Burning Down the House

The Edmonton Oilers got down early again, but pushed back and had the lead for a time, before heading to overtime tied 3-3. A goal was scored, was mysteriously overturned (looked good to me), before Connor McDavid and Cam Talbot finally put things to bed in the shootout. We’re now at the All-Star break and who knows what today and tomorrow bring.

THE ATHLETIC

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 RED RUM, YEAR OVER YEAR

  • January 2016: 4-4-2, goal differential -4 (10 points)
  • January 2017: 6-4-0, goal differential 0 (12 points)
  • January 2018: 5-5-0, goal differential -12 (10 points)

You talk about a roller coaster ride month, this thing ran the range of emotions from rage to fury. At the end of the day, this Oilers team managed to finish old timey .500 for January.

 AFTER 49, YEAR OVER YEAR

  • Oilers 15-16: 19-25-5, goal differential -27 (43 points)
  • Oilers 16-17: 26-15-8, goal differential +14 (60 points)
  • Oilers 17-18: 22-24-3, goal differential -23 (47 points)

If the club goes 16-13-4 for the rest of the year, Edmonton will finish 38-37-7, 83 points. My guess is the team’s final record is somewhere in that spot, if things work out well. It is not what was expected nor hoped for, but it is a fair representation.

 WHAT TO EXPECT FROM JANUARY

  • At home to: Los Angeles, Anaheim (Expected 0-1-1) (Actual 1-1-0)
  • On the road to: Dallas, Chicago, Nashville, Arizona, Vegas (Expected 2-2-1) (Actual 2-3-0)
  • At home to: Vancouver, Buffalo, Calgary (Expected 2-1-0) (Actual 2-1-0)
  • Overall expected result: 4-4-2, 10 points in 10 games
  • Current results: 5-5-0, 10 points in 10 games

The Oilers met my expectations for the month, careening from loss to win and back again. That inconsistency was the only consistent thing about the Oilers in January. The games will be less important now, wins and losses viewed alongside projected draft position.

OILERS PROJECTED PICKS 2018

  • First Round, No. 8 overall: LD Quinn Hughes, Michigan (NCAA). Fast as lightning defender, smooth as silk and very creative with the puck. Small (5.09) and electric, prototype for the modern game.
  • Second Round, No. 39 overall: W Samuel Fagemo, Frolunda (SuperElite). Impressive climb through the Swedish system, he has good boots and an excellent shot. Dynamic with the puck on his stick, raw in other parts of the game. Simon Boisvert likes him.
  • Third Round, No. 70 overall: G Olivier Rodrigue, Drummondville Voltigeurs (QMJHL). Butterfly goalie with a save percentage over .900 in the Q, he’s very quick and skilled. This is in the range where Edmonton looks at goalies.
  • Fourth Round, traded to Montreal for Al Montoya (if he plays seven games)
  • Fifth Round, No. 132 overall: RC Kristian Reichel, Red Deer Rebels (WHL). Righty center with a good shot, he turns 20 in June and could turn pro in the fall. This is Robert’s boy, has skill and two-way ability.
  • Sixth Round, No. 163 overall: RC Aidan Dudas, Owen Sound Attack (OHL). The OHL is a ridiculous league where talent roams freely, and Dudas is a fantastic skill player whose only crime is being 5.07. I love him.
  • Seventh Round, No. 194 overall.

GAME NOTES

  • Idiocy to call the OT goal off, the NHL is a train wreck.
  • Cam Talbot had a ‘last year’ game by my eye, stopping 34 of 37 (.919) and several were of the ‘hoochie mama’ variety.
  • Brandon Davidson (2 goals) and Ryan Strome (2 assists) were impressive, and Connor McDavid was all world (one assist, should have been two, four HDSC’s).
  • There were 60 defense pairings.
  • Natural Stat Trick.

HEAVY HOCKEY

  • Travis Yost: While most of the league has moved towards pace and tempo, Edmonton’s moved in the completely opposite direction. It’s been the most curious of decisions considering the draft lottery reward of the blazing-fast McDavid. And, quite frankly, it looks like one of the big reasons why the team will be sitting at home when the playoffs start.
  • Source

I have always argued balance, a team that has ‘heavy hockey’ and speed merchants shuffled through the order. Consider a baseball team with both speed at the top of the batting order and guys with hair on their ass to bat three, four and five. Balance. It isn’t all or nothing. A team can run Darnell Nurse, Adam Larsson, Milan Lucic and Zack Kassian, even throwing in a Jujhar Khaira here and there. What the Oilers need is speedy wingers (like Caggiula) who can score (Caggiula has not shown ability to be a top six forward in this area).

I get the railing against hits and chasing the puck but for me a speedy player like Nurse who plays a physical game has value. Matt Tkachuk has value. However, speed is a need too. Jesse Puljujarvi has all of it, thank goodness, so maybe that’s the new ideal.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

A busy, fun morning on TSN1260. Starts at 10, and yes, we will talk about goalie interference. Scheduled to appear:

  • Steve Lansky, BigMouthSports. We’ll check in to see if Steve remembers any famous referee moments, plus All-Star break and second half predictions.
  • Paul Almeida, SSE. What should we expect leading up to the trade deadline?
  • Matt Iwanyk, TSN1260. XFL baby!
  • Frank Seravalli, TSN. The latest deadline rumors.

10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter.

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158 Responses to "Burning Down the House"

  1. hunter1909 says:

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

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    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 Chiarelli’s home team return game VS the Bruins on the 20th.

  2. Wilde says:

    Regarding the Strome talk, ass end of last thread, I want to start out saying he had a good game last night.

    Following that, I’d like to reiterate that his version of being a hockey player looks akin to the petting zoo version of an animal.

    But he mysteriously drives possession pretty well on this team, and I think he can give us low event, >50% numbers hockey on soft lines fairly consistently based on what I’ve seen.

    Seasons like this, especially if we rattle of another few 0-5’s when people are watching, can drive down lower value for the victimised players, and Strome might not get the phone calls at 2.5 if we don’t qualify him.

    So I’d give him 2AAV 3y in a heartbeat. If he slots in at 4C/2-3RW I think we win matchups against other team’s bottom units on a regular basis. Just have a league min. guy on 4LW and that’s still only a 5m 4th unit that could end up giving us +5 to +10 goal differential on a season, instead of our -11 or whatever it’s at now.

  3. Scungilli Slushy says:

    Good point about a range of players. The regular season is a different animal than the playoffs usually, as long as the league subjectively calls the rules.

    Being willing and able to muck it up on the boards well when it goes old school is necessary or you won’t have the puck enough, and the chances of rushing all the time goes away with neutral zone tackling.

    I do thing that the look of a ‘heavy’ player is changing. So many skating optional types are disappearing. Lucic still has value and to a lesser extent Maroon because of their size and willingness to engage effectively, and that presence gets larger as other players get smaller over time.

    I’m not sure you want both. I am also quite concerned with Lucic’s apparent loss of puck control. He has been making some truly awful passes into dangerous areas and can’t seem to corral the biscuit. I think ideally you keep Maroon first but thats not going to happen.

  4. leadfarmer says:

    Heavy hockey is meaningless if you can’t keep up with the players you are trying to be heavy against. The name of the game is speed speed speed.

  5. thehop says:

    When can we start talking about how we replace Matt Benning?

    Hopefully you numbers guys can back me up but ist 0v2 clearly a better option?
    Davidson??? Gryba???

    I cringe every time he steps on the ice.

    Love to know why Caggulia was playing so much. What does the coach see in this guy. 3v3 near the end of the OT, dragging his ass on the back check on a breakaway….

    Exciting game! Glad the right team won. Love Nurse and Slepy’s game last night.

    Fuck the war room in Toronto.

  6. OriginalPouzar says:

    That somewhat fluky goal by Davidson may have just saved McLellan’s job – at least for a bit.

    If CGY goes up 3-0, that game likely goes off the rails and we are at the rockiest of all bottoms.

    With that said, that goal did go in, the Oilers beat the flames for the 7th straight time and have won 4 of 5.

  7. Spooky Lynx says:

    Davidson was transcendent. 2 goals and a handful of terrific plays in the bad end of the ice. Maybe the best game for a defender in blue and orange this season.

    Connor was – I don’t even know – a force of nature, perhaps. Golly. He wanted this one.

    Anyone trying to sell the hockey to a non believer should put this game on. Terrific hockey game!

    On the non-goal in OT: the goalie wasn’t tracking the puck off the rebound, this is why he wasn’t in position to make the save, not the “interference”. Just my two cents.

  8. Cassandra says:

    This talk of “heavy hockey” as the reason for the Oiler’s failures is yet another just-so story.

    The Oilers are worse, not because they went for “heavy hockey,” but because they traded good players for less-good players.

    Balance doesn’t matter.
    Heavy hockey doesn’t matter.
    Speed doesn’t matter.

    Only goodness matters. It doesn’t matter if you are big good, or fast good, or big and fast good. What matters is the good that you bring.

    Where good is defined as what you score minus what you give up. Everything else is just narrative.

  9. OriginalPouzar says:

    Talbot was massive in the 2nd half of that game.

    I made a comment after the 2nd goal along the lines of “I guess our goalie isn’t going to make a save”.

    Well, he made the saves in the back half of the game and that was massive.

  10. OriginalPouzar says:

    I’d like to talk about Ryan Strome a bit.

    Player for player, we will never be able to say we got value in the trade but Strome is an Oiler and I’m going to analyze him without regard to the trade.

    Strome had a pretty middling first couple of month as an Oiler but, to my eye, he’s really played quite a bit better over the last 3-4 weeks and I dare say one of the more consistent Oilers over that stretch. I believe that coincidences with him switching to center.

    While he’s not a dynamic offensive player, he does make good plays in the offensive zone and is a good passer with a very good shot when he gets it off. He plays a reasonable 200 foot game and is not bad on the boards.

    Last night was his best game as an Oilers – played over 22 minutes including about 3 and a half on the PK (which pretty much matched his season output prior to last night). He had two assists and scored the OT winner which was disallowed while going around 60% in the faceoff circle.

    The game he brought last night is worth $3M/season if he can bring it every night and he’s been pretty darn consistent over the last 3 weeks.

    I’m looking forward to seeing if he can be consistent for the rest of the year – one of the “storylines” I’m tuning in to.

    There is a player there – the main issue is the required $3M QO – we need value contracts in the bottom 6 but if he can play like that at evens and become a good penalty killer, $3M isn’t a bad deal.

  11. thehop says:

    OriginalPouzar,

    No way he gets a raise…

    He was great last night and I think he could definitely be the solution at 3c.

    Paying him 3million is an overpay. Current salary maybe. If our GM was smart, he’d offer 2million at a longer term.

  12. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    – Great post LT: you know this is your refrain: “The games will be less important now, wins and losses viewed alongside projected draft position.”

    – While it isn’t realistic, it’s still possible. We just don’t know. Who would have said the Avalanche, after trading away their best C, and getting little in return to help the team immediately, would win 10 games in a row. I think if COL can win 10 in a row, so can the OIL. Everyone said Smith was going to be brutal, and he’s going to all-star game, he’s been awesome G: you just don’t know. Talbot needs a better 2nd half, and we can do this.

    – We have a lot of games left against rivals. It is possible LT, don’t be so sucky-baby!

  13. jake70 says:

    Cassandra:

    Only goodness matters.It doesn’t matter if you are big good, or fast good, or big and fast good.What matters is the good that you bring.

    Sounds like a line from “1984”. If you are big and fast, that is double-plus good…. 😉

  14. Connoreah says:

    Cassandra: Where good is defined as what you score minus what you give up. Everything else is just narrative.

    Are you suggesting a player’s level of “good” is defined by their plus/minus?

    Seems like the goal posts get moved daily around what “good” is.

  15. slopitch says:

    Jessie Puljujarvi is the model. Fast, can skate and forecheck as we’ll win the puck (heavy hockey). We all were ready to sent Benning to Stockton after that Benning giveaway and Tkachuk goal. But Lordy what a play by Backlund too. Backlund made another all world defensive play on Drai, outskating him and angling him out eventually stealing the puck. Believe it was in OT.

    Klefbom was great to my eye last night. Win te puck and move it to space. Beauty.

