Squeezing Out Sparks

This Edmonton Oilers team is going to need to battle through the month of December while Adam Larsson, Andrej Sekera and Cam Talbot get healthy. Even with that, there are some baffling tendencies. A team containing Connor McDavid is going to have real firepower, but it’s important to do something worthwhile when 97 is at rest. There’s something wrong with this team, I suspect it won’t be fixed until summer. The special teams put them in a hole every night. Right wing and depth are an issue. This is a recipe for a lottery pick.

THE ATHLETIC!

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LONG DECEMBER, YEAR OVER YEAR

  • December 2015: 2-0-0, goal differential +1
  • December 2016: 2-0-0, goal differential +4
  • December 2017: 1-1-0, goal differential 0

An opportunity missed for Edmonton, a win last night would have set up the month nicely. Even more disturbing, the Calgary Flames increased their lead with an OT loss against Toronto last night. As bitter a pill as it must be for Peter Chiarelli this morning, his team isn’t competitive in the Pacific Division.

AFTER 28, YEAR OVER YEAR

  • Oilers 15-16: 11-15-2, goal differential -13
  • Oilers 16-17: 14-10-4, goal differential +9
  • Oilers 17-18: 11-15-2, goal differential -15

This season is now a full frontal doppelganger (or vice versa) for two years ago, simply cannot put together a winning streak. A win last night and there’s some light up above, but this team can’t knit one nor purl two.

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: 0-1-0)
  • 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: 1-1-0, two points in two games

The road trip starts this weekend and represents a tough climb (Pikes Peak!) for this team. Injuries are an issue, there’s no doubt about it, but depth was a problem when the train left the station.

DEFENSE, LAST NIGHT

  • Klefbom-Benning went 9-5 in 11:31 together, relatively quiet and I thought the duo played well. Went 9-3 against Raffl-Filppula-Voracek, that line had some things going on.
  • Nurse-Russell went 20-13 in 14:52 together, poor decision by Russell on the third goal and it was an unnecessary wrinkle. Nurse played well, didn’t impact the game offensively despite having the puck on his stick in some promising areas of the ice. Went 12-8 against Giroux-Couturier-Simmonds, that’s a good result.
  • Auvitu-Gryba were 6-12 in 9:16, 1-2 in HDSC’s. I like Auvitu’s game, he doesn’t play much though and one guesses Brandon Davidson is about to draw in. Gryba fumbled the puck on a GA, and turned over the puck too much.
  • Laurent Brossoit stopped 29 of 32, .906.
  • Natural Stat Trick and NHL.com.

FORWARDS, LAST NIGHT

  • Caggiula-Draisaitl-Strome went 11-6 together in 8:31, had two scoring chances but nothing overly dangerous. I think it’s fairly clear Leon needs a more dynamic winger if this line is going to go big. Then again, the line went 9-6 in 7:49 against Giroux-Couturier-Simmonds, not exactly the soft parade.
  • Khaira-Letestu-Kassian went 8-6 in 8:09 together, both wingers were skating very well. Went 5-1 against Konecny-Patrick-Weise, that’s a deal Todd McLellan would make every night against a fourth line.
  • Lucic-McDavid-Puljujarvi went 12-12 (Lucic) and 6-6 (JP) with 97, as Leon stepped up to the big line later in the game. CMD had some grand moments and almost scored a couple of times, but the best opportunities last night came on special teams. Went 4-4 against Giroux-Couturier-Simmonds in 6:34.
  • Maroon-Nuge-Cammalleri went 9-15 in 10:25, went 4-5 in 4:58 against Giroux-Couturier-Simmonds. I think we’ll see a shuffle, possibly Maroon back with 97 and 29, Nuge back with Lucic and perhaps 98.

ISS TOP 10 (NHLE)

I’ll be spending some time on the 2018 draft once we hit January, kind of wading in now to see what’s going on. At this point, the Oilers would pick No. 3 overall. Early days, but my top three from this group would be (in order) Dahlin, Svechnikov and then Zadina. I would have Quinn Hughes No. 4 and that guy may end up passing Zadina. Early days.

