GONE WITH THE WIND

We’re just 4 games into the NHL season, but one of the early themes for the Oilers is scoring at even strength. During the first week of the year Edmontoon has scored just 4 even strength goals and allowed 9. That’s a terrible ratio and a major cause for concern.

Lets begin by posting EV points per 60. I’m using NHL.com here so the numbers will differ from behind the net, where we can use 5×5/60 (nhl.com doesn’t break it down like that, all even events are piled into the same category). I am also assuming that late night reports that changed the second assist on the Gagner goal from Schultz to Hall are accurate.

OILERS EV SCORING 12-13 (AFTER 4 GAMES)

  1. Taylor Hall 1-3-4 (3.67/60)
  2. Jordan Eberle 1-1-2 (1.87/60)
  3. Nail Yakupov 1-0-1 (1.26/60)
  4. Ladislav Smid 0-1-1 (1.18/60)
  5. Sam Gagner 1-0-1  (1.15/60)
  6. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins 0-1-1 (0.91/60)
  7. Justin Schultz 0-1-1 (0.85/60)

In the comments section below the knives are out for Hall, calling him a bust.

  • hunter1909: I’m kind of happy that I am the first Oiler fan to suggest Taylor Hall is no more than another Daigle, a bust.

I’m kind of happy Taylor Hall is an Oiler, but these things have a way of deciding themselves miles from the debate and I like my side of the Hall argument. The numbers suggest Hall is once again delivering in the difficult even strength discipline and we can see there’s a pulse on the top 2 lines (with Gagner and Yakupov registering). These totals will change as we march along but the only forwards with acceptable totals are Hall and Ebs at this point in time.

5X5 ZONE STARTS (FORWARDS)

This is courtesy behind the net and after only 3 games. The Nuge line is getting the offensive push–no harm there, they’re the best offense the club has 5×5–and the defensive zone starts went to the Gagner line in the first three games (we knew this, although Gabe’s site gives us the harshness of the situation in black and white–well, blue). I do have a point here and will get to it, but the important item here is rookie Yakupov getting a 35.3% offensive zone start.

5X5 CORSI REL (FORWARDS)

Three games in, there’s that top line chewing up everything in its path and the Horcoff line has things going in a good direction too. The Gagner line lags badly early in the season (and more on that in a minute) and our old friend Lennart Petrell is showing early signs that last season was not a fluke.

5X5 PDO (FORWARDS)

For those who don’t know, PDO is the sum of “On-Ice Shooting Percentage” and “On-Ice Save Percentage” while a player was on the ice. It regresses very heavily to the mean in the long-run: a team or player well above 1000 has generally played in good luck and should expect to drop going forward and vice-versa. Definition again courtesy Gabe and behind the net.  The site is here.

So, PDO is telling us that Gagner’s line will recover and that the Nuge’s line will regress. It may not happen tomorrow or next week or next year, but baby its going to happen as sure as death, taxes and me catching my dog chewing my shoes.

5×5 QUAL COMP (FORWARDS)

This graph tells me that coach Krueger may just be rolling lines–or, and perhaps more likely–he is more concerned with getting the zone start than the matchup. The tough minutes line so far looks to be the Nuge line–followed by the Belanger line, or vice versa–but that may be the opposition coach wanting to run against them and coach Krueger having no quarrel with the matchup (and that’s a concern if it continues). It’s early, and I’m no expert at this, but suspect we’ll see Horcoff and Smyth face tougher opps and Gagner and Hemsky the same. I’ll tell you what I’m hoping for in the conclusions segment.

AHEM!leigh

BEFORE WE MOVE ALONG, a moment to talk about sample size. We are three games into the season (the behind the net numbers are after the LA game) and we should not make sweeping statements based on any of it. This is a snapshot from the train as we enter the mountains, not a clear view of Lake Louise on a calm, lovely day. We’ll get there, but it is interesting to look at the early information.

CONCLUSIONS

I “think” that Ralph Krueger is going to use Horcoff-Smyth as his tough minutes line and Nuge-Ebs as his zone start darlings, with Gagner-Hemsky getting the 2nd toughest minutes and the difficult zone starts. I also “think” he’s probably just figuring out this lineup and what he can and cannot do with them.

I “hope” he’s going to change the lines and have them look like this:

  • Nuge-Yakupov-Eberle (offensive zone start darlings, soft parade when available)
  • Gagner-Hall-Hemsky (defensive zone start darlings, tough as they come opposition)
  • Horcoff-Smyth-Paajarvi (defensive zone start darlings, tough as they come opposition)

I suspect it’ll result in less impressive EV/60 numbers for Hall, and in a perfect world the Oilers would have a LW who could play with Gagner-Hemsky and push the river, but they don’t. It will result in more comments like the one from hunter 1909, but then again his post was the product of frustration and that frustration is understandable.

The season has begun, Mr. Krueger. Games count. Taylor Hall is the key, ride your thoroughbred to glory and don’t spare the whip. This season is 48 games long, that’s a short track, and if there’s too much time wasted the season will be gone with the wind.

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121 Responses to "GONE WITH THE WIND"

  1. 48 percent body fat says:

    Said all this since the beginning of the season. Thank LT.

    Nuge is not doing anything 5 on 5 with cherry zone starts. Time to ease him up. Less minutes also. Somewhere around 19-20.

    Kruger seems to have a lot of faith in gagner, yet he gets no 5 on 5 time. Tough zone starts and a Pk, other than one game is this his year.

    Up until last night the 5×4 points per sixty were well in favor of pp2. In fact wasnt nuge the only pp1 guy with a pp point.

    J Schullz, secretly on top of the oilers scoring.

    I know it is four games in. but lets not kid ourselves. If we cant get a lead in a game we are going to be drafting Jones or Mckinnon,

  2. 48 percent body fat says:

    Oh and I forgot. Is it not time to go buy a face off coach. I mean we all thought the two would get better. Hell gagner even floated around 50 last year but not taking weak side faceoffs.

    89 and 93 should be on the ice an extra half hour after every practice with Yanik Perrault or Mike Peca.

    Watching 93 take a face off makes me wanna puke. I mean he doesn’t turn his body what so ever. your stick isn’t going to win a faceoff when thornton turns and throws his ass in your face.

    and in final thought, ebs nuge and hall dont have the chemistry that everyone thinks. The were simply great players that were playing in a league far too easy for them. Ebs and nuge seem to click, but hall is a lone ranger. Its not about chemistry with him, its about a good fit for him, who wont screw up his game.

  3. cabbiesmacker says:

    Didn’t want to post last night due to a similar frustration level as hunter, but I woke up wondering where the much ballyhooed offense has gone. Can’t win too many games scoring at the current pace of 2.5 per while being soft as baby poop to play against.

    Somethings got to give and if a trade is what it takes to make things happen I’d have to think one of Gagner or Hemsky + assets would be in play. Since Hemsky’s value is most likely lower due to age and contract then hello Hello Sammy. Deal from the perception of perceived strength I guess although I doubt the rest of the league isn’t as gung ho as some OIler types are about the aforementioned duo.

    It’s either that or one of the “young turks”, (I damn near gagged every time Lee used the term last night), but we’re not making any major strides in 2013 with this top 9.

    We’re in year 4 of 5 on the Tambo rebuild scale yes? Hmm. Maybe we’re just holding to the original game plan.

  4. 48 percent body fat says:

    what if gags gets 48 points this year. he still wont have ever broken 50.

  5. sliderule says:

    Lowetide
    You can’t be serious about having Gagner get tough zone starts.He can’t help out in the corners because he isn’t strong enough and in front of net he is usually in right position but never marks his man.Keep him with cherry starts as offensively he has skill.

    Th Paajarvi experiment should be ended .Schultz the younger thru him a stretch pass that he missed because he crapped his pants.Move Hoecoff to wing and bring up vv or Arcobello to center a line.Move Paajarvi while he still has value.Bishop??

  6. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    I wonder what playing with a lead feels like?

  7. Lowetide says:

    sliderule:
    Lowetide
    You can’t be serious about having Gagner get tough zone starts.He can’t help out in the corners because he isn’t strong enough and in front of net he is usually in right position but never marks his man.Keep him with cherry starts as offensively he has skill.

    Th Paajarvi experiment should be ended .Schultz the younger thru him a stretch pass that he missed because he crapped his pants.Move Hoecoff to wing and bring up vv or Arcobello to center a line.Move Paajarvi while he still has value.Bishop??

    Gagner IS getting the tough zone starts. I would prefer that the club use Horcoff and Belanger in the role, but the coach is using Gagner (or at least he did in the first three games). There are some reasons why it makes sense–Gagner SHOULD be the one to take over from Horcoff–but I don’t think you’re helping with by putting Yakupov on LW.

  8. Clarkenstein says:

    It’s only 4 games in but some things are still obvious.
    * When you have to roll the lines every night because of a tightened schedule you can’t hide the weaknesses.
    * Paarjavi should consider a career in figure skating. Skates nice, accomplishes nothing.
    * Ryan Smyth doesn’t win battles for the puck anymore.
    * Oil are still incredibly easy to break out of your zone against.
    * Hemsky has the odd good game or good period but that’s about it.
    * Dumb penalties have not abated since Ethan Moreau left.
    * Defensive zone play results in an opportunity for the opponent virtually EVERY TIME.

