PENTICTON 2014!!!

When I was a kid, we’d drive from Haney (we lived in Maple Ridge, up in Whonnock) to Penticton for summer holidays. It’s a long drive—5 hours—but we’d arrive late morning/early afternoon because my Dad was bound and determined to arrive in Penticton before the day got away from him. These years later, I’m almost identical (we drove from Vancouver to Valemount this year—7 hours—but I wanted to drive right through because I missed the dog. I was outvoted—no one really loves the dog but me. They say they do, but the dog and I know better).

Last year’s first day of TC story is here, the talent on this year’s team is miles better than last year. Craig MacTavish rid the team of some real pylons, and that’s the truth. I’ll have the GDT up later today, but if you’re a hockey fan there is a grand evening ahead with pucks hitting sticks, skates cutting ice and (in the immortal words of Roberto Luongo) cries of “how did that go in?” from both sides.

nuge 2011 draft

You’re going to have to remind me from time to time that engaging in conversations about Ryan Nugent-Hopkins is a loaded equation. I’m not sure why, maybe it was the injury season, but a lot of people I talk to online—including Oilers fans—think Nuge is not a worthy member of the No. 1 overall club. The most recent conversation came yesterday, and the thrust of the issue was this: RNH is not a good offensive player, he started out behind Tavares and Hall and was so far behind the other top picks he was doomed by the end of his rookie season. Role player, future No. 2 center, lacking the offensive ability to be considered among the game’s best young players at any time during his NHL career. Let’s have a quick look at the points-per-game for recent No. 1 overall picks as rookies:

No Player, Draft Stats
1 Patrick Kane, 2007 82GP, 21-51-72 .878
2 Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, 2011 62GP, 18-34-52 .839
3 Nathan MacKinnon, 2013 82GP, 24-39-63 .768
4 John Tavares, 2009 82GP, 24-30-54 .659
5 Taylor Hall, 2010 65GP, 22-20-42 .646
6 Nail Yakupov, 2012 48GP, 17-14-31 .646
7 Steven Stamkos, 2008 79GP, 23-23-46 .582

Each year of a career is a quick snapshot of progress, and as the years roll along we get a clearer view. The Nuge’s second season was marred by injury and lockout, and last season he got a late start and a coach who played the hell out of him. This is a tremendous young player, if you’ve already buried him, reconsider baby.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

smart dogTSN 1260, 10am it’s the Lowdown.

We begin the day with Mr. Steve Lansky from Bigmouth Sports, and then talk Eskimos with Brian King (PDO, he has yet to confirm but I’m hopeful!). At 11, Rob Vollman previews the Alberta Analytics Conference this weekend and I’ll ask him some Oiler questions about the season. Paul Almeida pops in (he’s seen some of the action over at Perry Pearn and has an interesting take on Bogdan Yakimov and then we preview the football weekend with Dave Jamieson at 11:45. See you on the radio!

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75 Responses to "PENTICTON 2014!!!"

  1. wunderbar says:

    Parts of my family have been making the trek from Edmonton to Penticton (usually in a day, 10 and a half hour drive) every summer sans about 4 in the mid 2000′s since before I was born. I’ve been lucky to have the opportunity to see much of this great country, and Penticton might just be my favorite place iin the whole thing. That entire valley is the jewel of the country.

    As for RNH, I think the’s the quietest and most humble of the recent very high draft picks. If he was as outgoing or had a bit of a “bigger” personality, I don’t think we’d be talking about him in the same light. And even if he “only” ends up being a guy who is better suited to a 2Line center role getting some softer minutes and getting 60 points a year, well if you ask 30 NHL teams if they want a guy like that and 30 of them would say yes and probably 15 of them say they need 2 more of them.

  2. Jordan says:

    The only true way to address concerns about RHN…

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zrzMhU_4m-g

  3. Doug McLachlan says:

    LT, is there really any great criticism of the Nuge for somehow underperforming?

    I would say that there is a great disappointment that he isn’t two inches taller and 25 lbs heavier, perhaps, but his “stagnation” last year was no worse than most of his teammates.

  4. Frank The Dog says:

    I’ve seen people like Nuge more than once in my career, and all I can say is watch out. That quiet demeanor belies the competitive furnace that burns within, that drove him to the #1 pick in the first place. Don’t be fooled, it will be an uber-talented C that displaces this fellow that will more likely then alternate with the Nuge as #1C. What a pleasure that will be to watch, Nuge and Eberle, Drai and Yak, and Hall, and whoever else joins the top 6, Perron, Pouliot, Chase, whatever.

  5. Henry says:

    The Nuge is a super elite hockey player whose body is filling into his talent.

    One notable inhibitor on his development: coaching continuity.

    2010-11 – Jesse Wallin
    2011-12 – Tom Renney
    2012 – Todd Nelson
    2013 – Ralph Kruegar
    2013-14 – Dallas Eakins

    That is a lot of systems to learn while taking on the best in the league right from the outset. It’s a good thing he is blessed with intelligence and an even temperament. And that he skates like Federov.

    For the sake of the Nuge, I really hope Eakins is successful.

  6. Ca$h-Money! says:

    I feel bad, because I’ve certainly made remarks that can come accross as anti RNH. That’s not the intention.

    I argued several times last year that his not living up to his role was a greater reason for the poor performance of the team than was the inability of the 4th line to not be utterly terrible. This isn’t an issue with RNH, it’s an issue with a small “cerebral” 20 year old playing 1c. Last time I checked the most common comparable player listed for RNH was Datsyuk (please god let that be true). Reality is Datsyuk was what, 24 when he first hit the NHL, and 25 when he topped 50 points? Bergeron produced points early on in his career, but didn’t become a +/- world beater until 2010.

    RNH is a good player. RNH is a good #1 pick. RNH as a 1C as a 20y.o. with the expectation that he produce a a PPG clip while being the line’s defensive conscience, all while matching up against the best other teams have to offer, is the problem.

    In my opinion he’s still probably 3 years away from it being reasonable to expect him to be a world beater, based on position and style of play. These cerebral centers don’t start to really dominate right away.

