JETS AT OILERS, G1 13-14

It’s going to take 90-94 points, 37-40 wins, a lot of luck, hard work, blood, sweat and tears. And it all starts tonight, on a sweet October 1st with a fall chill, the promise of a new tomorrow, and a half dozen piss-cutters-in-waiting. The Edmonton Oilers are back in town. Azorcan3

PROJECTED LINEUP

  • L1: Hall-Smyth-Hemsky (maligned line has stood the test of pre-season)
  • L2: Arcobello-Perron-Eberle (Arcobello is a better bet than Colborne, but there’s a risk)
  • L3: Gordon-Joensuu-Yakupov (any offense from this line at evens is golden)
  • L4: Acton-Eager-Brown (if you boo Acton there’s no hope for you. Ever)
  • D1: Smid-Petry (A bounceback year is likely)
  • D2: Ference-J Schultz (greatness awaits)
  • D3: N Schultz-Belov (he comes from the land of the ice and snow)
  • G1: Dubnyk (based on pre-season rip jobs, I expect him to skate out with a blindfold) st1

I have the Oilers making the playoffs, and for me the reasons all run through Dallas Eakins. He’s a smart cookie, and based on what he’s said and done, Oiler fans can look forward to:

  1. The 1line running hot and heavy
  2. The 2line running hot and heavy
  3. The 3line running hot and heavy
  4. Stars playing on the PK
  5. Impact forwards >20 minutes
  6. seeing the goalie pulled sometime after the 10 minute mark of the third period when behind
  7. Puck retrieval at a premium
  8. Minute usage of the 4line
  9. Frank post-game answers to the camera
  10. Impatience
  11. Aggression
  12. Mobility
  13. Callups and send downs
  14. Fewer fights than you think
  15. Running the gifted ones ragged (why Ralph limited their time is beyond me)
  16. The second season

IT’S A DOG COLLAH, IT’S OFFENSIVE!!

st2

Craig MacTavish did a lot of work on the blue this summer, replaced Horcoff with Gordon (which was a big deal, capwise) and then dealt Paajarvi to hurry the future with Perron. The new hires tonight are:

  • David Perron, who lit up the pre-season with goals times goals times goals.
  • Mark Arcobello, who subs in for 89 and has the best chance he’ll ever get to shine.
  • Boyd Gordon, asked to bring calmness to chaos
  • Jesse Joensuu, the latest hope for size and skill
  • Will Acton, who is expected to do a little of everything
  • Andrew Ference, the new captain and face of the team: tough as nails, better he never saw “You’ve Got Mail”
  • Anton Belov, who might just be manna from heaven

st3

 I’m picking this team to make the playoffs because there’s too much good to be held back by the fiddle faddle any longer. Yes, it’s Taylor Hall but it’s also Nail Yakupov and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Jordan Eberle and Justin Schultz and Sam Gagner and David Perron and Ales Hemsky and that’s 8 of them. I know there’s going to be bad nights, nights on the road when they can’t find the stage and sound out of time when they finally do, but there’s just too much. TOO much.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

st4

TSN 1260, 10am, scheduled to appear:

  • Bruce McCurdy from Cult of Hockey. We’ll talk roster makeup, Battle of the Blades and the playoffs.
  • Neal Livingston from Tend the Farm. We’ll talk Klefbom injury and the impressive cuts from Oiler camp.
  • Scott Cullen from tsn. We’ll run through the Canadian teams as the NHL season begins.
  • Craig Moonen from Krush Performance. We’ll talk mlb post-season.

weir

AFTER ONE

G1P1

2ND PERIOD

g1p2

 3RD PERIOD

g1p3

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700 Responses to "JETS AT OILERS, G1 13-14"

Newer Comments »
  1. Gret99zky says:

    “Oh no, If I’ve told you once I’ve told you a hundred times, to put Edmonton Oilers first and puppet show last.”

  2. Ryan says:

    Was almost first…

  3. Ryan says:

    anyway, get ready for the month of facepalm. No team can play above .500 with 1 3rd line centre and 2 AHL centres and an elite 1LW playing centre with a tried old man on his LW.

  4. vesci says:

    I hope the Oilers go to eleven tonight…………..because it is one more than ten.

  5. borisnikov says:

    I’ve always wanted some piss-cutters of my own.
    lol piss-cutters-in-waiting lol.

    The joy of the morning will make way for anxiety around 7:45. We are (hopefully) stepping out of the long walk through the dessert and I’m hoping to all’s hell that this rebuild starts its accent tonight.

  6. Ivan says:

    A crew of True Believers will gather at The Black Frog in Gastown tonight. We shall hoist a pint or two, and cheer for the future to arrive, the potential to be unleashed, and the greatness to begin. Centers schmenters, we’ll win with wingers, fill-ins, Eakins and desire.
    Hold nothing back, lads, your time is NOW.
    GOilers!
    *clap, clap*

  7. goldenchild says:

    If this is the last time we see 83 open the season in Oiler silks, I am going to enjoy him skating miles and miles alongside young Hall for all it’s worth,
    The bottom if the forward lineup is an albatross but the Blue looks better than it has in years which will let us all sleep better at night.

    This season opens with a different feeling, not sure what it is but it’s a good different.

  8. RMGS says:

    Ryan:
    anyway, get ready for the month of facepalm.No team can play above .500 with 1 3rd line centre and 2 AHL centres and an elite 1LW playing centre with a tried old man on his LW.

    It’s opening night, man – a secular christmas for grown men! Do you steal candy from children, too? :)

    Let’s Go Oilers, Let’s Go!

  9. Woodguy says:

    HOCKEY!!!

    HONEST TO GOODNESS REAL NHL GAMES!!!

    Now we can talk about what happened and who looks good with who against real NHL players.

    Finally we can stop telling each other our projections will be better, and get on with the job of “I told you so”, with requisite links.

    Also,

    I will not feel really confident in this team until RNH is back.

    If they don’t lose anyone of note to injury when Gagner and RNH are in the lineup, this team will be good enough to make the playoffs.

    They gotta hold on until RNH returns.

    Go Oilers!!

    *clap,clap*

  10. borisnikov says:

    goldenchild,

    An Albatross is highly efficient in the air, using dynamic soaring and slope soaring to cover great distances with little exertion.

    The bottom of the roster may be more of a lead balloon;)

  11. Fixall with Rexall says:

    The question is how much blacker can an album cover get, and the answer…..is none.

  12. Fixall with Rexall says:

    A field goal for Eberle tonight.

  13. Cobbler says:

    Going to be a great season and I think the Oil make it with Nuge and/or Gagner in the line up.

    Nice touch with the Stan Weir at the end LT.

  14. Henry says:

    My boy just turned five and wants to watch with me. His favourite player is Ales Hemsky. 2 goals please sir.

    It’s the best day of the year.

  15. Fixall with Rexall says:

    Dubey with a hot start to the year holds the fort untill the kids are back. Our defense is going to prove it is a playoff caliber blue line. Yakupov becomes mayor. Wayyyyy more reasons were making the playoffs then reasons we won’t. Wish I wasn’t stuck on a boat and could watch it.

    Go Oilers Go.

  16. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Stan Weir! Spinal Tap!

    It’s all TOO MUCH!!!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Oes9_poAIg

  17. Lowetide says:

    Oilers need to get 10 points out of the first 10 games or thereabouts imo. A win tonight sets up the week nicely and allows for some wiggle room on the road trip. If they can go somewhere above 3-4-3 in the first 10gp I like their chances.

  18. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Henry:
    My boy just turned five and wants to watch with me.His favourite player is Ales Hemsky.2 goals please sir.

    It’s the best day of the year.

    Libras!

    congrats. smart kid!

  19. Woodguy says:

    Fixall with Rexall:
    The question is how much blacker can an album cover get, and the answer…..is none.

    None more black.

  20. Spartacus says:

    My daughter and I normally attend the home-opener to celebrate our birthdays on October 6th (Yakupov’s birthday, too) but this year we decided we would forego the first game of the season and instead attend the first playoff game when the Oilers make the playoffs this year.

    That’s how confident we are in your prediction of playoffs for the Oilers, LT.

    No pressure or anything.

    Let’s Go Oilers!

  21. Genjutsu says:

    Really cheering for Arco, if he can establish himself as an NHL hockey player this club will be fine. Overall with Hall at C I like this team a ton when healthy.

    Pick up a couple two way types for the 4th line at the deadline and you run Hall Nuge Gags and Gordon 1-4C.

    That looks like a playoff team to me.

  22. Numenius says:

    Before Winnipeg can compete for the playoffs, they need a new coach and possibly a new G.

    I predict a win for the Oilers.

  23. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Very interesting article at ON by KevMc on the swarm defense

    http://oilersnation.com/2013/10/1/systems-analysis-different-looks-at-the-swarm

  24. Bruce McCurdy says:

    It’s going to take 90-94 points, 37-40 wins,

    The magic number for wins is 41. Win half your games, & you should be around 4th in a 7 team division. Win half you’re games and you are a .500 team (in the old, true sense before Bettman Math turned 1 + 1 into 3).

    41 wins. That’s the bubble, anything less is very unlikely to make the dance. 42 is better. :)

  25. Ice Sage says:

    Another exciting start to the season – so many changes, it’s impossible to predict how they’ll fare – am reading predictions from 3rd overall to lottery team!

