Domino

Whatever team you cheer for, no matter the year, there are games that frustrate you. Even during the glory days, the Oilers would throw up a dud in Hartford or Minnesota or sometimes even in Vancouver, at least for two periods. When these games occur, the mind comes up with the damndest ideas (also known as tantrums) to explain the absolute travesty laid at your feet. Most often the real answer is this: The better team won the game and your team either didn’t play well, isn’t good enough or both. Sometimes admitting that simple thing, then moving on to other worthwhile pursuits (roll me over, Romeo) is the right thing to do. The Oilers will have another playoff run, just maybe not this season.

THE ATHLETIC!

The special Lowetide offer is here. New material today.

PIKES PEAK, YEAR OVER YEAR

  • Oilers in November 2015: 3-5-1, goal differential -2
  • Oilers in November 2016: 2-6-1, goal differential -11
  • Oilers in November 2017: 4-4-1, goal differential +1

Oilers in November are just “okay” and if October had been a .500 month things wouldn’t be as dire. As it is, this club is teetering near that ‘Mendoza line’ where teams are simply not competitive in the playoff race. To be off the pace this early, facing a road trip, is less than ideal.

AFTER 19, YEAR OVER YEAR

  • Oilers 15-16: 6-12-1, goal differential -12
  • Oilers 16-17: 10-8-1, goal differential +2
  • Oilers 17-18: 7-10-2, goal differential -10

Yeah. This isn’t going to work. The club can’t score enough to stay in NHL games and that’s a big damned problem. Todd McLellan doesn’t have the horses. Full stop. I do believe regression will float their boats toward the postseason and the Oilers will eventually reach .500. How much of the season will remain?

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: 1-1-0)
  • 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: 4-4-1, nine points in nine games

You don’t have to be happy for me, but I’m quite pleased that my expectations are marching in lock step with the results. It’s an important point to hammer home: This is us. The Oilers, as currently comprised, are a .500 team. If they arrive at game 41 with 41 points, the playoffs will be long gone but we can be happy in the knowledge the evidence made itself obvious in the early days of the season. Why aren’t they tracking toward 100 points again this year? More in a minute.

DEFENSE, LAST NIGHT

  • Nurse-Larsson went 21-11 together, including 12-5 with McDavid and 13-6 against Schwartz-Schenn-Tarasenko (who scored). Nurse-Larsson were on the ice for 5-3 HDCF, most in the first period iirc.
  • Klefbom-Benning were 8-11 together, including 2-6 with the Nuge and 4-5 against Steen-Stastny-Sobotka. That blasted Tarasenko line scored against them, they were 2-5 against that trio.
  • Russell-Gryba went 8-8 together, including 5-4 with the Strome line. Russell finished 8-17, he went 0-5 with Benning and 0-5 in less than a minute with Larsson. Is that the modern “shift”? Russell had good moments defending, but this pairing cannot get the puck out under control.
  • Cam Talbot was 35 of 39, .897. Stopped 29 of 31 at evens, .935. The shortie was a mistake but he played well overall in my opinion.
  • NaturalStatTrick and NHL.com.

FORWARDS, LAST NIGHT

  • Maroon-McDavid-Draisaitl had the edge in HDSC (4-3) took five defensive and one offensive zone faceoff, went 10-8 against the Schenn line but the STL trio scored the goal. I’m actually with McLellan on keeping this group together, because they have been effective. That said, the Blues were effective against them and if that happens with enough regularity, the coach will need to break them up. People can point to McDavid’s pass to Leon that didn’t work, but your skilled men are ridiculous on this team and you want them to wheel.
  • Lucic-Nuge-Puljujarvi were 1-7 together and looked off, McLellan got the rookie off the line before the GA.It was not a strong evening for the trio, Lucic took a knee on knee (for which there was no penalty, but he got the book thrown at him) and we’ll get an update today I’d bet.
  • Cammalleri-Strome-Puljujarvi went 9-4 together, I liked the newcomer and Strome is looking a little more comfortable. He is not a dynamic player, Puljujarvi is even at 19. I don’t know how much he’ll score but the young man is going to leave a trail of broken defensemen across North American rinks.
  • Pakarinen-Letestu-Kassian were 2-1, not much shaking and that’s a theme for this season.

AUDITIONS

When Peter Chiarelli was Boston general manager, the farm team was packing some major league heat.

  • 2006-07 Bruins: Phil Kessel (70, 11-18-29)
  • 2007-08 Bruins: David Krejci (56, 6-21-27); Milan Lucic (77, 8-19-27); Vladimir Sobotka (48, 1-6-7)
  • 2008-09 Bruins: Blake Wheeler (81, 21-24-45)
  • 2009-10 Bruins: Johnny Boychuk (51, 5-10-15); Tuukka Rask (45, 1.97 .931) 
  • 2010-11 Bruins: Brad Marchand (77, 21-20-41); Tyler Seguin (74, 11-11-22)

That’s some impressive procurement work, there are quality players in every year and at every skater position. Chiarelli traded most of these guys in an effort to win the Stanley (which came in 2011). I estimate that the Bruins scouting and procurement department was delivering 1.2 exceptional players per season during the first five years of Chiarelli’s time in the city.

  • 2015-16 Oilers: Connor McDavid (45, 16-32-48); Darnell Nurse (69, 3-7-10)
  • 2016-17 Oilers: Drake Caggiula (60, 7-11-18); Matt Benning (63, 3-12-15); Anton Slepyshev (41, 4-6-10); Jesse Puljujarvi (28, 1-7-8)
  • 2017-18 Oilers: Kailer Yamamoto (9, 0-3-3); Laurent Brossoit (4, 2.67 .880)

We’ll have to wait on a few men (JP, KY) and we have our answer on Connor McDavid. Darnell Nurse and Matt Benning are NHL regulars and that has real value, but are they (or will they be) exceptional? Further, the Marchand options (Caggiula, Slepyshev) aren’t going to blossom as Marchand did in Boston (no surprise, that was a once in a lifetime happening).

Peter Chiarelli and Todd McLellan are auditioning forwards this season, trying to get some answers out of this young group of forwards. So far this season, I’d say the answer is coming back “can’t stay healthy” and “don’t impact the game offensively” but we’ll see.

5X5/60 SCORING (FORWARDS)

  1. Leon Draisaitl 2.80
  2. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins 2.38
  3. Connor McDavid 2.35
  4. Milan Lucic 2.19
  5. Patrick Maroon 1.80
  6. Ryan Strome 1.32
  7. Anton Slepyshev 1.14
  8. Jesse Puljujarvi 1.09
  9. Jujhar Khaira 0.93
  10. Zack Kassian 0.65
  11. Kailer Yamamoto 0.52
  12. Drake Caggiula 0.50
  13. Iiro Pakarinen 0.45
  14. Mark Letestu 0.00

Offense. We talked about it this summer when contemplating the young forwards, where was the offense going to come from? Remember? I decided to divide up all the at-bats and have everyone play mid-level:

Remember? I had Puljujarvi scoring 14 goals, Caggiula and Slepyshev 12 and not a one of them is on pace for that kind of offensive season (JP was in the minors, so an unfair swipe. Oh, and one more thing: Do you see my estimated goals-for against? 257-208? Standing here today, Edmonton is 47-57 after 19 games. That means the Oilers are on pace for a 203-246 season, meaning I would miss the GF by 54 goals and the GA by 38. Lordy.

WOULD PC FIRE MCLELLAN?

I got an unusual email yesterday asking about firing the coach. My reply was no, I think both coach and general manager have this season and next to fix whatever ails this club. It’s also worth noting that if someone goes, may not be the coach. We can’t read too much into these things, but from an outsider’s point of view it looks to me this is more about roster construction. Thoughts?

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

At 10 this morning, TSN1260. A lot to discuss good and bad in good old our town. Scheduled to appear:

  • Steve Lansky, BigMouthSports. Oilers, Grey Cup memories.
  • Frank Seravalli, TSN. Oilers have the second best group of U24’s in the NHL. That’s the good news.
  • Matt Iwanyk, TSN1260. Point Counterpoint focuses on the Western Final.
  • Paul Almeida, SSE. Oilers worries, Eskimos hopes, what happens if Edmonton meets the Roughriders in the Grey Cup?

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

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175 Responses to "Domino"

  1. OriginalPouzar says:

    I have been all about consistency with the lines as the boys need to get in to a rhythm, however, I’m on board with splitting up Drai and Connor now for a bit – its gotten stale if nothing else.

    I do like Strome at 3C recently, he’s playing some nice hockey and starting to look comfortable and become productive.

    Nuge in my mind is always a center.

    This means that Leon should play on either Nuge’s or Strome’s wing.

    I wouldn’t mind seeing JP and Cammalleri flank Connor.

    Cammalleri may have lost so top end speed but he’s still quick out there and thinks the game at a high level.

    Cammalleri/McDavid/Puljijarvi
    Cagguila/Nuge/Drai
    Lucic/Strome/Kassian
    Marron/Letestu/Pak

    I’m sure the lines won’t look like that but, quickly, that’s something I’ve formulated.

    Left wingers are kinda interchangeable to me at this point if we are going to do a total blend.

  2. OriginalPouzar says:

    Parts of that game were highly entertaining.

    The first half of game was very fun to watch.

    McDavid needs to be better.

    I’m over it – on to Dallas to grab two big points.

  3. meanashell11 says:

    Question for the room.

    I was very upset with McD’s giveaway that led directly to the third goal. That has been happening way too much with him lately. Also, I have never seen so many soft passes that are intercepted.

    Anyway, question is this, if it were anyone else who made that giveaway they would have sat for the rest of the game. Why not McD? The coach’s hands are tied but how can he make the point without being able to sit his top player. I personally think that it would have been worth the loss to send that message but at the time they were “only” down by 2, still had a chance. But I would have done it. Would anyone else?

  4. p3rsonman says:

    I’m all for Leon & Connor – when they’re on they are virtually unstoppable. But they’ve gotten stale and predictable the last few games (I don’t count Vegas because everything was going in). They constantly look to each other for the beauty pass and teams are catching on and neutralizing their efforts.

    Split them up for a few games to get a fresh look and then go back to them when things need a shakeup again. They can still play together on the PP and in OT.

  5. OriginalPouzar says:

    meanashell11:
    Question for the room.

    I was very upset with McD’s giveaway that led directly to the third goal. That has been happening way too much with him lately. Also, I have never seen so many soft passes that are intercepted.

    Anyway, question is this, if it were anyone else who made that giveaway they would have sat for the rest of the game. Why not McD? The coach’s hands are tied but how can he make the point without being able to sit his top player. I personally think that it would have been worth the loss to send that message but at the time they were “only” down by 2, still had a chance. But I would have done it. Would anyone else?

    I believe that McLellan did shit McDavid for a few shifts in a game earlier this year, didn’t he?

    Yes, it was an egregious giveaway and, frankly, the player, for all the great that he does, has to be better on a consistent basis.

    Where are the burners? We’ve seen them so sporadically since game 1.

    He does so many amazing things but the all time great skating is not there – something is up.

    As far as accountability for McDavid, that’s a tough one in that situation and I don’t know the answer – the answer has to do with the player himself and what “works” for him to get him to play without the mistakes and what message a yelling or a benching or a non-action sends to the rest of the team.

  6. anjinsan says:

    Chiarelli did this, starting with the trade of 1633, which traumatized this household the second it was announced. He’s bad on high-end talent, thinking you build an NHL team from the grinders. He also built to where the game was, not to where it is and is going. McDavid may try to carry the team. Without supporting cast, he’s going to make mistakes. When Letestu is your triggerman, WTF?

    I check on how the players hemorrhaged away are doing — it’s a heaping pile of offense, in a good way and in a painful way, and includes two cups so far. The players Sakic brought in for Duchene contributed to yesterday’s Av’s 6-2 win over the Caps, and that’s like 1/3 of what Sakic got for refusing to settle for any bad deal. McLellan isn’t the league’s best coach, but he’s a good coach and doing the best he can.

    Puljujarvi will find his offense; my prediction 80% of Laine and much better defensively than Laine.

    God bless the Nuge and the Nurse.

  7. SwedishPoster says:

    The Blues were slightly better, in parts more than that, all night. Not an awful game from the Oilers overall but not very good either. They still stayed in it until the 3-1 goal. Having your captain and superstar making that kind of nonchalant play in a one goal game is the ultimate deflater for a team, terrible play from McDavid. The first line did a pretty good job getting into the offensive zone but just weren’t sharp once they were there. Drai looks visibly frustrated, his passes, dangles and shots are slightly off. He’s forcing it out there. McDavid was the best of the three by far but he also forced a lot of plays and that giveaway is just awful. The cute plays have been ailing this team all season, they play a few good games and start making overly fancy plays, looking for passes that aren’t there and don’t shoot when there’s an opening. They lose, play a game or two when they play over simplistic until they find balance, play a good game or two, starts playing fancy, rinse and repeat.

    The main positive last night was Puljujärvi. He’ll be a beast once he grows into his body, he still looks awkward with his long limbs at times, making his puckhandling somewhat inconsistent(his hands are softer than he’s getting credit for due this imo). But the kid can scoot, shoot, is farmer strong, he has to be bigger than the 6’4 his listed as, either that or every other player in the league is lying, but what I like most is him showing real creativity with the puck at times, he usually makes the simple play but those occasional plays where he avoids the obvious play are the ones that sticks out to me. Give him time, he’s gonna be a good one.

  8. Réal Goudenyéu says:

    Is there not a known fall off in production for players coming off big contract signings? I seem to remember a study about this but it may have used MLB stats…

  9. dustrock says:

    Guessing a hernia for McDavid for no particular reason.

