Midnight Rider

The Edmonton Oilers put it all together last night, much the same as they did on opening night. Solid goaltending, at times bordering on spectacular, and a defense consistent enough to win the day against the transitioning Chicago Blackhawks. This team can win games when playing as they did last night, the big question is consistency. Cam Talbot regressed like a demon last night, no one is going to catch the midnight rider, we’re on to Philadelphia.

  • Connor McDavid: “There was a lot of positive things tonight but the main one was Talbs. He was unbelievable.” Source

LIDO HITS CHI-TOWN, YEAR OVER YEAR

  • Oilers in October 2015: 2-4-0, goal differential -4
  • Oilers in October 2016: 5-1-0, goal differential +7
  • Oilers in October 2017: 2-4-0, goal differential -7

We’ve seen fire and rain between wins but the team earned a victory on the road against a good team. Getting this road trip off to a solid start was key, now we’ll see if they can grab more points before heading back home. Some of the forwards are (finally) beginning to separate and that’s going to make for interesting days as Leon Draisaitl and Drake Caggiula near their returns.

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 1-0-0)
  • 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: 2-4-0, 4 points after six games

A big win, now the big work that is Pennsylvania comes into view. I projected 1-1-1 on the road trip, it would really help this team to get one more win during this trip. The Flyers are playing well and they’ll be a big test. Edmonton does not traditionally play well in morning games, going back a very long time.

DEFENSE LAST NIGHT

  • Klefbom-Larsson went 21-19 together, the pairing looked good to my eye. Klefbom got a pretty assist on the winning goal, blocked some shots and fell down taking a shot (thus stealing my move!). Larsson was his usual pain in the butt to play against, the duo was 15-12 against Saad-Toews-Panik in 11 minutes (just two against the Kane).
  • Nurse-Russell went 10-13 together (8-7 Fenwick) and were 4-8 against the Kane-Schmaltz-Hartman line (for me, the more dangerous of the two Chicago trios). Nurse’s passing out of the zone seems to have better pace and he transported well. He also got himself into some tough situations and that’s the challenge. My guess is we see these two together on Saturday.
  • Auvitu-Gryba were 12-11 together and had 7-2 shots advantage while they were on the ice. At some point Matt Benning may get his job back, and Auvitu brings some chaos. Went 5-6 against Bouma-Anisimov-Hayden, which is one weird line.
  • Cam Talbot had a fine night. The one goal he let in was poor but he had several 10-bell chances and stopped 30 of 31 shots overall. His SP is up to .901 now, hopefully on the way to .926.

FORWARDS, LAST NIGHT

  • Maroon-McDavid-Yamamoto counted a baker’s dozen in shots and one of the two goals on the night. The line went 28-14 together Corsi for 5×5 and 20-5 shots for on the evening. McDavid was 20-14 against Duncan Keith but there’s one sortie we’ll remember a very long time. 97 was also 23-11 against Jonathan Toews, including 16-4 shots advantage. Holy hell. Maroon needed this game, in my opinion. Yamamoto made a fabulous play after blocking a shot in his own zone, winning a semi-breakaway and getting a chance in close. I’m not sure how long he’ll be here, but he’s made a fantastic impression.
  • Lucic-Nuge-Strome went 6-8 in 11:40, Nuge played four more minutes with various W’s and won some massive draws. Todd McLellan moved Anton Slepyshev up for a time, he ended up playing slightly more overall than either of RNH’s wingers. Nuge went 7-6 against Kane. Well done, young man. Lucic had a good game to my eye, Strome puts the puck in good places. I am growing fond of this trio.
  • Slepyshev-Letestu-Pakarinen looked good, going 5-7 Corsi and 3-3 SOG. Letestu got the winning goal, I think Slepyshev is prepared to move up the depth chart.
  • Jokinen-Malone-Kassian went 9-6 Corsi and 6-1 shots together, forming a positive possession 4line. That’s been a fairly rare item for Edmonton over the years. Malone is winning an NHL job.
  • Numbers from NaturalStatTrick and NHL.com.

MCDAVID’S MOVE

I am tempted to call it Savardian, maybe Orrwellian, but in reality it was pure McDavid and completely diabolical. How do you defend that? He belongs in a higher league. Filthy. The fact that it came with the team down by a goal, in a four-game dive and losing touch with the top of the division? Priceless.

COMMENTS

  • 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.

I can tell you that no passage written by this blog’s author has ever received the kind of reaction that hit this blog yesterday. When writing it, it felt like my point was well made, but 24 hours later it’s pretty clear I missed by a mile. So, let’s begin by how some took the post and then I’ll clarify where I was heading.

  1. I was reacting to two specific pieces of writing, one a comment on this blog and another in mainstream media. Both of them, in my opinion, were wildly out of step with reality. One of them was not recent, something I missed when writing the above.
  2. I mentioned the issue in the intro of my show yesterday (here) if you want to find out about the sources.
  3. It was not meant as a shot toward Tyler Dellow, but it’s good to know so many of you stand at the ready to come to his defense.
  4. It was not a veiled message to any specific poster or media person. I mentioned the media piece in the intro linked to above.

Here’s the message I was trying to convey. In my blog posts, and pretty much universally in the comments section, you will find (daily) thoughtful prose about the Oilers and their situation. If you post a thoughtful paragraph about the Eberle-for-Strome trade and cast it as a net negative, that moves the conversation forward. If you post “I will poison this board with hatred for Chiarelli for as long as he lives” it is not helpful. This blog is based on the bunch of us playing armchair general manager and that’s the fun of it. That’s the key. Intelligent exchanges, defending a position using logic, reason, math and prose. I apologize to those (and there were a number of you) who took it as anything other than what it was intended to be, and hope this prolonged passage sets things right.

TONY HAND

An absolutely brilliant piece on Tony Hand is here via Tal Pinchevsky of The New York Times. It’s a fantastic article, some exceptional quotes.

TRANSACTIONS

The Oilers sit at 22 men on the current roster, so can activate Leon Draisaitl without sending anyone back. To bring in Drake Caggiula, someone is going to get optioned to Bakersfield (who play tonight). Jujhar Khaira is the current forward on the outside looking in, but would require waivers to send down.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

At 10 this morning, TSN1260. It’s Friday, weekend, Oilers coming off a win and all the sports are happening! Scheduled to appear:

  • Steve Lansky,BigMouth Sports. Big win for the Oilers, MLB playoffs, and how networks handle things like the Gordon Hayward injury.
  • Paul Sir, The Basketball Show. Some big injury issues early in the NBA season, Raptors season and will Duke win the national championship?
  • Matt Iwanyk, TSN1260. Point Counterpoint discusses the CFL crossover and what to do with Kailer Yamamoto.
  • Paul Almeida, SSE. Are the Oilers back on track or should they cast about looking for additional help?

10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. See you on the radio!

 

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125 Responses to "Midnight Rider"

  1. OriginalPouzar says:

    What a bounce back game for the defensive group and for Talbot.

    I have very few doubts that Talbot was going to find his game in short order but was concerned about the defensive group and I still think it will be inconsistent through the year.

    Great job by all three pairings.

    Are we actively seeing Nurse take the next step? Yes, he still has wobble with some own-zone turnovers and seems lost a bit on the rush but he is looking like a material player out there – quick decisions, good decision, better passing, great transition by skating, etc.

    If Nurse anchoring that 2nd pair right now?

  2. Clarkenstein says:

    The parade is back on I assume?

  3. 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?

  4. Lowetide says:

    Clarkenstein:
    The parade is back on I assume?

    I’ll be happy with one in the next 10 years, let alone this one.