    I think it’ll come down to:

    1) Whether the Oilers have reached that level that ‘good’ teams inhabit, where they can eke out points (? “Eak” out points) with some stars injured. This ‘Nuge will save us” just sounds like the same old built-in excuse.
    2) Defense: personnel much improved, system more aggressive should = Corsi tilting and springing the talented F on lots of sorties. Good to know that there is depth here.

    Goilers

  26. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Ryan: a tried old man on his LW

    tried & true!

  27. bookje says:

    Tis the season…

    Nothing left to say, its time for the team to do the talking*

    *by talking, I mean playing well.

    Lets go Oilers!

  28. gameofstyle says:

    Lowetide,

    Agreed. Big win tonight and try to hang around .500 for the next few weeks. Loved your line “comes from the land of ice and snow” that brought a big smile to my face.

    Being a huge Oiler fan in London is not ideal, but tonight feels like Christmas Eve. I can’t wait to wake up tomorrow morning and watch the game.

    Lets go Oilers!

  29. G Money says:

    HOCKEY FOR REAL. Finally.

    My head says “no playoffs’, but my heart hopes that this:

    Lowetide:I’m picking this team to make the playoffs because there’s too much good to be held back by the fiddle faddle any longer. Yes, it’s Taylor Hall but it’s also Nail Yakupov and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Jordan Eberle and Justin Schultz and Sam Gagner and David Perron and Ales Hemsky and that’s 8 of them. I know there’s going to be bad nights, nights on the road when they can’t find the stage and sound out of time when they finally do, but there’s just too much. TOO much.

    and this:

    Woodguy: If they don’t lose anyone of note to injury when Gagner and RNH are in the lineup, this team will be good enough to make the playoffs.

    are true.

    GO OILERS!

  30. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Spartacus:
    My daughter and I normally attend the home-opener to celebrate our birthdays on October 6th (Yakupov’s birthday, too) but this year we decided we would forego the first game of the season and instead attend the first playoff game when the Oilers make the playoffs this year.

    That’s how confident we are in your prediction of playoffs for the Oilers, LT.

    No pressure or anything.

    Let’s Go Oilers!

    Ha! mine too… are you really both Oct. 6th? that’s crazy for a parent and child. cool.

    We get to cheer Yak this year (no lockout), maybe he’ll even score on the 6th (EST).

  31. rich says:

    Always look forward to the start of a new season, the hope and the promise that comes with it. There’s an incredible amount to look forward to on this team.

    A new coach with a different approach. Yak, Hall and Ebs – a year older, a year wiser.

    Schultz the younger continuing to develop. Ference bringing his wisdom to solidify that back end.

    The (hopefully soon) return of the Nuge and Gagner.

    The comments of LT, Woodguy, Rom and Steve Smith on this blog.

    And not responding to the troll that is DSF.

    Summer couldn’t end soon enough.

    Go Oilers!

  32. goldenchild says:

    borisnikov,

    Well done oh Sage one. Lead Balloon it is!

  33. justDOit says:

    Bohologo:
    Stan Weir says: Smell the Glove.

    Perfect.

  34. denny33 says:

    Playoff Predictions…

    Well, if the Oilers are to make the playoffs you have to beat a team picked to finish near the bottom of the league. The Winnipeg Jets predicted to finish 26th in the league by ESPN.

    BIG test for Arco tonight…..the Winnipeg Jets will have 20 year old Mark Scheifle at 2C and Ollie Joker at 3C …..Scary part for the Jets – Scheifle could barely outplay Jokenen. Hence – ESPN’s prediction.

    If you can’t beat Winnipeg tonight at home – this could be a rough few months without RNH and Gagner and I fear we will fall too far out…

    Not sure if I have even heard great mention of the 4th line here in Winnipeg – Thorburn / Peluso.

    My focus would be on Ryan Smyth ( Yes, he is not retired ) and Ales Hemsky playing on an NHL first line in the year 2013.

    If the Oilers can’t expose Winnipeg’s 2c and 3C – then we could be in for a rough ride…

  35. Diesel says:

    I will be in section 336 with six of my most Oil-passionate, beer-lovin’ buddies.

    There will be obnoxious discussions of Smid winning the Norris, Yak scoring 50 and the inevitable return of truly deafening playoff atmosphere.

    We will win tonight. We will make the playoffs.

  36. slopitch says:

    Yes hockey’s back! I have tickets to tonight’s game. Gonna be the slowest day ever. Go Oilers!

  37. Professor Q says:

    I got into quite the discussion about Kessel vs. the Oilers Wunderkinds this morning, regarding skill and contracts. I think I pissed them off.

  38. M00se1978 says:

    The Stan Weir reference made me smile.

    I’m with you, this team makes the playoffs.

  39. OilClog says:

    Listening to jets radio on tsn in Victoria.. These guys are hilariously, 2 of the 3 guys don’t think the jets can beat the Oilers even without Nuge and Gagner, other fella you can picture his head getting redder redder and redder BOOM! Hahaha. I hope we crush them.

  40. GordM says:

    Stauffer tweets that he wouldn’t be surprised if RNH is back by the ‘middle of October’.

    I would normally be excited for an early return but the last thing I want to see is this kid rushed. Be damn sure he is ready (and I believe MacT will).

  41. Woodguy says:

    Bob Stauffer ‏@Bob_Stauffer 5m
    People keep saying RNH will be out another month. Wouldn’t surprise me in the least if he is back by the middle of October

    Looking good for this prediction to come true:

    http://lowetide.ca/blog/2013/09/its-coming-down.html/comment-page-1#comment-252148

    Except I screwed up the dates.

    I fixed it later in the thread:

    http://lowetide.ca/blog/2013/09/its-coming-down.html/comment-page-1#comment-252200

    I got RNH playing Oct 12 in TOR

  42. lance says:

    If they walk in with armadillos in their trousers it can be really quite frightening. Playoffs may require such. And the ability to find the stage. Hope tonight they can find the stage.

  43. Hammers says:

    We only make the playoffs if Dubnyk has a better save % than last year . It’s time for fans to realize we have forwards who can score but what gets us to the playoffs is a solid defensive system with great goaltending . We need Petry /Smid to be better / Ference to cover for J.Schultz and get him to the next level and right now we may have the best 3rd pairing in the Pacific division with Belov & N.Schultz or Grebs . 4-2 win tonight . Go Oil

  44. Hammers says:

    Woodguy:
    Bob Stauffer ‏@Bob_Stauffer 5m
    People keep saying RNH will be out another month. Wouldn’t surprise me in the least if he is back by the middle of October

    Looking good for this prediction to come true:

    http://lowetide.ca/blog/2013/09/its-coming-down.html/comment-page-1#comment-252148

    Except I screwed up the dates.

    I fixed it later in the thread:

    http://lowetide.ca/blog/2013/09/its-coming-down.html/comment-page-1#comment-252200

    I got RNH playing Oct 12 in TOR

    So did I .

  45. goldenchild says:

    The Edmonton Oilers where everyone’s a captain except the dirty Czechs

  46. rickithebear says:

    Chicago had 4 forwards in the top 25 in GPG for a 2 year stretch.
    Toews #5, Sharp #7 Kane #23, Hossa #26
    Edmonton has hall #14, Eberle, #17, perron #20
    Yak .35 GPG right there with Toews .38 Hall .34. rookie seasons.
    All 4 will be in the game.
    There GPG rate say 1.6 GPG
    We will miss RNH .29 and gagner .27
    Hemsky .24, Smyth .27 w/ real players.
    Eager Back to .12 EVgpg would make a difrence on the

    Goals for win games. (forwards)
    goals Against (Shot count & save%)
    Kessel was fourth in total goals last three years behind Stamkos, Ovechkin, Perry.

  47. Woodguy says:

    Hammers: So did I .

    Then link to it and bask in the glory!

    All non linked boasts will be summarily dismissed.

  48. RexLibris says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: Very interesting article at ON by KevMc on the swarm defensehttp://oilersnation.com/2013/10/1/systems-analysis-different-looks-at-the-swarm

    Love this line : Big Brass Ones.

    Pretty much describes how this system will go. As I noted in previous threads, this swarm system has one major weakness in that it allows for a few high-probability chances against in the event that the puck gets past the overloaded side or thrown wide to an attacker in the dangerous areas.

    All that being said, Dubnyk is, I think, well-suited to handle this kind of chaos (he’s been through enough these past few years already) and the Oilers have an abundance of talented puck-carriers at both forward and defense. If any team can stickhandle with the best of the league it will be this group.

    Motto for 2013-14 – Live by the sword, die by the sword.

  49. PDO says:

    Oiler’s win tonight and #YakCity will score.

    Mostly because those of us in YakCity live the sweet, sweet, life.

    GOILERS!

  50. CrazyCoach says:

    Well, once again fall is upon us and with it a renewed sense of renewal. For the past 7 years, I have felt like the King of Kensington. For those of us old enough, the King of Kensington was a nice little CBC sitcom in the 70′s starring Al Waxman as Larry King (no, not that Larry King), who owned a convenience store in Kensington. Was a nice little show that I thought was a little ahead of its time.

