Game 13 2017-18: Red Wings at Oilers

As crazy as the start to this season has been, a strong November run would allow the Oilers to gain some ground on the long road back to the top teams in the Pacific. The problem with that plan? You can’t time turnarounds, and the problems facing Edmonton right now are more than enough to retard progress. Is there a path to success with a flawed roster? Any team with Connor McDavid has more than a puncher’s chance, but you cannot also include wobbly goaltending, poor special teams, half of the forward roster stuck and unproductive offensively. Winning consistently is a distant bell, out among the stars, for this Oilers team.

PIKES PEAK, YEAR OVER YEAR

  • Oilers in November 2015: 1-1-0, goal differential +1
  • Oilers in November 2016: 0-1-1, goal differential -3
  • Oilers in November 2017: 1-1-0, goal differential +2

Game three in 2015-16 November was a 4-2 loss to Chicago and last year it was a 4-3 shootout win over the New York Islanders. If Edmonton wins this afternoon, it will represent the best start to November of the Todd McLellan era.

AFTER 12, YEAR OVER YEAR

  • Oilers 15-16: 4-8-0, goal differential -7
  • Oilers 16-17: 8-3-1, goal differential +7
  • Oilers 17-18: 4-7-1, goal differential -9

Has the story already been written? Edmonton’s season so far holds a strong resemblance to 2015-16. G13 that season saw the Oilers win 4-2 over Philadephia. Last season was also a win (2-1 over Detroit). The Red Wings are off to a similar start season over season in terms of record, this should be an interesting game.

WHAT TO EXPECT FROM NOVEMBER?

  • At home to: Pittsburgh, New Jersey, Detroit (Expected: 2-1-0) (Actual 1-1-0)
  • 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: 1-1-0, two points in two games

So far the Oilers are exactly covering the bet made for them by this blog before the month began. I have today’s game against the Red Wings as a win for Edmonton. Detroit is running Peter Mrzaek today, he’s 1-2-0, 2.39 and .913 career against the home team.

JP VERSUS MANTHA 

I’m always comparing Jesse Puljujarvi to European kids who came over early to play in the AHL, but perhaps a player like Anthony Mantha (6.05, 225 and skilled) is a better comparable. Mantha didn’t emerge as an NHL player until draft +4, although that could be partly due to the Red Wings’ established handling of their prospects. He was cooked, might have been overcooked, but they didn’t have to worry about cap bonus issues and Mantha received an education in the cities of the nation.

Using this comparable, Puljujarvi seems to be running on time and his ETA in Edmonton should be set at fall 2019. Are you all ready for this? Is Peter Chiarelli ready for this? I wonder if JP will be a long-term option if he doesn’t turn out sooner. Kailer Yamamoto ate his lunch this fall, maybe he does it again next September.

MCDAVID’S LINEMATES

I keep having this circular discussion with an emailer that goes like this:

  • Emailer: “Oilers have to move Leon Draisaitl to center and take him off the McDavid line.”
  • Me: “Sure, agreed. Who plays right-wing on 97’s line.”
  • Emailer: “Everyone knows Jordan Eberle’s numbers were as good as Leon’s when he played RW with McDavid.”
  • Me: “Eberle is in Brooklyn.”
  • Emailer: “How hard is it to find a replacement for Jordan Eberle?”

Back when I did the 16-17 pre-season RE for Eberle, I wrote the following:

  • What does Eberle do well? Score goals. He scores 28 goals per 82 games, that is a dandy total in the modern era. A lot of times guys like Eberle are called complementary players, but he has shown an ability to score when not on a feature line. Now, it is a damned foolish thing to do, but Eberle could score on a line that did not boast the team’s top center.
  • What does he not do well? Most of the good offensive Oilers are not what you might call two-way types. Now, that can be overstated—if you are pushing the river then deficiencies without the puck are less harmful—but 14 doesn’t interrupt sorties like Benoit Pouliot (as an example).
  • Source

The Oilers haven’t replaced Jordan Eberle’s strengths nor have they upgraded on his deficiencies. I think Jesse Puljujarvi may eventually deliver what Eberle could not (solid two-way play) but am more convinced each day that the 28-goal man is going to be Kailer Yamamoto. The number one issue for Peter Chiarelli is that neither man is ready to push the river today.

