MORE HELL THAN A LITTLE BIT

The Edmonton Oilers don’t have enough NHL defensemen, and that’s on the General Manager. Like snow in winter, taxes, death and heartbreak, there’s no way to argue this club meets the schedule satisfying the need for seasoned blue. When he traded Ladislav Smid, Craig MacTavish left his team shorthanded and it’s on him to stop the bleeding. NOW.

The numbers are a good place to start, simple boxcars like games-played. Here are the NHL GP totals for last night’s defensemen:

  1. Nick Schultz 851
  2. Andrew Ference 802
  3. Jeff Petry196
  4. Justin Schultz 82
  5. Anton Belov 37
  6. Martin Marincin 4

The Oilers are 2-6-2 in their last 10 games, and really haven’t beaten a clearly better team in some time. Last night’s game isn’t all of the defense, but the group’s inexperience is a big factor. Basically, the club sent out two long-in-the-tooth veterans (1,000 games is usually the outer marker for the Schultz-Ference types, Jason Smith played 1,008 games and was fading for the final 150-200), one guy who has enough experience for a coach to count on (Petry) and then three guys trying to make the room stop turning so quickly.

That’s a lot of trouble for the coach, and of course there are no Craig Ramsay’s in the forward group.

 EVEN-STRENGTH TOI LAST NIGHT

  1. Justin Schultz 26:13
  2. Andrew Ference 25:28
  3. Jeff Petry 23:23
  4. Nick Schultz 20:24
  5. Martin Marincin 12:09
  6. Anton Belov 10:09

The two guys who haven’t played much in the NHL were used sparingly in a road game the coach was probably trying to survive (and incredibly, win), and I don’t think there’s much we can be critical of here. Belov’s performance in OT probably allows us to raise an eyebrow (WHY was he out there?) but stuff happens.

belov line

That’s Belov’s 13th shift of the game, it was miles too long, it resulted in the winning goal and exposed Belov’s inexperience and foot speed issues. The man was bagged and he didn’t/couldn’t get off the ice (and there were other culprits, I’ll name Petry and Eberle) but for me if Belov had changed when he should have (Petry’s shift was 35 seconds old when the goal was scored) it wouldn’t have been an issue.

I’m not going to bury Anton Belov, he made a terrible double clutch at a vital moment and lost the angle on Yandle, but this is an issue of depth for the coach. Craig MacTavish traded Ladislav Smid, and last night the coach had two defensemen he didn’t trust (TOI is trust) leaving the other four men to play and play and play. The GM needs to fix that—today.

Send Marincin down, recall Taylor Fedun. Fedun played last night, lacks experience in the NHL but is an older player. Bring him up, send Marincin down and give your coach another option. Or, made a trade. At this point, faulting the coach is the wrong call. The lands on the GM’s desk and has been an issue forever, made worse by the Smid trade.

Fix it, MacT. From Malmo. Today.

hamilton3

BARONS SCORING IN DECEMBER

FORWARDS

  1. Ryan Hamilton 10, 2-5-7 E
  2. Curtis Hamilton 12, 4-2-6 -1
  3. Linus Omark 7, 3-3-6 -3
  4. Roman Horak 9, 4-2-6 E
  5. Andrew Miller 12, 3-3-6 -6
  6. CJ Stretch 11, 3-2-5 -7
  7. Derek Nesbitt 12, 3-2-5 -2
  8. Travis Ewanyk 12, 1-2-3 -1
  9. Will Acton 11, 4-2-6 +3
  10. Matt Ford 11, 1-3-4 +1
  11. Kale Kessy 10, 1-1-2 E
  12. Tyler Pitlick 8, 0-3-3 -2
  13. Ryan Martindale 11, 1-2-3 -6

Curtis Hamilton has scored 4 goals in his last two games! What a great turnaround, keep it going young man! Omark’s exit appears to have given him more opportunities, but from what I’m reading Hamilton is also effective on the penalty-kill. That’s EXACTLY the role I thought he would fill as a player—15-20 goals, great two way play. If Hamilton’s healthy, scoring goals and playing well defensively, the young man has a future with the Oilers. Sooner than later. GREAT story.

gernat ferguson1(Martin Gernat, all photos by Rob Fergusin, all rights reserved)

BARONS SCORING IN DECEMBER

DEFENSEMEN

  1. Brad Hunt 12, 2-7-9 -1
  2. Martin Gernat 11, 0-6-6 -1
  3. Taylor Fedun 4, 0-2-2 +1
  4. Oscar Klefbom 10, 0-1-1 -1
  5. David Musil 10, 0-2-2 -6
  6. Brandon Davidson 9, 0-1-1 -4
  7. Denis Grebeshkov 9, 0-1-1 -7

There’s some clearance here now, it looks to me as though (with Marincin in the NHL) the likely callup is Fedun (back and playing last night). Hunt and Gernat are performing well, but the club should give Gernat a full year in the minors. Musil has played well according to reports, but he’s in the same boat as Gernat. Davidson and Grebeshkov don’t look like they’re moving in a good direction currently (it’s hart to tell with stay-at-home types like Davidson).

Klefbom looks like he’ll need the entire year. No, I’d recall Fedun (and perhaps consider Hunt, but this team has enough chaos) and send back Marincin. While also making a trade today for an NHL defenseman.

That’s the play here.

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126 Responses to "MORE HELL THAN A LITTLE BIT"

  1. Clarkenstein says:

    LT is mad as hell and isn’t going to take it anymore dammit! Happy New Year!

  2. Woodguy says:

    I’ll repost what I posted at the end of the GDT since its on topic:

    Oiler Dmen the year Tambellini took over:
    Visnovsky
    Souray
    Smid
    Gilbert
    Grebeshkov
    Peckham
    Chorney

    What Tambellini had turned those Dmen into (players under contract) July 1, 2013

    Vishnovsky—-> Brandon Davidson (pick that came with Whitney trade)
    Souray——–>Nothing
    Gilbert —> N.Shultz
    Smid–>Smid
    Grebshkov———> 2nd rounder —>Curtis Hamilton
    Peckham——–>Nothing
    Chorney—–>Nothing

    4 reasonably competent NHL Dmen and 2 D prospects and Tambellini magically turned them into Nick Shultz.

    Remember this when you scream for MacT’s head.

    You should be screaming for Lowe’s head for hiring Tambellini and then not getting rid of him as soon as his incompetence was fairly established (summer of 2009)

    Just a complete and utter failure of management.

    Hat tip to The Beaker @‏4enzix for this wonderful chart: https://twitter.com/4enzix/status/417771800295006208/photo/1

    Throw in MacT turning Smid into a prospect goalie taken in the late rounds and another 180lbs forward and it gets even more frustrating.

  3. sliderule says:

    Cripes LT I thought Marincin was one of their better defencemen.

    He made one bad pinch but generally kept it clear in front of net and made a couple of very good first pass breakouts.

    This game could have been won with better coaching.Eberle and Gagner on for last minute of third.
    A gassed Belov on for last seconds of overtime.

    I have laid off this coach but last night that’s it.

    Eakins is totally out of his depth.

  4. Lowetide says:

    WG: I get that, but trading Smid—and hell I suspect that Eakins wasn’t a fan—without replacing him with a veteran was a poor, poor choice. They have NO defensemen in the sweet spot, enough experience to be useful but not too old to have a lot of wear and tear.

    Crazy crazy.

  5. Lowetide says:

    sliderule:
    Cripes LT I thought Marincin was one of their better defencemen.

    He made one bad pinch but generally kept it clear in front of net and made a couple of very good first pass breakouts.

    This game could have been won with better coaching.Eberle and Gagner on for last minute of third.
    A gassed Belov on for last seconds of overtime.

    I have laid off this coach but last night that’s it.

    Eakins is totally out of his depth.

    Coach doesn’t trust him. Last shift was 8:27 of the third, and unless he was hurt (could be) we’re looking at a guy who the coach doesn’t want on the ice during the vital moments. And, based on experience, hard to argue.

  6. Ducey says:

    The Barons were up 5-1 yesterday and then lost 6-5. I am not sure anyone should be called up after that performance.

    Hamilton’s surge might have something to do with Pitlick. He has assisted on a couple of the goals.

  7. Ben says:

    I understand the sense of frustration with the D, but burning assets on yet another 5-6-7 at this juncture is pointless.

    This team needs a 1/2 defender (and really it needs both). I don’t see how or why this gets done before the offseason. And at this point – what’s the rush, honestly?

    As for the Smid trade – I remain as completely baffled by that move as anyone else.

  8. bookje says:

    In past years when Lowe or Sather were GM, they would trade a 2nd round pick or a functional forward for a decent #3 defenseman. Tambellini would argue that the trade was not out there to be made.

    MacT – stop acting like Tambellini.

  9. Lowetide says:

    Ducey:
    The Barons were up 5-1 yesterday and then lost 6-5.I am not sure anyone should be called up after that performance.

