Who’ll Stop the Rain?

The Edmonton Oilers 2017-18 will be remembered as a team that simply had no sustain. After a strong game in Detroit, the club came out flat in Buffalo and were a limp noodle against the Sabres. The 103-point Oilers of last season ran Connor McDavid, Cam Talbot, good health and luck to a wonderful result. This season is a hockey disaster and impossible to endure.

  • Todd McLellan: “Our guys have the want to do it, but can we get it done at the pace we’re executing. We have to make things happen a lot faster, in my opinion, defensively and offensively”. 

THE ATHLETIC!

The special Lowetide offer is here.

SLOOP JOHN B, YEAR OVER YEAR

  • Oilers in November 2015: 4-7-2, goal differential -9
  • Oilers in November 2016: 5-7-1, goal differential 0
  • Oilers in November 2017: 5-7-1, goal differential -6

The Oilers are basically running in place year over year during November, nothing much to choose from (save goal differential, last season’s team was much better). We’ve run through the first 10, then the first 20, then U.S. Thanksgiving and all indicators read the same. This is us.

AFTER 23, YEAR OVER YEAR

  • Oilers 15-16: 7-14-2, goal differential -13
  • Oilers 16-17: 12-9-2, goal differential +9
  • Oilers 17-18: 8-13-2, goal differential -16

Incredibly, this season remains superior to Todd McLellan’s first Oilers team, by a very small margin. This team badly needs more skill and can’t afford to lose any of it, witness Oscar Klefboms absence last evening.

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 1-3-0)
  • 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: 5-7-1, 11 points in 13 games

All you can ask for in life is clarity and this is black and white. This year’s Edmonton Oilers are going to be under .500 for their first two months of the season and the playoffs will be very close to out of sight. A bitter pill, but there’s no way to sugarcoat or misunderstand. Clarity.

DEFENSE, LAST NIGHT

  • Nurse-Larsson went 18-14 together, but only 6-11 against Kane-Eichel-Pominville.
  • Russell-Benning went 12-15 together and 0-1 GF. Were 9-9 with the McDavid line and 5-8 against Pouliot-O’Reilly-Reinhart.
  • Auvitu-Gryba went 7-10 together and 0-1 GF. Spent 4:43 with McDavid (6-6), and 5-3 against Pouliot-O’Reilly-Reinhart.
  • Laurent Brossoit played well to my eye, stopping 28 of 30, .933. I think he should have had the Eichel goal but made at least two showstoppers.
  • NHL.com and NaturalStatTrick.

FORWARDS, LAST NIGHT

  • Khaira-Strome-Puljujarvi were 12-6 together and 1-0 GF. Went 3-1 against Girgensons-Larsson-Criscuolo. I had never heard of Criscuolo until he took the penalty.
  • Maroon-Nuge-Draisaitl went 9-7 and 0-1 GF together. Went 4-5 against Pouliot-O’Reilly-Reinhart, that O’Reilly is a load.
  • Lucic-McDavid-Caggiula went 10-21 and then Cammalleri replaced Caggiula and the line went 6-0. Something to keep in mind for Sunday. Went 7-6 against O’Reilly line and McDavid went 16-20 against Ristolainen in what appeared to be a hard match. I wonder if it was a showcase?
  • Cammalleri-Letestu-Kassian went 4-6 together and 1-1 with Drake Caggiula. Not a lot happened.

I’ve received dm’s and texts saying the same or similar. I think it’s a combination of overwhelming frustration and a human need to think of solutions. Sometimes, with those two things meet inside us, all the good neurons leave the brain and party in the bile being released inside. It makes one look like an ass and exposes one as a bit of a dullard, truth to tell. We’re on to Uphams Corner.

YOU CAN’T ALWAYS GET WHAT YOU WANT

Plenty of rage for Oilers fans today and frustration for Todd McLellan (Leon quote, possible shot across the bow to PC re speed). What do they need? Well folks, you can actually see it from here.

  • A fully formed Jesse Puljujarvi, whatever he becomes.
  • A 20-year old Kailer Yamamoto, with the experience that comes with the two years to come.
  • A healthy and capable Tyler Benson, scoring enough to stay in the top 9F.
  • At least one astute low-cost acquisition (Josh Leivo).

Some of this has nothing to do with Peter Chiarelli, he didn’t trade the 2014 second-rounder and the Oilers were at the mercy of that insane rule that forced them to give up draft picks to San Jose and Boston for management procurement. That said, trading so many draft picks in 2015 accomplished two things:

  • Fast-tracked the team to immediate contention
  • Created a tremendous void (especially at forward) in matriculating talent

There are ways out of this problem, and one of them is signing Patrick Maroon and trading RNH for a pair of young, emerging forwards. Edmonton needs more talent at forward, it has to be good and it has to be inexpensive. I think trading Ryan Nugent-Hopkins is a noxious idea but we all know it’s the next chip to bet. We may be less than three months away from the Nuge in a new town.

 

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255 Responses to "Who’ll Stop the Rain?"

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  1. Thinker says:

    Pescador: I’ll happily keep McDavid & his contract, maybe you would be happier being a Sabres fan. I doubt anyone would complain

    I was a horcoff fan too. I would argue trading horcoff for nothing was probably the biggest factor in us landing Connor to begin with. Doesn’t mean his contract didn’t hurt us, and that you could have easily found teams that had better value filling the same hole.

    Question: has Chiarelli ever signed a player to a value contract? All our good contacts were traded for or here before. Would a smart gm have signed nurse/benning in the summer?

