IS THE NUGE (CLOSE TO) READY?

I keep wondering about the Nuge. We have been getting vague updates here and there but nothing that really tells us when he’ll be ready. If we look at the first five games of the schedule, there’s an interesting target point:

  • Tomorrow, home to Winnipeg
  • Saturday, on the road at Vancouver
  • Monday the 7th, home to the Devils
  • Thursday the 10th, home to the Canadiens
  • Saturday the 12th, on the road at Toronto

After that, they play on the 14th, 15th, 17th and 19th, and then on the 22nd, 24th, 26th, 27th and 29th. I think it’s reasonable to suggest that RNH heads out on the road trip to Toronto and plays sometime the following week. There’s a window that starts on the 20th–if they activated him that day, RNH would miss only 9 games.

azorcan

The roster is kind of a mess. Edmonton has two players on waivers (Ryan Hamilton, Phil Larsen) and a few guys who are going on the IR (Nuge, Gagner, MacIntyre, possibly Grebeshkov and Potter, along with Curtis Hamilton). If we make a healthy list with guys who aren’t currently on waivers, we get a funny number:

CURRENT HEALTHY/NON-WAIVER ROSTER (22)

  • CENTER (4): Taylor Hall, Mark Arcobello, Boyd Gordon, Will Acton
  • LEFT WING (5): Ryan Smyth, David Perron, Jesse Joensuu, Luke Gazdic, Ben Eager
  • RIGHT WING (4): Ales Hemsky, Jordan Eberle, Nail Yakupov, Mike Brown
  • LEFT DEFENSE (4): Ladislav Smid, Andrew Ference, Nick Schultz, Denis Grebeshkov
  • RIGHT DEFESE (3): Jeff Petry, Justin Schultz, Anton Belov
  • GOAL (2): Devan Dubnyk, Jason LaBarbera

The club needs help at center, but they have two good young players on the way. At LW, they’ll eventually have 4 guys who can play NHL hockey and Eager’s has had his moments. Right side is solid even with Mike Brown–and the defense is good, certainly better than it’s been in a long time. Goaltending I like because Dubnyk’s a solid starter. Overall, I’d love a more veteran C option for the bridge to Nuge, and for the life of me I’m not understanding the number of enforcers (although late reports have Gazdic being able to play hockey).

I’m still picking them to make the playoffs. There’s just too much firepower here, and for once there’s a blessed defense.

wt1

Andrew Ference is the new captain of the Edmonton Oilers, it appears to be a popular choice. I never know what to say about this stuff, who the hell knows? Not me. Ference sounds like a great captain, I’ll be cheering like hell for him.

wt2

POSSIBLE OPENING NIGHT LINEUP

Based on lines from yesterday and the waiver pickup, this might be opening night lines and pairings:

  • Hall-Smyth-Hemsky
  • Arcobello-Perron-Eberle
  • Gordon-Joensuu-Yakupov
  • Acton-Gazdic-Brown/Eager
  • Smid-Petry
  • Ference-J Schultz
  • N Schultz-Belov
  • Dubnyk (LaBarbera)

I think this can still be a possession team, but the 4th line is going to leak. When we’re talking about shot differential, it’ll be key to set aside 4line results–and one would think that line is out there for less than 5 minutes a night. The three key elements in my mind for this season are:

  • Improved strategies for puck possession/retrieval in all areas of the ice
  • A more mobile, aggressive attack oriented defense
  • The continued blossoming of the impact players

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

wt3

TSN 1260 debuted this morning, and I’m thrilled to be a part of it. For a guy who used to play “Purple Rain” four times a shift, this is a pretty nice career turn. Scheduled to appear:

  • Tyler Dellow from mc79hockey. There are 100 things to talk about, we’ll try to zip through the waiver wire, 1+ SAF for shifts and their importance, possession player skills and the improved defense. Lordy.
  • Dave Randorf from tsn. We’ll talk about the CFL weekend, the Reilly concussion play and its implications and the struggling Roughriders in the second half.
  • Travis Yost from Hockeybuzz. We’ll talk Ottawa Senators, the waiver wire, injury worries in the Capital and more.
  • Rod Smith from tsn. We’ll talk football weekend on both sides of the border.

10-1260 via text, @Lowetide_ on twitter. Hope you can tune in to TSN 1260!

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110 Responses to "IS THE NUGE (CLOSE TO) READY?"

  1. Gret99zky says:

    You have a lot of courage picking this team to make it to the dance.

    I think this team is better than last year’s.

    But not better than the playoff teams that are going finish ahead of them in the West.

  2. Clarence Oveur says:

    I agree with Gret99zky, LT…while I’ve heard the “4th line usually doesn’t matter very much” theory discussed in this sphere before, we’ve witnessed first-hand how a terrible 4th line can derail a hockey club even with limited minutes.

    My worry, and I know I’m not alone here, is the seemingly total change in philosophy from the offseason. I’d really like to know what it was that changed MacT and Co.’s minds about putting together a possession team and leaving the knuckle-draggers to other clubs. According to McKenzie, the Oilers were looking for the nuclear deterrent prior to the Gagner injury. It just doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me (and I’ve always played the game in a physical, wreckless fashion so I’m by no means a passivist).

    That, and the continued refusal by management to add another centre even for the sake of depth purposes. I know, I know…Eakins probably won’t play his 4th line much and the Oilers are at 49 contracts as it is. But they weren’t at this point prior to MacIntyre and Gazdic. MacTavish has seemingly pulled a Tambellini and handcuffed himself, and I can’t wrap my head around why. I also can’t figure out why they put Hamilton and Larsen on waivers…from what I read in the comments in a prior post, they aren’t going to be protected from waivers in the future unless they meet very narrow criteria.

    I’m dumbfounded, and disappointed given the hope of building a more balanced and complete bottom six this season. They dumped Ryan Jones for ineffectiveness, so what do they expect Gazdic and Brown to bring to the table? Thanksgiving dinner? Guess we’ll find out…

  3. theres oil in virginia says:

    I’m as distressed as any about the center depth, but it seems the explanation is that none of the waiver options are so much of an upgrade that it makes sense to pick them up. Arcobello is going to get his shot – if you never give him a shot, you never know whether he can play NHL hockey. Acton knows the coaches system and will stay within it – none of the waiver options would have that advantage. Lander is also lurking and you need to know whether he is worth holding on to or if it’s time to cut bait. You can’t find that out unless you give him a shot. I suspect he and Ryan Jones will get NHL time before season’s end.

