UNDER THE LINDEN TREE

Yesterday we talked about “championship” calibre forwards and I suggested Edmonton had 6 at or on the way to that level (Hall, Nuge, Yak, Ebs, Hemsky, Gagner). I also suggested Magnus Paajarvi is close to joining that group, but we don’t know if he’ll occupy a scoring line or a 2-way trio. Today, the defense.

ZONE STARTS DEFENSE

d zonest

 

There’s very little gap between the top 6 defensemen, no push, no real shutdown duo. Coach Krueger may be matching in other ways, but it isn’t zone start and the 5×5 TOI is pretty close too.

CORSI REL DEFENSE

D CR

There’s nothing really to say here.

So, when we ask the question “can the Oilers win a championship with X player in Y role” I get the following:

  • Ladislav Smid as top 4EV and PK D:  Yes. Laddy’s faults are with the puck, but he’s really established himself defensively.
  • Jeff Petry as a top 4EV and PK D: Yes, and I believe he could help on the PP if required. RH shot adds to value.
  • Justin Schultz as a top 4EV and PP D: Oh yeah, PK too eventually. He’s had issues this season and is -12 but he’s a part of the foundation.
  • Nick Schultz as a top 4EV and PK D: I don’t think he has enough left to be part of the good times.
  • Corey Potter as a top 6EV and PK D: No, although Jon Willis’ piece at ON yesterday makes you wonder a little.
  • Ryan Whitney as a top 6EV and PP D: No. He may recover but Edmonton doesn’t have the depth to find out.
  • Mark Fistric as a depth D: No. I think the Oilers need a player who can fill more roles than 5D, enforcer and PK.

So. They have three. The Oilers are not yet halfway home in regard to building blue. This from an organization that found Jan Hejda hiding under a linden and got him for basically nothing, and now they’re having a helluva time cobbling together 7 guys who own skates. Why?

Because the team was in rebuild mode. Surely, SURELY that ends this summer.

The other item for the Oilers is that the defensemen they need is the ‘complete’ defender who can play in all situations and anchor the top pairing against the Z’s and the Toews and the Sedins and the Kopitars.

Is that Petry? Is that Schultz?

Or do the Oilers badly need to procure that player from outside?

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95 Responses to "UNDER THE LINDEN TREE"

  1. Gerta Rauss says:

    Because the team was in rebuild mode. Surely, SURELY that ends this summer

    It has to end this summer. There is no reason for them to not fill the holes and compete at the NHL level.

    None.

  2. BG14 says:

    Not sure why you don’t view Fistric as a viable depth option. The only guy with a significantly tougher ZS than the others, and he’s not getting crushed in terms of CorsiRel. I don’t think he’s top 6 on a championship team, but would have no issue with him as a depth guy. He can step in and PK and doesn’t seem to mind being HS’d.

  3. Lucinius says:

    Gerta Rauss,

    Well. There is one reason.

    Incompetence.

    Above the entrance to Rexall place should hang this well-known bit of verse;

    “Abandon hope all ye who enter”.

    True, we have hope for once. We just need to see if management smothers or encourages it.

    A top pairing d-man to work with Smid would be perfect, imo, as Smid already has the elements of that second guy on the top pairing down; he just needs a partner who is even better than him defensively and, ideally, also has a good first pass. That would push Petry down the depth chart to second pairing where he belongs as a good 3/4 D-man. Less ideally you get someone to pair with Petry or J. Schultz on the top pairing and push Smid down to second pairing where he’d probably get bored and might remember he can play a decent game of offense — until he has to shoot.

  4. Captain Happy says:

    While Jr. provides significant offence, there is precious little from the rest of the group and secondary scoring from the D is an important facet of a winning team.

    Currently, the teams in the WC playoff spots have the following point totals from their D.

    CHI – 83

    ANA – 62

    VCR – 68

    LAK – 70

    SJS – 57

    STL – 94

    MIN – 71

    DET – 63

    —————

    EDM – 55

    Unless you have a bottom 6 forward group that can score significantly, you’d better have some D with offensive chops.

    Petry helps some but the rest of the group looks pretty grim.

  5. Gerta Rauss says:

    Lucinius,

    Well, incompetence should result in a house cleaning if Mr Katz is paying attention. At some point(now imo) you have to come to the rink to win NHL hockey games.

  6. Big Dan says:

    I concur. The rebuild is over!

    Smid, Petry, and Schultz the younger will be a part of the good times.

    Potter can stay around for another year as the #7D to buy Oscar Klefbom a year in OKC. If Klefbom exceeds expectations at camp, have Potter as the #8D in the farm who gets called up when injuries arise.

    Whitney will definitely be flushed once Dumbellini is replaced by MacT or Howson. I don’t care how much the kids love Whitney; he can’t skate.

    Krueger won’t play Fistric or Peckham so no use keeping either of them either.

    Until the Musil’s/ Fedun’s/ etc are ready, it is really easy for the Oiler GM to fill the holes. They need to sign 2 good UFA’s for $2-3M each who can play tough minutes on the 2nd or 3rd pairing. I’d go for Ian White (he’s only ~28 years old) and a offer a healthy 1 or 2 year deal to a mid-30′s veterans like Rob Scuderi, Michal Rozsival, or Toni Lydman. Give us some stability and experience back there.

    Or skip one of those older D if the Jack Johnson rumors are true. I know there was a lot of anger about that rumor but I think it makes sense for both clubs. Columbus could use Hemsky to play with Gaborik. We need a puckmoving 3rd-pairing defenseman. Yes, Johnson is expensive and not great defensively but he’s tough and I think his style and personality would be a good fit here.

