Pack it Up

The Edmonton Oilers are enjoying the first real winning streak of the season, and like a hard rain after months of drought, excitement is evident across the interior plains. The team has clearly decided to deliver heart attacks nightly during the 2017-18 season, won last night while causing vapors, fainting spells and non-stop pacing. Lord Almighty this team makes one a nervous norvous.

THE ATHLETIC

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LONG DECEMBER, YEAR OVER YEAR

  • December 2015: 6-3-0, goal differential -3 (12 points)
  • December 2016: 4-2-3, goal differential 0 (11 points)
  • December 2017: 6-3-0, goal differential +8 (12 points)

This year matches December 2015 (again), although the goal differential is far more handsome this time around. There is finally something resembling traction and just in time. Miles to go but the team has gathered points at a solid clip leading up to Christmas. Big game on Saturday.

AFTER 35, YEAR OVER YEAR

  • Oilers 15-16: 15-18-2, goal differential -17 (32 points)
  • Oilers 16-17: 18-12-5, goal differential +9 (41 points)
  • Oilers 17-18: 16-17-2, goal differential -7 (34 points)

Entering December, Edmonton was 10-14-2 and badly needed to get back to “fake .500” and, hopefully, beyond. The Oilers can reach the first outpost on Saturday with a win over the Habs. Although 36 points after 36 games doesn’t feel like a victory, it will surely be exactly that should it come to pass. Small victories are big steps.

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 2-1-0)
  • At home to: Nashville (Expected 0-1-0) (Actual 0-1-0)
  • On the road to: Minnesota (Expected 1-0-0) (Actual 1-0-0)
  • At home to: San Jose, St. Louis, Montreal (Expected 1-1-1) (Actual 2-0-0)
  • 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: 6-3-0, 12 points in nine games

The Oilers have reached my predicted point total with four games to spare. My only defense of this clear misstep is that the team didn’t look capable of winning six of nine games at the beginning of the month (when I made the predictions). Can Edmonton win three of the last four, to finish the month 9-4-0? That would be a fabulous rebound month.

DEFENSE, LAST NIGHT

  • Sekera-Benning went 13-11 in 11:42, 0-1 GF, 2-0 in HDSC’s. I really liked the pairing, mobile, getting the puck up ice and connecting on passes. Sekera took some hits and kept on ticking. Went 6-1 against Paajarvi-Sobotka-Berglund. I like this veteran-youngster duo, we’ll see if they get more playing time Saturday.
  • Davidson-Larsson were 15-14 in 16:04, 0-1 GF, and 2-2 in HDSC’s. They had dozens of resets, seemed to be disconnects between blue and forwards, that’s my take anyway. Went 10-5 with the Nuge line. Davidson-Larsson faced the top unit (Jaskin-Schenn-Tarasenko) and were 11-10 in 12:22. That means this was the de facto top pairing in McLellan’s eyes (Taresenko faced Nurse 2:49 and Benning 1:16). Davidson!
  • Nurse-Russell were 19-20 in 15:43, this was the second pairing by minutes and opposition. Went 2-0 in GF, 4-5 in HDSC’s, and were 11-11 with the McDavid unit. Faced Steen-Stastny-Thompson for nine minutes, going 15-12.
  • I think it’s reasonable to suggest McLellan was fine with the Davidson-Larsson pairing against the top line based on usage. We’ll have another look at this new wrinkle on Saturday. To my eye, Nurse-Russell had been the top pairing previously, although no real surprise Larsson has moved up the depth chart now that he’s healthy. The surprise is the trust placed (early) in Brandon Davidson. What a fantastic stroke of luck to get him back on waivers. Music!
  • Cam Talbot stopped 34 of 36, .944. He was flat out brilliant.
  • NaturalStatTrick and NHL.com.

FORWARDS, LAST NIGHT

  • Cammalleri-Letestu-Kassian went 8-8 together in nine minutes, 1-0 GF and 1-2 HDSC’s. This fourth line has performed well for some time now, when Khaira was part of it and now with others. Played more than usual at 5×5 this night and scored an important goal. Kassian is a valuable player on this line, Letestu too.
  • Lucic-McDavid-Puljujarvi went 16-16 (Lucic-97) and 12-15 (Pulju-97) on the night. McDavid also played with Caggiula (4-0), Draisaitl (1-1) and Maroon (1-0) during portions of the game. Great three-way goal, Lucic with the stretch, McDavid catching, touch pass by Leon, patience by 97, goal. Beautiful. Oilers fans are lucky (again) to have a talent who can score when a goal is so badly needed. Jesse Puljujarvi is starting to lose his thoughts on sorties, needs to have some success to get the swagger back. CMD turned the puck over early, dangerous play, he’s going through a bit of a slump in that area to my eye (sent a dangerous back pass late in the Sharks game seconds before Strome’s EN goal). He’ll need to tighten that up, and I’m sure he will (great players always do).
  • Maroon-Nuge-Caggiula went 15-17, 1-0 GF and 4-1 HDSC’s. I thought they were good the entire night, each man seemingly faster than my memory of them. The goal was a little lucky, but the Oilers had drilled iron five times so let’s review.
  • Khaira-Draisaitl-Strome were 7-8, 0-2 GF and 1-1 HDSC’s. The line had some looks but the second St. Louis goal was aided by a late arrival (two forwards deep when the puck went south and they never caught up, although I thought Leon coasted when he could have made a difference; that’s my opinion). This line needs to be better.

DRAKE CAGGIULA

My friend Bruce McCurdy (Cult of Hockey, Edmonton Journal) was on the Lowdown yesterday and I asked him about Drake Caggiula.

  • McCurdy on Caggiula: “I see speed and I see fearlessness. I’m sure the coach loves that. He flies around and not afraid to get in the middle of the action. He takes the body, makes stuff happen. I see a still young professional player, he’s 23 years old, but in professional terms he’s just in his second year. What I see is a very versatile player, who has played center, left wing, right wing, penalty kill, power play. For such a young player it’s quite remarkable the breadth of his resume. I won’t pretend that he’s succeeded in all of those roles, I don’t think he’s been good at center and I don’t think he’s been good on the penalty kill, but if you’re developing a utility infielder, that’s a useful player.” Source

Caggiula was in the mix for employment this season, but there was (and is) enough competition to send him to the pressbox if necessary. Coach Todd McLellan has played him in 24 of 35 games, and the youngster has delivered 5-4-9 boxcars. He appears to be emerging as someone the Oilers find useful, as described by Bruce above. How is he doing compared to my RE?

  • Jujhar Khara RE 45, 3-2-5  (22, 5-5-10, on pace for 69, 16-16-32)
  • Drake Caggiula RE 70, 12-10-22 (24, 5-4-9, on pace for 71, 15-12-27)
  • Jesse Puljujarvi RE 14-14-28 (18, 6-2-8, on pace for 65, 22-7-29) 
  • Anton Slepyshev RE 70, 12-13-25 (15, 1-2-3, on pace for 62, 4-8-12)
  • RE Source

The big success story among the young hopefuls is Jujhar Khaira, who has emerged as a bonafide NHL regular. Jesse Puljujarvi’s goals are eye catching, but his projected point total is in the range. Anton Slepyshev is the only pure disappointment in the group, I think that injury hobbled him and allowed others opportunities they cashed. Caggiula is nicely ahead of expectations and he too may be emerging as an NHL regular. Massive goal last night didn’t hurt.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

A busy Friday, last Lowdown before Christmas! Best of the season to everyone, no matter what church your car drives to each week. In a world that has strangely soured on kindness, I know all of you reading this hold dear the idea that being kind reflects goodness, not weakness. Bless you, drive safe, be well, laugh and cry and make memories. Scheduled to appear, TSN1260 beginning at 10 this morning:

  • Steve Lansky, BigMouth Sports. Christmas at Lansky’s, Oilers big win, WJ’s.
  • Joey Alfieri, The Athletic. Habs in town tomorrow night, what’s going on?
  • Matt Iwanyk, TSN1260. Let’s go bowling, can the Oilers rip it up and make the playoffs?
  • Frank Seravalli, TSN. Oilers turning north, will they add? Christmas at Frank’s.