    Second Question: is our pro scouting still shit?

  2. Scungilli Slushy says:

    fifthcartel:
    http://www.bostonglobe.com/sports/bruins/2017/11/25/why-bruins-defensemen-operate-rink-inside-rink/P8sLGcptzSgQPjFo3JFYsL/story.html

    Willis linked to this on Twitter and it’s a fascinating read.

    I think Fluto brings up an interesting: is a top 3 of Klefbom, Larsson, and Nurse good enough?

    I’d lean towards no. All are fine players, but not enough puck moving ability in that group. I think you can get by with 2/3 but all 3 and you have problems when the rest of the roster includes Russell (disaster), Gryba (too slow and no puck moving), and Benning (not the same since injury).

    I think long term they are good enough, but only Larsson is there now. Don’t forget he has to carry a partner this year. Give him a healthy Sekera and he would be able to play to his strengths more. It’s not like he doesn’t have ability, but he’s being asked to be the stalwart and that limits his game, he’s not Duncan Keith. He is also hitting too much IMO. He doesn’t need to be leading the league in that, it’s for bottom roster players. Guys with ability should play hockey first. It’s also a lot of wear and tear, they need him healthy and not tanked out come playoffs. Some year.

  3. Scungilli Slushy says:

    Thinker: I was a horcoff fan too. I would argue trading horcoff for nothing was probably the biggest factor in us landing Connor to begin with. Doesn’t mean his contract didn’t hurt us, and that you could have easily found teams that had better value filling the same hole.

    Question: has Chiarelli ever signed a player to a value contract? All our good contacts were traded for or here before. Would a smart gm have signed nurse/benning in the summer?

    Second Question: is our pro scouting still shit?

    Connor and Leon will become value contracts. They all will start out high at that length and having to be more even year over year.

  4. OriginalPouzar says:

    Cassandra: Oh, please, stop with your I want to live in the present nonsense.Your attitude toward the Oilers is pathological.

    And Draisatl’s contract is without precedent.That’s a plain fact.Only the charter soldiers of a the propaganda ministry would say otherwise.

    Pathological you say? That’s a pretty strong word – is that your professional diagnosis?

    So, you don’t exaggerate? Do you honestly believe that?

  5. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Bag of Pucks,

    It’s fun to blame the GM but you don’t fall from penthouse to outhouse this fast cos of Eberle and Sekera.

    But they are a significant part of it.

    Primary points are either goals or assists. They are very predictive of a player’s future as well

    Its a great metric for figuring out “who is turning the corsis into goals”

    Here is the primary points producers in the first 23 games last year for all situations (5v5, PP, PK etc)

    CONNOR MCDAVID 21
    MILAN LUCIC 14
    LEON DRAISAITL 13
    JORDAN EBERLE 10
    PATRICK MAROON 8
    RYAN NUGENT-HOPKINS 8
    TYLER PITLICK 7
    ANDREJ SEKERA 6
    JESSE PULJUJARVI 6
    OSCAR KLEFBOM 6
    ADAM LARSSON 4
    BENOIT POULIOT 4
    DARNELL NURSE 4
    ANTON SLEPYSHEV 3
    MARK LETESTU 3
    ZACK KASSIAN 3
    ANTON LANDER 1
    DRAKE CAGGIULA 1
    MARK FAYNE 1
    MATT BENNING 1

    Here are the Primary points producers in the first 23 games this year:

    CONNOR MCDAVID 22
    LEON DRAISAITL 14
    PATRICK MAROON 11
    RYAN NUGENT-HOPKINS 11
    MILAN LUCIC 10
    RYAN STROME 7
    DARNELL NURSE 5
    DRAKE CAGGIULA 5
    OSCAR KLEFBOM 4
    MARK LETESTU 4
    KRIS RUSSELL 3
    JUJHAR KHAIRA 3
    MATT BENNING 3
    JESSE PULJUJARVI 2
    ADAM LARSSON 2
    ANTON SLEPYSHEV 2
    ZACK KASSIAN 2
    IIRO PAKARINEN 1
    JUSSI JOKINEN 1
    KAILER YAMAMOTO 1
    MIKE CAMMALLERI 1
    YOHANN AUVITU 1

    There were 124 P1’s last year at this time, this year 115, so they are missing 9 from last year.

    Here’s everyone year over year:

    JORDAN EBERLE -10
    TYLER PITLICK -7
    ANDREJ SEKERA -6
    MILAN LUCIC -4
    JESSE PULJUJARVI -4
    BENOIT POULIOT -4
    OSCAR KLEFBOM -2
    ADAM LARSSON -2
    ANTON SLEPYSHEV -1
    ZACK KASSIAN -1
    ANTON LANDER -1
    MARK FAYNE -1
    BRANDON DAVIDSON 0
    ERIC GRYBA 0
    MATT HENDRICKS 0
    TAYLOR BECK 0
    BRAD MALONE 0
    CONNOR MCDAVID 1
    LEON DRAISAITL 1
    DARNELL NURSE 1
    MARK LETESTU 1
    IIRO PAKARINEN 1
    JUSSI JOKINEN 1
    KAILER YAMAMOTO 1
    MIKE CAMMALLERI 1
    YOHANN AUVITU 1
    MATT BENNING 2
    PATRICK MAROON 3
    RYAN NUGENT-HOPKINS 3
    KRIS RUSSELL 3
    JUJHAR KHAIRA 3
    DRAKE CAGGIULA 4
    RYAN STROME 7

    Eberle, Pitlick, Sekera and Pouliot account for 27 lost primary points in 23 games. That’s pretty huge.

