OILERS AT KINGS, G13, 13-14

When my kids were small and they were getting excited for Christmas, I’d tell them how many days and they’d say it seemed like forever. It was all worth it, because Christmas morning their excitement was the best thing about my year. I didn’t grow up with Christmas (Jehovah’s Witness) and so never felt that anticipation (although my parents were wonderful people and I certainly never felt unfortunate) or the joy of giving until the kids came along. I can still remember Christmas mornings with my wife and children, they are the best memories.

edm winter

The Oiler fanbase reminds me of my kids when they were young ones. Can’t wait for Christmas, impatient for the next day. We can see structure now, just not all of the time. We can see effective play, but we can also see a frightening save percentage. The club lacks balance–sweet, beautiful, balance–and until the day arrives when we can see they have enough in every area then these frustrating games will continue.

The current maladies are goaltending, the power play and the penalty kill. Fix those things and the goals for may dry up. When that’s fixed the tip drill skaters (question: how many goals against have come from Oiler players changing the direction of the puck? TEN? I bet it’s ten) will chime in again.

It’s frustrating, but it is not hopeless. There’s a difference.

grace kelly 22Oilers are in Los Angeles tonight, they have a tough opponent and really their only hope is that one of the kids catches fire and pops a hat-trick. I think the Nuge is the most likely candidate, Yakupov the least, but hockey doesn’t tell you when players break out, only that they will. Dubnyk could also do this 3-8-1 club an enormous favor by not allowing the sun to shine, but I’m hesitant to suggest it lest it goes the other way (plenty of daylight between the legs and over the shoulders).

cardinale3The Oilers have recalled Anton Lander, meaning the club will have 5 centermen in the lineup tonight (I thought this would be the opening night lineup). A quick look at the lines (this is my construction, actual lines may be different) shows 3 men who were supposed to be in Oklahoma City (they are underlined):

  1. Nuge-Yakupov-Eberle
  2. Arcobello-Perron-Hemsky
  3. Gordon-Lander-Jones
  4. Acton-Gazdic-Eager

Eakins has enough penalty killers, finally. I don’t know how much offense he’ll get from the bottom 6F’s at evens, but a few guys like Gagner and Smyth must be close to returning.

The Oilers have also recalled Richard Bachman, something we talked about here. I think most of us are cheering like hell for the goaltending, and I don’t doubt that Devan Dubnyk will regain his form–but at this point the recall for Bachman tells me management is trying everything to cajole more from their current group. In a weird way, the Bachman recall is an endorsement of the current Oilers, a wakeup call that doesn’t involve sending part of the cluster away.

That comes next.

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518 Responses to "OILERS AT KINGS, G13, 13-14"

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  1. spoiler says:

    I don’t like our chances. This group is too emotionally fragile and that loss yesterday was a hope-killer.

  2. spoiler says:

    spoiler: I don’t like our chances. This group is too emotionally fragile and that loss yesterday was a hope-killer.

    Are you talking about the OIlers or the blog commentors?

  3. theres oil in virginia says:

    spoiler: Are you talking about the OIlers or the blog commentors?

    Yes.

    Shut the door Dubnyk.

  4. Lowetide says:

    spoiler: Are you talking about the OIlers or the blog commentors?

    lol. I think fans are fans, we’re an emotional bunch (that’s what sports does) and at some point the wins and losses will turn north. It’s like Eakins said yesterday though, after awhile talking about how well the team played in a loss becomes tiresome.

    Actually, worse than tiresome because this impacts peoples lives. I suspect we’ll see some players leaving town if this continues.

  5. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Grace Kelly!

    What a swimming pool! I mean Sea! Hitchcock loved shooting on locations, right?

    Kelly’s mild tug-of-war with Brigitte Auber in that flic, under all that sun with those lush, colorful Edith Head costumes is some kind of man’s paradise.

  6. Racki says:

    I will root for Bachman, whenever he plays, but I can’t say I’m optimistic. However, he can’t play much worse than we’ve seen some nights from both goaltenders. Luckily, I think Dubnyk figured it out now (he noted adjusting where he plays in the net.. not so deep now), but it looks like LaBarbera is still wandering in the forest.

    Lander… can’t say I’ve been a big backer of his (moreso, I just felt like he was rushed), but I hope he’s improved since playing in OKC some. I’m sure he has, from what others are saying.

  7. spoiler says:

    Lowetide: lol. I think fans are fans, we’re an emotional bunch (that’s what sports does) and at some point the wins and losses will turn north. It’s like Eakins said yesterday though, after awhile talking about how well the team played in a loss becomes tiresome. Actually, worse than tiresome because this impacts peoples lives. I suspect we’ll see some players leaving town if this continues.

    Eakins’ comments… That kind of reminds of 06 doesn’t it? Before Roli galloped over the horizon. I’m sure MacT had said something similar.

  8. hunter1909 says:

    Linda Ronstadt is sensationally hot. Now I remember why I always loved certain German brunettes.

    After drooling for awhile at Linda, you then notice “the band” and here is it kids: what a lousy, never going to make it in a million billion light years looks band like. Hopeless losers, but maybe one of them squeaks in as an AHL coach.

    There’s a game today? Wtf, they already broke everyone’s hearts last time(I tuned out at 2-1 and missed the third period, thank fuck).

    LAKings are going to be lounging their way into the arena today, serene in the knowledge they are recent cup champions, who today will entertain their farm team to the north. No reason to worry, an easy two points as good as in the bag.

    If I were a betting man today I’d be visiting the bookies. Kings will be totally unprepared and therefore Chickenhawk’s chumps stand a very good chance of heading back to Tombstone with something.

  9. Lowetide says:

    That description of Ronstadt by hunter is 110%. The band too, for that matter. that fucking drummer was out there.

  10. Rosco says:

    Sometimes I equate watching this team to something like being stuck in rush hour traffic. You know you’ll eventually get through it as the lights will turn green, and the jerks in front of you that have been riding their brakes will eventually take the next exit. At different times you feel like taking a turn you know will get you out of this mess, but it will take you in a direction you don’t want to go.

    Hold fast MacT (and Oiler fans) the congestion will clear…unless this is the west side of the Henday. Then it’ll be a few more years :(

  11. G Money says:

    Racki: Lander… can’t say I’ve been a big backer of his (moreso, I just felt like he was rushed), but I hope he’s improved since playing in OKC some. I’m sure he has, from what others are saying.

    If all he does is end up not being a defensive liability and improves the PK, it will be a plus.

  12. bookje says:

    Interesting move – must have lost faith in LaBarbara – DD has been better lately.

  13. Lowetide says:

    I’m trying to figure out how they can get 3 G on the roster? That’s 24 players, right?

  14. 99thoilerfan says:

    “The current maladies are goaltending, the power play and the penalty kill”
    ….and injuries……and new systems……and Western teams

    When MacT advised the club will be different this year, the fanbase ( see: me )
    all hoped for the sweeping changes that would kick this team up a notch, Playoffs bound!
    There has been changes, from coaching to Captain, and the oil seem to be a better club, deep in D, young guns up front, Strong Face off %, etc.

    But like a new set of tires on my Goldwing, you have to take care during the 1st few hundred KM, as it take a while for the tires to break in, lose the shine, before they start getting good traction.
    I think this year version of the club needs more games to get more traction.
    They got about 80 to go. It maybe too late, but we should see better traction by game 40?

    Would ” it is always darkest before the dawn” fit here?

  15. G Money says:

    bookje: Interesting move – must have lost faith in LaBarbara – DD has been better lately.

    They should make “Fooled by Randomness” required reading at OIler HQ, just so they can understand that what is happening, as frustrating and “Fuck you Hockey Gods”-inducing as it is, is *completely* within the realms of a random “cold” streak.

    Dubynk is a career .915 goalie, and despite his terrible four-game streak to start the season, that’s what he is, and that’s what he’ll be over the course of the season. If they had made a move because suddenly they think those four games define Dubnyk would have been the height of stupidity.

    LaBarbera is a career .909 guy, and a few bad games (perfectly within the realm of randomness for a .909 goalie) are nothing more than a few bad games.

    If they are bringing up Bachman to give Barbie a chance to find his game, fine. If they’ve suddenly “lost faith” in LaBarbera because of a few bad games, then it’s time for us to lose what little faith we have too – because it means that despite MacT, Tambo-like stupidity and shortsightedness continues to rule the day in Kingsway.

  16. PREDICKTER says:

    99thoilerfan,

    It’s more like the oilers are a Goldwing with training wheels on and most of the league are supercharged muscle cars. *Winter is coming, it will get colder and darker*

  17. Clarkenstein says:

    Watched the game yesterday from 10 rows up and this team still makes 4 or 5 basic mistakes per shift…every shift. I see no leadership in that group. Every shot on goal is “hold your breath”! It’s a shooting gallery from the point on the opposition PP. D men rarely tie up anybody in front of the net. They stand there and try to swipe away the rebound like pee wees. LaBarbera might be a .900 career goalie but he’s never had to play behind a team so pathetic on defence as this one. Sorry folks it’s still a cluster. If you think this team is close try and be a little more objective.

  18. Racki says:

    Lowetide:
    I’m trying to figure out how they can get 3 G on the roster? That’s 24 players, right?

    They’ve only got 20 guys on their roster, according to the Oilers’ site… lots on IR:

    Gagner, Hall, Hamilton, Joensuu, MacIntyre, Pitlick, Smyth, Potter.

  19. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Lowetide:
    I’m trying to figure out how they can get 3 G on the roster? That’s 24 players, right?

    I think it depends on who’s on the injured reserve, right?

    23-man Roster
    There may be a maximum of 23 players on each Club’s playing roster at any one time from the commencement of the NHL regular season through the trade deadline. Prior to the start of the season, each Club must submit to the NHL its “Opening Day Playing Roster” which shall be comprised of not more than 23 players. Each Club must have a roster of at least 20 players, composed of 18 skaters and two goaltenders. Players on Injured Reserve do not count in the 23-man limit.

    http://www.nhl.com/ice/page.htm?id=26377

    If the Forwards are:
    RNH, Arco, Gordon, Lander, Acton (5)
    Perron, Yakupov, Jones, Eager (4)
    Eberle, Hemsky, Gazdic (3)

    that’s 12.
    Hall, Jonensuu, Smyth, Gagner, Hamilton, Smac, Pitlick (7 on the IR)

    the D are
    Petry, Smid, J. Schultz, Belov, Grebs, N. Schultz, Ference (7)

    and Potter on the IR/conditioning

    plus
    Dubnyk, Labarbs, Bachman (3)

    that’s 22 by my count.

  20. Racki says:

    G Money: If all he does is end up not being a defensive liability and improves the PK, it will be a plus.