    Anyway, in one episode, Larry is reading the local sports section looking for his quotes as the local boxing coach. As he reads, his mother recites his tired old lines verbatim. “This year, we’re gonna beat those punks from Mississauga!” Larry’s mother reminds him that the boys from Kensington never beat the “punks” from Mississauga and her son needs to find a new line.

    Sound familiar to all of you Oilers fans?

    For the past 7 years we’ve seen the same old lines delivered by a variety of men in various positions throughout this organization. Some fans choose to be Larry King and some of us, like Larry’s mother, quit believing the BS a long time ago.

    However, we seem to have a new GM and coach with new lines and new expectations and this is the year we finally will beat those punks from Mississauga!

    I am looking forward to this season and I’m looking forward to watching my beloved Oilers in the playoffs again.

    Go Oilers Go!

  51. jake70 says:

    Man, Kessel at 8 years 64M as per reports.

  52. jake70 says:

    Woodguy:
    Bob Stauffer ‏@Bob_Stauffer 5m
    People keep saying RNH will be out another month. Wouldn’t surprise me in the least if he is back by the middle of October

    Looking good for this prediction to come true:

    http://lowetide.ca/blog/2013/09/its-coming-down.html/comment-page-1#comment-252148

    Except I screwed up the dates.

    I fixed it later in the thread:

    http://lowetide.ca/blog/2013/09/its-coming-down.html/comment-page-1#comment-252200

    I got RNH playing Oct 12 in TOR

    I’ve been checking my tickets for Ott. and Mont. daily since you did this…just making sure.

  53. Kris11 says:

    Yaktrick.

    Book it.

    That is all.

  54. LMHF#1 says:

    jake70:
    Man, Kessel at 8 years 64M as per reports.

    BAHAHAHAHA!

    Gotta love those crazies.

  55. RexLibris says:

    jake70: Man, Kessel at 8 years 64M as per reports.

    Shoot. There goes my hope that Burke would push for the Flames to sign him as a UFA (or better, trade for his rights!) to a ridiculous contract.

    Last year Kessel finished just behind Kunitz ($3.75 million/year) and slightly ahead of Hall by two points. Thank you, Dave Nonis, for making the Hall contract, and by extension the Nugent-Hopkins contract, look like value deals.

  56. GordM says:

    Inspiration for Eakins’ swarm D system:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fCYQNj8UL7M

  57. RMGS says:

    Romulus Apotheosis:
    Very interesting article at ON by KevMc on the swarm defense

    http://oilersnation.com/2013/10/1/systems-analysis-different-looks-at-the-swarm

    Eric Tulsky, Kevin McCartney, and Tyler Dellow need to meet and agree to collaborate on a “Unified Theory of Hockey.” Tulsky and Dellow’s work on shot differential, zone entry, and possession metrics married to McCartney’s expertise in systems and tactics (he’s no slouch with the numbers, either) is begging to happen.

  58. nycoil says:

    Ahhh back to the life of staying up until 1am every other night and feeling like a zombie the next morning with my 5am alarm. Ain’t life grand? Go Oilers, go! I hope your prove me wrong and make the second season. Will be rooting all the way.

  59. rickithebear says:

    Hammers:
    We only make the playoffs if Dubnyk has a better save % than last year . It’s time for fans to realize we have forwards who can score but what gets us to the playoffs is a solid defensive system with great goaltending . We need Petry /Smidto be better/ Ference to cover for J.Schultz and get him to the next level and right now we may have the best 3rd pairing in the Pacific division with Belov & N.Schultz or Grebs . 4-2 win tonight . Go Oil

    how the fuck do we get petry and smid to be better than top 5 1st comp GA d pair.
    there are 3 d pairs in Boston, Chicago, Stl that are better.
    Chicago had 3 d play 1st comp equivalent and have better than league average GA.
    Seabrook played 2nd comp or they would have had 2 full dpairs in the top 10 for GA.

    We need our 2nd Comp D pair to be better than worst in the league. for 17 min a night.
    with an league average GA. we go from .99GA/gm to .66 GA

    Our problem is we had the best 3rd comp d pair in the game. Who played half the season.
    covered by Peckahm and whitney. so we had a .45 GA/gm 3rd pair playing 14.25 minutes.
    The leugue average for 3rd comp is 2.11 GA/60 .50 GA/gm for 14.25 minutes.
    iwould like to think n. schultz-Belov can do a lot better than that.

    D. Dubnyk was one of 8 goalies not to have a below average Save % season the last 3 years.
    In that time he had the 6th best save % .917 for that group.
    Schnieder was #1 .931 Sv%

    So the trying to improve goaltending by getting Schnieder narrative can be used for every goaltender in the league.
    Having lundquist(.926) and trying to trade for Schnieder would be improving goaltending.
    Rask (.925)

    What should we expect from Dubnyk?
    Above average goaltending.
    We are lucky to have that.
    Now if he could have a shot count like in NJD 24/gm rather that 32.3/gm
    That would be awesome
    27 instead of 33 shots in preseason is a good system sign to me.

  60. denny33 says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    Great article – thanks.

  61. TheOtherJohn says:

    Great excitement and expectations. Sincerely hope all of the optimists are 100% right and we make the playoffs.

    Agree with LT on this: the Oilers record on November 1 is going to be a very very telling number. If we are underwater early 6-7 points in first 10 games the playoffs are going to be real tough to make.

    The arguments that the Oilers will make the playoffs: Spectacular coaching (been there heard that before); kids another year older & better (familiar argument); better depth …(seems like a stretch); bigger team (nope); a mobile pass first D (certainly think this point is true, just not sure that some of them (2-3-4 of them) are competent defenders; Ference replaces Whitney (he does not replace a healthy scratch #5 D from last year but it makes for a good story nonetheless); a 4th line that adds something to our offense (pretty sure that was promised): 4L is Acton, Brown, Eager Gadzic= DRECK

    If we are a 500 team November 1 I expect we are fighting for a playoff spot. Not sure our small team will like playing LAK, SJS, STL in first round but…… If we are .400November 1 I expect we start hearing from the Oilers, MSm and posters here; sequentially: injuries; new GM; new coach; patience; and, I shit you not: its all part of a plan

  62. Tarkus says:

    Arcobello’s changing his number:

    Edmonton Oilers ‏@EdmontonOilers 30m

    Number switch! @sporkabella now wearing #26 for the #Oilers.

    Here’s hoping he can surpass such former 26-wearing luminaries as Mikko Luoma and Max Middendorf.

  63. Andropod says:

    Who else remembers how optimistic we were this time last year?

    We had a better coach than before, a better team and a better chance of making the playoffs. Let’s enjoy the game but show isn’t over until the horn sounds.

    2 or 3 to 1 is a reasonable start, is a 6-0 thrashing enough to atone for our last re-season game?

  64. Professor Q says:

    jake70:
    Man, Kessel at 8 years 64M as per reports.

    That’s what my argument was involving. The Leafs fans I was conversing with simply could not fathom that Hall at 6m is a much better deal than Kessel’s. As according to them, Hall is clearly not at Kessel’s level, with him being the second best winger of all things, and that I should stop my “Kessel Hate”. I upped the ante by claiming the other Wunderkinds at the same deal (plus Gagner, etc.) would make up for that. Cue the usual “you’ll have to trade some eventually to keep any” jargon, and somehow Dubnyk got involved in the conversation as well…

  65. RMGS says:

    So, with Stauffer’s provocative tweet about The Nuge possibly being back by mid-October and with this as well:

    Edmonton Oilers ‏@EdmontonOilers 7m
    “I feel better now and I’m on my way.. it’s never fun to be injured.” @89SGagner, adds he’s ahead of 6-8 wk recovery

    …I’m ready to help plan the parade!

  66. GordM says:

    Spector tweeting a 4-5 week return as per Gagner (not sure what as per Garfield estimate is!)

    Tread water through these next few weeks…get Nuge/Gagner back and then show us what you are made of Oilers!

  67. HeavySig says:

    The summer leading up to the fall NHL season is a heady time; not unlike the initial stages of attraction in couples where the potent pheromone cocktail leaves the lovers blinded to any potential shortcomings.

    When the initial lust cools, you are left with the realities of personal shortcomings. If you are lucky enough to have chosen well, are forgiving, reliable and resilient, you can develop a stable long term affair. Have the Oilers chosen well? I would say yes and no so far. Some judgements were seemingly made with the head (Belov) , others though instinct (knuckle draggers) and some were not made at all (center depth).

    I give this years Oiler marriage of assets a 45% chance of success (playoffs), which is roughly the percentage of marriages that don’t end in divorce.

  68. Colonel Obvious says:

    RexLibris: Shoot. There goes my hope that Burke would push for the Flames to sign him as a UFA (or better, trade for his rights!) to a ridiculous contract.

    Last year Kessel finished just behind Kunitz ($3.75 million/year) and slightly ahead of Hall by two points. Thank you, Dave Nonis, for making the Hall contract, and by extension the Nugent-Hopkins contract, look like value deals.

    You can’t compare UFA deals with RFA deals. They bear no relation to each other.

    Compare Hall, Eberle, and Hopkins, to Tavares and Landeskog.

    Compare Kessel to Getzlaf and Perry.

