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)?"

« Older Comments
  1. McSorley33 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.
    *****************************************************************************************
    Take the MSM and TSN out of it….

    When you see Letestu, Maroon ( whom I like ) and Lucic , what do you see in their speed and agility?

    I am going to throw Strome on there as well. Very average at best.

    Almost a forward for each line that has trouble getting around….

  2. GMB3 says:

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

    Reading is hard

  3. OriginalPouzar says:

    Hoping for another solid weekend from our CHL/NCAA prospects.

    My favorites to keep an eye on are Benson, Safin and Makismov.

    Here is hoping Kailer can find his offensive game this weekend.

  4. who says:

    I am feeling a lot better about this team after last night than I was after the Arizona win.
    Brutal first period but Broissoit did make some big saves. Reason number 1 for optimism.
    Oilers dominated the next two periods and looked good rolling 4 lines. Reason number 2.
    Klefbom played like the dman we saw at the end of last year. Reason number 3.
    Some of the young wingers are starting to look comfortable in the top 9, particularly on the right side. Reason number 4.
    Don’t know if they can crawl back into the playoff race and I really don’t care. I’m just looking for a consistent effort and progress from the young players.
    And coaching decisions and deployment that allows this to happen.

  5. OriginalPouzar says:

    Bear not in the lineup again tonight. Not sure if that’s 9 or 10 games missed with the concussion.

  6. Woodguy v2.0 says:

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

    GlenX personally called Lowe to negotiate a contract.

    Didn’t get a return call.

    When it came out later that it happened Lowe said he was busy chasing Hossa and didn’t know if he could afford both.

    Man.

  7. pts2pndr says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    Hoping for another solid weekend from our CHL/NCAA prospects.

    My favorites to keep an eye on are Benson, Safin and Makismov.

    Here is hoping Kailer can find his offensive game this weekend.

    OriginalPouzar,

    I will go on record as saying off what I observed at the young stars tournament ( note small sample size) both Safin and Maximov are better proepects than Yamamoto. Kailer needs final year in junior plus a full season of AHL experience to learn how to play against bigger players. His heart and hockey IQ are excellent and I wish him well but I believe he has the steepest hill to climb to make and stay in the NHL.

  8. JimmyV1965 says:

    McSorley33:
    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.
    *****************************************************************************************
    Take the MSM and TSN out of it….

    When you see Letestu, Maroon ( whom I like ) and Lucic , what do you see in their speed and agility?

    I am going to throw Strome on there as well. Very average at best.

    Almost a forward for each line that has trouble getting around….

    But lots of teams have slow guys. Honest question here because I don’t have the answer. Do you think they are the slowest guys in the league?

  9. twacray says:

    Ozzieoiler,

    Agreed. Could not be happier to have a fellow Aussie on my team. I watched a few caps games just to see him. Always hard on the puck. Quick on his feet and tough as nails.

    Plus if I recall correctly, he got into hockey because of the mighty ducks movie. Didn’t the oil have a legit Flying V a few years back? He’s got to be happy to join in that fun.

  10. JimmyV1965 says:

    I have a question for the board. Is there any way to objectively measure team speed? I’m obviously skeptical of the narrative, but we may indeed be a very slow team. But is there anyway to measure it? Will it show up in some kind of shot metric or possession stat? Forgive my ignorance if this is a truly stupid question.

  11. Yeti says:

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

    Blocking that out is a perfectly reasonable course of action (notwithstanding that he wanted to remain in Edmonton).

  12. Scungilli Slushy says:

    frjohnk: 3% and 5% chance to make the playoffs.

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

    I hope you skulled a beer and let off a ripping belch after you typed that!

  13. Scungilli Slushy says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    Bear not in the lineup again tonight.Not sure if that’s 9 or 10 games missed with the concussion.

    Good they are giving him time. Hope it’s not too bad.

  14. YKOil says:

    Woodguy v2.0: GlenX personally called Lowe to negotiate a contract.

    Didn’t get a return call.