  10. dustrock says:

    IIRC Drai went Dry last year for a spell too, no?

    Then from March onwards I believe he may have had more points than McDavid

  11. meanashell11 says:

    OriginalPouzar,

    Another thing I see is the gang tackling. He is getting surrounded as soon as he tries to stick handle into the zone. If there are two or three guys all over you, guess what? At least one of your guys is wide open. Gretz learned to find that guy.

    But back to the question, If I were TMac I would have just walked over and whispered in his ear, “you’re better than that”. Then I would have sat him for a shift to think about it.

  12. stush18 says:

    SwedishPoster,

    I agree. You can see the awkwardness sometimes where his legs and hands are moving at a different speed than his mind.

  13. SwedishPoster says:

    Filip Berglund back in the lineup for tomorrow’s SHL when he’s facing budding superstar Elias Pettersson and his Växjö team.

  14. russ99 says:

    Seems there’s some preconcieved notions or coach’s favorites that are keeping us from running our best lines this year:

    1. Strome is better as a winger than a center, and is salvageable if he can get in position to shoot the way he did on the PP and get it on net. I’ve rarely seen him in position to take that same shot 5×5. He’s also very effective at keeping the cycle going to get chances on net, and he’ll be in position to do that a lot more at wing. On the other end of the rink, we’ve seem Strome as the first forward back is lacking, so we’re losing something defnsively with him as center.

    2. Gryba shouldn’t be playing unless there’s an injury, but for some reason we have to have moar bigger hits vs. the more physical Western teams. Can’t see why anyone would expect Russell – Gryba to have any impact past our circles when it’s obvious that Russell – Auvitu do.

    3. Similarly Pakarinen has a good physical game but doesn’t bring much else to the table, and is a drag on whatever line he’s playing on. Hope Khaira can get a regular run of games in and send Pak back to the AHL.

    4. If our key reason for not splitting up McDavid and Draisaitl is to keep Nugent-Hopkins from the third line and the other is that there’s such blatant public distrust in our wingers, that’s an indictment on our coaching staff.

    If the coach was more interested in the results of the team and not playing favorites, we’d run:

    Maroon – McDavid – Strome
    Lucic – Draisaitl – Slepyshev
    Cammelari – RNH – Puljujarvi
    Caggiula – Letestu – Kassian

    Nurse – Larsson
    Klefbom – Benning (still hate it, but will have to do until Sek’s back)
    Auvitu – Russell

  15. stush18 says:

    dustrock:
    Guessing a hernia for McDavid for no particular reason.

    Bubonic plague

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

    OriginalPouzar,

    His skating is fine. He blew past a Blue last night only to be poke checked by the goaler at the last second.

    Right now they are very focused on making the “best play” instead of “the play.” What do I mean by that?

    Well its the extra pass, its trying to pass through three sticks, its trying to pull up and hit a trailer instead of putting it on the net and crashing.

    The next step of Drai and Connor IMO is to start the crashing in those ways. I don’t know if Connor will ever be that player but Drai’s size and style definitely plays into it.

    Moreover, it will help open up lanes for their preferred style of play. They’ve become somewhat predictable this year, and a hard consistent backcheck makes their lives difficult. Also doesn’t help that when they do get pressure the Dmen have been firing it all over hell’s half acre.

  17. npanciroli says:

    I’m sorry but McLellan needs to bite the bullet and have the McDavid Drai RNH down the middle. I am positive Strome can play, but you saddle him with Pakarinen constantly.

    I really think McLellan has done a poor job managing the lineup this season and it has cost us points.

    Pittsburgh won multiple cups going with Crosby Malkin Staal/Bonino down the middle. Our centers aren’t the same but there is a reason teams do this. Makes all the wingers better.

  18. Bag of Pucks says:

    Connor 15th overall in P/GP, Leon Draisaitl 53rd, Maroon 147th.

    That’s the problem.

    The bottom 6 could certainly be better, but this team’s best players have to be among the best in the league for this squad to excel. And it’s not happening.

  19. Jethro Tull says:

    By eye, that was was Drai’s worst game – I have no numbers to back this up, but he looked a one trick pony. The saucer to McDavid. He had either his pass blocked by a very good team tactic by STL, or his pass missed entirely. He needed to get back to a grind behind and cycle for a few shifts. He needs to learn that if something hasn’t worked for the first 10 times, then it probably won’t work and to change his tactics. This comes with experience unless you’re Sam Ganger.

  20. npanciroli says:

    russ99,

    Agree 100% it is starting to kill this team. All fantastic points.

  21. stush18 says:

    SayItAin’tSo, Gretz, SayItAin’tSo!:
    OriginalPouzar,

    His skating is fine. He blew past a Blue last night only to be poke checked by the goaler at the last second.

    Right now they are very focused on making the “best play” instead of “the play.” What do I mean by that?

    Well its the extra pass, its trying to pass through three sticks, its trying to pull up and hit a trailer instead of putting it on the net and crashing.

    The next step of Drai and Connor IMO is to start the crashing in those ways. I don’t know if Connor will ever be that player but Drai’s size and style definitely plays into it.

    Moreover, it will help open up lanes for their preferred style of play. They’ve become somewhat predictable this year, and a hard consistent backcheck makes their lives difficult. Also doesn’t help that when they do get pressure the Dmen have been firing it all over hell’s half acre.

    That’s exactly why maroon is on that line.

    Shot through traffic, and maroon slams the crease. Instinctively you start getting drawn in. That’s when you start finding seams and trailers.

    But mcdavid knows this. None of us are going to teach him anything.

    Let’s all not forget he is still on pace for over 100 points.

    Leon is on pace for a point a game, and he hasn’t scored a point on the pp yet.

  22. Cassandra says:

    anjinsan:
    Chiarelli did this, starting with the trade of 1633, which traumatized this household the second it was announced.He’s bad on high-end talent, thinking you build an NHL team from the grinders.He also built to where the game was, not to where it is and is going.McDavid may try to carry the team.Without supporting cast, he’s going to make mistakes.When Letestu is your triggerman, WTF?

    I check on how the players hemorrhaged away are doing — it’s a heaping pile of offense, in a good way and in a painful way, and includes two cups so far.The players Sakic brought in for Duchene contributed to yesterday’s Av’s 6-2 win over the Caps, and that’s like 1/3 of what Sakic got for refusing to settle for any bad deal.McLellan isn’t the league’s best coach, but he’s a good coach and doing the best he can.

    Puljujarvi will find his offense; my prediction 80% of Laine and much better defensively than Laine.

    God bless the Nuge and the Nurse.

    Looking at those players on Boston, Chiarelli track record really is terrible. One of the worst in recent memory.

    What could possibly explain trading Blake Wheeler for Rich Peverley?

    Trading a first round pick for the corpse of Tomas Kaberle?

    And that is without discussing the egregious Kessel and Seguin deals.

    Chiarelli had a horrific track record before he traded two high picks for a guy who everybody who follows the Islanders had already identified as the bottom of their D ladder.

    No one should be surprised by this. This is who he is. This is who he has always been.

  23. Woogie63 says:

    Stop talking about firing the GM or the coach … both are very good and frankly better than any combo we have in Edmonton for 25 years. TSN and SN need clicks so that is a good headline for their web pages, but it is not going to happen …

    Cammalleri – is our 13 or 14th forward, no PP, no left wing with Conner, he will play when we have an injury or a message has to be sent, when he plays anticipate 10-14 uneventful minutes.

    Talbot, Nurse, Klefbom, Sekera, McDavid, Driasaitl, Nuge will determine if we make the play-offs. The rest need to play well enough.

  24. Bag of Pucks says:

    Frickin’ Murphy’s Law with this team. The 2L finally starts to show some signs of life and the 1L goes dormant.

  25. stush18 says:

    npanciroli:
    I’m sorry but McLellan needs to bite the bullet and have the McDavid Drai RNH down the middle. I am positive Strome can play, but you saddle him with Pakarinen constantly.

    I really think McLellan has done a poor job managing the lineup this season and it has cost us points.

    Pittsburgh won multiple cups going with Crosby Malkin Staal/Bonino down the middle. Our centers aren’t the same but there is a reason teams do this. Makes all the wingers better.

    It’s easy to ask for this, but you never actually get the lines to run 18-18-18-6

    In all likelihood, nuge starts getting shafted on the third line again.

    Things are going to start turning when sekera returns. Right after this road trip is my guess

  26. russ99 says:

    stush18: It’s easy to ask for this, but you never actually get the lines to run 18-18-18-6

    In all likelihood, nuge starts getting shafted on the third line again.

    Things are going to start turning when sekera returns. Right after this road trip is my guess

    There’s no reason Nuge can’t play the same game on the third line.

  27. Bag of Pucks says:

    The team collectively lays a turd on the ice and all the talk the next day is about the poor GM’ing.

    Is there a point at which the players start to own some of this?

  28. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    STL owned their soul in the neutral zone.

    If you win the neutral zone, you win the game.

    Zone exits with possession were non-existent last night and that made for few entries with the puck unless 97 was on the ice to just do it all himself.

    I don’t like these Dpairs in terms of transitioning the puck.

    Given the skill sets on each pair its heavily reliant on the forwards actually being the ones who transition out of the dzone.

    Here’s how I see each player and how they move the puck:

    25-6 —>skater, not a good passer – not skater or good passer
    77-83—>skater and passer – not a skater, good passer
    4-62—>not a skater or passer – not a skater or passer

    I think a better mix would be:

    77-6
    25-4
    81/62-83

    You’ll need to shelter that 3rd pair a bit more than usual, but I think 81-83 could be an effective 3rd pair.

    Here’s CF% of the current pairs top 2 pairs with 97,93,18 compared to the pairs I like

    McDavid:
    25-6 = 57%
    77-6 = 54%

    77-83 = 50%
    25-4 = 70%

    25-4 is a very small sample (16 min) but the trend is clear

    Nugent Hopkins
    25-6 = 54%
    77-6 = 47%

    77-83 = 43%
    25-4 = 55%

    RNH and 77 are not mixing well, but its better overall with 77-6, 25-4.

    Strome (there is some time on 93’s wing polluting the sample)
    25-6 = 54%
    77-6 =57%

    77-83 = 51%
    25-4 = 70%

    Again, first pair is slightly worse, but the increase on 2nd pair makes up for it.

    Maximizing Russell inside of all of this will help overall imo.

    Russell 5v5 TOI w/ Dmates
    With TOI With
    Eric Gryba 82.23
    Matthew Benning 65.87
    Darnell Nurse 48.83
    Yohann Auvitu 40.68

    Russell 5v5 CF% w/ Dmates
    With CF% With
    Yohann Auvitu 62.5
    Darnell Nurse 59.79
    Matthew Benning 48.39
    Eric Gryba 44.16

    Russell-Gryba has to stop being a thing.

    Its not good that “4/5” Dman at $4MMx4 has bad results on the 3rd pair with Gryba as Gryba has good results with everyone else:

    Gryba 5v5:
    With TOI with
    Kris Russell 82.23
    Darnell Nurse 73.17
    Yohann Auvitu 32.65

    Gryba CF% with:
    With CF% With
    Yohann Auvitu 66.2
    Darnell Nurse 63.76
    Kris Russell 44.16

    That’s pretty goddamn sad.

    Whatever is causing it not to work is causing it not to work and Russell needs to be in a different spot.

  29. npanciroli says:

    russ99,

    Also if Drai’s line or Nuge’s line (or even McDavid :P) is struggling you play them a bit less for that one game. Gives you way more opportunity mid game for adjustments.

  30. oscarmike says:

    In hindsight Chia isn’t a good GM at all.
    The Reinhart trade
    The lack of return on the Hall trade.
    Burning a year off JP contract
    Buying out Koriposki and Pouloit.
    Lack of return on Eberle trade.
    Would Leon be a $8.5 million player if he wasn’t on McD RW last year? If Oilers kept Hall and Yak, Leon would’ve played 3rd line C.
    Lucic signing
    Russel signing
    Drake doesn’t do anything.

    He had nothing to do with Leon,McD,Nurse,Klefbom

    He had a few good trades and signing Talbot, Kass, Maroon, Letestu, and now Cammelarri

    Better hope that the players Chia drafted pays off in a few years or else this team is a bust.

  31. JimmyV1965 says:

    I’m putting this on McDavid and Drai. They will be two of the highest paid players in the league and they’re just not getting it done. Although they still dominate possession they aren’t finishing. Their passes are off and it looks to me like they’re just a step off. They aren’t scoring 5×5 and they don’t look good on the PP. I’ve never been a huge fan of TMac but this is not an issue with coaching.

  32. stush18 says:

    russ99: There’s no reason Nuge can’t play the same game on the third line.

    Who are his linemates?

    Maroon-mcdavid-xxx
    Lucic-Leon-xxx
    Xxx-nuge-xxx

    I suppose you could move maroon off of mcdavids line. But you have your choice of strome, JP, cags, and cammaleri.

    None of them are as good as lucic.

  33. OriginalPouzar says:

    SwedishPoster:
    Filip Berglund back in the lineup for tomorrow’s SHL when he’s facing budding superstar Elias Pettersson and his Växjö team.

    Awesome!

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

    stush18,

    Ya I agree, but I want all 3 playing that style on occasion. This isn’t some fire breathing indictment, I just think it is an angle to their games that both will need to figure out. They are both young, these things take time.

    npanciroli,

    I don’t disagree but we need to be cognizant of what’s happened over the last 10 days here.

    The team has gone 3-2-1, and that top line has directly won all three games.

    In that same time they have had Sleppy go down, KJ step up and go down, Caggs go out and then return, JP called up and Cammalleri brought in.

    They were also on the road for 2/3 of that time and have yet to have a two day break.