  69. iHockeyWpg says:

    The Oilers lines for tonight’s season-opening game against the Winnipeg Jets:

    Smyth – Hall – Hemsky
    Perron – Arcobello (wearing #26) – Eberle
    Joensuu – Gordon – Yakupov
    Gazdic – Acton – Brown

    The defence pairings:

    Ference – J.Schultz
    Smid – Petry
    N.Schultz – Belov

    As per Oilers.com

  70. spoiler says:

    The first two weeks of the schedule doesn’t look too bad.. Winnipeg hasn’t turned the corner yet and is introducing more youth this year. Vancouver… well it wouldn’t take much for these young sharpshooters to get inside Lunongo’s head after last season. The Devils are older and slower than glacial dirt and we should be able to skate with TO & MTL. Preferably take the Habs at home.

    If we can pull 3 wins and a loser point out of that grab bag it should set us up for the return of The Bionic Nuge.

  71. spoiler says:

    iHockeyWpg: The Oilers lines for tonight’s season-opening game against the Winnipeg Jets: Smyth – Hall – HemskyPerron – Arcobello (wearing #26) – EberleJoensuu – Gordon – YakupovGazdic – Acton – BrownThe defence pairings: Ference – J.SchultzSmid – PetryN.Schultz – BelovAs per Oilers.com

    I know Ebs and Perron have shown great chemistry thus far, but my instinct is to switch Eberle with Hemsky and run the Gordon line head first against the tuffy tuff toughs.

  72. Henry says:

    Romulus Apotheosis:
    Very interesting article at ON by KevMc on the swarm defense

    http://oilersnation.com/2013/10/1/systems-analysis-different-looks-at-the-swarm

    Great find. McCartney can really break down the game and the quality of his writing is very good. He’s quite a find for the Nations guys.

  73. iHockeyWpg says:

    Surprised to see Eager out and Gazdic in the line up. Jets have a few tough guys but Brown can handle em IMO.

  74. spoiler says:

    Gazdic will grow on you.

    At least that’s what my doctor told me.

  75. Bulging Twine says:

    Anyone have Jets lines?

    I agree, excellent article by Kevin MCartney.

  76. Bag of Pucks says:

    I think we should be setting reasonable expectations for Gagner`s effectiveness when he returns.

    He`s likely going to lose some weight/muscle mass while he’s out and by necessity, will probably have to be a periphery player when he’s first back thanks to the combo of full face shield and residual damage.

    The amount of pressure this team will be putting on 2 players returning from substantial injuries is definitely one of the drawbacks of the center depth issue.

  77. Bag of Pucks says:

    Btw, I think Winnipeg is a great opening opponent. Loved Eakins’ comment this morning on this team needing to marry ‘skill with will’ to be successful. The Jets are the league poster boys for work ethic/will. Should be a good early measuring stick for the lads.

    Btw, I think we’ll get 25 games out of Smytty’s legs this year. Hopefully he’ll get us over the gap until Gags is back. Post Oly break, it will be a bittersweet farewell tour for the ultimate lunchpail Oiler. Like Mariano Rivera if the Sandman specialized in deflections off the elbows.

  78. Yeti says:

    Bag of Pucks: He`s likely going to lose some weight/muscle mass while he’s out and by necessity, will probably have to be a periphery player when he’s first back thanks to the combo of full face shield and residual damage.

    Yes. It will be tough to even find space for him in the lineup.

  79. rickithebear says:

    RMGS: Eric Tulsky, Kevin McCartney, and Tyler Dellow need to meet and agree to collaborate on a “Unified Theory of Hockey.”Tulsky and Dellow’s work on shot differential, zone entry, and possession metrics married to McCartney’s expertise in systems and tactics (he’s no slouch with the numbers, either) is begging to happen.

    Zone entry is on a player basis.
    things have changed.
    a player attempting to cross the blue will likely be presured and rubbed out.
    Dependent on space and time.

    There are now 2 types of dump and chase.
    1. the dump to the corner were d has the distance advantage and there is no directional advatage. A need for a good board pocession Forward.
    2. the new dog to the house is the side board dump.
    were forwrds chip the puck on the side boards eliminating the rub out (penalty).
    the acction provides for the d to be in a directional disadvantage and less likely to close.

    there ws such a diffrence between Controlled entry and dump and Chase.
    the hybrid side board dump requires refs to be consistent and fair. (bahahahaha)

    We already know from someone elses work that on average.
    A Ozone faceoff win Yields .5 shots/pocession.
    all others yield .375 shots/gm.
    we know from langes shot curves the success rate of diffrent types of shots from x y co-ordinates.
    we know the pocession retention in first phase review.
    Dump in carry to zone.
    We can also determine the d pressure affect on pocession entry.
    pocession minus successful entry.
    D pressure affect on pucks directed.
    corsi -shots

  80. Bag of Pucks says:

    forwrds, acction, pocession, advatage

    Seriously Ricki, would running your posts through spellcheck kill you? Some great content here, but painful to read with the rudimentary spelling errors. Just a thought.

  81. G Money says:

    Bag of Pucks: He`s likely going to lose some weight/muscle mass while he’s out and by necessity, will probably have to be a periphery player when he’s first back thanks to the combo of full face shield and residual damage.

    It’s likely that if he does get back in five weeks, then the original 6 to 8 weeks will represent him being back in game shape.

    That said, it’s still better than the 6 to 8 weeks out meaning 7 to 11 weeks to game shape.

    The other mitigating factor is that apparently his jaw did not need to be wired shut, so hopefully the weight/muscle mass issue will be less of a problem (as I understand it, Gagner’s already tweeted pictures of him back in the gym).

  82. spoiler says:

    Gregor on the injuries:

    •The Oilers got some good news today, as Gagner said he is hoping to return in five weeks. He lost four teeth, and had six screws and one metal plate put in the left side of his jaw. It wasn’t wired shut, and that is why he could return sooner than the original two months prognosis.

    •Nugent-Hopkins was put through a fast-paced, intense skate after the morning skate. He is moving well, and he is pain free while shooting. Once he gets clearance for contact, he could return within 10-14 days.

  83. rickithebear says:

    we were 26.8 shots for and 32.8 shots against dubnyk .917
    1. jets 28.9 SF 29.7 SA Pavalec .906 SV%
    2. @ VCR 28.1 SF 28.9 SA . luongo .916 SV%
    3. NJD 28.4 SF 23.1 SA Brodeur .905 SV% Schnieder .931 sv%
    4. MTL 30.6 SF 26.9 SA Price .912
    5. @ tor 26.3 Sf 32.3 SA Riemer .912 Bernier .912 26.9 SA
    6. @WSH 28.1 Sf 32.3 SA Holtby .920 6 77 back to Back
    7. @ PIT 30.0 Sf 29.2 SA fluery .914
    8. @ NYI 30.9 SF 28.2 SA Nabakov .912
    9. @ OTT 33.1 Sf 31.3 SA Anderson .921
    10. @ MTL 30.6SF 26.9 SA Price .912
    11. WSH 28.1 Sf 32.3 SA Holtby .920
    12. @ PHX 30.9 Sf 30.6 SA Smith .920 12 & 13 back to back
    13. @ LAK 29.8 Sf 25 SA Quick .920
    14. Tor see above
    15. Det 30.1 Sf 27.5 SA Howard .916
    16. @ FLD 29.2 Sf 31.3 SA
    17. @ TMP 27.6 SF 30.2 SA
    18. @ PHI 29.0 SF 28.6 SA Emery .908
    19. @ CHI 31.1 SF 26.2 SA Crawford .911

    Goalie is not the problem
    Shot count is.

  84. rickithebear says:

    Bag of Pucks:
    forwrds, acction, pocession, advatage

    Seriously Ricki, would running your posts through spellcheck kill you? Some great content here, but painful to read with the rudimentary spelling errors. Just a thought.

    My wife is Mac and iPad.
    Just out of surgery!
    in bed for 3 weeks and
    pretty much fucked without a PC.

    i will attempt Spell check in Future.
    And ask her were spell check is on the Mac’s.

  85. spoiler says:

    Bulging Twine: Anyone have Jets lines?I agree, excellent article by Kevin MCartney.

    Oilers Game Day Program can be found here. First player spotlight is on David Perron.

    Click the Game Notes link across the top and you will get both line-ups (although not the lines and pairings).

    Appears Perron is in despite being day-to-day with an illness. Maybe they change their mind at game time.

  86. spoiler says:

    On Klefbom:

    Oklahoma City Barons @okcbarons 2h

    Update from Todd Nelson on Oscar Klefbom: Bruised foot, no longer in a boot and scheduled to skate tomorrow. #OKCBarons

  87. spoiler says:

    Edmonton Oilers @EdmontonOilers

    “I’ve been saving this tie for a long time.” @dallaseakins, will wear one of his late mentor Roger Neilson’s old ties tonight

    Fancy ties for fancy numbers.

  88. DeadmanWaking says:

    Bag of Pucks: Seriously Ricki, would running your posts through spellcheck kill you?

    Seconded. Write once, read many. Be strict in what you send, and generous in what you receive. My eyes have scanned printed text in one mode or another at least fifty hours per week for close to forty years. I’ve always been a reader or put in long hours at the screen. That’s 100,000 hours of reading practice, and I’m digging hard to extract your gist at the visual level. If everything I had read in my life was formatted to this level, I’d need to invest another 200,000 just to catch up to where I am now. Write like you want to be heard.