    When it came out later that it happened Lowe said he was busy chasing Hossa and didn’t know if he could afford both.

    Man.

    The Hejda story is close to the same. After 2006 it’s like Lowe forgot his brain somewhere. Six rings though (waves them like a talisman).

  15. fishman says:

    Scungilli Slushy: Good they are giving him time. Hope it’s not too bad.

    Yea he is one of elite chips we are hoping develops in to that elusive PP QB! Get well young man.

  16. geowal says:

    JimmyV1965: But lots of teams have slow guys. Honest question here because I don’t have the answer. Do you think they are the slowest guys in the league?

    One thing that’s happened around here that’s interesting: last year Maroon supplanted Lucic and had a great season with McDavid because of his offseason work to increase his already decent speed. Now this year he is conveniently lumped in by many with Lucic and others as part of the slow group. I don’t think he has slowed one bit, he’s just cashed a couple less chances. But saying he’s slow fits the narrative, regardless of if he is or not.
    FTR: I’m not saying the Oilers couldn’t use more speed, but I don’t think Maroon is the problem.

    How to measure though?!

  17. Pink Socks says:

    Woodguy v2.0: GlenX personally called Lowe to negotiate a contract.

    Didn’t get a return call.

    When it came out later that it happened Lowe said he was busy chasing Hossa and didn’t know if he could afford both.

    Man.

    Was not aware of that. Pretty sure I popped a blood vessel in my eye.

  18. Scungilli Slushy says:

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

    McLellan’s is ‘6 White Boomers’. Maybe it’s a Christmas thing.

  19. GMB3 says:

    JimmyV1965: But lots of teams have slow guys. Honest question here because I don’t have the answer. Do you think they are the slowest guys in the league?

    I think we are in the bottom third of teams in team speed which is a damn shame considering the amount of high draft picks we have had in the last decade

  20. Pink Socks says:

    Yeti: Blocking that out is a perfectly reasonable course of action (notwithstanding that he wanted to remain in Edmonton).

    I think after the 06 run and the doom and gloom that followed, I have blocked out many a memory.

    YKOil: The Hejda story is close to the same.After 2006 it’s like Lowe forgot his brain somewhere.Six rings though (waves them like a talisman).

    Hejda was a tier 2 fan so…

  21. GMB3 says:

    geowal: One thing that’s happened around here that’s interesting: last year Maroon supplanted Lucic and had a great season with McDavid because of his offseason work to increase his already decent speed. Now this year he is conveniently lumped in by many with Lucic and others as part of the slow group. I don’t think he has slowed one bit, he’s just cashed a couple less chances. But saying he’s slow fits the narrative, regardless of if he is or not.
    FTR: I’m not saying the Oilers couldn’t use more speed, but I don’t think Maroon is the problem.

    How to measure though?!

    I don’t think it’s just that it is convenient that he is lumped into the slow group. Anyone with eyes knew he was slow last year. He had a good run riding shotgun with McDavid and Drai. He’s a solid middle 6er in most circumstances, but let’s not forget at one point Anaheim shipped him off at a discount. He has his warts. Having one of Lucic and Maroon would be better than both I think

  22. VOR says:

    JimmyV1965:
    I have a question for the board. Is there any way to objectively measure team speed? I’m obviously skeptical of the narrative, but we may indeed be a very slow team. But is there anyway to measure it? Will it show up in some kind of shot metric or possession stat? Forgive my ignorance if this is a truly stupid question.

    JimmyV,

    What a great question? There are so many intriguing secondary questions.

    For example, speed clearly has a relative component. On any given night, for any given game I am betting you could come up with a way of saying which team A or B was skating faster. But would the same team be the faster skaters in each game between the two teams? I mean there is some evidence skating is a psycho-motor skill. How motivated and committed you are has a profound impact on how much of your individual maximum skating talent you have. So team effects, score effects, officiating effects, health, age, motivation and commitment along with a lot of other things will be in play in how fast any team is skating any night.

