HAPPY DAYS!

Last night the Oilers scored 7 and the party arrived at Rexall for the first time this season. A devastating start—a start fans will remember forever—has eased like a warm day after weeks and weeks of bitter winter. Two wins in a row isn’t much most seasons, but this year? MUSIC!

FIVE GREAT THINGS ABOUT THESE OILERS

  1. Gordon-Smyth-Perron. Veterans. Sweet, stinky, smelly, ugly, broken faced veterans. Can we have four more?
  2. Gagner-Yakupov-Hemsky. They’re starting to feel it. Yakupov, oh my God. Hide your, whatever.
  3. Nuge-Hall-Eberle. They were the third line last night. Hoochie Mama!
  4. Devan Dubnyk. He climbed through something resembling the sewers of Shawshank this fall, and is finding redemption. Good job, big man.
  5. The powerplay. Thanks!

THIS COULD TALK AWHILE

baseball2

 

I know it’s only Columbus, but the schedule gives you good times and bad, with a couple of precious soft weeks all year. This is one of them, we should enjoy Florida up next before heading back into Death Valley.

THE STANDINGS (LOOK AWAY, IT’S HIDEOUS!)

current standings

 

Oilers are still miles from last year’s 24th overall, but small victories are big steps. The forwards seem to be rolling better now, Dubnyk’s .908 in the last 10 games and .892 overall. They’re calling from the wreckage, but it’s going to take some time.

SCORING, LAST 10 GAMES

after 10 games

 

The last 10 games sees some nice offensive numbers from the usual suspects, and you can also see some valuable guys missed time (Hall, Perron) during the walk through the valley of tears. Phil Larsen may be the most chaotic defenseman since the Bergeron.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

JOHANSSON

After a big win, there’s plenty of good to talk about and much jocularity. Scheduled to appear:

  • Rob Vollman from ESPN, Hockey Prospectus and Bleacher Report. We’ll talk about the best free agent signings, and how much a coach can impact things like shot differential.
  • Dan Auchenberg, Vimy Instructor and Head Coach for Maple Leaf Athletic Club. Our latest ‘Ask the Coach’ feature, feel free to send questions.
  • Alan Hull, Copper and Blue. Big win for the Oilers, but what’s next?
  • Neal Livingston, Tend the Farm. Barons—who are they?
  • Adam Hull, Alberta Alpine Ski Association.

10-1260 texts, @Lowetide_ on twitter. Hope you can tune in!

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104 Responses to "HAPPY DAYS!"

  1. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Last night was pure catharsis.

    This team was a one gas station town, where the only place to get a bite is at said gas station and they only serve liver, which they’ve covered in bread crumbs and baked, god knows why and Zima and Pepsi Clear is all there is to drink.

    Last night ScarJo’s car broke down in our humble town and the Oil was the only mechanic around for miles.

    Thanks Gord!

  2. regwald says:

    The 3rd line was truly golden last night. The performance by Perron was amazing. His grit, skill and tenacity are a huge element to this team.

    What a shame he is a small forward and will never amount to anything …

  3. Pouzar says:

    Can any of the gurus out there comment on the system they were using last night? I thought I read yesterday they would be going to a more aggressive forecheck?

  4. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Yakupov is still slowing learning his own end, but man if he hasn’t refound love in the offensive zone.

    He had some amazing looks and seems to have found someone who can find him open in Hemsky. Gagner is going to have to throw that luck charm over a bridge somewhere.

    Since it wasn’t mentioned, I thought we should ponder that 4th line. I still don’t like it and take it for granted that the hockey Gords shined on all Oilers last night without discrimination, but I think that is how Eakins, in his mind’s eye, imagines his “heavy” line playing. That, last night, is his ideal for that line:

    A fight, a couple of chances (actual chances), hits, and somehow spending most of their time at good end of the rink:

    http://www.extraskater.com/game/2013-11-19-blue-jackets-oilers

    Because I think he finally saw what he thinks they actually are last night, I think we should expect to see that again. Arco may have to keep on waiting for a goal against, because that stupid penalty Gazdic took is probably long forgotten (didn’t it look like he just couldn’t stop… like a kid that stops skating by slamming into the boards or another kid?)

  5. goldenchild says:

    Im hoping the Yak-Hemsky magic gets going for a sustained run here forcing the Oilers to look hard at extending 83. He offers such flexibility, he can play with all the skill guys, can play with the Gordon and Smyth’s and if last night was an indication of what he and Yak can create together then he’s worth signing just for that. Every coach that has been here since 83 joined the team has found him to be far more important than the media and the loud naysayers want him to be, Eakins has been no different. Oh and by every indication the franchise Hall loves him.

    A good run even against the little sisters of the poor, takes the heat off this group from the media especially nationally, , lets them feel good and helps move the management team from a panic short term move.

    Its sucks that they arent going to make playoffs but honestly this was never a playoffs or bust year, if it was they wouldnt of gone with Archo and Acton, as the Nuge and Gagner replacements, they would of gone hard after Grabovski in off season and brought in a couple of those vet PTO guys. You hope they have a good 60 game run, find a couple of trades that help the team for the next 3-5 years (guys in the Perron age group would be perfect) and ultimately its still a productive year.
    Anyways it was fun being an Oilers fan last night and we should get a few more fun nights in the next few weeks.

  6. Undisclosed_Personal_Reasons says:

    Is it just me and my adoration for Yak or do Yak’s passes actually sound louder than everyone else’s? I swear there were a few times last night I was looking away from the TV and could tell when Yak has passed to Gags just by the smack of the puck on stick.

  7. Racki says:

    I am not normally the guy who quells excitement but one great game against a terrible team that they regularly own isn’t cause for too much excitement. It was good that Rexall got what it deserved for once though. However when Luke Gazdic looks like Milan Lucic, you have to question just how the Jackets played last night.

    That all said, I did think the Oilers played a very solid game. Their first of the year. The mental breakdowns weren’t there. So lots of credit to them too. But I don’t expect this win streak to last too long. The Oilers of recent have made me pessimistic.

    Lastly, I loved the Perron trade from day one and it just keeps looking better and better. Guy is a real NHLer

  8. Chris says:

    Early in the season the Oilers played well from a statistical point of view but were getting killed by bad goaltending. I almost wonder if over the following stretch their confidence just cratered and the goaltending was so bad that they basically felt whatever they did didn’t matter as they were going to lose one way or another due to giving up 4 goals a game. But the goaltending has turned around now and it seems to have given them a shot in the arm.

  9. Woodguy says:

    Couple of interesting stats:

    Bluejackets out hit the Oilers last night 45-19.

    Don’t tell all the ex-4th liner color commentators this, they would have thought the Jackets won.

    The OIler’s FF% 5v5 close jumped 2.8pts for year after last night’s 80%FF 5v5 close showing.

    Now 44.9% for year, was 42.1% before last night.

  10. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Woodguy: The OIler’s FF% 5v5 close jumped 2.8pts for year after last night’s 80%FF 5v5 close showing.
    Now 44.9% for year, was 42.1% before last night.

    How long was that game actually “close”?

  11. Pouzar says:

    Undisclosed_Personal_Reasons:
    Is it just me and my adoration for Yak or do Yak’s passes actually sound louder than everyone else’s? I swear there were a few times last night I was looking away from the TV and could tell when Yak has passed to Gags just by the smack of the puck on stick.

    Not you. The velocity of the kid’s passes are off the charts and frickin accurate too.

  12. David says:

    None of the “core” had any five alarm bell turnovers.

