FROM A WHISPER TO A SCREAM

The Oilers record since game 20: 11-14-3. If you roll that out over 82 games, you get  32-41-9. That isn’t great, but it’s one helluva lot better than what they’re headed for currently (about 26-48-8 or thereabouts).

ABOUT LAST NIGHT (DEFENSE CORSI 5X5 PERCENTAGE)

  • Martin Marincin 54.8
  • Jeff Petry 48.6
  • Anton Belov 33.3
  • Nick Schultz 27.8
  • Andrew Ference 27.3
  • Justin Schultz 21.6

Hawks enjoyed the 5×5 Corsi edge (64%) so anything above 36% is above average, meaning the Marincin-Petry were the only guys getting the job done last night in a very big way—and as Woodguy pointed out in the comments they had a punishing zone start. Here are the forwards faced by that pairing and minutes against them:

  • Sharp 6.0
  • Toews 5.2
  • Hossa 4.7
  • Kane 4.5

I used Petry’s minutes but they’re basically the same. Toews also faced the Ference-J Schultz pairing about the same amount of time (this is all from extra skater) during the game. Toews spent a lot of EV time against Nuge’s line, I imagine Ference-Schultz must have been dominated along with that top line (Hall 29.6% Corsi For 5×5 on the night).

If MacTavish keeps Petry, Marincin, Justin Schultz and Ference for next season, that’s too many unless Marincin can maintain current levels (always a dangerous thing to count on) or Schultz the younger can play more consistently.

29.6%

After they fix the defense, this team is going to need to look at Taylor Hall’s line. Whatever the problems he’s having this year, they are real and they are spectacular. His year over year Corsi for % 5×5 has gone from 50.4 to 43.4. He has ALWAYS pushed the river, but this season he’s getting his stomach pumped for sea water every night. I think this team might want a #1C or a Craig Ramsay on the other wing, because nothing rhymes this year and it’s growing from a whisper to a scream. Tyler Dellow looks at Hall’s opposition here, in response to a portion of the Staples/MacTavish interview. During that interview, MacT talks about the Oilers being a quick hit offensive team, and his trying to add people who can help sustain possession (I take that to mean heavier/cycle players). Interesting takes all around here.

SIGNING HEMSKY

hemskycapture

If 83 is open to signing, I think the Oilers have to pull the trigger on a deal. He’s one of the Oilers best forwards this season, even though some of the offense has been kicked out of his game in the last couple of seasons. He can play with the top line and he has shown this season that he can be effective with a veteran, more complete line. The coach really likes him, he’s a better player today on RW than some of these kids and there’s zero reason the club can’t run Eberle-Yakupov-Hemsky right side for the next five years.

He could be our Alfredsson, and connect the eras for 15 years. I’m hoping this happens.

PATIENCE

marincin ferguson2

The emergence of Marincin (over 10 games, it’s early) serves as a reminder about young players: don’t give up on them too soon. Right now, Oscar Klefbom is injured (again) and his boxcars look like a guy who isn’t getting much done. And, that’s true:

  • Marincin first 27 AHL games: 27, 3-11-14 +17
  • Klefbom first 27 AHL games: 27, 0-3-3 -10

Marincin played 20 of those games at the beginning of the 2012-13 season, and was paired with Justin Schultz. A lot of that offense came via the guys he was hanging around with on the ice, so gave us a skewed view of the player (although Marincin does have enough skill to post some numbers). Perhaps a better comparison of the two players would be their even-strength totals this season:

  • Marincin AHL 2013-14 evens: 24, 3-3-6 +5
  • Klefbom AHL 2013-14 evens: 27, 0-3-3 -10

Klefbom’s calling card is going to be effective defensive play, so boxcars aren’t really going to help us with him. However, it’s also fair to say that the difference in offensive ability is far less than it may appear. Marincin’s AHL season in 2012-13 shows that defensemen who are on the ice with skilled forwards (and spend time on the power play) tend to get extra points just for showing up.

A year from now, Klefbom may be impressing Oiler fans as Marincin is doing now. Patience. Stay the course, and that goes for Nurse, Gernat and Simpson too (among others). Someone will get lost in the flood, the Oilers should let the players decide and then act accordingly.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

bigleb

TSN 1260 at 10, a busy week and lots of questions. Scheduled to appear:

  • Tyler Dellow, mc79hockey. We’ll talk Taylor Hall, Gagner on the wing, signing Hemsky.
  • David Staples, Cult of Hockey. David’s brilliant 4-part series with MacT will be discussed.
  • Travis Yost, Hockeybuzz. The Senators are pushing toward a playoff spot.
  • Scott Taylor, Manitoba Hockey News. The Jets fire their coach, what’s next?

10-1260 text, @Lowetide_ on twitter. See you there!

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111 Responses to "FROM A WHISPER TO A SCREAM"

  1. Pouzar says:

    Ok I am all in now on:

    1. Nurse
    2. Yakimov
    3 Marincin

    Make it happen boyz!

  2. tsunami says:

    Klefbom injured again ? Man that guy can’t catch a break…

  3. oilabroad says:

    Nelson appears to be doing a much better job with the kids than Eakins… MacT’s next move has to be an associate coach

  4. justDOit says:

    Klefbom injured again? Man that guy doesn’t miss a break…

  5. sliderule says:

    Marincin is such an interesting player.

    He is not heavy and looks like he could add 20 lbs yet he is pinning players on wall and corners

    I believe he has way more offensive upside which will be revealed when he and oilers are confident enough to use his 100 mph plus snapshot on the power play.

  6. justDOit says:

    Oh – and good luck in the Olympics, Martin – but not too much luck.

  7. Prince Rupert's Oildrop says:

    Man, Klefbom sucks. It is never too early to giev up on Klefbom.

    Marincin, on the other hand… What a guy! Did you see that awesome defensive move he made to stop the 3-on-1 empty net break?? I was so happy to see that. Marty is it. Klefbom is a clown. Reminds me of Lander.

  8. Pouzar says:

    sliderule:
    Marincin is such an interesting player.

    He is not heavy and looks like he could add 20 lbs yet he is pinning players on wall and corners

    I believe he has way more offensive upside which will be revealedwhenhe and oilers are confident enough to use his 100 mph plus snapshot on the power play.

    Good point on the offensive updside. I think that’s way we haven’t seen the chaos in his game b/c he is following the directive of his coach and is playing D and not trying to do too much. There is a player there for sure and I hope he plays out the string up here.

  9. Woodguy says:

    oilabroad:
    Nelson appears to be doing a much better job with the kids than Eakins… MacT’s next move has to be an associate coach

    Therein lies the root of the problem.

    It’s not a NHL coaches job to develop players.

    Most players need to arrive in the NHL mostly developed or else they get killed at the NHL level.

    The NHL coach then helps fine tune their game for the NHL.

    The Oilers slam kids directly into the NHL as a rule over the last 5 years and then their NHL coach has to dumb down the Dzone coverage assignments because the grasp on the fundamentals is weak.

    Same thing will happen with Nurse next year.

    He won’t quite be ready for the NHL, but the team will keep him and he’ll have to learn in the NHL instead of going back to junior and then spending time in the AHL the year after.

    It’s not a coincidence that the players with the largest defensive deficiencies on the team are the ones who have been forced to learn in the NHL.

  10. TheOtherJohn says:

    LT

    If my math is right that equates to 73 points on the season. So out of the playoffs by 25 points. After the team learned the coaches system, turned the corner, etc. Using the best stretch of the season to avoid rough patches. Don’t think the teams gonna use that as the season ticket campaign in April.

    I’d resign Hemsky in a second. Which means he likely walks for more magic beans.

