FLAMES AT OILERS, G31 13-14

The first step is admitting there’s a problem, and lordy there’s a problem. Justin Schultz is a wonderful offensive weapon from the blueline, but the role of a defenseman involves several dimensions, and there elements of the position that don’t fit the Schultz bio.

 FINDING AWREYawrey

This is Don Awrey (Bruins) getting a glove from Walt Tkaczuk, maybe 1972.  Awrey played with two of the greatest teams of his era, the 1969-72 Boston Bruins and the 74-76 Montreal Canadiens. Awrey’s role in both cities was the same: stay at home, let the horses run, make sure all shots are contested.

  • Awrey after being dealt to Montreal: “I was paired with Guy Lapointe and that suited me fine. He’s a puck carrier and a playmaker and I took care of things in our own zone, the way I did when I was with Bobby Orr. “

Awrey’s value was away from the puck, he spent the 1970′s between the puck and his own net and was very difficult to get around by land or by air attack. The Oilers have employed several members of the Awrey family of defensemen during the past few years (Ladislav Smid, Nick Schultz, Andrew Ference) and the NHL has dozens of them in any era you’d like to point out in the record book.

 SCHULTZ PARTNERS 5×5 THIS YEAR (TOI TOGETHER, CORSI FOR % TOGETHER)

  1. Anton Belov (181:53) (49.7%)
  2. Andrew Ference (71:51) (51%)
  3. Denis Grebeshkov (46:57) (47.4%)
  4. Nick Schultz (14:24) (40%)

Belov and Ference seem to fit the bill, the captain is far closer in style to Awrey than Belov but both appear to be working fine based on the numbers. Grebeshkov is/was unready and the sample size for Nick Schultz is so small we can’t gather anything of value from it (matter of fact while I’m at it, these are ALL small sample sizes), but we know he was paired with Schultz the younger in his rookie season.

 SCHULTZ PARTNERS 5×5 LAST YEAR (TOI TOGETHER, CORSI FOR % TOGETHER)

  1. Nick Schultz (544:48) (45.4%)
  2. Ryan Whitney (120:06) (36.3%)
  3. Ladislav Smid (62:52) (39.5%)
  4. Mark Fistric (34:42) (50.7%)

I think we agreed last year that the Schultz pairing wasn’t ideal, my complaints about the dog whistle wasn’t nice but did a good job (I think) of describing the chaos. Ryan Whitney was a stalled Winnebago and the Smid-Schultz pairing got about one full game to show their chemistry (not close to long enough to get anything done).

Bottom line? I’m fine with either Ference or Belov, but it should be third pairing. That’s the bottom line. If they’re playing above that level at even strength the Oilers are going to spend a generation more in the cellar. Craig MacTavish tried to get something done in the summer, he needs to pull the trigger before fall 2014, and that means either a lot of money spent on a free agent, a forward traded for a defenseman, or both.

petry common

 PETRY PARTNERS 5×5 THIS YEAR (TOI TOGETHER, CORSI FOR % TOGETHER)

  1. Andrew Ference (213:29) (45.2%)
  2. Ladislav Smid (173:03) (44.3%)
  3. Anton Belov (64:35) (56.1%)
  4. Nick Schiltz (23:07) (50%)

Ference has played much more with Petry and the results have been about average (for this team), and not really much different than the Smid-Petry pairing. This is the tandem that plays the toughs every night:

qual comp 13-14 dCourtesy btn. Ference-Petry isn’t sexy and the results have been a shambles, but in fairness to the players and coach, it isn’t like Orr-Awrey is in the pressbox waiting their turn. Notice the Ference-Petry CorsiRel in the second column to the right—they are in fact the top performers based on qual camp and Corsi Rel so far this season.

The Edmonton Oilers are going to trade for a stud defenseman, and it’s going to happen between now and June 27th in Philadelphia (at the draft). And if they don’t their Edler or Coburn or Ehrhoff or Campbell via trade but Dion Phaneuf is a free agent? Back up the Brinks truck for a double Dion wham kablammo kapow number, because the Oilers need a very specific thing and the price will be dear.

PITLICK RETURN?

pitlick7Oilers placed Boyd Gordon on IR, opening up a roster spot. We know that Tyler Pitlick is close, so maybe he’s activated and draws back in to the lineup this evening. Oilers are 27th in the NHL right now after a 6-4-0 run in their last 10 and things are looking up a little, but back-to-back wins that include a victory over Calgary would put the entire city in a good frame of mind.

LAST 10 GAMES

  1. Taylor Hall 10, 5-7-12 +2
  2. David Perron 10, 8-4-12 +4
  3. Jordan Eberle 10, 6-4-10  +2
  4. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins 10, 1-8-9 +2
  5. Sam Gagner 10, 3-5-8 +2
  6. Ales Hemsky 10, 3-5-8 +1
  7. Ryan Smyth 10, 1-6-7 +1
  8. Nail Yakupov 10, 2-3-5 -2
  9. Justin Schultz 8, 2-2-4 +1
  10. Mark Arcobello 5, 1-2-3 E

32-25 GF-GA in those 10 games, 6-4 won-loss and that goaltending has been better. I don’t think they get anywhere near the playoffs, but the Oilers should be able to slide past a few teams here—Calgary being the prime and near target—as we near the new year. Crawling from the wreckage isn’t sexy, but it’s the task at hand.

Late update: Marco Roy is injured again, this time a concussion. The Pouliot career lock-step continues. Damn.

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259 Responses to "FLAMES AT OILERS, G31 13-14"

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  1. leadfarmer says:

    I think a good comparison for Schultz Jr is Mike Green lite. Good at getting points on the board, but when he is on the ice you really should have 2 other defenseman.

  2. Clay says:

    I like that Belov has decent numbers with everyone. It’ll be interesting to see if they resign him, or if the Hejda history repeats itself.

  3. Bar_Qu says:

    I suggested earlier this season that J Schultz should be part of any deal to upgrade the defense and it was not well received. I still don’t think he or Gagner have the long-term positive value this team needs and would include both of them in any attempt to land a truly top calibre defenseman, along with the number one overall.

    I think the Oil will see their latest most effective Awrey playing against them tonight. I miss Smid.

  4. Bar_Qu says:

    BTW, if later this season the Flames are offering their captain in trade around the league (as part of their teardown/rebuild), is Giordano someone the Oil should be interested in?

  5. Andy P says:

    Another question, would Jultz represent better balance as a wing than a D? I’m thinking of talk in the past of switching MP to D, I’m just wondering about the reverse with Jultz?

  6. DeadmanWaking says:

    The best team in the west starting from our present record would have a good shot of finishing sixteenth overall, yet still out of the playoffs by two spots. We’d need to pick up 70 points in 52 games, a 0.673 pace or about the cut line for top eight team in the league (sustained over a longer segment). Maybe 92 points doesn’t even get you 16′th place.

    Vancouver, sitting on a play-off coin flip right now, is on pace for a 98 point season. Man, that doesn’t even seem possible, but my math looks right (37 points in 31 games prorated to an 82 game season).

    If we did actually finish 16′th overall–even while missing the playoffs by more than one rung–I’d give this season an A. That would be quite the tear.

    One game at a time. First stop, twenty scalps.

    Postscript: The zebras will never allow a team in the west to miss the playoffs with a 100 point record. Book it.

  7. russ99 says:

    Andy P,

    Would the Leafs move Gardiner to wing? How about the Kings with Voynov?

    J Schultz is a difference maker with the puck, especially in the offensive zone. At wing, he wouldn’t be the same player he is carrying it from the back.

    It’s going to take him time, just like with every other player who picked 4 NCAA years over the Juniors/AHL path which leads to quicker development. I see a real problem with patience on players, in the fanbase and with club management.

    BTW – our problems on D are much bigger than a second-year offense only defenseman. Like we only have 2-3 NHL players out of the 6.

  8. Hammers says:

    LT when you throw in Larsen we have one to many . I have said this a few times so am repeating myself but we need to trade Petry OR J.Schultz plus our #1 pick for a true top pairing “D” . Funny thing is how does Larsen look with Ference ? or Belov ? I’m sure McT is trying but he needs to get this done .PS. Get the band going to get Gags on the wing.

