OILERS AT BLUE JACKETS G22 (12-13) 5.3.13

It’s easy to forget that Ryan Nugent-Hopkins is not yet 20. It’s also easy to forget that despite having a major falloff offensively the young man is effective in other areas, the areas of the game we associate with more mature players. It’s easy to forget–when he’s winning puck battles or back checking like a demon and winning the puck–that he has some lingering injury issues that will probably shut him down for “Oilers shoulder surgery TM” sometime this spring.

No word yet on Taylor Hall’s return, but reading the tea leaves I wouldn’t be surprised to see him in the lineup tonight. Oilers are a different team with Chance in the lineup, and that top line rattles and buzzes and percolates with #4 driving the sports car. Taylor Hall seems to help the wavelength.

Jim Matheson suggests that St. Louis is looking at Ryan Whitney.

  • Matheson: The word is that the Blues may be looking at him now, feeling he can be a better alternative than Wade Redden or Ian Cole on the back end.

I’d love to see Ian Cole as an Oiler, but they’d have to move soon as he’s a Jarmo Kekelainen prospect and I suspect the Blue Jackets will be after him.

Mike Brown will probably be in the lineup tonight, my guess is that he plays on the 4line instead of Petrell.

  • RNH-Hall-Eberle
  • Gagner-Paajarvi-Hemsky
  • Belanger-Smyth-Jones
  • VandeVelde-Eager-Brown
  • Smid-Petry
  • Schultz-Schultz
  • Whitney-Peckham
  • Dubnyk

If the Oilers don’t run Paajarvi out there after the last game, expect another Woodguy post to appear–and this time he’ll be pissed! :-)

The disconnect between Edmonton’s msm and the Oilogosphere in terms of what this trade means is incredible. How two groups of people can have such a massive gap in evaluation of the trade borders on impossible–but it has happened before. Bill James early writings were scoffed at by many baseball people, and his views were framed at just shy of blasphemy, but most of the things he wrote about in 1984 are now commonplace in baseball.

The nature of the beast in hockey is that there is no central figure–yet–but things like the gap between media and advanced stats observers will create a need (probably propelled by television) for an advanced stat guru. I always though Tyler Dellow was the best candidate, it wouldn’t surprise me at all to see him on the tsn trade deadline show one year or part of Sportsnet’s free agent special.

Scoff if you wish, but we’re beyond ‘if’ and well into ‘when.’ If I could offer one piece of advice to anyone wanting the mantle, I would suggest the following:

  • pick something that you know to be true but that hockey people would find alarming.
  • Write something that delivers the news without bias but plenty of color, with phrases like “the Sedins are older now, but if you were to use a 19-year old for his entire career in such a way (drastic offensive zone starts), that 19-year old might outscore his generation by 500 or more points.”

That might do it.

I don’t have much to say about tonight’s game, an Oilers win means we can talk about a successful road trip being possible and the second season still being in sight. A loss means you’ll see me talking more about the draft beginning tomorrow.

It is not a must win, but we can see it from here.

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425 Responses to "OILERS AT BLUE JACKETS G22 (12-13) 5.3.13"

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  1. Ice Sage says:

    Woodguy: If you look at points percentage DET is in 8th in the west with .565

    Over a 48 games that 54.24pts.

    After tonight:

    CHICAGO0.935 (crazy)
    ANAHEIM0.786
    VANCOUVER0.619
    LOS ANGELES0.6
    SAN JOSE0.6
    ST LOUIS0.571
    PHOENIX0.568
    DETROIT0.565
    DALLAS0.545
    MINNESOTA0.545
    NASHVILLE0.5
    CALGARY0.5
    EDMONTON0.477
    COLORADO0.476
    COLUMBUS0.391

    Woodguy: If you look at points percentage DET is in 8th in the west with .565

    Over a 48 games that 54.24pts.

    After tonight:

    CHICAGO0.935 (crazy)
    ANAHEIM0.786
    VANCOUVER0.619
    LOS ANGELES0.6
    SAN JOSE0.6
    ST LOUIS0.571
    PHOENIX0.568
    DETROIT0.565
    DALLAS0.545
    MINNESOTA0.545
    NASHVILLE0.5
    CALGARY0.5
    EDMONTON0.477
    COLORADO0.476
    COLUMBUS0.391

    I like that way of doing things – reminds me of the ‘Battle of Alberta’ buy’s baseball-type standings from back in the day.

    The Oilers are already out of the playoffs – I think the team knew this a few weeks ago. The self-defeating prophecy has set in and it’s so deflating to watch. There does not seem to be any realistic catalyst to keep the rot from affecting more and more players. The ‘improvement thru maturity’ has stalled. We’re left with empty stats that say ‘these guys should be better, the puck luck will turn around anytime…’ nope, they’re just bad.