    Marincin has had a very nice stretch of games. They may not be representative of what we have. He may be this good right now. Don’t think so he may be. I would still target 3 real NHL D men in the offseason and play them with Petry in the top 4 and have whoever is left in the 5/6/PB slots

    I think Klefbom will be fine. A big, strong, very good skater. He might be 2 years away from the NHL roster but will develop into a decent player. He has played very few games the last 3 years due to injury

  11. oilabroad says:

    Woodguy,

    That may be the case however by kids I am referring to Hall and company, they all seem to be regressing under Eakins vs Krueger. Surely you dont think Hall, Nugent Hopkins, Eberle etc should still be on the farm??
    I have a really hard time seeing anything positive that Eakins has done to make this team better. If they are insisting on staying the path with this guy, then they have to get him some help as I dont think anyone could honestly say he is not floundering…

  12. godot10 says:

    1) Look at the last 10 games of the season. A really good chance of a 0-10 finish.

    2) Dellow catching MacT trying to blow smoke up Staples’s ass. Hall faced the toughest minutes and opposition under Krueger. The difference is that Krueger almost always tried to give Hall the strongest players to play with against them (Nugent-Hopkins and Eberle), and Krueger tried giving them favourable zone starts. Eakins has sometimes given Hall only one or no good linemates to take on tough opposition, and Eakins has given Hall slightly less favourable zone starts. Basically, Krueger was trying to give Hall the best chance, of maximizing the chance, to win the game for the Oilers. Eakins not so much. i.e. Eakins is more into throwing stuff up against the wall, and seeing what works by looking at the data afterwards. Krueger had an educated guess about what would work best and went with it. Eakins, trial and error. Krueger. A definitive plan that he would try tweaking as he went along. Eakins really isn’t trying to win. He’s trying to prove to everybody that he is smart.

  13. godot10 says:

    Woodguy: Therein lies the root of the problem.

    It’s not a NHL coaches job to develop players.

    Jake Gardiner, failure. Still a defensive liability after two years with Eakins in the AHL.
    Nazim Kadri. 20 good NHL games. Otherwise, he is Sam Gagner. After two years with Eakins in the AHL.
    Matt Frattin. A big disappointment in LA after two years with Eakins in the AHL.
    Paul Ranger. A big disappointment in the NHL after a year with Eakins in the AHL.

    Contrast with Arcobello, Justin Schultz, Jeff Petry, Fedun, Marincin, Lander, a rehabilitated Paajarvi, Hartikainen killing the KHL for Todd Nelson.

  14. icecastles says:

    I flinch every time I see Cliff Boom is injured. However, it is reassuring to recall Smid’s first few seasons where he seemed to be often injured and we were deeply concerned about his durability as an NHL defenseman. He figured out how to stay healthy, developed well enough, and over time has proven to be as durable and tough as anyone could hope for from someone in his position.

    Much like how every time a goal is scored I instinctively want to yell at Dubnyk this season, whether it was his fault or not, if feels that we are once bitten twice shy now. I’m going to hold fast to LT’s constant reminders that players, especially defensemen, don’t’ develop in a straight line.

    Though if he’s serious about being an Oiler, Klefbom’s going to have to quit with these distractions and get himself a proper surgery-requiring shoulder injury.

  15. icecastles says:

    Woodguy: It’s not a coincidence that the players with the largest defensive deficiencies on the team are the ones who have been forced to learn in the NHL.

    I wonder how different a player Gagner would have been had he been given the opportunity to develop more slowly.

  16. flyfish1168 says:

    Krueger had the advantage of being an associate coach and getting to know the players before becoming head coach.

    Eakins from interviews appeared not to have done any homework prior to starting the preseason and being prepared in his new position by knowing each players weaknesses and strengths.

    Previous data and videos of each player is available and in one interview Eakins admitted not watching any.

  17. jake70 says:

    We are, we are, we are but your children
    Finding our way around indecision
    We are, we are, we are rather helpless
    Take us forever a whisper to a scream

    Icicle Works – Birds Fly (whisper To A Scream)

    Ahh, LT goes 80s again for some music reference? Fantastic choice (we beat Howard Jones to death recently). :-)

  18. Ben says:

    Offseason wish list item #387:

    Huddy shakes loose from WIN

  19. GordM says:

    CSB puts Bennett and Draisaitl ahead of Reinhart/Ekblad:

    http://www.tsn.ca/draftcentre/feature/?id=9597

  20. dangilitis says:

    “If MacTavish keeps Petry, Marincin, Justin Schultz and Ference for next season, that’s too many unless…”

    …they are each knocked down a line on the depth chart?

    Or are you just being pragmatic, LT?

    If I am being pragmatic, I can’t see MacT “parting” with any of them. NTC for Ference, JS is at all-time lowest value, Marincin we should hold onto like grim death, and Petry is a top 4 defenseman on a winning team. For me, it would be Ference or JS in an upgrade deal, but neither are likely.

    I wouldn’t be sad to see Petry go, but as I said, I think he can competently fill a roster spot in the top 4, and ideally the trade should accomplish the goal of adding someone who can do this task. I loved the Perron-Paajarvi trade and still do. Folks at copper n blue criticized the trade using flawed logic, saying it fixes one problem and creates another. I argued that any move that brings in a better player is a good one, end point. They were wrong, but the point they could have pushed better is that if you only have a few bullets to use, filling holes is better than reinforcing the dam. Reinforcing the dam is a Petry + draft pick/prospect for better D move (of course, unless that player is the second coming of Chris Pronger). Plugging holes is a Nick Schultz or Belov + ______ for Gardiner.

    I feel like Klefbom is coming up whether we like it or not (a big not for me), and if not him, then Gernat or Fedun. Those guys will all earn a shot with the club again (possibly this year after the fire sale), but it shouldn’t be next year.

  21. icecastles says:

    flyfish1168: and in one interview Eakins admitted not watching any.

    You’re going to have to find this interview if we are to believe such a claim.

    Eakins has referred numerous times in interviews, particularly when discussing Yak, to habits is saw in players after reviewing video from last year. the notion that any NHL head coach did no research is silly enough that even if you hate Eakins, surely you realize that’s simply not going to be the case.

  22. Alpine says:

    godot10,

    Is there that much difference between Gardiner and J Schultz at this point? Kadri and Arco? Why does Nelson get the credit for Petry and not Michigan St, or Renney? Why doesn’t Randy Carlyle get blame for those Toronto players, especially Frattin, who Eakins got to perform well in the AHL? I’m not in total disagreement with your point here, but you sure seem to love piling on the narrative.

  23. RMGS says:

    flyfish1168:
    Interesting article from Davis Staples this morning

    http://blogs.edmontonjournal.com/2014/01/13/ralph-kruegers-oilers-vs-dallas-eakins-oilers/

    Don’t worry. These numbers don’t mean much. What’s more important is that the team is turning the corner. You just have to watch the games to realize it.

    Wait…..

  24. Caramel Obvious says:

    icecastles: You’re going to have to find this interview if we are to believe such a claim.

    Eakins has referred numerous times in interviews, particularly when discussing Yak, to habits is saw in players after reviewing video from last year. the notion that any NHL head coach did no research is silly enough that even if you hate Eakins, surely you realize that’s simply not going to be the case.

    Godot isn’t interested in facts, or truth, or reason, or reasons.

    This hasn’t been a good thread so far. Discussing Eakins should be banned. It makes people stupid.

  25. Pouzar says:

    LT,

    why does the radio stream on TSN1260 suck so bad? It’s literally hit or miss for me. I have emailed the tech guys over there and they say all is well. I stream a ton or radio online with no issues and it works everytime. Even the TSN 1290 WPG radio stream is steady eddie.

