Game Six 2017-18: Oilers at Blackhawks

The Edmonton Oilers made the playoffs last season on the back of Connor McDavid’s fabulous skills and stellar goaltending from Cam Talbot. McDavid’s point total is running in the range of 100 points over 82 games, but Talbot is miles from home. This road trip might help the defense tighten and the goaltending to find the range. Leon Draisaitl and Drake Caggiula may return, Andrej Sekera is skating now. All that’s great, but wins now are the key. The losing streak is four, it’s getting late early.

Chicago has always had a great hockey crowd. In 1971, during the SC Finals, Chicago Stadium was a constant din. The television cameras delivered the games and the atmosphere was amazing. I cheered for the ‘Hawks, still bitter over the Bruins loss (revenge would never come, but Boston would win the 1972 Stanley). The Blackhawks are almost always interesting, that’s more than you can say about most teams. Edmonton has had reasonable success in recent seasons and badly need things to go well tonight.

DAY AFTER DAY, YEAR OVER YEAR

  • Oilers in October 2015: 1-4-0, goal differential -5
  • Oilers in October 2016: 4-1-0, goal differential +4
  • Oilers in October 2017: 1-4-0, goal differential -8

This isn’t a pretty situation, the record is ghastly and the goal differential absolutely confirms there are problems. I don’t think the team is heartless, or lazy, but unlucky and inconsistent come to mind, along with some unanswered questions on RW.

WHAT TO EXPECT FROM OCTOBER

  • At home to: Calgary (Expected: 1-0-0) (Actual 1-0-0)
  • On the road to: Vancouver  (Expected: 1-0-0) (Actual: 0-1-0)
  • At home to: Winnipeg, Ottawa, Carolina (Expected 1-1-1) (Actual: 0-3-0)
  • On the road to: Chicago, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh (Expected 1-1-1) (Actual 0-0-0)
  • At home to: Dallas, Washington (Expected 1-1-0) (Actual 0-0-0)
  • Overall expected result: 5-3-2, 12 points in 10 games 
  • Current results: 1-4-0, 2 points after five games

This month is a mess, if the club runs as I projected for the rest of October they’ll finish 3-6-1 (seven points). That’s bad, but it is possible for the Oilers to finish with a worse record than 3-6-1. I don’t see an easy mark in the bunch. Cam Talbot is badly needed, starting tonight.

DEFENSE 17-18

  • Eric Gryba takes a lot of heat but his numbers have been excellent so far this season. He can defend and this season’s early days see him allowing just 21.57 shots for 60 minutes. Among men who have played four or more NHL games this season, Gryba ranks No. 2. We know the big man is playing third pair, but good things are happening during those minutes so far.
  • Darnell Nurse continues to play well in the opening days of the season. Part of the improvement comes with better passing and more patience and we can take some heart in these numbers. If Nurse is running these kinds of numbers at Game 20, we’ll have a story. This is a big season for him, so far it’s been good news.
  • Oscar Klefbom hasn’t scored yet and the first five games have shown his defensive weaknesses, but the numbers themselves are in a good place. Some of his decision making early has a Janne Niinimaa feel to it, and of course the offense hasn’t come yet. I’ll bet on Oscar every time.
  • Adam Larsson has not performed as expected. I don’t think it’s fair to say he’s been poor, but he’s been in a few bad spots when the puck goes in the net. Oilers need more from him.
  • Kris Russell’s numbers are good across the board, although he takes a beating Rel because all these numbers are elevated. I like him on LH side, Corsi doesn’t love him so 52 percent probably represents a high water mark for the season. Russell remains wildly unpopular with the math folks, I like players who can defend.
  • Yohann Auvitu’s numbers are insanely good, they won’t stay that way and by eye he’s a little alarming. We’ll see him more and get used to things, I’d run him on the power play.