    The reason a Hemsky deal makes sense is MacT’s curious comments about Omark. They haven’t dealt him. MacT said he liked him (“he has spunk” or something).

    Really, there’s not much an Oiler GM has to do to get them in the playoffs next year. Anybody other than Dumbellini is more tha capable of achieving these.
    - Sign Nuge to that $6M extension
    - Sign Dubnyk to an extension since it’s so expensive to acquire a 1G
    - Sign Gagner to a $4- 4.5M deal (Weiss-like money)
    - Sign a good backup (Khudonin, Emery, or Greiss)
    - Sign a good 4th line center (Boyd Gordon would be perfect) to buy Anton Lander one more year of development before he takes over for Shawn Horcoff – big cap savings there. Or trade for a Vernon Fiddler type.
    - Go after UFA Nathan Horton! Boston has cap issues so they may be willing to deal his negotiating rights for a low pick. Gagner-like money should do it. He would be a perfect fit.

    They’ve learned their lesson this year and will have some roster spots available at the deadline next year to load up for the playoff run. Next time a Jeff Halpern is on waivers, hopefully they’ll have a GM who isn’t asleep at the switch. Smithson for a 4th rounder; what a joke!

    A whole lot of flushing this summer – Whitney, Peckham, Fistric, Khabibulin, R.Jones, Petrell, Smithson, Belanger (bought out), Eager (bought out), Hordichuk, Vande Velde, T.House, Tyrvainen, Plante, Stafford, Hoivunen.

    Also, am I the only one who liked the Kale Kessy acquisition? Tobias Reider has top notch AHLer written all over him, like a Phillipe Corbet or Mark Arcobello. I’ve seen this kid play. He has jam and is more likely to make the NHL than Ewasyk IMO. He drives opponents nuts.

    Next year=
    Hall – RNH – Eberle
    Horton – Gagner – Yakupov
    Paajarvi – Horcoff – Omark (or Hemsky)
    Smyth – Gordon – Brown/ Hartikainen

    Smid- Petry
    J.Schultz- I.White
    J.Johnson (or Scuderi) – N.Schultz/ Potter

    Dubnyk – Khudonin

    A mobile D, 3 scoring lines, would be fun! …

  7. Lowetide says:

    45s

    Projected #OKCBarons D-pairs: Marincin-Fedun, Davidson-Stafford, Hotham-Plante. Yann Danis in net with Niko Hovinen backing up

    Oklahoma City Barons ‏@OKC_Barons 2m

    Projected #OKCBarons lines: Cornet-Arcobello-Cheechoo, Rajala-VandeVelde-Hartikainen, Hamilton-Martindale-Pitlick, Hordichuk-House-Tyrvainen

  8. Lucinius says:

    Lowetide,

    They really should send Lander back. If he’s not going to play with the NHL team what point is there in having him sit around? Send him back down to help the Barons and get some playing time, especially since he was doing well right as they called him up.

    Its like the Oiler organization is doing everything in its power to fuck him up.

  9. VOR says:

    I can’t help myself – I know your eyes tell you that Ryan Whitney is a piece of crap but I wonder if you know over the last 20 games (including the last game where he got torched he is 4 goals 6 assists for 10 points and – 1. Junior is 2 goals 8 assists and -6 over the same run. Whitney at evens is the top point per 60 dman on the Oilers and 2nd on the PP. Lets just make sure you actually have some plan to replace him. Because that is him struggling to recover from a terrible injury. If you don’t assume he won’t recover (which I think all of youa re making the mistake of assuming) then a semi-healthy Whitney is about -4 with 16 goals and 24 assists and gets you about 20 more goals on the PP than any of your other 2nd PP quarterback options. He probably costs you about 10 games over the season with bad defence but then again how much does he earn you back with the 20 EV strength points and the 20 extra PP goals. There are no style points in hockey. Right now he has been on the ice for something like 26 total goals agains total and 27 for and what exactly is our team goal differential again.

  10. Lowetide says:

    Lucinius:
    Lowetide,

    They really should send Lander back. If he’s not going to play with the NHL team what point is there in having him sit around? Send him back down to help the Barons and get some playing time, especially since he was doing well right as they called him up.

    Its like the Oiler organization is doing everything in its power to fuck him up.

    It’s the damndest thing.

  11. eidy says:

    The rebuild will be over when someone competent is running the front office.

    Since 2008: 138-182-46

    Other than the draft picks at the top of the draft, there has been little evidence that this team can build a winning team. They may well buyout 2 of the players that they signed to 3 year deals 2 years ago.

    If we are going with the Detroit model, lets bring in Jim Nill and see how the Detroit model really runs.

  12. Ryan says:

    Tyler had a good point the other day about Kruger’s hands being tied. If he had benched Whitney last game, he would have made the brain trust look pretty stupid for not grabbing a 2nd for him.

    What’s interesting here is the Tom Gilbert story.

    As an Oiler, he played the most 5v5 TOI/60 during the 2010-11 season (17.40), and again the following year split between Minnesota and Edmonton (17.61).

    This season he’s 5th in toi/60 on Minnesota (15:28). As a frame of reference, Suter is 19.82 and Brett Clark is 13.71

    What’s interesting about these toi numbers is that I’m pretty sure Gilbert would be our best defenseman if he were back in our lineup.

    Minnesota basically has Gilbert 5th in EV toi/60 playing flotsam.

    Says something about the depth of our defense. Few years ago, many of the cynics used to argue that Gilbert wouldn’t crack the top 4 on a good team, looks like they were right.

