G24 2017-18: Oilers at Bruins

It was May 24, 1990. It was spring. I remember it as a rainy spring, we had just moved back to the city and I was thrilled to take in Edmonton during a playoff run. It’s a different city with the Oilers in the playoffs, ridiculous pride that can only come from being isolated, independent, day drunk and entrepreneurial. I loved this city in 1990, from the rat hole to Old Strathcona and everywhere in between. I can’t tell you why I’ll never forget the Kid Line, you had to be there. It was cold and windy and we had just celebrated our seventh anniversary 10 days before. It was the Stanley that came out of nowhere (a lot of pieces came together late), and it was secured in Boston. Craig Simpson: Sacrifice and then glory. I wish such an avalanche of memories for you very soon.

THE ATHLETIC

The special Lowetide offer is here. Makes a great (early) Christmas gift!

DIRTY WATER, YEAR OVER YEAR

  • Oilers in November 2015: 4-7-2, goal differential -9 (10 poins in 13 games)
  • Oilers in November 2016: 5-7-1, goal differential 0
  • Oilers in November 2017: 5-7-1, goal differential -6

The 2015-16 club played only 13 games in November, while the 2016-17 team lost 2-1 to Arizona. A win this afternoon puts this year’s team ahead of Todd McLellan’s previous November Oilers.

AFTER 24, 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

G24 in 2015-16 was a dandy 3-2 shootout win over the Pittsburgh Penguins, a year later it was a 4-2 loss to Toronto. A win today would mean this year’s model is six points behind last year’s pace. Difficult to overcome but not impossible. The Oilers are in something of a coma, pretending to know the hour and the day they wake up is lunacy. Now would a good time, however.

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

I have today as an OT loss, followed by a win against Arizona and a regulation loss to Toronto. If all goes according to Hoyle, Edmonton will complete November with a 6-8-2 record, 14 points in 16 games.

CROSSROADS

We are quickly reaching the point of no return for this edition of the Edmonton Oilers. If Daryl Katz wakes up this morning and wants to make a change, NHL history suggests firing the coach is the most popular plan. There are many instances in the game’s past where a change in head coach can inspire a quick turnaround in fortunes.

I don’t believe that to be the issue, your mileage may vary.

My opinion about McLellan is he simply didn’t have the horses. Talk of Leon Draisaitl is terrific but you need someone to replace him at 1R. McLellan (and Ryan Strome) appear to prefer the new hire at center, leaving McLellan with a list of mostly unproven options for McDavid’s right-wing. We’ve seen the good and bad from Kailer Yamamoto and Drake Caggiula in that role and it’s fairly clear a substantial gap exists between Leon Draisaitl and everyone else playing on 97’s starboard.

News last night via HNIC that Ryan Nugent-Hopkins is getting some interest and that Patrick Maroon might fetch a pretty penny at the deadline. Listen, if you trade RNH during the season, the “equal value” that will come back is likely to be a good young player and a draft pick.

In both cases, I believe the best plan is to keep your powder dry. Todd McLellan drew 103 points from this team (well, this team and a couple of extra pieces) and he didn’t get stupid overnight.

Peter Chiarelli has misjudged this team twice in a calendar year. He made one small move at the trade deadline, running counter with his own past (loading up is a Chiarelli staple) at the trade deadline and then betting internal options on right-wing and defense.

Even with that, I don’t favor firing Peter Chiarelli at this time. The season is 29 percent spent after today, it’s a bitter pill and absolutely a price must be paid. I’m not at all confident ownership would be able to negotiate the rapids of a mid-season overhaul, better to wait until the season is complete and the entire story has been written.

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518 Responses to "G24 2017-18: Oilers at Bruins"

« Older Comments
  1. Dicky94 says:

    A big thanks to Chara for waking the oilers up. You and McDavid can laugh about it when we trade for you at the deadline for the playoff push.

  2. OriginalPouzar says:

    The Bruins came on hard in the last 10 minutes of the thrid but, overall, that was a fairly solid road game by the Oilers – a very nice win at the end of 5 game road trip against a team that had won 4 in a row.

    Leon is a much more forcefull player when he is away from McDavid – he is not deferring to anyone, he moves his feet and carries the puck with authority.

    Solid game by Maroon – the guy can score away from McDavid – no, he’s not a 27 ES goal scroer away from McDavid but he has skill.

    This is a better team with Auvitu in the lineup over Gryba.

    Nuge is a fantastic hockey player.

    Strome has come on and played well the last 10 games or so – the way he is playing now, he adds to this team and he looks to be able to find the open space he needs to find playing with Leon.

    Cam didn’t look comfortable for most of the game but he made the saves in the 2nd half and this should give him some confidence.

  3. fishman says:

    OriginalPouzar,

    OP welcome back! Mood much better after a win!

  4. OriginalPouzar says:

    2 things for the coach from me:

    1) McDavid should not be taking own-zone faceoffs on the road if there isn’t an icing – in particular when the other team can throw out guys like Bergeron and Kreji

    2) Puljijarvi needs to be in the lineup over Pakarinen – obviously the top 3 lines all played well (generally) so he’ll need to play with Letestu and Kassian but that line can take a regular shift.

  5. My Tierless Retina says:

    Confused: Never play Pak instead of JP

    Can’t change a winning lineup though!

  6. Munny says:

    Gerta Rauss:
    Nice win

    Tablot looked shaky at times but this team’s confidence is fragile, that’s what a struggling goaltender looks like

    All world save very late there…

    They said at the beginning of the game that Talbot has been sick and isn’t at 100 percent yet, but felt strong enough to go.

  7. Todd Macallan says:

    OriginalPouzar,

    Much respect for the continued positivity and prediction of a big win for this “afternoon” game! Now just need the same effort consistently and all is not lost. GOILERS!

  8. Munny says:

    36-25 shots. 19 & 25 with 4 apiece also.
    50-36 Corsi all situations.
    26-22 face offs in favour of the Oil.

  9. OriginalPouzar says:

    fishman:
    OriginalPouzar,

    OP welcome back! Mood much better after a win!

    Thanks!

    I think I should scale it back a bit talking about/reading about the Oilers is an important part of my life.

