That’s Entertainment

I’m not absolutely certain Darnell Nurse will enjoy another ‘three goals and four points in two games’ streak in his career but the first one is in the books and came in a timely fashion for the franchise. Just days away from the season’s death rattle, a four-point weekend for Edmonton has the gathered healthcare workers plugging the monitor back in and beginning the vigil anew.

 THE ATHLETIC

Great offer! Includes a free 7-day trial so you can try The Athletic on for size free and see if they enjoy the in-depth, ad-free coverage on the site. If you don’t feel it’s worth the $4.49/month, cancel anytime during trial before getting charged. Offer is here.

 RED RUM, YEAR OVER YEAR

  • January 2016: 3-2-2, goal differential -3 (8 points)
  • January 2017: 4-3-0, goal differential -3 (8 points)
  • January 2018: 3-4-0, goal differential -10 (6 points)

That was an exciting win in Vegas, in front of a home crowd no less. You know what this means, right? Annual road trip! Each January 13, the Oilers fan base must fly to the game destination to serenade 97 with a rousing version of ‘Happy Birthday’. It is written, so it must be done. Take back the empties.

AFTER 46, YEAR OVER

  • Oilers 15-16: 18-23-5, goal differential -26 (41 points)
  • Oilers 16-17: 24-15-7, goal differential +9 (55 points)
  • Oilers 17-18: 20-23-3, goal differential -21 (43 points)
When The Athletic asked me to write the Person of the Year (Edmonton) story about McDavid I was honored to do it. In that article, I wrote about the relationship this city has with its athletes, something that grows as the time goes. If you’re looking for a reason 6,000 Edmontonians traveled to Sin City to sing to their hockey icon, this is it:
  • The Athletic: There is a love of the Edmonton Oilers that borders on religion, and a genuine affection toward players who arrive from elsewhere and adopt Edmonton as “home.” It is the single biggest reason why Connor McDavid’s decision to sign an 8-year deal with the Oilers sealed his future in this northern outpost and is the de facto news story of the year in Edmonton. McDavid’s commitment means as much to its citizens as his incredible talent. It’s a bond similar to the one formed decades ago with the likes of Wayne Gretzky, Kevin Lowe and Craig MacTavish. It is a unique facet of this community.

 WHAT TO EXPECT FROM DECEMBER

  • 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 2-3-0)
  • 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: 3-4-0, six points in seven games

What a strange month. The Oilers are actually fair close to being on track for my projections, but the way the team arrived at this point is highly unlikely. Why does the road hold such appeal? Should the team park themselves at the Red Deer Lodge for all home games? Weird. Real weird.

DEFENSE, LAST NIGHT

  • Klefbom-Benning were 9-10 in 10:49, 1-0 in GF, no HD’s but 7-3 in scoring chances. I don’t ordinarily list them, because scoring chances often coincide with 97 time-on-ice. Went 6-2 in 6:36 against the top LV line (Smith-Karlsson-Marchessault). Like this pairing, Oscar’s going to do good things after the AS break.
  • Nurse-Larsson are basking in the glow of the Nurse photonic  cannon. Four goals in two games for any player is impressive, Nurse went into the weekend with 10 career goals. Went 6-9 in 10:36 (McLellan rotated top two pairings equally), 1-0 GF and 3-0 in HD’s. Were 1-4 against Neal-Haula-Perron, a slippery line for sure. Nurse continues to show up in good places, to move the chains in terms of established levels. He still has some ways to go as a player, the mistakes of youth are still on display. That said, we are seeing him emerge on another level in real time, or at least we are seeing that possibility that has yet to be established. Exciting development.
  • Sekera-Russell were 5-18 in 8:48, it was a firing squad out there. Lordy. Pair were 0-2 in GF and 0-3 HDSC’s. I think Russell boxed himself out on the first goal, Sekera was a day late on the second goal. I mentioned they would have trouble if they stayed together, that’s not exactly science talking. Went 1-9 against Neal-Haula-Perron, 2-7 against Smith-Karlsson-Marchessault, it really was a giant marchessault. That pairing needs to split.
  • Cam Talbot stopped 34 of 36, .944.
  • NaturalStatTrick and NHL.com.

FORWARDS, LAST NIGHT

  • Khaira-Letestu-Kassian went 4-4 (Kassian) and 1-4 (Khaira) as players moved around after the Nuge injury. Kassian isn’t everyone’s cup of tea but I thought he used his wheels very well, especially on the PK, and forechecked with abandon. Letestu had a takeaway, and a shot on goal, he’s in an area of the season where not much is happening for him.
  • Cammalleri-Strome-Kassian went 8-9 (Cammalleri) and 0-5 (Kassian) while Drake Caggiula (3-4) moved into a feature role. I like Cammalleri’s game, he’s a smart player who gives the team some genuine skill on the bottom 6F. I would not object to the club signing him for next season. Zack Kassian is a personal favorite, I’d bring him back, too. When he’s playing the hockey, he is effective.
  • Maroon-McDavid-Draisaitl went 8-15 (Maroon), 7-13 (Draisaitl) and 2-5 (Caggiula) formed a hodge-podge No. 1 line on the night, and the offense flowed. McDavid was fabulous, running out of adjectives to describe this man. He almost got walloped in the neutral zone, suicide pass put him in a tough spot. In a moment that offers us some insight into the player, 97 appeared to have eyes in the back of his head, a sixth sense that allowed him to completely avoid danger. Do we know about his eyesight, range of vision? Does he have some kind of ‘Michael Phelps has gills!’ panorama view of the world?
  • Lucic-Nuge-Puljujarvi went 0-6 (Lucic) and 1-8 (Puljujarvi) in the discouraging portion of the game. Nuge got hurt, Lucic got cut and Puljujarvi is lost in the supermarket. I am telling you, this is one of the most important bullet points on the season. JP is there, right there, but has been fading for some time and needs to play on another line to get jumpstarted. Will the coach break up the McDavid-Leon duo?

LAST NIGHT

The formula one year ago was McDavid rains down blows and Talbot stops everything. Last night we saw it, and something more. Two pairings found a way to move the puck up the ice, the third one stood out in a bad way (and that’s a good thing, obviously needs a fix). The club needs to score goals when 97 isn’t on the ice and that remains a problem. Drake Caggiula stepped up and had a nice second half of the game, that’s what this team needs and requires from a second line beyond McDavid’s trio.

THIS WEEK

I’ll be writing about the team meetings and the draft this week, plus procurement, Darnell Nurse and his role moving forward, and the goalies across the Oilers universe.

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188 Responses to "That’s Entertainment"

  1. OriginalPouzar says:

    Darnell Nurse – oh my.

    We all know about his 4 steps forward this year and how much he’s improved – mostly in the defensive zone, positioning and transitioning the puck. Over the last few weeks his offence has spiked. He’s been getting points somewhat consistently through the year but it seems that over the last few weeks, he’s been more of a primary contributor to the offensive production – he’s making more offensive plays.

    I believe he’s up to 12th among d-men in even strength scoring.

    He did see some PP time on the last PP – maybe we’ll see more of than in the 2nd half.

    I think the next step for Darnell is an uptick his breakout pass – don’t get me wrong, he’s got a decent breakout pass but his primary way to transition the puck right now is to skate it up ice but its always better to transport the puck by pass, if possible – that’s going to come next.

    What a beast of a D-man he’s going to be.

    This is going to be an interesting contract this spring/summer.

  2. OriginalPouzar says:

    By my eye Sekera is starting to look a little better but Russell is struggling more than he ever has as an Oiler.

    On one shift, he failed to clear the puck 4 times (once he did clear but it was an off-the glass and out and it was back in the zone in 2 seconds) and then iced the puck.

    If we didn’t have the bye week coming up, I would think he would apt for the press box in favor of Davidson (or Auvitu) next game.

  3. OriginalPouzar says:

    “it really was a giant marchessault” – early favorite for line of 2018. Well done.

  4. OriginalPouzar says:

    Kassian had a massive night on the PK, massive. I thought he made a very good play or two on ever single one of them.

    He is still turning away from contact and definitely not taking every opportunity to lay the body (which he does when he’s at his best). Is he hurt? The fight would indicate he’s fine but a fight isn’t the same as banging bodies.

  5. frjohnk says:

    Last night McDavid was in video game mode and I think the turbo button was stuck on.

    Nurses last two games are what top pairing Dmen do from time to time.

    We had flashes of that with Klefbom last year but other than we have been devoid of a top pairing Dman in the last decade.

    A healthy and confident Klefbom with a stepped up Nurse will do wonders for this team next year.

  6. Ben says:

    Why do I keep hearing that Nurse has four goals in his last two games? Am I missing one?

    25 is just a thrilling skater. Not sure if he’ll keep bringing the offense with any consistency, but if he can reliably put up 30+ points that’s a pretty terrific player, and probably worth Sekera’s deal.

  7. OriginalPouzar says:

    As an aside, no need to “bring back Kassian” – I’m pretty sure he’s signed for two more years. Unless you mean not dealt?

  8. OriginalPouzar says:

    That suicide pass from Maroon to McDavid was indeed scary.

    Was McDavid able to get out of the way or did the Knight player (can’t remember who it was) recognize who it was and made a quick decision not to destroy?

  9. frjohnk says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    By my eye Sekera is starting to look a little better but Russell is struggling more than he ever has as an Oiler.

    On one shift, he failed to clear the puck 4 times (once he did clear but it was an off-the glass and out and it was back in the zone in 2 seconds) and then iced the puck.

    If we didn’t have the bye week coming up, I would think he would apt for the press box in favor of Davidson (or Auvitu) next game.

    The break may do Sekera well. He is nowhere near his level from last year.

  10. frjohnk says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    As an aside, no need to “bring back Kassian” – I’m pretty sure he’s signed for two more years.Unless you mean not dealt?

    Because of his poor year and he is paid too much as a 4th liner, maybe another team sees this and the Oilers cap constraints next year and they offer some value for him.

  11. Dicky94 says:

    One thing I noticed last night was that Karlsson kid seems to fall down easy when there is contact trying to draw penalties. I like his game but needs to take that diving shit out of it.

  12. Jethro Tull says:

    Kris Russell – Officially the only player in the NHL that can box himself out of plays!

    Love it, LT!

    I would love to see what McDavid would do playing against Russell, what with Kris still practicing backwards crossovers during NHL games.

  13. frjohnk says:

    Vegas sure plays with a quick pace and some of their forwards can fly. If not for McDavid, the ice would have been tilted even more in favor of Vegas

  14. smellyglove says:

    Ben:
    Why do I keep hearing that Nurse has four goals in his last two games? Am I missing one?

    25 is just a thrilling skater. Not sure if he’ll keep bringing the offense with any consistency, but if he can reliably put up 30+ points that’s a pretty terrific player, and probably worth Sekera’s deal.

    LT has it wrong. Nurse has four goals in four games (one last night, two the night before, and the first of the quad-scoring run coming against Chicago on Jan 7).

    —–

    Tuned in for the last half of the 3rd period – exciting game! But LT and all — this team is toast. Season’s over. They could go on a 10 game winning streak and would still need to gain five points on the team’s leading in the standings.

  15. OriginalPouzar says:

    frjohnk:
    Last night McDavid was in video game mode and I think the turbo button was stuck on.

    Nurses last two games are what top pairing Dmen do from time to time.

    We had flashes of that with Klefbom last year but other than we have been devoid of a top pairing Dman in the last decade.

    A healthy and confident Klefbom with a stepped up Nurse will do wonders for this team next year.

    Your last sentence is important. A “healthy Klefbom”.

    Oscar hasn’t had a great year (although he has been better lately). Surely a step-back from last year.

    At the same time, he’s had a bad shoulder since before game 1 and I think we can largely attribute his step back to the injury.

    On the assumption of healthy for next year, I think we can expect to see a product closer to the 2016/17 Klefbom and that is a huge thing for this team.

    Oscar’s name does come up in trade discussions because of the leftorium. I understand that but seller beware – that $4.1M contract for the next 6 years (I think) provides extreme value and I’m loathe to get rid of this player unless the return is something we can’t turn down.

    Klefbom and Nurse are the left side core of the future. In no world does it make sense to keep Russell and trade Klefbom at essentially the same salary.

    Sekera (who is great) and Russell are the movable pieces on the left side (again, subject to can’t turn down trade). Yes, I know, NMCs – they are a huge factor and, if they aren’t waived, then I think management needs to “ride it out” and not make a trade of Nurse/Klef unless its forced via return.

  16. OriginalPouzar says:

    Ben:
    Why do I keep hearing that Nurse has four goals in his last two games? Am I missing one?

    25 is just a thrilling skater. Not sure if he’ll keep bringing the offense with any consistency, but if he can reliably put up 30+ points that’s a pretty terrific player, and probably worth Sekera’s deal.

    Yes, I think its wrong – the Maroon goal was wrongly attributed to Nurse for a few minutes.

    I believe he’s got 4 goals in the last 4 games.

  17. Woogie63 says:

    Against the other team’s best players.
    Last year Klefbom had a breakthrough year, playing with Larsson.
    This year Nurse is having a breakthrough year, playing with Larsson.

    This summer Mr. Larsson was given a “A”.

    That Larsson might be a player yet.

  18. frjohnk says:

    OriginalPouzar: Your last sentence is important.A “healthy Klefbom”.

    Oscar hasn’t had a great year (although he has been better lately).Surely a step-back from last year.

    At the same time, he’s had a bad shoulder since before game 1 and I think we can largely attribute his step back to the injury.

    On the assumption of healthy for next year, I think we can expect to see a product closer to the 2016/17 Klefbom and that is a huge thing for this team.

    Oscar’s name does come up in trade discussions because of the leftorium.I understand that but seller beware – that $4.1M contract for the next 6 years (I think) provides extreme value and I’m loathe to get rid of this player unless the return is something we can’t turn down.

    Klefbom and Nurse are the left side core of the future. In no world does it make sense to keep Russell and trade Klefbom at essentially the same salary.

    Sekera (who is great) and Russell are the movable pieces on the left side (again, subject to can’t turn down trade).Yes, I know, NMCs – they are a huge factor and, if they aren’t waived, then I think management needs to “ride it out” and not make a trade of Nurse/Klef unless its forced via return.

    100% agree.

    We dont know the whole injury situation with Klefbom, but the organization should look at doing whatever it needs to do to have him at 100% for next year, even if that means shutting him down for the rest of this year.

  19. Lowetide says:

    Woogie63:
    Against the other team’s best players.
    Last year Klefbom had a breakthrough year, playing with Larsson.
    This year Nurse is having a breakthrough year, playing with Larsson.

    This summer Mr. Larsson was given a “A”.

    That Larsson might be a player yet.

