Game 10 2017-18: Capitals at Oilers

The Oilers play their final game of the month this evening, the high-flying Washington Capitals in for the annual visit. For Edmonton, a win tonight would represent a terrific recovery after a slow start to the year. In the last four games against Chicago, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Dallas, the team went 2-1-1. A win tonight? That would be a substantial close.

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

Todd McLellan spoke with a worried mind in preseason, fretting over a team that had perhaps forgotten how difficult it was to win just one year ago. One suspects the roster has been suitably scared straight and some things have been going the Oilers way (a loss by Calgary last night helps) for the last few days.

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

I go back to that Vancouver game as a turning point, and then (possibly) the Chicago game swinging things the other way. You never know how many twists and turns you’ll see in a long season, but this year feels like a love (and hate) rollercoaster already.

DEFENSE, 2017-18

  • The Oilers have played nine games this season, the defensemen have posted three goals and eight assists, with  combined 113 shots. Source
  • A year ago, after nine games? One goal, 13 assists and 63 shots on goal. Source
  • What does it mean? Hell if I know, Oilers are shooting a lot from the point but the results (including all disciplines) don’t seem to be worth all those extra point shots. We’ll check the forwards in a minute.
  • The possession numbers (Corsi and Fenwick) all look good from here, the Klefbom-Larsson pairing is getting a lot of workand doing well (Larsson’s SA/60 at 5×5 is a little higher than Oscar’s).
  • Darnell Nurse is getting a lot of love, if he can post 1.31/60 scoring at 5×5 and post good possession and SA/60 numbers throughout the season we’re going to have a helluva story.
  • Cam Talbot is No. 16 among NHL starters with a .922 even-strength save percentage. He ranks No. 26 among the same group of goalies against the opposition’s power play.

FORWARDS, 2017-18

  • The Oilers have played nine games this season, the forwards have posted 17 goals and 26 assists, with  combined 224 shots. Source
  • A year ago, after nine games? 28 goals, 29 assists and 203 shots on goal. Source
  • What does it all mean? I bet it has to do with shooting percentage.
  • Leon Draisaitl is killing it at 5×5 and not pissing a drop 5×4, suspect those two things level out in the coming days.
  • Patrick Maroon is on a hot streak right now, the Oilers were rumored to be interested in signing him (and Maroon wanting to stay). Jason Strudwick mentioned contract on the Jason Gregor Show yesterday, it’s something to keep in mind.
  • Connor McDavid ranks No. 20 in even-strength points among NHL forwards this season, expect he’ll climb that list as he catches up in GP. He was 2.88/60 5×5 scoring last season, he’s 2.59 now. With Leon Draisaitl back, that number should climb.
  • Milan Lucic & Ryan Nugent-Hopkins are over 2.00/60 5×5 scoring, that’s a very good sign. If Ryan Strome can join them, the Oilers will have two productive offensive units.
  • There are two goals total from  the men we associate with bottom 6F, both from Mark Letestu. That’s going to have to change.

TYLER BENSON

Six shots and a goal in his return. That’s good but the key is staying in the lineup. Good to see him back playing. Nice shot. If you aren’t following Edmonton Prospect Watch on twitter, you should be. Top drawer.

OILERS FORWARDS 5X5, YEAR OVER YEAR

Every once in awhile I’ll read in the comments section “Connor McDavid isn’t at the same level as last year” and I thought it might be an idea to have a look. There’s no doubt 97 is getting more attention and taking more of a beating, that fact partly due to his opponents (the Ducks) getting away with murder in the playoffs.

For our purposes, visuals have great value but we should be able to see it in the math. If McDavid is struggling, or playing a less effective game, then we should be able to see it in the boxcars. I discounted the power play, we know that’s in the ditch and may or may not have something to do with shots from the point.

The 5×5 is my main point of interest. If McDavid had one more 5×5 point this season, in the same TOI, his 5×5/60 scoring number would be 3.02/60. He’s fine, I’d suggest to you his linemates inability to cash goals has been doing far more harm than anything Mr. McDavid has been doing.

One final thing: Just because you don’t see him flying up the ice in patented McDavid fashion every shift doesn’t mean he isn’t playing well. Clean air can only be used when it’s available and teams are forcing 97 to adjust. The fact he’s scoring at close to last season’s rates at 5×5 tells me his workaround is working. It may not be as exciting to you, and it may lead you to believe Connor McDavid is less effective this season because the breathtaking moments don’t occur against as many teams as one year ago. I’d submit the issue is you. McDavid is finding a way to be ridiculously effective, even as opponents adjust to his brilliance. Pretty sure.

