G22 2017-18: Oilers at Red Wings

The promise of youth is intoxicating but soon gives way to building a life and pushing toward a new tomorrow. For the Edmonton Oilers, who drafted Darnell Nurse, Leon Draisaitl, Connor McDavid, Jesse Puljujarvi and Kailer Yamamoto in consecutive drafts, the future looks bright. The problem right now? Right now.

THE ATHLETIC

We went a little crazy with the content yesterday and last night, there was so much to write about we simply couldn’t stop! The special Lowetide offer is here. Check it out!

SNOWBLIND FRIEND,YEAR OVER YEAR

  • Oilers in November 2015: 3-6-2, goal differential -6
  • Oilers in November 2016: 4-6-1, goal differential -3
  • Oilers in November 2017: 4-6-1, goal differential -8

Edmonton beat Pittsburgh 3-2 in a shootout November 28, 2015 and were 6-3 winners over Colorado one year later. I swear this team was on track for a reasonable November on Friday morning. This is a helluva flu.

AFTER 21, YEAR OVER YEAR

  • Oilers 15-16: 7-13-1, goal differential -9
  • Oilers 16-17: 12-8-1, goal differential +10
  • Oilers 17-18: 7-12-2, goal differential -18

It was a 4-1 loss to Carolina in 2015, a 3-2 shootout loss to Arizona one year ago. There isn’t much to say, beyond the fact that on this trajectory, the Oilers will reach garbage bag day with a final record of 27-47-8. A lot of NHL careers are going to end if this holds. The 2009-10 ended the NHL careers of Robert Nilsson, Marc Pouliot, Ryan Stone, Jeff Deslauriers. Playing on a bad team costs a player his reputation, can’t imagine what playing on a team that goes from 103 points to 62 points does for some of these fringe players.

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 0-2-0)
  • 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: 4-6-1, nine points in 11 games

I see two very winnable (Buffalo, Arizona) games here, but if the Oilers play like they did last night we might not see a win until December. Very disappointing performance.

DEFENSE, LAST NIGHT

  • Nurse-Larsson went 16-19 together and 1-2 5×5 GF. Larsson is a consistent and intelligent defender, he was the culprit on two. Larsson was very poor. Nurse scored a nice goal long after the result was known, slow to cover numerous times.
  • Klefbom-Benning went 4-9 together, Oscar-Larsson went 3-6 together and 0-2 in GF. I told you Larsson had a bad night! Benning was in a fight, that explains some of his low TOI, don’t know what else happened. Oscar is not at his confident best and so is left betwixt and between a lot.
  • Russell-Gryba went 6-11 and 2-1 in GF together. Russell made a fantastic pass to Leon for his goal. I know it was after the game was over, but that was nice. Russell would be my pick for top defender.
  • Cam Talbot made one save on three shots (.333) and Laurent Brossoit stopped 31 of 37, .838. Lordy. I believe in Cam Talbot.
  • Natural Stat Trick and NHL.com.

FORWARDS

  • Khaira-Nuge-Draisaitl looked as good as anyone, going 5-4 together (0-1 GF). Nuge-Leon 12-14, 2-2 GF. The goals for came after the west was won, so let’s not give out any gold stars.
  • Cammalleri-Letestu-Kassian went 4-8 together, 0-1 GF. They were not the reason for this loss but for three veterans this group were in the wrong spot frequently. Cammalleri was 1-6 early with Strome-Puljujuarvi so got moved down the lineup.
  • Maroon-Strome-Puljujarvi went 5-8 together, 0-1 GF.  Maroon-Puljujarvi were 7-6 together, it took me some time to find a positive (and it ain’t much).
  • Lucic-McDavid-Caggiula went 6-15 (Caggiula, 1-3 GF) and 7-11 (Lucic 1-2 GF). Fabulous goal, but 4-10 against Schenn-Schwartz-Tarasenko (Blues top line went 3-1 GF against McDavid line). McDavid played less than Ryan Strome, suggesting the coach pulled the chute early and that 97 is still not 100 percent.

WHAT IS POSITIVE?

The possession numbers remain a positive, and if you believe in those numbers (I do) regression should involve more goals, more stops, more wins.

