Before They Make Me Run

Jujhar Khaira needed that game,  it’ll lead to more. He had an impact on both regulation goals but more than that he earned another game. The Edmonton Oilers season will roll out good and bad, but men like Khaira (and Laurent Brossoit) have a chance to be part of this caravan in the coming years. For both men, yesterday was a good day. Now do it again. That’s the gig.

The Edmonton Oilers should have won last night’s game. After six weeks of making goalies look like Dom Hasek, they ran into the real deal. Patrick Maroon could have had two goals easy, he didn’t cash all night. Although it was a bitter pill (losing in the shootout), that was a quality effort by the road team last night.

  • Todd McLellan: “We’re still struggling to score, but I liked a lot of our players and a lot of our game tonight. Let’s carry it forward.”

THE ATHLETIC

The special Lowetide offer is here. Here are some things worth reading:

Great feedback so far, very much appreciated.

PIKES PEAK, YEAR OVER YEAR

  • Oilers in November 2015: 2-4-1, goal differential -5
  • Oilers in November 2016: 2-4-1, goal differential -6
  • Oilers in November 2017: 3-3-1, goal differential -2

This year’s November model is the best of Todd McLellan’s three Oilers teams, posting seven points in their seven November games (five last year and in 2015-16). The road trip (2-1-1) should be considered a success by any measure but the long climb to the playoffs gets harder with each step. Coming from behind in Bettman’s NHL is a desperate and borderline hopeless pursuit. Godspeed, Edmonton Oilers.

AFTER 17, YEAR OVER YEAR

  • Oilers 15-16: 6-11-0, goal differential -10
  • Oilers 16-17: 9-7-1, goal differential +1
  • Oilers 17-18: 6-9-2, goal differential -13

The Oilers were 3-6-1 in October and are 3-3-1 in November. If they can get to (and stay at) .500 by the end of the month there is still hope. The goal differential is a problem because it’s not getting better. The Oilers are playing good defense now but the goals aren’t coming. Bad luck in some places, lack of talent in others.

OILERS BY THE NUMBERS

  • Corsi for 5×5: 55.32 (No. 2)
  • Fenwick for 5×5: 55.17 (No. 1)
  • Shots for percentage 5×5: 53.51 (No. 4)
  • Scoring chance for percentage 5×5: 55.71 (No. 1)
  • High-Danger scoring chances for percentage 5×5: 56.29 (No. 2)
  • Goals for pecetntage 5×5: 46.43 (No. 24)
  • Source

I used to wonder what it was like to be the Los Angeles Kings, who were Corsi demons. I don’t think McLellan’s system is as drastic as Sutter’s, and the scoring chances are there. Are the Edmonton Oilers the gang that can’t shoot straight? I think it’s a lack of talent at forward, beyond the top two lines.

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: 2-1-1)
  • 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: 3-3-1, seven points in seven games

The prediction at the beginning of the month rings true but I’ll give credit for a solid road trip by a struggling team. If they could cobble together more goals, and get some calls (what in h-e-double-hockey-sticks was that call on Nuge? and no call on McDavid’s breakaway? Bias Incorporated) maybe they win six of the final nine games of this month.

DEFENSE, LAST NIGHT

  • Nurse-Larsson had a successful evening based on the numbers, going 23-7 together (16-7 with 97). Went 10-5 against Ovechkin-Kuznetsov-Smith-Pelly. You’d take that all day. Lots of folks jumping on the Nurse bandwagon, a couple of notes there. First, the five-year rule is a good one. Second, wobble can occur even after five years. Oscar Klefbom is in a tough patch right now, doesn’t mean he can’t play the position.
  • Auvitu-Russell went 22-8 together, 14-4 with McDavid and 6-4 with Nuge. Went 11-3 against Stephenson-Backstrom-Oshie, that’s a damned good line. Auvitu is a Corsi God, clearly. He has some chaos to his game but the game is mostly occurring light years from the Oilers net when he is on the ice. He’s a cray player.
  • Klefbom-Benning went 14-9 together, including 9-6 against Ovechkin-Kuznetsov-Smith-Pelly. It’s a ridiculously talented pairing, they were in fact second pair based on 5×5 ice time last night.
  • Laurent Brossoit stopped 18 of 19, .947. He was fine.
  • NaturalStatTrick and NHL.com.

FORWARDS, LAST NIGHT

  • Maroon-McDavid-Draisaitl had all kinds of chances, Maroon probably didn’t sleep a wink thinking about those 10-bell opportunities. 12 shots on goal. Connor McDavid has a 10-point night in his future, pretty sure.
  • Khaira-Strome-Pakarinen went 14-5, Strome and Khaira got some time with McDavid and looked good during 97’s double shifting. Khaira earned another game, it was great to see him playing so well. He looked good with real skill too, Maroon’s fighting major gave him some time with 97.
  • Lucic-Nuge-Puljujarvi went 10-6, worked hard and effectively. I keep noticing JP in the places that you would expect a center to be, he’s effective as first forward back. Nuge may be sealing Maroon’s future in real time, you cannot trade that guy.
  • Malone-Letestu-Kassian went 2-2, Letestu is the incredible shrinking time-on-ice man. Man. Malone needs to stop taking penalties, and of course he knows it.

WHAT TO DO?

I think the Oilers need to add a scoring winger, someone who can help on the depth lines and move up as required. Maybe it’s time to give Rattie or Laleggia a shot and I do think we’ve reached a point where Jussi Jokinen’s spot in the lineup shouldn’t be guaranteed. Jujhar Khaira replaced him last night, and even without the goal had more impact than the veteran. I’m not calling out Chiarelli on this one, the Jokinen addition looked like a grand idea to me. Not every good idea works out, that’s a fact. One good idea they’ll have to try eventually: McDavid, Leon and Nuge on separate lines. PC needs to find another winger (or two) to make it so.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

A busy morning after a high event weekend. We get started at 10 this morning, TSN1260. Scheduled to appear:

  • Pierre Lebrun, TSN & The Athletic. Oilers crossroads and HHOF list is divine.
  • Taylor Burns, Absolute Human Performance. We explore a new opportunity for Edmonton athletes.
  • Jason Gregor, TSN1260. Eskimos roll, Oilers play well and get just one point.

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

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151 Responses to "Before They Make Me Run"

  1. OriginalPouzar says:

    Khaira played a very nice game last night. I was nice to see him confident with the puck and making some plays. He’s definitely earned himself another game over Jokinen.

    The speed that Kharia brings over Jokinen and the speed inserted in the last few games with Kharia and Puljijarvi is material and makes a difference.

  2. OriginalPouzar says:

    I wonder if the boys are skating today or if its a day off? I’m guessing a day off but I’m very hopeful to see Drake in the lineup over Malone very soon (and Slep in over Pakarinan).

    Come on, no more injuries before the currently wounded get back.

    Our healthy lineup is just fine up front, we just don’t have the NHL depth players to fill in for injuries – so it seems.

  3. OriginalPouzar says:

    While the season hasn’t gone like any Oiler fan has wanted, there are three pluses right now that could/should be HUGE for the future:

    1) Darnell Nurse – We were all hoping that he’d build on last year’s season and take another step forward but I’m not sure that anyone expected him to take this large of a step. He is tireless out there and is making good decisions and good plays consistantly. I don’t think he’ll ever have the offence to be a true #1 d-man but he can be a great complimentary guy on a top pairing

    2) Jesse Puljijarvi – I know its only been two games and the key is consistency but I think we are starting to see the player we drafted. I don’t think he’ll ever be a huge point producer but this is a legit top 6 forward who is going to excel in all zones – he’s big, fast, skilled and smart out there. Lets not forget, he doesn’t turn 20 until May

    3) Ryan Nugent-Hopkins – He is driving that 2nd line – while its not an elite scoring line, he is creating offence like he hasn’t since his first few years and is a very material player. I’d like to see him get a PP push.

  4. OriginalPouzar says:

    Geez – the goals percentage simply does not line up with the rest of the numbers. Its not a matter of taken bad shots as the scoring changes and high danger scoring chances are right up there. This has to turn around soon – the puck will start going in in bunches, it has to.

    Corsi for 5×5: 55.32 (No. 2)
    Fenwick for 5×5: 55.17 (No. 1)
    Shots for percentage 5×5: 53.51 (No. 4)
    Scoring chance for percentage 5×5: 55.71 (No. 1)
    High-Danger scoring chances for percentage 5×5: 56.29 (No. 2)
    Goals for percentage 5×5: 46.43 (No. 24)

  5. OriginalPouzar says:

    My goodness that Nurse/Larsson pairing was great last night.

    Darnell – my goodness – that man is tireless – skating the puck out of danger with confidence – consistently.

  6. OriginalPouzar says:

    I liked Auvitu’s game last night – he was engaging offensively and making plays.

    Of course, he didn’t need to defend very much in our own zone and he will look good in such games.

  7. OriginalPouzar says:

    I really liked the coach’s deployment of the forwards.

    Double shifted McDavid on all of the other lines sporadically throughout the game.

  8. dustrock says:

    OriginalPouzar – not only do the stats suggest the Oilers should start winning more, but I read last night that we have drawn the fewest penalties in the entire NHL.

    Not only was the PP killing us, we weren’t getting PP opportunities.

    Is this something that the team is doing, or just the continued hate by the officials?

    Saw Tim Peel was reffing yesterday and knew we were going to lose.