  10. Réal Goudenyéu says:

    Gerta Rauss:
    Nice win

    Tablot looked shaky at times but this team’s confidence is fragile, that’s what a struggling goaltender looks like

    All world save very late there…

    I like that he made two solid saves after the empty netter

  11. Pescador says:

    Dicky94:
    A big thanks to Chara for waking the oilers up. You and McDavid can laugh about it when we trade for you at the deadline for the push to get back into the playoff push.

    Fixed,
    Won’t happen, I appreciate your optimism & I wish I shared it

  12. Gerta Rauss says:

    Munny: They said at the beginning of the game that Talbot has been sick and isn’t at 100 percent yet, but felt strong enough to go.

    Sure-he’s battling the illness in addition to the puck

    He’ll be fine-I’m not worried about Talbot

  13. Confused says:

    Pak sits.

    Cags plays 4th line

    Play JP with a skilled center, we have lots!

  14. Confused says:

    If JJ is healthy sit test or kass

  15. Munny says:

    Gerta Rauss: Sure-he’s battling the illness in addition to the puck

    He’ll be fine-I’m not worried about Talbot

    Ditto

  16. who says:

    Wasn’t that impressed with Lucic or Caggulia today. Should be plenty of opportunity for wingers to work their way into the top 9.

  17. hunter1909 says:

    Dicky94:
    A big thanks to Chara for waking the oilers up. You and McDavid can laugh about it when we trade for you at the deadline for the playoff push.

    Ha ha ha post of the day!

  18. hunter1909 says:

    who:
    What the hell was Lucic doing out there protecting a lead with the goalie pulled

    Showing off to the Bruins.

  19. Munny says:

    OriginalPouzar: I think I should scale it back a bit talking about/reading about the Oilers is an important part of my life.

    It’s kind of like scoring on PPs to prevent teams from taking liberties…

    If the Oil were winning, posters would be taking less liberties with the coaching/management.

  20. geowal says:

    This replay of game 5 against San Jose is interesting timing.

  21. jtblack says:

    OriginalPouzar,

    +1.

    I am too scared to predict a win on tuesday as we have been let down all year

    TMac finally learning 3 Good Lines is better than 1.5.

    LETS GO OILERS

  22. jtblack says:

    Now if TMac will have the stones to change up PP1.

    Give this team a 20% PP for rest of the year and that would change everything.

  23. Munny says:

    EV TOI for the three Cs:

    97@ 16:51
    93@ 14:45
    29@ 13:50

    …And Letestu with under 9 mins.

  24. jtblack says:

    What happened to our “Yammy”? …

  25. who says:

    Munny:
    EV TOI for the three Cs:

    97@ 16:51
    93@ 14:45
    29@ 13:50

    …And Letestu with under 9 mins.

    Perfect
    Thats what I don’t get about Tmacs reluctance to run the 3 centers. You add in their pp time and they all get their minutes. Just short the 4th line. Seems so simple.

  26. jtblack says:

    Munny,

    “EV TOI for the three Cs:

    97@ 16:51
    93@ 14:45
    29@ 13:50”

    This is how it should be for the rest of the Year.

    3 Lines with 3 Good / Great Centres. #Playoffs

  27. OriginalPouzar says:

    Dylan Strome just got recalled so we may have a brother battle on Tuesday.

    Hopefully coach doesn’t get confused.

  28. fishman says:

    Thought all 3 top lines looked good at different times during the game. Is that what balance is starting to look like. When /if JK is healthy perhaps we finally have some competition for ice time for forwards? D is still a gong show until Seksy gets back. Goalering still a bit scary but Talbot got her done tonight!

  29. --hudson-- says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    Dylan Strome just got recalled so we may have a brother battle on Tuesday.

    Hopefully coach doesn’t get confused.

    That seems to confirm the Nuge for Dylan Strome rumor at least from the Coyotes side. But I admit to not knowing the current state of the Coyotes.

  30. My Tierless Retina says:

    –hudson–: the current state of the Coyotes.

    They can’t score and Dylan is ripping it up in the AHL.

  31. tsg says:

    Munny: And Letestu with under 9 mins

    I would have no problem with 93 and 29 @ 15:30 and Letestu with under 7 min.

  32. StixMalone says:

    Wow does Shania Twain still look hot! Oooooeeee

  33. hunter1909 says:

    I can stand the Oilers missing the playoffs, if only by a point or two provided they at least can give everyone the impression that as a hockey team they’re not skewered.

    Strome looked like a solid player today.

  34. leadfarmer says:

    Finally McDavid Nuge and Draisatl got their own lines. I’ve been begging for this all year. We don’t have enough skill for 4 lines so put the pkers on the 4th line and roll the other 3 18 min a game. No sane person looks at McDavid Nuge and Draisatl and says how do I get LaTesttube ice time

  35. hunter1909 says:

    Re Eberle: The snowflake couldn’t take the heat once Alpha-dog Taylor Hall went away.

    I’m starting to see the beauty behind setting up a team like LAK or Boston: at least with grinders you’re able to win the odd cup, while destroying the opposition. It’s the fancy Dans that cause grief.

  36. haters says:

    Gj team
    Ggwp

  37. Jethro Tull says:

    StixMalone:
    Wow does Shania Twain still look hot! Oooooeeee

    She looks like a popsicle with boobs.

  38. blainer says:

    I was impressed with the lines today. If the team that showed up today can play like that we will be back in the hunt quicker than we think. A lot can change in two weeks.

    I would much rather see JP sent back down. I just don’t think he is ready.

    I am a big believer in Sleppy and think his injury has hurt more than a lot of us realize. I thought he looked great in the playoff’s last year.

    My oh my has Nurse been really good..

    I think we claw back close to 500 in December then off we go on a big win streak. Patience is needed here from a very impatient fan base.

    We just need to get healthy and STAY healthy !!

  39. My Tierless Retina says:

    Jethro Tull,

    Like golf and hash – two great tastes that go great together!

  40. OmJo says:

    Unicorns works.

    Who knew?

    The team really should hire some of the posters here as advisors. Lol.

  41. Dicky94 says:

    hunter1909,

    Lots of hockey yet. Remember the run they went on in the 05/06 season after a fairly slow start? It’s going to happen.