PETER CHIARELLI

On the day Peter Chiarelli took over the Edmonton Oilers, the team was very poor in some vital areas. Goaltending and defense were areas that needed to be addressed and the prospect pool was below average. Ben Scrivens was the starting goalie, the NHL defense boasted Nikita Nikitin, Justin Schultz, Mark Fayne and Andrew Ference.

50-MAN AT TIME OF ARRIVAL

50-MAN TODAY

I’m not going to go over Peter Chiarelli’s moves chapter and verse, but there’s zero doubt some of his trades have been poor. Taylor Hall for Adam Larsson gets mentioned less often now, with the two draft picks for Griffin Reinhart rising like a Phoenix. In both cases, I posted at this blog at the time about the deals, mentioning the impact of the Reinhart deal several times.

  • Lowetide blog: In terms of value, Peter Chiarelli gave up too much. Reinhart—if everything works out—projects as a second-pairing guy and the price paid was dear, too dear. Oilers fans will grind themselves into a fine white powder on this issue, I choose not to do it. Source

It was known at the time that the price was too dear, and those who are pointing it out today are absolutely correct in their assessment. Here’s the thing: If you are arguing the Hall and Reinhart trades within the context of the overall work by PC, then it’s fair game. A “good” and “bad” ledger should produce an interesting discussion, with names like Cam Talbot and Patrick Maroon offering balance and depth to the conversation.

I would encourage you to insist on discussing the entire record. If you are engaging someone who refuses to look at the complete record, the best idea is to drop them. I believe most fair minded people, be they fans or bloggers or just interested observers, will have no issue with looking at the track record. If they don’t, then refuse to engage. You are speaking to someone who has lost the ability to see the complete picture, you are pissing in the wind. Don’t waste your time, life is too short. Enjoy Tabernac Saturday!

 

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428 Responses to "Game 10 2017-18: Capitals at Oilers"

« Older Comments
  1. leadfarmer says:

    frjohnk: Ive figured one of the options for next year, includes the Oilers replacing RNH with a $1M dollar center.
    That could be Strome

    Step 1 Draft franchise players
    Step 2 win cup
    Step 3 cap hell

    Unfortunately Chia forgot step 2. How much does the cap have to increase this year to save Chia from himself

  2. TheVengeFulOne says:

    leadfarmer: And just a few weeks ago I got pounced on here for saying we have a whole bag of meh forwards. Oh yeah and also for saying Strome sucks this summer.My prediction of Strome being here for only one year might not come true unfortunately given how little everyone is accomplishing

    I remember making a list of all the players in slepyshev and caggiula’s age range and showing that the majority (all but 3ish) were back in the minors the following year.

  3. 106 and 106 says:

    A very sad thread folks.

    Cheer up – it’s only October!

    Just wish the scheduler wouldn’t have made Oct/Nov so choppy in terms of stop/start.

    Next game Wednesday? Get ready for 1,000 ‘we practice hard’ and ‘bagskate’ articles!

  4. GMB3 says:

    TheVengeFulOne: I remember making a list of all the players in slepyshev and caggiula’s age range and showing that the majority (all but 3ish) were back in the minors the following year.

    All 23 year olds go back to the AHL? Must be one hell of a graph

  5. GMB3 says:

    When Chia trades RNH for Ryan Pullock how is everyone gonna feel here?

  6. Professor Q says:

    So I fell asleep when the Oilers were up and woke up to that score…

  7. OriginalPouzar says:

    VOR: I am just curious, what is it you are trying to accomplish with all this working out? Are you training for something specific? Are you body building? Competing in weight lifting, Olympic or Power Lifting? Or are you training for some other sport?

    Nope, not training for anything – just my routine.

  8. OriginalPouzar says:

    frjohnk: I really believe Klefbom is gone.

    Nurse is playing well.Oilers love him.He will get over $4M per year.
    Cant trade Sekera or Russell because of NMC.
    Larsson only righty who can play top 4.

    Klefbom gone for a good young forward still on ELC.So team can save $3M.

    Trading Klefbom would be a mistake.

    But the bigger mistake(s) was done earlier that led to the point in which a player like Klefbom ( or Nuge) has to be traded because of cap hell.