    Whoever said that the improved defense will help significantly is onto something. It may not be pretty when the 4 line is out, but it may not be a train wreck either simply due to the improved defense.

    There are so many unknowns heading into any NHL season, that it’s not productive to worry yourself to death about it. There will be plenty of time for that in January if things aren’t going well. ;)

  4. wunderbar says:

    Hey LT, I was just perusing the new station website, and it lists you on the schedule as being on from 10-2. Is that an error or are we blessed with even more of you in my ears every day?

  5. fuzzy muppet says:

    Getting married is such a chaotic whirlwind of hugs and tears, laughter and joy. My perspective on life has been completely altered in the last 48 hours. Ive literally been to a hundred weddings and going through this process makes you truly realize how much it means to have people make the effort to be a part of it.

    It’s strange to feel so happy and yet so guilty at the same time. People traveled from all over North America( some of whom I haven’t seen in over a decade) and had zero time to talk to anyone. You’re pulled in every direction at once and , like you said , before you know it, its over and evryones crying and saying goodbyes.

    From a hockey standpoint, I’m not happy with the way this roster has taken shape. Adding a bunch of knukcle-chuckers does very little to help this team win and I am now convinced that come January we will be discussing the 2014 draft class much more than we anticipated even 3 weeks ago.

    But you know what? In the end, who cares. It doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things. Just try and enjoy it.(yet i fully realize it will take about one period of game one before I start bitching again)

    Get well little Nuge, this team needs you badly,

    Cheers to you all!

  6. fuzzy muppet says:

    One more thing:

    At what point do you get used to wearing a ring? Because it’s been 36 hours and the damn thing is driving me batty. I can’t stop fidgeting with it.

  7. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    “along with Curtis Hamilton”

    I may be the only one who cares… but this remains by far the most baffling thing I’ve come across this TC. Much more so than the waiver pick ups and put downs.

    Curtis is still on the Oilers’ TC roster:

    http://oilers.nhl.com/club/page.htm?id=92037

    I have no idea why. I understand that he has a nagging knee injury from some soccer game last year. That part makes fine sense. Just fine. The part that makes none is why is he still on the big club’s TC roster.

    LT has offered an interesting solution: perhaps they are going to try to end their contract or somesuch. I’m not sure why they couldn’t do that with him sitting in OKC on their TC roster with an injured asterisk next to him.

    The only guess I can come up with is some rule about sending players down who are injured. maybe you can’t?

    If someone has the answer, I’d love to know.

  8. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Does anyone know of a centralized, updated website that tracks waivers? Also, what time today will we know if the Oil picked someone up, or if Larsen/Hamilton cleared?

  9. wunderbar says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    the closest thing to a “centralized” thing would be twitter. Just follow those in the know (Bob McKenzie, Dreger, etc).

    As for times. everything happens at noon ET, which is 10am Edmonton time. That is when players go on waivers, and also when claims are processed.

  10. Clay says:

    So Ference must be the first Oiler C who’s also a former Flame, right? That, and the fact that the team is owned by a closet Canucks fan has me feeling like I’m being trolled.

  11. Kris11 says:

    fuzzy muppet:
    One more thing:

    At what point do you get used to wearing a ring? Because it’s been 36 hours and the damn thing is driving me batty.I can’t stop fidgeting with it.

    You get used to it when your wife tells you that you’re used to it.

    That is the new truth to your existence.

  12. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    fuzzy muppet,

    Welcome to the club of the newly married.

    It’s very overwhelming, to have all these people (some you haven’t seen since you were a child) gather and smile and have a great time. Sounds like you had a blast. As it should be. Enjoy the lingering pleasure.

    The ring is weird. As a man that doesn’t take to jewellery… that damn thing can irritate the hell out of you. I had to get it resized twice leading up the wedding and it still doesn’t feel right (it’s more me than it at this point…) but you do start to get used to it.

    One point of ring pleasure: I like that it “clangs” when I clasp a handrail on a staircase of grasp a glass.

    One point of hand intrigue: after wearing a ring you discover that your hands/fingers are marginally different. My right hand is bigger than the left, the ring won’t fit there (who knew?). Also, apparently through the seasons your hands will swell (summer) and shrink (winter) and your ring will feel tight/loose depending. bodies are weird.

  13. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    wunderbar:
    Romulus Apotheosis,

    the closest thing to a “centralized” thing would be twitter. Just follow those in the know (Bob McKenzie, Dreger, etc).

    As for times.everything happens at noon ET, which is 10am Edmonton time. That is when players go on waivers, and also when claims are processed.

    Thanks for the tips.

    I glance at TSN’s twitter feed throughout the day. I guess that is the best option. But it sure would be nice for someone to simply set up a website for this… shouldn’t be that hard.

    2 hours to go!

  14. oliveoilers says:

    Know why married men fidget with their wedding ring? They’re trying to figure out the combination……(drumroll, cymbal.)

  15. markasread1199 says:

    fuzzy muppet,

    fuzzy muppet:
    One more thing:

    At what point do you get used to wearing a ring? Because it’s been 36 hours and the damn thing is driving me batty.I can’t stop fidgeting with it.

    I did the same thing about 11 years ago when I got married. A friend saw me turning it around and around and said “You can turn it as much as you want, you’ll never figure out the combination”.

    Congrats!

    As for the Oilers, I’m not sure what to say. I agree with some others about the change in philosophy. I can’t stand that they did it whether they meant to or not in response to something that happened in the Leafs game.

    We’ll see what happens. I’m excited about the start tomorrow. I was on the way to work and listening to the CBC and they plugged the start of the season on HNIC and when they said “..followed by Winnipeg at Edmonton..” I yelled Go Oilers! out loud….in my car….by myself.

