Winter

It’s sure been a cold, cold winter
My feet been draggin’ ‘cross the ground
And the fields have all been brown and fallow
And the springtime takes a long way around

-Jagger, Richards, rumored Taylor

Each fall, late fall, there’s a moment when you realize it’s here for another long, cold winter.  I’ve no complaints, love this city, raised my children here with a lot of help from good people. But that feeling, not quite panic but definitely boxed in, is something I acknowledge and then battle every year when it’s too late to pack up and run. So, you find things that make you happy, that fill the time, make you feel alive. Last year, it was the Oilers, for the first time in one forever. This year, we’re coming to a moment when we realize it’s here for another long, cold winter. We’ll find things to occupy our time—gallows humor, talk of alcohol and beautiful women, the draft and, at some point, what went wrong. This season is hanging by a thread, this northern town about to let out a primal scream. Perhaps the men from town can’t fix this after all. We’ve seen this team and it isn’t good enough, no need to wait on them this time. It’s already been a cold, cold winter, and we’ve only just begun.

PIKES PEAK, YEAR OVER YEAR

  • Oilers in October 2015: 4-8-0, goal differential -7
  • Oilers in October 2016: 7-2-0, goal differential +10
  • Oilers in October 2017: 3-6-1, goal differential -11

The Oilers struggled through the whole month and it’s pretty clear help is needed. The encouraging signs from last night did not occur in Edmonton, but rather in a Toronto studio (where Nick Kypreos and Elliotte Friedman discussed Peter Chiarelli making a trade), California (where Jesse Puljujarvi had nine shots on goal) and on the calendar (there are no more October games on the schedule). Edmonton went 5-7-2 in November 2016, this year’s club will have to be far better than that if they are going to have any chance at the playoffs.

WHAT WAS DELIVERED IN 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 1-1-0)
  • Overall expected result: 5-3-2, 12 points in 10 games 
  • Current results: 3-6-1, 7 points after 10 games

The only game during the month where everything seemed to rhyme was Game One. After that, it was goaltending and then special teams, and it was secondary scoring and poor coverage. Honestly, I’m glad it’s over. That wasn’t an enjoyable month of hockey. At all.

DEFENSE, LAST NIGHT

  • Nurse-Benning went 20-8 together, including 10-3 shots. That included 9-2 Corsi events against Vrana-Backstrom-Oshie, an impressive total against a strong line. That trio didn’t score a point, and spent about six minutes against Nurse-Benning.
  • Klefbom-Larsson had a tough night, I’m going to point the finger at Oscar. Trio was 17-19 Corsi and 0-3 in goals, all of these numbers are 5×5. Went 10-10 against Kuznetsov-Ovechkin-Smith-Pelly, but all three goals against came against the line. High skill for sure, but we don’t see a night like that often from the Swedes. The first goal against what a ghastly display by Klefbom, but Larsson had some saloon door moments as well. Klefbom is playing hurt and the pairing is playing a lot, both less than ideal.
  • Russell-Gryba went 6-17 together, there were very few competed passes and a lot of turning and backing up. I don’t believe this is a good pairing.
  • Cam Talbot stopped 25 of 31 shots. The fourth goal against was a killer, he has to have it. Similar to the third Vancouver goal in Game Two. I’m a big believer in Cam Talbot, but he needs to make like Joe Jackson and Look Sharp!
  • Natural Stat Trick and NHL.com.

FORWARDS, LAST NIGHT

  • Maroon-McDavid-Draisiatl went 16-21 (LD) and 13-21 (PM) with 97. They scored the first goal, a beauty that involved all three men working in tandem. High skill trio. Faced Orpik-Carlson (15-18) most, along with the forward group of Vrana-Backstrom Oshie (McDavid was 9-12 against Backstrom). Edmonton’stop line outscored Washington’s 1-0 at evens. The only complaint I have about the trio is they need to shoot more, they had nine but could have had 15 or more.
  • Lucic-Nuge-Strome were key in Larsson’s goal and Strome set up Lucic a couple of times. Lucic had three high danger chances, didn’t score on any of them. Went 20-13 Corsi but 1-2 GF-GA, they spent nine minutes against Ovechkin-Kuznetsov-Smith Pelly, but were outscored 0-2.
  • Caggiula-Letestu-Kassian went 6-12 (Kassian) together, outscored 0-1 at 5×5. Kuznetsov line chewed them up 1-10 Corsi and scored a goal.
  • Jokinen-Khaira-Slepyshev went 13-6 (Slepy) and 11-5 (Jokinen). It’s a good 4line, with Khaira coming on a little as he gets comfortable. Six shots! Went 5-4 against the Lars Eller line. Slepyshev is going to catch up, I don’t know that anyone will notice.

IT’S ALWAYS SOMETHING

In doing these post-game postmortems, trends begin to appear. This year, “reasons” come to the fore and seem to rotate. Penalty killing, power play, defensive lapses, wobbles in goal. The alarming part of it? There’s so many things that need to be fixed, the mind boggles. When you have this many issues on a roster, there’s only one conclusion that can be drawn. They’re not good enough. Incredibly, despite employing Connor McDavid, the Edmonton Oilers are a team in the National Hockey League.

DEALING DALTON

  • Nick Kypreos: “The fact remains they’re disappointed in the Ryan Strome for Jordan Eberle deal. I think they’re not married to even keeping Strome if they can move him. I think they probably would. The question is: Would he bring anything in return of significance? But no question it’s a priority for (Oilers GM) Peter Chiarelli to find some scoring on the right side.” Source

The most encouraging part of the evening came from the big enforcer, with something that looked like inside knowledge. Unlikely this leak came from Chiarelli, although he is surrounded by former management people who had leaks during their time at the helm. NK is generally associated with the player side, perhaps the news came from that side.

Either way, it’s encouraging. The Oilers aren’t good enough as they stand here today but there’s too much talent to simply abandon. Perhaps we see Jesse Puljujarvi and his nine shots on goal recalled, or the power play finally gets untracked after a shuffle. The season lies bleeding here today, Peter Chiarelli must step in and make a deal. One final thing: If you’re thinking Ryan Strome and “something” will get you Chris Kreider, the “something” is going to be a substantial piece. Peter Chiarelli owes it to his team to lend a helping hand.

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173 Responses to "Winter"

  1. flyfish1168 says:

    There has to be a sense of urgency now. If we go 6-3 the next 9 games we will be at 500 hockey. That does not still leaves us out of the PO picture.

  2. OriginalPouzar says:

    I’m not sure I buy the Kypreos verbal.

    I mean, after 9 games, the organization sours on their main off-season acquisition and the leak is socialized by a guy that reports half way across the country and rarely, if ever, has any intel on the Oilers.

    The sad thing is that they’d love to move Strome for a scoring winger – someone like Jordan Eberle who has 9 points in 11 games.

  3. OriginalPouzar says:

    Anyways, winter is coming – the weather is supposed to turn on Wed, the day the Oilers play the Penguins and I am confident/hopeful that the season will turn with the winger – 5 more points coming up on this home-stand.

  4. The Trade Guy says:

    I had to get a new phone a couple weeks ago, and I was going through getting it all setup and Google asked. “Are you Interested in the Edmonton Oilers?” and I said. “No.” and now my phone doesn’t tell me anything about them!

    If my phone asked if I was interested in LT. I would say yes though. Just want to get that out there.

  5. Lowetide says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    Anyways, winter is coming – the weather is supposed to turn on Wed, the day the Oilers play the Penguins and I am confident/hopeful that the season will turn with the winger – 5 more points coming up on this home-stand.

    I don’t see it. The Oilers a year ago had Eric Gryba as their 7D,now he’s a regular. They have five men who are posting offense consistently at 5×5 and their goalie, who was a massive part of last season’s success, isn’t able to make those vital stops consistently.

    There’s no need to panic, but it is reasonable to suggest this team isn’t playoff worthy at this time.

  6. danny says:

    Meh.

    The sky isn’t falling yet.

    This team is a team that can grind one goal wins, with a good power play, google penalty kill and good goaltending.

    Right now the 5v5 is top 10 in most metrics.

    The power play is sucking but its the same personnel as last year. So thats not the reason.

    The pkill is a mess. Straight up. Personnel is different. Sekera and Pouliot are missing.

    Goaltending is sub par.

    I expect the power play to recover. I expect Talbot to be top 10.

    If anything needs fixing its the pkill.

    Being 5 points back in October means very little, without context. Hardly an emergency of missing the playoffs.

  7. frjohnk says:

    Lowetide: I don’t see it. The Oilers a year ago had Eric Gryba as their 7D,now he’s a regular. They have five men who are posting offense consistently at 5×5 and their goalie, who was a massive part of last season’s success, isn’t able to make those vital stops consistently.

    There’sno need to panic, but it is reasonable to suggest thisteam isn’t playoff worthy at this time.

    The silver lining is that the teams we need to be within spitting distance are still within spitting distance.

    Team pts
    Ducks 11
    Sharks 10
    Flames 10
    Oilers 7

    As it stands, it looks like only 2 of these 4 teams will make the playoffs.

    We wont catch LA, while the 2nd and 3rd place teams ( Vegas and Nucks) will falter.

  8. frjohnk says:

    danny: google penalty kill

    Our penalty kill is in 30th place.

    Thats not a good penalty kill, thats a google penalty kill.

  9. Woogie63 says:

    How close is Sekera to returning?

  10. Cassandra says:

    LT, honest question, what is encouraging about the Kypreos quote?

    I think it should fill us all with dread. How could they be surprised by Strome’s performance? That is incredible to me.

    And the idea that anyone would want Chiarelli to make a trade …..

  11. frjohnk says:

    Cassandra: And the idea that anyone would want Chiarelli to make a trade …..

    What are you talking about?

    There are 30 GM’s…………………oh, thats not good.

  12. flyfish1168 says:

    Still over 70 games left. But we are in a hole. If our record is the reverse 6-3 it would make things easier. But we are not. As the season goes along we need to hope we don’t get any more injuries and that we find consistency. The way we are looking with the PP and PK and secondary scoring it is a tall order. Even a taller task when we don’t have enough proven depth. Can we play smarter and make less mistakes on coverage? We did that last season in the playoffs.

  13. prefonmich says:

    Cassandra,

    I have to agree with you. It makes me worried to hear this because I think strome is pretty much as advertised so is our gm not paying enough attention to the available information or are the pro scouts at fault or??? Either way it’s not a good look to inspire confidence that the gm will be winning a trade anytime soon. If I was Chiarellis boss I would take his phone, remove any contact information from Garth Snow and block his number.

  14. Lowetide says:

    Cassandra:
    LT, honest question, what is encouraging about the Kypreos quote?

    This team needs help. Maybe it’s just a JP recall (as mentioned above) but the quote is an acknowledgement of missing the mark in summer (not enough done to address weakness) and urgency. The other side of course comes down to what PC will give up, that first round pick in 2018 is growing in value by the day. I think that might be part of the package.

  15. thehop says:

    If Klefbom is playing hurt then it may be time to re evaluate my perception of him to include band aid.

    Get him off the first pairing if he can’t handle the physical punishment.

    I won’t say a word if he’s our 3rd or 4th dman for a decade.

  16. Oil2Oilers says:

    Part of Kypereos comment that I find alarming is the diagnosis of where the problem is, RW.

    I agree there is a talent and speed problem, I just think the focus should be elsewhere.

    Short term, the start of this year, with Strome not able to fill Eberle’s skates/shoes the promblem may be lack of skill on RW.

    Long term there are two credible skilled right wingers available in the system projecting as top 9 players. With Pulujuarvi possibly arriving later this season and Yamamoto likely next year.

    The Oilers main talent deficits are at LW and RHD. Compounded by the anchor contracts of Lucic and Russell in those positions. (Less of a problem with Russell as a LHD but also less of a need for Russell as a LHD)

    Strome being moved along for an emerging RHD prospect as Eberle should of been, but for 50% less value, is a likely course of action. Waiting for the 10 million tied up in Lucic and Russell with no trade clauses could mean a few more long cold winters on the horizon.

  17. Dominoiler says:

    Put me in the Chris Kreider camp, I’ve got no faith in the blanks Jesse pulj is firing off in Bakersfield..

    LT, you have been just too damned good at stoking up the fan base, it is you i blame for my projected 111 pt season 😉

    In terms of awakening to the actual reality facing this team, I’m glad you are helping myself and rest of the unwashed masses make sense of the mess.. “This season is hanging by a thread, this northern town about to let out a primal scream. Perhaps the men from town can’t fix this after all. We’ve seen this team and it isn’t good enough, no need to wait on them this time. It’s already been a cold, cold winter, and we’ve only just begun.”

    The results are in, if you can’t build a winning team around CmD then you’re doing it wrong.. how many dark years of aspiring for mediocrity till the CmD hairy eye ball laser beams burn down this franchise?!..

    Grumble grumble, mew mew..

  18. oscarmike says:

    I would like to see either Nuge on McD RW or Leon as 2nd C with Nuge on his LW with Lucic on 3rd LW or press box, Malone on 3rd C. Bring up JP if they have to. It’s not like any of these RFA are going to get re-signed and if they do it won’t be for much.

  19. fifthcartel says:

    The Kypreos-Strome stuff is a little amusing. I’m sorry, but who did the Oilers think they were getting?

    Strome’s been a ~30 point player since scoring 50 points in his 21-year old season.

    The Islanders clearly didn’t see him as a center as they played Nelson over him and played him more on the wing. If the Oilers were betting he could return to his 50-point season vs his previous two, then I guess that’s an interesting gamble.

    Trading away your third leading scorer and 50-point RW to find that out would be odd. It’s hard to buy the cap savings side when they didn’t use it for anything, which makes me think it’s more about getting rid of Eberle and not liking the player anymore.