    Although he’s not playing well right now (this year), I don’t see how trading the best value contract (not including McDavid’s ELC) on the team for a value contract makes sense.

    Anything can happen and Klefbom could be traded at some point but it won’t be to create a value contract – he provides an insane value contract (n/w his inconsistent play this year).

  9. OriginalPouzar says:

    I refuse to get overly-emotional about this loss and the start to the season.

    I refuse to catastrophize the season even though I understand the reality of being 5 points out heading in to November.

    I refuse to get on the fire the coach and/or manager train a few months after they were both up for NHL awards notiwthstanding the fact that many of their decisions over the last 6 months (1 motnh for the coach) can be questioned.

    I refuse to look at the season as over.

    I am looking at the 2-2-1 record over the last 5 which is OK, not terrible, and an opportunity for two points at home against PIT on Wed.

    Go Oilers!

  10. Professor Q says:

    Crosby and McDavid at 35 and 34 in points in the league (Crosby with an extra 2 games and a -6). Caveat of not being that far behind 3rd in points (damn you, Tampa Bay…).

    Jaden Schwartz tied for 4th.

    Vegas Golden Knights potentially winning the Conference.

    What a topsy turvy first month.

    I doubt it lasts long.

  11. Mr. D. says:

    TIme to start looking at the D coach. Playing a guy whose is -4 that much is ridiculous. Send a message.

  12. Melvis says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    I refuse to get overly-emotional about this loss and the start to the season.

    I refuse to catastrophize the season even though I understand the reality of being 5 points out heading in to November.

    I refuse to get on the fire the coach and/or manager train a few months after they were both up for NHL awards notiwthstanding the fact that many of their decisions over the last 6 months (1 motnh for the coach) can be questioned.

    I refuse to look at the season as over.

    I am looking at the 2-2-1 record over the last 5 which is OK, not terrible, and an opportunity for two points at home against PIT on Wed.

    Go Oilers!

    The refusal acknowledges that which it refuses. That’s certainly not rocket psychology, but there’s another potential refusal which I’m going to address. At some risk. By that I mean the inherent nature of a blog comes fully equipped with the potential for misunderstanding,.. and quite often, an unwanted and unneeded undercoat, at some personal cost, courtesy of the factory. If I’m guilty of the latter, then consider me sorry for the following ramble.

    There are few fools on this blog and VOR is about as far from that designation as can be imagined. He posed a question in regard to your workout regimen. Your response, ” just my routine”.

    I suspect he was alluding to something else entirely – the substitution mechanism and regimen…as you’ve mentioned in regard to your condition.

    I don’t know if the response was deliberately obtuse, disingenuous or something else entirely.

    I do know, however that this blog has become some sort of a sounding board and confessional detailing and distilling the most personal aspects of your life. More and more so, with each passing week.

    And I find myself squirming to the point of suggesting a chat with a sponsor or professinal, such as they may be.

    I’ve seen this before. As positive as your attempts are at quelling the inner disturbance, this doesn’t always end well. And please consider the advice heartfelt and empathetic.

  13. Gret99zky says:

    Every win is sacred.
    Every win is great.
    If a win is wasted,
    Gord gets quite irate.

  14. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Georges,

    So you actually went through the game logs to put this together. That’s some commitment!

    Took less than 5min. I know that Pucell moved up after RNH got hurt and know that they rotated wingers in there after the trade deadline.

    NST has a “line combo tool” with a date range (which didn’t work) or you can pick “the last X games” which did work, so you run the combo tool with everyone Drai & Hall played with and BAM! Data.

    I’m a patron of NST and have access to the line tool, its not public yet.


    To a long-gone former Oiler no less.

    It was the conversation in the thread and knew pertinent information was missing and the issue was being framed in an incorrect way imo, so I chimed in. I’ll always be a Hall fan too. He left it all on the ice for goddawful teams for years. I respect the hell out of that.

    I follow the whole league but for teams my rooting interest has been EDM for 40 years.

    If only you could put the same kind of commitment to supporting current Oilers. I’m sure if you try this hard you’ll find some good in every last one. Wouldn’t that be nice?

    This is a pretty snarky comment. I was very cordial in all my posts. Curious why you’d say that?

    I put a lot of effort into analyzing the Oilers from time to time. I spend more time on it each day than I did to get that Hall data I posted in this thread. I do have that kind of commitment.

    Do I have to have happy news in order to “support the team”?

    I just write about things that it occurs to me to write about, good and bad.