    I’m a big fan of Larsson, he’s a fine player. Playing the ‘Lee Fogolin’ role isn’t sexy but it is very valuable.

  20. frjohnk says:

    Woogie63:
    Against the other team’s best players.
    Last year Klefbom had a breakthrough year, playing with Larsson.
    This year Nurse is having a breakthrough year, playing with Larsson.

    This summer Mr. Larsson was given a “A”.

    That Larsson might be a player yet.

    Just one metric but the eyetest confirms that it doesnt matter who Nurse plays with, he carrys the pairing.

    Nurse CF% With
    Adam Larsson 52.7
    Kris Russell 50.42
    Eric Gryba 63.35
    Matthew Benning 61.07

    Nurse CF% Without
    Adam Larsson 55.03
    Kris Russell 55.88
    Eric Gryba 58.11
    Matthew Benning 52.46

    CF% Without Nurse
    Adam Larsson 49.68
    Kris Russell 48.73
    Eric Gryba 51.7
    Matthew Benning 50.84

  21. marconiuse says:

    OriginalPouzar,

    Interesting, I thought the same thing last night and it was the first thing I thought after reading LT’s comment. Looked to me too that the LV player made a decision not to destroy him and pulled up.

    Nice to see some respect in the league, I thought.

  22. Pouzar says:

    Nurse eh.

  23. digger50 says:

    It really is fortunate that Oscar showed what he could do last year. Otherwise, if we were judging him on this year, it really would look bad.

    I’m seeing him play soft as a marshmallow, no shot, poor clearing if the zone, and having lots of trouble defending. He’s a player, but not having a good season.

  24. JD_Wry says:

    Pouzar,

    His hockey IQ is going to seriously limit his career.

  25. Wild Bill Hunter says:

    Me thinks you have Kassian and Caggiula confused LT.

  26. flyfish1168 says:

    I feel many of our players are playing with some aches and pain. Not that other teams don’t have their own. When you lay as many hits as our players do you too get a jolt to the body. This time off is a welcome off. I really hope the Nuge is OK.

  27. teddyturnbuckle says:

    What’s the status on Nuge?

  28. digger50 says:

    smellyglove: LT has it wrong. Nurse has four goals in four games (one last night, two the night before, and the first of the quad-scoring run coming against Chicago on Jan 7).

    —–

    Tuned in for the last half of the 3rd period – exciting game! But LT and all — this team is toast. Season’s over. They could go on a 10 game winning streak and would still need to gain five points on the team’s leading in the standings.

    I know it a popular catch phrase to say “the season is over” but nothing could be further from the truth. When playoff chances are gone, that’s all that means. No playoffs.

    But if the team plays like “it’s over” they only get worse. Worse as players, as a team, more losing, less development and I could go on. Meanwhile other teams continue to get better, putting the Oil even further behind

    So if our Stanley chances are over, so be it. Still, the team must focus on winning, development , roster, general improvement. And speaking of generals, our general must learn a major lesson and find a better way to evaluate talent and make improvements to this roster without hurting it.

  29. PhrankLee says:

    Lowetide: I’m a big fan of Larsson, he’s a fine player. Playing the ‘Lee Fogolin’ role isn’t sexy but it is very valuable.

    How I love this blog, LT. Not only your accuracy in references like this but above you said of Kass:

    “Zack Kassian is a personal favorite, I’d bring him back, too. When he’s playing the hockey, he is effective.”

    And I absolutely love that adoption by you for it shows how being open-minded can change our opinions of people and players. He is, so far, a great example of how people can change. You are a great example of acceptance and giving people second chances. Thanks, I recall your pronounced disdain for Kass the night PC acquired him. 🙂

  30. Pouzar says:

    JD_Wry:
    Pouzar,

    His hockey IQ is going to seriously limit his career.

    He can skate circles around IQ!

  31. OriginalPouzar says:

    frjohnk: 100% agree.

    We dont know the whole injury situation with Klefbom, but the organization should look at doing whatever it needs to do to have him at 100% for next year, even if that means shutting him down for the rest of this year.

    Oh, yes, if surgery is actually going to be required the he needs to be shut down sooner rather than later in order to ensure he’s 100% for camp (and get some off-season training in).

    With that said, the potential need for surgery is pure speculation.

  32. Pescador says:

    frjohnk:
    Last night McDavid was in video game mode and I think the turbo button was stuck on.

    Nurses last two games are what top pairing Dmen do from time to time.

    We had flashes of that with Klefbom last year but other than we have been devoid of a top pairing Dman in the last decade.

    A healthy and confident Klefbom with a stepped up Nurse will do wonders for this team next year.

    Nurse. Larsson.
    Klefbom. XXX.
    Sekera. Russell/ Benning.

    I love Matty B. but is he a top 4 D?
    I like him a lot more as an injury fill in, type of stop gap
    I’m trying to imagine what would move the dial

  33. digger50 says:

    Thought: Strange how Peter reaches out to Specter when he’s looking to get the word out about how he supports the coach etc. He goes to Spector.

    The next day Spector gets wind that Sleppy has been made available and breaks the news, but he also has to include the little tidbit that it was done via e-mail. This little poke made Chia look cheap and unprofessional. Strange he’s do that right after the GM gives him an exclusive. No?

  34. Jethro Tull says:

    teddyturnbuckle:
    What’s the status on Nuge?

    TMac confident he will be back after break.

  35. OriginalPouzar says:

    teddyturnbuckle:
    What’s the status on Nuge?

    McLellan said “we think he’ll be OK coming out of the break”.

    I’m sure we’ll here nothing over the next 5-6 days – I’m not sure if the coach’s are even allowed to speak to the media during the bye week (players aren’t).

  36. Jethro Tull says:

    JD_Wry:
    Pouzar,

    His love of DQ is going to seriously limit his career.

    Well, Penner had IHOP.

  37. slopitch says:

    First time in a bit Ive had free time to sit and properly watch a game (nerding out as my wife calls it).

    My biggest observation is the the Golden Knights can really skate. And they pressure the puck hard. It seemed the Oilers who are average skaters were exploited. While Nurse and McDavid, our best skaters, thrived. Its interested to see that I think Chai has overplayed the heavy hockey angle on the team and that could be his biggest fault this year – not having enough team speed when the league cracked down on stick infractions. The other area where the Oilers seem to struggle is on the back-end (again). To counter pressure you need to be either to quickly move the puck out of trouble which can include skate it out as Nurse effectively did. Sekera has had issues with the game not slowing down for him since the injury, his quickness isnt the same as last year and his whole game is effected. Im willing to wait on Sekera as his injury is a tough one to recover from. Larsson whose game I like isnt a great puck mover, neither is Russel. They keep giving it to the wingers in bad spots. As for the wingers, thats the biggest area of weakness. So many slow boots. Im gonna include Drai and Letestu in this but add to Strome, JJ, Maroon, Lucic (lordy) and Camalleri there just isnt enough speed to counter speed. DC looked good yesterday and so did Kassian. Both can skate and I dont think thats a coincidence. So in saying that, I dont think the players Ive listed need to all be moved by any means, but I do think 2-3 of them need to be swapped for a faster train. And anyone who plays with McDavid is fine because McDavid is so damn fast that he creates so much space for the wingers. JP is fading now (like LT said) so get him some support (Nuge isnt good enough to carry Lucic and JP right now). I think the team can go from where they are this year to where they were last year by upgrading 2-3 wingers and adding an effective puck mover, doesnt need to be a star but a Demers, Lindell type.

    All in all a good game from the Oilers. Id be happy watching some meaningful games down the stretch. 24-9-3 is all they need 😉 Go oilers!

  38. digger50 says:

    slopitch,

    I agree with your take on the speed.

    However, I want to comment on how you play against speed. If you are up against it, you hit them and slow them down. Playing to the other teams strengths has gone against the Oil. Right now they are a bit heavy, that’s what Tmac has to work with. He can wish they were faster but they are not. So play your strengths and use size, hitting and cycle hockey to your advantage.

    Except McDavid line which you load up on speed.

  39. Oilman99 says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    Darnell Nurse – oh my.

    We all know about his 4 steps forward this year and how much he’s improved – mostly in the defensive zone, positioning and transitioning the puck. Over the last few weeks his offence has spiked. He’s been getting points somewhat consistently through the year but it seems that over the last few weeks, he’s been more of a primary contributor to the offensive production – he’s making more offensive plays.

    I believe he’s up to 12th among d-men in even strength scoring.

    He did see some PP time on the last PP – maybe we’ll see more of than in the 2nd half.

    I think the next step for Darnell is an uptick his breakout pass – don’t get me wrong, he’s got a decent breakout pass but his primary way to transition the puck right now is to skate it up ice but its always better to transport the puck by pass, if possible – that’s going to come next.

    What a beast of a D-man he’s going to be.

    This is going to be an interesting contract this spring/summer.

    A bridge contract is the only way to go,you need to know what you’ve got before handing out the big bucks, eg. Drai contract could have been a big overpay.

  40. Scungilli Slushy says:

    OriginalPouzar: Your last sentence is important.A “healthy Klefbom”.

    Oscar hasn’t had a great year (although he has been better lately).Surely a step-back from last year.

    At the same time, he’s had a bad shoulder since before game 1 and I think we can largely attribute his step back to the injury.

    On the assumption of healthy for next year, I think we can expect to see a product closer to the 2016/17 Klefbom and that is a huge thing for this team.

    Oscar’s name does come up in trade discussions because of the leftorium.I understand that but seller beware – that $4.1M contract for the next 6 years (I think) provides extreme value and I’m loathe to get rid of this player unless the return is something we can’t turn down.

    Klefbom and Nurse are the left side core of the future. In no world does it make sense to keep Russell and trade Klefbom at essentially the same salary.

    Sekera (who is great) and Russell are the movable pieces on the left side (again, subject to can’t turn down trade).Yes, I know, NMCs – they are a huge factor and, if they aren’t waived, then I think management needs to “ride it out” and not make a trade of Nurse/Klef unless its forced via return.

    I agree. Trading Klefbom or Nurse to keep Sekera or Russell is the type of decision that caused the DoD. They are allowed to have 4 good young D I hope they know that.

    One more season, Russell on third pair, not the end of the world, then trade.

  41. OilClog says:

    There’s no chance they bridge deal Nurse

  42. OilClog says:

    Drai and Klef are going to Phoenix so get use to Russell and Sekera

  43. LMHF#1 says:

    digger50:
    slopitch,

    I agree with your take on the speed.

    However, I want to comment on how you play against speed. If you are up against it, you hit them and slow them down. Playing to the other teams strengths has gone against the Oil. Right now they are a bit heavy, that’s what Tmac has to work with. He can wish they were faster but they are not. So play your strengths and use size, hitting and cycle hockey to your advantage.

    Except McDavid line which you load up on speed.

    Slow can’t hit speed.

    Positioning is how you beat speed. A smart, well executed position-based system and the type of players that can ex cute that.

    Unfortunately for the Oilers, they are deploying chasers, both for a coach and a number of the players. Russell being the most obvious example.

  44. Oilman99 says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    By my eye Sekera is starting to look a little better but Russell is struggling more than he ever has as an Oiler.

    On one shift, he failed to clear the puck 4 times (once he did clear but it was an off-the glass and out and it was back in the zone in 2 seconds) and then iced the puck.

    If we didn’t have the bye week coming up, I would think he would apt for the press box in favor of Davidson (or Auvitu) next game.

    There is way less chaos in Davidson’s game, don’t understand why he is odd man out so often. He is playing far steadier than Russell and Benning also more physical. Auvitu is not a bonafide alternative.

  45. JimmyV1965 says:

    Russell is the new Benning. His regression since the start of the season is shocking and puzzling. He’s never been fantastic and he’s always had trouble moving the puck forward, but his poor play now is so much worse than ever.

  46. Scungilli Slushy says:

    LMHF#1: Slow can’t hit speed.

    Positioning is how you beat speed. A smart, well executed position-based system and the type of players that can ex cute that.

    Unfortunately for the Oilers, they are deploying chasers, both for a coach and a number of the players. Russell being the most obvious example.

    Clogging the N zone and slot is how you beat speed and rush plays, just like others did to the Oil for years. Let them skate the perimeter.

  47. JimmyV1965 says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    That suicide pass from Maroon to McDavid was indeed scary.

    Was McDavid able to get out of the way or did the Knight player (can’t remember who it was) recognize who it was and made a quick decision not to destroy?

    That was truly scary.

  48. LMHF#1 says:

    JimmyV1965,

    I’m confused as to why this is shocking. He’s never been all that good and is tracking to be 6/7 by seasons end which makes perfect sense based on his track record, ceiling and age. The issue of course is that the GM and Coach have clearly decided he’s “their guy”.

    When a coach chooses someone like that, it’s supposed to be someone like Yogi Berra – not Kris Russell or Liam Reddox.

  49. JimmyV1965 says:

    Pescador: Nurse. Larsson.
    Klefbom. XXX.
    Sekera. Russell/ Benning.

    I love Matty B. but is he a top 4 D?
    I like him a lot more as an injury fill in, type of stop gap
    I’m trying to imagine what would move the dial

    I’ve been hard on Benning all year, but he’s looked a lot better lately. Not sure though if he’s top 4 though. Hopefully.

  50. DBO says:

    Was at game last night as i sit in airport, delayed 5 hours. A few thoughts:
    – awesome arena and great entertainment from tailgate party to the music and the energy. Vegas knows how to have fun.
    – let’s go Oilers followed by “Jujhair Khaira” may have been one of the highlights.
    – way more rhen 6000 oil fans. Easy 60 percent of that arena was oilers fans.
    – oil looked sloppy, slow and wanting to party after. I totally see how Vegas will dominate at home.
    – switch up D pairings. Not working.

  51. JimmyV1965 says:

    digger50:
    Thought: Strange how Peter reaches out to Specter when he’s looking to get the word out about how he supports the coach etc. He goes to Spector.

    The next day Spector gets wind that Sleppy has been made available and breaks the news, but he also has to include the little tidbit that it was done via e-mail. This little poke made Chia look cheap and unprofessional. Strange he’s do that right after the GM gives him an exclusive. No?

    He’s reporting the news. Anything else would be horrific and unprofessional.

  52. leeinvan says:

    In a season that is lost if Klefbom is hurt then rest him, if he needs surgery then get it done now so he has lots of time to heal. Waiting till the end of the season and then telling us he wont be ready for the start of the season seems beyond foolish.
    I say this because its happened plenty of time with this team.
    The farm team has 3-4 left sided d men, if you never bring any of them up then what’s the point of having a farm team.
    If Nurse could be a 45-55 point guy it would really take the pressure off the GM to find such a player. To trade for one of these players is hard on a team because the other team wants a kings ransom.
    Hopefully for the Oiler’s getting Bear and Jones up on the big team works out, two years from now I think both Sekera and Russell are not on this team despite their contracts.

