OILERS AT BLACKHAWKS, G48 13-14

The Oilers are on the road tonight against Chicago, after thrilling the hometown fans with a win over the Penguins. It’s important to remember that this Oiler team are not road warriors, and that Chicago is a dominant team. A win tonight is too much to ask for, but more of that “thinking man’s hockey” we saw Friday night at Rexall would be a tremendous sign. Small victories are big steps, and cutting down on turnovers, going entire games without those chaos ‘chasing the puck’ shifts that result in a goal or a penalty, and effective play for 60 minutes are all good signs for this hockey club. That Pittsburgh game could be something to build on, or it could be a one game mirage during a season spent in the desert.

“THE PITCHERS ARE READING ME” ashley

This is Billy Ashley. He was a monster outfielder for the Dodgers and 20 years ago a big time prospect. Ashley lit up the PCL with homers and it was thought the big man would have a tremendous major league career. As it turned out, he played in an ‘extreme’ hitter’s park in the minors, and once all the air was let out of those numbers he couldn’t make enough contact to stay in the lineup.

Ashley had some amazing slumps during his big league career, one of which caused him to utter the hilarious “I think the pitchers are reading me” line. I think the Oilers may have that problem, certainly Ales Hemsky has (imo) been easier to defend all these years due to predictable moves. Hemsky will deke and pass 99% of the time, dump and shoot about 1% of the time. That’s a tell, and has had an impact over the years. Now, we know that possession is 9/10′s of the law and the zone entry data we’re getting now is brilliant, but a “controlled” dump once in awhile might open up the game for a fellow.

  • Craig MacTavish on Taylor Hall: “He hunted down the forecheck, got it over to Sam, Sam back to Ference, through a simple play. Where before he would try and beat those two guys and take it to the net, turn it over and it would be going to the other way. So that is a big structural change in the game, the way that he’s thinking. When you watch good teams — and these are the things we are trying to impart on these players — you watch good teams. We went to New York and watched Anaheim play. Arguably the best line in the game is Getzlaf, Perry and at that time it was Penner, they’ve made a change since then. And I watched them play throughout the game and Perry had two chances to score the whole game, but he made the right play with the puck all the time. And that’s what we’re trying to impart on our players.”

A lot of this is working hard on the forecheck, but for me it’s always been galling to see Edmonton’s skill players driving right into the teeth of the defense. Send it into the corner, well placed, and then gain possession that way. Not all of the time, but at those times when the defenseman won’t give the zone (standing up at the blueline) and a one-on-one deke will leave the player exposed (jailbreak the other way). I’m not even suggesting Taylor Hall do it more than once in awhile, but being aware of the defensemen and calculating the risk/reward has value, and it’s nice to know the Oilers are asking their young guns to be open about new ideas. God love Ales, he never did do it much, and Robyn Regehr that rat bastard made him pay.

HAMILTON’S PUSH

Texas Stars vs. OKC Barons, Cox Convention Center, Oklahoma City, OK. 12-20-13

  • Craig MacTavish: “We’ve got Curtis Hamilton who’s finally started to develop and take a turn. It looks like he’s going to be a player. He’s 215 pounds. He can get some zone time. Pitlick has started to develop. Marincin is here, he looks like he’s going to be a good player. He’s played well. Gernat has started to develop. So there are a number of guys. Klefbom, he’s developing. What we have to do now is we’ve got to get these competitive guys into our organization. I’m happy with the high end forwards. I believe that we very much can win with the talent level that we have. Now we have to develop the competitiveness.”

I’ve made this point forever, but we really do need to wait five seasons on a draft crop. The long and winding road needs to run its course, and even then we can never be sure. If we use that rule (5 years) then we can safely call the 2008 entry draft: Eberle home run, no second round pick, no third round pick, Johan Motin the 4th round pick is a regular in the Swedish League but played only one NHL game, Phil Cornet the 5th round pick played 2 NHL games and is trying to make it with another NHL team via the Charlotte Checkers, Teemu Hartikainen the 6th round pick played 52 NHL games and may get some more but is a draft success by any measure, and then Jordan Bendfeld the 7th rounder is out of hockey.

I honestly don’t know how we can be critical of Stu MacGregor’s 2008 NHL draft. Home run, wait two rounds, draft a couple of kids who end up getting a cup of coffee but don’t make the grade, and then a late round curio who had enough talent to get several auditions amounting to 50 NHL games. The 2008 draft was what we thought it was, with really no exceptions.

MONEYBALL

moneyball

  • Craig MacTavish: “I want to make a deal. And every deal that I try and make is, especially if I’m going to lose a pretty valuable piece, I want to make sure we’re getting a piece back that is going to be a part of the championship team. Will I do some peripheral moves where guys that are just stop gap guys for us that will bring in somebody else that will be a stop gap guy, I’ll do. There’s probably a deal or two or so, probably one decent size deal and probably some smaller ones as the trade deadline comes about. My day is I come in here and I go through the Rolodex of GMs and try to figure out things that would make sense to both. I want to see continued development of our core group . I want those guys to continue to improve their decision-making. I want more gamesmanship out of them. We’ve got strength and conditioning. We have specific objectives for every guy. I want the coach to continue to instil the work ethic that he’s instilled so far. He’s building a much greater commitment to off-ice training and work ethic in this group. Ference has been an unbelievable resource and supporter of that.”

The bigger deals are probably for defense and added grit up front, the smaller deals are probably UFA’s for picks. Treena S. Oil had the Bruins scouting Nick Schultz and Anton Belov Friday night, and the Islanders looking at Sam Gagner and Ales Hemsky, so maybe that’s Travis Hamonic or Andrew MacDonald and maybe that’s Brock Nelson, but there’s chatter out there.

And maybe the Oilers go on a roll and the trade talk dies away. I don’t think so, though.

HOW LAZAR

lazar

  • Craig MacTavish: “(Aaron) Ekblad is the right-handed defenceman that seems like a book-end for Nurse. …There’s some good players. The type of player we need is a guy like Curtis Lazar, like that type of driver. He and Nurse are kindred spirits, they’re just good leaders and good foot soldiers, that’s the type of guy that we could use. We get Ekblad, that’s another big piece.”

I’ll tell you this: I don’t think the Edmonton Oilers draft Aaron Ekblad. There’s so much already in the system, and if he were the only option available, sure. However, the guy they’ll take—if they make the pick—is Leon Draisaitl.

A quick note to thank David Staples for his brilliant 4-part interview with Craig MacTavish, which I’ve quoted heavily here (and really didn’t touch the surface). It’s rare to get a wide-ranging interview with a management person that focuses on issues and questions that go beneath the surface, but Staples clearly did his prep and asked very good questions. MacT didn’t answer them all to my satisfaction, but he was extremely open and the overall feel of the series is a revelation. Thanks Mr. Staples, who by the way will be a guest on LDWLT tomorrow morning.

Barons photo by Rob Ferguson, Oil Kings photo by Lisa McRitchie. All rights reserved.

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347 Responses to "OILERS AT BLACKHAWKS, G48 13-14"

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  1. oliveoilers says:

    Look for the ‘Hawks to be much tighter tonight after the Habs game. I don’t know why, but every so often the ‘Hawks can be drawn into fire-wagon hockey. I guess a vacation from the excellent structured game they play?

  2. corykg says:

    Would be ecstatic over a Draisatl selection. He’s putting up big points and is 6’1″ 209 lbs at 18 years of age.

  3. Professor Q says:

    So with the Jets firing Noel and hiring Maurice, anyone think that still could be an option for Edmonton? Or passed that point and things are looking up?

  4. corykg says:

    Professor Q:
    So with the Jets firing Noel and hiring Maurice, anyone think that still could be an option for Edmonton? Or passed that point and things are looking up?

    In the big Staples/MacT interview it is reiterated that stability at the coaching position will be the new norm. Settle in and get comfortable with Eakins or you may be checking your sports app in vain for quite some time.

