G74 2017-18: Oilers at Senators

Yesterday, the Edmonton Oilers made a significant trade that will (probably) impact the pro depth chart in the fall. We’ll continue to monitor the current team, and the major storylines (McDavid Art Ross, Leon Draisaitl 80 points, Jesse Puljujarvi 15 goals, et cetera). However, it’s also time to look forward to the summer, and what may come.

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. Offer is here.

GOD ONLY KNOWS, YEAR OVER YEAR

  • March 2016: 6-4-0, goal differential 0 (12 points)
  • March 2017: 7-2-1, goal differential +16 (15 points)
  • March 2018: 5-4-1, goal differential +2 (11 points)
  • March 20, 2016: Colorado 3, Edmonton 2 (Source)
  • March 25, 2017: Edmonton 4, Colorado 1 (Source)

Oilers have now passed Chicago (now No. 24) and there are a few more teams who are vulnerable even this late in the year. Edmonton could pass the Islanders, Rangers and even Carolina, conceivably finishing No. 21 overall. That hurts the draft number, though.

AFTER 73, YEAR OVER YEAR

  • Oilers 15-16: 28-38-7, goal differential -47 (63 points)
  • Oilers 16-17: 39-25-9, goal differential +30 (87 points)
  • Oilers 17-18: 32-36-5, goal differential -30 (69 points)
  • March 18, 2016: Edmonton 2, Vancouver 0 (Source)
  • March 23, 2017: Edmonton 7, Colorado 3 (Source)

A win tonight gets Edmonton to 71 points, exceeding the final number for 2015-16. The club would still be 32 points behind the final tally of one year ago. It would be nice to see that goal differential tighten some more.

WHAT TO EXPECT FROM MARCH

  • At home to: Nashville, NY Rangers, Arizona, NY Islanders, Minnesota (Expected 2-3-0) (Actual 3-2-0)
  • On the road to: Calgary (Expected 0-1-0) (Actual 0-1-0)
  • At home to: San Jose (Expected 0-0-1) (Actual 0-0-1)
  • On the road to: Florida, Tampa Bay, Carolina, Ottawa (Expected 1-2-1) (Actual 2-1-0)
  • At home to: Los Angeles, Anaheim, Columbus (Expected 2-1-0) (Actual 0-0-0)
  • On the road to: Vancouver, Calgary (Expected 1-0-1) (Actual 0-0-0)
  • Overall expected result: 6-7-3, 15 points in 16 games
  • Current results: 5-4-1, 11 points in 10 games

The home stand to come is likely to poke a hole in this month, but the stronger play of Cam Talbot and Connor McDavid pushing should mean some success. Tonight’s game is going to be emotional, the Sens have played Edmonton very well in those circumstances. That said, the story surrounding this game is so incredibly sad that none of this matters at all. Absolutely devastated for the Karlsson family.

COOPER MARODY

If the Oilers sign Marody, he’s going to be a feature player in Bakersfield next fall.

This is a list of signed prospects, NHL men likely to spend time in Bakersfield and the RFA’s. I don’t expect we’ll see Ben Betker and Kyle Platzer return, not certain about the other gents. Marody is listed as a center so I put him there, could easily end up at right-wing. No matter what we think of the quality of these men, there are far more forward prospects in the conversation than one year ago. And most of the newcomers boast skill as a main asset.

I had Adam Mascherin No. 22 on my final list and he’s performed well since draft day. Whatever the issues facing player and team, the Oilers would be wise to consider grabbing this young man via the trade route (depending on price).

NHL EQUIVALENCIES (FORWARDS)

  • Put in the NHLE context, pretty clear the Oilers are trying to add skill to the pro pipeline right bleeding now.
  • Kailer Yamamoto is a strong candidate to play in the NHL all next season, in my opinion. If he does go to Bakersfield, Yamamoto will be among the most skilled men to play in the uniform (Leon, Puljujarvi).
  • Cooper Marody is clearly a skill forward and he is enjoying a strong junior season with Michigan. Mono and ineligibility issues impacted his first two seasons, possibly obscuring his true offensive ability.
  • Cameron Hebig is another impressive young player, don’t know where he’ll play next season but there is talent there.
  • Kirill Maksimov closed strong, Oilers have a fantastic prospect here. They signed him a week ago, if you like prospects, he’s the one you should be excited about (past Yamamoto).
  • Bogdan Yakimov has lost his bat. Ordinarily when you see a player like him (he was a legit prospect) there’s a time on ice issue that explains the low scoring totals. Yakimov played 14:46 a game, scoring just 8-3-11 in 56 games during the KHL season. Wildly disappointing.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

A busy Thursday on the show, as we gear up for tonight’s game versus the Senators and talk about the GM meetings. Scheduled to appear, TSN1260 beginning at 10:

  • Paul Beirne, President of the CPL. He’ll be in the city this weekend doing his due diligence for the potential addition of a CPL franchise in Edmonton — beginning play in Spring 2019. There’s a town hall tonight and we’ll preview some of the topics.
  • Rob Vollman, ESPN and NHL.com. Rob has a new stat! Plus Rocket Richard race and previewing some of the possible playoff matchups.
  • Frank Seravalli, TSN. NHL general managers are changing the rules again!

10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. See you on the radio!

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300 Responses to "G74 2017-18: Oilers at Senators"

« Older Comments
  1. Munny says:

    Pouzar: He’s gonna be back next year isn’t he?