    I think most of my comments re: Lander make it look like I think he’s a terrible player.. but just wanted to clarify…. I think he will be a pretty good bottom six guy, but to this point I felt he’s been in the NHL too early. He’s been one of those MacT non-factor types for me… not doing really anything too bad, but not doing anything good either. My hope is that with his recent stints with OKC, he can at least be a small danger offensively.. wouldn’t say he’s been much of one to this point yet. Gordon plays pretty well every game, and Jones is looking like the Jones people love to love, so maybe that will help bring out Lander’s best.

  21. Racki says:

    Racki: They’ve only got 20 guys on their roster, according to the Oilers’ site… lots on IR:

    Gagner, Hall, Hamilton, Joensuu, MacIntyre, Pitlick, Smyth, Potter.

    Excuse me.. forgot to include Lander and Bachman in, so that’s 22 count, just as Romulus noted above..

  22. G Money says:

    Racki: Gagner, Hall, Hamilton, Joensuu, MacIntyre, Pitlick, Smyth, Potter.

    aka “FUCK YOU HOCKEY GODS”! (Or is it Hockey Gords? I’m confused)

    Clarkenstein: LaBarbera might be a .900 career goalie but he’s never had to play behind a team so pathetic on defence as this one.

    If what you’re saying is the PK and the goaltending have been pathetic, no one is arguing.

    If you’re suggesting that this defense is the worst ever, you are flat out wrong. Last years RK-system Whitney-on defense was waaaaay worse than this one in every measure. Shots, chances, wide open looks in the middle. By eye and by stat, flat out terrible. Horrible. Putrid. Finished the season worst in the league in 5×5 Corsi, and justifiably so. People seem to have already forgotten just how bad it was watching the team get outplayed *every single night* and only win the occasional game because of elite snipers, rock solid goaltending and unsustainable percentages on the special teams.

    I would rather watch a team that can at least somewhat play the game, and gets burned by unsustainably horrible goaltending and terrible special teams. At least this season, reversion promises an inevitable improvement instead of an inevitable decline.

  23. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    G Money: (Or is it Hockey Gords? I’m confused)

    Gords. But considering the season and all it may just be the Hockey Gourds that are doing us in?

    Has anyone checked to see if someone slipped an evil mini pumpkin under Eakins’ pillow?

  24. Hammers says:

    Lt I must say i’m surprised your still so optimistic with this group . I look at Eakins behind the bench and see a man who is frustrated as hell and looks beaten . He probably didn’t expect to be sitting last in the west after nearly a dozen games . Actually its sad both for him , McT & us the fans . I wonder what Katz thinks ???? . Part of the problem is we don’t even win at home so having a bunch of home games later on won’t help . If this keeps up and I think it will , it forces McT to make a trade that we probably loose . Remember close only counts in horseshoes.

  25. Woodguy says:

    I saw something else yesterday that I’m hanging my hat on for the Oilers.

    5v5 scoring.

    For the last 3 years a HUGE complaint about the Oilers was that they relied on the PP and couldn’t score 5v5.

    Big boy teams scored 5v5 because you can’t rely on 5v4 scoring in the playoffs.

    Here’s where they Oilers ranked for the last 3 years and this year in 5v5 scoring:

    10/11 2.10 29th in NHL
    11/12 2.20 24th in NHL
    12/13 2.20 25th in NHL
    13/14 2.74 5th in NHL

    That is a huge turn around. Once the 5v4 scoring normalizes (its actually a good PP, no luck recently) this is a high scoring team.

    They can score with big boys.

    Also,

    The current maladies are: goaltending

    -Yes. I like that they sent down Hanna Barbara and brought up Stephen King. Roster competition. Make it real for everyone.

    Something to chew on: Since the disaster game in TOR DD is .919. Time to ride him like a dray

    The current maladies are: the power play

    The biggest problem is luck imo. Their shooting % 5v4 is 6.6%

    Last threee years of 5v4 shooting % plus this year:

    10/11 12.7% – 9th in NHL
    11/12 16.1% – 2nd in NHL
    12/13 17.2% – 2nd in NHL
    13/14 6.6% – 28th in NHL

    The median 5v4 SH% for the league hangs around 11.5%.

    The Oilers didn’t all of the sudden lose the ability to shoot. The PP will come around.

    Actually, the volume of shots is very encouraging.

    5v4 SH/60 last 3 years plus this one:

    10/11 41.8 – 30th in NHL
    11/12 44.4 – 26th in NHL
    12/13 41.1 – 29th in NHL
    13/14 58.4 – 8th in NHL

    Their shot volume has increase substantially.

    These are talented players who are getting chances, the damn will break on the 5v4 too.

    Also,

    The current maladies are: the penalty kill.

    Agreed.

    You hang a bunch of this on the goalies, but the Shot against haven’t been good.

    Eakins called out Acton (without naming him) and his inability to block the last 2 goals yesterday, and rightly so.

    SA/60 last 3 years and this one:

    10/11 56.3 – 28th in NHL
    11/12 47.1 – 10th in NHL
    12/13 52.8 – 25th in NHL
    13/14 64.1 – 26th in NHL

    They are allowing far too many shots. A recipe for a poor PK.

    So how did they have a “good” PK last year? Lucky goaltending.

    League average for starters 4v5 SV% is about .880 every year. Here’s the Oilers 4v5 SV% last 3 years and this one.

    10/11 .849 – 27th in NHL
    11/12 .872 – 18th in NHL
    12/13 .894 – 4th in NHL
    13/14 .833 – 26th in NHL

    So they are allowing a ton of shots and not getting much goaltending. Certain recipe for poor performance.

    They need to be better on both fronts.

    Last thing:

    Oiler goaile 4v5 SV% this year:

    DD – .872
    JL – .760

    Hanna’s number is just putrid. Very, very small sample size of 25 shots (!), but lordy man make a save.

    To sum up:

    5v5 scoring is better and among the top in the NHL
    5v4 scoring has all the signs of a very good PP, just need pucks to go in, it will come, no question
    4v5 scoring against is bad and they need to fix it, asap.

    Last thing:

    Tyler is looking as zone time of the opposition in 4v5 situations.

    He hasn’t published anything yet, but let out this tidbit:

    Average opposition possessions with Nick Schultz on-ice for controlled entry: 24.6 seconds. Without Nick Schultz on-ice: 10.3 seconds. (!!!)

    See the chart here: https://twitter.com/mc79hockey/status/393083777737424896/photo/1

    I had shown before that 4 and 83 were disasters 4v5 SA/60 wise, and they’re off the PK (even when 4 was healthy)

    Now 15 is being scratched.

    Hanna is sent down.

    The coaching and management are proactively seeing what is wrong with the team and trying to improve it.

    That hasn’t happened around here in forever.

    Go Oilers!!

  26. Lowetide says:

    Hammers:
    Lt I must say i’m surprised your still so optimisticwith this group . I look at Eakins behind the bench and see a man who is frustrated as hell and looks beaten . He probably didn’t expect to be sitting last in the west after nearly a dozen games . Actually its sad both for him , McT & us the fans . I wonder what Katz thinks ???? . Part of the problem is we don’t even win at home so having a bunch of home games later on won’t help . If this keeps up and I think it will , it forces McT to make a trade that we probably loose . Remember close only counts in horseshoes.

    I see good things. Even yesterday. I think the major danger here is panic by management.

  27. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Woodguy: Yes. I like that they sent down Hanna Barbara and brought up Stephen King. Roster competition. Make it real for everyone.

    Have they sent Labarbs down? I haven’t seen that.

  28. HiddenDarts says:

    I’ll be at this one, which should be enjoyable, I hope. I was also at the Kings game last year, and the Ducks game the following Monday, which were the 2nd and 3rd games of that horrifying 9 game losing streak. Maybe it was 8? Whatever. It sucked.

    That team had absolutely zero try, no offense and were chasing the puck continually. That team had Whitney. This HAS to be a better team.

    I’m hopeful here, as I always am, and this should be a good statement game for the Oilers. That statement? “We can (‘t) compete with the teams in our division.”

    I pray for reasonable goaltending.

  29. delooper says:

    Woodguy: I suspect the improvement in 5v5 scoring is linked to the nosedive in 5v4 scoring. I mean, we have no reason to think it’s purely a statistical coincidence that 5v4 scoring has gone downhill, do we? Can’t we also say the improvement 5v5 is a statistical coincidence?

    Improved 5v5 scoring probably has a lot to do with the skill players seeing more “hard” even strength time, so they’re more depleted for 5v4 time and less effective.

  30. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Woodguy: I had shown before that 4 and 83 were disasters 4v5 SA/60 wise, and they’re off the PK (even when 4 was healthy)
    Now 15 is being scratched.
    Hanna is sent down.
    The coaching and management are proactively seeing what is wrong with the team and trying to improve it.
    That hasn’t happened around here in forever.
    Go Oilers!!

    Let’s see if Acton is told to look for a quick turnaround on that barley field.

    If we see in a couple of weeks something like: RNH, Gagner, Gordon, Lander and Arco on the wing (or Gagner on the wing)… I’ll get a better sense that their evaluative tools are working.

  31. G Money says:

    Woodguy,

    Excellent fact-based summary.

    My only caution is that the solid 5×5 scoring numbers may be a bit of a mirage. The shots rate for the Oilers at 5×5 is actually still quite poor (27th I think). What is saving them is the opposite of the lousy PP sh% – the OIlers have the best 5×5 sh% in the league at over 10%.

    That said, I’m not that concerned because part of the narrative here, as anyone who actually watches the games can see, is the Oilers still suffer from the ‘wait for the perfect moment’ ‘pass the puck into the net’ syndrome. So they tend to wait and wait (often losing possession without getting a shot), which drives the shot rate down, but when they do finally shoot, they tend to be outstanding chances, leading to the high (but not absurd) shooting %. In other words, the shot rate and the sh% seem interrelated – one is low because the other is high.

    That said, it is still a cautionary point that bears watching, because my interpretation above could simply be a fans interpretation rather than an objective one.

  32. mustang says:

    Woodguy:
    I saw something else yesterday that I’m hanging my hat on for the Oilers.

    5v5 scoring.

    For the last 3 years a HUGE complaint about the Oilers was that they relied on the PP and couldn’t score 5v5.

    Big boy teams scored 5v5 because you can’t rely on 5v4 scoring in the playoffs.

    Here’s where they Oilers ranked for the last 3 years and this year in 5v5 scoring:

    10/11 2.10 29th in NHL
    11/12 2.20 24th in NHL
    12/13 2.20 25th in NHL
    13/14 2.74 5th in NHL

    That is a huge turn around.Once the 5v4 scoring normalizes (its actually a good PP, no luck recently) this is a high scoring team.

    They can score with big boys.

    Also,

    The current maladies are: goaltending

    -Yes.I like that they sent down Hanna Barbara and brought up Stephen King.Roster competition.Make it real for everyone.

