Leon the Lion

The big man intercepts the cross ice pass deep in his own zone, cradles it for just a moment, and then begins the drive north. He’s big and quick and has electric skill, so the defenders yield middle ground and gather for battle at the walls of the city. Three times last night, Paul Bunyan picked up his axe and dashed the opponent. On a night when the Edmonton Oilers needed two points, the big man got three. Leon Draisaitl is back, and this is a different team. You make a difference, big man, and a nod and a wink to that giant paddle you call a hockey stick. MY GOODNESS we missed you.

PIKE’S PEAK, YEAR OVER YEAR

  • Oilers in October 2015: 3-6-0, goal differential -6
  • Oilers in October 2016: 7-2-0, goal differential +10
  • Oilers in October 2017: 3-5-1, goal differential -8

They needed it. Connor McDavid was beginning to look at teammates in a ‘cross-eyed and painful‘ manner, much the same as Bobby Orr terrorized teammates many decades ago. This team isn’t out of the woods, the PK is a flashing “Eat at Joe’s” welcome sign and it must be fixed. That said, it’s a win and another on Saturday night means the club merely missed reasonable by three points. The Oilers are still within reach of playoffs, miles to go ’til morning.

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 1-1-1)
  • At home to: Dallas, Washington (Expected 1-1-0) (Actual 1-0-0)
  • Overall expected result: 5-3-2, 12 points in 10 games 
  • Current results: 3-5-1, 7 points after nine games

A win on Saturday would allow this team to overcome (somewhat) a disastrous start to the season. I also think we’re probably going to see more .500 months for this team, there’s too much to overcome. Failing Andrej Sekera returning soon and a stunning turnaround for the penalty killers, it’s unwise to bet on this team winning more than they’ll lose over the next 30 days. Edmonton is three points behind Dallas for the final playoff spot, with a game in hand. Last night was huge.

DEFENSE, LAST NIGHT

  • Four points on the night for the blue, it’s been a slow start for the group. The late goal by Matt Benning was massive.
  • Klefbom-Larsson went 12-20 together, 7-16 in nine minutes against the Radulov-Benn-Seguin line. That trio is amazing, credit to the Swedes for keeping them off the scoresheet at even strength on the evening. Klefbom is banged up as per Todd McLellan via Jason Gregor. McLellan is riding this pair, because he has to do it. Larsson was stout on the PK, his positioning is excellent and others, even veterans, may want to study the video.
  • Nurse-Gryba were 17-9, were on the ice for the first GA (Nurse played it well to my eye, Nuge/Gryba late getting back or didn’t feel Benn coming up the middle). Nurse’s headman passes are becoming a larger part of the offense and keeping this duo from defending for longer periods. Nurse was 10-4 against Shore-Janmark, 3-5 against Spezza, 10-2 against Radulov. Nurse is coming on, also played four solid minutes with Benning and 2:34 with Kris Russell.
  • Russell-Benning went 20-4, including 12-4 with Nuge. The goal by Benning was a monster, Edmonton badly needed the win. Benning was 14-0 Corsi for 5×5 against the Faksa line, Russell 15-2.  Russell was very poor on the PK, also in photo thrice. It makes no sense to give him PP and PK time, that’s going to have to be addressed. Benning appears to be back to previous levels, wonderful passer and transporter.
  • Cam Talbot stopped 28 of 32, he was excellent at 5×5 (16-17) and the whole team was poor on the PK.

FORWARDS, LAST NIGHT

  • Maroon-McDavid-Draisaitl gobbled up five of the team’s 14 points on the night. McDavid’s goal was welcome, as it represented a first-period lead, something the Oilers haven’t enjoyed much this season. Short lived, but enjoyable all the same. Went 14-15 against the Benn-Seguin wrecking crew, 1-0 in GF. I know we’re all in love with the idea of LD as 2C but I don’t think it happens for some time.
  • Lucic-Nuge-Strome all put points on the board and that’s news. Nuge-Strome were 2-0 together on-ice 5×5, Strome is a good passer. Lucic was in the middle of things, making fine passes and chipped in on the big RNH goal in the third period. Some luck involved but the trio was moving the puck and (imo) earned some good fortune. Went 6-6 against Spezza and 10-4 against Faksa.
  • Caggiula-Letestu-Kassian went 8-1 after Letestu moved down from the Nuge line (9-5). ML took a costly and unusual penalty miles from his own net but I liked his game overall. Kassian has more jump now, his game hit a plateau for awhile. Caggiula damned near scored but also took a bad penalty. I like the line.
  • Jokinen-Khaira-Slepyshev had a good game too, seven shots on goal and some intelligent play. Jokinen was quiet in the offensive zone but made some good decisions with the puck elsewhere. Khaira had four shots after having none for the season, he made a weird play late that could cost him another start. JJ wheeled back into his zone for no reason, got caught and yada yada yada Darnell ended up in the penalty box. Slepyshev was effective and has earned a trip up the depth chart that doesn’t appear to be coming. He needs to score badly in order to get noticed.
  • Natural Stat Trick and NHL.com.

One of the things Peter Chiarelli has been doing since arrival is building up prospects in the system. I think you’ll agree the goalie pipeline (Nick Ellis, Dylan Wells, Stuart Skinner) has improved markedly and the defense is stocked very well. Best representation is the gang of four blue in Bakersfield (Ethan Bear, Caleb Jones, Ziyat Paigin and Ryan Mantha), we may see some results at the NHL level in the next year or so.

The forwards have been a tougher hill to climb. Grabbing Connor McDavid No. 1 overall in 2015 changed the franchise but Chiarelli’s forward choices after that (Jesse Puljujarvi, Tyler Benson, Graham McPhee, Aapeli Rasanen, Kailer Yamamoto, Ostap Safin, Kirill Maksimov, Skyler Brind’Amour) are decidedly a mixed bag. Jesse Puljujarvi looks like he’ll be a quality NHL player, perhaps shy offensively compared to expectations on draft day. Kailer Yamamoto has tremendous skills but appears to be a year away.

Tyler Benson was a quality prospect on his draft day but hasn’t played enough to maintain his status as a blue-chip future. He’ll play his first game of the WHL season tonight, the hope is the young man will be able to complete the season schedule, perhaps get a job on the WJ team. If he’s healthy, the boxcars should shine.

TERRY JONES

They’re celebrating the big man over at Post Media today, here’s one of his articles looking back on an amazing career. The relationship between media and fans has changed over the years, gone are the days when a columnist owned eyeballs and had the universal viewpoint simply due to access. Credit to Jones he’s been able to negotiate the rapids through all kinds of change and he’s still here. I know many of you will gloss over this paragraph, or write something nasty in the comments section. But, someday people your age will look back on a long career with pride and my guess is you’ll acknowledge that moment while also contemplating your own accomplishments. It has been a wonderful experience to read Terry Jones, Jim Matheson, Joanne Ireland, Cam Cole, John Short, Robin Brownlee and others over the years. I enjoyed my reading experience immensely, and considered every paragraph time well spent. Congratulations Terry Jones, hope you enjoy a rum and Coke (or two) today.

EARLY NHLE’S

Edmonton’s 2016 draft, forwards division, is showing well. Kailer Yamamoto made the big club and has three points in seven games (NHLE: 35.1 points), and the others in the group show early promise. Here are some NHLE’s from early days across the prospect group:

  1. Tyler Vesel 42.3
  2. Kirill Maksimov 27.06
  3. Graham McPhee 24.92
  4. Ostap Safin 21.87
  5. Jesse Puljujarvi 17.38
  6. Aidan Muir 15.11
  7. Skyler Brind’Amour 7.32
  8. Aapeli Rasanen 6.2

I’ll look at the defensemen tomorrow (including Ethan Bear, 34.7) and of course it goes without saying this is miles too early to make sweeping statements. I think the most talented offensive forward in the system is Kailer Yamamoto.

GOALER

  • Nick Ellis: “This year I’m trying to learn how to stay grounded with the highs and lows. It’s a long season, there’s going to be highs and going to be lows. You just kind of have to stay even-keeled, come to work every day and try to have as much fun as possible.” Source

Another bona fide NHL goalie to the pile is most welcome, even if it’s only as another trade asset heading out. If Ellis matriculates well, maybe he gets a look later in the year and emerges as an actual option. Peter Chiarelli is going to be shopping for savings down every aisle in the coming summers, an inexpensive starting goalie would be a dream outcome. Not saying it’s Ellis but he’s a fine prospect.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

Friday on my mind and a fun, happy show at 10 this morning, TSN 1260. Scheduled to appear:

  • Steve Lansky, Big Mouth Sports. Oilers, Leafs, World Series! Plus Christmas shopping in October.
  • Paul Sir, The Basketball Show. NBA weekend and a show preview.
  • Matt Iwanyk, TSN1260. Should Kailer Yamamoto head back to Spokane or has he earned more games?
  • Paul Almeida, SSE. We’ll look at the weekend for the Oilers and discuss the importance of strength up the middle.

