Can’t Find My Way Home

The Edmonton Oilers are a team in the National Hockey League. That effort yesterday at Rogers Place has to be a concern to the organization. Have they tuned out the coach? Is the team sagging because the home cooking goaltending is subpar? Watching the Oilers body language after the second GA was like watching the Philadelphia Phillies after Mitch Williams walked the based loaded: Shoulders sagging, impending doom. This isn’t even mostly on the goalie, but the Edmonton Oilers simply aren’t right and that’s one area (home G) of concern.

If we continue with the early malaise, perhaps we see something rash, but this is the absolute worst time to make a move. While we’re on the subject, I do not believe the coach (or general manager) are in danger. The 103-point season buys Peter Chiarelli and Todd McLellan the rest of this season and into next, in my opinion, and the general manager gets at least one more coach before he’s through. The next big name out of town is a lefty blue, pretty sure.

  • Todd McLellan: “We worked hard for two years to get (the belief system) up. It’s being tested and we have to put some performances together.”

PIKES PEAK, YEAR OVER YEAR

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

As we’ve discussed a few times, 2017-18 is beginning to resemble McLellan’s first season in Edmonton. During the post game he discussed it (quote above) and it appears we are repeating Groundhog Day.

AFTER 13, YEAR OVER YEAR

  • Oilers 15-16: 5-8-0, goal differential -5
  • Oilers 16-17: 9-3-1, goal differential +8
  • Oilers 17-18: 4-8-1, goal differential -13

Edmonton’s start in 2017-18 is now officially the worst of Todd McLellan’s run in Edmonton and that has to be of concern to coach, players and management. The home record is ghastly, the team is heading on a road trip that traditionally rips them a new one, and there’s so very little to build on based on the home stand just ended yesterday. This isn’t Nadir’s Raiders, but you can see Bonnie Raitt from here. Incredible to see this after a 103-point season.

WHAT TO EXPECT FROM NOVEMBER

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

I’m feeling like my prediction of 7-7-2 for November may have been too strong, but we’ll run with it anyway. Edmonton’s eastern road swings have often involved trades and demotions, I think it’s fair to wonder if we see something change on the roster before or during the trip.

LAST NIGHT

  • Klefbom-Benning went 22-11 including 10-3 with Mark Letestu’s line, 9-2 with Strome line. Pairing went 9-5 against Helm-Nielson-Wilson on the evening.
  • Nurse-Larsson were 25-21 and 0-1 in goals at 5×5. Went 7-12 with McDavid’s line, were 9-19 against Larkin-Abdekader-Glendening.
  • Russell-Gryba were 14-9 and 0-2 in goals at 5×5. Were 7-4 with the Strome line and 10-7 against Zetterberg-Tatar-Andreas Athanasiou line (in  7:25). Huh. That’s Detroit’s second line, no? Interesting.
  • Cam Talbot stopped 31 of 35, .886 on the evening.
  • NaturalStatTrick and NHL.com.

LAST NIGHT, FORWARDS

  • Jokinen-Strome-Caggiula had the best possession number, but were -2 and 10-2 SC on the evening. Unimpressed by coverage from the line, specifically Strome (and Jokinen tried but the veteran can’t get there). Went 11-2 against Mantha, 0-1 in GF.
  • Pakarinen-Letestu-Kassian were 20-10 and had some looks, honestly I thought this line was pretty good. Kassian tried the backhand wraparound 20 times and I swear as God as my witness he broke his stick, looked at it, and played on using his skates but not throwing the stick away. The look on his face was like “screw it, maybe I’ll need it later.” Never seen that, ever. Not even Pierre Bouchard, who needed his stick to skate.
  • Lucic-Nuge-Yamamoto was the best of the skill lines, that is meant as faint praise. Naturalstattrick had the line 6-1 in HDSC’s, that seems high but the kid had a fine chance to cash and I was rooting for him.
  • The McDavid line was poor. You are never going to read this blog’s author rip 97, it’s just not going to happen. That said, he was not close to being the player we know and expect. Why? Flu, tight checking, the list of possibles is fairly long. 2-7 in HDSC’s, Henrik Zetterberg owned this line’s ass from Genesis to Revelations.

ERIC RODGERS NUMBERS

We are blessed to have Eric Rodgers running the numbers for the AHL Bakersfield Condors again this season. Eric began doing this back when the farm team was in Oklahoma City, and just kept on going God bless him.

Sincere apologies for the look, I’m color blind and it looked good in the studio. Gack! Anyway, it shows Dillon Simpson, Keegan Lowe, Mark Fayne and Ryan Stanton are the backbone and that Ethan Bear has the early clubhouse lead among the kids. Caleb Jones is struggling, we’ll look for improvement days gone down.

These numbers are based on Rodgers’ TOI estimates, we’ll drill down on those in the coming days. Interesting to see Joe Gambardella performing well so far, he’s a player we discussed as being a possible recall option in the summer. Jesse Puljujarvi’s offense is middling so far, among prospects I’d count Ethan Bear as having the most impressive number. Braden Christoffer is off to a surprising start.

The single biggest reason to sign Chris Kelly is the penalty kill. A year ago in Ottawa, Kelly’s on-ice SA/60 on the PK was 50.14. That number ranked him No. 3 among regular penalty killers (Pageau, Turris) and he replaces Matt Hendricks from a year ago (49.11, Hendricks was No. 3 among regular PK men as well last season).

The single biggest reason not to sign Chris Kelly is foot speed. Edmonton is slow, too slow, and Kelly is going to add more slow boots to the closet. You are going to find all manner of issue framing on the Al Gore today, the collective are carrying shivs and that’s fair based on 4-8-1. I’m not one of those who will say “the speed is gone, it’s over and we are dead in the ditch” because roster balance is reachable for this team. That said, adding another slow train isn’t a good answer and that probably means someone slow is going to sit (it might be Jussi Jokinen).

YAMAMOTO TO SPOKANE?

It makes sense. A fine young forward, he’s not ready. It’s time for the veterans to turn face to the wind, and time for this young man to dominate junior hockey one more time. We’ll see you in 2018, Kailer Yamamoto. I’m astonished at just how similar his season was to Leon’s and Jesse’s: 10-bell chances uncashed, plenty of promise throughout the piece.

The Boston Bruins fired Peter Chiarelli on April 15, 2015. One of his final moves was signing Frank Vatrano one month previous to being dismissed. In 92 NHL games, Vatrano has 18 goals, and brings speed plus a good shot to his game. I wonder.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

At 10 this morning, TSN1260. A lot to talk about and a grand group of guests. Scheduled to appear:

  • Pierre Lebrun, TSN and The Athletic. Massive three-way trade and what’s next for the Oilers?
  • Guy Flaming, The Pipeline Show. What did the Avalanche get?
  • Jason Gregor, TSN1260. Oilers & Eskimos discussion, might be a move to discuss by then.
  • Andy McNamara, TSN. A fascinating weekend in the NFL.

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

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150 Responses to "Can’t Find My Way Home"

  1. Dominoiler says:

    Everyone seems to be forgetting that talbot has twins that are under a year old, 8 months or so.. there is your “home cooking”, being pulled into parent life by the wife and kids and you can’t​ just brush it off like it’s nothing.. try sleeping well, just focusing on your game under these conditions, no wonder he’s better on the road..

  2. neojanus says:

    I don’t think coach is in immediate danger, but will be by the end of the year if the ship continues down the vortex.

    Chiarelli won’t be in danger until next year, but his credit card should be revoked unless he gets away with a Hugo Boss Family and Friends Sale. His moves have really paralyzed the movement of the roster. The current contracts (God help us soon) are suffocating and performance will deteriorate in some of these players even more… and I think we’re seeing Lucic die before our eyes.

    This isn’t a rebuilding team. This team has the greatest asset in hockey and coming off a great year.

    The GM has created this mess with a spinning jenny that weaves shit.

  3. flea says:

    Only benefit of last nights game – should be obvious that Yamamoto needs to be sent down. Spokane plays in Lethbridge this weekend – might be fitting for Yamamoto to make the long 6 hr drive to Lethbridge reflecting on his first NHL expeerience.

    As for Talbot – can you really fault the guy on any of the goals? First goal goes in 1 time out of 500 attempts, goal two is just terrible team play as a whole, and the third goal he has no chance on.

    What I’m seeing with the Oilers this year is a lack of an emotional commitment as a whole. Some games, a few guys have it (Kassian looked alright) but the team isn’t putting it all together at once. To me, this is a on the players and the coach to sit down and communicate, and start to bond more closely as a team. Runs like this can wreck teams, let’s hope it catalyzes this group and they go on a positive run.

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

    Nothing like a deflating loss to suck the air out of Oil Country.

    The homestand had a lot of potential a few days ago.

    Phantom call on Nuge against the Pens

    Good-Great effort against the Devils

    And then yesterday.

    I can’t for the life of me understand what is going on with the special teams. PK went 5/11 on this homestand. Think about that for a minute. They averaged just a shade over 2 penalties a game and it cost them 6 goals. That should be un-possible in the NHL.

    I know folks are having a field day laying this on the coaching staff and that of course is their prerogative but aside from maybe 3 games this entire season I don’t think the full team has shown up and I’m not really sure who to blame when that happens.

    Yes its partly up to the coaching staff to put people in the right spots to succeed but these are grown men, being paid millions of dollars to play a game. At some point the responsibility falls on the guys who actually strap on the skates.

    Yesterday was the first time in 18 months that I felt The Doubt creep back in. I’ve tried my best along with OP to stay relentlessly positive but man watching the team rollover like that left a very sinking feeling.

    I really do hope they can right the ship. Unlike other posters here I don’t believe its a lineup issue either, right now its confidence and effort.

    Hopefully the game every two nights helps rather than hinders

  5. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    – Great post LT! Re: Kailer. Actual results matter. With Kailer, no scoring at top-line minutes, he has to go back. Doesn’t matter small sample size, or 0% sh vs 60% sh. It’s the right thing to do for him and organization. Had he popped in a couple, I still would have hoped they sent him down

    – Leadfarmer says burn a year to save in next contract, and that’s an interesting alternative, but you can’t have a boat anchor on a scoring line, and that is what Kailer is, with nowhere to hide him

  6. Whatif says:

    In watching the Oilers this year they definitely lack speed. We, no doubt, get blinded by the incredible speed of McDavid but that does not spread across the roster. We simply have too many players who are late to the party repeatedly. This includes both forwards and D men.

    The second serious concern is that our D corps does not measure up to what a contending team needs from the back end. They are reasonably mobile but not great. They have problems moving the puck and they only play defense reasonably well. In other words, they are mediocre. To be a contending team you require an effective D corps. We do not have this. If they were able to move the puck better our forwards would be in advantageous positions on the attack. This is not happening with any regularity.

    The third concern is that the forwards not only lack overall speed but have hands of stone. How many goals have the bottom six contributed to the team? This is, after all, a team game and they are coming up massively short.

    It is apparent that PC badly misread his team this summer and did not make the required improvements to ensure that the Oilers would be able to contend this season.

    I am an optimist by nature but I remember the decade of darkness all too well. Are we last year’s team or this year’s team? Gord help PC and us.

  7. fifthcartel says:

    Stauffer said he could see them adding a top-9 option when Yamamoto is sent down. I wonder if we see Kelly signed and, say, Grabner acquired. Two sort-of RW’s and Grabner adds speed while Kelly is thought to help the PK.

  8. dustrock says:

    Let’s see what narratives we can come up with.

    I joked about Talbot’s twins a week or so ago, but I see now it’s being raised as a possible factor for his struggles.

    We can talk about a Sunday matinee game after a young team going out Saturday night and having fun. It could have happened.

    Doesn’t really matter. I agree with SayItAin’tSo – last year, it felt like going down 2-0 or even 3-0 was no longer an automatic loss. The team had some fantastic numbers being down 1 (I think best in the NHL, at least for a while)

    Now I see Eakins Body Language all over the team. How this happened to a team that was horrific reffing and a couple of meltdowns away from the WCF I just don’t understand.

    We can talk about the dumb moves by Chiarelli until we’re blue in the face (and we will!!), but the core of this team is the same, minus Sekera’s injury.

    Where’s the confidence? Where’s the lessons learned from playoff experience? Where’s the team culture we hear so much about?