CONNOR MCDAVID’S WINGERS

“The Edmonton Oilers need to move Leon Draisaitl to center. It’s a well known fact Jordan Eberle’s numbers with 97 were as good as Leon’s.” This, my friends, is a crazy conversation to be having today. I would suggest you try solving the problem that faces both Peter Chiarelli and Todd McLellan: Is there anyone on the roster or easily available by trade who can make Leon’s move to center conceivable this season? Suspect it is the single biggest reason Kailer Yamamoto’s NHL debut has lasted into November. The club may have had a workaround (Anton Slepyshev on the Nuge line) but the Russian got himself hurt last game. Natural Stat Trick is the source for numbers above.

It’s possible, Rattie is absolutely ripping up the AHL. I suspect the Oilers have always liked Rattie’s game and perhaps they believe they can unlock his game. It’s a risky bet though, because the 10 games you’re going to invest in the project need to be wins.

I think Anton Slepyshev has a chance in a feature role but his timing this year has been ghastly. The young man missed training camp completely, took time to get back to the game we know he can deliver, and is hurt again right after being elevated to the Nuge line. Talent along won’t get you to your goal, ask Murray Wilson (who had more talent than a few of the Habs who beat him out of a LW job hundreds of years ago). Slepy needs to stay healthy, if he can, Peter Chiarelli and Todd McLellan may be able to remain patient with Puljujarvi and Yamamoto. If Slepyshev remains unable, it’s down to Drake Caggiula and whatever the general manager can find out in the ether.

 

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428 Responses to "Game 13 2017-18: Red Wings at Oilers"

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  1. JimmyV1965 says:

    oscarmike:
    The real losers are the people who spend their money on Oilers tickets. I never go to games because it’s no different than gambling. Seriously what good are hockey players. Sure they donate but besides that they’re paid to entertain. Society doesn’t need hockey players. They don’t save lives or put out fires, they entertain and if they can’t entertain forget them.

    Look at that cop that got attack by that terrorist in Edmonton.No one person tried helping that guy while he was attacked but yet people take it so personal when the Oilers loose. Just shows where our priorities are at when it comes to Oilers entertainment.

    I spent over $500 to go to the game today. Argh.

  2. frjohnk says:

    On pace for about 62 points.

    We are not that bad. But with us not being as injury free as last year, along with the game speeding up a smidgeon while getting slower,I dont see us as a 103 point team either. I picked 97 points in Hunters Death March. I may have been optimistic with that number.

    Looks like we are having a reverse 14-15 Flames season. Good metrics but poor PDO, how much is it score effects though? The PDO “should” regress, but will it? and if it does, when?

    Oilers are still in control of making playoffs, but they are going to have to be red hot against the Pacific.

  3. OmJo says:

    Just give Leon 2C, give Nuge 1RW for next game. Seriously, what is there to lose at this point? Especially when it’ll likely help the team win.

  4. PunjabiOil says:

    NM

  5. Lowetide says:

    godot10: Developed by Todd Nelson.

    I got to interview Nelson a couple of times. Really nice chap, talked motorbikes and then it took a little time to get back to hockey. 🙂

  6. flyfish1168 says:

    OmJo:
    Just give Leon 2C, give Nuge 1RW for next game. Seriously, what is there to lose at this point? Especially when it’ll likely help the team win.

    One person in the way of that idea -TMac

    Nuge has been on fire on the dot this year – he is getting his old man strength now

  7. godot10 says:

    I apologize.

    I promised you guys mediocrity. I apparently was wrong. #StuckInLowetideAgain …. #StuckInLodiAgain

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yA7iGxV6rt4

  8. neojanus says:

    I wish I didn’t care. It would be so much better if I didn’t care.

  9. frjohnk says:

    Well, at least we are not peaking too early!

  10. flyfish1168 says:

    frjohnk:
    Well, at least we are not peaking too early!

    Room for improvement also

  11. oilersfan says:

    I think Colorado did awful in that trade.