    I was living and dying with 27-93-14’s GFON and GF% last year and was thrilled when from mid-Feb on they were winning the battle out of the 2 hole.(52.6%CF and 66.7% GF from Feb 16th on)

    Alas, beds were shit in the playoffs and they only won one round.

    My writing and posting about the Oiler isn’t designed to wave pompoms for the team though. I do cheer pretty hard for EDM and spend a lot of money on their product each year (via tickets etc)

    I surprised that you think that my fandom is negative.

    I’m pretty positive about things that give me reason to be positive.

  15. frjohnk says:

    Everybody is dumping on Klefbom.

    -1st goal. Its a 50-50 play. He wins more than 50% of his share to loose pucks. Carlsson did make a good play. Yes, it was not a great read by Klefbom, if he backs up its a 4-2 instead of a 4-1. Funny thing is that the play started out as a 3-4, one Oiler forward coasted from O zone blue line to D zone blue line. Hint: I picked him up in my draft yesterday.

    -2nd goal. Washington has the puck at their blue line by their bench and make a cross ice pass to the Oiler blue line. Klefbom was covering the Washington right wing ( which he is supposed to do) Now when the play at the Oiler blue line happens, which is very fast, Klefbom is unfortunately cutting the wrong way, Kuznetsov has a ton of speed as he enters the zone. Klefbom has no chance to catch him and even if he did, he is on the wrong side.

    -3rd goal. Down 1 goal, Klefbom is a difference maker and will join the rush. Oilers clear the zone and Klefbom makes a jump up, but a bad bounce off an Oiler and the puck goes straight to Kuznetsov who proceeds to make Letestu and Larsson pylons. Looks like those two gave up on the play as Larsson was waving his arm signalling an offside.

    -4th goal. empty netter

    Yeah, the minus 4 does not good and Klefbom wears it, but a little context was needed.

  16. OriginalPouzar says:

    Melvis: The refusal acknowledges that which it refuses. That’s certainly not rocket psychology, but there’s another potential refusal which I’m going to address. At some risk. By that I mean the inherent nature of a blog comes fully equipped with the potential for misunderstanding,.. and quite often, an unwanted and unneeded undercoat, at some personal cost, courtesy of the factory. If I’m guilty of the latter, thenconsider me sorry for the followingramble.

    There are few fools on this blog and VOR is about as far from that designation as can be imagined. He posed a question in regard to your workout regimen. Your response, ” just my routine”.

    I suspect he was alluding to something else entirely – the substitution mechanism and regimen…as you’ve mentioned in regard to your condition.

    I don’t know if the response was deliberately obtuse, disingenuous or something else entirely.

    I do know, however that this blog has become some sort of a sounding board and confessional detailing and distilling the most personal aspects of your life. More and more so, with each passing week.

    And I find myself squirming to the point of suggesting a chat with a sponsor or professinal, such as they may be.

    I’ve seen this before. As positive as your attempts are at quelling the inner disturbance, this doesn’t always end well. And please consider the advice heartfelt and empathetic.

    He asked something along the lines of why I workout so much and if I was training for something.

    As it was 3:50am and I was just having my pre-workout meal, I didn’t have the time to get in to it but gave the high level answer that I am not training for anything but the early morning workout is part of my routine.

    I didn’t think it was a question with intention or my answer was overly obtuse.

    Many, many people workout daily – mine just happens to be very early in the morning.

    If you want a more detailed answer as to why I “work out so much” – well, yes, its my routine – I have a dedication and a commitment towards a workout and nutrition regime. I have certain goals related thereto – no, there isn’t any real reason for such goals but they are my goals and have a commitment and dedication to hard work towards them provides me with a sense of accomplishment and pride. Sure, maybe its false pride but that’s to be determined.

    Yes, I have an awareness around the potential correlation between my disease and this particular regimen. I thank you for your advice re: speaking about it to my sponsor or at a meeting. I can confirm that I have spoken about it at my weekly mens addiction group.

    I can confirm that I am honest about it and open to suggestions. At this point i am not willing to make changes in that regard. Recovery is a process – progress not perfection.

  17. frjohnk says:

    OriginalPouzar: Although he’s not playing well right now (this year), I don’t see how trading the best value contract (not including McDavid’s ELC) on the team for a value contract makes sense.

    Anything can happen and Klefbom could be traded at some point but it won’t be to create a value contract – he provides an insane value contract (n/w his inconsistent play this year).

