G72 Coyotes at Oilers

It was a late season game and the heart of the scheule was a distant bell. After thousands of listless shifts Edmonton fans were greeted with a stunning moment: a young man with determination, size and soft hands grabbed the puck in the corner, circled wide, drove to the net with an iron will and scored a goal. Music!

That was a year ago, and since then Teemu Hartikainen spent another winter in the AHL. His NHL line (6, 0-1-1 -3) has only recently seen a crooked number added to the boxcars. On Friday night, Hartikainen moved the needle with an assist, a shot on goal, a +1, 11:41EV, 7 hits, 2 blocked shots and some time with the skilled men. There’s a window of opportunity here for Hartikainen. With Paajarvi struggling with his sideburns and Linus Omark refusing to get taller, Harski the Finn finally has 11 games of blacktop and perhaps a chance to show some things to management (as he did one year ago).

Before Friday night’s game, coach Renney said this about Hartikainen: “He’s an up and down player, hard on the walls at both ends, goes to the blue paint, has some grit in his game naturally. I’ll watch him in regard to his instincts and his ability to read the play.”

He delivered. Ben Eager’s nasty virus might be to Hartikainen what Wally Pipp’s headache meant to some guy named Lou. You never know.

SHOW ME A SIGN!

We’ll get an indication tonight. If Hartikainen is in the pressbox, or playing 5 minutes on the 4line, then the Oilers aren’t serious about him. If, however, Friday night’s push because of Eager’s headache becomes 16 minutes because Hall is also out, then this may indeed be that point in this young man’s career where the tumblers fall, the meter clicks.

The Edmonton Oilers have never won a damn thing without a Finn on their roster. You could look it up.

It’s been a long season, is there something to salvage in the final 11 games? The Oilers have 28 wins, 63 points. Last year, they finished with 25W and 62 points. If Tom Renney can get to 33 or 34 wins, is that enough for another 2-year deal? Edmonton would have to win 5 or 6 of their final 11.

The goal differential is now -22 overall, which compares well to last season’s -76. It’s also interesting to break it down by discipline: -24 at evens, with 55 PP goals and 46 PP goals against. Last season’s team was -52 at evens, 44 PP goals and 74 PP goals against. The Oilers have shown some improvement this season. I don’t think Renney gets fired if this team can reach 75 points.

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175 Responses to "G72 Coyotes at Oilers"

  1. stephen sheps says:

    One would have to hope with Hall likely out that both Harski and Omark would be in the lineup tonight, right? Right? (Please?)

  2. DerekZ says:

    You have to be pretty excited to see your man Pou tonight, huh LT?

  3. Lowetide says:

    DerekZ: He played a little more last game, so maybe he’ll show enough to return next season with the Coyotes, He’s getting a decent look here, which is all he can expect at this point.

  4. Lowetide says:

    Stephen: I’m not sure. It could be Smyth, Petrell, Eager. Hell, Hordichuk could move up. I’ve long given up on predicting the Oilers.

  5. stevezie says:

    stephen sheps,

    You idiot, we’re clearly going to roll with 8 defenceman, two of which will not play but instead provide the kind of moral support a hotshot like Omark could only dream of.

  6. Bos8 says:

    I was expecting Harski halfway through the season. Damn, didn’t work out. Now, all the omens are favorable.

    It’s now or never. – Has a certain catchiness to it.

    Nah, Shit or get off the pot. – There, that’s better.

  7. stephen sheps says:

    Lowetide,

    Yeah, I know. here’s not much point in trying any more. I would like to believe that Renney would ice the most complete and competitive line-up possible. No Hordi would work for that, and a 4th line of 20-55-37 seems ok to me. But yes, why bother predicting something that never makes any sense anyway.

  8. stephen sheps says:

    stevezie,

    yup…just an idealistic dreamer over here… you know, hoping for Omark to play while I trudge along trying to solve the Israel/Palestine conflict. On second thought, Stevezie, maybe your sarcasm wasn’t misplaced. I must be an idiot.

  9. Traktor says:

    Why did you list Hartikainen’s hits? I was under the impression that you believed hits didn’t matter.

  10. sliderule says:

    If Hall is going to avoid permanent injury he is going to have to get mean.

    He is known to watch the puck too much so the hitters that want to put you into never never land target him.One way would be when he is on the wall and Sarich types are pinching ignore the puck and remove some chiclets.A short suspension but I can guarantee the word would get out.

    Until the NHL changes the rules to eliminate intent to injure predatory hits it’s the only for him to stop the abuse.

  11. DBO says:

    Looking at the nuge’s use in game made me look for how successful teams run their centres. Willis posted a link on twitter to a Cam Charron post (http://canucksarmy.com/2012/3/16/sammy-pahlsson-may-have-taken-manny-malhotras-job) on how the Canucks use their centres. Interesting stuff, and more importantly you see how Vignault totally shelters/takes advantage of who he sends out based on zone.

    Defensive Draws/Offensive Draws
    Pahlsson 42 7
    Malhotra 33 7
    Kesler 25 47
    H. Sedin 7 54

    Sedins almost exclusively see the ice in the O-zone to start, with the D zone draws I would wager being on icings. They send their two good faceoff/offensively challenged centres to take almost all the draws in their own zone, and exploit other teams when in the O zone.

    I hope we see this trend happen on the Oil. Run RNH out there a ton in the O zone, with Gagner getting 2nd most. Canucks don`t line match as much as Line to zone match, and make other teams worry about matching their units against the Canucks players. Stop sending Horcoff out in the O zone, on this team Horc and Belanger`s lines should almost never be in the O zone, regardless of who is out against them. I`d love to see us look to attack instead of react to what other teams do.

  12. Bos8 says:

    sliderule: If Hall is going to avoid permanent injury he is going to have to get mean.He is known to watch the puck too much so the hitters that want to put you into never never land target him.One way would be when he is on the wall and Sarich types are pinching ignore the puck and remove some chiclets.A short suspension but I can guarantee the word would get out.Until the NHL changes the rules to eliminate intent to injure predatory hits it’s the only for him to stop the abuse.

    Yep, bring the butt end up for balance. Oops, I was falling. Hell, there’s five feet of lumber to work with. “You want me – you got me”.

    Clean hit my ass. What, charging isn’t in the rule book?

    That’s what puzzles me about the Oilers, Kevin Lowe was one of the top hackers in the League in his time. No wrist was safe around him. Hall has to create his own space. Forget Peckham chasing people all over the ice, it’s embarassing..

  13. Traktor says:

    DBO:

    I hope we see this trend happen on the Oil. Run RNH out there a ton in the O zone, with Gagner getting 2nd most. Canucks don`t line match as much as Line to zone match, and make other teams worry about matching their units against the Canucks players. Stop sending Horcoff out in the O zone, on this team Horc and Belanger`s lines should almost never be in the O zone, regardless of who is out against them. I`d love to see us look to attack instead of react to what other teams do.

    This is what I would like to see as well.

  14. regwald says:

    DBO,

    Agree there is value in putting your best offensive players on the ice with a chance to succeed in the offensive zone. However, there is some chatter that part of the ineffectiveness of the Sedins in the playoffs is due to the fact they can only play sheltered minutes. They are not used to fighting through tough checking etc due to the sheltered minutes.

    Another factor that is important is that the twins don’t PK. They are often removed from games due to the long stretches when the Canucks run into penalty trouble. Similar to our discussions on here about the kids not being on the PK. I can remember specific instances in their playoff run last year where the Sedins had gone long stretches without ice time and then are less effective when they finally do get back on the ice.

  15. Lowetide says:

    Traktor:
    Why did you list Hartikainen’s hits? I was under the impression that you believed hits didn’t matter.

    I did that for you. :-)

  16. DBO says:

    regwald,

    You do run that risk, but I would expect that in tight games Gagner and RNH will see more ice. But that is on the coaches. i would simply like to see us play to our strengths down the middle, and put pressure on teams instead of reacting to what they do. If Nuge becomes Datzyuk then great. And this last stretch he`ll see even time on all zones to help his development. But I still hope that we stop throwing out our 3rd and and 4th lines in the O zone.

