MAY YOU LIVE IN INTERESTING TIMES.

I used to play APBA baseball, which tells you the nerd in me flourished as a child. APBA baseball is universally mocked by those who don’t understand (my brother, for instance) but gives you a keen sense of certain basic truths. For instance, if you play 400 games with a crappy team, you’re going to lose a lot more than you win. However, in a specific point in time—five games or ten, or twenty or thirty even—your team can cheat its destiny.

NHL hockey is like that, too. You can cheat for a little while, but sooner or later it all comes home to roost. In last night’s game, the Oilers at even strength enjoyed a Corsi for/against of 66-34, +32 (or 66%). I don’t have the spreadsheets going back, but would guess that’s one of the Oilers’ best performances of the last decade, possibly even longer. If you had a shot differential spreadsheet and told me last night’s game was the best Oilers performance of all time, I’d believe you. 66%! Jesus, Mary and Joseph this team was in the low 40’s a year ago!

Look, I know it’s no fun informing your brain it’s wrong after a 5-2 loss, and I fully expect some of you to ram “Oilers apologist!” or “Sorry Lowetide, you’re wrong!” on the comments this morning. However, the following statements are true:

  • Last night saw the Oilers performance at even strength reach stunning heights, absolutely stratosphere stuff.
  • They scored 2 power play goals!
  • The Oilers lost 5-2.

How can that be?

  • Luck.
  • Two goal posts (Eberle and Hunt) could have changed the script.
  • Outstanding goaltending from Calgary.
  • The third period was more even to my eye (I stand to be corrected).

I understand there’s rage in the cage and “dammit all anyway this team always does this kind of crap” but it’s important this morning—of all mornings—to feed your brain with the correct information. The correct information is? If the Edmonton Oilers have a 66% Corsi in the next 9 games you’ll be dancing a jig every day and your wife may be pregnant.

oilers pk

The photo above is getting big play, but the Oilers PK was quality in this game (gave up a late goal after it mattered). The special teams (to my eye) is going to be a strength of this team this season if everyone stays healthy. I think that’s why Will Acton is still around too, Eakins raves about his PK ability. It’s a big damn deal, and when the game was in doubt last night Edmonton’s PK was stellar (photo above aside).

  • Dallas Eakins: “I’m not going to walk out here and say we played crappy, because we didn’t. But we lost the game and that’s unacceptable.”

It’s unacceptable? Why? I think the real answer is “due to the fact we have so little wiggle room here based on our recent history as a team” because there’s really no other reason to frame the issue in this way. It’s a frustrating game, but Dallas Eakins will want another just like it on Saturday. If you look at the period from about 5 minutes of the first period through end of the second, that’s music! You can’t get more dominant in the NHL. If the pucks that should have gone in did go in, it’s 4-2 after two and that’s all she wrote.

Surely we can agree on this. Surely.

  • Dallas Eakins: “If we (out-shoot teams 40-26) every night, we will have a very, very good season.” 

Money. Absolute money. I think losing opens Eakins up to all kinds of criticisms (he didn’t play the final game with his opening night lineup, he dressed Brad Hunt and paired him with Justin Schultz, and on it will go today) but fact remains he won the possession battle and if the goaltending and luck are back to do (re-mi) this thing is a win.

 GAME CORGI’S

Are here. Nuge 80%, Eberle 75%, Hall 74.1%, Brad Hunt 72.4%. It’s a tough day if you’re looking for a bad number in that bunch, and the TOI totals are very reasonable overall. I will say that Jeff Petry’s 17:42 and Justin Schultz’s 23:28 are a curio, but the Oilers don’t value Jeff Petry for what he is (Petry was 75% Corsi last night, Schultz 60%) and we’re simply going to have to accept it.

king scrivensWe’re going to read a lot about Scrivens today, and he was outplayed by the guy at the other end last night. I’m happy to see how Fasth does on Saturday night, but the numbers suggest there isn’t a lot to choose between these two men. Going back to the APBA games again, if we play enough games Scrivens’ numbers this season will eventually reflect his career numbers, injuries and swarm aside.

WHAT’S THE BAD NEWS?

Well, the problem is you develop a past. Dallas Eakins and this group of Oilers don’t have a massive canvass to paint their masterpiece, and fact is the organization would have been better off losing the Corsi battle and winning the game. OVER THE LONG TERM that’s not true, but this organization has a fragile fan base whose rage could reach DEFCON ONE by Saturday at midnight. If they lose in Vancouver and Los Angeles AND Phoenix while doing well in the Corsi battle?

Well, I’ll be here talking about good indicators but I wonder how many of you will be listening. It’s one thing to buy the logic and reason in the morning dawn, another to do it after a Saturday loss to the left coast Canucks with the demon liquor running all round our brains.

What’s that old Chinese proverb? May you live in interesting times? I’ve always felt it sounded more like a curse.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

Ann Margret

At 10, Lowdown hits TSN 1260. Steve Lansky from Bigmouth Sports kicks it off, followed by Matt Henderson of Hockeybuzz to discuss the game last night. At 11, Jesse Spector from The Sporting News will talk baseball’s LCS and then Paul Almeida will drop in to pass along his own unique brand of sunshine. 🙂 Dave Jamieson helps wrap it up with Oiler and football talk, and then it’s the weekend!

@Lowetide_ on twitter and 10-1260 on text.

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176 Responses to "MAY YOU LIVE IN INTERESTING TIMES."

  1. RMGS says:

    Great post. Thank you, sir, for calming the waters.

    It was the first game for this line-up with D-men coming off injury and sub-par goaltending, and they still got 2/3 of the shot share. The goaltending will improve, and Fayne (and hopefully Nikitin) will be better. Keep the faith (I realize I’m behind in the Book¡e points contest).

  2. Adam Wu says:

    “may you live in interesting times” WAS supposed to be a curse!

  3. Lowetide says:

    Adam Wu:
    “may you live in interesting times” WAS supposed to be a curse!

    I KNEW IT!

  4. oliveoilers says:

    Morning Alan!

    “How can that be?
    •Luck.
    •Two goal posts (Eberle and Hunt) could have changed the script.
    •Outstanding goaltending from Calgary.
    •The third period was more even to my eye (I stand to be corrected).”

    What did you say to me a few weeks ago? Ah yes, “your hyperbole is showing!” Still, here’s something to cheer us up!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hkWIn3GE9Ec

    or

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9EH1G4EwljM

    And to prove I’m actually an optimist at heart:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZR6wok7g7do

    Have yourself a great day!

  5. oliveoilers says:

    RMGS:
    Great post.Thank you, sir, for calming the waters.

    It was the first game for this line-up with D-men coming off injury and sub-par goaltending, and they still got 2/3 of the shot share.The goaltending will improve, and Fayne (and hopefully Nikitin) will be better.Keep the faith (I realize I’m behind in the Book¡e points contest).

    Wow, something just changed in the matrix, because I’ve got really bad deja vu. Pretty sure I’ve read this post before in October. Maybe it was 2013. Replace Fayne and Nikitin with 2013 D-Men and it works.

  6. tubes says:

    Didn’t watch the second and third, was at the Ryan Adams concert.

    How do the oilers always leave a man wide open in front of the net? I’m sure Eakins doesn’t tell them “alright guys, everyone to the puck carrier in the corner, let’s really force him.” Are they that stupid defensively?

  7. skshred says:

    I watched the 1st and 2nd then headed to bed with a nagging feeling they would lose the game. I woke up at 3 am and decided to check the final score … bad idea; I didn’t fall back asleep until I had to get up for work. If the team that I watched for 35 minutes of those two periods is the real Oilers then I am pumped for this year. However, there is a splinter in my brain that says they are not.

  8. Mark-LW says:

    So this is luck?
    and this?
    And I don’t have the video of the last goal to take a SS of but I’m sure everyone has seen it on Twitter.

    Different year, same shit. Oilers deserved this loss after their roster decisions this year/pre-season.

    Send down Marincin because he’s not better than two guys in the press box? Start the worst goalie in pre-season?

    You reap what you sow.

  9. Nomad787 says:

    Happy to see Hunt play well and push the pace. How much worse would Klefbom or Nurse be than Ference or Nikitin?

  10. John Chambers says:

    What’s the opposite of bittersweet?

  11. Adam Wu says:

    For 35 minutes we saw the kind of team the Oilers could become this year. 4 forward lines all generating offence. The rookie 2c and his line mates looking good. Defensively responsible. Crushing the weak sisters in the conference. Capable of being competitive with playoff teams.

    For 25 minutes we saw the old Oilers. Defensively ludicrous, terrible goaltending.

    How this season ultimately goes depends on how the team manages to transform from B to A. And transitions are never instant. We will see more games like this, where they will look great for stretches but lose for those other stretches where they look terrible. It could be even more frustrating that the black hole of despair last year, to be tantalized with hope only to see that hope dashed repeatedly.

    I hope I’ll still have hair by December.

  12. MenovOil says:

    Hate to be the bearer of bad news but we said the same thing last year. Soft schedule at the start, losing most of the games but winning CORSI. We ended up playing the big guns, and we were murdered both on CORSI and the scoreboard.

    About last night, we were dynamite for 35 minutes, but allowed 5 goals in the other 25. Our top line was murdered in the defensive zone again. It’s the same story over and over and over…

  13. John Chambers says:

    Yak played very well, too. I don’t think we speak of him as being a “liability” anymore. I’ll take the loss simply based on that reality alone.

  14. Woodguy says:

    Pretty much spot on.

    The corgi’s ran wild, but individual brain farts and poor play sunk the team.

    Nikitin and Jultz were just god awful if they didn’t have the puck.

    Nikitin wandered out of position all night (including on goal 2 where he wandered BEHIND the net onto Fayne’s side leaving the front of the net wide open ……bang goal)

    Jutlz was similar, but was often close to being in the right spot, but not doing much defending while he was there.

    Scrivens shit the bed.

    I think this is a very, very good forward group that MacT has put together.

    Might be top 10 overall in the league if all 4 lines keep playing like that.

    The D is not good and the worst part is that they are gong to have to make decisions on some players and I fear the wrong decisions all they way down the line.

    One piece of advice that NHL GM’s gave often in the book “Behind the moves” was

    “Don’t fall in love with your players”

    MacT has fallen in love with Jultz, Klef and Nurse.

    Mact has no love for Petry and Marincin.

    The latter two are better than the previous 3 today, and probably tomorrow as well.

    I think I’ll be better the over on many Oiler games this year.

    Love is blind.

  15. Mark-LW says:

    Woodguy

    Nikitin and Jultz were just god awful if they didn’t have the puck.

    Jutlz was similar, but was often close to being in the right spot, but not doing much defending while he was there.

    Scrivens shit the bed.

    We knew the D was bad and that Scrivens wasn’t playing well beforehand.

    Inexcusable

  16. su_dhillon says:

    Thought the forwards looked great, it was the first time in forever that even down 2 I felt confident they were going to get back into the game. The new hires up front seem to mix in well on their lines, there is no question the forward depth on this team is miles ahead of where its been last few years.

    Jeff Petry was absolutely terrific, man I am going to miss that guy. Still feels like his best years are ahead which really makes me sad.