  5. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    “he played in an ‘extreme’ hitter’s part in the minors”

    Stared at this sentence for awhile. Decidedly alternately you meant:

    some part of the minor system favored hitters in those days, maybe they had a league that was all soft underhand toss?

    he had an inventive way of parting his hair, which gave him unnatural strength

    he was an actor, who only accepted baseball parts, and only hitters at that, so never made it to Hollywood

    he was a great hitter, that part of his game was covered, but he couldn’t catch worth a damn

    then, I realized you meant “park” and all my speculation — though interesting to me — was fruitless.

  6. Professor Q says:

    Draisatl definitely seems like a good pick. Not sure if I put him ahead of Ekblad in terms of who Edmonton drafts like yourself LT but definitely the best consolation prize if they do not get the first overall.

  7. D says:

    Lt – with Leon Draisaitl, are there any projections out there with whom he compares in terms of current or former NHL players? I looked around but couldn’t find anything.

    So no Nurse and Ekblad anchoring a monster Oiler blue line for the next decade? :(

  8. Professor Q says:

    corykg: In the big Staples/MacT interview it is reiterated that stability at the coaching position will be the new norm.Settle in and get comfortable with Eakins or you may be checking your sports app in vain for quite some time.

    Agreed. I was simply curious as to others’ thoughts, didn’t really think that myself.

  9. Lowetide says:

    Romulus Apotheosis:
    “he played in an ‘extreme’ hitter’s part in the minors”

    Stared at this sentence for awhile. Decidedly alternately you meant:

    some part of the minor system favored hitters in those days, maybe they had a league that was all soft underhand toss?

    he had an inventive way of parting his hair, which gave him unnatural strength

    he was an actor, who only accepted baseball parts, and only hitters at that, so never made it to Hollywood

    he was a great hitter, that part of his game was covered, but he couldn’t catch worth a damn

    then, I realized you meant “park” and all my speculation — though interesting to me — was fruitless.

    I can always tell the guys who read my articles, they point out the spelling mistakes! :-)

  10. Lowetide says:

    D:
    Lt – with Leon Draisaitl, are there any projections out there with whom he compares in terms of current or former NHL players?I looked around but couldn’t find anything.

    So no Nurse and Ekblad anchoring a monster Oiler blue line for the next decade? :(

    Ryan Kesler.

  11. Manitoba Oilers says:

    Personally I would keep Belov

  12. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    “he played in an ‘extreme’ hitter’s park” in the minors”

    The history here is one of the more interesting aspects of baseball. Look at the wide range of dimensions for retired parks:

    http://www.baseball-vault.com/old-baseball-stadiums.html

    Even today, the range is huge:

    http://www.beyondtheboxscore.com/2011/1/26/1956634/fun-with-ballparks-the-stadium-shape-up

    http://www.flipflopflyin.com/flipflopflyball/info-majorleaguefields.html

  13. oliveoilers says:

    Wow, fired and replaced straight away? So, I gather it wouldn’t have mattered if the Jets won last night with Buff scoring a hattie as a forward. This deal had to have been done last week. Unless Noel and Maurice have Skype….

  14. Mr DeBakey says:

    Gamesmanship

    MacTavish uses that word often
    Has for years
    I’d like to see a definition of that word as used by MacTavish
    It would be an interesting paragraph

  15. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Continued:

    Now look at some of the heavily “gerrymandered” congressional districts in the US

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gerrymandering

    https://www.google.ca/search?q=gerrymandered+districts&client=safari&rls=en&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=CsHSUqWsKqjJsASLn4CgDA&ved=0CDYQsAQ&biw=1440&bih=783

    One is a good primer on how a basic structure can allow for greater freedom of expression (like a Sonnet), the other is a good primer on how assholes operate.

    (which is which?)

  16. Lowetide says:

    Rom: Well, buddy, you’re now in my wheelhouse! I love that stuff. When the Red Sox traded Jeff Bagwell, he was playing in this Grand Canyon ballpark in New Britain (I think) and Boston got an old timey reliever named Larry Andersen for the stretch run.

    Bagwell’s offense was obscured. Bill James knew it, and so did I because of Bill James. That’s what NHLE is, but of course the ballpark effects are TOI and PP TOI and we don’t have them..

  17. FastOil says:

    Lowetide: Ryan Kesler.

    Does he skate like Kessler?

  18. JohnnyOilfan says:

    Lowetide,

    Also heard another comp was Anze Kopitar. If Draisaitl develops into Kopitar/Kesler type he would be a perfect 1-2 combo with RNH. But that would mean that he would be 3-5 years to get to that level. I’m hoping MacT gives Dale Tallon a call to see what it would take to deal Shawn Matthias. What do you think LT, gagner? Or a package of picks and/or prospects?

  19. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Lowetide: I honestly don’t know how we can be critical of Stu MacGregor’s 2008 NHL draft. Home run, wait two rounds, draft a couple of kids who end up getting a cup of coffee but don’t make the grade, and then a late round curio who had enough talent to get several auditions amounting to 50 NHL games.

    I’ve made this point before, but I wanted to air it out again…

    On the assumption that scouting is merely about projecting talent, players who go on to long, productive careers in other leagues for various reasons ($$, opportunity, homesick, etc.), perhaps ought not to be considered a black mark on a scouts portfolio. I’m thinking here of Rajala, Hartikainen, Motin, Omark, etc.

    This assumption only works if you can reasonably compartmentalize “scouting” from “drafting” and “developing.”

    That is, a scout has done his job if he projects a player (esp. a late rounder) to be a successful pro hockey player.

    A management team has perhaps failed if they draft a player that finds success elsewhere for whatever reason.

    One job is about recognizing talent, the other is about shepherding talent into productive NHL roles.

    Lowetide: Treena S. Oil had the Bruins scouting Nick Schultz and Anton Belov Friday night

    After last year’s trouble finding healthy D, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Bruins stocked up on serviceable vets like 15.

    I sincerely hope they don’t trade Belov and re-sign him. I’ve shown his WOWY’s before. He helps everyone minus Larsen on the team.

    He’s slow, makes mistakes and needs to adjust to the NHL still, but there is a player here.

    Lowetide: Andrew MacDonald

    I’ve seen his name mentioned a few times now. What is the appeal (honest question)? I’m not seeing it:

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

    Lowetide: However, the guy they’ll take—if they make the pick—is Leon Draisaitl.

    And Beethoven’s 9th showered joy upon all of Gord’s creation!!

    Seriously, though, the LAK will take him, we’ll get Quick.

  20. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    D: Lt – with Leon Draisaitl, are there any projections out there with whom he compares in terms of current or former NHL players? I looked around but couldn’t find anything.

    Ray Ferraro — at the WJC — mentioned that a scout (IIRC, may have been a coach or GM) he was talking to compared him to Kopitar.

  21. oliveoilers says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    Morning Rom, just a question on Belov. “He’s slow, makes mistakes and needs to adjust to the NHL still, but there is a player here.”

    Is this ‘seen him good’, or is there KHL equivalencies that support this? I agree that he isn’t terrible, but would like to see him use his size and shot more. Even if he boxes out and screens properly without hitting more (I question his footspeed to lay hits on speedy opposition) that would be an improvement. Has he shown an improvement through his stats this year?

  22. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Lowetide: Bill James

    This has been my bedside table reading for the past few months:

    http://books.google.ca/books?id=3uSbqUm8hSAC&printsec=frontcover#v=onepage&q&f=false

    Fascinating and hilarious. The late 1800s are insane.

  23. Andy P says:

    Quick = Habby #2?

  24. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    oliveoilers:
    Romulus Apotheosis,

    Morning Rom, just a question on Belov.“He’s slow, makes mistakes and needs to adjust to the NHL still, but there is a player here.”

