CANUCKS AT OILERS, G9 (12-13) 4.2.13

The first time Edmonton and Vancouver played each other, the power in the division belonged to Chicago. The “Smythe” division predictions for 1979-80 had the Blackhawks #1, followed by three very young clubs in this order: Vancouver, St. Louis and Edmonton. Winnipeg had been crushed in the expansion draft and the Colorado Rockies weren’t expected to score goals under new coach Don Cherry (but they did lead the league in trades).

The first game between Edmonton and Vancouver was played Sunday, October 14, 1979 in Edmonton’s Northlands Colisuem. It was a 4-4 tie.

oilers canucks oc 79

I bet Risto Siltanen drilled the end boards with slapshots 11 times that night. This is a nice boxscore because it includes Allan Hamilton, Gretzky, Messier, Dave Dryden and of course Stan Weir. Nice.

smid4

We’re beginning to get some insight into how Ralph Krueger is using his defense. With a rookie in Justin Schultz, a veteran with issues in Ryan Whitney and a top pairing that is -3 (each) after 8 games, there’s room for improvement.

QUALITY OF COMPETITION

d qualcomp

They all look pretty closely clustered, especially the top 4D as listed here. I’m not certain there’s a lot of information we can gain yet via this graphic (anyone?) save for the TOI/60 at 5×5 is pretty damn close. RK seems to be rolling, rolling, rolling based on time-on-ice and this qual comp graph after 8 games.

ZONE START

d zone start

This gives us some confirmation of what the F zone starts showed us: Krueger is more interested in getting his best players into offensive situations than any matchup advantage he might gain. All of the pairings you’d expect to get a zone start push (any pairing with J Schultz) gets it, and then the veteran pairings take the rest. Great idea, I just wish Krueger had 6 healthy men.

CORSI REL

d corsi rel

This looks like a decent match for the F Corsi Rel if the Nuge line and the Schultz party of two lined up a lot of the time

f corsi rel

Good match, right? In a thread below (the Martindale one) Woodguy posted a link that showed the top 2 D pairings playing most of their 5×5 time with the Nuge line. Conclusion: Ralph’s a wizard. And the top pairing of Smid and Petry should be doing better, correct?

dubnyk

Dubnyk is having a nice start to the season but I’m not certain we should expect a major correction anytime soon, at least at even-strength.

  • 11-12SP EV: .927
  • 12-13SP EV: .922
  • 11-12SP PK: .854
  • 12-13SP PK: .926

So at evens, Dubnyk’s current level of play is less than what we saw one year ago. His penalty-killing SP ranks 5th among goalies who have played 3 or more games so far this season–that total may have some correcting to do.

The Oilers have to get this roster situation straightened away. Currently, the 23 man roster looks like this:

  1. G Devan Dubnyk
  2. G Nikolai Khabibulin (has not played)
  3. D Ladislav Smid
  4. D Jeff Petry
  5. D Nick Schultz
  6. D Justin Schultz
  7. D Ryan Whitney
  8. D Corey Potter
  9. D Mark Fistric
  10. D Theo Peckham (has not played)
  11. C Ryan Nugent-Hopkins
  12. C Sam Gagner
  13. C Shawn Horcoff
  14. C Anton Lander
  15. L Taylor Hall
  16. L Nail Yakupov
  17. L Ryan Smyth
  18. L Teemu Hartikainen
  19. L Darcy Hordichuk
  20. R Ales Hemsky
  21. R Jordan Eberle
  22. R Lennart Petrell
  23. R Magnus Paajarvi

IR: C Eric Belanger, L Ben Eager, D Andy Sutton, R Ryan Jones

Khabibulin will play soon, but the Peckham situation is galling. I understand the need to protect depth and Peckham shouldn’t be shuffled for nothing. However, the club should either IR Ryan Whitney or risk waivers on Peckham or Potter. That extra roster spot, combined with Hordichuk being on the roster at all, make it difficult for the coach to make moves that give the hockey club their best chance to win.

And, as a fan, that’s frustrating.

turnbull, ashby, weir

I think management of the current team could learn a thing or two from the 1979-80 crew, who had some veteran savvy up the middle.