    Having said that… to quote LT…. thank sweet Baby Jesus for Justin Schultz.

  9. Woodguy says:

    Before we all get too excited think about this.

    Cup favorite Pittsburgh Penguins have lost 2 in a row to TOR at home and in WIN.

    They are 2-2 and in those losses Maklin and Neal didn’t have a 5v5 point.

    They are still my pick to win the EC.

    Shit happens.

    Also,

    I’m not sure moving Hall of that line would work.

    One of the reason he’s a tough minute out-shooter is that he’s good at breaking the cycle in his own zone and getting the puck heading north in a hurry.

    Without him 64-93-14 might be too easy in their own zone.

    93 is getting good at going into the corner and getting the puck, but as a C he’s not on the wall enough.

    Maybe 64 could do it too? Doesn’t seem to be in 14′s wheel house.

    Moving 4 assumes that RK will go for the hard match and I’m not sure that’s his plan.

    I see where you are coming from and agree that chasing the top two opposing lines with 4-89-83 and 94-10-91 would calm down the 5v5 GA and help 64-93-14 with their 5v5 GF.

  10. blackdog says:

    Hall’s a bust eh?

    Oiler fans get what they deserve I think. Get rid of him. Hemsky. Gagner. Paajarvi. The whole lot. Trade for more draftpicks and former first rounders.

  11. Woodguy says:

    Clarkenstein,

    * Oil are still incredibly easy to break out of your zone against.

    I agree with this.

    My biggest concern is RK’s forechecking system.

    It seems to confuse the hell out of the D.

    Petry especially seems to not be sure if he is supposed to pressure up the ice or retreat and ends up not doing much of anything.

    I think they have the D stepping up and the forwards skating back past them to cover, but whether or not the F will do this seems to be left up to chance.

    RK needs to get everyone playing the system the same way.

    They lost a lot of pucks at the opposition blue as well.

    I chaulk that up to FPS (fancy play syndrome). Chipping the puck the D is a much better last resort play than a low percentage pass and a fast break the other way.

  12. Southern Oil says:

    Quick question about the switch to Hall for the last assist. I have read this a few places on the internet but when I check the box scores on NHL.com and the Oilers website, it still lists Schultz? How do we know this is official? Does it really take them this long to update the box scores?

  13. Henry says:

    Those ‘hoped for’ lines in the Conclusions section are bang on, I think.

    I’m very glad that MPS is with the third line guys. They need his speed, he needs to shoot the puck though.

    Hall with Hemsky is a matchup problem for the other coach. Do they put their defensively challenged soft killers out for an O zone draw against them?

    I haven’t seen stats to back it up, but by eye the Nuge is taking draws much better and playing pretty decently in the D zone.

  14. Traktor says:

    The Hemsky line has iced the puck like 10-15 times in the first 4 games.. that’s why their zone start is what it is.

  15. CurtisS says:

    I sure hope your conclusion is wrong that Horcoff, Smyth will be used as his tough minute line. In watching the first 4 games, you can sure tell them 2 cant even handle 5 vs 5 anymore. To slow, and old for this game. Keep them riding the pine on the 3rd line getting 13 mintues tops a night.

    Win with your best, lose with your best.

    What we really need is at least a average goaltender. Hes boasting a .885% thats not good enough for this team to make the playoffs. I would call .905 average, and .915 good. I know its been 4 games, but in a 48 game season we dont have the time to test and see if hes going to be a #1.

  16. CurtisS says:

    Would a guy give up 91 and a second pick for this guy?

    http://www.thefourthperiod.com/news/col130127.html

  17. sliderule says:

    I know LT that Gagner is getting tough zone starts and rather than keep i should have said give so that I didn’t confuse anyone.

    What the heck is Ralph seeing defensively in Gagner?In giving that line the tough starts it puts the rookie Yak in a bad spot and limits his offence..

    It would also help if RK told them with all that speed they should be able to back check so that no one is unmarked like they were letting the cows be.

  18. oilersfan says:

    I dont think Ralph is seeing much in Gagner but is trying to develop him into more of a 2 way center. Maybe they decided they would give him 10 games to do it, and would coach him along until he gets better. RIght now he sure isn’t but we all say he has a big brain, surely he can figure out defence.

    To me the big problem is the other teams already know how to stop the OIlers. Go into a big box on defence and wait for them to pass the puck right to you and get a odd man rush the other way. While in the Oilers’ zone cycle the puck a bit until somebody gets out of position then you will surely get a scoring chance.

    Not sure what Ralph will do but this is a system/patience problem.

    Our O zone system ends up turning the puck over, a lot, and our D zone system looks a lot more like a firedrill than pro hockey.

    Maybe they should have kept Renney? The defensive system never looked this bad under him, ever.

  19. Lowetide says:

    I understand Krueger’s wanting to use Gagner in a more “complete” role, but don’t believe Yakupov is the right player for that role (no worries about Hemsky).

    does anyone remember how MacT handled Hemsky as a rookie? I don’t recall him using Hemsky in that kind of a role as a rookie.

    And of course this is early, but the one thing among those graphs that Krueger absolutely controlled was zone start.

  20. vishcosity says:

    A few days back we saw a high school basketball game. The old man said that they were way over coached. I asked what he meant. For the next few minutes he pointed to situations where players were so busy trying to run some set play that they missed the obvious dart to the post, they were trying to swing to the weak side when they could have more easily forced the ball low for a high percentage shot.

    Last night I saw it all over the ice. While there is a clear theme of all players in every game this year and last busting back on defense every time Taylor Hall touches the puck, when he hit the o zone, it looked like he was trying to figure out what he was supposed to do, instead of trying to play the game.

    Thinking the only guy to ever win b2b Mem Cup MVPs is a bust, is well, maybe a bigger statement about Hunter than Hall. Might serve everyone well to spend a bit of time with the coach emeritus.

    They’ll play the game soon enough. Right now, like the Capitals, its new systems development, its year 4 of 5 or some fool thing, and playoffs only matter if they actually have a chance to win. They have no chance to win the tournament yet, so I say let them learn to play Ralph’s game. And maybe collectively, in the mean time, we can take the boot off their neck.

  21. cabbiesmacker says:

    CurtisS:
    Would a guy give up 91 and a second pick for this guy?

    http://www.thefourthperiod.com/news/col130127.html

    Oh cmon Curtiss, Little early to be huffin isn’t it?

  22. Bos8 says:

    Boy, that was a stinker. Out behind the woodshed, type. About half a period of hockey.

    Someone mentioned RK’s system. It’s game four with no training camp. Let’s at least, give them ten games. I rather like that Hall, Hemsky and MPS can move the puck, up ice on each line. The two old men will get better as they get their skating legs, (Big Hope).

    Yes, the team is soft, soo soft. Surely the Oilers could find – one checker.

    Face offs – don’t ask.

  23. CurtisS says:

    cabbiesmacker: Oh cmon Curtiss, Little early to be huffin isn’t it?

    Klefbom straight across?

  24. hunter1909 says:

    oilersfan: Our O zone system ends up turning the puck over, a lot, and our D zone system looks a lot more like a firedrill than pro hockey.
    Maybe they should have kept Renney? The defensive system never looked this bad under him, ever.

    That’s how they looked to me last night. Their talent level being sky high, they’re making an endless succession of incredibly high risk/reward plays…which is entirely a function of extreme talent and will probably bedevil those of the weak kneed kind among us, until they start running a few cups off to shut everyone up.

    I’ll bet the leading Dynasty players, who understand this hockey-excellence-for-real shit better than any of us could ever imagine in a thousand galaxies really enjoyed last night’s game.

    For one thing, they would have been thrilled to see Taylor Hall’s very nearly pole vaulting through an absolutely determined Flames defense pairing. Give Hall another year or two for his body to fill out more,and he’s going to use that same move(and many many others which he hasn’t thought of yet), score, and it’s like having seen Bobby Hull or something.

    Re Kreuger: The guy hasn’t even had a training camp, and already he’s being dissed 4 games into the season?? I haven’t seen too many opposition players going out of their way to target the kids like last season. Maybe it’s got something to do with Eager’s willingness to risk his life for the team when he fought Kassian, or, Fistric’s general baddassed style sending a message to the enemy. Who knows.

    Renney was sent down the road for the exact same reason he was booted from the Rangers: Namely, the players tuned his lame message out. That goes double for you, MacT.

    Flames played a pretty good game last night, very much like last year’s Yotes. Since they’re unlikely to seriously bother the Oilers in any meaningful way until 2020, I don’t even mind saying that.

    Re Hall: I remember an Oilers v Islander game when Denis Potvin simply described him as being “A bull”. High praise from Caesar, or what?

