WASN’T THAT A PARTY?

I don’t know how they’ve done it, I just know they’ve done it! The Edmonton Oilers have played two credible games in a row! Won both of them! This is not a dream!

LAST NIGHT’S CORSI FOR  % 5X5 (Extra Skater)

vcanucks cf

That’s a nutty set of numbers at the top. Basically, the Oilers were strong on Vancouver when the Gagner line was out there, for long stretches when the Nuge line was out there (I haven’t checked the late Corsi’s but would guess the #93 numbers faded as the Canucks grew more desperate). It was weird checking to see who was matching up against whom, the Canucks have a lot of mediocre forwards playing against guys like Hall and Perron.

MARINCIN

marincin common1

Well, he’s at 53% Corsi this morning and his player card shows an absolutely amazing Corsi Rel. Oilers Rookie of the Year? Since they don’t play Arcobello anymore, it’s possible.

marincin player

I don’t know what to say about it. We can’t assume his progression will continue like this—there will be bad times, he’s a young defenseman—but that’s manna from heaven 17 games there.

OILERS BLUE TIME ON ICE, EVENS

time on ice blue

Marincin doesn’t get sheltered minutes, and his TOI is increasing (23:01 total last night, with 20:47 at even strength) and at this point it isn’t a stretch to say that rookie Martin Marincin is on a top pairing in the NHL with Jeff Petry. Maybe Stu MacGregor got one right? It’s looking that way.

YAK CITY!

This young man has enjoyed a couple of solid games, and the Gagner-Yakupov-Perron unit is on fire. I don’t really know much about chemistry, but there was a quote from last night’s game that I found interesting. David Perron apparently told the SN crew that “Yakupov is easy to play with when he moves his feet.”

I love this young team, they are joy to watch when everything is swinging. Yakupov is a ridiculous talent, and I find it delightful that his emergence has come with help from the broken-jawed centerman who can’t play center and the recent acquisition. Here’s hoping they rip it up through to the Olympic break.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

hurdle gif

A busy morning, we’re on 10 to 11:15 and then there’s an Oil King game! Yeah, LOVE daytime hockey games! Scheduled to appear:

  • Michael Parkatti, Boys on the Bus. We’ll talk about Marincin, Yak City, Perron-Yakupov and more.
  • Corey Graham, Oil Kings pbp. Early game today, we’ll touch base on this year’s Oil Kings and their big weekend series against the Hitmen.
  • Ryan Pike, Flames Nation and the Hockey Writer. Brian Burke is likely the GM through the summer, we’ll talk about his performance so far and the task ahead.

10-1260 on text, @Lowetide_ via twitter. Stay tuned!

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116 Responses to "WASN’T THAT A PARTY?"

  1. JonyPro says:

    Bryz played well too! Don’t forget that.

  2. Dipstick says:

    After a few fingers of Scotch last night I had a small revelation. There is no better tonic than winning. Unfortunately when you need it the most, you can’t win, for losing.

    That somehow seemed to make more sense last night.

  3. icecastles says:

    I great article, digging everything you say, then THAT gif. And I instantly forget everything you said. I usually find the gratuitous lady pics a bit sophmoric but that one… dang. It’s hard to look away.

    Anyway, I’m equally dumbfounded at watching Marincin out there. What gets me watching him, is that he looks CALM. He’s not just doing things right, he’s doing them in a way that speaks to judgment of a player with a lot more games under his belt. We talk sometimes about the NHL game slowing down for players as they play more games and the decision-making becoming more instinctual (oh, how this relates to the constant coaching turnover for years and the team’s related inability to think properly on the ice). But 85 is thinking at NHL speed. Could it be that the Oilers have actually let a player develop properly and effectively *before* throwing him to the wolves? Is this what it looks like when a good defenseman isn’t ruined by too-early callups? Music!

  4. kosiork says:

    I understand its only a 2-game stretch, but anytime this edition of the Oilers does something positive, I feel like Andy Dufresne after emerging from Shawshank in the rain…

  5. goldenchild says:

    I know its way to earlier to lock him in as a player that can be counted on but we have seen young defenceman step in and play well on other teams and it’s about damn time the Oilers caught a lucky break and have a gem drop into their laps. His corsi is ridiculous and all of a sudden by playing with a competent partner Petry looks like the quality defender most of believe he is. There will be ups and downs obviously but boy if Marincin can play out the rest of the year at or close to this level it makes a turnaround next year seem a lot more plausible and the job of fixing the D a lot more reasonable. 2 fun games in a row, I don’t know what to do with myself.

  6. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    I can think of other D that come up and make a strong impression — guys like Krug usually, fleet of foot and putting up points… but not exactly with the defensive acumen Marincin has shown.

    But I can’t really think of non-blue chips (blue chips being in the likeness of say, recently, Brodin and Dekeyser) who have come up and not looked rookieish. (mind you I am not privy to all players at all times).

    It really is a marvel with Marincin. Really is.

  7. speeds says:

    What is everyone’s take on Eakins mentioning analytics as it relates to goaies in back to back games, but then dressing Gazdic over Arco?

    I remember Michael Parkatti had a post last year about optimal lineups, has he done something like that this year?

  8. hunter1909 says:

    Lowetide: Whenever I see that black haired vixen i spend the next 3-5 minutes staring at the gif, while running through things in my mind, many which are best left until never, ha ha.

    Missed last night’s game, and since everything I appear to be worried about namely Yaks is finally getting somewhere, ffs trade Hemsky and keep Gagner for the 2nd line until one of those 2014 1st round picks emerges as a legitimate challenge. Gagner’s on a par with Perron, beneath Eberle, and the top dudes but he’s a player if given the right environment.

    Arcobello = Toby Peterson. Sorry guys. It’s got to be said.

    With the reserve clause you keep Hemsky, but honestly he’s just going to fuck up the top 6 as constituted while costing a lot more than he produces, and gets hurt every season it seems. Offer him something seriously lowball and if he really loves it on the Oilers he’ll sign. Nah, no time to be sentimental. Trade him.

  9. TeeVee says:

    What’s the word on Larsen? The only info seems to be “Illness”.

  10. Dipstick says:

    The team is misunderstanding the whole concept of a goalie carrying the team on his shoulders. All 5 skaters jumping on the guy while on his back?