  13. Ryan says:

    Basically, the obvious but unstated point above is that if you use Tom Gilbert as a barometer, then what you maybe have right now is a 2nd pairing (Smid/Petry) a bottom pairing (Shultzx2) and rotation of AHL quality/#7 defenders (Fistric, Peckman, Whitney, and Potter).

    On that note, given that the Oilers are not likely to acquire anyone of the Suter / Weber ilk, they need to get 2 more top 4 defenseman for next season.

    At the very least:

    Smid-Petry
    xxx – Schultz jr
    Schultz sr – xxx

    With xxx not being any one of Whitney, Potter, Peckham, or Fistric.

  14. Lowetide says:

    Meh. Did Gilbert play during the lockout? Lot of rust on the guys who didn’t we certainly saw that with Petry. As for Gilbert not being able to crack a top 4D on a good team, bullshit then, bullshit now. Unless he’s hurt, there’s another explanation (my guess is the rust).

    I’d be thrilled if the Oilers got him back.

  15. dessert1111 says:

    Oilers need another top-4 D man starting next year if they want to compete. Fedun and/or Klefbom could push for jobs in the fall (and be upgrades on the current “bottom 4″), but they’re rookies.

    Will the Oilers get a top-4 D for the fall? Probably not. Would need to trade 2 legit pieces to get it or 1 no one wants to trade.

  16. Oiler_Kiwi says:

    Watching the Barons v Wolves game live here in the UK. 0 – 0 after the 1st.

    Pitlick has looked good with some nice rushes down the wing and ringing a shot off the post, missed a sitter though but must rusty after his injury lay off.

    What consideration would coach Nelsen have for a job with the Oilers in the future? Remember losing Claude Julien a few years ago to Montreal.

  17. Lowetide says:

    Buchberger has a job for life, so we’re going to lose Nelson eventually.

  18. dessert1111 says:

    Plante really needs to stop fighting. Doesn’t even look like he wants to, he just gets punched a bunch of times.

  19. Lucinius says:

    It never ceases to amaze me how utterly devoid of life the barn is for the Barons.

  20. Numenius says:

    How about Mark Streit? He still hasn’t signed with the Islanders and he played for RK on the Swiss team. Wonder if he’s thinking of joining the Oilers after he turns UFA this summer.

  21. Lowetide says:

    I’d be fine with Streit. Not a long term option, but he could replace Whitney and stopgap.

  22. sliderule says:

    If Klefbom can play and they can actuall get Johnson for Hemsky we would be ok.

    I think if we got a real NHL coaching team next year they would play Gilbert on PP and probably 25 minutes most games.

    Against Kings he showed me game.

  23. Oiler_Kiwi says:

    Nice play by Fedun. Breaks up a 3 on 1 then gets the dump in for the 2nd assist on Teemu’s goal. Barons back within one.

  24. godot10 says:

    Oiler_Kiwi:
    Watching the Barons v Wolves game live here in the UK. 0 – 0 after the 1st.

    Pitlick has looked good with some nice rushes down the wing and ringing a shot off the post, missed a sitter though but must rusty after his injury lay off.

    What consideration would coach Nelsen have for a job with the Oilers in the future? Remember losing Claude Julien a few years ago to Montreal.

    Nelson has done the NHL assistant coach thing with John Anderson in Atlanta. If you want to be a head coach in the NHL, all things considered, one is better off being a head coach in the AHL, than an NHL assistant coach, to get your first NHL coaching job.

  25. DBO says:

    Lowetide,

    also moves shultz the elder to 3 LD which is solid. Let Klefbom stay in the ahl as long as possible to develop. Still would like White as a cheap 3 RD for a year or two. Potter is ok as a 7th dman.

    next year

    Smid-Petry
    Streit-Shultz
    Shultz-White
    Potter

    2014-15

    Smid-Petry
    Streit-Shultz
    Klefbom-White
    Marincin

    2015-16

    Klefbom-Shultz
    Smid-Petry
    Marincin-Musil

    that may work and of course it will almost certainly change, but I could see the Org looking at this as a plan of development

  26. sliderule says:

    LT
    When ate you going to examine oiler coaching?

    I eagerly await your assessment and others.

  27. jp says:

    Captain Happy:
    While Jr. provides significant offence, there is precious little from the rest of the group and secondary scoring from the D is an important facet of a winning team.

    Currently, the teams in the WC playoff spots have the following point totals from their D.

    CHI – 83

    ANA – 62

    VCR – 68

    LAK – 70

    SJS – 57

    STL – 94

    MIN – 71

    DET – 63

    —————

    EDM – 55

    Unless you have a bottom 6 forward group that can score significantly, you’d better have some D with offensive chops.

    Petry helps some but the rest of the group looks pretty grim.

    That number could have something to do with the Oilers using 4 forwards on the PP most of the time. I agree more offense from the back end would be great, but I don’t think the group is actually as bad as that number suggests.

  28. Lowetide says:

    Hartikainen (Arcobello, Fedun)

  29. Lowetide says:

    sliderule:
    LT
    When ate you going to examine oiler coaching?

    I eagerly await your assessment and others.

    End of season, I’ll have the review with coaching and management included.

  30. Woodguy says:

    There are several teams pressed up against the artificial $64.3MM cap next year.

    I think the Oilers are going to target one of them for the fabled 3 for 1.

    Unfortunately, 2 of them will be in the Oilers division, so the odds of a trade there are lower. SJS and VAN are both cap pressed, although if VAN moves Lou and buys out Ballard, they probably don’t need to move a D.