    I like splitting up lines, but with that level of turnover its tough to drastically reconfigure lines without a couple of practice days. We either believe players/coaches when they say “it takes time to figure out chemistry” or we don’t. But moving a player from wing to centre without a couple of practices to get accustomed to it may end up doing more damage than we think.

    After this Dallas game they have a two day break and they hopefully will have everyone healthy. If we see Drai taking up a C, it will likely happen here IMO

  35. OriginalPouzar says:

    SayItAin’tSo, Gretz, SayItAin’tSo!:
    OriginalPouzar,

    His skating is fine. He blew past a Blue last night only to be poke checked by the goaler at the last second.

    Right now they are very focused on making the “best play” instead of “the play.” What do I mean by that?

    Well its the extra pass, its trying to pass through three sticks, its trying to pull up and hit a trailer instead of putting it on the net and crashing.

    The next step of Drai and Connor IMO is to start the crashing in those ways. I don’t know if Connor will ever be that player but Drai’s size and style definitely plays into it.

    Moreover, it will help open up lanes for their preferred style of play. They’ve become somewhat predictable this year, and a hard consistent backcheck makes their lives difficult. Also doesn’t help that when they do get pressure the Dmen have been firing it all over hell’s half acre.

    I don’t agree that his skating is “fine” – sure he is still probably the best skater in the league but he is not showing the elite/generational/all-time upper gear that we are used to seeing from him. We saw this a number of times in Game 1 against Calgary and maybe a couple times since.

  36. Pouzar says:

    OriginalPouzar: Cammalleri may have lost so top end speed but he’s still quick out there and thinks the game at a high level.

    Yup. No issues with his spped/quickness for me. Looked real good to me.

  37. Pouzar says:

    Woodguy v2.0: 25-6 —>skater, not a good passer – not skater or good passer
    77-83—>skater and passer – not a skater, good passer

    1. I think Darnell’s passing has been very good this year.
    2. Larsson is a very good passer imo. Skater? no.
    3. I think Klefbom’s skating is vastly overrated here imo. I think he is average to slightly above.
    4. Benning….slow. Ok passer.

  38. OriginalPouzar says:

    russ99:
    Seems there’s some preconcieved notions or coach’s favorites that are keeping us from running our best lines this year:

    1. Strome is better as a winger than a center, and is salvageable if he can get in position to shoot the way he did on the PP and get it on net. I’ve rarely seen him in position to take that same shot 5×5. He’s also very effective at keeping the cycle going to get chances on net, and he’ll be in position to do that a lot more at wing. On the other end of the rink, we’ve seem Strome as the first forward back is lacking, so we’re losing something defnsively with him as center.

    2. Gryba shouldn’t be playing unless there’s an injury, but for some reason we have to have moar bigger hits vs. the more physical Western teams. Can’t see why anyone would expect Russell – Gryba to have any impact past our circles when it’s obvious that Russell – Auvitu do.

    3. Similarly Pakarinen has a good physical game but doesn’t bring much else to the table, and is a drag on whatever line he’s playing on. Hope Khaira can get a regular run of games in and send Pak back to the AHL.

    4. If our key reason for not splitting up McDavid and Draisaitl is to keep Nugent-Hopkins from the third line and the other is that there’s such blatant public distrust in our wingers, that’s an indictment on our coaching staff.

    If the coach was more interested in the results of the team and not playing favorites, we’d run:

    Maroon – McDavid – Strome
    Lucic – Draisaitl – Slepyshev
    Cammelari – RNH – Puljujarvi
    Caggiula – Letestu – Kassian

    Nurse – Larsson
    Klefbom – Benning (still hate it, but will have to do until Sek’s back)
    Auvitu – Russell

    Some nice points in there but I’m not sure I agree with everything.

    To my eye, Strome has been playing his best hockey of the season over the last number of games and as a center – more-so, he is doing that often carrying around boat anchors for wingers.

    I don’t believe that Strome is necessarily better as a winger than a center and I would like to keep him at center for now as he is finding his groove and playing good hockey.

    I’m all for splitting up the top line but Nuge should always play center (clearly) and I want to keep Strome at center for now. I’m fine with moving Drai to play wing with either Nuge or Strome.

    So, I don’t agree with your end-stop statement on what are the best lines for the team. They may very well work and you could be right but there are varying different arguments and line deployments that might be “best”.

    I believe Gryba was put in to the lineup last night because STL is a big and physical team and they wanted to add some size and grit. That was by far the most physical game the team has been involved in this year, however, Gryba did indeed struggle.

  39. OriginalPouzar says:

    Pouzar: 1. I think Darnell’s passing has been very good this year.
    2. Larsson is a very good passer imo. Skater? no.
    3. I think Klefbom’s skating is vastly overrated here imo. I think he is average to slightly above.
    4. Benning….slow. Ok passer.

    I agree that Nurse’s passing is improving, absolutely.

  40. Pouzar says:

    Woodguy v2.0,

    All those CF%’s show me two things:

    1. DN is awesome. With anyone.
    2. Need to see more OV2…he is growing on me.

  41. Pouzar says:

    Blast Letestu and Pak to the Sun…useless 5 on 5.
    When gang is healthy run the Centers with their own lines for a while.

    Maroon-McDavid-JP
    Lucic-Drai-Slepy
    Cammy-Nuge-Caggs
    Khaira-Strome-Kass

  42. stush18 says:

    OriginalPouzar: Awesome!

    AGreed. He was having a good year. Hopefully he keeps growing.

  43. stush18 says:

    Pouzar:
    Blast Letestu and Pak to the Sun…useless 5 on 5.
    When gang is healthy run the Centers with their own lines for a while.

    Maroon-McDavid-JP
    Lucic-Drai-Slepy
    Cammy-Nuge-Caggs
    Khaira-Strome-Kass

    That’s a waste of strome imo.

    I don’t think we should change up the lines much (if at all) but I would run

    Maroon-mcdavid-cammy
    Cags-nuge-Leon
    Lucic-strome-JP
    JJ-letestu-kass

  44. texmex says:

    Bob Stauffer‏Verified account
    @Bob_Stauffer
    6m6 minutes ago
    More
    Connor McDavid, Oscar Klefbom and Anton Slepyshev are not on the ice this morning for practice

  45. Pink Socks says:

    Bag of Pucks:
    Frickin’ Murphy’s Law with this team. The 2L finally starts to show some signs of life and the 1L goes dormant.

    I was thinking the exact same thing. After a full year of a painful second line, it finally starts to click and then 19-97-29 goes dry. DAMMIT!

  46. Dino says:

    Boy oh boy. What a shit show last night. This team needs to figure out in a hurry if they want the playoffs or if they want Dahlin/Svechnikov because one day they look like last year’s Oilers and the next they look like the Dallas Eakins Oilers.

  47. Réal Goudenyéu says:

    texmex:
    Bob Stauffer‏Verified account
    @Bob_Stauffer
    6m6 minutes ago
    More
    Connor McDavid, Oscar Klefbom and Anton Slepyshev are not on the ice this morning for practice

    TRADE INCOMING

  48. Pouzar says:

    stush18: That’s a waste of strome imo.

    I don’t think we should change up the lines much (if at all) but I would run

    Maroon-mcdavid-cammy
    Cags-nuge-Leon
    Lucic-strome-JP
    JJ-letestu-kass

    You think Letestu is an NHLer…I don’t.
    I am probably in the minority but the guy is not good 5 on 5 or the PK.

    While I like those lines, I loathe having to watch Letestu in any other role other than PP specialist.
    Aim higher like I always say.

  49. Pouzar says:

    Réal Goudenyéu: TRADE INCOMING

    3 for 1!!!!!!!!!

  50. texmex says:

    Réal Goudenyéu,

    Ha. I’m heading to Dallas today to visit family. Was thinking about going to the game tomorrow afternoon. But if McDavid is out, that makes my decision MUCH MUCH easier.

  51. Pink Socks says:

    I almost turned off the TV when Pak showed up on the second line. He must have pictures of Oiler management in compromising situations. I see absolutely no value of this player being in the lineup. Sure if Khaira is banged up put him on the 4th line and play him 3 minutes 5v5 and use him on the PK.

    The most frustrating thing is sticking 97 and 29 together. It is simply not working.

    WG pointed out that last year when controlling for Maroon on the left side, not much changed when rotating the RW. Either 19 or 29 needs to be moved off. With TMac’s sometimes frustrating line blender in game, I cannot for the life of me figure out why he is being so gd stubborn with this trio when they have cashed 5v5 only against Vegas. Split them up ffs. Literally the only combo working on a consistent basis this year was the combo that was a black hole last season in 27-93. Keep those two together and try to find some consistency rotating some other wingers throughout the top 9. NOT INCLUDING 26.

    19-97-91
    27-93-29
    13-18-98
    16-55-44

  52. jtblack says:

    25-6 —>skater, not a good passer – not skater or good passer
    77-83—>skater and passer – not a skater, good passer
    4-62—>not a skater or passer – not a skater or passer

    This is a perfect analogy. Russell launches grenade after grenade off the wall and out.

    Darnell has progressed but I am not sure he will ever be what was hoped as a #7 Draft. He does not put up points, even playing top minutes. He seems to “also be in photo” a lot while side stepping blame. 3/4 Ceiling.

    Even aafter the Larsson trade, ppl expected / were hoping for an Offensive RHD. PC still hasnt addressed this, even though he’s moved out 2 of his best trade chips.

    MTL needed a C. GM has tinkered around but not given the team one. They lose.

    EDM needs a legit RHD PP QB. It would change the PP and slot everyone in where they need to be (including Larsson as a #2 and PK). I know these D men are pricy and hard to get BUT can we not get Tyson Barrie or Justin Faulk??

    The balance photo cannot occur until this Player arrives. Using LHD on your right side and calling it balance is a sham. And Benning is not the calibre I am talking about.

  53. Jethro Tull says:

    Probably just a maintenance day folks.

  54. Pink Socks says:

    Pouzar:
    Blast Letestu and Pak to the Sun…

    +1

  55. JimmyV1965 says:

    SayItAin’tSo, Gretz, SayItAin’tSo!:
    stush18,

    Ya I agree, but I want all 3 playing that style on occasion. This isn’t some fire breathing indictment, I just think it is an angle to their games that both will need to figure out. They are both young, these things take time.

    npanciroli,

    I don’t disagree but we need to be cognizant of what’s happened over the last 10 days here.

    The team has gone 3-2-1, and that top line has directly won all three games.

    In that same time they have had Sleppy go down, KJ step up and go down, Caggs go out and then return, JP called up and Cammalleri brought in.

    They were also on the road for 2/3 of that time and have yet to have a two day break.

    I like splitting up lines, but with that level of turnover its tough to drastically reconfigure lines without a couple of practice days. We either believe players/coaches when they say “it takes time to figure out chemistry” or we don’t. But moving a player from wing to centre without a couple of practices to get accustomed to it may end up doing more damage than we think.

    After this Dallas game they have a two day break and they hopefully will have everyone healthy. If we see Drai taking up a C, it will likely happen here IMO

    Although you are correct in saying the top line is directly responsible for the last three wins, they simply aren’t getting it done 5×5. Two of those wins were in OT, in games where they didn’t score in regulation. And while it’s good to see the dynamic duo is still creative and dyanmic, which is showcased 3×3, they simply aren’t getting it done 5×5. At this point, breaking them up 5×5 cannot make the team any worse.

  56. Réal Goudenyéu says:

    texmex:
    Réal Goudenyéu,

    Ha. I’m heading to Dallas today to visit family. Was thinking about going to the game tomorrow afternoon. But if McDavid is out, that makes my decision MUCH MUCH easier.

    Yeah I’ve got good friends in town for the weekend and we are unsure if we want to watch an afternoon oilers game… Terrible isn’t it?

    Now if mcdavid was out I agree the decision gets much easier.

  57. JimmyV1965 says:

    Pouzar: You think Letestu is an NHLer…I don’t.
    I am probably in the minority but the guy is not good 5 on 5 or the PK.

    While I like those lines, I loathe having to watch Letestu in any other role other than PP specialist.
    Aim higher like I always say.

    I agree. Letestu doesn’t bring anything to the table other than that shot on the PP. I would like to know how many open net goals he scored last year. No one on the team benefited more from McDavid and Drai last year than Letestu. And I don’t want to downplay those goals because they’re still hard to score, but he doesn’t create anything 5×5 and he’s not a crasher and banger.

  58. Bag of Pucks says:

    You know who agrees with TMac keeping Connor and Leon together for the ‘all the eggs in one basket’ approach? Don Cherry.

    When Grapes agrees with your HC coaching tactics, that should be a red flag.

  59. McSorley33 says:

    RW – Alex DeBrincat Update:

    Tied for 3rd in hawks scoring with Toews.

    7 goals, + 5 assists

  60. Pouzar says:

    jtblack: Darnell has progressed but I am not sure he will ever be what was hoped as a #7 Draft. He does not put up points, even playing top minutes. He seems to “also be in photo” a lot while side stepping blame. 3/4 Ceiling.

    He is rocking top pair and his ceiling is 3/4?

    This isn’t 2015.

  61. DBO says:

    Maroon-McDavid-Caggiula
    Lucic-Nuge-Draisatl
    Cammaleri-Strome-Puljujarvi
    Khaira-Letestu-Kassian

    Balance. Three Scoring lines. each with speed and size. And the Strome line would be solid and benefit from lesser d pairings allowing the kid to fly. Or swap Cammaleri and Caggiula. Both work.

  62. texmex says:

    DBO,

    I agree with this 100%!!!!!

