G43 2017-18: Oilers at Blackhawks

The Edmonton Oilers do as well in Texas as Davy Crockett and yesterday was no exception. Executing the back door play straight out of  “The Ladislav Smid Collection” the defense rested early and often while the brilliant Stars No. 1 line made quick work of the Alberta clippers.

THE ATHLETIC

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 RED RUM, YEAR OVER YEAR

  • January 2016: 2-1-0, goal differential 0 (4 points)
  • January 2017: 2-1-0, goal differential 0 (4 points)
  • January 2018: 1-2-0, goal differential -9 (2 points)

G3 2016 was a 2-1 loss to the Florida Panthers, Jaromir Jagr skated around the ice twice during warmup and I called him a prima donna. He would score three minutes in. G4 2017 was a 5-3  loss to the Ottawa Senators.

 AFTER 43, YEAR OVER YEAR

  • Oilers 15-16: 17-22-3, goal differential -24 (37 points)
  • Oilers 16-17: 21-14-7, goal differential +8 (49 points)
  • Oilers 17-18: 18-21-3, goal differential -20 (39 points)
 G43 2016 was a 2-1 loss to the traveling Jagr’s (as above) and last year the Oilers lost 5-3 to the San Jose Sharks. Edmonton beat Chicago two of three one year ago.

WHAT TO EXPECT FROM JANUARY

  • At home to: Los Angeles, Anaheim (Expected 0-1-1) (Actual 1-1-0)
  • On the road to: Dallas, Chicago, Nashville, Arizona, Vegas (Expected 2-2-1) (Actual 0-1-0)
  • At home to: Vancouver, Buffalo, Calgary (Expected 2-1-0) (Actual 0-0-0)
  • Overall expected result: 4-4-2, 10 points in 10 games
  • Current results: 1-2-0, two points in three games

Edmonton has just four games now before the long layoff, Wayne Gretzky is hanging around in the gondola of NHL rinks across Christendom. You can say it’s nothing and it would be if the performance since the break had been anything close to acceptable. As it is, keep your ears on, good buddy, one of those old bull Oilers may have decided to crash the gate doing 98 and let them truckers roll, 10-4. Third time’s a charm?

DEFENSE, YESTERDAY

  • Sekera-Benning went 18-12 in 13:15, 0-1 GF and 2-1 HDSC. Sekera turned the puck over at the blue line early and gave up a breakaway, looked in-between for much of the night. Benning looked better, and this was the best pairing on the day (imo). Went 9-8 in seven minutes against Roussel-Faksa-Pitlick, 0-5 in 1:31 against Benn.
  • Klefbom-Russell went 17-22 in 16:22, 0-1GF and 3-3 HDSC. To my eye Klefbom is coming on, a little more power in his game. Russell did the swim a couple of times, played the first goal two-on-one in a ponderous manner. Went 11-14 in 5:55 against the Radulov-Benn-Seguin line, leading the defensive groups in opposition against the big Dallas trio.
  • Nurse-Larsson were 8-19 in 14:37, 0-2 GF and 0-5 HDSC. This is becoming a trend and coach McLellan needs to get away from this pairing right away. Went 4-11 in 5:37 against the Radulov-Benn-Seguin line, meaning the Klefbom pairing was superior in about the same time against the impact line.
  • Cam Talbot stopped 15 of 19, .789. I don’t blame him, his mates need to mind the back door a little better.
  • Al Montoya debuted as an Oiler (nice mask!) and stopped 13 of 14, .929.
  • NaturalStatTrick and NHL.com.

FORWARDS, LAST NIGHT

  • Khaira-Draisaitl-Kassian were 8-2 and 3-1 in HDSC’s, took coach McLellan some time to move the fourth line wingers up and it worked well. Slepyshev-Caggiula (5-6, 0-2 GF) were a disaster and PC needs to step in. That ain’t working. Leon went 4-4 in 3:28 against Benn.
  • Cammalleri-Nuge-Strome went 14-14 in 11:02, 0-2 GF and 1-2 HDSC’s. I like the Cammy-Nuge train, Strome (for me) was not as effective. RNH got a power-play assist and continues to find his way to the scoresheet after avoiding it like the plague for years. Went 6-10 in 4:42 against Benn.
  • Lucic-McDavid-Puljujarvi were 14-16 in 14:36, 0-0 GF and 3-2 HDSC’s. McDavid was the best Oiler as always, I think the Finn was second behind him. Some 10-bell chances for the youngster, he’s finding seams and driving to the net. McDavid was frustrated, not sure if this tandem lasts but there’s a lot of promising elements. 97 was 1-4 in 1:43 against Benn.
  • Caggiula-Letestu-Slepyshev were 5-5 in 4:43 together.

SAIL ON, MCARELLI?

The knives are out for Peter Chiarelli, fans are mad as hell and there are some curious things going on. MSM is feeding a “something imminent” storyline and we haven’t see the general manager for a month—I haven’t seen a quote from him on the trade for Montoya (as a for instance). Meanwhile, the “face” of the organization, increasingly, is Wayne Gretzky.

Todd McLellan would be the obvious move if the losing becomes too much, but perhaps we’re looking at a dual “settling family business” crescendo to the season. Could we see Craig MacTavish return to coaching?

One thing we can be sure of? The game’s afoot and Wayne Gretzky is in a prominent role as our story begins.

I’m not certain if this happens now, or if Keith Gretzky would be involved, but the Edmonton Oilers do telegraph these things and my Geiger counter has been making violent noises for about 18 hours. Come for the game, stay for the drama. It could be a wild week.