  25. Bryan says:

    I like to come here in the mornings and get my daily dose of oiler news as well as a bit of inspiration from Lowetide’s eternal optimism. Days like this make me shake my head a little though and wonder what it is some fans expect from this team! They’ve been playing a lot of veteran clubs to start the year and have alternately been making us look on in amazement and look away in frustration. This is part of the process. It’s what young clubs do, even an insanely talented group like this one! I am sure that all the pieces to the puzzle aren’t in place yet but perhaps all this talk of trading players who are just finding their way in a new system is a tad premature. Like it was mentioned above, this team isn’t winning the tournament this year so maybe the best plan after enduring so many dismal seasons is to take just a bit more time to make sure things are done right. A tempting trade may come along from another team that is in desperation mode, but there is no reason for the Oiler’s to go down that route. I think that Krueger is a smart man and our best move might be to just give him some time to mould the youngsters into something resembling a cohesive unit!

  26. ASkoreyko says:

    This is why some people don’t deserve nice things.

    Taylor Hall is a bust?

    The kid is killing it at 5v5 and is over a PPG AND tied for the team lead in points (and team lead +3).

    Somehow this is a bust?

    Sure its frustrating watching him trying to drag the puck by a dman and watching it fail, but I think we might be a little spoiled in expecting him to be able to pull that stuff every time he tries.

    Trading Taylor Hall would be a move every Oiler fan would regret for many years.

    We must not forget this team was 29th last year, they are not going to turn it around instantly. Growing pains etc.

  27. BlacqueJacque says:

    Lowetide: over

    Krueger can’t control zone starts due to icing.

  28. SK Oiler Fan says:

    Until TamboLowe decide to get more all situations, complete players down the middle there’s going to be a lot of crazy comments made in frustration.
    The issues at D are well known – unfurtunately the 2011 Whitney is a distant memory

    Some around these parts were hopeful that Ralph would have a magic touch with this roster. Not many rookie head coaches have immediate success, especially without a Crosby or Ovechkin, and especially with such an unbalanced roster – the TamboLowe trademark.

  29. Gret99zky says:

    Only 4 games but there are some concerns:

    Smyth and Whitney look too slow to play the game at this level.

    Dubey is looking below average because of poor D zone coverage and leaving the back door open.

    The team is not getting enough shots on goal or ‘pucks to the net’.

    Hall is no bust but, based on his style of play and his zone entrance, I can see Ebs, RNH, and Yaks all exceeding him in the next 3-5 years. He needs to look for support instead of trying to split the D.

    Will Tambi make the necessary trade for a top 4 defenseman?

  30. Woodguy says:

    Lowetide:
    I understand Krueger’s wanting to use Gagner in a more “complete” role, but don’t believe Yakupov is the right player for that role (no worries about Hemsky).

    does anyone remember how MacT handled Hemsky as a rookie? I don’t recall him using Hemsky in that kind of a role as a rookie.

    And of course this is early, but the one thing among those graphs that Krueger absolutely controlled was zone start.

    RK’s 5v5 TOI/gm is why I don’t think moving Hall pays dividends.

    Ryan Nugent-Hopkins 16:28:00
    Taylor Hall 16:20:00
    Jordan Eberle 16:02:00
    Sam Gagner 13:04:00
    Ales Hemsky 12:49:00
    Nail Yakupov 11:52:00
    Ryan Smyth 08:20:00
    Shawn Horcoff 08:07:00
    Magnus Paajarvi 08:05:00

    If you move Hall and have 10′s line do heavy lifting then the TOI needs to flatten out considerably.

    That’s not RK’s plan.

    His plan is to play his top two lines hard in most situations, with 89′s line getting the shitty end of the stick.

    I understand what you want to do, and even agree with it to some extent, but to see it means RK giving up on his plan right away and he doesn’t strike me as they type to do that.

    On top of that 10 looks really, really slow this year.

    I noticed he missed a few shifts at the end of the game with 20 taking his spot.

    10 got back out there one more time after that, but if RK is keeping him on the bench in favour of 20, it doesn’t look like RK is ready to give 10 more ice time 5v5.

    I think we are just going to have to watch more growing pains as they learn the system.

    Renney gave 14 and 4 the shitty end of the stick as rookies with 10. They actually led the team in shot differential while doing it too.

    Also,

    If O’Reilly is on the block I’m on the phone offering up 89. He fits their need in a young C on a reasonable contract and throw in a 2nd if that what it takes to get it done or even Marinicin.

    As a 19 year old (year before Landeskog got there) O’Reilly was playing 2nd comp with a 40% Zone start and still out-shot competition.

    Last year he and Landeskog were one of the best tough minute out-shooting out-scoring lines in the NHL.

    He’s a multi tool player who is currently a better C than anything on the Oilers.

    Having him between 64 and 83 would change that dynamic in a hurry.

    I like 89 a lot, but O’Reilly is elite.

  31. Woodguy says:

    Gret99zky,

    Hall is no bust but, based on his style of play and his zone entrance, I can see Ebs, RNH, and Yaks all exceeding him in the next 3-5 years. He needs to look for support instead of trying to split the D

    Biggest difference between Hall and those guys is that Hall is the guy breaking up the play in his own zone and moving the puck north.

    Also, last night was one of his worst games. He’s a zone entry demon as well.

    He drives the play the right way among the elites of the NHL.

    The others are not that player yet.

    They have offensive talent, but need someone to help drive the play.

  32. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    hunter1909,

    has your evening pessimism turned into morning cautious optimism?

  33. delooper says:

    Meh. It’s four games in. Nobody expected the Oilers to be winning 75% of their games, not at this point, and probably not four years down the road when they’ll actually be a really good team.

    They’re still working out the kinks, and on the plus side it seems “veteran teams” are losing their players to injury hand over fist.

  34. sliderule says:

    Dear LT
    I have tickets for the game on wed and talked a bunch of guys into goingI paid for them on my credit card

    Do you think I should collect from them before the Colorado game in case they have another stinker.

    I would appreciate your advice

    Sincerely slide rule

  35. Lowetide says:

    lol. Sliderule, you are a brave man. I don’t know your age or the age of the fellows in your group, but if its 40+ they’ll all come through. Before that? Well, case by case. :-)

  36. Bushed says:

    Agree with LT re line 1 & 2. Hemmer seems to work with Hall, somehow. And if you flip 1&2 assignments so that Ebs RNH and Yak get softer minutes….

    “Unbalanced roster” comment above is 100% spot on. We can all see it. Or, wait a minute, didn’t Tambo say in the pre-game that he’s just going to “be patient, let these kids develop together, blah blah blah”. No need to get tougher, he says. Everything according to plan.

    If the plan is to be physically dominated all over the ice (other than Smid and Fistric), we’re good.

    I wonder what it’s like to have a real GM?

  37. cabbiesmacker says:

    CurtisS: Klefbom straight across?

    NM Curtiss. (sigh)

  38. Lowetide says:

    cabbiesmacker: NM Curtiss.(sigh)

    I agree with WG up the thread, a trade for COL’s holdout C probably means Gagner, maybe a little sweetener. He’s been what he is since walking through the door.

  39. BlacqueJacque says:

    Lowetide: I agree with WG up the thread, a trade for COL’s holdout C probably means Gagner, maybe a little sweetener. He’s been what he is since walking through the door.

    Who has been what?

  40. hags9k says:

    Dubnyk 26, Smid 26, Petry 25, Gagner 23, Schultz 22, Eberle 22, Paajaarvi 21, Hall 21, Nuge 19, Yak 19.

    We are all dissapointed because losing to Calgary brings a special pain. We were all wondering if this would be the year we get over the hump vs the Flames, the point where their old dam cannot hold back our young water. It still may be but we must also realize that this is likely the year we REALLY feel the “growing pains.” This season will be biggest test of the fans patience of the rebuild. The previous seasons of ELPH have built this roster but now they still need to struggle and emerge.

    The danger lies in having too high of expectations too early and chopping up this tree before it bears fruit. Everybody calm down… Stay the course. Patience. Add 4 to the numbers above and take a second to visualize. There will be no holding the water back. Let’s just enjoy watching this thing grow.

  41. cabbiesmacker says:

    Lowetide: I agree with WG up the thread, a trade for COL’s holdout C probably means Gagner, maybe a little sweetener. He’s been what he is since walking through the door.

    Agree LT but the sweetener is going to be a little dear on top of Gagner unless Colorado thinks they’ve got no chance of signing him. I always measure what it would take to get it done by what other teams would give for the same player and I think there’s enough clamoring for help down the middle that the kid brings some awful solid offers.

    He’d help fix what ails us I think, a nice age for this group, and still affordable from what I’ve read. Can’t believe the Av’s aren’t opening the wallet to get it done. Maybe yesterdays result did a little convincing.