    The goaltending was awful, the game was a lot like last years opening loss to Winnipeg, the good news this year is you have legit plan B in Fasth

    The issue will be how long this group can keep their golden gooses, it’s only 1 game but Jultz still looks like Jultz, he’s a guy who should be playing limited 3rd pairing 5×5 minutes yet last night he leads the D in even strength minutes. The 4th goal was just a horrendous effort by him.

    Nikitin didn’t look great to me last night but he may not of been 100% after getting hurt last week so not sure how much to take from last night.

    Anyways if they play their best 6 which absolutely includes MM, get league avg goaltending and the forwards play at 90% of what they did last night we should have plenty of fun nights. last night sucked.

    I’ll be at the game on Sat,I would love to see Marincin in line up but would settle for Klef and less Jultz.

  17. LMHF#1 says:

    I can’t go this way with that game against that team.

    If you don’t get 40 shots on the Flames, you stink. If you don’t have the puck more often than not against them, you stink bad.

    Our expectations have been lowered too far. They play like that against LA and it’s going to be 7-1 with 19 shots for.

  18. Adam Wu says:

    oliveoilers: Wow, something just changed in the matrix, because I’ve got really bad deja vu.Pretty sure I’ve read this post before in October.Maybe it was 2013.Replace Fayne and Nikitin with 2013 D-Men and it works.

    I remember those posts from last year too.

    The difference this year is we have a coaching staff with an established track record for teaching sound defensive play.

    In Ramsay we trust! (Cause what other choice do we have, short of giving up on this team?)

  19. A'bunadh says:

    Lack of defensive awareness has been an issue for what seems like forever and it reared it’s ugly head again last night. Our coverage breakdowns seem to be of Jr. hockey proportions.

    Once again, the SGITR syndrome bites us in the ass. Fasth was head and shoulders better in preseason but Scrivens was allowed to rest on last years performance to get the start. MM on the other hand wasn’t outplayed in preseason but the smart guys spun it that way and preached “earning” your spot when they sent him down.

    The only saving grace for me was being in a suite sitting next to @tvnatasha and discussing the above with her. What a sweetheart she is. (not sure my wife sitting on the other side of me was as impressed)

  20. SoCaloil says:

    They showed really well for long stretches
    But on more occasions than then score reflected the D got right out beat
    And that’s our shortcomings
    Nikitin couldn’t hold the puck in the o-zone
    Our D loose the puck behind the red line
    Ference doesn’t belong as a 3/4D
    Schultz should not be paired with a seasoned AHLer

    I wouldn’t read into Petrys ice time too much
    That was his first game of the season

    Think Marincin is back sooner rather than later
    Maybe he’ll get more love from Eakings n McT

  21. Mark-LW says:

    LMHF#1:
    I can’t go this way with that game against that team.

    If you don’t get 40 shots on the Flames, you stink. If you don’t have the puck more often than not against them, you stink bad.

    Our expectations have been lowered too far. They play like that against LA and it’s going to be 7-1 with 19 shots for.

    Exactly. How is everyone looking at a loss, to one of the worst teams in the league on the back half of a B2B, as glass half full?

    You can’t play Hunt and Schultz together and when it falls apart 4 minutes in be like “Well shit, that’s just bad luck ain’it? “

  22. Doomoil says:

    I came away with a few thoughts:

    – Niki went from making decent plays to looking terrible.
    – Fayne seemed to fall apart in the third.
    – I love how quickly Hunt can let a shot rip. Seemed to do ok.
    – Marincin would have helped immensely.
    – Gio and Brodie are really, really good

  23. Aitch says:

    For those that think this is Groundhog Day, remember… with the exception of last season, the Oilers of this generation usually start well and then crap the bed.

  24. Adam Wu says:

    Mark-LW: We knew the D was bad and that Scrivens wasn’t playing well beforehand.

    Inexcusable

    Too much is being read into Scrivens being given the start. They said outright that they were splitting the goaltending evenly this season. Fasth can’t play 82 games. He hasn’t even established himself as the kind of goalie who could carry 60 games. If you were planning on splitting the goalies over two games vs Calgary and Vancouver, which game would you give to the goalie who played better in preseason, and which one to the one who played worse?

  25. su_dhillon says:

    Woodguy:

    I think this is a very, very good forward group that MacT has put together.

    Might be top 10 overall in the league if all 4 lines keep playing like that.

    The D is not good and the worst part is that they are gong to have to make decisions on some players and I fear the wrong decisions all they way down the line.

    One piece of advice that NHL GM’s gave often in the book “Behind the moves” was

    “Don’t fall in love with your players”

    MacT has fallen in love with Jultz, Klef and Nurse.

    Mact has no love for Petry and Marincin.

    The latter two are better than the previous 3 today, and probably tomorrow as well.

    I think I’ll be better the over on many Oiler games this year.

    Love is blind.

    Agree with it all but the last part might be most important and potentially most damaging long term.
    I wonder if a slow start makes them re-evaluate a bit.
    A loss in Van and your 0-2 staring at a loss in LA which is 0-3 and then the wheels get very wobbly. Do they keep treating Jultz as a #1 after that?

  26. jake70 says:

    No “this guy scored” caption? 🙂

  27. Mark-LW says:

    Adam Wu,

    If you are going to send down Marincin because he “got outperformed” in TC then surely you apply the same reasoning to your goalies? Fasth playing 2 games in 3 nights to start the season isn’t bad.

    Sure you have to play Scrivens somewhere, and I actually like Scrivens more than Fasth, but you can’t play two different tunes and then wipe your hands of it after it blows up.

  28. Unwashed Oilfan says:

    God dammit Oilers. I just started a new relationship and she is a Flames fan. Do you have any idea what you’re doing to me? Jesus H.

  29. A'bunadh says:

    Adam Wu: Too much is being read into Scrivens being given the start. They said outright that they were splitting the goaltending evenly this season. Fasth can’t play 82 games. He hasn’t even established himself as the kind of goalie who could carry 60 games. If you were planning on splitting the goalies over two games vs Calgary and Vancouver, which game would you give to the goalie who played better in preseason, and which one to the one who played worse?

    The team preaches earning your spot and then lets Scrivens rest on last years laurels to start the season opener. WInning the first one is way more important than winning the second. This team should never be looking past a game to the next game. Ice your best players. Full stop.

  30. Mark-LW says:

    A’bunadh: The team preaches earning your spot and then lets Scrivens rest on last years laurels to start the season opener.WInning the first one is way more important than winning the second.This team should never be looking past a game to the next game.Ice your best players.Full stop.

    ^

  31. rickithebear says:

    Last night:

    the shot and goal totals were:
    BOX:
    Edm: 1G/ 13 shots 8%
    CGY 4G/15 shots 27%

    Perimeter:
    EDM 1G/ 27 Shots 3.7 %
    CGY 1G / 11 Shots 9%

    It was bad night for D break downs in the box.
    D box dfence was 58% of shots in box.
    Marincin was 22.5%
    Aulie was 19.8%
    allowing for unchallenged high % shots
    Above glove and blocker corners.

    A complete failure on the part of the oilers to hit the open portions of the net istead of hitting the goalie.
    Our box penetration was 32.5%
    which for the year would be top 5 in league.

    58% of shots
    now the first 2 were goalie to d passing

    so 2/13 15.4 would be better than average.

    1st period wrong
    box was 13 not 15 for us!

  32. Zangetsu says:

    While I agree about the corsis, we can’t be optimistic about them yet. One game is not a good sample size, especially when it’s against the worst team in the league. Lots of mediocre teams have had 60% plus against us. I think we need to wait to see a little more before we make any guesses on what kind of team this is.

    That said I’ve had it out for Eakins for awhile. I would feel a lot more comfortable if he’s gone.

    I wish people would stop with the Hall requesting trade thing. That’s not how he would leave Edmonton. If it happens, and it won’t since the organization is behind him, it will be based around his inability to win and be a leader. At least that will be the verbal. But I repeat, it won’t happen since he is the team.

  33. DBO says:

    Dvr’d the 3rd to watch this morning. Painful.

    My .5 cents
    – best 4th line we’ve had in years. Exactly what you want. Played heavy, controlled corners, crashed net, cause some chaos around their goalie
    – top line will be fine, although Eberle seems a tad off.
    – Yak is going to score 25. Pou is solid with him. Draisatl still not sure.
    – Arco line did what you want.

    D is scary. And that’s a coaches lineup issue. Kurtis Foster had a big snapshot, but couldn’t defend. Hunt is no different, especially paired with the riverboat gambler. Hope Klefbom draws in.
    I liked Ference better then most it seems. Him and Petry seem fine. Now put Marincin with Fayne, Nd Nikitin with Schultz on sheltered 3rd pair and I’m happy.

  34. wheatnoil says:

    Thoughts about last night in the morning light:

    If Scrivens had stayed in his net in the first and not gone wandering behind, the final score is vastly different. Also by my eye, Hunt was a bit at fault on that first goal with a neutral zone pinch. It’s a bit of a problem when, on the dump in and Scrivens tries to play the puck, the first Oiler back is Nuge, not Schultz or Hunt. I haven’t re looked at the first goal, but that’s what I was thinking at the time. Mind you, I had my eye out for bad Hunt-Schultz plays all game.

    As for the rest of the D… Fayne made some good plays and some bad ones. Nikitin wasn’t great and I wonder if he was still feeling his ankle. Petry did some good things but I thought he showed some rust with his decision-making and breakouts, which would be understandable given his lack of preseason games. Ference didn’t have the mobility on the back breaker goal to cover for a Fayne neutral zone pinch. You wonder if a guy like Klefbom would’ve had the mobility to do it. Scrivens was moving the opposite way on the shot and I get the sense it was a harder shot to save than it looked (it was certainly no long distance stinker like Dubnyk’s last year) but you do want your goalie to make those saves with no screen or tips from that distance.

    I actually quite liked the forwards that game, though as I mentioned in the last thread, I thought they started cheating after the 3-2 goal and because of that weren’t getting possession like they used to.

    I noticed Yak coming back deep on breakouts regularly. I think he had a splendid game. That 4th line was dynamite too. Lots of talk about the 1-line not being good enough but they spent almost the whole damn game on the offensive zone. You give those three that much O-zone time in a game and they’ll score at even-strength 9 games out of 10. Don’t forget, there is no talk about Hall’s “potential”… he’s an honest to goodness even-strength killer in the NHL today. The Drai-Yak-Poo had some real great shifts but also got hemmed in a few times. That may be par for the course for that line, but if they can play like that in the offensive zone, then you’ve got your soft opposition killer line right there. I didn’t notice Arcobello too much, but I think he plays a subtle game. Purcell had some good moments and he’s a great complementary offensive weapon,

    I’d be curious to know what the zone starts were to see how Eakins and Ramsay are running the lines / pairs.

    Lots of talk about déjà vu from last year. Last year the message was this: If they play like this and either Dubnyk or Labarbera can play their career average, they’ll start winning. The goalies didn’t hold up their end and then the bottom fell out of the boat and there was a real change in team play.
    It could certainly happen again this year, but it’s not the worst bet to take. One of Scrivens and Fasth has to play average. They do that and the Oilers play like last night, they’ll start winning. At the end of the day, it sucks to lose to the Flames, but if your team is going to lose, it’s best to lose like that… in a game they dominated and should have won.

  35. nycoil says:

    I failed in my attempt to calm the waters last night, but LT’s done a better job this morning.

