Isn’t Life Unkind (In My Life)?

I haven’t read twitter since before the game and haven’t read a word written about last night’s game, but am fairly sure my verbal today will have little in common with the prevailing wisdom. Here goes: I was impressed with the Oilers last night, battled back from what was (without going back and checking) one of the worst opening periods a home team ever committed on its own audience. They made a game of it, lost a point on a bad mistake. So, this morning, I’m going to write you an honest review, but if you’ve come looking for blood, you will be dissatisfied.

  • Todd McLellan: “You feel for him. He had a great night. A not-so-good thing happened to a great player. Our team supports him 100%.”

THE ATHLETIC!

NOVEMBER TO REMEMBER, YEAR OVER YEAR

  • Oilers in November 2015: 4-7-2, goal differential -9 (10 points in 13 games)
  • Oilers in November 2016: 5-9-1, goal differential -3 (11 points in 15 games)
  • Oilers in November 2017: 7-8-1, goal differential -5

Fifteen points in 16 games means the Oilers still haven’t posted a month where their point total exceeds games played. That’s not going to cut it, not if this team expects to make the post season. The injury to Cam Talbot makes December even more dire, November wasn’t good enough.

AFTER 26, YEAR OVER YEAR

  • Oilers 15-16: 9-15-2, goal differential -16
  • Oilers 16-17: 14-10-2, goal differential +11
  • Oilers 17-18: 10-14-2, goal differential -15

A disappointing first 30 percent of the schedule and it may have made the final 70 percent of the campaign moot. Holy hell what a ride. Injuries, bets that failed, unusual deployment and some shady goaltending all contributed to what you see here. Is it fatal? No, of course not. Do the Oilers resemble a team about to go on a 9-game winning streak? Hell no.

WHAT YOU GOT 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 2-3-0)
  • At home to: Arizona, Toronto (Expected 1-1-0) (Actual 1-1-0)
  • Overall expected result: 7-7-2, 16 points in 16 games 
  • Current results: 7-8-1, 15 points in 16 games

I know there were injuries but you have to be better than this to make the playoffs. Peter Chiarelli and Todd McLellan are in a battle for their jobs, along with much of this roster, and maybe that one thing will bring them together.

DEFENSE LAST NIGHT

  • Auvitu-Gryba went 14-10 in 11:04, they were 1-2 in GF and 3-3 in HDSC’s. The strongest criticism I can muster is that TOI total, your coach needs to trust you more than McLellan did last night. Went 6-4 against JVR-Bozak-Marner, but were bested twice by the Martin-Moore-Nylander trio. I saw Gryba bad on the penalty, your mileage may vary.
  • Nurse-Russell were 29-24 in 20:31 together and 3-0 GF. Were 20-14 against Brown-Matthews-Hyman. The two men scored four points between them and the post-game was going to be very positive, but for Russell a late mistake soured the evening.
  • He makes $4 million, he has to make that play. You can see sides forming on this story, suspect msm and fans have troops lined up on the border with muskets and spit wads. Breaking news: It’s all bullshit. Your takeaway should be the following: A veteran NHL defender did not execute a play in a high danger area and it cost the Oilers one or two points. That’s harsh, so was the play. All the rest is window dressing. I am not anti-Russell, for me he had a helluva game last night that play aside and if you read this blog I am generally supportive of his play. He needed to perform better in that moment. Hell, he’ll tell you that. If you’re ripping Russell because the msm was unkind to Taylor Hall I’m not sure what you’re hoping to gain. Slagging Kris Russell over the treatment of another player suggests extreme pettiness.
  • If you’re defending Kris Russell because he’s a nice guy, that’s fine but it has nothing to do with this situation. Russell didn’t make the play, he had to own it and he did own it. Perhaps it will be a rallying point, but what it shouldn’t be is a vehicle to grind your agenda.
  • Klefbom-Benning were 15-24 together and 0-1 GF in 16:53. I think they were mostly good but forced to play too much, partially due to the coach not trusting his third pair (Leafs can be a runaway train with all that forward skill). Went 10-11 against Komarov-Kadri-Marleau, who were a wonderful line to watch last night.
  • Laurent Brossoit stopped 31 of 36, .861. Impossible to defend the line but he made some 10-bell chances. Rebounds are an issue. We’ll see how this rolls  out, there is pressure on management and coach which could mean a trade.
  • Natural Stat Trick and NHL.com.

FORWARDS, LAST NIGHT

  • Lucic-McDavid-Puljujarvi went 23-20 and 1-1 GF. McDavid took a physical beating from Kadri but scored a nice goal to get the team back in it. Jesse Puljujarvi, in his 37 NHL games, has delivered 64 shots and three goals. McDavid went 18-11 against the Matthews line, 1-1 GF.
  • Caggiula-Draisaitl-Strome went 14-12 and there was no scoring with these men on the ice 5×5. This trio had no high-danger scoring chances among them and that’s a concern. Went 5-9 against JVR-Bozak-Marner, I wonder if LD needs a more dynamic winger (Maroon?) to make things go.
  • Khaira-Letestu-Kassian went 14-13 together, 3-2GF and were on the ice for 10 minutes together. Went 8-10 against Martin-Moore-Nylander, I was so impressed with Khaira. He reminds me of Kyle Brodziak in the fall of 2007, when there was a bunch of young wingers looking to find NHL jobs that were secure.
  • Maroon-Nuge-Slepyshev were 13-16 together, 0-0 GF and faced the Kadri line (6-8) primarily. The line had FIVE high-danger scoring chances, but didn’t win the Corsi battle and in watching (I taped it and there were long stretches of squiggly lines) it seemed to be Slepy was a step behind. Still, great results in HDSC’s.

NOTES FROM THIS MORNING

You hear rumors over time and Khaira is a player who had some interest even before his recent surge. What often happens in these cases is that the trading team (Edmonton) decides they like the player enough to keep him, Khaira’s recent performances certainly justify pulling him back. Caggiula would be my choice to trade, that said PC brought him in (the other two gents were procured by MacT and Steve Tambellini) and that often means more security. Iiro Pakarinen, a favorite of the coach based on usage, was named by Elliotte Friedman as being in play. Honestly? I think we could see a deal for a goalie as early as today.

Wow.

RESERVE LIST

Cap Friendly is beyond brilliant and they keep making better best. They have published ‘reserve’ lists, containing all players who are under control but unsigned. Roman Horak, Bogdan Yakimov and Daniil Zharkov are all there, Miroslav Svoboda is not, Ziyat Paigin is not. Brilliant.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

Today on the Lowdown, beginning at 10 on TSN1260:

  • Steve Lansky, BigMouthSports. About last night, plus the Grey Cup!
  • Corey Graham, Oil Kings PBP. Teddy Bear toss straight ahead!
  • Matt Iwanyk, TSN1260. Tiger Woods! NCAA football and the Oilers season in peril.

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

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275 Responses to "Isn’t Life Unkind (In My Life)?"

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  1. meanashell11 says:

    I’m not going to slag the guy but he has to make that play. Nice to see the team, and especially LB rally behind him but man, that was a stomp on the dick.

  2. Dicky94 says:

    I feel terrible for Russell still today. Hope the team rally’s around it and use it as motivation to keep going. Still believe in this team.

  3. Pouzar says:

    I’m not even mad. Entertaining game.

  4. frjohnk says:

    LT, did you say December or January for the first draft post?

  5. frjohnk says:

    Pouzar:
    I’m not even mad. Entertaining game.

    your boy was fantastic.

    top 6 role coming up

  6. PokeCheck says:

    It was a great shot. *shrugs*

  7. BornInAGretzkyJersey says:

    Godspeed, Rej.

  8. russ99 says:

    All the people who are convinced that Russell is useless because of Corsi and puck moving and who hate his salary, go back and watch him play until the own goal, He played great in our zone, made some nice passes and nice carries, made things happen in the offensive zone.

    There’s a useful player there. Hockey isn’t black and white, good vs. useless.

    Yesterday is yesterday. Let’s build on how we played in the last two periods and come out hot and take it to the Flames from the start tomorrow.

    Beating the Leafs would have been nice, it’s more a fight back against a snarky east-coast media, but beating the Flames is essential for our fans and for our chances to get back in the hunt in the Pacific.

  9. dustrock says:

    LT, I feel for Russell.

    Here is the thing. The MSM has been steadfastly defending Russell.

    Would they have done the same thing if it was Hall or Eberle? Or Klefbom?

    The media in this city will defend replacement level players to the bitter end, and run star players out of town.

    Also, Cagguila is a terrible, terrible PKer. He is good at breakaways, but his general defending is horrific.

  10. frjohnk says:

    russ99: All the people who are convinced that Russell is useless because of Corsi and puck moving and who hate his salary

    you failed to mention bull riding.

  11. JJS says:

    PK and goaling

    Seems to be the theme of the season

  12. StixMalone says:

    Hope we don’t turn him into Jultz 2.0….

  13. Minister D- says:

    With respect to the east-coast media, we should take some consolation in the fact that the Oilers were depleted in key positions and the Leafs were still extremely lucky to win that game. It’s ok to be sick of the ‘moral victories’ line (I am), but that doesn’t mean that this wasn’t one of them.

  14. fifthcartel says:

    russ99,

    He still made a horrendous play that quite literally cost Edmonton the game.

    No one thinks he’s useless because Corsi, they think he’s a clear bottom-pairing guy who is being played and paid way more than he should. It’s indicative of a poor process and decision-making from Oilers management.

  15. Jaxon says:

    I’d like to see them trade Maroon to STL and let them negotiate a new contract ahead of time to increase his trade value. Can he fetch an actual decent prospect like RD Schmaltz, LHC Barbashev, RHC/RW Thompson, RHC/RW Kyrou, RHC Thomas, or LHRW Kostin? Possibly. I think he would be worth a lot to help them on their cup run this year and then stay with them in his hometown with his new wife and his kid for the next 7 years at a bargain contract (which I bet he would give them).

  16. OriginalPouzar says:

    That was a great game last night to watch. They “played great” if you subtract the egregious turnovers in the first two periods – there were many of them that resulted in odd man rushes including a 2 on 0.

    Very good performance offensively and on the forecheck in the last 40 minutes.

    Terrible play by Russell but I’m not going to bemoan the man that played a very good hockey game generally.

    If Larsson is in the lineup, we win that game – Gryba and Auvitu played under 11 minutes. Gryba struggled and took that terrible penalty.

    My goodness that fourth line looked great.

  17. OriginalPouzar says:

    So, Larsson was “sore this morning” (yesterday morning) and is day to day – not a lot of information there.

  18. stonyplainrick says:

    I’m new here, but I would like to point out an observation. Everyone seems to be freaking out about the team, the coaches and the general manager.. … the difference between last year and this year is 4 wins. That’s all. And it’s very easy to say that the special teams this year is the difference. Low 70% penalty kill and an atrocious power play. So perhaps everyone should take a breath and look at the real issue……… Tmac isn’t the problem, the players aren’t the problem, special teams coaching appears to be the major issue. Either get rid of the issue, or bring in someone who know what the heck there doing! Lordy, it doesn’t even count against the cap.

  19. Réal Goudenyéu says:

    So…special teams…what’s the plan?

  20. Réal Goudenyéu says:

    stonyplainrick:
    I’m new here, but I would like to point out an observation. Everyone seems to be freaking out about the team, the coaches and the general manager.. … the difference between last year and this year is 4 wins.That’s all.And it’s very easy to say that the special teams this year is the difference.Low 70% penalty kill and an atrocious power play.So perhaps everyone should take a breath and look at the real issue……… Tmac isn’t the problem, the players aren’t the problem, special teams coaching appears to be the major issue. Either get rid of the issue, or bring in someone who know what the heck there doing! Lordy, it doesn’t even count against the cap.

    According to Rishaug this morning the special teams have been taken over by Tmac. If so, he needs to take the heat for their utter atrociousness.

  21. Dustylegnd says:

    THE GOOD THE BAD AND THE UGLY

    Absolutely fantastic to see JJ Kairah gaining confidence, imposing his will and being rewarded with points, he is a player that was actually drafted and developed by the Oil, he is big and can skate, exactly the kind of value player the Oilers typically trade right before he reaches his useful prime… stay tuned

    Kleff looks like he is regaining his health and his confidence, I saw him well last night, skated miles, some physicality and was able to get his shots through from the point where in the past they would have been blocked

    I saw Pulujujarvi well last night, he is a physical freak and he seems to be much quicker on all levels this year, yes he is hard to play with and eff me, eventually he has to start scoring goals because at the end of the day he was drafted to score goals, but what a reach

    Nuge and his line did not perform well to the eye test, an uncharacteristic egregious give away and he does not seem to rhyme with Maroon at all….Sleppy still trying to figure shit out…they have to be better

    Lucic does not work with McDavid at all, period, TMc trying to push string uphill with this combo, I say Maroon back to 97’s left side Lucic to Drais left side, as it stands Maroon with Nuge and Lucic with 97 makes everybody less effective….to the extent that a healthy 97 is ever less effective….good lord what a player when healthy

    LB has got to be better, you just can’t have goals like the Moore goal period, you just can’t, yes he had 5 alarm saves but jesus man, make the easy ones and hope for th best on the rest…..