  • Corsi for 5×5: 54.48 (No. 2 in NHL)
  • Fenwick for 5×5: 54.29 (No. 2 in NHL)
  • Shots for 5×5: 52.98 (No. 6 in NHL)
  • Goals for 5×5: 42.50 (No. 27 in NHL)
  • Scoring chances for 5×5: 54.31 (No. 2 in NHL)
  • HD Scoring chances for 5×5: 53.46 (No. 6)
  • Natural Stat Trick

I believe in those numbers, that’s a fact. Having said that, we have seen teams with strong shot metrics miss the playoffs in past seasons (LAK) and the Oilers are on the way to doing it again. Tyler Dellow on twitter was riffing on the idea of Darnell Nurse ‘gaming the Corsi’ as a theory (Note: he did not say it was so) and maybe that’s part of it.

I  wrote at The Athletic last night about keeping the powder dry and for me it makes a lot of sense. I know you want to fire Peter Chiarelli but we’re 21 games into the season. I know you want Todd McLellan ousted, but we’re 25 percent through the piece and the won-loss doesn’t rhyme with the possession numbers.

Feel free to tell me I’m crazy or a fraud, but until we figure out what’s going on with these possession numbers I’m not going to budge. On the day he was fired, Dallas Eakins’ Edmonton Oilers had a 5×5 Corsi for % of 50.9. History teaches us that, over time, good possession teams win more than they lose. There are always (famous) outliers but that’s a fact. History also tells us that once you fire the general manager, he’s going to rebuild and reload and make the team in his own image. Time’s a wastin’.

My question for you, dear reader, is this: Is the won-loss record of the Edmonton Oilers obscuring a pretty good hockey team? If so, why are you in such an all fire hurry to fire Peter Chiarelli and or Todd McLellan? Wouldn’t you rather wait until the offseason and proceed with an organized plan that gives you the largest pool of talent from which to choose?

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

At 10 this morning, TSN 1260. We have a bunch going on and we’re in a quick hurry to get there. Scheduled to appear:

  • Darcy McLeod, Because Oilers. Last night’s game, defensive pairings, trades, what the hell is going on out here?
  • Simon Boisvert, Prospect Insider. Thoughts on Jesse Puljujarvi six games into his NHL season, plus is there anyone in Bakersfield who can help?
  • Ansar Khan, MLive.com. The Detroit Red Wings are the Oilers opposition tonight, how are things in Motown?
  • Bob Nightingale, USA Today. It’s a bad day for the Atlanta Braves.

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

 

 

 

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459 Responses to "G22 2017-18: Oilers at Red Wings"

« Older Comments
  1. Ice Sage says:

    frjohnk:
    I said last night we have to have a winning record against the Pacific.

    If 95 points is the cut off for playoffs we would have to go something like 35-17-9 in 61 games.

    1 game later and we just need 34 more wins.

    I think you’re saying there’s a chance????
    Oilers gotta win a lot of games IN REGULATION vs Pacific rivals to claw back into contention. Not impossible but will take more determination than we’ve seen this year so far.

  2. flyfish1168 says:

    My favourite goal tonight was Cammalleri shot low left pad and created a big rebound to Letestu. Smart to realize he isn’t going to score from there but created a rebound for someone else. Smart and unselfish play

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

    Canucks have 25 pts in 22 games. Oilers 18 in 22.
    Rather than thinking they have to play .650 hockey all season the goal should be to catch the Dys by game 40.

    Gain 7 points on them in the next 18 games.

    I think it can be done.

  4. OriginalPouzar says:

    Benson scored – at even strength as well i believe.

  5. OriginalPouzar says:

    Ice Sage: Credit to you, OP, you believed this could happen!

    Which Oiler team takes to the ice in Buffalo?

    It’ll be a win in Buffalo on Friday.

    I think the team was a bit embarrassed by their back to back performances.

    I don’t think they’ve quit on their coach and I think they feel responsible for the criticism he’s received and want to play for him.

    Who knows how long it will last but I see another solid performance with multiple lines scoring in Buffalo.

  6. flyfish1168 says:

    OriginalPouzar: It’ll be a win in Buffalo on Friday.

    I think the team was a bit embarrassed by their back to back performances.

    I don’t think they’ve quit on their coach and I think they feel responsible for the criticism he’s received and want to play for him.

    Who knows how long it will last but I see another solid performance with multiple lines scoring in Buffalo.

    Ok, Carnac the Magnificent.

    I hope you are right. I do have to give TMac credit for also taking some of the blame. For me, that goes a long way with the players.

  7. OriginalPouzar says:

    Its wild – a terrible performance like last night and the posts are fast and furious post-game for a while.

    A very solid multiple-goal road win and its crickets….

  8. frjohnk says:

    Ice Sage: I think you’re saying there’s a chance????
    Oilers gotta win a lot of games IN REGULATION vs Pacific rivals to claw back into contention.Not impossible but will take more determination than we’ve seen this year so far.