  11. hunter1909 says:

    How was Yakupov last night? Really?

  12. goldenchild says:

    speeds: What is everyone’s take on Eakins mentioning analytics as it relates to goaies in back to back games, but then dressing Gazdic over Arco?I remember Michael Parkatti had a post last year about optimal lineups, has he done something like that this year?

    Only thing I can think of is the something like the B2B is easier to quantify? I dont know if thats it but the Archo thing makes no sense, its like George spotting a nickel accross the room but taking a bite out of an onion he mistook for an apple.

  13. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    That Larsen number (TOI) is still crazy to me. It is so damn high.

    But, I think it is worth trying to get something constructive out of it.

    Larsen didn’t play well. Not terrible, but certainly not top pairing worthy:

    http://www.extraskater.com/player/309/philip-larsen

    So, what was Eakins seeing here? Well, part of it was that 19 was injured. That is crucial. Eakins clearly saw Larsen as a 19 plug and play, or a poor man’s version at any rate.

    It looks to me that on the blue Eakins values speed and puck moving above all else. He’s currently playing 19 a ton. a really fucking ton.

    B2Bs remember. And, in the NSH game 19 played 24:25; last night he played more: 25:16

    Both nights 19 led the team in TOI. (caveat no ference).

    This is at the top of the wanted list: speed, puck moving.

    I think we can expect MacT to follow these requests. Musil better be taking note and MacT should start looking for a trading partner.

  14. Showerhead says:

    David Perron apparently told the SN crew that “Yakupov is easy to play with when he moves his feet.”

    The “moving his feet thing” makes complete sense. When Yakupov is thinking as opposed to playing hockey, he glides and uses his edges to stay near the play without actually contributing to it. For a guy as insanely fast as he is, Yak spends an inordinate amount of time not actually skating.

    If he’s turning a corner (or even if he THINKS he’s turning a corner – my read is that he’s an emotional guy for whom confidence matters more than most) then this is a story, a wonderful story, from a lost season.

  15. hunter1909 says:

    Even if they go on a huge end of season tear they’re still almost guaranteed a top 3 pick.

    These katz really know a thing or two about winning.

    Dang.

  16. thejonrmcleod says:

    As I tried to reason with Gregor the other day on Twitter, the best way for the Oilers to “stand up for themselves” is to WIN THE GAME. I’m sure the loss hurts the Canucks more than getting hit 40 times. It was especially fitting that Kassian coughed up the puck on the second and fourth goals.

    That’s not to say that the Oilers shouldn’t try to be “hard to play against.” But hitting or punching Kassian isn’t going to change him or make him sorry for anything he’s done in the past.

  17. LMHF#1 says:

    During the first game I saw Marincin play this season, it was clear that he was better in the defensive corners than anyone the team had and that made a difference in how they played. He’s since expanded that to a lot of the defensive zone. Kid can really use what he’s got effectively. Will be something to see with a couple years of work and summer weight gain.

  18. Zangetsu says:

    blogs.edmontonjournal.com/2014/01/25/has-the-lord-god-almighty-cursed-the-edmonton-oilers/

    This was the night before the Nashville game. Now I’m not religious, but you gotta believe there is a curse of some kind around this team.

  19. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    speeds:
    What is everyone’s take on Eakins mentioning analytics as it relates to goaies in back to back games, but then dressing Gazdic over Arco?

    I remember Michael Parkatti had a post last year about optimal lineups, has he done something like that this year?

    I think you simply can’t get all the superstition out of a guy. Especially with the cold dead hand of analytics.

    Eakins clearly enjoys the feeling of playing the hot hand, keeping winning lineups/linecombos together, etc.

    I think you have to take the good (trusting the analytics on B2B) for what it is and hope to win the next battle.

  20. Wolfpack says:

    If only MacT could find a way to manufacture a couple more trades like the Perron trade. Take a player with pedigree who is probably 2-3 years away from helping his team win and turn him into a 20-something player who can contribute now. There are more of these trades out there – St. Louis needed to free up some dollars to keep their blue line intact… other teams will make cap-related trades like this. It is just a matter of uncovering those opportunities.

    Enjoyed the rare win last night, but what I liked even more was how bad Vancouver looked. I know they’ve got some injuries but they absolutely look like the 7th best team in the conference right now, which is a far cry from the past five years or so. Without some big changes it definitely looks like their window is closing, and that makes me very pleased indeed.

  21. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    TeeVee:
    What’s the word on Larsen? The only info seems to be “Illness”.

    He doesn’t know; the doctors don’t know; symptoms: fatigue, dizzyness

    best guess is something like Lyme Disease (often misdiagnosed in Canada); if he’d travelled overseas recently maybe a parasite… but usually the travel and symptoms would trigger the docs; maybe a really persistent flu (though I think the docs would know what that is).

  22. Bruce McCurdy says:

    thejonrmcleod: As I tried to reason with Gregor the other day on Twitter, the best way for the Oilers to “stand up for themselves” is to WIN THE GAME. I’m sure the loss hurts the Canucks more than getting hit 40 times.

    This, a hundred times, this. You want to hurt that mofo? Beat his team, in regulation, every game for the rest of his career.

    thejonrmcleod: It was especially fitting that Kassian coughed up the puck on the second and fourth goals.

    Gord Karma was in attendance last night.

    Best part was TSN identified both turnovers on their highlight reel, which was going “Kassian turns it over, Oilers score! Kassian coughs it up, Oilers score! … Oilers win!” in each loop. It was glorious.

  23. flyfish1168 says:

    I don’t remember a player that looks so happy than Yak when the Oilers score. His cellys always brings a big smile with arms up. Lets hope we see a lot more of that. Awesome picture last night on TSN site on Yak.

  24. TeeVee says:

    Bruce McCurdy: This, a hundred times, this. You want to hurt that mofo? Beat his team, in regulation, every game for the rest of his career.

    Gord Karma was in attendance last night.

    I still want to see his face punched repeatedly!

  25. linkfromhyrule says:

    thejonrmcleod,

    your first mistake was trying to disagree with gregor. I agree with some of the things he says, but he is completely incapable of seeing things any way but his own. Before you know it he’s putting all sorts of words in your mouth that never came out of them, leaving you feeling perplexed and a little violated.