    Did Milan Lucic stop sitting at the head of the table at team dinners or something?

  9. Snowman says:

    Think about this.

    The Oilers could be perfect on the road trip and come home outside of a playoff spot even if none of the rest of the West wins a game in the next 4.

    This team is in deep.

    Yamamoto should go down. No question. Hole in the roster be damned. His performance hasn’t warranted staying imo.

    Any remaining excuse to play Drai with Mcdavid is gone. They need to be split up now. The team isn’t winning games. There’s not enough offense to go around. Time for Drai to prove that 8.5M
    is going to an elite centerman and not Connor McDavid’s right wing.

    I’m torn on whether Drai and Nuge should play on a line together or not.

    It really is incredible that this team has no depth. Next year is going to be even worse. It’s actually shocking. Best playing in the world making 3M (including bonuses) and you can’t surround him with enough good players? Good grief.

  10. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    The next big name out of town is a lefty blue, pretty sure.

    When you drive by Rogers you can actually feel Chiarelli willing Sekera to be healthy enough to play.

    He could pull the trigger now. He gave Russell top 4 money so he should expect Russell to step up as 2LD until Sekera is back and one of Nurse or Klefbom go out the door for a winger.

    Also,

    You are going to find all manner of issue framing on the Al Gore today, the collective are carrying shivs and that’s fair based on 4-8-1.

    Yup, this is now the time that everyone has their own theory on why the Oilers are the hind banana this year.

    Mine: Roster construction

    Also,

    Henrik Zetterberg owned this line’s ass from Genesis to Revelations.

    Great line.

  11. leadfarmer says:

    Kinger_Oil.redux:
    – Great post LT!Re: Kailer.Actual results matter.With Kailer, no scoring at top-line minutes, he has to go back.Doesn’t matter small sample size, or 0% sh vs 60% sh.It’s the right thing to do for him and organization.Had he popped in a couple, I still would have hoped they sent him down

    – Leadfarmer says burn a year to save in next contract, and that’s an interesting alternative, but you can’t have a boat anchor on a scoring line, and that is what Kailer is, with nowhere to hide him

    That’s quite the opposite of what I say. In preseason I said doesn’t matter how good he looks you need to send him back to keep that year of his ELC cause he is not going to be ready, just like I said last year to keep him in Sweden to save a year of his ELC. Teenagers very rarely help you win

  12. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    leadfarmer,

    – Sorry: I thought you were saying they would burn a year of his ELC so that he’s “cheaper’ next contract , based on the 3 year average (this one being bad). Thought it was interesting idea…

  13. leadfarmer says:

    dustrock,

    It’s hard to play goalie when every goal you give up may be the game losing goal. You can play looser if you know your team can come back from a 1 goal or 2 goal deficit.
    That almost 14 mil in Lucic Russel and Strome contracts would go a long way in finding solutions to our problems

  14. neojanus says:

    Woodguy v2.0: Mine: Roster construction

    You say roster construction; I say potato.

    No, wait… it is roster construction.

  15. leadfarmer says:

    Kinger_Oil.redux:
    leadfarmer,

    – Sorry: I thought you were saying they would burn a year of his ELC so that he’s “cheaper’ next contract , based on the 3 year average (this one being bad).Thought it was interesting idea…

    I think Drais contract shows this doesn’t work well

  16. Younger Oil says:

    When you piss away a 2nd round pick by signing a new GM who then pisses away a 1st round pick and a 2nd round pick trading for an asset that was worse than Marincin, and then pisses away a 2nd round pick on an injury prone Edmontonian rather than a player who has had success on McDavid’s wing, your team’s depth is going to be poor.

    This team would look a LOT better right now with Barzal, Carlo, and Debrincat on the roster, and those are things that many, MANY armchair GM’s called as the superior moves, and were correct.

    And don’t even get me started on the Lucic and Russell contracts.

  17. Dino says:

    Dahlin, Svechnikov, Boqvist, Zadina, Wahlstrom, Merkley

    How long until your infamous draft posts LT? This year has some very exciting talent.

  18. Snowman says:

    Daily Nuge Face off % update:

    56.8%

    17th in the league.

    Is this the year he becomes invaluable two way veteran Center loved by the media for versatility?

    Stay tuned!

  19. Snowman says:

    Yamo to Spokane per Oilers twitter.

  20. meanashell11 says:

    Yamo and Jokinen down, Malone and JP up is what I would do.

  21. texmex says:

    Mark Spector‏Verified account @SportsnetSpec 9m9 minutes ago
    More

    Yamamoto goes back to WHL Spokane. Expect Chris Kelly to be signed shortly.

    I’ve defended Chia to date, but signing Chris Kelly is a HORRIBLE waste of contract!!!!!

  22. Dustylegnd says:

    Oilers Instagram say Malone recalled, maybe just maybe no Chris Kelly signing?

  23. Dominoiler says:

    meanashell11,

    Rattie deserves the callup more than JP, imo.. glad Malone is getting another shot, liked him earlier in the season..

  24. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    – Coach is frustrated. Re: Kailer: ““He played a better game tonight than the past three he participated in. He was one of our quicker forwards,” said McLellan. hmmmm….

  25. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    *****SPAM*****

    New Because Oilers:

    A month in – what is the trend in the NHL for powerplays per game?

    http://becauseoilers.blogspot.com/2017/11/a-month-in-what-is-trend-in-nhl-for.html

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

  26. Georges says:

    “We worked hard for two years to get (the belief system) up. It’s being tested and we have to put some performances together.”

    What is McLellan talking about?

    There are 3 regular players on the roster who were here before McLellan arrived: RNH, Klefbom, Nurse.

    The “hard work” was shipping out players who he judged to have a faulty “belief system”.

  27. JimmyV1965 says:

    Georges:
    “We worked hard for two years to get (the belief system) up. It’s being tested and we have to put some performances together.”

    What is McLellan talking about?

    There are 3 regular players on the roster who were here before McLellan arrived: RNH, Klefbom, Nurse.

    The “hard work” was shipping out players who he judged to have a faulty “belief system”.

    What’s the comment I read yesterday? Vegas has built a belief system in two months. That says a lot.

  28. Snowman says:

    texmex:
    Mark Spector‏Verified account @SportsnetSpec9m9 minutes ago
    More

    Yamamoto goes back to WHL Spokane. Expect Chris Kelly to be signed shortly.

    I’ve defended Chia to date, but signing Chris Kelly is a HORRIBLE waste of contract!!!!!

    The team needs to get quicker… send down Yamo (right move), call up Malone.

    Wash in team speed.

    Sign Kelly. Get slower. Waste a contract spot.

    *whistles* oooooooo boy.

  29. LMHF#1 says:

    If the Kelly signing is confirmed, for me its the final straw in confirming that this team once again has both a Coach and GM who can’t evaluate professional talent. What a waste of 97s contract year.

    One of the things that is always amusing at these points of time, is the amount of people for whom it is literally never the right time to do anything. Always stand still. Always play safe. Can’t be wrong if you advocate for nothing…WRONG.

    That flashback to the Reinhart trade thread sure was interesting. I forgot how strongly GMoney was sticking to the ‘gotta wait’ position. I understand the attempt to never be wrong that is that position – but it doesn’t help anything. Knowing something at the same time as everyone else isn’t particularly helpful. Being right even half the time well before anyone else gets you everywhere.

  30. godot10 says:

    Lucic is a sunk cost. He can probably still be an effective 3rd line player and create line mismatches playing there a la Kessel his first year in Pittsburgh.

    Time for the GM, coach, and player to swallow their pride and do the right thing.

    One could say, run Lucic, Strome, and Puljujarvi as the 3rd line for the rest of the year. and don’t mess with it. Strome is pretty useless. Anton Lander is a better hockey player.

    That leaves McDavid, Draisaitl, Nugent-Hopkins, and Maroon to create two pairs to fashion the top two lines.

    Option A:
    Caggiula, McDavid, Draisaitl
    Maroon, Nugent-Hopkins, Slepyshev

    Option B:
    Maroon, McDavid, Slepyshev
    Caggiula, Nugent-Hopkins, Draisaitl

    It would be a mistake of massive proportions to trade any of Sekera, Nurse, Klefbom, or Larsson. I wold leave the D alone. Sekera should fix Russell, and the Oilers can run three decent pairs.

    Nurse, Larsson
    Klefbom, Benning
    Sekera, Russell

  31. Snowman says:

    godot10,

    Option C:

    Caggiula-Mcdavid-Slepy
    Maroon-Nuge-Drai

  32. TheVengeFulOne says:

    It’s the goalie stupid!!!

    Well that, and the depth is horawful. If McDavid turned an ankle and was out 10 games, they wouldlose all 10 easily. The penguins for example have always been capable of at least treading water without crosby. We don’t even have the pieces to ice a shutdown line.

  33. flea says:

    I dunno about the whole “wasting a contract spot” argument.

    They have 50 contracts to use, might as well use them. How many guys could you possibly bring in at the deadline? Two? Some of the bigger deadline deals often involve contracts back the other way too.

    Also – can’t you waive guys and terminate their contracts? Didn’t Montreal waive Streit then terminate the contract? Seems like if Kelly is truly awful they could get around the contract issue if they needed to add two contracts.

  34. Jethro Tull says:

    If Chia signs Kelly, Daryl should at least pick up the phone to Bob and say ‘ I’m concerned, Bob’, who should then pick up the phone to Chia and say, “wtf, seriously? Chris Kelly is what this team needs? Is he going to pot 25 on Connor’s wing?” and TMac should also call Chia and say “if you give me Kelly, I’m going to play him 20mins all situations a game and we’ll see who fets fired first.”

    First rule: Is what you’re doing to fix the problem actually have a chance to fix the problem?

  35. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Georges,

    There are 3 regular players on the roster who were here before McLellan arrived: RNH, Klefbom, Nurse.

    Wow, I had no idea it was that few.

    Really its only 2.

    Nurse played 2 NHL games before McLellan was hired.

    Crazy.

  36. Jethro Tull says:

    Now Chia is going to find out why you spend to the cap. Players and money was available.

  37. McSorley33 says:

    Wow, if we sign Chris Kelly – about to turn 37……

    I mean….wow.

    We are here.

  38. jtblack says:

    Woodguy v2.0,

    “Mine: Roster construction” … Prob a lot fall under this category.

    Almost every team made a move to get better (even AZ). PC sat on his hands and arguably got worse (Ebs dump for Strome).

    Unless the return is specatacular, Moving Nurse or Klef would be dissapointing. They are both entering prime years. Both have flaws but both also prob have 10 yrs of NHL hockey ahead of them Thats hard to find

    Another glaring issue on this team was the WOWY /McDavid. Every fan knew it but here we are. Team cant score without MCD.

  39. StixMalone says:

    I can’t see them signing Kelly. Then again didn’t see the oil way below .500. I hate to say it but I hope MacT vetos the signing….

  40. jtblack says:

    Pakarianen tries hard but he could play 15 mins a night and after 82 Games he wouldnt score 5 goals. #GRINDER

  41. TheVengeFulOne says:

    flea:
    I dunno about the whole “wasting a contract spot” argument.

    They have 50 contracts to use, might as well use them. How many guys could you possibly bring in at the deadline? Two? Some of the bigger deadline deals often involve contracts back the other way too.

    Also – can’t you waive guys and terminate their contracts? Didn’t Montreal waive Streit then terminate the contract? Seems like if Kelly is truly awful they could get around the contract issue if they needed to add two contracts.

    Didn’t you hear? There’s a miracle trade coming at the deadline. 1st round pick for (insert name). Need to keep roster flexibility.

  42. Snowman says:

    Woodguy v2.0:
    Georges,

    There are 3 regular players on the roster who were here before McLellan arrived: RNH, Klefbom, Nurse.

    Wow, I had no idea it was that few.

    Really its only 2.

    Nurse played 2 NHL games before McLellan was hired.

    Crazy.

    And that’s why this is on Chiarelli.

    He made this team.

    He brought everyone in. He sent everyone out.

    This is his mess. He should own it.

  43. Jethro Tull says:

    McSorley33:
    Wow, if we sign Chris Kelly – about to turn 37……

    I mean….wow.

    We are here.

    It would be right up there with signing Jerrod Smithson.

    Jokinen has to be scratched.

