PS G8 OILERS V STARS

The Edmonton Oilers will have about 8 new faces in the opening night lineup next week, and some of those new names are NHL veterans with playoff experience. Question: is the projected opening night lineup better than last season’s closing night roster?

azorcan

PROJECTED OPENING NIGHT ROSTER

  • L1: Hall-Smyth-Hemsky
  • L2: Arcobello-Perron-Eberle
  • L3: Gordon-Joensuu-Yakupov
  • L4: Acton-R Hamilton-Brown
  • D1: Smid-Petry
  • D2: Ference-J Schultz
  • D3: N Schultz-Belov
  • G1: Dubnyk (LaBarbera)

There’s a boatload of offensive talent here, I’d say there are two potential 30-goal scorers (Hall, Yakupov) and a couple more who can get to 20 (Eberle, Perron) plus. Nuge and Gagner are big holes in this lineup, but I’m pleased that the two men Dallas Eakins elevated (Ryan Smyth, Mark Arcobello) had a strong training camp. Jesse Joensuu also offers some promise.

On the blueline, we’re talking a smart upgrade from Ryan Whitney (Andrew Ference) and Mark Fistric (Anton Belov) plus Schultz the younger has a year of pro hockey under his belt. Despite the tsn analysis, Devan Dubnyk is a solid NHL goaltender.

I’m picking this team to make the playoffs, on the back of Hall, Yak City, Eberle, Nuge and the rest of the department of youth. The improvements over the summer will help, but the jump in the standings (imo) will come from the kids and from Dallas Eakins strategic upgrades on last year’s break outs/set plays from faceoffs etc.

kb1

FINAL GAME 2012-13

  • L1: Horcoff-Hall-Yakupov
  • L2: Gagner-Paajarvi-Eberle
  • L3: Belanger-Lander-Jones
  • L4: Smithson-Smyth-Brown
  • D1: Smid-Petry
  • D2: N Schultz-Potter
  • D3: Fistric-J Schultz
  • G1: Dubnyk

Of course, injury had done in much of the roster by this time, but they won the game in Vancouver that night (Hall put it all to rest early iirc). Hall-Yakupov is like a “coming attractions” we’ll probably look back on someday in wonder, Paajarvi had it figured out I swear by this time, and the bottom 6F does indeed look very poor. How much better than Belanger is Will Acton? Is he better?

I like the current blue better, but would love your input comparing these two rosters.

TONIGHT’S LINEUP

kb2

I suspect what you’re about to read will be the starting lineup or damn near for opening night. This is lifted from Joanne Ireland of the EJ:

  • L1: Hall-Smyth-Hemsky
  • L2: Gordon-Perron-Yakupov
  • L3: Arcobello-Joensuu-Eberle
  • L4: Acton-R Hamilton-Eaer
  • D1: Smid-Petry
  • D2: Ference-J Schultz
  • D3: Belov-Larsen
  • G1: Dubnyk (LaBarbera)

This roster isn’t what it should be–once the C’s arrive that top 9 is going to hum–but there’s plenty of firepower there. I’m not sure how they’ll suss out the RW’s, but LW could get an enormous boost if Joensuu scores three or four goals while Nuge/Gagner are out. The defense looks good from here, Belov will need to be battle tested but there’s a lot to like.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

KB3

This morning at 10am (it’s going to be a big day at 1260), guests scheduled to appear:

  • Steve Lansky from BigMouthSports. We’ll talk about Hall at C, the Leafs and Clarkson, and the excitement of opening night. 
  • Jeff Chapman from Copper and Blue. We’ll talk playoffs (PLAYOFFS?), Oiler roster and the Pacific Dvision.
  • Jungle Jim Hunter. We’ll talk about Ben Johnson these years later, and Canada’s reaction to him.

There’s also a bunch of voices you’ll hear I can’t tell you about yet. Best to tune in to 1260 this morning for the news.

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256 Responses to "PS G8 OILERS V STARS"

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  1. TheOtherJohn says:

    Not sure Ference is a replacement for Whitney. Assume everyone remembers RW was a healthy scratch but by making that comparison it certainly looks like a HUGE upgrade. Like Ference in the top 4 but whoever replaces Whitney is 5/6/7 not our #3 D

  2. Lowetide says:

    TheOtherJohn: Not sure Ference is a replacement for Whitney. Assume everyone remembers RW was a healthy scratch but by making that comparison it certainly looks like a HUGE upgrade. Like Ference in the top 4 but whoever replaces Whitney is 5/6/7 not our #3 D

    Whitney’s paycheque suggested he was most certainly top 4d, and I do think that’s a fair comparison. Whitney didn’t finish top 4D, but he was certainly supposed to be part of it.

  3. TheOtherJohn says:

    LT

    Since when are replacement players compared on paycheques? I have never thought anyone seriously tried that. Don’t remember ever supporting Horcoff, which I have done, based on his cheque. Realize it ruins the narrative of a HUGE upgrade at 3D but RW was done and it showed itself by him being a healthy scratch. Expect, in reality, Ference is replacement for NSchu who, in turn, is pushed down lineup

  4. Lowetide says:

    TheOtherJohn:
    LT

    Since when are replacement players compared on paycheques? I have never thought anyone seriously tried that. Don’t remember ever supporting Horcoff, which I have done, based on his cheque. Realize it ruins the narrative of a HUGE upgrade at 3D but RW was done and it showed itself by him being a healthy scratch. Expect, in reality, Ference is replacement for NSchu who, in turn, is pushed down lineup

    So, you’ve forgotten the games in which Whitney was in fact in the top 4? We can pretend they didn’t happen, but Whitney was dealt for a top 4D to be a top 4D. His replacement is Ference, a different player but a better one.

    As for N Schultz, he was a third pairing guy dealt for a top 4D.

  5. Woodguy says:

    With Bell changing 1260 to TSN1260, what does that mean for you and your show?

    With Spector being Sportsnet property, what does that mean for his show?

    Curious and hope you make out ok LT.

    Also,

    This occurred to me last night after reading about the latest round of everyone wringing their hands about Oiler C depth.

    What if MacT and Easkins planned on starting Hall at C and moving Gagner to wing once Nuge got healthy?

    What if their C dept was RNH, Hall, Gordon, Acton and then have Gagner on the wing to move to C if he needed to?

    That’s actually a pretty good plan.

    Perhaps the handwringing is much ado about nothing?

    No team can lose their top 2Cs and not miss a beat despite what people say.

    Another AHL/NHL tweener or old NHLer makes very little difference as Acro is plan C if both 93 and 89 are down.

    Arco playing soft minutes and being able to pass (some sublime ones in the pre-season) is superior to a 4 C who hacks the puck square, but is “safe”

  6. Lowetide says:

    WG: Much ado about nothing? That should actually be the title of this blog! :-)

    As for the radio, I’m not certain about what changes may come, but am confident it’ll all work out well.

  7. WheresYourTowel says:

    Ebs looks kind of like Yak when he makes that face.

  8. Undisclosed_Personal_Reasons says:

    Woodguy:
    With Bell changing 1260 to TSN1260, what does that mean for you and your show?
    With Spector being Sportsnet property, what does that mean for his show?

    Spector = Whitney
    LT = Belov

    (hoping for the best for you and your show, LT.)

  9. Jordan says:

    Hey LT,

    Now that the cat’s out of the bag about TSN 1260, there’s only one important question I have to ask:

    Is Mark Spector’s role in the programming on your radio station going to be reduced, since he’s a Sportsnet guy?

    Edit: I see greater minds than mine (who clearly type faster too) are already all over this question…

  10. theres oil in virginia says:

    There’s a boatload of offensive talent here, I’d say there are two potential 30-goal scorers (Hall, Yakupov) and a couple more who can get to 20 (Eberle, Perron) plus.

    You bastard! I hope that by “20 plus” you mean “30″! At least you resisted the urge to put Hemsky up there. Hehe.

    There’s no doubt that this roster is an upgrade. Disappointment over things not accomplished might cloud this reality, but the defense is significantly improved and Perron is a real upgrade over Paajarvi. Also, whether you suggest Ferense is an upgrade over Whitney (which I think is fairly obvious), or over Shultzo, it’s a huge upgrade either way. Still needs improvement, but definitely better.

    Somebody refill the kool-aid jug please, I just drained it.

  11. Lowetide says:

    Guys, I can’t answer the programming questions. That’s a question for management.

  12. sliderule says:

    LT they have to keep your show.

    I herby order them to.

    In regard to Hall at center maybe the injuries are a blessing in disguise.From what I am seeing and stats he looks like a great fit.With his reluctance to move to center without the injuries he may never have been moved.

  13. Bos8 says:

    To me the crux of the matter is the play of Hall at center. If he scores a few goals and buys in, all is the dawning of the age. If he struggles and takes his sandbox to LW, times get interesting. Hall and Nuge at center are much stronger than Nuge and Gagner as far as controlling the game. Hemsky and Smyth flanking Hall at least at the beginning, give him a nice blanky to ease in.

    Yak on a line with Gordon for at least a half season does him a world of good. Perron and Eberle can carry Arco for ten games.

    The defence is most heartening, especially the arrival of Belov. Optimal would be Klefa knocking on the door at the half way mark.

  14. Woodguy says:

    Guys on the morning show said they are looking for a replacement for Spec.

    As much as I dislike Spec’s take on hockey, you never like to see anyone lose any income.

    That being said, the hockey IQ of the lunch show just went up even if they broadcast dead air.

    Hbomb has an idea:


    Tyler Hupka ‏@HBomb1982 4m
    Open spot from noon to 2pm on TSN 1260? I vote in favor of @Woodguy55 and @BruceMcCurdy co-hosting a lunch talk show. #infinitepotential
    Collapse

    I responded:

    Woodguy ‏@Woodguy55 2m
    @HBomb1982 @BruceMcCurdy Hahat! That line up would be “your afternoon sleep aid”

    Bruce and Darcy with the Lunch Time Siesta

  15. Genjutsu says:

    Woodguy,

    I think with Hall at C our centre depth looks not so gloomy. Especially when Gags and Nuge return. Also about not getting Grabovsky its seems ridiculous that a man coming in on a one year deal looking to rebuild his reputation as a scorer would come here. He sees Nuge, Gags, Gordon and if he had an clue about Hall moving to the middle no chance would he want to come to this team. Washington was always going to be a superior option for his career.

  16. Diesel says:

    Nielson and Fraser just said that Mark Spector show is no longer a thing.

    I imagine a certain percentage of you are pleased haha.

  17. Ice Sage says:

    Yes.

    Addition by subtraction (EBelanger, RWhitney).
    Maturity of first-rounders.
    D upgrade (AFerence, Belov)
    Better Coaching (just MHO)

    This exceeds the downsides of ‘loss’ of 2 C’s… IIRC, RNuge wasn’t all that effective last year anyhow.

    It may not matter, given the scheduling and new conference set-up – the Oilers will have to improve to stay where they are, standings wise. Here’s hoping for some other teams imploding.

    Dallas vs Dallas, bring it on

  18. jp says:

    Woodguy:

    This occurred to me last night after reading about the latest round of everyone wringing their hands about Oiler C depth.

    What if MacT and Easkins planned on starting Hall at C and moving Gagner to wing once Nuge got healthy?

    What if their C dept was RNH, Hall, Gordon, Acton and then have Gagner on the wing to move to C if he needed to?

    That’s actually a pretty good plan.

    Perhaps the handwringing is much ado about nothing?

    No team can lose their top 2Cs and not miss a beat despite what people say.

    Another AHL/NHL tweener or old NHLer makes very little difference as Acro is plan C if both 93 and 89 are down.