    Gord I hope not. Has no clue on body position when he’s forechecking and if he can’t forecheck properly…

    Edit: I mean that’s what they went and got him for, wasn’t it… tenacious, motor never quits, blah blah blah

  2. Pouzar says:

    Munny: Gord I hope not.Has no clue on body position when he’s forechecking and if he can’t forecheck properly…

    Edit: I mean that’s what they went and got him for, wasn’t it… tenacious, motor never quits, blah blah blah

    I like the kid but we have to aim higher.

  3. Jethro Tull says:

    Wayne Kenov:
    Even after changing my username to what I consider to be the best one ever, I’m starting to feel more disconnected to the team than ever. Would I head scratch as many decisions if I followed the Browns?

    Wanking off? What were your alternatives? Jenna Talia? Aleta Booga? Have you called Moe yet?

  4. JimmyV1965 says:

    Scungilli Slushy:
    Strome has had a nice run but it would be another mistake to give him anything but a value contract. Just because he’s has no track record so 2×2.5 would be fine, if he can produce more pay him next time.

    This season he hasn’t shown it. This mistake of paying for short runs plagues teams.

    Two year deal is the way to go. Whether it’s 2.5 or 3.

  5. Munny says:

    Pouzar: I like the kid but we have to aim higher.

    Agreed. Rattie to my eye looks smarter and more talented for eg.

  6. Pouzar says:

    Rattie should have gotten an assist on that 3rd goal. I think.

  7. Pouzar says:

    LOL.

  8. Munny says:

    That little kick up of the puck by Sleppy was sweet.

    #tinymoments

  9. Bank Shot says:

    OilClog:
    98 isn’t on either unit, sweet.

    I’m perfectly fine with JP playing 3rd line all next year and getting a bridge deal.

    The Oilers could use a single value contract going forward.

  10. Munny says:

    Nuge with a beauty pass gives CMD a lane and it is in the net

  11. Nailer Yakumoto says:

    Wow

  12. StixMalone says:

    Wow

  13. jp says:

    Oh my goodness. Wow.

  14. Réal Goudenyéu says:

    Tied for first now?

  15. Pouzar says:

    Jezzuz

  16. Andy Dufresne says:

    Andy Dufresne:
    Conner…..Art Ross and Hart….as if there was ever any doubt

    +1 ^Truth

  17. Munny says:

    Good fight by Aberg there to make that pass to Looch

  18. Munny says:

    Réal Goudenyéu:
    Tied for first now?

    Point back I believe

  19. Zelepukin says:

    Remember when MSM was obsessed with trading Nuge? Ya, lol.

  20. Pouzar says:

    Munny:
    Nuge with a beauty pass gives CMD a lane and it is in the net

    We found his LWer.

  21. StixMalone says:

    Zelepukin:
    Remember when MSM was obsessed with trading Nuge? Ya, lol.

    They’re just pumping him….

  22. OilClog says:

    Bank Shot: I’m perfectly fine with JP playing 3rd line all next year and getting a bridge deal.

    The Oilers could use a single value contract going forward.

    JP is reported already grumbling about being dispirited, I’m sure it will work out great for both sides. I’m just going to start calling him Jak, take away some of the sting of my dispirit when he’s traded.

  23. Pretendergast says:

    Nailer Yakumoto:
    Wow

    StixMalone:
    Wow

    jp:
    Oh my goodness. Wow.

    Wow +4

  24. Munny says:

    Is there another player more deserving of a puck in the ear?

  25. Andy Dufresne says:

    Connor is the shooter weve been looking for to play with McDavid.

  26. Munny says:

    Pouzar: We found his LWer.

    It works if CMD will be the finisher. He wasn’t really that guy till the second half of this season. I think I still prefer an actual sniper, but this works if they can’t find one.

  27. Andy Dufresne says:

    Andy Dufresne:
    Connor is the shooter weve been looking for to play with McDavid.

    Connor to Nuge to McDavid…….get used to it

  28. Pouzar says:

    Just a stupid display tonight from the best player in the NHL.

    Dunno if I wanna laugh or cry.

  29. Andy Dufresne says:

    3 Stars

    McDavid

    RNH

    Connor

  30. jp says:

    Andy Dufresne: Connor to Nuge to McDavid…….get used to it

    I’m not gonna break this up… but,

    Munny: It works if CMD will be the finisher. He wasn’t really that guy till the second half of this season.I think I still prefer an actual sniper, but this works if they can’t find one.

    adding a sniper to Nuge-CMD- could work I think.

  31. Wilde says:

    The trend of 97+93 getting more DZS and still winning continues

  32. Andy Dufresne says:

    McDavid pulls an Ovechkin at next years All Star Game

    Starting Center and Starting Right Winger.

  33. Munny says:

    CMD is first 35 goal scorer for the Oil since Smytty in 05-06 according to the broadcast.

  34. OmJo says:

    You have to wonder how the news about Karlsson is affecting the rest of the team.

    Not making excuses for them, they’re just not a good team on paper, particularly without their two best players on the ice (thanks, Melnyk) but they’re a lot closer to the Karlsson family, I wouldn’t be surprised if their heads aren’t entirely in the game – a game that doesn’t really matter in the end.

    Good for the Oilers to get some wins, and get on a bit of a roll to end the season. Finally passing the 15-16 roster.

    Sadly, it might mean more time for both Chiarelli and McLellan. At least one of these two men should be gone by the end of the season, preferably both. Passing a injury prone lottery team (15-16 Oilers) pace in the final 10 games of the season is unacceptable.