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686 Responses to "G43 2017-18: Oilers at Blackhawks"

« Older Comments
  1. VOR says:

    frjohnk:
    Well after the game, I looked at my jar of shine from the cupboard, grabbed it, took a picture of it and posted on twitter “Ukrainian Xmas and Oilers are out of playoff race. Time for some Great Gido’s Home Brew”

    Had 1 shot. Unlike the Oilers, it was smooth and there was no choking.

    Then marinated some moose rib steaks.Cooked them up on the BBQ.So tender, we didnt need a knife to cut it.

    I also made a broccoli, shredded carrot, diced apple with dried cranberries and pecan salad.

    Kids gobbled it all up.Wish they would have saved more for me.

    My wife who is a restaurant professional and chef in training makes all the salads at home as she does at the restaurant. She does something very similar to your recipe but adds cabbage creating a fascinating Cole slaw.

    One of our freezers is full of moose meat. We have a moose over population problem. Our carrying capacity is about 12 and we have 19. One decided Saskatoons and Blueberries were a delicacy. She wasn’t interested in sharing with humans. Magnificent creature but aggressive as hell. This summer I am going to have a big BBQ at my place and she will be the main course.

  2. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    “Steve Smith”:
    Thinker,

    If only Matt Hendricks was still playing for this team.Or Ethan Moreau.

    Or Alan Thicke

  3. Melvis says:

    Jethro Tull,

    That homemade cognac sounds interesting.

  4. Offside says:

    I could be wrong but I’m thinking TMac won’t be a finalist for the Jack Adams Coach of the year award. Odd how he became inadequate in less than a year.

  5. frjohnk says:

    Munny:
    frjohnk,

    Veseloho Rizdva, Padre.

    Slavite Yoho

    Thanks

    Have not really celebrated Ukrainian Xmas since Baba and Guido died, but its still a day that I kinda mark on the calendar.

  6. Scungilli Slushy says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    Both Hebig and Samorukov held off the score sheet today in losses.

    They Suck!!!

  7. exoilinxs says:

    I know this may not be a question lowetide enjoys hearing but who possibly advised Chiarelli to trade for Reinhart? Aside from other questionable roster changes this is one I am least forgiving. It speaks of an organization with too many cooks in the kitchen.

  8. Silver Streak says:

    danny: Personally the most annoying shtick for me these days is the eternal optimism one. There’s a lot of bad shit to discuss right now. And I don’t trust anyone that smells roses while standing in this pile of shit.

    And The Winner is….Best comment of the day….

  9. godot10 says:

    Offside:
    I could be wrong but I’m thinking TMac won’t be a finalist for the Jack Adams Coach of the year award. Odd how he became inadequate in less than a year.

    Some people [ -) -) -)] have asserted for two years that McLellan would add #NoWinsAboveReplacement.

    Can I say Q.E.D. yet? Maybe in a week at the break.

  10. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    We have white smoke from the chimney atop the Sistine Chapel:

    Jim Matheson @NHLbyMatty

    Blame rests with the GM not the coach McLellan. Pretty much every move or analysis by Chiarelli after last year has not turned out. It is his team. Oilers wanted experienced coach when they hired McLellan. They have one….

  11. Ray says:

    Woodguy v2.0,

    Further to Chiarelli… when did Keith join the team, and has anything gone right since he joined?

  12. godot10 says:

    Woodguy v2.0:
    We have white smoke from the chimney atop the Sistine Chapel:

    Jim Matheson @NHLbyMatty


    Blame rests with the GM not the coach McLellan. Pretty much every move or analysis by Chiarelli after last year has not turned out. It is his team. Oilers wanted experienced coach when they hired McLellan. They have one….

    Chiarelli coaches the special teams? Five on five performance, even with mediocre coaching and questionable deployment of talent by the coaching staff is still reasonable.

  13. Lowetide says:

    exoilinxs:
    I know this may not be a question lowetide enjoys hearing but who possibly advised Chiarelli to trade for Reinhart? Aside from other questionable roster changes this is one I am least forgiving. It speaks of an organization with too many cooks in the kitchen.

    Bob Green would absolutely have been the point man on that deal.

  14. TheWholeLoafIsToast says:

    So it’s becoming evident that The writing is on the wall for Chiarelli, a new GM will be brought in. Say this new GM gives TMac the benefit of the doubt, but the results aren’t any different. What happens then?
    Could the players be the problem? And if so, what’s the solution?

  15. Ray says:

    Ray:
    Woodguy v2.0,

    Further to Chiarelli… when did Kieth join the team, and has anything gone right since he joined?

    Answer my own question, Aug 2, 2016… I do think Chiarelli might be leaning on him for a lot of the things that haven’t turned out this past year.

    The only reason if he doesn’t go with Pete is his last name.

  16. leadfarmer says:

    Woodguy v2.0:
    We have white smoke from the chimney atop the Sistine Chapel:

    Jim Matheson @NHLbyMatty


    Blame rests with the GM not the coach McLellan. Pretty much every move or analysis by Chiarelli after last year has not turned out. It is his team. Oilers wanted experienced coach when they hired McLellan. They have one….

    While I agree having pk this bad really is on the coaches.

    Also I think the guys have tuned out the coach, but other than the pk I dont expect a new coach to do much better.

  17. leadfarmer says:

    TheWholeLoafIsToast:
    So it’s becoming evident that The writing is on the wall for Chiarelli, a new GM will be brought in. Say this new GM gives TMac the benefit of the doubt, but the results aren’t any different. What happens then?
    Could the players be the problem? And if so, what’s the solution?

