(Wish I could fly like) Superman

You never want to push a young player beyond his limits, but the Edmonton Oilers may be sorely tested in the fall by Ethan Bear. A team badly in need of a right-handed defenseman who can quarterback a power play sees in Bear a possible internal solution. If he can do it, music! Manna from heaven. Important not to lose the player by pushing him, Bear’s first 13 games surely give the organization something to think about over the summer. Perhaps some cover on a one-year deal with Cody Franson? I kid. Kind of.

THE ATHLETIC!

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UP AROUND THE BEND, YEAR OVER YEAR

  • March 2016: 7-6-0, goal differential 0 (14 points)
  • March 2017: 10-2-1, goal differential +21 (21 points)
  • March 2018: 7-4-2, goal differential +6 (16 points)

March 2018 is one of the stronger months this season for the Oilers, with the goal differential finally improving (albeit in a small way). I know there’s disappointment this morning because of the third period collapse and overtime loss, but we know this is a flawed team and we further know there will be improvements in the summer.

AFTER 76, YEAR OVER YEAR

  • Oilers 15-16: 29-40-7, goal differential -48 (65 points)
  • Oilers 16-17: 42-25-9, goal differential +38 (93 points)
  • Oilers 17-18: 34-36-6, goal differential -25 (74 points)

This was a tough week for the team in terms of quality of competition, and the Oilers went 3-0-1. We’re six games from the end of the regular season, Edmonton could hit 80 points before the curtain closes. After that, we’ll see what may come, but I’ve been observing this organization for a long time and would be willing to bet at least one job has been saved during March. That may or may not appeal to you.

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 3-1-0)
  • At home to: Los Angeles, Anaheim, Columbus (Expected 2-1-0) (Actual 1-0-1)
  • 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: 7-4-2, 16 points in 13 games

The team has posted a strong month and there are three more games to come. I think we’ll see a very difficult opponent in the Blue Jackets, followed by two winnable games on the road. Edmonton this season has played down to its competition often, so those road games shouldn’t be counted on. Canada’s western teams usually play each other tough no matter the sitatuation.

DEFENSE, LAST NIGHT

  • Russell-Bear were 15-15 in 14:07 together, 0-2 GF. I believe the team should play the third pairing more, and run this duo a little less. Great goal by Ethan Bear, who is doing enough to be in the conversation for next season. I’m not sure that’s a good idea, his shots-against rates are poor. I’m a fan, but this is a stretch from here. Went 8-10 against Cogliano-Kesler-Silfverberg in seven minutes, got drilled by Rakell-Getzlaf-Perry (0-2 GF) in just five minutes. Russell won’t like the photo on the Perry goal. Nice pass by Bear on the Leon goal.
  • Sekera-Benning went 13-19 in 10:58, 1-1 GF. Both men did good things with the puck and defended well, but the Ducks are a tough team against a pairing that can’t find the passing off ramp. Went 7-13 against Ritchie-Henrique-Kase. I think these two men should play more.
  • Nurse-Larsson were 11-19 in 15:57 on the evening. Spent 10:33 against Rakell-Getzlaf-Perry and were 10-15, but 1-0 GF. The pairing need help, but there’s none coming of course. Nurse’s Corsi for 5×5 is still over 51, but he’s been flagging for the last 25 games (or so) in possession. Larsson is also in that range, he’s had a difficult season for all kinds of reasons. Not sure we can drill down much on any wobble there, he’s been a rock all year.
  • Cam Talbot stopped 33 of 38, .868. I thought the Manson goal was either a perfect shot or Talbot wasn’t out far enough but that’s a guess.
  • NaturalStatTrick and NHL.com.

FORWARDS, LAST NIGHT

  • Caggiula-Draisaitl-Aberg were 9-9 in 14:21, 0-1 in GF. Caggiula was hurt and Khaira stepped in for a time, that’s when the goal was scored. Something to ponder. Went 9-5 against Rakell-Getzlaf-Perry, 1-1 GF. I think you’d take that deal 10 times out of 10, counting on the McDavid trio to outscore their assignment. I like Aberg, don’t know where he lands but suspect he is here in the fall.
  • Lucic-Strome-Puljujarvi went 16-18 in 10:49, 0-0 GF but all three men had some good looks. Were 11-17 against Ritchie-Henrique-Kase, 4-10 in HDSC. That’s a crazy scoring chance ratio, and to come out of it with zero goals is amazing. Strome needs to find the range with these great chances.
  • Nuge-McDavid-Rattie were 13-20 in 14:24, 2-1 GF. Scored 2-3-5 on the evening, going 13-14 against Cogliano-Kesler-Silfverberg (2-1 GF). Rattie is in a similar situation to Bear, in that he is exactly what the team is looking for, and having success while carrying an ideal contract. Mirage? I’d sign him and also bring in an established player on right-wing. If Rattie, Puljujarvi and Yamamoto all flourish next season, the team will have someone to offload for value at the deadline.
  • Slepyshev-Khaira-Pakarinen were 8-8 in 7:27, 1-1 GF. I like the group not only as a No. 4 line but as a parts department for the top three lines. Slepyshev has been passed by newcomers Rattie and Aberg, I still think he has enough skill to play in this league. Khaira may push beyond 4C, he has delivered pretty solid offense from outside the skill lines this year.

A great night for the young man, who is certainly forcing the issue when it comes to where he lands on the depth chart in the fall. His offensive instincts are quality, I love his ability to headman pass, you can see the elements he brings to a team—many of them unique to the rest of the group. That said, the NHL game is about outscoring opponents, and Bear (at this stage) gives a lot back. His Corsi for 5×5 (44.14) ranks No. 10 among Oilers defensemen, and his Shots-against 60 5×5 (39.66) is also last, by some margin. I think you know, if you’ve been reading this blog, that Ethan Bear is a personal favorite. Math screamed his name early, and Bear has made excellent progress. I think he might need 40 more games in Bakersfield. I don’t think the Oilers will agree.

I don’t know much about Robertson, beyond the fact his NHLE (16) is shy of Joe Gambardella’s a year ago (39) and he has size (6.02, 201). He has never, at any time, been an outstanding scorer. Is he a checker? Robertson is 23 in June, making him one year younger than Drake Caggiula.

TY RATTIE

I’d sign him. He’s brilliant insurance for next season, and maybe more than that in actual fact. Rattie’s working his ass off, a one-year deal and a possible opportunity to establish himself as an NHL player is a no-brainer from the player side. Edmonton has Jesse Puljujarvi, Kailer Yamamoto and Pontus Aberg (plus the ghost of Anton Slepyshev) as possible options, and can sign/trade for more cover. Makes sense.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

A busy Monday morning with plenty to discuss and excellent guests. 10 this morning, TSN1260, scheduled to appear:

  • Pierre Lebrun, The Athletic and TSN. McDavid for Hart? Winnipeg makes the playoffs! What does Calgary do?
  • Eric Fawcett, Press Basketball. Final Four is set, what a weekend! Plus, Raptors hit wall.
  • Jason Gregor, TSN1260. What about Bear? Rattie?

10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter.

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114 Responses to "(Wish I could fly like) Superman"

  1. OilClog says:

    Serge Ibaka is single handily sinking the raps, the man can’t hit a open look if his life depended on it and his defence is hanging out with Anton’s ghost.

  2. Jethro Tull says:

    McDavid. Boy, oh boy. McDavid.

    There’ll be a few sphincters unclenching after game 82. He hasn’t gone supernova – he’s passed that. And the scary thing for other teams? It looks so natural for him, so easy. With some players who punch above their weight, you can see the effort they put in, also the lucky bounces (but hey, you have to still be skillful enough to cash in on the luck), but Connor? So easy.

    I hope I never get used to seeing him play for us – sometimes I watch just to see him play. This weekend, I was away, but kept checking in to see his points total. Poor Kucherov. He might still do it, but he’s in deep.

  3. Old Timer says:

    For the past few games Strome has been carrying the puck around the periphery of the O zone. The problem is he doesn’t do anything with it. Get engaged and get, at least a shot on net.

    Watching JP it seems he is too nice to opponents. His speed and size often put him in position to body check opponents. What he needs to do is check with a little gusto. This could make a real difference for both him and the Oilers.

  4. 36 percent body fat says:

    So Gagner at 5’11” 201 is a smurf, Robinson at 6’2″ 201 has size? Is 6’0″ 200 not NHL average for a forward.

    Not a shot at you Lowetide, more of oilers fans complaining about size the last 15 years and not actually having a clue.

    Also Bear looked good and horrible last night. Too many give aways, thats why I agree with you LT. He needs to take that out of his game to be a regular in the oilers lineup.

  5. MattyIce says:

    What will MC97 be like at age 26… love it! Love being a fan regardless of this season. Thanks McDavid.

  6. northof51 says:

    How is Draisatl one-timer not a a thing on the Power Play? His last two, from nearly the goal line, are completely unstoppable. IIRC, he also grazed the crossbar recently on another attempt.

  7. McSorley33 says:

    Can’t help but love the Bear.

    Again, he moves the puck up quickly and has clear offensive instincts. Puck moving stands out compared to our current D. ( which I find a bit scary )

    Completely agree with LT – next year should be all AHL and get him to work on his
    own zone coverage. He is only 20.