  20. Silver Streak says:

    Yes Yes Yes….I agree they are a mess, special teams seems to be of Junior B quality….HOWEVER
    Sekera is skating hard…his return will solve many issues on the teams, and our top 4.

    I believe running Leon with McD has to end now…..its not getting us any points and creates even more unbalance through the line-up…

    Chia will find a fix for RW and maybe we can all get some sleep.

  21. flyfish1168 says:

    WG posed an interesting comment yesterday. PC got the order of the trades wrong. He should have gone 1) Nuge 2) Eberle 3) Hall. We might have been able to played Hall at center part-time even though he doesn’t like it. I wonder how that would look today.

  22. Nuclear leak says:

    OriginalPouzar:

    The sad thing is that they’d love to move Strome for a scoring winger – someone like Jordan Eberle who has 9 points in 11 games.

    The good thing is, if they do find a scoring winger it will be one that has scored more then 30 once, can take and make a hit and doesn’t know what a duster is.

    Oilers and Eberle needed a change of scene, 13gp 0g 2a in the most Important games of his entire Oiler career.

    They need a Kessel, Neal, or Pacioretty who has scored over 30 multiple times.

    A scoring winger does this team no good if the scoring winger isn’t one that is a shoot first, then again type.

    Simmonds would actually help perhaps the most out of them all. Fast freight train with 120goals over the last 4 season, 28,29,31,32. That’s a goal scoring winger in the new NHL.

    Simmonds – puljujarvi, jones, +

  23. Woogie63 says:

    I don’t think it is Right wing 3C and drop in performance from Klefbom and Benning are the bigger issues to my eye. The middle of the ice is not as strong as last year.

  24. Oil2Oilers says:

    I have spent the weekend watching my niece play in a hockey tournament in Nova Scotia over a live stream. Chicks with sticks tournament.

    The quality of the stream, camera work and commentary is excellent. Far superior to the Oilers preseason or the clips I see out of the AHL.

    Play by play and colour commentary tend to focus on the positives rather than call out young players.

    Gold medal game on now. https:/livestream.com/mcentremedia/cws

  25. hankster says:

    teams go through bad streaks for many reasons. It doesn’t help when Klefbom played very poorly this season so far. We can easily fault him for at least two goals…if you actually watched the game or even the highlights.
    The execution of on breakouts are bad right now. The support from the forwards doesn’t appear to be there so the D is forced to send it off the glass or rim it if they’re under any bit of pressure. Of course good D would be able to change direction or make a play. We’re not getting any of that right now. Coaching staff needs to adjust…or players are are not listening or both.

    People keep talking about their dream unicorns but sometimes you have to work with what you have. Instead of dreaming up your all star team everyday. we probably lose yesterday even if we had two Mcdavids on the team !

    please stop talking about how bad Russel and Lucic. Very tiresome having to skip over the same crap as I try to find some good discussion here.

    They do need shake things up a little bit as players haven’t been the same this year.

  26. stephen sheps says:

    OriginalPouzar: Anyways, winter is coming – the weather is supposed to turn on Wed, the day the Oilers play the Penguins

    Same as it ever was.

    Nov. 1 is my birthday. I remember vividly that as a kid the first major snowfall would usually start around the time I was coming inside from trick or treating, eating just enough candy that I wouldn’t sleep. In the morning my dad would wake me with a “Happy birthday, son. I bought you a better shovel. Get to it.”

    The shovel was never better…

    I don’t know how to feel about this team. Players that needed to do more (Nuge, Nurse) are rising to the occasion. Players that we expected to be consistently great up front have been just that so far (19-97-29), but the back end is still a bit of a mess and the PK makes the Eakins era PK look good. Obviously this is a major personnel issue and Sekera can’t come back soon enough, but even when he returns he’s not going to be peak Rej. Something is off about Oscar; the mystery injury is clearly an impact, and without Rej anchoring that 2nd pair, he still needs to get big minutes. This much we know. Benning is only just starting to look like last year’s model, so dropping Oscar down to 2LD to play with him isn’t an option any more than moving Nurse up to play with Larsson, despite what the numbers say about Darnell making the leap.

    And yet the 10 game sample is still too small to start talking about sky-falling, but just large enough to think that perhaps the Oilers are just another team in the NHL. The funny thing about regression is that while we know it is likely, inevitable and real, we don’t know when it will occur. Last year I was banging the ‘patience with Nuge, he will regress to his usual Sh%’ drum the entire year. It didn’t happen. It appears that very regression back to his meat is happening now, but the rest of the team is in the toilet. Cam also has a history of not necessarily consistent play over the first couple months of a season while he gets in rhythm. Going back over his game logs from the past couple of seasons in Edmonton, his game by game Sv% in Oct. and Nov. is all over the place, but really starts to stabilize towards the end of Nov/Start of Dec. If his history is any indication, Talbot will also rebound to the level of play we came to expect from him, particularly in the 2nd half of each of his seasons here and in the playoffs last year. But again, regression is predictable in that it will happen yet unpredictable in terms of when it will happen.

    So, as the old saying goes, we wait, regardless of how empty that statement feels coming out of a dreary October and into another cold November.

  27. who says:

    I guess I take a longer term view than most people on this blog. Maybe it’s because I didn’t follow the team closely through the whole decade of darkness. I started to get somewhat interested when they had the back to back to back number one picks but really didn’t get excited about the team until they drafted Macdavid. He and Drai make every game worth watching.
    Anyway, I don’t see a trade at this point making a difference in the season. Any significant player in is going to cost significant assets and will likely be a net loss for oilers. And shuffling around role players isn’t going to make a difference.
    Besides it’s not the bottom of the roster players that are killing the Oilers right now. It’s core players having brain farts at key times of the game. Until the team fixes these mental mistakes and gets a consistent effort from the forwards on the back check they will continue to struggle. They have a roster good enough to compete. They just need to play better.

  28. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    – Great post LT! Pride and ego are interesting things when dealing with pro athletes:

    Vadim Shipachyov has been suspended by the Vegas Golden Knights for leaving their AHL affilliate,

    if no trade is made by as early as tomorrow the Golden Knights could be dealing with a contract termination, and Shipachyov could be returning back to Russia.

    – 9MM reasons to show up to the AHL: he keeps his pride though…

  29. Jethro Tull says:

    https://www.outerplaces.com/science/item/13898-could-time-travel-really-be-possible

    However, there isn’t a single one where the Dys have won a cup. Weird.

  30. 106 and 106 says:

    Kinger_Oil.redux,

    Thanks for the knowledge; that’s a good way to get out of cap hell!

    stephen sheps,

    The Oilers are one of the best teams in the nhl:

    https://twitter.com/ChartingHockey

    (check out the player charts – off the map)

  31. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    *****SPAM*****

    New Becauseoilers:

    “Boy we have a lot of defensemen shooting the puck! EDM’s current 5v5 SH% and what the future looks like”

    http://becauseoilers.blogspot.ca/2017/10/boy-we-have-lot-of-defensemen-shooting.html

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

    There are some interesting things about EDM’s shot volume in that post. Stuff I didn’t expect to see.

  32. LadiesloveSmid says:

    If they trade Puljujarvi for an Eberle replacement, I don’t know what to say.

    Chiarelli just hands out their best trade assets

  33. Lowetide says:

    Reinhart on waivers, non-zero chance PC claims imo.

  34. fifthcartel says:

    I think Reinhart gets claimed, and probably before Edmonton. I don’t think they should put in a claim.

  35. stephen sheps says:

    106 and 106: The Oilers are one of the best teams in the nhl:
    https://twitter.com/ChartingHockey
    (check out the player charts – off the map)

    Oh yeah, I am well aware of the fact that the Oilers should be better. They’re crazy high in metrics like xGF, which I really believe in. That’s why I wrote what I did about regression; we know it’s going to happen, but we don’t know when it will happen. And until it does, the myriad issues we’re seeing (blown coverages, poor special teams etc) will continue to hurt the team.

  36. dustrock says:

    Larsson doesn’t trust Klefbom’s gaps right now and it’s affecting his coverage, he’s drifting too much to the middle in case he’s needed.

    Haven’t seen RNH this energized in years, and he’s wasted playing with Lucic and Strome.

    Chia paid two 1sts to bring in Reinhart for immediate help from the Islanders I guess as a reclamation project.

    Chia sold Eberle for cap space to the Islanders and Strome I guess as a reclamation project.

    How about no more reclamation projects.

    Chia paid $6m for forever for Lucic to play with McDavid. McLellan quickly found out he can’t play with McDavid and now he’s stuck on the 2nd line at 6m for forever.

    Chia brought in Strome to play with McDavid. McLellan quickly found out he can’t play with McDavid, and now he’s stuck on the 2nd line.

    I knew Strome wouldn’t work when McLellan called him Dylan in the preseason. He’s never made a mistake like that for any other player.

    Chia better do something fast because this roster isn’t making the playoffs.

  37. prefonmich says:

    Lowetide,

    To me this is worrisome. You, for one, made it very clear PC didn’t do enough in the summer so how did he not see it? I would venture to say many others saw this as well but it’s your blog so… the other worry is that many have seen a number of PCs moves as being detrimental to skill and speed on the Oilers. I worry that PC is building a team based on the Bruh s model that was successful in a different time. Speed wins now and we have gotten slower by the day with PC at the helm. Suddenly PC is beginning to recognize how slow this team is now after he has traded speedier pieces for slow, smart players. Now what? He is at a disadvantage again as everyone can see he needs speed just like he needed a RD when he first arrived. This story never ends well…

  38. flyfish1168 says:

    Woodguy v2.0:
    *****SPAM*****

    New Becauseoilers:

    “Boy we have a lot of defensemen shooting the puck!EDM’s current 5v5 SH% and what the future looks like”

    http://becauseoilers.blogspot.ca/2017/10/boy-we-have-lot-of-defensemen-shooting.html

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

    There are some interesting things about EDM’s shot volume in that post.Stuff I didn’t expect to see.

    Good stuff WG. By my eye test I been saying and believing that is part of the problem.

  39. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    flyfish1168: Good stuff WG. By my eye test I been saying and believing that ispart of the problem.

    I’m not sure how much of a “problem” the shot volume from the Dcorps is.

    Its different and comes with a different set of expectations on goal volume and SH%.

    The team is shooting a ton which is great, but I’m not sure how much of that is score effects yet.

  40. Lowetide says:

    prefonmich:
    Lowetide,

    To me this is worrisome. You, for one, made it very clear PC didn’t do enough in the summer so how did he not see it? I would venture to say many others saw this as well but it’s your blog so… the other worry is that many have seen a number of PCs moves as being detrimental to skill and speed on the Oilers. I worry that PC is building a team based on the Bruh s model that was successful in a different time. Speed wins now and we have gotten slower by the day with PC at the helm. Suddenly PC is beginning to recognize how slow this team is now after he has traded speedier pieces for slow, smart players. Now what? He is at a disadvantage again as everyone can see he needs speed just like he needed a RD when he first arrived. This story never ends well…

    I think he made bets on Strome, Slepyshev (who looked like he was making a step last spring), Caggiula (who is liked by many for his speed but may be shy offensively), Puljujarvi (who is a No. 4 overall pick for crying out loud, and turns 20 in the spring). Yamamoto pushed past the whole damn bunch but isn’t able to carry the load yet.

  41. stephen sheps says:

    Woodguy v2.0: *****SPAM*****
    New Becauseoilers:

    That’s some tasty spam.

  42. Jethro Tull says:

    Woodguy v2.0: I’m not sure how much of a “problem” the shot volume from the Dcorps is.

    Its different and comes with a different set of expectations on goal volume and SH%.

    The team is shooting a ton which is great, but I’m not sure how much of that is score effects yet.

    I guess it would have to be brokwn down to when in the game the highest percentage of shots are taken – with or without the lead?

  43. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    frjohnk: The silver lining is that the teams we need to be within spitting distance are still within spitting distance.

    Team pts
    Ducks 11
    Sharks 10
    Flames 10
    Oilers 7

    As it stands, it looks like only 2 of these 4 teams will make the playoffs.

    We wont catch LA, while the 2nd and 3rd place teams ( Vegas and Nucks) will falter.

    Yeah, if we look at “games over .500” we see that the two wildcard spots are held by teams that are +1

    If we look at 3rd in the Pacific we see 3rd is held by a team that is +3.

    Oilers are -3 so they are 4 games out of a wild card and 6 out of 3rd.

    Lots of time to make that up, but they need to start making that up.

  44. russ99 says:

    flyfish1168:
    WG posed an interesting comment yesterday. PC got the order of the trades wrong. He should have gone 1) Nuge 2) Eberle 3) Hall. We might have been able to played Hall at center part-time even though he doesn’t like it. I wonder how that would look today.

    The only problem with that line of thinking is at the time of the Hall trade, that’s the order of least trade value to other GMs around the league.

    Nobody was giving us a quality defensemen for RNH or Eberle, it was Hall or Draisaitl and I think we picked the right one to keep.

    Kind of annoyed about this verbal about rush to judgment about Strome, when he’s been jerked around the lineup and put with different players and in different positions, and it takes time to get different systems and with linemates.

    We should have a good idea of his strengths and weaknesses from the Islanders, so it seems odd that we’re not finding a spot for him he can do well in and stick with it.

    He seems to be of the Schultz school of not visibly showing his effort level, so that gets bad marks from around here from the start.

  45. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    stephen sheps: That’s some tasty spam.

    Thanks Stephen.

    I use a lot of salt.

  46. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    russ99: The only problem with that line of thinking is at the time of the Hall trade, that’s the order of least trade value,

    Nobody was giving us a quality defensemen for RNH or Eberle.

    Kind of annoyed about this verbal about rush to judgment about Strome, when he’s been jerked around the lineup and put with different players and in different positions, and it takes time to get different systems.