  26. Woodguy says:

    godot10: Jake Gardiner, failure.Still a defensive liability after two years with Eakins in the AHL.
    Nazim Kadri.20 good NHL games.Otherwise, he is Sam Gagner.After two years with Eakins in the AHL.
    Matt Frattin.A big disappointment in LA after two years with Eakins in the AHL.
    Paul Ranger.A big disappointment in the NHL after a year with Eakins in the AHL.

    Contrast with Arcobello, Justin Schultz, Jeff Petry, Fedun, Marincin, Lander, a rehabilitated Paajarvi, Hartikainen killing the KHL for Todd Nelson.

    How do you feel about Eakins Godot?

    You never mention it.

    Also,

    Ask the TOR blogger if Kadri and Gardiner are failures.

    Most of then have Gardiner as the best D on the team.

  27. Woodguy says:

    godot10: Jake Gardiner, failure.Still a defensive liability after two years with Eakins in the AHL.
    Nazim Kadri.20 good NHL games.Otherwise, he is Sam Gagner.After two years with Eakins in the AHL.
    Matt Frattin.A big disappointment in LA after two years with Eakins in the AHL.
    Paul Ranger.A big disappointment in the NHL after a year with Eakins in the AHL.

    Contrast with Arcobello, Justin Schultz, Jeff Petry, Fedun, Marincin, Lander, a rehabilitated Paajarvi, Hartikainen killing the KHL for Todd Nelson.

    How do you feel about Eakins Godot?

    You never mention it.

    Also,

    Ask the TOR blogger if Kadri and Gardiner are failures.

    Most of then have Gardiner as the best D on the team.

  28. Woodguy says:

    icecastles: I wonder how different a player Gagner would have been had he been given the opportunity to develop more slowly.

    Me too.

    That’s all on MacT.

    Kept him when Horcoff, Stoll, Brodziak and Marty Sakic were on the team.

    Terrible.

  29. RexLibris says:

    On the play of Marincin – I think how the OIlers have handled both he and Klefbom (injuries notwithstanding for the latter) gives me hope with Nurse. The Oilers, even under Tambellini, were very patient with Marincin. Contrast what Tambellini did with Lander, another 2nd round pick, and I think this gives us some hope that Nurse is given something closer to the Pietrangelo treatment than the Matt Greene approach.

    Regarding re-signing Hemsky. Yes. Yes, please. Yes, please with a cherry on top.

    Get good players, keep good players.

    The best upgrades via free-agency this summer are likely depth left wingers like Raymond and Kulemin. Keeping Hemsky is now is like signing him as a free-agent on the open market for a great discount. You win that going away.

    Hemsky is a possession player who creates offense, knows the system, and can slide up and down the RW with ease. I’d be content with 3 years at around Ference money or more – anything south of $4.5 million should fit into the cap over the term of the contract.

    On getting a cycling player for the Hall line – I agree. I’ve argued that the Oilers don’t necessarily need a big numbers offensive center to play tandem with Nugent-Hopkins. They have the wingers to go looking for a young Martin Hanzal type player who can cycle and create opportunities just by keeping the play alive in the offensive zone. Perhaps Shawn Matthias could be that player, I don’t know, but I don’t think we need sell the farm (and Eberle) for Sean Couturier. Not that I’d say no if the offer was right…

    Patience with Klefbom will be very important. He is beginning to sound like a Sami Salo case of bad luck. The Senators traded Salo for Peter Schaefer early in his career in part due to injuries and stalled development. He has always been dogged by injury, but his talent (albeit at the opposite end of the rink than what we have seen thus far from Klefbom) was undeniable.

  30. flyfish1168 says:

    icecastles: You’re going to have to find this interview if we are to believe such a claim.

    Eakins has referred numerous times in interviews, particularly when discussing Yak, to habits is saw in players after reviewing video from last year. the notion that any NHL head coach did no research is silly enough that even if you hate Eakins, surely you realize that’s simply not going to be the case.

    It was prior to the start of the season. He admitted he did not want to have a preconceive opinion of the player before preseason. But when the season started and we were struggling he did admit to watching videos to see why our how the player was successful.

    For me I would have studied the player prior to the start of the season. This is homework and being prepared for the start of the season

  31. RexLibris says:

    Woodguy: How do you feel about Eakins Godot?

    You never mention it.

    Also,

    Ask the TOR blogger if Kadri and Gardiner are failures.

    Most of then have Gardiner as the best D on the team.

    On Gardiner, I’ve been interested in him for awhile now. But i had a look at he and a number of other defensemen whose names have come up here recently using Vollman’s sledgehammer and Kulikov and Campbell were the standouts in my mind.

    Your thoughts?

  32. flyfish1168 says:

    RMGS: Don’t worry. These numbers don’t mean much. What’s more important is that the team is turning the corner. You just have to watch the games to realize it.Wait…..

    These numbers do mean something. Numbers always mean something like it or not. These numbers means history of the last 48 games and what we did.

    But keep in mind these numbers do not show upside. Numbers or historical and does not indicate what may happen the next 48 if changes are made.

  33. Woodguy says:

    godot10,

    So Ranger, who is 29 years old, plays for Tampa for 6 years, leaves the NHL for personal reasons for a couple years, comes back via the Marlies and Eakins is the reason he’s struggling?

    You have surpassed DeeEssEff in terms of needing your posts to be vetteted for sanity before posting.

  34. Thiru says:

    Whether or not Hemsky comes back is probably out of management’s hands. Eakins and MacT are both fans, it’ll be up to 83.

    My feeling is he goes to Detroit or Pittsburgh unless MacT shows him significantly more cash and term.

  35. Woodguy says:

    RexLibris: On Gardiner, I’ve been interested in him for awhile now. But i had a look at he and a number of other defensemen whose names have come up here recently using Vollman’s sledgehammer and Kulikov and Campbell were the standouts in my mind.

    Your thoughts?

    I like em all and would take them all depending on what they would cost.

  36. RexLibris says:

    From TSN – three citations of Matheson about potential trades by Anaheim, Pittsburgh, and St. Louis based on hearsay and speculation. Not saying that this is entirely untrue or impossible, but media citing other media citing unnamed sources and sheer speculation?

    Final paragraph of the piece has this: “Wes Gilbertson of the Calgary Sun reports Flames forwards Mike Cammalleri, Matt Stajan and Lee Stepniak are negatively impacting their trade value with their recent poor play.”

    Really? You don’t say. Poor play is reducing their trade value, huh? Glad I had someone point that out for me, I would’ve figured maybe they were just saving it all up for a big playoff push on a contender.

    http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=441068

  37. Mr DeBakey says:

    Woodguy: icecastles: I wonder how different a player Gagner would have been had he been given the opportunity to develop more slowly.

    Me too.

    That’s all on MacT.

    Kept him when Horcoff, Stoll, Brodziak and Marty Sakic were on the team.

    Terrible.

    Wasn’t that Lowe’s decision to make?
    I agree, he should have been returned to London.

  38. RexLibris says:

    Woodguy: I like em all and would take them all depending on what they would cost.

    I think I’d rather deal with Tallon if only because he is likely to ask for items the Oilers are flush with, picks and prospects. Kulikov is facing the tougher competition and making a dent offensively. I like Gardiner, but I think the price might be too high.

    Nonis wants a top-six forward and unless MacTavish can convince him that Gagner is that player, I don’t see a fit. More likely Burke offers up Baertschi and the promise of a cushy job in Calgary if the Leafs fire him.

  39. gcw_rocks says:

    I do find it interesting that the players Nelson has spent considerable time with (Arcobello, Lander, Marincin) seem to have a much better understanding of defensive fundamentals than the ones learning at the NHL level under Renney/Krueger/Eakins and the teflon brothers.

    While I certainly appreciate that it is better for the kids to learn at lower levels before joining the NHL (I was an advocate for Hall, RNH, and Yakupov going to back to junior for another year) the reality is this team likes to throw ‘em in the deep end. If that’s your strategy, then you need to have coaches and assistant coaches that can teach the fundamentals and they need to be excellent teachers.