  9. Lowetide says:

    Hammers:
    LT when you throw in Larsen we have one to many . I have said this a few times so am repeating myself but we need to tradePetry OR J.Schultz plus our #1 pick for a true top pairing “D” . Funny thing is how does Larsen look with Ference ? or Belov ?I’m sure McT is trying but he needs to get this done .PS. Get the band going to get Gags on the wing.

    I don’t think Larsen is clearly established as part of the future. I understand adding Petry in to a deal, and even Schultz, but that’s only part of a fix and obviously would prefer to keep Petry-Schultz for the RH side.

  10. rickithebear says:

    Petry has been on the ice for 15G on 215 shots.

    3 of the goals were from positions on the ice goals should not go in.
    71 % of shots faced are outside 20ft which is a good ratio.

    0-10 FT 3G on 19 Shots 15.7% which is better than average.
    10 of 19 shots 52.7%
    of these shots 10 are his side and all 3goals are toy his side.
    3/10 30% very bad.

    10-20ft 6G on 56 shots 10.7% is very elite.
    29 of 56 shots 51.7%
    His side 4G on 29 shots 13.7% is very good.

    20-30FT
    5G on 47 shots 10.6% worse than league average.
    28 of 47 shots to his side 59.6%
    3G 28shts 10.7%

    >30ft 1G on 105 shots 1% better than average.

  11. Captain Smarmy says:

    This game beckons to me. Pleads with me to break my boycott of the Oilers. I want to do it, but then I think of Six Rings, and it brings me close to violence.

  12. Ryan says:

    Bar_Qu,

    I’m on board with respect to Gagner–and I’m on record multiple times here pre jaw fracture, so it’s not that.

    I do have a more charitable view when it comes to JSchultz. Here, I agree with LT that he would look a lot better on a bottom pairing. That said, I would have no problems with JSchultz being traded in a package if the return was a true jack of all trades top pairing bonafide dman (not in the elevator shaft phase of his career).

    Too bad Mact painted himself into a corner with the NTC and verbal bridge for Gagner. It’s also too bad that Kassian helped to destroy his trade value prior to that NTC kicking in.

  13. Lowetide says:

    Bob Stauffer ‏@Bob_Stauffer 54s

    Hall-Gagner-Yakupov,Perron-RNH-Eberle, Smyth-Arcobello-Hemsky, Gazdic-Lander-Jones, Ference-Larsen, N. Schultz-J. Schultz, Marincin-Petry

    Marincin-Petry. Huh.

  14. Ryan says:

    Hammers:
    LT when you throw in Larsen we have one to many . I have said this a few times so am repeating myself but we need to tradePetry OR J.Schultz plus our #1 pick for a true top pairing “D” . Funny thing is how does Larsen look with Ference ? or Belov ?I’m sure McT is trying but he needs to get this done .PS. Get the band going to get Gags on the wing.

    Funny your comments about Larsen bring me back to the days that Lowetide used to lament the fact that Oilers develop NHL players and apparently dmen by the bushel.

  15. Lois Lowe says:

    I assume that Belov did in fact go down to OKC. Strange. To my eye he’s been struggling, but not demoted to the AHL struggling. God, I hope the OIlers win tonight. The last 10 game stretch was started with the come back win over the Flames in a game they were out played. Here’s hoping they can jump on a tired team and deliver a beat down.

    I don’t like seeing Gadzooks on the 4th line, but I also understand the necessity playing against a Bob ‘artley coached team. There will be blood tonight.

  16. Woodguy says:

    Bar_Qu:
    BTW, if later this season the Flames are offering their captain in trade around the league (as part of their teardown/rebuild), is Giordano someone the Oil should be interested in?

    Gio is at the top of my Christmas wish list.

    He’s pretty much exactly the player the Oilers need.

    Very good 1LHD.

    Love him.

  17. Woodguy says:

    Lowetide:
    Bob Stauffer ‏@Bob_Stauffer 54s

    Hall-Gagner-Yakupov,Perron-RNH-Eberle, Smyth-Arcobello-Hemsky, Gazdic-Lander-Jones, Ference-Larsen, N. Schultz-J. Schultz, Marincin-Petry

    Marincin-Petry. Huh.

    The Edmonton Oilers only know how to put Dmen in one position.

    Way over their head.

    I still say its a show for a trade, but putting Marincin on the top pairing is sooooooo Because Oilers.

  18. justDOit says:

    Captain Smarmy:
    This game beckons to me. Pleads with me to break my boycott of the Oilers. I want to do it, but then I think of Six Rings, and it brings me close to violence.

    Think of Six Flags instead – works for me.

    Are you also boycotting Molsons, Ford, Telus and Rogers?

  19. Woodguy says:

    Lowetide:
    Bob Stauffer ‏@Bob_Stauffer 54s

    Hall-Gagner-Yakupov,Perron-RNH-Eberle, Smyth-Arcobello-Hemsky, Gazdic-Lander-Jones, Ference-Larsen, N. Schultz-J. Schultz, Marincin-Petry

    Marincin-Petry. Huh.

    Maybe I got it wrong and Eakins will roll out Ference-Larsen vs. the toughs and the Shultz twins behind them?

    Saw Larsen really good against COL.

    Not a large man, but separated larger men from the puck using his body often and made a good quick first pass once he got the puck.

    He lead the Oilers with a +4 that game too fwiw.

  20. justDOit says:

    Woodguy: Gio is at the top of my Christmas wish list.

    He’s pretty much exactly the player the Oilers need.

    Very good 1LHD.

    Love him.

    Which is why I can’t see even a rebuilding Flames club letting him go. The other side of that idea, is the pain of sending the Flames some good prospect(s) for him. But yeah, Gio all the way.

  21. wheatnoil says:

    Lowetide:
    Bob Stauffer ‏@Bob_Stauffer 54s

    Hall-Gagner-Yakupov,Perron-RNH-Eberle, Smyth-Arcobello-Hemsky, Gazdic-Lander-Jones, Ference-Larsen, N. Schultz-J. Schultz, Marincin-Petry

    Marincin-Petry. Huh.

    I think it’s better than Marincin – J Schultz or Marincin – Larsen.

    Of course, I’d still prefer Belov – Petry, but if they’re going to give the kid a second game (and he didn’t look out of place in the first to my eye) that’s probably the best place to put him.

    Edit: This is all under the assumption that they called him up to give him a cup of coffee to shake up the roster and that they’ll send him down pretty quick, sooner if he struggles and 4-5 games max if he does well.

  22. gcw_rocks says:

    The Oilers are okay if Roy doesn’t turn out. We have Zykov from that round as well. Oh wait…

  23. gcw_rocks says:

    Gagner and Klefbom for Gio?

  24. theres oil in virginia says:

    Woodguy: …putting Marincin on the top pairing is sooooooo Because Oilers.

    I see no top pairing there. 3 pairings and a rookie on each one (JSchultz is still a rookie in my estimation). Doesn’t matter anyway – Oilers go as Hall, Eberle, Nuge, Perron go.

  25. KSC10032 says:

    Pertaining to LT’s title of this thread, I’d correct it to read “Finding (Dallas) Smith”

    Dallas Smith was Orr’s most frequent partner in his glory days with the Bruins (Awrey played more with Ted Green). He was a calming presence, tall & rangy by the standards of his time, and a ultra steady positional blueliner. Awrey was a lot like Ference, more scrambly and physical, less reliant on positioning and smart puck movement.

    D. Smith would be exactly the type of partner young Shultz would benefit from.

  26. Gerta Rauss says:

    Lois Lowe:
    I assume that Belov did in fact go down to OKC. Strange. To my eye he’s been struggling, but not demoted to the AHL struggling.

    Edmonton Oilers ✔ @EdmontonOilers
    #Oilers recall defenceman Anton Belov from @OKCBarons

    that was tweeted yesterday afternoon

  27. JohnnyOilfan says:

    Great article by mirtle about the state of Canada goalie system and how the rest of the world are passing us in this position and in development. http://m.theglobeandmail.com/sports/hockey/the-decline-of-canadas-goalies/article15786050/?service=mobile&click=tglobe

    This part of the article screams of Dubnyk:
    “Part of what happened, former Calgary Flames goalie coach Jon Elkin says, is the game changed. As goalies perfected the butterfly style and completely sealed off the bottom of the net, goal scorers adjusted by learning how to shoot at sharper angles from in close, hammer one-timers up high and deflect pucks at the last moment.

    For a goalie, simply being in the right position wasn’t enough any more.