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129 Responses to "Pack it Up"

  1. OriginalPouzar says:

    Its been 8 games since the Oilers got outplayed.

    7 straight games where the Oilers outplayed their opponent or at least sawed them off (like last night).

    When healthy, this is a substantial lineup – we have NHL players trying to find their way in the lineup both up front and on the back-end.

    Thank god for Cam Talbot last night.

  2. Pouzar says:

    I didn’t think Caggs was having a good game at all. The puck died on stick a ton in that game but full marks for being in the right spot for the winner.

  3. Pouzar says:

    OriginalPouzar,

    RE: Strome from Bruce M.

    ” #18 Ryan Strome, 4. Posted an ugly -2 on the night, with 0 shots, 0 hits, and 0 contributions to even strength scoring chances. He wasn’t quite as bad as all that, but didn’t have a major impact on the game other than that crucial closing shift.”

    Granted I didn’t think Caggs was effective at all until late 3rd period with the hit and goal and Bruce gave him an 8.

  4. Jethro Tull says:

    Cags reminds me of Torres, but without the douchyness.

  5. bcoil says:

    A observation : I think Jessie P needs to cut 6 inches off his stick it is too long for work in tight spaces like in front of the net or a long the boards ..

  6. jtblack says:

    Pouzar,

    +1. I saw what you saw

    But he Totally redeemed himself ……. 😉

  7. jm363561 says:

    “The surprise is the trust placed (early) in Brandon Davidson. What a fantastic stroke of luck to get him back on waivers.” The glass half empty take might be ….. why did they trade him for David Desharnais?

    The third period last night was terrific hockey. The game could have gone either way but, for once, the hockey Gods smiles on us. Great game. Great result. Great to see Sek back. Cambo – fantastic.

    Still don’t get Cagguilla.

  8. OilClog says:

    Cags had one hit and one if he doesn’t score on that beautiful Gretzky-Hopkins pass you’re fired moments. Other then that he failed to clear the puck out numerous times, mostly got outsized, made you want Slepy back.

    Lil guys that show alil agitation get too much rope.

  9. Boil-in-the-Oil says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    Its been 8 games since the Oilers got outplayed.

    7 straight games where the Oilers outplayed their opponent or at least sawed them off (like last night).

    When healthy, this is a substantial lineup – we have NHL players trying to find their way in the lineup both up front and on the back-end.

    Thank god for Cam Talbot last night.

    Agree. And how Talbot wasn’t one of the stars of the game is just wrong…for me, he was the 1st overall star. Fun game to watch, glad/thrilled we won. GO OILERS!

  10. OriginalPouzar says:

    Pouzar:
    OriginalPouzar,

    RE: Strome from Bruce M.

    ” #18 Ryan Strome, 4. Posted an ugly -2 on the night, with 0 shots, 0 hits, and 0 contributions to even strength scoring chances. He wasn’t quite as bad as all that, but didn’t have a major impact on the game other than that crucial closing shift.”

    Granted I didn’t think Caggs was effective at all until late 3rd period with the hit and goal and Bruce gave him an 8.

    Yes, I read Bruce’s grades earlier today – I don’t agree with his Strome grade but the stat line is what it is.

    I saw many shifts where Strome was skating with power, initiating contact on the boards and battling. I ever remember thinking on one play “right there is the type of hard battle on the boards that can be part of Strome’s game but never part of Eberle’s”.

  11. Réal Goudenyéu says:

    jm363561:
    ….. why did they trade him for David Desharnais?

    For that sweet overtime goal 😉

  12. OriginalPouzar says:

    Boil-in-the-Oil: Agree. And how Talbot wasn’t one of the stars of the game is just wrong…for me, he was the 1st overall star. Fun game to watch, glad/thrilled we won. GO OILERS!

    He was the no-brainer 1st star in my mind.

  13. thepeetso says:

    i like davidson and i like larsson, but i’m not sure that i like them together.

    once sekera gets up and running hopefully they split those two up.

    still davidson is an absolute gift to get back.

    thanks bergevin.

  14. Durag says:

    Boil-in-the-Oil: Agree. And how Talbot wasn’t one of the stars of the game is just wrong…for me, he was the 1st overall star. Fun game to watch, glad/thrilled we won. GO OILERS!

    I was at the game and had to laugh at Talbot being left out of the 3 stars. There was a 5-bell giveaway 17 seconds in that Talbot stoned. If that goes in we are having a very different conversation this morning.

  15. gregsaint says:

    Is Caggs the new Ryan Jones?

  16. Bag of Pucks says:

    Pat Hughes, Jaroslav Pouzar, Dave Hunter, Dave Lumley.

    Those dynasty teams had utility infielders a plenty. Hopefully Caggiula is another in a long line. He actually reminds me a little of Dustin Brown.

    Dumbfounding that Bergevin didn’t see Davidson better during his time with the Habs. You would think the former defenceman would be able to spot a young Dman on the cusp. His loss is definitely our gain.

    My new nickname for Kris Russell is ‘gaping hole.’ Apologies in advance for those that will be confused by this moniker. It’s actually a term of affection.

  17. prefonmich says:

    Pouzar,

    Couldn’t agree more. I texted to a fellow fan at one point in the game that I couldn’t understand how Slepy is not in the lineup for Caggiula. He lost numerous battles in the offensive zone throughout the game sending St Louis the other way quickly. Then he scores off a beautiful feed and suddenly he is everyone’s hero. Funny how that works. I also texted after his goal. I love that guy 😉
    On another note, How Talbot was not a star is beyond me. He made the saves in the first, especially that he was making last year to keep his team in it until they got their sea legs. He hadn’t been making those saves earlier this year, nice to see him back!

  18. Ribs says:

    jm363561: “The surprise is the trust placed (early) in Brandon Davidson. What a fantastic stroke of luck to get him back on waivers.” The glass half empty take might be ….. why did they trade him for David Desharnais?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sBYvf6b9Xac

  19. Dino says:

    5 points from a wildcard spot
    6 points from third in the division

    GO OILERS

  20. prefonmich says:

    Bag of Pucks,

    I don’t think the Davidson miss in Montreal is on Bergevin, I think it was the coach. Just like McLellan can be stubborn on certain players and give others so much rope. Either way, I’m glad Chia was smart enough to pick him up. I don’t think he is solely responsible for the team turnaround but he is a big part of it, to be sure.

  21. blainer says:

    I am very happy Caggs scored last night but have to say I watched to different players over the last two games.

    The game against SJ he was just flying out there and really looked like he belonged. Last night it was the complete opposite. Must drive the coach nuts. I say it was a good thing he scored as I would have predicted the coach replace him with Slep.

    I could almost say the same about Cammy. Again he scored but man he looks slow out there but his 5×5 play is getting results so what can you do but play him.

    Might be tough for sleppy to get in the lineup as I do see this as an extended win streak.Called it yesterday that we will go 4-0 -1 to end out the month. Just a gut feeling and against good teams also.

  22. JimmyV1965 says:

    Here’s a question for all you coaches out there. Is it realistic to shorten the bench in a close game? Not only at the end of the game but maybe with 5 minutes remaining in the first and second period. Or does this throw the lineup out of whack. McDavid and Drai were together for about 20 seconds and pure magic. In a close game I would like to see something like this:

    Lucic-McDavid-Drai
    Maroon-RNH-JP
    Khaira-Letestu-Kass

  23. McSorley33 says:

    thepeetso,

    i like davidson and i like larsson, but i’m not sure that i like them together.

    once sekera gets up and running hopefully they split those two up.

    still davidson is an absolute gift to get back.
    ***********************************************************************
    Same – love Davidson.

