SILENT SORROW IN EMPTY BOATS

The Edmonton Oilers are somewhat predictable in some areas of the draft. Example: NHL combine. With the exception of 2014 (as you’ll see below) the Oilers and the combine walk arm in arm.The NHL invites 120 players to the combine (combination of the Central Scouting list and NHL teams requesting players outside Central’s top 75) and since 2008 the Oilers have become more and more risk averse (2014 draft being the exception).

hawerchuk quote

2008 Oilers draft

  • Jordan Eberle selected #22 overall, ranked #29 (attended combine)
  • Johan Motin selected #103 overall, unranked (attended combine)

2009 Oilers draft

  • Magnus Paajarvi selected #10 overall, ranked #10 (attended combine)
  • Anton Lander selected #40 overall, ranked HM (attended combine)
  • Toni Rajala selected #101 overall, ranked #50 (attended combine)
  • Olivier Roy selected #133 overall, ranked HM (attended combine)

2010 Oilers draft

  • Taylor Hall selected #1, ranked #1 (attended combine)
  • Tyler Pitlick selected #31, ranked #25 (attended combine)
  • Martin Marincin selected #56, ranked #71 (attended combine)
  • Curtis Hamilton selected #48, ranked 57 (attended combine)
  • Ryan Martindale selected #61, ranked 58 (attended combine)
  • Tyler Bunz selected #121, not ranked (attended combine)
  • Brandon Davidson selected #162, not ranked (attended combine)

2011 Oilers draft

  • Ryan Nugent Hopkins selected #1, ranked #1 (attended combine)
  • Oscar Klefbom selected #19, ranked #21 (attended combine)
  • David Musil selected #31, ranked #41 (attended combine)
  • Samu Perhonen selected #62, ranked #51 (attended combine)
  • Travis Ewanyk selected #74, ranked HM (attended combine)
  • Tobias Rieder selected #114, unranked (attended combine)

2012 Oilers draft

  • Nail Yakupov selected #1, ranked #1 (attended combine)
  • Mitchell Moroz selected #32, ranked #56 (attended combine)
  • Jujhar Khaira selected #63, not ranked (attended combine)
  • Daniil Zharkov selected #91, ranked #47 (attended combine)

2013 Oilers draft

  • Darnell Nurse selected #7, ranked #9 (attended combine)
  • Marco Roy selected #56, ranked #59 (attended combine)
  • Bogdan Yakimov selected #83 not ranked (attended combine)
  • Jackson Houck, selected #94 not ranked (attended combine)

2014 Oilers draft

  • Leon Draisaitl selected #3, ranked #4 (attended combine)

2015 Oilers draft

  • Connor McDavid selected #1, ranked #1 (attended combine)
  • Caleb Jones selected #117, ranked #130 ISS (attended combine)
  • Ethan Bear selected #124, ranked #78 ISS (attended combine)
  • John Marino selected #154, ranked #95 ISS (attended combine)

Lots of misses in there too, of course. However, it’s interesting to see that Edmonton stayed with the combine group for the Stu MacGregor era (and began the Bob Green era in the same fashion). The other item? First round picks!

  • Defense: Oscar Klefbom, Darnell Nurse
  • Center: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Leon Draisaitl, Connor McDavid
  • Left Wing: Taylor Hall, Magnus Paajarvi
  • Right Wing: Jordan Eberle, Nail Yakupov

FASTH TRAIN

fasth captureWord this morning that Viktor Fasth has signed in the KHL. I spoke to agent Tom Lynn yesterday on the Lowdown, he told me the Euro leagues make two ‘sweeps’ through NA each offseason (in May and right now). The first is to get in before NHL free agency and find players genuinely interested in going over (often going back home) and then the second run is during this soft period in free agency when NHL teams are going slow, making better decisions.

In the first eight days of NHL free agency (RFA and UFA) this summer, teams have signed 125 players. Edmonton has only two names on the list (Andrej Sekera and Mark Letestu) but there are a few RFA’s (Justin Schultz, Brandon Davidson and Tyler Pitlick) plus possible UFA action.

Last year, 157 RFA and UFA’s had been signed, meaning NHL teams are being far more patient this year. Edmonton? By this time last summer, the Oilers had signed Benoit Pouliot, Mark Fayne, Keith Aulie, Luke Gazdic and Jeff Petry. The club signed Richard Bachman on the ninth day (that would be today in this year’s free agency).

COLLEGE MEN

laleggia capture1

Lots of college men have been invited to NHL orientation camps and it’s always interesting to see how many of these players are finished with college and looking for work. Joey Laleggia has already signed with the Oilers, but John McCarron is unsigned and in mid-August becomes a full blown UFA (if EDM doesn’t sign him). The complete list of invites is here.

CONNOR MCDAVID, OILER

During last night’s discussion, we threw out line combination ideas, fun blue sky stuff for this time of year. One thing mentioned (SpOILer?) in regard to McDavid is protecting him early and that’s something we should be mindful of in our chats. Road games especially, the youngster may see two war horses like Benoit Pouliot and Lauri Korpikoski, and it’s not beyond the realm of possibility that McLellan lends the rookie a center (Letestu?) just to make sure the ZS’s don’t become an issue. At home, I think McLellan will want to unleash the hounds, so suggest this combination of lines:

  • Hall—McDavid—Eberle
  • Pouliot—Nuge—Korpikoski/Purcell
  • Draisaitl—Lander—Yakupov

I’m warming up to the idea of Korpikoski over Purcell on that line because of the Finn’s footspeed and two-way ability. Purcell is a better player from the blue line in—a much better player, imo—but the Chiarelli/McLellan Oilers are going to be faster than the MacTavish group. If you put Korpikoski in this top 9F? Fast trains.

