LET THIS BE YOUR LAST BATTLEFIELD

The Edmonton Oilers in their defensive zone remain a tire fire’s tire fire. This isn’t something we can debate, this is a statement of fact. Craig MacTavish hired a bunch of new men this summer and now they look like the last crew once they put on an Oildrop. How can this be? Did Craig MacTavish hire the wrong people? I think the answers are contained in the statement “the Edmonton Oilers can talk themselves into damn near anything” when they have time on their hands. A few statements that might have been uttered in Oilers offices this summer:

  • “Ha! That Leon is such an impressive young man—and very talented! You know, I wouldn’t be completely uncomfortable if we ended up going to camp with what we have!”
  • “Nikita just needs a fresh start.”
  • “Well, at least we have Andrew back there.”
  • “Fayne calms all waters, no matter who you pair him with.”
  • “I’m telling you this right now: Justin Schultz could win a Norris.”
  • “A lot of the guys thought Arco was plenty good enough to play.”
  • “I genuinely think Petry is our No. 6.”
  • “To my eye, Brad Hunt has outplayed all of the kids. Can you think of a reason to send him down?”

woodguyI’m not going to give the forwards a free pass—the No. 1 line was not good enough by plenty in Vancouver, and Leon’s inexperience is costing Nail Yakupov playing time, and that’s a very bad thing in a year when the Russian looks impatient to kill the other team with goals. Having said that, Darcy’s point is well taken here, the numbers look good and the play is fine until the ‘tripping over the light fantastic’ defense is involved.

In the past, I’ve blamed Nick Schultz and Andrew Ference and it’s pretty damn easy to blame Nikita Nikitin for hearing a dog whistle and skating into English Bay on the penalty kill. Borrowing the words of the great defensive coach George W. Bush, “is our defensemen learning?”

Or, more to the point, WHAT is our defensemen learning? The number one question from me today about these Edmonton Oilers: WHY is Justin Schultz playing 18:13 a night at evens, 2:42 on the power play and 2:02 shorthanded? Jesus Mary and Joseph that’s a lot of TOI for a guy who isn’t a very good defenseman! And I know people are going to talk about that one crazy cool play on defense, but that’s one play and he was horribly out of position. Tire fire.

Meanwhile Jeff Petry is the No. 6 defender, playing 18 and a half minutes. It is to laugh.

NUGE FIGHTS

Terrible idea. Just horrible. I understand the young man’s frustration but this team can ill afford to have him unavailable on any night. I’m sincerely thankful to the Hockey Gords he didn’t draw Dorsett (as Hall did) and let’s have this fight be his last battlefield.

EBERLE?

There were some rumblings last night about Jordan Eberle getting his bell rung. Did anyone hear that? Something to follow for the Los Angeles game, one wonders what the lines might look like if he’s unavailable. I’d run Yakupov on the 1line, something we’re going to see soon enough anyway if the Russian keeps rocking and the top line keeps rolling over. Very disappointed in the 1line so far this season.

SUTTER

  • Darryl Sutter: “The big thing in today’s game is you have to be able forecheck and backcheck, and you have to have the puck. You can’t give the puck up. We don’t play in our zone, so there’s not much defending.  I’ve coached in three decades now and this stuff where they said Marian had to play in Jacques’s system is a bunch of bull-crap. The game’s changed. They think there’s defending in today’s game. Nah, it’s how much you have the puck. Teams that play around in their own zone think they’re defending but they’re generally getting scored on or taking face-offs and they need a goalie to stand on his head if that’s the way they play.”

The Oilers are better, you can see it in the numbers WG posted on twitter and I quoted above. They are 0-1-1 to start the season and frankly they deserve better. The penalties impacted last night’s game and there are going to be times when this young team doesn’t have the puck. In those moments, when the Oilers are puckless and in their own zone, I’m genuinely concerned about three things:

  • What they’re doing
  • What they’ve been told to do
  • Who is doing it

Edmonton Oilers, the world has news for you: The Sedins figured it out. And Jeff Petry is NOT your No. 6 defenseman.

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188 Responses to "LET THIS BE YOUR LAST BATTLEFIELD"

  1. book¡je says:

    The decision making regarding the D is worrying. If they adapt quickly, maybe we can accept it as an experiment as some kind that just didn’t work. However, I don’t understand it. Why is Marincin in the minors? Why are Nurse and Klefbom in the press box instead of getting experience on an AHL or NHL rink? Why are Shultz and Hunt being put out there in situations that require a defensive focus (i.e. penalty kill)?

    I don’t know if there is some kind of conflict between the coach and GM on these issues or what.

    It’s simply disappointing when the coaching staff and GM make such stupid moves.

  2. malinpaul says:

    Does Eberle look a little rough around the edges?

  3. nycoil says:

    Blindspot – an area where a person’s view is obstructed.
    e.g. In the Oilers’ case the deployment of their defense corps.

    Re: Eberle- did not hear that. That’s not good news. If so, why did they keep throwing him out there in the 3rd and OT. When might it have happened?
    Also, I don’t know if a full switch is in order, but in a situation like last night, it would certainly benefit the team to take some 1 line shifts away from Eberle and give them to Yak. Kind of Macblender those two depending on who is running hot or cold. They shouldn’t let Draisaitl’s learning curve bring down Yakupov’s. That would be disastrous. Yak looks ready to take the next step.

  4. fuzzy muppet says:

    Justin Schultz appears to be the hill management is making their stand on.

    They are going to die on that Hill.

  5. flyfish1168 says:

    Last evening I believe we stole a point we didn’t deserve. I have to concerns after last nights game

    1) Jordan doesn’t look right. His skating isn’t his strong area but it sure should last evening
    2) Our best defense men are not playing and our weak ones are getting more ice time than they deserve.

    If the next two games end with the same two areas of concern I wonder how Eakins going to make some changes. JMHO

  6. Mr DeBakey says:

    “And Jeff Petry is NOT your No. 6 defenseman.”

    And Martin Marincin isn’t an AHLer.

    Marincin – Petry
    Klefbom – Fayne
    Nikitin – James Norris
    Thecaptainandrewference

  7. sliderule says:

    Schultz and Hunt shouldn’t be on the same team together let alone on the ice together.

    They are both power play specialists who are too weak to break up a cycle.The oilers are playing them like they are top two defenders when one and only one should be dressed .

    Schultz should be getting five and six time and pp and that’s it.

    Our best defenceman is getting Six time and our second best D is in OK city. while the two weakest defenders are getting top time.

  8. oliveoilers says:

    From the last thread, and i’ll just add; context is everything. If I’d known nothing about the game last night and just heard this morning that Nuge fought, then I’m with you LT. Stooopid idea. However, watching Hamhuis repeatedly fuck him over with no calls, then, personally I think the fight was a great idea, if only for his own self-esteem. Out skilling the opposition didn’t appear to be working now, did it?

    I’ll probably re-post this in a later thread if the discussion veers that way, but the best and the worst thing about last night was the Nuge fight. Before somebody says (in a blonde haired, Beverly Hills accent) “like, fighting is soo retarded. He should have, like, totally got them back on the scoreboard. Totally.” remember that we ALL have buttons that, if pushed in the proper sequence, would make us go ape scat like Nuge. Good for him for sticking up for himself. On the other hand…..

    This is exactly why people like Burke can hang around the league. All I can see in my mind’s eye is the It’s A Wonderful Life phrase “Every time a bell rings, an angel get’s it’s wings.”

    Except I think “Every time a skilled player fights when a POS picks on him, Brian Burke hires Trevor Gillies.”

    This is why, misguided and poorly used as it was, the instigator penalty was brought in. So guys like Hamhuis, who, by the way, didn’t even drop his other glove, just used it to get a kung-fu death grip on Nuge’s shirt, can get shit-canned. Only the old school refs didn’t like the rule and chose to interpret in a rather blasé way.

    This “arms race” is going to get very real for the NHL soon, with the class action lawsuits coming their way as soon as the lawyers are done killing the NFL. My point of view? Everybody wears helmets in both sports. This gives reasonable doubt to the notion that the players didn’t know what they were getting in to and that they had no idea head injuries were possible in the sport of their choice. They were ALWAYS aware of the risks, as from the first moment of playing in an organised league, they had to wear helmets, which leads to the conclusion that they knew that head injuries were a possibility, but still MADE THE CHOICE to play. Nobody forced them. Now this is different when an opposing player deliberately and maliciously targets the head, but that is what the rules are for. Instead of hiring guys who’s only facility on the team is to punch somebody else in the face. Soon I believe it will be not only the individuals found liable, but also the teams that hire them.

  9. borisnikov says:

    Hunt is slow.
    Fayne/Nikitin out against the Sedins for 12-14 minutes is crazy.
    Ference playing with Petry is a waste of Petry’s ability to play tough competition.
    I hope we see a change on the blue line too. Give it a different look.

    The long and short of the game is special teams. They almost sawed off the possession game at evens (save for OT) but ate the stale end of the ref’s baguette for the last half of the 2nd and first half of the 3rd.

    They got a point and look like a better hockey team. I’ll take it.

  10. supernova says:

    Why is Hunt here aside from that shot?

    Why is he playing with Schultz if he is here?

    This really looks like a team that should have played together the last 2 pre season games.

    I don’t get Eakins, I have tried for over a year and I just don’t get him. His decisions wreak of a guy who thinks he is the smartest man in the room at every turn.

  11. dawgtoy says:

    fuzzy muppet:
    Justin Schultz appears to be the hill management is making their stand on.

    They are going to die on that Hill.

    Yes! Unfortunately yes.

  12. v2hero says:

    In the case of Eberle, it should be noted that there’s no such thing as “Getting your bell rung” or “concussion-like symptoms.” Hopefully Stauffer was wrong about that.

    Playing with a concussion would explain his game last night, but at the same time, it’s totally horrifying. And RNH throwing punches? I said it on twitter, use your stick.

    We just watched a game where a #1 overall and our big UFA forward signing got no ice time because we need to shelter the rookie 2C. RNH breaks a finger last night, and where are we?

  13. flyfish1168 says:

    Mr DeBakey:
    “And Jeff Petry is NOT your No. 6 defenseman.”

    And Martin Marincin isn’t an AHLer.

    Marincin – Petry
    Klefbom – Fayne
    Nikitin – James Norris
    Thecaptainandrewference

    I like your pairing. I believe they are our best at this point in time. I do believe Martin went down to learn to play the right side before they trade either Petry or Schulz. I hope Schulz is the one out of town.

  14. anonymous says:

    Eakins easily could’ve got Yaks line out after one of the kills. Especially when the 1 line isn’t firing. What else does he have to do? Same with the shoot out, why not reward the guys who scored. Eakins will always play favorites.

  15. bretskigretzky says:

    Brilliant article but I’d suggest that with the deplorable D-coverage, this team has no business claiming it deserved a better fate. They’re lucky to be 0-1-1.

    Vancouver completely neutralized the first line by simply beating them up. This happens every time they play Van. I wonder why the approach to extremely physical offensive zone play hasn’t changed yet. Nuge figured it out, it’s great to see him hit his tipping point though Ebs seems to think he can dance a jig around defenders. Sometimes you have to take your space, not wait for it to be given to you.

    Lastly, Oiler RWs need to learn how to handle a pinching defenceman on the boards in the defensive zone. It’s been an automatic turnover there for the past two years. Are these kids being taught? Or are they just skating wind sprints in practice.

    I’m sick of the defensive stagnation from this bloody team. The D corps is a mess, yes, but Jebus Mary Jo-Bob, do the forwards need to learn to support the puck.

  16. Sevenseven says:

    Maybe, just maybe, Eakins is too blame? Different cast, same result?

  17. dawgtoy says:

    Mr DeBakey:
    “And Jeff Petry is NOT your No. 6 defenseman.”

    And Martin Marincin isn’t an AHLer.

    Marincin – Petry
    Klefbom – Fayne
    Nikitin – James Norris
    Thecaptainandrewference

    I again completely agree, though I’d play Nurse not Klefbom. They have seven games to have a look, they’ve already wasted two. Play him or send him to the Soo.

  18. Ryan says:

    v2hero,

    The zone starts suggest that Eakins is sheltering both Arcobello and Draisatl.

  19. Lowetide says:

    Ryan:
    v2hero,

    The zone starts suggest that Eakins is sheltering both Arcobello and Draisatl.

    Because he has to. The GM needs to get him a veteran center. This is silly. The price of developing Leon is basically Yakupov’s road season. Too high a price by plenty.

  20. justDOit says:

    fuzzy muppet: Justin Schultz appears to be the hill management is making their stand on.

    Looks like Benny Hill, so far.

  21. gogliano says:

    book¡je:
    The decision making regarding the D is worrying.If they adapt quickly, maybe we can accept it as an experiment as some kind that just didn’t work.However, I don’t understand it.Why is Marincin in the minors?Why are Nurse and Klefbom in the press box instead of getting experience on an AHL or NHL rink?Why are Shultz and Hunt being put out there in situations that require a defensive focus (i.e. penalty kill)?