  16. Fixall with Rexall says:

    oliveoilers,

    Haha..I like that. I think its not so much the ring the wife likes me wearing but the tan line it creates.

  17. Clarkenstein says:

    I thought the Nuge was said to be ready by Nov. 01. Why rush it? There is a timetable for these types of injuries. Bigger question is probably … who will be the next player to go down with a shoulder injury?
    As for the playoffs… Nope!

  18. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Clarkenstein:
    I thought the Nuge was said to be ready by Nov. 01. Why rush it? There is a timetable for these types of injuries. Bigger question is probably … who will be the next player to go down with a shoulder injury?
    As for the playoffs… Nope!

    The assumption was, and I believe still is, that Nov. 1st was the conservative ballpark, i.e., we don’t really know, injuries heal on their own damn time. could be faster, could take longer.

    I agree though, let’s just hope they don’t rush him. this regime has gone all “tough guy” on injured players in the past.

  19. dulock says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    Curtis Hamilton hasn’t been demoted because he’s injured. You can’t demote injured players (although I believe that depends on severity). They oilers carried someone all year before (someone like spurgeon or sestito) because of it.

    Also, has anyone thought that the enforcer pick ups are Eakins influence? His last organization was really big on truculence and it may have rubbed off.

  20. wunderbar says:

    dulock:
    Romulus Apotheosis,

    Curtis Hamilton hasn’t been demoted because he’s injured.You can’t demote injured players (although I believe that depends on severity).They oilers carried someone all year before (someone like spurgeon or sestito) because of it.

    The most recent one is Taylor Fedun, actually. he was listed on the Oilers roster on LTIR the entire year when his leg blew up.

  21. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    dulock:
    Romulus Apotheosis,

    Curtis Hamilton hasn’t been demoted because he’s injured.You can’t demote injured players (although I believe that depends on severity).They oilers carried someone all year before (someone like spurgeon or sestito) because of it.

    Also, has anyone thought that the enforcer pick ups are Eakins influence?His last organization was really big on truculence and it may have rubbed off.

    I see. So, will Curtis stay on the Oilers roster, but be IRed, until he is ready to go and be send down? curious situation.

    Staples looked into this question of Eakins and goons and found that Eakins was actually pretty unwilling (in the past at least) to run with a pure enforcer type:

    http://blogs.edmontonjournal.com/2013/09/11/do-the-edmonton-oilers-need-a-goon/

    though, this could be a matter of “how do you define ‘goon’?”

  22. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    wunderbar: The most recent one is Taylor Fedun, actually. he was listed on the Oilers roster on LTIR the entire year when his leg blew up.

    cool thanks.

    wish I had that answer weeks ago!!

  23. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Darren DregerVerified account
    ‏@DarrenDreger
    Some teams are completing their hybrid icing surveys today, so final decision won’t come until this afternoon.

    I’ll be very curious to see the result… and if it gets tanked… I wonder if we will hear some kind of explanation for why the players are courting danger.

  24. VOR says:

    Fuzzy Muppet,

    26 years in my ring still drives me crazy from time to time. My wife hates when I play with it. She thinks I will lose it.

    My wife would know about losing rings. She takes hers off from time to time (every time she washes the dishes, for example). I have helped her tear the house, car, and once a swimming pool apart looking for one of her rings. I am very good at taking the sink trap off and retrieving rings from the goo in the bottom of it. Once her ring was in the vacuum bag. This is not her fault. My wife’s fingers shrink and swell enormously and quickly, especially in the winter.

    I try to never take mine off. But it has nothing to do with worrying about losing it. Much as it drives me nuts at times having my ring off even for a few minutes feels terribly wrong. Oddly, my ring felt natural on my finger long before being married felt natural in my brain. Now both are just a part of me. I hope your marriage and your ring eventually become part of you.

  25. wheatnoil says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: I see. So, will Curtis stay on the Oilers roster, but be IRed, until he is ready to go and be send down? curious situation.

    Yes, although, it is worth pointing out that since C. Hamilton was injured during training camp, his NHL cap hit does not count against the cap while he is IRed.

    The rules go like this:
    If you have a one-way contract or played 50 games in the previous season (I imagine it’s pro-rated for the lockout last season), then if you start the season on the IR, your full cap hit counts. For the Oilers, that is the position of RNH, Gagner, Grebs, Potter.

    If you have a two-way contract and you played greater than one but less than 49 games last season, and you start the season on the IR, your cap hit is determined by a formula. Basically, you take the days you were on the NHL roster / number of total in the regular season and multiply it by the cap hit. If you spent half the year in the NHL, half your cap hit counts. I believe SMac falls into this category as he played one NHL game last year and spent a little more time on the roster but scratched.

    If you have a two-way contract and did not play in the NHL last year, if you start the year on the IR, your salary does not count against the cap at all. That’s C. Hamilton this year and Fedun two years ago.

    Link for the info:
    http://www.capgeek.com/faq/how-do-players-injured-in-training-camp-count-against-the-cap

  26. wheatnoil says:

    fuzzy muppet:
    One more thing:

    At what point do you get used to wearing a ring? Because it’s been 36 hours and the damn thing is driving me batty.I can’t stop fidgeting with it.

    3 and half years in and I’m still playing with it!

    …. wait, maybe I should rephrase that.

  27. jb says:

    I don’t think LT’s crazy to be suggesting playoffs this year. It seems unlikely due to the early injuries, but we’re now looking at a team where multiple guys could go supernova at any given time. This isn’t the same stagnating team year after year we’ve become accustomed to.

    I’m optimistic because of the fairly solid looking D corp, core, corpse? (take your pick) which really stabilizes a team overall.

    The young fowards combined with a fairly inexperienced #1 goaltender makes the team extremely unpredictable.

    The real good news is injury karma should be built up in our favor, so the next few years will be smooth sailing. (From november on of course)

  28. rickithebear says:

    Clarence Oveur:

    I’m dumbfounded, and disappointed given the hope of building a more balanced and complete bottom six this season.They dumped Ryan Jones for ineffectiveness, so what do they expect Gazdic and Brown to bring to the table?Thanksgiving dinner?Guess we’ll find out…

    Gazdic ahl numbers say 6G 6A with 8 minutes of even play for the year.
    Our bottom 4 fwds were on pace for 10G and -41.
    Eager was sat playing with Lander, Belanger, Petrell.
    he was 64GM 7G 8A +4 for 9-10- to 11-12
    He was 63GM 8G 5A -1 first year with oilers.