    “It’s not an athletic style,” said Elkin, who now runs one of the top goalie training programs in Toronto and is a consultant for the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds of the OHL. “It worked fantastic for then. But as the game has opened up and shooters have been forced to pick corners, that style is not effective any more. You need to react. And there’s a lag in development.

    “That [style] has hung around too long in Canada. We haven’t adapted. What you’re seeing now is there was too much of that instruction and we’ve created robots. Unathletic goaltenders.”

  28. Woodguy says:

    JohnnyOilfan:
    Great article by mirtle about the state of Canada goalie system and how the rest of the world are passing us in this position and in development. http://m.theglobeandmail.com/sports/hockey/the-decline-of-canadas-goalies/article15786050/?service=mobile&click=tglobe

    This part of the article screams of Dubnyk:
    “Part of what happened, former Calgary Flames goalie coach Jon Elkin says, is the game changed. As goalies perfected the butterfly style and completely sealed off the bottom of the net, goal scorers adjusted by learning how to shoot at sharper angles from in close, hammer one-timers up high and deflect pucks at the last moment.

    For a goalie, simply being in the right position wasn’t enough any more.

    “It’s not an athletic style,” said Elkin, who now runs one of the top goalie training programs in Toronto and is a consultant for the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds of the OHL. “It worked fantastic for then. But as the game has opened up and shooters have been forced to pick corners, that style is not effective any more. You need to react. And there’s a lag in development.

    “That [style] has hung around too long in Canada. We haven’t adapted. What you’re seeing now is there was too much of that instruction and we’ve created robots. Unathletic goaltenders.”

    Thanks for the link.

    Interesting piece.

    I was reading that Ranford is teaching Quick and Scrivens to stay on their skates longer to avoid giving up the top part of the net automatically.

    Dovetails into what you linked.

  29. Woodguy says:

    theres oil in virginia: I see no top pairing there.3 pairings and a rookie on each one (JSchultz is still a rookie in my estimation).Doesn’t matter anyway – Oilers go as Hall, Eberle, Nuge, Perron go.

    I wrote a follow up post saying I may be wrong.

    That being said, someone has to go play against the oppositions toughest and it looks like Ference and Larsen.

    Really like Larsen last game.

    How Grebs took his acid stash to OKC with him. Larsen looked like he dipped into it from time to time.

  30. Andy P says:

    Well it’s game 31 tonight. Now we see whether this team’s training camp is completed, and whether they can ice an increasingly competitive team that finishes strong, becomes a place the required free agents want to come to play, and become a true playoff contender next year, when the team gets full benefit of training camp and pore-season games to figure everything out.

  31. Hammers says:

    Lowetide:
    Bob Stauffer ‏@Bob_Stauffer 54s

    Hall-Gagner-Yakupov,Perron-RNH-Eberle, Smyth-Arcobello-Hemsky, Gazdic-Lander-Jones, Ference-Larsen, N. Schultz-J. Schultz, Marincin-Petry

    Marincin-Petry. Huh.

    Yea but they will not be first pairing . Actually I wouldn’t mind seeing Marincin with J.Schultz on 3rd pairing . Looks like Eakins maybe preferring Larsen over both Jultz & Petry for a RH “D” . Glad there giving Marincin another game . and would sooner see Belov back over Nick Schultz .

  32. gcw_rocks says:

    Hammers,

    Given they played together in OKC, putting them together had some appeal. But Eakins would need to give them soft minutes and favourable zone starts.

  33. Halfwise says:

    Andy P,

    If they were to go, say, 6-4 over a 10 game stretch would that be enough of a sign?

  34. Lowetide says:

    Elliotte Friedman ‏@FriedgeHNIC 1m

    Petry back in for EDM tonight. With flu going through lineup, Hartley says only certainty is that Berra will start.

  35. Bar_Qu says:

    Woodguy,

    Glad I wasn’t alone in that thought. The MSM here in Calgary only lists Russell as the untouchable D on the roster, so Gio was my first thought as a perfect guy to poach for picks & prospects. Plus he brings an intensity to the room which the Flames lacked under Iginla & the Oilers currently lack.

    Lowetide,

    Glad to see the Oil get the backup goalie tonight.

  36. Lois Lowe says:

    Giordano is one of the better D in the Western Conference IMO. Getting him would be a huge coup for any team. How the MSM could include Russell and not Gio is beyond me.

  37. justDOit says:

    Many possible narratives for tonight’s game:

    Will the Oilers soar like an eagle, or merely lay an egg in their home nest?

    Will the Flames bring their blue-collar work ethic into town, or will the flu bug sack them from the start?

    Will the spectacular off-air HD feed keep me glued to the tv, or will Mark Lee and some cheap malbec have me sawing logs before the end of the second period?

    That’s why they play the games.

    Edit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=woLQI8X2R6Y

  38. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Andy P: Another question, would Jultz represent better balance as a wing than a D? I’m thinking of talk in the past of switching MP to D, I’m just wondering about the reverse with Jultz?

    It’s an interesting question. I suggest thinking in terms of centre rather than wing, though.

    His best weapon, though, is jumping in to the attack from the back. He really should have been a rover, except he was born a century too late.

  39. Caramel Obvious says:

    Giordano has 47% Fenwick with 36% zone starts on a blah team. That’s pretty good.

  40. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Woodguy: I still say its a show for a trade, but putting Marincin on the top pairing is sooooooo Because Oilers.

    Hmm, the way I read it Petry is on the bottom pairing.

    A better solution than the pressbox, but Petry has been struggling with tough match-ups, which he normally gets even more at home than the road.

    Consider these splits:

    Road: 17 GP, 2-4-6, +4
    Home: 12 GP, 0-0-0, -14

    If I were his coach I’d be looking for a different assignment while he figures it out, and I’d also be looking for a solid RH partner for Marincin on the bottom pairing. It’s worth a shot, also, we’ll see how long it actually lasts. Tonight it sounds like he starts in the Potter role.

  41. theres oil in virginia says:

    Woodguy: I wrote a follow up post saying I may be wrong.

    That being said, someone has to go play against the oppositions toughest and it looks like Ference and Larsen.

    Really like Larsen last game.

    How Grebs took his acid stash to OKC with him.Larsen looked like he dipped into it from time to time.

    Sorry Woodguy, my post wasn’t a poke at your statement, just an observation that a rookie on each pairing = yikes! Petry’s not much beyond rookie himself. Agree that Ference and Larsen are the best bet for top opposition. At times, Larsen seems to have his head screwed on straight, at least better than the other two rookies.

  42. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Woodguy: Maybe I got it wrong and Eakins will roll out Ference-Larsen vs. the toughs and the Shultz twins behind them?

    OK, I read this after my last comment. Now we are on the same page.

  43. TheOtherJohn says:

    Gio would be the #1 D man I would target. He is young enough to be here for 5 years progressively working his way down the D pairings as he ages. He is a very good player. Would cost a lot but would make every one of our defense immediately better. They would not be asked to do too much. Would like him better than Phanuef and Ehrhoff

    Any possibility we could trade Ference for Smid? younger, bigger, as defensively sound. A bad signing and we are at the front end of the contract where we should be getting value for our $$

    This is a game we should win but Flames put in an exceptional effort most nights. I.e. they get lots out of the talent they have and work hard. Wonder if it is contagious?

  44. Lowetide says:

    Gio getting dealt to Edmonton would never happen imo, and he’s young enough to hang around until they’re good again—which may be soon if they can find a goalie.

  45. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Gerta Rauss: Edmonton Oilers ✔ @EdmontonOilers#Oilers recall defenceman Anton Belov from @OKCBarons

    that was tweeted yesterday afternoon

    Pretty sure Belov never left town. His was a paper transaction to get Larsen back into the roster. No need to clear waivers, so it was easily done.

    Now they’ve done what I thought they would do in the first place — place Gordon on IR — so there’s room for Belov on the roster again. We’ve got a 13-8-2 split at the moment, but if there’s one thing this season should have taught is, it’s that that’ll change. We’ve seen any number of permutations, including a very odd 12-6-3 at one point.

  46. FastOil says:

    Woodguy: Thanks for the link.

    Interesting piece.

    I was reading that Ranford is teaching Quick and Scrivens to stay on their skates longer to avoid giving up the top part of the net automatically.

    Dovetails into what you linked.

    I think that the NHL has cut down on obstruction is the main reason. In the dead puck era goalies could play percentages more because the forwards weren’t getting as many clean shots due to basically cheating.