    Dellow had a series of tweets expressing how he thought the oilers would be fine. And I agree. Yet need a RHD puckmover and to swap Letestu (a PP specialist as es boat anchor) with a pk ace. They need a backup goalie as Talbot hasn’t been good enough this year. And they need to upgrade 2 wingers with faster/better models. Move Letestu/Maroon now for picks and perhaps the 1st is available if they don’t win the lottery (for the right player). I like Strome but he’s not fast and not a shooter. But he’s capable. He’d be available though.

    Just send Chiarelli to the moon. He’s done enough damage.

  16. Scungilli Slushy says:

    There certainly might be a sacrifice on the altar, but these guys talk to each other. Nicholson Chiarelli and McLellan know what is going on.

    No team plays well with a shaky goalie and a D core banged up and not playing well missing a part of the top 4, a solid RD. They all agreed upon and knew the path for this year relying on Russell and Benning to shore up the right side.

    Or at least Bob and Pete agreed on the path, perhaps McLellan asked for players and was vetoed being low man on the pole. They don’t operate independently.

    The blame goes around pretty equally, and the cap was the 4th seat at the table. I do believe they wanted to figure out who to keep. We knew it might be pretty ugly if youth didn’t step up.

    The brass didn’t get a read on their youth soon enough to avoid resiging so many players at once creating cap concerns, thus not shoring up the roster, and/or couldn’t get deals done to help. They liquidated skill because of poor deal making and wrong decisions on players going out and coming in.

    The coaches have not been able to get the group playing together and motivated. Talbot and Connor made last year look better than it was just as this year the team isn’t as bad as it looks.

    The players outside of Nuge, Nurse and McDavid have crapped the bed to lesser and greater degrees.

    Everyone has a role in this. Who do you scapegoat? It will be the coach if it happens as usual, but they may also decide to give it another year. My biggest worry is Nicholson and Chiarelli not tweaking the roster the right way and depleting the team even more.

    McLellan I’m ok with, I’m not so sure about his assistants.

    The holes are the same as they were, and a bigger deal can be made that could really change the nature of the team, but if so they need to be bang on how they balance that out. There are good players to get that don’t need to eat a lot of cap with term.

  17. Side says:

    Cassandra:

    Only goodness matters.It doesn’t matter if you are big good, or fast good, or big and fast good.What matters is the good that you bring.

    It does matter what people are good at. This is how chemistry is formed. Two good players who have strengths that play off eachother.

    Someone’s dipping into their philosophy textbook before the weekend, I see.

  18. Wilde says:

    Cassandra:
    This talk of “heavy hockey” as the reason for the Oiler’s failures is yet another just-so story.

    The Oilers are worse, not because they went for “heavy hockey,” but because they traded good players for less-good players.

    Balance doesn’t matter.
    Heavy hockey doesn’t matter.
    Speed doesn’t matter.

    Only goodness matters.It doesn’t matter if you are big good, or fast good, or big and fast good.What matters is the good that you bring.

    Where good is defined as what you score minus what you give up.Everything else is just narrative.

    This is an oversimplification.

    They more aggressively traded good players for less than good players in pursuit of an ideal.

    The less than good players being swift depreciating assets compounds the initial error judging their value.

    Yes, the heavy hockey part of the story wouldn’t matter if he traded up in value anyways, say if he traded Eberle for Getzlaf.

    But when he’s losing value in a vacuum(good player for less good player) and then the environment in terms of the state of the game further devalues those players, it’s not exactly just a narrative without substance. There is something there.

    Only goodness matters, but goodness is ever-evolving.

  19. OriginalPouzar says:

    With respect to Montoya and the seven games, I read a few a weeks ago then he’s only credited with a game for the purposes of the seven games if he plays 30 minutes.

    I admit that information has not been verified, however, if its true, I think he’s only at 1 or 2 games so there is still a chance that its only a 5th rounder.

    It does seem likely it will become a fourth rounder eve if the 30 minute threshold is fact.

  20. OriginalPouzar says:

    thehop:
    When can we start talking about how we replace Matt Benning?

    Hopefully you numbers guys can back me up but ist 0v2 clearly a better option?
    Davidson??? Gryba???

    I cringe every time he steps on the ice.

    Love to know why Caggulia was playing so much. What does the coach see in this guy. 3v3 near the end of the OT, dragging his ass on the back check on a breakaway….

    Exciting game! Glad the right team won. Love Nurse and Slepy’s game last night.

    Fuck the war room in Toronto.

    1) Benning – I think he would have been the odd man out last night if Larsson was able to play. He will likely sit the first game after the break. It would be nice to get him some time in the AHL but he’s subject to waivers and they won’t risk losing him. I don’t think we’ll see any recalls until some players are shipped out near the deadline subject to injury. Every player on the roster is subject to waivers unless they’ve already cleared this year (Pakarinan)

    2) Caggulia’s minutes – Everyone’s minutes were pretty high last night as they only have 11 forwards and then Zack wasn’t available for most of the game.

  21. OmJo says:

    Spooky Lynx:
    Davidson was transcendent. 2 goals and a handful of terrific plays in the bad end of the ice. Maybe the best game for a defender in blue and orange this season.

    Connor was – I don’t even know – a force of nature, perhaps. Golly. He wanted this one.

    Anyone trying to sell the hockey to a non believer should put this game on. Terrific hockey game!

    On the non-goal in OT: the goalie wasn’t tracking the puck off the rebound, this is why he wasn’t in position to make the save, not the “interference”. Just my two cents.

    Minus the OT fiasco. That’s not a good look for the league.

    But agree, this was a great BoA. As much as I like scoring 10 on Calgary, the close games are a bit more exciting because it keeps the intensity until the final seconds.

  22. Woogie63 says:

    Scungilli Slushy:
    There certainly might be a sacrifice on the altar, but these guys talk to each other. Nicholson Chiarelli and McLellan know what is going on.

    No team plays well with a shaky goalie and a D core banged up and not playing well missing a part of the top 4, a solid RD. They all agreed upon and knew the path for this year relying on Russell and Benning to shore up the right side.

    Or at least Bob and Pete agreed on the path, perhaps McLellan asked for players and was vetoed being low man on the pole. They don’t operate independently.

    The blame goes around pretty equally, and the cap was the 4th seat at the table. I do believe they wanted to figure out who to keep. We knew it might be pretty ugly if youth didn’t step up.

    The brass didn’t get a read on their youth soon enough to avoid resiging so many players at once creating cap concerns, thus not shoring up the roster, and/or couldn’t get deals done to help. They liquidated skill because of poor deal making and wrong decisions on players going out and coming in.

    The coaches have not been able to get the group playing together and motivated. Talbot and Connor made last year look better than it was just as this year the team isn’t as bad as it looks.

    The players outside of Nuge, Nurse and McDavid have crapped the bed to lesser and greater degrees.

    Everyone has a role in this. Who do you scapegoat? It will be the coach if it happens as usual, but they may also decide to give it another year. My biggest worry is Nicholson and Chiarelli not tweaking the roster the right way and depleting the team even more.

    McLellan I’m ok with, I’m not so sure about his assistants.

    The holes are the same as they were, and a bigger deal can be made that could really change the nature of the team, but if so they need to be bang on how they balance that out. There are good players to get that don’t need to eat a lot of cap with term.

    I hope the current leadership team is more mature than finding a scapegoat in Edmonton ….again.

    The northern city can make it tough to attrack the best talent, the intensity of the fans can be a blessing and a curse … but this long history of running people out of town is a know problem around the players in the NHL …

    If the goalies provide 930 GA we are way closer to a play off spot and the conversation and mood is much different.

  23. OriginalPouzar says:

    thehop:
    OriginalPouzar,

    No way he gets a raise…

    He was great last night and I think he could definitely be the solution at 3c.

    Paying him 3million is an overpay. Current salary maybe. If our GM was smart, he’d offer 2million at a longer term.

    I’m not advocating for a raise. He needs to be tendered a qualifying offer at $3M or else he becomes a UFA. Of course, the team and player can negotiate an extension below the qualifying offer before the deadline to tender in June – Strome may be willing but not if he thinks he can get more than $3M as a UFA.

    The QO is a factor here.

  24. Wilde says:

    Kinger_Oil.redux:
    – Great post LT: you know this is your refrain: “The games will be less important now, wins and losses viewed alongside projected draft position.”

    – While it isn’t realistic, it’s still possible.We just don’t know.Who would have said the Avalanche, after trading away their best C, and getting little in return to help the team immediately, would win 10 games in a row.I think if COL can win 10 in a row, so can the OIL.Everyone said Smith was going to be brutal, and he’s going to all-star game, he’s been awesome G: you just don’t know.Talbot needs a better 2nd half, and we can do this.

    – We have a lot of games left against rivals.It is possible LT, don’t be so sucky-baby!

    Colorado was much closer to a playoff spot during their streak than we are now.

    We need more like two 10 game winning streaks.

  25. OriginalPouzar says:

    slopitch:

    Klefbom was great to my eye last night. Win te puck and move it to space. Beauty.

    Yes, Klef had one of his better games this season – I think he was up close to 27 minutes, something like 9 shot attempts and 4 shots on net and a plus 2 (something like that – I’m just remembering from McCurdy’s game grades that I read at like 4:30 this morning – they match the eye test on his play from last night).

  26. Durag says:

    I’m waiting for someone to do the inevitable mashup of Strome’s disallowed goal, and the goals by Anaheim in the playoffs last year that were deemed good.

  27. russ99 says:

    Speed and the rush is fun and nice in the regular season, but those lanes and spaces disappear in the postseason.

    The last 10 years of cup winners did two things consistently as a team: defend and forecheck.

    Speed/rush advocates claim the Pens won on speed, I maintain that speed would be useless had they not pinned the opposition in their own end and limited the opposition to one or less scoring chances per sortie.

    Heavy is not what’s failing this club, team defense and forcechecking are. The 80’s era mindset of all speed/rush offense and hope the goalie bails us out is not tenable in this current era of hockey.

    Also, If the Oilers want to do one thing to impact their chances next year it would be move all the old boys out and Chiarelli and McLella, both with cup experience have a real shot.

  28. OriginalPouzar says:

    slopitch:

    They need a backup goalie as Talbot hasn’t been good enough this year.

    They have a back-up goalie – Al Montoya, an established solid veteran backup goalie, signed through next year at standard back-up goalie money.

    He will get more games next year when they matter once again (baring a miracle this year) and there is no game 7 games played threshold to monitor.

  29. Side says:

    Durag:
    I’m waiting for someone to do the inevitable mashup of Strome’s disallowed goal, and the goals by Anaheim in the playoffs last year that were deemed good.

    Anaheim players falling on Talbot, putting their hands inbetween his pads and stopping him from getting into position – Good Goal!

    Connor McDavid brushes goalies stick, McDavid leaves the crease, goalie loses track of puck, puck goes in net – Bad Goal!

  30. Cassandra says:

    Connoreah: Are you suggesting a player’s level of “good” is defined by their plus/minus?

    Seems like the goal posts get moved daily around what “good” is.

    I am not interested in responding to dishonest arguments.

  31. OriginalPouzar says:

    I wonder if there will be a Magnus claim today?

    Only one player can get re-assigned to Bakersfield without waivers – Pakarinan.

    I checked yesterday and Magnus is a UFA at year’s end so there is zero risk. It would take us to 50 contracts but we not buyers, we are sellers, likely disposing of contracts for picks/prospects (prospects could have contracts).

    It could be an issue of the plan is a 3 for 1 type acquisition but I don’t see that and hope that doesn’t happen (I would rather see us use a 3 for 1 to upgrade – i.e. get the 1, the material player).

  32. Cassandra says:

    Side: It does matter what people are good at. This is how chemistry is formed. Two good players who have strengths that play off eachother.

    Someone’s dipping into their philosophy textbook before the weekend, I see.

    What does chemistry mean in this context?

    Certainly two good players playing together will do better than one good player and one average player. But is that because of the mystical value of chemistry, or because they are both good.

    To put it another way, even if we suppose there is such a thing as chemistry, in order for it to have the value you ascribe to it, “chemistry” would have to have a geometric, rather than an arithmetic, effect. Does it? How would we know?

    When you look at things like WOWY’s there isn’t, on the face anyway, any indication of geometric effects. In which case, chemistry does not matter, and we can proceed on the assumption that value is arithmetic.

    Or to put it another way, the whole is not greater than the sum of the parts.

