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"

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  1. OriginalPouzar says:

    I’m not even going to look at the numbers from last night – they are meaningless to me as the only thing that really matters was the total lack of effort, at least that is what I saw.

    I almost never question the effort of individual players let alone pretty much an entire team – to me, this is a tough game and a grueling schedule and these guys are amazing at what they provide on the ice as far as effort. That is 100% NOT what I saw last night – I saw a complete lack of actual care in their game.

    The one mitigating factor is if the illness is truly going through the room but, even if that is the case, its not an excuse for what I witnessed last night – teams fight through illness each and every year and don’t look as checked out as what I believe i saw.

  2. OriginalPouzar says:

    There, I’ve said my piece and I’ve moved on from last night.

    I am disappointing by I am look forward to tonight – another opportunity for 2 points in the standings and, frankly, for the team to redeem itself.

    I have no interest in spending the day(s) bitching about moves by our GM and coaching decisions of the past.

    I am interested in talking Oilers hockey and about tonight’s game.

    I would have thought Brossoit would get the start tonight but I think Talbot gets the net again.

    The revitalization of this team starts, in my mind, with Cam Talbot.

    We need to see a semblance of the elite starting goalie from last year.

    Tonight is the night.

    Go Oilers!

  3. smellyglove says:

    This will not be a playoff year. One year in the post-season (2016-27) over the course of an eleven year run. Despite four #1 overalls, along with a #4/6/7/10 during that run. History and math tells us that picking high leads to selecting good players. Players that either help you win or give you the currency to build a better team. Think about that. The level of suck and high drafting that is panning out to absolute squat.

    Larsson: 3 points (I know, I know, can’t measure by this metric)
    Strome: 8 points
    Reinhart: 0 points (in the AHL!)

    Yakupov: 9 points
    Barzal: 19 points
    Eberle: 14 points
    Hall: 21 points

    General Managers have been shot for less.

    Last year was an aberration:
    1) Little to no injuries
    2) Favourable schedule
    3) Luck (career surges at key positions: G, #1/2 LD, #1C, #1RD)

  4. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Wings are speedy up front, slow on the back end but move the puck north like a NHL team.

    Currently 3rd in the Atlantic behind TOR & TBY with a +6 goal differential.

    6-2-2 in their last 10 on the back of good goalering by Howard.

    The Edmonton Oilers are mostly slow up front, can’t transition the puck out of their zone, have the flu and are a team in the National Hockey League.

    GOILERS!!

    *clap,clap*

  5. Jethro Tull says:

    I understand the sentiment to not panic, but when exactly ia the right time to panic? Tambo was demonized for sitting on his hands, yet LT, you always preach patience, which is usually good advice but too much is flat out procrastination. Chia stood pat in the off season and played it safe. And yet here we are.

  6. JimmyV1965 says:

    Last night the Oilers truly looked like the team from the decade of darkness. They were hemmed into their own zone for long stretches. They couldn’t break out, maintain the forecheck. They were truly lost out there.

  7. Jethro Tull says:

    Woodguy v2.0,

    Howard is doing extremely well. Happy Days.

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

    I agree wholeheartedly with you and the numbers LT.

    Don’t do anything rash, things will normalize!

    Three things are bothering me though

    1) Twice now in the last 16 days we watched the team give up after a bad start. I’m ok with losing (Rags game, Washington for example) but like OP above I can’t stand it when the team gives up. It was a hallmark of the DoD and nothing causes me to worry more than giving up.

    2) How do you shelter dmen at this point? I understand signing Russel was a tough pill for many to swallow but for me I am beside myself with the full on collapse of Klefbom and Benning simultaneously. Young players take time and I get that but yeesh.

    3) The defensive resets need to stop NOW. I completely lost count of how many times the D held onto the puck for too long yesterday before making a pass. I understand a coach saying “don’t force it!” but I don’t think a coach ever says “don’t pass it at all!” The lack of transition is killing me right now and I don’t think its the coaching staff that is the culprit, this is a confidence issue and the d need to figure it our ASAP because the forwards are skating into a damn wall each and every breakout.

    Tonight’s game is beyond huge IMO. Goalie needs to steal one and players need to find their fire. This is standing on the edge of the abyss, here’s hoping they find a way to jump back.

    Go Oilers!

  9. Jethro Tull says:

    JimmyV1965:
    Last night the Oilers truly looked like the team from the decade of darkness. They were hemmed into their own zone for long stretches. They couldn’t break out, maintain the forecheck. They were truly lost out there.

    Most people I’ve talked to said the same as me: They looked like as Eakins team. Bad positioning which leads to being second to the puck which leads to sucking. The Blues looked like Edmonton did last year.

    5 minutes late and a dollar short.

  10. Jethro Tull says:

    SayItAin’tSo, Gretz, SayItAin’tSo!,

    No they MAY normalize. Statistics doesn’t work like that and has no notion of some kind of cosmic balance. They don’t care that we suck, so they may not ever normalize.

  11. dustrock says:

    “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?”

    The biggest surprise to me, because injuries to Seksy/Drai/Drake/Sleepy aside, and literally all of Chia’s gambles not paying off, is that this is essentially the same roster who was 1 meltdown and some horrific reffing away from the Western Conference Finals.

    The lack of resilience this year compared to last is frankly shocking.

    You’d think Talbot would be rock steady after a career-best year. Instead he looks like Ben Scrivens.

    The defence looks lost.

    The systems are the same, so why aren’t they working?

    Is it confidence? These are professional athletes. Surely the confidence levels can’t be affected so quickly.

    I wanted to fire Chiarelli after his offseason, let alone 21 games into the year, but even in his worst nightmare the team isn’t this bad.

    For a league where there’s so much parity, for the Oilers to look this bad is almost frightening.

  12. JimmyV1965 says:

    The malaise in this organization is becoming palpable. Not only are the Oilers awful but so is Bakersfield. They are one of the worst teams in the AHL. We have one scorer in the top 100 and he’s 49th. The farm team hasn’t made the playoffs in three years and hasn’t been good since Todd Nelson. What exactly does Gary Fleming bring to the table and is this the guy who should be developing our prospects? He sure isn’t hitting a homerun with the Russians. Would he ever be considered as even an interim replacement for TMac? What about our succession plan for Chia? Is there one guy in the organization that would even be considered for mentorship? Big picture this looks pathetic.

  13. dustrock says:

    The funny thing is, I ain’t even mad.

    The anger flared and spilled over when Hall was traded, but even this offseason, I was more frustrated than mad.

    And the team being this bad?

    I’m a lifelong Knicks fan. There are times when you just have to laugh at the sheer microcosm of human failing that a sports franchise can provide.

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

    Jethro Tull,

    Fair enough. I don’t really know what you want me to say here.

    I can jump on the “they are total garbage, fire everyone into the sun and trade everyone but McDavid”

    But alas I’m probably not going to do that.

    They sucked last night for sure yup.

    They didn’t suck in the vast majority of losses this season, most of which were not blowouts, they were one goal games that were incredibly tight.

    Their confidence is shot across the board now no question.

  15. hunter1909 says:

    dustrock: I’m a lifelong Knicks fan. There are times when you just have to laugh at the sheer microcosm of human failing that a sports franchise can provide.

    Prediction:

    Barring an enormous turnaround, Chiarelli+McLellan are both sacked inside the next 3 weeks with the OBC Gretzky, Messier, Coffey, Anderson appearing Zorro-like at a news conference where they tell the world the Oilers are back! etc Gretzky the new GM with Messier head coach etc.

    ps: Lowe+MacT WILL return in some capacity.

  16. JimmyV1965 says:

    dustrock,

    The team that showed up for the last three games is not the same team that started the season. If they contniue like this their possession numbers will crater very soon.

  17. hunter1909 says:

    JimmyV1965: What exactly does Gary Fleming bring to the table and is this the guy who should be developing our prospects? He sure isn’t hitting a homerun with the Russians. Would he ever be considered as even an interim replacement for TMac? What about our succession plan for Chia? Is there one guy in the organization that would even be considered for mentorship? Big picture this looks pathetic.

    This is why the Oiler fans are(deservedly) vilified.

    Everyone knows Katz promised a “World Class” everything.

  18. leadfarmer says:

    The name of the game is speed speed speed. Have been saying it for years. Finally people are realizing it.
    There’s slow Corsi and theres fast corsi. We are kings of the slow corsi. Fast teams will continue to outplay their corsi and slow teams will continue to underperform their corsi.
    This team needs a rebuild. I’m glad we didnt sell our futures for a stopgap. Purge the slow players. Purge the McLellan play it safe by breaking out along the boards system

  19. hunter1909 says:

    If anything, the current situation clears Kevin Lowe of all misdeeds.

    I think it’s time for the management to swallow their pride and ask the one guy who admits to knowing about winning for advice.

  20. OriginalPouzar says:

    On a positive note – each of the three garbage time Oiler goals were beautiful goals last night.

    On that other hand, hey Oilers, how about working for some garbage goals?

  21. OmJo says:

    dustrock: There are times when you just have to laugh at the sheer microcosm of human failing that a sports franchise can provide.

    Thank God for Oilers twitter! Makes this season at least entertaining.

  22. OriginalPouzar says:

    “My question for you, dear reader, is this: Is the won-loss record of the Edmonton Oilers obscuring a pretty good hockey team?”

    I’d like to say yes to this question but I’m not sure. Better hockey team than their record shows but I’m not sure if they are a “pretty good hockey team”.

    I’m throwing last night away and not counting it in any analysis – its a one off poor-ass and unacceptable effort that I’m confident won’t be repeated.

  23. OriginalPouzar says:

    Let me ask this: What is their record if Cam Talbot is playing at the elite level that he was last year?

    I would posit a playoff position.

    Bad goaltending changes everything on the ice.

  24. OmJo says:

    Could it be we are a good possession team but a poor execution team?

  25. JimmyV1965 says:

    hunter1909: This is why the Oiler fans are(deservedly) vilified.

    Everyone knows Katz promised a “World Class” everything.

    I’m not sure I understand. We’re supposed to be okay with a lousy AHL team? It might even be different if we had a bunch of young prospects on the team that had a legit shot of being NHL players. We’ve got a bunch of forwards on that team who will never play in the NHL. Shouldn’t they stack the team then with quality AHL players who can win then? This is Fleming’s third year running the show and the team has never been good. Is this okay then?

  26. Louis Levasseur says:

    SayItAin’tSo, Gretz, SayItAin’tSo!,

    WIth regard to point #3, my problem with our breakout is that our defensemen seem to just blindly rim it around the boards, even with less than full pressure on them. Their defensemen know this, so they make an easy pinch and we don’t get out of our zone.

    We may not be speaking of the same thing here (re-set vs. rimming it), but I’d much prefer to see more reverses to relieve the pressure than simply blasting it around the boards and hoping for the best. No way you get any transition through the neutral zone.

  27. anjinsan says:

    To add to Smellyglove’s list of current statuses of lost Oiler talent…

    Schultz 16g 2-3-5 (and 2 cups)
    Carlo 19g 0-4-4

    Regarding McLellan, while he is a somewhat stifling systems coach who relies on the blender as opposed to innate talent in putting together lines, there is no question that he is a competent, steady, professional, veteran coach and in the previous two seasons he corrected the bad culture he found in place on arrival.

    I don’t agree that the team is the same as last year … Pouliot, Eberle, Hendricks (who is doing well in Winnipeg right now), and Sekera (injured) obviously were bigger factors than given credit for. Also, Maroon, face it, was never 1st or even 2nd line material.

    I cringe at hammering klefbom right now. Basically that would be giving him the same treatment that wilted Schultz when the player that Schultz is today was there all along and just needed to be handled with mentorship and proper minutes (as opposed to desperation) while he developed.

    Lucic is waaaaaaayyyy overpaid. Russell is waaaaaaaaaayyyyy overpaid. Shame on these contracts. Also, Draisaitl is not an $8.5 million player. I love the German, but he is 2-2.5 million overpaid, and that money should be available to contract for further talent.

    God bless the Nuge and the Nurse, because those two are rising to their potential.

    Nuge and Nurse are inheritance, not Chiarelli’s doing.

    In Chiarelli we bust. He deforested the talent.

  28. OriginalPouzar says:

    Jethro Tull:
    I understand the sentiment to not panic, but when exactly ia the right time to panic? Tambo was demonized for sitting on his hands, yet LT, you always preach patience, which is usually good advice but too much is flat out procrastination. Chia stood pat in the off season and played it safe. And yet here we are.

    When is the right time to panic? Never, in my mind.

    To me, panic would lead to a trade of futures (Puljijarvi, first rounder) to acquire a player or players that would only be here for a few months, pure UFA rentals (Mike Green, Evander Kane, James Neal).

    That is the type of trade that could make sense for a team near the deadline where that team is a solid contender looking for a piece to put them over the top – that is not a trade for a team that is currently one of the worst in the league and hoping just to maybe get back in the wild card race.

  29. Réal Goudenyéu says:

    What in Sam Hill happened to klefbom? He’s not even close to average.

  30. OriginalPouzar says:

    JimmyV1965:
    The malaise in this organization is becoming palpable. Not only are the Oilers awful but so is Bakersfield. They are one of the worst teams in the AHL. We have one scorer in the top 100 and he’s 49th.The farm team hasn’t made the playoffs in three years and hasn’t been good sinceTodd Nelson. What exactly does Gary Fleming bring to the table and is this the guy who should be developing our prospects? He sure isn’t hitting a homerun with the Russians. Would he ever be considered as even an interim replacement for TMac? What about our succession plan for Chia? Is there one guy in the organization that would even be considered for mentorship? Big picture this looks pathetic.

    This is true but I wouldn’t say that means our prospect pool matches the record of the AHL team.

    Our material prospects on the Condors are rookie pro d-men – two of them are real legit NHL prospects (one has been hurt for half the season) and the other a bit of a distant bell but a real prospect.

    The Condors are void of legit forward prospects but there are many on the verge of turning pro – next year we have Yamamoto and Benson turning pro and the year after we will have Safin and Maksimov.

    There is some prospect talent in the USHL and NCAA but I have no idea about their materiality or timelines – I can only keep track of so much.