  26. Snowman says:

    I could not get enough of the forecheck/backcheck from yesterday and from Sunday’s game. I don’t know what got into those boys it sure is nice to see them causing some turnovers in the offensive zone as opposed to giving up turnovers in their own zone.

    Marincin is steady. That is his greatest contribution. He does what he does and he’ll do it everytime he can. Its always easier to coach with quantifiable players. If you can get enough guys who play a consistent level every night it sure makes it a hell of a lot easier to make and stick to a system long term. You can teach systems to another level because you can start to make small changes for each individuals skill set (example: Jultz and Petry should be coached to play the same system slightly differently because of their differing skill set) Sure small sample size but if he can continue along even at this level for the foreseeable future that’s a victory and a good piece of the puzzle.

    It is true there’s no tonic like winning. Atmosphere around here feels a lot lighter after two solid wins.

  27. Lowetide says:

    hunter1909:
    How was Yakupov last night? Really?

    He was very good. Yakupov moved the puck well, passed well, skated with authority, forechecked, backchecked, looked like the lessons are taking. It was good

  28. Pouzar says:

    hunter1909:
    How was Yakupov last night? Really?

    Best game he’s played all year and I am not a card carrying member of Yak nation.

  29. TheOtherJohn says:

    Morning after a win over Vancouver is waking up to a glorious spring day: smile!! Wonder if Gillis wants to consider early start on his retooling of his roster. He has some very nice D that, n/w/s douchiness, are good players and would help significantly now

    Our 3rd pairing not too good

  30. Pouzar says:

    Lowetide: He was very good. Yakupov moved the puck well, passed well, skated with authority, forechecked, backchecked, looked like the lessons are taking. It was good

    There was one instance in the dying seconds of the 2nd period where he rubbed a guy at out at the blue line and prevented any kind of last second attack. It was subtle but awesome in it’s effectiveness. The Yak of even 2 weeks ago would have skated right by him or tried to stick check him.

  31. thejonrmcleod says:

    linkfromhyrule,

    Yes, I know what you mean. In the end, Gregor accused me of saying he was dumb.

  32. Hammers says:

    Ok . Now how do we get Arco back as 4th line center ? Smyth & Joensuu on wings . When Hemsky comes back that line will look like it can score and I guess Jones is odd man out . The other 2 lines stay as is . Ference replaces Potter . They are starting to look like an actual NHL team that at least has a chance to win rather than Dead Team Skating .

  33. goldenchild says:

    thejonrmcleod,

    Jon I see guys like you and Woodguy trying to reason with the Gregors of the world and wonder how you dont end up just banging your heads against the wall. Impossible to have productive discussion when actual facts don’t matter.

  34. icecastles says:

    Showerhead: my read is that he’s an emotional guy for whom confidence matters more than most

    I think this is the crux of it. the whole ‘learning to play defense’ thing really messed him up this year because people who are brilliant at certain things tend to stick to those things. Being forced to do something new and outside your comfort zone means spending time focusing on something not only new, but something at which you are actually worse than your peers. When you’re used to being better than everyone at something that largely defines your sense of identity and self-worth, it can really mess you up. Especially for a guy as emotionally-driven as Yak.

    Once he gets there, his confidence returns and he will once again be the Yak who amazed us in his rookie year, only better. But these learning curves are difficult, painful, and can all too often go right off the rails if that confidence gets shaken too deeply. Yak is enough of a warrior that I have no doubt he will emerge. Scary watching him teeter on the edge and hoping he doesn’t fall off, though.

  35. FastOil says:

    thejonrmcleod:
    As I tried to reason with Gregor the other day on Twitter, the best way for the Oilers to “stand up for themselves” is to WIN THE GAME. I’m sure the loss hurts the Canucks more than getting hit 40 times. It was especially fitting that Kassian coughed up the puck on the second and fourth goals.

    That’s not to say that the Oilers shouldn’t try to be “hard to play against.” But hitting or punching Kassian isn’t going to change him or make him sorry for anything he’s done in the past.

    The best way to ‘retaliate’ on Kassian is show him up as a weak player. If he is only up to 4th line duty the smaller guys (excepting Arco) won’t have to play him. He’ll have to ignore Gazdic every time the teams play. That’s not to say base me wouldn’t enjoy him getting pounded, convincingly.

    The Oilers have played the physical game to a much higher level these past few games. They shouldn’t be Eberle-ing people (joke on his hit against the Yotes) but they are engaging and if they will do that consistently teams will back off the yapping. And their confidence as young men will grow.

  36. thejonrmcleod says:

    From Friedman’s 30 Thoughts:

    7. In the midst of last week’s craziness in Edmonton, Oilers president of hockey operations Kevin Lowe offered to step away from his position if it would take the heat off the organization. Team owner Daryl Katz refused. There are a couple of other things at play here, too. I think Oilers GM Craig MacTavish also believes in Lowe and wants him there. After the story ran, another exec reached out to say: “I’m not sure if this is part of the plan but if Lowe stays, he’s also buying MacTavish time by taking the heat.”

    8. The next test for the Oilers is San Jose. A tough one. But I’m very curious to see if Martin Marincin-Jeff Petry turns out to be a legitimate pair for the Oilers. You can see why the Vancouver Canucks wanted Marincin in a proposed Cory Schneider trade and Petry’s looked very calm with him.

  37. G Money says:

    Lowetide: He was very good. Yakupov moved the puck well, passed well, skated with authority, forechecked, backchecked, looked like the lessons are taking. It was good

    I also liked the dirty element to his game. Not only the obvious uncalled cross check, but the subsequent scrum with makeup non-call that left the teams 4 on 4. Yak was right in the middle of that. I also saw some subtle slashes and an elbow, all of which are straight out of the Messier “if you don’t give me room, you’re going to regret it” school of power forwarding.

  38. Lowetide says:

    thejonrmcleod:
    From Friedman’s 30 Thoughts:

    7. In the midst of last week’s craziness in Edmonton, Oilers president of hockey operations Kevin Lowe offered to step away from his position if it would take the heat off the organization. Team owner Daryl Katz refused. There are a couple of other things at play here, too. I think Oilers GM Craig MacTavish also believes in Lowe and wants him there. After the story ran, another exec reached out to say: “I’m not sure if this is part of the plan but if Lowe stays, he’s also buying MacTavish time by taking the heat.”