    You can put Yak on left wing but he’ll find his way over to the right. He loves to attack from the right.

    Eberle just gets abused in this league. Good on him to battle through it and be a great player but he gets roughed up every game.

    A lot of those goals were throwing the puck on net and going to the net. Hopefully everyone took note,

    Yakupov is awesome.

    When Smyth gets pressured in the D zone he just throws the puck wherever. Sometimes it works, sometimes it’s horrible. Example his suicide pass to Nurse in preseason that was almost disaster for Nurse.

    Yakupov is my favourite Oiler.

  13. wheatnoil says:

    Racki,

    I think you’re over-stating how good Gazdic looked in that game. By my eye, he was still a bit of a wreck in all three zones. That said, the 4th line did have a few shifts of getting the puck in the offensive zone, so I’ll give them credit where it’s due.

    Also, yes Columbus is a bad team. However, they’re above the Oilers in the standings. So take the wins when you can get them.

  14. Racki says:

    wheatnoil:
    Racki,

    I think you’re over-stating how good Gazdic looked in that game. By my eye, he was still a bit of a wreck in all three zones. That said, the 4th line did have a few shifts of getting the puck in the offensive zone, so I’ll give them credit where it’s due.

    Also, yes Columbus is a bad team. However, they’re above the Oilers in the standings. So take the wins when you can get them.

    Oh for sure I am.. That comment was tongue in cheek. The moral of the story… The Oilers have embarrassed the Hawks in previous years and gone on to stink the joint up. This isn’t the TSN turning point where suddenly it all comes together. Prove me wrong Oilers, prove me wrong. But history shows that this is a one off. Exciting on its own, but likely meaningless on the whole season. Again, apologies for gloom and doom.. I’m just super sceptical. This happens year after year. Ex. Horcoff ‘s players only meeting where we thought suddenly this team was fixed.

  15. wheatnoil says:

    Racki,

    Yeah that’s fair. Good game but now we need more of that, please and thank you.

  16. Racki says:

    Fourth period says the Flyers are shopping Brayden Schenn. Also mentioned as available, Luke Schenn and Sean Couturier.

  17. Clarkenstein says:

    Fool me once shame on you….

  18. Racki says:

    Clarkenstein:
    Fool me once shame on you….

    Fool me 8 times.. You can’t get fooled again!..?

  19. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Racki:
    Fourth period says the Flyers are shopping Brayden Schenn. Also mentioned as available, Luke Schenn and Sean Couturier.

    Schenn, Schenn and Sean would be quite a package deal.

  20. ASkoreyko says:

    So I think it is safe to say that MacT won the Perron trade.

    It is pretty refreshing to actually see an external talent come in like this already fully formed and developed AND actually live up to his previous hype.

    Erik Cole, Patrick O and Lupul come to mind as players who were relatively hyped coming in and proceeded to deliver little of what we saw on the previous team.

    Perron looks like the real deal and I love that extra element of grit/rat to his game.

    I am glad MacT made the relatively safe move in bringing in Bryz instead of panicking and finding a replacement for Dubnyk, Devan could still be a top 15 goalie in the league.

    I get to go to the game tomorrow in the company skybox, so I am hoping its something close to what was played last night!

  21. Well Oiled and Enthusiastic says:

    That was sweet candy last night. No criticisms today. Gotta tip the hat to the team stepping up and pushing the foot on the pedal. At full speed and loaded up on confidence, they can be a real handful. Great for Dubnyk. He really needed that.

  22. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    When did Dellow shut down his twitter to the public?

    https://twitter.com/mc79hockey

  23. jake70 says:

    I am more happy for the team than I am as a fan. Won’t score 7 every night but to actually hear a goal horn going off was getting rare, they needed that. Chased the Vezina winner. Their passing last night was as good as I’ve seen it. Still though, a team that can only own what they are given by the opposition, not what they take…..Columbus was generous, allowing time and space in all 3 zones…hey we’ll take it.

  24. Lucinius says:

    David,

    One thing I’ve noticed lately is that while Hemsky is still the RW and Yak the LW what’s happened on a lot of the offensive zone pushes by that duo is Hemsky coming in on the left side and Yak on the right side.

    I said it earlier in the year, but Yak has to be on the RW for there to be success and that Hemsky might be the one you want to have swap wings. They’re only doing it in the offensive zone, and not every time, but when they do.. it works.

    Wonder if that’s intention, coached, or just something the two of them sussed out.

    The most amusing part? Regardless of what side Hemsky enters the zone on, that’s the side Gagner uses. Gagner seems glued to whatever side Hemmer picks to enter.

  25. Melman says:

    ASkoreyko,

    How’d you like to be looking at the Perron deal from the St.L side? They chose to keep Stewart instead and move Perron. Oops

  26. justDOit says:

    The Oilers giving a beat-down to a team above them in the standings. What’s next – Rob Ford showing some restraint?

    http://assets0.ordienetworks.com/misc/Rob%20Ford%20Looks%20at%20Food.gif

    Well, I’ll be…

  27. Hammers says:

    Bruce McCurdy: Schenn, Schenn and Sean would be quite a package deal.

    What would it take . Probably Gags & Ebs & Larsen . Could you do Gags, Larsen & 1st rd pick ?? If so do it .

  28. ASkoreyko says:

    Melman,

    Exactly. It is why I am glad the Oilers are always talking about character and living “being an Oiler”. This is only my own gut feeling, but Stewart seems like he could play disinterested for periods of time in St.Louis, this could be the big-man effect ala Penner.

    Perron seems to come ready to compete every night and is always willing to mix it up in the scrums. If MPS could learn to play with the same drive as Perron we might be looking at that trade a little differently. However, that being said, I don’t MPS has anywhere near the puck skills that Perron has displayed here already, the guy is quite underrated in terms of what he can pull off with the puck.

    The 2nd round pick could be high in the order, so STL still has a chance to at least make the trade a wash, but by the time that pays off Perron will have more than covered his bet.

  29. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    justDOit: http://assets0.ordienetworks.com/misc/Rob%20Ford%20Looks%20at%20Food.gif

    that’s one of my favorites. He’s so drunk in that one.

    “What is this thing? is it food? probably food. try it. wait, who’s this guy!? he’s got one too. He’s not eating it. Maybe, it isn’t food? better to wait. see what he does with it.”

  30. Caramel Obvious says:

    Hammers: What would it take . Probably Gags & Ebs & Larsen. Could you do Gags, Larsen & 1st rd pick ?? If so do it .

    Well Luke Schenn has negative value. Even so I can’t imagine they would trade B. Schenn and Couturier for such a little return. I also don’t know why they would want a first round pick.

    So you’d have to strip it down to Gagner and Larsen for Couturier and L. Schenn. Now that is a horrible deal for the Flyers but maybe they have a case of the stupids.

  31. Jordan says:

    Bruce McCurdy: Schenn, Schenn and Sean would be quite a package deal.

    Why would you trade for an overpaid ineffective defensive D-man and offensive centre who’s softer than gagner with less success in the NHL?

    The only player available who has value to this Oilers line-up is Couturier. The rest is more floatsam. I’d be in there pitching for Sean though – Gagner + 4th for Couturier + short term bad contract + 2nd. God would that do a ton for our C depth…

  32. Caramel Obvious says:

    On Yakupov I think we have to talk about with the puck and without the puck instead of offense/defense. He is an incredibly dynamo with the puck but he is completely clueless without it. Even last night when he was incredible dashing down the wing he was totally out of place whenever he didn’t have the puck or sense it was coming to him. This was the best he’s played all year but even last night he was miles from the Oilers best player.