  29. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    wheatnoil,

    Thanks for the cap information.

    Now I’m left to wonder a couple real side issues. If anyone has the inclination or the answer, I’d be grateful:

    1. Did the Oil think Curtis was going to recover enough at some point during camp to partake? I just wonder — if his injury stems from last year and apparently shows no sign of abating — why have him on the TC roster at all?

    2. Does he have to physically be in EDM? I get that he stays on the roster, but wonder if the team can send him wherever they like? though, I gather they will want him in EDM for rehabbing with the best available facilities (like with Fedun?), I don’t recall the team flying him up to EDM late last season for treatment.

    I realize I’m pretty far down a marginal rabbit-hole here… but when curiosity strikes… you are helpless.

  30. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Ryan Rishaug ‏@TSNRyanRishaug 16m
    Mark Messier taking in Oilers practice today.

    Maybe he’ll mind-meld with Hall?

  31. supernova says:

    Love how this blog is talking about being comfortable with wedding rings, on the cusp of the season.

    Been 7 years for me and mine still drives me as nuts as day 1. I think you just get used to the uncomfortable feeling.

    Nuge returns in Ottawa or Montreal game 9 or 10.

  32. russ99 says:

    The one positive thing I’m taking from this week is unlike Tambellini, MacT isn’t afraid to add help via waivers.

    May not be the help that most fans want, but it’s an option to fix roster issues we didn’t have in the past.

  33. G Money says:

    jb,

    I’m in the pessimistic-for-the-playoffs camp, and was so even before the Gagner injury. Main reason being the lack of progress on the third and fourth “actual NHL player” front, given that those lines massively bled shots, chances, and goals against.

    That said, I think this team is harder to predict for performance than almost any other. You can make a solid case for both playoffs and non-playoffs. Personally, I think the scenarios look like this:

    THE OILERS MAKE THE PLAYOFFS IF:
    - Yak and RNH go supernova (which I think they will), AND
    - Joensuu turns out to be a real NHL player, which means the third line will be an actual NHL line, AND
    - Acton can hold his own as a 4C against actual NHL players, AND
    - Arco can hold his own as a 2C for a month until RNH returns, AND
    - It turns out that the third and fourth lines bleeding last year were heavily a result of the combo of Belanger + Krueger system + terrible (Whitney) third D pairing, all of which have been addressed in a positive way this year, and so those two lines in particular won’t bleed nearly as much this year

    Those are a lot of IFs, and the Oilers have a history of not living up to expectations, which is what leaves me in the pessimistic camp. But it’s NOT a huge stretch to think it might happen, especially with the improvement on defense (Ference+Belov >>> Whitney+Potter/Fistric).

  34. rickithebear says:

    Arcobello:
    was 37 GM 13G 24A +15 in the AHL after the lockout.
    He was 1.58 PPG with Hall and eberle in AHL whenRNH went down in Dec.

    Hall-Arco-eberle 1.58 PPG AHL

    Perron-Arco-eberle ??? PPG NHL

    Arco 48% FO% in Pre season versus established NHL FO vets.
    RNH 40% FO% NHL

  35. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    russ99:
    The one positive thing I’m taking from this week is unlike Tambellini, MacT isn’t afraid to add help via waivers.

    May not be the help that most fans want, but it’s an option to fix roster issues we didn’t have in the past.

    Tambo had no trouble using waivers to add meat. He put in a claim on Volpatti last year and lost before he spent a 4th rounder on Brown.

  36. denny33 says:

    Clarence Oveur,

    The Edmonton Oilers were – by far – one of the softest teams in the NHL last year.

    You are correct – the Oilers were looking for muscle – *well* – before the Vancouver Canucks pre-season game.

    The whole league has been pointing how how soft the Oilers are for years….Craig McTavish is trying to remedy this obvious problem.

    We can debate about the possible solution/s to the ‘problem’ all day long….However, there is NO debate in any circle of hockey about the nature of the problem.

    If you find yourself confused or disappointed in the acquisition of Brown, or Smac or Gazdic – then you are acutely not aware of the problem.

    John Tortorella’s plans and tactics for the Oilers this season are not new or novel. He is following a well worn game plan against the Oilers.

    Ladies and Gentlemen – whether you like it or not – the Edmonton Oilers will not be so easy to push around this year…

  37. Dead Cat Bounce says:

    Bob McKenzie ‏@TSNBobMcKenzie 2m
    VAN claims Ryan Stanton from CHI.

    Bob McKenzie ‏@TSNBobMcKenzie 2m
    Everyone else on waivers yesterday cleared today.

  38. RMGS says:

    Dys take Ryan Stanton, and….

    Bob McKenzie ‏@TSNBobMcKenzie 46s

    Everyone else on waivers yesterday cleared today.

    Shite!

  39. Jujhar says:

    rickithebear: Arcobello:was 37 GM 13G 24A +15 in the AHL after the lockout.He was 1.58 PPG with Hall and eberle in AHL whenRNH went down in Dec.Hall-Arco-eberle 1.58 PPG AHLPerron-Arco-eberle ??? PPG NHLArco 48% FO% in Pre season versus established NHL FO vets.RNH 40% FO% NHL

    exactly what established faceoff vets did the oilers play against this preseason ?

  40. Dead Cat Bounce says:

    Bob Stauffer ‏@Bob_Stauffer 1m
    Todd Nelson likely to be a happy man today with both Hamilton and Larsen clearing waivers

  41. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Great news about Larsen. Took a real shine to the kid during camp.

  42. kooler says:

    Need some Jimmy Hayes types….sounds like a big guy, good hands. How do we get guys like this?

  43. G Money says:

    Dead Cat Bounce:
    Bob Stauffer ‏@Bob_Stauffer 1m
    Todd Nelson likely to be a happy man today with both Hamilton and Larsen clearing waivers

    Presumably so are most Oiler fans.