FORWARDS 17-18

  • The McDavid Line should have three men close to 2.00/60  or more, Patrick Maroon has had his chances but no goals yet. This table gives us a nice view of the fracture between the possession numbers and actual results. Connor McDavid—the best closer in the game—has a possession number of 65.79 and his team is being outscored 3-6 at 5×5. That’s an outlier’s outlier but we are here.
  • The Nuge Line (Lucic-Strome) got healthy in a quick hurry in the Hurricanes game. This road trip might be the time for 29 to move to center. Three lines who have some offense might be key to a successful road trip.
  • Leon Draisaitl is badly missed. I’m astonished people aren’t talking about this more. The amount of acid being poured out on the Edmonton Oilers currently suggests people have either lost their perspective or have an agenda. If you want to be an NHL general manager, then pursue it as a career. If you plan on staying on this side of the fence, perhaps tone down the hyperbole. If you were that smart, someone would have hired you by now. Pretty sure.
  • Anton Slepyshev is going to find the range soon, that’s going to help.
  • Kailer Yamamoto keeps playing well enough to get another game. This road trip will be a tell in my opinion. If he can stay with the McDavid line all week, perhaps cash a goal, then we’re going to talk about the young man getting more than nine games. The pressures that would send him to Spokane have not yet appeared, although Slepyshev could force the issue in the coming days and Caggiula is apparently close to getting back. Jesse Puljujarvi could also push with a big offensive weekend in Ontario.

STUBBORN KIND OF FELLOW

Peter Chiarelli’s theme for this season is “patience” but I wonder if he’s going to be forced into a move. I suspect the plan for the year involved surviving on defense until Andrej Sekera could return, and allowing one of the young RW’s to emerge as a legit scoring option. So far, Kailer Yamamoto (the most promising offensive option) is winning but his contributions aren’t substantial and Edmonton needs the McDavid line to shine.

At some point, PC will be forced to make a move. I’ve mentioned this before, but we should be prepared for an unusual move, as in Jesse Puljujarvi, Anton Slepyshev, others. If Chiarelli finds a suitable scoring RW option, I don’t think he’ll hesitate to pull the trigger and that could mean a young forward heading out of town.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

A fun morning with Oilers and some interesting news for Edmonton soccer fans and players. We kickstart the day at 10, TSN1260:

  • 10:20 Bruce McCurdy, Cult of Hockey. Are the Oilers arrogant and lazy? Are they running some bad luck? Is this about the goalie?
  • 10:40 Antony Bent & Kevin Possinant. If you’re involved in soccer, we have some news.
  • 11:05 Rob Vollman, NHL.com and ESPN. Patrick Marleau plays his 1500th NHL game, and how often does a team win a division when starting 1-4-0?
  • 11:25 Frank Seravalli, TSN. It’s too early to panic, yet the Oilers are in the basement. At what point does Peter Chiarelli make a move?

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

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430 Responses to "Game Six 2017-18: Oilers at Blackhawks"

« Older Comments
  1. Ryan says:

    I can’t stop watching that McDavid assist.

    That play is quite literally impossible.

    He turned Dunca Keith inside out.

    There is not another player in the entire world who could make that play.

    Absolutely ridiclulous.

    Gentlemen, win, lose, or draw, every night we witness greatness.

  2. russ99 says:

    Ryan:
    I can’t stop watching that McDavid assist.

    That play is quite literally impossible.

    He turned Dunca Keith inside out.

    There is not another player in the entire world who could make that play.

    Absolutely ridiclulous.

    Gentlemen, win, lose, or draw, every night we witness greatness.

    The Hawks fans I was sitting next to were dumbfounded. I’ve never seen anything like that or the reaction from the crowd at a hockey game before.

    Then one turned to me and said that’s a real good player you got there.

    🙂

  3. kgo says:

    McD is carrying a 4th liner and a CHLer on each wing.

    Yamamoto will be great, but the play is dying on his stick, his shots aren’t a threat, and he makes at least one tragic defensive read per game, send him back already and fast forward 12 months.

    Maroon, as much as I love him, is too slow, the play evades him constantly and there’s no way he can overcome his lack of acceleration. Our roster is big and slow enough as is, even in a cap free world I would send him away after this year.

    Slepy is coming on strong as he gets his legs under him, I think he’ll play significant minutes with Connor in the coming weeks.

    Auvitu needs to go, i’m not seeing any offensive skills from him, and his defensive shortcomings, while not glaring, are as advertised. I prefer Simpson’s game, or even Fayne’s….

    Flush Broissoit, Next man up.