2016 DRAFT?

Yes. Early list is out, two BCJHL kids (they’re very good) plus Sam Steel and Tyler Benson’s draft. Early bird look is here.

marincin and schultz

ABOUT JUSTIN SCHULTZ

Every once in awhile someone will email me about Justin Schultz, suggesting that my view on the player is skewed because of his contract status. OF COURSE it’s skewed because of his contract status!!! Justin Schultz makes too much money, and that’s fine if he’s progressing. If you could promise me that Justin Schultz will pass the puck well, out of his zone, hit Nuge’s tape (or CMD’s or Lander’s) on the fly 75% of the time this year, I’d write you a fabulous Justin Schultz preview. He’s good in the offensive zone but those damn sortie-killing passes are going to be the death of me, and will cost him many millions of dollars. I’m serious.

Over at C&B a wonderful article from Sunil Agnihotri puts the passing metrics of each defenseman in context and gives us a fine view of Schultz as a player in this area.

  • Agnihotri: Based on the data collected, we see that Schultz was great at creating chances once he got into the offensive zone, but had a lot of trouble getting there. This might be why the Oilers gave him 62.9% of his starts in the offensive zone, which was the highest among all NHL defencemen. Source

Schultz is careless with the puck in his own zone, which increases his chaos. He sends the puck to an area where his center is skating but it rarely clicks. It should be a strength, it is a weakness. I’m not sure if it’s a crisis of confidence or that he played so much last season he had no time to think. Either way, I’m going to let up on Justin Schultz, now that we know he’ll be an Oilers defenseman next season (arbitration guarantees it, unless Schultz is traded), and we’ll see how Todd McLellan handles him. Wonderful skater, gold on that move back side for goals in the offensive zone. Let’s work with that and see if they can get him sorted out on the missile launches.

stanwyck

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

At 10 this morning, TSN 1260. A fun day ahead! Scheduled to appear:

  • Scott Cullen, TSN. CFL week three (Eskimos home opener!) plus Seabrook as an Oiler.
  • Jesse Spector, Sporting News. A trip around MLB and how hot are the Angels?
  • Dennis King, Oilogosphere Icon. Seabrook, defense without him, value contracts.
  • Brian King, NonStop Sports Picks. Eskimos home opener, are RedBlacks this good?

10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. Talk soon!

 

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165 Responses to "SILENT SORROW IN EMPTY BOATS"

  1. Pretendergast says:

    By chance, did you mean Tyler Benson?

    If Mclellan can unlock schultz and not make him a total liability, thats a million problems solved for the defense.

    If his exit interview meant anything I hope he really does focus on his own zone deficiencies and stops “jultzing”, many millions can be made if he hones his craft.

  2. supernova says:

    Thanks for letting up on Schultz, I am not the biggest fan of his but I am used to practising patience with D.
    250 to 300 NHL games and I will have “cemented” my thoughts.

    Schultz is basically potrayed the same way by MSM and the Blogosphere alike.
    It is clear he needs commitment in the gym and the defensive zone. It is all in his court.

    Interested to see how this junior season shakes out for Steel and Benson.

    Benson despite his lack of height loves the physical side and very good offensive instincts.
    Steel seems to have very high hockey IQ In the offensive zone.

    Be nice to see A couple WHL’ers talked about in the top 10 all year.

  3. Woodguy says:


    Agnihotri: Based on the data collected, we see that Schultz was great at creating chances once he got into the offensive zone, but had a lot of trouble getting there. This might be why the Oilers gave him 62.9% of his starts in the offensive zone, which was the highest among all NHL defencemen. Source

    Happy to see what my eye picked up is backed up by solid analysis.

    His biggest failing is losing the puck in the dzone and never getting it back.

    That’s the biggest reason he never gets the puck to the ozone.

    His passing is “ok” if he has a bit of time, but in the NHL you rarely have time.

    He panics with the puck and throws it away to avoid getting hit.

    He doesn’t eat the puck and wait for help in the corners, but blindly jams it up the boards to awaiting opposing wingers and Dmen.

    He doesn’t win board battles.

    He doesn’t keep him man from coming out of the corner with the puck.

    Other than all that he’s ok.

  4. GCW_69 says:

    Don’t like your line combinations.

    Hall and Eberle need to be on separate lines. Don’t make it easy for the opposing coaches to focus on a line. Force them to pick a line for their top players to play against and then let the Oilers other line kill them for it.

    I don’t care if its Nuge – Eberle and Hall – McDavid or its Hall -Nuge and McDavid – Eberle.

  5. Gret99zky says:

    Re: Line combos.

    I’d like someone with “hair on his ass” to be put on the McDavid line to thwart any meatheads from taking liberties with the Chosen One.