    Lucic is off by 4 as is JP. JP got his with 97 last year so you an say that Drake’s +4 matches.

    Strome has added 7 which is nice, but it covers off Pilick’s loss before we even get to Eberle.

    For all the shit Draisaitl and McDavid are getting, they are ahead of their pace last year.

    Rest of the slack being picked up by JJ, Russell, Maroon and Benning.

    Its pretty telling though that Eberle and Sekera’s loss are #1 and 2 with a bullet.

    Pitlick started like a house on fire so right now his loss looks large, but it will lessen over time.

  6. Thinker says:

    Scungilli Slushy: Connor and Leon will become value contracts. They all will start out high at that length and having to be more even year over year.

    That’s assuming inflation is coming. Hasn’t gone up that much since the last lockout about 5 years ago. There’s a chance they never become great value. Also important to note that as the cap is larger, the inflation effect on salary as a % is greatly reduced. Ie 2 million cap increase today goes a lot less far than 10 years ago.

  7. OriginalPouzar says:

    One can keep harping on the Chiarelli not getting an RFA discount in Drai’s contract but, as we’ve seen, the day of the cheap 2nd contract for elite RFA’s is now over.

    The salary landscape of the NHL is how changed – the big money/term contracts are being given out to those in their early 20s and they will be paid the big dollars for the prime of their careers.

    Young UFAs (25-26 years old) can still receive similar big money and term contracts but the older UFAs (late 20s/early 30s) will no longer be getting paid elite money for declining performance.

    Drai was one of the first but we are seeing this as the new trend – Eichel has followed. We’ll see it with Matthews and other again this spring/summer.

  8. JimmyV1965 says:

    GMB3: 12 mill between Russell, Lucic, and Kassian is a bigger problem than afraid contract but there is a lot of comparable evidence that Drai was riding a high shooting % last year comparable to Eberles 70 point season, who was eventually moved at a loss because he was perceived as overpaid. Knowledge of history of these prior mistakes would help prevent future mistakes imo

    The flaw with this is that Drai is not a shooter. He is one of the best passers I have ever seen though, and he happens to have a great shot to boot. He might get traded, he might have a bad year and get run out of Edmonton, but he will be a dominant player in this league for many years.

  9. OmJo says:

    Pescador: I do, I notice a couple of professional athletes that are blaming the fans & media for feeling like there was extra pressure to perform. Possibly even blaming their failures on that.
    How is it that there are players in Toronto that are thriving right now, is it because there is less media/fan pressure? Please, we all know it is much worse. Montreal anyone?

    I don’t see them as blaming the fans for their performance. Nor am I trying to say the fans are the problem. I’m just saying, confidence is a thing.

    And Toronto and Montreal are two of the hardest markets to play in. The only thing that keeps the Oilers, Leafs and Habs out of the crosshairs is winning. Toronto is winning. This is the same city that essentially chased out Phil Kessel and Dion Phaneuf. Montreal is notorious for this kind of thing… this is the city that pressures the team to draft French-Canadian players after all.

    These pressure exist. They aren’t excuses, but they exist.

    If you can’t handle criticism then don’t sign a multi million dollar contract, or better yet try Europe.
    Are there easier places in the NHL to play hockey then Edmonton? Sure,
    We could probably all imagine a place to work where we had less pressure, got paid more & even had to do less back checking, boo hoo.

    That isn’t what these players seem to be talking about. How many people work in a place where if they make a mistake or two they get a witch hunt started against them by sports media and customers? They were 20-something year olds when a lot of this stuff was happening.

    According to their agents Jultz & Yak were ready for feature rolls on a terrible team, they were not!
    Some morons believed that the failures of the franchise should fall on Hall & Eberle, they were wrong & exposed for being idiots here, several times. If those players chose to listen to those ding dongs & let it effect their play on the ice, then that is a shame.

    According to many, they were ready for feature roles. Including management. I agree they were not. But the way those two were handled was ridiculous. Yakupov sheltered on the 4th line playing while Schultz was tossed on the top pairing. It almost should have been reversed.

    You’re acting as if they should just be robots and have no emotions? Those “ding dongs” have massive influence on the thousands of people who pay to watch them play every game.

    Pretty sure Hall was bitter about being traded, that is perfectly understandable & I don’t blame him.
    I don’t think fans & media had anything to do with Eberle playing soft in the playoffs & not producing.
    For me that was what got him traded, plus contract.

    Eberle isn’t blaming the media, he admitted himself he didn’t play good enough. He’s just talking about the pressures of playing in this city… When players get into slumps very few seem to get out of it without being sent out of town first. Why is that? Trading him after a poor 13 game stint and a poor season (in which he had 50pts without very much McDavid time) was a very shortsighted move by Chiarelli.

    Why have these players rebounded like they have? Hall and Eberle are producing, Yakupov seems to be finding his way back, Schultz has 2 cups in 2 seasons and is playing good, and Dubnyk was a Vezina finalist and one of the better goaltenders in the league right now.

    I’m not saying Edmonton is the problem. I’m not saying fans or residents, which I am both, are the only reason some of these players struggled here. I’m just saying, something stinks about this whole thing.

  10. OmJo says:

    OriginalPouzar: One can keep harping on the Chiarelli not getting an RFA discount in Drai’s contract but, as we’ve seen, the day of the cheap 2nd contract for elite RFA’s is now over.