    There’s a silver lining to the poor start to the season, It lowers expectations of the fans and media, and once things balance out the team will stop squeezing their sticks so hard.

  4. Lowetide says:

    russ99: Last two were on a platter, he should have scored one.

    Most excellent game to be at, McDavid gave me my moneys worth and then some, good effort by the boys.

    So I guess you guys should send me to the remaining 76 games to ensure wins… lol

    You are good luck!

  5. Ryan says:

    Lowetide: You are good luck!

    Ha.

    I think that the hockey gords looked down on all of the hard work you had put forth in following this team and pitied you and us then gifted us McDavid.

    Like manna from heaven.

  6. SwedishPoster says:

    kgo,

    Yeah I’m also leaning towards Yamamoto being sent down still. He’s got great hands and IQ, offensive instincts that are at a high NHL level and a massive amount of hustle. But he also has some damning things to his game that imo still makes him fairly ineffective as an NHLer, especially when you consider that the hustle inevitably will fade once the grind is in full force. He is weak on the puck which kills the cycle a lot of the time, because of smart and skill he can compensate when his line finds open ice but when the other team clamps down on him the play dies, his shot is also an issue, it’s just not good enough that it will beat NHL goalies consistently, it kind of wastes a lot of good work by McDavid. While not really a liability defensively he still has some serious work to do in that end, though some of those issues are related to strength.
    These are certainly things he can, and probably will improve over time. Question is can he do this while handling the pounding of an NHL season? And can he do it quickly enough to not start falling apart when the early excitement over being in the NHL wears off and is replaced by another night of having guys crosschecking you in the back.

    He might be able to do it. Guys with his skill and most of all smarts can learn quickly. He could very well find a way around his lack of strength and adjust his shot to be good enough to beat NHL goalies but it’s probably easier to do at a lower level with fewer games. My guess is he’ll get more than nine games to see if he sinks or swims and if he’s started to fade by the half time mark he’s sent down.

    The big positive is that he’s certainly an NHL level player in the making. And a top six player ar that. Which will be huge going forward.

    Good game tonight btw, much more controlled. The top players stepped up at all ends of the ice. Also impressed by Malone and Slepy. Pak will come out when Drai returns, imo Caggiula should replace Jokinen but it probably will be Malone unless Kassian gets suspended or the coach sits him for taking some dumb penalties the last few games.

  7. Ryan says:

    SwedishPoster:
    kgo,

    Yeah I’m also leaning towards Yamamoto being sent down still. He’s got great hands and IQ, offensive instincts that are at a high NHL level and a massive amount of hustle. But he also has some damning things to his game that imo still makes him fairly ineffective as an NHLer, especially when you consider that the hustle inevitably will fade once the grind is in full force. He is weak on the puck which kills the cycle a lot of the time, because of smart and skill he can compensate when his line finds open ice but when the other team clamps down on him the play dies, his shot is also an issue, it’s just not good enough that it will beat NHL goalies consistently, it kind of wastes a lot of good work by McDavid. While not really a liability defensively he still has some serious work to do in that end, though some of those issues are related to strength.
    These are certainly things he can, and probably will improve over time. Question is can he do this while handling the pounding of an NHL season? And can he do it quickly enough to not start falling apart when the early excitement over being in the NHL wears off and is replaced by another night of having guys crosschecking you in the back.

    He might be able to do it. Guys with his skill and most of all smarts can learn quickly. He could very well find a way around his lack of strength and adjust his shot to be good enough to beat NHL goalies but it’s probably easier to do at a lower level with fewer games. My guess is he’ll get more than nine games to see if he sinks or swims and if he’s started to fade by the half time mark he’s sent down.

    The big positive is that he’s certainly an NHL level player in the making. And a top six player ar that. Which will be huge going forward.

    Good game tonight btw, much more controlled. The top players stepped up at all ends of the ice. Also impressed by Malone and Slepy. Pak will come out when Drai returns, imo Caggiula should replace Jokinen but it probably will be Maloneunless Kassian gets suspended or the coach sits him for taking some dumb penalties the last few games.

    You sir are one of my favorite posters at this blog.

  8. striatic says:

    Klefbom looked all-world to finish that OT.

