Over my head

The Edmonton Oilers gave home fans a fun game with lots of goals and a win at the end last night. The highlight: Three points by Connor McDavid (all brilliant) and the low light was defense so loose it reminded some of the free form jazz set performed by Spinal Tap at the Hollywood Bowl. In a tough season, that was a fun night for everyone but the coaches.

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.

MYSTERY TO ME, YEAR OVER YEAR

  • Oilers in April 2016: 1-1-0, goal differential -1, two points
  • Oilers in April 2017: 1-1-0, goal differential -1, two points 
  • Oilers in April 2018: 1-1-0, goal differential -2, two points

Looks like April is going to start the same every year under Todd McLellan’s run as Oilers coach. Not much to choose one from another, although making the playoffs is a better way.

AFTER 81, YEAR OVER YEAR

  • Oilers 15-16: 31-43-7, goal differential -49 (69 points)
  • Oilers 16-17: 46-26-9, goal differential +41 (101 points)
  • Oilers 17-18: 35-40-6, goal differential -33 (76 points)

The won loss record is criminal but the goal differential is impossible. How on earth can a team ice a 106-point impact player and finish dash 33? What on earth are they doing when he’s at rest? Lordy.

WHAT TO EXPECT FROM APRIL

  • On the road to: Minnesota (Expected 0-1-0) (Actual 0-1-0)
  • At home to: Vegas, Vancouver (Expected 1-1-0) (Actual 1-0-0)
  • Overall expected results: 1-2-0, two points in three games
  • Overall actual results: 1-1-0, two points in two games

DEFENSE, LAST NIGHT

  • Nurse-Larsson went 18-9 in 17:40, shots 14-6, 2-1 GF. Were 9-3 in HD, McDavid’s line 3-2 HD, but 2-0 in GF. Went 8-7 against Pirri-Karlsson-Tuch. I think this pairing could work next season but prefer Klefbom with Larsson. Woodguy tells me that Nurse is the better match, perhaps I’ll warm to the idea. Pairing was exposed on the third goal, otherwise solid.
  • Russell-Bear were 13-12 in 15:34, 6-6 SF and 4-4 in HDSC. That was a goal, nice one too. Russell had a good passing evening, Bear looked sharp on several decisions but he’s awkward on that power-play back pass. I like Bear a lot but he needs more AHL time. Went 4-7 in five minutes against Pirri-Karlsson-Tuch.
  • Lowe-Benning were 11-16 in 10:43, 6-11 SF and 1-2 GF. Were 5-4 against Nosek-Linbderg-Reaves. I thought Lowe was nervous early (misstep on GA) but settled in. Benning’s goal is the reason you keep him around. You can be critical of Lowe (he was wrong place, right time a few times) but there was plenty to like. I’d be fine with him re-signing and remaining a recall option.
  • Cam Talbot stopped 30 of 33, .909. Made some big stops, got win No. 30.
  • NaturalStatTrick and NHL.com.

FORWARDS, LAST NIGHT

  • Khaira-Draisaitl-Puljujarvi played well, going 15-8 in 13:22. Were 9-5 in SC and 5-1 in HDSC’s, Puljujarvi getting two brilliant looks and setting up Leon on another glorious chance (Subban was good, and lucky). Leon was terrific in this game, his linemates both benefited and helped the performance.
  • Lucic-Strome-Caggiula were 9-7 in 9:37, 1-1 GF. Were 7-4 against Nosek-Linbderg-Reaves. Strome and Caggiula are small but had some chem. Caggiula had three HDSC, Lucic one, the big man needs to impact the offense more often.
  • Nuge-McDavid-Rattie were 13-18 in 12:48, 2-1 GF and 8-8 in shots. The trio was 7-5 in HDSC’s but there possession numbers are trailing the overall scoring success. I think Rattie has earned a contract. Ran 11-9 against Tatar-Haula-Neal, 2-0 GF.
  • Slepyshev-Cammalleri-Kassian were 6-10 in 9:46. They were 0-1 in GF but 4-4 in HDSC. I think all three men are in danger in terms of return (although Kassian is likely to be back). Between the other two, I expect Cammalleri has a better chance to return but that’s a guess.

No idea if the Oilers can get him signed in time for tomorrow night, but there are a bunch of AHL games to come (5) so we wait. Marody’s numbers in Michigan (40gp, 16-35-51) and NHLE (36.5) suggest he’s a solid prospect. Drake Caggiula had an NHLE of 44 coming out of UND, but he may have been zoomed a little by linemates (and he does have 20 points this season). Interesting prospect, he should help if he signs.

NUGE-MCDAVID-RATTIE

Interesting line. Corsica has them at 116 minutes, 112-121 Corsi 5×5 events (48.07), 13-7 GF (65 percent). I think you have to wait at least 200 minutes but the trend suggests this line is scoring well past expectations. Part of that is 97 for sure, but you don’t want the world’s best player on a line that is a possession drag. I do think both wingers have earned more time in the fall on McDavid’s line. Not certain Rattie will have an NHL career but he is taking advantage of a brilliant chance and credit to him. Nuge fits like a wonderful, expensive, ludicrously well-tailored glove.

TYLER BENSON

Benson is off to Bakersfield and should see some action before the end of the schedule. Kailer Yamamoto was playing hurt during Spokane’s series so his debut in the AHL will be delayed (and may not happen at all). Plenty of hope for both men as they begin pro careers in an organization with enormous needs at their positions.

DRAFT LOTTERY

Oilers aren’t locked in at No. 7, the club could move up a significant amount with a win Saturday (and losses in the tri-state area). At this point you’d like to get the best odds, if Edmonton ends up at the No. 7 spot they could still move down because of the lottery.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

We are live at United Cycle this morning, 10-noon, to celebrate an Edmonton treasure. How old were you the first time you hit United Cycle? We’ll help celebrate this morning. Scheduled to appear:

  • Steve Lansky, BigMouthSports. The Masters already has an outstanding leaderboard, NHL playoffs straight ahead.
  • Mark Zecchino, Golf Talk Canada. The Masters!
  • Matt Iwanyk, TSN1260. Can the Jays hang with the Yankees? Plus, should the Oilers sign Ty Rattie and bring him to camp as McDavid’s right-wing?

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

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123 Responses to "Over my head"

  1. frjohnk says:

    If Connor only played 45 games this year due to injury, with the way things have gone, not sure this Oiler team gets more points than the 15-16 Oiler team.

    And 17-18 McDavid > 15-16 McDavid

  2. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    – I still wonder if RNH is the guy they move for that mythical RHD? As you say its expensive pairing: but they seem to have chem, and think the game well. I wonder if they pair up at the World’s?

  3. russ99 says:

    “You can’t do a freeform jazz exploration for a festival crowd.”

  4. knighttown says:

    It’s not folly to be worried about jumping a couple of spots with a useless win on Saturday night LT. Good on ya. So close to being able to grab Quinn Hughes. No chance he makes it by the Rangers and the Rangers aren’t beating Philly in a big game for the Flyers so the Oilers need to let the Sedins have their moment on Saturday.

  5. frjohnk says:

    Kinger_Oil.redux:
    – I still wonder if RNH is the guy they move for that mythical RHD?As you say its expensive pairing: but they seem to have chem, and think the game well.I wonder if they pair up at the World’s?

    More than likely they keep RNH for at least the coming year.
    The draft and salary cap could have a say on how the dominoes will fall in the upcoming season.
    Win the lottery…those dominoes will be fun to watch.

    But in the case RNH is traded for a RHD, one expensive pairing would be our 3rd pairing of Sekera and Russell. Add that in the bottom 6, we would have 3 players who would command around $11M (Lucic, Strome, Kassian)

    $20M not well spent.

    But we are not the only team with too much money tied up with non impactful players. Lots of teams are guilty of this. ( Usually after a few years of being a Cup contender though)

    The easy part of overpaying complimentary players is done. Now the hard part, find and or develop complimentary players who can impact but at low cost.

    Not saying Rattie is that guy, but has shown well in a few games sample that warrants a contract that pays him on a one way deal around $1M that would reward him but is also easily buried and does not hurt the cap if he faceplants next fall or there are better options.

  6. godot10 says:

    McDavid and Nugent-Hopkins are carrying around an AHL’er/tweener against the toughest opposition, scoring two goals for every one they give up. The AHL’er/tweener is what impacts the possession number. Think what they would do if they had an NHL’er on RW.

    They are also scoring off the rush and quickly, which impacts the possession number.

    McDavid with Nugent-Hopkins > McDavid without Nugent-Hopkins. Took the coach 2.75 seasons, and two lost seasons to figure that out.

    Draisaitl gets some competent wingers to play with and looks fine again. Strange how that works.

  7. frjohnk says:

    knighttown: so the Oilers need to let the Sedins have their moment on Saturday.

    Connor will not hear that and score 4 points.

    110 points looks good

  8. Bobcaygeon says:

    godot10:
    McDavid and Nugent-Hopkins are carrying around an AHL’er/tweener against the toughest opposition, scoring two goals for every one they give up.The AHL’er/tweener is what impacts the possession number.Think what they would do if they had an NHL’er on RW.

    McDavid with Nugent-Hopkins > McDavid without Nugent-Hopkins.Took the coach 2.75 seasons, and two lost seasons to figure that out.

    Draisaitl gets some competent wingers to play with and looks fine again.Strange how that works.

    In here lies the truth…..

    Whoever the GM is by the time the draft starts, that GM will have had time to have an honest reflection of the season and the roster…He will have come to the conclusion
    There is no way you can have Lucic, Russell and Sekera and those contract on the roster and be a contender for the Stanley Cup.
    The Edmonton Oilers have far to many Tweener’s on the roster
    The coaches are a problem
    Talbot replacement is a must.
    If there isn’t at least one elite winger coming in the Oilers are in trouble

  9. dustrock says:

    https://dobberprospects.com/prospect-ramblings-breaking-down-ty-smith-evan-bouchard-noah-dobson/

    Just reviewed this on a comp of Bouchard/Dobson/Smith.

    I really like Ty Smith a lot, but I’m a touch concerned he’s shooting <3 shots per game and has a shooting percentage of over 13%!!!

    Is this luck? Skill? Playing on a good team?

  10. knighttown says:

    Best guesses for the first 7-8 picks:

    1. Buffalo- Dahlin

    2. Ottawa- Svechnikov
    Don’t think they’ll realistically move Karlsson unless they draft #1 OV. They’ll take the best forward as none of Stone, Hoffman or Duchene are necessarily there long term.