    Maybe they can spoil a few other teams playoff runs. Not much else worth watching – even the ‘young guys playing exciting creative up-tempo hockey’ idea has proven a myth.

    How long ’til Rexall isn’t full?

  2. fuzzy muppet says:

    Just got home and watched the game.

    Those are two bad hockey teams.

    Playoffs??? phhhhhhffptth

    This team is really bad. They need at least 3 more actual defensemen

  3. oilersfan says:

    I am surprised there hasnt been more discussion about the Oilers’ system – or lack of it. I can’t believe the lack of structure when the OIlers are in their own zone. Players regularly out of position. No other team is like that. Other teams don’t allow 5-10 hard shots from the slot with nobody covering you. And whenever the Oilers are in the other teams’ zone, it is clear what the strategy is; make a 5 player box, almost like a penalty kill, and wait for the Oilers to turn the puck over, then you get an odd man rush and after about 10 of them you score . Rinse, repeat.

  4. "Steve Smith" says:

    Missed most of the game because I was at the Brier (if Martin wins his next five, I think he’s got a shot), but caught the first half of the second on the radio, and just caught up with the comments here. Observations (on the comments; the game sounds like it was too depressing to warrant comments; also, my opulent (?) brain and I don’t comment on the team):

    1. Lois is alright by me.
    2. Gret99zky: I suspect that if you took a survey, you would find that almost every member of the Oilers (like virtually all professional athletes, other than Europeans) hates to lose. They are probably not thrilled, consequently, with the fact that their roster is built to do so much of it.
    3. I’m still kind of dumbfounded that there hasn’t been the outcry about Spector’s bigotry that requires Sportsnet to fire him for damage control.
    4. OilLeak: I miss Andy Sutton too; I was actually happy when the Oilers re-signed him, even if his contract was unamgibuously an overpay.
    5. Bookie had the line of the night re: feed to Caribbean beaches.

    And I’m sold on Hamrlik. Even if you waive Potter instead of Whitney, Hamrlik’s an improvement.

  5. delooper says:

    oilersfan,

    The Oilers have structure, but there’s enough forwards and d-men that are sufficiently-slow that they can’t implement the structure in a game.

    We’re at that point of the learning curve when you realize why it’s called a curve. Some learn, some don’t. Kreuger is probably not sleeping great nowadays.

  6. "Steve Smith" says:

    delooper,

    Krueger had better not be fearing for his job, at least not as the first guy on the block: either the problem with the Oilers isn’t that they’ve had four consecutive lousy coaches, in which case this is on management, or the problem with the Oilers is that they’ve had four consecutive lousy coaches, in which case this is on management.

  7. Lowetide says:

    Well there’s no damn way Tambellini fires another coach. Surely to Christ.

  8. delooper says:

    “Steve Smith”,

    I’m not suggesting firing Kreuger. What I mean is it’s hard to feel comfortable when the people you’re mentoring are sinking, not swimming.

    I suppose I figured the Oilers to be a slightly better than 50% point percentage this year. Playoffs were a little on the optimistic side of things, but I thought they’d be over 50%. I so hope this is the lowest they sink this season.

  9. bookje says:

    Lowetide:
    Well there’s no damn way Tambellini fires another coach. Surely to Christ.

    I don’t know, there seems to be a split in the room between the Old and Young players.

    I think Krug might be “losing the room” and there is ample evidence that he has ruined RNH.

    Have they fired any of the equipment people lately? That might be the best place to start.

  10. Zelepukin says:

    firing Kreuger won’t fix anything. It’s not like when the top 6 step onto the ice, they hold back from being productive because of something the coach has done.

  11. Zelepukin says:

    bookje: ample evidence that he has ruined RNH.

    such as? giving him 1st center ice time against the top talent in the league? I always knew playing against the best players in the world would ruin 1st overall picks.

  12. VanOil says:

    Woodguy,
    “Ideally, you’d want every player to be wear a chip that tells you where they are on the ice at all times and for that to be tracked and published.
    Of course you’d want a chip in the puck to do the same thing.”

    It is late at night and I have had a few shandies. I have watched way to many episodes of Porridge http://youtu.be/KfGMZtWsTJs and can probably see with my eyes shut. http://youtu.be/aJfi0Og970w

    But should you ever become the hockey overlord/adviser to the Oilers you deserve to be. I can arrange the above. Even with my eye’s shut! which might have been the best way to view the last two games. In fact the highlight of my week has been your informed and able defense of 91′s skill as a hockey player.

  13. "Steve Smith" says:

    Zelepukin,

    Listen, Zelepukin, Bookie draws a lot of water around here as an insightful and serious commentator on the Oilers; he’s not some joker who just says shit that comes into his head because he thinks it might be funny. So before you go out and baldy contradict something he says, you might want to give the matter some thought, lest you come across as that guy who missed the original point.