    I always try to listen to my gut on the opening day of the season, but I can’t hear it very well this year. Maybe it’s saying 40%. If MacT pulls a Schettino a few weeks from now once the most glaring weakness of this roster and coaching concept have been identified, I don’t like our chances one bit. If MacT mans up to man down and Yak has a break-out season, this team could easily make it happen.

    TheOtherJohn
    : kids another year older & better (familiar argument)

    You haven’t met rabbits. The pace accelerates when you have more.

    We’ve now got six players who will average 20+ minutes per night in the wheelhouse of benefiting from extra maturity (even Samwise), and not one in his rookie season with linemates putting in double nanny overtime. That’s two hours per game older, wiser, with more man strength. Ference should only need to clock a regular nanny work week out there on the ice.

    This year it’s the assistant coaches who are going to get old fast, trimming the ailerons after the plane leaves the runway. I’ll warm to Eakins when I see results.

  89. TheGreatMutato says:

    Ah opening night. Another new season filled with hope, excitement, and a guarded optimism towards what may transpire. A sense that typically lingers in some small way until around Christmas, at which point the team is all but eliminated from the hunt and we can all look forward to the World Juniors…

    Be that as it may, dammit, I’m going to enjoy the hell out of this. Again.

  90. spoiler says:

    From NHL’s The Goonies:

    @TSNBobMcKenzie

    Interesting comments from TOR’s Randy Carlyle: “We want to be more of a puck possession team this year. We’ve talked about having it more.”

    I don’t know whether to laugh or cry.

  91. G Money says:

    rickithebear:
    we were 26.8 shots for and 32.8 shots against dubnyk .917

    3. NJD 28.4 SF 23.1 SA Brodeur .905 SV% Schnieder .931 sv%

    Two points here:

    - Tyler Dellow has an interesting post up about the massive Corsi improvement shown by the Devils last season, which you can see in their stunning SA count. It is the mirror image of the Corsi cliff that the Oilers went over last year. If NJD can keep up that effect with Schneider, they will be an incredibly tough team.

    - Dubynk’s numbers need to be kept in perspective. He was not the problem last year, but neither was he a saviour. Overall, by save % he was an above average goalie. The problem is that if you dig into those numbers, he was actually a top goalie for PK sv %, but a bottom half goalie by ES sv %. The problem there is that PK sv % is not a reliable number and varies all over the map year to year. Dubnyk needs to post a decent PK sv % this year, but more than anything he needs to improve his ES sv % in order to prove he is a bona fide #1 goalie. By contrast, Schneider was the top goalie in the league last year at ES sv %. As a newly coined analytics fan, I assume this is one reason why MacT tried to get him.

  92. Bar_Qu says:

    spoiler:
    From NHL’s The Goonies:

    @TSNBobMcKenzie

    Interesting comments from TOR’s Randy Carlyle: “We want to be more of a puck possession team this year. We’ve talked about having it more.”

    I don’t know whether to laugh or cry.

    Laugh.

    Especially since they got rid of all their possession guys last year because they were too soft, and Carlyle is already beating the drum against Gardiner, one of their best possession D.

    Definitely laugh.

  93. Profit says:

    spoiler,

    Perron just tweeted this:

    David Perron @DP_57
    Hello out there, we’re on the air, it’s Hockey Night tonight. #letstheseasonbegin #HereComeTheOilers

    Which makes me think he’s feeling well enough to get out on the ice. Maybe not, but that’s the impression.

  94. spoiler says:

    From Chris Wescott’s article on Eakins in the Game Day Program, there’s an interesting quote from Hitchcock on Eakins (can’t remember if this is an old quote or a new one):

    Ken Hitchcock weighed in on that attitude as well saying,
    “He’ll talk your ear off about conditioning but it’s a
    smokescreen. He’s going to demand things of the Oilers
    players they’ve never done before and they’re going to
    find it quite difficult. Quite frankly some of the players
    are out of the barn but he’ll gather them all back in. He’s
    going to say things that make the players squeamish but
    he’s going to be one of the best things you’ve had there.
    He’s tough.

    “That was the most important move (GM) Craig
    MacTavish made this summer.”

  95. Henry says:

    spoiler,

    I wonder who Hitch considers to be ‘out of the barn’.

  96. spoiler says:

    A fine story about the player who made me fall in love with hockey.

    I can’t wait for the puck to drop.

  97. bookje says:

    Henry:
    spoiler,

    I wonder who Hitch considers to be ‘out of the barn’.

    I hear that some players have ‘out of barn body language’.

  98. bookje says:

    This is it folks – I think this season makes or breaks the rebuild. I’m getting excited!

  99. bookje says:

    Kris11:
    Yaktrick.

    Book it.

    That is all.

    Have we defined that yet, because if not, I think it should be as follows:

    A Goal
    An Assist
    A post game tweet written in imperfect English that endears him to hockey fans!

  100. RexLibris says:

    Bar_Qu: Laugh.

    Especially since they got rid of all their possession guys last year because they were too soft, and Carlyle is already beating the drum against Gardiner, one of their best possession D.

    Definitely laugh.

    I’ve just finished working on something for FN about the possibility of a young player shaking loose for the Flames via the Burke/Nonis connection.

    I used Gardiner as an example.

    It made me sick to even broach the subject, but I still hold out hope that the Oilers can find a way to acquire him from an unappreciative Nonis and Carlyle.

  101. Bar_Qu says:

    RexLibris,

    The Leafs are going to be a great pipeline for the Flames to exploit in shortening their rebuild length.

    With Iggy gone and Burke in charge (Feaster, ha!) I officially have no reason left to cheer for my hometown team in any capacity.

    Oilers all the way.

  102. RexLibris says:

    Bar_Qu:
    RexLibris,

    The Leafs are going to be a great pipeline for the Flames to exploit in shortening their rebuild length.

    With Iggy gone and Burke in charge (Feaster, ha!) I officially have no reason left to cheer for my hometown team in any capacity.

    Oilers all the way.

    You could always cheer for them to just miss the playoffs. Perpetual mediocrity is a fate worse than death to a sports team.

  103. Ryan says:

    RMGS: It’s opening night, man – a secular christmas for grown men! Do you steal candy from children, too?

    Let’s Go Oilers, Let’s Go!

    It’s not my pessimism you have to worry about… :p The results on the ice will speak for themselves. I’ve been an Oiler fan as long as I can remember and my pessimism is only rooted in being subjected to years of exciting last place hockey.

    Anyway, I’m a glutton for punishment as I just dropped four bills at ticket master to take my wife to the game tonight. She’s from the states and has never been to a hockey game before.

    I bought the tickets around noon–was surprised they were still available.

  104. Spartacus says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    Yup, born on the same day. Makes it easy for me to remember how old I am.

    She’s a big fan of the Oilers, just like her Dad, and is surprisingly bloodthirsty for such a delicate little flower.

    Oilers forever!

  105. VOR says:

    gmoney,

    Could you maybe clarify your comments about how Dubnyk was bottom half in EV SV% this last year. I get him being 33 out of 82 goalies in the NHL in EV SV%. I believe he was also one of only 11 goalies in all of hockey to have an EV SV% of better than .920 each of the last three years. All while facing a remarkable barrage of shots. Over the last 3 years only Dubnyk, Pavalec, Vokoun, and Reimer (of the guys who played at least 20 games) have been in the top 15 in shots against per 60 each year. Only Dubnyk of the 4 has been above .920 EV SV% each year.

    Are there a handful of goalies who were better than Dubnyk the last three years? Yes.

    Did any of the manage it while playing on bad teams? Nope. Not close.

    The one goaltender you could truly say played for as bad a team (arguably worse) and did better over that time was James Reimer. But the difference is tiny.

    Dubnyk has proven to be a rock solid goalie on very bad teams.

    Yet Oilers fans seem to fixate on him as having at least something to prove or as being the problem. There is a very real difference between their being a handful of guys who could do your job better in the entire league and being a bad goaltender.

    His EV SV% over the last 3 seasons and as well as never being below .920 Dubnyk has averaged .923. For guys who start over half their teams’ games (the starters) over the last two years he has been 12th and 17th overall in EV SV%. In other words he is not only a legitimate NHL starter but arguably in the top half in the NHL. In the last three years only 8 goaltenders played as many games and had a better EV SV%. Again, none of them did it playing behind anything close to as bad as the Oilers D.

    I am open to counter arguments but don’t waste your time with he lets in soft goals or I saw him bad unless you have some real stats to support those statements.

  106. thejonrmcleod says:

    GordM,

    4-5 weeks from today or from the time of the injury?

  107. FastOil says:

    Bag of Pucks:
    I think we should be setting reasonable expectations for Gagner`s effectiveness when he returns.

    He`s likely going to lose some weight/muscle mass while he’s out and by necessity, will probably have to be a periphery player when he’s first back thanks to the combo of full face shield and residual damage.

    The amount of pressure this team will be putting on 2 players returning from substantial injuries is definitely one of the drawbacks of the center depth issue.

    Periphery is all he’s managed to do so far, healthy and wealthy. I hope he takes a step forward in play, the team really needs him to be a solid 2C. He had a higher than career SH% last year (12.39 vs 10.57) and Eakins won’t let him float so his offense might suffer this season which is ok if he doesn’t get outscored overall.

