The Good, The Bad and the Ugly

My Dad used to MacGyver things to make them go. We got a leaky rad one time on summer holidays, it was an old Vauxhall (we always had the weirdest cars when I was a kid) so we’d all chew Wrigley’s Spearmint gum, then spit it (ew) and hand it to Dad. He would plug the leak, and we’d drive until things got heated.

The Edmonton Oilers are in a similar spot. Using actual assets to address goaltending short term (Talbot will be back, remember) seems a waste, so the ‘chewing gum’ solution seems the right call here. After last night’s game, two things are clear: The Edmonton Oilers are still in it, and Laurent Brossoit is perhaps too much of an adventure at this time.

THE ATHLETIC

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LONG DECEMBER, YEAR OVER YEAR

  • December 2015: 1-0-0, goal differential 0
  • December 2016: 1-0-0, goal differential +3
  • December 2017: 1-0-0, goal differential +2

That was a crazy game last night but it was a win and that’s all that counts. Edmonton’s schedule eases during January, vitally important the team stays in the race during the lead up to the New Year.

AFTER 27, YEAR OVER YEAR

  • Oilers 15-16: 10-15-2, goal differential -15
  • Oilers 16-17: 14-10-3, goal differential +10
  • Oilers 17-18: 11-14-2, goal differential -13

The goals for are coming on now, Edmonton’s forwards are sorting themselves out (more in a minute). The goaltending is not right and that’s becoming a major issue. I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see a trade before the Philly game.

WHAT TO EXPECT FROM DECEMBER

  • On the road to: Calgary (Expected: 0-0-1) (Actual: 1-0-0)
  • At home to: Philadelphia (Expected 1-0-0) (Actual: 0-0-0)
  • On the road to: Montreal, Toronto, Columbus (Expected 1-2-0) (Actual 0-0-0)
  • At home to: Nashville (Expected 0-1-0) (Actual 0-0-0)
  • On the road to: Minnesota (Expected 1-0-0) (Actual 0-0-0)
  • At home to: San Jose, St. Louis, Montreal (Expected 1-1-1) (Actual 0-0-0)
  • On the road to: Winnipeg (Expected 0-1-0) (Actual 0-0-0)
  • At home to: Chicago, Winnipeg (Expected 1-1-0) (Actual 0-0-0)
  • Overall expected result: 5-6-2, 12 points in 13 games 
  • Current results: 1-0-0, two points in one game

If the Oilers could find a way to capture 16-18 points (say 8-3-2) we could talk about the good schedule ahead. After that third period last night, suggesting 8-3-2 is impossible. We’re going to find out about this organization’s opinion re: Brossoit in the coming days. Nick Ellis might see his NHL debut against the Flyers.

DEFENSE, LAST NIGHT

  • Nurse-Russell went 12-11 together in 13 minutes, 3-1 in HDSC and 1-2 in GF. I liked the pairing again, WG has been trumpeting this duo for some time and perhaps we see them remain a pairing when Larsson returns. Mobile and aggressive. Went 7-5 against Gaudreau-Monahan-Ferland.
  • Klefbom-Benning were 16-16 in 13 minutes 2-4 HDSC and 0-1 in GF. I was encouraged by this pairing, specifically Klefbom who is rounding into form. Benning takes a lot of punishment, I hope he can find a way to take fewer hits to make plays. Went 5-4 against Tkachuk-Backlund-Frolik.
  • Auvitu-Gryba are The Odd Couple, going 8-13 in 12 minutes (notice the equal minutes for the three pairs), 2-0 in GF and 2-2 in HDSC’s. Gryba had a nice recovery game, Auvitu looks one part chaos, one part puck mover extraordinaire, one part Drake Caggiula. Seriously. Change your number! Went 5-2 against Bennett-Jankowski-Jagr.
  • Laurent Brossoit stopped 29 of 34, .853. He is losing his hold on an NHL job.
  • Natural Stat Trick and NHL.com.