  14. PunjabiOil says:

    How long ’til Rexall isn’t full?

    I attended the last Oilers game that didn’t sell out. It was in the fall of 2005.

    People haven’t really stopped attending games. People don’t want to lose season ticket priority. I think that’s a large reason why this team is poor by design, and management doesn’t address team needs. I think they legitimately are tanking – and the ticket buying fan base has enough patience to tolerate losing.

    Then again, management didn’t address team holes in the years 2006-2009 when they were intending to be competitive.

    So maybe it’s just incompetence.

    Either way, the Edmonton Oilers have stopped being fun to watch. Die-hards like myself are no longer making the Oilers a priority on any given evening.

  15. Gret99zky says:

    “Steve Smith”,

    Of course, you are right. Most of the players care. How could they not?

    I guess what I’m saying is it doesn’t look like they hate losing. They look okay with it.

  16. stevezie says:

    Lois Lowe: Calling things “super gay” is a meme around here? I must have missed the memo.

    I get that you weren’t trying to offend anyone, hence the Seinfeld quote, but I am pointing out that calling things super gay is offensive. There is a negative connotation associated with the usage in this context, it’s not acceptable, and I am calling you out on it.

    I really like the community of posters on this blog, and I think that we’re all adult enough to accept that even though this is a quasi-anonymous forum, some things are offside.

    Actually Lois, in this case I am going to respectfully disagree with you. I completely agree that, while once common place, using “gay” as another word for “shitty” or “stupid” has rightfully gone the way of the buffalo. However, I believe that what Zipdot meant was that LT’s unique choice of adjectives and visual metaphors ended up coming off as as literally gay. I believe he or she was using “super gay” as another term for “homosexual”.

    Now, in case anyone agrees with me but still finds this offensive, I would point to Pierre McGuire. McGuire is a great source of comedy because of stuff like this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y8nW0sbBhk8
    The joke isn’t that anyone is gay, it’s that an ostensibly straight man in his fifties tends to express his admiration for teenage men in hilariously loaded ways in a hilariously public forum. It’s funny because it is ridiculous.

    If Cassy Campbell were gushing over these young men would it still be funny? Maybe, but I bet not as because she is a straight woman so it would make sense. A picture of Ellen eyeballing Tatum Channing is a better comparison. This is only funny because Ellen is gay. (In real life, Ellen using the shakeweight was widely recognized as gold.)

    Since it isn’t bad to be gay, then calling someone gay is not an insult. Telling a straight man he sounds gay is similar to telling an engineer he or she sounds like an art major or telling a mennonite he sounds like a baptist.

    Granted, baptists and art majors don’t have the history of persecution the gay community does. This explains heightened sensitivity, but since I don’t think Zipdot was linking gayness to badness (in fact s/he explicitly denied such a connection) then I don’t think there is anything wrong with the statement.

    But what do I know? I liked the Onion tweet.

    Oh, and quit stockpiling mediocrity and find a better defenceman. How many fourth lines/bottom pairs do we need?

  17. RickDeckard says:

    Gret99zky,

    Just because they aren’t falling on the ice crying after every loss or having a temper tantrum in the locker room doesn’t mean they are OK with losing. Do you go around pissed off about your job assaulting people or are you mature enough to realize that being a brat doesn’t help your team/co-workers since you all want the same thing?

  18. Gret99zky says:

    No, I don’t. Crying and having temper tantrums would not be an avenue I’d go down.

    There really doesn’t seem to be any sense of urgency or fire in the line-up. No emotion. Besides Hall’s hit on Clutterbuck (when the game was already out of reach) I don’t see anyone on the team stepping up to change the way things are going.

    I don’t want to see crying, tantrums, or assault. Just a little balls to bones effort out there and some goddamn pushback. I’ve seen it from other teams.

    Probably just too much to ask from this group. I’d be scared stiff playing in the NHL as a teenager.

  19. spoiler says:

    “Steve Smith”:
    Zelepukin,

    Listen, Zelepukin, Bookie draws a lot of water around here as an insightful and serious commentator on the Oilers; he’s not some joker who just says shit that comes into his head because he thinks it might be funny.So before you go out and baldy contradict something he says, you might want to give the matter some thought, lest you come across as that guy who missed the original point.

    Lol

  20. spoiler says:

    Deep Thoughts…

    Hey, Pääjarvi scored!

    And them umlaut-type thingies are damn easy on the phone!

    And damn! Swearing’s only a damn quarter at LT’s house! The one place on earth with no inflation! How does he pay the tooth fairy?

    Did we win the Corsi battle against the other worst team in the West?