  5. frjohnk says:

    Clarkenstein:
    The parade is back on I assume?

    *slowly puts down pitchfork*
    *backs ups from Chias lawn*
    *starts writing on pilsner beer box ” In Chia We Trust”*
    *heads downtown*

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

    OriginalPouzar,

    I like everything in here except Strome down to 3C. He’s starting to find a groove. Leave him there and drop Drai down to 3C with Cagguila/Slep, both are skilled players and can keep up to Drai’s pace. They will feast on the soft underbelly of the opposition 3rd Line and if they get hard matched in Philly Nuge et al will feast on said soft underbelly.

    Drai goes back with CmD on PP one and can rotate in on 1RW if need be.

  7. zatch says:

    *whispers* I like Auvitu as a #7-8 who you throw into the lineup as a bottom pair guy with a real #5 when you want some offensive chaos.

  8. frjohnk says:

    I said this last post

    “Nurse is only D man 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!

    He has definitely taken a step forward and I think leads to a Klefbom trade.

    And I love Klefbom, so Im not looking to chase him out, but Oilers 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.

    Something will have to give.

  9. Jethro Tull says:

    LT, You were not off the mark with what you wrote. It is aclassic “if the toque fits, wear it” piece. If you are a poster or Joe Blow off the street and think that what LT wrote applies to you, it probably does and you know deep down what is making you feel that way. Carly Simon said it best.

    Lucic’s best game. Did they pop his hip back in?

  10. Wonder Llama says:

    Watched the Chicago feed. Some nice things said about Gordon Downie between periods.

    You can see Yamamoto’s confidence grow with each passing game. It’s beautiful to watch.

    My imperfect eyes tell me Ryan Strome is getting better but what do they know?

    I’m really impressed with RNH so far this year: fast, smart, effective.

  11. Nuclear leak says:

    The faceoff changes have help Nuge more then any player in the league, too honest to cheat years past. With a alil bit of clean air his reflexes are flexing on the opposition.

  12. russ99 says:

    The thing I liked best about the Nurse-Russell pairing last night was that Russell was defending specific players. He was on Kane like white on rice, keeping Nurse away from the toughest matchups and not messing with his newfound confidence in our zone.

    Also maybe Russell on his off side is a blessing in disguise, he’s played better focusing on the defensive game and wasn’t running willy-nilly in the offensive zone, which isn’t his game.

  13. Pouzar says:

    I’ve seen much more wobble in Klef’s game than Nurse but the latter always gets labelled. Not saying the latter doesn’t have wobble but come on. Who doesn’t right now?

  14. Jethro Tull says:

    frjohnk,

    Trade him for Taylor Hall?

  15. russ99 says:

    Nuclear leak:
    The faceoff changes have help Nuge more then any player in the league, too honest to cheat years past. With a alil bit of clean air his reflexes are flexing on the opposition.

    The faceoff cheats were all about lower body strength and leverage, which isn’t Nuge’s strong suit.

  16. dustrock says:

    LT, only slightly negative comment I’ll throw in from last night’s game.

    It look a Gretzky-level play by McDavid to get the one goal and get the team to OT.

    Is it nitpicking playing a road game against a good team? Yes, tightening up the DZ play, PK and goalering were the big keys, and boy did we ever get that.

    Just saying the dam is going to burst sometime.

    If Drai comes back 100% on Saturday I’m hoping the levees will break.

  17. frjohnk says:

    Jethro Tull:
    frjohnk,

    Trade him for Taylor Hall?

    Nope.

    Would need to trade him for a forward on a ELC.

  18. Snowman says:

    Don’t look now but Nuge is 26th in the league in faceoff % at 56.2%.

    I’ve really enjoyed Nuge’s resurgence so far this year. I thought at the beginning of the year Nuge would be the key to a deep run.

    If he can play this way for the whole season good things are going to happen. Center depth. Its a thing.

  19. frjohnk says:

    Pouzar:
    I’ve seen much more wobble in Klef’s game than Nurse but the latter always gets labelled. Not saying the latter doesn’t have wobble but come on. Who doesn’t right now?

    Sekera?

  20. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    –Great post LT! One of the concerns that was “identified” in the off season was the dearth of RW’ers for the top line.

    – I didnt’ buy into it, reasoning that some combo of Drai, Slepppy, Caggs, Pool, would take care of business, and that this was a better solution than getting a vet like Jagr.

    – So far so good: while no one could anticipate that is was Kailer who stepped up (for now), between he and Drai we have point per game production on the RW

    – I agree with this strategy: finding the right combos that work, without going out and getting a vet that at best does as well as our internal solutions at wing, which currently are: Drai, Strome, Cags, Kailer, Sleppy, Pool.

    – Coach is able to reward good play, move players up and down accordingly. It’s a different deployment than purely “development” , which meant guys were exposed and gifted spots higher up the order because there were no solutions.

    – Time will tell, but I don’t think its a “Chia is dumb, sat on his hands” rather this is what the organization at this time feels is optimal for playoff success this year and beyond.

  21. GMB3 says:

    The Oilers must feel like they just took a huge weight off their shoulders with that performance. That was a breath of fresh air.

    I do like the construction of Chicago’s team though, Saad is a great player. They have a lot of speed throughout the lineup.

  22. flea says:

    frjohnk,

    I think if anyone goes, it would be Sekera, especially if they play well without him over the next lil bit. But the Oilers are also pretty comfortable with Russell on the RHS, so keeping all of Nurse, Klefbom and Sekera might be feasible.

    Nurse likely will be bridged though, he hasn’t shown enough consistently over his first deal to warrant a long contract extension. Especially if he has a really good year this year, probably not in his interest to sign a long deal at 4-5 million. I’d guess a two year bridge at 3 mil or so.

    Even with that contract, the Oilers top 5 d are pretty reasonably paid.

    Sekera – 5.5
    Klefbom – 4.167
    Larsson – 4.167
    Russell – 4.0
    Nurse – 3.0 (est)

    Total – 20.8

    That’s a pretty manageable total and needed for the Oilers to keep some sort of balance on the front end.

    I don’t really see many options. If a guy like Carlson reaches FA, he’ll command $6M plus, Oilers can’t afford that. Trading for Klefbom for Trouba, you likely have gotta pay him $6M too. So I don’t really see how a Klefbom trade helps the Oilers at all. He’s a cheap top 4 defenceman, gotta hold onto that guy.

  23. Ivan says:

    “Here’s the message I was trying to convey. In my blog posts, and pretty much universally in the comments section, you will find (daily) thoughtful prose about the Oilers and their situation. If you post a thoughtful paragraph about the Eberle-for-Strome trade and cast it as a net negative, that moves the conversation forward. If you post “I will poison this board with hatred for Chiarelli for as long as he lives” it is not helpful. This blog is based on the bunch of us playing armchair general manager and that’s the fun of it. That’s the key. Intelligent exchanges, defending a position using logic, reason, math and prose. I apologize to those (and there were a number of you) who took it as anything other than what it was intended to be, and hope this prolonged passage sets things right.”

    This is spot on. There are so many great hockey opinions shared on this blog, it’s reasonable to hope that the bulk of them can be reflective of the tone established by our host. Honest, strong and measured thoughts build the community, blind vitriol tears it down. Dissent is wonderful, alternative viewpoints encouraged, but drape them in some humility and shake on a little respect for others who view differently.

  24. Melvis says:

    frjohnk: *starts writing on pilsner beer box ” In Chia We Trust”

    Thanks for the idea. I think I might have a collaged version of an old style Pilsner box – scaled up and printed on about seven feet of canvas – and over painted in the Basquiat/Warhol style featuring a bit of the hockeying.