FORWARDS, YEAR OVER YEAR

  • Maroon-Nuge-Cammalleri went 13-6 together, 2-1 GF, 1-1 HDSC. I think Slepyshev should get this shot, hope he’s back in against Philly This line isn’t getting enough scoring chances, which sounds ridiculous on a night when the collective boxcars count 2-1-3. Went 9-4 against Bennett-Jankowski-Jagr.
  • Lucic-McDavid-Puljujarvi went 15-9, 2-0 in GF and 3-5 in HDSC. Line scored 3-3-6, Puljujarvi scored twice and that’s a big damned deal. Line went 11-9 against Tkachuk-Backlund-Frolik, 2-0  in GF. That’s a helluva battle but I think 97 won the day. JP, man. The Finnish Horse.
  • Caggiula-Draisaitl-Strome were 10-13, 0-1 GF and 2-3 HDSC’s. This line had some looks, I think Leon is finding the range now. Caggiula had one of his better games, Strome made some good plays. Trio went 6-9 against Gaudreau-Monahan-Ferland in 6:16 (0-0 GF), that’s a big assignment.
  • Khaira-Letestu-Kassian were 4-13 (Khaira) and 2-8 (Kassian) with the center. All three mean posted crooked numbers in the boxcars, Khaira a lovely goal and Letestu cashed his breakaway. I am loving this line despite the fact they got caved in possession. Went 3-6 with Hathaway-Stajan-Brouwer, Hathaway was filthy on one shift with hits to Maroon and Benning (Edmonton getting the penalty).

THE GOOD

The mannish boy is finding his way. Jesse Puljujarvi has sorted some things out in that giant cranium and is running with the lead horses in this current window. Two goals last night gives him four in 10 games, and now we can talk about the Oilers problem solving internally. Getting JP established this season—even a 15-goal campaign—sets up next fall and Kailer Yamamoto as (possibly) 2R. You can get a lot from a losing season, and good teams do just that thing.

THE BAD

The Oilers didn’t push in the third period, laying back for the onslaught. That’s not going to work for this team, they need more OZ time. We’ll talk about the goalie in a minute but if you go back and watch that third period, very rare to see the Oilers playing full press in Calgary’s zone (or even playing it straight up when the road team had the puck in Calgary’s end). Too passive.

THE UGLY

Laurent Brossoit was letting them in from below the Equator and a contending team (I’m not sure the Oilers are, but let’s pretend) can’t have that rolling around in their mind. At least two goals (and as many as four) were poor and the goal line shots were bizarre. LB had a bad game and there may a hitch in his giddyup. Peter Chiarelli and the Edmonton Oilers have a decision to make, I believe the organization as a whole are devoted to this young goalie. Are they prepared to risk the season on him? Stay tuned.

GOD’S FLASHLIGHT

In 2016-17, the year before he was traded, Jordan Eberle posted a 5×5/60 scoring total of 1.76. I  call this measure God’s flashlight because there’s no way to avoid the terribleness and the glorious. I’ve always believed the top line should be over 2.00/60, the second line north of (about) 1.80, and anyone over 1.50/60 from the third and fourth lines is going well. Let’s have a look.

  1. Connor McDavid 2.67
  2. Leon Draisaitl 2.63
  3. Milan Lucic 2.48
  4. Jujhar Khaira 2.27
  5. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins 2.20
  6. Mike Cammalleri 1.90
  7. Patrick Maroon 1.80
  8. Jesse Puljujarvi 1.80
  9. Zack Kassian 1.60
  10. Ryan Strome 1.46
  11. Mark Letestu 1.38
  12. Drake Caggiula 1.36
  13. Source

There are some nice numbers here, five players over 2.00/60. Some of this is small sample size, Khaira has played 14 of 27 games and only recently gained a prominent role. McDavid, Draisaitl and Lucic do have previous seasons of over 2.00/60 and the Nuge did it as a rookie and was close one other time. The 5×5 scoring portion of this team is damned good, truth to tell, but most other elements are on fire.

TODD MCLELLAN

Congratulations to Todd McLellan on his 400th NHL win. That’s a helluva accomplishment.

