What to Expect when You’re Expecting November

One year ago, the Edmonton Oilers ended the first month of the schedule 7-2-0 with a goal differential of +10. The city was Sunshine, Lollipops and Rainbows, while the gales of November were left standing on the shore. This year, the club is 3-6-1, -11 goal differential and it is reasonable to at least acknowledge the possibility of missing the playoffs. A strong organization, one with a winning tradition, would turn face to the wind and march head on into the Fitzgerald guitar riff. The Oilers have no such past and we could see some full crazy in the coming days when the skies of November turn gloomy. Hail Mary, full of Grace.

OCTOBER SKY, 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

This October felt very much like Todd McLellan’s first one in Edmonton. Lots of auditions, shuffling of roles and trying to get the feeling. Last year was a dream and a distant bell, but it’s important to remember October 2016 did not resemble it’s brother November 2016.

  • Oilers in November 2015: 4-7-2, goal differential -6
  • Oilers in November 2016: 5-8-2 goal differential -3

November has been the suck for Todd McLellan both times, maybe the third time will be the charm. November comes in like a dickhead and goes down from there based on the last 28 games (9-15-4) under McLellan. Strange days indeed.

WHAT TO EXPECT FROM NOVEMBER

  • At home to: Pittsburgh, New Jersey, Detroit (Expected: 2-1-0) (Actual 0-0-0)
  • On the road to: NYI, New Jersey, NYR, Washington (Expected: 1-2-1) (Actual: 0-0-0)
  • At home to: Vegas, St. Louis (Expected 1-1-0) (Actual: 0-0-0)
  • On the road to: Dallas, St. Louis, Detroit, Buffalo, Boston (Expected 2-2-1) (Actual 0-0-0)
  • At home to: Arizona, Toronto (Expected 1-1-0) (Actual 0-0-0)
  • Overall expected result: 7-7-2, 16 points in 16 games 
  • Current results: 0-0-0

I don’t expect many to be pleased with these numbers and am prepared to defend the reasoning that went into them. I think the Oilers can beat Detroit at home, the Rangers on the road, Vegas at Rogers, Detroit and Buffalo out east, Arizona at home at the end of the month. That’s a pretty humble ask of a team with Connor McDavid playing 20 minutes a night.

I’d like to project 1-1-0 against New Jersey, and have done so with trepidation. The Devils are a good team with some outstanding numbers (boxcars and underlying). They will arrive in town later this week and if they win—completely possible—the Oilers might be 3-8-1 heading into the Detroit game. Crazy start, ladies and men.

In the coming month, it’s fair to project some outstanding goaltending, but a few important moments involving GA that should have been stopped. Can we safely assume the special teams will be won this month? I don’t think so. How many goals from the third line? Fourth? How tight the defense?

The best thing that can be said about my prediction? I still don’t have a feel for this hockey team, maybe I’m missing by a mile. I missed October’s finish by five points, maybe the Oilers will cover my bet and grab those missing five points. My prediction has the Oilers 10-13-3 at the end of November, the playoff picture even more pronounced.

GRIFFIN REINHART

I suspect the Oilers will put in a claim, but also believe someone higher in the selection order will get him. There’s just too much history suggesting some general manager will want to take a chance his organization can unlock him. Reinhart was a fine junior who has not been able to establish himself as an NHL player. Is he better than Yohann Auvitu? My guess is the organization believes so.

OILERS FORWARDS, 5X5 60 SCORING BY LEAGUE RANK

  1. Leon Draisaitl 4.05
  2. Patrick Maroon 2.78
  3. Connor McDavid 2.73
  4. Milan Lucic 2.48
  5. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins 2.46
  6. Ryan Strome 1.05
  7. Kailer Yamamoto 0.67
  8. Zack Kassian 0.60
  9. Source

Despite the lack of goals and the poor performance in October, there are positives. Five of Edmonton’s forwards are beyond the magical 2.00/60 scoring plateau, and two of them occupy time on the second line. That’s good news! The problem? Beyond those five men and their 5×5 scoring, nothing rhymes. The power play has cost this team and that’s absolutely nuts. A team with this kind of talent should be hammering the beat like Watts and Wyman. We’ll probably get some idea about the new power-play setup today during practice. I’m no expert, but would suggest McDavid on right side with Letestu in the high slot and Benning getting pucks through. Draisaitl moving his feet, perhaps Maroon replacing Lucic.

Mr. Rishaug’s tweets set up the day nicely. If Yamamoto draws back in on a skill line, and the Caggiula news comes true, my guess would be:

  • Patrick Maroon—Connor McDavid—Drake Caggiula
  • Milan Lucic—Leon Draisaitl—Kailer Yamamoto
  • Jussi Jokinen—Ryan Nugent-Hopkins—Ryan Strome
  • Anton Slepyshev—Mark Letestu—Zack Kassian
  • Darnell Nurse—Adam Larsson
  • Oscar Klefbom—Matt Benning
  • Yohann Auvitu—Kris Russell

As I said, guesses on my part, and Jujhar Khaira (over Anton Slepyshev) and Eric Gryba (over Yohann Auvitu) are completely possible. I’m now in full wonderment about Slepyshev’s status on the roster (should Rishaug’s verbal prove to be the case).

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

A fun morning, guests being added on the fly so stay tuned. It all starts at 10 this morning (I’m on the roundtable at 9), TSN1260:

  • Pierre Lebrun, TSN & The Athletic. Too soon to panic in Oilersnation, but how much pressure is Peter Chiarelli under here?
  • Andy McNamara, TSN. Another wild weekend in the NFL.
  • Jason Gregor TSN1260. Possibly the greatest World Series game in history, Oilers new lines, Reinhart if it’s pertinent.

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

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156 Responses to "What to Expect when You’re Expecting November"

  1. OriginalPouzar says:

    Last year the team excelled in October but struggled in November.

    This year it will simply be reversed and we’ll be back to where we should be.

    Plausible, yes!

    Probable? Maybe!

  2. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    *****SPAM*****

    I looked at EDM 5v5 SH% and you won’t believe what I found!!

    http://becauseoilers.blogspot.ca/2017/10/boy-we-have-lot-of-defensemen-shooting.html?m=1

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

  3. OriginalPouzar says:

    I don’t know why the Oilers would claim Griff (and I was always hopeful he would take the next step).

    I agree that he’s likely “better” than Auvitu but, if Chiarelli wants Griff, I think it would make more sense to trade a middling contract out for him (Christoffer or something like that) as I can’t think that Griff being our 50th contract (49 when Yamamoto finally is re-assigned) is a good thing.

    He’s below:

    Klef
    Nurse
    Sekera (maybe returning this month)
    Russell

    Yes, he’d likely be an upgrade on Auvitu and Gryba but an upgrade on Gryba doesn’t help if you can’t play the right side.

    On that note, I think that Simpson would be just as good an add as he can play both sides if I remember correctly. It would suck to take away Bear’s partner but the NHL team trumps.

  4. Pouzar says:

    “Also possible Nurse with Larsson in new look top pairing.”

    Yes please.

  5. OriginalPouzar says:

    That top 5 ESP/60 is wonderful.

    That huge drop off after the top 5 is the concern.

    Nothing from the bottom 6 (7) – nothing.

  6. norm_klassen says:

    The oilers record against the east was horrible last year and abysmal this yesr

  7. GriffCity says:

    Gryba should absolutely be ahead of Auvitu. will be interesting to see how they handle Yamo. Blame the GM for leaving the right side so thin that reliance on a 135 lb 19 year old rookie is possible. Also hard not to blame him for leaving this D-core so paper thin. Hopefully Sekera will be abck sooner than later and not any worse for wear as is typical with knee injuries. Some good trades and some bad trades but hard to argue that there hasn’t been more deals/signings that the Oilers have lost on than they’ve won.

    Never thought I’d wish we still have Pouliot in the line up….Would be a + to the bottom 6 for sure.

  8. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    That top 5 ESP/60 is wonderful.

    That huge drop off after the top 5 is the concern.

    Nothing from the bottom 6 (7) – nothing.

    and yet the theme from many posters yesterday was “the core needs to be better”

    Weird that with all the evidence to the contrary that people just ignore it.

    I would welcome Todd finally putting his security blanket in a box in the basement and start running Drai on his own line allowing 93 to center a decent 3rd line that can win it’s goal share.

    The trickle down of that is tougher time getting TOI for bottom of the roster player which is good given their results so far.

  9. oscarmike says:

    TM couldn’t put a line-up together If his life depended on it.
    Oilers PP is so predictable it’s no surprise that the special teams isn’t going anywhere.
    Its very rare that if Oilers don’t score on the rush they win games.
    In fact the Oilers are a predictable team to play against. Pass the puck back to the defence and crash the net hoping for a lucky bouce.

  10. Jethro Tull says:

    I got 5 that says Grifd clears waivers.

    You made HF yesterday LT with your trade rumours. Congratulations, welcome to the big time.

  11. Jethro Tull says:

    Woodguy v2.0,

    They do need to be better. Better at scoring. All around. The question isn’t ‘are the top players doing enough’, it’s ‘are they doing all they can?’

    You can’t tell me you weren’t yelling at Connor and Drai to shoot the puck last game?

  12. npanciroli says:

    Patrick Maroon—Connor McDavid—Drake Caggiula
    Milan Lucic—Leon Draisaitl—Kailer Yamamoto
    Jussi Jokinen—Ryan Nugent-Hopkins—Ryan Strome
    Anton Slepyshev—Mark Letestu—Zack Kassian
    Darnell Nurse—Adam Larsson
    Oscar Klefbom—Matt Benning
    Yohann Auvitu—Kris Russell

    Honestly, this would be close to the best lineup they could run IMO. I would be fine sending Yamamoto to Junior and playing JP or Slepyshev in that spot.

  13. npanciroli says:

    RNH and Lucic numbers are super encouraging. I personally have thought Lucic looks a bit quicker this year.

  14. Bag of Pucks says:

    Jethro Tull:
    Woodguy v2.0,

    They do need to be better. Better at scoring. All around. The question isn’t ‘are the top players doing enough’, it’s ‘are they doing all they can?’

    You can’t tell me you weren’t yelling at Connor and Drai to shoot the puck last game?

    Not to mention that the PP has been abysmal and the top players are instrumental in that.

    McDavid 37th in league scoring?

  15. dustrock says:

    If Lucic is actually quicker, then his lack of backchecking is even more unforgivable.

    TBH I think Lucic has been the recipient of some outstanding play by Nuge.

    I wish Nuge could have better wingers, he’s probably been the best forward. Minus a couple of noticeable backchecking lapses.

  16. npanciroli says:

    Taking into account the PP and PK and some weird roster decisions. How much of the issue with the team is McLellan? Something I have been thinking about.