  108. Lucinius says:

    It’s going to be a bit interesting this year for goalies. The reduction in pad sizes could lead to some interesting changes in the perceived pecking order of goalies. Lundqvist is a perfect example. Heralded by many as the best, or one of the best, goalies in the league for years and now he suddenly has lost five inches or so from his pads (in total). That’s a lot of space to adjust to now having to cover. in the preseason he let in several goals directly in response to the loss of padding.

    How fast some goalies adjust could have massive impact on which teams make the playoffs. Some goalies may not be able to adjust at all.

  109. Ribs says:

    rickithebear,

    I was going to tell you that there is a spellcheck feature above the comment input field box but it does not seem to work very well. I tried some clear misspellings and all it says is “No writing errors were found”. Hah.

    Maybe on a Mac it’ll work, though. It’s the little ABC with a Green checkmark beside it. It sort of blends in to the background a bit. You might have to select the text first before pressing it.

  110. G Money says:

    VOR: Could you maybe clarify your comments about how Dubnyk was bottom half in EV SV% this last year.

    Keeping me honest, eh?

    OK, here are the basics of my analysis (and no, you will not find any “soft goals” drivel here):

    1 – I looked primarily at last season, since a. I believe recent performance is more important, and b. it is the first time he’s been considered the full time legitimate starter (even as he played more than half the games the previous season).

    That said, I am heartened that your three year analysis makes Dubynk look better than my one year analysis. (Bear in mind that I am actually a fan of the Oilers AND Dubynk, so I WANT him to be a top goalie.)

    2 – I filtered goalies based on minimum 1000 mins of TOI (arbitrary I admit, but high enough that it only includes goalies who got a significant amount of playing time last year). By that measure, Dubie was 19th in the league. All 18 of the goalies ahead of him appear to be legitimate starter quality. The only duplicate team is Anaheim. Therefore, depending on how you choose to interpret the Hiller/Fasth dynamic, Dubie is either 19th or 18th in the league by EV SV%. Given that there are 30 teams in the league, Dubynk is therefore a bottom half goalie.

    * Interesting side note – last time I did this analysis, Schneider was at the top of my list. Now it’s Bobrovsky. Not sure if I’m doing something differently, or I just remembered it wrong.

    3 – By this same criteria, for the Top 10 goalies, the mean EV SV % is 0.934, with low of .930. So in my books, to be considered a top goalie, Dubie needs to improve his EV SV % this year by .006 or more.

    * Note that the Dubynk apologists point to the porous defense (as did you) as a way of explaining Dubie’s EV SV % rating being lower than his overall ranking. I accept this argument could be valid. But that is part of my point – we have a less porous defense this year (one hopes), which means Dubie’s EV SV % needs to go up.

    4 – By contrast, Dubie’s PK SV % of .911 was fifth in the league (min 100 mins), and only two of the four goalies ahead of him were in the list of 18.

    So to reiterate,

    - Dubynk was not the Oiler’s problem, but at 18th, he was not the saviour either
    - He needs to improve his EV SV % this year to prove he is a top bona fide #1 goalie

  111. rickithebear says:

    VOR: Did any of the manage it while playing on bad teams? Nope. Not close.

    VOP that is what gets me.
    , Holtby, Riemer, Dubnyk are the goalies to start a team with.
    1. Good EVGA
    2. high Shot Count
    3. consitent over three years.
    With potential to improve Save5 with reduced shot count and better D.

    AMEN!

  112. Woodguy says:

    spoiler:
    Gazdic will grow on you.

    At least that’s what my doctor told me.

    I had Gazdic once.

    Penicillin cleared it right up.

  113. Lowetide says:

    http://www.cbc.ca/sports-content/hockey/opinion/2013/10/30-thoughts-kessel-others-set-market-for-nhls-elite.html

    David Perron scored five goals on his first six exhibition shots. That’s somewhat unsustainable, but certainly speaks to his talent. Perron and Ken Hitchcock clashed on things like how to approach a two-on-two rush. The forward always wanted to try for a scoring chance, the coach wanted a safer play (like a dump-in) if Perron could only achieve such an opportunity about one-quarter of the time. It will be interesting to see how he does as a more unleashed offensive player.

    !!!!!!!!!

  114. TheOtherJohn says:

    Do not think anyone can seriously suggests that Dubnyk is the reason we did not make the playoffs. He is a middle of the pack starting NHL goaltender. His GM thought enough of his ability to:

    1) openly suggest he has to get better; and
    2) try to trade for Corey Schneider leading up to the entry draft

    Not sure that puts him in the top “handful” of goalies in the league. He actually might be the 5th best goalie in our division: Niemi, Hillier, Luongo, Smith

  115. spoiler says:

    Lowetide: http://www.cbc.ca/sports-content/hockey/opinion/2013/10/30-thoughts-kessel-others-set-market-for-nhls-elite.htmlDavid Perron scored five goals on his first six exhibition shots. That’s somewhat unsustainable, but certainly speaks to his talent. Perron and Ken Hitchcock clashed on things like how to approach a two-on-two rush. The forward always wanted to try for a scoring chance, the coach wanted a safer play (like a dump-in) if Perron could only achieve such an opportunity about one-quarter of the time. It will be interesting to see how he does as a more unleashed offensive player.–!!!!!!!!!

    I’ve been hitting refresh for two straight days to get that article and you beat me by 3 minutes, dammit. Lol.

  116. dawgtoy says:

    …and so it begins!

  117. dawgtoy says:

    Lowetide,

    I also like point 19. I see Carlyle. I see Jake Gardiner. I hear what they say about each other and think, “Well, 50 per cent of all marriages do end in divorce.

  118. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    I don’t know about this “Kings of Leon”… but I like that CBC has gone for the big production with HNIC. live music is a nice touch.

    I hope CTV keeps it going when they take over.

  119. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    spoiler:
    On Klefbom:

    Oklahoma City Barons @okcbarons 2h


    Update from Todd Nelson on Oscar Klefbom: Bruised foot, no longer in a boot and scheduled to skate tomorrow. #OKCBarons

    great new!

    I can’t imagine a player who more wants to get on with playing. Hope he has a great run in OKC and pushes deep into the second season this year.

  120. doritogrande says:

    Rocked the Oilers jersey in downtown Winnipeg today and didn’t get mugged. Jets fans are losing their passion for their team.

  121. spoiler says:

    bookje: Have we defined that yet, because if not, I think it should be as follows:A GoalAn AssistA post game tweet written in imperfect English that endears him to hockey fans!

    When I originally coined the term, during the first San Jose game last year, it was just a hat trick, hopefully along the lines of a wrister, a one-timer, and a tap in.

    And then Kris, I believe, in the same thread suggested it should include some inappropriately joyful comment that, IIRC, would upset the likes of a Don Cherry (or at least that’s the way I took it).

    And then I think we accepted that not just inappropriate comments should be included, but inappropriate goal celebrations too.

    And then we have the penalties he draws.

    And then we have the shot blockers he destroys.

    …So it is pretty much still up in the air, lol.

  122. Lowetide says:

    I remember watching HNIC when I was just little, mid 60s. When I discovered women, the hockey took a back seat (as it were) but now that I’m old it’s such a wonderful moment. I’m hopeful for a win tonight, but mostly it’s such a joy to have our game back.

    In October.

  123. VOR says:

    gmoney,

    Lets go with the 27 men who started half or more of their teams games as our criteria for starters – Dubnyk is 16th in EV SV%. He was as you point out 8th on PK SV%. Hard to figure out how goal tending that good caused a team to finish 24th OV. Imagine if he had been as bad as Bryzgalov never mind Kiprusoff – we would have been picking 1st OV again. So while he isn’t the best in the league (and perhaps MacTavish thought Schneider was -so it isn’t saying Dubnyk is bad to try to trade for Schneider) Dubnyk is in the top 20 goalies in the league. He might be even better if he played on the New Jersey Devils or Vancouver Canucks. Would MacTavish like to see him play better. Sure. Of course I am sure Dean Lombardi would like to see his starter play better as well.

  124. Lowetide says:

    The best thing about the Habs is that even though it’s opening night the game will end by 8. Leafs can never figure that out.

  125. Woodguy says:

    dawgtoy:
    Lowetide,

    I also like point 19. I see Carlyle. I see Jake Gardiner. I hear what they say about each other and think, “Well, 50 per cent of all marriages do end in divorce.

    Point #8 is interesting and dovetailed with what Tyler figured out:

    8. The other thing to watch about Edmonton is how it defends a neutral-zone push. One of the biggest issues management had with last year’s system was how wide the defencemen set up in that area, which forced forwards to cover the middle. It didn’t work.

  126. Woodguy says:

    Lowetide:
    The best thing about the Habs is that even though it’s opening night the game will end by 8. Leafs can never figure that out.

    In Toronto they figure that the game is the apex of the evening.

    In Montreal they *know* that eating, drinking, and dancing after the game is required.

  127. khildahl says:

    Carey Price’s pads can’t possibly be legal this year.

  128. Lowetide says:

    Woodguy: In Toronto they figure that the game is the apex of the evening.

