Home for a rest

The Edmonton Oilers won yesterday in Denver, ending a long losing streak and one of the most frustrating periods in an exhausting season. Back home in Edmonton, ready to face two playoff teams before heading out for another “Donner party” road trip, the trade deadline looms one week from now. This team does nothing half assed, so expect agony and tribulation, and hold on to the dream of Stanley some sweet day.

THE ATHLETIC!

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THESE SO-CALLED VACATIONS, YEAR OVER YEAR

  • February 2016: 3-6-0, goal differential -6 (6 points)
  • February 2017: 5-4-0, goal differential -1 (10 points)
  • February 2018: 2-6-1, goal differential -7 (5 points)

That win had to feel good and there are some promising signs. Cam Talbot has played well back to back, the penalty kill has some urgency and has lost some of the passivity. Now, they need secondary scoring and hurry back Nuge, but for today it has to feel good to win a game.

AFTER 58, YEAR OVER YEAR

  • Oilers 15-16: 22-30-6, goal differential -38 (50 points)
  • Oilers 16-17: 31-19-8, goal differential +18 (70 points)
  • Oilers 17-18: 24-30-4, goal differential -30 (52 points)

This year’s team has 24 games left, I think the coach and general manager need 30 points to make a case to return. Is that possible? Of course. Cam Talbot stopping pucks, the penalty killing average, this team can win games just play getting reasonable performances from the rank and file. Will they do it? That’s the question.

WHAT TO EXPECT FROM FEBRUARY

  • At home to: Colorado, Tampa Bay (Expected 0-1-1) (Actual 1-0-1)
  • On the road to: Los AngelesAnaheimSan Jose (Expected 1-1-1) (Actual 0-3-0)
  • At home to: Florida (Expected 1-0-0) (Actual 0-1-0)
  • On the road to: Vegas, Arizona, Colorado (Expected 2-1-0) (Actual 1-2-0)
  • At home to: Boston, Colorado (Expected 1-1-0) (Actual 0-0-0)
  • On the road to: Los Angeles, Anaheim, San Jose (Expected 0-2-1) (Actual 0-0-0)
  • Overall expected result: 5-6-3, 13 points in 14 games
  • Current results: 2-6-1, five points in nine games 

The team is so far off my predictions they’d have to run the table. I don’t see an easy opponent before March and the trade deadline is going to have its impact on the quality of play. Hold on to your hats!

DEFENSE, LAST NIGHT

  • Klefbom-Russell were 15-8 in 13:13, 10-4 in shots, 9-4 in SCF and 1-0 in HDSCF. They were 9-4 in 8:03 against Landeskog-MacKinnon-Rantanen, that earns you the best steak in the house.
  • Davidson-Benning were 9-8 in 10:01, 1-1 GF and 0-2 in HDSCF. I’m not going to rip any defender for either of the goals, one was a wrister from range and another was a fluke. I liked Benning’s passing on the evening. Went 2-4 in 2:10 against the MacKinnon line.
  • Nurse-Larsson were 16-17 in 15:37, 1-1 GF. The top pairing 5×5 via playing time, they were also in the defensive zone nine times on the night on faceoffs (Klefbom-Russell twice). Interesting. Went 9-15 in 7:58 against MacKinnon, which looks far worse than Klefbom-Russell but how many shifts involved this pairing with a defensive zone start against that line? And is this strategy or coincidence?
  • Cam Talbot stopped 24 of 26, .923. I thought the first goal against was soft (didn’t see a deflection) and the second goal was just one of those things. He’s settling in now, finally.
  • NaturalStatTrick and NHL.com.

FORWARDS, LAST NIGHT

  • Khaira-Strome-Slepyshev were 6-1 on the evening, effective in possession although low event (2-0 shots). Went 4-0 against Nieto-Soderberg-Comeau. Line shuffling meant the trio spent only 8:25 together.
  • Puljujarvi-Letestu-Kassian went 9-5 in 6:48, 0-1 GF together. Puljujarvi had a glorious open net chance, still have zero idea how he missed (Strome must be his roommate). Anyway, I don’t like the kid on the fourth line but it wasn’t a terrible line.
  • Connor McDavid went 21-15 with Maroon (2-0 GF), 11-14 with Caggiula (1-0 GF), 10-3 with Draisaitl (1-0 GF), he was feeling it no matter who was on the ice with him. This guy closes like Secretariat, such a shame there’s no second season for him this year. They could have scored more as a line, Maroon seemed unaware of opportunity at times.
  • Lucic-Draisaitl-Cammalleri were 12-17, 0-1 GF and generally not as effective as you’d like. I think ML and Leon can play together, but need a more dynamic skater on the other wing. Lucic was impressive in 3:16 with Strome, that line (with Cammalleri) getting the goal. Perhaps we see that trio again.

I laughed, that’s a good line. Would you bring back Cammalleri? I would consider it. Seriously. Mike Cammalleri is an older, slower version of himself but still has enough skill to score points 5×5 at a reasonable rate. Here’s the current state of God’s flashlight (5×5/60 scoring):

  1. Connor McDavid 2.94
  2. Leon Draisaitl 2.56
  3. Mike Cammalleri 1.95
  4. Patrick Maroon 1.84
  5. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins 1.80
  6. Milan Lucic 1.62
  7. Jujhar Khaira 1.60
  8. Jesse Puljujarvi 1.49
  9. Ryan Strome 1.45
  10. Zack Kassian 1.31
  11. Drake Caggiula 1.17
  12. Anton Slepyshev 1.16
  13. Mark Letestu 1.14
  14. Iiro Pakarinen 0.59
  15. NaturalStatTrick

This puts things in perspective as well, giving us a good idea about just how badly McDavid and Draisaitl are lapping the field. This is serious business here, somewhat obscured by the outrage over the three summer trades that sent away men (and a pick) who could also be pushing the river.

