REASONABLE EXPECTATIONS UPDATED

The season is 73% old today, we should get a clear view of risers and fallers based on performance over the first 60 games. The RE series is designed to surround ‘reasonable’ and not get ahead of itself. The formula (such as it is) combines the previous three season’s work along with a push or pull based on age, injury and slot in the batting order. Here are the Oilers top 10 scorers currently, their projections at the beginning of the year and the tsn ‘on pace’ number for comparison.

  1. Taylor Hall. RE Projection: 70, 37-45-82 (1.17); Current totals projected: 75, 28-51-79 (1.05). This is in the range, I’d bet Hall runs this up close (or past) my projection. It’s interesting to see the young man on a collision course with 50 assists—he is developing some outstanding skills we didn’t necessarily see on draft day. He is currently third in the NHL in 5×5/60, but remains on the outside looking in as an Olympian and All-Star. Ridiculous.
  2. Jordan Eberle RE Projection: 78, 28-37-65 (.833); Current totals projected: 81, 26-36-62 (.765). He’s five points off the RE pace, I’d say this is still in the range. It’s interesting to note that Eberle has been moved to the 2nd line and that could impact his final numbers.
  3. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins RE Projection: 62, 21-42-63 (1.02); Current totals projected: 80, 21-39-60 (.750). This is the Nuge’s third season, and he’s recovered nicely from the injury-riddled sophomore campaign. He’s off the pace I projected, for me the reasons are twofold: the power play hasn’t been as good as we thought it would be, and Nuge may not be the offensive player we had hoped for when he was selected. Still miles to go, but his scoring is off projections by 22 points. He may not be a top flight offensive center when all is written.
  4. David Perron RE Projection: 69, 20-24-44 (.639); Current totals projected: 78, 31-28-59 (.756). He’s ahead of the projection by nine points. Perron’s ability to score goals is a huge item and gives the skill lines another quality option. An absolute gem.
  5. Ales Hemsky RE Projection: 66, 11-5-36 (.545); Current totals projected: 74, 10-24-34 (.459). Hemsky is off the projection by six points, but he’s been playing much of the season with old pipes and rusty nails. 83 is having a helluva season.
  6. Sam Gagner: RE Projection: 82, 15-37-52 (.634); Current totals projected: 69, 9-26-35 (.507). Gagner is off his projection by 9 points, which is incredible considering the circumstances. If he does go to LA, expect a number of successful offensive seasons.
  7. Justin Schultz: RE Projection: 80, 13-28-41 (.513); Current totals projected: 74, 11-23-34 (.459). This is fairly close, 4 points off what I projected. Schultz is a gong show defensively this season, I really hope they can contain that chaos. If they can’t, he’s going to have a journeyman career.
  8. Nail Yakupov: RE Projection: 82, 29-23-52 (.634); Current totals projected: 77, 15-17-32 (.416). Yakupov had a horrible start to the season, but is finding the range now. Although he is 16 points off his projection, I’m confident he will close that gap. He fooled a couple of people this season.
  9. Ryan Smyth: RE Projection: 72, 12-16-28 (.389); Current totals projected: 72, 12-17-29 (.403). This is a match. Smyth’s offense has returned, and I wonder if they’ll bring him back in his current role (utility forward) in hopes he can do it one more year. Enjoy him, folks. When he’s retired we are going to miss him like mad.
  10. Boyd Gordon: RE Projection: 78, 5-15-20 (.256); Current totals projected: 76, 11-14-25 (.329). He is six points ahead of the projection, incredible considering the man’s zone starts and other circumstances. Gordon has been all that and more. Exceptional season.

I think Hall, Eberle, Schultz and Smyth are ‘in the range’ and would count Perron and Gordon as legit overachievers. I don’t think we could have foreseen Gagner’s malady, and Hemsky’s off but not by a lot considering his linemates. That leaves Nuge and Nail as the guys who are not delivering at levels reasonable.

The original RE is here, I’ll update the entire team at season’s end.

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76 Responses to "REASONABLE EXPECTATIONS UPDATED"

  1. Eastern Oil says:

    “He may not be a top flight offensive center when all is written.”

    He is still very young so I have full confidence in more offence emerging from RNH (as I know you do too LT, just my own 2 cents here) as he and his linemates get going. What I am most impressed with is the development of the defensive side of his game. For a 20 (going on 21) year old this is very promising.

  2. Lowetide says:

    Eastern Oil:
    “He may not be a top flight offensive center when all is written.”

    He is still very young so I have full confidence in more offence emerging from RNH (as I know you do too LT, just my own 2 cents here) as he and his linemates get going.What I am most impressed with is the development of the defensive side of his game.For a 20 (going on 21) year old this is very promising.

    I love the guy. He’s SO smart!