    Nothing I have seen indicates that the Oilers current coaching staff is good at it. Which players have shown improvement this year? The ready made veterans who just need tweaking. Everyone else is regressing. That seems to indicate a mismatch between the type of coaches on staff and the types of coaches required for this team with this player development strategy.

    Sigh.

    PS – Staples articles is interesting, comparing Krueger to Eakins, but I wish he had kept it west vs west under all categories. He is pumping Eakins’ tires a bit by being selective when he does west only and when he doesn’t.

  40. RT26 says:

    Next year, Oklahoma City should have Marancin, Nurse, Gernat and Klefbom as its top 4 defense. (Unless Nurse can’t play in OKC due to the teenage thing). Let them season together for a year or two to develop. Could be magic in 2 to 3 years time if we are patient.

    As for the Oilers, I would keep Hall and Nugent-Hopkins on a line with favorable zone starts and tilt their ice towards offense. I would put Eberle or Yakupov on their wing, and while I hate to trade young stars – one of them plus Gagner must go to bring balance to this roster.

    I sign Hemsky and place him and Perron on a tougher minutes second line, with either Boyd Gordon in the middle or a trade for a player like Andrew Ladd. Make it a veteran line that can handle the pressure.

    The third line would be Gordon with Arcobello on the right. We need to go to free agency to get a left winger here. Use this for tough zone starts with a bit of offense. As for the 4th line, I love the idea (I think it was Woodguy’s, if not – sorry) of a tough minutes, bad zone start 4th line. Make Lander the right winger there (he can PK and play defensively and here his lack of NHL offense does not hurt). Sign an Adam Hall type or someone with good defensive metrics (like Malhotra used to be) for 4th line C and LW.

    In goal, I would re-sign Dubnyk and Bryzgalov to one year deals. Until they have a real D in front of them, it is hard to know what we have there.

    On D, keep Ference and Petry for sure. As for Belov, I might re-sign him to a one year deal as a 6th or 7th defensemen. But I would consider trading J Schultz. I don’t believe we can develop him properly in EDM and like Gagner, if we wait too long, he may not have value in the future. Hate to do it, but would think about it.

    Trade Gagner, Eberle and J Schultz and look to get a Kulikov, Byfuglien or Campbell and a free agent D or two with a good 3LW. Might be crazy, but it would make us better, I think

  41. Caramel Obvious says:

    Byfuglien won’t be available anymore. They fired the coach instead of making a trade. So we can cross that off the list for a little while at least.

    This team badly needs a something for nothing type trade. The problem is you can’t will one of those into being. You have to wait and search and be prepared, but you can’t make it happen and you can’t predict when or where it is going to happen.

    So, as Lowetide likes to say, we wait.

  42. GordM says:

    Mr DeBakey: Wasn’t that Lowe’s decision to make?
    I agree, he should have been returned to London.

    It is/was/should-be Lowe’s call…FWIW, MacTavish was the one who told him to get a house by the river:

    **********************
    Head coach Craig MacTavish joked that he told Gagner to look for a house — “Get a big one on the river, you’re OK,” was how he put it to the inquisitors — but the Oilers haven’t announced that he will be staying put.
    **********************

    full article:
    http://www.canada.com/story_print.html?id=e91b72d5-674f-4287-8c01-92c82a664553&sponsor=

  43. Pouzar says:

    RT26,

    If we trade Eberle and get Kulikov, Campbell, or Buff I would be slightly annoyed.

  44. Pouzar says:

    Caramel Obvious:
    Byfuglien won’t be available anymore.They fired the coach instead of making a trade.So we can cross that off the list for a little while at least.

    This team badly needs a something for nothing type trade.The problem is you can’t will one of those into being.You have to wait and search and be prepared, but you can’t make it happen and you can’t predict when or where it is going to happen.

    So, as Lowetide likes to say, we wait.

    I have no idea how reputable the fourthperiod is but:

    “The Jets are actively shopping left wing Evander Kane and defenseman Dustin Byfuglien, but have also received calls about forwards Andrew Ladd, Devin Setoguchi and Blake Wheeler, and defenseman Zach Bogosian.”

  45. Pouzar says:

    LT,

    I agree with Yost I cannot stand the overtime point.

  46. Pouzar says:

    Wow…Taylor Hall 3rd in the NHL in even strength scoring ( P/60 )

  47. Derek says:

    gcw_rocks:
    I do find it interesting that the players Nelson has spent considerable time with (Arcobello, Lander, Marincin) seem to have a much better understanding of defensive fundamentals than the ones learning at the NHL level under Renney/Krueger/Eakins and the teflon brothers.

    While I certainly appreciate that it is better for the kids to learn at lower levels before joining the NHL (I was an advocate for Hall, RNH, and Yakupov going to back to junior for another year) the reality is this team likes to throw ‘em in the deep end.If that’s your strategy, then you need to have coaches and assistant coaches that can teach the fundamentals and they need to be excellent teachers.

    Nothing I have seen indicates that the Oilers current coaching staff is good at it.Which players have shown improvement this year?The ready made veterans who just need tweaking.Everyone else is regressing.That seems to indicate a mismatch between thetype of coaches on staff and the types of coaches required for this team with this player development strategy.

    Sigh.

    PS – Staples articles is interesting, comparing Krueger to Eakins, but I wish he had kept it west vs west under all categories.He is pumping Eakins’ tires a bit by being selective when he does west only and when he doesn’t.

    I think he lets all of the air out of Eakins’ tires and then some when he doesn’t mention Edmontons historically low team save percentage for the first 30 games of the season.

  48. Woodguy says:

    Mr DeBakey: Wasn’t that Lowe’s decision to make?
    I agree, he should have been returned to London.

    MacT was pretty vocal at the time about how much he liked Gagner and wanted him on the team.

  49. godot10 says:

    Derek: I think he lets all of the air out of Eakins’ tires and then some when he doesn’t mention Edmontons historically low team save percentage for the first 30 games of the season.

    Dallas Eakins only appeared to be a competent coach in the first place because he basically had NHL quality goaltending on his AHL Marlies’s team. Reversion to the mean.

  50. TheOtherJohn says:

    Great day filling out the Oiler season seat holder survey today.

    Did not mention “learning the coaches system”, “turning the corner”, “size doesn’t matter” or “rebuild on track”.Did not mention that if we ignore the first 20 games the Oilers would be on track for a 73 point seaason (or only 25 points out of a playoff spot)

    Survey would not allow one to identify that the on ice product was, alone, the 3 most important criteria to me as a fan

    Did get a chance to use: atrocious,embarrassing and that it was unfair to lay this at MacT or Eakins feet but that regressing 5 years into a rebuild is pretty damning

  51. Andy P says:

    godot10: Dallas Eakins only appeared to bea competent coach in the first place because he basically had NHL quality goaltending on his AHL Marlies’s team.Reversion to the mean.

    Are those goalies now 1st string NHL goalies? or just goalies you felt were good enough to play in the NHL? (genuine question, I don’t know the answer offhand)

  52. ashley says:

    “defensemen who are on the ice with skilled forwards (and spend time on the power play) tend to get extra points just for showing up.”

    This was the Whitney thing, a “magical” 27 games to start a season where he happened to pile up a bunch of assists fooling us into thinking that he was a great Dman worthy of being considered for captain and the status of true 1D.

    As we all know, Lubo lit it up in ANA and had Norris whispers around the league at the halfway mark. Murray was interviewed by Edmonton media during a road trip around that time who asked him “It’s interesting how the Whitney-Lubo trade has worked out great for both teams, before Whitney got injured”. Murray responded something like “Huh, we’re happy with Lubo…..has Whitney worked out for you in Edmonton?”