    Process. It’s a thing.

  25. digger50 says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    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?

    I love that forward group.

    Such a relief to see Strome coming on now. Fingers crossed.
    I see him as third line center, exactly what was missing last year. And yes that makes Drai the utility man, available to boost any line. About Drai, would you trade him for Toews? Nope.

    Poor Grubs, still no love. He’s playing great.

    What is Yamamoto PDO? Kid can’t buy a goal. He’s a good bet for next game, he’s way overdue.

  26. Ivan says:

    By the way, I was working and couldn’t watch the game, but Yamamoto’s 8 shots leap off the score sheet. Is this evidence of LT’s long dreamed of ‘volume shooter” , or were they of the muffin variety?

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

    Kinger_Oil.redux,

    Agreed! Coach and GM spent lots of time this summer telling folks that the Oilers are a growth team. I’m with you, this is what a growth team looks like.

    Calgary emptied the bullets in their chamber for Stone/Hamonic and now have Jagr playing 1RW, two different strategies, time will tell.

    flea,

    Ya I’m with you here. Despite the rushes Nurse doesn’t post enough offense at this point to warrant a salary as high as 4 million, ditto with Benning. I think Reg and Klef have set the bar when it comes to defense salaries (Larsson signed by NJD) and unless they really turn up the offense I don’t know how they eclipse those numbers.

  28. Pouzar says:

    frjohnk: Sekera?

    Anyone on your Winnipeg Jets!!!

  29. russ99 says:

    I still like Nuge as the third line center, Leon as the 2nd line center and Strome at RW before everything is settled, but there’s no way you break up that second line while they’re playing well.

  30. Brantford Boy says:

    Captain Obvious Post…

    Bad bounce and goal set the tone again… then Talbot rifles the puck over the glass… I think this really set the tone in the goalers head, “I need to come up big after that BS”, and he did. By then everyone sees his calm and it works its way up the lineup.

    I liked Malone in camp and after he took those 2 back to back penalties (preseason) something lit a fire under his ass and he scored 2… I like his last 2 games, JJ is on the outside looking in.

    RNH faceoff percentage is through the roof, I think we can thank the faceoff rule change for this… cerebral vs. muscle in the dot, and Nuge has it… and I think if we are believing the coach likes pairs, RNH and Strome look like they are developing some real chemistry together and Lucic does not look out of place nearly as often.

    Inserting Drai and Cags, going to be tough with the way things were rolling last night. Maybe give Drai 3rd line centre duties for one game to get back into the swing of things? Otherwise breaking up the 2nd line if the plan is to keep Yamamoto on the top line. I suppose the simple no fuss route is to get Drai back on the top line RW, and bump Yamamoto down, which would be a little unfair given his effort the last few games he seems to be getting more confident every game.

    Man, winning is so much better than losing, keep it going boys!

  31. russ99 says:

    Ivan:
    By the way, I was working and couldn’t watch the game, but Yamamoto’s 8 shots leap off the score sheet. Is this evidence of LT’s long dreamed of ‘volume shooter” , or were they of the muffin variety?

    I was sitting on the side the Oilers were shooting at in the 1st and 3rd and I though Yamamoto’s shots were solid, but Forsberg was saving everything towards the middle of the net.

    His last two shots in the third were on a silver platter, but maybe side/corner shot accuracy isn’t a strength or those would have been goals.

  32. Jethro Tull says:

    frjohnk: Nope.

    Would need to trade him for a forward on a ELC.

    How does one turn on the sarcastic irony text?😊

  33. Silver Streak says:

    frjohnk,

    Ouch….whoa….stop….our established D crew need more “established D men….not less.
    Use some of our kids in Bakersfield and a pick, but no way do we move him.

  34. frjohnk says:

    flea:
    frjohnk,

    I think if anyone goes, it would be Sekera, especially if they play well without him over the next lil bit. But the Oilers are also pretty comfortable with Russell on the RHS, so keeping all of Nurse, Klefbom and Sekera might be feasible.

    Nurse likely will be bridged though, he hasn’t shown enough consistently over his first deal to warrant a long contract extension. Especially if he has a really good year this year, probably not in his interest to sign a long deal at 4-5 million. I’d guess a two year bridge at 3 mil or so.

    Even with that contract, the Oilers top 5 d are pretty reasonably paid.

    Sekera – 5.5
    Klefbom – 4.167
    Larsson – 4.167
    Russell – 4.0
    Nurse – 3.0 (est)

    Total – 20.8

    That’s a pretty manageable total and needed for the Oilers to keep some sort of balance on the front end.

    I don’t really see many options. If a guy like Carlson reaches FA, he’ll command $6M plus, Oilers can’t afford that. Trading for Klefbom for Trouba, you likely have gotta pay him $6M too. So I don’t really see how a Klefbom trade helps the Oilers at all. He’s a cheap top 4 defenceman, gotta hold onto that guy.

    .If Nurse keeps up his play, he wont get bridged. ( best advanced stats and he is leading the team in 5 on 5 TOI for Dmen, so that is a tell that the coaches see a step up in his play and are giving him more responsibility) Im expecting that Nurses agent will be looking at the Matheson contract. $4.8M over 8 years as a starting point. Maybe they settle around the Manson contract of $4.1M.

    Sekera and Russell have NMC’s.
    Larsson they wont trade as he is only RHD who can play top 4.
    Oilers love Nurse.
    Crazy as it sounds, Klefbom might be the odd man out.

    On the other hand, they could have these 5 Dmen all making over $4M plus, but the forward group would have to replace Maroon and Nuge with $1M options and every other RFA forward and Benning bridged for under $2M.

  35. trencan says:

    frjohnk,

    I still think it will be RNH and not Klefbom. I don’t like the idea but it’s business. I would like to trade him for Eeli Tolvanen.

  36. Nuclear leak says:

    russ99: The faceoff cheats were all about lower body strength and leverage, which isn’t Nuge’s strong suit.

    Faceoffs were more of the beginning of a rugby scrum down, lowered shoulder turning into opposition, dropping to the knees shielding the puck, hoping your team knocks it back.

  37. russ99 says:

    frjohnk: .If Nurse keeps up his play, he wont get bridged. ( best advanced stats and he is leading the team in 5 on 5 TOI for Dmen, so that is a tell that the coaches see a step up in his play and are giving him more responsibility) Im expecting that Nurses agent will be looking at the Matheson contract.$4.8M over 8 years as a starting point.Maybe they settle around the Manson contract of $4.1M.

    Sekera and Russell have NMC’s.
    Larsson they wont trade as he is only RHD who can play top 4.
    Oilers love Nurse.
    Crazy as it sounds, Klefbom might be the odd man out.

    On the other hand, they could have these 5 Dmen all making over $4M plus, but the forward group would have to replace Maroon and Nuge with $1M options and every other RFA forward and Benning bridged for under $2M.

    The young D here and the future bottom pair guys in Bakersfield need another year to reach the levels that will allow us to trade Sekera and Russell. It’s not going to happen this year or this summer.

    I doubt that we keep every forward this summer, that’s what this season is about, getting the sorties to make a good decision to keep and who to let go/trade.

  38. texmex says:

    We haven’t talked about Yakupov lately? I’ll just leave this here. I like the kid, but he refuses to learn.

    ““He was one of them, yeah,” Bednar said, when asked if Yakupov was one of the passengers who didn’t show up. “A couple of bonehead plays, you can’t make when you’re playing the best team in the division. A handful of plays that we can’t continue to make cost us the hockey game.”