    Our defensive depth continues to be the achilles heal, what can we say, but Chia is contemplating making a trade to fix it, god help us

    Staring Goalie out 2 weeks, best defensive D man out till?…..best all round D man out till Jan? 2nd best all round D man playing hurt for most of the season…makes perfect sense that we are where we are

    I look at Winnipeg, shit season last year, poor goaltending yada yada yada, the Oilers need stability come hell or high-water, firing Chia or TMc dos nothing to help this organization, we need a clear plan and stability, finishing out of the playoffs and being able to fetch a 1st rounder for Maroon and 2nd or 3rd rounders for other spare parts may be the tonic this team needs….

    Chance of making the playoffs about 3% think about that, not sure what the accuracy of Club Sports stats et el is with their model but it does not look good for the playoffs, so how would it make any sense to make “tweaks” in an atempt to make this team a playoff team, any move Chia makes needs to be a permanent fix not a bandaid to make the playoffs…..WE WAIT

  22. stonyplainrick says:

    Réal Goudenyéu,

    Do we know when he took over? Was it recent? Where is Kruger en you need him…

  23. Jaxon says:

    Sorry, but I really don’t think there is any getting back in the hunt this year. The Oilers are 6 points back of San Jose, who have 3 games in hand. They get roughly just over a pt/gp, so they are in essence probably 9 or 10 points back form a wild card spot. There are 5 better teams between them also trying to catch San Jose. Talbot’s out for a bit, Sekera isn’t back yet, Larsson is out and if he comes back he may not be 100%, Klefbom doesn’t seem to be 100%, Draisaitl doesn’t seem his usual self, McDavid’s been sick (is he better yet?). It all adds up to no playoffs this year.

    It’s over.

    Time to trade upcoming UFAs (Maroon, Letestu, Cammalleri, Auvitu, and umm Fayne?) for picks, prospects, etc. to bring in cheaper ELC contracts in hopes of keeping Nugent-Hopkins & Nurse for sure, and possibly Slepyshev, Caggiula, Benning, and Strome next season, and Puljujarvi the following season.

    Fallin’ for Dahlin.

  24. frjohnk says:

    The “Russell” was an unfortunate event at an unfortunate time.

    3rd pairing’s ineffectiveness cost us 2 goals and Gryba penalty ended up costing us a goal.

    “Heavy hockey” is costing us goals against and points in the standings.

    Fix the junk penalty killing, or stop taking stupid penalties.

    We didnt lose because of the “Russell”

    We lost because our 3rd pair, junk penalty killing and stupid penalties are killing us.

  25. frjohnk says:

    Réal Goudenyéu:
    So…special teams…what’s the plan?

    Stop taking stupid penalties

  26. prefonmich says:

    I generally have some issue with Russell but I cannot pile on after that performance or gaffe. He played his heart out and he feels worse than anyone about what happened. I hope it is a rallying point for the team because they should have his back, 100%. As for Brossoit some impressive saves but soft 2nd goal and big juicy rebound that no one seems to be talking about on the bouncing puck Russell slapper…
    PK is the teams biggest issue right now IMO and it is the singular reason they are not winning games at home. -2 again would have made the difference in this one as in many other games this season. Caggiula should NOT be on the PK ever again.

  27. SoCaloil says:

    The Russel mistake doesn’t happen if he’s playing 20 minutes and not 24:20.
    It was a bouncing puck and the heat is on.

    That 2nd leafs goal was far worse imho. Gryba with plenty of time and a careless no look pass …
    WTF kinda defending is that? And then he backs in?
    Guy is supposedly a VETERAN!

  28. frjohnk says:

    Jaxon: Sorry, but I really don’t think there is any getting back in the hunt this year. The Oilers are 6 points back of San Jose, who have 3 games in hand. They get roughly just over a pt/gp, so they are in essence probably 9 or 10 points back form a wild card spot. There are 5 better teams between them also trying to catch San Jose. Talbot’s out for a bit, Sekera isn’t back yet, Larsson is out and if he comes back he may not be 100%, Klefbom doesn’t seem to be 100%, Draisaitl doesn’t seem his usual self, McDavid’s been sick (is he better yet?). It all adds up to no playoffs this year.

    It’s over.

    We have gone 10-14-2 in the first 26 games. Almost 1/3 of the season.
    We need to go something like 36-20-0 in the last 56 games to reach last years 8th playoff spot of 94 points.

  29. Réal Goudenyéu says:

    stonyplainrick:
    Réal Goudenyéu,

    Do we know when he took over? Was it recent? Where is Kruger en you need him…

    Yes apparently recently, again according to Rishaug.

  30. Dustylegnd says:

    stonyplainrick,

    Making many millions running Southhampton and making speeches at economic conferences across Europe, why would he be useful to us????

    Best thing to ever happen to him was getting fired via Skype by McTavish…Karma is a real thing

    Ohh wait your question was rhetorical wasn’t it??

  31. Dustylegnd says:

    frjohnk,

    No need to speculate these guys do it up real fancy for us, we are done like dinner

    http://www.sportsclubstats.com/NHL.html

    https://www.hockey-reference.com/friv/playoff_prob.cgi

  32. Réal Goudenyéu says:

    Dustylegnd:
    frjohnk,

    No need to speculate these guys do it up real fancy for us, we are done like dinner

    http://www.sportsclubstats.com/NHL.html

    https://www.hockey-reference.com/friv/playoff_prob.cgi

    Yup that is bleak. Rest the injured, retool, figure out what this team is for next season.

  33. Psyche says:

    It all seems to come back to the root of the problem: no replacement for the injured Sekera. If Chia had acquired some cover for the D in the summer then we may be having a different discussion. A 3/4 D who could have bumped everyone into better slots on D would have been ideal.

  34. frjohnk says:

    Dustylegnd:
    frjohnk,

    No need to speculate these guys do it up real fancy for us, we are done like dinner

    http://www.sportsclubstats.com/NHL.html

    https://www.hockey-reference.com/friv/playoff_prob.cgi

    3% and 5% chance to make the playoffs.

    So they are saying there’s a chance!!!

  35. JimmyV1965 says:

    What a bizarre way to end the game. If we hold on for 90 seconds and get at least 1 pt this game becomes a real rallying point for the team. It could have been a real turning point in the season. For 40 minutes the Oil took it to the Leafs. I hope it dispels the myth that we are being killed because we are a slow team. We sure didn’t look slow in the last 40 minutes.

  36. stonyplainrick says:

    Dustylegnd
    Kruger pp % 19.5, pk % 84.3. Neilson was the only coach in the decade of darkness to have a higher pk % at 20.9 %. No one has had a higher pp. this is from Bruce mccurdy. Not saying he was the best, but there has to be a better option out there. Just saying

  37. hankster says:

    That was a very entertaining game to watch. I wasn’t even upset they lost. Unlike the rage I get from losing to shitty reffing, cheating ducks, etc.
    So many things not going their way right now. Here’s hoping we’re following tampa bay’s route from last year.
    They need to move Maroon and Gryba asap. Too slow and too many penalties for just “hockeying” from the refs. Maybe Lucic can waive his NMC and trade for Gallagher in MTL straightup. Would be good for both teams.

  38. elgruntus says:

    LT, love the Foot In Cold Water reference in the title. I find comfort in 70’s CanCon. That said, Pagliaro’s Loving You Aint Easy seems apropo in regards to this team.

  39. Cassandra says:

    That was a fun game. I could cheer for that team. And the team that beat Calgary the first game of the season. The boring,mediocre, team in between not-so-much.

    Love the Leafs. That is the team I wanted the Oilers to build.

    I disagree that the Leafs were lucky to win the game. Over the course of 60 minutes I thought the the Leafs outplayed the Oilers. They come in waves.

  40. dustrock says:

    Thought Gryba was reasonable in a bottom pairing role last year.

    He has been pretty horrible this year and quite frankly I’d rather call up somebody from the farm.

  41. Dustylegnd says:

    Cassandra,

    Cassandra,

    It was a fun game, the Oilers handled the leafs very well from ½ way through the 2nd period till just under 2 mins…..building a team like th leafs have means you can’t make 1st round draft mistakes….the Leafs have Mark Hunter and his OHL knowledge and success, we have Bob Green…we can always dream right???

  42. frjohnk says:

    If Oilers are going to miss the playoffs, at least win the season series at the Flames.

    Signed.

    A tier 3 fan

  43. prefonmich says:

    dustrock,

    I agree or trade for Davidson. Signing Gryba was a mistake but at least an inexpensive one. He is only decent along the boards, not defending the rush, not responding to a turnover, not on the PK, not enough in the modern NHL. Chia apparently isn’t yet caught up with the modern game.

  44. Diablo says:

    Psyche:
    It all seems to come back to the root of the problem: no replacement for the injured Sekera. If Chia had acquired some cover for the D in the summer then we may be having a different discussion. A 3/4 D whocould have bumped everyone into better slots on D would have been ideal.

    The injury to Sekera really set the team back for sure.
    But who was realistically available that the team could have signed or traded for in the off season that could’ve replaced what Sekera provides?

    I also feel that’s a bit of a cop out – look at Anaheim with all of their injuries, they still remain in the hunt, while the Oilers are effectively done before Christmas. The problems go beyond the one injury to Sekera. In fact, we’ve enjoyed pretty good health to the rest of our top players until Larsson and Talbot went down.

    Goaltending has been inconsistent or below league average all season long.
    The PP and PK have been horrendous all season long.
    This combination has resulted in the Oilers falling behind early in games all season long, and that’s tough to overcome.

  45. Lowetide says:

    elgruntus:
    LT, love the Foot In Cold Waterreference in the title. I find comfort in 70’s CanCon. That said, Pagliaro’s Loving You Aint Easy seems apropo in regards to this team.

    Haha! What an Animal by Fludd may also work!

  46. thepeetso says:

    two cents:
    – for two periods you could see how this team could be dominant as they were lastt year, there are no fatal flaws in roster construction with this team relative to most teams, save for two
    1) Gryba cannot play, 10 minutes of icetime and directly responsible for two goals against. He shouldn’t see any more ice time this season, call up someone from the farm, Gryba is lost wages
    2) the PK must be fixed soon or this team is sunk, (Pouliot and Lander say hi)
    – Jujar sure looks like a player, do not trade.
    – Nurse is legit, legit, legit. And if he can zoom Russel (like last night) we can maybe talk about Klef with Larsson again and thats a big damn deal.
    – Maroon just doesn’t play with any fire unless he’s on 97’s line, the same might be said about 29
    – i think 97 is going to enjoy playing with 98

    things that are true:
    – Russel F’d up
    – they aren’t even in that game without Russel
    – Russel is an adequate to decent NHL player
    – Russel is being paid far too much money, for too long
    – Chia is a moron
    – this is not Russel’s fault
    – bull riding has sweet eff all to with anything
    – Russel seems to be a stand up guy
    – the fawning coverage from MSM is not doing Russel any favours

  47. Fgary says:

    Okay so this season is likely done….so I have no idea why you would consider trading JJ. Hmmm big, tough FAST young player, devaloped on a value contract, who seems to be devaloping some hands, providing secondary scoring, all the things this team needs right now and in the future and we might trade this guy. I am not a hockey mind by any means but does this not seem absurd. Yes our defence is in a mess, but I don’t see how getting rid of a young kid with upside on the very unlikely chance of trying to save this season makes sense. ARRRRRGH. I know it will never happen but I would kill to see nuge and connor on a line, just for a few games please…I feel like they could be magic.

  48. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Fun game when Shaw was able to let me watch it.

    Listened to most of the 2nd on Ched and Jack Micheals is frustrating.

    He’s doing his own color during the play by play so the last play he calls is an Oilers shot then the next play he calls is a Brossoit save?!?!?

    How did the puck get there Jack????

    Fun game, gut wrench at the end.

    16-55-44 were cooking with gas. 29 needs to bring more.

    Also,

    This is game was yet another data point for my OMGBBQ PUT RUSSELL AND NURSE BACK TOGETHER FFS!!! theory.

    Klefbom-Benning haven’t been good together at all this year and they weren’t again last night, although there were flashes.

    Nurse-Russell are destroyer of worlds when together, but they never get together!!! Until last night when Larsson comes up lame.

    This year so far:

    Nurse-Russell 57%CF, 83%GF (71 minutes)

    Klefbom-Benning 50CF%, 37% GF

    Klefbom-Larsson 54%CF, 34%GF

    Klef’s GF% is really gross this year, but his CF% with Larsson in 1st pair minutes is good and that pair should be back together for the explicit reason of having a 2nd pair that can handle those minutes.