    I don’t know if there is some kind of conflict between the coach and GM on these issues or what.

    It’s simply disappointing when the coaching staff and GM make such stupid moves.

    I’m fine with Nurse being up in the bigs and playing sporadically if he goes down in a reasonable time frame.

    It’s this or junior. He isn’t good enough to play in the NHL but the benefits of more junior time are minimal. Get him some NHL practices, some increased awareness of the gap between Junior and NHL, and some more NHL* coaching. He gets an NHL paycheck for a bit making the demotion sting a little less when he goes down.

    * May not be as advertised.

  22. Woodguy says:

    “I genuinely think Petry is our No. 6.”

    If you look at 5v5 its slightly different

    Jultz 18:13
    Hunt 17:00
    Nikitin 16:56
    Ference 16:39
    Petry 16:27
    Fayne 16:06

    Not a whole lot of spread from 2-6, less than 1min 5v5.

    That being said, its still insane that the best 2 Dmen (imo) are 5 and 6 on that list.

    Jultz is certainly getting the James Norris push and bringing Hunt along for the ride.

    I take a bit of solace in the fact that I know Tyler is talking to the coach.

    He may not be as blunt as he was on Al Gore because you have to get along with the people who hired you, but I also know that he is probably physcially unable to not tell them his opinion and given the history we’re pretty sure his opinion mirrors ours.

    He would also be privy to what the D are actually told to do, so he’ll be more coherent as well.

    I’m hoping Nikitin will improve as his ankle heals. He doesn’t have the mobility he showed in pre-season pre-ankle twist.

    I’m pretty sure Ference is just over his head in the NHL at this point though, but the coach and GM love him.

  23. fuzzy muppet says:

    dawgtoy,

    Nurse has to play 9 games, not the team. He can sit on the bench all season if they want him to. Knowing the guys in charge, that might happen.

    When will actions match the verbal?

    Acountability my ass. Eberle has been slow from the get-go. Yet he is getting TWICE the ice time of Yakupov. I DO NOT LIKE EAKINS. Godot is right: full stop

  24. Kmart99 says:

    ” Leon’s inexperience is costing Nail Yakupov playing time, and that’s a very bad thing in a year when the Russian looks impatient to kill the other team with goals”

    I’d argue that Eakins is costing Nail Yakupov playing time. Most mildly smart coaches recognize when a particular player is having a great night and will reward him with more ice time. Last night Nail was making things happen EVERY shift, yet still no increase in ice time? Not sure the thought process there.

    Systems Analysis:
    Our Ozone entries are much improved.
    Our Ozone play is MUCH improved(save for Ebs right now).
    Our Dzone entry prevention is also MUCH improved but Ference, Nikitin, and Hunt struggled in this regard last night(by my eye)
    Our Breakout is also way better.

    Problem…
    “The Edmonton Oilers in their defensive zone remain a tire fire’s tire fire”
    We still cannot break the cycle. Petry is great at shutting down the cycle, but being paired with Ference makes it difficult, and last night the Sedins knew which side of the ice to cycle the puck.
    Klefbom’s biggest strength as per Todd Nelson? “Breaking the cycle and battling along the boards”
    Marincin’s biggest strength? To me it’s his stick, and while he isn’t the best at winning battles, he’s a massive leap better than Ference and, from what I’ve seen so far, Nikitin.
    Nurse’s biggest strength? Physical play, Skating, Passing… I’m pretty sure he’s good at everything.

    If the Oilers are going to win they need to make some difficult decisions, and they need to do it yesterday.

    1) Cut Ference’s ice time.
    2) Increase Petry’s ice time.
    3) Send Hunt to OKC. Last night he looked great with the puck, but he couldn’t prevent a zone entry if his life depended on it, and he can’t do anything against a Sedin Cycle. And as my dad would always say “He’s slower than molasses in January.”
    4)Cut Justin Schultz’s and Nikitin’s Ice time at EV, on the PK, and make sure they don’t get Dzone starts whenever possible. Their qualcomp should be as low as possible too.

    5)Start looking(and I know this is the impossible decision to make) at trading Ference and Nikitin, or buying them out, our burying them in the minors. But those two guys bring nothing to the table. Nikitin is supposed to have a bomb from the point, but if you’re not going to use it, he’s basically a #7 NHL defenseman. He was DAMN LUCKY to have Fayne save his ass on multiple occasions last night. Maybe Fayne can keep Nikitin afloat this year as he did last night, but why risk it?

    6)PLAY Oscar, Darnell, and MM against LA if you want any chance at winning that game.
    Ference, Nikitin, and Hunt have to leave.

    I don’t know how you get rid of Ference and Nikita but, to me, it seems pretty friggin’ obvious that those two are part of the problem right now.

  25. v2hero says:

    Ryan,

    On zone starts, yes, but look at the 5v5 TOI last night. There’s sheltered like Arcobello (a light rain jacket) and then sheltered like Leon (stashed in NORAD headquarters under Cheyenne mountain.)

  26. Ryan says:

    Lowetide: Because he has to. The GM needs to get him a veteran center. This is silly. The price of developing Leon is basically Yakupov’s road season. Too high a price by plenty.

    Couldn’t agree more… Trying to hide two lines from the Sedins on the road is not feasible–even more so when the sisters are already filleting your top line.

  27. WeirsBeard says:

    Where’s Charlie Huddy? They shouldn’t let him leave town after the reunion.

  28. nycoil says:

    Since it probably got buried tail end of the last thread, I’d just like someone to ask Eakins this follow-up question:

    “Eakins’ excuse about Yak’s ice time being cut by the penalties (9:50, 0:00 SH) doesn’t fly when Eberle was playing a lazy and ineffective game and got (20:49, 0:54 SH). Eberle still got double Yak’s EV/PP time.

    My first suggestion would be to keep the forwards the same but as it goes, if Yak plays well and Eberle doesn’t, bring out the Macblender a bit and give Yak some of Eberle’s shifts. That ought to: a) encourage Yak and reward good play, b) light a fire under Eberle.”

    But seriously, someone needs to point this discrepancy out to Eakins. Because he is either lying through his teeth (I don’t think so) or he has yet another “blindspot” here and needs to have it pointed out to him pretty quickly.

  29. Kmart99 says:

    fuzzy muppet:
    dawgtoy,

    Nurse has to play 9 games, not the team. He can sit on the bench all season if they want him to.Knowing the guys in charge, that might happen.

    When will actions match the verbal?

    Acountability my ass.Eberle has been slow from the get-go.Yet he is getting TWICE the ice time of Yakupov.I DO NOT LIKE EAKINS.Godot is right: full stop

    I mentioned it in an earlier thread, but the Oilers said that if Nurse makes this team it has to be as one of the top 4 d men, and he has to be clearly the better decision. To me this means that they want to evaluate him against the absolute best teams. Not CGY, not a bubble team like VAN, but PLAYOFF teams. Why give him soft landings? If you keep Nurse, you want him to be a difference maker in a good way. Not a “He’s better than Ference”, but a” he’s better than every d man we have” sort of way.

    It’s just a theory, but I he will play against playoff teams. If Darnell came in and had a great game against CGY that really wouldn’t tell me much. VAN is better, but still not elite, and still a bubble team.
    LA, TBL, BOS, PHI, MON, NYR, CHI, STL. If Darnell shows OK against LA, he likely won’t see the ice until the TBL game. If he shows really poorly, he’ll go back to Jr. If he dominates against LA and crushes guys like D.Brown, Kopitar et al… he might get some time against Arizona the following night.

  30. Woodguy says:

    justDOit: Looks like Benny Hill, so far.

    Excellent.

    Complete with Yakkety Sax

  31. VanOil says:

    This thread title of “let this be your last battlefield” had me thinking it would be about Ference being done. Instead it reads like the emancipation of Godot.

    Themes I am picking up;

    Ference is done

    Nitikin-Jultz should be our bottom pairing until they are both traded for a Center

    FREE MARINCIN

    LA game than a schedule loss against Arizona coming. It is going to be hot in Kingway.

  32. bretskigretzky says:

    So smart to give Andrew Ference the ‘C’ and making his demotion an admission of a previous failure of judgement.

    MM in the AHL is a screaming error.

    Nikitin has no clue how to play on the PK, let alone against the Sedins.

    Oiler RWs need to learn to deal with pinching Dmen.

    Leon’s line needs more playing time.

    4th line looks great!

  33. Woodguy says:

    Interesting Duhatschek piece on Yak:

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/sports/hockey/duhatschek-oilers-confident-yakupov-will-find-his-stride/article21071160/

    Key paragraphs:

    It is a puzzling and exasperating state of affairs for his boss, Oilers general manager Craig MacTavish, who says: “Let me tell you about Yak. He is an unbelievable kid. He is a hard-working, very solid individual – and he’ll get there. It’s going to take time, the way it does for all kids, but hockey’s important to him, very important to him. So he’s not vilified internally, I can tell you.

    “I always use the Larry Murphy analogy. When he was in Toronto, it was said he couldn’t play. Then he went to Detroit and he was an all-star for three years – because the team was so strong, it hid every individual weakness.

    “Our overall team strength has not been strong enough to hide any individual weakness; and that’s a problem when you’re talking about young players.”

    Its good hear clear and sane reasoning from MacT.

    That being said posters here have (correctly) taken both he and Eakins to task on “walking the walk and not just talking the talk”

    These guys need to identify that their decisions on the Dmen roster and Dmen deployment is now their largest weakness.

    They identified and fixed the fact that they used to ice a useless 4th line and now they don’t.

    These guys can learn.

  34. Woodguy says:

    VanOil:
    This thread title of “let this be your last battlefield” had me thinking it would be about Ference being done. Instead it reads like the emancipation of Godot.

    Themes I am picking up;

    Ference is done

    Nitikin-Jultz should be our bottom pairing until they are both traded for a Center

    FREE MARINCIN

    LA game than a schedule loss against Arizona coming. It is going to be hot in Kingway.

    I actually really like they way they are playing and think they have a good chance in both games.

    Pretty easy to see two losses as well.

  35. dawgtoy says:

    fuzzy muppet,

    Name a19 year old defenseman that has developed in the press box? He needs to play hockey, not watch it. If you want to see how he plays against NHL caliber competition, he should have been in the lineup last night. My point is that the team needs to make a decision sooner rather than later in this regards. Having both Klef and Nurse watching in the press box is simply negligent and poor asset managent. Marincin playing on the farm is even worse.

  36. Khlhfs says:

    dawgtoy,

    Alex Pieterangelo in his 2009 season.

  37. TheEarthIsntFlat says:

    Howdy LT,

    First time commenter long-time reader.

    I would just like to say to everyone that has either traded Eberle and Nitkin or given Yakupov the Heart trophy to just calm down for a few moments. The team played well against Calgary and played well in the first tonight. A constant parade to the box against a good team when your d-corps hasn’t yet played three full-games together is a dangerous combination.

    The team has not been getting destroyed from start to finish like last year. This is a good thing. Yes the D is rusty right now but three injuries in training camp and then 14 straight minutes in penalties in your second game will test the mettle of any team especially when that first PP group includes two guys who have played together for 25 years.

    There are definitely jitters with this team right now but lets not sell the farm quite yet.

    Breathe, relax. Both the Kings and Flyers are winless right now as well.

    That being said if we want to get miffed about something we can discuss the choices for the shootout.

  38. justDOit says:

    Woodguy: Complete with Yakkety Saxon

    ftfy

  39. jfry says:

    This seems very close to a the bookije point for you, management and coaches. Do you get an extra point if it’s the first part in a thread?

    book¡je:
    The decision making regarding the D is worrying.If they adapt quickly, maybe we can accept it as an experiment as some kind that just didn’t work.However, I don’t understand it.Why is Marincin in the minors?Why are Nurse and Klefbom in the press box instead of getting experience on an AHL or NHL rink?Why are Shultz and Hunt being put out there in situations that require a defensive focus (i.e. penalty kill)?

    I don’t know if there is some kind of conflict between the coach and GM on these issues or what.

    It’s simply disappointing when the coaching staff and GM make such stupid moves.

  40. John Chambers says:

    A tire fire’s tire fire.

    That’s why I come here every damn day.

  41. Zangetsu says:

    I definitely saw the Ference implosion coming. I expected hendricks to be a middling fourth liner this year, but by my eye he still looks better than average(product of environment?). What is my boy Ebs doing? LT must be loving this.

    I just can’t believe that Eakins is a good coach. He must have done something right to get an nhl job, but I shake my head on so much of what he says and does. Which are two entirely different things BTW.

    The oilers management have way too much pride in my opinion. You made a mistake signing Ference last season, correct it and put you’re best six dmen out.