    Murray knew the score.

  53. icecastles says:

    Andy P: Are those goalies now 1st string NHL goalies? or just goalies you felt were good enough to play in the NHL? (genuine question, I don’t know the answer offhand)

    G***t sees good goaltending as explaining why Eakins’ Marlies had success, but he doesn’t see bad goaltending as having anything to do with why Eakin’s Oilers are struggling.

    At least DeeEssEff had some variety and entertainment value in his trolling. Godot is just… well, I don’t want to be rude, even to a noisy one-note idiot. Best ignored and not given the attention he craves.

  54. ashley says:

    We all love Hall, and that’s sort of a problem in thinking about how to handle the situation. His claim to fame on this blog is pushing the river, but he’s not really doing that this year.

    So to look at this dispassionately, if we decide something has to be done from a personnel perspective, there should be two possible considerations. One is running around trying to find players who will work better with Hall (this is the Vanek offer sheet type situation to complement the moody, but prized possession Hemsky). To me, this is kind of like stabbing in the dark. Maybe it works out, maybe it doesn’t, but there is certainly a price to pay for the acquisition.

    Or we sell high and trade Hall for a King’s ransom (a number 2C, a 1-2D, and a heavy, veteran 2LW).

    From a transaction point of view, one of these is easier to accomplish than the other. From a passionate fan’s point of view, the same is the hardest thing in the world to do.

    Personally, I think the premise is off. I don’t think we have to do anything with Hall. He’s hit a rough patch, but the balance of his work suggests that his game is above where he is currently playing.

    I think the coaching change has affected him more than any other he has had. He basically ignored the other coaches and did what he wanted. This is a coach who is demanding accountability on the backend, and he’s adjusting. We simply need patience at this point.

  55. godot10 says:

    Andy P: Are those goalies now 1st string NHL goalies? or just goalies you felt were good enough to play in the NHL? (genuine question, I don’t know the answer offhand)

    James Reimer and Ben Scrivens. Reimer, who routinely outplays Bernier. And Scrivens, who has better stats than Quick in LA, and played as 1B to Reimer’s 1A in Toronto last year.

  56. icecastles says:

    ashley: From a transaction point of view, one of these is easier to accomplish than the other. From a passionate fan’s point of view, the same is the hardest thing in the world to do.

    And from a “Hall makes whoever he plays with better, leads the team in points despite facing the best opposition and is the third highest even strength scorer in the entire NHL” point of view, trading him is beyond bone-headed. There is simply no justification for doing so at all, unless you’re talking about trading him for another franchise player near the beginning of his career who already has chemistry with Eberle and Nuge. Tell me if you find one of those.

  57. icecastles says:

    godot10: Reimer, who routinely outplays Bernier

    Nope.

    45 JONATHAN BERNIER GAA: 2.57 SV%: .926
    34 JAMES REIMER GAA: 3.08 SV%: .918

  58. Thiru says:

    godot10,

    Krueger vs. Eakins is besides the point now.

    Even if Krueger were still behind the bench, this is not a playoff team, there’s just no way.

    Your points are well taken (Krueger only faced WC opponents, the corgis of the young players have taken a hit, etc). It has been frustrating, at times, to watch.

    But it just doesn’t matter. This team needs better defensemen and better goaltending (.891 isn’t going to cut it). They need to trim the fat (Schultz Sr and possibly Gagner). They need a better possession player in the top 6 (Arco is a start; now Andrew Ladd, please).

    I’m curious as to what you estimate the effect of the coach is over 82 games. I’d be surprised if it were more than a couple wins/losses, and granted that will matter when the team is closer to playoff contention. When we are at that point, we can debate Eakins, but having that discussion now is useless.

  59. Lowetide says:

    I’m reading on my twitter timeline a Cam Ward-Sam Gagner deal. Rumor?

  60. hoser313 says:

    RexLibris:

    Hemsky is a possession player who creates offense, knows the system, and can slide up and down the RW with ease. I’d be content with 3 years at around Ference money or more – anything south of $4.5 million should fit into the cap over the term of the contract.

    Agree 100% on this. He’s had opportunities to leave before and hasn’t. Only X factor is if he’s upset about whatever happened to Smid.

    On Jordan Eberle, I don’t think he should be traded yet for anything. The Eberle-Hall-RNH line is greater than the sum of its parts. I wouldn’t trade any of these 3 unless it is proven that they can’t play a 200 ft. game. Give them 2 more years.

    On acquiring defencemen, the tricky part I think is getting a player who will still be around in 3-4 years which is how long it may take for the team to compete in the West. This rules out Campbell and other similar rental players from my perspective.

  61. Caramel Obvious says:

    godot10: James Reimer and Ben Scrivens.Reimer, who routinely outplays Bernier.And Scrivens, who has better stats than Quick in LA, and played as 1B to Reimer’s 1A in Toronto last year.

    Scrivens career AHL save pct. 923
    Reimers career AHL save pct. 920

    Numbers posted for no reason at all.

  62. Thiru says:

    Woodguy,

    I find it difficult to argue that a player who put up 49 points in his rookie year was not ready for the NHL. That’s pretty good production.

    Gagner’s problem is that he has not matured his game, and that is not an organizational developmental problem, that is his own issue. He was cheating for offence last year, his possession numbers showed it, and this year the chickens came home to roost.

    I think he can still be a good player, and he’s a really smart guy. He’ll figure it out.

    Maybe this terrible season is what the doctor ordered. A wake-up call, of sorts.

  63. Caramel Obvious says:

    Lowetide:
    I’m reading on my twitter timeline a Cam Ward-Sam Gagner deal.

    That is awful. Awful.

  64. G Money says:

    ashley: This was the Whitney thing, a “magical” 27 games to start a season where he happened to pile up a bunch of assists fooling us into thinking that he was a great Dman worthy of being considered for captain and the status of true 1D.

    That’s a Lubucrous (see what I did there?) way of framing history to suggest that Whitney was somehow always a bad player and those 35 (not 27) games were fake. Actually it sounds great – unless you actually watched the games.

    Whitney was everything the team had hoped for those 35 games. Mobile. Great ability to read the play. Solid positioning defensively. Never a big hitter, but big enough that you couldn’t knock him off the puck or skate through him. Brilliant zone exit passer (a trait which he never lost). Solid PP QB. He was full value for those points he racked up.

    It’s not a fluke that the only Oilers that year that ended up plus on the year were Whitney and Hemsky, or that the team went into the toilet immediately after Whitney’s ankle popped. Those 35 games were the only real extended stretch of fun times for an Oiler fan the last five years.

    While Whitney was as bad the last two years as he was good for those 35 games, I’m not sure exactly why anyone’s hobby horse should include wanting to rewrite history and try to pretend those 35 games were bad, or Whitney was somehow a passenger instead of the driver. What’s the point? Give the man credit where it’s due.

  65. Halfwise says:

    TheOtherJohn,

    To be fair, when I filled it out I could choose “current performance, entertainment value and prospects for the future” as being the three most important items. So I did. And there were some comment boxes where we could put into words the lovely emotions we have been enjoying this year…

    These guys kill me, though, with the ticket prices question. The range of answers has never, to my recollection, included a “drop the prices for next year” option.

    Oilers have a small building and high prices. That would be fine if the product was exceptional. Frankly I think we are all (our small group of ticket holders included) afraid that the new building will be so hard to get tickets for that we are hanging on to our seats through what is turning into a Lost Decade. I’ll take a wild guess that the year after the Katz_Rogers_Us EdmonDome opens there will be accounts abandoned left and right.

  66. icecastles says:

    Lowetide:
    I’m reading on my twitter timeline a Cam Ward-Sam Gagner deal.