    I’m convinced that Nurse-Russell is far superior to Klefbom-Benning for 2nd pair while the drop off from Nurse-Larsson to Klefbom-Larsson isn’t nearly enough (or exists via shot and chance metrics) to warrant keeping Klef and Larsson apart.

    The only metric that Nurse-Larsson is better then Klef-Larsson is goals.

    Shots attempts, shots on net, scoring chances and high danger scoring chances are all better with 77-6 than 25-6

    That’s not to say 25-6 is bad, they are not. They are good. 77-6 is slightly better.

    What is way better is 25-4 compared to 77-83 and that’s a big freaking deal, especially if the coach doesn’t trust his 3rd pair.

    81-83 are 48%CF together (in 30 mintues) and that’s ok if the top 2 pairs are working.

  49. Dominoiler says:

    There needs to be a metric for a ratio of hdsc relative to total shots.. then we could suss out the pulju percentage of shooting for corsi’s sake; then we could extrapolate for whole teams, see if there is some separation between the pretenders and the true corsi kings..

  50. thepeetso says:

    Woodguy v2.0,

    This is even obvious to see, without having the math at hand. If I can see it and the math can see it, why can’t the coaching staff???

  51. frjohnk says:

    Elliotte Friedman‏Verified account @FriedgeHNIC
    32s32 seconds ago

    EDM claims Nathan Walker

  52. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Elliotte Friedman‏Verified account
    @FriedgeHNIC

    EDM claims Nathan Walker

    That’s an odd claim.

    Trade coming?

    If he trades JJ I’m dragging my sign out of storage.

  53. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    thepeetso:
    Woodguy v2.0,

    This is even obvious to see, without having the math at hand.If I can see it and the math can see it, why can’t the coaching staff???

    I don’t get it either.

    I think they’re scared to death of Klef’s defensive wobble vs the best.

  54. McSorley33 says:

    I hope people move on from the Russell goal…..I mean – freak play. It happens.

    But as others have mentioned – time to start talking draft

  55. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Dominoiler:
    There needs to be a metric for a ratio of hdsc relative to total shots.. then we could suss out the pulju percentage of shooting for corsi’s sake; then we could extrapolate for whole teams, see if there is some separation between the pretenders and the true corsi kings..

    Or you could just use HDSC/60 or SC/60 rates as those are only shots from certain locations and wouldn’t include the long ones.

  56. Pouzar says:

    Woodguy v2.0: The only metric that Nurse-Larsson is better then Klef-Larsson is goals.

    Nurse is our best D-man right now. Even bringing the EV Offense now too.

    But I get what yer sayin.

  57. hankster says:

    SoCaloil,

    I played defence for many years. The number one priority is to be between the attacking player and my goalie and angle the attacker to the corner. So, I can take chance and jump the attacker or “disrupt” the play aka prevent entry which comes with risks. So many people here keep saying every defenceman should just jump the attacker every. single. time. sigh…

    Russel’s biggest problem is he’s not able to do a quick stop and go with his longer stride skating style. A good comp is Phil Kessel, russ courtnall, M Gelinas. Great momentum skaters with long strides but gives up the edges for direction change.
    Also situational dependent on the type of attacker coming down the ice. Jump the shooter and angle off the rusher. I’d rather back in to the high danger to allow a shot than a clear breakaway…that’s just me though.

  58. Pouzar says:

    McSorley33:
    I hope people move on from the Russell goal…..I mean – freak play. It happens.

    But as others have mentioned – time to start talking draft

    Get that 1st rounder for Maroon and don’t frickin Barzal it!!!

  59. frjohnk says:

    Elliotte Friedman‏Verified account @FriedgeHNIC
    56s57 seconds ago

    In corresponding move, EDM places Pakarinen on waivers
    0 replies 3 retweets 1 like

  60. OriginalPouzar says:

    Oilers claim Nathan Walker and put Pak on waivers.

  61. thepeetso says:

    Irro Pak waived.

    Chia removes Tmac’s blindspot.

  62. frjohnk says:

    Walker is not a guy that would help on the PK.

    He is 5 foot 8 with some skill and is speedy.

    Is this a move to try and fix the “slow issue”?

  63. New Improved Darkness says:

    In my rarely white corner of the Great White Knucklechew, Shaw was intermittently unable to reach Google over much of an hour well before the game started, though my Wikipedia requests over the same time period seemed unaffected. Weird outage.

    “Indeed, he had such a line of 2’s across that sheet it seemed like a roll call on Noah’s Ark.”

    Brilliant.

    Envy.

    Respect.

    Why do I suddenly have this mental image of Noah, with his mouth full of nails, clinging with one crooked elbow to some grapey webbing on the outside of a dry ark, while the sky darkens ominously, debating furiously within himself whether he really needs to maintain palm spacing all the way around the gang-plank entrance to the lower deck, both below and above the water line—supposing the water line has a fixed address—or whether the gathering storm is a bigger threat imminently, and should he switch to hand-spacing instead, where the water won’t always reach, and just get the job done before he’s corked or cooked by water or lightening.

    Stay tuned for the next exciting episode of The Last Spike.

    [*] And people wonder how the Egyptians built the pyramids. Simple. Whenever they came to an engineering impasse, the argument was always resolved by someone saying “well, let’s think of Noah, and then do the exact opposite”. So many species had gone to heaven already, no one was inclined to float those risks again. “Nails! [everyone spits] Unbelievably transitory … ”

    [**] 1 Egyptian expanse expectoration = 6 Mesopotamian hawks = 30 Kittim kittenwads—due to basic waternomics—and the fact that no-one holds a candle to the Egyptians in taciturnity, in either words or fluids.

    [***] Truth be told, working all night in the dark—who can afford candles?—might have had more to do with the consensus prohibition against hammers and nails than any other factor—and even Noah himself, hanging by a resinous thread, titrating the last spike into the elephant’s gangplank, might have been a fingernail more concerned with the looming gloom than the corpulent cloudburst.

  64. McSorley33 says:

    Peter Chiarelli – “Roster Fixed”

  65. Surrey Oiler says:

    Who the fook is Nathan Walker? Pak leaving is a blessing, Gryba should be on waiver also.

  66. frjohnk says:

    Peter Chiarelli‏ @FakeOilersGM
    11s11 seconds ago

    Just when you think our season is over and I’m out of bold moves BOOM Nathan Walker!

  67. StixMalone says:

    OriginalPouzar,

    OriginalPouzar:
    Oilers claim Nathan Walker and put Pak on waivers.

    ???? Huh? #thisfixesit

  68. russ99 says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    Oilers claim Nathan Walker and put Pak on waivers.

    You guys all saw/read Moneyball, right?

    This sure feels like an Art Howe moment.

    You want to put Pakarinen on a skill line? Bam, he’s gone.

  69. Psyche says:

    Walker is 1st Aussie picked in the draft. I imagine Gene is preparing his Crocodile Dundee skit for the next pregame intro. “That’s not a knife…”

  70. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    – Nathan Walker = Correcting the travesty of Tony Hand, and the Oil re-upping the UK fan-base
    * correction: He was born in Wales, grew up in Australia. Oil re-upping Commonwealth fan-base*

  71. Psyche says:

    russ99,

    Bang on comparison regarding the Pak move.

    Love me some Moneyball!

  72. Pouzar says:

    I am gonna put a shrimp on the barbie…then I am gonna have a beer…then another.

  73. StixMalone says:

    Irrelevant pick up. Won’t solve this years problems. Hope Pak finds a team and lights it up just not against us. When ya feel the urge to shake things up ya gotta do something I guess?….

  74. Psyche says:

    I think I would have preferred Johnnie Walker over Nathan Walker.

  75. Pouzar says:

    frjohnk: Walker is not a guy that would help on the PK.

    Gotta try something.

    “In 2015-16, he got his first full season in North America. In 73 games, Walker posted 41 points. He was one of Hershey’s most reliable forwards, as head coach Troy Mann gave him penalty kill duties and he thrived with it. Walker also put up five points in 20 postseason games.”

    “The Capitals have been monitoring him closely. Before breaking his hand in February of 2017, Walker was reportedly close to getting called up. Thanks to a relatively low cap hit of just $650,000, he stands a great chance of making the Capitals.

    Walker might have ensured his spot in the lineup during the Washington Capitals’ first preseason game against the New Jersey Devils. Replacing Winnik on the penalty kill will be key for the Caps. Walker scored an excellent shorthanded goal and was one of the best forwards all game.”

  76. Jethro Tull says:

    Who in blue blazes is Nathan Walker?

  77. StixMalone says:

    Chia’s favourite song is Tie Me Kangaroo Down Sport that ol Rolf Harris classic…..

  78. frjohnk says:

    Pouzar: Gotta try something.

    “In 2015-16, he got his first full season in North America. In 73 games, Walker posted 41 points. He was one of Hershey’s most reliable forwards, as head coach Troy Mann gave him penalty kill duties and he thrived with it. Walker also put up five points in 20 postseason games.”

    “The Capitals have been monitoring him closely. Before breaking his hand in February of 2017, Walker was reportedly close to getting called up. Thanks to a relatively low cap hit of just $650,000, he stands a great chance of making the Capitals.

    Walker might have ensured his spot in the lineup during the Washington Capitals’ first preseason game against the New Jersey Devils. Replacing Winnik on the penalty kill will be key for the Caps. Walker scored an excellent shorthanded goal and was one of the best forwards all game.”

    Or maybe he could help.
    Who do they take out of the lineup?

    JJ
    JP
    Sleppy
    Caggs

  79. Pouzar says:

    Talent Analysis

    One of the oldest players in his draft year, Walker’s ability does not fly off the page at you. He does, however, make up for it with a tenacious attitude and a strong skating ability. He uses his speed and determination to provide quality energy to the bottom half of his team’s lineup and has shown a willingness to muck it up when necessary. Offensively, there is not much there and when he produces, it comes as a result of his tremendous effort.

    Read more at http://www.hockeysfuture.com/prospects/nathan-walker/#koyjFR9RYglw6zxO.99

  80. frjohnk says:

    Woodguy v2.0,

    After 5 years, I finally got a new phone.
    So I’m writing the next name without correcting it.

    Beetle

    Edit:
    Now you shouldn’t see EBERLE anymore

  81. Pouzar says:

    frjohnk: Or maybe he could help.
    Who do they take out of the lineup?

    JJ
    JP
    Sleppy
    Caggs

    Caggs right now imo.

  82. thepeetso says:

    Pouzar: Caggs right now imo.

    Yep Yep.

  83. P2theickles1 says:

    19-97-98
    27-29-58
    18-93-91
    16-55-44

    25-6
    77-83
    4-Fayne

    Lucic shouldn’t be on McDs wing that is terrible idea. Let him and Drai play together they can work that cycle game and then Slepy is there shooter. I would leave JP on McDs wing for some more games. Kid had plenty of shots on net and if he keeps that up he is gonna score on some of McD setups for sure.
    Fayne is slow but so much better than Gyrba at defending. Avuitu shouldn’t be playing. He cant play defense and coach doesn’t trust him.

  84. prefonmich says:

    As much as PC has not impressed me, I am happy that he is making this kind of move. Nathan Walker is known for speed (I just listened to Trotz’ assessment of his first game). Seems like positive energy guy too.
    This tells me two things, neither of which are as bad as making a bold move in desperate times. 1. PC is not looking at a big shakeup currently (no RNH out, phew) and 2. he is willing to send guys down that don’t improve the overall performance of the team markedly. Gryba is next to go down (one can hope).

  85. Pouzar says:

    frjohnk,

    Hearing he doesn’t PK now. I dunno. At least he can skate fast so there’s that.

  86. digger50 says:

    I was only angry at Shaw last night.

    I will put in a word for Gryba today – but unfortunately I missed his penalty due to ….Shaw.

    He’s been good at his role this year. Measured in relation to his role he has been every bit as good (or bad) as Klefbom, Benning, Russel.

    He should not and would not have played last night. It’s not his game. And as soon as he showed up he is going to be getting a penalty. Just cause. Same as Polack. Ask the refs why.

    If you don’t want Gryba to hit hard then don’t play him. Otherwise you are playing him for his weaknesses, not his strengths. And I still believe Oilers d men get regularly beat on until they cough up the puck.

    Bring on Brandon Davidson, he should be cheap. If they could swap Pak for him, great move.

  87. Bag of Pucks says:

    Russell’s error is one of egregious timing. Make that mistake 10 minutes into the first period and it’s not the flashpoint it is today. Interesting that so much of the criticism of the player doesn’t seem to balance the fact that he scored the tying goal on a beautiful shot to give them a chance for a late push in the first place.

    I’m not a fan of beating up players over singular mistakes. We all make them in our lives. The key is not making the same ones twice. A good example is Justin Schultz. He frequently turned the puck over at the opposition blue leading to goals against. That was a far bigger issue and one deserving of the criticism it incited as opposed to a singular incident of a player making a poorly aimed clearance.