What’s past is gone but the big questions for the Oilers now surround getting more players onto the upper portion of this piece of foolscap. The bets made for the skill spots by Peter Chiarelli (Lucic, Maroon, Strome, Puljujarvi, Caggiula) are a mixed bag and the only regular over 1.75 with a future on the team (probably) is the Nuge.

If I had a pipeline to the general manager, the point to be made surrounds running McDavid and Leon as centers on two different lines. That has to be established in my opinion, kind of a deal breaker. The coach could run Nuge on either of those lines and the general manager needs to impose his will on the coach re: Puljujarvi as well (maybe on the 2line). General manager may also have enough loot to sign a Michael Grabner and Riley Nash, which would allow the club to bring Kailer Yamamoto along at pace. Nuge-McDavid, Draisaitl-Puljujarvi, Khaira-Strome, Nash-Kassian as the pairs on each line? It sure would be nice to know what Jesse Puljujarvi can do by the end of this year’s schedule.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

At 10 this morning, TSN1260. A busy and fun morning! Scheduled to appear:

  • Pierre Lebrun, The Athletic and TSN. This trade deadline looks like a monster.
  • Steve Aschburner, NBA.com. The NBA is doing so much right they can’t even screw up the All-Star game!
  • Jason Gregor, TSN1260. Oilers win in Denver, trade deadline decisions.

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269 Responses to "Home for a rest"

« Older Comments
  1. Pouzar says:

    nelson88:
    Curiouswhy Anderrson and Kylington are viewed by Pronman as better prospects than Bear when his rookie year in the AHL is stastically better?

    Early times for Bear is all.

  2. VOR says:

    Bank Shot:
    Yeah 2003 was basically a double draft.

    They changed the rules on NCAA players, so a bunch got in early.

    I would argue the lockout in 2004 gave them an extra development year and of course it also opened up over 200 positions (something like 210 players who played in 2003 never played again). Normal retirement is between 97 and 107 so roughly double the normal opportunity.

    Before anybody arrives at any conclusion about the 2003 draft I also encourage them to try redrafting it. I call it the Lee Stempniak rule.

  3. Wilde says:

    VOR: It is the very uniqueness of the strategy that appealed to me. Only 2008 features a multiple trade down and nearly none are moving as many places at a time and none begins as high on the curve as I did. My strategy goes 2-7, 7-16, 16 to 30. The gap is so big because I want to acquire real players.

    Your research sure shows how risk aversive GMs have become to trading down.

    Ah, you’re looking at addressing the NHL roster.

    I’m wondering if there’s not a way to fast-forward the replenishment of the Bakersfield F group.

    I see the tweener, late round deal’s precedent as a possible shot at replenishing the Bakersfield F over a 2 year period.

    For example a group of trades that look like this:

    ———–
    2018 5th
    ->
    2018 5th, 2019 7th
    ———–
    2018 4th
    ->
    2018 4th, 2019 5th
    ———–

    Along with some of these:

    ———–
    Laurent Brossoit, 2018 6th
    ->
    2018 5th, 2018 6th, 2019 7th
    ———–
    Ty Rattie, William Lagesson, 2018 3rd
    ->
    2018 4th, 2018 5th, 2019 3rd, 2019 4th
    ———–

    With the goal being to pick 12 forwards in rounds 4-7 between 2018-2019, selecting only from the top 3 remaining players in NHLE/P or similar metrics each time.

  4. David says:

    Woodguy v2.0: Re: secondary assists.

    It was found they have very, very little correlation year over year: https://www.broadstreethockey.com/2011/3/15/2046512/simplify-scoring-drop-secondary-assists

    Not repeatable enough to be classified as a skill.

    I spent the afternoon sifting through stats (all situations) and found there to be reasonable continuity.

    Variation is the name of the game. People try so hard to eliminate variables that can throw off “true sight” or something but even the numbers you provided for Hall which are primary so they eliminate secondary, they are per sixty so they eliminate variance in games played or TOI and they still vary a ton year over year.

    Players aren’t machines who churn out consistent stats year over year. They have career years and down years, nagging injury years, and team as a whole struggles years. These factors can’t be eliminated from the game.

    Will someone who records 18 secondary assists one year get 18 the next? Probably not but maybe 24, then 20, then 11, then 31, then 22, then 14. Similar numbers that aren’t that much outside the difference in primary assists and goals year over year. That’s what I saw anyway.

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

    JimmyV1965: Benson was a great pick because he was a skilled player ranked high in the draft. He fell because of injuries, which is fair. You’re taking a gamble in the second round, but I’m one of those guys who thinks you should swing for the fence. His skill level was high for where he was drafted. Same with Debrincat, but for different reasons. If Debrincat falls on his face, it was still a good pick. And for a team whose most recent second round picks have been Derek Roy, Mitch Moroz and David Musil, that’s gold Jerry. Gold.

    Think you meant Marco Roy. He had skill. Just didn’t pan out. Sometimes them’s the breaks.

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

    VOR I am sure you have looked at Bill Belichick’s draft pick trades. I think we have talked about it. The cost to move up in the NBA and NFL drafts seem high in the 1st round. Yet it happens seemingly regularly.