    Regarding the goaltending, all I was saying was that Fasth outplayed Scrivens in the preseason. Scrivens is going to be fine based on track record, but Eakins was quoted as saying the guy playing the best would get the start, and straight from game one, he gave the start to last year’s incumbent rather than this year’s current hottest goalie. It was just lost in the shuffle because of the brouhaha over the defense. But it’s another in the list of say one thing, do another that this organization does.

    I think the time for the panic button is after game 4 if they are 0-4. But not yet. Blues lost, Avs got crushed, etc. I don’t think they are panicking.

  36. RMGS says:

    Woodguy: MacT has fallen in love with Jultz, Klef and Nurse.
    Mact has no love for Petry and Marincin.
    The latter two are better than the previous 3 today

    Along with the “lord willing and the creek don’t rise” C depth, this is MacT’s other major blindspot. There’s no rational reason Petry should play six less minutes than Schultz.

  37. oliveoilers says:

    Adam Wu: I remember those posts from last year too.

    The difference this year is we have a coaching staff with an established track record for teaching sound defensive play.

    In Ramsay we trust! (Cause what other choice do we have, short of giving up on this team?)

    I’ll never give up! Just became more jaded.

    Does Eakins hair remind anybody else of the Sherriff of Rottingham? I wonder if that’s why the players are confused: “Defensive just play we’ll hockey ok sound be we’ll if we!” “What?” “(sigh) We’ll be ok if we just play sound defensive hockey!”

  38. rickithebear says:

    DBO:

    Him and Petry seem fine. Now put Marincin with Fayne, Nd Nikitin with Schultz on sheltered 3rd pair and I’m happy.

    Music!

  39. russ99 says:

    Despite our successes and shortcomings, you also have to put the other team into the equasion:

    After the Vancouver game, the Calgary players were talking about the lack of a killer instinct at a vital moment in the game.

    So part of the collapse in the third was them realizing this and turning up their play. Also, back-to-backs aren’t as crushing at the beginning of the season. Plus the iffy goal from distance really deflated us, much like last season.

    That doesn’t mean we don’t have a lot to work on.

    Much of the same failings of last season peeked in: poor defensive coverage in high scoring areas, especially by forwards; people being caught too far up; too much offensive play was on the outside, on the board and lots of shots came from low scoring angles; too much dumping, especially in the third period and some of the goals against could have been saved.

    I’m not going to let the run of possession and the positive Corsi blind me to those issues despite the obvious improvements in this area. I hope the coaching staff doesn’t either.

  40. russ99 says:

    oliveoilers: I’ll never give up!Just became more jaded.

    Does Eakins hair remind anybody else of the Sherriff of Rottingham?I wonder if that’s why the players are confused:“Defensive just play we’ll hockey ok sound be we’ll if we!”“What?”“(sigh) We’ll be ok if we just play sound defensive hockey!”

    Eakins most reminds me of The Governor from Walking Dead. In appearance, attitude and demeanor.

  41. Bank Shot says:

    Where can I find CORSI tied from last nights game?

    I don’t think it is quite as flattering as the trailing corsi.

  42. OilClog says:

    I think it’s actually the opposite with Schultz and MacT.

    I mean MacT talked a giant game for Sam Gagner, and I don’t see MacT the coach having a long line of past success with players like Schultz on his rear guard.

    Atleast that’s what I’m telling myself. Schultz allowing Raymond to beat him for that Hat trick goal was absolutely terrible. He should be sitting in the pressers with that sort of back checking effort.

  43. delooper says:

    I thought the Oilers played quite well. They had some melt-downs and need to be a bit more consistent. But overall I thought they did alright when they weren’t disorganized. Rickithebear makes a really good point. The Oilers stuck to more peripheral plays. But they made some damn fine peripheral plays! It would be good to have a little more crashing-of-the-net, at least away from the top line.

  44. Dahoosman says:

    LT,

    To my eye the biggest difference was controlled zone entries AND quick defensive zone exits. I don’t remember the tire fires of last year, but this Flames team is not a world beater (only and Oilers beater, I guess).

    How much of the corgis can we attribute to score effects? The Oilers were down by two pretty quickly, so there could some effects but I don’t know enough about the phenomenon to be clear about it.

    Finally, it was an organized and executed game. It was easy to cheer for the Oilers last night. That’s the biggest win for me.

  45. dtk says:

    Nice post, LT. I thought that the Oilers looked quite good for most of the game, but they just weren’t rewarded for it, but Calgary managed to bury their chances.

    I haven’t read the comments from the game thread and somebody probably already said this, but while watching the game I kept thinking about Scrivens’ 59-save shutout last year against the Sharks. That game had a similar look to this one, except that time the Oilers won despite getting crushed in every imaginable metric other than goals. While that game against the Sharks was a fun win, it was also pretty clear that we were watching a terrible Oiler team that got lucky. I feel a lot better about the team that I watched lose last night.

  46. theres oil in virginia says:

    I fully expect some of you to ram “Oilers apologist!” or “Sorry Lowetide, you’re wrong!” on the comments this morning.

    Sorry Lowetide, but I agree with you. (Heheh.) Last night’s game was entertaining, watchable, and disappointing too. They looked like an actual, honest-to-gord, NHL team. They still need to reduce the mistakes, and they’ll need to finish better, etc. I’ll be fairly happy if the hockey looks like this all year long, and really happy if they win a bunch of games and the hockey looks like this all year long. It is possible, though, that they will suffer the same fate as last night for a handful of games, and then abandon the system. They’re a young team and all that. Time will tell. Bottom line for me is that I wasn’t pissed this morning that I stayed up and watched the game.

  47. alice13 says:

    One thing that stood out for me wrt Hunt’s game last night was his work at the blueline. Not the bomb- which was nice – but his ability to handle the puck cleanly. However hot the pass came to him he never seemed to have it jump about on him. Clearly he needs to be partnered with someone who can watch the house when he’s following his offensive instincts, but if he can help keep possession in the OZ, I think this is a huge benefit.

  48. gcw_rocks says:

    I think you are giving the oilers too much credit. The Flames took their foot off the gas when they got up by two goals. When the Flames got serious again in the third, they won the battles again.

    Won’t know for sure until we see more games played, but we should be careful giving the oilers a pass because they had a good thirty five minutes when the Flames had it in the bag, or thought they did.

  49. FPB94 says:

    Gonna be honest, looking at this team it’s hard not be depressed. When you comfort yourself with puck possession and decent defense. Oh lord it’s been so long since this team hasn’t been garbage.

  50. Bar_Qu says:

    RMGS: Along with the “lord willing and the creek don’t rise” C depth, this is MacT’s other major blindspot.There’s no rational reason Petry should play six less minutes than Schultz.

    Just to be fair, its not actually MacT’s fault Petry played less than Jultz. Nor do I think you meant that, it just reads that way.

    I am actually quite disappointed this morning, and not simply because my 8 yr old got to say “in your face” this morning (I’ll find a suitably minor excuse to ground him today). The loss stinks and it feels like it is a symptom deeper than luck.

    As noted, the forwards were exceptional last night. The 4-line could play, the Oilers had big men all over the ice, I especially noticed Arco with Pouliot as a good complement while Perron jitterbugged all over the place causing havoc. And as has been noted Yak had a great game, with a 18 yr old centre who was not overwhelmed. I wonder how often that gets mentioned in the news today?

    But the D breakdowns are what makes me concerned for this year. Maybe it was on off-night, maybe the D needed to be finalized and played more at the end of pre-season, I don’t know. But there were “swarm” facepalm moments a couple of times and it involved guys who were brought in calm the waters.

    Hopefully some game film and a practice before tomorrow night will help. It would suck to lose to the Flames and the Canucks to start the year.

  51. soup says:

    Great read LT – well stated.

    I thought the team played very well from their blue line to the Flames goal. Play from the blue in was terrible. D men and centers that still cannot box out the slot are going to kill this team. Ben the Wanderer had his own set of adventures, but if slot protection was as it should have been, it wouldn’t have been such a problem.

    Credit where credit is due – Yak was very good in his own end last night. I am truly impressed. At the same time, Hall and Perron were terrible. Hall’s brain cramp led to the tip in goal off of the Gio shot. A number of other weak clearing attempts and cheats. Best player by a landslide, but he is not yet defensively responsible. Why does that not show up in the corgi’s? He is 74% but that doesn’t really capture his impact on the outcome, does it?

  52. Kmart99 says:

    oil directed 66 shots to flames 34.
    40 made it on net to the flames 26
    oil won the faceoffs 39-27.
    oil had more dangerous scoring chances than the flames 22 to 18. (as per staples)
    flames had 13 giveaways to oilers’ 6 (Clearly the flames were making more mistakes than the oil)
    oilers 8 takeaways to flames 5
    Score 5-2 cgy what in the bloody hell

    PAT BURNS WAS RIGHT!!
    Yes the oilers made some massive mistakes, but by my eye(and the stat sheet) the flames made more. Scrivens was bad. Ramo was good. Luck was bad. Oilers were good (for the most part)

  53. alice13 says:

    RMGS: Along with the “lord willing and the creek don’t rise” C depth, this is MacT’s other major blindspot.There’s no rational reason Petry should play six less minutes than Schultz.

    To be fair, MacT actually wasn’t on the bench most of the game.
    And as it was Petry’s first game of any kind this season, I’m not surprised he wasn’t run quite as hard. Also expect you’d see less Schultz if we had gotten a lead, or we weren’t at home and able to manage the matchups.

  54. vinotintazo says:

    Can anyone confirm if a Jersey was thrown onto the ice yesterday?

  55. vinotintazo says:

    alice13: To be fair, MacT actually wasn’t on the bench most of the game.
    And as it was Petry’s first game of any kind this season, I’m not surprised he wasn’t run quite as hard. Also expect you’d see less Schultz if we had gotten a lead, or we weren’t at home and able to manage the matchups.

    I agree here, the reason J. Schultz played a lot was because we never had the lead, and we were trying to be more offensive.

    Also Petry’s First game, and NN comming of an Injury.

    Ference played well, just read that 3rd goal wrong

  56. RMGS says:

    Bar_Qu: Just to be fair, its not actually MacT’s fault Petry played less than Jultz. Nor do I think you meant that, it just reads that way.

    alice13: To be fair, MacT actually wasn’t on the bench most of the game.

    Indeed. I missed adding that Eakins either agrees with his GM vis-à-vis Schultz, or he’s gently persuaded to deploy him in accordance with his “Norris Trophy potential.” And, this happened last year as well.

  57. Showerhead says:

    Last night, I was sure I’d seen a new look in the offensive zone.

    In the first period, Edmonton picked up about 2 or 3 shots off of about 4 or 5 plays. Each play started with a D-man at the point with the puck. The Oilers’ F3, usually the centre, dropped back to very high in the offensive zone. At this point, the Oilers’ D with the puck either made a short pass to F3 or passed to his partner along the blue line who then made that same short pass to F3. The forward, now with the puck high in the offensive zone, found himself with time and space and as I say got a shot off more often than not.

    In the second period, I didn’t see this at all, although I did see a couple of plays where the Oilers’ F3 was higher in the zone than I’m used to seeing.

    In the third period, I saw a few plays like this high in the zone but they were scrambly enough so that I don’t want to commit to the idea that this is a set play or a set look quite yet.