    Earlier in the game, Kassian missed a wide open net by six feet. That had the exact same result on the game as Russell’s gaffe but doesn’t get mentioned cos of when it occured. Life is timing.

  88. prefonmich says:

    Also looks like potential on PK, maybe taking Caggs off of there after he continually shows poorly… more speed cannot hurt!

  89. hags9k says:

    Random thoughts.

    Not sure why the gnashing of teeth about NW, if the guy can PK then fuckin A…

    It’s a head shaker to be discussing which of the RWs to sit down because they all appear to be playing pretty well, yet we are piling up losses. frustrating

    For me it’s the goalies and the PK that have created this hole.

    I don’t think they are dead yet and refuse to give up on any team with Connor McDavid.

  90. My Tierless Retina says:

    frjohnk: got a new phone

    You could have edited the auto-correct rules on the old one, but I look forward to reading more about this Beetle Bailey guy.

  91. digger50 says:

    Running center depth through four lines worked well yesterday. But…….yes we are short a couple horses to make it really work.

  92. Pouzar says:

    hags9k: Not sure why the gnashing of teeth about NW

    Rumors are multiple claims were put in on him.

  93. prefonmich says:

    Also as Oilers, we want all the ‘Gretzky’s’ we had the real one, the German one and now the Australian one. Maybe he will be a fit on Connor’s wing?

  94. My Tierless Retina says:

    Pouzar: Rumors are multiple claims were put in on him.

    It’s been a while since the Oilers held a high card in the waiver draft.

    It’s hard to spin a Pak on waivers story in a bad way, but I guess it is going to clog up the contract sitch a little, because I doubt he gets claimed.

  95. OmJo says:

    Dustylegnd: Absolutely fantastic to see JJ Kairah gaining confidence, imposing his will and being rewarded with points, he is a player that was actually drafted and developed by the Oil, he is big and can skate, exactly the kind of value player the Oilers typically trade right before he reaches his useful prime… stay tuned

    That’s all the more reason to give credence to the trade rumours.

  96. Glass says:

    What I’m feeling right now, given the recent claim and Khaira’s recent surge:

    Maroon/McDavid/Puljujarvi
    Khaira/Nuge/Strome
    Lucic/Draisaitl/Slepyshev
    Walker/Letestu/Kassian

    Khaira is a staple right now imo, and I prefer Slepyshev over Caggiula. The Nuge/Draisaitl lines are basically line 2a and 2b, TOI is based on performance. Each line has a balance of speed and NHL experience imo.

  97. OmJo says:

    Dustylegnd: LB has got to be better, you just can’t have goals like the Moore goal period, you just can’t, yes he had 5 alarm saves but jesus man, make the easy ones and hope for th best on the rest…..

    Notice how he got better and more comfortable as the game went on?

    He’s played a total of 16 games in the NHL over the last two seasons, including playoffs.

    Rust is a thing. I suspect we’ll see him play to his full potential over the next two weeks and hopefully TMac will start to play him more frequently when Talbot returns.

  98. OmJo says:

    Glass:
    What I’m feeling right now, given the recent claim and Khaira’s recent surge:

    Maroon/McDavid/Puljujarvi
    Khaira/Nuge/Strome
    Lucic/Draisaitl/Slepyshev
    Walker/Letestu/Kassian

    Khaira is a staple right now imo, and I prefer Slepyshev over Caggiula. The Nuge/Draisaitl lines are basically line 2a and 2b, TOI is based on performance. Each line has a balance of speed and NHL experience imo.

    Is Walker a filler zombie from TWD or the corpse of Cammalleri?

  99. Pouzar says:

    My Tierless Retina: It’s been a while since the Oilers held a high card in the waiver draft.

    It’s hard to spin a Pak on waivers story in a bad way, but I guess it is going to clog up the contract sitch a little, because I doubt he gets claimed.

    Mark Spector (@SportsnetSpec) · Twitter

    https://twitter.com/SportsnetSpec

    Chiarelli “faux waived” Pakarinen to all GMs yesterday. No surprise there were no takers. Finnish winger is on real waivers today.

  100. OriginalPouzar says:

    P2theickles1:
    19-97-98
    27-29-58
    18-93-91
    16-55-44

    25-6
    77-83
    4-Fayne

    Lucic shouldn’t be on McDs wing that is terrible idea. Let him and Drai play together they can work that cycle game and then Slepy is there shooter. I would leave JP on McDs wing for some more games. Kid had plenty of shots on net and if he keeps that up he is gonna score on some of McD setups for sure.
    Fayne is slow but so much better than Gyrba at defending. Avuitu shouldn’t be playing. He cant play defense and coach doesn’t trust him.

    I’d be in favor of Simpson getting a call-up – a leftie but one of the few that, from accounts and in a small sample size, is almost just as good on his off-side.

  101. jzed says:

    Someone needs to ask Katz where the money for a ‘state of the art’ ice plant went and if we do indeed have one, why isn’t it working, too expensive to turn on? I can watch kids play with tennis balls for free out on the street.
    Rumors of Davidson coming back? Always liked him , thought he would develop into quality D man. Apparently, Chia didn’t want to gamble on that though.

  102. SwedishPoster says:

    Aussie Aussie Aussie Oil Oil Oil…

  103. Woogie63 says:

    I was at the Flames v. Arizona game last night;

    Flames 3 and 4th lines are coming alive. BUT SMITH is the story here.

    We are going to need to get quality shots on Smith he is playing very well and is a force handing the puck.

  104. Side says:

    jzed:
    Someone needs to ask Katz where the money for a ‘stateof the art’ ice plant went and if we do indeed have one, why isn’t it working, too expensive to turn on? I can watch kids play with tennisballs for free out on the street.Rumors of Davidsoncoming back? Always liked him , thought he would developintoquality Dman. Apparently, Chia didn’t want to gamble on that though.

    I wonder how many first round picks Chia will offer for Davidson.. Hmm…

  105. My Tierless Retina says:

    Pouzar: Chiarelli “faux waived” Pakarinen

    Just another former Oiler who was out of the league after leaving.

  106. My Tierless Retina says:

    Let’s all goooooooooooooo

    Down to Nathan Walker…

  107. Oil2Oilers says:

    “McDavid went 18-11 against the Matthews line, 1-1 GF”

    Not shocking, we expect McDavid to go power v. power and win. He did this with a slow Lucic, who despite his pay check few think is a top line winger, and a raw rookie.

    Puljujarvi still is not posting the box cars we would like, but was not a liability out there against one of the NHL’s best lines. Hopefully he gets another chance, his shooting percentage has got to be better than it is (doesn’t it) . Learning to take one more of his long ass strides before he does the coaches ‘pass it off the goalies pads’ would help. Add to that a Lafleur/Messier wrong foot release and I would be smitten.

  108. fishman says:

    Our problems have been analyzed to death but there are a few simple things (and many not so simple!) that have doomed the Oil this year.

    1. Special teams. Just awful and couldn’t be much worse. Fix them to above league average and we are in the playoffs. OUR PK seems worse every game especially at home! WTF?

    2. Goaltending. Simply hasn’t been consistently good enough. Not an easy fix. Hopefully Talbot rebounds but likely going to be too late if it happens as we will be out of playoffs by time he is back.

    3. Defensemen. Regression by Kleff and Benning. No cover for Sekera injury. No depth what so ever.

    If Chia/TMac fix even one of these issues above we are likely still in the battle for playoffs. Shit happens and good management makes adjustments on the fly to correct problems. What exactly has Chia/ TMac done to correct any of the above issues????

  109. texmex says:

    Bob Stauffer‏Verified account
    @Bob_Stauffer
    10m10 minutes ago
    More
    Oscar Klefbom and Adam Larsson are not on the ice today for Oilers practice

  110. My Tierless Retina says:

    jzed: Someone needs to ask Katz where the money for a ‘state of the art’ ice plant went

    Where ever that money ended up, I’m certain that it did not go towards a solid gold bathtub for a certain Brazilian actress.

  111. OriginalPouzar says:

    Neither Larsson nor Klefbom are on the ice at practice today.

  112. GMB3 says:

    russ99:
    All the people who are convinced that Russell is useless because of Corsi and puck moving and who hate his salary, go back and watch him play until the own goal, He played great in our zone, made some nice passes and nice carries, made things happen in the offensive zone.

    There’s a useful player there. Hockey isn’t black and white, good vs. useless.

    Yesterday is yesterday. Let’s build on how we played in the last two periods and come out hot and take it to the Flames from the start tomorrow.

    Beating the Leafs would have been nice, it’s more a fight back against a snarky east-coast media, but beating the Flames is essential for our fans and for our chances to get back in the hunt in the Pacific.

    For the love of god Russ. It’s the fact he’s not a 4 million dollar defenseman.

  113. dustrock says:

    texmex:
    Bob Stauffer‏Verified account
    @Bob_Stauffer10m10 minutes ago
    More
    Oscar Klefbom and Adam Larsson are not on the ice today for Oilers practice

    Hello darkness my old friend, first He giveth then He taketh away, love is suicide, etc

  114. GMB3 says:

    JimmyV1965:
    What a bizarre way to end the game.If we hold on for 90 seconds and get at least 1 pt this game becomes a real rallying point for the team. It could have been a real turning point in the season. For 40 minutes the Oil took it to the Leafs. I hope it dispels the myth that we are being killed because we are a slow team. We sure didn’t look slow in the last 40 minutes.

    It’s not a myth, we are still a slow team and by eye we looked slow. I imagine score effects played a big role. Although having Slepy, Khaira, and JP in the lineup does make us a much quicker team

  115. P2theickles1 says:

    OriginalPouzar: I’d be in favor of Simpson getting a call-up – a leftie but one of the few that, from accounts and in a small sample size, is almost just as good on his off-side.

    OriginalPouzar,

    Would be all for that too. Don’t want to see Gryba or Avuitu out there. They are not helping this team.

  116. GMB3 says:

    I hate to say this but JP reminds me of Yakupov in a lot of ways. Better physical talents, equally lost in his own zone. I feel like the narrative about him being so good defensively for a young player comes from his ability to break up plays when backchecking cause of his speed and reach, and that has value as well, but damn, he’s got a different breed of bee’s

  117. GBandQ says:

    @EdmontonOilers
    The #Oilers have claimed forward Nathan Walker via waivers from the Washington Capitals. The 23-year-old LW has scored one goal in seven games during the 2017-18 season.

    In a corresponding move, the Oilers have waived winger Iiro Pakarinen.

  118. GMB3 says:

    It doesn’t appear to me that Draisaitl is going to drive his own line and will need help on the wings which is gonna be tough to find when he’s overpaid by 2 mill

  119. GMB3 says:

    A quality player added through the draft, and a good college free agent or a European free agent dman could cure a lot of what ails this team. Not sure how we fit a Svechnikov players bonuses on this team though, that could be a real issue

  120. OriginalPouzar says:

    Edmonton Oilers Retweeted

    Bob Stauffer‏Verified account
    @Bob_Stauffer
    8m8 minutes ago
    More Bob Stauffer Retweeted Edmonton Oilers
    Walker scouting report from Washington source
    “He can fly, is jacked and can play 3 FWD positions.
    Was surprised Trotz didn’t PK him.”

  121. OriginalPouzar says:

    GMB3:
    It doesn’t appear to me that Draisaitl is going to drive his own line and will need help on the wings which is gonna be tough to find when he’s overpaid by 2 mill

    He’s 21 and in year one an 8-year contract.

    He has driven a line on his own in about half the games he’s played without McDavid this year.

    He will develop to be a consistent driver if the fan-base doesn’t lambaste him and run him out of town.

    Why do we expect every player to be fully developed in their teens or early 20s?

  122. Side says:

    OriginalPouzar: He’s 21 and in year one an 8-year contract.

    He has driven a line on his own in about half the games he’s played without McDavid this year.

    He will develop to be a consistent driver if the fan-base doesn’t lambaste him and run him out of town.

    Why do we expect every player to be fully developed in their teens or early 20s?

    I think some fans are upset because he’s being paid like he’s fully developed.

  123. till_horcoff_is_coach says:

    After watching the first 10 minutes I would have gladly taken that outcome. If you can remove yourself from the importance of the 2 points, it was a fantastically entertaining game to watch. This team has weaknesses but sure enjoyed a lot about the makeup of these lines.

    That game came against a high-octane, highly-talented team, with the Oilers still rebounding from sickness and slowly recovering from confidence issues. There was a significant push-back, a lot of hard effort and many battles won as the game went on. I’m more enthused by that loss than the previous wins to be honest and if nothing else, those types of games are much more satisfying way to lose.

  124. who says:

    Woodguy v2.0:
    Fun game when Shaw was able to let me watch it.

    Listened to most of the 2nd on Ched and Jack Micheals is frustrating.