  39. OriginalPouzar says:

    SayItAin’tSo, Gretz, SayItAin’tSo!:
    OriginalPouzar,

    I like everything in here except Strome down to 3C. He’s starting to find a groove. Leave him there and drop Drai down to 3C with Cagguila/Slep, both are skilled players and can keep up to Drai’s pace. They will feast on the soft underbelly of the opposition 3rd Line and if they get hard matched in Philly Nuge et al will feast on said soft underbelly.

    Drai goes back with CmD on PP one and can rotate in on 1RW if need be.

    Yes, I am fine with that as well.

  40. JimmyV1965 says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    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?

    Absolutely love this forward group. That gives us two extremely dangerous lines. Malone deserves to get in though. He earned that last night. He could be 3C with Strome on the wing. Caggs can wait a game or two.

  41. digger50 says:

    Kinger_Oil.redux</strong

    – Time will tell, but I don’t think its a “Chia is dumb, sat on his hands” rather this is what the organization at this time feels is optimal for playoff success this year and beyond.

    <

    Just wanted to discuss this item Kinger, without aiming anything at you.

    I don’t know the sentiment is “Chia is dumb”. I would phrase it as “Chia is content and sat in his hands all summer” and yes the reason he did this was because the org felt it was the optimal play. I think this is completely true.

    The discussion is not around his intelligence but around his organizations evaluation of thier talent, where they project to improve and will it be enough.

    Last night the entire team played well. However it was Talbot and McDavid who won the game. We know we win when these guys are on. We don’t know what we have with the rest of the team.

    I shouldn’t say we don’t know, we have a pretty good idea based on almost everyone projecting the team around 100 points for the year. Fans and org see the team as good NHL playoff team.

    No real surprise they won and will continue to win thier share. As the season continues the same question will be there, particularly down the home stretch. Did the organization evaluate thier talent and projections correctly? Were they close? Did they have any big misses? As some posters point out there will always be holes in the roster. Chia was very open with his plan, he stated he liked what he had, wanted to see how things developed. Should he have done more? For me that is the debate, without thinking him dumb or having poor intentions.

  42. frjohnk says:

    russ99: I doubt that we keep every forward this summer,

    Yup.

    If we are keeping the 5 D making $4M plus ( thats my expectation with Nurse) plus Benning being bridged, we will need to replace Maroon and Nuge for sure with cheap options. Any RFA forward who has a good year will need to be bridged or traded.

  43. Pouzar says:

    Oilers are #1 in SVA HDCF%
    and
    #4 in SVA CF%

  44. Pouzar says:

    “Trouba is Dumb”

    From my Season Ticket holding Bestie. 🙂

  45. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    texmex,

    – Re: Yak: yeah his ass was stapled to bench last game, played around 8 mins. Not good. I don’t know what it is with him that he gets into the doghouse despite showing offensive flair…

  46. texmex says:

    Kinger_Oil.redux,

    The kid has so much talent, but I’m not sure what goes on between his ears. I checked in on a few Avs games to see how he’s doing this year. I counted at least three different occasions where he’d carry the puck up ice and stop just short of the blue line putting the play off sides. That used to infuriate me when he played with the Oilers. GET THE LINE MAN!!!!

  47. npanciroli says:

    Pouzar,

    What does the SVA mean?

    Also, loved watching the game last night. Team looked dangerous throughout. I think the ideal forward lineup is:

    Maroon McDavid Yamamoto
    Lucic Drai Strome
    Jokinen RNH Slepyshev
    Cagguila Letestu Kassian

    Feel free to rotate Drai and RNH or stack them up late in the game, but to me running 3C deep is the way to win. I also keep Yamamoto at this point.

  48. N64 says:

    oscarmike: sure as hell

    Hell’s certainty never ends well.

  49. anjinsan says:

    When Hall was traded the PR machine and various rationalizing fans were saying Hall was bad in the locker room and had too much of an alpha dog personality. If that were so, he wouldn’t be playing with Hischier. However, he is and they are doing quite well chemistry wise. In short order Shero has developed a speedy team in NJ.

  50. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    digger50:

    – It’s an interestng conversation. I appreciate the response. The “Chia was dumb” was just a catch phrase to capture the view that he sat on his hands because he mis-evaluated our team, and he should know that there is a lot of urgency and by not getting vets rather play the incumbents and get a Joki, this was piss-poor idea

    – Again time will tell, but I was just pointing out that RW production has not been an issue IMO, or at least not the black hole that some suggested.

    – Between Drai, Strome, Caggs, Pool, Sleppy, Joki, Kassian a few times (and Kailer for now): I think they find the right solution: so far its a work in progress but they will be better off come playoffs with either exhausting all internal solutions, before going the FA route…

    – The luxury of being a good team is they can tinker and refine rather than make wholesale moves, and prepare for the playoff run. This is Chia’s plan IMO: that’s how I see it

  51. Pouzar says:

    npanciroli: What does the SVA mean?

    Score and Venue Adjusted.

  52. npanciroli says:

    anjinsan,

    Happy to see Hall starting off well hope he gets a taste of playoffs soon.

  53. jtblack says:

    Yak down. Hall up. Ebs flat. Ex Oilers different degrees of performance.

    Like Malone! Great 4th line guy Keep him.

    If Yammy Starts to cash, he has to stay. 8 shots last nigh! needs to bury some in the next 4 games seems to understand how to play with Connor.

    When this team gets Reggie, Drai and Drake back I think we see the Team everyone was “predicting”.

    McD is an unfair advantagr, but he’s part of the team. Just somehow need lines 2 and 3 to emerge and as LT said, have a positive possession 4th Line.

  54. npanciroli says:

    Larsson made a couple plays last night in front of the net that I had to rewind to see the composure. Battling with someone and using his stick to stop a cross crease pass to another player, thing of beauty.

  55. jtblack says:

    anjinsan,

    Hall was also challenged at the Exit interview last season. He changed his workout regime and came back Focused. I dont think he was a bad locker room guy, but perhaps a bit immature.

    Hes going great this yr.

  56. McSorley33 says:

    Completely agree on Nurse ….taking a step. Still a few interesting decisions but progress.

    Really like Malone’s game….and I am even seeing Strome okay now.

    Lucic was better but still had 3 direct plays in the first giving Chicago the puck.

  57. DocFan says:

    What are the available stats for “plays dying on stick” and “also in picture” plays. Asking for a friend.

  58. adamjames says:

    I was quite impressed with Auvitu last night. Good with the puck, as advertised, but I also noticed a few good defensive sorties. He won at least 3 one on one battles at the edge of the slot to get the puck moving the right direction.

  59. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Through 2 games Brad Malone has played 18 minutes, all at evens, during which time Oilers have outshot the opposition 15-5. Malone himself has 6 shots. Also 8 hits & a 63% win rate on the dot.

    Surprised not to see him on the PK, but I’d be more surprised to see him pulled out of the line-up next game after giving McLellan everything he could possibly hope for from a depth forward.

    Just 2 games obviously, but so far so good.

    Speaking of on-ice shots metrics, in the past 2 games the Oilers have outshot the bad guys 28-5 (!) with Eric Gryba on the ice, and similar (22-4) with Auvitu. Not sure who Benning replaces once he’s good to go. Might have to wait his turn for a bit, indeed I am not sure that wasn’t the case last night.

  60. hunter1909 says:

    “Orrwellian”

    LOL

    Perfect!

  61. Side says:

    adamjames:
    I was quite impressed with Auvitu last night. Good with the puck, as advertised, but I also noticed a few good defensive sorties. He won at least 3 one on one battles at the edge of the slot to get the puck moving the right direction.