  3. Clarkenstein says:

    Yes it’s ridiculous that Hall doesn’t deserve more mention for the Olys but it’s totally because of the dark cloud that hangs over the organization in the eyes of people around the league. Mention the Oil to anybody away from EDM and the eyes start rolling and the heads start shaking and the conversation ends with a sympathetic snicker!! Virtually all of these players would have been meeting your expectations by now if they had ANYBODY that knew how to coach and plan a power play. It’s two minutes of ad libbing which too many times ends up in the back of their OWN net. This team would certainly be in the hunt if they could figure out the PP…. in spite of the worst D in the league.

  4. icecastles says:

    Given your comment that he is off the pace but still “having a helluva season”, did you have him penciled in as a top three or top six at the beginning of the season? I wouldn’t say he has been saddled with subpar linemates this year, though he had admittedly seem somewhat reduced icetime.

    Where does one go to see with whom a given player has been on the ice with? I know the data is out there, and I’d be curious to see 83′s WOWY numbers. I imagine they would tell a tale.

  5. Ice Sage says:

    Here’s hoping RNH mimics Toews and quietly makes everyone better. I hope he can find the confidence to broadly use his high hockey IQ – I can’t quite imagine “listen, Coach D, let me draw you up the PP setup we used back at the winter club…”

  6. icecastles says:

    Clarkenstein: Virtually all of these players would have been meeting your expectations by now if they had ANYBODY that knew how to coach and plan a power play.

    Is this your first season following the Oilers?

  7. Pouzar says:

    Nuge is the absolute least of worries on this team. He plays a 200 ft game and with improved PP and d-corp that can actually transition the puck ( and actually shoot) he will get the uptick in box cars. The kid is getting bigger and stronger as we speak. He has actually gained 9 lbs as the season has gone on.

  8. icecastles says:

    Pouzar: The kid is getting bigger and stronger as we speak. He has actually gained 9 lbs as the season has gone on.

    Hey, me too! Though I suspect his nine pounds are slightly less “squishy”. Sigh.

  9. Captain Smarmy says:

    That shoulder recovery has likely staggered RNH this year. If he’s getting similar scoring numbers next season I’d say LT’s comment is fair.

  10. Pouzar says:

    icecastles: Hey, me too! Though I suspect his nine pounds are slightly less “squishy”. Sigh.

    I hear ya…it’s been a rough go

  11. frjohnk says:

    Hopefully this summer RNH is injury free and can train properly. If this happens, he will take the next step. His vision, speed and edge work are top notch.

    I have no doubt he will annually be near 25 goals 60 assists over a full and healthy season. For those wondering Tavares is projected to be the second highest scorer this year with 91 points.

    A point per game pace is a top notch offensive player in this day and age

  12. Woodguy says:

    Yak’s performance in the last couple games is just a glimpse into what he is going to be.

    He is going to dominate games for the next 10 years.

    A fast 200lb ball of muscle out working men much larger than him (Nash, Jagr in last couple games) and having a shot that ranks up among the best.

    One of the fun parts of following the NYR game on twitter was all the Rags bloggers I follow on twitter commenting on Yak’s shooting ability with awe. Comparing it to Stamkos and Ovi, who they see on a regular basis.

    6pts in his last 7 games, and starting to play hockey like a NHLer.

    There is no ceiling on this kid and as soon as next year he’ll have totals like Hall.

    I hope its in Edmonton.

  13. FastOil says:

    Eastern Oil:
    “He may not be a top flight offensive center when all is written.”

    He is still very young so I have full confidence in more offence emerging from RNH (as I know you do too LT, just my own 2 cents here) as he and his linemates get going.What I am most impressed with is the development of the defensive side of his game.For a 20 (going on 21) year old this is very promising.

    Agreed, and if he’s more like Toews than Stamkos it may not be a bad thing.

  14. Hammers says:

    If our problems are RNH & Yak i’m not at all concerned . I do wonder about Eberle and still feel he needs RNH more than anyone ( with Perron ). I wonder what Bennet or Reinhart would look like with Hall & Yak .I’m hoping Ekblad doesn’t get drafted by us .As for Gags , poor guy has been raked over the coals & by more than me . . Hopeing McT trades Hemsky & Smyth to contending teams ( and we resign both in offseason ) As always comes down to the “D” We need 2 but one for sure and hopefully he will be our best not another Ference level . Would give XXX , J.Schultz ; Petry , Marincin ; Ference + another unknown , Nurse , Klefbom . Even keeping goalies we have we would improve next year .

  15. Woodguy says:

    icecastles,

    Where does one go to see with whom a given player has been on the ice with? I know the data is out there, and I’d be curious to see 83′s WOWY numbers. I imagine they would tell a tale.