    8. The next test for the Oilers is San Jose. A tough one. But I’m very curious to see if Martin Marincin-Jeff Petry turns out to be a legitimate pair for the Oilers. You can see why the Vancouver Canucks wanted Marincin in a proposed Cory Schneider trade and Petry’s looked very calm with him.

    Excellent stuff!

  39. theres oil in virginia says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: I think you simply can’t get all the superstition out of a guy. Especially with the cold dead hand of analytics.

    Maybe, but Kassian has been getting the Oilers’ skill guys off of their games for a while now. Gazdic got Kassian off of his game (what little he’s got) – ie, he had to be more worried about Gazdic than running around trying to smash Gagner’s teeth in. Arco can’t fill that role.

  40. icecastles says:

    thejonrmcleod: In the end, Gregor accused me of saying he was dumb

    In fairness, Gregor IS dumb. Painfully so.

  41. hoser313 says:

    speeds:
    What is everyone’s take on Eakins mentioning analytics as it relates to goaies in back to back games, but then dressing Gazdic over Arco?

    I think last night the Oil dressed the biggest line-up they have all year. I’ve noticed Potter seems to draw in against the bigger Western Conference teams. Belov played as well. Then you had Gazdic, Joensuu, Hendricks, Smyth and Jones all draw in at forward.

    Be interesting to see if this is a trend.

    I agree analytics would suggest this isn’t the best Oil line-up. But something is giving the young guys more confidence to play physical. I can’t count the number of Oilers who finished their checks or drove hard to the net last night. Maybe they just hate Vancouver THAT MUCH. Or maybe they really do play bigger with bigger guys in the line-up. Time will tell.

  42. teddyturnbuckle says:

    Gagner stock going up by the game.

  43. icecastles says:

    teddyturnbuckle: Gagner stock going up by the game.

    What I can’t figure out is if this makes Oilers management more or less likely to trade him now. On one hand, he will fetch a greater return if he is getting back to form. On the other, he has greater value to the team as a warm body.

  44. Surly says:

    Great game for Yak City. He’s really taken a step forward on that power move to the net (Perron’s 2nd goal). He has the acceleration and speed to go low, shield the puck with his body, and then cut in towards the net with a quick shot (IIRC, he did that to perfection against ANA a while back too).

    As he gains the confidence in this move and as defenders have to respect it, he also has shown the vision to find an open teammate. He also has the skating ability to reverse this move, quick stop and move the puck to his forehand for a wrist shot. He can really put defenders in a tough spot when he comes off the wall with that speed.

  45. 8p0intgame says:

    I am happy about the win. I really am.

    But…

    A part of me is a little disappointed. I envisioned Eakins calling up Eager, MacIntyre, Pinzzotto, and every other face puncher in the Oilers organization, publicly stating his coaching strategy is to “hit everything that moves”, and then walking into the post-game press conference with his collar popped and a pair of aviators; when he reaches the podium he removes his sunglasses Horatio Caine-style – do I need to be concerned about the amount of swagger Eakins has in my imagination? – says, with authority, “Are you not entertained?”, throws his aviators at Spector, and walks out of the room.

    In case its not clear, the Oilers lost this imaginary game.

  46. CrazyCoach says:

    Uh LT,

    *Ahem* http://blogs.edmontonjournal.com/2011/12/17/tracking-oilers-prospects-guest-expert-ben-crazy-coach-berland-scouts-martin-marincin/

    Some of us aren’t surprised with the progress of Marincin. I’ve been a fan for a long time.

    Thanks again Bruce.

  47. sliderule says:

    speeds:
    What is everyone’s take on Eakins mentioning analytics as it relates to goaies in back to back games, but then dressing Gazdic over Arco?

    I remember Michael Parkatti had a post last year about optimal lineups, has he done something like that this year?

    This was the first game against Canucks that the oilers had swagger.

    Hendricks and Gazdic give the boys the backup they need.

    It’s like when you were in grade seven and the biggest strongest kid was your best friend.

    You got space.

  48. FastOil says:

    Amazing what an effect winning creates. I hope the boys are developing a real fever for the flavour. Once they get that things will change quickly. Then it’s up to MacT to finish the puzzle before they get frustrated again.

  49. sliderule says:

    CrazyCoach,

    I read that report in Journal and have followed Marincin with interest.

    It was a very good and accurate report you gave.

    I was surprised at the speed Marincin showed at oiler skills.

    I wonder why they didn’t have him shoot because at Pats skills his slapshot was over 100 mph.

  50. Doomoil says:

    icecastles: In fairness, Gregor IS dumb. Painfully so.

    I don’t like Gregor much, but I will admit he does say some stuff that I can occasionally agree with.

    Neilson, Rishaug and Spector make me want to vomit blood every time I hear them speak.

    I won’t even listen to 1260 at any time other than 10-2 anymore.

  51. slopitch says:

    Oh man its great watching highlights of the Oilers beating the Canucks. That is all. Progress baby! Hopefully it snowballs, a lot of good things happened in the last couple games.

  52. Caramel Obvious says:

    Did anyone else watch the first intermission? Now that was painful. It almost made me feel bad for Spector. Almost.

  53. Ryan says:

    Doomoil: I don’t like Gregor much, but I will admit he does say some stuff that I can occasionally agree with.

    Neilson, Rishaug and Spector make me want to vomit blood every time I hear them speak.

    I won’t even listen to 1260 at any time other than 10-2 anymore.

    LOL Rishaug is just awesome.

    I listen to the 1260 in the morning and Rishaug’s the man. Nobody can spend as much time talking and actually not say anything like Rishaug.

    Did he actually watch the game the night before? Who knows…

    Has he ever actually said something of substance? Never heard it.

    “Well you know the effort level just wasn’t there last night. I mean if this team’s trying to win hockey games and get their two points, they’ve got to learn how to compete. There’s just really no two ways about it. I mean in this league that’s the most competitive league in the world where you’re playing against the best hockey players in the world, you’re never going to win a game if you don’t bring it. The Oilers have often been lacking in that certain intangible department, let’s call it “compete.” We all know that they have a roster full of small skilled hockey players, but if you don’t go to the tough areas, you’re not going to score goals in this league. You just aren’t. ….. blah blah blah.”

  54. icecastles says:

    Ryan,

    A quote like that, the man has a future in politics. Rishaug is a walking stump speech.