    Lucic/Strome have had some awful/lazy backchecks.

  17. wiggs22 says:

    Mr. Lowetide: reading this morning that Boedker from San Jose is available. Hes only a 3rd liner (average 10 goals/year) type player but has speed to burn. Now that there are rumours that strome isn’t maybe working out ( by my eye he’s been underwhelming ) do you think this could be a possible trade if they retained some salary ?

    Thank you

  18. frjohnk says:

    npanciroli: Lucic/Strome have had some awful/lazy backchecks.

    Everybody blames Klefbom for the first goal against in the last game and yeah he is to blame, but if one of Lucic or Strome skate back to cover for while he pinches ( which should always happen) the Oilers have some numbers back. It started out as a 3-4 and ended up as a 4-1. Lucic coasted from blue line to blue line.

  19. Bag of Pucks says:

    Had a great conversation with the lads I curl with in regards to McDavid vs Gretzky.

    Everyone pretty unanimous in their belief that McDavid’s skillset makes him the better overall athlete, and given the way the league has evolved, there’s a belief that McDavid is the better overall player. There’s a growing sentiment that Gretzky would not be nearly as dominant in the current era given improvements in goaltending, system play, pre-scouting, etc. Not sure I subscribe to this latter pov.

    The one thing I think current era fans are underrating significantly is Gretzky’s intelligence, and his ability to make those around him so much better and productive due to his anticipation, vision and creativity.

    Right now, Connor reminds me of Gretz when he first came in the league. He’s a threat to score every time he touches the puck. But for Connor to take it to the next level, I believe he has to find a way to maximize his teammates and his playmaking abilities by resisting the urge to win every one on one battle, and instead drawing the opposition to him to create odd man chances elsewhere.

    For a physical freak like McDavid, this absolutely requires a mental shift, because the tendency to force those individual battles is so strong. This is where Gretzky excelled. He continually suckered the opposition into thinking they had a chance in those battles, all the while knowing he was skating them into no man’s land with a perfect pass to his winger waiting in his back pocket.

    To be fair, these things are happening. Maroon’s rebound off McDavid’s drive on Saturday night is a perfect example. But ironically, I think Connor will become an even better player when he backs the turbo off a tad and pulls the opposition to him on occasion. By not going full pedal to the metal every time, he’ll keep the opposition constantly guessing. And that was the brilliance of the Great One. The opposition rarely saw the same sortie twice in a game.

  20. Dominoiler says:

    I’ve liked caggs since he’s been back, hoping he’s over his own rookie jitters and buries a half dozen goals from CmD in the next stretch..

  21. Brantford Boy says:

    Woodguy v2.0: and yet the theme from many posters yesterday was “the core needs to be better”

    Weird that with all the evidence to the contrary that people just ignore it.

    I would welcome Todd finally putting his security blanket in a box in the basement and start running Drai on his own line allowing 93 to center a decent 3rd line that can win it’s goal share.

    The trickle down of that is tougher time getting TOI for bottom of the roster player which is good given their results so far.

    Agreed about the centers… give Nuge #1 PK and #1 PP to compensate for his minutes…

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

    npanciroli,

    I get upset at the coach when he puts players in positions to fail (Looch out at 3v3 for instance) but I don’t much blame the coach when a PP of CmD-Drai-Klef-Looch-Testube fails to move their feet and get creative. A coach doesn’t play the game and is quite powerless (aside from switching up the combos) when players fail to execute.

    I’m curious what you mean by “weird roster decisions” though. Care to elaborate?

  23. Pouzar says:

    Would love to hear TMc say “I need to be better”.
    Not a TMc hater at all but he has to take some of the blame.

  24. Pouzar says:

    frjohnk: Everybody blames Klefbom for the first goal against in the last game and yeah he is to blame, but if one of Lucic or Strome skate back to cover for while he pinches ( which should always happen) the Oilers have some numbers back.It started out as a 3-4 and ended up as a 4-1.Lucic coasted from blue line to blue line.

    I have given Klef crap for that goal but this is 100% truth.
    A 4 on 1? Come on boyz!

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

    Woodguy v2.0,

    Most of us didn’t ignore it.

    Most of us pointed to the powerplay, which is running 2nd last in the league, and flagged that as an area to which the stars are directly culpable. Especially against Wash where the PP chances were 5-0 Oilers. Unless I read it incorrectly your analysis didn’t look at 5v4 Sh%.

  26. McSorley33 says:

    We have interest in a player that could not crack an expansion team?

    a LHD at that……makes sense.

  27. Oilin4 says:

    If we had never signed Chiarelli, our roster would look something like below. Question is which do you prefer?

    FA – Mcdavid – Draistaitl
    Hall – RNH – Eberle
    Pouliot – Barzal – FA
    FA – Letestu – Stephens

    Klefbom – Demers
    Sekera – FA
    Nurse – Benning
    Davidson

    Talbot
    Broissoit

    Plus a prospect from last year’s second round pick.

    Couple assumptions:
    – Sekera and Demers were such natural fits in free agency (at least Sekera), Edmonton likely signs them.
    – Talbot was such a natural fit for a trade, Edmonton likely trades for him too, so assume same trade made.
    – Benning chooses Edmonton over Vancouver again.

    Could make the case we would have never traded Schultz.
    Also, another GM likely doesn’t sign Drai 8 x 8.5 but negotiates harder.

  28. LMHF#1 says:

    Bag of Pucks:
    There’s a growing sentiment that Gretzky would not be nearly as dominant in the current era

    That’s hilarious.

  29. OmJo says:

    Bag of Pucks:
    Had a great conversation with the lads I curl with in regards to McDavid vs Gretzky.

    Everyone pretty unanimous in their belief that McDavid’s skillset makes him the better overall athlete, and given the way the league has evolved, there’s a belief that McDavid is the better overall player. There’s a growing sentiment that Gretzky would not be nearly as dominant in the current era given improvements in goaltending, system play, pre-scouting, etc. Not sure I subscribe to this latter pov.

    The one thing I think current era fans are underrating significantly is Gretzky’s intelligence, and his ability to make those around him so much better and productive due to his anticipation, vision and creativity.

    Right now, Connor reminds me of Gretz when he first came in the league. He’s a threat to score every time he touches the puck. But for Connor to take it to the next level, I believe he has to find a way to maximize his teammates and his playmaking abilities by resisting the urge to win every one on one battle, and instead drawing the opposition to him to create odd man chances elsewhere.

    For a physical freak like McDavid, this absolutely requires a mental shift, because the tendency to force those individual battles is so strong. This is where Gretzky excelled. He continually suckered the opposition into thinking they had a chance in those battles, all the while knowing he was skating them into no man’s land with a perfect pass to his winger waiting in his back pocket.

    To be fair, these things are happening. Maroon’s rebound off McDavid’s drive on Saturday night is a perfect example. But ironically, I think Connor will become an even better player when he backs the turbo off a tad and pulls the opposition to him on occasion. By not going full pedal to the metal every time, he’ll keep the opposition constantly guessing. And that was the brilliance of the Great One. The opposition rarely saw the same sortie twice in a game.

    I think something a lot of people don’t take into consideration when comparing McDavid or Crosby to Gretzky is the fact they played in such different leagues and different times, and they assume that for example, if Gretzky played in today’s NHL he would be a carbon copy of his former self. He was a gifted athlete, and like you mentioned, very intelligent.

    He would have been adapted to the new league and dominated just the same (relatively, probably no 200pt season’s). He would have benefited from the new training systems in place for players today. Likewise for Crosby or McDavid. If they were in the NHL in the 80s they probably wouldn’t be as fast and as big as they are now. They’d be more comparable to Gretzky in size and speed. Just my opinion at least.

  30. frjohnk says:

    Oilin4: If we had never signed Chiarelli, our roster would look something like below. Question is which do you prefer?

    FA – Mcdavid – Draistaitl
    Hall – RNH – Eberle
    Pouliot – Barzal – FA
    FA – Letestu – Stephens

    Klefbom – Demers
    Sekera – FA

    Without the Chia signing, we probably land Hamilton instead of Reinhart, as the Bruins would have been more willing to deal with us with no Chia.

    And we dont lose the 2017 2nd rounder.

  31. knighttown says:

    Woodguy v2.0: and yet the theme from many posters yesterday was “the core needs to be better”

    Weird that with all the evidence to the contrary that people just ignore it.

    I would welcome Todd finally putting his security blanket in a box in the basement and start running Drai on his own line allowing 93 to center a decent 3rd line that can win it’s goal share.

    The trickle down of that is tougher time getting TOI for bottom of the roster player which is good given their results so far.

    I’ve been away for 10 days so haven’t seen much of the recent games but I wonder if some of this disconnect could be semantics? The top guys have clearly been excellent at 5×5 scoring but a little disappointing in:

    1. Power play scoring and (for me)
    2. Goals against

    I can’t remember the exact game but it was early. Vancouver maybe? Or Ottawa? Anyway, after McDavid torched the Flames he got the Kadri treatment and really pressed the issue and cheated for offense and gave up 2 or 3 well deserved goals against.

    Again, full transparency that I’ve missed the last 3 or 4 games but that’d be my one criticism. He tends to get frustrated by these in-your-face forwards and creates space by getting “away” from them but it’s often when the other team has the puck and these skilled/gritty guys can score too.

    As frustrating as it is, he has to be more patient and some nights will be decoy night. If they are going to cover him like a blanket his linemates or the other lines should have more space…he just needs to make sure he doesn’t go -2 from doing too much.

  32. npanciroli says:

    SayItAin’tSo, Gretz, SayItAin’tSo!,

    Yeah good point about the deployment of PP and players having to perform.

    Good question on weird roster decisions. There are a few I always found weird for McLellan.

    1. Not giving other RWs a chance with McDavid. Slepyshev/Cagguila and Strome to an extent. Now we have this weird decision with Yamamoto and since we are down in standings almost feels easier to just get a line that works with Drai as the RW.

    2. Not using our center depth to create 3 balanced scoring lines. This kind of applies to number 1. McDavid/Drai/RNH down the middle is reminiscent of Crosby Malkin Staal/Bonino IMO.

    3. Slepyshev on the fourth line constantly. Whenever I see him I see speed and talent. Not sure why he hasn’t gotten a better shot.

    4. Pakarinen/Cagguila. McLellan seems to love these guys but I honestly don’t see it. Cagguila less so. Malone has been better than the other 4th liners.

    On defence I think Nurse and Benning should be the second pair or what LT has above but honestly the defence deployment hasn’t really been an issue for me.

  33. who says:

    Woodguy v2.0: and yet the theme from many posters yesterday was “the core needs to be better”

    Weird that with all the evidence to the contrary that people just ignore it.

