CANUCKS AT OILERS, G52 13-14

In the file of Oiler memories I can draw upon to say ‘at least it’s not as bad as that time….’ I’m down to Shayne Corson and Michael Largue, and I admit I’ve looked up Largue on twitter for fun. We’re on the bad side of town for morale, ladies, we’re two blocks up from the Poe mysteries.

quinn

 

I remember the Canucks from the beginning, and it’s been a strange and unusual journey for the team. At the expansion draft they gathered good players and tried to compete right away, and won 24 games in year one (respectable). Vancouver has had ups and downs, but they’ve never been truly bad as a team, not really. Since Marc Crawford arrived as coach, the Canucks have been in the upper echelon of the NHL. If there’s one thread that has run through Canucks history for me, the kingdom of Sweden (Thomas Gradin through Markus Naslund and to the Sedins) has been it for me.

They are now exiting the window of Stanley opportunity, having won enough to get to another G7 of the SCF. Canuck fans are the only people I know who have  endured two G7 SCF losses (1994 and 2011) and my dear friend Gord Wilson passed before seeing them raise the Cup. It’s a tough team to cheer for, those Vancouver Canucks.

Ralph Krueger has a helluva reputation.

dog4

Jonathan Willis has a nice piece up on the Hendricks deal and analytics, and I do think he raises some excellent questions. We know the Oilers look at the numbers, but we don’t really know where they use them and how much importance they put on them. The Hendricks deal can help in two areas (faceoffs and penalty-kill) and may aid in reducing the playing time for guys like the Nuge. Having Nuge come out after a PK makes more sense to me than using the young man in a penalty-killing role.  It certainly doesn’t counter Jon’s argument, but the idea of a 4th liner who can also kill penalties is a good one.

pitlick ferguson oneThe next callups should see Tyler Pitlick and Taylor Fedun join the party, and I imagine we’ll see that before the Olympic break. Edmonton’s trades last week tell us teams are beginning to make their decisions for the deadline, and the Oilers have to be ready to move pieces around to make room. The Dubnyk trade was a reaction to the Kings being ready to move on from Scrivens, and the Nashville trade looks (to me) as though it was a place to dump DD.

LAST 10 (25-40)

oilers last 10

25 goals in their last 10 games, everyone is off the pace a little here and the minus numbers also tell a story. Eberle has four goals, and there’s a set who have three (Hall, Nuge, Yak, Gordon) but this isn’t a team that has all of their cannons firing. The power play is ghastly, and among the things we don’t talk about enough in my opinion. How many games this season have been lost due to special teams? That area and goaltending are big damn issues.

oilers last 10 g

Here’s last 10 for goalies, chalk up 40 on the big board. They (goalies, defense) can’t possibly be this bad. I know Dubnyk struggled in his first Nashville game, but it’ll be interesting to see how much he regains his reputation in a new town.

katz

The Katz letter seems to have released more venom from the fanbase, but I think that was expected. The next step? It’s still in the fans corner, because the Oilers have made their situation clear. It’ll be interesting to see what happens at the game tonight. A win would certainly help, but the real reaction from fans will need to be more than booing. The Edmonton Oilers have the best fans in the world, we collectively have the faith of a child (that’s not being critical, that is a statement of fact) and perhaps this is a coming of age for fans and owner.

We wait.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

adams4

It’ll be a lively show today, 10 this morning on TSN 1260. Scheduled to appear:

  • Tyler Dellow, mc79 hockey. We’ll discuss Hall’s year and reasonable expectations for the rest of this season.
  • Mark Spizzirri, Puckrant and Sirius XM. What’s going on with the Red Wings?
  • James Mirtle, Globe and Mail. Ben Scrivens, Leafs on a roll, getting outshot and winning.
  • Andrew Bucholtz, 55-yard line. One of the CFL’s all-time QBs is retiring today, we’ll talk about it.

10-1260 on text, @Lowetide_ on twitter. It’ll be fun!

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266 Responses to "CANUCKS AT OILERS, G52 13-14"

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  1. verdad says:

    Can anyone explain how any rational person would not seeing firing Kevin Lowe would not have been a reasonable move for Katz to make?

    Does anything else merit any discussion about the Oilers, until Lowe is expunged.

    No progress can be made until this move is made?

    Why worry about the trivia of Tyler Pitlick’s call up while Lowe persists?

  2. Genjutsu says:

    What a brilliant piece. Calm and clear as always LT.

    Bravo.

  3. Hammers says:

    Ales the only non minus forward . Hope he can play & get to the Olympics . Trouble is he will be gone before Gags & hopefully for a player not a pick . What is the list of tradeable players . Hemsky , Smyth , Gags , Jones maybe , NSchultz , Belov , Potter ,all may be .It would have been nice to see a couple of bodies coming back that could play next year but we wait .

  4. Woodguy says:

    Oilers 24th in NHL in HomeFen with 49.1%

    Dys 12th in NHL in RoadFen with 49.9%

    Should be a relatively close-ish game with goaltending and special teams being the difference.

    With all the D that is ready to come back (Potter-Larsen), I’m interested to see if J.Shultz stays up with Ference on 1st pairing.

    They are a disaster together against 1st pairing comp.

    Worst pair corsi wise on the team. Most likely because they are playing 1st pair comp and neither can handle it.

    I’d be interested to see Ference-Petry 1st, Marincin-J.Shultz 2nd Belov-Larsen 3rd.

    Also,

    Willis had a piece up that mentioned Klef is starting to look like the player they hoped he would become when the drafted him.

    Playing big, physical and able to stop the cycle, grab the puck and make a smart first pass very quickly.

    They Oilers are dying for that.

    One of the things I am looking forward to watching is Klef coming up after the deadline.

    My guess on the final score tonight is 4-3 Dys.

    Oilers don’t get a PP goal and the Dys do.

    Go Oilers!!!

    *clap,clap*

  5. Ice Sage says:

    No Tortorella, no H. Sedin…
    But, who’s going to impede Kassian?
    Should turn out as always.

  6. HiddenDarts says:

    The problem I had with “The Letter” was simply that it was basically a Coles Notes version of the David Staples MacT interview.

    The fans want blood, and the letter basically says, “cool yer boots, bitches!”

    I not even watching anymore, frankly. It’s actually too excruciating.

  7. AZOIL says:

    Long time reader, born and raised in Lethbridge and now live in Arizona. First post from me! Always follow the oilers and always will. I get some of the negativity but I am obviously a half glass full kind of guy. MacT just got hired and I wish everyone would give him another offseason to pull a few strings before being so blasted negative. Also firing Lowe isn’t something I could care less about, if Katz says MacT is the man then MacT is the man, firing Lowe is not something that would all of a sudden make me get excited? I agree the team has some problems, but man some of you can be so negative it is depressing! I’m happy we are doing the re-build even though it isn’t going just as planned. I will take this over years of us hovering around the middle of the pack or barely making or missing the playoffs and getting a middle of the pack pick as a result. Hang tight everyone, take a game off once in awhile, it helps! LT keep up the great work keeping Alberta transplants like me stay connected!!!

  8. Lois Lowe says:

    This is relevant to all of our interests.
    http://i.imgur.com/1GZTiI6.gif

  9. PREDICKTER says:

    The Oilers were supposed to make some hole this year, but it appears that they have drilled into some chert and destroyed the bit. Now they have to trip out and trip back in with a new bit. The big question is what bit would be best to use? Do you go in with a bit that will for sure drill the chert but be slow drilling, or do you take a chance with a bit that will drill faster but maybe not drill the chert causing another destroyed bit, more tripping and wasted time? There’s always more than one way to skin a cat, no matter what you do. If you could turn hinsight into forsight we would win the cup every year.

  10. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    MacT and analytics… I think there are two brains in that room.

    Perron: our analytics guys love him
    Hendricks: our pro scouts love him

    There’s going to be a death match here soon… let’s hope Good beats Evil.

    ———
    “The next callups should see Tyler Pitlick and Taylor Fedun join the party”

    Oilers send out another vid and profile of young Hamilton. look for him to get a call if/when he is healthy. Clearly, he’s higher on the org’s list than we thought.

  11. OilClog says:

    This is the first time during Hall’s tenure as an Oiler that game days aren’t exciting anymore. There isn’t anymore.. “OOoOOOOoOo what are the kids going to do tonight!” It’s now become “which goal against is the coach going to pin the loss Yak?”

  12. cyclops says:

    People have to lay off the Lowe issue a bit here…
    Firing Lowe means:
    -New guy will fire Mact (and I like Mact)
    -New GM will fire Eakins (and we know changing new coaches every year doesn’t help)
    -New coach again will make our organization look even more ridiculous with the amount of turnover we have. What new coach would want to sign here knowing its a 1 yr deal really.

    If fans are mad I get it. I’m do frustrated as well. But I see the holes in our lineup, I don’t see any obvious trades to fix the problems. Why would a contender dish a good defenseman before playoffs? Never happen. So I see The draft again and know that a guy like Ekblad actually helps fill a hole.

    Frustrated but patient I remain. And quit booing these kids. It’s not their fault we’ve sucked since 1993.

  13. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Woodguy: With all the D that is ready to come back (Potter-Larsen), I’m interested to see if J.Shultz stays up with Ference on 1st pairing.

    Looks like Larsen is skating but still a mystery, whereas Potter will probably play again soon. I’d guess for Belov.

    http://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=25386&cmpid=blogheadlines

  14. gcw_rocks says:

    AZOIL,

    Firing Lowe should get every fan excited. The Oilers need someone independent of MacT overseeing MacT’s performance. They need someone not afraid to hold MacT accountable. There is no way Kevin Lowe is the man to do that.

    What if, this next off season, MacT continues making stupid gambles on players, expecting them to play above their established level of effectiveness like he has done with Ference, Joensuu, Acton etc., this past summer? Don’t you want a check and balance in place? I sure as hell do.

  15. Caramel Obvious says:

    I don’t understand why the fans have chosen this year to be angry.

    The team didn’t add a single quality player outside of the first round of the draft for four years. This is what you get.

    The craziness has infected everyone. Yesterday Zona had a piece in which he criticized the Scrivens trade because Scrivens is an unproven goalie while simultaneously mocking the future Oilers for spending $6M on signing Halak. Well if you don’t want the Oilers to take a chance on a guy like Scrivens and you don’t want them to sign a free agent goalie what exactly is your plan? Trading a third round pick for Scrivens is exactly the kind of thing the copper and blue boys would have been recommending two years ago but now they criticize it because they criticize everything.

    They, and everyone else, have become reflexive critics. Though, some cool heads in this thread I see.

  16. gcw_rocks says:

    cyclops,

    ” So I see The draft again and know that a guy like Ekblad actually helps fill a hole.”

    There are serious questions about Ekblad’s footspeed. LT and others have pointed out it also typically takes d-men 300 games to be established, effective NHLers. You are prepared to wait another 3-4 seasons for Ekblad and Nurse to save the day – if they make it?

    Good luck to you, brother. I won’t be waiting with you.

  17. vangolf says:

    “The Edmonton oilers have the best fans in the world….”

    What an utterly false observation. Had you said “the most emotionally invested”, I may agree, but to contend we have the best fans is just wrong (not to mention a completely subjective). Whether it was the pronger fiasco (or maybe Paul coffee), but the inferiority complex that has enveloped many of our fans is what defines us now (don’t get me started on the time wasted on some irrelevant jenny scrivens tweets). Anyone think that rexall is a good atmosphere? If the answer is no because the team sucks then it is pretty tough to contend we are the best fans (we are only in the second ring of Dante’s hell…there are countless fan bases that have gone through all nine).

  18. TartanArmy says:

    Edmonton should make a statement and start the game with their 4th line….

  19. cyclops says:

    gcw_rocks

    There were questions about Halls durability
    There were questions about RNH only getting PP points
    There were questions about Yakupovs russian factor

    They are all valid questions but the fact is these players are fantastic. What I saw from Ekblad was the best 18 or 19yr old defenseman likely in the world for his age. So if there are questions, i’ll risk it. And If i have to wait, thats the way it goes. I think its most important that we do things right this one time and dont panic.

    Detroit Red Wings were terrible for 12 years before 1983. Im not sure in what order they aquired their players, but 1983 brought Steve Yzerman. Maybe that 12 year span helped them create something that made the playoffs for the next 30 yrs. Too early to tell what the oilers future is, but these things are cyclical, and it will get better. Just dont know when.

  20. oilabroad says:

    gcw_rocks,

    I actually had a long talk with a jr scout last night over some brewskis, and he was very high on Ekblad, said foot speed wont be an issue for this kid. However what I did find interesting was him not being AT ALL high on Nurse. Too much run and gun was the concern. I know scouts probably like the safer pics so take it for what its worth, but interesting none the less.

  21. knighttown says:

    AZOIL:
    Long time reader, born and raised in Lethbridge and now live in Arizona. First post from me! Always follow the oilers and always will. I get some of the negativity but I am obviously a half glass full kind of guy. MacT just got hired and I wish everyone would give him another offseason to pull a few strings before being so blasted negative. Also firing Lowe isn’t something I could care less about, if Katz says MacT is the man then MacT is the man, firing Lowe is not something that would all of a sudden make me get excited? I agree the team has some problems, but man some of you can be so negative it is depressing! I’m happy we are doing the re-build even though it isn’t going just as planned. I will take this over years of us hovering around the middle of the pack or barely making or missing the playoffs and getting a middle of the pack pick as a result. Hang tight everyone, take a game off once in awhile, it helps! LT keep up the great work keeping Alberta transplants like me stay connected!!!

    Welcome aboard AZ. I think the reason the “hurt factor” is higher this season versus the last few is because in the past, the losses were always tinted with hope. First it was the Kid Line lighting it up in the second half of 2009(?), then it was the late season AHL stint of Eberle when he produced a goal/game. Then we had the 3 #1 overalls, with visions of Messier (#4), Datsyuk (#93) and Bure (#64) forming one line of unparalleled dominance for the next decade.

    Well, it’s a few years later and Hall, Nuge and Yak are a hell of a lot closer to Semin, Backstrom and well, I’ve got no comparable to Yakupov whose struggles as a #1OV in Year 2 are almost unheard of in the past decade or so. We’re not there yet but we can see signs of Alexandre Daigle and Patrick Stefan from this vantage point.

    We’ve seen Marincin and it looks like he could be part of the solution but he’s no saviour. The rose is off Klefbom’s bloom to the point that no one rational is talking about him being a realistic 1/2 solution.

    So we’re left with Darnell Nurse as the lone hope for a true difference maker. Ah…the magic allure of the unknown. It’s certainly in vogue to ridicule Hockey Canada for their terrible decisions but the fact remains that the list of Top 12 selections who did not make their Junior Team in their draft +1 season is short and ugly. Like it or lump it, Nurse’s name is now alongside Matt Dumba, Dylan McIlrath, Slater Koekkek, Keaton Ellerby, AJ Thelan and Derreck Pouliot.

    I’m not calling it a death sentence by any stretch but direct comparisons to your peers (NHL-E’s) is probably the best way we can project these kids who dominate weak opposition on a nightly basis and the fact remains that “hockey experts” thought Chris Bigras could help that team more than Darnell Nurse and we can be pretty sure that Chris Bigras isn’t going to be a #1 defenseman anytime soon. Could be nothing more than trivia but I’d rather be on the list with Drew Doughty and Alex Pietrangelo.

    So to come around full circle it’s beginning to look like this team will not reach this “sky is the limit” potential we believed in.