  35. Pouzar says:

    Munny: It works if CMD will be the finisher. He wasn’t really that guy till the second half of this season.I think I still prefer an actual sniper, but this works if they can’t find one.

    I don’t want a sniper at the expense of Nuge. I don’t care who the trigger man is on that line. It works.
    Nuge provides cover for a Drai/3rd line C injury.

  36. OilClog says:

    Nurse with the quietest 3pt 24min 5sog 2hits and 3 blocked shots night in a long time.

  37. Jethro Tull says:

    “And if you play defender, I’ll beat you hyperspace.”

    Beastie Boys – Body Movin’

    Connor McDavid – Makin’ the NHL my Bitch.

  38. Andy Dufresne says:

    Munny:
    CMD is first 35 goal scorer for the Oil since Smytty in 05-06 according to the broadcast.

    97 > 94

  39. Hardly ever angry says:

    Andy Dufresne: God Bless Chia

    Ha ha the contract hasn’t happened yet.

    Or has it..

  40. Munny says:

    Mike Hoffman’s name has been bandied about a lot recently… How often did you see him go to the net tonight? He’s got a decent shot, doesn’t shy away from board play, but I wasn’t impressed with him in the Ozone. Showed no desire to go to the greasy areas.

  41. OilClog says:

    Not even Leon opens up the ice for Mcdavid like Nuge does. It’s playing micro machines and then adding the game genie.

    Nuge is the Mcdavid Genie, hey guy here’s the puck, oh hey guy here’s the puck again, guess what guy, I got a puck for you.

  42. Andy Dufresne says:

    McDavid pulls an Ovechkin at next years All Star Game

    McDavid Starting Center and Conner Starting Right Winger.

  43. Munny says:

    Pouzar,

    lol… add weakass in his own end.

  44. Spooky Lynx says:

    Connor is the first Oiler to score 35 goals in a season since Ryan Smyth in 05/06 (via SportsNet)

    It’s mind bending.

  45. Pouzar says:

    Munny:
    Pouzar,

    lol… add weakass in his own end.

    Don’t hassle the Hoff!

  46. Andy Dufresne says:

    Hardly ever angry: Ha ha the contract hasn’t happened yet.

    Or has it..

    lol

    God blessed Chia
    With His own hand
    Brought down angels from the promised land
    Gave ’em a place where they could dance
    If you want to see heaven, brother, here’s your chance
    I’ve been sent to spread the message
    God bless Chia.

    (Little Texas – “God Bless Texas”)

  47. Munny says:

    Pouzar,

    It certainly makes the job a lot easier on the GM. They can find second tier guys at discount, pump them on L1 and then deal them for profit.

  48. StixMalone says:

    Pouzar: I don’t want a sniper at the expense of Nuge. I don’t care who the trigger man is on that line. It works.
    Nuge provides cover for a Drai/3rd line C injury.

    Yep I’d be ok leaving this line intact for next year. Can’t afford a sniper need to develop our own….

  49. Munny says:

    I do want to see how 93-97 do once good teams adjust to their play, before chiseling them in stone. Arrows thus far are very nice though.

  50. Professor Q says:

    6-2 Edmonton
    7-6 Tampa Bay
    4-3 Philadelphia
    1-7 Colorado

    McDavid: 2G, 2A (36G, 58A, 94P)
    Kucherov: 0G, 1A (37G, 58A, 95P)
    MacKinnon: 0G, 1A (38G, 54A, 92P)
    Giroux: 0G, 3A (26G, 64A, 90P)

    Stamkos: 0G, 1A (27G, 59A, 86P)
    Kopitar: 4G, 0A (33G, 53A, 86P)

    Malkin: NGS (41G, 50A, 91P)

    The race is heating up even more, my people! The next three days shall bring even more nail-biting festivities. May Connor have no mercy for the Teams of California.

  51. Pouzar says:

    Munny:
    I do want to see how 93-97 do once good teams adjust to their play, before chiseling them in stone. Arrows thus far are very nice though.

    I’ve always said the best player for Connor is one with speed and Hockey IQ. Nuge has this in spades. I think they can score in many different ways together.

    Fix this Chia. Find a way to trade Lucic now.

  52. striatic says:

    Rattie looked to be doing positive things on all his line’s goals, even those he didn’t get points for.

  53. Andy Dufresne says:

    striatic:
    Rattie looked to be doing positive things on all his line’s goals, even those he didn’t get points for.

    Can Conner/Nuge turn a Rattie into a Sheary or a Guentzel?

  54. godot10 says:

    Andy Dufresne: Can Conner/Nuge turn a Rattie into a Sheary or a Guentzel?

    If you saw the Carolina game, where they were hard matched by Staal’s line and Slavin, NOPE.

    Rattie is a tweener.

  55. Crazy Pedestrian says:

    McPOINTZ!!!

  56. jp says:

    godot10:
    If you saw the Carolina game, where they were hard matched by Staal’s line and Slavin, NOPE.

    This is an odd comment.

  57. who says:

    Bank Shot: I’m perfectly fine with JP playing 3rd line all next year and getting a bridge deal.

    The Oilers could use a single value contract going forward.

    I’d be even happier if they lock him up for 8×4. Even 4.5.
    I don’t know why everyone is making such a fuss about JPs usage and linemates. That line looks great right now.
    If they keep playing like this I’d leave em together for next year as well.