    I would welcome Todd finally putting his security blanket in a box in the basement and start running Drai on his own line allowing 93 to center a decent 3rd line that can win it’s goal share.

    The trickle down of that is tougher time getting TOI for bottom of the roster player which is good given their results so far.

    The core forwards have been playing well offensively but some of them have struggled on the back check and in their own zone. That is going to happen with young offensive forwards.
    Also, as great as Macdavid is, his refusal to shoot from the hash marks, in the middle of the slot, TWICE, last game, may have been the difference. Again, that is going to happen with a young player who instinctively seems to think pass first.
    But these are the kinds of mental mistakes that are costing us games right now. However you are right if some other players would score of course we wouldn’t notice these things as much.

  34. frjohnk says:

    Bob Stauffer‏Verified account @Bob_Stauffer 1m1 minute ago

    Oilers pass on Reinhart.
    EDM at 49 contracts with Yamamoto.
    Reinhart on a 1-way/ 2 years.
    EDM needs more speed in line-up

  35. Oilin4 says:

    frjohnk: Without the Chia signing, we probably land Hamilton instead of Reinhart, as the Bruins would have been more willing to deal with us with no Chia.

    And we dont lose the 2017 2nd rounder.

    Yep. You’re right. You just ruined my day.

  36. Cassandra says:

    Woodguy v2.0: and yet the theme from many posters yesterday was “the core needs to be better”

    Weird that with all the evidence to the contrary that people just ignore it.

    I would welcome Todd finally putting his security blanket in a box in the basement and start running Drai on his own line allowing 93 to center a decent 3rd line that can win it’s goal share.

    The trickle down of that is tougher time getting TOI for bottom of the roster player which is good given their results so far.

    That is because fans always blame the best players for the failings of players worse than them. Always.

    This is why fans believe trading Taylor Hall for Adam Larsson was a good thing. Because the team didn’t win with Hall on it. This is why our general manager traded Eberle this offseason. Because an Eberle who doesn’t score is a negative player (not true). No matter what you say you will not be able to convince them otherwise.

    The biggest change we could achieve in our thinking about hockey has little to do with numbers, but to convince people to evaluate all players on the same scale of expectations.

  37. Bag of Pucks says:

    OmJo: I think something a lot of people don’t take into consideration when comparing McDavid or Crosby to Gretzky is the fact they played in such different leagues and different times, and they assume that for example, if Gretzky played in today’s NHL he would be a carbon copy of his former self. He was a gifted athlete, and like you mentioned, very intelligent.

    He would have been adapted to the new league and dominated just the same (relatively, probably no 200pt season’s). He would have benefited from the new training systems in place for players today. Likewise for Crosby or McDavid. If they were in the NHL in the 80s they probably wouldn’t be as fast and as big as they are now. They’d be more comparable to Gretzky in size and speed. Just my opinion at least.

    Great point.

  38. Cassandra says:

    frjohnk:
    Bob Stauffer‏Verified account @Bob_Stauffer 1m1 minute ago

    Oilers pass on Reinhart.
    EDM at 49 contracts with Yamamoto.
    Reinhart on a 1-way/ 2 years.
    EDM needs more speed in line-up

    Chiarelli finally gets something right. Reinhart isn’t anywhere close to an NHL defensemen. The idea that he is better than Auvitu is laughable. He would have a hard time cracking the top 4 in Bakersfield.

  39. Bag of Pucks says:

    CassandraThis is why our general manager traded Eberle this offseason.Because an Eberle who doesn’t score is a negative player (not true).No matter what you say you will not be able to convince them otherwise.

    These expectations come with the contract the player signs. Eberle was/is expected to score because $6mil per.

    When your highest paid players don’t score commensurate with their cap hit, you’ve got troubles.

  40. McSorley33 says:

    GR clears waivers.

  41. jtblack says:

    Bag of Pucks,

    So what are you suggesting here? I am confused by you and your curling buds?

  42. Cassandra says:

    dustrock:
    If Lucic is actually quicker, then his lack of backchecking is even more unforgivable.

    TBH I think Lucic has been the recipient of some outstanding play by Nuge.

    I wish Nuge could have better wingers, he’s probably been the best forward. Minus a couple of noticeable backchecking lapses.

    This can’t be repeated enough. Lucic is a bad defensive hockey player. Slow to transition and out of position all the time. Nuge has to skate miles to cover for him.

    And if you saw the games you also know he’s getting assists off of other people’s work too.

    Honestly, what does he do well? Other than single handedly changing a losing culture by sitting at the head of the table for team dinners.

  43. npanciroli says:

    I don’t disagree with anyone with what they are saying Re: Lucic. Honestly though having a tight knit group is important IMO and not something that can be measured. Who knows if Lucic contributed to it or just winning did in general but it really is a thing. I’ve played on toxic teams before and I know this is professional sports but I would be shocked if it didn’t effect them either.

  44. frjohnk says:

    Cassandra: what does he do well?

    does swagger count?
    facepunching?
    looking like Gru on skates?

    I picked him up in my draft on Saturday and we use PIM’s, hits and PP points in it, he did those well last year.
    Cost more than a 7th rounder though. Had to trade Jordan Staal for him. I had too many centers and not enough toughness.

  45. OriginalPouzar says:

    Pouzar:
    Would love to hear TMc say “I need to be better”.
    Not a TMc hater at all but he has to take some of the blame.

    He hasn’t been shy to put blame on the coaching staff in the past for “not getting the team ready” when they’ve had slow starts.

    WIth respect to certain deployment decisions, he’d have to walk a fine line between putting the blame on himself which could also be seen as calling out players. For example, if he took blame for putting Lucic on the ice for the OTL, that could be seen as calling out Lucic as a guy that can’t play OT, etc.

  46. who says:

    Cassandra: That is because fans always blame the best players for the failings of players worse than them.Always.

    This is why fans believe trading Taylor Hall for Adam Larsson was a good thing.Because the team didn’t win with Hall on it.This is why our general manager traded Eberle this offseason.Because an Eberle who doesn’t score is a negative player (not true).No matter what you say you will not be able to convince them otherwise.

    The biggest change we could achieve in our thinking about hockey has little to do with numbers, but to convince people to evaluate all players on the same scale of expectations.

    If Eberle doesn’t score or create offense what else does he do. Enlighten me.

  47. russ99 says:

    I’m glad they passed on Reinhart, the optics would be bad.

    Change is good, but let’s stick with whatever we come up with for multiple periods and games, if possible.

    I like:

    Maroon – McDavid – Slepyshev
    Lucic – Draisaitl – Strome
    Caggiula – RNH – Kassian
    Jokinen – Letestu – Pakarinen

    Nurse – Larsson
    Klefbom – Russell
    Benning – Gryba

    Go back to 2 defensemen on the first team powerplay, Klef and Nurse, put Maroon in the crease and Leon and McDavid on both sides of the net.

    Send Yamamoto back to Spokane, he’s a distraction, sitting in the pressbox doesn’t help his development and we need his 50 man spot for acquisitions.

  48. Cassandra says:

    npanciroli:
    I don’t disagree with anyone with what they are saying Re: Lucic. Honestly though having a tight knit group is important IMO and not something that can be measured. Who knows if Lucic contributed to it or just winning did in general but it really is a thing. I’ve played on toxic teams before and I know this is professional sports but I would be shocked if it didn’t effect them either.

    Everyone thinks it is a thing. What is silly is giving Lucic all the credit for “tight knitness.”

    The guys at Eberle’s wedding looked like a tight knit group. McDavid was there. Hall was there. I believe Maroon was there.

    Was Lucic there?

    This is all baseless speculation, and yet somehow despite all the evidence to the contrary Hall is a clubhouse cancer.

  49. fifthcartel says:

    Bag of Pucks: These expectations come with the contract the player signs. Eberle was/is expected to score because $6mil per.

    When your highest paid players don’t score commensurate with their cap hit, you’ve got troubles.

    For $8.5 million I’d want Draisaitl to be on his own line driving offense instead of riding shotgun with the best player in the world.

    I’d expect Lucic to not be abysmal 5-on-5 for $6m, or Russell to be able to carry a second pairing for $4m. Or RNH to provide more offence.

    Amazing how they don’t have to perform to their salary while Eberle does.

    Eberle was maybe .5m overpaid, and had a down year.

    It was a brutal trade, the cap space wasn’t used for anything, yet people still defend it. Edmonton needs scoring on the RW and could use Eberle right now. Trying to defend that move is just trying to make Chairelli’s poor summer look better.

  50. Cassandra says:

    who: If Eberle doesn’t score or create offense what else does he do. Enlighten me.

    He controls the puck. He passes the puck. He helps get it out of the zone, he helps keep control of the puck in the neutral zone, he gains the zone with control of the puck.

    Eberle is good at hockey whether the puck goes into the net or not.

  51. npanciroli says:

    Cassandra,

    Maybe one day we will get a book about the Oilers dark years. I would read it :D.

  52. theycallmeBill says:

    I’m beginning to think a lot of folks will sleep better and be quite happier around here when Chia gets run out of town and Lowe & McTavish are back running the show. I won’t be one of them mind you.
    The current GM inherited a mess. Trades have been made that were/are questionable but it’s still early. Now say Klefbom and RNH are traded away for draft picks, AHL goons and an infinite contract extension for Pak, maybe I’ll be worried. Rome was not built in a day, balance is a difficult equation to achieve, it will come in due time.
    For fans of a team that endured the hell we all have prior to McDavid arriving, I honestly hoped we would all be a tad more patient.

  53. npanciroli says:

    fifthcartel,

    Cassandra,

    I’m a big defender of Hall for Larsson. But Eberle for Strome + (cap space) then using that space on Russell is nuts to me.

  54. McSorley33 says:

    russ99,

    I’m glad they passed on Reinhart, the optics would be bad.
    ***********************************************************************************
    Well, the optics are not that great having – *all* – NHL teams pass on him either.

    If you are Bob Green -can’t be a good morning.

    Man, just taking a look at that 2015 draft class……

  55. russ99 says:

    Cassandra: Everyone thinks it is a thing.What is silly is giving Lucic all the credit for “tight knitness.”

    The guys at Eberle’s wedding looked like a tight knit group.McDavid was there.Hall was there.I believe Maroon was there.

    Was Lucic there?

    This is all baseless speculation, and yet somehow despite all the evidence to the contrary Hall is a clubhouse cancer.

    I don’t buy the whole clubhouse cancer bit. He was a good mentor for McDavid.

    But like all the rebuild first picks, he’s a one-dimensional player, flawed due to being rushed to the bigs, overall mismanagement and insane coaching philosophy switches.

    His one dimension, carrying the puck in along the wall and crashing the net, is one that has some validity that it’s missed.