    1. We know anecdotally and statistically that forwards don’t get that much better after their early 20′s. They tend to produce more but most of that is opportunity. Tyler Seguin plays a supporting role in Boston, goes to Dallas, plays prime minutes and produces more. Taylor Hall plays prime minutes from day 1 and then three years later they’re in the same place. Seguin isn’t a “late bloomer” he just didn’t get the push Hall did. Every Oiler kid has been given the push, starting with Gagner, right through the Yakupov early this season. They will improve but these improvments will be much subtler than people realize. If you don’t believe me, go look at offense only guys who were given the push. Look at 21 and then again and 27 and tell me if you see a drastic difference.

    2. Even IF they improve greatly, they happen to have the poor timing of having their window begin to open when the 2003 draft class (and the few that followed) are coming into their primes. Those class were exceptional so you’ve got all these 24-29 year olds dominating the Western Conference like Toews, Getzlaf, Perry, Richards, Carter, Kopitar, Kane, Doughty, Couture, Pavelski, Weber, Pietrangelo and Kesler. LA, Anaheim, Chicago and St. Louis are dominant teams now, have earned hardware already and you could argue, their core are just now entering their primes. San Jose didn’t so much as rebuild but rather, reloaded and seemed poised to still compete once Joe, Patrick and Dan hang em up. Vancouver missed their chance when their guys were ready and the teams above weren’t but they should still be good for awhile yet. Throw in Dallas and Colorado who are as young as Edmonton, and as skilled, but miles ahead in the process and…I hate to say it but…what’s the use? They can’t make up this gap in 2 years or 4 years.

    In a different sort of way, building a team in the Western Conference in this era is just as daunting as building a team during the Oiler’s heyday of the 80′s. Maybe worse actually…Steve Smith could always bang a puck off a leg blowing the path to the Finals wide open but no amount of injuries or luck can have the Oilers come out of this mess in the next half dozen years. In recent years you’d be able to count on the tightening cap squeezing some real nice players loose but that’s got a bunch of years of growth ahead of it too. We’ve got money, we can make cap space but there’s no one decent to spend it on.

    As ghastly as it is to say, the right thing to do is to try and be good in 5-10 years. I can’t stomach that as a fan but learn from Rebuild 1, 2 and 3 and take the defenseman this year and let them all stew.

    I get it…magic beans and all…but the alternative of building to compete next year or the year after….I ask again.

    Compete for what?

  22. AZOIL says:

    gcw_rocks,

    Yes I do and I see Katz as that guy, I feel like Lowe is just an empty suit that was given a position to be his mouthpiece. So if MacT isn’t doing his job, Katz will pick up the phone and tell Lowe to send him packing.

  23. LMHF#1 says:

    This goes back to the last post a little bit…but the idea that this all “had to happen”, and Lowe’s conclusion that the old model was broken are both false.

    All this team needed in the late 90s and early 2000s was the ability to add free agents and keep the players they brought along. They got that ability under the NHL’s new economic system. If the late 90s team had come along under the cap and with a Katz-like owner, there’s probably another cup banner hanging from the rafters.

    The new model didn’t make them go from having one of the most welcoming cultures for players to the Comrie/Pronger/Souray debacles and countless others that have made the place look toxic.

  24. Caramel Obvious says:

    knighttown,

    There was an unfortunate amount of truth in that post.

  25. Pouzar says:

    Mc79 nailed it on Lowetide. We shoulda been pissed 3 years ago. Look at the failure that was Tambellini. Belanger, Eager, Hordichuk, Barker, Khabibulin, Kurtis Foster, trading Brodziak, etc.
    In one offseason MacT has added 2 good everyday NHL players (Perron and Gordon) while this team has nothing to show for the Tambo era. This is why we are in this epic mess.

  26. LMHF#1 says:

    Pouzar:
    Mc79 nailed it on Lowetide. We shoulda been pissed 3 years ago. Look at the failure that was Tambellini. Belanger, Eager, Hordichuk, Barker, Khabibulin, Kurtis Foster, trading Brodziak, etc.
    In one offseason MacT has added 2 good everyday NHL players (Perron and Gordon) while this team has nothing to show for the Tambo era. This is why we are in this epic mess.

    Anyone with a brain was pissed. We were told SHUTUPREBUILD!

  27. maddex says:

    This is my first post, I always read here, Lowetide writes amazing articles, and the fact that their daily is absoultely terrific dedication. The content is great and the discussions on this board make for good complimentary reading.

    Anyways, I am just hoping were in the Yzerman Conversion Phase for Hall and Nuge that will turn us into Perrenial Contenders such as Detroit in the past… http://www.punchdrunksports.com/steve-yzerman-the-ultimate-captain/ (self-written article alert)

    I think we are seeing this committment from Nuge, and I hope that Hall is right there with him willing to become the complete package. Halls struggles extend beyond the scoresheet (he is still putting up points) so hopefully its a transitionary struggle and not a loss of heart/care.

  28. Coffeys_Messy_eh says:

    Hi. Long time reader yadda yadda yadda.

    I feel I need to get this off my chest. I was born in nineteen and seventy eight in Edmonton’s southern, slower cousin (sorry) and thus was too young to truly appreciate what went on out there in the early-mid 80s. The 1990 win saw me in Grade 6, already in Ontario, still happy but a little young to properly appreciate it. My fandom really solidified in the “little team that could” years and the consecutive upsets of Dallas and Colorado remain two of my favourite Oil memories. (Marchant!….Scores!)

    I live in Eastern Ontario, and as such, my staunch support of the mighty Oil costs me precious hours of sleep many nights of the winter. On game nights, I steel myself with a beer (and then another), and head down to the basement, from which my profanity stands less of a chance at disrupting others.

    I have lately been wondering why, in the face of this futility, I bother with the Sisyphean task of watching the Oilers play. I have come to the conclusion that it is not unlike an abusive relationship: I am utterly and helplessly devoted to the team in spite of its (recent) active attempts to disappoint me/rip my still-beating heart from my chest. I just can’t quit them.

    So, because I’m not coming into any actual physical harm, I figure the best course of action for me is to just hope. Hope like hell that they win. Each game. Watch as if they are going to. When they don’t, try again the next time. This is particularly difficult on this blog with the bewilderingly broad horizon of ‘advanced’ stats indicating that my hope stands a wildly longer shot at fruiting, as though I’ve buried a palm tree seed in Ottawa soil.

    So, hoping for a win tonight.

    Let’s go Oilers!

    *clap,clap*

    Sorry for getting verbosely off topic. I realize yesterday’s Katz post was the place for this, but I am fashionably late.

  29. Pouzar says:

    LMHF#1,

    My point is the Tambo era was an abject failure.

  30. McSorely Head says:

    Check this out, Southampton (much more entertaining than Tottenham) of the English Premier League are bringing Ralph Krueger in!

    http://www.theguardian.com/football/2014/jan/21/southampton-ice-hockey-ralph-krueger-motivation

  31. AZOIL says:

    knighttown,

    No I get the hurt factor but it doesn’t mean we need to all freak out. Not all players have straight trajectories and teams for that matter. I guess I’m an “ultra optimist” and I despise negativity. It doesn’t mean I can’t handle honest discussion about what needs to happen. I’m not too worried about the forwards we have, they will come around when given the proper support from other complimenting players. Seguin has never been expected to do it all in Boston or in Dallas. In Dallas he is surrounded by older, experienced players and there isn’t as much pressure. We rushed all of our guys to the show too early and so we are paying the price for that but it will come.

    MacT also is doing as much as I’m sure he can. It’s easy for everyone to sit here and armchair GM’s and offer up trades etc but that is a fantasy word and half of those aren’t available. I’m just happy if something is available he will explore it, unlike Tambelinni who sat on his hands out of fear half the time, or who knows maybe he had no choice and was told t suck for a few? Yes I hope MacT gets a true 1D and makes some things happen and I will give him that chance. I feel like he is damned is he does and damned is he doesn’t because we as emotional oilers fans are way to critical of his every move.

    As LT puts it we wait, and we see what he can do. In one summer he did make a lot of trades, not all perfect but overall he is doing above average in my opinion. It’s not as easy as it seems and he is working with other smart GM’s who aren’t all going to lose their jobs just to help out the Oilers.

    I appreciate your attitude and details, apologies for my rambling sentences!

  32. maddex says:

    McSorely Head,

    Go Krueges! Motivator Extraordinare!

  33. sliderule says:

    knighttown,

    I would think that Nurse’s 116 pm last year would factor into hockey Canada’s decision.

    They picked D with pretty low pm .

    WJC refs respond to soccer style diving and Nurse likes to go for big hit.

  34. icecastles says:

    vangolf: What an utterly false observation. Had you said “the most emotionally invested”, I may agree, but to contend we have the best fans is just wrong (not to mention a completely subjective).

    I have to agree: that line wrong terribly false when I read it as well. We may have had the best fans at one point, but it’s a big stretch to make that claim anymore. Do we have good reason for no longer having the best fans? Of course. It’s tough to maintain fandom through this much hardship, and comparing our fanbase to a winning or contending team is obviously apples and oranges. But that doesn’t chance the fact that when the fans are booing the team and support is flagging, good reason or no, saying we have the best fans seems more than a bit overblown.

  35. LMHF#1 says:

    Pouzar:
    LMHF#1,

    My point is the Tambo era was an abject failure.

    Absolutely.

  36. AZOIL says:

    Can someone explain to me what kind of “systems” teams like LA, ANA, SJ, CHI run? I believe CHI is more run and gun or bring the puck in with speed and so is PIT? What are some of these western big boys that seem to dominate us? They all can’t just dump and chase?

    Also on defense, what do most successful teams do? Are they all doing the “swarm” as Eakins would have liked, I can’t imagine. Anyway curious on what some of these other teams run if there are names to them at all?

  37. LMHF#1 says:

    AZOIL:
    Also on defense, what do most successful teams do? Are they all doing the “swarm” as Eakins would have liked, I can’t imagine. Anyway curious on what some of these other teams run if there are names to them at all?

    A bunch of the strong teams in the NHL play what I’d call “clog the middle” in the defensive zone. They’re dedicated to forcing the opposition to play a perimeter game and not allowing shots from the slot. This hasn’t changed in a long time.

  38. Old School G says:

    We all know we’re not a good, complete team, what’s the point of complaining about it in the mean time?

    Players will be added, we won’t always be this bad. If we separate the on ice talent of our young core from the mounting losses this team is a lot more enjoyable to watch.

    I haven’t checked the standings since November, I don’t need to. I know we’re at the bottom of the league. I’m more concerned with watching Hall bust the wall and create a great chance, or Eberle completely undress 4 players on the other team, or Yak rip one upstairs, or Nuge deftly feed a pass through a hole that no one even knew was there.

    We all watch for different reasons, I guess I just don’t see the point of wanting more from this current club, way too many holes right now to compete in the Wild West.

  39. denny33 says:

    Pouzar,

    Mc79 nailed it on Lowetide. We shoulda been pissed 3 years ago. Look at the failure that was Tambellini. Belanger, Eager, Hordichuk, Barker, Khabibulin, Kurtis Foster, trading Brodziak, etc.
    In one offseason MacT has added 2 good everyday NHL players (Perron and Gordon) while this team has nothing to show for the Tambo era. This is why we are in this epic mess.
    ********************************************************************************

    Agreed – no questions in here at all about Steve T’s role in this….

    Mac T –

    Nearly traded the house ( including Nurse ) for C. Shcneider.
    Tried HARD to sign soon to be 30 David Clarkson – to a RIDICULOUS contract.
    ( 3 goals in 36 games for David so far this year )
    Signed A. Ference – who turns 35 this spring to – multi year deal.
    Traded Smid away for pixie dust
    Signed Illya Bryzgolov to league wide laughter
    Traded for soon to be 33 year old 4th liner Matt Hendricks.

    I think the last trade has made a lot of people take a look at the clothes our new emperor ( Mac T) is wearing

  40. LMHF#1 says:

    Worse than George Burnett LT! Can’t say Eakins is untouchable this season. Coach isn’t the silver bullet but that doesn’t mean you can’t change.

  41. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: Looks like Larsen is skating but still a mystery, whereas Potter will probably play again soon. I’d guess for Belov.

    http://oilers.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=25386&cmpid=blogheadlines

    nailed it

    Edmonton Oilers ‏@EdmontonOilers 11s
    Potter in for Belov tonight vs. #Canucks.

    I’d be a lot more bitter about this if I wasn’t convinced 15 is being showcased and can’t be scratched.

  42. knighttown says:

    sliderule:
    knighttown,

    I would think that Nurse’s 116 pm last year would factor into hockey Canada’s decision.

    Theypicked D with pretty low pm .

    WJCrefs respond to soccer styledivingand Nurse likes to go for big hit.

    Could be. I’m just compiling a list…adding context to the stats…because I’m no Nurse expert. The fact remains, the kid couldn’t crack the team while virtually every other early drafted kid of the past decade (that turned into something) has. Usually, “the tie goes to the runner”; i.e., they’ll take the kid with the pedigree over the one without but we know Sutters a different cat who wouldn’t think twice about picking Bigras if he liked the cut of his jib.

    I wish I could just point out one example of a kid drafted early, missing his National Team and then going on to stardom in the past decade.

  43. denny33 says:

    denny33,

    Mac T –
    Nearly traded the house ( including Nurse ) for C. Shcneider.
    Tried HARD to sign soon to be 30 David Clarkson – to a RIDICULOUS contract.
    ( 3 goals in 36 games for David so far this year )
    Signed A. Ference – who turns 35 this spring to – multi year deal.
    Traded Smid away for pixie dust
    Signed Illya Bryzgolov to league wide laughter
    Traded for soon to be 33 year old 4th liner Matt Hendricks.
    ********************************************************************
    Forgot maybe the most critical Mac T move…

    Manically hired rookie head coach – fired RK over Skype.

  44. TheOtherJohn says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: nailed it

    Edmonton Oilers ‏@EdmontonOilers 11s
    Potter in for Belov tonight vs. #Canucks.

    I’d be a lot more bitter about this if I wasn’t convinced 15 is being showcased and can’t be scratched.

    Rom

    Six of one, half a dozen of the other: if we show anyone how bad N Schultz is, not sure it increases his trade value. Altho healthy scratch just confirms what scouts are gonna see anyways

  45. G Money says:

    LMHF#1,

    It’s a few years old now, but I think this is the definitive explanation of NHL defensive systems. A must read. The Oilers system is not in the list, but I believe the system employed by the Canadiens is a near perfect match.

    http://www.downgoesbrown.com/2011/11/beyond-1-3-1-other-nhl-team-defensive.html

  46. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    TheOtherJohn: Rom

    Six of one, half a dozen of the other: if we show anyone how bad N Schultz is, not sure it increases his trade value. Altho healthy scratch just confirms what scouts are gonna see anyways

    Don’t underestimate how big reputation is.

    Scratches mean more that they mean sometimes and probably get noticed a lot more than shitty play.

    But, ya… you can’t hide terrible entirely.

  47. oilersfan says:

    LMHF#1,

    so why do the Oilers not play this system?

  48. knighttown says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: nailed it

    Edmonton Oilers ‏@EdmontonOilers 11s
    Potter in for Belov tonight vs. #Canucks.

    I’d be a lot more bitter about this if I wasn’t convinced 15 is being showcased and can’t be scratched.

    I know you’re just being facetious Rom so please ignore this, but by Christ I’m sick of the word Showcase. I’d love to do a search of this website to see how many players smart people actually thought were being showcased.

    “Showcase Omark with Hall for 10 games”

    This isn’t a thing. The coach’s job is to win games and he’s going to play the best players to do so.

    And if it was a thing (and it isn’t) we somehow think playing Nick Shultz against Vancouver is going to INCREASE his value? Christ, if you did believe in that nonsense, you’d sit him tonight in the hopes (and until the trade deadline) in the hopes that someone can’t find enough recent video.

    Yes, I’m aware of the smug remarks Gillis made about the Hodgson trade but the smoke-to-fire ratio on this topic is ridiculous. And in that case, Darcy Regier saw the showcased Hodgson and acquired him for the douchetard Kassian, so how’d that work out MIke?