    I was clapping my hands with excitement until I remembered that Carolina doesn’t seem to be too amazing this year… or last.

    Cam Ward
    2013/14
    GAA: 3.15
    SV%: .895

    2012/13
    GAA: 2.84
    SV%: .904

    2011/12
    GAA: 2.74
    SV%: .915

    So we are replacing Dubnyk with older Dubnyk? Who has been steadily regressing for four straight years? Fuck.

  67. Thiru says:

    Caramel Obvious: That is awful.Awful.

    Barf.

  68. icecastles says:

    Where are you seeing the Gagner/Ward news, LT? I’m not seeing anything from the credible sources. Oilers just tweeted that Hall and Gagner are taking a maintenance day today and will play tomorrow night.

  69. spoiler says:

    Lowetide: I’m reading on my twitter timeline a Cam Ward-Sam Gagner deal. Rumor?

    This comes from Matheson’s trade speculation, from what I can tell. In other words not a rumour, but Matty’s wishful thinking.

    Edit: And apparently no one else’s (including mine).

  70. justDOit says:

    Lowetide:
    I’m reading on my twitter timeline a Cam Ward-Sam Gagner deal. Rumor?

    I’m hoping something can materialize from this:

    @Real_ESPNLeBrun: Fresh off an extension, Sens GM Bryan Murray says he’s willing to move young assets to win soon as possible, http://t.co/zJhNfHxAiZ

  71. Prince Rupert's Oildrop says:

    G Money: While Whitney was as bad the last two years as he was good for those 35 games, I’m not sure exactly why anyone’s hobby horse should include wanting to rewrite history and try to pretend those 35 games were bad, or Whitney was somehow a passenger instead of the driver. What’s the point? Give the man credit where it’s due.

    Well said, G Money. Whitney was bonafide for those 35 games, no question.

  72. spoiler says:

    G Money: That’s a Lubucrous (see what I did there?) way of framing history to suggest that Whitney was somehow always a bad player and those 35 (not 27) games were fake. Actually it sounds great – unless you actually watched the games.

    Whitney was everything the team had hoped for those 35 games. Mobile. Great ability to read the play. Solid positioning defensively. Never a big hitter, but big enough that you couldn’t knock him off the puck or skate through him. Brilliant zone exit passer (a trait which he never lost). Solid PP QB. He was full value for those points he racked up.

    It’s not a fluke that the only Oilers that year that ended up plus on the year were Whitney and Hemsky, or that the team went into the toilet immediately after Whitney’s ankle popped. Those 35 games were the only real extended stretch of fun times for an Oiler fan the last five years.

    While Whitney was as bad the last two years as he was good for those 35 games, I’m not sure exactly why anyone’s hobby horse should include wanting to rewrite history and try to pretend those 35 games were bad, or Whitney was somehow a passenger instead of the driver. What’s the point? Give the man credit where it’s due.

    God I love your posts, G Money. I don’t have the time and effort to do this kind of stuff any more, and it comes as a real joy to me that others refuse to let false rhetoric slide.

  73. TheOtherJohn says:

    Halfwise:
    TheOtherJohn,

    To be fair, when I filled it out I could choose “current performance, entertainment value and prospects for the future” as being the three most important items. So I did. And there were some comment boxes where we could put into words the lovely emotions we have been enjoying this year…

    These guys kill me, though, with the ticket prices question. The range of answers has never, to my recollection, included a “drop the prices for next year” option.

    Oilers have a small building and high prices. That would be fine if the product was exceptional. Frankly I think we are all (our small group of ticket holders included) afraid that the new building will be so hard to get tickets for that we are hanging on to our seats through what is turning into a Lost Decade. I’ll take a wild guess that the year after the Katz_Rogers_Us EdmonDome opens there will be accounts abandoned left and right.

    I will wager that there will be a personal seat license tied to your seats in the new barn of between $5-10,000.00 per seat and that PSL is outside the annual cost of your season seats and it is not returned if you don’t renew. If its 10K a seat, the season ticket holders in the lower bowl will have funded the entirety of the Katz groups contribution to the new arena.

  74. Halfwise says:

    TheOtherJohn,

    Oh man, I hate it when people tell me what I should have at least considered all along but failed to think through. That scenario would make sense, especially if the demand is strong and there is an eager backlog.

    But, nailing people with a large license fee is going to require some serious fan goodwill. Is Katz willing to endure the uncertainty of cancellations? One thing this team is not currently accumulating is goodwill amongst the majority of fans of any tier.

  75. Halfwise says:

    Lowetide,

    You, sir, are a machine. Except that what you produce could not come from a machine.

    Thank you for all you do.

  76. Pouzar says:

    G Money: That’s a Lubucrous (see what I did there?) way of framing history to suggest that Whitney was somehow always a bad player and those 35 (not 27) games were fake.Actually it sounds great – unless you actually watched the games.

    Whitney was everything the team had hoped for those 35 games.Mobile.Great ability to read the play. Solid positioning defensively.Never a big hitter, but big enough that you couldn’t knock him off the puck or skate through him.Brilliant zone exit passer (a trait which he never lost). Solid PP QB.He was full value for those points he racked up.

    It’s not a fluke that the only Oilers that year that ended up plus on the year were Whitney and Hemsky, or that the team went into the toilet immediately after Whitney’s ankle popped.Those 35 games were the only real extended stretch of fun times for an Oiler fan the last five years.

    While Whitney was as bad the last two years as he was good for those 35 games, I’m not sure exactly why anyone’s hobby horse should include wanting to rewrite history and try to pretend those 35 games were bad, or Whitney was somehow a passenger instead of the driver.What’s the point?Give the man credit where it’s due.

    Yup. I remember that awesome stretch of hockey from Whitney. I was so stoked watching him play then the foot gets stuck in a rut in the ice and he’s now riding the bus in the “A”.

  77. Colieo87 says:

    sam ganger for ryan johansen. balling move a center for a center.

  78. book¡je says:

    TheOtherJohn: I will wager that there will be a personal seat license tied to your seats in the new barn of between $5-10,000.00 per seat and that PSL is outside the annual cost of your season seats and it is not returned if you don’t renew. If its 10K a seat, the season ticket holders in the lower bowl will have funded the entirety of the Katz groups contribution to the new arena.

    While that may happen, I think it might violate the agreement with the City of Edmonton.

  79. book¡je says:

    Lowetide:
    I’m reading on my twitter timeline a Cam Ward-Sam Gagner deal. Rumor?

    You must mean a Dubnyk for Ward deal?

    Ward is a sub 0.900 goalie. While he would fit right in, I can’t fathom the Oilers giving up that much on Gagner.

    Why sign the guy a few months ago if you are going to dump him?

  80. Pouzar says:

    Colieo87:
    sam ganger for ryan johansen. balling move a center for a center.

    We wish.

  81. icecastles says:

    Halfwise: You, sir, are a machine. Except that what you produce could not come from a machine.

    I too, produce something that couldn’t come from a machine.

    Bazinga!

  82. book¡je says:

    icecastles: I too, produce something that couldn’t come from a machine.

    Bazinga!

    Actually, in Japan they make a machine that produces that.

  83. stevezie says:

    book¡je,

    Yes, but if you take the results of that machine, put it in the belly-button of a second machine and say a prayer does a stork hand your doctor a third, brand new machine several months later?

    Score one for the human race, baby.

  84. Melman says:

    “After they fix the defense, this team is going to need to look at Taylor Hall’s line”…”there’s zero reason the club can’t run Eberle-Yakupov-Hemsky right side for the next five years.”….”A year from now, Klefbom may be impressing Oiler fans as Marincin is doing now. Patience. Stay the course, and that goes for Nurse, Gernat and Simpson too (among others). Someone will get lost in the flood, the Oilers should let the players decide and then act accordingly.”