    I’d also consider moving looch to the thrid line and run

    Maroon-McDavid-Caggiula
    Drai -Nuge-Puljujarvi
    Looch-Strome-Cammaleri
    Khaira-Letestu-Kassian

  63. npanciroli says:

    DBO,

    McLellan wants to know why Pakarinen isn’t on the third pair. Please explain.

  64. godot10 says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    Where are the burners? We’ve seen them so sporadically since game 1.

    He does so many amazing things but the all time great skating is not there – something is up.

    Most other teams have competent (mediocre or better) coaches who are capable of taking away the best thing the best player on the other team does. All they had to do was watch the video from the Anaheim playoff series.

  65. McSorley33 says:

    Here’s how I see each player and how they move the puck:
    25-6 —>skater, not a good passer – not skater or good passer
    77-83—>skater and passer – not a skater, good passer
    4-62—>not a skater or passer – not a skater or passer
    ***************************************************************************
    Very good break down…..

    Gryba and Russell….playing together.

    Can’t believe they didn’t work out ….said, no one.

    The blues are a fast team. They are not your father’s blues of old.

    Even the West is getting faster.

    We are too slow. Strome and Letestu playing C bog downs lines 3 and 4.

  66. BONE207 says:

    Jethro Tull,

    This comes with experience unless you’re Sam Ganger.

    Sort of like the Ganger that couldn’t shoot straight.

  67. Jethro Tull says:

    BONE207:
    Jethro Tull,

    This comes with experience unless you’re Sam Ganger.

    Sort of like the Ganger that couldn’t shoot straight.

    1Yrs experience 10 times.

  68. OriginalPouzar says:

    McDavid and Klefbom were both absent from practice today as they were each under the weather. Should be “good to go” for tomorrow.

    Sekera was participating in practice and will join the team on the trip but won’t play in games until December. Sounds like he’s about a couple weeks away. Can’t wait.

    No Slep at practice but Khaira participated. Hopefully we see Khaira in tomorrow over Pak.

  69. SwedishPoster says:

    Pouzar: 1. I think Darnell’s passing has been very good this year.
    2. Larsson is a very good passer imo. Skater? no.
    3. I think Klefbom’s skating is vastly overrated here imo. I think he is average to slightly above.
    4. Benning….slow. Ok passer.

    Yeah Larsson is a real good passer, he just plays overly safe which slows down transition and gives up possesion in the neutral zone when he makes the safe boardplay instead of a slightly riskier play up ice. Imo to start the year it looked like he was upping the ante but when the team started losing he dialled it back again.

    Problem overall imo is that the D lacks creative passers, outside of Russell and Gryba they are pretty good at moving the puck but they usually find the sound solution not the very smart one which considering the elite talent up front is sometimes the best choice and would really open up the ice, Klefbom tries but is a bit in over his head when he is overly creative with the puck, he’s better when he makes sharp simple passes and moves into a new position.

    If the forwards tend to play too cute with the puck the D aren’t really cute enough if you get what I’m saying.

  70. godot10 says:

    McLellan and his systems are now “old school”. The main weakness is the Oilers break the puck out slow (or not at all, rim it). The new hockey is fast breakouts. Playing fasts starts with fast breakouts. The Oilers will be a “slow” team until this changes. Fast breakouts means the defense gets less of a chance to setup. Leads to more offense off the rush.

    I think teams defending the Oilers protect the slot. They know McLellan espouses volume shooting, so they focus on taking away the most dangerous spot to shoot from. i.e. don’t chase. Make sure the shots from the most dangerous areas are contested.

    I think this coaching staff has coached Klefbom poorly. They have tried to make him into something that he isn’t.

  71. SwedishPoster says:

    godot10,

    I do agree that Klefbom is miscast as “The offensive D”, imo he has his highest upside next to an offensive guy so instead of him being the roamer he has to be the guy covering for that roamer, while still having enough offensive tools to facilitate the other guys offense. His best hockey alongside Larsson has been when he reels himself in, focuses on the two of them being a good pairing and let the offensive opportunities come to him.

  72. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Pouzar: 1. I think Darnell’s passing has been very good this year.
    2. Larsson is a very good passer imo. Skater? no.
    3. I think Klefbom’s skating is vastly overrated here imo. I think he is average to slightly above.
    4. Benning….slow. Ok passer.

    Its not that 25 or 6 “can’t” pass.

    Its what they do with the puck in their own zone when they need to make a pass.

    Both players can make a good pass.

    What they do most often under pressure in their own zone with the puck is not make a completed pass though.

    Nurse will skate it most often and Larsson will bank it off the glass or put it into an area as a 50/50 puck.

    I tried to explain this in the op with “Here’s how I see each player and how they move the puck:”

    Its not that they can/can’t skate or can/can’t pass.

    Its “what do they do with the puck on their stick in the dzone”

    Seeing Larsson making excellent 50ft passes make it doubly frustrating when he gives up possession as often as he does with his puck decisions.

    Russell was really bad at this last night.

    Passing the puck to no one in his own zone with STL being the next to touch the puck way more often than an EDM player.

  73. Mr. D. says:

    Was at the game last night. Benning is a cluster fk in his own zone. This will kill us against physical teams. He’s OK in the o zone but is truly a mess defensively(worst on team).

  74. TheVengeFulOne says:

    How long until Eberle is back?

  75. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    jtblack,

    EDM needs a legit RHD PP QB

    EDM QB’s the PP off the halfwall with 97 or 93.

    Its good.

    They don’t need a Dman to QB the PP.

    Not in a 1-3-1, which is the best set up.

  76. Bag of Pucks says:

    McSorley33:
    RW – Alex DeBrincat Update:

    Tied for 3rd in hawks scoring with Toews.

    7 goals, + 5 assists

    Why is an ‘Alex DeBrincat watch’ a thing?

    I assume it’s because you preferred the Oil drafting him over Benson?

    But if our goal is to show Chiarelli’s mistake in drafting Benson, why stop with DeBrincat?

    There were 179 players picked after Benson. Why not regular updates on all of them?

    Imagine you’re a broker and failed to convince a client to buy Google shares at IPO, so now you send him weekly updates reminding him of Google’s current share price. Bet that never gets old…

  77. Surrey Oiler says:

    This road trip has the playoffs written all over it. If we finish under .500 or worse, the season is done and Chia should consider selling players like Letestu, Pak, and Maroon for whatever we can salvage.

    We need a RHD as Woodguy has addressed….what would it take to get Faulk out of Carolina?

  78. OriginalPouzar says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    McDavid and Klefbom were both absent from practice today as they were each under the weather. Should be “good to go” for tomorrow.

    Sekera was participating in practice and will join the team on the trip but won’t play in games until December.Sounds like he’s about a couple weeks away.Can’t wait.

    No Slep at practice but Khaira participated. Hopefully we see Khaira in tomorrow over Pak.

    After listening to McLellan’s interview, he was a little more guaraded on the Sekera return than the tweets that I read. He said he’s just now starting to skate with the team and with no contact, he’s a “ways away” and we will hopefully see him in December.

    I’m still thinking early December and he’s just being cautious with the media so they don’t ask him daily.

    “Possibly, there is a chance we can do that” – that was coach’s answer to both questions about lines (a) if we would mix up the forwards and (b) if he would split Connor and Drai.

  79. Bag of Pucks says:

    TheVengeFulOne:
    How long until Eberle is back?

    Back where? Behind his team’s own blue line? I’ll take ‘rarely if ever’ for $500 Alex.

  80. jtblack says:

    Woodguy v2.0,

    Do you think they could use a better RHD, either 1RHD or 2RHD.

    IE: Larsson 1
    New Guy 2
    Benning 3

    New Guy 1
    Larsson 2
    Benning 3

  81. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    SwedishPoster,

    If the forwards tend to play too cute with the puck the D aren’t really cute enough if you get what I’m saying.

    By my eye the Dmen are not moving the puck quick enough.

    The F is moving north and when the D hesitates to make the pass that is there, then the F’s are out of the dzone and now the pass they have to make is way tougher than the initial one.

    Faster brains and shorter passes would this group immensely.

  82. jtblack says:

    Bag of Pucks,

    Imagine you’re a broker and failed to convince a client to buy Google shares at IPO, so now you send him weekly updates reminding him of Google’s current share price. Bet that never gets old…

    +1

    Hindsight is a Traders best friend. As it is when “re doing” drafts and suggesting we wouldnhave taken Debrincat, Barzal, Aho, Sergachev and we would never miss!!!

  83. TheVengeFulOne says:

    Bag of Pucks: Why is an ‘Alex DeBrincat watch’ a thing?

    I assume it’s because you preferred the Oil drafting him over Benson?

    But if our goal is to show Chiarelli’s mistake in drafting Benson, why stop with DeBrincat?

    There were 179 players picked after Benson. Why not regular updates on all of them?

    Imagine you’re a broker and failed to convince a client to buy Google shares at IPO, so now you send him weekly updates reminding him of Google’s current share price. Bet that never gets old…

    If you had a favourite at the time, you get to bitch about it. That’s the rule. Goddamn Barzal near a ppg too.

  84. Bag of Pucks says:

    Woodguy v2.0:
    SwedishPoster,

    If the forwards tend to play too cute with the puck the D aren’t really cute enough if you get what I’m saying.

    By my eye the Dmen are not moving the puck quick enough.

    The F is moving north and when the D hesitates to make the pass that is there, then the F’s are out of the dzone and now the pass they have to make is way tougher than the initial one.

    Faster brains and shorter passes would this group immensely.

    But until recently, haven’t the Oil been largely winning the shot differential battle?

    If that’s the case, I’m not sure the breakouts are as big an issue as the Fs failing to turn shots into goals once they have possession in the zone.

    As widely discussed, they’ve been making a lot of Gs look like Vezina candidates.

    I agree with you that the D could be facilitating a much quicker transition game, but my worry is, even if they did – we’d still be dealing with the gang that can’t shoot straight.

  85. OriginalPouzar says:

    Bag of Pucks: Why is an ‘Alex DeBrincat watch’ a thing?

    I assume it’s because you preferred the Oil drafting him over Benson?

    But if our goal is to show Chiarelli’s mistake in drafting Benson, why stop with DeBrincat?

    There were 179 players picked after Benson. Why not regular updates on all of them?

    Imagine you’re a broker and failed to convince a client to buy Google shares at IPO, so now you send him weekly updates reminding him of Google’s current share price. Bet that never gets old…

    I agree – I have no idea why I read posts about this Hawk player.

    Further, I’m excited about Tyler Benson being back to playing hockey. He is a substantial prospect and its going to be a great add when he turns pro next year.

    Can’t wait to see him in camp.

  86. SwedishPoster says:

    Woodguy v2.0,

    I think part of it is coaching, part of the reason we see the Oilers D rim it or skate it so often is that a lot of the time the only outlet they are given is the winger along the boards near the blue line which is where they usually seem to aim their hard along the board passes. I’d like to see better support and more options from the forwards. Considering we have quite a few forwards who are good at transporting the puck through the neutral zone when they get the puck with speed I’d like to see them swing deeper to get the puck.
    I like when one forward hit the far blue early to give a long option and if the stretchpass isn’t there comes back to give an easy outlet along the boards while the other forwards swing deep.

  87. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    jtblack:
    Woodguy v2.0,

    Do you think they could use a better RHD, either 1RHD or 2RHD.

    IE: Larsson 1
    New Guy 2
    Benning 3

    New Guy 1
    Larsson 2
    Benning 3

    I like Larsson as 1RD if he’s with a good puck mover. Nurse isn’t quite there yet, Klef is the best option on the roster and qualified imo.

    Its 2RD.

    Been saying it since the summer.

    Betting on Benning was a bad idea and even though he’s been better he’s still over his head at 2RD.

    Give me Radko Gudas or give me death (via Radko Gudas)

  88. Bag of Pucks says:

    TheVengeFulOne: If you had a favourite at the time, you get to bitch about it. That’s the rule. Goddamn Barzal near a ppg too.

    Yep, I could go that route I guess. I’m going to go with the ‘cheer for Benson’ route instead.

    Sometimes it seems we have folks who get more enjoyment out of cheering against the GM than cheering for the team.

  89. TheVengeFulOne says:

    Could you imagine if we took the “fan consensus” at drafts starting in 2015. Barzal, and Debincat.

  90. Alpine says:

    Benson’s right at 1.5 PPG this season. Definitely where we want him to be especially with all the games he’s missed.

  91. GMB3 says:

    russ99:
    Seems there’s some preconcieved notions or coach’s favorites that are keeping us from running our best lines this year:

    1. Strome is better as a winger than a center, and is salvageable if he can get in position to shoot the way he did on the PP and get it on net. I’ve rarely seen him in position to take that same shot 5×5. He’s also very effective at keeping the cycle going to get chances on net, and he’ll be in position to do that a lot more at wing. On the other end of the rink, we’ve seem Strome as the first forward back is lacking, so we’re losing something defnsively with him as center.

    2. Gryba shouldn’t be playing unless there’s an injury, but for some reason we have to have moar bigger hits vs. the more physical Western teams. Can’t see why anyone would expect Russell – Gryba to have any impact past our circles when it’s obvious that Russell – Auvitu do.

    3. Similarly Pakarinen has a good physical game but doesn’t bring much else to the table, and is a drag on whatever line he’s playing on. Hope Khaira can get a regular run of games in and send Pak back to the AHL.

    4. If our key reason for not splitting up McDavid and Draisaitl is to keep Nugent-Hopkins from the third line and the other is that there’s such blatant public distrust in our wingers, that’s an indictment on our coaching staff.