    He’s doing his own color during the play by play so the last play he calls is an Oilers shot then the next play he calls is a Brossoit save?!?!?

    How did the puck get there Jack????

    Fun game, gut wrench at the end.

    16-55-44 were cooking with gas.29 needs to bring more.

    Also,

    This is game was yet another data point for my OMGBBQ PUT RUSSELL AND NURSE BACK TOGETHER FFS!!! theory.

    Klefbom-Benning haven’t been good together at all this year and they weren’t again last night, although there were flashes.

    Nurse-Russell are destroyer of worlds when together, but they never get together!!! Until last night when Larsson comes up lame.

    This year so far:

    Nurse-Russell 57%CF, 83%GF (71 minutes)

    Klefbom-Benning 50CF%, 37% GF

    Klefbom-Larsson 54%CF, 34%GF

    Klef’s GF% is really gross this year, but his CF% with Larsson in 1st pair minutes is good and that pair should be back together for the explicit reason of having a 2nd pair thatcan handle those minutes.

    I’m convinced that Nurse-Russellis far superior to Klefbom-Benning for 2nd pair while the drop off from Nurse-Larsson to Klefbom-Larsson isn’t nearly enough (or exists via shot and chance metrics) to warrant keeping Klef and Larsson apart.

    The only metric that Nurse-Larsson is better then Klef-Larsson is goals.

    Shots attempts, shots on net, scoring chances and high danger scoring chances are all better with 77-6 than 25-6

    That’s not to say 25-6 is bad, they are not.They are good.77-6 is slightly better.

    What is way better is 25-4 compared to 77-83 and that’s a big freaking deal, especially if the coach doesn’t trust his 3rd pair.

    81-83 are 48%CF together (in 30 mintues) and that’s ok if the top 2 pairs are working.

    Agree with everything here except your third pairing. Thought Klefbom might have had his best game of the year last night. Put him back with Larsson and run even minutes through your top four.
    Re 3rd pair: Benning would look better with Stanton, Simpson, Cole, Davidson, etc. Auvitu is not an NHL defender, he is a winger. Leafs third goal last night illustrates the problem perfectly. 50/50 puck at Oilers blue line and he has already blown the zone. He’s just wired to think offense first and doesn’t seem to recognize potentially dangerous situations.

  125. russ99 says:

    GMB3: For the love of god Russ. It’s the fact he’s not a 4 million dollar defenseman.

    He took a pay cut to come here last year and got an 800K raise. The salary isnt the issue, it’s on par for his level of experience. There are worse defenders making more, there are better defenders making less. For a 30 year old, he still can skate, which is the one declining skill in defenders that make such contracts go really bad.

    In a microcosm, it’s not the wild outlier fans make it out to be. I am on record not approving of the NMC, but at least it’s very tradable in another year.

    Besides, Russell’s salary or Lucic’s salary isn’t the root issue for most fans anyway, it’s that their salary took away cap room for Hall – RNH – Eberle where IMO its’s obvious that that ran its course and was untenable once McDavid was drafted and Lowe/MacTavish demoted.

  126. russ99 says:

    who: Agree with everything here except your third pairing. Thought Klefbom might have had his best game of the year last night. Put him back with Larsson and run even minutes through your top four.
    Re 3rd pair: Benning would look better with Stanton, Simpson, Cole, Davidson, etc. Auvitu is not an NHL defender, he is a winger. Leafs third goal last night illustrates the problem perfectly. 50/50 puck at Oilers blue line and he has already blown the zone. He’s just wired to think offense first and doesn’t seem to recognize potentially dangerous situations.

    I do like Auvitu, he seems to have a really good sense for offense, and despite his obvious shortcomings on the defensive side of the ice, he’s not made us look really bad, in the way that some of Klefbom’s and Benning’s more glaring mistakes have.

    Maybe there is a winger there…

  127. GMB3 says:

    OriginalPouzar: He’s 21 and in year one an 8-year contract.

    He has driven a line on his own in about half the games he’s played without McDavid this year.

    He will develop to be a consistent driver if the fan-base doesn’t lambaste him and run him out of town.

    Why do we expect every player to be fully developed in their teens or early 20s?

    Why do we give a player a huge contract after a career year (that he probably does not surpass if he centers his own line) where he rode a high shooting % after seeing the mistake that the Eberle contract was (which is why we bled skill in that trade too). The logical play would of been bridging him. There’s almost no way his value would ever be as high as it was after the playoffs this season and he wouldn’t have commanded as much. And if he did prove to be an elite C on his own behalf during that bridge deal, at least you know what you are getting. I’m not sure he’s going to be 2.5 million dollars better than RNH, who’s been ripped for not being worth 6 mill.

    I don’t know the numbers, but generally aren’t the guys who get one of the top 10 highest contracts in the NHL driving offense on their own line by 21? I get that having Drake Caggiula on left wing is probably a difficult task, but damn, we are in cap hell and haven’t accomplished shit.

  128. Pink Socks says:

    russ99:

    Maybe there’s a winger there…

    I actually thought he played a shift at LW and was happy… but it turned out to be Caggiula. Then I was sad. It would be a good idea to try him out as a 4LW while giving 7D in the lineup to give TMac some additional flexibility. I like it.

  129. russ99 says:

    GMB3: Why do we give a player a huge contract after a career year (that he probably does not surpass if he centers his own line) where he rode a high shooting % after seeing the mistake that the Eberle contract was (which is why we bled skill in that trade too). The logical play would of been bridging him. There’s almost no way his value would ever be as high as it was after the playoffs this season and he wouldn’t have commanded as much. And if he did prove to be an elite C on his own behalf during that bridge deal, at least you know what you are getting. I’m not sure he’s going to be 2.5 million dollars better than RNH, who’s been ripped for not being worth 6 mill.

    I don’t know the numbers, but generally aren’t the guys who get one of the top 10 highest contracts in the NHL driving offense on their own line by 21? I get that having Drake Caggiula on left wing is probably a difficult task, but damn, we are in cap hell and haven’t accomplished shit.

    Like much of the other discussions on player value, it takes two to tango.

    McDavid’s deal drove up everybody’s top number.

    Draisaitl and his agent were not going to bargain for a lower priced bridge deal, his point totals last season and breakout playoff performance weren’t going to make that a possibility.

    The alternative was to lose him in a trade or offer sheet.

    I still think Draisaitl’s contract will appear more value than overpay over the last 5-6 years of his deal.

    As for this year, concussions are hard to get past, he could have lingering issues, and Todd’s blender isn’t helping things.

  130. GMB3 says:

    russ99: I do like Auvitu, he seems to have a really good sense for offense, and despite his obvious shortcomings on the defensive side of the ice, he’s not made us look really bad, in the way that some of Klefbom’s and Benning’s more glaring mistakes have.

    Maybe there’s a winger there…

    What about Russells glaring mistakes? They’ve made us look pretty bad. Not even last nights goal. How about in overtime versus Arizona him ceding the blueline to Fischer and backing into the low slot and letting a mediocre NHLer have the time and space to pick his shot and luckily put it bar out instead of bar in?

    Why do “fans” of this team shit on the players who are the future of this team while defending the overpriced veteran players who provide limited value for their contract?

    Every time Klefbom makes a mistake, he gets ripped by Drew, Spector, and the rest of the old-school “grit” hockey guys. Russell can make the same mistakes and gets a free pass.

  131. OriginalPouzar says:

    I’m not arguing his contract, I’m arguing the premise of putting a ceiling on the player, “he’ll never drive a line”, at 21 years of age – in particular when he’s already proven to be able to “drive a line” in short sample sizes – not consistent yet but he’s 21.

  132. GMB3 says:

    russ99: Like much of the other discussions on player value, it takes two to tango.

    McDavid’s deal drove up everybody’s top number.

    Draisaitl and his agent were not going to bargain for a lower priced bridge deal, his point totals last season and breakout playoff performance weren’t going to make that a possibility.

    I still think Draisaitl’s contract will appear more value than overpay over the last 5-6 years of his deal.

    As for this year, concussions are hard to get past, he could have lingering issues, and Todd’s blender isn’t helping things.

    Yes, hence my issue being with Chiarelli for not having the foresight to bridge the player. And yeah, if the cap increases, the last 5 years will be much more palatable. The issue is it makes it difficult to add the pieces we need in the short term to compete in the next two years. I like Drai as a player, but he’s far from a bargain, there’s players who are better or just as good making 1.5 million less than he is.

  133. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    frjohnk: Or maybe he could help.
    Who do they take out of the lineup?

    JJ
    JP
    Sleppy
    Caggs

    Cagguila.

    I don’t think it’s close.

  134. russ99 says:

    GMB3,

    You have a point.

    All defenders make mistakes, goals get scored. I think the issue with Klefbom is that we see him eventually developing into a top pair guy and he needs to clean up the defensive issues to get there and players like Larsson and Russell already are who they are.

    I guess it comes down to expectations. Maybe we should peel back some of ours with this current team.

  135. who says:

    GMB3:
    I hate to say this but JP reminds me of Yakupov in a lot of ways. Better physical talents, equally lost in his own zone. I feel like the narrative about him being so good defensively for a young player comes from his ability to break up plays when backchecking cause of his speed and reach, and that has value as well, but damn, he’s got a different breed of bee’s

    Well I guess we haven’t been watching the same games
    JP is the defensive conscience of the Macdavid line. First guy back in his zone most of the time and willing to stay down low in support. First guy to cover for pinching dman in offensive zone.
    Comparing him to Yakupov defensively is laughable.

  136. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    frjohnk:
    Woodguy v2.0,

    After 5 years, I finally got a new phone.
    So I’m writing the next name without correcting it.

    Beetle

    Edit:
    Now you shouldn’t see EBERLE anymore

    *sigh*

    Memories……..

  137. Pink Socks says:

    On LB: I thought he played excellent. Some big stops, but can’t blame him for the 1st period dumpster fire in front of him and the unfortunate end. Needs to have that second goal though.

    On Lucic: Finally playing meaner which is great, but I don’t think he is good for 97’s wing. RNH and Lucic had chem and were putting up numbers, get them back together and put Maroon back with the diety.

    On Gryba: I saw him bad on the penalty as well, but saw him even worse for everything else. He was a decent 7D last year, this year he is nothing more than an 8D. Unfortunate, but it’s time to waive him also.

    On Caggiula: Get him the fuck off the PK and straight out of the lineup. All flash and no (literally no) finish, and an abomination on the PK. I was optimistic in the preseason that he could turn into a Marchand-lite and put up 15-20 goals, now, I think that train has left the station. If we had anything decent in Bakersfield at C it would be great to get him some time in the AHL to figure out how to put up a point every now and then.

    On JP: Great game. Even his perimiter shots are on net and last night Andersen had to cover up for an O-zone faceoff. Good stuff, hope he sticks with 97 for a few more games.

    On Klefbom: Looked great last night, but WG’s numbers cannot be argued. He needs to be back with Larsson, Nurse with Russell, and Simpson called up to play with Benning on a sheltered 3rd pair. Fire Gryba into the sun and hold on to Auvitu for a 7D role with Simpson back to AHL when Sekera makes his return.

    On 4th Line: Kassian and Khaira are gold at the moment; Letestu playing well too. That was the best game of a 4th line since 2006.

    On Russell: paid too much for too long, played excellent last night and definitely kicked the collective fan base in the balls with a minute left. I feel bad for the guy, but he is a good partner for 25 and 2.

    The game overall last night was a tremendously entertaining game. 50/50 on the result, shitty outcome. If the team continues to play like the 2nd and 3rd period for a stretch the wildcard isn’t yet out of reach.

  138. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    who: Agree with everything here except your third pairing. Thought Klefbom might have had his best game of the year last night. Put him back with Larsson and run even minutes through your top four.
    Re 3rd pair: Benning would look better with Stanton, Simpson, Cole, Davidson, etc. Auvitu is not an NHL defender, he is a winger. Leafs third goal last night illustrates the problem perfectly. 50/50 puck at Oilers blue line and he has already blown the zone. He’s just wired to think offense first and doesn’t seem to recognize potentially dangerous situations.

    That’s fair.

    I love watching chaos though

  139. GMB3 says:

    russ99: He took a pay cut to come here last year and got an 800K raise. The salary isnt the issue, it’s on par for his level of experience. There are worse defenders making more, there are better defenders making less. For a 30 year old, he still can skate, which is the one declining skill in defenders that make such contracts go really bad.

    In a microcosm, it’s not the wild outlier fans make it out to be. I am on record not approving of the NMC, but at least it’s very tradable in another year.

    Besides, Russell’s salary or Lucic’s salary isn’t the root issue for most fans anyway, it’s that their salary took away cap room for Hall – RNH – Eberle where IMO its’s obvious that that ran its course and was untenable once McDavid was drafted and Lowe/MacTavish demoted.