  53. Matticus says:

    digger50:
    slopitch,

    I agree with your take on the speed.

    However, I want to comment on how you play against speed. If you are up against it, you hit them and slow them down. Playing to the other teams strengths has gone against the Oil. Right now they are a bit heavy, that’s what Tmac has to work with. He can wish they were faster but they are not. So play your strengths and use size, hitting and cycle hockey to your advantage.

    Except McDavid line which you load up on speed.

    I think the oilers have the most hits of any team this year, that strategy obviously hasn’t worked this year at all.
    Id like to cut ties with strome and letestu, they dont bring much to the table, both are super slow.

  54. JimmyV1965 says:

    Scungilli Slushy: Clogging the N zone and slot is how you beat speed and rush plays, just like others did to the Oil for years. Let them skate the perimeter.

    To be fair, there was a lot of that last night. For the most part, the Oil held them to the perimeter. Again transitioning the puck up the ice was our biggest issue. When our dmen have the puck, players start to move north. When they fail to move it forward, it screws up the defensive structure.

  55. digger50 says:

    JimmyV1965: He’s reporting the news. Anything else would be horrific and unprofessional.

    Not really as simple as that, there are relationships built between favourite media personalities and GMs.

    And in regards to Spector, really? You find that he just reports the news in a professional Monroe? I’m choking on that one.

  56. JimmyV1965 says:

    LMHF#1:
    JimmyV1965,

    I’m confused as to why this is shocking. He’s never been all that good and is tracking to be 6/7 by seasons end which makes perfect sense based on his track record, ceiling and age. The issue of course is that the GM and Coach have clearly decided he’s “their guy”.

    When a coach chooses someone like that, it’s supposed to be someone like Yogi Berra – not Kris Russell or Liam Reddox.

    He was actually one of our better dmen to start the season. A lot of people here don’t like Russell and never have, but for the most part he’s been decent. Right now he’s simply awful.

  57. OriginalPouzar says:

    LMHF#1: Slow can’t hit speed.

    Positioning is how you beat speed. A smart, well executed position-based system and the type of players that can ex cute that.

    Unfortunately for the Oilers, they are deploying chasers, both for a coach and a number of the players. Russell being the most obvious example.

    The Oilers have some bigger guys that can skate in Kassian and Khaira.

  58. digger50 says:

    Matticus: I think the oilers have the most hits of any team this year, that strategy obviously hasn’tworked this year at all.
    Id like to cut ties with strome and letestu, they dont bring much to the table, both are super slow.

    Hold on a minute. There have been so many reasons for losses this year.

    The point here is that there will always be someone faster, bigger, more skilled. The point is instead of chasing, play a tactic to counter.

    Three points were brought up. Hitting. Positioning. Clog up neutral zone. It worked against the Oilers in the past, it could work for them now. To me it’s about knowing your strengths and deploying them. I feel Tmac just sticks to “his” system and it’s that or the highway.

    Then when you are able, get bigger, faster, more skilled …etc

    Edit: Letestu has done well for the Oilers, Strome getting better but yes would love to upgrade to some speed.

  59. OriginalPouzar says:

    JimmyV1965: I’ve been hard on Benning all year, but he’s looked a lot better lately. Not sure though if he’s top 4 though. Hopefully.

    Benning struggled mightily earlier in the year and, I agree, he has looked better recently – still not as calm as the first half of last year though.

    As far as him being a top 4, lets not forget that, while a little older due to coming out of college, he’s still only in his second professional season. He’s not a young developing prospect but he’s not a finished product at the NHL level.

    While not a sure thing, I do think he has the potential to be a solid 2RD – we did see it for a few months at the beginning of last year (well, solid but with 3RD minutes).

  60. OriginalPouzar says:

    leeinvan:
    In a season that is lost if Klefbom is hurt then rest him, if he needs surgery then get it done now so he has lots of time to heal. Waiting till the end of the season and then telling us he wont be ready for the start of the season seems beyond foolish.
    I say this because its happened plenty of time with this team.
    The farm team has 3-4 left sided d men, if you never bring any of them up then what’s the point of having a farm team.
    If Nurse could be a 45-55 point guy it would really take the pressure off the GM to find such a player. To trade for one of these players is hard on a team because the other team wants a kings ransom.
    Hopefully for the Oiler’s getting Bear and Jones up on the big team works out, two years from now I think both Sekera and Russell are not on this team despite their contracts.

    I agree with respect to Oscar (and I would think that most Oiler fans would).

    With that said, to think/say he will need surgery and months of recovery time is pure speculation – all we know is that its his shoulder that is hurting him and that its got a bit better with 10d of rest and a shot over the break.

    If he does need surgery and he isn’t shut down in time to be ready for the start of camp, that’s egregious but is just pure speculation at this point.

  61. JimmyV1965 says:

    digger50: Not really as simple as that, there are relationships built between favourite media personalities and GMs.

    And in regards to Spector, really? You find that he just reports the news in a professional Monroe? I’m choking on that one.

    Thanks. I was in the biz for 15 years and worked with A LOT of incompetent people. I never met one reporter who would deliberately withhold info, unless they thought it was inconsequential. In this case I think you could argue that it was inconsequential. But no one would ever make such a decision to protect the image of the person they were reporting on. I think LT could back this up. Unless it’s different in the sports department.

  62. Jethro Tull says:

    JimmyV1965: He’s reporting the news. Anything else would be horrific and unprofessional.

    What are two words associated with Mark Spector, Alex.

  63. JimmyV1965 says:

    JimmyV1965,

    JimmyV1965: Thanks. I was in the biz for 15 years and worked with A LOT of incompetent people. I never met one reporter who would deliberately withhold info, unless they thought it was inconsequential. In this case I think you could argue that it was inconsequential. But no one would ever make such a decision to protect the image of the person they were reporting on. I think LT could back this up. Unless it’s different in the sports department.

    Sorry. I should add to this. A reporter might hold back important info that has no bearing on the story. Something like a guy going through divorce. Personal stuff

  64. JimmyV1965 says:

    Jethro Tull: What are two words associated with Mark Spector, Alex.

    Just because you don’t like him or like his opinions does not make him unprofessional. I don’t like that he blocks everyone on twitter. Doesn’t make him unprofessional.

  65. Matticus says:

    digger50
    Agreed,Tmac is very stubborn and doesn’t seem willing or able to adapt to the way the game is evolving, like never changing up his first PP unit or trying a different formation.
    But clogging up the neutral zone! or playing the trap? that is not oilers hockey and is super boring to watch, if anything the need to be more aggressive and not sit back and clog the neutral zone.

  66. Jethro Tull says:

    JimmyV1965: Just because you don’t like him or like his opinions does not make him unprofessional. I don’t like that he blocks everyone on twitter. Doesn’t make him unprofessional.

    How do you know that’s not why I don’t like him? Eh? And he has proven many times his unprofesionalism with ad hominem attacks on players HE doesn’t like, then reneged on those attacks.

  67. jtblack says:

    I know the game has changed, but Kassian stepping up for RNH matters.
    Love me some Zack.

    was 1 of the 6,000 Oilers fans in the crowd. Takeaways:

    1) Cammelleri is a super smart player. We need more of him, but younger
    2) McDavid stripped a VGS player at least 1/2 dozens times .. he is Pavel Datsyuk 2.0
    3) Lucic is very slow
    4) Russell’s whole game revolves around blocking shots. When he does he is applauded by announcers / fans. When he doesn’t he is -1 … not good to the eye test
    5) Thisnis not the DoD …This team is a few tweaks away from Contender

  68. Side says:

    JimmyV1965: Just because you don’t like him or like his opinions does not make him unprofessional. I don’t like that he blocks everyone on twitter. Doesn’t make him unprofessional.

    http://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/nhl/adam-larssons-oilers-prevail-game-taylor-halls-never/

    Seems kinda unprofessional to me.

    Unless a sports analyst/writer/whatever Spector calls himself is supposed to rip on former Oiler players who were traded to another team against their will.

  69. Lowetide says:

    Re: Mark Spector. I don’t think the email line in the story is an insult, suspect he was describing exactly what went down. I’ve seen that line on lots of NHL stories and in other sports. Spector gets stories because he digs for them, part of that is relationships, with Chiarelli, Nicholson, et cetera. I don’t think anyone can blame him for that, it’s an extremely competitive business.

    One more thing: It always amazes me what people assume. Example: The story of Chiarelli sending an email to the other 30 general managers may NOT have had its genesis in Edmonton. Good reporters like Spector or Rishaug dig hard in all areas and have contacts across the universe.

  70. PokeCheck says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    That suicide pass from Maroon to McDavid was indeed scary.

    Was McDavid able to get out of the way or did the Knight player (can’t remember who it was) recognize who it was and made a quick decision not to destroy?

    I believe that it was Karlsson, and he definitely checked up to avoid destroying McDavid.

  71. VOR says:

    Thinking about the Draft 7 – Things we don’t know

    While I wait on multiple different contracts I am going to dry to finish these posts

    1. We don’t know why every year (there are two exceptions I will discuss in a bit) there are serious misses in the top 15 of the first round. The average miss rate – defined as below average number of career games – is 19%. These should be slam dunk picks driven by consensus. Yet, it doesn’t work out that way. So why not?

    Maybe teams are ignoring the rankings and consensus. This is a good guess. It is even true from time to time (it explains 2 of the 19%). An interesting aside. Over more than 3 decades of draft history teams that make first round reach picks are right 48% of the time and wrong 52% of the time.
    When they are right they are often spectacularly right and when they are wrong they are often catastrophically wrong.

    But mostly teams follow the rankings, and the consensus of the rankings. And those rankings end up being wrong.

    We can’t be sure but based on the players pre-draft on ice performance these rankings seem sound. What goes wrong?

    Injury of course chews players up and spits them out. Almost half of the misses are injury plain and simple. There is emerging research that shows certain personality types are injury prone and one assumes teams will integrate this research into their psychological profiling of players. Sadly, some of the most useful/predictive traits for a junior player to have – consistently goes to hard areas, goes to the aid of teammates orrelates with injury prone behaviours.

    Then there are the secondary consequences of injury. This brings us to 1979 draft. The only draft without at least a near miss in the top 15 of the draft. In 1993 there are several near misses in the top 15 and number 16 is a true miss. But in 1979 the top 15 of the draft are all players. The closest to a bust is #10 Tom MaCarthy.

    McCarthy is one of two players taken before Wayne Gretzky in the midget draft. He had a great junior career. He definitely deserves his #10 ranking. And MaCarthy turned out to be able to play NHL hockey when he was healthy.

    MaCarthy may be the player with the longest list of injuries in NHL history. It includes a serious concussion cause by Tiger Williams punching him in the face.

    Somewhere along the way MaCarthy began self medicating. He became an alcoholic and a heavy pot user. That more than his injuries cost him his career.

    A few years out of hockey it cost him his freedom. He was caught smuggling marijuana. He spent some of his five years in Leavenworth. Where he started a hockey league.

    He went on and rebuilt his life.

    Teams are better with substance abuse programs now but it still explains some of the misses.

    Then there are those players who just never wanted an NHL career. You would think these players would be easy to spot, but apparently this is not the case.

    In order misses are caused by with rounded percentages:

    -injury (50%)
    -unknown causes (15%)though I’d argue their talent didn’t translate to an NHL game makes up most of it
    -substance abuse (12%)
    -lack of interest in career (12%)
    -reach picks
    (11%)

    I would argue it is possible for NHL teams to address most of these issues pre-draft.

  72. 106 and 106 says:

    Should the team park themselves at the Red Deer Lodge for all home games? Weird. Real weird.

    Blogging quote of the year, give this man the award.

  73. JimmyV1965 says:

    Jethro Tull: How do you know that’s not why I don’t like him? Eh? And he has proven many times his unprofesionalism with ad hominem attacks on players HE doesn’t like, then reneged on those attacks.

    You’re right. I don’t know if you like him or not. I certainly get an impression from your tone though. And you’re allowed to not like him. It goes with the territory for guys like Spec.

    But there is a massive difference between having an opinion and deliberately withholding information. An ad hominem attack is simply an opinion on someone’s character or motive, rightly or wrongly. And those are allowed, as long as it relates to the game. Posters on this site do it all the time. In fact, you might be doing it by calling him unprofessional.

  74. OmJo says:

    frjohnk: Just one metric but the eyetest confirms that it doesnt matter who Nurse plays with, he carrys the pairing.

    Nurse CF% With
    Adam Larsson52.7
    Kris Russell50.42
    Eric Gryba63.35
    Matthew Benning61.07

    Nurse CF% Without
    Adam Larsson55.03
    Kris Russell55.88
    Eric Gryba58.11
    Matthew Benning52.46

    CF% Without Nurse
    Adam Larsson49.68
    Kris Russell48.73
    Eric Gryba51.7
    Matthew Benning50.84

    Nurse is the new Sekera?

  75. JimmyV1965 says:

    Side: http://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/nhl/adam-larssons-oilers-prevail-game-taylor-halls-never/

    Seems kinda unprofessional to me.

    Unless a sports analyst/writer/whatever Spector calls himself is supposed to rip on former Oiler players who were traded to another team against their will.

    Side: http://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/nhl/adam-larssons-oilers-prevail-game-taylor-halls-never/

    Seems kinda unprofessional to me.

    Unless a sports analyst/writer/whatever Spector calls himself is supposed to rip on former Oiler players who were traded to another team against their will.

    Absolutely none of that is unprofessional. It’s simply an opinion many of us disagree with.

  76. VOR says:

    Thinking About the Draft 7 – Things We don’t know

    2. We don’t know why we keep missing first round talent in the first round. There isn’t a single draft to date without a top ten player taken in the second round or later. Often more than 1 and a lot later than the first round. Why does this keep happening.

    First, because defenceman or damn hard to project. However, this only explains about 40% of missed stars.

    35% are missed scorers. Size is a factor certainly. But it isn’t a 1 to 1 fit, big scorers get missed from time to time.

    Then 25% is missed two way 200 foot players. It is possible to speculate that these players are missed because they sacrifice offence for defence in junior – or for that matter they sacrifice defence for offence in junior but add defence as they mature. Both appear to be true.

    The rules of thumb would be draft a number of D each year and hope to get lucky. Don’t consider size when looking for offence. Don’t forget some players in junior are already 200 savants but most are cheating one way or the other.

  77. Jethro Tull says:

    JimmyV1965:
    Absolutely none of that is unprofessional. It’s simply an opinion many of us disagree with.

    Q: Who has the more playoff goals in an Oilers uniform?

    A: You have to be in the playoffs to score a goal.