 

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245 Responses to "The Good, The Bad and the Ugly"

« Older Comments
  1. fishman says:

    As OP mentioned earlier picking up Davidson for nothing doesn’t mean a trade is coming. However from a financial perspective trading Klef for a top 6 scoring forward could save $3 mil on the back end if you ran:

    Sek/ Larsson
    Nurse/ Russel
    Davy/ Benning (or some variation)

    Still leaves you Gryba, OV2, Stanton, Simpson for some depth. Reasoning for this type of move might be because you are stuck with Russel’s contract for at least this year and next. Of course winger you are bringing in will need to be paid as well but he then bumps someone else out of top 6. Would hate to see Klef go but don’t think Sek, Larsson or Nurse going anywhere.

    As for Sleppy could see him traded although not sure what the return might look like? He seems to have an ongoing injury issue that keeps him out of the line up??? Is it possible TMac doesn’t like Russians???

    PLEASE leave JP alone!!! Up side could be huge.

  2. trencan says:

    Glass,

    Klefbom doesn’t give you Risto. Risto price is high, very high. My favorite RHD is Klingberg but no way Dallas will trade him.

  3. trencan says:

    Dustylegnd,

    I don’t see problem trading Klefbom if we win draft lottery (Rasmus Dahlin) Just kidding… Or not?

  4. fishman says:

    trencan,

    Love Risto but Klef alone likely not doing it. Maybe if you sweetened the deal??? Sabres hurting pretty bad as well right now and may be inclined to making a so so deal to shake things up? You are right though don’t see Risto being available without an overpay. Chia would never over pay would he????

  5. StixMalone says:

    fishman:
    trencan,

    Love Risto but Klef alone likely not doing it. Maybe if you sweetened the deal??? Sabres hurting pretty bad as well right now and may be inclined to making a so so deal to shake things up? You are right though don’t see Risto being available without an overpay. Chia would never over pay would he????

    You gotta be like all the other GM’s and kick em when they’re down. I’m talking about Buffalo not us….lol

  6. trencan says:

    The Primordial JDi Goo,

    One thing that makes me a little nervous about JP is, that his game changed since he came to NA. In Europe I remember him more like playmaker with high defensive responsibility, now he shoots more, much more also from sometimes not well prepared positions in my opinion. I am not saying it’s bad, I am just little surprised and don’t know now what his style of hockey really is. (and I am also not sure whether he knows it) The good thing also is that he scores dirty goals, because that’s exactly what this team needs, dirty and important goals. We have Mr. McD for annual NHL highlights. JP is in my opinion #1 Oiler prospect with biggest potential (with Bear and Yamamoto behind him) so I wouldn’t trade him.

  7. JonyPro says:

    Maroon is slowly becoming the new Pouliot, so many penalties…..at least he is starting to score again but still. I don’t know how the Oilers can give him a raise.

  8. JonyPro says:

    Guess whose back, back again, Davidson back, tell a friend!

  9. SwedishPoster says:

    Woodguy v2.0,

    The numbers certainly match what you see with LB. He’s strong in tight, moves laterally very well but struggle with shots from the outside. I think you have a point with him being a well schooled goalie more than a natural. In preseason they talked about him being in crazy good shape, they were impressed by how explosive he was from side to side, which shows on the ice.

    His issues from the outside is probably a combination of reactions, tracking, hand-eye coordination and probably him finding a better position to maximize his strengths.
    The big question is how much of this can be improved upon at his age? Goalies can certainly get better far into their careers, LB could very well hit his peak in ten years, but that’s not really relevant for the Oil of today.

    Finding a better position on outside shots should be fixable short term with a good goalie coach. Tracking and hand-eye can be worked on but that’s usually off-season work. Reactions benefits from the above but a lot of that is natural ability and sense for the game that will be hard to just learn at this point.

    I thought I had sent this post hours ago btw , just noticed it on my phone, so this discussion may very well be dead by now. In that case I disagree on whatever someone else said about something else. Wholeheartedly. And you know I’m right.

  10. anjinsan says:

    Puljujarvi will be fine offensively. Just you wait, Henry Higgins!

    Can we trade Chiarelli for Cheveldayoff?

    Since you like songs, Wouldn’t it be Nice (Beach Boys) to sing Hello Dahlin?

  11. Munny says:

    The Primordial JDi Goo: If he trades Puljs, he’ll get promoted to General Handgrenade.