    Is this ‘seen him good’, or is there KHL equivalencies that support this?I agree that he isn’t terrible, but would like to see him use his size and shot more.Even if he boxes out and screens properly without hitting more (I question his footspeed to lay hits on speedy opposition) that would be an improvement.Has he shown an improvement through his stats this year?

    My assessment of Belov is based primarily on his Corsi numbers:

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

    now, someone will point out he’s being sheltered:

    http://somekindofninja.com/nhl/usage.php?f1=2013_s&f2=5v5&f3=&f5=EDM&f4=D&f7=&bubbleType=corsiRel&yAxis=qoc&update-filters=Update+Results

    But, I’ve been really impressed with his WOWY numbers:

    http://stats.hockeyanalysis.com/showplayer.php?pid=1802&withagainst=true&season=2013-14&sit=5v5

    All his significant D partners (excepting Larsen) play better with him, often substantially so.

  25. Ducey says:

    So MacT mentions Ekblad specifically and says he would make a good bookend for Nurse and that means we are not drafting him? This right before he scores 4 goals in a game? Boy its hard to keep up :)

    I agree that the Oilers will likely not draft him, but it will be because he will not be there at #4 when they pick. If he was, I expect they would take him.

  26. Brackenburied says:

    Romulus Apotheosis:

    All his significant D partners (excepting Larsen) play better with him, often substantially so.

    Perhaps the other D are thinking “holy shit I’m saddled with Belov, I better be extra sharp tonite!” :)
    I like Belov as well. I thought he definitely played better at the start of the season and has tailed off badly. He’s been looking hard for a goal so maybe the one against Pitt will release him to play better. We hope.

  27. pboy says:

    Was Huddy released with Noel? Our defence was much better when Charles was in Charge. I haven’t been a fan at all of Steve Smith’s work. Some good cronyism would be bringing back Zhuddy and letting Smith hang out with Semenko.

  28. gr8one says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    You forgot to mention that in addition to watching Draisatl be mentored by Kopitar how we’ll also have to see Dubnyk become a respected top goaltender after finding his confidence and playing behind a good team.

    Of course, all while still not addressing our needs at center.

    Call me an optimist.

  29. Brackenburied says:

    pboy:
    Was Huddy released with Noel? Our defence was much better when Charles was in Charge. I haven’t been a fan at all of Steve Smith’s work. Some good cronyism would be bringing back Zhuddy and letting Smith hang out with Semenko.

    They only mention Pearn being let go with Noel. Huddy must still be employed for the time being.

  30. D says:

    Lowetide: Ryan Kesler.

    Romulus Apotheosis: Ray Ferraro — at the WJC — mentioned that a scout (IIRC, may have been a coach or GM) he was talking to compared him to Kopitar.

    A Kopitar or Kesler comparable on the Oilers would be great for the team. Thanks gents!

  31. justDOit says:

    Finally found time to read Staples’ 4-part with MacT. Great stuff. The suggestion that Lowe move behind the scenes a bit, ala Sinden, would help dampen the ire of the fans. But until that happens, where can I get a ‘Fire Lowe’ bumper sticker?

  32. gr8one says:

    DalColle would be nice consolation prize at the draft too.

  33. B-Dog says:

    Rom i wonder if everyone plays so well with belov has more to do with that pair being sheltered…

  34. Clay says:

    I’d be fine with Draisaitl, but not in the top two picks. If the Oilers are top two and set on taking Draisaitl, I certainly hope they make a deal to trade down to someone who covets Ekblad or Reinhart.

  35. Lowetide says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: This has been my bedside table reading for the past few months:

    http://books.google.ca/books?id=3uSbqUm8hSAC&printsec=frontcover#v=onepage&q&f=false

    Fascinating and hilarious. The late 1800s are insane.

    I have a Bill James historical from years ago, loved that book. Homer in the Gloamin’ and my favorite old timey ballplayer no one ever heard of (Harland Clift).

  36. thejonrmcleod says:

    Lowetide,

    If there was an award for the most dedicated commenter on this blog, Rom would win it easily.

  37. thejonrmcleod says:

    I didn’t get a chance to comment on the Grigorenko post, but I think the Avalanche (with Roy) would be the ideal team for him.

  38. doritogrande says:

    Anyone else notice Curtis Hamilton not playing last night for OKC? Did he Pouliot his development again or did he get a courtesy call from the Oilers for having two weeks of solid play?

  39. Lowetide says:

    doritogrande:
    Anyone else notice Curtis Hamilton not playing last night for OKC? Did he Pouliot his development again or did he get a courtesy call from the Oilers for having two weeks of solid play?

    He tweaked his knee early in the friday game. Which is really too bad.

  40. gr8one says:

    thejonrmcleod:
    Lowetide,

    If there was an award for the most dedicated commenter on this blog, Rom would win it easily.

    I’d be OK with that, especially because his posts are always articulate, insightful and often times have humor in them.

    Really though, most of the frequent posters here blow me away with their knowledge, well rounded-ness and insights, not to mention their sense of humors, it really does make me feel blessed to have found my way here as a dedicated reader.

    I’ve learned probably more about hockey here in the past two years than I have in the rest off my life combined.

    The quality of the posters here is a direct correlation to the quality of the blogger, so thanks for that LT.

  41. bookje says:

    Lowetide: I can always tell the guys who read my articles, they point out the spelling mistakes!

    I allways reed you’re articles, but never see any speling mistakes.

  42. book&#1S1;je says:

    I think I did something wrong, but I kind of like it in a cyborg kind of way.

  43. Pouzar says:

    gr8one,

    My thoughts exactly.

    They took this stray HFOil Orphan in and gave him a home.

  44. book¡je says:

    Ah, got it now – welcome back temherte slaq!

  45. book¡je says:

    thejonrmcleod:
    Lowetide,

    If there was an award for the most dedicated commenter on this blog, Rom would win it easily.

    Woodguy would have to be there as well. I am surprised that there isn’t a hardwood shortage in this city with the number of comments he makes here.

  46. Halfwise says:

    book¡je: Ah, got it now – welcome back temherte slaq!

    So I quickly look up “temherte slaq” on the Wikipoodle and the writeup includes this useful insight:

    “Irony punctuation is primarily used to indicate that a sentence should be understood at a second level”

    KL was way ahead of us with his tier one and tier two thoughts.

  47. OilClog says:

    Gagner to Carolina for a goalie?

    Ward?

    Would have to be a bigger package.. You would think.

    If were in Ekblad range, MacT will take him no doubt about it or pick up on of the missing pieces with the coin.

  48. doritogrande says:

    In case it hasn’t been noticed yet, Kyle Platzer was traded from London to Owen Sound, for their top scorer.. Based on Attack player stat lines, he would appear to be the de-facto 1-line C, which would be great for development.

  49. oliveoilers says:

    OilClog:
    Gagner to Carolina for a goalie?

    Ward?

    Would have to be a bigger package.. You would think.

    If were in Ekblad range, MacT will take him no doubt about it or pick up on of the missing pieces with the coin.

    I’m thinking it’s a typical slow Sunday. “Who is trending right now? Well Edmonton beat the Pens. I wonder what they need? Quick search online. Ahh, a goalie. Who has lots of good goalies? Carolina! Let’s see: OILERS LOOKING AT GOALIES, CAROLINA POSSIBLE TRADE PARTNERS. Hey, this thing writes itself! Thank you Interwebs, you’ve done it again, early finish, I’m going to the pub.”

  50. oliveoilers says:

    Apparently Dubinsky on block according to Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Hack, I mean Sun. Now THAT I would be interested in, rather than Cam Ward or Grigorenko. +8 on the year.

  51. Lowetide says:

    book¡je: Woodguy would have to be there as well.I am surprised that there isn’t a hardwood shortage in this city with the number of comments he makes here.

    He starts his day in the middle of the night, I do know that.