    Here: http://stats.hockeyanalysis.com/showplayer.php?pid=398&withagainst=true&season=2013-14&sit=5v5

    Some interesting stuff there.

  16. smellyglove says:

    I’m not worried about RNH, he’s a 20 year old being thrown into the deep end and is swimming fine. He has put up points in every league – WHL, AHL, WJCs – while playing a smart game. He won’t be in the top of the league in any given year but I’ll take a 60-70 point defensive 1C any day of he week. If the PP ever clicks he could ignite as that’s his bread and butter.

  17. Woodguy says:

    Looking at Hemsky page, something jumped out at me right away.

    Everyone is better with Hemsky than without in term of CF%, except Smyth (very slight) and Hall (mostly due to disastrous Hall at C experiment)

    First number is CF% w/ Hemsky then CF% away 3rd number is difference.

    Ference and J.Shultz’s are AHL level without Hemsky and decent NHLers with him.

    Remember that when looking at WOWY’s that the situation and competition level has a significant impact on that number.

    PETRY, JEFF 48.6 47.3 1.3
    FERENCE, ANDREW 50.8 41.3 9.5
    GORDON, BOYD 45.1 41.8 3.3
    GAGNER, SAM 48.3 42.1 6.2
    SCHULTZ, JUSTIN 48.4 41.5 6.9
    SCHULTZ, NICK 44 40.4 3.6
    BELOV, ANTON 54.8 43.7 11.1
    SMYTH, RYAN 46.7 47.5 -0.8
    PERRON, DAVID 48.1 45.8 2.3
    ARCOBELLO, MARK 48.6 48.2 0.4
    HALL, TAYLOR 40.6 43.3 -2.7
    YAKUPOV, NAIL 51.3 43.8 7.5
    NUGENT-HOPKINS, RYAN 48.9 44 4.9

  18. icecastles says:

    Woodguy,

    Fantastic. Thanks very much!

  19. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Jordan Eberle RE Projection: 78, 28-37-65 (.833); Current totals projected: 59, 19-26-45 (.763).

    That last set is current toals sans projections. I get 81, 26-36-62.

  20. Jay Are says:

    Bruce McCurdy:
    Jordan Eberle RE Projection: 78, 28-37-65 (.833); Current totals projected: 59, 19-26-45 (.763).

    That last set is current toals sans projections. I get 81, 26-36-62.

    LT subtly predicting an Eberle Trade :o?

  21. Dee Dee says:

    There is more to hockey than scoring points and it’s one of the failings of this club to be overly concerned with this statistic.

    Hall certainly generates points, no contest there.

    When the forwards are parked on their own blue line like vultures waiting to swoop down to score their precious points, and their power play is just as likely to allow a short handed goal as they are to score one of their own you are going to have problems.

    They have shown the ability to play a complete game a few times this season and that’s the frustrating part, they can do it if they set their minds to it.

    The “recovery” seems to be to try to find a goalie who will stand on his head and mask the team deficiencies.

  22. slopitch says:

    I think both Nuge and Yak have looked better of late. Ebs is a bit off. Smyth is a gem. I will miss him when he retires.

    Looking at the standings, I can’t see the Oilers finishing any higher then 5th draft pick wise. IMO its imperative that they keep improving and MacT makes moves that improve the team long term. Keep winning, learn the 2way game, add a missing piece and maybe we can look back at this season as the year it turned around despite the results.

    Hall + Giroux > Carter + Nash and it’s not even close

    If also like to see MacT sign Petry and Scrivens long term. Their price keeps going up recently. No rush I guess. No need to give Scrivens Dubnyk type money. Petry I’d give a Gilbert contract.

    Ok I’m rambling. Time for a day of Olympics and hockey :)

  23. Derek says:

    From the last thread:

    sliderule:
    If the oilers trade with Phi it will probably be Hemsky and Yak going the other way .

    If Mact moves Petry or Martywe are totally screwed forever.

    They are showcasing Yak the last two games and I think we better get used to idea of him being moved.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yg2u_De8j5o

    Hope this helps!

  24. OilClog says:

    Showcasing yak? For what.. Themselves? “Hey guys we put this Russian kid on the top line, look how good he is!!! Let’s trade him”… I can’t see MacT moving the kid.

  25. Hammers says:

    Derek:
    From the last thread:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yg2u_De8j5o

    Hope this helps!

    You maybe correct but Yak & Hall are the key going forward . Not RNH Or Ebs .Hell if I had to give up one of the 5 it would be J.Schultz and none of the forwards . Schultz & Hemsky to Philly ??? maybe .

  26. Woodguy says:

    Tyler’s been hinting that he has Hall CF% drop figured out.

    I think it has to do with zone exits with possession.

    I looked at CF% with Hall and certain pairs of D and he runs under 40% with the 21-19 pairing.