    Hamilton’s surge might have something to do with Pitlick.He has assisted on a couple of the goals.

    Fedun was +2 in that game.

  10. Survioil says:

    We talked yesterday about Weber and the assets needed but I that is akin to acquiring a new limb.

    We need a large bandage as well. Right now. Unfortunately the price of medical supplies is currently high but sometimes
    you just understand the urgency of the need.

    Stop the bleeding MacT.

  11. rich says:

    IIRC, Smid’s contract also went out so they had room to sign Bryzgalov, but I could be wrong.

    Can understand why the coach would not trust a rookie defenseman late when you’re trying to protect a 1 goal lead. That makes sense.

    But then why does he have Gagner out there late when he continues to show little defensive awareness? Guy just bleeds chances against with no accountability from the Coach.

  12. Woodguy says:

    Lowetide: Throw in MacT turning Smid into a prospect goalie taken in the late rounds and another 180lbs forward and it gets even more frustrating.

    Agreed.

    That’s why this is the last line in my post:

    Throw in MacT turning Smid into a prospect goalie taken in the late rounds and another 180lbs forward and it gets even more frustrating.

  13. sliderule says:

    Lowetide,

    I can understand Eakins or Smith not wanting a rookie on ice for last half of third period in tight game.
    Marinicin has shown he has game at AHL level the oilers have to give him 20 games to develop him and get him accustomed to nhl speed.

    I have more or less given up hope of oilers signing or trading for a true top four defenceman.The only hope I have is that Marincin ,Klefbom or Nurse can be turned in a top four over a couple of years and replace those K Lowe clones who are built just like him 6-1 and under 190.

  14. Woodguy says:

    bookje:
    In past years when Lowe or Sather were GM, they would trade a 2nd round pick ora functional forward for a decent #3 defenseman.Tambellini would argue that the trade was not out there to be made.

    MacT – stop acting like Tambellini.

    There are no functional forwards outside “the core” to make a nice small trade.

    Hemsky is, but on an expiring contract, you’re not getting a roster player with term back (probably)

    Oilers don’t have a 2nd this year either, Armstrong has it as part of the Paajarvi trade.

  15. Hammers says:

    Woodguy:
    I’ll repost what I posted at the end of the GDT since its on topic:

    Oiler Dmen the year Tambellini took over:
    Visnovsky
    Souray
    Smid
    Gilbert
    Grebeshkov
    Peckham
    Chorney

    What Tambellini had turned those Dmen into (players under contract) July 1, 2013

    Vishnovsky—-> Brandon Davidson (pick that came with Whitney trade)
    Souray——–>Nothing
    Gilbert —> N.Shultz
    Smid–>Smid
    Grebshkov———> 2nd rounder —>Curtis Hamilton
    Peckham——–>Nothing
    Chorney—–>Nothing

    4 reasonably competent NHL Dmen and 2 D prospects and Tambellini magically turned them into Nick Shultz.

    Remember this when you scream for MacT’s head.

    You should be screaming for Lowe’s head for hiring Tambellini and then not getting rid of him as soon as his incompetence was fairly established (summer of 2009)

    Just a complete and utter failure of management.

    Hat tip to The Beaker @‏4enzix for this wonderful chart: https://twitter.com/4enzix/status/417771800295006208/photo/1

    Throw in MacT turning Smid into a prospect goalie taken in the late rounds and another 180lbs forward and it gets even more frustrating.

    Agree 1000% . I would add the coaching merry go round has also been a burden starting with Quinn and now to Eakins.

  16. TheOtherJohn says:

    At the game last night. 17,416 in attendance 3-4,000 of which were wearing Oiler jerseys. half the crowd from Canada. O Canada extremely well sung 1300 miles from home, pretty cool!

    Then the game started.

    Tweeted Bruce SOG 10-3 4:48 into the 1st period. Believe it was 21-6 at the end of 1st. One of the worst periods of the year. Oil did NOT play that well in 2nd period it was 3-1 on some very nice isolated plays (and bad goaltending by Mike Smith), but only had 10 shots, I believe, at the time. Third period consisted of Oil trying to hold on to lead for win.

    Oilers got a point they did not deserve.

    Phx plays boring hockey, incredibly structured defensive game. Strong puck support, break out in units and they are 8th in the West

    Oilers are only 8-10 NHL players away from competing in the WC

  17. LMHF#1 says:

    LT you cannot attempt to bail out Petry like that. He screwed up the rush. He made a completely inappropriate pinch. That goal is on him.

    Belov and Marincin both needed to play more. If the coach can’t see that, he’s an idiot. He’s got rickety defensive players playing way too many minutes. Might as well spread them around. This was true against PHI as well.

    Do agree that Fedun needs a recall.

    As for the broader picture, the D needs to be blown up. Been saying this for a while now.

  18. Woodguy says:

    rich:
    IIRC, Smid’s contract also went out so they had room to sign Bryzgalov, but I could be wrong.

    Can understand why the coach would not trust a rookie defenseman late when you’re trying to protect a 1 goal lead.That makes sense.

    But then why does he have Gagner out there late when he continues to show little defensive awareness?Guy just bleeds chances against with no accountability from the Coach.

    They could have moved N.Shultz for a 7th round pick in 2025 if they wanted to clear cap space for Bryz.

    And in reality J.Shultz, RNH and Yak aren’t going to hit many (if any) of their bonuses this year so MacT could have have just signed him and dipped into the bonus overage without worrying too much about it.

    MacT chose to move an Actual NHL Dman for prospects when Actual NHL Dmen are the most scarce commodity on the team.

    Not good.

    Not a good roster decision today, and not a good return for an Actual NHL Dman.

  19. Andy P says:

    All:
    Who do we trade for, that
    a) the other team is prepared to release
    b) Would measurably stiffen our defense
    c) Would voluntarily come to this barren, desolate killing ground
    and
    d) What would we need to give up not to make our team even worse than it actually is?

  20. godot10 says:

    bookje:
    In past years when Lowe or Sather were GM, they would trade a 2nd round pick ora functional forward for a decent #3 defenseman.Tambellini would argue that the trade was not out there to be made.

    MacT – stop acting like Tambellini.

    The 2nd round draft pick is already gone.

  21. Woodguy says:

    Bohologo:
    Not trying to be a dink here, and not necessarily disagreeing with anything that’s been said, but would we be having this conversation if the four forwards had scored on the OT PP?At some point the kids (excepting Perron for purposes of this discussion) must realize they had the game in their hands.

    But I don’t think it changes the fundamentals of the team’s composition.Alas.

    29 other GMs can see MacT coming from miles away.

    Yes we are still having this conversation.

    The Oilers were run out of the building and very extremely luck to have the lead.

    The Fenclose was 29.4% for the Oilers yesterday: http://www.extraskater.com/game/2013-12-31-oilers-coyotes

    Tippett took Eakins’ corgis out behind the barn and shot them.

  22. D says:

    The Smid trade was probably a combination of the Oilers saying (internally) that the season was already lost after the first 20 games.

    So (1) let’s move out a D not in the long term plans (Smid) and make that 1st round pick even more valuable by tanking, and (2) figure out who of the remaining D (if any) have long term potential for the team.

    The overhaul of the D should come this summer (no point fixing it now and hurting draft position),

  23. godot10 says:

    Survioil:
    We talked yesterday about Weber and the assets needed but Ithat isakin to acquiring a new limb.

    We needa large bandage aswell. Right now. Unfortunatelytheprice of medical supplies is currently high but sometimes
    you just understand the urgency of the need.

    Stop the bleeding MacT.

    You are asking MacT to stop the bleeding? It was MacT’s brilliant idea to “bleed the patient” even more when he traded Smid for magic beans.

  24. Woodguy says:

    Bohologo:
    Not trying to be a dink here, and not necessarily disagreeing with anything that’s been said, but would we be having this conversation if the four forwards had scored on the OT PP?At some point the kids (excepting Perron for purposes of this discussion) must realize they had the game in their hands.

    But I don’t think it changes the fundamentals of the team’s composition.Alas.

    29 other GMs can see MacT coming from miles away.

    Sure they can see him coming, but other GMs have needs too.

    Has to wait until his chosen dance partner needs the move as much as he does.

    Might have to wait until summer.

  25. Lowetide says:

    LMHF#1:
    LT you cannot attempt to bail out Petry like that. He screwed up the rush. He made a completely inappropriate pinch. That goal is on him.

    Belov and Marincin both needed to play more. If the coach can’t see that, he’s an idiot. He’s got rickety defensive players playing way too many minutes. Might as well spread them around. This was true against PHI as well.

    Do agree that Fedun needs a recall.

    As for the broader picture, the D needs to be blown up. Been saying this for a while now.

    I didn’t bail out Petry, named him and Eberle as culprits. However, for God’s sake Belov needs to take a better angle. Lordy.