    But not a fan of the pairing….

    I suspect that changes when Klef is healthy.

    The question is …who comes out when Klef is back?

    I think Benning ….but you never know.

  24. blainer says:

    McSorley33:
    thepeetso,

    i like davidson and i like larsson, but i’m not sure that i like them together.

    once sekera gets up and running hopefully they split those two up.

    still davidson is an absolute gift to get back.
    ***********************************************************************
    Same – love Davidson.

    But not a fan of the pairing….

    I suspect that changes when Klef is healthy.

    The question is …who comes out when Klef is back?

    I think Benning ….but you never know.

    With the wonderful add of Davey I really think they can take their time with Kelf especially now with reggie back..

    Please let Klef rest as long as it takes for him to get back to at least 90% health.

  25. vinotintazo says:

    McSorley33: I think Benning ….but you never know.

    It will be davidson.

    3rd pair benning RHD I think is better than Davidson.

    Klef-Larsson
    Nurse-Russell
    Sek-Benning
    Davidson-Gryba
    Auvitu

    They will need to waive/trade one of Gryba/Auvitu when klefbom gets back

  26. JD_Sigh says:

    Dino:
    6 points from third in the division

    What about games played? Oilers were ahead of a lot of teams in GP at one point.

  27. P2theickles1 says:

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

    77-6
    25-4
    2-83

    I would like to get Maroon back on McDs line so worst case we can trade the guy for a premium at the deadline or use him in a trade to bring someone else back for the playoff run.
    I also would prefer to have 27 and 29 play together as 29 could use a bit of help right now and him and Lucic play well together.
    Keep Khaira in the top 9 he has played well and also keeps a big left winger on each line. The Nuge is money this year and am loving it. Showing many Oiler fans he can do it all. I would also like to see Slepy in the lineup. Start him on that fourth line he brings speed and has a big body. Let the guy play some games consistently and then you can trade him or send him on waivers with a bit more of an idea or he plays well enough and proves he should be in the lineup every night. I have no issue with rotating cammy in the lineup when someone needs a break but would rather have a vet in the press box than an unknown talented youngster who could/might help and has show he can help by his playoff performance last year.

    As for the defense i think we will see Davidson tag the first seat once 77 is back. But if anyone stumbles in the next game 88 will be back in and likely in the place of 83 or 4 and then we will see who takes that job and runs with it. The coach seems to like davey and is giving him ice time. 4 had his ice time majorly reduced during the year but has been giving that back lately. Also benning has stumbled this year but him being one of the few righties on the team i see them trying to let him play his way back and with a vet like Sek that could really help the kid calm his game down.

    Lets Go Oilers!!

  28. Rondo says:

    Oilers have looked better in the last couple weeks but have not played the A teams in the NHL , STL was on a back to back and a losing streak.

    I like JP and think he will become an intergral part of the Oilers, but he is hurting the Oilers on the first line. McDavid would have so many more points with a competent 1st line winger.

    Kassian has not taken the next step from last year , he is playing 4th line minutes, has spurts here and there.

  29. prefonmich says:

    P2theickles1,

    I think the opposite with Maroon. I feel like the team’s plan might be to see if he can be help on another line outside of McDavid. They might still try to re-sign him as rumoured at the start of the year. If this is the case, keep him away from McDavid. Like the team, Maroon’s game is coming around again. I think rather than pay a premium for a scorer like Hoffman, we’d be wise to look at re-signing Maroon at ‘reasonable’. If we can afford Hoffman at over 5 we can afford Maroon and he is Lucic lite and should cost less than Lucic. After a slow start, talk of his re-signing stopped on these boards but I bet it hasn’t stopped behind the scenes.

  30. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    – I don’t know who termed the phrase “turd polisher” to describe Sek, but last night was a reminder

    – Benning isn’t “turd”, but he looked a lot better with Sek: Sek does that to a lot of D

    – If one day, Sek could ever be the “weaker” D on a pairing, man that’s a strong D:

    Klef-Larsson
    Sek-Better than Benning
    Nurse-Russell
    Davidson

    – The great thing about this, is the pairings can move up or down depending on situation, how they are playing, etc. Maybe no stud A1 D, but a lot of goodness there.

    – Or maybe Benning is the solution: just another year of improving, this is a strong strong D: you can see a day in a year that perhaps there are almost too many good D to play every night, and guys in the A trying to force there way in, and potential trade from strength

    – Like maybe Chia had an internal plan for D development it seems, and it’s working: maybe?

  31. JimmyV1965 says:

    Rondo:
    Oilers have looked better in the last couple weeks but have not played the A teams in the NHL , STL was on a back to back and a losing streak.

    I like JP and think he will become an intergral part of the Oilers, but he is hurting the Oilers on the first line. McDavid would have so many more points with a competent 1st line winger.

    Kassian has not taken the next step from last year , he is playing 4th line minutes, has spurts here and there.

    Not sure what you mean by A teams. Our last six games have been against playoff teams. We’ve beat some good teams in this last stretch. Whereas a team like Vegas has played one playoff team in their last four games and three in their last six.

  32. Neumann says:

    The comments on 91 are fair. I see him as a smaller player with lots of jam and a high hockey IQ. He is often in the right spots at the right times however his execution is lacking. He also understands the flow of the game; see his hit in the 3rd swung some momentum back and he is constantly in the mix during his shifts. There is a player here, his size will likely limit him, but he is gaining valuable experience after a season and a half.

  33. JimmyV1965 says:

    Kinger_Oil.redux:
    – I don’t know who termed the phrase “turd polisher” to describe Sek, but last night was a reminder

    – Benning isn’t “turd”, but he looked a lot better with Sek: Sek does that to a lot of D

    – If one day, Sek could ever be the “weaker” D on a pairing, man that’s a strong D:

    Klef-Larsson
    Sek-Better than Benning
    Nurse-Russell
    Davidson

    – The great thing about this, is the pairings can move up or down depending on situation, how they are playing, etc.Maybe no stud A1 D, but a lot of goodness there.

    – Or maybe Benning is the solution: just another year of improving, this is a strong strong D: you can see a day in a year that perhaps there are almost too many good D to play every night, and guys in the A trying to force there way in, and potential trade from strength

    – Like maybe Chia had an internal plan for D development it seems, and it’s working: maybe?

    I remember one play specifically. Benning lost the puck along the boards again in the ozone, springing a St. Louis player for a potential breakaway. But when the guy blew past Benning there was Sekera 20 feet behind the play to grab the puck. Nice!!

  34. Bag of Pucks says:

    JimmyV1965,

    The defensive play that really impressed me last night was the Blues breaking in on a 3 on 2 and Larsson immediately closed the gap on the winger with the puck, forced the turnover and sent the puck back the other way. Made it look like business as usual. He really is a physical force on the wall. I would not want to be a small winger running out of real estate with Adam angling me to the boards. Not a good place to be.

  35. cowboy bill says:

    The coach has nailed the line combo’s . The top 9 is what it should be and it doesn’t matter who plays with Letestu & Kassian , whether it’s Cammalari or Slepyshev . They still produce . I’d even like to see Auvitu play with Test & Kass .

    As for the defense when Klef returns , the depth is just to valuable . I suspect they will go with 8 D + 13 forwards . Auvitu can be that 13th forward . Slepy can simply be waived again .

  36. npanciroli says:

    it is pretty impressive when you think about the D core that Chia brought in.

    Sekera – Larsson
    Russell – Benning
    Auvitu – Gryba

    Klefbom – Nurse – Davidson pre Chia.

    I think a LHD for RHD trade makes a lot of sense. Russell would be preferable but likely Klefbom.