    Could the players be the problem? I think the players are the problem. Strome is costing himself millions of dollars and is close to a reclamation project at this point. He’ll get a one year contract next year but I doubt it will be longer than one year

    Good thing the rest of the guys got their contracts in

  18. OriginalPouzar says:

    danny:

    Personally the most annoying shtick for me these days is the eternal optimism one. There’s a lot of bad shit to discuss right now. And I don’t trust anyone that smells roses while standing in this pile of shit.

    Who is “smelling roses standing in this pile of shit”?

    One can still look forward to games and home for a grade A team effort while acknowledging the disappointment of the season.

    One can be frustrated and disappointed with the season and a particular game but acknowledge the silver linings that can come with a step-back season.

    You know what is also annoying: Reading vitriol towards the coach for not going with the 3 center set and then, once the 3 center split is made, reading vitriol towards the coach for waiting so long and then, after the 3 center set stops working, reading vitriol towards the coach for not loading up the top 2 lines again.

  19. exoilinxs says:

    Lowetide,

    Then my next question is how come he has not been held accountable. I was aghast the day they announced the trade. How is it that I, an amateur, knew this was a bonehead move yet he didnt?

  20. Dicky94 says:

    leadfarmer,

    I agree. It looks like the players are just waiting now for TMac to be fired instead of fixing this themselves. Time for the veterans to stand up and say something.

  21. McSorley33 says:

    leadfarmer,

    The last I looked our PP was 24th ( I could be wrong )….

    The next coach may be able to cobble together some success with 97 & 29.

    Roster is thin on talent, no question.

    But the coaches obviously have no answers on special teams.

    As LT mentioned, I think this team has moved on from Tmac and staff.

  22. OmJo says:

    This might be an unpopular opinion, but I think this team lacks leadership moreso than skill.

    This is the point in a season where a player, preferably the captain, calls a player-only meeting to try and right the ship. We don’t have that kind of leader on this team, apparently. We don’t have a Horcoff, Moreau, or Hendricks on the team to get the group to come together and regroup. I mentioned that a few games ago.

    The group of Lucic, Russell, Sekera, Maroon and Letestu are inferior – leadership wise – to groups of the past, like Moreau, Smith, Staios, Stoll, and Horcoff. IMO. They’re veteran players, but not necessarily leaders.

  23. TheWholeLoafIsToast says:

    leadfarmer,

    What I meant to portray is, what happens if a new GM comes in, looks at the roster and blows it apart?
    Will there be absolute discord if/when certain players are shipped out for the betterment of the overall roster? Will the fans come unhinged say Draisaitl is deemed a problem although a talented player? Or Nurse?
    That has been a burning question with me since the Hall trade.
    GM’s inheriting a flawed roster do their surgery, fans may/may not have the same feelings and it’s back to where we are now.
    I am honestly just curious as to whether or not the level of vitriol will be any different when Chiarelli is deposed.

  24. russ99 says:

    The problem with the players is that they’re out there playing as individuals or 2 man units, and not as a team.

    How many times did we make an ugly turnover at our blueline, how many times did someone behind the net with the puck center it to the crease with nobody there?

    I think it’s twofold, one is coaching and obstinance to change, the other is the player group is being treated differently, Connor and Leon got their contracts and Nuge gets his offensive push while others have to prove they deserve their next contract and higher end minutes and roles; some players are being given roles that don’t deserve them, and others not given a chance. Everyone wants to play with Connor, some are bring gifted that time, others won’t ever get it.

    We had a much better team dynamic last year, everyone knew their role and did their best. This year it’s every man for himself.

    McLellan is only part of the equation, there will still be issues with the group under a new coach, it will take a roster refresh and better definition of who does what next year to make a difference.

  25. Lowetide says:

    exoilinxs:
    Lowetide,

    Then my next question is how come he has not been held accountable. I was aghast the day they announced the trade. How is it that I, an amateur, knew this was a bonehead move yet he didnt?

    You’re saying fire him after the 2015 draft?

  26. JD_Wry says:

    Lowetide: You’re saying fire him after the 2015 draft?

    Well, duh…

  27. OmJo says:

    russ99: The problem with the players is that they’re out there playing as individuals or 2 man units, and not as a team.

    Could this be the consequence of having pairs on each line, with an interchangeable third player. Only certain pairs have been given enough line stability to form chemistry for first quarter of the season or so.

  28. JimmyV1965 says:

    OriginalPouzar: Who is “smelling roses standing in this pile of shit”?

    One can still look forward to games and home for a grade A team effort while acknowledging the disappointment of the season.

    One can be frustrated and disappointed with the season and a particular game but acknowledge the silver linings that can come with a step-back season.

    You know what is also annoying: Reading vitriol towards the coach for not going with the 3 center set and then, once the 3 center split is made, reading vitriol towards the coach for waiting so long and then, after the 3 center set stops working, reading vitriol towards the coach for not loading up the top 2 lines again.

    I wouldn’t worry too much about it OP. It’s not like you’re saying Chia is the best GM in the NHL or nominating Tmac for coach of the year. You’re simply trying to be positive. It’s possible to be frustrated and disappointed, while remaining positive. Many people appreciate it.

    It seems to me that some people wear their anger like a badge of honour, or think it makes them smart.

  29. Frank the dog says:

    Is TMac simply being out coached?

  30. flyfish1168 says:

    There is enough blame to go around for everyone that is associated with the team. PC with his trades, TMac with his game approach and specialty teams. Leaders on the team not leading.