    Arco playing soft minutes and being able to pass (some sublime ones in the pre-season) is superior to a 4 C who hacks the puck square, but is “safe”

    Hey, I said exactly that last night. :)

    And agreed, it would certainly change how we view things.

  19. Woodguy says:

    Genjutsu:
    Woodguy,

    I think with Hall at C our centre depth looks not so gloomy.Especially when Gags and Nuge return.Also about not getting Grabovsky its seems ridiculous that a man coming in on a one year deal looking to rebuild his reputation as a scorer would come here.He sees Nuge, Gags, Gordon and if he had an clue about Hall moving to the middle no chance would he want to come to this team.Washington was always going to be a superior option for his career.

    Agreed.

    Everyone saying “THEY SHOULD HAVE SIGNED GRABOVSKI!!OMGBBQ!!!111″ forget that he has to chose to come.

    He was public that he didn’t want a 3C job, and there was no 2C jpb up for grabs here.

    Signing Gagner then moving him to the wing (if they do it) due to Hall moving to C is one thing, bringing in a UFA is another entirely.

  20. supernova says:

    Woodguy,

    Diesel,

    Lowetide,

    This is hardly a new thing. With bell trying to buy astral for a long time now.

    Having been in other markets (Winnipeg has illegal curve radio) ( Montreal & Toronto have unique market shows).

    The Spector move was an obvious one due to parent companies, with rogers also trying to make in roads into the sports radio market in Edmonton , I personally suspect the major changes will be when the oilers rights bidding comes through.

    630 CHED is very aware of the upcoming war, the station has seen recent format show changes, and with really only a couple sports shows on their dial it seems likely to guess that bob’s show will be shifting somewhere next season.

    Robin Brownlee has very good reads on this from time to time.

  21. Woodguy says:

    jp: Hey, I said exactly that yesterday.

    Really?

    Sorry I missed giving you props.

    I more or less skimmed the thread.

    Great minds and all.

    Either that or I’m just stealing.

    :)

  22. Woodguy says:

    supernova:
    Woodguy,

    Diesel,

    Lowetide,

    This is hardly a new thing. With bell trying to buy astral for a long time now.

    Having been in other markets (Winnipeg has illegal curve radio) ( Montreal & Toronto have unique market shows).

    The Spector move was an obvious one due to parent companies, with rogers also trying to make in roads into the sports radio market in Edmonton , I personally suspect the major changes will be when the oilers rights bidding comes through.

    630 CHED is very aware of the upcoming war, there station has seen recent format show changes, and with really only a couple sports shows on their dial it seems likely to guess that bob’s show will be shifting somewhere next season.

    Robin Brownlee has very good reads on this from time to time.

    We all knew it was coming, but now that its here we need to ask the questions that haven’t been answered yet.

  23. Andropod says:

    Lowetide: So, you’ve forgotten the games in which Whitney was in fact in the top 4? We can pretend they didn’t happen, but Whitney was dealt for a top 4D to be a top 4D. His replacement is Ference, a different player but a better one.

    As for N Schultz, he was a third pairing guy dealt for a top 4D.

    Ok, let’s just say Whitney may have been let go while he was 7/8D regardless of where he was hired. That would mean he was replaced by Belov.

    So whether it was Ference or Belov that replaced Whitney, I would suggest that either represents a significant upgrade.

  24. G Money says:

    Here are my deltas for the year:

    - The first line (for the bulk of the season) will be much better than last year because a. two RNH shoulders, b. two Eberle hands

    - The second line (for the bulk of the season) will be much better than last year because a. Yak supernova, b. Yak on proper wing, c. Perron > Pajaarvi, d. healthy Hemsky = depth

    - The third line I expect will be the same as last year, though I believe Gordon > fading Horcoff. This is a problem because the third line bled shots, goals and chances.

    - The fourth line I expect will be the same as last year, at least until Acton proves himself more capable than Belanger. This is a problem because the fourth line bled shots, goals, chances like crazy.

    - The D will be better because Ference >>> Whitney, NSchultz (third pairing) > NSchultz (second pairing), and (so far) Belov > Potter and Larsen > Fistric.

    So overall, the top two lines better, third and fourth lines still stink, D better but still no #1.

    Enough to make the playoffs? Probably not.

    Reason for optimism? Part of the problem for the third and fourth lines and third D pairing last year was not just Krueger’s tactics (exact situation still up for debate), but his usage. He had the fourth line and the third D pairing out way too often, and at absolutely bizarre times. As has been noted here previously – why would you have Whitney out for a D zone faceoff when tied late in the game? I take it back, that’s not bizarre, it’s outright stupid.

    If Eakins is smart (and I think he is), he is going to use the 1 and 2 lines more, the 3 line in better situations, and the 4 line as little as possible (and in appropriate situations). It would be interesting to calculate the predicted effect on goal differential if we assumed no improvement at all in the lines, but just changed the TOI.

  25. supernova says:

    Woodguy: We all knew it was coming, but now that its here we need to ask the questions that haven’t been answered yet.

    Woodguy,

    Especially when Spector got his cheques from Bell lately.

    I agree Don’t like to see anyone out, but Spector has managed to come out very well through decline of papers and national papers. I have no problem saying Spector has been ahead of the curve with his journalist / media career.

    I suspect we might hear him do radio hits in the near future with someone that started his radio career.

    Also I suspect Ryan Rishaug will be a key face in this change. Everyone ready for more shauger?

  26. Logan91 says:

    You don’t think Eberle will score 30 this year LT!?

  27. Jon K says:

    Darn right it’s going to hum:

    FORWARDS
    Ryan Smyth ($2.250m) / Taylor Hall ($6.000m) / Ales Hemsky ($5.000m)
    David Perron ($3.813m) / Ryan N.-Hopkins ($3.775m) / Jordan Eberle ($6.000m)
    Jesse Joensuu ($0.950m) / Sam Gagner ($4.800m) / Nail Yakupov ($3.775m)
    Ben Eager ($1.100m) / Boyd Gordon ($3.000m) / Mike Brown ($0.737m)
    Will Acton ($0.680m) /
    DEFENSEMEN
    Ladislav Smid ($3.500m) / Jeff Petry ($1.750m)
    Andrew Ference ($3.250m) / Justin Schultz ($3.775m)
    Nick Schultz ($3.500m) / Anton Belov ($1.525m)
    Denis Grebeshkov ($1.500m) / Philip Larsen ($1.025m)
    GOALTENDERS
    Devan Dubnyk ($3.500m)
    Jason Labarbera ($1.000m)
    OTHER
    Buried: Ryan Jones ($0.575m)

    If Hall remains at centre that forward depth is not shabby at all. If Hall had not moved to centre I think it would be very fair to criticize the lack of depth at centre, however.

    Listening to Bob McKenzie this morning on TSN1260 (!), he mentioned that the Oilers and Flames are potentially interested in Colborne. The price will likely be a prospect in the minors or a pick, given that the Leafs must move him or send him down for cap reasons.

    Larsen has been something of a revelation, in my opinion. He moves the puck very well and is very quick along the boards in compensation for his lack of stature.

    Conversely, I think it’s pretty disappointing that Hamilton made this team. He’s beyond slow and at some point he will be victimized on the road.

    EDIT: Stupid work meeting preventing me from finishing my post earlier. Woodguy and others have already made many of these comments and I agree with them. ;)

  28. John Chambers says:

    G Money,

    Don’t underestimate the impact of the coaching change. Kruger’s system put this team at a terrible disadvantage.

  29. jp says:

    Woodguy: Really?

    Sorry I missed giving you props.

    I more or less skimmed the thread.

    Great minds and all.

    Either that or I’m just stealing.

    Yeah, no problem obviously, it happens!

  30. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    “Question: is the projected opening night lineup better than last season’s closing night roster?”

    Hmmm. that’s interesting. I’ve gotten so used to you comparing opening roster to opening roster. This makes for an interesting experiment, mostly in the emotional department.

    An Opening Night Roster hasn’t lost a game yet. It’s still so full of promise. Holes, gaps, shaved apes all look kind of wonderful in their starched, white linens.

    A Closing Night Roster on a team miles from the second season AGAIN has lost everything. Every scab, scratch, canker sore, hang nail, bunion and pimple shows up on the tape. The special effects guys have already been send home for the Summer and aren’t around to touch up this pasty bunch of wastrels.

    Impossible to compare these two events so laden with emotion without creating a lot of imbalance in the heart.

  31. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    “How much better than Belanger is Will Acton? Is he better?”

    It’s worth noting that in last year’s C-tastrophe Belanger was our 3C and Smithson our 4C. With both gone… hell, with both here the alarm bells at C have been ringing for a long time.

    Even without RNH and Gags, I think our C depth looks better this year… but that is all praise due to the Beastly Hall. He does magic.

    ———-
    “L4: Acton-R Hamilton-Eaer”

    I’m looking forward to seeing this Eaer (Pronounced EH-ER, as in “air” I believe) fellow in action.

    Yes, Tomtes Eaer, MacT’s most confounding pick-up of the off-season. Who knew Morey had a man scouting the Elban Penal League? I hear he was doing a stint for aggravating Larsens/Larsons. The paperwork must have been horrendous, no wonder he’s such a late show at camp.

  32. Jujhar says:

    1260 went to the shitter when they cut Jim Rome to 2 hours, then got rid of him entirely.

  33. goldenchild says:

    Woodguy: That being said, the hockey IQ of the lunch show just went up even if they broadcast dead air.</P

    ha i dont think theres ever been a better description of Spector’s ability, Nice job Woodguy.

    In terms of playoffs, looking at the roster i think it depends on 2 things, how quickly RNH can get back and in form and how well the goaltending holds up. To open the season 2 of the lines look like they will get killed in terms of posession, the 4th line and Arcobello’s line. If Nuge has any set backs or takes a while to get going the hole may be too big to climb out of unless the SV% is really really good.

    Hope things work out for you on the radio LT, dont always get a chance to listen live but enjoy the podcasts, you do a fantastic job and I love that unlike 99% of sports talk show hosts acknowledge that you are not an expert on everything. Its refreshing to hear.

  34. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    All this talk of 1260 finally got me to look at their website. Usually I just google the player and skip the website altogether or occasionally dig for a podcast.

    At any rate, somehow I completely missed that your radio station has a hilarious “Cheer Squad” something-or-other sponsored by “Show Girls” which I’m guessing is a local peeler joint.

    I’m not sure what’s funnier, the fact that a radio station (an aural experience rather than a visual one) has this kind of thing, or that their pictures are broom-closet small:

    http://www.theteam1260.com/cheersquad/View.aspx?ID=397800

    What’s the point?

  35. Hammers says:

    Are we better yes but to be honest the comparisons are Horc to Gordon ; about the same . Magnus to Perron . Perron is upgrade at least this year .Belanger ; No matter what he was paid he no longer could cut it so no real comparable but Lander the better option. Fistric gone for Belov; definite upgrade . Smithson for Acton; big mistake Smithson the better player .Joensuu for Jones; definite upgrade.Hamilton for Petrell ; little difference but Petrell beter on PK .Whitney didn’t play the last game IF ANY with an upside so to say Ference is his replacement isn’t fair as I think Larsen is his replacement . Ference for me is the one true Major upgrade on this team with Perron next .Do these two get us to the playoffs probably not but there is one more componement ,Eakins. His coaching may swing the balance sheetespecially when he demotes Acton & Hamilton to the minors .

  36. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Ice Sage: This exceeds the downsides of ‘loss’ of 2 C’s… IIRC, RNuge wasn’t all that effective last year anyhow.