    3. Arizona- Zadina
    I think they look at Hughes here if the plan is to move OEL but they’ve got a sneaky good defense already and probably plan to stick to the plan and add another piece up front.

    4. Montreal- Tkachuk
    Always looking for that #1C they may go off the board with Joe Veleno from the Q but chances are another team that makes decisions for the wrong reasons grabs Tkachuk here as a replacement for Pacioretty.

    5.Detroit- Hughes
    No chance the Michigan kid slides past the Wings is there.

    6. Vancouver- Boqvist
    They’ve got some nice pieces up front already in Boeser, Horvat and Petterson. Juolevi isn’t looking like a legit top pairing guy so Boqvist comes in to a logical spot.

    7. Edmonton- Wahlstrom or Bouchard

    I have no clue what they’d do here. Do they grab the first shot scorer for Leon or McDavid here or do they look to find that elusive scoring RHD. I think they lean defense.

  11. McSorley33 says:

    The won loss record is criminal but the goal differential is impossible. How on earth can a team ice a 106-point impact player and finish dash 33? What on earth are they doing when he’s at rest? Lordy.
    ******************************************************************************************************************
    Pure Gold.

    I wonder how many NHL execs thought this might happen when McDavid was gifted to the
    famous Katz organization.

    We are approaching the 3 year anniversary of when those magic balls fell our way.

  12. knighttown says:

    frjohnk: Connor will not hear that and score 4 points.

    110 points looks good

    I know. Damn guy doesn’t have an off switch.

  13. godot10 says:

    McSorley33:
    The won loss record is criminal but the goal differential is impossible. How on earth can a team ice a 106-point impact player and finish dash 33? What on earth are they doing when he’s at rest? Lordy.
    ******************************************************************************************************************
    Pure Gold.

    I wonder how many NHL execs thought this might happen when McDavid was gifted to the
    famous Katz organization.

    We are approaching the 3 year anniversary of when those magic balls fell our way.

    Connor is lucky that they won’t/can’t blame him like everyone blamed Hall.

  14. Rondo says:

    knighttown,

    Moot point.

    If Oilers win tomorrow they will finish either 9th or 10thin my opinion. Meaning they could pick 13th at worst.

    9th– 5% chance of winning
    10th- 3.5%

  15. McSorley33 says:

    knighttown,

    I have no clue what they’d do here. Do they grab the first shot scorer for Leon or McDavid here or do they look to find that elusive scoring RHD. I think they lean defense.
    **************************************************************************************
    I think this is the kind of decision the OIlers will be faced with as well….barring any lottery jumps.

    To make up for the Reinhart deal – this org. needs to find a diamond in the 2nd round or 3rd round.

  16. meanashell11 says:

    frjohnk: Connor will not hear that and score 4 points.

    110 points looks good

    I would like him to get 7 goals and the team lose by 1!

  17. russ99 says:

    Willis’ article on the Athletic had an interesting point, when Rattie was on McDavid’s line they had 13 goals for and 12 against and an unsustainable 18.6 shooting percentage for with a .872 save percentage.

    Is that line sacrificing defense for offense? Especially since the center is usually responsible to be the first forward back to help the defensemen?

  18. Wilde says:

    @Condors

    #Oilers 2016 2nd round pick Tyler Benson and 2017 3rd round pick Dmitri Samorukov have joined the team in Winnipeg and will play tonight.

  19. leadfarmer says:

    Wow. Raanta only cost 4 mil per for 3 years. That’s a crazy good contract

  20. Wilde says:

    russ99,

    I swear to god every second shift of theirs is a DZFO against a top line where they lose possession and then chase around for minutes at a time, demand Talbot make a save or two, and then promptly go on the rush and outplay the shit out of a top D pairing and score a goal.

    Not sure how I feel about it. The list of problems that occur when this team loses a DZ draw is biblical.

  21. Todd Macallan says:

    Currently involved in a mock draft as the Oil, first 4 picks as follows.

    7 – Ty Smith
    38 – Ty Dellandrea
    69 – Cam Hillis
    100 – Samuel Fagemo

    I think LT’s ranking list must have seeped into my subconscious. Nevertheless I’d be some stoked if the real draft went this way.

    Should mention Bouchard, Boqvist and Wahlstrom were already gone by 7, but I have Smith in that group anyway.

  22. frjohnk says:

    russ99:
    Willis’ article on the Athletic had an interesting point, when Rattie was on McDavid’s line they had 13 goals for and 12 against and an unsustainable 18.6 shooting percentage for with a .872 save percentage.

    Is that line sacrificing defense for offense? Especially since the center is usually responsible to be the first forward back to help the defensemen?

    Small sample sizes
    Drai-McDavid-Rattie have a .800 save % in 25 minutes
    RNH-McDavid-Rattie have .903 save % in 113 minutes
    RNH-McDavid W/O Rattie have a .948 save % in 76 minutes

    A right winger is not going to sway the save % at all.

  23. Rondo says:

    Todd Macallan,

    Oilers win tommorow they probably finish 9th or 10th. Meaning 13th at the worst after the lottery.

  24. Doug McLachlan says:

    leadfarmer:
    Wow.Raanta only cost 4 mil per for 3 years. That’s a crazy good contract

    The Bobfather has it at an AAV of $4.25M. Nice work by Arizona.

  25. Wilde says:

    frjohnk,

    The thing is, their shot/chance stuff is really bad for a 97 line too. And it really matches the eye to be honest… Rattie is not a good zone exit artist. The perfect complement to that line is 98, probably.

    That said, our breakout structure just sucks. It’s really, really hard to suss out where the suspect players are in terms of the transition game when the DZ systems play seems to wet-blanket the whole roster.

  26. russ99 says:

    Wilde:
    russ99,

    I swear to god every second shift of theirs is a DZFO against a top line where they lose possession and then chase around for minutes at a time, demand Talbot make a save or two, and then promptly go on the rush and outplay the shit out of a top D pairing and score a goal.

    Not sure how I feel about it. The list of problems that occur when this team loses a DZ draw is biblical.

    Yeah. That goal scoring is nice but I’d prefer better balance and our forward play when the opponent has the puck leaves a lot to be desired this year, a factor on our fall in the standings this year, especially on the PK.

    Defense is a 5-man job, not just for the defenseman or the goalie to always clean up blown coverages and open looks.

  27. Jaxon says:

    I’ve reviewed the highest and lowest rankings of each player by some reputable scouting services since January 9th (ISS, Marek at Sportsnet, Hockey Prospect, Wheeler at The Athletic, McKeen’s Hockey, Cosentino at Sportsnet, Harling at Dobber Prospects, Peters at ESPN, Pronman at The Athletic, Kennedy at The Hockey News, Future Considerations, The Draft ANalyst, and Robinson at Dobber Prospects) . I’ve forced myself to keep each player within that range (gambling on some scout being correct about their potential or their flaws). Then I tried to sort them by team need with this order of preference: RD, C, C/W, W/C, W, LD. Then I went through a few scouting reports for each player. If they mentioned good skating, speed or agility I moved them up, if they didn’t mention skating at all, I left them ranked as is, if they mentioned poor skating or needing improvement I moved them down. This is what I think Edmonton should draft based on where they pick. My list against a consensus list based on those scouts done by “MyNHLDraft”.

    #1 – Dahlin
    #2 to #3 – Svechnikov (I think Zadina could be the Yakupov/Daigle of this draft)
    There is no scenario where Edmonton drafts 4th, 5th, or 6th.
    #7 to #10 – Veleno (at least 1 scout had him 4th)
    #11 to #13 – Merkley (at least 1 scout had him 6th)

    This list drafts BPA (at least according to one reputable scouting service) and considers team need and speed. I don’t think Veleno is a gamble at all. I’ve never seen a negative comment about him and he provides the coach with more flexibility. He has outscored Zadina in the Q since being traded in January. He’s fast, smart, skilled with great vision and a 2-way game in a decent frame. The Oilers are short on C if Nuge or Draisaitl or both play wing. I’m sure Veleno can play wing as well, but it is rare to happen the other way around to have a winger switch to C. Merkley, on the other hand, may be a complete gamble but one that could be absolutely worth it. Many great D had issues in their draft year (Doughty was overweight, Karlsson had “character issues”, Subban had “defensive liabilities”). I think Merkley’s upside may see him as one of the best in this draft. Check out Pronman’s article about him at The Athletic and you might see the value in “gambling” on him anytime after #10. I think Merkley could prove the naysayers wrong in a big big way.

  28. godot10 says:

    Wilde:
    frjohnk,

    The thing is, their shot/chance stuff is really bad for a 97 line too. And it really matches the eye to be honest… Rattie is not a good zone exit artist. The perfect complement to that line is 98, probably.

    That said, our breakout structure just sucks. It’s really, really hard to suss out where the suspect players are in terms of the transition game when the DZ systems play seems to wet-blanket the whole roster.

    Pairs.

    Nugent-Hopkins McDavid
    Draisaitl-Puljujarvi

    One has to give Draisaitl somebody half decent.

    Rattie isn’t good enough for McDavid’s line as a regular. As a sub only. Too bad the Oilers gave up on Pitlick. He would be ideal there. I’d look for a UFA vet on a one-year deal, or a vet in trade with one year left o his contract.

    Khaira is probably good enough left wing for Draisaitl-Puljujarvi.

  29. russ99 says:

    godot10,

    The problem with Khaira – Draisaitl – Puljujari is only one player seems to be able to put the puck in the net with any regularity. We can assume Pulju can get there eventually, but we need more of a sure thing on the left side.

    I’d like to see two wingers with shooting acumen acquired, one elite shooter for McDavid and a lesser, less-expensive player for Draisaitl.

    I’d like to see the third line become a tough minutes line who can handle shot quality reduction vs. the toughs and hold possession and cycle in the offensive zone chipping in the occasional goal, Winnipeg-style. Khaira is a better fit there, maybe with Lucic if he can get more fit and stop trying to push the skate-pass game and embrace the checker/cycler/net presence that he can be best at.

    Winnik is my wish center for that line, Strome doesn’t bring enough to the table in such a role and Winnik could be signed for well under Strome’s $3M QO.