    Could folks with PVRs or who are likely to see a bunch of games this season chime have a look for this? I feel like the more little pieces of structure the Oilers can add, the better, and I’d like to develop a handle on some of their changes early in the year.

  58. Jon K says:

    The gnashing of teeth of “the unwashed” is much ado about nothing. This post and others by sensible people are correct: if the Oilers play like last night all season this will be a good season.

    The sweater thrown on the ice last night illustrates the ignorance of many Oilers fans. Throw a sweater on the ice after a relatively good game by the team, forget your cellphone in the pocket in your drunken stupor. Save it for a time when the team is out of the race and it’s clear some players are mailing it in. Hopefully we don’t see it this season.

    Their puck movement through the first two periods was stellar. Lots of support on the breakout, quick decisions, players and pucks attacking the net quickly in the offensive zone. By eye the Oilers looked more tentative in the third. Their puck movement on the attack was a tad more delayed and the Flames a bit quicker in their puck pressure. If Fasth starts this game (which he should have based on preseason performance) they probably win this game in a laugher. Next time.

  59. LostBoy says:

    I just can’t get over the déjà vu aspect of this.

    Game 1 last year the Oilers won the shot metrics, looked encouraging, were let down by goaltending, ended up losing a 4-2 lead, and afterward the whole vibe was shame about that, but not looking too bad, everyone declaring themselves for the most part happy with the way they played, look at everything they did well, if they play like that on average every night they will win. (Last part probably turned out false in the short term because of the swarm.)

    I mean, it’s just so *incredibly* similar.

    The schedule this month is on balance very favourable, but this is just so not the time for a three game western road trip.

  60. Hazwasted says:

    The positives included Yak’s play, that was his best defensive game in an Oiler uniform. The Gordon line was terrific all night long. Special teams also performed well.

    The bad has been pretty much beat to death, but Jultz’s back check on the fourth goal, as orhers have stated, should see him watching the game from the pressbox, but it won’t happen, sigh. Hopefully Scrivens, who did his best 2013 game one Dubnyk impression, gets it together because he didn’t look comfortable on any shot he faced all night and handled the puck like a grenade. Eberle seemed disjointed all game, hitting the post aside, which contributed to a relatively overall poor performance from the top line.

    Here’s hoping they can put a 60 minute effort in against the Dys or the hospitals will be full of people with broken ankles from leaping off the bandwagon on Sunday morning.

  61. RMGS says:

    Bank Shot: Where can I find CORSI tied from last nights game?
    I don’t think it is quite as flattering as the trailing corsi.

    gcw_rocks: I think you are giving the oilers too much credit. The Flames took their foot off the gas when they got up by two goals. When the Flames got serious again in the third, they won the battles again.

    The Corsi/Fenwick close numbers would be good, but those we have indicate score effects weren’t really a factor. The Oilers were either behind by one or tied from the second period until about five minutes before the end of the game. In the second, the team held 68% of the shot share at EV (72% Fenwick). The third was closer, but they still held 60% of the shots (58% Fenwick).

  62. alice13 says:

    RMGS:

    Last year we were out of the playoffs before first snowfall- why wouldn’t you give the youngster all the at-bats you could, it’s accelerated development time.

    I don’t disagree on the man-love for Schultz, by the way. I do take issue with the notion that mgmt don’t appreciate Petry. A contract takes two to sign. If I was Petry’s agent looking at him turning UFA next summer just as the cap will be taking a nice jump, I might well have told him to sign nothing that includes UFA years, as the actual UFA inflation is likely to be higher than the GM’s are willing to put in ink at the present time.

    There is at least the possibility that the Petry camp, not the Oilers, made the call on it being a 1yr.

  63. GriffCity says:

    To me it looked like a lot of the same problems as last year, Defense and Goaltending.

    Hunt was our best defenceman. Hands down

    Nikitin looked like he was stickhandling with a live grenade and not a puck

    Ference was Awful with a capital “a”

    Fayne looked like a lesser Petry

    Petry made some mistakes and at time looked like garbage but he made some good plays too and it was his first game so there that..

    Schultz was alright but caught puck watching a few times and i hate how he flails his arms when he skates…You look like a girl

    Hunt was solid, took good shots, made good passes and very few mistakes. Our best d-man last night

    Scrivens looked pretty human last night and also, stay in your bloody net, You’re not Mike Smith, watching him play the puck last night cost us 2 goals. Overall he looked unsure of himself…not good

    The Fwds actually played pretty well after the first 6 minutes of the game and until the 13 minute mark of the 3rd period. While it was far from a perfect effort, the oilers fwds carried the pace for much of the game and deserved maybe a little better….like maybe a tie forcing overtime.

    I know its only one game but holy hell, upgrade on defense? Yaaa, not last night

  64. TheOtherJohn says:

    We got beat by the 27th place team on a back to back. That’s bad. Love that we outshot a bad team. Pattern eerily similar to season opener in Winnipeg. We legitimately could be 0-3 to start the season. If that happens Internet may blow up

  65. hoser313 says:

    Can I just say it was SMID and not Gio who broke up the Oiler 2-on-1 by crashing into his own net.

    Even the broadcasters don’t love Smid apparently.

    🙂

  66. nycoil says:

    Look at ice time deployment for Minny vs. Colorado last night. The Wild, I think, are going to be an excellent team this year. I know Woodguy thinks they have many question marks on D, which I don’t see. The big question is definitely in goal, but if that holds up that’s one helluva team.
    http://scores.espn.go.com/nhl/boxscore?gameId=400564769

  67. Rebuilder says:

    At least there is always money in the banana stand.

  68. unca miltie says:

    Interesting times in Oilerville. Hope you are right LT> 4 guys in the corner and no one out front in the defensive zone can be corrected.

    And yes, this is just one game of 82. My analogy is this. When I was younger, I was a decent golfer. If I started off with a birdie on the first hole for some reason, rarely had a good round. When I started with a bogie, then my attitude was different and would often have my best rounds.

    Last night was the Oiler’s bogie. Let’s see what then rest of the round brings.

  69. theres oil in virginia says:

    Showerhead,

    Now that you mention it, I think I noticed that once or twice too. It didn’t occur to me that it was systems-based, but that makes sense. I’ll try to keep an look-out for that in future games.

  70. su_dhillon says:

    This Steve Lansky game breakdown is painful

  71. JustWatt79 says:

    Based on nearly everyone’s reactions today, game 1 of the season was must win. How can the very first game of the season be must win?!

  72. hoser313 says:

    Can anyone here remember the Oilers registering 40 shots in regular time in recent history?

    I can’t.

    Folks this is a much-improved team. 3 scoring lines. A real lunch bucket line.

  73. misfit says:

    I can look at last night’s game and be encouraged that we outplayed the bad guys and the loss shouldn’t be an indicator of another failed season. Unfortunately, last season started the exact same way. The games were encouraging as we were generally outplaying the opposition and winning in shot differential. Sub-par goaltending and shit luck put us down early, but the loss of confidence and the frustration that the losses caused was one of the bigger factors in the downward spiral of our season IMO.

    I remember Yak looking pretty decent in the early games last year, and the fact that he wasn’t rewarded with goals wasn’t a concern because he was shooting well, but rather just missing the net more than usual. The reasonable explanation was that he would eventually start scoring again, but nothing happens in a vacuum, so when the frustration set in, and the “enigmatic Russian” reports as well as those about him being misused by his coach came out, it noticeably affected his confidence, and then his overall game.

    There’s never a reason to worry about the result of a single game where the team greatly outplayed their opponent, but the need to get some wins early to put the loss in the rear-view quickly is a real need, and could be critical. With every game we go farther below .500, the environment this team will be playing in becomes more and more toxic.

  74. Marcus Oilerius says:

    Woodguy,

    Nikitin wandered behind the net, Schultz went behind the goal line as the second guy, Hunt did so blatantly being the second man chasing the same guy and left the slot wide open (thank goodness the puck bounced off a skate and went elsewhere). This defence was seriously awful. Punt the corgis, when you count quality top-tier chances caused by idiotic defensive lapses, it was in favor of Calgary.

  75. denny33 says:

    Justin Schultz, Andrew Ference,& Nikita Nikitin.

    I entered the season already in the camp of shock and bewildered that an NHL team – wanted – to put
    Nikitin in their TOP pairing. ( will give him time though )

    Andrew Ference had a tough time last year…..by my eye, he looks to be getting faster as he ages.

    Justin Schultz played over 23 minutes last night

    Our forward group looks really strong …..loved their work. Anyone else think Yak and Drai could light this league up in 3 years?

    If Dallas plans on playing Schultz over 20 minutes per night for the rest of the season – he might want to save himself some time and just walk up to Katz and punch him the face this afternoon. We can skip the press conference and get on with Mr. Ramsey.

    If only we had better options than Schultz and Ference….oh, wait…

  76. G Money says:

    RMGS,

    That’s right.

    The score effects business is nonsense.

    The Oilers dominated the shot metrics from start to about 45:00.

    The Flames did not ‘take their foot off the gas’, they never had their foot on the gas.

    They were gifted two early goals on defensive breakdowns primarily by a confused Oiler defense not communicating well with each other or the goalie. Mason Raymond will not be in the conversation for the Richard or the Art Ross.

    The Oilers dominated shots at even, then at -1, then at -2, then again at -1, then again at even. It wasn’t until the third at about the 50:00 mark when the reverse score effects kicked in (the Oilers down by a goal and they reverted to all the bad habits of last year – especially forwards flying the zone, D trying long easily picked lead passes resulting in chances the other way).

    The funniest/saddest part of it all is that between periods 2 & 3, the SN commentary crew (who ordinarily couldn’t analyze their way out of a paper bag) made the rather cogent point that the Oilers were playing the exact right way, and what they needed to do is what all good teams do – keep playing the same way.

    And what did the Oilers do? They went out and got impatient, started cheating for offense, and got burned.

    I take two things out of last night:
    – The Oilers look like they finally have the talent and acumen to play real NHL hockey
    – As soon as they got impatient, old habits kicked in.

    How the team responds to this result (will they redouble their efforts to play the right way for 60:00 mins, or will a few losses mean they throw in the towel like last year?) will tell us everything about what the realistic prospects for the Oilers are this year.

  77. G Money says:

    misfit: With every game we go farther below .500, the environment this team will be playing in becomes more and more toxic.

    IMO, this is the real worry after last night.

  78. nycoil says:

    G Money: IMO, this is the real worry after last night.

    This is why I disagree with the poster who said the western road trip couldn’t come at a worse time. I think this is the best time. Get away from the home environment that’s on edge right now. Win vs. Vancouver and play a good game but lose vs. LA, win vs Arizona, and come back home 2-2 and feeling better about things with everyone stepping back from the ledge.

  79. Ca$h-Money! says:

    If noting else we looked better than Colorado.

  80. book¡je says:

    Lowetide: May you live in interesting times

    Here is the Wikipedia info on it.

    “May you live in interesting times” is an English expression purporting to be a translation of a traditional Chinese curse. Despite being so common in English as to be known as “the Chinese curse”, the saying is apocryphal and no actual Chinese source has ever been produced.[1] The nearest related Chinese expression is “宁为太平犬,莫做乱世人” (níng wéi tàipíng quǎn, mò zuò luànshì rén) which conveys the sense that it is “better to live as a dog in an era of peace than a man in times of war.”