  52. Old School G says:

    TSN saying that the Leafs may be looking to move Gunnarsson or Gardiner for a scoring forward.

    I’m really intrigued by Gunnarsson, looks to me like he could be part of the solution going forward.

    http://forecaster.thehockeynews.com/hockeynews/hockey/player.php?5218

  53. jp says:

    oliveoilers,

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    Belov was also regarded as one of the best defensemen in the KHL last year and was very good at the World Championships. I’m not sure what the updated NHLE is for the KHL, but it projected him at somewhere between 30 and 40 NHL pts. There’s more offense there than we’ve seen so far.

  54. jp says:

    JohnnyOilfan:
    Lowetide,

    Also heard another comp was Anze Kopitar. If Draisaitl develops into Kopitar/Kesler type he would be a perfect 1-2 combo with RNH. But that would mean that he would be 3-5 years to get to that level. I’m hoping MacT gives Dale Tallon a call to see what it would take to deal Shawn Matthias. What do you think LT, gagner? Or a package of picks and/or prospects?

    I’ve asked this before, but what is the appeal of Matthias other than “big C”? I mean, he is a solid NHL player, but I don’t see enough offense for him to be a viable 2C option, and he’s no better on draws than Gagner/RNH (he actually isn’t playing much C this season maybe because of it). I’m honestly wondering if I’m missing something, I haven’t seen him play much at all.

  55. fifthcartel says:

    So the Maurice hire probably explains why he didn’t want to come on as an associate.

  56. G Money says:

    Professor Q: Draisatl definitely seems like a good pick. Not sure if I put him ahead of Ekblad

    Just goes to show you – a top 5 pick always has a ton of value, so if MacT is going to trade it, he better get some good sh*t back.

    oliveoilers:
    Wow, fired and replaced straight away?So, I gather it wouldn’t have mattered if the Jets won last night with Buff scoring a hattie as a forward.This deal had to have been done last week.Unless Noel and Maurice have Skype….

    Combine that impressive analysis of the Oiler failings the other night together with Skype and no head coaching job is safe …

    Brackenburied: Perhaps the other D are thinking “holy shit I’m saddled with Belov, I better be extra sharp tonite!

    A possible explanation deserving of analysis … until you see Nick Schultz:
    http://stats.hockeyanalysis.com/showplayer.php?pid=317&withagainst=true&season=2013-14&sit=5v5

    Holy shit. The average player looks like they improve CF 5% without Schultz. Lander drops from a passable 46.5% without Schultz to a hard-to-believe horrific 20% with Schultz.

    Defensively, Schultz this year appears to be worse than Whitney last year. I did not think that was possible for any player with two working legs.

  57. oliveoilers says:

    G Money,
    Combine that impressive analysis of the Oiler failings the other night together with Skype and no head coaching job is safe …

    I’m sorry, did I upset you in some way? Are you being sarcastic? It’s so hard to tell with some people’s prose. If you have problems with my posts, please feel free to critique in a constructive way. Not the ‘you are a moron’ way. There’s the ON for that. I enjoy the debate on here, the different people with their different points of view and their ways of defending them with learning and decorum.

  58. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Lowetide:
    Bagwell’s offense was obscured. Bill James knew it, and so did I because of Bill James. That’s what NHLE is, but of course the ballpark effects are TOI and PP TOI and we don’t have them..

    Exactly right.

  59. jp says:

    G Money:
    A possible explanation deserving of analysis … until you see Nick Schultz:
    http://stats.hockeyanalysis.com/showplayer.php?pid=317&withagainst=true&season=2013-14&sit=5v5

    Holy shit. The average player looks like they improve CF 5% without Schultz.Lander drops from a passable 46.5% without Schultz to a hard-to-believe horrific 20% with Schultz.

    Defensively, Schultz this year appears to be worse than Whitney last year.I did not think that was possible for any player with two working legs.

    I still wouldn’t put him in Whitney territory, but yeah, ugly. Get whatever draft pick you can for him at the deadline. ANY pick would suffice, but hopefully it’s a 2nd/3rd rounder.

    I have this (small) nagging fear that he could be re-signed though. Veteran, leader, assistant captain and all. I hope I’m wrong.

    Edit: The lack of talk about the actual game in the GDT is kinda funny.

  60. G Money says:

    jp: I’ve asked this before, but what is the appeal of Matthias other than “big C”? I mean, he is a solid NHL player, but I don’t see enough offense for him to be a viable 2C option, and he’s no better on draws than Gagner/RNH (he actually isn’t playing much C this season maybe because of it). I’m honestly wondering if I’m missing something, I haven’t seen him play much at all.

    Mathias is an enigma wrapped in a mystery, but it’s no surprise the Oilers and Oiler fans would be interested in him.

    I honestly think it’s the combination of his size and “seen him good” – he looked darn good against the Oilers in that one game. The Oilers dominated that game, but Mathias led his team in “real” CF% at an incredible 72%. Just goes to show how much trouble the Oilers have against big players.

    That said, his boxcars are decidedly unimpressive (9 pts in 44 games) even as his Corsi is decent (>50%). Then again, his shooting percentage is 5.9% this year, vs the 13.2% last year that let him put up 21pts in 48 games.

    To my mind, the question mark at this point is: how much could/would a big strong player like Matthias add to the overall effectiveness of a second line that already has highly skilled but small wingers and is probably suffering because it also has a highly skilled but small centre?

    Kind of harkens back to the days of Semenko (or even Dave Lumley) playing with Gretzky-Kurri. Sometimes less skill and more brawn is a good thing, at least when the brawn is packaged in a legitimate NHL player.

  61. G Money says:

    oliveoilers,

    Zero sarcasm and absolutely no attempt to imply anything negative about you or your post [riffing on the whole Skype thing, which is now a deserved Oilers meme]. An (obviously failed) attempt at humour. Sorry it was taken the wrong way. In general, I try not to put other people down even when I disagree with them (and in this case, I was not disagreeing at all with your post).

  62. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Will be interested to see how the Hawks bounce back from an intense game in Montreal last night. Patrick Kane with a monumental brain cramp in overtime that flat out cost his team the game. If I were his coach I’d be tempted to sit the fucker down, but it’s probably easier to throw him back out there & watch him score a hat trick.

    Still, it’s one of those rare games where the visitor has the rest advantage, hopefully Oil can bring their skating legs and give them a game.

  63. Lowetide says:

    Bohologo: Will be interested to see how renowned hedonist Patrick Kane rebounds from post game Saturday night fun in Montreal; that is the true mark of a champion!

    I just hope he took a cab back from Montreal.

  64. VanOil says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    Hi Rom,

    I will take a half hearted attempt to defend Andrew MacDonald. First and foremost he is rumored to be available because his sweat heart contract is coming to the end and Garth Snow is to cheap to sign free agents. Beyond being available, due to Lobo’s head ache, he is playing first pairing minutes.

    As fancy stats are not particularly set on what constitutes a good D man (I think Zone exits probably should form some of it http://www.hockeyprospectus.com/puck/article.php?articleid=1467) good old minute played is one that is used to justify AMac. Many justified Ferrence in this way.

    So in around about way with no real statistical evidence to back it up I offer this, Macdonalds stats look poor because he is playing out of his depth as a first pairing guy, much like Petry. Also much like Petry he excels when in a more more sheltered second pairing role. I will go as far as stating he is a real live NHL defense man who is possibly available but not the solution to all are woes.

  65. jp says:

    G Money: Mathias is an enigma wrapped in a mystery, but it’s no surprise the Oilers and Oiler fans would be interested in him.

    I honestly think it’s the combination of his size and “seen him good” – he looked darn good against the Oilers in that one game.The Oilers dominated that game, but Mathias led his team in “real” CF% at an incredible 72%.Just goes to show how much trouble the Oilers have against big players.