    We should have a good idea of his strengths and weaknesses from the Islanders, so it seems odd that we’re not finding a spot for him he can do well in and stick with it.

    He seems to be of the Schultz school of not visibly showing his effort level, so that gets bad marks from around here from the start.

    At the time of the trade the Oilers lacked competent Dmen.

    They didn’t need to trade their 2nd best player to acquire competence.

  47. prefonmich says:

    Lowetide,

    Yes. A lot of bets in mcdavid’s last year on ELC. It’s a dangerous game the riverboat gambler is playing. A dangerous game he is currently losing at.

  48. russ99 says:

    Woodguy v2.0: At the time of the trade the Oilers lacked competent Dmen.

    They didn’t need to trade their 2nd best player to acquire competent.

    We had some competent D in the MacT era, and he got rid of it, we didn’t need just competent, we needed quality.

  49. digger50 says:

    I’m not too upset about the early stumble to the season.

    We should have been screaming in June, in August and in September. Opportunities were passed in order to “see what we have”

    Everybody gets bogged down on indivual trades. Big picture is Peter did well overall, but failed this summer. Cumulative affect of his trades is being felt. Still, he wasn’t the only one fooled as season points predictions averaged around 100.

    What might be worse is we are four or six points better and the roster holes do not recieve the same attention. We roll on to a first round play off exit. Disappointment.

    Now eyes should be wide open, even if they believe they are four points better than thier record, they can now evaluate where they are at and who they truly have. So another turning point. Trade at great cost. Fine tune with more depth players, or ride it out with present roster.

  50. Lowetide says:

    prefonmich:
    Lowetide,

    Yes. A lot of bets in mcdavid’s last year on ELC.It’s a dangerous game the riverboat gambler is playing. A dangerous game he is currently losing at.

    The only conclusion I can make on the 97 final year of entry idea is that it didn’t sway them in any way. I can’t see how it did, anyway.

  51. stush18 says:

    I’ve been okay with strome. I really don’t think results would be different if we had eberle in RW right now. If anything, we probably wouldn’t see nuge stepping up right now.

    So the difference is pouliot and eberle out/ jokinen and strome in, and we think the oilers have a serious skill deficit?

    I’m sorry, but it’s defense, always has been, always will be. You can’t lose your 3 dman and come out ahead. Add in injuries and struggles to klefbom, Larsson trying to cover for klefbom and exposing himself, benning struggling early, and that’s exactly where our problem lies.

    Sekera must be close to return, otherwise I’m sure pc would have grabbed another dman.

  52. 106 and 106 says:

    stephen sheps,

    I think LT has a great saying, paraphrasing here, “singular moments become greater than their moments” kinda thing.

    That’s the case here.

  53. stush18 says:

    russ99,

    Agree. Why the hell haven’t they tried him with mcdavid? He’s looked good basically every time, his stats look great (small sample) and it lets the oilers spread out he offense.

    Even if you just switch Leon and strome, and don’t spread onto three lines, that’s got to help.

  54. Dustylegnd says:

    Lowetide,

    If you can’t skate, you need to bring other phenomenal skill to your game, passion, frenetic energy, nastiness, ungodly vision, 107 mph shot…whatever, everything about Reinhart is less than inspiring, he is not a prospect, he is not even a suspect…….he is a casualty of a game that has changed very rapidly

    My mind will be blown if he is claimed

    Those who fail to adapt perish….does the poor bastard speak Russian????

  55. sliderule says:

    The oilers are getting lots of shots but they are either missing net or if they do hit the net are from waist down .
    With goalies and equipment so big there is not a lot of space from waist down in today’s NHL..This was illustrated nicely on last nights broadcast.
    Maybe it’s just lack of skill but it’s almost like they are being coached to throw it somewhere near net as quickly as they can and to hell with accuracy.

  56. flyfish1168 says:

    Woodguy v2.0: I’m not sure how much of a “problem” the shot volume from the Dcorps is.

    Its different and comes with a different set of expectations on goal volume and SH%.

    The team is shooting a ton which is great, but I’m not sure how much of that is score effects yet.

    I see lots of our D shots blocked and I see very few shots from the dot where Ovie or Stamkos likes to one time it. If we do one time it or shot from there often I see it from behind the dot not in front. By my eye it can be wrong if the stats show otherwise

    I did like what TMAc comments just before After Hours. We are st predictable and stationary on the PP.

  57. Bag of Pucks says:

    who:
    Anyway, I don’t see a trade at this point making a difference in the season. Any significant player in is going to cost significant assets and will likely be a net loss for oilers. And shuffling around role players isn’t going to make a difference.
    Besides it’s not the bottom of the roster players that are killing the Oilers right now. It’s core players having brain farts at key times of the game. Until the team fixes these mental mistakes and gets a consistent effort from the forwards on the back check they will continue to struggle. They have a roster good enough to compete. They just need to play better.

    +1

    Goaltending. Special teams. Top players (McDavid, Draisaitl, Klefbom, Larsson)

    These can all improve and if they do, the wins will come.

    My concern is how stubborn the HC has become on his line ‘pairs.’

  58. TheVengeFulOne says:

    frjohnk: The silver lining is that the teams we need to be within spitting distance are still within spitting distance.

    Team pts
    Ducks 11
    Sharks 10
    Flames 10
    Oilers 7

    As it stands, it looks like only 2 of these 4 teams will make the playoffs.

    We wont catch LA, while the 2nd and 3rd place teams ( Vegas and Nucks) will falter.

    Even if the Knights fall back, we probably can’t catch them til the end of the year at best.

  59. stush18 says:

    I also think it should be pretty obvious that if the oilers are top ten in not metrics, and there PO and PK are dead last, they need to fix them.

    Special teams can win you games.

  60. stush18 says:

    TheVengeFulOne: Even if the Knights fall back, we probably can’t catch them til the end of the year at best.

    Well it doesn’t really matter when we catch them?

  61. who says:

    Lowetide: I think he made bets on Strome, Slepyshev (who looked like he was making a step last spring), Caggiula (who is liked by many for his speed but may be shy offensively), Puljujarvi (who is a No. 4 overall pick for crying out loud, and turns 20 in the spring). Yamamoto pushed past the whole damn bunch but isn’t able to carry the load yet.

    So we are saying Chia lost these bets after 10 games? How about we assess each player you mentioned so far.
    Strome looked very mediocre in training camp and in the seasons first few games. Has looked good to my eye with Nuge and Lucic in the last few. I am not ready to write this player off quite yet. I really like this lines work in the offensive zone but all three have been guilty of losing their man on the back check through the neutral zone on numerous occasions this year. Telling Nuge to cheat for offense may not be a good idea if you play him as a tough minutes center and saddle him with these two wingers.
    Slepyshev was hurt before training camp and is just now settling in. Has had back to back strong games to my eye but it doesn’t matter much when he’s getting less than 10 minutes a night. Would love to see this player get an extended audition as a top 9 winger but Tmac seems reluctant to do it.
    Caggiula was hurt early and like Slepyshev is just getting comfortable again. Has had some solid games lately and his speed and tenacity is badly needed in the oilers top 9.
    JP has been the biggest disappointment so far. He came into camp last year as a skilled, confident player but the constant shuttling between the press box and fourth line minutes seemed to grind that out of him. Don’t know whether to blame that on the team, his agent or JP himself. Pretty sure there was some sort of deal in place to burn off 40 games last year. Anyway, he looked lost at the world championships last spring and still looked tentative at times this fall. Still shows enough flashes of brilliance to make me believe he is going to be a good player but we might have to wait til next year.
    My advice, for what it’s worth, would be to give these players meaningful minutes for half a season and then evaluate. Even if it costs us the playoffs I think it allows Chia to make a more informed decision about his roster in the future.

  62. New Improved Darkness says:

    Urgency leads to haircuts leads to more urgency.

    I watched Kubrick’s The Killing last night. It’s the last of his major(ish) films I had yet to see.

    There’s a scene near the beginning where the mastermind (6’5″ Sterling Hayden) says he’s figured out the secret of crime: they can put you away for nearly as long for a small heist as a large heist, so aim big, and retire rich, after a single trip to the roulette wheel of unforeseen circumstances.

    Urgency. Same deal. One and done—or kiss your exit ramp goodbye.

    What Hayden hadn’t figured out is that a 6’5″ man with a rubber mask back in the 1950s is not going to melt into any random police line-up.

    Fezzik, is that you, under the rubber nose?

    Aww, Fezzik sad.

    Fezzik, you know what? Perhaps you should shave your ears.

    Next time, with shaven ears, he’ll be so totally incognito under that rubber nose.

    There were only a few places in this film where I could have positively identified Kubrick (one geometric composition inside a stable particularly stands out—the windows all look like monoliths).

    And yet, if you’re watching a Kubrick, and you can’t tell, you’re not really a film buff (I would fail this test, but I would realize that I was failing this test—keener keener tweener tweener, isn’t that how the spiders taunted Bilbo in rhyming couplets?). No director has ever been more consistently self-similar in never-quite-the-same genre twice.

    Sure feels like I’ve seen this film before, but then again, I’m not so sure I have.

    Just had my last solid meal just now, before downing four litres of prescription Gatorade early tomorrow morning. Even though I picked 105 points, there will at least one day this season where I won’t be full of shit.

    Questions infrequently asked: why are toilet bowls shaped like ear funnels?

    One of my great discoveries as a child was that you could use a small speaker as a microphone in a simple electrical circuit: the transfer function often goes both ways.

    Next stop, keeping it down to a dull roar.

  63. prefonmich says:

    Lowetide,

    If you had to venture a guess what would you say IS driving the GM’s decisions? There are some curious ones surrounding ELC contracts, such as PJ’s first contract year and the timing of him being sent to the AHL when it was clear the coach felt (by playing time and healthy scratches) he wasn’t ready for the NHL- so why waste a year of his ELC, actually it may be two wasted years because it is possible he may spend the whole year in the AHL this season. Also, Yamamoto, the decision is yet to be made but I am worried they may drag this one out as well without any accounting for future benefits of a cheap skilled player under ELC for one more year.

    I will definitely credit Chiarelli for his drafting guidance since arriving here (although time will tell for sure), and for his trade for Talbot and Maroon but there are too many red flags for me in his time here.

  64. jtblack says:

    Woodguy v2.0,

    Last yr only 1 team from each conference that wasn’t in by December 1st (I chose that date as the season started late due to World Cup); made it into the Playoffs. Tampa fell out. L.A. fell out. Toronto and Cgy got in.

    The slow start should be worrisome. There is a reason that the mythical US Thanksgiving deadline exists; because if your team hasnt been playing well to that point in the season, it’s a clear aign there are issues.

  65. JimmyV1965 says:

    Couple things. If people think Sekera is going to waltz in and fix what ails this team, they are dreaming in technicolor. This isn’t Drew Doughty coming back from the flu. This is a good second pairing dman coming back from major surgery. Nurse needs to replace Klef on the first pairing. The mistakes he made last night were all between the ears. That was a brutally awful game. I can’t believe we have Connor McDavid and Leon Draisattle and the worst offence in the league. That is truly mind boggling.

  66. who says:

    Bag of Pucks: +1

    Goaltending. Special teams. Top players (McDavid, Draisaitl, Klefbom, Larsson)

    These can all improve and if they do, the wins will come.

    My concern is how stubborn the HC has become on his line ‘pairs.’

    We seem to agree on a lot of things. I guess we see the game the same way.

  67. Lowetide says:

    prefonmich:
    Lowetide,

    If you had to venture a guess what would you say IS driving the GM’s decisions? There are some curious ones surrounding ELC contracts, such as PJ’s first contract year and the timing of him being sent to the AHL when it was clear the coach felt (by playing time and healthy scratches) he wasn’t ready for the NHL- so why waste a year of his ELC, actually it may be two wasted years because it is possible he may spend the whole year in the AHL this season. Also, Yamamoto, the decision is yet to be made but I am worried they may drag this one out as well without any accounting for future benefits of a cheap skilled player under ELC for one more year.

    I will definitely credit Chiarelli for his drafting guidance since arriving here (although time will tell for sure), and for his trade for Talbot and Maroon but there are too many red flags for me in his time here.

    I think the Oilers looked at the Draisaitl situation (reports had Leon seething right through his contract negotiations this summer, and the agent acting as if the contract year counted anyway) were perhaps guiding that decision.

    He believed in his young options. He believed in Anton Slepyshev. I don’t know that we can go crazy on him for that, although hemight have (and we did suggest) he find some cover.

  68. flyfish1168 says:

    russ99: The only problem with that line of thinking is at the time of the Hall trade, that’s the order of least trade value to other GMs around the league.

    Nobody was giving us a quality defensemen for RNH or Eberle, it was Hall or Draisaitl and I think we picked the right one to keep.

    Kind of annoyed about this verbal about rush to judgment about Strome, when he’s been jerked around the lineup and put with different players and in different positions, and it takes time to get different systems and with linemates.

    We should have a good idea of his strengths and weaknesses from the Islanders, so it seems odd that we’re not finding a spot for him he can do well in and stick with it.

    He seems to be of the Schultz school of not visibly showing his effort level, so that gets bad marks from around here from the start.

    NOt sure if I agree with you totally with your 1st comment. I do belive PC had a particular Dman ( Larsson ) in mind and he couldn’t refocus. But i am in the camp of liking Larsson lots over Hall. I just wonder what it would have been like to have traded Nuge what we would be like.

    I like 20 game idea to see what Strome can offer. Unfortunately the stress and patiences level on a canadian team is very short.

  69. Lowetide says:

    who: So we are saying Chia lost these bets after 10 games?

    No. We can, reasonably, discuss the possibility of missing the playoffs. Sweeping statements await out in the distance.

  70. OriginalPouzar says:

    Lowetide: I don’t see it. The Oilers a year ago had Eric Gryba as their 7D,now he’s a regular. They have five men who are posting offense consistently at 5×5 and their goalie, who was a massive part of last season’s success, isn’t able to make those vital stops consistently.