    I didn’t watch the whole game but I did catch glimpses of Auvitu. I have to agree with you in what I saw. Which is in contrast to one of (or a couple of) posters on this site saying Auvitu should never play in the NHL again based on a performance of his recently. I didn’t catch all of the games this year unfortunately, but opinions of Auvitu seem to range from “he should never play in the NHL again” to “he’s alright, good at best”.

    Anyone care to add anything about Auvitu?

  62. vinotintazo says:

    I’m liking Gryba so far, he doesn’t look slow to me and is moving the puck decently.

  63. hunter1909 says:

    anjinsan:
    When Hall was traded the PR machine and various rationalizing fans were saying Hall was bad in the locker room and had too much of an alpha dog personality.If that were so, he wouldn’t be playing with Hischier.However, he is and they are doing quite well chemistry wise.In short order Shero has developed a speedy team in NJ.

    Methinks it was a matter of Hall possibly not being happy to be demoted with bigger dog McDavid.

    Hall is a great player. I’ll refrain from crying over this young millionaire’s lot though.

  64. Professor Q says:

    hunter1909:
    “Orrwellian”

    LOL

    Perfect!

    Better than Orsonwellean?

  65. N64 says:

    Professor Q: Better than Orsonwellean?

    You missed an R.

  66. Professor Q says:

    anjinsan:
    When Hall was traded the PR machine and various rationalizing fans were saying Hall was bad in the locker room and had too much of an alpha dog personality.If that were so, he wouldn’t be playing with Hischier.However, he is and they are doing quite well chemistry wise.In short order Shero has developed a speedy team in NJ.

    There were mixed reactions. There was no monopoly. However I don’t think the majority of MSM nor of fans were in the camp of outright libel and slander against Hall’s perosnality or behaviour etc.

  67. Professor Q says:

    N64: You missed an R.

    He only has one R in his used (middle) name, actually. Unless you count the R in his first name, that being George.

  68. jonrmcleod says:

    Draisaitl is practicing with the team today, as per Jack Michaels.

  69. Professor Q says:

    jonrmcleod:
    Draisaitl is practicing with the team today, as per Jack Michaels.

    Very good. Were there any updates on Sekera and Caggiula’s skating routines (is Drai still with them, too, or does moving on to the team skate negate that?)?

  70. Material pocession says:

    Bruce McCurdy:
    Through 2 games Brad Malone has played 18 minutes, all at evens, during which time Oilers have outshot the opposition 15-5. Malone himself has 6 shots. Also 8 hits & a 63% win rate on the dot.

    Surprised not to see him on the PK, but I’d be more surprised to see him pulled out of the line-up next game after giving McLellan everything he could possibly hope for from a depth forward.

    Just 2 games obviously, but so far so good.

    Speaking of on-ice shots metrics, in the past 2 games the Oilers have outshot the bad guys 28-5 (!) with Eric Gryba on the ice, and similar (22-4) with Auvitu. Not sure who Benning replaces once he’s good to go. Might have to wait his turn for a bit, indeed I am not sure that wasn’t the case last night.

    Finally someone pointed out Gryba’s play. He was a beast last night in the defensive zone, owning everything along the boards. The Blackhawks had no clean air. Larsson was equally impressive with good reads and aggressive checking. He looked the part of a 1D, which was ironic given Kinger and Cassandra’s argument about him in the previous thread.

  71. mit167 says:

    I Iked Malone in preseason and think he has earned a spot since getting the call up. He has been better than Pakarinen, Jujhar an Kelly. (IMO)

    My lines with Drai and Cags back would be

    Maroon CMD Drai
    Lucic Nuge Strome
    Cags Letestu Sleppy
    Jokinen Malone Kassian

    Huge fan of KY but send him down and let him develop

  72. Material pocession says:

    Side: I didn’t watch the whole game but I did catch glimpses of Auvitu. I have to agree with you in what I saw.Which is in contrast to one of (or a couple of) posters on this site saying Auvitu should never play in the NHL again based on a performance of his recently.I didn’t catch all of the games this year unfortunately, but opinions of Auvitu seem to range from “he should never play in the NHL again” to “he’s alright, good at best”.

    Anyone care to add anything about Auvitu?

    For an offensive defenseman, he has a weak slap shot and I don’t see him putting up a lot of offense. Last night, he definitely made some strong stick checks in front of the net, though, so that was encouraging. Credit where it’s due.

  73. Material pocession says:

    Slepyshev also looked like the player we expected. He was skating well, aggressive, and was making plays. It will be tough for him 5v5 if he’s saddled with Letestu. Hopefully he gets another shot playing up the line up soon.

  74. russ99 says:

    Side: I didn’t watch the whole game but I did catch glimpses of Auvitu. I have to agree with you in what I saw.Which is in contrast to one of (or a couple of) posters on this site saying Auvitu should never play in the NHL again based on a performance of his recently.I didn’t catch all of the games this year unfortunately, but opinions of Auvitu seem to range from “he should never play in the NHL again” to “he’s alright, good at best”.

    Anyone care to add anything about Auvitu?

    He made some nice plays in the defensive zone in the first period. Didn’t think he had it in him.

    But in the second, he got outskated by the forward he was covering a few times and made a few blunders with the puck under pressure.

    At one point I turned to the Hawks fan sitting next to me, and said, uh oh, Auvitu’s covering…

    Saw him good in the o-zone too, but we know he’s good there.

    Seems his real weakness in our zone is opponent entry and man coverage. When the cycle is established, he’s at least average.

  75. JimmyV1965 says:

    Would like to see Maroon with his stick on the ice. He scored a goal because his stick was on the ice. He missed a golden chance on a McDavid rebound because his stick wasn’t ready. I don’t have any numbers, but I’ve seen that a few times this year.

  76. russ99 says:

    JimmyV1965:
    Would like to see Maroon with his stick on the ice. He scored a goal because his stick was on the ice. He missed a golden chance on a McDavid rebound because his stick wasn’t ready. I don’t have any numbers, but I’ve seen that a few times this year.

    Material pocession: Finally someone pointed out Gryba’s play.He was a beast last night in the defensive zone, owning everything along the boards.The Blackhawks had no clean air.Larsson was equally impressive with good reads and aggressive checking.He looked the part of a 1D, which was ironic given Kinger and Cassandra’s argument about him in the previous thread.

    Gryba is who he is. Solid on the wall, good hitter and good at separating the puck from the opposing player.

    I didn’t see a lot of the usual hand grenade own-zone passes, but then our whole team was doing the ring the puck around to nobody thing in the first and half of the second.

  77. P2theickles1 says:

    19-97-56
    27-29-58
    36-93-19
    24-55-44

    77-6
    25-4
    83-62

    Give Cags another couple days and a few more practices to get up to speed.
    Pak should take a seat as he hasn’t done much.
    I like Nurse on the second pairing.
    Maybe this allows Benning to regain his confidence and then you have a second pairing of 25-83 in a week or two if nurse continues this and benning is back to the old benning we knew last year.

  78. Pouzar says:

    Side: Anyone care to add anything about Auvitu?

    Like watching a dog cross Portage Ave.

  79. Santa says:

    Thanks for that article on Tony Hand, LT. He’s one of the most fascinating hockey stories I’ve ever read.

  80. thehop says:

    Material pocession,

    #freeslepyshev

  81. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    *****SPAM*****

    I’m on Oilers Now at 1:05 if you want to listen

    Will mention how well Nurse is doing via the shot metrics because I always try to give credit when its due

    …..and to cheer up Pouzar

    *****END SPAM*****

  82. LMHF#1 says:

    Lowetide,

    You know LT, I’m always surprised not only at what gets a reaction around here – but that people react so directly toward you.