  58. Crazy Pedestrian says:

    Professor Q:
    6-2 Edmonton
    7-6 Tampa Bay
    4-3 Philadelphia
    1-5 Colorado (still in progress)

    McDavid: 2G, 2A (36G, 58A, 94P)
    Kucherov: 0G, 1A (37G, 58A, 95P)
    Giroux: 0G, 3A (26G, 67A, 93P)
    MacKinnon: 0G, 1A (38G, 54A, 92P)

    Stamkos: 0G, 1A (27G, 59A, 86P)
    Kopitar: 3G, 0A (32G, 53A, 85P)

    Malkin: NGS (41G, 50A, 91P)

    The race is heating up even more, my people! The next three days shall bring even more nail-biting festivities. May Connor have no mercy for the Teams of California.

    Weird thing I just noticed.

    7/10 (and 9/13) of the current goals leaders are previous 1st and 2nd overall picks…

  59. Munny says:

    striatic:
    Rattie looked to be doing positive things on all his line’s goals, even those he didn’t get points for.

    Yes, he did.

  60. Andy Dufresne says:

    jp: This is an odd commenter.

    Well thats not very polite. True….but not polite.

  61. Andy Dufresne says:

    who: I’d be even happier if they lock him up for 8×4. Even 4.5.
    I don’t know why everyone is making such a fuss about JPs usage and linemates. That line looks great right now.If they keep playing like this I’d leave em together for next year as well.

    God Bless TMac

  62. Fuhr and Lowething. says:

    Do y’all think Nuge will finally get 50 points this season?

  63. hunter1909 says:

    LATEST LOTTERY SIMULATOR RESULTS JUST IN!!!

    1 – NYI
    2 – Oilers
    3 – Sabres

  64. Andy Dufresne says:

    2019-20

    McDavid, Draisaitl, Nugent-Hopkins….all value contracts?

  65. Andy Dufresne says:

    hunter1909:
    LATEST LOTTERY SIMULATER RESULTS JUST IN!!!

    1 – NYI
    2 – Oilers
    3 – Sabres

    BOOK IT!
    Use your credit card to put a deposit down if you have to!

  66. N64 says:

    Fuhr and Lowething.:
    Do y’all think Nuge will finally get 50 points this season?

    ~ I sure hope he doesn’t *finally* get 50 points as an Oiler ~

    ~ Hoffman 5.2M. By Grabthar’s Hammer, What a Savings! ~

  67. Andy Dufresne says:

    Wheres Gerta? with the link to post game comments.

  68. JimmyV1965 says:

    hunter1909:
    LATEST LOTTERY SIMULATOR RESULTS JUST IN!!!

    1 – NYI
    2 – Oilers
    3 – Sabres

    The Calgary pick boosts the odds of the Isles hitting the top three by 10%. Wow.

  69. Justthestatsman says:

    Munny:
    Is there another player more deserving of a puck in the ear?

    Kesler? Perry?

  70. who says:

    Andy Dufresne: God Bless TMac

    Yeah.
    God Bless him.
    It took him 70 games to move Lucic to the third line.
    It took him 70 games to figure out that Lucic was a drag on Mcdavid and Draisatll and Nuge.
    Hes a coaching genius.

  71. Andy Dufresne says:

    who: Yeah.
    God Bless him.

    Hes a coaching genius.

    Agreed. I knew youd come around eventually.

  72. who says:

    Andy Dufresne: Agreed. I knew youd come around eventually.

    You’re being an ass

  73. Andy Dufresne says:

    who,

    Hee Haw….wHoo

  74. Wilde says:

    I thought Lucic made it to SO many more 50/50 pucks tonight than when he was getting 18 minute games, very relieving to see.

  75. --hudson-- says:

    Not much meaty in Todd’s postgame availability. Also the audio on the questions was low so the autocaptions didn’t pick them up, I tried to transcribe the best I could.

    Source video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=otxdk3F9sfk
    ————————————————–
    Q: … ways to creatively ask about Connor McDavid {inaudible} when you see something like tonight when he just hits the gas in the third period and just blows your team away?
    A: I’m actually running out of answers, creative answers, to describe it too. So it’s a remarkable effort, especially the way they responded after getting scored on, that was important, that’s great leadership. We talked a lot about those pushback and response shifts, and he and their line did a tremendous job of doing that tonight, and then he’s just got so much pace to his game… changes speed, deception, that it’s tough to defend, and he took advantage of some situations that were created.

    Q: Did he say anything on the bench to give you an indication that…
    A: No he’s just ready to go at any time.

    Q: Is a lot of the reason why Ty Rattie has had success there is he’s not really overthinking the fact …
    A: We’ve got to remember Ty’s a pretty offensively creative player and he has scored a lot in his career, especially through his junior days, and maybe hasn’t happened for him as much at the NHL level, but the opportunity he’s getting now to play in the, you know, in the top six or top three, and the amount of ice time he’s taking advantage of. So I don’t know if he’s ever got that chance, but he’s getting it now, and we’re finding on whether he can sustain it, and that’ll be the key for him… but he’s fit that line well, he thinks the game at their level, and he puts himself in a good spot.