  6. Revolved says:

    LT, thank you for posting twice a day, it allows us ex-Edmontonians a chance to get involved. I guess the radio has honed your stream of thought commentary, but still impressive you manage it.

    maudite
    Pouliot RNH Eberle
    Hall Lander Purcell
    Drai CMD Yak
    Hen Let Korp

    I like this line up from yesterday a lot, but looking through the other suggestions, I would prefer if McDavid had some veteran defensive cover and muscle (Hendricks). This would also allow Draisaitl a few dozen games to play top minutes against men as a center. 

    I also think that if the fourth line is going to be used offensively at all, they need a shooter (Pakarinen). What do we do with Klinkhammer and Gadzic?

    I thought Lander and Hall played great together last year. Lander can keep up and provide enough cover to prevent counter attacks against tough opposition.

    NHL 
    Pouliot – Hopkins – Eberle
    Hall – Lander- Purcell
    Hendricks – McDavid – Yakupov
    Korpikoski – Letestu – Pakarinen
    Gadzic – – Klinkhammer

    This also allows us to put our prospects in positions to succeed. Every center gets  a vet winger (Pitlick?) and some skill. The best prospects get the top jobs. Thoughts?

    AHL
    Hamilton – Draisaitl – Miller
    Slepyshev – Yakimov – Pitlick
    Winquist – Platzer – Chase
    Moroz – Khaira – Ford

  7. TheOrangeDesk says:

    Schultz aggravates the hell out of me sometimes, but I agree relentless attack on a player is petty. I’d rather Edmonton be a city that supports its players and makes them ALL feel welcome in our home-town than a city that heckles and verbally abuses players and family on the streets and online. Unfortunately Edmonton has done more of the latter the last couple years..

  8. G Money says:

    Gret99zky:
    Re: Line combos.

    I’d like someone with “hair on his ass” to be put on the McDavid line to thwart any meatheads from taking liberties with the Chosen One.

    I’m not that worried about this aspect of it.

    McDavid has been playing with kids two to four years older than he is pretty much since he started playing hockey. Because of his skill, no doubt he’s been targeted for “special” attention that entire time.

    Probably part of the reason why his head is always up.

    At 6′ 190+ lbs, which at the tender age of 18 puts him at the lower end of the normal range for NHL C (he’s NOT small for the NHL in other words), his size deficit is probably less significant now than it has been his entire life.

  9. Hall Awaits says:

    If I had a dollar every time Schultz sent a suicide pass in his own zone…

    I didn’t really think about using the Finn on the top two lines. Admittedly I don’t know much about the player other then speed, speed, speed… Excited to see what he can do with a fresh start. Really hoping he finds his game.

    My opening night:

    Hall / McDavid / Eberle
    Pouliot / Hopkins / Yakupov
    Draisaitl / Lander / Purcell
    Hendricks / Letestu / Korpikoski
    Klinkhammer / Gazdic

  10. book¡je says:

    Why the hell do you keep wrecking the Oilers by talking about prospects and the draft?

  11. kinger_OIL says:

    See LT, this is a great article – your doing/highlighting what the OIL do every year: talk themselves into things, because they are incomplete: This year, you are talking yourself into:
    1) Jultz will improve a lot after 3 years,
    2) Nurse is ready as a rookie to play 80 games,
    3) Klef will continue straight line development
    4) This new coaching staff will do a better job then than all before and unlock hidden potential.
    5) FSN: again…but this time they will be good and we can trade them at dealine for a lot

    Sum it all together and we have a good team (keep hope alive). Plus ca change…

  12. Richard S.S. says:

    Is Schultz ever going to learn? Or is he, once signed, Chiarelli’s buy out?

  13. kooler says:

    Not saying Moroz is ready but someone like that with Mcdavid and Eberle.

    Park Moroz in front of the net and watch McDavids back. He played well with a Lazar by parking his butt close to the net and taking feeds…maybe that’s the only way he can elevate his game/pts.

    Gretzky played with Semenko for a time….aren’t we in the same position?

  14. Lowetide says:

    kinger_OIL:
    See LT, this is a great article – your doing/highlighting what the OIL do every year: talk themselves into things, because they are incomplete:This year, you are talking yourself into:
    1) Jultz will improve a lot after 3 years,
    2) Nurse is ready as a rookie to play 80 games,
    3) Klef will continue straight line development
    4) This new coaching staff will do a better job then than all before and unlock hidden potential.
    5) FSN: again…but this time they will be good and we can trade them at dealine for a lot

    Sum it all together and we have a good team (keep hope alive).Plus ca change…

    Meh. I’ve made my views clear on Schultz, don’t feel a need to hammer any longer. The Oilers qualified him, I was hopeful they would trade him. Chiarelli’s summer has been mostly good, and I do wonder what McLellan can do with Schultz and all of the young kids.

    I don’t think there’s much left to say on Schultz, to be honest. We wait

  15. Woogie63 says:

    if we lived in Detroit right about now we would be super excited about this Shultz prospect that is now ready to graduate from the AHL.

  16. wheatnoil says:

    So, if the combine is the ISS top 75 plus NHL team requested, then how do we know the Oilers are actually risk-averse? Does more than one team have to request a player to attend?

    If you look at Motin, he was unranked but attended the combine. How do we know the Oilers weren’t the only team that wanted him there because they were interested in drafting him high? It could be that the Oilers were risk-averse. It could also be that they invite their reach picks to the combine.