    This might be the price you have to pay but if it is he better score 40.

  33. lance says:

    Emptying hard drives is like exploring closets. Except the states seem way higher.

    A few weeks ago when the brass was in NYC a philly friend and I were texting. He says philly needs scoring wingers. They can unload any position for scoring wingers. He figured they would take Ebs and Hemmer for Coots and Simmer (RW/RW for C/RW). He said Schenns could come and go, but that seemed to be the only trade on which we could even agree as plausible. real players for real players. each team’s balance.

  34. G Money says:

    Summary of last night’s game: things to be happy about, things to be cautious about.

    Happy times:

    - The Yak Attack is Almost Back. Excellent game offensively. Still a work in progress defensively, but was working hard in all three zones. PPG over last 5 games.

    - Two Wins. Yeah, it’s only CGY and CBJ. But the Oilers on paper are a mid-pack team – more talented than the bums but not in the same league as the elite. So we’re *supposed* to beat up on teams like CBJ. About time it happened.

    - Du Be, Not Du Dont Be. This “Bryz is pushing him” is just such nonsense though. Dubie is a career .915 to .920ish goalie. The horrendous start to the season is bad for such a goalie but not that unusual. Neither is the recent four game blow the doors off run. That up and down craziness is how you end up being a .920 goalie – you don’t post .920 every night.

    - Turnabout is Fair Play. The Oilers hung a .778 sv % on last years Vezina winner.

    - Perron! Nuff said.

    - For all the shit that Jultz gets, he is an upgrade offensively AND defensively over Larsen.

    - Gagner Corner in Sight. Another saw off Corsi night (50%, 80% close). Beautiful setup for Smyth. Should have had a goal. Chemistry with Yak and Hemsky. Not too many defensive miscues.

    - Taylor Hall still isn’t playing very well, and the team put up 7 goals and Hall is PPG since returning from the knee injury. Wait until he gets back on track … and he will.

    Sad times:

    - It’s only CBJ.

    - The defense still looked pretty bad. The low event game had more to do with CBJ being terrible than the defense being good.

    - The 4th line still looked pretty bad. The low event game had more to do with CBJ being terrible than the 4th line being good. Arco between Joensuu and Acton/Gazdic would have been a less heavy but also much less shitty line.

    - WTF does Taylor Hall have to do to get a penalty called? Even by the pitiful standards of the NHL, that was horrible.

  35. hunter1909 says:

    I’ve personally got mucho of coach Eakin’s DNA(Scots Irish) and will personally vouch for the record: dude got blind drunk the night before the CBJ game. I mean 4 Guinness + 10 0z plus of whisky, gin, whatever. He looked just like I do after an ahem, session.

    Like the rest of us in this incredible journey called human life, Eakins just received a major moment. Having managed to enter the tunnel, he’s come out at the other end chastened, humbler, and more human from the experience.

    Can the Oilers make the playoffs? Hunter says YES. Team looks like it’s good for 115 points, do the math I dunno.

  36. hunter1909 says:

    Caramel Obvious: Well Luke Schenn has negative value.Even so I can’t imagine they would trade B. Schenn and Couturier for such a little return.I also don’t know why they would want a first round pick.

    So you’d have to strip it down to Gagner and Larsen for Couturier and L. Schenn.Now that is a horrible deal for the Flyers but maybe they have a case of the stupids.

    Go back to HF Boards. This shit doesn’t belong on Lowetide.

  37. Lois Lowe says:

    The Oilers deserve wins like that every once in a while. So do the commenters on LT. Enjoy folks, you never know when the next one will come.

  38. David says:

    G Money:
    Summary of last night’s game: things to be happy about, things to be cautious about.

    Happy times:

    - The Yak Attack is Almost Back.Excellent game offensively. Still a work in progress defensively, but was working hard in all three zones. PPG over last 5 games.

    - Two Wins.Yeah, it’s only CGY and CBJ. But the Oilers on paper are a mid-pack team – more talented than the bums but not in the same league as the elite.So we’re *supposed* to beat up on teams like CBJ. About time it happened.

    - Du Be, Not Du Dont Be. This “Bryz is pushing him” is just such nonsense though.Dubie is a career .915 to .920ish goalie. The horrendous start to the season is bad for such a goalie but not that unusual.Neither is the recent four game blow the doors off run. That up and down craziness is how you end up being a .920 goalie – you don’t post .920 every night.

    - Turnabout is Fair Play. The Oilers hung a .778 sv % on last years Vezina winner.

    - Perron!Nuff said.

    - For all the shit that Jultz gets, he is an upgrade offensively AND defensively over Larsen.

    - Gagner Corner in Sight. Another saw off Corsi night (50%, 80% close). Beautiful setup for Smyth. Should have had a goal. Chemistry with Yak and Hemsky. Not too many defensive miscues.

    - Taylor Hall still isn’t playing very well, and the team put up 7 goals and Hall is PPG since returning from the knee injury. Wait until he gets back on track … and he will.

    Sad times:

    - It’s only CBJ.

    - The defense still looked pretty bad. The low event game had more to do with CBJ being terrible than the defense being good.

    - The 4th line still looked pretty bad. The low event game had more to do with CBJ being terrible than the 4th line being good.Arco between Joensuu and Acton/Gazdic would have been a less heavy but also much less shitty line.

    - WTF does Taylor Hall have to do to get a penalty called? Even by the pitiful standards of the NHL, that was horrible.

    Outside of two or three plays I thought the Defense played solid. They clogged the front of the net, and scooped up all the rebounds. Lots of good active sticks too.

  39. Jujhar says:

    I would do Gagner for Cotourier in a heartbeat.

  40. justDOit says:

    hunter1909: Go back to HF Boards. This shit doesn’t belong on Lowetide.

    Says the guy who was just speculating on Eakins’ personal affairs.

    If possible, could you please post your guidelines, so that the rest of us can avoid getting on your bad side?

  41. Clay says:

    Everyone seems to forget that MacT publically stated that he gave Gagner a verbal no-trade deal. So what are the odds that he now trades Gagner, thus sewering his word and reputation when it comes to future player negotiations?

    Gagner for player X speculations are fun, but no way MacT trades him unless it’s a deal worth ruining his reputation for. And Couturier for Gagner, although most likely a win for Edm, isn’t it.

  42. Caramel Obvious says:

    justDOit: Says the guy who was just speculating on Eakins’ personal affairs.

    If possible, could you please post your guidelines, so that the rest of us can avoid getting on your bad side?

    Seriously, I don’t even understand the criticism. I suppose it means the trade is unrealistic but it is unclear for whom Hunter thinks it is a bad deal. Hence, it is not even empty speech, it is speech that actively makes us confused.

    In any case Gagner for Couturier is an unbelievable trade for the Oilers. So unbelievable that I can’t imagine the Flyers would do it. The funny thing is that it seems like most Oiler fans think it is a bad trade for the Oilers. That’s delusional.

    It is, however, an impossible trade contract wise. Which is why the Oilers would have to take a bad contract back. Luke Schenn is the definition of a bad contract. I wouldn’t want him if he was free. So you give them the cheaper Larsen to make the salaries work out.

    So what do you get. Couturier is a better player than Gagner. Neither L. Schenn nor Larsen are worth much of anything. The salaries are pretty close. Clear win for the Oilers with the badness of the Schenn contract offset by the greatness of the Couturier contract. The Flyers do it because Gagner is an established scorer.