  42. rickithebear says:

    GOAL (I know you guys do not think they mean much to the game) performance rates @ EV
    2010-11 & 2011-12
    Hall:
    W/ Horcoff 21GF 13GA 459.48TOI .618GFRatio .913GF/20
    W/ Eberle 51GF 44GA 986:03 .537GFR 1.034GF/20
    W/ RNH 17GF 15GA 381:51 .531 GFR .890GF/20
    EBerle:
    W/ Smyth 24GF 10GA 275:26 .706GFR 1.743GF/20
    W/ Hartikainen 6GF 3GA 115:07 .667GFR 1.042GF/20
    W/ RNH 35GF 24GA 645:44 1.084GF/20
    RNH:
    W/ Harti .667 GFR 2.00GF/20
    W/ Smyth .619GFR 1.42GF/20
    W/ Eberle
    Gagner
    W/ Eager 1.000GFR 1.737GF/20
    W/ Smyth 10GF 3GA 152:52 .769GFR 1.308GF/20
    W/ hartikainen .667GFR .664GF/20
    Smyth:
    w/ Gagner
    W/ Kopitar 9GF 3GA .750 GFR 1.227GF/20
    W/ Eberle
    W/ J. williams 31GF 20GA .608GFR .981GF/20
    Hemsky
    w/ hartikainen 4GF 1GA .800GFR .747GF/20
    W/ MP 9GF 4GA .692GFR 1.075GF/20
    W/ Gagner 27GF 24GA .529GFR .755GF/20
    W/ Penner 20GF 19GA .519GFR 1.053GF/20
    MP:
    W/ hemsky
    W/ belanger 5GF 3GA .625GFR .441GF/20
    W/ Hall .500GFR .901GF/20
    W/ gagner 24Gf 26GA .480GFR
    Belanger:
    w/ Korpikoski 11GF 4GA .733GFR 1.038GF/20
    W/ Stempniak 14GF 7GA .667GFR
    W/ MP
    W/ Pyatt .625GFR .986GF/20
    W/ Eager .600GFR .759GF/20
    Jones:
    W/ Eager .667GFR 1.129GF/20
    W/ lander .571GFR .857GF/20

    From all of this:
    Smyth-Gagner-Yakupov
    Hall-Horcoff-XXX
    HartiKainen-RNH-Eberle
    MP-XXX-hemsky

  43. BlacqueJacque says:

    cabbiesmacker: Agree LT but the sweetener is going to be a little dear on top of Gagner unless Colorado thinks they’ve got no chance of signing him. I always measure what it would take to get it done by what other teams would give for the same player and I think there’s enough clamoring for help down the middle that the kid brings some awful solid offers.

    He’d help fix what ails us I think, a nice age for this group, and still affordable from what I’ve read. Can’t believe the Av’s aren’t opening the wallet to get it done. Maybe yesterdays result did a little convincing.

    Why would we trade Gagner for O’Reilly?

    Gagner’s never had less than 40 points. O’Reilly had a 55 point season, which for all we know is a statistical outlier.

    You can look at advanced stats for last season in Colorado and even make a compelling argument that O’Reilly was better than Duchene and Stastny, but if so, why is Colorado willing to trade him?

    I’m missing something.

  44. BlacqueJacque says:

    Lowetide,
    Yeah I was just looking at something similar.

    So why are the Avs piddling about giving him a medium-sized contract?

    Also, do we know that it wasn’t Landeskog who carried that line? That kid is a beast.

  45. jfry says:

    I thought the oilers over committed to pressing around the offensive blue line resulting in turn overs and odd man rushes going the other way and Calgary did a great job of making sure that they got the puck on net during their 3 on 2s (that’s old school for “odd man rush”).

    Also agree with traktor that the ridiculous zone start for the gags line has been a result of numerous icings.

    Last night we also saw yak wanting to play the right side on many breakouts, resulting in him and he sky basically being in the same position. I’m going to disagree with Krueger and offer that yak is better suited to the right win in his zone and shows a better ability to clear his zone…this flies in the face of what rk was trying to achieve/say.

  46. BlacqueJacque says:

    Last night we also saw yak wanting to play the right side on many breakouts, resulting in him and he sky basically being in the same position. I’m going to disagree with Krueger and offer that yak is better suited to the right win in his zone and shows a better ability to clear his zone…this flies in the face of what rk was trying to achieve/say.

    Yak has drifted his way to the right wing in every game on multiple occasions. He NEEDS to go back to the right to play his game, or he needs a year in junior to learn to play LW.

  47. Lowetide says:

    BlacqueJacque:
    Lowetide,
    Yeah I was just looking at something similar.

    So why are the Avs piddling about giving him a medium-sized contract?

    Also, do we know that it wasn’t Landeskog who carried that line?That kid is a beast.

    O’Reilly is asking for a lot from what we hear. He’s beena CorsiRel heavy hitter for some time; I know many aren’t fans of it but for me it reveals a lot.

  48. misfit says:

    Corsi Rel and Zonestart lists always seem to mirror each other. Why is corsi rel still corsi relative to qualcomp, and not relative to zonestart? It seems like zonestart has the much bigger affect on a guy’s corsi than anything else.

  49. vishcosity says:

    sliderule:

    I have tickets for the game on wed and talked a bunch of guys into goingI paid for them on my credit card

    Do you think I should collect from them before the Colorado game in case they have another stinker.

    Well obviously your boys are in Arizona, so it will likely be their first hockey game ever. I sold the idea by chatting up 3 1OVs, beating the defending champs, and called it elite level run and gun. Its the only chance this year to see the Oil in the desert, and probably we all get free tacos.

    Bring the madness! No one likes the trap.

    Unless you bought in the lower bowl, you can’t have more than $50 bucks into it. (We’re going for the upper deck so they can actually see the game) and we’re going to buy at the door. If you don’t sell, lemme know.

  50. cabbiesmacker says:

    BlacqueJacque: Why would we trade Gagner for O’Reilly?

    Because he brings a lot more of what this team needs than SG does right down to be a left hander feeding Hemsky.

    Silly to think about probably being that Gagner’s contract next year will likely be on a par with or more than what O’Reilly’s camp is looking for right now. Colorado probably laughs themselves silly unless the sweetener Edmonton offers is very, very sweet.

  51. Gret99zky says:

    Woodguy,

    I don’t see Hall full of warts but he doesn’t appear to be as creative as the others. He certainly ‘bulls’ his way down the ice and into the zone but then what?

  52. Captain Happy says:

    BlacqueJacque: Why would we trade Gagner for O’Reilly?

    Gagner’s never had less than 40 points.O’Reilly had a 55 point season, which for all we know is a statistical outlier.

    You can look at advanced stats for last season in Colorado and even make a compelling argument that O’Reilly was better than Duchene and Stastny, but if so, why is Colorado willing to trade him?

    I’m missing something.

    O’Reilly plays the toughs, comes out way ahead, wins faceoffs, led all Colorado forwards in PK TOI/G AND managed to score 55 points.

  53. cabbiesmacker says:

    Lowetide: O’Reilly is asking for a lot from what we hear. He’s beena CorsiRel heavy hitter for some time; I know many aren’t fans of it but for me it reveals a lot.

    And yet the Av’s are reportedly offering in the $3.5 per range. Maybe I’m missing something but if I was a GM and thought I could sign him longterm in the $4.5 range I’d do it .

    Gagner + one of the seconds + any prospect they want with the possible exception of Kbom works just fine for me but still might be a lowball.

  54. BlacqueJacque says:

    Lowetide: O’Reilly is asking for a lot from what we hear. He’s beena CorsiRel heavy hitter for some time; I know many aren’t fans of it but for me it reveals a lot.

    $3-4m doesn’t seem that much.

    His CorsiRel is pretty high, and his zone starts are reasonable.

    I’m really not seeing much against this kid other than the fact that last year’s season is a serious outlier. That and he’s getting the best teammates, bar none.

  55. 48 percent body fat says:

    Ok guys, you dont want horcoff to get more minutes than you complain when Gagner gets them. Nuge cant handle tough minutes right now, and he is playing with Hall.

    Gagner is point per game, playing with a raw rookie, and starting defensively. As for the comment of icing the puck that has nothing to do with zone starts. It is where you start the shift and end it. You can ice it 20 times in the same shift and it will not affect numbers. He has only been on for one goal against on the PK.

    So it comes down to who you want playing tough minutes Gagner or Nuge. Seeing how nuge is getting cherry minutes and not producing right now I would pick Gagner. Let nuge light up the easier opponents. If hall is on with gagner or hemsky than the teams have to shift some of there focus. Further to that until last night pp2 was destroying pp1 on the powerplay and with half the minutes. LT is absolutely right. Gagner the tougher minutes. He was our +- leader last year and is older and more experienced. He may not be the better player but he is better suited for that role right now.

    Stop being fan boys and haters, because your milan lucic type center is not going to play for this team when we have to pay yak and schultz and nuge 6M.

  56. BlacqueJacque says:

    48 percent body fat,

    You kind summed up why, despite the struggles, I’m high on Gags.

    Freaking 25% offensive zone start.

  57. hunter1909 says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    Not a jot. I simply did my best to write the most outrageous thing imaginable, slagging off the OIlers in a predictive manner since the trolled qualitative content of some Oiler fans tends to lead straight into Walt Disney territory.

    I regret that some took it seriously.

    The Chinese translation might be: “Getting the first punch off in a streetfight”.

  58. BlacqueJacque says:

    hunter1909,

    Bravo. Last night, I honestly couldn’t tell if you were parodying all the panickers, or had yourself descended into madness.

  59. 48 percent body fat says:

    BlacqueJacque,

    I dont get why people think he is struggling. He had one bad night and the rest average for the team or good. PPG and scoring goals. He has babysat rookies his last three years.

  60. VOR says:

    O’Reilly is in an odd situation that explains the disconnect between him and the Avalanche. He was drafted to be a 3C. He can play defence, is an above average faceoff guy, and he has an elite skill as a forechecker. The plan was Duchene, Stasny, and O’Reilly. Which was a really good plan.

