G63 2017-18: Oilers at Sharks

The deadline is done, the job openings are known to all and now it’s a horse race. This Edmonton Oilers team is so blessed with elite talent, finding the complementary pieces should be easy. That is the lesson of this season, friends. There was a time in this city when we talked about someday, when the best talent in the league would once again wear the blue and orange. We are here. Now that the Aces and Kings are on the roster, the Oilers are stumbling on the sixes and sevens and nines. Time to find some helpers. Starting now.

THE ATHLETIC!

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

DIONNE WARWICK’S SAN JOSE, YEAR OVER YEAR

  • February 2016: 3-10-0, goal differential -12 (6 points)
  • February 2017: 6-6-0, goal differential -2 (12 points)
  • February 2018: 5-7-1, goal differential -6 (11 points)
  • February 28, 2018: Edmonton 3, NY Islanders 1 (Source)
  • February 2017 schedule completed

Amazing recovery from this year’s group in February, final game could give the team more points in February than any other McLellan crew (in two more games than last year’s Oil). This swing through California has been half daredevil, half sunshine. Will we see the same tonight?

AFTER 62, YEAR OVER YEAR

  • Oilers 15-16: 22-34-6, goal differential -46 (50 points)
  • Oilers 16-17: 33-21-8, goal differential +17 (74 points)
  • Oilers 17-18: 27-31-4, goal differential -29 (58 points)
  • February 26, 2016: Anaheim 2, Edmonton 1 (OT) (Source)
  • February 26, 2017: Nashville 5, Edmonton 4 (Source)

There was always a gigantic opportunity for this year’s Oilers to regress toward something respectable. A win tonight would put this group at 60 points after 63 games. That’s disappointing overall would mark a nice spike in fortunes after Valentine’s Day.

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 1-1-0)
  • On the road to: Los Angeles, Anaheim, San Jose (Expected 0-2-1) (Actual 2-0-0)
  • Overall expected result: 5-6-3, 13 points in 14 games
  • Current results: 5-7-1, 11 points in 13 games 

In the last five games, Edmonton is 4-1-0. That’s a nice little run, wonder if they can keep it going? I think Todd McLellan will coach to win right through the end of the season. Six weeks is a long time to push for wins with no hope of the postseason, though.

CURRENT 50-MAN

The Oilers have all kinds of room now for waiver pickups through the end of the season. I’ll have an item up at The Athletic today or tomorrow focusing on the members of this list who are bound for moving on. Nine unrestricted and 11 restricted free agents means 40 percent of this roster is vulnerable even before the Nugent-Hopkins and Klefbom trades. I kid. Probably. Possible lines, when all are healthy and available (next fall):

  • Nuge—McDavid—Slepyshev
  • Aberg—Draisaitl—Puljujarvi
  • Lucic—Strome—Yamamoto
  • Caggiula—Khaira—Kassian

NHLE FORWARDS

  • It’s been awhile since I updated this, thought it might be a good idea with the new hires coming in. 30 points is a good number.
  • Kailer Yamamoto’s number has spiked since our last look, good to see. I know he isn’t everyone’s favorite prospect but those boxcars are in a terrific league.
  • Kirill Maksimov and Tyler Benson are showing well, encouraging numbers for both men. Benson cooled off from a strong start but is still hovering around 30 points.
  • Those three names (KY, Maksimov and Benson) are the prominent forward prospects at this time. I like Safin and hope he joins the list next 30.
  • New addition JD Dudek is well down the list, Tyler Vesel would be a more likely summer signing. Dudek may spike next year (as a senior), suspect Edmonton will give him another year with Boston College before signing him (or not).

NHLE DEFENSE

  • Ethan Bear is playing some good hockey and the numbers suggest his offense has come with him from junior. Bob Stauffer mentioned a possible cup of coffee with the big club by season’s end.
  • Filip Berglund is emerging as a solid SHL defender. Averaging 16:52 a night and posting some crooked numbers. We may not see him in the fall, but 2019 might be a different story.
  • Dmitri Samorukov has spiked nicely through the season, he’s a legit prospect.
  • Caleb Jones has had an uneven season, I think he’ll progress more next season. I’m not sure if he is lagging behind Bear but the underlying numbers aren’t as pristine. Sometimes that’s luck and I remain bullish on the young man.