  26. TheOtherJohn says:

    Winnipeg must be getting kinda desparate too. Same with Ottawa

    Waiting for the kids on the farm to develop is NOT an option for fixing what is wrong with this team

  27. godot10 says:

    D:
    The Smid trade was probably a combination of the Oilers saying (internally) that the season was already lost after the first 20 games.

    So (1) let’s move out a D not in the long term plans (Smid) and make that 1st round pick even more valuable by tanking, and (2) figure out who of the remaining D (if any) have long term potential for the team.

    The overhaul of the D is going to come this summer (no point fixing it now and hurting draft position),

    Teams like Ottawa and Toronto are looking for a 2nd pairing defensive D. Paul Ranger and Mark Fraser have been horrible this year, and the Leafs were desparate for someone to pair with Franson on the 2nd unit.

    Smid didn’t have to go for magic beans.

  28. Andy P says:

    godot10,

    Why did the Oil trade SMid to Calgary? Consider how hopeless our G position was then, with DD and LaB pissing all over the floor, Bachman injured, our G pipeline empty, and Bryz available for cap space we did not have IIRC, and I would think Smid was the flesh and bone required to fix our goalie situation.

    Are we better off with that trade, or should we have stuck with the bad G?

  29. Lowetide says:

    Andy P:
    godot10,

    Why did the Oil trade SMid to Calgary? Consider how hopeless our G position was then, with DD and LaB pissing all over the floor, Bachman injured, our G pipeline empty, and Bryz available for cap space we did not have IIRC, and I would think Smid was the flesh and bone required to fix our goalie situation.

    Are we better off with that trade, or should we have stuck with the bad G?

    the Oilers COULD have kept Smid and added Bryz, right? They would have needed to move some of the bonus dollars over to nexxt year, but they have that option iirc.

  30. oliveoilers says:

    Lowetide: I didn’t bail out Petry, named him and Eberle as culprits. However, for God’s sake Belov needs to take a better angle. Lordy.

    The pinch by Petry wasn’t inappropriate, just very poorly executed. When Yandle rushed him, Petry had the chance to lay the shoulder into him. He does this and there’s no issue, just a puck sliding down the boards. Basics of defence. Play the man, then the puck. I notice that Petry picks and chooses when to play hard. It’s a shame, he could be a monster. Very mobile, good skater, bigger guy but the hockey sense of a Bedouin kid in the Sahara. And that’s stuff you can’t teach. Would like to see him get mad once in a while too. I don’t think we could pay Bryz enough to stay at the moment.

  31. godot10 says:

    Andy P:
    godot10,

    Why did the Oil trade SMid to Calgary? Consider how hopeless our G position was then, with DD and LaB pissing all over the floor, Bachman injured, our G pipeline empty, and Bryz available for cap space we did not have IIRC, and I would think Smid was the flesh and bone required to fix our goalie situation.

    Are we better off with that trade, or should we have stuck with the bad G?

    1) The Oilers did not have to trade Smid to get cap space for Bryzgalov. Oiler disinformation. MacT has always disliked Smid. He also disliked Pitkanen. And disliked Jan Hejda. There are other ways to finesse minor cap issues without trading one of your few actual NHL defensemen for magic beans.

    2) There were likely better trades out there if you were going to make it, like to Toronto or Ottawa, where you could get an actual player back.

  32. russ99 says:

    The Smid trade was a combination of making up for blowing our second round pick (and not trading up for Fucale) and the usual games going in the organization where we waste a quality below-market value asset, cause someone running the Oil Kings has too much say.

    Can you really prove that another goalie like (or better than) Broissoit wasn’t available where we traded our pick to LA, or would be available in next year’s draft, and would most likely cost us only picks?

    This is where MacT lost me, making trades to cover drafting mistakes and to forward the obvious Oil King agenda in the organization rather than helping the NHL club.

    Said this before, and I’m going to say it again: I’d be willing to bet Broissoit is our backup goalie next season…

  33. nycoil says:

    godot10,

    I said at the time of the trade I found it upsetting because:
    1) The return was futures, which: a) send a message to the players management is not going to help them get the ship righted, b) is a baffling return at what should be the end of a rebuild.
    2) Teams like the Islanders were desperate for help on the blue line and were in a “go for it” this year mode (eg. Vanek trade). The return could have been greater; Smid was valued more highly around the league than Edmonton management valued him, and we’ve since seen some evidence to suggest some other GMs weren’t even aware he was available. The return had to be better than what we got for him. Dare I say if we were going to make this trade, Sather might have been happy to make a Girardi for Smid plus conditional 3rd if he re-signs trade (follow the pattern of the MPS-Perron swap) .
    3) The clearing cap space to sign Bryz line of defense makes no sense. Other ways to clear cap space.

    All the feedback I got from people at the time, paraphrased was “Smid sucks. He only blocks shots because he doesn’t ever have the puck.”

    MacT spent the summer accumulating end-of-the-roster bets like Belov and Grebeshkov. Then traded the guy the team invested 7 years developing for prospects. It’s indefensible, in my opinion, no pun intended. Couldn’t agree more it is up to him now to fix, but he better not now trade one of the core to do it when the whole GM world knows he has a shit hand and no leverage.

  34. Woodguy says:

    Corsi Close last night:

    Horak 6.3% (1-15)
    Eberle 5.6% (1-17)
    Gagner 5.6% (1-17)

    That’s incredible.

    That’s a level of ineptitude that I didn’t think possible.

  35. Woodguy says:

    Here’s everyone’s corsi close from last night:

    Player CF%
    Boyd Gordon 58.30%
    Nick Schultz 52.90%
    Ales Hemsky 50.00%
    Ryan Smyth 50.00%
    Taylor Hall 48.10%
    David Perron 46.20%
    Jesse Joensuu 44.40%
    Luke Gazdic 44.40%
    Anton Lander 44.40%
    Jeff Petry 43.50%
    Ryan Nugent-Hopkins 42.30%
    Justin Schultz 34.50%
    Andrew Ference 33.30%
    Martin Marincin 23.50%
    Anton Belov 22.20%
    Roman Horak 6.30%
    Jordan Eberle 5.60%
    Sam Gagner 5.60%
    Ilya Bryzgalov 35.90%

    Best night for the 4th line in a long time.

    I still can’t believe those numbers at the bottom.

    Can’t remember them winning a puck battle last night.

  36. PerryK says:

    Lowetide: Coach doesn’t trust him. Last shift was 8:27 of the third, and unless he was hurt (could be) we’re looking ata guy who the coach doesn’t want on the ice during the vital moments. And, based on experience, hard to argue.

    Well, if he doesn’t trust Marincin, he isn’t seeing things very well. Marincin played a good game yesterday. Putting Belov out there at a crucial time and letting him stay out there for that long is ridiculous! Seeing as to how Eakins pointed it out, I expect that it was Steve Smith that didn’t pull him back.

    BTW, while he is in Europe, maybe Mac T needs to go see if he can pry Jim VanDerMeer from Kloten. He is not any better than a 5-6-7 D but should be able to do no worse than any of these lot and cost nothing more than money and a contract (maybe 2-way). Toughness, and utility value (can play Wing as well). Come on Mac T this can’t be any worse than some of your other failed experiments from this summer. At least help these guys while you try and make some changes.

  37. justDOit says:

    Woodguy,

    Single digits for Hor’ks line? That went well.

  38. Ducey says:

    Lowetide: Fedun was +2 in that game.

    He also got a roughing minor at the end of the third that allowed TEX to score the OT PP goal.

  39. D says:

    godot10: Teams like Ottawa and Toronto are looking for a 2nd pairing defensive D. Paul Ranger and Mark Fraser have been horrible this year, and the Leafs were desparate for someone to pair with Franson on the 2nd unit.

    Smid didn’t have to go for magic beans.

    I agree.

  40. Ryan says:

    bookje:
    In past years when Lowe or Sather were GM, they would trade a 2nd round pick ora functional forward for a decent #3 defenseman.Tambellini would argue that the trade was not out there to be made.

    MacT – stop acting like Tambellini.

    Unfortunately, Ray Shero agrees with Tambellini

  41. Survioil says:

    Well it sounds like Tim Gleason is moving . I don’t know if we have the right chips but he would be a stop gap measure.

  42. Ryan says:

    Didn’t watch the game last night, curious what Phoenix had for their 3rd / fourth lines?

  43. cabbiesmacker says:

    It might be a little telling that Smid has been in Calgary for roughly the same amount of games he’d been in Edmonton. 17 vs 23

    One 20 min+ game in Edmonton, his last before being traded. (- 6) cumulative

    Ten 20 minute+ games in Calgary. Three with Gio out, 7 with Gio in. ( -3) cumulative

    20+ minutes in his last 5 games played.

    Oilers #1 shotblocker. Oilers most physical D presence. From all accounts one of the leaders in the room. The guy wasn’t the prettiest but he sacrificed himself, was tough as nails, was probably one of few players who really enjoyed playing in Edmonton, and had for all intents and purposes a cap friendly contract when tenure is considered.