    Q: Three wins on this road trip, what would you say is the most successful aspect of your teams play?
    A: Well 3 was a big number for us, we got to two, and before the game tonight we talked about three. We hadn’t got there on any of our road trips this year, not everyone’s a four game or five game trip, but when we had opportunities we seemed to fall short. So we consider this a very successful one, going home now, and we want to continue to move the needle forward… and you know what caused it, everybody’s contributing when we’re scoring a little bit more, the penalty kills improved, power play found a way to score one finally tonight, so a lot of areas of the game that are going the right way right now, and the effort is being put into it.

    Q: You’re 6-2-1 in the last 9 or whatever, what does that mean to things, is that where you are or just…?
    A: No, it’s like there’s two things. We’re disappointed where we’re at and we’ve got to separate that from how we’re playing, and I think it’s so important for us to play the right way, to struggle and push to win games right now. I look at teams that did it last year and Tampa is a prime example. They didn’t roll over, it wasn’t a race for, you know, for a draft pick or anything like that, and that’s what we’re trying to do right now. We’re really trying to push him and win as much as we can and have good habits down the stretch.

    Q: Star athletes can have multipoint games but not really do much. It seemed tonight that Connor was just in command. He dominated that game, is that a fair assessment?
    A: I think he was… the best way to put it was he was in command, he was the MVP in the Super Bowl in the quarterback position, where he just controlled the game, and he dictated the pace, and how quick it was going to happen… he could slow it down in certain points, he could speed it up, you know, and again his line mates helped him but he was the quarterback.

  76. who says:

    So based on usage these last 20 games who’s not coming back?
    I’m gonna say Slepeshev, Auvitu, Cammaleri. I could also see Kassian traded to reduce salary.
    These aren’t necessarily hockey moves, just guys the Oilers are willing to cut ties with.
    What do you think?

  77. VOR says:

    I think people seldom get to see the human face of coaching. So let me introduce you to one of the greatest coaches in all of sports. In this passage he is talking about his duty to a wild stallion of a man he coached decades earlier.

    “When I coached him I was the youngest coach in pro sport,” he said.

    “Maybe a more experienced coach would have done something earlier. I didn’t realize the path he was on until his career was over, but looking back the signs were there.”

    That is of course Hugh Campbell talking about my friend Bill Stevenson.

    Bill never worked out between seasons, which drove Hugh nuts. Bill played himself into shape. He truly earned the nickname Billy Bulk.

    But despite his size Bill liked to do silly tricks on the sidelines. Like a line of back flips. He just couldn’t sit or stand still. Not to mention he was always pulling pranks on other players including on the sidelines during practice. This all made Hugh crazy.

    Most people don’t know it but Bill Stevenson started out as a defensive end. He refused to follow defensive calls free lancing all over the field. At times he looked great and turned games around by himself. But he also got caught out of position repeatedly costing the team games in the process.

    So what did Hugh do?

    He turned Bill into an offensive lineman. This caused a considerable amount of comment in the press. In a press conference Hugh said, “I told Bill I think he needs a position with more structure and our quarterbacks really need his protection.”

    Bill responded by becoming the greatest offensive lineman in the history of the CFL. But it came at a hell of a price. He took a pounding. A lot of it to his head.

    The problems started on Monday nights. Hugh had team meetings Monday nights at the Grand Hotel. It was really a mandatory team social event. Bill’s drinking became the stuff of legend. He’d often still be drunk at practice the next day. Teammates would make jokes about his drinking.

    Then Bill started suffering depressive episodes during the off seasons and binge drinking to self medicate. The problems got worse as he forced his body through season after season. His off field life became a disaster. He couldn’t manage money and it forced him to keep playing years after he should have quit.

    Hugh tried to help, repeatedly. The team put Bill on a monthly salary. His teammates tried to convince him to go into rehab and join AA. He did both but still struggled.

    Once Bill retired he really started to spiral out of control. Bill went through bankruptcy, divorce, homelessness, and serious alcoholism. His teammates tried to help and so did Hugh but it was sporadic and disorganized.

    In 2005 when Dave Boone committed suicide and the term CTE became household news a group of former players realized several of their teammates were in real jeopardy. They got organized and disciplined and started trying to make a difference. Hugh was with them every step of the way.

    It was too late for Bill. His health had failed catastrophically and he died when he fell backward down a flight of stairs on his head. He was drunk at the time but it was likely that his health problems were the primary cause of the fall.

    At the memorial service Hugh comforted Bill’s son and daughter, his Mom, his two ex-wives, and a number of players. He did it with grace but you could see he was truly devastated himself. You see everybody loved Bill. The warrior on the field was an incredibly sweet kind guy off the field.

    The quote I started with comes from just after the service. 19 years after he last coached Bill Stevenson, Hugh Campbell still felt he should have done better, done more, been a more experienced coach and a finer person.

    When I read the ludicrous comments from Craig Simpson, and at some level both the strategy and the language have to reflect what his sources told him about how the Oilers organization views Jesse Puljujarvi, all of this came flooding back.

    I may have over reacted.

    But bad, retrogressive coaching makes me nuts.

    I have seen the real thing. I have seen a fine man beat himself up because he didn’t recognize the early stages of a disease that wouldn’t have a name for twenty years and which we still don’t fully understand. Because that is how he defined his role as coach. To inspire, to teach, and to protect. As Hugh has said many times winning wasn’t the goal it was the result.

  78. SwedishPoster says:

    Andy Dufresne: 97 > 94

    Numerically I might be swayed to agree but Smytty played the game the right way. I sure this is not just shiny new toy syndrome?

  79. SwedishPoster says:

    If Connor and Leon can take turns with the four point games we should be ok going forward.