    Guys and gals, the bets aren’t paying off and no amount of AHL players are going to help. Need more scoring? Coach recalls a grinder. Need more speed? GM signs a 37yo with feet of clay inside bigger feet of clay. Need veteran presence? GM signs a disinterested
    Guy that should have retired last year.

  44. flea says:

    TheVengeFulOne,

    Ok fine, but they still will have 1 contract spot open even with a Kelly signing. Yamamoto’s contract slides.

    I’m not going to comment on Kelly, honestly don’t know much about him as a player. But I think fans tend to overvalue having contract spots open for “flexibility”. I think GMs work as close to the limits as possible.

    It also prevents Chia from making a 1 for 3 trade!

    Strange year so far, suprising the Oilers haven’t brought in more help. Maybe it just wasn’t out there . . .

  45. Jethro Tull says:

    Just a caveat, I don’t want anyone fired, but I would like them to at least pull their collective heads out of their asses. The secrets out, the Oilers were a good team, but now there’s a book on them. Adapt or die.

  46. neojanus says:

    Snowman: And that’s why this is on Chiarelli.

    He made this team.

    He brought everyone in. He sent everyone out.

    This is his mess. He should own it.

    Considering there has been nothing but radio silence from management, does it sound like there will be any accountability?

    I wish the media was as hostile as in Montreal and Toronto. The tough questions only come from Lowetide comment sections.

    What a mess.

  47. Professor Q says:

    Dino:
    Dahlin, Svechnikov, Boqvist, Zadina, Wahlstrom, Merkley

    How long until your infamous draft posts LT? This year has some very exciting talent.

    Don’t forget Safin’s centre, Joe Veleno.

  48. classict says:

    TheVengeFulOne: Didn’t you hear? There’s a miracle trade coming at the deadline. 1st round pick for (insert name). Need to keep roster flexibility.

    You’re right, the issue isn’t really the roster spot. It’s that the spot is going to a 37 year old that shouldn’t be in the NHL at this point.

  49. GriffCity says:

    Whether or not Chiarelli loses his job this season or not, one thing is clear – he as clipped this teams wings to the point of being a slow, flightless team . Could you imagine if this was how things were unfolding in PIT with Crosby and Malkin? How about in CHI with Toews and Kane? No? How about ANYWHERE else in the league where you have 2 players whom combine for over 20 million in salary? I’ll wait.

    This team SUCKS right now and it’s just so hard to watch it gives me a stomach ache. Our farm system is virtually barren of NHL talent.

    Our scouting is terrible and we have flat out LOST on 80% of the trades PC has made. It has been stated many times over but the Reinhart deal, woof. The Hall deal, pee-yew. And the Eberle deal, yuck. Lucic’s term is going to absolutely kill us – It already is. The Russel signing looks Bad with a capital “B” right now, guy played alright last year but he and Kelfbom are not playing well at all this year.

    Matt Duchene finally got traded. Guess thats what happens when a GM sits on his assets until a good deal finally comes his way rather than selling his teams best player for a second pairing defenceman – STRAIGHT ACROSS!!!!

    Bob Green, Director pf of player personnel, should also be canned but immediately! Ahead of TM or PC. The guy is an imbecile. The Reinhart deal had his finger prints all over it and the Oilers drafting/scouting has been awful the last few years, hence the pile of crap we have playing in Bakersfield.

    This team was supposedly poised to take the next step and do big things this season and for seasons to come. What happened?

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

    LMHF#1,

    I won’t speak for anyone else but for me I lie towards the “don’t do anything” because I’m smart enough to know that I don’t know about 85% of the details necessary about the team aside from what I see on TV.

    I suppose that is the most frustrating thing during periods like this. We armchair GMs have a solution to everything but realistically we know next to nothing about this team.

    The players, coach, GM all carefully script their talking points. The MSM trots out their opinions but like the rest of us they are just that. We have no idea what goes on behind closed doors, who’s having a crappy day or perhaps who’s life is in shambles.

    These things actually matter, no matter how much we like to pretend they don’t yet we don’t know a lick about these aspects of the team. As a result we are left to speculate and toss whatever we feel like against the wall to see if it sticks.

    From this position trades are the easiest of the things to toss against a wall but what if, just what if trades aren’t easy to come by? Especially when the rest of the league isn’t in the frame of mind to do you any favors.

    What if on that evening in April 2015 when the golden ticket flashed an Oilers logo the other 29 teams in the league said “screw this, we only trade if we bend them over a barrel, no favors none.”

    Some will laugh and say ya right but then we get the Hamilton trade where from what we know a GM took less than was offered to spite his former GM.

    Still sounds kinda conspiratorial doesn’t it? Well I’d count it just as likely as anyone on this here blog predicting back in the summer that special teams would be such a boat anchor around this team’s neck.

    Where am I going with this? Nowhere in particular, its just that this year, with expectations so high I completely understand why we’re all so raw right now.

    I really don’t think roster construction is whats sinking this team. That isn’t what most of the numbers are telling us.

    Last night was very bad, but that is not how they have been losing games so far this year and we should keep that in mind as this road trip starts.

  51. McSorley33 says:

    How about Mathew’s brother:

    5. Brady Tkachuk, C, (Boston University, NCAA): A really tough player to play against and loves it best when the game gets a little dirty. Has skills and instinct to go along with the toughness.

  52. Side says:

    Dominoiler:
    Everyone seems to be forgetting that talbot has twins that are under a year old, 8 months or so.. there is your “home cooking”, being pulled into parent life by the wife and kids and you can’t​ just brush it off like it’s nothing.. try sleeping well, just focusing on your game under these conditions, no wonder he’s better on the road..

    He did fine with kids last year.

    You would think Talbot is the only professional athlete in history to have kids during his career.

    This argument reminds me of last year when some of the Oilers went to a concert the night before a game, and fans were livid. Livid because the Oilers should have went to bed before 11 and felt the Oilers must have been debilitated from the “loud music” the night before.

    Also, not all kids are a pain in the ass who sleep for 2 hours a day and scream for the remaining 22 hours.

    No excuses for Cam, he has to be better. But his team infront of him needs to be a lot better.

  53. Pouzar says:

    Didn’t see the game yesterday but if McDavid-Drai are still a thing next game TMc should be fired.

  54. CrazyCoach says:

    Sending Yamamoto down makes sense for his development. He is an extremely skilled player and one that will pay big dividends down the line. He just isn’t ready now, neither is JP.Chia has seriously hamstrung this team by not addressing the gaping hole on RW. McDavid is surreal, but you can’t hitch two Trebant’s to a BMW and expect to win at Le Mans. My biggest selfish beef with Yamamoto getting sent down now is that Spokane has made their one and only trip to PG this season, so I can’t do a write up on the Young fellow.

    I know it’s early as you have said LT, but I couldn’t help but notice that Ethan Bear seems to be adapting to the pro game a little easier than Caleb Jones. I know Jones is the consensus pick in these parts, but I wonder if being the son of a pro athlete, with a multitude of resources at your disposal builds resiliency and adaptability, as opposed to Bear’s upbringing.

    I do believe it was Glen Sather who said he liked kids who came from working class families best.

    Just some thoughts on this frosty but clear Monday.

  55. danny says:

    SPECIAL TEAMS.

    My very rough math, tells me that if Edmonton were at the same PK and PP %s as last season, we would see a 8ish goal difference. When you’ve only played 13 games, that’s quite significant.

    So let’s add to that the weak goaltending and slow by his standards start to the season by Mcdavid, it’s pretty predictable that we have our current record.

    The power play and goaltending are the same roster as last season. The roster downgrade is noticeable on the pkill.

    The special teams are the question and answer to whether Edmonton will or will not make the playoffs.

  56. The Concept JDî says:

    Tracy Lane‏ @TreenasOil 22m22 minutes ago

    More moves coming check previous tweets
    4 replies 0 retweets 1 like

    Drai for Terrorsenko, straight up. Then all the cap savings from Drai, Ebs and Poo can be used to trade picks/prospects for a defender.

    And I haven’t slept in close to 40 hours.

  57. PokeCheck says:

    If Talbot’s part of the problem then I guess another major failing of Chiarelli is not getting a backup that the coach is prepared to play. Brossoit is currently on pace for, what, a 6 start season?

  58. Pouzar says:

    Tanner Glass is on waivers.

    *runs*

  59. linkfromhyrule says:

    This team is having a Murphy’s Law year. Chia failed to plan for the worst case scenario, and instead assumed it was a foregone conclusion that the team would make the playoffs.

    Loading up at the deadline was always a bad strategy imo. Talk about counting your chickens before they hatched. There were LOTS of cheap, effective veterans available this summer for 1mil or less, but instead Chia loaded up on AHL players.

    Jokinen and Auvitu seemed like decent bets, but they shouldn’t really have been expected to be anything more than potentially useful depth. It’s now an open question whether they are anything more than replacement level players.

    Chia made the bet that a bunch of relatively inexperienced players would all either improve or stay at the same level as last year. In reality, we’ve had widespread regression (with a few exceptions), and no depth to replace any struggling players.

    Our injuries have regressed most of the way to the norm as well. In fact, we are actually still in the bottom third of the league in man games lost. That’s awful considering we’re in 30th.

    Now we are at 49 contracts (assuming Kelly is already done), in 30th place, and with several underperforming veterans.

    It’s likely that the team does better once Sekera is back, but we are in a hole. A huge hole. And is Sekera the difference between playoffs and 30th place? I kind of doubt it.

    Chia traded Eberle and left a gaping hole at RW, bought out Pouliot who was our best PKer (also lost Hendo who was effective on the PK), and did nothing to address either hole, or Sekera’s absence.

    He had a Tambo summer and I am extremely disappointed.

    I really struggle to blame the coaches for most of this, except the special teams and Drai’s usage as a RW. Russell has struggled and his minutes have been reduced. A few of the struggling players have been sat. I have mostly agreed with the lineups (apart from Slepy sitting after a great game).

    The special teams are a mess, and honestly I think that the skill of McDavid and Drai hid how terrible our PP strategy actually is. They don’t seem to have much of an idea apart from throw it out to the point and hope for a tip. Where is the Letest-vechkin one timer we saw so often last year? Have opposition coaches figured it out?

    I suppose you can fault a lack of originality from the coaches as well. They seem to be as baffled as we are by what’s happening on the ice. And for FFS take Drai off Connor’s line already. I think part of the issue is that there isn’t really a great RW replacement for Drai if he’s taken off the top line. Thanks Chia!

  60. The Precog JDî says:

    Pouzar: *diarrhea*

    Fixed.

  61. McSorley33 says:

    I know this will not be popular but I would advocate doing nothing this year except possibly trying to unload veterans at the deadline for draft picks ( looking at Jokinen )

    Further, I would looking into ( yes, it is remote ) the possibility of asking Milan to waive his NTC. Looch may be open to the idea of going to the West coast. ( summer)

    From what I hear – no chance Russell does that.

    I think there are some teams that still covet Looch, badly.

    We need to get younger and faster – asap.

    Oddly, I am bullish about this team medium term. I think JP and Kailer will be good NHL players.

    If we can catch a break with Benson that would be great.

    Nurse stepping up has really augmented a really solid looking top 4. Although, Sekera is 31 now.

  62. Cameron says:

    FWIW, this outsiders diagnosis of what ails the Oilers;

    1. Bad luck. A couple of lucky bounces, a flukey goal here and there early on, and the Oil would be merely mediocre, rather than terrible. I didn’t think the Oil would repeat their 100+pt season (or make the playoffs for that matter), but nor did I think they would be this terrible this fast.

    2. Expectations. Last year boasted a lot of good health, some decent defensive play, and a ton of McDavid doing the-Chosen-One type things. Betting on all three to repeat this year was probably unwise.

    3. The GM. Lots of analysis here on how soul destroying the Hall/Reinhart/Lucic/Russell/Eberle deals have been, so I won’t repeat it all, but the GM has bled the team of speed, youth, and cap space, and the result is an anemic offense and a barely passable defense. Any one of those deals is defensible on its face, but Chiarelli made all of them, and taken as an aggregate they are a horror show. In particular, the Russell contract and the Reinhart and Eberle deals are simply awful moves, and I note that pretty much everybody here said so as they happened. With McDavid’s deal exploding next year, a cap crunching asteroid is impending as well.