    Coaches don’t care and GM’s have better things to do then ice a worse team in the hope that they get a 4th rounder instead of a 3rd.

    Now tanking…that’s something I believe in!!

  49. VOR says:

    “1. We know anecdotally and statistically that forwards don’t get that much better after their early 20′s. They tend to produce more but most of that is opportunity. Tyler Seguin plays a supporting role in Boston, goes to Dallas, plays prime minutes and produces more. Taylor Hall plays prime minutes from day 1 and then three years later they’re in the same place. Seguin isn’t a “late bloomer” he just didn’t get the push Hall did. Every Oiler kid has been given the push, starting with Gagner, right through the Yakupov early this season. They will improve but these improvments will be much subtler than people realize. If you don’t believe me, go look at offense only guys who were given the push. Look at 21 and then again and 27 and tell me if you see a drastic difference.”

    Knighttown, please share the statistics that prove your contention that forwards don’t get much better after their early twenties along with the assumptions that drive the statistics. Because I will tell you this, it is a load of crap. Ray Whitney 14 26 40 at 21 at 34 32 51 83. That isn’t just opportunity . Gordie Howe 21 35 33 68 40 44 59 103. That isn’t just opportunity. How about Ron Francis who went from first line center and 24 57 81 -25 at 21 to 2nd line center 27 92 119 +30 at 32. By the way I am not cherry picking. In the first 30 Hall of Fame forwards I looked at only 3 had their best years or any thing close to it in their early twenties ie.at or under 25 (Jagr {23}, Selanne{22}, and Gretzky {25}) Most hit their stride as players in their late twenties and some in their thirties and Howe in his forties. Mark Messier for example hit his stride at 29 going 45 84 129 and you could argue he got more ice time without Gretzky. Lets take that out of the equation and say then his best year is 111 points with Gretzky at age 27 (still not early twenties, still a profound difference from his 21 year old season 50 38 88. Or how about the aging scorer, Bobby Hull, who put it together at 36 and went 77 65 142? Versus his 21 year old season when he went 39 42 81. Now he switched leagues but it is hard to believe that increased opportunity explains why his five best NHL years all come at 27 or later.

    I keep trying to point out how pervasive some of the non-sense beliefs here are getting. This is a classic example and I don’t mean to pick on you. But just like the ridiculous “it takes 4 to 5 years for a drafted dman to be ready to play first line minutes” the assumptions have to be stated. Eliminate those terms and conditions and you are turning the statement, however true in context, into utter misleading garbage.

  50. LMHF#1 says:

    oilersfan:
    LMHF#1,

    so why do the Oilers not play this system?

    The wrong coaches I imagine. Hitchcock plays it perfectly and there was certainly a window to sign him. Hartley is even able to do it a decent amount of time with that horrible Calgary roster.

    I don’t know why Eakins thought that “chasing” would work or why he didn’t get the difference between chasing and pressure.

  51. godot10 says:

    Romulus Apotheosis:
    MacT and analytics… I think there are two brains in that room.

    Perron: our analytics guys love him
    Hendricks: our pro scouts love him

    There’s going to be a death match here soon… let’s hope Good beats Evil.

    At next years trade deadline, Perron leaves in a trade to maximize his value, since he will be 100 games away from UFA status. Hendricks will still have 2 years left on his contract. Paajarvi will be emerging as the elite shutdown/matchup winger in the NHL.

    The Oilers had a Chicago-esque 4th line in Paajarvi, Lander, Hartikainen, Smyth, and Arcobello. MacT obliterated it.

    He also had a third line of Horcoff, Gordon, and Hemsky, and obliterated it.

    He also had a first line of Hall, Nugent-Hopkins, and Eberle, and hired a coach to obliterate it.

    All he had to do was sign a free agent winger for the 2nd line to play with Gagner and Yakupov.

    Perron was a good deal on paper that accomplished little team construction wise.

  52. vangolf says:

    As much as the defence, Hall and Yak gets ragged on, the play of Nuge has been the greatest concern (in full disclosure he is my favourite one of the “core” and my 2 year old even has a jersey with “baby nuge” on the back). When he first came in to the league, he had that quality where the game slowed down around him and he had space (I always thnk back to that glorious Rangers game at Rexall and his gorgeous snipe below Lundquist’s blocker). Now the league has figured him out and tries to suffocate him. His play has not been that of a 1C and the play is dying on his stick more than it should. The onus is on him to step it up and develop a new angle to his game to counter the pressure or to drop him down in the line-up and get away from the toughs (the proper development for him would be 2C and PP1 for the next couple of years…unfortunately our depth does not permit it). IMHO, our fortunes are tied to him.

  53. DeadmanWaking says:

    verdad:
    Can anyone explain how any rational person would not seeing firing Kevin Lowe would not have been a reasonable move for Katz to make?

    Yes. A complete refusal to believe in karmic rectitude.

    What we have here is a genre war.

    In my version of the story, the loudmouth hardhats who boo finesse defenders into the willing arms of waiting adversaries have no dramatic standing in What Happens Next. Firing Lowe merely serves to increase the status of this genre character: the firing-of-the-man is part of their cocoon of symbols. The more this character becomes important to the outcome, the less invested I become. Some people like WWE. I’d rather slash my wrists.

    Not my genre.

    The Battle of Shiloh led to much criticism of Grant for leaving his army unprepared defensively; he was also falsely accused of being drunk. According to one account, President Lincoln rejected suggestions to dismiss Grant, saying, “I can’t spare this man; he fights.”

    That was not Grant’s finest hour. No rational person could defend his lapse. Lincoln had to make a tough call.

    The Starkest Contrast

    Just six months earlier it had been Sherman who was on the receiving end of bad press and gossip about his mental stability following what many believed to a nervous breakdown that forced him to briefly leave the army. Nevertheless, Grant and Sherman remained close throughout the war, with Sherman somewhat sarcastically stating, “Grant stood by me when I was crazy, and I stood by him when he was drunk, and now we stand by each other always.”

    In this genre, the decisions about when to hold ‘em and when to fold ‘em are far from automatic. The clamour for rectitude would have cast both of these men aside before their triumphant final act.

    Lincoln’s Do-Nothing Generals

    These were the smart guys with experience, reputation and training we just can’t wait to import.

    My genre is far from WWE or sacrificial cleansing. It’s What Would Lincoln Do? or something like that. Lincoln spent a great deal of his wartime presidency ignoring the yowling masses demanding this head or that.

    I understand the dynamics here so much better since I figured out it’s all a big genre war. We’re bickering over who controls the remote. Cowboy channel, History channel, Sweaty Manboob channel, or a spot of Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass.

    Chances are we’re not all going to agree.

    This is beyond narrative now. It’s all about terms of engagement.

  54. Caramel Obvious says:

    DeadmanWaking,

    Great post.

    Remember that the people crying for blood are the same people that ran Gilbert out of town, tried to run Hemsky out of town, will run Petry out of town, etc.

    I can’t agree that Edmonton has great fans.

  55. godot10 says:

    oilabroad:
    gcw_rocks,

    I actually had a long talk with a jr scout last night over some brewskis, and he was very high on Ekblad, said foot speed wont be an issue for this kid. However what I did find interesting was him not being AT ALL high on Nurse. Too much run and gun was the concern. I know scouts probably like the safer pics so take it for what its worth, but interesting none the less.

    You can coach the excessive run-and-gun out of a player, if the player is intelligent, as Nurse is.

  56. VOR says:

    My point about how long it takes dmen to be ready is that nobody ever says how they are defining ready or for that matter 1D or top pairing D. So if you can’t define those parameters then your 4 to 5 year number is totally meaningless. Cam Fowler and Jonas Brodin are both top pairing D in the NHL. They reached that lofty status in their first year post draft, ie. in the fall of the year following their draft year. How are we counting that as 0 or plus 1? In any case it certainly isn’t 4 or 5 years.

    The problem is nobody is saying there are three separate issues:

    1. What is the chance of a drafted D ever being a top pairing guy? Do the odds change with where in the draft you were taken? Do the odds change over time?

    2. How long does it take those that do make it to top pairing to get there? I tried this one by looking at the elo rankings at hockey reference. I simply looked at how long each of the drafted D listed in the top 300 players there took to be playing clear first pair minutes. Post draft it was 1.85 years. So the very best D arrive early and have major impacts but question one remains unanswered and we have no idea how many misses there were or how to build them into the formula.

    3. There is the question of performance. Just because you are playing top pairing minutes it doesn’t mean you are a top end D. So how do we score them? Now it all starts to get subjective. I think Brodin and Fowler are the real thing but you may disagree.

    Yet all this complexity gets reduced to, “it takes 4 or 5 years for top D to develop,” which is offered up with absolutley no proof but states as if it was gospel. Then it gets repeated and repeated and instead of using math to enrich hockey we are using BS numbers to support personal superstitions.

  57. G Money says:

    LMHF#1: The wrong coaches I imagine. Hitchcock plays it perfectly and there was certainly a window to sign him. Hartley is even able to do it a decent amount of time with that horrible Calgary roster.

    I don’t know why Eakins thought that “chasing” would work or why he didn’t get the difference between chasing and pressure.

    I think that oversimplifies it. Some teams play an overload (swarm) and some teams play a collapse style of defense. The key seems to be: “Non-swarm systems often rely on big, strong defenders to box out the front of the net, win one-on-one battles in the corner, and break up cycles by taking up a big patch of ice.”

    A lack of “big, strong defenders”, an inability to “box out the front of the net”, and a complete inability to win “one-on-one battles in the corner” and “break up cycles” is a huge part of what ails the Oilers defensively.

    Conversely, it would explain why teams like the Kings and Blues, with gargantuan players both on defense and up front, would be able to play a collapse system more effectively.

    I suspect if there is a qualitative difference in results between overload and collapse systems, it comes from the fact that collapse systems require bigger and more capable defenders.

    In other words – you play the collapse and get good results from the collapse because you have good, big players. With that as the starting point, you’re going to get better results no matter what system you play. Conversely, teams that play the overload are forced to play it because they have smaller players who don’t defend as well.

    I’m no expert, but this comparison of swarm vs collapse (from which the quote above comes) makes sense to me:
    http://oilersnation.com/2013/10/1/systems-analysis-different-looks-at-the-swarm

  58. Well Oiled and Enthusiastic says:

    cyclops,

    I must really disagree with this. As I have said a couple of times, the removal of Lowe is a reset on culture. Yesterday’s letter is a by-product of a regime that is progressively insular and insensitive to fans investment in the team. Katz really should replace Lowe with a new President of hockey operations and that individual should take a fresh, unbiased and independent review of the organization from top to bottom before enacting anything. This will take us into the playoff time frame. Many things are good and healthy. Many things are not. If that person feels the GM needs to be changed – so be it. Its not like we did an exhaustive search and defined a rigorous framework of the type of managerial skill set that the team needs at this stage of their lifecycle. It may mean MAcT and Eakins remain, it may not. But this trajectory is anything but positive and confidence building with absolutely no visibility as to where its headed. That means a new set of hands on the rudder at the very top for me.

  59. Bag of Pucks says:

    Romulus Apotheosis:
    MacT and analytics… I think there are two brains in that room.

    Perron: our analytics guys love him
    Hendricks: our pro scouts love him

    There’s going to be a death match here soon… let’s hope Good beats Evil.

    I think there’s a lot of assumptions here.

    1) The Pro Scouts don’t look at any analytics
    2) The analytics guys represent quantitative analysis only. The Pro Scouts represent qualitative analysis solely.
    3) There is negligible value in the opinions of those who actually played the game

    A properly functioning analytics team should be fluent in both quantitative analysis AND qualitative analysis, and just as you’d probably be interested in hearing what Jordan Eberle has to say about shooting for accuracy or Boyd Gordon on winning faceoffs, the voices of qualified former professionals should have some representation in the room.

    My issue with the Oilers isn’t the assumption that their Pro Scouts don’t use any quantitative analysis. It’s that our ‘saw him good’ guys don’t seem to have the pedigree as top talent evaluators based on background. Is Semenko a good judge of talent because he saw Gretzky in action?

    One of the memes that seems to crop up here from time to time is this idea that having played the game counts for nothing in evaluating player contributions. I think that’s painting with a very broad brush. I would be willing to bet that when Wayne Gretzky watches a game, he’s very highly attuned to whether players are making good decisions (i.e. they have excellent hockey sense) moreso than the average viewer. Having done something and done it well for a long period of time does give you an insight into the tools needed to succeed. Mesh that nuanced experience alongside unbiased quantitative analytics and that’s the foundation of a productive scouting operation imo.

    As an example (and a personal aside), when I played D in youth hockey, as a tall lanky sort, I was always challenged by those short squat forwards built like fire hydrants (i.e. the Brad Marchand type). Because of their lower center of gravity, these guys were always a load to deal with, and it could be tough tying them up or moving them out of the slot. As a result of that, I tend to notice D that are effective at this and those that aren’t. Thus, when I look at a player like Jeff Petry, I see obvious qualitative deficiencies in his physical play in the slot and along the boards. However, I’m aware of the fact that quantitative analysis is his friend, and I see the validity of that assessment in his ability to make a solid first pass or in his ability to move laterally to get a shot through from the point. Thus quantitative PLUS qualitative assessment leads me to agree with the current consensus on this player. I.E. good player that needs to play further down the depth chart against lesser opposition. In fact, taking it a step further, I think a smart coach would look primarily to feature Petry in matchups where he won’t be placed in disadvantageous physical matchups. A good coach would also tell him to hit the weight room with a particular focus on core strength and leg drive.

  60. G Money says:

    I did a bit of digging and this seems to be a pretty good high-level overview of the three common defensive coverage systems (overload, collapse aka Box+1, and man-to-man).

    http://www.blueseatblogs.com/2013/02/19/hockey-systems-101-defensive-zone-strategies/

  61. oilersfan says:

    I have been reading various different draft experts on Ekblad. Sounds like his skating is much better, and if it was a concern he never would have made the World Junior team to play on the big ice in Sweden. don’t recall seeing guys like Plante on that team.

    If the worst case scenario is Ekblad is like Chris Phillips or Karl Alzner, and the best case is that he is like Drew Doughty or Shea Weber, is there anyone else the Oilers should consider? For all the rhetoric about it taking 5 years for D to make it the top of the draft has more than a handful of Dmen who have made it in closer to 2 years….Pietrangelo, Brodin, Fowler, Seth Jones, Doughty, Phaneuf, Trouba, Ryan Murray… that’s a pretty good record of recent top 10 picks coming in and playing well in draft plus 1. Erik Johnson is the last big bust and that is 7 years ago now….and he is a legit top pairing dman, just not an elite one….

    I am all for Ekblad. Stay bad for Ekblad and lets give him 9 games. I bet he makes the team next year and plays second pairing minutes like Seth Jones and Ryan Murray. The scouting report is that he is very smart with elite hockey sense.

    If you all want to have a laugh, google the scouting report for Nail Yakupov 2012 and see what you get. he was absolutely the consensus number one pick, and even then people said he was an elite shooter he needed to work on his overall game and especially his defense. The Oilers deserve zero blame for drafting him, although their development of him can be questioned. Matty yesterday said a fan was nuts for suggesting New Jersey would trade Henrique and Schneider for Yak. I would not make that trade as an Oilers fan. yak is having a brutal sophomore year but the way the media suffers from the recency affect pains me to no end. They extrapolate the last 2 months as if it is the only thing that has ever happened or ever will happen.