  30. pboy says:

    I really enjoyed the Gene-Spec-Louie segment during the 2nd period intermission. For those that didn’t get a chance to watch it, they explained that Drai needs to take that next step next season, like Malkin did in Pittsburgh where he learns to carry his own line and him and Connor become Crosby & Malkin. At no point did they discuss the quality of wingers on this team or how Chia has bleed talent and offense or paraphrase anything other than Drai needs to step up. I know that Gene is there for comedy relief more than anything else but Louie is paid to be an analyst and Spec is supposed to be a journalist. I generally like the job Louie does and he’s a giant improvement on PvP over Remenda but Oiler’s fans deserve better than Spector.

  31. who says:

    Wilde:
    frjohnk,

    The thing is, their shot/chance stuff is really bad for a 97 line too. And it really matches the eye to be honest… Rattie is not a good zone exit artist. The perfect complement to that line is 98, probably.

    That said, our breakout structure just sucks. It’s really, really hard to suss out where the suspect players are in terms of the transition game when the DZ systems play seems to wet-blanket the whole roster.

    My eye sees Rattie good at getting pucks out along the wall.

  32. russ99 says:

    pboy:
    I really enjoyed the Gene-Spec-Louie segment during the 2nd period intermission. For those that didn’t get a chance to watch it, they explained that Drai needs to take that next step next season, like Malkin did in Pittsburgh where he learns to carry his own line and him and Connor become Crosby & Malkin. At no point did they discuss the quality of wingers on this team or how Chia has bleed talent and offense or paraphrase anything other than Drai needs to step up. I know that Gene is there for comedy relief more than anything else but Louie is paid to be an analyst and Spec is supposed to be a journalist. I generally like the job Louie does and he’s a giant improvement on PvP over Remenda but Oiler’s fans deserve better than Spector.

    Would rather see them focus about moving forward from here instead of crying over spilled milk. Been there, done that, ad nauseum.

  33. Ribs says:

    Wilde: The thing is, their shot/chance stuff is really bad for a 97 line too. And it really matches the eye to be honest… Rattie is not a good zone exit artist. The perfect complement to that line is 98, probably.

    I was trying to picture Rattie in his own zone in my mind… Couldn’t do it. He has played back behind the Oilers blue line, right? Hah, strange.

  34. who says:

    Wilde:
    frjohnk,

    The thing is, their shot/chance stuff is really bad for a 97 line too. And it really matches the eye to be honest… Rattie is not a good zone exit artist. The perfect complement to that line is 98, probably.

    That said, our breakout structure just sucks. It’s really, really hard to suss out where the suspect players are in terms of the transition game when the DZ systems play seems to wet-blanket the whole roster.

    I think it’s way too small a sample size to read much into this lines zone exits or corsi.
    Mcdavids line has had issues with getting hemmed in their zone all year. A lot of that is on Mcdavid. He is very soft in coverage down low and tends to just float around the zone looking for a loose puck.
    He is very good at jumping on those loose pucks and does create instant offense from them. But he doesn’t separate his man from the puck very often in the dzone. His line really struggles to break up a cycle.

  35. Wilde says:

    russ99,

    I’m pretty sure they would be perfectly rounded out by the best zone-exit RW on the team, Jesse Puljujarvi.

    He also has the lowest rate of goals against as McDavid’s RW.

    But that is the exact opposite thing to do in face of the cap.

    Another reason to bridge Nurse.

  36. pboy says:

    russ99,

    Don’t you think that by looking back at the decisions this management group has made already it gives you an idea of how they will proceed in the future? Are you happy with the moves Chia has made so far? Do you trust him to win some trades to balance the team? Those are pretty fair points and the MSM in this town are either to ignorant, to protective of their access or to incompetent to do their jobs. IMO, they way the MSM is in lockstep with Katz and his management team is one of the reasons that the Oilers are where they are. I don’t include folks like LT, Gregor, Brownlee or some others in that blanket MSM, there are some excellent people with a voice in Edmonton but I think most of them are to afraid to ask the questions they would really like because they are afraid their access to the team will be taken away.

  37. JimmyV1965 says:

    Jaxon:
    I’ve reviewed the highest and lowest rankings of each player by some reputable scouting services since January 9th (ISS, Marek at Sportsnet, Hockey Prospect, Wheeler at The Athletic, McKeen’s Hockey, Cosentino at Sportsnet, Harling at Dobber Prospects, Peters at ESPN, Pronman at The Athletic, Kennedy at The Hockey News, Future Considerations, The Draft ANalyst, and Robinson at Dobber Prospects) . I’ve forced myself to keep each player within that range (gambling on some scout being correct about their potential or their flaws). Then I tried to sort them by team need with this order of preference: RD, C, C/W, W/C, W, LD. Then I went through a few scouting reports for each player. If they mentioned good skating, speed or agility I moved them up, if they didn’t mention skating at all, I left them ranked as is, if they mentioned poor skating or needing improvement I moved them down.This is what I think Edmonton should draft based on where they pick. My list against a consensus list based on those scouts done by “MyNHLDraft”.

    #1 – Dahlin
    #2 to #3 – Svechnikov (I think Zadina could be the Yakupov/Daigle of this draft)
    There is no scenario where Edmonton drafts 4th, 5th, or 6th.
    #7 to #10 – Veleno (at least 1 scout had him 4th)
    #11 to #13 – Merkley (at least 1 scout had him 6th)

    This list drafts BPA (at least according to one reputable scouting service) and considers team need and speed. I don’t think Veleno is a gamble at all. I’ve never seen a negative comment about him and he provides the coach with more flexibility. He has outscored Zadina in the Q since being traded in January. He’s fast, smart, skilled with great vision and a 2-way game in a decent frame. The Oilers are short on C if Nuge or Draisaitl or both play wing. I’m sure Veleno can play wing as well, but it is rare to happen the other way around to have a winger switch to C. Merkley, on the other hand, may be a complete gamble but one that could be absolutely worth it. Many great D had issues in their draft year (Doughty was overweight, Karlsson had “character issues”, Subban had “defensive liabilities”). I think Merkley’s upside may see him as one of the best in this draft. Check out Pronman’s article about him at The Athletic and you might see the value in “gambling” on him anytime after #10. I think Merkley could prove the naysayers wrong in a big big way.

    I would trade down before drafting Merkley #10. You can still likely get him mid 20s.

  38. ArmchairGM says:

    I agree that Rattie deserves to be given reps with McNuge in the fall (if he re-signs), but I’d also like to see Kassian get some, too. He could bring some of what Maroon did to the McDavid line, but with more speed. Although I’m enjoying the current run of the 1-line, the possession numbers are worrisome, and a skill-set like Zack’s could be a boon here.

    Also, I wish there were more games left now to test the new 2-line, but early returns are good.

    Lucic – Strome seems to be a useful pair on the third line, providing they both return next year. Hopefully they can shelter Yamamoto.

    So we need a 4-line, probably the easiest things to find in professional hockey.

  39. Wilde says:

    who: I think it’s way too small a sample size to read much into this lines zone exits or corsi.
    Mcdavids line has had issues with getting hemmed in their zone all year. A lot of that is on Mcdavid. He is very soft in coverage down low and tends to just float around the zone looking for a loose puck.
    He is very good at jumping on those loose pucks and does create instant offense from them.But he doesn’t separate his man from the puck very often in the dzone. His line really struggles to break up a cycle.

    I should clarifiy, I am absolutely not basing my assertion that Rattie doesn’t facilitate zone-exits well in any stats or anything besides my subjective opinion.

    I do know that 97’s line is always vulnerable to getting hemmed in(partially because he plays/slays nightmare comp every shift), but with this particular set of players I seem to notice it’s almost always Nuge and not Rattie who breaks up the play.

    As stated in another post about this line, it’s also just that the DZFOL structure/exectution is Benny-Hill worthy no matter who’s on the ice.

    As always, I’d say keep them together until the numbers start to rhyme, whichever way they do.

    If it’s the goal share that chases the shot share, I won’t be terribly surprised and I’ll also have the zone-exit play on my short list of suspects.

  40. Oilin4 says:

    To solidify the draft position and to make the point about the roster he was given this year, McClellan should sit McDavid Saturday.

  41. Doug McLachlan says:

    dustrock,

    I have been high on Bouchard but would be pleased with any of the three. Need to continue to and top end talent.

  42. Woogie63 says:

    I have often wondered if Kassian could play RD? Burns and Buff started as forwards and have made the transition.

  43. russ99 says:

    Wilde:
    russ99,

    I’m pretty sure they would be perfectly rounded out by the best zone-exit RW on the team, Jesse Puljujarvi.

    He also has the lowest rate of goals against as McDavid’s RW.

    But that is the exact opposite thing to do in face of the cap.

    Another reason to bridge Nurse.

    While our zone exit game is pretty sad, I put more value on shot quality reduction when the opponent has the puck. The opposition could have multiple quality scoring chances well before we re-acquire.

    Turnovers on exit passes are moments that look bad, but in the grand scheme, this is less of an issue than frequently letting the opposition get clear looks in on the goaltender due to breakdowns, bad assignments or blown coverage/missed switches.

  44. godot10 says:

    I think the RW (or one of them) that the Oilers should target in the off-season is Tobias Rieder.

    One could then experiment with him and Puljujarvi as to whom works better with McDavid/Nugent-Hopkins and who works better with Draisaitl/Khaira.

    Rieder and Nugent-Hopkins would be the reliable wingers who could compensate for McDavid in the defensive zone.

  45. Doug McLachlan says:

    godot10:
    I think the RW (or one of them) that the Oilers should target in the off-season is Tobias Rieder.

    One could then experiment with him and Puljujarvi as to whom works better with McDavid/Nugent-Hopkins and who works better with Draisaitl/Khaira.

    Rieder and Nugent-Hopkins would be the reliable wingers who could compensate for McDavid in the defensive zone.

    I like this idea.

    He’s an RFA, right?

  46. who says:

    Woogie63:
    I have often wondered if Kassian could play RD?Burns and Buff started as forwards and have made the transition.

    Burns and Buff were dmen in junior and maybe early in their pro careers. They were then played at forward for a year or two before converting back to defense.
    HUGE difference between their situations and converting Kassian into a dman at age 27. I bet Kassian hasn’t played defense since PeeWee, if he ever did.
    Pretty big reach to think that this would even have a chance at being successful.

  47. Jaxon says:

    JimmyV1965: I would trade down before drafting Merkley #10. You can still likely get him mid 20s.