    They traded an established , proven number one center
    Who is good enough to play for team Canada in the prime of his career for a former late first round pick, who looks to be years away from playing in the NHL, if ever, and if he does appears to be in the Riley Nash/Mark Jankowski tree of borderline third line players, a late first round pick, a late former second round Pick, and a second round pick… just a bunch of magic beans that will almost certainly never be as good as Duchene. If the oilers offered rnh straight up, and Colorado preferred the package they got, Colorado is nuts. And if the oilers could have got duchene for rnh and they didn’t , the oilers are nuts.

    What an absolutely terrible trade for Colorado. That makes the pronger trade look good, (which it wasn’t) at least we got an actual NHL player in Lupul. They got zero players who can play in the NHL for 3-4 years for a first line center on a value contract.

    What a terrible trade for Colorado!!!

  12. TheVengeFulOne says:

    oilersfan:
    I think Colorado did awful in that trade.

    They traded an established , proven number one centerWho is good enough to play for team Canada in the prime of his career for a former late first round pick, who looks to be years away from playing in the NHL, if ever, and if he does appears to be in the Riley Nash/Mark Jankowski tree of borderline third line players, a late first round pick, a late former second round Pick, and a second round pick… just a bunch of magic beans that will almost certainly never be as good as Duchene. If the oilers offered rnh straight up, and Colorado preferred the package they got, Colorado is nuts. And if the oilers could have got duchene for rnh and they didn’t , the oilers are nuts.

    What an absolutely terrible trade for Colorado. That makes the pronger trade look good, (which it wasn’t) at least we got an actual NHL player in Lupul. They got zero players who can play in the NHL for 3-4 years for a first line center on a value contract.

    What a terrible trade for Colorado!!!

    I’m almost good enough to play for Canada this year.

  13. deardylan says:

    My neighbours came over and said “Dylan, Sorry I heard your team just lost 4-0 to Detroit and now near dead last in the whole league. Sorry about the bad news and bad luck”

    And then I remember the farmers words in this Zen Story…

    “Who knows… Bad news, good news. Maybe it is, maybe it isn’t?”

    You know this story below? Might help you next time you have bad news or good news.

    THE ZEN FARMER

    One day the farmer’s horse ran away. His neighbor hears of his bad news and comes over to commiserate. “I hear that you lost your horse. That is bad news and bad luck.”

    “Well, who knows?” said the farmer, “Maybe it is and maybe it isn’t.”

    Well, the next day the farmer’s horse returns to his stable, but it has brought along a drove of wild horses it has befriended and who make themselves at home.

    The neighbor across the way can’t believe what he hears about his friend. He decides to come over and congratulate him.”This is such goodness,” he says.

    “Well, who knows,” said the farmer, “Maybe it is and maybe it isn’t.”

    The next day the farmer’s son decided to ride one of the new wild horses, to break it in. As luck would have it, the son was thrown from the horse and broke his leg.

    Of course, upon hearing this sad news, their neighbor came over to offer condolences. “This is such sad thing,” he said. “Your son has broken his leg. This is bad news.”

    “Well, who knows,” said the farmer. “Maybe it is and maybe it isn’t.”

    There were more well wishes and commiseration from his neighbor.

    “Who knows what is good and bad?”

    On the following day soldiers came by commandeering and army. They took sons from most of the surrounding farms, but because the farmer’s son had a broken leg, he could not go and was spared.

    And the story continues for the rest of the farmers life….

  14. Georges says:

    Kinger_Oil.redux:
    Georges,

    – Georges : just going through your on/off from the spreadsheet.At what point I wonder is it “luck” that Klef doesn’t get the same sv% on as off?Is it a function of perhaps he’s playing against the most elite opponents, the ones who are the better goal scorers, and lessor players when he’s off?

    – Or is it an anomoly that has persisted, but still not enough to draw conclusions on?It’s really only last season and y-t-d.

    Just wondering what your thoughts are on it

    The null hypothesis for the difference of proportions test is that shots from the two populations (Klefbom on, Klefbom off) have the same probability of going in the net. The calculation of the z-statistic shows that the probability of observing a difference in the two populations as large as roughly 2% is in the critical region, so we should reject the null hypothesis at the 0.05 level.