  33. McSorley33 says:

    russ99,

    Speed and the rush is fun and nice in the regular season, but those lanes and spaces disappear in the postseason.
    ******************************************************************************************************
    I agree with this….we witnessed first hand how, at times, it was more WWE than fast hockey.

    That is why I will be very curious to see how a team like Winnipeg fares in the playoffs.

    Bryan Little, Nik Ehlers, Kyle Connor and Mathieult Perrault.

    Now, Winnipeg may simply roll because of sheer depth of talent. But – the game state changes in playoffs and it might not be comfortable for the above players.

  34. JimmyV1965 says:

    I’ll argue this until I’m blue in the face. The Oilers are not slow. They have some slow players like Lucic and Maroon, but virtually every team does.

    We looked slow at the start of the game last night and then suddenly we didn’t look so slow in the third period. We allowed the first shot to go in again and it immediately put the team in a funk. They lost confidence, they lost their jump and that’s why they looked slow. Davey scores a big goal, the team starts to feel it again and suddenly we don’t look so slow.

    The Flames have some slow guys too, considering Lucic beat two of them in a foot race, and I’ve never heard anyone accuse them of being slow.

    Even if you argue the Oil are slow, it doesn’t start with guys like Maroon and Lucic. Sure it would be nice if our two best wingers were faster, but the sloth in our game starts with the dmen. Their inability to make crisp, sharp passes out of the dzone is the slowest part of our game.

    I’m not arguing that we are a fast team. I’m arguing that when we look slow it’s for reasons other than the fact we have a few players with heavy boots.

    End of rant.

  35. digger50 says:

    Last night, whoever said the Oilers should hire the “Swedish Chef” from the muppets, that cracked me up. I would look forward to the media avail.

  36. Cassandra says:

    Wilde: This is an oversimplification.

    They more aggressively traded good players for less than good players in pursuit of an ideal.

    The less than good players being swift depreciating assets compounds the initial error judging their value.

    Yes, the heavy hockey part of the story wouldn’t matter if he traded up in value anyways, say if he traded Eberle for Getzlaf.

    But when he’s losing value in a vacuum(good player for less good player) and then the environment in terms of the state of the game further devalues those players, it’s not exactly just a narrative without substance. There is something there.

    Only goodness matters, but goodness is ever-evolving.

    I don’t buy this. Is goodness ever-evolving, or is our perception/recognition of what is good ever-evolving.

    The NFL has evolved into a passing league. But that doesn’t mean that spread offenses that pass the ball weren’t always better.

    Likewise, Lucic plays heavy hockey. And Lucic sucks. But that doesn’t mean that Lucic sucks because the game has passed him buy. Lucic sucks because he has slowed down, has no hands, and doesn’t play as a physical terror. If you took 22 yr old Lucic and put him on this team, he’d be a good player.

    So while I dislike heavy hockey as much as the next guy. It is because in many cases heaviness is confused with goodness, but the underlying problem isn’t the heaviness, it is the lack of goodness.

  37. JimmyV1965 says:

    Cassandra:
    This talk of “heavy hockey” as the reason for the Oiler’s failures is yet another just-so story.

    The Oilers are worse, not because they went for “heavy hockey,” but because they traded good players for less-good players.

    Balance doesn’t matter.
    Heavy hockey doesn’t matter.
    Speed doesn’t matter.

    Only goodness matters.It doesn’t matter if you are big good, or fast good, or big and fast good.What matters is the good that you bring.

    Where good is defined as what you score minus what you give up.Everything else is just narrative.

    I actually 100% agree with this.

  38. Wilde says:

    russ99:
    Speed and the rush is fun and nice in the regular season, but those lanes and spaces disappear in the postseason.

    The last 10 years of cup winners did two things consistently as a team: defend and forecheck.

    Speed/rush advocates claim the Pens won on speed, I maintain that speed would be useless had they not pinned the opposition in their own end and limited the opposition to one or less scoring chances per sortie.

    Heavy is not what’s failing this club, team defense and forcechecking are. The 80’s era mindset of all speed/rush offense and hope the goalie bails us out is not tenable in this current era of hockey.

    Also, If the Oilers want to do one thing to impact their chances next year it would be move all the old boys out and Chiarelli and McLella, both with cup experience have a real shot.

    Did we watch the same Penguins teams?

    Their entire NZ system was flipping the puck forward and sending waves of burners at it.

    The entire effectiveness of a forecheck is defined by how long it takes to pressure the puck carrier, and how fast each option is contested.

    Both of those factors are skating-reliant.

    Same with defense as well. Remember earlier in the season when Gryba was playing every game and getting turned inside out every 2nd shift by average NHL wingers?

  39. McSorley33 says:

    OriginalPouzar,

    Some teams may want us to take a dud contract / player back at the deadline.

    This is the 2nd coach in St.Louis to make a judgement on MPS.

    I will never understand the adoration this fringe player receives.

    Strongly suspect he will be in Europe next year.

  40. McSorley33 says:

    MPS has the same amount of goals as Brandon Davidson.

    Pass.

  41. Wilde says:

    Cassandra: Likewise, Lucic plays heavy hockey. And Lucic sucks. But that doesn’t mean that Lucic sucks because the game has passed him buy. Lucic sucks because he has slowed down, has no hands, and doesn’t play as a physical terror. If you took 22 yr old Lucic and put him on this team, he’d be a good player.

    And if we had 22 yr old Lucic and Larsson AND it was 2010 it’d be even better.

    And if we traded for Reinhart and it was 2003 we might have gotten an NHL defenseman.

  42. JimmyV1965 says:

    Wilde: This is an oversimplification.

    They more aggressively traded good players for less than good players in pursuit of an ideal.

    The less than good players being swift depreciating assets compounds the initial error judging their value.

    Yes, the heavy hockey part of the story wouldn’t matter if he traded up in value anyways, say if he traded Eberle for Getzlaf.

    But when he’s losing value in a vacuum(good player for less good player) and then the environment in terms of the state of the game further devalues those players, it’s not exactly just a narrative without substance. There is something there.

    Only goodness matters, but goodness is ever-evolving.

    That actually sounds exactly what Cassandra would argue.

  43. A'bunadh says:

    OriginalPouzar,

    Strome went 11 games without a point prior to last nights game. He’s had no points in 4 consecutive games or more 5 times this year.
    The game he brought last night may be worth $3m/yr, but when we only see it every 4th, 5th or 10th game it makes him a $1m player.
    The “make good plays in the offensive zone and is a good passer with a very good shot when he gets it off” can’t be an occasional thing and Strome’s production says it is. You keep trying to sell Strome as something he’s not, the same way management tried to sell him and Larsson to the fanbase when they were acquired.

  44. JimmyV1965 says:

    OriginalPouzar: 1) Benning – I think he would have been the odd man out last night if Larsson was able to play.He will likely sit the first game after the break. It would be nice to get him some time in the AHL but he’s subject to waivers and they won’t risk losing him. I don’t think we’ll see any recalls until some players are shipped out near the deadline subject to injury.Every player on the roster is subject to waivers unless they’ve already cleared this year (Pakarinan)

    2) Caggulia’s minutes – Everyone’s minutes were pretty high last night as they only have 11 forwards and then Zack wasn’t available for most of the game.

    So, what can the team do to help Benning develop. Do we maybe run seven dmen and limit the ice time of guys struggling? It’s a challenge for sure.

  45. Brantford Boy says:

    OriginalPouzar,

    Thanks for bringing this up… as soon as I read LT’s comment ‘Al Montoya (if he plays seven games)’ I started wondering about these relief stints…

    Bad penalties by Kassian, but watching him mouth the words “I’m gong to punch your face in” to Tkachuk was awesome and brought some life to the team that looked dead in the water after 2-0.

    As for Strome, yes a good game and a few more not bad ones lately… lets not get ahead of ourselves, we did this last year after a player had a good run and we payed more than we should have.

    Seems to my eye Davidson is an easy replacement for Benning at this point, and Matt is the most logical for a package trade…

    Pretty sure Connor pointed up to the jumbo-tron last night after his shootout goal and looked at the ref and asked him if he was going to call it goalie interference… classic!

  46. jtblack says:

    DAILY GRATITUDE:

    CONNOR MCDAVID. I estimated Connor walked around 10 different Flames in 1 on1 situations … if its 1 on 1, that means Connor pretends they are not there …. We have seen a host of #1 picks and Great Players. I am flat out STUNNED at how Connor can walk around NHL players as though they are an orange cone.
    #Grateful

  47. AntsOfTheSky says:

    Durag:
    I’m waiting for someone to do the inevitable mashup of Strome’s disallowed goal, and the goals by Anaheim in the playoffs last year that were deemed good.

    Oh man, I’d love this too haha. Just to prove to people the double standard in this league.

  48. Diablo says:

    McSorley33:
    OriginalPouzar,

    Some teams may want us to take a dud contract / player back at the deadline.

    This is the 2nd coach in St.Louis to make a judgement on MPS.

    I will never understand the adoration this fringe player receives.

    Strongly suspect he will be in Europe next year.

    People keep living in the past … same as the Oilers fans who keep pining for Yakupov. It took years for people to get over Schremp and MAP too.

    Doubt anyone makes a claim on MPS.

  49. Wilde says:

    Cassandra,

    And it’s not analogous to strategy in football, because it’s not confined to systems play, or even execution competence.

    It’s metagame stuff like the way that the game is officiated. The average composition of an opposing team. Players goodness isn’t liquid in these shifts.

  50. jtblack says:

    WoodGuy: FAVOR

    You have been beating the Bergeron drum for a while. He is flat out CRUSHUNG it this yr.

    I know they dominate 5×5. Can you tell me how much time Bergeron is on with Chara and if the numbers are same ; different .. etc …I guess WOWY

  51. ArmchairGM says:

    Scungilli Slushy:
    Good point about a range of players. The regular season is a different animal than the playoffs usually, as long as the league subjectively calls the rules.

    Being willing and able to muck it up on the boards well when it goes old school is necessary or you won’t have the puck enough, and the chances of rushing all the time goes away with neutral zone tackling.

    I do thing that the look of a ‘heavy’ player is changing. So many skating optional types are disappearing. Lucic still has value and to a lesser extent Maroon because of their size and willingness to engage effectively, and that presence gets larger as other players get smaller over time.

    I’m not sure you want both. I am also quite concerned with Lucic’s apparent loss of puck control. He has been making some truly awful passes into dangerous areas and can’t seem to corral the biscuit. I think ideally you keep Maroon first but thats not going to happen.

    A range of players is fine, but ideally you want players that can cover that range themselves. Players like Puljujarvi, Draisaitl, Nurse, Larsson and to a lesser extent Khaira and Kassian can play the skill / speed game as well as heavy hockey.

    It’s interesting to study how mma has evolved at least since UFC’s inception: at first it was experts in a single skill fighting each other and the question was which discipline was the best one. Then gradually the fighters started learning multiple disciplines, and we’re at the point now where the most successful fighters are multi-faceted. This means a greater emphasis is placed on strategy – you can play different styles of hockey against different opponents for a better chance of winning.

  52. Wilde says:

    JimmyV1965,

    You run two lefties on the right hand side while rolling 7D.
    77-6
    81-88
    2-4
    83

  53. jtblack says:

    Wilde:
    JimmyV1965,

    You run two lefties on the right hand side while rolling 7D.
    77-6
    81-88
    2-4
    83

    Said no Stanley Cup Contender. EVER

  54. OriginalPouzar says:

    A’bunadh:
    OriginalPouzar,

    Strome went 11 games without a point prior to last nights game.He’s had no points in 4 consecutive games or more 5 times this year.
    The game he brought last night may be worth $3m/yr, but when we only see it every 4th, 5th or 10th game it makes him a $1m player.The “make good plays in the offensive zone and is a good passer with a very good shot when he gets it off” can’t be an occasional thing and Strome’s production says it is.You keep trying to sell Strome as something he’s not, the same way management tried to sell him and Larsson to the fanbase when they were acquired.

    Sure, he may have been held pointless over the last 2-3 weeks but I would argue that he brought the same game (or very similar) to the game he brought last night when he was rewarded with boxcars.

    As I said, he’s played well for a 2-3 week stretch – its not all about getting points, sometimes they don’t come even when playing well (in particular when playing 3C for the Oilers, a team with no winger depth).