    Yup. As are the days of CBA contract negotiations with no major threat of a lockout (did such a day even exist?).

    If there was no salary cap, I wouldn’t care how much any player is making. In fact, I don’t. All that really matters to me with regards to their salary is the cap hit and length. I don’t care if they’re making 200M if they have a cap hit of 2M (exaggeration but you get my point).

    The salary landscape of the NHL is how changed – the big money/term contracts are being given out to those in their early 20s and they will be paid the big dollars for the prime of their careers.

    For better or worse, this is true. It makes sense from a teams perspective – you want to pay your employees the most during the time that they perform the best. Maybe it’ll cancel out when veterans get less money.

    But will the veterans be happy with that? Does it matter whether they are or not?

  11. GMB3 says:

    Scungilli Slushy: That’s the risk. I think betting on a player in his position, young high talent, big and mobile, and already showing two way play is a good bet.

    Drai isn’t one dimensional like Eberle is, or many other young players that can’t live up to deals. Or like players with fatal flaws like sub par skating or no head for the game. Those are the risky deals IMO. Nuge never had Leon’s upside despite being a solid player, and is also on the smaller side. Riskier contract than Leon’s. Still not terrible though.

    RNH has never played with McDavid, Drai had a huge year on his wing. Riskier contract than Nuge imo.

  12. Crazy Pedestrian says:

    OmJo: I don’t see them as blaming the fans for their performance. Nor am I trying to say the fans are the problem. I’m just saying, confidence is a thing.

    And Toronto and Montreal are two of the hardest markets to play in. The only thing that keeps the Oilers, Leafs and Habs out of the crosshairs is winning. Toronto is winning. This is the same city that essentially chased out Phil Kessel and Dion Phaneuf. Montreal is notorious for this kind of thing… this is the city that pressures the team to draft French-Canadian players after all.

    These pressure exist. They aren’t excuses, but they exist.

    That isn’t what these players seem to be talking about. How many people work in a place where if they make a mistake or two they get a witch hunt started against them by sports media and customers? They were 20-something year olds when a lot of this stuff was happening.

    According to many, they were ready for feature roles. Including management. I agree they were not. But the way those two were handled was ridiculous. Yakupov sheltered on the 4th line playing while Schultz was tossed on the top pairing. It almost should have been reversed.

    You’re acting as if they should just be robots and have no emotions? Those “ding dongs” have massive influence on the thousands of people who pay to watch them play every game.

    Eberle isn’t blaming the media, he admitted himself he didn’t play good enough. He’s just talking about the pressures of playing in this city… When players get into slumps very few seem to get out of it without being sent out of town first. Why is that? Trading him after a poor 13 game stint and a poor season (in which he had 50pts without very much McDavid time) was a very shortsighted move by Chiarelli.

    Why have these players rebounded like they have? Hall and Eberle are producing, Yakupov seems to be finding his way back, Schultz has 2 cups in 2 seasons and is playing good, and Dubnyk was a Vezina finalist and one of the better goaltenders in the league right now.

    I’m not saying Edmonton is the problem. I’m not saying fans or residents, which I am both, are the only reason some of these players struggled here. I’m just saying, something stinks about this whole thing.

    In hind sight, I wonder if macT would have done less damage to the oilers if he were still GM… He was too gun-shy to trade the Austins… which might have been a blessing in disguise. It was on record that he was the one who orchestrated the Talbot trade, so we still would have got Talbot for similar assets. And I doubt he would have traded for Reinhart. We wouldn’t have got Larsson, but He might have got Hamilton cause Boston wouldn’t have hated us. We might not have made the playoffs for one more year, but all the building blocks would still be in place to become the fast skilled team that Toronto turned out to be. (Which is the way the league has shifted to). we wouldn’t have anchors Lucic or Russel (most likely) cause the cap would already be allocated.

    Wow… I can’t believe I’m saying this but, man I almost wish macT was still our GM…
    (I feel dirty now)

  13. fifthcartel says:

    Scungilli Slushy,

    Personally, I like Larsson but I feel like he gets a bit overrated because of the context of his arrival and the need to justify the trade. He’s a fine top-four defenceman, but would better serve on the second pair than the first.

    Klefbom-
    Nurse-Larsson

    Would be an interesting top four, with a top RHD coming in.

  14. Munny says:

    LT said:

    We’re on to Uphams Corner.

    Gone Baby Gone

  15. Bobcaygeon says:

    @Lowetide

    “Plenty of rage for Oilers fans today and frustration for Todd McLellan (Leon quote, possible shot across the bow to PC re speed). What do they need?”

    Talking with my buddy today about volume shooting, Chiarelli and McLellan, roster and such…He was wonder aloud if the line up changes the coach just put in are to show Chiarelli that Draisaitl isn’t ready to be a center….that Mclellan put him on the third line to prove this point to Chiarelli…..Given the quote above its definitely got me thinking the coach and GM aren’t entirely on the same page.

  16. Bobcaygeon says:

    Crazy Pedestrian: In hind sight, I wonder if macT would have done less damage to the oilers if he were still GM… He was too gun-shy to trade the Austins… which might have been a blessing in disguise. It was on record that he was the one who orchestrated the Talbot trade, so we still would have got Talbot for similar assets. And I doubt he would have traded for Reinhart. We wouldn’t have got Larsson, but He might have got Hamilton cause Boston wouldn’t have hated us. We might not have made the playoffs for one more year, but all the building blocks would still be in place to become the fast skilled team that Toronto turned out to be. (Which is the way the league has shifted to). we wouldn’t have anchors Lucic or Russel (most likely) cause the cap would already be allocated.