  42. StixMalone says:

    Jethro Tull: She looks like a popsicle with boobs.

    I wouldn’t leave her in the freezer though….lol

  43. Réal Goudenyéu says:

    Any word on sekera?

  44. haters says:

    Réal Goudenyéu:
    Any word on sekera?

    Mid December
    Conditioning stint in Bako soon

  45. innercitysmytty says:

    Réal Goudenyéu,

    Bob said on Friday he wasn’t close yet. Take that for what it’s worth.

  46. Munny says:

    who: Thats what I don’t get about Tmacs reluctance to run the 3 centers

    I think his reluctance has been justifiable…

    1. CMD is weak at face-offs
    2. RW talent pool is weak
    3. Strome is a decent C
    4. 97 and 29 typically play together on the PP

    All that said, it was time to try something different. Don’t know how long it will last, as I expect McD’s scoring to plummet, but we shall see.

  47. Munny says:

    tsg: I would have no problem with 93 and 29 @ 15:30 and Letestu with under 7 min.

    Drai was running out of gas at times tonight. I think the flu kicked the shit out of him and he doesn’t have his legs quite back yet. I expect we will see his TOI increase as he gets back to normal.

    That said, one of the problems with this three C set up is finding TOI for all three lines.

  48. Klima's_Bucket says:

    Munny,

    You just double them up at the end of each period.
    Like the Pens do with Sid and Geno.

  49. OriginalPouzar says:

    jtblack:
    Now if TMac will have the stones to change up PP1.

    Give this team a 20% PP for rest of the year and that would change everything.

    Nuge should be running PP1 – he is much better on the PP than McDavid at this point.

  50. OriginalPouzar says:

    jtblack:
    What happened to our “Yammy”? …

    He is sure struggling to produce with the Chiefs the last 3-4 games.

  51. OriginalPouzar says:

    Munny: I think his reluctance has been justifiable…

    1. CMD is weak at face-offs
    2. RW talent pool is weak
    3. Strome is a decent C
    4. 97 and 29 typically play together on the PP

    All that said, it was time to try something different.Don’t know how long it will last, as I expect McD’s scoring to plummet, but we shall see.

    #1 is a problem and it will effect McDavid’s production if there is no other player capable of winning faceoffs on his line – in particular since he isn’t great in our own zone yet so this line will be chasing quite a bit.

    Coach has him out there for defensive zone draws at least 2-3 times and it can’t happen on the road – the other team will put out a strong faceoff center and we get hemmed – it happened every time except for once tonight.

    Cammy is going to have to take more draws.

  52. JimmyV1965 says:

    Thought RNH was their best player by a country mile and he doesn’t get a point. Hate Lucic on top line. He just doesn’t have it.

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

    OriginalPouzar: Nuge should be running PP1 – he is much better on the PP than McDavid at this point.

    McDavid on the right side by the hashmarks has become stale and stagnant and predictable. Watching Tampa’s PP the other day they run so much more variety and players move quickly with short passes.

    The McDavid PP basically has McDavid with the puck and 4 guys waiting for him to work his magic and pass to them. When it works it requires McDavid to beat his nearest man, then have the PK send another guy to collapse on him for support, freeing up an Oiler, usually one of the two point men. They get a one-timer off but the goalies can see them coming a mile away. Without a deflection or screen it requires the perfect shot to beat them. And that is how hard it is to score when it works.

    For the PK team if they maintain structure and keep McDavid to the outside and not get beaten by him they will be successful. A disciplined, well coached PK should kill off 90pct of the PP1 minutes.

    So the Oilers need to change it up. I prefer Drai quarterbacking to be honest. McDavid is more of a threat and concern if he is lurking and skating to get open because he has a quick release and good shot and can also pass swiftly from what looks like a good shooting position.

    My 0.02

  54. OriginalPouzar says:

    Nurse played 25 minutes, was plus 3 with 4 shots and 4 hits.

    Wow!

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

    OriginalPouzar:
    Nurse played 25 minutes, was plus 3 with 4 shots and 4 hits.

    Wow!

    Bruins wanted him included for Hamilton, right? Showcasing him for the Nuge and Nurse for Krejci and Chara deal.

    I kid, I kid.

  56. flyfish1168 says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    Nurse played 25 minutes, was plus 3 with 4 shots and 4 hits.

    Wow!

    4 Mil minimum to sign him

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

    flyfish1168: 4 Mil minimum to sign him

    If Russell is worth 4 Nurse is worth 8.

    Jokes aside if Chia can get Nurse to sign a Klefbom deal you do it. (MacT will cringe about having all these 4 million dollar defensemen (I know he drafted and loved Nurse- I am being facetious))

  58. flyfish1168 says:

    NYC-Back-to-Tokyo Oil (Gentleman Backpacker): If Russell is worth 4 Nurse is worth 8.

    Jokes aside if Chia can get Nurse to sign a Klefbom deal you do it.(MacT will cringe about having all these 4 million dollar defensemen (I know he drafted and loved Nurse- I am being facetious))

    I agree with you it will be more, that’s why I put minimum but he will not fetch 8.

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

    flyfish1168,

    Oh good lord no. I was joking.

    Russell is awesome…at icing the puck under no pressure at all. 4m does not buy you much these days

    Oh but the coaches love him and he blocks shots. My bad. Seriously though, good win for the good guys.

    But they laid an egg against last place Buffalo last time. They better bring this Boston effort to the Arizona game.

  60. OriginalPouzar says:

    I really have no idea what type of contract Nurse is going to sign. It could be 2 years at $3.75M/season or it could be 6 years at $5M/season.

    Frankly, I think I take the bridge.

    I don’t think there is a huge chance that he’ll require a huge cap hit on a 3rd contract because I think his point totals will always be a bit muted.

    Maybe the bridge should be 3 years to time it with the end of the Russell contract?

    That damn Michael Mattheson contract is going to haunt us – I knew it the minute is was announced.

  61. Munny says:

    who: Wasn’t that impressed with Lucic or Caggulia today.

    The Strome goal probably doesn’t happen without the work from Caggiula.

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

    OriginalPouzar,

    I think you need to lock him up long term. A bridge will come back to bite them. Look at Klingberg, Klefbom, Larsson deals. Nurse brings more potential than Larsson but less offense than the other two. 6 x 4.25 m or so works.