    Something to chew on: Since the disaster game in TOR DD is .919.Time to ride him like a dray

    The current maladies are:the power play

    The biggest problem is luck imo.Their shooting % 5v4 is 6.6%

    Last threee years of 5v4 shooting % plus this year:

    10/1112.7% – 9th in NHL
    11/12 16.1% – 2nd in NHL
    12/13 17.2% – 2nd in NHL
    13/14 6.6% – 28th in NHL

    The median 5v4 SH% for the league hangs around 11.5%.

    The Oilers didn’t all of the sudden lose the ability to shoot.The PP will come around.

    Actually, the volume of shots is very encouraging.

    5v4 SH/60 last 3 years plus this one:

    10/11 41.8 – 30th in NHL
    11/12 44.4– 26th in NHL
    12/13 41.1 – 29th in NHL
    13/14 58.4 – 8th in NHL

    Their shot volume has increase substantially.

    These are talented players who are getting chances, the damn will break on the 5v4 too.

    Also,

    The current maladies are:the penalty kill.

    Agreed.

    You hang a bunch of this on the goalies, but the Shot against haven’t been good.

    Eakins called out Acton (without naming him) and his inability to block the last 2 goals yesterday, and rightly so.

    SA/60 last 3 years and this one:

    10/11 56.3 – 28th in NHL
    11/12 47.1 – 10th in NHL
    12/13 52.8 – 25th in NHL
    13/14 64.1 – 26th in NHL

    They are allowing far too many shots.A recipe for a poor PK.

    So how did they have a “good” PK last year?Lucky goaltending.

    League average for starters 4v5 SV% is about .880 every year.Here’s the Oilers 4v5 SV% last 3 years and this one.

    10/11 .849 – 27th in NHL
    11/12 .872 – 18th in NHL
    12/13 .894 – 4th in NHL
    13/14 .833 – 26th in NHL

    So they are allowing a ton of shots and not getting much goaltending.Certain recipe for poor performance.

    They need to be better on both fronts.

    Last thing:

    Oiler goaile 4v5 SV% this year:

    DD – .872
    JL – .760

    Hanna’s number is just putrid.Very, very small sample size of 25 shots (!), but lordy man make a save.

    To sum up:

    5v5 scoring is better and among the top in the NHL
    5v4 scoring has all the signs ofa very good PP, just need pucks to go in, it will come, no question
    4v5 scoring against is bad and they need to fix it, asap.

    Last thing:

    Tyler is looking as zone time of the opposition in 4v5 situations.

    He hasn’t published anything yet, but let out this tidbit:

    Average opposition possessions with Nick Schultz on-ice for controlled entry: 24.6 seconds. Without Nick Schultz on-ice: 10.3 seconds. (!!!)

    See the chart here:https://twitter.com/mc79hockey/status/393083777737424896/photo/1

    I had shown before that 4 and 83 were disasters 4v5 SA/60 wise, and they’re off the PK (even when 4 was healthy)

    Now 15 is being scratched.

    Hanna is sent down.

    The coaching and management are proactively seeing what is wrong with the team and trying to improve it.

    That hasn’t happened around here in forever.

    Go Oilers!!

    Great post Woodguy, It makes sense that improvement in the win column will happen, but we are so far behind the eight ball we can’t even see it. I hope they don’t make a stupid trade just to do something, MacT is a smart man so I believe he won’t pull the trigger on a trade just to be bold, unless it actually improves the club this year and in the future.

  33. D says:

    Lowetide,

    LT,

    I’ve run my fair share of (admittedly) small businesses. The big worry about some players leaving town if this continues is that one or more of those players will be the stars leaving by request.

    Compensation (especially at the high end like the NHL) is not only about million dollar contracts, it also includes playing in a nice building, for a team that always competes to win, for management that sets a clear direction, and for a legitimate chance to win the Stanley Cup. I’ve lost talented people (at their request) for management errors.

    By almost every statistic and news article generated over the summer, this is the year that the Oilers had to turn the corner in order to parallel the rise of the 70s Islanders, 90s Nordiques/Avalanche, and the 2000s Blackhawks, otherwise we risk Atlanta Thrashers infinibuild. Taylor Hall and RNH, etc., know this and they know that their opportunity to obtain the other items of compensation (beyond money) is time-limited.

    As with any business, if the Oilers continue to be poorly run, it’s only a matter of time that the top end talent will ask to leave.

  34. G Money says:

    delooper: Improved 5v5 scoring probably has a lot to do with the skill players seeing more “hard” even strength time, so they’re more depleted for 5v4 time and less effective.

    This is certainly possible, but I would imagine that if the players were depleted as a result of excessive hard 5×5 time, just intuitively (no data to back it up, just a gut feel) we’d instead see that in lowered shot rates rather than sh %. Yes, no, maybe so?

  35. Andy P says:

    Racki: I think most of my comments re: Lander make it look like I think he’s a terrible player.. but just wanted to clarify…. I think he will be a pretty good bottom six guy, but to this point I felt he’s been in the NHL too early. He’s been one of those MacT non-factor types for me… not doing really anything too bad, but not doing anything good either. My hope is that with his recent stints with OKC, he can at least be a small danger offensively.. wouldn’t say he’s been much of one to this point yet. Gordon plays pretty well every game, and Jones is looking like the Jones people love to love, so maybe that will help bring out Lander’s best.

    Makes me think about Gazdic. He can fight and he can score. So the best he can do is actually make a difference. If Lander can represent more of a scoring threat than Gazdic, then, with his better puck handling he’s be a good 3rd liner or a very good 4th liner, no?

  36. G Money says:

    D: this is the year that the Oilers had to turn the corner in order to parallel the rise of the 70s Islanders, 90s Nordiques/Avalanche, and the 2000s Blackhawks, otherwise we risk Atlanta Thrashers infinibuild. Taylor Hall and RNH, etc., know this and they know that their opportunity to obtain the other items of compensation is time-limited.

    Yo D.

    Certainly its useful to look comparatively at other rebuilds as part of the learning process, but I think we have to recognize that the sample is still ridiculously small and the situational differences in each case are so enormous that make projecting items like “this is the year” on to the Oilers situation a very dicey proposition.

    What I do agree with is a couple of points:

    - There is a distinct time window where the benefit of entry-level and RFA contracts are critical to being able to build a deep enough team to compete

    - In the Oilers case for signing free agents, they are already badly hampered by a history of being bad together with being a less-than-glamorous destination.

    So a critical part of the rebuild is that our #1 picks must make the team good enough in the next couple of years that you can convince a critical gap-filling free agent or two that they are the last pieces to winning a Stanley, and so get them to come here for a reasonable contract instead of an overpay. As an example, you can look at the Hossa situation with Pittsburgh and Chicago, particularly Chicago where he spurned a massive Oiler contract to play for less money on a contender.

  37. hunter1909 says:

    D: As with any business, if the Oilers continue to be poorly run, it’s only a matter of time that the top end talent will ask to leave.

    “They’d better start behaving like real hockey fans” K. Lowe

  38. Dead Cat Bounce says:

    Woodguy,

    5V5F/A this season is 0.83…26th in the NHL.

    5V5F/A last season was 0.90…24th in the NHL.

    What the Good Gord giveth, he also taketh away.

    As I recall, there was some discussion here about how relying on a top 5 PP was fraught with peril since, even with essentially the same personnel, a PP can fall on tough times for an extended period.

    The Canucks, for example, have gone from the best PP in the league in 10/11 at 24.3% to 19.8% to 15.8% and to 11.8% this season despite having essentially the same players.

    Couple that with the absolute serendipity of penalty calling in the league, it’s pretty obvious that you need to outscore the opposition at evens if you want to have a chance to win.

    The Oilers 5V5FA:

    13/14 – 0.83

    12/13 – 0.90

    11/12 – 0.91

    10/11 – 0.74

    09/10 – 0.75.

    Now, I’m sure some improved goaltending would help, but there’s an awful long way to go to get that number above break even.

    (interesting that the Kings are currently at 0.79 despite posting at 1.09 last season.)

  39. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Dead Cat Bounce: Now, I’m sure some improved goaltending would help

    Understatement of the year award!

  40. hunter1909 says:

    “Our Russian better learn this won’t be Hall’s team for a very long time, if ever.” K. Lowe

  41. Colonel Obvious says:

    I endorse all of Woodguy’s points. I’d add that 5/5 play is by far the most important evaluation tool since special teams are so much more influenced by luck. In past years I thought the success on special teams was a mirage and this year I think the failure on special teams is mostly a mirage. That’s because so much of the outcome turns on whether pucks get through three or four guys on the way to the net. There is a huge amount of room for variation here and the true differences between teams are relatively small

    5/5 play, on the other hand, is impossible to fake.

    The worry, if oilersnation is anything to go by, is that the fans have completely irrationally and to their great moral discredit, have turned against Eakins. After years of the worst team imaginable they pick the best coach in years to vent their displeasure. It is pretty sickening. People like Godot and the rest have become the enemy and it is our job not simply to fight them with reason (since that doesn’t work–they are immune to reason) but to them from civil discourse.

    It is time for civil war against the ignorant.

  42. Andy P says:

    Hammers: Lt I must say i’m surprised your still so optimistic with this group . I look at Eakins behind the bench and see a man who is frustrated as hell and looks beaten . He probably didn’t expect to be sitting last in the west after nearly a dozen games . Actually its sad both for him , McT & us the fans . I wonder what Katz thinks ???? . Part of the problem is we don’t even win at home so having a bunch of home games later on won’t help . If this keeps up and I think it will , it forces McT to make a trade that we probably loose . Remember close only counts in horseshoes.

    Katz probably knows better than most of us that churn is a characteristic of an unstable organization, and every organization needs some stability to succeed (form-storm-norm-perform).
    The answer to rebuilding a failed organization is to throw the bums out, be very careful who you bring in, and then give that group a reasonable time to succeed. Tambo had how many? 4 years?at which time his rebuild was declared a failure, and he was replaced by the best coach he ever had work for him, coincidentally the first one he fired.

    Katz will know that tough times would be ahead, as with any organization that changes two levels of management and 40% of the staff. It’s neither fair nor reasonable to expect that organization to perform at championship level out of the gate. In our instance we lost training camp and pre-season to getting our selections right. We are now dealing with a team that is being built on a solid foundation, with each area being addressed in a transparent manner as it rises to the top.

    We still have our problems, which are magnified by a horrible injury bug – have we played a single game with our full roster?

    For what little it may be worth, it seems to me that we should be encouraged by what we see, and understand that the present Coach and GM are likely more competitive than any of us are, except that they likely know more about what they are doing than we know about running an NHL Hockey team.

    I do believe that this team will get its stuff together no sooner than 20 games in and no later than 30 games in this season. Hopefully the injury bug will then only bite the bottom half of the roster where all the depth is, and we can enjoy a sweet end of year run, and build a winning culture for the 2014 team.

    For 2014, we should be able to make better use of our pre-season, like all the other teams do, with a clearly defined high performing core, and prospects taking the place of our bottom feeders and defense. I’m pretty sure we will have a better backup G than Barb, and a better starting G than DD who will probably be a really good backup somewhere else unfortunately.