    There ain’t no band aid sucking on a Gatorade that would make this worthwhile.

  12. OriginalPouzar says:

    Khaira has 7 points in his last 8 games – I never imagine he had that type of offence in him.

    Good on him.

  13. GMB3 says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    Khaira has 7 points in his last 8 games – I never imagine he had that type of offence in him.

    Good on him.

    Run of good puck luck, but he’s making a strong case to get an opportunity in the top 9. Wouldn’t break up the bottom line at the moment though

  14. Thinker says:

    With the emergence of Nurse, now might be the time to move Sekera’s contract. So long as he shows well coming off from injury, he should be worth a lot at the deadline provided teams can afford the contract. He’s 31 and there might not be a better time to do it.

  15. Thinker says:

    JonyPro:
    Maroon is slowly becoming the new Pouliot, so many penalties…..at least he is starting to score again but still. I don’t know how the Oilers can give him a raise.

    He’s making less than Kassian, he deserves at lease some raise.

  16. Oil2Oilers says:

    Anyone know much about Ondrej Vala a huge RHD Kamloops Blazer that Dallas just signed? I can’t find any scouting reports.

    I would love for the Oilers to pickup ‘prospects for need’ rather than just picks when they sell players at the deadline.

  17. StixMalone says:

    Thinker: He’s making less than Kassian, he deserves at lease some raise.

    No he makes more than Kass . Only bout 300k more

  18. OriginalPouzar says:

    Thinker: He’s making less than Kassian, he deserves at lease some raise.

    The Oilers simply cannot afford market value for Maroon which I would think would be in the $4M range.

    The Oilers need to fill a the top 6 winger spots with young players on their ELCs or 2nd contracts that will outproduce their cap hits. The Oilers cannot afford to have new UFA contracts in the top 6 positions even if they are home-town discounts.

    I think Maroon’s offence can be replaced cheaper than what he’ll cost next season – his terrible penalty differential aside, it will be too bad to lose the player and the intangibles and toughness he brings.

    They may rush one of Benson or Yamamoto in unless someone like Strome can step up with some top 6 production.

    Lets not forget, Strome has essentially been given zero opportunity in the top 6 (although playing with Drai now is a good opportunity and an argument can be made that is the 2nd line).

  19. OriginalPouzar says:

    StixMalone: No he makes more than Kass . Only bout 300k more

    Yes – Maroon’s cap hit to the Oilers is $1.5M but he makes $2M – ANA is paying the last $500K (and its on their cap) – what a great trade.

  20. Thinker says:

    Oil2Oilers:
    Anyone know much about Ondrej Vala a huge RHD Kamloops Blazer that Dallas just signed? I can’t find any scouting reports.

    I would love for the Oilers to pickup ‘prospects for need’ rather than just picks when they sell players at the deadline.

    I think you get more value out of picks. For example Pittsburgh getting Maata for Staal, or Edm getting what should have been Barzal or Connor for Perron. When a prospect is known to be close or trending, they are worth more. An example being Drouin for Sergachev.

    I also think you fill need at the NHL level, not with picks or prospects. The Oilers thought they had depth issues at LD when they traded for Reinhart, and who would have thought in 2012-16 that we would have 0 top 6 RW?

  21. Thinker says:

    StixMalone: No he makes more than Kass . Only bout 300k more

    Cap hit is the only thing that matters unless you are Daryl Katz or Patrick Maroon.

  22. leadfarmer says:

    I’m laughing at the people wishing for Chevaldayoff. We already had Chevaldayoff. He didn’t know how to work the phones so he got dismissed

  23. lynn says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    Khaira has 7 points in his last 8 games – I never imagine he had that type of offence in him.

    Good on him.

    Khaira is still working on his consistency and the rough edges in his game. He is better with the puck than many give him credit for–he has a very good feel for the game.

    At the age of 23, making $675,000 for this season and next, I think he is a keeper for the Oilers.

    The Oilers could have a gem in Khaira when he is 25.