    Have to believe they have a chance.

    Im not going to cheer for them to lose. I’ll save that stuff for the Flames 🙂

  9. treevojo says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    Its wild – a terrible performance like last night and the posts are fast and furious post-game for a while.

    A very solid multiple-goal road win and its crickets….

    Ha.

    I’m pretty sure I warned you of this.

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

    Buffalo not to be taken lightly. This win is meaningless if they let their guard down for that game.

  11. frjohnk says:

    NYC-Back-to-Tokyo Oil (Gentleman Backpacker):
    Canucks have 25 pts in 22 games. Oilers 18 in 22.
    Rather than thinking they have to play .650 hockey all season the goal should be to catch the Dys by game 40.

    Gain 7 points on them in the next 18 games.

    I think it can be done.

    Its not so much the Canucks we have to catch, its the 8th place points pace we need to catch. I know you know that, just adding to the conversation.

    If we win the next 4 in a row and the teams above us (8th place to 13th) keep at their same points pace, this is how it looks.
    GP TEAM POINTS
    27 Dallas 30
    27 Vancouver 30
    26 Chicago 29
    25 San Jose 28
    25 Colorado 28
    26 Minnesota 27
    27 Edmonton 28

    If we were to rattle off 5 wins in a row, Everest turns into just a big big big big hill.

    To make the playoffs we probably have to go on hell of a bender of wins.

    Id love for them to make it interesting.

  12. frjohnk says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    Its wild – a terrible performance like last night and the posts are fast and furious post-game for a while.

    A very solid multiple-goal road win and its crickets….

    All of us trying to climb back on the wagon.

    I think I broke my ankle last night

  13. Jordan says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    Its wild – a terrible performance like last night and the posts are fast and furious post-game for a while.

    A very solid multiple-goal road win and its crickets….

    I’m in shock. After a terrible game last night, and a very convincing win tonight, I’m at a loss for what to think of this team.

    If I see another game like the last one, I might almost be convinced that the last few games were the result of the flu, and the team is actually a lot more like the team that went 3-1-1 earlier this month.

    Do we just chalk it up to the team core being young and inconsistent? Shaken by a poor start by their goaler?

    It’s so hard to get a read on them.

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

    frjohnk,

    Yeah I am not sure what the Vegas odds for the Oilers to win the western conference are right now but I would consider betting on them if they are good.

    I still think wild card or 3rd in division is more likely but I think they will be in the mix at the end.

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

    I still think this is a 7 or 8th in the west type team. Not as good as last year but not as bad as the early results.

    That does not change that I think the roster has some holes that can be addressed and should have been addressed this summer:

    backup goalie McLellan trusts to play every 4th game
    scoring top 6 wing
    suitable D for while Sekera is out.

    All of the above should be/should have been obtainable without a major trade.

  16. JimmyV1965 says:

    I truly think it boils down to goaltending. This is a playoff team. If Talbot pulls himself out of this funk, anything is possible. If he doesn’t, we’re toast. I wasn’t thrilled with the goals he gave up tonight. Would be nice to have a backup who has the trust of the coach.

  17. flea says:

    Nice win but they have gotta string a bunch together soon to salvage the season. I often fall in the trap thinking “If they win the next game, then the next one as well, then one more, they’ll be right there!” I am reminded of these thought patterns from the DOD and also remembering getting pretty disappointed when these streaks didn’t happen.

    I was actually hoping for them to have a more grinding season this year, last year they coasted into the playoffs. Well it’s going to be a grind alright, it’s already been a meat grinder of a season. As long as they are close, I will believe in McDavid. Next 4 are all winnable, but the way they’ve played it would be a bit of a surprise to see them pull that off. The consistency has not been there this year, so until they show they can be consistent, along with Talbot, I won’t fall into that line of thinking.

    Could be a hell of a story if they turn it around, and the best part about sports are those stories. Let’s hope McDavid wants to write the next chapter of his tale.

  18. who says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    Its wild – a terrible performance like last night and the posts are fast and furious post-game for a while.

    A very solid multiple-goal road win and its crickets….