    That said I love the kid, glad we drafted him, think he’s swell.

  7. Hammers says:

    There is one thing that sticks out in your list and thats G.P. RNH 62 ; Hall 65 ; Yak 48 . Hadn’t thought about it before but that’s not a great look as the others got there full 82 +79 in . That may skewer the numbers a bit . Sometimes small things tell a story . What do we expect in the win column this year in Penticton .I’m not sure but I don’t expect all 3 wins .

  8. Bank Shot says:

    RNH’s first season was lucky as he led the entire NHL in PP production. There is no denying that.

    The questions surrounding RNH’s offence are legitimate up to this point.

    He has never hit 2.00 P/60 ES. The closest he came was his first season at 1.98, then 1.29, then 1.56.

    Looking at guys like Seguin, Tavares, Stamkos, Hall, Kane, even Eberle. What’s the common demoninator? They all only have a single season below the 2 p/60 threshold ES. RNH is 3 for 3.

    Maybe he will get there, but he is definitely lagging behind thus far. If he fails to hit that magic mark yet again in his 4th season, I think we have to conclude he is a tier below don’t we?

    In a way its good that RNH and Yakupov haven’t exploded like other #1′s because at least their second contracts will be conducive to allowing some depth on the team.

    Hopefully one of the first year forward pros surprises in a good way tonight and through training camp. The Oilers sure need it, and the fans have been waiting for forever and a day for it to happen to an underdog prospect.

  9. PeOiler says:

    Good read on draft eligible Daniel Sprong.

    http://www.theguardian.pe.ca/Sports/Hockey/2014-09-11/article-3866575/Dynamic-winger-Daniel-Sprong-set-for-second-year-with-Islanders/1

    From article: “Drafted at five-foot-10 and 162 pounds, Sprong is now six feet and 192 pounds.”

    I’m going to find out what he’s been eating and foreward the recipes to Nuge.

  10. soup says:

    Let’s see…

    Young centre, barely shaving. PP wizard. Pushed into handling a big role on PK last year. Reliable in most situations. Developing keen 2-way ability. Doesn’t bitch and moan. Oilers are his team. Learning how to win draws more consistently. Forms 1/3 of a dominent line, and his team mates seem to like him. Fits into the cap today and tomorrow.

    Lot’s not to like – right…

    I think those critical of young Nuge are mostly in two camps. First, those that are expecting a fully polished experienced centre 6 months after drafting. Second, those that have soured so badly on anything Oilers that they can’t see the forest for the trees. Not until the cup is returned to Whyte Ave will the bloodlust be settled.

    There remain many things not to like about our present Oilers. Nuge isn’t one of them.

  11. nycoil says:

    Excited to hear/read how Nurse does.

    I’ve been a bit discouraged of late to see nearly every scout ranking Nikita Zadorov higher than Nurse. That NHL.com poll had 5 out of 6 contributors ranking him above Darnell. I wonder if that has something to do with that midseason downer of an article (the contents of which were refuted by Dubas) or if it’s actually based on development at this time.

    Really need that Nurse pick to work out considering how deep that draft was. I’m not down on him, just hope he can deliver. A lot of pressure on him to be that complete D the Oilers lack. As solid as the Oilers’ D pro sects are, he’s the only one in the pipeline that has the tools to be that guy.

  12. nycoil says:

    F***ing Flames Fans
    My Asia-based hockey fan friends have started already with bringing up the 8-1 scoreline from last year. Oilers better crush them this year. The last thing I want is to take those hosers to a game at MSG!

    Hockey is back!! Yessss!!!

  13. Jordan says:

    My only real fear this year is Gagner in Phoenix. I know how bad the numbers are and how offensive his cheating for offense is, but I have this nagging suspicion that they’ll play him with some rugged wingers who can take and make a pass and he’ll look a lot better.

    As long as he misses an assignment to allow an Oilers goal this year, I think I’ll be okay, but something about that guy playing against the Oilers scares the crap out of me.

  14. Jujhar says:

    Jordan: My only real fear this year is Gagner in Phoenix. I know how bad the numbers are and how offensive his cheating for offense is, but I have this nagging suspicion that they’ll play him with some rugged wingers who can take and make a pass and he’ll look a lot better.As long as he misses an assignment to allow an Oilers goal this year, I think I’ll be okay, but something about that guy playing against the Oilers scares the crap out of me.

    LOL.

    Every Centre that goes up against him will have 3 free looks from the slot. Cant wait to play him.

  15. delooper says:

    I have no worries about RNH. He’s a quiet kid with a lot of confidence in himself, who sees no reason to hog the spotlight like more insecure or needy people might. He’ll be fine. The only issue is, is he going to be just really really good, or is he going to be Joe Sakic-ish good, or even better? Probably he’ll be somewhere in the upper end of those things. Discovering the answer, like his personality, will be a very pleasant, understated affair. Kind of like Jari Kurri.

  16. Jordan says:

    Okay, I just noticed this, so I gotta ask – why do they keep changing the picture of you on the TSN website LT?

    Not that I don’t like the suit you’re in now, but it really doesn’t suit you.

    If you’ve got any ins with the communications folks, you gotta get one of you in your PJs with a bag of cheezies… April 1st, maybe?

  17. Lowetide says:

    Bohologo: The Cup riots were always on Jasper Ave., but if Stanley does return, it’s either raze 82nd or burn down West Ed.

    This is true. Not exactly riots, more like love ins with damaged hoods and roofs on cars.

  18. Caramel Obvious says:

    Bank Shot:
    RNH’s first season was lucky as he led the entire NHL in PP production. There is no denying that.

    The questions surrounding RNH’s offence are legitimate up to this point.

    He has never hit 2.00 P/60 ES. The closest he came was his first season at 1.98, then 1.29, then 1.56.

    Looking at guys like Seguin, Tavares, Stamkos, Hall, Kane, even Eberle. What’s the common demoninator? They all only have a single season below the 2 p/60 threshold ES. RNH is 3 for 3.

    Maybe he will get there, but he is definitely lagging behind thus far. If he fails to hit that magic mark yet again in his 4th season, I think we have to conclude he is a tier below don’t we?