    Or do I not understand how these invites work?

  17. book¡je says:

    Richard S.S.:
    Is Schultz ever going to learn? Or is he, once signed, Chiarelli’s buy out?

    Chiarelli could have simply not given him a qualifying offer if that was the plan.

    The buyout is probably Nikitin – however, it could be Ference if there is a desire to move on from him having a leadership role on the team. From a purely cap management point of view, I think they would be best letting Ference be the 7th D on the team, but that’s a tough role for a Captain to have.

  18. GCW_69 says:

    kooler:
    Not saying Moroz is ready but someone like that with Mcdavid and Eberle.

    Park Moroz in front of the net and watch McDavids back.He played well with a Lazar by parking his butt close to the net and taking feeds…maybe that’s the only way he can elevate his game/pts.

    Gretzky played with Semenko for a time….aren’t we in the same position?

    In today’s NHL that would imply:

    Pouliot – McDavid – Eberle (where Pouliot spears you instead of fights you)

    Hall – Nuge – Purcell or Korpse

    as the top lines…

  19. book¡je says:

    Lowetide,

    I think it’s fair to say that he has lots of issues, but retains some promise so its worth giving him another year with a different coach to see what comes.

  20. zatch says:

    Not gonna lie, excited for Purcell to come off the books next season. Between him and Nikitin, that’s some scratch to play with.

  21. Lowetide says:

    If we’re going to tie a Coke Machine to McDavid, why not Gazdic? It would be a travesty of epic proportions, but at least they’re not wasting assets to prove the idiocy of putting one with MCD.

  22. Lowetide says:

    wheatnoil:
    So, if the combine is the ISS top 75 plus NHL team requested, then how do we know the Oilers are actually risk-averse? Does more than one team have a request a player to attend?

    If you look at Motin, he was unranked but attended the combine. How do we know the Oilers weren’t the only team that wanted him there because they were interested in drafting him high? It could be that the Oilers were risk-averse. It could also be that they invite their reach picks to the combine.

    Or do I not understand how these invites work?

    As I understand it, all NHL teams request players and the most requested ones get into the combine. Suspect a one request player wouldn’t make the grade.

  23. digdeepnbleedblue says:

    I love looking at the possible line combos. I feel like a mad scientist, hair slicked straight up, thick glasses on and laughing aloud even though no one’s in the room with me. A muhahahahaha type of laugh.

    It’s the coffee…

    Hall-McDavid-Eberle Those young vets are movers and shakers and can help bring McDavid in. They’ll rack up the points.

    Pouliot-RNH-Purcell When Roy centred these two they were a very competent line with some offence. The vet-ness of it just oozed. With RNH I feel the offence and defence will be even better. I, also, have been think Yakupov could jump up to this line but…

    Korpikoski-Lander-Yakupov These three all play with some grit. Korpi has some speed, Yak’s got a boom stick and Lander will get his nose dirty in the blue paint. This, for me, could be a real good line.

    Hendricks-Letestu-Pitlcik Grind it out. Responsible. Add in Klinkhammer and Gazdic where applicable.

    I too feel on the road, stated before, that Coach should protect the Franchise. Gazdic-McDavid-Yakupov perhaps.

    Can’t wait to see what he does with his weapons. TC should be a blast!

  24. wheatnoil says:

    Lowetide: As I understand it, all NHL teams request players and the most requested ones get into the combine. Suspect a one request player wouldn’t make the grade.

    Got it. So there’s likely some form of consensus in regards to interest. Fair enough.

  25. book¡je says:

    kooler:

    Gretzky played with Semenko for a time….aren’t we in the same position?

    We don’t put a coke machine with McDavid for the same reason we no longer build cars with 8 tracks or carburetors in new cars. We have learned that there are better ways of doing things.

  26. blainer says:

    Well written LT. Love the Hawerchuck comment.. getting awful hard to temper expectations isn’t it.

    My feeling the way camp shakes out.

    Drai makes the team.. ( for the first ten games at least )

    Nurse makes the team .. See above..

    Hendy Letestu Purcell

    That is a strong fourth line and can more than hold its own.. I can see TMc running four lines with that lineup. and I also love the the first three lines especially if Drai and Yak PoP !! our new term..thanks PC..

  27. admiralmark says:

    I’m done harping on Schultz as well. We all come to our own conclusions in our own time. And with this player the best approach imo is the good ole pump and dump. Give him gravie PP/Zone starts til the trade deadline and move him for whatever the highest bidder brings. I just dont see the character of a player thats going to be able to handle the increased pressure of a playoff battle let alone 4 rounds of playoffs. Lacks in mental awareness, weak passer, no slapper, no character, intensity…. they should move on.

  28. Woodguy says:

    Fact: Opposing teams have sent their best D pairins after Hall for 3 years now, regardless of who the other 2 forwards were (except at the end of last season when he was coming off injury)

    Fact: McDavid is the best prospect since Crosby

    Fact: Puttiing them on the same line gives McDavid no shade at all. Bright lights, Big City, Drew Doughty, Kopitar, Toews, Hjarlmasson, Bakes, Pietrangelo etc.

    I’ve said this from the start, you can’t start Hall and McDavid together.

    Until you are comfortable that McDavid is comfortable seeing the above type players every night, leave them apart. Once he is, fill yer boots.