    Klefs shoulder was clearly holding the both of them back.

  80. Wilde says:

    SwedishPoster:
    If Connor and Leon can take turns with the four point games we should be ok going forward.

    Klefs shoulder was clearly holding the both of them back.

    Understandable, Klef’s shoulder holds us all back at times.

    Happens to the best of us, evidently.

  81. Wilde says:

    Bear’s gonna be in the NHL for a long time just on his headman pass and 5v4 if he does get the shot suppression figured out to some degree.

    His strengths are so valuable though, that he only has to become passable in his own zone without the puck to have a job.

  82. GMB3 says:

    For a good portion of the summer I went on and on about how good Nuge would look with McDavid because of his giant hockey brain… and they just look magical out there. Draisaitl is a more physically dominating player but man Nuge can do the hockey.

    Russ are you enjoying the taste of these apples? I ammmmm

  83. GMB3 says:

    Munny:
    That is what Nuge is good at. Being the wheel man on the give and go. Very nice play by him (and also Rattie).Nuge doesn’t solve the sniper issue however.

    I agree, but Crosby tore it up with Guentzel and Sheary for a time. No true sniper there. I think RNH + McDavid creates enough high danger opportunities that having a true sniper may not be that important. Plus Nuge may be the best passer that McDavid can play with, giving him some great opportunities to shoot and forcing him to shoot more.

    McDavid has an elite level shot, I think finding a right wing with some skating and shooting ability who isn’t afraid to crash the net might be the perfect combo. Seems like a role JP would fit in the future, and I wouldn’t mind giving Slepyshev a run of games with them. He produced well with McDavid and gotten taken off for Drai and hasn’t had a sniff since

  84. Professor Q says:

    GMB3:
    For a good portion of the summer I went on and on about how good Nuge would look with McDavid because of his giant hockey brain… and they just look magical out there. Draisaitl is a more physically dominating player but man Nuge can do the hockey.

    Russ are you enjoying the taste of these apples? I ammmmm

    Many of us also shared such praises of such a dream.

    Lowetide did not, but that’s okay. :p

  85. Professor Q says:

    Wilde:
    Bear’s gonna be in the NHL for a long time just on his headman pass and 5v4 if he does get the shot suppression figured out to some degree.

    His strengths are so valuable though, that he only has to become passable in his own zone without the puck to have a job.

    Bear passing to Hedman would be a dream in Edmonton (preferable *ON* Edmonton…).

  86. GMB3 says:

    Professor Q: Many of us also shared such praises of such a dream.

    Lowetide did not, but that’s okay. :p

    Yes I meant to add in that many others also shared those feelings

    Looking at Ryan Pulocks season, it’s a damn shame Chia couldn’t land him instead of Reinhart. Would solve a lot of pornlems here I think. 30 points in 60 games. There is that offensive RHD

  87. jp says:

    Andy Dufresne: Well thats not very polite. True….but not polite.

    I can acknowledge that.

    I found the original comment, using a one game example to proclaim Rattie can’t be a complementary scorer, to be impolite.

  88. sliderule says:

    The whole JP story is typical oilers.

    The summer after the draft oiler insider Stauffer was privately stating that they might have made wrong pick.

    Then when they realized he didn’t speak or understand English they didn’t do much to accelerate the process .Two years later we heard that they had recently hired a tutor.

    The coach clearly didn’t want him with team the first year or even this year so eventually they sent him to Bakersfield. the black hole for oiler prospects.There he could learn that like most oiler prospects that you had to earn prime playing time from the old used up AHL veterans the oiler coach likes to run out.

    When it was noticed on this blog and mainstream media that he was getting much less ice time than previous high picks and behind oiler journeymen they ran out oiler insider Simpson to sandbag him and justify management handling of him.

    Now maybe Simpson is correct and he doesn’t train properly and isn’t playing the “proper” oiler way but the way they are handling it they are going to turn another high pick into a third or fourth round pick.

  89. Lowetide says:

    Professor Q: Many of us also shared such praises of such a dream.

    Lowetide did not, but that’s okay. :p

    Very true. My reasoning for keeping Nuge at center is covered in Nuge’s RE:

    Leon will take care of it! Eventually, that may be true. However, RNH offers shelter from the storm, at least for another season. I can see him getting dealt when McDavid’s contract clicks in, but another year for Nugent-Hopkins makes a lot of sense.

    What about using him as a soft minutes center? I don’t like that idea, it’s like using a terrific center fielder at first base. Even if he hits enough to be better than replacement level, why in h-e-double-hockey-sticks are you playing a centerfielder at first base? Why waste that talent?

    Well, because McDavid and Draisaitl can score more while playing the tough opposition! We have no evidence of Draisaitl doing it as a Stone Alone center. Leon’s 5×5 elite numbers (35 percent, 410 minutes) were a lot about time with 97. We have a very small window of evidence suggesting that Draisaitl can power a line 5×5 all by his lonesome.

    Leon has proven he can push the river, so those fears are gone. Nuge can play wing, which means they can keep him around. I’d like to see a Nuge-Leon line for 10 games, that might be a key development. That said, Nuge has never been a stunning 5×5 scorer and with 97 he looks like a monster. So, good days for sure. Now let’s get 98 with 29 on a second line, please.

    http://lowetide.ca/2017/05/15/re-16-17-ryan-nugent-hopkins-creep/

  90. Andy Dufresne says:

    sliderule:
    The whole JP story is typical oilers.