    I was a huge fan, and wish him the best, and I think he was traded because he had the highest trade value to other GMs, not because we wanted to dump him. As I said before it was either Hall or Draisaitl, and I think Chia made the correct choice. Trading neither would have continued the defensive black hole.

    The McDavid cluster is the focus now, not the rebuild cluster.

  56. npanciroli says:

    theycallmeBill:
    infinite contract extension for Pak

    Hahhaha what is with the love for this player. (i mean Mclellan)

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

    npanciroli,

    Ahh perfect I was hoping you’d say those names.

    I have a one-word not terribly pleasing answer to all that: Injuries.

    Drai and Drake being out really screwed things up re: line combos and by the time they got back the team was staring up from an ugly start. So me thinks the coach inserted players where he figured they could have an immediate impact without short-circuiting the rest of the roster.

    I have a second answer that is a bit more in-depth: defensive tire fire

    Our dmen as a whole haven’t been great so far. Benning struggled mightily to start the year while the coach was uncertain (and so were we) about Darnell’s ability to handle elite comp. The lacklustre play of Klef-Larsson also impacts the above. Over the last while these Nurse-Bennin seem to have righted the ship a bit and may be rounding into form. Hopefully effective pairings can be cobbled together out of these 4.

    This circles back to my last line in the first answer though, coach wanted stability in the lineup first, tinkering comes after things get ironed out.

    Now that everyone is healthy I suspect we’ll see fine tuning over the next few days and games.

    On Sleppy:

    I’m a little less confident than some in Sleppy but will freely admit its a chicken v egg kind of thing. On one hand I haven’t really seen him push beyond where he’s slotted but on the other he’s been saddled with less than excellent linemates from an offensive perspective.

    I’d like to see him have a wail of a game and force the coach to move him up like what has happened with Nurse but realize that’s a tough order unless you split up CmD-Drai.

  58. vinotintazo says:

    McSorley33: If you are Bob Green -can’t be a good morning.

    Man, just taking a look at that 2015 draft class……

    Cant win them all, but yikes lol.

  59. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    russ99:

    I like:

    Maroon – McDavid – Slepyshev
    Lucic – Draisaitl – Strome
    Caggiula – RNH – KassianJokinen – Letestu – Pakarinen

    Nurse – Larsson
    Klefbom – Russell
    Benning – Gryba

    – That’s good. I’m not sure if the math works but next year the dream is:

    Maroon – McDavid – Kailer
    Lucic – Draisaitl – Pool
    Caggiula – RNH – Sleppy
    Developed prospect-Jar-Kassian

    Klef – Larsson
    Sek – Russel
    Nurse – Benning

  60. npanciroli says:

    SayItAin’tSo, Gretz, SayItAin’tSo!,

    Yeah makes sense. Will be interesting to see the lineup today and next month as well. Would be nice for McLellan to bite the bullet and run McDavid RNH Drai down the middle regardless of results for atleast a few games.

  61. russ99 says:

    npanciroli:
    fifthcartel,

    Cassandra,

    I’m a big defender of Hall for Larsson. But Eberle for Strome + (cap space) then using that space on Russell is nuts to me.

    I don’t think that’s especially nuts, Russell was a UFA and giving him an 800K raise isn’t the end of the world, since the coach and GM value what he brings to the table, and the other FA options were not great shakes, especaially at the back.

    If Strome doesn’t work out, he’s a RFA and we can move or non-qualify him to get the cap space back.

    The not replacing Eberle with another shooter is the part that’s pretty nuts.

  62. dustrock says:

    Off the top of my head, would the VGK be willing to do something like Strome + for Shipyachov?

    I get that we don’t necessarily want another disappointing center, but this would be another opportunity to run 3 good offensive centers AND still keep Drai at winger if we want.

  63. npanciroli says:

    russ99,

    Yeah agreed, not replacing Eberle’s offence is the real issue which I assumed that cap space is for (not necessarily is).

  64. OriginalPouzar says:

    Looks like Yamamoto is in the top 6 for the lines at practice and Strome is not.

    This is good news:

    1) I would think Strome is at 3C and its a must to get Letestu back to 4C

    2) Give Kailer another game and then get him to Spokane for their games this weekend

  65. OriginalPouzar says:

    dustrock:
    Off the top of my head, would the VGK be willing to do something like Strome + for Shipyachov?

    I get that we don’t necessarily want another disappointing center, but this would be another opportunity to run 3 good offensive centers AND still keep Drai at winger if we want.

    Shipachyov comes with a $4.5M cap hit for this season and next along with, seemingly, an attitude of entitlement and, at this point, the inability to make an NHL team that, although they are winning, has Cody Eakin on their top line.

  66. flea says:

    I think the Eberle trade was about extracting value at this point in time and freeing up cap space.

    Next summer, Eberle is worthless in a trade, because GMs know the Oilers have to move him because of cap space. They make that trade prior to the McDavid extension as they lose some negotiating room after it.

    I also think Chia intends to add during the season. It’s only month 1. I think a move will be made soon if the Oilers don’t turn it around – however it wouldn’t shock me to see them beat Pittsburg on Wednesday and everything will be good in Oilerland again.

    I also think Chia wants to make a big move, he doesn’t want a middling winger, he wants an impact player. Those guys typically are only available mid season.

    Does a package of Puljujarvi, another prosepct and a pick get you Duchene?

  67. oscarmike says:

    Nuge-Leon-Yamamoto
    Maroon-McD-Puljujarvi
    Lucic-Malone-Strome
    Drake-Letestu-Kassin

    Speed on the wings in the top 6
    Have JP with McD will cause McD too shoot more
    Nuge finally has skilled linemates and isn’t wasted playing a 3rd line role.
    Lucic can play a heavier game instead of trying to keep up with faster competition.

  68. Bag of Pucks says:

    fifthcartel

    Amazing how they don’t have to perform to their salary while Eberle does.

    Except that nobody is saying this…

  69. OriginalPouzar says:

    After doing some drills on the right side with Klefbom, Nurse is now with Larsson:

    Nurse/Larsson
    Klefbom/Benning
    I LOVE the top 4.

    Not so sure I like the third pair over Russell/Gryba – they got caved last game but I would prefer Russell on the left side and him being on the right side with Auvitu could be disastrous in the own zone (granted Russell/Gryba was disastrous in the own zone lat game).

  70. dustrock says:

    OriginalPouzar: Shipachyov comes with a $4.5M cap hit for this season and next along with, seemingly, an attitude of entitlement and, at this point, the inability to make an NHL team that, although they are winning, has Cody Eakin on their top line.

    Fair enough.

    What about Bozak? He’s $4.2m, is done after this year, and is another right-shooting center.

  71. Bag of Pucks says:

    jtblack:
    Bag of Pucks,

    So what are you suggesting here?I am confused by you and your curling buds?

    They’re suggesting he’s already better than Gretz. I’m suggesting he will be when/if he begins to utilize his teammates to the same extent Wayne did.

    To use an analogy: As a soloist, Connor is the more talented player. But he’ll take it over the top when he involves the whole band.

  72. OriginalPouzar says:

    Maroon-McDavid-Draisaitl
    Lucic-RNH-Yamamoto
    Caggiula-Strome-Slepyshev (Khaira rotating)
    Jokinen-Letestu-Kassian (Pakarinen rotating)

    I’m fine with this, actually, I might like it.

  73. npanciroli says:

    OriginalPouzar,

    Stauffer has on Twitter:

    Pakarinen-Letestu-Kassian

    with Jokinen Khaira rotating. Either way the top 9 isn’t too bad I would prefer Drai back at center but this isn’t terrible.

  74. OriginalPouzar says:

    PP units

    McDavid, Caggiula, Letestu, Maroon, Klefbom

    Strome, RNH, Lucic, Draisaitl Benning

    McDavid and Leon split.

  75. npanciroli says:

    OriginalPouzar,

    Probably for the best, I do want to see Benning on the PP more so I like this. Have never really liked Cagguila on the PP. Are his PP numbers any good?

  76. Woogie63 says:

    Some discussion over the last few days has been need a trade and need to get faster:

    My bet for the next few days;

    Send Yama back to Spokane – not making the impact and needs to grow physically
    Trade for Griff – switch a lost AHL forward for a lost AHL dman you know and is an upgrade on 7D
    91, 58, 16 get 10 games in stable roles
    29 leads his own line
    2 returns from IR

    19-97-91…. faster more line up balance
    27-29-58 …. faster worked in playoffs
    36-93–18 …. Nuge and Stone are a thing
    16-55-44…. fast, cycling 4L

    25-6 ….Right now Nurse has earned this
    77-83… might until Sekera is up to speed
    2-4 … best third pairing in the league
    8

    33
    31

  77. godot10 says:

    Woodguy v2.0: and yet the theme from many posters yesterday was “the core needs to be better”

    Weird that with all the evidence to the contrary that people just ignore it.

    I would welcome Todd finally putting his security blanket in a box in the basement and start running Drai on his own line allowing 93 to center a decent 3rd line that can win it’s goal share.

    The trickle down of that is tougher time getting TOI for bottom of the roster player which is good given their results so far.

    I think Lucic and Strome should go to the third line and anchor it. Lucic has lost a step and is no longer a top six player. He should be able to kill it in bottom six competition, like Kessel. Strome as a right shot centre should help.

    Then one can fashion two pairs for the top two lines out of McDavid, Draisaitl, Nugent-Hopkins, and Maroon.

  78. godot10 says:

    oscarmike:
    TM couldn’t put a line-up together If his life depended on it.
    Oilers PP is so predictable it’s no surprise that the special teams isn’t going anywhere.
    Its very rare that if Oilers don’t score on the rush they win games.
    In fact the Oilers are a predictable team to play against. Pass the puck back to the defence and crash the net hoping for a lucky bouce.

    It is why all those “so-called” HDSC are really NOT.

  79. OriginalPouzar says:

    Does a package of Puljujarvi, another prosepct and a pick get you Duchene?

    We’d have to trade Leon for the cap space that Duchene will take up next year.

  80. OriginalPouzar says:

    dustrock: Fair enough.

    What about Bozak?He’s $4.2m, is done after this year, and is another right-shooting center.

    I have thought about Bozak in the past.

  81. su_dhillon says:

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

    I looked at EDM 5v5 SH% and you won’t believe what I found!!

    http://becauseoilers.blogspot.ca/2017/10/boy-we-have-lot-of-defensemen-shooting.html?m=1

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

    Great deep dive Darcy, I think the idea that the team will regress to last year’s number was going to be difficult anyways because enough games have gone by that the runway left is getting smaller and smaller but had no idea the % of Dmen shots had increased so much. I guess the question is are teams defending differently? packing in closer to net or is this something the Oilers are doing on their own.
    Also great point about the guys moved out vs their replacements. Said it a lot last year and in summer, if you keep trading a dollar for 85 cents it catches up with you eventually. The problem is amplified when you then want to trade that 85 cents and teams offer you 75 because they know you are not happy with your asset. ie. Good luck trading Strome.