  31. McSorley33 says:

    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?
    *****************************************************************************************************************
    Mark Letestu are Ryan Strome are anchoring your 3rd and 4th lines down the middle.
    ( Camileri and Jokinen are the punch line )

    Our team speed is getting recognized by nearly every city we venture into….

    I am all for waiting for some sober air for Peter in the summer, but let’s not have
    any pretensions about this roster.

    Further, I am getting a faint whiff of coach / player disgruntlement …could be wrong I fully acknowledge. But sometimes it seems like Zach Kassian has pulled the chute.

  32. Dustylegnd says:

    Last year was an aberration:
    1) Little to no injuries
    2) Favourable schedule
    3) Luck (career surges at key positions: G, #1/2 LD, #1C, #1RD)

    I will take great issue issue with:

    career surges at key positions: #1C,

    if you think that was a career year for 97, you are MAD, and I will guarantee you this, when his contract expires, if this mess has not been fixed, and it now looks like we are another 3 years away from any success, 97 leaves and will be very very very careful to join a properly run NHL organization and proceed to lead league scoring for another 4-5 years.

    This mess starts and finishes with shit Goal keeping, shit Defense 4,5,6 and a thorough lack of team speed to bring heavy back pressure

    Here is the real scary part, this team is specifically built to compete vs heavy hockey teams in the west, we just got our shit pushed in twice by St Louis, they dominated us in all aspects, compete, physicality, shots, ohh and goals for….that result should terrify everyone, (we haven’t played LA or the Ducks etc)

    If Sekera is truly missed this much, we are incredibly shallow on D with middling prospects in the minors that require 2-3 more years each of AHL seasoning…piss poor drafting for a decade is fully blown Cancer to NHL organizations and yet we continue to employ MacT, Howson and Duane Suttter…..could we be any less innovative or any more old school?

    The Oilers can not piss away another year of McDavids prime so buckle up people Chiarelli will soon be in full trade mode….another terrifying prospect which could very well end up pissing away the remainder of his contract here.

    How we blame this on coaching I have no idea, if I were T McL, right now I would feel like Lee Harvey, as the Buzzards, circle…give me a break…..

    Yes it is a series of unfortunate events but you know what, our best players who are paid very well are not performing…..Salaries are a funny thing, Calgary was very fortunate that both Goudreau and Monahan had contracts expire in non play off years, I am guess Draisaitl would be getting 6.5/year if his contract had been up for negotiation this year rather than last….timing is not everything,TIMING IS THE ONLY THING

    On the plus side, only a complete fool gives Talbot anything other than a token raise on his next contract, these November swoons he has had in 2 of the last 3 years are devastating and can be used to the Oilers negotiating advantage.

  33. Jethro Tull says:

    OriginalPouzar: When is the right time to panic?Never, in my mind.

    To me, panic would lead to a trade of futures (Puljijarvi, first rounder) to acquire a player or players that would only be here for a few months, pure UFA rentals (Mike Green, Evander Kane, James Neal).

    That is the type of trade that could make sense for a team near the deadline where that team is a solid contender looking for a piece to put them over the top – that is not a trade for a team that is currently one of the worst in the league and hoping just to maybe get back in the wild card race.

    Nope imo. That is the bet Chia should be making. He bets that Neal would resign against JP ever being as good as James Neal. I make that trade every day, but i doubt Vegas does. As I said yesterday, potential means nothing if never realised. We fall hard for our prospects…..

  34. who says:

    OriginalPouzar: When is the right time to panic?Never, in my mind.

    To me, panic would lead to a trade of futures (Puljijarvi, first rounder) to acquire a player or players that would only be here for a few months, pure UFA rentals (Mike Green, Evander Kane, James Neal).

    That is the type of trade that could make sense for a team near the deadline where that team is a solid contender looking for a piece to put them over the top – that is not a trade for a team that is currently one of the worst in the league and hoping just to maybe get back in the wild card race.

    I think you can relax on that front. This team is way past the point of contemplating a playoff rental.
    If they do make a big trade it will probably be someone from the core, which should worry you even more, like Nuge or Klefbom. Possibly even Drai or Nurse, if it has come to that.
    My advice would be to stand pat, sell off your UFAs, and build for next year. A big trade probably does more harm than good at this point. Patience Mr Chia

  35. McSorley33 says:

    anjinsan,

    Great points on Nurse and the Nuge.

    They have been, mostly, really good this year.

  36. Jethro Tull says:

    who: I think you can relax on that front. This team is way past the point of contemplating a playoff rental.
    If they do make a big trade it will probably be someone from the core, which should worry you even more, like Nuge or Klefbom. Possibly even Drai or Nurse, if it has come to that.
    My advice would be to stand pat, sell off your UFAs, and build for next year. A big trade probably does more harm than good at this point. Patience Mr Chia

    A big trade would change the ethos of this team. Standing pat means you are relying on the same people who got you into this mess to get you out. They have shown zero evidence of having that capability. As in real life, either you change, or you die. But this bloody-mindedness of keeping powder dry and standing pat will see this team amother 10yrs out of the playoffs. Look to Nashville. Not afraid of making changes, eh? Or Chicago. Blues fired Hitch in Feb, ffs. Change. It’s what good teams do.

  37. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    dustrock,

    The defence looks lost.
    The systems are the same, so why aren’t they working?

    You answered your own question in the sentence before the question.

    Everything good flows from getting the puck back and getting it turned north.

    They can’t get it back and they can’t turn it north lately.

    Different problem than the beginning of the year.

  38. JimmyV1965 says:

    Any GM who would trade a high pick or prospect right now would be incompetent to the nth degree. James Neal or Evander Kane are not leading this team to the promised land.

  39. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    hunter1909: Prediction:

    Barring an enormous turnaround, Chiarelli+McLellan are both sacked inside the next 3 weeks with the OBC Gretzky, Messier, Coffey, Anderson appearing Zorro-like at a news conference where they tell the world the Oilers are back! etc Gretzky the new GM with Messier head coach etc.

    ps: Lowe+MacT WILL return in some capacity.

    – Maybe not three weeks, but you know the OBC is angling for it, and Katz wants to do it…

    – The first tell will be when we start hearing quotes from MacT: Chia at least up to now has been the voice of the team. Quotes from MacT is the beginnig of Hunter and Kinger’s nightmare…

    – Regression to the mean, some puck luck, and anyone will be “better GM’s and coaches”

  40. DBO says:

    Happy Eberle is gone, since it would be hard to hear about his lack of character and drive. He only scores goals, so its his fault.

    Funny thing is after last year no one knows who to blame. I know this blog knows, lol, but it seems like the media were caught by surprise that this team is lacking.

    Who knew that losing a veteran number 2/3 all situation dmen would hurt. Who knew that trying to fill 3 wing spots with kids wouldn’t work out. Who knew that overpaying a 5/6 defensive dman and expecting kids to step up and deliver wouldn’t work. Who knew that having a kid backup to pick up pieces and hold serve if Talbot struggled wouldnt work.

    Pains me to say it. But Calgary did it right. They added vet dmen to fill holes instead of kids. They they added vets on wing to balance the forwards. They essentially had 1 spot on D (#6 dman) and 1 spot on the 4th line up for grabs for kids. Not our #3 d spot, our 2 and 3 RW, 4 LW and back up goalie.

    Too many bets. Too much hope. It must drive McClellan crazy to see what he can work with.

  41. godot10 says:

    //Russell would be my pick for top defender//

    Really? If you don’t see the ice against the top forwards of the other team and see limited time on the PK, how does that make one the top defender.

    He was one of the protected defenders.

  42. JimmyV1965 says:

    Jethro Tull: A big trade would change the ethos of this team. Standing pat means you are relying on the same people who got you into this mess to get you out. They have shown zero evidence of having that capability. As in real life, either you change, or you die. But this bloody-mindedness of keeping powder dry and standing pat will see this team amother 10yrs out of the playoffs. Look to Nashville. Not afraid of making changes, eh? Or Chicago. Blues fired Hitch in Feb, ffs. Change. It’s what good teams do.

    A big trade is fine. Trading youth for a rental would be incompetence. Trading for someone with a long-term cap friendly contract may be needed.

  43. PhrankLee says:

    Woodguy v2.0:
    dustrock,

    The defence looks lost.
    The systems are the same, so why aren’t they working?

    You answered your own question in the sentence before the question.

    Everything good flows from getting the puck back and getting it turned north.

    They can’t get it back and they can’t turn it north lately.

    Different problem than the beginning of the year.

    Concur.

    Retrieval has been the main issue of late in my mind.

    I’m with LT on staying pat.

    Fuck the Wings.

    Skoilers!

  44. Jethro Tull says:

    JimmyV1965:
    Any GM who would trade a high pick or prospect right now would be incompetent to the nth degree. James Neal or Evander Kane are not leading this team to the promised land.

    No, it’s about improving this team with proven talent and not betting Drake Cagguila, Khaira et al will lead this team to the promised land. And if i were to bet, i would bet Kane or Neal have more likelihood than any of our prospects of doing that. Cassandra is right, you have to constantly be looking to improve talent.

  45. Jethro Tull says:

    JimmyV1965: A big trade is fine. Trading youth for a rental would be incompetence.Trading for someone with a long-term cap friendly contract may be needed.

    Nobody, NOBODY, is trading us cents on the dollar for our youth at the moment. There is absolutely no point in having these players if you either a) never develop them properly or b) trade them when you don’t need them and need something else.

    Incompetence would be another GM trading a long term cap friendly contract of a good player for our prospects. Ain’t gonna happen.

  46. godot10 says:

    OriginalPouzar:

    The one mitigating factor is if the illness is truly going through the room but, even if that is the case, its not an excuse for what I witnessed last night – teams fight through illness each and every year and don’t look as checked out as what I believe i saw.

    McDavid and Draisaitl are undoubted peak trained athletes. Overplaying them as McLellan does may compromise their immune systems.

    This playing through injury and through illness…to tough it out is nonsense. McDavid has supposedly been sick for over a week. Perhaps icetime and illness should be managed more intelligently by the coaching staff.

  47. McSorley33 says:

    Cult of Hockey Grades today, my asterisks highlight key point

    #27 Milan Lucic, 2. Had an OK night in the offensive zone with a team-high 6 shot attempts and the goal that broke the goose egg early in the third. **But did not manage the puck well at all, turning it over far too frequently. Staples charged him with ***no fewer than 8 mistakes on opposition scoring chances, a legendarily bad number for a winger**** Also took a pair of penalties, one of type “huh?” and the other for slashing that resulted in the inevitable Blues powerplay tally.

    **********************************************************************************************
    Milan Lucic is an epic turnover machine. Epic.

    We need to ask him if he would be amenable to moving to a city of *his* choice. And
    see if a deal can be reached.

    He was a turnover machine in the playoffs. He was a turnover machine last year in the regular season

    This season is done and can’t imagine Milan getting better as he ages.

  48. Cassandra says:

    This team needs a young coach. The speed and intricate passing the Blues took through the neutral zone was breathtaking. McClellan is a play beneath the ringette line kind of coach. It is hurting the team.

    Man, last night was a train wreck. 8-3 flatters the Oilers. The Blues easily could have had 12 or 14 goals.

    The sad part is the general manager is out of cards. The team has no trade assets, no real blue chip prospects in the pipeline, and no future cap space. Chiarelli needs to be fired because this is all his fault, but there isn’t anything the next general manager can do.

    He can’t trade Ryan Strome, Adam Larsson, Milan Lucic, and Kris Russell for Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle, and Jason Demers.

    Man, when you put it all in one place in the light of day, it sure looks ugly.

  49. Dustylegnd says:

    JimmyV1965: A big trade is fine. Trading youth for a rental would be incompetence.Trading for someone with a long-term cap friendly contract may be needed.

    The poetic truth has been stated, we do continue to rely on the people who got us into this mess, Chiarelli, MacT, Howson, etc etc ….this is the terrifying truth…….a 903 sv% means no playoffs …let go ahead and call a spade a shovel ok

  50. GCW_69 says:

    “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?”

    I don’t think this is a particularly good team. They have some good pieces, but poor cap management and a really poor supporting cast is going to make turning north difficult.

    I do believe that there is something fundamentally wrong with the culture in the Oilers front office. Firing Peter or Todd alone isn’t going to change that. Rarely does changing one person out of one role result in a fundamental change in culture with the old culture is as embedded as it obviously is with the Oilers (or Lowe, MacT and Hoswon wouldn’t still be around) unless that leader is exceptional. It’s highly unlikely that a new hire would have the leadership ability to singlehandedly change the culture.

    The Oilers front office culture somehow drives consistently poor decision making, lack of urgency, and questionable accountability. If they aren’t willing to step up to the culture issue, then:
    1) I worry that firing Chia changes nothing
    2) I would be concerned on who the replacement would be. Do we see MacT or Lowe back in the chair?

    Culture aside, the argument that hiring a new GM sets progress back, however, seems questionable to me. I would expect as part of the hiring process you would be asking the GM candidates to articulate their plan. One of the screening criteria would be finding a GM that understands the sense of urgency and has an intelligent approach that recognizes that.

  51. McSorley33 says:

    We need to start focusing on the NHL draft.

    In addition, we need to focus on who can move at the deadline.

    – Maroon?
    -Letestu ( remember, just for someones playoff run and FO)

    Sad part is ….I can’t think of anyone else a contender would want.

    We need draft picks.

  52. McSorley33 says:

    Help on the Farm?

    Ugly

    BAKERSFIELD CONDORS 2017-18 INDIVIDUAL STATS
    # PLAYER POS GP G A PTS +/- PIM PP SHG SOG SH%
    39 Ty Rattie RW 15 7 6 13 -9 10 4 0 36 19.4
    17 Joey LaLeggia LW 15 4 4 8 -4 4 2 0 32 12.5
    12 Ryan Hamilton LW 15 2 5 7 -5 14 1 0 37 5.4
    18 Josh Currie C 15 3 3 6 -3 2 2 0 40 7.5
    3 Dillon Simpson D 15 0 6 6 4 4 0 0 24 0.0

  53. who says:

    Jethro Tull: A big trade would change the ethos of this team. Standing pat means you are relying on the same people who got you into this mess to get you out. They have shown zero evidence of having that capability. As in real life, either you change, or you die. But this bloody-mindedness of keeping powder dry and standing pat will see this team amother 10yrs out of the playoffs. Look to Nashville. Not afraid of making changes, eh? Or Chicago. Blues fired Hitch in Feb, ffs. Change. It’s what good teams do.