  81. "Frank The Dog" says:

    RMGS: Along with the “lord willing and the creek don’t rise” C depth, this is MacT’s other major blindspot.There’s no rational reason Petry should play six less minutes than Schultz.

    Well, the Lord wasn’t willing and the creek rose.

  82. G Money says:

    Showerhead,

    Good points. I did not notice any specific system change in the o zone. But I always find that to be the case, it’s usually more fluid in the o zone and the structure is always less evident, at least to my eyes. What I did notice is a willingness to move more, and to shoot the puck quicker. Especially on the power play, which was deadly.

    What I did notice from the get go was a massive change in the d zone from last year (again – only for the first 45:00).

    The most noticeable differences:

    – As soon as a Flame had the puck, an Oiler was going after him aggressively, battling to get the puck back. Last year, that was a passive act.

    – From 0:0 to 45:00, when the Oilers had the puck, the D AND THE FORWARDS ALL STAYED BACK FAR ENOUGH and so were arrayed in such a way as to give the puck carrier at least one outlet, sometimes two. Every single time. I was in awe. That actually results in two or three options – passing lanes means the puck carrier usually has enough space to skate, since the forechecker has to respect the passing lane and can’t commit with abandon. As a result, the puck was moved quickly and efficiently out of the zone, time and time again.

    The exception of course was those first ten minutes, when the puck would go deep and there was obvious confusion as to who was supposed to cover what – especially when Scrivens handled the puck. The D confusion alleviated after the first ten minutes, although it was still a scary adventure every time Scrivens handled the puck. Hopefully they will work on that in the next practice.

    That all changed in the third period, when the forwards started their fly the zone nonsense. Desperation to score, or just laziness, or bad habit reversion? Not sure. In any case, as a result, the forechecker could chase aggressively (since a pass was well covered by players in the neutral zone). So more mistakes, fewer exits, fewer o zone entries, more turnovers, more blatant chances against.

    The defensive system change was pretty obvious. I will pay more attention to the o zone systems next time, see if I can pick up what you mentioned.

  83. alice13 says:

    What Woodguy said:

    And what did the Oilers do? They went out and got impatient, started cheating for offense, and got burned.

    I take two things out of last night:
    – The Oilers look like they finally have the talent and acumen to play real NHL hockey
    – As soon as they got impatient, old habits kicked in.

    — This exactly. The passes that worked in the 2nd period worked because they were 10-20ft, instead of 20-30ft. Still working hard, but nothing works.
    If we can see it,and SN can see it, well you know the video will be rolling for the boys today.
    Also, they should be encouraged by what worked, and I fully expect the coin to drop in a good way.

    Might not have become as impatient if they’d started on the road, without the BOTB goings on. Pressing too hard to break it open

  84. G Money says:

    nycoil: This is why I disagree with the poster who said the western road trip couldn’t come at a worse time. I think this is the best time. Get away from the home environment that’s on edge right now. Win vs. Vancouver and play a good game but lose vs. LA, win vs Arizona, and come back home 2-2 and feeling better about things with everyone stepping back from the ledge.

    Yes, road trips can be helpful in that regard. And playing well and winning when you’re supposed to cures pretty much everything.

    But if it doesn’t work that way – what I worry about most is the development of a toxic environment between the ears of the players!

  85. G Money says:

    alice13,

    That was me, but I’m very flattered to be confused with Woodguy!

  86. "Frank The Dog" says:

    My head tells me this is a bigger, stronger, better them that showed well most of the time. My heart tells me that I heard the same story last year, we may have lost but we’ll start winning soon because corgi’s.
    My eyes tell me that this team was, and remains, incapable of avoiding mind numbing lapses of sufficient frequency to wreck season after season.

    Bucky’s gone, we have a better roster, and the mind numbing lapses remain. The rest of this season is a test to see how Dallas and Keith and Craig and Rocky and Tyler collectively identify the lapses and the people who commit them, and either rid the team of those players or change their ways.

    If Eakins doesn’t his successor will.

  87. "Frank The Dog" says:

    G Money:
    Showerhead,

    Good points.I did not notice any specific system change in the o zone.But I always find that to be the case, it’s usually more fluid in the o zone and the structure is always less evident, at least to my eyes.What I did notice is a willingness to move more, and to shoot the puck quicker.Especially on the power play, which was deadly.

    What I did notice from the get go was a massive change in the d zone from last year (again – only for the first 45:00).

    The most noticeable differences:

    – As soon as a Flame had the puck, an Oiler was going after him aggressively, battling to get the puck back.Last year, that was a passive act.

    – From 0:0 to 45:00, when the Oilers had the puck, the D AND THE FORWARDS ALL STAYED BACK FAR ENOUGH and so were arrayed in such a way as to give the puck carrier at least one outlet, sometimes two.Every single time.I was in awe.That actually results in two or three options – passing lanes means the puck carrier usually has enough space to skate, since the forechecker has to respect the passing lane and can’t commit with abandon.As a result, the puck was moved quickly and efficiently out of the zone, time and time again.

    The exception of course was those first ten minutes, when the puck would go deep and there was obvious confusion as to who was supposed to cover what – especially when Scrivens handled the puck.The D confusion alleviated after the first ten minutes, although it was still a scary adventure every time Scrivens handled the puck.Hopefully they will work on that in the next practice.

    That all changed in the third period, when the forwards started their fly the zone nonsense.Desperation to score, or just laziness, or bad habit reversion?Not sure.In any case, as a result, the forechecker could chase aggressively (since a pass was well covered by players in the neutral zone).So more mistakes, fewer exits, fewer o zone entries, more turnovers, more blatant chances against.

    The defensive system change was pretty obvious.I will pay more attention to the o zone systems next time, see if I can pick up what you mentioned.

    Solid points, what D lines would you ice for Vancouver this Saturday?

  88. Adam Wu says:

    Yes, this is very reminiscent of how the team started last year. And last year they reacted by losing confidence in their system, giving up on the things they WERE doing well, and basically packing it in.

    How the respond now will determine if things turn out for the best, or just like as always.

    It’s a test of the maturity of the team and the on-ice player leadership.

    In way last year was an indictment of Ference as captain.

  89. Pouzar says:

    If we “out-corgi” the Canucks I will be a little more happy. The Sedins/Vrbata looked great against CAL.

  90. Das Zuke says:

    Have visited Lt for years and his site is one of the few things that have kept me interested in following the Oilers …. I have been close to giving up my season tickets more than once.Wheatnoil’s post nicely summarizes my thoughts on last nights game. I believe Oilers deserved to win as they truly outplayed, even dominated the Flames for most of the game. The Flames stole a game and they know it! My major concerns are Jultz – cannot hold the line and poor passing decisions … If he’s our future I am worried. Obviously, Scrivens is better than what he showed, I am willing to cut him some slack for a game or two. On a positive note, Hunt has a wicked point shot, the 4th line dominated and will get Oilers a few extra goals if they play like they did, Yak was flying and played a good game, Purcell also looked like he still has some offensive skills, Petry without any training camp was still the top Dman.Overall the Oilers are improved and should do better this year…but by how much…we wait and hope for the best.

  91. Bank Shot says:

    Jon K:
    The gnashing of teeth of “the unwashed” is much ado about nothing. This post and others by sensible people are correct: if the Oilers play like last night all season this will be a good season.

    Not if they continue to hand away unchecked shots in the slot like candy.

    Does it matter how good a golfer is driving when he just 4 putted the green?

    30 minute efforts don’t impress me. Certainly not by a team that hasn’t proven they are capable of playing a 60 minute game.

  92. RMGS says:

    “Frank The Dog”: Well, the Lord wasn’t willing and the creek rose.

    Nah. We’ll see after about 20 games. By using Score-Adjusted Fenwick and the strength of remaining schedules, that may be the best point in the season to predict the lord’s willingness and the height of the creek.

  93. PerryK says:

    DBO:
    Dvr’d the 3rd to watch this morning. Painful.

    My .5 cents
    – best 4th line we’ve had in years. Exactly what you want. Played heavy, controlled corners, crashed net, cause some chaos around their goalie
    – top line will be fine, although Eberle seems a tad off.
    – Yak is going to score 25. Pou is solid with him. Draisatl still not sure.
    – Arco line did what you want.

    D is scary. And that’s a coaches lineup issue. Kurtis Foster had a big snapshot, but couldn’t defend. Hunt is no different, especially paired with the riverboat gambler. Hope Klefbom draws in.
    I liked Ference better then most it seems. Him and Petry seem fine. Now put Marincin with Fayne, Nd Nikitin with Schultz on sheltered 3rd pair and I’m happy.

    I agree totally! Good points.

  94. Jon K says:

    Bank Shot,

    I respectfully disagree, good sir!

  95. G Money says:

    “Frank The Dog”: Solid points, what D lines would you ice for Vancouver this Saturday?

    If it was up to me? Petry-Marincin, Ference-Fayne, Schultz-Nikitin, and let the latter two have monster PP time.

  96. G Money says:

    Bank Shot,

    You are correct – the two outstanding concerns at this point are: can the Oilers play like that for 60 minutes, and can they do it against good teams?

    But at least – finally – we know they can play like that. Like a good team, like a cohesive team, like a team that cares as much about preventing goals as scoring them.

    That’s not a baby step, it’s a baby leap.

    Babies are cute.

  97. Woodguy says:

    A site that was linked in the GDT yesterday is pretty awesome.

    http://naturalstattrick.com/game.php?season=20142015&game=20015

    It allows you to do WOWY with team mates and opponents in a single game.

    Example.

    Ference was 74.19% w/ Petry and 33.33% without him.

    Ubersmall samples but it can tell you the game story

  98. hags9k says:

    I am encouraged by that game. Seriously, we’ve been through nearly a decade of hockey hell, with the umpteen home losses where your eyeballs would just ache at the futility before them. Last night’s game was not like that. There were periods of beautiful puck movement, spirited penalty killing, and quick transitions back to offence that I didn’t recognize. That was a good game. Too bad goaltending trumps all in this sport…

    We outplayed them, and up to the Raymond jail break down main street, it had the feel of an impending win.

    If I had the time to become a contributor to hockey metrics, I would focus on goalies. I would like to break save percentage into shots where a goalie is not screened and “set” or not moving laterally for position before the shot is released. I’d be interested to see % for all goalies of this type of shot. Set and not screened then would give you the goalie’s “beat clean” %. Then you can break down further by distance.

    For what it’s worth I also thought Fasth was the best goalie in preseason. I’m not upset Scrivens was given the start but I will be if Fasth plays well and wins Saturday and they go back to Scrivens in LA.

    GOILERS

  99. Woodguy says:

    Bank Shot: Not if they continue to hand away unchecked shots in the slot like candy.

    Does it matter how good a golfer is driving when he just 4 putted the green?

    30 minute efforts don’t impress me. Certainly not by a team that hasn’t proven they are capable of playing a 60 minute game.

    The sag after the 3rd goal was not good.

    They need to press there not give up what had been working.

  100. Woodguy says:

    G Money,

    In the ozone they are sending two guys at the puck in a kind of pincer movement.

    Very reminiscent of what Tyler showed us the Ducks do under Boudreau.