  82. godot10 says:

    Jethro Tull:
    Woodguy v2.0,

    They do need to be better. Better at scoring. All around. The question isn’t ‘are the top players doing enough’, it’s ‘are they doing all they can?’

    You can’t tell me you weren’t yelling at Connor and Drai to shoot the puck last game?

    Nugent-Hopkins has 4 goals in 10 games. Ditto Maroon. McDavid is over a point per game with an offense killing CHL’er on his right wing for half the games. Draisaitl is over a point per game also, not missing a beat from a concussion.

    BoyWondercroft seems to be sleeping on his power play coaching job again.

  83. godot10 says:

    wiggs22:
    Mr. Lowetide:reading this morning that Boedker from San Jose is available. Hes only a 3rd liner (average 10 goals/year) type player but has speed to burn.Now that there are rumours that stromeisn’t maybe working out ( by my eye he’s been underwhelming ) do you think this could be a possible trade if they retained some salary ?

    Thank you

    Boedeker has 2 more years after this year at $4 million. The OIlers CANNOT afford that contract.

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

    OriginalPouzar,

    This times 2

    OriginalPouzar,

    Huzzah! Good juggle IMO

    So on Yamamoto I think I see the method to the madness here. He’s got two games left and needs to be on the roster for both, Oilers games this week on Wednesday, Friday, Sunday. Condors play Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday. Potential for Yammo to get in his two games while JP gets two maybe three more games in the AHL. Allows a bit more tuning on all sides before send downs and call-ups. Makes sense but no guarantee it happens.

    OriginalPouzar,

    On paper I really really like this PP setup. I think Nuge-Drai could be fire on PP2. PP1 now clearly has CmD running it and its everyone else’s job to get open and get their stick on the ice. Music!

  85. TheVengeFulOne says:

    Bag of Pucks: They’re suggesting he’s already better than Gretz. I’m suggesting he will be when/if he begins to utilize his teammates to the same extent Wayne did.

    To use an analogy: As a soloist, Connor is the more talented player. But he’ll take it over the top when he involves the whole band.

    Right now he doesn’t even has a trio. Hopefully one day Chia gets him a band.

  86. Jethro Tull says:

    OriginalPouzar: We’d have to trade Leon for the cap space that Duchene will take up next year.

    Chia should just call Gary and pretend to be Lou. “We’re circumventing the cap next year, Gary. Make it happen. By the way, Draisaitl will be……retiring or have stomach issues in two years time.”

  87. Bag of Pucks says:

    godot10: I think Lucic and Strome should go to the third line and anchor it.Lucic has lost a step and is no longer a top six player.He should be able to kill it in bottom six competition, like Kessel.Strome as a right shot centre should help.

    Then one can fashion two pairs for the top two lines out ofMcDavid, Draisaitl, Nugent-Hopkins, and Maroon.

    This seems to be what everyone wants to see. Hopefully sooner rather than later.

    It seems like McDavid and Draisaitl is becoming MacLellan’s go to whenever he feels he need a guaranteed win/offense.

    Concerning to see an HC becoming this reliant on a tactical crutch. As we saw in Saturday’s after hours segment, Leon ultimately wants to play C.

  88. Bag of Pucks says:

    TheVengeFulOne: Right now he doesn’t even has a trio. Hopefully one day Chia gets him a band.

    MacLellan can assist in this process too imo. He’s not tried RNH alongside McDavid once for example. Stubborn.

  89. godot10 says:

    Kinger_Oil.redux: – That’s good.I’m not sure if the math works but next year the dream is:

    Maroon – McDavid – Kailer
    Lucic – Draisaitl – Pool
    Caggiula – RNH – Sleppy
    Developed prospect-Jar-Kassian

    Klef – Larsson
    Sek – Russel
    Nurse – Benning

    Yamamoto likely needs a full year in the AHL next season to learn how to play against men.

    Then he will be ready to step into a top 6 NHL role seamlessly.

  90. godot10 says:

    dustrock:
    Off the top of my head, would the VGK be willing to do something like Strome + for Shipyachov?

    I get that we don’t necessarily want another disappointing center, but this would be another opportunity to run 3 good offensive centers AND still keep Drai at winger if we want.

    The Oilers CANNOT afford Shipyachov’ 2nd year of his contract.

  91. GMB3 says:

    Pouzar: I have given Klef crap for that goal but this is 100% truth.
    A 4 on 1? Come on boyz!

    That is the second goal that has been a result of shoddy backchecking by Lucic and Strome. Lucic has been a huge dissapointment. There is this narrative of him enforcing a culture change, but his lazy defensive play is indicative of poor team culture if anything.

  92. OriginalPouzar says:

    BoyWondercroft seems to be sleeping on his powerplay coaching job again.

    If I can remember correctly, the PP struggled at various times last year including at the beginning of the season and many wanted Jay W. fired.

  93. OriginalPouzar says:

    Bag of Pucks: MacLellan can assist in this process too imo. He’s not tried RNH alongside McDavid once for example. Stubborn.

    Its not stubbornness, its acknowledgement that Nugent-Hopkins is a center, has always been a center and is valuable as a center that can be relied on for tough minutes in all zones.

    I’m fine with Nuge and McDavid playing together but Nuge would be center on that line.

  94. OriginalPouzar says:

    godot10: Yamamoto likely needs a full year in the AHL next season to learn how to play against men.

    Then he will be ready to step into a top 6 NHL role seamlessly.

    He may – he is not a lock to make the team next year – I do look for both he and Benson to compete for NHL jobs next fall – Yamamoto probably has the upper hand on Benson due to Benson’s lost development time though.

    I want Safin and Maksimov to be 2 years more fully developed – such high ceilings on those teenagers.

  95. Bag of Pucks says:

    OriginalPouzar: Its not stubbornness, its acknowledgement that Nugent-Hopkins is a center, has always been a center and is valuable as a center that can be relied on for tough minutes in all zones.

    I’m fine with Nuge and McDavid playing together but Nuge would be center on that line.

    Interesting that RNH gets this bias in his favour, but Draisaitl, a natural center, does not.

  96. Pouzar says:

    Gerry Fleming on Oilers Now in a few min…hopefully someone here can give the Coles Notes later.

  97. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    SayItAin’tSo, Gretz, SayItAin’tSo!:
    Woodguy v2.0,

    Most of us didn’t ignore it.

    Most of us pointed to the powerplay, which is running 2nd last in the league, and flagged that as an area to which the stars are directly culpable. Especially against Wash where the PP chances were 5-0 Oilers. Unless I read it incorrectly your analysis didn’t look at 5v4 Sh%.

    You’re right, it was just 5v5.

    McDavid is +2 goals 5v5. Last year’s rate would have him at +4. So net -2 year over year

    RNH is even. Last year’s rate would have him at -1 goal. So net +1 year over year.

    Letestu is -3. Last year’s rate would have him at even. So net -3 year over year.

    Joikinen is -2. Used him because he’s played the most in the bottom 6 and the least w/ Letestu. Last year’s 3rd line would be -1.

    Here’s why I let McDavid of the hook 5v5:

    GF/60 with Yamamoto 2.81
    GF/60 without Yamamoto 4.66

    That’s a coaching/management decision.

    Letestu is also a coaching decision imo. He’s playing too much and over his head QoC wise.

    He’s over 3.5 5v5 minutes more a game this year. He’s on PP1 and PK1. That is too much for him.

    Letestu is 7th among Oiler forwards in TOI/gm.

    I like Letestu for what he is, but that’s bad planning and coaching decisions.

    Maybe Joikenen not playing well plays into that, but there are other options

    Also,

    The special teams have been equally abysmal so I figured it was a wash.

    I’ll agree that the PP needs to be better.

    If they were scoring at last year’s rate they would have 3 more goals than they do now (4 compared to 7)

    Having 97 set up on the left half wall sometimes is very confusing. No good PP sets up the the QB on his handed side.

    Letestu playing almost as far back as a Dman is confusing. He’s not in the spot he was so successful in last year. He’s much further back and not as available for a 1 timer. His shot rate is down by almost half.

    Those two issues are coaching issues.

    The players own some of it for sure and you’re right, when it comes to the PP, the top players need to produce more.

    They are off by 3 goals compared to last year’s goal scoring rate.

    Also,

    The PK is off by 4 goals against. There would be 4 less GA if they were at last year’s rate.

    These are all bottom 6 players (except Nuge) who play the majority of it.

    Non Klef-Larsson Dmen haven’t been too shit hot on the PK either.

    Maybe I’m just paranoid because I lived through the fanbase and MSM souring on a lot of very good players here and its not fun.

  98. Rake 2.0 says:

    OriginalPouzar: If I can remember correctly, the PP struggled at various times last year including at the beginning of the season and many wanted Jay W. fired.

    My problem with the power play is that they don’t seem to have set positions. However they gain the zone is where they stay. There is little player movement and they don’t try to work back to where they should be. I’ve seen this happen with both units. And they’ve abandoned that high slot tip play that worked so well for them last season.

  99. Scungilli Slushy says:

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

    I looked at EDM 5v5 SH% and you won’t believe what I found!!

    http://becauseoilers.blogspot.ca/2017/10/boy-we-have-lot-of-defensemen-shooting.html?m=1

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

    Thanks for that, and the links. The Athletic article talks about how using a Low to High strategy to draw the defence out of clogging the net front is best coupled with tactics to create good shots. It says the Pens and Leafs among others use it, it does seem like a good trick to have in the bag against uber defensive teams.

    The Pens seem really good at it, and their forwards seem to know where to find soft spots and they seem to have set plays in the O zone.

    I think part of the Oilers struggles is that the forwards don’t seem to know what to do outside of rush plays and it makes them play too slowly. I often see on the cycle a forward following the other player who has the puck on the boards (ready to keep cycling) instead of moving to a soft spot to give an outlet and get a quality chance. There is no point cycling if there is no play to the net.

    Maybe McLellan and co are working on that, but the puck support remains poor and it’s killing the offense IMO.

  100. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    who,

    The core forwards have been playing well offensively but some of them have struggled on the back check and in their own zone. That is going to happen with young offensive forwards.

    The two worst ones have been Strome and Lucic.

    Neither are young.

    I agree that without the puck, both are offensive. 🙂

    Justin Bourne roasts both of them here for the PHI winning goal: https://theathletic.com/135496/2017/10/23/bourne-flyers-game-winner-only-needed-six-oilers-to-mess-up-on-one-play/ (warning paywall)

    Tyler Dellow has a nice break down of both of them cheating for offence on WSH’s first goal last game here: https://twitter.com/dellowhockey/status/924719281186754560

  101. Rake 2.0 says:

    flea:
    I think the Eberle trade was about extracting value at this point in time and freeing up cap space.