    Wow… I can’t believe I’m saying this but, man I almost wish macT was still our GM…
    (I feel dirty now)

    I have to believe the Reinhart deal was the old administration having a huge influence in that deal, having said that, Chiarelli made the deal, it’s his to own.

  17. flyfish1168 says:

    OmJo: It does seem to be a Canadian market thing.

    But I don’t think it happens so much in Ottawa, Calgary, Winnipeg and Vancouver as much as it does it Edmonton, Toronto and Montreal – the three most successful Canadian franchises in the league. I think that might have something to do with it.

    Still, it takes its toll on players. Yes, they make millions of dollars to play hockey, but money can’t buy mental health.

    You are so right. I would coin it ” Money can’t buy you positive mental Health” A friend of mine very recently just committed suicide. I’m sure some of you may have heard of him. It was headlined in the business news. He was very wealthy and had everything except the most important thing. It is very sad.

    I live in Calgary. I do agree, when comparing how negative the media and the fans react, Edmonton is much harsher.

  18. OmJo says:

    Crazy Pedestrian: In hind sight, I wonder if macT would have done less damage to the oilers if he were still GM… He was too gun-shy to trade the Austins… which might have been a blessing in disguise. It was on record that he was the one who orchestrated the Talbot trade, so we still would have got Talbot for similar assets. And I doubt he would have traded for Reinhart. We wouldn’t have got Larsson, but He might have got Hamilton cause Boston wouldn’t have hated us. We might not have made the playoffs for one more year, but all the building blocks would still be in place to become the fast skilled team that Toronto turned out to be. (Which is the way the league has shifted to). we wouldn’t have anchors Lucic or Russel (most likely) cause the cap would already be allocated.

    Wow… I can’t believe I’m saying this but, man I almost wish macT was still our GM…
    (I feel dirty now)

    We’re heading into very dark territory here.

    We also would have had our 2nd round pick that went to Boston.

    I was excited for Chiarelli and McLellan. Shame it’s come to this, lol.

  19. Confused says:

    Hope Todd is not going to sit JP, the third line was not the problem..
    JP needs a push, get him on the PP, not the bench.
    Confidence is fragile at this early stage.

    Bench test, completely gone, Strome 4C and JP back to 3RW

  20. oscarmike says:

    The Edmonton Oilers do a great job at making their fans look stupid. No matter what people still support this team even though it’s a bunch of millionaire bums skating in circles. After they embarrass us they hide in their mansions. What a bunch of losers we fans are.

  21. Gret99zky says:

    OmJo: I’m sure they have something, but yeah it doesn’t seem to be enough.

    The list of skilled players who’ve struggled and mentioned confidence as an issue after being shipped out and having success is a tell.

    Hall: “The pressure is a lot different. In Edmonton it’s just like a fish bowl. We couldn’t even go to the mall by the end there. And for here it’s being able to walk around and we get fans and we get media, but it’s nothing. I could go ten games goal less, and in Edmonton there would be reporters every day asking you about it.”

    Yakupov: “I would like to get back my emotional peace that I used to have all my life and that, unfortunately, is missing at the moment. And my self-confidence and belief in myself are missing, too. I’ve played here quite a lot, and, excluding the beginning, I haven’t experienced either.”

    Schultz: “I remember near the end here, being pretty down. When you don’t have confidence, at all, you’re afraid of making a mistake every time you have the puck. That’s what it was like near the end.”

    Noticing a trend here.

    Sounds like maybe fans need to help these players out by paying less attention to the team.

    Perhaps stop watching or buying tickets to the games.

    Stop buying jerseys and other merchandise.

    Stop bringing the kids to the meet and greets.

    Stop listening to the two sports radio channels.

    Then the reporters will leave town and players won’t be faced with questions that make them feel uncomfortable or shake their confidence.

  22. Scungilli Slushy says:

    GMB3: RNH has never played with McDavid, Drai had a huge year on his wing. Riskier contract than Nuge imo.

    But he scored in the playoffs when many teammates didn’t and he did it on his own. Plus his scoring was more than Nuge ever approached. The risk was small sample. Keyfactors in that deal are his tool kit and his drive. Not many GM’s are going to quibble with a highly skilled big fast enough centre with vision and showing two way acumen who scored a whack. It’s every GM’s dream rookie.

    As to Thinker’s point, the value of the deal, we’ll see n a few years what a team’s top players are being paid when the are getting league top offense. 8.5 isn’t going to look bad. As the cap goes up salaries follow.

  23. GMB3 says:

    oscarmike:
    The Edmonton Oilers do a great job at making their fans look stupid. No matter what people still support this team even though it’s a bunch of millionaire bums skating in circles. After they embarrass us they hide in their mansions. What a bunch of losers we fans are.

    Speak for yourself

  24. OmJo says:

    Scungilli Slushy: But he scored in the playoffs when many teammates didn’t and he did it on his own. Plus his scoring was more than Nuge ever approached. The risk was small sample. Keyfactors in that deal are his tool kit and his drive. Not many GM’s are going to quibble with a highly skilled big fast enough centre with vision and showing two way acumen who scored a whack. It’s every GM’s dream rookie.

    As to Thinker’s point, the value of the deal, we’ll see n a few years what a team’s top players are being paid when the are getting league top offense. 8.5 isn’t going to look bad. As the cap goes up salaries follow.