    At this point I would say send back Nurse and Draisaitl. Draisaitl is playing sheltered minutes, and is a liability to Yak. Nurse is rotting on the vine. We don’t need to be taught that young dmen need to adjust to the nhl by playing in game situations. Draisaitl can probably apply pressure to the CHL ala Yak and get quality minutes in Europe. Preferably Nurse could do the same thing, but I think he could still stand to grow in the CHL.

    The problem is who replaces Draisaitl. I wouldn’t want Yakimov forced into the NHL, but at least he is a year older, and his success is less important than the more skilled Draisaitl. I was never a gagner fan, but I always said that if you trade him you need a centre back, or you have to combine deals. I don’t know that there is anything out there, but a Kaptain Horkov would look great right now.

    I am at a crossroads on JShultz. Sure he isn’t a top line guy, but his offensive skills are there, and he needs those big minutes to grow into a good dman. I don’t think he will ever be Norris, but none of our other prospects have the offensive pedigree. Shultz becoming a well rounded dman on this team is very important. I would run.
    Marincin Petry 23
    Fayne Shultz 20
    Nikitin Klefbom 17
    Ference pb

  42. dessert1111 says:

    I was perfectly fine with Hunt making the team. He outplayed Aulie for the 7D spot, so why not try him out.

    When he was in the starting line up, I was a bit wary, but I thought I guess see if this crazy offensive D men together thing works.

    Now Hunt is our #2D man? When did this happen? Why is he playing #1 PK minutes, or any PK minutes?

    It’s clearly not working. Sit him and Nikitin, get the young guys in, and for God’s sake get Marincin back up.

    Playing Schultz and Hunt as if they were top pairing NHL defensemen doesn’t make it so.

    If we can see this change MUST be coming, right?

    It hurts to have a guy making 4.5 mill sitting but that’s the risk they took and they can’t afford not to play their best players.

  43. Woodguy says:

    Khlhfs:
    dawgtoy,

    Alex Pieterangelo in his 2009 season.

    Yes.

    Sat in the pressbox for most games, but got his 9 in by the time the WJR started and was sent there then back to Barrie.

    2009-10 St. Louis Blues NHL 9 1 1 2 -9
    2009-10 Barrie Colts OHL 25 9 20 29 20
    2010-11 St. Louis Blues NHL 79 11 32 43 18

  44. Kmart99 says:

    Woodguy:

    That being said posters here have (correctly) taken both he and Eakins to task on “walking the walk and not just talking the talk”

    These guys need to identify that their decisions on the Dmen roster and Dmen deployment is now their largest weakness.

    They identified and fixed the fact that they used to ice a useless 4th line and now they don’t.

    These guys can learn.

    Ference, Nikitin, and Hunt are going to continue costing the Oilers games.

    Jultz can play against soft competition. Just cut his TOI at EV and on the PK. Use him on the PP, and cut his ZS’s

  45. Woodguy says:

    If they can get out of LAK/ARI with 2 points they’ll be .500 on the road trip.

    I think with the way the Oilers are playing that the upcoming 7 game home stand will end up with them getting 9-10 pts.

    We should rejoice in the fact that they are following the CHI model by deploying a tough minutes line with zone starts that would make Maholtra shake his head (Joensuu/Hendricks got 0 OZS yesterday, Gordon got one when he spelled off DrySaddle)

    They are playing 12 actual hockey players on the forward lines.

    This is progress.

    I hope they can figure out the D soon and this team will be competitive.

    I hope Scrivens’ bed shitting is behind him.

    I hope they hand out goalie starts based on performance.

    I hope.

  46. dawgtoy says:

    Khlhfs,

    Exactly. Played 9 games stretched over October and November. He was sent down and played in the WJC. Played the remainder of the season in the OHL.
    Edit. Woodguy beat me to it. The point is why wait two months!

  47. Kmart99 says:

    Woodguy: Yes.

    Sat in the pressbox for most games, but got his 9 in by the time the WJR started and was sent there then back to Barrie.

    2009-10St. Louis BluesNHL9112-9
    2009-10Barrie ColtsOHL259202920
    2010-11St. Louis BluesNHL7911324318

    What teams did Pietrangelo play against for those nine games? Where they all playoff teams?

  48. VanOil says:

    Woodguy: I actually really like they way they are playing and think they have a good chance in both games.

    Pretty easy to see two losses as well.

    Yes I agree the are playing a better brand of hockey than I even hoped they would to start the year. The personnel decision on the D corps make this all the more frustrating.

  49. Woodguy says:

    Kmart99: Ference, Nikitin, and Hunt are going to continue costing the Oilers games.

    Jultz can play against soft competition.Just cut his TOI at EV and on the PK. Use him on the PP, and cut his ZS’s

    The only reason Shultz saw PK duty is because of 7 penalties straight and the normal PK pairs being gassed and one time Fayne was in the box.

    I think Nikitin will improve as his ankle does, but I’m not as bullish as I was pre-season.

    Ference is the biggest issue.

    3 years with a NMC and sub-NHL ability now.

    Under-using Petry is a big issue and having Marincin in the AHL is the 2nd biggest issue.

  50. jfry says:

    I think petry is being worked in a little slower because he didn’t play any pre season games and is getting his legs and game conditioning back. Hopefully it is that simple. He’s playing for the same coach that gave him big minutes last year, so hopefully its the case and we are just worrying over nothing.

    Norris on the pk is a legitimate beef we should all have though

    *back to your fretting*

  51. LostBoy says:

    I’m deeply concerned with the D, but I would just say that it’s way, way, way too early to get on Nikitin and Fayne. Nikitin is almost certainly still on the limp and they just haven’t had a chance to even start settling in.

    The problem is the other pairings…Jesus. Things would be a lot easier with Marincin and Petry spelling Nikitin/Fayne, with Ference (because he’s not coming out)/Schultz playing reduced/sheltered third pairing minutes at EV.

    Like, this isn’t rocket science or grand insight. Yet the Oilers or Eakins or whoever is responsible just do odd things. And you look at it and say Well, gonna look really smart if they’re right.

    But they’re just not ever right, so far.

    They have a really good NHL defense pair who could play solid top four minutes and have had half a season to get used to each other.

    One is in the minors, the other is so far getting the fewest minutes on D.

    You do stuff like this, you don’t have to ask why your D is chaos.

  52. VanOil says:

    I asked in last nights game thread but maybe I miss assigned the credit.

    Did anyone else notice the 4th line seems to have a designated breakout play off of a DZ draw where the puck is cycled around to Joensuu on the off wing? It looks like a set play by Chicago that a blogger, Dellow or Willis, broke down last summer when discussing how Chicago sheltered Bolig.

    So far it is proving very successful. It is a combination of good tactics, coaching and a healthy Uncle Yessy. Long may it continue.

    Does anyone have a link to the blog I am thinking of or is my memory mistaken?

  53. dawgtoy says:

    Kmart99,

    Phoenix twice, Philly and LA (Those teams made the playoffs) Atlanta, Calgary, Florida, Carolina and Dallas ( non playoff teams).

  54. Ryan says:

    The numbers from last game tell us a lot.

    1. Cheating on the test is one way to improve your grades. MacT looked over his shoulder at quenneville’s test… Our forth line had an impressive night. 0% ozone starts at EV’s for all but Gordon who was used to win some ozone draws. All had Corsi’s in the 40’s with Gordon at 46%. Clean balance sheet at evens 0-0 / JJ with the shortie.
    2. As Dellow used to like to point out, our mind provides us with a flawed recall of games. We all remember Hunt’s howlitzer for the PP goal. How about his team worst rel cor of -21.27 with 50% ozone starts? #sawhimgood.
    3. Trust no one. Eakins is tasked with a roster of 2 NHL centremen. It is to the surprise of no one that he doesn’t trust the other two. Arcobello had 85.7% ozone starts vs 100% for Dry Saddle. Gordon’s? 5.8!!!!
    4. The Nuge fought more than Hamhuis. We love our Nuge and he’s a sublime talent, but at 21 he’s tasked with playing against a murderer’s row of NHL pivots.
    50% o-zone starts. CF 32%. FO 36.3%.
    5. Sell high. If you have anyone on the Oilers top line this season on your fantasy team, sell. Sell. Sell. They are not going to see very many easy minutes this year unless MAct can find a replacement for Arcobello. Expect tons of PVP minutes and a healthy dose of own zone starts.

  55. Kmart99 says:

    IMO the best available d roster to the oil right now is(not in order)

    Klefbom-Petry
    Nurse-Fayne
    Marincin-Jultz

    Nikitin

    If the oilers want to win games, just do this already. Problem is …how do you remove Ference?

  56. B S says:

    Watched the game last night. At least it was exciting. I don’t care if the Oil are winning games 5-3, 5-4, as long as they are winning. Right now they need to work on that last part.
    Personal thoughts:

    Petry is looking better, but I’m not convinced he’s 100% yet. I’m trying to give Eakins the benefit of the doubt on playing time vs player recovery. I’ve got nothing on the Fayne situation.

    Not sure Ebs’ “bell-ringing” came last night, he’s looked a little slow (physically and mentally) the last few games, might be from a concussion in the preseason (anyone recall him taking any big blows; it doesn’t necessarily have to be to the head).

    The top line has always had the same problem with scoring in close games, they need someone in front of the net. No one was going to the net on that line last night. (worth pointing out that they still managed 11 shots on net).

    The coach needs to tell Schultz the Norris trophy is not the Lady Byng. If someone has him clear beat he needs to haul them down and take his two minutes.

    Hunt is an AHLer, he looked like it last night, and I think he was gassed by the start of the third period.

    Nurse is currently getting NHL practices, NHL training, and learning NHL(?) systems. He’s playing with NHL players (not junior), but he’s not yet being thrown to the wolves. Except for the lack of playing time (as Gogliano pointed out, do any of us think Nurse NEEDS more time in junior?) this is the sort of treatment that may benefit a young Dman who can’t play in the AHL, but needs to play against men.

  57. Kmart99 says:

    By my recollection last night, the oilers were pretty damn even win VAN at EV’s. Just the 7 straight pk’s that hurt a little.

    So how was the EV corsi last night for the oil?

  58. Ryan says:

    VanOil,

    I’m pretty sure it was young Willis.

  59. Hammers says:

    No time to read comments so hope for no repetition .Totally agree with LT but to be honest I told my son if we get a point we will be lucky as with our “D” that’s the best I can see on this road trip , a point a game if lucky . Nothing has changed as our present “D” still sucks . Put Petry with Fayne as #1 Klef or Nurse with Schultz and Nikitan & Hunt . Actually Ference & Nikitan should be alternated as 3rd line L side “D” as that is what they are and no more than 16 minutes . If Nurse & Klefbom can’t play at least 2nd pair minutes send them down as Marincin proved he can . Between Ramsay & Lowe 2 ex real NHL “D” they should know this . Your right on re Yak needs 17 min per game. As of this game Eberle needs a message sent, be good or ice time is cut .Actully I will repeat myself and say Purcell should be on 1st Yak & Perron on 2nd Ebs & Pouliot with Leon . 4th line getting more ice but deserve it . Have a great Thanksgiving .

  60. Ryan says:

    Kmart99:
    By my recollection last night, the oilers were pretty damn even win VAN at EV’s.Just the 7 straight pk’s that hurt a little.

    So how was the EV corsi last night for the oil?

    Where did Woodguy get his fenclose//corsi close data?

    The EV shot totals seemed fairly close for all but OT, but the actual Corgis were a blowout in favor of Vancouver.

  61. justDOit says:

    VanOil: The personnel decision on the D corps make this all the more frustrating.

    This pretty much sums it up. Despite some good moves, and some good talk, it appears early on that we’re headed for another slow start. And the thought of trying to play catch-up with the west brings faint feelings like we’ve been here before – ain’t that right Phil?

    The forward lines are better, the Corgis are no longer howling, and Fasth had a good game last night, but for the love of Huddy can someone right the good ship Blue? Do we, the unwashed tier 2 fans, need to get a kickstarter campaign going to hire Tonya Harding’s boyfriend?

    I’m not out on the ledge yet, but the window’s open.

  62. Kmart99 says:

    From minute 23:53 to minute 51:01 last night (penalties) the game was lost.

    http://www.hockeystats.ca/game/2014020031

    Despite all the dzone problems, the oilers were every bit as good as VAN at EV’s if not better.

    Good arrows. Tuesday will be a real test for the Oil at EV’s. Keep the corgi’s above 48% at EV and i’ll be happy. Get a point and ill be dancing.

  63. Henry says:

    “The Edmonton Oilers in their defensive zone remain a tire fire’s tire fire. This isn’t something we can debate, this is a statement of fact.”

    Please Craig Ramsay, fix this quick. And while getting used to the Western Conference take it under advisement that Brad Hunt may not be the right guy to run against the Sedins on the PK.

    Hopefully Klefbom plays the Kings and Nurse gets a game in Phoenix.