KIRILL MAKSIMOV

He’s ripping it up now (NHLE: 27.6) and among the top prospects in the system. His coach has nice things to say about him and he is trending in a very good direction (10gp, 8-5-13). That’s not far from Tyler Benson (10gp, 7-10-17) and his torrid pace, and along with Kailer Yamamoto and Ostap Safin there is some hope among the forward prospects in the system. All four ranked high in my Winter Top 20 and all but Yamamoto have spiked since then. Encouraging.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

At 10 this morning, full boat and some gigantic brains. TSN1260, scheduled to appear:

  • Bruce McCurdy, Cult of Hockey. Dissecting another loss with my friend. I may bring opium.
  • Steve Kournianos, The Draft Analyst. World Junior rosters, plus 2018 draft.
  • Rob Vollman, NHL.com & ESPN. Goalie problems and their causes (Edmonton connection).
  • Frank Seravalli, TSN. Is this season over for the Oilers?

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

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230 Responses to "Squeezing Out Sparks"

« Older Comments
  1. Pescador says:

    BONE207: Well I work in the morning. I’m ready for bed again. Catching up on the LT show. Always interesting reading especially after a loss.

    Sorry Bone, “just getting up” – your Avitar.
    Just trying to be funny, I will try harder.

  2. Pescador says:

    The Primordial JDi Goo:
    Pescador,

    Simmer down now Pesci. We’re all entitled to our opinions here, no matter how wrong they may be.

    Absolutely, all in jest. I will claim no moral high ground.
    Ever

  3. OriginalPouzar says:

    I am curious if Russ thinks that Kris Russell provides more value at $4M/year than Nuge does at $6M/year?

  4. GMB3 says:

    JimmyV1965: Agreed. RNH is our third best forward. Don’t see how you improve improve trading him.

    Russ legitimately believes that Todd Mclellan has told the team to sacrifice defensive play so the Nuge can score more goals. Probably believes in Santa and Rudolph the red nosed reindeer too

  5. GMB3 says:

    leadfarmer: It’s not the lack of Jordan Eberle or Hall that is hurting this team if our d continues to pass back and forth and then move it to the forwards who have to deal with a 3v5 or when they get possession in the ozone they just throw it at the net when no one is around to screen or get a rebound
    Our pp is stationary and spread throughout the corners of the ozone
    It’s our horrible system.We’re built to grind out games which we can’t do against teams that are building for speed

    I agree that we might only be a marginally better team with those guys. My point with Russ is that he is one of the muppets who fail to see that inadequate D has been the biggest frisking outside of Dallas Eakins and our goaltending the last ten years.

  6. Yeti says:

    GMB3,

    It’s a crappy season, that’s for sure, but there’s no need to make it personal. We can all have our opinions on why the team is performing so poorly, but these kinds of posts don’t help anything except to turn this fine place into a sewer.

  7. Chelios is a Dinosaur says:

    Trade 2018 pick for immediate help.

    Enough discussion about the lottery.

    We lived through that. It was embarrassing two picks ago.

    This team is crooked in the head this year. Better than another high pick?

    Turning it around with a strong run and meaningful games in March.

    Playoffs or no playoffs, too many people seem to have adopted the DOD mentality where losing is ever at all acceptable.

    Coach goes off on players at practice, captain says “all cool, lots of games left.”

    That’s a tell. It’s in the room, it’s in their heads. You want to make it worse? You want to let that bake in? Engineer a tank. That is my worse nightmare here.

  8. frjohnk says:

    Chelios is a Dinosaur:
    Trade 2018 pick for immediate help.

    Enough discussion about the lottery.

    We lived through that. It was embarrassing two picks ago.

    This team is crooked in the head this year. Better than another high pick?

    Turning it around with a strong run and meaningful games in March.