    That said, his boxcars are decidedly unimpressive (9 pts in 44 games) even as his Corsi is decent (>50%).Then again, his shooting percentage is 5.9% this year, vs the 13.2% last year that let him put up 21pts in 48 games.

    To my mind, the question mark at this point is: how much could/would a big strong player like Matthias add to the overall effectiveness of a second line that already has highly skilled but small wingers and is probably suffering because it also has a highly skilled but small centre?

    Kind of harkens back to the days of Semenko (or even Dave Lumley) playing with Gretzky-Kurri.Sometimes less skill and more brawn is a good thing, at least when the brawn is packaged in a legitimate NHL player.

    He’s certainly a legitimate NHLer, and you’re right that his size could add a dynamic the Oilers don’t have. I’m just highly skeptical that he can be a top 6 option (and to be fair, JohnnyOilfan didn’t actually mention 2C, though Matthias has been floated as a 2C option and possible improvement on Gagner in the past).

    Maybe he could ride shotgun to the Oilers skill, but I’m not sure that’s a good bet. His 21Pts in 48GP last year looks like an anomaly to me (didn’t score in the AHL, and in his 4 other NHL seasons he hasn’t topped a 25Pts/82GP pace). His corsi Rel has been thoroughly average (or below) on the Panthers against very average (or worse) opposition. This is not Couturier waiting to discover his scoring touch. And he’s also a UFA after next season.

    Again, he’s a fine player. I’d be happy if he were an Oiler, but I wouldn’t pay too much for him. He’d be a great addition at 3LW, but I really don’t think he’s the big 2C of the future.

  66. oliveoilers says:

    G Money:
    oliveoilers,

    Zero sarcasm and absolutely no attempt to imply anything negative about you or your post [riffing on the whole Skype thing, which is now a deserved Oilers meme].An (obviously failed) attempt at humour.Sorry it was taken the wrong way.In general, I try not to put other people down even when I disagree with them (and in this case, I was not disagreeing at all with your post).

    Sorry, my bad, I’m an idiot. Feel free to use that quote during one of my ‘fire Eakins, fire the janitor, fire everybody’ rants. I have here in one hand the wrong end of a stick and in the other a nice slice of humble pie.

  67. jp says:

    Lowetide: I just hope he took a cab back from Montreal.

    lol. I hope so too!

  68. Lowetide says:

    oliveoilers: Sorry, my bad, I’m an idiot.Feel free to use that quote during one of my ‘fire Eakins, fire the janitor, fire everybody’ rants.I have here in one hand the wrong end of a stick and in the other a nice slice of humble pie.

    I would like to take a moment to thank both of you for being adults. The printed word (especially English, from what I hear) can play tricks on us, and I’ve been on both sides of the situation you two were under here.

    I can’t honestly say there’s been a better resolution, and it was solved by the people involved. anyway, ramble ramble thanks.

    Now if I can just REMEMBER to do it myself! :-)

  69. lance says:

    Bohologo,

    Well I hope these mathy stats you describe also include units. I’m tired of numbers without units.

    And a measure for off the chart measurement. Rom seems usually on the charts but some of the stuff here? Wow. Way out past where charts usually go.

    I’m just saying, if you’re proposing poster stats, posterletics, say, I think you should include units.

  70. G Money says:

    jp: Again, he’s a fine player. I’d be happy if he were an Oiler, but I wouldn’t pay too much for him. He’d be a great addition at 3LW, but I really don’t think he’s the big 2C of the future.

    Agree with all of that. Price is key.

    That said, would still like to see what he’d do as a 2C with Perron and Yak on his wings. I have no doubt that a 6’4″ 220lber with a reputation for having “a nose for the net” and being a hard worker would open up a lot of ice, for Yak especially. And “Yak” and “open ice” are music to my ears…

    oliveoilers,

    The interwebs are good at obscuring the intent of the written word. Wouldn’t it be interesting if one of these days we could get all of LT’s posters in a pub at the same time to watch a game! Human interaction?!?! Whaaaaaaat? Certainly, I’d love to buy LT a drink of his choice for the gift that is this blog (but then with everyone else there doing the same thing, he’d unfortunately die of alcohol poisoning).

  71. hags9k says:

    Quick’s contract combined with average play lately might be too risky but I LOVE the player. In my opinion the best goalie in the world and most entertaining to watch.

  72. prairieschooner says:

    I would like to offer an analogy to describe the Oilers management structure.

    K Lowe is the wife in the relationship

  73. Gerta Rauss says:

    G Money: Agree with all of that.Price is key.

    That said, would still like to see what he’d do as a 2C with Perron and Yak on his wings.I have no doubt that a 6’4″ 220lber with a reputation for having “a nose for the net” and being a hard worker would open up a lot of ice, for Yak especially.And “Yak” and “open ice” are music to my ears…

    Yes, agreed, We always get tied up with labels like 2C and 1D etc etc.

    If someone like Mathias was playing “2C” with Yak and Perron, and he wound up with box cars like 15G 15A= 30pts…would we consider that a failure, if Yak is potting 40+ goals because of the elbow room he opens up for Yak..?

  74. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Gerta Rauss,

    Hard to visualize a scenario where a winger scores 40 without a little playmaking from his centre.

  75. Gerta Rauss says:

    Bruce McCurdy,

    sure…maybe a little hyperbole on my part

  76. justDOit says:

    Bruce McCurdy,

    Well the Oilers have lots of little, playmaking centers – so many, that they’re converting some to wingers!

    ;)

  77. jfry says:

    jp:
    oliveoilers,

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    Belov was also regarded as one of the best defensemen in the KHL last year and was very good at the World Championships. I’m not sure what the updated NHLE is for the KHL, but it projected him at somewhere between 30 and 40 NHL pts. There’s more offense there than we’ve seen so far.

    that’s sort of half true. his last KHL season was also an anomaly with regards to his points. in a massive way. he almost doubled his career high and based on career average, put up more than three times the amount of points he normally does. from the time he started playing full schedules in 06/07, he’s had the following point lines:
    49gms, 9 pts (RSL)
    54gms, 5 pts
    38gms, 5 pts (first season of KHL)
    39gms, 11pts
    54gms, 14pts
    50gms, 6pts
    46gms, 26pts

    so really, other than last year, we’re looking at Smid type scoring. if you average out the five seasons in the KHL thats 227 games and 62pts. or an average 50 game season of 13 points. using desjardins NHLE of .67, these offensive numbers really aren’t anything special. we’re looking at a guy with an established level of performance that we’d expect to be about 15pts per 82 games (and that’s including his one big year.

    if we take out his big year, the numbers are not even close. 181 games and 36 points, for an NHLE of 11points per 82.

    based on results this year, i think we can safely say that we shouldn’t expect 30-40 points from him.

  78. Lowetide says:

    Looking at Draisaitl and thinking he’s going to be a very good NHL player
    http://www.puckrant.com/slapshot/this-man-draisaitl

  79. jfry says:

    anyone else going to the young prospects game on wednesday? i can’t wait!

  80. Lowetide says:

    Bruce McCurdy:
    Gerta Rauss,

    Hard to visualize a scenario where a winger scores 40 without a little playmaking from his centre.

    Bruce, I always mean to ask you but never remember. Bobby Hull was centered by Espo and then Pit Martin, but my recall had Chico Maki on RW.

    1. Is that correct?
    2. Why did Maki’s scoring totals lag so badly?

  81. gogliano says:

    My estimates suggest that if LT grows his content outlets at the rate he has grown content outlets in the past 3 years, the internet will be all Lowetide content by 2032.

  82. Brackenburied says:

    gogliano:
    My estimates suggest that if LT grows his content outlets at the rate he has grown content outlets in the past 3 years, the internet will be all Lowetide content by 2032.

    He’ll be as famous as Al Gore!!!

  83. Lowetide says:

    MUUHHHWWAAAAAAHHHHHAAAAAA!