  55. Lois Lowe says:

    Caramel Obvious,

    Never trust a man that buttons the bottom of his suit.

  56. CrazyCoach says:

    sliderule: I was surprised at the speed Marincin showed at oiler skills.
    I wonder why they didn’t have him shoot because at Pats skills his slapshot was over 100 mph.

    I had the thought that when Marincin’s hands and brain caught up with his feet he would be a not bad player, but I honestly have to say that even I’m a little surprised at his play. Letting him play in OKC certainly has helped and having good coaching has helped as well.

  57. art vandelay says:

    Kassian’s not a very good hockey player. It is best not to talk about him.
    And Vancouver is taking the express elevator down.
    My only regret about their downfall is that we’ll miss out on the post=playoff downtown-burning, which was at least as entertaining as their recent Cup final appearance.

  58. OilClog says:

    The Slovakian tower is quickly becoming our best defender, if similar Progress is made with Klef and Nurse.. How badly do we really need that #1 D. I think a top 5 goalie is the key here, imagine a Cujo from 97 with this squad. I’d target Anderson, he seems to play his best facing high volume of shots, something this team will probably always do.

    If

    Maricin/Petry
    Ference/Jultz
    Klef/Nurse

    Belov/potter/Simpson/Fedun..

    Someone has to go.. A very good defender will eventually be leaving.

  59. FastOil says:

    art vandelay:

    And Vancouver is taking the express elevator down.

    This is I think driven by their experience with Byfuglien and then the Bruins. They have looked to get tougher and have made their once skilled hard working team into more of a plugger hard working team.

    Gillis is killing them. Let’s hope the Oilers don’t go too far down that road.

  60. gogliano says:

    The optimal result was Kassian getting his face punched / getting a butt end of the stick to the head AND us winning.

    These aren’t mutually exclusive options people.

  61. TeeVee says:

    Lois Lowe:
    Caramel Obvious,

    Never trust a man that buttons the bottom of his suit.

    Or chooses the center urinal.

  62. bendelson says:

    art vandelay,

    My wife was in downtown Vancouver the evening of game 7… She and her colleagues were thinking of heading out for drinks. I suggested they stay in the hotel bar as things would get a little crazy as the game progresses… Win or lose, it was easy to predict there was going to be a riot.

    Strange that the police/city officials were shocked by it all. What did they expect was going to happen with thousands of young drunks wandering around downtown Vancouver?

    Surprise!

  63. TheOtherJohn says:

    Bieksa or Garrett

    Would they be in play if Vancouver thought they were on the wrong side of the compete now hill?

    Nice bridge till Nurse Klefbom and Marincin are ready to play big minutes

  64. Ducey says:

    TheOtherJohn:
    Bieksa or Garrett

    Would they be in play if Vancouver thought they were on the wrong side of the compete now hill?

    Nice bridge till Nurse Klefbom and Marincin are ready to play big minutes

    I know he is your namesake and all but I don’t think John Garrett would help the Oilers any :)

    Bieksa has a NTC.

    I would think Gillis will try and add this season as the window is closing.

  65. hunter1909 says:

    bendelson: Strange that the police/city officials were shocked by it all. What did they expect was going to happen with thousands of young drunks wandering around downtown Vancouver?

    My experience of Canadian police is they’ve always had a police state set up to enjoy – which in turn breeds complacency.

    Vancouver police are used to getting their way. So much so, they couldn’t imagine the peons going mental on them, lol.

  66. VanOil says:

    Marincin’s defensive zone positioning is really interesting me. Given the mini camp coming at the end of the Olympic break I wonder, with dread, if this will be changed.

    Marincin, like all rookies and most players, is benefiting by keeping his game simple. First he uses his surprising speed to get to the puck first then make a pass or skate it out of the zone. Second thing he does if the other team gains the zone is go to the front of the net and make the ice there his own. This makes him predictable for his defensive spirit guide Petry and his goalies. (side note there has been contrasting styles of the last 3 Oilers goalies on how they want defenders with there ass in there face dealt with).

    Marincin currently lacks the dominant strength to clear out a large determined player but his incredible wing span prevents back door passes and close range shots. It is also a major departure from the style of play the Oilers started the season with. Which when executed properly was called the swarm, when executed by the Oilers was the abandon the front of the net and prime shooting area and lose in miserable fashion system. The amount of times the whole defense corps was behind the net and the forwards were also in picture while being scored upon in the early games was painful to watch.

    Kevin McCartney’s brilliant article at the start of the season warned of the challenges with this system.http://jetsnation.ca/2013/10/1/systems-analysis-different-looks-at-the-swarm

    Most tellingly with this picture http://jetsnation.ca/uploads/Image/Oilers_NYR_Swarm_mistake.jpg

    The swarm mistake does not happen with Marincin on the ice because he is a) there and b) has the wingspan and the talent to cover the whole area.

    Please, please Mr. Eakins let him continue to do this simple and effect task.

  67. TheOtherJohn says:

    Ducey: I know he is your namesake and all but I don’t think John Garrett would help the Oilers any

    Bieksa has a NTC.

    I would think Gillis will try and add this season as the window is closing.

    Apologies Garrison

  68. Bruce McCurdy says:

    CrazyCoach:
    Uh LT,

    *Ahem*http://blogs.edmontonjournal.com/2011/12/17/tracking-oilers-prospects-guest-expert-ben-crazy-coach-berland-scouts-martin-marincin/

    Some of us aren’t surprised with the progress of Marincin.I’ve been a fan for a long time.

    Thanks again Bruce.

    The thanks (still) go to you, Ben, for that outstanding report.

    So happens Marincin was the prospect I scouted my first day on the job at the Cult of Hockey, some 3½ years ago.

    http://blogs.edmontonjournal.com/2010/10/12/tracking-oilers-prospects-martin-marincin/

    IMHO this report from one of his earliest games in North America makes interesting (re)reading in light of what we’re seeing today.

  69. hunter1909 says:

    Bruce: Nice article on Mitch Moroz. Always liked this dude as a prospect.

  70. "Steve Smith" says:

    gogliano:
    The optimal result was Kassian getting his face punched / getting a butt end of the stick to the headAND us winning.

    These aren’t mutually exclusive options people.

    Sure. But they’re also not closely related.