    Defensive excellence from him, given his TOI, is critical especially with Sekera out, but we know that, what’s been impressing me is that his offence seems to be taking a step forward as well. Passing and shooting significantly improved from the start of last year.

  9. Ryan says:

    Ryan: You sir are one of my favorite posters at this blog.

    Who are the top ten all time posters at this blog?

    Perhaps our benevolent host should posit this question in a fresh thread.

    I wasn’t an early early member here, but I would suggest:

    Woodguy (obvious choice)

    Gmoney (another favorite)

    Mc79hockey (I was around when he still posted here)

    “Steve Smith” funniest guy ever.

    SwedishPoster

    Dead cats bounce for contrarian opinions.

    Others?

  10. Munny says:

    Here’s what I would run if the Yamaudition continues. And I’m guessing they’ll keep him for at least 20-40 games.

    Maroon-McDeity-Moto
    Letestu–Drai–Sleppy
    Lucic–Nuge–Strome
    Jokinen-Malone-Kassian
    Pak/Khaira

    Threats to score on every line. Drai gets a one-time shooter, SNL have looked good lately, McLine can get shots on anyone. Switch Moto and Jewels for road games and thus easier matchups for the rook.

    When Cags comes back, tough decisions will have to be made. Or Moto returned. I would not be surprised to see a “numbers trade” either.

    When Sekera comes back, I’d move him to RD and keep Russell at LD.

  11. Munny says:

    Pastrnak goal or McDavid/Maroon… which was better? Fuck I hate Mike Johnson.

  12. Eastern Oil says:

    thehop,

    I will take this bet as I can’t see him surpassing Klef but would be extremely happy to lose!!

  13. OriginalPouzar says:

    We have three guys that are looking to come back in the next game or two and I’m not sure what to do with the lineup.

    I’m remisse to take Malone out but I don’t see the coach sitting Jokinen.

    Maroon/McDavid/Yamamoto
    Lucic/Nuge/Drai
    Caggulia/Strome/Slep
    Jokinen/Letestu/Kassian

    Klef/Larsson
    Nurse/Russell
    Auvitu/Benning

    Gryba was good last game but I can’t demote Nurse right now which means Russell stays on the right side – can we go Benning/Gryba on the 3rd pair? Two righties?

  14. Pouzar says:

    SwedishPoster: imo Caggiula should replace Jokinen but it probably will be Malone

    Agreed. Jokinen has been a whole lot of “meh” but he has tenure. It’s the Oiler way.
    I suspect he was one of the “passengers” Stauffer was referring to in his post game comments.

  15. Pouzar says:

    Munny:
    Pastrnak goal or McDavid/Maroon… which was better?Fuck I hate Mike Johnson.

    The latter. And it’s not really close for me. Pastrnak goal was awesome but that a goal is done a few times a year. Not a chance anyone will duplicate whatever the heck “cheat code” did in CHI.

  16. ruotsalainen says:

    Ryan: Who are the top ten all time posters at this blog?

    Perhaps our benevolent host should posit this question in a fresh thread.

    I wasn’t an early early member here, but I would suggest:

    Woodguy (obvious choice)

    Gmoney (another favorite)

    Mc79hockey (I was around when he still posted here)

    “Steve Smith” funniest guy ever.

    SwedishPoster

    Dead cats bounce for contrarian opinions.

    Others?

    I rarely ever comment, but have been following and loosely around since the inception.

    A very good list to start, and there are quite a high number that could be included which is the reason why this blog is so successful. The humble host is a fantastic writer/storyteller and the visitors – for the most part – are fantastic contributors.

    I suspect you won’t poke the host enough for him to mention contributors because he really does enjoy most of them.

    Any ways, I will add a few more, while undoubtedly forgetting many more.

    Blackdog Pat, Dennis, Matt Fenwick, Andy Grabia, Vic and Loxy.

    Like I said there are probably too many to mention…

  17. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Bag of Pucks,

    I think this is the bulk of our disconnect on the roster’s current state. My take on this is Benning and Russell are where they are today because of the Sekera injury only. With Sekera in, you have Russell at 4 and Benning at 5 or 6 again and everyone’s kosher. So, what’s the alternative? Sign a stump like Wideman or that ex pp D from Columbus (can’t remember his name but he’s available) for immediate help? Or trade next year ‘s first for a Top 4 guy today?