    Think a bridge might prove to be costly down the line with him.

    It is not like a big time forward who will require 7m+ to sign so might as well lock in your D for as cheap as you can.

  63. flyfish1168 says:

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

    I think you need to lock him up long term. A bridge will come back to bite them. Look at Klingberg, Klefbom, Larsson deals. Nurse brings more potential than Larsson but less offense than the other two. 6 x 4.25 m or so works.

    Think a bridge might prove to be costly down the line with him.

    It is not like a big time forward who will require 7m+ to sign so might as well lock in your D for as cheap as you can.

    Signing Nurse long and bridge Benning. I hope Bear will be ready by the time Benning’s bridge is over.

  64. Munny says:

    OriginalPouzar,

    Not just the face-offs (which are huge and your Dzone point is a good one), but I also think with the present set-up that 97 has less talent on his wings. Now the whole can often be greater than the sum of its parts, if player styles mesh well, and we will see how that goes… but this kind of places him as the sacrificial lamb.

    That is, the opposing coach matches his best against two poorer wingers and McDeity, and then our next two lines can make hay against lesser opp.

    Lucic is actually pretty deece defensively, and Cammy is a smart vet, so this strat might work well.

    But it might cost a scoring title.

  65. OriginalPouzar says:

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

    I think you need to lock him up long term. A bridge will come back to bite them. Look at Klingberg, Klefbom, Larsson deals. Nurse brings more potential than Larsson but less offense than the other two. 6 x 4.25 m or so works.

    Think a bridge might prove to be costly down the line with him.

    It is not like a big time forward who will require 7m+ to sign so might as well lock in your D for as cheap as you can.

    You could be right but I’m not so sure I agree – as I said in my previous post, I don’t see him every putting up more than 25-30 points/season so I think that could/should serve to limit it coming back from biting us – with out a big offensive performance, how expensive could that third contract be?

    Damn you Michael Mattheson.

  66. OriginalPouzar says:

    flyfish1168: Signing Nurse long and bridge Benning. I hope Bear will be ready by the time Benning’s bridge is over.

    Bear is no sure thing for the NHL but, yes, that timing could work if he does progress – he’s got nice potential.

    At this point, I just want him healthy – I think its 8 in a row he’s missed with a concussion.

  67. BeerMe says:

    Can’t believe the Stamps threw it deep there.

  68. geowal says:

    Unreal 4th quarter. The legend of Ricky Ray.

  69. OriginalPouzar says:

    Munny:
    OriginalPouzar,

    Not just the face-offs (which are huge and your Dzone point is a good one), but I also think with the present set-up that 97 has less talent on his wings. Now the whole can often be greater than the sum of its parts, if player styles mesh well, and we will see how that goes… but this kind of places him as the sacrificial lamb.

    That is, the opposing coach matches his best against two poorer wingers and McDeity, and then our next two lines can make hay against lesser opp.

    Lucic is actually pretty deece defensively, and Cammy is a smart vet, so this strat might work well.

    But it might cost a scoring title.

    Those are good points and, also, over time, his faceoffs should improve (as should his defensive zone coverage).

    Also, this is a player that can have a middling game and somehow still end up with 2 points on the night like he did tonight.

  70. flyfish1168 says:

    The CFL football gods hate the Stampeders and so do I.

  71. Evilas says:

    Way to play Frito Ray!!!

    Good for Ricky, is he retiring after this year, I wonder.

  72. Munny says:

    So 5 minutes to go in the 4th quarter, Stamps with the ball on the Toronto 8 yard line, first and goal, leading by 8, and Glen Suitor says:

    “These Calgary Stampeders know what it’s like to be this close and come away empty-handed.”

    And on that very play… touchdown Toronto, empty-handed Calgary.

    Life is good.

    High Five, Ricky Ray. That was a nice career.

  73. hunter1909 says:

    I can’t think of a single instance where “locking up” any said player has actually worked out for the benefit of the team.

    Fuck “paying for potential” contracts.

    EG: let Maroon go to some loser franchise and proceed to score 15 goals next season at 5 million per.

  74. Munny says:

    OriginalPouzar,

    Yup, that’s part of it… even if he’s playing with bums, teams have to throw their best Dmen out there, because he can make you look silly all by himself in a tweaker’s eyeblink.

  75. Evilas says:

    OriginalPouzar,

    After the Leon deal, I can’t see Darnell getting a bridge deal, and considering how close McDavid, Nurse and Draisaitl are apparently, they will want to sign him long term. I am guessing it will be 8yrs x 4.9-5.25 million.

    Welcome back, by the way. I enjoy your positivity, please don’t let negative hit & run artists dampen your enthusiasm. Your posts are greatly appreciated by those who matter. And you matter to this community.

    Cheers!

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

    hunter1909:
    I can’t think of a single instance where “locking up” any said player has actually worked out for the benefit of the team.

    Fuck “paying for potential” contracts.

    EG: let Maroon go to some loser franchise and proceed to score 15 goals next season at 5 million per.

    True but a 4m bet on a 2nd pair D is about market price. That is where Nurse is heading.

    A bit different than paying for potential. I still think the Hall deal was a good one. Eberle was overpaid by 1m but we all knew that at the time. Nuge has been disappointing but there is still time for him.

  77. BONE207 says:

    BeerMe:
    Can’t believe the Stamps threw it deep there.

    This is somewhat ironic. The choice or not, for kicking a field goal. Last week Edmonton went for a field goal & was generally held as a wrong decision. This week Calgary decides not to go for a field goal & again it’s the wrong decision. A dominant West division loses the Grey Cup again.

  78. BONE207 says:

    hunter1909:
    I can’t think of a single instance where “locking up” any said player has actually worked out for the benefit of the team.

    Well…they could have done it to OJ Simpson for some good benefit.

  79. Evilas says:

    flyfish1168: Signing Nurse long and bridge Benning. I hope Bear will be ready by the time Benning’s bridge is over.

    I would hope your suggestion is the number that they land on with Nurse, but as OP mentioned, the Matheson deal will likely impact the next Nurse contract, and Nurse is putting up more points so far.