  17. regwald says:

    DBO,

    Yes, would agree that the prime ice time for Horcoff and Belanger is a bit unbalanced – in the wrong direction.

  18. spoiler says:

    Great news that Fedun is skating with the team this morning.

    Not so great that Hall isn’t, but considering where they are in the standings and the audtions, makes sense to give him at least a week off even if he is fine.

  19. Woodguy says:

    4th line tonight is 23-20-16

    Its been nice knowing you Omark.

    Hope you score 25 next year with whoever picks you up at the draft.

  20. spoiler says:

    Was thinking about the kids last night and how they look in their development. Looking at boxcars, it looks like Hall is about 2 years ahead of Eberle. The Nuge looks like he might be ahead of where Hall was last year, but it’s tough to say because of the smaller sample size, and the effect of playing with more talent on an overall better team.

    But these are three fine young fellas that look like they’re gonna be at minimum 80-90 point guys with perhaps RNH hitting triple digits. They’re taking tougher and tougher opposition and appear to be treading water lately. Hall’s shooting %age is at 13, so perhaps our concerns about creating better shot angles were a little overblown. They look like they will all be career 13-17% type players and it has been a long time since the Oil have had that kind of finish on their squad.

    Good results have yet to find their way into the Wins column, but the team is trending right. Special teams were a huge concern after last year and they have been mended beyond belief. Goal differential has been shrunk and should improve as the team matures and also adds some vet pieces. Just removing Barker from the line up, moving Peckham for something and giving Whitney a chance to get back to full-strength should improve that number further. Schultz looks like he’s going to be a big help in keeping GA down, and is already our least chaotic defender.

    Hemsky should have an improved year next year. Belanger is at a career nadir and can’t possibly be as snakebit next year either.

    They’ve lost a shitload of close games this year. I don’t think they’re as bad as their win-loss record shows. And it’s great to see a bunch of guys who hate to lose. Those kind of players will figure out how to win. Just a matter of time.

    Sorry, I just had a wonderful Sunday morning brekkie and the glow of post-prandial satisfaction is permeating everything with contentedness right now.

  21. Lowetide says:

    Woodguy:
    4th line tonight is 23-20-16

    Its been nice knowing you Omark.

    Hope you score 25 next year with whoever picks you up at the draft.

    Well that’s it, then. Omark sleeps with the fishes.

  22. spoiler says:

    Woodguy:
    4th line tonight is 23-20-16

    Its been nice knowing you Omark.

    Hope you score 25 next year with whoever picks you up at the draft.

    Yeah, look at all the careers that ruined… Graves, Murphy, Horcoff, Gagner, just to name a few.

  23. Woodguy says:

    DD starts.

    At least the blinders are off in terms of Khabby.

  24. jfry says:

    at what point does injury start to make a difference on hall’s next contract? if he plays 65 games next year at a point per game….does he get tavares money then? not stamkos money, right?

    obviously there’s talk of the cba changing 2nd contracts

  25. spoiler says:

    From Gregor’s GDB at ON:

    The Oilers didn’t run lines this morning, but you have to assume that Linus Omark will slide into the top nine. Renney likely won’t juggle all of his lines, so we could see Omark skate with Sam Gagner and Ales Hemsky.

  26. Woodguy says:

    spoiler: Yeah, look at all the careers that ruined… Graves, Murphy, Horcoff, Gagner, just to name a few.

    I’m the biggest propenent around here of a skilled “kid line” as the 4th line and not “energy players”

    I often point to Murphy, Gelinas, Graves as the model.

    This isn’t analogous to that situation.

    Renney is playing Omark with near offence-less players. Huge difference.

    He’s also playing Jones ahead of him.

    Kruger sat Jones as soon as he could, and it was the right decision.

    Jones cheats for offense more than Omark, doesn’t win as many puck battles as Omark, plays in the Dzone worse by my eye (Omark had some very good back checks the last few games he played)

    They are also playing him behind Petrell.

    I disagree with that line of thinking.

  27. Woodguy says:

    spoiler,

    It was Oilers PK flack Tom Gazzola who tweeted that 23-20-16 was the 4th line.

  28. spoiler says:

    WG

    I getcha, but I don’t look at it that way.

    Belanger isn’t chopped liver, he’s just having a miserable year. I suspect that Renney wants some skill to play with him. I’d think Renney will continue what he’s done lately (and was started byy Krueger) and double-shift Eberle with the 4th line. Hordichuk won’t get the same minutes as his two linemates.

    Omark will have to force his way up the lines, like many NHLers before him have. Nor is he a kid.

  29. Marc says:

    Woodguy:
    4th line tonight is 23-20-16

    Its been nice knowing you Omark.

    Hope you score 25 next year with whoever picks you up at the draft.

    Not sure I would read too much into this. Hemsky has been getting more of Hordichuk’s minutes in recent games than Hordichuk does. Hordichuk will probably get the 2-3 minutes of icetime he normally gets and it will be 23-20-83/14/94 for 7-8 EV minutes.

    Why would this signify that Omark is being flushed?

  30. spoiler says:

    Marc: Not sure I would read too much into this. Hemsky has been getting more of Hordichuk’s minutes in recent games than Hordichuk does. Hordichuk will probably get the 2-3 minutes of icetime he normally gets and it will be 23-20-83/14/94 for 7-8 EV minutes.

    Why would this signify that Omark is being flushed?

    Yup, yup, yup. The top RWers have been taking those minutes.

  31. Ducey says:

    I don’t mind 23 on the 4th line. People get too worked up about starting lineups. Most coaches start up the blender at some point during a game. Plus 20 will likely shift off there for PK and defensive zone draws. 23 will hopefully shift up to the PP – assuming the refs are still allowed to call anything.

    Plus, as much as some people want to see 23 up with the top 2 lines, they have tougher checking to fight through. A 4th line assignment should give 23 some easier minutes in which to make some noise and show he can play defense.

    Hopefully Hemsky wakes from his coma tonight. Interesting to see that when the Nuge is on the ice, everyone gets the puck to him immediately. This used to be Hemsky’s gig. If I am Renney I might experiment with Hemsky at C for a few games. Maybe he could find some lanes to get and distribute the puck. I know it has been tried before, but something needs to be done. 2 pts in the last 10 is plain pathetic.

  32. stevezie says:

    I think if Jones and Omark were to switch names they would largely switch reputations.

  33. Woodguy says:

    All,

    The Omark on the 4th line thing is about how the Oilers see him.

    If he ends up with less TOI than Jones and Petrell, then I think they see him wrong.

    Its not about development, or getting some ice time with 83 or 14 when they spell off 16 (which is exactly how 16 should be played if you play him)

    Its about how the Oilers see him fit it.

    We’ll see when we have the TOI after the game.

    I think he’s clearly a better option then 28 and 37.

  34. spoiler says:

    Woodguy:
    Its not about development, or getting some ice time with 83 or 14 when they spell off 16 (which is exactly how 16 should be played if you play him)

    Its about how the Oilers see him fit it.

    I don’t disagree with this. But he’s going to have to take Jones’ spot, not be given it, and I don’t disagree with that either.

  35. cabbiesmacker says:

    DBO,

    You’re ranking the situation over the ability DBO. How much of a factor are O zone vs D zone faceoffs if you aren’t winning the faceoff? Certainly it makes sense to have your better FO guys take them in the D zone in an effort to get possession and lower scoring chances against, but if you aren’t winning the O zone versions all you’re really doing is playing the odds that the opposition has further to go to create that scoring chance.

    Kesler and Sedin’s fo percentages are much stronger than Gagner and RNH’s. That doesn’t change because of where they’re taking them. Nice to have depth and (4) guys to help in this area.

    Gagner and RNH taking fo’s in the O zone is not guaranteeing you a ton more offence. It just makes more sense right now.

  36. spoiler says:

    Pittsburgh is unstoppable. Malkin is a force of nature right now. Wow.

  37. Marc says:

    spoiler: I don’t disagree with this.But he’s going to have to take Jones’ spot, not be given it,and I don’t disagree with that either.