RAY SHERO LIKES REDUCED PRICES

  • Shero: “This was more of a ‘last 10 minutes’ basically. Patrick Maroon we know well, he was on our list. But with any player that was available, there’s a certain price point asset-wise that we’re comfortable with. That price seemed to come down, and that third-round pick is in 2019, so we have 16 months to recoup that, or if Anaheim re-signs Adam Henrique, we can get their pick.” (NJ.com)

The price on Maroon fell in the waning moments of deadline crunch and that happens. Could Peter Chiarelli have gotten more for him Saturday? Maybe, but it would have been hard to anticipate all of the deals stacked up right at the end. I received a mountain of feedback re: My Maroon article at The Athletic yesterday. Most of it defending the general manager and expressing satisfaction with the return. I felt expecting a first-round selection was unrealistic but a 2019 third rounder (for me) was not enough. From my item at The Athletic:

  • The prospect in the deal would not rank among the 20-best in Edmonton’s rather modest pipeline at this time, meaning the organization has a good chance (25-to-32 percent from the draft pick odds) of getting no return on Maroon’s rental value. Chiarelli entered trade deadline day with a significant trade chip and a chance to change the narrative. If there was a deal out there that could have changed the conversation, he was unable to find it. Source

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

A busy, short show (done at 11:30 for le hockey) today, 10 this morning on TSN1260. Scheduled to appear:

  • Pierre Lebrun, The Athletic and TSN. Trade deadline, who won?
  • Darren Dreger, TSN. Where do the contenders go from here?
  • Scott Cullen, TSN. Drilling down on the McDonagh and Kane deals.

10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter.

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619 Responses to "G63 2017-18: Oilers at Sharks"

« Older Comments
  1. StixMalone says:

    HT Joe:
    I suspect the reffing won’t get any better until the Oiler’s head coach calls them out.

    And there is literally no reason for TMac not to call out the refs (the calls are already slanted against the Oilers).

    But I think we can all safely predict that TMac will once again lack the backbone required to call out the refs.We wait.

    Yes. Just listen to his post game comments. Season is over and coach sounds like his resumes are already sent out. I really like when he said “Darnell talked to him”.

    Also why in hell did he have Lucic AND Cammeleri on the ice at the end? 2 veteran guys that have not scored a goal in 2 months……

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

    Hornqvist for 5 x 5.3m. Way too much money and term. I vastly underestimated what he would sign for.
    Thought it would be 3 x 4.5m or so.

  3. ArmchairGM says:

    I’m sure it was mentioned earlier (older comments won’t load for some reason) but Ethan Bear recalled yesterday around 3:00 pm. Time for a 9 game cup-of-coffee? I don’t think he’d be a bad option for 3rd pairing at this point, and it would be a great experience for him too.

  4. ArmchairGM says:

    RNH should be back by the weekend.

  5. OriginalPouzar says:

    StixMalone: Yes. Just listen to his post game comments. Season is over and coach sounds like his resumes are already sent out. I really like when he said “Darnell talked to him”.

    Also why in hell did he have Lucic AND Cammeleri on the ice at the end? 2 veteran guys that have not scored a goal in 2 months……

    Cammeleri has been one of our best offensive producers over the last dozen plus games.

  6. OriginalPouzar says:

    ArmchairGM:
    I’m sure it was mentioned earlier (older comments won’t load for some reason) but Ethan Bear recalled yesterday around 3:00 pm. Time for a 9 game cup-of-coffee? I don’t think he’d be a bad option for 3rd pairing at this point, and it would be a great experience for him too.

    I think Russell’s hand may be worse than they are letting on and I’ve read that Larsson was headed to Sweden for his father’s funeral after the game last night.

    There is a good chance that Bear will play tomorrow night and he’ll likely get a few games before being returned to Bakersfield. A nice little piece of experience for him although I’m not so sure he is ready for it.

    I’ll be excited to watch him play even if I’m not sure he should be here – not sure he shouldn’t either.

