PK

    – Overall, they were the 17th best PK, within 1% of being top-10

    – If they prevented 5 less goals, they would be top-3 in the league

    – There is a lot of variability YoY for most years in their efficiency

    – Bottom line: sure the Oil should work on their PK, but they are a decent PK team, by actual results.

  43. OriginalPouzar says:

    A bit of a stretch to say they were a decent PK team last year but lets say we agree to that – so, they were a decent PK team last year and the top 2 forward and top d-man are missing from it – logical extrapolation is that they will be a poor PK team this year.

    No replacement for that d-man. Replacement for the two forwards, Jokinen and, I guess, Caggulia.

  44. Ryan says:

    OriginalPouzar: Awesome – I was looking for the PK shot suppression stats last night.

    Where do you find these?

    He knows a guy who knows a guy…

    I actually think having McDavid play anything more than trivial minutes on the pk is a rather poor idea.

    If a puck catches McDavid in the wrong place like a foot or ankle, the season could be over.

  45. OriginalPouzar says:

    Ryan: He knows a guy who knows a guy…

    I actually think having McDavid play anything more than trivial minutes on the pk is a rather poor idea.

    If a puck catches McDavid in the wrong place like a foot or ankle, the season could be over.

    I’ve thought about this at length to and I’m torn.

    On the one hand, McDavid, given his speed, agility, hockey sense, etc. is a fantastic penalty killer, when he’s out there there is always the chance for a break (especially with only 9 players and more room on the ice) and, frankly, I think his presence on the ice might actually change the way the PP operates as they know how dangerous he is.

    On the other hand, should we have McDavid killing penalties? I’m not actually concerned about the acute injury factor, that could happen on any shift. I’m more concerned about the cumulative minutes it would add. He is already right at the top of the league as far as ES minutes for a forward, plus PP, obviously. Its great to have him play many minutes but those add up to cumulative fatigue.

  46. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    A bit of a stretch to say they were a decent PK team last year but lets say we agree to that – so, they were a decent PK team last year and the top 2 forward and top d-man are missing from it – logical extrapolation is that they will be a poor PK team this year.

    No replacement for that d-man.Replacement for the two forwards, Jokinen and, I guess, Caggulia.

    – Because I think that the PK, you play a system, and the players that are gone, will be replaced with new players who are as capable.

    – YoY, it appears the the PK has a lot of randomness in terms of who is elite, and who is average.

    – I don’t see how one can disagree that if you allowed the 10th fewest goals (top 3rd), were the 17th best team (average) and within 1% of top-10 using that metric, and only 5 goals away from being elite, they are “decent”.

    – Perhaps the use of “decent” is the wrong adjective as that is subjective, and your interpretation could be different than mine, but I don’t think our PK was any more inconsistent than other teams, and we are talking about 1 shot/60 extra, with SV% of around .900: there’s not much there IMO that isn’t variance, and/or hard work within a system.

    – Losing our “top PK guys” does not mean that suddenly our PK is going to the sh$tter, and in fact our PK wasn’t really that far away from being the elite in the league, for whatever that is worth.

    – Putting a stud like McD out when possible in the waning moments of a PK is smart coaching, IMO. You don’t want him blocking shots, but his presence near the end of a PK, could alter the PP team strategy, worried about what happens with McD, and his ability to spring the guy who is about to jump off the boards, etc

  47. OriginalPouzar says:

    The reason that I said “stretch” is because it was in the bottom half of the league and, without checking, my guess is that it was just as close to being at the bottom as it was to being in the top 10, the 1% you mention. I could be wrong on that though. 10th fewest goals doesn’t really mean anything to me as it requires the context of number of opportunities – hence the 17th.

    While I agree that there is randomness involved on the individual level and PK is largely based on systems and that might be more important than personnel and I am still concerned with a “decent PK” that has lost 3 of its top performers.

    There are some replacements available (i.e. Jokinen, Caggulia), however, who is to say that will be effective as opposed to just taking up minutes?

    I am hopeful for a rebound and uptick on the PK due to systems, etc. however it could easily prove to be an issue.

    Time will tell.

    Chris Kelly is NOT the answer, in my opinion.