    I also really hope Yak City is able to make it through his sophomore slump, but I suspect MacT and ChickenHawk have enough gumption to know the real Yak is out there somewhere, we just need to find him.

  43. bendelson says:

    Bendelson says…

    RIP Lou Reed.

  44. G Money says:

    Colonel Obvious: After years of the worst team imaginable they pick the best coach in years to vent their displeasure. It is pretty sickening. People like Godot and the rest have become the enemy and it is our job not simply to fight them with reason (since that doesn’t work–they are immune to reason) but to them from civil discourse.
    It is time for civil war against the ignorant.

    Let’s keep some perspective.

    It’s hockey, not, say, civil rights.

    People will be irrational. It’s their right. “Fan” after all is short for “fanatic”, and you wouldn’t expect rationality from a fanatic of anything.

    Hell, when I get really irritated at the mindlessness of it all, personally I remind myself that this irrationality is exactly what lets people who stay rational rise above (thank Gord for that same irrationality in the stock market – it is what helped create much of my financial situation today, and what led my stockbroker to dub me “G Money”, which is where my moniker comes from).

    It’s Katz and MacT (and, ouch, KLowe’s) job to ignore the braying of the irrational and pay attention to the things that matter. It’s only when they succumb that we need to get worried.

  45. Dee Dee says:

    With all of the coaching changes the past 5 years I’m wondering if the players are just trying to play through another change. Might not hurt to give Eakins a vote of confidence and let the players know that he will be here for a while and that they better learn the system, cause if they fire this guy they are in danger of becoming a Mickey Mouse Club…

    Wondering if Yak should consider a jersey number change and try to reboot his season. Couldn’t hurt I think.

  46. Bank Shot says:

    Colonel Obvious:
    I endorse all of Woodguy’s points.I’d add that 5/5 play is by far the most important evaluation tool since special teams are so much more influenced by luck.In past years I thought the success on special teams was a mirage and this year I think the failure on special teams is mostly a mirage.That’s because so much of the outcome turns on whether pucks get through three or four guys on the way to the net.There is a huge amount of room for variation here and the true differences between teams are relatively small

    5/5 play, on the other hand, is impossible to fake.

    The worry, if oilersnation is anything to go by, is that the fans have completely irrationally and to their great moral discredit, have turned against Eakins.After years of the worst team imaginable they pick the best coach in years to vent their displeasure.It is pretty sickening.People like Godot and the rest have become the enemy and it is our job not simply to fight them with reason (since that doesn’t work–they are immune to reason) but to them from civil discourse.

    It is time for civil war against the ignorant.

    The Oilers are 26th in CORSI and 27th in the League standings.

    According to 5 vs 5 play they are right about where they are supposed to be. Are people here really thinking that once the Oilers get a bit of luck, they will somehow be close to the playoff picture?

    A 9th-10th finish in the conference within spitting distance of the playoffs would really help the Oilers gain some respect in the media, and more importantly with free agents around the league.

    Another 12th-13th place finish does them no favours, and according to all the indicators, that is where they are headed.

    Renney’s 11/12 Oilers team finished with a better CORSI then the Oilers currently possess. I’m really not seeing reason for all the enthusiasm.

  47. DeadmanWaking says:

    I was thinking yesterday about a phrase sometimes used by the Tour guys: being “on limit”. There’s always those grueling climbs near the end of the event that separate the men from the boys. There’s no real strategy involved. You just dig deep and live the pain, so close to your personal limit you’re within a rounding error of blowing up. The guy beside you surges ten meters ahead. You don’t follow. You don’t even think about it. You can’t. You’re “on limit”. The mere possibility of thinking about it makes your heart skip a beat you can barely afford. Let him go. Maybe he’ll live, maybe he’ll die.

    Relatively speaking, the Tour is lazy man’s method of achieving on-limitness. Just add water and pedal. Not much psychology involved, either. Just imagine you’re being pursued by a psychopathic Nazi dentist who recently ventilated your favorite teeth–the ones you bite and chew with.

    Of course, I’m joking. There’s a lot of psychology involved in pushing yourself to within a rounding error of blowing up, and humming there like a machine in that narrow band for a horse-power half hour on the total perspective hamster wheel. Imagine Domingo Montoya, the reclusive sword maker, testing whether his glowing tongs are at exactly the desired temperature by how quickly they burn the small hairs off the back of his knuckles, and by the precise acrid smell. Gradually he has fewer and fewer knuckle hairs, now he’s down to hairy knuckle peach fuzz, and still the blade is not perfected. If that sounds like fun, have I got the sport for you. Only you get to play this game after twenty reps on the bench press at 80% of your best lift.

    Still, it is in a sense the lazy man’s method of achieving on-limitness. It’s extremely structured. Drink water and pedal. You need to know yourself to the last inch, and you need to hold it together.

    There’s another model of on limit, where the world is heaping demands upon you from every direction and of every conceivable kind. This would be the master criminal engaged in the master heist, right in that moment where you’re past the trickiest door and the plan completely unravels. I don’t watch a lot of heist movies so I don’t have the best example, but Reservoir Dogs, Blood Simple and Miller’s Crossing all play in this space. Lincoln had a busy year there toward the end of the civil war. Just a few pressures, from a few directions. Lance and Lincoln don’t belong in the same sentence. Their limits were tested in totally different ways.

    What I’m trying to get at is what I would call the executive function ballet. Movie directors deal with this. Fat old Peter Jackson lying on his couch in the Port-a-Preview trailer after his eleventy-first 14-hour day. What happened today? Mortensen broke his toe kicking a helmet. That set you need for next week isn’t ready yet. The new guy in makeup still can’t tell the difference between the goblin men and the goblin women. The colour is wrong, the perspective is wrong, the CGI is not seamless, the music doesn’t work. And the money people want an update. Same old, same old.

    The Bletchley Park mathematicians were on limit for most of the war. Not only did they have to break the codes, but they also had to replicate German maps, code books, and jargon like a baby learning a new language. So you’ve broken the code, decrypted the message, and now you know that the double agent in possession of the Schwanstuker file is changing planes at YEG at 09:50 tomorrow morning. Where the fuck is YEG? You’re SOL. Most likely it’s some minor canton in the Swiss hinterland not yet replicated on your replica map. And what kind of plane is a “Schwanstuker” anyway? It’s not listed in any of our catalogs. I wonder: Have the Germans updated some lumbering Fokker with a big tail gun? In that Dutch factory they’re busy converting? “Hey, Bill, anything interesting this week concerning the Netherlands? I’ve got a real puzzle here.”

    Chefs in expensive restaurants are on limit in multiple dimensions much of the time. So are elite athletes in the agility contact sports with continuous flow. That sport we know and sometimes love.

    Pushing words around is not a contact sport–unless you use the wrong ones. Then it can get hot under the collar. The thing with language is that it’s a whole-brain activity. It’s a different physicality than actually being there out on the ice. There was a real physicality from the real world dressed up as that symbolic eagle. For that one hundred word metaphorical passage from syntax to loose/non-subordinating style, I was on limit concerning the mother of all deferred gratifications.

    The end effect yesterday was flight of the bumblebees with some wicked wrist shots fired from surprising angles. I have new insight into Yak’s travails.

    And I’m actually not joking, not completely. Generally I’m not on limit when I’m spinning words. Right now I’m at an attentive seventy percent. If anyone ever meets Usain Bolt, ask him about the difference between on limit and seventy percent. He probably runs a five minute mile at seventy percent. He probably sleeps at seventy percent. Ergo, he could run a five minute mile in his sleep. Seventy percent feels plenty demanding if you’ve never done it before, but it’s a cake walk if you’ve put in your dues north of ninety.

    Maybe people have a lot of pressure in their job environment, or think they do. Pressure within many job environments is more like Lance and less like Lincoln. It’s tough, perhaps there’s never a moment to relax and catch your breath, there might be some danger so you try to keep your wits about you, but mainly it’s a drudge. It’s not the first segment of drill pipe you’ve plucked from the mouse hole, and it won’t be your last. Surgery can be like that, with enough practice. At the drop of a pin, it can also become the worst heist ever. This they share with pilots. “Flying is hours of boredom, punctuated by moments of stark terror.”

    I’m able to force myself into that on limit state just by pushing words around. Good or bad–word play or word plague–that’s what keeps me at it. Consequently, I view this early season debacle through a prism of many sides.

    I think that’s part of the problem, here. People whose lives provide little opportunity to experience the on limit state of being–whether Lance or Lincoln–end up viewing the world through a flat prism. Not that one can’t make the opportunity in this life if determined to do so. One can be on limit in the bedroom, and not just in the simple sense I lampooned. Sex can be a full meal deal. It can be the total you, with nowhere left to hide, if you choose to open up and share your conflicted depths. But for many, sex is all eagle, all the time.

    Eakins is on limit. Have a heart, people. Being on limit is not some miracle formula to burst through to greatness. No, the early blossoms of the on-limit spring is usually dross, if not total dreck. It’s not a place where one ever manages to settle down, exactly, but with practice, one can avoid walking into lampposts on short errands. Walking into lampposts is a good sign you’re on limit (or severely gratification deferred).

    If Eakins is doing his best and he comes up short, he deserves the axe. That’s the job he signed up for. The thing is, one’s best is not built in a day. Doing one’s best is a hard place to live. It takes practice. And guts.

    Eakins is in the crucible, and he’s running thin on knuckle hair. Just like he said about Dubnyk, he needs to embrace the challenge of swimming for the approval of hungry alligators. I think he’s a ways yet from becoming fish food. In the post-game RAW from yesterday’s game, the swarm never came up. Already, his lampposts are smaller and less comical.

  48. D says:

    G Money: Yo D.

    Certainly its useful to look comparatively at other rebuilds as part of the learning process, but I think we have to recognize that the sample is still ridiculously small and the situational differences in each case are so enormous that make projecting items like “this is the year” on to the Oilers situation a very dicey proposition.

    What I do agree with is a couple of points:

    - There is a distinct time window where the benefit of entry-level and RFA contracts are critical to being able to build a deep enough team to compete

    - In the Oilers case for signing free agents, they are already badly hampered by a history of being bad together with being a less-than-glamorous destination.

    So a critical part of the rebuild is that our #1 picks must make the team good enough in the next couple of years that you can convince a critical gap-filling free agent or two that they are the last pieces to winning a Stanley, and so get them to come here for a reasonable contract instead of an overpay.As an example, you can look at the Hossa situation with Pittsburgh and Chicago, particularly Chicago where he spurned a massive Oiler contract to play for less money on a contender.

    G Money – All valid points and I agree with you on the sample size.

  49. wheatnoil says:

    Bank Shot: The Oilers are 26th in CORSI and 27th in the League standings.

    According to 5 vs 5 play they are right about where they are supposed to be. Are people here really thinking that once the Oilers get a bit of luck, they will somehow be close to the playoff picture?