    I’m here for a good time and some occasional ranting. The idea that people take this so seriously as to lose it is mind-boggling.

  83. Chachi says:

    Side: Anyone care to add anything about Auvitu?

    He pronounces “Marleau” real funny.

  84. thehop says:

    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.

    LT,

    It was refreshing to read your opinion written with a little heat. I’m consistently amazed at your ability to stay on an even kiel.

    As someone who runs hot more often than not… my respect for you,your blog and your opinion has never been greater!

  85. Pouzar says:

    Woodguy v2.0: Will mention how well Nurse is doing via the shot metrics because I always try to give credit when its due
    …..and to cheer up Pouzar

    ha ha thx!

    Will catch the recording when I get home this evening!

  86. doritogrande says:

    Like watching a dog cross Portage Ave.

    My question to this, is how scared of the escalator is the dog?

  87. jtblack says:

    Bruce McCurdy,

    +1. Glad the metrics align with the eye test. He looks good out there. Lets hope they don’t sleep walk thru the 11 a.m. start time

  88. N64 says:

    Professor Q: He only has one R in his used (middle) name, actually. Unless you count the R in his first name, that being George.

    Liked LT’s homage to Bobby a lot. Orrwellian or Orrsonwellian both work. Oilers sure had a doubleunplusgood season start.

  89. Dominoiler says:

    Haha, wow..

    I loved that paragraph, LT.. was going to say so yesterday..


    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.

    All. Day. Long..

    (PS.. i thought it actually complemented Dellow, smart enough to get a shot at affecting the actual team)

    (PPS.. I’m guilty of it too, many times over.. but c’mon, own it)

  90. OriginalPouzar says:

    No Drai tomorrow against Philly.

    Frank Seravalli‏Verified account @frank_seravalli 12m12 minutes ago
    More
    Draisaitl says tomorrow is not a possibility to return vs. #Flyers. Still experiencing symptoms. “It would not be safe,” he said. #Oilers

  91. hunter1909 says:

    N64: Orrwellian or Orrsonwellian both work. Oilers sure had a doubleunplusgood season start.

    Lowe and MacT are with the Edmonton Oilers. Lowe and MacT have always been with the Edmonton Oilers.

  92. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    hunter1909: Lowe and MacT are with the Edmonton Oilers. Lowe and MacT have always been with the Edmonton Oilers.

    Its like that photo at the end of The Shining movie where Jack is in New Year’s Eves pics from the 20’s.

    If they have pics of when Bill Hunter created the team I’m sure we’d see them in the background.

  93. dustrock says:

    Really trying not to be paranoid about Drai’s concussion symptoms but man, this is troubling.

  94. OriginalPouzar says:

    He’s going to be returning any game now.

    Its only been less than two weeks.

    I’m not concerned.

  95. Side says:

    Material pocession,

    russ99,

    Pouzar,

    Chachi,

    Perfect. I feel caught up now.

  96. Chachi says:

    Woodguy v2.0: Its like that photo at the end of The Shining movie where Jack is in New Year’s Eves pics from the 20’s.

    If they have pics of when Bill Hunter created the team I’m sure we’d see them in the background.

    Someone with photo shopping talent needs to make this a thing:

    Lowe and MacT in the crowd when the Hindenberg explodes
    Lowe and MacT watching a play at Ford’s Theatre April 14, 1865
    Lowe and MacT playing in the band on the deck of the Titanic

    Endless options.

  97. Justthestatsman says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    He’s going to be returning any game now.

    Its only been less than two weeks.

    I’m not concerned.

    I’m concerned about the next knock which could put him out long term. I know many are saying it was a clean hit, it looked like a shoulder to the head to me. May or may not have been intentional. Hard to blame the refs if there was a missed call. Seemed like it took everyone a day or two to figure out how he even got hurt.

  98. Bag of Pucks says:

    Woodguy v2.0,

    I’ve been giving this dialogue we’ve been having over the past couple days RE: ‘roster balance vs prospect development’ some thought and it’s led in an interesting direction.

    A while back there was a conversation thread about measurement analytics (or benchmarking) vs predictive (or exploratory) analytics. The crux of that conversation was that predictive analytics carried the potential for more competitive advantage – i.e. because you’re discovering brand new things, and thus potentially new innovations that your competitors do not have. Conversely, benchmark analytics empower us to arrive at more ‘known’ and definitive conclusions from existing data, particularly when data integrity, quality and sample sizes are sufficiently robust. We’re likely not arriving at any ‘gamechangers’ in terms of new conclusions or paradigm shifts with this approach but the contextual layer is getting richer with each iteration.

    In one sense, you could describe this as an analytics approach that embraces uncertainty (i.e. exploratory) vs. an analytics approach that embraces certainty, and thus prohibits uncertainty (i.e. benchmarking).

    What made me think of this was this statement you made during our earlier exchange:

    “It’s all about not putting players above their established NHL ability.”

    It struck me that this is the crux of where we ‘philosophically’ differ and is thus why we’ll likely never convince the other of our argument, though certainly you’ve raised some excellent points which have caused me to revise my pov on this (more on this in a second).

    The key is the word ‘established.’ For example, correlated with your argument for Chiarelli to sign a veteran RW or 2, the word ‘established’ implies that there is an existing benchmark for every RW both on the internal depth chart and in other organizations and we’re thus able to slot them accordingly.

    First off, if you really follow this logic exercise through to its conclusion, you can see that it can easily become a paradox preventing player development. If for instance, Drake Caggiula were to start on the 3 line, he’ll never play above that, because there is no ‘established’ dataset to support elevating him to this higher line. In fact, for a newly drafted player, there is no existing dataset to support them playing in the NHL at all, so thus no ‘established’ benchmark to support slotting them onto the depth chart of an NHL roster.

    Now, clearly you’re not advocating that. The process you describe is existing vets in competition with emerging prospects, but presumably the vets get the first push at the higher levels because they have ‘established’ NHL ability. After all, this is why we acquired them right, because the prospects are lacking this ‘established’ performance dataset?

    Now, once you qualified it as only signing available veterans on one year deals, without giving up assets, then I’m pretty much on-board with you because what we’re talking about now is ‘insurance policies’ and not depreciating vets that could potentially limit development time for younger ‘appreciating’ prospects, should the younger player drive an ‘established’ benchmark very quickly.

    Where Kinger and I are finding common ground I believe, is in advocating an ‘exploratory’ approach whereby the ‘established’ abilities are not definitive, but rather than prohibiting or preventing uncertainty, you’re reducing it at a far greater rate by throwing all of Yamamoto, Sleppy, Caggiula, Kassian, Strome and Pakarinen into the mix to see which two rise to the Top 6. In essence, you’re fast tracking the creation and comparisons of their ‘established’ level datasets.

    I think you can argue that this is what Slats did, and in embracing this exploratory model of ‘playing his kids’ he ultimately achieved a competitive advantage that may not have existed if Sather had chosen instead to play long in the tooth vets until the kids could prove their ‘established’ ability. Essentially he built a ‘Hall of Fame’ cluster that all arrived at the same time in their development, an outcome this was likely only theoretically possible by developing them at a comparable rate.

    So, yes if it’s Jagr on a 1 year deal and he’s amenable to sliding down the depth chart or hitting the press box, I’m with you. But always cognizant of the fact that the price you pay here is pushing back the development of your top prospects. That is where the immediate gratification comes in. Yes, the team’s likely better today with Jagr in the lineup but if it means JP or Yamamato is delayed a year in becoming a viable contributor to the McDavid cluster, is it worth that development cost?