    There’sno need to panic, but it is reasonable to suggest thisteam isn’t playoff worthy at this time.

    Gryba is still the #7D – we just happen to have an injury that has him playing nightly – we didn’t really have that last year except in short stretches.

    I’m going to continue to stay positive and look forward to games.

    If nothing else I get to watch McDavid and Drai every night and get to witness the arrows up by Darnell game in and game out.

  71. jtblack says:

    IMO: This team needs to run 3 Centres out of Drai,McD, RNH & Strome. Letestu has / is terrible 5×5. At 3C he gets caved. At 4C he struggles.

    TMac alwasy runs into no scoring from his bottom 6 (see SJ time) becuase he Greedily loads up his Top 6 at the expense of Balance.

    Maybe a true RW1 would solve this ( thats the Narrative), but is it true?

    Call JP up and put him at RW1 for 7 – 10 games. why not? We put Kailer there. At least JP has slightly more experience, and is more effective in the forecheck.

    Lastly. Lucic – Drai – Sleppy showed chem in the playoffs. Yes it was a small sample size but why hasn’t TMac ran them together for some games??

    Early last yr I thoughr the Oilers were getting out coached regulairly. But they roared to 103 pt season, so TMac proved me wrong. I am again questioning his decisions (above). and why he insists on Letestu / Lucic on PP1; why not try Strome / Benning on the right half wall and Maroon instead of Lucic in front.

    TMac always pulls out the blender on lines after 1 period it seems but for a PP that has stunk it up for the first 10 games, he won’t even tinker with it?

  72. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    I don’t think there’s a question that Klef is struggle with his decision making and dzone coverage right now.

    Last year he struggled early too and McLellan moved him to 3rd pair where he played with Benning.

    This year he gets moved up to 25 min/gm because there are no other options and McLellan is trying like hell to shelter some Dpairs.

    Last year he ran a top 4 and this year its closer to a 1st pair and two 2.5 pairs in terms of TOI/gm.

    Lack of D depth came home to roost early.

  73. digger50 says:

    Lowetide: I think the Oilers looked at the Draisaitl situation (reports had Leon seething right through his contract negotiations this summer, and the agent acting as if the contract year counted anyway) were perhaps guiding that decision.

    He believed in his young options. He believed in Anton Slepyshev. I don’t know that we can go crazy on him for that, although hemight have (and we did suggest) he find some cover.

    Interesting word on Drai “seething” He is a serious young man, lots of pride, and I do believe the most important comparable was Connor when negotiating his contract.

    Some of my takeaways on Chias verbals is that he seems to have a particular view of the team and it’s out of sync with the Coach.

  74. Pouzar says:

    Just watched the game.

    Oscar Klefbom was terrible. Brutal pinch at the end of the period to give a dead team life. Terrible decision. We had em dead to rights and should of walked a way with a 2-0 first period lead.

  75. who says:

    Lowetide: No. We can, reasonably, discuss the possibility of missing the playoffs. Sweeping statements await out in the distance.

    Yeah missing the playoffs is a possibility I am willing to acknowledge although I don’t think we are quite there yet. Long term I’m not sure it would be the end of the world if it allows Chia to make informed decisions about his future roster.
    My big fear is that fans and media are going to pressure Chia into making some desperate trade for short term gain. I thought Canadian hockey fans would be more knowledgeable than that.

  76. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    who,

    Besides it’s not the bottom of the roster players that are killing the Oilers right now. It’s core players

    I’m not sure that’s true.

    Forwards GF% so far:

    Player GF%
    LEON.DRAISAITL 61.5
    PATRICK.MAROON 57.1
    CONNOR.MCDAVID 56.3
    MILAN.LUCIC 50.0
    RYAN.NUGENT-HOPKINS 50.0
    ZACK.KASSIAN 50.0
    RYAN.STROME 41.7
    ANTON.SLEPYSHEV 33.3
    KAILER.YAMAMOTO 20.0
    DRAKE.CAGGIULA 0.0
    JUSSI.JOKINEN 0.0
    MARK.LETESTU 0.0

    I think everyone would count the top 5 Forwards there as “core” and they are all over 50% GF 5v5

    Dmen:
    Player GF%
    DARNELL.NURSE 66.7
    ERIC.GRYBA 57.1
    MATT.BENNING 57.1
    KRIS.RUSSELL 50.0
    OSCAR.KLEFBOM 33.3
    ADAM.LARSSON 33.3
    YOHANN.AUVITU 33.3

    I think most count Nurse as core. Klef and Larsson are core and are struggling.

    Talbot is 19th in the NHL in 5v5 SV% (out of 33 goalies who have played 200+ min)

    I think that most of the core is fine 5v5.

    The non-core forwards 5v5 are non-existent goal wise.

    The PP needs to cash and the PK is abysmal.

    I think the PP will be fine, but the PK, full of non-core players, needs work.

  77. who says:

    flyfish1168: NOt sure if I agree with youtotally with your 1st comment. I do belive PC had a particular Dman ( Larsson ) in mind and he couldn’t refocus. But i am in the camp of liking Larsson lots over Hall. I just wonder what it would have been like to have traded Nuge what we would be like.

    I like 20 game idea to see what Strome can offer. Unfortunately the stress and patiences level on a canadian team is very short.

    I thought he tried to trade Nuge for Seth Jones and was turned down. I think he realized then that it was going to take Hall to land a difference maker back there. Cause the rumors were that the most Nuge would fetch was a Dumba.

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

    A couple thoughts:

    1) The powerplay is more of a concern right now than anything else IMO. The first unit is consistently taking up 90 seconds of each and every opportunity and they aren’t getting anything done. Coach said it after last nights game, static and uncreative, those words should never be uttered on a power play that features CmD and Drai. He said they are done waiting, gonna switch up the units and that’s probably one game over do. The PP could have bailed them out last night and it was the highest pegged stars on the roster that dropped the ball.

    2) Secondary scoring is a concern sure but its also incredibly overblown here. Ovechkin had 4 assists last night, Kuznetsov had two killers. Your stars are your stars. McDavid had two or three opportunities to shoot in the slot and dropped one back to Drai and slid one over to Maroon on a tough angle. The drop pass to Drai was a 3 on 1 and they didn’t get a shot. Its hard to hear but there are moments in games where CmD and Drai get too cute by half. In games that are tight checking this singular bungles can come back and bite you.

    That being said both Looch and Jokinen had 5 bell chances and whiffed or sent it directly into the crest. Secondary scoring has to be better but everyone needs to stop gripping the sticks so tight.

    3) Coach said point blank after the game that Klefbom isn’t hurt. That’s twice this week he came out and said directly that Klefbom isn’t hurt. I keep seeing on this blog Klefbom is hurt. He’s played some awkward hockey this year all right though. Bizarre pinch on the 2-1 goal last night and even weirder zero effort on either Kuznetsov goal. I don’t think there were many people, this blog or otherwise, who would have predicted Klef struggling on such routine plays.

    4) Weird amount of blame on Strome. I thought he had a good game. He’s finding the range with his passes quite well, sent Looch in on a great cross ice pass, finding dmen. He’s not shooting a ton right now and hopefully that changes. Give him a shot on PP1.

    5) I really can’t get myself into a tiff right now. This blog has done wonders in expanding my knowledge of the game by helping to incorporate statistical analysis into what my eyes are seeing. Both my eyes and the numbers are saying this is a team that is a lot closer to elite than it is to bottom of the standings. I know thats no salve given our expectations but its the truth.

    If you go back and look at the fancies for the last 5 games the Oilers have come out ahead in all of them. This is against Chicago, Philly, Pittsburgh, Dallas and Washington. What sunk the team in each of those games? Special teams and individual brainfarts of the highest order. Yes its incredibly frustrating but its also a far cry from the DoD. Those teams got speed bagged in every stats measure and when they did find a way to win it was a statistical anomaly on the edge of a hot PDO.

    I again go back to the power play. The PP needs to get its shit together ASAP. The PPs of the last few games have sucked momentum instead of adding to it. That’s frustrating beyond all belief for a team shooting at 1/2 the normalized rate already. They fix the PP and the offensive turbulence will fall by the wayside very quickly.

    Still not time to panic, no I don’t think there is a huge rush to make a trade and no I don’t think the team is “just not good enough,” that phrase doesn’t line up with the gameplay or results overall.

    November has games being played every two days. The first two weeks are against teams who are not elite in either 5v5 play or special teams. Lots of runway to go but they need to get cracking. Shore up the individual goofs and get that PP rolling.

  79. 106 and 106 says:

    Lowetide,

    “reports had Leon seething right through his contract negotiations this summer”

    -Hey LT, curious but where did you hear this LT. Is this common knowledge in the oilogosphere?

    News to me!

  80. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Last year the Oilers had:

    1st line
    3rd line
    4th line
    4th line

    This year they have:

    1st line
    2nd line
    4th line
    4th line

    Progress?

    🙂

    Letestu playing 3C will Drai and Strome play RW is starting to grate on me a bit.

    At the very least move Strome to 3C and give the 3rd line a hope in hell of sawing off the GF%.

    Right now there isn’t much hope with the way the bottom two lines are constructed.

  81. Snowman says:

    who: Yeah missing the playoffs is a possibility I am willing to acknowledge although I don’t think we are quite there yet. Long term I’m not sure it would be the end of the world if it allows Chia to make informed decisions about his future roster.
    My big fear is that fans and media are going to pressure Chia into making some desperate trade for short term gain. I thought Canadian hockey fans would be more knowledgeable than that.

    Only something like 25% of teams out on Nov 1 by more than 4 points make the playoffs. Most of those teams don’t have Mcdavid so there’s that.

    In terms of Chia making informed decisions.. Are you sure you want Chia to be the guy making those decisions? He’s got a good record on small deals (Kassian, Maroon, Talbot) and a real crap record on big deals (Eberle, Reinhart, are clear absolute losses and the Hall trade is at best a draw imo).

    So do I want the guy who can’t win a big trade making big trades? Not really. At this point I think Chia is closer to Bergevin than David Poile. A lot closer. This season is on him. Whatever happens, this is his team now. He constructed this roster.

  82. VOR says:

    I am going to brighten everyone’s morning by teaching you some very sophisticated math. I am sharing one of the great joys of my life. If you follow all the way throw you will end up knowing a little serious math, a bit more about skating, and have a much deeper richer understanding of the greatest financial crisis of our lifetimes.

    Two nights ago on a thread here I tried to explain multivariate statistics and analysis using a few variables that are known to be predictive of maximum straight line skating speed. I was responding to TheVenegefulOne who said he had spent twelve hours studying multivariate statistics and OriginalPouzar who said jokingly that multivariate statistics sounded made up.

    Let me start from there. We don’t hear much about things like multivariate statistics and analysis, or indeterminate curves, or non-linear regressions, spearman correlations or Gaussian and non-Gaussian cupolas on hockey blogs. But these are the tools that statisticians and mathematicians who work in complex environments use to understand relationships among variables.

    Meanashell suggested in the thread the other night (after I described my work on the variables involved in predicting skating speed) that I needed a Gaussian Cupola – in a few minutes you are all going to understand what he meant.

    But lets start with why I am interested in predictors of skating speed – after all we can simply measure how fast someone skates. The answer is because a simple measurement of skating speed doesn’t give me much insight into how to teach/coach/train someone to skate faster. If I can find predictive variables (and I can, quite a few actually) I can then take the ones that are obviously coach-able/teachable/trainable and test them to see if by improving performance on that variable skaters can also improve their skating speed.

    As an example we know that the maximum amount you can lift in a single squat (relative to your body weight) is predictive of your maximum skating speed. That should be no surprise to anyone. Leg strength and skating speed seem obviously related somehow. Maybe less obvious is that VO2 max is also predictive of skating speed. Presumably it is about blood and oxygen reaching the muscle. But the questions are which one (if either) should we use as a training tool and how to use them?

    The answer to these question is complicated by the fact that your VO2 max is predictive of the heaviest weight you can lift in a single squat. And the heaviest weight you can lift in a single squat is predictive of your VO2 max. But the relationships aren’t equally strong. And just so you know there are more than twenty different variables that are to some degree predictive of skating speed and they are related in very interesting ways.

    How do we know how all these variables relate – in this case we use a open source programming language and stats package just called R. In R we rank the predictive power of the various variables – this is what the spearman correlation does, it ranks variables. Now in R we can create graphs – the shape of the graphs produced looks like a small dome or cupola – if it is perfectly centered and perfectly symmetric it is called a Gaussian cupola. Carl Friedrich Gauss was a German mathematician who helped shape the modern world in many ways (as we are about to see). You can see a perfect Gaussian cupola here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copula_(probability_theory)

    You might also want to skip down in this article and read about cupolas in finance markets.

    But skating speed variables don’t produce cupolas that look like this, they aren’t perfect. In fact cupolas are very much an intermediary step in understanding how we might coach/train/teach people how to skate faster. But there are many fields where cupolas are very useful. Finance is one example as we see in the wikipedia piece linked above. I am going to come back to skating speed and how to improve it in a subsequent post but for now I want to focus on cupolas and finance.

    The paper I am linking to below is seminal in risk management in finance but all I ask is you look at the third page where there are some graphs of cupolas with varying spearman correlations. https://faculty.fuqua.duke.edu/~clemen/bio/Published%20Papers/27.Correlations&Copulas-Clemen&Reilly-MS-99.pdf The relationships that lead to cupolas and determine their shapes are made visually and brilliantly clear with no math required.