    There is a lag as the systems, coaches and players react. I remember Hasek making snow angels in his crease and nobody able to raise the puck 2 feet to beat him, drove me crazy. How would that work today?

    I think players have always been as good shooters, just now they can shoot without a stick in the face, cross check or being dragged to the ice. Sticks of course are better as well increasing shot velocity overall.

    Personally I don’t have as much respect for the goalies of the 90′s and 00′s because of this. I think the goalies who played in eras that forwards could actually shoot and weren’t Michelin men in their equipment were likely the better goalies even with lower SV%.

    I think we will see a return to more reaction based goalies that stay on their feet more and are likely not as tall so that they are quicker. 80′s style when the buzz for good goalies was not going down to early and a good glove hand.

    As to another D, I’ll be happy with any acquisition that can give Petry proper help and push the depth chart down. As long as he can make a pass and won’t take shit preferably good enough, no major asset lost.

    And please sign any UFA’s wanted soon and liquidate every other for at least something at the deadline. Get some picks back Mac.

  47. Andy P says:

    Halfwise: Andy P, If they were to go, say, 6-4 over a 10 game stretch would that be enough of a sign?

    They seem to be playing .500 hockey of late, so 6-4 would definitely be better, unless it was at the expense of LT’s corgi’s.

  48. Andy P says:

    Bruce McCurdy: It’s an interesting question. I suggest thinking in terms of centre rather than wing, though. His best weapon, though, is jumping in to the attack from the back. He really should have been a rover, except he was born a century too late.

    Good point, the reason I did not suggest center, was because I’m not sure he has taken many face offs since Juniors.

  49. Lowetide says:

    Andy P: They seem to be playing .500 hockey of late, so 6-4 would definitely be better, unless it was at the expense of LT’s corgi’s.

    If the Oilers can go 6-4, 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 for the next 40 games they’d be 34-34-2. We would have a parade!

  50. Thinker says:

    Wish that the colorado game was against the flames. You know after a good beatdown, we’re due for a good flogging. Lineup stays the same, and defence get lit up. I wish there was a chance I was wrong.

  51. wheatnoil says:

    Andy P: They seem to be playing .500 hockey of late, so 6-4 would definitely be better, unless it was at the expense of LT’s corgi’s.

    I think his point is that the Oilers are, in fact, 6-4 in the last 10 games.

  52. godot10 says:

    Brian Rafalski played 4 years in Europe before starting in NJ in his mid-twenties on the 3rd pairing behind Stevens, Niedermayer and White.

    Duncan Keith had 2 years in the AHL and a year on the 3rd pairing.

    Bryan Campbell had over a year in the AHL and then a couple on the 3rd pairing with a brilliant stable mentor in James Patrick.

    Nick Leddy is still on the 3rd pairing in Chicago.

    Jake Gardiner is struggling defensively in a 2nd pairing role in his 3rd NHL season.

    Justin Schultz has played less than 80 games, essentially all as a 2nd pairing D. If he wasn’t struggling he would be in the Drew Doughty club.

    The blogosphere likes to praise the Detroit model of patience, except for any Oiler player, who is expected to perform immediately flawlessly.

    Ideally, Justin Schultz would have a James Patrick equivalent to play 3rd pairing with, and see power play time. Schultz and Schultz as a 3rd pairing would be fine (or Ference, Schultz), but Justin Schultz has been a 2nd pairing guy since he arrived.

  53. Rebilled says:

    Smid in gross red helmet night! Free cross-checks!

  54. sliderule says:

    FastOil,

    Do they publish stats were the puck is going in.

    I watch a lot of games and I swear almost all the goals that go in clean are top corner.

    The players that score seem to be getting really good with top corner shots.

    This might change the extreme butterfly most goalies play.

  55. Andy P says:

    What does this board think the Oil would need to do, realistically, to demonstrate over the remaining 52 games, that they have grown from where they are today, to where:
    1) They end this season as a team that has become attractive to UFA’s
    2) They are considered a legitimate playoff contender for the 2014/5 season.

    One thought, is that, if 100 points is the benchmark for making the playoffs in a regular season, then if they earned 63 points or more during the next 52 games, would that make them a legitimate playoff contender and a free agent magnet for 2014/15?

    Do you think it is even possible for this team to do that down the stretch?

    Assuming that MacT improves the team over the summer……

  56. G Money says:

    Woodguy: Very good 1LHD.

    Giordano is the best D on the Flamers. He is indeed very good. I do not think he’s a 1LD though.

    If he were, the Flames rebuild should be considered MUCH further along, since they have a core piece that is arguably the hardest piece to find in a rebuild.

    But I don’t think they do, and that is one of the reasons they suck (other than the fact that they inherently suck because they’re the Flames).

    godot10: The blogosphere likes to praise the Detroit model of patience, except for any Oiler player, who is expected to perform immediately flawlessly.

    Oh so very very true. 23 yrs old. Hasn’t even played (the equivalent of) a full season yet. But he’s a bust because he can’t play defense, notwithstanding that is something most defenseman don’t tend to grasp until 25 y.o. and three seasons in.

  57. hunter1909 says:

    Young team developing and full of holes, rookie NHL coach, 100% rookie GM…add nepotistically thicko Irish president with the flexibility of Hitler re Stalingrad and what could possibly go wrong?

    Oh yeah, plus grasping owner who hasn’t even got the brains to understand what a bush league team his mullet fixated living impossibly in the past president of six rings is projecting – not only to everyone who follows the NHL, but also aliens watching from outer space.

    Luckily for the people of earth, the aliens are California Seals fans, from their last earth mission in 1971(miraculously they still haven’t found out about Sam Pollock’s draft order shenanigans).

  58. Andy P says:

    Lowetide: If the Oilers can go 6-4, 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 for the next 40 games they’d be 34-34-2. We would have a parade!

    Hi LT,
    So I just posted another comment/question further down, and maybe it’s a subject you are planning to cover later on, but I’m trying to get a feel for some stat us watchers can use as a baseline, to see through the noise of the pitchforks and parade plans, whether this team is coming along as it should be, or not.

    I personally treated the last 30 as an extended training camp, because DD, injuries, roster, Eakins, and Oilers, but a baseline for the next sets of games would be nice.

  59. Andy P says:

    wheatnoil,

    Yes, but they seem to trend more to win/lose/win/lose with the back to back losses more likely than back to back wins, so to me the .500 may defy the fact but “seems” better through these shit colored lenses.

  60. speeds says:

    Nice game so far for Nichushkin, 1G and 3A through 2 periods

  61. iHockeyWpg says:

    Seguin with the hat trick and Nichuskin with a goal and 2 helpers. Horcoff pointless.

  62. Lowetide says:

    Andy P: Hi LT,
    So I just posted another comment/question further down, and maybe it’s a subject you are planning to cover later on, but I’m trying to get a feel for some stat us watchers can use as a baseline, to see through the noise of the pitchforks and parade plans, whether this team is coming along as it should be, or not.

    I personally treated the last 30 as an extended training camp, because DD, injuries, roster, Eakins, and Oilers, but a baseline for the nextsets of games would be nice.

    Well, I’m no expert but if you go here:

    http://www.extraskater.com/teams/on-ice?type=total

    and follow Fenwick for % and Corsi for % that should be a good tell. If they’re edging to 50% that would suggest that wins will come and they are headed in a good direction.

  63. TheOtherJohn says:

    The Oilers start to play a pretty steady diet of Pacific division oppenents. To date they are 1-4-1 and have 18 games against the PD coming up. That includes 3 games against Calgary (their sole win in Dvision) think its pretty unlikely they are going .600 against SJ, Anaheim, LAK, Phoenix or Vancouver. They also have to play the Central teams and its also tough sledding against Chicago, St Loius, Col and Minny

    Calgary has not played many games aganst the EC so far so their record may actuall improve as a result of QC

  64. hunter1909 says:

    Once Tom Gilbert stood looking like a Lynyrd Skynyrd groupie while some random Oiler was getting shoved around – and no one questioned him for being physically inept at NHL level. On the contrary, it was all about what a great player he was supposed to be(subsequent events have proven that he wasn’t).

    Now Justin Schultz with 50 games + this season is supposed to be an all tools defenceman? Yakupov’s supposed to be a back checking Datsyuk clone? Gagner’s gets his face smashed in, then is expected to return a few weeks later and dominate at 2nd line centre? And the team’s meant to play perfectly, because Dubnyk’s liable to let in weak goals at any time of the game?