  24. trencan says:

    It’s nice to see in the system better goalie prospects than it was few years ago but it doesn’t mean it is good enough. I am just missing some top prospect with 1A potential. I think we have some 2A or 1B at best goalie prospects. Many teams have some interesting options like Demko, Hart, Samsonov, Sorokin, Sestorkin, Parsons, Di Pietro, Lindgren… Some of them were drafted in first or second round. I know it is very difficult to judge 17 years old goalie but maybe we should also use let’s say 2nd round pick on some goalie prospect to find our future #1G. This year highest ranked G is Jakub Skarek. Previous season he played together with Svoboda in one team, so maybe Chia may have some information about him. He looks like very nice and calm guy, focused on hockey but probably doesn’t belong to the smartest persons on the planet earth. His numbers this year aren’t very good but he plays for the worst team in top Czech league and faces many A chances. He started the season as #1G in the team but now he is mostly as backup. BTW Svoboda has very nice numbers this year, plays for best team in czech league and also played for national team. I can see him moving to KHL soon.

  25. Pescador says:

    Washingtron:
    Pleased to have some Finnish Finish!(see what I did there?y’know?you get it right?because…)

    The bummer about making a move now is that our long term needs (RHD, scoring winger) have been superseded by short term needs (goaltender) and we only have limited trade chips to deal.I think that explains the waiver pick ups and means we need to look at the equivalent players to the pickups who are already on the roster as the ones being dealt.So who does that mean?Slep and Gryba/Auvitu/Benning?I don’t think Cam or Cags have any value to anyone (though how Gryba/Auvitu might is beyond me.)Then you gotta put the Chia Trade tax (a minimum 25% skill loss in any trade) and then I worry about the pieces moving out being people like Nurse, Klef, Maroon, Poolparty.

    I definitely do take these waiver pick ups to be a sign of the coming PeterPuckalypse.

    I see it the other way, I see the waiver pick ups a sign that he doesn’t wish to part with any emerging talent.
    Unless Chiarelli believes this team is a lock for the playoffs this is a year to retool.
    Need to keep those young players for value contracts as well as future depth.
    Lots of ways to offload contacts,
    Incidentally, 10% of that 25% is fans overvaluing their own players. Haha

  26. Pescador says:

    Munny: There ain’t no band aid sucking on a Gatorade that would make this worthwhile.

    Riding away in a motorcade thinking on the mess he made,
    We’re dorks

  27. Lowetide says:

    Oil2Oilers:
    Anyone know much about Ondrej Vala a huge RHD Kamloops Blazer that Dallas just signed? I can’t find any scouting reports.

    I would love for the Oilers to pickup ‘prospects for need’ rather than just picks when they sell players at the deadline.

    I had him at No. 33 among WHL players in 2016 (distant bell).

    Black Book 2016: Vala is quite awkward on first impression, appearing like he’s about to topple over at times. However, despite his ghastly appearance on skates, his stride undergoes slight improvements with each of our viewings. Vala’s first passes are decent as he has good straight-ahead vision out of his own end, but doesn’t have the skating to get himself out of trouble under pressure and can be reduced to simply getting rid of the puck any way he can when he runs out of room. His gap control when defending will need to improve. Vala is a big kid who can play physical, so developing his gap and coverage is a must as he moves forward. He’s got some reach in him, but isn’t particularly good at steering the play to the outside or preventing controlled entries into his zone. Too many times he loses his position and despite his tools, he is currently not a particularly strong defensive player. Vala is a raw kid with a frame and tools that show some upside, but he’s really quite far off in terms of polishing his game. His positioning and gap needs work, his footwork will also need to improve.

  28. OriginalPouzar says:

    No points for Safin this afternoon an -2 in a 3-2 SO win.

    He missed in the SO as well.

    Did have 6 shots on net (2 high danger).

  29. Oil2Oilers says:

    Thinker,

    Sound reasoning

  30. OriginalPouzar says:

    lynn: Khaira is still working on his consistency and the rough edges in his game. He is better with the puck than many give him credit for–he has a very good feel for the game.

    At the age of 23, making $675,000 for this season and next, I think he is a keeper for the Oilers.

    The Oilers could have a gem in Khaira when he is 25.

    He has been skating with the puck with authority over the last few games (including the couple before his most recent injury time off). I never though he had that in him.

  31. OriginalPouzar says:

    Maksimov with a first period goal.