    I wouldn’t be so sure. If a team is happy with his interview and likes his potential they may not risk waiting and missing him. Also, as mentioned, he has been ranked as high as #6. I was recently reading how Gostisbehere was a reach where he was taken as he was ranked lower by most scouts. Flyers may have missed out on him had they waited to take him closer to where he was ranked. Of the 14 scouting lists used at MyNHLDraft, 2 had Merkley at #6, and 2 had him at #12. I think if you’re drafting at #10,#11,#12 or #13 you take a chance as almost everybody taken at that stage is a bit of a gamble or has some flaw. I’d gamble on the fast one with the biggest offensive upside, who fills a need, which I believe is RHD Merkley.

  48. ashley says:

    Even at 7, it’s very unlikely that there is anyone in the draft that can help next season and perhaps not even the season after that. If a dman is taken, it could be several years from now.

    There is a better than average chance that the player drafted will never play top 6 F or top 4 D, and if luck is poor, he may not have much of an NHL career at all (20%).

    At the draft we get a project and hope for the best. If the roster needs improvement, it must come from elsewhere.

    Prospects are important, but with McDavid in his prime, the Oilers may want to think more present tense.

  49. Rondo says:

    Jaxon,

    Rather have Bode Wilde a real defenseman.

  50. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    pboy:
    I really enjoyed the Gene-Spec-Louie segment during the 2nd period intermission. For those that didn’t get a chance to watch it, they explained that Drai needs to take that next step next season, like Malkin did in Pittsburgh where he learns to carry his own line and him and Connor become Crosby & Malkin. At no point did they discuss the quality of wingers on this team or how Chia has bleed talent and offense or paraphrase anything other than Drai needs to step up. I know that Gene is there for comedy relief more than anything else but Louie is paid to be an analyst and Spec is supposed to be a journalist. I generally like the job Louie does and he’s a giant improvement on PvP over Remenda but Oiler’s fans deserve better than Spector.

    The best players are always the issue.

  51. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    russ99,

    The problem with Khaira – Draisaitl – Puljujari is only one player seems to be able to put the puck in the net with any regularity. We can assume Pulju can get there eventually, but we need more of a sure thing on the left side.

    Khaira is 3rd on EDM in 5v5 SH% with a 14.1%. 2nd is McDavid with 14.9% and 1st is Rattie in a small sample of 18 shots for a 16.7%.

    Khaira is a small sample too at 64 shots.

    Khaira’s career 5v5 sample is only 967 minutes so we can’t conclude too much, but his SH% is 11.24 which would be just fine.

    His shot volume is low at 5.39/60, and only 4.68/60 in the 153 minutes with Leon so far this year.

    If he can increase his shot rate, he should work there.

    Drai and Khaira together this year have :
    CF% 56.6
    GF% 57.1
    SCF% 58.4
    HDSCF% 58.8

    Small sample, but that’s dominating the opposition.

    Those 2 only played 2 minutes together with 97, so its not 97 zooming the numbers either.

  52. Wilde says:

    Every time I try to enjoy a malicious chuckle about Anaheim’s D being sacrificed at the alter of Kevin Bieksa, visions of a 4/4M NMC contract enter my mind.

  53. Wilde says:

    Woodguy v2.0,

    Most of that 29-16 stuff is actually with Strome iirc. So that’s an option too.

    16-18 might be the most effective pairing that Todd’s been allergic to this season.

    Among many.

    All while trying to save his job.

    Laugh, it’s funny.

  54. Melvis says:

    Here’s my really big wish for the day. No more trade talk concerning RNH. I tend to regard these various musings as tantamount to trading Stan Mikita for a rhd when Mikita and Bobby Hull were, “the most fromidable forward duo of the sixties.”

    Fire them all, develop the D internally and through draft. Trade 3 lumpun masses for a 2 or 3RD, if possible. And exercise a bit of patience. We’ll make the playoffs next year with a couple of new straw bosses. And make the finals the year after.

    I’m generalizing, of course. No time or patience for a lot of detail today.

    And as an afterthought – I’ve said this before. Kassian could be deadly playing a D role, in the right develomental hands. Coffey, that means you. Think creatively.

  55. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Wilde:
    Woodguy v2.0,

    Most of that 29-16 stuff is actually with Strome iirc. So that’s an option too.

    16-18 might be the most effective pairing that Todd’s been allergic to this season.

    Among many.

    All while trying to save his job.

    Laugh, it’s funny.

    You’re right, 105 minutes of it with 16 who is “ok” as a winger.

    McLellan does many things to my mood, but “lighten it” isn’t usually among them.

  56. ashley says:

    ashley:
    Even at 7, it’s very unlikely that there is anyone in the draft that can help next season and perhaps not even the season after that.If a dman is taken, it could be several years from now.

    There is a better than average chance that the player drafted will never play top 6 F or top 4 D, and if luck is poor, he may not have much of an NHL career at all (20%).

    At the draft we get a project and hope for the best.If the roster needs improvement, it must come from elsewhere.

    Prospects are important, but with McDavid in his prime, the Oilers may want to think more present tense.

    Looking at this roster including the injured D, it actually looks pretty good. It is superior to many other rosters that are playoff bound, IMO. It’s not just McDavid. There are a lot of good pieces in place. I’m not sure there is a lot to be done. The glaring hole is a good backup G. That’s about it. You can always wish for more talented pieces, but there is only so much you can fit under the cap. So there will be small holes on every roster. It’s just a matter of managing those and avoiding big holes.

    I think a lot of the underperformance lies with the coaching staff. The whole coaching staff. Very questionable decision making and special teams weakness. That shouldn’t be the case with this roster.

  57. Bling says:

    Wilde:
    Woodguy v2.0,

    Most of that 29-16 stuff is actually with Strome iirc. So that’s an option too.

    16-18 might be the most effective pairing that Todd’s been allergic to this season.

    Among many.

    All while trying to save his job.

    Laugh, it’s funny.

    After Godot/Woodguy’s blood pact talk yesterday, no one should feel bad for McLellan.

    Too many questionable personnel decisions to warrant bringing him back.

  58. Wilde says:

    Bling,

    The hubris of these Hockey Canada folks, man.

    Guess they earned it though, winning those tournaments with our country’s rag-tag underdog teams.

  59. ashley says:

    I think Bob Hartley would be a good choice. Do you think Edmonton fans would tolerate a French Canadian at the helm? I thought he did a great job with shallow Flames rosters and a fantastic job with the Avalanche, though the team was much deeper.

    I am always impressed with his interviews. He clearly commands respect from the players, yet gives the impression of an element of humility in his work. It’s a good combination. He understands the game really well and deployed effective defensive systems with the Flames with complete buy-in from the roster.

    The Oilers badly need some structure to their game.

  60. Woogie63 says:

    PC has a pretty busy off season with internal decisions. Oiler’s have 21 RFA and UFA contracts to address, I think that is a lot (Nashville 16, Boston 17).

    1. Nurse around $4M is the biggest signing
    2. Strome under $3M
    3. Slepyshev, Cagguila, Benning, Rattie all on show me more contracts is important

    We could see a big send away this summer

    Christoffer
    Platzer
    Downing
    Bekter
    Fayne
    Ferlin
    Pakarinen
    Cammalleri
    Auvitu

    Show me more contracts
    Russell
    Ellis
    Lowe
    Brossoit
    Leleggia
    Simpson

  61. Doug McLachlan says:

    Doug McLachlan: I like this idea.

    He’s an RFA, right?

    I see that his QO with LA would be almost $2.5M so depending how he performs in the playoffs they may not be up to taking him at that price. That said, I am not sure the Oilers have that sort of $ to throw around on a legit gamble.

  62. JimmyV1965 says:

    Jaxon: I wouldn’t be so sure. If a team is happy with his interview and likes his potential they may not risk waiting and missing him. Also, as mentioned, he has been ranked as high as #6. I was recently reading how Gostisbehere was a reach where he was taken as he was ranked lower by most scouts. Flyers may have missed out on him had they waited to take him closer to where he was ranked. Of the 14 scouting lists used at MyNHLDraft, 2 had Merkley at #6, and 2 had him at #12. I think if you’re drafting at #10,#11,#12 or #13 you take a chance as almost everybody taken at that stage is a bit of a gamble or has some flaw. I’d gamble on the fast one with the biggest offensive upside, who fills a need, which I believe is RHD Merkley.

    Ya. You’re right about this if you’re totally focussed on Merkley. Although I like Merkley, I would be perfectly fine if we miss on him. Im definitely not taking him 10.

  63. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Bling,

    After Godot/Woodguy’s blood pact talk yesterday, no one should feel bad for McLellan.

    Can you link me to this pact?

    I have no idea what you mean.

  64. --hudson-- says:

    Todd’s postgame from last night.

    Source video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tegAiIc-t7g
    ————————————————–
    Q: {cutoff}
    A: …you know, we’re in the zone and they draw the penalty, which based on my expression obviously I didn’t agree with it, goals disallowed, we go on the penalty kill, and kill does a pretty good job, but we need that one big save, and Talb’s made it with three or four seconds left. So good for him.

    Q: Cammaleri, not just tonight, but his last few games for you… what has he given you and tonight 70% on the dot, he’s kinda taking advantage of the opportunity isn’t he?
    A: Yeah he’s… since he’s been back from his injury, he’s been a pretty productive player. In fact, he’s been for most of the time that he’s been here. You know, his games… the only time it’s really dipped is in a fatigue type situation, and that doesn’t happen often. He’s very fit and very smart player, so you know, tonight he came through with a key goal. He’s had many of those chances, they just haven’t gone in as much for him as they have in the past, but I’m happy for him. He put himself in a good spot in the power play and found the hole in the net that some others couldn’t.

    Q: But he told me that, now that he’s not playing as many minutes as he was custom toward in his career, he actually feels more involved in the game when he plays center. I know it’s only been a short few games at center, but what have you seen maybe the difference in him? He was a center up until the NHL he told me.
    A: You know we… it’s his mind and his ability to make tight, crafty passes, and when he’s in the middle he has those opportunities to run quick give and go’s, and you know, his release is something that he’s always been able to use. So I found that when he’s in the middle, he’s getting it from both sides, and he ca, you know, he can shoot the puck a little bit. He had a tremendous chance the other night in Calgary, Smith made a good save. So he’s been creating more for himself and for his line mates through the middle than he did earlier. So it’s nice to have him there.