  7. Lowetide says:

    For The Athletic: Ethan Bear putting things together in Bakersfield

    https://theathletic.com/246511/2018/02/19/lowetide-ethan-bear-putting-things-together-in-bakersfield/

  8. Professor Q says:

    Lowetide:
    For The Athletic: Ethan Bear putting things together in Bakersfield

    https://theathletic.com/246511/2018/02/19/lowetide-ethan-bear-putting-things-together-in-bakersfield/

    When he becomes an NHL regular, we’ll have gone successfully from Cory Cross to Ethan Bear in the Cap Era.

    It’ll be our Cross to Bear.

  9. OriginalPouzar says:

    Great offensive numbers as a rookie pro for Bear. The goal differential is a bit of a cause for concern but the team is not great and he is, after-all, a rookie. Mantha is a year older (at least draft age).

    I know that many will see the offence and think Bear should get a call-up after the deadline and potentially be on the team next year but I would personally caution to “calm your tits” – I believe that a second full year in the AHL is a must (potentially a cup of coffee next year if there is progression on the defensive side).

    As an aside, I’m a bit worried about Caleb Jones – it seems he’s been out for a good month and there isn’t an iota of information out there about him or what ails him.

  10. Professor Q says:

    OriginalPouzar,

    When Bear was injured, wasn’t there also a lack of information? Could this be an issue with Bakersfield and Edmonton’s communication?

  11. Bobcaygeon says:

    With Benning coming out and stating Vancouver could be looking for a bigger body up front, I wonder if a trade with Van makes sense for the Oilers? A possible Lucic for Sutter could solve problems for both teams, especially the Oilers dreaded PK.

  12. OriginalPouzar says:

    Professor Q:
    OriginalPouzar,

    When Bear was injured, wasn’t there also a lack of information? Could this be an issue with Bakersfield and Edmonton’s communication?

    Not at all I don’t think – we knew he took a high hit that night and that he was out with a concussion.

  13. OriginalPouzar says:

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

    A mysterious injury–at least they say it’s an injury
    http://www.bakersfield.com/sports/condors-lose-captain-ryan-hamilton-to-broken-leg/article_dc9aee4a-12a3-11e8-a73c-bb93d182fc9c.html

    Thanks – the “out with an injury” from the article is actually the best piece of info I’ve read/heard.

  14. OriginalPouzar says:

    Bobcaygeon:
    With Benning coming out and stating Vancouver could be looking for a bigger body up front, I wonder if a trade with Van makes sense for the Oilers? A possible Lucic for Sutter could solve problems for both teams, especially the Oilers dreaded PK.

    I can’t imagine they’d take on the Lucic contract.

    Would Lucic waive to go to Vancouver? He has kind of a love hate relationship with that city I believe.

  15. flyfish1168 says:

    Georges: Also, the League and its referees may have some working limit on the number of penalties a player can draw in a game and in a season. They try to avoid outliers to keep the semblance of an orderly, unbiased system. It’s easier to deal with one team accusing you of bias than having 30 teams accusing you of bias. The other teams know the refs can only make so many calls in CMD’s favor. The Ducks knew this. The Jordan Rules.

    That is an interesting spin. I do think what you said have merit. If the refs call too many in our favour or when the opposition touches Connor it can be viewed the other way. Good point

  16. Confused says:

    OriginalPouzar,

    Gerry said the same on his recent segment on Bob’s show

  17. Alpine says:

    Mrazek to PHI for a conditional 4th in 2018 and a conditional 3rd in 2019.

    I don’t know if he can be good again but there’s someone who would theoretically ‘push’ Talbot gone for an extra pick more than we paid up for Montoya. Trading for the latter seems weird now that the verbal appears to have us targeting a 1B goalie this summer. There are other options besides Mrazek obviously.

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

    Alpine:
    Mrazek to PHI for a conditional 4th in 2018 and a conditional 3rd in 2019.

    I don’t know if he can be good again but there’s someone who would theoretically ‘push’ Talbot gone for an extra pick more than we paid up for Montoya. Trading for the latter seems weird now that the verbal appears to have us targeting a 1B goalie this summer.

    50% retained, no less. Much better option than Montoya with not a lot of difference in acquisition cost. I really don’t understand the Montoya trade at this point in the season, but I know others disagree. I would have thought Montoya would be a virtual giveaway/on waivers and we can do better.

    Oilers need to be acquiring picks. I’d try to recoup the 4th for Montoya.

  19. Professor Q says:

    OriginalPouzar: I can’t imagine they’d take on the Lucic contract.

    Would Lucic waive to go to Vancouver?He has kind of a love hate relationship with that city I believe.

    What do you mean Love/Hate?

    He grew up there. He won a WHL Championship and Memorial Cup there.

    The only issue was one drunken night and bar fight.

    Lucic, Nugent-Hopkins, and a 1st for Sutter and Horvat.

    I’m a dreamer.

  20. godot10 says:

    Woodguy v2.0:
    godot10,

    Observation: Pittsburgh started winning Stanley Cups after they got rid of Neal, added Kessel to their 3rd line to create three scoring lines, and force Crosby and Malkin to play with cheap wingers.

    Their biggest issue was goaltending and they didn’t start winning again until Murray started 21 games two years ago.

    Fleury has been better the last few years, but was a big reason they had the long drought imo.

    I think their biggest issue was coaching. Bylsma’s teams underperformed their talent.