    I wonder if that’s why 21 in on the 3rd pair now?

    Oilers’ breakout hasn’t been good again.

    We wait.

  27. Rondo says:

    If Edm was trading with Philly and Eberle was the target , the only player for me as a key to this deal is Sean Couturier.

  28. Lowetide says:

    Eberle fixed, sorry about that gents.

  29. PaperKurtRussell says:

    Question for LT and anyone else:

    Now that we’ve seen what good/great goaltending looks like on this team, how many more wins could we have had this season with any level of competent goaltending early on instead of DD and JL (and to a lesser extent a few Bryz games that weren’t great)? Could it be 10?? More? I realize this team isn’t great, but a .500 team wouldn’t be too much to ask. Also, the intangible factors of actually being in more games, an outside shot at playoffs, etc.. may have motivated certain players to compete more night in, night out.

  30. Lowetide says:

    PaperKurtRussell:
    Question for LT and anyone else:

    Now that we’ve seen what good/great goaltending looks like on this team, how many more wins could we have had this season with any level of competent goaltending early on instead of DD and JL (and to a lesser extent a few Bryz games that weren’t great)?Could it be 10??More?I realize this team isn’t great, but a .500 team wouldn’t be too much to ask.Also, the intangible factors of actually being in more games, an outside shot at playoffs, etc.. may have motivated certain players to compete more night in, night out.

    I think the Oilers (who are 20-33-7) probably left two or three wins back there, maybe an OT loss or two as well. I’ll say 23-28-9 with a better goalie. They’re still terrible in coverage, a complete gas.

  31. Henry says:

    Rondo:
    If Edm was trading with Phillyand Eberle was the target , the only player for me as a key to this deal is Sean Couturier.

    I just hope Howson doesn’t convince Mac to trade for Mason!

  32. PhrankLee says:

    PaperKurtRussell:
    Question for LT and anyone else:

    Now that we’ve seen what good/great goaltending looks like on this team, how many more wins could we have had this season with any level of competent goaltending early on instead of DD and JL (and to a lesser extent a few Bryz games that weren’t great)?Could it be 10??More?I realize this team isn’t great, but a .500 team wouldn’t be too much to ask.Also, the intangible factors of actually being in more games, an outside shot at playoffs, etc.. may have motivated certain players to compete more night in, night out.

    My problem with them is as soon as they got “good/great” goaltending they played worse! Watched the puck. Soft passes out of the D-zone. Give away, give away, give away.

  33. sliderule says:

    The missed point last night may be a blessing in disguise.

    It’s important that the oilers finishing bottom three.

    Reinhart and Bennett are showing their skill scoring at a rate of about 1.7 pts / game.

    To give a perspective that was MacKinnons draft year rate and Seguin in his draft year was at 1.65 pts/ game..
    Then you have Ekblad scoring at just under1 pt/game and17 goals tops for a D in OHL.

    After the top three it’s a crapshoot so the oil better not fxxx with us and go on a meaningless run.

  34. OilClog says:

    PhrankLee: My problem with them is as soon as they got “good/great” goaltending they played worse! Watched the puck. Soft passes out of the D-zone. Give away, give away, give away.

    Ummmm they’ve been doing that regardless of the type of goaltending they’ve been receiving. It’s just really weird for everyone watching the Oilers to see a goalie not let in the “wtf” goals twice a game. Chabot should he flogged for what he did to Dubnyk, or didn’t do. What does he do again? I bet Scrivens talks to Ranford daily. I would. “Hey Bill, Fred told me..” Bill cuts in.. “I have a conn Smyth and a sweet glove hand, only listen to me”

  35. DeadmanWaking says:

    sliderule: meaningless run

    We need to stop regarding training camp as a step function. A greedy man’s mirage is a thinking man’s oasis.

  36. RexLibris says:

    Lowetide:
    Eberle fixed.

    Whoa, so no little Eberle’s running around in the near future? That is harsh. Wouldn’t it have been easier just to bench him for a game?

  37. RexLibris says:

    sliderule:
    The missed point last night may be a blessing in disguise.

    It’s important that the oilers finishing bottom three.

    Reinhart and Bennett are showing their skill scoring at a rate ofabout 1.7 pts / game.

    To give a perspective that was MacKinnons draft year rate and Seguin in his draft year was at 1.65 pts/ game..
    Then you have Ekblad scoring at just under1 pt/game and17 goals tops for a D in OHL.

    After the top three it’s a crapshoot so the oil better not fxxx with us and go on a meaningless run.

    But would you trade the draft pick of Bennett or Reinhart for Couturier? I suspect that is one of the items being determined in the Philadelphia negotiations, if there in fact are any.