    This is all correct. I don’t understand how anyone could question any of it. And it goes back even further. He didn’t score like a #1 pick in junior either.

    The Oilers had the fortune to have three #1 picks in a row. But in two of those years there was no true #1. That’s just a fact.

    Now he’s a fine player, and I wouldn’t trade him out of town, but he’s a lot closer to Jordan Eberle than he is to Taylor Hall.

    I’m also not criticizing the pick. Look at that draft board. Other than Landeskog and Couturier (who isn’t even on the board) those guys are pretty mediocre. Huberdeau is fine, but not a star. Strome is a bust. Larsson is a cautionary tale about drafting D, Zibanajed might be fine, but nothing to pin your hopes on. Bad draft year.

  19. Ca$h-Money! says:

    Jordan:
    Okay, I just noticed this, so I gotta ask – why do they keep changing the picture of you on the TSN website LT?

    Not that I don’t like the suit you’re in now, but it really doesn’t suit you.

    If you’ve got any ins with the communications folks, you gotta get one of you in your PJs with a bag of cheezies…April 1st, maybe?

    His picture on the Bell Radio App looks like he’s wearing an Avalanche jersey, for what it’s worth.

  20. Melman says:

    I think that the Nuge will end up kind of being like Kopitar. Not in terms of style of play, but rather one of those players who does all the little things well without being overly flashy, plays a 2 way game and at the end of the season is top 20 in scoring and when you look back has been much better than you thought he was even while you were watching.

  21. delooper says:

    Melman:
    I think that the Nuge will end up kind of being like Kopitar.Not in terms of style of play, but rather one of those players who does all the little things well without being overly flashy, plays a 2 way game and at the end of the season is top 20 in scoring and when you look back has been much better than you thought he was even while you were watching.

    Sounds about right.

  22. nycoil says:

    Caramel Obvious,

    Hold on a sec there. Strome is a bust? You just thought you’d throw that in there, huh? He is no bust. Watch this season.

    Couturier fell because he had mono his draft year and tread water year on year. LT had him #1 at the start of the year before he dropped back and the Nuge came on strong. There’s a reason why Holmgren bounced up to the podium to take him when he slid. He had no business falling that far.

    Larsson- again, fell to New Jersey. Yes, D-men take time. I’d still bet he is going to be a very good top pairing D-man for New Jersey down the line.

    To the question at hand. Love the Nuge, but he is likely to continue to be a Power Play witch, and probably about a .5 pt/gm EV scorer for his career. So he may be a 25G-55A guy in his prime, with half those points coming via feeding Yak or Hall or Eberle on the man advantage. If he can do that and hold his own with the big boys in the West at evens in terms of giving up scoring chances against, he’ll be a very good Oiler, worthy of his draft position, for years to come.

    The old debate is:
    Seguin, Landeskog, Galchenyuk, Nichushkin vs.
    Hall, RNH, Yakupov, Nurse

    Hall’s the best of the lot, but at this juncture, I’d have to take the top group without hesitation over the bottom. But let’s check again in 3 years.

  23. Caramel Obvious says:

    nycoil,

    So I looked up Strome’s numbers. My mistake. His AHL numbers from last year are outstanding. Consider it retracted.

    That said, his numbers in junior didn’t progress at all, while guys like Hopkins and Landeskog were playing in the NHL. So we’ll see.

  24. delooper says:

    nycoil:
    The old debate is:
    Seguin, Landeskog, Galchenyuk, Nichushkin vs.
    Hall, RNH, Yakupov, Nurse

    Hall’s the best of the lot, but at this juncture, I’d have to take the top group without hesitation over the bottom. But let’s check again in 3 years.

    But if the Oilers took the other group, we’d be here with you looking wistfully at Hall, RNH, Yakupov and Nurse. Ultimately you can’t separate the “quality” of the player from the quality of the environment they play in. When the Oilers came to the Hall draft, they were a disaster. It takes the shine off anyone. Even Gretzky in his prime couldn’t get LA the Stanley Cup.

  25. delooper says:

    And I don’t see the attraction of Penticton. I live in Victoria and a lot of people rave about it… but I don’t really get the magnitude of the enthusiasm people have. The negatives are about as big as the positives here, as far as I can tell. On the other hand, Osoyoos is really pretty. I love driving into that town on HWY3 from the east. What a view.

  26. Southern Oil says:

    nycoil:

    The old debate is:
    Seguin, Landeskog, Galchenyuk, Nichushkin vs.
    Hall, RNH, Yakupov, Nurse

    Hall’s the best of the lot, but at this juncture, I’d have to take the top group without hesitation over the bottom. But let’s check again in 3 years.

    The only problem I have with the old debate question – I don’t think it should be up to us to fill in the alternative names but more so, who we think the Oilers would have drafted. I think we can clearly say that Seguin would have been the pick in his draft year. Nuge is more difficult for me as I don’t remember a lot of the talk over the selection – I think we were all anticipating Nuge. It would not have surprised me if they had Larsson #2 on the list. Instead of Yak, I think it is safe to say that Murray was second there. Now maybe if they had of gone Larsson the previous year, they might have picked Galchenyuk. Don’t know. Nichushkin would be in the list though.

    Problem with Seguin – why didn’t he make it in Boston. If it was off ice issues, would he have lasted here? If it wasn’t off ice issues, then I apologize.

  27. OilClog says:

    Southern Oil: The only problem I have with the old debate question – I don’t think it should be up to us to fill in the alternative names but more so, who we think the Oilers would have drafted.I think we can clearly say that Seguin would have been the pick in his draft year.Nuge is more difficult for me as I don’t remember a lot of the talk over the selection – I think we were all anticipating Nuge.It would not have surprised me if they had Larsson #2 on the list.Instead of Yak, I think it is safe to say that Murray was second there.Now maybe if they had of gone Larsson the previous year, they might have picked Galchenyuk.Don’t know.Nichushkin would be in the list though.

    Problem with Seguin – why didn’t he make it in Boston.If it was off ice issues, would he have lasted here?If it wasn’t off ice issues, then I apologize.