    Larsen impressed quite a bit, and I would not have been unhappy to see him as #7 behind Belov (who in turn deserves the 6th spot and may work himself higher quickly). That said, having Larsen on the farm is legitimate depth.

  44. Hammers says:

    Still think RNH will be back between the 12th & 15th of Oct . Hopefully the Toronto game . As for the 4th line perhaps with Hopkins return we see Hall move over , Smyth to 3rd & Joensuu to 4th and thats why there is no panic from McT & Eakins . There are options once his back so be content and wait .

  45. denny33 says:

    Great article by David Staples in the Journal today….

    For those feeling our 4th line will doom our parade plans….

    Chicago, LA, Pittsburgh, Vancouver all with similar, or lower points, per game from their 4th lines…

  46. spoiler says:

    RMGS: Dys take Ryan Stanton, and….Bob McKenzie ‏@TSNBobMcKenzie 46sEveryone else on waivers yesterday cleared today.Shite!

    This means Larsen made it… I can’t say shite about that.

    With one contract spot available, I think the next move MacT makes will be by trade not waivers.

  47. spoiler says:

    denny33: Great article by David Staples in the Journal today….For those feeling our 4th line will doom our parade plans….Chicago, LA, Pittsburgh, Vancouver all with similar, or lower points, per game from their 4th lines…

    What do they give up? That’s usually the more important story on 4th lines.

  48. slopitch says:

    Wow … the Sens cut Zibenajad?!?! That Pageau kid must be good.

  49. till_horcoff_is_coach says:

    The problem with an unusable 4th is that it hampers tweaking zone starts for lines. The 3 ‘real lines’ will all have to drive the puck forward and have defensive responsibility… Not the end of the world but not ideal IMO.

  50. G Money says:

    denny33:
    Great article by David Staples in the Journal today….

    For those feeling our 4th line will doom our parade plans….

    Chicago, LA, Pittsburgh, Vancouver all with similar, or lower points,per game from their 4th lines…

    As the Oilogosphere’s biggest booster of Neilsen numbers, which try to look at player contribution beyond simple boxcars, I’m very surprised that Staples would post an article with such a simplistic analysis.

    Yes, superficially, e.g. the Chicago fourth line put up similar scoring numbers to the Oiler fourth line (0.23ppg vs 0.22ppg).

    But when you look at shot attempts differential (CorsiOn), it is night and day. Frolik, Carcillo, Kruger were +12.33, +9.91, +10.47. The Oiler trio of Belanger, Jones, Petrell were -26.13, -13.85, and -27.91. One was positive, the other a huge negative.

    You can bet the Neilsen numbers and goal differentials will tell a similar story. If the Oilers don’t make the playoffs this year, the inability of/refusal by MacT to address the capabilities of the fourth line WILL play a big part.

  51. rickithebear says:

    Jujhar: exactly what established faceoff vets did the oilers play against this preseason ?

    Horak, galliardi, Kane, Jokinen, Slater, Richardson, Sedin, Wright, Brassard, D. Moore.
    I missed one face off win versus E. kane
    so Arco was 24-48 50% not 23-48!

  52. fifthcartel says:

    Is that picture of RNH from last week, or the week before that one?

  53. spoiler says:

    till_horcoff_is_coach: The problem with an unusable 4th is that it hampers tweaking zone starts for lines. The 3 ‘real lines’ will all have to drive the puck forward and have defensive responsibility… Not the end of the world but not ideal IMO.

    The other problem is Eakins’ threats about shortening the bench and managing ice time.

    This is a tough move to pull when you don’t have a reliable 4th line.

    I think Big D will try and find as many O Zone starts as he can for the Arcobello line and the Gordon line is going to be paddling upriver forever and a day. The Hall line will be served both the whitewater and the glassy lakes, and we might see Acton coxswaining with Arco’s wingers towards the end of periods or in tight situations.

  54. RMGS says:

    The kid’s cursed:

    Eric Rodgers ‏@ericrsports 1h
    Klefbom just took a puck to the ankle during PK drills. He was in some bad pain. #OKCBarons #oilers

    Eric Rodgers ‏@ericrsports 6m
    Klefbom comes out with crutches and the ankle taped up, and putting a little weight on it. Better than a boot at least. #OKCBarons

  55. RexLibris says:

    spoiler,

    Just need one more aquatic/naval reference in there for the win.

    Perhaps something about walking the plank? Or a “run it up the flagpole” line?

    ;)

  56. TheGreatMutato says:

    fuzzy muppet,

    Getting married is such a chaotic whirlwind of hugs and tears, laughter and joy. My perspective on life has been completely altered in the last 48 hours. Ive literally been to a hundred weddings and going through this process makes you truly realize how much it means to have people make the effort to be a part of it.

    Congratulations on your wedding! Anyone who is indifferent towards marriage doesn’t understand how amazing it feels to tell a room full of the people you care most about that ‘this’ is the person you plan on committing your life to. It really hammers home that you are a team, a united front against whatever woes the world is going to decide to toss your way.

    Regarding the ring – I think you get used to it the moment it feels strange to have it off. That moment can come quickly for some, never for others. I take my ring off for certain activities and never feel quite right until it’s back where it belongs. And then I find myself constantly checking it when driving with my hand out the window, floating in the lake, or riding on a motorcycle. You learn to hate those brief moments of panic when you think you’ve lost it.

    Speaking of your ring, what kind did you go for? I see a lot of guys going for the ‘less-traditional’ metals these days. Personally, I’m a big fan of the classic gold band. Always figured that if it’s good enough to enslave Middle Earth with, it’s good enough for me.

  57. RexLibris says:

    I’d love to see what Larsen and Hunt could do down in OKC. Hunt really impressed me with his positional play and ability to keep the puck in the offensive zone.

    I’d rather have Larsen over Grebeshkov, personally, but MacTavish signed him for more than just his on-ice performance so we’ll have to see how he does a few games after he returns.

  58. oliveoilers says:

    I know this has been done to death, and pardon my ignorance, but why doesn’t Zed-bin-jihad have to clear waivers? He played every NHL game last season./

  59. G Money says:

    fifthcartel:
    Is that picture of RNH from last week, or the week before that one?