    LT piecing these thoughts together I don’t see how the team can make them all fit. It’s virtually impossible to land a true #1C via trade which then leaves them with Hall, RNH and then 1 of the trifecta – the same thing they have now. Going off the premise that they have to change the mix in the top 6 (how nice would Hossa look) you’re left with moving Gagner + + to bring back quality. Plus they need actual NHL defensemen. Someone will have to go unless you are prepared to wait another 3 years to make the playoffs – they aren’t that cruel on Kingsway are they?

    You have to give to get and Klefbom is the guy I would try and include in a package. Probably still has good cache and his injury history doesn’t seem to be changing. It leaves Nurse, Marincin, Gernat (a wildcard) and likely a better chance at signing Simpson.

    Unfortunately, there are so many holes to fill. It’s a daunting task for sure.

  85. OilClog says:

    How much Carolina Hockey has anyone watched around here over the last 4yrs..

    Ward’s #’s are not pretty but neither is the situation in Carolina since the cup.

    As much as a backwards move the stats suggest it’s a backwards move acquiring Ward. I’d do it in a heartbeat. Ward is exactly buy low on a ugly contract, bring him home, new energy, hope to avoid injury. He’s better then Dubnyk.

    How hard does MacT go after Jumbo Joe in the summer.

  86. ashley says:

    spoiler: God I love your posts, G Money. I don’t have the time and effort to do this kind of stuff any more, and it comes as a real joy to me that others refuse to let false rhetoric slide.

    False rhetoric?

    Here’s some data from Vollman:

    http://www.hockeyabstract.com/playerusagecharts

    Whitney got a heavy push on zone starts and PP time, yet he bled like a stuck pig for those 35 games. And consistently so in the subsequent years when, and only when he fell out of favour.

    So he sucked in the subsequent years because of the “ice rut” but was great in those 35 games because of some second assists? The real data suggest otherwise.

    There is a lot more to this than boxcars and +/-. YOU guys taught ME that :)

  87. icecastles says:

    book¡je,

    You got your name back! :) :) :)

  88. RexLibris says:

    Lowetide:
    I’m reading on my twitter timeline a Cam Ward-Sam Gagner deal. Rumor?

    No, but I can confirm the rumour that the Flames’ current goal-scoring woes has led Ken King to open endorsement negotiations with Coke Zero (“Real players, zero goals”).

  89. stevezie says:

    ashley: Thanks for taking a moment out of your busy life to contribute to the debate.

    It’s hard to make comments that normally depend on tone work well in print, but, like a young Phoebe Cates, you pulled it off nicely.

  90. RexLibris says:

    ashley,

    The link only takes you to the site. The data selection isn’t embedded in the URL. I know because I’ve tried before.

  91. Derek says:

    OilClog:
    How much Carolina Hockey has anyone watched around here over the last 4yrs..

    Ward’s #’s are not pretty but neither is the situation in Carolina since the cup.

    As much as a backwards move the stats suggest it’s a backwards move acquiring Ward. I’d do it in a heartbeat. Ward is exactly buy low on a ugly contract, bring him home, new energy, hope to avoid injury. He’s better then Dubnyk.

    How hard does MacT go after Jumbo Joe in the summer.

    Cam Ward is a career .910 save percentage goalie making 6.3 million per year. His contract was an albatross the year it was signed and is still terrible to this day. His regular season save percentage has only crested .920 once (.923 in 2010-11) and has been below .900 three times. He was good (not great) in 2006 posting a .920 in the playoffs and beating the Oilers to win the SCF. He has battled injuries, inconsistency and a lack of talent since that time.

    Cam Ward has a name around the Edmonton area because he beat the team in an extremely memorable playoff series for the games greatest prize.

    Jonathan Quick is the second coming of Cam Ward.

  92. hankster says:

    RT26:
    Next year, Oklahoma City should have Marancin, Nurse, Gernat and Klefbom as its top 4 defense.(Unless Nurse can’t play in OKC due to the teenage thing).Let them season together for a year or two to develop.Could be magic in 2 to 3 years time if we are patient.

    As for the Oilers, I would keep Hall and Nugent-Hopkins on a line with favorable zone starts and tilt their ice towards offense.I would put Eberle or Yakupov on their wing, and while I hate to trade young stars – one of them plus Gagner must go to bring balance to this roster.

    I sign Hemsky and place him and Perron on a tougher minutes second line, with either Boyd Gordon in the middle or a trade for a player like Andrew Ladd.Make it a veteran line that can handle the pressure.

    The third line would be Gordon with Arcobello on the right.We need to go to free agency to get a left winger here.Use this for tough zone starts with a bit of offense.As for the 4th line, I love the idea (I think it was Woodguy’s, if not – sorry) of a tough minutes, bad zone start 4th line.Make Lander the right winger there (he can PK and play defensively and here his lack of NHL offense does not hurt).Sign an Adam Hall type or someone with good defensive metrics (like Malhotra used to be) for 4th line C and LW.

    In goal, I would re-sign Dubnyk and Bryzgalov to one year deals.Until they have a real D in front of them, it is hard to know what we have there.

    On D, keep Ference and Petry for sure.As for Belov, I might re-sign him to a one year deal as a 6th or 7th defensemen.But I would consider trading J Schultz.I don’t believe we can develop him properly in EDM and like Gagner, if wewait too long, he may not have value in the future.Hate to do it, but would think about it.

    Trade Gagner, Eberle and J Schultz and look to get a Kulikov, Byfuglien or Campbell and a free agent D or two with a good 3LW.Might be crazy, but it would make us better, I think

    Be careful, you’ll annoy some people here who own one of their jerseys. I live in Ontario and still an Oilers fan. There’s plenty of feedback from non oilers fans regarding Eberle, and obviously Gagner. It’s understandable for hometown fans to have over value their own players. Skill is good, but without tenacity, you get this seasons results.

    Looking at why Pittsburgh, Boston, LA and St Louis are so competitive. It’s not solely due to the much talked about size. These teams are so tenacious with and without the puck. Unfortunately the current Oilers roster are perfectly built for non contact pickup hockey. MacT will balance this out going forward, I believe.

    I’m hoping MacT will trade Eberle and Schultz to address the teams obvious needs.
    Oh yes, Marincin looks like he could be better than Schultz and Petry within a couple of years.

  93. Melman says:

    Derek,

    Not sure about the Quick comparison – too soon to tell – but I’m with you on the whole Cam Ward has been grossly overrated for years point. He seemED, as opposed to still does – to get occasionally hot for brief stretches which I think even pumps his #’s up. I haven’t done the research but he’s been paid huge $ based on the SC win, and I would stay miles away from that signing.

  94. G Money says:

    ashley,

    Hmmmm. Feel free to explain how the Vollman chart for that season:

    http://i.imgur.com/2vZ9wjo.png

    in any way supports your contention? Yes, it’s true that Whitney got a nice OZ and PP push. That’s what you do with your best offensive d man. This chart also makes it rather obvious that he faced the toughest competition night after night – also what you do with your best d man – and overall did fine (for the calibre of team, anyway).

    In the context of him doing fine defensively against the best of the best (as the chart clearly shows), and also putting up points at a rate more than DOUBLE the next defenseman, and almost TRIPLE that of his D partner, I’m baffled how anyone could look at the data and not be reminded of just how good he was for the Oilers for one brief shining moment before that rut destroyed his career.

    As a side note – the chart also makes me sad for young Ladislav Smid, who found his way that season, lost it two seasons later (check Laddy’s Corsi trend), and played his way right off the team and now drowns in the Pee of Red.

  95. ashley says:

    RexLibris:
    ashley,

    The link only takes you to the site. The data selection isn’t embedded in the URL. I know because I’ve tried before.