    Now all that stats machinery is designed for experimental data and I know I have to be careful with my assumptions when I use it with observational data sets. So, you’re right, if Klef faces a very different (and more difficult) mix of opponents than the rest of his team, the test won’t tell us that. All it’s showing is that pucks go in at an unusually high rate with Klef on the ice. I try to use the results as a guide to thinking, not gospel.

    Are there other defensemen that get flagged by this test, i.e., sv% of the team is significantly higher or lower with them on the ice than off? I know that, just by chance, this could include 5% of the whole group. Here’s who I come up with in the data as being significantly worse on sv% going back the past 10 years or so:

    Fedor Tyutin
    Zbynek Michalek
    Hal Gill
    Jake Muzzin
    Shaone Morrisonn
    Paul Ranger
    Alexandre Picard
    Tyson Strachan
    Vitaly Vishnevski
    Anders Eriksson
    Karel Rachunek
    Frank Corrado

    I have no idea who most of these guys are, to be honest.

    I don’t look at rel-sv% in isolation. I try to build a profile of a player by looking at their performance on rel-GF%, rel-SF%, rel-sh%, and rel-sv%.

    Here are Victor Hedman’s z-scores:

    rel-sv% -1.3
    rel-sh% 2.7
    rel-SF% 3.9
    rel-GF% 2.0

    So, sv% is lower with him on the ice, but not significantly so. Meanwhile, SF%, sh%, and GF% are all significantly better with him on the ice. A great defenseman, as we all know.

    Here are Oscar’s z-scores:

    rel-sv% -2.4
    rel-sh% .65
    rel-SF% 4.1
    rel-GF% .14

    Really brings up SF%, but, because sv% is lower, he has no effect on GF%. In total, not a difference maker either way. As for could it be just luck, the test is showing that Klef’s results would be unusual based on just luck.

    The reason I take this approach is because 1) I want to see when the rel metrics for a defenseman are different enough that I should pay attention and 2) I want to be able to classify defensemen into types so I can have some type of expectation of what should happen when they’re on the ice and 3) I want to identify winning (and losing) bets on defensemen early. Not there yet…

  15. who says:

    oilersfan:
    I think Colorado did awful in that trade.

    They traded an established , proven number one centerWho is good enough to play for team Canada in the prime of his career for a former late first round pick, who looks to be years away from playing in the NHL, if ever, and if he does appears to be in the Riley Nash/Mark Jankowski tree of borderline third line players, a late first round pick, a late former second round Pick, and a second round pick… just a bunch of magic beans that will almost certainly never be as good as Duchene. If the oilers offered rnh straight up, and Colorado preferred the package they got, Colorado is nuts. And if the oilers could have got duchene for rnh and they didn’t , the oilers are nuts.

    What an absolutely terrible trade for Colorado. That makes the pronger trade look good, (which it wasn’t) at least we got an actual NHL player in Lupul. They got zero players who can play in the NHL for 3-4 years for a first line center on a value contract.

    What a terrible trade for Colorado!!!

    I don’t claim to know anything about the prospects they got, and neither one of us knows who they are going to draft or how they are going to turn out, but that is a bunch of magic beans for a player that Colorado only had under contract for less than 2 more years.
    Think I will wait a year or two to judge this one.

  16. OmJo says:

    oilersfan:
    I think Colorado did awful in that trade.

    They traded an established , proven number one centerWho is good enough to play for team Canada in the prime of his career for a former late first round pick, who looks to be years away from playing in the NHL, if ever, and if he does appears to be in the Riley Nash/Mark Jankowski tree of borderline third line players, a late first round pick, a late former second round Pick, and a second round pick… just a bunch of magic beans that will almost certainly never be as good as Duchene. If the oilers offered rnh straight up, and Colorado preferred the package they got, Colorado is nuts. And if the oilers could have got duchene for rnh and they didn’t , the oilers are nuts.

    What an absolutely terrible trade for Colorado. That makes the pronger trade look good, (which it wasn’t) at least we got an actual NHL player in Lupul. They got zero players who can play in the NHL for 3-4 years for a first line center on a value contract.

    What a terrible trade for Colorado!!!