    If the coach was more interested in the results of the team and not playing favorites, we’d run:

    Maroon – McDavid – Strome
    Lucic – Draisaitl – Slepyshev
    Cammelari – RNH – Puljujarvi
    Caggiula – Letestu – Kassian

    Nurse – Larsson
    Klefbom – Benning (still hate it, but will have to do until Sek’s back)
    Auvitu – Russell

    What does what position a forward play have anything to do with how he contributes to cycling the puck? Seriously I want to know why you think this?

  92. jake70 says:

    TheVengeFulOne:
    Could you imagine if we took the “fan consensus” at drafts starting in 2015. Barzal, and Debincat.

    Tripped across this at Sportsnet: (runs and ducks) 😉

    “”How the Barzal-Eberle duo is setting the Islanders up for success””

    “…….Mathew Barzal’s development this season a godsend for the Islanders. He’s taken the league by storm after spending his two post-draft years in the WHL ….. ” ………. “Those skills have made him a fixture atop the Islanders lineup, and left the team with no other choice but to hand him the keys to his own top-six line… ” ………. “The biggest beneficiary of Barzal’s sudden emergence as a devastating playmaker has been Jordan Eberle….. “

  93. SwedishPoster says:

    Woodguy v2.0:
    SwedishPoster,

    If the forwards tend to play too cute with the puck the D aren’t really cute enough if you get what I’m saying.

    By my eye the Dmen are not moving the puck quick enough.

    The F is moving north and when the D hesitates to make the pass that is there, then the F’s are out of the dzone and now the pass they have to make is way tougher than the initial one.

    Faster brains and shorter passes would this group immensely.

    Yep, that’s pretty much what I mean really, the reason they hesitate is because they are risk averse, they want the safe pass so they hold off on the early pass, reset and the breakouts are slow. More creative guys, Erik Karlsson is the sensei ofc, never hesitate, they trust their instincts and their instincts are good enough for the plays to be worth the risk.

    But forwards could do a better job in support as well a lot of guys have a tendency to turn north a bit early. The north is lovely this time of year but they could use some help down south.
    Slepy is actually pretty good at this, he not only comes back deep enough, he also presents his stick with speed and finds open ice.

  94. OriginalPouzar says:

    Bag of Pucks: Yep, I could go that route I guess. I’m going to go with the ‘cheer for Benson’ route instead.

    Sometimes it seems we have folks who get more enjoyment out of cheering against the GM than cheering for the team.

    Yup, I’ll be keeping a close eye on the boxscore for the Giant game tonight hoping Benson continues his solid start to the season.

    I’m very much enjoying keeping track of many of the prospects (not quite up to speed with the college, BCHL kids, etc. – there is only so much time).

  95. stush18 says:

    jtblack:
    Woodguy v2.0,

    Do you think they could use a better RHD, either 1RHD or 2RHD.

    IE: Larsson 1
    New Guy 2
    Benning 3

    New Guy 1
    Larsson 2
    Benning 3

    I mean you aim for someone that can displace both benning and Larsson down.

    I just don’t think that’s possible? How many guys like that are actually available

  96. russ99 says:

    godot10:
    McLellan and his systems are now “old school”.The main weakness is the Oilers break the puck out slow (or not at all, rim it).The new hockey is fast breakouts.Playing fasts starts with fast breakouts.The Oilers will be a “slow” team until this changes. Fast breakouts means the defense gets less of a chance to setup.Leads to more offense off the rush.

    I think teams defending the Oilers protect the slot.They know McLellan espouses volume shooting, so they focus on taking away the most dangerous spot to shoot from. i.e. don’t chase.Make sure the shots from the most dangerous areas are contested.

    I think this coaching staff has coached Klefbom poorly.They have tried to make him into something that he isn’t.

    We’re not a rush team anymore, with just a few rush players.

    But I do agree, that we take forever to setup and it lets the opposition set up three defenders in the high danger areas, but that’s a thing no matter if we rush or cycle. And that’s on all of our players, it doesn’t just rely on the D-zone exit pass, or as much on the zone exit as the Corsi-heads think.

    The other part is how our players treat the puck like a hand grenade when in good shooting area under pressure. Take the hit and make the play.

    Besides, nobody’s rush works very well in the postseason. I’d rather the team be built for postseason success than to pad stats in the regular season.

  97. GMB3 says:

    Bag of Pucks: Yep, I could go that route I guess. I’m going to go with the ‘cheer for Benson’ route instead.

    Sometimes it seems we have folks who get more enjoyment out of cheering against the GM than cheering for the team.

    The GM is shaping up to be pretty incompetent, I’d almost rather a lost season if it means new management. Fans have a right to be upset, as a decade of despair has come and gone and our former “shiny new toys” have been cast off in favour of lesser players and Kris Russell and Milan Lucic’s contracts.

    I’d still rather them figure out and win, but it’s been a frustrating team to follow.

  98. stush18 says:

    russ99,

    Agreed.

    Maclellans system got us 100 points last yr.

    Now this yr it’s no good?

    I don’t buy it. This team plays good defense. Things will get better when sekera returns and the penalty kill starts winning us some games

  99. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Bag of Pucks: But until recently, haven’t the Oil been largely winning the shot differential battle?

    If that’s the case, I’m not sure the breakouts are as big an issue as the Fs failing to turn shots into goals once they have possession in the zone.

    As widely discussed, they’ve been making a lot of Gs look like Vezina candidates.

    I agree with you that the D could be facilitating a much quicker transition game, but my worry is, even if they did – we’d still be dealing with the gang that can’t shoot straight.

    Yes, but the best shot metrics came mostly with 77-6 and 25-4 as the top 2 pairs.

    With the way the pairs are set now, its worse.

    EDM’s CF
    First 9 games 55.9%
    Last 10 games 52.4%

    3.5% is a sizeable dip.

    It would be less if 4-62 weren’t a thing.

  100. OmJo says:

    I got an unusual email yesterday asking about firing the coach. My reply was no, I think both coach and general manager have this season and next to fix whatever ails this club. It’s also worth noting that if someone goes, may not be the coach. We can’t read too much into these things, but from an outsider’s point of view it looks to me this is more about roster construction. Thoughts?

    This.

    I don’t see TMac being the only casualty this season. If he gets fired, Chiarelli will – should! – be fired along with him. I can see TMac making a case for himself: what am I supposed to do with what Chiarelli gave me?

    What is Chiarelli’s case? I gambled all of our assets away and have nothing to show for it?

    I’d be shocked if Tmac alone was let go at the end of this season. And I’m not even a TMac fan at this point.

  101. GMB3 says:

    russ99: We’re not a rush team anymore, with just a few rush players.

    But I do agree, that we take forever to setup and it lets the opposition set up three defenders in the high danger areas, but that’s a thing no matter if we rush or cycle. And that’s on all of our players, it doesn’t just rely on the D-zone exit pass, or as much on the zone exit as the Corsi-heads think.

    Besides, nobody’s rush works very well in the postseason. I’d rather the team be built for postseason success than to pad stats in the regular season.

    What is a rush team and a cycle team? Can a team only play one or the other? Can players only be good at one and not the other?

    That team that won the cup the last two seasons has quite a few fast, skilled wingers. They score a lot off the rush. And a lot off extended offensive zone time. The team that is the antithesis of the “Russell Reset”

  102. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    TheVengeFulOne: If you had a favourite at the time, you get to bitch about it. That’s the rule. Goddamn Barzal near a ppg too.

    That is the rule.

    If you didn’t like a trade/pick the moment it was made and have proof of that you have currency to whine.

  103. SwedishPoster says:

    Bag of Pucks: But until recently, haven’t the Oil been largely winning the shot differential battle?

    If that’s the case, I’m not sure the breakouts are as big an issue as the Fs failing to turn shots into goals once they have possession in the zone.

    As widely discussed, they’ve been making a lot of Gs look like Vezina candidates.

    I agree with you that the D could be facilitating a much quicker transition game, but my worry is, even if they did – we’d still be dealing with the gang that can’t shoot straight.

    I think the lack of shooting success could be due to a lot of the shooting coming from set up play in the zone and not off transition. You have to be able to do both but your shooting % is bound to go up if more sorties comes off the rush before the enemy has gathered and organized their forces.

    Transition isn’t the whole truth but a good transition game can make your offense shine like a diamond.

    Edit: and I’m not really talking about rush plays alone. More having enough pace in your transition game to not allow the other team to get into their proper defensive positions the instant you enter their zone.

  104. stush18 says:

    OriginalPouzar: I agree – I have no idea why I read posts about this Hawk player.

    Further, I’m excited about Tyler Benson being back to playing hockey.He is a substantial prospect and its going to be a great add when he turns pro next year.

    Can’t wait to see him in camp.

    #materialptospect

  105. OmJo says:

    p3rsonman: They constantly look to each other for the beauty pass and teams are catching on and neutralizing their efforts.

    SwedishPoster: The cute plays have been ailing this team all season, they play a few good games and start making overly fancy plays, looking for passes that aren’t there and don’t shoot when there’s an opening.

    SayItAin’tSo, Gretz, SayItAin’tSo!: Right now they are very focused on making the “best play” instead of “the play.” What do I mean by that?
    Well its the extra pass, its trying to pass through three sticks, its trying to pull up and hit a trailer instead of putting it on the net and crashing.

    IIRC this was some of the same complaints given to the Hall Eberle Nuge trio back when they were running the show. I think it’s a phase for young players who are given the reigns of a franchise, play a lot together, and get overconfident – too much swagger – due to past success.

    It’ll pass, and those two will figure it out in time. But may require a breakup before that happens.

    Reminds me of this quote…

    “History doesn’t repeat, but it rhymes.”

    Mark Twain.

  106. Pouzar says:

    SwedishPoster: Problem overall imo is that the D lacks creative passers

    Now that I agree with.

  107. JimmyV1965 says:

    jtblack:
    Bag of Pucks,

    Imagine you’re a broker and failed to convince a client to buy Google shares at IPO, so now you send him weekly updates reminding him of Google’s current share price. Bet that never gets old…

    +1

    Hindsight is a Traders best friend.As it is when “re doing” drafts and suggesting we wouldnhave taken Debrincat, Barzal, Aho, Sergachev and we would never miss!!!

    The Debrincat chatter is cherry picking to the nth degree. No one was bragging up the kid last week when he had 7 pts in 16 games. He’s had a hot week and suddenly he’s a star? I would suggest it’s way too early to make judgements on any of these players. And you’re absolutely right, hindsight is always 20/20.

  108. Pouzar says:

    Woodguy v2.0: Its not that 25 or 6 “can’t” pass.
    Its what they do with the puck in their own zone when they need to make a pass.
    Both players can make a good pass.
    What they do most often under pressure in their own zone with the puck is not make a completed pass though.

    Gotcha. Agreed.

  109. TheVengeFulOne says:

    JimmyV1965: The Debrincat chatter is cherry picking to the nth degree. No one was bragging up the kid last week when he had 7 pts in 16 games. He’s had a hot week and suddenly he’s a star? I would suggest it’s way too early to make judgements on any of these players. And you’re absolutely right, hindsight is always 20/20.

    I was indifferent between the two on draft day, but the majority of people were pro-Debrincat, and they complained when it didn’t happen. Quite loudly.

  110. Pouzar says:

    Bag of Pucks: Why is an ‘Alex DeBrincat watch’ a thing?

    I assume it’s because you preferred the Oil drafting him over Benson?

    But if our goal is to show Chiarelli’s mistake in drafting Benson, why stop with DeBrincat?

    There were 179 players picked after Benson. Why not regular updates on all of them?

    Imagine you’re a broker and failed to convince a client to buy Google shares at IPO, so now you send him weekly updates reminding him of Google’s current share price. Bet that never gets old…

    Why you hate Barzal bro?

  111. OmJo says:

    Woodguy v2.0: That is the rule.

    If you didn’t like a trade/pick the moment it was made and have proof of that you have currency to whine.

    “But fans don’t know more than actual hockey people.”

    I remember a lot of Oilers fans were throwing this at people, prime example that comes to mind is how fans would respond to Henderson RE Russell last year and this summer. I suspect they’ve gone quiet now lol.

    Note: I’m not saying fans necessarily know more than Chiarelli or McLellan, just saying that just because we are fans doesn’t mean we don’t know shit about hockey or players.

    You don’t need to be a coach to see that Russell with Sekera is a mediocre 2RD, and away is an average 3RD – NOT WORTH $4M…
    You don’t need to be a pro scout to know that Reinhart was not worth 16th and 33rd overall in a deep draft.
    You don’t need to be a GM to have seen that Lucic getting a 6×7 contract would be a major handicap to the team, and that he wouldn’t be fast enough to play with McDavid.

    I could go on but I’ll stop here.

  112. Pouzar says:

    Woodguy v2.0,

    afew games ago I did see Nurse make a nifty 10 ft breakout pass from the corner to a streaking Nuge who was cutting in front of the net. It was very creative but thing is, I don’t think it is a staple of the TMc system. We see other teams using that D to F pass to the Dangerous scoring areas all the time but not as much with the Oilers…so what’s the alternative? Eat it, skate it out, off the glass, etc.

    You can’t break out unless there is open ice between the defender and forward. That doesn’t exist up the boards or diagonal up the ice when under pressure. I think the issue is very much system based to degree.

  113. Pouzar says:

    Woodguy v2.0: By my eye the Dmen are not moving the puck quick enough.
    The F is moving north and when the D hesitates to make the pass that is there, then the F’s are out of the dzone and now the pass they have to make is way tougher than the initial one.
    Faster brains and shorter passes would this group immensely.

    This screams system. We don’t make the short horizontal pass from D to F to start the breakout. It absolutely is something that can be coached and isn’t here.

