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. crude says:

    That last rush by Hall has been on repeat all game. Oilers trickle in to the zone with a drop pass just over the line, then a weak shot which turns into a rush the other way. It seems the oil think they’re being cheeky with the drop passes but that is actually what the flames want them to do… Flames playin the oil just right.

  2. Andy P says:

    Cardiac Kids.

  3. bookje says:

    This team.

  4. fuzzy muppet says:

    wow. Im not even sure I’m happy…

    Perron is a keeper

  5. OilBuzz says:

    FUCK YEAHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. Genjutsu says:

    Any of you who say you don’t love this team are liars!

  7. crude says:

    That was all Perron.

  8. bookje says:

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

    Edit…

  9. striatic says:

    David Perron is a god-damn artist.

  10. jp says:

    fuzzy muppet:
    wow.Im not even sure I’m happy…

    Perron is a keeper

    That’s exactly how I feel. No joy tonight.

  11. Lucinius says:

    Can’t believe we lost this. No real excuse, imo, and most of the blame falls on the shoulders of the supposed stars (RNH, Eberle, Hall, Yakupov, Gagner, imo)and the coaching staff. Just couldn’t put things together and a couple of them were outright atrocious and struggled to pass the puck properly if the other player was more than 10 feet away — Hall and Gagner especially. Those two cannot pass worth shit and its simply embarassing.

    Gagner doesn’t look like a guy with a number of years in the NHL, he looks like a career AHLer battling nerves and has for a long time. He’s been over-hyped by many. The guy lost his ability to pass and can’t play worth shit outside of the offensive zone. He’s been, imo, one of the worst players for Edmonton. I know, broken jaw.. but if you’re going to stink up the place you shouldn’t be playing and this is hardly the first time we’ve seen the flashing red neon sign of issues with the guy. He’s just too one-dimensional of a player and he’s lost most of that.

  12. D says:

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

    I wonder of LT called it a night before that goal?

  13. SK Oiler Fan says:

    Need more Perrons

  14. Professor Q says:

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

    I was also going to comment before they scored that it wasn’t over yet. ;)

  15. bendelson says:

    It’s all so fucking emotional.

  16. OilBuzz says:

    Lucinius:
    Can’t believe we lost this. No real excuse, imo, and most of the blame falls on the shoulders of the supposed stars (RNH, Eberle, Hall, Yakupov, Gagner, imo)and the coaching staff. Just couldn’t put things together and a couple of them were outright atrocious and struggled to pass the puck properly if the other player was more than 10 feet away — Hall and Gagner especially. Those two cannot pass worth shit and its simply embarassing.

    Gagner doesn’t look like a guy with a number of years in the NHL, he looks like a career AHLer battling nerves and has for a long time. He’s been over-hyped by many. The guy lost his ability to pass and can’t play worth shit outside of the offensive zone. He’s been, imo, one of the worst players for Edmonton. I know, broken jaw.. but if you’re going to stink up the place you shouldn’t be playing and this is hardly the first time we’ve seen the flashing red neon sign of issues with the guy.He’s just too one-dimensional of a player and he’s lost most of that.

    Lol!

  17. Lucinius says:

    OilBuzz: Lol!

    I know, right!

  18. Lowetide says:

    bookje: Edit…

    Nah…

  19. pboy says:

    I’m noticing more structure in the Oilers tonight. They seem to have a general clue where they should be in their own end and they have the forwards supporting the centers much better on face offs.

  20. gr8one says:

    bookje: Edit…

    love this. lol

  21. fuzzy muppet says:

    Smid looks like he still plays for Edmonton.

  22. SK Oiler Fan says:

    DD has been good. lots of grade a chances against as usual

  23. Professor Q says:

    Lucky there. Oilers were all on the same side, leaving the Flames open. Hall is going crazy on the other end, however.

  24. fuzzy muppet says:

    Im so over 89. They do well in spite of him. he’s made a ton of terrible plays but Hall will crank up his corsi for him

  25. Jon K says:

    How many times has Nick Schultz looked done tonight? Like, just done.