  21. godot10 says:

    JimmyV1965: In 2015, he selected McDavid and four dmen and a goalie. It’s still too early for those players to make the NHL, but Bear and Jones are tending real nice. Even Marino RHD and Svoboda G are trending well. In Chia’s first three drafts, I’ll be surprised if we don’t get one top 4 dmen and one top 6 forward from outside the first round. That’s a major step forward for this org. It just takes patience for the later picks.

    Calgary has four D prospects better than Jones and Bear. Jones and Bear are both losing big parts of their first pro season to injury.

  22. JD_Wry says:

    The conditional pick gets as high as a 2nd for Mrazek:

    Bob McKenzie‏
    Verified account

    @TSNBobMcKenzie
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    Follow @TSNBobMcKenzie

    More
    DET guaranteed no less than a 4th round for Mrazek. If PHI makes playoffs and Mrazek wins 5 games for PHI in reg season, 4th becomes a 3rd. If PHI advances to CF, and Mrazek wins six playoff games, the 3rd becomes a 2nd. If PHI re-signs him next season, DET gets PHI 3rd in 19.

  23. godot10 says:

    Professor Q: The coach they had prior to the change brought them to the Cup Finals. Then the change mid-season and the Cup win.

    Mike Sullivan is 2 for 2 and 3 for 3 is looking possible. Dan Bylsma was one for six with the same elite players, one generational, and a much better roster on paper. That is severe underperformance by Bylsma. Almost McLellan/Shark-like.

  24. Mike Wazowski says:

    Professor Q: What do you mean Love/Hate?

    He grew up there. He won a WHL Championship and Memorial Cup there.

    The only issue was one drunken night and bar fight.

    Lucic, Nugent-Hopkins, and a 1st for Sutter and Horvat.

    I’m a dreamer.

    Ignorant Canucks fans during the BOS/VAN final. He was pretty pissed at them iirc. Who knows if he still feels the same way.

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/milan-lucic-disgusted-and-outraged-with-vancouver-fans-1.2465347

  25. Professor Q says:

    godot10: Mike Sullivan is 2 for 2 and 3 for 3 is looking possible.Dan Bylsma was one for six with the same elite players, one generational, and a much better roster on paper.That is severe underperformance by Bylsma.Almost McLellan/Shark-like.

    I was talking Therrien-to-Bylsma switch.

  26. Professor Q says:

    Mike Wazowski: Ignorant Canucks fans during the BOS/VAN final.He was pretty pissed at them iirc.Who knows if he still feels the same way.

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/milan-lucic-disgusted-and-outraged-with-vancouver-fans-1.2465347

    To be fair, many players and many Canadians felt the same way.

  27. --hudson-- says:

    godot10: Calgary has four D prospects better than Jones and Bear.Jones and Bear are both losing big parts of their first pro season to injury.

    When Jones and Fox were on the same team USA, Jones got bigger minutes. Has Fox passed Jones in the last 12 months?

    Calgary always seems to hype all their prospects especially the D. It’s been that way since Derek Morris versus Poti and probably longer.

  28. Scungilli Slushy says:

    NYC-Back-to-Tokyo Oil (Gentleman Backpacker):
    VOR I am sure you have looked at Bill Belichick’s draft pick trades. I think we have talked about it. The cost to move up in the NBA and NFL drafts seem high in the 1st round. Yet it happens seemingly regularly.

    I think this is because they prefer the odds and are also filling holes that need major talent. You find the best at the top of the draft.

    There are outliers but without a definite ability to find them it is wasting picks hunting for them as Oiler fans know.

    Trading down out of the first or high second round isn’t logical to me. The odds of a high end player are much better the higher you pick.

    Late second and after it makes sense to have more picks as the odds are so low that more chances are better.

  29. Scungilli Slushy says:

    –hudson–: When Jones and Fox were on the same team USA, Jones got bigger minutes.Has Fox passed Jones in the last 12 months?

    Calgary always seems to hype all their prospects especially the D.It’s been that way since Derek Morris versus Poti and probably longer.

    Many Oiler fans over value other team’s players. The grass is always greener.

    For sure the cupboards are a bit bare but there are still some good prospects especially at wing now. A lot of skill. The other positions don’t have any A graders but you hope with so many D and G a few beat the odds and outperform their draft positions. C is thin. It would be nice if it happened to us.

    Very few on any teams are sure bets. Barzal is outperforming his draft excpectations. Some can’t hit it.

  30. Scungilli Slushy says:

    Professor Q: What do you mean Love/Hate?

    He grew up there. He won a WHL Championship and Memorial Cup there.

    The only issue was one drunken night and bar fight.

    Lucic, Nugent-Hopkins, and a 1st for Sutter and Horvat.

    I’m a dreamer.

    Chiarelli wouldn’t even pay that much.

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

    Scungilli Slushy: I think this is because they prefer the odds and are also filling holes that need major talent. You find the best at the top of the draft.

    There are outliers but without a definite ability to find them it is wasting picks hunting for them as Oiler fans know.

    Trading down out of the first or high second round isn’t logical to me. The odds of a high end player are much better the higher you pick.

    Late second and after it makes sense to have more picks as the odds are so low that more chances are better.

    This would be the conventional logic. But VOR is suggesting an alternate model. One that only Garth Snow notably has done of late where he traded down twice from a top 5 position. It was kind of a weak draft and although Josh Bailey looks great now, it took a long time for him to arrive and live up to the expectations.

    That’s why this is very interesting.

  32. stevezie says:

    godot10: Observation: Pittsburgh started winning Stanley Cups after they got rid of Neal,

    How did trading Neal help them? I didn’t understand it then, and I don’t see it now. You mean as a salary dump? Because that only saved them 750 k. I thought it was one of the weirdest deals of the decade.