    Playoffs or no playoffs, too many people seem to have adopted the DOD mentality where losing is ever at all acceptable.

    Coach goes off on players at practice, captain says “all cool, lots of games left.”

    That’s a tell. It’s in the room, it’s in their heads. You want to make it worse? You want to let that bake in? Engineer a tank. That is my worse nightmare here.

    Nobody is saying to engineer a tank, but with only 24 points in 28 games, not making the playoffs is very realistic. If we are a bubble playoff team, is trading that pick a) actually going to help us make the playoffs? b) proper asset management?

    For the time being Id run with the horses we have. I believe Vegas will eventually falter ( yeah, yeah, I know, Ive been saying this since the start of the year and it hasnt happen yet,) so the spot we need to chase is 9th spot in the West. That is Calgary who is on pace for 90 points. So we need to at least be aiming for 91 points. Thats 67 points in the last 54 games, or a 102 point pace. Now with our number 1 goalie out and 2 of top 4 Dmen still out, that is not a hill, but a mountain.

    If the horses show that they are turning it around, then you give them some help, otherwise you make preparations for next fall.

  9. OriginalPouzar says:

    Chelios is a Dinosaur:
    Trade 2018 pick for immediate help.

    Enough discussion about the lottery.

    We lived through that. It was embarrassing two picks ago.

    This team is crooked in the head this year. Better than another high pick?

    Turning it around with a strong run and meaningful games in March.

    Playoffs or no playoffs, too many people seem to have adopted the DOD mentality where losing is ever at all acceptable.

    Coach goes off on players at practice, captain says “all cool, lots of games left.”

    That’s a tell. It’s in the room, it’s in their heads. You want to make it worse? You want to let that bake in? Engineer a tank. That is my worse nightmare here.

    I couldn’t disagree more with your first sentence.

    May I ask what you see as the return on that first round pick? Its a pretty valuable pick so maybe it gets us Evander Kane. He would be a nice addition for a few months but I don’t see him turning the team around and them making the playoffs – I don’t see any rental having that type of impact.

    All such a trade would accomplish, in my opinion, is to sacrifice a very material draft pick, potentially the 1st overall (all non-playoff teams have a shot) in a deep draft.

    This team is not as bad as they’ve played – goaltending, special teams and some injuries to our D leading to decreased transition have aggregated to put us where we are.

    If we do happen to be out of if come February, a bright silver lining is the extreme plus of a one-year re-tool. Instead of selling off material futures for short term help, we keep our futures and add more futures to our prospect pool.

    It will pay huge dividends in a few years when there will be all sorts of internal competition for roster spots and the cretaion of depth.

  10. russ99 says:

    GMB3: Russ legitimately believes that Todd Mclellan has told the team to sacrifice defensive play so the Nuge can score more goals. Probably believes in Santa and Rudolph the red nosed reindeer too

    Don’t put words in my mouth. I’ve had enough of this garbage, everyone is entitled to an opinion, and we’re all Oilers fans here. If you want to discount my ideas fine, but belittling other fans is a shitty way to get your point across.

    For the record, this has all to do about player deployment. I think that Todd focusing on RNH’s offense has unbalanced part of the team, and his stated reluctance to move to three centers was due to making sure that RNH had good enough wingers to keep producing offense.

    IMO this is cause and effect with why Draisaitl was left on McDavid’s wing too long and certain wingers who were expected to take a step forward were givien below optimal lines and linemates, and thus have failed to produce.

    The top six is a goal for young forwards and keeping players away from a chance to break into the top six and be sheltered by a McDavid or Draisaitl while they find their offensive game to focus on one player’s offense could harbor some resentment in the room.

    Nuge has played well defensively even with his offensive focus, but often I’ve seen him as the last forward back, instead of the center traditionally being the first forward back, which also puts a lot more pressure on his wingers to deliver on defense, furhter isolates defenseman coverage, and contributes to tougher shots to stop by our goalies.