    Q: Connor, I’ve kind of lost a little bit of track tonight, but he’s up by eight or nine points right now. And I mean, do you think that in this season, you know as well as he’s played, it’s been lost on people? And then, overall when you’re watching him at this point, what do you think?
    A: Well I don’t think it’s been lost on, you know, anybody that I talked to. I don’t… people take notice and they, you know, especially from Christmas on when he’s really been 100% healthy. I don’t think anybody is missing the fact that he’s been a dominant player night in and night out, you know, the odd tough game where you’ve really got to fight through those… that checking line or checking pair. But man, he’s been a tremendous offensive sparkplug for our team, most of our offense runs through him, and you know, in my opinion it’s not lost on anybody. You know, I think you’d have to dig deep to find somebody that’s not recognizing it.

    Q: With Ty Rattie on McDavid’s right wing, is he showing you enough now to {inaudible}. I know the contract situation though is up in the air for next year, but just as a coach looking at this player in that spot, has he reached a point consistency wise where it looks like it actually is a fit?
    A: Well he’s fit there well so far, and you know, the unfortunate thing is we’re playing it at a time where games aren’t as meaningful for us, and we can gamble a little bit. I think his defensive game has got better and more reliable since he’s been here. He obviously has tremendous hockey sense and a real good release, and that works well for Connor and Nuge when he’s there. And you know… so he’s opening eyes, and I think he’s proving to us, and to himself that he can do it. I know his teammates like playing with him. So it’s everything, so far has been, pretty positive.

    Q: {inaudible question about Keegan Lowe}
    A: I was happy that Keegan got the opportunity. He’s, as I said this morning, he’s a competitor and he threw everything he had into that game physically… blocking shots, making plays, trying to kill the play. Even had a couple offensive chances, which he’s not as well known for, but it was a good night for him, and I’m glad we got the win in his first game as an Oiler.

  65. Wilde says:

    Woodguy v2.0:

    After Godot/Woodguy’s blood pact talk yesterday, no one should feel bad for McLellan.

    Can you link me to this pact?

    You’re already linked to the pact.

    It’s too late.

  66. --hudson-- says:

    Todd’s availability today:
    – Five questions about the Sedins
    – No updates on lineup until tomorrow
    – Aberg didn’t play because he wasn’t brining “it”

    Source video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CGc16O_A9JE
    ————————————————–
    Q: {cutoff}
    A: … the Sedin’s tomorrow. We’re fortunate that they’re gonna play their last game here in Edmonton. I know that they’ve been mortal enemies of the Oilers for many, many years, but we’ve also been able to appreciate and watch their skill level, and how they affect it and change the game in a lot of different ways, and we’ll be able to appreciate them tomorrow night, and enjoy the evening. You know last night in Vancouver, it was very fitting that the game ended the way it did, and there a couple of tremendous individuals, and the league and the hockey world has been very lucky to have them.

    Q: I mean as a coach, I know you try to say to your players there’s some tendencies for other players, here’s ways to limit them. But in terms of scheming against those two guys, was there a way to actually tilt the odds a little bit?
    A: Well a lot of times you plan and you’re able to focus on one individual, and try and shut that guy down, and it affects his line mates. In their case it was always both of them, and they you know, we used to talk about them sharing a brain and how instinctive they were, and read off each other… perhaps two of the best passers ever on their backhands… the way they cycled, the way they protected the puck, and a lot of our preparation in San Jose, Detroit, and obviously here, was always based around what they could do, especially in the offensive zone. But very gifted, very smart, very intelligent, and very good.

    Q: So the slap pass, now lots of teams work that play, but they were the best at it.
    A: We actually call it the Sedin tip, you know when you have something that’s named after you, and I’m sure that there’s 30 other coaches in the league that probably refer to it that way. When there’s a certain part of the game that’s named after you, you’ve done something pretty darn unique. And you know they created that, and it affected and changed power plays for a long time, and it forced staffs and players and units to figure out how to kill it, and it still isn’t solved. It’s still pretty effective.

    Q: How does one stop their cycle?
    A: Well keep it out of your end if you can. There is no complete stopping or stalling, they like I said, they protect puck so well, they’re so good on their backhands, and they always have release points. They know when one’s in trouble and the other ones going somewhere, and they release the puck to that, and your problems start all over again with the other twin, and they’ve done it for years. Many a good team, coach, and players have tried to solve it, but it’s tough.

    Q: Not fast, but in today’s game you know…
    A: Well it depends how you define fast. I don’t know that they’re gonna win a race against Connor, but they’re gonna think, their hands, their ability to read and react, sometimes slowing the game down makes you fast, and finding the right holes and arriving on time. So in my mind, yeah you know what, you probably wouldn’t bet on them in a race, but they play the game very quick between the ears.

    Q: What’s tomorrow, any lineup changes, or the same guys?
    A: Tomorrow, well we’ll see, we’ve got some guys that are banged up a little bit, and we’ll make some decisions. I was happy with the way the group played yesterday and we’ll know that tomorrow. It’s a good question for tomorrow.

    Q: And Aberg, why was he sitting out? You didn’t like his game or…
    A: Yeah I didn’t think that Pontus played with a lot of emotion, or a lot of fire, and that’s been the knock on him a little bit, and we’re trying to get that out of him. So when you’re in, you have to bring it, I thought his two best games were after his mistake on the road, and he had something to prove and respond to, and he played tremendously then, but it has to come all the time.

  67. €√¥£€^$ says:

    Hi Folks,

    The title of today’s post by LT is a great fit for what I am about to share from a personal standpoint, lol………

    Subject: NHL Fan Association (Revival) Proposal

    This is a rather long post and I am sure this will receive mixed reviews, I apologize for my poor writing, but here goes…

    I have had this idea for several months now and thought I could do something with it, but with everything I have going on in my life, I just don’t have the time (plus I live in Calgary, so I’d be too far away from my team to be able to have much involvement). This is kind of a first draft kick at the cat idea and I am thinking that perhaps this may interest a few folks who might have the time/passion to pick up the torch. I didn’t want it to wither on the vine, so I wanted to park it here. If it doesn’t make sense, I apologize. Ultimately I was tired of screaming at the TV and having no recourse. I thought a mechanism for the fans would be a fan association (which I learned recently is not a new idea, but their motivation was different from mine, please see the links below). I did pitch the idea to a couple fans who I work with, who then mentioned to their rec hockey teams and they said most of the people they spoke to said they’d be interested. That being said, it would be important for those who might want to move this forward to be well-spoken, organized and able to write coherently.

    Initially I had thought of developing a “pitch” and approaching a few of the most prominent blogs for each team as a starting point and also using “change.org” to get Gary Bettman;s attention to incorporate this. Ultimately I wanted the fans to have a significant voice/vote regarding rule changes at the board of governor’s meetings. But I also see a lot more that such an Association could influence, everything from the fan experience at a game, being means of including whichever groups of people may not feel included, having a voice regarding things like suspensions (that decision regarding Cogliano was nuts, for example), officiating, goal rulings and the driver for me, rule changes. There are a lot of moving parts here, but I think this could open the door for other leagues having similar associations. Ultimately these leagues don’t exist without the fans, why should the fans have a voice? Might save a few people from having to purchase a new television every year.

    Here my rough outline:
    —————————————————————————————————————–

    Issue: Fans of the National Hockey League are frustrated by the inconsistent and therefore ineffective decisions related to many of the rules governing their core business, the great game of hockey. As a result, the National Hockey League is slowly losing fans in traditional markets, as multiple alternative and less expensive entertainment options available exist in 2018 which will continue to grow into the future. In the opinion of many dedicated, passionate and informed fans, the National Hockey League is out of touch with them, as well as the players and truly the sport itself. This needs to change quickly, otherwise the league could find itself in an unprofitable position in the coming decades, as it will rapidly lose popularity as people stop watching what has become the often predictable and sometimes frustrating game that it has become.

    Proposal: The fans should have a voice regarding the most important decisions regarding the greatest sport in the world that is the game of hockey. Ice hockey is the fastest, most exciting sport on the planet, but the decision-makers of the National Hockey League have repeatedly demonstrated their inability to make timely and often sound decisions. The NHL fan base consists of hundreds of thousands of passionate, experienced and informed folks from all walks of life, who could provide a valuable perspective to help the game as it evolves. The NHL could tap into this readily available resource to both further engage their fans, and to gain real-time information at a fraction of the cost that they might normally pay consultants or employees or committees to provide.

    Benefit: The National Hockey League would have a direct conduit to their fan base. Fans of the game will have a say in the game that they support and have an unprecedented opportunity to be directly involved in decisions directly affecting the game. This would allow for out of the box thinking, tap into “the wisdom of the crowd” and help the game to continually evolve in real-time. In the end, this would serve the best interests of the National Hockey League, rather than by the individual biases and interests of ownership groups and management teams, who are often more focused on things that do not provide benefit to the game (at all levels), the team, the fans or the league.

    Structure:
    1. Each team’s fan collective to conduct a public selection of 4 fans; 2 to be of the 18-35 age group, and 2 to be of the 35+ year old demographic. Each candidate must, at minimum, demonstrate excellent knowledge of the game of hockey to be part of a recommendation committee. In addition, a 5th member of this group will be added, this person will be a former hockey player (preferably with no ties with the team) who has played or has been a head coach/GM for a minimum of 4 years of high level hockey (professional/collegiate/tier I/II junior) and is not more than 5 years removed from the game and who resides in the local area (within a 100 mile/150 km radius or 2hr travel time (as governed by posted speed limits)). All members considered for positions on each teams’ committee will be voted for online based on their presentations and from there, the selected candidates will participate in a debate, following the debate the final elections would take place. All prospective candidates will have to meet the specific criteria to be set out as per selection rules and if selected, would have to conduct themselves accordingly.

    Once the committee has been elected, this group would then determine who would perform the roles of chair and co-chair and alternate co-chair. All committee members would meet 5 times per year: End of Oct, end of Nov, beginning of Jan, beginning of Feb and end of April to discuss proposed rule changes, the current state of the game and improvements to the game. Each of these meetings to be attended by a member of their respective team’s management group, as an observer. One of each of the fan positions/demographic to be in place for 2 years and the other two positions to be in place for 3 years. The player term to be 3 years. No member to serve on this committee for more than 2 consecutive terms and no member to serve as Chair or Co-Chair for more than 1 year. A Co-Chair eligible to serve as Chair the following year of service, but the Chair not eligible serve as Co-Chair the following year of service.

