COACH KRUEGER’S NEXT MOVE

Ralph Krueger did not deliver a searing post-game show last night, he did not utter the name Barbara Ann Scott and he did not throw anyone under the bus (as coach Renney did last season to Sam Gagner after saying he would never do it in training camp). Krueger’s best quote from last night: “Overall, it was an excellent hockey game.” Love it. Take the pressure off the kids and make the coach a lightning rod for the fans. Beautiful.

The Oilers lost a game they could have gathered a point from last night, and after the first 10 minutes (imo) they did not set the pace of the game. My feeling is that this Oiler team remains a group that is getting all kinds of chances and that’s a wonderful thing. They have no puck luck, their defensemen go walkabout or are inert for fear of tipping and Jesus, Mary and Joseph last night was a dart to the heart.

But this team is getting there.

One of my favorite commenters on the state of the Oil is Dennis King, and two tweets from the King after the game really tell the story for me:

  1. 3rd period chance total: 2-5. Overall: 21-20; 5-1 ST. Oilers had the chances, they did not bury them. I think coach Krueger needs to get something going with the PP–maybe feature that big slapshot from Kid Russia. But the scoring chance total from Dennis reads like a broken record–the Oilers are getting them and outchancing the other side.
  2. Loss harkens back to the days of Tommy Salo: Oilers can’t score and a tipped shot finds the net with less than 5 min remaining. Yes. Ralph Krueger probably got home last night, poured a glass of scotch (a strong one), and looked into the fire for a time. Maybe someone real or imagined asked “what went wrong?” and maybe Ralph responded with “It’s nobody’s fault, but…..”

I wonder if Ralph is going to start going to the whip with the top line soon, playing them even heavier minutes. Ben Eager playing 11 minutes is from the Pat Quinn playbook. Let’s not go there.

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83 Responses to "COACH KRUEGER’S NEXT MOVE"

  1. crude says:

    Right to the heart!

  2. RMGS says:

    Can’t say I love that quote, even if I believed it had the strategic purpose you suggest, LT. There’s no need to throw the team under the bus to point out that the game was far from excellent, perhaps starting with the coaching (Parkatti’s argument about match-ups comes to mind).

    And yes, the team keeps getting chances (or at least the top line does), but I’d love to see how many of those are secondary chances off rebounds with players driving the net. The beauties from the slot will eventually start going in, but the team will need more goals off of secondary chances to win.

  3. BlacqueJacque says:

    Speaking of coaches, holy shitballs, Lindy Ruff got canned.

    He’s been head coach in Buffalo for so long that this actually feels like a historic day to me.

  4. Woodguy says:

    RMGS:
    Can’t say I love that quote, even if I believed it had the strategic purpose you suggest, LT.There’s no need to throw the team under the bus to point out that the game was far from excellent, perhaps starting with the coaching (Parkatti’s argument about match-ups comes to mind).

    And yes, the team keeps getting chances (or at least the top line does), but I’d love to see how many of those are secondary chances off rebounds with players driving the net.The beauties from the slot will eventually start going in, but the team will need more goals off of secondary chances to win.

    Link to Micheal Parkatti’s work:

    http://www.boysonthebus.com/2013/02/19/game-notes-oilerskings-feb-19/

  5. BlacqueJacque says:

    Lowetide:
    Ruff’s had worse days
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PDt8pgmsfV0

    Unbelievable. Ruff wasn’t a goon, but was no shrinking violet, either.

    I’d forgotten how incredibly tough Cam Neely was. How many other guys were that scary and could score? Lindros? Gillies? There’ve been other power forwards, like Shanahan or Bertuzzi, but they weren’t quite as scary, or Lucic, who doesn’t score as much.

    Man, imagine the Oilers with a modern-day Gillies on the second line left wing.

  6. Lowetide says:

    BlacqueJacque: Unbelievable.Ruff wasn’t a goon, but was no shrinking violet, either.

    I’d forgotten how incredibly tough Cam Neely was.How many other guys were that scary and could score?Lindros?Gillies?There’ve been other power forwards, like Shanahan or Bertuzzi, but they weren’t quite as scary, or Lucic, who doesn’t score as much.

    Man, imagine the Oilers with a modern-day Gillies on the second line left wing.

    Neely was awesome. He’d score three and then spank you on the way to the bench. Loved watching him play. I’ve never felt bad for any player for losing a SCF against my Oilers but Neely and Dave Poulin were close.

  7. PointGiven says:

    By eye i thought that was one of eagers better games. Some chaos and some bad zone finishes though. Trouble with flat out speed game is often correct positioning can defeat it. first ten mins was LA on their heels. Trap adjustment and closer gaps and our strategic advantage was mostly stopped. Old veteran coach vs. Youngsters still trying to find their way with doing that one thing right. Better days ahead as the team matures. As you say “we wait. ”

    This road trip is scaring me. Bad road trip and on the otherside whitney/khabby better have a trade bag packed.

  8. BlacqueJacque says:

    Woodguy: Link to Micheal Parkatti’s work:

    http://www.boysonthebus.com/2013/02/19/game-notes-oilerskings-feb-19/

    Those game-by-game stats aren’t very kind to Gagner. The second line in general is in trouble, but according to that Yak is the best of them and Gagner is just… wow.

  9. ashley says:

    Why did they remove the ref’s names from their jerseys. Are they trying to hide from something?