    Pretty sure it’s one of those novelty websites that show what he’ll look like 20 years from now.

  60. spoiler says:

    TheGreatMutato: Personally, I’m a big fan of the classic gold band. Always figured that if it’s good enough to enslave Middle Earth with, it’s good enough for me.

    Brilliant… Line of the day for me so far.

  61. Gerta Rauss says:

    dulock:

    Also, has anyone thought that the enforcer pick ups are Eakins influence?His last organization was really big on truculence and it may have rubbed off.

    I think MacT has the full decision making process as the GM, but wrt to the enforcers, I believe Kevin Lowe has been whispering in MacT’s ear. That’s just my opinion.

  62. wunderbar says:

    oliveoilers,

    Simple actually, he’s 20 and played less than 160 games in the NHL. Since he’s below 160 he does not have to go through waivers.

  63. oliveoilers says:

    wunderbar,

    Thanks buddy!

  64. stevezie says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    I assumed that since the kid was on IR anyway they thought he might as well collect an NHL salary which will be paid for by insurance anyway. I don’t know though.

  65. Bag of Pucks says:

    I’m trying to whip myself into a frenzy this morning because Eakins/MacT have chosen to staff their 4th line with bouncers instead of busboys but I just can’t seem to find it in me to do it – primarily because I see a way in which this approach might actually work.

    Ala the Leafs from last years, you roll the bulldogs out for 5 mins every night with simple instructions (get the puck deep and hit everything that moves). Think James Caan in Rollerball. Unlike Kruegs, Eakins will be smart enough to back this line with his best shut down pair and he’ll use them like the Republicans use Fox News (i.e. whenever he needs to send a message). Acton will rarely step foot over the other team’s blue and will ALWAYS be the first man back, Eager has wheels so he’ll be the lone forechecker and Brown or Gadzic will head hunt in the neutral zone.

    All this line needs now is a snappy nickname. Dusting off an old DC Comics tome, I propose ‘The Doom Patrol’

  66. wheatnoil says:

    stevezie:
    Romulus Apotheosis,

    I assumed that since the kid was on IR anyway they thought he might as well collect an NHL salary which will be paid for by insurance anyway. I don’t know though.

    I looked into that as well and though I don’t have the exact information, it looks like the amount the kid gets paid is laid out by the CBA. There’s some formula involving number of AHL vs NHL games and days on the roster. So Hamilton is likely getting paid AHL salary regardless because that’s all he made last year.

    Too bad, I had thought the same thing. If insurance is paying it, put these kids on the NHL roster and let them get some money. Doesn’t appear to be the case.

  67. russ99 says:

    Anyone else but me not so worried about the first month of the season because we play mostly Eastern Conference teams?

    We seem to have an easier time with most of our Eastern opponents, rather than the plodding checker teams like the Sharks, Kings, etc. of the west.

  68. G Money says:

    russ99:
    Anyone else but me not so worried about the first month of the season because we play mostly Eastern Conference teams?

    We seem to have an easier time with most of our Eastern opponents, rather than the plodding checker teams like the Sharks, Kings, etc. of the west.

    The general thought is that overall the Eastern conference is a bit weaker than the Western, and the Eastern teams are a little smaller than Western teams. Furthermore, as far as the playoff hunt goes, the Eastern games are ‘two point’ games instead of ‘four point’ games.

    So yeah, I suppose if you’re going into battle missing your top two centres, an Eastern road swing does give a hint of a silver lining.

  69. spoiler says:

    russ99: Anyone else but me not so worried about the first month of the season because we play mostly Eastern Conference teams? We seem to have an easier time with most of our Eastern opponents, rather than the plodding checker teams like the Sharks, Kings, etc. of the west.

    They are mostly road games though, without last change. Just the sheer number of road games is likely to have a negative effect, as most bettors know. It’s a lot of games for that number of days, which also affects practice time and thus systems play.

    On the good side, most teams gel on the road, they* say.

    *I have no idea who these people are, but I hear their voices.

  70. Dead Cat Bounce says:

    The gap between East and West has slowly been narrowing.

    Here are the number of points head to head in the last 4 full seasons.

    Season West East

    ’11-12 313 305
    ’10-11 324 291
    ’09-10 338 267
    ’08-09 308 206

  71. VanOil says:

    While I am willing to accept RNH maybe cleared to play competitive hockey before Nov 1st. Is it realistic to expect that is when the real RNH will show up? A version better than the scrub he is replacing sure but not the real Witch.

    I predict a limited or inconsistent Witchyness until at least Dec 1st and suspect Jan 1st to be the true witching hour.

    I base this on 3 things. One (as Eakins said about Jones) the kid has missed a lot of hockey in the last 6 months. While he has been skating with the team for the last month he is a month behind contact drills, contact is kind of important part of pro Hockey.

    Two he has to gain trust and re-calibrate to the new normal. I am confident he can do this unlike Whitney but it is an adjustment. Even if this is an adjustment to new strength. For those playing at home imagine going from sedate to doing push-ups for 6 weeks then trying to hit a golf ball. It might feel better but it will feel different, an adjustment to your new awesome power maybe necessary.

    Three Taylor Hall. Mr Hall did come back last November, was good in his first game then not. iirc he took until December until he was able to join in the fun of dominating the AHL. Domination is aided by being on a good team.

    I expect domination from RNH at the NHL level but not until he has a few weeks to get up to speed, re-calibrate and play on a team with a 2nd line center to help carry the load. May the PDO be with us until such times.

  72. supernova says:

    russ99:
    Anyone else but me not so worried about the first month of the season because we play mostly Eastern Conference teams?

    We seem to have an easier time with most of our Eastern opponents, rather than the plodding checker teams like the Sharks, Kings, etc. of the west.

    russ99,

    i was thinking the same thing.

    the only thing with that is the last 3 years the coaching and team have almost been the same.

    this year with MacT and Eakins plus a fair roster change over means even that is up in the air.

  73. supernova says:

    wheatnoil: I looked into that as well and though I don’t have the exact information, it looks like the amount the kid gets paid is laid out by the CBA. There’s some formula involving number of AHL vs NHL games and days on the roster. So Hamilton is likely getting paid AHL salary regardless because that’s all he made last year.