    But part of the reason he was able to score like in the regular season is because Nuge was taking the hard matchups and allowed TMac to shelter them a bit on the top line.

  25. OmJo says:

    Gret99zky: Sounds like maybe fans need to help these players out by paying less attention to the team.

    Perhaps stop watching or buying tickets to the games.

    Stop buying jerseys and other merchandise.

    Stop bringing the kids to the meet and greets.

    Stop listening to the two sports radio channels.

    Then the reporters will leave town and players won’t be faced with questions that make them feel uncomfortable or shake their confidence.

    There’s a difference between babying players and crucifying them, lol.

  26. Scungilli Slushy says:

    Bobcaygeon:
    @Lowetide

    “Plenty of rage for Oilers fans today and frustration for Todd McLellan (Leon quote, possible shot across the bow to PC re speed). What do they need?”

    Talking with my buddy today about volume shooting, Chiarelli and McLellan, roster and such…He was wonder aloud if the line up changes the coach just put in are to show Chiarelli that Draisaitl isn’t ready to be a center….that Mclellan put him on the third line to prove this point to Chiarelli…..Given the quote above its definitely got me thinking the coach and GM aren’t entirely on the same page.

    Or he could just lean over and tell him that. I doubt on ice decisions are made with that little professionalism from fellows of that stature and experience. It’s not necessary.

  27. Scungilli Slushy says:

    OmJo: But part of the reason he was able to score like in the regular season is because Nuge was taking the hard matchups and allowed TMac to shelter them a bit on the top line.

    Agreed. Except Connor was the player to defend and Nuge was slumping. Nuge got hard matches for sure but it’s not like Connor got third lines and he also got the top D.

    For me Leon’s broader skill set made it less risky. Nuge has never looked as much of a player as Leon especially when he signed, just getting past being pinballed around the ice. Do you remember how he used to get knocked over if he had much contact? Who knows.

  28. Scungilli Slushy says:

    fifthcartel:
    Scungilli Slushy,

    Personally, I like Larsson but I feel like he gets a bit overrated because of the context of his arrival and the need to justify the trade. He’s a fine top-four defenceman, but would better serve on the second pair than the first.

    Klefbom-
    Nurse-Larsson

    Would be an interesting top four, with a top RHD coming in.

    Someone better than Larsson would be great but the number of RD that are strong defensively and score high points are numerable on one hand. Or less. Most higher points guys need to be sheltered by guys like Larsson and they tend to get paid a lot. Which creates its own problems especially when they have to be sheltered in the playoffs like Shattenkirk.

    A mid tier RD with two way skills would be good enough to play with Nurse. I don’t see how they get better, who trades that type and what would it cost? Have to grow them.

  29. Scungilli Slushy says:

    I read Eberles piece at ON. Don’t read articles about yourself when your not getting your job done and say you were beat up. Of course you were. Unprofessional and as said maybe players like that aren’t cut out to play in the best markets. People at the top and in charge get crapped on unfairly, goes with the territory, don’t read it or grow alligator skin.

  30. Gret99zky says:

    OmJo: There’s a difference between babying players and crucifying them, lol.

    I bet players love the carefree experience of playing in Carolina, Florida, and Arizona.

  31. meanashell11 says:

    Scungilli Slushy:
    I read Eberles piece at ON. Don’t read articles about yourself when your not getting your job done and say you were beat up. Of course you were. Unprofessional and as said maybe players like that aren’t cut out to play in the best markets. People at the top and in charge get crapped on unfairly, goes with the territory, don’t read it or grow alligator skin.

    Wow.

    And we wonder why athletes give stock answers all the time.

    “Gotta give 110%!”
    “Play as a team.”
    “Forecheck”

    When they open up as human beings we deride them. This really is a shitty world.

  32. McSorley33 says:

    Lowetide,

    Ladies and Gentlemen,

    Someone has just informed Tmac he’s has 3 Really good C’s

    Waterboarding works, doesn’t it Tmac.

  33. Scungilli Slushy says:

    meanashell11: Wow.

    And we wonder why athletes give stock answers all the time.

    “Gotta give 110%!”
    “Play as a team.”
    “Forecheck”

    When they open up as human beings we deride them. This really is a shitty world.

    Was that derision? Call it my surprise that a professional athlete especially at his pay level and experience wouldn’t do everything necessary to bring his game back up to snuff (he said he didn’t play well enough) including not reading things that shake already low confidence.

    I wouldn’t read anything crapping on me except here😀

    To me it’s about maturity and professionalism. People in normal work have higher expectations than that. Stay off the Twitter feed as well until you feel better. Skip the sports channels.

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

    Not suprised to see things testy around here this morning.

    There is only one solution to this conundrum. The team has to play its way out of the funk.

    The playoffs are likely out of reach already, but trading from a position of weakness will burn you.

    It really sucks but the team has to turn things around.

    As for Drai’s contract we all knew this was going to be a problem: you can see from last season how I and others were concerned about paying him as 1RW before truly seeing him produce as 2C. Playoff small sample size with unsustainable shooting percentage notwithstanding, the Oilers over paid.

    The comparable was Tarasenko plus an inflation premium. Tarasenko scored more but Drai had the position factor working for him. 7.75-8 was the expected range but I thought Chia would over pay him to the tune of 8.25. Instead it came to 8.5. High, yes, but not dramatically so.

    Until you consider that this contract was for 5 RFA years due to keeping Drai up his first year thru 40 games, and not the standard 4. You could say that the Drai contract reset the market on 2nd contracts for young stars, in an unfavourable way. If you calculate his RFA years at an average of 6m (very rich RFA years-more than Hall, Seguin, Tavares etc) you get 38m over his 3 UFA years, almost 13m per! That is insane.