    Therefore:

    Hall-RNH-Eberle

    Great line, will draw the best and they can handle it and excel

    Pouliot – McDavid – Korpikoski

    Actual NHL players and men who are good at board work, can keep up with McDavid and can score. Perfect. This is the reason Chia got Korpokoski with Klinkhammer on the roster.

    DrySaddle-Lander-Yak

    A line full of talent that can absolutely destroy the softs. Soft spot for rookie Saddle and Yakupuppy with Lander as both a C with offence and the defensive conscious.

    Hendricks-Letestu-Klinkhammer

    Grumpy men doing grumpy work,. Hard match up but without the Gordon zone starts as McLellen matches forward lines more than he pays attention to zone starts.

    This is the correct way to start.

    Purcell and be traded at 1/2 price or be 13F.

  29. russ99 says:

    Woodguy:
    Agnihotri: Based on the data collected, we see that Schultz was great at creating chances once he got into the offensive zone, but had a lot of trouble getting there. This might be why the Oilers gave him 62.9% of his starts in the offensive zone, which was the highest among all NHL defencemen. Source

    Happy to see what my eye picked up is backed up by solid analysis.

    His biggest failing is losing the puck in the dzone and never getting it back.

    That’s the biggest reason he never gets the puck to the ozone.

    His passing is “ok” if he has a bit of time, but in the NHL you rarely have time.

    He panics with the puck and throws it away to avoid getting hit.

    He doesn’t eat the puck and wait for help in the corners, but blindly jams it up the boards to awaiting opposing wingers and Dmen.

    He doesn’t win board battles.

    He doesn’t keep him man from coming out of the corner with the puck.

    Other than all that he’s ok.

    All of those other than passing are partially due to lack of help – his partner being slow Ference or fat Nikitin, and the forwards cherry-picking rather than being defensively responsible. Get any young offensive defenseman in single coverage against good opposition and no help, and you’ll “see em bad” as much.

    The dumbest thing Eakins did (and there are many) is have Schultz be a crease-clearer.

    McLellan’s system, reduced ice time, accountability from the staff and an improved roster will give him more help, so when he’s in over his head (and it will happen as it does to all but the best defensemen) it doesn’t result in a goal so much.

    I do agree that this is also on Schultz to bulk up, improve and compete better.

    My lines based on McLellan running the bottom six like he did in San Jose:

    Pouliot – RNH – Eberle
    Hall – McDavid – Yakupov
    Korpikoski – Lander – Purcell
    Hendricks – Letestu – Klinkhammer

  30. Woodguy says:

    book¡je: We don’t put a coke machine with McDavid for the same reason we no longer build cars with 8 tracks or carburetors in new cars.We have learned that there are better ways of doing things.

    Correct

  31. jake70 says:

    Woogie63:
    if we lived in Detroit right about now we would be super excited about this Shultz prospect that is now ready to graduate from the AHL.

    Assuming he would have signed with no guarantee of ice time in NHL. No shred of evidence that I am aware of, and Schultz himself denied it at the presser the day he signed but I think they offered/guaranteed him icetime in NHL to sign (and not saying that is the only reason he signed with Oilers but that was the deal-maker.).

  32. digdeepnbleedblue says:

    Woodguy,

    The correct way? lol Or the way you see it?

    Just fucking with ya, dude!

  33. kooler says:

    GCW_69,

    Don’t you want Pouliot to play? Ok for a Moroz to take a few minutes off in a game if he watching Mcdavid. Also think a Moroz type is far more effective takings feeds..Mcdavid would only elevate a person like that.

  34. Hammers says:

    My hope is they don’t buy anyone out this year but instead wait until Feb to try to trade all of Nikitin , Ference , Purcell & Scrivens . Ference I would eat half salary . If the opportunity arises sooner than the deadline yes you do it . Plan for next year with McDavid by trying him with more than 1 pair of wingers including Leon at center and him on the wing . This should be the year of positioning and trying some young players both on the forward line and D . I like all fans would love to see them playoff bound but we still are missing a few things . After all these years lets get it right .

  35. LMHF#1 says:

    Woodguy:

    DrySaddle-Lander-Yak

    A line full of talent that can absolutely destroy the softs.Soft spot for rookie Saddle and Yakupuppy with Lander as both a C with offence and the defensive conscious.

    Can they? I’m not so sure. Does Leon even make the team?

    Yakupov paired with McDavid makes too much sense to me. It gives him a passing outlet and forces other teams to respect that option.

    Maybe this is only required on the powerplay, but I’d love to see it 5-on-5.

    Training camp will reveal whether Leon’s ready, and whether Lander and Yakupov can mesh.

  36. book¡je says:

    Woodguy,

    Hall and McDavid together on the PP though.

  37. jake70 says:

    Lowetide: Meh. I’ve made my views clear on Schultz, don’t feel a need to hammer any longer. The Oilers qualified him, I was hopeful they would trade him. Chiarelli’s summer has been mostly good, andI do wonder what McLellan can do with Schultz and all of the young kids.

    I don’t think there’s much left to say on Schultz, to be honest. We wait

    Have to back you up here LT. I’ve found you consistent on Schultz. And damn right you have to talk contract amounts and term as part of the dialogue wrt #19. I would have traded him by now.