    OilClog:
    The Slovakian tower is quickly becoming our best defender, if similar Progress is made with Klef and Nurse.. How badly do we really need that #1 D. I think a top 5 goalie is the key here, imagine a Cujo from 97 with this squad. I’d target Anderson, he seems to play his best facing high volume of shots, something this team will probably always do.

    If

    Maricin/Petry
    Ference/Jultz
    Klef/Nurse

    Belov/potter/Simpson/Fedun..

    Someone has to go.. A very good defender will eventually be leaving.

    I would respectfully suggest that you are operating under an extremely broad definition of “very good defender”.

  71. CrazyCoach says:

    Hey Bruce,

    I think we saw the very same thing in Marincin; plenty of potential waiting to be tapped. It is nice to see him doing so well. Maybe the bubble will burst soon or maybe we’re on the threshold of a decent pro career. Who knows.

    Sad thing? You mentioned the Oil Kings and Cougars being the dregs. My how time changes the situation but not for the best in all scenarios. The Cougars are still a sorry mess.

  72. David says:

    Moroz scored again today. 49-27-24-51

  73. hunter1909 says:

    Oilers win 2 straight, look halfway like a decent NHL team in the process against a pair of teams either standing still or regressing as NHL teams themselves…when everyone peruses the standings/potential points = draft position and suddenly realizes whatever the team manages for the rest of the season, another top 3 pick is virtually guaranteed.

    Then everyone sees how well Marincin is adapting, adds Klefbom+Nurse now everyone’s drinking the kool aid.

    It’s insane to imagine, but if Kevin Lowe turns out to know anything more about winning…

  74. hunter1909 says:

    Weird how decent role players quickly help the kids to turn things around.

  75. icecastles says:

    hunter1909: My experience of Canadian police is they’ve always had a police state set up to enjoy

    Do some travelling, hunter. Or at least pick up a newspaper. You may have heard of a place called Russia, or Syria, or North Korea? Ever been to Cuba? Ever heard of a little revolution in Ukraine called Euromaidan? Protesters shot by police, public gatherings banned, journalists shut down, organizers tortured and murdered.

    If you think Canada is a police state, its a sad comment on your awareness of the world.

  76. DeadmanWaking says:

    Lowetide’s surplus supple sirens serve to remind us that while you can’t judge a book by its cover, you can nervously tease it out from the dowdy crush of Penguin classics–with an ache of anticipation (young adult) or a tremble of trepidation (young-at-heart adult).

    I just had a weird idea for a novelty item: a floating highball tray for the Malibu pool, in the guise of a plus-sized inflatable Kama Sutra with its oddly puffy faux leatherbound exterior illustrated by Malika Favre (suitable for non-work), delicately incorporating into the artful fresco both retractable and non-retractable inflation valvus–his and hers (you decide)–get one free at the Porsche owner’s Markup Emporium with every pair of waterproof (and wordproof) Horatio Caine poolside reading glasses.

    One can judge a book by its cover if it refracts an inner glow that any sane man quakes to trifle with. You know you’re in for it when Marion starts to knock back 80-proof jiggers of your manly manliness then brandishes the empty glass for a “more please” as if you’re the Michael Caine of good housekeeping, the Sean Connery of evening tipple, and the Roger Moore of daytime adventure blended to perfection in a suave androgen triple malt (damn those multitasking taste buds).

    There are two poles to the psyche of male perception: radiant and pneumatic. Depending on how one heeds the sultry siren, it can either raise your standards or lower them. We only judge it as sophomoric because so many men choose to vote with their sandals.

  77. jake70 says:

    Marincin = W I N G S P A N

    can’t teach it – I saw at least 2 plays he calmly poke-checked a pass in where he seemed barely in the picture (exagerating a bit yes I know) and negated a possible SC

  78. icecastles says:

    If you were wondering what a developing police state looks like.

    Here’s a hint: if everyone is mellow and complacent and has the freedom to openly bitch and moan about the police and the government without even a second thought about the repercussions, it’s probably not a police state.

    Sorry to threadjack, but Hunter’s police state comment just pisses me off to no end. that kind of ignorance about the world can’t go unacknowledged.

  79. Melman says:

    jake70:
    Marincin =WINGS P AN

    can’t teach it – I saw at least 2 plays he calmly poke-checked a pass in where he seemed barely in thepicture (exagerating a bit yes I know)and negated a possible SC

    At the game last night and he looked VERY good in a wonderfully unspectacular way. Unless there is a bona fide top pair guy coming back I would not trade this guy until you exactly what he, Klefbom and Nurse all turn out to be. It would be a huge mistake to get rid of him until all the intel is in on all 3 of those players.

  80. theres oil in virginia says:

    icecastles: Sorry to threadjack, but Hunter’s police state comment just pisses me off to no end. that kind of ignorance about the world can’t go unacknowledged.

    Not sure why it would get under your skin that badly. I’m holding my tongue about this topic, because I don’t think this is the place for it, you should probably do likewise.

  81. denny33 says:

    FastOil,

    Their core is in their mid 30′s and has missed their window…

    Alex Burrows turns 33 this spring and has 3 points – all year.

    The Sisters are 33 and have some tough miles on them…

    David Booth has 1 more goal than Tom Sestito.

    As many analysts have been saying, there is not much up front in Vancouver. Bo Horvat and Hunter Shinkaruk might come along too late…

  82. spoiler says:

    icecastles: Sorry to threadjack, but Hunter’s police state comment just pisses me off to no end. that kind of ignorance about the world can’t go unacknowledged.

    Actually, I think you’re making the ignorant argument. For one, you are taking Hunter far too literally. For another, there is a matter of degree… An argument that there are worse police states doesn’t make the place you inhabit not a police state, just because it’s not as bad. That seems like a very poor argument.

    Police states typically restrict mobility (see your local airport), can demand your papers at any time for no reason (just drive down the road enough or hang out at the wrong corner), and monitor and restrict alternative views (see Wikileaks, Snowden, McCarthyism and various anti-elite protests).

    Nowhere is Hunter claiming we are living in the equivalent of Myanmar or any other example of extreme repression. But that’s also not to say we are free from abuses either.

  83. RexLibris says:

    theres oil in virginia: Not sure why it would get under your skin that badly.I’m holding my tongue about this topic, because I don’t think this is the place for it, you should probably do likewise.