    I can see SJS wanting to move Burns as he fell apart this year, but at least he would be cheap to get. 4 more years at $5.76MM is a big pill to swallow if he doesn’t get his shit together.

    His Corsi looks good, but he’s played more forward than D this year. (MacT’d him!)

    He also is RH, so not an OIler target.

    MacT has been spotted scouting NYR and WAS a few times this year.

    While NYR have too much salary, its mostly in the F, not the D.

    That being said, one of McDonaugh, Staal and Del Zotto may be available, and they are all LHD.

    McDonaugh leads NYR D in 5v5 TOI/gm, so I doubt they let him go, although they may have trouble signing him as he hits RFA this summer as Sather will want to keep that number down and McDonaugh won’t.

    I can see Staal being available as he has only 2 years left to UFA and everyone thinks he’ll want to go to CAR to play with his brothers. His $3.97 is easy for the Oilers to swallow and helps Sather clear some room. Doesn’t have a NTC or NMC.

    I’d pick him up for the 2 years to play LHD, probably won’t cost too much as Sather wouldn’t want salary back.

    The only LHD worth getting from WAS is Alzner, so I doubt they let him go. They have $600K/yr journeyman HIllen playing 2LD.

    You could pick up Jeff Shultz just to corner the Shultz market, but he’s no where near 1LD.

    CHI is very, very cap strung, but most of the bloat is in the forwards. Its interesting that Hossa doesn’t have a NMC/NTC, but Kane/Toews/Sharp do.

    If I’m Bowman I try like hell to convince Sharp to move. Eats a lot of $$ for a LW and they have Saad to take his spot for $4MM cheaper.

    You may be able to pry Hjalmersson out of there, but I don’t think he’s a solution to 1LD either.

    Bolland may come available with Shaw and Krueger coming on, but that might be a stretch.

    STL isn’t cap strung, far from it, but they may not want Boumeester after this spring, and he shouldn’t cost much either.

    Interesting times.

  31. Woodguy says:

    Lowetide:
    Buchberger has a job for life, so we’re going to lose Nelson eventually.

    I can see them moving Buchberger into a junior management role if he’s in someone’s way that they want to keep.

  32. Lowetide says:

    Martindale (Pitlick, Hotham) game is tied 2-2 in the third.

  33. Woodguy says:

    jp: That number could have something to do with the Oilers using 4 forwards on the PP most of the time. I agree more offense from the back end would be great, but I don’t think the group is actually as bad as that number suggests.

    Here’s the same teams with only 5v5 D scoring:

    CHI – 59
    ANA – 48
    VCR – 51
    LAK – 55
    SJS – 39* (11 of that is Burns and he’s playing forward lately)
    STL – 67* (includes Bouw’s CAL numbers) 57 w/o Bouw
    MIN – 47
    DET – 46
    _________________
    EDM – 31

  34. Lowetide says:

    Rajala (Hartikainen, Stafford) 3-2 OKC late!

  35. Lowetide says:

    Rajala (Archobello, Hartikainen). I’m telling you, this little Rajala guy is a hockey player!

  36. Woodguy says:

    Lowetide:
    Rajala (Archobello, Hartikainen). I’m telling you, this little Rajala guy is a hockey player!

    I guess he did eat Reider’s lunch.

    Nice to see Harski with 1g and 2a

  37. dessert1111 says:

    Lowetide:
    Rajala (Archobello, Hartikainen). I’m telling you, this little Rajala guy is a hockey player!

    He is extremely elusive. Very interesting offensive player. Would love to see him in the NHL soon-ish for a few games.

    I’ve also liked Arcobello and Fedun quite a bit today (and yesterday). They look very, very strong at this level. After inserting Arcobello between Rajala and Hartikainen, the offense really got turned on. Although offense dies on VandeVelde’s stick, even in the AHL apparently.

  38. Lowetide says:

    Cornet (Arcobello, Cheechoo). Lordy.

  39. Bank Shot says:

    I don’t think Petry or Schultz are good enough to be “The Man” on a championship calibre defence core. Petry is pretty reliable, but doesn’t have the extra offensive gear in him. Schultz is so far off defensively, I doubt he ever gets to the point where you could count on him to lock it down.

  40. dessert1111 says:

    Arcobello very unselfish with the pass to Cornet for the EN goal there, nice to see, he likely couldve scored himself from there.

  41. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Woodguy: I can see them moving Buchberger into a junior management role if he’s in someone’s way that they want to keep.

    Ah… the Pat Quinn model of intra-organization movement!

    “I see you’re not good at herding goats.”
    “I know, I’ve tried, it’s just not working out. I’ll pack my things…”
    “Great Grains! Perish the thought, good sir! We’re like a family here. If you’re not good at one thing, we’ll simply move you along until we find something you are good at. Failing that, we’ll simply give you a room with a nice view and Stacey will bring you cheese sandwiches every day.”
    “Wow! This must be what heaven is like”

  42. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Woodguy: Here’s the same teams with only 5v5 D scoring:

    CHI – 59
    ANA – 48
    VCR – 51
    LAK – 55
    SJS – 39*(11 of that is Burns and he’s playing forward lately)
    STL – 67* (includes Bouw’s CAL numbers) 57 w/o Bouw
    MIN – 47
    DET – 46
    _________________
    EDM – 31

    I think the gap in D points is partially explained by the Whitney contract. The team bought the right type of player, he just can’t be relied on for much any more.

    Petry’s numbers are down too… and I expect they were hoping from a few more points from Potter.