    In its essence, hockey is unpredictable theatre complete with heros, villains, and gaffes by the zebras subjectively enforcing an objectiv- appearing set of rules. The script is written second by second in front of adoring fans. The refs should be part of the theatre. It would give something more for the fans to hand their hat on. Something to look forward to (Fraser) or dread (Magoo) when you see them take the ice. It’s the business of entertainment.

    Maybe these refs are taking themselves too seriously.

  10. Lowetide says:

    BlacqueJacque: Those game-by-game stats aren’t very kind to Gagner.The second line in general is in trouble, but according to that Yak is the best of them and Gagner is just… wow.

    It was the same in the first 14 games, Gagner and Hemsky were right at the bottom for SF/SA using Michael’s numbers
    http://lowetide.ca/blog/2013/02/chance.html

  11. sliderule says:

    I think the oil set up just fine when Yak is on PP.
    He has got a lot of one timers that just haven’t gone in.
    It’s Hall who isn’t getting the quality shots.Set up behind the goal line negates his strength ,his shot.
    In his first year he was on half wall like Yak and I remember a couple of goals were he didn’t one time but just used his wrist shot to blow it by goalie top corner.
    Come on RK get with it.

  12. BlacqueJacque says:

    Lowetide: It was the same in the first 14 games, Gagner and Hemsky were right at the bottom for SF/SA using Michael’s numbers
    http://lowetide.ca/blog/2013/02/chance.html

    Well, after a long… long…. very, very long time of defending Hemsky and Gagner… trade them while they’re high?

    What can I say? The rookie is carrying the line. Maybe put Yak on the top line, just to see how he does with NHLers?

  13. Lowetide says:

    Zharkov with an assist, his team has 7 tonight.

  14. RMGS says:

    BlacqueJacque: Well, after a long… long…. very, very long time of defending Hemsky and Gagner… trade them while they’re high?

    What can I say?The rookie is carrying the line.Maybe put Yak on the top line, just to see how he does with NHLers?

    LOL! Good one (I hope)! :-)

  15. Lowetide says:

    BlacqueJacque: Well, after a long… long…. very, very long time of defending Hemsky and Gagner… trade them while they’re high?

    What can I say?The rookie is carrying the line.Maybe put Yak on the top line, just to see how he does with NHLers?

    No. I wouldn’t do that, but suspect many think it is a good idea about now. :-)

  16. BlacqueJacque says:

    I am sort of joking, but those numbers are shockingly bad. The fact that a raw rookie is the best on that line, playing out of his natural position, just raises all sorts of ugly questions.

    Especially Gagner, considering this is a contract year and I’ve already suspected he’s cheating for offense just based on my own eyeball… I mean, if he continues putting up a PPG, he could well demand a big contract. Eberle/Hall big. But for a 6th year player to be the biggest hole on a line with an offense-minded rookie and another player criticized in the recent past for his own effort level and dedication to defence… I don’t want to deal with that mess. That’s a messy, messy problem.

  17. Lowetide says:

    BlacqueJacque:
    I am sort of joking, but those numbers are shockingly bad.The fact that a raw rookie is the best on that line, playing out of his natural position, just raises all sorts of ugly questions.

    Especially Gagner, considering this is a contract year and I’ve already suspected he’s cheating for offense just based on my own eyeball… I mean, if he continues putting up a PPG, he could well demand a big contract.Eberle/Hall big.But for a 6th year player to be the biggest hole on a line with an offense-minded rookie and another player criticized in the recent past for his own effort level and dedication to defence… I don’t want to deal with that mess.That’s a messy, messy problem.

    I think the Oilers do have to figure out that line, it’s a key. Part of the plan is no doubt getting Horcoff back, and I do believe that Yakupov would be better off with #10 for the remainder of the season (plus powerplay).

    I suggested at ON last night that Penner might be a solid pickup for the Gagner line, there’s history there and lots of chem with both 89 and 83 iirc.

    Bottom line is that Gagner and Hemsky do have to be better, I’m just thankful they’re scoring and getting lots of chances.

    Re: Yakupov’s better numbers. I’d suggest that it has a lot to do with times he isn’t with 89-83 but don’t have proof of it.

  18. Lowetide says:

    Classic line from new MAtty article

    “I’m going to dump it in Gibby’s (Gilbert’s) corner and see how he handles it,” said Oilers winger Sam Gagner, who lived with Gilbert during his early NHL days.

    “If he can catch me. It’ll be Sam’s first dump-in all year,” Gilbert said jokingly.

    http://www.edmontonjournal.com/sports/hockey/edmonton-oilers/Gilbert+Nick+Schultz+trade+both+Oilers/7993480/story.html?cid=dlvr.it-twitter-ej_oilers

  19. BlacqueJacque says:

    Re: Yakupov’s better numbers. I’d suggest that it has a lot to do with times he isn’t with 89-83 but don’t have proof of it.

    Well, yeah, it has to be.

    But those times when he’s not with them, he usually does better without them than they do without him.

    I’m really running out of excuses for Gagner. If this wasn’t a contract year I wouldn’t worry, but I do. Is it extra effort for a contract? Is it cheating on defence to put up big numbers? Or is it a statistical fluke in a short season?

    There are just too damn many variables and yet the result is going to be a big salary on top of questionable defensive play.