    RNH was very effective last year. very. He just didn’t put up boxcars and his SH% shrivelled.

    http://www.behindthenet.ca/nhl_statistics.php?ds=30&f1=2012_s&f2=5v5&f4=C+LW+RW&f5=EDM&c=0+1+3+5+4+6+7+8+13+14+29+30+32+33+34+45+46+63+67

  37. Woodguy says:

    Jujhar:
    1260 went to the shitter when they cut Jim Rome to 2 hours, then got rid of him entirely.

    You know it was LT’s show that replaced Rome right?

    So you go on LT’s site and shit talk his show.

    I’m not sure if you are:

    1) trolling
    2) amazing unaware

  38. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Woodguy: Agreed.

    Everyone saying “THEY SHOULD HAVE SIGNED GRABOVSKI!!OMGBBQ!!!111″ forget that he has to chose to come.

    He was public that he didn’t want a 3C job, and there was no 2C jpb up for grabs here.

    Signing Gagner then moving him to the wing (if they do it) due to Hall moving to C is one thing, bringing in a UFA is another entirely.

    IIRC this was all debated pretty vigorously in the Summer. How much, would he come, what to do with Gags, etc.

    The two options I recall were:

    1) the big trade: Gags + to Tor for Gardiner and Grabo
    2) (after the buyout) sign Grabo and trade Gags, or keep both and one plays on the wing in the top 6 (probably Gags).

    Before the injury to Gags and without RNH out a month, I think both these ideas still look good. esp. considering Grabo signed for 1 year 3M. that is a bargain.

  39. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Woodguy: You know it was LT’s show that replaced Rome right?

    So you go on LT’s site and shit talk his show.

    I’m not sure if you are:

    1) trolling
    2) amazing unaware

    Biting sarcasm?

  40. Bos8 says:

    To my mind the crying need before next year is a sizable talented LW/forward. They’re in tough against the size in their division. Perron, Nuge, Gagner and Eberle remain undersized. The coin the Oilers have to deal in, is D depth. This puts Klefa/ Marinicin at risk and or up the D chain.

  41. BlacqueJacque says:

    Woodguy,

    That and Jim Rome is, well… Jim Rome. The world’s first sports radio shock jock.

  42. G Money says:

    According to Dave Staples
    http://blogs.edmontonjournal.com/2013/09/27/mixed-reviews-for-magnus-paajarvi-with-st-louis-blues/

    Pajaarvi is on the bubble in St Loo, and could find himself on waivers as a precursor to demotion to the AHL.

    I would *not* be unhappy if we were able to pick him up again! Talk about winning a trade!

  43. supernova says:

    BlacqueJacque:
    Woodguy,

    That and Jim Rome is, well… Jim Rome.The world’s first sports radio shock jock.

    BlacqueJacque,

    If Rome only did interviews it would be a good show. its everything outside the interview that gets nauseating.

    Dan Patrick runs a fantastic national show.

  44. TheOtherJohn says:

    Lowetide: So, you’ve forgotten the games in which Whitney was in fact in the top 4? We can pretend they didn’t happen, but Whitney was dealt for a top 4D to be a top 4D. His replacement is Ference, a different player but a better one.

    As for N Schultz, he was a third pairing guy dealt for a top 4D.

    Nick Schultz played more minutes TOI per night than R Whitney. That was the argument that was used to “prove” that Ference was playing top 4 D minutes in Boston. Assume the same argument applies to this analysis. Whitney was also a healthy scratch for 14 games last year. We can pretend that did not happen but the statement that Ference replaced Whitney does not seem to be a fair characterization. It does, though, look like a significant upgarde though if that were the case

    Agree completely with you that RW was supposed to be a top pairing D. Too bad the pro scouts that looked at Whitney, none of whom have been asked to leave the organization, did not realise that he had chronic feet/ankle issues.

    If MPS was put on waivers not sure that he gets to Edm at 7th in line….suspect Calgary takes him but if he did WOW!!

  45. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    kooler:
    Just reading that Magnus Paajarvi could be send down to the AHL….he would have to clear waivers correct?

    anyone else see this?

    picking him on waivers would be amazing!

  46. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    http://www.stltoday.com/sports/hockey/professional/blues-want-more-out-of-left-winger-paajarvi/article_8d62cb24-97ba-5b98-afe8-c307c5fea225.html?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

    http://blogs.edmontonjournal.com/2013/09/27/mixed-reviews-for-magnus-paajarvi-with-st-louis-blues/

    this is probably blue skying… I don’t think he gets cut… seems to be getting a bit of the ole’ brushback from Hitch though.

    If somehow he does get cut… that claim has to go in. has to.

  47. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    And the Radio Gods take Lansky out for his predictable dissing of Grabo. And, you know he was about to applaud Clarkson for leaving the bench or something.

  48. delooper says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: anyone else see this?

    picking him on waivers would be amazing!

    That would make the summer trade even more amazing. I can’t imagine it would happen though. St. Louis sees something in Pajaarvi, they wouldn’t have lost that so soon.

  49. Jujhar says:

    Woodguy: You know it was LT’s show that replaced Rome right?So you go on LT’s site and shit talk his show.I’m not sure if you are:1) trolling2) amazing unaware

    I am aware of this.
    But we dont need local programming from six in the morning to midnight. THe only reason they gave the show to Lowetide is because they cant afford to pay for Jim Rome. Rome has the most popular show on radio and the prices reflect this.
    Ideally we would have Rome on for 3 hours and Lowetide replacing Spec

  50. TheOtherJohn says:

    Want LT to replace Spec because I think it is a better program & more specifically because the noon hour slot is much more convenient for me. Don’t care if I ever hear Jim Rome again.

  51. Clay says:

    Both F and D are better than last year (or the previous 6 or 7), and that’s without Gagner and RNH. Love it.

    Side note – if you’d told me back in 2005-06 that, 8 years later, Smyth and Hemsky would still be on the #1 line, I would’ve laughed!

    The fun part is projecting the lines once RNH and Gagner are available. If Smyth is holding his own sitll, and it turns out that Hall is excelling at C, then I’d like to see (written in LT fashion):

    Hall – Smyth – Hemsky
    RNH – Perron – Eberle
    Gordon – Gagner – Yak (A righty playing LW and a lefty playing RW – awesome!)
    Whoever – doesn’t matter – don’t care

    And then you win.

  52. El Duderino says:

    I could never stand listening to Rome. Aggravating, phoney, contrived, and juvenile. Bring it clones!! Bah I say and good riddance,

  53. LostBoy says:

    “Of course, injury had done in much of the roster by this time, but they won the game in Vancouver that night (Hall put it all to rest early iirc).”

    Um, whut? Unless there’s something I’m not getting, the final game last season was in Edmonton, and it was tied 2-2 with six minutes to go. The Oilers then blew five straight past Luongo to turn it into a laugher late. It was the game in which Sestito mocked Yakupov’s goal celebration, only to have it promptly shoved down his throat with a Yakupov hat trick.

  54. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: Biting sarcasm?

    I was wrong. I apologize.

  55. gr8one says:

    Undisclosed_Personal_Reasons: Spector = Whitney
    LT = Belov

    (hoping for the best for you and your show, LT.)

    Not quite.

    If Spector = Whitney than LT is Bobby Freaking Orr.

  56. Andropod says:

    If the flames got PJV would that be another Glencross type loss? (Except we did get Perron)

    Granted we would love him on the 4th line, which of the current bunch (outside of SMac) would he replace? Hamilton? Do you see Eakins wanting a past project to replace his known entity?

    Seeing that we could not take him and put him in the AHL after claiming him, could we?

  57. slopitch says:

    I keep reading on the twitter that the Jets might move Buf to F or move a D. Its likely a pipe dream but he’d look great as a power forward/PP specialist who plays the point on the Oilers. Anyways, it got me thinking about what our forward group would look like (when healthy) with a power forward.

    Hall – Smyth – Hemsky
    Nuge – Buf – Eberle
    Gagner – Perron – Yak
    Gordon – Joensu – X

    All of the sudden there is no line without size except Gagner – Perron – Yak. However 57,89,64 all have grits/compete and would absolutely shred the easy minutes. Also, the Oilers would have 3 lines who should be able to push the river. Again, Buf is likely as a pipe dream, but its encouraging how dominant this group of forwards looks with 1 big power forward who isn’t a plug. As much as I like Nurse (and I do think hes a more valuable asset long term) Nikuskin would fill that need today… moving on.

    With Nuge and Yak on ELC, I wonder if we need to be thinking bigger then sneaking into the playoffs. With a little bit of luck on development from Nuge and Yak (you never know how long it would take) we are one asset away from being legit. Seriously. When Chicago made the playoffs in 2009, they didn’t just make the playoffs, they made the western final. I hate to use that comparison (the Chicago rebuild) but it helps my case :)

    I havent made a post this giddy since the days of Nilson, Cogs and Gags lol

  58. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Andropod: Seeing that we could not take him and put him in the AHL after claiming him, could we?

    We’d have to waive him to put him in the A. We could get stuck in another Chorney circle.

  59. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    This Magnus talk actually makes me think that MacT might want to put in a call to see about a trade.

    They might take less than full value if they are considering waiving him.

    Magnus would be our Winnik.

  60. stevezie says:

    Jujhar,

    LT’s show could be two hours of him playing a medley The Pet Shop Boys’ greatest hits on dog whistle and it would be a Ference vs. Whitney level improvement over Rome.

  61. stevezie says:

    stevezie,

    It’s not though. It’s a really good show.

  62. zatch says:

    If we did bring back MPS (and the idea makes me giddy, even as it is ridiculous) how would he be slotted into the line up most effectively?

  63. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    zatch:
    If we did bring back MPS (and the idea makes me giddy, even as it is ridiculous) how would he be slotted into the line up most effectively?

    Keep Hall at C and shore up the LW depth.

    Perron
    Mags
    Joensuu
    Smyth

    That’s how I would rate them absent Hall and without considering lines.

    But as a line, I imagine something like: Gordon-Mags-take your pick (Hemsky, Eberle, Yak)

  64. hoser313 says:

    Some thoughts:

    - No chance Paajarvi gets put on waivers. The Blues are just pissed that Perron had an awesome pre-season.

    - The Oilers’ powerplay looks worse this year than last. Using the “big bomb from the point” is a waste of the Oilers’ talent in my opinion. The “hit the man sneaking in by the far post” worked really well last year. Give Krueger at least a little credit for that.

    - Labarbera will have his work cut out for him without the same focus on defence that Phoenix has. People are quick to forget that Khabi stole the Oilers a couple games last year (i.e. 40 save shutout)….with some of the worst defensive help in the league.

    - Really like the way Ference defends in his zone. Great example for all the young offensive D the Oil have.

  65. Lois Lowe says:

    I think Magnus sticks on St. Louis until at least December unless the team is hamstrung by the cap. For the record, Jim Rome is awful to listen to. Just awful.

  66. Bag of Pucks says:

    The pet peeve I have with the Rome show, and it’s an annoying tick that Gregor emulates on occasion, is the pregnant pause/dead air.

    Every radio broadcaster in history is taught to avoid dead air, but suddenly Jim Rome thinks that rule doesn’t apply to him and now it’s a ‘thing.’

    Pregnant pauses from professional broadcasters should be reserved for the likes of Murrow and Cronkite. Not guys seguing between a local sports story and a rental car endorsement. Sorry Gregor/Rome, we’re not hanging on your every word. Spit it out or shut it off.

    Btw, LT is miles more professional than Gregor as a broadcaster. It’s not even close.

  67. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    hoser313: – Labarbera will have his work cut out for him without the same focus on defence that Phoenix has. People are quick to forget that Khabi stole the Oilers a couple games last year (i.e. 40 save shutout)….with some of the worst defensive help in the league.