    Nurse – Larsson
    Sekera – RHD
    Russell/Davidson – Benning

  37. wigswag says:

    Jujhar Khara RE 45, 3-2-5 (22, 5-5-10, on pace for 69, 16-16-32)
    •Drake Caggiula RE 70, 12-10-22 (24, 5-4-9, on pace for 71, 15-12-27)
    •Jesse Puljujarvi RE 14-14-28 (18, 6-2-8, on pace for 65, 22-7-29)
    •Anton Slepyshev RE 70, 12-13-25 (15, 1-2-3, on pace for 62, 4-8-12)

    Basically JJ and Slep have switched places. There is still a chance for Slep but It’ll take an injury to someone else for the opportunity.

  38. Bag of Pucks says:

    npanciroli:
    it is pretty impressive when you think about the D core that Chia brought in.

    Sekera – Larsson
    Russell – Benning
    Auvitu – Gryba

    Klefbom – Nurse – Davidson pre Chia.

    I think a LHD for RHD trade makes a lot of sense. Russell would be preferable but likely Klefbom.

    Nurse – Larsson
    Sekera – RHD
    Russell/Davidson – Benning

    +1

    We’ve come a long way from the days of Ference, Nikitin, Jultz, Fayne etc.

    Anton Belov was once a thing. Truly those where the darkest of times.

  39. JimmyV1965 says:

    Bag of Pucks:
    JimmyV1965,

    The defensive play that really impressed me last night was the Blues breaking in on a 3 on 2 and Larsson immediately closed the gap on the winger with the puck, forced the turnover and sent the puck back the other way. Made it look like business as usual. He really is a physical force on the wall. I would not want to be a small winger running out of real estate with Adam angling me to the boards. Not a good place to be.

    Love Larsson!!! Thorburn was zooming into our dzone with speed to find an open hole and ran into the wall that is Larsson. End of foray. Larsson just pushed the guy away with ease. And he’s a bid dude. Surpringly fast too.

  40. alice13 says:

    LT,

    Nervous Norvus?

    You have some wide range there, daddy-o!

    Also, I’m never never never going to speed again.

  41. wigswag says:

    Neumann,

    If he can show a bit more offensive consistency, I see him as a grittier Arvidson. I’ll take that any day.

  42. Clarkenstein says:

    The win was like Clearasil on acne. It hid some warts. After some folks thought Davidson might be in the running for the Norris he regressed badly. Hopefully just one game as he shouldn’t need motivation for the Habs. Strome’s game goes back and forth from shift to shift. No consistency.
    I think Camalleri will be put on waivers at some time this season.
    BUT, two points is two points.

  43. stephen sheps says:

    SPAM ALERT:

    I promise I won’t post this again, but I feel like putting a music post into a game-day thread like I did yesterday was silly. The game was/is the priority. And the team actually won 3 in a row! WOOOOT!!!!

    Anyhoo, if you missed it yesterday or are perhaps at all interested in my take on the year in music that was 2017, please have a look. This version has been updated to include links to some of the songs mentioned.

    And LT, given our shared love of Neil Young, his recent reissue of Hitchhiker (well, technically it was never actually released… classic Neil) made my favourite reissues section. Such a great story behind it.

    http://bringingbacktheglory.blogspot.ca/2017/12/music-year-in-review-2017.html

    END SPAM

  44. Pouzar says:

    prefonmich:
    Pouzar,

    Couldn’t agree more. I texted to a fellow fan at one point in the game that I couldn’t understand how Slepy is not in the lineup for Caggiula. He lost numerous battles in the offensive zone throughout the game sending St Louis the other way quickly. Then he scores off a beautiful feed and suddenly he is everyone’s hero. Funny how that works. I also texted after his goal. I love that guy
    On another note, How Talbot was not a star is beyond me. He made the saves in the first, especially that he was making last year to keep his team in it until they got their sea legs. He hadn’t been making those saves earlier this year, nice to see him back!

    I think Caggs is a player but he is not there yet. I would prefer Slepy in there but I think he ends up in Russia before too long.

    I’m with you on Talbot. He should have been first star imo. If he was sleep walking like the rest of his team in the 1st period it would have been 2-0 early and game over.

  45. Thinker says:

    And once again we are back to “It was the goalie, stupid”

  46. Pouzar says:

    blainer: The game against SJ he was just flying out there and really looked like he belonged. Last night it was the complete opposite. Must drive the coach nuts. I say it was a good thing he scored as I would have predicted the coach replace him with Slep.

    Spot on. I thought he was miles better against SJ as well.

  47. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    npanciroli:
    it is pretty impressive when you think about the D core that Chia brought in.

    – It is nice to see a little window into the plan that Chia followed the choices he made, and the work he’s done, and the coaching up of the D by coach

    – There’s still lots of room on the Chia isn’t sh$t bus…

  48. Bag of Pucks says:

    stephen sheps,

    SS, thanks for sharing! A great resource to spur my next Spotify hunt.

    Surprised to see Lana Del Rey getting no love from you. I think her Pink Floyd meets Billie Holiday pastiche is one of the most interesting directions in music these days. Admittedly, Lust for Life is nowhere near the record Ultraviolence was.

    Great story here on the recording of the latter: https://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/how-lana-del-rey-fought-to-get-her-radical-ultraviolence-lp-released-20140718

    Money Quote: In any case, the album debuted at Number One in June, selling 182,000 copies – and Auerbach is now a huge fan of his collaborator. “Every criticism that I’d ever heard about her was proven wrong when I was in the studio with her,” he says. “From how great the songs were to how confident she is as a musician to her fucking singing every song live, with a handheld microphone and a seven-piece band. I mean, get the fuck out of here, who does that? Nobody does that, there hasn’t been a number one pop record that was recorded like that in forty, fifty years.”

  49. jtblack says:

    Clarkenstein,

    When Every player plays a perfect game, we will be sure to let you know.

  50. doritogrande says:

    Seeing as we’re throwing all our D-pairing options out there, could Nurse-Sekera(off-side) be a thing in our top-4?

    I know Sekera did not play well on his off side previously, but is it possible that Darnell’s progress this year could pull him up?

    77-6
    25-2
    88/4/83

  51. stephen sheps says:

    Bag of Pucks: Surprised to see Lana Del Rey getting no love from you.

    You know, I just never really got into her. Lots of people love what she’s doing and I really appreciate how she’s created the character and stuck with it over the last 5 years or so. It’s most certainly well crafted pop music with a kind of darkness and melancholy I’m normally all over, but she’s just not my thing – though Ultraviolence was a really interesting record, one I slept on in 2014 but grew to appreciate a little more over time. In truth, I can say the same about Lorde. She’s super talented and Melodrama is deservedly showing up at or near the top of most critics’ year-end lists, but for whatever reason her music just doesn’t speak to me.

  52. Pouzar says:

    Must. Destroy. Habs.

  53. jtblack says:

    Pouzar,

    Will. Destroy. Habs 🙂

  54. Bruce McCurdy says:

    OriginalPouzar: Yes, I read Bruce’s grades earlier today – I don’t agree with his Strome grade but the stat line is what it is.

    I saw many shifts where Strome was skating with power, initiating contact on the boards and battling.I ever remember thinking on one play “right there is the type of hard battle on the boards that can be part of Strome’s game but never part of Eberle’s”.

    Thanks for reading. In retrospect i was tough on Strome, his stat line sucked but he did plenty right, should have got a 5.

    As for Caggiula it was one of those times that i graded not so much by number as the word it represents. Late game winner, named first star, that’s a great nigbt.

    I’m a little surprised by hos little love he gets here. It’s like he’s stealing time from local favourite Slepyshev or something. But his boxcars are way bettet & judging by the scoring chance project tbat Staples, Willis & i have been working on he is way more dangerous.

  55. Pouzar says:

    Bruce McCurdy: I’m a little surprised by hos little love he gets here. It’s like he’s stealing time from local favourite Slepyshev or something. But his boxcars are way bettet & judging by the scoring chance project tbat Staples, Willis & i have been working on he is way more dangerous.

    Opportunity. Not even remotely the same here.