    Meanwhile N. Schultz and S. Gagner continue to consume valuable oxygen, a #1 OV sits idle and pouting, the C position wears no clothes, and the Oilers will likely use (2) of Hemsky, Yakupov, Eberle, and maybe Gagner (dare to dream) to help rectify the situation.

    Excellent asset management MacT. Just excellent.

  44. Woodguy says:

    Survioil:
    Well it sounds like Tim Gleason ismoving . I don’t know if we have the right chipsbuthe would be a stop gap measure.

    No.

    He’s a downgrade on N.Shultz.

    Not kidding.

  45. rich says:

    Woodguy:
    Corsi Close last night:

    Horak 6.3% (1-15)
    Eberle5.6% (1-17)
    Gagner 5.6% (1-17)

    That’s incredible.

    That’s a level of ineptitude that I didn’t think possible.

    The Phoenix announcers said late in the 2nd period that Tippett was trying to get Hanzal’s line out against Gagner/Eberle/Horak. He saw something alright.

    Those numbers are unreal.

  46. Woodguy says:

    Ryan:
    Didn’t watch the game last night, curious what Phoenix had for their 3rd / fourth lines?

    Here’s their line frequency from last night: http://www.leftwinglock.com/line-combinations/index.php?season=2013&team=PHX&strength=EV&playertype=F&gametype=1#A

  47. cabbiesmacker says:

    Ryan:
    Didn’t watch the game last night, curious what Phoenix had for their 3rd / fourth lines?

    Looks like Tippet mixes and matches his 3rd and 4th’s and doesn’t roll complete 3′s. Halpern/BizNasty as 4th’s then after that it’s any combination of Chipchura with pick em from Col. Kilinkhammer to Boedker as 3rd’s

  48. Lowetide says:

    cabbiesmacker: Looks like Tippet mixes and matches his 3rd and 4th’s and doesn’t roll complete 3′s. Halpern/BizNasty as 4th’s then after that it’s any combination of Chipchura with pick em from Col. Kilinkhammer to Boedker as 3rd’s

    Halpern looked God slow to me last night.

  49. oliveoilers says:

    I can’t find the article, but didn’t Freidman report that a few prominent eastern team were surprised at the low return for Smid and would of had interest had they but known of his availability? I will try to dig it out.

  50. Woodguy says:

    rich: The Phoenix announcers said late in the 2nd period that Tippett was trying to get Hanzal’s line out against Gagner/Eberle/Horak.He saw something alright.

    Those numbers are unreal.

    Extraskater has match ups for games too.

    Here’s who Gagner played the most against (proxy for whole line):

    Keith Yandle 8.4 min
    Derek Morris 7.8
    Mikkel Boedker 7.5
    Antoine Vermette 6.5
    Rob Klinkhammer 5.8
    Radim Vrbata 4.7
    Martin Hanzal 4.4
    Michael Stone 3.8
    David Schlemko 3.2
    Tim Kennedy 3.1
    Lauri Korpikoski 2.9
    Oliver Ekman-Larsson 2.4
    Connor Murphy 2
    David Moss 2
    Mike Ribeiro 1.9
    Kyle Chipchura 1.1
    Jeff Halpern 1
    Paul Bissonnette 0.5

    http://www.extraskater.com/game/2013-12-31-oilers-coyotes

  51. Woodguy says:

    Lowetide: Halpern looked God slow to me last night.

    Confirmed.

    Belov caught him once.

  52. Lowetide says:

    Woodguy: Confirmed.

    Belov caught him once.

    lol. On the final goal, what was that hitch in Belov’s stride. He waited a beat and the dug in, and that beat lost him the angle. Weird, and I suspect it was because the shift had been forever.

  53. oliveoilers says:

    Just did some rudimentary research on Gleason on TSN. Pass.

  54. Woodguy says:

    Damien Cox ‏@DamoSpin 51s
    It’s JM Liles and defence prospect Dennis Robertson of Brown University going to CAR for Tim Gleason.

    Maybe this will make Nonis feel good enough about his D to trade Gardiner to EDM.

    He’s not the 1LD that’s needed, but a nice upgrade on everyone not named Ference.

    Has a better offensive game than Ference, but not sure how he’d handle the toughs, still a young Dman.

  55. Woodguy says:

    Lowetide: lol. On the final goal, what was that hitch in Belov’s stride. He waited a beat and the dug in, and that beat lost him the angle. Weird, and I suspect it was because the shift had been forever.

    Not gas left in the tank at all.

    Petry needs to know that before he pinches.

    With 6 seconds left I think Belov needs to tackle him without causing a penalty shot.

  56. Survioil says:

    Woodguy,

    I haven’t seen him for awhile but he always seemed to my eye a strong 2/3. Unfortunately it’s a cruel world for d-men that lose foot speed in today’s NHL.

    Edit- Gone to TO for Liles..

  57. oliveoilers says:

    http://www.cbc.ca/sports-content/hockey/opinion/2013/11/30-thoughts-wild-prosper-from-playing-puck-more.html

    Point 19, but I remember him also quoting on HNIC about the lack of return. If true, this is at best incompetence, at worst negligence by management. The opportunity to trade to a non-division team….

  58. cabbiesmacker says:

    Woodguy: No.

    He’s a downgrade on N.Shultz.

    Not kidding.

    Too bad the Oilers couldn’t get Tim Gleason then talk Keith Carney out of retirement.

    Wouldn’t help the D situation much but at least a Gleason/Carney pairing would be funny.

    “To the moon Ales”

  59. spoiler says:

    I find it amusing that while the CRTC fucks with our Netflix and our cellphone options and rams CanCon down our throat like they’re France’s Department for French Movie-making, CBC chooses to open Hockey Night In Canada’s production of The Most Important Winter Classic EVAH with a British group’s song.

    Amusing or stunning, I’m not sure which.

  60. oliveoilers says:

    Woodguy:
    Damien Cox ‏@DamoSpin 51s
    It’s JM Liles and defence prospect Dennis Robertson of Brown University going to CAR for Tim Gleason.

    Maybe this will make Nonis feel good enough about his D to trade Gardiner to EDM.

    He’s not the 1LD that’s needed, but a nice upgrade on everyone not named Ference.

    Has a better offensive game than Ference, but not sure how he’d handle the toughs, still a young Dman.

    Not sure we need another young d-man project. Potential for that deal to go spectacularly wrong is very great and still needs us needing that top 2 d-man. Wouldn’t you rather we saved the bullets for the unicorn?

  61. Caramel Obvious says:

    Any criticism of MacT that involves wishing he had drafted Fucale demonstrates a fundamental ignorance. Fucale is nothing. He’s a slightly above average junior goaltender who shouldn’t be on the national junior team. That’s a fact. Unless you think that save percentage isn’t the best (only) tool to evaluate goalies.

    Last night’s game wasn’t as bad as the shot numbers indicated. A lot of shots from outside. However, the contrast between the skill level of the defense was very stark. They did a great job at keeping the puck in the zone.

    The question with Smid is not whether he is better than Belov. The question is whether he could do for the Oilers what the Phoenix D do for them. The answer to the latter question is, I think, a clear no. That means the criticism here isn’t that Smid was traded but the return.

    The other lesson was how soft the Oilers are on the puck. Even when they intercept a pass (as in the first Yandle goal) they neither control the puck nor clear the zone, they continually just knock it forward ineffectually.

    The fall of Sam Gagner is something to behold. To think that there was talk of him being named captain to a point where he probably has negative trade value.

    This team needs defensemen that can pass the puck and hold the blueline without getting caught. Until they get these guys they are going to lose.

    Also for all the talk of young talent, only Hall is a genuine star. That’s the problem in a nutshell. Thsi is a team with no depth and no top end talent. The blame for this is on Tambellini.

  62. bookje says:

    Woodguy: Not gas left in the tank at all.

    Petry needs to know that before he pinches.

    With 6 seconds left I think Belov needs to tackle him without causing a penalty shot.

    I think it would have looked even worse if Belov tackled Petry.

  63. Woodguy says:

    oliveoilers: Not sure we need another young d-man project.Potential for that deal to go spectacularly wrong is very great and still needs us needing that top 2 d-man.Wouldn’t you rather we saved the bullets for the unicorn?

    I like Gardiner a lot.

    If you can get him for Gagner its a win.

  64. Woodguy says:

    bookje: I think it would have looked even worse if Belov tackled Petry.

    Yandle doesn’t score because he’s laughing too hard.

    Advanced tactics.

  65. rich says:

    Woodguy,

    Gracias.

    Not as pronounced as the announcers made it seem.

  66. Woodguy says:

    Caramel Obvious,

    Also for all the talk of young talent, only Hall is a genuine star. That’s the problem in a nutshell. Thsi is a team with no depth and no top end talent. The blame for this is on Tambellini.