    If they replace Whitney and Potter with an all-discipline D, 19 continues to grow and 2 finds the range again… shouldn’t be a problem.

    Of course, finding that all-discipline D is the trouble.

  43. spoiler says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: I think the gap in D points is partially explained by the Whitney contract. The team bought the right type of player, he just can’t be relied on for much any more.

    Petry’s numbers are down too… and I expect they were hoping from a few more points from Potter.

    Whitney is 49th in the league in PPG, top 60 in total points, so I don’t think it is his scoring that is letting down scoring by defensemen for the Oil.

    He has warts but scoring points isn’t one of them.

  44. Suntory Hanzo says:

    Off topic I know…but can anyone find a curling feed?

  45. eidy says:

    Rajala with 7 shots
    Cornet with 8 shots
    Fedun, Martindale 5 shots
    Pitlick, Hartikainen 4 shots

    Another nice come back win. At some point Rajala is going to need a shot at the NHL level.

    It is nice to see the free agents Arcobello and Fedun doing so well. They are deserving of continued employment with the oilers. They have outplayed their counterparts of Teubert/plante and VDV

    For me with OKC UFA/RFA I would keep Fedun, Arcobello, Harti, and maybe cornet and I suspect hey keep Teubert. Also hope the Cheechoo train gets another year.

    Roster spots opening should be Plante, House, Tyrvainen, House, Hordichuk, Hovinen, stafford and VDV. VDV could come back on a AHL contract, but Ewanyk can likely fill that spot.

    I would bring Danis back but to back up Roy and if there is an emergency call up for the NHL. Time to see what Roy can do at the AHL level. Bunz needs another year in the ECHL

  46. Captain Happy says:

    And just when you wondered what happened to Brock Radunske (drafted in the 3rd round by the Oilers in 2002) he winds up leading the South Korean hockey program.

    http://www.thestar.com/news/world/2013/04/07/south_korea_awards_citizenship_to_canadian_hockey_player.html

    Maybe he can recruit Pouliot and Jacques to help him out :)

  47. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    spoiler: Whitney is 49th in the league in PPG, top 60 in total points, so I don’t think it is his scoring that is letting down scoring by defensemen for the Oil.

    He has warts but scoring points isn’t one of them.

    Indeed, he is scoring points.

    But isn’t it fair to suggest that a healthy Whitney, playing more 5v5 TOI, and not being HSed for several games… scores more points?

  48. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    eidy: Roster spots opening should be Plante, House, Tyrvainen, House, Hordichuk, Hovinen, stafford and VDV. VDV could come back on a AHL contract, but Ewanyk can likely fill that spot.

    That’s a lot of Open Houses!

  49. spoiler says:

    LT said:

    •Nick Schultz as a top 4EV and PK D: I don’t think he has enough left to be part of the good times.

    LT said:

    Meh. Did Gilbert play during the lockout? Lot of rust on the guys who didn’t we certainly saw that with Petry. As for Gilbert not being able to crack a top 4D on a good team, bullshit then, bullshit now. Unless he’s hurt, there’s another explanation (my guess is the rust).

    This seems so strange to me. One defenseman gets a pass, the other does not. The reason for the defenseman gatting the pass is that he’s rusty from the lockout, despite the fact that excuse would have expired about two and a half months ago. Nor did Sgt Schultz play during the lockout either… Seems pretty arbitrary to apply this excuse to one player and not to the other.

    Looking at their seasonal stats…

    Despite training a raw rookie, and starting off with far more difficult Zone Starts, N. Schultz’s RelCorsi is destroying T. Gilbert’s. Gilbert has him on raw Corsi but is being helped by a better team and better Zone Starts. They both have hurtin PDOs, and both would probably be better in the plus/minus column, if they weren’t so unlucky.

    Both are the same age. One is training a rookie. Yet that one “doesn’t have enough left” and the otherone on the Divisional leaders, meh, must be rusty,I’ll take him on my team any day.

    Well that’s not very mathy. That sounds like saw him good…

    Or maybe the only difference that matters is that Tambellini traded FOR one player and traded AWAY the other. And dammit there is a narrative to sell…

    Right now, considering the different roles and the need for balance, the Schultz/Gilbert trade looks pretty smart.

  50. hunter1909 says:

    spoiler: This seems so strange to me. One defenseman gets a pass, the other does not. The reason for the defenseman gatting the pass is that he’s rusty from the lockout, despite the fact that excuse would have expired about two and a half months ago. Nor did Sgt Schultz play during the lockout either… Seems pretty arbitrary to apply this excuse to one player and not to the other.

    That’s Lowetide, through and through. He likes a few pet players, and heaven help anyone who dares to argue. :)

  51. eidy says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: That’s a lot of Open Houses!

    ha! I must really want him gone listing him twice.

  52. Lowetide says:

    Gernat with another point today, man I hope they sign this guy.

  53. dessert1111 says:

    Anyone else noticing Shawn Matthias out in Florida? Big centre having a nice run, though previous point totals could be worrisome, I think he’s getting an opportunity there he hasn’t had before (i.e. he’s playing with Huberdeau).

    Just turned 25, could be a nice Oilers fit, though I have no idea how much Florida likes him.

  54. Lowetide says:

    Everywhere I look this weekend in msm, there’s talk of the LAK size being to difficult to overcome. What I noticed was 12 forwards who could take and make a pass, and a mobile defense who could get the puck out of danger in a quick hurry.

    I’m all for power forwards, but the Kings big men can all play the basic skill game very well.