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

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141 Responses to "Leon the Lion"

  1. npanciroli says:

    That game last night was a relief. Really loved watching Larsson keep everything calm. I think he has done wonders for Klefbom’s development last year and this year (when he struggled). Also seems to be a calming force for all defenders on the team. Can’t imagine Benning developing the same without him.

    I really hope Lucic – RNH – Strome keep this up. Desperately need a strong second line and I think they have the ability.

    I have no idea who Vesel is. Legit prospect?

  2. Connoreah says:

    Great opening LT. Love it.

    Don’t post often here, but always catch up 2x a day.

    I realize that there is a lot of concern around the roster that Chia has built, and rightfully so. We have speed issues that need to be addressed before we look like true contenders. Friedman’s comments stung, but were not misplaced.

    Having said that, I will say that watching Draisaitl – at age 22 (today I believe) – I am overwhelmed by optimism for this team. His growth and development over the last 2 years has been nothing short of sensational. How good will this young man be in 3 years?

    I know it’s early, but am I crazy for thinking that Drai at $8.5 for the next 8 years is beginning to look like an enormous value contract?

  3. OriginalPouzar says:

    Team speed and offensive punch in the lineup for secondary scoring – Drake and Drai back in the lineup help both these things.

  4. Ice Sage says:

    Leon Draisaitl.
    Man.
    For all the griping here, that was the right pick and he’s been developed properly, and he’s paid appropriately!
    He’s the catalyst for this offense and unlocks McDavid.
    Onwards!

  5. npanciroli says:

    Connoreah,

    Yeah that contract could turn out better than most expected (including me).

    I was thinking about this earlier – MacT’s two first round picks are looking to be fantastic.

  6. dustrock says:

    Anyone who was watching closely last night – is there any rhyme or reason to PK1 and PK2 having vastly different results?

    I see Klef-Lars as having zero goals against the Benn line 5v5 and PK.

    Was PK1 doing something different? Just applying the system better?

  7. Chachi says:

    If Leon keeps this up he might just become a better player than Joe Colborne.

  8. admiralmark says:

    3 Heartwarming thoughts following last nights game.

    1) Strome looked effective in his role. There’s promise of a solid 3rd liner there but nothing more.

    2) Benning had his great moments and a couple bad but overall he was very noticeable on the ice, and in a good way. Quick thinking and accureate passes. Really think he is a better faster more skilled Kris Russell.

    3) RNH is doing everything he’s always done but now with a little more tenacity + bearing down when he has a scoring chance is really paying off. They need to find a way for him to remain an Oiler.

    I think this team is still a playoff team but not much beyond that if they can’t make 2 critical moves on RW and RHD.

  9. OriginalPouzar says:

    Woodguy posted the PK TOI and GA for the d-men last night and, yes, Larsson was off the charts good (most TOI and no goals allowed) and Russell was the opposite (3GA and middle of the pack TOI).

    I would think the coaching staff looks at stuff like this, right?

  10. NYC-Back-to-Tokyo Oil (Gentleman Backpacker) says:

    Chachi:
    If Leon keeps this up he might just become a better player than Joe Colborne.

    Literally better

  11. Jordan says:

    You know what this game felt like? It felt like those Oilers games back in the 90s, with Dougie, Billy and Cujo.

    The difference? It feels like the Oilers are playing the role of those Stars and Avs teams of the 90s.

    Very glad Leon’s back to being Leon. If they can figure out PK2 and PP1 and PP2, this should move in a quick hurry.

    If they can’t, this migration north in the standings will take some time.

  12. NYC-Back-to-Tokyo Oil (Gentleman Backpacker) says:

    npanciroli:
    Connoreah,

    Yeah that contract could turn out better than most expected (including me).

    I was thinking about this earlier – MacT’s two first round picks are looking to be fantastic.

    MacT’s issue was never amateur procurement, imo, it was pro assessment, specifically D

  13. OriginalPouzar says:

    Is anybody not overly had for Nuge (and about Nuge)?

    Is there anybody that isn’t rooting for this guy to put up points?

    The crowd last night really wanted to get him the puck with the empty net – Nuuuuuuuge!

    4g in 9 games – that’s a pretty good pace, is it not?

    I’ll take 35G from the “3C”.

  14. Mr. D. says:

    When can a player make a good clean hit without having to answer a bell. Time to ban this. Automatic game misconduct.

  15. OriginalPouzar says:

    I was hopeful the Benson would play tonight – awesome that he will.

    I”m sure his ice time will be in the 12-15 minute range but a healthy season for the remainder would be HUGE going in to camp next year.

    Lets not forget, although loss of development time is a factor, this player has a high ceiling – he has top 6 forward marked all over him if he can get the injuries behind him.

    Lets go Tyler.

  16. OriginalPouzar says:

    If Benson can get games in – he, along with Yamamoto, Puljijarvi, Safin and Maksimov, due provide some significant ceilings for our forward prospects.

    Benson could only be 1-2 years away, if healthy.

  17. JimmyV1965 says:

    I’m sure I’m in the minority here, but I’m not super concerned about the PK. Last night was the first time we really got caved, but that Dallas PP unit was amazing. The best we’ve seen all year. Earlier in the year it was goaltending killing our PK. We would give up one shot on the PK and it would go in. The Stars PP looked a lot like ours when it is going. Lots of east-west movement and cross ice passes finding their man.

  18. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    – Great post LT! I disagree strongly with this analysis however: ” I also think we’re probably going to see more .500 months for this team, there’s too much to overcome”

    – I don’t think, even with the absence of Sek that we are at best a .500 club:

    1) There are a number of data points to suggest we arguably have the top line in the NHL with McD-Maroon-Drai

    2) RNH/Lucic/Strome/Kass/Cags are a decent group in the middle

    3) We have some nice options on 4rth line

    4) Talbot is better than a more than half the G in the league

    5) Nurse is playing well, Klef/Larsson settling in, Russel fine: our D while not as elite as our 1st line, gets the job done

    6) The PP/PK: that is just ebs and flows, small sample sizes: it always is that way for decent teams

    7) By any measure, our “luck” to date has been amongst the worst in the league

    8) We are near the top on getting shots on net, and near the bottom in allowing shots. Attribute some of that to scoring effects, but we aren’t getting blown out of games and the other teams are just easing back, knowing we suck and they coast

    9) We just aren’t with this group of players amongst the least proficient in scoring scores, and this will also correct

    10) Our 5×5 play is more than solid: elite by most small sample measures

    – Anyway, we will see. I’m not someone with blinders or an apologist, but I think we need to see more before deciding there is much to overcome, and the numbers and stats I site as well as albeit qualitative things that some here don’t respect, I’m not as down or apprehensive

    Just my thoughts….

  19. Dustylegnd says:

    OriginalPouzar,

    Hey I started a shit storm here a few days ago by pointing out his points per 60 mins have been god awful the past 2 seasons, doesn’t matter if you have the puck in the other teams end while getting more shots if you rarely score with it in their end

    Like I said, he is a super solid dude, he has worked on every aspect of his game and been very good on the dot this year

    I fully understand that he gets really tough assignments defensively, and he has to do it without a winger that drives the play, making his job much more difficult

    He is very capable of being C 2, but he needs a winger that drives the play, those are Unicorns and the only one we have in the Organization for the foreseeable future is Leon

    Hell ya it was great to see Nuge pot 2, second line scores we win, magic!

  20. Hot Eire says:

    NYC-Back-to-Tokyo Oil (Gentleman Backpacker): Literally better

    And with a bit of luck… materially better!

  21. anjinsan says:

    When MacTavish explained his drafting of Nurse and then Draisaitl it was all very carefully reasoned, both in terms of team need in the West and in terms of the player. And, here we are: well done, Scotsman!

    However.

    Firing Krueger and then EAKINS! <—- Good God: consider Yak under Krueger and Yak under Eakins…any questions? But Eakins was detrimental not just to Yak but to the whole damn team.

    Ference, Nikitin, Fayne, Purcell <— Oh, My!

    Perron was ok and then not. But he got us #16 in deep draft of '15 which Chiarelli (with #33) handed to Snow for nothing, Lawd have mercy!

  22. JimmyV1965 says:

    I don’t have the stats, but last night is the first time I remember our PK giving up four shots multiple times. And many of them were dangerous. I forget what happened against the Pens.

  23. PerryK says:

    I have always cheered for Khaira, but after watching last night I can’t justify sticking him in as C in the starting line-up. He cannot play C.

    In the mean time, Brad Malone looked very good in his short stint. I think that he deserves the opportunity.

  24. Jaxon says:

    Wow, Bear’s current projected NHLe of 35 is pretty amazing. For reference, here are a few other players in their 20 year old season in the AHL:

    PK Subban 27
    Tyson Barrie 25
    Shea Weber 23
    David Savard 19
    Cody Franson 18
    Ryan Pulock 18
    Jason Demers 16
    Connor Murphy 14
    Alex Petrovic 12
    Colin Miller 10
    Johnny Boychuk 7
    Michael Stone 7
    Mark Pysyk 7

    That’s some great company for a 20 year old AHLer.