  20. BlacqueJacque says:

    Lowetide:

    http://www.edmontonjournal.com/sports/hockey/edmonton-oilers/Gilbert+Nick+Schultz+trade+both+Oilers/7993480/story.html?cid=dlvr.it-twitter-ej_oilers

    “Edmonton wanted shutdown defenceman to be a ‘safety valve’ for prized rookie Justin Schultz”

    It’s almost as if the Oilers knew where Schultz was going… Combined with the about-face on Murray/Reinhart? Tsk.

  21. Woodguy says:

    Tencer tweeted that Jones is ready this week, probably after COL on Saturday.

    If they send down 91 I hope someone asks RK why they are sending down 9% of their non-PP goal scoring.

  22. Lowetide says:

    BlacqueJacque: Well, yeah, it has to be.

    But those times when he’s not with them, he usually does better without them than they do without him.

    I’m really running out of excuses for Gagner.If this wasn’t a contract year I wouldn’t worry, but I do.Is it extra effort for a contract?Is it cheating on defence to put up big numbers?Or is it a statistical fluke in a short season?

    There are just too damn many variables and yet the result is going to be a big salary on top of questionable defensive play.

    I think there are some things we can say at this point.

    1. The Nuge is already a better player defensively. I didn’t think that was true and maybe I’m wrong but that kid wins the puck a lot and we know he isn’t 100%.

    2. The league Sam was playing in may not have done him any favors.

    3. Gagner is posting crooked numbers at an excellent clip so he’s going to get paid if that continues.

    I think it’s probably wise to look back on Gagner’s book of work previous to this season and not overreact, but then again the Oilers press release the day they signed him wasn’t exactly a ringing endorsement.

    I’m still convinced of Sam Gagner, but suspect I’m part of a decreasing group of fans.

  23. jp says:

    Gagner and Hemsky’s team rank in QoC and Corsi by season with actual Corsi in brackets
    (These are Corsi Rel QoC and Corsi ON for Oilers forwards with over 20 GP)

    Gagner:
    12-13 6/9 (-17.31)
    11-12 7/4 (-2.18)
    10-11 7/5 (-3.81)
    09-10 14/4 (-2.51)
    08-09 9/6 (-0.90)

    Hemsky:
    12-13 11/10 (-17.48)
    11-12 2/3 (1.51)
    10-11 2/8 (-6.59)
    09-10 7/2 (2.85)
    08-09 11/3 (4.27)

    For comparison, Yakupov:
    12-13 8/7 (-10.00)

    I don’t know what’s going on with these two guys, but it’s not something we’ve ever seen before from them. You can’t blame it on tougher quality of competition – Gagner’s is marginally tougher than the past 2 years, but still mid range. Hemsky’s has never been any easier. Yet they’re getting slaughtered… Hopefully they can turn it around, and/or Coach can juggle the lines to get them going. They both have a long history of holding their own against similar/tougher competition – it’s hard to imagine things have fundamentally changed.

    Edit: Gagner’s book of work looks a lot different than this season’s results.

  24. Captain Happy says:

    Woodguy:
    Tencer tweeted that Jones is ready this week, probably after COL on Saturday.

    If they send down 91 I hope someone asks RK why they are sending down 9% of their non-PP goal scoring.

    Maybe because that 9% pro-rates to 11 points over an 82 game season?

    Pretty tough to replace 11 points :)

  25. BlacqueJacque says:

    Lowetide,

    I, too, believe that Gagner is more likely to figure it out than not, or at least that the risk/reward of him figuring it out is really good. A somewhat high risk (say, a 60% chance he never learns to be good two ways), but with a fantastic reward.

    The problem is his contract. Sign another 1 year? No, pointless for the same reasons this 1-year wasn’t working. Sign a 2-year? He goes UFA instantly. 3 years? Not really enough reward on the contract if he pans out. 4 years? Too much risk on the contract if he doesn’t pan out. A $6 million demand is almost guaranteed if he comes close to Hall, or exceeds Eberle’s pace last year.

  26. Lowetide says:

    JP: Hemsky has always been effective when healthy, and that includes years when he was playing on the 1line and against the killers of the NW.

    Gagner to my eye has improved slowly over the years. But this season he doesn’t look good.

    Freaky? Yes. But the point is fix it.

  27. HBomb says:

    Woodguy:
    Tencer tweeted that Jones is ready this week, probably after COL on Saturday.

    If they send down 91 I hope someone asks RK why they are sending down 9% of their non-PP goal scoring.

    Jones, who I’m not as big a fan of as some, should be back in the lineup when ready.

    However, he should not be in the lineup at the expense of Magnus Paajarvi. Or Teemu Hartikainen for that matter. And if that means Theo Peckham goes through waivers? So be it.

    Ideally, with everyone healthy:

    Hall-RNH-Eberle
    Yakupov-Gagner-Hemsky
    Hartikainen-Horcoff-Paajarvi
    Smyth-Belanger-Jones

    Petrrell and Eager can spot in for Smyth or Jones if needed, but 56 and 91 should play every night.

    Is this unreasonable? I don’t think so.

  28. BlacqueJacque says:

    Speaking of everyone getting healthy, I can’t believe I’m asking this as if I care – because apparently all of a sudden I do – but when is the Horcster coming back?

  29. Gerta Rauss says:

    Anybody else having problems getting to that boy on the bus link..?
    I’m getting a server error even if I try to get to the home page.

    Maybe I’ve got something cached and need to clear my browser history.