    So, although he didn’t have point totals in the past few weeks, I would argue that his play that we say last night has been fairly consistent over the last 4-6 games.

    Can it be consistent over 82 games? I don’t know the answer to that but am hoping to have a better idea in a few months.

  55. OriginalPouzar says:

    JimmyV1965: So, what can the team do to help Benning develop. Do we maybe run seven dmen and limit the ice time of guys struggling? It’s a challenge for sure.

    Yes, I agree, it is a challenge and I don’t know the answer to the question.

    Limit minutes/responsibilities but keep providing 3rd pairing ice.

  56. ArmchairGM says:

    thehop:
    When can we start talking about how we replace Matt Benning?

    Hopefully you numbers guys can back me up but ist 0v2 clearly a better option?
    Davidson??? Gryba???

    I cringe every time he steps on the ice.

    Love to know why Caggulia was playing so much. What does the coach see in this guy. 3v3 near the end of the OT, dragging his ass on the back check on a breakaway….

    Exciting game! Glad the right team won. Love Nurse and Slepy’s game last night.

    Fuck the war room in Toronto.

    I posted some of Auvitu’s and Davidson’s stats the other day – it’s astounding that these guys have to sit in the pressbox so much.

  57. bassguy says:

    Hi Lowetide, thanks for the shout out to tommy banks….I had the pleasure of playing with tommy but also traveling over seas and hanging with him for weeks at a time….an absolutely great piano player in the style of Oscar Peterson, who he loved with out a doubt, but the greatest fan and ambassador of Edmonton….even though he was born in Calgary !!….may he rest in peace

  58. Wilde says:

    jtblack:
    WoodGuy: FAVOR

    You have been beating the Bergeron drum for a while. He is flat out CRUSHUNG it this yr.

    I know they dominate 5×5. Can you tell me how much time Bergeron is on with Chara and if the numbers are same ; different ..etc …I guess WOWY

    I know you weren’t addressing me, but this is a job for NST’s line tool:

    http://naturalstattrick.com/linestats.php?season=20172018&stype=2&sit=5v5&score=all&rate=n&team=BOS&view=wowy&loc=B&gpfilt=none&fd=2017-09-13&td=2018-04-07&tgp=82&strict=incl&p1=8470638&p2=8465009&p3=0&p4=0&p5=0

    at 5v5

    Bergeron+Chara
    TOI : 263:13
    CF: 58.7%
    GF: 70.6%

    Bergeron w/o Chara
    TOI : 299:58
    CF : 58.2%
    GF : 81.5% (what the fuck?)

    Chara w/o Bergeron
    TOI: 593:31 (at age 80)
    CF : 49.91%
    GF : 58.33%

    !!!! The following is what the Oilers need to emulate !!!!

    Bruins without either:
    CF : 52.17%
    GF : 50%

  59. Scungilli Slushy says:

    Cassandra:
    This talk of “heavy hockey” as the reason for the Oiler’s failures is yet another just-so story.

    The Oilers are worse, not because they went for “heavy hockey,” but because they traded good players for less-good players.

    Balance doesn’t matter.
    Heavy hockey doesn’t matter.
    Speed doesn’t matter.

    Only goodness matters.It doesn’t matter if you are big good, or fast good, or big and fast good.What matters is the good that you bring.

    Where good is defined as what you score minus what you give up.Everything else is just narrative.

    Agreed. Still there are reasons why some are good and some aren’t starting with talent, and after that what limits the player at the NHL level in it’s current climate. It is very often skating, strength, or effort/discipline for those not supremely skilled like Kane, Gaudreau and Panarin.

    Player types that succeed vary directly with how the league is calling penalties. Right now skating and puck skill are really important because of less obstruction and hacking, and we are seeing players that are weak skaters or puck optional disappearing from the league.

    We are seeing smaller players, mostly at forward, getting chances to make it that they didn’t not that long ago. There have always been outliers in size in the league but they were few, there are more now.

  60. dustrock says:

    Sens claimed MPS.

    Surely we trade for Hoffman now.

    Surely.

  61. Wilde says:

    Scungilli Slushy:
    We are seeing smaller players, mostly at forward, getting chances to make it that they didn’t not that long ago. There have always been outliers in size in the league but they were few, there are more now.

    Small forwards are so 2016.

    This is the Sammy Girard league now, baby

  62. Diablo says:

    dustrock:
    Sens claimed MPS.

    Surely we trade for Hoffman now.

    Surely.

    Well I stand corrected – MPS to the Sens. Huh.

    I read somewhere that the ask for Hoffman is a mid-round 1st + B level prospect (aka Jones/Bear/Caggs).

    Think its safe to assume that the Sens will keep their top 10 protected 1st and will be giving up their 2019 1st instead.

    So are we OK with moving our 2019 1st + Caggs for Hoffman.
    If this occurs, salary needs to go out … one of RNH, Lucic, Sekera (or dare to dream) Russell.
    I think Oilers mgmt tries to move out a big salary first.

  63. Scungilli Slushy says:

    McSorley33:
    russ99,

    Speed and the rush is fun and nice in the regular season, but those lanes and spaces disappear in the postseason.
    ******************************************************************************************************
    I agree with this….we witnessed first hand how, at times, it was more WWE than fast hockey.

    That is why I will be very curious to see how a team like Winnipeg fares in the playoffs.

    Bryan Little, Nik Ehlers,Kyle Connor and Mathieult Perrault.

    Now, Winnipeg may simply roll because of sheer depth of talent. But – the game state changes in playoffs and it might not be comfortable for the above players.

    If the smaller players are faster than the bigger guys and have jam it won’t matter. Where smaller guys fail when it gets tight is that they don’t have separation speed and/or the puck skills to use in battles, because they aren’t going to win one on ones if they have to use the body too much.

    If they can’t separate from checkers they won’t get near the net either when the obstruction starts up again. So if they are shooting from distance they would have to have a pretty deadly hard shot, again not the forte of most smaller than normal players.

  64. 106 and 106 says:

    They should make McDavid angry more often.

    Don’t mind a little jam from the Captain.

  65. OriginalPouzar says:

    Sens claimed Magnus.

    I wonder if Chiarelli put in a claim?

    We may never know.

  66. OriginalPouzar says:

    Diablo: People keep living in the past … same as the Oilers fans who keep pining for Yakupov. It took years for people to get over Schremp and MAP too.

    Doubt anyone makes a claim on MPS.

    Sens made a claim and I bet you multiple teams made a claim.

    For me, the thought of adding Magnus (and I was interested) has nothing to do with his initial stint as an Oiler and everything to do with the assets that he has that could potentially help the team (speed, responsibility in the bottom 6 and PK).

    It would have been a no risk claim (send Pak down to make room on the roster) and, if nothing else, the potential to flip him at the deadline for a 7th rounder if he performed OK.

    No big deal though.

  67. Cassandra says:

    Wilde:
    Cassandra,

    And it’s not analogous to strategy in football, because it’s not confined to systems play, or even execution competence.

    It’s metagame stuff like the way that the game is officiated. The average composition of an opposing team. Players goodness isn’t liquid in these shifts.

    I understand the argument. I just see no evidence there is such a metagame, or rather that the metagame is significant in terms of what qualities players need to have.

    To put it another way, I don’t think the game has changed, and this has allowed good, smaller players to succeed. I think there never was a time when good, smaller, players, wouldn’t have succeeded if they had been given the chance.

    Now that I write that, however, I see a way in which what you are saying may be indirectly true, and reconciled with what I am saying.

    There are more good, small, players in the league today.
    In the past, these players may not have gotten the chance and been replaced by worse players.
    Therefore, the overall quality of play has increased.
    This exposes the weaker players, regardless of size.

  68. JimmyV1965 says:

    jtblack: Said no Stanley Cup Contender. EVER

    I’m not saying we do it. In fact, on the radio yesterday Strudwick said he hated it when his team went with seven dmen. Make no mistake though. We ARE NOT a cup contender. It begs the question though. What do you do with 83? I have no idea. He needs ice time and if you send him to AHL he goes through waivers first.

  69. eidy says:

    127 years ago today Wilfred Penfield was born. He of the famous “I smell burnt toast” which was used in the epic rant by LT the morning after the Buffalo game.

    Also, oilers -23 on the season with 19 PPG and 44 scored against them on the PP. There is optimism for the future of the Edmonton oilers, but it “is the special teams stupid” should be the central theme.

  70. dustrock says:

    Has there ever been a time where a head coach was kept but his assistants were replaced and it worked out? Anyone?

    No snark here, I’m honestly curious if this is a thing.

  71. ArmchairGM says:

    LT, I miss the stats charts you usually post. I know you mentioned about the pairings, but surely you could post individual stats at least?

  72. Wilde says:

    Cassandra: There are more good, small, players in the league today.
    In the past, these players may not have gotten the chance and been replaced by worse players.
    Therefore, the overall quality of play has increased.
    This exposes the weaker players, regardless of size.

    Yes. This is the heart of it. And it’s not just that he got players that were depreciating, he ignored or moved out players that were appreciating.

    I think if I were to make an argument though on the significance of this facet of the mismanagement, then it would have to be a conservative one.

    The main incompetence was just evaluating the players in stasis.

    Barzal still would have demolished this league in 2010.

  73. Wilde says:

    JimmyV1965: I’m not saying we do it. In fact, on the radio yesterday Strudwick said he hated it when his team went with seven dmen. Make no mistake though. We ARE NOT a cup contender. It begs the question though. What do you do with 83? I have no idea. He needs ice time and if you send him to AHL he goes through waivers first.

    Yeah saying “that’s not what a cup contender looks like!!!” when commenting on an answer to a question that was ‘how do we shelter a player in a position of great scarcity on the roster during a lottery-bound season’ seemed a little out of place.

    The point of the 7D spot is you can give him 18 minutes or 4.

  74. Pescador says:

    2018/19

    Xxx-97-98
    16-29-xxx
    Lesigh-93-Mamoto
    91-xxx-44

    Yikes,
    Two top wingers needed again, Strome needs to show last nights effort for the rest of this season or I give his money to someone else.
    Yamamoto makes the team because this org seriously lacks F depth.
    4C- 1M or less, insert speed please.

  75. ArmchairGM says:

    OriginalPouzar: I’m not advocating for a raise.He needs to be tendered a qualifying offer at $3M or else he becomes a UFA. Of course, the team and player can negotiate an extension below the qualifying offer before the deadline to tender in June – Strome may be willing but not if he thinks he can get more than $3M as a UFA.

    The QO is a factor here.

    Good point. If at the end of the season we feel he is NOT worth $3M but he won’t sign for less, what to do? I’d say let him walk, but I’m afraid Chiarelli won’t due to the optics – and I don’t blame him. Best case scenario he then signs him to a 1-year $3M deal and finds a trade partner… would Vegas be interested in sending Nate Schmidt this way? I realize he’s a LHD, but he plays (I believe) right side for Vegas. Some might prefer Miller, just not sure Vegas does that.

  76. JimmyV1965 says:

    Wilde: Yeah saying “that’s not what a cup contender looks like!!!” when commenting on an answer to a question that was ‘how do we shelter a player in a position of great scarcity on the roster during a lottery-bound season’ seemed a little out of place.

    It’s funny in a sad way. I too cringe every time 83 has the puck in th dzone facing forechecking pressure. If he manages to get the puck to a teammate it’s almost lucky. And it seems to be getting worse.

  77. JimmyV1965 says:

    ArmchairGM: Good point. If at the end of the season we feel he is NOT worth $3M but he won’t sign for less, what to do? I’d say let him walk, but I’m afraid Chiarelli won’t due to the optics – and I don’t blame him. Best case scenario he then signs him to a 1-year $3M deal and finds a trade partner… would Vegas be interested in sending Nate Schmidt this way? I realize he’s a LHD, but he plays (I believe) right side for Vegas. Some might prefer Miller, just not sure Vegas does that.

    I really worry about Chia resigning Strome to save face. Right now he’s a $2 mill player that gets you a third round pick in a trade, maybe a late second rounder.

  78. OriginalPouzar says:

    JimmyV1965: I really worry about Chia resigning Strome to save face. Right now he’s a $2 mill player that gets you a third round pick in a trade, maybe a late second rounder.