  64. DBO says:

    Michael Russo ‏@Russostrib 38m38 minutes ago
    #mnwild has signed defenseman Jonas Brodin to a six-year, $25 million extension. $4.167 AAV

    Sign Petry to this, and tell Schultz he’ll get no more then this. If he balks at it, then move him now. Balance has been somewhat achieved up front, now do something about the D.

  65. SoCaloil says:

    Let’s start with what went right:
    1) Gordon on PP In front of the keeper. About time we got a body there
    2) yak – he was back every time in the right place picking up pucks
    3) Perron. He’s puck battles where outstanding
    4) Arco with a g and an apple. But he looked exposed on one of the pks.
    5) all our lines have the ability to score. Whens the last time that happened
    6) Nuge is becoming a man! ( although he’s the last guy that should fight)

    Now what went wrong
    1) Hall went 2 steps back regarding protecting puck possession
    He’s carelessness in neutral zone and cheeky “Hail Mary” passes behind his back
    Ended up costing long stretches of d zone time esp in 3rd and several penalties
    He stopped dumping the puck in, but that’s a much better decision when there’s nothing else
    2). Nikitins long stretch passes right on the tape of a Nucks stick
    He had no pressure too. WTF?
    3) Couldn’t win puck battles in D and couldn’t get the puck out
    consequence was taking more penalties
    4) pK needs work and MM

    It’s really the same old dog and pony show
    I just hope their showcasing jultz. Maybe him and a pick gets you a legit C

  66. Woodguy says:

    Ryan: Where did Woodguy get his fenclose//corsi close data?

    The EV shot totals seemed fairly close for all but OT, but the actual Corgis were a blowout in favor of Vancouver.

    War-on-ice.com

  67. delooper says:

    Why is it people are so sure the fault lays with the defense? My impression with this Oilers team over the past few years (and it seems consistent with early impressions this season) is the forwards either aren’t supporting the D, or when they do, they do it wrong and cause confusion and disorder. I think the Oilers D are better than the level of credit people are directing at it. I think the issue is more that the forwards and the D are still not on the same page about what to do. Moreover, as soon as things start going a little wrong the forwards get impatient and forget everything they’ve learned. So the Oilers D are left in a bit of a quagmire: they can play they way they’re supposed to play, but without forward support it amounts to nothing. Or they can adapt to the reality of little forward support, and play a style of pick-up hockey… in which case they look bad.

  68. nycoil says:

    DBO:
    Michael Russo ‏@Russostrib38m38 minutes ago
    #mnwild has signed defenseman Jonas Brodin to a six-year, $25 million extension. $4.167 AAV

    Wow, that is one hell of a team-friendly contract. Given Brodin is tracking better than McDonagh was at the same point. Note, I am not saying Brodin is or will be better than McDonagh, but given the rising cap and inflation of salaries that is a great deal for Minny. Josi, Brodin, McDonagh with some amazingly low cap hits for their respective teams.

  69. delooper says:

    nycoil: Wow, that is one hell of a team-friendly contract. Given Brodin is tracking better than McDonagh was at the same point. Note, I am not saying Brodin is or will be better than McDonagh, but given the rising cap and inflation of salaries that is a great deal for Minny. Josi, Brodin, McDonagh with some amazingly low cap hits for their respective teams.

    I suspect that’s the kind of thing that happens once you create a team people want to play for.

  70. Kmart99 says:

    delooper:
    Why is it people are so sure the fault lays with the defense? My impression with this Oilers team over the past few years (and it seems consistent with early impressions this season) is the forwards either aren’t supporting the D, or when they do, they do it wrong and cause confusion and disorder. I think the Oilers D are better than the level of credit people are directing at it.I think the issue is more that the forwards and the D are still not on the same page about what to do.Moreover, as soon as things start going a little wrong the forwards get impatient and forget everything they’ve learned.So the Oilers D are left in a bit of a quagmire: they can play they way they’re supposed to play, but without forward support it amounts to nothing.Or they can adapt to the reality of little forward support, and play a style of pick-up hockey… in which case they look bad.

    I’m sure the fault lays with Eakins last night.
    Fayne and Petry were playing well. Ference, Hunt, and Schultz were not. Not look at how Eakins split the TOI.

    The gaps aren’t massive, but in this league, that’s the difference between winning and losing. Last night it was part of the equation for sure. My goodness did ference look bad.

  71. SK Oiler Fan says:

    So if a team’s goal was to make the playoffs would it be advisable to employ one of the lightest and youngest teams in the league?

  72. Lowetide says:

    One thing I didn’t mention was Petry’s 44% EV Corsi with a 30% Ozone start. That’s really good.

  73. fifthcartel says:

    Playing Schultz this much seems all kinds of crazy. They just can’t be watching him and think “Yup, this is the guy we want to build our defense around!”. I have no idea how they arrive at the conclusion to play him this much.

  74. Washingtron says:

    I’d definitely echo what most folks are saying but it seemed to my eye that the Oil were dominating the first period primarily due to their forecheck which was relentless and physical and led to their possession dominance (Sutter’s rule). They came out for the second and I think the Coove adjusted their breakout to negate the 2-1-2 (or 2-2-1) forecheck. The Oilers chased the puck for the next two periods with nary an adjustment to be seen and plenty of penalties trying to catch up to the play.

    I don’t think the refs blew it save for the hand pass goal (which is kind of a biggie) and the Hamhuis diving shoulder to the Nugeface. Anyone think that shot gets submitted for review? Leaving feet, targeting head, intent to injure star player?

  75. rogue says:

    Random thoughts;

    Petry, Nikita and Andrew are not in game shape or totally healthy. Petry will get more ice time from here on in.

    Watch Nikita re-injure his ankle because he is playing too soon.

    The only reason Hunt is playing is because they have a deal in the works for a center and it involves Schultz. They need to see if his offence cancels his defence. Schultz is getting more ice time to showcase him.

    On more disciplined teams, Schultz, Hunt and Ference would be more reliable 6th dmen. They can be hidden better. But not the Oil.

    If none of the above are true, then Eakins is dumber than I think. He has better options on who is playing and with whom they play. Mind boggling.

    And what the hell do I know? I still remember George Armstrong scoring the empty netter to seal the Last Stanley Cup the Leafs won.

  76. Caramel Obvious says:

    After two games this is far and away the best Oilers team in years. That’s a simple fact. The team has made many, many right decisions. You have to be blinded by hate not to see this. Eakins deserves a great deal of credit for this. His use of zone starts is perfect. You have to be blind not to see this. As Woodguy pointed out the arrows are all in the right direction.

    That said:

    Justin Schultz is not an NHL hockey player. He isn’t a puck moving defensemen. He’s isn’t good on the powerplay. He has one skill. Jumping into the rush as the fourth guy. He’s elite at this, but poor at everything else.

    Getting rid of him for a bag of pucks would transform this team. So it’s a major blindspot.

    However, the Oilers have corrected so many other blind spots in the past year that I still feel good. This team has three scoring lines. They hired Tyler freaking Dellow. Imagine that. I still can’t believe it.

    So if you aren’t encouraged by what has happened so far you simply don’t know what you are talking about. Moreover, you are the biggest danger the Oilers face. For the first time in five years I am optimistic but the one thing I can see derailing this whole thing is fan impatience and ignorance and the team not have the courage to stick to their guns.

  77. shiraz says:

    Game 1 : Hot Goalie
    Game 2 : Cold Referee
    Reunite Petry Marincin
    Sit a Veteran D
    Sit Back and Enjoy

  78. Lowetide says:

    What we SHOULD hear later today is that:

    1. Martin Marincin has been recalled
    2. Nikita Nikitin is on IR
    3. Brad Hunt is in the pressbox.
    4. Jeff Petry and Martin Marincin will play against LAK.

  79. nycoil says:

    Lowetide:
    What we SHOULD hear later today is that:

    1. Martin Marincin has been recalled
    2. Nikita Nikitin is on IR
    3. Brad Hunt is in the pressbox.
    4. Jeff Petry and Martin Marincin will play against LAK.

    Would add Andrew Ference is day-to-day to the above.

    Marincin-Petry
    Nurse-Fayne
    Klefbom-Schultz

  80. shiraz says:

    Lowetide,

    If it were only so … another reason to be Thankful @ Thanks Giving !!

  81. Lowetide says:

    shiraz:
    Lowetide,

    If it were only so … another reason to be Thankful @ Thanks Giving !!

    Ha! My wife woke up, went online and then came storming downstairs to express her disappointment in not reading the “Thanksgiving family update” I didn’t know she ever read anything on Lowetide. Seriously.

    I told her it was tomorrow and now she’s baking four pies. Fuck, I’m going to have to write something nice tomorrow morning.

  82. Woodguy says:

    All,

    Been asked a few times where I’m getting the stats.

    3 spots:

    1) war-on-ice.com

    This one is good for both raw corsi/fanwick numbers and percentages. Also allows you to change the game state to re-evaluate (i.e. where I got my 5v5 fenclose numbers from LT’s post)

    You can also choose zone starts or other data

    They are working on team mate/ opposition WOWY, but not ready yet

    Make sure you are exploring all options under Team Strengths, Score situation, and Columns to display. You can get almost everything at this site.

    2) naturalstattrick.com

    This is where I am getting my team mate/opposition WOWY – only site doing this right now. If the info was sort-able it would be dynamite.

    3) hockeystats.ca

    All strength and 5v5 corsi raw data and percentages. Also works in real time during the game.

  83. Woodguy says:

    Lowetide:
    What we SHOULD hear later today is that:

    1. Martin Marincin has been recalled
    2. Nikita Nikitin is on IR
    3. Brad Hunt is in the pressbox.
    4. Jeff Petry and Martin Marincin will play against LAK.

    But we won’t.

    Never seen you this agitated LT.

    I’m guessing its because this team is *this-close* to be competitive with anyone and they’re sticking a fork in their own eye with the Dmen and 2C.

    Close?

  84. godot10 says:

    1) This blog has almost become like a play where I don’t have to show up.

    2) Brodin’s contract 6 years for $25 million = 4 RFA years x $3.25 + 2 UFA years x $6 million
    OR = 4 RFA years x $3.5 +2 UFA years x $5.5 million.
    (In the ballpark of Gardiner, Bogosian, Fowler, Kulikov)

    3) Petry only has UFA years. The cost of those years will be $5.5 million to $6 million per season.

    4) MacT was the most inexperienced GM hired in the last decade pretty much.

    5) Eakins was the most inexperienced coach hired in the last decade pretty much.

    BONUS: Dumb things Lowe/MacT have done since 2006.
    1) Gutting the mid-career mid-to-late twenties core of the Oilers.
    2) Nilsson over Glencross
    3) Hejda didn’t play till Christmas, and then they forgot about him during the off-season.
    4) Breaking in Gagner and Cogliano at centre simultaneously.
    5) Let’s trade for career right wing Erik Cole and see if he can play LW.
    6) Unbalanced rosters to start the season every year (actually even in the 2006 SCF year)
    7) No centre protection for the roster last year with Nuge recovering from surgery.
    8) The fiasco on defense this year.

    BRING ON NICHOLSON!!

  85. jfry says:

    Ha. This blog is the best place
    Lowetide: Ha! My wife woke up, went online and then came storming downstairs to express her disappointment in not reading the “Thanksgiving family update” I didn’t know she ever read anything on Lowetide. Seriously.

    I told her it was tomorrow and now she’s baking four pies. Fuck, I’m going to have to write something nice tomorrow morning.

  86. Lowetide says:

    Woodguy: But we won’t.

    Never seen you this agitated LT.

    I’m guessing its because this team is *this-close* to be competitive with anyone and they’re sticking a fork in their own eye with the Dmen and 2C.

    Close?

    Exactly. This is like a denver boot on a thoroughbred. Very difficult to endure as a fan.

  87. Woodguy says:

    Lowetide:
    One thing I didn’t mention was Petry’s 44% EV Corsi with a 30% Ozone start. That’s really good.

    ….while dragging Ference around like a concrete plyon to boot.

    Seriously, Ference dumping the puck to no one in the corner during the 4v4 made me so mad I threw a spongy toy of my daughter’s at the TV.

    Man.

  88. Woodguy says:

    Lowetide: Exactly. This is like a denver boot on a thoroughbred. Very difficult to endure as a fan.

    Especially when the players are there and just need to deployed optimally.

    Maybe we should rent a sign for the front of Kingsway?

  89. Bar_Qu says:

    Lowetide: Ha! My wife woke up, went online and then came storming downstairs to express her disappointment in not reading the “Thanksgiving family update” I didn’t know she ever read anything on Lowetide. Seriously.

    I told her it was tomorrow and now she’s baking four pies. Fuck, I’m going to have to write something nice tomorrow morning.

    Four pies! You better write something nice. Four pies is nirvana!

    #luckydog

  90. Lowetide says:

    Woodguy: Especially when the players are there and just need to deployed optimally.