    Look at the St. Louis games, with their first line running riot against us. Maybe it could have gone differently if Nuge was deployed as a shutdown center against their top line, like he did in the playoffs last year.

    So yeah, IMO:Balance, Young players getting a shot to develop, Leon driving his own line, better defense > Nuge’s 10 goals.

  11. OriginalPouzar says:

    Even if we were a bubble team, I wouldn’t be in favor of trading the first round pick for immediate help – high end rentals.

    In my opinion, that type of trade should be reserved from a no-brainer playoff contender looking for a move to put them over the top. A middling wild card team shouldn’t be looking for that type of move and, a team that is closer to 31st than a wild card should definitely not be making such a move in a desperate attempt to save the season.

  12. Chelios is a Dinosaur says:

    OriginalPouzar,

    I don’t know what that return is, but I agree it would have to be more than a rental and a piece that would join the – ahem – core cluster. Ideally a RHD? Don’t know and likely hyperbole motivates that statement to some degree on my part.

    But in my mind, mounting evidence suggests this team’s problem is between the ears. I wonder if sending the 1st pick away for immediate help – and perhaps in combination with an additional move like a coaching change on the PK (maybe not firing anyone but bringing someone in and isolating the problem, as it stands it is unacceptable) would shock the – ahem – core cluster out of delirium. It would send the message that future remains now, and that everyone in the room is part of the solution. I don’t like McD’s blasé attitude about divisional games remaining, and I think ONE major reason this team didn’t win with Hall was because losing games was an accepted element of the rebuild. If that mentality sneaks back into the organization through the back door, everything gained through last year’s experience is moot. This team needs to find a way to claw .600 hockey for the remainder of the year, so they can look around the room and know they are capable. That experience in my mind will be worth a 9th place conference finish. It will be McDavid’s turn to walk past the Islander’s dressing room.

  13. Chelios is a Dinosaur says:

    I live in Montreal and me and my wife go to one Oilers game / year, when they roll through town and play Montreal to a boring saw-off. Though this year we have chosen to spend that money and then some on at the ACC on Sunday. What was a fantastic idea in September has turned into something very different.

    Perhaps my inclination to trade the top pick is that I live in Montreal and work in Toronto – I need to deal with Leafs and Habs fans on the regular, and don’t think I could handle the fallout of another lotto pick. LOL & facepalm.

  14. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    Chelios is a Dinosaur,

    – I have my annual game this Sunday with my brother in law: Platinum seats,, etc. Leafs suck, arena atmosphere sucks, but non-work day games are better: less suits…

  15. Chelios is a Dinosaur says:

    Kinger_Oil.redux,

    I lived in Toronto 4 years and never had the opportunity to drop $ on a Leafs game. In some perverse way I hope the atmosphere sucks as much as I have heard, if only to reinforce my own world view about that organization.

    If you see a man in a Draisaitl sweater being escorted out, that’s likely me.

  16. OriginalPouzar says:

    Chelios is a Dinosaur:
    OriginalPouzar,

    I don’t know what that return is, but I agree it would have to be more than a rental and a piece that would join the – ahem – core cluster. Ideally a RHD? Don’t know and likely hyperbole motivates that statement to some degree on my part.

    But in my mind, mounting evidence suggests this team’s problem is between the ears. I wonder if sending the 1st pick away for immediate help – and perhaps in combination with an additional move like a coaching change on the PK(maybe not firing anyone but bringing someone in and isolating the problem, as it stands it is unacceptable) would shock the – ahem – core cluster out of delirium. It would send the message that future remains now, and that everyone in the room is part of the solution. I don’t like McD’s blasé attitude about divisionalgames remaining, and I think ONE major reason this team didn’t win with Hall was because losing games was an accepted element of the rebuild. If that mentality sneaks back into the organization through the back door, everything gained through last year’s experience is moot. This team needs to find a way to claw .600 hockey for the remainder of the year, so they can look around the room and know they are capable. That experience in my mind will be worth a 9th place conference finish. It will be McDavid’s turn to walk past the Islander’s dressing room.