    Drai is a great player but that is a whopping contract to live up to. I was afraid he might become a whipping boy due to it.

    Here’s hoping this season turns around soon.

  35. JimmyV1965 says:

    GMB3: RNH has never played with McDavid, Drai had a huge year on his wing. Riskier contract than Nuge imo.

    No offence, but as a fan who watches the team play how could you possibly think RNH is even close to Drai in terms of performance? I love RNH but it’s not even close.

  36. Woogie63 says:

    Scungilli Slushy:
    I read Eberles piece at ON. Don’t read articles about yourself when your not getting your job done and say you were beat up. Of course you were. Unprofessional and as said maybe players like that aren’t cut out to play in the best markets. People at the top and in charge get crapped on unfairly, goes with the territory, don’t read it or grow alligator skin.

    Next time the GM overpays a UFA to come help the club remember some of that premium is going to alligator skin, for the player his wife and kids.

    Can you name 5 under 30 year old millionaires that have choose to move to Edmonton? I like Edmonton but Best market is a significant stretch.

  37. Fgary says:

    While I’m glad Tmac has finally decided to put his 3 best centers on different lines, I’m curious for what people think reasons nuge and conner never got a wink together, Yes I realise nuge is needed to play the toughs, defensively aware etc. Can leon not center the second line? Shouldn’t we find out if he’s worth 8.5 mill? Is this his audition? I just have a feeling connor and nuge could be magic together, fast with high hockey iq, skilled and fast, would just love to see it.

  38. OriginalPouzar says:

    Maksimov with an early assist – down 2-1 but he’s a plus 1.

    Won’t be able to provide updates tonight. Wife and I are taking a client and his wife out for dinner.

    Don’t worry, I will keep the calories in check – actually, when I have to go out for dinner, I usually end up lower than my allotted calories – I eat much less during the day to save room for certain items but then almost without exception, end up getting them to make me a special salad with chicken and no dressing.

    I’m sure you all needed to know this info.

    Shouldn’t be much later than 9 and will be looking forward to checking the scores for the junior games – I think both Benson and Kailer play again later tonight.

    Go Oilers!

  39. Scungilli Slushy says:

    Woogie63: Next time the GM overpays a UFA to come help the club remember some of that premium is going to alligator skin, for the player his wife and kids.

    Can you name 5 under 30 year old millionaires that have choose to move to Edmonton?I like Edmonton but Best market is a significant stretch.

    Hockey market. Any pro athlete playing in a hot market in any sport is under a microscope. Just read an EJ piece about Esks Bowman and he said how he was told in Winnipeg ‘if you ever get a chance to play in Edmonton it’ll change your life ‘ and he was referring to a positive effect which happened for him.

    Let’s not overreact to things. Eberle and Hall were shocked by their first trades as is normal but each of us has to keep our heads together under stress. All of us here as well. We aren’t under as much pressure perhaps but we also don’t make millions other than Woodguy, and we didn’t choose the life of a gladiator as they did.

  40. OriginalPouzar says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    Maksimov with an early assist – down 2-1 but he’s a plus 1.

    Won’t be able to provide updates tonight.Wife and I are taking a client and his wife out for dinner.

    Don’t worry, I will keep the calories in check – actually, when I have to go out for dinner, I usually end up lower than my allotted calories – I eat much less during the day to save room for certain items but then almost without exception, end up getting them to make me a special salad with chicken and no dressing.

    I’m sure you all needed to know this info.

    Shouldn’t be much later than 9 and will be looking forward to checking the scores for the junior games – I think both Benson and Kailer play again later tonight.

    Go Oilers!

    Make that two assists in the first period for Maksimov – this one on the PP.

  41. Lloyd B. says:

    OriginalPouzar: Make that two assists in the first period for Maksimov – this one on the PP.

    You sneak into the washroom at the restaurant?

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

    Friedman on the Hot Stove saying the Oilers looked like a team waiting for something to happen. Speculated if they sell, Maroon might head to St. Louis. Kypreos saying RNH generating interest.

    Vultures circling.

  43. Scungilli Slushy says:

    NYC-Back-to-Tokyo Oil (Gentleman Backpacker):
    Friedman on the Hot Stove saying the Oilers looked like a team waiting for someone to happen. Speculated if they sell, Maroon might head to St. Louis. Kypreos saying RNH generating interest.

    Vultures circling.

    Throwing anvils no doubt

  44. OmJo says:

    Fgary: While I’m glad Tmac has finally decided to put his 3 best centers on different lines, I’m curious for what people think reasons nuge and conner never got a wink together,

    Because that’s what Oilers fans want and we never get what we want on purpose.

  45. OmJo says:

    NYC-Back-to-Tokyo Oil (Gentleman Backpacker):
    Friedman on the Hot Stove saying the Oilers looked like a team waiting for someone to happen. Speculated if they sell, Maroon might head to St. Louis. Kypreos saying RNH generating interest.

    Vultures circling.

    Well at least they aren’t asking Matthews what he thinks the Oilers need to do to turn the season around.

    Yet.

  46. Gerta Rauss says:

    NYC-Back-to-Tokyo Oil (Gentleman Backpacker):
    Friedman on the Hot Stove saying the Oilers looked like a team waiting for someone to happen. Speculated if they sell, Maroon might head to St. Louis. Kypreos saying RNH generating interest.