    This right here tells you all you need to know about Mark Spector and how he sees the game of hockey and his professionalism.

  78. OriginalPouzar says:

    jtblack:
    I know the game has changed, but Kassian stepping up for RNH matters.
    Love me some Zack.

    was 1 of the 6,000 Oilers fans in the crowd.Takeaways:

    1) Cammelleri is a super smart player. We need more of him, but younger
    2) McDavid stripped a VGS player at least 1/2 dozens times .. he is Pavel Datsyuk 2.0
    3) Lucic is very slow
    4) Russell’s whole game revolves around blocking shots.When he does he is applauded by announcers / fans.When he doesn’t he is -1 … not good to the eye test
    5) Thisnis not the DoD …This team is a few tweaks away from Contender

    1) Agreed and I was discussing this with one of my partners last week (a flames fan that knows Cammy well) – he just does the little smart things – like shooting the puck low off the goalies pads on a 2 on 2 for a rebound, little delays here and there, the fake-dump in shot to then skate the puck in the zone, etc.

    4) This be true – on the sequence where he failed to clear the puck out 4X and then iced it – before he iced it, he blocked a shot and was receiving praise from Quinn (not Louie who probably knows better).

    5) I agree – if Talbot regains form at the start of next season (i.e between this year’s play and last year) along with a stable veteran backup on board (Montoya) – that will fix alot right there.

  79. npanciroli says:

    Need to somehow magically turn Russell into a 2RHD blackmail or trick some NHL GM.

    Nurse Larsson
    Klefbom RHD
    Sekera Benning.

    One can dream.

  80. Jethro Tull says:

    npanciroli,

    RHD = Ryan Hugent-Dopkins?☺

  81. JimmyV1965 says:

    Jethro Tull: Q: Who has the more playoff goals in an Oilers uniform?

    A: You have to be in the playoffs to score a goal.

    This right here tells you all you need to know about Mark Spector and how he sees the game of hockey and his professionalism.

    This will be my last post on the matter because clearly anything I say won’t change your mind. You can successfully argue that this is an ad hominem attack. It’s not nice, I don’t like it, but it is not unprofessional. Ad hominem attacks may be ugly and they may be wrong, but it is allowed when writing an opinion piece. And virtually all sports is opinion writing. Not all, but most.

    The ad hominem attacks that used to drive me up the wall were the ones accusing Jordan Eberle of being lazy. On it’s very face, any rationale human being should realize that to make it in the NHL you cannot be lazy. But Ebs was accused of this all the time. Not only by commenters on hockey blogs, but by professional reporters. And although people saying it were very misinformed, it’s not unprofessional. It’s just a crappy thing to say.

  82. geowal says:

    Nice in depth view of the Bakersfield org, for those who don’t travel to the Oiler website often:

    https://www.nhl.com/oilers/indepth/condorstown

  83. OriginalPouzar says:

    Graham McPhee with a couple goals (so far) for Boston College – one a shortie.

  84. Confused says:

    I think lots of people are spot on with the speed issue.

    But if you are struggling with speed you need to play zonal defense.

    Yet, Todd can only p!ay man-to-man where speed is at a premium.

  85. OriginalPouzar says:

    Samorukov with a PP assist so far.

    Our newest 2nd round pick’s offensive is spiking the last month and he’s keeping the momentum from a strong WJHC going.

  86. Jethro Tull says:

    npanciroli:
    Need to somehow magically turn Russell into a 2RHD blackmail or trick some NHL GM.

    Nurse Larsson
    Klefbom RHD
    Sekera Benning.

    One can dream.

    Sekera can play 2RHD, allowing a space for, gasp, an internal developing D!

  87. hunter1909 says:

    Hunter1909’s EMERGENCY DEATH MARCH™ http://www.oilersdeathmarch.com is back with a brand new Contest! Prizes! It’s easy!

  88. Cassandra says:

    JimmyV1965:
    Absolutely none of that is unprofessional. It’s simply an opinion many of us disagree with.

    Hiding character assassination behind an opinion is not simply unprofessional, it is parasitical.

    Spector has neither intelligence nor integrity.

  89. russ99 says:

    jtblack:
    I know the game has changed, but Kassian stepping up for RNH matters.
    Love me some Zack.

    was 1 of the 6,000 Oilers fans in the crowd.Takeaways:

    1) Cammelleri is a super smart player. We need more of him, but younger
    2) McDavid stripped a VGS player at least 1/2 dozens times .. he is Pavel Datsyuk 2.0
    3) Lucic is very slow
    4) Russell’s whole game revolves around blocking shots.When he does he is applauded by announcers / fans.When he doesn’t he is -1 … not good to the eye test
    5) Thisnis not the DoD …This team is a few tweaks away from Contender

    4. Not just blocking shots, skating and coverage as well, and he has some offensive chops. Still leading the D in scoring.

    You guys are so in love with your Corsi/Oilers Hockey narrative of stopping players at the blueline and the cure of our all ails is fast breakout passes to spring the rush, you’re failing to realize forwards blowing coverage, cherrypicking/leaving early on the rush, and not getting in good positions to receive passes. You also didn’t notice the Nashville game where our D held the puck and pitched it in behind the trap to spring our offense.

    Besides, if you watched the Phoenix and Nashville games, Russell made a number of good passes in the neutral zone as well.

    So passing acumen isn’t the issue, it’s the team’s breakout systems or lack of them. Every one of our defensemen rings the puck around to a winger and holds the puck behind the net but Russell gets called out for it.

  90. OilClog says:

    OEL/Lars
    Nurse/Benning
    Sekera/Russell

  91. Jethro Tull says:

    JimmyV1965,

    OK, my last post on this too. WE, as in commenters on blogs, guys around the pub table, fans at the game are not paid to have an opinion about hockey or players. We are not professional sports journalists. It doesn’t mean that we know any less about the subject matter than said journalists. But we are not paid to professionally present our opinions for the perusal of the unwashed masses. To take an unbiased view of how they see situations and allow the reader to make up their mind based on the facts and arguments presented.

    Spector is. Dreger is. Rishaug is. McKenzie is. Friedman is. 2 of these are not like the others. They others have a reputation for intellectual integrity. But let’s concentrate on one of the remaining two; Spector.

    When someone suggests that a player must be individually inferior for not reaching a team based target, they need to be looked at long and hard before accepting their ‘opinions’. When someone suggests that a player is ‘mentally weak’ for a mistake which has been made countless times by many players, they’re opinion obvioulsy lacks credibility.

    And when these are presented months after those players have left the organisation, well, I put it to you that the journalist in question is not professional and is motivated by other reasons than reporting with integrity.

    It’s shock jock vs. Larry King. The Sun vs. The Telegraph. McKenzie vs………

  92. DBO says:

    Klefbom. Larsson
    Nurse. Russell (worked earlier, and let’s balances top 2 pairings as much as able with the options)
    Sekera. Benning (sheltered a bit, allows Sekers to get up to speed)
    That is still our best current lineup. The sacrifice lamb may be Klef based on contract and lack of no move. The Russell contract is a real killer.

  93. Decidedly Skeptical Fan says:

    Any news on Sleppy yet? Can anyone confirm he flew home with the team?

    Maybe all the trade offers Peter is getting are intentionally being routed to his spam folder? Hope so.

  94. Wilde says:

    I decided to play around with NST’s Line Tool today to check out if 97+29 is at least a driver of results, in spite of its clear developmental harm in a lost season.

    98+97 203 min

    56.3% CF
    57.9% FF
    60.4% SCF
    64.7% HDCF
    64.7% GF

    97+29 297 min

    56.2% CF
    57.1% FF
    55.8% SCF
    57.6% HDCF
    66.7% GF

    So we’ve got basically the same results in shot shares, with stronger scoring chance numbers for 97+98, but HDCF isn’t great for repeatability.

    Is the 3% difference between goal shares enough to not run a 3rd unit that looks like this:

    29+18+16

    52.4% CF
    54.9% FF
    56.0% SCF
    53.6% HDCF
    55.6% GF

    And more importantly, to break up a line that looks like this:

    98+93+27

    48.2% CF
    45.5% FF
    43.3% SCF
    32.0% HDCF (jesus)
    50.0% GF

    Absolute no-brainer for me. This matches my eye too.

    So not only is it poorer for the development of 98 to run 29+97, but it’s also poor for evaluating the wingers, and on top of that gives us a poorer chance of winning the TOI of multiple units.

  95. Wilde says:

    russ99,

    I think Russell can, and has had, success on this team.

    I’d have him on my team as a third pairing guy long term, left side if he was 25 because he’s kind of like a highlight reel defensive player. Fun player to watch. He’s better than all but 3, recently 2 of our d men in offensive zone instincts.

    His pairing with Sekera this year is not working and they should break up.

    I also think it’s a defensible position to think Russell runs his plays in the D zone around trying to block a shot, stick or body.

    And he is absolutely not a positive impact breakout player, partly because he’s playing his off side, partly because the system has forwards either come all the way back to wind up for a carry-through or not come back at all, and partly because it’s just not one of his strong suits.

    A lot of the reason why you get the idea his forwards abandon him is because he very very rarely makes an exit pass during the first few seconds he has the puck under his control, while his forwards are still skating.

    He’s more likely to reset, or wait too long, or pass it to his partner who now has to deal with a defending team who has set up in the NZ and forwards who have run out of ice.

  96. Jethro Tull says:

    OilClog:
    OEL/Lars
    Nurse/Benning
    Sekera/Russell

    Like it. Mine is

    Lars left/ Lars right
    Nurse / Seksy
    Development/Benning/Davo

  97. flyfish1168 says:

    DBO:
    Klefbom. Larsson
    Nurse. Russell (worked earlier, and let’s balances top 2 pairings as much as able with the options)
    Sekera. Benning (sheltered a bit, allows Sekers to get up to speed)
    That is still our best current lineup. The sacrifice lamb may be Klef basedon contract and lack of no move. The Russell contract is a real killer.

    PC Killers are the Lucic and Russell contracts for sure. Trading Klef and not trying to get out of Russell’s contract 1st is a nail in PC coffin. PC just sucks at CAP control, contracts & negotiating. JMHO

  98. OriginalPouzar says:

    I only trade Klefbom if its in a deal where we get a true upgrade – the name of the day is OEL even though he’s not the ideal target (clearly an upgrade as he’s elite but he shoots left, he’s one year to UFA and will be expensive).

    I am not in favor of trading Klefbom with anything less than a “can’t turn down deal”. Assuming health next season, I expect him to play more like the 2016/17 Klefbom than this year’s Klefbom.

    He is part of the left side core along with Nurse and I can’t fathom being “forced” to trade him for either leftie/rightie balance or cap space when the leftie Russell has essentially the same cap hit.

    If that is the reason for a Klef trade and its not a “can’t say no trade”, I don’t make it and I wait out the Russell contract (or buy it out given its buyout structure).

  99. flyfish1168 says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    I only trade Klefbom if its in a deal where we get a true upgrade – the name of the day is OEL even though he’s not the ideal target (clearly an upgrade as he’s elite but he shoots left, he’s one year to UFA and will be expensive).

    I am not in favor of trading Klefbom with anything less than a “can’t turn down deal”.Assuming health next season, I expect him to play more like the 2016/17 Klefbom than this year’s Klefbom.

    He is part of the left side core along with Nurse and I can’t fathom being “forced” to trade him for either leftie/rightie balance or cap space when the leftie Russell has essentially the same cap hit.

    If that is the reason for a Klef trade and its not a “can’t say no trade”, I don’t make it and I wait out the Russell contract (or buy it out given its buyout structure).

    I agree with you for once

    +1

  100. Wilde says:

    RE: OEL

    I’d expend assets on two wingers and a 4th line centre before I touched this defense.

    This team needs a Ron Hainsey esque low money deal to plug a hole, if you want OEL or an impact righty you draft him in the top 10 this year.

    Todd will never play his 4th unit much, but we need someone to actually win that 8 minutes/night ES, and penalty kill well. Letestu has done neither this year.

  101. OriginalPouzar says:

    4th line center = Jujhar Khaira

  102. leadfarmer says:

    I like OEL, but upgrading the Leftorium is very far down the to do list. We would need to flip a leftorium member and likely 2 members of the leftorium and that is no way Chia doesn’t screw things up.

  103. OilClog says:

    Wilde:
    RE: OEL

    I’d expend assets on two wingers and a 4th line centre before I touched this defense.

    This team needs a Ron Hainsey esque low money deal to plug a hole, if you want OEL or an impact righty you draft him in the top 10 this year.

    Todd will never play his 4th unit much, but we need someone to actually win that 8 minutes/night ES, and penalty kill well. Letestu has done neither this year.

    This is ridiculous

    OEL is an impact player, it’s not upgrading the leftorium, it’s upgrading absolutely fucking everything, every aspect of this hockey team changes adding a player like OEL.

    It’s the end of pissing away Mcdavid in the wind.

    Wingers and 4th line C can be upgraded whenever you want, seriously.

    Hey fuck adding a true #1 defender in OEL we have wingers and a 4th line C to worry about! Madness! OEL is in the market! you have the best damn player in the league on your team and not one defender in OEL’s universe. You go fucking get him and replace coaches and management until you find some smucks that can fill in the plugs!

    So yes my pairings are

    OEL/Lars
    Nurse/Sekera, or Benning.. preferably Davidson lol
    Sekera/Russell because he’s who he is, preferable Davidson.

    OEL is available to use, all the Oilers have to do is go get him.

    Nurse is looking great and could turn out to be a #1, it’d sure be sweet to shelter him until he’s outplayed a true #1 like OEL.

    #freeOEL

  104. OilClog says:

    And bring back Hemsky!

  105. OriginalPouzar says:

    Right now is a tough time for the Yotes to consummate an OEL trade.

    He’s got one more year until he’s a UFA. It would be a risk for any team to provide full value to acquire OEL right now – he could spend a year and a few months and then leave in free agency. A new contract cannot be signed until July and I don’t see any deal happening until then.

    OEL is an elite d-man and, of course, if available the Oilers need to be in the conversation. With that said, he is not the ideal target due to (a) being a leftie, (b) age (he’s not old but I’d prefer a player in the 23-24 age range) and (c) he’s going to be very expensive on his next contract (apx $8M).

    Given he could just bolt in a year and a few months, would Oiler fans take the risk of trading Klefbom, our first round pick (potentially lottery protected – even so, the top 10 this year has extreme talent) and Bear or Yamamoto or Samorukov?

    Lets not forget, long term OEL is going to cost about double what Klef costs.

  106. Jethro Tull says:

    OilClog:
    And bring back Hemsky!

    First off the ice, lol!

  107. Jethro Tull says:

    On OEL. Get good players. Get better ones.