    Just once, would love to hear the phrase, “maybe the Oilers let him ripen up a bit too long
    down on the farm’.

  8. GriffCity says:

    Bear with the puck in the offensive zone = Good

    Bear without the puck, defending = Very bad

  9. OilClog says:

    Oilers need a Head Coach that isn’t bullied out the rink by his counterparts.

    Back to backs, back up goalies, experienced head coach.. that’s too many scheduled loses.

    Oilers should hold the big barn beat down this summer with the 6 leading candidates to run the bench and let the best man win,

    JQ’s scowl, DS’s rigid chin, DT’s eyebrow raise, MM’s antlers? PC’s speedy feet? CJ’s bilingual TMac impression.. When DT breaks out the people’s eyebrow it’s all over.

  10. OilClog says:

    northof51:
    How is Draisatl one-timer not a a thing on the Power Play? His last two, from nearly the goal line, are completely unstoppable. IIRC, he also grazed the crossbar recently on another attempt.

    Teams scout.

  11. AshetonisGod says:

    Missed the first period last night – any word on why Montoya sat?

  12. JimmyV1965 says:

    This team will never turn a corner until kids like Bear are developed properly. The late season call up is fine, but he needs to start the season in the minors. He is a very talented player, but there’s huge holes in his game. He needs to work on these in the AHL.

  13. dustrock says:

    We all love Bear, but the fact that there is the shadow of a dream of Bear playing full time for the Oilers next season is more a condemnation of the organization than it is a revelation on Bear’s ability

  14. JimmyV1965 says:

    And I don’t get the deal with Broisseault. He gets all the reps in the AHL, but he can’t buy a start in the NHL for love or money. He’s either part of the team or not. If he doesn’t have the trust of the team at the NHL level, just move on from the guy already. Player development with this team is maddening.

  15. Woogie63 says:

    Both LB and Talbot played on Saturday night …

    Oilers continue to run with LB in Bakersfield, is he still a big part of the future?

  16. bendelson says:

    From Donovan, to The Kinks, Our Lady Peace, or maybe even Dio. The Crash Test dummies, REM or perhaps The Flaming Lips… so many ‘Superman’ songs to select from.

  17. jake70 says:

    northof51:
    How is Draisatl one-timer not a a thing on the Power Play? His last two, from nearly the goal line, are completely unstoppable. IIRC, he also grazed the crossbar recently on another attempt.

    If 97 is on the point, then this should work, but if 97 not on point, where does he play on PP? The Leon 1-timer spot is usually (has been) 97’s area. Put 97 on the other half wall? Not sure if that will work – all the right handed shots now in the system. But use of Leon’s shot needs to be maximized somehow. Interesting though.

  18. npanciroli says:

    Love Bear, but he needs another full year in AHL IMO.

    Ghost of Slepyshev is great loll.

    RNH McDavid JP
    X Draisaitl Aberg
    Lucic Strome X
    Cagguila Khaira Kassian

    I would be looking at that next year. You can plug and play Slepyshev/Rattie but ideally find a more experienced guy.

    Klefbom Larsson
    Nurse X
    Sekera Benning

    Again could plug and play Russell but i think that is much worse than the forward situation. I would be moving up Benning and playing Sekera Russell – which puts Russell in a poor spot for his skills and Benning as well.

  19. npanciroli says:

    jake70,

    Doesn’t TB run like the mirror of Ovie/Laine with Kucherov in the spot? Feels like it would work with all our left shots. Then you run the opposite with Strome Bear and JP.

    I mean I’m no expert but this seems obvious and the fact the coaching staff can’t figure it out is embarrassing.

  20. sliderule says:

    In case no one has noticed Bear can run a power play.

    Unless they trade for a high end right shot he will most likely play for oilers next year as a sheltered third pair and power play specialist.

    He hasn’t been sheltered during his tryout and predictably has leaked goals

    Some here have promoted trading for Barrie who leaks goals against at a frightening rate even as a veteran .His career minus 51 pretty much confirms that.

  21. mustang says:

    Rattie for 1 yr 750,000 1 way. I think he earned the 1 way

  22. AshetonisGod says:

    Love the music references that caption this blog. I was thinking the Velvet Underground’s “Train Round the Bend” would have worked too for today. That’s what the Ducks are in the 3rd period – bearing down and unstoppable.

  23. New Improved Darkness says:

    36 percent body fat: more of oilers fans complaining about size the last 15 years and not actually having a clue

    NHL Player Size From 1917-18 to 2014-15: A Brief Look

    Where this data series ends, average player height was 6’1″ 200.

    NHL Forwards vs. Defensemen Height & Weight, 1917-18 to 2014-15

    Where this data series ends, average forward height was was 6’0.75″ 200.

    I tend not to take roster averages seriously in the first place. All of these statistics should be weighted by minutes played (unless—Gadzooks!—a player’s performance on the ice matters less than his stature on the bench).

    We’re not that far away from where machine vision—with enough simultaneous angles—can estimate every player’s speed at all times.

    Pretty soon, scouts will be sitting at home in their VR helmets, watching actual footage with live annotations superimposed, or watching 3D reconstruction from any chosen camera angle at all (reconstructed stickwork in puck battles would only be approximate). For a while new-age scouts will be desk-bound like a glow-in-the-dark radiologist who hasn’t seen a sunbeam during office hours for most of his or her adult life—and, about ten-years later, similarly unemployed.

    ——–

    I also have a theory about Connor.

    I think the rule on slashing the hands is that the slash must be proportional to how badly the defending player is beaten. With Connor, even up is a dead loss, so slash away—you only actually get a penalty for slashing when you didn’t actually need to.

    The NHL doesn’t want to eliminate dirty, physical play (fan engagement off the charts), they just want to restrict it to necessary interactions (like, if a goal might be scored on pure ability alone).

    Ability only counts in this league when demonstrated uphill through murder’s row in both directions. At this point, Connor wouldn’t get the calls even if he pretended to not have his coverage dead to rights.

    “Oh,” the zebra will think, “but he could have, if he’d tried a bit harder—certainly a necessary slash to the hands in my books.”

    ————

    Wresting exercise:

    Spinner: The defensive wrestler remains stationary on his hands and knees while the offensive wrestler assumes a starting position with his chest in contact with the defensive man’s back. On the coach’s command the offensive wrestler initiates a spinning movement around the defensive wrestler contacting the mat with only his toes and contacting his opponent with only his chest. Each time the offensive wrestler reaches his opponents head, he should change directions. The spinning should continue for intervals of 15 seconds to 1 minute.

    Coach: “Okay, again—but this time, Connor, you spin around the guy on top.”

    Connor: “Uh, from the defensive position?”

    Coach: “Connor, Connor, Connor … you are always in the offensive position. By definition. Capiche?”

    Connor: “Okay, coach, bring it on.”

    Guy on top: “Well screw this, this is humiliating, and (weirdly) I’ve got both arms free—must be the actual point of the exercise, I think, to build up Connor’s pain tolerance.”

    Connor: “I bet this exercise really helps increase my os temporale bone density for when I take up MMA as a second career at age forty-something. These coaches think of everything—it’s so amazing.”

  24. digger50 says:

    The Oilers continue to lose to the Duck, who display a smugness that you just want to punch off thier faces.
    Six extra man (6vs5) goals in the last 7 games??

    By the end of the game the Oilers forwards do not like to go in front of the Ducks net. By the end of the game the Oilers defence are tired of fending off Ducks in front of our net. They are a tough, dirty team, and thier game plan works against the Oil. That crappy overtime was still brilliant on Carlyle’s part. Can’t believe it worked, but it did.

    The first game this year, and the first game next year, the Oilers should forget about the scoreboard and beat them in the ally. As long as this smugness continues, the Ducks will continue to take liberties, dominate and squeak out these wins.

    Tmac, you have other tools available in the toolbox. Play them.

  25. jtblack says:

    digger50,

    “That crappy overtime was still brilliant on Carlyle’s part. Can’t believe it worked, but it did.”

    I also thought it was Brilliant. TMac outcoached again. Shocker. Here is another beef I have with TMac he lets McD and Drai stay out too long in OT – always. Tell them they can go out every 2nd shift, but keep the shifts to 45 seconds.

    Also. As soon as Kesler was out. I would have started Nuge and had Connor on the bench. If Kesler went off, put Connor on. AT LEAST MAKE THE OTHER COACH work for matchups try to grt your star some clean air.

    Random Thought: Once a team has possession in OT, would you consider pullling your goalie to make it 4 on 3?? Very difficult for other team to get the puck, nevermind score.

  26. Munny says:

    LT said…

    I don’t know much about Robertson

    Lol. I’m thinking there’s a reason for that.

  27. jtblack says:

    mustang:
    Rattie for 1 yr 750,000 1 way. I think he earned the 1 way

    +1. And the question becomes; if Mgmt determines he hasn’t, what the hell can a guy do to earn it? He’s earned it full stop. I hope he gets to play the whole season in the NHL next yr.

  28. russ99 says:

    Bear, Rattie, Puljujarvi and Yamamoto all flourishing next season is absolutely best case. We need to plan realistically for next season, and that involves bringing in NHL players.