    Nevertheless, with the last few good results I’m starting to enjoy the season. I’m also either stupid, lazy, or desperate enough to suspend reality for at least another 5-10 games of this pointless, mostly unsustainable crap.

  65. TheOtherJohn says:

    Wonder how Nichuskin will look when he actually fills out? He’s listed at 198 lbs and is only 18. If he fills out another 15-20 lbs from here he will be an absolute handful driving the net. Other guy I really like (hate) on Dallas is Roussel he is a complete dick to play against

  66. G Money says:

    Andy P,

    Lowetide: Well, I’m no expert but if you go here:
    http://www.extraskater.com/teams/on-ice?type=total
    and follow Fenwick for % and Corsi for % that should be a good tell. If they’re edging to 50% that would suggest that wins will come and they are headed in a good direction.

    Gents, here is my look at the trend of those specific statistics:

    5×5 Close Fenwick %:
    http://i.imgur.com/hBKH1kx.png

    and

    5×5 Corgi %:
    http://i.imgur.com/cP3ZRdO.png

    As you can see, the Welsh herding dog trend is basically flat as a pancake at 46%, not doing much of anything, but the 5×5 Close FF% (which has the highest predictability of future performance, ref: Dellow) is trending very nicely.

    Standard caveats: small sample size, lots of noise still.

    But if you squint your eyes, the stats do seem to confirm what our eyes and the W-L record are suggesting, that there are some good things happening.

  67. TheOtherJohn says:

    G Money:
    Andy P,

    Gents, here is my look at the trend of those specific statistics:

    5×5 Close Fenwick %:
    http://i.imgur.com/hBKH1kx.png

    and

    5×5 Corgi %:
    http://i.imgur.com/cP3ZRdO.png

    As you can see, the Welsh herding dog trend is basically flat as a pancake at 46%, not doing much of anything, but the 5×5 Close FF% (which has the highest predictability of future performance, ref: Dellow) is trending very nicely.

    Standard caveats: small sample size, lots of noise still.

    But if you squint your eyes, the stats do seem to confirm what our eyes and the W-L record are suggesting, that there are some good things happening.

    And now we start playing some of the stronger teams……

  68. Lowetide says:

    TheOtherJohn: And now we start playing some of the stronger teams……

    And with the cool weather, the corgis will stay inside.

  69. Gret99zky says:

    I long for the days when rookies develop in the minor leagues.

    This learning on the job for players, coaches, and GM’s sucks ass.

    I hope we don’t see Nurse in the show for 3 seasons.

  70. sliderule says:

    Maybe Ruff will lobby Seguin for team canada.

    The al gore would get pretty pissy.

  71. OilClog says:

    Every night the Oilers are playing strong teams, good reason why we’re last. Hopefully going into the new year we finish another strong 10game run and build on winning. Team isn’t perfect but when they show up they seem to win.

    May take MacT until the offseason to rebuild the defence but we all agree the playoffs are unreachable so trading any of the Core to fix the problem isn’t something that needs to be played out to save the season. Whew.

  72. justDOit says:

    My corgi says, “Ruff!”

  73. wheatnoil says:

    TheOtherJohn: And now we start playing some of the stronger teams……

    Have you seen where the Oilers are in the standings? They’re ALL stronger teams.

  74. VanOil says:

    I fear the dogs are going to get run over tonight.

    Another reason why the QE2 should of remained a Hwy in Ontario only.

  75. theres oil in virginia says:

    G Money,
    Hey G, is this a dumb idea?: Would it be useful to normalize the Oilers’ game-by-game Corgi by correcting for the oppositions season-long Corgi? Would this flatten out the variability (assuming that the Oilers’ Corgi is better against generally poor Corgi teams)? Would this be a better indication of Corgi improvement? If I’m thinking right (which is always a stretch), then it would be a measure of the Oilers’ Corgi against the aggregate-opponents’ Corgi of each Oilers’ opponent. (How well the Oilers did relative to all other teams the opponent played up to that point.) It’s a half-baked idea, so I’m likely missing something.

    Also, the increased variability in your Corgi graph correlates well with my remembrance of the shit hitting the fan a few games into the season and the chaos calming as of a few games ago.

  76. dangilitis says:

    Lowetide: Gio

    Agreed. And Burke only adds young accomplished defenseman (see: Phaneuf, Gardiner, Beauchemin, Smid)

  77. dangilitis says:

    Who would you rather have won for – DeKeyser, or Schultz? Never look a gift horse in the mouth, I guess, but I think we all know the answer to this question…

  78. Andy P says:

    Just getting the win/loss record straight, here’s how I see it:
    1 Oct-15 Nov: 2L-1W-5L-2W-5L-1W-5L = 4W, 17L.

    Then, players returned, Bryz came in, DD got better, and Eakins held his ground, followed by:
    16 Nov-5 Dec: 3W-1L-1W-1L-1W-1L-1W = 6W, 3L. Based on this, we look like we have become a .500 team that had a bonus 3 game win streak to start this off.

    So to me, tonight’s game will surely be an indicator of whether we can expect the good Oil to turn out most games or only every second game. Based on the pre-game, the Cgy coach is playing down his team’s wellness, so expect them to come out strong and try to surprise the Oil, coasting off a shellacking.

    So while FF will likely be the in-depth indicator, a win tonight would be a good sign of positive things to come – full effort in consecutive games.

  79. G Money says:

    theres oil in virginia,

    Not a dumb idea at all! Quite an intriguing one actually.

    There’s an analogue to that idea in use already, namely Quality of Competition, which is based on the cumulative Corsi of opposition players (though lately this is being superceded by TOI).

    We look at the Corsi of a player like Gordon which in absolute terms isn’t very good, but we make allowances for that because of his brutal zonestarts and the fact that he’s often out against very good players on the other team.

    If you put that in the team context
    Home = o zone starts, Away = n zone starts, Away during long road trip = d zone start
    QoC = Corsi of opposition

    So yeah, you could use this to normalize the data. If you’re facing a 58% Corsi team like the Blackhawks and you put up a 49% Corsi, you’re probably doing better than if you put up a 51% Corsi against Toronto, or, you know, Edmonton (sigh).

    Another way to use that would be to come up with a “Vollman Sledgehammer” type of chart, where you could look at how your team is performing by Corsi, but add to that the QoC and ZS equivalents, and you’d probably get a better picture of how your team is doing. For example, as TheOtherJohn suggested, the Oilers have played a lot of EC teams, which would make their Corsi look better than otherwise. On the other hand, I could counter and say that they played many of those teams on a brutal and extended road trip early in the season (which compromises practice time when it is needed the most), and so the Corsi looks worse than otherwise.

    Both would be captured on this kind of Vollman-for-teams.

  80. Cameron says:

    justDOit,

    As one of the resident Flames-fan-lurker here, please allow me to throw some cold water on this idea.

    The Flames may at some point (trade deadline) decide to auction off Giordano as part of the rebuild, but those chances are much less than 50%.

    Why? Because Flames mgt isn’t interested (at least as far as I can tell) of doing a ‘complete teardown’. More likely they will keep some of their decent vets to cushion the minutes for the incoming kids (you know, what smart teams do). This is in part the reason they made the trade for Smid. He’s a legit D-man who can do lots of heavy lifting in bad circumstances while the kids get easier assignments.

    I would bet (heavily) that Cammalleri goes out in a trade, but I doubt that Glencross or Giiordano are part of any movement.

    I would bet every $ I have that even if the Flames ever did decide to move Giordano that Edmonton is never a consideration. For obvious reasons. Unless of course, you are willing to grossly overpay (Yakupov would be a a very nice piece to send our way).

    I can’t see there being any interest in Gagner from Calgary either (though Klefbom would definitely be a very nice addition). If Gagner can’t hold down a center spot on a team with a screaming need for a decent center, why would Calgary want him when center depth is one of the few things going in their favour?

    Someone suggested Calgary might do Ferrence for Smid. Which is just silly from Calgary’s perspective. Calgary has had Ferrence in the past, and are well aware of what he brings to the table at his age and at this stage of his career. He’s all yours.

    How’s Roman Horak working out for you guys? We liked him down here, but he was log-jammed with all the deals Feaster has made to bring in center depth (Colborne, Jooris, Monahan, etc.) and with the ongoing development of Max Reinhart.