    I don’t think every UFA vet that you can get on a 1 year deal is a stump.

    You don’t deal a pick for a vet filler, its cheap UFA in late July/August type of player.

    You also assume everyone is healthy when Sekera comes back. Oilers were uber-healthy on the back end last year and still had 8 Dmen play 28+ games and a total of 11 Dmen hit the ice.

    If everyone is healthy then that’s great. The bottom of the roster vets should clear waivers or if they don’t its no big loss.


    That’s where Chiarelli’s 5 year plan has to trump immediate gratification imo. Yep, it sucks that a couple guys are swimming in deep water right now. Especially hurts that Klefbom is Jultzing early. But Sekera will be back and in the meantime Nurse and Benning ( ie the future) are getting valuable mins and we’re not parting with @ valuable pick. Cos admit it, if Chia traded a pick for a stopgap D right now, it would be the Reinhart trade hysteria all over again.

    You’re stating that adding a vet in the summer would get in the way of Komrade Peter’s 5 year plan.

    I don’t see this as an either or situation.

    CHI’s RHD is a great example.

    CHI signs Rutta, trades for Murphy and signs vet Franson for 2 RHD spots.

    They don’t know who will emerge to grab the spots, but given what they paid for Murphy and his contract you’d think he was a shoe-in.

    Lo and behold Rutta grabs the 2RD spot, Murphy struggles and Frason ends up playing more than Murphy so far.

    This doesn’t stall development at all.

    If Murphy plays well enough to grab his spot back then Franson can sit.

    Best player plays and you have the vet there as the safety value.

    Same thing with the RW spots. Instead of *having* to play players above their head, if some are drowning you elevate the vet.

    If they take the spots then the vet sits.

    That’s exactly the beauty of vets on 1 year deals. You can often play them on any line or have them eating popcorn and not really worry about them or what they think. They know their role, they know they’re not the future and they’ll generally act like another coach in many instances.

    The vet doesn’t delay development, they are there to fill in if the young player(s) don’t develop in a straight line and sit if the young player(s) are meeting/exceeding expectations.

    Since there is no fall back plan vets on EDM for RW and RD its young players or players over their head or bust.

    That’s not good planning.

    No one is suggesting trading a high end asset for a stop gap.

    If you trade a high end asset for a player, he has to be more of a permanent solution imo.

    I wanted a more permanent solution to 2RD and Peter signed Russell for 4 years.

    Russell is not a stop gap, with his contract he’s a permanent solution.

    Also,

    The Reinhart trade was supposed to be a permanent solution. Just because he shit the bed entirely doesn’t mean you don’t do those types of trade.

    CGY has their 1RD and 2RD for a long time due to those exact type trades.

    They just traded for Actual Top 4 Dmen and not a project.


    To be fair, the Oil are making progress on this front. Under Lowebellini, they’d be fast tracking Bear or Caleb to the dance right now as the stopgap. seriously, that was their SOP.

    There is no question they are better now than before, but the bar shouldn’t be “can you beat the worst NHL management team in the last decade?”

    Aim higher.

  18. Pouzar says:

    Early days but sure seems the vaunted Flames D is giving up a ton of Shot Attempts.

  19. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    ruotsalainen,

    Ben Massy, Jonathan Willis, Showerhead, FRJohnK, WheatnOil, Georges, Vor, DMW, Rexlibris off the top of my head.

    LT is the Sun though, the rest of us are rocks in the Kuiper Belt

  20. frjohnk says:

    Pouzar:
    Early days but sure seems the vaunted Flames D is giving up a ton of Shot Attempts.

    Since Nurse and Russell have been together ( 32 minutes) they have given up 0 shot attempts from the slot.

    Nurse is the new turd polisher!

    His advanced stats this year are amazing.

    EDIT: Only guy who has played in our top 4 who has 50% or better in corsi, fenwick, shots, scoring chances, high danger scoring chances, goals, and goals from the slot!