    Yak will still be a 40 goal scorer and unless the Oilers can get a return to justify it they need to keep him until he becomes that. He is Brett Hull who shoots from the left. Not an elite puck carrier or playmaker, not an elite two way player, not elite hockey sense or vision, but elite shooting skills. He has to work to become average to above average on the other items and the coach needs to put him in a place to succeeed. for what he is, an elite goal scorer…the half boards on the #1 PP. if only those idiots could enter the zone on the pp they would have half the problem solved.

  62. Bag of Pucks says:

    gcw_rocks:
    AZOIL,

    What if, this next off season, MacT continues making stupid gambles on players, expecting them to play above their established level of effectiveness like he has done with Ference, Joensuu, Acton etc., this past summer?Don’t you want a check and balance in place?I sure as hell do.

    Where’s the proof that any of these players are expected to perform above their established level of effectiveness.

    Ference wasn’t brought in because they saw him as 1D that was blocked by Chara on the depth chart. They brought him in because 1 top 4 D man is better than 0.

  63. Derek says:

    knighttown: Welcome aboard AZ.I think the reason the “hurt factor” is higher this season versus the last few is because in the past, the losses were always tinted with hope.First it was the Kid Line lighting it up in the second half of 2009(?), then it was the late season AHL stint of Eberle when he produced a goal/game.Then we had the 3 #1 overalls, with visions of Messier (#4), Datsyuk (#93) and Bure (#64) forming one line of unparalleled dominance for the next decade.

    Well, it’s a few years later and Hall, Nuge and Yak are a hell of a lot closer to Semin, Backstrom and well, I’ve got no comparable to Yakupov whose struggles as a #1OV in Year 2 are almost unheard of in the past decade or so. We’re not there yet but we can see signs of Alexandre Daigle and Patrick Stefan from this vantage point.

    We’ve seen Marincin and it looks like he could be part of the solution but he’s no saviour.The rose is off Klefbom’s bloom to the point that no one rational is talking about him being a realistic 1/2 solution.

    So we’re left with Darnell Nurse as the lone hope for a true difference maker.Ah…the magic allure of the unknown.It’s certainly in vogue to ridicule Hockey Canada for their terrible decisions but the fact remains that the list of Top 12 selections who did not make their Junior Team in their draft +1 season is short and ugly.Like it or lump it, Nurse’s name is now alongside Matt Dumba, Dylan McIlrath, Slater Koekkek, Keaton Ellerby, AJ Thelan and Derreck Pouliot.

    I’m not calling it a death sentence by any stretch but direct comparisons to your peers (NHL-E’s) is probably the best way we can project these kids who dominate weak opposition on a nightly basis and the fact remains that “hockey experts” thought Chris Bigras could help that team more than Darnell Nurse and we can be pretty sure that Chris Bigras isn’t going to be a #1 defenseman anytime soon.Could be nothing more than trivia but I’d rather be on the list with Drew Doughty and Alex Pietrangelo.

    So to come around full circle it’s beginning to look like this team will not reach this “sky is the limit” potential we believed in.

    1. We know anecdotally and statistically that forwards don’t get that much better after their early 20′s.They tend to produce more but most of that is opportunity.Tyler Seguin plays a supporting role in Boston, goes to Dallas, plays prime minutes and produces more.Taylor Hall plays prime minutes from day 1 and then three years later they’re in the same place.Seguin isn’t a “late bloomer” he just didn’t get the push Hall did.Every Oiler kid has been given the push, starting with Gagner, right through the Yakupov early this season.They will improve but these improvments will be much subtler than people realize.If you don’t believe me, go look at offense only guys who were given the push.Look at 21 and then again and 27 and tell me if you see a drastic difference.

    2. Even IF they improve greatly, they happen to have the poor timing of having their window begin to open when the 2003 draft class (and the few that followed) are coming into their primes.Those class were exceptional so you’ve got all these 24-29 year olds dominating the Western Conference like Toews, Getzlaf, Perry, Richards, Carter, Kopitar, Kane, Doughty, Couture, Pavelski, Weber, Pietrangelo and Kesler. LA, Anaheim, Chicago and St. Louis are dominant teams now, have earned hardware already and you could argue, their core are just now entering their primes.San Jose didn’t so much as rebuild but rather, reloaded and seemed poised to still compete once Joe, Patrick and Dan hang em up.Vancouver missed their chance when their guys were ready and the teams above weren’t but they should still be good for awhile yet.Throw in Dallas and Colorado who are as young as Edmonton, and as skilled, but miles ahead in the process and…I hate to say it but…what’s the use?They can’t make up this gap in 2 years or 4 years.

    In a different sort of way, building a team in the Western Conference in this era is just as daunting as building a team during the Oiler’s heyday of the 80′s.Maybe worse actually…Steve Smith could always bang a puck off a leg blowing the path to the Finals wide open but no amount of injuries or luck can have the Oilers come out of this mess in the next half dozen years. In recent years you’d be able to count on the tightening cap squeezing some real nice players loose but that’s got a bunch of years of growth ahead of it too.We’ve got money, we can make cap space but there’s no one decent to spend it on.

    As ghastly as it is to say, the right thing to do is to try and be good in 5-10 years.I can’t stomach that as a fan but learn from Rebuild 1, 2 and 3 and take the defenseman this year and let them all stew.

    I get it…magic beans and all…but the alternative of building to compete next year or the year after….I ask again.

    Compete for what?

    Shea Weber was drafted in 2003 and only made the 2005 World Jrs. Duncan Keith never played in the World Jrs. Pk Subban was drafted in 2007, made the team in 2008 and scored 0 points then made the team again in 2009 and scored at a PPG pace. Alex Pietrangelo who Nurse is often compared to, was drafted in 2008, made the tournament in 2009 and had an extremely poor showing yet made the team again the next year and was named a tournament all star.

    All this angst over Nurse not making the tournament of small sample sizes is a bit ridiculous.

    I don’t think anyone actually thinks Bigras is a better prospect than Nurse? Hell Morrissey who was actually quite good for team Canada is ranked 20 on Pronmans top 50 while Nurse is 8th.

  64. LMHF#1 says:

    G Money: I think that oversimplifies it.Some teams play an overload (swarm) and some teams play a collapse style of defense.The key seems to be: “Non-swarm systems often rely on big, strong defenders to box out the front of the net, win one-on-one battles in the corner, and break up cycles by taking up a big patch of ice.”

    A lack of “big, strong defenders”, an inability to “box out the front of the net”, and a complete inability to win “one-on-one battles in the corner” and “break up cycles” is a huge part of what ails the Oilers defensively.

    Conversely, it would explain why teams like the Kings and Blues, with gargantuan players both on defense and up front, would be able to play a collapse system more effectively.

    I suspect if there is a qualitative difference in results between overload and collapse systems, it comes from the fact that collapse systems require bigger and more capable defenders.

    In other words – you play the collapse and get good results from the collapse because you have good, big players.With that as the starting point, you’re going to get better results no matter what system you play.Conversely, teams that play the overload are forced to play it because they have smaller players who don’t defend as well.

    I’m no expert, but this comparison of swarm vs collapse (from which the quote above comes) makes sense to me:
    http://oilersnation.com/2013/10/1/systems-analysis-different-looks-at-the-swarm

    I don’t agree that they need to have the big players to play the system. You need to be either a strong positional player or willing to learn how to be one. If you’re positioned well and have an active stick you will make it work.

  65. G Money says:

    Bag of Pucks: Where’s the proof that any of these players are expected to perform above their established level of effectiveness.
    Ference wasn’t brought in because they saw him as 1D that was blocked by Chara on the depth chart. They brought him in because 1 top 4 D man is better than 0.

    Truth.

    Although in fairness, I think they thought they had four or five top 4 guys: Ference, Petry, Smid, Jultz, and if he rebounded from last year, Nultz.

    Perhaps Nultz’s fall into oblivion was predictable.

    Jultz will be a PPQB1 and a second pairing defender in a couple of years, but not now…

    For all the angst about Smid’s trade, he was terrible before he was traded and has been even worse on the Flames, and I don’t think anyone that collapse coming. He and Petry held their own as a first pairing with Renney. Both of them collapsed into a sinkhole last year. Petry seems to have held his own as a 2nd pairing guy, but Smid went into the toilet and hasn’t climbed out.

    So there you have the Oilers D in a nutshell: two second pairing guys (Petry and Ference), one third pairing guy (Jultz), and a bunch of 7th defensemen (Belov, Nultz, Larsen, Potter, …). And the end result – the worst GA in the league – should surprise us because … ?

  66. freedomisamyth says:

    Romulus Apotheosis:
    MacT and analytics… I think there are two brains in that room.

    Perron: our analytics guys love him
    Hendricks: our pro scouts love him

    There’s going to be a death match here soon… let’s hope Good beats Evil.

    ———

    There’s also a third option: that Mact tends to use stats in a way that most fans don’t seem to… as only one part of the decision instead of the only thing that matters.

    That’s one thing that I absolutely hate about Willis’ article. His argument is basically that all you that matters is his age and his ice time profile, and because of that it’s a terrible trade no matter what. I agree that there is probably a higher than 50% chance that Hendricks is not a valuable player in 2 or 3 years and may not be in the NHL. But should that be the only thing this trade should be judged on? What about the fact that MacT got a player that they thought could contribute in ways they need in the near term, for an asset that had almost negative value (a UFA goaltender making $3.5M year with a well below .900 save percentage…to think you can get anything of value for that is wishful thinking).

    Sure they are probably going to have to buy him out or bury him in a couple years, but that doesn’t seem to me to be the big deal everyone seems to think it is – it’ll hardly make a dent in a constantly growing cap. They just decided that’s a small price to pay. It’s a different story if you are committing $5M/year to someone at his age, but his cap hit is easily dealt with. Obviously it’s always better if you aren’t ‘wasting’ cap, but you have to realize that getting people who are ‘perfect’ (effective AND cap efficient etc) require spending assets to get, and wasting those assets when there are bigger fish to fry is probably not the best idea.

    Sure his ‘underlying numbers’ this year are bad, but there should be some context there too, that should be provided by watching him play in Nashville and looking at his situation. That is the one thing I really appreciate about Dellow at least is that he uses stats as a sign post for things to look at, and then actually looks at the game film to see what’s ACTUALLY going on rather than using the stats like as if they were EA NHL 2014 player ratings like too many people seem to. Even the more careful commenters here tend to, imo, put too much stock in the raw numbers of statistics that should really require a big dose of context before using them to form any sort of strong conclusions.

    My 2c anyways.

  67. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    knighttown: I know you’re just being facetious Rom so please ignore this, but by Christ I’m sick of the word Showcase.I’d love to do a search of this website to see how many players smart people actually thought were being showcased.

    “Showcase Omark with Hall for 10 games”

    This isn’t a thing.The coach’s job is to win games and he’s going to play the best players to do so.

    And if it was a thing (and it isn’t) we somehow think playing Nick Shultz against Vancouver is going to INCREASE his value?Christ, if you did believe in that nonsense, you’d sit him tonight in the hopes (and until the trade deadline) in the hopes that someone can’t find enough recent video.

    Yes, I’m aware of the smug remarks Gillis made about the Hodgson trade but the smoke-to-fire ratio on this topic is ridiculous.And in that case, Darcy Regier saw the showcased Hodgson and acquired him for the douchetard Kassian, so how’d that work out MIke?

    Coaches don’t care and GM’s have better things to do then ice a worse team in the hope that they get a 4th rounder instead of a 3rd.

    Now tanking…that’s something I believe in!!

    I think you’ve got a point that showcasing is often overused… but isn’t that because it is a bit of a joke? Maybe you’ve missed the humor at work here.

    If someone is talking about showcasing Omark, for example, they are probably half-serious/half-joking or all joking. those seem more likely than all serious.

    I think it seems pretty obvious that GMs try to maximize the value of their players. And, yes I believe playing, even poorly, is better for your value than being scratched (not in all cases mind you… a superstar being scratched drives interest and probably doesn’t hurt value).

    It is also possible that Eakins thinking converges with MacT wanting 15 to play, which is basically what I said.

  68. G Money says:

    LMHF#1: I don’t agree that they need to have the big players to play the system. You need to be either a strong positional player or willing to learn how to be one. If you’re positioned well and have an active stick you will make it work.

    Could be. I’m not enough of a systems expert to argue the point much. The article I linked makes the “big, strong” point, and all I can add to that is my observation of which teams seem to play the collapse seems to support his thesis.

    Anecdotally, the last time the Oilers played a collapse system (well) was when they had physical beasts like Pronger, Smith, Staios, and Greene (along with MAB and Spacek). And even a guy like Spacek, who was considered more of a mobile puck-moving style of defender, today would be the second biggest defender on the Oilers, after Belov.

  69. LMHF#1 says:

    G Money: Could be. I’m not enough of a systems expert to argue the point much.The article I linked makes the “big, strong” point, and all I can add to that is that my observation of which teams seem to play the collapse seems to support his thesis.

    Anecdotally, the last time the Oilers played a collapse system (well) was when they had physical beasts like Pronger, Smith, Staios, and Greene (along with MAB and Spacek). And even a guy like Spacek, who was considered more of a mobile puck-moving style of defender, today would be the second biggest defender on the Oilers, after Belov.

    All fair points, and there are a number of massive defenders in the pipeline at the moment. Would love to see both Marincin and Nurse at 230+ keeping the opposition away from the net.

  70. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    godot10: At next years trade deadline, Perron leaves in a trade to maximize his value, since he will be 100 games away from UFA status.Hendricks will still have 2 years left on his contract.Paajarvi will be emerging as the elite shutdown/matchup winger in the NHL.

    The Oilers had a Chicago-esque 4th line in Paajarvi, Lander, Hartikainen, Smyth, and Arcobello.MacT obliterated it.

    He also had a third line of Horcoff, Gordon, and Hemsky, and obliterated it.

    He also had a first line of Hall, Nugent-Hopkins, and Eberle, and hired a coach to obliterate it.

    All he had to do was sign a free agent winger for the 2nd line to play with Gagner and Yakupov.

    Perron was a good deal on paper that accomplished little team construction wise.

    I think MacT likes Perron a lot more than you imagine.

    Hendricks has nothing to do with it. Paajarvi was, is and will be a very good complementary player. This team could use him now, tomorrow, whenever. Him or Kulemin, or Winnik.

    Perron remains a great deal. Fantastic acquisition.

    The RNH-Hall-Ebs line is hardly obliterated. It’s playing tonight.

    MacArthur or Penner would have been perfect on the 2 line.

  71. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Bag of Pucks,

    You’ve got to learn to take hyperbole for what it is.

    That said, if you think the pro scouts are doing a great job, help yourself to the buffet. The imitation crab is plentiful and only marginally discolored.

    ps. your reading of my assumptions is way off, but your assumptions are equally way off. ;)

  72. G Money says:

    I kind of have to chuckle about this a bit … living in the Oiler past is so much less painful than living in the Oiler present. Just for shits and giggles, here is a list of Oiler defenders this season and from 2006, listed in decreasing order of weight:

    Greene
    Pronger
    Belov
    Smith
    Spacek
    N Schultz
    Potterplay
    MAB
    Petry
    Jultz
    Marincin
    Ference
    Larsen

    How much (little) angst would there be over this team if we had that 2006 defensive crew in their prime anchoring the blue?

  73. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    freedomisamyth: There’s also a third option: that Mact tends to use stats in a way that most fans don’t seem to… as only one part of the decision instead of the only thing that matters.

    Bullshit strawman.

    freedomisamyth: His argument is basically that all you that matters is his age and his ice time profile, and because of that it’s a terrible trade no matter what.

    No. his argument is that this information is readily available and it suggests Hendricks is a poor bet. Not that it is a guaranteed fail.

    It is a question of managing exposure to risk with information available.

    freedomisamyth: That is the one thing I really appreciate about Dellow at least is that he uses stats as a sign post for things to look at, and then actually looks at the game film to see what’s ACTUALLY going on rather than using the stats like as if they were EA NHL 2014 player ratings like too many people seem to. Even the more careful commenters here tend to, imo, put too much stock in the raw numbers of statistics that should really require a big dose of context before using them to form any sort of strong conclusions.