    Duchene got hurt and frankly struggled when healthy last year. That opened the door to O’Reilly playing a lot of minutes and with, as somebody said above, a beast. Thing is Colorado seems deeply committed to Duchene and he is back as the #1 and playing quite well. Stasny is a classic 2 so O’Reilly goes back to 3 and his 26 points and killing it on corsi against tough competition with bad zone starts. As I said in a previous thread O’Reilly wasn’t as good as Gagner at EVs last year and isn’t in the same class at EV’s as Duchene. Stasny would get killed agains the toughs so O’Reilly gets the heavy lifting and limited offensive opportunity.

    O’Reilly wants to be paid as a mid range #1C who can out play toughs. Colorado wants to pay him as an upper end 3C who kills it. I have no idea what that means in dollar terms but if the press is to be believed it is significant.

    Would he fit here? If we traded Gagner he would be a great replacement as 2C (not as good offensively, better defensively, and he would add some forecheck pressure to the opposition). He would also fit perfectly here as a 3C replacement for Horcoff. Would we pay O’Reilly as a 1C? Not a chance. Would he sign for less here? Who knows.

    I can’t see Colorado trading O’Reilly for Gagner (or vice-versa for different reasons) because Gagner isn’t a defensive center. If they wanted to replace Stasny then sure but not for O’Reilly’s role. It isn’t even clear if we could come up with trade bait that would work.

  61. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    hunter1909:
    Romulus Apotheosis,

    Not a jot. I simply did my best to write the most outrageous thing imaginable, slagging off the OIlers in a predictive manner since the trolled qualitative content of some Oiler fans tends to lead straight into Walt Disney territory.

    I regret that some took it seriously.

    The Chinese translation might be: “Getting the first punch off in a streetfight”.

    I too thought you had lost it, or were enjoying some intense self-pity… am I not wrong in assuming you tend to lean toward the cynical/pessimistic side of things?

    of course, I have a bad memory for sorting out the personalities around here and am basically a new comer…

    at any rate, your rant was very amusing.

  62. Lucinius says:

    Hall is probably one of the most frustrating players I’ve watched in recent memory (Ovechkin being the other main one). Last night he had me fuming because of that. He has so much strength, skill, speed.. and yet so often most of it turns into nothing or worse, a turn over going the other way. He’s a picture definition of ‘trying too hard’ all too often.

    Is he a bust? Hardly. (And for those ragging on Seguin, as someone who’s watched a couple Bruins games.. his stat sheet is deceptive — the guy has hit probably seven posts already, bounces are just not going his way) But it can be painful to watch a guy who can do what he can do.. and see it fizzle. Maddening, even. I don’t think he’s the best offensive player on the team (Eberle has that honour thus far, imo), but he’s close and pushes the play very well.

    In a similar vein, those ragging on MPS and needing to end that “experiment” baffle me. The guy has been, arguably, one of the best Oilers (not a #1 selection, Eberle or Schultz Jr.) this season. Especially the last three games — hell, he was the ONLY Oiler to turn in a complete 60 minutes against San Jose, and the best player on his line (Smyth and Horcoff are looking poor to start the season; a mix of age and the lockout, I believe).

    He’s never going to be a high scoring player, but he delivers something this team badly, desperately needs more of; an amazingly sound defensive game with size and speed with enough skill to make things go the right way, while being part of the young cluster. Sure, it’d be great if he used his big frame better and was more physical, but that may come (hell, look at Petry — physicality was something people said he’d never add to his game, and he has). Even if it doesn’t, if you want to be a playoff team you need players like Paajarvi and what he will likely mature into, especially with our top 6.

    Last night was a debacle, but it was a debacle because of just how winnable that game was. If Hall has a slightly better game, if Whitney, Nick Schultz and Petry don’t fumble the ball so much, and if decent refs work the game… we could have easily won that one, even though in the end, the better team on the night did win. Those are the losses that are the most frustrating. Worse than the games like San Jose, just because they are winnable and the Oilers are the ones that handed it to Calgary.

    But the kids are young, and none of them are a Crosby (generational talent), so it’ll take us longer, especially with the defensive zone issues with the system play and some questionable management/coaching (Hordichuk should be waived, period — he adds absolutely nothing to the team). Hopefully it gets better as the year goes along. Maybe it doesn’t (maybe it never does), but the potential is there.

    And after years of soul-crushing despair.. that glimmer of hope, of potential for better is crushing us even more than the despair when it goes awry because the fan base is fairly desperate.

  63. bookjLe says:

    hunter1909:
    Romulus Apotheosis,

    Not a jot. I simply did my best to write the most outrageous thing imaginable, slagging off the OIlers in a predictive manner since the trolled qualitative content of some Oiler fans tends to lead straight into Walt Disney territory.

    I regret that some took it seriously.

    The Chinese translation might be: “Getting the first punch off in a streetfight”.

    I admit to being sucked in – I blame lack of sleep.

  64. bookjLe says:

    Lowetide:
    lol. Sliderule, you are a brave man. I don’t know your age or the age of the fellows in your group, but if its 40+ they’ll all come through. Before that? Well, case by case.

    That’s funny cause its true!

  65. delooper says:

    Lucinius
    And after years of soul-crushing despair.. that glimmer of hope, of potential for better is crushing us even more than the despair when it goes awry because the fan base is fairly desperate.

    No way is this crushing. You’d have to be completely deluded into thinking the Oilers were going to win every game this season. Plenty of people thought Anderson, Messier and Coffee were punks that’d never make it. Trade them! Flush them! Gretzky is too small, sell him while his stock is bafflingly high!

    I think this group will do pretty well. They need insurance for Whitney. And Hordichuk and Eager aren’t doing a whole lot for the team. But maybe Eager can be okay. And I don’t know what they can do about Whitney as there’s likely no first rate free agent defencemen available right now. Other than that, this team will do quite well this season, a good shot away from the 2nd to last performance they had last year.

  66. delooper says:

    I’m kind of hopeful that, similar to J.Schultz, some first-rate d-man will demand a trade from his club and list the Oilers as one of only two or three teams he’s willing to go to. That way the Oilers can purchase him for magic beans.

  67. Bryan says:

    I am old enough to remember the early days of the golden era, going to games with my uncle! The thing that I remember most vividly is the vitriol that was heaped on those young players. Messier was likely the number one recipient as he would go through some games seemingly in a daze, having very little effect on the outcome! I was a little boy but I remember very well fans screaming for his head and wanting Sather to trade him for a bag of pucks just to get him out of town. Coffey came a little later but he was another target as he would mix in a brilliant offensive play with a series of confounding defensive miscues. There was grumbling about others as well, of course. Kurri was too soft and Gretzky whined too much and Anderson had been dropped off outside of town by a spaceship. Luckily Sather saw potential in all of them and stayed the course and their sweaters eventually ascended into the rafters.

  68. Woodguy says:

    Gret99zky:
    Woodguy,

    I don’t see Hall full of warts but he doesn’t appear to be as creative as the others.He certainly ‘bulls’ his way down the ice and into the zone but then what?

    He is an elite scorer.

    Check out some comparables:

    http://www.hockey-reference.com/play-index/psl_finder.cgi?request=1&match=combined&year_min=2005&year_max=&season_start=1&season_end=2&age_min=0&age_max=99&birth_country=&franch_id=&is_active=&is_hof=&pos=S&handed=&c1stat=goals_per_game&c1comp=gt&c1val=.3&c2stat=goals_per_game&c2comp=lt&c2val=.5&c3stat=games_played&c3comp=gt&c3val=50&c4stat=&c4comp=gt&c4val=&order_by=goals

    Based on the number of people questioning Hall and his skill, I really don’t think many EDM watch any games other than EDM ones.

    What exactly is everyone expecting?

    This team needs less FPS and more shot and net pressure.

    Hall delivers that and goals better than most in the NHL.

    What exactly is everything thinking they can upgrade to?

  69. Gerta Rauss says:

    I looked at the time stamp on Hunter’s post(4am) and took into account his membership in the Wiserhood, and judged his comments accordingly…:)

  70. Hayek says:

    Stop worrying and acting like the end of the world is here. We lost on the road to a Calgary team that has a poor record because they have been playing on the road. Obviously the Oilers aren’t finishing 1st in the conference as many of those who have been drinking the kool-aid have thought.

    We are going to improve from 29th, and probably miss the playoffs. Expectations are just way too high here.

  71. Woodguy says:

    BlacqueJacque: $3-4m doesn’t seem that much.

    His CorsiRel is pretty high, and his zone starts are reasonable.

    I’m really not seeing much against this kid other than the fact that last year’s season is a serious outlier.That and he’s getting the best teammates, bar none.

    HIs 19 year old year, before Landeskog, O’Reilly had:

    40% OZS, 2nd toughest on the team 11/12
    +11 RelCor, 2nd best on the team 2/12

    He was only 8/12 in 5v5 pts/60, but his most common linemates were Winnik and Yip

    He’s exactly who you want as the C for a tough minute out-scoring line if you can’t have a superstar.

    I’d say he’s a lot like Jordan Staal in many respects, except I think O’Reilly brings more offense.