    Then there is the fact we know hockey game outcomes are intransitive. If Team A beats Team B and Team B beats Team C it does not follow that Team A will beat Team C. Does this also apply to team speed, to which team is faster. If A is faster than B in Game 1 and B is faster than C in game 2 will A be faster than C in game 3?

    I will be curious to see what sort of answers you get.

  23. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    YKOil: The Hejda story is close to the same.After 2006 it’s like Lowe forgot his brain somewhere.Six rings though (waves them like a talisman).

    I blame MacT for Hejda.

    Best results on the team and MacT wouldn’t play him.

    Sideburns.

  24. Jordan says:

    The Walker pick-up is interesting, but I don’t imagine it’s going anywhere. Guy’s developing a real injury history, and hasn’t been able to make it on a bottom 6 role in Washington.

    My read on this is he’s a stop-gap in case Pak is claimed. Presuming he isn’t I expect Walker may end up being waived shortly when the team sees he’s further away than our existing bottom 6ers

  25. russ99 says:

    dustrock:
    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

    Holy crap. This is unbelievable. Thanks for the tip.

    I can’t even imagine how much work went into this. Props to Neil.

  26. JimmyV1965 says:

    VOR: JimmyV,

    What a great question? There are so many intriguing secondary questions.

    For example, speed clearly has a relative component. On any given night, for any given game I am betting you could come up with a way of saying which team A or B was skating faster. But would the same team be the faster skaters in each game between the two teams? I mean there is some evidence skating is a psycho-motor skill. How motivated and committed you are has a profound impact on how much of your individual maximum skating talent you have. So team effects, score effects, officiating effects, health, age, motivation and commitment along with a lot of other things will be in play in how fast any team is skating any night.

    Then there is the fact we know hockey game outcomes are intransitive. If Team A beats Team B and Team B beats Team C it does not follow that Team A will beat Team C. Does this also apply to team speed, to which team is faster. If A is faster than B in Game 1 and B is faster than C in game 2 will A be faster than C in game 3?

    I will be curious to see what sort of answers you get.

    My gut tells me there’s probably no real proxy for speed, but I’m illiterate when it comes to numbers. I think you’re right about the emotional part of it. I’m on board with the notion that we look slower simply because we lack confidence. Adrenaline must play a huge role too.

  27. who says:

    GMB3: I don’t think it’s just that it is convenient that he is lumped into the slow group. Anyone with eyes knew he was slow last year. He had a good run riding shotgun with McDavid and Drai. He’s a solid middle 6er in most circumstances, but let’s not forget at one point Anaheim shipped him off at a discount. He has his warts. Having one of Lucic and Maroon would be better than both I think

    Now this we can agree on

  28. Lowetide says:

    safin with an assist tonight, now 28gp, 10-18-28

  29. Lowetide says:

    John Marino with an assist, now 9gp, 0-4-4 for Harvard. I have him in my winter top 20

  30. Lowetide says:

    Aapeli Rasanen with a goal for Boston College, now 16, 3-6-9

  31. Bruce McCurdy says:

    JimmyV1965: My gut tells me there’s probably no real proxy for speed, but I’m illiterate when it comes to numbers. I think you’re right about the emotional part of it. I’m on board with the notion that we look slower simply because we lack confidence. Adrenaline must play a huge role too.

    How about penalties drawn as a proxy for speed. In which case the Oilers are the slowest team in the league, at just 2.6 powerplays per game. Only one other team (CBJ) is below 3.0. They must be slow too, eh.

    Overall the league average is 3.4 powerplays per game. If you set that as the “over/under” for a given game, the Oilers have hit the “under” 15 games in a row**. Someone should tell them to take their skate guards off before the game starts. Slower than a tectonic plate underneath a glacier.

    (** To put that into perspective, the odds of flipping 15 tails in a row with an unweighted coin are 1 in 32,768.)

    Or maybe that’s got nothing to do with speed and it’s just a proxy for, uhh, “weighted” reffing.

  32. OriginalPouzar says:

    Lowetide:
    safin with an assist tonight, now 28gp, 10-18-28

    The box score has him with a goal, not an assist.