    I’m not overly concerned about that as one of the things that I would commend Chia for is his ability to walk away from his mistakes and not compound them. For example:

    1) let Reinhart go in expansion as it was the right move notwithstanding the optics of trading those two pics and having nothing to show for it a few years later (although we have Khaira to show for it as he’d be in Vegas if Reinhart wasn’t an Oilers)

    2) trading Jokinen a few months after the “big signing”.

    At this point, I’m not sure what the “right answer” is with Strome – I need to see if he can continue to perform like he has over the last few weeks through the end of the year.

  79. Scungilli Slushy says:

    ArmchairGM: A range of players is fine, but ideally you want players that can cover that range themselves. Players like Puljujarvi, Draisaitl, Nurse, Larsson and to a lesser extent Khaira and Kassian can play the skill / speed game as well as heavy hockey.

    It’s interesting to study how mma has evolved at least since UFC’s inception: at first it was experts in a single skill fighting each other and the question was which discipline was the best one. Then gradually the fighters started learning multiple disciplines, and we’re at the point now where the most successful fighters are multi-faceted. This means a greater emphasis is placed on strategy – you can play different styles of hockey against different opponents for a better chance of winning.

    I also prefer players that are rounded. Skill, skating, normal size and assertive on the ice.

    I agree as said above that game state affects how the team speed looks. At the same time some players are much more fluid skating and those are the players I prefer because it increases tempo of play.

    The game is easier for guys that arrive sooner (have more time or take time away) especially when checking is tight and there are no free lanes and standing unchecked close to the net.

    The forecheck and disrupting breakouts is much better with fast forwards. I think natural skating players tire less because they aren’t gutting themselves to keep up.

    Lucic when he’s moving well is working so hard to get going. Chugging like he’s pulling a train car. It’s amazing the difference between him and players like JP and Connor. So effortless and they’re flying in a a few strides.

  80. thehop says:

    OriginalPouzar,

    Interesting… I was unaware and glad you pointed it out.

    Hoping he finishes strong and earns a contract.

  81. jake70 says:

    jtblack:
    DAILY GRATITUDE:

    CONNOR MCDAVID.I estimated Connor walked around 10 different Flames in 1 on1 situations … if its1 on 1, that means Connor pretends they are not there …. We have seen a host of #1 picks and Great Players. I am flat out STUNNED at how Connor can walk around NHL players as though they are an orange cone.
    #Grateful

    His next level is to start beating NHL goalies more often when he is in tight on them……..you think D back off a bit now….imagine.

  82. Melman says:

    Thanks LT – It’s been years since I’ve heard “hoochie mama”. Time for it to come back 🙂

  83. Wilde says:

    JimmyV1965: I really worry about Chia resigning Strome to save face. Right now he’s a $2 mill player that gets you a third round pick in a trade, maybe a late second rounder.

    Chia let Griffin go to Vegas over Khaira, albeit that was 2 years post-bet and not one, but conversely the difference between GR and an nhl defenseman is greater than the difference between Strome and a 2.5M/YR forward.

    For the record I’d sign Strome with term at 2M, but if a team gives you pick 45-60 2018 for him you do that.

  84. Nix says:

    A’bunadh:
    OriginalPouzar,

    Strome went 11 games without a point prior to last nights game.He’s had no points in 4 consecutive games or more 5 times this year.
    The game he brought last night may be worth $3m/yr, but when we only see it every 4th, 5th or 10th game it makes him a $1m player.The “make good plays in the offensive zone and is a good passer with a very good shot when he gets it off” can’t be an occasional thing and Strome’s production says it is.You keep trying to sell Strome as something he’s not, the same way management tried to sell him and Larsson to the fanbase when they were acquired.

    Perhaps it depends on the question. ‘Is Strome a great 3C?’ No. ‘Is Strome a decent right handed 3C who can pass and shoot ok? Yes. ‘Is Strome better than Drake and Descharnais in that spot? You betcha. There’s lots of problems with this team but I don’t think Ryan Strome is where you start the audit. We have bigger toast to fry.

  85. Diablo says:

    OriginalPouzar: Sens made a claim and I bet you multiple teams made a claim.

    For me, the thought of adding Magnus (and I was interested) has nothing to do with his initial stint as an Oiler and everything to do with the assets that he has that could potentially help the team (speed, responsibility in the bottom 6 and PK).

    It would have been a no risk claim (send Pak down to make room on the roster) and, if nothing else, the potential to flip him at the deadline for a 7th rounder if he performed OK.

    No big deal though.

    Already ate my crow above thanks … as I said there I stand corrected.
    But thanks for the extra serving of passive aggressiveness to wash down that crow.

  86. Melman says:

    Wilde: Chia let Griffin go to Vegas over Khaira, albeit that was 2 years post-bet and not one, but conversely the difference between GR and an nhl defenseman is greater than the difference between Strome and a 2.5M/YR forward.

    For the record I’d sign Strome with term at 2M, but if a team gives you pick 45-60 2018 for him you do that.

    The problem there is that there is no prospect bubbling under to replace Strome

  87. Cassandra says:

    Wilde: Yes. This is the heart of it. And it’s not just that he got players that were depreciating, he ignored or moved out players that were appreciating.

    I think if I were to make an argument though on the significance of this facet of the mismanagement, then it would have to be a conservative one.

    The main incompetence was just evaluating the players in stasis.

    Barzal still would have demolished this league in 2010.

    We are in agreement.

    Especially concerning the last sentence. That guy is incredible.

  88. gregsaint says:

    The Oilers really missed Letestu last night, didn’t they…I mean, Auvitu only played 4 minutes?!?

  89. Connoreah says:

    Cassandra: I am not interested in responding to dishonest arguments.

    My apologies if I offended – I wasn’t trying to be dishonest. I genuinely have no idea what you define as “good” and your comment today further muddied the water, in my opinion. Which normally isn’t worth commenting on, but given your habit of presenting your arguments as indisputable truths that shall not be challenged without mockery, I decided to point out the obvious – you yourself have no idea what you consider “good.” It’s all narrative.

  90. jtblack says:

    Wilde: I know you weren’t addressing me, but this is a job for NST’s line tool:

    http://naturalstattrick.com/linestats.php?season=20172018&stype=2&sit=5v5&score=all&rate=n&team=BOS&view=wowy&loc=B&gpfilt=none&fd=2017-09-13&td=2018-04-07&tgp=82&strict=incl&p1=8470638&p2=8465009&p3=0&p4=0&p5=0

    at 5v5

    Bergeron+Chara
    TOI : 263:13
    CF: 58.7%
    GF: 70.6%

    Bergeron w/o Chara
    TOI : 299:58
    CF : 58.2%
    GF : 81.5% (what the fuck?)

    Chara w/o Bergeron
    TOI: 593:31 (at age 80)
    CF : 49.91%
    GF : 58.33%

    !!!! The following is what the Oilers need to emulate !!!!

    Bruins without either:
    CF : 52.17%
    GF : 50%

    Thank you!! I see Bergeron is driving it All. I thought Chara may have helped, but its clearly Bergy helping EVERYONE.

    That top BOS line has it all …

  91. Connoreah says:

    Cassandra: What does chemistry mean in this context?

    Certainly two good players playing together will do better than one good player and one average player.But is that because of the mystical value of chemistry, or because they are both good.

    To put it another way, even if we suppose there is such a thing as chemistry, in order for it to have the value you ascribe to it, “chemistry” would have to have a geometric, rather than an arithmetic, effect.Does it?How would we know?

    When you look at things like WOWY’s there isn’t, on the face anyway, any indication of geometric effects.In which case, chemistry does not matter, and we can proceed on the assumption that value is arithmetic.

    Or to put it another way, the whole is not greater than the sum of the parts.

    More bunk. Is Connor Sheary “more good” than Phil Kessel? He must be in Cassandra’s assessment, because him and Crosby had better results.

    I’m more convinced than ever that this is a troll account. SMH

  92. jtblack says:

    JimmyV1965: I’m not saying we do it. In fact, on the radio yesterday Strudwick said he hated it when his team went with seven dmen. Make no mistake though. We ARE NOT a cup contender. It begs the question though. What do you do with 83? I have no idea. He needs ice time and if you send him to AHL he goes through waivers first.

    I was more Referring to having 2 LHD play the Right side. The Balance photo remains unattainable for PC.

  93. Connoreah says:

    Cassandra: Cassandra

    Lucic scored 50 points last year and was a -3. Taylor Hall scored 53 and was a -9. Based on your definition of good above (what you score minus what you give up), they are almost identical players in terms of value. Lucic is slightly better, though, by your measure. But hey, let’s not let that get in the way of your narrative!

  94. Scungilli Slushy says:

    Diablo: Well I stand corrected – MPS to the Sens. Huh.

    I read somewhere that the ask for Hoffman is a mid-round 1st + B level prospect (aka Jones/Bear/Caggs).

    Think its safe to assume that the Sens will keep their top 10 protected 1st and will be giving up their 2019 1st instead.

    So are we OK with moving our 2019 1st + Caggs for Hoffman.
    If this occurs, salary needs to go out … one of RNH, Lucic, Sekera (or dare to dream) Russell.
    I think Oilers mgmt tries to move out a big salary first.

    Man would that hurt if Chia payed it given he sold basically the same player for Strome. Ouch. It’s hard to watch other teams make trades and at least break even while the Oilers repeatedly get rolled.

  95. Georges says:

    This is Todd McLellan’s 3rd year with the Oilers.

    Since 2000-01 and prior to this season, there have been 47 coaches who’ve reached the 3 year mark with their teams. 27 (or 57%) of them coached the team for a fourth year.

    Here’s a breakdown of this group of 47 by their aggregate P% in their 3 years with the team:

    3-year P%, Coaches, % retained for 4th year

    .550 or better, 25, 76%
    less than .550, 22, 36%

    (Above .550 works out to at least 90 points in a season. Usually shy of playoffs. If I use a cut point of .570, meaning 94 points or more and probably making the playoffs, the percentages change to 82% and 43%, respectively. The pattern stays the same: a stronger regular season track record is more likely to be rewarded with a 4th season.)

    Of the 8 sub .550 coaches who were retained for a 4th season, only 2 reached a 5th: Capuano in NYI and Richards in CBJ. Those two franchises decided to stick with their HC when they made the playoffs in the HC’s 3rd season after missing the playoffs in his first 2. Both teams took a step back in HC season 4 and both teams kept the coach for a 5th season.

    Recent record matters as well.

    There were 27 coaches with a below .550 P% in their 3rd season with their team. Only 8 of these coaches (30%) were retained for a 4th. Of those 8, only one, Laviolette with CAR, reached a 5th. He’d won a Cup with the team in year 2.

    Wayne Gretzky had a .506 P% in his 3rd season with PHX. He was done after finishing his 4th year with a .482.

    Randy Carlyle went from .594 in his second year to .512 in his third year with TOR. He was fired midway through his 4th season; the Leafs were at .563 at the time.

    Only one coach with a sub .500 P% in his 3rd season managed to get a 4th: Glen Hanlon in WSH. He was fired 21 games into his 4th season after a 6-14-1 start.

    Boudreau took over and coached that team to a 37-17-7 record for the remaining 61 games. They made the playoffs, one of the biggest turnarounds on record.

    Todd McLellan has a 3-year P% of .516 and a 3rd-season P% of .480.

  96. thehop says:

    Connoreah,

    More Olympic level Mental Gymnast than troll.

  97. Scungilli Slushy says:

    The league should give the Oilers franchise and fans a Builder’s Award for all of the work they’ve done giving away talent and developing players for the other teams. The league overall is better for it.

  98. Lowetide says:

    Connoreah: My apologies if I offended – I wasn’t trying to be dishonest. I genuinely have no idea what you define as “good” and your comment today further muddied the water, in my opinion. Which normally isn’t worth commenting on, but given your habit of presenting your arguments as indisputable truths that shall not be challenged without mockery, I decided to point out the obvious – you yourself have no idea what you consider “good.” It’s all narrative.

    Excellent post.

  99. JimmyV1965 says:

    Instead of signing Strome for 2.5, would we better off signing someone like Derek Ryan, Leo Komarov, Lars Eller or Chris Wagner. I think they would all be cheaper. None of them are great but I think they all have good elements to their game. Just spit balling here.

  100. Woogie63 says:

    How do we get Hoffman and Grabner on Connor’s wing next year?

  101. Scungilli Slushy says:

    Woogie63:
    How do we get Hoffman and Grabner on Connor wing next year?