  21. russ99 says:

    Woodguy v2.0:
    Bag of Pucks,

    I think this is the bulk of our disconnect on the roster’s current state. My take on this is Benning and Russell are where they are today because of the Sekera injury only. With Sekera in, you have Russell at 4 and Benning at 5 or 6 again and everyone’s kosher. So, what’s the alternative? Sign a stump like Wideman or that ex pp D from Columbus (can’t remember his name but he’s available) for immediate help? Or trade next year ‘s first for a Top 4 guy today?

    I don’t think every UFA vet that you can get on a 1 year deal is a stump.

    You don’t deal a pick for a vet filler, its cheap UFA in late July/August type of player.

    You also assume everyone is healthy when Sekera comes back.Oilers were uber-healthy on the back end last year and still had 8 Dmen play 28+ games and a total of 11 Dmen hit the ice.

    If everyone is healthy then that’s great.The bottom of the roster vets should clear waivers or if they don’t its no big loss.


    That’s where Chiarelli’s 5 year plan has to trump immediate gratification imo. Yep, it sucks that a couple guys are swimming in deep water right now. Especially hurts that Klefbom is Jultzing early. But Sekera will be back and in the meantime Nurse and Benning ( ie the future) are getting valuable mins and we’re not parting with @ valuable pick. Cos admit it, if Chia traded a pick for a stopgap D right now, it would be the Reinhart trade hysteria all over again.

    You’re stating that adding a vet in the summer would get in the way of Komrade Peter’s 5 year plan.

    I don’t see this as an either or situation.

    CHI’s RHD is a great example.

    CHI signs Rutta, trades for Murphy and signs vet Franson for 2 RHD spots.

    They don’t know who will emerge to grab the spots, but given what they paid for Murphy and his contract you’d think he was a shoe-in.

    Lo and behold Rutta grabs the 2RD spot, Murphy struggles and Frason ends up playing more than Murphy so far.

    This doesn’t stall development at all.

    If Murphy plays well enough to grab his spot back then Franson can sit.

    Best player plays and you have the vet there as the safety value.

    Same thing with the RW spots.Instead of *having* to play players above their head, if some are drowning you elevate the vet.

    If they take the spots then the vet sits.

    That’s exactly the beauty of vets on 1 year deals.You can often play them on any line or have them eating popcorn and not really worry about them or what they think.They know their role, they know they’re not the future and they’ll generally act like another coach in many instances.

    The vet doesn’t delay development, they are there to fill in if theyoung player(s) don’t develop in a straight line and sit if the young player(s) are meeting/exceeding expectations.

    Since there is no fall back plan vets on EDM for RW and RD its young players or players over their head or bust.

    That’s not good planning.

    No one is suggesting trading a high end asset for a stop gap.

    If you trade a high end asset for a player, he has to be more of a permanent solution imo.

    I wanted a more permanent solution to 2RD and Peter signed Russell for 4 years.

    Russell is nota stop gap, with his contract he’s a permanent solution.

    Also,

    The Reinhart trade was supposed to be a permanent solution.Just because he shit the bed entirely doesn’t mean you don’t do those types of trade.

    CGY has their 1RD and 2RD for a long time due to those exact type trades.

    They just traded for Actual Top 4 Dmen and not a project.


    To be fair, the Oil are making progress on this front. Under Lowebellini, they’d be fast tracking Bear or Caleb to the dance right now as the stopgap. seriously, that was their SOP.

    There is no question they are better now than before, but the bar shouldn’t be “can you beat the worst NHL management team in the last decade?”

    Aim higher.

    Everything Peter did has been to make our entry into at the cap territory less painful.

    The reason that he signed Russell (to an 800K raise) is:

    a) he values defense-zone play
    b) all other options would be at a higher number and/or are less secure defensively. This summer wasn’t a good crop for FA defensemen, unless someone could dissuade Shattenkirk from NYC which didn’t seem possible.
    c) Nurse is the long-term solution at 2 RD, and Russell’s contract is tradable in year two when the bigger numbers of a Nurse bridge deal kick in.

    Also, Hamonic was never an option with our system as barren as it is. Calgary is going to rue those lost picks.

    I do agree that Chia should have aimed higher in our FA signings for cheap vets that can play in the AHL rather than AHL players who aren’t a good bet to step up.

    Same goes for RW. Throw em all in a blender and see who comes out as a long-term solution.