    Sure, the first round pick can be in play if the deal makes the team better in short/medium term – a valuable piece under team control for years.

    That’s an unlikely deal at this point in the season and management needs to tread very carefully because, the way things are going, that pick could be a very very material asset – there is a chance for the Kessel/Seguin scenario to repeat itself – this is, from accounts, a high ceiling and deep draft.

  17. who says:

    russ99: Don’t put words in my mouth.I’ve had enough of this garbage, everyone is entitled to an opinion, and we’re all Oilers fans here. If you want to discount my ideas fine, but belittling other fans is a shitty way to get your point across.

    For the record, this has all to do about player deployment. I think that Todd focusing on RNH’s offense has unbalanced part of the team, and his stated reluctance to move to three centers was due to making sure that RNH had good enough wingers to keep producing offense.

    IMO this is cause and effect with why Draisaitl was left on McDavid’s wing too long and certain wingers who were expected to take a step forward were givien below optimal lines and linemates, and thus have failed to produce.

    The top six is a goal for young forwards and keeping players away from a chance to break into the top six and be sheltered by a McDavid or Draisaitl while they find their offensive game to focus on one player’s offense could harbor some resentment in the room.

    Nuge has played well defensively even with his offensive focus, but often I’ve seen him as the last forward back, instead of the center traditionally being the first forward back, which also puts a lot more pressure on his wingers to deliver on defense, furhter isolates defenseman coverage, and contributes to tougher shots to stop by our goalies.

    Look at the St. Louis games, with their first line running riot against us. Maybe it could have gone differently if Nuge was deployed as a shutdown center against their top line, like he did in the playoffs last year.

    So yeah, IMO:Balance, Young players getting a shot to develop, Leon driving his own line, better defense > Nuge’s 10 goals.

    Hey, you’re entitled to your own opinion, but that’s quite a narrative you’re spinning there.
    So your theory is that the team hasn’t been good because the coach has played Macdavid and Drai together so Nuge could have better wingers and sacrifice his defense in order to score more. This in turn has pushed some of the young wingers out of the top six which has pissed them off causing dissension in the room.
    Or it could just be that the coach loves to sqeeze all his centers on to 1 line (see San Jose), and our goaltending and young defensemen haven’t been that good. I dunno.

  18. who says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    Even if we were a bubble team, I wouldn’t be in favor of trading the first round pick for immediate help – high end rentals.

    In my opinion, that type of trade should be reserved from a no-brainer playoff contender looking for a move to put them over the top.A middling wild card team shouldn’t be looking for that type of move and, a team that is closer to 31st than a wild card should definitely not be making such a move in a desperate attempt to save the season.

    Amen brother

  19. Chelios is a Dinosaur says:

    OriginalPouzar,

    I understand the value of drafting high in a deep draft. But I am very concerned with the consequences of a bottom 3 or so finish. I thought the best thing that happened last year was the resiliency shown when down a goal. I thought that was a clear indication that Chiarelli had assembled a roster with enough experience, size and skill to manufacture wins when maybe they didn’t deserve them. YOu need those every few games to string a streak together. Win enough of the games you outpace the other team, and bingo you have a winner. That resiliency is completely missing this year and I don’t think it is the difference between Pouliot or Eberle. Nor do I believe an additional material asset, as deep as this draft is, can overcome the fall out of this season being written off in December.

    If the Oilers draft somewhere 4-6, let’s say, is that piece material next year? is that a piece that is not only able to contribute but contribute given the fact they are being asked, again, to fix a broken hockey team? I would rather gamble on an asset coming in now, and helping pull this team within a whisker of respectable.

  20. Chelios is a Dinosaur says:

    From an asset management perspective, I agree sending the pick away now is a risk.

    I think tanking also comes with a set of unknowns. Unknown unknowns, in fact.