  48. mit167 says:

    I’m thinking Cags is going to be used as a RW this year and Yamamoto will be sent down. No fault of his own. He’s earned more games, but he needs a year or two to let his body develop that old man strength. I just have a feeling that if he plays he joins the Ouch my shoulder club before December. Also… I think they go with 8 Dmen to start

    Maroon McD Drai
    Lucic Strome Cags
    Jokinen RNH Pulijarvi
    Khaira Letestu Kassian
    Pakirainen

    Klefbom Larrson
    Russell Benning
    Nurse Gryba
    Auvito Fayne

    Talbot
    Brossoit

  49. mit167 says:

    Also totally agree on OP’s Chris Kelly. I think he was outplayed by Brad Malone for starters, and is only here now as a favour to help him audition for other teams.

  50. who says:

    OriginalPouzar: Russell is a materially better play on his natural left side – at least he looks that was through exhibition.

    I think the verbal is that he moves the puck better on the left side. That may be but the things I’m talking about in my post are things he was doing last year on the right side. He’s just a good defender.

  51. mit167 says:

    I’m on my phone… Sorry this is so choppy, but as for our PK units, I think our bottom 6 plus Cags = PK time. If we are behind and need a goal, then I think you see McD top of the diamond looking for a breakout pass / breakaway

  52. OriginalPouzar says:

    Yup, I don’t think anyone can reasonably argue that Russell can’t defend (except maybe Matt Henderson) – the issue has been his stifling of offence due to an inability to transition the puck with possession. On his left side, he seems to be a quicker puck mover and the team has been able to maintain possession and sometimes attack with speed. It makes sense as many plays are now on his forehand instead of his backhand.

    It remains to be seen if this continues in to the regular season but I am hopeful

  53. mit167 says:

    who,

    So for games where Auvito is dressed, do we move Russell back to to the right side.

    Klef Larsson
    Auvito Russell
    Nurse Benning

  54. OilArt says:

    hunter1909, please put me down for 105 pts.

  55. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    OriginalPouzar,

    Natural Stat Trick

    I judge a PK by shots against as its goalie independant.

    Good goalies can cover s meh powerplay and shitty goalies can mask a good one.

    We’ll have 4v5 Dangerous Fenwick Against soon and I think it will be a more meaningful metric than shots.

  56. OriginalPouzar says:

    mit167:
    who,

    So for games where Auvito is dressed, do we move Russell back to to the right side.

    Klef Larsson
    Auvito Russell
    Nurse Benning

    My biggest problem with Auvitu in the lineup is Russell moving back to the right side – that is a perverse option in my opinion. I’d be OK if he was given 3rd pairing ES minutes but I don’t see it.

    Woodguy thinks Auvitu can play 3RD but that doesn’t seem like a good idea to me – he’s fighting to show he is an NHL player – playing him on his off-side seems like a poor idea.

  57. OriginalPouzar says:

    Woodguy v2.0:
    OriginalPouzar,

    Natural Stat Trick

    I judge a PK by shots against as its goalie independant.

    Good goalies can cover s meh powerplay and shitty goalies can mask a good one.

    We’ll have 4v5 Dangerous Fenwick Against soon and I think it will be a more meaningful metric than shots.

    Thank you.

  58. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    OriginalPouzar: My biggest problem with Auvitu in the lineup is Russell moving back to the right side – that is a perverse option in my opinion.I’d be OK if he was given 3rd pairing ES minutes but I don’t see it.

    Woodguy thinks Auvitu can play 3RD but that doesn’t seem like a good idea to me – he’s fighting to show he is an NHL player – playing him on his off-side seems like a poor idea.

    I’m more avoiding putting Russell on the right side on the 2nd pair which would be a bad idea.

    It’s not good even when Sekera is there

  59. Stanley says:

    Woodguy v2.0,

    I’m surprised to see Poo so high on that list…

  60. OriginalPouzar says:

    Woodguy v2.0: I’m more avoiding putting Russell on the right side on the 2nd pair which would be a bad idea.

    It’s not good even when Sekera is there

    I agree with you and that’s the issue – Auvitu in the lineup over a rightie (Gryba) causes some issues.

    Coach doesn’t agree with us I don’t think – I think he has zero issues with Russell as 2RD.

  61. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Stanley:
    Woodguy v2.0,

    I’m surprised to see Poo so high on that list…

    He didn’t play it much in 15/16, but in 14/15 he put up 35.42 SA/60 on a team that averaged 39.67

    Quick feet and a good stick makes for good penalty killers. He has both.

  62. OriginalPouzar says:

    The eye test matches the stats – Pouliot was definitely our best forward penalty killer last year.

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