  114. JimmyV1965 says:

    Pouzar:
    Woodguy v2.0,

    afew games ago I did see Nurse make a nifty 10 ft breakout pass from the corner to a streaking Nuge who was cutting in front of the net. It was very creative but thing is, I don’t think it is a staple of the TMc system. We see other teams using that D to F pass to the Dangerous scoring areas all the time but not as much with the Oilers…so what’s the alternative? Eat it, skate it out, off the glass, etc.

    You can’t break out unless there is open ice between the defender and forward. That doesn’t exist up the boards or diagonal up the ice when under pressure. I think the issue is very much system based to degree.

    I’m not a coach by any means but the pass up the boards is clearly coaching, right or wrong. And maybe that coaching is a reflection of the personnel.

  115. stush18 says:

    Pouzar: You think Letestu is an NHLer…I don’t.
    I am probably in the minority but the guy is not good 5 on 5 or the PK.

    While I like those lines, I loathe having to watch Letestu in any other role other than PP specialist.
    Aim higher like I always say.

    I think he’s can bring value.

    He’s at the bottom of the list as far as problems go, imo.

    I think JJ should take his spot full time next year, sharing duties with Malone.

  116. digger50 says:

    Last year Nuge was asked to play the toughs – and he did. This year he’s asked for offence, and he complies.

    I think we have our center depth upside down.

    Nuge could still be our best center to roll out against elites. Give him some supporting wingers and give him back that job. Allow Connor some space, at least at home.

  117. Pouzar says:

    Woodguy v2.0: 3.5% is a sizeable dip.

    Those numbers are nice but Klef is not going to outscore the amount of egregious mistakes he is making on a nightly basis. He was horrid again last night after a nice game against LV.

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

    OmJo,

    That is very true yes and I do hope they switch it up rather quickly, time is of the essence this year.

    Wrote this earlier on last nights game thread and despite the despair and raw feelings here today I stick with it 100%

    “And to all the folks jumping off the wagon full throttle take a look at how the rest of the Pacific did last night, basically everyone stayed the same. The Sharks and Flames (is Smith injured?) are the only two teams without significant injuries right now.

    The entire division is treading water, any one team (aside from Arizona) goes on a five game heater and they’ll end up within spitting distance of 1st in the division. Parity at its finest I suppose.

    St Louis is a good team, and they made the Oilers pay for some silly mistakes (common refrain this year I know) but this wasn’t nearly the blowout that some are making it seem.
    Winnable games for the next two weeks.

    Coach said he expects Sleppy and KJ to draw back in on the road-trip. That means that for the first time all year we’ll have a healthy lineup to pick and choose from.

    Unlike a lot of folks I feel pretty good right now. Team has to string it all together this road-trip but over the next 14 days there are 6 very winnable contests (ugghh TWO more matinee games, what the hell schedule makers what the hell?)

    They can gain a lot of ground here and they’ll be able to ice the fastest most skilled set of players they’ve had all year.

    This might be the make or break part of the schedule and I’m looking forward to it!”

    Maybe its a little rosie but some qualifiers.

    1) St Louis is the best team in the West but the Oilers did not get completely shelacked.

    Despite lopsided shot totals in period 2, if you look at the heat maps and game flow they tell a more nuanced story. Lots of stuff was forced to the outside, there was zone time sure but there wasn’t a lot of HDSC or scoring chances generally. Instead once again, it was blown coverage on a PK that sunk them that period.

    This matched up to my eye test, the Blues frustrated the Oilers no question, and I am in agreement with SwedishPoster about the breakout, but it wasn’t wave after wave of domination that the rhetoric here is suggesting.

    Going into the 3rd all the Oilers needed were one shot to tie. Instead a bad top line give away leads to a backbreaker and its game over.

    And despite all of this. Nothing really changed re: standings in the Pacific last night yet here we are once again freaking out, demanding sell-offs, actively cheering that the team tanks so the GM gets fired and so on and so forth.

    And with all that, the team is a winning streak away from climbing up the division because the division is mediocre, they are heading out on the road where they are significantly better than at home, there are 6/7 very winnable games over the next two weeks and they’ll be able to ice the best lineup they’ve had all year.

    Time to be an optimist fellas and ladies!

  119. Confused says:

    If we are going down, lets go swinging for the fences!

    Bench test, he is too slow, needs to go.

    Waive Pak and Gybs, not good enough.

    Bring up legs and simpson, it is now or never boys.

    But mainly, go McD, drai, nuge, strome down the middle!

    Tell them, shoot the god-damned puck, and every line is now a scoring line. Drive the play boys!

    Going meekly into the night is not the way to go, unleash the dogs of war and cry havoc.

  120. OriginalPouzar says:

    Leivo signs an extension with the Leafs.

    Doubt its a sign and trade – think they want the kid to succeed in their organization.

  121. digger50 says:

    St Louis game reminded me of playoffs. Big, fast forecheck. Finishing checks and pounding on our d men. They hold for a period or two then start coughing up the puck – this is part of the “book” on the present Oilers.

    How to correct this?

    Need bigger d men, but we don’t have St Louis size d men. We do have Gryba who is constantly underaged. Not much of a passer but can take the tough stuff.

    Need faster d men to retrieve – we don’t have them

    Change system to get winger back further for more support. F1 deeper support. We have to adapt systems to suit team strengths and weaknesses. T Mac can’t change the roster so he needs to adapt systems, particularly when they show repetitive weaknesses.

    Anyway, this running of our dmen to create turnovers is the way to beat the Oilers. Add in pinch on the blue line. Vegas can forecheck but back off the pinch every time, easy out for Oil.

  122. Pouzar says:

    stush18: He’s at the bottom of the list as far as problems go, imo.

    Well we can debate where he is on that list all day. What we can’t debate his is uselessness in 2 of 3 facets of the game. Is the PP enough for him to keep a spot? I think TMc thinks so.

  123. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Bag of Pucks: Yep, I could go that route I guess. I’m going to go with the ‘cheer for Benson’ route instead.

    Sometimes it seems we have folks who get more enjoyment out of cheering against the GM than cheering for the team.

    I’m not trying to pick a fight.

    I’m trying to explain the other side which you disagree with.

    Here it is:

    I cheer for the Oilers

    Basically I cheer for the laundry and the hundreds of players who have played for them during my 37 years of fandom.

    Good teams, bad teams, great teams and horrid teams. I’ve cheered for them all because I’m an Oiler fan.

    When it comes the coaches and management I want them to succeed and exceed at putting the best team together and having them play the best together, but its not quite “cheering for them”

    Like a player, I want them to do their best

    Like a player when they make mistakes, I want them to correct them.

    Unlike a player or coach, when a GM makes a mistake it has far reaching implications and long lasting results.

    A player can be better next game.

    A coach can change his lines, PK set up, PP set up etc. very quickly.

    A GM though, can’t fix mistakes quickly.

    A GM isn’t “day to day”,but really “year to year”

    His moves are few and will be scrutinized over and over again.

    I cheer the good moves and boo the bad ones, just like I do with the player and coach.

    ie) I liked the Jokinen signing AND I like the Jokinen trade because at the time they were both good moves.

    This GM has made some good moves, but some of the mistakes (in many opinions) are huge with massive long term effects:

    -Losing a massive, massive, massive amount of value in the Reinhart trade
    -Not having Hall to drive a second line
    -Giving 29 a bloated contract in which he sited a 45 minutes PDO rush in the playoffs as one of the reasons
    -Having to move out Eberle and buy out Pouliot due to poor cap management.
    -Giving Lucic a long term buy-out proof contract
    -Signing Russell long term when 2RD was the need, not another LHD and certainly not one that is described as a “4/5” by his defenders and fans.

    These moves have poisoned the well for many. Its like fans who constantly see a player bad and boo him for slight mis-steps

    Its like Matty telling everyone who read his stuff that Horcoff had a $7MM contract for 5 years when the cap hit was $5.5MM poisoning that well.

    I hope and pray to various Gords for Chiarelli to do well by the by the team I cheer for, but he has destroyed a lot of value that was in the organization the day he took over and some of it is “unforgivable” because of how long the effects are.

    The value that he destroyed was bought and paid for by years of being bad and getting high picks which the fans suffered through or the value was added by reasonably astute moves by people previously in the org.

    If he adds back that value he will earn back some fans trust the same way a player improving or a coach making more optimal moves earns back our trust.

    My fandom includes cheering for the players who wear the jersey, supporting the team with ticket and sundry sales, but it doesn’t include “blindly” supporting a GM or Coach if they are doing their jobs sub optimally.

    Here’s the best way I can describe it:

    I cheer for Pakarinen when he’s on the ice. I want the Oilers to score when he’s on the ice and I don’t want the other team to score when he’s on the ice.
    I do not “hate” the player for being a possession drag, he is what he is.
    I question the coach if he’s slotted above the 4th line.
    I question the GM for giving this player a contract in the off season.

    Same player, but 3 different takes depending on who is making what decision.

  124. Pouzar says:

    digger50: Change system to get winger back further for more support. F1 deeper support.

    This.

    We can’t breakout like other teams without it especially when D-men are under pressure.
    The D (under pressure) who chips to Winger on half wall who makes 10 ft horizontal pass to Center is non-existent in this system or not used as much as other teams. Seems like the wingers are coached to stick above the hashes and fly the zone under any type of possession change.

  125. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Pouzar: Those numbers are nice but Klef is not going to outscore the amount of egregious mistakes he is making on a nightly basis. He was horrid again last night after a nice game against LV.

    Goals against last night:

    McDavid 2
    Nurse 2
    Cagguila 2
    Draisaitl 2
    Benning 2
    Lucic 2
    Klefbom 2
    Maroon 1
    Larsson 1
    Nugent Hopkins 1

    How to you pick one player out of that line up?

  126. who says:

    Woodguy v2.0: I’m not trying to pick a fight.

    I’m trying to explain the other side which you disagree with.

    Here it is:

    I cheer for the Oilers

    Basically I cheer for the laundry and the hundreds of players who have played for them during my 37 years of fandom.

    Good teams, bad teams, great teams and horrid teams.I’ve cheered for them all because I’m an Oiler fan.

    When it comes the coaches and management I want them to succeed and exceed at putting the best team together and having them play the best together, but its not quite “cheering for them”

    Like a player, I want them to do their best

    Like a player when they make mistakes, I want them to correct them.

    Unlike a player or coach, when a GM makes a mistake it has far reaching implications and long lasting results.

    A player can be better next game.

    A coach can change his lines, PK set up, PP set up etc. very quickly.

    A GM though, can’t fix mistakes quickly.

    A GM isn’t “day to day”,but really “year to year”

    His moves are few and will be scrutinized over and over again.

    I cheer the good moves and boo the bad ones, just like I do with the player and coach.

    ie) I liked the Jokinen signing AND I like the Jokinen trade because at the time they were both good moves.

    This GM has made some good moves, but some of the mistakes (in many opinions) are huge with massive long term effects:

    -Losing a massive, massive, massive amount of value in the Reinhart trade
    -Not having Hall to drive a second line
    -Giving 29 a bloated contract in which he sited a 45 minutes PDO rush in the playoffs as one of the reasons
    -Having to move out Eberle and buy out Pouliot due to poor cap management.
    -Giving Lucic a long term buy-out proof contract
    -Signing Russell long term when 2RD was the need, not another LHD and certainly not one that is described as a “4/5” by his defenders and fans.

    These moves have poisoned the well for many.Its like fans who constantly see a player bad and boo him for slight mis-steps

    Its like Matty telling everyone who read his stuff that Horcoff had a $7MM contract for 5 years when the cap hit was $5.5MM poisoning that well.

    I hope and pray to various Gords for Chiarelli to do well by the by the team I cheer for, but he has destroyed a lot of value that was in the organization the day he took over and some of it is “unforgivable” because of how long the effects are.

    My fandom includes cheering for the players who wear the jersey, supporting the team with ticket and sundry sales, but it doesn’t include “blindly” supporting a GM or Coach if they are doing their jobs sub optimally.

    Here’s the best way I can describe it:

    I cheer for Pakarinen when he’s on the ice.I want the Oilers to score when he’s on the ice and I don’t want the other team to score when he’s on the ice.
    I do not “hate” the player for being a possession drag, he is what he is.
    I question the coach if he’s slotted above the 4th line.
    I question the GM for giving this player a contract in the off season.

    Same player, but 3 different takes depending on who is making what decision.

    Re Pak, I am totally with you until your last sentence. I believe Chia signed him for 650 -700 k. Nothing wrong with that contract for a 13th or 14th forward which is what he is.
    Deployment on the third line over Kassian is a coaches decision, and a very questionable one. Don’t think we can blame Chia for that.

  127. digger50 says:

    Woodguy v2.0,

    Dang, you know how to get your view across.

    Just nailed it here. I’m in this boat.

  128. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Pouzar: Those numbers are nice but Klef is not going to outscore the amount of egregious mistakes he is making on a nightly basis. He was horrid again last night after a nice game against LV.

    Picking on my boy eh?

    Ok then:

    One day Nurse will learn to defend the back door play.

    Today is not that day.

    I wonder if he’ll ever get it or if it will be like Smid who was still bewildered by it in his 6th year?

    Also,

    Oiler Dmen 4v5 GA/60

    Player GA60
    KRIS RUSSELL 11.25
    ERIC GRYBA 9.46
    DARNELL NURSE 9.33
    OSCAR KLEFBOM 7.44
    ADAM LARSSON 6.76

    I had nothing but nice things to say about Nurse lately until you took the first shot.

    🙂

  129. Georges says:

    “Todd McLellan doesn’t have the horses. Full stop.”

    How McLellan has used the horses makes it difficult to understand what type of horses he has.

    He made 3 bets out of training camp:

    1. KY plays in the top six.

    It tuns out he’s not ready. We waste a considerable number of games to determine that. It undermines the depth players and RFA’s. This bet has been paid out.