  31. Jethro Tull says:

    Melvis:
    Jethro Tull,

    That homemade cognac sounds interesting.

    Well, despite my grammar not being as good as it should be, the sauce was in fact homemade. But the wife and I are planting our orchard this spring. Haskap berry, chike cherries and saskatoons to start. The father in law made us a fruit press from white ash this winter. We are planning to be in fairly high wine production within five years. And then if we have a still…..

    Sorry for the big paragraph.

  32. exoilinxs says:

    Lowetide,

    Sometimes the rot in the wood is below the surface and takes time to show. So ignore the problem when it comes to the surface? Misplaced accountability has plagued this franchise.

  33. jp says:

    JimmyV1965: I wouldn’t worry too much about it OP. It’s not like you’re saying Chia is the best GM in the NHL or nominating Tmac for coach of the year. You’re simply trying to be positive. It’s possible to be frustrated and disappointed, while remaining positive. Many people appreciate it.

    Well said, and agreed.

  34. Lowetide says:

    exoilinxs:
    Lowetide,

    Sometimes the rot in the wood is below the surface and takes time to show. So ignore the problem when it comes to the surface? Misplaced accountability has plagued this franchise.

    So, July 2015 then? You’re not giving me anything to go on. We agree it was a bad trade and universally panned, but there’s not much of a conversation to be had when your posts are “I knew it, why wasn’t he fired immediately?”

    Not much to discuss really.

  35. Thinker says:

    To be fair, there are some moves that are so stupid that a GM should be fired immediately. Tillman trading Ricky Ray would be my prime example. The Reinhart trade was bordering on that bad when it was made, and it could be argued that it turned out worse.

  36. hunter1909 says:

    It’s really like Marathon Man for Oiler fans:

    Dustin Hoffman’s character thinks he’s escaping the clutches of evil nazi Doctor Zell when William Devane’s character drives him away in his car – only to discover to his horror that Devane’s part of the scam and he’s just driven around the block before being re-delivered to Zell for another dental examination.

    Oiler fans think they’re finally out of the dark days era with Connor McDavid, a 100+ point season and a winning playoff round – only to discover that the team has been skewered so badly that it’s straight back to lottery position the very next year after the 100+ point season.

    No wonder the fans are screaming.

  37. VOR says:

    Jethro Tull: Well, despite my grammar not being as good as it should be, the sauce was in fact homemade. But the wife and I are planting our orchard this spring. Haskap berry, chike cherries and saskatoons to start. The father in law made us a fruit press from white ash this winter. We are planning to be in fairly high wine production within five years. And then if we have a still…..

    Sorry for the big paragraph.

    </blockquotec
    We have haskap. Of course we have Saskatoons and choke cherries.Then there are cherries, and raspberries, strawberries, sea buckthorn and gooseberries. But we are trying to move into cider apples.

  38. pitlickdinner says:

    do we think Nicholson would fire Chiarelli before identifying a reasonable replacement? Nicholson might tolerate the BOTB in lesser roles but i doubt he’s interested in appointing an interim Gretzky. he’ll want some credentials.

    what’s out there?

    (pure speculation).

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

    Vegas 18-2-1 at home. 60 pts at the halfway mark, on pace for 120 points. Not even close to being a top 10 team on paper.

    It’s just a weird season, folks. Unfortunately the Oilers are on the bad end of it.

    Whaddya gonna do except go outside and smell the roses in the manure garden.

  40. flea says:

    I understood the Eberle trade, if they kept him they most certainly would’ve dumping him this summer for nothing or less than nothing (retention). Chiarelli got an offer for a reclaimation project with no retention, I understand the motivation.

    But the team lacks pure scorers, IMO. Draisaitl, McDavid, RNH are all well balanced centres. They can score, but they aren’t pure shooters. Puljujarvi might be that, but isn’t that yet. Maroon and Lucic have a bit of scorer in them but neither is a pure shooter.

    Eberle was at least, a shooter. I’d call him more of a scorer than any of the other guys on the list. So the impact of losing that option ripples through the lineup. The oilers will look dangerous without threatening to score, trying to slow down the play, and looking for slam dunk goals. I love a good slam dunker but there is only 1 scored every three games. Other teams seem to have more quick strike options. Ebs would have definitely added another dimension to their offence. It also changes how teams defend you. Right now the book on the Oilers is easy as pie, block the pass.

    They should jettison Maroon and get Hoffman somehow, it would add a pure shooting option that is badly needed. If not Hoffman, someone who can shoot.

    Chiarellis biggest mistake was throwing a bunch of RFA options at the RW wall, and so far none of them have stuck. Sure would’ve been nice to see JP instead of Yamamoto the first 10 games too.

  41. AsiaOil says:

    Well that’s it isn’t it. Would anyone trade the VGK rostor for ours? Of course not, but here we are, with the roles completely reversed. Next year’s result is probably the opposite again which makes you question what really matters in today’s NHL.

    NYC-Back-to-Tokyo Oil (Gentleman Backpacker):
    Vegas 18-2-1 at home. 60 pts at the halfway mark, on pace for 120 points. Not even close to being a top 10 team on paper.

    It’s just a weird season, folks. Unfortunately the Oilers are on the bad end of it.

    Whaddya gonna do except go outside and smell the roses in the manure garden.

    Flea,

    Eberle has 1 goal in his last 10 games and is -7 over that time. He’s not helping anything at the moment.