  29. who says:

    I doubt very much that Bear starts next year in Edmonton. Assuming everyone is healthy.
    Basically he is competing with Benning for the 3RD position. Neither one is capable of playing higher up the order right now. And Benning has the edge in the dzone. I don’t think Bear makes a big enough difference on the powerplay to ignore that.
    I also think that that the most important, AFFORDABLE, forward acquisition would be a 4C capable of killing penalties and winning draws.
    It would give us the option of using Kharia up the lineup on the wing. I agree he would look good with Drai. Someone to help keep a cycle alive in the ozone. He has already shown he can make a play coming off the wall.
    .

  30. Woogie63 says:

    jtblack:
    digger50,

    “That crappy overtime was still brilliant on Carlyle’s part. Can’t believe it worked, but it did.”

    I also thought it was Brilliant.TMac outcoached again.Shocker.Here is another beef I have with TMache lets McD and Drai stay out too long in OT – always.Tell them they can go out every 2nd shift, but keep the shifts to 45 seconds.

    Also.As soon as Kesler was out. I would have started Nuge and had Connor on the bench.If Kesler went off, put Connor on. AT LEAST MAKE THE OTHER COACH work for matchups try to grt your star some clean air.

    Random Thought:Once a team has possession in OT, would you consider pullling your goalie to make it 4 on 3??Very difficult for other team to get the puck, nevermind score.

    McDavid 99 points
    Hopkins 43 points
    Kesler 11 points

    McDavid should play +3 minutes of every OT, so he has to start every OT.

    IMO you are overthinking it,

    Coaches job in OT is to have your best players on the ice for +3 minutes (if it goes 5 minutes).

    Players job is good line changes; keep the puck when they are on the ice; don’t lose their check

    GM job have 6-7 guys who can excel at 3 v. 3 hockey.

  31. Munny says:

    Just want to give a shout-out to TMac for matching as much as he did last night. It’s not something I expect considering we are in the Audition part of the season.

    Also for switching to a standard two D PP in the 3rd. The diamond-bumper formation was showing no signs of success against a very good ANA PK, and of course wanting to protect against a shortie against in the 3rd period too.The result was a goal for.

    I know the expectation on the internet is to treat all coaches like they are complete idiots who couldn’t operate a toothbrush, much less a hockey bench, but I think that’s because no one ever mentions when a coach–any coach–does something right.

  32. flea says:

    To me, the TC battle next year should be Bear vs Benning (if he’s still here). Benning should win, but if he doesn’t then it should be on merit.

    Get another veteran RHD to block Bear. I’m thinking Mike Green on a 1 year deal if possible.

    Get another value winger. Wait out Maroon and sign him to another short term deal. Deal Kassian. Aberg looks like a massive win so far for Chiarelli. Bottom six guy with speed on a great deal for another year. RHS too.

    A lot of their success late in the year here is obviously due to Connor, but also better balance on the team with Aberg and Bear playing big roles.

    They are close, IMO. Hopefully this late season push by RNH and Klefbom’s injury keep them both on the team. If the Oilers could upgrade their D with Klefbom or Nurse I’d be ok with it, but only on a true upgrade.

    Only Connor McDavid makes watching a team play out the string compelling.

  33. flea says:

    Munny,

    Yeah, with all the hatred on TMac, gotta give the guy credit for finding ways to motivate his team when there is essentially nothing on the line.

  34. hunter1909 says:

    36 percent body fat: So Gagner at 5’11” 201 is a smurf, Robinson at 6’2″ 201 has size? Is 6’0″ 200 not NHL average for a forward.

    My 5’7″ fat relation probably weighs as much as the Middle Linebacker for the Chicago Bears. Your point?

  35. anjinsan says:

    I just figured it all out in light of Laraque recent inside dope.

    Chiarelli was on drugs when he traded for Reinhart, Hall and Strome, signed Lucic and Russell, and bloated Draisaitl’s contract.

  36. leadfarmer says:

    Woodguy

    I still dont see where you get those GSAA/100 shots data from on corsica hockey.

    Although I still do think the aggregate data is very useful. Is taking a ratio of what is already an average useful? I dont know. It seems logical, but the top5 goalies you listed had 3-4 backups If you are saving a lot of shots your peers arent you should be rewarded. If you are letting in a lot of goals your peers are saving you should be punished. The question that should be asked is does it pass the eyeball test.
    If you use the cumulative all pupose GSAA the top 5 goalies are Bobrovsky, Gibson, Rinne, Quick, and Andersen. And the 5 worst goalies are Darling, Price, Dubnyk, Anderson, Greiss.
    Does that pass the eyeball test. I think it does.

    Or if you do just 5v5 you get Bob, Grubauer, Rinne, Gibson, Hutton on top.

    I guess any way you want to slice it. If Chia doesnt send an offer to Grubauer I will be very dissappointed

  37. digger50 says:

    flea:
    Munny,

    Yeah, with all the hatred on TMac, gotta give the guy credit for finding ways to motivate his team when there is essentially nothing on the line.

    I agree with credit when it’s due. Two comments on that this am, fair enough.
    Is it still not slightly worrisome?

    Look now Todd can coach. He has the room. He’s getting results. And thus we go through the summer same old.

    Obviously we should look at the entire season and if the talent was here, why did it take so long to show up? If the lines were here, why so long to find them? If the special teams were here……

    Recency bias is a thing and I believe LT is on to something with an 80 point season saving jobs.

    Myself, i believe Tmac could not coach average team to above average results. This is what we witnessed this year.

    What this strong run and recency biased confirms to me is the previous statement: it is unforgivable for acteam with this skill to miss the playoffs

  38. who says:

    flea:
    To me, the TC battle next year should be Bear vs Benning (if he’s still here). Benning should win, but if he doesn’t then it should be on merit.

    Get another veteran RHD to block Bear. I’m thinking Mike Green on a 1 year deal if possible.

    Get another value winger. Wait out Maroon and sign him to another short term deal. Deal Kassian. Aberg looks like a massive win so far for Chiarelli. Bottom six guy with speed on a great deal for another year. RHS too.

    A lot of their success late in the year here is obviously due to Connor, but also better balance on the team with Aberg and Bear playing big roles.

    They are close, IMO. Hopefully this late season push by RNH and Klefbom’s injury keep them both on the team. If the Oilers could upgrade their D with Klefbom or Nurse I’d be ok with it, but only on a true upgrade.

    Only Connor McDavid makes watching a team play out the string compelling.

    Agreed. One more year in Bakersfield for Bear would be ideal.
    Which means we start next year with the 6 guys that got us 103 points last year.
    In the fall of 2019 there are 3 possible scenarios for Bear to make the team. .
    1. Benning has proven he can handle top 4 minutes and Bear slides into 3RD. Sekera or Russell are traded.
    2. Benning is passed by Bear for 3RD and Sekera or Russell remain as 2RD.
    3. Benning is passed by Bear for 3RD and Sekera or Russell are traded to make room for new 2RD.
    3.

  39. digger50 says:

    Zack Kassian at 2m

    What happened to Zack’s game this year? No chirping, inconsistent, not as physical… started off hot the.seemed to languish.

    It’s as if the GM viewed him as filling a larger role (at 2m) but he was held in check at 4 line RW and asked to tone it down. If you had no use for this player type then why sign him to 2m??

    Thoughts?

  40. digger50 says:

    Woogie63: McDavid 99 points
    Hopkins 43 points
    Kesler 11 points

    McDavid should play +3 minutes of every OT, so he has to start every OT.

    IMO you are overthinking it,

    Coaches job in OT is to have your best players on the ice for +3 minutes (if it goes 5 minutes).

    Players job is good line changes; keep the puck when they are on the ice;don’t lose their check

    GM job have 6-7 guys who can excel at 3 v. 3 hockey.

    Tmac probably accuses Carlyle of overthink it – but it worked.

    Get the puck, play keep away, don’t even try to score. Wait till Connor goes off or Drai gets tired. Sure, lucky shot really that why I’m surprised it worked and could have went the other way. Still, those ducks have horseshoes up the …..

  41. Side says:

    I don’t buy that what Carlyle did wasf some master strategy and Todd got outcoached.

    Carlyle probably told his guys to keep the puck away from McDavid until he got off the ice, or make a pass you know will absolutely reach the intended target. He was playing it safe, which is still a risky thing to do with McDavid on the ice. The Ducks coasted around with McDavid and Drai coasting around, covering their guys, and the goal happened because McDavid just barely missed the puck and so did Nurse.

    If McDavid did get that puck on his stick he probably would have been off to the races and probably would have scored.

  42. flea says:

    digger50,

    Yeah for sure, I’d rather he saved his motivation for the start of the year when it still mattered.

    But this team was flawed. Their two best puck movers – Sekera and Klefbom, both hurt to start the year. Chiarelli didn’t give TMac enough options. They made mistakes. Also might agree that they decided this season would be a throwaway.

    I think Maclellan deserves one more shot at this. Short leash, though.I think this was a growth season for young players. They will come in hungry next year and no one will be picking them to win.

    Let’s just hope they don’t pencil in guys like Bear and Rattie. I sometimes think certain guys need 1/2 the year in the AHL to get their conditioning up to snuff.

  43. jtblack says:

    Woogie63: McDavid 99 points
    Hopkins 43 points
    Kesler 11 points

    McDavid should play +3 minutes of every OT, so he has to start every OT.