    Next summer, Eberle is worthless in a trade, because GMs know the Oilers have to move him because of cap space. They make that trade prior to the McDavid extension as they lose some negotiating room after it.

    I also think Chia intends to add during the season. It’s only month 1. I think a move will be made soon if the Oilers don’t turn it around – however it wouldn’t shock me to see them beat Pittsburg on Wednesday and everything will be good in Oilerland again.

    I also think Chia wants to make a big move, he doesn’t want a middling winger, he wants an impact player. Those guys typically are only available mid season.

    Does a package of Puljujarvi, another prosepct and a pick get you Duchene?

    I don’t buy the extracting value argument of trading eberle. They traded him for a player with little to no value. They will likely trade strome for late round draft picks or just not qualify him at the end of the season. So eberle was basically traded for nothing.

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

    Woodguy v2.0,

    I agree with all of these points and yes the PK has been a hot mess.

    The notes specifically on the PP issues echo my own eye test, though I didn’t catch Letestu’s positioning because realistically how many times has PP1 tried that cross box pass aside from the Chicago game?

    Excellent point about McDavid’s handedness and setup as well.

    I now concede there are some coaching as well as execution errors.

    I still fault the players more though when it comes to PPs 😉

  103. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    godot10: I think Lucic and Strome should go to the third line and anchor it.Lucic has lost a step and is no longer a top six player.He should be able to kill it in bottom six competition, like Kessel.Strome as a right shot centre should help.

    Then one can fashion two pairs for the top two lines out ofMcDavid, Draisaitl, Nugent-Hopkins, and Maroon.

    With McLellan moving Russell to 3rd pair I’m not sure he can risk getting fired for moving Peter’s other big FA contract out of the top 6.

  104. season not played says:

    I would seriously consider putting likely the purest shooter they have with McDavid.

    Lucic McDavid Rattie
    Maroon draisaitl strome
    Caggiula Nuge puljujarvi
    Slepyshev letestu kassian.

  105. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    OriginalPouzar: We’d have to trade Leon for the cap space that Duchene will take up next year.

    Or Russell and Lucic and then you can afford to have McDavid, Drai, RNH and Duchene on the team.

  106. hunter1909 says:

    First it was Yakupov, who needed to be taught a lesson.

    Then it was Schultz, who refused to be destroyed like Yakupov and now has got 2 cups to his credit.

    Then the shock trade to New Jersey – suddenly Taylor Hall was made into a bad, bad man.

    Finally Eberle started to become ground down like so much coffee; and so they had to lose his contract and now the team’s been bled half to death of it’s natural talents.

    Meanwhile the last 2 1st round picks are not making any NHL impact this year. Unless mgmt is planning to throw one or both of them to the wolves.

    Lowetide’s prediction is in fact, fairly optimistic.

  107. OriginalPouzar says:

    Bag of Pucks: Interesting that RNH gets this bias in his favour, but Draisaitl, a natural center, does not.

    This is because of Nuge’s further developed “2-way game” and his experience matching up against top lines in such a role. He has significant value as a center apart for point production.

    Not to mention, he might be the best faceoff man on the team, all of a sudden.

  108. OriginalPouzar says:

    Pouzar:
    Gerry Fleming on Oilers Now in a few min…hopefully someone here can give the Coles Notes later.

    Last week he was complimentary of Jesse’s play notwithstanding his boxcars – creating offence, etc.

    I’ll try and listed (at 1:35) but do have some calls and a meeting this afternoon.

  109. OriginalPouzar says:

    Woodguy v2.0: Or Russell and Lucic and then you can afford to have McDavid, Drai, RNH and Duchene on the team.

    Well, yes, that would be better, unfortunately we know the issue(s) with moving those two contracts.

  110. flea says:

    Rake 2.0,

    Yeah, it hasn’t worked out so far. But it’s only been 10 games and it often takes players a little time to get up to speed. (Cue somebody telling me how well Eberle is doing in NY)

    Teams had Chiarelli over a barrel in that trade already. They knew the McDavid/Drai contracts were coming. When I say extracting value, I think getting a young player with unfulfilled potential on a short cheap contract under team control is getting some value back. If he’d waited until next summer might be looking at accepting a poor contract back, maybe a pick.

    I also think they were hoping Strome would go gangbusters, and that definitely hasn’t happened. I hope Chiarelli has a plan B in mind.

  111. frjohnk says:

    Woodguy v2.0: With McLellan moving Russell to 3rd pair I’m not sure he can risk getting fired for moving Peter’s other big FA contract out of the top 6

    Not making playoffs would get McLellan fired for sure, less certain on Chia.

  112. GMB3 says:

    I will never understand how Drake Caggiula is afforded so many opportunities on the PP and in the top 6 while Slepy has not.

  113. GMB3 says:

    Interesting to see a cap strapped LA Kings team hire more creative coaches and succeed. But Milan Lucic just needs more time to adjust in Edmonton, 100 games isn’t enough time.

  114. OmJo says:

    Woodguy v2.0: With McLellan moving Russell to 3rd pair I’m not sure he can risk getting fired for moving Peter’s other big FA contract out of the top 6.

    This is essentially why I can’t see Chiarelli firing McLellan without coming out of it looking bad (and possibly fired himself by the end of the season).

    McLellan isn’t a great coach, and I’m not his biggest fan, but unless he had more of a say in roster management than I think he did, he is working with what he was given. An average-at-best team which was almost designed to rely on McDavid and Draisaitl elevating average-at-best wingers to play above what they’ve proven capable of doing in the past. That’s on Chiarelli, not McLellan.

    With that being said… What I don’t understand from TMac is why he doesn’t go back to the Lucic-Draisaitl-Slepyshev line from the playoffs for the 2nd line. It worked when the team was playing the hardest hockey they faced last season. I assume one reason is because then there isn’t anybody to play with McDavid (NUGE!). If you’re adamant at keeping Lucic in the top 6 at least give that line a shot.

    And not for one or two shifts until Lucic fails to backcheck and the team gets scored on. Stick with one lineup for an entire game. Let some chemistry build. The McBlender is might be more dysfunctional than the MacBlender was…

    Maroon-Nuge-McDavid
    Lucic-Draisaitl-Slepyshev
    Cagguila-Strome-Whoever
    Whoever-Letestu-Kassian

  115. OmJo says:

    GMB3:
    I will never understand how Drake Caggiula is afforded so many opportunities on the PP and in the top 6 while Slepy has not.

    Might have something to do with the contracts we give college players.

    We specifically. Spencer Foo is still in the AHL, for example.

  116. who says:

    Cassandra: He controls the puck.He passes the puck. He helps get it out of the zone, he helps keep control ofthe puck in the neutral zone, he gains the zone with control of the puck.

    Eberle is good at hockey whether the puck goes into the net or not.

    Controls puck. Check. No one ever questioned Eberle s hands.
    Passes puck. Check
    Gets it out of zone. Not so much, especially under pressure.
    Controls puck through neutral zone. Check. Although he had trouble seperating from back checkers in neutral zone.
    Gains zone with control of puck. Check. Although he tended to button hook and either lose it or fire off a weak outside shot once he gained the zone. Didn’t seem to be a lot of net drive in his game anymore.
    I would associate most of your list with creating offense .When he is creating offense Eberle is a good player. He just didn’t do enough of it last year to my eye. But even you will have to admit he has deficiencies in other areas of his game.
    Does he kill penalties. Nope.
    Is he a shutdown winger. A Bob Gainey type Selke candidate. Nope
    Is he a physical presence. Of course not and it would be silly to expect him to be one.
    Does his speed and tenacity create turnovers on the forecheck or the back check. Nope.
    Does he take Faceoffs. Nope.
    He is an offensive player and if that dries up, like it did for much of last year, he is too expensive to keep around.

  117. Cassandra says:

    The funny thing is that I don’t think the team is that bad. They aren’t any worse than I expected and I expected them to make the playoffs. They still have McDavid, and any way you cut it, they’ve been unlucky.

    The problem is that they set to build the best team, while not caring about the total amount of talent on hand, because they thought that team beats talent. But they have the relationship backward, and as a result they don’t have enough talent to have the best team.

    The team with the most talent wins. So always add talent, and then form a team around that talent.

  118. dustrock says:

    I’m not convinced McDavid is 100% healthy.

  119. OmJo says:

    who,

    Even with his offense drying up last season, he still put up 20g and 51pts playing with a LW who had 25 5v5 pts all season. Our most productive natural RW and third most product player last season.

    Do we make the playoffs without those 20 goals last season?

    Yes, he crapped the bed in the playoffs. One poor playoff performance doesn’t seem like a reason to dump him for Ryan Strome. One player is on pace for a 60pt season, the other is on pace to not be qualified next summer.

    I’m not saying Eberle doesn’t have to be better. Even in NYI he’s only on pace for 14 goals. What I’m saying is even with his offense dried out, he’s still produces more offense than Strome and is still a better player than Strome. I’d take a dried up Eberle and 50pts for $6M in McDavid’s last ELC year over Strome.

  120. OriginalPouzar says:

    Gerry Fleming on Oilers Now:

    Bear – Has played well – sees ice well offensively, good shot. Been a solid defender making good reads. Good understanding of how to play without the puck. Best served in Bakersfield playing big minutes

    Jones – Gifted offensively, skates well with the puck, activates well. Working on his game without the puck – boxing out, gaps, etc.

    Stanton and Fayne – Looking for both to be back in lineup onWed

    Lowe – out a few more weeks (lower body injury)

    Pairings will be:
    Simpson/Bear
    Stanton/Mantha
    Jones/Faye

    (OrigPouzar – Paigin and Betker get the press box)

    Nick Ellis – Will get start on Wed – had a tough period last weekend but he’s been very good.

    Puljijarvi – Most complete game this past Sat – moving well, working hard, tenacious on fore-check, good shots on net. Got confidence right now. Nuances of North American game (protecting puck, shielding puck, stops/starts, quickness (as opposed to speed) are being worked on every day and he’s getting better.

    Malone – seasoned pro competitor. Good on PK.

    Downing – Good looks at net and chemistry with Rattie and Puljijarvi – that line will stay together on Wed.

    P. Russell – meat and potatoes type of guy. Grinds on wall. 2 SH goals

    David Gust – The only player that Fleming brought him up (not brought up by Stauffer) – has really stood out. High skill. Tenacious,

    Butcher – young guy but been good. Makes plays with puck but needs to get bigger and stronger as we struggles defending down low.

    Polei – big body – knows where to go. Goes to net and gets rewarded.