    The summer after the draftoiler insider Staufferwas privately stating that they might have made wrong pick.

    Then when they realized he didn’t speak or understand English they didn’t do much to accelerate the process .Two years later we heard that they had recently hired a tutor.

    The coach clearly didn’t want him with team the first year or even this year so eventually they sent him to Bakersfield. the black hole for oiler prospects.There he could learn that like most oiler prospects that you had to earn prime playing time from the old used up AHL veterans the oiler coach likes to run out.

    When it was noticed on this blog and mainstream media that he was getting much less ice time than previous high picksand behind oiler journeymen they ran out oiler insider Simpson to sandbag him and justify management handling of him.

    Now maybe Simpson is correct and he doesn’t train properly and isn’t playing the “proper” oiler way but the way they are handling it they are going to turn another high pick into a third or fourth round pick.

    This is nonsense.

  91. sliderule says:

    Andy Dufresne: This is nonsense.

    If you say so pete

  92. Andy Dufresne says:

    Lowetide: Very true. My reasoning for keeping Nuge at center is covered in Nuge’s RE:

    Leon will take care of it! Eventually, that may be true. However, RNH offers shelter from the storm, at least for another season. I can see him getting dealt when McDavid’s contract clicks in, but another year for Nugent-Hopkins makes a lot of sense.

    What about using him as a soft minutes center? I don’t like that idea, it’s like using a terrific center fielder at first base. Even if he hits enough to be better than replacement level, why in h-e-double-hockey-sticks are you playing a centerfielder at first base? Why waste that talent?

    Well, because McDavid and Draisaitl can score more while playing the tough opposition! We have no evidence of Draisaitl doing it as a Stone Alone center. Leon’s 5×5 elite numbers (35 percent, 410 minutes) were a lot about time with 97. We have a very small window of evidence suggesting that Draisaitl can power a line 5×5 all by his lonesome.

    Leon has proven he can push the river, so those fears are gone. Nuge can play wing, which means they can keep him around. I’d like to see a Nuge-Leon line for 10 games, that might be a key development. That said, Nuge has never been a stunning 5×5 scorer and with 97 he looks like a monster. So, good days for sure. Now let’s get 98 with 29 on a second line, please.

    http://lowetide.ca/2017/05/15/re-16-17-ryan-nugent-hopkins-creep/

    There is a problem/dynamic that we all struggle with at times. It is the issue of time. When a player is not what we want him to be WHEN WE want it, we look for someone to blame; The Coach (bad player utilization), the GM (poor roster contruction), the Player (Not working hard or smart) The Player Agent (not handling the situation) . When we should be blaming ourselves for looking at a point in time as opposed to the process.

    Its 2015-16 and we all want Leon to be a center because hes big and talented and he played center in Junior. Won the MVP in the Calder Cup. But the logical course of player development for him (as it is for many centers coming out of Junior hockey) was to play on the wing for a season or two to gain confidence and learn how to play the position at the pro level.

    JP.2017-18 We all want him to be the top 6/top line Power Forward that we all beleive he can be. He has so much to learn before he is/becomes THAT player. Does it happen in 2018-19? Maybe, Maybe Not. All we can hope for is progress. By the end of next year if he has solidified his spot on 2nd line and PP2…that is a win.

    2016-17 Nuge. Sometimes a players development/utilization is a direct affect of the role the player is being asked to play due to his skill set and due to the roster contruction. Nuge has developed his game/honed his skill set every year he has been in the league. He has made progress EVERY YEAR. The results werent always what some people desired. He became one of the preeminent two-way centers in the league. PK and PP savant. This past year he became skilled at taking faceoffs. He may be about to take the next step in his evolution at age 25. He may be about to become a top line FORCE at the Forward position. The potential for a 70+ point season is very real. He may go from being slightly overpaid to becoming a value contract in one season. Its all about time. A dimension that we dont account for very well when we analyze the game on a day to day week by week basis. Nuge….the next Patrice Bergeron. its not out of the realm of possiblity.

  93. Jethro Tull says:

    sliderule:
    The whole JP story is typical oilers.

    The summer after the draftoiler insider Staufferwas privately stating that they might have made wrong pick.

    Then when they realized he didn’t speak or understand English they didn’t do much to accelerate the process .Two years later we heard that they had recently hired a tutor.

    The coach clearly didn’t want him with team the first year or even this year so eventually they sent him to Bakersfield. the black hole for oiler prospects.There he could learn that like most oiler prospects that you had to earn prime playing time from the old used up AHL veterans the oiler coach likes to run out.

    When it was noticed on this blog and mainstream media that he was getting much less ice time than previous high picksand behind oiler journeymen they ran out oiler insider Simpson to sandbag him and justify management handling of him.

    Now maybe Simpson is correct and he doesn’t train properly and isn’t playing the “proper” oiler way but the way they are handling it they are going to turn another high pick into a third or fourth round pick.

    A couple of things wrong here; you’re confusing TMac not wanting JP here as a player needing development with TMac not wanting JP here as a person. TMac also has no input to who’s played in Bakersfield. That would come from Chia.

    The fastest way to learn a language is immersion. I believe JP’s English was so bad that they didn’t want to send him back to Finland. What they got wrong was JP’s ability to pick up a new language. Like myself, JP is highly skilled, intelligent but has no propensity for languages. He’s probably modest like myself, too!