    Let’s compare apples to apples here. If you’re talking about 5 on 5 play, the Oilers are actually 24th in corsi (according to extraskater.com) in the league and 12th in conference (ahead of Colorado and Calgary).

    Certainly injuries factor in here, but you’re right in that the Oilers have not been great. Compared to last year… and the year before… and the year before, they ARE better. Last year they were 29th in 5×5 corsi at 44.6%.

    There’s certainly improvement when it comes to possession metrics, but there’s a ways to go yet.

  50. Lowetide says:

    One of the great pleasures of this blog is DMW. I never know what to say beyond “great one” which is very empty and almost insulting. Today, I have a good one, one at least clearly complimentary.

    DMW has reached a new level of quality with today’s prose. Funny, true and touching. Well done.

  51. Lowetide says:

    Bob McKenzie ‏@TSNBobMcKenzie 9s

    EDM G Devan Dubnyk has a minor injury so Richard Bachman has been called up from Oke City as insurance.

  52. Lowetide says:

    Gene Principe ‏@GenePrincipe 15s

    Devan Dubnyk has a wonky ankle according to Dallas Eakins. He could play if it was a playoff game but not at this point in the season.

    There’s my Dubnyk answer. MacT’s smarter than that, shame on me for wondering.

  53. 719 says:

    Lowetide:
    Bob McKenzie ‏@TSNBobMcKenzie 9s

    EDM G Devan Dubnyk has a minor injury so Richard Bachman has been called up from Oke City as insurance.

    Could this have happened in his short stint during the Phoenix game? Maybe that is why LaBarbs went back out?

    I am happy to find out what Bachman can do at the NHL level. The kid won’t get a better test (not opportunity) than tonight.

  54. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Bank Shot: The Oilers are 26th in CORSI and 27th in the League standings.

    According to 5 vs 5 play they are right about where they are supposed to be. Are people here really thinking that once the Oilers get a bit of luck, they will somehow be close to the playoff picture?

    A 9th-10th finish in the conference within spitting distance of the playoffs would really help the Oilers gain some respect in the media, and more importantly with free agents around the league.

    Another 12th-13th place finish does them no favours, and according to all the indicators, that is where they are headed.

    Renney’s 11/12 Oilers team finished with a better CORSI then the Oilers currently possess. I’m really not seeing reason for all the enthusiasm.

    I think you are suffering from a bad case of “forced mutual exclusivity,” and “over-interpretation (possibly malicious).”

    In general, I think you’ve got a lot of solid points.

    The 5×5 Corsi (24th BTW, not 27th) is a lot better than last year (so far, still small sample size; road games; eastern teams; etc… i.e., all caveats for/against apply), yet still hovers just under Renney’s.

    Renney’s CF% 5×5 was 47.3; Eakins (so far) is 47.1.

    So, we are seeing a team struggle to break even with Renney, but generally outpacing RK by some margin.

    However, there is no need to confuse the fact that the true talent of this team is still “middling” vis-a-vis the NHL with either the notion that their underlying numbers reflect their position in the standings (they don’t), or the idea that there is no room for optimism.

    Moreover, the optimism expressed here and elsewhere is by and large extraordinarily guarded and modest. No one is making big claims for this team.

  55. fifthcartel says:

    Bachman has probably never had a better chance to go with an NHL starting/backup job then right now.

  56. Lowetide says:

    Bachman apparently getting the start tonight according to Gene Principe. Lordy.

  57. 719 says:

    http://www.nhl.com/ice/news.htm?id=688755&navid=nhl:topheads

    Well this is good news, Hanzal getting a hearing for his hit to the head on Petry. Is the NHL actually watching out for its’ players on ALL teams?

    I held my breath when Petry was down and shaking off the cobwebs.

  58. Lowetide says:

    Edmonton Oilers ‏@EdmontonOilers 50s

    Nick Schultz will be back in the #Oilers lineup tonight. Lander will slot in on the wing replacing Pitlick with Gordon and Jones.
    Retweeted by Chris Wescott

  59. wheatnoil says:

    fifthcartel:
    Bachman has probably never had a better chance to go with an NHL starting/backup job then right now.

    Talk about trial by fire. He wins this game, Labarbs gets waived and Bachman’s looking for a place to rent. Good for him! I suspect this is why he signed with the Oilers in the first place. He saw the potential for opportunity. Now it’s here.

    Show time Bachman! May The Force be with you!

  60. gcw_rocks says:

    Lies, damn lies and statistics. The 5×5 scoring is likely not sustainable. The defence is a mess and we don’t know how much is the players and how much is Eakins swarm. The pk is a complete disaster and I would love to see someone do a comparison of the Oilers pk strategy last year to this year to see if it’s on coaching or the players since so many players turned over on the pk. And the goaltending is awful, but should come around.

    Good thing this isn’t a cap team or they would be totally screwed.

  61. Jon K says:

    Agreed, LT. The Oilers have some very well-defined problems (goaltending, special teams) that are obscuring the team’s actual performance. At even strength though? This team looks and by the stats seems to be miles better than Krueger’s squad. It’s actually a little surprising that more people in the fanbase don’t even make the obvious comparisons to see how this team is better.

    Perron is miles and away an improvement over Paajarvi, no slight to him. Ference is an upgrade on Potter so far, and no one has even bothered to compare Gordon and Belanger side-by-side, that I’ve seen.

    The team’s on the way up. It’s the Oilers though, so we shouldn’t really expect it to be easy.

  62. gcw_rocks says:

    If Dubnyk isn’t injured, and they really start Bachman, this is the most bizarre coaching move yet.

  63. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    DeadmanWaking: I don’t watch a lot of heist movies so I don’t have the best example

    The best Heist films are without question:

    Asphalt Jungle (1950, John Huston)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s5ezr6aO0f4

    Set the scene for all heist films to follow.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Asphalt_Jungle

    Starring Sterling Hayden as a tall drink of stupid. And,

    Rififi (1955, Jules Dassin)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rififi

    Dassin made it in exile after those fucks down at the league office blackballed him.

  64. wheatnoil says:

    gcw_rocks:
    If Dubnyk isn’t injured, and they really start Bachman,this is the most bizarre coaching move yet.

    Agreed. Though, it sounds like Dubnyk is injured, or at least not 100%, and they didn’t want to risk further injury, based on Eakins’ quote.

  65. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    gcw_rocks: Lies, damn lies and statistics. The 5×5 scoring is likely not sustainable.

    Considering 5×5 is the most repeatable stat we have and the injuries this team has suffered to impact forwards, I’m comfortable saying that if it dips (and it very well might) it won’t dip that far.

  66. Woodguy says:

    delooper:
    Woodguy: I suspect the improvement in 5v5 scoring is linked to the nosedive in 5v4 scoring. I mean, we have no reason to think it’s purely a statistical coincidence that 5v4 scoring has gone downhill, do we? Can’t we also say the improvement 5v5 is a statistical coincidence?

    Improved 5v5 scoring probably has a lot to do with the skill players seeing more “hard” even strength time, so they’re more depleted for 5v4 time and less effective.

    I disagree.

    They are two different game states.

    Its much, much, much harder to score 5v5.

    Their SH% 5v5 is higher this year (10.5% 1st in NHL), last year it was 8.2% 11th in the NHL.

    So luck has also been on their side.

    Their 5v5 SH% is around 4% better than 5v4.

    That simply doesn’t happen long term and will even out.

  67. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    gcw_rocks:
    If Dubnyk isn’t injured, and they really start Bachman,this is the most bizarre coaching move yet.

    wheatnoil: Agreed. Though, it sounds like Dubnyk is injured, or at least not 100%, and they didn’t want to risk further injury, based on Eakins’ quote.

    Not necessarily…. though it is pretty clear Dubnyk is probably nursing something (which is weird all on its own… but hey, that’s how this season goes!)

    But there have been rumblings for a while now that Bachman might get a shot and after Labarbs continued poor play the call up at least makes sense either way.

    You’re right though, that if DD is fine actually starting Bachman doesn’t make much sense.

  68. russ99 says:

    Jeez. Throwing Bachman to the Kings? It’s not fair…

    Maybe Eakins is more concerned about Labarbera’s fragile psyche than what it would mean closing the books on Bachman. (ha!)

    Anywho, is there any word about any of our many injured players maybe coming back soon?

  69. wheatnoil says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: Considering 5×5 is the most repeatable stat we have and the injuries this team has suffered to impact forwards, I’m comfortable saying that if it dips (and it very well might) it won’t dip that far.

    In fairness to gcw, (and I see Woodguy just mentioned this above), the Oilers are riding a higher than normal shooting percentage 5×5, so their 5×5 scoring may in fact drop. However, their corsi improvement is more sustainable (yada yada small sample sizes). Hopefully the drop in shooting percentage 5×5 will happen around the time their 5×4 shooting percentage improves. However, they still do need to get better 5×5. (Again, better than last year so far though!)

  70. russ99 says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    Modern movie wise, I gotta go with Heat.

    The ending still kills me every time I watch it. MacCauley had him dead to rights.

  71. Woodguy says:

    Lowetide:
    Edmonton Oilers ‏@EdmontonOilers 50s

    Nick Schultz will be back in the #Oilers lineup tonight. Lander will slot in on the wing replacing Pitlick with Gordon and Jones.
    Retweeted by Chris Wescott

    Well shit.

    He’s not helping.

    They need to stop playing him.

    I wonder if someone else is banged up.

    Petry feeling the effects of the Hanzel hit to the head?

    Grebs had an excellent 60%CF yesterday, I hope he doesn’t have sideburns.

  72. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    wheatnoil: In fairness to gcw, (and I see Woodguy just mentioned this above), the Oilers are riding a higher than normal shooting percentage 5×5, so their 5×5 scoring may in fact drop. However, their corsi improvement is more sustainable (yada yada small sample sizes). Hopefully the drop in shooting percentage 5×5 will happen around the time their 5×4 shooting percentage improves. However, they still do need to get better 5×5. (Again, better than last year so far though!)

    It’s hard to argue with this. My thought — which I, perhaps, articulated poorly — is: if we assume some kind of correction is in order, how big are we talking (my guess is modest, but maybe that is blue skying)? And, what impact will having Hall, Gagner etc. back have?

  73. Woodguy says:

    Woodguy,

    Their SH% 5v5 is higher this year (10.5% 1st in NHL), last year it was 8.2% 11th in the NHL.
    So luck has also been on their side.

    Hey jackass, even with the highest 5v5 SH% in the league they still have a .992 PDO due to .887 5v5 SV%.

    They’re not lucky yet dummy.

    Lordy.

  74. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Woodguy: Well shit.

    He’s not helping.

    They need to stop playing him.

    I wonder if someone else is banged up.

    Petry feeling the effects of the Hanzel hit to the head?

    Grebs had an excellent 60%CF yesterday, I hope he doesn’t have sideburns.

    I think it might just be a rotation issue. The fact that Grebs got a second game and so much more TOI (almost triple his 1st game) would suggest that Eakins was fairly comfortable with him.