    IMO you are overthinking it,

    Coaches job in OT is to have your best players on the ice for +3 minutes (if it goes 5 minutes).

    Players job is good line changes; keep the puck when they are on the ice;don’t lose their check

    GM job have 6-7 guys who can excel at 3 v. 3 hockey.

    Randy Carlyle over thought it & Edm didnt touch the puck 🙂

    Might be nice to see TMac over think something for a change.

  44. --hudson-- says:

    anjinsan:
    I just figured it all out in light of Laraque recent inside dope.

    Chiarelli was on drugs when he traded for Reinhart, Hall and Strome, signed Lucic and Russell, and bloated Draisaitl’s contract.

    Laraque says it’s not true. Hall was never in rehab.
    https://mobile.twitter.com/GeorgesLaraque/status/978311186285514757?s=19

  45. jtblack says:

    Side,

    “I don’t buy that what Carlyle did wasf some master strategy and Todd got outcoached.”

    What do you call it when 1 Coach implements a strategy or technique that works? Blind Luck? Fluke.

    If … barely .. maybe …. Bottom line; EDM never touched the puck. Game Over. On a tactic that the ANA coaching staff told his players to execute. It was Brilliant and yes, that means Todd got outcoached in those 2 mins.

  46. --hudson-- says:

    Eric Robinson is coming to Edmonton.
    https://mobile.twitter.com/markscheig/status/978332078428381184

    He’s going to play for Columbus though

  47. digger50 says:

    flea:
    digger50,

    Ok
    Yeah for sure, I’d rather he saved his motivation for the start of the year when it still mattered.

    But this team was flawed. Their two best puck movers – Sekera and Klefbom, both hurt to start the year. Chiarelli didn’t give TMac enough options. They made mistakes. Also might agree that they decided this season would be a throwaway.

    I think Maclellan deserves one more shot at this. Short leash, though.I think this was a growth season for young players. They will come in hungry next year and no one will be picking them to win.

    Let’s just hope they don’t pencil in guys like Bear and Rattie. I sometimes think certain guys need 1/2 the year in the AHL to get their conditioning up to snuff.

    I do hold Peter accountable for not providing enough roster and we should not forget that.

    If the plan was a throw away season then the creator of that plan must be long gone. Doubt that was the plan though, just too much optimism on internal development and 100 % progress without thought to possable injury and regression.

    Once October passed I laid off Peter as there was little point crying over spilt milk and wondered what the coach could do with the roster he had in front of him.

    Would he coach to the roster strengths, or would he bend the roster to his beliefs?

    If the problem was the roster then how have we suddenly improved so much given almost same roster? Did Tmac suddenly figure it out? Or most likely Talbot is on a tear and Connor is healthy compared to his start.

    Even that would indicate too much bet on Talbot and Connor without enough skill and support to ensure winning with Connor off the ice. Who takes accountability for that?

    Should Peter have done more – yes

    Should Todd have achieved more more even with a flawed roster -,yes. He should have been able to beat out enough teams to make the playoffs, given the talent he had, and given the holes he had.

  48. Side says:

    jtblack:
    Side,

    “I don’t buy that what Carlyle did wasf some master strategy and Todd got outcoached.”

    What do you call it when 1 Coach implements a strategy or technique thatworks?Blind Luck? Fluke.

    If…barely ..maybe ….Bottom line; EDM never touched the puck.Game Over.On a tactic that the ANA coaching staff told his players to execute.It was Brilliant and yes, that means Todd got outcoached in those 2 mins.

    It was a strategy that worked. It was also a strategy that could have blown up in his face. It was also a strategy that worked because both McDavid and Nurse whiffed on a loose puck, imo. It’s not like Carlyle had his players running plays to tire out McDavid and Drai. The Ducks literally won the face off and sat in their zone the whole time…. of course they had the puck the entire time, they were afraid to do anything with it with McDavid on the ice.

    Brilliant is not something I would call that strategy.

    And if Todd pulls off McDavid then I’m sure there would be people saying “Todd is falling into Carlyle’s strategy! outcoached again!”

  49. digger50 says:

    Side,

    With another perspective

    Connor and Leon basically terrorize the league in overtime. They still make mistakes certainly but going into OT the odds favour Connor/Leon

  50. Material pocession says:

    digger50:
    Zack Kassian at 2m

    What happened to Zack’s game this year? No chirping, inconsistent, not as physical… started off hot the.seemed to languish.

    It’s as if the GM viewed him as filling a larger role (at 2m) but he was held in check at 4 line RW and asked to tone it down. If you had no use for this player type then why sign him to 2m??

    Thoughts?

    Overpaid based on what he did in the playoffs (this is a familiar theme). Three year term was silly. I’d see if there are any takers in the offseason (he does have value). PC needs to work on his contract negotiating skills.

  51. Side says:

    digger50:
    Side,

    With another perspective

    Connor and Leon basically terrorize the league in overtime. They still make mistakes certainly but going into OT the odds favour Connor/Leon

    Exactly. And if Connor and Leon aren’t tired, I don’t know why people want them taken off just because an arbitrary amount of time has passed.

  52. Material pocession says:

    I’m worried about Sekera going into next season. Instead of being the ultimate turd-polisher, he now looks like the turd. How long can they give him to play his way out of it before the writing is in the wall? How many games are they willing to lose playing underperforming veterans in key roles (Sekera, Lucic, Letestu)?

  53. OmJo says:

    –hudson–: Laraque says it’s not true. Hall was never in rehab.
    https://mobile.twitter.com/GeorgesLaraque/status/978311186285514757?s=19

    He shouldn’t have said anything to begin with. Must say, I’ve lost a lot of respect for Georges because of this. Even if true, you don’t air somebodies dirty laundry out like that…

    The fact he didn’t even verify it makes it even worse and all it’s accomplished in the end is leaving a bad impression on the franchise.

  54. Wayne Kenov says:

    You know they are a good prospect when you search their name, and they don’t appear on the first page of google.

  55. OmJo says:

    –hudson–:
    Eric Robinson is coming to Edmonton.
    https://mobile.twitter.com/markscheig/status/978332078428381184

    He’s going to play for Columbus though

    You got me with this post.

    Meh. Benning is better.

  56. Oilman99 says:

    jake70: If 97 is on the point, then this should work, but if 97 not on point, where does he play on PP? The Leon 1-timer spot is usually (has been) 97’s area. Put 97 on the other half wall?Not sure if that will work – all the right handed shots now in the system. But use of Leon’s shot needs to be maximized somehow.Interesting though.

    Nuge in place of Drai on that last power play last night resulted in the best quick puck movement on the pp all season,and resulted in the Bear goal. When Drai is on with McD the puck moves too slow and defenders are able to maintain position too easily.

  57. OmJo says:

    Can somebody clarify this for me.

    The Hart Trophy is awarded not to the leagues MVP, but the “player deemed most valuable to his team” – are these different things?

  58. Munny says:

    –hudson–: Laraque says it’s not true. Hall was never in rehab.
    https://mobile.twitter.com/GeorgesLaraque/status/978311186285514757?s=19

    Then he has set himself and the radio station up for a slander case ismy guess. There are lawyers lurking about who know this better than I. Been 30 years since I took Torts.

    He might find interviews difficult to get after this.

  59. matt says:

    Problems with the Oilers: injury, illness, players performing below established ability, players failing to grow, PP, PK, team tenacity when trailing (at least during the first half of the season), roster gaps.

    Problems I attribute to Chiarelli: betting on the wingers, backup goalie.

    Problems I attribute to TMac et al: PK, PP, the length of the Yamamoto audition, and Slepyshev/Lucic/Puljujarvi. WTF is going on off-ice that sees all three key pieces underperform? Are the coaching staff unable to stage an intervention in the case of at least one? Or, is the treading water performance of Strome and Caggiula proof of their success?

  60. --hudson-- says:

    Todd’s postgame from last night:
    – Gives credit to the Ducks for winning the OT faceoff last night, Oilers would have tried to do the same if they had won it.
    – The team ran out of gas in the third after a lot of hockey last two weeks, both physically and mentally tired.
    – Talbot played well but not much he could do with so many tips and unlucky bounces.

    Source video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BkoCIspZ3gk
    ————————————————–
    Q: {before video begins}
    A: I don’t know if that was the strategy, they got possession, and just like most teams they don’t want to give it up for nothing. So they held onto the puck, they turn it back when they didn’t have anything, nothing that we wouldn’t do. we want to maintain possession and when they when they finally got a chance to strike… I think we broke the play up, but we poked the puck to him. Connor helping to poke the puck to them. So it was, you know, it’s frustrating when you’re the team that doesn’t have the puck, yet if we had the puck we’d be happy with the way that play was going on. So give them credit, they won the opening faceoff and never gave it up after.

    Q: Did you guys run out of gas in the third or did they just decide, “hey we’re in a playoff battle?
    A: Well a little bit of both. I thought that they’re big boys really picked their play up in the third and I thought we ran out of gas. We’ve played a lot of hockey, I think we played three sets of back-to-backs in less than two weeks, and traveled a little bit. I think it’s catching up, we’re a tired team, not only physically but a little bit mentally. Started indifferent, I thought tonight we had to wake up between the 1st and 2nd and push, and we did that but we just didn’t have enough left in the 3rd.