  26. Andy P says:

    Get rid of this jackass. Please. NOW!

    Oh that’s right both our good goalies are injured.

  27. D says:

    Well at least the Oil got one point.

  28. pboy says:

    Good game by Dubnyk tonight.

  29. Professor Q says:

    Nice assist there for Justin…

  30. fuzzy muppet says:

    Fitting. standing around.

    Schultz and marincin on together in OT,

    eakins is just awful

  31. Lucinius says:

    Wow.. Oilers were so very lazy on the OT-winner. Just.. wow. Oilers deserved to lose this game in regulation (which is pathetic in so very many ways).

    Games like this is are why the Oilers are a joke.

  32. striatic says:

    that one’s on the Rexall Place refrigeration plant.

  33. OilBuzz says:

    J. Schultz should be a forward

  34. bendelson says:

    EMOTIONAL!

  35. jp says:

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

    Quoted for truth.

  36. Lucinius says:

    OilBuzz,

    Should be sat, imo, just like Gagner. Both of them look like guys who either don’t care to play NHL hockey or currently don’t know how.

  37. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    You can’t trade that pick now. You just can’t.

    You either trade it 10 games ago when maybe the range of the pick is up in the air and the season — not the playoffs, but the season — is still worth fighting for, or you keep it until after the lottery to see what you have.

    Right now, they have to at least keep it until they get to the lottery. Have to.

    Maybe the do trade it… but you can’t trade it now. At this point the season is gone and the value of that pick is going to keep rising.

  38. SK Oiler Fan says:

    0 for 7 on the pp is problem#1 tonight.
    Simplify and more traffic.
    Can’t lose to that team at home.

  39. striatic says:

    That game wasn’t bad. The way the Oilers lost was ridiculous, but they had chances all night and the Calgary goalie was good. In the end, they lost on a bad bounce off some terrible ice.

    Mid-way through this thing I was lamenting how this was back to the whole “score no goals at home” slog earlier this season, but actually watching the players play, that wasn’t what this was about.

    The “No, I insist” style power play has to stop though. I watch a ton of other NHL teams play, and none of them run a PP like the Oilers do.

  40. jp says:

    pboy:
    I’m noticing more structure in the Oilers tonight. They seem to have a general clue where they should be in their own end and they have the forwards supporting the centers much better on face offs.

    Maybe Eakins bartered with the team: “If you’re in position, you won’t have to work as hard”

  41. Lowetide says:

    No way you can blame the OT goal on Dubnyk, folks. Schultz the younger? You bet. I can’t really blame Eakins for having Marincin out there, he was down a man on the Petry injury. But Schultz? Good God man. Horrible display.

  42. striatic says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: Maybe the do trade it… but you can’t trade it now. At this point the season is gone and the value of that pick is going to keep rising.

    Agreed. I am hugely in favour of trading the pick this time, but it will have to wait until the draft. Stupid to trade it now.

    But come the draft. Move it. There’s no more time to wait on the development of a lottery player.

  43. commonfan14 says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: Maybe the do trade it… but you can’t trade it now. At this point the season is gone and the value of that pick is going to keep rising.

    They’re 28th with 2 games in hand on the Islanders. Not much room for the pick to get better.

  44. striatic says:

    Lowetide: No way you can blame the OT goal on Dubnyk, folks. Schultz the younger? You bet.

    Watching the replay, it is actually not on the younger Schultz or the ice.

    RNH got his stick on the pass, chipping it over J. Schultz’s waiting blade. It is on Nuge if anyone.

  45. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    commonfan14: They’re 28th with 2 games in hand on the Islanders.Not much room for the pick to get better.

    There’s 50 games left. That pick could be anywhere yet.

  46. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Well, we absolutely smoked them on the corgi… like 60 Calgarian Corgis died tonight.

    http://www.extraskater.com/game/2013-12-07-flames-oilers

  47. commonfan14 says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    If it’s moving, there’s a lot more room for it to get less valuable.