  84. Oiler Al says:

    Dont think Big Joel will allow his team to play two sleeprs in a row! Expect the Hawks to start with a bang. The only remote chance Oilers have of winning this one if Chicago decides to play ” run and gun” game.

  85. sliderule says:

    At great expense I have researched the Sliderule top drafting teams .pp.

    Best drafting teams period 2003- 2010 inclusive (8 drafts)
    Criteria drafted players had to play 20 games in nhl 2013-14 season

    The top four
    First picks. Total picks in nhl
    Ducks. 9 out of 11. 17
    Blues. 9 out of 11. 16
    Capitals. 9 out of 11. 12
    Kings. 8 out of 12. 17

    You can see that they have had great success.I ranked those with most first picks highest because they should have most impact.You can see that all these teams acquired extra first picks thru trade as there were only 8 picks available to them.These teams are high up in standings reflecting their draft success

    This is a list of Canadian teams and their records
    First picks. Total picks in nhl
    Oilers. 6 put of 10. 10
    Canadians. 5 out of 9. 12
    Canucks. 5 out of 7. 9
    Senators. 4 out of 7. 12
    Leafs. 4 out of 4. 12
    Jets.(thrasher). 4out of 7. 10
    Flames. 2 out of 8. 6 dead ass last I might add for whole NHL

    It doesn’t look too good for western Canadian team as their first rounders and total picks don’t measure up to top teams.
    The oilers while not drafting well have had enough high picks that when you add on the 11 12 and maybe 13 draft will get them up to magic 8 or 9 first rounders
    I think Mact made a statement that our second rounders and later have to get better.If this means adding to scouting resources then it might get better.

  86. Brackenburied says:

    Generally speaking, the mood is quite light around here since the Pitt game. Nice.

  87. Rebilled says:

    Brackenburied,

    Give it a few hours….and the mood will be even better! Gagner with 5 goals and Eakins mother wins the Safeway million!

  88. VanOil says:

    It is unlikely Shawn Matthias will ever be a 2nd line Center, but I would have him on my team.

    It is possible Brock Nelson will not be a 2nd line Center, but I would have him on my team.

    It is likely that Leon Draisaitl will one day be a 2nd line Center. I would have him on my team.

    It is not out of the realm of possibility that if he focused his attentions MacT could acquire 2 of these 3 players for a reasonable cost. Providing competition and drive for a price incredibly more reasonable than Clarkson.

    2 of these guys, 2 defenders and Scrivens to backup/compete with Bryz and glorious first round playoff exit here we come. (Staying with my long standing belief will not win the Cup until Nuge can grow a beard)

  89. Brackenburied says:

    Rebilled:
    Brackenburied,

    Give it a few hours….and the mood will be even better! Gagner with 5 goals and Eakins mother wins the Safeway million!

    I hope you are right.
    Not one million dollars, but in the 80s I was in a small lounge in Jasper and every time Gretzky scored it was a free round for the house and, of course, he scored five!! A very good night indeed.

  90. Rebilled says:

    It’s a great weekend going to Jasper when a game’s on between Marmot days.

    I think there’s a painting of the Messier/Gary Coleman locker room stubbie in the Jasper Brewing Company last time I looked.

  91. VanOil says:

    A delightfully nasty thought for the day. Toronto fires Randy Carlyle because of the traditional Leaves January free fall. Hopefully just after they trade Gardnier to Edmonton for a bucket of pucks. Then in his magnificent wisdom Bruke hires Carlyle in Calgary this summer.

  92. VanOil says:

    Looks like Percy Pearn got the shaft with Noel. I would have been excited had Huddy been freed up to replace Steve Smith as our coordinator of porous defensive play. The other other Steve Smith had a lovely catch today in a losing cause for Carolina. I recently heard him described as unrecoverable in his prime.

  93. Gerta Rauss says:

    http://oilers.nhl.com/club/podcastplayer.htm?pid=98&iid=45811

    Eakins pre-game audio

    -Dubnyk starts
    -Gagner at RW again

  94. denny33 says:

    Bruce McCurdy,

    Bruce,

    I am a registered voter for Mac t keeping the pick in the draft …..hopefully Ekblad, where do you stand?

    Trade the pick?

  95. fifthcartel says:

    http://www.coppernblue.com/2014/1/3/5271120/on-open-letter-to-mr-katz#comments

    Wonder if this goes viral since it already has 3k+ shares on Facebook. And it’s only been up since this afternoon too. Kinda interesting even though it’s unlikely to (realistically) accomplish anything.

  96. boxman says:

    So G MONEY proposes ” Wouldn’t it be interesting if one of these days we could get all of LT’s posters in a pub at the same time to watch a game! Human interaction?!?! Whaaaaaaat? Certainly, I’d love to buy LT a drink of his choice for the gift that is this blog (but then with everyone else there doing the same thing, he’d unfortunately die of alcohol poisoning). ” I’m in! …. sorry about the poisoning thing LT…..

  97. jp says:

    jfry,

    It’s definitely fair to look at the rest of Belov’s career production. And you’re right last year wasn’t his established level of production. At the same time, some players (Dmen especially) do take real leaps in their development around age 26. I agree some skepticism about last years production level is warranted, but at the same time I think we should expect more than Smid level production (and despite the boxcars, I think we’ve already seen more offense than that from Belov). I also don’t think it’s fair to discount his arguably being the best D-man in the KHL last year. Whether he can keep up quite that level of play or not remains to be seen, but he did reached that level for an extended period of time. I still think we’ll see more from him. You’re obviously welcome to disagree.

  98. Lois Lowe says:

    Rebilled,

    There is indeed. It was painted by this fellow, https://twitter.com/JBartziokas who also paints goalie masks. Great pub, great story behind the owners.

  99. cabbiesmacker says:

    VanOil:
    . Hopefully just after they trade Gardnier to Edmonton for a bucket of pucks.

    They could have Gardnier on the ice with Gagnier and Eberlier.

  100. Jon K says:

    I really enjoy it when Bruce and other long time Oilogosphere luminaries comment here, despite moving on to successful ventures of their own. I really thought Dennis would stop by for Smid’s sail on post.

    http://lowetide.ca/blog/2008/04/moneyball.html

    Ahhh, memories. Retroactive Hi Art!

  101. Pouzar says:

    Sorry if mentioned already

    Marco Roy with a snipe and Nurse with 2 assists

  102. boxman says:

    Go Oilers…….Go Broncos!!

  103. godot10 says:

    Devil’s Advocate:

    Huddy’s been “developing” (i.e. not developing) young defensemen for three teams now, Edmonton, Dallas, and Winnipeg, with pretty much nothing to show for the effort.

    He’s gotten three coaches fired (MacT, Crawford, and Noel) for his inability to develop young defensemen.

    Huddy’s skill is more with working with borderline defensive D and maximizing their potential. i.e. If one wants to maximize a bunch of lead-footed dump it out on the glass, Huddy is your man.

  104. Pouzar says:

    Arco…you are one tough little bastard.

  105. jp says:

    Kane looks pretty pale on the bench…

  106. delooper says:

    Gagner looking for the pass…

  107. Lowetide says:

    NICE defensive play by Yakupov there, ladies.

  108. Lowetide says:

    Hemsky!

  109. jp says:

    Vintage Hemsky!!!

    Edit: Didn’t realize how long it had been since he scored. Yikes!

  110. spoiler says:

    Speed kills.

  111. Halfwise says:

    Hemsky!

  112. Lucinius says:

    Hemsky is such a bad man.

    Made Keith and Seabrook look like pylons there.

  113. Andy P says:

    hags9k: Quick’s contract combined with average play lately might be too risky but I LOVE the player. In my opinion the best goalie in the world and most entertaining to watch.

    When his groin is working as designed…..

  114. 8p0intgame says:

    Perry Pearn is a highly regarded skating coach, right? If so, is anyone else intrigued by the idea of hiring him?