    Q: What about Ethan Bear scoring, it looked like it might be the winner?
    A: Yeah we’re happy for him to get his first goal. He’s had a few good looks like that and it’s finally gone in for him. So big night for him, something he’ll always remember.

    Q: {inaudible}
    A: He’s getting more and more confident. That comes with time. We talked this morning in the scrum before the game about, you know, how long it takes for a young man to develop and evolve as a defenseman, when we’re still talking about Darnell doing that. So Ethan’s moving the needle as he’s here, he’s continuing to gain some confidence, and you know… what’s good about it now is it’s not just a pat on the back, we can hold him accountable a little bit, let him feel what that’s like if things aren’t going as well, and gaining valuable experience.

    Q: It’s a tough night for Cam (Talbot), three tips, I mean they score four goals but it was one of those nights where…?
    A: Yeah I thought Talb’s was really good, they had to scramble a lot, their big bodies were whacking and jamming at a lot of pucks… you know, the deflections… I think it was the second one in particular. There’s not much he could do on the one that tied the game up off Darnell’s glove… that maybe would have went right out of the zone depending on the angle it took, but it hit Darnell’s glove and went in. So a bit of bad puck luck as well.

    Q: Caggiula when he got hit in the face, did it look like he got hit in the teeth again or what happened there?
    A: No, he got hit in the upper helmet area, so he, I don’t know if he needed a new helmet or a new visor, but he was back right away.

  61. Wayne Kenov says:

    OmJo:
    Can somebody clarify this for me.

    The Hart Trophy is awarded not to the leagues MVP, but the “player deemed most valuable to his team” – are these different things?

    I would say they are two different things. The first suggests Most Outstanding Player, like in the CFL. The latter suggests Carey Price should win every year. The award is actually given to the player whose team improved the most year over year, and had an elite level season. This years Oilers season basically guaranteed Connor another Hart when they make the playoffs again.

  62. --hudson-- says:

    Munny: Then he has set himself and the radio station up for a slander case ismy guess.There are lawyers lurking about who know this better than I. Been 30 years since I took Torts.

    He might find interviews difficult to get after this.

    Personally I won’t forget Laraque did this. He’s a rumor monger, not a trusted insider.

  63. --hudson-- says:

    OmJo: You got me with this post.

    Meh. Benning is better.

    Sorry, had to do it.

    FYI Robinson is a forward and the sixth highest scoring on his team. Doubtful he’s driving the bus on his team.

  64. jtblack says:

    Side,

    “of course they had the puck the entire time, they were afraid to do anything with it with McDavid on the ice.”

    And there it is. Hence the “Strategy” of doing Nothing. That WAS the exact point. I hadn’t seen a team do it to that degree before.

  65. russ99 says:

    Material pocession:
    I’m worried about Sekera going into next season.Instead of being the ultimate turd-polisher, he now looks like the turd.How long can they give him to play his way out of it before the writing is in the wall?How many games are they willing to lose playing underperforming veterans in key roles (Sekera, Lucic, Letestu)?

    It can take up to a year to completely recover from his injury.

    If he looks bad in camp next year, then we can start to worry.

    Also, Benning is an RFA. I’d just as soon trade him than pay him $1.5-2M, we can get a veteran RHD that’s way better without the puck for that, and the jury is still out on if he can progress past 3rd pairing even with decent offensive chops.

  66. russ99 says:

    matt:
    Problems with the Oilers: injury, illness, players performing below established ability, players failing to grow, PP, PK, team tenacity when trailing (at least during the first half of the season), roster gaps.

    Problems I attribute to Chiarelli: betting on the wingers, backup goalie.

    Problems I attribute to TMac et al: PK, PP, the length of the Yamamoto audition, and Slepyshev/Lucic/Puljujarvi.WTF is going on off-ice that sees all three key pieces underperform?Are the coaching staff unable to stage an intervention in the case of at least one?Or, is the treading water performance of Strome and Caggiula proof of their success?

    Let’s not forget scoring chance quality against, goals against are way up this year, and it’s not all Talbot’s fault.

  67. Side says:

    jtblack:
    Side,

    “of course they had the puck the entire time, they were afraid to do anything with it with McDavid on the ice.”

    And there it is.Hence the “Strategy” of doing Nothing.That WAS the exact point.I hadn’t seen a team do it to that degree before.

    I don’t know if I would call it a brilliant strategy to win a face off and hold on the puck in your zone hoping for the other team’s best player to leave. Other teams do it similarly, but Anaheim has more to lose so they played it especially safe.

    And as Todd points out (from Hudson):

    “Q: {before video begins}
    A: I don’t know if that was the strategy, they got possession, and just like most teams they don’t want to give it up for nothing. So they held onto the puck, they turn it back when they didn’t have anything, nothing that we wouldn’t do. we want to maintain possession and when they when they finally got a chance to strike… I think we broke the play up, but we poked the puck to him. Connor helping to poke the puck to them. So it was, you know, it’s frustrating when you’re the team that doesn’t have the puck, yet if we had the puck we’d be happy with the way that play was going on. So give them credit, they won the opening faceoff and never gave it up after.”

    Teams don’t like to throw away the puck, and when you’re up against McDavid you have to especially be careful. Even though the Ducks were careful, both McDavid AND Nurse almost got the puck. The Ducks just did what pretty much every team does in OT, except they did it to a more extreme degree, and they were able to execute it cause they won the initial face off.

    Again, not something I see as a “Carlyle outcoached Todd” moment. More of a “McDavid and Nurse were unfortunate” moment, imo.

  68. OmJo says:

    Wayne Kenov: I would say they are two different things. The first suggests Most Outstanding Player, like in the CFL. The latter suggests Carey Price should win every year. The award is actually given to the player whose team improved the most year over year, and had an elite level season. This years Oilers season basically guaranteed Connor another Hart when they make the playoffs again.

    See, that’s kind of how I interpret it as, too. It’s the player in the current season where, if you take him off his respective team, the team drops the furthest down in the standings (based on what, I don’t know – educated guesses?). If you take McDavid off the team we finish 31st – no doubt – but it’s not as far a drop as say the Devils would be without Hall, or Colorado without MacKinnon who himself is having an amazing season.

    There’s nobody on the planet who can deny that McDavid is the league MVP, IMO. If this team had a capable power play he would very well be close to 120pts IMO. What he’s done this season with primarily 5v5 scoring is incredible to say the least. And while he’s just as equally valuable to the Oilers as Hall or MacKinnon, the results just aren’t there to say he deserves it any more than them.

    I also agree, he’ll be a lock for it next season. Two Hart trophies in three years isn’t a bad thing! And the Art Ross is his, anyway. What a phenomenal player.

    –hudson–: Sorry, had to do it.

    FYI Robinson is a forward and the sixth highest scoring on his team.Doubtful he’s driving the bus on his team.

    Oops! I was looking at this Eric Robinson (RD): http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/pdisplay.php?pid=153869

  69. hunter1909 says:

    Ethan Bear’s quickly rounding into an essential player for the team moving forward. He has talent galore, and makes mistakes but they’re entertaining mistakes. The kind talented players make, because they’re being creative.

    Potential: Solid second liner with offence, maybe higher.

  70. Munny says:

    –hudson–: Personally I won’t forget Laraque did this.He’s a rumor monger, not a trusted insider.

    There is no doubt that he has seriously damaged his credibility.

  71. Munny says:

    Never a dull moment in Oil Country.

    Come for the hockey… stay for the Soap Opera.

    Sometimes even Actual Opera

  72. Munny says:

    LT,

    Do you remember the old Robinson’s stores, by any chance? Dry goods, housewares, some clothes too IIRC, and used to have a few toys too.

    All this talk about Eric has me thinking about them.

  73. ArmchairGM says:

    flea:
    To me, the TC battle next year should be Bear vs Benning (if he’s still here). Benning should win, but if he doesn’t then it should be on merit.

    Get another veteran RHD to block Bear. I’m thinking Mike Green on a 1 year deal if possible.

    Get another value winger. Wait out Maroon and sign him to another short term deal. Deal Kassian. Aberg looks like a massive win so far for Chiarelli. Bottom six guy with speed on a great deal for another year. RHS too.

    A lot of their success late in the year here is obviously due to Connor, but also better balance on the team with Aberg and Bear playing big roles.

    They are close, IMO. Hopefully this late season push by RNH and Klefbom’s injury keep them both on the team. If the Oilers could upgrade their D with Klefbom or Nurse I’d be ok with it, but only on a true upgrade.

    Only Connor McDavid makes watching a team play out the string compelling.

    I like the idea of adding Green for 2RD – I’m pretty sure he’d be an upgrade over Russell, and most likely cheaper with less term. $3M x 1 sounds about right – we won’t need him once Bear is ready. That way Bear can spend another year in the minors honing his skills, while Larsson / Green / Benning hold the fort. I’d consider signing a guy like Folin to push Benning too, I don’t think he’ll cost much either. In this scenario Russell would be moved. Would he waive for Arizona? Lots of ranches / cowboy culture down there too… if we could get their two 2019 3rd rounders for him it’d be a win/win.