  72. Hayek says:

    Oh, also, anyone notice how terrible Nick Schultz has been? Worst corsi on the team, and also identifyable as the main culprit in some scoring chances against. To think we gave up Gilbert for a guy who has a poor first pass, no offensive ability, and is slow is so frustrating. Personally, I don’t think he is good defensively, especially in the corners (but that is more of a personal opinion).

  73. Mr DeBakey says:

    I am old enough to remember the early days of the golden era

    Here is the Journal’s first NHL mid-season player ratings, courtesy of one T. Jones:

    http://tinyurl.com/a2o27m8

  74. Rebilled says:

    I’m just stoked that this team wants to win. You can tell.

    Last night was 3-3 if you discount the goalie getting punched/smacked in the face and pushed into the goal, before #94 touched him. The refs really fucked us last night. These head-shaker goals add up and always do. Two games in a row is a jagged little pill to swallow, even if she buys popcorn.

    So if we scored another goal nobody trades anybody? Hall is a not a bust? A bust? Really?

    I think they’ve had two bad periods(aside from penalties and moon cycles):

    1st period vs. Sharks(mostly penalties)

    3rd period vs. Flames

  75. hunter1909 says:

    Hayek: To think we gave up Gilbert

    “We” didn’t give up on Gilbert.

    So. Let’s get this nice and straight. You tell everyone to stop worrying in your first post, then in the second you delight in laying into Nick Schultz, a perfectly capable defensive NHL defenseman by any balanced measurement, entirely based on your own hysterical 4 game sample.

    Back to CP with you, troll.

  76. BlacqueJacque says:

    Woodguy: He’s exactly who you want as the C for a tough minute out-scoring line if you can’t have a superstar.

    Right, except for the fact that he wants to be a 2C or even a 1C. The Avs won’t want Gagner back since they want a 3C, so we’re faced with a three-way trade, or giving up someone like Magnus + a pick for O’Reilly, and then having to find a spot for him down the middle.

    It’s a tough trade to set up, even if you see value in O’Reilly as a 2C.

  77. raventalon40 says:

    Mr DeBakey:
    I am old enough to remember the early days of the golden era

    Here is the Journal’s first NHL mid-season player ratings, courtesy of one T. Jones:

    http://tinyurl.com/a2o27m8

    Risto Siltanen – C – For a 5-foot-8, 180-pound, 21-year-old who can’t speak good English, he’s been great.

    Terry Jones describes “being great” at hockey as somehow requiring someone to speak English well. Which for a professional journalist, he doesn’t speak English “good” at all!

  78. Gret99zky says:

    Woodguy,

    I agree the team needs more shots and net pressure. I agree that Hall is an elite talent. I think that RNH, Yak, and especially, Ebs will pass him in point production and overall effective offense in the future.

    I’m not saying trade him or send him down to the bottom 6. I don’t question his ability I predict the other kids will eventually become more elite.

  79. Oilertown says:

    48 percent body fat:
    Said all this since the beginning of the season.Thank LT.

    Nuge is not doing anything 5 on 5 with cherry zone starts.Time to ease him up.Less minutes also.Somewhere around 19-20.

    Kruger seems to have a lot of faith in gagner, yet he gets no 5 on 5 time.Tough zone starts and a Pk, other than one game is this his year.

    Up until last night the 5×4 points per sixty were well in favor of pp2.In fact wasnt nuge the only pp1 guy with a pp point.

    J Schullz, secretly on top of the oilers scoring.

    I know it is four games in. but lets not kid ourselves.If we cant get a lead in a game we are going to be drafting Jones or Mckinnon,

    I’M ok with that we could use both but Jones moreso.

  80. Gret99zky says:

    OT- What is MacT doing for the org again? Is he the voice of reason for Lowe or the voice of action for Tambi?

  81. hunter1909 says:

    raventalon40,

    Why don’t you just return to revisionist history chat?

    It’s fair game to hate on Terry Jones if you like, but people who insist on dredging up every fucking detail in anyone’s lives to be held against the PC post-Orwellian doublethink orthodoxy of 2013(I wonder who exactly thinks this kind of intellectual self-immolisation outside campus) seriously need more fresh air.

  82. Woodguy says:

    BlacqueJacque: Right, except for the fact that he wants to be a 2C or even a 1C.The Avs won’t want Gagner back since they want a 3C, so we’re faced with a three-way trade, or giving up someone like Magnus + a pick for O’Reilly, and then having to find a spot for him down the middle.

    It’s a tough trade to set up, even if you see value in O’Reilly as a 2C.

    There are a lot of assumptions in your post.

    How do you know what COL wants back?

    All I’ve read is that they want a young cheap C back + a pick and have no idea if that is reality.

    I do know that COL management have marching orders to build the team on the cheap and Stastny and his $6.6MM come off the books after next year.

    Maybe Gagner is exactly what they are looking for?

    Might not be as tough as you think.

  83. Woodguy says:

    Gret99zky:
    Woodguy,

    I agree the team needs more shots and net pressure.I agree that Hall is an elite talent.I think that RNH, Yak, and especially, Ebs will pass him in point production and overall effective offense in the future.

    I’m not saying trade him or send him down to the bottom 6.I don’t question his ability I predict the other kids will eventually become more elite.

    I get that.

    They may be more slick, but Messier was never slick and he was pretty damn good too.

  84. Woodguy says:

    Gret99zky:
    OT- What is MacT doing for the org again?Is he the voice of reason for Lowe or the voice of action for Tambi?

    The best description of his job that I read is that his job is to stop them and say:

    “are you really sure you want to do that?”

    Then tell them what the correct action is.

    I know Hunter is thrilled.

  85. FastOil says:

    The 5V5 play will improve over time as the players mature. The talent is young, the game very tough which is why so few young players can dominate in every discipline.

    I think there are still issues with the team’s make up. Even when everyone is older and hopefully better, the group seems to me too one dimensional, Hall so far being the only one really hard to play against, creating constant direct pressure on the other team, which is key to breaking them down.

    This is where the rubber meets the road for the management group. If they want to be seen as top shelf like their talent, they have to come up with winning solutions to address the team’s balance and needs.

    I see other GM’s make good moves, Lomardi’s dealings brought LA a Cup, I think Chiarelli’s did the same for Boston. Tambellini is also of Italian heritage so hopefully that is the magic needed ;) This is what I need to see from our group as well. For me what makes a really strong team, the lynch pin, is the strong two way succeed in any type of game centre. Be it O’Reilly, Hall, MPS, a free agent, whomever, they have to replace what Horcoff is still doing (for now). RNH or Gagner aren’t that kind of player to me.

    Like him or not, the last time the Oilers saw the Cup finals they rode in on Horcoff neutralizing some of the best centres in the game, even outplaying them. Rake didn’t hurt either, but I see Horcoff’s contribution as more important.

    Imagine a player like Bergeron allowing RNH and Gagner or whichever offensive type centres we have to do what they do best. It would be an immediate significant difference.

  86. BONVIE says:

    CurtisS: http://www.thefourthperiod.com/news/col130127.html

    Yes
    Providing the deal he would sign was reasonable longer term more in the 3-4 range.

  87. Gret99zky says:

    I think I’d give Hall the edge for slickness and Messier the edge for toughness, grit, determination, intimidation, leadership, aggression, strength, emotion, and one sick offwing snapshot to top cheese everytime.

    But I know you are not really comparing the two.

  88. hunter1909 says:

    AN OPEN LETTER TO FANS OF THE CALGARY FLAMES, and the rest of the NHL:

    Last night your hockey team was kind enough to welcome The Young Oilers into your Saddledome Arena to play another game in this convoluted season of NHL hockey. Furthermore, you beat The Young Oilers fair and square with your veteran team which, I think stands a fair chance of making the playoffs, and after last year, it’s pretty obvious an 8th place team CAN win the Stanley Cup.

    This season’s edition of the Oilers know, as well as the fans, that 2013 is not going to be the year for winning anything; because instead of entering the playoffs with a team like way back when in 2006, Oilers will either miss out entirely(although some predict the lottery I’m not so sure), or maybe hope to win a round or two. And realistically, even that’s a stretch for Oilers and their long suffering fans.

    Long time Oiler fans of today have lived though as many as twenty years or more of hockey purgatory. Those of us who remember, can see comparisons between the The Five young stars of the team today, and the Five superstars of days gone past. But, we know it’s still early days, and can agree with many of the criticisms currently being levelled towards the Oiler’s five top young players.

    Here are some of the things currently being said about The Young Oilers by their own fans:

    Taylor Hall – Don’t be fooled by his PPG pace so far, or the fact he’s stopped falling down all the time. There’s already talk in the Oilers blogs suggesting he might even turn out to be a bust.

    Ryan Nugent-Hopkins – He’s been a shadow of his rookie self so far this season, and who knows if he’s the real deal? I mean, really?

    Jordan Eberle – Looking like the best of the bunch, Eberle’s shooting percentage will simply be impossible for him to sustain over a career, and as a result we confidently see him as a very solid 50 point scorer.

    Nail Yakupov. Four games isn’t a lot, but Don Cherry may(or may not) have had a valid point.