    Bullshit. Find someone using hockey stats a lot that also doesn’t watch a damn lot of hockey. that person doesn’t exist.

    If you care about hockey enough to do a bunch of independent research, ask a lot of questions, etc. you watch the damn games. Because you love hockey.

    If you see someone using stats without context please call them out. Please. But don’t claim that’s what’s happening everywhere.

  74. knighttown says:

    VOR:
    “1. We know anecdotally and statistically that forwards don’t get that much better after their early 20′s. They tend to produce more but most of that is opportunity. Tyler Seguin plays a supporting role in Boston, goes to Dallas, plays prime minutes and produces more. Taylor Hall plays prime minutes from day 1 and then three years later they’re in the same place. Seguin isn’t a “late bloomer” he just didn’t get the push Hall did. Every Oiler kid has been given the push, starting with Gagner, right through the Yakupov early this season. They will improve but these improvments will be much subtler than people realize. If you don’t believe me, go look at offense only guys who were given the push. Look at 21 and then again and 27 and tell me if you see a drastic difference.”

    Knighttown, please share the statistics that prove your contention that forwards don’t get much better after their early twenties along with the assumptions that drive the statistics. Because I will tell you this, it is a load of crap.

    Looks like someone just found out the tooth fairy isn’t real. Sorry, this topic has been discussed around here for years and thought it was pretty well understood but in fairness, I’m not an elite stats guy so possibly I paraphrased. My statement was basically, forwards are what they are by 21 or 22 (at least statistically) and that any improvements will be incremental. Anyway, let’s begin the discussion…EV pts/60

    Hall–> 1.78-2.07-3.15-3.08
    A nice improvement from 18-21. Where does it go from here?

    Eberle–> 1.79- 3.08- 2.31- 1.89
    Peaked at 21 and a large drop (correction?) since then.

    RNH–> 1.98–1.29–1.70
    I started with the Oilers because we all know them so well. He produced well as a rookie, adjusted to tougher minutes last year and battled injury and bounced back this year, healthier and dealing with the tougher minutes. Should have another jump in him next year.

    Gagner–> 1.96- 1.69- 1.56- 1.91- 1.96- 1.84- 1.45
    Pretty much the perfect example. He was what he was from day 1. Mildly productive soft minutes producer and the minute he’s given a tougher assignment he slips.

    Hemsky–> 2.36- 2.08- 2.85- 2.88- 1.57- 1.40- 1.43
    Another great example of opportunity. He was “the man” for those early years and was excellent when healthy. Then the kids started taking his easy matchups and now he’s evolved into a mildly productive vet who can handle tough minutes. Opporutnity = production.

    On to other teams. I can’t know how they handled all of these guys but the numbers give me a clue.

    Kane- 2.32 and 1.90 in his 18 and 19 year old seasons. Ready to make the jump? 2.58, 2.51 and 2.47 at ages 21, 22 and 23. If convention holds, he’s about to go Supernova and results are…2.67 and 2.43. Second most productive season of his career at 20.

    Toews- 2.17- 2.40- 2.15- 2.37- 2.5- 3.19- 2.26. I mean, I guess you could look at his 3.19 season and say that’s his new level but that would be mighty optimistic. Essentially the same guy he’s always been.

    Crosby and Malkin- these guys are having monster years at 3.07 and 3.06 each, right in the middle of their primes. That’s a massive jump from their rookie years of 3.38 and 3.20??? What??? Crosby- 3.38, 3.0, 3.41, 3.98, skip, 4.19, 3.17. Malkin 3.20, 3.07, 2.62, 2.17, 3.66, 1.84, 3. 06

    Skinner- 2.49, 2.01, 1.23, 2.18

    Behind the net only goes back to 2006 so these 2003 guys start around Year 21.

    Staal- 2.24, 2.32, 2.48, 1. 86, 1.91, 3.44, 2.03

    Getzlaf- 2.26, 2.43, 2.55, 2.31, 1.38, 2.76, 3.29

    Perry- 2.25, 2.50, 2.31, 2.48, 1.54, 2.32, 3.22

    Bergeron- 1.54, 2.23, 2.46, 2.48, 2.48, 2.38

    Lucic- 2.21, 1.7, 2.6, 2.6, 2.2, 2.0

    Marchand- 2.1, 2.5, 2.8, 2.0

    I mean, I can keep going and maybe the beginning of the alphabet is an aberration but I’d be surprised.

    People want the Supernova jump but it just doesn’t seem to exist. Some reasons why:

    -obviously I’ve discussed opportunity. Less knowledgeable hockey fans look at a guy producing 2.5 pts/60 and see that he ends up with 80 points instead of the 50 he had before and fail to notice he played 3rd line minutes and barely any PP time and now he’s first line, first shift after a PK, maybe some PK and loads and loads of PP time. Stats are better and he’s a better all around player but he hasn’t actually changed his production level.

    -player like Bergeron or Nuge comes into the league sheltered at 18 or 19 and produces quite well. The issue is that they’ve done it against crap and STILL likely lost the GA/60 war. Move along to past year 2 and 3 and they actually get a correction in scoring rates as the new rookie comes in needling sheltering and they begin to take on the toughs.

    - If you want to look for improvement, I’d bet it’s there under the GA/60 stat. These guys are definitely getting better into their 20′s (as I’ve conceded) but they just aren’t scoring a whole heck of a lot more.

    I’m not sure why your older examples showed differences but my guess would be that a kid at 20 today is a lot different than Mark Messier or Gordie Howe was. They’ve very close to their final playing weight, they’ve had elite coaching and their just far more developed which is why you see far less busting in the draft than you used to. These kids at 18 are much closer to the finished product than ever before.

    As I said, you’re a well respected stats guy around here and I’m more of a observational guy so I sense the other shoe coming but if you’d to project Hall to move up to 4 pts/60, Ebs to stay back over 3 and Nuge to move up over 3, be my guest but I expect you’ll be sorely disappointed.

  75. Bag of Pucks says:

    vangolf:
    As much as the defence, Hall and Yak gets ragged on, the play of Nuge has been the greatest concern (in full disclosure he is my favourite one of the “core” and my 2 year old even has a jersey with “baby nuge” on the back).When he first came in to the league, he had that quality where the game slowed down around him and he had space (I always thnk back to that glorious Rangers game at Rexall and his gorgeous snipe below Lundquist’s blocker).Now the league has figured him out and tries to suffocate him.His play has not been that of a 1C and the play is dying on his stick more than it should.The onus is on him to step it up and develop a new angle to his game to counter the pressure or to drop him down in the line-up and get away from the toughs (the proper development for him would be 2C and PP1 for the next couple of years…unfortunately our depth does not permit it).IMHO, our fortunes are tied to him.

    Totally agree with this. Further, I think Nuge needs to put on ‘weight’ to add that additional dimension to his game. He’s completely ineffective when the D can angle him to the wall.

    This young core’s inability to play a cycle game is an absolute killer in the West.

  76. finn_fann says:

    Caramel Obvious,

    I know this isn’t the place to complain about other blogs, but I cringe pretty much every time I try to read a CnB article. That site has become the place where the bitter and disenfranchised wash up. Reminds me of the row of guys who sit at the bar and complain about all of their bad relationships – which they refuse to leave. At some point it has to be easier to just stop caring about the oilers rather than stew in your own hatred.

    That’s why this site is great: “So the oilers have lost 4 in a row by a combined score of 36-2? Forget about them! Time for some poignant prose followed by a few encouraging stories on the developing youth.” At least we have the future to keep ourselves slightly optimistic

  77. FastOil says:

    Pouzar:
    Mc79 nailed it on Lowetide. We shoulda been pissed 3 years ago. Look at the failure that was Tambellini. Belanger, Eager, Hordichuk, Barker, Khabibulin, Kurtis Foster, trading Brodziak, etc.
    In one offseason MacT has added 2 good everyday NHL players (Perron and Gordon) while this team has nothing to show for the Tambo era. This is why we are in this epic mess.

    I WAS pissed 3 years ago. Many were. What’s killing me is no forward progress (at best). There is one last window of hope, what remains of time before the UFA season. I won’t hold out any hope if MacT whiffs again.

    I don’t mean to be negative about it. For me I look for resolution in things, I’m not into the drama of the failure. It’s disappointing but things are pretty clear. Really they have been for a long time.

    I think MacT’s ‘confidence’ is good for the org (especially in him not worrying about signing players) but I’m pretty skeptical at this point. I have been given no reason to think otherwise, in a very long time.

    It’s not the coach or the skill players at this point, for certain. There has been a persistent inability to assemble an NHL roster over time, over a long time.

    I hope tonight Sam catches Kassian with his head down and hits him so hard Kassian pisses himself, gets up with the puck, splits the D and buries a 105 MPH slapper bar down that clanks so loud Luongo’s ears ring for days.

    And then bites the top off of Luongo’s water bottle or something.

  78. knighttown says:

    Derek: Shea Weber was drafted in 2003 and only made the 2005 World Jrs.Duncan Keith never played in the World Jrs.Pk Subban was drafted in 2007, made the team in 2008 and scored 0 points then made the team again in 2009 and scored at a PPG pace.Alex Pietrangelo who Nurse is often compared to, was drafted in 2008, made the tournament in 2009 and had an extremely poor showing yet made the team again the next year and was named a tournament all star.

    All this angst over Nurse not making the tournament of small sample sizes is a bit ridiculous.

    I don’t think anyone actually thinks Bigras is a better prospect than Nurse?Hell Morrissey who was actually quite good for team Canada is ranked 20 on Pronmans top 50 while Nurse is 8th.

    The Weber, Keith and Subban responses were perfectly predictable. Of course there are dozens of examples of late bloomers and guys that were under the radar. They might have sucked at 18 or just been overlooked. But that’s not what we’re talking about with Nurse. We’re talking about an elite prospect who was right smack dab in the middle of the radar who got overlooked. He would have been well known during the summer evaluation period and very well known by Christmas. He wasn’t overlooked or unknown…he was known and passed on.

    Again, I have no effin clue if that was the right decision or not. I’ve seen him play on TV a handful of times…that’s it.

    So choose a theory…Nurse should have been on that team and the guys that watch him every night for 6 months are all idiots OR uh oh, we might be looking at a red flag here.

    Pulling for the guy and as I said, I don’t know. I did appreciate the comment earlier about his PIMs being a concern. I believe that has some merit after seeing how well Sutter seems to enjoy kids with trouble controlling their emotions.

  79. G Money says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: Find someone using hockey stats a lot that also doesn’t watch a damn lot of hockey. that person doesn’t exist.

    100% true. But lemme tell you this – watching Oiler hockey lately has been a putrefying experience. If this keeps up, I’m going to turn off the damn game AND JUST WATCH THE STATS! More fun, less cursing at the screen to get me in trouble with the wife.

  80. VOR says:

    knighttown,

    You realize that most people would think scoring an extra point for every 60 minutes played is a rather significant improvement?

    That would be Stall Getzlaf and Perry at 26, 27, and 27 as versus 21. That isn’t an improvement, a significant one?

    Plus none of these players have hit 28, never mind 40. So you are going to tell me that you know that Kane had his second most productive season at 20 when he is only 25 years old? How on Earth can you be sure?

    So of the guys you have chosen some are making my point and they are all too young to actually know anything about their career arc over the next 15 years. They aren’t different from my set except in one way, they still have long careers ahead of them. You don’t get into the Hall of Fame until you retire (and the only non Hall of Famer I mention is Ray Whitney who nicely makes the point about how players can have their best years late in their careers). I’d argue that the fitness level etc. of todays players makes it much more likely that it will become the norm to have your best years in your thirties. Also, when did we decide powerplay points don’t count in assessing the offensive potential of players? Kane is having the best season of his career on the powerplay and that despite being by and large an elite power play guy.

  81. vangolf says:

    knighttown,

    What I think we are seeing is projection vs current ability. Nurse was drafted for what he has the potential to become (size, speed, general pissyness), not his current hockey IQ/sense. There are no guarantees that this potential will be reached and the flags are warranted…but his potential (and desire to succeed) is drool inducing.

    I liken it to Christian Laettner making the first US dream team ahead of many other players whose NBA careers did not flame out. His type is what Hockey Canada defaults to (in this case a Griffin Reinhart) and in some ways I don’t blame them if the goal is to win now rather than aid development of a pretty raw player.

  82. НИНТЕНДО⁶⁴ says:

    So a public letter to let us know Kevin Lowe isn’t going anywher?. That’s a lot of extra work when all he had to do was sent a note to Bob Stauffer. I’d check around the Katz property to see if Lowe is the new chauffeur or gardener. On the other hand if Lowe really was in charge of hockey before or even after MacT replaced Tambi this letter publicly strips that from Lowe.

  83. VOR says:

    knighttown,

    You have also offered no proof that there was more opportunity for Toews last year, or for Getzlaf, Perry, and Stall in their late twenties than there early twenties.

    Let try asking it this way:

    Who told you that it was all downhill after 21 or 22 and that any abnormalities were simply caused by more opportunity?

  84. Big Dan says:

    I was hoping on October 5th that Eakins would have the guts to do what Hartley just did. Those cocky, cheap shotting Canucks needs to be sent a message. Instead, the Oilers got their asses handed to them and Kassian & Weise mocked us.

    Man, I would LOVE it if Eakins did the same thing tonight. Call up MacIntyre and Abney and put them in the opening lineup. Then, I’d hope Kassian, Weise, and Burrows start for Vancouver. I know it won’t.

    Nothing about this season makes me happy. Listening to Oiler fans complain about every move MacT makes… his biggest fault was rushing to hire Eakins. Many of us were hoping Paul Maurice would be hired as the associate (and backup plan) in the summer. All of the good moves – Gordon, Perron, Hendricks, keeping Hemsky, doing Horcoff a favour by freeing him from our vile fans, Ference-for-Smid, Scrivens-for-Dubnyk, Bryzgalov-for-Khabibulin… have all been undone by a complete digression of the team’s core.

    Hall, Nuge, Eberle, Yakupov, Petry, Schultz have all imploded at the same time.

    His other big mistake was keeping Gagner and not replacing him with Grabovski. However, I’m not going to fault him because I saw his logic. He wanted to send a message to free agents that times have changed and we are going to reward our own (rather than the embarrasing situations with the likes of Comrie and Souray). Nobody knew Gagner would turn into this.

    His no-risk gambles are either gone or in the farm (Hamilton, Acton, Jones, Grebeshkov, Labarbera). Belov and the Joensuu-for-Hartikainen acquisitions were nice tries. The 2nd rounder for 5 was a stroke of genius= plus he told Stu to draft TALENT not tough slugs. Everybody remembers Sather finding these nobodies from other teams’ AHL teams – Hughes, McSorley, McClelland, on and on… but he had a ton of “nice tries” too that didn’t work out. You don’t improve if you don’t try.

    I like the fact that MacT sees the big picture (no panic moves) and is working the phones and making moves. He is WAY better than Lowe and a refreshing change from the painful Tambellini era.

    What concerns me is that there’s not a lot he can do in the summer. My hope…

    a) Add two VETERAN defensemen. Spare no expense for a winner like Orpik. Anybody under 20 years old (Nurse for example) stays far, far away from this mess.

    b) I think MacT likes Lander but Eakins doesn’t. I hope he is resigned and battles for the 4C with Roman Horak (who can also play wing). Horak is a very useful, smart two-way player who just needs to add 15-20 lb. Somebody feed that kid some protein shakes! He’s our next Pisani.

    c) Keep Arcobello to replace Gagner as the 2C.

    d) Resign Hemsky and put him on the 2nd line to mentor Yakupov.

    e) Add two VETERAN forwards.

    f) Advise the coach to keep Eberle on the first line. Nuge and Hall need him.

    g) Resign Scrivens and Bryzgalov. They’re both affordable and solid. You can’t fault them for this ugliness. Dubnyk, even after his slow start, never inspired any confidence from anybody.

    h) Most importantly, FIRE EAKINS! And Buchberger. And Smith. And Acton. Clean house. I don’t care about how embarrassing the coaching turnover is. Eakins was a big, fat mistake!!!!