  56. Pouzar says:

    Bruce McCurdy: As for Caggiula it was one of those times that i graded not so much by number as the word it represents. Late game winner, named first star, that’s a great nigbt.

    Figured as much. You have mentioned this type of grading logic before.

  57. jtblack says:

    Not sure if there is enough Race Track left ; regardless. I enjoy watching this team with the 3 big C’s. It ALWAYS creates a mismatch somehwere for Nuge or Leon.

    IF yhe Oilers get into the Playoffs, nobody will want to face them for 2 reasons.
    1)They will be coming in “En Feugo”
    2) 97 Factor

    LETS GO OILERS

  58. Melvis says:

    stephen sheps,

    Yeah, thanks for that Sheps. I was going to run with some chamber and baroque for a couple of weeks, but you’ve left me with a lot of choices. Sick to death of drummers;-)

  59. Bag of Pucks says:

    stephen sheps: You know, I just never really got into her….but for whatever reason her music just doesn’t speak to me.

    I found the combination of single malt and indica helped with the translation. lol

  60. ashley says:

    The thing about a guy like Davidson is you have to take his background into account to judge his potential ceiling. It is a somewhat unusual story. Many NHL players have insanely supportive parents/grandparents with excess disposable income and regular working hours/holidays so they can take little Jordan or little Johnny to practices, games, and tournaments all year round. They pay for extra training, trainers, skating lessons, and summer camps. They start their kids with serious skating at age 2 and they are skating circles around everyone in timbits at age 4.

    In a way many of these kids are gifted this opportunity, and for the most part they do their bit and put in a solid effort to make it happen.

    Davidson literally comes from the other side of the tracks. Late to the game, he has had to work his tail off for every opportunity he has received. He has had setbacks galore and has overcome every one of them and then taken it to another level. Guys like this don’t sulk or pack it in when they get shuffled down the depth chart like he did in MTL. They work harder and longer just like they have since they were a boy.

    Never bet against guys like this. Chia did, and somehow gets a mulligan.

  61. stephen sheps says:

    Melvis:
    stephen sheps,

    Yeah, thanks for that Sheps. I was going to run with some chamber and baroque for a couple of weeks, but you’ve left me with a lot of choices. Sick to death of drummers;-)

    Any suggestions on the baroque/chamber front? I have a couple of deadlines coming up and tend to gravitate towards that side of things when I’m writing.

    Bag of Pucks: I found the combination of single malt and indica helped with the translation. lol

    Hmmm, well… I might have to give that a try (after my deadlines are dealt with)

  62. Thinker says:

    I think Caggs has hit reasonable expectations, the problem is that unreasonable expectations were placed on him. Camalleri needed to be brought in to fill the role they wrongfully expected Caggiula to play. I don’t think he is super useful outside the top six unless he leans to pk or something. He’s also not super useful in the top six due to lack of offence.

  63. Melman says:

    npanciroli,

    Klef for Hall. C’mon Santa – make it happen!

  64. OriginalPouzar says:

    doritogrande:
    Seeing as we’re throwing all our D-pairing options out there, could Nurse-Sekera(off-side) be a thing in our top-4?

    I know Sekera did not play well on his off side previously, but is it possible that Darnell’s progress this year could pull him up?

    77-6
    25-2
    88/4/83

    I’m remiss to put Sekera on his off-side – as the incumbent “turd-polisher”, I’d rather keep him in that role than to flip him over to his off-side where he might require some polishing himself.

    With that said, I’ve always been remiss to play Russell on the right side and he’s playing some tough minutes with Nurse and the pairing has been decent.

  65. Ivan says:

    stephen sheps,

    SS: Fantastic list. I love Year-End lists wherein I recognize about 60% as albums/events I absolutely loved, but have never heard of the other 40%. NAILED IT! There’s gonna be a whole lotta listenin’ coming on now!
    PS, we went to see The National at the QE in Vancouver, and it was completely fantastic, although I see you’ve seen enough great shows already, so you didn’t miss out TOO much!
    Thanks for sharing !

  66. Clarkenstein says:

    jtblack: jtblack

    And I you sir! Merry Christmas.

  67. Melvis says:

    stephen sheps,

    It’s not my long suit by any stretch, meaning I’m quite ignorant on the subject. It’s just one of those gaps in one’s personal education that wanted a bit of infill…like pulling out James Joyce and savouring it a bit at a time.

    I started off with Glenn Gould quite a long time ago and went from there. Also, Maureen Forester occasionally rehearsed with a window open in a studio across Clarence Sguare from me. So there was that.

    The other thing I do is just leave a music channel on, cable or online, and take it from there.

    Easy listening, if you will.

  68. OriginalPouzar says:

    .
    Bruce McCurdy: Subscribe to our RSS FeedFollow us on Twitter

    HomeContact

    I think Strome does alot of little things on the ice that go unnoticed. He’s a smart player out there. Like Khaira, I’ve noticed him skating with a purpose recently and this was apparent last night. He was battling. I’m not sure the fanbase generally will ever be able to analyze the player without bias due to the loss of pure offence in the trade that acquired him.

    I also thing this community over-rates Slepyshev and I think its based on some nice and consistent performances in a small sample size in the playoffs. Its similar to how Eberle was vilified for a lack of strong performances in a small sample size in the playoffs. Slep clearly has many skills (size, shot, forechecking ability, etc.) but he’s yet to be able to string together consistent games in the regular season. He’ll get another short shortly I’m sure.

  69. geowal says:

    I’m surprised by some of the KHL verbal around slepy. I can’t see him not getting another game shortly, triggering waiver eligibility. After that I can’t imagine another team wouldn’t be interested in giving his toolbox a try should the Oilers give up on him and try waivers…San Jose and Anaheim come to mind, both in fit and familiarity. The guy has worked hard and paid his dues, I can’t imagine he’d give up on the NHL at this point when he’s sooo close. He hasn’t given up after 20 AHL games like Paigan. I don’t see It.

  70. geowal says:

    OriginalPouzar,

    I agree his current track record is overrated, but people love his skill set, myself included. Reminds me of lowetide comments on Pitlick, (“I swear there’s a player there”), but took forever to get on track.

  71. Pouzar says:

    geowal:
    OriginalPouzar,

    I agree his current track record is overrated, but people love his skill set, myself included. Reminds me of lowetide comments on Pitlick, (“I swear there’s a player there”), but took forever to get on track.

    People forget he was a 1st rd rated talent in his draft, number one overall pick in the KHL, and has been playing against men since he was 18. There is a argument to be made not only does he have more tools than a lot of player currently playing for the Oilers but he is more ready to play in the NHL than a guy like Caggiula.

    My only quip is that because of waiver wire exemptions Slepy was never going to get the same opportunity as some. The proverbial “it is what it is”.

  72. Pouzar says:

    geowal: I’m surprised by some of the KHL verbal around slepy.

    Came from the insider himself.

  73. N64 says:

    ashley:
    The thing about a guy like Davidson is you have to take his background into account to judge his potential ceiling.It is a somewhat unusual story.Many NHL players have insanely supportive parents/grandparents with excess disposable income and regular working hours/holidays so they can take little Jordan or little Johnny to practices, games, and tournaments all year round.They pay for extra training, trainers, skating lessons, and summer camps.They start their kids with serious skating at age 2 and they are skating circles around everyone in timbits at age 4.

    In a way many of these kids are gifted this opportunity, and for the most part they do their bit and put in a solid effort to make it happen.

    Davidson literally comes from the other side of the tracks.Late to the game, he has had to work his tail off for every opportunity he has received.He has had setbacks galore and has overcome every one of them and then taken it to another level.Guys like this don’t sulk or pack it in when they get shuffled down the depth chart like he did in MTL.They work harder and longer just like they have since they were a boy.

    Never bet against guys like this.Chia did, and somehow gets a mulligan.