  25. npanciroli says:

    PerryK,

    I would be tentative waiving Khaira but he is in a tough spot and I definitely agree Malone was much better. I would waive Pakarinen and maybe try Khaira on wing with Malone maybe?

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

    JimmyV1965,

    Before last night the PK had been trending in the proper direction.

    On the road trip the PK went 9/10 including a 5-5 night against the Hawks and a 3-3 outing against the Pens.

    And realistically it “should” have only been 2-5 last night but alas the non-call on Benn

    Now 80% isn’t great but its a helluva lot better than 65% of whatever it was before the road trip.

    Still dead last in the league though so they need to tighten it up regardless.

    I’d suggest less time for KR and maybe more time for MB as the days roll along.

  27. PerryK says:

    JimmyV1965:
    I’m sure I’m in the minority here, but I’m not super concerned about the PK. Last night was the first time we really got caved, but that Dallas PP unit was amazing. The best we’ve seen all year. Earlier in the year it was goaltending killing our PK. We would give up one shot on the PK and it would go in. The Stars PP looked a lot like ours when it is going. Lots of east-west movement and cross ice passes finding their man.

    That cross ice pass has to be nixed! You can’t blame a goalie if that pass connects followed by a quick one timer. We have some elite passers on our PP. But we can’t seem to make any of these, why should this happen against us!

  28. papa96 says:

    Leon goes to the opera. From Wikipedia: The heldentenor (English: heroic tenor) has a rich, dark, powerful and dramatic voice. As its name implies, the heldentenor vocal fach features in the German romantic operatic repertoire. The heldentenor is the German equivalent of the tenore drammatico, however with a more baritonal quality: the typical Wagnerian protagonist. The keystone of the heldentenor’s repertoire is arguably Wagner’s Siegfried, an extremely demanding role requiring a wide vocal range and great power, plus tremendous stamina and acting ability.

  29. SHILL83 says:

    Lines I’d like to see with a Malone recall and Yamo sent back to spokane:

    19-97-29
    27-93-58
    91-24-18
    36-55-44
    16-26

    Malone looked much better than both Kahira and Pak in his limited NHL games this year. Malone was good at C and maybe with a bit of skill on his wings that could be a decent third line if we continue to play Leon as RW on McD line. Malone might also help with the PK which from last game needs some work. At this point what do you do with Kahira? I think he could be lost on waivers but he isn’t playing well enough to be in the line up. Maybe look to include him in a trade for a RW or for a RHD. If he won’t be lost on waivers I would send him down to AHL and get him playing 1C on the Condors with Rattie and Pul on his wings. That could spark his offence and getting him playing some good minutes and get his game back. I like his potential and would like to see him as an Oiler down the road (4C replacement), but seems like he needs to regain his confidence after a good pre season, but a poor start to the regular season. As for Pak I’m not concerned if he is traded or lost on waiver. Not doing much in limited ice time and there are others on the farm that could do the same or sit in the press box.

  30. Jaxon says:

    NYC-Back-to-Tokyo Oil (Gentleman Backpacker): MacT’s is

    Although he did get the Norris candidate correct for Schultz. He had the 10th most ovtes for Norris last season. One of only 4 D under the age of 27. The other young Norris candidates were Karlsson, Hedman and Hamilton. 😉

  31. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Chachi:
    If Leon keeps this up he might just become a better player than Joe Colborne.

    Slow down there.

    Can’t jump to conclusions now.

  32. Bag of Pucks says:

    PerryK:
    I have always cheered for Khaira, but after watching last night I can’t justify sticking him in as C in the starting line-up.He cannot play C.

    In the mean time, Brad Malone looked very good in his short stint.I think that he deserves the opportunity.

    I agree but I think the challenge here is TMac likely sees job one for his 4L as their defensive responsibilities. Malone flashed signs of being a better offensive option than Khaira, but is he a better checker? I don’t know.

  33. Chachi says:

    Woodguy v2.0: Slow down there.

    Can’t jump to conclusions now.

    Thank you for the reality check my friend. I will back off the hyperbole, but a guy can dream can’t he?

  34. OmJo says:

    Klefbom is banged up as per Todd McLellan via Jason Gregor. McLellan is riding this pair, because he has to do it.

    —–

    If you’re TMac, do you consider a 2nd pairing of Nurse-Benning, to take some pressure off of Klefbom-Larsson?

    They had good chemistry last season, and Nurse has taken another step so far this season. I think it could work.

  35. Cassandra says:

    Fun game. Draisatl is really good, and very nice to see RNH score.

    One point of clarification. On the first Benn goal, the forward most at fault is Lucic. The problem on the play is that the Oilers once the puck reversed and the Oiler forwards rotated, no one rotated into the F3 position to support the play.

    The play started with all three Oiler forwards in the far corner. When the puck reverses to the other side the RW (Letestu) trails the play behind the net. He is F1. RNH rotates to support and try and cut off the breakout. He is F2. That makes Lucic F3, who should be backchecking hard through the middle of the ice to support the D. Unfortunately, Lucic is slow and/or lazy and covers no ground so that RNH is forced to be both F2 and F3.

    Now RNH could have made a different read and realized that Lucic was never going to get back and abandon the zone earlier to become F3 in his stead, so he bears responsibility as well, but it is responsibility in the context of having to cover so much ground because he is playing with a boat anchor.

  36. Jaxon says:

    Bag of Pucks: I agree but I think the challenge here is TMac likely sees job one for his 4L as their defensive responsibilities. Malone flashed signs of being a better offensive option than Khaira, but is he a better checker? I don’t know.

    Do you define a better checker as someone who hits a lot? In May of 2016, I was searching for players to replace Hendricks, Letestu and Korpikoski for a cheaper 4th line. My thinking was that the job of the 4th line was to take D-zone draws, get the puck up the ice, hit everything that moved and get shots on net so your top 6 players could come out in an O-zone situation.These are the players I found:

    “I searched for cheap, relatively young UFAs with high faceoff%, high hit rate and relatively high shots on goal:
    Brad Malone 26yr, C/LW, 6’2″, 207lbs, left shot: (FO: 64.52% on 62 draws, H/60: 13.7, SOG/60: 3.4)
    Jim O’Brien 27yr, C/RW, 6’2″, 201lbs, right shot: (FO: 59.18% on 49 draws, H/60: 7.8, SOG/60: 3.3)
    Matt Hendricks 34yr, LW/C, 6’0″, 209lbs, left shot: (FO: 55.41%, on 453 draws, H/60: 11.7, SOG/60: 4.1)
    Derek Grant 26yr, C/LW, 6’3″, 192lbs, left shot: (FO: 54.95% on 111 draws, H/60: 9.2, SOG/60: 8.1)
    Ryan White 28yr, C/RW, 6’0″, 201lbs, right shot: (FO: 52.42% on 351 draws, H/60: 13.6, SOG/60: 5.8)
    Mark Letestu 31yr, C/RW, 5’11”, 194lbs, right shot: (FO: 51.29% on 1162 draws, H/60: 3.2, SOG/60: 5.0)
    Iiro Pakarinen 24yr, RW, 6’1″, 194lbs, right shot: (FO: 38.46% on 13 draws, H/60: 13.5, SOG/60: 6.7)

    Grant-Malone-White would yield a FO % of 54.4%, 36 hits/60 min!, and 17.25 shots/60 min. for a measly $2.425M”

    Malone’s 13.7 Hits/60 was one of the highest in the NHL that season, add that to his high shot rate and his faceoff% and you have a fairly ideal 4th liner in my opinion, at a very cheap price.

  37. PerryK says:

    Bag of Pucks: I agree but I think the challenge here is TMac likely sees job one for his 4L as their defensive responsibilities. Malone flashed signs of being a better offensive option than Khaira, but is he a better checker? I don’t know.

    This is actually very clear! Malone showed significantly better than Khaira defensively. Best example was the one LT described above where Khaira had the puck on his stick with no pressure and he skated himself into trouble because he did not know what to do!!!!!

  38. PerryK says:

    OmJo:
    Klefbom is banged up as per Todd McLellan via Jason Gregor. McLellan is riding this pair, because he has to do it.

    —–

    If you’re TMac, do you consider a 2nd pairing of Nurse-Benning, to take some pressure off of Klefbom-Larsson?

    They had good chemistry last season, and Nurse has taken another step so far this season. I think it could work.

    Agree with this!

  39. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Since PK is a the topic, here are some results from this year.

    As always, in small samples goal data is the most volatile.

    I like Expected Goals Against more than High Danger Scoring Chances or Scoring Chances as its weights every shot and gives more information.

    All players must average 1min/gm PK to show up here.