With Belanger out, we have to assume Horcoff the warrior is back in. The lineup might look like this tonight:

  • RNH-Hall-Eberle
  • Gagner-Yakupov-Hemsky
  • Horcoff-Smyth-Petrell
  • Lander-Hartikainen-Paajarvi
  • Smid-Petry
  • Schultz-Schultz
  • Fistric-Potter
  • Dubnyk with NK backup
  • HS: Whitney, Peckham, Hordichuk

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463 Responses to "CANUCKS AT OILERS, G9 (12-13) 4.2.13"

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  1. Bar_Qu says:

    Don’t know there’s a lot to criticize in this game. Down a couple of important players, on a roster already short, this was a pretty good effort. Sure the Canucks took it to them, but they smelled blood in the water and used a deeper, healthier roster to push hard. And Dubnyk almost stole it.

    Proud of this team tonight. ‘Nuff said.

  2. Ice Sage says:

    spoiler

    Well, sure, since VCR is so great and all. Shut down the Sedins but face the fury of Hansen, bieksa and tanev??. This team has a long way to go.

  3. hunter1909 says:

    Fellow Oiler Fans: I know it blows to see the Nucks leave Dodge with the W, but think! Bettman Point!

    Also, there is a team 200 miles to the south of the city where their hockey team bravely positions itself for another incredibly brave and decent attempt to make the playoffs. Where no lottery picks need apply, as they’re more than happy with their Olympic star Canadian, and the Finnish all star goalie.

    PS: One day everyone who saw tonight’s game will be able to say; I saw Yakupov when he sucked!

  4. russ99 says:

    Ugly game tonight. This one was just as bad as the egg they laid on Saturday in Colorado, the lead and a few good hits just masked the obvious.

    Kids trying to do too much and force the issue instead of making the smart play, not enough good scoring chances, both goals were flukes, can’t win a faceoff to save our lives, down to 5 healthy overworked defensemen and Dubnyk lets in a bad goal, yet stands on his head just to keep us in this one.

    I hope Tambellini is working the phones to get us a faceoff-winning center, as this is going to plague us all year until we do something about it.

  5. spoiler says:

    BlacqueJacque: Did they deserve better?25 shots vs 40.

    Before you yell injuries, I’m just going to kindly point out that Kesler is probably worth more than Horc and Belanger combined.

    Kesler wasn’t in the line up tonight. Horc and Fistric were. C’mon man.

  6. crude says:

    Oilers goose is cooked.

  7. eidy says:

    Ebs cheating for offense on that last one. He has had a tough few games by eye. Won’t slump for long with that much talent.

  8. BlacqueJacque says:

    spoiler: Kesler wasn’t in the line up tonight. Horc and Fistric were. C’mon man.

    Do you really think Horc and Fistric were the difference in 15 shots against and god only knows how many chances? =/

  9. eidy says:

    I would see what arnott is doing. Also I think sa wise would be better on the wing. Makes too many curious decision in defensive end and not strong enough on face-offs.

  10. Ribs says:

    Coach Smith better start giving the kids some shot blocking lessons. Yakupov almost decapitated on that last shot.

    Next practice for Dubnyk – All blocker side shots

    It was great to see that the Oilers can roll with Vancouver this year.

    Edler looks like he grew a couple inches from last season. Yikes.

  11. Lowetide says:

    A few things:

    1. The Nuge line–THE NUGE LINE–were matched up against the Sedin line. And they played them straight up until late WHEN THEY RAN THEIR SHOW!
    2. The blue was exhausted, lost a man early and that’s going to happen.
    3. Dubnyk was out of his mind good.
    4. Oilers could have won this on the PS or any number of 5 bell chances (Schultz, etc). They lost, it happens.
    5. The Nordic line gives RK more depth and more options.
    6. Smyth turned back time.

    I know they are weak at center when Horcoff and Belanger are down, but hell that’s true of any team. Seriously. Look away from the shot clock and then look at the scoring chances:

    Dennis King Final chance tally: 18-18; 2-3 ST

    Even, ladies and gents. And that was with two major injuries and all of the other things that happened in this game.

    Honestly, I can’t understand how anyone can feel down about this hockey club. Do me a favor and throw in a game from the dog days of 2009-10 and watch one of those.

    Man. Wonderful team.