  9. Brantford Boy says:

    LT – Connor McDavid – 26:08 – Barely left the ice
    I suspect by the end of the month Gene will be interviewing him on the Zamboni between periods…

    Tough assignment loss for Khaira, but good game otherwise… think I have some leftover crow, JP looked good again yesterday, agree with LT regarding the responsible play…

    Next time Maroon should just break his stick over Holtby’s head and not his knee, I’m sure he would feel better, I know I would…

  10. anjinsan says:

    How do you make sense of all those positive metrics and being dead last in the league in scoring?

    Answer: poor accuracy or poor targeting. McLellan’s systems approach is generating the shots, but the shooters are poor shooters. Case in point — you have a dearth of talent when Letestu, the 4C, is your best option in a shootout.

    Call the Nurse! Man, I love this player. He came to camp CLEARLY matured and CLEARLY buffed out.

    Nuge! He camp to camp fitter, finer, and ready. The coach asks Nuge to do this or that. Nuge does this or that, quietly, with class, speed, and talent. A fine Canadian, a fine player and teammate.

    I dread the impending fleecing(s) of Chiarelli, every GM wanting and knowing he can get a Shero/Snow deal (as opposed to a Sakic/Duchene deal).

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

    dustrock,

    You are correct good sir. In 17 games the Oilers have drawn 47 penalties which is dead last.

    They are a full 30 opportunities back of Chicago who are first and 17 back of 15th place St. Louis.

    I love me a good conspiracy theory and this right here is a good one!

    anjinsan,

    Seems to be a common refrain here. “Well the numbers are skewed because they are shooting for corsi”

    Nice sentiment but that is dashed by the HDSC numbers which also have them at the top of the league.

    Cold streaks are a thing. Missing tap ins, open nets and flubbing shots are things.

    Pat Maroon was case and point last night and his very nice $300 stick ended up as kindling as a result.

    In the very near future the top line will score a 5v5 goal. In very short order after that the top line will score 10 5v5 goals.

    I hope Vegas and their 18th string goaltender is where the levee breaks

  12. Scungilli Slushy says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    I really liked the coaches deployment of the forwards.

    Double shifted McDavid on all of the other lines sporadically throughout the game.

    I wonder if McL is trying to get the offensive juice flowing for the strugglers in doing that. I think it’s a good idea. Pace and creativity from all world players seems to rub off on others.

    The B6 offense is starting to come, let’s hope it keeps up, goes back to normal.

    IF they make the playoffs, I could see them running McD Drai Nuge at C. That would assume everyone has their game up to normal levels and the three are still playing well. It would be a real hassle for the opponent and in road games somebody is going to get clear air.

    Auvitu could have quite the raise if he could tighten up his D zone play. The league is moving in his player type’s direction right now. He doesn’t need to hit a lot or look to crush guys but that means having a really good stick and using his speed to gain position on bigger players, cut off lanes, using his speed to tight gap in the neutral zone and at the blue line forcing dump ins.

    That would be a really big thing for the team, other than he plays the wrong side.

  13. SoCaloil says:

    Here’s a crazy idea

    If you want to split up McDavid n Drai, why not
    Maroon-Nuge-McDavid
    Lucic- drai – poolparty/sleppy
    Rest

    I’m not saying every day but it would give ya a different dynamic

  14. Scungilli Slushy says:

    Brantford Boy: Tough assignment loss for Khaira, but good game otherwise…

    He looked devastated on the bench after, bet he won’t make that mistake again soon, poor kid. I hope he just keeps playing as hard as he can and sticks long enough to settle. He’s a dandy 4th liner and the team can use his functional toughness if Maroon doesn’t stay. And he seems to be able to skate!

  15. OriginalPouzar says:

    dustrock:
    OriginalPouzar – not only do the stats suggest the Oilers should start winning more, but I read last night that we have drawn the fewest penalties in the entire NHL.

    Not only was the PP killing us, we weren’t getting PP opportunities.

    Is this something that the team is doing, or just the continued hate by the officials?

    Saw Tim Peel was reffing yesterday and knew we were going to lose.

    Yup, seeing Tim Peel is never a good thing for an Oiler fan.

    Yes, I also read/heard that we’ve drawn the least amount of penalties in the league. I guess it makes sense that we are drawing less than last year due to a decrease in team speed, however, at the same time, McDavid is “infracted on” at least 4-6 (of not many more) times/game and they aren’t called.

    You can see the man frustrated but what can you do?

    Perhaps the Coach needs to make mention of this in a media avail and bite the bullet on a fine? Will that help or make it worse (or have no effect)?

  16. OriginalPouzar says:

    Answer: poor accuracy or poor targeting.McLellan’s systems approach is generating the shots, but the shooters are poor shooters.Case in point — you have a dearth of talent when Letestu, the 4C, is your best option in a shootout.

    Letestu is the best option in a shootout, not because of a dearth of talent, but because he has excelled in shootouts over his career. Well over 40% in his career including 4/9 last season.

    His career shootout percentage is upper echelon.

  17. fishman says:

    There were lots of encouraging signs from this past road trip. Still making every goalie we face look like a Vezina winner, although Holtby a legitimate contender. It is critical that the team carry over that strong play at home and rack up some points. If they back slide at home after a strong road trip it could be over for playoff hopes. I know it seems silly to think there is an nhl conspiracy from the refs but we don’t get many breaks (homer view I know!) What can’t be disputed is the number of penalties we have drawn this year????

    Other than OT Drai has not seemed himself for past number of games. Here’s hoping no 1 line can start rolling and 2 nd line continues strong play with JP. Go Oilers!

  18. Dominoiler says:

    JJ gets a pass for costing his team the GA by not sticking with his guy?.. ok.. :/

    Sure, let’s celebrate the goal, needed that for sure, but it’s also what you give up, and for me that was the story w JJ last night.. the young man needs to put it all together before any crazy talk about caravanning for years w the team.. jmho

  19. treevojo says:

    OriginalPouzar: Letestu is the best option in a shootout, not because of a dearth of talent, but because he has excelled in shootouts over his career. Well over 40% in his career including 4/9 last season.

    His career shootout percentage is upper echelon.

    Get those facts out of here.

    This argument of only the star players should be used in the shootout has been going on since the shootout came in.

    The casual fan obviously knows more then the coach and all those silly numbers you showed.

  20. slopitch says:

    I haven’t done the math for next years salary. But I think they are gonna have to let Maroon, Strome and Letetsu walk in order to afford both Nuge and Nurse at say 4.25. In some ways Benning’s struggles will keep him affordable. Cheap and affordable wingers is gonna have to be the MO. Keep the draft picks and scout the NCAA and euro leagues hard. Kailer Yamamoto is gonna be a god send next summer. Need Benson to stay healthy and develop.

    In the short term, the team has turned the corner imo but arent getting the results. It will come if they can stay healthy. McDavid is an absolute beast. Two observations last night were that the increased speed (with size/sklll!) on the forecheck is causing a lot more havoc. Beauty. Second is that Drai is turning into a 2 way stud. He must have caused 4 takeaways last game. Plus that dive he made to break up the possible breakaway late.

  21. leadfarmer says:

    OriginalPouzar: Letestu is the best option in a shootout, not because of a dearth of talent, but because he has excelled in shootouts over his career. Well over 40% in his career including 4/9 last season.

    His career shootout percentage is upper echelon.

    Yeah I think the bigger issue is Ryan Strome really our 4th best guy to play on 3v3. Is that where we are at?

  22. Dominoiler says:

    leadfarmer: Yeah I think the bigger issue is Ryan Strome really our 4th best guy to play on 3v3.Is that where we are at?

    4th liner, Ryan Strome

  23. treevojo says:

    leadfarmer: Yeah I think the bigger issue is Ryan Strome really our 4th best guy to play on 3v3.Is that where we are at?

    In a couple more games it might just be Jesse.

  24. slopitch says:

    In regards to the first bit of my last comment is that the Oilers are in a very interesting spot. They have a good team I believe, with holes in the bottom 6. You can waste year 3 of Connors ELC. You just cant. The top 6 is legit and you dont burn a year waiting for bottom 6 talent do you? So with that in mind, how do you upgrade the bottom 6 keeping in mind the long term need of value contract wingers. Is Jujar, DC and Slepy enough? Based on current level of play I will say no. With improvements from development, maybe. So the Oilers only real solution imo is to shop from the bargain bins like Pittsburgh has done a good job of lately. Offer 3rds and/or use this years cap space as an asset to a team looking to save cash. God speed Peter Chiarelli.

  25. OriginalPouzar says:

    treevojo: Get those facts out of here.

    This argument of only the star players should be used in the shootout has been going on since the shootout came in.

    The casual fan obviously knows more then the coach and all those silly numbers you showed.

    Yup – I hear that argument with the shoot out picks all the time.

    I’m not even positive the McDavid should be in the top 3 every game. Last night for sure, first shootout of the season, however, he does not have good results in the shootout up to now.

    Interesting that Ovechkin was not in the shootout – arguably the best goal scorer of all time.

  26. OriginalPouzar says:

    slopitch:
    I haven’t done the math for next years salary. But I think they are gonna have to let Maroon, Strome and Letetsu walk in order to afford both Nuge and Nurse at say 4.25. In some ways Benning’s struggles will keep him affordable. Cheap and affordable wingers is gonna have to be the MO. Keep the draft picks and scout the NCAA and euro leagues hard. Kailer Yamamoto is gonna be a god send next summer. Need Benson to stay healthy and develop.

    In the short term, the team has turned the corner imo but arent getting the results. It will come if they can stay healthy. McDavid is an absolute beast. Two observations last night were that the increased speed (with size/sklll!) on the forecheck is causing a lot more havoc. Beauty. Second is that Drai is turning into a 2 way stud. He must have caused 4 takeaways last game. Plus that dive he made to break up the possible breakaway late.