    If (h) doesn’t happen, I will not tune in next year. No hope.

    BTW, I could care less about Kevin Lowe. He is thankfully out of the picture now. From the things MacT is saying and doing, I can see no thumbprints from Lowe. Thank the Lord.

  85. Big Dan says:

    I also forgot to mention I would love to see Erik Cole return to Edmonton. I hear he’s on the trading block. He is the exact player Edmonton needs. Tough, smart, battles. Plus he was here before and liked it here. But we gave him away for Patrick O’Sullivan.

    We have a lot of prospects that would entice Dallas. Him with Gordon and Hendricks on the 3rd line would be gold, or as the 2nd LW for Arco and Yakupov… he could teach those two a lot and fill the physical role. Even if it’s only one year. Make it happen MacT.

  86. AZOIL says:

    Big Dan,

    I agree with lots of this, Many if MacT’s move have been good and some of the ones that were not were not huge gambles so no big deal!

    My exception is h) fire Eakins and replace him with who? I can’t think of that many great coaches out there unless you take a risk on another unproven nhl experienced coach. Some ok assistants but who knows how they will do as a head coach? Who is Bylsma’s assistant? granato?

    Eakins hasn’t worked very well with what he was given but he still needs to be given more pieces no?

  87. Ice Sage says:

    I think I’ve hit a new low – wanting to watch tonight’s ‘Oilers’ game to see what the Canucks do – they are the more appealing team right now.

    Gawd, that hurt to say – I need a puke bowl and then a hug from Mr. Katz

  88. art vandelay says:

    The Edmonton Oilers have the best fans in the world….

    I’d like to believe that sentence can be attributed to what’s called “playing to the gallery.”

  89. OilClog says:

    Caramel Obvious:
    DeadmanWaking,

    Great post.

    Remember that the people crying for blood are the same people that ran Gilbert out of town, tried to run Hemsky out of town, will run Petry out of town, etc.

    I can’t agree that Edmonton has great fans.

    That’s false, I’m crying for blood have been for ages. Never once have I wanted to run Hemsky out of town, for as long as I remember I’ve been on the Hemsky is a Oiler for life bandwagon.

    Never tried to run Gilbert out, nor have I ever thought about running our only Defenceman out either in Petry.

    But it’s true. I want blood!

  90. Woodguy says:

    VOR,

    But what metric was Cam Fowler a 1st pairing Dman in his rookie year?

    Most would define a 1st pairing D as one of two on a team that plays the most 5v5 minutes and also if often deployed against the opposition’s highest scoring lines.

  91. OilClog says:

    Big Dan:
    I also forgot to mention I would love to see Erik Cole return to Edmonton.I hear he’s on the trading block.He is the exact player Edmonton needs.Tough, smart, battles.Plus he was here before and liked it here.But we gave him away for Patrick O’Sullivan.

    We have a lot of prospects that would entice Dallas.Him with Gordon and Hendricks on the 3rd line would be gold, or as the 2nd LW for Arco and Yakupov…he could teach those two a lot and fill the physical role.Even if it’s only one year.Make it happen MacT.

    Did you watch the first go around with Cole… No, didn’t think so lol.

  92. G Money says:

    In the context of NHL fan bases, you would think the questions to ask are: how *loyal* are the fans, and how *knowledgeable* are the fans?

    In that context, it is not unfair to rank Oiler fans among the best.

    Certainly, if the quality and quantity of blogs and posters is anything to go by, we are as lucky in that department as we are unlucky on the ice. As shitty as ON is, have you ever read FN? Migawd.

    In terms of loyalty, the fan base here continues to support (less and less enthusiastically) a team that has sucked for longer than any other post-cap-era team. Any such ranking of loyalty has to put the Oilers and Maple Leafs fans neck and neck at the top.

    I’m trying to find a reference to a study that did exactly that, tried to reconcile suckiness of a team together with seat and merchandise sales together with market size and economic data. Oiler fans came in #1, Leafs came in #2. Can’t find that study right now, but others tend to be similar:

    Forbes ranked the Oilers fan base 5th:
    http://www.forbes.com/pictures/mlh45jdd/the-nhls-best-fans/

    BR ranked the Oilers fan base 3rd:
    http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1500401-power-ranking-the-nhls-10-most-loyal-fanbases/page/9

  93. Woodguy says:

    Woodguy:
    VOR,

    But what metric was Cam Fowler a 1st pairing Dman in his rookie year?

    Most would define a 1st pairing D as one of two on a team that plays the most 5v5 minutes and also if often deployed against the opposition’s highest scoring lines.

    Just checked and he was 2nd 5v5 toi/gm behind Vis.

    Would have never of guessed.

    I sit corrected.

  94. denny33 says:

    oilersfan,

    I am all for Ekblad. Stay bad for Ekblad and lets give him 9 games. I bet he makes the team next year and plays second pairing minutes like Seth Jones and Ryan Murray. The scouting report is that he is very smart with elite hockey sense.

    **************************************************************

    On your page –

    Jonas Brodin looked good at a 19 year old last year…granted nice partner.

    What do Oiler fans think of Jacob Trouba?

    New coach echoing old coach – Trouba might be there best D-man – now. Over 23 min on Saturday.

  95. Woodguy says:

    Lois Lowe:
    This is relevant to all of our interests.
    http://i.imgur.com/1GZTiI6.gif

    That needs to be kept around for a long time.

  96. Surly says:

    re: Kassian:

    1. Breaks Gagner’s jaw with careless stick swinging
    2. Applauds the Oilers signing of MacIntyre because he is slow (this point I actually agree with but he’s publicly bashing one of the Oiler tammates even if he is on IR)
    3. Either mocks Gagner’s jaw protector (or was it Gazdic’s neck beard) last game in Vancouver

    Hendricks seems pretty keen on winning over his new teammates and bringing a physical edge. Will be curious if he goes after Kassian looking for a fight. Van needs to 2 points dearly so he might not get it (or does he just take the 2min instigator given our lost season).

  97. VOR says:

    Woodguy,

    Most people or you? What other people?

    Cam Fowler was 2nd in ev strength minutes per game. Over the course of the year he played tougher and tougher competition, with tougher zone starts. By the end of the year he was 1st pairing by your own definition. In general he saw better D men than forwards were he was usually getting 2nd or even third pairing but he was facing 1st pairing D regularly, don’t ask me why, seen as a bigger offence weapon than defensive force perhaps. But since competition and its measure does still not have a unifromly agreed standard I used EV Strength minutes per game where he is clearly first pairing. .

  98. VOR says:

    Woodguy,

    But you see you’ve made my point about how definitions vary and there is no agreement on what a 1D or even first pairing looks like. Clearly you think quality of comp matters However, one of the thing Vollman and now extra skater make clear is that situational use matters. Maybe someday we will have an accepted definition but not now so any statement about how long it takes to get to be a 1D is fraught with the methodological problems I mentioned earlier.

  99. PunjabiOil says:

    It is interesting though the parallels between this and political revolution. An inept leadership, terrible results, state media, muzzling message boards, sending the information minister to give a message to the people that all is well, total denial of reality and an irate powerless population.

    This is tahiri square.

  100. vangolf says:

    PunjabiOil,

    …except in one case, one is a stakeholder and has a democratic right to participate whereas in this case there is no right and the Oilers only affect you to the degree you allow them to (take the wife for a nice dinner and their performance on the given night will be as meaningless as could be).

  101. Ben says:

    This might sound bash-ey, but I think Edmonton’s singular obsession with the Oilers really hurts the team — in terms of accountability, and hurts the city — in terms of limiting what other kinds of cultural/recreational things could be happening.

    Whoever’s really upset with the state of the Oilers should turn off the game/sell your tickets, and go and see some local live music or something. This might accomplish two things:

    1) Team revenue might be affected, which might actually lead to substantive change

    2) You might end up feeling attached to a social community that doesn’t revolve around the ups and downs of philandering jock millionaires.

    There’s a whole bunch of great shows coming up – here’s a list:

    https://yeglive.ca/

    Get out there! :)

  102. rickithebear says:

    Matt Hendricks narative: blah Blah!
    Center with top 40 tough Zone Start and top 40 PKGAC
    Kelly Bos 29GM 6ESP 3M
    Malhotra Car 36GM 7 ESP .6M
    Stajan Cgy 42GM 14 ESP 3.125M
    Mitchell COL 48GM 17 ESP 1.1M
    Gordon EDM 45GM 11 ESP 3.0M
    Hendricks EDM 46GM 4 ESP 1.85M
    Brodziak MIN 51GM 15 ESP 2.83M
    Mitchell MIN 48 GM 9 ESP 1.9M
    Prust MTL 38 GM 5 ESP 2.5M
    WHITE MTL 33Gm 2 ESP .7M
    Plekanec MTL 49GM 20 ESP 5M
    Carter NJ 33GM 5 ESP .775M
    Boyle NYR 51GM 7 ESP 1.7M
    Moore NYR 43GM 7 ESP 1.0M
    Sutter PIT 49GM 14 ESP 2.07M
    Lapierre STL 39GM 9 ESP 1.1M
    Bozak TOR 27GM 17 ESP 4.2M
    Santorelli VCR 49GM 29 ESP .55M

    Centers Less than .2ESP per game are around 1.5M
    Hendricks 1.85M
    Centers in the .25 to .35 range are 2.75M
    Gordon 3.0M

    One of the Keys!
    Are players better with them or without.
    Hendricks is an overwhelming better with.

    Add in top 40 Face offs and Blocks
    we are at
    Malhotra
    Gordon
    Hendricks
    Goc
    Boyle

    Add in Hits
    Hendricks
    Boyle

    Oh and Even GA
    Hendricks

    So we are paying hendricks
    who is top 40for centers in
    EVGA(14) FO% (35), ZS (17), PKGA (20) , Blocks(34), Hits(16),

  103. PunjabiOil says:

    Ben – In theory, you’re right. Personally, I visit lowetide’s every day, and follow the team on twitter – but as for watching games, it’s been since November. Life goes on, and you participate in other activities/hobbies, but at the end of the day, the passion for the Oilers will still live on.

    Evokes memories of a quote from Friday night lights TV show (re: passion for football): “You can’t fake boosterism Eric. It comes from the heart. That’s the beauty of it.”

  104. G Money says:

    Ben: Get out there!

    Two challenges: don’t live in Edmonton any more. And always beware the harsh realities of NHL economics – fans not supporting the team may not trigger “change” so much as “movement”. Yeah yeah, I know about the f*cking stupid ass Seattle threats, but more realistically, pay heed to Winnipeg (before, after, and after) and Phoenix.

    That’s the conundrum of the NHL fan – lack of support doesn’t actually hurt the owner of a shitty team as much as you’d like it to, because the value of the team is in large measure independent of its current location.

    PunjabiOil: Friday night lights TV show

    Just started watching last week on Netflix! Better than I thought it would be.

  105. Well Oiled and Enthusiastic says:

    vangolf,

    Nuge is a cerebral player with a slight frame and understated presence on the ice and will most certainly reshape how he plays to adjust to coverage mapped to contain him (let alone filling out with maturity). He is definitely cut from the Pavel Datsyuk/Henrik Sedin/Doug Weight mold. Just a kid – literally. He is as bankable to be a true impact player for the next decade as any blue chip prospect to be drafted in last 30 years. He is gonna be a beauty and a rare, rare player for his generation.

  106. knighttown says:

    VOR:
    knighttown,

    You realize that most people would think scoring an extra point for every 60 minutes played is a rather significant improvement?

    That would be Stall Getzlaf and Perry at 26, 27, and 27 as versus 21. That isn’t an improvement,a significant one?

    Plus none of these players have hit 28, never mind 40. So you are going to tell me that you know that Kane had his second most productive season at 20 when he is only 25 years old? How on Earth can you be sure?

    So of the guys you have chosen some are making my point and they are all too young to actually know anything about their career arc over the next 15 years.

    Here’s the first thing…I didn’t hand-pick any of these players. I started with Pittsburgh who I knew had some elite kids and relative roster consistency. I then started alphabetically and stopped after whipping through a half dozen teams.

    If you’ll recall, my exact quote was that “players don’t get that much better after their early 20′s”. I said they are better players and take on different roles but any major increase in their scoring tends to be the result of getting more opportunity.

    You then absolutely snap and say:
    a) it’s a load of crap
    b) utter and complete garbage

    I then responded by testing my assumption with a bunch of current players including almost everyone that matters on the Oilers where I (and you) know how they have been used. I then went through a bunch of top players on other teams. I purposefully selected EV points/60, likely the best measure that pulls out opportunity things like going from 7 minutes a night to 21 minutes a night.

    I’ll repost the list again…

    Hall–> 1.78-2.07-3.15-3.08
    A nice improvement from 18-21. Where does it go from here?
    Eberle–> 1.79- 3.08- 2.31- 1.89
    Peaked at 21 and a large drop (correction?) since then.
    RNH–> 1.98–1.29–1.70
    I started with the Oilers because we all know them so well. He produced well as a rookie, adjusted to tougher minutes last year and battled injury and bounced back this year, healthier and dealing with the tougher minutes. Should have another jump in him next year.
    Gagner–> 1.96- 1.69- 1.56- 1.91- 1.96- 1.84- 1.45
    Pretty much the perfect example. He was what he was from day 1. Mildly productive soft minutes producer and the minute he’s given a tougher assignment he slips.
    Hemsky–> 2.36- 2.08- 2.85- 2.88- 1.57- 1.40- 1.43
    Another great example of opportunity. He was “the man” for those early years and was excellent when healthy. Then the kids started taking his easy matchups and now he’s evolved into a mildly productive vet who can handle tough minutes. Opporutnity = production.
    On to other teams. I can’t know how they handled all of these guys but the numbers give me a clue.
    Kane- 2.32 and 1.90 in his 18 and 19 year old seasons. Ready to make the jump? 2.58, 2.51 and 2.47 at ages 21, 22 and 23. If convention holds, he’s about to go Supernova and results are…2.67 and 2.43. Second most productive season of his career at 20.
    Toews- 2.17- 2.40- 2.15- 2.37- 2.5- 3.19- 2.26. I mean, I guess you could look at his 3.19 season and say that’s his new level but that would be mighty optimistic. Essentially the same guy he’s always been.
    Crosby and Malkin- these guys are having monster years at 3.07 and 3.06 each, right in the middle of their primes. That’s a massive jump from their rookie years of 3.38 and 3.20??? What??? Crosby- 3.38, 3.0, 3.41, 3.98, skip, 4.19, 3.17. Malkin 3.20, 3.07, 2.62, 2.17, 3.66, 1.84, 3. 06
    Skinner- 2.49, 2.01, 1.23, 2.18
    Behind the net only goes back to 2006 so these 2003 guys start around Year 21.
    Staal- 2.24, 2.32, 2.48, 1. 86, 1.91, 3.44, 2.03
    Getzlaf- 2.26, 2.43, 2.55, 2.31, 1.38, 2.76, 3.29
    Perry- 2.25, 2.50, 2.31, 2.48, 1.54, 2.32, 3.22
    Bergeron- 1.54, 2.23, 2.46, 2.48, 2.48, 2.38
    Lucic- 2.21, 1.7, 2.6, 2.6, 2.2, 2.0
    Marchand- 2.1, 2.5, 2.8, 2.0

    I wish I could quickly put this into a graph but honestly Vor, if that was plotted, do you really think the slope of that line is drastic. And yes, these guys have lots of track on their careers but if they were going to be a huge jump at 28 or 30 wouldn’t you have expected it to start by now? I don’t see really any trend after their 21 year old season.