    I wouldn’t trade RNH. He’s not a start yet, but he’s getting really close.

    There are no untouchables on the roster outside of RNH and Hall imo.

  67. Woodguy says:

    rich:
    Woodguy,

    Gracias.

    Not as pronounced as the announcers made it seem.

    Well, if Eakins was trying like hell to get 89 away from Hanzel and Tippett still got him out there for 4.4min, that’s a big win for Tippett.

  68. justDOit says:

    cabbiesmacker: Too bad the Oilers couldn’t get Tim Gleason then talk Keith Carney out of retirement.

    Wouldn’t help theD situation much but at least a Gleason/Carney pairing would be funny.

    “To the moon Ales”

    How sweet it is!

  69. steveb12344 says:

    It’s too bad that fur such an awesome spectacle, the game it’self has been dull as dishwater. 100k+ fans, and you can’t even hear them.

    The Old-timers game yesterday was way more entertaining.

  70. godot10 says:

    Woodguy:
    Corsi Close last night:

    Horak 6.3% (1-15)
    Eberle5.6% (1-17)
    Gagner 5.6% (1-17)

    That’s incredible.

    That’s a level of ineptitude that I didn’t think possible.

    How can you guys defend Eakins as a coach, when he sticks with that line the entire game?

    So three AHL guys that Eakins loved, Ryan Hamilton, Will Acton, and Roman Horak are all basically useless, and yet Anton Lander is being railroaded out of town, and stuck on the 4th line playing with Gadzic.

  71. OilClog says:

    Why would anyone in their right mind have Gagner/Ebs out last night at the end of the game when they were the weakest link on the team yesterday?!? What the Capital F was Eakins watching that we weren’t?

    Smid obviously has sideburns in his sideburns.

  72. justDOit says:

    steveb12344:
    It’s too bad that fur such an awesome spectacle, the game it’self has been dull as dishwater.100k+ fans, and you can’t even hear them.

    The Old-timers game yesterday was way more entertaining.

    Below is a list of every entertaining outdoor game:

    End

  73. gcw_rocks says:

    Woodguy,

    MacT shouldn’t get a pass because Tambo was an idiot. Add Ron Hainsey and Tom Gilbert (two guys who weren’t in a position to turn down reasonable contract offers this summer) to this defence and at least you have a competent top four. Hainsey didn’t sign until September 12 and Gilbert on September 28.

    You can only give MacT the pass if other options weren’t available, which is absolutely not the case here.

  74. gcw_rocks says:

    godot10,

    The thing that has imposed me about Lander is his willingness to go to the net. Something the oiler team lacks. He should have been the guy on that line, not Horak.

  75. hags9k says:

    Since we sent Smid away for beans, and since we are doing nothing to address the D, the actual play here in management’s eyes, is real bad for Ekblad.

  76. Lowetide says:

    OilClog:
    Why would anyone in their right mind have Gagner/Ebs out last night at the end of the game when they were the weakest link on the team yesterday?!? What the Capital F was Eakins watching that we weren’t?

    Smid obviously has sideburns in his sideburns.

    They badly need a 3line of Gordon-Smyth-Hemsky for that role, and have it. The real problem imo is the blue line needs more help than Gagner-Horak-Eberle can provide. I think they’re going to have to move one of Gags/Eberle to change the look/strength of defense on that line.

  77. Survioil says:

    Gardiner for Gagner is a start to the road out of perdition ….

  78. gcw_rocks says:

    Woodguy,

    “Tippett took Eakins’ corgis out behind the barn and shot them.”

    Can you think of one close game this season where Eakins actually out-coached the opposition coach?

  79. teddyturnbuckle says:

    Belov was terrible last night. I thought the scouting report was that he was a good skater. He skates standing up like he has something stuck up his arse and is slow as hell.

    I actually haven’t noticed Marincin making too many mistakes in the past few games so he gets a pass from me.

    Gagner has his own triangle of mistakes this year which was passed down from Belanger. Doesn’t seem that anyone can look good playing with this guy so maybe its time to stop crapping on Yak.

    Hall has been so good lately (except on the powerplay) that I have changed my mind about him being on team Canada. He isn’t turning the puck over at the blue line anymore and his speed is second to none. He is the only reason the Oilers are in any game.

    Although I have liked a few moves by MacT (Ference, Gordon, Perron) there are a few things that concern me. His analysis of “strength” on the blue line when he traded Smid, what ever he sees in Gagner, trying to be a puck possession team with D that can’t make a play, having no D-men who can throw a big body check and still a serious lack of grit and size that can play throughout the team.

  80. gvblackhawk says:

    Woodguy: Not gas left in the tank at all.

    Petry needs to know that before he pinches.

    With 6 seconds left I think Belov needs to tackle him without causing a penalty shot.

    If Belov was so tired, why didn’t he go to the bench as the puck was moved up ice into the Coyotes’ zone? The bench is even on his side of the ice so it is a quick change. The tired/gassed excuse makes the goal even more his fault.

  81. Gerta Rauss says:

    I refuse to defend this organization but the other consideration in the Smid trade is money-the Oilers were a cap team(or pretty close anyway) and maybe an order came down from Katz to trim a little payroll. The season was lost at that point anyway.

    When the league announced shortly after the transaction that the cap was going up next year it made the timing of the Smid deal even worse.

    It’s tough being an Oiler fan right now.

    And if I’m Bryzgalov there is no way in hell I sign another contract with this team-he’s just putting in time right now before he gets moved to a real NHL team at the deadline.

  82. gr8one says:

    I’m not defending the Smid trade but seriously, this teams defense sucks with or without Smid.

    Put Smid back on our roster and I have serious doubts it has any effect whatsoever on our win/loss column.

    As far as the return, who knows, but I don’t believe MacT is dumb enough to leave a better return on the table and not explore all options.

  83. FastOil says:

    I’m not sure how more offence only non physical players help the Oilers. They need capable D first players who eat punks for breakfast.

    MacT has not shown evenness in his moves and it concerns me. Who knows if it’s him or others with a higher pay grade. During the holidays I often get scuttlebutt as many of you do, and while we don’t discuss it I’m pretty convinced things in pro sports aren’t as professional as you might expect.

  84. jp says:

    Ryan:
    Didn’t watch the game last night, curious what Phoenix had for their 3rd / fourth lines?

    I don’t know what players were out there, but they looked like they were REALLY good!

    Woodguy:
    Corsi Close last night:

    Horak 6.3% (1-15)
    Eberle5.6% (1-17)
    Gagner 5.6% (1-17)

    That’s incredible.

    That’s a level of ineptitude that I didn’t think possible.

    So, Horak was doing his best to drag along his linemates… Wow.

    If only this team had a talented winger who could play with skill in place of Horak and Joensuu…

  85. Ducey says:

    Gerta Rauss:
    I refuse to defend this organization but the other consideration in the Smid trade is money-the Oilers were a cap team(or pretty close anyway) and maybe an order came down from Katz to trim a little payroll. The season was lost at that point anyway.

    When the league announced shortly after the transaction that the cap was going up next year it made the timing of the Smid deal even worse.

    It’s tough being an Oiler fan right now.

    And if I’m Bryzgalov there is no way in hell I sign another contract with this team-he’s just putting in time right now before he gets moved to a real NHL team at the deadline.

    I hope you are right. I don’t have any confidence in Bryz. Notwithstanding the difference in save %, I’d rather have DD.

  86. Pouzar says:

    Ducey: I hope you are right.I don’t have any confidence in Bryz.Notwithstanding the difference in save %, I’d rather have DD.

    Wow…you’d really have DD over Bryz? That game would have been over in the first period last night with DD in there imo.

  87. dangilitis says:

    Woodguy,

    Woodguy: I like Gardiner a lot.

    If you can get him for Gagner its a win.

    If you can get him for Gagner it solves 2 problems, no? MacT needs to sit down and tell Gagner that the gentleman’s agreement was contingent on his playing NHL hockey. I keep believing Gagner is going to recover and this is all injury related. But I felt the same way about Dubie at the beginning of the year, and I have given up on him too.

    FORWARD HOLES: QUESTION #1

    Hall, Perron, RNH are the future. Keep them for the love of all that is decent in this world. That is a #1line.

    I really like Eberle and want to keep him but he may be the piece that is most valued (and possibly overvalued) on the market. He is a great top 6 complementary player who can be clutch. That is hard to replace. Yak’s value has never been lower, and I hope that Eakins knows what he’s doing.

    Gagner is not the answer on a playoff contending team’s #2 C. Not now, and not in the future, even if he rebounds. So, do you find a #2 Center this season, (or, heck, slot Arco @ C with Gagner and Eberle when he comes back, and in doing so actually try Gagner out at the wing? Try out, as in a competition against Yakupov and Eberle. Or, you hope that Gagner rebounds enough and some team like Toronto comes calling for a “#2 center”

    RNH-Hall-Perron
    ??- 2 of Yakupov/Eberle/Gagner
    Gordon-??-??
    Arcobello-2 of Smyth/Pitlick/Joensuu/Lander/Horak

    That’s where these players would slot in on a decent hockey team, agreed?