    Anyone taking Seguin over Hall doesn’t know their hockey. No offense to Seguin but he’s not even consider top 30 C probably where as Hall is pretty much the gold Standard at left wing.

    If Hall was in the East he would be celebrated like he Jeebus reborn.

  28. OilClog says:

    nycoil:
    Caramel Obvious,

    Hold on a sec there. Strome is a bust? You just thought you’d throw that in there, huh? He is no bust. Watch this season.

    Couturier fell because he had mono his draft year and tread water year on year. LT had him #1 at the start of the year before he dropped back and the Nuge came on strong. There’s a reason why Holmgren bounced up to the podium to take him when he slid. He had no business falling that far.

    Larsson- again, fell to New Jersey. Yes, D-men take time. I’d still bet he is going to be a very good top pairing D-man for New Jersey down the line.

    To the question at hand. Love the Nuge, but he is likely to continue to be a Power Play witch, and probably about a .5 pt/gm EV scorer for his career. So he may be a 25G-55A guy in his prime, with half those points coming via feeding Yak or Hall or Eberle on the man advantage. If he can do that and hold his own with the big boys in the West at evens in terms of giving up scoring chances against, he’ll be a very good Oiler, worthy of his draft position, for years to come.

    The old debate is:
    Seguin, Landeskog, Galchenyuk, Nichushkin vs.
    Hall, RNH, Yakupov, Nurse

    Hall’s the best of the lot, but at this juncture, I’d have to take the top group without hesitation over the bottom. But let’s check again in 3 years.

    I wouldn’t, Nurse is going to IR that top list and won’t be mch left of it lol

  29. nycoil says:

    Caramel Obvious,

    Sure, that’s fair about the guys ahead of him already playing in the bigs. I think we’ll see this year what Strome is made of, and I think too early to call him a bust. In fact, he could be pretty good.

  30. nycoil says:

    delooper,

    Hmm. I was just saying that at this juncture, I take the top group because the top group as a whole look like they are delivering. It remains to be seen about the bottom group. I think it will work out fine, hence why I said let’s check back in 3 years when Nurse has had a chance to strut his stuff.

  31. Bank Shot says:

    Any word on what the roster will look like tonight?

  32. nycoil says:

    Southern Oil,

    It is possible you swap Larsson for Landeskog or Murray for Galchenyuk. I don’t think the Oilers would have taken Larsson/Murray back-to-back, but it’s possible, I guess.

    The Galchenyuk thing: most people here thought C was a pressing priority and had Galchenyuk not gotten hurt, he was definitely in the debate for #1 overall with Yak. Murray was considered solid, but not amazing at anything.

    Landeskog was said to be a man playing with boys and wouldn’t have as much upside as Nuge but would bring leadership and a grittier element. While that’s probably still true, I think he was, by most people’s views, the #2 forward on the list. Larsson could have slipped in ahead of him, yes. And as we discussed, Couturier fell back, Strome, Huberdeau were considered a notch below Nuge as offensive centremen.

  33. Well Oiled and Enthusiastic says:

    Concern over RNH – wow. I still think he has every chance of being the real difference maker for the Oilers (amongst the top picks) when we finally truly contend. He’ll bring the offense just fine but he has SO much more to bring to the game. He is cerebral and responsible and too many true talents are not. By example, Yak is not and I’m not saying Yak won’t have success in the NHL but he simply doesn’t have the dimensions that RNH has – never will. Neither does Hall or Eberle. These types of elite players are so, so coveted and essential to actually winning a cup. We may actually see Draisaitl supplant RNH as 1C, but man, that is a great outcome because it won’t be because RNH doesn’t muster up, it’s because LD is that strong. But let’s wait a couple seasons to make that determination. We have the 1/2 punch down the middle, we just have to be patient.

  34. Doug McLachlan says:

    Are we seriously doing this?

    The problems with the Oil are not the face cards: Hall, Nuge (not even Yak or Nurse) it is the lesser players needing to be real NHLers while the top-end talent grows into their bodies and roles.

    Like LT (and pretty much anyone else) I wish the Oil could have found a quality #2 center with sufficient size and skill to hold the seat for (or at least challenge) Leon but it didn’t happen. Still this is so much more of an NHL squad (top to bottom) than we’ve seen in some time.

    Curious to see the Vegas over/under pts line for NHL teams. The Oilers, at 80.5 seem to be slotted in as a multi-team tie for 9th in the West. Is 9th in the West significant enough progress to say that we have turned the corner?

  35. RexLibris says:

    OilClog: Anyone taking Seguin over Hall doesn’t know their hockey. No offense to Seguin but he’s not even consider top 30 C probably where as Hall is pretty much the gold Standard at left wing.

    If Hall was in the East he would be celebrated like he Jeebus reborn.

    Hall over Seguin? Not a chance.

    But don’t discount Seguin.

    He was 5th in the league in P/60 for forwards playing 1000 minutes or more last season – behind Getzlaf, Perry, Benn and Hall – on HockeyAnalysis and 3rd in the league for Cs behind Getzlaf and Crosby on BtN.

    He may not be the two-way player that Nugent-Hopkins is, but if I had to do it all over again, I’d have traded virtually any player/prospect to Chiarelli in 2010 outside of Eberle to get that pick, return Seguin to junior the following season.

  36. nycoil says:

    Doug McLachlan,

    I think the corner has been turned. Last season was the nadir. This team is miles and miles better than last year’s. You can go back and see but I didn’t believe the team as constructed last year at the start of the season had any hope of the playoffs. While I don’t think the team is going to make the playoffs this year, it’s going to be a lot more competitive.

    Just to clarify my comments, I am NOT saying the problem is with the face cards. They’re good and will get better as they mature. The problem has always been surrounding them with a good supporting cast. As you say, once again there are holes, i.e. at centre. But far less holes than last year. The team’s improvement likely comes from the face cards, as they are a year older and stronger. The supporting cast will allow them to shine. The future is bright.