    This has been debated a great deal. There is no meaningful effect on the performance of a goalie resulting from defensive systems.

    http://www.arcticicehockey.com/2013/7/16/4529962/nhl-save-percentage-tippett-hitchcock-goaltenders-statistical-team-effects-ondrej-pavelec

    http://blogs.edmontonjournal.com/2012/07/10/is-dave-tippett-responsible-for-the-rise-of-mike-smith-and-the-fall-of-ilya-bryzgalov/

    http://nhlnumbers.com/2012/8/11/the-dave-tippett-effect

  68. Racki says:

    Hitch sounded a lot less at the “giving up on Paajarvi” point in the St Louis article than he did in the EJ article. I think it’s wishful thinking on our part to think he’d be waived. Paajarvi will come around to hitch’s system. Sounds like they are starting to see that in him now. They need to wash the Oiler stink out of him. Haha.. But seriously.. Odd how Hitch can’t get the results he’s looking for that were the results Krueger was getting, no? (based on the 20 game look hitch referred to)

  69. denny33 says:

    Woodguy,

    I think that is the plan – moving Hall to centre & Sam Gagner to wing – gives the Oilers a dominant upgrade over Sam Gagner at Centre.

    Assuming Taylor succeeds, the whole look to the Oilers changes. Most coaches place a much greater emphasis on Centres. As we saw from the TSN top 50 and Paul Maurice explained..

    Taylor Hall versus Sam Gagner is a Monster upgrade at the Centre position….

    RNH could face 2nd line comp as 2C..and Sam Gagner can excel at wing and we can hide his defensive liabilities….

    Again, same thing occurred in Winnipeg with Bryan Little…

    This move alone -in my one cent opinion – will propel the Oilers into the playoffs. Again, assuming Taylor can excel at Centre…

  70. G Money says:

    hoser313: – The Oilers’ powerplay looks worse this year than last. Using the “big bomb from the point” is a waste of the Oilers’ talent in my opinion. The “hit the man sneaking in by the far post” worked really well last year. Give Krueger at least a little credit for that.

    I read a blurb from Eakins saying that this week, with the final roster set in preparation for the final pre-season game, is the first time they have started working on the power play.

    That, in conjunction with so many lesser players getting a chance on the pre-season PP would certainly explain its lack of effectiveness. The one game I saw where we had a significant number of our stars out there (I think it was Van), the PP actually looked pretty deadly. And then of course there’s RNH.

  71. hunter1909 says:

    Shawn Horcoff plays tonight…we hope.

    Tyler Seguin plays tonight…we hope.

    This blog jumped the shark with the Steve MacIntyre situation – good luck dudes, dealing with reality.

    Oilers look like they’re trending towards the playoffs. The thing is, they haven’t got any centres. Shite.

  72. BlacqueJacque says:

    denny33,

    I’ll laugh if we put Gagner on the left wing.

    That’ll make our top two left wingers as right handed shots, and one of our right wingers a left hander.

    BTW, LT, pretty sure I was wrong about Hall at centre.

  73. Bag of Pucks says:

    Denny33, couldn’t agree more. If Hall can successfully navigate the Messier migration, it completely changes the complexion of this team from pretender to contender. Years from now, we may look back on the Nuge’s injury at the start of the year as one of the more fortuitous events of this rebuild.

    On a related note, I’m really keen to see which ‘pairs’ fully establish themselves over the course of this season. I’m hoping for these ones:

    Nuge/Yakupov
    Hall/Gagner
    Perron/Eberle

  74. Evilas says:

    Dubnyk and the D are the biggest factors (along with Perron and Jonessu’s contributions) that will elevate this team. The forward depth is lacking in the “o” dept, but I think there will be about 50+ more goals generated, 30-50 less against. Dubbie’s Save Pct will be .925-.930 in 60-65 games and around 6-8 fewer shots faced. This team will get better additions before Christmas in the bottom 6 and I think they will finish around 6th in the Conference.

  75. Evilas says:

    Also, I really like the Ireland line-up vs any of the others that have been out there….

  76. denny33 says:

    From David Stapels – EJ:

    His coach Ken Hitchcock said Paajarvi has shown less grit but more skill than he had anticipated. The money quote from Hitchcock: “What we saw in the last 20 games in Edmonton was a high level of tenacity and something you can build on. He hasn’t shown that here.

    So interesting to hear people’s take on the MPS situation in St. Louis…

    Like the strange reverence for Tom Gilbert….

  77. supernova says:

    BlacqueJacque:
    denny33,

    I’ll laugh if we put Gagner on the left wing.

    That’ll make our top two left wingers as right handed shots, and one of our right wingers a left hander.

    BlacqueJacque,

    denny33,

    would be odd to see RH shots on Left side on multiple lines.

    some coaches love this some hate this. (oates with Ovechkin)

    Wing players are “rovers” as long as they can control the zone and get the puck to the net in the o-zone it is minor.

    Makes things interesting in the defensive end though.

  78. denny33 says:

    Bag of Pucks,

    Completely agree.

    1. Said it last year, Nail has a shot that I can’t see on TV and RNH is the perfect set up man for someone like that…Magic.

    2. David Perron – has WAY more offensive talent than I thought….I know it is preseason …assumed he was more of a ‘shooter’ ( could be my ignorance ) His play making / passing is far better than I anticipated…

    Impossible to imagine that group you listed not scoring 5 on 5…..

    Add Nurse to Petry and J. Schultz as puck movers/ pushers in a year or two and I think we are on the path to truly contending…

  79. Bos8 says:

    If Hall succeeds at center, Gagner becomes redundant. Trade for a LW? Irony?

  80. Bag of Pucks says:

    Speaking of the strange reverence for Gilbert, I found this recent quote from the always knowledgeable Bruce McCurdy in a recent Staples blogpost to be somewhat puzzling?

    “To some extent he was a victim of circumstances: he was a team-worst -11 among d-men, but suffered from some dreadful goaltending behind him with an abysmal on-ice save percentage of .877.”

    One of the deficiencies in Gilbert’s game that always stood out for me was the horrendous turnovers. He would repeatedly cough up the puck at the most inopportune times, hanging his goalie out to dry with very difficult shot attempts against. Combine that with his inability to consistently & effectively clear rebounds, and he always seemed like a goalie’s worst nightmare.

    Would that type of play not help to explain the abysmal on-ice sv %? Maybe it’s not as much a case of Gilbert being unlucky as it is him directly contributing to the problem?

    Possibly I’m misinterpreting the stat?

  81. theres oil in virginia says:

    Bag of Pucks,

    My memory says that it was shortly after he had eliminated this from his game (mostly) that he was traded. There was a Rangers game some years ago when he and Smid were in a competition for biggest shit show defender. It was a tie. After that time though, both of them really evened out their game. It just seems like we had to suffer through all of the growing pains, and then when he was coming into his own, he was DTR (down the road).

  82. Bag of Pucks says:

    Nuge/Yak seems as natural as Starsky & Hutch, Page & Plant, Peanut Butter & Ladies, etc.

  83. Racki says:

    Bag of Pucks:

    Even advanced stats can require further analysis and can be open to interpretation. I take issue with some.. On ice sv% is one. A lot of people looking at the stats seem to believe that every shot is created equal (why I hate Corsi). I think after watching Gilbert enough we can say some of that low sv% rests on his shoulders. Of course your goalie won’t save as many if you’re letting the opposition have a party in the slot.

    Don’t get me wrong. There are some great advanced stats to study and I’m definitely not knocking Bruce’s use of them here ( oohing but respect for that man!) but just saying there are some stats I hate.

  84. Kitchener says:

    CLASSIC: Ryan Smyth starts on the 1st line. Yes, yes, and yes, but this is where he’s starting and he’s earned it and he fills the current need and it is stunningly epic that his mullet will be on the ice when the puck drops on 2013-14.

    YES: Eakins talked about keeping the top 3 lines as balanced as possible. Translation: 9+3, not 6+6. To everyone who said “the Oil will never run three scoring lines” in the offseason, read it and weep.

    This year’s roster vs last year’s: There are upgrades everywhere except the injuries and the low-minute forwards. This year’s squad wins. The biggest upgrade is 1 year’s internal development for the core.

  85. spoiler says:

    Racki: Even advanced stats can require further analysis and can be open to interpretation. I take issue with some.. On ice sv% is one. A lot of people looking at the stats seem to believe that every shot is created equal (why I hate Corsi). I think after watching Gilbert enough we can say some of that low sv% rests on his shoulders. Of course your goalie won’t save as many if you’re letting the opposition have a party in the slot.

    I think you already know this, but as a reminder, Corsi is used as a possession/zonetime metric. From that point of view, all shots taken are equal, which is why all shot attempts are recorded. They are an indication of how much time a line is spending in the Ozone and the Dzone at ES. Corsi is not a measure of offensive potency.

  86. Racki says:

    The addition of David Perron is like adding another Jordan Eberle, but with much less potential to grow. Also I believe Anton Belov to be better than any of the D group the Oilers trimmed, never mind Andrew Ference. Many people are focusing hard on the faults of a line that ideally will see very limited ice. The top 9 forwards as well as the D look better. So for that reason I think this team has a better year by a big step, even with Nuge and Gags out.

    I think Joensuu is one to watch. Discovered his game in Finland.. A simple one.. Distribute puck, go hard to net.

    There are definitely valid concerns in net still, but that has little to do with Dubnyk.

  87. spoiler says:

    Blues have released Whitney from his PTO.

    Injury is a bitch.

  88. Racki says:

    spoiler: I think you already know this, but as a reminder, Corsi is used as a possession/zonetime metric. From that point of view, all shots taken are equal, which is why all shot attempts are recorded.They are an indication of how much time a line is spending in the Ozone and the Dzone at ES.Corsi is not a measure of offensive potency.

    Yes I do understand that it’s a possession metric but it doesn’t make it any more reliable a stat to me. It’s not terrible, but I still think it makes too many assumptions. Ex, a team could cycle around waiting patiently for a perfect chance… Another team could pepper from anywhere. Which is more lethal? Who had the puck longer? By Corsi, shooting from anywhere, but is it really? Well, neither of us can say yes or no because it’s subjective. Anyways I have said enough.. This topic has been done a lot. People either love the stats like Corsi or they don’t. I won’t convince anyone against their merits.

    There is an assumption Re things averaging out over time with these stats but again thats an assumption and i don’t work well with those.

    The NHL should track possession so we don’t have to resort to flawed ways of measuring it. I’m sure some teams do it themselves.

    Ok enough of my rambling. I don’t think advanced stats are bad.. Definitely show more than standard stats.. Just not the be all end all many make them out to be imho. Very open to interpretation

  89. OilClog says:

    Ebs, Perron.. might get 20?

    I say the Oilers have the potential to ice 4 35 goal scorers. Perron is playing the way he was before the concussions and Hitch, this guy is a beast and has a high chance of leading the team in scoring. His numbers in the St. Louis system doesn’t display the type of offensive skills this guy has. Ebs is only leading the league in preseason scoring.. his 22.2% shooting percentage is clearly not something he can keep up.. has no track record of it at all.. ever.. not even two years ago.

    Kills me to see these two guys sold short of where they really are.. Ebs will just always be questioned it seems.