    So amongst the forwards, we have 3 sizeable holes and one chip (one of Yak/Eberle/Gagner), which should have been Gagner last summer. Potentially a 2nd chip in Hemsky but only if MacT makes a shrewd move for a future 3rd liner, or Hemsky agrees to take on 3rd line role at 3rd line salary. I think many are ready to move on from him, and I am likely biased but I think that having Hemsky slotting 3rd line with Gordon and a Ryan Smyth-type on the right side of 35 would comprise our best 3rd line in years, and it’s not even close. Will Hemsky accept a role and salary commensurate with a 3rd line winger who handles the toughs? Huge Q mark. We know he’s capable. Does he want to? A capable GM should have spoken to his agent and should already know the answer.

    So, if we are playing armchair GM, I seriously ask how you all would turn Gagner and Hemsky + prospects/draft picks + free agent pool into a 2nd line center and 2 x 3rd line wingers? Or is my assessment poor and we are in need of upgrading Eberle and Yak as 2nd line wingers? My thought is a glue #2C can help Eberle and Yak continue to mature and overcome some of their defensive deficiencies, while they work them out. Or maybe Gagner excels on the wing and makes a offensively gifted top 6 winger expendable with the goal of upgrading in other areas?

  88. Lowetide says:

    Pouzar: Wow…you’d really have DD over Bryz? That game would have been over in the first period last night with DD in there imo.

    Nah. DD struggled early, but he’s a good goaltender. In fact, Bryz let in a softie last night, surprised more people weren’t all over it.

  89. bookje says:

    I see some suggestions that we trade Gagner for Gardiner. I don’t mind the Oilers making the trade of Gaginer for Gardner. I mean Garginer for Gadner is ok, but really, I would just as soon stick with Gardiner and leave Gagner with the Leafs.

  90. Woodguy says:

    gcw_rocks:
    Woodguy,

    MacT shouldn’t get a pass because Tambo was an idiot. Add Ron Hainsey and Tom Gilbert (two guys who weren’t in a position to turn down reasonable contract offers this summer) to this defence and at least you have a competent top four. Hainsey didn’t sign until September 12 and Gilbert on September 28.

    You can only give MacT the pass if other options weren’t available, which is absolutely not the case here.

    I agree with this completely.

    I those two guys would be 2/3 or 3/4 on this team.

    Not saying to give MacT a pass, but realize the position he was left in.

    Hainsey is 2nd on CAR in Dman 5v5 TOI/gm, 53.2%CF with every Dpartner being worse away from him.

    Gilbert is 2nd on FLA in Dman 5v5 TOI/gm, 53.1CF% (still 51.2%CF when away from Campbell)

    Hainsey-Petry
    Ference-Gilbert
    Smid-J.Shultz

    That Dcorps doesn’t get torn up every game like the one the Oilers currently ice.

    There is no question that Hainsey and Gilbert sign here either.

    They both signed PTO’s.

    To suggest they would not sign contracts here and sign PTOs in CAR and FLA is just wrong.

  91. jp says:

    dangilitis:
    Woodguy,

    So, if we are playing armchair GM, I seriously ask how you all would turn Gagner and Hemsky + prospects/draft picks + free agent pool into a 2nd line center and 2 x 3rd line wingers?

    If only that was close to the biggest concern for this team. Not a trivial fix, but certainly possible with a FA signing or two. Then you have to tackle the lack of top pairing D and no goalies signed for next year. MacT has his work cut out.

  92. Woodguy says:

    gcw_rocks:
    Woodguy,

    “Tippett took Eakins’ corgis out behind the barn and shot them.”

    Can you think of one close game this season where Eakins actually out-coached the opposition coach?

    I think this team has two lines that need protecting by the coach, 89′s line and the 4th.

    Winnipeg is similar with Scheifele’s line.

    EDM and WIN Home/Road difference in CF% are some of the biggest in the league and I think that’s due to having a 2nd line that can get very exposed.

    EDM
    Home 50.3% (20th in NHL)
    Away 41.9% (30th in NHL)
    DIfference 8.4 %

    WIN
    Home 53.3% (8th in NHL)
    Away 45.9% Z(25th in NHL)
    DIfference 7.4%

    Those are massive differences.

    Here’s Gagner and Scheifele’s Home/Road splits (both are the 2C for their respective teams)

    Gagner
    Home 50.4%
    Road 39.5% (that’s just fucking awful for a 7 year player)
    Difference 10.9%

    Scheifele
    Home 52% CF
    Road 43.5%
    Difference 8.5%

    These two teams do ok at home (WIN is actually top 10 in the NHL) and get slaughtered on the road.

    Its my opinion that having 2 lines that opposing coaches can take advantage of it what drives this.

    The fact that Gagner can’t carry a line, or at least keep his head above water at this point in his career is not good.

    Some of that Gagner needs to own, but the real culprit is management.

    They keep slotting him in the 2C spot expecting him to improve and he doesn’t.

    No coach can hide two lines on the road.

  93. jp says:

    bookje:
    I see some suggestions that we trade Gagner for Gardiner. I don’t mind the Oilers making the trade of Gaginer for Gardner.I mean Garginer for Gadner is ok, but really, I would just as soon stick with Gardiner and leave Gagner with the Leafs.

    Agreed.

  94. Thinker says:

    bookje,

    Thats some fine spelling. I can’t tell if it was on purpose. I guess it was new years yesterday.

  95. Woodguy says:

    I just had a quick look and getting pounded on the road is a newish thing for Gagner.

    He was actually much better in 10/11 and 11/12.

    Not great, but not the black hole he is now. He was actually closer to even water.

    In 12/13 and this year its pretty awful.

    I’m going to look a little deeper on this.

  96. Woodguy says:

    jp: I don’t know what players were out there, but they looked like they were REALLY good!

    So, Horak was doing his best to drag along his linemates… Wow.

    If only this team had a talented winger who could play with skill in place of Horak and Joensuu…

    If I’m Eakins I try a line of Yak-Arcobello-Eberle next game.

    Tell Gagner he tweaked his groin and he’s in the PB to avoid all the “OMG HEALTHY SCRATCH!! stuff that would come up otherwise.

  97. commonfan14 says:

    Woodguy,

    I don’t for a minute assume that a contract from the Oilers is automatically more appealing to a free agent than a PTO from another team. Gilbert and Hainsey likely had zero doubts about their ability to make the teams they signed PTOs with. It’s not like they’re Brule crossing their fingers in desperation after being out of the league for years.

    MacT also probably isn’t going to broadcast the fact if he made plays for them, or Penner for that matter, and got flatly rebuffed (Clarkson he thought he had).

    That said, I haven’t seen much from MacT to trust that he explored all options.

  98. knighttown says:

    Thought I’d ask myself the question, “how concerned should I be that Darnell Nurse didn’t make the World Junior team in his draft +1 season?” After all, this should be the showcase for the +1′s before they move on to the next level.

    -he’s the only top 10 pick not in the NHL or Juniors
    -comparing only apples to apples, defensemen from one of Canada, Sweden, USA and Russia, there are lots drafted after him who have made their teams including Morrissey and Bigras, Zadorov, Hagg, McCoshen and Santini.

    Who makes up the typical d-core of a Canadian Junior Team?

    2014- Ekblad (0), Pouliot (+2), Dumba (+2), Reinhart (+2), Pelech (+2), Morrissey (+1) and Bigras (+1).

    Of the d-men drafted in the Top 10, Jones made it and Ristolainen is in the NHL and only Nurse did not.

    2013- Hamilton (+2), Harrington (+2), Ryan Murphy (+2), Ouellet (+2), Reinhart (+1), Rielly (+1). Ryan Murray was hurt.

    So of the d-men drafted in the Top 10, the Top 5ers made it (Murray, Reinhart and Rielly) and 7, 8 and 10 did not (Dumba, Pouliot and Koekkek). Add in Lindholm and Trouba, both in the Top 10 and both would have made it if they were Canadian. So 5 of 8 made it in their first real chance, 2 made it the next year and I have no idea what is happening with Koekkek. If he’s progressing, he should be a stalwart with Dumba and Pouliot.

    2012- Nathan Beaulieu (+1), Gormley (+2), Dougie (+1), Harrington (+1), Murray (0), Oleksiak (+1), Pysyk (+2). This was definitely a younger d-core with only Pysyk and Gormley from the +2 year. Of the +1′s only Dougie was picked in the top 10 and the rest came from the last half of the first round and even the second round. This suggests a weakish crop of Canadian defensemen.

    Defensemen drafted early that year included Adam Larsson, Dougie Hamilton and Jonas Brodin all of whom played huge roles in their +1 season. No one drafted in the Top 10 did NOT make the team.