    Interesting 3 yr old link from ANH on avoiding the standard track.

    https://thehockeywriters.com/hockey-too-specific-training/

  74. OriginalPouzar says:

    geowal:
    OriginalPouzar,

    I agree his current track record is overrated, but people love his skill set, myself included. Reminds me of lowetide comments on Pitlick, (“I swear there’s a player there”), but took forever to get on track.

    Fair enough – with that said, people also likes John Francois Jacques’ skill set……

  75. texmex says:

    Anyone hear stauffer’s interview with Friedman today? Worth a listen. Stauffer was talking about cost to acquire Hoffman, which Elliott disagreed with. Bob mentioned he nailed the penner trade. Ended the interview with hopefully there’s Something nice under the tree after the trade freeze wink wink nudge nudge

  76. OriginalPouzar says:

    I don’t want to pay the acquisition cost for Hoffman – I don’t see it working out for us.

    Oilers lead the league in even strength goals since they went to the 3 centers.

  77. jtblack says:

    “. Stauffer was talking about cost to acquire Hoffman”…

    What is the estimate that Oil would have to give up?

  78. texmex says:

    jtblack,

    Bob said a b prospect and a 2nd rounder.

    No way that gets it done. Friedman doesn’t think edm has what Ottawa wants.

  79. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    texmex:
    Anyone hear stauffer’s interview with Friedman today? Worth a listen. Stauffer was talking about cost to acquire Hoffman, which Elliott disagreed with. Bob mentioned he nailed the penner trade. Ended the interview with hopefully there’s Something nice under the tree after the trade freeze wink wink nudge nudge

    – What did Bob think, vs Elliott?

    – I’d do Hoffman for Maroon + Sleepy, and/or low picks

    – I’d do Hoffman for Strome and/or low picks (doubt that happens)

    – I’d do Hoffman for Gryba + Caggs and/or low picks

    – No way I’d trade next years first, or a JJ or better

    – Chia has good history with Ottawa, and if you go through their roster, there are a lot of nice pieces for the Oil that they say are available.

    – You just need one fire-sale trade, where we give up B assets/B magic beans for bona-fide prime players to be game-changer

    * yeah a 2-rounder and B prospect for a guy in prime, that’s what we are talking about: could happen…

  80. GMB3 says:

    Bruce McCurdy: Thanks for reading. In retrospect i was tough on Strome, his stat line sucked but he did plenty right, should have got a 5.

    As for Caggiula it was one of those times that i graded not so much by number as the word it represents. Late game winner, named first star, that’s a great nigbt.

    I’m a little surprised by hos little love he gets here. It’s like he’s stealing time from local favourite Slepyshev or something. But his boxcars are way bettet & judging by the scoring chance project tbat Staples, Willis & i have been working on he is way more dangerous.

    Wouldn’t have anything to do with his linemates and usage.

  81. jtblack says:

    Kinger_Oil.redux,

    “ou just need one fire-sale trade, where we give up B assets/B magic beans for bona-fide prime players to be game-changer”

    Think Eberle for Strome style Salary dump … Melnyk wants to unload $$$.

    So maybe them getting rid of Hoffmans $5 Mil salary is more important than the return?? Just spitballing

  82. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    jtblack:
    Kinger_Oil.redux,

    So maybe them getting rid of Hoffmans $5 Mil salary is more important than the return??Just spitballing

    – It would be hilarious if Strome was the save money part that gets us Hoffmam!

  83. Pescador says:

    Pouzar: Came from the insider himself.

    Bob McKenzie?

  84. Pouzar says:

    Pescador: Bob McKenzie?

    He’s an insider?

  85. Surrey Oiler says:

    jtblack:
    “. Stauffer was talking about cost to acquire Hoffman”…

    What is the estimate that Oil would have to give up?

    My guess…Puljujarvi

    Chia needs to pick up a legit nhl back up here!

  86. Pouzar says:

    texmex,

    I know one thing…that “2 can dine for $99” sounds like a great deal.
    Never been to RC Steakhouse but that’s an awesome deal.

  87. leadfarmer says:

    ashley:
    The thing about a guy like Davidson is you have to take his background into account to judge his potential ceiling.It is a somewhat unusual story.Many NHL players have insanely supportive parents/grandparents with excess disposable income and regular working hours/holidays so they can take little Jordan or little Johnny to practices, games, and tournaments all year round.They pay for extra training, trainers, skating lessons, and summer camps.They start their kids with serious skating at age 2 and they are skating circles around everyone in timbits at age 4.

    In a way many of these kids are gifted this opportunity, and for the most part they do their bit and put in a solid effort to make it happen.

    Davidson literally comes from the other side of the tracks.Late to the game, he has had to work his tail off for every opportunity he has received.He has had setbacks galore and has overcome every one of them and then taken it to another level.Guys like this don’t sulk or pack it in when they get shuffled down the depth chart like he did in MTL.They work harder and longer just like they have since they were a boy.

    Never bet against guys like this.Chia did, and somehow gets a mulligan.

    Well to top things off a battle with cancer

  88. admiralmark says:

    It was great seeing so many of the players playing with agression and confidence. There were plenty of standouts in my mind. But the player that is really improved greatly and is playing effectively to my eye is Khaira. As LT would say mana from heaven if he keeps things going. Great to see and in my opinion is now an important cog in getting the bottom 6 to be more dangerous.

  89. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    – “Oh my!”

    – Dick Enberg passed away today. For my whole life: he was the broadcaster for virtually all the sporting events that mattered to me from as early as I can remember: every Masters, every Wimbledon, all those early Superbowls. (and the World Series)

    – The Masters, Wimbledon and the Super-Bowl: my 3 must-watch, drop everything sporting event, that shape my every year, and I have so many memories with friends and families, hearing Dick talk about this young Boris Becker, Edberg, late Jonny Mac wins, or Seve, Watson or Faldo.

    – He really was such a respectful fan: let it unfold, he really watched and said little, but was so thoughtful, and full of admiration for the event.

    – He captured this kind reverence for the sports and participants. We were watching important sporting events, together, with Dick Enberg and his entire crew

    I love this quote from Scully:

    ”To me, Dick Enberg was the greatest all-around sportscaster who ever lived and will never be emulated,” former Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully said in a statement. ”He had my respect, admiration and my friendship. He will be sorely missed.”

  90. Wonder Llama says:

    stephen sheps:
    SPAM ALERT:

    I promise I won’t post this again, but I feel like putting a music post into a game-day thread like I did yesterday was silly. The game was/is the priority. And the team actually won 3 in a row! WOOOOT!!!!

    Anyhoo, if you missed it yesterday or are perhaps at all interested in my take on the year in music that was 2017, please have a look. This version has been updated to include links to some of the songs mentioned.

    And LT, given our shared love of Neil Young, his recent reissue of Hitchhiker (well, technically it was never actually released… classic Neil) made my favourite reissues section. Such a great story behind it.

    http://bringingbacktheglory.blogspot.ca/2017/12/music-year-in-review-2017.html

    END SPAM

    Impressive selections. Love LCD’s new one and they are indeed fantastic live. Saw BSS (with Frightened Rabbit) recently in St. Louis – very nice. Portugal. The Man was probably the best thing I saw at Bonnaroo this year. I wish this year’s albums by The Shins, The Front Bottoms, and The Flaming Lips were a little better. Can’t think of anything important you missed, but since you’re a fan of the insanely prolific King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard (and really, who can resist good Australian psychedelic garage rock?) I’d recommend White Reaper’s “The World’s Greatest American Band” if you haven’t already heard it. Nice article – thanks for sharing the link.

  91. Pescador says:

    Pouzar: He’s an insider?

    That’s what the idiot box told me

  92. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Pouzar: Figured as much. You have mentioned this type of grading logic before.