    Totally agree.

    Jones managed 21 EV points last year playing with Fraser and Jacques. Omark is being given much better linemates than that. He should be able to murder fourth line opposition and I don’t think it’s unreasonable to ask him to actually do so before he’r rewarded with more ice time and better linemates.

  38. FastOil says:

    sliderule:
    If Hall is going to avoid permanent injury he is going to have to get mean.

    He is known to watch the puck too much so the hitters that want to put you into never never land target him.One way would be when he is on the wall and Sarichtypes arepinching ignore the puck and remove some chiclets.A short suspension but I can guarantee the word would get out.

    Until the NHL changes the rules to eliminate intent to injure predatory hits it’s the only for him to stop the abuse.

    It worked for Howe, Messier and it will work for Hall. Sad but true it’s necessary until the NHL calls things more evenly and fairly and realizes what they do now takes talent off the ice and keeps lesser players on.

    They should send the forwards to Hilton Head with Smitty for a training session from a great board guy and the master of mean.

  39. Traktor says:

    Ales Hemsky is -13 with 1 goal over his last 29 games. Maybe Omark and Hemsky should switch places. It would be near impossible for Omark to do worse.

  40. TheOtherJohn says:

    I suspect Jones did not get 21 EV pts playing with Fraser and Jacques. Nice story about Jones ability to create, though. The play died with Fraser and Jacques on the ice .

  41. Lowetide says:

    I believe there’s a strong argument Linus Omark does more to help his team win than Ryan Jones. the only thing that doesn’t make me agree completely with WG’s comments are Jones’ zone starts this season. He has the toughest zone start among wingers according the behind the net.

    http://www.behindthenet.ca/nhl_statistics.php?ds=63&f1=2011_s&f2=5v5&f4=C+LW+RW&f5=EDM&f7=30-&c=0+1+3+5+2+4+6+7+8+20+10+63+67+57+58+59+60+61+62+64+65+66#

  42. spoiler says:

    Philly with some nice pushback after getting dominated in the 2nd. Giroux has made 2 or 3 real quality plays this period.

  43. Traktor says:

    Jones has faced the 3rd toughest zone starts behind only Horcoff and Belanger and has had worst QUALTEAM than Belanger and Horcff and is only -4.

    Jones also ranks 1st in blocked shots, 2nd in hits, tied for 2nd most 4V5 per game, 4th in takeaways, 6th in goals, and 6th in shots.

    Omark couldn’t carry Jones’ jock.

    Jones isn’t a world beater but some of the people that slag him and then pump the tires of others is embarrassing. Some people would rather be wrong forever than admit they were wrong and move on.

  44. copperblueandwhite says:

    spoiler,

    Fleury is standing on his head now.

  45. Lowetide says:

    Traktor: I don’t think that’s true. I posted Jones’ zone start above, and acknowledge he’s had the tough sledding. However, as Woodguy also says above he’s the human jailbreak out of the zone so there’s that too.

    As for qual team, iirc he scored most of those points early and with quality.

  46. Traktor says:

    Lowetide:
    Traktor: I don’t think that’s true. I posted Jones’ zone start above, and acknowledge he’s had the tough sledding. However, as Woodguy also says above he’s the human jailbreak out of the zone so there’s that too.

    As for qual team, iirc he scored most of those points early and with quality.

    Wouldn’t viewing Jones leaving the zone early cheating for offense be filed under “saw him good/bad”? I thought that kind of stuff didn’t count around here.

  47. spoiler says:

    Wasn’t 23-89-83 getting out-chanced pretty good last 3 games too?

    Is the role we’re envisioning for Omark helping Horc skate uphill? I’d rather see him on the 4th and getting some time against softer comp with hopefully some shifts with 83 or 14 than in Jones’ spot.

    This really seems to be mountain and molehill to me.

  48. stevezie says:

    FastOil,

    These rule changes you speak of will never happen, or at least not any time soon. “Predatory” is the wierdest word in the hockey lexicon, all hits are predatory. Sarich did nothing wrong there, Hall slipped and that’s why it was bad.
    The only person to blame was Hall, first for slipping, but even if he didn’t he looked up, saw Sarich and then still put himself in th eposition to die. It was just like Voracek and Kronwall the other week.

    You want Hall to start skating with his elbows up? Fine, I could live with that; Hemsky’s starting to. I’d be happy if he learned to recognize the warning signs of an incoming missile.

    Traktor,

    Hemsky’s my favourite player, but your point is taken and no honest man could defend his season. He’s not been as bad as you’re suggesting, but he hasn’t been Hemsky. I will only say to look at his history, what do you think we should expect next year? Look at Alex Tanguay- I think he had the same shoulder surgery and had the worst year of his life, and then went back to being Alex Tanguay. Hemsky’s a tryer and he’s got elite talent, the two things you want to think twice before betting against. I’m just as comfortable as ever with the contract.

  49. DSF says:

    Lowetide:
    I believe there’s a strong argument Linus Omark does more to help his team win than Ryan Jones. the only thing that doesn’t make me agree completely with WG’s comments are Jones’ zone starts this season. He has the toughest zone start among wingers according the behind the net.

    Of course there is a third possibility which, given the Oilers record, is likely true…that being that neither player does much to help his team win.

    Since Omark has only played 10 games, has managed only 2 points and is -2, I can’t see how anyone could claim he’s helping his team win anything.

    As for Jones, he seems to have some value on the PK but is otherwise more than underwhelming.

    Here’s a smattering of third line players I’ve been tracking this season and, while it’s by no means exhaustive, it certainly points to how other teams benefit from having third line players who can put up points and, in most cases outscore the opposition. Cap hit in parentheses.

    Kyle Wellwood ($700K)
    69GP 15G 26A 41P
    PLUS/MINUS +6
    SHOTS: 82
    SH%: 18.3

    Kyle Brodziak: ($1.15M)
    71GP 18G 19A 37P
    PLUS/MINUS -17
    SHOTS: 147
    SH%: 12.2

    Cody Hodgson (1.67M)
    73GP 16G 17A 33P
    PLUS/MINUS +3
    SHOTS: 119
    SH%: 13.4

    Jannik Hansen ($1.35M)
    71GP 14G 19A 33P
    PLUS/MINUS +12
    SHOTS: 118
    SH%: 11.9

    Jason Chimera ($1.8M)
    71GP 16G 16A 32P
    PLUS/MINUS +2
    SHOTS: 184
    SH%: 8.7

    Chris Kelly ($2.1M)
    71GP 17G 14A 31P
    PLUS/MINUS +24
    SHOTS: 110
    SH%: 14.9

    Ryan Jones ($1.5M)
    68GP 14G 12A 26P
    PLUS/MINUS -4
    SHOTS: 114
    SH%: 12.3

    Joey Crabb ($750K)
    57GP 9G 10A 19P
    PLUS/MINUS +1
    SHOTS: 63
    SH%: 14.3

    Travis Moen ($1.5M) (Injured)
    48GP 9G 7A 16P
    PLUS/MINUS -3
    SHOTS: 45
    SH%: 20.0

  50. Marc says:

    Lowetide:
    However, as Woodguy also says above he’s the human jailbreak out of the zone so there’s that too.

    Out of curiousity, are there any stats that demonstrate this or is it just ‘saw him bad’? Woodguy has made this point a bunch of times, and I’ve been wondering whether is was just something he’s noticed in games a few times or whether there were some kind of advanced stats that demonstrate it.

    And assuming that it is true, are there any statistically measureable consequences of cheating for offence that demonstrate that it is actually a bad thing? Do we know if it leads to more chances against than chances for?

  51. Traktor says:

    I wish Hemsky would cheat for offense. Maybe then he would score more than 5 goals and wouldn’t be -17.

  52. spoiler says:

    Wow, what a finish. Flyers break the winning streak with 1 sec left on the clock in OT.

  53. Lowetide says:

    Traktor: No one I’ve ever talked to about hockey discounts visual evidence. “Saw him good” pertains to prospects viewed and the wild variance in performance in one or two viewings. Or more.