    Once again, the narrative that it was our three best players fault that the team wasn’t competitive, not the coaching carousel, the terrible goaltending, or management’s complete inability to ice a league average defensive unit. All three of those guys are good players, Hall a very good player. He’s a third pairing defender playing on a team with some huge contracts with their forwards. We have good defensive depth that will be pushing for NHL jobs before his contract is over.

    I’m not sure how having offensively skilled wingers is untenable. We are searching to replace those guys right now. At least the Hall trade was logical on its face.

    This is exactly why people think the MSM in Edmonton is garbage. People actually blame the Hall-RNH-Eberle cluster for those years. I blame the GM, Dallas Eakins, our goaltending. Hall is doing just fine in New Jersey, Eberle is doing just fine in NY.

  140. Pink Socks says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    I’m not arguing his contract, I’m arguing the premise of putting a ceiling on the player, “he’ll never drive a line”, at 21 years of age – in particular when he’s already proven to be able to “drive a line” in short sample sizes – not consistent yet but he’s 21.

    I also think he is driving a line as well as can be expected with 91 on that wing. I’m still just furious with Caggiula for almost every game this year, and especially last night. He was and has been awful, tough to jump on Drai for not putting up points with him.

  141. OriginalPouzar says:

    Larsson on IR.

    Maintenance day for Klef.

    Larsson’s injury is not major and he is likely to play on Wednsday.

    The IR is to open up a roster spot for tomorrow’s game I believe (likely Stanton or Simpson I would think).

  142. russ99 says:

    McLellan said Larsson is going on injured reserve. Expects him out a week-ish. Really hope he doesn’t miss that nasty 5pm back to back in Montreal and Toronto next weekend..

    Call up Simpson.

  143. GMB3 says:

    russ99:
    GMB3,

    You have a point.

    All defenders make mistakes, goals get scored. I think the issue with Klefbom is that we see him eventually developing into a top pair guy and he needs to clean up the defensive issues to get there and players like Larsson and Russell already are who they are.

    I guess it comes down to expectations. Maybe we should peel back some of ours with this current team.

    Tha’s fair, and most of my gripe with Russell is how is immune to criticism in the MSM and his contract. He’s a useful player, and a real live NHL defenceman, and we haven’t had enough of those in the last 10 years

  144. Pink Socks says:

    who: Well I guess we haven’t been watching the same games
    JP is the defensive conscience of the Macdavid line. First guy back in his zone most of the time and willing to stay down low in support.First guy to cover for pinching dman in offensive zone.
    Comparing him to Yakupov defensively is laughable.

    I agree with all of this. JP was very good last night and his previous games with defensive coverage. Seems to be feeling the game properly. Now if the puck will start finding the back of the net with some regularity we’ll have a godsend.

  145. CrazyCoach says:

    digger50:
    I was only angry at Shaw last night.

    I will put in a word for Gryba today – but unfortunately I missed his penalty due to ….Shaw.

    He’s been good at his role this year. Measured in relation to his role he has been every bit as good (or bad) as Klefbom, Benning, Russel.

    He should not and would not have played last night. It’s not his game. And as soon as he showed up he is going to be getting a penalty. Just cause. Same as Polack. Ask the refs why.

    If you don’t want Gryba to hit hard then don’t play him. Otherwise you are playing him for his weaknesses, not his strengths. And I still believe Oilers d men get regularly beat on until they cough up the puck.

    Bring on Brandon Davidson, he should be cheap. If they could swap Pak for him, great move.

    I agree wholeheartedly.

    This is what I wrote last night;

    “Well, I don’t feel so bad about putting one into my own net the other night in my old timers game. It sucks to do that, but I hope Russel is like me and he forgives Brossoit for not being ready for that shot. It just makes the dressing room a better place to be to not hold grudges.

    A couple quick observations.

    Firstly, all this vitriol directed toward Gryba for his penalty. I saw comments early on about how he needs to keep his game simple and check guys. On that particular play, he was finishing his check and just pushed a little too hard. Now, if he doesn’t try to finish his check, then the boobirds get on him about his game. You can’t fault a player for taking a penalty for doing what he’s told to do. A trip 200 feet from your net when the puck is hitting the far blueline? Open for criticism. A boarding call on a guy finishing his check? Not ideal, but not a benching incident, unless it’s the third time in a period maybe.”

  146. Pink Socks says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    Larsson on IR.

    Maintenance day for Klef.

    Larsson’s injury is not major and he is likely to play on Wednsday.

    The IR is to open up a roster spot for tomorrow’s game I believe (likely Stanton or Simpson I would think).

    Christ.

    #1 G out
    #1 D out
    #2 D out

    Good thing Nurse is coming along.

    25-4
    77-83
    81-Simpson

  147. GMB3 says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    I’m not arguing his contract, I’m arguing the premise of putting a ceiling on the player, “he’ll never drive a line”, at 21 years of age – in particular when he’s already proven to be able to “drive a line” in short sample sizes – not consistent yet but he’s 21.

    Possibly some hyperbole on my part, but I think some of the small sample sizes where he has “driven a line” have been PDO benders.

  148. Pouzar says:

    russ99:
    McLellan said Larsson is going on injured reserve. Expects him out a week-ish. Really hope he doesn’t miss that nasty 5pm back to back in Montreal and Toronto next weekend..

    Call up Simpson.

    Trade for Demers

  149. Pouzar says:

    Pink Socks: Christ.

    #1 G out
    #1 D out
    #2 D out

    Good thing Nurse is coming along.

    25-4
    77-83
    81-Simpson

    Our #1 D is just fine.

  150. OriginalPouzar says:

    Pink Socks,

    I agree with everything in that well-written post except with respect to Caggulia.

    I don’t disagree that he needs to be off the PK and may be the player that should come out of the lineup for Walker.

    What I do disagree on is the implication that there will never be a player there. If two months ago you thought he could turn in to Marchant-light then I don’t think you can/should think that idea is in the garbage now.

    He’s a bit older but he’s still a developing player (and has had to fight through injuries in both his pro seasons). Marchant didn’t turn in to Marchant until many years after he turned pro. Why doesn’t Drake get some bit of time to develop (acknowledging that he is older)?

    This is not said solely to you, however, I’m starting to get frustrated with so many members of the fanbase, MSM, blogging community, etc. putting ceilings on players, lowering ceilings on players, etc. within one to two years of being drafted and/or turning pro.

    Higher profile players get “ceilinged” a year or two post draft but guys like Khaira are allowed to develop for years post draft without expectations being changed.

  151. OriginalPouzar says:

    Coach says a d-man will be called up for tomorrow.

    I wonder if it will be Stanton or Simpson?

    Maybe Fayne if they want a true RHD.

  152. GMB3 says:

    who: Well I guess we haven’t been watching the same games
    JP is the defensive conscience of the Macdavid line. First guy back in his zone most of the time and willing to stay down low in support.First guy to cover for pinching dman in offensive zone.
    Comparing him to Yakupov defensively is laughable.

    He’s definitely better than Yakupov defensively, and I said that he does use his speed to apply back pressure. I still don’t think he gets in the right spots enough in his own end and his decision making is questionable. I’m pretty sure those are the parts of his play that are getting him scratched. I’m well aware that he’s only 19, but some aspects of his play remind me of Yakupov. When Yakupov was in his second year, he got ripped publicly by Eakins and the MSM for the deficiencies in his play, and at least JP is getting the time to correct his play.

  153. digger50 says:

    Is LB a good goalie?

    I just don’t see him good. Though I question if the perceived lack of confidence from the team is affecting my judgement.

    He seems to position himself well and the puck hits him. He doesn’t seem to know where it is a lot of time. Positioning seems so much better than his natural ability. A lot of regular shots beat this guy.

    Yet he made some big saves. Just luck?

    Oilers defensive systems regularly leave the opposition wide open. Two on none?? Lord.

    PK I am convinced is a tactical problem. The guys are not moving properly. They look confused cause they are confused. How long do they stick with this dead horse?

    They are still paying Herbers to do nothing, get him in there with a new PK

  154. russ99 says:

    GMB3: Once again, the narrative that it was our three best players fault that the team wasn’t competitive, not the coaching carousel, the terrible goaltending, or management’s complete inability to ice a league average defensive unit. All three of those guys are good players, Hall a very good player. He’s a third pairing defender playing on a team with some huge contracts with their forwards. We have good defensive depth that will be pushing for NHL jobs before his contract is over.

    I’m not sure how having offensively skilled wingers is untenable. We are searching to replace those guys right now. At least the Hall trade was logical on its face.

    This is exactly why people think the MSM in Edmonton is garbage. People actually blame the Hall-RNH-Eberle cluster for those years. I blame the GM, Dallas Eakins, our goaltending. Hall is doing just fine in New Jersey, Eberle is doing just fine in NY.

    I don’t think the issue is offensively skilled players, it’s those players specifically.

    I don’t blame the players either, but all that mismanagement affected them, not to mention the media fishbowl, and like Schultz need a fresh start to complete their game.

    I don’t see Hall over-relying on going up the wall and crashing the net in Jersey.

    I see Schultz’s weaknesses managed in Pittsburgh and he’s blossomed into a quality offensive defenseman.

    I haven’t watched Ebs yet other than our game against the Isles, so I don’t know how his game is better.

    Nuge needs to fill out and find a way get more physical and hold the puck under pressure. I still think he can turn into a better scoring, cleaner Kesler type in his late 20s, and it will hurt that he’s not that here.

    Do you think any of those players find those aspects of their game here?

    I still believe that fall-winter running riot over the AHL in OKC offensively any way they wanted was the worst thing that could have happened to those guys.

  155. OriginalPouzar says:

    Pink Socks: I agree with all of this.JP was very good last night and his previous games with defensive coverage.Seems to be feeling the game properly.Now if the puck will start finding the back of the net with some regularity we’ll have a godsend.

    Coach thought he had a very good game – as per today’s presser.

    Then again, from what I hear/read, the coach is an idiot so……

  156. JimmyV1965 says:

    GMB3: It’s not a myth, we are still a slow team and by eye we looked slow. I imagine score effects played a big role. Althoughhaving Slepy, Khaira, and JP in the lineup does make us a much quicker team

    I’m not trying to be a troll here, but how are we slow? It didn’t look like we were last night after the first period. We certainly have some slow players, but we have a bunch of fast ones too. It often looks like we’re playing in a fog. There’s no question we are tentative, especially to start games. But we’ve played well against a lot of these fast teams, the Wings, the Devils, the Leafs. And we’ve been hammered by what I would consider not fast teams like the Blues and Stars. How does this his slowness translate on the ice?

  157. StixMalone says:

    Chia: Scouts, find me a pk’er that is tough big can skate and will take one in the nuts for the team.

    Scouts: We found an Aussie he’s 5’6 he used to pk but not sure anymore and his nickname is “The Australian Gretzky”

    Chia: really? Sounds good I like him already. Tell Wayne about him. This will be fun!

    TMac: You got me who????

  158. Melvis says:

    I’ve actually seen Fludd a couple of times.

    Nathan Walker. Will he last longer than Desharnais?

    Was he with Willie and the Walkers;-)?

  159. GMB3 says:

    russ99: I don’t think the issue is offensively skilled players, it’s those players specifically.

    I don’t blame the players either, but all that mismanagement affected them, not to mention the media fishbowl, and like Schultz need a fresh start to complete their game.

    I don’t see Hall over-relying on going up the wall and crashing the net in Jersey.

    I see Schultz’s weaknesses managed in Pittsburgh and he’s blossomed into a quality offensive defenseman.

    I haven’t watched Ebs yet other than our game against the Isles, so I don’t know how his game is better.

    Nuge needs to fill out and find a way get more physical and hold the puck under pressure. I still think he can turn into a better scoring, cleaner Kesler type in his late 20s, and it will hurt that he’s not that here.

    Do you think any of those players find those aspects of their game here?

    I still believe that fall-winter running riot over the AHL in OKC offensively any way they wanted was the worst thing that could have happened to those guys.

    I think Hall was just fine the way he was. I think the way the game has changed in regards to stick infractions has helped his game this year. Again I think Eberle was a flawed one dimensional player, but that dimension has value. I believe his shooting % was likely to regress back to his career average.

    I get that we didn’t win with those guys as our core, but I think its ridiculous to say they needed to go because they clearly couldn’t win here. That had to do with the team that surrounded them.

    We are on pace to be one of the bottom 5 teams in the NHL, and McDavid, Drai, and Lucic are supposed to be better players (that’s how you portray them from my perspective, and I don’t disagree with McDavid, lol), how come we aren’t winning games now? Goaltending, special teams, depth. A lot of the same issues that plagued those core players.

    I’m not even a big Taylor Hall fan, I’m 25 and have plenty of friends who lived in Edmonton, and I’ve heard enough stories. That doesn’t change the fact he was a good to great player when he was here. The team couldn’t win when he was here, but that’s not on Taylor Hall. T

  160. Thinker says:

    Can someone refresh me on the plan? I think I missed a key point.