    The beauty about getting multiple assets for one player… You don’t need one player to be as good as Duchene.

  17. Radiusofnerdature says:

    Thanks, Allan, for so many years of great blogging and radio, you’ve been a daily staple of my life. I’ll miss your wit and professionalism. You’re a great role model to the next generation of bloggers, writers and radio.

    I’ve cashed out on this team after 40 years of being a fan. I’m not even mad, I simply just do not care. I barely even read the blog anymore or watch the games. I’m done putting my wife and kids through this.

    Thanks again! I’ll miss this blog.

  18. Scungilli Slushy says:

    It was commented in the last few days that Duchesne and Hall have essentially the same numbers and I would say similar reputations, both underachievers.

    I have also commented that when the Hall deal came down I didn’t but the story. I strongly feel that Hall was not wanted because of his attitude publicly (I don’t know and therefore don’t care about the locker room) and that was why the deal seemed so off, it’s how it was handled by the Oilers.

    The Duchesne deal for me is evidence of this. If he can bring back such a King’s ransom Hall could have. It should have been Eberle, who was enough for Larsson at that time, maybe toss in a 3rd or 4th.

    I can’t give Chiarelli anymore rope at this point. The next deal is a haul or he needs to go. Bruinizing the OIlers indeed. Pluggers, no cache as the league amps up. Winning a Cup doesn’t mean squat, especially that nasty luck driven affair that was his Cup. The worst final I have ever watched, the worst of NHL hockey. And the Dys overreacted and blew up their good team.

    I now am concerned about the coach as well. He needs to connect with his players and get them going, or come out and say they are battling fall illnesses. One or the other.

  19. Lowetide says:

    Radiusofnerdature:
    Thanks, Allan, for so many years of great blogging and radio, you’ve been a daily staple of my life. I’ll miss your wit and professionalism. You’re a great role model to the next generation of bloggers, writers and radio.

    I’ve cashed out on this team after 40 years of being a fan. I’m not even mad, I simply just do not care. I barely even read the blog anymore or watch the games. I’m done putting my wife and kids through this.

    Thanks again! I’ll miss this blog.

    No worries, drop by when you can.

  20. oilersfan says:

    Scungilli Slushy,

    You think Colorado got a kings ransom for Duchene?

    I think they got a pile of late round picks that each have less than a 25% chance of playing in the nhl and more likely less than a 2% chance of being as good as Duchene.
    I didn’t like the Hall trade, but it was 100 x better than the pile of steaming five year futures Colorado just got for Duchene

  21. RexLibris says:

    Lowetide: I got to interview Nelson a couple of times. Really nice chap, talked motorbikes and then it took a little time to get back to hockey.

    I once joked during an EDM/NYI game (during that brief time when Nelson coached, I think) that he and Capuano look like two guys who would really bond beneath the hood of an old Ford or Mercury.

  22. GMB3 says:

    oilersfan:
    Scungilli Slushy,

    You think Colorado got a kings ransom for Duchene?

    I think they got a pile of late round picks that each have less than a 25% chance of playing in the nhl and more likely less than a 2% chance of being as good as Duchene.
    I didn’t like the Hall trade, but it was 100 x better than the pile of steaming five year futures Colorado just got for Duchene

    Do you even know who Samuel Girard is?

  23. OriginalPouzar says:

    OmJo:
    It doesn’t look good. I think I’d rather just stay the course and try to unload Lucic or Russell at the deadline. Maybe a team will be desperate for one of them. Lucic is at least producing better 5v5 now. Who am I kidding? Those contracts aren’t going anywhere.

    Teams don’t take on contracts with term at the deadline, they take on expiring contracts at the deadline.

    If this continues, the contracts/players we will be looking to trade at the deadline are Maroon and Letstu and, in actuality, that is a bit exciting to me as i think we could get some nice picks/prospects in those two trades – both those players should have some decent value for playoff teams.

    With that said, of course, I am not cheering for this to happen, i am still looking for this team to turn it around and start a streak of accumulating points and rising up the standings, unfortunately, I’m starting to think that there might not be a magic switch.

    Go Oilers!

  24. anonymous says:

    Really didn’t think I could like a GM less than Mact. Crap.