  121. hunter1909 says:

    Cassandra: The problem is that they set to build the best team, while not caring about the total amount of talent on hand, because they thought that team beats talent. But they have the relationship backward, and as a result they don’t have enough talent to have the best team.
    The team with the most talent wins. So always add talent, and then form a team around that talent.

    I hate to agree, but…

  122. Pouzar says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    Gerry Fleming on Oilers Now:

    Bear – Has played well – sees ice well offensively, good shot.Been a solid defender making good reads.Good understanding of how to play without the puck. Best served in Bakersfield playing big minutes

    Jones – Gifted offensively, skates well with the puck, activates well.Working on his game without the puck – boxing out, gaps, etc.

    Stanton and Fayne – Looking for both to be back in lineup onWed

    Lowe– out a few more weeks (lower body injury)

    Pairings will be:
    Simpson/Bear
    Stanton/Mantha
    Jones/Faye

    (OrigPouzar – Paigin and Betker get the press box)

    Nick Ellis – Will get start on Wed – had a tough period last weekend but he’s been very good.

    Puljijarvi – Most complete game this past Sat – moving well, working hard, tenacious on fore-check, good shots on net.Got confidence right now. Nuances of North American game (protecting puck, shielding puck, stops/starts, quickness (as opposed to speed) are being worked on every day and he’s getting better.

    Malone – seasoned pro competitor.Good on PK.

    Downing – Good looks at net and chemistry with Rattie and Puljijarvi – that line will stay together on Wed.

    P. Russell – meat and potatoes type of guy.Grinds on wall.2 SH goals

    David Gust – The only player that Fleming brought him up (not brought up by Stauffer) – has really stood out.High skill.Tenacious,

    Butcher – young guy but been good.Makes plays with puck but needs to get bigger and stronger as we struggles defending down low.

    Polei – big body – knows where to go.Goes to net and gets rewarded.

    Thank you fine sir.

  123. Snowman says:

    Woodguy v2.0: Or Russell and Lucic and then you can afford to have McDavid, Drai, RNH and Duchene on the team.

    Mcdavid, Drai, RNH, Duchene.

    This is my dream.

    I would never ever say another bad thing about Chiarelli again if he somehow wrangled this into happening.

    Griffin Reinhart? Never heard of him. Ryan Strome? Who dat?

  124. Dustylegnd says:

    Woodguy v2.0: With McLellan moving Russell to 3rd pair I’m not sure he can risk getting fired for moving Peter’s other big FA contract out of the top 6.

    When any organization becomes something other than a meritocracy, the end is very near…

    I am not saying you are wrong, I am saying any coach who is forced to play something other than what he feels gives him the highest probability of winning…

    He is Dead Man Walking

  125. who says:

    OmJo:
    who,

    Even with his offense drying up last season, he still put up 20g and 51pts playing with a LW who had 25 5v5 pts all season. Our most productive natural RW and third most product player last season.

    Do we make the playoffs without those 20 goals last season?

    Yes, he crapped the bed in the playoffs. One poor playoff performance doesn’t seem like a reason to dump him for Ryan Strome. One player is on pace for a 60pt season, the other is on pace to not be qualified next summer.

    I’m not saying Eberle doesn’t have to be better. Even in NYI he’s only on pace for 14 goals. What I’m saying is even with his offense dried out, he’s still produces more offense than Strome and is still a better player than Strome. I’d take a dried up Eberle and 50pts for $6M in McDavid’s last ELC year over Strome.

    I don’t think anyone is arguing that Eberle isn’t a better player than Strome. But he would have to be twice as good to justify the difference in salary. Plus I think the coach liked the idea of another guy who could play center.
    Not sure about Stromes ability in the middle though. Thought he was looking pretty good on the wing with Nuge and Lucic the last few games. That’s my biggest complaint about Tmac. He gets really stubborn with a few of his line up choices, such as Drai and Maroon with Macdavid , but he blows everything else up every two games.

  126. russ99 says:

    Snowman: Mcdavid, Drai, RNH, Duchene.

    This is my dream.

    I would never ever say another bad thing about Chiarelli again if he somehow wrangled this into happening.

    “Oilers Hockey” is dead, unless you prefer resurrecting Lowe and MacTavish to bring it back and along with it, another 10 years of losing.

  127. Dustylegnd says:

    Cassandra: Chiarelli finally gets something right.Reinhart isn’t anywhere close to an NHL defensemen.The idea that he is better than Auvitu is laughable.He would have a hard time cracking the top 4 in Bakersfield.

    I say again, those who fail to adapt perish, if you can’t skate you better be really awesome at something else, just checked he is not…….31 teams say we don’t want you, nuff said?

    does the poor Bastard speak Russian?

  128. Dicky94 says:

    frjohnk,

    I think it will be the other way around.

  129. OriginalPouzar says:

    Coach Todd:

    Much better sense of urgency at practice including on the PP drills and they spend alot of time on the PP.

    Part of the reason for splitting Leon and Connor on the PP is they have a tendency to look for each other (more than they should).

    Aside from the Calgary game, we haven’t had a game where all 18 skaters are going.

    Asked about Klef: He has made some bad reads that have hit his confidence and he’s dealing with some indecisiveness.

    The 6-7 d-man aren’t going to rescue the team when 1-3 are struggling so the team needs the top guys to play better on the back end.

    Coaching staff has culpability for not getting enough out of his players – the players are good enough and capable but the coaching staff has not got enough out of them.

    Gregor asked coach about maybe using Slep on the PK to get his minutes up and Coach said the plan was actually to use Slep on the PP against WSH and will be the plan against PIT – hopes he gets some confidence from it.

  130. Lowetide says:

    Bakersfield Condors‏Verified account @Condors 32m32 minutes ago
    More
    Transactions:
    1) The @EdmontonOilers have re-assigned Greg Chase to Wichita.
    2) Evan Polei loaned to Wichita
    3) Jamie Doornbosch released

  131. Cassandra says:

    What is striking about the beginning of the season is how there are no genuinely good teams in the NHL top to bottom. The salary cap has really cut into the ability to maintain a top quality team.

    The result is that success comes down to three things, I think.

    1) Salary cap efficiency. Every team has to field cheap players. Who is better at finding cheap players? Who is better at avoiding bad contracts? Who is better at re-signing their stars to lower dollars?

    2) Coaching. If the talent level is similar, which coach is able to coordinate that talent best.

    3) Superstars. The very best players are all underpaid.

    This is what makes Lucic’s and Russell’s contracts so galling. With McDavid on the ELC they should be the one team immune from this for at least this year, and they wasted all that money unnecessarily.

    Coaching I am unsure of.

    The Oilers have McDavid. They are born on third base. Even mediocre management should have success.

  132. GriffCity says:

    Am I the only one who thinks the Oil should be going after Athanasiou from DET? The kid is skilled, fast, value contract and still young. People say we need speed – he’s got it, they say we need skill – he’s got that too. If I were picking a player I expected to blossom into a continual 20+ goal scorer and help fill the goal scoring void left by Eberle’s absence, I would be looking no further.

    DET had a hard time signing him to a contract to start the season as they are up against the cap. I imagine a prospect and a pick would get the deal done. Im saying Puljujarvi and 4th rounder.

    Connor and/or Leon need fast players along side them who have skill and some smarts. Is there a better option out there? What do you guys think?

    PS: Athansiou has played 2 games and has scored 1 goal….that’s more than about half of our forwards who have played 10 games.

  133. Cameron says:

    The biggest surprise for me about this years Oilers is Puljujarvi – by a wide margin.
    I remember him dominating the WJC, hoping like hell that Calgary would trade up to get him in the draft, and being more than a little bitter that he went to the Oilers.

    (The fact that Calgary got Tkachuk, a player I thought had flawed skating, and who was likely being floated by his talented peers instead, made things worse.)

    Two years later and Tkachuk is a full-on beast doing bully work on one of the best possession lines in hockey, and Puljujarvi still can’t do a ppg in the AHL.

    It just mystifies me how JP has failed to flourish. I don’t know if its him, the language, coaching, linemates, if the eye test was just put to lunch, or if his draft year was a fluke, but the fact he isn’t a burgeoning Marian Hossa 2.0 simply stumps me.

    I’m still a fan of his (he can’t help it he wears the wrong jersey), but am left wondering how he got so lost

  134. Cassandra says:

    GriffCity,

    Of course we want Athanasiou. LT brought him up a number of times.

    Chiarelli wouldn’t want him, however. Chiarelli has shown no interest in this kind of player.

  135. GriffCity says:

    I must have missed the article when he was brought up. He would be absolutely perfect! He and Mcdavid on the same line would be the fastest thing in the NHL.

    I assume you are speculating that Chiarelli would not like him, that would be a real shame if you’re right. this guy has literally everything the Oilers need right now, speed, scoring and the right price. Did I mention he is also 6’2″? Chiarelli has got to like that, no?

    I haven’t had a feeling about a player being able to help this team so perfectly in as long as I can remember. I’d be ringing Holland off the hook.

  136. OriginalPouzar says:

    GriffCity:
    Am I the only one who thinks the Oil should be going after Athanasiou from DET? The kid is skilled, fast, value contract and still young. People say we need speed – he’s got it, they say we need skill – he’s got that too. If I were picking a player I expected to blossom into a continual 20+ goal scorer and help fill the goal scoring void left by Eberle’s absence, I would be looking no further.

    DET had a hard time signing him to a contract to start the season as they are up against the cap. I imagine a prospect and a pick would get the deal done. Im saying Puljujarvi and 4th rounder.

    The time for this was prior to him signing.

    Now that he’s signed to a value contract that expires while he remains an RFA, there is no way the Wings trade him for anything less than a huge return. He’s exactly what they need right now – cheap value contracts where the player outperforms the cap hit.

  137. McSorley33 says:

    OriginalPouzar,

    Great recap thanks…

  138. GriffCity says:

    OriginalPouzar,

    I agree, but I would still be willing to give up said return if it was feasible. Puljujarvi + a pick? How about Slepyshev + a 2nd rounder? DET is going to have a hard time signing him again next season unless they move out some big money pieces while the Oilers will be still well under the cap this year and can potentially allow Maroon to walk and re-sign Athanasiou if he performs as expected.

    Basically, how impossible would it be to get him today? Because the Oil ship is leaking

  139. stevezie says:

    npanciroli:
    I don’t disagree with anyone with what they are saying Re: Lucic. Honestly though having a tight knit group is important IMO and not something that can be measured. Who knows if Lucic contributed to it or just winning did in general but it really is a thing. I’ve played on toxic teams before and I know this is professional sports but I would be shocked if it didn’t effect them either.

    It’s definitely a thing- in the world in general. The problems are:

    Is it a thing in this specific case?

    How much of a thing is it?

    If it is a significant thing, who is actually to blame?

    We can’t answer any of those questions from the outside.