    2011- This was a much older crop of defensmen. Eric Gudbranson played as a +1 but all others were +2′s inclduing De Haan, Ellis, Cowan, Barrie, Olsen and Despres. Of the early draftees, only Gudbranson and McIlrath were selected in the Top 10. Gudbranson made it and McIlrath didn’t but frankly, was an awful pick. The surprsises that year were that neither Gormley or Cam Fowler made the team in their +1 season but both were selected outside of the Top 10. Anyone remember why they were passed over?

    2010- Cowan, De Haan and Ellis played as +1′s and were supported by Pietrangelo, Teubert, Scandella and Hamonic as +2′s. Top drafted defensmen all played a major role including Hedman, OEL, Cowan, Ellis, De Haan and Kulikov.

    2009- Ellis played as a draft eligible, Pietrangelo and Teubert played as +1′s as did Tyler Myers and Colby Golubef. PK Subban and Keith Aulie were +2′s. The Top guys, Doughty, Bogosian and Schenn were in the NHL and Myers, Teubert and Karlsson all played in the event.

    2008- Alzner and Hickey were picked in the top 10 and played, Keaton Ellerby didn’t make the cut. McDonough, Shattenkirk and Ian Cole were the next group and they all played big roles for the US. Doughty played as a draft eligible.

    2007- Erik Johnson was the only defensman drafted in the Top 15 and he starred for the US.

    2006- Jack Johnson and Brian Lee played for the US and Luc Bourdon starred for Canada. Marc Staal played out of the number 12 spot in the draft.

    Going back about 10 year I count only 5 times someone drafted in the Top 10 (out of 34) of their draft did not make their National Team in their +1 season and Darnell Nurse ties Matt Dumba for the dubious honour of the highest drafted defenseman to get overlooked.

    Here’s the total list of guys passed over:
    -Nurse
    -Dumba
    -Pouliot
    -Koekkek
    -McIlrath
    -Ellerby

    I’m not sure that’s a great list to be on.

    Since 4 of the 5 are very recent perhaps it’s a change in strategy at Hockey Canada to look for something other than NHL projectability when picking their teams. Perhaps Scott Harrington is a good example of a fine Canadian Junior player who doesn’t have the ceiling of some others and maybe HC sees these guys as more valuable than Nurse’s who are seen as works in progress?

    Regardless, if you view making Team Canada in your +1 season as a milestone of progress, the fact that he was overlooked isn’t a great sign.

  99. Thiru says:

    Woodguy:
    I just had a quick look and getting pounded on the road is a newish thing for Gagner.

    He was actually much better in 10/11 and 11/12.

    Not great, but not the black hole he is now.He was actually closer to even water.

    In 12/13 and this year its pretty awful.

    I’m going to look a little deeper on this.

    Gagner needs to watch out.

    If his play continues the way it’s been going he will be out of the NHL before long. I’m not joking. His game has regressed, and right now he’s not doing the job of 3C (by comp) on arguably the league’s worst team.

    Bad, bad news for him on an individual level.

    It’ll be interesting to see how Eakins matches up Yak-Gagner-Ebs. If they play more than 12 minutes they’ll be exposed IMO.

  100. Lowetide says:

    Woodguy:
    I just had a quick look and getting pounded on the road is a newish thing for Gagner.

    He was actually much better in 10/11 and 11/12.

    Not great, but not the black hole he is now.He was actually closer to even water.

    In 12/13 and this year its pretty awful.

    I’m going to look a little deeper on this.

    Tyler wrote a series of really good looks at Gagner-Hemsky back in summer, I don’t know if there was a lot of home/road but it’s a really good read.

  101. Thiru says:

    KT,

    I think it would be more concerning if we were hearing poor scouting reports from DN’s junior games, or if he had taken a step back (or simply treaded water) offensively while getting that increased PP time.

    One of those things in conjunction with the WJC omission would have constituted a developmental red flag.

    But I think it’s fair to say that Nurse has covered the bet up to now (and then some). I’m not concerned at all.

    I’ve seen some mighty impressive scouting reports on him this season, and when we see him at 20/21 I think he’ll knock our socks off.

  102. jp says:

    Woodguy: If I’m Eakins I try a line of Yak-Arcobello-Eberle next game.

    Tell Gagner he tweaked his groin and he’s in the PB to avoid all the “OMG HEALTHY SCRATCH!! stuff that would come up otherwise.

    Yeah, that does sound about ideal at this point.

    I think rather than sitting Gagnier though I’d run:
    RNH-Hall-Eberle
    Arcobello-Yak-Gagner
    Gordon-Perron-Hemsky
    (or maybe flip Gagner and Hemsky).

    I can see sitting Gagne for accountability, but not so much in terms of who the top 12 forwards are (not that Eakins is concerned with this).

    Sounds like Larsen will be back on D tomorrow too. Not sure if that will help anything, but the coach certainly likes to play the kid.

  103. sliderule says:

    knighttown,

    The fact that he was -3 in a 6-5 win is not a good sign.

    If you watch the high lights on Soo site you can see the kids frustration

    That game he looked like a perfect pick for an oiler D in that he didn’t have a clue.

    He has all the tools but defensively he is more and more looking like a mess.

    He is still just a kid and has time to get it.

  104. Lowetide says:

    Thiru: Gagner needs to watch out.

    If his play continues the way it’s been going he will be out of the NHL before long. I’m not joking. His game has regressed, and right now he’s not doing the job of 3C (by comp) on arguably the league’s worst team.

    Bad, bad news for him on an individual level.

    It’ll be interesting to see how Eakins matches up Yak-Gagner-Ebs. If they play more than 12 minutes they’ll be exposed IMO.

    The concern imo is Gagner isn’t doing what he has in the past. The defensive issues have always been there, and will be, but if he’s not scoring? That’s a real problem.

    5×5/60

    10-11: 1.82
    11-12: 1.94
    12-13: 1.62
    13-14: 1.24

    His December (15, 3-3-6 -11) can’t happen again. They’ll put Arcobello in that spot sooner than later. I don’t know how much rope he has left, but by eye he was better since the shield came off against Winnipeg but the results haven’t been there since that game (4, 1-0-1 -1 including WPG)

  105. dangilitis says:

    I suppose I should give you my thoughts:

    Trade Gagner before no-trade clause unless he proves himself as a legitimate top 6 winger option. For draft picks, or ideally, an above average 2nd-3rd line D-man. If Kadri is falling out of favour in Toronto, hallelujah.

    Sign Hemsky if salary makes sense. Otherwise, look to UFA.

    Hope like hell that the UFA crop is still available to address needs, because as far as I am concerned, trades of Eberle and Yak, if they are not upgrades, are going to leave big holes.

    UFA choices (not necessarily based on preference, more based on likelihood of fit):

    #2C – Stastny, Grabo, Roy, Legwand (the overpay position, as long as Gagner off the books)
    #3R – Hemsky, Stempniak, Kulemin, Iggy, Setoguchi,
    #3L – Winnik, Michalek, Penner, Whitney (he’s ageless)

    Trade targets (being as optimistic as I can that Hemsky, Gagner, or D prospects can help land one)
    #2C – good luck (Kadri? Couturier? Anisimov? Bjugstad? Henrique?)
    #3R – Glencross, Kopecky, Chiasson, Boyes, Havlat
    #3L – Cogliano (2.4/60 5×5, QofC tough, 54% off zone starts – the optics look really bad to the general public, but I could get on board with a Gagner for Cogliano swap!!!), Upshall, Frolik, Higgins, Roussel

    P.S.
    Top 5 players in 5×5 pts/60 mins and >20 games:
    1 Biz Nasty 2.0
    2 Seguin
    3 Getzlaf
    4 Burns
    5 Hall

    Limit that to >30 games, and the top 7 (all Canadian): Seguin, Getzlaf, Hall, Perry, Thornton, Benn, Crosby. And only 3, maybe 4 of these players are making the Canadian Olympic team.
    Duchenne #13, St Louis #16, Tavares #33, Kunitz #35 (even with the Crosby push), Couture #42, Ladd #79. Hall lacks the D, but compared to Kunitz? Are you kidding me?
    If only Canadian brass learned to take the hot hands, rather than performance 4 years ago, and “familiarity.”

  106. Numenius says:

    What would the year have been like with Horcoff-Gordon as 2-3 C’s rather than Gagner-Gordon?

    Much better, I would think.

    Even if you had traded Gagner for magic beans to make the cap space work.

  107. Lowetide says:

    Numenius:
    What would the year have been like with Horcoff-Gordon as 2-3 C’s rather than Gagner-Gordon?

    Much better, I would think.

    Even if you had traded Gagner for magic beans to make the cap space work.

    if only because Horcoff could have mentored the Russian. That reason along would have made it worthwhile.

  108. dangilitis says:

    jp says:
    January 1, 2014 at 3:31 pm

    If only that was close to the biggest concern for this team. Not a trivial fix, but certainly possible with a FA signing or two. Then you have to tackle the lack of top pairing D and no goalies signed for next year. MacT has his work cut out.