    What I was saying was: A) Nuge is a helluva player. And if he can hold his own at EV but be a PP Witch, what’s wrong with that? People are getting too worked up about him. I am least worried about him after Hall. B) Caramel Obvious talked about who else the Oilers could have taken. All I did was throw out a different hypothetical group and pose the question of which group is tracking better at this time.

    I am not saying the Oilers’ kids are no good. Far from it. I believe in each and every one. I am not as sold on Oilers’ management to surround them with the right pieces, as they have proved to be slow at addressing these needs so far. Eventually these kids will be just too good to hold the team down, and that begins this year, and manifests itself with a long-awaited playoff berth on the 10th anniversary of the last Cup run, imo.

  37. Frank The Dog says:

    Henry:
    The Nuge is a super elite hockey player whose body is filling into his talent.

    One notable inhibitor on his development: coaching continuity.

    2010-11 – Jesse Wallin
    2011-12 – Tom Renney
    2012 –Todd Nelson
    2013 –Ralph Kruegar
    2013-14 – Dallas Eakins

    That is a lot of systems to learn while taking on the best in the league right from the outset.It’s a good thing he is blessed with intelligence and an even temperament.And that he skates like Federov.

    For the sake of the Nuge, I really hope Eakins is successful.

    Nuge did have consistent coaching from 2011 to 2014. That coach was Kelly Buchberger.

  38. ashley says:

    I can’t imagine who’s saying that about RNH.

    If I could only have one of the 3 #1 OV, it would be RNH. He does so much, so well at both ends of the ice at a valuable position. He’s the centrepiece of this team.

    If I could only have two, I would take RNH and Yak. Sorry LT, I love Hall too, but Yak is going to have the better career IMO. Some related to durability, but also sheer skill advantage over Hall. The only question is whether he will be an Oiler for that career.

  39. Doug McLachlan says:

    nycoil,

    Hear you and agree.

    I suspect most of the frustration comes from thinking that when you get 3 #1 picks you should expect to be selecting 3 generational talents – sorry, the calendar didn’t favour the Oilers. Still, that Hall kid could be a good one :-)

    There is an expectation that when you get a boatload of young talent things just instantly gel and off you go to the Cup parade. Doesn’t work like that even with the best examples (Pittsburgh and Chicago) and it certainly doesn’t always go in a straight line.

    That said, I could see the Oilers having a run like Colorado did a few years back where they manage to catch enough lightning for long enough to make it into the post-season. Not saying that it will happen – just that it could.

  40. B S says:

    Bank Shot:
    RNH’s first season was lucky as he led the entire NHL in PP production. There is no denying that.

    The questions surrounding RNH’s offence are legitimate up to this point.

    He has never hit 2.00 P/60 ES. The closest he came was his first season at 1.98, then 1.29, then 1.56.

    Looking at guys like Seguin, Tavares, Stamkos, Hall, Kane, even Eberle. What’s the common demoninator? They all only have a single season below the 2 p/60 threshold ES. RNH is 3 for 3.

    Maybe he will get there, but he is definitely lagging behind thus far. If he fails to hit that magic mark yet again in his 4th season, I think we have to conclude he is a tier below don’t we?

    In a way its good that RNH and Yakupov haven’t exploded like other #1′s because at least their second contracts will be conducive to allowing some depth on the team.

    Hopefully one of the first year forward pros surprises in a good way tonight and through training camp. The Oilers sure need it, and the fans have been waiting for forever and a day for it to happen to an underdog prospect.

    That’s not really a fair comparison though. RNH played center for two kid wingers from day one. Stamkos had the most productive players since the ’06 lockout as a linemate. Other than Tavares the rest were wingers (Seguin didn’t play center ’til last season). In the absence of corsi data, let’s look at +/-, Nuge was -2, +3, then -12 (stupid Eakins). Stamkos and Tavares were -13 -2 +3 +7 and -15 -16 -6 -2 -6 respectively. Defensively Nuge was better his first two years, while essentially playing with greenhorns.

    Why does this matter to Nuge’s 5v5 offense? As has been lamented for the last several seasons, the Oilers play most of the game in their own end. Nuge doesn’t cheat for offense so he’s scoring fewer points, but he is (mostly) still helping the team against the toughest opp. Not only is that 1st line center qualifications, it means that as the team wins the Ozone more, he’ll be put in fewer defensive situations and be more productive.

  41. justDOit says:

    Lowetide: This is true. Not exactly riots, more like love ins with damaged hoods and roofs on cars.

    I was fortunate enough to be in Edmonton in ’87, and headed to Jasper ave a couple hours after the game ended. Stumbled out of a club later that eve, and was immediately enveloped in a moving crowd of people that was wall to wall. I couldn’t have turned left if my life was at stake.

    I was amazed at the people sitting on top of light poles and bus shelters, beers in hand. The police made their presence known, but let the circus run it’s course.

    I’d like to know how that guy climbed a light pole. With a beer.

  42. OilClog says:

    RexLibris: Hall over Seguin? Not a chance.

    But don’t discount Seguin.

    He was 5th in the league in P/60 for forwards playing 1000 minutes or more last season – behind Getzlaf, Perry, Benn and Hall – on HockeyAnalysis and 3rd in the league for Cs behind Getzlaf and Crosby on BtN.

    He may not be the two-way player that Nugent-Hopkins is, but if I had to do it all over again, I’d have traded virtually any player/prospect to Chiarelli in 2010 outside of Eberle to get that pick, return Seguin to junior the following season.

    Oh for sure, no disagreement there.

    I like Seguin, think he’s a hell of a talent. But Hall is a Nova talent and I don’t really think Oiler fans for the most part understand this. He’s the center of the gravitational pull, what’s he’s been doing in his situation is truly phenomenal, and now that my Beloved Hemsky is gone ;( ;( ;( . All my fanboy powers are now directed at Taylor Hall, there is nothing anyone can rip on this kid about when you sit back and look at the stat sheet in normal or advanced stats that this kid has put together.

    Is Landeskog more freightening with the puck then Nuge? No.
    Is Gal more scary with the puck then Yak? No.