  32. pts2pndr says:

    I enjoy this blog , however I believe we as a community have to learn to attack an idea but never the person. Everyone deserves respect! I understand that we all are emotionally invested but it does not excuse attacking one another. Both our GM and Coach have more invested than the most ardent fan. When we attack them it is wrong on many levels! We can disagree with decisions that they make but this should not include attack on their character or intelligence ! LT has provided us with a forum to express our opinions but this does not give any of us the right to make demeaning character assasinations on coach manager or one another! Just one mans opinion. I have been an Oiler fan since WHA days and will always be an Oiler fan! Lets all stay Classy!

  33. StixMalone says:

    Pescador: Riding away in a motorcade thinking on the mess he made,
    We’re dorks

    People gettin high
    People gettin low
    Team gettin no where cause
    They don’t know where to go

    Yes Nerds….

  34. OmJo says:

    fishman: Also allows the Swedes to get back together and then Benning/ Sekera as 3 rd pair with OV2 as number 7. Me thinks that could be a pretty good D assuming everyone can stay healthy. Balance on D would be nice.

    Hey LT, if the Oilers get balance on the backend can we see the bottom half of the balance photo?

  35. GMB3 says:

    We’ve won 3 out of our last 4 and very well should have at least had points in 4 straight games. A few more runs of winning 3/4 games and the playoffs will look much more reasonable. I am concerned with what Stauffer said about there being “a lot of things going on in the room”.

    To be a fly on a wall in there right now would be interesting to say the least

  36. Pouzar says:

    anjinsan: Can we trade Chiarelli for Cheveldayoff?

    I’ll take the Amateur scouting staff first.

  37. Pouzar says:

    OriginalPouzar: He has been skating with the puck with authority over the last few games (including the couple before his most recent injury time off).I never though he had that in him.

    Not to toot…but I’ve been sayin this about Khaira for 2 years.

  38. Pouzar says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    Maksimov with a first period goal.

    another one timer.

  39. Thinker says:

    pts2pndr:
    I enjoy this blog , however I believe we as a community have to learn to attack an idea but never the person. Everyone deserves respect!I understand that we all are emotionally invested but it does not excuse attacking one another. Both our GM and Coach have more invested than the most ardent fan. When we attack them it is wrong on many levels! We can disagree with decisions thatthey make but this should not include attack on their character or intelligence ! LT has provided us with a forum to express our opinions butthis does not give any of us the right to make demeaning character assasinations on coach manager or one another! Just one mans opinion. I have been an Oiler fan sinceWHAdays and will always be an Oiler fan!Lets all stayClassy!

    Hiring Chiarelli was a stupid idea.

  40. Munny says:

    Pouzar: Not to toot…but I’ve been sayin this about Khaira for 2 years.

    I think his offense was always a bit of a mystery. His poise and his wall-work always looked like it was there though.

  41. Munny says:

    This Davidson pickup is somewhat puzzling, unless the plan is to run him on the right side. But I can’t see the prognosis on the Larsson injury deteriorating so quickly.

    Auvitu looks like he has done a good job of earning the coach’s trust. And in the new “Skating NHL” he is a better skater than Davey and has better offensive instincts.

    And I can’t see the Oil giving up on KBomb so soon. However, this could mean he has long term health problems that are never going to go away.

    Have they completely given up on Gryba? Enough so that they would pay (in cap terms) a Leftie playing his off-side $650k more a year?

    Could be future cap planning and maybe the plan is to deal Sekera when he regains health. But he will have played so little that his value won’t be great and he has a big cap hit that will limit trading partners. I mentioned in the summer that I’d rather trade Seksy over Nuge given the choice of the two, but the injury situation does make this less than ideal.

    That said, they picked up a legit NHL Dman for nothing and those sorts of moves always have value.

  42. Munny says:

    Anyone have Davidson’s PK numbers?

  43. OriginalPouzar says:

    Pouzar: another one timer.

    Ya, from “his spot”

  44. BONE207 says:

    The Primordial JDi Goo: If he trades Puljs, he’ll get promoted to General Handgrenade.

    Then he’ll be sucking the hind banana instead of a Gatorade

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