    Caggiula now with 12 goals is a good thing, as it raises his value on the trade market. Could he be traded to NYI (I know, I know) for Ho-Sang? I know Islanders fans value Ho-Sang immensely, but if playing time is any indicator the team management doesn’t. JHS spent most of the season in AHL or as a HS. He’s 22, running out of time. I see him RW for the Lucic-Strome duo on the third line, he can add some splash and dash while being sheltered.

    If Khaira plays LW (JJ-Draisaitl-Puljujarvi), what do you think of a guy like Derek Grant being signed for 4C? I don’t think he’d cost much and historically his shot metrics have outperformed his OZF%.

    Last thought: is Rattie our Grabner? Their paths to the NHL are similar, and Rattie has put up as good or better numbers (and more consistently) at every level. Small sample size alert on the Rattie NHL numbers, of course. Lots of people touting a Grabner signing this summer, but I’d be very, very nervous that the Oilers wouldn’t be able to recreate the conditions that led to his success in New York. His production has been virtually nil (14, 2-1-3) since arriving in NJ.

    WHL:

    Rattie 269 games, 0.56 goals/gm // 1.29 points/gm
    Grabner 180, 0.49 // 0.72

    AHL:

    Rattie 215, 0.33 // 0.66
    Grabner 180, 0.37 // 0.67

    NHL:

    Rattie 43, 0.19 // 0.40
    Grabner 546, 0.29 // 0.45

    NHL this year:

    Rattie 8, 0.50 // 0.88
    Grabner 73, 0.37 // 0.47

  74. Lowetide says:

    Munny:
    LT,

    Do you remember the old Robinson’s stores, by any chance?Dry goods, housewares, some clothes too IIRC, and used to have a few toys too.

    All this talk about Eric has me thinking about them.

    I remember them well, especially the one in Haney, BC. We would go (I am five) middle of the week, right after school. If Dad was with us, he had two assignments: Try on reading glasses from the giant bin at the end of the first aisle, and buy a giant chunk of chocolate (just pure chocolate, about the size of your hand) to break into four pieces (one for each of us, small ones for the kids).

    Mom would look for clothes for us, maybe a cup or some plates, whatever ladies look for. My brother and I would wander around looking at nothing in particular. I have two strong memories from being in Robinson’s Haney, well one for sure and a maybe:

    1. It’s the place I heard the first piece of music that was recognizable to me at that time, and remains so today. It was Percy Faith’s “Theme from a Summer Place” and I absolutely have a memory of walking with my Mom and brother through Robinson’s with that song playing.

    2. I think it was Robinson’s but it might have been Overwaitea. It involves a back story and some of you might find it inappropriate but I hope you won’t, because it’s a cute story. In my house, my Mom and Dad had code words for everything. When my Mom was having her time of the month, in order to keep it from the boys, she would say “Ira, I’m having my X.X.X” and everyone would go about their business. I associated that word with “Kotex” brand products. I was five, no one told me, it just happened naturally as I observed life. Anyway, the four of us are in line one day, at I think the Robinsons, The stuff we’re buying is going past and being added up. The Kotex passes by, I look at Mom and Dad and say “What’s an X.X.X?” and BOTH parents begin raining down blows upon me! Verbal lashing bang, pow, these are not violent people but I put them over the top.

    Now, NO ONE ON EARTH KNEW what an X.X.X. was but us, and my parents could have ignored it or said it was a type of licorice. They chose to turn on me like a pack of wolves. I rest my case, your honor. 🙂

  75. jtblack says:

    Side,

    Fair Enough!

  76. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    ArmchairGM,

    – I’m sure green is one of those guys that a lot of teams would like

    – 10-15 teams would do that deal One of the challenges this blog has is ignoring the competitive reality of player procurement. Like there is some perfect pricing system. So that is we don’t get green the next guy who is almost as good costs x

    – chasing this guy or needing that guy sets up the gm to fail because so many think they can do way better.

  77. who says:

    ArmchairGM: I like the idea of adding Green for 2RD – I’m pretty sure he’d be an upgrade over Russell, and most likely cheaper with less term. $3M x 1 sounds about right – we won’t need him once Bear is ready. That way Bear can spend another year in the minors honing his skills, while Larsson / Green / Benning hold the fort. I’d consider signing a guy like Folin to push Benning too, I don’t think he’ll cost much either. In this scenario Russell would be moved. Would he waive for Arizona? Lots of ranches / cowboy culture down there too… if we could get their two 2019 3rd rounders for him it’d be a win/win.

    Caggiula now with 12 goals is a good thing, as it raises his value on the trade market. Could he be traded to NYI (I know, I know) for Ho-Sang? I know Islanders fans value Ho-Sang immensely, but if playing time is any indicator the team management doesn’t. JHS spent most of the season in AHL or as a HS. He’s 22, running out of time. I see him RW for the Lucic-Strome duo on the third line, he can add some splash and dash while being sheltered.

    If Khaira plays LW (JJ-Draisaitl-Puljujarvi), what do you think of a guy like Derek Grant being signed for 4C? I don’t think he’d cost much and historically his shot metrics have outperformed his OZF%.

    Last thought: is Rattie our Grabner? Their paths to the NHL are similar, and Rattie has put up as good or better numbers (and more consistently) at every level. Small sample size alert on the Rattie NHL numbers, of course. Lots of people touting a Grabner signing this summer, but I’d be very, very nervous that the Oilers wouldn’t be able to recreate the conditions that led to his success in New York. His production has been virtually nil (14, 2-1-3) since arriving in NJ.

    WHL:

    Rattie269 games, 0.56 goals/gm // 1.29 points/gm
    Grabner180, 0.49 // 0.72

    AHL:

    Rattie 215, 0.33 // 0.66
    Grabner 180, 0.37 // 0.67

    NHL:

    Rattie 43, 0.19 // 0.40
    Grabner 546, 0.29 // 0.45

    NHL this year:

    Rattie8, 0.50 // 0.88
    Grabner 73, 0.37 // 0.47

    I don’t think your scenario for changing the defense is realistic at all.
    1. You have Green signing a 3×1 contract. Do you really believe that is the best offer he will get?
    2. You have Russell waiving his NMC to go to Arizona. This assumes he waives his NMC and that Arizona wants him and his contract. Why do you think either of these things happen?

  78. Wayne Kenov says:

    Question for the group. Do we think this is a high tide point for Nuge? If you got a reasonable deal back, would this be a good time to trade him? Chia loses every deal, so just try to take that part out of it. Is Nuge more or less likely to be worth 6mil going forward? Is this a selling high period.

    I’m not sold on this like I was on Maroon, Pouliot or Perron in years past, but I think it is still a reasonable question.

  79. New Improved Darkness says:

    Over at TSN, Frank Seravalli touts Connor’s almost 46% goal share as a lens into his MVP status.

    But suppose we add enough secondary scoring to the Oilers to drop Connor from 46% to 40%. You’d have to add another 32 goals, our GD would be +10 instead of -22, and we would probably be in the thick of the playoff race (unless we emulate the Kings of Making Small Hay from a +31 GD—have they scored 6 on 5 even once this entire season?)

    And the sad thing is, the first dozen (or two dozen) of those goals could most easily be squeezed from fewer linemates whiffing on Connor’s glorious feeds. Why do I suspect Looch could contribute a bungler’s dozen all by himself?

    I wouldn’t mind sitting down with an All Inglorious Whiff highlight reel featuring the top five, or ten, or twenty, or forty events from each of the leading Hart candidates (it sure feels like Connor would have a solid candidate from nearly ever second game).

    For the double header: the All Inglorious Hacks and Tugs. But not on a weeknight, all that zebra shut-eye would cost you too much sleep.

  80. Munny says:

    Lowetide,

    Come for the hockey… stay for the best stories on the Al Gore!

    There was a Robinson’s on Vermilion’s main street… just down from the Tomboy grocery store and the MacLeod’s hardware store. Next to it was Lee’s Restaurant, Cantonese food, first place I ever had an Orange Crush float. I can remember the taste of it still to this day.

    I don’t remember any fun stories about the store, except that it was one of only two shops in town you could see toys outside of the Sear’s Wish Book (and damn did that thing get some serious wishing), and it was the only one of the two we regularly visited (Craig’s Department Store was for posh folk).

    Westerns were just at the end of their heyday… the movies had finally played out, done in by the irony of the Sghapetti Westerns, but Gunsmoke was still going strong on TV. Back then there were really only two games boys played… Cops ‘n Robbers or Cowboys & Indians. Either way, a kid needed a decent fake piece, so the toy pistols and holsters and cowboy hats in Robinson’s got a workover by every kid that walked in the door… and me and my bro were no exception.

    And not once did I walk out that door with a gun and a hat and a rig. The pain still lingers, lol. Damn you, Mum!

    So I would comfort myself with a re-read of a Rawhide Kid comic book and wait excitedly for the next appearance of James Arness on the tube, cursing the fact I was born to British parents that had no understanding of how important a toy Colt 45 was to survival on the Alberta Prairies.

  81. Wilde says:

    Lowetide,

    This is absolutely priceless.

    I don’t know how you remember these things, seriously.

    My sister has a similar ability, but I made sure she missed all of the good stuff.

    Re Mike Green:

    He’s not what we’re looking for. He costs too much for a PP specialist, and does too little at evens to warrant the contract. We already have a couple guys who can play 3RD, and that’s where Green slots in at 5v5.