    Oh, in my mind, Maroon cannot be resigned and I think its a no-brainer that Letestu has to be let go unless he’s resigning around $1M.

    I like Patty Maroon but Nuge is the more valuable player and we need value contracts in that top 6 on the wing. We need two of Puljijarvi, Benson and Yamamoto (or an acquired developing player) to fill the top 6 next year. Thank god Jesse is starting to look like he might be able to run with one spot.

    Its too bad Safin and Maksimov are still a number of years away – great high ceiling prospects.

    The unfortunate thing is that we will lose Maroon for nothing – we cannot trade him (sell him) if we are in contention for a playoff spot and, at this point, I’m not willing to think about being sellers at the deadline.

    I’m not positive that Nurse will require that high of a cap hit – phenomenal arrows up right now but, at the end of the day, his point total will still be low which could serve to limit the number.

    With that said, that damn Michael Matheson contract could come back to bite us on this one.

  27. OriginalPouzar says:

    treevojo: In a couple more games it might just be Jesse.

    Yup, I was hoping to see Jesse out there but wasn’t surprised that he didn’t get the ice.

    Might be a bit raw (even though he has pretty good awareness on the ice).

  28. Walter Sobchak says:

    “I think the Oilers need to add a scoring winger, someone who can help on the depth lines and move up as required.”

    Truth!

    Getting rid of Eberle is fine, however, the value coming back has to be at least comparable….

    Getting rid of Pouliot was just dumb, a very poor move & anyway you look at it, the value he had as a player was grossly misjudged by everyone, this is not just on Chiarelli.

  29. texmex says:

    OriginalPouzar,

    He does the exact same move every time!! The goalies know what he is going to do now. Watch the shoot out again and watch Holtby cheat to the far post b/c he knows what is coming.

    If test added one more option to his shoot out repertoire, it would at least keep goalies guessing.

    With that said, I’m not sure if there is better option right now? JP?

  30. who says:

    Dominoiler:
    JJ gets a pass for costing his team the GA by not sticking with his guy?.. ok.. :/

    Sure, let’s celebrate the goal, needed that for sure, but it’s also what you give up, and for me that was the story w JJ last night.. the young man needs to put it all together before any crazy talk about caravanning for years w the team.. jmho

    Yeah he lost his man but that was a great play by Orlov and Wilson. Don’t see many Oiler wingers doing any better on that play.
    Kharia had a good game. Hope the coach keeps him in the lineup for a run of games now. We are a much better, and faster, team with him and JP in the lineup.

  31. JimmyV1965 says:

    One of the things that made the Jokinnen signing so attractive was the contract. It’s easy to dispose of. When the time is right, it will be easy to dump him.

  32. Bobcaygeon says:

    OriginalPouzar,

    You cannot trade Maroon, I think the priority should be to move Lucic….Maroon does more of what Lucic was suppose to do anyway.
    The Priority has to be to move Lucic……….Arghhhhhhh Taylor Hall…

    Sorry…..

    Then Chiarelli has to find two wingers capable of pushing the river, of course this means parting with a combination of ether Nurse/Klefbom and picks.

  33. JimmyV1965 says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    Geez – the goals percentage simply does not line up with the rest of the numbers.Its not a matter of taken bad shots as the scoring changes and high danger scoring chances are right up there. This has to turn around soon – the puck will start going in in bunches, it has to.

    Corsi for 5×5: 55.32 (No. 2)
    Fenwick for 5×5: 55.17 (No. 1)
    Shots for percentage 5×5: 53.51 (No. 4)
    Scoring chance for percentage 5×5: 55.71 (No. 1)
    High-Danger scoring chances for percentage 5×5: 56.29 (No. 2)
    Goals for percentage 5×5: 46.43 (No. 24)

    That is truly mind boggling.

  34. fishman says:

    OriginalPouzar: Oh, in my mind, Maroon cannot be resigned and I think its a no-brainer that Letestu has to be let go unless he’s resigning around $1M.

    I like Patty Maroon but Nuge is the more valuable player and we need value contracts in that top 6 on the wing. We need two of Puljijarvi, Benson and Yamamoto (or an acquired developing player) to fill the top 6 next year.Thank god Jesse is starting to look like he might be able to run with one spot.

    Its too bad Safin and Maksimov are still a number of years away – great high ceiling prospects.

    The unfortunate thing is that we will lose Maroon for nothing – we cannot trade him (sell him) if we are in contention for a playoff spot and, at this point, I’m not willing to think about being sellers at the deadline.

    I’m not positive that Nurse will require that high of a cap hit – phenomenal arrows up right now but, at the end of the day, his point total will still be low which could serve to limit the number.

    With that said, that damn Michael Matheson contract could come back to bite us on this one.

    I think you are correct on Maroon and that is really too bad. That physical presence of his combined with soft hands will be missed. He does provide some space for Connor. I can’t see any demand for Letestu out there and if he wants to keep playing it will have to be at a much lower salary (less than 1 mil) The game has changed and older, slower players don’t generate much interest. Teams are having to pay their younger stars a lot more and at an earlier age (2nd contract) Doesn’t leave a lot of room for bottom 6 pluggers and 5-6 D. Younger, faster value contracts required!

  35. JimmyV1965 says:

    OriginalPouzar: Corsi for 5×5: 55.32 (No. 2)
    Fenwick for 5×5: 55.17 (No. 1)
    Shots for percentage 5×5: 53.51 (No. 4)
    Scoring chance for percentage 5×5: 55.71 (No. 1)
    High-Danger scoring chances for percentage 5×5: 56.29 (No. 2)
    Goals for percentage 5×5: 46.43 (No. 24)

    OriginalPouzar:
    I really liked the coach’s deployment of the forwards.

    Double shifted McDavid on all of the other lines sporadically throughout the game.

    I really liked him double shifting McDavid. I’m not sure he has ever done it. And it should happen more often. Would still like to see Drai as the RW on the RNH line. This could make it one of the best second lines in the league. At least try it.

  36. who says:

    Bobcaygeon:
    OriginalPouzar,

    You cannot trade Maroon, I think the priority should be to move Lucic….Maroon does more of what Lucic was suppose to do anyway.
    The Priority has to be to move Lucic……….Arghhhhhhh Taylor Hall…

    Sorry…..

    Then Chiarelli has to find two wingers capable of pushing the river, of course this means parting with a combination of ether Nurse/Klefbom and picks.

    No, you cannot trade Lucic. Its called a NMC. As a result, Maroon has to go.
    As to the wingers, club has to find cheap young, or old, options. Trading cheap young prospects for high end, high cost, wingers is not an option. Take a good look at our cap situation and then tell me where we fit in another high cost winger.

  37. Woogie63 says:

    Oilers are about to get faster, way faster with out a trade

    Sekera will replace Gryba …. think about that for a two seconds
    Caggiula will replace Jokinen
    Slepyshev will replace Pakarinen
    Khaira will replace Malone
    Puljujarvi will replace Yamamoto …about equal in speed, but big man vs. little man

    This is a significant change in our top 9 forwards and top 4 defense.

  38. JimmyV1965 says:

    OriginalPouzar: Yup, seeing Tim Peel is never a good thing for an Oiler fan.

    Yes, I also read/heard that we’ve drawn the least amount of penalties in the league.I guess it makes sense that we are drawing less than last year due to a decrease in team speed, however, at the same time, McDavid is “infracted on” at least 4-6 (of not many more) times/game and they aren’t called.

    You can see the man frustrated but what can you do?

    Perhaps the Coach needs to make mention of this in a media avail and bite the bullet on a fine?Will that help or make it worse (or have no effect)?

    Funny, I was thinking that last night. The coach needs to go nuclear in a press conference on the reffing. It can’t make it worse. Were last already.

  39. npanciroli says:

    What is fascinating to me, is what we do with Russell. Currently on the third pair with Sekera coming back.

    Would anyone even trade for Russell. That really helps our cap issues in my opinion.

    You could then roll:

    Nurse Larsson (who have been fantastic – really anyone with Larsson looks great)
    Klefbom Benning
    Sekera X until Sekera is up to speed.

    I’m not concerned with the talent in scoring to be honest – this has to be bad luck and the numbers and eye test are showing it.

    Maroon McDavid Drai
    Lucic RNH JP
    Cagguila Strome Slepyshev
    Khaira Letestu Kassian

    is a solid forward group when healthy. Could even kill people with depth by going McDavid Drai RNH down the middle with Strome taking Drai’s spot.

  40. npanciroli says:

    Woogie63,

    I definitely agree.

  41. OriginalPouzar says:

    texmex:
    OriginalPouzar,

    He does the exact same move every time!! The goalies know what he is going to do now. Watch the shoot out again and watch Holtby cheat to the far post b/c he knows what is coming.

    If test added one more option to his shoot out repertoire, it would at least keep goalies guessing.

    With that said, I’m not sure if there is better option right now? JP?

    Whether he uses the same move or not, whether the goalies are able to cheat or not, since the inception of the shootout, Letestu has been an upper echelon performer, including last season.

    He is over 40% for his career and was 4 for 9 last year.

    I don’t care what move(s) he uses or if the goalies know what’s coming, the puck goes in the net more often than with any other shooter on our team (and most in the league).

  42. Bobcaygeon says:

    who,

    Yes you can, if he’s willing to give you a list of teams. Or the Oilers can refuse to play him and force the trade. IT can happen and it should happen.

    As far as the wingers….Thats why its imperative the Oilers dump Lucic. It gives the Oilers options.
    Lucic cant be an Oiler going forward…..Full Stop.