    You can’t win deals outright without the other team making a mistake. The question is whether this is a plausible mistake. Couturier is so criminally undervalued that I think it may be.

  43. Logan91 says:

    I can’t believe people are still trying to find stuff to bitch about after a 7-0 win last night.

  44. Dominoiler says:

    hunter1909: Go back to HF Boards. This shit doesn’t belong on Lowetide.

    Go back to HF Boards. This shit doesn’t belong on Lowetide.. hehe..

  45. slopitch says:

    Man I’m still laughing at the celley by Yak last night as the 2nd star. He must have missed smashing the camera man with his stick by a couple feet. Not your regular hockey player. Dont change Yak. I had row 7 seats and it was pure joy start to finish unlike the last CF I went to vs Detroit. It was good to see they guys get a cheered instead of booed out of the building. Progress. Justin Schultz helped a lot. Best part of the game was during the 2nd intermission an older lady came up to me and my buddy (another lowetider, hey buddy) and said “do you guys play pro cause you sure know a lot about hockey”. We said no we’re just hockey nuts who are suckers for punishment. After the game she came again and wished us good luck in our careers. 32 years old… so your saying there’s a chance! haha

    Oilers need to get Coutourier. Do this. Just keep Yak.

  46. "Steve Smith" says:

    justDOit: If possible, could you please post your guidelines, so that the rest of us can avoid getting on your bad side?

    That is not why I want him to post his guidelines.

  47. Caramel Obvious says:

    Did anyone see Rishaug’s response to the twitter/message board heat he took for his questions of Yakupov and Bryzgalov?

    You can find it here: http://hfboards.hockeysfuture.com/showthread.php?t=1541425&page=6

    I’m pretty impressed.

  48. justDOit says:

    “Steve Smith”,

    I’ll leave you to your own devices then.

  49. Bar_Qu says:

    “Steve Smith”: That is not why I want him to post his guidelines.

    +1

    I only ever laugh when hunter posts. Pure gold, Jerry

  50. TartanArmy says:

    Whats happening with Arcobello? I thought his sending down was only paperwork to bring up Klefbom (apparently he didn’t even head down to OKC), who we still have yet to see in the lineup. I would prefer to see him centering the 4th line over Acton or maybe rotating between 3rd line with Gordon.

  51. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Woodguy: Bluejackets out hit the Oilers last night 45-19.

    Don’t tell all the ex-4th liner color commentators this, they would have thought the Jackets won.

    Haha, are you trying to tell me the Blue Jackets did a much better job of not having the puck last night? By golly, you may be right!

    Hits are one of those stats like blocked shots or penalty minutes which deliver a mixed message. My preference is to be neither at the top or the bottom of the league in these categories, middle of the pack is just fine. You want your team to compete without the puck, but you don’t want that to be an “all the time” thing either.

  52. stevezie says:

    “Steve Smith”: That is not why I want him to post his guidelines.

    Classic.

  53. Lois Lowe says:

    TartanArmy:
    Whats happening with Arcobello? I would prefer to see him…maybe rotating between 3rd line with Gordon.

    This is why Oiler fans can’t have nice things.

  54. GXL says:

    Bruce McCurdy: Schenn, Schenn and Sean would be quite a package deal.

    Would you do a PHI B.Schenn, L.Schenn and S. Couturier for EDM N.Yakupov and M.Maricin?

    GXL

  55. Bruce McCurdy says:

    David: Du Be, Not Du Dont Be. This “Bryz is pushing him” is just such nonsense though.Dubie is a career .915 to .920ish goalie. The horrendous start to the season is bad for such a goalie but not that unusual.Neither is the recent four game blow the doors off run. That up and down craziness is how you end up being a .920 goalie – you don’t post .920 every night.

    Yeah, Tyler Dellow wrote about this right after Dubnyk’s first 4 games. I wrote what amounts to a follow-up on the same subject yesterday, pointing out that what are still Dubnyk’s worst 3 starts of the season were clustered in that horrible sequence.

    Updating with last night’s shutout to add to the graph in that post, DD has had 3 of his 4 best Sv% games clustered in the last 4, when he has just given up 6 goals (on 110 shots).

    Now I don’t expect him to keep up .945 any more than I thought he would maintain that .829 from the first 4 games, however the long term history suggests that from here on out he will be considerably closer to the higher of those 2 numbers than the lower. But even the most consistent of goalies would have plenty of jitter in their game by game data, or what you correctly call “up & down craziness”. The key is keeping a longer-term perspective even as the needle flickers to one extreme or the other.

  56. justDOit says:

    Bruce McCurdy:

    …longer-term perspective…

    But that’s no fun for the pitchfork crowd!

  57. Colieo87 says:

    Hi Lowe tide, I had a question regarding on any way to pass a letter I mailed to the pens organization to Sidney Crosby reason being I had a 1st cousin that passed away on July 18 2013 in a motor vehicle accident and I already mailed a letter I wrote you the console energy Centre with no response in over three months. And as was wounder if some one higher In oilers management can pass it on. It would mean a lot to myself and Bens parents. Thanks

    Cole Cadieux

  58. Bruce McCurdy says:

    GXL: Would you do a PHI B.Schenn, L.Schenn and S. Couturier for EDM N.Yakupov and M.Maricin?

    GXL

    I prefer not to speculate on such matters. My oblique comment to “Schenn, Schenn and Sean” had much more to do with the conjunction of names than it did with actual hockey content.

    Btw, Philly rumour-mongers, maybe it’s time to point out that the Flyers are currently 2 points out of 3rd in their (pathetic) division. Their emergency has passed, and they are right in the playoff hunt already. So any thought of a massive clearing house at fire sale prices seems outdated already.

    If Oilers were in the East, they’d be 6 points back. In the West? 16. Sigh.

  59. G Money says:

    hunter1909: Can the Oilers make the playoffs? Hunter says YES. Team looks like it’s good for 115 points, do the math I dunno.

    Who are you? And what have you done with the real hunter?

    David: Outside of two or three plays I thought the Defense played solid. They clogged the front of the net, and scooped up all the rebounds. Lots of good active sticks too.

    Hmmm, yeah, I just didn’t see it. I thought it was more like the first period in Calgary, where the Oilers were held to 4 shots. It wasn’t a good Flames defense that did it, it was a disinterested Oiler club. I thought the reverse was true last night. I’m not bringing this up because I feel compelled to bitch about a win. I just hope that the Oilers don’t look at the shots and goals against and think they’ve suddenly become a good defensive team and they don’t need to work at it. Because they haven’t, and they very much do!

    Caramel Obvious: So what do you get. Couturier is a better player than Gagner.

    This has been repeated so many times, its starting to become truth by repetition rather than actual fact.

    Here are some key comparisons of Gagner vs Couturier (I used this season and last):

    1: Gagner: DZS 32.6%, 5×5 CF% 43.7%
    Couturier: DZS 40.2%, 5×5 CF% 46.4%

    So Gagner has a lousier Corsi with about 8% more defensive zone starts. It is reasonable to conclude that Couturier is a better defensive player. However, some folks here seem to believe that SC is some sort of defensive genius. He isn’t.

    2: Gagner FO% 43.6%, Couturier 46.4%

    So Gagner is also not as good in the faceoff dot as Couturier, but neither of them are great shakes. As an aside, the difference in FO% would explain a portion of the difference in Corsi.