    2. The Chair and Co-chair of each team to meet via video conference with the other Chair and Chair’s of each team’s committees within their respective divisions 4 times per year: Mid-Nov, Mid-Dec, and Mid-Jan and Mid-May. Each Division committee group will nominate 2 representatives who will meet with the other Division reps in Mid-Feb to discuss their ideas and move forward with their proposals. This group will then attend the NHL Board of Governors meeting in March to represent the fans of the NHL and present their ideas. Their single vote will be worth 40% toward all decisions related to rules and proposals related to the on-ice product. Ultimately the purpose of their attendance is to ensure that fans have a substantial voice and a direct impact on the decisions that are made regarding rules that govern the game.
    ——————————————————————————————————————

    Here is a link to articles on the now inactive (1998-2016) NHL Fan Association:

    http://www.thehockeynews.com/news/article/jim-boone-blog-introducing-the-nhl-fans-association

    http://www.nhlfa.com/

    https://www.rawcharge.com/2013/12/8/5188702/National-hockey-league-fan-association-cesing-operaitons-NHLFA-consumer-spectator-complex

    FYI, I have not contacted the folks who started this, and that for sure would be a step that would have to be taken.

    I have several other thoughts around this, website ideas, membership, rule changes ideas that I’ve compiled, etc. If anyone is interested in moving this forward, I would hope it could be a collective effort as I think it would be too much for one person to tackle. And it certainly would have to be a labor of love, as it should not been seen as a profit-generating venture for anyone. I had thought a $2.00 lifetime membership fee would be reasonable to offset website costs, etc.

    If there is interest and if anyone would like to get organized to tackle this, I have created an email address as a starting point. I am thinking that I will check in about a week or so to see if there is any feedback and I can use this to interface with the folks who might be interested and connect them together.

    For interest, inquiries, feedback please email: nhlfanassoc@gmail.com

  68. --hudson-- says:

    Woodguy v2.0:
    Bling,

    After Godot/Woodguy’s blood pact talk yesterday, no one should feel bad for McLellan.

    Can you link me to this pact?

    I have no idea what you mean.

    I think he’s referring to the pact you alluded to yesterday, the one where Chiarelli sought approval from the OBC and McLellan on a Hall trade.

  69. rickithebear says:

    russ99: The problem with Khaira – Draisaitl – Puljujari is only one player seems to be able to put the puck in the net with any regularity. We can assume Pulju can get there eventually, but we need more of a sure thing on the left side.

    Even or PP?

    I would not judge PP goal production from a system with 4 players on the perimeter and shooting mostly LDsh.

    Even:
    Mathews 61gm 29 EVG 1.777 EVG60

    Karlsson 81gm 31G 1.561 EVG60
    Mcdavid 81gm 35 EVG 1.484 EVG60

    laine 81gm 24 EVG 1.320 EVG60

    Grabner 59gm 24 EVG 1.240 EVG60
    Hall 76gm 25 EVG 1.223 EVG60
    Kopitar 81 GM 28 EVG 1.218 EVG60
    Gallagher 81gm 22 EVG 1.209 EVG60
    Moahan 74gm 22 EVG 1.207 EVG60

    Eberle 80gm 22 EVG 1.174 EVG60
    RNH 61gm 17 EVG 1.156 EVG60

    Tavares 81gm 22 EVG 1.074 EVG60

    Toffoli 81gm 18 EVG .971 EVG60
    Ke Hayes 75gm 17 EVG .970 EVG60
    Guadreau 79 gm 20 EVG .955 EVG60

    Kempe 80gm 15 EVG .927 EVG60

    Barzal 81gm 17 EVG .866 EVG60
    Tkachuk 68gm 14 EVG .866 EVG60
    E. Kane 61gm 14 EVG .849 EVG60
    Niederietter 62gm 11 EVG .839 EVG60

    Khaira 73gm 10 EVG 0.814 EVG60 Woogie Show Me?
    Maroon 57gm 14 EVG 0.813 EVG60
    Draisaitl 77gm 16 EVG 0.805 EVG60
    Wheeler 80gm 17 EVG .804 EVG60
    Krejci 62gm 12 EVG .803 EVG60

    Nylander 81gm 15 EVG .776 EVG60

    Puljujarvi 64gm 10 EVG 0.743 EVG60
    Pearson 81gm 13 EVG .735 EVG60
    Marner 81gm 14 EVG .732 EVG60

    Dubois 81gm 14 EVG .713 EVG60
    Simonds 74gm 12EVG .700 EVG60
    Caggullia 61gm 9 EVG 0.693 EVG60
    Hoffman 80gm 14 EVG .686 EVG60

    Ryan 60gm 10 EVG .669 EVG60
    S. Reinhart 80gm 12 EVG .653 EVG60
    Strome 81gm 11 EVG 0.652 EVG60 Show me?

    Slepyshev 49gm 6EVG .633 EVG60 Show Me?
    Stamkos 78gm 12EVG .619 EVG60
    Buchnevich 73gm 9 EVG .602 EVG60
    Reider 77gm 10 EVG .594 EVG60

    Kassian 73gm 7 EVG .570 EVG60
    Galchenyuk 81gm 10 EVG .557 EVG60
    Aberg 16gm 2 EVG .554 EVG60
    Pacioretty 64gm 10EVG .554 EVG60
    Sobotka 79gm 10 EVG .533 EVG60

    Backlund 81gm 10 EVG .509 EVG60
    Drouin 76gm 9 EVG .499 EVG60
    Frolik 69gm 8 EVG .485 EVG60

    Domi 81gm 8 EVG .422 EVG60
    Lucic 81gm 7 EVG .375 EVG60
    Pakarinen 40gm 2 EVG .346 EVG60
    Camalerri 50gm 3 EVG .283 EVG60

    We miss Eberle’s Repetability in GP and G, EVg, P, EVP
    Hall had too high missed games affect on W-L record.
    Requiring a upper end Win % in the80-83% of games he was available.

  70. Bag of Pucks says:

    Woodguy v2.0: The best players are always the issue.

    Talent is critical but it’s not the only factor. Professional sports history is littered with teams that were the most talented on paper and failed to win championships.

  71. rickithebear says:

    Woogie:
    I was excited about Khaira cause of the Even NCAA production in his Freshman year. Only comparible over a 15 year period was Kessler.

  72. Bling says:

    Woodguy v2.0,

    The game thread from yesterday.

    Godot said that trading Hall was a like a blood pact between coaches and managers. You said you heard something very similar from someone inside the org.

  73. Lowetide says:

    Bling:
    Woodguy v2.0,

    The game thread from yesterday.

    Godot said that trading Hall was a like a blood pact between coaches and managers. You said you heard something very similar from someone inside the org.

    NEVER go in against a mathematician when mirth is on the line.

  74. Bling says:

    Lowetide,

    Haha.

    Did you see Stauffer’s tweets? He’s roping fans into the blood pact!

    WheatNOil is doing a good job shredding him to bits over that one.

    Bob’s argument is a lot like saying, you asked for change, therefore we (management) had licence to do stupid things.

    Nope, that is not how it works.

    But then you remember. These people are idiots!

  75. pboy says:

    Bag of Pucks,

    He’s talking about the Edmonton’s MSM propensity to blame the team’s failures on their best players rather than pointing out flawed rosters and poor coaching decisions. Always easier to pick on the kids rather than the GM’s and Head Coaches for most local media.

    Not to speak for WG though….

  76. commonfan29 says:

    Woodguy v2.0: After Godot/Woodguy’s blood pact talk yesterday, no one should feel bad for McLellan.

    Can you link me to this pact?

    I have no idea what you mean.

    Last one alive gets the Nazi treasure.

  77. Wayne Kenov says:

    Lowetide: NEVER go in against a mathematician when mirth is on the line.

    If I were Dellow, I’d be calling there every day saying Taylor Hall and hanging up.

  78. VOR says:

    commonfan29: Last one alive gets the Nazi treasure.

    I think you maybe confusing a blood pact with the concept of Tontine popularized and maybe invented by Lorenzo de Tonti. Last one left alive gets all the income from the annuity until the time of their death when it is wrapped up. However, there were Tontines that were pure lotteries with the last one alive getting all the money. There was shall we say a moral hazard to this sort of tontine, especially as the numbers of members of the Tontine began to dwindle. Interestingly, Tontines, which are actually retirement plans, are making a comeback.

  79. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    –hudson–: I think he’s referring to the pact you alluded to yesterday, the one where Chiarelli sought approval from the OBC and McLellan on a Hall trade.

    Ah.

    Got it.

  80. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Bag of Pucks: Talent is critical but it’s not the only factor. Professional sports history is littered with teams that were the most talented on paper and failed to win championships.

    I was referring to the media blaming the best players for the failings of poorly constructed teams.

  81. VOR says:

    In the Handbook of Decision making Paul Nieuwenberg talks about the sort of thing Woodguy was discussing yesterday. Person A knows if a decision turns out to be wrong heads will roll. They have other members of the decision making team share some of the responsibility for the decision by making them sign a letter where they acknowledge not just that they agree with the decision but that they had input into the decision.

    Nieuwenberg is building on other work on fairness in decision making. Why should only one member of a team of decision makers go down in flames for a bad decisions?

    These letters sometimes become contracts with nasty clauses. Like if Person A gets fired for a decision the team made all the other signatories have to resign their positions or be in contractual default. I am not sure how common this is in North America. Apparently in Europe it is increasingly common in a number of administrative situations.

    They are seldom used when one person has unlimited autonomy to make whatever decision they see fit. They are used mostly when the visible decision maker is not autonomous by that decision maker to make sure they don’t get stabbed in the back.

  82. VOR says:

    It seems likely if Chiarelli actually used such a tool he is:

    -wicked smart
    -not an autonomous decision maker

    Which raises the question – will firing Peter Chiarelli really change anything?

  83. Scungilli Slushy says:

    VOR:
    It seems likely if Chiarelli actually used such a tool he is:

    -wicked smart
    -not an autonomous decision maker

    Which raises the question – will firing Peter Chiarelli really change anything?

    Maybe they can find someone who can make the mandated deals more favourable to the Oilers.

    I think PC has strong ability, but it’s clearly not in making deals. And perhaps not in pro evaluation.

    That has been the killer, terrible trades, contracts and UFA signings.

  84. maudite says:

    Seeing as game is meaningless:

    I’d ice a first line of:

    RNH Mcdavid Drai

    Just to see what it could do for a game. It could be a nuclear weapon and I have no idea why this hasn’t been a combo we often see late in a game while down a goal in 3 years.

  85. Munny says:

    maudite,

    It was used just a few games back.