    Now why would I have you look at Clemen and Reilly’s paper? Because I like to point out whenever I get a chance that math, however, elegant, can be terribly, horribly flawed. This paper has, we now know, serious flaws, but for years it shaped the management of risk in financial markets. And this foolish trust in the certainty of cupolas lead to one of the worst financial crises in history – and thus we come to a paper that begins to answer a question that comes up here frequently, why are stats nerds the way they are? It explores how a culture evolved that turned cupolas into unassailable deities of finance math. It is utterly fascinating and you need no knowledge of math beyond what we have just discussed to understand it. Though it is a bit long. Trust me, it is worth it.

    http://www.sps.ed.ac.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0003/84243/Gaussian14.pdf

    Now isn’t math unbelievably neat?

  83. Pouzar says:

    Woodguy v2.0: This year he gets moved up to 25 min/gm because there are no other options

    I will disagree with that.

  84. digger50 says:

    Coach says the PP is static and uncreative. Hmmmm. Maybe the PP should just switch positions? Klef you take the front of the net. Looch, you get the point.

    Cause blending seems to be creative coaching.

    For gods sake know your players, line them up to complement each other and let them play. Continuous change in the name of chemistry just demonstrates you don’t know your players and are allowing random events to determine your line up.

  85. Pouzar says:

    SayItAin'tSo, Gretz, SayItAin'tSo!:
    A couple thoughts:

    1) The powerplay is more of a concern right now than anything else IMO. The first unit is consistently taking up 90 seconds of each and every opportunity and they aren’t getting anything done. Coach said it after last nights game, static and uncreative, those words should never be uttered on a power play that features CmD and Drai. He said they are done waiting, gonna switch up the units and that’s probably one game over do. The PP could have bailed them out last night and it was the highest pegged stars on the roster that dropped the ball.

    2) Secondary scoring is a concern sure but its also incredibly overblown here. Ovechkin had 4 assists last night, Kuznetsov had two killers. Your stars are your stars. McDavid had two or three opportunities to shoot in the slot and dropped one back to Drai and slid one over to Maroon on a tough angle. The drop pass to Drai was a 3 on 1 and they didn’t get a shot.Its hard to hear but there are moments in games where CmD and Drai get too cute by half. In games that are tight checking this singular bungles can come back and bite you.

    That being said both Looch and Jokinen had 5 bell chances and whiffed or sent it directly into the crest. Secondary scoring has to be better but everyone needs to stop gripping the sticks so tight.

    3) Coach said point blank after the game that Klefbom isn’t hurt. That’s twice this week he came out and said directly that Klefbom isn’t hurt. I keep seeing on this blog Klefbom is hurt. He’s played some awkward hockey this year all right though. Bizarre pinch on the 2-1 goal last night and even weirder zero effort on either Kuznetsov goal. I don’t think there were many people, this blog or otherwise, who would have predicted Klef struggling on such routine plays.

    4) Weird amount of blame on Strome. I thought he had a good game. He’s finding the range with his passes quite well, sent Looch in on a great cross ice pass, finding dmen. He’s not shooting a ton right now and hopefully that changes. Give him a shot on PP1.

    5) I really can’t get myself into a tiff right now. This blog has done wonders in expanding my knowledge of the game by helping to incorporate statistical analysis into what my eyes are seeing. Both my eyes and the numbers are saying this is a team that is a lot closer to elite than it is to bottom of the standings. I know thats no salve given our expectations but its the truth.

    If you go back and look at the fancies for the last 5 games the Oilers have come out ahead in all of them. This is against Chicago, Philly, Pittsburgh, Dallas and Washington. What sunk the team in each of those games? Special teams and individual brainfarts of the highest order. Yes its incredibly frustrating but its also a far cry from the DoD. Those teams got speed bagged in every stats measure and when they did find a way to win it was a statistical anomaly on the edge of a hot PDO.

    I again go back to the power play. The PP needs to get its shit together ASAP. The PPs of the last few games have sucked momentum instead of adding to it. That’s frustrating beyond all belief for a team shooting at 1/2 the normalized rate already. They fix the PP and the offensive turbulence will fall by the wayside very quickly.

    Still not time to panic, no I don’t think there is a huge rush to make a trade and no I don’t think the team is “just not good enough,” that phrase doesn’t line up with the gameplay or results overall.

    November has games being played every two days. The first two weeks are against teams who are not elite in either 5v5 play or special teams. Lots of runway to go but they need to get cracking. Shore up the individual goofs and get that PP rolling.

    Awesome post.

  86. digger50 says:

    Awesome morning gents.

    Chance to hear some opinions, consider theories, vent a little. Even a detailed math lesson today. Time well spent. Now I’m off to check some game cameras.

    Always look forward to checking back in this evening.

  87. who says:

    Woodguy v2.0:
    who,

    Besides it’s not the bottom of the roster players that are killing the Oilers right now. It’s core players

    I’m not sure that’s true.

    Forwards GF% so far:

    PlayerGF%
    LEON.DRAISAITL61.5
    PATRICK.MAROON57.1
    CONNOR.MCDAVID56.3
    MILAN.LUCIC50.0
    RYAN.NUGENT-HOPKINS50.0
    ZACK.KASSIAN50.0
    RYAN.STROME41.7
    ANTON.SLEPYSHEV33.3
    KAILER.YAMAMOTO20.0
    DRAKE.CAGGIULA0.0
    JUSSI.JOKINEN0.0
    MARK.LETESTU0.0

    I think everyone would count the top 5 Forwards there as “core” and they are all over 50% GF 5v5

    Dmen:
    PlayerGF%
    DARNELL.NURSE66.7
    ERIC.GRYBA57.1
    MATT.BENNING57.1
    KRIS.RUSSELL50.0
    OSCAR.KLEFBOM33.3
    ADAM.LARSSON33.3
    YOHANN.AUVITU33.3

    I think most count Nurse as core.Klef and Larsson are core and are struggling.

    Talbot is 19th in the NHL in 5v5 SV% (out of 33 goalies who have played 200+ min)

    I think that most of the core is fine 5v5.

    The non-core forwards 5v5 are non-existent goal wise.

    The PP needs to cash and the PK is abysmal.

    I think the PP will be fine, but the PK, full of non-core players, need work.

    Very small sample size but the forwards that stand out to me on your list are Strome and Letestu. Those two players have been getting regular shifts all season, often in a top nine role, and are failing. I am willing to give Strome more time to settle in but I think everyone here knows by now how effective Letestu is at 5v5. The rest of the forwards below 50 percent haven’t played enough minutes to really evaluate.
    On defense Klefbom has really been struggling and that is going to drag down his partner, who hasn’t been perfect either. They are also playing big minutes against the toughs. This is where we really miss Sekera, to help ease the load. I’ve already decided that Auvitu is not an NHL defender.

  88. stush18 says:

    SayItAin'tSo, Gretz, SayItAin'tSo!,

    This is a great post.

    I agree completely that special teams are killing us.

    And I have to disagree with woodguy that our best players aren’t the issue right now. Connor and Leon have passed up grade A chances as you’ve pointed out. I don’t think they’re losing us games, but I think they could be doing a bit more. Imo.

    Special teams and defense is my issues. Fix them and we’re back at the top.

  89. godot10 says:

    1) Yamamoto is a Tkachev-like distraction which has now extended into the regular season. I like the player, but it was really dumb to keep him around for the regular season.
    2) Strome, Lucic, and Russell are who we thought they were.
    3) Talbot is having a start like he had in year 1 one with the OIlers, which a few egregious goals against. He worked out of it then. I expect he will again.
    4) Klefbom Larsson is NOT a good pairing for maximizing Klefbom in the long term. But last year, Klefbom Larsson and Sekera Russell was the optimum setup for those four defensemen. It depends on the defensemen one expects to see Klefbom as. Klefbom shifts his balance too much towards offense when paired with Larsson. I think ideally Klefbom is optimally paired with a defensemen, where Klefbom is the better defensive defensemen, so he won’t cheat for offense. With Larsson, Klefbom cheats for offense.
    5) In the summer, I argued the optimum setup for the D with Sekera injured was Nurse/Larsson, and Klefbom/Benning…..I stand by that today (and one ends up with Sekera Russell when Sekera gets healthy).
    6) With this roster, Lucic and Strome should form the basis of the 3rd line. Lucic was always a 2nd line player in Boston. Bergeron and Marchand faced the toughest opposition. Lucic has lost a step. He is not particularly adept defensively. He and Strome should be able to feast as 3rd liners together.
    7) Make two pairs out of McDavid, Draisaitl, Nugent-Hopkins, and Maroon for the first two lines.
    8) Eberle’s and Pouliot’s “flaws” no longer looks so bad. The inflexibility of systems’ coaches is often counterproductive. My preference is for a coach who knows how to make lemonade out of lemons by tweaking his systems.

  90. stush18 says:

    who: Verysmall sample size but the forwards that stand out to me on your list are Strome and Letestu. Those two players have been getting regular shifts all season, often in a top nine role, and are failing. I am willing to give Strome more time to settle in but I think everyone here knows by now how effective Letestu is at 5v5. The rest of the forwards below 50 percent haven’t played enough minutes to really evaluate.
    On defense Klefbom has really been struggling and that is going to drag down his partner, who hasn’t been perfect either. They are also playing big minutes against the toughs. This is where we really miss Sekera, to help ease the load. I’ve already decided that Auvitu is not an NHL defender.

    I’ve said it before.

    Oilers need a 3c. Especially if they refuse to run the Centres-Three down the middle.

  91. VOR says:

    Woodguy,

    Loved the blog post.

    A few quick questions – were the Oilers D shooting a lot from the beginning of this season? Or is it a response to a stuttering offence? Is the pattern consistent from game to game?

    And a quick comment – all that red close to the net on your heat maps is probably not rebounds or the result of a jamming the net strategy. Most of it is in prime scoring territory but too far away for either a rebound or a jamming the net strategy. More like a team that knows it struggles to score shooting from every where in an attempt to make up it volume what they lack in accuracy.

  92. stush18 says:

    Nurse-Larsson
    Klefbom-Russell
    Auvitu-benning.

    Make it so.

  93. npanciroli says:

    I get the doom and gloom and lamenting lost players. How do we explain the expected goal numbers/shot share numbers that show us as an elite team? I don’t know the analytics well but I keep seeing Tierney’s charts that show us as a top tier team.

  94. prefonmich says:

    Woodguy v2.0,

    One word, said three times… trust, trust, trust. The coach trusts Letestu, shouldn’t that be enough to justify putting a player in a position he is not really capable of excelling in? Hint the note of sarcasm if it wasn’t clear.

  95. godot10 says:

    The volume shooting of the Oilers is failing, because it is failing to break down the defensive structure of the opposition. The purpose of volume shooting is to break down the defensive structure of the opposition.

    So why is McLellan’s volume shooting system failing.
    1) The opposing teams are NOT dumb. They know what is coming. So they give the Oilers safe spaces to shoot from…i.e. the points, and they defend the slot. And they prepare to contest the rebounds. They have a strategy of NOT letting the volume shooting break them down.

    2) McDavid and Draisaitl are still doing well at even strength, because they attack on the rush, and break down the defense the usual way superstars break down the defense…i.e. on the rush.

    3) On the PP, McDavid and Draisaitl have succumbed to the volume shooting system where the shots are coming from the point, and the teams are defending the slot and preparing to contest the rebounds, and thus retain structure.

    The OIlers offense this season…where volume shooting goes to die.

    The best offense is always a mix. One has to mix a rush attack along with volume shooting. One has to mix trying to force and bully one’s way into the slot with volume shooting. One has to force prolonged cycling behind the goal line along with volume shooting.

    Apart from McDavid’s and Draisailt’s rush attacks, the only other thing the Oilers are doing is volumen shooting.

    McLellan’s volume shooting strategy (apart from the brilliance of McDavid and Draisaitl) is like a starting pitcher with only one pitch.

  96. godot10 says:

    npanciroli:
    I get the doom and gloom and lamenting lost players. How do we explain the expected goal numbers/shot share numbers that show us as an elite team? I don’t know the analytics well but I keep seeing Tierney’s charts that show us as a top tier team.

    The Oilers shots are not dangerous shots. The shot models are not good enough to capture this yet.
    One would need puck and player tracking data incorporated into the shot difficulty models. The shots from close in are not dangerous because the defense is still there contesting them.

    The defensive structure is not breaking down because of the volume shooting. The Oilers are flailing away with blows on the Mayweather, but they are all bouncing off of Mayweather’s left shoulder and arm.

  97. Bag of Pucks says:

    One of the bets that Chiarelli made this offseason is he decided not to trade a material asset to backfill the D during Sekera’s injury.

    So, he resigned Russell, and bet on two things: 1) Benning and Nurse would continue to progress in their development & 2) Klefbom and Larsson could handle some additional mins until Sekera’s return.

    Of all those dependencies, would we have forecast Klefbom playing poorly as the most likely risk? I suspect not and yet here we are.

    I still maintain that 90% of this team’s woes are mental, particularly with defensive zone coverage and special teams. Too much freelancing and not enough trusting teammates to play their roles.

    They’re young, newly rich in some instances, and they were widely hyped in the preseason. Now they’ve fallen back to earth. Last season proved they have the roster to excel IF they play within their system and themselves. But very early MacLellan was expressing concerns about them forgetting how hard it is to win in this league. I’m sure they remember now and are rolling up their sleeves accordingly.

    Better days ahead.

  98. Lowetide says:

    My Sunday piece for The Athletic concerns trade winds and possible assets out:

    https://theathletic.com/140765/2017/10/29/lowetide-trade-winds-in-edmonton/

  99. who says:

    Snowman: Only something like 25% of teams out on Nov 1 by more than 4 points make the playoffs. Most of those teams don’t have Mcdavid so there’s that.

    In terms of Chia making informed decisions.. Are you sure you want Chia to be the guy making those decisions? He’s got a good record on small deals (Kassian, Maroon, Talbot) and a real crap record on big deals (Eberle, Reinhart, are clear absolute losses and the Hall trade is at best a draw imo).