    4v5 Shots against/60
    Forwards
    Player SA/60
    IIRO.PAKARINEN 41.1
    ZACK.KASSIAN 54.7
    MARK.LETESTU 56.1
    RYAN.NUGENT-HOPKINS 56.5
    JUSSI.JOKINEN 60.6
    DRAKE.CAGGIULA 60.9
    JUJHAR.KHAIRA 64.2
    CONNOR.MCDAVID 69.0

    Dmen
    Player SA/60
    ADAM.LARSSON 51.55
    OSCAR.KLEFBOM 53.14
    DARNELL.NURSE 58.46
    KRIS.RUSSELL 62.36
    MATT.BENNING 63.44
    ERIC.GRYBA 85.41

    ————————————————

    Expected Goals Against/60
    Forwards
    Player xGA/60
    DRAKE.CAGGIULA 5.13
    JUJHAR.KHAIRA 5.14
    CONNOR.MCDAVID 6.25
    RYAN.NUGENT-HOPKINS 6.91
    IIRO.PAKARINEN 7.13
    JUSSI.JOKINEN 7.94
    ZACK.KASSIAN 9.33
    MARK.LETESTU 9.61

    Dmen
    Player xGA/60
    ADAM.LARSSON 7.36
    OSCAR.KLEFBOM 7.64
    DARNELL.NURSE 7.71
    MATT.BENNING 8.16
    KRIS.RUSSELL 8.54
    ERIC.GRYBA 9.68

    ———————————————

    Goals Against/60
    Forwards
    Player GA/60
    JUJHAR.KHAIRA 0
    CONNOR.MCDAVID 4.6
    DRAKE.CAGGIULA 8.7
    MARK.LETESTU 8.98
    IIRO.PAKARINEN 9.14
    RYAN.NUGENT-HOPKINS 13.3
    ZACK.KASSIAN 13.68
    JUSSI.JOKINEN 24.24

    Dmen
    Player GA/60
    OSCAR.KLEFBOM 6.64
    ERIC.GRYBA 7.12
    ADAM.LARSSON 8.25
    DARNELL.NURSE 10.63
    MATT.BENNING 18.13
    KRIS.RUSSELL 18.98

    In this sample size I’d trust xGA/60 to give us the best indicator of who is doing what.

    Goals are really volatile right now and shots don’t tell us where they came from, just that they got through.

    The slow booted vet forwards (Kassian isn’t slow, but players with Letestu) look to be an issue.

    The older Dmen vets as well are near the bottom as well. Russell isn’t slow, but he certainly wasn’t in good spots yesterday and on his belly when the goal was scored 2 of 3 times yesterday.

    For comparison sake, here is last year’s xGA/60 for EDM from 16/17 (min 50 minutes played 4v5)

    Forwards:
    Player xGA/60
    BENOIT.POULIOT 6.06
    CONNOR.MCDAVID 6.06
    MATT.HENDRICKS 6.45
    ZACK.KASSIAN 7.74
    MARK.LETESTU 8.09
    RYAN.NUGENT-HOPKINS 8.23

    Dmen
    ERIC.GRYBA 6.85
    OSCAR.KLEFBOM 6.96
    ANDREJ.SEKERA 7.08
    ADAM.LARSSON 7.25
    KRIS.RUSSELL 7.76

    First glance tells me they miss Pou, Sekera and even Hendricks a bit.

  40. OriginalPouzar says:

    dustrock:
    Anyone who was watching closely last night – is there any rhyme or reason to PK1 and PK2 having vastly different results?

    I see Klef-Lars as having zero goals against the Benn line 5v5 and PK.

    Was PK1 doing something different?Just applying the system better?

    Yes Larsson vs. Russell.

    Larsson led the PK TOI with zero goals against.

    Russell was middle of the pack PK TOI and 3 goals against.

    Not sure if Russell is poor on the PK generally of if was just an off-night from him in that aspect.

  41. jtblack says:

    For me its simple. We get secondary scoring, we win. NUGE line cashed twice and without that we don’t get the W.

    If that line Can get close to 1 Goal per game it will be Huge

  42. JimmyV1965 says:

    PerryK: That cross ice pass has to be nixed!You can’t blame a goalie if that pass connects followed by a quick one timer.We have some elite passers on our PP.But we can’t seem to make any of these, why should this happen against us!

    I think we’re just missing the mark right now. With Drai and McDavid I don’t see it being a long-term trend. That’s why it was so good last year. I’ll be really surprised if our PP doesn’t finish close to the top 5.

  43. LMHF#1 says:

    LT – Klefbom has “bumps and bruises like everyone” according to Todd.

    Gregor’s blowing that out of proportion based on Todd’s actual verbal from last night.

  44. texmex says:

    SinBin.vegas‏
    @SinBinVegas
    Follow Follow @SinBinVegas
    More
    Griffin Reinhart has been placed on waivers. He will be reassigned to Chicago if he clears.

    Erik Haula returns, Alex Tuch remains.

    _____________________

    Be afraid, be very afraid

  45. slopitch says:

    Had seats in the sportsnet lounge last night and got a first hand view of the Dallas PP for 2 periods. Its a stunning setup – Seguin and Radulov both on off wings with Benn in front of the net. The Oilers PK struggled but Id bet that unit is top 3 in the league they faced last night.

    Oilers got some bounces last night for once. When they went down 4-3 I thought it was another wasted 2 points. Good on them for getting lucky and pulling that one out.

    If Sekera is getting close, with the emergence of Nurse, they do have options (I think Sekera is ok at playing off wing). The Oilers do need to add a F or have JP emerge in the next 3-4 months (it could very well happen). And send Yamo to the WHL please.

    Good stuff on Terry Jones LT. As a big sports nerd, I like all quality content (I read this site every damn day even in the summer). Even Spec who many guys rag, I like it cuz its a different perspective. Anyways, congrats Terry.

  46. texmex says:

    Crisis averted

    Elliotte Friedman‏Verified account @FriedgeHNIC 8m8 minutes ago
    More
    Apparently, that Reinhart move is incorrect. Garrison is on waivers.

  47. digger50 says:

    PerryK: That cross ice pass has to be nixed!You can’t blame a goalie if that pass connects followed by a quick one timer.We have some elite passers on our PP.But we can’t seem to make any of these, why should this happen against us!

    Our PK is generally passive, and if they allow the attackers that much time to set up and move the puck uncontested they will get burnt by that pass sooner or later.

    When we use an aggressive PK we get better results, like most of the good PK’s in the league

  48. OriginalPouzar says:

    Jaxon:
    Wow, Bear’s current projected NHLe of 35 is pretty amazing. For reference, here are a few other players in their 20 year old season in the AHL:

    PK Subban 27
    Tyson Barrie 25
    Shea Weber 23
    David Savard 19
    Cody Franson 18
    Ryan Pulock 18
    Jason Demers 16
    Connor Murphy 14
    Alex Petrovic 12
    Colin Miller 10
    Johnny Boychuk 7
    Michael Stone 7
    Mark Pysyk 7

    That’s some great company for a 20 year old AHLer.

    Yes, that is some solid NHL E but the sample size is tiny in the AHL so far.

    He’s got 2 goals but also 2 total shots on net – I don’t think he’s driving offence from the back end despite his numbers.

    He’s also getting the benefit of playing with Simpson, the perfect partner for a young offensive minded rookie pro d-man.

    I’m not trying to be overly negative on Ethan – I’m super excited about his start to his pro career – just trying to remain tempered and am getting annoyed with reading many posts (not yours) suggesting he should be called up to the NHL now which, in my opinion, is ludicrous.

  49. Chachi says:

    texmex:
    SinBin.vegas‏
    @SinBinVegas
    Follow Follow @SinBinVegas
    More
    Griffin Reinhart has been placed on waivers. He will be reassigned to Chicago if he clears.

    Erik Haula returns, Alex Tuch remains.

    _____________________

    Be afraid, be very afraid

    He didn’t even get into one game for an expansion team. Wow.
    Edit: there’s still a chance!

  50. npanciroli says:

    I know this might be crazy, but with Sekera back I legit look at:

    Klefbom Larsson
    Sekera Benning
    Nurse Gryba

    and see what you can do with Russell. Those pairings either had huge success previously or have it right now. It will never happen but one can dream.

  51. russ99 says:

    digger50: Our PK is generally passive, and if they allow the attackers that much time to set up and move the puck uncontested they will get burnt by that pass sooner or later.

    When we use an aggressive PK we get better results, like most of the good PK’s in the league

    When three of our PKers are on one side of the net and the forward on the other side of the triangle goes walkabout to pressure the point and leave the opponent on that side of the ice wide open, bad things happen.

    Chasing the puck on the PK is a horrible idea. Play your man, rotate to the nearest opponent when one leaves the area and keep shape.

  52. admiralmark says:

    OmJo:
    Klefbom is banged up as per Todd McLellan via Jason Gregor. McLellan is riding this pair, because he has to do it.

    Sell High! 🙂

  53. russ99 says:

    npanciroli:
    I know this might be crazy, but with Sekera back I legit look at:

    Klefbom Larsson
    Sekera Benning
    Nurse Gryba

    and see what you can do with Russell. Those pairings either had huge success previously or have it right now. It will never happen but one can dream.