  21. who says:

    Chelios is a Dinosaur:
    OriginalPouzar,

    I understand the value of drafting high in a deep draft. But I am very concerned with the consequences of a bottom 3 or so finish. I thought the best thing that happened last year was the resiliency shown when down a goal. I thought that was a clear indication that Chiarelli had assembled a roster with enough experience, size and skill to manufacture wins when maybe they didn’t deserve them. YOu need those every few games to string a streak together. Win enough of the games you outpace the other team, and bingo you have a winner. That resiliency is completely missing this year and I don’t think it is the difference between Pouliot or Eberle.Nor do I believe an additional material asset, as deep as this draft is, can overcome the fall out of this season being written off in December.

    If the Oilers draft somewhere 4-6, let’s say, is that piece material next year? is that a piece that is not only able to contribute but contribute given the fact they are being asked, again, to fix a broken hockey team? I would rather gamble on an asset coming in now, and helping pull this team within a whisker of respectable.

    I disagree.
    Even if the pick is a top 10 and not ready to contribute til the 2020 season you have to think long and hard about trading it away. At that point we still have 6 more years of Macdavid. That is how you build the kind of organizational depth that allows you to contend every year, not just for 2 or 3.

  22. Chelios is a Dinosaur says:

    A 2017-2018 season inspired by the 2016-2017 Tampa Bay Lightning Season can still set is up in 2018-2019 for a 2017-2018 Tampa Bay Lightning Season. They went 20-7-2 in Feb/Mar/April. I would like to see the Oilers do the same, even if it means missing the playoffs and climbing the draft order.

  23. Chelios is a Dinosaur says:

    who,

    You are likely more correct than I am with regards to long-term asset management. This is another of many reasons I am not a GM in the NHL.

    But, but, but, I do want some equally deep thought invested in what happens if they play 5 more months without thinking every game is a must win. That corrodes skill and establishes bad habits. If the Oilers draft in the lottery on merit, thats another thing, and would require another complete overhaul starting with the GM.

    But I am not convinced that this team is playing to its potential. The team that we saw against the Leafs and Flames for 4 periods is this team, I still think. I want that team unlocked first.

  24. Professor Q says:

    The Oilers should trade the pick to themselves in a surprise Franchise-defining move.

  25. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    Chelios is a Dinosaur:
    Kinger_Oil.redux,

    I lived in Toronto 4 years and never had the opportunity to drop $ on a Leafs game. In some perverse way I hope the atmosphere sucks as much as I have heard, if only to reinforce my own world view about that organization.

    If you see a man in a Draisaitl sweater being escorted out, that’s likely me.

    – Honestly it’s just a not very inspiring place. A weekday game, the bottom bowl is empty, as the suits grab their sushi and white wine

    – The best atmosphere ever for me though there was the U-23 North America vs Sweden: man was that an exciting game, and very few leafs fans

    – Leafs fans suck something fierce actually. The one thing they do have in common with Oil fans though is they sell out the arena good or bad. That’s a local fan base, not a real fan base IMO. I consider Philly, or even NY as real fan bases: when their teams suck, they really boo them hard, and stop coming out. Now Edmonton has only one sports team so its different: they don’t have anywhere else to go. It still pisses me off that the fans don’t vote with their feet and not go when they sucked for a decade.

    – The Leaf’s, they don’t care about winning, except that a few more playoff games would pad theiir bottom line. They were one of the teams that wanted hard cap, they didn’t want competition either with a another local team

    – The Oil: sure they’d like to win, but this owner, he’s too busy buying the most expensive pad in L.A. The arena sells out regardless. Winning would be nice for these organizations, winning the Cup a bonus: but really they just want to sell out the arena, and they do that.

    – I’ve never spent a dime at the ACC: (well a few $13 beers), but if I’m not being comped, I’m not going to that vacuous place:

    – I’ll cheer for a Drai jersey evicition!

  26. who says:

    Chelios is a Dinosaur:
    who,

    You are likely more correct than I am with regards to long-term asset management. This is another of many reasons I am not a GM in the NHL.