  43. OriginalPouzar says:

    Bobcaygeon:
    OriginalPouzar,

    You cannot trade Maroon, I think the priority should be to move Lucic….Maroon does more of what Lucic was suppose to do anyway.
    The Priority has to be to move Lucic……….Arghhhhhhh Taylor Hall…

    Sorry…..

    Then Chiarelli has to find two wingers capable of pushing the river, of course this means parting with a combination of ether Nurse/Klefbom and picks.

    They move Maroon (along with Letestu and Jokinen) if we are not in contention for a playoff spot as the deadline approaches – if we are in that sad scenario, we must be sellers – we could get some decent/good picks/prospects back for those 3 players I would think and it could actually go a ways to setting up our prospect pool for the next bit.

    With that said, no, if they are in contention, they will not be sellers and Maroon will not be trade – he will, unfortunately, have to go for nothing in the off-season – it will be what it will be.

  44. Woogie63 says:

    who: No, you cannot trade Lucic. Its called a NMC. As a result, Maroon has to go.
    As to the wingers, club has to find cheap young, or old, options. Trading cheap young prospects for high end, high cost, wingers is not an option. Take a good look at our cap situation and then tell me where we fit in another high cost winger.

    Maroon will need to sign an extremely club friendly contract or he will have to go, and we should be ok with that.

    He will be 30 years old on that next contract, I for one think we got his best years (And the Ducks paid a portion of his contract). Let someone else sign Mr. Maroon to a 4 x $4M contract.

    If Maroon goes, I would like to see, Slepyshev, Caggiula or Benson on that wing, which may allow the coach to put Driasaitl at centre.

    Caggiula-McDavid-Puljujarvi might be a great first line for years to come.

  45. leeinvan says:

    Here is a fact, not an opinion. If the Oilers don’t score a minimum 3.2 goals in every single game that’s left they will not make the playoffs.
    You can bet your mortgage on that. It’s great that the coach keeps saying the goals will come , every game they don’t score 3 goals moves the dial to needing more goals per game.
    It’s getting ugly

  46. fishman says:

    JimmyV1965: Funny, I was thinking that last night. The coach needs to go nuclear in a press conference on the reffing.It can’t make it worse. Were last already.

    Having 97 on our team should really put us at least middle of the pack in penalties drawn based on the level of hooks and holds he puts up with every game! Caps took 0 penalties other than Wilsons tangles with Maroon??? Yesterday Holtby went down like he was a victim of sniper fire. Goalies are really steady on their skates and the slight contact by Nuge had him flopping like a beached fish. Like to see crackdown on embellishment. Seems like certain NHL players watching too much European Football!

  47. leadfarmer says:

    treevojo: In a couple more games it might just be Jesse.

    You think Tmac grows trust that quickly?

  48. OmJo says:

    SayItAin’tSo, Gretz, SayItAin’tSo!: Nice sentiment but that is dashed by the HDSC numbers which also have them at the top of the league.

    Could it just be that too many of our players lack finishing ability? So even if we are 2nd in HDSC%, if the players can’t finish, well…

    We are still 30th in the league in goals for. Sure, part of it is bad luck, part of it is injuries, but at 17 games into the season I think it might be more than just bad luck at this point.

  49. leadfarmer says:

    fishman: Having 97 on our team should really put us at least middle of the pack in penalties drawn based on the level of hooks and holds he puts up with every game!Caps took 0 penalties other than Wilsons tangles with Maroon??? Yesterday Holtby went down like he was a victim of sniper fire. Goalies are really steady on their skates and the slight contact by Nuge had him flopping like a beached fish. Like to see crackdown on embellishment. Seems like certain NHL players watching too much European Football!

    My favorite was when Lucic got slashed on the hands three time in a row when he had the puck along the boards in the second period. The refs decided they’re not going to call shit.

  50. leeinvan says:

    npanciroli,

    Almost a quarter of the season is gone and the team is the lowest scoring team in the league.
    What makes you think that suddenly this team scores piles of goals. To my eye it’s a team that is struggling to score and shows very little confidence.
    Leon is definitely off, his body language shows it, even when he scores there is no smile, something is wrong this team,

  51. texmex says:

    OriginalPouzar,

    He scored 3 times on his first 4 attempts. Since then he has 1 goal on 6 attempts, or roughly 17%. He’s also 0 for his last 4 attempts.

    My guess is the goalies know what is coming.

    But as they say, try and try again.

  52. OmJo says:

    The top line hasn’t scored since the 3rd period of the New Jersey game. The first New Jersey game, in Edmonton.

    Red Wings, Devils, Islanders, Rangers, and now Capitals. 5 games. No 5v5 scoring. Have teams figured this line out? Are McDavid or Draisaitl injured?

  53. treevojo says:

    leadfarmer: You think Tmac grows trust that quickly?

    He trusts him enough to put him in his top six in regulation.

    I think what boils down to a skills competition he will have no problem putting him out there if he deems him to possess that skill set.

  54. frjohnk says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    Geez – the goals percentage simply does not line up with the rest of the numbers.Its not a matter of taken bad shots as the scoring changes and high danger scoring chances are right up there. This has to turn around soon – the puck will start going in in bunches, it has to.

    Corsi for 5×5: 55.32 (No. 2)
    Fenwick for 5×5: 55.17 (No. 1)
    Shots for percentage 5×5: 53.51 (No. 4)
    Scoring chance for percentage 5×5: 55.71 (No. 1)
    High-Danger scoring chances for percentage 5×5: 56.29 (No. 2)
    Goals for percentage 5×5: 46.43 (No. 24)

    Los Angeles last year

    Corsi for 5×5: 54.99 (No. 1)
    Fenwick for 5×5: 54.94 (No. 2)
    Shots for percentage 5×5: 54.77 (No. 2)
    Scoring chance for percentage 5×5: 53.44(No. 2)
    High-Danger scoring chances for percentage 5×5: 55.07(No. 2)
    Goals for percentage 5×5: 48.85 (No. 20)

    LA is not the only team in the last few seasons who have obliterated all shot and scoring chance metrics only to have goal metrics in the crapper but they have very comparable numbers to the Oilers this year.

    I hope and believe the Oilers goal metrics will regress to the mean and be more in line with their shot and scoring chance metrics, but they could go the whole season like this. We have seen reverse of this with Calgary and Colorado over the last few years.

  55. russ99 says:

    fishman: I think you are correct on Maroon and that is really too bad. That physical presence of his combined with soft hands will be missed. He does provide some space for Connor. I can’t see any demand for Letestu out there and if he wants to keep playing it will have to be at a much lower salary (less than 1 mil) The game has changed and older, slower players don’t generate much interest. Teams are having to pay their younger stars a lot more and at an earlier age (2nd contract) Doesn’t leave a lot of room for bottom 6 pluggers and 5-6 D. Younger, faster value contracts required!

    A little early to be thinking about that. Chia is going to add a shooter at wing, and that player could be a long-term solution, plus all the RFAs still have 65 games left to build a case to stay.

    Nuge is playing well this year, but has the same flaws (loses the puck on the wall, ineffective in tougher areas of the ice, good chance of space in the regular season not being there in the playoffs) so it remains to be seen if he’s staying. At worst, he’s built up a lot more trade value over last year.

    If we don’t make the playoffs I can see major cap room moved out (including Nuge) and major cap room moved back in.

  56. treevojo says:

    leeinvan:
    npanciroli,

    Almost a quarter of the season is gone and the team is the lowest scoring team in the league.
    What makes you think that suddenly this team scores piles of goals. To my eye it’s a team that is struggling to score and shows very little confidence.
    Leon is definitely off, his body language shows it, even when he scores there is no smile, something is wrong this team,

    https://www.nhl.com/oilers/video/draisaitl-nets-gorgeous-ot-winner/c-54415703?q=Draisaitl+ot+winner

    He really looked sad here.

  57. dessert1111 says:

    I think we should be looking at the teams already out if it (ie Arizona) for scoring depth. Mid round pick and a good prospect should get us something. Might be the time to cash Paigin. It sucks cuz any of those moves have a chance to bite you but we really need help now.

  58. treevojo says:

    Bobcaygeon:
    who,

    Yes you can, if he’s willing to give you a list of teams. Or the Oilers can refuse to play him and force the trade. IT can happen and it should happen.

    As far as the wingers….Thats why its imperative the Oilers dump Lucic.It gives the Oilers options.
    Lucic cant be an Oiler going forward…..Full Stop.

    Oilers should refuse to play their 4th leading scorer.

    9 even strength points all away from the best player in the game.

    Sit that piece of shit and teach him a lesson.

    …..FULL STOP

  59. ChiliChunk says:

    Auvitu is a Corsi God, clearly… He’s a cray player.

    Totally cray cray.

    LT – you are so hip.

  60. npanciroli says:

    Lucic has been better this year. Been a physical force lately – seems more engaged. RNH humming is a huge part of course.

  61. Dixs35 says:

    Have to say, not sure if auvitu actually plays defense. He spent the entire night playing up in the rush and the center played his d spot. Here’s an idea why don’t they play him on the wing. he can skate, take and make a pass and it’s not like there a tonne of better options out there with the injuries. Actually might find a useful player. I like the player just don’t know if he can actually play d as he doesn’t ever seem to be in that position.

  62. Scungilli Slushy says:

    OriginalPouzar: I’m not positive that Nurse will require that high of a cap hit – phenomenal arrows up right now but, at the end of the day, his point total will still be low which could serve to limit the number.

    If they bridge Nurse and Benning problem solved. They can move Sekera and Russell the following year. At least now with Connor players are motivated to stay and should be more willing to help the team out in ways like that – the players get the cap thing and that if they don’t help it could lead to being traded.

    Edit: And possibly making the team less competitive while they’re on it.