    Just don’t know what to say. They were so bad last night and then looked so solid tonight.
    I did like some of the line shuffles. I guess the team has to hit rock bottom before Tmac is willing to make some overdue changes. Still would like to see Drai at center but will admit that Strome had a good game, at both ends of the rink.
    Like the two young, big, fast wingers with Strome. Kharia in particular, had a really good game. Really managed the puck well.
    Liked the new wingers with Macdavid. I think that should be the policy moving forward. Wingers should have to earn their time with this player. If the wingers get stale, move em out. Its a nice little carrot to hold in front of the players.
    Good to see them finally split up Klefbom and Benning. Playing 2 young struggling dmen on the second pairing is probably not a recipe for success.
    Would be nice if they could back off the Larsson/Nurse minutes. Starting to see a little wobble from that pair.
    Auvitu looked good today. He definitely can help the attack. Still not convinced he can stand up to a hard, physical forecheck but Detroit isn’t that kind of team. Neither are the next few opponents so maybe he can get on a roll.

  19. OmJo says:

    So what does it take to get Mantha out of Detroit?

  20. Georges says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    Its wild – a terrible performance like last night and the posts are fast and furious post-game for a while.

    A very solid multiple-goal road win and its crickets….

    Ha!

    Partly “Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.”

    Partly all the Flames fans on here are upset their well-managed team lost tonight.

    I liked McLellan’s lines. Very clever on his part. They were fun to watch. I hope it pays off for the players and the coach. The players had lots of try and we got some bounces for a change.

    I liked that JP and the 3rd line got the bonus goal at the end on top of the game winner. I hope their scoring becomes regular. I love that JP kid. And I’m really pulling for the other two guys as well.

    i hope the coach likes Auvitu enough to keep him in even after he has a bad night.

    Klefbom made plays all game. The defense largely kept things quiet for Talbot. Happily, the clean looks we did give up weren’t automatic.

    I hope McLellan backs off of the big minutes to Larsson and Nurse.

    Don’t think that will hold up against good teams.

    But, yeah, fun game.

    More, please.

  21. Rebilled says:

    Another way to look at it is:

    We have 8 wins

    The two wild card teams have 11 wins.

    There are 60 games left in the season.

  22. jake70 says:

    flyfish1168:
    My favourite goal tonight was Cammalleri shot low left pad and created a big rebound to Letestu. Smart to realize he isn’t going to score from there but created a rebound for someone else. Smart and unselfish play

    That was my favourite play tonite as well….never do we see a forward get to a free puck like that and take a slapper for the hell of it….can never have too many juicy rebounds….

  23. Zelepukin says:

    JimmyV1965:
    I truly think it boils down to goaltending. This is a playoff team.If Talbot pulls himself out of this funk, anything is possible.If he doesn’t, we’re toast.I wasn’t thrilled with the goals he gave up tonight.Would be nice to have a backup who has the trust of the coach.

    It definitely starts with the goaltending but it quickly ends up being a defensive issue. Our transition from possession to escaping pressure and transitioning out with clean passes, is still a massive problem.

  24. Zelepukin says:

    I’ve watched the PJ goal several times now. Holy hell, we need more of that. No one shoots on this team like that or even attempts to put themselves in the position to one-time it on the fly.

  25. JimmyV1965 says:

    Zelepukin: It definitely starts with the goaltending but it quickly ends up being a defensive issue. Our transition from possession to escaping pressure and transitioning out with clean passes, is still a massive problem.

    You’re right for sure. It happpensd a few times again tonight. With time and space they will sometimes fail to get it out at all, which is very frustrating. I think at least some of this is due to confidence issues and overthinking it. Good goaltending I hope will help with that.

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

    Jesse has a rocket one timer. Would like to see him on PP2

  27. GMB3 says:

    Tyler Benson with two outstanding plays on his goal and assist tonight. This kid needs to stay healthy

  28. My Tierless Retina says:

    That’s two guys added since the start of the season who can shoot the puck – JP and Cammy, and they’ve contributed.

  29. OriginalPouzar says:

    NYC-Back-to-Tokyo Oil (Gentleman Backpacker):
    Jesse has a rocket one timer. Would like to see him on PP2

    We read about his shot in scouting reports but never saw it last year. In fact, we saw the opposite, we saw him fan on shot and miss the net with regularity – it was clearly a confidence thing.

    Last night was the 2nd one-timer I saw him crush (the other was from the split in his first game – he missed the net but wired one).

    Its good to see.

    The one negative of the Cammalleri trade was that it took Jesse off PP2 (he has just go on there the game before and we only had 1 PP that game).

    I would love to see him on the PP.

  30. OriginalPouzar says:

    GMB3:
    Tyler Benson with two outstanding plays on his goal and assist tonight. This kid needs to stay healthy

    He will be a huge add to this organization if his injury issues are behind and, right now, he is healthy and getting his game back and excelling.