    I have a dream that one day every player on this team will skate like Ryan Nugent-Hopkins.

  115. Lowetide says:

    Pouzar:
    Sorry if mentioned already

    Marco Roy with a snipe and Nurse with 2 assists

    Yeah! Forgot to look, thanks.

  116. spoiler says:

    If this is going to be the matchup all game, the Oil are going to need to change something on that line.

    Toews line vs Arco line, I mean.

  117. VanOil says:

    cabbiesmacker: They could have Gardnier on the ice with Gagnier and Eberlier.

    I blame Mr. &#161 for ruining my i with his J

  118. boxman says:

    The following is from the OHL site and and it bodes well. Nurse now large body, skilled, athletic, good skater, a mean streak and now ” smart “…… woohoo…..

    “Scholastic player of the year – Darnell Nurse

    Brad Boyes presents Darnell Nurse with the Bobby Smith trophy awarded to the Scholastic player of the year.

    Posted: June 10, 2013″

  119. delooper says:

    Andy P: When his groin is working as designed…..

    I think “NHL goalie” is a little beyond manufacturer’s spec for human groins.

  120. spoiler says:

    boxman: The following is from the OHL site and and it bodes well. Nurse now large body, skilled, athletic, good skater, a mean streak and now ” smart “…… woohoo…..“Scholastic player of the year – Darnell NurseBrad Boyes presents Darnell Nurse with the Bobby Smith trophy awarded to the Scholastic player of the year.Posted: June 10, 2013″

    Eberle won that too didn’t he?

  121. oliveoilers says:

    Get out of the reffing way, linesman! (See what I did there? No? reffing/effing? Is this thing on? Tough crowd, I tell ya……)

  122. spoiler says:

    OIl managed to get a better match against the Toews line there.

  123. gr8one says:

    spoiler: Eberle won that too didn’t he?

    No, but I was surprised to see Brule had.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CHL_Scholastic_Player_of_the_Year

  124. jfry says:

    jp,

    through half a season, belov is at 6 points, which is exactly what the career NHLE suggested he’d be. This is a very similar pace to the one that Ladi has put up in the NHL in recent years:

    09-10: 9 pts
    10-11: 10 pts
    11-12: 15 pts

    last year he was on pace for 9 points and this year he’s on pace for 6.

    i honestly don’t think Belov has shown anything to suggest that he’s a markedly better offensive player than Smid on the offensive side. I would take ladi on my team everyday over Belov (and i’m a huge fan of the Russian signing). I just don’t believe in this narrative of offense that people are suggesting for Belov. By eye and by number, it’s just not there.

    Interesting that Ladi had 14 points in 22 games in the CZ league during the lockout — this is a NHLE of 39 points (higher than Belov). He came back and suggested that he has to play a different game in Edmonton because that’s what the teams asks of him, but likes the offense he was able to be involved with while locked out. In Calgary, he’s been lugging the puck up ice a lot more lately and looking a lot more mobile with the puck.

    Anyhow, like i said, i like the moneypuck of signing Belov, but i think he’s been mis-cast as an offensive dman.

  125. VanOil says:

    The Oiler have so far seduced the Hawks into playing Oilers hockey. It by no means does that guarantee a win, only a stern talking too for the Hawks at the break.

  126. Lowetide says:

    Louise (Ice Dragoon) has always updated me on these things (scholastic) and the Oilers have always drafted the smart guys.

  127. spoiler says:

    gr8one: No, but I was surprised to see Brule had.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CHL_Scholastic_Player_of_the_Year

    Yeah, sorry, Ebs won the WHL Scholastic.

  128. jp says:

    spoiler:
    If this is going to be the matchup all game, the Oil are going to need to change something on that line.

    Toews line vs Arco line, I mean.

    You mean put Gagner back there?

  129. spoiler says:

    jp: You mean put Gagner back there?

    Was thinking Perron for Yak.

    Or get a better match.

    Dammit Hawks!

  130. Zelepukin says:

    Everyone’s going. This might be the best we’ve seen the Oil start and against a very good team.

  131. Lowetide says:

    Nick Schultz is death.

  132. gr8one says:

    I see the Flyers seem to be having another poor goalie performance.

    I wonder if they’d be interested in dealing for Bryz?

    Oh wait…

  133. spoiler says:

    Dammit again! Gordon might be the most important forward on this team.

  134. Derek says:

    Lowetide:
    Nick Schultz is death.

    Head down and slap the puck north. Every. Single. Time.

  135. Halfwise says:

    Two familiar bounces there, on the goal and Belov/Gordon. Gotta say, I hadn’t missed them when they weren’t happening.

  136. Oilanderp says:

    Lowetide,

    Sorry LT. I appreciate a “so-and-so-sucks” narrative as much as anyone else but as far as I see it that defensive turnover was the winger’s fault. He had time to kick it off the boards to the center but he bobbled it, turned it over, and it was in the back of the net. The D moved the puck quickly, the winger (or whoever picked it up on the boards) did not = turnover = goal against.

  137. delooper says:

    Ganger lost his corgi!

  138. spoiler says:

    Playing a good road game so far.

  139. Halfwise says:

    Arco is like a terrier out there.

  140. Andy P says:

    2nd is the big tell.

  141. spoiler says:

    Halfwise: Arco is like a terrier out there.

    He is, but to my eye that line was the weakest link that period. I wonder if the corgis will bark their confirmation.

  142. jp says:

    gr8one:
    I see the Flyers seem to be having another poor goalie performance.

    I wonder if they’d be interested in dealing for Bryz?

    Oh wait…

    DD?

  143. Derek says:

    Oilanderp:
    Lowetide,

    Sorry LT.I appreciate a “so-and-so-sucks” narrative as much as anyone else but as far as I see it that defensive turnover was the winger’s fault.He had time to kick it off the boards to the center but he bobbled it, turned it over, and it was in the back of the net.The D moved the puck quickly, the winger (or whoever picked it up on the boards) did not = turnover = goal against.

    Schultz had plenty of time to get his head up, make 2 steps and a clean pass on to Halls stick. Instead he did what Nick Schultz does, forcing the winger to try and make a more difficult play than was necessary. Some of the blame falls on Hall, but he shouldn’t have had to try and corral a bouncing, rolling puck off the boards.

  144. Ryan says:

    spoiler,

    I only the caught the last 3 minutes of the period… Enough to see Hall turn the puck over two or three times.

  145. Ryan says:

    Lowetide:
    Nick Schultz is death.

    Has been all year. Trying to get that 3rd rounder out of him isn’t going to be easy.

  146. Oilanderp says:

    Derek,

    That’s quite possibly correct. It’s hard to tell from my grainy internet feed. Definitely worth a second look before we release the hounds on poor Nultz :)

  147. Halfwise says:

    spoiler,

    Based on 14 and 64 strengths & weaknesses that would be expected. DE has to play the cards he’s dealt, tho.

  148. Lowetide says:

    Oilanderp:
    Lowetide,

    Sorry LT.I appreciate a “so-and-so-sucks” narrative as much as anyone else but as far as I see it that defensive turnover was the winger’s fault.He had time to kick it off the boards to the center but he bobbled it, turned it over, and it was in the back of the net.The D moved the puck quickly, the winger (or whoever picked it up on the boards) did not = turnover = goal against.

    Respectfully disagree. Schultz does what he always does, treats every play like it’s time to panic. A veteran like Schultz is paid to have calm feet. Nothing calm about that play or a hundred others like it from Nick Schultz.

  149. delooper says:

    Hossa says “Edmonton is playing a good defensive game” !!

  150. Ryan says:

    spoiler:
    If this is going to be the matchup all game, the Oil are going to need to change something on that line.

    Toews line vs Arco line, I mean.

    Well, no question that’s the line that Quenneville will target.

    What do you move?

    Unless you switch Yakupov with Perron effectively killing your tough minutes line.