    Yes, in fact I mentioned it explicitly in the Caggiula grade last night:

    #91 Drake Caggiula, 8. Met at least one criterion for a “great game” by scoring the winning goal in the game’s 60th minute, circling into the slot to convert RNH’s splendid centring pass with a bit of a whiffleball that saw Allen wave at it twice, both up and down. He made a good play earlier in the sequence to get the puck to Nuge, and timed his subsequent burst into the slot perfectly, even as the shot was a weird one. Put some zest into the pushback with a crushing hit on Vince Dunn shortly after the Blues had re-taken the lead. Had 3 shots on goal, 3 hits, 2 blocks, and contributed to 4 Oilers chances, 0 against.”

    Sometimes I need to remind myself what the numbers literally mean to give my grades a higher dynamic range than my natural tendency to cluster everything in the 3-7 (“poor”-“good”) range.

    Of course they are never an exact science anyways and more of a talking point than anything. Or as I sometimes phrase it, a hook from which to hang comments. Don’t read too much into them.

  93. Pescador says:

    Kinger_Oil.redux: – It would be hilarious if Strome was the save money part that gets us Hoffmam!

    Stupid Senators, they could’ve just saved us a lot of screwing around

  94. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Clarkenstein:
    The win was like Clearasil on acne.It hid some warts.After some folks thought Davidson might be in the running for the Norris he regressed badly.Hopefully just one game as he shouldn’t need motivation for the Habs. Strome’s game goes back and forth from shift to shift. No consistency.
    I think Camalleri will be put on waivers at some time this season.
    BUT, two points is two points.

    I haven’t been around the board as much as I’d like lately so I guess I missed the “Davy for Norris” campaign. But the suggestion that he “regressed badly” last night is a tad harsh. Yes he made a brutal turnover early in the game & his goalie bailed him out. But after that he was fine despite a tough assignment.

    Zone starts: 21% (3 O, 11 D)

    EV TOI: 17:55.
    vs. Schenn 12:30, vs. Tarasenko 12:10

    CF%: 53%
    FF%: 50%
    SF%: 53%
    SCF%: 50%
    HDCF%: 60%
    GF%: 50%

    In other words, BD played hard minutes against the toughs and held his own. More, please.

  95. Pretendergast says:

    I for one love the fact that the conversation has gone from ‘lets get one actual dman’ to, ‘who are we gonna sit?’ Decent problem to have.

  96. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Pretendergast:
    I for one love the fact that the conversation has gone from ‘lets get one actual dman’ to, ‘who are we gonna sit?’ Decent problem to have.

    Fucking Chiarelli. If it’s not one problem, it’s another. 😐

  97. SwedishPoster says:

    Brandon Davidson is the kind of cheap “bottom pairing but can play good enough defense to have extended stays on the top pairing” D who can really help your cup run and eventually gets overpayed because of “battletested”, “intangibles”, “cup experience” and “savvy vet magical skills” once he hits his 30s. The trick is to get them in their high value years and not during the buyout candidate years. BD is obviously in his value years and very few NHL players deserve a nice overpay day more than him so I hope some sucker of a team really break the bank for him after he’s helped the Oilers to a couple of cups.

  98. Surrey Oiler says:

    We need a bloody back up ASAP, can’t risk overplaying Talbot and getting another injury. I don’t understand why that isn’t the talk…

  99. fishman says:

    Bruce McCurdy: I haven’t been around the board as much as I’d like lately so I guess I missed the “Davy for Norris” campaign. But the suggestion that he “regressed badly” last night is a tad harsh. Yes he made a brutal turnover early in the game & his goalie bailed him out. But after that he was fine despite a tough assignment.

    Zone starts: 21%(3 O, 11 D)

    EV TOI: 17:55.
    vs. Schenn 12:30, vs. Tarasenko 12:10

    CF%: 53%
    FF%: 50%
    SF%: 53%
    SCF%: 50%
    HDCF%: 60%
    GF%: 50%

    In other words, BD played hard minutes against the toughs and held his own. More, please.

    We really need perspective on Davy. In Montreal he could barely crack the line up and ended up on waivers. Prior to that he was a 3 rd pairing D at best and was deemed expendable for a short term rental.

    Upon his return all of a sudden he is playing top 4 D! This is pretty remarkable and a few wobbles to be expected. Hard pressed to find many fans who are disappointed with his play after rejoining the Oil. Very happy for the young man and wish him the best!

    Bruce always look forward to your post game grades and we all must realize it is one man’s opinion and not get too hung up if we “SAW” it different!

    Merry Xmas to all!

  100. hunter1909 says:

    Surrey Oiler:
    We need a bloody back up ASAP, can’t risk overplaying Talbot and getting another injury. I don’t understand why that isn’t the talk…

    Nothing to worry about! Talbot looks fine!

  101. hunter1909 says:

    Bruce McCurdy: Fucking Chiarelli. If it’s not one problem, it’s another. 😐

    People rag on Chiarelli but one thing is clear: No one pushes Chiarelli’s Oilers around. St Louis thought they could the other night and discovered otherwise. The Sharks got their collective beards pulled. The Flames can’t even think about giving the Oilers a hard time.

    When Davidson returned I was like “riiight” then he sticks a big hit on the ice and instantly I’m alright with the acquisition.

  102. hunter1909 says:

    PS: Where has the “Lets keep drafting small gifted players, because if the other team tries anything the powerplay will kill them” crowd gone?

    A few years ago that mentality nearly ran this blog.

  103. hunter1909 says:

    PPS: And as for anyone daring to admit they were Rob Schremp supporters…

  104. Ryan says:

    hunter1909: People rag on Chiarelli but one thing is clear: No one pushes Chiarelli’s Oilers around. St Louis thought they could the other night and discovered otherwise. The Sharks got their collective beards pulled. The Flames can’t even think about giving the Oilers a hard time.

    When Davidson returned I was like “riiight” then he sticks a big hit on the ice and instantly I’m alright with the acquisition.

    Ha. That’s a fair point.

    We may be currently sitting 30th in the Western Conference, but at the very least no one’s kicking sand in our collective faces.

    Lordy was that adding injury to insult in the decade of darkness, when we sucked and teams kicked sand in our face.

  105. SwedishPoster says:

    Filip Berglund is rumoured to have signed a new contract with his SHL team. Doesn’t really affect the Oil as there’s always an NHL clause but good thing they are happy with his play. Imo he could use one more season in Sweden after this one. Establish himself as an every situation top 4 D and maybe get some international games if everything breaks right.

  106. Offside says:

    I think it takes D longer to get acclimatized to their new team. Sekera was considerably better in year 2 with the Oil. Davidson never got a chance to really settle in with the Habs and now he is back with familiar faces. Sometimes the right fit with familiarity makes all the difference.

  107. LMHF#1 says:

    hunter1909:
    PPS: And as for anyone daring to admit they were Rob Schremp supporters…

    Still maintain they botched that one.

    I’ve seen precisely one guy go through an entire preseason skate/scrimmage without missing a single pass. It was him.

    All it would have taken was a visionary coach and some damn skating work.

  108. OriginalPouzar says:

    Yamamoto with the game winner as Team USA beat SWE in an exhibition game.

  109. Crazy Pedestrian says:

    Ryan: Ha. That’s a fair point.

    We may be currently sitting 30th in the Western Conference, but at the very least no one’s kicking sand in our collective faces.

    Lordy was that adding injury to insult in the decade of darkness, when we sucked and teams kicked sand in our face.

    30th in the conference eh? NHL double in size overnight? 🤔

  110. Munny says:

    Been thinking about Quinn’s comment last night that the Oil lead the League in controlled entries on the powerplay.

    Now that seems like a good thing, but we really can’t tell whether it is or not.

    If he had said the Oil are the most successful team when entering the zone on the powerplay, well that is a very good thing, because that’s like powerplay success. It will be expressed as a percentage.

    But the original statement as I have put it above–and which is the way I heard it last night–implies a cardinal number, For eg, the Oilers have 200 controlled entries, Team Y has 190, Team X has 187, so on and so forth.

    And is that a good thing?