  55. Captain Happy says:

    Lowetide:
    Everywhere I look this weekend in msm, there’s talk of the LAK size being to difficult to overcome. What I noticed was 12 forwards who could take and make a pass, and a mobile defense who could get the puck out of danger in a quick hurry.

    I’m all for power forwards, but the Kings big men can all play the basic skill game very well.

    And they’re big too.

  56. Lowetide says:

    Captain Happy: And they’re big too.

    YES! I agree! I don’t know anyone who has been arguing that big men with skill are a bad thing, but there’s a train of thought (imo) that suggests you can’t have one without the other.

    My point is this: guys who can play hockey are always better than guys who can’t play hockey–when you’re playing hockey!

    But big men who can play hockey? I can’t imagine anyone having a problem with that scenario.

  57. Lucinius says:

    Bishop not very strong tonight against Washington. Let in a bit of a softie against Carlsson. Ovechkin now only one goal back of Stamkos.

    As per the Kings; I think the most important thing is how good their defensive system is. Take Fraser as an example; here in Edmonton he was regarded as a bad 4C who hurt the team, yet for the Kings he’s a capable 4C and won a cup.

    It shows you how important having a good system is.

    The Oilers do not have a good defensive system, and haven’t for years.

  58. eidy says:

    Zharkov with an assist today as well

  59. Lucinius says:

    Bishop seems to be really struggling in Tampa. Another bad goal. I think he misses Ottawa’s defensive zone system and team defense — Tampa just isn’t the same. They can score but their defense makes Edmonton’s look good at times.

  60. Lowetide says:

    Didn’t Bishop have a shutout in his first game down there?

  61. Lucinius says:

    Lowetide,

    Yeah, but his second game (and now third) have been fraught with him struggling. Could be just a bad stretch — one never knows with goalies, but I’m not convinced. I think he’s a goalie who was made better by his team. He’s a good goaltender, but I’m not sold on him being a top goalie.

  62. Lowetide says:

    Lucinius:
    Lowetide,

    Yeah, but his second game (and now third) have been fraught with him struggling. Could be just a bad stretch — one never knows with goalies, but I’m not convinced. I think he’s a goalie who was made better by his team. He’s a good goaltender, but I’m not sold on him being a top goalie.

    For sure, I don’t think there’s any proof he’s a top goaltender, and I do think Tampa Bay overpaid for him. He would have been a very nice backup for Dubnyk though, and he might have pushed him. I wish the Jones plus a pick deal had gone through at the deadline.

  63. godot10 says:

    Lowetide: For sure, I don’t think there’s any proof he’s a top goaltender, and I do think Tampa Bay overpaid for him. He would have been a very nice backup for Dubnyk though, and he might have pushed him. I wish the Jones plus a pick deal had gone through at the deadline.

    Garon will be available for pennies next year to backup Dubnyk now that Tampa is invested in Lindback and Bishop. I’m glad we didn’t give up a 2nd round draft pick for an unproven goaltender when backups are always available during the summer.

  64. Lucinius says:

    Of course, I say all this and then Bishop absolutely robs Ovechkin, after just robing Backstrom, hah.

    Goalies.

  65. jp says:

    Anyone notice that Arcobello is tied for 6th in AHL scoring? 61 points, just 3 back of the lead. He’s scored with and without the NHL kids. I’m not arguing for him as a prospect, but he’s having a very, very good season.

    And nice to see the Barons moving towards a playoff spot. Too bad the Oilers aren’t quite following suit.

  66. FastOil says:

    I think team play affects D offense a lot. If Petry was used appropriately I bet he’d produce nicely. Given how weak the team is 5v5 the D offense is suppressed. Everyone on the Hawks looks like an allstar, but really it’s about a team playing really well and being very lucky. Does Bickel produce like he has on the Oilers, I doubt it. When the team play improves I think the Oiler’s D will be at least average in production and the lower line forwards as well.

    Gernat might have ginger sideburns, but he’s got everything needed to be a significant player. If he puts it all together he’ll be something else. It would be deeply foolish to let him go so soon. Especially given the guys they have nursed along that have a snowball’s chance of being anything other than marginal NHL players. If he is willing to play two way hockey look out when he adds another 20 pounds. A long shot but to me the most likely prospect to become a true top pairing D.

    As for LA’s big men, there is a tradeoff USUALLY with size which is quickness. 200 pound forwards are big enough if they have the right temperament, and I prefer that they can still be quick skating which I think helps post season.

    The Oilers just suck at finding players that are aggressive in the way they want and you know, do the hockey thing as LT mentioned, which I suppose which is why they are trying to develop them.

    Such a treat these guys, can’t find decent bottom line players which is silly so they develop them which is equally as silly.

  67. asiaoil says:

    Sure ¬Smid, Petry, Schultz Jr are fine as ¾ of a top 4. But I also like Schultz Sr as training wheels on the 3rd pair. This year with junior and next year with Klefbom who you know they will hurry along if he shows anyting at TC. Potter and Fistric are fine as 7-8 guys who will play a lot in a full season. Why both Whitney and Peckham are still here amazes me – guess Tambo was to busy with the big Smithson trade. So my take is we need a top pairing capable LH to grow with Junior – no need for elite offense as junior will take care of that – but he needs to be able to skate, pass, and defend at a very high level. That’s a little less expensive than the all-round #1 guys who do it all.