    So do I want the guy who can’t win a big trade making big trades? Not really. At this point I think Chia is closer to Bergevin than David Poile. A lot closer. This season is on him. Whatever happens, this is his team now. He constructed this roster.

    Not sure if you are arguing with me or agreeing with me.

  100. Georges says:

    The team reflects the preferences of the coach as well as the GM. While the players coming in and cap management are on the GM, the players moving out are likely on the coach. I don’t think PC has traded any players that his coach wanted to keep.

    Here’s an excerpt from The McDavid Effect after the Oilers lost to the Sens 4-1 at home in the painful closing days of the 15-16 season:

    “There are some players that should be embarrassed.,” McLellan said during one of his more intemperate news conferences. “Individually, there has to be ten guys that have so much pride that they pull the rest of the guys along. It’s going to get better or we are going to make some huge, huge changes.”

    Even as the losses had piled up, McLellan had chosen his words carefully. But on this night, it seemed like he couldn’t take it anymore.

    “Right now, I am really disappointed,” he said. “I am concerned about the spirit of our team. It is not where it needs to be. I think there are a lot of guys waiting for something, what that is I don’t know. If it’s changes coming, if it’s them leaving, if it’s new guys coming in, whatever, that’s a dangerous, dangerous thing.”

    All of the old core was on the team at that point, including Schultz, who had a very tough night. As we all know and remember, it didn’t get better after that.

    All those promised changes happened, we had a good run last year and got back into the playoffs. Now, 10 games into the season, a season that started with high expectations, the Oilers sit 3-6-1. Meanwhile a bunch of teams where our former core players have ended up have started strong. Our 3-6-1 start resembles the 3-7 start in 15-16, McLellan’s first year coaching the team. It’s the same record Eakins had after his first 10 games.

    PC’s biggest choice so far hasn’t been his trades, by far it’s McLellan. Todd had a sterling regular season record at the time. He made the WC Finals twice with the Sharks and went 1-8. He missed the playoffs in his last year with San Jose. He arrived here and he got about the same points per game in his first season with the Oilers as Todd Nelson did closing out the previous disastrous season. Last year, he had a very talented and deep team up 2-0 and headed home in the Pacific Finals. Ugh!

    There’s a lot of luck in hockey. McLellan may have felt the pressure of the pre-season expectations. He certainly didn’t choose his words carefully in addressing his team in the early days. He may have read too much into early results and undermined his players. Calling out players publicly is a tough card to play… again.

    CrazyCoach wondered if it was the beginning of the end for Todd a couple of weeks back after the OTT game. (Something about Ottawa…) I thought it was a very perceptive comment.

    Is this the beginning of the end of the TMac era?

    If you’re a big believer in the three strikes you’re out coach management model, I do believe TMac has got one on him here.

    Outside of one Steve Austin, he has a much different lineup than the one he had the first day he arrived.

    This team looks uninspired, Tired, and very undisciplined.

    In my experience, teams play that way when they are over matched , or at the end of their rope with a coach..

    Course, that’s just my experience.

    The rink is not a fun place to be for this team right now.

    It’s a big season for the coach. The early days have been bad days. But it’s still early. Todd seems to think yelling at players produces better results. If that’s true, he should try yelling at himself. Or skip all that and think about what he can do to set his team up for success.

  101. Snowman says:

    who,

    Just commenting. Neither agreeing or disagreeing.

    Your comment spurred my thought so I thought I’d include it with mine for context.

  102. who says:

    stush18: I’ve said it before.

    Oilers need a 3c. Especially if they refuse to run the Centres-Three down the middle.

    We have 3 centers, 4 if you count Strome, but if the coach is going to insist on playing them all in the top 6 then yes, Letestu is 3C

  103. JimmyV1965 says:

    prefonmich:
    Woodguy v2.0,

    One word, said three times… trust, trust, trust. The coach trusts Letestu, shouldn’t that be enough to justify putting a player in a position he is not really capable of excelling in? Hint the note of sarcasm if it wasn’t clear.

    When Letestu took that stupid tripping penalty behind the Dallas net the other night I couldn’t get those words out of my brain. Trust trust trust. Shortly later he’s demoted to the fourth line. The guy helped our PP last year but he should never be in the top 6.

  104. OriginalPouzar says:

    So, it seems we need our forwards to shoot the puck more and our D to shoot from better spots.

  105. commonfan29 says:

    Here’s my totally un-researched, off the top of my head explanation for why the team’s results aren’t matching their good underlying numbers, and won’t anytime soon.

    Now that Oscar has lost the ability to get his through, is it fair to say that the team doesn’t have a single player on the roster with a shot that scares NHL goaltenders?

    That’s a major problem on a team that’s been overhauled to focus on grinding teams for prolonged stretches in the offensive zone. They can keep it there fine and generate a bunch of shots, but the shots aren’t particularly hard to handle.

    The only way for this roster to put up big goal totals is by attacking on the rush and slipping pucks past sprawling goalies, but outside of McDavid they’re no longer fast enough to do that consistently.

    It’s a shame.

  106. 106 and 106 says:

    “When Milan Lucic skates, he reminds me of Bowser in Mario Kart.” -Twitter

    Ha! SO TRUE – anyone else see the same thing?

  107. bendelson says:

    Well, a lot of harsh noise concealing tender feelings today…
    Speaking of which, the ever-insolent The Jesus and Mary Chain are in town tonight.

  108. stevezie says:

    bendelson,

    I forgot about that! Might be the inspiration I need to finish my work today… Which is still a maybe at best.

    Unless it’s sold out. Don’t tell me, I need the motivation.

  109. OmJo says:

    Nurse-Benning went 20-8 together, including 10-3 shots. That included 9-2 Corsi events against Vrana-Backstrom-Oshie, an impressive total against a strong line. That trio didn’t score a point, and spent about six minutes against Nurse-Benning.

    —–

    People should literally listen to me more often.

  110. stush18 says:

    Georges,

    I don’t see how you can have a team performing so well in every metric except where it matters, and say the coach is the problem.

    Does the PP and PK need work? Yes.

    But the oilers are soundly beating their opponents at 5v5. They’re even starting to score more, and the PDO is regressing to the meat.

    So I can’t buy that it’s the coaches fault right now.

  111. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Pouzar: I will disagree with that.

    You’ll have to take it up with McLellan, he’s the one handing out the TOI

  112. stush18 says:

    WHat would it take to get Sam reinhart out of buffalo?

    Bear, and lottery protected first?

  113. bendelson says:

    stevezie,

    Hey old friend… always good to hear from you!

  114. Lewis Grant says:

    But no question it’s a priority for (Oilers GM) Peter Chiarelli to find some scoring on the right side.

    Chiarelli could have had one two weeks ago for nothing but $1M – one who led the NHL in 5X5 Pts/60 a year ago. Instead Chiarelli let the godless Flames sign him.

  115. Greg says:

    This season is pretty much my worst nightmare coming true. Sit through 10 years of shit hockey waiting on the promise of a top team, only to come out the other side mediocre with no assets left to improve. 10 years of suck, no prospects, no depth. Horrible contracts piling up. How does this happen?

    Now what? Another rebuild? The last one took a quarter of my life and what’s left to show for it? I have zero faith that this management group has any hope of winning back any of the value they’ve pissed away over the last 2 years. I don’t trust them with the assets we have left.

  116. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    SayItAin'tSo, Gretz, SayItAin'tSo!,

    2) Secondary scoring is a concern sure but its also incredibly overblown here. Ovechkin had 4 assists last night, Kuznetsov had two killers. Your stars are your stars. McDavid had two or three opportunities to shoot in the slot and dropped one back to Drai and slid one over to Maroon on a tough angle. The drop pass to Drai was a 3 on 1 and they didn’t get a shot. Its hard to hear but there are moments in games where CmD and Drai get too cute by half. In games that are tight checking this singular bungles can come back and bite you.
    That being said both Looch and Jokinen had 5 bell chances and whiffed or sent it directly into the crest. Secondary scoring has to be better but everyone needs to stop gripping the sticks so tight.

    I think you need to be careful with demanding “your stars be stars” when they are already being stars by winning their goal battles.

    It reminds me a few threads ago where some demanded that Hall be better in 15/16, but then Padre John showed that in order for EDM to overcome the goal deficit of the bottom two line that both the top 2 lines would have to score over 60% just to get the team to break even.

    Think about that. The bottom 2 lines were so bad that the top two, who play against the best, would have to be over 60% just to get the team to 50%GF.

    And somehow its their fault they are not greater.

    Every even strength goal that is allowed is one that has to be made up by other.

    EDM’s 5v5 GF% is 45.6%

    EDM has played 450.8 5v5 minutes.

    McDavid is 56.3% in 158.5min
    RNH is 50% in 124 minutes

    So for the toughest 62.7% of the 5v5 game, EDM comes in at 53.5% GF.

    The bottom 6 have played the other 37.3% of the 5v5 TOI at 32.5% GF.

    This feels like Hall’s time here again.

    Hall wins the goal share at 51% when he’s on, the rest of the team is 38% when he’s off (these were the actual numbers for his last 4 years….) and he’s blamed for the losses.

    I’ll agree that PP1 needs to score and the PK needs to make some stops, but 5v5, the top 2 lines are not a problem right now.

  117. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    who: Verysmall sample size but the forwards that stand out to me on your list are Strome and Letestu. Those two players have been getting regular shifts all season, often in a top nine role, and are failing. I am willing to give Strome more time to settle in but I think everyone here knows by now how effective Letestu is at 5v5. The rest of the forwards below 50 percent haven’t played enough minutes to really evaluate.
    On defense Klefbom has really been struggling and that is going to drag down his partner, who hasn’t been perfect either. They are also playing big minutes against the toughs. This is where we really miss Sekera, to help ease the load. I’ve already decided that Auvitu is not an NHL defender.

    Letestu is a 4C.

    The coach has the horses to make him the 4C and he’s not.

    I’m not sure why.

    Letestu was 53% GF last year 5v5 btw. It was lines 2 and 3 that were the issue.

    I think this whole thing is the old “playing players above their established ability” combined with “not having depth to cover when needed”

  118. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    VOR:
    Woodguy,

    Loved the blog post.

    A few quick questions – were the Oilers D shooting a lot from the beginning of this season? Or is it a response to a stuttering offence? Is the pattern consistent from game to game?

    And a quick comment – all that red close to the net on your heat maps is probably not rebounds or the result of a jamming the net strategy. Most of it is in prime scoring territory but too far away for either a rebound or a jamming the net strategy. More like a team that knows it struggles to score shooting from every where in an attempt to make up it volume what they lack in accuracy.

    Thanks.

    It seems that way out of the gate. I started looking after game 7 and the trend has continued even though they haven’t been trailing as much in the last 3 games as they were in games 2-7 (where they had the lead for all of 5 min vs VAN and nothing after)

    Here’s what I found then: http://lowetide.ca/2017/10/22/setting-sons/comment-page-1/#comment-678055

    I’ll look at the first 5 games individually to be sure and report back.

    Re: Red in front of the net. I’m talking about how red it is right at the crease. This is the same location 2-1 tend to shoot from, breakways, and other high SH% shot. Rebound are less so and jams even less.

    I think EDM’s xGF is overblown for two reason – low percentage shot volume adding up (“what do you mean we can’t keep combining high risk loans until they get so big they’re no longer high risk?” 🙂 ) and secondly shots from high SH% spots that arent’ the type of shots that make them high SH% spots, but happen in the same spot.

    I agree they’re shooting from everywhere.

    I could be wrong.

  119. Lowetide says:

    Woodguy v2.0: Letestu is a 4C.

    The coach has the horses to make him the 4C and he’s not.

    I’m not sure why.

    Letestu was 53% GF last year 5v5 btw.It was lines 2 and 3 that were the issue.

    I think this whole thing is the old “playing players above their established ability” combined with “not having depth to cover when needed”

    I think McLellan has settled on his top two RWers, and they happen to be Leon Draisaitl and Ryan Strome.It’s predictable based on his own past in SJ, but Chiarelli has a mountain of wingers now, none of whom have separated from the pack. The GM could force the issue by recalling Puljujarvi and waiving Khaira I guess, but the coach seems set on his top two lines, at least for now.

  120. Georges says:

    stush18:
    Georges,

    I don’t see how you can have a team performing so well in every metric except where it matters…

    I’m assuming you believe where it matters is GF%.

    Here’s the correlation between 5v5 metrics and GF% (taken from corsica) so far this season:

    CF% -0.22
    FF% -0.23
    SF% -0.23
    xGF% 0.14
    Sh% 0.79
    Sv% 0.83
    PDO 0.95

    Last season started about the same and ended up:

    CF% 0.36
    FF% 0.45
    SF% 0.56
    xGF% 0.63
    Sh% 0.78
    Sv% 0.69
    PDO 0.90

  121. TheVengeFulOne says:

    Here’s a not so fun game. It’s called the “what if everyone won games at last years pace from now to the end of the season?”
    Team GP Pts Pace @LYPlace
    2017-18 LA 11 19 142 93
    VGK 9 16 146 78
    VAN 10 13 107 74
    ANA 10 11 90 103
    SJS 10 10 82 97
    CAL 11 10 75 91
    EDM 10 7 57 97
    ARZ 11 1 7 62
    2016-17 LA 82 86 86
    VGK 82 70 70 *proxy
    VAN 82 69 69
    ANA 82 105 105
    SJS 82 99 99
    CAL 82 94 94
    EDM 82 103 103
    ARZ 82 70 70

    Not a very realistic measure, but if everything goes as well as last year the rest of the way, we might barely make playoffs.

  122. stush18 says:

    Georges: I’m assuming you believe where it matters is GF%.