    In Montreal they *know* that eating, drinking, and dancing after the game is required.

    True. Weird that Gionta is captain. Should be Lecavalier.

  129. Woodguy says:

    THIS IS GAME ONE IN THE POST TAMBELLINI ERA

    ALL THOSE WHO LIVED THROUGH THE TAMBELLINI ERA ARE HEREBY GIVEN A FREE PASS TO DRINK HEAVILY ON A SCHOOL NIGHT!!!

    GORD KNOWS WE NEEDED TO DRINK HEAVILY DURING THE TAMBELLINI ERA.

    THANKS TO STEVE TAMBELLINI FOR TRYING SO HARD AND FAILING SO COMPLETELY AS TO GET US HALL, RNH, AND YAKCITY TO CHEER FOR.

    TO STEVE, IT WAS HELL WATCHING HIS TEAMS PLAY.

    *CLINK*

  130. Woodguy says:

    (I’m yelling above the din of crowd)

  131. Lowetide says:

    Steve Tambellini’s era was good for one thing: I had a healthy start to the vacation fund every time I took the winter empties to the bottle depot

  132. khildahl says:

    Wait…

    We’re the second game on CBC. Crap.

    I miss Rod Phillips and the ability to mute the TV in favour of CHED.

  133. OilClog says:

    Is it just me or is anyone else’s knees bashing together in anticipation..

    There is so much young top pedigree talent competing against eachother in our top 9.. If Eakins can truly figure out how to harness these horses into a charging train.. My returns to the depot will probably require twice as many trips.. Winning breeds bottoms up!

    Who will have more points Hemmer, Ebs, YakCity? I cross my fingers it’s Hemsky, would love to see the majority of the MSM world and especially Brownlee eat crow for months.

    5-2 Oil everywhere

  134. thejonrmcleod says:

    So Spector said possibly 4-5 weeks for a Gagner return. Is that from today or from the time of injury? (I asked this earlier but no one answered. I won’t ask it again.)

  135. Lowetide says:

    thejonrmcleod:
    So Spector said possibly 4-5 weeks for a Gagner return. Is that from today or from the time of injury? (I asked this earlier but no one answered. I won’t ask it again.)

    I don’t know. My guess is 4-5 weeks from today.

  136. doritogrande says:

    Sahweet! 2nd overall pick in my draft that starts in 20 minutes!

    Do I trust that Malkin comes back and is healthy, or take the sure bet in Stamkos?

  137. Woodguy says:

    Item #7 in Friedman’s latest:

    7. David Perron scored five goals on his first six exhibition shots. That’s somewhat unsustainable, but certainly speaks to his talent. Perron and Ken Hitchcock clashed on things like how to approach a two-on-two rush. The forward always wanted to try for a scoring chance, the coach wanted a safer play (like a dump-in) if Perron could only achieve such an opportunity about one-quarter of the time. It will be interesting to see how he does as a more unleashed offensive player.

    I’ll repeat the offending bit:

    Perron and Ken Hitchcock clashed on things like how to approach a two-on-two rush. The forward always wanted to try for a scoring chance, the coach wanted a safer play (like a dump-in) if Perron could only achieve such an opportunity about one-quarter of the time.

    Fucking Ken HItchcock it up there with Jacque Lemaire on the Mount Rushmore of coaches who killed fun in hockey in their (successful) effort to win games.

    That’s the key to marketing hockey.

    Somehow rig the rules so river hockey is the most appealing approach for a coach.

    I think going down to 19 man rosters is a good start.

    Tell the PA you won’t ask for a rollback in revenue sharing and everyone will get more.

  138. Lowetide says:

    doritogrande:
    Sahweet! 2nd overall pick in my draft that starts in 20 minutes!

    Do I trust that Malkin comes back and is healthy, or take the sure bet in Stamkos?

    Stamkos seems to be a Bossy like machine.

  139. iHockeyWpg says:

    Mark Lee. Brutal. Absolutely brutal.

  140. Dead Cat Bounce says:

    Edmonton Oilers ‏@EdmontonOilers 4m
    A limited number of tickets have just been released for tonight’s #Oilers opener! Act fast if you want them > http://ow.ly/pp6OU

    Looks like the sellout streak is in jeopardy.

  141. Woodguy says:

    Lowetide: I don’t know. My guess is 4-5 weeks from today.

    89 is back playing with a jaw guard 1st week of November.

    Book it!

  142. jake70 says:

    I am curious about the impact the smaller goal pads will have….still slightly too big for my liking but I’ll take it……should separate a little more the puck-stoppers from the “shot-blockers”.

  143. khildahl says:

    jake70,

    It’s a good start. Now they have to start on the rest of their equipment.

  144. Lowetide says:

    Edmonton Oilers Opening night Roster

    Will Acton, Mark Arcobello, Anton Belov, Mike Brown, Devan Dubnyk, Ben Eager, Jordan Eberle, Andrew Ference, Luke Gazdic, Boyd Gordon, Denis Grebeshkov, Taylor Hall, Ales Hemsky, Jesse Joensuu, Jason LaBarbera, David Perron, Jeff Petry, Justin Schultz, Nick Schultz, Ladislav Smid, Ryan Smyth, Nail Yakupov.

    Injured: Sam Gagner, Curtis Hamilton, Steve MacIntyre, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Corey Potter.

  145. G Money says:

    VOR,

    So we’re in violent agreement … Dubynk is not Hasek-in-his-prime, but he was not and is not the problem.

    As to why the Oilers finished 24th overall despite the decent goaltending – I believe this is why so many have pointed the finger Krueger’s way. By every shot-based metric OTHER than goaltending, the Oilers went backward in a big way last year, and I agree with you fully in that measure – without that goalie improvement, the Oilers would have been a lottery team last year yet again.

    This year, I surely hope that the Eakin’s “Swarm” system, which by the descriptions I’ve seen so far is an aggressive version of widely used common defensive system, as opposed to a singular “smartest guy in the room” approach, lets the offensive talent override the defensive shortcomings (which in any case are fewer).

    And despite my my belief that Dubynk has not yet proved himself a top flight goaltender, I do sincerely hope that the shots and chances given up played a big part in the EV SV %, and this is the year that Dubie DOES prove himself a top #1.

    As LT would say, we wait … but not for much longer!

  146. VanOil says:

    October 1st dreams

    Hall and Hemsky terrorize with speed.

    Eberle and Perron do close up magic

    Joensuu get puck to Yak

    Calm foot and twinkle toes D pairings all around

  147. Andropod says:

    Lowetide,

    You get a lot more for empties nowadays too

  148. Woodguy says:

    G Money:
    VOR,

    So we’re in violent agreement … Dubynk is not Hasek-in-his-prime, but he was not and is not the problem.

    As to why the Oilers finished 24th overall despite the decent goaltending – I believe this is why so many have pointed the finger Krueger’s way.By every shot-based metric OTHER than goaltending, the Oilers went backward in a big way last year, and I agree with you fully in that measure – without that goalie improvement, the Oilers would have been a lottery team last year yet again.

    This year, I surely hope that the Eakin’s “Swarm” system, which by the descriptions I’ve seen so far is an aggressive version of widely used common defensive system, as opposed to a singular “smartest guy in the room” approach, lets the offensive talent override the defensive shortcomings (which in any case are fewer).

    And despite my my belief that Dubynk has not yet proved himself a top flight goaltender, I do sincerely hope that the shots and chances given up played a big part in the EV SV %, and this is the year that Dubie DOES prove himself a top #1.

    As LT would say, we wait … but not for much longer!

    They weren’t just coached sub-optimally.

    They were staffed sub-optimally.

    Every Hall-of-Fame coach in every sport has said the same thing:

    The best coach gets off the bus with the best players.

  149. Lowetide says:

    I don’t know the Corsi in this game but the Habs are having a strong start to the second period.

  150. hunter1909 says:

    6th place in the Western Conference.

    Just remember where you read this first, Corsi following types!

  151. Lowetide says:

    hunter1909:
    6th place in the Western Conference.

    Just remember where you read this first, Corsi following types!

    Who picked Edmonton 6th in the western conference?

  152. hunter1909 says:

    Lowetide:
    Steve Tambellini’s era was good for one thing: I had a healthy start to the vacation fund every time I took the winter empties to the bottle depot

    As a veteran from the malt whisky store, believe me Lowetide when I say: Inductive reasoning and drinking, in itself, represents that slippery slope down, down, down…

  153. hunter1909 says:

    PS: People often think they’re sounding ‘cool’ or ‘with it’ by posting online pics of themselves in the booze house. Not realizing they’re creating a public spectacle, starring themselves, lol.

  154. spoiler says:

    Woodguy: THIS IS GAME ONE IN THE POST TAMBELLINI ERAALL THOSE WHO LIVED THROUGH THE TAMBELLINI ERA ARE HEREBY GIVEN A FREE PASS TO DRINK HEAVILY ON A SCHOOL NIGHT!!!GORD KNOWS WE NEEDED TO DRINK HEAVILY DURING THE TAMBELLINI ERA.THANKS TO STEVE TAMBELLINI FOR TRYING SO HARD AND FAILING SO COMPLETELY AS TO GET US HALL, RNH, AND YAKCITY TO CHEER FOR.TO STEVE, IT WAS HELL WATCHING HIS TEAMS PLAY.*CLINK*

    All right, all right, allright… You have me convinced.