    Russell blocked 5 last night and saved at least 2 goals against in the crease. As much as the puck-mover crowd hates him, he’s here until the summer of ’19.

  54. OriginalPouzar says:

    OmJo:
    Klefbom is banged up as per Todd McLellan via Jason Gregor. McLellan is riding this pair, because he has to do it.

    —–

    If you’re TMac, do you consider a 2nd pairing of Nurse-Benning, to take some pressure off of Klefbom-Larsson?

    They had good chemistry last season, and Nurse has taken another step so far this season. I think it could work.

    Yes, Russell shouldn’t be 2RD (I’m OK with him playing 2LD but, if we need him on his off-side, he needs to get bumped down to the 3rd pairing).

  55. Jaxon says:

    OriginalPouzar: Yes, that is some solid NHL E but the sample size is tiny in the AHL so far.

    He’s got 2 goals but also 2 total shots on net – I don’t think he’s driving offence from the back end despite his numbers.

    He’s also getting the benefit of playing with Simpson, the perfect partner for a young offensive minded rookie pro d-man.

    I’m not trying to be overly negative on Ethan – I’m super excited about his start to his pro career – just trying to remain tempered and am getting annoyed with reading many posts (not yours) suggesting he should be called up to the NHL now which, in my opinion, is ludicrous.

    Yup, super small sample size and agree he shouldn’t be called up yet. A cup of coffee sometime this season if there is another injury, sure. But I’d be in no rush to call him up. With his early stats it looks like the AHL is serving him well, so why mess with good development. If he keeps it up all year, and shows well defensively then he’ll force the issue with Chiarelli and that will be a very good thing.

  56. OriginalPouzar says:

    texmex:
    SinBin.vegas‏
    @SinBinVegas
    Follow Follow @SinBinVegas
    More
    Griffin Reinhart has been placed on waivers. He will be reassigned to Chicago if he clears.

    Erik Haula returns, Alex Tuch remains.

    _____________________

    Be afraid, be very afraid

    With the following left side depth chart I can’t imagine him picking up Griff:

    Klef
    Sekera (possible-probable November return)
    Nurse
    Russell.

  57. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Garrison on waivers.

    I liked him when he was FA in the summer of 2014.

    EDM LHD TOI leaders from 13/14:

    Ference
    Smid
    Nultz
    Belov
    Marinicin

    He would have helped, but its *probably* a bullet dodged.

    He’s eroded over time in TBY.

    Player Season RelT CF%
    JASON.GARRISON 2014-2015 0.28
    JASON.GARRISON 2015-2016 -1.4
    JASON.GARRISON 2016-2017 -3.52

    Player Season RelT GF%
    JASON.GARRISON 2014-2015 11.55
    JASON.GARRISON 2015-2016 -7.3
    JASON.GARRISON 2016-2017 -7.15

    32 years old, looks to have hit his wall/cliff

    Not what EDM needs imo.

  58. OriginalPouzar says:

    Jaxon: Yup, super small sample size and agree he shouldn’t be called up yet. A cup of coffee sometime this season if there is another injury, sure. But I’d be in no rush to call him up. With his early stats it looks like the AHL is serving him well, so why mess with good development. If he keeps it up all year, and shows well defensively then he’ll force the issue with Chiarelli and that will be a very good thing.

    I think we are on the same page here.

    I don’t think we can discount what it means to play with Simpson at evens as well – that guy is a rock at the AHL level.

  59. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    npanciroli:
    I know this might be crazy, but with Sekera back I legit look at:

    Klefbom Larsson
    Sekera Benning
    Nurse Gryba

    I bet they go:

    Klefbom Larsson
    Sekera Russell
    Nurse Benning

    – The top-4 are the most experienced. Nurse is coming on, and they can “compete” for more ice time vs Sek-Russell, and/or Russell moves up and down

    – Its also for real 6 D that could play on any team

    – Sek-Benning / Nurse-Russell also work, or at least options available

    – Russell is a key piece in terms of his flexibility to play either wing

    – Gryba is a smart change of pace, hit people D when needed

    – Maybe you could argue they could have got someone else other than Russell for $4MM, but I like the flexibility that Chia has, and don’t fault him for not acquiring another D on top of Russell (assuming Sek comes back before x-mas, which must be the case)

    – Plus both Nurse and Benning have more responsibilities, without being asked to do too much

  60. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    OriginalPouzar: With the following left side depth chart I can’t imagine him picking up Griff:

    Klef
    Sekera (possible-probable November return)
    Nurse
    Russell.

    Freidman has Reinhart going down on a conditioning stint and NOT waivers

  61. LadiesloveSmid says:

    russ99,

    Benn was Russell’s man on the 3rd goal, couldn’t handle him in the crease

  62. LadiesloveSmid says:

    I don’t think Benning’s passing has been particularly good. A lot of throwing it into teammates skates.

  63. digger50 says:

    russ99: When three of our PKers are on one side of the net and the forward on the other side of the triangle goes walkabout to pressure the point and leave the opponent on that side of the ice wide open,bad things happen.

    Chasing the puck on the PK is a horrible idea. Play your man, rotate to the nearest opponent when one leaves the area and keep shape.

    Playing an aggressive PK, not allowing time to turn and set up is much more effective than standing in a box waiving your sticks in the passing lanes. This is NOT “chasing the puck”

    When Oilers face an aggressive PK they get crushed.

  64. N64 says:

    Woodguy v2.0: Freidman has Reinhart going down on a conditioning stint and NOT waivers

    Immunity win. Now 8D (with Garrison voted off the strip) and out of the press box on a conditioning stint.

  65. Chachi says:

    LadiesloveSmid:
    russ99,

    Benn was Russell’s man on the 3rd goal, couldn’t handle him in the crease

    That was Lucic’s fault as well. He wasn’t on the ice, but that was his man. He’s responsible for the other two PP goals as well.

  66. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Bob McKenzie‏Verified account @TSNBobMcKenzie 30s30 seconds ago
    More
    Vadim Shipachyov has reported to CHI (AHL). May play for the Wolves tomorrow.

    Apparently $4.5MM is more important than your pride.

    Shit, my pride’s worth 10% of that.

  67. N64 says:

    Chachi:
    If Leon keeps this up he might just become a better player than Joe Colborne.

    Maybe. In related news Nuge might be more than a pretty face.

  68. Chachi says:

    Woodguy v2.0:
    Bob McKenzie‏Verified account @TSNBobMcKenzie30s30 seconds ago
    More
    Vadim Shipachyov has reported to CHI (AHL). May play for the Wolves tomorrow.

    Apparently $4.5MM is more important than your pride.

    Shit, my pride’s worth 10% of that.

    You can buy someone else’s pride for 450K.

  69. Craig Zonit says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    If Benson can get games in – he, along with Yamamoto, Puljijarvi, Safin and Maksimov, due provide some significant ceilings for our forward prospects.

    Benson could only be 1-2 years away, if healthy.

    Very glad to see him back in – looks like he joins the team in time for a run of three games in three days, with the last one being an afternoon game and second half of a back to back here in Victoria. Hell of a way to kick off his season. I’m going, and will post a little something about this rare Benson sighting.

  70. Chachi says:

    N64: Maybe. In related news Nuge might be more than a pretty face.

    I want to say this is the year he finally gets more than 50 points, but I have already been called out as an optimist today…

  71. OriginalPouzar says:

    Kinger_Oil.redux: I bet they go:

    Klefbom Larsson
    Sekera Russell
    Nurse Benning

    – The top-4 are the most experienced.Nurse is coming on, and they can “compete” for more ice time vs Sek-Russell, and/or Russell moves up and down

    – Its also for real 6 D that could play on any team

    – Sek-Benning / Nurse-Russell also work, or at least options available

    – Russell is a key piece in terms of his flexibility to play either wing

    – Gryba is a smart change of pace, hit people D when needed

    – Maybe you could argue they could have got someone else other than Russell for $4MM, but I like the flexibility that Chia has, and don’t fault him for not acquiring another D on top of Russell (assuming Sek comes back before x-mas, which must be the case)

    – Plus both Nurse and Benning have more responsibilities, without being asked to do too much

    Yes, Coach will probably revert to last year’s combos.

    With that said, Nurse started on the 3rd pairing last night but played the 3rd most ES minutes (with a 3 minute gap between him and Russell) – if Nurse is still playing the way he is now, the coaching staff will find a way to get his ES minutes up notwithstanding 3rd pairing status.

  72. jonrmcleod says:

    Chachi:
    If Leon keeps this up he might just become a better player than Joe Colborne.

    Actually, our old friend wasn’t as down on Nurse as you might think. Draisaitl on the other hand….

    Quote:

    Nurse may well have a chance to become a top pairing D but, most often, those guys appear early and Nurse is almost 21 years of age with only 2 games of NHL experience to his credit.