    Maybe, just maybe the Klefbom and Larsson deals have an influence, but after the Leon deal ( I thought reasonable was $6.75-7.25). We wait…..

  80. geowal says:

    BONE207: This is somewhat ironic. The choice or not, for kicking a field goal. Last week Edmonton went for a field goal & was generally held as a wrong decision.This week Calgary decides not to go for a field goal & again it’s the wrong decision. A dominant West division loses the Grey Cup again.

    Yeah, but he could have waited for the Hail Mary, was still time. But yes, of the stamps make that catch Mitchell looks like a genius

  81. hags9k says:

    The Grey Cup result is also Rider Nation approved.

    Ironic listening to Stegall criticize the Stamps about being a great regular season team but can’t win the big one. You’d know Milt!

  82. Evilas says:

    who: Perfect
    Thats what I don’t get about Tmacs reluctance to run the 3 centers. You add in their pp time and they all get their minutes. Just short the 4th line. Seems so simple.

    It was about damn time.

    I think they can’t stand pat after a win, and they need to shake it up for Tuesday. Juhjar is banged up, and that’s too bad, he adds a lot on the 4th line. I want to see JP with Leon in this configuration.

    I think this line-up would be very good:

    27-97-18
    19-93-58
    91-29-98
    13-16-44

  83. OriginalPouzar says:

    Munny:
    OriginalPouzar,

    Not just the face-offs (which are huge and your Dzone point is a good one), but I also think with the present set-up that 97 has less talent on his wings. Now the whole can often be greater than the sum of its parts, if player styles mesh well, and we will see how that goes… but this kind of places him as the sacrificial lamb.

    That is, the opposing coach matches his best against two poorer wingers and McDeity, and then our next two lines can make hay against lesser opp.

    Lucic is actually pretty deece defensively, and Cammy is a smart vet, so this strat might work well.

    But it might cost a scoring title.

    Those are good points and, also, over time, his faceoffs should improve (as should his defensive zone coverage).

    Also, this is a player that can have a middling game and somehow still end up with 2 points on the night like he did tonight.

    Evilas:
    OriginalPouzar,

    After the Leon deal, I can’t see Darnell getting a bridge deal, and considering how close McDavid, Nurse and Draisaitl are apparently, they will want to sign him long term.I am guessing it will be 8yrs x 4.9-5.25 million.

    Welcome back, by the way.I enjoy your positivity, please don’t let negative hit & run artists dampen your enthusiasm.Your posts are greatly appreciated by those who matter.And you matter to this community.

    Cheers!

    I see your point but I’m not positive that Leon’s deal and its structure should have much of an effect on Darnell’s. Drai was one of the best players in the NHL during the regular season last year and then was THE best player in the playoffs through two rounds.

    Darnell has taken 3 steps forward this year and has solidified himself as a top 4 d-man with top pairing potential but I don’t think he has the leverage that Leon did (well, Leon shouldn’t have had much leverage but Chiarelli let him have some).

    I am hopeful that management can somehow use Larsson’s and Klefbom’s deal as a ceiling for Nurse – I keep coming back to his lack of box-cars to limit his contract and lets not forget, its only been 20 something games – look at the regression in Benning this year.

    With all that said, Nurse is a stud and if we can lock him up for under $5M for 6 plus years, we go for it (although I would like it to be closer to $4M due to limited boxcars).

    Also, thank you for the kind words – I was feeling a bit jadded this morning and had decided to take a bit of a break – it was supposed to be a week/weeks – I lasted about 7 hours.

  84. Georges says:

    OriginalPouzar,

    “Also, thank you for the kind words – I was feeling a bit jadded this morning and had decided to take a bit of a break – it was supposed to be a week/weeks – I lasted about 7 hours.”

    If you don’t get insulted by Cassandra, you’re doing something wrong. It’s just kabuki or some type of longitudinal sociological study. Maybe both.

    I also appreciate your posts, your enthusiasm, and your optimism. Cheers!

  85. Scungilli Slushy says:

    How the Esks lost and the Stumps is the same in that the wrong decision was made in the opposite way.

  86. flyfish1168 says:

    The Oilers have 2 RW that can really shot the pill. JP the other game with a wicked one-timer and Strome today with an awesome wrister. We just need them to find that quite open ice.

  87. VOR says:

    LT,

    I think I can explain why none of us who saw it happen live will ever forget the Kid Line.

    To begin with imagine the Oilers with a fourth line like those three kids. Even today fans would be awe struck. Team speed would not be an issue anymore. Those three kids flew. And the corsi crowd would love them. They were such astonishing forecheckers. And of course secondary scoring wouldn’t be a concern anymore. If three lines of scoring is unicorns what do you call it when your fourth line not only scores but keeps scoring big goals. Remember what the last half of that season looked like. That is easily the best I have ever seen any fourth line play.

    But above all else it is the incredible narrative that surrounds them. The Oilers trade away the only real hockey player they got in the Gretzky trade for what I thought at the time was a box of hockey pucks. And I don’t think I was alone in thinking it was a really bad trade. You trade a fabulous scorer for a recovering drug addict with a terrible work ethic, a complete bust – maybe the worst 1st over all pick in history, and a fourth line plugger with a heart as big as a Mack truck and hands of cement.

    The recovering drug addict at least turned out to be a hockey savant. To this day Petr Klima is one of my favorite Oilers of all time. He was so much fun to watch. When he wanted it he could score at will. The Willie McGovey of hockey.

    But really the other two guys were on a fast train right out of hockey when somebody came up with the brilliant idea of sticking the throw in from the Gretzky trade out there with them.

    Even at the time I think we all knew something highly unusual was happening. The insane intensity those three guys brought to every game is almost impossible to understand if you didn’t see it happen live. And it was like someone gave the rest of the team a coffee enema. Suddenly they were re-committed to winning.

    I personally think the Oilers post the Gretzky trade, knowing the team was going to be dismantled, simply stopped giving a shit. Then along came three kids who made even the most discouraged player believe again. And an entirely City started to recover from that heart wrenching trade.

    Now skip forward to that terrible opening night of the playoffs. That is still the most overwhelmed and out classed I have ever seen any Oilers team look. Nobody in Edmonton at that moment thought the Oilers had a frigging hope of winning that series against Winnipeg never mind a Stanley Cup.