  12. cabbiesmacker says:

    Lowetide:

    But this game? If you walk away with anything, know that this team is going to be in some very good places.

    And soon.

    Soon being next year LT? Assuming Lowe and his lackey awaken from their stupor and sign some FA’s that can play the game?

    “”I know they are weak at center when Horcoff and Belanger are down””

    And lacking huge even when they’re 100%. Gagner would be a decent hockey player if was 60 minutes of PP and 4 on 4.

  13. Captain Happy says:

    Lowetide: Nah, its not that bad. This team has some depth issues–center is a problem and we know that–but they were playing the class of the division tonight. I’ll give you the Colorado game, they needed to be better.

    But this game? If you walk away with anything, know that this team is going to be in some very good places.

    And soon.

    Vancouver has been out of sync for almost a year (check their PP) and missing their second line.

    Under more normal circumstances the Oilers would have been humiliated tonight.

    DD barely held them in it.

  14. Captain Happy says:

    Lowetide:
    A few things:

    1. The Nuge line–THE NUGE LINE–were matched up against the Sedin line. And they played them straight up until late WHEN THEY RAN THEIR SHOW!
    2. The blue was exhausted, lost a man early and that’s going to happen.
    3. Dubnyk was out of his mind good.
    4. Oilers could have won this on the PS or any number of 5 bell chances (Schultz, etc). They lost, it happens.
    5. The Nordic line gives RK more depth and more options.
    6. Smyth turned back time.

    I know they are weak at center when Horcoff and Belanger are down, but hell that’s true of any team. Seriously. Look away from the shot clock and then look at the scoring chances:

    Dennis KingFinal chance tally: 18-18; 2-3 ST

    Even, ladies and gents. And that was with two major injuries and all of the other things that happened in this game.

    Honestly, I can’t understand how anyone can feel down about this hockey club. Do me a favor and throw in a game from the dog days of 2009-10 and watch one of those.

    Man. Wonderful team.

    Giddy as a a school boy.

    Oh Man.

  15. "Steve Smith" says:

    cabbiesmacker: And lacking huge even when they’re 100%. Gagner would be a decent hockey player if was 60 minutes of PP and 4 on 4.

    So a point per bloody game falls short of “decent” now? I don’t think I even have any mockery with which to greet that insinuation.

  16. Bos8 says:

    Captain Happy: Giddy as a a school boy.
    Oh Man.

    Cue the raven.

  17. tcho says:

    Lowetide:
    A few things:

    1. The Nuge line–THE NUGE LINE–were matched up against the Sedin line. And they played them straight up until late WHEN THEY RAN THEIR SHOW!
    2. The blue was exhausted, lost a man early and that’s going to happen.
    3. Dubnyk was out of his mind good.
    4. Oilers could have won this on the PS or any number of 5 bell chances (Schultz, etc). They lost, it happens.
    5. The Nordic line gives RK more depth and more options.
    6. Smyth turned back time.

    I know they are weak at center when Horcoff and Belanger are down, but hell that’s true of any team. Seriously. Look away from the shot clock and then look at the scoring chances:

    Dennis KingFinal chance tally: 18-18; 2-3 ST

    Even, ladies and gents. And that was with two major injuries and all of the other things that happened in this game.

    Honestly, I can’t understand how anyone can feel down about this hockey club. Do me a favor and throw in a game from the dog days of 2009-10 and watch one of those.

    Man. Wonderful team.

    Thanks, LT. I was feeling bummed about giving up the 2-0 lead, but this put things nicely in perspective. And, yes, agreed – chances (by eye) seemed fairly even.

  18. "Steve Smith" says:

    Captain Happy,

    Funny how much less the tumour takes out of you after a Canucks win.

  19. Lowetide says:

    Captain Happy: Vancouver has been out of sync for almost a year (check their PP) and missing their second line.

    Under more normal circumstances the Oilers would have been humiliated tonight.

    DD barely held them in it.

    Dennis King ‏ Final chance tally: 18-18; 2-3 ST

  20. rickithebear says:

    I look forward to the prime years 27-32
    Gagner 4 seasons from now
    Eberle, hartikainen, J. Schultz 5 seasons from now
    MP; Lander, Hall 6 seasons from now
    RNH, Yakupov 8 seasons from now.

    the next 15 years are going to enjoyable.