    I would wager he’ll be a very good #3 leaving the Oilers without a true #1D they should have in the stable after almost a decade drafting near the top of draft.

    In 2014, it’s somewhat understandable the Oilers would address their dire need at C by taking one at #3 overall…the problem is, they took the wrong one.

    Dynamic centre Sam Bennett was ranked ahead of Leon Draisaitl by virtually every scouting service including the “Oracle” Bob McKenzie.

    Had Bennett not been injured in his draft year, he may have gone 1st overall but the Oilers opted to draft the next Joe Colborne when they had a shot at the next Doug Gilmour.

    I expect Flames fans will be mocking that decision for the next decade.

    https://dcbdotme.wordpress.com/tag/analytics/

  73. JustWatt says:

    Terry Jones’ greatest contribution this season has been his autocorrect. Last night Strome became Stroke and twitter caught fire with it for a few minutes. This on the heels of Kaiser Yakamoto. Good, Terry, gold!

    Used to read him faithfully as a kid, haven’t read an Edmonton rag in years. Used to love him though.

  74. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    With that said, Nurse started on the 3rd pairing last night but played the 3rd most ES minutes (with a 3 minute gap between him and Russell) – if Nurse is still playing the way he is now, the coaching staff will find a way to get his ES minutes up notwithstanding 3rd pairing status.

    – The “dream” is Nurse is bona-fide top-4, Sek takes role as breaking in next young D next year

  75. OriginalPouzar says:

    Woodguy v2.0: Freidman has Reinhart going down on a conditioning stint and NOT waivers

    So, he hasn’t been a healthy scratch but has been out hurt?

  76. PerryK says:

    LadiesloveSmid:
    russ99,

    Benn was Russell’s man on the 3rd goal, couldn’t handle him in the crease

    He looked like an atom player playing against a grown man!

  77. frjohnk says:

    jonrmcleod,

    Im in the minority but I liked when DSF was here.

    But I also enjoy kitchen fires, so take that for what its worth

  78. McSorley33 says:

    jtblack,

    For me its simple. We get secondary scoring, we win. NUGE line cashed twice and without that we don’t get the W.
    ***********************************************************************************************
    Same.

    Great to see RNH and Benning score. Might boost their confidence.

    Below is 50% of the Dallas D core. I like their forward group enough but that D
    core has an odour to it.

    Oleksiak
    Pateryn
    Hamuis ( 35 year old version)

  79. jonrmcleod says:

    frjohnk,

    He definitely made things more interesting.

  80. npanciroli says:

    Woodguy v2.0:
    Bob McKenzie‏Verified account @TSNBobMcKenzie30s30 seconds ago
    More
    Vadim Shipachyov has reported to CHI (AHL). May play for the Wolves tomorrow.

    Apparently $4.5MM is more important than your pride.

    Shit, my pride’s worth 10% of that.

    That makes two of us lol

  81. frjohnk says:

    jonrmcleod:
    frjohnk,

    He definitely made things more interesting.

    He would bring a different viewpoint that would make many of us think, but then other times his viewpoint would make this place explode.

  82. Chachi says:

    jonrmcleod: Actually, our old friend wasn’t as down on Nurse as you might think. Draisaitl on the other hand….

    Quote:

    Nurse may well have a chance to become a top pairing D but, most often, those guys appear early and Nurse is almost 21 years of age with only 2 games of NHL experience to his credit.

    I would wager he’ll be a very good #3 leaving the Oilers without a true #1D they should have in the stable after almost a decade drafting near the top of draft.

    In 2014, it’s somewhat understandable the Oilers would address their dire need at C by taking one at #3 overall…the problem is, they took the wrong one.

    Dynamic centre Sam Bennett was ranked ahead of Leon Draisaitl by virtually every scouting service including the “Oracle” Bob McKenzie.

    Had Bennett not been injured in his draft year, he may have gone 1st overall but the Oilers opted to draft the next Joe Colborne when they had a shot at the next Doug Gilmour.

    I expect Flames fans will be mocking that decision for the next decade.

    https://dcbdotme.wordpress.com/tag/analytics/

    Good call on Nurse. Bennett may yet pan out, but I truly hope it is after he has moved onto another team. The hot take on Draisaitl was hilarious then and has just gotten more and more hilarious since.

  83. Bruce McCurdy says:

    LadiesloveSmid:
    russ99,

    Benn was Russell’s man on the 3rd goal, couldn’t handle him in the crease

    I remember when Norm Maciver was here, critics said “he can’t handle Bob Probert physically” when there were basically zero players in the entire NHL who could handle Bob Probert physically. Jamie Benn is big and skilled and hungry and will win some battles around the net. He decisively won that one against Russell who at least tried to put a stick to him unlike what happened on Benn’s first goal.

    It was a strange game for Russell who was excellent at even strength with Great possession metrics including 9 shot attempts of his own but had a very rough go on the penalty kill. It follows that his critics are focusing exclusively on the latter.

    That said, I noted with considerable interest the Nurse-Benning duo that played second pairing minutes down the stretch while Russell-Gryba rode the pine, with both 25 & 83 chipping in on the late game winner. I wonder if TMc will come back with that duo on Saturday.

  84. N64 says:

    OriginalPouzar: So, he hasn’t been a healthy scratch but has been out hurt?

    Not limited to injured players

    https://www.ontheforecheck.com/platform/amp/2013/3/22/4135792/nhl-conditioning-assignment-rules-loan-stint

    There are provisions for evasion but McPhee is fine here because he made a decision on Garrison. He could not have rotated both through conditioning.

  85. Pouzar says:

    frjohnk: But I also enjoy kitchen fires

    and the Jets.

  86. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Chachi: You can buy someone else’s pride for 450K.

    I bet I could buy multiple prides for $450K

  87. GMB3 says:

    russ99: When three of our PKers are on one side of the net and the forward on the other side of the triangle goes walkabout to pressure the point and leave the opponent on that side of the ice wide open,bad things happen.

    Chasing the puck on the PK is a horrible idea. Play your man, rotate to the nearest opponent when one leaves the area and keep shape.

    The best PK’s in the NHL all play a pressure system. Carolina’s PK is a great example. You should go to a coaching clinic me thinks

  88. frjohnk says:

    After 9 games, this is how our secondary scoring from the forwards looks like.

    5 on 5

    Minutes Player goals
    110.97 RNH 3
    108.9 MILAN.LUCIC 1
    54.72 ANTON.SLEPYSHEV 0
    24.93 BRAD.MALONE 0
    42.92 DRAKE.CAGGIULA 0
    46.58 IIRO.PAKARINEN 0
    33.47 JUJHAR.KHAIRA 0
    71.92 JUSSI.JOKINEN 0
    91.57 KAILER.YAMAMOTO 0
    68.52 MARK.LETESTU 0
    102.4 RYAN.STROME 0
    89.28 ZACK.KASSIAN 0

    yes, bad shooting % along with hot opposing goaltenders

    I bet this is the worst stretch of secondary scoring we experience this year.

    Well, at least I hope.

  89. godot10 says:

    Bruce McCurdy:

    It was a strange game for Russell who was excellent at even strength with Great possession metrics including 9 shot attempts of his own but had a very rough go on the penalty kill. It follows that his critics are focusing exclusively on the latter.

    Russell didn’t face Benn/Seguin/Radulov much at even strength. Perhaps that is why he was okay at even strength.

    Hitchcock coached Kris Russell, and Benn and Seguin practiced against him for a couple of months when he was in Dallas. I think they know how to exploit his weaknesses when he can be isolated.

    Darnell Nurse may be saving the Oilers season. Talk about arriving just in time to fill the gaping hole left by the Sekera injury.

  90. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    OriginalPouzar: So, he hasn’t been a healthy scratch but has been out hurt?

    Healthy scratch.

    I’m pretty sure you can do that if a player hasn’t played in “X” games.

    Might have been on a ELC to pull it off without waivers, but I’m not sure. Will look it up.

  91. frjohnk says:

    Pouzar: and the Jets.

    Preach it brother

  92. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    frjohnk: He would bring a different viewpoint that would make many of us think, but then other times his viewpoint would make this place explode.

    He’d bring a viewpoint that would make you think.

    Other times he’d drink whiskey and troll while moving the goalposts and make this place explode.

    Note: I had beers one afternoon with Andrew (DSF) and I like him. He still trolled here pretty hard though.

    He was right about a lot of things when others, including myself, were blue-skying things a bit.

  93. Bag of Pucks says:

    Jaxon: Do you define a better checker as someone who hits a lot?

    No, I define it as shot suppression (i.e. marking your man, limiting the other line’s chances).

    The core expectation with most HCs is that their 4L can’t give up goals. If they score, it’s a huge bonus. But the core job expectation is give the Top 9 boys a breather, hopefully wear down the opposition D with an ‘energy’ shift and don’t give up a bloody goal against.

  94. John Chambers says:

    Don’t look now, but Ryan Strome’s 5×5 GF/60 with McDavid is through the roof.