  90. spoiler says:

    Racki: Yes I do understand that it’s a possession metric but it doesn’t make it any more reliable a stat to me. It’s not terrible, but I still think it makes too many assumptions. Ex, a team could cycle around waiting patiently for a perfect chance… Another team could pepper from anywhere. Which is more lethal? By Corsi, shooting from anywhere, but is it really? Well, neither of us can say yes or no because it’s subjective. Anyways I have said enough.. This topic has been done a lot. People either love the stats like Corsi or they don’t. I won’t convince anyone against their merits. There is an assumption Re things averaging out over time with these stats but again thats an assumption and i don’t work well with those. The NHL should track possession so we don’t have to resort to flawed ways of measuring it. I’m sure some teams do it themselves. Ok enough of my rambling. I don’t think advanced stats are bad.. Definitely show more than standard stats.. Just not the be all end all many make them out to be imho. Very open to interpretation

    I don’t think they are the be-all-and-end all either. I am very loathe to use Corsi, for example, in the way it was used this pre-season. Sample size is just way too freakin small and it comes without context. There have been some other refinements too, like Corsi-close, which tries to take some of the noise out of the stat. And, of course, it is very dangerous to use Corsi without Zone Starts and Qualcomp. And Qualcomp itself is a very suspect stat. I rely on TOI to help inform the wonky Qualcomp.

  91. Lois Lowe says:

    spoiler,

    I guess he showed the Blues exactly what the Oilers saw last season. Poor poor Barbaro.

  92. Racki says:

    spoiler: I don’t think they are the be-all-and-end all either. I am very loathe to use Corsi, for example, in the way it was used this pre-season.Sample size is just way too freakin small and it comes without context.There have been some other refinements too, like Corsi-close, which tries to take some of the noise out of the stat. And, of course, it is very dangerous to use Corsi without Zone Starts and Qualcomp. And Qualcomp itself is a very suspect stat.I rely on TOI to help inform the wonky Qualcomp.

    Ya I think that’s often what it takes.. Using a lot of these stats in combination.. Plus I’ll throw in (what I always say) using the eye a bit. The stats help remove the viewer bias, but the eye helps confirm the stats. Anyways I definitely don’t write these stats off. Just get irked when some people are quick to write players off because of Corsi. Always a fun discussion, this topic. Lol

  93. bookje says:

    I loved this movie – simply brilliant!

  94. spoiler says:

    bookje: I loved this movie – simply brilliant!

    I’m not sure where LT is going with it though… Shotgun wedding (so to speak) or buried alive?

  95. RMGS says:

    spoiler: I think you already know this, but as a reminder, Corsi is used as a possession/zonetime metric. From that point of view, all shots taken are equal, which is why all shot attempts are recorded.They are an indication of how much time a line is spending in the Ozone and the Dzone at ES.Corsi is not a measure of offensive potency.

    As I understand it, attempted shot metrics like Corsi and Fenwick are not only proxies for possession and zone time but also correlate positively with scoring chance, goal, and win/loss differentials and may also have predictive power. Score-adjusted-Fenwick-close, for example, may be used to attempt standings projections: http://www.broadstreethockey.com/2012/1/23/2722089/score-adjusted-fenwick.

    For possession and zone time measures, I’d love to see the NHL (or the advanced stats community) take a page from soccer and count touches and/or time actual puck possession in all three zones.

  96. BlacqueJacque says:

    Oh man, the Stars are putting their scrubs up against us. I recognize five names from their lineup – Nichushkin, Eakin, Roussell, Mueller, Oleksiak. Oh, and Ellis, I guess.

    MacDermid-Eakin-Nichushkin
    Garbutt-Fiddler-Ritchie
    Roussel-Mueller-Sceviour
    Gazdic-Morin-Smith

    Connauton-Oleksiak
    Dillon-Fortunus
    Nemeth-Jokipakka

    Ellis
    Nilstorp

  97. Dead Cat Bounce says:

    spoiler: I think you already know this, but as a reminder, Corsi is used as a possession/zonetime metric. From that point of view, all shots taken are equal, which is why all shot attempts are recorded.They are an indication of how much time a line is spending in the Ozone and the Dzone at ES.Corsi is not a measure of offensive potency.

    And it’s a pretty poor measure of possession and zone time too.

    If you watched last night’s game between the Rangers and Canucks, the Rangers outshot Vancouver 41-20 but the Canucks dominated on the scoreboard, 5-0, and in meaningful possession.

    If you want to measure possession and zone time, use a stop watch not a chain saw.

  98. wheatnoil says:

    Eakins, in his morning skate media availability, said he split up Perron and Eberle for tonight’s game in order to “cover off” a couple other guys and he’ll switch back if it’s not working. Based on the new lines of Eberle with Joensuu & Arcobello and Perron with Gordon and Yakupov, my guess is he sees Joensuu has a complimentary player who needs someone with him (like Eberle) to help create something. I also wonder if he saw Yakupov struggling to make things happen at even strength with Gordon and Omark and thought by giving him Perron it would allow both the 2 & 3 lines to get going.

    A top nine of Hall-Smyth-Hemsky, Arcobello-Joensuu-Eberle, and Gordon-Perron-Yakupov would certainly be an effective road top 9. Eakins has stated he wants to have three lines that make the opposition go, “Hmmm, who do we check tonight?” I imagine Hall and Gordon’s lines would split the toughest match-ups on the road, effectively sheltering Arcobello with softer comp.

    It may just work.

  99. commonfan14 says:

    denny33: Nail has a shot that I can’t see on TV

    There’s no need to slag TV like that – you can’t see his shot in person either.

    Also, both Horvat and Shinkaruk to start the season with the Canucks.

    Also, aslo, if you read that whole original article on PRV, Hitch is pretty high on him overall. Don’t think it’s possible we’ll have ended up trading PRV and a 2nd for Perron and PRV at the end of the day.

  100. wheatnoil says:

    RMGS:
    For possession and zone time measures, I’d love to see the NHL (or the advanced stats community) take a page from soccer and count touches and/or time actual puck possession in all three zones.

    This would be great. I’ve heard of a few projects like this getting off the ground and then haven’t heard of them since. I think it’s just such an epic undertaking that’s hard to do, given the immense number of touches in a game. It would have to be a pretty huge, dedicated group to pull it off.

  101. wheatnoil says:

    BlacqueJacque:
    Oh man, the Stars are putting their scrubs up against us.I recognize five names from their lineup – Nichushkin, Eakin, Roussell, Mueller, Oleksiak.Oh, and Ellis, I guess.

    MacDermid-Eakin-Nichushkin
    Garbutt-Fiddler-Ritchie
    Roussel-Mueller-Sceviour
    Gazdic-Morin-Smith

    That’s pretty weak. It’s the game before the start of the regular season. Not only that, but Eakins specifically mentioned one of the reasons he was putting in Larsen was he felt it was important for him to play against his former team. The same can be said for Horcoff. I would’ve liked to have seen at least Horcoff dressed for this game.

  102. spoiler says:

    And of course, around here, everyone knows that Corsi is about ES shot attempts, over large sample sizes, and not about whatever Dead Cat has bouncing around his empty skull.

  103. Diesel says:

    With regards to the Dallas and Edmonton lineups for tonights matchup in OKC…

    Why do we continually dress our most prized possessions in situations that seemingly require Irish conscripts?

    Is the opportunity to “gel” and work on systems play worth the (heightened) risk of injury playing against the lips & assholes of another organization?

    Who reveals their roster first? Do teams even use this information to formulate pre season rosters?

    I’m curious as to some of your opinions on these matters…

  104. Ribs says:

    spoiler: I’m not sure where LT is going with it though… Shotgun wedding (so to speak) or buried alive?

    Maybe LT really wants Acton off the NHL roster?

  105. Lucinius says:

    In regards to the whole ‘defense and impact on save percentage’ and so on;

    Back when I played goal the defense and defensive zone systems had a massive impact on the type of shot I faced. Not only in whether or not they forced players to the outside, or allowed them to get in close, but as to the kind of turn overs it created and the time spent in-zone.

    All of these things impact the difficulty level of any given save, and thus can easily impact the save percentage. However, at the NHL level and in today’s game.. the goaltenders are so good (and cheat with their equipment, but that’s another story) that the impact, while still there, can be minimized or exacerbated by how well that goalie is playing on any given night.

    Goalie in a hot streak? It doesn’t really matter how porous your defense is. Goalie on a cold streak? Pray for a mercy rule. On average? There is impact, but it will vary so wildly from team to team, and goalie to goalie that it might be almost impossible to actually ascertain the actual impact in terms of actual numbers.

    But, I’ll be honest.. while I love all the stat work being done.. sometimes I believe some of the guys/work involved are forgetting about common sense and the human component of it all.

  106. BlacqueJacque says:

    Lucinius,

    I agree.

    I think it’s a particularly flawed argument to compare Tippett’s early work with his late work. The league changed in that time, he changed, his players changed. Teams committed to and capable of denying high-percentage shots anywhere between the hashmarks and clearing the crease are going to have more luck than Ralph Kreuger teams which have the centre floating about as defencemen struggle to clear the crease and opposing forwards park themselves in the slot.

    The Cup run Oilers under MacT were a perfect example. Rollie was playing great, but the fact is I can’t remember too many chances from up close that the Oilers allowed. Especially against the Red Wings, who were absolutely forced to play on the perimeter.

  107. uni says:

    Wait, you guys are saying with a solid defensive system in place Dubnyk will do better? Inconceivable!

  108. oilinthepeg says:

    Agree on the love for Ebs and Perron. It would be dandy to see those two stick together on a line. The HANDS! Wowie. Fun to watch those guys. I think at least one of the two scores 35+

    The thing that has me the most hopeful this year is definitely the coaching. Somehow the entire feeling of a management and coaching change is that it might actually make a difference. They have certainly set the team up for improvement (despite the obvious weakness of the bottom six and centre depth, but I also agree that if Hall sticks at C, we are a much better team). Eakins seems to have the right attitude to take this team further, and the preseason is a small sample size, but has looked fairly good overall.

    I still have a feeling we’ll be just out of the playoffs, but as others have said before, it will take improvement just to tread water this year.

    I like the cuts that were made and those that were chosen to make the team (Hamilton, maybe not so much, but… we’ll see how that goes)

    There is some flexibility in the lines, and when Gags and RNH are healthy, we should have plenty of options to play around with… just keep the 4L off the ice as much as possible. Is this why Eakins is all about conditioning?! Because he only wants to play the 4th line for 4 minutes a night? Let’s hope so…

    Also, I am not a fan of the BigMac return… but hey, MacT can’t be perfect, can he??
    I agree with Kassian on that one… Big deal.

    Overall, hope is at an all-time high, and yes, this is an improvement.

    We wait.

  109. Dead Cat Bounce says:

    spoiler:
    And of course, around here, everyone knows that Corsi is about ES shot attempts, over large sample sizes, and not about whatever Dead Cat has bouncing around his empty skull.

    Sure.

    In general terms, over a very large sample size, Corsi tells you something but it’s not much and it’s a very blunt instrument when a scalpel is readily available.

  110. delooper says:

    wheatnoil
    A top nine of Hall-Smyth-Hemsky, Arcobello-Joensuu-Eberle, and Gordon-Perron-Yakupov would certainly be an effective road top 9. Eakins has stated he wants to have three lines that make the opposition go, “Hmmm, who do we check tonight?” I imagine Hall and Gordon’s lines would split the toughest match-ups on the road, effectively sheltering Arcobello with softer comp.

    i suspect pretty much every coach will cover the Hall line as best they can, and let the other two lines attack the relative underbelly, if there is one. That’s what I’d do. When the Oilers get their centres back it will be a much harder group to defend against, but with the current set-up, I think it’s pretty clear you defend against Hall.

  111. Lucinius says:

    BlacqueJacque,

    Not just that, but if you force a team to the outside or prevent them from getting a lot of grade A scoring chances, as a goalie, you tend to be fresher and more focused when they do occur. If you’re facing a lot of grade A chances all game, or series, it can be easy to get mentally and physically fatigued, even when hot, and start to crumble.

    its similar to how when goalies face almost no shots for an extended period of time even making a routine save can be tricky because the mental focus and intensity just isn’t there, and it can take quite a bit of concentration and mental fortitude to stay in the game.