    Too bad, I had thought the same thing. If insurance is paying it, put these kids on the NHL roster and let them get some money. Doesn’t appear to be the case.

    stevezie,

    wheatnoil,

    I am also unsure about the NHL /AHL pay. what was Fedun paid?

    but I am fairly certain about insurance;

    It has to do with a percantage of games missed. I believe the claim is done after the season or at points in the season.

    If a player misses 6 games (or the equivalent roster man days) I understand the team foots that bill and doesnt make a claim on insurance.

    Like any insurance the more claims the higher the premium so the team has to gauge the severity and length of injury against the premium.

  74. hunter1909 says:

    Messier: ‘Slats, that Hall kid sure looked good out there today’.

    Sather: ‘What do you think MacT will take for him?’

    Messier: ‘McDonagh and a pair of firsts? We’re only picking in the bottom ten anyway.’

  75. Hammers says:

    What to expect on Tuesday Eager & Brown but Saturday Brown & Gazdic . If Eakins & McT think there are teams & coaches who take liberties i expect to see 2 heavy hitters on the 4th line against those kind of teams . If nothing else it will send a message .

  76. "Steve Smith" says:

    Dead Cat Bounce:
    The gap between East and West has slowly been narrowing.

    I credit Dale Tallon.

  77. hunter1909 says:

    Messier: ‘MacT received your message: play Hall with Smyth and Hemsky so every last Oiler fan will think Hall’s starting to bust.’

    Sather: ‘Muahahahahahahahahaha’

  78. Dead Cat Bounce says:

    “Steve Smith”: I credit Dale Tallon.

    With Detroit moving to the east and Winnipeg moving west, things could shift even further.

    In the last full season, Detroit had 102 points while the Jets had 84.

    And, of course Tallon’s Panthers should be much improved if the half of their roster that missed last season due to injury are back.

  79. wheatnoil says:

    Dead Cat Bounce: With Detroit moving to the east and Winnipeg moving west, things could shift even further.

    In the last full season, Detroit had 102 points while the Jets had 84.

    And, of course Tallon’s Panthers should be much improved if the half of their roster that missed last season due to injury are back.

    This is true. The Detroit for Winnipeg trade is a positive thing for the Oilers.

  80. Dead Cat Bounce says:

    wheatnoil: This is true. The Detroit for Winnipeg trade is a positive thing for the Oilers.

    As it is for every team in the west.

  81. G Money says:

    Hammers: i expect to see 2 heavy hitters on the 4th line against those kind of teams . If nothing else it will send a message .

    Yes, but I fear the message will be: “You can score on us every time our fourth line is on the ice.”

  82. spoiler says:

    BobbyMac is tweeting that Dvorak might be getting a contract in Carolina.

  83. spoiler says:

    Josh Cooper of The Tennessean reports that Filip Forsberg abd Seth Jones will both be on the opening night roster for the Preds.

  84. godot10 says:

    Zibanejad Lander’ed in Ottawa.

    Somebody has to tell the Swedes that they have to showboat in NHL training camps to not get sent down.

  85. spoiler says:

    godot10: Zibanejad Lander’ed in Ottawa.Somebody has to tell the Swedes that they have to showboat in NHL training camps to not get sent down.

    Actually he was told to work harder, be more intense and more physical. Pageau and Da Costa worked their butts off this camp, stole his lunch money. Sounds more like too much showboating to me and not enough hard paddling.

  86. spoiler says:

    I think that I should point out that ALL the players listed as possible waiver acquisitions by the Oil were passed on by every team in the league.

  87. rickithebear says:

    I like were Gazdic says in his video;
    -the goon role is dead
    - you have to be able to play the game
    - glad edmonton recognized that he can do more.
    - understand that the defensive gane is important.
    - Chip in goals when needed
    - he went to eakin to confirm positional play cause the system is clearly different and does not want to be out of position.

    I also like in the arcobello video were he states it is clear Gazdic has skill.

  88. godot10 says:

    spoiler: Actually he was told to work harder, be more intense and more physical. Pageau and Da Costa worked their butts off this camp, stole his lunch money. Sounds more like too much showboating to me and not enough hard paddling.

    Exactly, run around and showboat like the other two guys.

  89. Reg Dunlop says:

    TheGreatMutato,

    TheGreatMutato:
    fuzzy muppet,

    Congratulations on your wedding!Anyone who is indifferent towards marriage doesn’t understand how amazing it feels to tell a room full of the people you care most about that ‘this’ is the person you plan on committing your life to.It really hammers home that you are a team, a united front against whatever woes the world is going to decide to toss your way.

    Regarding the ring – I think you get used to it the momentit feels strange to have it off.That moment can come quickly for some, never for others.I take my ring off for certain activities and never feel quite right until it’s back where it belongs.And then I find myself constantly checking it when driving with my hand out the window, floating in the lake, or riding on a motorcycle.You learn to hate those brief moments of panic when you think you’ve lost it.

    Speaking of your ring, what kind did you go for?I see a lot of guys going for the ‘less-traditional’ metals these days.Personally, I’m a big fan of the classic gold band.Always figured that if it’s good enough to enslave Middle Earth with, it’s good enough for me.

    All real men take off their wedding band for certain activities but it is wise to leave it on when getting a lap dance. The peeler will think you are ‘normal’ if some woman can put up with you. Remember, it is better to beg for forgiveness than it is to ask for permission.

  90. stevezie says:

    Bag of Pucks,

    I like Doom Patrol. A lot depends on how bad Gadzic is, and there are whispers that the answer is “not very”. I will wait and see.

    godot10,

    Define “showboat”.

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    Hybrid icing sucks I hope they turf it. It combines the lack of safety of regular icing with the ruining of good races that no touch offers, and adds confusion and ambiguity. Just go no-touch already. Speeds the game up.

  91. hunter1909 says:

    spoiler:
    BobbyMac is tweeting that Dvorak might be getting a contract in Carolina.