  38. stevezie says:

    sliderule,

    Yeah, but… I can’t argue this with any objective evidence, I just think the vaunted “young core” needs to experience winning. Sucking has a certain inertia, and breaking that inertia now is worth what it does to our draft position, imo.

    Of course, if I knew we had a summertime offer on the table from Philly that was dependant on a bottom three finish I might change my tune. I like the prospects but my personal fantasies involve trading it.

  39. stevezie says:

    RexLibris: But would you trade the draft pick of Bennett or Reinhart for Couturier? I suspect that is one of the items being determined in the Philadelphia negotiations, if there in fact are any.

    Not straight up, but I’m fine with those being the principles.

  40. RexLibris says:

    stevezie,

    And let’s not forget that it was Howson who made the Carter deal with Holmgren, so there is some historical relevance there.

    If the Oilers finish with the 4th overall pick, does that plus Gagner and J. Schultz get you Couturier and Coburn? Maybe not, and the higher the pick the better the value, but if this scenario was to play out at the draft it would be wisest to wait until the Oilers’ selection is up so that the real value of that pick in terms of available options is known to both parties.

  41. RexLibris says:

    stevezie: Not straight up, but I’m fine with those being the principles.

    Precisely.

  42. gogliano says:

    sliderule:
    The missed point last night may be a blessing in disguise.

    It’s important that the oilers finishing bottom three.

    Reinhart and Bennett are showing their skill scoring at a rate ofabout 1.7 pts / game.

    To give a perspective that was MacKinnons draft year rate and Seguin in his draft year was at 1.65 pts/ game..
    Then you have Ekblad scoring at just under1 pt/game and17 goals tops for a D in OHL.

    After the top three it’s a crapshoot so the oil better not fxxx with us and go on a meaningless run.

    The 28th place club has a 48% chance of picking 3rd and a 52% chance of picking 4th. So if you really want a great shot at the top 3 selections 29th is what you need to get there. That said, EDM is still the odds on favorite for that slot even if they play .500 (point percentage) hockey.

    But I’m not complaining with the better play, particularly if Scrivens signs.

  43. icecastles says:

    sliderule: After the top three it’s a crapshoot so the oil better not fxxx with us and go on a meaningless run.

    You know the best way to attract players outside of the draft? Winning.

    You know the bast way to progress? Winning.

    You know the best way to start winning in the future? Start winning now.

    “Tomorrow, tomorrow, it’s always a day away.”

    Enough with this talk about “winning” the draft. Enough aiming for the consolation prize. I want my team to start winning hockey games and keep winning hockey games. Not the lottery. I want the Halls and Scrivenses and Eberles and the rest to want to be here, and to feel that they are part of something big, not a holdover to some vague future.

    Stop losing. Start winning. Anything else is a consolation prize for suckage. When we began the rebuild, there was purpose and value to tanking. That time is past. There is no such thing as a meaningless run.

  44. Ben says:

    gogliano: The 28th place club has a 48% chance of picking 3rd and a 52% chance of picking 4th.

    Try that math again…

    Also, Draisaitl sounds like something you contract during shore leave.

  45. sliderule says:

    RexLibris: But would you trade the draft pick of Bennett or Reinhart for Couturier? I suspect that is one of the items being determined in the Philadelphia negotiations, if there in fact are any.

    Hell no!!

    I just perused the top three picks from 2005 to 2013 and the only one that would be a straight up trade would be Van Riemsdyk.That is partly because of his injuries.

    A top three pick is an impact player and Bennett Reinhart and Ekblad all look above average

  46. oliveoilers says:

    Woodguy:
    Tyler’s been hinting that he has Hall CF% drop figured out.

    I think it has to do with zone exits with possession.

    I looked at CF% with Hall and certain pairs of D and he runs under 40% with the 21-19 pairing.

    I wonder if that’s why 21 in on the 3rd pair now?

    Oilers’ breakout hasn’t been good again.

    We wait.

    This is something I touched on in ON a few weeks back. There was a thread about teaching Hall to get behind our own net and dig for pucks. I put forward the theory that maybe we don’t want that all the time. I see Hall as our outlet on the breakout, pushing their defenders back and allowing a smoother transition up the ice. He can’t be in two places at once, and if he’s busy digging for pucks behind our own net, where is he not? Correct, ready to receive the breakout pass. His speed is his biggest asset, and the oppositions d-men have to respect that if they pinch and get it wrong or leave him unhindered, Hall is off to the races. Basically, some commenters didn’t like the theory as they want Hall to be a 200′ player and think he would be a beast behind our net. So I posed the question: What are our d-men and the lower line mouth breathers for? With the weaker d pairings, I think he has to come a little deeper for his comfort, just to make sure the puck battles are won. Is there a stat for puck battles won/lost? There are some players who just seem to come up with the puck, like RNH and others that the puck seems to pick up extra energy and bounce off in all angles like Petry/Potter.