  101. JAG-041 says:

    I hate to break it to everyone
    but I only got home in time for the last half of the third…
    I missed the beauty and my spirit is crushed
    I have to read your recollections of the glory
    fml

  102. Yeti says:

    G Money: Babies are cute.

    In case you hadn’t noticed, the Oilogosphere eats babies for breakfast.

  103. russ99 says:

    Quality D-pairs and matching them with the right centers will be vital on this road trip, epecially without last change, so we have the three primary defenders against the comp they can handle best.

    For Vancouver I’d like to see:

    Fayne – Petry with Gordon/RNH – vs. Toughs
    Nitikin – Nurse with Arcobello – vs. Mid
    Klefbom – Hunt with Draisaitl – vs. Soft – which is probably only doable after the Sedin line shift ends.

    Give Schultz and Ference a night off.

  104. Woodguy says:

    Some corgi info people are asking for.

    (just go to waronice.com and get it yourself next time)

    ALL 5V5
    EDM 62.6%
    CAL 37.4%

    CLOSE (within 1 goal first 2 periods, tied in third)
    EDM 61.5%
    CAL 38.5%

    TIED
    EDM 61.5%
    CAL 385.5%

    http://war-on-ice.com/game.html?seasongcode=2014201520015

  105. Woodguy says:

    Zone starts yesterday from :
    http://naturalstattrick.com/game.php?season=20142015&game=20015

    David Perron 100
    Mark Fayne 92.31
    Nikita Nikitin 92.31
    Taylor Hall 85.71
    Jordan Eberle 85.71
    Ryan Nugent-Hopkins 85.71
    Nail Yakupov 71.43
    Justin Schultz 71.43
    Benoit Pouliot 71.43
    Brad Hunt 69.23
    Leon Draisaitl 66.67
    Jeff Petry 63.64
    Andrew Ference 63.64
    Boyd Gordon 44.44
    Jesse Joensuu 20
    Matt Hendricks 16.67

    Fanye and Nikitin starting in the ozone 92% is kinda the opposite of “shut down pair” interesting.

    Looks like Petry-Ference took that mantel yesterday.

    I love the forward deployment.

    Its perfect.

  106. Bank Shot says:

    G Money:
    Bank Shot,

    You are correct – the two outstanding concerns at this point are: can the Oilers play like that for 60 minutes, and can they do it against good teams?

    But at least – finally – we know they can play like that.Like a good team, like a cohesive team, like a team that cares as much about preventing goals as scoring them.

    That’s not a baby step, it’s a baby leap.

    Babies are cute.

    http://www.nhl.com/gamecenter/en/boxscore?id=2012020211

    Kreuger’s Oilers set a regular season record for shots in a game.

    I’ll believe its a leap forward when they hold their opponents to 2 goals or less over a 4-5 game stretch.

  107. Bank Shot says:

    Woodguy:
    Some corgi info people are asking for.

    (just go to waronice.com and get it yourself next time)

    ALL 5V5
    EDM 62.6%
    CAL 37.4%

    CLOSE (within 1 goal first 2 periods, tied in third)
    EDM 61.5%
    CAL 38.5%

    TIED
    EDM 61.5%
    CAL 385.5%

    http://war-on-ice.com/game.html?seasongcode=2014201520015

    Hmm, better then I would have expected during the tied portions of the game.

  108. Derek says:

    Woodguy:
    Some corgi info people are asking for.

    (just go to waronice.com and get it yourself next time)

    ALL 5V5
    EDM 62.6%
    CAL 37.4%

    CLOSE (within 1 goal first 2 periods, tied in third)
    EDM 61.5%
    CAL 38.5%

    TIED
    EDM 61.5%
    CAL 385.5%

    http://war-on-ice.com/game.html?seasongcode=2014201520015

    Also… have a look at the graph if you think the Flames took their collective feet off the gas after going up by 2 goals early. The shot attempts for each team are basically identical up until about the 11 minute mark of the first period when the Oilers scored their first goal and from that point on Edmonton dominated the game WRT possession.

    That site also shows that Edmonton started just a hair under 85 percent of their shifts in the offensive zone while the score was tied and for one game Jeff Petry was able to turn Andrew Ferrence into a top pairing defenseman…ish,

    There are plenty of positive things to look at if you’re interested in doing so but you’d have to have an extremely short memory to be happy today as an Oiler fan.

    FREE MARINCIN!

  109. borisnikov says:

    Dallas Eakins and this group of Oilers don’t have a massive canvass to paint their masterpiece, and fact is the organization would have been better off losing the Corsi battle and winning the game. OVER THE LONG TERM that’s not true, but this organization has a fragile fan base whose rage could reach DEFCON ONE by Saturday at midnight. If they lose in Vancouver and Los Angeles AND Phoenix while doing well in the Corsi battle?

    This summer was long. I spent too much time trying to find way to quell the Oil related anger within me. I've discovered new hobbies and if this season continues the way past season have, I will have a hard time finding a way to stomach hockey. I will move onto the newfound, and far more rewarding, pastimes. It's just so utterly deflating seeing them lose the way they did last night. Lyrics of David Byrne's "Once in a Lifetime" come to mind…

    Same as it ever was…Same as it ever was…Same as it ever was…
    Same as it ever was…Same as it ever was…Same as it ever was…
    Same as it ever was…Same as it ever was…

    It's not exactly the same… But they still found a way to lose a game they in no way should have. What is a fan to do?

    Same as it ever was…

  110. OilCanFan says:

    Reason they lost
    Save Percentage: Calgary .950, Edmonton: 808

    The whole speech about playing/rewarding players based on merit went right out the window. Fasth was better yet they started Scrivens. Scrivens struggled handling the puck early and the coaches should have recognized he was having an off night and just yanked him.

  111. icecastles says:

    Not sure if it’s been noted or commented on yet, but I want to thank NHL.com for the most appropriately placed overlay ever. Really illustrates the idea that less is more

  112. Woodguy says:

    Derek,

    FREE MARINCIN!

  113. Adam Wu says:

    Woodguy: The sag after the 3rd goal was not good.

    They need to press there not give up what had been working.

    That’s what good teams do.

    Doing that makes teams good.

    The Oilers are not a good team.

    Chicken, meet egg.

    Egg, meet frying pan.

  114. Adam Wu says:

    “Frank The Dog”: Well, the Lord wasn’t willing and the creek rose.

    I don’t think the creek has risen yet. But it didn’t go down, and them’s some mighty dark clouds on the horizon….

    Are we praying to the wrong Lord? What’s an appropriate sacrifice to Thor?

  115. misfit says:

    Woodguy:
    Derek,

    FREE MARINCIN!

    Here here!

    Nothing against Hunt/Klefbom/Nurse, but I really didn’t see how Marincin could’ve possibly fell behind all 3 of those players on the depth chart over the course of one training camp. And that’s not even including the vets that he’s better than as well.

  116. Adam Wu says:

    JustWatt79:
    Based on nearly everyone’s reactions today, game 1 of the season was must win. How can the very first game of the season be must win?!

    For a team with a losing culture, years of futility, fragile psyches, and an inexperienced coach who really needs to establish credibility with his players vis-a-vis his systems, winning games early is very helpful. “Must” maybe not, but losses like this sure don’t help.

  117. Hammers says:

    After thinking about this all day I realize I had this game down as a tie & overtime . One thing you can bet on from Calgary is hard work and basically they outworked us in the 3rd .I thought even with the team iced we would win in OT . Hate saying this but the Flames are better than there given credit for . Unfortunately I see more games like last night where we run roughshod over a team for half a game . Coaches are supposed to get a steady 60 minutes from there team . Eakins didn’t do that last year and it looks like a repeat performance . If Eakins is letting McT pick his roster/team he won’t be around long . He has no need to change any forwards but I would try one thing I recommended in training camp Purcell with RNH & Hall . Spread his size around .Ference & Nikitin should both be 3rd pairing if playing & Hunt & Schultz just doesn’t work .Oh well 81 to go but hopefully not anticlimatic by Remembrance day .

  118. Adam Wu says:

    Jon K:
    The gnashing of teeth of “the unwashed” is much ado about nothing. This post and others by sensible people are correct: if the Oilers play like last night all season this will be a good season.

    The sweater thrown on the ice last night illustrates the ignorance of many Oilers fans. Throw a sweater on the ice after a relatively good game by the team, forget your cellphone in the pocket in your drunken stupor. Save it for a time when the team is out of the race and it’s clear some players are mailing it in. Hopefully we don’t see it this season.

    Their puck movement through the first two periods was stellar. Lots of support on the breakout, quick decisions, players and pucks attacking the net quickly in the offensive zone. By eye the Oilers looked more tentative in the third. Their puck movement on the attack was a tad moredelayed and the Flames a bit quicker in their puck pressure. If Fasth starts this game (which he should have based on preseason performance) they probably win this game in a laugher. Next time.

    When (yes, when, shut-up don’t say it) the Oil return to the playoffs, the fans should start throwing sweaters after every goal. The sweater shall be the Oilers’ Octopus. They can sell specialty sweaters with weighted sleeves for improved throwing arcs.

    Let it be so. (Please?)

  119. nycoil says:

    Hammers,

    They were done before Halloween last year. Remembrance Day would be progress.

  120. striker says:

    As an aside. Does anyone know where lowdown with lowetide podcasts are now located. It seems like its no longer available at soundcloud since tsn redid their website. I found this page

    http://www.tsn.ca/radio/edmonton-1260/shows/the-lowdown-with-lowetide-1.53052

    Is there any other way to access the show or is this it? Would be nice to have podcast available on iTunes.

    Cheers

  121. Derek says:

    Meanwhile in Colorado where Sakic and Roy don’t believe in shot metrics:

    http://war-on-ice.com/game.html?seasongcode=2014201520014

    5v5 Fenwick Close
    Minnesota: 85.71
    Colorado: 14.29

    Free agent acquisition and recently extended top pairing Dman Brad Stuart was a team worst -22 Fen, while Briere (-17) and Iginla (-10) showed a bit better in their Avalanche debuts.

    Its only one game, but its still fun to look at. 🙂

  122. Marcus Oilerius says:

    misfit,

    “Hear, hear!”. Short form of “hear him, hear him!”.

  123. PACIFIC WAR ROOM - 10.10.14 | The Royal Half says:

    […] friend Lowetide has a great write up about last night so just go read that […]

  124. till_horcoff_is_coach says:

    Last night was a good night. Even before the oilers put the jets on after the first 10mins they had better control and support. The 3rd saw the forwards bolting the d zone too soon and attempting entry without any support…. shades of last year for sure.

    Two noticeable differences:
    The ozone featured a much more north south movement. Instead of cycling or passing from the edges the puck would move around the ice and then back to the net…with traffic. That was magnificent to watch when blended with the sublime skill players used to offset the overall approach.

    I also liked the aggressiveness of the D to keep the O zone and pressure the puck carrier at the D blue. It will lead to more partial breaks as was seen on the 3rd goal, but it also lead to way more sustained pressure. Despite the 3rd goal the d made a lot of great decisions at the blue that seem to have gone unnoticed in the post game ragefest.

    If Scrivens stays in his net and makes that save on the 3rd goal, then there was very little to critique. There were still some d zone breakdowns but they were fewer and less egregious than last year… and almost entirely after recovering from a turnover.