  42. OmJo says:

    hunter1909: It’s really like Marathon Man for Oiler fans:

    Dustin Hoffman’s character thinks he’s escaping the clutches of evil nazi Doctor Zell when William Devane’s character drives him away in his car – only to discover to his horror that Devane’s part of the scam and he’s just driven around the block before being re-delivered to Zell for another dental examination.

    Spoiler alert!!!!!

    Oiler fans think they’re finally out of the dark days era with Connor McDavid, a 100+ point season and a winning playoff round – only to discover that the team has been skewered so badly that it’s straight back to lottery position the very next year after the 100+ point season.

    No wonder the fans are screaming.

    An oddly accurate spoiler alert.

  43. New Improved Darkness says:

    Only one Oilers forward (Leon Draisaitl) has a goal in the last five games.

    Did someone mistake me ROTFLMAO for a positive attitude?

    You just can’t make this shit up.

    And no, Connor is not sitting in the PB with a third elbow, or a third knee.

  44. OmJo says:

    AsiaOil,

    Well… He also has 7pts in those 10 games – though 3 came in one game. He’s got 30pts in 43 games. Strome has 17? Cap Space has a whopping 0.

    The Islanders as a whole have been struggling lately. Tavares has 3 goals in those 10 games and is – 5.

  45. Thinker says:

    OmJo:
    AsiaOil,

    Well… He also has 7pts in those 10 games – though 3 came in one game. He’s got 30pts in 43 games. Strome has 17? Cap Space has a whopping 0.

    The Islanders as a whole have been struggling lately. Tavares has 3 goals in those 10 games and is – 5.

    Stop messing with the narrative. We were lucky to unload a marginally overpaid top 30 RW.

  46. Decidedly Skeptical Fan says:

    OmJo:
    This might be an unpopular opinion, but I think this team lacks leadership moreso than skill.

    This is the point in a season where a player, preferably the captain, calls a player-only meeting to try and right the ship. We don’t have that kind of leader on this team, apparently. We don’t have a Horcoff, Moreau, or Hendricks on the team to get the group to come together and regroup. I mentioned that a few games ago.

    The group of Lucic, Russell, Sekera, Maroon and Letestu are inferior – leadership wise – to groups of the past, like Moreau, Smith, Staios, Stoll, and Horcoff. IMO. They’re veteran players, but not necessarily leaders.

    Not sure I agree. Was the group of Thornton, Marleau and Burns inferior – leadership wise – because they seem to have not been the least sorry to see TMac go.

    My guess, and it is only a guess, is that Tmac has lost nearly the whole team this year, veterans included. They did not appreciate being thrown under the bus by a guy who doesn’t appear to take any responsibility for this mess. Pretty sure firing the GM will improve the player’s attitudes though.

  47. Melvis says:

    Jethro Tull,

    Sorry? For what? I was just teasing a bit.

    It was concomitant with a memory of a one time bar and restaurant in TO that featured some very nice imported eau de vies. The late, great Fentons. So, you know, home brewed saskatoon berry schnaps fits the picture.

  48. flea says:

    AsiaOil,

    Cherry picking data. That wasn’t my point. The point is the Oilers lack a pure shooter. These guys go through hot and cold streaks like any other player. But without this player type the Oilers are running a predicable offense. They have two types, skilled well rounded centres (which is great) and cycle guys. They are missing the shooters.

  49. Gret99zky says:

    Sounds like the GM, coaches, and players just want a reset.

    A fresh start to a new season.

    Chia doesn’t panic (ie: keeps the Nuge), signs Maroon, and makes some minor moves at the deadline. (Letestu, Cammalleri, Sleppy, or Caggs) Signs a couple RFA’s.

    Todd and the J’s change their PP and PK system to something the players can more effectively execute.

    The 2018-19 season starts (with hope & its usual 9 game rookie tryout) and the team is slow out of the gate.

    Say they go 2-7-1 or 3-6-1.

    Then what? No available GM’s or coaches in season. Eerily similar to previous seasons. Fans start to panic/turn. Groundhog day.

    Yikes.

  50. GMB3 says:

    Bag of Pucks: If you can provide stats proving Eberle as a strong defensive player, you’ll be the first.

    Can you prove Strome as a strong defensive player? At least he can score.. that was another horrible trade.

  51. GMB3 says:

    OriginalPouzar: He was born in Canada though.

    Born in Russia and moved to Canada in bantam I thought? It’s somewhat common now

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

    GMB3: Can you prove Strome as a strong defensive player? At least he can score.. that was another horrible trade.

    Right now Strome is playing his way into a one-year, 1.5m deal on another team for a shot at a 4th line role with potential to move up.

    He might have the tools but he is incredibly ineffective. Part of the 3 centres move for McDavid, Drai, Nuge was because Strome was ineffective as 3C. Now he is struggling as 3RW.

    This bet has not panned out so far. Still half a season to go.

  53. OriginalPouzar says:

    GMB3: Born in Russia and moved to Canada in bantam I thought? It’s somewhat common now

    Hockeydb lists him from Concord Ontario but maybe that isn’t his birth place? Eliteprospects lists his birthplace as Moskva Russia.

  54. OriginalPouzar says:

    NYC-Back-to-Tokyo Oil (Gentleman Backpacker): Right now Strome is playing his way into a one-year, 1.5m deal on another team for a shot at a 4th line role with potential to move up.

    He might have the tools but he is incredibly ineffective. Part of the 3 centres move for McDavid, Drai, Nuge was because Strome was ineffective as 3C. Now he is struggling as 3RW.

    This bet has not panned out so far. Still half a season to go.