  33. geowal says:

    Oilers claim Nathan Walker from Washington.
    Edit: late to the party I see

  34. sliderule says:

    Speed draws penalties.

    Lack of speed also draws penalties as you have to hook and hold.

    The oilers have many players who have slothlike speed.

    That’s the main reason they can’t draw many and take lots of penalties.

  35. geowal says:

    Woodguy v2.0: *BREAKING*

    Haha, I scanned the 35 or so comments and didn’t see anything.
    Turns out I didn’t notice the previous 200…

  36. Lowetide says:

    OriginalPouzar: The box score has him with a goal, not an assist.

    May have changed, may also be Crown Royal.

  37. sliderule says:

    Maxsimov is the player I have high hopes for

    He plays the Ovechkin role on the power play and has scored a bunch with a one timer that has velocity and accuracy.

    15 goals and could get forty.

  38. fishman says:

    Lowetide: May have changed, may also be Crown Royal.

    Northern Harvest? I like that stuff!

  39. VOR says:

    The problem is even if reffing were unweighted there are many other factors than speed in play, at least in individual penalties drawn. There is a young man in Calgary who exemplifies some of those other factors. In other words being a yappy, dirty puke has some impact on the other team’s behaviour. Esa Tikkanen didn’t stop drawing penalties even after the knee surgery.

  40. jtblack says:

    Benson, Yammy & Skinner all play shortly.

    Time for Yammy to get back to work …

    OP’s fav – BENSON – is playing Great.

    Skinner stopped 94 of last 97.

  41. OriginalPouzar says:

    Samorukov with an assist and is plus 2 through 2 periods of play.

  42. OriginalPouzar says:

    jtblack:
    Benson, Yammy & Skinner all play shortly.

    Time for Yammy to get back to work …

    OP’s fav – BENSON – is playing Great.

    Skinner stopped 94 of last 97.

    Yup, I’ll be keeping my eye on all of these games tonight.

    Unfortunately, with Benson and Kailer both playing for west coast teams, the games generally start so damn late, I have to go to bed before they end.

    With that said, I do look forward to opening up the lap top and pursuing their box-scores at 330 am while I have my pre-workout nutrition – yes, even on weekends.

  43. Réal Goudenyéu says:

    JimmyV1965: My gut tells me there’s probably no real proxy for speed, but I’m illiterate when it comes to numbers. I think you’re right about the emotional part of it. I’m on board with the notion that we look slower simply because we lack confidence. Adrenaline must play a huge role too.

    Decision making too… If you’ve thought for a split second about what you’re going to do it’s too late. When everything is working you just react, no thought needed.

  44. jtblack says:

    OriginalPouzar,

    “my pre-workout nutrition – yes, even on weekends.” –

    I do this too. Mine is called coffee. Usually skip the workout.

  45. JimmyV1965 says:

    Penalties should be a good proxy for speed, but the human element of reffing buggers it up. Pollock was called for interference last night on a play that happens to McDavid probably 10 times a game. Even at the time it happened, I remarked how random it seemed.

  46. Professor Q says:

    jtblack:
    OriginalPouzar,

    “my pre-workout nutrition – yes, even on weekends.” –

    I do this too.Mine is called coffee.Usually skip the workout.

    It surely works out your bowels?

  47. Professor Q says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    Hoping for another solid weekend from our CHL/NCAA prospects.

    My favorites to keep an eye on are Benson, Safin and Makismov.

    Here is hoping Kailer can find his offensive game this weekend.

    And don’t forget Dylan Wells! Goalie prospects need love too.

  48. OriginalPouzar says:

    Professor Q: And don’t forget Dylan Wells! Goalie prospects need love too.

    Of course, I’m keeping an eye on Skinner and Wells as well.

  49. leadfarmer says:

    Since beating the Edmonton Oilers the Buffalo Sabres have been shut out 3 games in a row.

  50. Lowetide says:

    Tyler Vesel with a goal tonight.