    3: Gagner 58 GP, 42 pts, 0.72 ppg, Couturier 66 gp, 20 pts, 0.30 ppg

    So Gagner is the better offensive player. By far. It’s not even close.

    Now some folks here have suggested that the reason Gagner is so much better than Couturier is because of the difference in zone starts and usage.

    First, as I’ve pointed out above, the difference in usage between the two, at least as far as DZS goes, is not that big.

    Second, there actually has been work done to determine how much this influenced Corsi in particular. The answer: while significant, it is not massive. Something like 18% is my recollection, between 100% DZ vs 100% OZ. (You’ll have to find the reference yourself if you don’t believe me, I don’t have it at hand. Arctic Ice Hockey maybe?)

    Bottom line: Couturier is a better defensive player, but not nearly as much better as most folks believe, while Gagner is a much much better offensive player, much moreso than most folks seem to believe

    So yes, a Gagner for Couturier trade straight up makes sense, given that the Flyers need offense and the Oilers need defense. Its a win-win if it gets made. The confounding effects are the difference in contracts and the possible verbal NMC.

  60. Gerta Rauss says:

    Bruce McCurdy:

    Btw, Philly rumour-mongers, maybe it’s time to point out that the Flyers are currently 2 points out of 3rd in their (pathetic) division. Their emergency has passed, and they are right in the playoff hunt already. So any thought of a massive clearing house at fire sale prices seems outdated already.

    And with the management changes in Buffalo it’ll be a while before they consider trade proposals as well. Oilers fans may just have to watch the games to keep themselves placated.

  61. Jujhar says:

    Has Cotourier had the luxury of playing with offensive players like Gagner has the last 2 years? I dont think so. I am sure Cotourier would rack up the second assists as well as Gagner has been if he plays with hemsky/yak/eberle/Hall

  62. G Money says:

    G Money: Couturier: DZS 40.2%, 5×5 CF% 46.4%

    Note: I transcribed this wrong, Couturier’s 5×5 CF% is 48.6%. 46.4% is his FO%!

  63. Caramel Obvious says:

    G Money,

    Are you sure about those numbers? Gagner has a defensive zone start ratio of 52% this year. Last year it was 50%. Couturier is at 41% this year, 33% last year.

    You are reading the wrong column. The coefficients for the effects of zone starts were all done the way behindthenet expressed the stat which is as a ratio. Also if you express it simply as defensive zone starts the numbers don’t look that different. But what matters is the ratio between offensive and defensive zone starts because what shot metrics measure is the ratio of shots for and shots against.

    If you do it that way Couturier looks like a much better possession player. The question is how much credit do you want to give Gagner for his finishing skills and quality of shots he may, or may not, produce for his teammates.

  64. Caramel Obvious says:

    I should add that Gagner is nearly as good as Couturier if you give him full credits for his even strength points and don’t think they were inflated by high on-ice shooting percentages.

    If on the other hand you believe in the regression of on-ice shooting percentages then Couturier is clearly the better player.

    Finally if, like most people, you think that shooting percentages should be regressed some, but not all the way, then the difference between them depends upon how much you regress these numbers.

  65. G Money says:

    Caramel Obvious: Are you sure about those numbers? Gagner has a defensive zone start ratio of 52% this year. Last year it was 50%. Couturier is at 41% this year, 33% last year.

    I took the DZS numbers straight from Extraskater and then weighted them by games played in each season to come up with a single number. e.g. Couturier (41.3% x 46 + 37.6% x 20 ) / 66 = 40.2%.

    You’re right in that you could add the NZ+OZ and come up with a different ratio, but by eye the NZ starts are roughly similar, so the difference in OZ simply gets moved to the DZ (or vice versa). So if you use both numbers, it exaggerates the differences. Or to put it another way, if in a game they each had 30 zone starts, and one was 10-10-10 and the the other 8-10-12, the number 10 vs 12 in my view is the correct representation, if you use instead the ratio 12/18 vs 10/20, it produces a number that is harder to compare because of the double counting.

    Caramel Obvious: I should add that Gagner is nearly as good as Couturier if you give him full credits for his even strength points and don’t think they were inflated by high on-ice shooting percentages.

    If on the other hand you believe in the regression of on-ice shooting percentages then Couturier is clearly the better player.

    In essence, this is the point that I’m making. The argument goes “SC is a *much* better player than SG because [ZS, CF%, blah blah blah]“. My point is, the numbers do not make such a clear distinction. Or rather, they do make a clear distinction that SC is a better defensive player, but SG is a much better offensive player.

    Depending on which aspect of the game you are looking at, and what allowances you wish to make for such things as shooting percentages, deployment, team mates, QoC, etc. you can make a rational argument that one player is somewhat better than the other.

    What you cannot do is state categorically that one is a much better player than the other, because that is not a supportable claim.

  66. G Money says:

    Jujhar:
    Has Cotourier had the luxury of playing with offensive players like Gagner has the last 2 years?I dont think so.I am sure Cotourier would rack up the second assists as well as Gagner has been if he plays with hemsky/yak/eberle/Hall

    Simply put: Gagner 58 GP, 42 pts, 0.72 ppg, Couturier 66 gp, 20 pts, 0.30 ppg

    One is scoring at more than double the rate of the other.

    If SC is truly such a gifted offensive player, he would be playing higher up in the lineup. Period.

    He isn’t. Not only isn’t he, but he isn’t even the highest scoring player on his own line.

    So the argument that deployment, team mates, QoC, etc. are what is responsible for the MASSIVE difference between a 0.72 ppg player and a 0.30 ppg player just doesn’t wash.

    You can certainly argue that SC is a better defensive player. I agree.

    You can argue that SC is much closer to SG as an offensive player because of deployment, etc. I could buy that (though no-one has yet actually made a solid fact-based argument that is the case, only conjecture).

    You can argue that SC (because of his size and two-way play) is a more needed player for the Oilers than SG, and we should trade them if we can, and on that I completely agree.

    But you can’t argue SC is simply a “much better” player. There is no support for that as a categorical statement. None.

  67. G Money says:

    Bruce McCurdy: If Oilers were in the East, they’d be 6 points back. In the West? 16. Sigh.

    Nothing a ten game winning streak won’t cure! :-D Go Oilers!

  68. Woodguy says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: How long was that game actually “close”?

    12:01

    “Close” is defined as within 1 goal or tied in the first or second period and tied only in the 3rd.

    This removes the score effects of the shot attempts nicely.

  69. Bag of Pucks says:

    Bruce McCurdy: Yeah, Tyler Dellow wrote about this right after Dubnyk’s first 4 games. I wrote what amounts to a follow-up on the same subject yesterday, pointing out that what are still Dubnyk’s worst 3 starts of the season were clustered in that horrible sequence.

    Updating with last night’s shutout to add to the graph in that post, DD has had 3 of his 4 best Sv% games clustered in the last 4, when he has just given up 6 goals (on 110 shots).

    Now I don’t expect him to keep up .945 any more than I thought he would maintain that .829 from the first 4 games, however the long term history suggests that from here on out he will be considerably closer to the higher of those 2 numbers than the lower. But even the most consistent of goalies would have plenty of jitter in their game by game data, or what you correctly call “up & down craziness”. The key is keeping a longer-term perspective even as the needle flickers to one extreme or the other.

    I’m sorry. If your goaltender needs 20% of the season to figure things out, it’s time to get a new goaltender.

    It’s hard not to see a correlation with Dubnyk where he plays poorly when the pressure is on because A) the games matter and & B) he’s the undisputed number one.