    I just dont think they can pay 5 Dmen on average, more than $4M each, so that makes either Nurse or Klefbom expendable. Oilers love Nurse.

  18. OriginalPouzar says:

    I don’t see Nurse getting anywhere near $4M/year on his next contract.

    He is taking a nice step forward but, coming off his ELC, this player should be bridged somewhere in the 2 X $2.75M range. Unless his offence spikes materially, which is somewhat unlikely, that is not an unreasonable contract.

    Further, NMC aside, in no world does it make sense to trade a 24 year old Klefbom and keep a 30 year old Russell given nearly equal cap hits. Chiarelli idiotically gave Russell a NMC and that mistake should NOT cost Oscar Klefbom – if it does, the sum of those moves should lead to immediate dismissal.

  19. flyfish1168 says:

    frjohnk: I just dont think they can pay 5 Dmen on average, more than $4M each, so that makes either Nurse or Klefbom expendable.Oilers love Nurse.

    Benning, Russell and Sekara will be gone 1st. JMHO

  20. flyfish1168 says:

    Woodguy v2.0: There’s a few other contracts I’d try moving before Nuge.

    Its funny, I always rated those three:

    Hall>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>Eberle>>>>>>Nuge

    Eberle scored well away from Hall, Nuge, not so much.

    Peter is sending them out in the wrong order.

    He’s out of good forwards to trade so now its good Dmen, next year’s first or a good prospect.

    That is interesting. If Nuge would have gone 1st instead of Hall there would have been a better chance of 2 very excellent scoring lines

  21. frjohnk says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    I don’t see Nurse getting anywhere near $4M/year on his next contract.

    He is taking a nice step forward but, coming off his ELC, this player should be bridged somewhere in the 2 X $2.75M range. Unless his offence spikes materially, which is somewhat unlikely, that is not an unreasonable contract.

    Further, NMC aside, in no world does it make sense to trade a 24 year old Klefbom and keep a 30 year old Russell given nearly equal cap hits.Chiarelli idiotically gave Russell a NMC and that mistake should NOT cost Oscar Klefbom – if it does, the sum of those moves should lead to immediate dismissal.

    Look at some of the Dmen in the league who just got $4M and over.
    His agent will be looking at getting more than $4M and then settle around the Larsson, Klefbom contracts.

    Chia will pay it, Nurse is part of the core.

  22. frjohnk says:

    flyfish1168: Russell and Sekara

    NMC’s.

  23. frjohnk says:

    OriginalPouzar: Further, NMC aside, in no world does it make sense to trade a 24 year old Klefbom and keep a 30 year old Russell given nearly equal cap hits.

    totally agree.

  24. OriginalPouzar says:

    frjohnk: Look at some of the Dmen in the league who just $4M and over.
    His agent will be looking at getting more than $4Mand then settle around the Larsson, Klefbom contracts.

    Chia will pay it, Nurse is part of the core.

    You could be right, but, if he does, he loses once again.

    I’m sorry but, unless Nurse’ offence spikes to the 30 point range, I can’t condone a contract in the $4M range unless its 6 plus years.

    That bloody Matheson contract is going to screw us, isn’t it?

  25. flyfish1168 says:

    frjohnk: NMC’s.

    Yes I realize that but I see players changing their mind when the feel unwanted.

  26. godot10 says:

    frjohnk:

    -3rd goal.Down 1 goal, Klefbom is a difference maker and will join the rush.Oilers clear the zone and Klefbom makes a jump up, but a bad bounce off an Oiler and the puck goes straight to Kuznetsov who proceeds to make Letestu and Larsson pylons.Looks like those two gave up on the play as Larsson was waving his arm signalling an offside.

    This goal is on Talbot. Larsson and Letestu “pushed” Kuznetzov below the goal line. He scored from below the goal line because Talbot did not protect the post.

    Larsson didn’t take penalty, and forced Kuznetzov below the goal line, from being on the wrong side of a player he was not initially responsible for. I don’t see how one can blame him for that goal.

    Talbot is having a bit of a start like his first season with the Oilers, where he is giving up some goals that he just shouldn’t.

  27. godot10 says:

    If one can tie up Nurse for 8 years for $4 million something one does it. I expect Nurse will bet on himself, and take a bridge deal for two years.

  28. TheVengeFulOne says:

    GMB3: All 23 year olds go back to the AHL? Must be one hell of a graph

    Forgot to mention the 0.2-0.3 ppg I discriminated by.

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