    What am I missing?

  33. Confused says:

    –hudson–,

    Why would Fox sign with Calgary?

    He does his 4 years at Harvard and runs

  34. stevezie says:

    NYC-Back-to-Tokyo Oil (Gentleman Backpacker): This would be the conventional logic. But VOR is suggesting an alternate model. One that only Garth Snow notably has done of late where he traded down twice from a top 5 position. It was kind of a weak draft and although Josh Bailey looks great now, it took a long time for him to arrive and live up to the expectations.

    That’s why this is very interesting.

    Context is everything. We can talk in generalities about the draft and be pretty accurate, but you really have to look at the specifics to grade the specifics. Like taking Nail becomes a lot more defensible when you realise how weak the entire top 4 was.

    In this case, Snow’s wild move involved passing up Luke Schenn and Colin Wilson. I’m happy Bailey i finally working out for them, but even if he remained a serviceable middle sixer this was probably still a defensible trade.

    Oiler version- the infamous Zach Parise deable is suddenly pretty good if we use that pick to take Mike Richards or Corey Perry.

  35. Melvis says:

    Professor Q: What do you mean Love/Hate?

    He grew up there. He won a WHL Championship and Memorial Cup there.

    The only issue was one drunken night and bar fight.

    Lucic, Nugent-Hopkins, and a 1st for Sutter and Horvat.

    I’m a dreamer.

    At this point, I’d entertain retaining half of Lucic’s salary and straight up for, I dunno, Virtanen?

  36. Harpers Hair says:

    Scungilli Slushy: Chiarelli wouldn’t even pay that much.

    Vancouver doesn’t need a $6m third line center with Peterson and Horvat already on board. Never mind a struggling winger with a boat anchor contract,

  37. stevezie says:

    Woodguy v2.0:
    godot10,

    Observation: Pittsburgh started winning Stanley Cups after they got rid of Neal, added Kessel to their 3rd line to create three scoring lines, and force Crosby and Malkin to play with cheap wingers.

    Their biggest issue was goaltending and they didn’t start winning again until Murray started 21 games two years ago.

    Fleury has been better the last few years, but was a big reason they had the long drought imo.

    Injuries too. There were a few years I recall where Crosby. Staal and Malkin were never healthy at the same time.

    The one year they were Fleury gave the series away.

    But I agree Bylsma is not an elite coach. It sure looks like Sullivan is.

  38. OriginalPouzar says:

    Big win for the Condors tonight. Only 2 games out of a playoff spot with lots of games left – it’s doable.

    Would be great if they can make the playoffs as some of our CHL prospects can join them after they are done playing for their club teams.

    Oilers may need to decimate the roster a bit after the deadline though (hopefully).

  39. Scungilli Slushy says:

    NYC-Back-to-Tokyo Oil (Gentleman Backpacker): This would be the conventional logic. But VOR is suggesting an alternate model. One that only Garth Snow notably has done of late where he traded down twice from a top 5 position. It was kind of a weak draft and although Josh Bailey looks great now, it took a long time for him to arrive and live up to the expectations.

    That’s why this is very interesting.

    It’s interesting but does it make mathematical or logical sense to you? Not to me. I think they should trade up into the top 5 or 10 if at all palatable in the first.

    IF you strongly felt it was a weak draft it would make sense to trade down but many ‘weak’ drafts have turned out pretty good. Nobody knows.

  40. Scungilli Slushy says:

    Harpers Hair: Vancouver doesn’t need a $6m third line centerwithPeterson and Horvatalready on board. Never mind a struggling winger with a boat anchor contract,

    Nuge and a first is an overpayment for Horvat and Sutter. Horvat has Nuge’s ceiling and Sutter isn’t worth a first. Lucic also despite the slump is not a worthless player. JMO.

  41. godot10 says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    Big win for the Condors tonight.Only 2 games out of a playoff spot with lots of games left – it’s doable.

    Would be great if they can make the playoffs as some of our CHL prospects can join them after they are done playing for their club teams.

    Oilers may need to decimate the roster a bit after the deadline though (hopefully).

    The Condors aren’t remotely close to making the playoffs. One has to be 4th in points percentage in the Pacific Conference. They are dead last. They have to pass 4 teams. The Condors have a points percentage in 8th place of 0.500. The 4th place teams Texas has a points percentage of 0.575. They need a winning streak of 10 games or so to have a chance.

    They suck…just like the Oilers and the Oil Kings.

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

    Scungilli Slushy: Nuge and a first is an overpayment for Horvat and Sutter. Horvat has Nuge’s ceiling and Sutter isn’t worth a first. Lucic also despite the slump is not a worthless player. JMO.

    Lucic is not a worthless player but at $6M for 5 more years he does have any positive value to a team when he is on a 16 pt/82gm pace, -30 in takeaway/giveaways, significantly – in PIMs over a quarter season.

    He won’t fetch anything in a trade at present without salary retained. Lucic with $2M retained has value. If he can put up 20 points in his final 24 games and get to 50pts he rehabilitates some more of his value.

  43. Wilde says:

    I think the only thing we can do with Lucic now is find him a 3rd line role where he isn’t an anchor, and then try like hell to get him bought out in the lockout.

  44. stevezie says:

    Scungilli Slushy: It’s interesting but does it make mathematical or logical sense to you?

    Loads of sense.

    It costs to move up in football and basketball because you’re rarely drafting 17 year olds. You get a guy at 22, you have a real good idea what you’re getting.