    Also, i don’t see JP playing fewer minutes as the Oilers not valuing him. I see it as them sheltering him and throwing players they have no intention keeping to the wolves.

    5 years ago, JP.may well have been playing 1RW from the first night as a pro.

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

    Andy Dufresne,

    I agree with the general thrust of this (final projections might be too much for me 😉 )

    Some quick thoughts on JP

    JP is a very skilled player but he hasn’t grown into his body yet. This is obvious. Sending him out to get manhandled by top paring dmen and 1st line opposition isn’t necessarily a smart play here. Yes he may score and get points with McDavid but that isn’t the whole point.

    The coach has mentioned that confidence is an issue with JP, having him play top line, get beat up, get frustrated doesn’t help that and it will probably weigh down McDavid as well.

    He’s playing well on the 3rd line, Strome and Lucic are skilled enough to play at a high level with him and they play at a similar pace. Let the kid grow into his body, challenge him to hit the gym the way other skilled but gangly Oiler players have (Nurse), challenge him to evolve into a player like Kurri (seriously only on Lowetide could a challenge to become like the 2nd highest scoring Finnish player of all time look mean lol).

    I was at the game last night and kept a close eye on between shift stuff. Strome and Lucic talk to JP constantly, now I was too far away to hear anything, but after every shift they were chatting and discussing plays (hand wave and net pointing are my cues here). The man is learning but it takes time and dedication, I’m perfectly ok with teammates and coaches working to instill that in a player.

    Will give some more general thoughts on the game last night a bit later.

  95. Andy Dufresne says:

    sliderule: If you say so pete

    I do.

  96. Andy Dufresne says:

    SayItAin’tSo, Gretz, SayItAin’tSo!:
    Andy Dufresne,

    I agree with the general thrust of this (final projections might be too much for me )

    Some quick thoughts on JP

    JP is a very skilled player but he hasn’t grown into his body yet. This is obvious. Sending him out to get manhandled by top paring dmen and 1st line opposition isn’t necessarily smart play here. Yes he may score and get points with McDavid but that isn’t necessarily the point.

    The coach has mentioned that confidence is an issue with JP, having him play top line, get beat up, get frustrated doesn’t help that and it will probably weigh down McDavid as well.

    He’s playing well on the 3rd line, Strome and Lucic are skilled enough to play at a high level with him and they play at a similar pace. Let the kid grow into his body, challenge him to hit the gym the way other skilled but gangly Oiler players have (Nurse), challenge him to evolve into a player like Kurri (seriously only on Lowetide could a challenge to become like the 2nd highest scoring Finnish player of all time look mean lol).

    I was at the game last night and kept a close eye on between shift stuff. Strome and Lucic talk to JP constantly, now I was too far away to hear anything, but after every shift they were chatting and discussing plays (hand wave and net pointing are my cues here). The man is learning but it takes time and dedication, I’m perfectly ok with teammates and coaches working to instill that in a player.

    Will give some more general thoughts on the game last night a bit later.

    We do agree. I am stretching the boundries on Nuges potential for sure. But with everyhting else we are on the same page.

    I also beleive the Oilers Management are doing everything you prescribe here to properly develop JP

  97. Pouzar says:

    sliderule: If you say so pete

    On the outside, Andy was an honest man.

  98. sliderule says:

    Jethro Tull: A couple of things wrong here; you’re confusing TMac not wanting JP here as a player needing development with TMac not wanting JP here as a person. TMac also has no input to who’s played in Bakersfield. That would come from Chia.

    The fastest way to learn a language is immersion. I believe JP’s English was so bad that they didn’t want to send him back to Finland. What they got wrong was JP’s ability to pick up a new language. Like myself, JP is highly skilled, intelligent but has no propensity for languages. He’s probably modest like myself, too!

    Also, i don’t see JP playing fewer minutes as the Oilers not valuing him. I see it as them sheltering him and throwing players they have no intention keeping to the wolves.

    5 years ago, JP.may well have been playing 1RW from the first night as a pro.

    I didn’t want anyone to think that Tmac didn’t like JP..
    Probably thinks he is great kid.
    When JP arrived at camp and it became obvious how little comprehension he had of what was being said nothing was done about it.
    Connor was asked how it was going playing with JP and he said how can you know as it’s difficult to communicate.
    A lot of what is happening gives you dega vu to Yakupov handling .
    If they really feel that he is a failed prospect make your move and get something for him rather than devalue him with insider sandbag jobs to justify management.

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

    sliderule,

    Who is saying he’s a failed prospect? Where is there an indication that the organization thinks this? Having Craig Simpson say “we think there’s a player here, Kurri-esque if you will, but there are some commitment issues that need to be worked on.” isn’t exactly a damning review in my books. Players develop at different speeds. Gretzky/McDavid/Lemiuex are freaks, touched by the hockey gods from day one to take the league by storm. Messier/Kurri/Draisaitl are different, they needed poking and prodding to reach their potential, they needed to grow into it. That isn’t a bad thing as long as the players buy in and continue to improve.

    Yakupov is a wonderful example of a player and a team talking past each other. Folks love to point to the Oilers fumbling but lets not forget that Yak also had his agent poke his nose into coaching decisions and publicly muse about playing time, role etc. It was a toxic relationship and given that Yak still has not established himself as a regular NHL player I’m led to believe that there may have been more issues with the player rather than Oilers management here.

    I hope everyone gets things right when it comes to JP but I don’t see the Simpson article from yesterday as indicating that they think he is a bust.

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