    I think we can both agree it’s better for the team and its Cap if JP were to become the longterm 1RW solution asap. Does signing Jagr today move you closer to that outcome or further out? In that example, I’d say further out cos Jesse’s in Bakersfield and thus Jaromir is likely directly blocking his possibility for playing time.

  99. dustrock says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    He’s going to be returning any game now.

    Its only been less than two weeks.

    I’m not concerned.

    Sorry, yes, I meant I’m more concerned for our $8million dollar man for the future.

    There’s some people like Bergeron who apparently dealt with the initial symptoms and never looked back, and there seems to be other players who got their bell rung again and never really recovered.

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

    Bag of Pucks,

    Excellent, well said!

    I agree with your general thrust on this and I think a couple other on this fine blog do as well.

    One thing I submit to yourself, and to others as well, is there any evidence that there are several Oiler players that are slotted too far outside of their abilities today or their ceiling?

    I will defer to those who know how to interpret the advanced stats better than I but it appears that even when adjusting for score and venue effects the Oilers are handily beating their opponents 5v5 night in and night out. And that’s when we can all agree their are significant pieces out of the lineup (Drai and Sekera) and some serious early season wobble Talbot, Klef, the PK etc.

    Even with the record where it is I’m still headstrong in my belief that this was the proper route for the GM.

    No I don’t think the NHL is a development league but I do think its a league that young players can thrive in if they have the skills, determination and work ethic to grow their game. So far this year I’d say Nurse and Kailer are ahead of where they thought we would be. Does that happen if there are vets brought in to keep them out of the positions they find themselves in? That’s a good question.

    Overall I’m on board with plan Chia. I agree there are some holes in the roster but I think they are there intentionally and that because of the progress being made internally I think they are starting to close.

    Hopefully they and the team can keep it up!

    PS: Sucks that Drai is out tomorrow but it’s much more important that he is healthy

  101. OriginalPouzar says:

    Well, yes, hopefully he is able to put the concussion in the rear view mirror and never think about it again but I’m not going to overly-catastrophize the situation at this point. Its not like he’s been relegated to a dark room for 8 weeks – its been 12 days and his return is close. Yes, concussions are weird and I guess there could be the future effect, however, chances are likely, with a minor concussion, that he’ll be just fine, as long as he is indeed ready to return and his head is 100% – I’m confident the team will ensure that is the case.

  102. Lowetide says:

    Bob McKenzie‏Verified account @TSNBobMcKenzie now15 seconds ago
    More
    DET and RFA forward Andreas Athanasiou have agreed to terms on a one-year contract worth $1.387M.

  103. OriginalPouzar says:

    Super cheap – he caved. Good for the team to!

    I guess an offer sheet in the $3M range may have been able to scoop him?

  104. Bag of Pucks says:

    SayItAin’tSo, Gretz, SayItAin’tSo!,

    It’s a complicated and fascinating issue, because so much of it is predicated on getting the player development right.

    I think Oiler fans in particular are sensitive to this idea of throwing the kids to the wolves because we saw it so much with previous management and it didn’t seem to work particularly well with Cluster One (Cluster Fucked?). As a result, the pendulum has also most completely swung the other way now, and we absolutely loathe pushing a kid into the spotlight until we’re sure he’s completely ready. But as we’re seeing with Yammy, sometimes they’ll surprise you.

    Chiarelli’s main function imo is to achieve maximum output per cap dollar spent. That’s where signing fading vets particularly concerns me because you’re not getting great cap efficiency there (we’ve seen this time and time again with the fairly lackluster production from the late stage vets this team has signed in the past) AND you’re pushing back the maturation date for your emerging talent, which means you’re not getting that amazing entry level deal value from those kids that could actually contribute at the NHL level.

    It does truly show how far we’ve come though. If you’d have told Oiler fans that they’ve have 3 or 4 legitimate Top 6 RW prospects to fight it out on the pro roster, they’d have been ecstatic with that degree of organizational depth and competition. Now, we downplay it and demand even more depth and competition. That’s the sign of a stable organization and a fanbase nearly fully recovered from 10 year drought PTSD.

  105. Chachi says:

    Lowetide:
    Bob McKenzie‏Verified account @TSNBobMcKenzienow15 seconds ago
    More
    DET and RFA forward Andreas Athanasiou have agreed to terms on a one-year contract worth $1.387M.

    That’s 1.269 when you pro-rate for the games he missed so far. A little lesson in negotiating without leverage.

  106. Richard S.S. says:

    Every GM looks at the Cap as the #1 Priority. The better GMs look at year two also. The best GMs include year three and beyond. Fitting within the cap is a huge endeavor.

    The Oilers are slowly replacing the dog food that once was the farm system. There are now people who can come up and be effective when needed and it’s getting even better.

    The Team, despite it’s sucky record, has been playing well, just mostly unlucky. A player(s) makes a mistake and usually another is in position to handle the problem. Lately that person has been occasionally out of position. Is that improving? I don’t know enough to fairly comment.

    The Oilers need to see who is good enough to keep long term. The Oilers need to see who can play where. The Players are all good enough to be here, but are they good enough to stay?

  107. OmJo says:

    RE: Yamamoto

    I’m not saying this is intentional, but I feel like there’s a bit of a double standard here. When we evaluated JP we separated his with McDavid stats from his without McDavid stats and concluded he wasn’t ready for the NHL. Safe to say that conclusion is the consensus here, and I agreed with it.

    But why doesn’t that narrative also apply to Yamamoto? I’m firmly in the send him back down to Spokane camp by game 10, maybe stubbornly so. I just feel like evaluating him based on his play with McDavid we’ll be making the same kind of mistake we did evaluating Draisaitl this summer for his extension.

    How do JPs WOWYs compare with Yamamoto wrt 97? If we’re going to keep a raw rookie up to play with 97, why not send him down and bring up JP if – assuming – they produce equally with him and save Yamamoto’s ELC?

  108. OmJo says:

    frjohnk: Sekera?

    Technically, Sekera probably has the most wobble.

  109. Professor Q says:

    Justthestatsman: I’m concerned about the next knock which could put him out long term.I know many are saying it was a clean hit, it looked like a shoulder to the head to me.May or may not have been intentional.Hard to blame the refs if there was a missed call.Seemed like it took everyone a day or two to figure out how he even got hurt.

    It definitely was not a clean hit. But the refs’ sight and words (or lack thereof) are law.

  110. OriginalPouzar says:

    With respect to Yamamoto, lets take a step back for a second please. He has definitely gotten better every game he’s played, game over game. This has culminated in his best game to date, yesterday against Chicago. Last night was the first game where Kailer was actually a material part of the offence creation and not just a secondary piece – Kailer was making plays, getting to the right spots and was generally dangerous. He was also able, for the first time, to cause some ruckus with his aggressiveness and his quick stick.

    In my opinion, in order to say, Kailer needs to able to play like that consistently – he was a top 6 NHL winger last night, on his own, not solely because he was riding the coattails of the primary driver in the world.

    Can he play like that consistently? The next four games will be telling but they won’t tell us how he handles the grind of the season.

    If we have a healthy lineup in a week (Drai and Drake and Slep all at 100%), I think he will need to go but, if he has 4 more games where he’s creating, and we still have an injury or two up front, who knows.

  111. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Chachi: He pronounces “Marleau” real funny.

    I’ve said “Autivu” out loud a few times now and haven’t said it the same way twice.

  112. OriginalPouzar says:

    Additionally, there some validity to the fact that burning a year of his ELC will actually make his 2nd contract cheaper. Presumably his seasons from 2017-2020 wouldn’t be as productive as his seasons from 2018-2021 and he will have to sign a cheaper 2nd contract.