  63. Woogie63 says:

    leeinvan:
    Here is a fact, not an opinion. If the Oilers don’t score a minimum 3.2 goals in every single game that’s left they will not make the playoffs.
    You can bet your mortgage on that. It’s great that the coach keeps saying the goals will come , every game they don’t score 3 goals moves the dial to needing more goals per game.
    It’s getting ugly

    Sir, this is a statistic…a fact is you need to score one more goal than your opponent to win a game.

  64. OriginalPouzar says:

    texmex:
    OriginalPouzar,

    He scored 3 times on his first 4 attempts. Since then he has 1 goal on 6 attempts, or roughly 17%. He’s also 0 for his last 4 attempts.

    My guess is the goalies know what is coming.

    But as they say, try and try again.

    Yes, after 10 years of 45% success, all of a sudden he is a poor option? I don’t see it.

    He deserved to be in the shootout last night based on his career success, including last year.

    If he continues to struggle in the shootout then, absolutely, he should be removed from the top 3.

    At the same time, McDavid should also not be in the shootout based on his history.

  65. frjohnk says:

    npanciroli:
    Lucic has been better this year. Been a physical force lately – seems more engaged. RNH humming is a huge part of course.

    RNH is driving the second line.

    The gap between RNH and the 4th best forward is quite large.

    I love that RNH has improved on the dot and has shown more offense so far this year.

    I love that fact that he can play all situations and for the most part is doing well. And he has done it with a revolving door of right wingers.

    Also after the top line, he is leading all regulars in getting shots away from the hard area ( slot)

    If not for RNH, we might be talking about a poor bottom 9,

    Underrated player this year

  66. Dixs35 says:

    ChiliChunk,

    Saw that too. Made me smile.

  67. OriginalPouzar says:

    treevojo: Oilers should refuse to play their 4th leading scorer.

    9 even strength points all away from the best player in the game.

    Sit that piece of shit and teach him a lesson.

    …..FULL STOP

    Lucic has played MUCH better on this road trip than previous to the trip – not just points but being engaged in the game. He’s found a chemistry with Nuge and they are working well together. Milan is starting to anticipate plays before they start and is skating hard to the right areas at the right time.

    Can’t say he will be value for his contract this year or over its term, however, over the last handful of games, he has been a plus for the team.

  68. leadfarmer says:

    treevojo: He trusts him enough to put him in his top six in regulation.

    I think what boils down to a skills competition he will have no problem putting him out there if he deems him to possess that skill set.

    Now is that trust or is that a soft landing spot? Not that JPs skillset isnt ideal for that line but playing with 2 good veterans is also a very nice landing spot especially that you know that top line is going to get tough matched up galore

  69. JimmyV1965 says:

    frjohnk: Los Angeles last year

    Corsi for 5×5: 54.99 (No. 1)
    Fenwick for 5×5: 54.94 (No. 2)
    Shots for percentage 5×5: 54.77 (No. 2)
    Scoring chance for percentage 5×5: 53.44(No. 2)
    High-Danger scoring chances for percentage 5×5: 55.07(No. 2)
    Goals for percentage 5×5: 48.85 (No. 20)

    LA is not the only team in the last few seasons who have obliterated all shot and scoring chance metrics only to have goal metrics in the crapper but they have very comparable numbers to the Oilers this year.

    I hope and believe the Oilers goal metrics will regress to the mean and be more in line with their shot and scoring chance metrics, but they could go the whole season like this.We have seen reverse of this with Calgary and Colorado over the last few years.

    For sure. Anything can happen. But hopefully it balances out this year, not next year.

  70. leadfarmer says:

    OmJo:
    The top line hasn’t scored since the 3rd period of the New Jersey game. The first New Jersey game, in Edmonton.

    Red Wings, Devils, Islanders, Rangers, and now Capitals. 5 games. No 5v5 scoring. Have teams figured this line out? Are McDavid or Draisaitl injured?

    All you have to do i match that line hard and you win the game. Play conservative for the 20 min Mcdavid and Drai are on the ice and then every team can pretty much outscore the rest of our lineup easily.

  71. Bobcaygeon says:

    treevojo,

    I get the sarcasm, but, if you don’t get what his contract does to the team long term and the way the game is going then you’re wasting time and the Oilers line up will always be scattered with cheap alternatives because you overpaid an asset based on the past….

    Its terrible management..

  72. treevojo says:

    leadfarmer: Now is that trust or is that a soft landing spot?Not that JPs skillset isnt ideal for that line but playing with 2 good veterans is also a very nice landing spot especially that you know that top line is going to get tough matched up galore

    Your guess is as good as mine when it comes to how the coach views his players.

    You think it would be easier to get a read on mediocrity.

  73. treevojo says:

    texmex:
    OriginalPouzar,

    Father time catches up to us all I’m afraid. This is a results driven business and the results say he is 1 for 6 on shoot out attempts in 2017. What he did prior to 2017 means very little to me.

    What are your thoughts on selecting Ray Bourque over Gretzky in 2006? Based on history Bourque may have been the right choice?

    It’s irrelevant anyway, TMac will continue to send out Tube for the shoot.

    How many shootouts was Bourque involved in before that selection?

    I am sure it is a massive data set.

  74. treevojo says:

    Bobcaygeon:
    treevojo,

    I get the sarcasm, but, if you don’t get what his contract does to the team long term and the way the game is going then you’re wasting time and the Oilers line up will always be scattered with cheap alternatives because you overpaid an asset based on the past….

    Its terrible management..

    Lucic is producing.

    Maybe the game is changing.

    Maybe he will hit the wall.

    Maybe Maroon will hit the wall.

    Lucic vitriol seems to be a daily event with some regardless of his results.

    Last year it was power play luck.

    This year it is the game is changing and he can’t keep up.

    All he has done is continue to produce.

  75. treevojo says:

    texmex:
    treevojo,

    So you’re saying shoot out history shouldn’t matter? That’s exactly my point.

    No I am saying back then there was no data to fall back on.

    The coach picked on a whim.

    Apparently that feeling he had inside was just gas.

    He shit himself standing right there on the bench leaving Gretzky chomping at the bit.

    The two scenarios have nothing to do with each other.

  76. texmex says:

    treevojo,

    That’s fair.

  77. Pouzar says:

    Dominoiler:
    JJ gets a pass for costing his team the GA by not sticking with his guy?.. ok.. :/

    Sure, let’s celebrate the goal, needed that for sure, but it’s also what you give up, and for me that was the story w JJ last night.. the young man needs to put it all together before any crazy talk about caravanning for years w the team.. jmho

    1. Khaira was the best forward not on the 1st line last night.
    2. Re-watch that play and give the home some credit for a fucking unreal pass and shot.

    Tough crowd.

  78. Pouzar says:

    The shootout eh…we sure are trying hard to find a use for SAK.

  79. treevojo says:

    Pouzar:
    The shootout eh…we sure are trying hard to find a use for SAK.

    You are forgetting that he is also a great interview.

  80. Pouzar says:

    treevojo: You are forgetting that he is also a great interview.

    And trustworthy.

  81. Kepler says:

    Anyone ever look at team winning % by nhl referee(s)? I’d expect everything to even out over time (at least converge to teams winning % over that time) but curious if there is a noticeable bias with any particular refs. Sure seems like Oilers record is very poor when Tim Peel is officiating. Possible other refs have opposite impact on Oilers luck?

    Would like to believe none of this really matters if team plays well enough but with the parity in today’s game unfortunately this is not the case.

  82. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Posted Oiler Dmen “against/60” metrics, all “away from McDavid”

    Nurse and Benning have flipped from last year:

    https://twitter.com/Woodguy55/status/930156322510663680

  83. LMHF#1 says:

    There’s a small RW playing for the Blackhawks who sure would’ve arrived right on schedule.

    http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/pdisplay.php?pid=177559

    Just in case anyone forgot.

  84. OriginalPouzar says:

    LMHF#1:
    There’s a small RW playing for the Blackhawks who sure would’ve arrived right on schedule.

    http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/pdisplay.php?pid=177559

    Just in case anyone forgot.

    There is a bigger one that is playing for the Oilers that looks like he might have arrived right on schedule:

    http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/pdisplay.php?pid=176931

  85. OriginalPouzar says:

    Woodguy v2.0:
    Posted Oiler Dmen “against/60” metrics, all “away from McDavid”

    Nurse and Benning have flipped from last year:

    https://twitter.com/Woodguy55/status/930156322510663680

    Nurse is a darling – how can you not love this guy.

    He is tireless on the ice.

  86. LMHF#1 says:

    OriginalPouzar: There is a bigger one that is playing for the Oilers that looks like he might have arrived right on schedule:

    http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/pdisplay.php?pid=176931

    Shoulda had both.

  87. OriginalPouzar says:

    I’m personally very excited about Tyler Benson and believe he will have a future in the top 6 of this organization. Given the age of our left side, he may arrive just in time.

    He is a very high ceiling prospect who is now healthy and having a very nice early return to the WHL.

    Look forward to him turning pro next season.

  88. Woogie63 says:

    There is a contest going on in the foreground of the Oiler’s RFAs

    Brossoit, Strome, Caggiula, Slepyshev, Benning and Nurse – One of these players can earn a good pay day and the rest a probably going to a bridge contract.

  89. go_oil says:

    I am one of those fans who wants to see McDavid/Draisaitl/Nuge lined up at centre—heck, through Strome down on the fourth line too!

    Maroon-McDavid-Kassian
    Lucic-Draisaitl-Letestu
    Khaira-Nugen-Hopkins-Puljujarvi
    Malone-Strome-Pakarinen

    Haha, this would look a lot better with Slepyshev and Cagguila back in the line-up.