  51. Scungilli Slushy says:

    Every team has to win with it’s strengths and weaknesses. Faster, slower, high skill or not – contribution and getting the job done are what matters, as a group. The Pens last year won with a D group I thought would let them down.

    Now the Pens have a 32% chance of even playoffs according to the site posted earlier. Luck has been shown to be 50% of winning in hockey, might be less if the league wasn’t capped which distributes talent. How much worse would it be for fans if the two time champ missed?

    The Oilers have a good core and need to find secondary players to round it out, This season sucks, but I am far more interested in the future, because it has just started. Some astute value decisions are key. Keep the good players and move the weaker ones.

    I hope loyalty contracts are over with. The only way to stay current is with constant production. Only the core should be catered to, because they are the heart of the team, and secondary players are that because they are either in decline or can’t be consistent.

    There are good young players on the team, time to give them their shot – it’s not like the more experienced guys have been good enough.

    The Pak waiver gives me hope.

    Also, McL and Chia are tight, have said so, I think they are giving players rope this season, and decisions will be made.

    If they are actually at odds we’re back to the dark years. It would be bad.

    I am glad Tmac took control over the worst part of the team, PK, and have said the asst. coaches should go first. One thing to run special teams with highly skilled vets as in SJ, another with youth. Hasn’t worked and isn’t adapting. Which has to happen always as teams will always move to stop what you are trying to do, more quickly the better you are.

  52. Lowetide says:

    Benson with an early assist, 15, 9-13-22 on the year.

  53. Lowetide says:

    Ryan Mantha (1) (Downing, Christoffer)

  54. Lowetide says:

    Benson now 1-1-2 tonight and 15, 10-13-23 on the year.

  55. OriginalPouzar says:

    Benson with a goal to go with that apple.

  56. VOR says:

    The top three penalty drawers in NHL this year show the range of skating speed that can drive an ability to draw penalties. Matt Tkachuk is an average skater, Nikita Kucherov is a rocket on skates, and Tom Wilson is, well let’s say he skates well for a giant. There is probably a correlation of speed and the number of penalties drawn both by individual players and teams but given we have no data for individual or collective speed it is going to be hard to tease out.

  57. Dicky94 says:

    OriginalPouzar,

    McDavid’s LW next year?

  58. Munny says:

    VOR: JimmyV,

    What a great question? There are so many intriguing secondary questions.

    For example, speed clearly has a relative component. On any given night, for any given game I am betting you could come up with a way of saying which team A or B was skating faster. But would the same team be the faster skaters in each game between the two teams? I mean there is some evidence skating is a psycho-motor skill. How motivated and committed you are has a profound impact on how much of your individual maximum skating talent you have. So team effects, score effects, officiating effects, health, age, motivation and commitment along with a lot of other things will be in play in how fast any team is skating any night.

    Then there is the fact we know hockey game outcomes are intransitive. If Team A beats Team B and Team B beats Team C it does not follow that Team A will beat Team C. Does this also apply to team speed, to which team is faster. If A is faster than B in Game 1 and B is faster than C in game 2 will A be faster than C in game 3?

    I will be curious to see what sort of answers you get.

    Oh Gord, this made me smile. Well done.

  59. Munny says:

    VOR:
    The top three penalty drawers in NHL this year show the range of skating speed that can drive an ability to draw penalties. Matt Tkachuk is an average skater, Nikita Kucherov is a rocket on skates, and Tom Wilson is, well let’s say he skates well for a giant. There is probably a correlation of speed and the number of penalties drawn both by individual players and teams but given we have no data for individual or collective speed it is going to be hard to tease out.

    I would like to be able to separate skating speed and anticipation/read.

  60. Munny says:

    Réal Goudenyéu: Decision making too… If you’ve thought for a split second about what you’re going to do it’s too late. When everything is working you just react, no thought needed.

    Yes.

  61. Bruce McCurdy says:

    VOR:
    The top three penalty drawers in NHL this year show the range of skating speed that can drive an ability to draw penalties. Matt Tkachuk is an average skater, Nikita Kucherov is a rocket on skates, and Tom Wilson is, well let’s say he skates well for a giant. There is probably a correlation of speed and the number of penalties drawn both by individual players and teams but given we have no data for individual or collective speed it is going to be hard to tease out.