    SIGH!

  21. Lowetide says:

    “Steve Smith”:
    Captain Happy,

    Funny how much less the tumour takes out of you after a Canucks win.

    Hahahaaha. Good one.

    Horcoff: broken knuckle. He’s gone for awhile.

  22. "Steve Smith" says:

    rickithebear: 4-8 seasons before there 6 best seasons.

    During which time we will be unable to afford them all. Unless some of them wind up as big disappointments; I suppose we can always hope for that.

  23. "Steve Smith" says:

    Lowetide: Hahahaaha. Good one.

    Really? I sort of thought you might delete it.

  24. fifthcartel says:

    Tambo has to make some sort of trade with both Belanger and Horcoff gone. I don’t think another OKC kid will help much.

  25. Lowetide says:

    fifthcartel:
    Tambo has to make some sort of trade with both Belanger and Horcoff gone. I don’t think another OKC kid will help much.

    Well it depends on how long Jones is out. Hahahahahahahahahaha.

    Seriously, they could (and I suspect will) recall vandeVelde and run

    1. Nuge
    2. Gagner
    3. Lander
    4. VandeVelde

    on Wednesday. Or move Smyth over. Basically they’re screwed for Wednesday.

  26. knighttown says:

    Faceoffs:

    Horcoff 3/13
    Lander 3/8
    Gagner 3/15
    Nuge 6/19
    TOTAL 15/55

    Are they really going to let faceoffs keep them from competing for a playoff spot? Ferfuxsakes, fix it!

  27. Zelepukin says:

    Captain Happy: Vancouver has been out of sync for almost a year (check their PP) and missing their second line.

    Under more normal circumstances the Oilers would have been humiliated tonight.

    DD barely held them in it.

    I tend to agree in that Vancouver is a shell of its former offensive self right now. Luongo and their top 4 D are really keeping them in games.

    We need to start scoring some goals. Given our defensive play, shots allowed, and defensive face-off percentage, our GF is not going to cut it at 2.4 goals per game.

  28. knighttown says:

    Silver lining here is that Tambellini almost must waive Hordichuk (assuming 10 isn’t IR’ed immediately). Can’t lose Lander because of faceoffs and MPS really deserves to stay.

  29. Zelepukin says:

    @TSNRyanRishaug: Horcoff broken knuckle, long term.

    Hallsy won that late defensive zone faceoff. Make the move cause i seriously doubt Tambo is going to deal for a C.

  30. spoiler says:

    People, these are children leading this team.

    RNH is one season removed from the draft. Playing against possibly the best centre in the Western Conference the past 5 years.

    Hall two seasons. Yak a raw rookie. The 4th line is 2 rookies and a Born Again rook. A top 4 defenceman is also a rook. It’s Doobie’s first year as a starter.

    And they battled hard down two soldiers. Sure they looked young at times. That’s because they are.

    They’re learning. And tonight was a good lesson. Could we show a little patience, please? Enjoy the ride!

  31. Bar_Qu says:

    Is it too much to hope they send out Hordichuk on waivers and bring up a couple of guys?

    Or that Toonces gets a trade down in the next24 hrs?

    :-/

    I think I will mark sixth grade composition Wed night. Might not be as painful.

  32. voxwah says:

    Horc is out long term with a broken knuckle. Shitty deal.

    Call Arnott asap….

  33. Lowetide says:

    VandeVelde is the #1 option imo out of OKC, although Arcobello and Green are also available. They could move Smyth to center, too. It’ll be interesting to see how Ralph handles it.

  34. cabbiesmacker says:

    “Steve Smith”: So a point per bloody game falls short of “decent” now?I don’t think I even have any mockery with which to greet that insinuation.

    Totally decent 4 on 4 and on the PP yep. Mock me with his +- if you must? Or with his 20% FO stat tonight? Maybe his excellent O zone entries?

    Lovely second assist though.

  35. jp says:

    knighttown:
    Faceoffs:

    Horcoff 3/13
    Lander 3/8
    Gagner 3/15
    Nuge 6/19
    TOTAL 15/55

    Are they really going to let faceoffs keep them from competing for a playoff spot?Ferfuxsakes, fix it!