    I wonder if not qualifying Strome is an actual option for management.

  55. stevezie says:

    OriginalPouzar,

    Meh. He’s a serviceable bottom sixer- don’t pay those guys but you do need them.

    But man what a disaster of a trade.

  56. GMB3 says:

    OriginalPouzar: Hockeydb lists him from Concord Ontario but maybe that isn’t his birth place? Eliteprospects lists his birthplace as Moskva Russia.

    Yeah he definitely came over from Russia in his early teens, if you watch his post draft interview it’s pretty clear he is from Russia.

  57. OriginalPouzar says:

    Chiarelli gives his coach a public vote of confidence and says he has no intention of firing him.

    Of course, always take the words of a GM with a large grain o salt.

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

    OriginalPouzar: I wonder if not qualifying Strome is an actual option for management.

    He is making 3m this year. So 3.3m to qualify him? I think I’d not qualify him and offer him 1 year for less.

    Same conundrum Oilers faced with Schultz. His QO was way too high because MacT way overpaid him. Called that one as trouble, too. Who would sign Strome for more than 3m this summer? No one, I would wager. Oilers would be dumb to qualify him, in my opinion.

    Now, we still have half a season left so that could change but as of right now I would not qualify him then offer him 1 x 2m or something if I really wanted to keep him. And I think that’s generous for what he brings right now.

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

    OriginalPouzar,

    Often, the public endorsement of a coach is the kiss of death. Chia has one coach card left to play before his own ass is grass. So it will be interesting to see how this all plays out.

    If up to me I fire no one until summer.

    I let Chia handle the deadline as a seller, then assess the full body of work. I say that as someone who has not been a big fan of his. He deserves that much.

  60. ArmchairGM says:

    exoilinxs:
    Lowetide,

    Then my next question is how come he has not been held accountable.

    Possibly because there was joint culpability? Say Green identified the talent and Chairelli negotiated the price? When it became apparent that the deal was an utter failure, how could Chairelli blame Green?

  61. The Trade Guy says:

    Friendship ended with Chiarelli. Now Gretzky is my best friend.

  62. ArmchairGM says:

    GMB3: Yeah he definitely came over from Russia in his early teens, if you watch his post draft interview it’s pretty clear he is from Russia.

    I read somewhere that he was born here, parents moved back to Russia when he was in infant (hence dual-citizenship) and he returned in his early teens… but I haven’t been able to get confirmation. Any links would be appreciated.

  63. OriginalPouzar says:

    stevezie:
    OriginalPouzar,

    Meh. He’s a serviceable bottom sixer- don’t pay those guys but you do need them.

    But man what a disaster of a trade.

    The issue is he will need to be qualified at $3M plus/season.

    I’m not sure if its $3M or $3.3M (some qualifying offers needs to be at 100% of previous salary and some at 110% – not sure where Strome fits, probably 110%).

  64. OriginalPouzar says:

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

    Often, the public endorsement of a coach is the kiss of death. Chia has one coach card left to play before his own ass is grass. So it will be interesting to see how this all plays out.

    If up to me I fire no one until summer.

    I let Chia handle the deadline as a seller, then assess the full body of work. I say that as someone who has not been a big fan of his. He deserves that much.

    I don’t disagree which is why I said that I take PC’s word’s with a pretty large grain of salt.

  65. OriginalPouzar says:

    GMB3: Yeah he definitely came over from Russia in his early teens, if you watch his post draft interview it’s pretty clear he is from Russia.

    Fair enough – for such a great site, it seems hockeydb is often wrong with respect to listed birthplace.

  66. ArmchairGM says:

    NYC-Back-to-Tokyo Oil (Gentleman Backpacker): He is making 3m this year. So 3.3m to qualify him? I think I’d not qualify him and offer him 1 year for less.

    Same conundrum Oilers faced with Schultz. His QO was way too high because MacT way overpaid him. Called that one as trouble, too. Who would sign Strome for more than 3m this summer? No one, I would wager. Oilers would be dumb to qualify him, in my opinion.

    Now, we still have half a season left so that could change but as of right now I would not qualify him then offer him 1 x 2m or something if I really wanted to keep him. And I think that’s generous for what he brings right now.

    QO is $3M even, as per CapFriendly.com.

    They’re now caught between a rock and a hard place: qualify him at mich more then he’s worth, or don’t and he becomes a UFA and risk losing him for nothing? The latter will make the Eberle trade look much worse this summer then it looked last summer, which makes me think that current management won’t go that route – even though, as you say, they probably should.

    Not sure what Strome is worth on the trade market, but a deadline move might be the path of least resistance at this point.

  67. OriginalPouzar says:

    ArmchairGM: I read somewhere that he was born here, parents moved back to Russia when he was in infant (hence dual-citizenship) and he returned in his early teens… but I haven’t been able to get confirmation. Any links would be appreciated.

    From what I can tell, he grew up in Russia for sure and left Russia a few years back for the CHL.

    He’s represented Russia a few times internationally (U18s).

    Can’t find confirmation that he was born in Canada and left for Russia very young but it seems plausible – i don’t think hockeydb lists Ontario as his birth place for no reason.

  68. ArmchairGM says:

    OriginalPouzar: The issue is he will need to be qualified at $3M plus/season.

    I’m not sure if its $3M or $3.3M (some qualifying offers needs to be at 100% of previous salary and some at 110% – not sure where Strome fits, probably 110%).

    In Strome’s case it’s 100%, so $3M. Too much for current performance by a factor of 2, IMO.