    2. Klefbom is capable of playing 1D minutes.

    It turns out he can’t. McLellan spread the minutes relatively evenly among his defensemen last year. I thought it was because he recognized he didn’t have a 1D. I thought he’d be more careful in managing minutes this season with Sekera out. Nope. Still looks like this is a running bet though.

    3. CMD and Drai together is the best use of his forward talent.

    We’ve gone over this. Still a running bet.

    Yesterday, JP does a little bit of freelancing around his own blue line and immediately gets pulled off the second line. His replacement, Kassian, promptly picks up a penalty. The Blues promptly score the go ahead goal. They don’t look back.

    McLellan’s hunches are off this season. Still lots of time.

  130. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    who: Re Pak, I am totally with you until your last sentence. I believe Chia signed him for 650 -700 k. Nothing wrong with that contract for a 13th or 14th forward which is what he is.
    Deployment on the third line over Kassian is a coaches decision, and a very questionable one. Don’t think we can blame Chia for that.

    That’s totally your choice.

    If you think he’s value on the roster for that contract, then that’s what you think.

    I think they should have aimed higher, but as always ymmv.

  131. OmJo says:

    Woodguy v2.0,

    This. This x 1000.

  132. OmJo says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    Leivo signs an extension with the Leafs.

    Doubt its a sign and trade – think they want the kid to succeed in their organization.

    Hm…

    One year, $0.925M.

    It is a tradeable contract. Maybe trying to showcase him while Matthews is out?

    It’s depressing to see the Leafs still winning without Matthews tbh.

  133. jtblack says:

    stush18,

    “I mean you aim for someone that can displace both benning and Larsson down. I just don’t think that’s possible? How many guys like that are actually available”

    You could be correct but I am thinking in terms of Stanley Cup Winning team. I think you need 1 high end D man. Pitt maybe the exception last yr; but in general tou require 1 hirse that can play 27 Mins and contribute at both ends of the Ice.

    I think we could get Barrie or Faulk, we would have to give up 1 of the Leftorium (Sek, Klef, Nurs) +

    IMO: the way the D is constructed doesnt jive for me Even when Reggie is back. Its part of the reason I thought they shouldn’t have signed Russell and spent the $$ on RHD .

  134. godot10 says:

    russ99:
    Besides, nobody’s rush works very well in the postseason. I’d rather the team be built for postseason success than to pad stats in the regular season.

    Pittsburgh won the last two Cups playing fast break out of their own end with a rush attack that can transition into a cycle as a last resort.

  135. godot10 says:

    stush18:
    russ99,

    Agreed.

    Maclellans system got us 100 points last yr.

    Now this yr it’s no good?

    I don’t buy it. This team plays good defense. Things will get better when sekera returns and the penalty kill starts winning us some games

    The Oilers play good defense, but don’t break out the puck out of their own zone well.

    Other teams have seen the OIlers now for a season. They have figured out how to game plan against the Oilers playing McLellan’s system. Adapt or die.

  136. Pouzar says:

    Woodguy v2.0: Goals against last night:

    McDavid 2
    Nurse 2
    Cagguila 2
    Draisaitl 2
    Benning 2
    Lucic 2
    Klefbom 2
    Maroon 1
    Larsson 1
    Nugent Hopkins 1

    How to you pick one player out of that line up?

    Not all mistakes on a GA are equal.

    From Bruce M. player grades”

    “Caught up ice on a couple of St. Louis 2-on-1s, and wandering in No Man’s Land 30+ feet from his net on the 4-1 goal.”

    That is not good.

  137. Pouzar says:

    Woodguy v2.0: Picking on my boy eh?

    I love him like a son.
    I’m not even mad…Just disappointed. 🙂

  138. godot10 says:

    Pouzar: This screams system. We don’t make the short horizontal pass from D to F to start the breakout. It absolutely is something that can be coached and isn’t here.

    Pittsburgh makes that play/pass. If it isn’t there, the D plays the puck to open space, and lets the speedy forward on the line chase it down in a 50/50 race with the opposing teams defensemen. They don’t hesitate. The puck is leaving the zone one way or another as quickly as possible

    No delays. No rims up the boards. Puck is out and under control well over 50% of the time.

  139. godot10 says:

    Pouzar: Not all mistakes on a GA are equal.

    From Bruce M. player grades”

    “Caught up ice on a couple of St. Louis 2-on-1s, and wandering in No Man’s Land 30+ feet from his net on the 4-1 goal.”

    That is not good.

    But as Belichek says when he casts shades on some of the for profit football analytics services, they don’t necessarily know what Klefbom was actually supposed to do if he was playing the system.

    If one is going to grade a player, one has to know exactly what his system-defined role in the system was on that play.

    Do you know for certain that Klefbom was the player who wasn’t playing the system, and not somebody else who failed to play the system correctly?

  140. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Pouzar: Not all mistakes on a GA are equal.

    From Bruce M. player grades”

    “Caught up ice on a couple of St. Louis 2-on-1s, and wandering in No Man’s Land 30+ feet from his net on the 4-1 goal.”

    That is not good.

    Yeah, I see some plays differently than Bruce.

    Often the 2 on 1 isn’t the Dman’s fault, its the lack of coverage from his covering winger.

    As for the 4-1 goal, yeah he wandered.

  141. godot10 says:

    #KlefbomIsTheNewPetry

    Coach isn’t playing him to his strengths, and is putting delusions of grandeur in his head of being the next Brent Burns.

    Fans are looking for the next defensive scapegoat.

    Larsson, Klefbom, Sekera, and Nurse are all keepers.

  142. Side says:

    godot10: But as Belichek says when he casts shades on some of the for profit football analytics services, they don’t necessarily know what Klefbom was actually supposed to do if he was playing the system.

    godot10:

    Coach isn’t playing him to his strengths, and is putting delusions of grandeur in his head of being the next Brent Burns.

    I enjoy how you use a Belichik statement about people making assumptions and not knowing the truth, then in your next comment you say, with complete certainty, that McLellan is

    “putting delusions of grandeur in Klefbom’s head of being the next Brent Burns”

    Classic godot move.

  143. meanashell11 says:

    Let’s get back to systems play.

    I have noticed on the breakout last season at the end and in the playoffs they were playing that drop back to the rushing forward, typically McD. They have gotten away from that and when they try it they are too tentative. This is why we are not hitting the offensive zone with speed. Instead we shot it in and hope to recover or McD tries to stickhandle through and gets gang tackled while his wingers go to his aid instead of going to the open space.

    Speaking of open space. In JPs first game where he scored he was always moving into the open space and waiting for the pass for the one timer. Has not done it since…..

  144. TheVengeFulOne says:

    It’s one thing to complain about Klefbom and blame Chia, it’s another to blame him for Reinhart. One was predictable, one wasn’t. It isn’t cheering against the the team to complain about poor managment when it was foreseeable. You are just being stupid if you want to clap like a trained seal with the roster assembled. I want the Oilers to be successful, but acknowledge that we have a ton of borderline NHLers in the bottom 6.

  145. TheVengeFulOne says:

    godot10: But as Belichek says when he casts shades on some of the for profit football analytics services, they don’t necessarily know what Klefbom was actually supposed to do if he was playing the system.

    If one is going to grade a player, one has to know exactly what his system-defined role in the system was on that play.

    Do you know for certain that Klefbom was the player who wasn’t playing the system, and not somebody else who failed to play the system correctly?

    Not sure this applies, because hockey is like basketball, not football. Not much actual strategy, and a lot more improv. If you can’t understand defense as a hockey player, you should be wearing a helmet at all times.

  146. Twinkle in your Father's JDî says:

    Woodguy v2.0: I think they should have aimed higher

    Instead of at their foot?

  147. OriginalPouzar says:

    So much fun – doom and gloom is just so much fun…..

    Anyways, Oilers have a chance to grab two points tomorrow and start themselves out on the right foot for a succesful road trip.

    I’m looking for 7 points on this trip and I think its do-able.

    Another afternoon game tomorrow but we need to win one of these at some time and, frankly, the last afternoon game the Oilers played that all but dominated their opposition – stupid goalie interference.

    Will be VERY curious to see what the lines look like.

    I have a feeling that tomorrow afternoon we may see a different player line up at 1RW than we are used to seeing.

    Go Oilers!

  148. McSorley33 says:

    Bag of Pucks,

    Why is an ‘Alex DeBrincat watch’ a thing?
    I assume it’s because you preferred the Oil drafting him over Benson?
    But if our goal is to show Chiarelli’s mistake in drafting Benson, why stop with DeBrincat?
    There were 179 players picked after Benson. Why not regular updates on all of them?
    Imagine you’re a broker and failed to convince a client to buy Google shares at IPO, so now you send him weekly updates reminding him of Google’s current share price. Bet that never gets old…
    *************************************************************************************************
    1. Blowing up the OHL is hard to do
    2. Plays RW
    3. Played with McDavid

    Was actually available in the – 2nd round.

    The road to 28th/29th in the league is created with many small and some big decisions.

    Besides Sekera ( granted he is important ) this team has been really healthy.

    My client keeps wanting to buy Tesla’s / BreX’s / of the world and all the while keeps wondering why he is broke.

  149. SHILL83 says:

    Would like to see some of these line combs:

    19-97-18
    27-29-91
    13-93-98
    16-55-44
    Want to see what strome can do as McD winger
    27-29 worked well in playoffs
    Third line has lots of offensive potential

    19-97-91
    27-93-29
    13-18-98
    16-55-44
    First line is that of the playoffs
    Give Nuge a great winger and i bet he has more offense to show
    Third line for soft minutes and see what they can do

    19-97-93
    27-29-98
    13-18-91
    16-55-44
    Nuge gets his chance on McDs wing
    Let JP get some platy time with the other big boys, Could be a hell of a line in the future
    Stome gets softer minutes and can focus on just putting up points playing with two offensive minded

    Play the 1st, 2nd, & 3rd lines even minutes and then which ever does the best in that game give them the extra time. Leave the fourth line with limited 5×5 and role those three lines.

  150. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Twinkle in your Father’s JDî: Instead of at their foot?

    Well done.

    It wasn’t as confusing as Tambellini re-signing Petrell but it wasn’t far off.

  151. McSorley33 says:

    Woodguy v2.0,

    ie) I liked the Jokinen signing AND I like the Jokinen trade because at the time they were both good moves.
    This GM has made some good moves, but some of the mistakes (in many opinions) are huge with massive long term effects:
    -Losing a massive, massive, massive amount of value in the Reinhart trade
    -Not having Hall to drive a second line
    -Giving 29 a bloated contract in which he sited a 45 minutes PDO rush in the playoffs as one of the reasons
    -Having to move out Eberle and buy out Pouliot due to poor cap management.
    -Giving Lucic a long term buy-out proof contract
    -Signing Russell long term when 2RD was the need, not another LHD and certainly not one that is described as a “4/5” by his defenders and fans.
    These moves have poisoned the well for many. Its like fans who constantly see a player bad and boo him for slight mis-steps
    Its like Matty telling everyone who read his stuff that Horcoff had a $7MM contract for 5 years when the cap hit was $5.5MM poisoning that well.
    I hope and pray to various Gords for Chiarelli to do well by the by the team I cheer for, but he has destroyed a lot of value that was in the organization the day he took over and some of it is “unforgivable” because of how long the effects are.
    The value that he destroyed was bought and paid for by years of being bad and getting high picks which the fans suffered through or the value was added by reasonably astute moves by people previously in the org.
    If he adds back that value he will earn back some fans trust the same way a player improving or a coach making more optimal moves earns back our trust.
    My fandom includes cheering for the players who wear the jersey, supporting the team with ticket and sundry sales, but it doesn’t include “blindly” supporting a GM or Coach if they are doing their jobs sub optimally.
    Here’s the best way I can describe it:
    I cheer for Pakarinen when he’s on the ice. I want the Oilers to score when he’s on the ice and I don’t want the other team to score when he’s on the ice.
    I do not “hate” the player for being a possession drag, he is what he is.
    I question the coach if he’s slotted above the 4th line.
    I question the GM for giving this player a contract in the off season.
    Same player, but 3 different takes depending on who is making what decision.
    ****************************************************************************************
    This….

    Value destruction is a real thing.

  152. Twinkle in your Father's JDî says:

    Woodguy v2.0: It wasn’t as confusing as Tambellini re-signing Petrell

    And it’s so easily undone, compounding the confusion. Does anyone materially believe Pak would get claimed on the way to Bakersfield? Roster spot open, cap hit gone, opportunity for anyone else to grab the ring.

  153. SwedishPoster says:

    Woodguy v2.0: Well done.

    It wasn’t as confusing as Tambellini re-signing Petrell but it wasn’t far off.

    The only thing I’d hire Petrell to do is as a special consultant to teach our forwards how to block point shots, because the majority are shit at it and that was the only thing in Petrells game that was NHL quality, he was awesome at blocking shots.

  154. Wolfpack says:

    Woodguy v2.0: By my eye the Dmen are not moving the puck quick enough.
    The F is moving north and when the D hesitates to make the pass that is there, then the F’s are out of the dzone and now the pass they have to make is way tougher than the initial one.
    Faster brains and shorter passes would this group immensely.

    Bang on. I was at the game last night and being able to see the entire ice surface at once, this is exactly what I saw. In the second and third period I lost track of the number of times the Oilers’ forwards received the puck standing still. Meanwhile the STL forwards are getting the puck in full flight and creating odd-man rushes everywhere.