    The same people got you 103 points last year and none of them are at a point in their careers where we should expect a continued decline. The team, and certain key individuals, is mired in a horrible slump.
    Making a big trade at this low point would definitely be dealing from a position of weakness. Hard to see Chia getting fair value for a core piece right now.

  54. Jethro Tull says:

    who,

    Colorado Avalanche.

  55. OriginalPouzar says:

    Talbot will start tonight and Benning will be a game-time decision after suffering an injury last night.

  56. OriginalPouzar says:

    Oilers have recalled Stanton and re-assigned Brad Malone.

    Malone should help the Condors.

    Stanton was good in camp until he broke his foot – he’s got a couple hundred games of NHL experience and could potentially be a “better Gryba”.

  57. digger50 says:

    DBO:
    Happy Eberle is gone, since it would be hard to hear about his lack of character and drive. He only scores goals, so its his fault.

    Funny thing is after last year no one knows who to blame.I know this blog knows, lol, but it seems like the media were caught by surprise that this team is lacking.

    Who knew that losing a veteran number 2/3 all situation dmen would hurt. Who knew that trying to fill 3 wing spots with kids wouldn’t work out. Who knew that overpaying a 5/6 defensive dman and expecting kids to step up and deliver wouldn’t work. Who knew that having a kid backup to pick up pieces and hold serveif Talbot struggled wouldnt work.

    Pains me to say it. But Calgary did it right. They added vet dmen to fill holes instead of kids. They they added vets on wing to balance the forwards. They essentially had 1 spot on D (#6 dman) and 1 spot on the 4th line up for grabs for kids. Not our #3 d spot, our 2 and 3 RW, 4 LW and back up goalie.

    Too many bets. Too much hope. It must drive McClellan crazy to see what he can work with.

    Yes, unfortunately Calgary did it right. Heavily criticized on this blog in the summer but they did it right. And if they do stumble, it is not through lack of trying from thier GM

  58. StixMalone says:

    No faith in Auvitu?

  59. jtblack says:

    but move the puck north like a NHL team. ****

    This is Coaching. I didnt like it last year, the resets all the time. BUT despite me not liking it last year, IT WORKED.

    I am with LT in this. This team is better than their record. But that doesnt mean they are a playoff calibre team.

    Their schedule softens, but not for another month. Playoffs prob a distant bell.

    I think PC has no choice but to make A MOVE. Something. Coach and GM are safe for this year.

    Maybe PC will get a #2 RHD likenhe should have for the last 2 years. PC banked on youth (Klef, Nurse, Benning) on the backend and 2 of the 3 are struggling and Nurse has been OK.

    Up front he banked on youth and Nobidy sans Connor has produced well. RNH decent. Drai OK.

    Then he decided to keep veterans who may have been better off being moved / replaced (Russell, Letestu).

    Now we will see if he can fix his own mess. The next couple moves by him are critical.

  60. digger50 says:

    Yesterday am we talked about the punishing forecheck of the Blues. Then we witnessed them take apart our defence …..again. They came out of the corners at will.

    One of our better d men was Gryba. He made one error on Tarasenko goal when he had to come off the bench and Allen fired the puck right up to our blue line. ( dam I wish we could do that on a shift change)

    But Gryba has played the most consistent. He is a 6th defenceman and he gives us that every game. If we got better d men they might push Gryba out, but right now Klef, Russel, Benning are nowhere close to pushing Gryba out.

  61. oscarmike says:

    If speed is a problem with the Oilers then why not change the lines around.

    McDavid-Nuge-Drake
    Camallarri-Leon-JP
    Lucic-Strome-JJ
    Maroon-Letestu-Kassain.

  62. StixMalone says:

    Find some fast TALENTED wingers for Connor full stop!

  63. wheatnoil says:

    I think there’s little doubt that the team is getting the short end of the percentages. They’re not a lottery team, I’m quite confident of that. Talbot is better than this, I think, and I would give him more time. That said, it’s worth at least mulling the possibility that this is the beginning of an age-related decline, though we’re far from knowing for sure.

    It’s also true that the D-shots are pumping up the corgis. That’s true on all lines but at least McDavid and Nuge’s lines are balancing that with some legit net-front scoring chances. They’re also the only ones scoring and the ones that we could predict the least regression from.

    The bottom 6 should regress but they’re also the MOST pumped by peripheral shots. I checked the numbers a game ago and Letestu, for instance, has 40% of shots on net when he’s on the ice from d-men (mostly from Russell and Benning, interestingly). Compare that to about 22% for RNH.

    That doesn’t mean the shot numbers are entirely a mirage but I think there’s evidence they’re bloated a bit, especially for the bottom 6. If the percentages regress but you take the air out of the corsi, my guess is that we’re at a playoff bubble team. Might be too late to actually hit playoffs but that’s my estimate of true ability.

    I think that’s disappointing given it’s year 3 of the great ELC.

  64. Jethro Tull says:

    wheatnoil,

    Could you explain what exactly you mean by ‘regression’?

    I’m afraid some might be taking it as quantitative and not qualitative. To me, if the Oilers regress, it will be to previous rates of scoring and not to previous sums of scoring. We’re still screwed if we regress to a previous rate. We need to blow the doors off rate wise to regress to previous scorings amounts.

  65. godot10 says:

    SayItAin’tSo, Gretz, SayItAin’tSo!:

    3) The defensive resets need to stop NOW. I completely lost count of how many times the D held onto the puck for too long yesterday before making a pass. I understand a coach saying “don’t force it!” but I don’t think a coach ever says “don’t pass it at all!” The lack of transition is killing me right now and I don’t think its the coaching staff that is the culprit, this is a confidence issue and the d need to figure it our ASAP because the forwards are skating into a damn wall each and every breakout.

    This is coaching. The best teams are now coached to move the puck immediately, and not to delay or reset. 1st option is pass. Alternative options if no pass available, skate it out or place it to space, and create a race. Delay, reset, or rimming the puck is passe (last resort).

    But one has to practice playing fast. It has to be continually re-enforced.so it becomes second nature. The forwards are an inherent part of making this successful, which means they have to read and anticipate what their own D is going to do.

  66. godot10 says:

    Jethro Tull:
    SayItAin’tSo, Gretz, SayItAin’tSo!,

    No they MAY normalize. Statistics doesn’t work like that and has no notion of some kind of cosmic balance. They don’t care that we suck, so they may not ever normalize.

    Mean reversion can happen either way.

    Goal share may begin to approach current CF%.

    Or CF% may begin to approach current goal share.

    Or They may meet in the middle.

    Goal share is likely more influenced by “luck”…so most advanced stats gurus believe that the most likely mean reversion is goal share beginning to approach current CF% (which is probably less influenced by luck).

    But there is some probability that goal share is telling the truth, and that Corsi might collapse to it (rather than vice versa).

  67. bendelson says:

    I’m going to go ahead and suggest this season’s troubles revolve around three things:

    1) Roster construction
    2) Coaching
    3) Player performance

    Everything else is just fine.

  68. godot10 says:

    dustrock:

    The biggest surprise to me, because injuries to Seksy/Drai/Drake/Sleepy aside, and literally all of Chia’s gambles not paying off, is that this is essentially the same roster who was 1 meltdown and some horrific reffing away from the Western Conference Finals.

    The lack of resilience this year compared to last is frankly shocking.

    It isn’t the same roster.

    They dumped their depth scoring (Eberle).
    They dumped an actual proven NHL player (Pouliot) who was good on the PK.
    And they lost two defensemen with the Sekera injury (Sekera and Russell)…and the Russell-philes were told by the Russell-skeptics that this would happen.
    They gave Kassian a contract that made him content and unmotivated. Rather than Pitlick, who actually produced in the bottom six role last year.

  69. JimmyV1965 says:

    Jethro Tull: No, it’s about improving this team with proven talent and not betting Drake Cagguila, Khaira et al will lead this team to the promised land. And if i were to bet, i would bet Kane or Neal have more likelihood than any of our prospects of doing that. Cassandra is right, you have to constantly be looking to improve talent.

    The problem with a rental is you only have them for 60 games. We can’t afford to resign Neal or Kane. They will likely get upwards of $7 mill. It doesn’t matter what you think of the prospects, wasting them on a rental is indefensible IMO.

  70. OriginalPouzar says:

    No surprise but Paigin has cleared and his contract terminated.

    I’m uncertain if we retain his RFA rights im assuming not.

  71. godot10 says:

    anjinsan:

    I don’t agree that the team is the same as last year … Pouliot, Eberle, Hendricks (who is doing well in Winnipeg right now), and Sekera (injured) obviously were bigger factors than given credit for.Also, Maroon, face it, was never 1st or even 2nd line material.

    Hendricks is the one slow guy on a fast Jets team. Hendricks was one of many slow guys on a slow OIlers team.

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

    godot10,

    I agree with most of your analysis but I wonder if we can put what I call ‘The Nuge theory” to work here for a second (and because text is difficult I would like to preface by saying there is nothing snarky in my comments below. I want to have a genuine debate about this.)

    Last year Nuge “cheats” for defense, his scoring 5v5 drops, but his value to sawing off competition and limiting grade A chances both increase.

    Is there a chance that due to inexperience and the early season trauma of pucks ending up in the back of the net on seemingly every foible, that the dmen are doing something similar that isn’t necessarily coaching? I.e. they are “cheating” for a safe play?

    I’m ok with a reset if there is no pass available, no need to force it and especially if you are starting a breakout behind your net. But you also can’t hang onto it so long during what is clearly a transition play and expect the other team to leave holes.

    Its particularly evident in those plays where there’s a turnover and the Oilers regain possession say within 15 feet of their own blueline. Oscar, Larsson and Benning killed me last night with resetting those plays over and over. All the Blues had to do was back everyone up, no way you are getting through 5 guys and even if you manage to gain the red and dump it in, your forwards are standing still and can’t win that race.

    In games where the team has played well, Calgary, Pittsburgh, Washington (for 5 periods), New Jersey, this hasn’t really been an issue. Forwards create back pressure on their checks, the defense steps up to seal off the blue, a cross ice pass to your partner and bang back up the ice. So I know for sure they have been coached into playing that way.

    Over the last while I haven’t seen much of that play at all and it is seriously detrimental

  73. godot10 says:

    Réal Goudenyéu:
    What in Sam Hill happened to klefbom? He’s not even close to average.

    Coaching. They began coaching him to his weaknesses rather than to his strengths. He is a defensive defensemen who they tried to make into an offensive one. They screwed up his decision making.

  74. leadfarmer says:

    digger50: Yes, unfortunately Calgary did it right.Heavily criticized on this blog in the summer but they did it right. And ifthey do stumble, it is not through lack of trying from thier GM

    Yeah how many people were laughing at the Smith trade. When he’s healthy he is a good goalie.

  75. Jethro Tull says:

    godot10: Coaching.They began coaching him to his weaknesses rather than to his strengths.He is a defensive defensemen who they tried to make into an offensive one.They screwed up his decision making.

    Lolz, this is why our eyes can’t be trusted! To me, it looks like he’s an offensive defenseman that they’re trying to coach defense to! Be boring if we all agreed!

  76. godot10 says:

    Dustylegnd:

    How we blame this on coaching I have no idea, if I were T McL, right now I would feel like Lee Harvey, as the Buzzards, circle…give me a break…..

    The coach had to be involved in the decision to dump Eberle and Pouliot and re-sign Russell to that abomination of a contract. Russell got sign to a top 4 contract, and McLellan has been playing him on the 3rd pairing. That fail is as much on him as on Chiarelli.

    The coach also had to be involved in the decision of Kassian over Pitlick. Kassian has 3rd line money, playing on the 4th line.

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

    leadfarmer,

    I think its worth pointing out that Calgary found themselves in a very similar situation last year as our dear Oilers have fallen into this year.

    There is an article up at ON from the weekend that delves into the stats. Its eerily similar to say the least. They managed to find their scoring and Montoya bailed them out until Elliot found his form (and lost it again in the playoffs). IIRC there wasn’t wholesale calls to fire the coach and or GM in fact on this blog both men are still held in very high regard.

  78. Dustylegnd says:

    godot10,

    Perhaps he was, but that is a failure as an armchair GM rather than as a coach, it is very hard to make quarter horses thoroughbreds isn’t it?

  79. who says:

    Jethro Tull:
    who,

    Colorado Avalanche.

    Okaaay. Not sure what you are suggesting here, but it took almost a year to get that trade done. Definitely not a knee jerk reaction to a losing streak.
    Also, you could argue that Colorado is having a better season than Edmonton, relative to expectations, so maybe the trade wasn’t made from a position of weakness.
    And they traded a core piece for a package of prospects. Are you suggesting Edmonton do the same?

  80. Georges says:

    McLellan took it on himself in the post-game. That was good.

    Last season, he recognized he had no true 1D. What he had was 4 players (Lars-Klef-Sek-Russell) who could play a little over 20 minutes. And he trusted his 3rd pair enough to take care of the rest. We got steady defensive play. And, with steady defensive play, we only needed steady goaltending. Which we also got from Talbot.

    This season, without Sekera to start, McLellan tried something else. He signaled his intentions with that 30 minute TOI preseason game for Larsson and Klefbom. This was an avoidable mistake. Because we still had no true 1D. And you can’t just make one of those up. Now, our defenseman TOI is, like our defenseman performance, way out of whack. No one trusts each other. No team confidence.

    The safe play for McLellan was to do what he did last season: search for a low variance TOI configuration for his defensemen. Not ask too much of any one player, ignore preseason expectations, live with mistakes. It was a matter of biding time until Sekera came back. Because we know Sekera can handle over 20 minutes a night when healthy. The risky play, which he’s gone with, was a high variance TOI configuration.

    If he continues to push the minutes of one or two players, he’ll end up exposing them and wearing down their confidence even more. There’s a meme for that: Justin Schultz. Justin Schultz is now a 2-time Cup Winner. When he left town, it didn’t seem like he could play hockey at all. PIT just put Schultz in a proper role and gave him manageable minutes. McLellan’s use of Schultz to start 15-16 is similar to his use of Klefbom to start 17-18. Bad reads both times. Now, Larsson, thinking he has to do more, seems outright incapable of doing the basics.