    Maybe we should rent a sign for the front of Kingsway?

    Haha! Well, no. That’s not my style. 🙂 I know Dellow is in there hammering so have hope, and Eakins is smart enough to figure this out. But that’s two winnable games and they’re risking too much with questionable decisions. This is why people argue the Oilers think they’re the smartest guys in the room all the time.

    If we made a list of staffs who would keep Hunt and send down Marincin, how many names would it be? OR what about not getting a veteran center just in case?

    Not many, and no good ones, and that’s for sure.

  91. rich says:

    Lowetide:
    What we SHOULD hear later today is that:

    1. Martin Marincin has been recalled
    2. Nikita Nikitin is on IR
    3. Brad Hunt is in the pressbox.
    4. Jeff Petry and Martin Marincin will play against LAK.

    Please. From your lips to God’s ears.

  92. Marc says:

    Lowetide:
    What we SHOULD hear later today is that:

    1. Martin Marincin has been recalled
    2. Nikita Nikitin is on IR
    3. Brad Hunt is in the pressbox.
    4. Jeff Petry and Martin Marincin will play against LAK.

    I think you have to wait until the EV possession numbers turn south before you start making wholesale changes to the D. Right now, the math is telling us that the puck is moving in the right direction with this roster. If you make changes now, it’s not based on math, but on ‘I trust my gut, know what I see, saw him bad’ analysis.

  93. Adam Wu says:

    I am wondering if some of the coaching and management decisions were made with a view towards what they think (separate question as to whether or not they are right to think so) will produce the best possible team in 2 and 3 years, but not necessarily the best possible team this year.

    This year, perhaps they are satisfied with icing a team that is improved just enough to keep the fanbase semi-happy, but not necessarily the very best team that can be squeezed out of the current roster.

    (If, for example, they already knew that the die is cast with Petry, that he has already decided that he won’t re-sign after this year, then the decision regarding Marincin makes more sense…)

    I shall not hazard at the present time any opinion as to whether or not this, if true, is a good, neutral, bad, or apocalyptic thing.

  94. Kmart99 says:

    Woodguy: Especially when the players are there and just need to deployed optimally.

    Maybe we should rent a sign for the front of Kingsway?

    EXACTLY. The pieces are there. They just aren’t in place. Marincin, Klefbom, Nurse draw in. Ference day to day. Nikita IR. Hunt OKC.

  95. godot10 says:

    Marc: I think you have to wait until the EV possession numbers turn south before you start making wholesale changes to the D. Right now, the math is telling us that the puck is moving in the right direction with this roster. If you make changes now, it’s not based on math, but on ‘I trust my gut, know what I see, saw him bad’ analysis.

    A lousy save percentage and/or a lousy team PDO are things that are know to revert to the mean. Both of these things create an abnormal number of tail events which invalidate the assumption of normal distributions in the Corsi and/or Fenwick analysis (i.e. that all Corsi events are equivalent and normally distributed).

    Defensive blunders due to an incompetent defensemen (like Hunt and Ference) would also fall into this category BUT are unlikely to revert to the mean because Hunt and Ference are NOT going to become competent NHL defensemen. Ference due to falling over the age cliff, and well Hunt was only a mediocre defender against AHL competition. So one cannot expect the predictions of Corsi/Fenwick to appear if there are ongoing tail events from defensive blunders due to incompetence. It means Corsi events cannot be assumed to be roughly equivalent and normally distribution. The premises behind the theory are not longer valid, so one cannot assume the predictive power of the theory.

  96. Freëəəəəədom 95 says:

    oliveoilers: They were ALWAYS aware of the risks, as from the first moment of playing in an organised league, they had to wear helmets, which leads to the conclusion that they knew that head injuries were a possibility, but still MADE THE CHOICE to play.

    Escort Service A

    Men who willing to use condoms are paired up with the girls who refuse to be tested. Girls willing to be tested paired up with men who refuse to use condoms.

    Escort Service B

    Men who refuse to use condoms are paired up with the girls who refuse to be tested. Girls willing to be tested paired up with men willing to take precautions.

    Which system do you favour? Any man wearing a condom should know we don’t test our girls.

    Nice argument.

    The theory of implied consent suffered a fatal blow in the public eye back in the 1950s and 1960s when too many narcissistic he-man predators argued that girls who “dress like that deserved what they got”. Personally I think a world where women feel secure enough to accentuate the positive is a public good. In the opposite case you don’t end up with male license. What you get instead is the burka. Be careful what you wish for, you might get it.

    Furthermore, “offers you can’t refuse” have not held sway under labour law since the Rockefeller era.

    The choice itself has to be a fair one, by the rather broad and nebulous standard of the right to earn a decent living at your chosen profession without a Rockefeller or a Soprano tilting the table.

  97. jfry says:

    If dubnyk would have let in 5 and then 5 to start a season we be blaming him and not the d

    😉

  98. Kmart99 says:

    Marc: I think you have to wait until the EV possession numbers turn south before you start making wholesale changes to the D. Right now, the math is telling us that the puck is moving in the right direction with this roster. If you make changes now, it’s not based on math, but on ‘I trust my gut, know what I see, saw him bad’ analysis.

    It hasn’t been moving in the right direction while Hunt Ference and Nikitin are out there. (Fayne saved Nikitin’s ass last night)

    Hunt was bad(without the puck)
    Nikitin was bad always?
    Ference was devastatingly bad.

  99. Ryan says:

    Marc: I think you have to wait until the EV possession numbers turn south before you start making wholesale changes to the D. Right now, the math is telling us that the puck is moving in the right direction with this roster. If you make changes now, it’s not based on math, but on ‘I trust my gut, know what I see, saw him bad’ analysis.

    The math is telling us that the Oilers pounded the Flames and got pounded by the Canucks relative to possession. Where are you getting your stats for last night’s game?

    The worst possession player the Oilers had last night was Hunt and it wasn’t close.

    Hunt out and MM in would tilt the ice for us.

  100. Lowetide says:

    Marc: I think you have to wait until the EV possession numbers turn south before you start making wholesale changes to the D. Right now, the math is telling us that the puck is moving in the right direction with this roster. If you make changes now, it’s not based on math, but on ‘I trust my gut, know what I see, saw him bad’ analysis.

    Astute point. I’m inclined to want to agree with you, but it’s very difficult to marry your logic to what appears to be clearly inept defending (see WG and Godot in this thread).

    I think they need to at least recall Marincin today and sit Hunt.

  101. denny33 says:

    My memory is bad ……but there were few people raising objections to Nikitin.

    There were a few though……

    Boy, does Nikitin have quick feet.

    Again, like with Ryan Whitney, I am not saying this to be mean or vindictive, ….Andrew Ference is doing himself a disservice at this point.

    Again, kudos to Craig for being able to scoop up Scotty Howson.

    How do you hide Ference, Nikitin and Schultz?

  102. VanOil says:

    Lowetide: If we made a list of staffs who would keep Hunt and send down Marincin, how many names would it be?

    Buffalo, Calgary, Toronto (pre Shanahan) and Winnipeg. A winners circle of jerks.

  103. Kmart99 says:

    Yeah ppl would be blamimg DD if he were here, but Scruvens shpuldered most of the blame in game 1.

    Game 1 the biggest problem was goaltending
    Followed by DZone coverage

    Game 2 the biggest problem was penalties
    Followed by Dzone coverage
    Followed by player usage.

    Starting roster selection was also an issue in both games.

  104. TheOtherJohn says:

    Playing a complete season without a 2C is possible. Clearly not probable. To do it you’d pretty well have to be the smartest guy in the room. If so, get into a different room

  105. Kmart99 says:

    If Ference and Nikitin aren’t 100% then it is asinine to play them over Marincin and Klef. Hunt doesn’t know what to do when the opposition has possession.

    Do the right thing. At MINIMUM, bring in Marincin.

  106. denny33 says:

    Schultz and Hunt on PK…….

    PURE COMEDY !!!

  107. Kmart99 says:

    Kmart99:
    If Ference and Nikitin aren’t 100% then it is asinine to play them over Marincin and Klef.Hunt doesn’t know what to do when the opposition has possession.

    Do the right thing.At MINIMUM, bring in Marincin.

    99% of a defenseman’s game is spent without the puck.

  108. shiraz says:

    Lowetide: Ha! My wife woke up, went online and then came storming downstairs to express her disappointment in not reading the “Thanksgiving family update” I didn’t know she ever read anything on Lowetide. Seriously.

    I told her it was tomorrow and now she’s baking four pies. Fuck, I’m going to have to write something nice tomorrow morning.

    Too late to score some fresh Nutmeg ?
    Might be an excellent way to compliment those there pies … and your Lovely Wife too?
    Cheering for you … one married guy to another!

  109. shiraz says:

    Lowetide,

    Oops

    Too late to score some fresh Nutmeg ?
    Might be an excellent way to compliment those there pies … and your Lovely Wife too?
    Cheering for you … one married guy to another!

  110. godot10 says:

    Examples of actual incompetence invalidating Corsi/Fenwick theory:

    1) New Jersey. Corsi monster team missing the playoffs twice by overplaying an over-the-hill goaltender in Brodeur.

    2) 2005-2006 Oilers. Corsi monster team missing the playoffs because of incompetent goaltending and then nearly winning the Stanley Cup when they acquire Roloson.

    If the flaws in the players are real, the predictive power of Corsi theory is not valid because the distributions of Corsi events and their equivalence can no longer be assumed to be valid.

    The basic competence of the players on your roster is a prerequisite for Corsi theory. If you have obviously flawed players, hoping for results from good metrics is a false hope.

  111. Bruce McCurdy says:

    dawgtoy: Having both Klef and Nurse watching in the press box is simply negligent and poor asset managent. Marincin playing on the farm is even worse.

    At least Marincin is **playing** on the farm.

    Kmart99: Despite all the dzone problems, the oilers were every bit as good as VAN at EV’s if not better.

    Corsi from that same link shows Edmonton got smoked in EV Corsi. Only one player was a positive (Nikitin) after only one player was Not a +ve vs. Flames.

  112. Marcus Oilerius says:

    It’s nice seeing LT starting to take a stand against the incompetence of the management and coaching staff. The way MacT has his weird Justin Norris fetish, it seems like LT has his irrational like of MacT. Being better than Steve Tambellini is not an accomplishment.

  113. book¡je says:

    I just have to say something about tire fires.

    If you have never experienced a tire burning, I strongly suggest the following. Get a tire, go somewhere where there is nothing that can catch fire – like a gravel road on a farm property or somewhere where its all dirt – make sure you are not on top of a bunch of peat as this could be really bad as you could start an underground fire that would smoulder for years.

    Anyway, go there, and light the tire on fire. You might need a small wood fire to get it going (or gas, but don’t be stupid with it).

    Stand back and enjoy experiencing more heat and smoke than you ever thought possible from such a small item. Seriously, you won’t be able to stand within 10 feet of the thing because of the heat coming off of it.

    OK – don’t do any of the above – its stupid and I worry you won’t be as careful as you should with the gasoline and you probably don’t know if you are on peat and will end up causing really bad things to happen. So, just take my word for it – tire fires are crazy. Now imagine 10,000 of them burning at once. That’s the kind of thing LT is talking about.

  114. Lowetide says:

    Marcus Oilerius:
    It’s nice seeing LT starting to take a stand against the incompetence of the management and coaching staff.The way MacT has his weird Justin Norris fetish, it seems like LT has his irrational like of MacT.Being better than Steve Tambellini is not an accomplishment.

    I’m still onside as a MacT backer, not everything is black and white. I have been very vocal about center as an issue, and defense has been made less effective after cutdown day. I mentioned those things at the time, and they remain issues.

    The Oilers COULD have been 2-0 this morning. I believe specific decisions have them here that did not include making a trade during TC. That’s a short term problem that can be addressed today.

    That’s why I wrote this framing it as a major issue (which it is). I think there’s lots of good here done by MacT and Eakins. But why stop here?

    Baffling.

  115. dawgtoy says:

    Bruce McCurdy,

    Yes Bruce, the lesser of all evils is that Marincin is playing hockey. That encapsulates my point exactly, Marincin is playing, while two young studs are watching from the press box.

  116. Woodguy says:

    Lowetide,

    This is why people argue the Oilers think they’re the smartest guys in the room all the time.
    If we made a list of staffs who would keep Hunt and send down Marincin, how many names would it be? OR what about not getting a veteran center just in case?
    Not many, and no good ones, and that’s for sure.

    Exactly what I’m putting on the sign.

  117. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Washingtron: Leaving feet, targeting head, intent to injure star player?

    League office: “Star player? Oiler? Does not compute. Open season!”

  118. VanOil says:

    The good news is that if MacT is as smart as LT thinks he is Jultz will return a very nice Center in a trade and Petry will be resigned. If MacT is just the Loni Anderson of men with a good hair as my Mom maintains we are in real trouble.