    As for coaches – I like a couple – Kruger is as smart as anyone in the NHL and he’ll fix whatever needs to be changed going forward. Chabot is also fine – DD has progressed nicely since losing that anchor Peeters. As for the other guys – Christ they are the worst of good old boy hangers on. For Peter’s sake let Kruger pick his own assistants and get rid of Smith and Bucky who are useful as tits on a bull and about as pretty. Ever notice that the defense went south pretty quickly and pretty badly as soon as Huddy was forced out for whatever reason? He’s the only good old boy who was worth a damn.

    Let Kruger pick his own guys. The systems issues will be fixed PDQ because Smith and Bucky have trouble giving directions to the nearest beer hall let alone explaining systems and technique which they never had int he first place to young athletes.

  68. Lowetide says:

    Just checking through the thread, and wanted to clarify. I’m fine with Schultz the elder as a mentor, but the question is “can we win with…” and I don’t think N Schultz will be the third pairing guy when they are in the window.

    Could be wrong. jmo.

  69. Lucinius says:

    And with his first EN goal of the year… Ovechkin ties Stamkos for the goal scoring lead. Obviously he’s done as a premier scoring threat, eh, MSM?

  70. VanOil says:

    What would it take to get Gilbert back? A team with both Schultz Sr has the best of both worlds. My biggest problem with the initial trade was that it was a good defenseman for a good defenceman (note I did not say great). We are a team with too few good defensemen. Adding Gilbert without giving up one our good defensemen would make us a better team. How about Eager, Teubert and a 2nd? I know its not much but if he is being healthy scratched maybe he is not wanted any more, we can handle his salary easier than Minnie can if they insist on paying a goalie 6 million a year again.

  71. Lowetide says:

    VanOil:
    What would it take to get Gilbert back? A team with both Schultz Sr has the best of both worlds. My biggest problem with the initial trade was that it was a good defenseman for a good defenceman (note I did not say great). We are a team with too few good defensemen. Adding Gilbert without giving up one our good defensemen would make us a better team. How about Eager, Teubert and a 2nd? I know its not much but if he is being healthy scratched maybe he is not wanted any more, we can handle his salary easier than Minnie can if they insist on paying a goalie 6 million a year again.

    The problem now is that Petry does his old job for 3M less and Schultz the younger has the offensive side of the RH pairing sewn up for a decade.

  72. FastOil says:

    VanOil:
    What would it take to get Gilbert back? A team with both Schultz Sr has the best of both worlds. My biggest problem with the initial trade was that it was a good defenseman for a good defenceman (note I did not say great). We are a team with too few good defensemen. Adding Gilbert without giving up one our good defensemen would make us a better team. How about Eager, Teubert and a 2nd? I know its not much but if he is being healthy scratched maybe he is not wanted any more, we can handle his salary easier than Minnie can if they insist on paying a goalie 6 million a year again.

    If he’s in the doghouse might get him back cheap. I am not sure he would want to come back though.

    The way management set this year up bothers me. They did nothing to shore up the team and put them in a position to take some steps as a team forward or have a meaningful shot at the post season. Hall, Dubnyk and Horcoff have dragged the team up in the standings by the bootstraps at the most unfortunate time, a draft year deep in what the team lacks.

    I could accept if they had made improvements off season and the team moved up in the standings. It is a shame to likely miss the playoffs because of their hand sitting and move out of a prime draft position as well. It’s the kind thing that happens to bad franchises too much.

    In the best possible way I hope Horcoff sprains his big toe and is done for the year or Petry gets a really bad 4 week cold.

  73. VanOil says:

    Lowetide: The problem now is that Petry does his old job for 3M less and Schultz the younger has the offensive side of the RH pairing sewn up for a decade.

    Fair point and a positive one. We just need to add quality to the other side. We all dream of a superstar there but I think some one of Gilbert’s class added to what we have would be good enough with decent goal tending and a Great forwards.

  74. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    A pair of insane tix to the Leaf game tomorrow fell into my brother-in-law’s lap.

    Who should I be scouting on the Leafs/Rangers tomorrow?

    Should I wear my Messier Jersey? (to further a prior conversation) or something else?

    maybe I’ll see MacT there!

  75. hags9k says:

    Marc Staal would be nice indeed.

  76. murphy says:

    Shea Weber will not stay in nashville past his one year max after signing an offer sheet (july 19th i believe). Oilers need to jump on this and ship out an elite forward and a few d prospects, draft picks, etc. This player could really make next season another major step in the right direction.

  77. WeridAl says:

    Woodguy,

    If you not happy with N.Schultz, you’re not going to like Hjalmersson. Hammer plays a positional game, and blocks a lot of shots, but he has no physical or offensive game at all. His play hasn’t been too bad this year, but last year he ended up playing 3rd pairing minutes, definitely not a option for the Oilers D. There is also a rumor Hjalmersson might be bought out this year, due to cap issues the Hawks will have.

    Kessy notched another goal today.

  78. Captain Happy says:

    Speaking of veteran LH defensemen…anyone watching the Anaheim/LA game?

    Bobby Ryan scores a beauty from Cogliano and Souray.

    Souray now leads the NHL in plus/minus at +27

    Corsi Rel +4.0.

    GFON/60 3.84

    GAOn/60 1.32

    Cap hit $3.6M

    Too bad Lowe is such a proud man.

  79. jfry says:

    Lowetide: The problem now is that Petry does his old job for 3M less and Schultz the younger has the offensive side of the RH pairing sewn up for a decade.

    Didn’t Gilbert ask to leave, as well? I seem to remember that meme at the time

  80. asiaoil says:

    Captain Happy:

    Too bad Lowe is such a proud man.

    Proud or arrogant, mediocre and spiteful – me thinks the latter is a better fit.