  112. wheatnoil says:

    Diesel:
    With regards to the Dallas and Edmonton lineups for tonights matchup in OKC…

    (…)

    Who reveals their roster first? Do teams even use this information to formulate pre season rosters?

    Eakins has stated that he does not look at the opposing roster when he makes his line-up decisions (in the pre-season). Obviously, he stated that will change once the regular season starts but in the pre-season he hasn’t been paying much attention. He said he didn’t even look at the Rangers line-up until after warm-up.

    It’s an interesting question and a tough call. I mean, if you’re just going to see the other teams goons and dress your “B” line-up, then what’s the point of having a preseason at all? What was the downside to last year when there were no preseason games? The league is never going to get rid of preseason though. Free revenue with no payment to the players? If they could, they’d extend the preseason another 3 weeks!

  113. Lucinius says:

    delooper,

    if I were facing that line-up, I’d hard match my top pairing against Hall. Left-over minutes for that pairing would go against the Eberle line (since most top pairings play more than the top forward line of the opposition). My second pairing would focus on the Perron/Yakupov line, with any extra minutes left over to help cover the Eberle line. My third pairing would primarily see the Oiler fourth line, and see some time here and there against Eberle.

    I’d go power versus power against Hall with my forward lines, put my otherwise best defensive line out against Eberle and otherwise second best defensive line out against the Perron/Yakupov line and shelter my own fourth line by playing them primarily against the Oiler fourth line with a couple shifts off offensive zone face offs against anyone but Hall.

  114. bookje says:

    spoiler: I’m not sure where LT is going with it though… Shotgun wedding (so to speak) or buried alive?

    I think it has to do with the season of revenge that the Oilers are about to have. My hope is that it ends with a Five Point Palm Exploding Heart hit on the Canucks.

  115. wheatnoil says:

    delooper: i suspect pretty much every coach will cover the Hall line as best they can, and let the other two lines attack the relative underbelly, if there is one. That’s what I’d do.When the Oilers get their centres back it will be a much harder group to defend against, but with the current set-up, I think it’s pretty clear you defend against Hall.

    I think you’re right in that the opposing teams will focus on Hall’s line first, but Perron and Yakupov have the potential to be supremely dangerous. There’s a real chance that they start feasting on the ‘relative underbelly’ and make teams start to rethink their strategy early. Either way, if Hall-Smyth-Hemsky can saw off even against the toughs, then it’s going to be open season for the firepower on lines 2 & 3.

    You’re right though, once RNH gets back, and slots into Arcobello’s spot, it’s going to be real tough for opposing teams to decide which line to focus on.

  116. Racki says:

    Dead Cat Bounce: Sure.

    In general terms, over a very large sample size, Corsi tells you something but it’s not much and it’s a very blunt instrument when a scalpel is readily available.

    In fairness, the scalpel isn’t readily available here. As much as I dislike Corsi, why don’t you measure possession (individual and team) for the next Canucks game. Have a bottle of Advil handy. Calling Corsi a blunt instrument is a good metaphor however.

  117. RMGS says:

    wheatnoil: This would be great. I’ve heard of a few projects like this getting off the ground and then haven’t heard of them since. I think it’s just such an epic undertaking that’s hard to do, given the immense number of touches in a game. It would have to be a pretty huge, dedicated group to pull it off.

    Yeah, it’s daunting if done by hand/eye. The top soccer leagues in the world (not just Europe) effectively track ball touches and possession using specialized cameras and computer software. Of course, this isn’t done as an end in itself. The data gleaned are used to test and inform hypotheses about what leads to wins. It would be a good investment for a NHL owner.

  118. spoiler says:

    BlacqueJacque: Oh man, the Stars are putting their scrubs up against us. I recognize five names from their lineup – Nichushkin, Eakin, Roussell, Mueller, Oleksiak. Oh, and Ellis, I guess.MacDermid-Eakin-NichushkinGarbutt-Fiddler-RitchieRoussel-Mueller-SceviourGazdic-Morin-SmithConnauton-OleksiakDillon-FortunusNemeth-JokipakkaEllisNilstorp

    SMac vs. Gadzic tonight?

  119. Nostradumbass says:

    The idea that we have the first quarter of our season riding on the fragile bodies of Smyth and Hemsky and that management/coaching decides to play them against the Dallas B team defies logic.

    What possible good could come out of dressing them tonight?

    The season is hanging on the thread that is Ales Hemsky’s shoulder muscle fibres but lets play him for fun against the Slapshot lineup that Dallas is putting forth

    Someday I fulle expect to turn on the interweb to find out the Oilers have bought Taylor Hall a motorbike for getting 50 goals.

    Its like they can’t see fail to even understand the word risk let alone have any opinions on how to manage it

  120. commonfan14 says:

    RMGS: Yeah, it’s daunting if done by hand/eye. The top soccer leagues in the world (not just Europe) effectively track ball touches and possession using specialized cameras and computer software. Of course, this isn’t done as an end in itself. The data gleaned are used to test and inform hypotheses about what leads to wins. It would be a good investment for a NHL owner.

    Surely computer chips in the puck could be of some use for this. I’d really hate to think that big blue circles and lazer beams was the be all and end all of that idea.

  121. Bank Shot says:

    Looks like opening day roster from this season is about the same as closing day of last season. Gagner and RNH coming back from injury will tilt this season’s team and give them an advantage.

    Really though, we are pretty much only talking about Perron and Ference as improvements to the roster. Last season the Oilers finished in 12th. Before only Calgary, Nashville, and Colorado.

    Losing a conference opponent means the Oilers were effectively 11th last year. That means they still have to climb over three of these teams. Winnipeg, Dallas, Anaheim, Minnesota, and Phoenix.

    Minnesota and Phoenix both finished well clear of the Oilers last season and they both improved their rosters with the full time addition of Pominville in Minny and Ribeiro in Arizona. Anaheim finished well, well, well clear of the Oilers. I think their roster got worse and everyone is expecting a drop, but will they drop far enough to allow the Oilers to catch them?

    Winnipeg also finished well clear of the Oilers. Their roster looks about the same except the addition of a couple of highly touted youngsters.

    Dallas finished slightly ahead of the Oilers. They made a lot of changes. Not sure their roster is any better then last seasons. I’m thinking marginally at best.

    Are the additions of Perron and Ference enough to leapfrog 3 of the 5 teams ahead of the Oilers and claim a playoff spot finally? I’m thinking no. The Oilers would need all their bets to turn out, and the odds of that aren’t good. Wish Mact would have been as bold as he claimed he would be.

    Par for the course in “Next Year Country”.

  122. Nostradumbass says:

    Diesel: With regards to the Dallas and Edmonton lineups for tonights matchup in OKC…Why do we continually dress our most prized possessions in situations that seemingly require Irish conscripts? Is the opportunity to “gel” and work on systems play worth the (heightened) risk of injury playing against the lips & assholes of another organization?Who reveals their roster first? Do teams even use this information to formulate pre season rosters?I’m curious as to some of your opinions on these matters…

    Sorry I missed this much better written post (than mine) before I rambled on

    The Eakins and MacT combo is really starting to show their aptritude for good decision making and it ain’t pretty

  123. Woodguy says:

    Bos8:
    If Hall succeeds at center, Gagner becomes redundant.Trade for a LW?Irony?

    I don’t see why you wouldn’t play Gagner at LW.

    Perron is LW and shoots right.

    Yak is RW and shoots left.

    Its better for scoring angles to play the off wing

    Its better for “sticks on the boards in the dzone” to play your handed wing.

  124. TeeVee says:

    G Money,

    That would be funny. Perron and Paarjarvi for a 2nd round pick.

  125. Woodguy says:

    wheatnoil:
    Eakins, in his morning skate media availability, said he split up Perron and Eberle for tonight’s game in order to “cover off” a couple other guys and he’ll switch back if it’s not working. Based on the new lines of Eberle with Joensuu & Arcobello and Perron with Gordon and Yakupov, my guess is he sees Joensuu has a complimentary player who needs someone with him (like Eberle) to help create something. I also wonder if he saw Yakupov struggling to make things happen at even strength with Gordon and Omark and thought by giving him Perron it would allow both the 2 & 3 lines to get going.

    A top nine of Hall-Smyth-Hemsky, Arcobello-Joensuu-Eberle, and Gordon-Perron-Yakupov would certainly be an effective road top 9. Eakins has stated he wants to have three lines that make the opposition go, “Hmmm, who do we check tonight?” I imagine Hall and Gordon’s lines would split the toughest match-ups on the road, effectively sheltering Arcobello with softer comp.

    It may just work.

    Agreed.

    I expect Arco’s line to get 85% Ozone starts and the 4th line to play 5 minutes.

  126. leadfarmer says:

    Whitney waived by St. Louis. Hope he saved well.

  127. jake70 says:

    Diesel:
    With regards to the Dallas and Edmonton lineups for tonights matchup in OKC…

    Why do we continually dress our most prized possessions in situations that seemingly require Irish conscripts?

    Is the opportunity to “gel” and work on systems play worth the (heightened) risk of injury playing against the lips & assholes of another organization?

    Who reveals their roster first? Do teams even use this information to formulate pre season rosters?

    I’m curious as to some of your opinions on these matters…

    Agreed. I am still irritated at losing Gagner against that Vancouver line-up, with like 3 or 4 other bubble centers still in training camp that night. Tonight – in OKC — play the big league team to generate some fan interest in the area so more than family show up at games? Agree with DSF comment last year…,move them to Saskatoon if they don’t show up.

  128. Doomoil says:

    Nostradumbass,

    At least you picked a fitting name.

  129. denny33 says:

    spoiler,

    With the lineup Dallas in putting out there…it is too bad we didn’t keep Omark or Jones – we could have really used them instead of what we currently have…

    We could have really made Dallas pay on the pre-season power play….

    Macdermid, Garbett, Roussel, and Gadzic all on different lines…..

    I wonder what kind of game Dallas might play….

  130. spoiler says:

    leadfarmer: Whitney waived by St. Louis. Hope he saved well.

    Actually, as was noted above earlier, he was released, unsigned.

  131. spoiler says:

    denny33: spoiler, With the lineup Dallas in putting out there…it is too bad we didn’t keep Omark or Jones – we could have really used them instead of what we currently have…We could have really made Dallas pay on the pre-season power play….Macdermid, Garbett, Roussel, and Gadzic all on different lines…..I wonder what kind of game Dallas might play….

    I don’t have a problem with Eakins icing the team he has selected. Maybe there was a bit of pressure from management due to the location, but really, wouldn’t you want all your regulars to get a game in together before the season starts? Dallas did their dress rehearsal last night, and probably made that choice based on it beng a back to back with the first game at home.

    And hey, SMac might actually be able to skate with these lunkheads… might get 6 whole minutes tonight.
    #gameshapebaby

  132. Woodguy says:

    Bank Shot:
    Looks like opening day roster from this season is about the same as closing day of last season. Gagner and RNH coming back from injury will tilt this season’s team and give them an advantage.

    Really though, we are pretty much only talking about Perron and Ference as improvements to the roster. Last season the Oilers finished in 12th. Before only Calgary, Nashville, and Colorado.

    Losing a conference opponent means the Oilers were effectively 11th last year. That means they still have to climb over three of these teams. Winnipeg, Dallas, Anaheim, Minnesota, and Phoenix.

    Minnesota and Phoenix both finished well clear of the Oilers last season and they both improved their rosters with the full time addition of Pominville in Minny and Ribeiro in Arizona. Anaheim finished well, well, well clear of the Oilers. I think their roster got worse and everyone is expecting a drop, but will they drop far enough to allow the Oilers to catch them?