    He’ll cost twice Klef, but then, you know, he’s better.

    It’s rare for teams to actually name their price publicly. I wouldn’t be surprised if there was a minor trade for negotiating rights, a la Nikitin.

    These players hardly ever become available. Go get him. I think the Dogs are pining for a Hanzal type. Drai is a better Hanzal.

  108. Oilspill says:

    Benning unfortunately is a wreck. He is shit scared to get hit. Concussion issues from college and first few years pro have kept his game from growing. Just watch him on a hard forechck. He bails everytime and more times than not he rims it.
    I’d rather see Davidson in there and use a 4th forward on the PP.

  109. OmJo says:

    Nugent, 2017 1st, Larsson for Karlsson.
    Klefbom, Puljujarvi, 2018 1st for Ekman-Larsson.

    Ekman-Larsson – Karlsson
    Whoever-whoever
    Whoever-whoever

    Ladies and gentlemen, your 2019-2026 Stanley Cup Champions.

    Disclaimer: I know this will never, ever happen. Nor could it ever happen.

  110. Pescador says:

    Oilspill:
    Russell unfortunately is a wreck. Just watch him on a hard forechck. He bails everytime and more times than not he rims it.
    I’d rather see Davidson in there and use a 4th forward on the PP.

    Everyone needs a little help sometimes

  111. Wilde says:

    OilClog: This is ridiculous

    OEL is an impact player, it’s not upgrading the leftorium, it’s upgrading absolutely fucking everything, every aspect of this hockey team changes adding a player like OEL.

    It’s the end of pissing away Mcdavid in the wind.

    Wingers and 4th line C can be upgraded whenever you want, seriously.

    Hey fuck adding a true #1 defender in OEL we have wingers and a 4th line C to worry about! Madness! OEL is in the market! you have the best damn player in the league on your team and not one defender in OEL’s universe. You go fucking get him and replace coaches and management until you find some smucks that can fill in the plugs!

    So yes my pairings are

    OEL/Lars
    Nurse/Sekera, or Benning.. preferably Davidson lol
    Sekera/Russell because he’s who he is, preferable Davidson.

    OEL is available to use, all the Oilers have to do is go get him.

    Nurse is looking great and could turn out to be a #1, it’d sure be sweet to shelter him until he’s outplayed a true #1 like OEL.

    #freeOEL

    You want a defense that costs 30 million on a team with 33 million on 4 forwards?

    The ENTIRE REASON I’m saying that I’d expend assets on those lesser issues is BECAUSE it’s easier and costs less, not because I think a better 4th line centre is more valuable than OEL, fuckin’ christ.

    Ignoring the rest of your vitriol, here’s the logic.

    OEL wins his TOI of 24 mins a night.

    Mcdavid already wins his 20 mins without a 9M defenseman.

    Leon wins his 16 mins at centre when he has decent wingers.

    Nuge wins his 17 mins at centre when he has decent wingers.

    Letestu loses his 7 mins against low comp because he’s bad.

    We’re decent wingers and a 4th line centre who can win ES minutes against other 4th lines away from winning 60 minutes.

    Which costs less:

    Trading and paying for OEL or
    Trading and paying for wingers and a 4th liner

    Which do you trust Chiarelli more to do:

    Another big trade or
    Acquiring depth players

  112. Jethro Tull says:

    OEL/Larsson
    Klefbom/Karlsson
    Lagesson/Dahlin

    Then no more Swedes. We’re full.

  113. Professor Q says:

    Jethro Tull:
    OEL/LarssonKlefbom/KarlssonLagesson/Dahlin

    Then no more Swedes. We’re full.

    Dahlin is a LHD.

  114. Jethro Tull says:

    Wilde,

    You have us winning 54 mins a game. That’s good, non?

  115. Professor Q says:

    OmJo:
    Nugent, 2017 1st, Larsson for Karlsson.
    Klefbom, Puljujarvi, 2018 1st for Ekman-Larsson.

    Ekman-Larsson – Karlsson
    Whoever-whoever
    Whoever-whoever

    Ladies and gentlemen, your 2019-2026 Stanley Cup Champions.

    Disclaimer: I know this will never, ever happen. Nor could it ever happen.

    And with absolutely no wingers or prospects, they’ll go nowhere.

  116. Jethro Tull says:

    Professor Q: Dahlin is a LHD.

    Shit, yeah. I forgot. Fudge that guy then. I heard he’s not that good anyways. Better off getting a pylon because he’s right handed.

  117. Decidedly Skeptical Fan says:

    Wilde: You want a defense that costs 30 million on a team with 33 million on 4 forwards?

    The ENTIRE REASON I’m saying that I’d expend assets on those lesser issues is BECAUSE it’s easier and costs less, not because I think a better 4th line centre is more valuable than OEL, fuckin’ christ.

    Ignoring the rest of your vitriol, here’s the logic.

    OEL wins his TOI of 24 mins a night.

    Mcdavid already wins his 20 mins without a 9M defenseman.

    Leon wins his 16 mins at centre when he has decent wingers.

    Nuge wins his 17 mins at centre when he has decent wingers.

    Letestu loses his 7 mins against low comp because he’s bad.

    We’re decent wingers and a 4th line centre who can win ES minutes against other 4th lines away from winning 60 minutes.

    Which costs less:

    Trading and paying for OEL or
    Trading and paying for wingers and a 4th liner

    Which do you trust Chiarelli more to do:

    Another big trade or
    Acquiring depth players

    Uhm, I dunno. This is really really hard. I hate it when you do these multiple choice thingies.

    Maybe I should ask Woodguy.

    Oh fuckit … I’m going to go with “Acquiring depth players”.

    Is that the right answer?

  118. Jethro Tull says:

    Professor Q: And with absolutely no wingers or prospects, they’ll go nowhere.

    As opposed to where we’re going now and all the prospects in the system.

    If you can’t develop ’em, trade them. If we had a decent development system, then those p8cka are valuable. Seeing as we suck at it, migjt as well get something for.the picks.

  119. Professor Q says:

    Jethro Tull: Shit, yeah. I forgot. Fudge that guy then. I heard he’s not that good anyways. Better off getting a pylon because he’s right handed.

    Well, no. Just that he’d likely be in the LHD spot over Lagesson, with some other RHD like Bear or Berglund.

  120. Professor Q says:

    Jethro Tull: As opposed to where we’re going now and all the prospects in the system.

    If you can’t develop ’em, trade them. If we had a decent development system, then those p8cka are valuable. Seeing as we suck at it, migjt as well get something for.the picks.

    Puljujärvi is just a pick to you?

    I’d rather see him develop with McDavid than trade him and many other fine F & D for just Karlsson and OEL. It’d surely be the best top pairing in the league (and yes, who wouldn’t want to see them with McDavid?) but we’re already thin on the wings as it is, and we need to be getting cheaper.

    Klefbom is on a good, cheap deal thus far. So is Larsson. It’d likely solidify Draisaitl on McDavid’s wing for a few years until Benson and Yamamoto come around, *if* they’re to be McDavid’s wingers (where I see Puljujärvi belonging, more mysterious about the LW) and not Draisaitl’s (where I’d like Yamamoto and Benson being for a while).

    The 1st Round picks will likely be valuable, though.

  121. Wilde says:

    Jethro Tull:
    Wilde,

    You have us winning 54 mins a game. That’s good, non?

    No, because there aren’t enough ‘decent wingers’ for both 93 and 29.

    They win the 97 minutes, they lose the 55 minutes, and whoever gets the good wingers wins their minutes out of 29 and 93.

    All three skill lines don’t hum at the same time, usually.

  122. Decidedly Skeptical Fan says:

    Jethro Tull: Shit, yeah. I forgot. Fudge that guy then. I heard he’s not that good anyways. Better off getting a pylon because he’s right handed.

    You’re probably right. Only problem is that Pylon isn’t draft eligible this year. I checked.

  123. Wilde says:

    Jethro Tull:
    Wilde,

    You have us winning 54 mins a game. That’s good, non?

    Also my TOI breakdown should have been ES, but that would have taken some time to look up how much they actually play at evens on average, and that’s not too relevant to the argument because it’s more of just a conceptual one than a hard numbers one.

    We lose the special teams minutes. Hard.

    A better guy playing 55’s role helps the PK, and the power play by forcing Todd to take him off i-hahahaha just kidding McLellan put Strome in his spot last night instead of Puljujarvi.

  124. Jethro Tull says:

    Decidedly Skeptical Fan: You’re probably right.Only problem is that Pylon isn’t draft eligible this year.I checked.

    Dang! I thought Button had him in the top ten!

  125. Jethro Tull says:

    Professor Q: Well, no. Just that he’d likely be in the LHD spot over Lagesson, with some other RHD like Bear or Berglund.

    Berglund is Swedish. He’s in. Willy, you’re cut.

  126. Wilde says:

    Jethro Tull: Dang! I thought Button had him in the top ten!

    Button would only have him in the top ten if the ISS had him at 50th.

  127. Decidedly Skeptical Fan says:

    Wilde: Button would only have him in the top ten if the ISS had him at 50th.

    We can argue the rankings all day, but let me tell you … when that guy sets himself, he’s almost impossible to move.

  128. Decidedly Skeptical Fan says:

    Wilde: Button would only have him in the top ten if the ISS had him at 50th.

    Only real knock on Pylon is slow boots. He could really benefit from a good skating coach and well … some actual skates.

  129. Jethro Tull says:

    Professor Q,

    #1 mistake Oilers fans and even team execs make is falling in love with prospects and projection dreams and aspirations on them rather than critically look at their actual ceiling.

    The narrative is “we can’t trade X, because what if he turns out to be a really good player for team Y in Z years?” It is perpertuated by terms like “higher ceiling”, “good toolkit” and a few games where the prospect did well. It isn’t lack of talent holding a lot of these prospects back; it’s playing well consistently.

    The Oilers system has failed JPs development, even though he’s succeeding, by forcing him to be the defacto 1RW. At 19. Before him, we were playing a rookie there. Any succesa these brilliant young players had is despite the system, not because of it.

    A lot of people hanker aftwr the same trades – bit part, low minutes, low impact players. How much effect does Letestu really have on winning or losing a game? As much as OEL?

    Yes, we could do with decent wingers. But that ship has sailed and Peter has put his chips in and spun the wheel. And for the first time, Chia actually has a chance to make a rrade that undoes some mistakes whilst being the right thing to do. And we’re worried about 4th liners?

  130. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Calgary’s won 7 in a row.

    There’s getting good goaltending from Smith (dammit!), but its the goals for that are driving the bus.

    They’ve always had two good lines with Monahan-Gaudreau scoring and Backlund centering the best checking line in hockey without Bergeron or Couturier on it.

    Now they have a 3rd line that’s scoring and they key has been Jankowski

    They’re riding the PDO pony right now but check out Bennet’s WOWY with Jankowski (all data this year)

    Bennett without Jankowski
    45.4%CF
    0.80 GF/60

    Bennett with Jankowski
    50.9% CF
    2.28 GF/60

    That helps.

    Ferland is having his “Maroon with McDavid” season now too.

    Gaudrea-Monahan w/ Ferland: 3.35 GF/60

    Hamonic seems to have settled in and he and Brodie are putting up around 50% CF now.

    They were +1200 to win the WC today so I hit it.

    Hit DAL too when they were still +1100.

    Both teams have 3 lines that can score, but I like CGY’s Dcrops and G better.

  131. Lowetide says:

    When it comes to procurement, especially at forward, the Oilers are gonna need a bigger boat

    https://theathletic.com/210778/2018/01/14/lowetide-oilers-are-going-to-need-a-bigger-boat/

  132. Wilde says:

    Jethro Tull:
    Professor Q,

    Yes, we could do with decent wingers. But that ship has sailed and Peter has put his chips in and spun the wheel.And for the first time, Chia actually has a chance to make a rrade that undoes some mistakes whilst being the right thing to do. And we’re worried about 4th liners?

    In order for Peter to have this trade ‘undo’ what he’s done to even a minimal extent, it would have to be Klefbom for Ekmann Larsson straight up.

  133. Jethro Tull says:

    Wilde: In order for Peter to have this trade ‘undo’ what he’s done to even a minimal extent, it would have to be Klefbom for Ekmann Larsson straight up.

    Drai. I love him, but I said at the time, that contract was too much. He would have to go supernova to live up to it.

    And it doesn’t sound like a money situation with ARI. They could take Drai and Klef. I think that is probably fair market value.

  134. Jethro Tull says:

    Woodguy v2.0,

    Is +1200 12 to 1 odds?

  135. slopitch says:

    Hey all, thx for the comments. Im all for tactics and playing to strengths I just think the Oilers need a few personnel tweaks. How do 30 gms let a team like Vegas pick scraps and go on a 120 pt pace? The game is constantly changing and they are learning on the fly. Could be that the Oilers just wanted to play after. The game was a bit sloppy but I cant blame the Oilers for wanting to party after. I remember being 21.

  136. OriginalPouzar says:

    Jethro Tull:
    On OEL. Get good players. Get better ones.

    He’ll cost twice Klef, but then, you know, he’s better.

    It’s rare for teams to actually name their price publicly. I wouldn’t be surprised if there was a minor trade for negotiating rights, a la Nikitin.

    These players hardly ever become available. Go get him. I think the Dogs are pining for a Hanzal type. Drai is a better Hanzal.

    He’s signed through next year so there will be no deal involving negotiation rights until spring 2019.

    That’s the problem – a team can’t pay full value when there is a risk they player leaves after a full year (or requires an insane contract) and an extension can’t be signed until July 1.

    I can’t seem OEL being traded prior to then.

  137. Wilde says:

    Jethro Tull: Drai. I love him, but I said at the time, that contract was too much. He would have to go supernova to live up to it.

    And it doesn’t sound like a money situation with ARI. They could take Drai and Klef. I think that is probably fair market value.

    Can OEL carry a bottom 6 of Strome, Khaira, Kassian, Letestu, Cammaleri, Caggiula to above 50% goals for?

  138. AsiaOil says:

    A few thoughts……

    If OEL is available, then the cost is going to include a serious RHD since ARZ has nobody but Demers. That takes us out of the running as the only guy who fits the bill is Lars and all that trade would accomplish is creating a massive hole while filling divot. Hey if they take Klef plus I’m all over it but doubt that works for them. WPG could do Trouba plus for example. ARZ doesn’t need to do anything but move to Seattle and wait for their kids to develop IMHO – but OEL may be fed up – who knows.

    Too bad RNH got hurt but you could see it coming the last few games. All credit to him though for really trying to play a harder game this year and doing well. He’s done all you could ask really. My concern is that he might not be able to play a harder game without injuring himself and that would not help us in the playoffs. If the injury really is something that can’t hold up when the going gets tough, then you have to deal him. I would want to keep him if he could survive playing a more physical game but I’m not sure that’s possible.