  151. sliderule says:

    You can’t be to hard on Schultz

    We have two breakouts as documented by Eakins high off glass or up the wall.

    Unfortunately that was RKs breakout so it hasn’t changed.

  152. DeadmanWaking says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: https://www.google.ca/search?q=gerrymandered+districts&client=safari&rls=en&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=CsHSUqWsKqjJsASLn4CgDA&ved=0CDYQsAQ&biw=1440&bih=783

    Dude, you need to get your Safari an add-on equivalent to the Firefox’s Make Link. You just select some text from the page suitable for display (this suffices about 70% of the time) then use a right-click context menu to copy it into your clipboard in whatever format you desire (one can add custom entries to conform to anything). Here at Lowetide, that format is regular HTML.

    The big piss-off is that often the page title itself is perfectly suitable, but you can’t select the page title because it’s formatted as some kind of GIF (standard issue corporate selfieness display font), or it’s a hot link and it’s very difficult to select without actually clicking through–to the same page you’re already on. Nice one, yet almost universal. You can also opt for the formal HTML page title (%title% instead of %text% in your macro), but this usually turns out to be the display title plus a lot of crap about the publisher (more selfieness).

    I also use Make Link to grab text into a <blockquote> format with no link at all. The (Quote) button here is kind of neat, but it loses your spot reading the thread.

    With these garish links I’m usually industrious enough to trim off unnecessary & fields. Sometimes these are essential, but often they’re just tracking tags, or some brain-damaged implementation crutch. You have to trim and test. After some practice, it rarely takes me more than two guesses. It’s considered proper design by the greybeards of right thinking that the base URL fully encodes the resource, so these sites where the query string elements are indispensable are either archaic, slothful, incompetent, or actively hostile to the user-centric internet.

    Alternately, we can capitulate to bit.ly and grant the internet powers-that-be one more place to track our every mouse click.

    This is practical the founding motto of the 21st century.

    All your convenience will be recorded.

  153. spoiler says:

    Ryan: Well, no question that’s the line that Quenneville will target.

    What do you move?

    Unless you switch Yakupov with Perron effectively killing your tough minutes line.

    Actually, the match-ups appeared to be all over the place. NUge and Hall got some time against Toews as did the “tough” minutes line.

    Problem is, if Q decides to match hard against 14-26-64, then the “tough minutes” line is not taking the tough minutes.

    Maybe switch Arco and Gordon.

  154. oliveoilers says:

    sliderule,

    Ref. the breakouts. The other night I noticed that the Pens also use the two breakouts that we do. This isn’t all they use however. Like anything, they are tools in our bag to be used when circumstances dictate. I certainly agree that they shouldn’t be used every time, allowing teams to read us like a book, but neither should they be shoved aside.

  155. spoiler says:

    That was a Yakupovian pass from Nuge there.

  156. Andy P says:

    Gut check.

  157. spoiler says:

    Jultz should be fast enough to get back into that play with a little more urgency and effect.

  158. Halfwise says:

    Eberle had a nice view of that.

  159. Lowetide says:

    extra skater has the 5×5 Corsi for 12-15 for edmonton in first period. A couple of nice Oiler chances before CHI scores their second on the night.

  160. SK Oiler Fan says:

    spoiler,

    There’s nothing urgent about his game

  161. Lucinius says:

    Gagner just isn’t that good, ugh.

    The guy simply doesn’t think about shooting the puck. When he has the puck he thinks pass first. When he’s the recipient he takes way too long to get a shot off because he doesn’t keep his stick on the ice. Just isn’t an offensive threat on his own.

  162. spoiler says:

    I’m sorry, but something has to be changed on that Arco line.

  163. spoiler says:

    Fuck all the lines suck now.

  164. Halfwise says:

    Gazdic should have got off the ice there. twice.

  165. LostBoy says:

    This is a turkey shoot right now.

  166. Lowetide says:

    They aren’t forechecking and they’re chasing. This is what hasn’t been happening (well, didn’t happen) and they have to rid themselves of it. Take a pass, make a pass.

    Like Chicago.

  167. Halfwise says:

    Hall is fast enough not to have to do that.

  168. spoiler says:

    Unbelievable

  169. LostBoy says:

    AMAZING

  170. delooper says:

    wow!

  171. spoiler says:

    Lowetide: They aren’t forechecking and they’re chasing.

    Puck has to get to the other end to forecheck.

  172. Halfwise says:

    Is that not Duby’s goal!!? Or Marincin?

  173. Gerta Rauss says:

    ahahahaha…..awesome

    I think Marinicin is going to get that…ahahahah

  174. leadfarmer says:

    Dubnyk finally learns if you want your crease cleared you got to do it yourself. No one else will

  175. Professor Q says:

    Okay so I finally get the game back on and see the Hawks up 3-1, a nasty slash by Dubnyk, and then the score magically change to 2-2…er, make that 3-2 Hawks…

  176. spoiler says:

    Gordon gets it, sounds like.

  177. Derek says:

    Perron looks like he’s playing injured, or sick, or just trying to fit in.

  178. spoiler says:

    Couldn’t be Marincin otherwise it would’ve been a dead play and no goal, lol.

  179. leadfarmer says:

    One of these teams played yesterday, and its not the slow team pinned in their zone.

  180. Lucinius says:

    leadfarmer,

    Not since they traded Smid, at least.

    Oilers pk cannot clear the puck. They get repeated attempts and just cannot do it.

  181. delooper says:

    I hope they give that goal to Dubnyk. He deserves it. He could really use a Hextall-style make-over.

  182. Derek says:

    spoiler:
    Couldn’t be Marincin otherwise it would’ve been a dead play and no goal, lol.

    My understanding is that the play isn’t blown dead on an upcoming penalty unless the player has clear possession, rather than just tips the puck like Marincin did in that instance.

  183. leadfarmer says:

    So if Buffalo catches us, does Eakins keep his job?

  184. Halfwise says:

    It will help the team shooting percentage, scoring a goal without taking a shot…

  185. Halfwise says:

    leadfarmer:
    So if Buffalo catches us, does Eakins keep his job?

    Yes.

  186. Oilanderp says:

    Dubnyk plays goal like Penner skates.

  187. spoiler says:

    Derek: My understanding is that the play isn’t blown dead on an upcoming penalty unless the player has clear possession, rather than just tips the puck like Marincin did in that instance.

    Tips are often considered possession, depending on the context, but you are right, that battle was far too close and unclear to blow the play down. Might also be too close and unclear to give him the goal though too (I haven’t gone back and looked at it again). It’s in Gordon’s name for now.

  188. Gerta Rauss says:

    spoiler:
    Gordon gets it, sounds like.

    Yeah, NHL dot com has Gordon as the goal scorer

  189. spoiler says:

    This is a different line.

  190. Halfwise says:

    That Toews guy can play a bit.

  191. Henry says:

    That goal is on Nultz too.

  192. Gerta Rauss says:

    N Schultz had lots of time to make a better pass than that…

  193. leadfarmer says:

    Lucinius,

    Still dont understand that trade. I know that between Schultz Sr, Ferrence, and Smid that was too many one dimensional defenseman, but they should have kept the best one.
    Ferrence looks like an overpay that will only get worse as he ages, and Schultz Sr could not be given away.

  194. Lucinius says:

    Ah, Nick Schultz. Has no clue. Have to stop the pass across, period. When will the Oilers’ D ever learn the basics? Always stop the pass across. Leave the shooter to the goalie.

    Nick Schultz is the worst D-man on the Oilers.. and that’s saying something.

  195. Henry says:

    In Minn he seemed like he gave a damn. Now he’s a weapon for the opposition.

    Thanks Tambi

  196. VanOil says:

    3 goals off of Duncan Keith robbing the Oilers of a good play by being great.

  197. sliderule says:

    The oilers played last night didn’t they

    Oh forget it.

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