    This team didn’t transform into a beast mode contender in the offseason, but there were numerous positives from last night’s game. I could watch 81 more with that effort and tactics, and be very pleased.

  125. godot10 says:

    OilClog:
    I think it’s actually the opposite with Schultz and MacT.

    I mean MacT talked a giant game for Sam Gagner, and I don’t see MacT the coach having a long line of past success with players like Schultz on his rear guard.

    Atleast that’s what I’m telling myself. Schultz allowing Raymond to beat him for that Hat trick goal was absolutely terrible. He should be sitting in the pressers with that sort of back checking effort.

    Hunt was primarily responsible for that letting a pathetically slow Joe Colbourne beat him cleanly to the outside. Colbourne used is non-speed to go outside on a AHL quality 2nd-pairing defender. Hunt couldn’t handle tough minutes in the AHL.

    The genius behind the bench thinks putting him with Schutlz is a good idea.

    The genius behind the bench is also a hypocrite. He said his roster decisions were based on pre-season performance, except not to the coach’s pets. Scrivens was clearly outplayed by Fasth during the pre-season, yet Scrivens got the start. The coach is a hypocrite and plays favourites.

    Corollary: Which is why he has a 2nd line AHL centre as his 5th centre, instead of a proven 2-way 1st line AHL centre

    Year 1: Justin Schultz has to take 2nd pairing minutes with a rapidly declining Nick Schultz.
    Year 2: Justin Schultz has to take 2nd pairing minutes with a rapidly declining Andrew Ference, a rookie Russian, a rookie Swede
    Year 3: Justin Schultz gets 3rd pairing competition with a mediocre AHL defensemen.

    The Oilers have done nothing to help Justin Schultz develop as a defensemen, but continually put him in situations to fail defensively by being constantly played too high in the roster without help and overmatched.

  126. soup says:

    godot10,

    You don’t like the coach?

  127. delooper says:

    till_horcoff_is_coach:
    Last night was a good night. Even before the oilers put the jets on after the first 10mins they had better control and support. The 3rd saw the forwards bolting the d zone too soon and attempting entry without any support…. shades of last year for sure.

    People have been complaining about the defense but this was the story, IMO. The forwards were getting too impatient to generate offence, and hung the D out to dry. Opening night, playing at home, I imagine we could all see it coming.

  128. godot10 says:

    JustWatt79:
    Based on nearly everyone’s reactions today, game 1 of the season was must win. How can the very first game of the season be must win?!

    Calgary beat them 8-1 last time last season.
    Calgary was playing back-to-back.
    Calgary was playing their backup goaltender.
    Calgary’s #1 centre was gutting out back-to-back games recovering from the flu.
    Calgary’s #2 centre did not play in pre-season because of injury.
    Calgary was playing on the road.
    Gretzky was in the house.

    What did we get. Calgary capitalizes on a couple of early defensive breakdowns to go up 2-0, and goes to sleep. The Oilers dominate. Hartley screams at his team in the 2nd intermission. The Oilers captain makes a critical defensive lapse of mental laziness, resulting in the winning goal. The Oilers AHL defensemen, Mr. Hunt, then gets walked to the outside by a slow forward for the clinching 2-goal lead. Game over.

  129. Adam Wu says:

    This team didn’t transform into a beast mode contender in the offseason, but there were numerous positives from last night’s game.I could watch 81 more with that effort and tactics, and be very pleased.

    If the team plays 81 games more with that effort and tactics AND doesn’t abandon those tactics in blind panic every time they fall behind by one goal in the third period from a bad bounce, fluky situation, or goaltender gaffe, I’ll be happy.

    If they’d done that last night, there was a good chance of a 4-3 victory, or an overtime game, after which all that the congenitally pessimistic would have to grumble about is gifting a division rival a free point thanks to an shaky start.

    But if they continue to be so mentally fragile and lacking in confidence in their own game plan in the face of the least adversity, squandering good effort after good effort, I don’t know if the old ticker can take to much of that.

  130. Adam Wu says:

    Hammers: Ference & Nikitin should both be 3rd pairing if playing & Hunt & Schultz just doesn’t work .Oh well 81 to go but hopefully not anticlimatic by Remembrance day .

    If Ference and Nikitin should both be 3rd pairing, then where does JShultz and Hunt go? Where does Nurse get his sheltered minutes? Klefbom? Even if Marincin back?

    If Nikitin, once healthy, can’t do at least 2nd pairing, then signing him at all was a mistake.

  131. Bar_Qu says:

    soup:
    godot10,

    You don’t like the coach?

    Actually he loves the coach. He’s disappointed because someone he admires so much professionally let him down.

    He wears his heart on his sleeve, that godot.

    😉
    (nothing but gentle ribbing intended here)

  132. denny33 says:

    borisnikov,

    That was a good post….

  133. OilClog says:

    godot10: Hunt was primarily responsible for that letting a pathetically slow Joe Colbourne beat him cleanly to the outside.Colbourne used is non-speed to go outside on a AHL quality 2nd-pairing defender.Hunt couldn’t handle tough minutes in the AHL.

    The genius behind the bench thinks putting him with Schutlz is a good idea.

    The genius behind the bench is also a hypocrite.He said his roster decisions were based on pre-season performance, except not to the coach’s pets.Scrivens was clearly outplayed by Fasth during the pre-season, yet Scrivens got the start.The coach is a hypocrite and plays favourites.

    Corollary: Which is why he has a 2nd line AHL centre as his 5th centre, instead of a proven 2-way 1st line AHL centre

    Year 1: Justin Schultz has to take 2nd pairing minutes with a rapidly declining Nick Schultz.
    Year 2: Justin Schultz has to take 2nd pairing minutes with a rapidly declining Andrew Ference, a rookie Russian, a rookie Swede
    Year 3: Justin Schultz gets 3rd pairing competition with a mediocre AHL defensemen.

    The Oilers have done nothing to help Justin Schultz develop as a defensemen, but continually put him in situations to fail defensively by being constantly played too high in the roster without help and overmatched.

    I’m not disagreeing with you, but Jultz can still put on the Man pants and realize this isn’t the beach. Back check, hard, determined, you’re a defenceman. He never does it, it’s a flaw in his game won’t matter who he’s playing with.

    Hunt on the roster over Marincin is absolute trash.

    I can’t shit on Scrivens, it was a big freaking day for the local product and must of been very nerve racking, He’ll bounce back.

    The defence deployment last night cost the Oilers two points, they’ll need to make this right very quickly or Oiltown in for a explosion of a epic proportion.

  134. Chris says:

    The annoying thing about this game is if we played the goaltender which was better in the pre-season and we’d played our best defensemen we likely would not have lost that game. Also if we’d played Shultz for the fifteen minutes a night he deserves rather than the 23 minutes he inexplicably gets it would also have improved our odds of winning. Sadly Shultz seems to be this management group’s Jack Johnston who until last year never accomplished jack all but had all kinds of scouts and managers going all Pierre McQuire on his “bulging thighs”.

  135. OilClog says:

    Justin Schultz makes Dustin Penner appear to be a quality back checker, that’s how bad he is.

  136. Yeti says:

    Adam Wu: If Ference and Nikitin should both be 3rd pairing, then where does JShultz and Hunt go?

    Oklahoma?

  137. stevezie says:

    Chris: [If] we’d played our best defensemen we likely would not have lost that game.

    I think that’s what people are arguing against. The Oilers played a great game, and lost because of goaltending and variance. Maybe if Marincin was there they would have dominated even more? That’s far from guaranteed though and, even then, they still might have lost because of goaltending.

    Full Disclosure: I was Ryan Adams and did not watch the game.

  138. Yeti says:

    stevezie: Full Disclosure: I was Ryan Adams and did not watch the game.

    That’s quite the disclosure. I wish you all the best with your next album.

  139. borisnikov says:

    denny33:
    borisnikov,

    That was a good post….

    The … has me questioning the intent of your compliment. Is it a true compliment? Or is it from the back of your hand or side of your mouth?

    Nevertheless… a sweaty, repetetive, head shaking David Byrne probably depicts the typical, post game fan quite succinctly.

  140. VanOil says:

    Themes developing for me this season, your mileage may very;

    Trade Chuck Jultz…. to Buffalo for Grigorenko and the Stl 1st

    Sign Petry

    Ference is a fine #7D

    Pair Nitikin with Chuck Jultz on the 3d pair for limited minutes

    FREE MARINCIN!!!

    Yak and Nuge were the best 2 players last night for the Oilers

  141. rickithebear says:

    godot10: Year 1: Justin Schultz has to take 2nd pairing minutes with a rapidly declining Nick Schultz.
    Year 2: Justin Schultz has to take 2nd pairing minutes with a rapidly declining Andrew Ference, a rookie Russian, a rookie Swede
    Year 3: Justin Schultz gets 3rd pairing competition with a mediocre AHL defensemen

    YR1:
    NS & JS 3.23 EVGA/60
    NS w/o 1.59 EVGA/60
    JS w/o 2.15 EVGA/60

    R. whitney & JS3.00 EVGA/60
    Whitney W/o 1.73 EVGA/60
    JS w/o 3.37 EVGA/60

    Smid & JS 1.91 EVGA/60 2nd comp
    Smid w/o 2.31 EVGA/60 1st comp
    JS w/o 3.43 EVGA/60 3rd comp

    YR 2:

    Ference & JS 3.23 EVGA/60 1st/2nd comp
    Ference W/o 2.52 EVGA/60 1st comp
    JS 2.69 EVGA/60 2nd/3rd comp

    NS & JS 1.83
    NS w/o 2.43
    JS w/o 3.16

    Belov & JS 3.35 EVGA/60
    Belov w/o 2.55
    JS w/o 2.80

    When did JS get better results than the player he split-up with in that season?

    there was one!

  142. borisnikov says:

    stevezie

    Full Disclosure: I was Ryan Adams and did not watch the game.

    I’m not sure how I missed that he was playing at the Winspear last night. Totally kicking myself. Just another reason to be upset about the game.

  143. Adam Wu says:

    Yeti: Oklahoma?

    Well, then you’ve got yourself:

    Petry-Marincin-Fayne-?? as your top four.

    If not Nikitin, Jultz or Hunt, then who goes into the second pairing? Nurse or Klefbom?

  144. Bling says:

    What are everyone’s thoughts on Schultz’s outlet passes?

    His atrocious D has been talked to death, but I continue to be surprised at how poor this so-called “offensive defenceman” is at starting the attack.

    Too many stretch passes, IMO.

    I think he’s a talented guy, but in the words of Dennis, he is now Getting Payed.

    This team can’t win with him leading the D in TOI and playing that poorly in both ends of the rink.

  145. commonfan14 says:

    Does it distort the corgis at all when everything one team throws up river ends up in the net?

    I mean, the Flames probably get a couple more shot attempts from that Raymond rush if his first softy doesn’t beat Scrivens, right?

    Also, what happens if Fasth looks decidedly back-uppy tomorrow night? I know we all really wanted to believe that MacT fixed the goaltending on the fly last year, but we really have no evidence that either one of these guys can be a starter.

  146. Bling says:

    OilClog: I’m not disagreeing with you, but Jultz can still put on the Man pants and realize this isn’t the beach. Back check, hard, determined, you’re a defenceman. He never does it, it’s a flaw in his game won’t matter who he’s playing with.