    I think I have to come to terms with McLellan’s deployment of lines. I think it’s great that they’ve cut back on GA with better defence/goaltending/PK and less mistakes/turnovers. I think they’re playing a smarter game, but I think their creativity and chemistry on offence is lacking. I think they have to mix it up with more screens and garbage goals… simplify things with a better variety of shots from the point that actually get through (instead of just cranking them) and corralling rebounds. I think there’s a hesitancy with shots and passes.

    I would love to see Puljujarvi on the PP either in the high slot with Maroon/Lucic stacked below in the low slot in an umbrella formation, or as a shooter on the off wing. I don’t understand why they don’t put him in a position to contribute there with his shot. They need a forward to one time shots more on the PP, not just the defensemen. They are too predictable on the PP.

    Anyway, I appreciate their underlying numbers and believe their shooting percentage will go up as this group gels. I have way more confidence in this group than the one 2 years ago int he same position. I think they’re capable of stringing together a winning streak this month to get back over .500 hockey.

  90. OriginalPouzar says:

    Woogie63:
    There is a contest going on in the foreground of the Oiler’s RFAs

    Brossoit, Strome, Caggiula, Slepyshev, Benning and Nurse – One of these players can earn a good pay day and the rest a probably going to a bridge contract.

    Lots of things to play out before any such determination of what types of contracts can be handed out and how many, however, if that is the case, there is only one play in that group that would/should be given a longer term contract.

  91. LMHF#1 says:

    OriginalPouzar,

    Relying on Benson for literally anything at this point is foolhardy.

    He’s got a massive road back to even playing in the NHL – much less making an impact of any kind. I hope he makes it but don’t think he will.

    I don’t even like to compare the two really – for me it is that objectively DeBrincat was an incredibly easy and logical pick – and they just blew right by and took a big risk (without massive upside) instead. That’s not good decision-making.

  92. OriginalPouzar says:

    I don’t agree – I still believe that Benson is a high level prospect – in fact I have no doubt of it.

    He’s missed substantial development time and that is real, however, he very well may be over injury issues and he is still a teenager. Plenty of time to continue to develop (including the rest of this season) including in Bakersfield next year.

    I’m not relying on him for anything but I am 100% adding him to our prospect pool at forward and I don’t think his high-level ceiling can really be denied. One may think he will never reach his ceiling because of lost development time or positing future injuries (which is nothing but a guess) but the potential is massive.

  93. who says:

    npanciroli:
    What is fascinating to me, is what we do with Russell. Currently on the third pair with Sekera coming back.

    Would anyone even trade for Russell. That really helps our cap issues in my opinion.

    You could then roll:

    Nurse Larsson (who have been fantastic – really anyone with Larsson looks great)
    Klefbom Benning
    Sekera X until Sekera is up to speed.

    I’m not concerned with the talent in scoring to be honest – this has to be bad luck and the numbers and eye test are showing it.

    Maroon McDavid Drai
    Lucic RNH JP
    Cagguila Strome Slepyshev
    Khaira Letestu Kassian

    is a solid forward group when healthy. Could even kill people with depth by going McDavid Drai RNH down the middle with Strome taking Drai’s spot.

    Again, no you can’t trade Russell. He has a NMC. Why is this so hard for people to understand. You can wish for it all you want. Ain’t going to happen.

  94. who says:

    Bobcaygeon:
    who,

    Yes you can, if he’s willing to give you a list of teams. Or the Oilers can refuse to play him and force the trade. IT can happen and it should happen.

    As far as the wingers….Thats why its imperative the Oilers dump Lucic.It gives the Oilers options.
    Lucic cant be an Oiler going forward…..Full Stop.

    But Lucic doesn’t have to submit a list of teams until the 6th year of his contract. Unless I’m mistaken he is here for the next 3.5 years whether we like it or not.

  95. TheVengeFulOne says:

    Move Russel’s stall to the men’s room, and he’ll waive that NMC pretty quick.

  96. GMB3 says:

    treevojo: Lucic is producing.

    Maybe the game is changing.

    Maybe he will hit the wall.

    Maybe Maroon will hit the wall.

    Lucic vitriol seems to be a daily event with some regardless of his results.

    Last year it was power play luck.

    This year it is the game is changing and he can’t keep up.

    All he has done is continue to produce.

    I’d hold the phone on that comment. His center is shooting the lights out. His play outside some of the offensive production he’s had has been the problem. The puck still dies on his stick, he’s still too slow to backcheck, too slow to support the D if they pinch in the offensive zone. Often late to the forecheck, late to the front of the net. His contract is absurd and brutal and will be an anchor for the next 6 years. Denying this on the basis of a nice p/60 # early in the season doesn’t change the facts. I’ll give him some credit as his play has improved but I don’t think he will bring it consistently.

  97. GMB3 says:

    who: Again, no you can’t trade Russell. He has a NMC. Why is this so hard for people to understand. You can wish for it all you want. Ain’t going to happen.

    You do realize a player can waive his NMC right?

  98. godot10 says:

    GMB3: You do realize a player can waive his NMC right?

    You do realize that Russell’s strong preference seems to be to play in Alberta only.

  99. OmJo says:

    godot10: You do realize that Russell’s strong preference seems to be to play in Alberta only.

    Find a way to send him back to Calgary!

  100. OmJo says:

    Kris Russell for Kris Versteeg!

  101. Pouzar says:

    godot10: You do realize that Russell’s strong preference seems to be to play in Alberta only.

    Hmmm…I’ve heard that before.

  102. treevojo says:

    GMB3: I’d hold the phone on that comment. His center is shooting the lights out. His play outside some of the offensive production he’s had has been the problem. The puck still dies on his stick, he’s still too slow to backcheck, too slow to support the D if they pinch in the offensive zone. Often late to the forecheck, late to the front of the net. His contract is absurd and brutal and will be an anchor for the next 6 years. Denying this on the basis of a nice p/60 # early in the season doesn’t change the facts. I’ll give him some credit as his play has improved but I don’t think he will bring it consistently.

    What part of my comment should I hold the phone on?

  103. GMB3 says:

    godot10: You do realize that Russell’s strong preference seems to be to play in Alberta only.

    Yeah. I realize it’s unlikely. Just trying to enlighten who

  104. Material pocession says:

    treevojo: What part of my comment should I hold the phone on?

    The part where you give Lucic credit for anything. Look past the inconveniently strong 5v5 points/60 that we all agree on is important.

  105. Material pocession says:

    TheVengeFulOne:
    Move Russel’s stall to the men’s room, and he’ll waive that NMC pretty quick.

    He’ll waive the NMC if he’s press box’d. Downside is no one will trade for him if he’s press box’d.

    The guy is going nowhere unless he’s bought out.

  106. Scungilli Slushy says:

    Russell’s NMC is only for next year. It’s not the 4, so less a big deal to waive. I think he’s more likely to waive than it is for Chiarelli to ask.

  107. treevojo says:

    Material pocession: The part where you give Lucic credit for anything.Look past the inconveniently strong 5v5 points/60 that we all agree on is important.

    It’s a weakness of mine.

    Cheering for Oilers players and pointing out when they are doing good things.

    I am going to cancel my party line so no one has to listen.

  108. who says:

    GMB3: Yeah. I realize it’s unlikely. Just trying to enlighten who

    Consider me enlightened. I guess we can all sit around and fantasize about Lucic and Russell waiving their NMC’s but that’s all it is, a fantasy.
    I could win the lottery tomorrow. Is it likely to happen? No.
    Sitting here speculating about it doesn’t seem to all that productive. I would prefer to discuss realistic solutions. If getting these two to waive their NMC’s is Chia’s best bet to improve the team we are in big trouble.

  109. OriginalPouzar says:

    Scungilli Slushy:
    Russell’s NMC is only for next year. It’s not the 4, so less a big deal to waive. I think he’s more likely to waive than it is for Chiarellito ask.

    Only part of the story as he maintains a partial NMC and NTC for the final 2 years where he has to submit 10 teams and 15 teams, respectively, to which he can be moved.

    We are talking about trading, in a couple years, a regressing player on the other side of 30 who has a bloated cap hit and we are restricted to trading with one third (or one half) of the teams in the league, and the teams of the player’s choosing.

    This would be a contract that few teams would want to acquire and 2/3 – 1/2 of the teams are already out of contention.

    For those that have posited the contract is movable in the last two years, I simply don’t agree – its not impossible but it would be quite hard unless Russell wanted to go and opened it up to all 30 teams (and, even then, it may not be movable).

    Anyways, i still don’t mind the player for the 3rd pairing (although he’s struggled in some games on the third pairing). If he’s with Sekera on the 3rd pairing, he should do well.

    It is still a huge head-scratcher on why this player was given that amount of annual average salary for that many years with trade protection 8 days before free agency (3 days before the negotiation window) when it was very clear that he would be passed on the depth chart by two young players within the next year or two.

  110. Pouzar says:

    Scungilli Slushy:
    Russell’s NMC is only for next year. It’s not the 4, so less a big deal to waive. I think he’s more likely to waive than it is for Chiarellito ask.

    Everything I read on Kris Russell contract says the following:

    “limited no-trade clause on the final two years.”

    I’ve found only 1 that says he has a full NMC for the first 2 years.

    *shrug*

  111. godot10 says:

    Pouzar: Everything I read on Kris Russell contract says the following:

    “limited no-trade clause on the final two years.”

    I’ve found only 1 that says he has a full NMC for the first 2 years.