  161. StixMalone says:

    Melvis:
    I’ve actually seen Fludd a couple of times.

    Nathan Walker. Will he last longer than Desharnais?

    Was he with Willie and the Walkers;-)?

    Dumas Walker

  162. Melvis says:

    And while I’m at it. Small Wonder featuring Henry Small. He was great.

  163. OmJo says:

    russ99: He took a pay cut to come here last year and got an 800K raise.

    He signed his first contract on October 7, 2016. 5 days before the regular season started. He didn’t take a pay cut out of the goodness of his heart, he took a pay cut because nobody was dumb enough to pay him the $4-5M he was asking for.

    Until he talked to General Disappointment, ofc.

  164. GMB3 says:

    JimmyV1965: I’m not trying to be a troll here, but how are we slow?It didn’t look like we were last night after the first period. We certainly have some slow players, but we have a bunch of fast ones too. It often looks like we’re playing in a fog. There’s no question we are tentative, especially to start games. But we’ve played well against a lot of these fast teams, the Wings, the Devils, the Leafs. And we’ve been hammered by what I would consider not fast teams like the Blues and Stars. How does this his slowness translate on the ice?

    The Blues looked faster than us. If you have both Milan Lucic and Patrick Maroon as your left wings in your top 6, they are both really slow, and in spots where traditionally top 6 players tend to be average to above average skates. Mark Letestu is slow. We have a bunch of average skaters. Not a lot of burners. The idea that the Oilers are a slow team isn’t unique to me. It’s commented on in the MSM, it’s been commented on my just about every opponents broadcast team (I can’t stand listening to Quinn and Remenda so I usually watch the away feed).

    I don’t understand the question, how are we slow? By not being fast. It’s a pretty straightforward question and answer. Puck movement plays a role too.

  165. Thinker says:

    GMB3: I think Hall was just fine the way he was. I think the way the game has changed in regards to stick infractions has helped his game this year. Again I think Eberle was a flawed one dimensional player, but that dimension has value. I believe his shooting % was likely to regress back to his career average.

    I get that we didn’t win with those guys as our core, but I think its ridiculous to say they needed to go because they clearly couldn’t win here. That had to do with the team that surrounded them.

    We are on pace to be one of the bottom 5 teams in the NHL, and McDavid, Drai, and Lucic are supposed to be better players (that’s how you portray them from my perspective, and I don’t disagree with McDavid, lol), how come we aren’t winning games now? Goaltending, special teams, depth. A lot of the same issues that plagued those core players.

    I’m not even a big Taylor Hall fan, I’m 25 and have plenty of friends who lived in Edmonton, and I’ve heard enough stories. That doesn’t change the fact he was a good to great player when he was here. The team couldn’t win when he was here, but that’s not on Taylor Hall. T

    Thank you. The fans have gone into nutso town since we had a modicum of success last year. It’s just stupid to think that deleting players helps. Pouliot and eberle are why pak was playing. Even if you wanted to give slep and caggiula a shot, who was planned to fill their role?

  166. Bruce McCurdy says:

    New Improved Darkness: “Indeed, he had such a line of 2’s across that sheet it seemed like a roll call on Noah’s Ark.”
    Brilliant.
    Envy.
    Respect.

    Thanks, NID, that’s high praise especially coming from a gifted writer like yourself.

    That line was literally the last thing I added to my player grades post; it took me the whole four hours of writing time for my mood to lighten sufficiently to say anything even remotely light-hearted. Such a cruel finish, against the gord damned Leafs of all fricken teams…

  167. My Tierless Retina says:

    Pink Socks: I actually thought he played a shift at LW and was happy… but it turned out to be Caggiula. Then I was sad.

    This should cheer you up – you haven’t seen Caggs play LD. Yet.

  168. who says:

    GMB3: He’s definitely better than Yakupov defensively, and I said that he does use his speed to apply back pressure. I still don’t think he gets in the right spots enough in his own end and his decision making is questionable. I’m pretty sure those are the parts of his play that are getting him scratched. I’m well aware that he’s only 19, but some aspects of his play remind me of Yakupov. When Yakupov was in his second year, he got ripped publicly by Eakins and the MSM for the deficiencies in his play, and at least JP is getting the time to correct his play.

    I think you’re wrong.
    JP is already a more polished defensive player than Yakupov ever was

  169. Yeti says:

    Pink Socks: On 4th Line: Kassian and Khaira are gold at the moment; Letestu playing well too. That was the best game of a 4th line since 2006.

    I think Stortini – Brodziak – Glencross had better games in 2007, but point taken.

  170. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    If you’re ripping Russell because the msm was unkind to Taylor Hall I’m not sure what you’re hoping to gain. Slagging Kris Russell over the treatment of another player suggests extreme pettiness.

    While I didn’t go on twitter much after the game because angry gongshows should be avoided I did peruse it this AM.

    Most thought Russell had a good game up until 1:05 left. What happened was unfortunate, but he did it and he has to own it, which he did. Ok, everyone move on.

    I thought the media immediately circling the wagons around Russell was odd though.

    Here is what was written about the best player who was too sick to skate, but gutting it out in a 6-3 loss where he had 3 points:

    but the numbers don’t lie: minus-2 against St. Louis Thursday, and minus-2 again Saturday, despite a goal and two assists. Your best player simply has to be better than that,

    Here is what was written about the Oiler who’s own goal won the game for the opposition:

    Point the finger of blame at Russell? Not among hockey men who see for themselves the selfless game Russell plays, a 667-game career of covering others’ mistakes, blocking shots with whatever body part is handy.

    Both quotes are Spector.

    There’s a level of consistency over time not just with Spector, but most of the local writers.

    Best player have an off game? Pillor him.

    Gritty Glue Guy have a rough game? Circle the wagons and lash out at those who question him.

    I honestly wonder where that mindset comes from?

  171. dustrock says:

    OH MY GOD

    NEIL YOUNG ARCHIVES

    So amazing.

    http://www.neilyoungarchives.com/#/drawer?position=96.99747483482652&_k=9zofdx

    Goodbye to any productivity for the next little while or month

  172. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Yeti: I think Stortini – Brodziak – Glencross had better games in 2007, but point taken.

    Agreed. That was an awesome 4th line.

    Those guys brought energy, hits AND goals.

    Last night was great to see something like it again.

  173. JimmyV1965 says:

    GMB3: Leafs

    Again, I’m not being a troll here. I’ve heard the slow narrative ad nauseum. To me it’s a storyline started by the MSM and just blindly repeated, but no one ever says the Oilers are slow and this is what’s happening on the ice. Do we give up more 2 on 1 than we get? Are we losing a bunch of foot races? We certainly looked slow against the Blues but we didn’t actually show up for the game. No one was calling us slow last year. Next up for us is the Flames. Are we a lot slower than them? I honestly don’t understand the narrative because we didn’t look slow last night and the Leafs are fast.

    I’ve heard two different TSN experts list our slow guys and include Kass on that list. That leads me to think they aren’t actually watching the games.

  174. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    CrazyCoach,

    Firstly, all this vitriol directed toward Gryba for his penalty. I saw comments early on about how he needs to keep his game simple and check guys. On that particular play, he was finishing his check and just pushed a little too hard. Now, if he doesn’t try to finish his check, then the boobirds get on him about his game. You can’t fault a player for taking a penalty for doing what he’s told to do. A trip 200 feet from your net when the puck is hitting the far blueline? Open for criticism. A boarding call on a guy finishing his check? Not ideal, but not a benching incident, unless it’s the third time in a period maybe.”

    He needs to know where the line is better though Ben.

    Here’s the 6 worst NHLers in terms of Penalties Taken – Penalties Drawn/60

    RYAN REAVES -2.35
    KURTIS MACDERMID -2.20
    MIKE REILLY -1.92
    ZACK KASSIAN -1.84
    KYLE QUINCEY -1.72
    ERIC GRYBA -1.69
    ALEXANDER EDLER -1.67

    The team with the worst PK in the NHL has 2 guys in the top 6.

    For any forward to be up near the top is particularly galling (Dmen usually take more than they draw due to their position)

    I’m not sure when Kassian got his spanking, but his penalty rate is way down lately (he lead the NHL in October in this category)

    In the last 13 games Kassian has only taken 1 minor after taking 7 in the first 13 games.

    Players can clean this up.

    Gryba needs to as well if he wants to see the ice again.

  175. Bruce McCurdy says:

    dustrock: Also, Cagguila is a terrible, terrible PKer. He is good at breakaways, but his general defending is horrific.

    Caggiula has been a saloon door on the penalty kill by eye, and by the numbers he is all of that & worse.

    Of the 7 Oilers forwards with 15+ minutes on the PK this year:

    Shots against/60

    1. Pakarinen (!) 38.03

    6. RNH 50.81
    7. Caggiula 66.33


    High danger chances against/60

    1. Khaira 18.15

    6. Pakarinen (!) 29.58
    7. Caggiula 39.20


    Goals against/60

    1. Khaira 3.03

    6. RNH 12.70
    7. Caggiula 21.11

    Note the massive gaps between second-worst and worst.

    That last figure is the worst in the entire league by some margin. Caggiula has played 20 minutes on the PK and the Oilers have been torched for 7 GA.

    On home ice make that 8 minutes and 6 GA for a nifty PPGA/60 of 44.54.

    Those numbers aren’t merely subterranean, they’re about 18 storeys below the sub-basement.

    I know! Let’s dump Pakarinen!

    *Insert string of four-letter words here, such as #facepalmheaddesk

  176. Cassandra says:

    Woodguy v2.0:
    If you’re ripping Russell because the msm was unkind to Taylor Hall I’m not sure what you’re hoping to gain. Slagging Kris Russell over the treatment of another player suggests extreme pettiness.

    While I didn’t go on twitter much after the game because angry gongshows should be avoided

    Most thought Russell had a good game up until 1:05 left.What happened was unfortunate, but he did it and he has to own it, which he did. Ok, everyone move on.

    I thought the media immediately circling the wagons around Russell was odd though.

    Here is what was written about the best player who was too sick to skate, but gutting it out in a 6-3 loss where he had 3 points:

    but the numbers don’t lie: minus-2 against St. Louis Thursday, and minus-2 again Saturday, despite a goal and two assists. Your best player simply has to be better than that,

    Here is what was written about the Oiler who’s own goal won the game for the opposition:

    Point the finger of blame at Russell? Not among hockey men who see for themselves the selfless game Russell plays, a 667-game career of covering others’ mistakes, blocking shots with whatever body part is handy.

    Both quotes are Spector.

    There’s a level of consistency over time no just with Spector, but most of the local writers.

    Best player have an off game?Pillor him.

    Gritty Glue Guy have a rough game?Circle the wagons and lash out at those who question him.

    I honestly wonder where that mindset comes from?

    The mindset comes from inside the NHL, where players are evaluated relative to their “role” not what they actually do. This is how you get nonsense like “top 6” forward, when in the real world every forward has the same job (scoring more goals than you allow).

    This is how Taylor Hall gets blamed for the failures of Zach Stortini.

    This is how Jordan Eberle gets the (false) reputation as a one-dimensional player.

    It is also why poor hitting catchers are always “good defensively.”

  177. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Yeti: I think Stortini – Brodziak – Glencross had better games in 2007, but point taken.

    True story: the Crosstiniaks once posted a Corsi of +14/-0 on a single shift.

  178. GMB3 says:

    JimmyV1965: Again, I’m not being a troll here. I’ve heard the slow narrative ad nauseum. To me it’s a storyline started by the MSM and just blindly repeated, but no one ever says the Oilers are slow and this is what’s happening on the ice. Do we give up more 2 on 1 than we get? Are we losing a bunch of foot races? We certainly looked slow against the Blues but we didn’t actually show up for the game. No one was calling us slow last year. Next up for us is the Flames. Are we a lot slower than them? I honestly don’t understand the narrative because we didn’t look slow last night and the Leafs are fast.

    I’ve heard two different TSN experts list our slow guys and include Kass on that list. That leads me to think they aren’t actually watching the games.

    We consistently get beat to loose pucks, we have two boat anchors in our top 6. I don’t know what else you want me to tell you. I didn’t think we were fast last year either. For example, we struggled against Nashville because their D skate very well and our “place and chase” offense struggled because not enough of our forwards get there in time to really pressure the dman. When we have Khaira, Caggiula, Slepyshev, and JP in the lineup we are definitely a faster team, but there’s not quantifiable stats I can use to dissuade you to believe what is entirely an opinion of mine. Gryba, Maroon, Letestu, Lucic, are all slow. Strome isn’t a great skater either.

    It definitely was not started just in the MSM. I first posted about it while I was at the Oilers Canucks game in Vancouver at the start of the year and plenty of other posters talked about it well before Friedman and Button wrote about it.

    And again, I think score effects probably had something to due with the pace of play last night, and we’re past the point of moral victories here.