    The team finished the regular season strong last year. I think that was because we had good players in the right positions throughout the roster. No one was asked to play out of position or beyond their proven (or reasonably expected) level of competence.

    In the regular season, we had a 3rd line of Desharnais-Kassian-Pouliot. At one point in the playoffs, we had a 3rd line of RNH-Ebs-Pouliot. (Yes, I know, they didn’t score.) But a team with that type of depth is, over a reasonable sample of games, a very good team.

    For some reason, PC didn’t recognize or value what he had built. Weird. Makes you wonder about people’s decision-making processes.

    McLellan has less to work with this season. This requires more of him as a coach. He hasn’t made good bets: see KY and Klefbom. He should even out defenseman minutes. And he should play Drai at C. He needs to stabilize team play, never mind playoffs. Because he’s awful close to that awful Eakins death spiral. I thought it was going to be a big season for the coach with pre-season expectations being what they were. I had no idea that we could end up closer to 15-16 than 16-17.

    Ain’t life grand?

    Think positive. Redemption for all around. Just around the corner.

  81. Side says:

    godot10: Coaching.They began coaching him to his weaknesses rather than to his strengths.He is a defensive defensemen who they tried to make into an offensive one.They screwed up his decision making.

    Here we go again…

    Klefbom has been under McLellan for coming up on 3 years now.. the last 2 years he was making big strides, but all of a sudden now it’s McLellan’s fault?

    Gotcha.

  82. Dustylegnd says:

    SayItAin’tSo, Gretz, SayItAin’tSo!,

    Very true, but Calgary has the flexibility of extreme value the Gaudreau contract and real good value in the Monahan, Backlund, Hamilton, Brodie, Giordano, and Hominick contracts….see a pattern

    They also have an ugly mistake in the Brouwer deal, but mistakes happen as it sits, we have value in the Nuge deal and we had to pay McDavid he held every card…think about that position if you were to inherit this club as a new GM

  83. oscarmike says:

    One of the problem with the Oilers and it’s been like this for the last 10 years is that they still have kids leading the group as their offensive talent and once one of them grows up they trade him out. A guy doesn’t really mature physically and mentally as a man until he reaches 25-26 years of age.
    I think the Oilers should trade for James Neal. Even if it cost a 1st round pick.
    A few examples:
    Blake Wheeler with Schieflie and Laine
    Stamkos with Kucherov
    Benn with Seguin
    Even Toews and Kane had Hossa.
    Kopitar and Toffoli
    Sedins and Horvat

    Almost every team with young talent has a skilled veteran player except the oilers.

  84. Réal Goudenyéu says:

    Let’s not all conveniently forget coach’s last sentence last night: “until the group buys into it we’ll probably keep taking it on the chin. Thank you.”

  85. who says:

    godot10: The coach had to be involved in the decision to dump Eberle and Pouliot and re-sign Russell to that abomination of a contract.Russell got sign to a top 4 contract, and McLellan has been playing him on the 3rd pairing.That fail is as much on him as on Chiarelli.

    The coach also had to be involved in the decision of Kassian over Pitlick.Kassian has 3rd line money, playing on the 4th line.

    That’s what seems so weird about their usage this year to me. I was under the impression that the coach did like these players last year and had something to do with their new contracts.
    And yet this year he has them stapled to the fourth line and third pairing. Doesn’t make sense.

  86. John Chambers says:

    Trade possibilities?

    With Buffalo – maybe a Draisaitl + Benning for Reinhart and Ristolainen.

    Or CBJ – Draisaitl and Benning for Jenner and Seth Jones.

    I don’t want to trade Drai but if we want to make an impact at RD we would have to trade from a position of strength, and RNH won’t get it done.

  87. Fgary says:

    I agree with staying pat at this point, mainly becomes it terrifies me what Chia does in if he’s thinking trade. Macellan is probably safe, and I feel like he gets some of pass because what he was given with talent. That being said if he can’t find or make adjustments, or the players are not responding, then what else can you do but fire him and hope change at least lights a fire under some players. Chia should be fired before he can do anymore damage to this team. He took a risk seeing how if certain players could elevate their game this year and while I understand that on some level, I feel he took to many risks, and did not replace the talent lost. He’s made too many unforgivable mistakes in my opinion, and that;s not even including the hall trade that I could actually accept, but the over pay and nmc for lucic, terrible, same with russell, handing of Drai and over pay again, the reinhart trade, Just too much to look the other way. Agree with alot of the posts, he has put this team in cap hell and not really sure how they come out of it. I hope he is gone before he does anymore damage, but I also am dreading any return of the obc. As long as they are involved even behind the scenes you know they have the owners ear, and unfortunatly with katz being a fan boy I think that;s what oilers fan are stuck with. Scary.

  88. SHILL83 says:

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

    For the love of god try Strome or RNH on the McD line. In the summer it was talked that strome would be mcds winger lets try it out and see what we have. season is in the trash so lets start figuring out what we have in players and chemistry so we can figure out what needs to change. If possible id be asking Lucic if he would waive his NMC and see if you can trade him to someone. The guy is slow but still putting up points and at should help his trade value to much. Teams still value this player. Just looks much to slow when staking with 97, 29, 93. Give JP a great two way center in nuge and let them try and build some chemistry those two are both two way players and could be a decent third line.

  89. Side says:

    People have very selective, biased memories it seems.

    Kassian was a surprise last year and was playing well. He put up points, he was physical, he brought energy to the team.

    Pitlick was also a surprise last year in that he was not injured until… surprise! An injury.

    Kassian had a good impact on the playoffs, I seem to recall him owning the Sharks soul in a couple of games.

    Pitlick? Dealing with injuries yet again.

    I do believe Pete should have made more of an effort to keep Pitlick on the team, but if you are someone who is saying they would have picked Pitlick over Kassian after the playoffs, I’m not buying it.

  90. Greg says:

    SayItAin’tSo, Gretz, SayItAin’tSo!,

    My friends that are flames fans wanted to fire gulutzan about a week after he was hired. Still wanted him fired after the first game this year. Haven’t heard as much lately.

  91. godot10 says:

    SHILL83:
    19-97-18
    27-29-16
    13-93-98
    91-55-44

    For the love of god try Strome or RNH on the McD line. In the summer it was talked that strome would be mcds winger lets try it out and see what we have. season is in the trash so lets start figuring out what we have in players and chemistry so we can figure out what needs to change. If possible id be asking Lucic if he would waive his NMC and see if you can trade him to someone. The guy is slow but still putting up points and at should help his trade value to much. Teams still value this player. Just looks much to slow when staking with 97, 29, 93. Give JP a great two way center in nuge and let them try and build some chemistry those two are both two way players and could be a decent third line.

    McDavid Strome will be killed defensively because Strome doesn’t have the defensive game to go up against the top players in the NHL. Strome is likely a one and done. He doesn’t bring much at all to the game of hockey.

    I would like to see Nugent-Hopkins and McDavid. It might not work, but I’d like to see it not work.

  92. Jethro Tull says:

    who: Okaaay. Not sure what you are suggesting here, but it took almost a year to get that trade done. Definitely not a knee jerk reaction to a losing streak.
    Also, you could argue that Colorado is having a better season than Edmonton, relative to expectations, so maybe the trade wasn’t made from a position of weakness.
    And they traded a core piece for a package of prospects. Are you suggesting Edmonton do the same?

    A team that made the playoffs once in a dogs age but have been hot suckage otherwise, despite having some good players. That core piece was rightfully tired of aforementioned suckage. A very sobering warning given who is our best player and who our GM is….

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

    Dustylegnd,

    Ok I agree with you on Johnny and Monahan, but when it comes to the others being flexible value contracts the Oilers have similar players on similar contracts.

    Hamilton, Brodie, Giordano are Klefbom, Larsson, Sekera. The comparison isn’t 100% but its within the ballpark. Sekera is injured but he’s on a more flexible contract than Gio and I don’t think anyone at all expected the year we are seeing from Klefbom even if he isn’t as offensively talented as Hamilton (who the Oilers offered a better deal to obtain FWIW).

    Hamonic is not having a good year. Dellow had an article up the other day at The Athletic and dug deep into his play. Its not pretty.

    Greg,

    Fair enough. But did they want Treliving fired after he bet on Elliot who crapped the bed and helped sewer the team early last year?

    I suppose that’s my overall point and one that LT and a few others have made.

    Its expected that some bets and sure things won’t turn out in a given time frame.

    It is unexpected when every single bet, plus several sure things, fail miserably at the same time.

    I’m as frustrated as anyone here at how this thing has started.

    Its brutal, it sucks and it is nothing like I expected.

    All that said I don’t believe its fatal at this point, I don’t think the team is DOA like it was during the DoD.

    They need to pull themselves out of this funk no question, but unlike a lot of folks, I think they have the ability to do it.

  94. JimmyV1965 says:

    John Chambers:
    Trade possibilities?

    With Buffalo – maybe a Draisaitl + Benning for Reinhart and Ristolainen.

    Or CBJ – Draisaitl and Benning for Jenner and Seth Jones.

    I don’t want to trade Drai but if we want to make an impact at RD we would have to trade from a position of strength, and RNH won’t get it done.

    Trading Drai would be a huge mistake. He’s not playing well and has 14 pts in 16 games.

  95. JimmyV1965 says:

    Side:
    People have very selective, biased memories it seems.

    Kassian was a surprise last year and was playing well. He put up points, he was physical, he brought energy to the team.

    Pitlick was also a surprise last year in that he was not injured until… surprise! An injury.

    Kassian had a good impact on the playoffs, I seem to recall him owning the Sharks soul in a couple of games.

    Pitlick? Dealing with injuries yet again.

    I do believe Pete should have made more of an effort to keep Pitlick on the team, but if you are someone who is saying they would have picked Pitlick over Kassian after the playoffs, I’m not buying it.

    </blockquote
    +1

  96. leadfarmer says:

    SayItAin’tSo, Gretz, SayItAin’tSo!:
    Dustylegnd,

    Ok I agree with you on Johnny and Monahan, but when it comes to the others being flexible value contracts the Oilers have similar players on similar contracts.

    Hamilton, Brodie, Giordano are Klefbom, Larsson, Sekera. The comparison isn’t 100% but its within the ballpark. Sekera is injured but he’s on a more flexible contract than Gio and I don’t think anyone at all expected the year we are seeing from Klefbom even if he isn’t as offensively talented as Hamilton (who the Oilers offered a better deal to obtain FWIW).

    Hamonic is not having a good year. Dellow had an article up the other day at The Athletic and dug deep into his play. Its not pretty.

    Greg,

    Fair enough. But did they want Treliving fired after he bet on Elliot who crapped the bed and helped sewer the team early last year?

    I suppose that’s my overall point and one that LT and a few others have made.

    Its expected that some bets and sure things won’t turn out in a given time frame.

    It is unexpected when every single bet, plus several sure things, fail miserably at the same time.

    I’m as frustrated as anyone here at how this thing has started.

    Its brutal, it sucks and it is nothing like I expected.

    All that said I don’t believe its fatal at this point, I don’t think the team is DOA like it was during the DoD.

    They need to pull themselves out of this funk no question, but unlike a lot of folks, I think they have the ability to do it.

    Dellow did a very introductory level analysis of Hamonic. Sure he hasnt played well to the eyeball and agree with what he said. But he proved it with meaningless corsi. When I asked him what kind of corsi events those consisted of, he had nothing. Cant say if people are dumping it on Smith a lot, if he is slowing down the forwards so their corsi events are after 5 seconds of zone time after which it is very hard to score cause the defensive systems are in play, or if he is giving up a lot of breakaways and 2-1. I dont see how anyone can come to a statistical conclusion without that information. Its just guess work.

  97. Surrey Oiler says:

    We need to shake things up, if the locker room rumours are true of Drai, trade him to Sabres for an extended Kane.

  98. leadfarmer says:

    JimmyV1965: Trading Drai would be a huge mistake. He’s not playing well and has 14 pts in 16 games.

    From now on can we please not use points with Mcdavid. Mcdavid is going to have to create 50 point scorers with 3 mil contracts because of his overpriced contract and when that player is up for a raise he will have to do it with another player. So what I’m saying is we are paying Draisatl to be a ppg player on his own line creating ppg with bargain level players cause thats all his contract will allow. If he cannot do that then we cant afford to be paying him 8.5 mil per

  99. OmJo says:

    Georges:
    McLellan took it on himself in the post-game. That was good.

    Last season, he recognized he had no true 1D. What he had was 4 players (Lars-Klef-Sek-Russell) who could play a little over 20 minutes. And he trusted his 3rd pair enough to take care of the rest. We got steady defensive play. And, with steady defensive play, we only needed steady goaltending. Which we also got from Talbot.

    This season, without Sekera to start, McLellan tried something else. He signaled his intentions with that 30 minute TOI preseason game for Larsson and Klefbom. This was an avoidable mistake. Because we still had no true 1D. And you can’t just make one of those up. Now, our defenseman TOI is, like our defenseman performance, way out of whack. No one trusts each other. No team confidence.

    The safe play for McLellan was to do what he did last season: search for a low variance TOI configuration for his defensemen. Not ask too much of any one player, ignore preseason expectations, live with mistakes. It was a matter of biding time until Sekera came back. Because we know Sekera can handle over 20 minutes a night when healthy. The risky play, which he’s gone with, was a high variance TOI configuration.

    If he continues to push the minutes of one or two players, he’ll end up exposing them and wearing down their confidence even more. There’s a meme for that: Justin Schultz. Justin Schultz is now a 2-time Cup Winner. When he left town, it didn’t seem like he could play hockey at all. PIT just put Schultz in a proper role and gave him manageable minutes. McLellan’s use of Schultz to start 15-16 is similar to his use of Klefbom to start 17-18. Bad reads both times. Now, Larsson, thinking he has to do more, seems outright incapable of doing the basics.

    The team finished the regular season strong last year. I think that was because we had good players in the right positions throughout the roster. No one was asked to play out of position or beyond their proven (or reasonably expected) level of competence.