    Give him meaningless games to excel in or a capable tender to take some of the pressure off, and suddenly he’s golden. Meh.

  70. Rondo says:

    If you could get Sean Couturier + bad contract for Gagner and draft pick or prospect I would jump at that .

  71. FastOil says:

    Couturier has size and plays 200 ft very well, Gagner has more offensive upside. Sometimes that can be a basis for a deal.

  72. Well Oiled and Enthusiastic says:

    G Money,

    I have very little actual data to contradict your position G Money, but my impression on this debate is three fold on SC. First, he was not rushed to big (and critical) minutes with Phi – even today, where as SG was placed on the 1 or 2 line from the day he entered the NHL. There must be a quality of linemate dynamic here for SC vs. SG and I actually prefer how Philly did it. SC as an 18 and 19 yr old was miles from critical situations and quality offense situations with the likes of Giroux, Mike Richards, Jeff Carter, Briere and Hartnell in front of him. Secondly, SC plays a defense first game today. SG plays an offense ‘cheat’ game – always has. It is a serious achilles heel for Gagner. Only now do I think SC is getting a chance at offense situations for Philly and I’m guessing he is battling with B Schenn for some of that. Lastly, SC plays a big man’s game. I think bigger guys take more seasoning to round out their offense. Do I think he will be a .65 ppg guy? Maybe not. but .50 ppg, with some grit and defensive awareness becomes a no comparison situation. Overall, I think the jury is still very much out on SC’s offensive ceiling and we won’t know that for 5 more years in my opinion. Having talked myself into all this, I still prefer B Schenn to SC.

  73. Bag of Pucks says:

    Agree with Bruce that the window of opportunity with the Flyers has likely closed, but….

    What if they wouldn’t trade Couturier for Gagner, but would trade him for Hemsky?

    Would you do that deal?

  74. commonfan14 says:

    It’s understandable that Couturier gets brought up so much around these parts since many of us were thinking about the Oilers drafting him and finally nabbing that elusive big scoring C as early as Spring 2010.

    For the same reason, I’m amazed that the Seguin trade window doesn’t get brought up hardly at all. I never heard anything about what might have been available to the Oilers prior to this last draft, but there were reports that Calgary turned down a “Seguin for the 6th pick” package from Boston. Maybe the 6th pick was Boston’s cut-off point or maybe the whole thing was BS, but maybe Boston would have been interested after Nichushkin was surprisingly still there at 7.

    Something like the 7th pick and our two 2nds plus prospects? Certainly would have been bold.

    Then again, it would have ruined that rambling story MacT told after the pick about running into Nurse’s sister in the lobby. Possibly his best work since awkwardly grinding through Lowe’s speech on Messier night after the Smytty trade.

  75. Bruce McCurdy says:

    G Money: Nothing a ten game winning streak won’t cure! Go Oilers!

    With Bettman Math, it’s possible to go on a 10-game winning streak & gain only 5 points on the field.

    Worst thing about All. Those. Losses. is that all but 2 were Regulation losses. Oilers got points in just 6 of their first 21. That’s not only death, it comes in a shallow unmarked grave.

    Ash to ashes,
    dust to dust;
    ’13-14,
    another bust.

  76. G Money says:

    Bag of Pucks: It’s hard not to see a correlation with Dubnyk where he plays poorly when the pressure is on because A) the games matter and & B) he’s the undisputed number one.

    Cool story bro. Do the facts back it up? Let’s take a look see:

    For example, last year when the games mattered and Dubie was the undisputed number one, he:

    - pitched a .931 sv% in his first game, a win against the hated Canucks
    - was 0.928 sv% through the first 10 games, when it mattered the most. In fact, the games mattered more, since it was only a 48 game season.
    - finished at 0.920, meaning he was strong throughout, but got weaker as the games mattered less

  77. justDOit says:

    Bag of Pucks: I’m sorry. If your goaltender needs 20% of the season to figure things out, it’s time to get a new goaltender.

    It’s hard not to see a correlation with Dubnyk where he plays poorly when the pressure is on because A) the games matter and & B) he’s the undisputed number one.

    Give him meaningless games to excel in or a capable tender to take some of the pressure off, and suddenly he’s golden. Meh.

    If DD had come into a stable organization, without new rules regarding equipment, I might be inclined to put some thought towards your position. But in reality, he had a new coach, new systems, new team mates (as many as four new d-men), and new equipment. Further to this, his team absolutely sucked during that period.

    Again, I don’t see how you can pin the first part of this season entirely upon any one player, but whatever floats your tired-narrative boat.

  78. commonfan14 says:

    Well Oiled and Enthusiastic: where as SG was placed on the 1 or 2 line from the day he entered the NHL

    Gagner started on the 4th line in 2007-08, and finished third among Cs in TOI behind Horcoff and Stoll.

  79. G Money says:

    Well Oiled and Enthusiastic: Do I think he will be a .65 ppg guy? Maybe not. but .50 ppg, with some grit and defensive awareness becomes a no comparison situation. Overall, I think the jury is still very much out on SC’s offensive ceiling and we won’t know that for 5 more years in my opinion.

    Yes, it’s possible. It’s also possible you give him choice minutes and he becomes a 0.33 ppg player. It’s not like he isn’t getting some opportunities – this season, Couturier is getting a shade more PP time per game than Gagner is.

    The point is, you can certainly make the following statements:

    “Couturier is a better defensive player than Gagner”
    “Couturier has a more valuable skillset to the Oilers than Gagner does”
    “If given easier minutes, Couturier might score more points and close some of the offensive gap with Gagner.”

    What you cannot state is:

    “Couturier is a better player than Gagner because he’s better defensively and the only reason he’s not as good offensively is because he plays hard minutes.” That might be true. Or it might not. History suggests not. Most players play in specific line situations because that is what they are good at, even if it seems like they ought to be better (Todd Marchant says hi).

    Why five years?

  80. Well Oiled and Enthusiastic says:

    commonfan14,

    Fair enough on TOI. I recall Nilsson, Cogliano and Gagner really playing 2nd line offensive minutes. But I’m aged and occasionally foggy. ;-)

  81. G Money says:

    justDOit: But in reality, he had a new coach, new systems, new team mates (as many as four new d-men), and new equipment. Further to this, his team absolutely sucked during that period.

    Don’t forget – new baby.

  82. Logan91 says:

    Well Oiled and Enthusiastic:
    G Money,

    I have very little actual data to contradict your position G Money, but my impression on this debate is three fold on SC. First, he was not rushed to big (and critical) minutes with Phi – even today, where as SG was placed on the 1 or 2 line from the day he entered the NHL. There must be a quality of linemate dynamic here for SC vs. SG and I actually prefer how Philly did it. SC as an 18 and 19 yr old was miles from critical situations and quality offense situations with the likes of Giroux, Mike Richards, Jeff Carter, Briere and Hartnell in front of him. Secondly, SC plays a defense first game today. SG plays an offense ‘cheat’ game – always has. It is a serious achilles heel for Gagner. Only now do I think SC is getting a chance at offense situations for Philly and I’m guessing he is battling with B Schenn for some of that. Lastly, SC plays a big man’s game. I think bigger guys take more seasoning to round out their offense. Do I think he will be a .65 ppg guy? Maybe not. but .50 ppg, with some grit and defensive awareness becomes a no comparison situation. Overall, I think the jury is still very much out on SC’s offensive ceiling and we won’t know that for 5 more years in my opinion. Having talked myself into all this, I still prefer B Schenn to SC.