    The other thing is Eakins might well be drinking the “LAK are a heavy team” soup.

  75. Woodguy says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: Have they sent Labarbs down? I haven’t seen that.

    I missed on that one with DD’s wonky ankle.

    I hope Bachman gets a shut out.

  76. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    russ99:
    Jeez. Throwing Bachman to the Kings? It’s not fair…

    Maybe Eakins is more concerned about Labarbera’s fragile psyche than what it would mean closing the books on Bachman. (ha!)

    Anywho, is there any word about any of our many injured players maybe coming back soon?

    It’s also a back-to-back. Eakins can justify it to Labarbs that way… without mentioning his piss poor play.

    ———-
    Of note, after discussing the Hawks 3rd stringers yesterday… here we go! Bachman beat both Raanta and Simpson to the show.

  77. Pablo Aimar says:

    Colonel Obvious,

    You really take this shit seriously eh? People will calm down when this team stops sucking and the results show it. Not before.

  78. Colonel Obvious says:

    Using extraskater’s 5/5 score close numbers the Oilers are 19th in shot differential and 20th in Fenwick.

    According to Parkatti’s numbers a greater percentage of their shots for are from close range than their shots against.

    So, they are slightly below average in shots for and against and, if anything, this underestimates the quality of their chances.

    That’s where the Oilers are at even strength. Much better than they were but not good enough to overcome bad luck/poor goaltending.

  79. Woodguy says:

    RE: OIler’s corsi

    I wrote this in yesterday’s GDT.

    You need to take into account road and home game ratios.

    Shitty part is that until the Oilers have 10 home and 4 road games in March, they’ll be behind the 8-ball in term of home/road splits.

    From the GDT thread:

    Right now they are being graded against teams that have had a lot more home games than the Oilers.

    Winning the corsi battle on the road is very tough as you don’t get the match ups.

    Oilers won the corsi battle on the road today vs. 17th 5v5 Corsi team. That’s a good thing.

    OIler’s corsi (averaged by total game corsi)

    Home (4 games) 52.0%
    Away (8 games) 44.15%

    Averaged using games = 46.7%, Extra skater site = 47.1% so not far off doing it this way.

    If they played the same amount of home and away they’d be 48% and up around 20th in NHL.

    They have a couple of really awful games in the sample too, I expect the road corsi to get better.

    FUN FACT: The Oilers’ two worst corsi 5v5 was OTT (26.6% LORDY) and MTL (40.8%)
    They won both games.

    Small sample sizes are fun!!!!

  80. godot10 says:

    1) The OIlers aren’t competing for a playoff spot agianst teams in the eastern conference, so one should look at western conference rankings rather than league wide rankings to assess where the OIlers finish in the (western conference) standings.

    2) Today’s thread is interesting. Any improvement in the OIlers’ metrics this year is a sign of improvement. Any deterioration in the Oiler’s metrics this year is just bad luck.

  81. G Money says:

    Bachman in for Dubnyk – against LA.

    Hanzal getting a hearing (as he should) for a play that was merely called a minor in game – a pathetic miscall obvious to everyone but the refs. If Hanzal gets suspended, the benefit of course accrues primarily to the other teams playing Phx, not Edm.

    The Hockey Gords continue their spiteful ways.

  82. Lowetide says:

    I wonder if N Schultz is getting showcased? HAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAAA

  83. Dead Cat Bounce says:

    Woodguy:
    RE: OIler’s corsi

    I wrote this in yesterday’s GDT.

    You need to take into account road and home game ratios.

    Shitty part is that until the Oilers have 10 home and 4 road games in March, they’ll be behind the 8-ball in term of home/road splits.

    From the GDT thread:

    Right now they are being graded against teams that have had a lot more home games than the Oilers.


    Winning the corsi battle on the road is very tough as you don’t get the match ups.

    Oilers won the corsi battle on the road today vs. 17th 5v5 Corsi team. That’s a good thing.

    OIler’s corsi (averaged by total game corsi)

    Home (4 games) 52.0%
    Away (8 games) 44.15%

    Averaged using games = 46.7%, Extra skater site = 47.1% so not far off doing it this way.

    If they played the same amount of home and away they’d be 48% and up around 20th in NHL.

    They have a couple of really awful games in the sample too, I expect the road corsi to get better.

    FUN FACT: The Oilers’ two worst corsi 5v5 was OTT (26.6% LORDY) and MTL (40.8%)
    They won both games.

    Small sample sizes are fun!!!!

    And, of course, their home games were against the powerhouse Jets, Devils, Canadiens and Capitals who are currently ranked 12th in the WC, and 6th, 11th and 12th in the weaker EC.

    Smaller sample sizes are even more fun!!!!!

  84. Lowetide says:

    Edmonton Oilers ‏@EdmontonOilers 2m

    #Oilers have recalled d-man Corey Potter from the @OKCBarons.

    for the first time since I was a teenager, I couldn’t begin to tell you the Oilers roster.

  85. Lois Lowe says:

    I hope Bachman can seize his opportunity. It’s rare for a player to have such a great chance to play his way on to an NHL squad.

  86. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Oklahoma City Barons @okcbarons
    BREAKING: #OKCBarons Recall Tyler Bunz from @Condors > http://bit.ly/19KR9qt pic.twitter.com/yJtcorXguy

    Well… here you go Roy and Bunz. The ripple effect of Dubnyk and Labarbs is taking place and those two have a window to seize hold of the depth chart or secure themselves a spot outside EDM’s future.

  87. G Money says:

    Woodguy: FUN FACT: The Oilers’ two worst corsi 5v5 was OTT (26.6% LORDY) and MTL (40.8%)
    They won both games.

    The Oilers mean 5×5 Corsi so far is 46.8%, but their median 5×5 Corsi is 48.8%.

    (I won’t bother to explain, the statistically literate will understand why those two are connected!)

    Romulus Apotheosis: Well… here you go Roy and Bunz. The ripple effect of Dubnyk and Labarbs is taking place and those two have a window to seize hold of the depth chart or secure themselves a spot outside EDM’s future.

    Or injure themselves, and in grand Edmonton Oiler tradition, do neither.

  88. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Lowetide:
    Edmonton Oilers ‏@EdmontonOilers 2m

    #Oilers have recalled d-man Corey Potter from the @OKCBarons.

    for the first time since I was a teenager, I couldn’t begin to tell you the Oilers roster.

    2 games is a pretty short conditioning stint. this is really baffling on a number of levels.

  89. VanOil says:

    Lowetide:
    Edmonton Oilers ‏@EdmontonOilers 2m

    #Oilers have recalled d-man Corey Potter from the @OKCBarons.

    for the first time since I was a teenager, I couldn’t begin to tell you the Oilers roster.

    FTW. The roster seems unknowable. How did the injured Potter get to Oklahoma? Does it even matter. I have no idea who or what to expect from today’s game. I guess being interesting is an art and we may as well enjoy it. Kind of like starting to read a DMW post and trying to guess where its going, just enjoy the ride.

  90. commonfan14 says:

    Richard Bachman has no chance against the Kings tonight.

    Dick Bachman, however, could catch lightning in a bottle.

  91. speeds says:

    Lowetide:
    Edmonton Oilers ‏@EdmontonOilers 2m

    #Oilers have recalled d-man Corey Potter from the @OKCBarons.

    for the first time since I was a teenager, I couldn’t begin to tell you the Oilers roster.

    VanOil: FTW. The roster seems unknowable. How did the injured Potter get to Oklahoma? Does it even matter. I have no idea who or what to expect from today’s game. I guess being interesting is an art and we may as well enjoy it. Kind of like starting to read a DMW post and trying to guess where its going, just enjoy the ride.

    IIRC, players on conditioning stints are already on the 23 man roster.

  92. Hammers says:

    Lowetide:
    I wonder if N Schultz is getting showcased? HAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAAA

    Wishful thinking LT . I still think a “D” trade is required but Nick only has value at deadline . Lucky for a 2nd but probably a 3rd rd pick . Smid + a “D” from Oklahoma for a capable defenceman . If Philly gets Buff maybe we can get Colbourne or like player .

  93. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Is there a chance Petry is going to sit?

    Maybe that hit got to him… delayed action?

    at any rate, Eakins said he wasn’t going to tell the media who was sitting for N. Schultz until he told the player. That sound like it could be anyone (probably Grebs)… but after that Potter was called up…

    I’m thinking there is a chance N. Schultz and Potter are in tonight and Petry and grebs are out.

  94. TheOtherJohn says:

    Not sure but suspect much like Whitney last year if you wanted to showcase Nic Schultz you would be better off having him as a healthy scratch.

  95. Lowetide says:

    I wonder if there’s a trade? Hadn’t thought of it until just now.

  96. Rebilled says:

    Nail Yakupov vs. the Kings

    GP: 2 G: 1 A: 1

    Hopefully he’ll be takin’ care of business tonight and we ain’t seen nothin’ yet. The goalie too.

  97. Spydyr says:

    “Can’t wait for Christmas, impatient for the next day.”

    Silly me thinking Christmas came every year not every seven.

  98. bookje says:

    Lowetide:
    I wonder if there’s a trade? Hadn’t thought of it until just now.

    My first thought when I heard Potter was called up was – MacT is making a trade and a d-man and goalie are on their way out of town.

    I HOPE that we are not trading Dubnyk for a goalie who is worse than Dubnyk, otherwise my biography of MacT’s term as GM will have to be subtitled “The high cost of Sideburns”.

  99. russ99 says:

    Eager, Jones, Acton, Lander, N. Schultz, Potter and Grebeshkov could all be playing tonight, with Bachman in goal?

    Something’s wrong with that picture.

    Who kidnapped MacT and replaced him with the desparate-o-tron?

  100. Lowetide says:

    Injuries, Russ. Injuries.

  101. Factotum says:

    Lowetide,

    Lowetide:
    I wonder if there’s a trade? Hadn’t thought of it until just now.

    My guess – and it’s only a guess – is that Petry has concussion symptoms and won’t play tonight.

    Because Oilers.

    Edit: Ah, I see Rom already made the same hypothesis.

  102. Woodguy says:

    G Money,

    The Oilers mean 5×5 Corsi so far is 46.8%, but their median 5×5 Corsi is 48.8%.

    Good point.

    As the sample grows, those couple games take on less meaning in the sample.

    Add to this that they are improving and will already have 22% of their road games in the bank……

    Lots to like this year.

    Tons.

    Bachman is 5’10″ and short goalies are shunned in today’s NHL.

    Therefore he’s going to rip the cover off of it and post .920 in the next 5.

    GOILERS!

  103. Ribs says:

    From Matty….

    “With Edmonton Oilers’ starter Devan Dubnyk hobbled by a sore ankle–he has no idea how or when it happened–they recalled Richard Bachman from OKCity,”

    I blame pancakes. The silent syrupy hockey killer.