    When you’re drafting 1st overall, draft the kid that scares the living crap out of you with the puck. Or you pick a guy name Johnson and fail miserably.
    It’s the only way to get those guys in Edmonton’s situation. Would the Oilers get Yak, Nuge, or Hall when they hit UFA if they were from another org scoring lights out. Not a facking chance sirs and madams.

    If these kids actually played on a roster full of NHL talent they would look a lot more beautiful. With the additions of Fayne, Pouliot, Purcell, Nikita, a quality goalie tandem, and Ramsay let’s see what these “kids” can do on a level playing field and revisit which group we’d like to take. Imo

  43. Diesel says:

    ashley:
    I can’t imagine who’s saying that about RNH.

    If I could only have one of the 3 #1 OV, it would be RNH.He does so much, so well at both ends of the ice at a valuable position.He’s the centrepiece of this team.

    If I could only have two, I would take RNH and Yak.Sorry LT, I love Hall too, but Yak is going to have the better career IMO.Some related to durability, but also sheer skill advantage over Hall.The only question is whether he will be an Oiler for that career.

    I can accept the choice of Nuge over Hall as a matter of opinion (even though I disagree), but not Yak over Hall.

    Hall is franchise. Yak is franchisee.

  44. Gerta Rauss says:

    Edmonton Oilers ✔ @EdmontonOilers

    #Oilers D pairings: Boland-Musil, Nurse-Gernat, Simpson-Oesterle, Craig-Ludwig, Betker. Goalies: Brossoit, Tuohimaa, Rimmer, Bouchard

  45. Gerta Rauss says:

    Edmonton Oilers ✔ @EdmontonOilers

    #Oilers forward lines: Moroz-Draisaitl-Chase, Kessy-Khaira-Holmberg, Roy-Jones-Jones, Tkachev-Yakimov-Houck, Winquist-Ewanyk-Krushelnyski

  46. Gerta Rauss says:

    Jack Michaels ✔ @EdmontonJack

    Laurent Brossoit starting tonight–reminder no CHED broadcast so head over to Oilers TV at 8:30 MT. @GenePrincipe & @TomGazzola w/coverage

  47. Gerta Rauss says:

    Bob Stauffer ✔ @Bob_Stauffer

    Greg Chase has significantly altered his body composition. Far quicker and “Ference-like” on the bike. From sleeper to keeper!

  48. justDOit says:

    Gerta Rauss: Moroz-Draisaitl-Chase

    The ‘Yikes’ line – as in, what the other team’s defenseman will be saying.

  49. Bank Shot says:

    B S: That’s not really a fair comparison though. RNH played center for two kid wingers from day one. Stamkos had the most productive players since the ’06 lockout as a linemate. Other than Tavares the rest were wingers (Seguin didn’t play center ’til last season). In the absence of corsi data, let’s look at +/-, Nuge was -2, +3, then -12 (stupid Eakins). Stamkos and Tavares were -13 -2 +3 +7 and -15 -16 -6 -2 -6 respectively. Defensively Nuge was better his first two years, while essentially playing with greenhorns.Why does this matter to Nuge’s 5v5 offense? As has been lamented for the last several seasons, the Oilers play most of the game in their own end. Nuge doesn’t cheat for offense so he’s scoring fewer points, but he is (mostly) still helping the team against the toughest opp. Not only is that 1st line center qualifications, it means that as the team wins the Ozone more, he’ll be put in fewer defensive situations and be more productive.

    RNH hasn’t had poor linemates. There may be good reasons for RNH’s lack of ES production, but its still a lack if we are comparing him to the other 1st overall’s since Stamkos. Comparing only rookie seasons makes RNH look good in comparison, but it was a lucky season. His three year aggregate leaves him well down the list.

    I like RNH as a player, but if we are comparing his offence to his number 1 peers as Lowetide does in his post, then RNH is basically sitting in a tie with Yakupov for last place.

    We might need to explore the possibility that Nuge is Trevor Linden rather then Joe Sakic.

  50. godot10 says:

    The problem with Ryan Nugent-Hopkins is the same problem with Nail Yakupov…Dallas Eakins.

    Hopefully the problem will be “solved” soon.

  51. nycoil says:

    Gerta Rauss,

    Nurse-Gernat pairing: holy wing span!

  52. B S says:

    Bank Shot,

    Nuge’s linemates had one more season of NHL experience than him, they were still practically rookies. As the defensive conscience on that line he’s not going to be taking the same chances he could with veteran wingers. My point is more that RNH has not had the same development of Stamkos and Tavares, who seem to have been given the OK to shoot lights out their first couple of years and at least Stamkos was given some help from his linemates (I can’t recall who Tavares played with). I’m not saying his development was better or worse, just different and that difference may be one of the reasons Nuge’s even strength scoring is lower and it isn’t related to his offensive skill. In other words Nuge’s scoring may have been lower, but I think it’s situational rather than a skill/ability problem. With more favourable situations his scoring should rise.

  53. B S says:

    nycoil:
    Gerta Rauss,

    Nurse-Gernat pairing: holy wing span!

    They can just stand at the blueline hand in hand and arms stretched out.

  54. nycoil says:

    Gerta Rauss:
    Edmonton Oilers✔ @EdmontonOilers

    #Oilers D pairings: Boland-Musil, Nurse-Gernat, Simpson-Oesterle, Craig-Ludwig, Betker. Goalies: Brossoit, Tuohimaa, Rimmer, Bouchard

    Whaaaaat? CRAIG-LUDWIG? Is this coincidence or is someone playing a joke? My all-time favourite Dallas Star, for blowing a wheel and falling to the ice as Todd Marchant flew past him. (Followed closely by Patrik Stefan for that empty net gaffe)

  55. wheatnoil says:

    Bank Shot: RNH hasn’t had poor linemates. There may be good reasons for RNH’s lack of ES production, but its still a lack if we are comparing him to the other 1st overall’s since Stamkos. Comparing only rookie seasons makes RNH look good in comparison, but it was a lucky season. His three year aggregate leaves him well down the list.

    By what criteria have you determined that Nuge’s first season was ‘lucky’? His second season was lockout shortened and one where he was battling a persistent shoulder injury that eventually cut his season further short in order to have surgery. In his third season he came in after said operation with no training camp and may or may not have been 100%.