    I was just wondering if Grabner is enough. The asset cost and salary cost is high on Hoffman for a not large bump in goal production over Grabner. Grabner also kills penalties.

    These decisions are where the cagey GM’s make hay.

    Hoffman will also force someone with salary off the team unless they get someone to waive.

    The hole at 2RD is gaping. It’s a far bigger problem IMO. Having a good player there will increase forwards scoring because the puck would be moving far better.

    Ideally they get the defencemen and Hoffman maybe Grabner as well using Letestu’s salary to cover most of it, however the players they should move to do that have NMCs.

  102. Cassandra says:

    Connoreah: My apologies if I offended – I wasn’t trying to be dishonest. I genuinely have no idea what you define as “good” and your comment today further muddied the water, in my opinion. Which normally isn’t worth commenting on, but given your habit of presenting your arguments as indisputable truths that shall not be challenged without mockery, I decided to point out the obvious – you yourself have no idea what you consider “good.” It’s all narrative.

    This is nonsense. This debate has been going on for years, and I have explained myself many, many times. I’m not going to again, to satisfy your attempts to play gotcha games.

    I never said, or even insinuated, the things you’ve attributed to me, for instance, concerning plus/minus. You are either presenting dishonest arguments in a sophistic attempt to trap me in an apparent contradiction, or are not trying to understand.

    Worse, it is presented behind a passive aggressive facade. You are trying to offend. Indeed, in your very next post you go for the insults, just like you did last time.

  103. Cassandra says:

    Connoreah: Lucic scored 50 points last year and was a -3. Taylor Hall scored 53 and was a -9. Based on your definition of good above (what you score minus what you give up), they are almost identical players in terms of value. Lucic is slightly better, though, by your measure. But hey, let’s not let that get in the way of your narrative!

    What does plus/minus have to do with anything?

    One of us is spinning narratives, and it isn’t me.

  104. OriginalPouzar says:

    No Jones tonight for the Condors – he left last game with an injury and isn’t ready to go.

    I’m not sure what the injury is but am trying to find out.

  105. OriginalPouzar says:

    Diablo: Already ate my crow above thanks … as I said there I stand corrected.
    But thanks for the extra serving of passive aggressiveness to wash down that crow.

    There was no crow being served and definitely nothing passive aggresive about my post – I catch up on the comments starting from earlier to later and, if there is a post I’d like to respond to, I do so without perusing the posts that came after.

    I just responded to the post with no intention, just the fact (which I did not know you had already responded to) and my personal thoughts.

  106. OriginalPouzar says:

    Connoreah: Lucic scored 50 points last year and was a -3. Taylor Hall scored 53 and was a -9. Based on your definition of good above (what you score minus what you give up), they are almost identical players in terms of value. Lucic is slightly better, though, by your measure. But hey, let’s not let that get in the way of your narrative!

    Not to mention, Lucic had a poor even strength season last year and many of his points came on the PP.

  107. Sighduck says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    No Jones tonight for the Condors – he left last game with an injury and isn’t ready to go.

    I’m not sure what the injury is but am trying to find out.

    You make it so much easier to keep up with the Joneses (prospects)! Thanks again for all the hard work

  108. JimmyV1965 says:

    Scungilli Slushy: I was just wondering if Grabner is enough. The asset cost and salary cost is high on Hoffman for a not large bump in goal production over Grabner. Grabner also kills penalties.

    These decisions are where the cagey GM’s make hay.

    Hoffman will also force someone with salary off the team unless they get someone to waive.

    The hole at 2RD is gaping. It’s a far bigger problem IMO. Having a good player there will increase forwards scoring because the puck would be moving far better.

    Ideally they get the defencemen and Hoffman maybe Grabner as well using Letestu’s salary to cover most of it, however the players they should move to do that have NMCs.

    Grabner will be expensive, maybe $5 mill.

  109. OriginalPouzar says:

    For anyone that’s interested, Regina and Swift Current is on SN tomorrow afternoon at 1:30 (Hebig and Skinnner).

  110. Georges says:

    Todd McLellan took over a team with a .378 P% in its previous season. That team had just drafted a generational talent in Connor McDavid.

    If he finishes the season at 82 points, McLellan’s 3-year P% will be .518.

    Since 2000-01, there have been 63 times where a coach has taken over a sub .500 team in its previous season.

    On 43 occasions, these coaches have delivered an aggregate P% below .520 by their third season or by the time they were let go.

    Just 6 (14%) of these coaches got a 4th season with their team.

    Here’s their P% in their 3rd season:

    Lemaire, MIN, .579
    Capuano, NYI, .573
    Tortorella, TBL, .567
    Hitchcock, CBJ, .561
    Sacco, COL, .537
    Gretzky, PHX, .506

    McLellan currently has a P% of .480.

    I’m going to stop with the McLellan stuff… after this.

    You’ve written pages on Chiarelli and pixels on McLellan. You’re seeing (predicting?) a scenario in which the GM is replaced but the coach is retained.

    To borrow from Rom, this would be an unmitigated disaster. One of those two has shown an ability to do their job. And it’s not your guy.

    McLellan has had a terrible, terrible run with this club. Based on the historical numbers I’ve been providing, a run like that is typically and rightly rewarded with a your services will no longer be required not a sorry we couldn’t give you better horses; we’ll change everything else (again) but we definitely plan on keeping you. (I really hate calling players horses.)

    He had more than half of his first season with McDavid and Hall in the lineup and he moved the needle not at all. Not at all. With Connor McDavid and Hall in the lineup, we went 17-25-3. Does that sound right to you? Does that sound like all we need to do now is get Hall back with McLellan and this team would be cooking with gas? McLellan said at the time of the trade that Hall was a dynamic player but we need a guy who can play big minutes for us back there. That was his veteran coach take on what he needed to create success.

    Because he had the reputation of a veteran coach who knows how to create success, the team was deemed unfixable and the team was reengineered to his specifications. PC did a fantastic job last season. He gave McLellan the best forward talent in the WC along with capable defenders and a good goalie. That was a formula PIT gave to Sullivan in the EC. Ron Hainsey was on that team’s first pair. And a certain former Oiler, also deemed unfixable by our HC.

    McLellan took the PC reengineered team and he told them they needed to believe they could “play” with ANA… instead of beating the goddamn crap out of them!!!, like he was favored to do. McLellan doesn’t get that you don’t build up to opportunity; yes, you prepare for when it arrives, but you also take it when it presents itself. Our veteran coach decided that Nuge and Eberle (Eberle!) was the matchup he wanted against Getzlaf at home. And then he blamed Eberle!!!

    This year, when he was favored to win the WC, he ran a Dallas Eakins training camp. He called out players, implied with words that came out of his mouth that the guy we got for the guy he wanted gone wasn’t good enough. (Or maybe he really did mean Dylan.) He played Larsson and Klefbom 30 minutes in a pre-season game. He decided that was the way he wanted to cover for Sekera. He decided on Drai at RW and Yamamoto for the top 6. It made no sense. He didn’t read anything correctly.

    Now he’s icing the 30th best PP, which is a nice quiet time for the other team to relax and run out the clock while protecting the lead they got against his 31st and historically worst PK.

    And yet, we’re going to call out the players. It’s Lucic, it’s Russell, it’s Klefbom, it’s Benning, if only we had Barzal. Everything would be so much better. Here’s something to consider: no configuration of players would suffice with this coach. Given his M.O., his sense of somehow having made it and his failure to meet his own failures and reflect and adapt, he will confuse and alienate the locker room. He will underachieve and cost his team players and time. With the blender on full troll setting now that he’s desperate, evaluating players is pointless.

    Connor McDavid is a generational talent. McLellan has been so bad with this team that it’s not enough to qualify for the playoffs. We weep and gnash our teeth because McDavid isn’t enough to QUALIFY!!! for the playoffs.

    McLellan did this eraser bit to another great player. That guy is going to finish in the top 15 of all-time NHL scoring. Bad luck for Thornton. Doesn’t have to be for CMD.

  111. OriginalPouzar says:

    Sighduck: For anyone that’s interested, Regina and Swift Current is on SN tomorrow afternoon at 1:30 (Hebig and Skinnner).

    No problem.

    I actually enjoy keeping up on all the prospects to the extent I can. In many cases its just reading the boxcars but I like doing so in real time. I try and read as much about each of the prospects but there often isn’t much info out there.

  112. Lowetide says:

    ArmchairGM:
    LT, I miss the stats charts you usually post. I know you mentioned about the pairings, but surely you could post individual stats at least?

    It comes down to how much time I have, and since the information I post inside the boxes is available in Natural Stat Trick, there will be times during the season (like last night) when those elements are not included.

  113. Side says:

    Cassandra: What does chemistry mean in this context?

    Certainly two good players playing together will do better than one good player and one average player.But is that because of the mystical value of chemistry, or because they are both good.

    To put it another way, even if we suppose there is such a thing as chemistry, in order for it to have the value you ascribe to it, “chemistry” would have to have a geometric, rather than an arithmetic, effect.Does it?How would we know?

    When you look at things like WOWY’s there isn’t, on the face anyway, any indication of geometric effects.In which case, chemistry does not matter, and we can proceed on the assumption that value is arithmetic.

    Or to put it another way, the whole is not greater than the sum of the parts.

    “Mysitcal value of chemistry”

    Not sure what this means. Every player experiences chemistry with every aspect of their career. Chemistry with their agents, their coaches, their teammates, their organization, their fans, etc. You seem to have an obsession with removing the human elements out of your theories and treat players like hockey automotons.

    Chemistry is baked into the results, you can’t separate them. Sorry!

  114. Side says:

    Cassandra: We are in agreement.

    Especially concerning the last sentence.That guy is incredible.

    I’m confused. You recently said players are in a constant state of depreciation, so not sure how you agree with that aspect of Wilde’s post.

  115. jtblack says:

    Georges:
    Todd McLellan took over a team with a .378 P% in its previous season. That team had just drafted a generational talent in Connor McDavid.

    If he finishes the season at 82 points, McLellan’s 3-year P% will be .518.

    Since 2000-01, there have been 63 times where a coach has taken over a sub .500 team in its previous season.

    On 43 occasions, these coaches have delivered an aggregate P% below .520 by their third season or by the time they were let go.

    Just 6 (14%) of these coaches got a 4th season with their team.

    Here’s their P% in their 3rd season:

    Lemaire, MIN, .579
    Capuano, NYI, .573
    Tortorella, TBL, .567
    Hitchcock, CBJ, .561
    Sacco, COL, .537
    Gretzky, PHX, .506

    McLellan currently has a P% of .480.

    I’m going to stop with the McLellan stuff… after this.

    You’ve written pages on Chiarelli and pixels on McLellan. You’re seeing (predicting?) a scenario in which the GM is replaced but the coach is retained.

    To borrow from Rom, this would be an unmitigated disaster. One of those two has shown an ability to do their job. And it’s not your guy.

    McLellan has had a terrible, terrible run with this club. Based on the historical numbers I’ve been providing, a run like that is typically and rightly rewarded with a your services will no longer be required not a sorry we couldn’t give you better horses; we’ll change everything else (again) but we definitely plan on keeping you. (I really hate calling players horses.)

    He had more than half of his first season with McDavid and Hall in the lineup and he moved the needle not at all. Not at all. With Connor McDavid and Hall in the lineup, we went 17-25-3. Does that sound right to you? Does that sound like all we need to do now is get Hall back with McLellan and this team would be cooking with gas? McLellan said at the time of the trade that Hall was a dynamic player but we need a guy who can play big minutes for us back there. That was his veteran coach take on what he needed to create success.

    Because he had the reputation of a veteran coach who knows how to create success, the team was deemed unfixable and the team was reengineered to his specifications. PC did a fantastic job last season. He gave McLellan the best forward talent in the WC along with capable defenders and a good goalie. That was a formula PIT gave to Sullivan in the EC. Ron Hainsey was on that team’s first pair. And a certain former Oiler, also deemed unfixable by our HC.

    McLellan took the PC reengineered team and he told them they needed to believe they could “play” with ANA… instead of beating the goddamn crap out of them!!!, like he was favored to do. McLellan doesn’t get that you don’t build up to opportunity; yes, you prepare for when it arrives, but you also take it when it presents itself. Our veteran coach decided that Nuge and Eberle (Eberle!) was the matchup he wanted against Getzlaf at home. And then he blamed Eberle!!!