    Horak could be useful in the right circumstances.

  81. Bails14 says:

    Not to distract from the dreaming that is Gio in copper and blue, how bout them islanders? Losers of 8 in a row and are on a dreadful road trip that sees them in LA tonight. After tonight, it’s Anaheim, San Jose, and Phoenix to cap it all off on the 12th. The rest of the ’13 schedule, in order, reads like this:

    Montreal
    Tampa
    NY – Rangers
    Anaheim
    Detroit
    New Jersey
    Minnesota
    Boston

    I see 1-2 winnable games. They might not win a game till 2014. There will be blood!

  82. Woodguy says:

    The Flames are about to give up on Backlund.

    Here is everyone Backlund has played over 100min with from 2010-2013

    First number is CF% together, 2nd number CF of player apart, 3rd number is difference.

    If the number is positive, the player had better CF% results with Backlund than without:

    BOUWMEESTER, JAY 50.5 47.9 2.6
    GIORDANO, MARK 53.8 49.5 4.3
    SARICH, CORY 55.5 50.4 5.1
    IGINLA, JAROME 51.9 47.6 4.3
    BUTLER, CHRIS 48.1 47.1 1
    STEMPNIAK, LEE 54.5 49.5 5
    GLENCROSS, CURTIS 54.7 48.8 5.9
    BRODIE, TJ 57.9 49.5 8.4
    TANGUAY, ALEX 54 47 7
    COMEAU, BLAKE 51.5 47.9 3.6
    BABCHUK, ANTON 55.4 48.9 6.5
    JACKMAN, TIM 58 51.8 6.2
    REGEHR, ROBYN 56.9 45.4 11.5
    KOSTOPOULOS, TOM 56.1 49.7 6.4
    HAGMAN, NIKLAS 53.8 49.9 3.9
    BOURQUE, RENE 51.6 46.9 4.7
    HANNAN, SCOTT 48.5 47.3 1.2
    HUDLER, JIRI 48.8 52.6 -3.8
    WIDEMAN, DENNIS 50.7 49.5 1.2
    CAMMALLERI, MIKE 51.8 47.7 4.1
    STAIOS, STEVE 56.5 46.4 10.1
    CERVENKA, ROMAN 48.1 45.9 2.2
    SMITH, DEREK 54.5 47.9 6.6
    BOUMA, LANCE 52.6 44 8.6
    MORRISON, BRENDAN 54.3 47.2 7.1

    25 players and only 1 player (Hudler over 167 minutes) was better without Backlund.

    That is unreal.

    Backlund himself is 54.5% over that time.

    Someone is going to pick up a reasonable 2C or very good 3C (Backlund’s issue is offense) for next to nothing.

    Here’s Backlund’s page if you want to see for yourself:

    http://stats.hockeyanalysis.com/showplayer.php?pid=1103&withagainst=true&season=2010-13&sit=5v5

  83. G Money says:

    Woodguy: The Flames are about to give up on Backlund.

    Out of curiousity, where did you hear this? I don’t follow the Flamers particularly closely, but as I live in Calgary, it is inevitable that some news seeps in. Hadn’t heard anything along these lines.

    That said, Corsi WOWYs aside, Backlund is one of those players that I have never really “seen good”, which is perhaps part of his mediocre/poor boxcars.

  84. Andy P says:

    Woodguy: The Flames are about to give up on Backlund.Here is everyone Backlund has played over 100min with from 2010-2013First number is CF% together, 2nd number CF of player apart, 3rd number is difference.If the number is positive, the player had better CF% results with Backlund than without:BOUWMEESTER, JAY 50.5 47.9 2.6GIORDANO, MARK 53.8 49.5 4.3SARICH, CORY 55.5 50.4 5.1IGINLA, JAROME 51.9 47.6 4.3BUTLER, CHRIS 48.1 47.1 1STEMPNIAK, LEE 54.5 49.5 5GLENCROSS, CURTIS 54.7 48.8 5.9BRODIE, TJ 57.9 49.5 8.4TANGUAY, ALEX 54 47 7COMEAU, BLAKE 51.5 47.9 3.6BABCHUK, ANTON 55.4 48.9 6.5JACKMAN, TIM 58 51.8 6.2REGEHR, ROBYN 56.9 45.4 11.5KOSTOPOULOS, TOM 56.1 49.7 6.4HAGMAN, NIKLAS 53.8 49.9 3.9BOURQUE, RENE 51.6 46.9 4.7HANNAN, SCOTT 48.5 47.3 1.2HUDLER, JIRI 48.8 52.6 -3.8WIDEMAN, DENNIS 50.7 49.5 1.2CAMMALLERI, MIKE 51.8 47.7 4.1STAIOS, STEVE 56.5 46.4 10.1CERVENKA, ROMAN 48.1 45.9 2.2SMITH, DEREK 54.5 47.9 6.6BOUMA, LANCE 52.6 44 8.6MORRISON, BRENDAN 54.3 47.2 7.125 players and only 1 player (Hudler over 167 minutes) was better without Backlund.That is unreal.Backlund himself is 54.5% over that time.Someone is going to pick up a reasonable 2C or very good 3C (Backlund’s issue is offense) for next to nothing.Here’s Backlund’s page if you want to see for yourself:http://stats.hockeyanalysis.com/showplayer.php?pid=1103&withagainst=true&season=2010-13&sit=5v5

    Hey WG,
    I’m wondering who he would replace on our team: Arco? Gags? Lander?

  85. VanOil says:

    Bails14,

    Islander are getting woeful goal tending and are now without hope. Man that sounds familiar.

  86. justDOit says:

    Cameron,

    Cold water on my suggestion that Calgary won’t move Gio, or that the thought giving the Flames prospects for him, tastes like poo?

    Oh, and that post about Ference for Smid was a joke. Ference has NMC, and I think the Oilers just traded away Smid, so…

    Good luck tonight. I think we’ll both need it.

  87. Cameron says:

    Woodguy,

    The rumours about Calgary souring on Backlund relate largely to how poorly Hartley has used him in offensive circumstances (ditto Baertschi).

    I’m not saying they won’t move him (they very well might – he’s in a strange spot on the team as a solid defensive/possession guy without much offense), but if they do I suspect it will be for a player of similar age/upside.

  88. Cameron says:

    justDOit:
    Cameron,

    Cold water on my suggestion that Calgary won’t move Gio, or that the thought giving the Flames prospects for him, tastes like poo?

    Oh, and that post about Ference for Smid was a joke. Ference has NMC, and I think the Oilers just traded away Smid, so…

    Good luck tonight. I think we’ll both need it.

    Cold water on both. I doubt Calgary trades him at all, and I am positive they won’t do a deal with Edmonton unless it is ridiculously lopsided in Calgary’s favour (like the Smid deal).

  89. magisterrex says:

    Cameron: Cold water on both. I doubt Calgary trades him at all, and I am positive they won’t do a deal with Edmonton unless it is ridiculously lopsided in Calgary’s favour (like the Smid deal).

    Yeah, like the Staios trade was, too. Dee Ess Eff logic.

  90. justDOit says:

    Cameron,

    I was the one who said I can’t see them moving Gio, so maybe direct your water cannon in some other direction. It is agreed here that he is a very nice player – no question.

    I know that the witty repartee comes pretty fast on this site, so maybe read twice, reply once? Mkay?

  91. prairieschooner says:

    We are not very lucky with stats saw him good
    Is Backlund the new Belanger Triangle
    Do Calgary not have remedial stats guy who can point this out to management?

  92. Cameron says:

    magisterrex,

    That was the Dutter regime.

  93. VanOil says:

    Glenn Healy just got a little better looking on the CBC panel and way way smarter.

  94. Lowetide says:

    slepyshev scored today in the KHL.

  95. fifthcartel says:

    Lowetide,

    Wow, that is awful.

  96. Lowetide says:

    fifthcartel:
    Lowetide,

    Wow, that is awful.

    I’m a Bruins fan, but that’s horrible. He shouldn’t be able to play again this season.

  97. Caramel Obvious says:

    One of these days the league will get serious. Not this day I don’t think.

  98. Lowetide says:

    Brad Hunt (Andrew Miller) 1-0 Barons

  99. justDOit says:

    Lowetide,

    Hits to the head, intent to injure, hitting a vulnerable player – I say 5 to 10. Years.