    Because it strikes me as a function of how many times the puck left the zone on the powerplay, due to lost face offs, giveaways, etc. The more times the puck leaves the zone, the more opportunities for controlled zone entries a team has.

    I’d kill to know what the raw numbers are, because I’d bet money the Oilers also lead the League in entries, controlled or otherwise, on the powerplay… largely due yo weakness (97’s especially) on the dot.

    And bit of a disingenuous comment from Quinn and/or his producers.

  111. Ryan says:

    Crazy Pedestrian: 30th in the conference eh? NHL double in size overnight? 🤔

    Hyperbole.

  112. hunter1909 says:

    LMHF#1: Still maintain they botched that one.

    I’ve seen precisely one guy go through an entire preseason skate/scrimmage without missing a single pass. It was him.

    All it would have taken was a visionary coach and some damn skating work.

    Are you suggesting that MacT wasn’t a visionary coach?

    Interesting how the accepted reality as spewed by the Lowe+MacT Oilers was supposed to have MacT as “the most sought after coach” imaginable should he decide to go for the big bucks out of Edmonton.

    Then, once he was out of the Oilers loop the only job he managed was 1 year coaching in the AHL. Which of course, didn’t stop him being made Oilers General Manager during the “Kevin Lowe moment of infamy” press conference.

    MacT then proceeds to fire a perfectly excellent developmental coach(Ralph Kreuger), after having his wire pulled by snake oil salesman Florida-born fringe NHLer turned MacT’s Rasputin…

    Said coach goes on to DESTROY the confidence and upper limit for talent unheard of which he had been handed to – preferring to institute a washed up B list player as captain who then, as any good company man does proceeds to fuck up whatever was left from the good vibe Kreuger era.

    Fast forward to today and MacT, like a cockroach refuses to die. He’s utterly shameless. Him and Lowe probably still expect to be returning to day to day running of the Oilers, once Chiarelli builds them a nice team to have another kick at the cat with.

    When I started watching the Lowe+MacT Oilers I’d assumed Lowe had constructed the team but no, Glen Sather built that team. All Lowe did was destroy everything. Lowe’s nothing but a hopeless, deranged mess.

    Then McDavid gets drafted and here we are, practically guaranteed a couple of Stanley Cups. Amazing.

  113. Crazy Pedestrian says:

    Ryan: Hyperbole.

    Ah…
    Woosh! (Does hand over head motion)

  114. Pouzar says:

    A certain team is beating a certain other team that a certain fan base may take joy.

  115. Klima's_Bucket says:

    Pouzar,

    I like watching the Wild lose to the Cats too.

  116. Pouzar says:

    Klima’s_Bucket:
    Pouzar,

    I like watching the Wild lose to the Cats too.

    Great, you jinxed it!

  117. Lucinius says:

    Watching Coyotes and Capitals and wow.. Coyotes are so very bad. The system looks, largely, fine, but the players just can’t execute worth shit.

    Rieder got stoned on a short-handed break-away, too. Hasn’t scored in 14 games.

    Got the Canadians/Flames game up on the other screen. Always nice to see the Flames losing.

  118. Lucinius says:

    Montreal almost blew it (largely due to Pacioretty fucking up twice).

  119. Neumann says:

    Munny,

    I was wondering the same thing. They have so many 97 generated entrances because they take the full 2mins of the power play and constantly are retrieving the pick from their own zone. I’d love to see PP1 be less structured: pass, move, shoot… they got the pass thing down at least.

  120. Lloyd B. says:

    Looking for a great hotel in Vegas for a week starting on Wednesday next week.

  121. Crazy Pedestrian says:

    Lucinius:
    Montreal almost blew it (largely due to Pacioretty fucking up twice).

    Well let’s hope he keeps fucking up tomorrow 😉

  122. hunter1909 says:

    Next game seems huge.

    Thanks for Nuge, the only one of the golden children pre CMd to improve his game.

    RNH is blossoming into the player he was as a rookie lol

  123. Professor Q says:

    LMHF#1: Still maintain they botched that one.

    I’ve seen precisely one guy go through an entire preseason skate/scrimmage without missing a single pass. It was him.

    All it would have taken was a visionary coach and some damn skating work.

    Absolutely. Especially as being a Knights fan and seeing his special play here, and those magical runs. A real shame. If he had come up in today’s system, I do wonder if it’d be better for him.

  124. Evilas says:

    stephen sheps,

    I will check out your list when I can access when I am back in Canada about a week from now.

    I have been obsessed lately with Daria Stavrovich’s performances on The Voice Russia 2016 (all of them but “Army of Me”). IMO opinion her voice is on another level.

    I’d link them, but I can’t access YouTube in China. The other performance I can’t stop watching is from The Voice Ukraine 2016 a duet “battle” of the Scorpions “Maybe I Maybe You”.

  125. frjohnk says:

    Looking at the Western Conference, there are 5 teams in which we really have no realistic chance to catch and unless the wheels completely fall off one of those teams, they should make the playoffs.
    Preds, Bluse, Jets, Kings and yes I Vegas. All have 46 points, except LA which has 48.

    We have 34 points. So we would need 13 more points in the last 47 games to pass one of those teams. If we got scorching hot and one of those teams faceplanted then we could pass one of them but as it looks that is probably not going to happen.

    If those are the 5 teams that are mostly sure bets for the playoffs, then that means there are 3 playoff spots with the Hawks, Stars, Sharks, Ducks, Wild, Flames, Avs, Canucks and the Oilers fighting for those 3 spots.

    Canucks look to be faltering and I just dont see the Avs going on a run to make it. So that leaves 7 teams fighting for 3 playoff spots.

    4 good teams wont make the playoffs in that list.

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

    Lloyd B.:
    Looking for a great hotel in Vegas for a week starting on Wednesday next week.

    Depends a lot on what you are after.

    A more mature scene but with major club action the Wynn/Wynn Encore.
    Flashy but with tons of great restaurants MGM Grand.
    Classic down-to-Earth Hard Rock
    Central location on the Strip Bellagio
    Wanna party in your suite and don’t care about location The Palms
    Party Central The Cosmopolitan
    Something Different The Venetian. Suites and quiet Palazzo.

    If you gamble a lot then make sure to get a player’s card and take out a line of credit and you will likely get comped everything. That said you are going for New Years so rates won’t be too cheap anywhere. Best to shop around. As long as you are on the Strip you can find fun.

    Aria is slick but I am not a fan. Less atmosphere.

  127. OriginalPouzar says:

    NYC-Back-to-Tokyo Oil (Gentleman Backpacker): Depends a lot on what you are after.

    A more mature scene but with major club action the Wynn/Wynn Encore.
    Flashy but with tons of great restaurants MGM Grand.
    Classic down-to-Earth Hard Rock
    Central location on the Strip Bellagio
    Wanna party in your suite and don’t care about location The Palms
    Party Central The Cosmopolitan
    Something Different The Venetian. Suites and quiet Palazzo.

    If you gamble a lot then make sure to get a player’s card and take out a line of credit and you will likely get comped everything. That said you are going for New Years so rates won’t be too cheap anywhere. Best to shop around. As long as you are on the Strip you can find fun.

    Aria is slick but I am not a fan. Less atmosphere.

    I will be staying at the Grand Salon Suite at Encore on Wednesday – not Vegas though, Macau.

    Not sure if the wife and I need a 2200 square foot suite to ourselves but, what the heck, may be the only night we ever spend in Macau.

    In the Cathay Pacific Business Class lounge at YVR waiting for our flight to Hong Kong and trying to figure out how if the wifi will be strong enough on the plane to stream GC and the game tonight.

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

    OriginalPouzar,

    Enjoy the chopper. Answer is no on the wifi strength

  129. Westchester Oil says:

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

    i recently stayed at the Palazzo. If you’re a Stones fan, go there to check out the Rolling Stones Exhibit (I think it’s called ‘Exhibitionism’) there. Very cool.

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