  179. CrazyCoach says:

    Woodguy v2.0: The team with the worst PK in the NHL has 2 guys in the top 6.
    For any forward to be up near the top is particularly galling (Dmen usually take more than they draw due to their position)
    I’m not sure when Kassian got his spanking, but his penalty rate is way down lately (he lead the NHL in October in this category)
    In the last 13 games Kassian has only taken 1 minor after taking 7 in the first 13 games.
    Players can clean this up.
    Gryba needs to as well if he wants to see the ice again.

    Once again, I would never criticize the guy publically. Maybe a one on one chat in private about the amount of penalties he’s taking.

    But you can’t get on the guy for doing his job and doing what is expected out of the guy. No one expects Karlsson when he’s out there, but the penalities seem to place a great glaring spotlight on him.

    I think we can agree that the most effective Gryba is the one who just shows up and quietly does his job right?

  180. GMB3 says:

    who: I think you’re wrong.
    JP is already a more polished defensive player than Yakupov ever was

    Thank you for missing the gist of what I said entirely. Carry on.

  181. jzed says:

    Pool party :Sleppy in to stay, JJKass/Test Tube together for rest of the year, Call up Fayne and play him, his quality #’s generating deadline trade offers. Just roll the lines and tell the players they know what to do, get out there and do it. Maybe starting to think and work at start of the game will be enough to spark a turn around.

  182. --hudson-- says:

    Nice article on Nathan Walker tweeted out by Friedman
    https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/jul/10/nathan-walkers-nhl-dreams-send-him-around-world/

    Left Australia at age 13 to play in the Czech Republic. Playing against men since age 17. Passed through his first two drafts, taken in his third. Hasn’t had a birthday or Christmas at home since leaving.

    Got to love his commitment from such a young age.

  183. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    CrazyCoach: Once again, I would never criticize the guy publically.Maybe a one on one chat in private about the amount of penalties he’s taking.

    But you can’t get on the guy for doing his job and doing what is expected out of the guy.No one expects Karlsson when he’s out there, but the penalities seem to place a great glaring spotlight on him.

    I think we can agree that the most effective Gryba is the one who just shows up and quietly does his job right?

    He can be tough too.

    After 300 NHL games he has to know what he did to JVR is a penalty and to not go the extra little bit that puts him over the line.

    Larsson is a pretty tough customer and he’s at -0.38/60 which places him at 164th in the league (among 560 players)

    I would consider that “acceptable” or “the cost of business” with a tougher Dman whose toughness is a big part of their game.

    Sure you talk to him away from public, but he’s gotta clean it up

  184. Pouzar says:

    My Tierless Retina: This should cheer you up – you haven’t seen Caggs play LD. Yet.

    Caggs/OV2 is the new Left/Right

  185. GMB3 says:

    Bruce McCurdy,

    So Pak had value on the PK, but is a liability at 5v5. How do we find players who are adequate 5v5 guys and adequate on the PK. Is penalty killing an innate skill? Or taught? Is it a product of systems? What makes Pak such a good penalty killer (does luck have something to do with it?).

    The penalty kill is something I do not understand at all,

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

    GMB3,

    The score effects may have been in play but in reality the Leafs blew two, two goal leads last night and if that’s the outcome you have to at some point give some credit to the Oilers no? Toronto stepped off the gas and the Oilers took advantage by playing faster and harder. Those two things aren’t mutually exclusive they can both happen. Toronto started hot, Edmonton got hot as the game wore on.

    The problem that I have with the “they’re slow” narrative (and not responding to you personally here) is that when examples are given they don’t actually jive with what we know. Button specifically mentioned Kassian as being slow, which just isn’t true, so like Jimmy I actually wonder if they watch the games or just look at someone else’s twitter feed and re-quote it.

    Last nights game rekindled my optimism something fierce. If anyone was following the storylines heading into the game they were along the lines of

    1) Leafs are better: built/coached/goaltended/faster (insert whatever you’d like) than the Oilers

    2) Leafs are on the verge of going supernova Oilers are ready for another rebuild

    3) McDavid v Matthews

    That of course is not an exhaustive list but that game gave me good vibes for two reasons

    1) The Oilers actually battled back. This may not be a big deal to some folks but after the 1st Detroit game, the St Louis game and the Buffalo games in short order I was very very worried about the fragility of this team and having them slip into the Dark Abyss. They could have easily folded the tent after the first ten minutes last night and again after the first 20, but they didn’t, they fought back and the depth guys led the charge.

    There is still a lot of fight left here so its not time to turn out the lights yet. I know there are only a handful of us optimistic folks left (and I understand what the stats tell us) but after watching Brexit and the results of the 2016 U.S. election role in I’ve learned that stats, while a great barometer, shouldn’t be used as a be all end all.

    The Pacific Division is not in any way shape or form settled. There are some teams that have overachieved, others that have under achieved and some that are playing just as one would expect. Against Pacific teams the Oilers have a 3-1-0 record and the GF-GA ratio is 16-7, they have 25 games left against those teams. There is a lot of blacktop left. A good place to start would be tomorrows game.

    2) The Leafs are a fascinating team, but I am concerned about the “hype” building around them in the same way I’ve come to regret my own hype around the Oilers. They are offensively dynamic, no question. Defensively they have a lot of holes and that is typical of a young team so this is no slight but its a fact that they give up a lot of goals. They have a great record and once they start to tighten things up defensively I’ll be afraid of them. But don’t be fooled by the flash they have a lot of work to do on the other side of the puck.

  187. Ozzieoiler says:

    Pretty stoked to have an Aussie on my team.

    “Stormy” is what we call him down under. An actual nickname not just “Walks”.

    Good kid who has worked his butt off to succeed.

    I hope he sticks but he’s in tough.

    Wondering whether the Caps used him for some promotional shtick at start of the season and have now dropped him.

    Good luck to him and now I get to see him play……hopefully.

  188. dustrock says:

    Bruce McCurdy,

    Thanks Bruce. Always nice when the numbers back up my squinty eye.

  189. StixMalone says:

    Ozzieoiler:
    Pretty stoked to have an Aussie on my team.

    “Stormy” is what we call him down under. An actual nickname not just “Walks”.

    Good kid who has worked his butt off to succeed.

    I hope he sticks but he’s in tough.

    Wondering whether the Caps used him for some promotional shtick at start of the season and have now dropped him.

    Good luck to him and now I get to see him play……hopefully.

    I hear he is pumped to come here and play. I hope it injects something into the team and carries on…

  190. CrazyCoach says:

    Here’s to “Stormy”

    Now go out and kick some ass!

    (please be an excellent PK’r)

  191. Scungilli Slushy says:

    russ99: Beating the Leafs would have been nice, it’s more a fight back against a snarky east-coast media, but beating the Flames is essential for our fans and for our chances to get back in the hunt in the Pacific.

    They did beat the Leafs, and the Oilers too, it was 2 wins, alas no points though.

  192. Lowetide says:

    Stanton is the callup according to Ryan Holt.

  193. JimmyV1965 says:

    SayItAin’tSo, Gretz, SayItAin’tSo!:
    GMB3,

    The score effects may have been in play but in reality the Leafs blew two, two goal leads last night and if that’s the outcome you have to at some point give some credit to the Oilers no? Toronto stepped off the gas and the Oilers took advantage by playing faster and harder. Those two things aren’t mutually exclusive they can both happen. Toronto started hot, Edmonton got hot as the game wore on.

    The problem that I have with the “they’re slow” narrative (and not responding to you personally here) is that when examples are given they don’t actually jive with what we know. Button specifically mentioned Kassian as being slow, which just isn’t true, so like Jimmy I actually wonder if they watch the games or just look at someone else’s twitter feed and re-quote it.

    Last nights game rekindled my optimism something fierce. If anyone was following the storylines heading into the game they were along the lines of

    1) Leafs are better: built/coached/goaltended/faster (insert whatever you’d like) than the Oilers

    2) Leafs are on the verge of going supernova Oilers are ready for another rebuild

    3) McDavid v Matthews

    That of course is not an exhaustive list but that game gave me good vibes for two reasons

    1) The Oilers actually battled back. This may not be a big deal to some folks but after the 1st Detroit game, the St Louis game and the Buffalo games in short order I was very very worried about the fragility of this team and having them slip into the Dark Abyss. They could have easily folded the tent after the first ten minutes last night and again after the first 20, but they didn’t, they fought back and the depth guys led the charge.

    There is still a lot of fight left here so its not time to turn out the lights yet. I know there are only a handful of us optimistic folks left (and I understand what the stats tell us) but after watching Brexit and the results of the 2016 U.S. election role in I’ve learned that stats, while a great barometer, shouldn’t be used as a be all end all.

    The Pacific Division is not in any way shape or form settled. There are some teams that have overachieved, others that have under achieved and some that are playing just as one would expect. Against Pacific teams the Oilers have a 3-1-0 record and the GF-GA ratio is 16-7, they have 25 games left against those teams. There is a lot of blacktop left. A good place to start would be tomorrows game.

    2) The Leafs are a fascinating team, but I am concerned about the “hype” building around them in the same way I’ve come to regret my own hype around the Oilers. They are offensively dynamic, no question. Defensively they have a lot of holes and that is typical of a young team so this is no slight but its a fact that they give up a lot of goals. They have a great record and once they start to tighten things up defensively I’ll be afraid of them. But don’t be fooled by the flash they have a lot of work to do on the other side of the puck.

    I really liked this post. I thought there were a lot of positives to be taken from the game last night and I’m not sure score effects explains it. We kept taking it to the Leafs even after we tied the game. I just hope it’s not lost on the team because of the fluky Russell goal. The thing that puzzles me about the slow narrative is that the Blues are the best team in the west and they are simply not a fast team. And I think there’s a plausible argument that we are faster. I may be wrong about that.

  194. Feelin Saad says:

    Flames were 11-13-2 last year after 26 games.
    Oilers are 10-14-2.

    Flames made the playoffs on the back of a 12W – 1L stretch in feb-march.

    They also went 10-4 in December.

    Sooo… it’s not unprecedented, however unlikely.

  195. Pink Socks says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    Pink Socks,

    I agree with everything in that well-written post except with respect to Caggulia.

    I don’t disagree that he needs to be off the PK and may be the player that should come out of the lineup for Walker.

    What I do disagree on is the implication that there will never be a player there.If two months ago you thought he could turn in to Marchant-light then I don’t think you can/should think that idea is in the garbage now.

    He’s a bit older but he’s still a developing player (and has had to fight through injuries in both his pro seasons). Marchant didn’t turn in to Marchant until many years after he turned pro. Why doesn’t Drake get some bit of time to develop (acknowledging that he is older)?

    This is not said solely to you, however, I’m starting to get frustrated with so many members of the fanbase, MSM, blogging community, etc. putting ceilings on players, lowering ceilings on players, etc. within one to two years of being drafted and/or turning pro.

    Higher profile players get “ceilinged” a year or two post draft but guys like Khaira are allowed to develop for years post draft without expectations being changed.

    You make a fair and concise point. My frustration with Caggiula is that there has not been any progress. Last season he was way over his head out of the gate playing 3C, and seemed to settle in a bit on the wing, and played relatively well in the playoffs. This season comes around and he is firing blanks offensively and bleeding horrendously defensively.

  196. Pink Socks says:

    OriginalPouzar: Coach thought he had a very good game – as per today’s presser.

    Then again, from what I hear/read, the coach is an idiot so……

    An idiot he is not, stubborn, yes. Glad he saw JP well last night and I hope it translates to the rest of the season not in the pressbox, and at least the next few games on 97’s wing.

  197. Pink Socks says:

    Yeti: I think Stortini – Brodziak – Glencross had better games in 2007, but point taken.

    You are correct. I think I blocked out the Glencross days after he signed the hometown discount with the Flames (spit).

  198. frjohnk says:

    Feelin Saad:
    Flames were 11-13-2 last year after 26 games.
    Oilers are 10-14-2.

    Flames made the playoffs on the back of a 12W – 1L stretch in feb-march.

    They also went 10-4 in December.

    Sooo…it’s not unprecedented, however unlikely.

    We need to do really well against Pacific teams to have a chance to make the playoffs.
    Really well.
    If not, at least beat the Flames, starting tomorrow night.

  199. JimmyV1965 says:

    Feelin Saad:
    Flames were 11-13-2 last year after 26 games.
    Oilers are 10-14-2.

    Flames made the playoffs on the back of a 12W – 1L stretch in feb-march.

    They also went 10-4 in December.

    Sooo…it’s not unprecedented, however unlikely.

    I think we have a team capable of such a run, which keeps me hopeful, but I’m not sure we have the goaltending. Can you go on a 12-1 run in the NHL without a hot goalie?

  200. who says:

    GMB3: Thank you for missing the gist of what I said entirely. Carry on.

    Correct me if I’m wrong but you compared him to Yakupov defensively. What did I miss?

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