  38. G Money says:

    digdeepnbleedblue: It’s the coffee…

    I just hope that your coffee choices live up to the high expectations of this blog.

  39. Lowetide says:

    jake70: Have to back you up here LT.I’ve found you consistent on Schultz.And damn right you have to talk contract amounts and term as part of the dialogue wrt #19. I would have traded him by now.

    Sure. But look at what we’ve seen. I wanted Marincin to stay Schultz to go, hasn’t happened. Hopefully when McLEllan and PC see him for a full year….

  40. oilswell says:

    book¡je:
    Why the hell do you keep wrecking the Oilers by talking about prospects and the draft?

    That’s gold Jerry! Gold!

  41. jm363561 says:

    If Mclellan can unlock schultz and not make him a total liability, thats a million problems solved for the defense.

    This new coaching staff will do a better job then than all before and unlock hidden potential.

    This is the great unknown – how much will players improve if coached better? Fancy stats tell us a lot but leadership, coaching, tactics, warrior mentality, also count a great deal, and are rarely written about. If we played in the National Ballerina Hockey League, with our speed and skill, we would be invincible. In the NHL we still seem to lack something, and it is not ballerinas. This is why I like Lander and Hendricks a lot; why JShultz drives me mad; why I soured on MM and don’t mind the Gryba trade.

  42. flyfish1168 says:

    Oilers best trigger potential trigger man is Nail. I believe with the a new and NHL experienced coach a better system in the offensive zone will be used. Using nail with a good Conner and Ryan is the proper way to utilize Nails skill set. I believe with the maturity of Nail and a new coach there will be much improvement in his overall game. JMHO

  43. DBO says:

    Always enjoy the lineup speculation.

    I think a big part of this lineup is based on what happens with Dr. Drai in camp. If he excels, then they will start him with big club. if he is no better then the vets, then the AHL is perfect.

    As for McDavid. I’m not sure that teams wont key on him instantly. If he is running fast (as it seems he does at everything) then I expect he will see first pairing dmen regardless of the other lines. With that in mind, if Draisatl excels, then running him as our third centre makes sense. It also allows us to move our best two way forward up with MacDavid (Lander). Also gives McDavid another centre to help if needed on the dot., or the D Zone if he is struggling there.

    Hall-McD-Lander
    Pouliot-Nuge-Eberle
    Purcell-Draisatl-Yak
    Hendricks-Letestu-Korpi

    If Drai struggles, then Lander slides to 3C, and either Purcell or Korpikoski run with Hall and McDavid (giving them a two way vet who knows his own zone).

  44. bassguy says:

    Hi Lt, woodguy etc..for some reason I have not been able to log in for a while(maybe its just me or my computer..sure I will blame it on the computer)..anyways, love this site and read it every day..even when I am on the road..I would like to donate so if someone could give me some info on that?..just saw the coke machine/car comparison and I am a little old school as I love the sound of an 8 track(warm/bassy/fuzzy) and miss a carb!..what does that say about the coke machine!..haha,

  45. wheatnoil says:

    https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1wjUFFVKNO9DoNCGOds0fexddCcRig77e77qWNKcxOK8/edit#gid=1538092369

    That’s a long link and there’s a better visualization coming soon (maybe later today), but @DTMAboutHeart has put together possession numbers for 5-man units since 2007. It’s kind of a fun tool!

    For fun, here are the best Oiler 5-man units since 2007 (minimum 50 minutes together, which is a fair bit for a full 5-man unit).

    Best:
    1) Horcoff – Penner – Hemsky – Grebeshkov – Vishnovsky (76.5 min, 64.5% corsi)
    2) RNH – Hall – Eberle – Gilbert – Smid (76.9 min, 63.2% corsi)
    3) Horcoff – Penner – Hemsky – Gilbert – Souray (85 min, 60.6% corsi)
    4) Horcoff – Penner – Hemsky – Smid – Staios (70.6 min, 59.8% corsi)
    5) Horcoff – Penner – Hemsky – Gilbert – Pitkanen (75.2 min, 58.7% corsi)

    So… basically Horcoff, Penner, Hemsky and what-ever D you want to throw in… those guys were magical together and haven’t been matched since.

  46. hags9k says:

    Now that we have stopped bashing Schultz, maybe we can scale it back on Purcell.

    Buddy scores 12 goals and 34 points and all of a sudden we can’t even fit him on the 4th line?

    Cmon, Say it with me, Teh-dee, Teh-Dee, TEH-DEE!!

  47. Richard S.S. says:

    Your top two Centers are Connor McDavid and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. Your top two Wingers are (L) Taylor Hall and (R) Jordan Eberle. Best asset management says matching each Center with a Winger. Common sense (which is sometimes sadly lacking on this site) says match Nugent-Hopkins and Eberle as one pair with McDavid with Hall as the other. Any other arrangement isn’t the best usage needed.

    Benoit Pouliot (L) works well with/has experience with Nugent-Hopkins and Eberle, seemingly with good results. He also helps keep his line less battered. Who is McDavid and Hall’s Pouliot (R)? They need someone very good and fast here. Failing that, who fits best?