    Justin Schultz – He hardly plays defence at all, more like a forward skating from the back of the rink. Too early to evaluate properly, but this isn’t the AHL where easy points are there to be made on a regular basis.

    Some of the other Oilers etc worth mentioning:

    Sam Gagner – Scoring a great looking goal against the Stanley Cup champions isn’t bad I suppose, but seriously, can the Oilers win with this guy? Some Oiler fans are suggesting Gagner gets packaged for a 6’3″ 70 point centre with Selke level defence. I think they might have a point.

    Ladislav Smid – Not exactly Chris Pronger, is he?

    Ralph Kreuger – What exactly has he achieved as a head coach? The Flames have Stanley Cup winner Bob Hartley, which gives that team access to one of the highest level brains in pro sport. But Switzerland? Couldn’t this guy get a job where they actually play hockey?

    I hope this letter helps clear the air with fans of the Calgary Flames, and the rest of the NHL. The Young Edmonton Oilers have potential, and some talent yes, but under the glare coming from the Gretzky-Messier-Kurri-Coffey-Anderson spoiled fanbase, it’s accepted that it’s only inevitable, that some of the current Five will not make it.

    In fact, who knows if any of them will make it in the end at all?

    Thank you for your cooperation, and taking time to read this.

    yours, and an OIlers fan
    Hunter1909

  89. maudite says:

    Random thoughts:

    MPS: I don’t understand why anyone is throwing knives in his direction at all. I find it pretty obvious when I watch him that this kid is an NHL hockey player. Bounced up and down the lines, not given much confidence and generally an afterthought compared to the golden boys…this kid is being poorly developed. Stick with him on the smyth/horc line, clearly define expectations and reward him when he is doing all the little things, not just punish him anytime he isn’t. If you can’t craft a player with his tool set and defensive instincts into one hell of a 3rd liner that can swing up the line-up when needed, the oilers have no one to blame but themselves.

    Reily and Subban: magic bean time (quanity type deals even draft picks). If you accept the fact that this team is likely going to be dismantling via Chicago/Pit style very shortly due to paying full freight for your elite top prospects….the time is between now and maybe Yak’s 2nd contract to be able to possess this much talent and surround it with enough 2ndary skill. By that time, gagner, smid, petry, shultz jr, nuge are all going to be up for a new contract.

    Dubnyk is your goalie,get used to it and accept that despite his save percentage he seems far down the list of my problems at the moment…unless you manage to pull a diamond out of the rough somewhere for cheap, we really can’t afford to spend more than maybe 5 million between the set of guys (and that would be high)

  90. maudite says:

    Nuge-xxx-Ebs
    Gagner-Hall-Yak
    Reily – MPS – xxx
    xxx xxx xxx

    Subban Shultz
    Petry Smid
    Fistric xxx
    xxx xxx

    Fill out the rest. I would put any draft picks over the next two seasons in play to locked down Reily and Subban. There is a pretty serviceable core. The rest is just up to capable management to make work.

  91. delooper says:

    Maudite: your RNH-Eberle line needs Dustin Penner.

  92. maudite says:

    Make that happen, tear up every contract (excluding entry level deal) and lay out a plan to all of them how you want 5+ years of that group together. Layout what needs to happen contract wise to make that work with enough flexibility to fill out roster and offer contracts to the lot.

  93. maudite says:

    Yeah, that would be great lol. Maybe they would take some d ‘prospects’ like plante (ahl allstar!!) and tuebert to make it work.

    Just have to accept the fact that much like the penguins, we are going to have some type of bargain one year deal in the top six to make it work. There just isn’t going to be enough money. We are deep in elite wingers and aren’t likely going to be able to swap any of them for equivalent depth in the middle. Thus talented enough players like Gagner and Reily on slightly lower cost contracts are going to have to work.

    delooper:
    Maudite: your RNH-Eberle line needs Dustin Penner.

  94. maudite says:

    Sorry for rambling but when I see these contract disputes with Subban and Reily it just makes me wonder. I would throw the kitchen sink to get them really at this point. Pretty locked up core of very young NHL talent it seems crazy not to do some reverse magic beaning at this point. I just fail to see what cost would be too high to pick up Subban over hoping our D prospects naturally develop to his point within our likely timeline to be a juggernaut. I also fail to see how any management involved in such inept last place hockey for so long will be capable of crafting an elite team long term…but that’s a whole other issue.

  95. hunter1909 says:

    Call me whatever you like, but I really happen to like the direction of this team in a big way at this moment.

    Five superstars under the age of 23.

    Gagner, Smid, Smyth, Petry, N.Schultz and others are perfectly good NHL players.

    Justin Schultz choosing Edmonton over 29 other teams sends a message to every greedy player agent(j/k, they’re all greedy as Rachmann) to call up Tambellini so to be able to beg and beg again for Tambo(who I can only imagine has grown a reputation as a murderous negotiator the guy just NEVER gives anything away by himself) to consider offering a now-amazingly seen as being what can only be described as a precious contract with the OIlers, lol.

    The worm has turned, folks. From now on it’s Hossa’s for 1.0 million on a 1 year deal.

    Just think: If you were a precocious young player, or let’s even flip the burger and it’s instead a totally established savvy veteran who wants to win a cup NHL player, who might you want to play for? The Calgary Flames?

  96. godot10 says:

    1) O’Reilly is a nice player but wants Jamie Benn’s contract in terms of money and term. (Over $5 million on a long term deal) The Oilers can’t afford that for a 2nd line centre. It is not value for money. I think the Av’s offered the same 2-year contract that Duschene got.

    2) So many people want all the skill, and then seem to want Jacque Lemaire to be the coach, and kil it all trapping. Krueger is going to let them play. He has begun to take the training wheels off of Nugent-Hopkins, and he is daring Gagner to earn his future with the Oilers. Krueger is coaching for the future, not for today.

    3) Taylor Hall is an elite ice-tilter. The boxcars may be so-so, because he not an elite finisher, but he will create time and space for anybody he plays with. The Oilers have the players to take advantage of Hall’s tilted ice.

    4) Paajarvi has the POTENTIAL to be an bottom six ice-tilter. A guy who can move the puck in the right direction on the third line. Just accept him for what he is. Don’t expect him to be what he is not. What he is can be something really useful to the team down the road. Heck, for Hartikainen to make it, he is going to need Paajarvi to get the puck up the ice, so he can play in the opposition end, which is where Hartikainen has NHL bottom six ability.

    5) If you are taking the training wheels off of Nugent-Hopkins, you play him with Hall and not with Yakupov. The Oilers will get a better contract out of Nugent-Hopkins if they don’t baby him and let him inflate his stats. Yakupov is getting two vets. He is an elite talent. He doesn’t need to be babied. He probably learn faster than all of the other #1′s.

    6) There is no effing point for the Oilers to play Renney hockey. The future is coming. Smyth and Horcoff are not part of that future. The argument being made seems to be that Renney was doing the right thing. Renney was a moron.

  97. Lowetide says:

    Godot10: Not a word out of place. Excellent points, I agree with all but one. :-)

  98. hunter1909 says:

    maudite: when I see these contract disputes with Subban and Reily it just makes me wonder. I would throw the kitchen sink to get them really at this point.

    With respect, what exactly is great about taking on another team’s disgruntled player? Particularly one that demands absolute top dollar – when Oilers already have enough of these types of players, and will eventually need to find more money to pay them?

    A team that throws away a potential dynamite future, simply to win 1 or perhaps 1 more cup isn’t a team I want anything to do with, given the current potential I see from this 2013 team.

    This is more of a gardening problem, where you can’t do anything else but wait for the sunrise, no matter how much LSD, Mescaline, MDMA you’ve taken before midnight, or whatever other bad things that are currently most popular in your home town. It’s really about Hall etc physically maturing into proper adults which will take each of them on a wildly varying trajectory that probably has them hitting the mark simultaneously around…ummm….2015? Is there a doctor in the house?

  99. sliderule says:

    I am sitting here watching golf and thinkig about the oilers caught between hope and despair.

    The game against LA was the hope the game against the cows was the despair.

    One minute they look like they have turned the corner and then they come up with a game that was not as close as score.

    Which oiler team will we see against Avs?

  100. delooper says:

    Sliderule: we’ll be seeing both all season. Some games more of one than the other, but they’re both there. Until this team solidifies, there’ll be plenty of both.

    Oilfans, in case you’ve forgotten, this is what *fun* feels like.

  101. maudite says:

    Workhorse young top 4 D don’t grow on trees. They also don’t fall like mana from heaven very often (who knew mismanaging your defense so badly could be a good thing ffs)

    Subban answers so many questions it’s not even funny and he fits the timeline of your core perfectly. I really couldn’t care what you have to give up in terms of picks/prospects, if there is a way to get this done, I would do it in a hearbeat.

    Reily, it is really dependent on money for sure. Between Gagner and him, I’d pay a bit more than traditional 2/3 center combo if I had to. What would it be worth? 8 million for the two of them? Is that doable, I’m not sure.