    Of note and relevant to the Ferraro comments early last week. Nuge is killing it, he looked like a #1 pick last night. The shift he had to start the 3d should of netted two goals it was so good. Yak is killing it, he looked like a #1 pick all 3 minutes he has played this year. That goal he scored last night was Anderson-esque. Adam Larson who many wanted instead of Nuge is struggling to make the team in NJ and can be had for a buck of pucks. Please MacT send a bucket of pucks to NJ you’d have a replacement RHD for Jultz and Marincin can go back to playing the left side with Petry.

  119. Woodguy says:

    Ryan: The math is telling us that the Oilers pounded the Flames and got pounded by the Canucks relative to possession.Where are you getting your stats for last night’s game?

    The worst possession player the Oilers had last night was Hunt and it wasn’t close.

    Hunt out and MM in would tilt the ice for us.

    VAN game

    http://war-on-ice.com/game.html?seasongcode=2014201520031

    Corsi 5v5
    EDM -42.9
    VAN – 57.1

    Corsi 5v5 Close (within 1 goal 1st/2nd period, tied 3rd to remove score effects)
    EDM 56.8%
    VAN 43.2%

    The argument is that without score effects and the PK, the Oilers had a good game corsi wise.

    For fun the CAL game:

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

    Corsi 5v5
    EDM – 65.7%
    CAL – 34.3%

    Corsi Close 5v5
    EDM 65.6%
    CAL 34.4%

  120. TheOtherJohn says:

    Hamhuis is not a dirty player. Sorry. Argument can be made that VCR without their Canadian Olympic D man suffers greater loss than Oilers losing RNH………looks at Oiler roster…..retract comment

  121. godot10 says:

    Woodguy: VAN game

    http://war-on-ice.com/game.html?seasongcode=2014201520031

    Corsi 5v5
    EDM -42.9
    VAN – 57.1

    Corsi 5v5 Close (within 1 goal 1st/2nd period, tied 3rd to remove score effects)
    EDM 56.8%
    VAN 43.2%

    The argument is that without score effects and the PK, the Oilers had a good game corsi wise.

    Except, I think there were very few minutes played with Corsi/Fenwick close. For the Vancouver game it is a very small sample.

  122. Lowetide says:

    VanOil:
    The good news is that ifMacT is as smart as LT thinks he is Jultz will return a very nice Center in a trade and Petry will be resigned. If MacT is just the Loni Anderson of men with a good hair as my Mom maintains we are in real trouble.

    MacT loves Schultz and I’m not sure why. You never know with defensemen but 100+ games into his NHL career he looks pretty similar to M-A Bergeron from here. Except Bergeron worked his ass off to cover up on the mistakes.

  123. nycoil says:

    Jon Willis nice article on the same subject
    http://oilersnation.com/2014/10/12/the-edmonton-oilers-need-a-good-left-side-defencemen

    Complete with Princess Bride reference.

  124. Adam Wu says:

    Lowetide: I’m still onside as a MacT backer, not everything is black and white. I have been very vocal about center as an issue, and defense has been made less effective after cutdown day. I mentioned those things at the time, and they remain issues.

    The Oilers COULD have been 2-0 this morning. I believe specific decisions have them here that did not include making a trade during TC. That’s a short term problem that can be addressed today.

    That’s why I wrote this framing it as a major issue (which it is). I think there’s lots of good here done by MacT and Eakins. But why stop here?

    Baffling.

    In a way, liking what McT has done elsewhere can make it seem more baffling and frustrating. It isn’t like one can be resigned to global incompetency as with Tambo. Here is a GM who clearly DOES get it, and shows it, in so many other areas, but appears to have this one or two spots where he appears not to….

  125. Ryan says:

    Woodguy,

    The 5v5 Corsi events turned south for the Oilers mostly in the last 8 minutes of the second period against the Canucks (minus 2 minutes for the Hendricks penalty).

    Basically, there were six minutes in the tail end of the second were the wheels came off. No doubt a result of killing off so many penalty minutes that period with the lines out of sync.

    It’s encouraging for sure. The 4line has been doing some serious heavy lifting to make this house of cards stand up. They’re also largely the pk’ers.

    I don’t think it’s feasible to shelter 2c’s in a road game and quite frankly, I don’t know how Eakins managed to do it.

    Looking at the zone starts for Arcobello and Draisatl, you almost feel like Eakins is tapping out Morris code… The message reading, “Send help soon in the form of an NHL centre.”

  126. Lowetide says:

    Adam Wu: In a way, liking what McT has done elsewhere can make it seem more baffling and frustrating. It isn’t like one can be resigned to global incompetency as with Tambo. Here is a GM who clearly DOES get it, and shows it, in so many other areas, but appears to have this one or two spots where he appears not to….

    That’s a great point. Very true.

  127. VanOil says:

    Lowetide: MacT loves Schultz and I’m not sure why. You never know with defensemen but 100+ games into his NHL career he looks pretty similar to M-A Bergeronfrom here. Except Bergeron worked his ass off to cover up on the mistakes.

    If you love some set them free…

  128. Lowetide says:

    Marco Roy with an assist early today, he’s 6GP, 4-4-8 so far this season.

  129. godot10 says:

    The Oilers have never played Justin Schultz with a competent experienced NHL defensemen for the competition they are putting him out against.

    Nick Schultz, Andrew Ference, and now Brad Hunt.

  130. book¡je says:

    I think I got it, its about spelling.

    I don’t know about all of you, but somehow, learning to spell Marinčin properly has been hard. I keep wanting to spell Manircen or Marincerin or some other variant. However, Hunt, Kelfbom, Schultz, Ference, Nurse, etc are all really easy to spell.

    I think that when MacT was making up the roster, he screwed up Marinčin’s name two or three times and then just said – ah, to heck with it.

    Makes more sense than anything else…

  131. speeds says:

    Marc: I think you have to wait until the EV possession numbers turn south before you start making wholesale changes to the D. Right now, the math is telling us that the puck is moving in the right direction with this roster. If you make changes now, it’s not based on math, but on ‘I trust my gut, know what I see, saw him bad’ analysis.

    Lowetide: Astute point. I’m inclined to want to agree with you, but it’s very difficult to marry your logic to what appears to be clearly inept defending (see WG and Godot in this thread).

    I think they need to at least recall Marincin today and sit Hunt.

    I think it is wise to not make drastic decisions based on two games. At the same time, it’s not like Ference was approaching an all-star level of play last year either.

  132. Woodguy says:

    godot10: Except, I think there were very few minutes played with Corsi/Fenwick close.For the Vancouver game it is a very small sample.

    over 13 min in the 2nd period and 13 minutes in the 3rd isn’t a small sample in regards to a game.

  133. Woodguy says:

    Woodguy: over 13 min in the 2nd period and 13 minutes in the 3rd isn’t a small sample in regards to a game.

    That include a pile of VAN PP though…..

  134. Woodguy says:

    Lowetide: MacT loves Schultz and I’m not sure why. You never know with defensemen but 100+ games into his NHL career he looks pretty similar to M-A Bergeronfrom here. Except Bergeron worked his ass off to cover up on the mistakes.

    MA Bergeron 0.48pts/gm in his career

    Jultz 0.49pts/gm in his career so far

    Not a bad comp.

    I agree with Godot that he hasn’t played with a good Dpartner yet.

    You also don’t get the feeling that his defensive play has been held back though.

    Corsi has been held back, but not his own defensive skills.

    We’ll see.

  135. godot10 says:

    Not playing Hall, Nugent-Hopkins, and Eberle together at all during pre-season while obsessing about the 12th and 13th forward and guys who were going to be sent to OKC in any case is also turning out to have been “one of those decisions”.

  136. Ryan says:

    nycoil:
    Jon Willis nice article on the same subject
    http://oilersnation.com/2014/10/12/the-edmonton-oilers-need-a-good-left-side-defencemen

    Complete with Princess Bride reference.

    Young Willis is a very sensible guy. As I’ve said before, he’s our best proxy for what would Dellow do?

    Willis has identified Ference as the Oilers worst dman in the Vancouver game.

    Can speeds or someone cheer me up over the Ference contract? It’s already looking terrible and he’s almost as old as I am.

  137. VanOil says:

    Woodguy: MA Bergeron 0.48pts/gm in his career
    Jultz 0.49pts/gm in his career so far

    Was MA Bergeron gifted the crazy minutes Jultz gets? I am struggling to find career pts/60

  138. dangilitis says:

    Woodguy,

    Can they bury Ference in the minors?

  139. Marcus Oilerius says:

    Lowetide,

    It just strikes me as the first time you’ve strongly questioned the decision-making of the current management group, as opposed to their will to make a costly trade or the ability to make a deal at all. Unlike past instances, you haven’t hedged your bets much either, not talking about how debatable it is to say, sign Ference. Today’s abundance of criticism as well as the lack of a benefit of the doubt undertone seems to me to be in contrast to previous commentary. Apologies if I’ve misconstrued your intent.

  140. dangilitis says:

    Woodguy: ….while dragging Ference around like a concrete plyon to boot.

    Seriously, Ference dumping the puck to no one in the corner during the 4v4 made me so mad I threw a spongy toy of my daughter’s at the TV.

    Man.

    Those toys are some of the perks of fatherhood, eh?

  141. Itoldmess says:

    Small point, but why reward Pouliot with the 3rd shot in the shootout? Caused a penalty kill in the 3rd period that evened up the score. Oilers had Hall, Nuge and Yak still to go.

  142. dangilitis says:

    Lowetide: Nikitin

    I have no problem with putting Nikitin on the IR if he is in pain. Can you IR someone and keep them in practice, though? Because, otherwise, the best way to get strength and balance back after a non-severe (e.g. nothing severely torn) ankle injury is to keep active while doing some physio on the side.

    Fayne, Maricinin, Petry, Nurse should be in the lineup next game. If you believe in Klefbom get him in as well or let Aulie or Hunt take #7. I would take Nurse and Klef in the top 6 D over Ference and Hunt any day of the week. Let them prove me wrong, and then they can at least get sent down for more development. This handling of the D-men is truly baffling, even for the Oilers. And if Eakins is really as democratic amongst his coaching staff as he claims to be, then I have serious doubts about Ramsay’s preservation of intelligence over time…

  143. dangilitis says:

    godot10:
    The Oilers have never played Justin Schultz with a competent experienced NHL defensemen for the competition they are putting him out against.

    Nick Schultz, Andrew Ference, and now Brad Hunt.

    Fair point, but they are still convinced at this point that he has defensive chops. Hence the boat anchors and offensive cheaters. I am not.
    If they really want to experiment these first 10 games (which is beyond stupid), then Klef and Schultz – can Klef cover for Schultz’s terrible play in his own end? This is the future they envision, then show us the proof.

    At least on the bright side they only signed him for a year, so only one of 2 outcomes can occur over the summer (1) long-term large numbers – at which point you would have to think the city finally stages a mutiny, or (2) they trade him or lower his asking price based on performance, at which point I can breathe a sigh of relief about this team’s future.

  144. "Frank The Dog" says:

    I think MacT and possibly Eakins may have outwitted themselves. There is a probability that both Petry and Schultz are demanding an extortionate sum for their services. Solid chance they are on track to lose one or both by end of season.

    So what we are seeing is damage control, get their potential short term replacements up and running as soon as possible so you can trade one or both before you lose them.

    Hence getting Marincin up to speed on the right in OKC and giving Hunt ice time with Schultz as his understudy.

    Add to that an overoptimistic appraisal of what Ference contributes to the stability of the D and here we are.

    Secondly, I’m glad to see Yak finally bloom. He’s never worked well with Nuge, leave him with Purcell and Drai and give him extra minutes with Arco.

    FWIW.

  145. Marc says:

    Lowetide: MacT loves Schultz and I’m not sure why. You never know with defensemen but 100+ games into his NHL career he looks pretty similar to M-A Bergeronfrom here. Except Bergeron worked his ass off to cover up on the mistakes.

    I suspect it’s because he cares more about what Schultz could do in the team he sees the Oilers being is a year or two, than he does about what Schultz can do in the team the Oilers are now.

    To be an effective weapon, a rover needs a good sense of when to activate and when to hold back, and, critically, teammates who know how to, and do, cover effectively when he does activate. At the moment, Schultz has neither. But both can be attained with experience and coaching. I think when MacT looks at Schultz, he sees, or at least cares more about, the weapon he could be on the team of skilled, positionally aware, two way forwards he is trying to build, not the admittedly flawed player Schultz is now.

    MacT coached for years. He knows that you can teach a skilled player to be defensibly responsible (in theory), but that it’s a hell of a lot harder to teach a player who doesn’t score much to put up a ton of points. Accordingly, if you’ve got a naturally gifted offensive player, you hold on to him until you are absolutely sure that he will always give up more than he puts on the board. And we are miles and miles from knowing that about Schultz.