    Why wait until it’s the 8th pick?

  48. striatic says:

    commonfan14: They’re 28th with 2 games in hand on the Islanders. Not much room for the pick to get better.

    All picks have increased value at the draft.

    Even if you could guarantee your trade partner a lottery pick, there are fewer trade partners out there since half of them want to retain existing talent heading into the playoffs. At the draft, there are more dance partners.

  49. jp says:

    striatic:
    That game wasn’t bad. The way the Oilers lost was ridiculous, but they had chances all night and the Calgary goalie was good. In the end, they lost on a bad bounce off some terrible ice.

    Mid-way through this thing I was lamenting how this was back to the whole “score no goals at home” slog earlier this season, but actually watching the players play, that wasn’t what this was about.

    I missed the 1st period. I would have agreed with you through the 2nd (and was feeling quite good about the team going into the 3rd). But that 3rd period sucked the life completely out of me. They didn’t convince me they wanted to win badly enough. In fact, they convinced me they deserved to lose. This team is “better” than the Flames, but down a goal they got outplayed and outworked in the 3rd, at home, by a team playing it’s 2nd game in 2 nights. That’s not OK.

  50. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    commonfan14:
    Romulus Apotheosis,

    If it’s moving, there’s a lot more room for it to get less valuable.

    Why wait until it’s the 8th pick?

    Because the other 29 GMs know that picks move, don’t buy picks based on what they are with 50 games left and they collectively lose their heads at the draft table.

  51. Professor Q says:

    striatic: Watching the replay, it is actually not on the younger Schultz or the ice.

    RNH got his stick on the pass, chipping it over J. Schultz’s waiting blade. It is on Nuge if anyone.

    I think you’re right…saw it again. He was also just floating around. Not something you like to see in OT in your own zone.

  52. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    So, Yak with 100% CF (12CF 0CA).

    I think having Hall on his line is really helping. Gager 87%.

  53. stevezie says:

    Just got home from Rexall, my computer is being tricky so no view of a replay, but “lackadaisical” does not begin to describe Schultz on that final play. I am convinced he thought he heard a whistle.

    My brother, who does not watch a lot of hockey, turned to me with honest confusion and asked, “Why did they stop playing?”

    Better team for two periods and close in the third, but that’s not good enough against a flue-ridden flames and the second half of a back-to-back.

  54. stevezie says:

    Lowetide: No way you can blame the OT goal on Dubnyk, folks.

    I think this was one of his best games of the season.

  55. geeker99 says:

    Hardest players to trade? Hemmer, Sammy [ i know he has a no move clause] which is laughable. I know I saw Hemmer keep the puck in for the tying goal. This is what makes him hard to trade for nothing. I know i see skill ooozing from him but its replicated all over this line-up. I agree with sk oiler fan, more perron types. by far the best move this franchise has made since the cup run. Boyd is nice too but the lack of toughness is alarming. we have 5-6 players that if not scoring are are ghosts. please Alice have a good couple of months so we can get something of value for you. Another write off year and we do not need a young high draft pick in this program. we have ruined enough talent, and how nurse isn’t going to wjhc’s is bullshit.

  56. G Money says:

    stevezie: Better team for two periods and close in the third, but that’s not good enough against a flue-ridden flames and the second half of a back-to-back.

    Exactly right.

    It’s not that the Oil played a bad game, and because of the skill differential, they certainly dominated the shot clock.

    But to be outworked and outskated the entire game by a tired, sick team. Wow. This team doesn’t need a psychiatrist, it needs an exorcist.

  57. russ99 says:

    What good is it leading in Corsi when so many shots miss the net?

    We have to lead the league in shots that go high or wide. And probably in easy saves too.

    To me is seems like “Oh my god, I’m gonna get hit or tied up, better shoot as fast as possible!” Which also could explain the maddening pass around the perimeter offensive gameplan

    Puck possession doesn’t mean squat when you can’t or won’t do anything with it.

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