  30. BlacqueJacque says:

    Gerta Rauss,

    I was having problems earlier but it seems to have sorted itself out.

  31. Lowetide says:

    Gerta Rauss:
    Anybody else having problems getting to that boy on the bus link..?
    I’m getting a server error even if I try to get to the home page.

    Maybe I’ve got something cached and need to clear my browser history.

    Try this
    http://www.boysonthebus.com/

  32. Gerta Rauss says:

    BlacqueJacque,

    thanks…I’ll fire up another PC in the house and see if that works.

  33. Gerta Rauss says:

    Lowetide,

    thanks-that works now, in fact the link from the earlier thread is working as well…stupid internet thingy…

  34. Lowetide says:

    Gerta Rauss:
    Lowetide,

    thanks-that works now, in fact the link from the earlier thread is working as well…stupid internet thingy…

    The one that never works for me is Copper and Blue. I click on it and it just sits there and then my computer freezes. Man I miss that site.

  35. VanOil says:

    Here is a crazy comment I am slightly ashamed to make. What it the problem on the Hemsky-Gagner line is not the 3d wheel but the spokes. Maybe they should be broken up. The only way I see that working is for our highest paid center to slot in when he is healthy again.

    Horcoff would provide the Russain Sniper and Czech Assassin faceoff wins, net presence and defensive cover.

    Gagner would have Smyth and Jones to cover him defensively. If he continues to score on that line Oilers would win a lot of games.

  36. Woodguy says:

    HBomb: Jones, who I’m not as big a fan of as some, should be back in the lineup when ready.

    However, he should not be in the lineup at the expense of Magnus Paajarvi. Or Teemu Hartikainen for that matter.And if that means Theo Peckham goes through waivers? So be it.

    Ideally, with everyone healthy:

    Hall-RNH-Eberle
    Yakupov-Gagner-Hemsky
    Hartikainen-Horcoff-Paajarvi
    Smyth-Belanger-Jones

    Petrrell and Eager can spot in for Smyth or Jones if needed, but 56 and 91 should play every night.

    Is this unreasonable?I don’t think so.

    I like your lines, but 89-83 need help and 64 isn’t it.

    4 and 14 played a year with 10, its a good learning year.

    Also,

    Bra and Panties has NYI and EDM talking 3-way with COL to get O’Reilly here.

    I would be very happy with that.

    Has TOR and DET kicking tires on 6 too.

    He/she/them hit 16 on waivers a couple days before it happened.

    B&P also has SJS kicking tires on 83, but were told he’s not going anywhere this year.

  37. jp says:

    VanOil:
    Here is a crazy comment I am slightly ashamed to make. What it the problem on the Hemsky-Gagner line is not the 3d wheel but the spokes. Maybe they should be broken up. The only way I see that working is for our highest paid center to slot in when he is healthy again.

    Horcoff would provide the Russain Sniper and Czech Assassin faceoff wins, net presence and defensive cover.

    Gagner would have Smyth and Jones to cover him defensively. If he continues to score on that line Oilers would win a lot of games.

    Well, that would be a good way to assure Gagner’s not asking for 6M this summer.

    Gagner-Hemsky will have to break up before long if things don’t change drastically though. I still think they might get it together since they’ve been 2/3 of an effective line in the past.

    If they’re split, I might run Smyth-Horcoff-Hemsky and Paajarvi-Gagner-Yakupov. But whatever…

  38. Lowetide says:

    Van Oil: that might be the best plan available, Horcoff has been mentore to Hall and Ebs and certainly could help settle things down for Yakupov. I find myself waiting for him to return to the early part of the season where he was finding open spaces.

    Gagner has been able to find chem with pretty much everyone, given time. I think he and Harski-Paajarvi would do well together if they allowed them to stay together for awhile.

  39. stevezie says:

    VanOil,

    I like the sounds of it. Smith and Jones have enough offensive acumen that I think they could play with Gags and Hemsky and Yak have enough of the same that they should be able to make due with Horcoff (who would cover for them).

    I find it funny that to the casual fan Hemsky and Gagner are the biggest pleasant surprise of the year (other than Schultz) and to the hard-cores on here they are the biggest problem.

    Gagner’s underlyers are frustrating to me because I’ve liked his work in the PK and love the effort he is showing out there. He might be the sickest of losing of the whole team. I’m right there with LT in having long believed in Samwise, but terrible underlying stats crossed with great PPG times a contract year does seem to add up to it being time to sell high. That he might have been the one to lure JS here makes this whole thing even murkier.

  40. Woodguy says:

    BlacqueJacque:
    Speaking of everyone getting healthy, I can’t believe I’m asking this as if I care – because apparently all of a sudden I do – but when is the Horcster coming back?

    Not to be too much of a gossip, but B&P also tweeted that 10 out longer than anticipated so a FA signing at C coming.

  41. VanOil says:

    jp: Well, that would be a good way to assure Gagner’s not asking for 6M this summer.

    Agreed, If he scored as he is on that line like he is now he would be worth 6M.

  42. jp says:

    Woodguy: I like your lines, but 89-83 need help and 64 isn’t it.

    4 and 14 played a year with 10, its a good learning year.

    Also,

    Bra and Panties has NYI and EDM talking 3-way with COL to get O’Reilly here.

    I would be very happy with that.

    Has TOR and DET kicking tires on 6 too.

    He/she/them hit 16 on waivers a couple days before it happened.