  47. sliderule says:

    icecastles,

    In golf there are players who get close to the lead and on final day of tournament they start out poor and fall out of contention.We call that getting out of their comfort zone.

    These same players once back in their comfort zone can rally and get a few birdies but they never really get close to winning.

    If the oiler players want to win they will have to show that when it means something..

    Not at the end of a dreadful season when they are in their comfort zone.

  48. Lowetide says:

    RexLibris: Whoa, so no little Eberle’s running around in the near future? That is harsh. Wouldn’t it have been easier just to bench him for a game?

    He liked Smid. No mercy.

  49. prairieschooner says:

    I still can not see the advantage of trading with LA
    I would hope the Oilers keep their good players.
    So what players do the Oilers have that they have no deep connection to or did not draft

    Bryzgalov – would he re sign anyway?
    Perron a great trade
    Hemsky end of contract
    Gagner small and out of favour
    Belov not quite what we had hoped for
    Schultz N

    Not quite home run material but pretty good

    On Yak the team that gets the best player always wins the trade and we just do not know enough yet

  50. stevezie says:

    sliderule,

    Yes but winning is not a switch you can choose when to engage. It is a the result of a series of habits.

    If you want to ever be in the position to win when it counts we should start building those habits now. This means winning now.

    Be glad the various curses of the first 21 games mean even if we put it together and play .500 hockey we’ve still got a shot at top bottom three.

  51. Marcus Oilerius says:

    You know, lost in all this talk about numbers and stats are the weird things in the game. Like the same roster of Jets, playing the same system, and winning game after game, after a coaching change. Currently outshooting and tied with the mighty Blues.

  52. Halfwise says:

    stevezie:
    sliderule,

    Yes but winning is not a switch you can choose when to engage. It is a the result of a series of habits.

    If you want to ever be in the position to win when it counts we should start building those habits now. This means winningnow.

    Be glad the various curses of the first 21 games mean even if we put it together and play .500 hockey we’ve still got a shot at top bottom three.

    100% this.

    The tough games vs playoff contenders who will be playing like it matters are where the team learns to trust one another and the Eakins system.

    A strong finish makes a difference when trying to convince UFAs of YEG’s unique charms

    Deliberate failure has more downside than upside.

  53. PaperKurtRussell says:

    Lowetide: I think the Oilers (who are 20-33-7) probably left two or three wins back there, maybe an OT loss or two as well. I’ll say 23-28-9 with a better goalie. They’re still terrible in coverage, a complete gas.

    I don’t know man, 2 or 3?? That seems too low. They were about .860 SP through 2 months or so… I totally agree that this is a horrible defensive team, but the goalies were awful and gave the team no chance in hell of winning several games. You are right though, it just wasn’t meant to be this year either way. Too many costly errors, though it’s nice when they don’t ALL end up in the back of the net. :-)

  54. David S says:

    icecastles: You know the best way to attract players outside of the draft? Winning.

    You know the bast way to progress? Winning.

    You know the best way to start winning in the future? Start winning now.

    “Tomorrow, tomorrow, it’s always a day away.”

    Enough with this talk about “winning” the draft. Enough aiming for the consolation prize. I want my team to start winning hockey games and keep winning hockey games. Not the lottery. I want the Halls and Scrivenses and Eberles and the rest to want to be here, and to feel that they are part of something big, not a holdover to some vague future.

    Stop losing. Start winning. Anything else is a consolation prize for suckage. When we began the rebuild, there was purpose and value to tanking. That time is past. There is no such thing as a meaningless run.

    ^THIS. A thousand times this.

  55. RexLibris says:

    Lowetide: He liked Smid. No mercy.

    Duly noted.

    *subtly hides framed autographed Smid jersey behind couch to avoid being banned*

  56. Marcus Oilerius says:

    Halfwise: 100% this.

    The tough games vs playoff contenders who will be playing like it matters are where the team learns to trust one another and the Eakins system.

    A strong finish makes a difference when trying to convince UFAs of YEG’s unique charms

    Deliberate failure has more downside than upside.

    Ditto. Whatever the benefits of getting Bennett over Draistal, or Ekblad over Fleury, they won’t outweigh the stigma and blow to confidence that another basement finish will do, IMHO.

  57. bendelson says:

    PaperKurtRussell:
    Question for LT and anyone else:

    Now that we’ve seen what good/great goaltending looks like on this team, how many more wins could we have had this season with any level of competent goaltending early on instead of DD and JL (and to a lesser extent a few Bryz games that weren’t great)?Could it be 10??More?I realize this team isn’t great, but a .500 team wouldn’t be too much to ask.Also, the intangible factors of actually being in more games, an outside shot at playoffs, etc.. may have motivated certain players to compete more night in, night out.