    Then Cam Cole writes “The Column.”

    Now let’s pause here and consider all the things departed Oilers have said recently about playing in the fishbowl that is Edmonton and the intense media pressure they feel.

    The Column was all that and more. The head trip Cam Cole laid on Billy Ranford was one for the ages.

    The team could have turned turtle. By and large they did. The exceptions were three kids, a tiny rodeo cowboy, and of course Ranford himself.

    The next three and a half games are to this day one of the most bizarre things I have ever seen. It was like the Oilers were two teams. There was a large groups of players who seemed to have surrendered and then there were Mark Lamb, Adam Graves, Martin Gelinas and most of all Joe Murphy and Bill Ranford. They just refused to quit. Out gunned, out talented, but never out worked they managed to steal a game.

    Then of course we come to game five. Winnipeg ramped up the pressure and took the Oilers to the edge of the grave. And then something happened. I’d like to think all that commitment from the five young men spread to their teammates. Whatever, when all looked to be lost the stars came out to play. Lead by a rejuvenated Mark Messier the Oilers were a juggernaut, a highly motivated 100% committed juggernaut, and everyone in the building knew it when it happened. As good as Winnipeg was, and trusty me that was one great team, they were suddenly out of their league.

    The rest of that playoffs was the most fun I have ever had as an Oiler fan. It was filled with highlight reel memories. For me the best one was Petr Klima in the fog in Boston, stapled to the bench for most of the game in double overtime begging John Muckler to be let on the ice, promising Muckler that he would score. Finally Muckler relents, lets Klima on the ice and seconds later Klima scores. If I could give all the fans on this blog a Christmas gift it would be the chance to experience something as amazing as the second half of that season and the Stanley Cup run that followed it.

    Messier, Kurri, Anderson and the other Boys on the Bus proved they didn’t need Gretzky to be great. Bill Ranford made Cam Cole look a fool. Give Cole credit though. He lived up to his word and ate his column at center ice to start the next season. Petr Klima became a fan favorite. Joe Murphy arrived as a super star. Mark Lamb became a hero.

    But behind it all were the two young men whose utter commitment and heart lit the fuse.

    Now you probably know Adam Graves went on to be a 50 goal scorer, an iconic part of some great New York Rangers teams, a tremendous team leader and one of the greatest character players in the history of hockey. Five times his Rangers team mates would honor him with their Best Teammate award. He works to this day for the Rangers doing community outreach and charity work among other things. He is the reason teams continue to take outrageous gambles on kids with hands of stones but “intangibles.” Graves is the embodiment of the Right Stuff.

    You probably don’t know the story of how Graves learned to throw a body check. He would become the most feared hitter in the NHL. But he didn’t actually arrive in Edmonton from Detroit with that skill. He loved to hit people but he wasn’t the biggest guy in the league and he didn’t always accomplish much.

    Then one day after practice Martin Gelinas, who was actually a remarkably tough guy, took Graves aside and started teaching him how to hit properly. He needed a player to demonstrate on. He picked Joe Murphy. When Teddy Green tells the story he pauses and says that is the moment he realized all Joe Murphy wanted was to belong. That was the key Green used to unlock one of the most talented but enigmatic power forwards the NHL has ever seen.

    Gelinas himself had a hell of a career. On different teams he would also be honoured again and again as Best Teammate. On the downhill side of his career he was traded to Carolina. Eventually time caught up with him as a player and Jim Rutherford put him on waivers. His teammates thought that was both unfair, and moronic. It was of course totally out of their hands. So they held a prayer vigil, praying he would clear waivers. Their prayers were answered. All the other GMs in hockey turned out to be as stupid as Rutherford.

    The next season Gelinas was instrumental in helping Carolina reach the playoffs. Once there he was more than instrumental in them reaching the Cup Finals. Along the way he began to earn one of the coolest nicknames in hockey and possibly one of the funniest.

    Then on the Calgary Flames he became the man who painted the Red Mile and lit up Electric Avenue. For Flames fans he will always be The Eliminator. And to a person they believe he scored the Stanley Cup winning goal. Sadly, the officials disagreed.

    Remarkably after all of that he became the Pisani type for Florida and Nashville and of course Nashville’s Director of Player Development before joining Calgary’s coaching staff.

    I am saying we remember the Kid Line not just because of their key role in winning that last Stanley Cup but because those kids went on to have unique careers of real significance. And we got to watch them emerge as NHL players. We weren’t imagining it. We were watching the birth of greatness.

  88. OmJo says:

    OriginalPouzar,

    If the Draisaitl contract didn’t screw over Boston signing Pastrnak, maybe we’ll be immune to the consequences of the Mattheson contract.

    Lol, who am I kidding, this is the Oilers. 6×6 for Nurse.

  89. deardylan says:

    Georges:
    OriginalPouzar,

    “Also, thank you for the kind words – I was feeling a bit jadded this morning and had decided to take a bit of a break – it was supposed to be a week/weeks – I lasted about 7 hours.”

    If you don’t get insulted by Cassandra, you’re doing something wrong. It’s just kabuki or some type of longitudinal sociological study. Maybe both.

    I also appreciate your posts, your enthusiasm, and your optimism. Cheers!

    I woke up this morning in Saigon and saw Oilers won, went directly over to Lowetide to read the joyful posts. Oilers Win and best of all … I Loved all the Love for OP! 🙂

    #BreakfastofChampions

  90. OriginalPouzar says:

    Saigon? I’m so jealous right now.

    We have a Vietnam/Cambia trip of luxury on the horizon but we won’t have time for a couple of years.

    We were in SE Asia (Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia) about a decade ago but finances are a bit different now so I think we are going to have an amazing trip to Vietnam/Cambodia.

    The question is when?

    We are off to Hong Kong over Christmas, the wife is going to Peru in the spring, we are going to Europe with my brother-in-law and his wife in the fall and spring 2018 is back to Africa for our 10 year anniversary (we did 3 weeks in Kenya and Tanzania last June and it was out of this world – we are doing Victoria Falls and area for our 10th year anniversary).