    Dammit, I know someone like Tyler has done this work. Woodguy…you recall anything on scoring rates for forwards from 22-28?

  107. Pouzar says:

    Gonna give Boardwalk Empire a looksee wile I wait for 2nd season of House of Cards.
    Liked the 1st episode of True Detective on HBO.

  108. Ben says:

    Seems like the mass panic incited by the team almost moving to Minny in the 90s still lingers.

    Seriously guys – the team’s not moving anywhere. Your municipal taxes have made sure of it.

    Swing away.

  109. Woodguy says:

    VOR:
    My point about how long it takes dmen to be ready is that nobody ever says how they are defining ready or for that matter 1D or top pairing D. So if you can’t define those parameters then your 4 to 5 year number is totally meaningless. Cam Fowler and Jonas Brodin are both top pairing D in the NHL. They reached that lofty status in their first year post draft, ie. in the fall of the year following their draft year. How are we counting that as 0 or plus 1? In any case it certainly isn’t 4 or 5 years.

    The problem is nobody is saying there are three separate issues:

    1. What is the chance of a drafted D ever being a top pairing guy? Do the odds change with where in the draft you were taken? Do the odds change over time?

    2. How long does it take those that do make it to top pairing to get there? I tried this one by looking at the elo rankings at hockey reference. I simply looked at how long each of the drafted D listed in the top 300 players there took to be playing clear first pair minutes. Post draft it was 1.85 years. So the very best D arrive early and have major impacts but question one remains unanswered and we have no idea how many misses there were or how to build them into the formula.

    3. There is the question of performance. Just because you are playing top pairing minutes it doesn’t mean you are a top end D. So how do we score them? Now it all starts to get subjective. I think Brodin and Fowler are the real thing but you may disagree.

    Yet all this complexity gets reduced to, “it takes 4 or 5 years for top D to develop,” which is offered up with absolutley no proof but states as if it was gospel. Then it gets repeated and repeated and instead of using math to enrich hockey we are using BS numbers to support personal superstitions.

    This is interesting.

    Can you post your work somewhere?

  110. Well Oiled and Enthusiastic says:

    Ben,

    The Green Bay Packers and Saskatchewan Rough Riders are two great examples of how sports franchises define a community. The same is true of the Oilers and its something the ownership and management must never, never forget. They have been remiss in this aspect and negligent in the standard of care that devotion deserves. Sadly.

  111. Woodguy says:

    knighttown,

    I’ll find it when I get to a PC.

    Finding stuff on a phone is impossible.

  112. Well Oiled and Enthusiastic says:

    I know its provocative and a flashpoint for being dismissed as pure fairy dust, but considering how few true impact defensemen there are in the league at any given time and our own experience with Pronger, would we ‘throw in’ and overpay for Subban if in fact there is a chasm between the team and the player (which I believe there is). If we could assemble a package that made it hard for the Canadians to say no and we knew it was an overpay, would we still do it? I personally would as we know we are forward heavy (with a couple of elite talents) and defense light and with the right player, the chemistry of this team could be dramatically turned upside down. The risk that you don’t have a bonafide, elite level no. 1 D are reduced to zero. Let me be more provocative. A payment as rich as Eberle, our No.1 pick and Klefbom? Pick your players, but a straight up perceived overpayment. Are we better off?

  113. Ben says:

    Well Oiled and Enthusiastic,

    Yeah, fair enough.

    But Edmonton’s a ‘relatively’ progressive, rapidly expanding town with a population of over a million people.

    Maybe the city could round out its cultural profile a little.

    Forking out tax dollars for a corporate showroom is kind of nuts, imo. Maybe a little more could be done to encourage grassroots art/sport/music etc. Ah well – maybe this isn’t the place for such a discussion…

  114. Big Dan says:

    OilClog,

    I watched Cole the first go-round. He struggled at the beginning because they were playing him on an off-wing and more of a finesse rather than grindy style.

    Then, he and Gagner got some chemistry and were the best two Oiler forwards for a month before the brutal trade by Tambellini.

    After the trade, Cole had nothing but good things to say about Edmonton. Some positive energy can’t hurt!

  115. Big Dan says:

    Well Oiled and Enthusiastic,

    While I would love to pay the moon for Subban, I can’t see Montreal letting him go. They’d match or maybe offer to trade him for Taylor Hall (a fair offer which MacT wouldn’t bite on). It’ll take more than Yakupov, J.Schultz, and our 1st rounder.

    I’d prefer to see if Gagner & Petry + a pick could fetch us a Byfuglien or Campbell. More realistic anyway.

  116. vangolf says:

    Well Oiled and Enthusiastic: Ben, The Green Bay Packers and Saskatchewan Rough Riders are two great examples of how sports franchises define a community. The same is true of the Oilers and its something the ownership and management must never, never forget. They have been remiss in this aspect and negligent in the standard of care that devotion deserves. Sadly.

    …except that the Packers are in fact community owned. Not picking on you, but what does it mean that they must never forget they are part of the community? Their actions over the past 10 years demonstrably run counter to this and show that their own business interests come well in advance of those of the community (Seattle, new arena, entrenched management, etc.) . It is a billionaire’s hobby that you can support or not support…no other option.

  117. Well Oiled and Enthusiastic says:

    You aren’t picking on me and no offense taken at all. I fundamentally agree with you. Full stop.

  118. fifthcartel says:

    4 scouts from Edmonton at the LAK-CBJ game including MacT and Kevin Lowe. Hasn’t Stauffer been mentioning Anisimov and Dubinsky?

  119. theres oil in virginia says:

    fifthcartel:
    4 scouts from Edmonton at the LAK-CBJ game including MacT and Kevin Lowe. Hasn’t Stauffer been mentioning Anisimov and Dubinsky?

    Ryan Johansen?

  120. Marcus Oilerius says:

    Oh good grief, I was checking scores on NHL.com and the live video update just told me that if Buffalo wins, they’ll be only one point behind the Oilers.

  121. vangolf says:

    Well Oiled and Enthusiastic,

    I dream of Subban on the Oilers way more than I would like to admit. I think the offer sheet scenario goes nowhere because of the loss of face MTL would face by having their star snatched from them from a team of the western hinterlands. A trade may be plausible, but we would all shudder at the price. Working in our favour is that Eller is also coming up and may even command as much as $5M/ with term. That said, nothing will come of anything till the offseason once our draft position is confirmed. Our best hope is for more drama and schism between coach/mgmt and player to arise in the meantime (curious that they are not publicly working furiously on the extension now but I guess the RFA status doesn’t make it as imperative…I just imagine it gets more expensive by the day and every Phaneuf type extension that gets entered into).

  122. Showerhead says:

    Marcus Oilerius:
    Oh good grief, I was checking scores on NHL.com and the live video update just told me that if Buffalo wins, they’ll be only one point behind the Oilers.

    With games in hand, too.

  123. LostBoy says:

    theres oil in virginia: Ryan Johansen?

    If only. There were rumblings that he *might* have been available last year when he ended up getting called out by Kekäläinen, but tough to see Columbus parting with him now that he’s turned the developmental corner and started putting up serious numbers. The big R-handed C we need. I’d take him before Couturier. (Though I’d happily take Couturier.)

  124. VOR says:

    knighttown,

    I tried to make it clear I wasn’t saying you are crap or stupid or any such thing. I was just pointing out that you were a believer in something that is widely believed but patently false. There are, the more I look the more great examples I find, of early twenties (usually 23 peak and long term hold close to that). This is the model I believe Gabe Dejardins proposed for what we should expect (notice 23) and close to what you proposed. However there are far more exceptions than rule followers. Steve Yzerman would be a perfect fit to the model that I think may be the basis for your argument.

    However, the typical pattern is more like Jarome Iginla. Starting with his 19 year old season:

    19 50pts
    20 32pts
    21 57pts
    22 63pts
    23 71 pts
    24 96 (see the explosion)
    25 67pts
    26 73pts
    28 67pts
    29 94pts (anybody see that coming)
    30 98pts

    The common pattern in modern older players (ie. those over 30 currently playing in the NHL) is work up to a peak usually between 24 and 26 then meet or exceed it a few years later. It is not a straight line. I wasn’t aware you were claiming it was.

    The reason I said your argument was crap because it is. You were suggesting the Oilers stars like Taylor Hall are as good as they are going to get. You backed that up by saying, as I recall, that players don’t get better than they are in their early twenties, 21 and 22. The idea you are advancing is widely believed and utterly wrong. Brett Hull at 23 looked much like Taylor Hall, oddly he had a few pretty good years waiting for him, ones far beyond a pt per game. Joe Sakic (given the era he played in) looked much like Taylor Hall at 22. At 31 he would put up one of the greatest seasons (in terms of EV strength points per 60 his best) in NHL history. Yet according to you the Oilers’ young guns have peaked. Isn’t that your argument and arent you supporting it by saying that is just the way it is and everyone knows it?

    I am demonstrating using real evidence that you are wrong. You respond by using players who are too young for us to know anything about whether they have had their best years yet or not. In other words you are saying you can use them because the thing I am trying to prove says they won’t get any better. You are using that which is to be proved to prove that which is to be proved which is a rhetorical and logical no-no.

    My data set is based on players who had time to get better (ie. older, retired, Hall of Fame, etc.) I am not saying my data set is perfect but it sure suggests there is a massive disconnect between what many hockey bloggers believe and reality. You can’t use people so young because you can’t know what they will yet encounter. My guys we know what they encountered and what they did with their opportunities.

    Superstars throw off oddball supper years in wildly unpredictable ways. Look at Iginla. What if Taylor Hall’s career goes like that…rising star…levelling off…..super year(s)….back to the old level….4 of the best 5 years of his career between 29 and 33. That kind of is the exact opposite of what you are maintaining happens.

    I am open to counter arguments but not unless you use older or preferably retired players.

  125. "Steve Smith" says:

    In the file of Oiler memories I can draw upon to say ‘at least it’s not as bad as that time….’ I’m down to Shayne Corson and Michael Largue, and I admit I’ve looked up Largue on twitter for fun.

    Bite your tongue, LT – the Largue/Mittendorf saga was the greatest thing to happen in North American pro sports during my lifetime.

  126. theres oil in virginia says:

    LostBoy: If only.There were rumblings that he *might* have been available last year when he ended up getting called out by Kekäläinen, but tough to see Columbus parting with him now that he’s turned the developmental corner and started putting up serious numbers.The big R-handed C we need.I’d take him before Couturier.(Though I’d happily take Couturier.)

    I thought I remembered that. I’m guessing it would take a blockbuster deal to make it happen now.

  127. sliderule says:

    DeadmanWaking,

    Have you been to Shiloh battlefield.

    We debate hockey those poor souls walked into a hell of musket balls and artillery.

    As Canadians we are so lucky to reside in North America .

  128. Woodguy says:

    VOR,

    I simply looked at how long each of the drafted D listed in the top 300 players there took to be playing clear first pair minutes. Post draft it was 1.85 years. So the very best D arrive early and have major impacts but question one remains unanswered and we have no idea how many misses there were or how to build them into the formula.

    I looked at the first 4 teams in the Western conference based on 5v5 TOI/gm.

    I got this:

    Anaheim:

    Beauchemin – drafted in 1998 – First time playing 1st pairing minutes in 05/06 – 7 years
    Fowler – drafted 2010 – First time playing 1st pairing minutes in 10/11 – 0 years

    Calgary:
    Brodie – drafted in 2008 – First time playing 1st pairing minutes in 13/14 – 5 years
    Russell – drafted in 2005 – First time playing 1st pairing minutes in 13/14 – 8 years

    Chicago:
    Keith – drafted in 2002 – first time playing 1st pairing minutes 05/06 – 3 years
    Hjarlmasson – drafted in 2005 – first time playing 1st pairing minutes 12/13 – 7 years

    Colorado:

    Hejda – drafted 2003 -first time playing 1st pairing minutes 08/08 – 5 years
    Johnson – drafted 2006 – first time playing 1st pairing mintues – 09/10 – 3 years

    So just in the sample of 4 teams my average is 4.75 years.

    You say its 1.85 years.

    Its just 4 out of 60 Dmen in the NHL who fit the data, but I can see where its going.

    Can you just post the data so we can vet this?

    You said:

    instead of using math to enrich hockey we are using BS numbers to support personal superstitions

    and I agree with that statement very much.

  129. LostBoy says:

    Woodguy:
    Apparently this url to an Oilers’ questionnaire went out to Oiler season ticket holders, but it doesn’t seem to require you to be a season ticket holder to answer it.

    If that’s for real from the organization…huh. The questions themselves seem kind of tone deaf. (For anyone who can’t be bothered to click through, the last two are something like “Would you say Oilers fans are dedicated to their team?” and “Would you say Oilers fans are proud of their team?” It also asks whether Katz is in tune with the fans.)

  130. prairieschooner says:

    Hockey Tonight Yipee !

    I think Potter will have some impact on the game I was thinking he might pick up a point but actually I think he will get in a fight
    Long odds I agree, bit just a feeling

  131. Woodguy says:

    LostBoy: If that’s for real from the organization…huh.The questions themselves seem kind of tone deaf.(For anyone who can’t be bothered to click through, the last two aresomething like “Would you say Oilers fans are dedicated to their team?” and “Would you say Oilers fans are proud of their team?”It also asks whether Katz is in tune with the fans.)

    PR firm boiler plate to gauge fan reaction.

  132. Lowetide says:

    I deleted the original post with the Oilers addy, it’s available on twitter if you wish. Original poster didn’t do anything wrong, I just don’t want to contribute to what I’m sure is going to be some pretty creative input from what looks like everyone on twitter. :-)

  133. Woodguy says:

    VOR,

    I think this a great thing to get to the bottom of. (can I end a sentence with of?)(or two?)


    1. What is the chance of a drafted D ever being a top pairing guy? Do the odds change with where in the draft you were taken? Do the odds change over time?

    How deep into the draft should we look?

    Perhaps look at all top 2 per team 5v5 toi/gm guys, who have played the majority of their team’s games, or are known as 1st pairing an hurt, and take the bottom rung? i.e. a guy playing 1st pairing was drafted 6th round, so we look at all the D drafted until the 6th round.


    2. How long does it take those that do make it to top pairing to get there? I tried this one by looking at the elo rankings at hockey reference. I simply looked at how long each of the drafted D listed in the top 300 players there took to be playing clear first pair minutes. Post draft it was 1.85 years. So the very best D arrive early and have major impacts but question one remains unanswered and we have no idea how many misses there were or how to build them into the formula.

    I think looking at who is playing 1st pairing this year and then looking at their history until the reach the threshold of 1-2 5v5 toi/gm while playing the majority of the games is a fair bar.


    3. There is the question of performance. Just because you are playing top pairing minutes it doesn’t mean you are a top end D. So how do we score them? Now it all starts to get subjective. I think Brodin and Fowler are the real thing but you may disagree.

    This is the grey area.

    I’m in a keeper league and own Fowler. In my opinion he didn’t do well at his role until this year. 4 years in.

    Brodin killed it the first year. Albeit playing with Norris candidate Suter.

    This year he’s still playing with Suter and by many reports is struggling.

    I have no idea where to draw the line in the sand, but am open to suggestions.

  134. Woodguy says:

    Lowetide:
    I deleted the original post with the Oilers addy, it’s available on twitter if you wish. Original poster didn’t do anything wrong, I just don’t want to contribute to what I’m sure is going to be some pretty creative input from what looks like everyone on twitter.