    Jones tendency to abandon the zone is certainly measurable, but there’s no need. Just as Robert Nilsson developed that rep and was healthy scratched, so too Ryan Jones found the pressbox.

    Maybe we could measure HS?

  54. ohhell says:

    Marc,

    Try watching the Oiler D with the puck near their own goal line trying to find an outlet option. Jones plays the right side boards and is frequently caught on the far side of the defender – not in a position to support the breakout. D-Man gets pressured, can’t find an outlet and dumps it up the boards. Because Jones is cheating and supporting down low, the puck is turned over to the opposing D and kept in our zone for more scoring chances. Rinse and repeat. Groundhog Day! We bitch a lot about the ability of our D to move the puck north, but support from the forwards plays a key role in the process.

  55. Traktor says:

    Lowetide:

    Maybe we could measure HS?

    The coach is right for scratching Jones but wrong for scratching Omark. Gotcha.

  56. LMHF#1 says:

    stevezie:
    I think if Jones and Omark were to switch names they would largely switch reputations.

    This.

    There’s also a glimmer of hope on the Omark front because it appears our current coach will be disappearing, and it hasn’t appeared that management has meddled in the game day lineup this year, so you’d have to believe that this garbage is on him.

    He can take his best pal ‘Jonesy’ and take a friggin hike.

  57. LMHF#1 says:

    Woodguy:
    spoiler,

    It was Oilers PK flack Tom Gazzola who tweeted that 23-20-16 was the 4th line.

    Don’t knock Tom too much. He’s done the schooling, done the work and played the game pretty well also. I was on a team with him in Midget and the guy was solid, he was #2 in the league playing with the guy who was #1 also on our squad. They were excellent all year but couldn’t find a winger that worked for whatever reason. Coincidentally, I was a Dman, but during a set of practice drills where the group of three that scored stayed on the ice, those two guys and I held the ice for 45 minutes straight. I really should’ve asked to be bumped up to that wing.

    Not giving you a hard time WG, just thought I’d share a story. Glad for Tom that he turned the hockey and the education into something where others have failed.

  58. bookje says:

    I just did some calculating. If the Oilers were to win their remaining 11 games and San Hose, Calgary, Phoenix, and LA get no more than 3 points each, the Oilers will make the playoffs.

    Time to get those Oiler flags out of the trunk and dust them off!!

  59. godot10 says:

    DBO:
    Looking at the nuge’s use in game made me look for how successful teams run their centres. Willis posted a link on twitter to a Cam Charron post (http://canucksarmy.com/2012/3/16/sammy-pahlsson-may-have-taken-manny-malhotras-job) on how the Canucks use their centres. Interesting stuff, and more importantly you see how Vignault totally shelters/takes advantage of who he sends out based on zone.

    Defensive Draws/Offensive Draws
    Pahlsson427
    Malhotra337
    Kesler 2547
    H. Sedin 754

    Sedins almost exclusively see the ice in the O-zone to start, with the D zone draws I would wager being on icings. They send their two good faceoff/offensively challenged centres to take almost all the draws in their own zone, and exploit other teams when in the O zone.

    I hope we see this trend happen on the Oil. Run RNH out there a ton in the O zone, with Gagner getting 2nd most. Canucks don`t line match as much as Line to zone match, and make other teams worry about matching their units against the Canucks players. Stop sending Horcoff out in the O zone, on this team Horc and Belanger`s lines should almost never be in the O zone, regardless of who is out against them. I`d love to see us look to attack instead of react to what other teams do.

    When you are a contender, like the Canucks are, Vigneault is NUTS for sheltering the Sedins with offensive zone starts. He cannot shelter them in the Stanley Cup final. He is setting the Canucks up to fail.

    Detroit started winning Stanley Cups when Bowman forced Yzerman to take the hardest minutes and the hardest roles.

    Vigneault’s strategy is brilliant for a team on the rise, but it is dumb for a team that is already there.

  60. cabbiesmacker says:

    Traktor:
    Ales Hemsky is -13 with 1 goal over his last 29 games. Maybe Omark and Hemsky should switch places. It would be near impossible for Omark to do worse.

    Gagner is -1 with 2 points his last 10 games. Can Omark play C?

  61. unca miltie says:

    Going to my last game of the year. secretly hoping for a 3 point game so the Yotes get further ahead of the flames.

  62. OilClog says:

    Hoping Nuge takes the rookie scoring lead tonight, Kog is good, Nuge is beast mode.

    Got to feel like the Oilers really want to win this one to, Yotes are a pest of a team. Just friggin’ go away!

  63. Marc says:

    ohhell:
    Marc,

    Try watching the Oiler D with the puck near their own goal line trying to find an outlet option.Jones plays the right side boards and is frequently caught on the far side of the defender – not in a position to support the breakout.D-Man gets pressured, can’t find an outlet and dumps it up the boards.Because Jones is cheating and supporting down low, the puck is turned over to the opposing D and kept in our zone for more scoring chances.Rinse and repeat.Groundhog Day!We bitch a lot about the ability of our D to move the puck north, but support from the forwards plays a key role in the process.

    I have no doubt that that is true. But to really assess how much weight to put on this observation don’t you need to know how frequently it happens and how often that positioning leads to a scoring chance for and how often a scoring chance against?

    Otherwise it’s no different than the observation that Hemsky gives the puck away sometimes when he stickhandles into the opponent’s zone – not a particularly solid ground for judging his value to the team.

  64. knighttown says:

    regwald:
    DBO,

    However, there is some chatter that part of the ineffectiveness of the Sedins in the playoffs is due to the fact they can only play sheltered minutes. They are not used to fighting through tough checking etc due to the sheltered minutes.

    Woodguy:

    We chatted awhile back about what it was that didn’t sit well for me about QualComp. What I settled on is that QualComp measures “something” but what that is only a few of you major advanced stats guys (you, Gabe) really understand. In the hands of others, QualComp is a catch-all to see if someone plays the “softs” or the “toughs”.

    Daniel and Henrik Sedin don’t NOT play the softs. On every shift on the road they would play the opposition’s top pairing and either their shutdown line (Oilers) or top line (Blues) depending on which matchup the opposing coach wants. Since you’ve shown that Vigneault goes hard after offensive zone faceoffs I’d bet most opposing coaches put their “toughs” out for many of those faceoffs. I can’t quantify it but I’d bet they all face the toughest matchups on the road and probably face the toughest matchups at home 75% of the time.

    They DO get a tonne of offensive zone faceoffs, which, as I’ve explained before is just smart coaching. Why put Sammy Pahlsson in a position where he isn’t effective? The Sedin’s aren’t sheltered…they are predatory, exploiting offensive situations.

    As for the comment about the Stanley Cup Finals, I understand that is the narrative but that pisses me off. I hate the Canucks but what happened to those players was borderline criminal last year. C’mon guys…we’ve seen them play enough out here. You can’t stop them (legally) when they get cycling but that really is their only trick. If you are allowed to stop the cycle by tackling them…well yes, they are going to have trouble producing. People call it “letting them play” when I see it the other way around. The NHL wouldn’t “let them play” last year (and now this regular season too) because no one can play through this constant mugging.

    I hate to say… the Oilers may have gone “all in” on a team of elite talent at a time when the pendulum is swinging back to the point where these players are rendered ineffective.

    Final part of my rant…I’m kind of an “all-sports” guy. No other sport changes the rules in the post season. The NFL is absolutely brilliant on this. The entire sport would be thrown out of balance if just one tiny change in the way the game is officiated was made in the postseason. What if receivers were told to “fight through” cornerbacks when jumping up to make a catch? What if defensive tackles were told to fight through 350 pound offensive lineman putting them in bear hugs on their way to the quarterback?

    Either of these things would result in such a drastic shift in what constitutes a good team and what doesn’t that, in the end, you’re Super Bowl Champion would be something…but not likely the best team in football. The leaders of that sport tinker every year to ensure that pendulum always comes back to the middle (desired amount of offense and defense) while the leaders of our sport NEVER push the pendulum back. Giant goalies/tiny nets. Coaching. Clutch-and-grab. 30 second shifts. Still playing 5-on-5.