    That man pressure D is so not above our young team’s heads!

    Sure are gonna get a nice draft pick this summer!

    With Weiss down, maybe we should trade Gagner for Florida’s 1st and draft both those C-Dawgs?

    Did I say Damn! yet?

    *mails loonie*

  21. BONVIE says:

    Can I be the first one to suggest that we need to hold someone accountable here. The coaches and GM’s have already had their chance to do it and we are very close to slipping back down to being dead last again this season for basically the fourth year in a row.

    To me this game with Columbus and the quality of the opponent and the effort the Oilers made with almost no injuries is inexcusable. Last year our team went down hill fast after a good start and key injuries could be blamed. This year our biggest loss was a third line center, I mean really if you can’t replace one injury without tanking a season something is horribly wrong.

    I see a good coach in the minors having success with his ECHL call ups after losing most of his key players from last seasons good run. I myself have always liked K.Lowe as a coach and he brought some key guys in Pronger Spacek and Peca for a good run in 2006. He may have made some mistakes but overall some good moves. If he does not do some firing then he should probably go down with the ship.

    Tambelina has done nothing but win the lottery! That is the only area where he has enjoyed success. Souray looks good in Anaheim doesn’t he? I am sure glad they got that cancer out of Edmonton so they could show the young kids a winning attitude and the winning culture has really paid off.

    Krueger struck me as boring and uninspiring and I was sorely disappointed when this defensive coach of team Switzerland is named as the head coach over a passionate type coach like Nelson. However with all the good stuff said by the players I thought I should be patient and see how the season goes. The verdict is almost out we have not improved this year, and if you take injuries from last year into account I feel we may have taken a step back as we now have the 5×5 offense equivalent to a pop-gun, and we have had no key injuries as opposed to last year. More important we are losing a lot of games where it is just lack of effort. Me like most Oiler fans were able to lose during the bad times when the teams were young and played their heart out. I especially think of the days with young Maltby, Marchant, Arnott, Grier, Thornton, Pearson, McAmmond and Weight. Lost a lot of tough games but were entertained and glad we watched the games because they played ther best.

    I liked George Burnett but he was fired after only a part season by the Oilers I think Krueger more than any other coach in Oiler’s history is deserving a fate such as Burnett, to be fired after only a partial season, we are losing games and it has nothing to do with talent levels, but everything to do with strategies, motivation, and compete. These are the intangibles that a coach can work with. There is more than enough talent in that lineup to win games, but you need players to get to the dirt areas and go to the net. I watch the highlights and see all of the goals being scored with screens or rebounds and with players driving the net. How does Toronto score like 6 goals, because they play with a little bit of heart and passion, not because of their skill level.

    Krueger may be the nicest coach these players ever had, but he should be fired before their next game and the guy who hired him and did not address any of the teams weaknesses in the past hmmm pretty much they have been the same for 4 years. We cleaned house with the players with O Sullivan, Polutuny, Moreau, Cogliano etc back then because they lacked heart and grit and here we are with the same type of team 4 painful years later. Yeah Tambelini should definitely go with the coach he hired.

  22. Smarmy says:

    I have a tough time blaming the coach. Hard to put in place your system in a shortened season where you can barely practice.

    Plus I can’t imagine how the office gets to fire and hire another coach. I mean christ almighty.

  23. bookje says:

    Nuanced insightful hockey comments are hard and take a long time. Quips about firing the equipment guy are easier, and given the current state of the team and our collective inability to affect it, they are probably more constructive as well.

  24. godot10 says:

    42 percent body fat:
    godot10,

    So you are saying he is making good on his 1.2M contract this year.That doesnt change the fact that a player who never has been a ppg player and shot a ridiculous shot percentage last year should make 6M next year.

    I dont care what he is making this year.We have 6M per year invested in him, and he has to show progression towards this not a step backwards.And like horcoff you dont blame the player for taking the money.

    But to anyone who thinks this is a good contract you are an idiot.You dont pay a player that much based on a 43 point season and a 73 point season with a shooting percent that high.I guess Nazem Kadri should be resigned this year than for 7.0M.

    The worst thing about this is knowing that we have three more studs to sign we didnt try and get a discount. Stupid.If he continues at this pace this year he would be signed for 5M. and it would help keep Gagners next contract in check.

    Eberle is adjusting to playing tough opposition, more minutes, mostly with a centre who was in a sophomore slump. He has been a bit snakebit himself. And what. He is 4 points in 22 games off of his per game pace last year. Talk about your small sample sizes.

    The Sedins have $6 million dollar contracts and they are only a 1PPG this year. There are only 25 players or so this year at 1PPG or better.

  25. "Steve Smith" says:

    BONVIE:
    Can I be the first one to suggest that we need to hold someone accountable here.

    No.

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