    Here’s the correlation between 5v5 metrics and GF% (taken from corsica) so far this season:

    CF% -0.22
    FF% -0.23
    SF% -0.23
    xGF% 0.14
    Sh% 0.79
    Sv% 0.83
    PDO 0.95

    Last season started about the same and ended up:

    CF% 0.36
    FF% 0.45
    SF% 0.56
    xGF% 0.63
    Sh% 0.78
    Sv% 0.69
    PDO 0.90

    I’m sorry but I don’t really understand what this is trying to say?

    Care to explain?

  123. The Trade Guy says:

    If Pete and Todd, put together, and run a team that can’t get into the playoffs with the reigning MVP. Then they’ve failed spectacularly and should be shown the door.

  124. stush18 says:

    If I’m chiarelli, I’m calling Lou every damn day about one of kapanen, Brown, and leivo. One of those three have to be moved, there simply isn’t room.

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

    Woodguy v2.0,

    I look at the last five games as a series of 1 goal differences.

    In one goal differences all mistakes are magnified. Looch in Pittsburgh, Looch/Strome in Philly, Benning coming through against Dallas and a couple of goofs by Klef/Larsson on Kuznetsov last night.

    I think it is wholly fair and appropriate to look upon individual events such as the 3 on 1 last night that didn’t get a shot on net as a failure.

    Similarly I think its fair to look at PP1 who takes 3/4 of said PP and doesn’t generate a lot of offense as a failure.

    This isn’t blaming CmD, Drai or Nuge for losses, this is looking at areas where all three could be better, thereby increasing the odds of their team winning.

    I don’t think Leon and CmD are the problem at 5v5, at 5v5 based on advanced metrics the Oilers are the best team in the league if I’m reading the NaturalStatTrick tables correctly.

    But I think many of these faux-paus are a symptom of the ever so slight lack of attention to detail plaguing the team right now. These singular slips are costing valuable points in the standings. Correct them and the team starts winning.

  126. OriginalPouzar says:

    Greg:
    This season is pretty much my worst nightmare coming true. Sit through 10 years of shit hockey waiting on the promise of a top team, only to come out the other side mediocre with no assets left to improve. 10 years of suck, no prospects, no depth. Horrible contracts piling up. How does this happen?

    Now what? Another rebuild? The last one took a quarter of my life and what’s left to show for it? I have zero faith that this management group has any hope of winning back any of the value they’ve pissed away over the last 2 years. I don’t trust them with the assets we have left.

    No prospects: Puljijuarvi, Yamamoto, Bear, Jones, Maksimov, Safin, Wells, Skinner

  127. OriginalPouzar says:

    Josh Leivo – been mentioned on this blog – can’t cost more than a 2nd rounder – what about a third rounder and a middling prospect (Betker, Rattie) going back?

    Would that be enough for the Leafs?

    Would he be a decent bet on the 2nd/3rd line?

  128. OriginalPouzar says:

    stush18:
    WHat would it take to get Sam reinhart out of buffalo?

    Bear, and lottery protected first?

    Is that enough or too much for a player than I’m not convinced will be any more than a 50 point center.

  129. OriginalPouzar says:

    Safin with 2 goals and an assist – the Dogs are tied at 4 with about 7 left in the third, trying to snap a 9 game streak.

    Wells seems to have settled down – he’s stopped 29/32 and the Petes have put up 7 so far in the third.

    Maksimov with 6 shots on net as Niagra is down 4-1 late in the third.

  130. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    VOR:
    Woodguy,

    Loved the blog post.

    A few quick questions – were the Oilers D shooting a lot from the beginning of this season? Or is it a response to a stuttering offence? Is the pattern consistent from game to game?

    And a quick comment – all that red close to the net on your heat maps is probably not rebounds or the result of a jamming the net strategy. Most of it is in prime scoring territory but too far away for either a rebound or a jamming the net strategy. More like a team that knows it struggles to score shooting from every where in an attempt to make up it volume what they lack in accuracy.

    First 5 games:

    vs CGY 41 total shots, 16 Dman shots, 39% Dmen
    at VAN 25 total shots, 12 Dman shots, 28% Dmen
    vs WPG 30 total shots, 10 Dman shots, 33% Dmen
    vs OTT 28 total shots, 7 Dman shots, 25% Dmen
    vs CAR 39 total shots, 11 Dman shots, 38% Dmen

    Seems persistent.

  131. meanashell11 says:

    VOR,

    You sir, are correct! Although Gaussian copulas were a short cut to supposedly understanding complex financial questions, everyone jumped on the train. Wrong train, and we ended up in financial crisis!

    But I just like saying Gaussian copula!

  132. OriginalPouzar says:

    Lowetide: I think McLellan has settled on his top two RWers, and they happen to beLeon Draisaitl and Ryan Strome.It’s predictable based on his own past in SJ, but Chiarelli has a mountain of wingers now, none of whom have separated from the pack. The GM could force the issue by recalling Puljujarvi and waiving Khaira I guess, but the coach seems set on his top two lines, at least for now.

    Don’t even need to waive Khaira, just need to re-assign Yamomoto which must be inevitable before Spokane starts its games next weekend.

    I like Drai with McDavid and I like Strome with Nuge but with 4 natural centers with top 9 ability, the coach has to find a way for Letestu to be 4C, I agree with Woodguy on this. There is noone in the AHL that can fill the 3C role so one of Strome or Drai have to play center, it just has to be.

    At this point, I’m all for the Yamomoto for Puljijarvi swap – but Jesse at 1RW or 2RW and drop the other current winger down to 3C – yes Drai can play 3C even making the money he does – that should be irrelevant.

  133. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    SayItAin’tSo, Gretz, SayItAin’tSo!,

    Most of that’s fair.

    If the bottom 6 could piss a drop then maybe we wouldn’t have to rely on the top 6 to not make any mistakes.

  134. who says:

    Woodguy v2.0: Letestu is a 4C.

    The coach has the horses to make him the 4C and he’s not.

    I’m not sure why.

    Letestu was 53% GF last year 5v5 btw.It was lines 2 and 3 that were the issue.

    I think this whole thing is the old “playing players above their established ability” combined with “not having depth to cover when needed”

    I just rewatched the second half of last nights game and I don’t think any of the lines were the problem last night.
    Klefbom was directly at fault for goals 1 and 3 and made some very questionable decisions on other plays including giving up a short handed breakaway by pressuring a winger who already had control of the puck with no support and Smith Pelly sneaking in behind him. All he has to do is back off there. There are posters here who have questioned Nurses hockey IQ. I am starting to wonder about Oscar’s.
    The fourth goal is on Talbot. He made some incredible saves early in the game but that goal can’t go in. Thought Larsson got caught in a bad spot there but he did pretty well to angle Kuznetzov to his backhand. Puck shouldn’t have gone in.

  135. leadfarmer says:

    Isles fans singing Barzal’s praises with some calling him their best prospect since Tavares. Reinhart just dropped from an expansion franchise. Thanks Chia

  136. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Speaking of the bottom 6 pissing a drop.

    I found this when I just wanted to see where McDavid stacked up when I saw his ONSH/60 was a massive 46.2 (Bergeron was highest in the NHL last year with 38.6)

    Top 20 NHLers’s 5v5 ShotsForOn/60 (SF/60)

    Player SF/60
    LEON.DRAISAITL 47.42 ***
    JUSSI.JOKINEN 46.96 ******
    CONNOR.MCDAVID 46.19 ***
    JARED.MCCANN 44.85
    PATRICK.MAROON 44.72 ***
    ALEX.WENNBERG 44.29
    CHAD.RUHWEDEL 43.63
    ANTON.SLEPYSHEV 43.46 ******
    TONY.DEANGELO 43.17
    ERIC.GRYBA 43.14 ***
    MAX.PACIORETTY 42.87
    ARTTURI.LEHKONEN 42.77
    JOONAS.DONSKOI 42.27
    TANNER.PEARSON 42.01
    TYLER.TOFFOLI 41.61
    PHILLIP.DANAULT 41.52
    YOHANN.AUVITU 41.49 ***
    BRENDAN.GALLAGHER 41.35
    DARNELL.NURSE 41.09 ***
    CAM.ATKINSON 40.78

    So part of our “can’t score” bottom 6 are also top 20 in the NHL in shot volume when on the ice.

    I’d keep letting them go after it and play them together.

    Sleppy’s been looking “due” for a while.

  137. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    who,

    Last night I’ll agree.

    In the bigger picture (as big as it is in 10 games) the bottom 6 and top pair is where things are leaking.

  138. OriginalPouzar says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    Safin with 2 goals and an assist – the Dogs are tied at 4 with about 7 left in the third, trying to snap a 9 game streak.

    Wells seems to have settled down – he’s stopped 29/32 and the Petes have put up 7 so far in the third.

    Maksimov with 6 shots on net as Niagra is down 4-1 late in the third.

    Safin picks up the assist on the OT winner – 2G/2A and a 5-4 win.

    Atta boy Ostaf!

  139. stush18 says:

    OriginalPouzar: Is that enough or too much for a player than I’m not convinced will be any more than a 50 point center.

    I’m not sure.

    It’s a gamble because he only plays second PP with eichel and Risto on the first.

    Also, BUF has all the RH forwards.

    Eichel, okposo, pominville, reinhart, bailey, baptiste, fasching, off the top of my head.

    Wonder if you could make something with cagguilla work.

  140. VOR says:

    Woodguy v2.0: First 5 games:

    vs CGY 41 total shots, 16 Dman shots, 39% Dmen
    at VAN 25 total shots, 12 Dman shots, 28% Dmen
    vs WPG 30 total shots, 10 Dman shots, 33% Dmen
    vs OTT 28 total shots, 7 Dman shots, 25% Dmen
    vs CAR 39 total shots, 11 Dman shots, 38% Dmen

    Seems persistent.

    It also looks like the more the team shoots the bigger the % of their shots from the D. You sort of have to ask, are we seeing some sort of strategy deliberately developed to help a team with a collectively poor shooting ability. “Lets overcome our shooting issues by taking so many shots that we score more goals than we did last year.”

    If so is the strategy being thwarted by truly terrible shooting or red hot goal tending by the opposition or terrible luck or all three. I think your article today convincingly made the point that if the Oilers shoot like this all season and the players pulling the trigger simply end up shooting their career averages the Oilers will be a goal scoring machine. Did I understand that correctly? If yes, why do you think it isn’t working.

  141. stush18 says:

    Woodguy v2.0,

    I really think he needs a talented centre. I’m sure humble and Leon last playoffs weren’t just luck

  142. who says:

    OriginalPouzar: Don’t even need to waive Khaira, just need to re-assign Yamomoto which must be inevitable before Spokane starts its games next weekend.

    I like Drai with McDavid and I like Strome with Nuge but with 4 natural centers with top 9 ability, the coach has to find a way for Letestu to be 4C, I agree with Woodguy on this. There is noone in the AHL that can fill the 3C role so one of Strome or Drai have to play center, it just has to be.

    At this point, I’m all for the Yamomoto for Puljijarvi swap – but Jesse at 1RW or 2RW and drop the other current winger down to 3C – yes Drai can play 3C even making the money he does – that should be irrelevant.

    Macdavid, Drai, Nuge
    Maroon, Lucic, Cagguila
    Strome, Kassian, Slepyshev
    Don’t know how you arrange them but those look like our top 9 5v5 forwards right now. Liked all the forwards last night. Really don’t think any of them were the problem.

  143. stush18 says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    Josh Leivo – been mentioned on this blog – can’t cost more than a 2nd rounder – what about a third rounder and a middling prospect (Betker, Rattie) going back?

    Would that be enough for the Leafs?

    Would he be a decent bet on the 2nd/3rd line?

    I’m thinking the leafs would want a defensive prospect. I don’t think there backend USB particularly strong.

  144. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    All Oilers 5v5 SF/60 so far

    Player SF/60
    LEON.DRAISAITL 47.42
    JUSSI.JOKINEN 46.96
    CONNOR.MCDAVID 46.19
    PATRICK.MAROON 44.72
    ANTON.SLEPYSHEV 43.46
    KAILER.YAMAMOTO 39.31
    BRAD.MALONE 38.51 ******
    RYAN.STROME 38.47
    RYAN.NUGENT-HOPKINS 34.83
    MILAN.LUCIC 33.22
    DRAKE.CAGGIULA 31.65
    ZACK.KASSIAN 31.54
    JUJHAR.KHAIRA 31.07
    MARK.LETESTU 25.15
    IIRO.PAKARINEN 24.47

    ERIC.GRYBA 43.14
    YOHANN.AUVITU 41.49
    DARNELL.NURSE 41.09
    OSCAR.KLEFBOM 37.63
    ADAM.LARSSON 36.55
    MATT.BENNING 35.64
    KRIS.RUSSELL 32.27

    You know Malone looked good by eye and by most metrics. He should probably be here.

    Joikenen-Sleppy-Malone are also 1,2,3 in FF% for EDM this year.

    2 of them get scratched and Malone gets sent down.

    They might be a very good 4th line.

    Problem is 55 isn’t a 3C.

    McLellan has to start playing one of 29 (2C) or 18 (3C) at C to help solve the bottom 6 issues or call Malone up.

  145. frjohnk says:

    Woodguy v2.0,

    I went to corsica and looked up what opposing goalies faced from the Oilers shooters and compared to what our goaltenders have faced.

    After 8 games. Per game
    Oilers have shot 4 more shots from the perimeter than what they gave up
    Oilers have shot just over 2 more shots from the medium danger area than what they gave up
    Oilers have shot just over 2 more shots from the high danger area than what they gave up

    Totally see the Dmen shooting more and shots from farther out happening. I also think score effects are at play here. And as you say, their shooting % should regress to the mean.

  146. stush18 says:

    who: Macdavid, Drai, Nuge
    Maroon, Lucic, Cagguila
    Strome, Kassian, Slepyshev
    Don’t know how you arrange them but those look like our top 9 5v5 forwards right now. Liked all the forwards last night. Really don’t think any of them were the problem.