    Wow, good thing we won’t have to worry about Horc in the dot for a while…

  36. wordbird says:

    voxwah:
    Horc is out long term with a broken knuckle. Shitty deal.

    Call Arnott asap….

    Arnott? Connolly? not a ton of looking-for-work centers out there…

  37. eidy says:

    I would keep Nordic line the same. Put VDV with smyth and petrell

    ….or trade for o’reilly:)

  38. Ryan says:

    russ99:
    Ugly game tonight. This one was just as bad as the egg they laid on Saturday in Colorado, the lead and a few good hits just masked the obvious.

    Kids trying to do too much and force the issue instead of making the smart play, not enough good scoring chances, both goals were flukes, can’t win a faceoff to save our lives, down to 5 healthy overworked defensemen and Dubnyk lets in a bad goal, yet stands on his head just to keep us in this one.

    I hope Tambellini is working the phones to get us a faceoff-winning center, as this is going to plague us all year until we do something about it.ant
    S

    We don’t have much to trade.

    Trade Hemsky or Gagner, that’s it unless you want a Plummer.

  39. Lowetide says:

    Arnott isn’t going to get here before Wednesday, and we don’t even know if he can play. Belanger might be back by the weekend so we’re dealing with Wednesday and that’s probably VandeVelde.

  40. rickithebear says:

    “Steve Smith”: During which time we will be unable to afford them all.Unless some of them wind up as big disappointments; I suppose we can always hope for that.

    HuH! Contraction of PHX, FLD to QUE, NYI to Brooklyn.

  41. cabbiesmacker says:

    knighttown:
    Faceoffs:

    Horcoff 3/13
    Lander 3/8
    Gagner 3/15
    Nuge 6/19
    TOTAL 15/55

    Are they really going to let faceoffs keep them from competing for a playoff spot?Ferfuxsakes, fix it!

    Gagner the worst of the original 4 starters. at 37.5% now and below Lander. Maybe he’ll get really really good at them in his 7th pro season.

  42. Ribs says:

    Just get LA to ship back Stoll and Penner for a couple of draft picks. No problem. Hah.

  43. wordbird says:

    Lowetide,

    Ralph will come up with creative solutions, I don’t doubt. but man, a little more experience in the lineup would help. and ditching Eager or Hordichuk needs to happen pronto. Man I miss Ryan Jones.

  44. spoiler says:

    BlacqueJacque: Do you really think Horc and Fistric were the difference in 15 shots against and god only knows how many chances? =/

    Well, that doesn’t make your Kesler argument any less strange. And the chances were even. The Canucks were firing shots from everywhere, not a lot were quality. That was one of the lessons the Oilers needed to learn tonight.

    And the right question is, do I believe they could have made a difference to the outcome of the game, and the answer to that is “Yes, I do”.

  45. "Steve Smith" says:

    rickithebear: HuH! Contraction of PHX, FLD to QUE, NYI to Brooklyn.

    So! Water damage to my blender, variable rates of deforestation.

  46. cabbiesmacker says:

    jp: Wow, good thing we won’t have to worry about Horc in the dot for a while…

    If it weren’t for he and Belanger the team FO stats would be awful ugly. We can forgive Nuge due to his age and experience. (cough…cue repetitive Gagner drivel)

  47. wordbird says:

    The Canucks were firing shots from everywhere, not a lot were quality. That was one of the lessons the Oilers needed to learn tonight.

    Amen to that. too much hesitation, too much turning away and trying to make a ‘better’ play/pass. Hope Ralph’s practice tomorrow is non-stop shooting drills.

  48. Zelepukin says:

    On the plus, our PK has been stellar.

  49. Ryan says:

    cabbiesmacker: Gagner the worst of the original 4 starters. at 37.5% now and below Lander. Maybe he’ll get really really good at them in his 7th pro season.

    Good news cabbie!!!

    Gagner’s primed for a pump and dump.

    9 3-7-10

  50. jp says:

    Not a bad game at all, for a loss. Too bad Dubie let that last one in after such a strong game.

    SS: On or over the line, but definitely funny,

    CH: All the best.