    Worth noting that the whole league wants to kill two of the three.

  62. Lowetide says:

    2-1-3 now for Benson. Yamamoto crickets.

  63. prairieschooner says:

    Were we too slow last year and nobody told us ?

  64. Thinker says:

    Not sure Yamamoto wants to add offence to his list of weaknesses. He’s not really making other gms “regret” on passing on him.

  65. Thinker says:

    leadfarmer:
    Since beating the Edmonton Oilers the Buffalo Sabres have been shut out 3 games in a row.

    Not our fault we keep running into vezina goalies…

  66. Thinker says:

    Funny story, I’m writing a paper on amino acid separation right now, and finding out just how bs the protein supplement thing is. Fitness literature is so wishy washy. It’s like these guys reported this and these other 3 guys couldn’t replicate it at all.

  67. My Tierless Retina says:

    Lowetide: Yamamoto crickets.

    Sounds like something I would try once, mostly just to make my wife squeamish.

  68. My Tierless Retina says:

    Just saw this on twitbox:

    https://capfriendly.com/players/connor-mcdavid

    That’s a lump-sum game by McDavid.

  69. Bobcaygeon says:

    Bruce McCurdy: How about penalties drawn as a proxy for speed.In which case the Oilers are the slowest team in the league, at just 2.6 powerplays per game. Only one other team (CBJ) is below 3.0.They must be slow too, eh.

    Overall the league average is 3.4 powerplays per game. If you set that as the “over/under” for a given game, the Oilers have hit the “under” 15 games in a row**. Someone should tell them to take their skate guards off before the game starts. Slower than a tectonic plate underneath a glacier.

    (** To put that into perspective, the odds of flipping 15 tails in a row with an unweighted coin are 1 in 32,768.)

    Or maybe that’s got nothing to do with speed and it’s just a proxy for, uhh, “weighted” reffing.

    I was always coached that speed through the neutral zone was key, there was always three elements to quick transition, quick outlet from defenders, quick feet through the neutral zone then the forwards read and react, do you chip and chase or does the forward make a pass at speed.

    On the flip side are the defenders trapping or are they playing (for example) 3-1-1 which makes even a fast team that chips and chase difficult .

    Definitely offensive zone penalties shows team speed if your quick to pucks and have that quick burst that defenders have trouble containg players through the cycle.

    if your team is giving up a lot of odd man rushes.

    How many 5×5 goals do the team score off a rush?

    There’s probably a lot more, I’d also look at time in the offensive zone, controlled zone exits and entry’s as a contributor to speed.

  70. OriginalPouzar says:

    Yamamoto with another statistically poor game. Finishes with no points, 2 shots and a -2 in a 4-2 loss.

    Benson with another statistically great game. Finishes with two goals, and assist and plus 3 in a 5-3 win.

  71. OriginalPouzar says:

    Looking forward to the game tonight – a bit worries about the state of the defence and what that third pairing will look like.

    With the call-up of Stanton, a leftie, I would think that that Gryba has to stay in the lineup.

    Is our third pairing really going to to be Stanton/Gryba?

    Not that Auvitu is a world beater and we know he was his defensive issues but I’d like his puck moving and mobility on that 3rd pairing. Stanton/Gryba seems about as least mobile a pairing since Cross/Ulanov.

  72. OriginalPouzar says:

    Go Oilers!

    Should be a fun game tonight!

    Hope the top two pairings are able to handle 24 minutes each tonight.

  73. My Tierless Retina says:

    OriginalPouzar: Hope the top two pairings are able to handle 24 minutes each tonight.

    I’m sure Gio/Brodie will be fine. That leaves Nurse and… Benning? Rustle?

    Oh lordy.

  74. My Tierless Retina says:

    My Tierless Retina,

    Oh, I thought you meant the top two overall pairings.

    Uh… my bad?

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