    In the regular season, we had a 3rd line of Desharnais-Kassian-Pouliot. At one point in the playoffs, we had a 3rd line of RNH-Ebs-Pouliot. (Yes, I know, they didn’t score.) But a team with that type of depth is, over a reasonable sample of games, a very good team.

    For some reason, PC didn’t recognize or value what he had built. Weird. Makes you wonder about people’s decision-making processes.

    McLellan has less to work with this season. This requires more of him as a coach. He hasn’t made good bets: see KY and Klefbom. He should even out defenseman minutes. And he should play Drai at C. He needs to stabilize team play, never mind playoffs. Because he’s awful close to that awful Eakins death spiral. I thought it was going to be a big season for the coach with pre-season expectations being what they were. I had no idea that we could end up closer to 15-16 than 16-17.

    Ain’t life grand?

    Think positive. Redemption for all around. Just around the corner.

    Good post!

  100. leadfarmer says:

    Surrey Oiler:
    We need to shake things up, if the locker room rumours are true of Drai, trade him to Sabres for an extended Kane.

    For all of us that dont live in the area. Could someone please tell the rest of the world what these are. I know LT doesnt like this kind of stuff posted but every day someone mentions it anyway and some of us have absolutely no clue what is being referred to.

  101. meanashell11 says:

    Surrey Oiler:
    We need to shake things up, if the locker room rumours are true of Drai, trade him to Sabres for an extended Kane.

    What are these rumours? This is not the first I have heard about rumours but have not heard anything specific. And I find it hard to believe Drai would be a cancer or problem in the locker room.

  102. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    * Start of public LT Soliloquy:

    – There have been some great posts in the last few years

    – This is a fascinating time: back in the day, I was one of the few that had no time for MacT et al, and could see the problems miles away, and that was not consensus at all, but my analysis was right.

    – If this team ends up the year as bad as they currently are, or an 80 point team or whatever, I’m really going to have to reevaluate my hockey acumen.

    – I’m totally fine with this, but if it comes to fruition, and this is a garbage team that requires ANOTHER massive overhaul, it’s a real awakening

    – Of all the scenarios imaginably, a healthy Drai and Conner and the thrid worst team wasn’t on the radar. I though with variance we had shifted much further to the right of the outcome curve

    – The one opportunity for this team, with a few minor tweaks, if they can get out of this funk, man will it be good for their belief in each other, and development

    – But maybe I’m totally out to lunch, and the the MSM is right: Chai taking away all the skill, and all the speed, and McL is bad coach, etc. I don’t see it this way, but at some point results matter most

    – I’m less confident about all the fancy stats meaning more goals and results, and maybe a little worried that the fancy stats regress back to how bad we are…

    – Interesting time: no clue about solutions. I’d keep it together, rather than wholesale changes to roster and personel during turmoil, because in my business this kind of panic never works out: but I really don’t know. It’s been humbling to be sure

    *end of public LT Soliloquy

  103. OmJo says:

    leadfarmer,

    I won’t say what the rumour is since LT doesn’t want them on the blog, but if you go on Twitter and search ‘Drasiaitl Nurse rumour’ you can likely find it.

    I just found out about it recently too.

  104. wheatnoil says:

    Jethro Tull:
    wheatnoil,

    Could you explain what exactly you mean by ‘regression’?

    I’m afraid some might be taking it as quantitative and not qualitative. To me, if the Oilers regress, it will be to previous rates of scoring and not to previous sums of scoring. We’re still screwed if we regress to a previous rate. We need to blow the doors off rate wise to regress to previous scorings amounts.

    Yeah that’s very much the problem. If you flip 10 heads in a row, you’re flipping 100% heads and you’d expect to regress towards 50%. Your next 10 still is still most likely to be 5 heads and 5 tails, though. After 20 flips, you’d be at 75% heads. You’re regressing TOWARDS the mean, but you might not get there.

    So EDM’s Sh% is most likely to be around league average from now until the end of the season (maybe + some because McDavid, maybe minus some because excessive D-shots). They’re not more likely to overshoot to correct for the previous low percentages. The points lost are lost and they’re in a hole without necessarily the track left for simple regression to have them catch up.

  105. jtblack says:

    Coach:

    How TMac is deploying his players isnt working. Hes playing Mcad more aginst the toughs and RNH less. McD is hving to work harder on D, spends more time in D zone and Less time with the Puck.

    RNH’s offense has gone up slightly, but not a Dramatic amount.

    IMO: Turn McD Loose. Play against the Weaks. O Zone starts. Etc. Let RNH and STROME try and handle the Toughs. They cant do any worse than McD’s line AND hopefully McD’s line can have some more 5×5 scoring and games like last yr where the line gets a goal a game and is drawing penalties ….

    Surely he wont keep doing the same thing for 82 games? Season is prob lost already.

    I would start BROISSART. Healthy scratch Letestu and Klefbom for 1 game.

  106. who says:

    Jethro Tull: A team that made the playoffs once in a dogs age but have been hot suckage otherwise, despite having some good players. That core piece was rightfully tired of aforementioned suckage. A very sobering warning given who is our best player and who our GM is….

    Just not following you.
    Are you suggesting trading core piece for core piece, eg; Hall/Larsson?
    Or are you suggesting core piece for prospects, eg; Duschene trade?
    I am suggesting stand pat.

  107. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Button rips Peter a new asshole here for his roster construction: https://thehockeywriters.com/craig-button-rips-chiarelli-oilers/

    Colby Armstrong ripped him yesterday between periods.

    Dave Poulin is ripping Peter on the radio in Toronto.

    Maguire ripped him on the STL broadcast.

    It seems like everyone is doing it.

    Glad that the few of us who were the lone voices calling out in the wilderness aren’t alone anymore.

    Public stuff like this will put some pressure on Bob’s Big Burgers to at least vet his decisions.

    Also,

    I might change my sn here to “Chiarelli Disliker Hipster” or “CDH”

    Vermite is the true hipster though.

  108. Jethro Tull says:

    Woodguy v2.0:
    Button rips Peter a new asshole here for his roster construction: https://thehockeywriters.com/craig-button-rips-chiarelli-oilers/

    Colby Armstrong ripped him yesterday between periods.

    Dave Poulin is ripping Peter on the radio in Toronto.

    Maguire ripped him on the STL broadcast.

    It seems like everyone is doing it.

    Glad that the few of us who were the lone voices calling out in the wilderness aren’t alone anymore.

    Public stuff like this will put some pressure on Bob’s Big Burgers to at least vet his decisions.

    Also,

    I might change my sn here to “Chiarelli Disliker Hipster” or “CDH”

    Vermite is the true hipster though.

    One of the funniest tweets ever was in reply to one saying “I hate hiptsers.”

    “They hated you first” was the reply.

  109. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    Woodguy v2.0:

    Glad that the few of us who were the lone voices calling out in the wilderness aren’t alone anymore.

    – See I hate sh%t like this WG: you had this team pegged as a playoff team. You were not in the wilderness saying Chia’s moves would translate into the worst team almost in the league

    – C’mon man, be better than gloating about the fact that you questioned some of his moves, while some defended them or put into contexts that were different than yours

    * and to be stooping to your level: you said that Talbot was elite goalie: by far this team sucks most because he does. Talbot is sh$t. Does being in the wilderness on that make you glad?

  110. Oilin4 says:

    bendelson:
    I’m going to go ahead and suggest this season’s troubles revolve around three things:

    1) Roster construction
    2) Coaching
    3) Player performance

    Everything else is just fine.

    What else is there?

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

    Woodguy v2.0,

    Here’s a nice video of Button talking about the Oilers “playing fast” after they beat Dallas a few weeks ago.

    http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/video/button-oilers-initiated-a-lot-of-play-were-on-their-toes~1242166

    Specifically shows highlights of “slow” Oiler players like Lucic, Benning, Nurse etc. and how they have bought into McLellan’s idea of “playing fast, working hard and getting to the right spots.”

    Huh who would have thunk that TV hockey pundits would pile on after a team hits the skids and gets blown out?

  112. Georges says:

    Woodguy v2.0,

    Wow. Early victory lap. You had the team at 94 points. They’re playing at a 65 point pace.

    Yeti picked them for 69. You’re no Yeti.

  113. Réal Goudenyéu says:

    They are on pace for the second worst record in oilers history if im not mistaken. With Mcdavid on the team.

    If that’s not a reason for making changes i dunno what is.

  114. Georges says:

    godot10: Coaching.They began coaching him to his weaknesses rather than to his strengths.He is a defensive defensemen who they tried to make into an offensive one.They screwed up his decision making.

    How did you form the idea that Klefbom is a defensive defenseman? Stats or eye test? If stats, please let me know which you used. Very curious because “defensive defenseman” is very far from the player the stats suggest Klefbom is. That’s my reading.

  115. Side says:

    Réal Goudenyéu:
    They are on pace for the second worst record in oilers history if im not mistaken. With Mcdavidon the team.

    If that’s not a reason for making changes i dunno what is.

    Ohh that reminds me, I have to follow up with some Oilers fans I know who were saying the successful 2016-2017 season was because cancerous Taylor Hall was off the team. I wonder what their take is now that Hall AND Eberle are gone. Especially since the Islanders and the Devils are doing better than the Oilers.

  116. JimmyV1965 says:

    leadfarmer: From now on can we please not use points with Mcdavid.Mcdavid is going to have to create 50 point scorers with 3 mil contracts because of his overpriced contract and when that player is up for a raise he will have to do it with another player.So what I’m saying is we are paying Draisatl to be a ppg player on his own line creating ppg with bargain level players cause thats all his contract will allow.If he cannot do that then we cant afford to be paying him 8.5 mil per

    We have to use points with McDavid because that’s who he’s played with. Kane has 20 pts in 21 games playing with Eichel. As a GM you would seriously trade Drai signed for 8 years for UFA Kane. What if Kane wants $8 mill?

  117. Seismic Source says:

    Button was on point with criticism but he did exaggerate, a lot. If the team according to him up front is Connor and then 11 other slow forwards he’s insane. The Oilers are too slow, agreed, but not to the extent he thinks.

  118. Bobcaygeon says:

    Surrey Oiler:
    We need to shake things up, if the locker room rumours are true of Drai, trade him to Sabres for an extended Kane.

    Trading Draisait for Kane is crazy…What the Oilers should have done before the season when Draisait was asking for 8.5 was to trade him to the Avalanche for MacKinnon.
    MacKinnon doesn’t need McDavid to put up numbers.

  119. OmJo says:

    Woodguy v2.0,

    Summer 2016 we got slower. Summer 2017, we got even slower and gave away significant scoring depth.

    Now we are a slow team that can’t score.

    Funny how that works.

  120. JimmyV1965 says:

    SayItAin'tSo, Gretz, SayItAin'tSo!:
    Woodguy v2.0,

    Here’s a nice video of Button talking about the Oilers “playing fast” after they beat Dallas a few weeks ago.

    http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/video/button-oilers-initiated-a-lot-of-play-were-on-their-toes~1242166

    Specifically shows highlights of “slow” Oiler players like Lucic, Benning, Nurse etc. and how they have bought into McLellan’s idea of “playing fast, working hard and getting to the right spots.”

    Huh who would have thunk that TV hockey pundits would pile on after a team hits the skids and gets blown out?

    I also heard Button last week call out the team for being slow. He specifically mentioned Lucic, Maroon and Kassian. How can you take the guy seriously if he says Kassian is a problem because he is slow? Clearly, he does not watch the games. The team might be playing slow, but there are many teams in this league with a roster full of slower players. It’s all about decision making and moving the puck quick. This whole slow narrative is very annoying actually.

    Button, Maguire, Simpson and a lot of those TV pundits may be entertaining, but they bring zero insight. They point out the obvious and reinforce each other’s flawed narratives.

  121. OmJo says:

    Seismic Source:
    Button was on point with criticism but he did exaggerate, a lot. If the team according to him up front is Connor and then 11 other slow forwards he’s insane. The Oilers are too slow, agreed,but not to the extent he thinks.

    I don’t usually agree with Craig Button. This is what he said:

    “Outside of Connor McDavid, there is no other player on the Edmonton Oilers who threatens with speed.”

    He’s right. He’s not saying nobody is fast besides McDavid, just that nobody really uses their speed to generate offense. He’s not really wrong here.

  122. OriginalPouzar says:

    The team is on a road trip now so this is likely more of a concept for when the team is back home but I wonder if McLellan will finally go away from the power vs. power matchup and having the McDavid line play close to 40% of the tough minutes.

    I think last night showed what happens what a coach gets his elite top line out against 3rd pairing d-men and bottom 6 forwards.

    McDavid is still getting his points but he’s getting sawed off more and more on goal share and possession as he and his line are struggling on the defensive side of the game – how about some mis-matches, coach? Their creation are within your control.

  123. Side says:

    OmJo: I don’t usually agree with Craig Button. This is what he said:

    “Outside of Connor McDavid, there is no other player on the Edmonton Oilers who threatens with speed.”

    He’s right. He’s not saying nobody is fast besides McDavid, just that nobody really uses their speed to generate offense. He’s not really wrong here.

    Kassian uses his speed. He just can’t cash on any of his opportunities this year.

  124. Georges says:

    Kinger_Oil.redux:
    * Start of public LT Soliloquy:

    – There have been some great posts in the last few years

    – This is a fascinating time: back in the day, I was one of the few that had no time for MacT et al, and could see the problems miles away, and that was not consensus at all, but my analysis was right.

    – If this team ends up the year as bad as they currently are, or an 80 point team or whatever, I’m really going to have to reevaluate my hockey acumen.

    – I’m totally fine with this, but if it comes to fruition, and this is a garbage team that requires ANOTHER massive overhaul, it’s a real awakening

    – Of all the scenarios imaginably, a healthy Drai and Conner and the thrid worst team wasn’t on the radar.I though with variance we had shifted much further to the right of the outcome curve

    – The one opportunity for this team, with a few minor tweaks, if they can get out of this funk, man will it be good for their belief in each other, and development

    – But maybe I’m totally out to lunch, and the the MSM is right: Chai taking away all the skill, and all the speed, and McL is bad coach, etc.I don’t see it this way, but at some point results matter most

    – I’m less confident about all the fancy stats meaning more goals and results, and maybe a little worried that the fancy stats regress back to how bad we are…

    – Interesting time: no clue about solutions.I’d keep it together, rather than wholesale changes to roster and personel during turmoil, because in my business this kind of panic never works out: but I really don’t know.It’s been humbling to be sure

    *end of public LTSoliloquy

    I feel your pain.