  25. frjohnk says:

    To get Duchene, the Sens traded these assets

    Kyle Turris
    Andrew Hammond
    Shane Bowers 2017 28th overall 1st round pick
    2018 1st round pick (top 10 protected)
    2019 3rd round pick

    Sens got the best player right now, but man they paid a pretty penny.

    Nashville did very well, they are in a win now mode and they did not give up a core roster player for a player who will be one of the best number 2 centers in the league.

    Preds get Turris

    Give up
    Samuel Girard ( 2016 2nd rounder)
    Vladislav Kamenev ( 2014 2nd rounder)
    2018 2nd rounder

    Colorado traded Duchene ( who they were not going to sign) and got back prospects and picks

    -Girard ( best one of the bunch right now, will probably QB Avs PP2)
    -Kamenev ( scored 59 points in last 80 AHL games, only 21)
    -Bowers ( projects to be a mid 6 center)
    -Hammond ( never know, but is free from injury now, could be a good backup)
    3 magic beans
    -From Ott 2018 1st round pick (top 10 protected)
    -From Ott 2019 3rd round pick
    -From Nash 2018 2nd round pick

    That is a lot of currency that Joe got back. Remains to be seen how they pan out, but for a team still rebuilding that is a very good haul.

    I think its a trade that benefits all 3 teams.

  26. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    Georges:

    I don’t look at rel-sv% in isolation. I try to build a profile of a player by looking at their performance on rel-GF%, rel-SF%, rel-sh%, and rel-sv%.

    So, sv% is lower with him on the ice, but not significantly so. Meanwhile, SF%, sh%, and GF% are all significantly better with him on the ice. A great defenseman, as we all know.

    Really brings up SF%, but, because sv% is lower, he has no effect on GF%. In total, not a difference maker either way. As for could it be just luck, the test is showing that Klef’s results would be unusual based on just luck.

    The reason I take this approach is because 1) I want to see when the rel metrics for a defenseman are different enough that I should pay attention and 2) I want to be able to classify defensemen into types so I can have some type of expectation of what should happen when they’re on the ice and 3) I want to identify winning (and losing) bets on defensemen early. Not there yet…

    – That’s good info thanks. I did graduate work that included stats, and use it in my job, so I’m relative comfortable footing with this

    – The one thing I always struggle with however is the conflict between the ideal of larger sample sets, vs the increased other factors that create noise for any player. i.e. the Klef of 4 years ago to today isn’t constant, and more importantly so many variables are outside his control (quality of his linemates, opponents, goalie, team, structure, deployment, game philosophy, etc)

    – So your project of identifying good D early (which is similar to some articles who suggest you look for the ones who have had a bad year by some metrics which are independent of their D abilities)

    – Ricki for instance, he is all D box-suppression. I think the modern D ideal is more say a mid-fielder in soccer (which has had a huge evolution in thought and evaluation). They are sometimes defenders, sometimes transitioners, sometimes ball carriers.

    – It’s a lot harder to “rate” D IMO

  27. leadfarmer says:

    oilersfan:
    I think Colorado did awful in that trade.

    They traded an established , proven number one centerWho is good enough to play for team Canada in the prime of his career for a former late first round pick, who looks to be years away from playing in the NHL, if ever, and if he does appears to be in the Riley Nash/Mark Jankowski tree of borderline third line players, a late first round pick, a late former second round Pick, and a second round pick… just a bunch of magic beans that will almost certainly never be as good as Duchene. If the oilers offered rnh straight up, and Colorado preferred the package they got, Colorado is nuts. And if the oilers could have got duchene for rnh and they didn’t , the oilers are nuts.

    What an absolutely terrible trade for Colorado. That makes the pronger trade look good, (which it wasn’t) at least we got an actual NHL player in Lupul. They got zero players who can play in the NHL for 3-4 years for a first line center on a value contract.

    What a terrible trade for Colorado!!!

    Girard is a very good prospect. Very good. This is not Smid

  28. OriginalPouzar says:

    Lets go Oilers! Two points coming up tomorrow night in Brooklyn.

    Its going to be great to grab a wild card spot and be this years Predators!

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