  69. ArmchairGM says:

    OriginalPouzar: From what I can tell, he grew up in Russia for sure and left Russia a few yearsback for the CHL.

    He’s represented Russia a few times internationally (U18s).

    Can’t find confirmation that he was born in Canada and left for Russia very young but it seems plausible – i don’t think hockeydb lists Ontario as his birth place for no reason.

    Yes, and I think the fact that he’s a dual-citizen is public knowledge. Where did that come from? He hasn’t been living in Canada long enough to qualify (AFAIK), so Canadian birth or birth to a Canadian parent is the only plausible explanation.

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

    ArmchairGM: In Strome’s case it’s 100%, so $3M. Too much for current performance by a factor of 2, IMO.

    Thanks. Schultz, in a similar position, fetched a 3rd. He was then not qualified but re-signed for less with Pittsburgh as a free agent.

    1) Qualify him– as you say, overpayment by double. I agree. Not a good option.
    2) Don’t– maybe you can re-sign him to a show me deal for one year for less, but you risk letting him walk.
    3) Trade him. You’ve now traded Eberle for a 3rd round pick, with no replacement (I doubt Strome gets you a 2nd).

    Pick your poison.

    Only possible redemption would be Strome playing his way back to value in the 2nd half.
    We wait.

  71. v4ance says:

    I stated in early December that the special teams were in dire need of improvement. At that point, the season was not yet lost. If Chiarelli had forced McLellan to replace his long time assistant (Jim Johnson or Jay Woodcroft?) with a new special teams coach, we may not have found ourselves with a lost season today. Optically, it would have looked bad replacing an assistant shortly before the Christmas break even during a slight winning streak but the GM position of an NHL team is required to make difficult moves no matter the time or situation.

    Five WEEKS ago I said the high man on the wedge +1 PK formation was being coached to be too aggressive at attacking the points. Thus leaving too much space for cross box plays which created high danger shots. Our goalies were consistently forced to move laterally to attempt cross crease save attempts. Someone in the analytics community wrote an article summarizing the effect of passes across the “Royal Road” or homeplate “high danger” area. The resulting shots were converted into goals at ~20% compared to a shooting percentage of ~10% for almost any shot where the goalie has not had to move to make the save. EVERY team studying video on the Oilers PK saw this exact weakness since the start of this year and exploited it to the tune of the WORST recorded PK EVER for any team in the NHL since PK numbers have been kept! The Oilers PK is setting records… in infamy.

    I dislike Russell’s defensive style but maybe we could have optimized our PK to use his skills effectively? You know, instead of having him chase all over the zone and lose footraces all over, just have him and the other PKers form a tight box and block the hell out of the shots… you know, a known strength?

    The LA game, after Maroon’s major, the pk virtually lost the game…

    The Oilers misnamed “powerplay” has been underpowered all season long. Years and years of successful powerplays showed that generating one timers was the best was to get pp goals. Think of all the best PP’s in the game, Brett Hull one timer, Stamkos one timer, Ovechkin one timer… even Kunitz made a career out of converting one time passes from Crosby on the pp. Last year, we had Letestu converting the one timers but teams studied video and have removed that option this year. Other than his shot, Letestu is below average on skating, puckhandling, puck retrieval and passing compared to everyone else on the powerplay units meaning there was no reason to keep him on PP#1. Both Slepeshev and Pulijarvi have better wrist shots which could have been better utilised instead of Letestu on the left side. Instead, Letestu is just the ignored decoy on the left side and the man advantage is just a 4 on 4.

    PP#2 should have Pulijarvi on the left side with Nuge on the right halfwall attempting to feed him one time shots. Nuge only had his best PP performances from that spot in his first season so there’s no reason to put him there again, right? (sarcasm alert)

    Nuge was/IS most dangerous when he is a threat to shoot or pass from that right faceoff dot. They need to sit him down and show him video of all the goals and assists he created in his rookie season from that spot.

    The ineffective PP gave Anaheim a shot at winning the game in OT.

    Coming back to Russell, he needs to sit for at least a game. He has been directly responsible for at least 5 of the last 19 goals let in by the Oilers. Didn’t box out Saad when he had inside position, check. Let Schmaltz walk unmolested to the net. check. Didn’t stop Seguin’s pass on the 2 on 1 in Dallas. check. Screened Talbot on PP to allow Kesler *spits* to tip in goal. check. Gregor wrote a nice asskissing article on Oilersnation praising Russell for having his best offensive season in a long time but he’s simply giving up more goals and chances than he’s creating.

    A season this bad means there’s lots of blame to be shared by everyone in the organization. The smart move would have been to fix things before it spiralled out of control a few weeks ago. Now both GM and Head coach are on the hot seats due to their inability to act and fix the glaring issues.

  72. Pouzar says:

    NYC-Back-to-Tokyo Oil (Gentleman Backpacker): Thanks.Schultz, in a similar position, fetched a 3rd. He was then not qualified but re-signed for less with Pittsburgh as a free agent.

    1) Qualify him– as you say, overpayment by double. I agree. Not a good option.
    2) Don’t– maybe you can re-sign him to a show me deal for one year for less, but you risk letting him walk.
    3) Trade him. You’ve now traded Eberle for a 3rd round pick, with no replacement (I doubt Strome gets you a 2nd).

    Pick your poison.

    Only possible redemption would be Strome playing his way back to value in the 2nd half.
    We wait.

    Door #3 imo.
    It was a bad trade. Take the extra cap space (that phrase again) and get some speed/pk in that bottom 6.