    The DoD Oilers teams had no way of fighting out of these places when bad stuff just piled on.

    But I liked McLellan’s post-game yesterday. I liked his pre-game today. And I like the team.

    McLellan talked about winning and losing as a team, taking care of the stuff in between the GF and the GA, what he called the middle. He didn’t really want to put it on specific players. He wanted the players to play as a team.

    The only thing we’re searching for with CMD on our team is a path to the Cup.

    30 teams won’t find that path this year. 27 of them won’t even get to the path that leads to the path. Some of those losing teams may still consider it a good season when it’s all said and done.

    That’s not our standard. If this is the player and management core around CMD that we’ll eventually win with then we’re not going out like this.

    If we do go out like this, we’re not winning with this core.

    I don’t think this is a DoD team either. Plenty of time for you and me to be proven right or wrong.

  125. OmJo says:

    Side: Kassian uses his speed. He just can’t cash on any of his opportunities this year.

    This is true. But is Kassian really a threat to score at the moment?

    I think he is, but for whatever reason it just never happens. Last year it was phantom offside calls, this year it’s just snakebitten or unlucky bounces.

  126. Bag of Pucks says:

    I don’t honestly know if they’re a better hockey team than their record because I don’t know what they have within the room and within themselves.

    What I have noticed in this market is a disconcerting tendency of giving lottery contracts to very young players and them then struggling under the burden of those expectations.

    Edmonton might be a market better suited to bridge and/or shorter term deals. For those that need it, it keeps the motivation level high. For those that struggle with high expectations, it keeps them lower.

    But let’s not kid ourselves. Standard operating procedure in the NHL is to fire the coach when the team underperforms to this extent over a protracted period of time. It may or may not be fair but the clock is definitely ticking on TMac as we speak. Chiarelli can’t swap out the players en masse and he’s not going to fall on the sword himself, so this is the ‘go to’ move for teams in this predicament. If there’s no progress by the All Star break, MacLellan will be a dead man walking.

  127. OmJo says:

    OriginalPouzar: I think last night showed what happens what a coach gets his elite top line out against 3rd pairing d-men and bottom 6 forwards.

    RE the third pairing, they held their own for the most part – relative to the top 4.

    The Blues picked away at the top 4 all night.

    That said, one of the more frustrating aspects about Todd McLellan is his [apparent] reluctance to line match, especially in home games. He gives each line an assignment and if they struggle, so be it… but the assignments stay, while the non-paired linemates themselves change. Makes no sense to me.

  128. OriginalPouzar says:

    Benning’s injury issue as a groin thing – still a game-time decision.

  129. OriginalPouzar says:

    McLellan did state that Klef’s confidence is at an all time low. He is still dealing with the “bumps and bruises” that are effecting his play – He went on to say that they are effecting him in the physical part of the game – physical battles, etc. but are not effecting his mental game – his poor decision making is on the player.

  130. OmJo says:

    Bag of Pucks: But let’s not kid ourselves. Standard operating procedure in the NHL is to fire the coach when the team underperforms to this extent over a protracted period of time.

    True, but I think this is a unique case. The fanbase and media aren’t really focussing on the coach as the problem, it’s the GM and the team he made.

    Not saying that will factor into whether TMac is fired or not, but if he is fired I don’t expect Chiarelli to still be the GM at the end of the season. He will come under A LOT of heat for building an inadequate team and then firing the coach who wasn’t given much to work with to begin with.

    TMac isn’t a great coach, he needs a good team in front of him to get positive results.

  131. JimmyV1965 says:

    Side: Kassian uses his speed. He just can’t cash on any of his opportunities this year.

    No offence, but what does that statement even mean? We have lots of guys that threaten with speed. Kassian has probably had five breakaways this year, all based on speed. We’ve had numerous 2 on 1s. We’re just not cashing. That ain’t about speed. It’s about not cashing. And that’s why we suck. Watch the last two games again and look at the numerous times our dmen have had the puck with time and space yet failed to get it out, let alone with possession. That’s not speed. It’s glacial decision making, which is directly related to confidence.

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

    OmJo:

    TMac isn’t a great coach, he needs a good team in front of him to get positive results.

    Is Scotty Bowman the greatest coach of all time or the luckiest SOB to ever have stood behind the bench?

    JimmyV1965,

    You and I are on the same page here today. Agree full stop with your last several comments.

    The team is getting walked right now because their confidence is shot and they end up down two goals before the ice has even frozen over.

    Anyone who’s played even semi-competitive sports knows that team confidence is a very real (if not impossible to quantify) thing and it effects every single part of the game.

  133. dustrock says:

    Woodguy v2.0,

    “I liked their first album but they’ve sucked since” = “he got one Cup win but got lucky”

  134. Side says:

    JimmyV1965: No offence, but what does that statement even mean? We have lots of guys that threaten with speed. Kassian has probably had five breakaways this year, all based on speed. We’ve had numerous 2 on 1s. We’re just not cashing. That ain’t about speed. It’s about not cashing. And that’s why we suck. Watch the last two games again and look at the numerous times our dmen have had the puck with time and space yet failed to get it out, let alone with possession. That’s not speed. It’s glacial decision making, which is directly related to confidence.

    Why do you ask me what the statement means, when you go on to elaborate what I just said?

    ” Kassian has probably had five breakaways this year, all based on speed. We’ve had numerous 2 on 1s. We’re just not cashing.”

    Kassian used his speed to beat the opposing team’s defenders. His speed generated scoring opportunities this year, he just didn’t put them in the back of the net. If you can tell me other Oilers forwards, besides McDavid, who received the puck and used their speed to blow past the other team’s defenders to generate a scoring opportunity, please let me know because I’m hard pressed to think of anyone else. You certainly don’t see Strome or Lucic blazing past the other team’s defenders to get a breakaway against their goalie.

    Last year, the Oilers weren’t a fast team, but their faster players (like Kassian) were able to use their speed to put themselves in a position where they could score and they did.

    This year, the Oilers no matter what kind of scoring opportunities any of them they receive, they can’t score.

  135. godot10 says:

    Georges: How did you form the idea that Klefbom is a defensive defenseman? Stats or eye test? If stats, please let me know which you used. Very curious because “defensive defenseman” is very far from the player the stats suggest Klefbom is. That’s my reading.

    I’ve been following Klefbom since he has been drafted over six years ago. Defense was always his calling card until this coaching staff began messing with him last year. They began screwing up his decision making.

    He was the defensive anchor of the Swedish World Junior team that won the WJHC. He was the best defensemen in the tournament. He was assigned all the tough D assignments. Got hardly any of the offensive assignments. He was always the defensively aware conscience of his pairing in Sweden and in OKC. He didn’t see the power play hardly at all in OKC until the Eakins/Nelson season, and then it was only like ten games before he was called up.

  136. godot10 says:

    Side: Kassian uses his speed. He just can’t cash on any of his opportunities this year.

    Or last year. But he got a 3rd line contract with 3 years duration instead of a 4th line contract for half the money and only two years.

  137. fishman says:

    Oilers are not as bad a team as they looked last night. It does appear as they will be a lottery team this year. I have no particular hockey knowledge and the analytics pass over my head but it is becoming obvious that management decisions severely weakened this team from the one that was in the playoffs last year. Many posters today have pointed out the numerous errors. Was not a fan calling for Chiarellis head but think it needs to come to that. You can argue that he won a cup (many years ago) but then put the team in cap hell. The game has also changed significantly since then and now speed and skill are the must haves.

    Chairelli was lucky to have Connor, Drai, Nurse and Klef in hand. He does get credit for some of the smaller moves but almost all of his “big” moves have weakened the team. He has weakened the depth and also handicapped team with bad contracts. Other than draft picks, a few young prospects, his trade currency is Nuge, Nurse and Kleff. Does anyone think he can move any of those assets and win a trade that will turn this team around?

    He is a dinosaur that needs to go. Oilers need a younger sharp GM who can rebuild. Probably would take 2-3 years. I like TMac but wonder if he can adapt to the new speed and skill game? Now do I have any faith in OEG management to make the right moves? Unfortunately I do not! This is same group that thought Peter was the answer (as many of us did!)

    I really hope I am a 100% wrong but think Woodguy has had it right all along!

    Go Oilers!

  138. --hudson-- says:

    OmJo: I don’t usually agree with Craig Button. This is what he said:

    “Outside of Connor McDavid, there is no other player on the Edmonton Oilers who threatens with speed.”

    He’s right. He’s not saying nobody is fast besides McDavid, just that nobody really uses their speed to generate offense. He’s not really wrong here.

    I agree with the criticism of a slow attack, however what Button misses is the speed of passing. The Oilers reset, poor passing, and transition game as many pointed out here today, even Chiarelli and McLellan talk about playing faster.

    In some ways it’s relieving to know Chia and McL are aware of the issue and it’s alarming the players can’t or won’t make the change. Perhaps it is age related and with more experience will come better decision making. The Oilers are still the third youngest team in the league.

  139. leadfarmer says:

    JimmyV1965: We have to use points with McDavid because that’s who he’s played with. Kane has 20 pts in 21 games playing with Eichel. As a GM you would seriously trade Drai signed for 8 years for UFA Kane. What if Kane wants $8 mill?

    No. Thats why you take that in context. I would not expect Draisatl to get ppg away from Mcdavid and I would not expect Kane to get ppg away from Eichel. You dont pay Draisatl 8.5 per and you definitely dont pay Kane 8 per

  140. Cassandra says:

    The Chiarelli defenders are pretty funny with their revisionism.

    For two years every sane person has hated what Chiarelli has done to this team. The response from the agitprop was “how could the moves be bad if the team is winning?” That response has gone out the window, leaving them nothing but the empty shell of an argument.

    This is what happens when you trade away all your good players, when you trade top draft picks for bags of pucks, when you sign mediocre players to long term contracts, and when you give RFA deals unprecedented money.

    It was all so obvious. It has always been obvious. Just as it was obvious from the first second that Bergevin was destroying his team. There were never two sides to these debates.

    The good news is that this team still has McDavid. Now we just have to pray for two things.

    1) This team has to lose. You can only learn from your mistakes if you acknowledge them as mistakes. If the team recovers, then not only will Chiarelli keep his job, he won’t know that he was wrong. He needs to know he was wrong.

    2) Chiarelli has to do nothing. Under no circumstances can Klefbom, RNH, prospects, or picks be traded.

    3) Hire an outsider general manager with, preferably, no NHL experience. No retreads who believe hockey myths.

    4) Hire a young coach(see #3).

    If these two things happen, with time, the Oilers can emerge from the wreckage.

  141. godot10 says:

    The season will be over before McLellan plays Draisaitl at centre. That is one stubborn coach.

    #LucicIsNowOnlyA3rdLineWingerAtBest
    #KlefbomIsTheNewPetry
    #ItsTaylorHallsFault

  142. godot10 says:

    –hudson–: I agree with the criticism of a slow attack, however what Button misses is the speed of passing.The Oilers reset, poor passing, and transition game as many pointed out here today, even Chiarelli and McLellan talk about playing faster.

    In some ways it’s relieving to know Chia and McL are aware of the issue and it’s alarming the players can’t or won’t make the change.Perhaps it is age related and with more experience will come better decision making.The Oilers are still the third youngest team in the league.

    McLellan’s defensive breakout systems are SLOW. They are designed that way. There is no way for them to be fast, except when a player decides to lug the puck out, and only Nurse has that ability.

    The slow breakouts come from the system, NOT the players.

    McLellan wanting to play his SLOW breakout system faster is NOT playing fast.

  143. leadfarmer says:

    –hudson–: I agree with the criticism of a slow attack, however what Button misses is the speed of passing.The Oilers reset, poor passing, and transition game as many pointed out here today, even Chiarelli and McLellan talk about playing faster.

    In some ways it’s relieving to know Chia and McL are aware of the issue and it’s alarming the players can’t or won’t make the change.Perhaps it is age related and with more experience will come better decision making.The Oilers are still the third youngest team in the league.

    The passing is even bigger problem then the skating. Its funny to watch these guys take a pass, stop the puck, pass it to the next guy, then he stops the puck on the powerplay.

    You can see that on the breakouts. The forwards are fleeing the zone trying to catch the defense sleeping but the defensemen cant get them the puck so the forwards have to either circle back, the defenseman loses the puck, or the defenseman rims it up the boards. Thats part of the reason for the up the boards break out that TMac designed last year. That way the forward can at least tap the puck so it doesnt get iced.

    Also this team isnt getting slower. This is how much faster the rest of the league got. Look at a Devils game from last year to this year. Night and day. Those guys are buzzing around everyone. Its nice to see them rebuild around Hall’s speed

  144. Side says:

    godot10: Or last year.But he got a 3rd line contract with 3 years duration instead of a 4th line contract for half the money and only two years.

    Ahh, another revisionist “I told you so” moment in this thread.

    Didn’t hear any uproar about the contract Kassian received, you even commented in the thread LT put up about it but didn’t say it was a bad contract.

    It’s interesting you’re suddenly down on it now since Kassian is not producing like he was (or like most of the Oilers) last year.

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

    –hudson–,

    Agree with all of your points and that was why I posted the video I did with Button praising the Oilers for playing fast.

    A young team, missing a key vet, struggling to cash their chances has their goalie fall off a cliff and for a few games the confidence is shot and the spiral deepens.

    They can play themselves out of this

    But they have to start ASAP

  146. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    who,

    The same people got you 103 points last year and none of them are at a point in their careers where we should expect a continued decline.

    Three of the top 4 scorers with 97 not on the ice from last year are gone.

    The best Dman in the first half of the year hasn’t played.

    It’s not the same team.

  147. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    fishman,

    I really hope I am a 100% wrong but think Woodguy has had it right all along!

    I was really excited for when Peter was brought in.

    I assumed he had learned from his mistakes with BOS.

    I assumed wrong.