    Richards and Carter were not on the team when SC came around, and he was put against tough competition. That’s why everyone likes him so much, he was shutting down some of the best players in the world.

    The way I see it he’s like Jordan Stall when he was with the Pens. He’s a skilled player who has 2 great centres in front of him and is used more for his defensive play.

    I’m all for having SC on the Oil behind Nuge, BUT in reality Philly wont be giving him up anytime soon and the asking price will be way to high.

  83. Well Oiled and Enthusiastic says:

    G Money,

    Nothing more than a formed opinion that players of SC’s type don’t really find their game fully rounded out until mid 20′s. He appears to be a defence first player and is learning the NHL in his early days with that orientation (which should serve him well). But with time and seasoning, more coach confidence and more situational minutes (like PP) his fuller offensive talents will emerge and become a key element of his arsenal. That may happen in 3 years – no doubt, but I don’t think they are near peak yet. He needs more time and there is nothing wrong with that. Said another way, even today, he is not depended on in Philly for offense – Gagner is and has been for most, if not all, of his career.

  84. Well Oiled and Enthusiastic says:

    Logan91,

    Jordan Staal – great analog. Thank you. Geeez, I could have saved 250 words.

  85. Bag of Pucks says:

    G Money: Cool story bro.Do the facts back it up?Let’s take a look see:

    For example, last year when the games mattered and Dubie was the undisputed number one, he:

    - pitched a .931 sv% in his first game, a win against the hated Canucks
    - was 0.928 sv% through the first 10 games, when it mattered the most.In fact, the games mattered more, since it was only a 48 game season.
    - finished at 0.920, meaning he was strong throughout, but got weaker as the games mattered less

    Well, it’s a nice theory except Dubnyk was never the ‘undisputed’ number one while Khabibulin was here. As long as Nik was here, they could always go to him in the bullpen if Dubnyk faltered.

    That was the test this year, to see if Dubie could carry the mail without that fallback option.

    As you’ve probably surmised from the Bryzgalov acquisition, he failed.

  86. G Money says:

    Bag of Pucks: Well, it’s a nice theory except Dubnyk was never the ‘undisputed’ number one while Khabibulin was here. As long as Nik was here, they could always go to him in the bullpen if Dubnyk faltered.

    Piffle. He was the undisputed number one last year. He knew it. Khabibulin knew it. Khabibulin’s numbers proved it. If anything, having LaBarbera this year was a bigger safety net than Khabi was. The idea that the poor start this year is proof that Dubie ‘caves under the pressure’ is bilge. The data from the previous year disproves it, and there are a dozen other more cogent explanations from new situations to sheer random chance that do a vastly better job of covering the issue. Only in MacT Panic World is Bryzgalov a remotely feasible consideration for a starter’s role.

  87. Bag of Pucks says:

    G Money: Don’t forget – new baby.

    Dubnyk has lots of excuses
    Excuses are for losers.
    Ipso facto – Dubnyk is a loser?

  88. dangilitis says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    “Head Coach Dallas Eakins says Gazdic’s fighting is just one of the reasons the team really likes the forward.

    “It’s not so much going out and fighting the other guy’s tough guy,” said Eakins. “He’s more of a deterrent that’s listen, you’re not going to push our team around. The good thing about Luke is that he can get around on his feet, be able to get in on the forecheck and get pucks out of our zone and drive the net. Those are the real important things but it’s great to have a guy like that on our team that has that skill in his back pocket.’”

    From Oilers Website, Westcott’s blog.

    If he removed the word “not” from his first line, then prefaced the rest of this statement by stating that everything he was going to continue to say about Gazdic was a bold-faced lie, then he will have accurately assessed his performance.

    Otherwise, I would say Oilers have a coach that was unable to tell that when his 4th line was out, this was the only time the CBJ sustained any offence.

  89. Bag of Pucks says:

    G Money: Piffle. He was the undisputed number one last year.He knew it. Khabibulin knew it. Khabibulin’s numbers proved it.If anything, having LaBarbera this year was a bigger safety net than Khabi was.The idea that the poor start this year is proof that Dubie ‘caves under the pressure’ is bilge.The data from the previous year disproves it, and there are a dozen other more cogent explanations from new situations to sheer random chance that do a vastly better job of covering the issue.

    And yet, when Khabibulin goes down with injury last season and Dubnyk becomes the main man, thus begins the inevitable downward spiral?

    Oh right, forgot the latest excuse du jour. Dubnyk needs a lot of rest.

    In fairness, the reasons for his poor play are immaterial to me. He’s not elite. Time to get someone who is.

  90. G Money says:

    Bag of Pucks: And yet, when Khabibulin goes down with injury last season and Dubnyk becomes the main man, thus begins the inevitable downward spiral?

    As with your other nonsensical claims – please do go ahead and back them up with data. What was the downward spiral? The two shutouts in a row?

    Bag of Pucks: Dubnyk has lots of excuses
    Excuses are for losers.
    Ipso facto – Dubnyk is a loser?

    What a compelling argument you make. The only explanation for a goalie having a run of bad games is that they are a “loser”. Any other explanation is an “excuse”. Got it. Hope you apply the same gilt-edged reasoning to your own performance at work.

    Bag of Pucks: In fairness, the reasons for his poor play are immaterial to me. He’s not elite. Time to get someone who is.

    In fairness, if the run of poor games at the start of the season is enough for you to declare Dubnyk a loser, then as a lover of small samples, you should also have enough data in his recent run (.958, .919, .943, 1.000) to declare him elite, no?

    Or does data only count when it supports your predetermined conclusions?

    You do have one thing right – Dubnyk so far has *not* proven himself elite. His career .915ish record is indicative of either a mid-grade starter or a high-grade backup. He needs to finish the year around .920 again if he is to prove otherwise.

    Fun fact: the career SP leader in the NHL is Dominik Hasek, at .922.

  91. Bruce McCurdy says:

    justDOit: If DD had come into a stable organization, without new rules regarding equipment, I might be inclined to put some thought towards your position. But in reality, he had a new coach, new systems, new team mates (as many as four new d-men), and new equipment. Further to this, his team absolutely sucked during that period.

    G Money: Don’t forget – new baby.

    Quoted for truth, lots of changes for DD. That new baby is a non-zero factor as well, much as we’d all probably like to pretend it shouldn’t be. But geez, give the guy a week or two to work things out! I was a little stunned at how hard a big chunk of the fanbase turned on the guy, to be honest. To me he’s another Oiler to root for long-term, no different than Hemmer or Gags or Smytty or Eberle or Smid *sobs*. All such guys hit peaks and valleys, why should the goalie be any different. Stuff happens, it’s a journey.

    Frank appraisal of a guy’s play is one thing — and I’m all in favour of it — but to draw negative conclusions about the guy’s character with mumbo jumbo like “can’t handle pressure” is a little out there in my opinion. “Clutch” is mighty nebulous, whereas timing is everything. And his was lousy, this year.

    Doesn’t make him a loser.

  92. G Money says:

    Well Oiled and Enthusiastic:
    Logan91,

    Jordan Staal – great analog. Thank you. Geeez, I could have saved 250 words.

    Jordan Staal is indeed a great analog – but maybe not in the way you think.

    JStaal in Pit was the 3C behind Crosby and Malkin. Rightly considered to have terrific size, skill, and two-way ability, he was the shutdown C behind two (probably *the two most*) elite centres.