  146. Lowetide says:

    Marcus Oilerius:
    Interesting links
    Besides are some interesting links for you! Enjoy your stay 🙂
    Pages

    Contact

    I was down on the Clarkson offer, the Smid trade (although that seems to be working out) and the lack of addressing center. I should have been more negative about the Gagner contract but honestly didn’t think 89 would be that horrible.

    The confusing decisions on defense this fall have certainly had their impact as well.

  147. Woodguy says:

    VanOil: Was MA Bergeron gifted the crazy minutes Jultz gets? I am struggling to find career pts/60

    You’d have to run 5v5 pts/60 and 5v4 pts/60 and add them up.

    Not sure those are available for all of MAB’s career, which started in 02/03 season

  148. Woodguy says:

    dangilitis:
    Woodguy,

    Can they bury Ference in the minors?

    No Movement Clause means that the player cannot be put on waivers without his approval.

    So not unless he agrees to it.

  149. Woodguy says:

    dangilitis: Those toys are some of the perks of fatherhood, eh?

    Back when I was 10-12 or so my Mom got me a foam brick to throw at the TV when I was watching the Oilers.

    Not much has changed.

  150. Woodguy says:

    Bergeron’s pts/60 history from 02/03- 12/13 courtesy of waronice.com

    5v5
    Marc-Andre.Bergeron 0.68
    Marc-Andre.Bergeron 1.17
    Marc-Andre.Bergeron 1
    Marc-Andre.Bergeron 0.77
    Marc-Andre.Bergeron 0.9
    Marc-Andre.Bergeron 0.27
    Marc-Andre.Bergeron 1.18
    Marc-Andre.Bergeron 1.09
    Marc-Andre.Bergeron 1.12
    Marc-Andre.Bergeron 1.12

    5v4
    Marc-Andre.Bergeron 4.34
    Marc-Andre.Bergeron 4.69
    Marc-Andre.Bergeron 2.35
    Marc-Andre.Bergeron 7.52
    Marc-Andre.Bergeron 4.62
    Marc-Andre.Bergeron 3.96
    Marc-Andre.Bergeron 3.91
    Marc-Andre.Bergeron 2.54
    Marc-Andre.Bergeron 2.54
    Marc-Andre.Bergeron 3.43

  151. flyfish1168 says:

    godot10:
    The Oilers have never played Justin Schultz with a competent experienced NHL defensemen for the competition they are putting him out against.

    Nick Schultz, Andrew Ference, and now Brad Hunt.

    If you are the Norris trophy candidate d-man you pull others along not he other way around. Justin can never be a Subban or Weber. Justin is the one that needs to play along a real Norris trophy dman to look good.

  152. CrazyCoach says:

    Caramel Obvious:

    That said:

    So if you aren’t encouraged by what has happened so far you simply don’t know what you are talking about.Moreover, you are the biggest danger the Oilers face.For the first time in five years I am optimistic but the one thing I can see derailing this whole thing is fan impatience and ignorance and the team not have the courage to stick to their guns.

    I agree with everything you said about Jultz. Why was there a bidding war for him that involved using one of the Gretzky bullets in the chamber?

    I see the improvement in this team and I wish Marincin was up, but the arrows are pointing in the right direction for once. It’s just hard to see the same old sometimes.

  153. jake70 says:

    book¡je:
    I just have to say something about tire fires.

    If you have never experienced a tire burning, I strongly suggest the following.Get a tire, go somewhere where there is nothing that can catch fire – like a gravel road on a farm property or somewhere where its all dirt – make sure you are not on top of a bunch of peat as this could be really bad as you could start an underground fire that would smoulder for years.

    Anyway, go there, and light the tire on fire.You might need a small wood fire to get it going (or gas, but don’t be stupid with it).

    Stand back and enjoy experiencing more heat and smoke than you ever thought possible from such a small item.Seriously, you won’t be able to stand within 10 feet of the thing because of the heat coming off of it.

    OK – don’t do any of the above – its stupid and I worry you won’t be as careful as you should with the gasoline and you probably don’t know if you are on peat and will end up causing really bad things to happen.So, just take my word for it – tire fires are crazy.Now imagine 10,000 of them burning at once. That’s the kind of thing LT is talking about.

    This is funny. Have to chime in. My older brother and I in early 90s took it upon ourselves to tear down by hand an old family cottage that got neglected over a decade due to father and his siblings issues let’s say. Anyway it was on a beach (few miles up the road from boxer Yvon Durelle’s hometown – some might remember the “fighting fisherman”) so we dragged the old plywood and other structure pieces down to the beach, piled it about 15 feet high and probably same diameter…..found a bunch of old tires in the woods up the road and threw them on. Well, holy shit, not sure if there was a Guiness record for world’s biggest beach bonfire but I am sure they saw that smoke billowing from Ireland. We were scared the fire got that big. But we were laughing so hard at the same time. Anyway yeah, don’t burn tires.

  154. Woodguy says:

    Justin Shultz pts.60 history from 12/13-13/14 courtesy of waronice.com

    5v5
    Justin.Schultz 0.89
    Justin.Schultz 0.82

    5v4
    Justin.Schultz 2.99
    Justin.Schultz 5.89

    In 02/03 Bergeron was 22 which is his first (bottom) year of stats, although only 5 games and should probably be ignored.

    Jultz was 22 in his first year of play as well. (bottom)

  155. Woodguy says:

    Jultz seems to rely on power play to generate more of his points than MAB did.

  156. Woodguy says:

    CrazyCoach,

    I agree with everything you said about Jultz. Why was there a bidding war for him that involved using one of the Gretzky bullets in the chamber?

    Everyone thought he was the next McDonaugh.

    Except McDonaugh showed he was McDonaugh in his 22 year old season with only 40 NHL gp under his belt.

    Jultz is 24 with 124 NHL games under his belt and there isn’t much history of players getting a whole lot better at his age.

    The org and others bring out the “NHL games played” card to defend him, but elite defensemen make themselves know within Jultz time frame.

    He just simply isn’t one.

    Good scoring Dman, but not much more than that.

    There’s always the chance he becomes more, but history tells us that’s a very, very thin bet.

  157. Kmart99 says:

    Bruce McCurdy: At least Marincin is **playing** on the farm.

    Corsi from that same link shows Edmonton got smoked in EV Corsi. Only one player was a positive (Nikitin) after only one player was Not a +ve vs. Flames.

    As per woodguy,

    VAN game
    http://war-on-ice.com/game.html?seasongcode=2014201520031
    Corsi 5v5
    EDM -42.9
    VAN – 57.1
    Corsi 5v5 Close (within 1 goal 1st/2nd period, tied 3rd to remove score effects)
    EDM 56.8%
    VAN 43.2%

    You could argue it was close

  158. Thor762 says:

    In my not so humble opinion there is only one way that Ference is demoted off the roster. LTIR.
    Anyone have a bat?

    And I’d rather see Nurse playing instead of Schultz. Even as a raw rookie he can only make the same number of mistakes, and at least in preseason Nurse seemed to be more defensively conscious, is much bigger, much meaner, and FAR hungrier.

    Something is up with Eberle. He just doesn’t seem to have the same gears as Hall or Nugent-Hopkins does and appears to look lazy at times. Nor it seems the same “hunger” for lack of a better term. Same thing was happening last year, where possession went to die as soon as Eberle had the puck.

    What kind of a center or #1D does an Eberle and a Schultz package get you?

  159. nycoil says:

    Spending my Sunday cleaning out my stuff for donation before moving Tuesday. Oiler cushion is going into the donation pile. Blanket, jerseys, Hemsky shirts staying. Still too soon.

    At this point, I’d feel sorry for the (edit- that was a bad choice of words, didn’t mean anything by it) fellow who gets the Oilers’ stuff anyway.

    Since Schultz vs. MAB is being discussed, what do you guys think his next contract is going to look like? Not what he deserves, but what he may get.

    I feel like most people weren’t as upset about this year’s deal as I was, so I’m curious.

    Let’s use two hypotheticals:
    2-yr deal just RFA years
    5/6-yr deal involving UFA years

    Lots of comparable contracts out there for good D-men, and then there’s MAB.

    Woodguy, anyone else?

  160. Marc says:

    Woodguy:

    Jultz is 24 with 124 NHL games under his belt and there isn’t much history of players getting a whole lot better at his age.

    The org and others bring out the “NHL games played” card to defend him, but elite defensemen make themselves know within Jultz time frame.

    http://www.eliteprospects.com/player.php?player=1635

  161. LostBoy says:

    I really want to believe in MacTavish and I’m still on board. But the list of strange/worrisome decisions (or maybe some aren’t but are just ones I disagree with) is fairly long:

    1. Announcing to the world that Horcoff and Hemsky were done in Edmonton and needed to move on, before he had anything in place. Okay, he got the Horcoff contract moved. But you don’t announce to the world that you have no further use for Hemmer then expect the world to give you a second for him. And have to walk the whole thing back for a year.

    2. Announcing to the world in the same press conference that he wasn’t sold on Dubnyk. “If you have to ask the question.” The only reason for this that makes any sense is he thought it would provide motivation, or give some answers on Dubnyk’s mental toughness. Well, either oops or the wrong answers. Whatever your plans, dumb thing to do to the asset.

    3. The Clarkson pursuit. The guy had 8 points in the last 34 games of the lockout season. You could see the looming trainwreck coming from miles away. Very lucky to dodge the bullet.

    4. The sudden Eakins hire. Why was the GM ostensibly hiring an associate coach with the actual coach not involved in the interviews in the first place? It’s not Eakins per se that I object to (though I still see no evidence that he’s a good NHL coach), it’s that if yet another coach was going to be brought in, they should for once have had a full process and actually interviewed a range of people. If you pull the trigger on the spur of the moment, you’d bloody well better be right. Maybe it will still turn out. Not looking so good from here.

    I don’t think there’s been anything that rises to those levels this past offseason and early season. The Smid trade I still think we don’t know the full story on and probably never will. But the worry spots to me are:

    1. The Marincin blind spot.
    2. The (apparent) Petry blind spot and the contract Petry was given (but we don’t really know what Petry and his agent think).
    3. The unconditional love for Schultz and the contract Schultz was given. I would really like to believe that 48 points in 34 AHL games to lead the league in scoring (which is what MacT likes to cite as evidence that Schultz is special) really does mean what MacTavish wants it to mean. But the guy has to earn it. He got handed an inflated contract that leaves him in the driver’s seat going forward and he’s apparently above any kind of criticism. The contrast with Yakupov’s treatment is really, really strange.

    The defense is in a strange place right at this moment, but the pieces of the puzzle to make something work are here.

    C is way, way more problematic. Draisaitl can’t help being 18. Hope and prayers down the middle are what’s going to drag this season down if it’s gone south by the 20 game mark. Arco has many fine qualities and Draisaitl is going to be a horse in a few years. But right now there is no coaching solution to what teams are going to do with line matchups on the road. I don’t think you can win like this. As the sample size gets larger, my guess is the need for a veteran C is going to become critical.

  162. VanOil says:

    Woodguy:
    Jultz seems to rely on power play to generate more of his points than MAB did.

    Thanks for your research in this, after looking at the war-on-ice #s I can only come to the conclusion that Jultz gets way to many 5v5 minutes. Given that is also the thesis I started the day/season with I find it satisfying that the math supports my intuition.

  163. Woodguy says:

    Marc: http://www.eliteprospects.com/player.php?player=1635

    ….and everyone points to Brian Rafllski to show that Dmen can come on later in life.

    I point to the mass of humanity that is almost every other NHL Dman and say Rafalski is an outlier.

    It can also be argued that if someone gave Rafalski a chance at 22 instead of 26 that he would have done well in the NHL even then.

    They didn’t and we’ll never know.

  164. CrazyCoach says:

    Woodguy:
    CrazyCoach,

    Jultz is 24 with 124 NHL games under his belt and there isn’t much history of players getting a whole lot better at his age.

    The org and others bring out the “NHL games played” card to defend him, but elite defensemen make themselves know within Jultz time frame.

    He just simply isn’t one.

    Good scoring Dman, but not much more than that.

    There’s always the chance he becomes more, but history tells us that’s a very, very thin bet.

    Totally agree. Here’s hoping they can trade him for an actual D-man.

  165. Woodguy says:

    So should be start calling Jultz MAN?

    Marc Andre Norris?

  166. Woodguy says:

    Marc: http://www.eliteprospects.com/player.php?player=1635

    You can also argue that Rafalski did make himself known as an elite Dman during those years.

    It was in the SEL and not the NHL.

    His 23 and 24 year old point totals are ridiculous, even for the SEL.

  167. VanOil says:

    nycoil: Lots of comparable contracts out there for good D-men, and then there’s MAB.
    Woodguy, anyone else?

    I would prefer to discuss how much Schultz can return in a trade than how much he will get paid but realize that is unrealistic given MacTs verbal. Given said verbal he is looking to spend $7 Million on a Dman, Jultz is likely to at least get 6M per year.