    Re Ho-Sang:

    I’m obviously a fan of this player, but I don’t think ANYTHING happens regarding NYI before the Tavares thing.

    They won’t do it, but bridging Nurse could get so much done for this team. Something’s gotta give, these books are ugly.

  82. Munny says:

    Last night I went to bed thinking all we really really need is a decent LW for Drai — and of course a solid backup netminder.

  83. hunter1909 says:

    Wayne Kenov:
    Question for the group. Do we think this is a high tide point for Nuge? If you got a reasonable deal back, would this be a good time to trade him? Chia loses every deal, so just try to take that part out of it. Is Nuge more or less likely to be worth 6mil going forward? Is this a selling high period.

    I’m not sold on this like I was on Maroon, Pouliot or Perron in years past, but I think it is still a reasonable question.

    Trading RNH is so fucking stupid it makes me vomit.

    Fire Chiarelli – asap

  84. Scungilli Slushy says:

    Mr Green is having surgery so not a stop gap, I was thinking he might help as well.

    Stay the course with the roster unless a freebie falls in the lap. Other than a true backup goaler.

    I don’t think a lack of talent is the issue anymore. PC has populated the team with NHL capable players even if he’s been foolish. The current team is really strong when they do the right things beating playoff contenders or playing with top teams.

    Age young and old, injuries, and I think maybe coaching are the bigger problems. Whale hunting we know isn’t the answer.

    Unless a real swindle can happen, I think not.

  85. hunter1909 says:

    ps: Mark Messier wouldn’t trade RNH lol

  86. Scungilli Slushy says:

    I’m not big on bringing Maroon back.

    Mainly because the Oilers can’t pay him, and he should look for the biggest contract given he hasn’t banked a lot yet, late start and that despite the 7 figure salaries a huge amount goes to taxes agents etc.

    I also notice how much better the overall play is with more speed and more rounded players.
    The Oilers have a bunch of players at the .5 PPG players or less, this is where offense goes to die when CMD is resting.

    Khaira is a better option IMO. They need to find their cheap scorers. Now that the farm is being populated with players that can actually be called up and have a reasonable chance at contributing such as Bear ‘who bears down’ keep rolling with that.

    The thing is to find an AHL coach that can deal with millennial cross cultural players. And a coach that can be considered an NHL promotion when whatever big league coach reaches his lifespan.

    Sometimes or always it’s making the most of what you already have.

    Toughest thing in life probably.

  87. Wilde says:

    Munny,

    The definition of a solid backup netminder changes depending if the HC stays.

    As for Drai, I don’t think Slepyshev has gotten a good enough look there. You can also simply acquire a player that 97 can carry, and move Nuge to Drai’s wing. 93-29-98 could be a deadly line, if you can afford it personnel-wise, which I think you can if you put Strome-Khaira together on the 3rd and fill the fourth line with 700k PKers.

    Also, does this Bouchard as a top 5 pick appear really, really short-sighted to anyone else? I can’t believe the level to which people are ignoring his maturity in regards to his results. The guy’s been 18 since October this season. Here’s a good comp to demonstrate this, using the invaluable compare-player tool on prospect-stats:

    http://prospect-stats.com/OHL/compare/skaters

    Search for Bouchard on one side, and the other side search Ryan Merkley.

    Two big differences to notice, is eTOI and age.

    For those that don’t care about having a visual representation I’ll post the data here:

    x – Bouchard – Merkley

    Age – 17.91 -17.09 / / <— This is a huge difference, 11 months.

    eTOI/gp – 19.25 – 17.59

    G/GP – 0.37 – 0.21 / / <— We can see here that most of the point differential is goals

    A/GP – 0.92 – 0.86

    P/GP – 1.30 – 1.06

    eG/60 – 0.47 – 0.54 / / <— And, adjusted for TOI, the gap disappears.

    eA1/60 – 0.93 – 0.76

    Now, that's not as huge of a difference anymore now that we're not just looking at the gaudy 1.3 PPG that Bouchard has.

    Let's level the playing field further, by switching to Bouchard's actual age 17 season, because that's what Merkley has played this year:

    x – Bouchard – Merkley

    Age – 16.91 – 17.09 / / – This represents a much, much better comparison

    eTOI/gp – 15.55 – 17.59 / / <— flipped script?

    G/GP – 0.16 – 0.21

    A/GP – 0.49 – 0.85

    P/GP – 0.65 – 1.06 / / <—script = flipped

    eG/60 – 0.51 – 0.54

    eA1/60 – 0.62 – 0.76 / / <— you can tell from the A/GP split that A2/60 would be a larger margin

    So… yeah. The age-adjustment MORE than erases the numbers advantage Bouchard owns on the surface, and I think if you watch both play you'll notice Merkley's speed/skill/vision advantage as well.

  88. JimmyV1965 says:

    Wayne Kenov:
    Question for the group. Do we think this is a high tide point for Nuge? If you got a reasonable deal back, would this be a good time to trade him? Chia loses every deal, so just try to take that part out of it. Is Nuge more or less likely to be worth 6mil going forward? Is this a selling high period.

    I’m not sold on this like I was on Maroon, Pouliot or Perron in years past, but I think it is still a reasonable question.

    I keep RNH, unless there is a team willing to overpay to get him. And that’s a possibility, considering how many teams need a C. Having said that, if he plays a full season with McDavid, I think you can count on 65 pts easy.

  89. JimmyV1965 says:

    Scungilli Slushy:
    Mr Green is having surgery so not a stop gap, I was thinking he might help as well.

    Stay the course with the roster unless a freebie falls in the lap. Other than a true backup goaler.

    I don’t think a lack of talent is the issue anymore. PC has populated the team with NHL capable players even if he’s been foolish. The current team is really strong when they do the right things beating playoff contenders or playing with top teams.

    Age young and old, injuries, and I think maybe coaching are the bigger problems. Whale hunting we know isn’t the answer.

    Unless a real swindle can happen, I think not.

    I have to ask. Why do you think whale hunting is such an obvious mistake? I don’t recall this team ever landing a whale.

  90. jake70 says:

    LT, Vladdy Guerrero junior on the field at the Big O with the Jays. Pretty neat. A few old Expos too, Valentine, Parrish, Cromartie, Speir all took the field in the pregame. No Doug Flynn or Argenis Salazary though….. 😉

  91. Munny says:

    Wilde: The definition of a solid backup netminder changes depending if the HC stays.

    No it doesn’t. MY definition of “solid backup” is independent of the head coach.

    Wilde:
    As for Drai, I don’t think Slepyshev has gotten a good enough look there. You can also simply acquire a player that 97 can carry, and move Nuge to Drai’s wing. 93-29-98 could be a deadly line, if you can afford it personnel-wise, which I think you can if you put Strome-Khaira together on the 3rd and fill the fourth line with 700k PKers.

    No, you cannot “simply acquire”. A fair parade of wingers have lined up next to CMD with limited success. Some thought should probably be put into it and some level of quality obtained. Ie, better than Slepyshev (who I like).

    Not to mention your proposal is essentially what I said: “acquire a decent LWer”. Right now that hole is next to Drai. Lines are never set in stone, so it is still “acquire a decent LWer.”

  92. €√¥£€^$ says:

    New Improved Darkness,

    Here is a revealing tweet from Jack Michaels that puts Connor’s value in perspective:

    Put another way, here’s some MVP candidates and their teams’ respective points % when they do NOT have a point…

    Kopitar .477
    Hall .444
    Kucherov .441
    Malkin .400
    MacKinnon .368

    McDavid .182

  93. Wilde says:

    Munny: No it doesn’t.MY definition of “solid backup” is independent of the head coach.

    Wilde:
    As for Drai, I don’t think Slepyshev has gotten a good enough look there. You can also simply acquire a player that 97 can carry, and move Nuge to Drai’s wing. 93-29-98 could be a deadly line, if you can afford it personnel-wise, which I think you can if you put Strome-Khaira together on the 3rd and fill the fourth line with 700k PKers.

    No, you cannot “simply acquire”.A fair parade of wingers have lined up next to CMD with limited success.Some thought should probably be out into it and some level of quality obtained. IE, better than Slepyshev, who I like.

    Not to mention this proposal is essentially what I said: “acquire a decent LWer”.Right now that hole is next to Drai. Lines are never set in stone, so it is still “acquire a decent LWer.”

    And “your definition” matters even less than that of the management team, whose definition already means little to the HC. It’s less about ability and more about whether or not McLellan likes the guy.

    I disagree that you can’t relatively easily acquire players to play with McDavid. I’d say the lion’s share of players have worked well with McDavid, but the ones that didn’t have been given disproportionate TOI totals, and vice versa.

    Example on LW: Maroon and Lucic were some of the least productive partners in terms of McDavid’s and their own point rates, but played the most minutes with him.

    The list of players that have played well with 97 is long, the list of players that haven’t is short. But the second list has spent the same amount of time on his wing, which warps the perception of the problem.

    Which is a strong point on his own, but it’s entirely separate from the fact that my argument is really that the cost of a “decent LWer” for 97 is less than the cost of acquiring a “decent LWer” for 29,

  94. €√¥£€^$ says:

    Wilde,

    Merkley has been on my radar since he was a 16 year old* and killing it, I think he will be at least as good as Tyson Barrie and will be a regular in the league within 3 years. Old School bias man, he will land with a savvy team.