    I’m regretting committing to Europe next fall as that would be perfect for Vietnam/Cambodia – the brother-in-law and his g/f have never been farther than Mexico and couldn’t really afford a couple weeks in Europe without a little help. Don’t get me wrong, its going to be a super-wicked trip and I’m looking forward to travelling with them but I’ve been to Europe like 4 times and, since we committed, I got the Vietnam craving big time.

    Can’t wait to watch some Oilers from China over the holidays though – 15 hour time difference actually works out pretty well – games will be on mid-late morning, generally.

  91. Pescador says:

    deardylan: I woke up this morning in Saigon and saw Oilers won, went directly over to Lowetide to read the joyful posts. Oilers Win and best of all … I Loved all the Love for OP!

    #BreakfastofChampions

    You are a lucky SOB! Vietnam is easily my favourite country that I have ever had the pleasure of visiting. Very fond memories I hope you get to see a lot of it before you leave. The country is breathtaking

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

    VOR,

    On a site known for its remarkable posters and even more remarkable writing, your post stands out like the North Star on a dark winter night on the frozen tundra.

    I tip my cap to you from Tokyo.

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

    Pescador: You are a lucky SOB! Vietnam is easily my favourite country that I have ever had the pleasure of visiting. Very fond memoriesI hope you get to see a lot of it before you leave. The country is breathtaking

    By motorbike it is wonderful 🙂

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

    OriginalPouzar,

    Vic Falls is majesiic. Hope you will see it from helicopter also. And will you be there in the dry season so you can try the Devil’s Pool?

  95. Dennis L says:

    VOR,

    VOR,

    A beautifully written look back. I remember moments of the 80s Oilers (I wasn’t yet 2 when they won in 84), and the 80s NHL in general (86,The Trade (sale), and 89 stick in my mind more vividly, probably due to the pain of seeing the Flames succeeding ahead of the Oilers), but it is the magic of the 1990 Stanley Cup that is crystallized in my memory. Watching the VHS of that run, over and over and over again, getting Tom Petty’s “Running down a dream” seared in my memory probably helped to make that run my most vividly remembered series of memories from the Oilers of that era.

    Thank you.

  96. OriginalPouzar says:

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

    Vic Falls is majesiic. Hope you will see it from helicopter also. And will you be there in the dry season so you can try the Devil’s Pool?

    Nothing set in stone but the initial thought is June which is when we spent the three weeks in east Africa last year.

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

    OriginalPouzar,

    Ah I went in June of 2008. Not Devil’s Pool season but the waters are high and it will be great nonetheless.

  98. Pescador says:

    NYC-Back-to-Tokyo Oil (Gentleman Backpacker): By motorbike it is wonderful

    Absolutely!
    By train was my favourite,
    overnight train from Hanoi to Danang will live I’m my memory for as long as I can hold on to it.
    So simple yet so exotic to a central Ab prairie boy. The sheer beauty of the rice fields at the foot of the mountains, it was everything I imagined it would be and more. Age 29 & that was my first time on a train.
    I grew up in the eighties & watched every movie about the war that was ever made. For me it was always about the people & the countryside. Needless to say it does not disappoint in anyway.

  99. Georges says:

    VOR,

    Lovely post,VOR. Thank you.

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

    Pescador,

    Train is ny favourite mode of travel and people and the countryside make any trip special. Will write more
    about my upcoming train adventures arond Japan with Sam Abell soon.

    I probably watched many of the same films of which you speak.
    They remain etched in my mind. Glad you watched them and experienced the land yourself.

  101. Munny says:

    VOR,

    You’ve told this story before, to varying degrees, and I never tire of it. Great read, as always.

  102. Pescador says:

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

    Train is ny favourite mode of travel and people and the countryside make any trip special. Will write more
    about my upcoming train adventures arond Japan with Sam Abell soon.

    I probably watched many of the same films of which you speak.
    They remain etched in my mind.Glad you watched them and experienced the land yourself.

    Thank you NYBP, they are hard to forget. I feel as though it was a dream fulfilled.
    Another dream I have is to one day visit again, with my son.
    I look forward to reading about your travels with your son, all the best to you both

  103. VOR says:

    Munny,

    I am work shopping it.

    Ultimately I am going to use some version of it to talk about how scouting used to work. I have actual scouting reports for all of these players.

    Then I am going to juxtapose that with stories about some players whose careers are winding down in the present day and how scouting works now.

    It will obviously be quite a long piece.

    And it is still amorphous.

    Writing can be a frustratingly slow process and of course I am writing for discovery. I like to think there will be something worth reading eventually. That is that one fine day I will work out exactly what it is I am trying to say.

    I am pretty sure it goes from Winky Smith to Martin Gelinas to Kyle Brodziak and will ultimately say something important about spotting and developing talent. I just have no clue yet what that may be.

  104. JimmyV1965 says:

    I really don’t like Lucic with McDavid. The puck just dies on his stick. Maybe play him with Drai. He can slow the game down for him.

  105. Evilas says:

    OriginalPouzar,

    Excellent! I’ll be in China as well for the last 3 weeks in December. We’ll be traveling to Beijing and from there to Putian and back again. It will be my first time meeting my fiance’s family. It will be fun, but I won’t be catching any games there, I don’t think.

  106. deardylan says:

    Pescador: You are a lucky SOB! Vietnam is easily my favourite country that I have ever had the pleasure of visiting. Very fond memoriesI hope you get to see a lot of it before you leave. The country is breathtaking

    Hey Pescador,

    Yes I loved the country so much I ended up staying for the last 10 years and got a chance to see alot of it (although it changes so fast, haven’t been to some of the coffee hills of Bun Ma Thoat or the Giant underground caves I haven’t been to yet) Heard…you could fit a skyscraper into these caves: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nzoLZoTqQa8

    Lived in Dalat, Vung Tau and Saigon (called HCMC) although the heart of District 1 is still called Saigon by many of the locals.

    Wonder if Ho Chi Minh would be surprised the city named after him would become one of the most entrepreneurial cities in the world?!

  107. JimmyV1965 says:

    Munny:
    OriginalPouzar,

    Not just the face-offs (which are huge and your Dzone point is a good one), but I also think with the present set-up that 97 has less talent on his wings. Now the whole can often be greater than the sum of its parts, if player styles mesh well, and we will see how that goes… but this kind of places him as the sacrificial lamb.