    The disconnect is that fans want to go all in to win now, and the GM has made his bets to win for an extended period of time during Connor’s and Leon’s contracts.

  22. Pouzar says:

    frjohnk: Since Nurse and Russell have been together ( 32 minutes) they have given up 0 shot attempts from the slot.

    Nurse is the new turd polisher!

    His advanced stats this year are amazing.

    Early days but let’s hope he keeps it up!

  23. frjohnk says:

    Pouzar: Early days but let’s hope he keeps it up!

    I think he will.

    Its why his agent will be asking for the Matheson contract.

    And I wouldnt be surprised to see Klefbom traded.

    Not because they dont like him. But they cant trade Russell and Sekera. Larsson is our only RHD who can play top 4. And Oilers management love Nurse. No way they can pay 5 Dmen each $4M + plus when we are in cap hell and our forward depth is questionable looking at next year.

  24. dustrock says:

    Woodguy v2.0:
    ruotsalainen,

    Ben Massy, Jonathan Willis, Showerhead, FRJohnK, WheatnOil, Georges, Vor, DMW, Rexlibris off the top of my head.

    LT is the Sun though, the rest of us are rocks in the Kuiper Belt

    Thou darest make an astronomy reference without mentioning our own Personal Tycho, Bruce McCurdy?

  25. Pouzar says:

    frjohnk: And I wouldnt be surprised to see Klefbom traded.

    Now you started something!

  26. GMB3 says:

    frjohnk: I think he will.

    Its why his agent will be asking for the Matheson contract.

    And I wouldnt be surprised to see Klefbom traded.

    Not because they dont like him.But they cant trade Russell and Sekera.Larsson is our only RHD who can play top 4.And Oilers management love Nurse.No way they can pay 5 Dmen each $4M + plus when we are in cap hell and our forward depth is questionable looking at next year.

    Trading Klefbom would be a massive mistake

  27. frjohnk says:

    GMB3: Trading Klefbom would be a massive mistake

    yup.

  28. russ99 says:

    Not happening, Klef is signed for 4.167 for the next 5 years.

    He’s part of the core, and if he’s not, we couldn’t find a similar player in FA for that cap number.

  29. OriginalPouzar says:

    Trade Klefbom? Ya, sure, if we could get Parayko and Tarasenko with salary retained – never going to happen.

    Klef is still developing his game but his contract is an absolute steal with term – that’s worth a ton to the Oilers right now.

    Also, Nurse is no the long-term 2RD option as he’s never played the right side at the NHL level and I believe he is the long term option at 2LD (replace Sekera in time).

  30. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    russ99: Everything Peter did has been to make our entry into at the cap territory less painful.

    The reason that he signed Russell (to an 800K raise) is:

    a) he values defense-zone play
    b) all other options would be at a higher number and/or are less secure defensively. This summer wasn’t a good crop for FA defensemen, unless someone could dissuade Shattenkirk from NYC which didn’t seem possible.
    c) Nurse is the long-term solution at 2 RD, and Russell’s contract is tradable in year two when the bigger numbers of a Nurse bridge deal kick in.

    Also, Hamonic was never an option with our system as barren as it is. Calgary is going to rue those lost picks.

    I do agree that Chia should have aimed higher in our FA signings for cheap vets that can play in the AHL rather than AHL players who aren’t a good bet to step up.

    Same goes for RW. Throw em all in a blender and see who comes out as a long-term solution.

    The disconnect is that fans want to go all in to win now, and the GM has made his bets to win for an extended period of time during Connor’s and Leon’s contracts.

    Russell is better on his left than right.

    Signing him long term with Klef, Sekera and Nurse on the roster isn’t ideal.

    CGY gave up a 2018 1st, the other 2 2nds are in 2019.

    They might know if they regret giving up the 2018 1st in 2022. McDavid will have 4 years left on his contract.

    They might know if they miss the 2019 2nds in 2024 or so. McDavid will have 2 years left on his contract.

    They pissed away Hall’s contract, and they won’t win the Cup in McDavid’s 3rd year.

    8 years seems like a long time but its not.

    Trading futures for permanent help today is exactly what a team with McDavid should be doing.

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