    *shrug*

    From capfriendly.com

    KRIS RUSSELL #4
    Edmonton OilersEdmonton Oilers
    Left Defense
    Cap Hit: $4,000,000

    BORN: May 2, 1987
    BIRTHPLACE: Caroline, Alberta, Canada
    HEIGHT: 5′ 10 (178 cm)
    WEIGHT: 170 lbs (77 kg)
    SHOOTS:Left
    AGE: 30
    ELC SIGNING AGE: 20
    WAIVERS SIGNING AGE: 20
    DRAFT YEAR: 2005DRAFTED OVERALL: 67DRAFT ROUND: 3DRAFTED BY: CBJ
    CURRENT CONTRACTS
    STANDARD CONTRACT
    COMPARE THIS CONTRACT
    LENGTH: 4 YEARSEXPIRY STATUS: UFASIGNING TEAM: Edmonton Oilers
    VALUE: $16,000,000C.H.% : 5.33SIGNING DATE: June 23, 2017SOURCE: @PierreVLeBrun
    SEASON CLAUSE CAP HIT AAV P. BONUSES S. BONUSES BASE SALARY TOTAL SALARY MINORS SALARY
    2017-18 NMC $4,000,000 $4,000,000 $0 $2,000,000 $3,000,000 $5,000,000 $5,000,000
    2018-19 NMC $4,000,000 $4,000,000 $0 $0 $4,500,000 $4,500,000 $4,500,000
    2019-20 Modified NTC, NMC $4,000,000 $4,000,000 $0 $0 $4,000,000 $4,000,000 $4,000,000
    2020-21 Modified NTC, NMC $4,000,000 $4,000,000 $0 $1,000,000 $1,500,000 $2,500,000 $2,500,000
    CLAUSE DETAILS: 2019-20: Player submits a 10 team trade list. / 2020-21: Player submits a 15 team trade list.
    CLAUSE SOURCE: CapFriendly

  112. GMB3 says:

    treevojo: What part of my comment should I hold the phone on?

    That all he does is produce. It’s still a terrible contract and I highly doubt he keeps producing at this level

  113. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    – Russel and Lucic are actual NHL players: there are not many wingers on our team above Lucic

    – Russel, he’s our top D in terms of points, and he’s an actual D

    – We are not losing games because of the play of Russel and Lucic

    – So when these two guys get passed by a bunch of players, then complain, but right now they are doing what they are paid for, they are not sucking. And who knows what happens in a few years

    – Expansion team, strike, they continue to be good players heaven forbid!

  114. OriginalPouzar says:

    Russell has been passed by two players on their ELCs this year.

    Russell has been relegated to the third pairing and even lost PK time (which he started to get back last game).

    He is an actual NHL player, absolutely – in fact, if we have Sekera and Russell on the 3rd pairing (which we might in a month if we are healthy when Reggie returns), that is an amazing 3rd pairing.

    It was still a silly contract – the opposite of a value contract when the core was locked in and the overt need was for value contracts.

  115. Scungilli Slushy says:

    Pouzar: Everything I read on Kris Russell contract says the following:

    “limited no-trade clause on the final two years.”

    I’ve found only 1 that says he has a full NMC for the first 2 years.

    *shrug*

    Yes, but he can still be moved in the final two. Sekera as well after next season. Maybe the cap jumps 4-5 M and saves the day. Thinking about it they must have some sort of plan around this it’s not a surprise that they have two promising D needing contracts and a year to wait on two older guys.

    The question is does the plan bleed skill again trading Nuge for a third liner to save cap? Or Klefbom just before his man brain kicks in and he’s hitting prime at 25-26 and Sekera craps out and they are looking for another Klefbom?

    Same problem with Nuge. There are no skill centres in the system only wingers and D. If Connor and Leon are the only two and one gets hurt big troubles.

    JP seems like a natural centre maybe that works out somehow?

  116. Ryan says:

    OriginalPouzar,

    The reason for your lack of understanding on the contract is due to employing the wrong train of thought.

    There is no logical explanation based on the player, the term, cap, or market at the time.

    However, I am a firm believer that we can get glimpses of the GM’s thought process from some of the Oilers insiders.

    Last year, Ryan Rishaug went on an on with what he likely deemed to be a rhetorical question, “but dont’t you think that the Oilers should reward Russell for how he played this season to get the Oilers into the playoffs.”

    Now, why is it important to reward an aging vet in decline with an unmoveable cap killing contract is the real salient question.

    He did the same thing with Chris Kelly in Boston.

  117. Scungilli Slushy says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    Russell has been passed by two players on their ELCs this year.

    Russell has been relegated to the third pairing and even lost PK time (which he started to get back last game).

    He is an actual NHL player, absolutely – in fact, if we have Sekera and Russell on the 3rd pairing (which we might in a month if we are healthy when Reggie returns), that is an amazing 3rd pairing.

    It was still a silly contract – the opposite of a value contract when the core was locked in and the overt need was for value contracts.

    Ya, a couple of one year stop gaps would have been better such as Franson and any competentish LH.

    I’ve speculated this year was given to proving young guys at the expense of bolstering with vets to increase this year’s chances, so why not? Locking in a problem wasn’t smart even if Russell played well, the cap won’t fit 5 guys at 4M after this season. And trading talented youth to keep guys on the precipice especially D who get banged up, now that youth is king why do that? Curious.

  118. russ99 says:

    Ryan:
    OriginalPouzar,

    The reason for your lack of understanding on the contract is due to employing the wrong train of thought.

    There is no logical explanation based on the player, the term, cap, or market at the time.

    However, I am a firm believer that we can get glimpses of the GM’s thought process from some of the Oilers insiders.

    Last year, Ryan Rishaug went on an on with what he likely deemed to be a rhetorical question, “but dont’t you think that the Oilers should reward Russell for how he played this season to get the Oilers into the playoffs.”

    Now, why is it important to reward an aging vet in decline with an unmoveable cap killing contract is the real salient question.

    He did the same thing with Chris Kelly in Boston.

    800K is such a huge raise as a UFA.

    Russell had proven value in the defensive zone last year, led the team in defensive GAA, high numbers in HDSC, and led the league in blocks.

    Just because those are things you don’t value doesn’t mean they don’t have value.

  119. Scungilli Slushy says:

    Ryan:
    OriginalPouzar,

    The reason for your lack of understanding on the contract is due to employing the wrong train of thought.

    There is no logical explanation based on the player, the term, cap, or market at the time.

    However, I am a firm believer that we can get glimpses of the GM’s thought process from some of the Oilers insiders.

    Last year, Ryan Rishaug went on an on with what he likely deemed to be a rhetorical question, “but dont’t you think that the Oilers should reward Russell for how he played this season to get the Oilers into the playoffs.”

    Now, why is it important to reward an aging vet in decline with an unmoveable cap killing contract is the real salient question.

    He did the same thing with Chris Kelly in Boston.

    A worry and an extremely foolish thing to do. Especially with so many examples of how often it doesn’t work out. I think it is probably not popular with other players, it cuts into their future contracts and they know who is getting it done and who is likely to despite how they like a guy in the room.

  120. Pouzar says:

    Me too bro…me too….

    marc savard‏Verified account
    @MSavvy91
    22h22 hours ago

    I’m starting to get frustrated watching the #EdmontonOilers play with Mcdavid and Draisaitl on the same line. Spread the wealth..Crosby/Malkin Toews/Kane Gretz/Mess Mario/Jagr They never played together!!

  121. Munny says:

    Scungilli Slushy: I think it is probably not popular with other players

    Do you have some evidence of this?

  122. Munny says:

    Pouzar:
    Me too bro…me too….

    marc savard‏Verified account
    @MSavvy91
    22h22 hours ago

    I’m starting to get frustrated watching the #EdmontonOilers play with Mcdavid and Draisaitl on the same line. Spread the wealth..Crosby/Malkin Toews/Kane Gretz/Mess Mario/Jagr They never played together!!

    He’s being facetious, right? Since all of those duos have played together.

  123. OriginalPouzar says:

    Samorukov with an assist and is plus 1 in a 2-2- tie between RUS/OHL after 2.

  124. Oil2Oilers says:

    “Nuge may be sealing Maroon’s future in real time, you cannot trade that guy.” LT

    Genuine question;

    Who, if anyone, will be a better Selkie caliber Centre in the NHL over the next 10 years than RNH?

    Datszuk passed the torch to Bergeron, given Nuge has now figured out faceoffs (or the rules changed in his favour) he looks to be the next one just coming into his prime years.

  125. Lowetide says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    Samorukov with an assist and is plus 1 in a 2-2- tie between RUS/OHL after 2.

    He’s played well in the time I have been watching.

  126. BornInAGretzkyJersey says:

    Oil2Oilers,

    Kopitar says hello.

  127. Scungilli Slushy says:

    Munny: Do you have some evidence of this?

    No. But it’s human nature and players are humans. There has been plenty of evidence in any sport including the Oilers about how players are treated and how GM’s reward short term success in contract years that bites them in the ass soon after.

    Nobody wants to get paid less and used less than a guy they are better than. At least McL has the TOI thing right with Russell this year after being at the top last year, he’s way down. Nurse and Benning aren’t going to want to make less given they have to carry the guy now.

  128. godot10 says:

    russ99: 800K is such a huge raise as a UFA.

    Russell had proven value in the defensive zone last year, led the team in defensive GAA, high numbers in HDSC, and led the league in blocks.

    Just because those are things you don’t value doesn’t mean they don’t have value.

    Russell is earning $5 million actual dollars this season (less escrow). He is currently the highest paid D on the roster (2nd highest when Sekera gets back), and getting the least ice time. His contract is untradeable (NMC) and somewhat buyout proof.