    Extrapolating it over 15 mins / game for the rest of the season has Ryan finishing the year with over 300 points.

  95. Chachi says:

    Woodguy v2.0: I bet I could buy multiple prides for $450K

    You can lease mine for the weekend for a bottle of Writers’ Tears.

  96. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Chachi: You can lease mine for the weekend for a bottle of Writers’ Tears.

    A gave a good lead to a customer a couple days ago and he walked a bottle of Writer’s Tears into my office about 15 minutes ago as a thank you gift.

    yay!

  97. Bag of Pucks says:

    I would love to see this Top 9 tried.

    Nuge>McDavid>Strome
    Maroon>Leon>Slep
    Lucic>Letestu>Kassian

    Just 1 game. Is that too much to ask?

  98. Melvis says:

    I think I’m going to park Archie Bell and the Drells for the foreseeable future.

  99. Melvis says:

    papa96: heldentenor

    Actually, I think he’s a Scorpio.

  100. Pink Socks says:

    Chachi: I want to say this is the year he finally gets more than 50 points, but I have already been called out as an optimist today…

    Lucic will cost too many goals against and the coach and GM will blame RNH instead and place him on waivers when he hits 49 pts.

  101. LadiesloveSmid says:

    According to naturalstattrick, 5v5 score/venue adjusted Nurse has a 70.87% high danger CF%

  102. Woogie63 says:

    The reffering in the NHL is holding back the product. I am tired of watching the best players being held, bumped after the whistle, shirt held etc. Last night, Connor could have drawn at least three more penalties. The referring is bring the product (game) down.

    At the water cooler today, I am hearing Connor will need to learn how to play through this, Crosby, LaFleur and Orr all exceled with the extra clutching and grabbing … Connor is no different.

    Hockey is the 6th or 7th sport in North America. If the American teams drew like the Canadian teams the cap would be over $100M, This extra $25M could/should make the product we watch and pay for better. In American and in Canada paying fans get out of their seats and cheer win Conner, Sid, Johnny, Ovi are in full flight, dazzling us.

    #FreetheNHLstars

  103. PunjabiOil says:

    Congrats to Terry Jones. Hell of a career.

  104. DBO says:

    I expect in next 48 hours to see Yamamoto sent down and Kelly signed. I would rather have Malone, but coaches like vets. Kelly 4th line centre with PK, especially if they go Letestu as 3C.not what I want, but that unfortunately doesn’t matter to Chia or Todd. Jerk faces

  105. Chachi says:

    Woodguy v2.0: A gave a good lead to a customer a couple days ago and he walked a bottle of Writer’s Tears into my office about 15 minutes ago as a thank you gift.

    yay!

    As one should.

  106. Chachi says:

    Pink Socks: Lucic will cost too many goals against and the coach and GM will blame RNH instead and place him on waivers when he hits 49 pts.

    Sounds plausible enough.

  107. OriginalPouzar says:

    The Kelly potential is certainly a concern but I’m still of the thought that its not going to happen.

    Why? Well, because our GM/POHO can’t possibly think that Chris Kelly is the answer to any problem, even the PK problem. You can’t read too much in to training camp performances but with an old guy on a PTO, you have to and, in camp, Kelly showed he’s not an NHL player any long and is not effective in the PK role.

    I saw nothing in camp to show he’s better than Brad Malone in a 4C/PK role – although I don’t really want Brad Malone on the team either (he’s fine, I guess, but he’s an AHL grinder/tweener and, if he’s on the team, the depth is simply not there).

  108. hankster says:

    Chachi: That was Lucic’s fault as well. He wasn’t on the ice, but that was his man. He’s responsible for the other two PP goals as well.

    Don’t forget to fault Chia for that play too. Also, if Eberle played, oilers would have scored 7 instead of only 5.

  109. Chachi says:

    hankster: Don’t forget to fault Chia for that play too.Also, if Eberle played, oilers would have scored 7 instead of only 5.

    My bad.

  110. leadfarmer says:

    Woodguy v2.0: I bet I could buy multiple prides for $450K

    Wait . What kind of wood do you deal in?

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

    TSN is telling me that the Ducks will be without Fowler for 4-8 weeks…

    Kings without Carter for the RoY, San Jose, Calgary looking inconsistent and Vegas and Van playing much higher up than expectations.

    I see a window opening up.

    Team really needs to figure out them special teams and we’ll be cooking with gas.

    November is a game every second day month and there are lots of games against either middling or overachieving teams.

    Very good chance to make some hay

  112. SwedishPoster says:

    Both Lagesson and Berglund out with injuries when their respective teams face off today. Lagesson is day to day. Berglund should be day to day too but his team is always hopeless with timelines for injuries, their team doctor is extremely cautious with letting players back.

  113. Chachi says:

    SayItAin’tSo, Gretz, SayItAin’tSo!:
    TSN is telling me that the Ducks will be without Fowler for 4-8 weeks…

    Kings without Carter for the RoY, San Jose, Calgary looking inconsistent and Vegas and Van playing much higher up than expectations.

    I see a window opening up.

    Team really needs to figure out them special teams and we’ll be cooking with gas.

    November is a game every second day month and there are lots of games against either middling or overachieving teams.

    Very good chance to make some hay

    Of course, the Oilers won’t play the Ducks until January when all or most of their injured players should be back.

  114. bendelson says:

    Woodguy v2.0: A gave a good lead to a customer a couple days ago and he walked a bottle of Writer’s Tears into my office about 15 minutes ago as a thank you gift.

    yay!

    It pays to be awesome Darcy!

    Speaking of awesome, just a reminder you still have a couple of bottles of fine whiskey collecting dust in your ‘Bendelson’s House Collection’.

  115. Cassandra says:

    SayItAin’tSo, Gretz, SayItAin’tSo!:
    TSN is telling me that the Ducks will be without Fowler for 4-8 weeks…

    Kings without Carter for the RoY, San Jose, Calgary looking inconsistent and Vegas and Van playing much higher up than expectations.

    I see a window opening up.

    Team really needs to figure out them special teams and we’ll be cooking with gas.

    November is a game every second day month and there are lots of games against either middling or overachieving teams.

    Very good chance to make some hay

    The Pacific is not good. The only way the Oilers don’t make the playoffs is a long injury to McDavid.

    Las Vegas and Vancouver aren’t going to make the playoffs. Arizona is already cooked.

    Anaheim is old up front and injured at the back.
    San Jose is getting old.
    Calgary hasn’t looked any better than the Oilers.

    The Kings look good. So that means even in the worst case scenario of only three teams from the Pacific, the Oilers only need to beat out two of Anaheim, San Jose, and Calgary. Even with the poor start the Oilers haven’t lost any ground.

  116. Pouzar says:

    LadiesloveSmid:
    According to naturalstattrick, 5v5 score/venue adjusted Nurse has a 70.87% high danger CF%

    https://oilersnation.com/2017/10/27/darnell-nurse-has-arrived/

    “Among defenceman with 100 or more minutes at even strength, the 18.31 individual shot attempts an hour that Nurse is responsible for ranks third, behind only Brent Burns and Oskar Klefbom; the 9.63 shots an hour that make it to the goaltender ranks second.”

  117. Réal Goudenyéu says:

    The kings are a mirage – the opposite of the oilers up till this point.

    The meat is beckoning.

  118. OriginalPouzar says:

    SwedishPoster:
    Both Lagesson and Berglund out with injuries when their respective teams face off today. Lagesson is day to day. Berglund should be day to day too but his team is always hopeless with timelines for injuries, their team doctor is extremely cautious with letting players back.

    That’s new on Lagesson – do you know what happened?

    Berglund has been out for, what, a week-10 days now? I thought he was a couple of weeks top but it sounds like any time line from the organization is essentially meaningless.

  119. OriginalPouzar says:

    Chachi: Of course, the Oilers won’t play the Ducks until January when all or most of their injured players should be back.

    At the same time, the Ducks didn’t have to play the Oil without Drai, Drake and Sekera.

  120. Chachi says:

    OriginalPouzar: At the same time, the Ducks didn’t have to play the Oil without Drai, Drake and Sekera.

    True OP, true.

  121. dtk says:

    PunjabiOil:
    Congrats to Terry Jones.Hell of a career.

    I second that. Growing up I used to devour the Journal’s sports section every day. In the WHA days and their early days in the NHL, the vast majority of Oiler games weren’t televised and many didn’t even have t.v. highlights, so the writing of Jones et. al was a major source of information about the team. He also used to give a lot of details about what it was like to meet and hang out with legendary athletes and go to events like the Olympics, Grey Cups, and Super Bowls, which you can see in his anecdote about meeting Joe DiMaggio in the article linked to by our host. I think that his real strength wasn’t in analyzing the X’s and O’s of the game, but rather it was in telling stories about being a sports fan.

  122. Lewis Grant says:

    Is Garrison not worth a shot? He’s on an expiring contract.