    For the love of Pete – Chia has to trade Letestu who is a denver boot on the bottom 6 and PK. Sure he’s a solid guy and has a shot – but he never gets it off, is slow as mud, and kills every line he’s on. Anyone know where you can find W/WO numbers for Letestu? Eyes tell me he’s making everyone worse but the eyes can deceive and I’d like to confirm.

  139. JD_Wry says:

    Ryan Rishaug‏
    Verified account

    @TSNRyanRishaug
    Follow
    Follow @TSNRyanRishaug

    More
    No concussion concerns for RNH, sounds like some bruising that should resolve itself by the end of the bye week.

    NUUUUUUUUUGE!!!

  140. Jethro Tull says:

    OriginalPouzar: He’s signed through next year so there will be no deal involving negotiation rights until spring 2019.

    That’s the problem – a team can’t pay full value when there is a risk they player leaves after a full year (or requires an insane contract) and an extension can’t be signed until July 1.

    I can’t seem OEL being traded prior to then.

    Chia could pull the trigger, OEL could walk after a year and it still wouldn’t be the worst trade he’s made! House money!

  141. Jethro Tull says:

    Wilde: Can OEL carry a bottom 6 of Strome, Khaira, Kassian, Letestu, Cammaleri, Caggiula to above 50% goals for?

    Weren’t you concerned about 4th line center? How does he carry the bottom six? And you’d be surprised. I think this is an unfair question. I think you are giving too much importance to so called role players that don’t play enough to really matter over a whole season. They’re only job is not not get caved while McDavid is off the ice. Everything else is gravy. You’re worrying about the Ryan Jones’ when we should be worried about…..well OELs.

  142. leadfarmer says:

    Woodguy v2.0,

    I told you Smith is a pretty decent goalie when healthy

  143. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Jethro Tull:
    Woodguy v2.0,

    Is +1200 12 to 1 odds?

    Yessir

  144. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    leadfarmer:
    Woodguy v2.0,

    I told you Smith is a pretty decent goalie when healthy

    You did.

    This is his best GSAA/60 season in his career.

    Good for him.

  145. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Wilde: Can OEL carry a bottom 6 of Strome, Khaira, Kassian, Letestu, Cammaleri, Caggiula to above 50% goals for?

    Note that playing largely with bottom-6 quality forwards in Arizona OEL is crushing it with a plus/minus of dash-40. A milestone never “accomplished” in a full season league wide during the salary cap era, yet here is OEL after just 45 GP. Second worst in the NHL is -21.

    It’s not getting better, in hs last 6 GP he is -14 with four separate games of -3 and two of -1.

    I know I know all about plus/minus, it’s got its flaws but holy moly, the man is just getting killed out there. A PDO of .915 (!!!) is obviously a huge part of it, but I do have questions about his play behind his own blue line.

    I have zero doubt he would perform way better on a way better team, but it’s not like he’s Taylor Hall where his team is breaking even while he’s on the ice and getting crushed while he’s on the bench, now is it?

    A strange case, but it’s a bit of a red flag in my books.

    (for the record the last NHLer to achieve such depths was Rico Fata who went -46 with the ’03-04 Penguins)

  146. Wilde says:

    Jethro Tull: Weren’t you concerned about 4th line center? How does he carry the bottom six? And you’d be surprised. I think this is an unfair question. I think you are giving too much importance to so called role players that don’t play enough to really matter over a whole season. They’re only job is not not get caved while McDavid is off the ice. Everything else is gravy. You’re worrying about the Ryan Jones’ when we should be worried about…..well OELs.

    That’s exactly why I’m asking. We win the McDavid minutes. We lose the non McDavid minutes. The problem with this team is how do we win the non McDavid minutes. Their job is to not get caved and they’re failing.

    So that’s why the question is, can our other impact player (OEL) carry the non McDavid minutes. Those are the players that will be on the ice.

  147. Diablo says:

    Seems just like yesterday, Oiler fans were bemoaning the drafting of wingers in lieu of C and D. Lack of “strength down the middle” was the calling card of the day to explain why the Oilers were bad.

    So now our GM has flipped the script … we have three centres that rival any team in the league and our D is vastly better with the emergence of Nurse and Klefbom, acquisition of Sekera, and Larsson.

    Yes, we’re a little thin on the wings, but you can’t have everything in a cap league.

    I’d posit that the main reasons the Oilers are where they are in the standings are things that no GM could have done much about. In order of importance these are …
    1) Bad goaltending – forget the play of our backup … Talbot has been bad since game 2
    2) Poor special teams – no excuse for this, the coaches own this one
    3) Injuries and a step back from many of our top players
    – transplant Larsson, Benning and Klefbom from last season and things likely play out very differently this year
    4) Inexperience by McDavid and Draisaitl
    – McDavid’s offence is spectacular, but he often looks lost in his own zone
    – Draisaitl still has brain farts with the puck
    – both of them still defer shots on net in an effort to pass the puck in to the back of net

    Would Barzal have helped … no doubt. Brutal trade the day it was made, that only looks worse today. Really no excuse for it … Chia made a panic deal.

    Hall for Larsson … pure offence for pure defence. This one will be debated forever, but at last check there have not been any other top 4 RHD in their early 20’s with years of team control left traded since. Until this happens, we just won’t know what the true market value is. For those who want to hold up Sakic in esteem of what he got for Duchene, I’d argue all he got was a bunch of magic beans that looks suspiciously like what the Oilers got for Pronger.

    Eberle for Strome is a wash – Eberle is dandy when someone gets him the puck in close on the goalie, but he needs to be carried everywhere else on the ice. Strome was a decent bet, though Chia should have targeted Barzal instead (and corrected his previous mistake).

    That being said, there is plenty of talent on this team …. it just didn’t come together at the start of the year. Preparation game in and out was poor … that’s on the coaches and the players.

    Moving forward …
    1) do not trade Klefbom for OEL – we can’t afford OELs next contract, nor the asset acquisition cost. Klef will rebound, so will Larsson. Draft Boqvist with our 1st this year and sit tight.
    2) OEL is -40 !!!! Its not even that cold in Winnipeg right now. I know +/- is a poor stat, but -40 is just bad. This is not a one year trend either – he gets scored on an awful lot when he’s on the ice. I’m dubious of these claims of him being a franchise altering D-man.
    3) I’d prefer we get Rieder from Arizona – get Leon someone who he can centre
    4) Move Maroon to STL – they have next to no cap space but Maroon is a guy they can actually afford. He’s likely signing there next season anyways. They have a ton of great prospects – Kostin, Kyrou, Thomas, Thompson. I’ve loved the Big Rig’s time in the Oildrop but he’s unlikely to live up to his next contract. Power forwards age poorly.

    As an aside that Kevin Stevens story on SN is a great read.

    5) Speaking of power forwards – its time to move Lucic along to a contender. His point total are still in line with his previous numbers but he’s not a great fit with any of these centers. He’ll waive the NMC if the destination is to his liking. Get whatever prospects/picks you can in return – he’ll fetch a lot more than a 7th rounder, due to still putting up good numbers and his reputation.
    6) Move Caggs+ for Hoffman – potentially a much better fit for McDavid
    7) Russell – I’m guessing there are family reasons why he doesn’t want to leave Alberta … not sure he can be convinced to leave
    8) Which brings us to Sekera – I don’t want to move him, but something has to give. Nurse is going to get paid, so someone has to go. Sekera is another vet (like Lucic) who might waive the NMC if the destination is attractive. Philadelphia? They have lots of young D + Carter Hart. A playoff team in the Eastern conference with their far better travel schedule could work for Rej.
    9) Letestu – RHC always has value at the deadline. Time to move him along too
    10) Play the kids and let them make mistakes and learn from them – this includes Jesse, Strome, Slepy and Khaira.
    11) Take a flyer on guys who have fallen out a favour elsewhere – Leivo, Dano, Logan Shaw (on waivers) etc

    Looking forward to the trade deadline … Chia likely needs to hit it out of the park to keep his job. Should be fun!

  148. OriginalPouzar says:

    Rasanen hasn’t been in the BC lineup since returning from Buffalo – apparently he’s got a lower body injury and is expected back in their lineup on the 23rd.

    I was really impressed by what I saw at the WJHC. Who knows if he’ll ever make it the NHL but I like his all-tools skill set, his 200 foot game, his ability to play in all situations and his nose for the net (he really likes to park himself in front of the net).

    He as 3C written all over him if he can keep taking it to the next level.

  149. Bruce McCurdy says:

    VOR:
    Thinking about the Draft 7– Things we don’t know

    Then there are the secondary consequences of injury. This brings us to 1979 draft. The only draft without at least a near miss in the top 15 of the draft. In 1993 there are several near misses in the top 15 and number 16 is a true miss. But in 1979 the top 15 of the draft are all players. The closest to a bust is #10 Tom MaCarthy.

    McCarthy is one of two players taken before Wayne Gretzky in the midget draft. He had a great junior career. He definitely deserves his#10 ranking. And MaCarthy turned out to be able to play NHL hockey when he was healthy.

    MaCarthy may be the player with the longest list of injuries in NHL history. It includes a serious concussion cause by Tiger Williams punching him in the face.

    True story: in my keeper league hockey pool (Est. 1979, still going strong after 39 years) we used to have an annual pseudo-award we called “The Tom McCarthy From Bell’s Palsy To Beri Beri Weird Injury Of the Year”.

  150. Todd Macallan says:

    Diablo,

    Nary a word out of place.

  151. leadfarmer says:

    Diablo

    Talbot since coming back from injury has been pretty good. Can’t fault him for poor efforts by the team.

    OEL is a very good player on a awful team. Your way of thinking is the reason teams wouldn’t pay much for any of our players. It’s a team sport. Having one great player is not enough to overcome an absolutely horrible roster.

  152. leadfarmer says:

    Woodguy v2.0,

    He would put together a great stretch in Arizona. Get injured. Follow it up with subpar play until he got back to 100%. Get injured. Come back. Playoffs would be out of reach. Then stop caring. Rinse and repeat. This season he’s been pretty healthy and playoffs are in reach.
    It’s too bad he’s got the warm personality of Kessler and plays for the biggest bag of sucks who ever sucked, otherwise one might almost cheer for the guy

  153. Wilde says:

    Re: OEL’s +/-

    Plus minus has its pluses and minuses, but it’s at its absolute worst when you’re evaluating:

    -a star player
    -a player on a bad team
    -a player in front of bad goaltending

    OEL is the best player on a horrific team with exceptionally poor goaltending.

    His EV goal differential: 23-45

    His goal differential approximately f he had league average goaltending and oiS% (not saying he doesn’t impact these factors):

    29-30.

  154. OmJo says:

    Professor Q: And with absolutely no wingers or prospects, they’ll go nowhere.

    Who needs wingers when you have a top pairing of OEL-Karlsson?

  155. VOR says:

    Thinking About the Draft – 7 Things we don’t know

    3. This one really messes with scouts heads. In no draft in history have they ever got the top ten in order. That is because they have never got the top five right. How hard can it be to have the 1st player picked turn out to be the best player 15 years later? Harder than it looks. The same is true for 2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9 and 10.

    What galls scouts is that they have no explanation for why they keep getting it wrong.

    I am going to offer a theory when I finally get all mathy.

  156. VOR says:

    Thinking About the Draft – 7 Things we don’t know

    4. Everybody knows intangibles matter.

    Nobody can figure out how to integrate the currently unmeasurable qualities we call intangibles into a coherent draft strategy.

  157. JimmyV1965 says:

    Woodguy v2.0:
    Calgary’s won 7 in a row.

    There’s getting good goaltending from Smith (dammit!), but its the goals for that are driving the bus.

    They’ve always had two good lines with Monahan-Gaudreau scoring and Backlund centering the best checking line in hockey without Bergeron or Couturier on it.

    Now they have a 3rd line that’s scoring and they key has been Jankowski

    They’re riding the PDO pony right now but check out Bennet’s WOWY with Jankowski (all data this year)

    Bennett without Jankowski
    45.4%CF
    0.80 GF/60

    Bennett with Jankowski
    50.9% CF
    2.28 GF/60

    That helps.

    Ferland is having his “Maroon with McDavid” season now too.

    Gaudrea-Monahan w/ Ferland: 3.35 GF/60

    Hamonic seems to have settled in and he and Brodie are putting up around 50% CF now.

    They were +1200 to win the WC today so I hit it.

    Hit DAL too when they were still +1100.

    Both teams have 3 lines that can score, but I like CGY’s Dcrops and G better.

    Makes me so frickin jealous. Spit.

  158. smellyglove says:

    VOR,

    Vor, how the heck are you measuring best players from a draft?

  159. Georges says:

    In 2000-01, the league expanded to 30 teams. We’ve had 32 Stanley Cup finalists since then and 32 SCF head coaching spots.

    On 15 occasions, a finalist was coached by an HC who had coached in the finals before. So there were 17 first-timers.

    Of these 17, just 5 made it after having their first HC opportunity at least 10 years prior:

    – Bryan Murray, 26 years after his first coaching gig with WSH.

    – Joel Quenneville, 14 years after STL

    – Alain Vigneault, 14 years after MTL

    – Mike Sullivan, 13 years after BOS

    – Darryl Sutter, 12 years after CHI

    Most of the coaches who made the Finals made it before 10 years. And, of the coaches I’ve listed above, 4 out of 5 of them made it to the Finals within the first two years of taking over their team.

    This is TMac’s 10th year, his 3rd with the Oilers. Barring a miracle on top of a miracle on top of a miracle, Mr. McLellan and Mr. Georges will both be watching the Finals on a screen somewhere… like we both always do.

    2015-16 was puzzling to me. We had injuries. But CMD played more than half the season and Hall played the entire season. And yet we finished a stone’s throw from the 62 points Nelson and Eakins managed in the season before. So I’m kinda wondering what exactly does a veteran head coach with a solid winning record do? How exactly does he affect the performance of his team?

    Last season’s playoff result was also puzzling. The roster gets revamped. By the end of the season, the forward depth is second only to PIT, the defense is balanced, and Talbot is steady. Wow, it all seems to come together. We enter the playoffs on a high and we handle a banged up SJS. The talent on our team was way past the talent on ANA. Diggity! We’re up 2-0 headed home. It’s looking good. And then… what exactly was that? Was that the sound of inevitability?

    This season’s not as puzzling. The GM said Plan A and the HC said grmpqftzl and here we are.

    It’s better we find out this way than having CMD spend the prime of his years toiling in futility like that wonderful Joe Thornton.

    Now let’s get back to complaining about Russell. It’s as good a way to spend this in between time as anything else.