    Take one rumour that turned out to be totally true: Brendan Shanahan really was sleeping with teamte Craig Janney’s wife. Real problem. Probably a big problem. Obvious guy to blame, but…

    Shanahan married her and they’ve been together since. So… what? Did she finally find a good man to treat her right? Did true love win? Or did Shanahan get away with something because he’s rich, handsome and famous? (The Blues traded Janney, not Shanahan. Did they know something, or did they pick the better player?)

    I have no idea.

    This is the problem fans weighing in on dressing room issues. We don’t know at all. We know what happens on ice, no idea about the rest of it.

    So, yeah, Chia needs to factor this into his decisions, because he might know. But he can’t say. So, as a fan, we’re better off ignoring it.

    I think. What teams (and fans) are supposed to do with players who are horrible people but fine teammates I’m not sure.

  140. stevezie says:

    Cameron: It just mystifies me how JP has failed to flourish. I don’t know if its him, the language, coaching, linemates, if the eye test was just put to lunch, or if

    Me too. Baffled.

    Cassandra: What is striking about the beginning of the season is how there are no genuinely good teams in the NHL top to bottom. The salary cap has really cut into the ability to maintain a top quality team.

    I agree with this like crazy. One of the main reasons I still think the Oilers could win a cup this year is who else is gonna win it? Especially in the west. After Nashville, who’s intimidating? The whole league is wide open.

    There is nothing weird about Nashville almost missing the playoffs and almost winning the cup. Or Tampa missing them altogether and now looking like the best team in the league. There’s barely any difference between anyone.

    I think the point you missed is injuries. The Lightning lose Stamkos and the best team on paper in the league can’t make the playoffs. The Kings won their first cup because they didn’t have one of their top 6 D miss a single game in the playoffs. And so on. Healthy teams win.

    But then look at last year’s Penguins. I dunno anything I guess.

  141. McSorley33 says:

    Numerous articles written about the C depth of the current oilers.

    Centres

    1.McDavid
    2. Draisaitl
    3. RNH

    Then watching Letestu or Strome play 3C is salt in the eye….

    Friendly Fire

  142. OriginalPouzar says:

    GriffCity:
    OriginalPouzar,

    I agree, but I would still be willing to give up said return if it was feasible. Puljujarvi + a pick? How about Slepyshev + a 2nd rounder? DET is going to have a hard time signing him again next season unless they move out some big money pieces while the Oilers will be still well under the cap this year and can potentially allow Maroon to walk and re-sign Athanasiou if he performs as expected.

    Basically, how impossible would it be to get him today? Because the Oil ship is leaking

    I don’t know how impossible it would be to get him today but, sure, I’d trade Slep and a 2nd rounder for him, that’s a no-brainer and its vastly different than a trade involving Puljijarvi.

    The Wings free up $6M when Green becomes a UFA at the end of next year although I’m sure money will still be tight. With that said, they will find a way to sign their important players – they got him under contract on the cheap for this season when they had essentially no cap room.

    Don’t get me wrong, he’d be fine target but I believe the window on such a transaction has closed for this year.

  143. stevezie says:

    who: He is an offensive player and if that dries up, like it did for much of last year, he is too expensive to keep around.

    Sure, maybe, salary definitely matters, but why salary dump and then not spend the salary? Why did he have to get dumped this summer and not next? I’m so confused by this part I think there’s an explanation that I’ve forgotten.

    Because-and I’m glad this is at least finally clear-Eberle is a lot better than Strome.

  144. Snowman says:

    russ99: “Oilers Hockey” is dead, unless you prefer resurrecting Lowe and MacTavish to bring it back and along with it, another 10 years of losing.

    I have no idea what you are getting at?

  145. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Cassandra:
    The funny thing is that I don’t think the team is that bad.They aren’t any worse than I expected and I expected them to make the playoffs.They still have McDavid, and any way you cut it, they’ve been unlucky.

    The problem is that they set to build the best team, while not caring about the total amount of talent on hand, because they thought that team beats talent.But they have the relationship backward, and as a result they don’t have enough talent to have the best team.

    The team with the most talent wins.So always add talent, and then form a team around that talent.

    I had EDM with 94 points in Hunter’s contest.

    I still think it’s a good number.

  146. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Snowman: Mcdavid, Drai, RNH, Duchene.

    This is my dream.

    I would never ever say another bad thing about Chiarelli again if he somehow wrangled this into happening.

    Griffin Reinhart? Never heard of him. Ryan Strome? Who dat?

    If Peter got Duchene I’d forgive the Hall trade.

  147. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    su_dhillon,

    Thanks Su.

    I think the theory is sound.

    A few more 5v5 goals and we wouldn’t be grinding data to figure out what they’re doing.

  148. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Scungilli Slushy,

    Thanks SS.

    I agree with your take on EDM’s implementation of it too (if that’s what they’re doing……sure looks like it)

    Those strategy posts I linked were great too.

    I love learning about this stuff.

  149. TheVengeFulOne says:

    There is no way to jug this roster to have two top 6 rw. Discarding the teams only remaining strength (depth up the middle) is the only way to get 1 top 6rw. That and relying on caggiula and slepyshev have resulted in a massively broken roster. I think we are back to being 3-4 pieces away. Not sure how to fix that in-season.

    I’m actually not to miffed about the defence. Nurse has taken a huge step forward imo, and gryba hasn’t gashed us that bad. I think it was reasonable to keep the powder dry with Sekera coming back. Russel makes a little too much for a little too long, but he isn’t hurting us. Would have been nice to upgrade Gryba, but c’est la vie.

    The only way I see this turning around is if JP breaks out. I think he was a large part of the reason why Chia felt we could trade eberle with no plan at replacing his spot on the roster. Even then though, we need another RW, and I don’t know where you get one for cheap. Rieder would be awesome, but not sure he moves the needle enough.

    I think it is unfair to slepyshev and caggiula because they were tweeners last year and have been thrust into roles above their heads, but they have to piss a drop.

    Maroon CMD JP
    Lucic Draisaitl Rieder
    Slepyshev Nuge Strome
    Caggiula Letestu Kassian

  150. Bag of Pucks says:

    stevezie: Sure, maybe, salary definitely matters, but why salary dump and then not spend the salary?

    Because he wanted to see what he had with a number of the emerging players first. If players like Nurse, Benning, JP, Caggs, Sleppy, etc. take a step forward, then he’s more likely playing around the edges with depth moves. If on the other hand, no one grabs the 1RW or 4D slot, then he’s likely pondering a bigger move or a situation where he has to take a heavier salary coming back.

    Yes, he could’ve brought in a one year veteran and spent fully to the cap, but I prefer a GM that actually has some flexibility to make a big in season move. If a player like a Drouin or Hamonic comes on the market, I would think it would be preferable to be one of the few GMs with some cap flexibility that can deal accordingly instead of being completely hamstrung.

  151. TheVengeFulOne says:

    stevezie: Sure, maybe, salary definitely matters, but why salary dump and then not spend the salary? Why did he have to get dumped this summer and not next? I’m so confused by this part I think there’s an explanation that I’ve forgotten.

    Because-and I’m glad this is at least finally clear-Eberle is a lot better than Strome.

    I don’t see how Eberle being dumped with 0 playoff points and his worst scoring year since his rookie year had more value than at the end of this season. Somebody would have traded something for eberle, and I’m not sure Strome counts as being a huge boost vs a middling draft pick.

  152. OmJo says:

    who: I don’t think anyone is arguing that Eberle isn’t a better player than Strome. But he would have to be twice as good to justify the difference in salary. Plus I think the coach liked the idea of another guy who could play center.
    Not sure about Stromes ability in the middle though. Thought he was looking pretty good on the wing with Nuge and Lucic the last few games. That’s my biggest complaint about Tmac. He gets really stubborn with a few of his line up choices, such as Drai and Maroon with Macdavid , but he blows everything else up every two games.

    I’m not looking at it from an economic perspective. I don’t think Ebs is worth 6M either. But I’d argue, at least for this season, that he brings more value at 6M than Strome, even if it’s not a 2:1 ratio. Unless Chia puts that cap space to use. Waiting for the trade deadline might be too late.

    Stability throughout the lineup would be nice. Outside of the 1st line and PP unit, the rest is a mess.

  153. OriginalPouzar says:

    stevezie: Sure, maybe, salary definitely matters, but why salary dump and then not spend the salary? Why did he have to get dumped this summer and not next? I’m so confused by this part I think there’s an explanation that I’ve forgotten.

    Because-and I’m glad this is at least finally clear-Eberle is a lot better than Strome.

    I think the plan is to spend. I know capfriendly says we have apx $8M in cap space but its really closer to $4M when you account for bonuses and how perverse it would be to have a bonus overage and reduce our cap space next season.

    I think Chia wanted to evaluate the winger situation and the defence situation (without Sekera) to see where its best to spend the money. He realized the potential deficiencies at each position and that the bets made were just that “bets”.

    He should be getting a pretty good idea of what he needs to spend on.

    I don’t think he anticipated this slow of a start and he is likely realizing that he needs to make a move to spend sooner than later or it very well could be too late.

    To summarize, it isn’t “not spending” its “deferred spending”.

    Of course, on the assumption he actually does spend.

  154. OmJo says:

    Bag of Pucks: Because he wanted to see what he had with a number of the emerging players first. If players like Nurse, Benning, JP, Caggs, Sleppy, etc. take a step forward, then he’s more likely playing around the edges with depth moves. If on the other hand, no one grabs the 1RW or 4D slot, then he’s likely pondering a bigger move or a situation where he has to take a heavier salary coming back.

    Yes, he could’ve brought in a one year veteran and spent fully to the cap, but I prefer a GM that actually has some flexibility to make a big in season move. If a player like a Drouin or Hamonic comes on the market, I would think it would be preferable to be one of the few GMs with some cap flexibility that can deal accordingly instead of being completely hamstrung.

    The thing is, what do we have to get a Hamonic or Drouin? IMO the reason we have the cap space to acquire a player is because the cupboards are bare to begin with.

    Hamonic cost a 1st and 2 2nds. Drouin cost Sergechev, a conditional 2nd and $33M. We don’t have those kind of assets.

  155. OmJo says:

    Edit: Post was deleted.

  156. stevezie says:

    Bag of Pucks: Yes, he could’ve brought in a one year veteran and spent fully to the cap, but I prefer a GM that actually has some flexibility to make a big in season move.

    Sure, but are we actually flexible now? I might be mistaken, but I think it is a lot easier to make moves in the summer than it is mid-season. I actually feel quite locked in. Maybe Chia is about to prove me wrong.

    OriginalPouzar,

    Yeah… at a certain point GMs need to earn their money and evaluate ahead of time. Weatherman don’t get paid to tell you what the weather is right now.

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