    I have big plans for this player – he is a material upper echelon prospect.

  31. hunter1909 says:

    I like how JP was sent to the AHL.

    Now he’s up, he’s playing like he understands the consequences of shitty NHL play. Also, he looks like he’s got the makings of an excellent player.

    prediction: Yamamoto doesn’t score a single official NHL goal. Ever.

  32. hunter1909 says:

    The Edmonton Jekyll and Hydes is a better name for this year’s edition of the OIlers.

  33. hunter1909 says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    Its wild – a terrible performance like last night and the posts are fast and furious post-game for a while.

    A very solid multiple-goal road win and its crickets….

    Seriously people are preparing to totally bail on this franchise. I mean, they’re losing with Connor McDavid…

    ps: I know Draisaitl has a concussion, and McDavid somehow got hammered in game 2. Time for the plugs to step up bigtime(Lucic cough cough)

  34. SwedishPoster says:

    hunter1909:
    I like how JP was sent to the AHL.

    Now he’s up, he’s playing like he understands the consequences of shitty NHL play. Also, he looks like he’s got the makings of an excellent player.

    prediction: Yamamoto doesn’t score a single official NHL goal. Ever.

    Yeah, he’s so raw but he’s absolutely screaming high end potential. It might be slightly over the top but to me his upside is a rich man’s Hossa. At worst he’s big, strong middle sixer with high end skating and a shot that can beat NHL goalies clean. That’s useful too.

  35. SwedishPoster says:

    OriginalPouzar: We read about his shot in scouting reports but never saw it last year.In fact, we saw the opposite, we saw him fan on shot and miss the net with regularity – it was clearly a confidence thing.

    Last night was the 2nd one-timer I saw him crush (the other was from the split in his first game – he missed the net but wired one).

    Its good to see.

    The one negative of the Cammalleri trade was that it took Jesse off PP2 (he has just go on there the game before and we only had 1 PP that game).

    I would love to see him on the PP.

    One thing I’ve noticed is that Puljujärvi wants the puck slightly further behind him than most guys when onetiming the puck. Last night Strome served it in that spot and JP got a lot on it. Other times I’ve seen him getting the puck slightly in front of him or right in the middle where most players prefer it for the onetimer and the shot wasn’t as clean. You obviously have to be able to adapt as an NHLer, you will rarely get the puck in your exact sweet spot but part of growing as a team is learning each others tendencies.

  36. OriginalPouzar says:

    Junior level tending on both (goalie and his angle) but both Benson’s assist and, in particular, his goal were filthy:

    https://t.co/90cVrzb1xd

  37. OriginalPouzar says:

    hunter1909:
    I like how JP was sent to the AHL.

    Now he’s up, he’s playing like he understands the consequences of shitty NHL play. Also, he looks like he’s got the makings of an excellent player.

    prediction: Yamamoto doesn’t score a single official NHL goal. Ever.

    Jesse often looks a little bit like bambi out there but he also looks like a legit skilled power forward at times – carrying the puck with speed, skill and confidence through the neutral zone, forechecking with physicality, etc.

    He will grow in to his frame fairly soon and be a legit top 6 power forward – will he be a 25/30/55 guy or a 35/35/70 guy – that’s the question.

    Kailer will need some time, likely some AHL development time, but I think he’ll be an every day top 6 NHLer.

    Lets not forget he is barely 19. How old was J. Gaudreau when he made the NHL?

  38. OriginalPouzar says:

    As between Yamamoto and Benson, I may have higher hopes for Benson and I think he may be closer to NHL ready even with the lost development time.

  39. OriginalPouzar says:

    hunter1909: Seriously people are preparing to totally bail on this franchise. I mean, they’re losing with Connor McDavid…

    ps: I know Draisaitl has a concussion, and McDavid somehow got hammered in game 2. Time for the plugs to step up bigtime(Lucic cough cough)

    Lucic was fantastic last night (relative to expectations).

    That type of effort will help him stick as 1LW.

  40. OriginalPouzar says:

    SwedishPoster: One thing I’ve noticed is that Puljujärvi wants the puck slightly further behind him than most guys when onetiming the puck. Last night Strome served it in that spot and JP got a lot on it. Other times I’ve seen him getting the puck slightly in front of him or right in the middle where most players prefer it for the onetimer and the shot wasn’t as clean. You obviously have to be able to adapt as an NHLer, you will rarely get the puck in your exact sweet spot but part of growing as a team is learning each others tendencies.

    I never did notice that – good detailing!