    B&P also has SJS kicking tires on 83, but were told he’s not going anywhere this year.

    I like the sounds of all those rumors. Except the Horc injury thing. Though even signing a FA center has my interest. Maybe Moore is ready to play some games again?

  43. stevezie says:

    Woodguy,

    While I wouldn’t want to negotiate Gagner’s contract this summer, I might want to talk to the o’Reilly camp even less. We all know what he’s got going for him (did you know he and Gagner two of only seven forwards since Y2K to play 2500 minutes in each of their 18/19 year-old seasons?), but it sounds like he is trying to get paid big off of one 55 point season where he was playing with Landeskog. Sure he cracked the show at 18, but he was a twenty point guy for the first two years. Even in junior he was never a point-a-game player.

    He’s exactly what this team needs (well, he’s not big or tough, but that doesn’t really matter) so I think you have to investigate, but rule number one in the modern NHL is don’t kill your cap (rule 1.a is term matters more than money). His defence is so reliable that even if he’s already had his career year he will never be a wasted roster-space, but how much has that cushioned the blow of Horcoff counting for 5.5?

  44. Lowetide says:

    Woodguy: Not to be too much of a gossip, but B&P also tweeted that 10 out longer than anticipated so a FA signing at C coming.

    Arnott? I can’t think of anyone else, unless they pick up McCormick from Buffalo off waivers but that’s not a free agent signign.

  45. M Parkatti says:

    It’s actually kind of amazing that the Oilers have as many points as they have, considering how much they’re getting outshot and how terrible their even strength shooting percentages are right now. They can thank their power play for that. Things will even out, but how this plays out in reality will be unpredictable in terms of game results.

    I feel myself getting pessimistic more and more over time (save for the COL game).

    This may very well be the perfect storm to sell Gagner high. His underlying numbers are crap, but he’s got points coming out of his ass (mostly from PPs). It’s not like we’re asking him to carry a line with MPS and Omark, he’s got the best 18 year old in the world on his left and one of the most talented RWs in the league on his right. There is no explanation — the results just aren’t there. I’ve defended him for years as a fantastic complementary player, but if we have to sign him to a 5/$25M type of deal to reward terrible underlying performance we have a problem. If you can engineer something to get ROR, this may be the first time I’ve been on board with trading Gags. I feel a bit dirty…. yuck.

  46. FastOil says:

    BlacqueJacque:
    Lowetide,

    I, too, believe that Gagner is more likely to figure it out than not, or at least that the risk/reward of him figuring it out is really good.A somewhat high risk (say, a 60% chance he never learns to be good two ways), but with a fantastic reward.

    The problem is his contract.Sign another 1 year?No, pointless for the same reasons this 1-year wasn’t working.Sign a 2-year?He goes UFA instantly.3 years?Not really enough reward on the contract if he pans out.4 years?Too much risk on the contract if he doesn’t pan out.A $6 million demand is almost guaranteed if he comes close to Hall, or exceeds Eberle’s pace last year.

    Perhaps the management group has become stat heads and they are letting him walk into the sunshine of better than good hockey players. You scored well, but all of your points are PP and you got handled at the man part of the game.

  47. Woodguy says:

    stevezie:
    Woodguy,

    While I wouldn’t want to negotiate Gagner’s contract this summer, I might want to talk to the o’Reilly camp even less. We all know what he’s got going for him (did you know he and Gagner two of only seven forwards since Y2K to play 2500 minutes in each of their 18/19 year-old seasons?), but it sounds like he is trying to get paid big off of one 55 point season where he was playing with Landeskog. Sure he cracked the show at 18, but he was a twenty point guy for the first two years. Even in junior he was never a point-a-game player.

    He’s exactly what this team needs (well, he’s not big or tough, but that doesn’t really matter) so I think you have to investigate, but rule number one in the modern NHL is don’t kill your cap (rule 1.a is term matters more than money). His defence is so reliable that even if he’s already had his career year he will never be a wasted roster-space, but how much has that cushioned the blow of Horcoff counting for 5.5?

    Gagner is going to command $ not that far from O’Reilly

    I bet you can get him long term at or under $5.

    He was out shooting since he was a rookie.

    18 years old and almost breaks even in shots playing with McLeod and Tucker as his main line matesm. 4th line and moved up the depth chart.

    19 years old and out shot 2nd level comp mostly with Winnik and Yip.

    20 years old and beats the toughs with Landeskog and Hedjuk and gets 50 points doing it.

    Kept his head at level water without Landeskog at 49.3%, but played vast majority with him.

    He’s exactly what this team needs besides D and D are way easier to find than 2C.

    I agree with Micheal. I like Gagner a lot, but if he is going to cost close to O’Reilly and you have a chance to get O’Reilly, you do it and don’t think twice.

  48. B S says:

    The underlying numbers for the second line seem misleading, not necessarily the boxcars. Remember, Corsi is based on shots, how often does Hemsky shoot the puck in the offensive zone? maybe once every few shifts after he’s carried it in and circled the net three times (he has a 22% shooting percentage), or after the first couple trips behind the net he one-times it to Gagner who lets of a slapper which is then picked up by a Dman and sent the other way, not exactly conducive to high shot totals, but the ones that are take are generally high percentage shots.