    The NHL draft is a weighted lottery. By all means, maximize your tickets.

    Of course, this doesn’t always mean trading down. A 1st is probably worth more than all other rounds added up. Moving down just a few spots for an extra second? This can work.

  45. Georges says:

    David,

    I’ll have a look at secondary assists and post when I have something worth sharing. Good thought process on your part.

  46. JimmyV1965 says:

    Scungilli Slushy: It’s interesting but does it make mathematical or logical sense to you? Not to me. I think they should trade up into the top 5 or 10 if at all palatable in the first.

    IF you strongly felt it was a weak draft it would make sense to trade down but many ‘weak’ drafts have turned out pretty good. Nobody knows.

    From what I understand, this draft has some interesting layers. 10V is a layer, 2OV-4OV is a layer and 5OV-6OV is another layer. And then there’s a much larger layer after that. If we pick 7OV, would it not make sense to trade down in the draft closer to the bottom of the layer?

  47. VOR says:

    Scungilli Slushy: It’s interesting but does it make mathematical or logical sense to you? Not to me. I think they should trade up into the top 5 or 10 if at all palatable in the first.

    IF you strongly felt it was a weak draft it would make sense to trade down but many ‘weak’ drafts have turned out pretty good. Nobody knows.

    The point of my strategy is to reduce draft risk. In the first trade 2-7 (and notice I am assuming we are picking 2 and Detroit 7 and this is one of 11 scenarios I have gamed out) the risk is reduced by acquiring Athanasiou who while not a great producer yet has (on a team adjusted basis) decent numbers and is astonishingly fast. In a perfect world I’d be getting Filip Hronek but that isn’t happening. So Andreas and second round picks it is.

    The second trade doesn’t work as well and if I had the cap room I’d have asked for a first and David Savard. 7-16 seems worth an inconsistent RD who has moments where he looks like he has figured it out and moments he looks awful. But after that Columbus has little that fit my model of fast, big upside, and low cost. That left me with a boom or bust little man, Vitaly Abramov. He has all the tools but who knows.

    The third trade gets me Anders Bjork as I go 16-30 (presumed Columbus to presumed Boston). Like Athanasiou, Bjork has an established level of NHL talent.

    The point of the strategy is to go into next year with two proven NHL talents who really fly and think the game quickly and at a high level. No waiting on a draft pick to mature in order for the Oilers to get better.

    I am, I admit, also hoping to add, over time, a couple of NHL role players (WAR and GVT above replacement level) in this draft. I also planned to use some of the assets to acquire Roland McKeown. If I thought I could get Columbus to sell low on him I’d have moved on Warren Foegele as well.

    The metrics I value tell me McKeown is the third best RD not in the NHL. Filip Hronek is the best (and 20 years old – wow). McKeown is a sundial D who is ready for bottom six minutes and can transition the puck as well as any AHL defender – he is an elite skater and plus passer.

    My strategy also took into account that what the Oilers need is depth and plus level support players (and cheap at that). In this year’s draft they can afford to trade down if it generates real depth and brings in players who can play up tempo hockey on ELCs or dirt cheap. McKeown, Athanasiou, and Bjork fit the pattern.

    If we ended up fifth I’d have to look at new strategies. At about 12th OV I’d probably move on to trade up strategies. But because of the high cost I would probably try for real hockey trades that have an upgrade component. As I said earlier today Maroon and our second to Boston for their first and second.

    Like I said this GM job has many moving parts.

  48. VOR says:

    Player acquisition by trade or draft is inherently a gamble. My strategy of trading veteran free agents for long shots is on the surface very high risk. Just as my draft strategy is risk averse.

    Patrick Maroon – Zach Senyshen
    Mark Letestu – Matt Puempel
    Ryan Strome – Jens Looke

    All these seem like bleeding value.

    However, Senyshen has non continuing health problems – appendicitis and Mono. Coaches say Puempel Iis the hardest working player they have ever seen. Looke has moments where he is magical with the puck. All three are forechecking demons who can fly. I chose that as the model I would pursue – not the Boys on the Bus, more Flying Frenchmen.

    That is all you can do, pick a strategy and stick to it. Here the strategy is to trade down to get speed, forechecking speed. The idea is to find players who can take the pressure off the D but also come back and support the puck. Puempel and Looke do and Senyshen is learning.

  49. Georges says:

    hankster:
    Georges
    We need more posts from you to provide much needed balance here, much like the lack of balance on the oil roster.
    Like they say, in a world full of blind people, the one eyed person is king…or something like that.

    I find it very interesting your in depth (two eyed) probability and statistical responses are met with silence.
    Its also interesting when asked potential questions for a new GM hire…all one can think is how do you create offence, goal differential…Seems more like how can we recreate 80s bandwagon hockey so we can win 9 -7 all the time.I would ask the potential hires
    1. what’s your best practices in creating an accountable organization?
    2. What are the other teams best practices and how is yours better?
    3. what ‘s your negotiation tactics in trades?given how badly Chia has failed this one.
    4.How will you help the organization to win the cup within 2 years and continued success thereafter.

    The game has so much structure these days.The one thing Oilers version of Taylor Hall was missing was structure.This was more of an organization fail with missing accountability than a Hall fail.It’s tiring reading the Hall fan club comments. But when the host says we will discuss it till we don’t want to discuss it no more, so there’s our answer to discussing an insane topic.

    Some awesome posters here like VOR, JD WRY for humour make it a worthwhile read from time time…and a few others who stay away from discussing this insane topic.