  100. Bails14 says:

    VanOil:
    Bails14,

    Islander are getting woeful goal tending and are now without hope. Man that sounds familiar.

    Like an echo, how deep is this pit of misery? At least it we ain’t the only ones down here!

  101. fifthcartel says:

    Lowetide,

    Agreed 100%, they need to change the culture so this stuff doesn’t happen.

    On the other hand, Ty Rimmer looks to be having a solid debut for OKC.

  102. Jon K says:

    Lowetide: I’m a Bruins fan, but that’s horrible. He shouldn’t be able to play again this season.

    Horrific play. A suspension similar to Bertuzzi’s is in order. The play barely falls within the norms of the game, which is relevant in terms of the test for determining whether there should be criminal liability for assault.

  103. jake70 says:

    Other morning on TSN with Mike Richards, he and Dregger discussing/questioning why Toronto wouldn’t trade one of their goalies? – Dregger, if I heard him right, was saying the Leafs haven’t had any calls on Reimer. Bizarre if true. 931 sv% on 625 shots so far this season. Bernier similar. 1 goal on 30 shots against tonight – in just under 2 periods. Man.

  104. thebiggestmanintheworld says:

    Watching that Thornton-Orpik play from the Penguins end camera, it looks like Orpik has a jaw made of wet sand…..http://youtu.be/GuVq-TZ7AJM

    Thornton should be suspended, no doubt…..

    …..buuuuuuut, Thornton is a legit goon. A playing goon. If he wanted to really hurt Orpik, his gloves would have come off, and he wouldn’t have only thrown two…

    I’m curious what the general thought of James Neal’s greasy knee to the head of Marchand is? That is the whole reason the play stopped, and IMO, is just as worse to see in the game…

  105. Andy P says:

    Bails14: Like an echo, how deep is this pit of misery? At least it we ain’t the only ones down here!

    Before Nov 15, we strung together 3 x 5 game losing streaks for a .25 win ratio.
    Sinc then, we got a 3 game win streak followed by alternating wins and losses. Which translates into something between a .666 and a .500 win ratio.

    I’d wager that barring injuring and stupid trades, we should do no worse than .500 and no better than .666 over the rest of this season. Assuming the corgis behave and if we hit or exceed .640, there will be more than 1 or 2 unicorns galloping around the rink.

    Just sayin’

  106. gogliano says:

    I’d kick him out of the game. At least for the season, but I don’t see why he should allowed in an NHL rink. That really isn’t on the border, it is a full assault by the legal definition (even including the deferential test for determining assault in sports). After the play, well outside the bounds of ordinary rough play after a whistle–the punches came after a clear slough foot and while Orpik is lying vulnerable on the ice.

  107. nelson88 says:

    Stupid, mindless play by Thornton but the most dangerous incident n the sequence was Neal’s knee. Both should receive lengthy suspensions. The referee’s should have called the Crosby penalty as well.

  108. Andy P says:

    gogliano: I’d kick him out of the game. At least for the season, but I don’t see why he should allowed in an NHL rink. That really isn’t on the border, it is a full assault by the legal definition (even including the deferential test for determining assault in sports). After the play, well outside the bounds of ordinary rough play after a whistle–the punches came after a clear slough foot and while Orpik is lying vulnerable on the ice.

    It wasn’t just a punch it was also an elbow when he was down and out. Outside of his suspension he should face charges of criminal assault.
    And the suspension should be equal to at least double the time Orpic misses.

  109. Andy P says:

    Just watched the Gio interview. Who doesn’t see an ambush coming? Hopefully the Oil players aren’t fooled.

  110. TheOtherJohn says:

    Saw interview with Giordano , we traded Smid again for what reason? FFS

    Forgot Horak was lighting it up in OKC ….. No he isn’t

  111. nelson88 says:

    TheOtherJohn:
    Saw interview with Giordano , we traded Smid again for what reason? FFS

    Forgot Horak was lighting it up in OKC …..No he isn’t

    remember…..we needed the cap space ;)

    top 4 D signed for $3.5M/year are falling off trees.

  112. russ99 says:

    Oh, man, that Orpik thing looks really bad.

    They better throw the book at Thornton. What is this, wrestling?

    Btw: the Smid trade had little to do about cap space, it was about fixing the draft blunder MacT made in the second round by not trading up to get Fucale.

  113. Woodguy says:

    Andy P: Hey WG,
    I’m wondering who he would replace on our team: Arco? Gags? Lander?

    Lander for sure as it stands today, but Lander is almost 1pt/gm in his last 40 or so AHL games. He may have come around.

    Not sure what Arco is yet. He may be almost as good defensively and better offensively than Backlund.

    I’d actually like him a 3LW on the Oilers. PIsani type with ability to play C if needed.

    I heard that CAL likes the big kid Colburne better than Backlund.

    I think he’s probably make a decent 3C in time and would be beneficial to a team going into the playoffs who don’t have a strong 4C.

    He doesn’t really have enough offense to be a 2C as far as I can tell, but I could be wrong.

  114. TheOtherJohn says:

    So you traded a top 4 D that took 6 years to develop. He has size and can line up against the very large forwards in the Pacific division. And we trade for a goalie that will be ready for real minutes in 3 to 4 years.

    And we wonder why the Oiler management are known to be such complete ass clowns

    Always wondered why if Brossoit was so good why didn’t we draft him in any one of the 163 places in the 2011 draft he was available? We drafted everyone else from the Oil Kings

  115. theres oil in virginia says:

    Haha! The more things change, the more they stay the same: Oilers fans boo Smid.

  116. RexLibris says:

    Woodguy,

    I’ve been on the Backlund train for a while now.

    Good player, good age, great complimentary player on a team deep in offense.

    Personally, I’d put Arcobello in as my 2C, move Gagner to the wing until I could trade him for blueline help (Coburn?) and try to acquire Backlund for a prospect like Musil.

  117. striatic says:

    Larsen is speedy. Thankfully.

    Nice save by Dubnyk too.

  118. SK Oiler Fan says:

    Another great pp to set the tone. oh, another. This should really swing the momentum.

  119. Lucinius says:

    One thing I’ve noticed this year; Gagner and Hall can’t pass for shit. They need to practice it something terrible.

  120. OilBuzz says:

    Arcobello is a gem

  121. Andy P says:

    Is our D better or worse tonight without Belov?

  122. striatic says:

    Andy P,

    Way too early to tell.

    Might have missed him on the 2nd unit PP though.

  123. flyfish1168 says:

    Not sure why Gagner gets so much leeway. He should be benched and minutes cut. By eye at least 2 glaring give aways already

  124. Minister D- says:

    Looks like it’s fucking amateur night all round. Shit game so far, and CBC’s online feed regularly craps out. Form = content.

  125. SK Oiler Fan says:

    Ha, Smid digs the puck out of his throat.

  126. Southern Oil says:

    Ah hell, I miss Laddy. That trade is looking dumber by the game. Wait until the trade deadline when guys like Smid will command big returns. Can’t figure that out.

  127. Lucinius says:

    Smid is a tough SOB, period. Hate seeing him in that god damn jersey.

  128. Minister D- says:

    Good god, the Oilers’ D on the offensive blue line look like two drunk soldiers playing catch with a grenade in a mine field.

  129. SK Oiler Fan says:

    If you shoot there on DD every time you will score. Not saying he should stop every point blank chance like that, but that’s a well scouted shot by Stempniak

  130. Lucinius says:

    Bad play there by Perron, Ference and Dubnyk should have it, and a minor assist by the refs. Good times.

  131. John Chambers says:

    Man am I glad we didn’t trade Yak for Wayne Simmonds … Or 2 months of David Clarkson.

    Give the kid until early 2015 but he might just become a Taylor Hall clone. Imagine.

  132. spoiler says:

    Watching Arcobello hunt down open men in his own end on the back check is a real joy.

  133. Lowetide says:

    Oilers should be well ahead, but this is a good test being down 1-0. do they crumble against a bad team, making them even worse? Or do they man up?

    I heart Marincin.

  134. Jon K says:

    If I’m Eakins I’m telling the team that the only way Calgary wins tonight is if they outwork the Oilers. It is completely within their power to play hard and force a quick game against a tired team. A few times in the first it looked like some guys were “saving their energy”.

    A little luck and they might be tied now. More consistent effort in the first period and they might be winning now.

  135. RexLibris says:

    I’m okay with the Flames scoring first.