    In the Dzone Gagner tends to cover the points while Hemsky helps down low, The opposition is given the option to shoot, but from the outside (zone rather than man-to-man coverage). This would inflate the shot totals against, but not necessarily the scoring chances. Does anyone know whether the save% is worse with Gagner and Hemsky on the ice? if Gagner is genuinely missing his coverage then the opposition should be getting better scoring chances against when he is on.

    I’ve been a fan of Gagner for years and I’m not about to write off a good year over some questionable stats, but I certainly wouldn’t want the Oilers paying any 2nd line center more than $4.5 mil./year (Max 5 year term for Gagner), which is also why I don’t want O’Rielly on this team (He’s holding out for term and money, apparently because he thinks a single 55 pt season makes him better than Landeskog and Duchene, when it doesn’t even make him any better than Gagner).

    Also, Nuge has looked off in the Ozone this season (a tenth of a second off the setups), hopefully his goal gets him out of his funk and it isn’t a serious shoulder problem like everyone says, because he has been exceptional in his defensive play and puck support. I would hate for him to lose his rhythm for surgery.

  49. Ducey says:

    jp:
    Gagner and Hemsky’s team rank in QoC and Corsi by season with actual Corsi in brackets
    (These are Corsi Rel QoC and Corsi ON for Oilers forwards with over 20 GP)

    Gagner:
    12-13 6/9 (-17.31)
    11-12 7/4 (-2.18)
    10-11 7/5 (-3.81)
    09-10 14/4 (-2.51)
    08-09 9/6 (-0.90)

    Hemsky:
    12-13 11/10 (-17.48)
    11-12 2/3 (1.51)
    10-11 2/8 (-6.59)
    09-10 7/2 (2.85)
    08-09 11/3 (4.27)

    For comparison, Yakupov:
    12-13 8/7 (-10.00)

    I don’t know what’s going on with these two guys, but it’s not something we’ve ever seen before from them. You can’t blame it on tougher quality of competition – Gagner’s is marginally tougher than the past 2 years, but still mid range. Hemsky’s has never been any easier. Yet they’re getting slaughtered… Hopefully they can turn it around, and/or Coach can juggle the lines to get them going. They both have a long history of holding their own against similar/tougher competition – it’s hard to imagine things have fundamentally changed.

    Edit: Gagner’s book of work looks a lot different than this season’s results.

    It may be that part of the reason they show so poorly is that although they have offensive zone possession they don’t shoot much.

  50. Woodguy says:

    Lowetide: Arnott? I can’t think of anyone else, unless they pick up McCormick from Buffalo off waivers but that’s not a free agent signign.

    JP mentioned Moore.

    Those were the two names I thought of.

    Maybe MacT laces em up again?

  51. B S says:

    Woodguy,

    Does he have to wear a helmet or does the grandfather rule still apply?

  52. Woodguy says:

    Lowetide,

    1. The Nuge is already a better player defensively. I didn’t think that was true and maybe I’m wrong but that kid wins the puck a lot and we know he isn’t 100%.

    I think 93 might be better defensively than 10.

    If 93 was on the Edmonton Oil Kings he would have 10 team mates who were older than him.

    This guy is going to be something else.

    He should get shoulder surgery now if he needs it.

    This season doesn’t mean more than that shoulder will in the next 15 years.

  53. Woodguy says:

    B S:
    Woodguy,

    Does he have to wear a helmet or does the grandfather rule still apply?

    Grandfather obv.

    Maybe Great-Grandfather by now.

  54. Woodguy says:

    B S,

    In the Dzone Gagner tends to cover the points while Hemsky helps down low,

    Gagner plays C, he’s the low F.

  55. Traktor says:

    It would be nice if just one of that magnificent stu’s picks panned out. Take away the 1st overalls the last 3 years are looking worse than that dude that used to call in his picks from Thailand.

  56. Ducey says:

    Traktor,

    Hey, you notice the Oilers miss Horcoff?

  57. BlacqueJacque says:

    Traktor:
    It would be nice if just one of that magnificent stu’s picks panned out. Take away the 1st overalls the last 3 years are looking worse than that dude that used to call in his picks from Thailand.

    What are you talking about? Are you complaining that kids just drafted a couple of years ago aren’t in the NHL yet? You’re surprised that guys not drafted in the top 5 didn’t make it?

    How many teams have players from those draft classes on their rosters?

    From the 2010 draft, after the first round, only Justin Faulk (79) and Pelly-Smith (54) have played any meaningful amount of NHL hockey.

    2011? Nada.

    2012? Not even one game.

    Traktor, you are in such a rush to be the guy who says “See? I was right, I said he sucked 3 years ago”, that you say some pretty silly things.

    Your complaint is that MacGregor hasn’t done what… two GMs in the league have managed to do? And this probably by luck?

    Stop being so negative. Your point of view has become divorced from reality.

  58. Ducey says:

    Watching the Flames game. Ferraro mentions that the Flames bring in Cervenka to play C. When he shows up it turns out he is more comfortable playing wing. Nice.

    Oh, and Penner is playing ok.

  59. B S says:

    Woodguy,

    Watch the how the oilers cover opposition entering their zone, the Left Wing covers low, while the C covers the trailer/pointman on the [oilers] leftwing side.

    Edit: Doesn’t seem to happen as much on the right wing, not sure if that’s ’cause the opposition is picking on left, or just a bias of small sample size.