    If I ran that sport I’d target 7-9 goals per game as the optimal amount for entertainment value and do whatever was necessary as far as changes to get there.

  65. Woodguy says:

    LMHF#1,

    AFAIK “PR Flack” isn’t a derogatory term.

  66. LMHF#1 says:

    Woodguy:
    LMHF#1,

    AFAIK “PR Flack” isn’t a derogatory term.

    Ahh, should have looked that up (and now have). Sounds too much like hack…learn something new every day.

  67. stevezie says:

    knighttown,

    Totally. I used to consider myself “old’school”, but a time comes to put away childish things. The concept of “letting them play” is so frustratingly illogical that I can’t believe any intelligent adult thinks it makes sense. Explain to me the difference between that and “let them cheat”. Maybe I’m wrong, I’ve been wrong before- so go ahead world, explain to me the difference.

    I like playoffs to be tougher, but you don’t need a change in reffing to do that. The players ratched up the intensity, and make every hard play they legally can. Why let them cheat? Why reward one style in the regular season and another in the playoffs?

  68. knighttown says:

    stevezie,

    Exactly.

    I’ve hired you to be a cardiac surgeon. You are amazing at it.. One of the best on the planet. Except, every August I need you to NOT be surgeon, I need you to be a rough neck. Surprisingly, you suck at that.

    So…do you suck or does the system that expects you to be amazing at cardiovascular surgery AND well drilling suck (is that what rough necks do? Sorry…from NS and NOT rough neck material)?

    The Sedin’s would have to be like the Fed-Ex Guy…”just cause you’re amazing at one thing doesn’t mean you can’t be amazing at something else.”

    “Checkmate Sergei”

  69. DSF says:

    knighttown,

    Excellent post.

    Herik Sedin was musing about the same thing a few days ago.

    Henrik Sedin may have been making a casual observation on the weekend about what to him seems absurd, but he inadvertently underlined one of the biggest problems facing a general manager trying to build a team in the NHL today.

    He was talking about NHL officiating to our Ben Kuzma and offered the comment: “This might be the only sport where rules change throughout the season depending upon where you are and what game you’re playing.”

    Read more: http://www.theprovince.com/sports/Officials+have+always+been+afraid+enforce+rules+crucial+situations/6311635/story.html#ixzz1pVlL7Bas

    I would think the “new rules” will adversely affect teams like the Canucks and ultimately the Oilers for the reasons you have outlined.

    It would be interesting to find out who issued the edict and why they did it.

  70. Showerhead says:

    Regarding sheltering, offensive zone-starts, and the Sedins:

    It’s a good idea.

    This is simple enough to say but I want to offer that the reason it’s a good idea is a touch more complicated than anyone is talking about quite yet.

    Imagine a hockey team with two lines – one with the Sedins and one with your standard issue checkers – Horcoff/Dvorak/Pisani or somesuch. Let’s also pretend that faceoffs occur only in either the offensive or defensive zone. One last assumption: icetime is divided equally.

    If the Sedins score 20 goals / 60 minutes of icetime following offensive zone faceoffs and 10 goals / 60 minutes after a d-zone faceoff, and Horcoff’s line scores 15 goals and 5 goals in those same circumstances…

    …Then who do you throw over the boards for your offensive zone faceoffs and who do you use on defense?

    -Your first reaction might be to calculate that 20+5 adds up to the exact same thing as 10+15 and therefore there’s no difference. If you’re actually following along my post and thinking about it, you’d be wise to point out that these (already arbitrary) numbers mean nothing without numbers for goals against. You’d be even wiser if you also pointed out that shifts that start in the D-zone can end in the O-zone and vice versa.

    So to answer the question you need (GF – GA) for each situation. You also need numbers which tell you the probability with which each line’s shift will finish in the offensive/defensive zone depending on where they started.

    I won’t make these numbers up to belabor a point but (I swear) there is a point.

    TLDR: it’s all about what you create minus what you give up. There is a results rate above which you can say the Sedins exploit their cherry zone starts enough to justify them. This rate includes GF/GA for the Sedins but also includes zonestart/zonefinish and most importantly it needs to factor in what happens when other lines are on the ice too.

    I hope I explained my thoughts well and that things didn’t get lost in translation.

    As for “you can’t give the Sedins cherry zonestarts in the playoffs”… why in the world not? As long as Kesler and the rest of the team do their job, I don’t see the problem.

  71. jake70 says:

    Good thing the desert dogs are in Edmonton……they’re avoiding all that SNOW falling and blowing around in Arizona this weekend.

  72. FastOil says:

    Lowetide:
    I believe there’s a strong argument Linus Omark does more to help his team win than Ryan Jones. the only thing that doesn’t make me agree completely with WG’s comments are Jones’ zone starts this season. He has the toughest zone start among wingers according the behind the net.

    I also think Omark and especially Pajaarvi are better options. The difference in P/60 between Jones and Pajaarvi is negligible if Pajaarvi SH% goes to normal. No contest in Corsi Rel, the Swedes are better (30GP):
    2010-2011 Omark CorRel 8.2 PDO 957
    2011-2012 Pajaarvi CorRel 6.6 PDO 975
    2011-2012 Jones CorRel -1.9 PDO 998

    I wonder what Jones numbers would look like without the games with a hot Horcoff and Smyth? I’ll hazard a wild guess and say he wasn’t driving the bus. Once time evens the Swedes’ numbers out they will be miles ahead, why waste time not giving them the old ‘at bats”?

    Only if you think hitting in itself is a virtue, but I would argue Jones’ hitting is as much show as it is effective or meaningful by the fuzzy eyeballs, and shot blocking a lot means you don’t have the puck a lot, right? If he hit people so that they became angry and wanted to fight, and he then beat them up, and continued to score at 1.0 P/60 that might be worth something. I don’t think that’s his style. I think I’d rather have Eager doing that but it looks like he’s sporting a pair of pork chops that are very germy.

  73. Marc says:

    From Garrioch:

    “Apparently, if Columbus GM Scott Howson is still employed by the Jackets come draft day, he plans to use the No. 1 pick to take Swedish LW Filip Forsberg ahead of the top-ranked prospect, RW Nail Yakupov of Sarnia.”

    http://www.ottawasun.com/2012/03/17/rink-wrap-carey-could-command-high-price

    So the team with the second pick could find themselves with a chance to draft the consensus best player…

  74. gd says:

    knighttown,

    Knighttown,

    I completely agree. To me the perfect NHL hockey game is 4-3 with over 60 shots on net. That and player safety should be the only goals of the competition committee , and when it gets out of that equilibrium they tweak things like the NFL does.

    I accept the calls changing slightly in the third periods and overtime in the playoffs. It seems like the league was doing that for most of the post lockout period and then at some point in the third round last year they decided to go back to 2003 rules.

  75. Lowetide says:

    Marc: If that happens, I think the Oilers have to draft Yakupov. Columbus should trade down, expect Patrick will be the GM by then.

  76. Showerhead says:

    Hall/RNH/Yakupov would be an absolutely insane haul in 3 consecutive drafts.

    I don’t much know what it’s like to be a fan of a good NHL hockey team but I hope the older generation can promise me it’s still fun even when the universe has magically aligned to give you all of the best players.

  77. Marc says:

    Lowetide:
    Marc: If that happens, I think the Oilers have to draft Yakupov. Columbus should trade down, expect Patrick will be the GM by then.

    Agree. And I think they would. Murray looks like a nice defenceman but he projects to be a 2 or a 3 D not a number 1. Yakupov by all acocunts projects to be an elite top line winger. There was an interview with Stu last year (on ON?) where he talked about the prospects at the top of the draft. He described Larsson as a potential 2 D and RNH as potentially a very good number 1 C. Despite the organisation need for D they went with the potentially elite forward with their pick. I think do the same if Yakupov falls to them. You just don’t pass on talent like that.