    I’m not suggesting we discount his second and third seasons completely. However, there are at least some legitimate reasons why Nuge did not produce as much offensively, particularly in his second year.

    I think it’s fair to say that Nuge hasn’t shown himself to be an even-strength killer like Hall, so far in his young and injury-marred career. However, it’s a tad early to say he’s not going to be an elite #1 centre.

  56. bretskigretzky says:

    Can’t we all agree that the environment surrounding our young players the past 8 years has been completely toxic? It’s impossible to know if it was a better pick because guys like Seguin & Kane went to completely different teams and environments.

    Nuge has been consistently playing tough minutes.

    The Oilers have had very inconsistent coaching with many changes.

    Nuge hasn’t had anyone to mentor him besides Horcs (not the same kind of player).

    All of the Oiler picks were solid picks. Now it’s time to make the best of them. Are half the people here regretful people? What can be done about the picks now?

    Calling Nuge cerebral is bang on. He’s brilliant for someone so young. The kid is going to be the smartest player on the ice with a bit more maturity. He won’t be Steve Yzerman but he’ll be something different. He’ll be Nuge, and that will be more than adequate.

  57. rickithebear says:

    Diesel: I can accept the choice of Nuge over Hall as a matter of opinion (even though I disagree), but not Yak over Hall.

    Hall is franchise. Yak is franchisee.

    Last 10 seasons first top 30 G season achieved:
    U 21 Draft +3
    Skinner 18 10-11
    —————————————
    Nash 19 03-04
    Crosby 19 05-06
    Stamkos 19 09-10
    Yakupov 19 12-13
    —————————————
    Ovechkin 20 05-06
    Malkin 20 06-07
    Toews 20 08-09
    Tavares 20 10-11

    U24 draft +6
    E. Staal 21 05-06
    Kopitar 21 07-08
    Kessel 21 08-09
    Ryan 21 08-09
    Little 21 08-09
    Stoguchi 21 08-09
    P. Kane 21 09-10
    Couture 21 10-11
    Eberle 21 11-12
    E. Kane 21 11-12
    R. Johansen 21 13-14
    Seguin 21 13-14
    ——————————————–
    B. Richards 22 03-04
    M. Havlat 22 03-04
    Gaborik 22 05-06
    Semin 22 06-07
    Vanek 22 06-07
    Perry 22 07-08
    J. carter 22 07-08
    Backstrom 22 09-10
    Hornquist 22 09-10
    Lucic 22 10-11
    Kadri 22 12-13
    Stepan 22 12-13
    Duschene 22 12-13
    R. O’rielly 22 13-14
    ——————————————–
    Spezza 23 06-07
    D. brown 23 07-08
    Parise 23 07-08
    L. Erickson 23 08-09
    grabner 23 10-11
    Pacioretty 23 11-12
    Voracek 23 12-13
    JVR 23 12-13
    —————————————
    taylor hall has never been top 30 in goals.
    10-11 22 G #69
    11-12 27G #41
    12-13 16G #35
    13-14 27G #33

    Players that have been
    top 30 in Goals.
    Eberle
    Yak
    Perron 28 G #26 13-14

    Top 60
    Hall
    Purcell 24G #60 11-12

  58. Pouzar says:

    LT,

    Who is the gentleman from Winnipeg who will be at the Young Stars tourney?
    I wanna follow as many people at the game as possible.

    Cheers

  59. John Chambers says:

    wheatnoil,

    I like Nuge, but over the latter half of the season it became clear after a woeful offensive stretch that this guy wasn’t yet an elite offensive NHL player and that a lot of his stats could be credited to Hall and to a lesser extent Eberle as his wingers. When RNH was paired with Perron instead of Hall he was largely ineffective 5×5.

    But he will just have turned 21 and has overcome injuries, while still putting up reasonable numbers offensively. I think the big thing is that he over-achieved as an 18-year old, blowing everyone expectations out of the water (and earning a mighty contract!).

    But when you compare him to his draft class, he’s still the toast. Even comparing the World Juniors’ in 2012, he was the tournament’s top player by a landslide, just after owning the AHL as a 19-year old.

    And that’s the main point: can you really expect a player to excel in the NHL before the age of 20? Unless your name is Crosby, Tavares, or even Hall, the answer is a pure ‘no’. Nuge is doing fine for his age, with Landeskog and Strome projecting nicely. I think RNH has a 60-70 point season as the team’s top-line centre, and ends up having a career like Jason Spezza’s with a dash of Datsyuk and flashes of Sakic.

    That’s why Draisaitl, even for his size and giftedness, shouldn’t be expected to contribute in a top-9 role until the year 2016 at earliest. He might be Kopitar eventually, but he’s got to be legal to drink in the ‘States first.

  60. Bank Shot says:

    B S: Bank Shot, Nuge’s linemates had one more season of NHL experience than him, they were still practically rookies. As the defensive conscience on that line he’s not going to be taking the same chances he could with veteran wingers. My point is more that RNH has not had the same development of Stamkos and Tavares, who seem to have been given the OK to shoot lights out their first couple of years and at least Stamkos was given some help from his linemates (I can’t recall who Tavares played with). I’m not saying his development was better or worse, just different and that difference may be one of the reasons Nuge’s even strength scoring is lower and it isn’t related to his offensive skill. In other words Nuge’s scoring may have been lower, but I think it’s situational rather than a skill/ability problem. With more favourable situations his scoring should rise.

    I just think RNH isn’t as good as Tavares and Stamkos and likely never will be. The numbers back that up.

    That’s fine with me. I like Nuge and think he can be a number 1 center on a Stanley team. I just think he is on the low end of first overall forwards taken in the last decade.

  61. Pouzar says:

    Jack Michaels ‏@EdmontonJack 2h
    2 crystal-clear impressions: @Barons_Coach is dead-set on winning this tournament & Jujhar Khaira player to watch after injury-plagued year.