    Watch him get selected as late-first rounder.

    *Which was actually last year

  95. OmJo says:

    Munny,

    Would you agree that coming into this season LB was a solid backup?

    McLellan had shown if he doesn’t like a player, on particular a goaltender, he simply won’t play them, IMO.

    So while I agree with you that it should be independent of who the HC is, I have to agree with Wilde – in this case, it is dependent. Because Mr. Stubborn is very stubborn.

  96. Scungilli Slushy says:

    JimmyV1965: I have to ask. Why do you think whale hunting is such an obvious mistake? I don’t recall this team ever landing a whale.

    Whale hunting tales for the Oilers of those unlanded have been fortunate in that they have saved disaster almost always.

    Almost all deals for significant players approaching 30 fail for every team. They are buying rep not future, It’s not just Oilers.

    The answer if looking for better talent is finding undervalued players, or vets with NHL skills at 1M contracts.

    It’s hard to do or everyone would. But it’s based on players with current skill sets and requisite NHL drive,

    There are more players with talent than the talent and drive to play a useful 82 +.

  97. godot10 says:

    JimmyV1965: I have to ask. Why do you think whale hunting is such an obvious mistake? I don’t recall this team ever landing a whale.

    Sheldon Souray
    Milan Lucic

    The whales turned out to be nearly dead white elephants.

  98. JimmyV1965 says:

    godot10: Sheldon Souray
    Milan Lucic

    The whales turned out to be nearly dead white elephants.

    Ya. Signing high priced free agents rately works. Causes more problems than it solves. By whales, I either think very large men like Lucic LOL or league leaders like Karlsson. Two very different fish.

  99. Harpers Hair says:

    Important to remember going into next season that the Oilers are not a one line team.

    They are a one player team.

    McDavid has 32 more points than Driasaitl and 56 more than RNH.

    No one else is even in the photo.

    An injury to McDavid and the season is sunk.

  100. Lowetide says:

    Harpers Hair:
    Important to remember going into next season that the Oilers are not a one line team.

    They are a one player team.

    McDavid has 32 more points than Driasaitl and 56 more than RNH.

    No one else is even in the photo.

    An injury to McDavid and the season is sunk.

    Leon has established himself imo as a man who can push the river. Your point about McDavid getting hurt representing a sunk season is well taken. However, Leon as a 2C is a fabulous item.

  101. Harpers Hair says:

    Lowetide: Leon has established himself imo as a man who can push the river. Your point about McDavid getting hurt representing a sunk season is well taken. However, Leon as a 2C is a fabulous item.

    Yes..

    That’s true but he’s far from a 1st line C.

    His production without McDavid is good but not great.

  102. AshetonisGod says:

    €√¥£€^$:
    New Improved Darkness,

    Here is a revealing tweet from Jack Michaels that puts Connor’s value in perspective:

    Put another way, here’s some MVP candidates and their teams’ respective points % when they do NOT have a point…

    Kopitar.477
    Hall.444
    Kucherov.441
    Malkin .400
    MacKinnon .368

    McDavid.182

    The thought of Connor missing significant time to injury is terrifying in light of this.

  103. frjohnk says:

    €√¥£€^$:
    New Improved Darkness,

    Here is a revealing tweet from Jack Michaels that puts Connor’s value in perspective:

    Put another way, here’s some MVP candidates and their teams’ respective points % when they do NOT have a point…

    Kopitar.477
    Hall.444
    Kucherov.441
    Malkin .400
    MacKinnon .368

    McDavid.182

    I keep saying that without McDavid, with the way things went this year, this team would be battling the Sabres for last place.

  104. AshetonisGod says:

    Lowetide,

    Love Leon. I wonder, though, what happens to his production if Connor is hurt and Leon has to drive top line facing off vs. other team’s top line every night. Do we have 5×5 Ev points per 60 weighted by QoC?

  105. frjohnk says:

    Harpers Hair: Yes..

    That’s true but he’s far from a 1st line C.

    His production without McDavid is good but not great.

    Draisaitl away from McDavid,has also had his pickings from the leagues worst winger depth.

    He has done well away from McDavid.

    Team has many issues.

    Drai is not one.

    And he is definitely a number 1 center

  106. Confused says:

    Think it is important to remember how few games Leon, Ryan and JJ have actually played as center in the NHL.

    Still learning all the time so room for improvement.

  107. JimmyV1965 says:

    frjohnk: Draisaitl away from McDavid,has also had his pickings from the leagues worst winger depth.

    He has done well away from McDavid.

    Team has many issues.

    Drai is not one.

    And he is definitely a number 1 center

    By my count, he would be first line C on 16 teams. I’m sure if he had anything resembling a top six winger, his numbers would be much bigger. Even McDavid has always played with a legit top six forward.

  108. frjohnk says:

    On my phone ( if Woodguy can use this excuse, so can I) so my calculations might be off but

    Draisaitl

    2.87 pts60 with McDavid 460 minutes

    2.23 pts60 without McDavid 568 minutes

  109. Lowetide says:

    Harpers Hair: Yes..

    That’s true but he’s far from a 1st line C.

    His production without McDavid is good but not great.

    I’d say it WAS unproven, but we have enough evidence to call him a top flight center now.

  110. Munny says:

    OmJo:
    Munny,

    Would you agree that coming into this season LB was a solid backup?

    McLellan had shown if he doesn’t like a player, on particular a goaltender, he simply won’t play them, IMO.

    So while I agree with you that it should be independent of who the HC is, I have to agree with Wilde – in this case, it is dependent. Because Mr. Stubborn is very stubborn.

    If you go back to last summer, there were several people who wanted an improvement in net. I typically only post once or twice on these sorts of things, because I find the whole Godot-style of beating one drum the same way over and over to be more indicative of the poster than the problem.

    It’s like replying to posts like the one I did above, that are typically just arguments over semantics. Life is too short to waste my time on those discussions and they never go anywhere anyway. So usually I just ignore them and don’t post.

    Cags for eg I wanted traded back in TC and maybe mentioned it twice, and then I left the issue alone until the playoffs were out of reach and I needed a dead horse to beat so I could save on drywall repairs and lost shoes.

    But I did mention it last summer, Gerta too & NYCOil IIRC, some others… and LT stated it repeatedly.

    Broissoit was not going to be enough. Not if the plan was to be a contender.

    I wasn’t too torn up over it at the season’s outset because finding a backup mid-season is the easiest of all possible deficiencies to fill. And hey, give LB a shot, I suppose. But a better backup was not a bad idea and I don’t blame TMac one bit for not trusting LB when the season went dire fast.

  111. Wilde says:

    Munny:

    It’s like replying to posts like the one I did above, that are typically just arguments over semantics.Life is too short to waste my time on those discussions and they never go anywhere anyway.So usually I just ignore them and don’t post.

    I’m sorry that I baited you into a discussion that was beneath your time.

    Just kidding, I’m really not.

    What an obnoxious post.

  112. JimmyV1965 says:

    Munny: If you go back to last summer, there were several people who wanted an improvement in net.I typically only post once or twice on these sorts of things, because I find the whole Godot-style of beating one drum the same way over and over to be more indicative of the poster than the problem.

    It’s like replying to posts like the one I did above, that are typically just arguments over semantics.Life is too short to waste my time on those discussions and they never go anywhere anyway.So usually I just ignore them and don’t post.

    Cags for eg I wanted traded back in TC and maybe mentioned it twice, and then I left the issue alone until the playoffs were out of reach and I needed a dead horse to beat so I could save on drywall repairs and lost shoes.

    But I did mention it last summer, Gerta too & NYCOil IIRC, some others… and LT stated it repeatedly.

    Broissoit was not going to be enough.Not if the plan was to be a contender.

    I wasn’t too torn up over it at the season’s outset because finding a backup mid-season is the easiest of all possible deficiencies to fill.And hey, give LB a shot, I suppose.But a better backup was not a bad idea and I don’t blame TMac one bit for not trusting LB when the season went dire fast.

    Will be interesting to see if the team addresses the goaltending issue this summer. I’m very fearful of relying on Talbot without someone who can start on an emergency basis for a month. If anything, Talbot has clearly demonstrated inconsistency. We need a decent backup in case Talbot starts the season in the tank. There’s about eight UFAs out there I would be comfortable getting. I’m sure we can get one of them cheap.

  113. Professor Q says:

    OmJo:
    Can somebody clarify this for me.

    The Hart Trophy is awarded not to the leagues MVP, but the “player deemed most valuable to his team” – are these different things?

    The player most valuable to his team in the regular season. Oddly dependent on the playoffs, however, even though it shouldn’t be.

  114. Munny says:

    Wilde: I’m sorry that I baited you into a discussion that was beneath your time.

    Just kidding, I’m really not.

    What an obnoxious post.

    My apologies, nothing personal was intended. You’re not doing anything different than many many other internet peeps. The fault was all mine actually, not yours. I know what I like, you don’t.

    I’m not sure why I replied in the first place, I don’t usually these days. But that’s on me not you. I think I was just a little frustrated that the direction of the discussion was going down the same-old same-old paths. Once again, sorry.

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