    4. The Farm. Puljujarvi should not be this bad. Ethan Bear is a nice young player, but is not a future impact player. Caleb Jones can’t defend. Chiarelli has had years to rebuild the farm, but there is no help coming.

    5. Brad Treliving has been drinking Chiarelli’s milkshake. Hamilton, Hamonic, Versteeg, Jagr, Puljujarvi vs Tkachuk, Russell. Calgary and Edmonton had very similar roster holes a few years ago; defense (especially RHD and org depth, in Cgy RHD was so bad we were playing Brodie on the R, and giving big minutes to Wideman and Russell to compensate), goaltending, and scoring at RW. With the exception of Talbot vs Smith, Treliving has killed Chiarelli in any comparison of how those holes have been filled. (There is an argument that Puljujarvi/Yamamoto vs Ferland/Versteeg/Brouwer/Jagr longer term will be a clear win eventually for Chiarelli at the RW position, but Cgy now has two prospects in Phillips and Ruzicka who are going to make that debate an interesting one to watch play out)

    6. The Scouts. These guys get paid to find late-round gems who can develop and eventually contribute. They haven’t.

    So the answers are; wait for some good luck to improve things a little and raise everybodies trade value, shelve the expectations of a Cup parade, put Chiarelli on notice, trade Lucic and Russell immediately for anything, rejigger the farm team and scouting departments, and pray that Treliving stops making eyes at your girl.

  63. Woogie63 says:

    Honestly, TMac and PC did not become dumb since they arrived in Edmonton.

    LB, Klef, Benning, Nurse, McDavid, Driasaitl, Shepy. Caggs, JJ, JP are a young core …

    They are not going to mature in a straight line.

  64. LMHF#1 says:

    SayItAin’tSo, Gretz, SayItAin’tSo!,

    If we accept that we all have incomplete knowledge, then we’re starting on equal footing and there’s nothing wrong with making suggestions.

    There’s also no need to preface with “barring something in the background” or whatever we’d like to say – that’s a given.

    We go based on what we see, analyze and deduce. Being wrong because it was actually that a player had severe shingles the whole time he was in Edmonton (happened) or because he hates to fly and can only do so many road trips (has probably happened) or whatever else, isn’t a problem.

  65. JimmyV1965 says:

    SayItAin’tSo, Gretz, SayItAin’tSo!:
    LMHF#1,

    I won’t speak for anyone else but for me I lie towards the “don’t do anything” because I’m smart enough to know that I don’t know about 85% of the details necessary about the team aside from what I see on TV.

    I suppose that is the most frustrating thing during periods like this. We armchair GMs have a solution to everything but realistically we know next to nothing about this team.

    The players, coach, GM all carefully script their talking points. The MSM trots out their opinions but like the rest of us they are just that. We have no idea what goes on behind closed doors, who’s having a crappy day or perhaps who’s life is in shambles.

    These things actually matter, no matter how much we like to pretend they don’t yet we don’t know a lick about these aspects of the team. As a result we are left to speculate and toss whatever we feel like against the wall to see if it sticks.

    From this position trades are the easiest of the things to toss against a wall but what if, just what if trades aren’t easy to come by? Especially when the rest of the league isn’t in the frame of mind to do you any favors.

    What if on that evening in April 2015 when the golden ticket flashed an Oilers logo the other 29 teams in the league said “screw this, we only trade if we bend them over a barrel, no favors none.”

    Some will laugh and say ya right but then we get the Hamilton trade where from what we know a GMtook less than was offered to spite his former GM.

    Still sounds kinda conspiratorial doesn’t it? Well I’d count it just as likely as anyone on this here blog predicting back in the summer that special teams would be such a boat anchor around this team’s neck.

    Where am I going with this? Nowhere in particular, its just that this year, with expectations so high I completely understand why we’re all so raw right now.

    I really don’t think roster construction is whats sinking this team. That isn’t what most of the numbers are telling us.

    Last night was very bad, but that is not how they have been losing games so far this year and we should keep that in mind as this road trip starts.

    I think you are mostly right about this, but the think it’s legit to say Chia has overpaid in trades. The Ebs deal was awful by any measure. Snow was in a pickle. He needed a scorer desperately. The Oil didn’t have to trade Ebs. Yet we got Strome. That was clear at the time.

  66. The Precog JDî says:

    Obvious troll is obvious. Go fuck your hat.

  67. Dicky94 says:

    Pouzar,

    Nice winger for Kelly.

  68. GriffCity says:

    Woogie63,

    Lol you for real? Its not that young of a core by modern NHL standards. Do you know who else has a young core, even younger still, but are having much better seasons than Edmonton? NEWSFLASH: Just about every team in the National Hockey League.

  69. GMB3 says:

    LMHF#1:
    SayItAin’tSo, Gretz, SayItAin’tSo!,

    If we accept that we all have incomplete knowledge, then we’re starting on equal footing and there’s nothing wrong with making suggestions.

    There’s also no need to preface with “barring something in the background” or whatever we’d like to say – that’s a given.

    We go based on what we see, analyze and deduce. Being wrong because it was actually that a player had severe shingles the whole time he was in Edmonton (happened) or because he hates to fly and can only do so many road trips (has probably happened) or whatever else, isn’t a problem.

    Who had shingles?

  70. russ99 says:

    Good move.

    Who cares if Kelly is slow, if he can stop the bleeding on opposition power plays staple him to the bench the rest of the game, or give him the cursory fourth line 5 minutes. How fast does a PK specialist/limited minute 4th liner need to be?

    I just don’t get this team speed thing, seems to me it’s wishful thinking that McLellan changes the chip and recover high shot volume offensive systems to the rush. Probably not that, so educate me.

    To me the issues are losing the puck on o-zone sorties, not cashing on clearcut chances and not having discipline to get back on defense, then getting deflated when we’re down a goal, the old rebuild malaise again, and the forwards are the bigger perpetrators than the defense or goalie.

    If team speed plays a part in that, then I guess it’s a problem, at this point I’d go for adding shooters over adding speed.

  71. LadiesloveSmid says:

    I have to say I don’t like CGY being ahead of EDM in the standings, but the future of that team isn’t an issue for me at all.

    Sunk a lot into the roster this year for a push, 15th in the league in xGF%. 35YO Mike Smith’s brief resurgence has kept them from dying out, with how little they’ve been scoring. So long as he keeps up a .931 they’re ok

    I’ve heard so much about how good flames prospects will be over the years I just can’t keep track. Jankowski was supposed to be a calder candidate this year. Sam Bennett has 0P in 14GP and takes a ton of penalties, detrimental to that team.

  72. digger50 says:

    These guys are at the same hotel for five nights. First order of business Milan, is everybody is going out to get snot nosed drunk. Completely, absolutely can’t stand up pissed. And with a little luck they run into the Rangers for a good dust up.

    If they were my boys, that’s what I would prescribe.

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

    Cameron,

    LadiesloveSmid,

    ^ Just saw this, good points all around. I’m holding off criticisms of other teams right now because the Oilers aren’t giving me a leg to stand on but I don’t think its wise to praise the Flames at the moment either.

  74. Woogie63 says:

    GriffCity:
    Woogie63,

    Lol you for real? Its not that young of a core by modern NHL standards. Do you know who else has a young core, even younger still, but are having much better seasons than Edmonton? NEWSFLASH: Just about every team in the National Hockey League.

    We are the 5th youngest team in the NHL and if you applied weighted minutes by age, you might be very surprised how young we are /60 minutes.

    Growing up is a thing.

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

    russ99,

    But none of those feed into the narrative that this roster is hollow to the core and Chia ruined a dynasty in the making!

    I kid but only to a point, generally I see it like you do.

    This overwhelming focus on speed is the new size IMO. Doesn’t really have too much to do with anything but its easy and makes for a great soundbite.

    Team speed has nothing to do with forgetting how to tie up a guys stick or shoulder checking to the middle of the ice on back checks. Nor does it have anything to do with standing still on special teams. Those are the problems overwhelming our Oilers.

  76. anjinsan says:

    The Duchene trade is what a proper trade looks like when you deal a star player.
    The Duchene trade is what a competent GM does.
    You can’t hemorrhage assets and win. You hemorrhage assets and lose.

    Speaking of assets, Barzal got 5 assists yesterday.
    Carlo is now 2nd pairing RHD for Boston, having been usurped from 1st pairing by McAvoy.
    The likes of those players are what we should have now instead of the nothing we do have for 16 and 33 in a very deep draft year.

    Besides providing competent asset management, a GM should maximize for where the game is going (speed, skill) instead of for where it was (slower and heavy). Given the season so far and what assets Chiarelli has available to do something and given his track record, I cringe at the coming fleecings of prospects and picks we are about to incur in trades of desperation. I hope we don’t lose Puljujarvi because I truly feel he’s going to be 80% of Laine on offense with a very solid 2-way game.

    On the positive — wonderful to see Nurse emerge and wonderful to see RNH find his fierceness.

  77. vinotintazo says:

    I agree this team needs help on the PK, loosing Poo and hendo has hurt the PK2 Unit, if I recall correctly most goals are scored late on the PPs. If Malone is not the answer then I would Sign Kelly.

  78. Bag of Pucks says:

    The roster changes from this year to last haven’t been substantial, but the downturn in performance has been drastic. That makes it evident to me that the issues lie with 1) the current players regressing and/or 2) the HC not getting optimal output from his talent. Suspect it’s a little of both.

    Players want to feel they’re progressing upward in their career, but MacLellan prefers an element of roster uncertainty. I assume because he feels that icetime and the player’s slots on the depth chart are the core motivational currency that he owns. Undoubtedly, this shuttling players in and out of the lineup and up and down the depth chart worked quite well to create the culture of ‘accountability’ that he was looking for last season.

    But coming into a season with such high expectations, I suspect a lot of players looked at where they were ultimately slotted on the depth chart after the pre-season, and more than a few were unhappy with their lot in life. In short, they weren’t seeing the career progression they were hoping for.

    The greatest challenge for a team is finding out how to win. But then the challenge becomes finding a way to win when it’s expected. This is the hump that mediocre teams never seem to get over. They play well when expectations are low, but once people start singing their praises and the expectations elevate, they start squeezing their sticks.

    The Hockey News picked this team to lose in the Final to the Pens. That’s pretty much the last thing that MacLellan wanted to see I’m sure. Imo, they weren’t ready for that level of pressure and expectation based on a single good season.

    What’s the easiest way out of this? He needs to be open to new line combinations that will actually generate some chemistry and re-motivate his players. A player will piss and moan if they’re trapped on a 3rd or 4th line if it isn’t producing. But recalibrate that line so they’re playing well and producing and suddenly it becomes much less about where the player is on the depth chart and more about the team.

    When do players tune out a coach? Imo, it happens when they feel he’s gotten stubborn and the solutions he’s insisting on aren’t generating results. Defeatism leads to desperation which ultimately leads to mutiny.

    By my eye, the HC has gotten stubbborn with his lineup and tactics. So, while I will never endorse millionaire hockey players phoning it in, I can certainly understand why anywhere from 40-60% of this roster is not loving their lot in life at the moment.

    Honestly, if you’re a Slepyshev or Kassian or Strome or Caggiula or Jokinen or Pakarinen or Khaira or Letestu, etc. what indication do you have that this coach is moving your career on an upward trajectory at the moment? I think they look at the musical chairs and conclude that this HC has lost the plot.

  79. digger50 says:

    What hurts with Peters summer is he stated where the deficiencies were, he knew, but chose to “see how things go”. That plan had no back up to it. Turned over most of the farm team yet still little help to be found.

    Hendricks much better than Kelly, and perhaps Hendos influence is missed.

    Pitlick much better than Jokinen

    Eberle better than Strome plus cap. But given IMO that Ebs wasn’t playing hard for this coach okay move him. Why Strome? Proven player for another struggling bet? There was no need to take on risk there. And why Strome when the play should have been Hamonic and sign a winger. Just silly move there.

    Osterle better than Auvitu.

    Others are better than Brossoit

    Pouliot better than Jokinen but also wouldn’t play for this coach so had to go.

    Anybody on waivers better than Pakarinen

    Yes, Peter needs to own this but that’s old news. Any moves he makes today are just dangerous.

    This season coach goes to the whip too early. Don’t think this is a team building coach.