  41. frjohnk says:

    Today is American Thanksgiving so we are going to hear about “if you are not in or close to a playoff spot, you probably wont make the playoffs”

    There are 6 teams tied for 8th spot with 23 points.

    We have 18 points, so we are 5 points back but have either played 1 or 2 more games than 5 of the 6 teams that have 23 points

    So we are not 5 points back, but more like 6 to 7 points back of that 8th spot if we are looking at points pace by the teams ahead of us.

    Playoff point pace for 8th spot is 94 points right now.

    So we need 76 points in the last 60 games to hit 94 points this season. And we could possibly need more points to make playoffs.

    Like Lloyd Christmas said “so you’re saying there’s a chance?”

    Ok, our chances are better than that, but its a huge hill to climb.

    Our playoff race may have just started in November

  42. Caribbeerman says:

    Healthy lines:

    Lucic – McDavid – Caggiula
    Maroon – Draisaitl – Slepyshev
    Cammalleri – RNH – Puljujarvi
    Kharia – Strome – Kassian

    Nurse – Larson
    Sekera – Russell
    Kleffbom – Benning

    Talbot

  43. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Nice to see McLellan try 81-83 as the 3rd pair. I’ve been pimping that (mostly to get 83 out of the top 4) for a while.

    I mentioned here a few times and yesterday on LT’s show that the 77-83 pair was a disaster and it was bad coaching to let it continue.

    81-83 went 67%CF (18-9) and 3-0 (+3) in goals together 5v5.

    Pretty slick.

    Auvitu gets two assists as well.

    He’s chaos incorporated but with the right partner he’s money for driving offence.

    I wish McLellan would go back to 77-6 and 25-4 as well, but if he keeps 81-83 a pair I won’t bitch too loud.

    25-6 got pounded yesterday, mostly by Helm, Neilsen and Larkin, but it wasn’t that good anywhere.

    Go back to 77-6 and 25-4 and they’re cooking with gas again.

    The right dpairs doing the right things to exit the dzone with the puck drive offence.

    That’s a big part of their malaise since McLellan messed with the pairs imo.

  44. Pouzar says:

    frjohnk:
    Today is American Thanksgiving so we are going to hear about “if you are not in or close to a playoff spot, you probably wont make the playoffs”

    There are 6 teams tied for 8th spot with 23 points.

    We have 18 points, so we are 5 points back but have either played 1 or 2 more games than 5 of the 6 teams that have 23 points

    So we are not 5 points back, but more like 6 to 7 points back of that 8th spot if we are looking at points pace by the teams ahead of us.

    Playoff point pace for 8th spot is 94 points right now.

    So we need 76 points in the last 60 games to hit 94 points this season.And we could possibly need more points to make playoffs.

    Like Lloyd Christmas said “so you’re saying there’s a chance?”

    Ok, our chances are better than that, but its a huge hill to climb.

    Our playoff race may have just started in November

    “Only one of Edmonton’s 1st 22 games have been against a team in bottom 10 (PHI) of NHL”

  45. Pouzar says:

    Woodguy v2.0: Go back to 77-6

    77 should stay far away from top pair imo.

  46. OriginalPouzar says:

    frjohnk:
    Today is American Thanksgiving so we are going to hear about “if you are not in or close to a playoff spot, you probably wont make the playoffs”

    There are 6 teams tied for 8th spot with 23 points.

    We have 18 points, so we are 5 points back but have either played 1 or 2 more games than 5 of the 6 teams that have 23 points

    So we are not 5 points back, but more like 6 to 7 points back of that 8th spot if we are looking at points pace by the teams ahead of us.

    Playoff point pace for 8th spot is 94 points right now.

    So we need 76 points in the last 60 games to hit 94 points this season.And we could possibly need more points to make playoffs.

    Like Lloyd Christmas said “so you’re saying there’s a chance?”

    Ok, our chances are better than that, but its a huge hill to climb.

    Our playoff race may have just started in November

    One game at a time.

    I’m not looking at standings or doing calculations on how many games we need to win to reach certain markers or looking at stats on chances if not in the playoffs at certain dates.

    I’m just focusing on winning hockey game. We win games consistently and accumulate points consistency and we will get back in the race.

    Shit, if the 16/17 flames can win 10 in a row on the back of Brian Elliot, why can’t this Oiler team do the same.

    Just need to ensure our GM does not make a panic trade and give away futures (Puljijarvi/first round pick) for a rental (Neal, Kane, Green) – we aren’t in the position to make such a trade.