  62. Bank Shot says:

    wheatnoil,

    Nuge’s first season was lucky because he finished first in the NHL in p/60 among players with 2+ minutes of PP ice time.

    If you look at the top 30 leaders in that from season to season its mostly different guys every season.

    Nuge finsihing first and then not cracking the top 30 again speaks to lots of luck in his first season.

  63. rickithebear says:

    David krejci his 22-27 years seasons.
    442Gm 104g 247A .235GPG .559 APG .794 PPG
    79gm 18G 44A

    RNH 2 semi healthy seasons: 18 & 20 yr seasons
    142GM 37G 71A .260 GPG .50 APG .76 PPG
    76Gm 19G 38A

    Arco’s projects to
    13G and 40A +10 at 2C

  64. stevezie says:

    nycoil,

    I think you could make a pretty good argument that over the last twenty years the Oilers’ main rival was not Calgary, or even Vancouver, but Dallas. How I’ve enjoyed their recent failures.

    Which is why it’s so shocking that Jim Nill (and, to a lesser extent, Pittsburgh’s frustrating moves) has turned the Stars into my second favourite team. Hemsky and Spezza are two the funnest players to watch, Benn is one of the most effective, Seguin is a great story to follow, Goligosmthng might be a legit #1 defender… I’m actively cheering for them.

    It feels weird.

  65. bretskigretzky says:

    John Chambers,

    You, sir, sound like the kind of kid that was ostracized for being a bit chunky in highschool only to over compensate by turning into a boxer/meathead.

    Nuge will be superior to Spezza. He may not be as gifted with his mits but he can pass like anyone in the league, already. I liked the comparison to Federov (later in his career). Nuge will be a legitimate bet for a top 7 first line centre in this league in a few years. I’ll bet my first born son on it.

  66. Bank Shot says:

    stevezie: nycoil, I think you could make a pretty good argument that over the last twenty years the Oilers’ main rival was not Calgary, or even Vancouver, but Dallas. How I’ve enjoyed their recent failures.Which is why it’s so shocking that Jim Nill (and, to a lesser extent, Pittsburgh’s frustrating moves) has turned the Stars into my second favourite team. Hemsky and Spezza are two the funnest players to watch, Benn is one of the most effective, Seguin is a great story to follow, Goligosmthng might be a legit #1 defender… I’m actively cheering for them. It feels weird.

    Yeah, Dallas is a pretty likeable team and Nill has made some great moves since becmoing GM there.

    As for Oilers biggest Rivals over the last 20 years, I would think Lowe has to be at the top.

  67. Lowetide says:

    GDT is up!

  68. Lowetide says:

    Pouzar:
    LT,

    Who is the gentleman from Winnipeg who will be at the Young Stars tourney?
    I wanna follow as many people at the game as possible.

    Cheers

    Kevin McCartney.

  69. Diesel says:

    rickithebear: Last 10 seasons first top 30 G season achieved:
    U 21 Draft +3
    Skinner 18 10-11
    —————————————
    Nash 19 03-04
    Crosby 19 05-06
    Stamkos 19 09-10
    Yakupov 19 12-13
    —————————————
    Ovechkin 20 05-06
    Malkin 20 06-07
    Toews 20 08-09
    Tavares 20 10-11

    U24 draft +6
    E. Staal 21 05-06
    Kopitar 21 07-08
    Kessel 21 08-09
    Ryan 21 08-09
    Little 21 08-09
    Stoguchi 21 08-09
    P. Kane 21 09-10
    Couture 21 10-11
    Eberle 21 11-12
    E. Kane21 11-12
    R. Johansen 21 13-14
    Seguin 21 13-14
    ——————————————–
    B. Richards 22 03-04
    M. Havlat 22 03-04
    Gaborik 22 05-06
    Semin 22 06-07
    Vanek 22 06-07
    Perry 22 07-08
    J. carter 22 07-08
    Backstrom 22 09-10
    Hornquist 22 09-10
    Lucic 22 10-11
    Kadri 22 12-13
    Stepan 22 12-13
    Duschene 22 12-13
    R. O’rielly 22 13-14
    ——————————————–
    Spezza 23 06-07
    D. brown 23 07-08
    Parise 23 07-08
    L. Erickson 23 08-09
    grabner 23 10-11
    Pacioretty 23 11-12
    Voracek 23 12-13
    JVR 23 12-13
    —————————————
    taylor hall has never been top 30 in goals.
    10-11 22 G #69
    11-12 27G #41
    12-13 16G #35
    13-14 27G #33

    Players that have beentop 30 in Goals.
    Eberle
    Yak
    Perron 28 G #26 13-14

    Top 60
    Hall
    Purcell 24G #60 11-12

    Fair enough. But there’s 30+ players on that list that I wouldn’t trade Taylor Hall for.

  70. "Steve Smith" says:

    nycoil: Whaaaaat? CRAIG-LUDWIG? Is this coincidence or is someone playing a joke? My all-time favourite Dallas Star, for blowing a wheel and falling to the ice as Todd Marchant flew past him. (Followed closely by Patrik Stefan for that empty net gaffe)

    I don’t think that “Craig Ludwig” means what you think it means (because you seem to think that it means “Grant Ledyard”).

  71. Pouzar says:

    Lowetide: Kevin McCartney

    Yes that’s the one. Thank you fine sir!

  72. nycoil says:

    “Steve Smith”,

    That is more than likely. Product of Friday evening beers (remember I am two hours ahead of you lot in Mountain time), plus years and years of drinking away my Oiler sorrows. I remember three lead-footed Dallas D-men back then, not counting Sydor. Hatcher, Ledyard, Ludwig. I remember it being one of the ones with an L. Could have been Ludwig, could have been Ledyard. I haven’t watched that scene in about 10 years. Too painful to think of a team that had talent and grit like that one and it’s been 17 years? 17?!. So I am not going to argue with you there.

  73. nycoil says:

    One of them had “wings” on his shin pads. Remember that? One of Ledyard or Ludwig that is. And I looked it up. You are right. Ledyard, it was, not Ludwig. Still, doesn’t change the fact that a Craig-Ludwig pairing just sounds like a funny coincidence!

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