    Then you need to do it all over again for Centers Anton Lander and Mark Letestu. Both Centers need a Scoring Winger, otherwise why put a line on the ice that’s substandard in Offense? The Oilers had lines like everyone else for the past 9 years. That hasn’t worked well has it? Make each line offensively-minded in addition to what ever else you need them to do. And get rid of everyone who can’t skate well, they don’t have a place here anymore.

  48. Danny29 says:

    Why so down on shultz! The guy is an excellent puck distibutor in the o zone. He outperformed Klefbom in every passing metric and they were both awful at getting entry zone assists. We know he struggles at the first pass and gets paid to much. Put him with a guy that can make the first pass and both problems are solved…no player is perfect it’s how you utilize them that provides the worth.

    EDIT: I’ll be a shultz fan until shattenkirk shows up…please god

  49. D says:

    Man LT – I can’t wait for all of your McDavid photos to be with him in an Oilers uniform.

    I’m no fan of Schultz, but this is his year to turn North and give Edmonton its money’s worth. If McClellan can’t help him do it, no one can.

  50. PDL says:

    hags9k,

    Agreed. Purcell is not as fast as we would like but he’s patient with the puck and knows what he’s doing in all zones. Still useful.

  51. Bag of Pucks says:

    PDL:
    hags9k,

    Agreed.Purcell is not as fast as we would like but he’s patient with the puck and knows what he’s doing in all zones.Still useful.

    Knows what he’s doing in all zones….

    Team worst -33. Second only to Nail.

    One of these things is not like the other.

  52. Bag of Pucks says:

    Wonder what Andrew Miller needs to do to get more love on the site?

    6 points in his 9 game audition. Respectable -2. Showed hands, wheels and chemistry with Hall.

    And yet we have posters putting Purcell, Pakarainen, Klinkhammer, hell even Gazdic, in the lineup ahead of him. Pak is the only one of those players with any significant upside.

    Really like the idea of a McDavid, Hall, Miller line, That line could give slower defencemen in the league the night terrors.

  53. digdeepnbleedblue says:

    G Money,

    I’m going go out on a limb here and suggest my President’s Choice coffee doesn’t make the cut.

    lol I kid!

  54. Pouzar says:

    Woodguy:
    Fact: Opposing teams have sent their best D pairins after Hall for 3 years now, regardless of who the other 2 forwards were (except at the end of last season when he was coming off injury)

    Fact: McDavid is the best prospect since Crosby

    Fact: Puttiing them on the same line gives McDavid no shade at all.Bright lights, Big City, Drew Doughty, Kopitar, Toews, Hjarlmasson, Bakes, Pietrangelo etc.

    I’ve said this from the start, you can’t start Hall and McDavid together.

    Until you are comfortable that McDavid is comfortable seeing the above type players every night, leave them apart.Once he is, fill yer boots.

    Therefore:

    Hall-RNH-Eberle

    Great line, will draw the best and they can handle it and excel

    Pouliot – McDavid – Korpikoski

    Actual NHL players and men who are good at board work, can keep up with McDavidand can score. Perfect.This is the reason Chia got Korpokoski with Klinkhammer on the roster.

    DrySaddle-Lander-Yak

    A line full of talent that can absolutely destroy the softs.Soft spot for rookie Saddle and Yakupuppy with Lander as both a C with offence and the defensive conscious.

    Hendricks-Letestu-Klinkhammer

    Grumpy men doing grumpy work,.Hard match up but without the Gordon zone starts as McLellen matches forward lines more than he pays attention to zone starts.

    This is the correct way to start.

    Purcell and be traded at 1/2 price or be 13F.

    Excellent. I am in the minority in that I don’t think Purcell is completely useless but he is not a fit here imo. He doesn’t fit the “hard on puck” mantra and he skates in quicksand.

    Love those lines.

  55. Магия 10 says:

    Woodguy: Fact: McDavid is the best prospect since Crosby

    TSN was a bit cute with their franchise faceoff poll bracket and put McDavid in as #15 seed against Crosby at #2.

    The poll question was who to select as offensive cornerstone for your franchise. McDavid nation ran that to a 53% win and TSN did not use their single veto. They’ll likely use their 3rd round resurrection option on Crosby.

    result video:
    http://www.tsn.ca/video/franchise-faceoff-bure-vs-esposito-1.328366

  56. pocession charge says:

    Danny29:
    Why so down on shultz! The guy is an excellent puck distibutor in the o zone.He outperformed Klefbom in every passing metric and they were both awful at getting entry zone assists.We know he struggles at the first pass and gets paid to much.Put him with a guy that can make the first pass and both problems are solved…no player is perfect it’s how you utilize them that provides the worth.

    EDIT:I’ll be a shultz fan until shattenkirk shows up…please god

    Read Woodguy’s comment re: Schultz and you will know why.

  57. Bag of Pucks says:

    Pouzar: Excellent. I am in the minority in that I don’t think Purcell is completely useless but he is not a fit here imo. He doesn’t fit the “hard on puck” mantra and he skates in quicksand.

    Not to mention his stupid moustache.

  58. PDL says:

    Bag of Pucks: Knows what he’s doing in all zones….

    Team worst -33. Second only to Nail.

    One of these things is not like the other.

    So we should use Gazdic who’s a -4?

  59. pocession charge says:

    My early favorite for the Oilers to draft in 2016 is Charlie McAvoy. He is a very talented RHD.