    Top line does the same thing, I just watched a bunch of hilights from the last few games and that seems to be the tendency, then like you say the C cycles low while the winger moves up. Also noticed that Yak tends to move to the right wing in the Ozone (I know everyone here has mentioned it before) and that tends to change his coverage if the play goes the other way, it might explain where most of his defensive problems stem from, as well as the rest of that line trying to compensate and then changing coverages when they change linemate.

    Also again, didn’t see the game last night, but based on hilights Quick was playing Roy calibre goaltending, not sure how much you can fault a bubble team (for the optimists) for losing to that.

  60. BlacqueJacque says:

    Hah, the Flamers got Bernier. The Kings thought we warranted Quick.

    Awesome.

  61. FastOil says:

    Woodguy: Gagner is going to command $ not that far from O’Reilly

    I bet you can get him long term at or under $5.

    He was out shooting since he was a rookie.

    18 years old and almost breaks even in shots playing with McLeod and Tucker as his main line matesm.4th line and moved up the depth chart.

    19 years old and out shot 2nd level comp mostly with Winnik and Yip.

    20 years old and beats the toughs with Landeskog and Hedjuk and gets 50 points doing it.

    Kept his head at level water without Landeskog at 49.3%, but played vast majority with him.

    He’s exactly what this team needs besides D and D are way easier to find than 2C.

    I agree with Micheal. I like Gagner a lot, but if he is going to cost close to O’Reilly and you have a chance to get O’Reilly, you do it and don’t think twice.

    Winnik and Landeskog. Are we sure he’s not enjoying the play driving winger – Hall effect? He is not a certain high point player and similar to Horcoff might get rewarded for his best one off year.

    Another option is to keep Gagner and find a decent and affordable two way centre, Horcoff’s replacement.

    Give Gagner easier ES minutes and base his PP minutes on consistently good stats (dreaming)

  62. Traktor says:

    Ducey:
    Traktor,

    Hey, you notice the Oilers miss Horcoff?

    Oilers need someone that can score 5v5… Go look up horcs 5v5 numbers the last few years lol

  63. Ryan says:

    Anyone see this:

    “The Gilbert-Schultz trade seems a win-win for both teams, which is often not the case. The Wild wanted a puck-moving defenceman and the Oilers wanted a shutdown guy to play alongside prized rookie Justin Schultz.”

    http://www.edmontonjournal.com/sports/hockey/edmonton-oilers/Gilbert+Nick+Schultz+trade+both+Oilers/7993480/story.html

    funny stuff given the timing of the Gilbert trade. Too late for tampering charges?

  64. Traktor says:

    BlacqueJacque: What are you talking about?Are you complaining that kids just drafted a couple of years ago aren’t in the NHL yet?You’re surprised that guys not drafted in the top 5 didn’t make it?

    How many teams have players from those draft classes on their rosters?

    From the 2010 draft, after the first round, only Justin Faulk (79) and Pelly-Smith (54) have played any meaningful amount of NHL hockey.

    2011?Nada.

    2012?Not even one game.

    Traktor, you are in such a rush to be the guy who says “See?I was right, I said he sucked 3 years ago”, that you say some pretty silly things.

    Your complaint is that MacGregor hasn’t done what… two GMs in the league have managed to do?And this probably by luck?

    Stop being so negative.Your point of view has become divorced from reality.

    What a waste of text. Most of Edmonton’s picks are tracking well behind resonable expectation. We will be lucky is Curtis Hamilton turns into jfj.

  65. Ryan says:

    + 1000 on this comment below.

    What would it take for ROR?

    Ganger + ???

    Colorado gets an out on an embarrassing situation. Fans that look at Gagner’s boxcars in Colorado get excited.

    make it so.

    M Parkatti:
    It’s actually kind of amazing that the Oilers have as many points as they have, considering how much they’re getting outshot and how terrible their even strength shooting percentages are right now.They can thank their power play for that.Things will even out, but how this plays out in reality will be unpredictable in terms of game results.

    I feel myself getting pessimistic more and more over time (save for the COL game).

    This may very well be the perfect storm to sell Gagner high. His underlying numbers are crap, but he’s got points coming out of his ass (mostly from PPs).It’s not like we’re asking him to carry a line with MPS and Omark, he’s got the best 18 year old in the world on his left and one of the most talented RWs in the league on his right.There is no explanation — the results just aren’t there.I’ve defended him for years as a fantastic complementary player, but if we have to sign him to a 5/$25M type of deal to reward terrible underlying performance we have a problem.If you can engineer something to get ROR, this may be the first time I’ve been on board with trading Gags.I feel a bit dirty…. yuck.

  66. cabbiesmacker says:

    Woodguy: I like your lines, but 89-83 need help and 64 isn’t it.

    Bra and Panties has NYI and EDM talking 3-way with COL to get O’Reilly here.

    B&P also has SJS kicking tires on 83, but were told he’s not going anywhere this year.

    I’d shit my pants, In a good way of course, if O”Reilly was coming here and the price was just Sammyboy. They’re both going to be $4.5 per longterm so which one would a sane fan like to pop long term money on? Answers easy.

    As for the SJS rumours on Hemsky I don’t see a problem there at all. We just take Logan Couture. Pavelski as the fallback.

    O’Reilly + Couture/Pavelski. Instant top 6 excellence and a sinkhole cured.

    Cap will go to $80M right?

  67. cabbiesmacker says:

    Traktor: . We will be lucky is Curtis Hamilton turns into jfj.