    IIRC, Ice is located in Ukraine right now, so his perspective is unique in this regard.

    Sorry if I’ve got this wrong, Ice.

  84. Lois Lowe says:

    Pretty sure Icecastles is a lady.

  85. theres oil in virginia says:

    RexLibris: IIRC, Ice is located in Ukraine right now, so his perspective is unique in this regard.

    Sorry if I’ve got this wrong, Ice.

    I don’t doubt that, and I’m not trying to be disrespectful to his/her views, or to you either, but this is a complex political issue and a pretty touchy one at that. I’m just suggesting that he/she let it roll off of his/her back and let’s move on. (Although, I’ll admit it’s a very interesting topic and Spoiler above just opened some of its complexity nicely.)

  86. icecastles says:

    theres oil in virginia: I’m holding my tongue about this topic, because I don’t think this is the place for it, you should probably do likewise.

    (ignorant comment removed. my bad)I agree that it’s not the forum for discussing politics here but if someone else raises it and says we are in a police state, I won’t leave that alone.

    My friend was shot dead by Berkat (police) last week while demonstrating peacefully on the sidelines. I am watching the city I love burn, albeit from a distance, while the freedoms of its citizens are stripped away one by one at the hands of an “elected” leader who fires or imprisons anyone who gets in his way. I wish I had the luxury of just ignoring the things I don’t like.

    spoiler: For one, you are taking Hunter far too literally. For another, there is a matter of degree

    At which point the meaning of ‘police state’ (and any other term) becomes absolutely meaningless. yes, everything is a matter of degree. And if we chose to water down our language enough that we can say whatever and then just backpedal and say we didn’t mean it “that way”, then there’s really no point debating anything.

    Even if considered as a matter of degree, calling Canada a police state is profoundly ignorant and requires diluting the term to the point that it is utterly meaningless.

    I don’t raise it without someone else first bringing up the subject. I prefer to not discuss politics here. But I will never let comments like that slide.

    Lois Lowe:
    Pretty sure Icecastles is a lady.

    I honestly have no idea what this has to do with anything.

  87. icecastles says:

    Anyway, sorry to rant. I know this isn’t the place for it. Lets get back to things we all hate.

    BurrowsKassianClutterbuckBurkeLeafsMcGooProngersWifeBettmanFlamesAveryAveryAvery

  88. Bruce McCurdy says:

    icecastles: My friend was shot dead by Berkat (police) last week while demonstrating peacefully on the sidelines. I am watching the city I love burn …

    My condolences to you. That’s awful.

  89. Ducey says:

    denny33:
    FastOil,

    Their core is in their mid 30′s and has missed their window…

    Alex Burrows turns 33 this spring and has 3 points – all year.

    The Sisters are 33 and have some tough miles on them…

    David Booth has 1 more goal than Tom Sestito.

    As many analysts have been saying, there is not much up front in Vancouver. Bo Horvat and Hunter Shinkaruk might come along too late…

    It really is a strange team. Its old with a strong investment on defense and in goal. Up front they have three high end forwards (the sisters and Kesler) and then a collection of ruffians, checkers, and fringe NHLers.

    The Higgins contract at $2.5 million looks ok, but the Burrows contract at $4.5 million/ yr for another three years looks like a boat anchor. Booth at $4.25 MM this year and next isn’t doing Gillis any favours either.

    Not a lot of cap room to do much. You can see why Gillis wanted to unload Luongo.

    I am hoping Gillis is desperate enough to unload one of his 3 prospects to make a run. If he doesn’t he could be done.

  90. David says:

    Carolina says Tuomo Ruutu’s available. I always liked this player. Think oilers would be interested?

  91. icecastles says:

    Bruce McCurdy,

    Thank you, Bruce.

  92. Lowetide says:

    I’m not going to do anything here, because one of our group is clearly upset about something that would be devastating to any of us. I would ask all to be sensitive to that person’s state, and perhaps choose another time to engage on subject.

    Thanks.

  93. mumbai max says:

    A couple of tidbits from the stats page

    C Tyler Seguin DAL 51 23 28 51
    L Taylor Hall EDM 48 18 33 51

    and

    L Gabriel Landeskog COL 51 14 26 40
    Ryan Nugent-HopkinsEDM 53 15 25 40

  94. Lowetide says:

    icecastles:

    My friend was shot dead by Berkat (police) last week while demonstrating peacefully on the sidelines. I am watching the city I love burn, albeit from a distance, while the freedoms of its citizens are stripped away one by one at the hands of an “elected” leader who fires or imprisons anyone who gets in his way. I wish I had the luxury of just ignoring the things I don’t like.

    Sounds like a terrible, terrible week. Our thoughts are with you and your friend.

  95. icecastles says:

    David:
    Carolina says Tuomo Ruutu’s available. I always liked this player. Think oilers would be interested?

    Always been a fan as well, but he’s only played 17 games this season (not sure if that’s due to injury, HS, or what) and most of his counting stats aren’t too strong. At $5 million per, he could be a pretty expensive risk.

  96. book¡je says:

    Edited in response to LT’s comment. Agreed that our thoughts are with you while you deal with the real issues out there.

  97. Bar_Qu says:

    icecastles Bruce McCurdy: My condolences to you. That’s awful.

    Seconded (or third”ed”).

  98. icecastles says:

    Lowetide,

    Thanks, LT. And don’t worry, I’ll back off from the rant. It touched a nerve, but the cooler heads in here are right that it’s not the place for it. As I mentioned in a thread a few days ago, the Oilers and this forum are my happy place to think about something else for a while.

    One last comment on the Maidan to tie it back to something tangentially related: I’ve been impressed with how much hockey gear is showing up among the splina ravda (the armed fighters among the ranks). Even saw a dude in a nicely decked out goalie mask two nights ago. Football (soccer) is the big thing in Ukraine, but I think there are a few hockey players hiding around. Last summer I even saw a big Hockey Canada logo on the back of someone’s car! Stood by the car for a few minutes hoping to strike up a conversation before realizing I was probably being creepy.

  99. Ribs says:

    I don’t know how they’ve done it, I just know they’ve done it! The Edmonton Oilers have played two credible games in a row! Won both of them! This is not a dream!

    Thank goodness. They really needed to string a couple of games together here. It’s nice to see some pushback and it’s even nicer to see them sustain it over two games. I really hope they can keep it going versus the Sharks.