    Man.

  148. Tapdog says:

    OmJo:
    leadfarmer,

    I won’t say what the rumour is since LT doesn’t want them on the blog, but if you go on Twitter and search ‘Drasiaitl Nurse rumour’ you can likely find it.

    I just found out about it recently too.

    I have been wondering about this and if, and that is obviously a big if…..could you see it dividing the locker-room?
    Something has this team in a spin.

  149. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    bendelson:
    I’m going to go ahead and suggest this season’s troubles revolve around three things:

    1) Roster construction
    2) Coaching
    3) Player performance

    Everything else is just fine.

    *whew*

    Now I feel better.

    Thanks B!

  150. JimmyV1965 says:

    –hudson–: I agree with the criticism of a slow attack, however what Button misses is the speed of passing.The Oilers reset, poor passing, and transition game as many pointed out here today, even Chiarelli and McLellan talk about playing faster.

    In some ways it’s relieving to know Chia and McL are aware of the issue and it’s alarming the players can’t or won’t make the change.Perhaps it is age related and with more experience will come better decision making.The Oilers are still the third youngest team in the league.

    That’s the thing. No one was accusing us of being slow last year. And you can’t tell me the league has suddenly got faster by a significant margin in one year. We are simply playing slow. I would argue our d group is faster than the Blues, yet they played much better. I don’t even know if their forward group is a whole bunch faster. Lucic is slow, but that’s not even close to his biggest issue. He treats the puck like a frickin grenade.

  151. jtblack says:

    Cassandra,

    “3) Hire an outsider general manager with, preferably, no NHL experience. No retreads who believe hockey myths.”

    Kinda like ARIZONA did?

  152. Cassandra says:

    Side: Ahh, another revisionist “I told you so” moment in this thread.

    Didn’t hear any uproar about the contract Kassian received, you even commented in the thread LT put up about it but didn’t say it was a bad contract.

    It’s interesting you’re suddenly down on it now since Kassian is not producing like he was (or like most of the Oilers) last year.

    The revisionism here is on only one side. The vast majority of Chiarelli’s moves were widely panned at the time, because they were so indefensible.

    We knew at the time that the Reinhart deal was so bad it might as well be unintelligible. That isn’t revisionism. We knew. And we knew because everyone knew that Reinhart was no longer a top prospect, that he had been passed in the Islander system, and that he was a third pairing guy at best. We knew this.

    We knew the Hall for Larsson deal was terrible. And we knew this there are no circumstances where trading one of the best players in the league for a defensive defensemen is a good idea. We knew this.

    We knew trading Eberle for Strome was going to cost goals and they wouldn’t just be replaced. We knew this because we understand the concept of marginal value.

    We knew buying out Pouliot was terrible asset management.

    We knew Chiarelli unnecessarily overpaid Draisatl.

    We knew Russell wasn’t a top 4 D.

    We knew all these things. And we knew it at the time.

    The question is why didn’t Chiarelli know these things?

  153. Bag of Pucks says:

    OmJo: True, but I think this is a unique case. The fanbase and media aren’t really focussing on the coach as the problem, it’s the GM and the team he made.

    Not saying that will factor into whether TMac is fired or not, but if he is fired I don’t expect Chiarelli to still be the GM at the end of the season. He will come under A LOT of heat for building an inadequate team and then firing the coach who wasn’t given much to work with to begin with.

    TMac isn’t a great coach, he needs a good team in front of him to get positive results.

    Doesn’t matter what the fanbase and media are saying. It matters what Katz thinks.

    And every owner looks at it from the perspective of firing the GM being a massive step back and start over for your organization. Organizations without stability in the management ranks are almost always underperformers because they’re constantly behind the curve retooling for a new philosophy. Meanwhile there are plenty of good organizations that replace coaches and prosper, Pittsburgh being the most notable recent example.

    They fire the coach because it’s way less damaging and invasive to the overall structure, and does have the potential to pay immediate dividends.

    In all honesty, I’d question their sanity as an organization if they fired Chiarelli before MacLellan because you always swap out middle management to see if you can right the ship before you lop off the CEO’s head.

    As an Oiler fan, we should be hoping that the root cause is A) coaching or B) some isolated players, because those are far easier and quicker fixes than firing the GM. Firing Chiarelli would set this organization back three years minimum.

  154. jtblack says:

    Cassandra,

    “For two years every sane person has hated what Chiarelli has done to this team. The response from the agitprop was “how could the moves be bad if the team is winning?” That response has gone out the window, leaving them nothing but the empty shell of an argument.”

    IMO: I don’t disagree with your statement, but I think rationale would suggest it works both ways. When the Oilers were winning, the PC Haters “blamed the winning on everything else, and wouldn’t dare admit perhaps they were wrong in some of their assessments.

    Now your saying the team better keep Losing so PC knows he wrong (and the PC Haters are right). BUT if the team does start winning then Rationale goes out the window. PC is still wrong.

    Just to be clear, you are saying PC is wrong no matter what the team does in the standings. Now I get it.

  155. Cassandra says:

    jtblack:
    Cassandra,

    “3) Hire an outsider general manager with, preferably, no NHL experience. No retreads who believe hockey myths.”

    Kinda like ARIZONA did?

    Absolutely. I like much of what Chayka has done. He’s innovative and trying to hit homeruns. For all of the talk of Chiarelli’s bets not paying off that isn’t at all what happened. It isn’t “betting” if you don’t understand the baseline projection of the players you are “betting” on. It’s just being wrong. They weren’t bets, Chiarelli just assumed that the best possible scenario was the baseline. This is part and parcel of his overall strategy of aiming at a safe playoff team rather than a dominant team, or as Willis put it “the Minnesota Wild under Lemaire with McDavid at center.” He wasn’t trying to make the team better because he thought they were already good enough.

    Chayka, on the other hand, makes bets. There is an upside and a downside, but he understands the concept of aiming high and he doesn’t hold to antiquated and mystical notions of team building.

    If Chayka were our general manager instead of Chiarellie we would be one of the best teams in the league. I am quite confident of that.

  156. Fgary says:

    +1

    Cassandra: The revisionism here is on only one side.The vast majority of Chiarelli’s moves were widely panned at the time, because they were so indefensible.

    We knew at the time that the Reinhart deal was so bad it might as well be unintelligible.That isn’t revisionism.We knew.And we knew because everyone knew that Reinhart was no longer a top prospect, that he had been passed in the Islander system, and that he was a third pairing guy at best.We knew this.

    We knew the Hall for Larsson deal was terrible.And we knew this there are no circumstances where trading one of the best players in the league for a defensive defensemen is a good idea.We knew this.

    We knew trading Eberle for Strome was going to cost goals and they wouldn’t just be replaced.We knew this because we understand the concept of marginal value.

    We knew buying out Pouliot was terrible asset management.

    We knew Chiarelli unnecessarily overpaid Draisatl.

    We knew Russell wasn’t a top 4 D.

    We knew all these things.And we knew it at the time.

    The question is why didn’t Chiarelli know these things?

  157. Cassandra says:

    jtblack:
    Cassandra,

    “For two years every sane person has hated what Chiarelli has done to this team. The response from the agitprop was “how could the moves be bad if the team is winning?” That response has gone out the window, leaving them nothing but the empty shell of an argument.”

    IMO: I don’t disagree with your statement, but I thinkrationale would suggest it works both ways.When the Oilers were winning,the PC Haters “blamed the winning on everything else, and wouldn’t dare admit perhaps they were wrong in some of their assessments.

    Now your sayingthe team better keep Losing so PC knows he wrong (and the PC Haters are right).BUT if the team does start winning then Rationale goes out the window. PC is still wrong.

    Just to be clear, you are saying PC is wrong no matter what the team does in the standings. Now I get it.

    You understand me perfectly. The rightness or wrongness of the moves exists independent of the standings. There are always going to be contingent factors that move the standings and hence the Standings could always be a measurement of these contingent factors and not the moves. Therefore the evaluation of the general manager should be on the moves alone.

    This is why I said before last season that we should all pray the Oilers have a bad season so that we can get rid of Chiarelli sooner than later. I said that if the team does well Chiarelli won’t understand why the team went well and will learn the wrong lessons and double down on his mistakes, sending out the wrong people (Eberle, Pouliot) while keeping the wrong people (Russell). And this is exactly what happened.

    Well the bad season came a year too late and the hole to dig out of is pretty, damn, big. Before you can get out of the hole, you need to recognize that you are in a hole, and for that we need the team to lose. Because if the team wins it won’t change the fact that it isn’t good enough. It will hide it.

  158. Jethro Tull says:

    godot10:
    The season will be over before McLellan plays Draisaitl at centre.That is one stubborn coach.

    #LucicIsNowOnlyA3rdLineWingerAtBest
    #KlefbomIsTheNewPetry
    #ItsTaylorHallsFault

    Drai is struggling playing wing to the best player on the planet and the plan is to take him from that shelter and give him the responsibility of a scoring line with two anchors from a whole bunch of other anchors?

  159. GMB3 says:

    Louis Levasseur:
    SayItAin’tSo, Gretz, SayItAin’tSo!,

    WIth regard to point #3, my problem with our breakout is that our defensemen seem to just blindly rim it around the boards, even with less than full pressure on them.Their defensemen know this, so they make an easy pinch and we don’t get out of our zone.

    We may not be speaking of the same thing here (re-set vs. rimming it), but I’d much prefer to see more reverses to relieve the pressure than simply blasting it around the boards and hoping for the best.No way you get any transition through the neutral zone.

    No way you transition through the neutral zone if you let the other team set up defensively. I remember last year Tortorella talking about how he discouraged the D to D pass unless it was absolutely necessary.

  160. --hudson-- says:

    godot10: McLellan’s defensive breakout systems are SLOW.They are designed that way.There is no way for them to be fast, except when a player decides to lug the puck out, and only Nurse has that ability.

    The slow breakouts come from the system, NOT the players.

    McLellan wanting to play his SLOW breakout system faster is NOT playing fast.

    That’s a great point. I can’t recall any flip passes to an open area with a 50/50 chance.

    It’s always either tape to tape, a hard pass with a tip in, hard rim around the boards, or off the glass and out. We do have enough speed on the wings for more aerial passes, it’s just not in the playbook

  161. --hudson-- says:

    JimmyV1965: That’s the thing.No one was accusing us of being slow last year. And you can’t tell me the league has suddenly got faster by a significant margin in one year. We are simply playing slow. I would argue our d group is faster than the Blues, yet they played much better.I don’t even know if their forward group is a whole bunch faster.Lucic is slow, but that’s not even close to his biggest issue. He treats the puck like a frickin grenade.

    Lucic making a pass from inside his own blue line would make Joffrey Lupul blush 😉 To utilize him, they should only break out on the right wing when he’s on the ice and let him focus on board work in the offensive zone. It’s amazing how off the mark his passing can be at this level of hockey.

    Once the Oilers lose that fraction of a second cradling a pass it’s all over. There’s no space to look up and make the next play unless you’re McDavid or Drai.

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

    Surrey Oiler:
    We need to shake things up, if the locker room rumours are true of Drai, trade him to Sabres for an extended Kane.

    We have officially entered the twilight zone.

  163. Justthestatsman says:

    OmJo:
    leadfarmer,

    I won’t say what the rumour is since LT doesn’t want them on the blog, but if you go on Twitter and search ‘Drasiaitl Nurse rumour’ you can likely find it.

    I just found out about it recently too.

    Well if Drasiaitl and Nurse really don’t like each other, it didn’t stop Lean from passing to Darnell on the 2 on 1 last night.

  164. Chelios is a Dinosaur says:

    Lot of ink being shed on what ails the team.

    Numbers have been either ugly or confusing.

    Everyone says this team is slow.. probably.

    But what is so glaring to me is that this team is lazy.

    I’m not smart enough to know whether this is the result of internal dynamics or a rejection of systems play. But last night they had one job: show up. Massive fail. Personally I would rather see this team regroup and just barely miss the playoffs than subject everyone to another lotto pick. That’s DOD thinking and it’s stinking.

    This team needs to send every puck deep tonight and leave the pizza box black and blue. We can absorb a loss if it resets the emotional mettle of this team. Prove to us and themselves that this is not acceptable.

  165. Side says:

    Cassandra: The revisionism here is on only one side.The vast majority of Chiarelli’s moves were widely panned at the time, because they were so indefensible.

    We knew at the time that the Reinhart deal was so bad it might as well be unintelligible.That isn’t revisionism.We knew.And we knew because everyone knew that Reinhart was no longer a top prospect, that he had been passed in the Islander system, and that he was a third pairing guy at best.We knew this.

    We knew the Hall for Larsson deal was terrible.And we knew this there are no circumstances where trading one of the best players in the league for a defensive defensemen is a good idea.We knew this.

    We knew trading Eberle for Strome was going to cost goals and they wouldn’t just be replaced.We knew this because we understand the concept of marginal value.

    We knew buying out Pouliot was terrible asset management.

    We knew Chiarelli unnecessarily overpaid Draisatl.

    We knew Russell wasn’t a top 4 D.

    We knew all these things.And we knew it at the time.

    The question is why didn’t Chiarelli know these things?

    I’m not talking about the “Pro Chiarelli” vs “Anti Chiarelli” crowds.

    I’m talking about the

    “I knew we should have kept Pitlick instead of Kassian”

    “I knew Kassian’s contract was too much”

    “I always knew Todd was a bad coach!”

    “I always knew Chiarelli was a bad choice from the start!”

    crowds.

    And yes, Chiarelli has made bad moves, without a doubt. I felt he should have done a lot more in the offseason to improve the team now and in the future. With that being said, his team also came off of a 103 point season with strong, consistent performances from players like Draisaitl, Klefbom, Larsson, Sekera, Talbot, Maroon. We knew Sekera was injured coming into this season, but I am 100% sure, no one expected all of Drai, Klefbom, Larsson, Talbot and Maroon to take a step back in their performance. Even some of the Oilers promising, younger players who played well last season like Slepyshev and Benning took steps back (injury and consistency).

    The team can’t win with only McDavid, Nuge and Nurse playing well. They, in my opinion, seem to be the only 3 who are stepping up this year.