    Centers:
    Nuge (6 mil), Gagner (4 mil), Reily (4 mil), xxxx (1 mil) – 15 mil

    LW
    Hall (6 mil), xxx (2 mil), MPS (1.5 mil), Harti (1.0 mil) – 10.5 mil

    RW
    Ebs (6 mil), Yak (6mil), xxxx (1.5 mil), xxx (1 mil) – 14.5 mil

    Forwards 42.5 mil

    Defense:

    J shultz (4.5 mil)
    Subban (4.5 mil)
    Petry (3 mil)
    Smid (3 mil)
    Fistric (2 mil)
    xxxx (1 mil)
    xxxx (1 mil)

    D – 18 mil

    Goalies 4 mil

    Total: 64.5 mil…..ugh. NVM. I realize the defense contracts are likely too low as well…

    Really too bad one of those RW wasn’t an elite center and I still think those contracts for Hall/Ebs are a million high….so dumb not to wait on CBA. I’m just not sure how you build a team with the parts that we have atm. Serviceable and winning 3rd line C’s generally still come in around 3 million no? I just look at this team and the timeline and honestly find it really hard not to see us being in the door is closing on getting the cheap run on Lord Stanley. We will be a good team no doubt but full fare for all our draft picks is coming way too soon for us to likely capitalize on it’s true value.

    hunter1909: With respect, what exactly is great about taking on another team’s disgruntled player? Particularly one that demands absolute top dollar – when Oilers already have enough of these types of players, and will eventually need to find more money to pay them?

    A team that throws away a potential dynamite future, simply to win 1 or perhaps 1 more cup isn’t a team I want anything to do with, given the current potential I see from this 2013 team.

    This is more of a gardening problem, where you can’t do anything else but wait for the sunrise, no matter how much LSD, Mescaline, MDMA you’ve taken before midnight, or whatever other bad things that are currently most popular in your home town.It’s really about Hall etc physically maturing into proper adults which will take each of them on a wildly varying trajectory that probably has them hitting the mark simultaneously around…ummm….2015? Is there a doctor in the house?

  102. delooper says:

    I’m not sure I get your point Maudite — what you’re suggesting clearly breaks the bank. So something else is going to happen.

  103. hunter1909 says:

    Lowetide: Many grovelling apologies if my ahem, remarks about the team looked legit to you at 6am. I didn’t mean a single bloody word of that post in fact I was merely pointing out the tsunami of scornful and foolhardy levels of thought, which would rival any Welsh coalface, coming ahead for you and your fine blog now the Oilers are back on the North American Mind Map.

    Batten down the hatches, it’s going to be a bumpy ride.

  104. Captain Happy says:

    maudite,

    Thanks for working through the numbers…saved me a lot of time.

    While I think you reached the right conclusion, I think it’s even tougher than you imagines.

    AT LW, you’ve only allotted $2m for #2. Unless that player is on an ELC that is likely about $2M shy of what would be required.

    I think it’s conceivable that both Shultz and Subban will be both $5+ players in the not too distant future and I would expect both Petry and Smid would each be pushing $4M.

    Yo also only allotted $4M for goaltending but any above average starrting goaltender would cost $4M + all by himself.

  105. hunter1909 says:

    Apparently Wild fans really hate the Oilers. Fuck knows why. Any ideas?

  106. Lowetide says:

    hunter1909:
    Apparently Wild fans really hate the Oilers. Fuck knows why. Any ideas?

    Maybe they’re made we got Nick Schultz? :-)

  107. delooper says:

    Because Minnesota has never won anything?

  108. maudite says:

    delooper:
    I’m not sure I get your point Maudite — what you’re suggesting clearly breaks the bank.So something else is going to happen.

    Yeah, I know. point being we are in a world of hurt sooner than later. I guess. Just not sure how to slice the pie here. Still would go hard for subban as he fits the cluster really well.

  109. maudite says:

    Really hoping they make the playoffs this year…next year is likely your year you could stack a team for a real cup run to be honest.

    Shultz Jr on the cheap
    Nuge and Yak still entry level
    Petry on the cheap.

    I would do almost anything I could to get myself set up to really come out hard next year. After that it’s going to be cap hell.

  110. godot10 says:

    maudite:

    Centers:
    Nuge (6 mil), Gagner (4 mil), Reily (4 mil), xxxx (1 mil)– 15 mil

    Defense:

    J shultz (4.5 mil)
    Subban (4.5 mil)
    Petry (3 mil)
    Smid (3 mil)
    Fistric (2 mil)
    xxxx (1 mil)
    xxxx (1 mil)

    D – 18 mil

    Goalies 4 mil

    Total: 64.5 mil…..ugh.NVM. I realize the defense contracts are likely too low as well…

    ========================================
    It appears you haven’t been paying attention. Both O’Reilly and Subban want more than $5 million per season.

    So you are missing over $1 milliion for each of those guys.

  111. hunter1909 says:

    delooper:
    Because Minnesota has never won anything?

    I don’t know about that. One of the 1972 North Stars played for the original Team Canada, and played an integral part in the overall Canuckski VE Day Cellies from that tournament.

    And as for the 2013 roster of Wild Stars or whatever they’re called these days, Ethan Moreau has won the same amount of major hardware than any of this team which equates to nothing whatsoever, but I have to admit a certain sneaky like of them. Am really looking forward to playing a Minnesota team that can keep up to the Bhoys.

  112. hunter1909 says:

    maudite:
    Really hoping they make the playoffs this year…next year is likely your year you could stack a team for a real cup run to be honest.

    Shultz Jr on the cheap
    Nuge and Yak still entry level
    Petry on the cheap.

    I would do almost anything I could to get myself set up to really come out hard next year.After that it’s going to be cap hell.

    I hate to have to be the one who has to tell you this, but no one wants to see the Oilers in any kind of cap hell, ever; because it guts your roster faster than a rented rototiller. Then what? You’re right back where you started,except now the 29 other teams fans are laughing even louder at the dumbest management imaginable. And then the new arena won’t draw flies, and then in the upcoming apocalypse…

  113. vishcosity says:

    Obama has a printing press, remember. While the cap is set for next year, Weimar style management of the US money supply will guarantee a rising cap if only by way of certain inflation.

    2014-15 cap should be north of 70M. After that it could easy rise by 5M/y or more. And that doesn’t include the off chance that Bettman Burke can grow revenue.

  114. Gret99zky says:

    Minnesota found out that Kevin Lowe sent an offer sheet to Parise and Suter and they had no choice but to match, putting them in cap hell.

  115. Gret99zky says:

    With all the fans coming back ‘as if nothing ever happened’ the cap should rise very quickly to above $70M.

  116. Captain Happy says:

    vishcosity:
    Obama has a printing press, remember.While the cap is set for next year, Weimar style management of the US money supply will guarantee a rising cap if only by way of certain inflation.

    2014-15 cap should be north of 70M.After that it could easy rise by 5M/y or more.And that doesn’t include the off chance that Bettman Burke can grow revenue.

    Even if revenue soars next year there is no way the cap hits $70M in 14/15.

    Remember the players share of HRR will drop to 50% from 57%

    Even next year’s cap of $64M (remember the league wanted $60M) is likely artificially high and will be subject to severe escrow.

    I would think a cap of about $63M to $65M is realistic for 14/15.

  117. maudite says:

    hunter1909: I hate to have to be the one who has to tell you this, but no one wants to see the Oilers in any kind ofcap hell, ever; because it guts your roster faster than a rented rototiller. Then what? You’re right back where you started,except now the 29 other teams fans are laughing even louder at the dumbest management imaginable. And then the new arena won’t draw flies, and then in the upcoming apocalypse…

    Uhm, hate to be the one to tell you this, but we are likely headed to cap hell whether you like it or not. Once we start paying full fare for the wunderkids (hall, eberle, yak, nuge, shultz) it’s going to be hard to afford the secondary skill required to really pull something off. That’s likely half your cap right there when all is said and done.

  118. godot10 says:

    One of the main reason the cap and NHL revenues exploded during the last CBA was the rising Canadian dollar because of rising commodity prices. And Canada was running a trade surplus.

    The thing about the rest of the world economically collapsing is that they stop buying stuff. Canada is now running a small but persistent trade deficit. (Stronger economies tend to.)

    But this is likely to persist, because western Canadian oil and natural gas are trapped and fetching only bargain basement pricing. LNG won’t be exported from BC for another 5 years. And oil wil be infrastructure constrained probably for another decade. Much Alberta oil is fetching a $30 dollar discount to WTI, and WTI is at a $15 dollar discount to Brent or current world pricing.

    So those large trade surpluses are not returning anytime soon. The only thing keeping the Canadian dollar stable right now is foreign buying massive amounts of provincial (Ontario and Quebec and soon Alberta) and federal government debt.

    This means that the ascent of the Canadian dollar is likely over. Hopefully it will stabilize, and not reverse.

  119. denny33 says:

    sliderule,
    Could not agree more about MPS.

    1. MPS has puck flying down the wing vs. LA – here we go I say to myslef – a glimmer. Wait – caught by Jared Stoll? Are you serious?
    2. Same thing happened against Calgary – forgot the player – caugh from behing carrying the puck.

  120. denny33 says:

    Bryan,

    In his 2nd season, Mark Messier had 23 goals , 40 assists for 63 points in only 72 games played.

    He also had over 100 penalty minutes.

    I don’t remember ANYONE complaing.

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