    Stated that was question 1!

    Questions 2-5 are how to find 4 competent D-men to play with Petry and Ference (with questions 6 and 7 being non-productive, those being: why did we trade away Smid and why are we stuck with Ference with a NTC?)

  109. nycoil says:

    LT,

    I don’t mean to change the subject, but was it less than a week ago that many of us felt a moment of optimism when Hall set up Yak for that goal on the two-on-one, then the team rallied around Nail right after?

    And he is scratched again while Gagner, Eberle, Horak deliver that kind of effort.

    I want to get on board with Eakins/MacT, I really do. But my brain cannot comprehend what they are seeing any more with their handling of the forwards this year, the atrocious special teams that remain unaddressed, and the lack of NHL-calibre d-men on the current squad; throw in their scape-yak treatment and I am at a loss.

    If they really want to teach him to play without the puck, throw him on RW with Smyth and Gordon and task the two vets with mentoring him the rest of the year. He misses Horcoff, I think.

  110. Bulging Twine says:

    The play I didn’t like from Belov was in OT going back behind the net to retrieve a puck he was easily pushed off by Vrbata. Vrbata passed the puck in front for a 5 alarm chance in front. It’s here at the 3:18 mark.
    http://video.oilers.nhl.com/videocenter/console?catid=4&id=525729&lang=en&navid=DL|EDM|home

  111. Bulging Twine says:

    Lowetide:
    WG: I get that, but trading Smid—and hell I suspect that Eakins wasn’t a fan—without replacing him with a veteran was a poor, poor choice. They have NO defensemen in the sweet spot, enough experience to be useful but not too old to have a lot of wear and tear.

    Crazy crazy.

    Seemed to me that MacT liked Larsen’s game. Smid was traded the day after Larsen played 23:34, and 23:09 the game before that. Also Potter was healed and got into the next game (after Smid was traded). This MacT, he’s no ditherer.

  112. Bulging Twine says:

    Omark needs to play 15 games this year for the Oilers to get a 6th round pick. From Friedman:

    “Edmonton’s compensation for Linus Omark: If he plays 15 NHL games this season, with the Buffalo Sabres or anyone else, it’s a sixth-round draft pick in June. If he falls short of that yet re-signs with Buffalo before the draft, it’s still a sixth rounder in June. If he re-signs after the draft, it’s a sixth rounder in 2015. Memorize this, there will be a test.”

    If he doesn’t play 15 games, he’s not going to get resigned.
    He’s at 4 GP now. 11 more to go.

  113. WeirsBeard says:

    Woodguy:
    I just had a quick look and getting pounded on the road is a newish thing for Gagner.

    He was actually much better in 10/11 and 11/12.

    Not great, but not the black hole he is now.He was actually closer to even water.

    In 12/13 and this year its pretty awful.

    I’m going to look a little deeper on this.

    Shouldn’t 89 be faing third comp generally? Hall is going to draw top opp, then the Gordon vet line as the defacto checking unit.

  114. jp says:

    dangilitis:
    jp says:
    January 1, 2014 at 3:31 pm

    If only that was close to the biggest concern for this team. Not a trivial fix, but certainly possible with a FA signing or two. Then you have to tackle the lack of top pairing D and no goalies signed for next year. MacT has his work cut out.

    Stated that was question 1!

    Questions 2-5 are how to find 4 competent D-men to play with Petry and Ference (with questions 6 and 7 being non-productive, those being: why did we trade away Smid and why are we stuck with Ference with a NTC?)

    Yeah, for sure.

    Guess I was just trying to say:
    1) Those assets you listed have to do a whole lot more than bring back a 2C and some 3rd line wingers.
    2) MacT is in a pickle because of it.

  115. Bulging Twine says:

    Woodguy,

    Lowetide: Nah. DD struggled early, but he’s a good goaltender. In fact, Bryz let in a softie last night, surprised more people weren’t all over it.

    Me too

  116. jp says:

    WeirsBeard: Shouldn’t 89 be faing third comp generally? Hall is going to draw top opp, then the Gordon vet line as the defacto checking unit.

    You would think so, at least at home. On the road the other coach can choose to put a top line out against Gagner and co. though.

    Surprisingly, according to BTN (and through 38 GP), Gagner is actually playing the 2nd toughest comp among forwards on the team (behind Smyth and above Hall). He most certainly has not been sheltered this year for whatever reason. And his CorsiRel is actually not terrible at -1.8. Basically team average, and a shade better than both Gordon and Hall.

  117. Lowetide says:

    jp: You would think so, at least at home. On the road the other coach can choose to put a top line out against Gagner and co. though.

    Surprisingly, according to BTN (and through 38 GP), Gagner is actually playing the 2nd toughest comp among forwards on the team (behind Smyth and above Hall). He most certainly has not been sheltered this year for whatever reason. And his CorsiRel is actually not terrible at -1.8. Basically team average, and a shade better than both Gordon and Hall.

    that’s part of the issue imo. The coach isn’t line matching and Gagner is more exposed. The Horcoff loss impacted him (obviously along with the injury)..

  118. Ryan says:

    Lowetide: that’s part of the issue imo. The coach isn’t line matching and Gagner is more exposed. The Horcoff loss impacted him (obviously along with the injury)..

    back in the day when I used to run numbers at btn (now to WG’s chagrin, I just go with my gut) Gagner always had fluffy zone starts and QOC. He was more sheltered than even RNH in his rookie season IIRC.

    last year, we all remember Gagner having the Toronto Leafs season (getting torched on the shot clock, but riding the percentages to nice looking boxcars.

    this year Eakins seems to have more the “let it bleed” approach from looking at Gagner’s numbers last night than OMFG, I’ve got to hide this dude.

    Back when we used to have the Marlies for a fourth line, Eakins seems to use mostly zonestarts to shelter them.

    What’s curious is that Eakins isn’t sheltering Gagner with zonestarts.

    http://www.behindthenet.ca/nhl_statistics.php?ds=30&s=63&f1=2013_s&f2=5v5&f4=C&f5=EDM&c=0+1+3+5+2+4+6+7+20+10+8+13+14+29+30+32+33+34+45+46+63+67#

  119. Woodguy says:

    commonfan14:
    Woodguy,

    I don’t for a minute assume that a contract from the Oilers is automatically more appealing to a free agent than a PTO from another team.Gilbert and Hainsey likely had zero doubts about their ability to make the teams they signed PTOs with.It’s not like they’re Brule crossing their fingers in desperation after being out of the league for years.

    MacT also probably isn’t going to broadcast the fact if he made plays for them, or Penner for that matter, and got flatly rebuffed (Clarkson he thought he had).

    That said, I haven’t seen much from MacT to trust that he explored all options.

    This is utter crap.

    No one turns down a guaranteed contract of ~$1MM to sign a professional try out contract.

    No one.

  120. Woodguy says:

    Hainsey signed for $2MM after his PTO and Gilbert for $900K

    Both signed PTOs in September.

    If either one is offered a contract in August they either:

    1) Sign it
    2) Leverage it into a contract if they have been talking to the teams that offered them a PTO

    They simply would not dismiss it and go to camp on a PTO.

    No way in the world that would happen.

  121. Woodguy says:

    WeirsBeard: Shouldn’t 89 be faing third comp generally? Hall is going to draw top opp, then the Gordon vet line as the defacto checking unit.

    You can’t control who the other coach sends out.

    I suspect he sees a lot of good opp on the road which will inflate his number regardless of who Eakins puts him out against at home.

  122. WeirsBeard says:

    Woodguy: You can’t control who the other coach sends out.

    I suspect he sees a lot of good opp on the road which will inflate his number regardless of who Eakins puts him out against at home.

    Isn’t that the matchup the coach should be chasing on the road though? Hall is going to get the vaunt no matter what, so really, shouldn’t 89 be able to hit above the Petrell line?

  123. commonfan14 says:

    Woodguy,

    Players sometimes make decisions that don’t seem logical from the outside. Also, PTOs sometimes comes with handshake agreements.

    http://www.cbc.ca/sports/hockey/nhl/dan-cleary-takes-big-pay-cut-to-stay-with-red-wings-1.1699493

    Gilbert was getting paid anyway and didn’t need to jump at something he didn’t like. If he hated it here his first time around, he didn’t need to subject himself to it again even if it had been the only firm offer.

    Call that crazy all you want, but the fact is that he took the PTO for a team where he could play on a legit top pairing, he got the contract, and he’s playing himself into a deal this summer that’ll likely be a hell of a lot better than anything he could have gotten after a year in our d-corps disaster.

    Taking a hypothetical Oiler contract would have been a terrible decision, as it turns out.

  124. unca miltie says:

    Speaking of Petrell, saw him play a big checking role for Geneva when they beat the Red Army for the spengler Cub. Good on him

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