  100. theres oil in virginia says:

    icecastles: My friend was shot dead by Berkat (police) last week while demonstrating peacefully on the sidelines. I am watching the city I love burn, albeit from a distance, while the freedoms of its citizens are stripped away one by one at the hands of an “elected” leader who fires or imprisons anyone who gets in his way. I wish I had the luxury of just ignoring the things I don’t like.

    I’m sorry to hear that. People committing violence against others is certainly enough to get one’s blood hot. It’s a fucked up world. Although I don’t agree with everything you had written above, I agree with your sentiment and respect your passion. Persevere! On a hockey note, I’ll add that I generally enjoy reading your comments and I’m happy you post here regularly, for whatever that’s worth.

  101. sliderule says:

    Bruce McCurdy,

    I read that piece you wrote and it’s pretty much what we are seeing.

    Gangly and huge wingspan.I doubt he will ever be more than 210 but we can hope.

    The thing I didn’t know till oiler skills is he has speed.I knew from junior skills that he had a hard slapshot but not the speed.The speed is huge for his potential.

    The Nfl drafts based on 40 yd speed and publishes it and props the players based on this speed.

    The NHL does a bunch of stupid tests at combine and does no on ice testing .

    The CHL does on ice testing at prospect game but keeps it a secret.

    They are still back in dark ages so far as marketing

  102. hunter1909 says:

    Seeing how I’ve been falsely accused of calling Canada a police state, then Lowetide deletes my attempt at defending myself…

    @IceCastles: I must confess I don’t follow politics in your neck of the woods much. From what I understand it’s the Ukrainian people vs their government, while the Ukrainian government ponders life between two benevolent neighbors Russia and Germany.

    What I do know about the Ukraine is it’s almost identical to Edmonton topographically. My hobby being the great Patriotic War 1941-45 leaves me astonished, gobsmacked at the sheer amount of suffering.

    My only advice to anyone is: Don’t trust the “West”. Kerry jumped the shark on Syria, the USA has been left with zero credibility as a result, and when was the last time the USA stood by anyone for more than it took them to get their way?

  103. Lowetide says:

    Hunter: I don’t call “Learn how to read better” an attempt to defend oneself.

  104. jake70 says:

    Lowetide:
    I’m not going to do anything here, because one of our group is clearly upset about something that would be devastating to any of us. I would ask all to be sensitive to that person’s state, and perhaps choose another time to engage on subject.

    Thanks.

    Just mention one of the things that keeps me coming back to this blog is the fact that there are many posters here who can post insightful comments on such serious matters affecting the globe. Not saying it should happen on a hockey blog, just commenting on the quality of posters/posts when it does creep in. Good job LT on what I think is some pretty balanced oversight here.

  105. stevezie says:

    icecastles,

    I remember when Ruutu signed a lot of people found Hemsky a good comparison as they were both paid to stay in markets that were having trouble attracting free agents. I thought the argument made a tonne of sense for Ales, but…
    Maybe Ruutu brings intangibles, but good mercy his points have fallen off a cliff. If that contract with that term, attached to that injury history and those boxcars gets traded anywhere I’ll eat someone’s hat.

    Also, condolences.

  106. hunter1909 says:

    Yes. let’s string Hunter up for daring to have an opinion that IceCastles(a lady but doesn’t like it being discussed) happens to misconstrue for whatever reason she has to not understand simple English.

    What’s next? Tea and biscuits?

  107. sliderule says:

    Come on guys politics and religion are not topics for a hockey blog.

  108. sliderule says:

    I miss DSF.

    Man he knew how to agitate people.

    I hope you are OK.

  109. Lowetide says:

    sliderule:
    I miss DSF.

    Man he knew how to agitate people.

    I hope you are OK.

    Me too. He says he can log in but his posts won’t post. I don’t know. I’ve looked to find the solution but can’t find it. He’s not banned, and he’s alive and well

  110. Melman says:

    mumbai max:
    A couple of tidbits from the stats page

    CTyler SeguinDAL512328 51
    LTaylor HallEDM481833 51

    and

    LGabriel LandeskogCOL511426 40Ryan Nugent-HopkinsEDM53152540

    Interesting stats – me I’d take Hall and Nuge over Seguin and Landeskog but that’s like picking a Gala over a Fuji

  111. theres oil in virginia says:

    Lowetide: Me too. He says he can log in but his posts won’t post. I don’t know. I’ve looked to find the solution but can’t find it. He’s not banned, and he’s alive and well

    The gremlins fixed it for you so you didn’t have too! (I figure Spoiler had something to do with it.)

  112. Lois Lowe says:

    icecastles,

    Someone referred to you as a ‘him’ and I was just correcting them on gender. Nothing more.

  113. Caramel Obvious says:

    spoiler: Actually, I think you’re making the ignorant argument. For one, you are taking Hunter far too literally.For another, there is a matter of degree… An argument that there are worse police states doesn’t make the place you inhabit not a police state, just because it’s not as bad. That seems like a very poor argument.

    Police states typically restrict mobility (see your local airport), can demand your papers at any time for no reason (just drive down the road enough or hang out at the wrong corner), and monitor and restrict alternative views (see Wikileaks, Snowden, McCarthyism and various anti-elite protests).

    Nowhere is Hunter claiming we are living in the equivalent of Myanmar or any other example of extreme repression.But that’s also not to say we are free from abuses either.

    I know we are supposed to let this slide but this does not at all open up the complexities of the issue nicely. This is an ignorant comment that conflates vast and important institutional and cultural differences under the name of nuance. A nuanced account that opened up the complexities of the issues would not blanket and unsubstantiated claims of abuse. It’s a coffee house argument not an actual argument.

  114. OilClog says:

    Makes zero sense to me still to trade Hemsky, zero.

    I hope MacT signs the man.

    For all our suffering as a fanbase, we deserve a career long Oiler.

  115. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Lowetide: He says he can log in but his posts won’t post.

    Gord Karma strikes again.

  116. spoiler says:

    icecastles: My friend was shot dead by Berkat (police) last week while demonstrating peacefully on the sidelines

    Just getting back to the computer and read this… very very sorry to hear that Ice. I hope the tragic sacrifices and huge risks many are making over there lead to some sort of positive future..

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