    With Sekera out, we could run
    Klef-Lar
    Nurse-Russell
    Garrison-Benning/Gryba

    That way we don’t always have to have both a struggling Benning and an inconsistent Gryba (or Auvitu) in the lineup.

    I realize we need an RD much more than an LD. But Garrison only costs money.

    I hope there are better options out there, but who are they?

  123. Snowman says:

    Lewis Grant,

    Dillon Simpson comes to mind.

  124. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    bendelson: It pays to be awesome Darcy!

    Speaking of awesome, just a reminder you still have a couple of bottles of fine whiskey collecting dustin your ‘Bendelson’s House Collection’.

    Now that hockey is back those will have to get drunk.

    Pretty sure I owe you a 24 as well.

    Let’s dial that in when I get back from vacation in mid-Nov.

  125. OmJo says:

    John Chambers:
    Don’t look now, but Ryan Strome’s 5×5 GF/60 with McDavid is through the roof.

    Extrapolating it over 15 mins / game for the rest of the season has Ryan finishing the year with over 300 points.

    So that’s why the Oilers refuse to play him with McDavid. I bet the owners held a secret meeting and unanimously voted that if the Oilers play McDavid with Strome for 15 minutes or more per game we forfeit the franchise to Seattle and McDavid to Toronto.

    And for every minute that they are on the ice together the refs can call 3 bad penalties on our players, or excuse 3 blatant penalties from the opposing team.

    Tough league.

  126. SwedishPoster says:

    OriginalPouzar: That’s new on Lagesson – do you know what happened?

    Berglund has been out for, what, a week-10 days now? I thought he was a couple of weeks top but it sounds like any time line from the organization is essentially meaningless.

    I haven’t been able to find anything, it just says that he’s day to day, I had no clue he was injured. Latest I heard on Berglund was this week and then likely back on the ice but as mentioned it’s hopeless with Skellefteå. It should be minor things for both, I’ll get back when I have more info.

  127. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    leadfarmer: Wait .What kind of wood do you deal in?

    Whatever I can sell.

  128. Lewis Grant says:

    Snowman: Lewis Grant,
    Dillon Simpson comes to mind.

    Maybe…..

    I guess the question is, how much time do we want to give to guys who are developing? If we were currently, say, 7-2 rather than 3-5-1, I’d be more comfortable with the risk of giving time to Simpson.

    Garrison’s value would also be affected by the length of Sekera’s absence, which still seems a bit undetermined.

  129. OriginalPouzar says:

    Lewis Grant:
    Is Garrison not worth a shot?He’s on an expiring contract.

    With Sekera out, we could run
    Klef-Lar
    Nurse-Russell
    Garrison-Benning/Gryba

    That way we don’t always have to have both a struggling Benning and an inconsistent Gryba (or Auvitu) in the lineup.

    I realize we need an RD much more than an LD.But Garrison only costs money.

    I hope there are better options out there, but who are they?

    I don’t think Jason Garrison fits on the roster and Sekera could be back within the next month.

  130. OriginalPouzar says:

    SwedishPoster,

    Thanks for the info.

  131. Nuclear leak says:

    Islanders pp is 2 for 33 or 35.. and have given up 5 shorties with Ebs on the first unit with Tavares. Lol

  132. Halfwise says:

    Woodguy v2.0: I bet I could buy multiple prides for $450K

    My pride is NOT for sale. Period.

    It can, however, be rented.

  133. Snowman says:

    Lewis Grant,

    I don’t Garrison is an upgrade on anybody on our roster and Sekera is already skating in full equipment so I doubly don’t think he’s worth wasting our last contract spot on. Pretty sure the Oilers are at 49 contracts.

  134. OriginalPouzar says:

    They are at 49 – will be 48 when Yamamoto is assigned to junior.

  135. hunter1909 says:

    I remember comparing Draisaitl to Jean Beliveau with the roar of Lowetidean silence which followed what at the time seemed to be an outrageous prediction.

    Both: Big, great carrying or distributing the puck, deceptively tough(I mean Tim Horton level tough), dominant every time they’re on the ice.

    Wouldn’t it be great if Taylor Hall chooses Edmonton to return to win a cup?

  136. hunter1909 says:

    Yamamoto was a terrible choice to go into the season playing 1st line with McDavid.

    Scratch Yamamoto and the team improves.

    It’s not rocket science.

  137. hunter1909 says:

    I believe the secret ingredient for the Oilers is their toughness; Lucic is the team leader in the regard and therefore is worth a lot of cap space.

    Whining about him not playing like Gordie freaking Howe is silly.

  138. hunter1909 says:

    The Oilers will easily make the playoffs. These opening 10 games are merely a glitch.

    Great teams learn how to play hockey in the playoffs(Kings, Hawks, Penguins)…

    Washington/St Louis are perennial paper tigers. They fold when the pressure gets turned up.

    Oilers have winning traditions. For example, Wayne Gretzky isn’t on the payroll because he needs the money(see Lowe/MacT for clarification).

    Oilers dispatched San Jose with ease. Anaheim will never win more than 2 games against Edmonton in the playoffs for a very long time. Can they progress further? (MacDavid+Draisaitl+++)…they’re going to be just fine.

  139. GMB3 says:

    hunter1909:
    I believe the secret ingredient for the Oilers is their toughness; Lucic is the team leader in the regard and therefore is worth a lot of cap space.

    Whining about him not playing like Gordie freaking Howe is silly.

    Someone got into the whiskey pretty early today

  140. deardylan says:

    Dr. Drai always knew he was always a lion and became one. He is a LEOn!

    What about those Lions who might not have the confidence and never find their lion within in the NHL? I am thinking of one Lion who seems to be acting like a sheep in Bakersfield.

    Here is a Lion story from Supercoach. Get a cup of coffee it is a deep yarn with many implications for many parents, coaches and even armchair GMs out there.

    LEO the LION

    Once upon a time, there was a baby lion who was born into the world alone and afraid. A family of sheep found him in their home in the green grassy valley at the bottom of the mountains one day, and because he was so beautiful and because they were so kind, they decided to raise him as one of their own. It was his sister, who had a highly developed sense of irony, who suggested they name him ‘Leo’.

    So they taught Leo the baby lion how to walk as a sheep, and talk as a sheep, and taught him all the ways of sheep, and they loved him with all of their hearts. They taught him to fear what all sheep fear, and that whatever he did he must stay away from the mountains, for lions lived up there, and no sheep who had ever gone up the mountain had ever returned.

    Eventually, Leo became so good at acting like a sheep that even his own family forgot that he was really a lion. Sure, occasionally some of the other sheep teased him for his unusual size and his bushy haircut. But Leo did what he could to fit in, and he made good friends, and eventually he became a good, productive member of the sheep community.

    The years passed uneventfully until one day an old lion from the mountains came down into the green, grassy valley in search of food. Leo was the first to sense his presence, and as soon as he yelled “Lion!” all the sheep began to run in panicked circles. In the midst of the chaos, the old lion noticed Leo.

    “Hey, you!”, roared the hungry lion.

    “M…m…me?” whimpered Leo, terrified but at the same time fascinated by this magnificent old creature.

    “What are you doing here with all these sheep?” the old lion demanded.

    “They’re my family,” said Leo proudly.

    At this, the old lion laughed. “Then who are you, young one?”

    “I’m Leo, and I’m a sheep”, Leo bleeted.

    Suddenly, the old lion’s face turned fierce. “Come with me!” he roared.

    Leo didn’t want to go with the old lion but he thought that by doing so, he might save his fellow sheep. So with a last look back at his herd, he followed the old lion off into the mountains.

    They walked for many miles until at last, high up in the mountains, they came upon a beautiful crystal clear lake filled with smooth, blue water. The old lion beckoned for Leo to come to the edge of the lake. By this time, Leo was exhausted – not so much from the climb, which he found surprisingly easy, but from the constant fear that at any moment, the old lion would eat him. So with a final reluctant ‘baaa’, Leo made his way to the edge of the lake and looked where the old lion’s paw was pointing.

    To his amazement, he saw not a sheep, but the reflection of a strong young lion. In that moment, he knew who he really was and let out a mighty roar that shook the mountains all the way down to the green, grassy valley…

    After the shock of discovering his true identity, Leo realized that he was hungry – really hungry. And grass just wasn’t going to cut it anymore. Fortunately, Leo knew where he could get food, and plenty of it.

    But when he got back to the valley to where his old herd was still grazing, he stopped in shock. For what he saw was not a herd of sheep, but a pride of lions, each one grazing and bleating and acting for all the world like sheep. It was his own mother who saw him first, and though Leo could see that she herself was a beautiful lioness, she cowered in fear, not recognizing him and bleating “Lion!” at the top of her lungs.

    “Mother!”, he roared, but the sound just made the sheep/lioness run even faster amongst the increasingly agitated herd.

    Finally, Leo noticed that his sister was looking at him with a faint hint of recognition, and he knew what he must do. He put on his fiercest face, and he roared at her “Come with me!”

    And though she was afraid, she followed him on the long journey up to the clear blue lake in the mountains…

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