    Season is in the hands of the players now. If the coach will let them settle a little they may come around.

  80. LMHF#1 says:

    GMB3,

    Trying to follow LTs rules for such things.

  81. stevebergeron97 says:

    Is Evander Kane an oiler yet….? At what point do we start searching for Rasmus Dahlin highlight videos…? (deep sigh)

  82. Georges says:

    CrazyCoach:
    Sending Yamamoto down makes sense for his development.He is an extremely skilled player and one that will pay big dividends down the line.He just isn’t ready now, neither is JP.Chia has seriously hamstrung this team by not addressing the gaping hole on RW.McDavid is surreal, but you can’t hitch two Trebant’s to a BMW and expect to win at Le Mans.My biggest selfish beef with Yamamoto getting sent down now is that Spokane has made their one and only trip to PG this season, so I can’t do a write up on the Young fellow.

    I know it’s early as you have said LT, but I couldn’t help but notice that Ethan Bear seems to be adapting to the pro game a little easier than Caleb Jones.I know Jones is the consensus pick in these parts, but I wonder if being the son of a pro athlete, with a multitude of resources at your disposal builds resiliency and adaptability, as opposed to Bear’s upbringing.

    I do believe it was Glen Sather who said he liked kids who came from working class families best.

    Just some thoughts on this frosty but clear Monday.

    Hi CC.

    I read your McLellan post after the OTT game. What’s your take on the coach at this stage?

  83. Jethro Tull says:

    digger50:
    These guys are at the same hotel for five nights. First order of business Milan, is everybody is going out to get snot nosed drunk. Completely, absolutely can’t stand up pissed. And with a little luck they run into the Rangers for a good dust up.

    If they were my boys, that’s what I would prescribe.

    They tried that Saturday night.

  84. Cassandra says:

    There is no fixing this. The team will get better puck luck (or not) but this team was never good enough because the general manager has systematically traded away their good players.

    Think on this.

    Remember when we were told that Draisatl had to be paid 8.5 M on an RFA contract because in a few years he would be a 10-12 million dollar player as an UFA. Well a good general manager just traded for Kyle Turris and signed him to a 6×6 million dollar contract. Is Draisatl twice as good as Turris? Because Chiarelli is paying him to be.

    6×6 million of Chiarelli bucks gets you Milan Lucic, a player we knew (with reasonable certainty) was not worth that money.

    Other teams trade a second round pick for Trevor van Riemsdyk. Chiarelli signs Russel to 4×4 to play on the third pairing and cough up pucks for goals. What happened to his magical shooting percentage suppression abilities?

    Meanwhile Matt Barzal has 5 assists. Eberle has two goals. Hall is the best player on the ice shift after shift, even though his team is pretty bad (again).

    There is no balanced take on Chiarelli. Trying to be balanced here is to demonstrate an inability or unwillingness to think.

  85. GMB3 says:

    Eeli Tolvanen is having a hell of a year in the KHL. I remember LT kicking his name around as a good draft target

  86. Shane says:

    I really can’t believe how little everyone is talking about the HUGE impact that losing Sekera has had on this roster. He helps the PK, PP, the Russell, takes heavy(top opp) minutes for the dcorps and is a OT demon. I truly believe IMO that that’s the biggest factor so far in this seasons failures. He makes this team so much better.

  87. Cameron says:

    LadiesloveSmid,

    Can’t disagree with you about Bennett, he’s looked great, and his underlying numbers are good, but hasn’t done anything on the scoresheet so far. Flames fans are alternating between blaming the coaching staff, and Bennett’s linemates, but his lack of a breakout season offensively is definitely a going concern.

    Jankowski is in a similar boat, albeit with worse linemates, a longer leash, and lower ice-time. Looks good, just hasn’t converted.

    That said, the Flames farm team is loaded with good young defenders (Kyllington, Andersson, Fox, and Valimaki, being the notables), has depth in the goalie pipeline (Gillies, Riddich, Parsons), boasts the AHL’s top scorer (Mangiapane), and has some late round hits in Phillips and Rusicka blowing up the CHL, so the future isn’t exactly bleak for the Flames.

  88. JimmyV1965 says:

    PokeCheck:
    If Talbot’s part of the problem then I guess another major failing of Chiarelli is not getting a backup that the coach is prepared to play. Brossoit is currently on pace for, what, a 6 start season?

    It’s a small issue in one sense, but it really is an epic fail. Chia left his coach with zero options for backup. Such an easy hole to fill.

  89. JimmyV1965 says:

    linkfromhyrule:
    This team is having a Murphy’s Law year. Chia failed to plan for the worst case scenario, and instead assumed it was a foregone conclusion that the team would make the playoffs.

    Loading up at the deadline was always a bad strategy imo. Talk about counting your chickens before they hatched. There were LOTS of cheap, effective veterans available this summer for 1mil or less, but instead Chia loaded up on AHL players.

    Jokinen and Auvitu seemed like decent bets, but they shouldn’t really have been expected to be anything more than potentially useful depth. It’s now an open question whether they are anything more than replacement level players.

    Chia made the bet that a bunch of relatively inexperienced players would all either improve or stay at the same level as last year. In reality, we’ve had widespread regression (with a few exceptions), and no depth to replace any struggling players.

    Our injuries have regressed most of the way to the norm as well. In fact, we are actually still in the bottom third of the league in man games lost. That’s awful considering we’re in 30th.

    Now we are at 49 contracts (assuming Kelly is already done), in 30th place, and with several underperforming veterans.

    It’s likely that the team does better once Sekera is back, but we are in a hole. A huge hole. And is Sekera the difference between playoffs and 30th place? I kind of doubt it.

    Chia traded Eberle and left a gaping hole at RW, bought out Pouliot who was our best PKer (also lost Hendo who was effective on the PK), and did nothing to address either hole, or Sekera’s absence.

    He had a Tambo summer and I am extremely disappointed.

    I really struggle to blame the coaches for most of this, except the special teams and Drai’s usage as a RW. Russell has struggled and his minutes have been reduced. A few of the struggling players have been sat. I have mostly agreed with the lineups (apart from Slepy sitting after a great game).

    The special teams are a mess, and honestly I think that the skill of McDavid and Drai hid how terrible our PP strategy actually is. They don’t seem to have much of an idea apart from throw it out to the point and hope for a tip. Where is the Letest-vechkin one timer we saw so often last year? Have opposition coaches figured it out?

    I suppose you can fault a lack of originality from the coaches as well. They seem to be as baffled as we are by what’s happening on the ice. And for FFS take Drai off Connor’s line already. I think part of the issue is that there isn’t really a great RW replacement for Drai if he’s taken off the top line. Thanks Chia!

    Auvito was not a good bet. He was a healthy scratch for his team in the AHL playoffs.

  90. commonfan29 says:

    SayItAin’tSo, Gretz, SayItAin’tSo!: What if on that evening in April 2015 when the golden ticket flashed an Oilers logo the other 29 teams in the league said “screw this, we only trade if we bend them over a barrel, no favors none.”

    Clearly, the answer is “Then don’t make the deals.”

    Chia, however, has employed a different approach…

  91. leadfarmer says:

    Cassandra,

    Why are the devils bad? I mean they’re not a good team but they built a fast team around hall. Their advanced stats suck but fast puck moving teams can outplay their advanced stats while slow teams can have good advanced stats but can’t get a Corsi event without the opposition d getting set up at which point it is very hard to score.

  92. linkfromhyrule says:

    leadfarmer:
    Cassandra,

    Why are the devils bad?I mean they’re not a good team but they built a fast team around hall.Their advanced stats suck but fast puck moving teams can outplay their advanced stats while slow teams can have good advanced stats but can’t get a Corsi event without the opposition d getting set up at which point it is very hard to score.

    I was surprised at how different this Devils team looked from the snooze fests of the past. A lot of it had to do with #9, but they are a fast team that looks dangerous way more than I expected

  93. CrazyCoach says:

    Georges: Hi CC.

    I read your McLellan post after the OTT game. What’s your take on the coach at this stage?

    I tend to think he’s safe for now, but if you read other places, there’s a call for his head.

    I wouldn’t do it, but I know the follies of the coaching world.

    Just imagine one day at work, your voted the absolute best at what you do by your peers and observers. You are congratulated for doing great work and having results that were unexpected. You smile, take the award and get back to work. Six months later, you are fired.

    That is the life of an NHL coach. A few bad losses, players grumbling, a GM looking to cover his butt. Maybe even an owner sticking their nose in.

    Is it wrong to blame the coach? Some times, but in my experience, those who do the firing and those sticking a knife in the coaches back, more often than not, do not know the entire story.

    I think someone spoke to that earlier in here. None of us know the truth about what is going on in that dressing room right now.

    It isn’t a fun place though.

  94. Cassandra says:

    leadfarmer:
    Cassandra,

    Why are the devils bad?I mean they’re not a good team but they built a fast team around hall.Their advanced stats suck but fast puck moving teams can outplay their advanced stats while slow teams can have good advanced stats but can’t get a Corsi event without the opposition d getting set up at which point it is very hard to score.

    I’m not sure they are bad the way I am sure that Chiarelli is bad. But I watched all three Western games and they were outplayed all three games against the Canucks, the Oilers, and the Flames. When Hall isn’t on the ice they are really getting caved in.

    They are fun, and exciting, but they are giving up loads and loads of shots. I want to believe, but I don’t.

  95. Bag of Pucks says:

    JimmyV1965: It’s a small issue in one sense, but it really is an epic fail. Chia left his coach with zero options for backup. Such an easy hole to fill.

    Conversely, why does TMac show such little trust in his players? Doesn’t play Brossoit. Refuses to play Leon at 2C? Buries Kassian on the 4th line. Shuttles Sleppy in and out of the lineup?

    Players play better when they know they have the confidence of their HC. How many Oilers feel the HC has their back atm?

  96. jtblack says:

    I’d say last yr every Bet PC made worked out (except Pouliot) This year every bet has NOT worked out.

    It is the GM’s job to have cover (RW & TOP 4D).

    What PC has built is a team that cannot with stand any injuries.

    This is virtually the same team that got 103 pts last yr; something is “off” and it aint no easy fix.

  97. Durag says:

    What the hell even is the solution for this team? Absolute worst case scenario has been realized with basically every trade and signing the GM has made. Trade McDavid to the Leafs so Canada has something to cheer about?

  98. Georges says:

    CrazyCoach: I tend to think he’s safe for now, but if you read other places, there’s a call for his head.

    I wouldn’t do it, but I know the follies of the coaching world.

    Just imagine one day at work, your voted the absolute best at what you do by your peers and observers.You are congratulated for doing great work and having results that were unexpected.You smile, take the award and get back to work.Six months later, you are fired.

    That is the life of an NHL coach.A few bad losses, players grumbling, a GM looking to cover his butt.Maybe even an owner sticking their nose in.

    Is it wrong to blame the coach?Some times, but in my experience, those who do the firing and those sticking a knife in the coaches back, more often than not, do not know the entire story.

    I think someone spoke to that earlier in here.None of us know the truth about what is going on in that dressing room right now.

    It isn’t a fun place though.

    Does what is going on in the dressing room lead to losses or do losses lead to questions about what is going on in the dressing room?

    McLellan had a locker room problem in his first year. The roster was almost completely turned over. If there’s a locker room problem (not saying there is), how should we interpret that? Kinda quick to be back in that place, no?

    Also, do you think McLellan’s statements and decisions early in the season may have done some damage to the belief system he said it took 2 years to build? Aren’t coaches careful with what they say in public?

    I love hearing your perspective on these things.

  99. stush18 says:

    digger50:
    What hurts with Peters summer is he stated where the deficiencies were, he knew, but chose to “see how things go”. That plan had no back up to it. Turned over most of the farm team yet still little help to be found.

    Hendricks much better than Kelly, and perhaps Hendos influence is missed.

    Pitlick much better than Jokinen

    Eberle better than Strome plus cap. But given IMO that Ebs wasn’t playing hard for this coach okay move him. Why Strome? Proven player for another struggling bet? There was no need to take on risk there. And why Strome when the play should have been Hamonic and sign a winger. Just silly move there.

    Osterle better than Auvitu.

    Others are better than Brossoit

    Pouliot better than Jokinen but also wouldn’t play for this coach so had to go.