    But, but, but, I do want some equally deep thought invested in what happens if they play 5 more months without thinking every game is a must win. That corrodes skill and establishes bad habits. If the Oilers draft in the lottery on merit, thats another thing, and would require another complete overhaul starting with the GM.

    But I am not convinced that this team is playing to its potential. The team that we saw against the Leafs and Flames for 4 periods is this team, I still think. I want that team unlocked first.

    I understand what you are saying and I am not suggesting this team start tanking for draft position. I think they are good enough to win as is. Not sure adding another piece really makes that big a difference. That is why I have suggested trading Maroon this year. I really don’t think there would be a fall off in production if you slid Cammaleri in to his spot.
    I have never been a fan of trading 1st round picks, no matter what situation the team is in. Always seems to come back and bite you down the road.

  27. Chelios is a Dinosaur says:

    Professor Q:
    The Oilers should trade the pick to themselves in a surprise Franchise-defining move.

    Only the Oilers could lose that trade.

  28. Chelios is a Dinosaur says:

    Kinger_Oil.redux,

    I had fun at a Raptors game once, that was it.

    I know what you mean about Rangers/Philly fans. I think it extends the whole eastern sea board. We used to live in Boston, wife is from Chicago. She had never been to a game outside Chicago so we went to a Hawks-Bruins game. She was worried her Hawks cap would target her for abuse from Bostonians – a grumpy population at the best of times. Hawks won 5-1, and the majority of derision was thrown at the players (Chara you’re a losah!) and each other (Shut the fuck up you bastahd!) We left as we arrived, ghosts.

  29. GMB3 says:

    russ99:

    So yeah, IMO:Balance, Young players getting a shot to develop, Leon driving his own line, better defense > Nuge’s 10 goals.

    This argument makes no sense Russ. I’d Draisaitl is better defensively, why isn’t he the “shutdown centre”? No RNH means both Drai and McDavid will spend more time against elites. RNH’s 11 goals lead the team. His “ten goals” will be 30 at this pace by seasons end.

    TMac is a good coach, don’t throw out the baby with the bath water, but this season is on player deployment, mainly on McDavid having to spend more time vs elites because RNH gets easier assignments. You phrase this as TMac sacrificing defence just for RNH’s point totals. So you think any coach in the NHL would put his career at risk just to one player gets more points? I’m serious about this question.

    Counter point: we have 21 million tied up between Drai and McDavid. TMac stacked his top line in the hope his two best players could face the other teams elite competition and win the GF% and shot share battle (they are getting paid an exorbitant sum of money to do this).

    So you state TMac is a good coach, this is your belief, don’t throw out the baby with the bath water. Yet his deployment is what has sunk the season (I don’t think this would qualify as good coaching if true).

    It’s my belief that we are in this mess because of our goaltending and our GM’s off season. If Slepy or Caggiula needed to spend the year in the AHL because we brought in veteran wingers on one year deals, that would make more sense then throwing them into the fire. Seeing Slepy sit so Hendricks can play last year was tough to watch, but if the replacement was a legitimate top 9 option, that would be fine.

    Special teams is a result of a stubborn coach and a lack of available talent (on the PK side anyways).

    Yet you truly think this is on RNH? That is just wild man. This is why we don’t deserve good teams, we deserve shit. You blamed the past failures on Hall and Eberle and that cluster, yet those two are gone and having great years but we are still awful. Ignoring the true problems.

  30. GMB3 says:

    who: Hey, you’re entitled to your own opinion, but that’s quite a narrative you’re spinning there.
    So your theory is that the team hasn’t been good because the coach has played Macdavid and Drai together so Nuge could have better wingers and sacrifice his defensein order to score more. This in turn has pushed some of the young wingers out of the top six which has pissed them off causing dissension in the room.
    Or it could just be that the coach loves to sqeeze all his centers on to 1 line (see San Jose), and our goaltending and young defensemen haven’t been that good. I dunno.

    It defies logic

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