    A win against Calgary feels better…when you’ve taken it away from them.

    ;)

  136. Woodguy says:

    Cameron,

    How’s Roman Horak working out for you guys? We liked him down here, but he was log-jammed with all the deals Feaster has made to bring in center depth (Colborne, Jooris, Monahan, etc.) and with the ongoing development of Max Reinhart.

    Horak could be useful in the right circumstances.

    3rd star of the game in OKC tonight.

    Rimmer was 1st.
    Hunt was 2nd

  137. Woodguy says:

    Oilers need to be first to the puck more often.

    CAL doesn’t have much and they’re letting them off the hook so far.

    I want to bitch about the refs with the Ference hold non-call and a hold on Yak that kept him from getting the puck in a dangerous spot, but with 3-1 in PP’s I really can’t.

    Oilers need to move some feet on the PP and move the puck quickly.

    Too static

  138. Woodguy says:

    Lowetide:
    Oilers should be well ahead, but this is a good test being down 1-0. do they crumble against a bad team, making them even worse? Or do they man up?

    I heart Marincin.

    Doesn’t look out of place.

    Nice to see.

    Ference and Petry were a pair later in the period.

    Need to watch that closer.

    I don’t like Shultz twins as a pair.

    Nick doesn’t move the puck nearly fast enough.

  139. VanOil says:

    Campbell for Healy should be a permanent trade

  140. Lowetide says:

    Woodguy: Doesn’t look out of place.

    Nice to see.

    Ference and Petry were a pair later in the period.

    Need to watch that closer.

    I don’t like Shultz twins as a pair.

    Nick doesn’t move the puck nearly fast enough.

    They didn’t look good last year either. Vodka and prune juice.

  141. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Is Smyth centering this line with Arco and Hemsky?

  142. VanOil says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    I recall seeing Arco taking a draw but the cbc suggest otherwise

  143. jp says:

    Yikes. There’s Marincin.

  144. Lowetide says:

    Nerves from Marincin on that shift.

  145. flyfish1168 says:

    Wow this game is worst then watching any junior game. So many comical mistakes

  146. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Smid should get a jersey penalty here!

    ha!

  147. D says:

    Schultz played well on the point for the last bit of that PP.

  148. SK Oiler Fan says:

    This team doesn’t like working hard. They’re trying to get away with just enough.
    Flames getting away with a lot of holding of Yak. I think the refs look at him as a diver and the opposition knows they won’t get called.

  149. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Gio has Hall’s stick…

  150. Mjolnir says:

    Is Perron French for dick?

  151. Lowetide says:

    Mjolnir:
    Is Perron French for dick?

    It was in Shawshank.

  152. jp says:

    spoiler:
    Watching Arcobello hunt down open men in his own end on the back check is a real joy.

    For sure. But the real issue is that’s far too rare a thing to see with this team. Agreed on Arcobello though.

    Too bad he’s not a sniper – that was a nice chance.

  153. D says:

    What a save on Arco.

  154. VanOil says:

    Does Easklns choose his lines by ‘duck,duck, goose’

  155. SK Oiler Fan says:

    Flames are getting away with hooks and interference like crazy now cause the Oilers already have the PP edge. Situational officiating

  156. crude says:

    Perron is wonderful.

  157. jp says:

    Very nice rush by Larsen there.

  158. hunter1909 says:

    These dolts are getting beaten by the hard working lunchpail Flames.

  159. fuzzy muppet says:

    Edmonton is amazing at skating the puck around the perimeter

    If only that were a winning stratedgy

  160. striatic says:

    hunter1909,

    Lunchpail Finn in goal.

  161. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    That Larsen can skate.

    I smile every time I see Smid even if he is wearing that gordless jersey.

    Marincin is still a ways away, but you can see why people see a player in there.

    Hall has what 435 shots so far?

  162. crude says:

    fuzzy muppet:
    Edmonton is amazingat skating the puck around the perimeter

    If only that were a winning stratedgy

    Perron doesn’t trifle long on the perimeter. Guy keeps me on the edge of my seat.

  163. Lowetide says:

    We’re officially cheering for a hopeless team. Even when they dominate it’s boring and they’re losing? HOW can this be? HOW?

  164. D says:

    Lowetide:
    We’re officially cheering for a hopeless team. Even when they dominate it’s boring and they’re losing? HOW can this be? HOW?

    They’re over thinking. And they don’t want to get the puck into the hard areas (i.e. in front of the net).

  165. crude says:

    Lowetide:
    We’re officially cheering for a hopeless team. Even when they dominate it’s boring and they’re losing? HOW can this be? HOW?

    Hold the phone, it’s official today?

  166. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Lowetide:
    We’re officially cheering for a hopeless team. Even when they dominate it’s boring and they’re losing? HOW can this be? HOW?

    The solution is probably to put poison ivy in their skates or some mild allergen in the locker room… they look like they need to be a little more irritable.

  167. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Like with serial killers and the culture at large, how much better off would the NHL and it’s media be if they simply didn’t cover incidents of freak violence with this kind of obsessive wall to wall treatment?

  168. Lowetide says:

    Chase with an assist tonight, he’s 27, 16-13-29 +11 now and Khaira has 1-1-2 tonight and is 20, 5-10-15 +4 on the year.

  169. SK Oiler Fan says:

    When is MacT bringing in that vet assistant again? A decent PP plan would have this game in the bag by now.

  170. D says:

    Can’t go a game without a Hall giveaway.

  171. Pablo Aimar says:

    When is the genius coach going to come up with a power play that isn’t a pile of shit?

  172. D says:

    Pablo Aimar,

    Hopefully when he’s been eased out of Edmonton.

  173. pboy says:

    Gagner should be in the PB next game

  174. Andy P says:

    pboy:
    Gagner should be in the PB next game

    When Gordon is back, yes.

  175. D says:

    Make that two Hall giveaways.

  176. hunter1909 says:

    Move the goal anywhere near the sideboards and they’ll be rolling.

  177. Lowetide says:

    And Ben Betker 2 goals tonight, now 31, 4-6-10 +4.

  178. hunter1909 says:

    Great. Now another 2 minutes along the boards, lol.

  179. pboy says:

    They don’t ever call that pick play against the Red Wings

  180. SK Oiler Fan says:

    4 lazy on the back check again. The Flames pk has out chanced the oilers pp

  181. Bank Shot says:

    Flames barely bother themselves with defending the point during the Oilers’ powerplays.

    They know there isn’t a point threat.

  182. D says:

    You could tell Arco was thinking SHG during his portion of the penalty kill.

  183. flyfish1168 says:

    Wow flames look stronger as game is going on.

  184. OilBuzz says:

    So many high/wide shots

  185. icecastles says:

    Thought I’d check in on the comment thread and do a keyword search on the word “boring.” Yup, several matches.

    This is excruciating.

  186. pboy says:

    I’m not sure that Eakins has a pulse……

  187. Andy P says:

    did I say ambush?
    You’d think we were the tired team

  188. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Lowetide:
    And Ben Betker 2 goals tonight, now 31, 4-6-10 +4.

    And he’s Bigos big.

    When I asked that Everett sports writer and their live chat group about him, they were pretty impressed but didn’t see him making the show without a lot of things going right… still, he’s becoming a much more interesting pick than he was last Summer by the week.

  189. SK Oiler Fan says:

    I see Hartley is very vocal on the bench with his young team. Maybe Eakins should try saying something rather than just rolling his eyes and cursing after every goal against.
    Has an assistant coach ever been fired mid season. Whoever is running the PP is not performing.

  190. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Platzer with a goal tonight, +1.

    Draisaitl, 1-1-2 +2

  191. Andy P says:

    Who slipped DD those magic mushrooms?

  192. OilBuzz says:

    Dubnyk, wtf?

  193. D says:

    OilBuzz:
    Dubnyk, wtf?

    Isn’t that a given?

  194. Andy P says:

    Is this the best that all those 1st round picks can do? Together?

  195. crude says:

    Snoooooooze fest.

  196. jp says:

    flyfish1168:
    Wow flames look stronger as game is going on.

    It’s all relative.

  197. SK Oiler Fan says:

    Flames might become competitive before the Oilers at this rate.

  198. Lowetide says:

    Credit to the Flames, they won the hockey game with hard work.

  199. Andy P says:

    What an excellent team effort by the Flames. Better team than us with nowhere near the supposed talent.

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