    Vultures circling.

    I’d be fine if they moved Maroon to St Louis if that outcome causes the fever to break and Chia backs away from moving Nuge.

    I think moving Maroon is the play anyway, whether it’s now or at the deadline.

    It adds to the shopping list (speed on 1LW) but we’ll cross that bridge when we get there

  47. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    GMB3: – You defend this team with the idea they will regress to the mean yet you don’t apply this argument to Eberle and his shooting % last year. Cherry pick the stats to reinforce your narrative. Eberle and Pou can do the hockey and we’re good bets to have improved years yet Chia decided to buy out Poo and sell low on Ebs. Two real veteran NHLers.

    – Hey don’t be hating ! I just gave you what I thought at the beginning of the season.

    – I don’t have a narrative. I was clearly out to lunch…I’m just saying I was thinking the same way that Chia was. I’m not cherry picking stats: I think I am elite in this blog is valuing actual results.

    – Actual results suck. I wasn’t cherry picking anything…

  48. OriginalPouzar says:

    Lloyd B.: You sneak into the washroom at the restaurant?

    Nope – hadn’t left yet.

  49. OriginalPouzar says:

    Gerta Rauss: I’d be fine if they moved Maroon to St Louis if that outcome causes the fever to break and Chia backs away from moving Nuge.

    I think moving Maroon is the play anyway, whether it’s now or at the deadline.

    It adds to the shopping list (speed on 1LW) but we’ll cross that bridge when we get there

    Trading Maroon (and Letestu and Cammelleri) are musts if we aren’t contended for a playoff spot as the deadline approaches.

    Solid and deep draft (from accounts) – lets get as many picks as possible.

  50. OriginalPouzar says:

    Maksimov finishes with the 2 assists.

    Yamamoto has no points on the 5 Chief goals through 2 – he is not producing very much the last few games.

    Benson with a goal through two periods of play.

  51. Lloyd B. says:

    OriginalPouzar: Nope – hadn’t left yet.

    Come on OP. That was funny. You need to lighten up.

    A very good friend of mine was an addict. Just before he fell off the wagon and hit his head so hard you could hear it miles away he became insanely serious about everything.

    Work outs, meals, work, everything. He became so self righteous he became unbearable.

    While we don’t know each other and have never met, the similarities you are exhibiting to my friend are eerie.

    Please take care. Of course, it is absolutely none of my business!!

  52. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    Woodguy v2.0,

    – OK – I read this. For real, i’m trying to advance the conversation rather than you thinking I’m being a jerk, You conclude: “There were 124 P1’s last year at this time, this year 115, so they are missing 9 from last year.”

    – To me that 9 points can be attributed to anything, and most likely sh%. The team isn’t this sh%t because of -9 P’1’s. in fact its an argument for Chia really didnt lose any offense if all the fancy stats show we are way better (shot differential, heat maps, CF, etc?)

    – Isnt’ this data a positive rather than a negative? Missing 9 P1’s YoY and being so sh%t, that isn’t on the roster, rather bad luck?

    – I’m being serious not a dick, because I’ve got nuthin’ anymore, just trying to pick up the pieces…

  53. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    Fgary:
    While I’m glad Tmac has finally decided to put his 3 best centers on different lines, I’m curious for what people think reasons nuge and conner never got a wink together,

    – This is a great question. I’ve got nuthin’ anymore. So whatever, but I think it’s because McL is a really good coach, and he wants to win Cups, and he knows that if he coaches the sh%t out of RNH, he can be the all-round C that this team needs

    – i think Chia knows that RNH is his best C, and putting him on the wing with McD takes away his best attributes, even though he’d no doubt put up more points

    – I’ve ate a lot of humble pie this year: I’m going to recalibrate and reevaluate.

    – I’ll be back

  54. russ99 says:

    Nuge loses all his trade value at wing.

    He’s a bad fit at wing in this system. Very poor with the puck on the wall, turnover machine.

  55. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Kinger_Oil.redux:
    Woodguy v2.0,

    – OK – I read this. For real, i’m trying to advance the conversation rather than you thinking I’m being a jerk,You conclude: “There were 124 P1’s last year at this time, this year 115, so they are missing 9 from last year.”

    – To me that 9 points can be attributed to anything, and most likely sh%.The team isn’t this sh%t because of -9 P’1’s.in fact its an argument for Chia really didnt lose any offense if all the fancy stats show we are way better (shot differential, heat maps, CF, etc?)

    – Isnt’ this data a positive rather than a negative?Missing 9 P1’s YoY and being so sh%t, that isn’t on the roster, rather bad luck?

    – I’m being serious not a dick, because I’ve got nuthin’ anymore, just trying to pick up the pieces…

    When the losses are circled around a couple players you can point at the roster more than luck imo.

    97,29, 19 and 93 are ahead of where they were and the bottom 6 (if you exclude Pou and Pitlick) are remarkably stable if you consider how poorly they’ve done as a group.

    Last year after 23 games the Oilers’ goal diff was +9 with 67-58.

    This year its -16 with 60-76

    So the roster is certainly the bright point for the loss of the 7 goals.

    Now…..that extra 18 goals against….

    If we just straight line their SV% from year to year we see:

    This year 709 SA with a .8928 = 76 GA

    Last year 696 SA with .9167 = 58 GA

    If the SV% was .9167 this year there would be 58 GA, just like last year.

    So we can mostly points to goaltending (although PK coverage owns some of this) for the change in goal diff.

    28% goals for, 72% goals against

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