    *Cracks a pre-game-skate beer*

  155. khildahl says:

    Well that’s an example of the idiocy of the visor rule.

  156. iHockeyWpg says:

    37 minutes ago
    @jonasTSN1050: Cody Franson leds the Leafs with nearly 9 minutes of ice in first frame.

    In a season or so, I think Justin Schultz will be playing 25+ minutes a night if Eakins wants to ride his young guns with big minutes.

  157. Lowetide says:

    iHockeyWpg:
    37 minutes ago
    @jonasTSN1050: Cody Franson leds the Leafs with nearly 9 minutes of ice in first frame.

    In a season or so, I think Justin Schultz will be playing 25+ minutes a night if Eakins wants to ride his young guns with big minutes.

    He played 22 under Ralph so it won’t take much to get him to 25. I think we’ll notice the major forwards having their TOI pushed a lot, not just at evens but PP and PK.

  158. SK Oiler Fan says:

    Sorry to smother the optimism around here, but 6 players in the opening lineup without significant minutes in the NHL in the past 2 seasons. I don’t like their chances in the first month. If Nuge and Gags don’t get up to speed quickly upon their arrival this might be over by Xmas.
    Having said that, I’m really interested in Belov against an NHL lineup. He’s a real wildcard for this team IMO.

  159. SK Oiler Fan says:

    10 players and a coaching staff that weren’t here last year as well. Unless the improvement by subtraction law applies here.

  160. bookje says:

    SK Oiler Fan,

    Why the uncertainty around Belov, he is a veteran who has played in the KHL and done very well there.

  161. rickithebear says:

    iHockeyWpg:
    37 minutes ago
    @jonasTSN1050: Cody Franson leds the Leafs with nearly 9 minutes of ice in first frame.

    In a season or so, I think Justin Schultz will be playing 25+ minutes a night if Eakins wants to ride his young guns with big minutes.

    So 20:30 of even
    and
    4:30 of PP

  162. "Steve Smith" says:

    bookje:
    SK Oiler Fan,

    Why the uncertainty around Belov, he is a veteran who has played in the KHL and done very well there.

    Because Jiri Dopita.

  163. Lowetide says:

    Parros hurt. Bad luck for him, no one’s fault. He’s in some trouble here.

  164. Mr DeBakey says:

    Its nice to know that hockey fights don’t result in injuries.

    Blah blah blah the code blah blah

  165. SK Oiler Fan says:

    bookje,

    oh, I think belov could go either way, but an NHL season is a much longer and tougher grind than the KHL.

  166. bookje says:

    “Steve Smith”: Because Jiri Dopita.

    The Czech league and the KHL are very different things.

  167. B S says:

    Jesus Christ! Watching the Leafs Habs game. Who the f$^& taught these trainers first aid? Parros fell to the ice, head first, out cold, and they try to move him. Absolute amateur bullshit. Hold his head steady and call a stretcher. Hold him, keep him relaxed, and calm him down.

  168. khildahl says:

    I am pleasantly surprised to hear the CBC crew talking about getting the goonery out of the game (as much as we’re ever going to hear them say it).

  169. VanOil says:

    I am trying to eat supper this is not helping. I hope Parros is OK.

  170. bookje says:

    I agree that there is some uncertainty about Belov. My comment was more about people who were wondering if he could crack the lineup.

  171. bookje says:

    Mr DeBakey:
    Its nice to know that hockey fights don’t result in injuries.

    Blah blah blah the code blah blah

    Just think of all of the injuries that fight prevented!

  172. doritogrande says:

    LT: Decided I couldn’t pass up Malkin. Hope to hell he scores 200 because I can’t win with my goalies (Lethonen, Reimer, Markstrom).

  173. danieldelair says:

    This is so ridiculous. And actually CBC didn’t talk about talking it out, aside from Simpson. Healy threw around a bunch of cliches about attrition ie. live by the sword die by the sword, fight for everyone else, not yourself. In other words, glorification of this warrior on ice.

    The fact of the matter is that this enforcer thing only reinforces the poor sportsmanship of other players. With Parros on the ice, suddenly Subban has no problem stirring the pot with Orr. They’re separated, thanks to Parros, and because Subban can’t keep his mouth shut, a fight ensues in which a slip leads a huge man face first, eyes closed into the ice.

    How is this role necessary? Sadly the only accurate thing Healy said was that it will take someone dying before this rules changes. Eliminate enforcers and let the skill players with a big mouth live up to it. End of story.

  174. BlacqueJacque says:

    Habs-Leafs games have something special about them more often than you’d expect. I think it’s one of the few true rivalries in sports that goes beyond a competition by fans and teams and similar cities. It really is a clash of cultures, whether one team sucks or not. Oilers Flames died down for years at a time, Flyers Pens is hit and miss, but Habs Leafs is truly a struggle in miniature between Canada’s two greatest cities – the old heart of Quebec and for centuries Canada’s greatest city, and the younger, stronger, cultural majority economic powerhouse and true world city, Toronto.

  175. doritogrande says:

    The only thing that fight accomplished was robbing us of an on-time start for the late game.

  176. Lowetide says:

    doritogrande:
    The only thing that fight accomplished was robbing us of an on-time start for the late game.

    It’ll be pretty close doubt we miss any action.

  177. Dead Cat Bounce says:

    doritogrande:
    The only thing that fight accomplished was robbing us of an on-time start for the late game.

    Not to worry.

    Word has it that the Oilers pre-game ceremony will feature raising Kevin Lowe to to the rafters.

    Should take a few minutes.

    Those 6 rings are heavy.

    :)

  178. Lowetide says:

    Elliotte Friedman ‏@FriedgeHNIC 1m

    Puck drop in EDM not until 8:18 MT. If TOR/MON runs long, we will make sure viewers in Alberta and Manitoba break away.

  179. khildahl says:

    doritogrande:
    The only thing that fight accomplished was robbing us of an on-time start for the late game.

    There’s probably an overly-long pre-game show anyway.

  180. doritogrande says:

    khildahl: There’s probably an overly-long pre-game show anyway.

    Finally the words Manitoba and Oilers don’t have to tag along with the words regional restriction

  181. SK Oiler Fan says:

    Is there a pool for how long Eakins keeps Smyth on the 1 line? When Hall and Hemsky reach full flight Smyth will be a zone behind

  182. VanOil says:

    Dead Cat Bounce: Not to worry.
    Word has it that the Oilers pre-game ceremony will feature raising Kevin Lowe to to the rafters.

    Should take a few minutes.

    Those 6 rings are heavy.

    Excellent

  183. striatic says:

    SK Oiler Fan:
    Sorry to smother the optimism around here, but 6 players in the opening lineup without significant minutes in the NHL in the past 2 seasons. I don’t like their chances in the first month. If Nuge and Gags don’t get up to speed quickly upon their arrival this might be over by Xmas.
    Having said that, I’m really interested in Belov against an NHL lineup. He’s a real wildcard for this team IMO.

    agreed.

    the only heartening thing this week was the Gagner interview where he sounded like he had two or three marbles in his mouth, as opposed to six or seven.

    i think he’s back in less than a month, same as RNH, but if they are are rushed into re-injury the Oilers org can never be trusted again.

  184. OilClog says:

    Bah! I’m in British Columbia! Why do I have to watch this?! I swear if I miss puck drop!

  185. striatic says:

    bookje:
    SK Oiler Fan,
    Why the uncertainty around Belov, he is a veteran who has played in the KHL and done very well there.

    i don’t think there is much uncertainty at this point that he will be able to play NHL minutes on a team like the Oilers.

    it is more the uncertainty if he possesses the kind of game that will allow him to carry heavy minutes.

  186. VanOil says:

    I hate the Leafs winning but at least they won in a timely manor.

  187. Henry says:

    OK, I got my Wild Turkey and Highland Park. Drop the goddam puck.

  188. B S says:

    Well, there goes the game. I can’t imagine anyone winning with music like this.

  189. VanOil says:

    I was going to try this sober but WG made a very compelling argument. Thanks WG. Cheers Tambellini.

  190. SK Oiler Fan says:

    remember the high wire circus act for opening night a few years back? I think it was Batman’s first year. That was weird.

  191. striatic says:

    i hope that if that if the Oilers struggle early, Yakupov says “we score more goals we win” and puts the team on his back and singlehandedly carries the Oilers to the playoffs.

  192. Lowetide says:

    Well let’s see the new baby!!!!

  193. spoiler says:

    LET’S GET IT ON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  194. RexLibris says:

    This is how I feel today:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yLph6ePNkGQ

    Song of choice for English soccer fans.

  195. doritogrande says:

    Heh, there’s some jets fans in the building tonight.

  196. spoiler says:

    Oh wow. What a nice tribute to Lorieau. Great job, crowd.

  197. RexLibris says:

    Beautiful tribute. Nice touch.

  198. Scotty LaDouche says:

    Perfect

  199. fuzzy muppet says:

    Well let me be the first to say that I’m glad we didn’t sign Grabovski (1g 1a so far). We’ve got Arcobello and Acton!

    Dammit! I vowed to make it thru 1 period this season beofre I started complaining. But, You know the saying about Old habits….

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