  73. v4ance says:

    Pouzar,

    As NYC Tokyo Oil stated earlier, a GM only has to defend the coach publicly when the coach IS on the hot seat. In reality, both GM and head coach are in danger now considering the drastic turn from playoff team to bottom 5 in less than a year.

  74. OriginalPouzar says:

    NYC-Back-to-Tokyo Oil (Gentleman Backpacker): Thanks.Schultz, in a similar position, fetched a 3rd. He was then not qualified but re-signed for less with Pittsburgh as a free agent.

    1) Qualify him– as you say, overpayment by double. I agree. Not a good option.
    2) Don’t– maybe you can re-sign him to a show me deal for one year for less, but you risk letting him walk.
    3) Trade him. You’ve now traded Eberle for a 3rd round pick, with no replacement (I doubt Strome gets you a 2nd).

    Pick your poison.

    Only possible redemption would be Strome playing his way back to value in the 2nd half.
    We wait.

    Presumably they negotiate a reasonable contract prior to the deadline for the qualifying offer – assuming the organization wants him back and does not want to lose him for nothing (which, given the asset disposed of to acquire Strome, is likely).

    Strome has the ability to provide value to the team in a bottom 6 role (with the ability to bump up to fill in) but its got to be at the right price point and, given his performance this season, that price point is south of $3M.

  75. OmJo says:

    Knowing Oilers, they’ll finally start playing Strome on McDavid’s RW and sign him for $4M in the summer when he has a strong 2nd half.

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

    Here’s a fun stat this morning.

    The last time the Oilers allowed a PP goal against on the road was in Montreal on December 9

    They’ve gone 17/17 since then in Toronto, Columbus, Minnesota, Winnipeg, Dallas and Chicago

    At home during that same stretch? They allowed 12 against and went 11/23 (which includes the weird LA game).

    I submit they fire Johnson/Woodcroft for home games but re-hire them for road games because something is funky in the new barn

  77. frjohnk says:

    OmJo:
    Knowing Oilers, they’ll finally start playing Strome on McDavid’s RW and sign him for $4M in the summer when he has a strong 2nd half.

    Riley Sheahan scored 14 goals 11 assists in 15-16 and then signed for $2M per for 2 years.

    Like Strome, he is a right hand shot center who plays bottom 6.

    Thats the contract comparable for Strome.

  78. OmJo says:

    Decidedly Skeptical Fan: Not sure I agree.Was the group of Thornton, Marleau and Burns inferior – leadership wise – because they seem to have not been the least sorry to see TMac go.

    My guess, and it is only a guess, is that Tmac has lost nearly the whole team this year, veterans included.They did not appreciate being thrown under the bus by a guy who doesn’t appear to take any responsibility for this mess.Pretty sure firing the GM will improve the player’s attitudes though.

    That’s not what I meant. I wouldn’t be surprised if he lost the room, and have complained about TMac’s arrogance plenty dating back to even the 15-16 season. It’s a bit more tolerable when the team is winning but when it’s not, like now, it’s frustrating to watch him refuse to change certain things.

    What I mean is the veterans should step up and take a larger role in trying to right the ship. They’ve been passangers for most of the year, letting Connor, Nuge, Draisaitl and Nurse do all of the work.

    The Habs called a players-only meeting. The Flyers did, too, back in November. I think this team needs to do the same. Maybe after this road trip when they have a week off to regroup as a team. IIRC, Horcoff was the last player to call a players-only meeting on this team. I think it’d help.

  79. OmJo says:

    frjohnk: Riley Sheahan scored 14 goals 11 assists in 15-16 and then signed for $2M per for 2 years.

    Like Strome, he is a right hand shot center who plays bottom 6.

    Thats the contract comparable for Strome.

    In a perfect world, I wouldn’t disagree with that.

    Idk if the Oilers do comparables. See Draisaitl contract.

  80. Jethro Tull says:

    Melvis:
    Jethro Tull,

    Sorry? For what? I was just teasing a bit.

    It was concomitant with a memory of a one time bar and restaurant in TO that featured some very nice imported eau de vies. The late, great Fentons. So, you know, home brewed saskatoon berry schnaps fits the picture.

    Lol, ‘sorry’ is kind of a meme here. Saskatoon schnapps sounds like something that could happen….

  81. OmJo says:

    SayItAin’tSo, Gretz, SayItAin’tSo!: They’ve gone 17/17 since then in Toronto, Columbus, Minnesota, Winnipeg, Dallas and Chicago

    At home during that same stretch? They allowed 12 against and went 11/23 (which includes the weird LA game).

    It must be a hex.

    Seriously.

    Northlands put a hex on Rogers Place. Or maybe it’s because everything Rogers touches goes to crap. Maybe both. Idk.

  82. frjohnk says:

    OmJo: Idk if the Oilers do comparables. See Draisaitl contract.

    They looked at Barkovs contract and then added almost $3M
    Also looked at Monahans, Scheifles, McKinnons and figured ” we will add $2M or more

  83. Kaptain Vikarious says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    Lesson I am learning: As the tension in Oil Country heightens, there is a material increase in passive aggressive personal attacks against other members of the community due to them having different opinions.

    What type of law is it you practice?

  84. McSorley33 says:

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

    I let Chia handle the deadline as a seller, then assess the full body of work. I say that as someone who has not been a big fan of his. He deserves that much.
    ***********************************************************************************************************
    Except, he has shockingly been a Buyer.

    We have 1 less draft pick now.

    So, I am now not even sure he can handle this simple task.

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