    (Oh yeah, OEL isn’t worth Drai. And he’s not worth Nuge and Klef.)

  160. deardylan says:

    Diablo,

    Diablo:
    Seems just like yesterday, Oiler fans were bemoaning the drafting of wingers in lieu of C and D. Lack of “strength down the middle” was the calling card of the day to explain why the Oilers were bad.

    Diablo I enjoyed reading your Oilers analysis and plan for the rest of the season.

    Look forward to hearing what others think of what to do next.

    Are there Vegas-like scraps (hidden gems out there) to be had.

    Who will we draft?

    Pressed mock draft button today and Oilers selected this guy who scored this goal 9 years ago….

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_L-co088uLE

    Oliver Wahlstrom RW
    “He can elevate his game playing with high-end players. Uses a combination of good hands, creativity and vision to make things happen offensively.”

  161. OriginalPouzar says:

    I already miss Oilers hockey – its going to be a long week off.

  162. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Wilde:
    Re: OEL’s +/-

    Plus minus has its pluses and minuses, but it’s at its absolute worst when you’re evaluating:

    -a star player
    -a player on a bad team
    -a player in front of bad goaltending

    OEL is the best player on a horrific team with exceptionally poor goaltending.

    His EV goal differential: 23-45

    His goal differential approximately f he had league average goaltending and oiS% (not saying he doesn’t impact these factors):

    29-30.

    +23/-45 is actually 5v5, not EV where the numbers are a more grotesque +27/-64. Surely that includes empty net goals which are technically even strength situations, of which Arizona has scored 2 and allowed a ghastly 12. Presumably he was on the ice for nearly all of those goals. It would also include 4v4 & 3v3.

    Clearly OEL is playing in bad luck, including the underlying state of supreme bad luck, a good player stuck on a shitty team as you say. I’m not saying he’s not worth trading for. I am saying that if he really was as good as his reputation is in some quarters, maybe his team wouldn’t suck quite as much as it does.

  163. VOR says:

    smellyglove:
    VOR,

    Vor, how the heck are you measuring best players from a draft?

    30% games played, 30% points, 30% Cullen scale, 10% relative ratings by position. Not that it matters. Different people come up with slightly different rankings but the differences tend to be smaller than you might expect. We might not agree on who was better Luc Robataille or Brett Hull. But we probably agree they are both better than Shayne Corson and probably Kirk Muller.

  164. Scungilli Slushy says:

    OriginalPouzar: Scun

    Taking steroid shots into a joint is not a sign of health. Something is causing inflammation in his shoulder. Rotator cuff? Congenital? I’m not a doctor but healthy players don’t get those.

    This season is toast, prepare for the next one. Call it done and move ahead. Not doing that at some point is allowing them to descend into deeper mud, fantasies about playing like crap too many nights and not being ready to go at the start in a league that won’t allow you to snooze your way in, and recovering with a miracle run.

    Come ready to play, every day, all the time. Or changes are made to get better.

  165. Jethro Tull says:

    Bruce McCurdy: +23/-45 is actually 5v5, not EV where the numbers are a more grotesque +27/-64. Surely that includes empty net goals which are technically even strength situations, of which Arizona has scored 2 and allowed a ghastly 12. Presumably he was on the ice for nearly all of those goals. It would also include 4v4 & 3v3.

    Clearly OEL is playing in bad luck, including the underlying state of supreme bad luck, a good player stuck on a shitty team as you say. I’m not saying he’s not worth trading for. I am saying that if he really was as good as his reputation is in some quarters, maybe his team wouldn’t suck quite as much as it does.

    Weeeel, you know, there was this guy, let’s call him….
    Haylor Tall……and you wouldn’t believe what they say about his reputation in at least 3 different quarters…..☺

    Generally speaking (not aimed at anyone specifically) how we can convince ourselves of certain scenarios and outcomes. We have ‘the powder dry, go with better bang” crowd. Well, we’ve kept our powder drier than Noel Coward playing at an industrial dessicant convention. In the other corner, or at least lurking with intent, is the “well, how’s that dry powder taste? You know, good Copenhagen is better than bad cocaine, right” or better known as the “Trey D’Mall” faction. And traded one of the best LWs in the game. Huh.

    Who is right? More importantly, who cares? Well, i guess we all do. We keep coming back and we’re not being paid. I think I’ve adequately addressed my arguments on why we should trade for OEL. Drai is overpaid, we need that minute muncher that can tell the difference in uniforms when giving a defensive outlet pass. Maybe it will be Darnell? I sure hope so. One thing I’ve learnt as an Oilers fan when counting chickens, though: Are you sure that’s a chicken?

  166. OriginalPouzar says:

    Of course his shoulder is not healthy – we know he’s been playing with an injury since before the season started. At the same time, we know very little about the nature of the injury and any opinion regarding needing surgery and not being ready for camp or the start of next season is pure speculation. For such an statistical and evidence-based blog, one would think that such positing without any facts wouldn’t have much credibility.

    If the nature of the injury will not require surgery and he can play with it without worsening it and a month’s rest will cure it then, by all means keep playing. People are paying alot of money to go to these hockey games and would like the organization to ice the best team possible.

    Of course, if there is any chance of further injury or if playing now in any way puts the 100% healthy start of next season in jeopardy, shut him down. Again, we have no information in to that.

  167. deardylan says:

    My experience with Oilers has been a rollercoaster especially over the past year and definitely never boring. Lots of experience!

    What I do with the past in the present moment is either transform those memories into wisdom or wounds.

    ….What are are Oilers gonna do next using the wisdom (and some wounds) before the start of next season is going to be the fun part!

  168. Wilde says:

    Bruce McCurdy: +23/-45 is actually 5v5, not EV where the numbers are a more grotesque +27/-64. Surely that includes empty net goals which are technically even strength situations, of which Arizona has scored 2 and allowed a ghastly 12. Presumably he was on the ice for nearly all of those goals. It would also include 4v4 & 3v3.

    Clearly OEL is playing in bad luck, including the underlying state of supreme bad luck, a good player stuck on a shitty team as you say. I’m not saying he’s not worth trading for. I am saying that if he really was as good as his reputation is in some quarters, maybe his team wouldn’t suck quite as much as it does.

    Yeah, you got me. I remember specifically noting in my mind I was pulling 5×5 numbers, brain didn’t hit the keyboard with it though.

    As for not trading for OEL? We’re in agreement there. Not at Arizona’s price.

    Just thought I’d defend his value. If Toronto can get him for around Duchene’s price, never turn on your television again.

  169. Georges says:

    Here’s a look at how many seasons SCF head coaches have been with their teams before getting the team to the Finals:

    05-06 Laviolette (2), MacTavish (5)
    06-07 Carlyle (2), Murray (2)
    07-08 Babcock (3), Therrien (3)
    08-09 Bylsma (1), Babcock (4)
    09-10 Quenneville (2), Laviolette (1)
    10-11 Julien (4), Vigneault (5)
    11-12 Sutter (1), DeBoer (1)
    12-13 Quenneville (5), Julien (6)
    13-14 Sutter (3), Vigneault (1)
    14-15 Quenneville (7), Cooper (3)
    15-16 Sullivan (1), DeBoer (1)
    16-17 Sullivan (2), Laviolette (3)

    If you’re going to get your team to the Finals, you’re likely going to do it in the first 3 years of your tenure. If you do it after 3 years, it’s an even bet that you’ve already taken them there.

    MacTavish (5), Julien (4), and Vigneault (5) got their teams to the Finals for the first time more than 3 years into their tenure.

    Here’s MacTavish’s track record with his team leading up to the Finals appearance.
    Season, Pts
    00-01, 93
    01-02, 92
    02-03, 92
    03-04, 89
    05-06, 95 (Finals)

    Julien
    Season, Pts
    07-08, 94
    08-09, 116
    09-10, 91
    10-11, 103 (Finals)

    Vigneault
    Season, Pts
    06-07, 105
    07-08, 88
    08-09, 100
    09-10, 103
    10-11, 117 (Finals)

    McLellan with the Oilers:
    Season, Pts
    15-16, 70
    16-17, 103
    17-18, 77 (on pace)

    In his first season, McLellan couldn’t right the ship. We blamed the ship.

    In his second season, he couldn’t sail it home. We blamed the weather.

    In his third season, he decided to sail it back where it started and hit an iceberg along the way.

    We blamed the shipbuilder.

    Maybe PC thought he had what he had with Julien in BOS. But PC didn’t hire Julien until his second year. In his first year as GM with BOS, PC fired Mike Sullivan (of all people) and hired Dave Lewis. He fired Lewis after Lewis managed 76 points in 06-07. Then he hired Julien and stuck with him to the Cup.

    Odds are very much against us winning anything with TMac, a coach who’s never made the finals and is on track to produce 77 points in his 3rd season with the team as he continues to work on the team’s belief system.

    The scenario imagined by some posters in which PC is fired and TMac is retained is so gross, it’s best not to mention it in polite company. PC built a winning program in BOS. He built one in EDM last season. But TMac gonna TMac and PC, instead of taking a good long look at his coach, probably decided to listen to him and undertook a series of awful off-season decisions. Listening to the HC is understandable when you’re the GM who hired him and gave him a 5 year contract. But PC also hired Lewis and signed him to a 4-year contract in BOS… and fired him after year 1 after the team went from 74 to 76 points. Oh well. It’s just messy now.

    Talking about how bad PC is at his job is a really enjoyable thing I guess. And TMac gives good media. But the truth is, the HC has had a very bad run of head coaching with this team, a run that really undermines one of his reputations while also confirming another. Based on historical results, he’s not likely to get us to the Cup or close to the Cup. The question for PC is who can, given the roster decisions he’s made to support TMac.

    (The talk of growth team is so so gross. How dumb do they think the fans are? …That’s a rhetorical question. I know I’m being hard on TMac. But coaches make an impact early in their tenure. We’ve seen the impact. So I think it’s a more accurate reading of the CMD era than PC is… what are Cassandra’s words again…? Chachi, can you please post the Cassandra bit? We’ll both feel better.)

  170. Wilde says:

    Georges,

    Todd’s worst deployment strategy yet is what he’s got right now too.

    Indefensible by the numbers and inexplicable in the context of a dead season.

  171. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Wilde: Yeah, you got me. I remember specifically noting in my mind I was pulling 5×5 numbers, brain didn’t hit the keyboard with it though.

    As for not trading for OEL? We’rein agreement there. Not at Arizona’s price.

    Just thought I’d defend his value. If Toronto can get him for around Duchene’s price, never turn on your television again.

    Not trying to “get” anything but the facts. I 100% agree that things like 5v5 GD, EV GD, or 5v5 GF% are superior in most ways to traditional +/-, which has the single attraction of being readily accessible.

    That said, when I see -40 I am always going to say “holy moly”, esp. in half a season. It’s enough to give one pause, maybe long enough to ask secondary questions like “wtf is going on with this guy?!” The outliers are always interesting.

    As for Duchene AFAIC the Sens badly overpaid for him in the hope that he could recover his form after a shitty season with a shitty team of his own last year. So far so not good, he’s still struggling & all of a sudden the Sens are themselves a shitty team. Careful what you wish for.

  172. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Georges,

    A well-researched & provocative comment, Georges. Well done.

  173. Georges says:

    Bruce McCurdy: Not trying to “get” anything but the facts. I 100% agree that things like 5v5 GD, EV GD, or 5v5 GF% are superior in most ways to traditional +/-, which has the single attraction of being readily accessible.

    That said, when I see -40 I am always going to say “holy moly”, esp. in half a season. It’s enough to give one pause, maybe long enough to ask secondary questions like “wtf is going on with this guy?!” The outliers are always interesting.

    As for Duchene AFAIC the Sens badly overpaid for him in the hope that he could recover his form after a shitty season with a shitty team of his own last year.So far so not good, he’s still struggling & all of a sudden the Sens are themselves a shitty team. Careful what you wish for.

    The Duchene comparison is excellent. Both have the reputation of difference makers. The numbers are less definitive. In those situations, you should set the price appropriately, not whatever we have to do to get that guy.

  174. Wilde says:

    Bruce McCurdy: Not trying to “get” anything but the facts. I 100% agree that things like 5v5 GD, EV GD, or 5v5 GF% are superior in most ways to traditional +/-, which has the single attraction of being readily accessible.

    That said, when I see -40 I am always going to say “holy moly”, esp. in half a season. It’s enough to give one pause, maybe long enough to ask secondary questions like “wtf is going on with this guy?!” The outliers are always interesting.

    As for Duchene AFAIC the Sens badly overpaid for him in the hope that he could recover his form after a shitty season with a shitty team of his own last year.So far so not good, he’s still struggling & all of a sudden the Sens are themselves a shitty team. Careful what you wish for.

    Yeah, we’d be the Ottawa player of the Duchene deal. Overpay for the upgrade from Klefbom to OEL(Turris to Duchene).

    But if Toronto or anyone else could be the Nashville of the Duchene deal, they’ll win. Only way OEL’s worth the rumoured price is if the first is 22-30.

    Price gets lower than Drai+Klef and I’m all over it though.

  175. Georges says:

    Wilde:
    Georges,

    Todd’s worst deployment strategy yet is what he’s got right now too.

    Indefensible by the numbers and inexplicable in the context of a dead season.

    Yeah. This player is good and this player is bad is a lot tougher when you have questions about the HC. See 2-time Cup winner Justin Schultz. The PP is worse than it’s been for the past 7 years. But no point in trying a young right-hander in the Letestu spot. Letestu’s performance last season entitles him to a lifetime membership on PP1. Anyway… this is just small ball.

  176. Georges says:

    Bruce McCurdy:
    Georges,

    A well-researched & provocative comment, Georges. Well done.

    Ah, hey, thanks Bruce!

  177. Crazy Pedestrian says:

    JimmyV1965: Makes me so frickin jealous. Spit.

    I hope the fLames make the playoffs, then proceed to get swept in 4 again. But this time, they also get shutout in all four games…

  178. hunter1909 says:

    Hunter1909 Emergency Death March™ Update for new/returning players:

    Oilers miserable start to the season makes for Emergency Death March; a Contest within a Contest! To original 2017-18 Death march Players don’t worry! Your game is safe! Emergency Death March™ is a brand new game!

    Here’s how You play: simply go to http://www.oilersdeathmarch.com and click ENTER NEW CONTEST

    It’s Easy! Free to enter!

    More prizes for Emergency Death March™ winners…Contest Book will remain open until mid February…until puck drop for games either the Yotes on the 15th or the Bruins on the 20th.

  179. Wilde says:

    Georges: Yeah. This player is good and this player is bad is a lot tougher when you have questions about the HC. See 2-time Cup winner Justin Schultz.