    Ok. I chuckled there. Would that make Pitlicker the equiv of Pouliot then?

    Oilers at the draft table? I’m blaming Katz’ Harpo Marx lookalike son for being a distraction.

  68. FastOil says:

    Ryan

    Gagner straight up or nothing. Gagner is a better offensive player career on a worse team, ROR defensive. Who needs what?

    Still a risk for the Oilers offensively as ROR may not keep his last year’s production as a career level.

    IMO you need 3 good centres, we’d only have two – RNH (already injury prone), Gagner or ROR, and whom?

    Better to keep Gagner and look to sign a reasonable cost mildly offensive two way vet centre and ease up the minutes on the young guys.

  69. cabbiesmacker says:

    What if…….the Oilers could get ROR for the lowball price of Sammy the Sinkhole and Clowe + something was the offer for Hemmer? That might be a little interesting.

    Clowe as the LW – O’Reilly at C, and Yaks gets to take his rightful spot on RW.

    OIlers save a mill and a half between Hemsky and Clowe’s contract which they could use to extend Horcoff until he’s 50.

  70. hags9k says:

    Would Ryan Jones help the 2 line stop bleeding?

    And would Yak and PRV work together?

  71. jp says:

    BlacqueJacque:
    Hah, the Flamers got Bernier.The Kings thought we warranted Quick.

    Awesome.

    Baby steps. Small victories.

  72. stevezie says:

    cabbiesmacker,

    Depending how despondant the Sharks are over their recent nosedive, I think Clowe might be had for a lot less than Hemsky. He is a 30 year old impending UFA with no goals on the year. With Burns down they would have something for Whitney to do…

    As long as we’re dreaming, let’s dream big and find a way to get ROR without giving up Gagner. That would be nice depth.

  73. Woodguy says:

    hags9k:
    Would Ryan Jones help the 2 line stop bleeding?

    And would Yak and PRV work together?

    Unless he was playing with 94, 28 bled chances at one of the worst rates on the Oilers.

    He’s like 89 this year in that it looks good in the counting stats (goals, points etc), but he always gets out shot.

    His only redeeming quality was that the goals came 5v5, but he cheats for offense worse than 64 does.

  74. Jesse says:

    Woodguy,

    So, I hate to nitpick, WG, but with the tweet reading “@TreenasOil: Islanders and Oilers had discussed a three way trade involving O Riley,” that leads me to believe that there is at least the possibility that ROR would go to NYI, with perhaps Lubo or Streit (or someone else since iirc they’re both UFA after this year) coming here, and then the oil sending someone to COL.

  75. Woodguy says:

    Jesse,

    That’s true.

    I assumed ROR would land here.

  76. godot10 says:

    Ryan: http://www.edmontonjournal.com/sports/hockey/edmonton-oilers/Gilbert+Nick+Schultz+trade+both+Oilers/7993480/story.html?cid=dlvr.it-twitter-ej_oilers

    Nick Schultz was wanted as finishing school for Ryan Murray, Oscar Klefbom, Martin Marincin…etc.

    He is the prototypical defenseman, trained to by the master Jacques Lemaire.

    I think the trade was anticipating Ryan Murray, and Ryan Murray turned into Justin Schultz.

  77. Jesse says:

    I would be sad to see Gagner go. I’ve always liked his attitude, character, and work ethic. Plus, I know he’s playing worse defensively this year, but it seems to be the first time he’s found offensive consistency in quite a while, something that the masses have long demanded from him. He was the first to call Yak after he was drafted, he’s got a good relationship with the core of the team. I know you need to give something good to get something good, but it would sort of be the first of the young, established core to go, and I’d be concerned about how that might affect the room. I know it’s something they’d need to get used to but surely the first one would come as a big shock.

  78. BlacqueJacque says:

    Traktor: What a waste of text. Most of Edmonton’s picks are tracking well behind resonable expectation. We will be lucky is Curtis Hamilton turns into jfj.

    I see, so you’re back to being a complete troll now, negative about everything.

    Carry on, I’ll continue ignoring you.

  79. godot10 says:

    Horcoff might be the best left wing for Gagner and Hemsky.

    Ryan O’Reilly might not cost a lot in playing talent for the Oilers in a three way if Katz is willing to use a penalty-free buyout on Rick DiPietro.

    i.e. Are the Islanders a cutout for the rich teams pursuing O’Reilly? O’Reilly goes to a rich team via the Islanders to the team willing to use a penalty free buyout on Rick DiPietro.

    The Islanders have stuff to offer. Okposo, Niederreiter, Bailey, and a 1st…say to get O’Reilly.

  80. gcw_rocks says:

    Lowetide,

    If O’Reilly is the player coming back the other way, does that change your answer on trading Hemsky or Gagner?

  81. Lowetide says:

    gcw_rocks:
    Lowetide,

    If O’Reilly is the player coming back the other way, does that change your answer on trading Hemsky or Gagner?

    I like O’Reilly a ton, would have to see the deal but if the trade was Sam Gagner to O’Reilly that’s a deal EDM would have to make imo. O’Reilly is kind of unique.

  82. loosemoose says:

    For what Gagner will cost, do whatever you can to get ROR here…..

    Imagine Yakupov with an actual defensive player that can keep up….

    No disrespect to Sam, but he needs a Hossa to really be able to play his game…..

    I wouldn’t mind if the rumour turned out to be Vish/Striet either…..

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