    As an aside, the 9 game threshold isn’t applicable in this case – Bear is a pro this year, graduated from the CHL – the first year of his ELC is currently in use.

  7. OriginalPouzar says:

    ArmchairGM:
    RNH should be back by the weekend.

    Yes McClellan advised early March – he needs a few more practices.

    Will be very curious to see how he deploys the forwards with Nuge back.

    Many are hoping that Nuge plays a material amount at left wing with Connor.

    I have generally been against Nuge on the wing because he is so good at center, however, given our lack of wingers and my opinion that we should not be committing term to winger acquisitions this off-season, I am for giving Nuge a trial on the wing and keeping Strome and Khaira at center to continue the evaluation of their play.

  8. ArmchairGM says:

    OriginalPouzar: I think Russell’s hand may be worse than they are letting on and I’ve read that Larsson was headed to Sweden for his father’s funeral after the game last night.

    There is a good chance that Bear will play tomorrow night and he’ll likely get a few games before being returned to Bakersfield.A nice little piece of experience for him although I’m not so sure he is ready for it.

    I’ll be excited to watch him play even if I’m not sure he should be here – not sure he shouldn’t either.

    As an aside, the 9 game threshold isn’t applicable in this case – Bear is a pro this year, graduated from the CHL – the first year of his ELC is currently in use.

    True about the ELC.

    I’m not sure Bear is ready either, but his coaches must think so otherwise they would have recalled Gryba. On the other hand, Bear has surprised at every opportunity, so maybe he takes this and runs with it. Either way, kudos to him for earning the 1st recall – I hope he makes the most of it.

  9. OriginalPouzar says:

    Here is hoping – hey maybe he takes this opportunity and runs with it and never looks back and within a year is our 2RD and PP QB for the next dozen years?

    Seems like an unlikely timeline but you never know.

  10. Diablo says:

    I find it interesting that everyone here thinks Draisaitl plays the wing on Connor’s line – personally I think its the other way around. When those two are together on the same line, Leon takes most of the draws cause he is flat out better at them. IMO Leon and Connor share the duties of the C when they are on the same line.

    RNH on McDavid’s line would be the same, with Nuge taking the majority of the draws and playing low in the D-zone, allowing McDavid to activate up the ice sooner. RNH will be just fine on a line with McDavid – perhaps the McDavid line won’t get pinned in their own zone for long stretches at a time as often with a more defensively conscious RNH on it.

    McDavid and Draisaitl need to drive their own lines … otherwise long term this team is not going to know real success.

    Strome has played his best hockey as a 3C and Khaira is fine 4C … leave them there.

    I would like to see what Aberg can do on the McDavid or Draisaitl lines.

    TMac has proven time and time again that he’s not going to blow up on the officials, or embarrass them publicly and take the side of his own players … this team and its fans deserves better.

  11. frjohnk says:

    So I ended up watching the Jets game and part of the Flames game last night Ended up PVRing Oiler and watching 1st period last night, rest of the game this morning.

    Preds, Jets game was fantastic. Jets lost but still room on the bandwagon 🙂 for anybody who wants.

    Was cheering for the Stars last night against the Flames. Flames threw everything they had against Bishop, but he stood on his head. Radulov, Benn and Seguin have to be near the top of the list as best line in the league. Wow

    As most have mentioned here, how the heck was the Kane crosscheck not a penalty while Draisaitl gets called for a crosscheck???? Do have to say, I commend Benning for sticking up for himself. He is tougher than most give credit for and surprisingly one of our hardest body checkers.

    Im not one to say much about the refs but today “Wake the fuck up NHL.”

  12. ArmchairGM says:

    Diablo:
    I find it interesting that everyone here thinks Draisaitl plays the wing on Connor’s line – personally I think its the other way around. When those two are together on the same line, Leon takes most of the draws cause he is flat out better at them. IMO Leon and Connor share the duties of the C when they are on the same line.