  155. Wolfpack says:

    russ99: We’re not a rush team anymore, with just a few rush players.
    But I do agree, that we take forever to setup and it lets the opposition set up three defenders in the high danger areas, but that’s a thing no matter if we rush or cycle. And that’s on all of our players, it doesn’t just rely on the D-zone exit pass, or as much on the zone exit as the Corsi-heads think.
    The other part is how our players treat the puck like a hand grenade when in good shooting area under pressure. Take the hit and make the play.
    Besides, nobody’s rush works very well in the postseason. I’d rather the team be built for postseason success than to pad stats in the regular season.

    Yesterday on the Gregor Show Strudwick suggested the Oilers should mix up their break-up and try to catch at team on a bad change. Every rush is the same – take the puck back, wait for both teams to change, it is so predictable and easy to defend. Why not keep one or two forwards out and push the puck up during a change every once in a while? I will say this again – Jason Strudwick was advising a faster breakout. What does that say about the Oilers breakout?!

  156. LMHF#1 says:

    Their transition play isn’t generating enough speed. The thing that stands out for me is that McDavid is not being given the puck at his own blue. Those are when the dangerous rushes happen.

    The other thing this team is doing that is sabotaging scoring is that they are skating in wide and then trying to chip the puck into the middle. This doesn’t work. You have to primarily attack the middle of the ice.

  157. godot10 says:

    Side:
    I enjoy how you use a Belichik statement about people making assumptions and not knowing the truth, then in your next comment you say, with complete certainty, that McLellan is

    “putting delusions of grandeur in Klefbom’s head of being the next Brent Burns”

    Classic godot move.

    The first comparison is a specific instance…a specific play. The 2nd is an opinion based on a mode of usage and comment from the player and coach over an extended period of time.

  158. Twinkle in your Father's JDî says:

    Woodguy v2.0,

    And at the very least, all this Pak-bashing is sure to set him up for a hattie in Dallas 😉

    #reverseKorpseKurse

  159. russ99 says:

    godot10: Pittsburgh won the last two Cups playing fast break out of their own end with a rush attack that can transition into a cycle as a last resort.

    I watched those games and it was the Pens forechecking that won them that first cup, they hemmed the Avs in their zone and got multiple scoring chances per sortie and limited the time the Avs had the puck in their zone. And it was primarily forwards doing the hard work, since their D corps is subpar.

  160. OriginalPouzar says:

    Bear will not play tonight again.

    Hopefully this concussion isn’t long term but it’s definitely not short term.

  161. Jihat says:

    It’s nice to see Chiarelli (implicitly) admit how badly he’s fucked up this team, but it’ll be even nicer to see him gone.

    Too bad the damage is done.

    McDavid isn’t a $12.5m player. Maybe if he’d won 3 cups already, he’d be worth it, but he hasn’t won shit.

    Draisaitl isn’t a $8.5m player. Maybe if he’d won 3 cups already, he’d be worth it, but he hasn’t won shit.

    Lucic isn’t worth shit to begin with, never mind $6m/year, buyout-proof with a full NMC.

    Larsson, as nice as he’s been, isn’t worth Hall.

  162. Georges says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    So much fun – doom and gloom is just so much fun…..

    Anyways, Oilers have a chance to grab two points tomorrow and start themselves out on the right foot for a succesful road trip.

    I’m looking for 7 points on this trip and I think its do-able.

    Another afternoon game tomorrow but we need to win one of these at some time and, frankly, the last afternoon game the Oilers played that all but dominated their opposition – stupid goalie interference.

    Will be VERY curious to see what the lines look like.

    I have a feeling that tomorrow afternoon we may see a different player line up at 1RW than we are used to seeing.

    Go Oilers!

    Doom and gloom and friends always come out to play when the Oilers lose.

    Interesting cast of characters.

    I think they’d like to have our GM for dinner with some fava beans and a nice Chianti.

    It’s safer to be an optimist. You can only be disappointed. You can’t be wrong.

  163. Scungilli Slushy says:

    meanashell11:
    Question for the room.

    I was very upset with McD’s giveaway that led directly to the third goal. That has been happening way too much with him lately. Also, I have never seen so many soft passes that are intercepted.

    Anyway, question is this, if it were anyone else who made that giveaway they would have sat for the rest of the game. Why not McD? The coach’s hands are tied but how can he make the point without being able to sit his top player. I personally think that it would have been worth the loss to send that message but at the time they were “only” down by 2, still had a chance. But I would have done it. Would anyone else?

    I get your point, but a few players are exceptions, generational players. Connor doesn’t have an attitude issue either. When ‘normal’ players mess up it is worse because they can’t do what he does. He’s still learning, experimenting, figuring out the league and how he is going to destroy it, he is years from prime, and look out when his brain has absorbed and collated all the data.

    We are so lucky.

  164. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    From Marty’s twitter:

    Oilers have switched Puljujarvi and Pakarinen. Puljujarvi now on 3rd line with Strome and Cammalleri, Pakarinen on 2nd with RNH and Lucic

    Pak playing 2nd line a Chiarelli blames the players for the slow start.

    You can’t write this.

  165. Twinkle in your Father's JDî says:

    Woodguy v2.0: Pakarinen on 2nd with RNH and Lucic

    Somebody better check on Pouzar.

  166. Scungilli Slushy says:

    russ99:
    Seems there’s some preconcieved notions or coach’s favorites that are keeping us from running our best lines this year:

    1. Strome is better as a winger than a center, and is salvageable if he can get in position to shoot the way he did on the PP and get it on net. I’ve rarely seen him in position to take that same shot 5×5. He’s also very effective at keeping the cycle going to get chances on net, and he’ll be in position to do that a lot more at wing. On the other end of the rink, we’ve seem Strome as the first forward back is lacking, so we’re losing something defnsively with him as center.

    2. Gryba shouldn’t be playing unless there’s an injury, but for some reason we have to have moar bigger hits vs. the more physical Western teams. Can’t see why anyone would expect Russell – Gryba to have any impact past our circles when it’s obvious that Russell – Auvitu do.

    3. Similarly Pakarinen has a good physical game but doesn’t bring much else to the table, and is a drag on whatever line he’s playing on. Hope Khaira can get a regular run of games in and send Pak back to the AHL.

    4. If our key reason for not splitting up McDavid and Draisaitl is to keep Nugent-Hopkins from the third line and the other is that there’s such blatant public distrust in our wingers, that’s an indictment on our coaching staff.

    If the coach was more interested in the results of the team and not playing favorites, we’d run:

    Maroon – McDavid – Strome
    Lucic – Draisaitl – Slepyshev
    Cammelari – RNH – Puljujarvi
    Caggiula – Letestu – Kassian

    Nurse – Larsson
    Klefbom – Benning (still hate it, but will have to do until Sek’s back)
    Auvitu – Russell

    IMO they are still building the team’s identity. They will play guys that aren’t as good of those players follow the plan and bring energy, effort and get after it. Sather used to do the same thing with Brackenbury.

    Part of having high skill players is getting them to settle into a more mature game without stifling them. Growing pains the great Oilers and Wings went through. Crosby too.

    They are learning a lot even if this season has sucked so far as LT wrote about. I feel impatient about winning but in hockey it takes seasons to become a perennial top team even if the team is as loaded as the 80’s Oilers were with skill.

  167. Pouzar says:

    Woodguy v2.0:
    From Marty’s twitter:

    Oilers have switched Puljujarvi and Pakarinen. Puljujarvi now on 3rd line with Strome and Cammalleri, Pakarinen on 2nd with RNH and Lucic

    Pak playing 2nd line a Chiarelli blames the players for the slow start.

    You can’t write this.

    Oh my sweet fucking Gawd this is a joke right?

  168. leadfarmer says:

    Woodguy v2.0:
    From Marty’s twitter:

    Oilers have switched Puljujarvi and Pakarinen. Puljujarvi now on 3rd line with Strome and Cammalleri, Pakarinen on 2nd with RNH and Lucic

    Pak playing 2nd line a Chiarelli blames the players for the slow start.

    You can’t write this.

    AHL player on the second line. Perfect!! Playoffs here we come.
    Can we please at least bring Tambellini back for the draft lottery

  169. IceDragoon says:

    Woodguy v2.0:
    From Marty’s twitter:

    Oilers have switched Puljujarvi and Pakarinen. Puljujarvi now on 3rd line with Strome and Cammalleri, Pakarinen on 2nd with RNH and Lucic

    Pak playing 2nd line a Chiarelli blames the players for the slow start.

    You can’t write this.

    Matty tweeted this during the game last night, Darcy.

  170. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    IceDragoon: Matty tweeted this during the game last night, Darcy.

    Bah!

    I thought that might be the case, but saw “6hrs ago” on my phone so assumed practice

    Not that even that would mean much given the absences today.

    Thanks Louise.

  171. OriginalPouzar says:

    Woodguy v2.0:
    From Marty’s twitter:

    Oilers have switched Puljujarvi and Pakarinen. Puljujarvi now on 3rd line with Strome and Cammalleri, Pakarinen on 2nd with RNH and Lucic

    Pak playing 2nd line a Chiarelli blames the players for the slow start.

    You can’t write this.

    I don’t even think Pak will be in the lineup tomorrow afternoon.

  172. stush18 says:

    OriginalPouzar: I don’t even think Pak will be in the lineup tomorrow afternoon.

    NO I’m I’m pretty sure Pak is holding always spot until he returns on this trip. It’s prolly going to look like

    Maroon-mcdavid-Leon
    Lucic-nuge-slepy
    Cammy-strome-JP
    JJ-letestu-kass

  173. Ice Sage says:

    Thank you for shifting the narrative LT. All that ‘Oilers as Stanley Cup favorites’ stuff from a few months ago never sat well with me – the team from last year was lucky, wide in talent but not deep (or balanced).
    The true test will be whether these guys, coaching and management included, are mature enough and proud enough to bounce back with serious focus next year.
    The point made on this thread about McLellan not being a modern ‘quick up’ coach is a good one – when one looks at Vcr or Detroit, how they are better than the Oilers with less talent, it raises the question of antiquated systems.
    It would be a shame to turn # 97 into Pavel Bure

  174. HT Joe says:

    Ice Sage:
    It would be a shame to turn # 97 into Pavel Bure

    I think McDavid would justifiably request a trade long before this happens…

  175. Bobcaygeon says:

    Woodguy v2.0:
    STL owned their soul in the neutral zone.

    If you win the neutral zone, you win the game.

    Zone exits with possession were non-existent last night and that made for few entries with the puck unless 97 was on the ice to just do it all himself.

    I don’t like these Dpairs in terms of transitioning the puck.

    Given the skill sets on each pair its heavily reliant on the forwards actually being the ones who transition out of the dzone.

    Here’s how I see each player and how they move the puck:

    25-6 —>skater, not a good passer – not skater or good passer
    77-83—>skater and passer – not a skater, good passer
    4-62—>not a skater or passer – not a skater or passer

    I think a better mix would be:

    77-6
    25-4
    81/62-83

    You’ll need to shelter that 3rd pair a bit more than usual, but I think 81-83 could be an effective 3rd pair.

    Here’sCF% of the current pairs top 2 pairs with 97,93,18 compared to the pairs I like

    McDavid:
    25-6 = 57%
    77-6 = 54%

    77-83 = 50%
    25-4 = 70%

    25-4 is a very small sample (16 min) but the trend is clear

    Nugent Hopkins
    25-6 = 54%
    77-6 = 47%

    77-83 = 43%
    25-4 = 55%

    RNH and 77 are not mixing well, but its better overall with 77-6, 25-4.

    Strome (there is some time on 93’s wing polluting the sample)
    25-6 = 54%
    77-6 =57%

    77-83 = 51%
    25-4 = 70%

    Again, first pair is slightly worse, but the increase on 2nd pair makes up for it.

    Maximizing Russell inside of all of this will help overall imo.

    Russell 5v5 TOI w/ Dmates
    WithTOI With
    Eric Gryba82.23
    Matthew Benning65.87
    Darnell Nurse48.83
    Yohann Auvitu40.68

    Russell 5v5 CF% w/ Dmates
    WithCF% With
    Yohann Auvitu62.5
    Darnell Nurse59.79
    Matthew Benning48.39
    Eric Gryba44.16

    Russell-Gryba has to stop being a thing.

    Its not good that “4/5” Dman at $4MMx4 has bad results on the 3rd pair with Gryba as Gryba has good results with everyone else:

    Gryba 5v5:
    WithTOI with
    Kris Russell82.23
    Darnell Nurse73.17
    Yohann Auvitu32.65

    Gryba CF% with:
    WithCF% With
    Yohann Auvitu66.2
    Darnell Nurse63.76
    Kris Russell44.16

    That’s pretty goddamn sad.

    Whatever is causing it not to work is causing it not to work and Russell needs to be in a different spot.

    I remember having a conversation with Dellow on zone entry’s the Oilers were doing during Eakins days, basically, Hall went from carrying the puck into the zone to dumping it in. It was curious because it looked planned and it ultimately was affecting the Hall line production by giving up possession.

    The question I have is counter to Dellow’s thought process on giving away possession

    When is “chip and chase” an effective use? specifically, when your defense cannot make a 10 foot pass? would it, or could it be a better play letting the speed up front get a start before the red line and beat the D-man though the neutral zone and into the attacking zone?

    I understand coaches hate giving up possession, however, I am a season seat holder and the one thing that stands out by eye this year is the Oilers inability to make a decent passes…..It slows the forwards down immensely and lets the other team get set, specifically when McDavid is on.

    I’m not sure you can give me the answer I’m looking for but I found the comment “winning the neutral zone” a great little piece of truth and I was questioning the coaches as to why the Oilers were continually trying to carry through the neutral zone and attempting to make passes east to west….

    So, I guess I’m wondering if it’s a coaching decision to have the defense exit the zone and try to make these passes? does it look like part of the game plan or is it a bigger issue like the type of defensive players on the roster….

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