    The story starts to diverge from Couturier when you look at Staal’s offense. He averaged between .6 and .8 ppg almost every season, despite being the ‘shutdown’ centre. Even his worst season (.35 ppg) was better than Couturier.

    So point #1 against Couturier being an elite scorer in a bad situation is that elite scorers tend to score a lot regardless of where they play.

    The matching theory therefore (like with Couturier) was that Staal’s mid-grade offense would blossom into elite territory in Carolina, once he was given prime offensive minutes with high-level wingers.

    Reality is harsh. His first year, he put up .645 ppg – lower than most of his years in Pit. This year he is at .285 ppg. I’m sure he’ll improve, but he’s on track for his worst offensive year ever.

    This is why it is a nice theory – but far from a sure thing and not supported by history – to assume that a good shutdown centre will suddenly blossom offensively if given primo minutes. Generally, if they are elite players, teams will play them in an elite capacity. Elite offensive players are hard to find, and you can’t afford to bury them on the third line just because they are also good defensively.

    Pavel Datsyuk is probably the best two-way centre in the game, but he’s been above 1 ppg most of his career, and ain’t no-one burying him on the third line no matter how incredible he is defensively.

    Now if we could only trade Gagner for J Staal or Datsyuk …

  93. G Money says:

    Bruce McCurdy: But geez, give the guy a week or two to work things out! I was a little stunned at how hard a big chunk of the fanbase turned on the guy, to be honest.

    This is the Oiler fanbase. It’s what we do!

    Who knows, maybe that’s a fair trade for undying loyalty to what has been the undisputed worst franchise in the league for the last seven years.

  94. G Money says:

    Hmmm, now that I think about it, I did hear a rumour a few days ago that the Staal brothers may be in play for a trade. I assume they’d have to be a package deal.

    How does a centre group of RNH-E Staal-J Staal-Gordon sound?

    Of course, there is that little cap detail to worry about.

  95. Logan91 says:

    G Money: Jordan Staal is indeed a great analog – but maybe not in the way you think.

    JStaal in Pit was the 3C behind Crosby and Malkin.Rightly considered to have terrific size, skill, and two-way ability, he was the shutdown C behind two (probably *the two most*) elite centres.

    The story starts to diverge from Couturier when you look at Staal’s offense.He averaged between .6 and .8 ppg almost every season, despite being the ‘shutdown’ centre.Even his worst season (.35 ppg) was better than Couturier.

    So point #1 against Couturier being an elite scorer in a bad situation is that elite scorers tend to score a lot regardless of where they play.

    The matching theory therefore (like with Couturier) was that Staal’s mid-grade offense would blossom into elite territory in Carolina, once he was given prime offensive minutes with high-level wingers.

    Reality is harsh.His first year, he put up .645 ppg – lower than most of his years in Pit.This year he is at .285 ppg. I’m sure he’ll improve, but he’s on track for his worst offensive year ever.

    This is why it is a nice theory – but far from a sure thing and not supported by history – to assume that a good shutdown centre will suddenly blossom offensively if given primo minutes. Generally, if they are elite players, teams will play them in an elite capacity. Elite offensive players are hard to find, and you can’t afford to bury them on the third line just because they are also good defensively.

    Pavel Datsyuk is probably the best two-way centre in the game, but he’s been above 1 ppg most of his career, and ain’t no-one burying him on the third line no matter how incredible he is defensively.

    Now if we could only trade Gagner for J Staal or Datsyuk …

    Using PPG average to compare players is the worst argument.

  96. Well Oiled and Enthusiastic says:

    Bruce McCurdy,

    MacT may have inadvertently set the stage for this fandom sensibility with his comments on DD when appointed GM. He definitely, definitely laid bare his own feelings towards DD publicly and probably recklessly (which feelings I personally think still exist today – if not stronger) and that set a tone going into this season. DD’s colossal face plant for an extended period simply threw the gasoline on the fire. It’s not all based on that as it is our lineage as invested Oilers fans to roll to extremes coupled with harsh and unforgiving proclamations, but it accentuated it for sure.

  97. G Money says:

    Logan91,

    Presumably you figure that conjecture, theory, and unsupported statements are better?

  98. Lowetide says:

    G Money:
    Logan91,

    Presumably you figure that conjecture, theory, and unsupported statements are better?

    I’ve always felt that way.

  99. Logan91 says:

    G Money:
    Logan91,

    Presumably you figure that conjecture, theory, and unsupported statements are better?

    There are so many variables during the season that determine how many points a players will put up. Like with Stall, he wasn’t always buried on the 3rd line. When Crosby and Malkin were injured for long periods of time he was leaned on to help with offense. Also take into account the skill level and maturity of the wingers they play with.

    Players are drafted based upon how they play in the Juniors, and SC had a much higher PPG average than Stall in Juniors. So using your theory shouldn’t SC have the much higher offensive ceiling? Meaning he’ll be able to put up more points than Stall?

  100. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Bag of Pucks: He’s not elite. Time to get someone who is.

    Abra cadabra.

    Dammit, didn’t work. Give me a sec? *boot* *reboot*

  101. G Money says:

    Logan91: There are so many variables during the season that determine how many points a players will put up. Like with Stall, he wasn’t always buried on the 3rd line. When Crosby and Malkin were injured for long periods of time he was leaned on to help with offense. Also take into account the skill level and maturity of the wingers they play with.

    Players are drafted based upon how they play in the Juniors, and SC had a much higher PPG average than Stall in Juniors. So using your theory shouldn’t SC have the much higher offensive ceiling? Meaning he’ll be able to put up more points than Stall?

    Yes, this is all true. There is always a narrative about how and why a player did what he did. Or what Bag of Pucks likes to call “excuses”. :-)

    The thing is, once you get three or four years into a player’s career (or in Staal’s case, eight years), all that stuff blends into the picture and you pretty much are starting to see the player as they will be in their career, whether an offensive player or power play specialist or PKer or two-way player or a fourth liner or whatever.

    And as for SC and his Jr and AHL career – indeed, his scoring in those leagues is part of what has been put forward as rationale as to why he would suddenly become a scorer if only just given the chance.

    And it is true, before a player enters the NHL, the best predictor we have of their play in the NHL is their play in developmental leagues. Unfortunately for SC, the best predictor bar none of NHL play is … NHL play.

    SC is 143 games (over four years) into his NHL career, and he’s established himself over that time offensively as a .33 ppg (.13 gpg and .2 apg) player. He’s still young and it is early, and I expect he will improve both defensively and offensively. And it is certainly possible that he’s going to turn into an offensive dynamo. But given 143 games and 4 years – it’s just not very likely. The overwhelming likelihood is that he’s going to be a defensive specialist with sub-.500 ppg offense.

    Does that make him a better fit than Gagner for the Oilers? Yeah, probably.

    Does that mean you can make the blanket statement that he’s “better” than Gagner? Nope.

  102. G Money says:

    Lowetide: I’ve always felt that way.

    Ah hah! The truth comes out – we finally know why you hate Smid!

  103. Rondo says:

    Bruce McCurdy,

    Philly does have Scott Laughton who could replace Sean C

  104. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Woodguy: 12:01

    “Close” is defined as within 1 goal or tied in the first or second period and tied only in the 3rd.

    This removes the score effects of the shot attempts nicely.

    Thanks. that’s a great short, clear summary.

    But, for the record, I was being facetious.
    ;)

    Rondo:
    Bruce McCurdy,

    Philly does haveScott Laughton who could replace Sean C

    I’d trade Hall for a few minutes of Charles Laughton.

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