    RNH on McDavid’s line would be the same, with Nuge taking the majority of the draws and playing low in the D-zone, allowing McDavid to activate up the ice sooner. RNH will be just fine on a line with McDavid – perhaps the McDavid line won’t get pinned in their own zone for long stretches at a time as often with a more defensively conscious RNH on it.

    McDavid and Draisaitl need to drive their own lines … otherwise long term this team is not going to know real success.

    Strome has played his best hockey as a 3C and Khaira is fine 4C … leave them there.

    I would like to see what Aberg can do on the McDavid or Draisaitl lines.

    TMac has proven time and time again that he’s not going to blow up on the officials, or embarrass them publicly and take the side of his own players … this team and its fans deserves better.

    But, but – didn’t you know? – you can’t drive a line from the wing. Connor HAS to be a center. Heresy!

    ——————————————————————————————————

    I suggested McDavid – RNH – X line some time ago and was universally laughed at for having Nugent-Hopkins displace the Franchise Center at the Most Important Position On the Roster. And yet, as you say, that’s the way the McDavid – Draisaitl combo works most of the time.

  13. Dustylegnd says:

    ArmchairGM,

    Gaudreau and Hall drive their respective lines just fine from the wing……Seguin spends a fair amount of time on wing as well…..but then again he is another guy with a bad attitude that needed to be moved…I digress

  14. JD_Wry says:

    It’s absolutely worth it to see McDavid live, even if you know that the refs are going to fuck it up.

  15. StixMalone says:

    OriginalPouzar: Cammeleri has been one of our best offensive producers over the last dozen plus games.

    Strome would’ve been my choice along with pool party and Aberg. Why not?

  16. Jaxon says:

    I would love to see McDavid-RNH-Draisaitl late in a game when they need scoring.

  17. russ99 says:

    I feel bad for Lucic, he’s totally snakebit.

    I hope he finally scores one and then goes on a roll. He’s been in the right places with the puck…

  18. russ99 says:

    Diablo:
    I find it interesting that everyone here thinks Draisaitl plays the wing on Connor’s line – personally I think its the other way around. When those two are together on the same line, Leon takes most of the draws cause he is flat out better at them. IMO Leon and Connor share the duties of the C when they are on the same line.

    RNH on McDavid’s line would be the same, with Nuge taking the majority of the draws and playing low in the D-zone, allowing McDavid to activate up the ice sooner. RNH will be just fine on a line with McDavid – perhaps the McDavid line won’t get pinned in their own zone for long stretches at a time as often with a more defensively conscious RNH on it.

    McDavid and Draisaitl need to drive their own lines … otherwise long term this team is not going to know real success.

    Strome has played his best hockey as a 3C and Khaira is fine 4C … leave them there.

    I would like to see what Aberg can do on the McDavid or Draisaitl lines.

    TMac has proven time and time again that he’s not going to blow up on the officials, or embarrass them publicly and take the side of his own players … this team and its fans deserves better.

    Excellent post, i agree but for one thing:

    If there’s a time that Connor can try things out and find his chops on the faceoff dot or the defensive zone, it’s now when the games don’t matter as much.

    He did make a really nice d-zone play yesterday, so that part of his game is coming on a bit.

  19. Melvis says:

    I think we’re at the point where the owner has to make his views heard on the reffing issue. And not just Katz, but all the owners. Lopsided, biased, or incompetent officiating doesn’t serve the leagues best interests. The NFL, e.g.. has turfed out a couple of bad refs.

    The NHL seems deaf, dumb, and blind to the iissues. After all, refs are only human. So go the excuses. Unfortunately, human enough to decide the outcome of a couple of games. In the case of a team on the cusp of a playoff spot – potentially resulting in serious box office losses.

    Some of this nonsense might also boil down to union issues. The NHLOA can strike the lNHL if push comes to shove. Maybe that’s why they’re untouchable. Who knows. If you want to make your views felt:

    “The NHLOA has now reached a point in its development where it wants to reach out to those who have a special interest in the officiating at the NHL level. The creation of this web site makes the NHLOA Members more accessible to the public and wish to present a side of them that is rarely available to hockey fans, whether they be Officials themselves or simply curious about this aspect of hockey.”

    http://www.nhlofficials.com/pages/about

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