    That is, the opposing coach matches his best against two poorer wingers and McDeity, and then our next two lines can make hay against lesser opp.

    Lucic is actually pretty deece defensively, and Cammy is a smart vet, so this strat might work well.

    But it might cost a scoring title.

    Think defence is the worst part of Lucics game. He’s horrible passing the puck out. Think he’s a big reason the McDavid line is getting hemmed in.

  108. Evilas says:

    JimmyV1965,

    I was thinking about that too, what about this:

    91-97-18
    Gives CMD some speed on the LW and Strome.can take.face-offs and be a trailing trigger man
    19-93-58
    This line seems to be working well
    27-29-98
    The most expensive 3rd.line in hockey 26 is <<< 98, JP needs to play with one of the excellent Centers on this roster.
    13-16-44
    Juhjar needs to be in this line-up when healthy. Letestu is slow and he needs to be added only when necessary, this team can afford to sit him for a few games, it will be beneficial later in the season. Cammy adds some skill to this line and will help their point production.

    It sure would be nice to have scoring threats on every line. Hopefully they will get there.

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

    deardylan: Hey Pescador,

    Yes I loved the country so much I ended up staying for the last 10 years and got a chance to see alot of it (although it changes so fast, haven’t been to some of the coffee hills of Bun Ma Thoat or the Giant underground caves I haven’t been to yet) Heard…you could fit a skyscraper into these caves:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nzoLZoTqQa8

    Lived in Dalat, Vung Tau and Saigon (called HCMC) although the heart of District 1 is still called Saigon by many of the locals.

    Wonder if Ho Chi Minh would be surprised the city named after him would become one of the most entrepreneurial cities in the world?!

    Small world. My friend Romeo made that video. He is a master drone pilot.

  110. OriginalPouzar says:

    Evilas:
    JimmyV1965,

    I was thinking about that too, what about this:

    91-97-18
    Gives CMD some speed on the LW and Strome.can take.face-offs and be a trailing trigger man
    19-93-58
    This line seems to be working well
    27-29-98
    The most expensive 3rd.line in hockey 26 is <<< 98, JP needs to play with one of the excellent Centers on this roster.
    13-16-44
    Juhjar needs to be in this line-up when healthy.Letestu is slow and he needs to be added only when necessary, this team can afford to sit him for a few games, it will be beneficial later in the season.Cammy adds some skill to this line and will help their point production.

    It sure would be nice to have scoring threats on every line.Hopefully they will get there.

    Those lines do look quite good and they are only a tinker from the lines from yesterday. I don’t think the coach would have a problem healthy scratching Letestu for a game or two but can’t see it being a longer term thing. I do think he needs to get off 55 as the off-side shooter on PP1 – at least spot someone else in the role sporadically (Jesse).

    I am a bit remiss to move Strome off of the Leon line as they seemed to have a bit of chemistry right off the bat yesterday. I do like the idea of having another center on McDavid’s line due to his faceoff and defensive issues.

    I don’t imagine coach will do much (if anything) after a solid win yesterday. I hope he gets JP in over Pak at least but there is the argument not to mess with a winning lineup and he may not want Jesse playing with 4th liners (Letestu/Kassian) and may not want to mix-up 3 lines that played well.

  111. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    VOR,

    – Awesome post! Thanks for this…

  112. Evilas says:

    OriginalPouzar,

    Good Morning OP!

    I totally understand the “winning combination”, but that hasn’t mattered with this group, that’s why it wouldn’t matter. It will be interesting to see if TMac changes his approach a little bit, just to keep them on their toes.

  113. Evilas says:

    VOR,

    Epic post

  114. OriginalPouzar says:

    Evilas:
    OriginalPouzar,

    Good Morning OP!

    I totally understand the “winning combination”, but that hasn’t mattered with this group, that’s why it wouldn’t matter.It will be interesting to see if TMac changes his approach a little bit, just to keep them on their toes.

    Good morning.

    You are right, given we’ve only won two in a row once this season (I think), it hasn’t worked.

    With that said, if this team is going to string together a stretch of victories and pull themselves in to this race, I think they’ll need to find some consistency in the lines in order to find the constency in their game.

    Maybe that’s now. Maybe the pairs and McDavid/Cammalleri, Nuge/Maroon, Drai/Strome???

  115. frjohnk says:

    VOR,

    Fantastic post.

  116. Scungilli Slushy says:

    OriginalPouzar: I don’t imagine coach will do much (if anything) after a solid win yesterday. I hope he gets JP in over Pak at least but there is the argument not to mess with a winning lineup and he may not want Jesse playing with 4th liners (Letestu/Kassian) and may not want to mix-up 3 lines that played well.

    True. I think they should play their best players though. They need a 4C show they can sit Letestu. Someone who is faster.

  117. who says:

    JimmyV1965:
    I really don’t like Lucic with McDavid.The puck just dies on his stick. Maybe play him with Drai. He can slow the game down for him.

    Agreed

  118. who says:

    OriginalPouzar: Those lines do look quite good and they are only a tinker from the lines from yesterday. I don’t think the coach would have a problem healthy scratching Letestu for a game or two but can’t see it being a longer term thing. I do think he needs to get off 55 as the off-side shooter on PP1 – at least spot someone else in the role sporadically (Jesse).

    I am a bit remiss to move Strome off of the Leon line as they seemed to have a bit of chemistry right off the bat yesterday.I do like the idea of having another center on McDavid’s line due to his faceoff and defensive issues.

    I don’t imagine coach will do much (if anything) after a solid win yesterday. I hope he gets JP in over Pak at least but there is the argument not to mess with a winning lineup and he may not want Jesse playing with 4th liners (Letestu/Kassian) and may not want to mix-up 3 lines that played well.

    Doubt very much that the coach healthy scratches Letestu. I would move Cammaleri to Macdavids left wing and put JP on right wing. Move Lucic to Drais line and Caggulia to fourth line. Pak out.
    Cammaleri has the hands and instincts to play with Macdavid, Lucic does not. Plus he can take face offs and is a shooter. JP has shown good defensive awareness in his own zone and can skate. He is a good fit on that line.

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