    My personal favourite is how one of his pets(Letestu) currently has a 5v5 GF/GA spread bad enough to negate how good 97’s is. They’ve played 14 minutes together for 1GF 0GA.

    The rest of the season:

    97 :
    39GF
    31GA
    +8

    55:
    9GF
    21GA
    -12

    Here’s the real spooky part. PC goes out and gets a better 4C and PKer. How long does this go on before acquired player ‘earns it’ and replaces 55 full time?

  180. Decidedly Skeptical Fan says:

    Georges:
    Here’s a look at how many seasons SCF head coaches have been with their teams before getting the team to the Finals:

    05-06 Laviolette (2), MacTavish (5)
    06-07 Carlyle (2), Murray (2)
    07-08 Babcock (3), Therrien (3)
    08-09 Bylsma (1), Babcock (4)
    09-10 Quenneville (2), Laviolette (1)
    10-11 Julien (4), Vigneault (5)
    11-12 Sutter (1), DeBoer (1)
    12-13 Quenneville (5), Julien (6)
    13-14 Sutter (3), Vigneault (1)
    14-15 Quenneville (7), Cooper (3)
    15-16 Sullivan (1), DeBoer (1)
    16-17 Sullivan (2), Laviolette (3)

    If you’re going to get your team to the Finals, you’re likely going to do it in the first 3 years of your tenure. If you do it after 3 years, it’s an even bet that you’ve already taken them there.

    MacTavish (5), Julien (4), and Vigneault (5) got their teams to the Finals for the first time more than 3 years into their tenure.

    Here’s MacTavish’s track record with his team leading up to the Finals appearance.
    Season, Pts
    00-01, 93
    01-02, 92
    02-03, 92
    03-04, 89
    05-06, 95 (Finals)

    Julien
    Season, Pts
    07-08, 94
    08-09, 116
    09-10, 91
    10-11, 103 (Finals)

    Vigneault
    Season, Pts
    06-07, 105
    07-08, 88
    08-09, 100
    09-10, 103
    10-11, 117 (Finals)

    McLellan with the Oilers:
    Season, Pts
    15-16, 70
    16-17, 103
    17-18, 77 (on pace)

    In his first season, McLellan couldn’t right the ship. We blamed the ship.

    In his second season, he couldn’t sail it home. We blamed the weather.

    In his third season, he decided to sail it back where it started and hit an iceberg along the way.

    We blamed the shipbuilder.

    Maybe PC thought he had what he had with Julien in BOS. But PC didn’t hire Julien until his second year. In his first year as GM with BOS, PC fired Mike Sullivan (of all people) and hired Dave Lewis. He fired Lewis after Lewis managed 76 points in 06-07. Then he hired Julien and stuck with him to the Cup.

    Odds are very much against us winning anything with TMac, a coach who’s never made the finals and is on track to produce 77 points in his 3rd season with the team as he continues to work on the team’s belief system.

    The scenario imagined by some posters in which PC is fired and TMac is retained is so gross, it’s best not to mention it in polite company. PC built a winning program in BOS. He built one in EDM last season. But TMac gonna TMac and PC, instead of taking a good long look at his coach, probably decided to listen to him and undertook a series of awful off-season decisions. Listening to the HC is understandable when you’re the GM who hired him and gave him a 5 year contract. But PC also hired Lewis and signed him to a 4-year contract in BOS… and fired him after year 1 after the team went from 74 to 76 points. Oh well. It’s just messy now.

    Talking about how bad PC is at his job is a really enjoyable thing I guess. And TMac gives good media. But the truth is, the HC has had a very bad run of head coaching with this team, a run that really undermines one of his reputations while also confirming another. Based on historical results, he’s not likely to get us to the Cup or close to the Cup. The question for PC is who can, given the roster decisions he’s made to support TMac.

    (The talk of growth team is so so gross. How dumb do they think the fans are? …That’s a rhetorical question. I know I’m being hard on TMac. But coaches make an impact early in their tenure. We’ve seen the impact. So I think it’s a more accurate reading of the CMD era than PC is… what are Cassandra’s words again…? Chachi, can you please post the Cassandra bit? We’ll both feel better.)

    Gee Georges, this is fantastic work. Really thought provoking. You wouldn’t happen to have Peter’s e-mail address, would you? Maybe you could forward this? Ha ha.

    Anyway, I just wanted to add that this was posted pretty late so some people might have missed it. I almost did. I was wondering if you could re-post this tomorrow? Should make for some interesting discussion. Thanks.

  181. AsiaOil says:

    Got to agree that the person with arguably the worst performance of the year (TMac) is getting off pretty much scot free with the fans. But the poor decision-making and systems, stubbornness, favoritism and inflexibility has been there for all to see if they bother. Seemed like he had a plan the first two years and then just put it on cruise control this summer while wasting the first 20 games of the season playing a midget junior players and doing nothing with the young pros. If anyone gets let go this summer I’d put TMac at the top of the list.

  182. OriginalPouzar says:

    I read something about wishing the flames make the playoffs and get swept.

    On the assumption that they do make the playoffs getting swept once again is the only really good opinion – it shall be so.

    With that said, the hope is that they miss the playoffs by a point or two and then magically win the 2nd lottery. I don’t really want the NYI to get that 2nd overall pick but my goodness I can’t imagine a better scenario than the flames winning the 2nd lottery (after we win the first) after having traded the pick.

  183. OriginalPouzar says:

    Non-Oilers Notes;

    1) Too bad that Cogs’ iron man streak will be halted due to a suspension. The 2 games is deserved though. Great run Cogs.

    2) Maybe Gio can get suspended twice from yesterday’s game – head shot (major and game misconduct) plus knee on knee with Aho.

  184. frjohnk says:

    Georges:
    Here’s a look at how many seasons SCF head coaches have been with their teams before getting the team to the Finals:

    05-06 Laviolette (2), MacTavish (5)
    06-07 Carlyle (2), Murray (2)
    07-08 Babcock (3), Therrien (3)
    08-09 Bylsma (1), Babcock (4)
    09-10 Quenneville (2), Laviolette (1)
    10-11 Julien (4), Vigneault (5)
    11-12 Sutter (1), DeBoer (1)
    12-13 Quenneville (5), Julien (6)
    13-14 Sutter (3), Vigneault (1)
    14-15 Quenneville (7), Cooper (3)
    15-16 Sullivan (1), DeBoer (1)
    16-17 Sullivan (2), Laviolette (3)

    If you’re going to get your team to the Finals, you’re likely going to do it in the first 3 years of your tenure. If you do it after 3 years, it’s an even bet that you’ve already taken them there.

    MacTavish (5), Julien (4), and Vigneault (5) got their teams to the Finals for the first time more than 3 years into their tenure.

    Here’s MacTavish’s track record with his team leading up to the Finals appearance.
    Season, Pts
    00-01, 93
    01-02, 92
    02-03, 92
    03-04, 89
    05-06, 95 (Finals)

    Julien
    Season, Pts
    07-08, 94
    08-09, 116
    09-10, 91
    10-11, 103 (Finals)

    Vigneault
    Season, Pts
    06-07, 105
    07-08, 88
    08-09, 100
    09-10, 103
    10-11, 117 (Finals)

    McLellan with the Oilers:
    Season, Pts
    15-16, 70
    16-17, 103
    17-18, 77 (on pace)

    In his first season, McLellan couldn’t right the ship. We blamed the ship.

    In his second season, he couldn’t sail it home. We blamed the weather.

    In his third season, he decided to sail it back where it started and hit an iceberg along the way.

    We blamed the shipbuilder.

    Maybe PC thought he had what he had with Julien in BOS. But PC didn’t hire Julien until his second year. In his first year as GM with BOS, PC fired Mike Sullivan (of all people) and hired Dave Lewis. He fired Lewis after Lewis managed 76 points in 06-07. Then he hired Julien and stuck with him to the Cup.

    Odds are very much against us winning anything with TMac, a coach who’s never made the finals and is on track to produce 77 points in his 3rd season with the team as he continues to work on the team’s belief system.

    The scenario imagined by some posters in which PC is fired and TMac is retained is so gross, it’s best not to mention it in polite company. PC built a winning program in BOS. He built one in EDM last season. But TMac gonna TMac and PC, instead of taking a good long look at his coach, probably decided to listen to him and undertook a series of awful off-season decisions. Listening to the HC is understandable when you’re the GM who hired him and gave him a 5 year contract. But PC also hired Lewis and signed him to a 4-year contract in BOS… and fired him after year 1 after the team went from 74 to 76 points. Oh well. It’s just messy now.

    Talking about how bad PC is at his job is a really enjoyable thing I guess. And TMac gives good media. But the truth is, the HC has had a very bad run of head coaching with this team, a run that really undermines one of his reputations while also confirming another. Based on historical results, he’s not likely to get us to the Cup or close to the Cup. The question for PC is who can, given the roster decisions he’s made to support TMac.

    (The talk of growth team is so so gross. How dumb do they think the fans are? …That’s a rhetorical question. I know I’m being hard on TMac. But coaches make an impact early in their tenure. We’ve seen the impact. So I think it’s a more accurate reading of the CMD era than PC is… what are Cassandra’s words again…? Chachi, can you please post the Cassandra bit? We’ll both feel better.)

    Drinking at Godots last night?

    Everybody has mentioned and knows that Chia has knee capped the ceiling on this team.
    You bring some good points to the table that its not all Chia but TMac and I cant disagree.

    Good post.

  185. hunter1909 says:

    AsiaOil: Seemed like he had a plan the first two years and then just put it on cruise control this summer while wasting the first 20 games of the season playing a midget junior players and doing nothing with the young pros.

    Yamamoto’s playing during the appalling opening part of the season should mean at least 1 high level job opening after someone is sacked, but no, it’s the OBC.

  186. godot10 says:

    Georges:
    Here’s a look at how many seasons SCF head coaches have been with their teams before getting the team to the Finals:

    05-06 Laviolette (2), MacTavish (5)
    06-07 Carlyle (2), Murray (2)
    07-08 Babcock (3), Therrien (3)
    08-09 Bylsma (1), Babcock (4)
    09-10 Quenneville (2), Laviolette (1)
    10-11 Julien (4), Vigneault (5)
    11-12 Sutter (1), DeBoer (1)
    12-13 Quenneville (5), Julien (6)
    13-14 Sutter (3), Vigneault (1)
    14-15 Quenneville (7), Cooper (3)
    15-16 Sullivan (1), DeBoer (1)
    16-17 Sullivan (2), Laviolette (3)

    If you’re going to get your team to the Finals, you’re likely going to do it in the first 3 years of your tenure. If you do it after 3 years, it’s an even bet that you’ve already taken them there.

    MacTavish (5), Julien (4), and Vigneault (5) got their teams to the Finals for the first time more than 3 years into their tenure.

    Here’s MacTavish’s track record with his team leading up to the Finals appearance.
    Season, Pts
    00-01, 93
    01-02, 92
    02-03, 92
    03-04, 89
    05-06, 95 (Finals)

    Julien
    Season, Pts
    07-08, 94
    08-09, 116
    09-10, 91
    10-11, 103 (Finals)

    Vigneault
    Season, Pts
    06-07, 105
    07-08, 88
    08-09, 100
    09-10, 103
    10-11, 117 (Finals)

    McLellan with the Oilers:
    Season, Pts
    15-16, 70
    16-17, 103
    17-18, 77 (on pace)

    In his first season, McLellan couldn’t right the ship. We blamed the ship.

    In his second season, he couldn’t sail it home. We blamed the weather.

    In his third season, he decided to sail it back where it started and hit an iceberg along the way.

    We blamed the shipbuilder.

    Maybe PC thought he had what he had with Julien in BOS. But PC didn’t hire Julien until his second year. In his first year as GM with BOS, PC fired Mike Sullivan (of all people) and hired Dave Lewis. He fired Lewis after Lewis managed 76 points in 06-07. Then he hired Julien and stuck with him to the Cup.

    Odds are very much against us winning anything with TMac, a coach who’s never made the finals and is on track to produce 77 points in his 3rd season with the team as he continues to work on the team’s belief system.

    The scenario imagined by some posters in which PC is fired and TMac is retained is so gross, it’s best not to mention it in polite company. PC built a winning program in BOS. He built one in EDM last season. But TMac gonna TMac and PC, instead of taking a good long look at his coach, probably decided to listen to him and undertook a series of awful off-season decisions. Listening to the HC is understandable when you’re the GM who hired him and gave him a 5 year contract. But PC also hired Lewis and signed him to a 4-year contract in BOS… and fired him after year 1 after the team went from 74 to 76 points. Oh well. It’s just messy now.

    Talking about how bad PC is at his job is a really enjoyable thing I guess. And TMac gives good media. But the truth is, the HC has had a very bad run of head coaching with this team, a run that really undermines one of his reputations while also confirming another. Based on historical results, he’s not likely to get us to the Cup or close to the Cup. The question for PC is who can, given the roster decisions he’s made to support TMac.

    (The talk of growth team is so so gross. How dumb do they think the fans are? …That’s a rhetorical question. I know I’m being hard on TMac. But coaches make an impact early in their tenure. We’ve seen the impact. So I think it’s a more accurate reading of the CMD era than PC is… what are Cassandra’s words again…? Chachi, can you please post the Cassandra bit? We’ll both feel better.)

    It’s beginning to get a little crowded in here! -).

    I’m going to need a bigger phone booth.

  187. New Improved Darkness says:

    Cassandra: Spector has neither intelligence nor integrity.

    Somehow Specter is a dab hand at wrong-footing every second story in the first paragraph. He then tries to skate himself out of it, every so often almost succeeding.

    He’s never been my favourite, but I didn’t consign him to purgatory until he wrong-footed a couple of stories over the line. Too often he strays too close to lines where there’s little forgiveness.

    He seems to think that every story is better if it begins with a spoonful of Darcy Tucker. Specter is the kind of guy who would take a penalty shot with his laces dangling free on one skate—having noticed that against many mesmerized goaltenders, the technique actually works (though not for a good reason …)

    Milan Lucic wakes from slumber to further Bruinization of Oilers — 21 January 2017

    There was a time, not so long ago, when the Edmonton Oilers simply couldn’t handle a game like this one. And they knew it.

    If a visiting team arrived in ill humour, threw a few hits and put some gloves in some faces, the home team simply packed ‘er in. Slinked off in search of ice, they did, so the other team’s post-game celebration beers would be properly chilled.

    There are no secrets in the National Hockey League. Everyone inside the game knew it. The Oilers were too small and not brave enough. A bunch of sweethearts, with little belief in each other, a poor sense of team, and outside a slugger on the fourth line, absolutely zero team toughness.

    One can only learn to write this way on a playground, and not a nice playground, at that.

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