    This year, when he was favored to win the WC, he ran a Dallas Eakins training camp. He called out players, implied with words that came out of his mouth that the guy we got for the guy he wanted gone wasn’t good enough. (Or maybe he really did mean Dylan.) He played Larsson and Klefbom 30 minutes in a pre-season game. He decided that was the way he wanted to cover for Sekera. He decided on Drai at RW and Yamamoto for the top 6. It made no sense. He didn’t read anything correctly.

    Now he’s icing the 30th best PP, which is a nice quiet time for the other team to relax and run out the clock while protecting the lead they got against his 31st and historically worst PK.

    And yet, we’re going to call out the players. It’s Lucic, it’s Russell, it’s Klefbom, it’s Benning, if only we had Barzal. Everything would be so much better. Here’s something to consider: no configuration of players would suffice with this coach. Given his M.O., his sense of somehow having made it and his failure to meet his own failures and reflect and adapt, he will confuse and alienate the locker room. He will underachieve and cost his team players and time. With the blender on full troll setting now that he’s desperate, evaluating players is pointless.

    Connor McDavid is a generational talent. McLellan has been so bad with this team that it’s not enough to qualify for the playoffs. We weep and gnash our teeth because McDavid isn’t enough to QUALIFY!!! for the playoffs.

    McLellan did this eraser bit to another great player. That guy is going to finish in the top 15 of all-time NHL scoring. Bad luck for Thornton. Doesn’t have to be for CMD.

    I believe this. Hall Ebs Pouliot and others are being productive elsewhere.

    A coaches job is to Maximize each players skill.

    After year 3 for Kane, Crosby, Ovie ; they were all Legit Contenders. CHI won the CUP. PITT won it in yr 4 WASH Has been good ever since. And here is Connor in 24th place.

    Ssn Jose seems to be just fine without TMac ….

  116. McSorley33 says:

    Nix,

    Perhaps it depends on the question. ‘Is Strome a great 3C?’ No. ‘Is Strome a decent right handed 3C who can pass and shoot ok? Yes. ‘Is Strome better than Drake and Descharnais in that spot? You betcha. There’s lots of problems with this team but I don’t think Ryan Strome is where you start the audit. We have bigger toast to fry.
    ***********************************************************************************************************
    Well put….

  117. jtblack says:

    Lowetide: It comes down to how much time I have, and since the information I post inside the boxes is available in Natural Stat Trick, there will be times during the season (like last night) when those elements are not included.

    We would prefer you take Less Family Time and Limit your Sleep hours 🙂

  118. McSorley33 says:

    Georges,

    Strong post.

  119. dustrock says:

    Georges,

    Solid post.

    They were a meltdown and some unbelievably bad reffing away from going to the Conference Finals in his 2nd year as coach. Now his Vezina-worthy goalie is terrible, his GM gave Draisaitl $8.5m to be a 3C, and his GM traded Hall, Eberle, bought out Pouliot, etc.

    He’s had players like Klefbom, Benning, and Larsson regress. He’s managed to develop players like Khaira and Nurse. Last year Draisaitl took a huge step under his coaching. Do coaches get credit for developing young talent, or are they just blamed for the failtures?

    The other thing I’d like to see – of the other coaches you mention, what were the team records for 2 seasons before the new coach hire? Were they a generally good team with a balanced roster that just needed a new coach?

    Did any of those teams have a D corpse as bad as the Oilers?

    Did they get steady goaltending?

    I’ll let you dig deeper and tell us what you find 🙂

  120. Bruce McCurdy says:

    jtblack: Said no Stanley Cup Contender. EVER

    EVER is a long time.

    Oilers defence in Game 7, 1987 SCF:

    Kevin Lowe, Steve Smith, Paul Coffey, Randy Gregg, Charlie Huddy, Craig Muni, Reijo Ruotsalainen.

    Reijo was the only righty of the seven.

    History tells us they didn’t just contend for the Cup, they won it.

  121. Scungilli Slushy says:

    JimmyV1965: Grabner will be expensive, maybe $5 mill.

    Do you think that much? I thought more in the 3.5-4M range or less, he’s only has one previous good goal season and his point total was 40 last year. Sort of like Maroon. And he’ll be 31 next year.

  122. Bruce McCurdy says:

    dustrock:
    Has there ever been a time where a head coach was kept but his assistants were replaced and it worked out?Anyone?

    No snark here, I’m honestly curious if this is a thing.

    Well there was that time Dallas Eakins dumped his inherited assistants Smith & Bucky & brought in Craig Ramsay and … oh wait, you also said “and it worked out”, ok, nevermind

  123. who says:

    Georges:
    Todd McLellan took over a team with a .378 P% in its previous season. That team had just drafted a generational talent in Connor McDavid.

    If he finishes the season at 82 points, McLellan’s 3-year P% will be .518.

    Since 2000-01, there have been 63 times where a coach has taken over a sub .500 team in its previous season.

    On 43 occasions, these coaches have delivered an aggregate P% below .520 by their third season or by the time they were let go.

    Just 6 (14%) of these coaches got a 4th season with their team.

    Here’s their P% in their 3rd season:

    Lemaire, MIN, .579
    Capuano, NYI, .573
    Tortorella, TBL, .567
    Hitchcock, CBJ, .561
    Sacco, COL, .537
    Gretzky, PHX, .506

    McLellan currently has a P% of .480.

    I’m going to stop with the McLellan stuff… after this.

    You’ve written pages on Chiarelli and pixels on McLellan. You’re seeing (predicting?) a scenario in which the GM is replaced but the coach is retained.

    To borrow from Rom, this would be an unmitigated disaster. One of those two has shown an ability to do their job. And it’s not your guy.

    McLellan has had a terrible, terrible run with this club. Based on the historical numbers I’ve been providing, a run like that is typically and rightly rewarded with a your services will no longer be required not a sorry we couldn’t give you better horses; we’ll change everything else (again) but we definitely plan on keeping you. (I really hate calling players horses.)

    He had more than half of his first season with McDavid and Hall in the lineup and he moved the needle not at all. Not at all. With Connor McDavid and Hall in the lineup, we went 17-25-3. Does that sound right to you? Does that sound like all we need to do now is get Hall back with McLellan and this team would be cooking with gas? McLellan said at the time of the trade that Hall was a dynamic player but we need a guy who can play big minutes for us back there. That was his veteran coach take on what he needed to create success.

    Because he had the reputation of a veteran coach who knows how to create success, the team was deemed unfixable and the team was reengineered to his specifications. PC did a fantastic job last season. He gave McLellan the best forward talent in the WC along with capable defenders and a good goalie. That was a formula PIT gave to Sullivan in the EC. Ron Hainsey was on that team’s first pair. And a certain former Oiler, also deemed unfixable by our HC.

    McLellan took the PC reengineered team and he told them they needed to believe they could “play” with ANA… instead of beating the goddamn crap out of them!!!, like he was favored to do. McLellan doesn’t get that you don’t build up to opportunity; yes, you prepare for when it arrives, but you also take it when it presents itself. Our veteran coach decided that Nuge and Eberle (Eberle!) was the matchup he wanted against Getzlaf at home. And then he blamed Eberle!!!

    This year, when he was favored to win the WC, he ran a Dallas Eakins training camp. He called out players, implied with words that came out of his mouth that the guy we got for the guy he wanted gone wasn’t good enough. (Or maybe he really did mean Dylan.) He played Larsson and Klefbom 30 minutes in a pre-season game. He decided that was the way he wanted to cover for Sekera. He decided on Drai at RW and Yamamoto for the top 6. It made no sense. He didn’t read anything correctly.

    Now he’s icing the 30th best PP, which is a nice quiet time for the other team to relax and run out the clock while protecting the lead they got against his 31st and historically worst PK.

    And yet, we’re going to call out the players. It’s Lucic, it’s Russell, it’s Klefbom, it’s Benning, if only we had Barzal. Everything would be so much better. Here’s something to consider: no configuration of players would suffice with this coach. Given his M.O., his sense of somehow having made it and his failure to meet his own failures and reflect and adapt, he will confuse and alienate the locker room. He will underachieve and cost his team players and time. With the blender on full troll setting now that he’s desperate, evaluating players is pointless.

    Connor McDavid is a generational talent. McLellan has been so bad with this team that it’s not enough to qualify for the playoffs. We weep and gnash our teeth because McDavid isn’t enough to QUALIFY!!! for the playoffs.

    McLellan did this eraser bit to another great player. That guy is going to finish in the top 15 of all-time NHL scoring. Bad luck for Thornton. Doesn’t have to be for CMD.

    Good post.
    I probably have a little higher opinion of Tmac than you. But I agree that he should shoulder more of the blame than Chia. Especially when it looks like some of Chias moves were made to appease the coach.
    Firing Chia and keeping Tmac would be insanity.

  124. OmJo says:

    Listening to The Lowdown on SoundCloud. Don’t follow baseball, never did, but I saw on my TL about Vladimir Guerrero being inducted into the Baseball HOF as an Angel. I thought that meant he was dead lol. But nope. LA Angels. Oops.

    You learn something new every day.

  125. Professor Q says:

    Bruce McCurdy: EVER is a long time.

    Oilers defence in Game 7, 1987 SCF:

    Kevin Lowe, Steve Smith, Paul Coffey, Randy Gregg, Charlie Huddy, Craig Muni, Reijo Ruotsalainen.

    Reijo was the only righty of the seven.

    History tells us they didn’t just contend for the Cup, they won it.

    Don’t forget the Detroit Red Wings.

    Though they were full of HOF defencemen and other stars…

    I remember in last year’s World Juniors (eh…or one of the tournaments) Sweden or Finland (or one or those teams…) was playing with 4-5 RHD. Paired together!

  126. OilClog says:

    digger50:
    Last night, whoever said the Oilers should hire the “Swedish Chef” from the muppets, that cracked me up. I would look forward to the media avail.

    Welcome, I see a scene where he’s sprinkling salt and putting chicken in the pot.

  127. OilClog says:

    I’ve seen two good players get out played and beat by two average players every game of any sport I’ve ever seen any day of the week.

    I’ve seen a 4th line score on a 1st line, only to see the 4th line broken up the next game and fail while the 1st line stays together and succeeds.

    I’ve seen average players become good players over night when put into a different situation and in turn seen good players turn to shit over night when their situation changes.

    What the fuck any of this means, I’m not sure. But I do know some these comments lead me to believe some of these thoughts and arguements are being suffocated in wet paper bags.

  128. Scungilli Slushy says:

    Georges:
    Todd McLellan took over a team with a .378 P% in its previous season. That team had just drafted a generational talent in Connor McDavid.

    If he finishes the season at 82 points, McLellan’s 3-year P% will be .518.

    Since 2000-01, there have been 63 times where a coach has taken over a sub .500 team in its previous season.

    On 43 occasions, these coaches have delivered an aggregate P% below .520 by their third season or by the time they were let go.

    Just 6 (14%) of these coaches got a 4th season with their team.

    Here’s their P% in their 3rd season:

    Lemaire, MIN, .579
    Capuano, NYI, .573
    Tortorella, TBL, .567
    Hitchcock, CBJ, .561
    Sacco, COL, .537
    Gretzky, PHX, .506

    McLellan currently has a P% of .480.

    I’m going to stop with the McLellan stuff… after this.

    You’ve written pages on Chiarelli and pixels on McLellan. You’re seeing (predicting?) a scenario in which the GM is replaced but the coach is retained.

    To borrow from Rom, this would be an unmitigated disaster. One of those two has shown an ability to do their job. And it’s not your guy.

    McLellan has had a terrible, terrible run with this club. Based on the historical numbers I’ve been providing, a run like that is typically and rightly rewarded with a your services will no longer be required not a sorry we couldn’t give you better horses; we’ll change everything else (again) but we definitely plan on keeping you. (I really hate calling players horses.)

    He had more than half of his first season with McDavid and Hall in the lineup and he moved the needle not at all. Not at all. With Connor McDavid and Hall in the lineup, we went 17-25-3. Does that sound right to you? Does that sound like all we need to do now is get Hall back with McLellan and this team would be cooking with gas? McLellan said at the time of the trade that Hall was a dynamic player but we need a guy who can play big minutes for us back there. That was his veteran coach take on what he needed to create success.