  104. Ribs says:

    Oh, he also has the Petry update…

    “Hanzal got a charging minor but it appeared his elbow tried to clean out Petry’s tonsils. “Hit me right here (cheekbone), right under the visor,” said Petry, who was no worse for wear Sunday. “Actually it hurt my neck (more than his head). I don’t feel anything today (no symptoms of a blow).”

    http://blogs.edmontonjournal.com/2013/10/27/richard-bachman-gets-call-in-net-for-edmonton-oilers-vs-los-angeles-kings/

  105. Lowetide says:

    Ribs:
    From Matty….

    “With Edmonton Oilers’ starter Devan Dubnyk hobbled by a sore ankle–he has no idea how or when it happened–they recalled Richard Bachman from OKCity,”

    I blame pancakes. The silent syrupy hockey killer.

    Tambellini probably snuck into his hotel room and tried to hobble him. As always, it was botched.

  106. Ribs says:

    Lowetide,

    Tambellini aka Agent 86. He’s probably still hiding under Dubnyks hotel bed.

  107. Woodguy says:

    Lowetide: Tambellini probably snuck into his hotel room and tried to hobble him. As always, it was botched.

    Or maybe DD tripped over Tamby’s shine box.

  108. Ryan says:

    Pretty crazy stuff, lol. Chris aka the Royal Half is now blogging at the LA Kings NHL.com site.

    I hadn’t noticed that before. I’m pretty shocked because he does some pretty edgy stuff at his blog.

    One thing Chris was good about was always knowing the best blogs for the other teams…

    He put a shout out to Lowetide on his game preview. :)

    http://kings.nhl.com/club/news.htm?id=688759

  109. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Ribs:
    Lowetide,

    Tambellini aka Agent 86. He’s probably still hiding under Dubnyks hotel bed.

    It was probably Agent 13 as hypnotized by Doctor Faustus.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sharon_Carter
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doctor_Faustus_(comics)

  110. Gret99zky says:

    Lowetide:
    Gene Principe ‏@GenePrincipe 15s

    Devan Dubnyk has a wonky ankle according to Dallas Eakins. He could play if it was a playoff game but not at this point in the season.

    There’s my Dubnyk answer. MacT’s smarter than that, shame on me for wondering.

    Nice of Principe to sneak in that “playoff game” reference to ease the fans.

    Playoffs. As if.

  111. FastOil says:

    Woodguy:

    In response to playing Nick Shultz

    They have to play him for trading purposes. Show him good, real good.

  112. hunter1909 says:

    Gret99zky: Devan Dubnyk has a wonky ankle according to Dallas Eakins. He could play if it was a playoff game but not at this point in the season.

    “HE COULD PLAY IF IT WAS A PLAYOFF GAME”

    …Instead of 3-8 just like I predicted.

    Ference needs to take Hall out for dinner, then explain that he’s perfectly happy to turn the “C” over to him, as soon as he starts earning it.

    One of ‘Chickenhawk’s’ instant blunders.

    MacT: Lowe’s buddy, amirite? If Oilers do another 3-8-1 stretch turning it into a brutal 6-16-2 , does MacT meet the scaffold once more? Next time due to direct intervention taken by Batman himself??

    PS: @”Steve Smith”: please stop lurking and post something, anything.

  113. stevezie says:

    hunter1909,

    Wait… is the blunder that Hall wasn’t made captain? Are you saying that if Hall was captain he would have played better to this point? Or are you saying that Hall hasn’t earned the captaincy but it was still a blender to not give it to him?
    Either way, what are you talking about?
    How is any of this instant?
    Who is Chickenhawk? How does this epithet apply to anyone in hockey management?
    And I know it kind of reads like you are connecting the issues, but you’re not linking Dubnyk’s ankle to the captaincy, are you?
    Of course you’re not, only an idiot would do that. Sorry.

  114. fuzzy muppet says:

    Vanek to NYI for Moulson 2014 1st and a 2nd. per twitter

  115. Lowetide says:

    Arthur Staple ‏@StapeNewsday 51s

    BREAKING: #Isles have traded Matt Moulson, their 2014 1st-round pick and a 2015 2nd-round pick to Buffalo for Thomas Vanek.
    Retweeted by Elliotte Friedman

    Wow. So that would be our picks equivalent and then who? Eberle?

  116. Nightman_ says:

    Throw out the Ottawa game and Edmonton is .479 for corsi. Jumps them from 26th to 18. PP+PK is 84.7. This used to be a fairly good PP team. Pk, pp, goaltending will improve over the course of the season some significantly, some moderately. We need points.

  117. linkfromhyrule says:

    wow the quality of comments on oilersnation has really taken a dive.

    One thing I don’t understand is the abundance of dumb penalties being taken by this team.. We are 29th in minor penalties right now. We had that game won yesterday, but 3 penalties in a row including one by our own captain which cost us the game.

    Eakins needs to get that under control because it is making our horrid penalty kill look much much worse.

  118. fifthcartel says:

    Lowetide,

    Nah, Moulson’s a UFA as well I believe.

  119. BlacqueJacque says:

    K, so I decided to not burn my gear. I’m going to give it away, right?

    I put my jerseys in the washing machine, on delicate, inside out, with only a hint of detergent – as per instructions.

    Oh Oilers colours, how you never run… no, wait a minute. You fail me even in the end.

    Any ideas, anyone? Or is this one actually destined to help me start a campfire one day?

  120. Lowetide says:

    linkfromhyrule:
    wow the quality of comments on oilersnation has really taken a dive.

    One thing I don’t understand is the abundance of dumb penalties being taken by this team.. We are 29th in minor penalties right now. We had that game won yesterday, but 3 penalties in a row including one by our own captain which cost us the game.

    Eakins needs to get that under control because it is making our horrid penalty kill look much much worse.

    The third period yesterday had more to do with the refs than the Oil imo. I hate complaining about the officials, you can look through this blog forever and not find me ripping on them, but that was a truly major shitshow yesterday.

  121. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Lowetide:
    Arthur Staple ‏@StapeNewsday 51s

    BREAKING: #Isles have traded Matt Moulson, their 2014 1st-round pick and a 2015 2nd-round pick to Buffalo for Thomas Vanek.
    Retweeted by Elliotte Friedman

    Wow. So that would be our picks equivalent and then who? Eberle?

    I wonder if Vanek has some kind of handshake agreement on an extension?

    That would seem to be the only way that deal makes sense, right? I mean, if he signs elsewhere… that could end up being one of the worst trades in recent memory.

    So… what’s Miller going to fetch and who would EDM target? Ennis?

  122. Lowetide says:

    Seems we’re short on respect tonight, gents. Please keep it inside the borders.

  123. linkfromhyrule says:

    Lowetide,

    This is true, IIRC the smid call was terrible and the Ference call may have been questionable. I dunno it just seems to my completely subjective eye that we have a tendency of taking dumb penalties at crucial times in the game

  124. Lowetide says:

    Bob Stauffer ‏@Bob_Stauffer 41s

    Yakupov-RNH-Eberle, Perron-Arcobello-Hemsky, Lander-Gordon-Jones, Gazdic-Acton-Eager, Belov-J. Schultz, Smid-Petry, Ference-N. Schultz

  125. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    linkfromhyrule,

    Don’t forget the linesmen at the end of the game. They were in “home to a mountain of pancakes” mode.

  126. wheatnoil says:

    Lowetide:
    Arthur Staple ‏@StapeNewsday 51s

    BREAKING: #Isles have traded Matt Moulson, their 2014 1st-round pick and a 2015 2nd-round pick to Buffalo for Thomas Vanek.
    Retweeted by Elliotte Friedman

    Wow. So that would be our picks equivalent and then who? Eberle?

    Moulson is 29, $3.1Million cap hit, pending UFA forward averaging 0.73 ppg since 2009-10 (his first full NHL season). The Oilers don’t have a Moulson equivalent really. The closest may be Perron, except that he’s younger and isn’t a pending UFA, though his ppg is lower and he has an injury history.

    Maybe an equivalent Oiler trade would be Perron and the first? Perron and the second? Steep price for a pending UFA Vanek.

  127. G Money says:

    BlacqueJacque,

    A couple of apropos movie quotes for you:

    The classic: “Just when I thought I was out … they pull me back in!”

    And a couple from Braveheart:

    “All men betray. All lose heart.”
    “I don’t want to lose heart! I want to believe as he does… I will never be on the wrong side again.”

    (I assume “he” means Lowetide). And of course

    “Burn it.”

  128. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Lowetide:
    Bob Stauffer ‏@Bob_Stauffer 41s

    Yakupov-RNH-Eberle, Perron-Arcobello-Hemsky, Lander-Gordon-Jones, Gazdic-Acton-Eager, Belov-J. Schultz, Smid-Petry, Ference-N. Schultz

    So, he had to have a talk with Grebs about not playing 2 in a row… and Potter is just, what, chilling in LA?

    I’m not sure which is more baffling that weird non-call-up of Fedun or this Potter situation.

  129. Gret99zky says:

    I gotta tell you it sucks having family in Calgary laughing out loud and our rebuild and the fact the Flames will likely finish ahead of the Oilers this year in the standings.

    They beat the Capitals last night.

    No talk of injuries or shot differential seems to help.

    Have we ever iced a healthy line-up?

    Being a fan of this team is so damn frustrating! Aaaaarrrrrggghh.

  130. Lowetide says:

    Gret99zky:
    I gotta tell you it sucks having family in Calgary laughing out loud and our rebuild and the fact the Flames will likely finish ahead of the Oilers this year in the standings.

    They beat the Capitals last night.

    No talk of injuries or shot differential seems to help.

    Have we ever iced a healthy line-up?

    Being a fan of this team is so damn frustrating!Aaaaarrrrrggghh.

    I don’t believe that, not for a second.

  131. wheatnoil says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: I wonder if Vanek has some kind of handshake agreement on an extension?

    That would seem to be the only way that deal makes sense, right? I mean, if he signs elsewhere… that could end up being one of the worst trades in recent memory.

    Not only that, but Moulson’s a pretty good hockey player and signed to a damn good value contract. Guy’s scored 30+ goals in three straight years and then last year scored the equivalent of 26 in the lockout shortened year. Give him up AND the first AND a second? I think it’s an overpay even if they DO sign Vanek.

  132. VanOil says:

    The Oilers roster transaction list at the end of the year is going to be a thick as a phone book, if they still have such things. Ricky Olczyk is working hard. If he is working ‘well’ is another question.

  133. wheatnoil says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: So, he had to have a talk with Grebs about not playing 2 in a row… and Potter is just, what, chilling in LA?

    I’m not sure which is more baffling that weird non-call-up of Fedun or this Potter situation.

    Well Potter is technically already on the Oilers 23-man list since he’s down in OKC on a conditioning stint. Since the Barons don’t play again until the weekend, maybe it makes sense to call him up so that he can practice with the Oilers instead of the Barons?