    Anybody on waivers better than Pakarinen

    Yes, Peter needs to own this but that’s old news. Any moves he makes today are just dangerous.

    This season coach goes to the whip too early. Don’t think this is a team building coach.

    Season is in the hands of the players now. If the coach will let them settle a little they may come around.

    Man hindsight is 20/20 with everyone lately.

    I’m going to use your post, but I’m not necessarily picking at you digger.

    It’s extremely easy to say the oilers should have signed pitlick, oesterle, or Hendricks. But that ignores the players “likely” not wanting to sign here.

    Pitlick was offered more than he thought he would get. He said it was a no brainer
    The oilers have more defensive depth than CHI. Of course oesterle is going to sign there.
    Hendricks is done. Just shot.

    Pouliot was called out in public by his captain for taking bad penalties. I don’t know, but I would think the team wanted to move on, and save the distraction. And btw, sabres fans were complaint about his penalties again this year.

    The oilers have about 3.5 million in cap space right now, and guess what the difference between eberle and stromes cap hit is? So you could replace stromes 1 goal with ebs 2, and leave absolutely no cap space.

    But then we still need a 3c. And you’ll say, “nuge! Of course!” And I’ll mention that we would still need a scoring winger then, because Leon has to play centre. And then who knows if nuge would be having his breakout year if he wasn’t playing top six again. Not hard to see him not improving with less minutes.

    And of course it’s madness to consider one of cagguila/slepyshev/JP/kassianto take a step forward. That’s literally all they need. One guy to improve. But that never happened. (Or hasn’t)

    Who are you going to sign for a backup that is younger, cost controlled, and better than brossoit? Who had a 928 SV% in the NHL last year. Who has lost 1 of our 8 losses this fall.

    Anyways, imo the blame is falling on everyone, chiarelli, TMac, and the players.

    Chiarelli should have provided the team with a better top gap than auvitu. TMac should optimize his roster by splitting up mcdavid and Leon. The RW situation is less serious when we have our best players driving the lines.

    And the players all need some confidence, and to play more honest. Leon and mcdavid can’t keep swinging up ahead of the play. Lucic needs to stop with the turnovers. Talbot needs to stop a puck.

    It’s crazy “everyone” enjoys seeing the negative. It’s all that makes sense to me, cuz otherwise I would spend more time talking about the positive.

    It’s easy pointing out negatives. Try a different tak, eat some humble pie, and look for some positives. Trust me, you’ll all live longer.

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

    leadfarmer,

    So this sentiment has been bubbling under the blog here all year and I’m intrigued by it.

    The NJDs are similar to Colorado a few years back IMO. Based on all the advanced stats, except for on occasion HDCF, the Devils routinely get run over by other teams. But they have a couple of elite players (Hall, Hischier, Schnieder).

    A large enough sample size should show us that this will eventually catch up with them and their record will start to reflect it.

    Years ago during the DoD many folks on this blog quoted Darrel Sutter and his musings on possession and the proper way to coach and or build a team. If you have the puck more often than the opposition you will win more often than not.

    Now there is a very sizable chunk of folks who seem to have tossed that mantra out the window in favor of a speed mantra. But I’m not quite sure what that speed mantra is, how it realistically translates into gameplay, or if I should attempt to buy into it.

    As a quick example

    The Kings are not a fast team, the Kings advanced stats are mediocre at best, the Kings are tops in the Pacific. The Leafs are a fast team, the Leafs leak chances against while creating a ton the other way, they haven’t been able to outscore their mistakes lately.

    Of course the answer here is somewhere in the middle and in all actuality I don’t think the Oilers are that far off.

    For the first few minutes of yesterdays game the Oilers out-skated, hit and chanced the Wings. Two goals later they rolled over and died. Today the “after death” part is being used to showcase the team as a whole and I’m not sure that is right.

    It took me a long time to come around to advanced stats (I’m very weary of “noise” in the data) but the stats tell me today the Oilers record is less than the sum of its parts. AKA they shouldn’t suck this bad.

    A lot of folks seem to be taking the record to say that the underlying stats aren’t telling the truth and in fact the team is gaming them in order to pump up corsi. Except for the vast majority of games they are winning things like FF and HDCF battles and both of those are better indicators of shot and chance quality from what I understand. Even if there is some score effects there haven’t been enough blowouts this year to show that the team is gaming the stats. The Oilers have lost a lot of 1 goal games that last year they managed to push to overtime.

    Long story short – folks seem to want to toss out the stats to fit the description. We learned as a group here during the DoD that this results in misplaced optimism and misdiagnoses re: problems.

    Yes the Wings played a tight checking game, no argument. But the Oilers also tossed in the towel.

    Those two things impact each other.

    I’m not trying to say speed isn’t important, but its only one component to a game and for anyone that has played the game can attest (and I know there are lots of us here) is hugely dependent upon effort, something that was in short supply last night.

    Cassandra,

    Kyle Turris will be 29 when that 6×6 contract kicks in, his last contract was 4x$3.5 and his career high in points when he signed that deal was 29 over 6 NHL seasons. He outperformed that contract and has put up three 50+ point seasons.

    Leon is 22, has 3 NHL seasons under his belt and has two 50+ point seasons to his resume.

    I think Leon is slightly overpaid sure, but context is important here no?

  101. --hudson-- says:

    leadfarmer:
    Cassandra,

    Why are the devils bad?I mean they’re not a good team but they built a fast team around hall.Their advanced stats suck but fast puck moving teams can outplay their advanced stats while slow teams can have good advanced stats but can’t get a Corsi event without the opposition d getting set up at which point it is very hard to score.

    Think the Devils also are missing Palmieri and Marcus Johanson with injuries. Two good top six wingers.

  102. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    SayItAin’tSo, Gretz, SayItAin’tSo!:
    russ99,

    But none of those feed into the narrative that this roster is hollow to the core and Chia ruined a dynasty in the making!

    I kid but only to a point, generally I see it like you do.

    This overwhelming focus on speed is the new size IMO. Doesn’t really have too much to do with anything but its easy and makes for a great soundbite.

    Team speed has nothing to do with forgetting how to tie up a guys stick or shoulder checking to the middle of the ice on back checks. Nor does it have anything to do with standing still on special teams. Those are the problems overwhelming our Oilers.

    Speed means a player is in the right spot to make a play offensively or defensively

    Speed means the ability to turn a turn over into an odd man rush which has a sh% of ~22%

    When’s the last them the Oilers had a 2 on 1 when McDavid wasn’t on the ice?

    Speed means you have the ability to get back and turn a 2 on 1 into a 2 on 2.

    Speed means back checking fast enough to pick up the trailer and negate a scoring opportunity.

    Speed means the ability to skate the puck out of trouble when the passing lanes are close off.

    Speed means making it to a 50/50 puck a hair sooner and making it a 60/40 puck

    Speed means you} Dman can step up on his man at the blue to deny an entry and creat a turnover because his covering forward is in the right spot and moving the right way.

    There’s dozens and dozens of examples where playing fast and having speed makes the game easier and makes your team better.

    DET forwards were skating by the attacking Oilers to negate a lot of offense before it happened yesterday and it happens every game.

  103. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    –hudson–: Think the Devils also are missing Palmieri and Marcus Johanson with injuries.Two good top six wingers.

    Zajac `as been out all year with surgery as well.

    Not fast but was the tough minute C with Hall for most of last year.

  104. who says:

    Cassandra:
    There is no fixing this.The team will get better puck luck (or not) but this team was never good enough because the general manager has systematically traded away their good players.

    Think on this.

    Remember when we were told that Draisatl had to be paid 8.5 M on an RFA contract because in a few years he would be a 10-12 million dollar player as an UFA.Well a good general manager just traded for Kyle Turris and signed him to a 6×6 million dollar contract.Is Draisatl twice as good as Turris?Because Chiarelli is paying him to be.

    6×6 million of Chiarelli bucks gets you Milan Lucic, a player we knew (with reasonable certainty) was not worth that money.

    Other teams trade a second round pick for Trevor van Riemsdyk.Chiarelli signs Russel to 4×4 to play on the third pairing and cough up pucks for goals.What happened to his magical shooting percentage suppression abilities?

    Meanwhile Matt Barzal has 5 assists.Eberle has two goals.Hall is the best player on the ice shift after shift, even though his team is pretty bad (again).

    There is no balanced take on Chiarelli.Trying to be balanced here is to demonstrate an inability or unwillingness to think.

    If Draisaitl makes 8.5 and Turris makes 6 why does Drai have to be twice as good? I am not following your math here.
    At those numbers Drai looks like the better deal to me.

  105. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Re: “It’s the same team as last year,they can’t be this bad”

    The top 4 Oiler goal scorers without McDavid on the ice last year:

    RNH – 10
    Pouliot – 8
    Eberle – 8
    Pitlick – 8

    It’s not the same team. scoring ability went out.

    Lucicship had 3 or 4 5v5 goals without 97 and “horrible year bum” Pou had 8

    This was talked about all summer.

    Goal scoring ability is a thing.

    All 3 of those players have career sh% above 12

    Jokinen is around 7.6 in the last 4 years and Strome is a hair over 8.

  106. PokeCheck says:

    stush18:

    Who are you going to sign for a backup that is younger, cost controlled, and better than brossoit? Who had a 928 SV% in the NHL last year. Who has lost 1 of our 8 losses this fall.

    Brossoit’s numbers aren’t the issue. The problem is that the coach (for whatever reason) won’t play him. Not when Cam’s had a bad game, rarely when Cam should have been pulled 2 goals ago, and only sometimes on back-to-backs. It’s hard for any of us to know what the Oilers have with this player, but the coach clearly has a low opinion based on deployment, and I believe he used his backups far more frequently in San Jose.

  107. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    For the record special teams is a bigger problem than 5v5.

    Why they screwed around with PP1 after they went 11gf/60 last year is mystifying.

  108. CrazyCoach says:

    Georges: Does what is going on in the dressing room lead to losses or do losses lead to questions about what is going on in the dressing room?
    McLellan had a locker room problem in his first year. The roster was almost completely turned over. If there’s a locker room problem (not saying there is), how should we interpret that? Kinda quick to be back in that place, no?
    Also, do you think McLellan’s statements and decisions early in the season may have done some damage to the belief system he said it took 2 years to build? Aren’t coaches careful with what they say in public?

    That first question is tough to answer, but in my experience when things are going well, a coach is never questioned, ever, even if he has little to do with the teams success. The inverse of that is that when things go bad, people look to the coach. It’s a tough position to be in, constantly second guessed, even when you win. I know that when the losses come, everyone’s patience gets worn down very thin and the little things start to bug you, and any good sports psychologist would tell you, the mental focus may not be as good as it was a month ago. Theoretically, people go into slumps and supposed hot streaks, but they always play to the middle of where they are career wise. It all balances out.

    TMac had dressing room issues the first year he was here and some of the characters have been cleared out. That happens when a new guy comes in. Every coach is different and they all want a certain style. If you want to know how that works, find 20 coaches and ask them who the greatest hockey player of all time is. Chances are, you are going to get 10 names thrown at you from 20 coaches (It’s Gretzky of course). Coaches say that because they have a certain bias of what they think hockey players should be, and how hockey should be played. I know I do. TMac came here, found players that didn’t fit his style, and asked for new ones that weren’t going to fit. Simple as that.

    As far as what he says in public, well, you have to measure your words and you have to pick your spots. I tended to keep things in house and was the cliche machine for the local media here, never saying we had an issue with this or that. I tended to put the blame on me saying I needed to get the team more prepared. Of course, I was working with kids, but I never blamed anyone, even refs. I always felt that if you held back fury in public, addressed the issue one on one with the player and helped them save face, then they would go to war for you. But, I have never dealt with million dollar players either and the entourage they bring (agents).

  109. Cassandra says:

    who: If Draisaitl makes 8.5 and Turris makes 6 why does Drai have to be twice as good?I am not following your math here.
    At those numbers Drai looks like the better deal to me.

    Draisatl’s contract is his first contract post ELC and hence came at a discount to a UFA contract. In order to compare the two contracts you need to inflate Draisatl’s contract to UFA levels. This is why the justification for the deal was that Draisatl would get “10-12 milliion on the UFA market” and hence it was a good deal. Therefore Draisatl needs to be twice as good as Turris to justify the deal.