    Interesting questions. I might try:

    1. What’s success and how is it achieved?

    2. Why do we fail and how do we recover?

    3. What’s right and wrong with our team?

    4. What do you need from me to help you be successful as a GM?

    5. When and why should I fire you?

    That should cover it, assuming the candidates are all qualified.

  50. VOR says:

    I am not saying my way is the only way or the best way. I hoped I would inspire other people to try doing the same thing. Tell me the big picture. Articulate a vision and game it out.

    You all know my vision and you know I want Warren Foegele.

    What can you conclude about Foegele?

    Yup, he is a fast, hard working demon forechecker with a 200 foot game and the NHL plus speed to play that game at the next level.

  51. VOR says:

    Georges: Interesting questions. I might try:

    1. What’s success and how is it achieved?

    2. Why do we fail and how do we recover?

    3. What’s right and wrong with our team?

    4. What do you need from me to help you be successful as a GM?

    5. When and why should I fire you?

    That should cover it, assuming the candidates are all qualified.

    I find great merit in each of the three serious answers I have received to my original question, Woodguy, Hankster, and now yours. For those of you who don’t know I started building a list of possible GM candidates to interview and asked what questions you’d all ask in those interviews. Tomorrow I will post all three responses (and any more that come in) and several sets of questions I have received by email.

  52. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Professor Q: What do you mean Love/Hate?

    He grew up there. He won a WHL Championship and Memorial Cup there.

    The only issue was one drunken night and bar fight.

    Lucic, Nugent-Hopkins, and a 1st for Sutter and Horvat.

    I’m a dreamer.

    He also won a Stanley Cup there!

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

    VOR: I find great merit in each of the three serious answers I have received to my original question, Woodguy, Hankster, and now yours. For those of you who don’t know I started building a list of possible GM candidates to interview and asked what questions you’d all ask in those interviews. Tomorrow I will post all three responses (and any more that come in) and several sets of questions I have received by email.

    1) Name three GMs whom you deem to be the best at their craft, past or present, and give me specific examples of their methodology and actual transactions they made that follow that model that made them successful in your mind. At least one of these GMs should be from the Cap Era, preferably more.

    2) If any of these GMs are no longer successful, what specifically changed–in either what they did or the direction that the NHL went that made them no longer successful.

    3) What are the parameters you use to assess individual players’ abilities? These can be everything from advanced statistics to eye-test methods and games played counts.

    4) What makes a good hockey team on a spectrum ranging from balance among differentiated skill sets on one end to “have the best players” on the other end?

    5) How much do you trust your scouts when it comes to drafting and what is the best deployment method of said scouts in your opinion–do you seek to achieve consensus and groupthink or prefer your individual employees to play to their best strengths?

    6) How well do you know the current GMs in the League–their needs, their tendencies–in the Draft and in trades, and in their present roster construction and cap handicaps.

    7) If I give you cover with the mainstream media in Edmonton for 3 seasons, can you build a contender in that timeframe?

    Question 1 addresses how much they have studied history, particularly recent history. When I set out in photography one of the things I had to do, even if I did not want to do it, was learn what came before me, learn from it, not repeat it, make it my own.

    Question 2 shows the ability for critical thinking. It also helps to find out whether the candidate is attributing success to good luck or randomness or is able to assess specific things that changed to make a GM less successful.

    QUestion 3 gives a look into what he/she deems to be an effective, valuable hockey player. It’s the most open question with most possibilities.

    Question 4 “Get good players, keep good players?” OR “Balance, baby.” That’s one for the LT crowd, but valid nonetheless. Some questions need to be a little easier.

    Question 5 Politically charged question but one we need to know the answer to.

    Question 6 Do you know your competition? Can you parlay their weaknesses into your strengths? Be the Anti-Chiarelli

    Question 7: How much guts ya got? Can you stand the heat in Edmonton while you stick to your vision if I keep you from the wolves and give you 3 years to see your vision play out. I can’t guarantee you more than that, but I will give you the same 3 years Chiarelli had to shape his team–in year 3 he had a huge regression–if that happens with you, you’ll be fed to the wolves. Each step should be forward, each fall forward, even if at a snail’s pace.

  54. Professor Q says:

    My point was that you might have to overpay like that to compensate for salary and position, while enticing opposing GMs to take on Lucic’s contract. If that is indeed what you intend on doing, at this time and place.

    Maybe you get it done with a 2nd or 3rd or no pick at all (just Nuge) but to get the players named back…especially as they’re similar range of players…then maybe a pick would have to be the added ingredient to get it done.

  55. Professor Q says:

    Bruce McCurdy: He also won a Stanley Cup there!

    Correct! I was meaning on said team, but you most assuredly are correct, good sir.

  56. OriginalPouzar says:

    godot10: The Condors aren’t remotely close to making the playoffs.One has to be 4th in points percentage in the Pacific Conference.They are dead last. They have to pass 4 teams.The Condors have a points percentage in 8th place of 0.500.The 4th place teams Texas has a points percentage of 0.575.They need a winning streak of 10 games or so to have a chance.

    They suck…just like the Oilers and the Oil Kings.

    They are 5 points out with many games to go.

    Its unlikely but its not out of the question.

    I will be keeping my eye on them if that’s OK.

  57. OriginalPouzar says:

    Oilers play one of the best in the league tonight.

    Here is hoping that Maroon has himself a plus game as the Bruins are one of the teams interested in him – he’s playing some of his worst hockey as an Oiler, right as we are trying to trade him and scouts are out in abundance – not great timing (his knee may be hurting him, I don’t know).