  86. Munny says:

    VOR,

    Joint last-to-die Life policies, which are based on the Tontine principle, have never disappeared. They can be an important part of estate planning (as I’m sure you know). Conversely First-to-die policies are key to any business partnership–they’re used to buy out the dead partner’s family so you don’t end up in business with people who shouldn’t be in business.

  87. Lowetide says:

    Underway in Winnipeg, some scrambled early play Moose and Condors are scoreless.

  88. Scungilli Slushy says:

    I have concerns with Rattie playing with McDavid. Rattie has skill and is a shooter, but it’s not enough to maximize Connor’s potential.

    He really does need his Kurri, a winger that can take care of the dirty work so he can play his game, but that can think, keep up and finish enough. Rattie’s SH% doesn’t suggest he will keep finishing as he has been.

    Kassian has obvious skill and some creativity, he was a first rounder after all. But he is far too inconsistent and doesn’t make consistently good luck decisions. It’s why he’s a bottom 6 and would likely struggle on D, if he can skate backwards well enough.

    Another problem with Rattie is that he torpedoes possession. Cags does as well top 6. Cags apparently according to Willis is ok bottom 6. Rattie is not suitable for bottom 6, and this is why better teams haven’t used him – he’s not enough of an elite scorer to cover his play regaining the puck (defense) and isn’t fast or strong enough for other duties.

    Ideally they find a strong 2 way shooter for Connor, doesn’t need to be elite because Connor doesn’t need scoring help. And a quality winger for Drai that can think and brings speed. JP seems obvious.

  89. Lowetide says:

    2-0 Manitoba now.

  90. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    VOR:
    It seems likely if Chiarelli actually used such a tool he is:

    -wicked smart
    -not an autonomous decision maker

    Which raises the question – will firing Peter Chiarelli really change anything?

    That’s the question.

    In my experience organizational culture comes from the top.

    Katz, Lowe, and to some extent MacT and Howson are constants over the last 11 years.

    How much change can Nicholson or more importantly (imo) Gretzky impart?

    I think W. Gretzky could.

    I hope he does.

  91. hunter1909 says:

    Woodguy v2.0: That’s the question.

    In my experience organizational culture comes from the top.

    Katz, Lowe, and to some extent MacT and Howson are constants over the last 11 years.

    How much change can Nicholson or more importantly (imo) Gretzky impart?

    I think W. Gretzky could.

    I hope he does.

    Oilers need a boardroom version of Gretzky to Coffey to Messier which will finally shake loose Lowe’s Dr. No metal handed grip on power.

    Chiarelli’s about as toxic a manager imaginable, especially if Hall wins the Hart trophy.

    And then there’s Todd McL, with his fat cat contract that allows him to give a big “fuck you” to upper management as he keeps HIS buddies employed despite having criminally poor performance(powerplay goals for and against).

  92. knighttown says:

    A bit of chatter on the play of 97’s line by shot metrics so I thought I’d chime in…

    97 gets less clean air than any other player I’ve seen in my time watching the NHL. Within 2 seconds of a change of possession even in the Oilers zone, the opposing team has a man skating side by side with McDavid. No one gets defended like that. The very best players get picked up during a neutral zone regroup but he gets picked up 200 feet from the other teams net.

    In the past 10 weeks or so (since the games have become meaningless) McDavid has chosen to cheat very slightly for offense in that time period where possession might change hands. It’s about a 1/2 second head start. He is willing to let the other teams play unfold (rather than give his all to foil it) and he instantly jumps to offense. Sometimes the play is extremely successful and a goal against happens like in the Minnesota game and he looks “late”. Often times the play is sort of successful but the shot is stopped or blocked and he gets that 1/2 second head start on the other team leading, often times, to a scoring chance. Most often the play is semi-successful, he jumps for offense but the puck goes the wrong way and he then resets and settles into a defensive zone posture, usually as the F3 letting Nuge or Rattie be the F1 with down-low responsibilities.

    To summarize:
    – he’s absolutely cheating for offense
    – I’d guarantee its state sanctioned; MacLellan has either freed him up to do it as a true hockey strategy OR as a kiss to a superstar who wants the Art Ross

    I actually love it. I spent a lot of time during the Kesler playoffs last year thinking of what I’d do if I were the Oilers. McDavid was realllllly ineffective if you’ll recall. I even considered playing him in his own corner as a decoy and taking my chances 4-on-4.

    I think this is pretty smart. They are essentially banking on shooting percentage; we think a McDavid led counter attack holds a better chance of being successful even from 180 feet than a Alex Tuch grade B chance.

  93. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Scungilli Slushy: Maybe they can find someone who can make the mandated deals more favourable to the Oilers.

    I think PC has strong ability, but it’s clearly not in making deals. And perhaps not in pro evaluation.

    That has been the killer, terrible trades, contracts and UFA signings.

    From the outside view Peter’s biggest negotiation flaw is that he seems to identify a lot with player’s agent and gives up a lot in terms of term, money and NMC.

    I’m similar in that I’m a salesman to through and through and I appreciate good salesmanship from my vendors and don’t grind on price hard enough when negotiating.

    To that end I’m usually the guy who starts new programs and finds and vets the potential vendors but I hand off the end of the price negotiation to my partner in Vancouver because he’s a stone killer when it comes down the end price negotiation.

    Maybe Peter should find someone to take that from him.

  94. Gret99zky says:

    russ99: “You can’t do a freeform jazz exploration for a festival crowd.”

    “If I told them once, I told them a hundred times, to put Spinal Tap first and Puppet Show last.”

  95. Scungilli Slushy says:

    Woodguy v2.0: From the outside view Peter’s biggest negotiation flaw is that he seems to identify a lot with player’s agent and gives up a lot in terms of term, money and NMC.

    I’m similar in that I’m a salesman to through and through and I appreciate good salesmanship from my vendors and don’t grind on price hard enough when negotiating.

    To that end I’m usually the guy who starts new programs and finds and vets the potential vendors but I hand off the end of the price negotiation to my partner in Vancouver because he’s a stone killer when it comes down the end price negotiation.

    Maybe Peter should find someone to take that from him.

    I think he should.

  96. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    knighttown:
    A bit of chatter on the play of 97’s line by shot metrics so I thought I’d chime in…

    97 gets less clean air than any other player I’ve seen in my time watching the NHL.Within 2 seconds of a change of possession even in the Oilers zone, the opposing team has a man skating side by side with McDavid.No one gets defended like that. The very best players get picked up during a neutral zone regroup but he gets picked up 200 feet from the other teams net.

    In the past 10 weeks or so (since the games have become meaningless) McDavid has chosen to cheat very slightly for offense in that time period where possession might change hands.It’s about a 1/2 second head start.He is willing to let the other teams play unfold (rather than give his all to foil it) and he instantly jumps to offense.Sometimes the play is extremely successful and a goal against happens like in the Minnesota game and he looks “late”.Often times the play is sort of successful but the shot is stopped or blocked and he gets that 1/2 second head start on the other team leading, often times, to a scoring chance.Most often the play is semi-successful, he jumps for offense but the puck goes the wrong way and he then resets and settles into a defensive zone posture, usually as the F3 letting Nuge or Rattie be the F1 with down-low responsibilities.

    To summarize:
    – he’s absolutely cheating for offense
    – I’d guarantee its state sanctioned; MacLellan has either freed him up to do it as a true hockey strategy OR as a kiss to a superstar who wants the Art Ross

    I actually love it. I spent a lot of time during the Kesler playoffs last year thinking of what I’d do if I were the Oilers.McDavid was realllllly ineffective if you’ll recall.I even considered playing him in his own corner as a decoy and taking my chances 4-on-4.

    I think this is pretty smart.They are essentially banking on shooting percentage; we think a McDavid led counter attack holds a better chance of being successful even from 180 feet than a Alex Tuch grade B chance.

    That’s exactly why I suggested RNH as 1LW in the pre-season.

    McDavid should be near the blue line and cheating for offense like mad.

    Just like Gretzky did for most of his career.

    He’s the most potent weapon on the team and his biggest weapon is his speed.

    Playing to those strengths is smart.

  97. Lowetide says:

    Still 2-0, great chances for Tyler Benson and Patrick Russell.

  98. sliderule says:

    Woodguy v2.0: That’s exactly why I suggested RNH as 1LW in the pre-season.

    McDavid should be near the blue line and cheating for offense like mad.

    Just like Gretzky did for most of his career.

    He’s the most potent weapon on the team and his biggest weapon is his speed.

    Playing to those strengths is smart.

    If you want to look back I suggested that way earlier😄😄
    I posted that Larkin was lighting it up and Nuge a similar skater would do the.
    same on wing with Connor

  99. Pescador says:

    Scungilli Slushy: Maybe they can find someone who can make the mandated deals more favourable to the Oilers.

    I think PC has strong ability, but it’s clearly not in making deals. And perhaps not in pro evaluation.

    That has been the killer, terrible trades, contracts and UFA signings.

    But aside from the epic failure of all these items,
    He’s doing a bang up job

  100. hunter1909 says:

    Out of every imaginable fuck up that Kevin Lowe and his stooge partner in crime MacT have wreaked upon this franchise…

    I’ll admit it: I’m starting to feel a sense of defeat as a fan.

  101. hunter1909 says:

    McDavid to:

    Montreal Canadiens where he leads them back to another dynasty in no time at all…

    Toronto Maple leafs where he essentially does the same thing…

    New York, where he can overtake Messier in no time flat as the Rags go on to win 2-3 cups guaranteed…

    Meanwhile the Edmonton Oilers receive a collection of draft picks, players, and prospects to keep the dream alive, lol

  102. hunter1909 says:

    Btw if any of you lushes are interested in a fantastic new whisky…

    Jura single malt scotch whisky…

    ‘Journey’

    I know of one place only to buy it and I’m not telling anyone. It’s made by the Isle of Jura distillery people, and is sensational.

    : )

  103. --hudson-- says:

    Interesting article on the Swedish national coach. Ten years ago, most Swedish teams just rolled 4 lines until the last 10 minutes of a game. That certainly changes the way you look at the young players boxcars at draft time.

    https://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/nhl/rikard-gronborg-nhls-first-european-head-coach-since-2001/

  104. digger50 says:

    Any update on Condors game?

    Comments on performances?

  105. Glass says:

    I’d like to see us pick up a 4th line C so that we can move Khaira into the top 6. Maybe Derek Ryan is an option? Also, it would be great if we can find ourselves a responsible middle-6 F who can be ‘insurance’ if Rattie or JP aren’t working out in the top 6. Names thrown around are Rieder and Vanek.