    I’ll have you know I consulted Dewey, Cheatem & Howe and got their opinion before posting it.

    I do the same thing you did though if it were my blog.

    Sorry if I caused a thing.

  135. Yakupov me says:

    theres oil in virginia,

    Maybe Jenner? He’s got the ‘crust’ but I don’t know if the offense will come.

  136. theres oil in virginia says:

    Lowetide,

    It’s still available in the comments above:

    LostBoy,

  137. Woodguy says:

    theres oil in virginia: Ryan Johansen?

    If the Oilers bring in Jack Johnson, I’m done.

  138. theres oil in virginia says:

    Woodguy: If the Oilers bring in Jack Johnson, I’m done.

    You don’t like big, left-shooting defensemen who lead their team in TOI? ;)

  139. Lois Lowe says:

    Woodguy,

    Me too. I just can’t fathom how the pro scouts win that argument over the analytics guys. The only thing I can come up with is, “Shut up poindexter! Have you ever played the game?”

  140. leadfarmer says:

    Woodguy,

    Watching the last few Blue Jacket games I’m thinking the Oilers are starting to regret not picking Murray, Smooth skating, good stick handling and passing defenseman with nearly the same amount of points as Yak and without the ghastly plus minus. Although his lack of crust would probably cause him to be chased out of town anyway.

  141. Lowetide says:

    Woodguy: I’ll have you know I consulted Dewey, Cheatem & Howe and got their opinion before posting it.

    I do the same thing you did though if it were my blog.

    Sorry if I caused a thing.

    No worries. I clicked through and was interested, but then I went to twitter and saw Pension Plan Puppets tweet it with “you know what to do!” and thought, you know, I’m gonna sit this one out.

  142. knighttown says:

    VOR:
    knighttown,

    I tried to make it clear I wasn’t saying you are crap or stupid or any such thing. I was just pointing out that you were a believer in something that is widely believed but patently false. There are, the more I look the more great examples I find, of early twenties (usually 23 peak and long term hold close to that). This is the model I believe Gabe Dejardins proposed for what we should expect (notice 23) and close to what you proposed. However there are far more exceptions than rule followers. Steve Yzerman would be a perfect fit to the model that I think may be the basis for your argument.

    However, the typical pattern is more like Jarome Iginla. Starting with his 19 year old season:

    19 50pts
    20 32pts
    21 57pts
    22 63pts
    23 71 pts
    24 96 (see the explosion)
    25 67pts
    26 73pts
    28 67pts
    29 94pts (anybody see that coming)
    30 98pts

    The common pattern in modern older players (ie. those over 30 currently playing in the NHL) is work up to a peak usually between 24 and 26 then meet or exceed it a few years later. It is not a straight line. I wasn’t aware you were claiming it was.

    The reason I said your argument was crap because it is. You were suggesting the Oilers stars like Taylor Hall are as good as they are going to get. You backed that up by saying, as I recall, that players don’t get better than they are in their early twenties, 21 and 22. The idea you are advancing is widely believed and utterly wrong. Brett Hull at 23 looked much like Taylor Hall, oddly he had a few pretty good years waiting for him, ones far beyond a pt per game. Joe Sakic (given the era he played in) looked much like Taylor Hall at 22. At 31 he would put up one of the greatest seasons (in terms of EV strength points per 60 his best) in NHL history. Yet according to you the Oilers’ young guns have peaked. Isn’t that your argument and arent you supporting it by saying that is just the way it is and everyone knows it?

    I am demonstrating using real evidence that you are wrong. You respond by using players who are too young for us to know anything about whether they have had their best years yet or not. In other words you are saying you can use them because the thing I am trying to prove says they won’t get any better. You are using that which is to be proved to prove that which is to be proved which is a rhetorical and logical no-no.

    My data set is based on players who had time to get better (ie. older, retired, Hall of Fame, etc.) I am not saying my data set is perfect but it sure suggests there is a massive disconnect between what many hockey bloggers believe and reality. You can’t use people so young because you can’t know what they will yet encounter. My guys we know what they encountered and what they did with their opportunities.

    Superstars throw off oddball supper years in wildly unpredictable ways. Look at Iginla. What if Taylor Hall’s career goes like that…rising star…levelling off…..super year(s)….back to the old level….4 of the best 5 years of his career between 29 and 33. That kind of is the exact opposite of what you are maintaining happens.

    I am open to counter arguments but not unless you use older or preferably retired players.

    Thanks Vor. I think I understand a little bit of the disconnect. I want to use pts/60 as a way to remove the factor of opportunity but Gabe’s site only goes back to 2007. I’d be glad to look at some longer careers but if you don’t mind, I’d rather keep it to the last 15-20 because of the noted trend to earlier development in hockey players.

    Where can I find EVP/60 going back another decade?

  143. Ice Sage says:

    LOL Oilers

  144. Lowetide says:

    Nick Schultz goes walkabout and then FALLS down ! Never ever got back into the play.

  145. Gerta Rauss says:

    1st NHL goal in his 2nd NHL game…that’s about right. And I’ve got to listen to John Garrett to boot.

  146. Fixall with Rexall says:

    Scrivens looked terrible.

  147. icecastles says:

    Almost had the Flying V formation on the attack there.

  148. Gerta Rauss says:

    icecastles:
    Almost had the Flying V formation on the attack there.

    ..and it looked offside to me…

  149. Gerta Rauss says:

    Ryan Jones really wants out of town!!!

  150. Pouzar says:

    These f^cking defenseman passing up shots.

  151. delooper says:

    I didn’t know Bieksa plays a chippy brand of style. So many words in there!

  152. VOR says:

    Woodguy,

    We are comparing apples and oranges which is totally my fault. Lets try again. I see two different kinds of players:

    1st Pairing Dmen
    1Ds

    I think you and I can agree it is pretty easy to see when somebody is a first pairing D if you have TOI data. You can also work it out for most old time players.

    1D is where the definitional problems come in. I figure if anybody is entitled to be called 1D they are probably amongst the top players of all time (if they have had a long career or are retired). So two separate things.

    What I am saying I found, and it is accurate, I just reran the numbers, is if you use the hockeyreference site and their player rankings (for lack of anything better) of the first 50 D I found who had been drafted (old timers were often protected and some of the best went undrafted) and only worry about when they arrived as dominant NHL players you get 1.85 years post draft. It is easier to spot dominance than it is to tell if somebody plays top pairing in all 3 disciplines etc. So I used the following dominance markers (top ten for that year in D scoring or +/-. The longest run was 6 years for Brian Campbell. Larry Murphy and a bunch of others make it in the first year (ie. their years to 1D = 0).

    With Cam Fowler and Jonas Brodin because I was discussing first pairing D which is dependent on the team you play on I just used EV minutes. I’d argue you that you have to be a top pairing D before you can be a 1D (a stud if you like). I realized after this that for a long time there players werent taken at 18 which means the numbers of 1.85 might be yield a defenceman as old as 22 whiuch is much different than the 20 years old that number would imply today.

  153. KatznKlowe says:

    C’mon gang – all the negativism around here isn’t helping the team at all. If you can’t say anything nice…

  154. spoiler says:

    Woodguy: Brodin killed it the first year. Albeit playing with Norris candidate Suter.
    This year he’s still playing with Suter and by many reports is struggling.
    I have no idea where to draw the line in the sand, but am open to suggestions.

    Brodin is killing it again this year. But as you point out he is playing with Suter, who might be the best defenseman in the world right now.

    And that’s the problem with the analysis you and VOR are discussin… it doesn’t take into account players able to play higher due to their defensive mate.

    It also doesn’t take into account the flip side either… defensemen who are slow toachieve first pairing minutes due to being blocked by the pairing ahead of them. Kjarlmarsson might have played first pairing earlier if he wasn’t behind Keith and Seabrook.

    And then as far as evaluating the success of those minutes, we have the effect of different systems, of playing with different groups of forwards (some puck supportive, some cheating for O), different zone starts

  155. spoiler says:

    Hjarlmarsson-ski, or whatever his name is.

  156. Derek says:

    Man that Vancouver goal….

    Thats not an NHL goal against that looked like fall down hockey right there.

  157. Gerta Rauss says:

    Azarenka on the ropes in the 3rd set down under. If she bows out, man….what an opportunity for Bouchard.

    Li Na would be the favourite between the 4 players remaining, but Bouchard may have the chance of a lifetime.

  158. spoiler says:

    Gerta Rauss: Gerta Rauss says:
    January 21, 2014 at 8:21 pm
    Azarenka on the ropes in the 3rd set down under. If she bows out, man….what an opportunity for Bouchard.
    Li Na would be the favourite between the 4 players remaining, but Bouchard may have the chance of a lifetime.

    Yep. It has been an amazing 12 months for Canadian tennis. I hope she ends up bigger for this country than Carling Bassett.

  159. VanOil says:

    Gerta Rauss:
    Azarenka on the ropes in the 3rd set down under. If she bows out, man….what an opportunity for Bouchard.

    Li Na would be the favourite between the 4 players remaining, but Bouchard may have the chance of a lifetime.

    Thanks I have flipped over to a real sporting event. Cheering for a rising star that still has hope is so much more fun than watching the Oilers.

  160. Lowetide says:

    Oilers down 1-0 but once again look like they won’t win the game. It’s kind of incredible.

  161. Gerta Rauss says:

    A thousand apologies if I spoiled anyone’s tennis viewing for the evening on PVR. As someone who has PVR’d/VCR’d live tennis for 30+ years I know how hard it is to avoid a live tennis score.

  162. Pouzar says:

    Lowetide:
    Oilers down 1-0 but once again look like they won’t win the game. It’s kind of incredible.

    What a weird weird team.

  163. justDOit says:

    Gerta Rauss:
    A thousand apologies if I spoiled anyone’s tennis viewing for the evening on PVR.As someone who has PVR’d/VCR’d live tennis for 30+ years I know how hard it is to avoid a live tennis score.

    http://i.telegraph.co.uk/multimedia/archive/01296/john_mcenroe3_1296771c.jpg

  164. spoiler says:

    Gerta Rauss: Gerta Rauss says:
    January 21, 2014 at 8:29 pm
    A thousand apologies if I spoiled anyone’s tennis viewing for the evening on PVR. As someone who has PVR’d/VCR’d live tennis for 30+ years I know how hard it is to avoid a live tennis score.

    What’s a VCR, Daddy?

    I keed, I keed.

    When I have clients with kids in my office, I tell them the typewriter behind my desk is a combination keyboard-printer.

  165. Gerta Rauss says:

    Huge opportunity now for Bouchard…huge.

    Li Na is the favorite among the remaining 4, but she’s got 48 hours to think about that.

  166. Gerta Rauss says:

    justDOit,

    lol…that picture is of the era that I started watching tennis

    anyway…back to hockey

  167. spoiler says:

    That looked way better. All went thru the Nuge.

  168. spoiler says:

    Lowetide: Lowetide says:
    January 21, 2014 at 8:28 pm
    Oilers down 1-0 but once again look like they won’t win the game. It’s kind of incredible.

    Expect the unexpected!

    Nope, nope, turned out like always.

  169. G Money says:

    Pouzar:
    These f^cking defenseman passing up shots.

    I figured out what`s keeping the Oilers shitty – the NHLPA.

    If Eakins could just impose a $1,000 fine … any player who has the puck in the “home plate” zone and a sightline to the net and decides to pass instead of shoot – $1,000 fine. Second time in a game? $2,000. Fines doubled on the PP.

    Money speaks to this lot. In two games, you’d see the Oilers in the top 10 in shots and PP.

    But no. F^cking NHLPA won’t allow that. So instead we get to watch the Oilers try the hockey equivalent of the immaculate conception night after night.

  170. spoiler says:

    Sounds like Canuck fans had no trouble getting their mitts on tix for tonight’s game.

  171. G Money says:

    Eberle channeling his inner Gagner tonight. Gagner channeling his … inner Gagner tonight. Sigh.

  172. Pouzar says:

    “Schultz with the shot doesn’t make it through…”

    rinse repeat.

    I’m at my breaking point.

  173. Oilanderp says:

    *starts to fold up tent*

  174. justDOit says:

    KatznKlowe:
    C’mon gang – all the negativism around here isn’t helping the team at all. If you can’t say anything nice…

    I POSITIVELY think that you need to add more 4th liners, Darill. After all, the Canucks have scored their only goal of the game (so far), with: Kellan Lain (1) – Dale Weise (8) & Tom Sestito (2).

    Proof: http://i.imgur.com/x7nUkrp.gif

  175. Pouzar says:

    Marincin on the PP??? I hear he can drill it.

  176. spoiler says:

    Good job by Marincin to tie up his man after the gaffe.

  177. G Money says:

    The Hockey Gords do not have a sense of humour. The Hockey Gords are perverse little sh*ts. The Hockey Gords can go f*ck themselves.

  178. flyfish1168 says:

    Our PP looks terrible again. Passing the puck around the perimeter slowly waiting for the opposition to gain position and low percentage shot.

    Yak at least likes to receive and dish it in the same motion to gain space and he has a shot to boot. Mmm tools required for a good PP.

  179. jake70 says:

    Have any of the cream puffs even glanced at Kassian tonight?

  180. Pouzar says:

    Marincin WITH THE SHOT ON NET FROM THE POINT!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    GOOD NIGHT!!!!

  181. spoiler says:

    G Money: G Money says:
    January 21, 2014 at 8:56 pm
    The Hockey Gords do not have a sense of humour. The Hockey Gords are perverse little sh*ts. The Hockey Gords can go f*ck themselves.

    And they prefer their conceptions be maculate.

  182. spoiler says:

    Eberle doesn’t miss those very often.

    I hate the “Lou” moan even more In our barn.

  183. Pouzar says:

    Of course they can pressure the side boards….duh

  184. Gerta Rauss says:

    Holy frack…we’ve got to beat a better team, AND beat their all star goalie.

  185. teddyturnbuckle says:

    Man Hall looks terrible tonight. Can’t make a pass. Back to how he was playing at the beginning of the season. Gazdic punch Kassian.

  186. justDOit says:

    Peak Oil. It’s real, and it happened in 1988 (by my estimate).

  187. jake70 says:

    That view from up above of Kassian on Gagner shows just how intentional that was.

  188. G Money says:

    spoiler: And they prefer their conceptions be maculate.

    Indeed. The Hockey Gords can go maculate their conceptions with a hockey stick – sideways!

  189. flyfish1168 says:

    I would love to see someone smash bieska teeth in and then tell him to get up and stop faking it

  190. VanOil says:

    WPG leading ANA 2-1. Maurice is probably going to earn a full time contract.

  191. Gerta Rauss says:

    Well, a little bit of life that period but we can’t beat Lou ffs

  192. Fixall with Rexall says:

    I hate Gagner with Eberle. Hate it.

  193. spoiler says:

    The bark of the Corgis comes with a little bite tonight.

    Nobody really wants to see the numbers, do they?

    The Oil were actually leading the Corgi parade (on 8 events) prior to the Canuckle’s first goal.

  194. Pouzar says:

    Who might be available and who might be on the move in Edmonton?

    Dreger: Sam Gagner, we know. Ales Hemsky, we know. Ryan Smyth is expected. There’s no dialog between Craig MacTavish and Ryan Smyth. The belief is that Smyth wants one more crack with a winning team to see if he can win the Stanley Cup. He’s still effective, at least in the offensive zone, so I expect his name will heat up as we get closer to the deadline.

  195. Young Oil says:

    Greg Chase didn’t play for the Hitmen tonight…not sure if anyone has mentioned this, does anyone know what happened?

  196. PREDICKTER says:

    If anyone is doing some welding tomorrow, let me know so that I can go watch.

  197. justDOit says:

    Wrecksall. A good handle for Klowe’s place.

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