    Dammit! Well, the interested readers will have to select for EDM, click “names on”, and then limit the bubbles to Dmen only to make it easier to read. Then click through the Whitney years.

  96. ashley says:

    G Money,

    Something is askew. Your chart is much different than the one I get from Robert’s site. How did you make yours? How did all your dmen get blue bubbles in one of the worst Edmonton oilers season in recent history*?

    * Statement could apply to any one of the seasons from 2009 to present.

  97. G Money says:

    ashley,

    That’s the standard chart I use anytime I look at defensemen (except for the blue background, I prefer the “Clean Image for Blogs” white version, but didn’t bother in this case).

    - Axes are QOC Corsi on y and OZ % on x i.e. standard deployment and usage
    - Bubble size is TOI (still the best measure of defensemen I know of)
    - For bubble colour I use RelCorsi. I prefer this over raw Corsi since a. as has been discussed extensively, Corsi tends to be a very weak measure for D, so it becomes just a measure of “how your team is doing” and doesn’t tell you very much (as you note when you say “could apply to any of the seasons from 2009 on”). Can’t tell much from a “Sea of Brown”. Would be nice if they would add Corsi Against, as that’s probably as good a measure as you’re going to get for d men. In the meantime, RelCorsi at least lets you see how the D man is doing relative to others on the team. (I use raw Corsi for forwards, for exactly the same reason in reverse).

    EDIT: In addition to my sadness about Smid, this also reminds me of how unappreciated Gilbert was by the average fan …

  98. Marc says:

    Woodguy: How do you feel about Eakins Godot?

    You never mention it.

    I think it’s something like the 0:18 mark of this clip:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wRnSnfiUI54

    Only with a bit of an ‘Ea’ at the beginning, and a little ‘s’ at the end.

  99. Gerta Rauss says:

    http://oilers.nhl.com/club/podcastplayer.htm?pid=98&iid=45829

    Eakins post practice in Dallas

    -Bryz will start
    -Jonesuu joined them in Dallas(was out with the flu)
    -Potter still out (groin)
    -Gagner,Hall maintenance days, will play tomorrow

  100. G Money says:

    ashley: Dammit!Well, the interested readers will have to select for EDM, click “names on”, and then limit the bubbles to Dmen only to make it easier to read.Then click through the Whitney years.

    On that part, we’ll agree. Once you’ve got your chart set up, click through the Whitney years.

    See how his big blue circle moves from the absolute top right of the chart and becomes ever so sad and small, turning a sickly brown, and sinking into the defensive hell of the absolute lower left.

    Also look at the points table (sort by P/60) as you go. See how Whitney goes from #1 with a bullet, to mid-pack, to trailing the field.

    One other subtle point to notice. As Whitney descended into hell, notice how the offensive zone starts for the entire team disappeared. With a healthy Whitney, it’s not just that he got a push – it’s that he was able to get the puck moving in the right direction and the team actually had offensive zone starts to push.

    A tragic tale written in coloured bubbles – how one little rut destroyed a talented player’s career, and took a whole team (farther) down with him.

  101. stevezie says:

    Gerta Rauss: -Potter still out (groin)

    Does anyone know how pensions are calculated? I know at one point evrey player was aiming for 400 games (career NHLer status), but do games Potter is injured for count toward his total?

    I’m not sure how much the team misses him, but it must kill the guy to be getting such a great opportunity and not be able to seize it.

  102. Lowetide says:

    godot10: Dallas Eakins only appeared to bea competent coach in the first place because he basically had NHL quality goaltending on his AHL Marlies’s team.Reversion to the mean.

    Help me with this, Godot. In this NHL season, how many games do you believe the Oilers lost because of goaltending?

  103. ashley says:

    G Money,

    Thanks for the summary. I was using “corsi on” for bubble color which has him at -11.9, 6/8 for regular dmen in 2010-2011. Only Petry was above grade in 2010-2011.

    Still, using your preference, Rel Corsi, Whitney was 6/8 among regular dmen even with a substantial ozone advantage.

    I’m not convinced he was the high calibre player you are making him out to be, even in 2010. There has been no rewriting of history, as alleged.

  104. book¡je says:

    Lowetide: Help me with this, Godot. In this NHL season, how many games do you believe the Oilers lost because of goaltending?

    I got this one gotdot.

    LT – You mean after MacT wrecked Dubnyk’s confidence over the summer or after Eakins made the Oilers defence the laughingstock of the league with his voodoo ‘swarm’ defence?

    :)

  105. Derek says:

    @SNHockeyCentral Lieweke on Leafs: “The issue is not the coach. October was not a fluke.”

    Oh…..oh dear.

    It could be worse Oiler fans.

  106. oliveoilers says:

    Derek: Cam Ward is a career .910 save percentage goalie making 6.3 million per year.His contract was an albatross the year it was signed and is still terrible to this day.His regular season save percentage has only crested .920 once (.923 in 2010-11) and has been below .900 three times.He was good (not great) in 2006 posting a .920 in the playoffs and beating the Oilers to win the SCF.He has battled injuries, inconsistency and a lack of talent since that time.

    Cam Ward has a name around the Edmonton area because he beat the team in an extremely memorable playoff series for the games greatest prize.

    Jonathan Quick is the second coming of Cam Ward.

    You forget Corey Crawford. How good are Chicago that they can carry him and Khabi?

  107. DeadmanWaking says:

    Lowetide: godot10: Dallas Eakins only appeared to bea competent coach in the first place because he basically had NHL quality goaltending on his AHL Marlies’s team.Reversion to the mean.

    Help me with this, Godot. In this NHL season, how many games do you believe the Oilers lost because of goaltending?

    I had in mind a larger homework assignment for the man behind the moving bar.

    How many rookie NHL head coaches have been recruited from lower leagues coming off a season where they experienced inferior goaltending?

    How many rookie NHL head coaches went into an NHL situation delivering superior goaltending? We all know that winning teams are always scouting for diamonds in the rough coming off losing records in lower leagues to ensconce in the big chair of the fleet flagship.

    I see your house-selection univariate narrative, and raise you another fifteen terms.

    Given the immense difficulty of a rookie NHL head coach establishing his career at the next level–and vulnerability to squalls of toxic, poorly substantiated narratives at the first TEPCO weather event–bringing the guy in after a shine box season is the least measure a competent GM would take to buffer his ass against the elements.

    A savvy GM might also attempt to install a Cory Schneider safety net unless price-gouged out of the market by an envious and paranoid division rival. In the ideal case he would run the guy through the assistant coaching ranks–if the fanbase isn’t already steaming about the slow pot simmer, and supposing he hasn’t boldly skypered the Swiss mistryst.

    Eakins is an extremely competent individual who is sometimes his own worst enemy (writing this I visualized the mother-of-all-eye rolls from Eakins’s wife; somewhere between the Nene and the Krysten, but not quite the Liz Lemon). This personality type is a dime a dozen at the highest levels of competitive sport (I would count Ice Capades or a neoprene high-wire act as a non-competitive sport, in much the same way that the four-stomached hippopotamus is classified as a non-practicing pseudoruminant).

    Oh yes, I reserve the right to pile on the homework assignments ad infinitum. Two can play at that game. Moving low bar vs. moving high bar.

    It’s possible I won’t be around much until after the Olympic break. There were some wonderful pieces by Willis and Staples, and then Staples’ bizarre assassination piece today (cue a mammoth personal eye roll). Lowetide could ask Staples some similar simple questions about season-over-season comparability. I figure Staples is burned up inside over the words “he’s perfect there” which the transcript inexplicably records as the final phrase exchanged on the matter. I had this sudden rush of “okay, now I’ve seen it all” over the confluence of recent journalism. I think a short hiatus is in the cards for me.

    So no rush, take your time.

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