    There is no way to tell if that’s will/would come true, but it has validity in premise.

    With that said, at the same time, if we do burn a year, then, although his 2nd contract may be cheaper, it will also come a year early and do we want that?

    I’ve been of the mind-set that we need this particular contract to provide three material years – not middling/inconsistent/zoomed year plus two material years.

    This is a tough one.

  113. Chachi says:

    Woodguy v2.0: I’ve said “Autivu” out loud a few times now and haven’t said it the same way twice.

    It is difficult, what with the silent X and all.

  114. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Chachi: Someone with photo shopping talent needs to make this a thing:

    Lowe and MacT in the crowd when the Hindenberg explodes
    Lowe and MacT watching a play at Ford’s Theatre April 14, 1865
    Lowe and MacT playing in the band on the deck of the Titanic

    Endless options.

    I’m willing to pay for these artifacts

  115. Professor Q says:

    Chachi: He pronounces “Marleau” real funny.

    It’s pronounced like Majeau but with a RL instead of a J.

    Or do you mean the emphasis switch where the it can be Mar-Loh, Marl-Oh, or Marloh?

  116. Chachi says:

    Professor Q:

    Or do you mean the emphasis switch where the it can be Mar-Loh, Marl-Oh, or Marloh?

    Yes, the emphasis switch changes the sound of it greatly to my ear.

    Listen to Rob Vollman’s pronunciation at around 10:30 on the Lowdown from yesterday:
    https://soundcloud.com/lowdownwithlowetide/lthour2oct1917

  117. Chachi says:

    Woodguy v2.0: I’m willing to pay for these artifacts

    It would be a great coffee table book.

  118. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Bag of Pucks,

    This is all really good stuff and I’ll post a response later when I have more historical data at my fingers.

    I agree that we really don’t disagree on much other than how we see the younger player processing and if giving them a particular roster spot is encouraging them or “gifting” it to them.

    One quick note though re: Established NHL ability.

    When a player succeeds in a certain spot you can declare him “ready” to move up to the next spot so if a Dman’s “established NHL ability” is kicking ass on 3rd pair you can start to move him up to 2nd pair as the opportunity arises.

    We saw that with Benning last year who killed 3rd and played well at 2nd with Sekera.

    With his lack of track record I thought it was folly to expect him to fill a 2nd pair role, but he certainly earned a look up there.

    Similarly but on a different level was Seth Jones in NSH.

    Jones never played higher than 3rd pair in NSH, yet was traded for a 1C.

    Why?

    Well he killed 3rd pair (57% CF and other similarly ridiculous numbers) with less than awesome partners. (ie Jackman retired after his year w/ Jones)

    So he was deemed ready to play top 4 with top pair potential and was valued that way.

    Player’s “Established NHL ability'” will indicate if they are ready for more and their track record in that spot will indicate whether or not the player can work without a net (or vet in behind)

    Jones had 199 NHL games killing 3rd pair. He could work without a net and be banked on to move up.

    Benning had 62 NHL games killing 3rd pair and doing well w/ Sekera on 2nd pair.

    That’s not a player you can bank on yet.

    Similarly the RW depth of:

    Raw rookie (0 NHL games)
    Sleppy 51gp
    JP 28gp
    Kassian 313gp

    this begged for a vet to fall back on as the only proven RW didn’t have the track record to expect him to move up to 1/2 RW with success.

    I discount Drai at RW because one of the reasons Chiarelli gave for paying him “more than his comparables” was that ‘he’s a center”

  119. OriginalPouzar says:

    With Malone with the big club, Josh Currie is centering Puljijuarvi tonight and Rattie is on the left wing (LaLeggia moved down to 2nd line where Joe G. is moved up to).

    All four of the Fab Four in the lineup along with Simpson and Betker and Ellis getting the start.

  120. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Chachi: It would be a great coffee table book.

    Especially if it had retractable legs and could act like a coffee table.

  121. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Chachi: It is difficult, what with the silent X and all.

    See, I didn’t think the X was silent on the 3rd and 5th time.

  122. New Improved Darkness says:

    There was one sentence yesterday where—from anyone else—I might have suspected a veiled shot.

    For a second I thought it was possibly a friendly jab at Woodguy, lost in translation, as sometimes happens in the facial expression void (a gaff much honoured on this particular blog by the dog who so rarely barks in the night that we sometimes neglect to bear in mind other dogged oddities).

    Generally speaking, no voodoo dolls are kabobed in the crafting of Lowetide’s pin-sharp prose.

    But lingers on the thaw of shallow graves from the methanic muskeg.

    I am thy father’s spirit,
    Doom’d for vernal term to strut the links,
    And for the frost confin’d to seep in pyres,
    Till foul crimes in nepotism sopped
    Are bubuyd’out or wav’d away. But that I am forbid
    To slip the shackles of my NDA,
    I could a tale unfold whose lightest word
    Would frazzle pennants, adulterate thy brew,
    Make thy two tiers, like flesh-flies, plague upon their railings,
    Each note and freighted knock to press
    An arid crib with egg, and dowse with woe
    This straw-mulled clot by fretful crows depiled.
    But this eternal blazon must not be
    To bulls of fall and brood. List, Flamsmok, list!
    If thou didst ever this onyx droop of logo love—

    Etc.

    [*] I didn’t quite manage to get “mullet” to scan (blithely ignoring that it would have been a fish in Shakespearean times in any case), though I did manage to get it surrounded to a quadruple T.

    To Science

    Science! True daughter of Old Time thou art!
    Who alterest all things with thy peering eyes.
    Why preyest thou thus upon the poet’s heart,
    Vulture, whose wings are dull realities?
    How should he love thee? or how deem thee wise,
    Who wouldst not leave him in his wandering
    To seek for treasure in the jewelled skies,
    Albeit he soared with an undaunted wing?
    Hast thou not dragged Diana from her car?
    And driven the Hamadryad from the wood
    To seek a shelter in some happier star?
    Hast thou not torn the Naiad from her flood,
    The Elfin from the green grass, and from me
    The summer dream beneath the tamarind tree

    Definitely not Shakespeare.

    Poe.

    I thought maybe I was channeling a bit of Poe where I couldn’t hang with the Bard, but it turns out, Poe’s sonnets are pretty weird.

  123. Hwahl says:

    One of the rare games I get to see live as a European.

    Malone shows same qualities we saw from pre-season, great!
    Yamamoto went to the net, made shots, even made plays happen on his own. Played great in 3rd. Love him.
    Seems like RNH has put in some work on faceoffs, he’s winning alot more then in previous seasons

    Chaos seems like an appropriate description of Auvitu
    Nurse penalty was just so unnecessary. Honestly Sekera can’t get well soon enough. Nurse has potentional but he’s not a top 4 yet by any means

  124. oilinthepeg says:

    Hoping this team realizes what a key to our success Nuge is, before it is too late…
    It’s an eye-test assessment, but he is all kinda of steady. And if he can be signed again for potentially a little less… then it’s great value. His impact on special teams seems pretty significant. Again, no numbers to back this up, but… also, just like the kid lots and seems like he has a good attitude. Complete player. Get good players, keep good players. Not sure how they do it, but…

    On the Nurse/Klef front, I trade Nurse, but only if his stock is high-ish. He does look a lot better out there this year… so… it’s tough. Before this year, I was certainly in the trade Nurse camp. Don’t see it ever happening since I think he is part of the core… can I just say.. that Russel contract. Man. Just so bad for this team.

  125. Munny says:

    New Improved Darkness,

    This you has been dearly missed.

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