  47. OriginalPouzar says:

    Woodguy v2.0:
    Nice to see McLellan try 81-83 as the 3rd pair.I’ve been pimping that (mostly to get 83 out of the top 4) for a while.

    I mentioned here a few times and yesterday on LT’s show that the 77-83 pair was a disaster and it was bad coaching to let it continue.

    81-83 went 67%CF (18-9) and 3-0 (+3) in goals together 5v5.

    Pretty slick.

    Auvitu gets two assists as well.

    He’s chaos incorporated but with the right partner he’s money for driving offence.

    I wish McLellan would go back to 77-6 and 25-4 as well, but if he keeps 81-83 a pair I won’t bitch too loud.

    25-6 got pounded yesterday, mostly by Helm, Neilsen and Larkin, but it wasn’t that good anywhere.

    Go back to 77-6 and 25-4 and they’re cooking with gas again.

    The right dpairs doing the right things to exit the dzone with the puck drive offence.

    That’s a big part of their malaise since McLellan messed with the pairs imo.

    Overall, I think the defence looked much better last night.

    I’ve been remiss to go back to the Klefbom/Russell pairing as I don’t like Russell as 2RD while Klef is struggling but that pairing was good last night and Russell was good as well (another couple of nice passes too).

    While I get that McLellan likes Gryba in the lineup against bigger teams, I think that Auvitu is the more material d-man at this point. Yes, Auvitu struggles in defensive zone coverage but he can certainly move the puck and, as a group, our back-end is a bit deficient in that regard. Its not like Gryba doesn’t have defensive zone issues – he’s generally good in coverage, however, his slow boots and slowness to move the puck leads to issues in our defensive zone (and penalties). Bottom line, both have defensive zone issues but at least Auvitu has some puck moving and offensive skill.

    Not much to say about Nurse/Larsson except Nurse if phenomenal right now (led the team for TOI last night) and that pairing is being leaned on and generally succeeding.

    All in all, the defence only let one ES goal in last night and it was a lucky bounce and a slow reaction by our goalie.

    Its probably a function of the team we were playing – yes, DET is a fairly fast team on the forceheck but not a big team – STL is a big and fast team – double whammy.

  48. OriginalPouzar says:

    Woodguy v2.0:
    Nice to see McLellan try 81-83 as the 3rd pair.I’ve been pimping that (mostly to get 83 out of the top 4) for a while.

    I mentioned here a few times and yesterday on LT’s show that the 77-83 pair was a disaster and it was bad coaching to let it continue.

    81-83 went 67%CF (18-9) and 3-0 (+3) in goals together 5v5.

    Pretty slick.

    Auvitu gets two assists as well.

    He’s chaos incorporated but with the right partner he’s money for driving offence.

    I wish McLellan would go back to 77-6 and 25-4 as well, but if he keeps 81-83 a pair I won’t bitch too loud.

    25-6 got pounded yesterday, mostly by Helm, Neilsen and Larkin, but it wasn’t that good anywhere.

    Go back to 77-6 and 25-4 and they’re cooking with gas again.

    The right dpairs doing the right things to exit the dzone with the puck drive offence.

    That’s a big part of their malaise since McLellan messed with the pairs imo.

    Overall, I think the defence looked much better last night.

    I’ve been remiss to go back to the Klefbom/Russell pairing as I don’t like Russell as 2RD while Klef is struggling but that pairing was good last night and Russell was good as well (another couple of nice passes too).

    While I get that McLellan likes Gryba in the lineup against bigger teams, I think that Auvitu is the more material d-man at this point. Yes, Auvitu struggles in defensive zone coverage but he can certainly move the puck and, as a group, our back-end is a bit deficient in that regard. Its not like Gryba doesn’t have defensive zone issues – he’s generally good in coverage, however, his slow boots and slowness to move the puck leads to issues in our defensive zone (and penalties). Bottom line, both have defensive zone issues but at least Auvitu has some puck moving and offensive skill.

    Not much to say about Nurse/Larsson except Nurse if phenomenal right now (led the team for TOI last night) and that pairing is being leaned on and generally succeeding.

    All in all, the defence only let one ES goal in last night and it was a lucky bounce and a slow reaction by our goalie.

    Its probably a function of the team we were playing – yes, DET is a fairly fast team on the forceheck but not a big team – STL is a big and fast team – double whammy.

    Pouzar: 77 should stay far away from top pair imo.

    He’s been struggling the year, no doubt, however, if this team is going anywhere, it needs a Klefbom playing well and he is our best LD at this point.