    Winnipeg also finished well clear of the Oilers. Their roster looks about the same except the addition of a couple of highly touted youngsters.

    Dallas finished slightly ahead of the Oilers. They made a lot of changes. Not sure their roster is any better then last seasons. I’m thinking marginally at best.

    Are the additions of Perron and Ference enough to leapfrog 3 of the 5 teams ahead of the Oilers and claim a playoff spot finally? I’m thinking no. The Oilers would need all their bets to turn out, and the odds of that aren’t good. Wish Mact would have been as bold as he claimed he would be.

    Par for the course in “Next Year Country”.

    You’re missing the upgrade on the 3rd Dpair.

    Leaving the dzone with possession was a big problem with the team last year. Too much off the glass and out.

    Belov,Larsen and N.Shultz are an upgrade across the board.

    You’re also missing the kids getting a year older.

    When PIT when from missing the playoff to making them, they turned over some of the roster, but a lot of it was kids getting older.

    RNH, Hall, Eberle, Yak, J.Shultz even Gagner are on the upward part of the curve.

    If RNH is back before game 10 I think they make it.

    If he’s not back until Nov. I think they miss, but just.

    Also,

    As per Tyler’s series about the team getting killed on shot attempts compared to the previous year with Renney, I expect them to actually win the shot attempt battle more than they lose.

    Easkins also said they will never sit on a lead but work the same systems to extend the lead, and that’s huge for a team that blew so many 3rd period leads last year.

    Upgrades, older kids, better coaching.

    It’s not just Ference and Perron.

  133. Woodguy says:

    Also,

    No way on God’s Green Earth that STL waives PRV.

    I’ll put mortage money on that.

  134. Woodguy says:

    Eakins media avail on Gregor’s show:

    Reporter: “Many people think that Smyth wouldn’t be able to keep up on that top line”

    Eakins: “Looks like a lot of people are wrong”

    It’s not a crush, I am now fully in love.

  135. Factotum says:

    Two thoughts and then two questions:

    1. The realization that the Oilers are a Taylor Hall pulled groin or bonk on the head from having a center depth chart consisting of Gordon, Arcobello, Acton, and Lander is making me sick to my stomach.

    2. I’ve tried really hard, but I just can’t make myself believe that a team employing Acton, R. Hamilton, McIntyre, Eager, and Brown as its 4th line rotation is a playoff contender.

    Is this really the best that MacT could have done? Is he really going to start the season this way?

    I have a bad feeling about this.

  136. BlacqueJacque says:

    Woodguy:
    Eakins media avail on Gregor’s show:

    Reporter: “Many people think that Smyth wouldn’t be able to keep up on that top line”

    Eakins: “Looks like a lot of people are wrong”

    It’s not a crush, I am now fully in love.

    Why? Smyth was visibly breaking down with the frequent games last season. Eakins is just commenting on a snapshot in time. There’s literally an entire season left.

  137. Racki says:

    BlacqueJacque: Why?Smyth was visibly breaking down with the frequent games last season.Eakins is just commenting on a snapshot in time.There’s literally an entire season left.

    Hard to know all the details. He very well could have been breaking down. He might have had some injury issues.. it might have been more of a mental thing… I don’t know. He looks to be a better player at the start of this year, and if I were in Eakins’ shoes, I would ride Smyth while I can too. Doesn’t mean they have to destroy him with insane amount of minutes, but he can be their go-to guy with top line offensive minutes instead of last year where he played hard minutes as a checking centre.

    I tell you from my own experiences playing hockey.. you always seem to have an extra gear and more air in the lungs when you are on offense! :P

  138. Ribs says:

    I don’t know what Coach Short-Shorts plans on injecting Smytty with before games, but he’s looked behind the play already skating with those guys.

    I think Eakins may be in for a bit of a shock when the actual games start being played. I hope for the best.

  139. wheatnoil says:

    Woodguy:

    It’s not a crush, I am now fully in love.

    Pretty soon you’ll writing full-out Wanye-esque “Squeeeee”s.

  140. BlacqueJacque says:

    Racki,

    For sure, and I think it helps having Smyth back on wing rather than centre, I was just wondering what was so amazing about Eakins comment. He and the reporter state nothing but the obvious – reporter suggests Smytty is exceeding expectations (very true), and Eakins agrees. There’s no revelation here to me. There will be if Smytty is still doing this by the end of November, never mind March, but we’re not there yet.

  141. Ribs says:

    Racki: Doesn’t mean they have to destroy him with insane amount of minutes…

    Getting Hall the minutes is what matters. Especially with the injury situation. There is ways to do this with Smyth on his line but it’s a hell of a lot more complicated than just putting someone there who can keep up.

  142. wheatnoil says:

    BlacqueJacque:
    Racki,

    For sure, and I think it helps having Smyth back on wing rather than centre, I was just wondering what was so amazing about Eakins comment.He and the reporter state nothing but the obvious – reporter suggests Smytty is exceeding expectations (very true), and Eakins agrees.There’s no revelation here to me.There will be if Smytty is still doing this by the end of November, never mind March, but we’re not there yet.

    I think it was more in the delivery. The words might have been, “Looks like a lot of people are wrong”, but the intonation was, “Looks like a lot of people are wrong… bitch!” It was pretty fun to watch. I might drop by the next media availability with an Eakins sign and an over-sized foam finger.

  143. Racki says:

    Woodguy:
    Upgrades, older kids, better coaching.

    It’s not just Ference and Perron.

    I agree with what you said, although I will say that I think David Perron is a giant upgrade for the top six over any player we’ve seen here in a while (outside of the kids). I feel like he’s a real NHL offensive threat. You watch him make plays or shoot the puck and can’t help but feel like you’re watching any one of the other kids.. maybe even a step ahead of some of them (at this point). I believe Perron is at or near his top end, so the kids will be better though, but David Perron alone is such a huge upgrade over any of Paajarvi, Jones, Hartikainen, Lander, or whatever other scrubs might have wandered into the scoring lines momentarily. The Oilers added instant star talent (not BIG star, but still a very good player) without really giving much up (I won’t go into it, but my belief is Paajarvi will be a project player for quite some time and may never make his mark in the NHL.. possibly accepting that role as checking winger for good).

    As far as Ference, I think this is another “NHL” player. He will be a calming presence on the blueline, unlike Ryan Whitney who was a disaster waiting to happen (sorry to beat a dead horse here). He’s an upgrade over Potter, Fistric and even Nick Schultz (who albeit is still here will be better served in a lesser pairing).

    Belov and Joensuu might also be two surprising additions to the team. That will remain to be seen, but so far both have looked really good.. too bad it’s just pre-season. But I’m glad they are standing out in a good way so far and not blending in as some players have.

    Last addition.. Boyd Gordon. I also think he’s hugely underrated. He’s a checking center… or is he? No, not entirely.. he can play with skill players. Excellent. So he’s basically a Horcoff that isn’t making as much money and hasn’t been completely demoralized by fans just yet. All jokes aside, this guy will probably win over the smart people, although I suspect the impatient fans (many out there) will be overly critical. It’s good to have a guy like this who can play on any line from 2-4.

    Goal has not really upgraded though, unfortunately, other than having a backup that can be put in net when called on. I don’t think Labarbera is what I would consider a more reliable goaltender skills wise.. not even close.. than Khabibulin. But he’s a more reliable one by far health wise. I don’t think we’re going to want to see many games with the backup this year, however.

    The stars do have to align a bit, but I think the Oilers have decent depth at scoring now with the latest additions and decent depth on the blue (no real standout here just yet, but that’s fine). Their fourth line, in my opinion, is a huge dud, but I think they can get by without relying on that much until the deadline.

  144. Racki says:

    BlacqueJacque:
    Racki,

    For sure, and I think it helps having Smyth back on wing rather than centre, I was just wondering what was so amazing about Eakins comment.He and the reporter state nothing but the obvious – reporter suggests Smytty is exceeding expectations (very true), and Eakins agrees.There’s no revelation here to me.There will be if Smytty is still doing this by the end of November, never mind March, but we’re not there yet.

    Yah, true enough, and I think really it’s just a coach standing behind his player.. so there shouldn’t be much read into it on that note either. Eakins isn’t likely going to say “hey, he’ll work here for now, but you’re right, in a month or two he will look haggard by December”.

    Ribs: Getting Hall the minutes is what matters. Especially with the injury situation. There is ways to do this with Smyth on his line but it’s a hell of a lot more complicated than just putting someone there who can keep up.

    The point that people have to remember is Smyth and Hemsky are vet players that have so far been very good at making Hall’s transition to C very easy. I have some doubts that Eberle and Yakupov on his side (if one of them could move to LW) would be so accommodating to that switch. This is the important thing. Ryan Smyth may be old, but he’s reliable at both ends. And playing these three together might not get the most out of Hall, but it will still let him do well, but open up opportunity for the other two lines since they won’t see as tough of competition.

    wheatnoil: I think it was more in the delivery. The words might have been, “Looks like a lot of people are wrong”, but the intonation was, “Looks like a lot of people are wrong… bitch!” It was pretty fun to watch. I might drop by the next media availability with an Eakins sign and an over-sized foam finger.

    Haha, I love it.

    Ribs:
    I don’t know what Coach Short-Shorts plans on injecting Smytty with before games, but he’s looked behind the play already skating with those guys.

    I think Eakins may be in for a bit of a shock when the actual games start being played. I hope for the best.

    Just bungee Smytty to Hall like they did a couple of years ago when Renney was doing drills with these guys in practice (wasn’t Smytty bungeed to him, but you get the idea). Hall’s horse legs can drag him around the ice. Maybe Petry can push him down the ice with his hockey stick.

  145. sliderule says:

    Jujhar,

    Romes show featured the lowest common denominater of humanity.

    If you can’t figure that out you shouldn’t disgrace LTs blog by posting

  146. BlacqueJacque says:

    wheatnoil: I think it was more in the delivery. The words might have been, “Looks like a lot of people are wrong”, but the intonation was, “Looks like a lot of people are wrong… bitch!” It was pretty fun to watch. I might drop by the next media availability with an Eakins sign and an over-sized foam finger.

    Hah, Jesse Eakins.

    Oh man, that reminds me, Breaking Bad finale tomorrow. I feel so bad for Jesse, he’s like, the least guilty and evil principal actor in all of this, and he’s getting the absolute worst end of the deal.

    Racki: Yah, true enough, and I think really it’s just a coach standing behind his player.. so there shouldn’t be much read into it on that note either. Eakins isn’t likely going to say “hey, he’ll work here for now, but you’re right, in a month or two he will look haggard by December”.

    Exactly.

  147. Numenius says:

    A lot of chicken littles around here today.

    Pessimism is an understandable reaction after so many hopes dashed over the years, but there’s a really good chance things are different this year, as LT, Romulous, Woodguy, and others so skillfully argue. I’d suggest reading their posts thoroughly and examining their arguments for those who are prone to panic.

    Things may go sour, of course, for various reasons (some completely out of anyone’s control) but that doesn’t take away from the fact that there are nice up arrows now.

  148. Ribs says:

    Sun_Tychkowski
    No Shawn Horcoff for the Stars tonight against Edmonton

  149. Lucinius says:

    No announcers or sound for me. Should be interesting to watch.