    Because he had the reputation of a veteran coach who knows how to create success, the team was deemed unfixable and the team was reengineered to his specifications. PC did a fantastic job last season. He gave McLellan the best forward talent in the WC along with capable defenders and a good goalie. That was a formula PIT gave to Sullivan in the EC. Ron Hainsey was on that team’s first pair. And a certain former Oiler, also deemed unfixable by our HC.

    McLellan took the PC reengineered team and he told them they needed to believe they could “play” with ANA… instead of beating the goddamn crap out of them!!!, like he was favored to do. McLellan doesn’t get that you don’t build up to opportunity; yes, you prepare for when it arrives, but you also take it when it presents itself. Our veteran coach decided that Nuge and Eberle (Eberle!) was the matchup he wanted against Getzlaf at home. And then he blamed Eberle!!!

    This year, when he was favored to win the WC, he ran a Dallas Eakins training camp. He called out players, implied with words that came out of his mouth that the guy we got for the guy he wanted gone wasn’t good enough. (Or maybe he really did mean Dylan.) He played Larsson and Klefbom 30 minutes in a pre-season game. He decided that was the way he wanted to cover for Sekera. He decided on Drai at RW and Yamamoto for the top 6. It made no sense. He didn’t read anything correctly.

    Now he’s icing the 30th best PP, which is a nice quiet time for the other team to relax and run out the clock while protecting the lead they got against his 31st and historically worst PK.

    And yet, we’re going to call out the players. It’s Lucic, it’s Russell, it’s Klefbom, it’s Benning, if only we had Barzal. Everything would be so much better. Here’s something to consider: no configuration of players would suffice with this coach. Given his M.O., his sense of somehow having made it and his failure to meet his own failures and reflect and adapt, he will confuse and alienate the locker room. He will underachieve and cost his team players and time. With the blender on full troll setting now that he’s desperate, evaluating players is pointless.

    Connor McDavid is a generational talent. McLellan has been so bad with this team that it’s not enough to qualify for the playoffs. We weep and gnash our teeth because McDavid isn’t enough to QUALIFY!!! for the playoffs.

    McLellan did this eraser bit to another great player. That guy is going to finish in the top 15 of all-time NHL scoring. Bad luck for Thornton. Doesn’t have to be for CMD.

    I agree that McL hasn’t been stellar and things could have been better. But Chiarelli took away the two most talented wingers who had experience and signed a guy that can’t play 2RD for him this year.

    Chiarelli has rocked the experienced talent depth of the forward group and left him with one experienced top6 centre and rookie and highly one dimensional wingers.

    And didn’t have an appropriate back. Goaltending and D are what torched the season start.

    Florida ditched a coach who had a second year drop as well. It is critical to lay blame in the right places or the cycle repeats.

  129. jtblack says:

    Bruce McCurdy: EVER is a long time.

    Oilers defence in Game 7, 1987 SCF:

    Kevin Lowe, Steve Smith, Paul Coffey, Randy Gregg, Charlie Huddy, Craig Muni, Reijo Ruotsalainen.

    Reijo was the only righty of the seven.

    History tells us they didn’t just contend for the Cup, they won it.

    BAM! Leave it to Bruce! I guess there are always a few exceptions!

  130. OmJo says:

    Scungilli Slushy: Do you think that much? I thought more in the 3.5-4M range or less, he’s only has one previous good goal season and his point total was 40 last year. Sort of like Maroon. And he’ll be 31 next year.

    Take into consideration he’ll be a UFA.

  131. ChiliChunk says:

    digger50:
    Last night, whoever said the Oilers should hire the “Swedish Chef” from the muppets, that cracked me up. I would look forward to the media avail.

    Q: Coach what did you think of the OT goal being called back due to goaltender interference?

    A: Vurt dur furk!

  132. Georges says:

    Scungilli Slushy:

    It is critical to lay blame in the right places or the cycle repeats.

    Yes, it is.

  133. OilClog says:

    If the coach realized what he had in Hall, there’s no way Hall is traded.

    Coach is just as responsible for the Hall trade imo, gets no fucking pass because his damn roster is failing. He’s had significant say on what players have come and gone.

    He’s responsible for the Culture change, he’s the head coach. This team does not compete in 1st periods, that is a serious reflection of the culture right now. TMac is head coach, is the most important person in regards to team culture, especially with a 21yr old captain. Mcdavid is amazing but two weeks ago he wasn’t 21 yet.

    Comments from the players especially Talbot recently suggest maybe from an outside view that the locker room hasn’t been able to get over last years playoff defeat, especially the goaltending.

    Coaches haven’t done their job making sure playoff disappointments didn’t roll into the new season, they’re experienced and past successes sell a story that this is a hill they can guide their club through. Instead they nosedived straight into it.

    TMac has built a glorious castle of ineptitude and flashy suits he can be cannon fired into that has absolutely no ties to why Chia can be cannon fired into his own glorious pile of cat shit and moustaches.

    All of the various reasons as to why these men can all be removed from their positions should have no tie to the decade of darkmess. They have Connor Mcdavid they need to find the men that can provide what Connor Mcdavid needs to win those cups.

    Some organizations have never in their decades of hockeying had one player on Connor Mcdavids level, fire every single person hired until the messiah is found that can figure it out, don’t let a flaming pile of hot garbage history stop you from looking for new solutions. Standing still gets you killed

  134. Munny says:

    Tim Horton’s That’s Hockey:

    Two things of interest…

    Lebrun interviewed Chia today. Asked him if his job is in danger and Chia told him he has been assured it is not.

    And…

    Controlled Zone Entries League Leaders:

    Connor 10.4
    Gaudreau 8.6
    P. Kane 7.5
    Hall 7.2

    Numbers are on a per game basis.

  135. Munny says:

    Munny,

    Average NHL forward is approximately 2.5 per game.

  136. OriginalPouzar says:

    Yes, Hall is good – we get that…..

  137. hunter1909 says:

    who: Firing Chia and keeping Tmac would be insanity.

    Having Lowe+MacT in high places is way more insanity than your relatively feeble insanity.

  138. OriginalPouzar says:

    Maksimov with a 1st period assist.

  139. Scungilli Slushy says:

    Munny:
    Tim Horton’s That’s Hockey:

    Two things of interest…

    Lebrun interviewed Chia today. Asked him if his job is in danger and Chia told him he has been assured it is not.

    And…

    Controlled Zone Entries League Leaders:

    Connor 10.4
    Gaudreau 8.6
    P. Kane 7.5
    Hall 7.2

    Numbers are on a per game basis.

    Stop picking my scabs off !!!

  140. OriginalPouzar says:

    Samorukov with a 1st period assist.

  141. Gerta Rauss says:

    Lebrun has an interview with Chiarelli up at the Athletic

    I doubt it’s going to change any minds-draw you own conclusions

  142. OriginalPouzar says:

    The video review against the Oilers last night was the 14th straight video review to go against the Oilers dating back to the playoffs.

    That’s a mind-boggling stat.

  143. digger50 says:

    OilClog:
    If the coach realized what he had in Hall, there’s no way Hall is traded.

    Coach is just as responsible for the Hall trade imo, gets no fucking pass because his damn roster is failing. He’s had significant say on what players have come and gone.

    He’s responsible for the Culture change, he’s the head coach. This team does not compete in 1st periods, that is a serious reflection of the culture right now. TMac is head coach, is the most important person in regards to team culture, especially with a 21yr old captain. Mcdavid is amazing but two weeks ago he wasn’t 21 yet.

    Comments from the players especially Talbot recently suggest maybe from an outside view that the locker room hasn’t been able to get over last years playoff defeat, especially the goaltending.

    Coaches haven’t done their job making sure playoff disappointments didn’t roll into the new season, they’re experienced and past successes sell a story that this is a hill they can guide their club through. Instead they nosedived straight into it.

    TMac has built a glorious castle of ineptitude and flashy suits he can be cannon fired into that has absolutely no ties to why Chia can be cannon fired into his own glorious pile of cat shit and moustaches.

    All of the various reasons as to why these men can all be removed from their positions should have no tie to the decade of darkmess. They have Connor Mcdavid they need to find the men that can provide what Connor Mcdavid needs to win those cups.

    Some organizations have never in their decades of hockeying had one player on Connor Mcdavids level, fire every single person hired until the messiah is found that can figure it out, don’t let a flaming pile of hot garbage history stop you from looking for new solutions. Standing still gets you killed

    Me and the Swedish Chef are on board.

    I was not happy with Peters summer and commented on it. However, I still felt enough roster to compete this season, but about 93 points.

    As the fog clears, I see your points and even more Evidence of Todd having loads on input on who goes and who stays. And he extracted very little talent from the team he took over. He viewed many players as losers and treated them so. I feel a good supportive coach could have turned around more of those players.

    As it is, only the Nuge survived.

    Almost funny that when Todd came in and was acting like he’s the man, he would show them, you are losing cause you don’t believe, you guys suck. I believe he gave those existingbOlers very little respect. Now Todd is on the ropes, he has no idea about his players, lines or soeacialty teams. He’s out of ideas.

    I would sincerely enjoy Taylor Hall walking up to him and asking “How does it feel Todd?”

    This may sound petty but so many folks never do allow themselves the ability to see another persons perspective until they walk a mile in thier shoes.

  144. bendelson says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    The video review against the Oilers last night was the 14th straight video review to go against the Oilers dating back to the playoffs.

    That’s a mind-boggling stat.

    🤯

  145. Lloyd B. says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    The video review against the Oilers last night was the 14th straight video review to go against the Oilers dating back to the playoffs.

    That’s a mind-boggling stat.

    Not really.

    If you try to cheat you should expect to be caught and punished…not rewarded.

  146. Lowetide says:

    Lloyd B.: Not really.

    If you try to cheat you should expect to be caught and punished…not rewarded.

    These would involve both teams, some of these decisions would have been questionable goals by the opposition. It is a very interesting curio, wonder how other teams rate in comparison.

  147. Munny says:

    Scungilli Slushy: Stop picking my scabs off !!!

    I don’t think trading for Gaudreau was ever in the books. 😉

  148. JimmyV1965 says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    The video review against the Oilers last night was the 14th straight video review to go against the Oilers dating back to the playoffs.

    That’s a mind-boggling stat.

    Wow!!! That is frickkn bizarre. WTF is the deal with that.

  149. JimmyV1965 says:

    Lloyd B.: Not really.

    If you try to cheat you should expect to be caught and punished…not rewarded.

    Unless you’re the Ducks of.course.

  150. The Hermit says:

    OriginalPouzar: The video review against the Oilers last night was the 14th straight video review to go against the Oilers dating back to the playoffs.
    That’s a mind-boggling stat.

    Wow must be an outlier as there is no way the league is trying to screw the Oilers. ~

  151. Lloyd B. says:

    Lowetide: These would involve both teams, some of these decisions would have been questionable goals by the opposition. It is a very interesting curio, wonder how other teams rate in comparison.

    That would an interesting curio for the math folks to look at. OP did not mention goals. Just reviews in general.

    However, if the refs don’t call it, it can’t be reviewed. That is an entirely different can of worms.

    Unless of course it is in overtime. Then Toronto calls the shots. 🙂

  152. deardylan says:

    Enjoyed this recent analysis of the “OILERS WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON” by Toronto Maple Leafs fan, Steve Dangle …

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6MiCrp2AHH4

  153. Lloyd B. says:

    JimmyV1965: Unless you’re the Ducks of.course.

    Duck that !!

  154. OmJo says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    The video review against the Oilers last night was the 14th straight video review to go against the Oilers dating back to the playoffs.

    That’s a mind-boggling stat.

    The McDavid Effect.

  155. Bruce McCurdy says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    The video review against the Oilers last night was the 14th straight video review to go against the Oilers dating back to the playoffs.

    That’s a mind-boggling stat.

    Source?

  156. MrMojoRisin’ says:

    Bruce McCurdy,

    Not to step on OP’s post or reply, but Bob Stauffer mentioned this on OilersNow this afternoon.

  157. godot10 says:

    ArmchairGM: I posted some of Auvitu’s and Davidson’s stats the other day – it’s astounding that these guys have to sit in the pressbox so much.

    One could place a lump of coal and a diamond before Todd McLellan and he would choose the lump of coal. It is not astounding considering who the coach is.

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