    Hunt on the roster over Marincin is absolute trash.

    I can’t shit on Scrivens, it was a big freaking day for the local product and must of been very nerve racking, He’ll bounce back.

    The defence deployment last night cost the Oilers two points, they’ll need to make this right very quickly or Oiltown in for a explosion of a epic proportion.

    I like the element that Hunt adds.

    I think the real problem is Schultz. He’s Getting Paid now and Eakins will have to protect the hell out of him AND his partner will have to cheat hard for defence.

    I think he needs to sit, to be honest.

    Not convinced that he can help a team win.

  147. Woodguy says:

    Bling:
    What are everyone’s thoughts on Schultz’s outlet passes?

    His atrocious D has been talked to death, but I continue to be surprised at how poor this so-called “offensive defenceman” is at starting the attack.

    Too many stretch passes, IMO.

    I think he’s a talented guy, but in the words of Dennis, he is now Getting Payed.

    This team can’t win with him leading the D in TOI and playing that poorly in both ends of the rink.

    Tyler was starting to look into this until he was summoned to Kingsway.

    He pretty much found what you are talking about.

    He’s not a “puck moving Dman.

    He is very good in the ozone in terms of scoring, but he doesn’t help you get there at all

    If you could just drop him in the ozone all game you’d be safe.

  148. SpotTheLoon says:

    I didn’t watch last night’s game so much from an analytically perspective but more from a simple enjoyment factor. That said, I couldn’t help but be impressed by the team. Sure, it’s the first game. Sure, there were some breakdowns. Sure, our goaltending wasn’t great. But from a pure enjoyment factor, there was a lot to like.

    I was really encouraged by a number of things. How the forward lines generally looked and being able to sustain pressure for prolonged periods of time was something I haven’t seen in years from this team. I really liked the way that the defense got involved in the play and really supported the forwards in the offensive zone.

    Like many, I had thought that the Oilers would be an improved team this year as some of the young ones get a year older and have more experience under their belt. And I think that, generally, the additions in the off season were positive.

    Am I disappointed in the outcome? Sure. But, from a pure enjoyment factor, I would rather watch a game like last night over so many of the games we have seen in recent years. It was genuinely entertaining. Like most everyone here, I want to see MM recalled and back in the line up. But I do believe that we have the potential to be at least competitive and entertaining this year. It’s an incremental step forward as we, hopefully, emerge from the forest.

    I am looking forward to the Vancouver and LA games a lot. It will be interesting to see what this team is capable of against a middle of the pack team and an elite team. I think it will be more telling than a game against Calgary. The biggest thing that I have this year that I haven’t really had in some time is hope. I think the Oilers will finish around 85 points this year and be on the outside looking in concerning the playoffs. But I will certainly take that and having a team that can hopefully improve over the course of the year and be entertaining.

    Am I disappointed in last night’s loss? Sure. But that is outweighed by the enjoyment factor that I felt watching a team that looked impressive and entertaining for a significant portion of the game.

  149. raventalon40 says:

    http://imgur.com/326yg5Z

    I know it’s just one game, but by memory we did pretty good in the faceoff circle last night. Then I went and checked the NHL.com website and it was true. If we can hover at just over 50% for the season I will be very happy.

  150. denny33 says:

    borisnikov,

    True compliment…..

  151. Lowetide says:

    Bling:
    What are everyone’s thoughts on Schultz’s outlet passes?

    His atrocious D has been talked to death, but I continue to be surprised at how poor this so-called “offensive defenceman” is at starting the attack.

    Too many stretch passes, IMO.

    I think he’s a talented guy, but in the words of Dennis, he is now Getting Payed.

    This team can’t win with him leading the D in TOI and playing that poorly in both ends of the rink.

    It’s been an issue for a long time. Point No. 4 here
    https://lowetide.ca/2014/08/re-14-15-justin-schultz-help-me.html

  152. denny33 says:

    Woodguy,

    Tyler was starting to look into this until he was summoned to Kingsway.
    He pretty much found what you are talking about.
    He’s not a “puck moving Dman.
    He is very good in the ozone in terms of scoring, but he doesn’t help you get there at all
    If you could just drop him in the ozone all game you’d be safe.

    ******************************************************************************
    I did not know that….very interesting.

    I would be curious to know if Mr. Dellow has or can give input on this particular area to the coaches or they have him working on other things. ( ie game to game feedback to coaches )

  153. JustWatt79 says:

    godot10,

    Somebody talked to me! Somebody talked to me!

    Every point you make is conceded. Was a should-have-won, no question. Not a must-win. Just isn’t.

  154. Bling says:

    Lowetide and WG,

    Looks like I was last to the party!

    Glad to hear that Tyler was aware.

    I think we’ll be pleasantly surprised by the D TOI on Saturday.

    Or, you know, not 🙂

  155. Bling says:

    Woodguy:

    If you could just drop him in the ozone all game you’d be safe.

    We’ve had some iffy players in these parts over the years, but as far as ifs uttered on this blog regarding said iffy players, that may well be the biggest if of them all.

    Schremp moves to second on the podium!

  156. Ribs says:

    Woodguy: Tyler was starting to look into this until he was summoned to Kingsway.

    He pretty much found what you are talking about.

    He’s not a “puck moving Dman.

    He is very good in the ozone in terms of scoring, but he doesn’t help you get there at all

    If you could just drop him in the ozone all game you’d be safe.

    Bruce tweeted this out last night…

    Bruce McCurdy @BruceMcCurdy · 17h 17 hours ago
    Here’s a stat that jumps of the sheet at me: #Oilers had 31 O-zone faceoffs, just 9 in the D-zone. Not that the final score cares about that

    Hmmmz…

  157. "Frank The Dog" says:

    Jon K:
    The gnashing of teeth of “the unwashed” is much ado about nothing. This post and others by sensible people are correct: if the Oilers play like last night all season this will be a good season.

    The sweater thrown on the ice last night illustrates the ignorance of many Oilers fans. Throw a sweater on the ice after a relatively good game by the team, forget your cellphone in the pocket in your drunken stupor. Save it for a time when the team is out of the race and it’s clear some players are mailing it in. Hopefully we don’t see it this season.

    Their puck movement through the first two periods was stellar. Lots of support on the breakout, quick decisions, players and pucks attacking the net quickly in the offensive zone. By eye the Oilers looked more tentative in the third. Their puck movement on the attack was a tad moredelayed and the Flames a bit quicker in their puck pressure. If Fasth starts this game (which he should have based on preseason performance) they probably win this game in a laugher. Next time.

    I hope they drove the Zamboni over that cellphone.

  158. "Frank The Dog" says:

    G Money: If it was up to me?Petry-Marincin, Ference-Fayne, Schultz-Nikitin, and let the latter two have monster PP time.

    What about Klefbom/Nurse?

  159. Rebuilder says:

    Perhaps the Jultz breakout pass problems is why he is paired with a puck moving defenseman. They recognized he was not good at breakouts and want him to defer more to Hunt for breakouts. I know this goes against the whole “why is Hunt on the team?” but perhaps it is the answer. Hunt is there to help get the puck out so Jultz can do his thing in the O-zone.

    I also realize that this sort of thinking would mean the coaches have a plan, which goes against the “Eakins is dolt” crowd.

  160. jake70 says:

    SN regional channels playing “NHL Classics” right now in OT.. .Oilers – Flames Game 6 ..April 14, 1991.

  161. Lowetide says:

    jake70:
    SN regional channelsplaying “NHL Classics” right now in OT…Oilers – Flames Game 6..April 14, 1991.

    That’s the Fleury goal, right?

  162. Bag of Pucks says:

    LT, do you recall if Slats ever sent Coffey to the press box?

    Possibly it was just in game benching?

    I honestly can’t see what Eakins is doing to discipline these bad habits out of Julz.

    I realize no one player is responsible for losses like last night, but if a player makes egregious errors (particularly lack of effort ones) that directly impact the outcome, the coach has to address it.

    Nevermind the message it sends to other players about work habits, the potential to demoralize the team in game is massive.

    There’s nothing worse than a team sacrificing and working its collective butts off, only to have a lazy play result in a gift for the opposition. Eakins, it’s early and you’ve got other options waiting in the press box. Send the message now!

    Unbelievable to think that Eakins scratched Smytty while ‘Norris’ Schultz is Teflon.

  163. Pouzar says:

    Why couldn’t OKC be playing tonight to help me get over last night? DAMMNIT

  164. Yeti says:

    Rebuilder: Perhaps the Jultz breakout pass problems is why he is paired with a puck moving defenseman. They recognized he was not good at breakouts and want him to defer more to Hunt for breakouts.

    You know who is pretty good at the whole breakouts, moving the puck thing? Some Slovak guy called Martin who got sent to Oklahoma. He also seemed to grasp the whole ‘defence’ gig that eludes Hunt.

  165. Bag of Pucks says:

    In honour of Peter Puck in da hizzy tonight, how about a reverse Pocklington from Katz?

    Schultz + $15 million to LA for Doughty

  166. "Frank The Dog" says:

    Yeti: You know who is pretty good at the whole breakouts, moving the puck thing? Some Slovak guy called Martin who got sent to Oklahoma. He also seemed to grasp the whole ‘defence’ gig that eludes Hunt.

    He’s also a leftie. Compliments Schultz. There’s a Swedish guy who did pretty good with him too, that was on the bench last night, that’s shown well with him in the past.
    Was the Hunt/Schultz combo Tyler’s contribution?

  167. Woodguy says:

    denny33:
    Woodguy,

    Tyler was starting to look into this until he was summoned to Kingsway.
    He pretty much found what you are talking about.
    He’s not a “puck moving Dman.
    He is very good in the ozone in terms of scoring, but he doesn’t help you get there at all
    If you could just drop him in the ozone all game you’d be safe.

    ******************************************************************************
    I did not know that….very interesting.

    I would be curious to know if Mr. Dellow has or can give input on this particular area to the coaches or they have him working on other things. ( ie game to game feedback to coaches )

    I don’t think Tyler is afraid to share his opinions, even in the structure of a NHL team.

    He was hired to give his opinions.

  168. jake70 says:

    Lowetide: That’s the Fleury goal, right?

    Yeah LT,…. a few minutes after I posted, Fleury scored…..forgot that goal was so quick into the overtime. Just caught the last 12 minutes + the OT……forgot how dirty Glen Anderson was….was great.

  169. Woodguy says:

    Ribs,

    The Oilers really did kill it yesterday.

    Every mistake ended up in their net, but overall they owned the Flames souls.

  170. Ribs says:

    Woodguy,

    But do you think they were making a conscious effort to get more draws in the O-Zone so that they could air-drop in guys like Schultz? It’d be interesting to see who was creating the majority of those faceoff opportunities.

  171. Bank Shot says:

    Check out the oilers app. They have a ice tracker. Shows the locations of all shots.

    Oilers average distance. 40 feet
    Flames average 31.

    Flames showing about equal in shots from inside the house as well.

  172. Ryan says:

    New thread alert bank shot.

  173. Oilers30 says:

    I am the breeder of purebred Corgis. They are registered with the American Kennel Club. i understand this is Oiler fan’s favorite breed. You can contact me at LotteryPick@Realworld.com.
    I prefer to be paid in Gs and Ws.

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