    Excuse me here, but didn’t oilers ‘management’ jettison both Dvorak and Reasoner in 2006, while essentially informing the fanbase that both players weren’t going to last long for the NHL, so it wasn’t worth their while retaining them?

    I believed both were supposed to be totally washed up then. Yet, Reasoner’s only just out of the NHL, and Dvorak’s joining the Oiler’s 2006 game 7 nemesis, lol.

  92. JohnnyRocket says:

    Excuse me if this was brought up before, but I have a theory as to why MacT pulled a 180 on his puck possession strategy: Katz. Katz, MacT, and Eakins were all in the box watching Vancouver goons manhandle their kids. I’d bet money that Katz had a word about it with them.

  93. hunter1909 says:

    JohnnyRocket:
    Excuse me if this was brought up before, but I have a theory as to why MacT pulled a 180 on his puck possession strategy: Katz. Katz, MacT, and Eakins were all in the box watching Vancouver goons manhandle their kids. I’d bet money that Katz had a word about it with them.

    100% probability here.

  94. oilersfan says:

    Those of you who talk about Mact preaching puck possession have a selective memory. In addition to talking about puck possession Mact repeatedly said that the team needed more “meat and toughness” in the bottom six. the Oilers tried to find some “meat” that also had skill, by trying to sign Clarkson. that didn’t work, and everybody here bemoans what a bad attempt it was.

    Newsflash, MacT played on teams with Dave Brown and Dave Semenko. He apparently thinks there is value there. You can’t take half of his quotes from April out of context without mentioning other quotes he has made, such as adding “meat and toughness”, there is no point being surprised and if you are angry, well it was coming so I suppose it was just delayed.

    The other thing that Stauffer has mentioned several times, is that this request for toughness did not come from MacT or Eakins Or Lowe or Katz but from the “young skill players”. That means Hall and Eberle likely asked the team to get someone to make them feel more comfortable. while we are on our computers in our basement complaining about the waste of a facepuncher on the roster, Hall and eberle are getting beat up every night by goons and they want someone to help alleviate it. Clearly it does not take it away 100% but we will never know how much of a reduction it causes. Regardless, the players want it so Mgmt got it.

    This newest addition Gazdic looks like what Moroz will look like in 4 years why not try him out? Smac is likely out a couple of months so other than taking up part of the 50 man contract limit, what is the harm?

    I am so sick of reading the angry complaints. You aren’t the ones getting beat up. You are drinking beer on your couch. Ask Hall, Eberle, or Hemsky what they want and it is repeatedly said, they want someone who is tough in the lineup when they play the dirty teams. That’s good enough for me.

  95. spoiler says:

    godot10: Exactly, run around and showboat like the other two guys.

    godot10: Exactly, run around and showboat like the other two guys.

    Since “showboating” seems to mean “working hard” to you, then yes I agree.

  96. bookje says:

    oilersfan:

    I am so sick of reading the angry complaints. You aren’tthe ones getting beat up. You are drinking beer on your couch.

    Hey you don’t know me – I am constantly getting beat Up while I drink beer on the couch – don’t judge me until you know my situation.

  97. spoiler says:

    LT,

    Is your tweetbox, at the bottom of this page going to be fixed for the season’s start? Don’t know if everyone else sees the same thing I do, but every device I have shows it frozen on June 11.

  98. wheatnoil says:

    Eakins states Grebs is close to practicing again. I guess that explains the Larsen waive. I wonder what the timeline is for Potter.

  99. spoiler says:

    bookje: Hey you don’t know me – I am constantly getting beat Up while I drink beer on the couch – don’t judge me until you know my situation.

    Have you considered hiring an enforcer?

  100. godot10 says:

    godot10,

    Define “showboat”.

    I just think Swedish players, coming out of a club system, are not used to auditioning and trying out for teams like North Americans, who have been doing it all their lives.

    Rielly’s coach in Moose Jaw told him to do something noticeable or memorable in every practice or game, if he wanted the Leafs to keep him.

    I’m just using a potentially loaded word to obviate the need for a long post.

    I actually don’t mind that Lander was sent down, rather than be stuck with the 4th line punchers. It is actually probably better for his development.

  101. wheatnoil says:

    spoiler: Have you considered hiring an enforcer?

    Damn it! No! He’s got to make himself pointy when he’s on the couch! Get his elbows up!

  102. denny33 says:

    oilersfan,

    God Bless you….

  103. spoiler says:

    wheatnoil: Damn it! No! He’s got to make himself pointy when he’s on the couch! Get his elbows up!

    [Insert ribald *butt end* riposte here]

  104. spoiler says:

    Hybrid icing approved by the NHLPA and will be implemented, per NHL.com

  105. bendelson says:

    spoiler,

    No, no, no. Wrong approach here people! An enforcer will do nothing but take up value cushion space.
    Getting you elbows up may slow the ‘couch’ aggression down but you’ll still be taking too many hits.

    What you need to do is increase your skills in other areas of the house, thereby making the attacks on the couch counterproductive.

  106. oiltimer says:

    MUPPET . . . I had to get a different ring for the same reason plus
    I was afraid I would cut my finger off the edge was so sharp. After
    35 or so years of wearing it every day I would be lost without it.

  107. hunter1909 says:

    bendelson: What you need to do is increase your skills in other areas of the house, thereby making the attacks on the couch counterproductive.

    Drinking alcohol works wonders with irish chicks.

    oiltimer: After
    35 or so years of wearing it every day I would be lost without it.

    Sorry to pick your post, but all this wedding ring chat reminds me of Aesop’s fable where the starving wolf encounters a well fed dog, but seeing the collar marks on the dog’s neck decides it’s better to starve, lol.

  108. hunter1909 says:

    …on a more Oily note, MacT and Eakins have decided to eschew the Glen Sather ‘Boys on the Bus’ approach to building the hockey team, with the appointment of Ference as captain. Best of luck with keeping true to the old Klowe/MacT ‘nothing wrong with promoting grinders…To hell with talent’ school of thought.

  109. Rebilled says:

    They must have chopped all of RNH’s footage from Stand by Me. The hockey playing kid who sold magazine subscriptions didn’t quite make the final cut.

  110. OilClog says:

    petry!

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