    Simmons says they’ll trade down:
    http://www.torontosun.com/2012/03/17/simmons-says-jackets-must-deal-no-1-pick

    But Columbus are not in a very strong bargaining position if everyone knows they don’t want to take a Russian. The teams at 2,3,4 may figure that the player they want will fall to them if they just stay put and force Columbus to pick. If Columbus trade down much further they may miss out on Forsberg though

  78. Lowetide says:

    Showerhead:
    Hall/RNH/Yakupov would be an absolutely insane haul in 3 consecutive drafts.

    I don’t much know what it’s like to be a fan of a good NHL hockey team but I hope the older generation can promise me it’s still fun even when the universe has magically aligned to give you all of the best players.

    I was in shock when they lost to CGY in ’86, but said “well we’ll get it next year” and they did. And then again, and then after they dealt 99 they did it AGAIN.

    If the internet was alive in 1990, my nick would have been “you poor pussies.” Oiler fans in the 80s were an arrogant bunch. Took the cue from Oilers players and management.

  79. delooper says:

    Bookje, better yet, if the Oilers win all 82 games next season, they have a good chance of being 1st overall. On the plus side, they’d make the playoffs for sure. On the downside, they wouldn’t get a lottery pick unless they made some pretty astute trades mid-season.

  80. DSF says:

    Showerhead:
    Hall/RNH/Yakupov would be an absolutely insane haul in 3 consecutive drafts.

    I don’t much know what it’s like to be a fan of a good NHL hockey team but I hope the older generation can promise me it’s still fun even when the universe has magically aligned to give you all of the best players.

    All you need to do to see a team with three elite forwards, spotty goaltending, below average defense and questionable depth is take a peek at Anaheim.

    Currently 12th in the WC.

  81. DSF says:

    Marc: Agree.And I think they would. Murray looks like a nice defenceman but he projects to be a 2 or a 3 D not a number 1.Yakupov by all acocunts projects to be an elite top line winger.There was an interview with Stu last year (on ON?) where he talked about the prospects at the top of the draft.He described Larsson as a potential 2 D and RNH as potentially a very good number 1 C.Despite the organisation need for D they went with the potentially elite forward with their pick.I think do the same ifYakupov falls to them.You just don’t pass on talent like that.

    Simmons says they’ll trade down:
    http://www.torontosun.com/2012/03/17/simmons-says-jackets-must-deal-no-1-pick

    But Columbus are not in a very strong bargaining position if everyone knows they don’t want to take a Russian. The teams at 2,3,4 may figure that the player they want will fall to them if they just stay put and force Columbus to pick. If Columbus trade down much further they may miss out on Forsberg though

    Want to bet Burke trades his pick and a player to pick first?

  82. LMHF#1 says:

    I’ll take Yandle for Petrell any time. Attaboy Lennart!

  83. Gret99zky says:

    C’mon guys, beat them on the scoresheet.

  84. spoiler says:

    So much for hits from behind being non-discretionary. Jesus Christ.

  85. LMHF#1 says:

    I hope the new coach, whoever he is, instructs his players not to play the puck facing the boards like that. You used to know that hit could happen (legal or not) and protect yourself. So many young guys don’t now. No wonder they get hurt.

  86. stevezie says:

    I thought the hit was borderline, but if the refs liked the hit I’m glad they only sent away Jones, that’s what you’ve got to do there. Hate fights after clean hits being even ups.

    Now Hanzel, there’s a guy who suits our needs.

  87. TartanArmy says:

    I don’t understand why there was no call on the Eberle hit, and we end up short-handed. Brutal. How could that be considered borderline, the hit was on the numbers. I guaruntee when the oilers do the same thing they’ll get called. Once again, it’s the Oilers vs. Coyotes+Refs……too many times have I watched non-calls against the Oilers this season, it should be addressed.

  88. Lowetide says:

    Refs made up for the call with the Hanzal penalty imo. Harski looking good out there.

  89. jake70 says:

    Did Quinn on the sportsnet feed say Theo Pecker, and correct himself immediately a couple min ago? lol

  90. Lowetide says:

    jake70:
    Did Quinn on the sportsnet feed say Theo Pecker, and correct himself immediately a couple min ago?lol

    Yes. There is a Corey Pecker, maybe they’re related?

  91. TartanArmy says:

    Maybe so, but it only ended up resulting in a 40 sec pp. Agreed on Hartakainen, is he on the top line tonight? Might be mistaken…

  92. stevezie says:

    Lowetide,

    Related to Pecker? I suppose we’re all direct decendants.

  93. bendelson says:

    Watching Mike Smith move the puck is impressive.

    It makes the obligatory soft ring around the boards to the waiting opponent seem seriously dysfunctional.

  94. Woodguy says:

    knighttown,

    I appreciate the sentiment KT, but I don’t belong in the same conversation as Vic, Gabe, Jon, Tyler and others.

    I’m just comfortable looking at stuff like like and understanding the implications with my finance and poker background.

    I think that’s why the little things piss me off so much.

    In poker a 5% edge is pretty big and you take it every time. You edges add up over time and if you are right, you are a winner, over time.

    When I see the Oilers ice less than optimal players at positions, especially bottom 6, it grates me because they are giving up the opportunity to get a slight edge.

    If they can ice better hockey players than the opposition more than 50% of the time, they will win more than they lose.

    Every player, every shift is important, and as you have stated often, the 8-10 Dmen usually play more the 10-12 forwards. Giving up an edge is terrible management.

  95. TartanArmy says:

    Watching the guys on Sportsnet talk about the Calder race, their pick is Landeskog. Tough call, if RNH didn’t get hurt, would he be the runaway contender? I haven’t seen Landeskog enough, just notice his stats, looks good but is his game really further along than RNH? I stil think the Nuge will win the points race as long as he remains healthy, but it sounds like that won’t seal the deal.

  96. Lowetide says:

    Eberle 32 (Jones). Was that a trip?

  97. LMHF#1 says:

    70 points sure does doesn’t suck.

  98. bendelson says:

    Lowetide,

    Nice break for the Oilers there.

  99. TartanArmy says:

    Yeah….good job Jones. It looked like Handzul was a little upset at Eberle not exactly putting himself back onside as it was intercepted, close enough though if he didn’t.

  100. stevezie says:

    Lowetide,

    Kinda, and it was defnitely offside. I expect a makeup call soon.

    On another note, Eberle leads the western conference in ppg. Leads it.

  101. LMHF#1 says:

    Nice play by Teemu on that one. Kept the whole thing moving.

  102. pboy says:

    Beautiful hands by Hemmer there. It’s crazy that someone with his skill only has 6 goals this season.

    Cue Traktor’s music………….

  103. DSF says:

    pboy:
    Beautiful hands by Hemmer there. It’s crazy that someone with his skill only has 6 goals this season.

    Cue Traktor’s music………….

    5

  104. stevezie says:

    DSF,

    No, it’s 6

  105. Lowetide says:

    I’m really liking Hartikainen this game. Seems faster than a year ago, and as big. Plus, nice hands. This is the third game in a row that the Oilers are moving the puck well and there’s far less chaos in the zone. I shouldn’t be typing this, but there you go.

  106. bendelson says:

    Lowetide,

    It’s never going to be pretty but he certainly seems fast enough to get himself into the middle of the action tonight. PHX seems to be having a tough time containing him.

  107. SK Oiler Fan says:

    56 reminds me a bit of Scott Hartnel – his default is always drive to the net – with or without the puck.

  108. Woodguy says:

    Looks like Renney was running 10 out against PHX 3rd, but after they got the two goal lead, he starting sending him out against Doan.

    Not sure though.

    Solid period.

    28 having a good game. 83,56,58,15 have looked good too by my eye.

  109. spoiler says:

    Some game notes:

    –hilarious steal by Eberle of that Phoenix faceoff win on his last shift. Cheeky as hell.

    –much better game by Hartikainen tonight. Very involved, although he’s had to be since Hemsky’s been feeding him at every opportunity

    –Omark has no idea on how to get the puck safely out of his own zone tonight. This is not how you force your way up the line-up. The light might go on, but I haven’t seen it yet.