  150. Racki says:

    Jujhar: I am aware of this.
    But we dont need local programming from six in the morning to midnight.THe only reason they gave the show to Lowetide is because they cant afford to pay for Jim Rome.Rome has the most popular show on radio and the prices reflect this.
    Ideally we would have Rome on for 3 hours and Lowetide replacing Spec

    Quite frankly, I don’t listen to much radio, although I’ve started to. I like listening to Robin Brownlee and Jason Gregor and have just started to jump on the Lowdown with Lowetide (good stuff). I don’t know much about Jim Rome, but I know there are times I’ve flipped it on the TEAM 1260 and immediately turned it to another station due to disinterest… probably were some times when he was on the air.

    The TEAM is now owned by TSN which makes me think that they’ll be able to provide some pretty good voices for this station from here on out. Looking forward to that. Listening to these local guys like Gregor, and such are far more appealing to me than some guy in the states… I want to hear about my local teams.. football and hockey. To be honest, I zone out or change the station once even these guys talk other sports.

    I’m not sure if I’m in the minority or what, but this is my view.

  151. Racki says:

    Lucinius:
    No announcers or sound for me. Should be interesting to watch.

    Looks like their sound is screwed up.. ditto for me.

  152. Lucinius says:

    Racki,

    Well, hockeystreams only has the scoreboard feed. So no audio at all. Game isn’t televised, apparently.

  153. BlacqueJacque says:

    I can’t watch this.

    Standard def, 4:3 aspect ratio, no sound, no commentary, and the Dallas Stars are dressing AHLers.

  154. khildahl says:

    This is like watching a small town local TV station trying to cover an AJHL game.

    I’d say I think the cameraman is blind, but that’s an insult to the visually-impaired.

  155. Racki says:

    I have the radio going. it’s a fair bit behind the stream. This normally would be ideal.. but you can’t pause the video stream to get things in sync. If you pause and hit play, it jumps to live all the time. Grr.

    Even with the video way out of sync with radio though, it still feels a heck of a lot more right than listening with no sound.

    Edit: sounds like they’re trying to sync the radio in now to the video feed like they often do.

  156. khildahl says:

    Sound’s on (for) now.

    EDIT: Nevermind.

  157. DBO says:

    So I have done the almost impossible. I grew up in Fort McMurray and I have moved to Newfoundland, and my family is not from the East coast. Figured so many east coasters have moved West, might as well have a Fort Mac kid move East.

    I say this because I no longer get the stream from the Oilers website, anyone have another link? And yes my liver is hurting having only been here 10 days. George Street is dangerous.

  158. Dead Cat Bounce says:

    How many years will it take for the Oilers to figure out this new fangled ” live streaming” technology?

    Jeebus.

  159. Dead Cat Bounce says:

    DBO:
    So I have done the almost impossible. I grew up in Fort McMurray and I have moved to Newfoundland, and my family is not from the East coast. Figured so many east coasters have moved West, might as well have a Fort Mac kid move East.

    I say this because I no longer get the stream from the Oilers website, anyone have another link? And yes my liver is hurting having only been here 10 days. George Street is dangerous.

    I’m getting video on Vancouver Island but no audio.

  160. Dead Cat Bounce says:

    We have audio!.

    Only half a period late.

  161. Manitoba Oilers says:

    What’s wrong with Perron that he was a late scratch

  162. thejonrmcleod says:

    I was seeing video (no audio) on the Oilers’ site. Now it says it’s not available in my area (NS). Any other source of video available?

  163. Racki says:

    And we have sound! Albeit very low volume…

    And we also have a bad Dubnyk goal!

  164. Racki says:

    Manitoba Oilers:
    What’s wrong with Perron that he was a late scratch

    “Under the weather” .. so I would guess the flu or something… possibly Dysentary, Cholera, a broken leg or the plague.

  165. Dead Cat Bounce says:

    thejonrmcleod:
    I was seeing video (no audio) on the Oilers’ site. Now it says it’s not available in my area (NS). Any other source of video available?

    Here ya go:

    http://firstrownow.eu/watch/210546/1/watch-edmonton-oilers-vs-dallas-stars.html

  166. khildahl says:

    I don’t think I can make it through more than one period of this. I’m gaining a new appreciation for Sportsnet’s production quality.

  167. Woodguy says:

    BlacqueJacque: Why?Smyth was visibly breaking down with the frequent games last season.Eakins is just commenting on a snapshot in time.There’s literally an entire season left.

    Playing C with scrubs is a world away from LW with good players.

    You always need a 3rd man high to clean up the garbage and work the boards.

    Why not the slowest guy on the team and the best board guy on the team?

  168. VanOil says:

    Some thoughts on the line up

    My trepidation that Smyth does not have the speed to keep up with Hall and Hemsky can be overcome if J.Schultz and Ference are the D paired with them. Schultz moon lights as a very speedy winger most nights anyways.

    Eakins must trust Eberle to give him the heavy lifting assignment he has been given. If Ebs can hold that line above water until RNH slots in there the playoffs are not impossible.

    It is a shame if we loose the Eberle Perron magic. Lets hope we can again see the Yak Gagner magic in December.

    If I choose not to acknowledge the existence of the 4th line long enough they might disappear

  169. supernova says:

    Dead cat bounce,

    Looks like we will be seeing the sedins re-sign any day.

    We disagreed over term and dollars.

    Care to change your prediction?

    I had said I expect min. 4 years at more than current most likely north of $7 mill per.

  170. Woodguy says:

    I love that after years of being down on the Oilers while others were up, I’m now up on the OIlers while others are down.

    I feel like I need to grow my hair on one side and grow a shitty beard and terrible mustache.

  171. Dead Cat Bounce says:

    supernova:
    Dead cat bounce,

    Looks like we will be seeing the sedins re-sign any day.

    We disagreed over term and dollars.

    Care to change your prediction?

    I had said I expect min. 4 years at more than current most likely north of $7 mill per.

    Hard to say.

    I think it’ll be 3 years at something like $7M/$5.5M/$4M.

  172. Dead Cat Bounce says:

    Woodguy:
    I love that after years of being down on the Oilers while others were up, I’m now up on the OIlers while others are down.

    I feel like I need to grow my hair on one side and grow a shitty beard and terrible mustache.

    After the Hemsky/Brown bet, I would think sideburns might be in order. :)

  173. supernova says:

    Dead Cat Bounce: Hard to say.

    I think it’ll be 3 years at something like $7M/$5.5M/$4M.

    Dead Cat Bounce,

    We were debating a few months ago on Oilersnation.

    I am going 4 years at AAV $7.5.

  174. Dead Cat Bounce says:

    supernova: Dead Cat Bounce,

    We were debating a few months ago on Oilersnation.

    I am going 4 years at AAV $7.5.

    Gillis should be shot if he does that.

  175. supernova says:

    Dead Cat Bounce,

    Here is our debate

    http://oilersnation.com/2013/8/13/2013-14-division-rivals-edmonton-oilers-vs-vancouver-canucks/page/1

    Would it be fair you think anything more than 17 ish million & more than 3 years is a gross mistake?

    I

  176. VanOil says:

    While there is a larger population in Vancouver than Edmonton if one takes into account hockey fans per capita I feel you would have an at least equal market for pre season hockey.

    If this is so, why are all Canucks pre season games televised by Sportsnet in Vancouver and in Edmonton we are left with a 1986 camcorder image fed to us by carrier pidgin?

    When did the Oilers last negotiate the Sportsnet rights? Vancouver inked a big new deal in the last year iirc.

  177. gr8one says:

    Benn Seguin Nicushkin = Scary line for the next decade.

    The Russian kid sure seems to be as advertised.

  178. VanOil says:

    Oh no Smac is hurt our season is over!

  179. geowal says:

    I thought enforcers couldn’t get hurt?

  180. wheatnoil says:

    VanOil:
    Oh no Smac is hurt our season is over!

    See! If SMac wasn’t in the line-up, that would’ve been Hall!

  181. gr8one says:

    In my mind I’ve actually had the Oilers squeaking into the playoffs this season, taking for granted the goaltending was going to be solid. Dubie better get his shit together!

  182. Kris11 says:

    So the theory is that the goon will hurt himself so badly that the other team won’t attack our better players?

    It’s like those monks that immolate themselves to make their oppressors feel guilty?

  183. justDOit says:

    geowal:
    I thought enforcers couldn’t get hurt?

    Ask Ivanins about that – just don’t expect a coherent answer.

  184. justDOit says:

    Well this is one time that having sucky internet at a hotel doesn’t bother me that much. It seems I’m only missing a horrible stream anyway, and now SMac is hurt.

    Ooh – Breaking Bad reruns are on!

  185. VanOil says:

    H-H-H line to liven up the evening

  186. Oilanderp says:

    The problem was we didn’t have an enforcer to protect the enforcer.

  187. Woodguy says:

    wheatnoil: See! If SMac wasn’t in the line-up, that would’ve been Hall!

    This is the correct answer.

  188. Kris11 says:

    This is a pretty normal preseason game. Vets take it easy.

  189. Woodguy says:

    Dead Cat Bounce: After the Hemsky/Brown bet, I would think sideburns might be in order.

    Yeah, Brown scores at 0.5pts/gm above his his history for 30 games and Ales falls off the end of the earth.

    You won.

    Doesn’t mean you’re right.

    :)

  190. Dead Cat Bounce says:

    Kris11:
    This is a pretty normal preseason game. Vets take it easy.

    The Stars vets are frequenting the buffet while the Texas Stars lay a licking on the Oilers vets.

  191. Kris11 says:

    Hey, it’s Plinko.

  192. Dead Cat Bounce says:

    Woodguy: Yeah, Brown scores at 0.5pts/gm above his his history for 30 games and Ales falls off the end of the earth.

    You won.

    Doesn’t mean you’re right.

    Still a season to go.

    Brown 48 Hemsky 29.

    Like your chances?

  193. justDOit says:

    Oilanderp:
    The problem was we didn’t have an enforcer to protect the enforcer.

    Well with Gagner out, that protector of the protector (like putting your pens inside condoms before using a pocket protector) would have to be either Brown or Eager – are they not dressed tonight?

    btw: I’m stream-less.

  194. Woodguy says:

    Dead Cat Bounce: Still a season to go.

    Brown 48 Hemsky 29.

    Like your chances?

    No it ended last year.

    If you want to extend it, absolutely, I have nothing to lose.

  195. Kris11 says:

    Yeah it is such a horrible beating, DSF. Pretty blah game.

    A beating is like what Boston did to the Canucks.

  196. Dead Cat Bounce says:

    Woodguy: No it ended last year.

    If you want to extend it, absolutely, I have nothing to lose.

    Do you recall the “weekly” terms of the bet?

  197. Kris11 says:

    Also your comment didn’t address mine. Vancouver has taken some actual beatings this preseason, with a lot of talent in the lineup? Is that indicative of the year to come.

    Go away troll. The TSN message boards are calling you.

  198. bookje says:

    Dead Cat Bounce: Still a season to go.

    Brown 48 Hemsky 29.

    Like your chances?

    I wouldn’t call it done yet. Hemsky and Hall could light it up!

  199. Dead Cat Bounce says:

    Kris11:
    Also your comment didn’t address mine. Vancouver has taken some actual beatings this preseason, with a lot of talent in the lineup? Is that indicative of the year to come.

    Go away troll. The TSN message boards are calling you.

    No.

    I’m ignoring you.

    What happened almost 3 years ago is as irrelevant as what happened to the Oilers almost 3 years ago.

    All that matters is the upcoming season.

    If you’re interested in discussing that, I’d be more than happy to engage.

  200. bookje says:

    Kris11:
    Also your comment didn’t address mine. Vancouver has taken some actual beatings this preseason, with a lot of talent in the lineup? Is that indicative of the year to come.

    Go away troll. The TSN message boards are calling you.

    The preseason is meaningless. Good players don’t try, rookies are playing for their lives, coaches arn’t coaching, etc.

    Wins and losses are meaningless!

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