    Now, that’s just a rough comparable. The right way to compare them would be in terms of marginal production. If 40 points is replacement level, and Turris is a 60 point player and Draisatl is an 80 point player, then Turris is +20 and Draisatl is +40. That would make Draisatl twice as valuable, and hence justify the contract.

  110. OriginalPouzar says:

    Great day in NYC so far – lots of oilers vitrol plus roster moves and 109 comments to catch up on….

  111. TheVengeFulOne says:

    Starting to think you can’t just put a bunch of tweeners in key positions and claim you have depth…

  112. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Shane:
    I really can’t believe how little everyone is talking about the HUGE impact that losing Sekera has had on this roster. He helps the PK, PP, the Russell, takes heavy(top opp) minutes for the dcorps and is a OT demon. I truly believe IMO that that’s the biggest factor so far in this seasons failures. He makes this team so much better.

    You’re right.

    Klef struggled in the first part of the year and Seksey was the best Dman on the roster and helped keep everything afloat.

    Kept Russell from getting caved like we see this year too.

    Huge loss

  113. TheVengeFulOne says:

    Jordan Eberle Pts update 4-7-11 in 14gp. Last two came against Col though, so I’m not sure if they count or not. Every deal prior to Eberle I at least saw the reasoning. Reinhart targetted the wrong player, and Hall felt like an overpay at the time, but they had some sense of logic to them. The Eberle deal was basically them being unhappy with Eberle as a 2RW, and therefore replaced him with a bunch of mediocre prospects who collectively will never score as much as he did last year. If you trade eberle, then trade for Neal, that would make sense. Just burning assets is ridiculous.

  114. digger50 says:

    stush18: I

    Understand your comment was general but will reply.

    The difference between optimism and pessimism here is based on previous knowledge of the problem. If a random event such as injury occurs then I agree let’s pitch in and look for the positives. When you knew you had a problem and fail to act or act with willful blindness then that is reason to be upset and pessimistic.

    This is not 20/20 hindsight. Players can be evaluated and projected.

    All this was discussed at length this summer. Often 20/20 hindsight can be applied to a single event such as why did we take Benson over Debrincat. However once poor decision making becomes a pattern across the board I think the hindsight model does not apply.

  115. danny says:

    Paying Pouliot to play for another team, and failing to replace his PK ability is a pretty egregious error.

    Creating cap space by shipping Eberle and not using the space to plug holes is a pretty egregious error.

    This team’s problems I guess weren’t too predictable, nobody could sensibly predict a 5% shooting pctg, or bottom of the league special teams. But the clock is running on where to go from here.

  116. Mr. D. says:

    Kinger_Oil.redux:
    – Coach is frustrated.Re: Kailer: ““He played a better game tonight than the past three he participated in. He was one of our quicker forwards,” said McLellan.hmmmm….

    A. He hasn’t performed with top lines.
    B. No burning a contract year.
    C. Kids earned some decent cash.
    D Kelly will improve team defense.
    C. Team needs experience and leadership.
    Great decision for player and team.

  117. stush18 says:

    digger50: Understand your comment was general but will reply.

    The difference between optimism and pessimism here is based on previous knowledge of the problem. If a random event such as injury occurs then I agree let’s pitch in and look for the positives. When you knew you had a problem and fail to act or act with willful blindness then that is reason to be upset and pessimistic.

    This is not 20/20 hindsight. Players can be evaluated and projected.

    All this was discussed at length this summer. Often 20/20 hindsight can be applied to a single event such as why did we take Benson over Debrincat. However once poor decision making becomes a pattern across the board I think the hindsight model does not apply.

    Meh. I think it would be pretty easy to talk about the positives if others were.

    Not a peep of nuge, slepy, sekera almost being back, benning improving his play, Larsson engaging more offensively when paired with nurse, lucic looking faster this year, maroons point streak coming to an end at seven games, benson, Safin, makismov, wells and berglund all killing it in the minors, the unreal job weve done drafting lately, the college free agents we keep signing, and whatever else might be going on.

    I understand it can’t always be positive, but my god is anyone even trying?

    When this team hits a winning streak (and they will), are we going to win sign TMac and chiarelli to extensions instead of firing them?

    Unlikely, because it’s easy to be negative.

  118. who says:

    Cassandra: Draisatl’s contract is his first contract post ELC and hence came at a discount to a UFA contract.In order to compare the two contracts you need to inflate Draisatl’s contract to UFA levels.This is why the justification for the deal was that Draisatl would get “10-12 milliion on the UFA market” and hence it was a good deal.Therefore Draisatl needs to be twice as good as Turris to justify the deal.

    Now, that’s just a rough comparable.The right way to compare them would be in terms of marginal production.If 40 points is replacement level, and Turris is a 60 point player and Draisatl is an 80 point player, then Turris is +20 and Draisatl is +40.That would make Draisatl twice as valuable, and hence justify the contract.

    I think you are tying yourself in knots trying to compare the two contracts. Why don’t you just simplify it down to the most important question.?
    Would you rather have Turris for the next 7 years at 6 mil or Drai for the next 8 years at 8.5 mil? That’s a pretty easy decision in my opinion.

  119. stush18 says:

    danny:
    Paying Pouliot to play for another team, and failing to replace his PK ability is a pretty egregious error.

    Creating cap space by shipping Eberle and not using the space to plug holes is a pretty egregious error.

    This team’s problems I guess weren’t too predictable, nobody could sensibly predict a 5% shooting pctg, or bottom of the league special teams. But the clock is running on where to go from here.

    Jokinen has been a good PKer before. He hasn’t worked out.

    Again, easy to bash chiarelli for sending away a 4 million dollar pk specialist when the team is struggling on the PK, but it doesn’t admit for the fact that chiarelli bought low on jokinen who should have been able to easily reproduce his production.

    Chiarelli tried to fill the cap space with franson, who turned USB down and signed with Chicago.

    🤷🏽‍♂️

  120. jtblack says:

    Riddle me this. Is Duchene that much better than Turris? I honestly believe they are equals … OTT gave up a lot.

    Nash GM is awesome. 3 Huge trades in last 3 years. Love them all.

  121. leadfarmer says:

    SayItAin’tSo, Gretz, SayItAin’tSo!:
    leadfarmer,

    So this sentiment has been bubbling under the blog here all year and I’m intrigued by it.

    The NJDs are similar to Colorado a few years back IMO. Based on all the advanced stats, except for on occasion HDCF, the Devils routinely get run over by other teams. But they have a couple of elite players (Hall, Hischier, Schnieder).

    A large enough sample size should show us that this will eventually catch up with them and their record will start to reflect it.

    Years ago during the DoD many folks on this blog quoted Darrel Sutter and his musings on possession and the proper way to coach and or build a team. If you have the puck more often than the opposition you will win more often than not.

    Now there is a very sizable chunk of folks who seem to have tossed that mantra out the window in favor of a speed mantra. But I’m not quite sure what that speed mantra is, how it realistically translates into gameplay, or if I should attempt to buy into it.

    As a quick example

    The Kings are not a fast team, the Kings advanced stats are mediocre at best, the Kings are tops in the Pacific. The Leafs are a fast team, the Leafs leak chances against while creating a ton the other way, they haven’t been able to outscore their mistakes lately.

    Of course the answer here is somewhere in the middle and in all actuality I don’t think the Oilers are that far off.

    For the first few minutes of yesterdays game the Oilers out-skated, hit and chanced the Wings. Two goals later they rolled over and died. Today the “after death” part is being used to showcase the team as a whole and I’m not sure that is right.

    It took me a long time to come around to advanced stats (I’m very weary of “noise” in the data) but the stats tell me today the Oilers record is less than the sum of its parts. AKA they shouldn’t suck this bad.

    A lot of folks seem to be taking the record to say that the underlying stats aren’t telling the truth and in fact the team is gaming them in order to pump up corsi. Except for the vast majority of games they are winning things like FF and HDCF battles and both of those are better indicators of shot and chance quality from what I understand. Even if there is some score effects there haven’t been enough blowouts this year to show that the team is gaming the stats. The Oilers have lost a lot of 1 goal games that last year they managed to push to overtime.

    Long story short – folks seem to want to toss out the stats to fit the description. We learned as a group here during the DoD that this results in misplaced optimism and misdiagnoses re: problems.

    Yes the Wings played a tight checking game, no argument. But the Oilers also tossed in the towel.

    Those two things impact each other.

    I’m not trying to say speed isn’t important, but its only one component to a game and for anyone that has played the game can attest (and I know there are lots of us here) is hugely dependent upon effort, something that was in short supply last night.

    Cassandra,

    Kyle Turris will be 29 when that 6×6 contract kicks in, his last contract was 4x$3.5 and his career high in points when he signed that deal was 29 over 6 NHL seasons. He outperformed that contract and has put up three 50+ point seasons.

    Leon is 22, has 3 NHL seasons under his belt and has two 50+ point seasons to his resume.

    I think Leon is slightly overpaid sure, but context is important here no?

    Yes we used to think it was just great to have the puck on the stick for the simple reason opposition cant score and teams were more than happy to cycle the puck endlessly and get a shot on goal. Teams have learned to beat out those big cycling teams with speed. Now it is really hard to break down a defensive system once it is inplace unless your name is Conor McDavid. So getting a corsi event now before the defensive system can be established is key. Only way to do that is good passing and speed. We always thought that carrying the puck in is so much better than dump and chase but part of the reason is it is not easy to win a board battle and get a scoring chance before defensive help comes and if you do get control chances are the defensive system is already in play for that situation. Now some teams dont necessarily have the fastest players but they play a fast game with passing.
    So the question is are those poor advanced teams still getting a lot of high and medium chance corsi events on the rush and less than 5 seconds after entering the offensive zone. That is yet to be determined. But it really seems like teams that can counter attack with speed such as last years Sens can significantly outplay their advanced stats

  122. TheVengeFulOne says:

    jtblack:
    Riddle me this. Is Duchene that much better than Turris? I honestly believe they are equals … OTT gave up a lot.

    Nash GM is awesome. 3 Huge trades in last 3 years. Love them all.

    Reminds me of the Isaiah Thomas for Kyrie deal. Kyrie is the better player, but not so much better he was worth all the extras Boston had to add.

  123. OriginalPouzar says:

    McSorley33:
    I know this will not be popular but I would advocate doing nothing this year except possibly trying to unload veterans at the deadline for draft picks ( looking at Jokinen )

    I have, in no way, given up on he season nor the playoffs. I’ve soured in my optimism, sure (and I was guarded to start with thinking we’d be closer to the wild card than the division) but have not given up.

    With that said, given our current prospect pool at forward (main high ceiling players being a few years away, Safin and Maksimov, and no guarantee that Yamamoto is ready next year, nor Benson), I’m not necessarily in favor of Chia trading material futures to try and right the ship right now.

    In no way should Puljijarvi be traded for immediate help unless the return we get is value akin to what his value was at the draft. This player may very well live up to his draft day pedigree – he doesn’t even turn 20 until the season is over – lets not forget how young and raw he is. “Power forwards” are like d-men and often take longer to develop.

    Of course, I wouldn’t be against improvements if the futures currency didn’t cost too much.

    If some tinkering isn’t enough to right the ship, I am fine seeing how things go and, if the team happens to not be in contention come February, I am just fine selling Maroon, Letestu and Jokinen as playoff rentals. The first two should give us some nice picks/prospects to go along with our own pick in this deep and talented draft.

    This one year could go along ways to setting us up for the future and giving us a better prospect pool for these important value contracts we’ll need going forward.

  124. jimmers2 says:

    On a sunnier note, in his first four games since… what is it? last December? Tyler Benson is 2G2A , 1G2A in his last game vs. Kamloops. Miles to go but a nice start.

  125. godot10 says:

    stush18:

    The oilers have about 3.5 million in cap space right now, and guess what the difference between eberle and stromes cap hit is? So you could replace stromes 1 goal with ebs 2, and leave absolutely no cap space.

    Jordan Eberle has 4 goals and 11 points in 14 games…like clockwork, he is again on track for 25 goals and 65 points. His only down years were the two years under McLellan. Pouliot’s only down years (recently) were the years under McLellan. Kassian has taken two as braindead penalties this season as Pouliot has ever taken.

    And it turns out all Justin Schultz needed was a good coach. Why couldn’t McLellan unlock him?