    –Doobie’s feet have had those posts when he’s needed it

  110. spoiler says:

    Eberle makes me weep like an Irishman being told it’s Free Guiness and Jamieson’s night.

  111. "Steve Smith" says:

    You know, if you only consider the beginning of the season and the end of the season, the Oilers’ goaltending and defensive corps is totally playoff-calibre.

  112. TartanArmy says:

    28 having a good game. 83,56,58,15 have looked good too by my eye.

    Agreed, but the guy you didn’t mention who’s outplaying them all is 40.

  113. Lowetide says:

    Also a word on Petrell. He’s been good tonight. don’t know the push good or bad but smart player.

    PS, when Eberle retires he’ll join the Harlem globetrotters. Golly.

  114. "Steve Smith" says:

    stevezie:
    DSF,

    No, it’s 6

    Well, he’s only inaccurate by between 13% and 20%, which is pretty good for DSF.

  115. bookje says:

    Just tuning in and the game is looking to be somewhat of a disappointment – Where are the points for RNH? Does’t he know about the whole Calder thingy?

    Eberle looking good for the Bing!

    - An award win or two might be helpful when seeking new Free Agents to come to Edmonton!

  116. Woodguy says:

    TartanArmy: Agreed, but the guy you didn’t mention who’s outplaying them all is 40.

    Yup, missed 40. Very solid so far.

    Interesting stat SN had up. DD is .920 since Jan 23. Not bad.

  117. DSF says:

    stevezie:
    DSF,

    No, it’s 6

    Yeah now.

  118. TartanArmy says:

    Starting to play on their heels leading up to that goal. I’m a bit concerned with these early game and late game lapses, thank God for their mid-game.

  119. TartanArmy says:

    Woodguy,

    Yeah, I hope he’s the guy down the final stretch. I think the jury is still out on what he brings to the table so we need to see him on a consistent basis. I have hopes he’s our number 1 soon, but he need to prove himself more.

  120. spoiler says:

    Man oh man. Hemmer.

  121. spoiler says:

    Holy Lord Hemsky.

  122. stevezie says:

    Even Traktor can’t stay mad at Hemsky.

  123. Woodguy says:

    Ales Hemsky is a bad, bad man.

  124. bookje says:

    Whew, that might make more time for RNH to score.

  125. spoiler says:

    Raffi ruins what was looking like a good shift by Petrell and Smyth.

  126. SK Oiler Fan says:

    FK, what the hell was Petry doing on that rush? Raffi – who else – the hockey Gods aren’t done with this team yet. I’m calling it now – Brule with the winner in OT

  127. stevezie says:

    If I was Yzerman I’d be losing my mind watching Smyth make saves like that. It’d be like seeing your ex coming out of the yoga studio.

  128. Woodguy says:

    Not a good play by 58 to create the odd man rush.

    10 never catches Torres either.

  129. LMHF#1 says:

    The Oilers seem to have ceased finishing checks in the defensive zone during the third. That’ll give you this kind of period.

  130. Lowetide says:

    Hemsky is feeling it. too bad the schedule is running out of racetrack.

  131. Woodguy says:

    Horcoff is skating a lot like Whitney.

    Poor decision by Potter as well.

    h

  132. LMHF#1 says:

    Why can’t they put an appropriate line out 4-on-3? Horcoff and Smyth? Gagner with the kids instead of Hemsky? STUPID.

  133. spoiler says:

    The reffing is just bizarre. Either that or playoff teams automatically get the push. Jesus.

  134. stevezie says:

    2nd straight game I’ve heard the announcing crew complain about the ice. At least this time it’s the visitors.

  135. Woodguy says:

    What a strangely officiated game.

    w

  136. stevezie says:

    I cannot believe Tippet didn’t pull his goalie. What a sissy.

  137. pboy says:

    Peckham is generally stunned out there but he’s a pretty good PKer.

  138. SK Oiler Fan says:

    14, 83, 93

  139. SK Oiler Fan says:

    Noice recognition by 89 that Smith sold out early. Smart player

  140. stevezie says:

    When it comes to shootout lineups, Renney reminds me of the Lord God Almighty, in that his ways are not our ways.

  141. SK Oiler Fan says:

    Not sure how Renney doesn’t go with 83 after he had the puck glued to his stick all night. Carry over from the millionaires comment?

  142. stevezie says:

    pboy,

    Couldn’t agree more.

  143. Woodguy says:

    In other news CAL loses to CBJ in a shoot out.

    El-oh-El

    The Oilers really looked tenative in the 3rd, especially with the puck in their own zone.

    Not good.

    Looked scared to make a mistake.

  144. TartanArmy says:

    Inconsistency beat us, not a complete game imo. Weak start + weak finish = loss. Still, there were plenty positives to take away from the game, just need to eliminate some of those negatives.

  145. godot10 says:

    stevezie:
    I cannot believe Tippet didn’t pull his goalie. What a sissy.

    Don’t you risk the guaranteed point if you do that?

  146. Lowetide says:

    I’d have to see the play again but it seemed to me Petrell sent a pass to Horcoff and he didn’t do a thing with it. Too hard a pass? Don’t know. but it was jailbreak the other way and at that point in the game the skies weren’t so troubled we couldn’t see a W.

  147. spoiler says:

    These are the kinds of games this team has to learn not to lose. Close games, blown leads, been killer this year.

  148. hunter1909 says:

    Oilers let Yotes take the OT and Flames blew their OT when thecaptainjeromeiginla failed in shootout. Both games were settled within a minute of each other.

    Yotes were playing playoff hockey, saw them look like 2006 oilers don’t know why, glad they didn’t injure anyone on the young oilers. Torres with Brule, and Whitney scoring all the goals together like old home week – methinks I’ll be on their bandwagon along with the Blues coming out of the west, like making a just for fun 40 to 1 shot on a horse.

    M.A. Pouliot should end up playing a game or more, Lowetide.

    I’d bet if they ever asked NHL players who they think is the easiest player to play against, with cap hit factored in…Horcoff wins in a canter. But because the team+management depends so much on the captain, they see no reason to bring in anyone to replace his skillset and I suppose 5.5 million cap hit has to be considered, endlessly.

  149. gd says:

    I think the result was pretty good. They looked okay, but by not winning keeps the 2nd pick likely. Also I hope management saw the difference between a well coached team with a strong defensive and forechecking system and whatever the Oil are doing.

  150. DSF says:

    Hopkins took 10 face-offs.

    He lost all of them.

  151. stevezie says:

    godot10,

    Seems to me that the ‘Yotes need every point they can get. In the last ten seconds they had complete control of the puck- even pulling the goalie for ten seconds might have made the difference.

    Worked out for them in the end of course, so there you go.

  152. spoiler says:

    DSF:
    Hopkins took 10 face-offs.

    He lost all of them.

    RNH has scarcely won a face off since his return.

    He and Eberle had trouble with their match-up tonight.

  153. spoiler says:

    Interesting segment on scouting in this new Oil Change.

  154. spoiler says:

    Eberle’s 50th NHL goal tonight.

    Tied with Tavares on points and ahead on goals, with less games. PPG puts him ahead of Tavares, both Sedins, Hossa, Spezza, Many other luminaries behind him. We are witnessing one amazing NHL season for a kid his age.

  155. DSF says:

    Radulov returning to Nashville.

    Makes them real contenders.

    http://tinyurl.com/7rasxnj

  156. Woodguy says:

    If I was seeing things correctly, Hemsky signed his contract in Lowe’s office with Olcyk sitting there, and then shook hands with Tambellini when he came out of Lowe’s office.

    Also,

    Moment of highest comedy when the 15 for 77 trade is happening, Tambellini asks everyone their thoughts and MBS says he liked Shultz in junior.

    Shultz is a 8 year NHL vet and their talking about junior.

    i

  157. Woodguy says:

    Think of managing a hockey team like managing an investment portfolio.

    It seems like a team like Vancouver would have every bit of information you could get about the companies they are invested in, and companies they are thinking of investing in, and have them distilled into quick readable pieces for quick analysis.