  129. stush18 says:

    Oil2Oilers:
    “Nuge may be sealing Maroon’s future in real time, you cannot trade that guy.” LT

    Genuine question;

    Who, if anyone, will be a better Selkie caliber Centre in the NHL over the next 10 years than RNH?

    Datszuk passed the torch to Bergeron, given Nuge has now figured out faceoffs (or the rules changed in his favour) he looks to be the next one just coming into his prime years.

    I’d say couturier has a good shot.

  130. Oil2Oilers says:

    BornInAGretzkyJersey:
    Oil2Oilers,

    Kopitar says hello.

    Kopitar is a fantastic player and a valid answer to my question. He is also 30, Nuge is 24. Over the next ten years Nuge might hold the edge. Over the next 3/4 year I would give the edge to Kopitar, but Nuge is paid less than him over those years.

  131. OriginalPouzar says:

    Lowetide: He’s played well in the time I have been watching.

    Yes, I’ve only seen a few minutes but he made a nice play at the line on the goal.

  132. who says:

    Lowetide: He’s played well in the time I have been watching.

    Very impressed by him tonight. Big, skates well, handles the puck well, makes good decisions. Seems very responsible and calm in his own end.

  133. Oil2Oilers says:

    stush18: I’d say couturier has a good shot.

    Agreed, and possibly that boring guy in Calgary “spits”.

  134. GMB3 says:

    russ99: 800K is such a huge raise as a UFA.

    Russell had proven value in the defensive zone last year, led the team in defensive GAA, high numbers in HDSC, and led the league in blocks.

    Just because those are things you don’t value doesn’t mean they don’t have value.

    Probably more indicative of the other teams shooting percentage when he was on the ice, something that has proven to not be repeatable

  135. OriginalPouzar says:

    Lowetide: He’s played well in the time I have been watching.

    Yes, I’ve only seen a few minutes but he made a nice play at the line on the goal.

    godot10: Russell is earning $5 million actual dollars this season (less escrow). He is currently the highest paid D on the roster (2nd highest when Sekera gets back), and getting the least ice time.His contract is untradeable (NMC) and somewhat buyout proof.

    Not that I am one to defend the Russell contract which is truly mind-boggling, however, I couldn’t care less the actual dollars that he makes in any particular year – only the cap hit.

    As far as the buyout goes, my understanding is that, if we bought him out next summer, we’d have a dead cap hit of just over $1M in every year (which is just fine, considering) except for the one year where there would be a dead cap hit of over $3M (which is the potential lockout year).

    That’s actually not bad.

  136. OmJo says:

    OriginalPouzar,

    You might not care, and neither do I. That’s Katz problem… But when it comes to contract negotiations, others on the team might care.

    Why would Benning or Nurse agree to take less money than Russell when they’re arguably better than him and already passed him on the depth chart? Nurse in particular, since Benning is struggling a bit.

  137. JimmyV1965 says:

    I’m not sure where all the Russell talk started today, but just because he’s playing on the third pair doesn’t mean he’s one of our worst dmen. By my eye, Klef and Benning have been our worst dmen, Benning earlier in the year and Klef now. Right now today, I say Russell is our third best dman. Im saying this even though I don’t like his contract.

  138. OriginalPouzar says:

    OmJo:
    OriginalPouzar,

    You might not care, and neither do I. That’s Katz problem… But when it comes to contract negotiations, others on the team might care.

    Why would Benning or Nurse agree to take less money than Russell when they’re arguably better than him and already passed him on the depth chart? Nurse in particular, since Benning is struggling a bit.

    Its a fair point but the salary structure of a team isn’t always linear in that way. Nurse and Benning, and their agents, will understand the difference between a developing player coming off their ELC and an established veteran signing a UFA deal.

    Also, if Nurse and Benning want to use the $5M of actual dollars this year as a meaningful benchmark in negotiation, then Chiarelli can retort with the $2.5M in actual dollars in year 4 of the contract.

    Nurse and Benning can also negotiate a front-loaded contract like Russell’s agent did – they probably won’t want that if the will be RFAs when the contract is up due to QO requirements.

    Further, if Nurse and Benning want to use teamates contracts as floors then I believe Chiarelli should be able to retort with Larsson’s and Klefbom’s contract as a ceiling.

    Summary: there are many many different variables to be taken in to account.

  139. frjohnk says:

    OriginalPouzar: Its a fair point but the salary structure of a team isn’t always linear in that way. Nurse and Benning, and their agents, will understand the difference between a developing player coming off their ELC and an established veteran signing a UFA deal.

    Also, if Nurse and Benning want to use the $5M of actual dollars this year as a meaningful benchmark in negotiation, then Chiarelli can retort with the $2.5M in actual dollars in year 4 of the contract.

    Nurse and Benning can also negotiate a front-loaded contract like Russell’s agent did – they probably won’t want that if the will be RFAs when the contract is up due to QO requirements.

    Further, if Nurse and Benning want to use teamates contracts as floors then I believe Chiarelli should be able to retort with Larsson’s and Klefbom’s contract as a ceiling.

    Summary: there are many many different variables to be taken in to account.

    I think the Oilers go long with Nurse.
    Bridge Benning.

    The nice thing with all our RFA forwards doing a faceplant this year, is that Chia can bridge them with cheap AAV’s.

  140. Munny says:

    Scungilli Slushy: No. But it’s human nature and players are humans. There has been plenty of evidence in any sport including the Oilers about how players are treated and how GM’s reward short term success in contract years that bites them in the ass soon after.
    Nobody wants to get paid less and used less than a guy they are better than. At least McL has the TOI thing right with Russell this year after being at the top last year, he’s way down. Nurse and Benning aren’t going to want to make less given they have to carry the guy now.

    It’s human nature?

    Right. Okay then.

    Tell me about the time you drove a rift into your workplace over getting paid less than a co-worker with years more experience and seniority, but you had showed for 6 weeks that you might be a better worker than.

    This sounds common, according to your theory, so you must have some great stories.

    How did your union feel about your feelings?

  141. OmJo says:

    OriginalPouzar,

    Ofc, there’s many variables to take into account.

    Though now I’m wondering, if it goes to arbitration, will the arbitrator bring up Russell’s contract?

    For the record I don’t think they’ll ask for more than Russell, definitely not $5M. The veteran vs rookie reality, and the fact they’re RFAs should even the playing field a bit.

    But could they use his contract to ask for a bit more money? Very likely, IMO. Agents are going to agent. Hopefully Chiarelli can counter better than he did with Russell, lol.

  142. Munny says:

    OriginalPouzar,

    Also, Nurse has to put up a season first. Early days.

  143. Munny says:

    JimmyV1965:
    I’m not sure where all the Russell talk started today, but just because he’s playing on the third pair doesn’t mean he’s one of our worst dmen. By my eye, Klef and Benning have been our worst dmen, Benning earlier in the year and Klef now. Right now today, I say Russell is our third best dman.Im saying this even though I don’t like his contract.

    Well… the most important thing to being an intelligent fan is to over-emphasize the particular, especially in the short term.

    Nice post. I agree, his brainfart/60 isn’t bad for this defense.

  144. OriginalPouzar says:

    Very hopeful that Drake will be able to play tonight although I’m not overly confident that we will – the last I heard was that he was likely to start skating with the team once they returned home.

  145. OriginalPouzar says:

    Going to sweep this mini 2-game homestand.

    Only 4 points out of the playoffs – a couple teams tied 4 points ahead of us including Chicago who we have a game in hand on.

    Lets do this!

  146. leadfarmer says:

    As much as people hate Russell having a defenseman that can play left side, right side and play ok with Gryba and Auvitu does have value.

  147. OriginalPouzar says:

    Except I disagree with the verbal that Russell can play either side.

    Sure, he can play either side and he does, however, he isn’t very good on the right side and its fairly clear that, in order to play the right side somewhat effectively, he needs a stud anchor like Sekera.

    I’m not sure if “being able to play OK on a third pairing” is really an endorsement of a player. With that said, I really like Russell on our third pairing (even though he has struggled there at times this year – he’s also had nice games there this year).

    Once Reggie comes back, if the rest of our D is healthy, I do like the following:

    Nurse/Larsoon
    Klefbom/Benning
    Sekera/Russell

    That 3rd pair was our 2nd pair last year – Sekera won’t be 100% himself but I imagine that will be a dominant 3rd pairing. I couldn’t care less what the cap hit is on any pair – the coach has 7/8 d-men on the roster and should deploy them in a way that gives the team the best chance to win, regardless of any individual cap hit.

  148. frjohnk says:

    Russell is 50% or more in corsi, fenwick, shot, scoring chance and goal metrics.

    First time since he was in St Louis.

    I think there is a mostly negative narrative with the player,( and I am one of the guys in this group) so when he does make a mistake, it gets magnified.

    He has played OK ( could be teammates and quality of competition) and his numbers are positive this year. He has versatility, as he has played all 3 disciplines ( EV, PK,PP)

    We should remember that we have signed Dmen to $3M to $4.5 contracts in the last few years who could no longer play in the NHL.

    Russell is with out a doubt an NHL Dmen.

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

    Pouzar:
    https://theathletic.com/153872/2017/11/13/dellow-early-returns-on-travis-hamonic-deal-dont-look-good-for-flames/

    Well now.

    Hmm very interesting analysis by Dellow here, some pretty esoteric stuff (had to read it twice to make sure I understood what was going on) but the stats seem rather damning.

    Really surprised nobody else picked up on the link considering 2/3 of yesterdays thread after this was discussing Russell.. Anyone else have thoughts or does it not matter because it ruins the narrative of how astute Treliving is while Chia is simply a punching bag?

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