    I agree. I’d run the piss out of those top nine until something changes.

    Maroon-mcdavid-strome
    Lucic-leon-slepy
    Cags-nuge-kassian

    Then I pump the 1st PP unit full instead of jamming everyone into the top six at evens.

    Letestu-nuge-mcdavid-Leon-klefbom

    Nuge could play lucic’s spot on the power play, trying to feed leon in the slot of letestu cross ice.

  147. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    VOR: It also looks like the more the team shoots the bigger the % of their shots from the D. You sort of have to ask, are we seeing some sort of strategy deliberately developed to help a team with a collectively poor shooting ability. “Lets overcome our shooting issues by taking so many shots that we score more goals than we did last year.”

    If so is the strategy being thwarted by truly terrible shooting or red hot goal tending by the opposition or terrible luck or all three. I think your article today convincingly made the point that if the Oilers shoot like this all season and the players pulling the trigger simply end up shooting their career averages the Oilers will be a goal scoring machine. Did I understand that correctly? If yes, why do you think it isn’t working.

    yes, that what’s it worked out to, lots of goals.

    why not so far?

    1) Sample size
    2) Maybe they’re forcing looks they wouldn’t take before so they won’t shoot their career ave. at the current volumes.

    Mind you, I just looked at shots that hit the net so they probably won’t be tooooooo far off their career SH%, they are Dmen who for the most part shoot 3.5%-4.5%.

    Those two reasons come immediately to mind. Other things might if I think more on them.

  148. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    stush18:
    Woodguy v2.0,

    I really think he needs a talented centre. I’m sure humble and Leon last playoffs weren’t just luck

    Who needs a center? I don’t know who you are referring to.

    If its Sleppy I agree.

    Who you play with matters a lot.

    27-29-58 in the playoffs turned corsis into goals at over 5 times the rate McDavid does and 7 times the rate Crosby does.

    A lot of it was luck.

  149. russ99 says:

    I’m wondering if something else is at play with the young RFA players. Lack of veteran cover, and other than Maroon and maybe Letestu, our other veteran forwards have been a disappointment.

    Not everyone is ready for a top role at the same time, so I hope we add someone with experience who’s at least average with some shooting skill and push all the kids down a role to see if they can improve.

    I’d like to see us revisit the young 4th line with limited minutes put in situations where they can succeed. I doubt we’d have a Brodziak – Glencross – Stortini in this group, but at least we’d be smart about it.

    Also, maybe it’s time to go back to two defensemen on the powerplay. McDavid just doesn’t do much at the point, I’d like to see him up front.

  150. Pouzar says:

    who: Klefbom was directly at fault for goals 1 and 3 and made some very questionable decisions on other plays including giving up a short handed breakaway by pressuring a winger who already had control of the puck with no support and Smith Pelly sneaking in behind him. All he has to do is back off there. There are posters here who have questioned Nurses hockey IQ. I am starting to wonder about Oscar’s.

    This. All of it.

  151. OriginalPouzar says:

    stush18: I’m not sure.

    Sure, fine, a third round pick and Ryan Mantha.

  152. OriginalPouzar says:

    You know Malone looked good by eye and by most metrics.He should probably be here.

    Problem is 55 isn’t a 3C.

    McLellan has to start playing one of 29 (2C) or 18 (3C) at C to help solve the bottom 6 issues or call Malone up.

    If Malone is here it better be to play on the 4th line in replacement of a Khaira or Pakarinan.

    He is an AHL grinder/tweener – if he’s an every day player on your NHL team, the NHL team is not that good. If he’s on an NHL team’s third line, that NHL team is not a playoff team.

    Don’t get me wrong, he looked fine – drew a few penalties and made safe plays but he is Brad Malone, nothing more than a 13th forward.

    Agree 100% with the 2nd statement – Letestu needs to stay at 4C (but, no, Malone is not the answer at 3C, one of Drai or Strome is).

  153. Lowetide says:

    OriginalPouzar: Don’t even need to waive Khaira.

    You do if the coach keeps playing him at center. Back in the old Lowe-MacT days, I swear to God Lowe traded some guys just so MacT had to play a kid.

  154. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    frjohnk:
    Woodguy v2.0,

    I went to corsica and looked up what opposing goalies faced from the Oilers shooters and compared to what our goaltenders havefaced.

    After 8 games.Per game
    Oilers have shot 4 more shots from the perimeter than what they gave up
    Oilers have shot just over 2 more shots from the medium danger area than what they gave up
    Oilers have shot just over 2 more shots from the high danger area than what they gave up

    Totally see the Dmen shooting more and shots from farther out happening.I also think score effects are at play here.And as you say, their shooting % should regress to the mean.

    Thanks Padre

    Good data

  155. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    OriginalPouzar: If Malone is here it better be to play on the 4th line in replacement of a Khaira or Pakarinan.

    He is an AHL grinder/tweener – if he’s an every day player on your NHL team, the NHL team is not that good.If he’s on an NHL team’s third line, that NHL team is not a playoff team.

    Don’t get me wrong, he looked fine – drew a few penalties and made safe plays but he is Brad Malone, nothing more than a 13th forward.

    Agree 100% with the 2nd statement – Letestu needs to stay at 4C (but, no, Malone is not the answer at 3C, one of Drai or Strome is).

    I don’t think Malone is the answer for 3C, but might be at 4C going forward. I wouldn’t play Letestu at 3C either.

    Khaira/Pakarinen/Sleppy/Caggiula are all AHL/NHL tweeners imo. Malone might be better than some of them.

    They can all skate better than him which is probably why they are here and he is there.

    Lots of tweeners on the teams and guys like Letestu are off to tough starts.

    I’d say Drai at 2C makes Strome or RNH the answer at 3C. Drai won’t see 3C.

  156. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Lowetide: You do if the coach keeps playing him at center. Back in the old Lowe-MacT days, I swear to God Lowe traded some guys just so MacT had to play a kid.

    I wonder if Chiarelli needs to trade RNH to get McLellan to play Draisaitl at center?

  157. frjohnk says:

    Woodguy v2.0: I wonder if Chiarelli needs to trade RNH to get McLellan to play Draisaitl at center?

    Injury to McDavid would do it as well.

  158. stush18 says:

    Woodguy v2.0: Who needs a center?I don’t know who you are referring to.

    If its Sleppy I agree.

    Who you play with matters a lot.

    27-29-58 in the playoffs turned corsis into goals at over 5 times the rate McDavid does and 7 times the rate Crosby does.

    A lot of it was luck.

    Ive seen the stats. Ran very hot.

    I can’t see a lucic-leon-slepy line being dominated on the shot clock that badly.

    Also, I have a theory about this I’ll talk about in the next thread. Ive got rec and I won’t be back till later.

    Also this theory hasn’t no evidence to back it up. But that’s how I roll

  159. Lowetide says:

    Woodguy v2.0: I wonder if Chiarelli needs to trade RNH to get McLellan to play Draisaitl at center?

    Absolutely could come to that.

  160. anjinsan says:

    If you went to Hogwarts, the hat would assign you to Griffen-dale.

    Please, no.

  161. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    stush18: Ive seen the stats. Ran very hot.

    I can’t see a lucic-leon-slepy line being dominated on the shot clock that badly.

    Also, I have a theory about this I’ll talk about in the next thread. Ive got rec and I won’t be back till later.

    Also this theory hasn’t no evidence to back it up. But that’s how I roll

    I think they could come out north of 50%.

    All depends on Drai.

  162. Georges says:

    stush18: I’m sorry but I don’t really understand what this is trying to say?

    Care to explain?

    You referenced favorable metrics. I referenced the recently weak/weaker relationship between favorable metrics and results. If it’s not clear then never mind. No big deal.

    Ordinarily I’d go with wait and see. Because teams usually look better/worse than they really are when they win/lose. But I guess I don’t like the coach’s track record. I don’t like how he gets less out of so many of his players. He lost the locker room here once and the locker room was cleaned out. Don’t see how that happens again, but what do I know?

    I want him to do well because I want the team to do well. He’s not taking the pressure off his players this year though. Instead, he’s ratcheting it straight up. Worrying. A couple of breaks and they’re at .500. They don’t need to win the Presidents’ Trophy, do they? They don’t need to dominate games 1 through 10. Why can’t you keep cool, work on the small things, get the most out of what you have? It’s a long season.

    What kind of message does it send the young RFA guys on his team when he tells the media he trust trust trusts Letestu? For reals? There’s a flip side to that message, right? The TMac that campaigns and turns on his team is an out of answers TMac. Why did he show up in the first 5 games of the season? Worrying.

    But I remember he reacted like this last year during another losing skid. We recovered, he recovered. He behaved reasonably the rest of the way. Hope.

  163. McSorley33 says:

    Mark Letestu as a 3C …..getting chewed up and spit out?

    I can’t beleive it…..

  164. OriginalPouzar says:

    Khaira/Pakarinen/Sleppy/Caggiula are all AHL/NHL tweeners imo.Malone might be better than some of them.

    They can all skate better than him which is probably why they are here and he is there.

    I’d say Drai at 2C makes Strome or RNH the answer at 3C.Drai won’t see 3C.

    I generally agree on the tweeners although I do think that Slep and Drake should be able to prove they are every day NHL players with opportunity – their playoff performances show they can play in the league – not saying they’re proven top 6 wingers but pretty darn close to graduating from tweener school.

    Drake has been noticeable (in a good way – quick, tenacious) since he returned from injury. Since the demotion to the 4th line, Slep has shown very little).

    That Slep demotion came at a weird time, he had just finally looked to find his skating legs and started to look like playoff Slep and then, bam, 4th line.

    I generally agree on the centers, however, if Coach wants to play JP with McDavid, I am fine with Drai at 3C in order to not mess with the 2nd line and the building of chemistry between Nuge and Strome.

  165. JimmyV1965 says:

    In an ideal world our three centres are McDavid, Drai and RNH. But we don’t have enuf wingers for two lines let alone three lines. We won games last year with the Drake as 3C. I don’t see why we can’t win with Strome as our 3C this year. Still waiting patiently for TMac to split up McDavid and Drai and put RNH on one of those lines.

  166. OriginalPouzar says:

    Nuge is a center, a valuable center who plays both ends of the ice and is currently carrying a line and putting up some points and is currently winning more faceoffs than he’s losing.

    I see no reason why he should be move out of the middle.

    Sure, he could play with Drai but Drai would be on the wing. Sure, he could play with McDavid but McDavid would be on the wing.

  167. YKOil says:

    All I know is that I thank the good lord, everyday, that Pouliot was bought out. Really, all he brought to the table was speed and skill at penalty killing.

  168. McSorley33 says:

    Hey, it’s still early….

    Bad luck……..

    Bad schedule?

  169. Ryan says:

    Good times.

    Chiarelli spent assets and cap space like a drunken sailor and now we are here.

    Vegas won’t last, but they are winning games while playing Hunt, Sbisa, and Engelland in their top six d.That’s the best magic show in Vegas.

    Our coach is doing silly things like playing Letestu in the top six or centering the third line.

    Russell can’t even anchor a solid third pairing and he has a contract for three more years and four million dollars. You can’t write this stuff.

    If Puljujarvi’s a dud, then Chiarelli doesn’t have many bills left in his wallet. So many roster holes and so few trade assets.

    We live in interesting times.

  170. JimmyV1965 says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    Nuge is a center, a valuable center who plays both ends of the ice and is currently carrying a line and putting up some points and is currently winning more faceoffs than he’s losing.

    I see no reason why he should be move out of the middle.

    Sure, he could play with Drai but Drai would be on the wing.Sure, he could play with McDavid but McDavid would be on the wing.

    The
    Simply because we don’t have enough wingers for a three lines. He’s already being saddled with meh wingers when Drai is on the first line. Theres zero reason why RNH can’t take draws on his line and play wing.

  171. godot10 says:

    stush18:
    If I’m chiarelli, I’m calling Lou every damn day about one of kapanen, Brown, and leivo. One of those three have to be moved, there simply isn’t room.

    The Leafs cannot afford to re-sign all of van Riemdyk, Marner, and Nylander….so why would they trade a young inexpensive forward who is NHL ready at a cheap cap hit.

  172. VOR says:

    Georges: I’m assuming you believe where it matters is GF%.

    Here’s the correlation between 5v5 metrics and GF% (taken from corsica) so far this season:

    CF% -0.22
    FF% -0.23
    SF% -0.23
    xGF% 0.14
    Sh% 0.79
    Sv% 0.83
    PDO 0.95

    Last season started about the same and ended up:

    CF% 0.36
    FF% 0.45
    SF% 0.56
    xGF% 0.63
    Sh% 0.78
    Sv% 0.69
    PDO 0.90

    Georges,

    I have to ask, wouldn’t you kind of expect any statistic that combines shooting percentages and save percentages to be well linked with any goal metric? The goals you give up are really strongly correlated with your team save percentage since that and shots on net against are the two determinants of goals against. Shooting percentage is strongly correlated with goals for since that and shots on net for are two determinants of goals for.

  173. Munny says:

    New Improved Darkness: There were only a few places in this film where I could have positively identified Kubrick (one geometric composition inside a stable particularly stands out—the windows all look like monoliths).

    And yet, if you’re watching a Kubrick, and you can’t tell, you’re not really a film buff (I would fail this test, but I would realize that I was failing this test—keener keener tweener tweener, isn’t that how the spiders taunted Bilbo in rhyming couplets?). No director has ever been more consistently self-similar in never-quite-the-same genre twice.

    That’s not surprising, NID. He’s not really Kubrick yet in this film. He would spend time mastering conventional narrative first, which reached its pinnacle in Paths, where we also first see his fluid camera. But it’s with Lolita that he really begins to mess with image and narrative.

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