  134. bookje says:

    Lowetide: I don’t believe that, not for a second.

    No, its true, being a fan of this team is frustrating!!

  135. Lowetide says:

    You know, I really like the Oil Change series but this year is going to get ugly if this team continues to struggle. The script needs a change–wins! A lot of pressure on MacT and Eakins these days.

  136. VanOil says:

    wheatnoil,

    I agree Vanek for Moulson straight up seems to be a fair deal. The first and second round picks makes this a look like a win for Buffalo.

  137. nycoil says:

    I will be at Vanek’s debut game on Tuesday when the Isles host the Rangers. Vanek on Tavares’ wing is going to be interesting. Moulson was a solid complementary player for JT. Have to admire the Isles trying to energize the fanbase there. This isn’t quite the level of Edmonton trading for Pronger, but for a beaten down franchise like that, this is a huge gamble. Moulson is a UFA-to-be as well, so is the difference between the two a 15~20 overall pick in a weaker draft year and a 2nd? Maybe. Maybe not.
    Go Oilers go!

  138. Gret99zky says:

    You don’t believe I have family in Calgary?

  139. nycoil says:

    wheatnoil,

    Moulson is also a UFA is he not?

  140. VanOil says:

    Purple Kings tonight in honor of a pugilist.

  141. stevezie says:

    Vanek’s stats really aren’t that much better. How has Moulson reliably put up those numbers, never made the playoffs and never been invited to play for Team Canada at the worlds?

    The Hockey world is clearly convinced his points are extension of Tavares.

    Even NYI must have suspected this. They don’t think Moulson is worth resigning at the price his numbers justify, so they spend two good picks to convert him into Vanek for a year, whom they almost certainly cannot resign. Always risky moving picks for someone who will leave you, but at least they traded a UFA, I guess.

    I am confident Buffalo resigns Moulson, which makes this a good deal for them if Moulson remains a 30 goal guy. Even a 25 goal guy is not bad.

  142. Zelepukin says:

    VanOil:
    wheatnoil,

    I agree Vanek for Moulson straight up seems to be a fair deal. The first and second round picks makes this a look like a win for Buffalo.

    I guess Snow is hoping that Tavares is going to push Vanek’s game to the next level.

  143. bookje says:

    Lowetide:
    You know, I really like the Oil Change series but this year is going to get ugly if this team continues to struggle. The script needs a change–wins! A lot of pressure on MacT and Eakins these days.

    They are the victim of about 3 ‘reboots’ of of the rebuild. It was easier to have faith in the first and second rebuilds (Renney, Kruger) than it is now. Back then , we believed success was inevitable, now we carry a lot of doubt as baggage. We are a fragile fan base right now.

  144. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Scarlet Street taught me that when you get a timepiece at a retirement and/or work-related anniversary party… things are about to go south in your personal life:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XdB-sE9cF98

  145. VanOil says:

    Did NYI need Vanek contract to hit the salary floor? That much Cap space and the upcoming earning potential of the Barclays Center seems a pretty enviable position for the owner at least

  146. tcho says:

    Another Oil game NOT on my Bell package. Grrr…

  147. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    So, at my wedding this Summer, the wife chose purple and yellow as our color scheme. A friend of hers told her those colors don’t go together. I told this friend that the Lakers and Marcel Dionne disagree.

    Long story short: my wedding has nothing to do with the LAK wearing these old timey jerseys and us losing, right?

  148. Lowetide says:

    Gret99zky:
    You don’t believe I have family in Calgary?

    lol. Well that part I believe.

  149. jp says:

    Let’s go!!

  150. G Money says:

    Gret99zky:
    I gotta tell you it sucks having family in Calgary laughing out loud and our rebuild and the fact the Flames will likely finish ahead of the Oilers this year in the standings.

    They beat the Capitals last night.

    No talk of injuries or shot differential seems to help.

    Have we ever iced a healthy line-up?

    Being a fan of this team is so damn frustrating!Aaaaarrrrrggghh.

    Gretz,

    Let me tell you a little story. I live in Calgary. Last year, I watched the Oilers as they won a number of games to start the season. They headed into a game here in Calgary with a winning record. Optimism in the Oiler fanbase was everywhere, RK was a genius, and the rebuild was finally on – despite the fact that the #fancystats were utter shit.

    I went to that game. It was horrifying. Every negative signal the fancystats were giving came true. It was a gutless, heartless, defense-free game by the Oilers, and even though the score was close, the Oilers got their heads handed to them on a platter by a shitty shitty team. That game was a defining game for the season.

    This year, once again I have tickets for the Nov 16th Oilers-Flames tilt here. I expect much different. You want to know why? Because despite the respective records of the two teams, on ice the Oilers despite their record look vastly better than last year, while the Flames (though they are working hard) despite their record look like shit on ice. Thankfully the other game I went to was the 8-2 blowout, which at least took some of the bad taste out of my mouth.

    The underlying fundamentals of the game WILL assert themselves. You can never predict when it will happen, but I expect much better times at this Nov 16th game than last year first.

    And on a sweet sweet note – make no mistake, this Flames team *is* shit. They will tank. Monahan’s 30% shot % will come back to earth with a thud. But Feaster’s teeth must grind with every win – because each one means they are that much less likely to finish in a desperately needed lottery position. *Evil laugh*

  151. fuzzy muppet says:

    ugly giveaway by jschultz

  152. hunter1909 says:

    It’s early, but so far compared to Devan ‘The Eel’ Dubnyk, or “Hanna” Labarbera, this new guy’s Rogie Vachon.

  153. G Money says:

    Hey 3 SOG and Bachman has a 100% sv %! Yeah, I know it’s a small sample, but gotta take the positives where you can …

  154. Lowetide says:

    Oilers are working like buggers, that Nuge line shift was heartening. Penalty to Schultz, the Kings are giants next to the Arcobello’s.

  155. D says:

    Richard Bachman is looking steady early.

  156. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Lowetide:
    Oilers are working like buggers, that Nuge line shift was heartening. Penalty to Schultz, the Kings are giants next to the Arcobello’s.

    Arco won the draw… team can’t exit the zone. Schultz takes a penalty. one step forward, two back.

  157. danny says:

    Its frustrating seeing hooks like Yakupov took get ignored and then followed up with a borderline call against Schultz.

  158. Nightman_ says:

    Great Ozone shift by the first line. One thing I really like about Perron is he is calm and cool when pressured by defenders. Kings pbp: “Anton..L….Lender”

  159. Rebilled says:

    Jesus Christ

  160. bookje says:

    This can’t be happening

  161. hunter1909 says:

    Bachmann’s in overdrive out there.

    Injured Oiler. RNH, dragging his leg like a giant Guinea Pig.

  162. Lowetide says:

    The Nuge. The Knee. Jesus.

  163. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    there goes the season.

  164. Nightman_ says:

    UGHHHHH

  165. danny says:

    Fuck.

    He stuck his knee out there.

    Does this ever get any better?

  166. Gret99zky says:

    F*** you, Clifford! He stuck his knee out.

    Where is the goddamn pushback???

  167. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    the knee is the new shoulder. great grains!

  168. jp says:

    Christ. Not trading for Clifford looks like a TERRIBLE move now…
    Fuck.

  169. fuzzy muppet says:

    oh no…if RNH is out it’s over.

    I don’t care if Eager or Gazdic get 40 games. They need to hurt a Kings star

  170. JonyPro says:

    Bachman looks sharp so far. Good positioning.

  171. Gret99zky says:

    Has it ever been mentioned that this team is soft and has no one to protect the young kids from bullshit plays like kneeing?

  172. nycoil says:

    hunter1909,

    Nice reference there, sir. Well played. Pray for Nuge.

  173. jp says:

    Cold comfort, but that is a suspension. If Nuge doesn’t return tonight, Clifford will be suspended. That fucking sucks though.

  174. VanOil says:

    LA commentator “that should have been a kneeing penalty”

  175. fuzzy muppet says:

    better yet, the officials miss the penalty again. This league is a joke

  176. Lowetide says:

    Smid hurt. This is crazy.

  177. JonyPro says:

    Kill Clifford!

  178. jp says:

    VanOil:
    LA commentator “that should have been a kneeing penalty”

    He did. It should have. “the Kings got away with one there”

  179. striatic says:

    hm. another 4 week MCL sprain.

    4 weeks, and yet, still a season ending injury.

    funny that.

  180. danny says:

    Holy smokes no penalty.

    Sigh.

    How many sleeps until Connor McDavid

  181. jp says:

    “but that’s the least of the concerns for the Oilers”

  182. stevezie says:

    Out of town colour guy saying Smid has a league-wide reputation for doing everything he can to win, even blocking shots with his teeth.

  183. hunter1909 says:

    Smid could break his arm with that play.

    Hard to believe, I know, but this team is already wearing me out tonight. Might be better off going out for a walk in the rain.

  184. Rebilled says:

    So, it has been like this all season.

  185. jake70 says:

    The pushback is scoring on the ensuing PP, wait….

  186. srisribillyg says:

    How can there be no reaction from the Oilers on that play? I just got in from a full contact rec game in scenic Brixton during which I had a guy take a run at me as I touched the puck to stop play on a delayed penalty. I was able to get my hands up to protect myself but even still my defence partner came right over and knocked the guy on his ass. Rec hockey. In England.

    Where’s this team’s toughness? This kind of stuff has to be answered immediately after it happens. The word is out that you can pull this kind of shit on the Oilers all night long and there’s never any price to pay.

    Jesus Christo!

  187. Andy P says:

    striatic: hm. another 4 week MCL sprain.4 weeks, and yet, still a season ending injury.funny that.

    Well at least we wont have to send Arco down when Gags get back.

  188. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    danny:
    Holy smokes no penalty.

    Sigh.

    How many sleeps until Connor McDavid

    You mean Sam Reinhart. McDavid is next year.

  189. nelson88 says:

    For those with the Kings feed.

    Nice to see Gazdic take a run at the Kings D-man. Should have f’n levelled him.

  190. Rebilled says:

    THE NUGE!

  191. Lowetide says:

    NUGE IS BACK! Now, do I keep the candle lit?

  192. jp says:

    OMG!! The NUGE!!

    Edit: No suspension for Clifford. I’m OK with that trade.

  193. fuzzy muppet says:

    Thank the lord RNH is back!!!!!

  194. hodgkins says:

    Dammit, whats that Russian saying again?

    I can’t believe what is going on right now.

  195. striatic says:

    Activate the RNH Life Model Decoy!

  196. fifthcartel says:

    RNH you sexy beast. Make em pay.

  197. Gret99zky says:

    stevezie:
    Out of town colour guy saying Smid has a league-wide reputation for doing everything he can to win, even blocking shots with his teeth.

    He must be from out of town. All the locals know this team doesn’t win.

  198. hodgkins says:

    Perron punched in the face. Nothing from the refs?

  199. tcho says:

    Thank goodness. I hope Nuge isn’t trying to play through it though.

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