    Good luck with your packing. Decluttering before a move is always the hardest part mentally. Then comes the backbreaking part.

  168. flyfish1168 says:

    Woodguy: You can also argue that Rafalski did make himself known as an elite Dman during those years.

    It was in the SEL and not the NHL.

    His 23 and 24 year old point totals are ridiculous, even for the SEL.

    In your opinion do you think if Brain didn’t play for the Devils or the Wings he would have struggled or be just as good?

    My opinion is he was on the correct teams with the right personnel to succeed. JMHO

  169. Woodguy says:

    nycoil:
    Spending my Sunday cleaning out my stuff for donation before moving Tuesday. Oiler cushion is going into the donation pile. Blanket, jerseys, Hemsky shirts staying. Still too soon.

    At this point, I’d feel sorry for the (edit- that was a bad choice of words, didn’t mean anything by it) fellow who gets the Oilers’ stuff anyway.

    Since Schultz vs. MAB is being discussed, what do you guys think his next contract is going to look like? Not what he deserves, but what he may get.

    I feel like most people weren’t as upset about this year’s deal as I was, so I’m curious.

    Let’s use two hypotheticals:
    2-yr deal just RFA years
    5/6-yr deal involving UFA years

    Lots of comparable contracts out there for good D-men, and then there’s MAB.

    Woodguy, anyone else?

    I really don’t know.

    There a few deals like McDonaugh where he sold himself too low at $4.7MM x 6 years:

    2013-14 $4,000,000 $4,700,000
    2014-15 $4,300,000 $4,700,000
    2015-16 $4,500,000 $4,700,000
    2016-17 $5,000,000 $4,700,000
    2017-18 $5,100,000 $4,700,000
    2018-19 $5,300,000 $4,700,000

    It was intimated that this contract was offered to Jultz and he turned it down.

    I would have started shopping him that day.

    He’s not near McDonaugh in terms of all around Dman.

  170. Woodguy says:

    flyfish1168: In your opinion do you think if Brain didn’t play for the Devils or the Wings he would have struggled or be just as good?

    My opinion is he was on the correct teams with the right personnel to succeed. JMHO

    Lots of things happened right for him for sure.

    Still a very good talent.

    Nothing is really holding Jultz back as he’s getting primo TOI with very good players and 5v4 TOI as well.

    He’s not doing a whole lot with it that would tell you he’s among the best young D in the league.

  171. Numenius says:

    Lowetide: Because he has to. The GM needs to get him a veteran center. This is silly. The price of developing Leon is basically Yakupov’s road season. Too high a price by plenty.

    This neglects some important considerations.

    Remember that playing with Drai is key reason why Yak is playing better. Bringing in a vet to play with Yak doesn’t guarantee he’ll play well.

    Plus, how do you bring in the right vet C to play with Yak without sending away something valuable, e.g. Marincin or Petry?

    I don’t understand the hyperbole and handwringing on the blog today.

  172. Woodguy says:

    Here’s something to chew on.

    Last two years, Goals For/60 with and without Hall.

    SH% should wash out to give us some insight. (both players over 600min w/Hall)

    Jultz
    GF/60 With Hall 1.10
    GF/60 Without Hall 0.499
    Difference -0.601 without Hall

    Petry
    GF/60 With Hall 0.956
    GF/60 Without Hall 0.642
    Difference -0.314 without Hall

    While Hall’s GF/60 rate is slightly higher with Jultz (as expected) Jultz doesn’t seem to drive much offence away from Hall

    Petry is involved in a much higher on ice scoring rate away from Hall than Jultz is.

    That’s a massive concern.

    Especially if Marc Andre Norris is going to get paid.

    He has to perform with everyone, not just Hall.

  173. Marc says:

    Woodguy: You can also argue that Rafalski did make himself known as an elite Dman during those years.

    It was in the SEL and not the NHL.

    His 23 and 24 year old point totals are ridiculous, even for the SEL.

    AHL.com only has regular season scoring records online going back to 05/06, but Schultz’s half season during the lockout was the highest PPG of any AHL D during that period and it wasn’t even close. He actually tied for the regular season D scoring record that year with someone who played almost twice as many games, and won Defenceman of the Year despite playing only half a season.

    That should count for something, if Rafalski’s SEL seasons were a tell for what he would eventually become.

  174. Numenius says:

    TheEarthIsntFlat,

    Thanks for the great post.

  175. Pouzar says:

    Woodguy: VAN game

    http://war-on-ice.com/game.html?seasongcode=2014201520031

    Corsi 5v5
    EDM -42.9
    VAN – 57.1

    Corsi 5v5 Close (within 1 goal 1st/2nd period, tied 3rd to remove score effects)
    EDM 56.8%
    VAN 43.2%

    The argument is that without score effects and the PK, the Oilers had a good game corsi wise.

    For fun the CAL game:

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

    Corsi 5v5
    EDM – 65.7%
    CAL – 34.3%

    Corsi Close 5v5
    EDM 65.6%
    CAL 34.4%

    Wow…that’s what I thought read earlier. Thx for this

  176. VanOil says:

    Woodguy,

    Your valuation of Schultz’s contract value as sub McDonaugh is rational and well thought out. Therefore is completely unlikely to happen. This is not the way Kingsway roles, not with this player, it is minimum $6M/year or bust with Schultz. That is a lot of cake for a MAB without the slap shot.

  177. Woodguy says:

    Marc: AHL.com only has regular season scoring records online going back to 05/06, but Schultz’s half season during the lockout was the highest PPG of any AHL D during that period and it wasn’t even close. He actually tied for the regular season D scoring record that year with someone who played almost twice as many games, and won Defenceman of the Year despite playing only half a season.

    That should count for something, if Rafalski’s SEL seasons were a tell for what he would eventually become.

    I was pretty excited about Jultz’ AHL numbers too.

    The last 124 NHL games tell us that is ungodly AHL numbers must have been heavily dependent on playing with Hall and Eberle in the AHL.

  178. Numenius says:

    Caramel Obvious:
    After two games this is far and away the best Oilers team in years.That’s a simple fact.The team has made many, many right decisions.You have to be blinded by hatenot to see this.Eakins deserves a great deal of credit for this.His use of zone starts is perfect. You have to be blind not to see this.As Woodguy pointed out the arrows are all in the right direction.

    That said:

    Justin Schultz is not an NHL hockey player.He isn’t a puck moving defensemen.He’s isn’t good on the powerplay.He has one skill.Jumping into the rush as the fourth guy.He’s elite at this, but poor at everything else.

    Getting rid of him for a bag of pucks would transform this team.So it’s a major blindspot.

    However, the Oilers have corrected so many other blind spots in the past year that I still feel good.This team has three scoring lines.They hired Tyler freaking Dellow. Imagine that.I still can’t believe it.

    So if you aren’t encouraged by what has happened so far you simply don’t know what you are talking about.Moreover, you are the biggest danger the Oilers face.For the first time in five years I am optimistic but the one thing I can see derailing this whole thing is fan impatience and ignorance and the team not have the courage to stick to their guns.

    Nice post.

    Like you, I’m especially concerned about fan impatience.

  179. G Money says:

    Woodguy,

    I think everyone agrees that Jultz is a talented offensive player.

    Everyone but MacT agrees he’s a disaster defensively.

    The questions we ask ourselves …

    Is it lack of talent or is it circumstance?
    Is there room to grow or is the die cast?

    On the second point, despite his age, I do not yet agree that the die is cast on Jultz. Regardless of age, 124 games is not enough for a player to figure out the defensive side of the game. I’m guessing it’s even tougher when your instinct is offense-first AND you have lousy partners AND your coach throws you out on the ice more than any other defenseman AND you don’t get all that sheltered.

    The other point that is worth nothing is the issue of partners. I rarely agree with godot, but in this case I have to agree – Jultz has been set up for failure.

    One of the most interesting tidbits about Jultz statistically is his time with Belov last year. Their collective Corsi is off the charts (for this team!) at 49%. Compare that with 42% for Jultz apart and Belov 45% apart. Admittedly it’s a relatively small sample: only about 215 mins. Still, that’s TEN GAMES worth. You tell me any sequence of ten games last year where a D pairing not named Petry-Marincin had a near breakeven Corsi.

    The pairing worked.

    Why?

  180. Adam Wu says:

    Numenius: Nice post.

    Like you, I’m especially concerned about fan impatience.

    Like everything else in this universe, fan patience is not an unlimited resource. It would be a very different reaction, I think, if these things were happening 3 years into the rebuilt, and not 8.

    If fan impatience ultimate buggers this up, the organization must assume some responsibility for squandering the resource.

  181. v2hero says:

    One thing about Justin Schultz I do take comfort in. I know of someone who long ago floated the idea that he may be nothing more than Andy Delmore…

  182. godot10 says:

    People are obsessively worrying about Schultz, when the real reason to worry is Ference and Hunt.

    Schultz is a utilization problem. Ference and Hunt are a basic competence problem.

  183. Woodguy says:

    G Money:
    Woodguy,

    I think everyone agrees that Jultz is a talented offensive player.

    Everyone but MacT agrees he’s a disaster defensively.

    The questions we ask ourselves …

    Is it lack of talent or is it circumstance?
    Is there room to grow or is the die cast?

    On the second point, despite his age, I do not yet agree that the die is cast on Jultz.Regardless of age, 124 games is not enough for a player to figure out the defensive side of the game.I’m guessing it’s even tougher when your instinct is offense-first AND you have lousy partners AND your coach throws you out on the ice more than any other defenseman AND you don’t get all that sheltered.

    The other point that is worth nothing is the issue of partners.I rarely agree with godot, but in this case I have to agree – Jultz has been set up for failure.

    One of the most interesting tidbits about Jultz statistically is his time with Belov last year.Their collective Corsi is off the charts (for this team!) at 49%.Compare that with 42% for Jultz apart and Belov 45% apart. Admittedly it’s a relatively small sample: only about 215 mins.Still, that’s TEN GAMES worth.You tell me any sequence of ten games last year where a D pairing not named Petry-Marincin had a near breakeven Corsi.

    The pairing worked.

    Why?

    Good arguments and I’ve made them myself on behalf of Shultz.

    I think the real souring is via the eye test and that no one’s corsi gets better by any margin with than without him so far.

    Nultz was marginally better without him
    Ference is significant better without him
    Belov is slightly better with him
    Klefbom is slightly better with him
    Whitney was significantly better without him.

    The “better with him” side of the ledger is pretty thin and that’s damning in light of how the org apparently sees him.

    Tyler had made a compelling case that his offensive talents were limited to the ozone, but he doesn’t really help get the puck there.

    I think he was onto something but alas, we’ll have to wait a long time to hear the rest.

    His eye test failure in the dzone and lack of a decent track record of his partners doing better with than without are the key factors I think.

  184. gr8one says:

    Adam Wu,

    Infrickindeed.

  185. G Money says:

    Woodguy: The “better with him” side of the ledger is pretty thin and that’s damning in light of how the org apparently sees him.
    Tyler had made a compelling case that his offensive talents were limited to the ozone, but he doesn’t really help get the puck there.

    The eye test is often true, but that is part of my excuse-making in terms of the 124 games. Honestly, it is the lollygagging (which was in full evidence in OT last night) that drives me up the fucking wall.

    BUT it is of note that Belov and Klefbom are the two that seem to be the closest to forming a competent pairing with Jultz, esp. Belov, and both are big strong guys. Not enough to form a pattern (unless you like to conclude that two points forming a line IS a pattern), but worth experimenting. For this reason, my off-season pairings included Petry-Fayne (best defensive defensemen), Marincin-Ference (because that’s whose left), and a Jultz-Nikitin pairing, just to test the size/Russian theory.

    We’re stuck with Jultz, better to figure out how to make him tick – if for no other reason than to pump his trade value – than to just throw the asset away.

  186. Woodguy says:

    G Money: The eye test is often true, but that is part of my excuse-making in terms of the 124 games.Honestly, it is the lollygagging (which was in full evidence in OT last night) that drives me up the fucking wall.

    BUT it is of note that Belov and Klefbom are the two that seem to be the closest to forming a competent pairing with Jultz, esp. Belov, and both are big strong guys.Not enough to form a pattern (unless you like to conclude that two points forming a line IS a pattern), but worth experimenting.For this reason, my off-season pairings included Petry-Fayne (best defensive defensemen), Marincin-Ference (because that’s whose left), and a Jultz-Nikitin pairing, just to test the size/Russian theory.

    We’re stuck with Jultz, better to figure out how to make him tick – if for no other reason than to pump his trade value – than to just throw the asset away.

    I agree with that and am on record here and was on record at Tyler’s about the Nultz-Ference vortex that Shultz has been subjected too but i’d be more hopeful if either Nultz or Ference (by far his two most common mates) were better with him.

    Moving out Ference is the key and I don’t think that happens any time soon.

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