    The Oilers are reading last year’s news papers and one of their key information gathering tools about prospective companies to invest in is to talk to people who haven’t worked for the target companies for years.

    And for God’s sake, every guy around the trading table was scrolling on their laptops with the touch pad.

    I guess the technology of wireless mouse is still too new for the Oilers.

    The Oilchange episodes certainly don’t instill much confidence in the management team.

  158. regwald says:

    Woodguy,

    I am a Computer Consultant and when I had a job that I used to travel a lot, I taught myself to use the touch pad. I am as quick with the touchpad as with the mouse. I did this because trying to use a mouse while on the plane is a pain in the ass.

    For those less regular users, they would prefer the mouse. My home laptop I would have to search for a spare mouse to even hook it up. Totally a touchpad guy. Just saying.

  159. mattwatt says:

    Lowetide: I’d have to see the play again but it seemed to me Petrell sent a pass to Horcoff and he didn’t do a thing with it. Too hard a pass? Don’t know. but it was jailbreak the other way and at that point in the game the skies weren’t so troubled we couldn’t see a W.

    Watched that play again in slow-mo Lowetide, and from video it looked like the pass was not all that hot, and Horcoff was not in a good position to receive it. Horcoff losing Petrell’s pass was certainly a weak hockey play, but the error Petry made was far more egregious. It was a pinch that Cam Barker would even wince at when witnessing. Led to a jailbreak and a goal. Typical play by a young defenceman. Those will stop as he grows old, but haven’t we Oiler fans seen enough?

    For those saying how Omark could not carry Jones jock, you may be correct. Truth of the matter though is that we do not know. One can see though that what you see with Jones is what you get. He is playing at the best of his abilities, and it is highly unlikely that there is room for him to go higher. You can win with Jones on the ice, and I think he is a solid player. It is just likely that you will not win with Jones on one of your top two lines.

    As for Omark, he does have the higher upside and the better chance of being a top-9 forward who can slot into your top-6 if need be. Why not see if he is capable of that. Last year he:
    a) Produced quite a few more points than Jones in fewer games;
    b) Had a worse +/- in fewer games
    Maybe Omark is a greater defensively liability than Jones is and always will be; also possible though that Omark is a greater liability defensively because he is a lot younger than Jones and still working on that aspect of his game.

    It is just that the Oilers brass have seen flashes from Omark yet continually look at the negatives, while have seen Jones play at a bad level at times but only look at only the positives. It is these contradicting views that many of us fans find so maddening.

    Omark deserves to run with the horses. If he can’t keep up, so be it. But it just makes little sense in not bothering with a stallion to only then have it kick your ass at the Derby next year.

  160. DBO says:

    Oil make me think of the CFL team who drafted a dead guy. Nothing will surprise me anymore. Except something good

  161. regwald says:

    Woodguy,

    I understand the general criticism of the management team and the approach they using in general, but I have to say I was at least impressed with the war room style and the fact they are all on their laptops, use a team approach, etc.

    that said, if it was my company I would be pushing stats and scouting reports across the tv’s for all to read, handing out facts sheets and even encouraging more heated discussions, etc. Challenge the members around the table to come up with reasons why we make the trade or why to keep Gibby, etc.

    I truly thought it was going to be worse that what we saw. lol

  162. regwald says:

    Also, interesting comment about that trade scene in Oil Change – I guess I must have missed the Oilers hiring Duane Sutter as a scout. Thought he was still unemployed after getting canned by the Flames when they let Darryl go.

  163. stevezie says:

    knighttown,

    This is long past when we were talking about, I just want to add that while the Bruins got a new set of rules catered to their game last year, to a large degree I think the Canucks dug their own graves by having so many divers and cryers on one team. They had just made too many withdrawels from the good graces of officials and it caught up to them.

  164. gd says:

    Lowetde,

    You’re segment with Mccurdy about his work with the Oilers analytics task force, and the fact Oilers had guys at the Sloan conference in Boston, gives me hope that their management is a little more progressive than they get credit for. I also think we shouldn’t over analyze the exchanges on Oil Change. We”re not getting the “meat and potatoes” discussions. That said, I would like to see a few less Semenkos and a few more young geeks in the war room.

  165. bookje says:

    mattwatt,

    I think Omarks production in the SEL should get him a better audition here before shipping him away for nothing. Even if you want to trade him, give the guy 20 games with the kids to pump up his value before trading him.

    I don’t get it.

  166. Woodguy says:

    regwald,

    The touch pad thing was supposed to be comedy.

    I failed I guess.

  167. regwald says:

    Woodguy,

    Or one of us did … LOL

  168. stevezie says:

    bookje,

    My guess, and this is purely a guess, is management things other GMs don’t put any more stock in youtube footage and SEL stats than they do, and there’s nothing to pump up.

  169. Ribs says:

    Woodguy: If I was seeing things correctly, Hemsky signed his contract in Lowe’s office with Olcyk sitting there, and then shook hands with Tambellini when he came out of Lowe’s office.

    Hemsky didn’t look all that impressed when he shook Tambellini’s hand, either. There’s a strange dynamic there. Ah well, as long as it got done, I’m good.

    Woodguy: Shultz is a 8 year NHL vet and their talking about junior.

    Hah, they said the computer program played a big role in the 77-15 trade. I just said to myself, “Bullshit”.

    It was pretty cool that they followed Bill Dandy around for a while. I haven’t really heard much from him before.

    spoiler: RNH has scarcely won a face off since his return.

    Not sure if this was a joke or not… but he’s been pretty good the last few games. 42% against Sharks, 54% against Jackets, 58% against Flames.

  170. sliderule says:

    Anybody at the game can tell me what sort of forecheck system oilers were playing in third.

    Petrys pinch looked bad but in almost any system there should be a forward up high to cover when you are up two to one.

    I only see games on TV so it’s hard to pick up on systems they are playing..why don’t you stats guys spend some time studying our systems against other teams who are good like wings and rangers.

  171. spoiler says:

    Ribs: Hemsky didn’t look all that impressed when he shook Tambellini’s hand, either. There’s a strange dynamic there. Ah well, as long as it got done, I’m good.Hah, they said the computer program played a big role in the 77-15 trade. I just said to myself, “Bullshit”. It was pretty cool that they followed Bill Dandy around for a while. I haven’t really heard much from him before. Not sure if this was a joke or not… but he’s been pretty good the last few games. 42% against Sharks, 54% against Jackets, 58% against Flames.

    Yeah that stretch had me hoping his shoulder had turned the corner and he could battle a little more while at the dot, but then he got killed again last night.

  172. Woodguy says:

    Oilers sign Bunz.

    As per Oilers email:

    General Manager Steve Tambellini announced today the Edmonton Oilers have agreed to terms with goaltender Tyler Bunz on a three-year entry level contract.

    Bunz, 20, is currently playing with the Medicine Hat Tigers in the Western Hockey League (WHL) and has finished his fourth full season appearing in 61 games this year with a 39-17-5 record, 2.57 GAA and .921 save percentage. He also recorded three shutouts.

    The 6’1”, 198-pound St. Albert, AB native has played in 197 regular season games for the Tigers with a 115-55-19 record, 2.72 GAA, .911 save percentage and eight shutouts. He was named to the WHL Second All-Star Team in 2010-11.

    Bunz was also invited to the 2012 World Junior Championship selection camp this year. Bunz was selected by Edmonton in the 5th round, 121st overall, in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft.

  173. spoiler says:

    Looks like I’m wrong w.r.t. the flow of play when 28-93-14 were on the ice. Could have swore they got hemmed in their own end multiple times, but according to Dennis they came out significantly ahead in scoring chances. Not that one is exactly the other.

  174. "Steve Smith" says:

    Woodguy:
    regwald,

    The touch pad thing was supposed to be comedy.

    I failed I guess.

    Nonsense! The funniest jokes are the ones that nobody else gets.

  175. DSF says:

    “Steve Smith”: Nonsense!The funniest jokes are the ones that nobody else gets.

    If Helen Keller fell down in the forest…would there be a sound?

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