    He’s not playing like it at this point, however, if he’s on his game, he is our top LD, Nurse’s great play notwithstanding.

    Those two are going to be a great 1LD, 2LD going forward.

  49. Pouzar says:

    OriginalPouzar: He’s been struggling the year, no doubt, however, if this team is going anywhere, it needs a Klefbom playing well and he is our best LD at this point.
    He’s not playing like it at this point, however, if he’s on his game, he is our top LD, Nurse’s great play notwithstanding.

    So stick him on the top pair to find his game?

    We’ll agree to disagree here.

  50. SwedishPoster says:

    OriginalPouzar,

    Thing with Auvitu over Gryba is that it completely changes the dynamic of the D, while Auvitu has defensive issues and mental lapses, he makes the team so much more difficult to defend against. We get another D outside Klefbom who consistently looks for offensive positions which opens up ice for our skill forwards. If Auvitu plays every night I fear his defensive issues might outweigh these gains but for a few games where he’s fully focused I think he’ll keep being a net positive.
    Certainly over Gryba who’s very ineffective when he plays night in and night out, he works for a game or two where he can provide physicality and ok defensive coverage but after a stretch of games his puckhandling and passing just fall apart.

  51. 99266in87 says:

    Anyone notice, as a whole, the D were moving up the puck from everywhere, and I mean during dumpins line changes etc, I didn’t see many re-sets. Maybe this is the start of McL’s “buy in”?

  52. Jethro Tull says:

    Woodguy v2.0,

    One thing I noticed with Auvitu last night is that he rarely did the dreaded reset. The puck came in and if it came near him, it was heading north again. I wonder if he had been told to do this. I thunk it helped him and the team.

  53. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Pouzar: 77 should stay far away from top pair imo.

    Its better than 25-6 in every metric except goals and that’s even getting closer….

  54. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Jethro Tull:
    Woodguy v2.0,

    One thing I noticed with Auvitu last night is that he rarely did the dreaded reset. The puck came in and if it came near him, it was heading north again. I wonder if he had been told to do this. I thunk it helped him and the team.

    That’s exactly it.

    That’s how you play fast and drive offence.

  55. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Pouzar: So stick him on the top pair to find his game?

    We’ll agree to disagree here.

    Usually 2nd pair isn’t materially different than first pair.

    He needs a good partner and 25-4 ran 60%CF together.

    Its the right thing to do.

  56. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Pouzar,

    TOI vs Zetterburg last night:

    Russell 9:06
    Klefbom 8:34
    Nurse 6:30
    Larsson 5:49
    Benning 2:30
    Auvitu 1:57

    Its not like McLellan is trying to hide his 2nd pair

  57. OriginalPouzar says:

    Pouzar: So stick him on the top pair to find his game?

    We’ll agree to disagree here.

    It wasn’t me that said stick him on the top pair right now.

    I simply stated that we are going to need the player to perform like he can if this team is going to be successful.

    Right now I am happy with Nurse/Larsson and hopefully Klefbom can find some consistancy with Russell or Benning.

  58. OriginalPouzar says:

    SwedishPoster:
    OriginalPouzar,

    Thing with Auvitu over Gryba is that it completely changes the dynamic of the D, while Auvitu has defensive issues and mental lapses, he makes the team so much more difficult to defend against. We get another D outside Klefbom who consistently looks for offensive positions which opens up ice for our skill forwards. If Auvitu plays every night I fear his defensive issues might outweigh these gains but for a few games where he’s fully focused I think he’ll keep being a net positive.
    Certainly over Gryba who’s very ineffective when he plays night in and night out, he works for a game or two where he can provide physicality and ok defensive coverage but after a stretch of games his puckhandling and passing just fall apart.

    Agree with everything in this post.

    Both Auvitu and Gryba have defensive issues but at least Auvitu has the ability to move the puck and create offensive opportunities.

    Both have the ability to be successful in small sample sizes. Over the last few years, I’ve seen Gryba be successful with a few games here or there but always regress when asked to play too many games in a row.

    Auvitu hasn’t had the “opportunity” to play too many games in a row – I would assume his defensive issues would be magnified when he does get the opportunity but, at the same time, at least he’ll still be able to help transition the puck even if struggling a bit in coverage.

  59. OriginalPouzar says:

    99266in87:
    Anyone notice, as a whole, the D were moving up the puck from everywhere, and I mean during dumpins line changes etc, I didn’t see many re-sets. Maybe this is the start of McL’s “buy in”?

    I think Auvitu in over Gryba changes the puck-moving dynamic of the back-end as a group.

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