    I think we’ll see Arcobello on Wednesday, but agree they’re screwed. I think the Horc/Belanger injuries could be a blessing in disguise beyond Wednesday though. This team has shown they want to win this year, and these injuries force them to go get a decent 3C. Maybe they’ll get a stopgap, but I’m hoping they make a move for a guy that can play that role for a bunch of years (after Horc and Belanger are long gone). We’ll see, it could just be ugly, but they’re not going to go for the next 6 weeks with just the OKC guys.

  51. Ryan says:

    This is what happens when you run Nuge-Gagner down the middle in the top six.

    Sure if a team loses 3/4 centers, the season is over, but losing 3 and 4 shouldn’t create this problem unless you have a 2c who can’t pk or win draws.

  52. Ryan says:

    Serious question, is there a team in the league who has 1c and 2c that can’t win draws and neither pk’s?

  53. spoiler says:

    Well, the ideal move would be something to Colorado for O’Reilly and then sign him long term. I don’t think Gagner will do it. He seems too similar in playing style to Duchene. And the odds of Colorado dealing within their division are slim to anorexic.

    Gregor mentioned in his blogpost today that there has been interest in Whitney. He didn’t say who, but my estimation is that it would likely be a team looking to fill a powerplay hole. Whitney would also be relatively cheap for a cash-strapped team during this shortened season. But as Gregor also poonted out, trading Whitney would leave a hole on D, no matter his physical deficiencies. Myself, I’d rather wait and see whether or not he can get his new limits figured out and play smartly within them.

  54. LMHF#1 says:

    Very worried the team will simply say “Lander played well!” and move him up. Until we actually make a needed move at a time such as this one, I don’t believe they’re interested. Both Arnott and Connolly are not perfect players, but would do just fine for what we need.

  55. wordbird says:

    Leafs with two depth-centers in minors… Connolly and Steckel. fair bit younger options (31 and 30) than Arnott or Brendan Morrison (38 and 37), whom Gregor mentioned on Twitter.

  56. Gerta Rauss says:

    I think Daymond Langkow is still unsigned.

    You could see that tying goal coming from a mile away.

  57. LMHF#1 says:

    Why isn’t Langkow playing? Decent enough year last year including a respectable playoff showing…what’s the deal?

  58. LMHF#1 says:

    Lowetide:

    1. The Nuge line–THE NUGE LINE–were matched up against the Sedin line. And they played them straight up until late WHEN THEY RAN THEIR SHOW!

    Problem – They’re starting to pass up their best shooting chances. Wouldn’t see them doing that last year or if they’re feeling good about how they’re playing in the offensive zone. Something needs to change. We can’t let these guys lose confidence over a prolonged period.

  59. jfry says:

    Steckel might be perfect

  60. spoiler says:

    I’d also try Dom Moore’s agent and see if he wants to take his mind off things, and bury himself in his work.

    I’m not sure Connolly can play the defensive role he’d be asked to play. Steckel’s a better choice. Langkow too. I don’t think Arnott would come here.

    Need somehow to get O’Reilly. Colorado’s goal is to be cheap but competitive. Hmm. Colorado doesn’t really have a true PP QB. I wonder if 1 season of Whitney (plus first crack at re-signing him cheap) and something real like Hartikainen would do it.

    I don’t really care about this season other than they take steps forward. I think they already have and we’re at the beginning of seeing the evolution of a very good team.

    But O’Reilly would really seal the deal.

  61. blackdog says:

    Pretty sure Langkow has officially retired

  62. sliderule says:

    Lots of oiler problems on display last night.

    Faeoffs are bad but that is partly on our young smaller wingers.The bruins and Sharks lead this area by a bunch because they have big strong team.

    Dubie is not going to be answer.He is big and if you throw shots at him a lot will hit him but because he is clumsy he is going to leave lots of holes for the weak goals to slip thru.That’s why teams shoot from all over the ice at him.

    The forwards have to pick up a man in their own end.Too much chasing leaving people open.

    Lots of work for RK

  63. Rocknrolla says:

    Watched the Hall penalty shot again in slow mo. He clearly picks the five hole beating louongo clean. Lou got lucky. The puck hit his stick, then he slightly reacted. That’s why he made it look easy. He didn’t even see it.

    So I give him a mulligan on that one. He said they watch tape, he picked the right spot. Just missed slightly.

    Soon he will bury all of these…great times ahead!

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