  81. Captain Happy says:

    asiaoil: Proud or arrogant, mediocre and spiteful – me thinks the latter is a better fit.

    Methinks you are absolutely right.

    I was trying to be charitable.

  82. asiaoil says:

    Watched a bit of the Kelowna-Kamloops game. Kessy scored again. He’s not the prettiest skater but gets around well enough. Kind of reminded me of Kevin McClelland until I looked at his draft year numbers – 108 points – end of comparison. I appreciate what the Oilers are looking for but it’s like looking for diamonds in the garbage heap the way they are going about it.

  83. asiaoil says:

    Captain Happy: Methinks you are absolutely right.

    I was trying to be charitable.

    Charitable is good – unfortunately I lost that with respect to this team’s mgmt around 2009.

  84. G Money says:

    I think the the process of filling the roster gaps *starts* this summer. Agreed that the ‘patience’ idea no longer applies. The sucking and drafting and waiting is done. Now starts the process of building a contender.

    I think the most likely source of said roster fixers is from trades with teams in declining-cap trouble.

    I do not think we are at the point where we are a desirable destination for UFAs (i.e. where we can sign them without paying a massive Sourayian or Khabibulesquian premium, let alone a discount).

    First we need to fill what gaps we can from trades, and next year the team should show enough i.e. expected playoff spot, that UFAs can be had to fill in the remaining gaps.

    Contendership is year #3.

  85. Captain Happy says:

    G Money:
    I think the the process of filling the roster gaps *starts* this summer.Agreed that the ‘patience’ idea no longer applies.The sucking and drafting and waiting is done.Now starts the process of building a contender.

    I think the most likely source of said roster fixers is from trades with teams in declining-cap trouble.

    I do not think we are at the point where we are a desirable destination for UFAs (i.e. where we can sign them without paying a massive Sourayian or Khabibulesquian premium, let alone a discount).

    First we need to fill what gaps we can from trades, and next year the team should show enough i.e. expected playoff spot, that UFAs can be had to fill in the remaining gaps.

    Contendership is year #3.

    So you’re saying next season is year 3 of a 5 year rebuild?

    Yikes.

  86. Wes Mantooth-11 says:

    As Woodguy mentioned, I too have been saying that teams will be shedding salary like crazy this summer.

    I also think this summer makes or breaks the Oilers.

    They must draft well and find a C and LW with size and skill.
    A capable 4th line.

    I also believe that Weber will become available after the Predators matching contract stipulation expires.

    With the Oiler desperately needing a top pairing defenseman.

    Would this be so bad?

    Weber – Schultz 19
    Smid – Petry
    Klefbom – Schultz

    I really don’t think this is way out there; In fact I got this gut feeling this will happen.

  87. Captain Happy says:

    If Weber becomes available there will be a large number of teams in the running to pick him up.

    What would you be prepared to give up to get him?

    How about Eberle, Klefbom and a first round pick?

    I’d wager Philadelphia would beat that deal.

  88. Ice Sage says:

    Wes Mantooth-11: Wes Mantooth-11(Quote) (Reply)

    As to the above, I’d think that the Oilers are one of the few teams that has enough young cheap assets and prospects and cap space to pry Weber away from a cornered Nashville. There is enough tinder to ignite a deep playoff run with an elite D…
    Hemsky, Paajarvi, Klefbom / Marincin and 2 1sts? Maybe also take some salary back.?
    (I’m sure some may opine that Weber would never want to go to Edm, as was said of Jr Schultz)

  89. Kris11 says:

    IMO, the Oilers need to get at least 12 points in the next 7 games to make the second season.

  90. Woodguy says:

    murphy:
    Shea Weber will not stay in nashville past his one year max after signing an offer sheet (july 19th i believe). Oilers need to jump on this and ship out an elite forward and a few d prospects, draft picks, etc. This player could really make next season another major step in the right direction.

    I’ve read that Weber’s 2nd bonus payment is due before he can be traded, or the day of.

    That means that NAS will have paid out $40MM of his $110MM contract and only received one year of service.

    His salary right now is $14MM and he’s been paid 1 bonus of $13MM, with the next one due as per above.

    Knowing that, it makes less sense for NAS to trade Weber having only received 1 of 14 years on the contract, but paying out 36% of it.

    The recapture on Weber’s contract will be a real millstone as well unless he plays to the end of it.

  91. FPB94 says:

    It would be really weird if they were to trade Weber right now; but they seem to be slowing down having traded Erat.

    It seems they’re just having a down year with bad shooting % and subpar goaltending (from what they’re used to).

    Just imagine that team if they kept Hamhuis and Suter. What a shame.

  92. nelson88 says:

    Woodguy,

    Yeah. That is a real shit situation the Flyers put the Predators in. All is fair in love and war and all that but if I were the league I would be none to happy about what is likely to become a very negative downward slide for one of the league’s most stable “southern” franchises. In hindsight they likely should not have matched.

    I hope Karma pays a nice visit to Snyder and Holmgren on that one.

  93. Beaker says:

    Woodguy,

    Thats all fine and dandy, the real question is can they afford the 74% of his contract over the remainder of his contract?

  94. Woodguy says:

    Beaker:
    Woodguy,

    Thats all fine and dandy, the real question is can they afford the 74% of his contract over the remainder of his contract?

    That would be 64%.

    If they paid 37% for one year, they can afford the rest.

  95. Captain Happy says:

    Woodguy: That would be 64%.

    If they paid 37% for one year, they can afford the rest.

    Getting rid of Weber would pretty much write the epitaph for the franchise.

    Can’t see him moving.

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