    An interesting question but a truly impossible question to answer with any degree of certainty.

    The ‘here we go again’ mentality that seeped into the locker room early (due to the horrific start – whatever the causes) no doubt had a significant negative effect on the team. Considering their recent history of suck, this was likely a devastating blow to the team that impacted every aspect of the game.

    Was it an ugly surprise?

    I don’t know as though it was predictable – the goal-tending problem that is… (unless your BigDan of course – the goal-tending soothsayer that he is).

    Personally, the real disappointment to the how the season started was MacT’s refusal to do anything about the C position. With the injuries to RNH and Gagner, the struggles were completely predictable and the main reason many of us figured they had no chance at the playoffs this season.

    It is true that the goalies are now doing their job well, the players have responded with some wins and the level of suck has diminished significantly. Keep Scrivens!

    Now, time for MacT to finally address the Gagner situation and focus on adding to the defense.
    Once completed, it is conceivable that they could start winning at a playoff clip.

    I don’t think we are in danger of this all coming together this season (and thereby hurting the team significantly at the draft).

    In the meantime (Helmet!), Stvz and IceC are right (as per usual).
    Winning is good and should be encouraged.

  58. Numenius says:

    stevezie: Not straight up, but I’m fine with those being the principles.

    I’d definitely trade the pick of Bennett or Reinhart for Couturier straight up.

    Couturier put up 1.65 pt/gm in his draft year, which is only a little lower than Reinhart’s current 1.73 or Bennett’s 1.72. Plus, Couturier’s bigger than both of them and ready to help win now. The main significant negative is having fewer years on Couturier before he’s ufa.

    Edit: Then add Gagner+ to get Coburn and you’re done.

  59. Lowetide says:

    http://oilersnation.com/2014/2/8/value-contracts

    Marincin is the only guy who’ll make less than 2M next season who might be able to help.

  60. Andy P says:

    Lowetide: I think the Oilers (who are 20-33-7) probably left two or three wins back there, maybe an OT loss or two as well. I’ll say 23-28-9 with a better goalie. They’re still terrible in coverage, a complete gas.

    Hey LT, I did some analysis a while back, I took the shots against, and multiplied them by DD’s prior career %, to get a revised GA, then looked at the W/L delta between the actual and revised save%. The delta was pretty much what you speculated above.

  61. denny33 says:

    sliderule,

    Could not agree more….the season is a write off….that was evident in October. Top 3 prospects look a cut above…..

    It would be so oilers to go on a meaningless run ….

  62. icecastles says:

    Lowetide:
    http://oilersnation.com/2014/2/8/value-contracts

    Marincin is the only guy who’ll make less than 2M next season who might be able to help.

    Nice link on the Pisani goal video. I’ve watched that a million times and I still lose my s**t every time I see it.

    I’ll openly admit it: I still haven’t gotten over losing that series. Probably never will.

    Edit: I cant’ get over the dollars on those contracts. Unthinkable in today’s game, only a few years later. But anyone who says Lowe has never accomplished anything as a GM needs to look at that roster and marvel. That was some top shelf work.

  63. Marc says:

    The thing that makes me question the Eberle or Yak to Philly rumours is that RW is Philly’s second deepest position after C. They’ve got Simmons (42 pts), Voracek (40pts) and Read (26 pts). LW is where they’re a mess. They’ve got Hartnell, who’s probably a second line LW, on the top line, and Lecavalier playing second line LW.

    Trading for Eberle or Yak would strengthen an already strong position, but would do nothing to address their weakness at LW, or more importantly, on D. Trading Simmons for Eberle or Yak straight up would make sense for them in that they’d be getting the better player, but as they wouldn’t be addressing either of their areas of weakness, how much better would it actually make their team.

    And in any event, it’s hard to see why MacT dealing Eberle or Yak for Simmons straight up. If they’re giving up a first line RW, you’d think that they’d be asking for more than a second line RW back. They’d need Couturier or Coburn as well for to make it worth their while.

    But if Philly are willing to move Simmons + Couturier or Coburn, then surely they’d be looking to get improve their areas of weakness in return, not just get a bit better in an area where they’re already quite strong.

  64. verdad says:

    Can we all stop rationalizing. Reasons for keeping Gagne on the Oilers!
    No player has set back the rebuild more than Gagner.
    He must be flushed yo the system.
    Addition via substraction.
    MacTavish lost his nerve in the last days. Typical.

  65. Andy P says:

    Maybe it’s just me, but I would think that integrity and self respect trump getting the highest possible pick. What would be more attractive to a UFA, a tanked, perennial loser, or a team that has regained their integrity and self respect, and is trending upwards? What is more important, the ability to attract the best possible UFA’s, or to make the highest 1st round pick?