    Anton Lander is a more useful player than Strome. He can win faceoffs and penalty kill.

  126. leadfarmer says:

    Woodguy v2.0,

    Woodguy, how has Hamonic fared in Calgary. Just curious if you’ve looked at him.

    As predicted, Smith is doing very well for them. Hes a jerk, but a pretty good goalie

  127. GMB3 says:

    stush18: Meh. I think it would be pretty easy to talk about the positives if others were.

    Not a peep of nuge, slepy, sekera almost being back, benning improving his play, Larsson engaging more offensively when paired with nurse, lucic looking faster this year, maroons point streak coming to an end at seven games, benson, Safin, makismov, wells and berglund all killing it in the minors, the unreal job weve done drafting lately,the college free agents we keep signing, and whatever else might be going on.

    I understand it can’t always be positive, but my god is anyone even trying?

    When this team hits a winning streak (and they will), are we going to win sign TMac and chiarelli to extensions instead of firing them?

    Unlikely, because it’s easy to be negative.

    Lucic looking faster? Yet still to slow. Let’s celebrate moral victories like it’s 2014

  128. leadfarmer says:

    godot10: Jordan Eberle has 4 goals and 11 points in 14 games…like clockwork, he is again on track for 25 goals and 65 points.His only down years were the two years under McLellan.Pouliot’s only down years (recently) were the years under McLellan.Kassian has taken two as braindead penalties this season as Pouliot has ever taken.

    And it turns out all Justin Schultz needed was a good coach.Why couldn’t McLellan unlock him?

    Anton Lander is a more useful player than Strome.He can win faceoffs and penalty kill.

    Whats more interesting is he got taken off Tavares’ wing and has amazing chemistry with Barzal. The Islanders need to erect a statue for Chia. He single-handedly saved that franchise. You think Tavares was going to stay after this offseason without Chia’s gifts think again. Now that Chia gave them 2/3 of a very good second line they are in a good playoff spot and future looks a lot brighter. And they have a bunch of draft picks.

  129. admiralmark says:

    Who here can say with confidence…
    a) This management team is very good or even ok at player assessment or talent assessment? Anyone?
    b) This management team is very good or even ok at asset management? Anyone?
    c) This GM has a vision that seems to very progressive and ahead of the curve? Anyone?

    Anyone actually surprised they couldn’t build a competitive team around MCDavid?

    I’m of the opinion that even the very best of GM’s are successful because they have a asst GM or at least 1 or 2 other voices that are adept to some degree and offer up sage advice. Not to say anyone else is to blame cuz the buck stops at Chiarelli but who are the voices around him during these last couple years? If the possiblity is its an OBC member then how the f*^ck can anybody be surprised by this situation?

    Where the hell is Bob Nicholson? He needs to reassess ASAP.

  130. Bank Shot says:

    danny:
    Paying Pouliot to play for another team, and failing to replace his PK ability is a pretty egregious error.

    I’m pretty sure last season was the first season in Pouliot’s career that he spent substantial time on the PK.

    Losing him doesn’t matter. They do need an infusion of above average third/fourth line two-way guys though.

    They need a few more Pisanis. I guess Jokinen was supposed to be one but he looks done.

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

    The Duchene trade is probably turning the heat up on Chiarelli. Hall is no less of a player.

    Again the problem with Chia is not so much making the trades but what he is getting back asset wise and what he is replacing departed skill with.

    I hope he exercises patience here and sits on his hands.

  132. GMB3 says:

    Bank Shot: I’m pretty sure last season was the first season in Pouliot’s career that he spent substantial time on the PK.

    Losing him doesn’t matter. They do need an infusion of above average third/fourth line two-way guys though.

    They need a few more Pisanis. I guess Jokinen was supposed to be one but he looks done.

    Speaking of Pisanis, Pouliot played that role fairly well for most his tenure in Edmonton

  133. classict says:

    OriginalPouzar: I have, in no way, given up on he season nor the playoffs.I’ve soured in my optimism, sure (and I was guarded to start with thinking we’d be closer to the wild card than the division) but have not given up.

    With that said, given our current prospect pool at forward (main high ceiling players being a few years away, Safin and Maksimov, and no guarantee that Yamamoto is ready next year, nor Benson), I’m not necessarily in favor of Chia trading material futures to try and right the ship right now.

    In no way should Puljijarvi be traded for immediate help unless the return we get is value akin to what his value was at the draft.This player may very well live up to his draft day pedigree – he doesn’t even turn 20 until the season is over – lets not forget how young and raw he is.“Power forwards” are like d-men and often take longer to develop.

    Of course, I wouldn’t be against improvements if the futures currency didn’t cost too much.

    If some tinkering isn’t enough to right the ship, I am fine seeing how things go and, if the team happens to not be in contention come February, I am just fine selling Maroon, Letestu and Jokinen as playoff rentals.The first two should give us some nice picks/prospects to go along with our own pick in this deep and talented draft.

    This one year could go along ways to setting us up for the future and giving us a better prospect pool for these important value contracts we’ll need going forward.

    What you’re talking about is retooling like Chicago has had to do after they won Cups. Don’t you just feel like that’s absurd to have to even mention? We’re in the ELC years of the best player in the league…

  134. McSorley33 says:

    NYC-BACK-TO-TOKYO OIL (GENTLEMAN BACKPACKER) says:
    November 6, 2017 at 3:04 pm
    The Duchene trade is probably turning the heat up on Chiarelli. Hall is no less of a player.
    Again the problem with Chia is not so much making the trades but what he is getting back asset wise and what he is replacing departed skill with.
    I hope he exercises patience here and sits on his hands.
    *******************************************************************************************
    Agreed.

    For me, coming up with ZERO from trading the #16 and #33 picks is going to haunt PC worse
    that the Hall trade.

    The 2015 kids are really showing well ….and they are just getting started.

    The Hall trade we got back a good player.

    We have 0 to show for PC’ s GR trade.

    Zero is tough to overcome.

    Maybe some bad luck with the JP draft. Tkachuck and Sergachev ( 12 points !) look really, really good.

    3 transactions can really alter the course of a franchise.

    1. Hall Trade
    2. 2015 – picks flushed for Zero
    3. Draft luck

    Not blaming PC for taking JP – just saying maybe luck was not on our side.

  135. OriginalPouzar says:

    jimmers2:
    On a sunnier note, in his first four games since… what is it? last December?Tyler Benson is 2G2A , 1G2A in his last game vs. Kamloops.Miles to go but a nice start.

    This is a material prospect. The lost development time is substantial but Benson remains a high ceiling prospect and a healthy year parlayed in to him turning pro next year would be a huge boon for the organization. If a re-established Benson can be added to our prospect ranks, it will be a great help.

  136. SHILL83 says:

    Lines I’d like to see for the Islanders Game:

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

    25-6
    77-83
    4-62
    81

    PP1
    18-29-27
    77-97

    PP2
    93-55-19
    25-58

    We need to win more than two games on this road trip at the bare minimum or we will be looking to that draft broad once again. I thought I wouldn’t have to watch another NHL Draft Lottery for the reminder of Mcdavid’s contract with the Oilers. But Chia might have screwed that up big time. Best player in the world on our team and watching the past games has felt exactly like the Decade of Darkness. The minute they lose the lead in the game it feels like the game is over, the teams body language and how they continue to play is just pathetic. Very disappointed year so far.

  137. OriginalPouzar says:

    classict: What you’re talking about is retooling like Chicago has had to do after they won Cups. Don’t you just feel like that’s absurd to have to even mention? We’re in the ELC years of the best player in the league…

    Being in his ELC is meaningless to me – we have 8-9 years of Drai and McDavid with cost-certainty and I look for our general manager to build a consistent contender for most of that term. Sure, I hoped it woudl be this year but it may not – if not, I will look to the positive.

    Yes, I’m disappointed that we may need a quick one-year re-tool now as it looked like we had taken steps forward to never look back, however, I could sure as heck see the benefit of adding 3-4 new talented prospects to our pool – not only will it help with value contracts but it will help with trade currency in future deadline deals (when we are buyers).

  138. OriginalPouzar says:

    Who thinks we should and/or will see Laurent Broissoit in the nets tomorrow night?

  139. leadfarmer says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    Who thinks we should and/or will see Laurent Broissoit in the nets tomorrow night?

    Can he score goals without McDavid?

  140. Snowman says:

    McSorley33:

    Maybe some bad luck with the JP draft. Tkachuck and Sergachev ( 12 points !)look really, really good.

    Not blaming PC for taking JP – just saying maybe luck was not on our side.

    Yeah this is an interesting one to watch going forward. I think it might’ve been one of the Pouzar’s who made the comment a week or so ago about Jarmo screwing the Oilers twice in JP’s draft. Can’t fault Peter for taking JP at the time but oh man…

    It’s tough not to think Sergachev or Tkatchuk *spits* would look pretty good on the Oil this year.

    Not giving up on JP by any stretch but I wonder if Sergachev will turn out to be the 2nd best from that draft (all due respect to Laine). He is really looking like a 15 year dominating presence on the back end.

    God if he turns out to to produce 50-60 points a year maybe he even goes number one in a redraft.

  141. Gerta Rauss says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    Who thinks we should and/or will see Laurent Broissoit in the nets tomorrow night?

    They’ve got a b2b on the weekend in NY and WSH-you’d think that LB gets one of those games

    Maybe give him Jersey on Thursday..?

  142. Side says:

    godot10: Jordan Eberle has 4 goals and 11 points in 14 games…like clockwork, he is again on track for 25 goals and 65 points.His only down years were the two years under McLellan.Pouliot’s only down years (recently) were the years under McLellan.Kassian has taken two as braindead penalties this season as Pouliot has ever taken.

    And it turns out all Justin Schultz needed was a good coach.Why couldn’t McLellan unlock him?

    Anton Lander is a more useful player than Strome.He can win faceoffs and penalty kill.

    Another post where you ignore reality and find something to blame Todd about.

    You really think all Justin Schultz needed was a different coach? Laughable. You’re blinded by your hatred for McLellan and it’s honestly sad.

  143. Gerta Rauss says:

    SHILL83: or we will be looking to that draft broad once again

    Treenas Oil…?

  144. dustrock says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    Who thinks we should and/or will see Laurent Broissoit in the nets tomorrow night?

    He’ll get a game in there somewhere, but this team is going nowhere fast if Talbot doesn’t figure it out.

  145. TheVengeFulOne says:

    We are 7pts back of wild card, with 5 teams tied for the two wild card spots, with ANA just 2pts back, and Minesota 4pts back but with games in hand. There are a lot of teams to jump. I forget where the cutoff is, but I think it is 8 pts out thanksgiving weekend and it’s gg. I don’t think it’s fair to say the season is over, but I think it is fair to say it most likely will be on April 7th. I don’t think this team is gonna finish at the bottom of the league, they probably get a top 10 pick as 10ish in the west.

  146. Bag of Pucks says:

    godot10

    Anton Lander is a more useful player than Strome.He can win faceoffs and penalty kill.

    K, this is clearly trolling. There’s no way anyone can actually believe this to be true.

  147. frjohnk says:

    With the hole the Oilers are in, they are gonna ride Talbot hard. As long as he does not get injured or have some wobble, I could see him approach or even surpass last years games played

  148. OriginalPouzar says:

    frjohnk:
    With the hole the Oilers are in, they are gonna ride Talbot hard. As long as he does not get injured or have some wobble, I could see him approach or even surpass last years games played

    It would sure be helpful if he could approach last year’s level of play.

    We’ve been out-goaltended in the large majority of our games.

  149. digger50 says:

    Spector says expect a Kelly signing.

    So………faced with this poor performance problem the Oilers will only look as far as the practice rink. Typical Peter, he puts no effort into really looking or grinding out a deal. This guy is handy so sign him. Really, why was Kelly in camp in the first place? you know he’s not good enough. He’s not going to be any better than Jokinen.

    But let’s sign him cause he’s been patient and now we owe him.

    For gods sake stop taking the easy road. If this signing goes through it likely is a perfect representation of poor talent assessment and inability to accurately address the teams needs.

  150. Chelios is a Dinosaur says:

    Tough to evaluate the GM when the effort isn’t there. Tough to evaluate the coach when the lineup has holes.

    Players need to dig in.

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