    We knew the roster this year was weaker, yes. But people seem to be placing most of the blame on Chiarelli, and if it’s not Chiarelli being blamed then they are blaming Todd.

    Sure, blame Chiarelli for not icing a better team this year and pissing away value and signing bad contracts.

    Or blame Todd for blending the lines too much or not adjusting to other teams strategies quick enough.

    But come on, there have been a lot of games this season that were lost because players just made bad decisions. Decisions that shouldn’t be made even if the GM was a ham sandwich and their coach was a cardboard cut out of Emilio Estevez.

  166. JimmyV1965 says:

    –hudson–: Lucic making a pass from inside his own blue line would make Joffrey Lupul blush To utilize him, they should only break out on the right wing when he’s on the ice and let him focus on board work in the offensive zone.It’s amazing how off the mark his passing can be at this level of hockey.

    Once the Oilers lose that fraction of a second cradling a pass it’s all over.There’s no space to look up and make the next play unless you’re McDavid or Drai.

    +1000

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

    Justthestatsman: Well if Drasiaitl and Nurse really don’t like each other, it didn’t stop Lean from passing to Darnell on the 2 on 1 last night.

    Yeah but they did not celebrate the goal together. (down by a touchdown at the time) they must hate each other. (sarcasm).

    winning cures all ills. Hope the gods of hockey smile on the Oil Drop tonight.

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

    NYC-Back-to-Tokyo Oil (Gentleman Backpacker),

    I’m genuinely happy to see you posting again.

    Side,

    +1

  169. who says:

    Woodguy v2.0:
    who,

    The same people got you 103 points last year and none of them are at a point in their careers where we should expect a continued decline.

    Three of the top 4 scorers with 97 not on the ice from last year are gone.

    The best Dman in the first half of the year hasn’t played.

    It’s not the same team.

    Think you are taking my quote out of context but we can talk about these players that are missing.
    Sekera is still on the roster and will be back soon. Chia’s biggest failing this off season was not finding a solid veteran on a 1 year deal to cover that loss. Not sure that player was out there via free agency and who knows what was available in a trade but that is the biggest hole on this team right now.
    Trading Eberle made some sense if you needed cap space. He was not very good last year, in my opinion.
    Buying out Poulloit made some sense if you needed cap space. I always kind of liked this player, don’t think the coach did. He was not very good last year.
    The fact that Chia has not used all his cap space makes at least 1 of these moves seem 1 year premature.
    I think he just got scooped on Pitlick. I think Pitlick was even surprised he got a three year deal. Wouldn’t have been a big risk against the cap cause most of it can be buried in the minors. Chia should have matched, if he had the option.

  170. GMB3 says:

    John Chambers:
    Trade possibilities?

    With Buffalo – maybe a Draisaitl + Benning for Reinhart and Ristolainen.

    Or CBJ – Draisaitl and Benning for Jenner and Seth Jones.

    I don’t want to trade Drai but if we want to make an impact at RD we would have to trade from a position of strength, and RNH won’t get it done.

    No chance they trade Jones for Drai and his contract. It’ll be impossible to win a Drai trade because of thatcontract

  171. GMB3 says:

    leadfarmer: From now on can we please not use points with Mcdavid.Mcdavid is going to have to create 50 point scorers with 3 mil contracts because of his overpriced contract and when that player is up for a raise he will have to do it with another player.So what I’m saying is we are paying Draisatl to be a ppg player on his own line creating ppg with bargain level players cause thats all his contract will allow.If he cannot do that then we cant afford to be paying him 8.5 mil per

    That is the cold hard truth

  172. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    fishman,

    I really hope I am a 100% wrong but think Woodguy has had it right all along!

    I was really excited for when Peter was brought in.

    I assumed he had learned from his mistakes with BOS.

    I assumed wrong.

    Man.

    Jethro Tull: One of the funniest tweets ever was in reply to one saying “I hate hiptsers.”

    “They hated you first” was the reply.

    World class

  173. OmJo says:

    Justthestatsman: Well if Drasiaitl and Nurse really don’t like each other, it didn’t stop Lean from passing to Darnell on the 2 on 1 last night.

    To be honest, if the rumours were true I think Chiarelli would have traded one of them by now. Especially since they’re playing fairly well, shouldn’t be hard to move.

    He traded Seguin for partying. A lesser offense than what’s being rumoured.

  174. OmJo says:

    –hudson–,

    Passing was supposed to be his strong suit.

    Ugh.

  175. Side says:

    OmJo: To be honest, if the rumours were true I think Chiarelli would have traded one of them by now. Especially since they’re playing fairly well, shouldn’t be hard to move.

    He traded Seguin for partying. A lesser offense than what’s being rumoured.

    Chia seems to be awfully quiet lately (unless I missed some presser of his).

    *puts on tinfoil hat* Maybe he’s plotting to see which of Nurse or Drai could get him a return that doesn’t make the trade seem like a “I’m giving this player away because he’s a problem child” type of deal.

  176. GMB3 says:

    That Sevechnikov kid looks like he would be a great winger for one of Drai Nuge or McDavid. Silver linings people. If there is a year to shit the bed, this might be it. I’m on board with trading JP for a veteran scorer if we end up being a lottery team. Would be tough to see him go, but I think a veteran guy who can bury the biscuit helping us more next year and help shelter Yamamoto/our new shiny toy from this summers draft

  177. OmJo says:

    Side,

    Yeah, he’s been hiding lol. Not sure if plotting to get rid of one of Draisaitl or Nurse or hiding from the fans who’re demanding the media asks him hard questions he probably won’t want to answer.

    If the rumours are true I think Draisaitl needs to be the one to go. If the locker room is as split as some seem to think getting rid of Nurse might not fix that since the wrong doer was allegedly Draisaitl.

    (Sorry LT for bringing this up)

  178. godot10 says:

    So the alleged persons involved is not in town when the incident happens, and the rumour starts right after Draisaitl gets elbowed in the face and concussed by Trouba, and people want to believe the rumour rather than the elbow that was broadcast on TV.

    Occam’s Razor folks.

  179. OmJo says:

    godot10:
    So the alleged persons involvedis not in town when the incident happens, and the rumour starts right after Draisaitl gets elbowed in the face and concussed by Trouba, and people want to believe the rumour rather than the elbow that was broadcast on TV.

    Occam’s Razor folks.

    Heh, can’t stress enough how it’s a rumour.

    I feel like I work for TMZ right now.

  180. meanashell11 says:

    NYC-Back-to-Tokyo Oil (Gentleman Backpacker): We have officially entered the twilight zone.

    Yup.

    I cannot believe some of these comments.

    Losing brings out the crazies.

  181. GMB3 says:

    godot10:
    So the alleged persons involvedis not in town when the incident happens, and the rumour starts right after Draisaitl gets elbowed in the face and concussed by Trouba, and people want to believe the rumour rather than the elbow that was broadcast on TV.

    Occam’s Razor folks.

    Yeah I’ve heard quite a few different stories about this rumour and was out with a few buddies yesterday and one of them told me to look at the IG post on Darnell Nurses feed from October 28th. He posted a picture with McDavid and Drai referencing them as brothers. Could be a social media ploy to quell the rumours but I doubt Nurse would sacrifice his pride in making that post.

  182. McSorley33 says:

    The ‘it’s early’ horse has finally dropped out of the race…..the ‘bad luck’ horse has now
    taken the lead. Moving up fast along the rail though, is the ‘ flu’ horse….the ‘injury’ horse
    is really trailing now.

  183. McSorley33 says:

    Now that the season is essentially done…

    Can we actually play Drai at centre..so he can learn the position at the NHL level ?

  184. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    McSorley33:

    Can we actually play Drai at centre..so he can learn the position at the NHL level ?

    – It’s kind a damned if you do, damned if you don’t… Putting Drai at C, means RNH gets bumped down to 3C (and crap wingers), then your going to “leak value” if he has to get traded.

    – Unless you be all radical, and go:

    Maroon-McD-Strome
    Lucic-Drai-Sleppy
    Cags-RNH-Pool

    – That first line gets caved though on D I think…

  185. russ99 says:

    How much has moving RNH away from his usual two way role, one that was very successful in the postseason, hurt us this year?

    Had he been his usual defensive self matched up against the Blues top line, could they have done so much damage? Our D is having a rough go, they need some help.

    I know many fans are all about offense all the time, and last night was a perfect reminder that this isn’t the case.

    Tired of the same bad pairings and lines, the onus is on the coach to make the hard decisions and find groups where we can success.

  186. treevojo says:

    T minus 15 minutes till rocket ship Mcdavid takes off

  187. OmJo says:

    Kinger_Oil.redux: – It’s kind a damned if you do, damned if you don’t…Putting Drai at C, means RNH gets bumped down to 3C (and crap wingers), then your going to “leak value”if he has to get traded.

    – Unless you be all radical, and go:

    Maroon-McD-Strome
    Lucic-Drai-Sleppy
    Cags-RNH-Pool

    – That first line gets caved though on D I think…

    Or you just put RNH on McDavids wing and kill 2 birds (RNH playing with crap wingers, top line not being good defensively) with one stone.

    Too had Strome isn’t the answer. Then I could have said 2 birds with one Strome.

  188. treevojo says:

    Fasten your seatbelt.

    Tonight is the night.

  189. My Tierless Retina says:

    treevojo:
    Fasten your seatbelt.

    Tonight is the night.

    Why would one need their seatbelt, unless there was going to be a cra…

  190. commonfan29 says:

    Will Talbot stop the first shot tonight?

    It’s become almost a 50/50 proposition.

  191. OmJo says:

    I’m going to predict the Oilers either win tonight or lose.

    I have a good feeling that I could be right.

  192. Scungilli Slushy says:

    Every bad team trades good or better players away when facing adversity , scapegoating them. The group of McD Drai Nuge Larsson Klefbom Nurse is a cracking group. When your 3 best forwards are centres you have to smile.

    Add in JP as he develops, possibly Yama’s offensive drive it gets better. They need to find some pure shooters to complement this group.

    What is going wrong IMO starts with Talbot having a terrible start. It is very hard on a team when the goalie does that, sewered the Rangers at the start too. Especially with a young D group.

    The second part is not having an option for Benning, lots of left side options. Russell was the bet but numbers showed he was much weaker right side and the Oilers metrics should have as well if they are any good.

    Benning had a tremendous start to last season and hasn’t been same since the concussion. And he’s running into injury trouble because he’s smallish for position especially given his style. Gryba can’t help there.

    If they had a stable decent option Klefbom would be much better served on second pair. Benning would be much better third pair.

    So again we have the oilers playing D youth too far above their current abilities in front of a struggling starter with no backup, and the whole team looks like crap. Add in sickness as the cherry on top.

    With a better backbone on D and in net I don’t think the tryouts at forward would have impacted so hard, only quality vets could help the tire fire in the backend. We know this from the years in the desert, no team can function if the blue line isn’t sorted.

    I doubt the playoffs will happen, they better make damn sure this counts and learn what the score is. Produce or go, friends on the golf course. Skate well or go. Tough is less important than skill in an era where concussion knowledge and lawsuits means there can’t be a return to caveman hockey. The Oilers aremoving towards being a thug team and fighting in losing games instead of playing better.

    Old timey talking heads might like it but winning doesn’t especially now, not that it ever has.

  193. My Tierless Retina says:

    commonfan29:
    Will Talbot stop the first shot tonight?

    It’s become almost a 50/50 proposition.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=25ThICK0Fbw

  194. Scungilli Slushy says:

    As for tonight Go Oil!!

    A winnable game for sure. Stay between your man and the net and pass to the open guy on his tape, win your battles on boards more than 50% and it’s in the bag.

  195. GMB3 says:

    Kinger_Oil.redux: – It’s kind a damned if you do, damned if you don’t…Putting Drai at C, means RNH gets bumped down to 3C (and crap wingers), then your going to “leak value”if he has to get traded.

    – Unless you be all radical, and go:

    Maroon-McD-Strome
    Lucic-Drai-Sleppy
    Cags-RNH-Pool

    – That first line gets caved though on D I think…

    I think cammaleri with McDavid wouldn’t be a bad idea over maroon. Gives that line a shooter

  196. GMB3 says:

    russ99:
    How much has moving RNH away from his usual two way role, one that was very successful in the postseason, hurt us this year?

    Had he been his usual defensive self matched up against the Blues top line, could they have done so much damage? Our D is having a rough go, they need some help.

    I know many fans are all about offense all the time, and last night was a perfect reminder that this isn’t the case.

    Tired of the same bad pairings and lines, the onus is on the coach to make the hard decisions and find groups where we can success.

    Were you born in a barn

  197. HT Joe says:

    Kinger_Oil.redux:
    – Unless you be all radical, and go:

    Maroon-McD-Strome or Kassian
    Lucic-Drai-Sleppy
    Cags-RNH-Pool

    – That first line gets caved though on D I think…

    Lucic and RNH are playing well together.
    McDavid and Maroon have played well together.
    We need to see if Drai can drive a line.

    Why not this:
    Maroon – McDavid – Sleppy
    Lucic – RNH – Puljarvi
    Cags – Drai – Strome

    This allows all 3 centres to play centre, and prevents Strome or Puljarvi from getting zoomed by McDavid.

    I mean, the season is a tire fire… why not try this?

  198. treevojo says:

    GMB3: Were you born in a barn

    Did Russ leave the door open?

    Brings back memories of my childhood.

    Momma Jo use to scream that at me.

  199. Scungilli Slushy says:

    HT Joe: Lucic and RNH are playing well together.
    McDavid and Maroon have played well together.
    We need to see if Drai can drive a line.

    Why not this:
    Maroon – McDavid – Sleppy
    Lucic – RNH – Puljarvi
    Cags – Drai – Strome

    This allows all 3 centres to play centre, and prevents Strome or Puljarvi from getting zoomed by McDavid.

    I mean, the season is a tire fire… why not try this?

    Looks good. McL mentioned ice time as a reason regarding centres but he plays the hot hand more anyway so play the line getting it done.

  200. JimmyV1965 says:

    commonfan29:
    Will Talbot stop the first shot tonight?

    It’s become almost a 50/50 proposition.

    Last few games I’ve been having bets with my son. Last game he said three and I said eight. This game he’s going one and I’m sticking with eight.

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