    I’ll be watching to see if Talbot can string together his third 2016/17 like performance in a row.

    Go Oilers!

  58. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    – Bruce has a really nice article up grading Chia (spoiler alert: not pretty!)

    – He credits the McL hire to Chia: I thought it was established that Coach was brought in my MacT and Nicholson, as per different quotes

    – A balanced view: just like Dallas needed some fresh blood and difference views on the bench. I think Bruce is advocating some changes on the bench: some different perspectives would be helpful to be sure. Look forward to reading his take on the coaches as well

  59. maudite says:

    VOR,

    These are great. Thanks for taking the time to write all this out in the comments.

  60. sliderule says:

    It’s time for changes on coaching staff..Whether that starts with Tod I don’t know but something needs to be done.

    The pathetic oiler power play is on them.One foreward in front of net and two deep in corner and Mcdavid on half wall isn’t working.The forwards in corners are too deep and never in shooting position resulting in shots that Leon takes that are close to being behind line.To me it seems that a large percentage of oiler shots are not to score but get a rebound.With only one player in front of net and no one in high slot the defence jams the front and let’s the oil pass it around perimeter and outman them for rebound.

    Then it’s skill development.Ever since Tod got here all the talk is one timers,quick shots and greasy goals.No talk about accuracy which is maybe the reason Eberle was dumped as he was our most accurate shooter. He had a down year after all the criticism of his lack of a one timer and after that he seemed to lose accuracy though it was mostly puck luck..Just look at the oiler skills challenge when two of shooters could barely hit the net let alone targets.If you go to a optional practice you will see lots of work on one timers but zero on accuracy.

    Watching high lites on NHL network last night the goals they showed were mostly scored high corner or five hole.On our team other than Connor most shots seem to be aimed at low pads.Is that a coaching strategy to creat rebounds?

    This is just what I see and maybe it’s crap but there is something wrong with the coaching

  61. godot10 says:

    OriginalPouzar: They are 5 points out with many games to go.

    Its unlikely but its not out of the question.

    I will be keeping my eye on them if that’s OK.

    You apparently misunderstand the standings and how the playoffs are determined.

    1 Tucson Roadrunners 0.628
    2 San Diego Gulls 0.606
    3 Stockton Heat 0.576
    4 Texas Stars 0.575
    5 Ontario Reign 0.553
    6 San Antonio Rampage 0.547
    7 San Jose Barracuda 0.521
    8 Bakersfield Condors 0.500

    It is entirely based on points percentage in the Pacific Conference. Bakersfield’s position is nearly as hopeless as the Oilers’s is. They have to win about 8 games in a row to catch up to Texas, the last playoff team, in points percentage if Texas plays at the same rate as they have so far.

  62. Professor Q says:

    godot10,

    Too many OT losses, eh?

    Also, wait…so the Pacific is again just sticking it to the AHL by not following the rules? Using OTL points but not actually counting them? Playing less games while holding secession over the AHL’s head?

    They’ve played 5 fewer games than Texas, too. If they win 5 in a row…still behind?

  63. godot10 says:

    Professor Q:
    godot10,

    Too many OT losses, eh?

    Also, wait…so the Pacific is again just sticking it to the AHL by not following the rules? Using OTL points but not actually counting them? Playing less games while holding secession over the AHL’s head?

    They’ve played 5 fewer games than Texas, too. If they win 5 in a row…still behind?

    They are using and counting OTL and SOL points.

    Bakersfield 48 games…possible points 96.
    20 wins — 40 points
    8 OTL/SOL — 8 points === Total 48 points.
    points percentage = 48/96 = .500

  64. OriginalPouzar says:

    https://twitter.com/CondorsHolty/status/965796411940921344

    Ryan Holt

    Verified account

    @CondorsHolty
    12h12 hours ago
    More
    With Texas’ loss, Condors essentially 2 games out of a playoff spot. 5 points out of third. 20 games left. Probably need 28 points

  65. godot10 says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    https://twitter.com/CondorsHolty/status/965796411940921344

    Ryan Holt

    Verified account

    @CondorsHolty12h12 hours ago
    More
    With Texas’ loss, Condors essentially 2 games out of a playoff spot. 5 points out of third. 20 games left. Probably need 28 points

    https://theahl.com/qualification-rules

    Makes no mention of a reserved spot for a California team.

  66. godot10 says:

    godot10: https://theahl.com/qualification-rules

    Makes no mention of a reserved spot for a California team.

    To match the points percentage of the 4th place team, 0.575, the Condors will need 30 points in the last 20 games or a 0.750 points percentage the rest of the way. The top team in the Pacific this season is producing a .630 points percentage. The top team in the AHL, the Marlies (the Leafs farm team by the way) is producing at a 0.74 points percentage. Every body else in the AHL is under 0.68

    So to just squeak in, the Condors have to play better than the most elite team in the AHL. They would fall well short if they played at the rate of the 2nd best team in the AHL. They would be a distant bell if they played at the rate of the best team in the Paciifc division.

    They are done and hopelsss….just like the Oilers and the OIl Kings.

  67. octobergirl1 says:

    Hunter1909’s Emergency!™ Death March™ congratulates the Edmonton Oilers for a gutsy display in their game vs the Boston Bruins.

    Hunter1909 Emergency Death March Update for new/returning players:

    Here’s how you play: Go to http://www.oilersdeathmarch.com and click “Enter Emergency D.M.”

    It’s easy!

    With the team’s improbable suckage, it’s time to get predictions in. Prizes to be won!

    Contest book to remain open until further notice.

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