    Nuge/McDavid/Rattie
    //not convinced Rattie is a long-term option, but I think he’ll be solid, cheap option for now
    Khaira/Draisaitl/JP
    //JP better be getting regular top-6 minutes in the final year of his ELC. Mishandled imo.
    Lucic/Strome/Rieder
    //I expect Lucic to improve, but not to return to his ‘norm’.
    Caggiula/Ryan/Kassian
    //Kassian is a lock for 4RW and we need a 4C (imo). I think Caggiula is a fine 4th liner, others may disagree.

    Slepyshev? If McLellan is returning (most likely… what other options are there?), I think we should cut our losses and let Slepy find success with another team. Based on usage, TMac doesn’t believe in Slepy. We need a proven RW… might as well wait for internal options?

    I hope we draft the best D available… but if Wahlstrom is on the board it’s hard to pass on him.

    Not sure where Aberg fits into this picture… extra F?

  106. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    sliderule: If you want to look back I suggested that way earlier
    I posted that Larkin was lighting it up and Nuge a similar skater would do the.
    same on wing with Connor

    We’re all awesome

  107. sliderule says:

    hunter1909:
    McDavid to:

    Montreal Canadiens where he leads them back to another dynasty in no time at all…

    Toronto Maple leafs where he essentially does the same thing…

    New York, where he can overtake Messier in no time flat as the Rags go on to win 2-3 cups guaranteed…

    Meanwhile the Edmonton Oilers receive a collection of draft picks, players, and prospects to keep the dream alive, lol

    Don’t forget the 100 million in cash so the numero one can buy another playboy mansion.

  108. sliderule says:

    Woodguy v2.0: We’re all awesome

    So I have noticed

  109. Scungilli Slushy says:

    Pescador: Scung

    He’s greatly improved drafting and lower level signings. Team culture is better if not perfect. He has strengths. Like everyone in a high level position that didn’t come from Dad, aristocracy or family, or they couldn’t have reached the level.

  110. Scungilli Slushy says:

    knighttown:
    A bit of chatter on the play of 97’s line by shot metrics so I thought I’d chime in…

    97 gets less clean air than any other player I’ve seen in my time watching the NHL.Within 2 seconds of a change of possession even in the Oilers zone, the opposing team has a man skating side by side with McDavid.No one gets defended like that. The very best players get picked up during a neutral zone regroup but he gets picked up 200 feet from the other teams net.

    In the past 10 weeks or so (since the games have become meaningless) McDavid has chosen to cheat very slightly for offense in that time period where possession might change hands.It’s about a 1/2 second head start.He is willing to let the other teams play unfold (rather than give his all to foil it) and he instantly jumps to offense.Sometimes the play is extremely successful and a goal against happens like in the Minnesota game and he looks “late”.Often times the play is sort of successful but the shot is stopped or blocked and he gets that 1/2 second head start on the other team leading, often times, to a scoring chance.Most often the play is semi-successful, he jumps for offense but the puck goes the wrong way and he then resets and settles into a defensive zone posture, usually as the F3 letting Nuge or Rattie be the F1 with down-low responsibilities.

    To summarize:
    – he’s absolutely cheating for offense
    – I’d guarantee its state sanctioned; MacLellan has either freed him up to do it as a true hockey strategy OR as a kiss to a superstar who wants the Art Ross

    I actually love it. I spent a lot of time during the Kesler playoffs last year thinking of what I’d do if I were the Oilers.McDavid was realllllly ineffective if you’ll recall.I even considered playing him in his own corner as a decoy and taking my chances 4-on-4.

    I think this is pretty smart.They are essentially banking on shooting percentage; we think a McDavid led counter attack holds a better chance of being successful even from 180 feet than a Alex Tuch grade B chance.

    This is why he needs a supporting winger with skill. Someone to get the puck up out of the D zone or help the D do it. a corner man with a great stick in the O zone to keep play alive. He doesn’t need a one way type to finish – Connor takes care of the O.

    Maroon was sort of that, but he’s too immobile and Connor ends up doing all the work. Maroon was ok defensively and on the boards – if he got to the play in time.

    The issue with Rattie and anyone else weak in defensive skills and too slow is again Connor has to do the work – he’s not the prep cook he’s the chef. Nuge can be sous chef, they need the prep cook. With mad chopping skill and a sharp knife.

  111. Gerta Rauss says:

    hunter1909: Oilers need a boardroom version of Gretzky to Coffey to Messier which will finally shake loose Lowe’s Dr. No metal handed grip on power.

    What this team needs is Ursula Andress appearing from the sea

  112. Gerta Rauss says:

    I asked last night about Cammalleri playing C and if he had any previous experience- TMac answered in his presser last night

    I’m ambivalent about bringing Cammalleri back next year but if he can fill in at all 3 positions and is paid as a 13/14 F I could be convinced

    From the presser last night- h/t to Hudson for the transcription

    Q: But he told me that, now that he’s not playing as many minutes as he was custom toward in his career, he actually feels more involved in the game when he plays center. I know it’s only been a short few games at center, but what have you seen maybe the difference in him? He was a center up until the NHL he told me.
    A: You know we… it’s his mind and his ability to make tight, crafty passes, and when he’s in the middle he has those opportunities to run quick give and go’s, and you know, his release is something that he’s always been able to use. So I found that when he’s in the middle, he’s getting it from both sides, and he ca, you know, he can shoot the puck a little bit. He had a tremendous chance the other night in Calgary, Smith made a good save. So he’s been creating more for himself and for his line mates through the middle than he did earlier. So it’s nice to have him there.

  113. Pescador says:

    Scungilli Slushy: He’s greatly improved drafting and lower level signings. Team culture is better if not perfect. He has strengths. Like everyone in a high level position that didn’t come from Dad, aristocracy or family, or they couldn’t have reached the level.

    100% drafting appears to have improved, however still a little early even for those drafted in 2015.
    The cap situation alone is enough for me send him down the river.
    Did he learn nothing from being shit canned?
    Too many failed bets, no cap dollars available to try & fix it either.
    After so much losing I have a hard time believing that the team culture is at an all time high.
    If you believe that the Oilers can’t find a better GM then Chiarelli,
    I respect your position

  114. Gerta Rauss says:

    Chicago lost tonight so it’s 4 teams jockeying for draft positions 7 thru 10 with each having 1 game left

    It’s going to be close

  115. Bag of Pucks says:

    Woodguy v2.0: I was referring to the media blaming the best players for the failings of poorly constructed teams.

    Ah, should know better than to dive in mid thread. Rookie mistake.

  116. kgo says:

    Pescador,

    I doubt Chia learned anything from being Canned in Boston, he didn’t have much time to reflect on the firing before being promoted to McDiety’s Puppetmaster….was it even a fortnight?

    After singing his praises in 2017, I’ve all but lost faith in Chia, what a roller-coaster of emotions the past 36 months have been.

    Chia has solidified a reputation of being a terrible negotiator, In trades and contract negotiations….this fact alone should get him canned….he’s bleeding value all over the place…death by a thousand cuts (and a few gashes)

    Is there a better GM out there available? 100% But what are the odds that Bob and Katz have the ability to identify and subsequently acquire him or her?

  117. unca miltie says:

    Terrible day in Saskatchewan. Nipawin is my hometown and a friend used to work for the Humboldt Broncos. Hard to even fathom what it will be like for the communities and the families.

  118. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Bag of Pucks: Ah, should know better than to dive in mid thread. Rookie mistake.

    All good

  119. meanashell11 says:

    knighttown:
    A bit of chatter on the play of 97’s line by shot metrics so I thought I’d chime in…

    97 gets less clean air than any other player I’ve seen in my time watching the NHL.Within 2 seconds of a change of possession even in the Oilers zone, the opposing team has a man skating side by side with McDavid.No one gets defended like that. The very best players get picked up during a neutral zone regroup but he gets picked up 200 feet from the other teams net.

    In the past 10 weeks or so (since the games have become meaningless) McDavid has chosen to cheat very slightly for offense in that time period where possession might change hands.It’s about a 1/2 second head start.He is willing to let the other teams play unfold (rather than give his all to foil it) and he instantly jumps to offense.Sometimes the play is extremely successful and a goal against happens like in the Minnesota game and he looks “late”.Often times the play is sort of successful but the shot is stopped or blocked and he gets that 1/2 second head start on the other team leading, often times, to a scoring chance.Most often the play is semi-successful, he jumps for offense but the puck goes the wrong way and he then resets and settles into a defensive zone posture, usually as the F3 letting Nuge or Rattie be the F1 with down-low responsibilities.

    To summarize:
    – he’s absolutely cheating for offense
    – I’d guarantee its state sanctioned; MacLellan has either freed him up to do it as a true hockey strategy OR as a kiss to a superstar who wants the Art Ross

    I actually love it. I spent a lot of time during the Kesler playoffs last year thinking of what I’d do if I were the Oilers.McDavid was realllllly ineffective if you’ll recall.I even considered playing him in his own corner as a decoy and taking my chances 4-on-4.

    I think this is pretty smart.They are essentially banking on shooting percentage; we think a McDavid led counter attack holds a better chance of being successful even from 180 feet than a Alex Tuch grade B chance.

    I have noticed this as well. They are definitely cheating to help the Art Ross race!

    I approve!

  120. meanashell11 says:

    unca miltie:
    Terrible day in Saskatchewan. Nipawin is my hometown and a friend used to work for the Humboldt Broncos. Hard to even fathom what it will be like for the communities and the families.

    Saw that this morning. Terrible tragedy.

  121. Melvis says:

    What a gut churn. Literally. 14 dead. 3 critical. I know Humboldt well. My farm related tax guy resides there. I can’t begin to imagine what the families and friends are going through today.

  122. frjohnk says:

    Melvis:
    What a gut churn. Literally. 14 dead. 3 critical.I know Humboldt well. My farm related tax guy resides there. I can’t begin to imagine what the families and friends are going through today.

    I grew up not far from Humboldt, just less than an hour away. This tragedy is just absolutely terrible.

  123. Lowetide says:

    Via George Sipple from Detroit Free Press

    I’m still in Minnesota, but have already heard some @umichhockey players are moving on in the next few days. Senior Tony Calderone is expected to sign a two-way deal with @DallasStars and junior Cooper Marody is expected to sign with the @EdmontonOilers

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