  66. stevezie says:

    verdad,

    Are you a real person?

  67. Lowetide says:

    icecastles: Nice link on the Pisani goal video. I’ve watched that a million times and I still lose my s**t every time I see it.

    I’ll openly admit it: I still haven’t gotten over losing that series. Probably never will.

    Edit: I cant’ get over the dollars on those contracts. Unthinkable in today’s game, only a few years later. But anyone who says Lowe has never accomplished anything as a GM needs to look at that roster and marvel. That was some top shelf work.

    Me either. I’m back there, still loving that team.

  68. icecastles says:

    verdad,

    Thanks for the laugh. Best impersonation of an HF-style knuckle dragger we’ve seen on here in a while.
    The spelling errors, grammatical errors and inability to consistently spell Gagner’s name correctly are the perfect compliment to your post’s over-the-top and unsubstantiated bluster. Love it.

  69. Hammers says:

    verdad:
    Can we all stop rationalizing. Reasons for keeping Gagne on the Oilers!
    No player has setback the rebuild more than Gagner.
    He must be flushed yo the system.
    Addition via substraction.
    MacTavish lost his nerve in the last days. Typical.

    No McT realizes he has nothing to loose by waiting untill March 5th and it helps increase the return .

  70. DeadmanWaking says:

    icecastles:
    I cant’ get over the dollars on those contracts. Unthinkable in today’s game, only a few years later. But anyone who says Lowe has never accomplished anything as a GM needs to look at that roster and marvel. That was some top shelf work.

    The biggest consequence of the last two CBAs on team-building is that young stars are now into big money early in their careers. As a result, high draft picks aren’t worth as much as before–great talents, but the value delivered while they prove themselves is less insane.

    Imagine if the present roster was on the books for $8m less. That would go a fair way to shoring up the defense, and with that in place, the free-agents might be lining up to take a ride on the Ringer Rocket (damn, that sure beats the Reading Railroad; was there ever a Jetsons espisode where they gathered around a holographic Monopoly board to snap up both utilities?

    Hey, I’ve got Social Media.

    And now I’ve got Surveillance Society! Oh tremble and fear my reach!

    Subsequently, when this lucky sod lands on someone else’s housing tract, if he rolls a “1″ he owes nothing and instead the landlord goes to jail–do not use monorail–for untaxed backyard pool.)

    [Here we briefly pause to finish closing that last parenthesis.]

    For a while tanking was the strategy to get from suck to success. Now it’s just a strategy–one that sometimes works out, but sometimes doesn’t. There’s just no guarantee your first cluster ignites at Injun Toews age-parity as per Staples’ horseback barometer.

    I’d be shocked under the current CBA if any team that swallows a quart of lead pellets to go on a DFL oyster harvest is scaling a soaring cliff-face soon thereafter.

    Under the old economic regime, you just cut the lead belt away. Bettman cut away that old belt. That belt is gone now. Under this new beltless new regime, the GM whose franchise quaffed a quart has to sit there and patiently shit the sinkers out. No too patiently–mind you, but neither should he ventilate his loafers in a forced eruption of pique.

  71. book¡je says:

    Hammers: verdad:
    Can we all stop rationalizing. Reasons for keeping Gagne on the Oilers!
    No player has setback the rebuild more than Gagner.
    He must be flushed yo the system.
    Addition via substraction.
    MacTavish lost his nerve in the last days. Typical.

    No McT realizes he has nothing to loose by waiting untill March 5th and it helps increase the return .

    McT has nothing to loose by waiting to trade Gagne untill March.

    Seriously, that is asstoniching!

  72. Halfwise says:

    book¡je,

    It’s the substraction. That’ll get you every time.

  73. Andy P says:

    Halfwise: book¡je, It’s the substraction. That’ll get you every time.

    Full Definition of SUBSTRACTION
    1: subtraction
    2: secret misappropriation of property and esp. from a decedent’s estate : embezzlement
    :)

  74. Lowetide says:

    Filfiil your drams.

  75. The Great One says:

    Hammers: No McT realizes he has nothing to loose by waiting untill March 5th and it helps increase the return .

    Of course, there is now a trade freeze in place until then, I would think he has nothing to loose,

  76. russ99 says:

    Dee Dee,

    Conversely, if they didn’t have a rookie coach constantly spouting off about defense, thinking everyone can log 15 minutes a game and being beyond awful in systems, they’d score more goals and win more games, like a less talented group did under Krueger,

    Despite what the “90 foot game” crowd thinks, our roster doesn’t have the qualities for even average NHL defense, especially at the back line and bottom six, so why beat a dead horse and throw everyone off their game to focus on something that doesn’t work anyway?

    It has little to do with effort, these guys have been trying all year.

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