  60. rickithebear says:

    Lt:
    Last 6 NHL drafts 211 picks.
    100 combine invites
    100/211 47.4% chance your picks are going to be combine invites.

    Depending on the number of picks your team has in the first 4 RD 120 picks
    100/120 83.3%
    the chances of those being combine invites are pretty good.

    What i do like.
    2013
    Yakimov #83 #9 Euro Fwd CSB 2013 42 NA Fwd picked by #83 #4 russian picked
    Slepyshev #88 #7 Euro Fwd CSB 2012 45 NA Fwd picked by #88 #5 Russian picked
    2014
    Lagesson #91 # 8 Euro D CSB 2014 21 NA d selected by #91
    2015
    Paigin #209 #15 Euro D #7 russian 54 NA d picked by #209

    they are taking highky ranked Euro’s miles after the NA talent is close to the euro’s level of play.

  61. rickithebear says:

    digdeepnbleedblue: I’m going go out on a limb here and suggest my President’s Choice coffee doesn’t make the cut.

    Campfired purked PC coffee with Hot buttered Banoc baked on a stick during summer sunrise.

    It do to me!

  62. RexLibris says:

    book¡je:
    Woodguy,

    Hall and McDavid together on the PP though.

    I don’t think they need to do that, though, and that is an incredible luxury to have.

    They could eventually run Nugent-Hopkins, Draisaitl as 2 Cs on the 1st unit powerplay with Lander and McDavid as the 2 Cs on the 2nd unit powerplay.

    Hall gets 1st unit with Yakupov while Pouliot and Eberle get 2nd unit.

    Throw out Sekera and Klefbom as the D and, as the blogger man is wont to say, lordy!

  63. Ca$h-McMoney! says:

    I’m a little concerned by the amount of people penciling Drai into the lineup. He needs AHL time. I understand he did well back in junior, but less than 10 months ago he was getting crushed at this level.

    Drai’s game is based on strength and control. I have extremely high hopes for him (he reminds me most of Hossa), but that’s a man’s game. It will take him time to get there.

    I understand D take more time, and even ignoring competition and need I feel Nurse is more capable of contributing on day 1 than Drai.

    Don’t get me wrong, my preference is sending them both down, but especially Drai.

  64. blainer says:

    Bag of Pucks: Knows what he’s doing in all zones….

    Team worst -33. Second only to Nail.

    One of these things is not like the other.

    By that Metric we might as well put Yak as the 13th or 14th forward too. + – is not a good stat especially with the goaltending we had last year. Purcell may be over paid but he is a good possession player with size.. he is on the team for sure if he is not traded.. Now ference that’s a different story. Shultz will be on a very short leash with TMc.. I expect him to show up this year..

  65. rickithebear says:

    G Money: I’m not that worried about this aspect of it.

    McDavid has been playing with kids two to four years older than he is pretty much since he started playing hockey.Because of his skill, no doubt he’s been targeted for “special” attention that entire time.

    Probably part of the reason why his head is always up.

    At 6′ 190+ lbs, which at the tender age of 18 puts him at the lower end of the normal range for NHL C (he’s NOT small for the NHL in other words), his size deficit is probably less significant now than it has been his entire life.

    Combine numbers.
    6′ 0.75″ 195lb
    Low % growth (6%) to age 21 gets you 207lb
    8% gets you 211lb

  66. RexLibris says:

    Ca$h-McMoney!:
    I’m a little concerned by the amount of people penciling Drai into the lineup. He needs AHL time. I understand he did well back in junior, but less than 10 months ago he was getting crushed at this level.

    Drai’s game is based on strength and control. I have extremely high hopes for him (he reminds me most of Hossa), but that’s a man’s game. It will take him time to get there.

    I understand D take more time, and even ignoring competition and need I feel Nurse is more capable of contributing on day 1 than Drai.

    Don’t get me wrong, my preference is sending them both down, but especially Drai.

    Agreed.

    In my above PP scenario I think Purcell stands in for Draisaitl for the time being.

    They have some immediate similarities as both are big men who can protect the puck and excel at passing. Draisaitl has a much higher ceiling, but at this stage a fully developed Purcell shares many of the immediate qualities of Draisaitl.

    And if Purcell is going to contribute on this team it will have to include PP time.

  67. Pouzar says:

    Ca$h-McMoney!:
    I’m a little concerned by the amount of people penciling Drai into the lineup. He needs AHL time. I understand he did well back in junior, but less than 10 months ago he was getting crushed at this level.

    Drai’s game is based on strength and control. I have extremely high hopes for him (he reminds me most of Hossa), but that’s a man’s game. It will take him time to get there.

    I understand D take more time, and even ignoring competition and need I feel Nurse is more capable of contributing on day 1 than Drai.

    Don’t get me wrong, my preference is sending them both down, but especially Drai.

    Crushed?
    That shiny Blue Bubble says otherwise.

  68. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Nice title, LT.

    Each empty snakelike body floats / silent sorrow in empty boats
    A sickly sourness fills the room / the bitter harvest of a dying bloom
    Muted melodies fill the echoing hall / but there is no sign of warning in the siren’s call

    “The Lamia” by Genesis featured Peter Gabriel at his most poetic. Wonderful imagery.

    Of course the line you chose is the title of the next (all instrumental) track so is a tune in its own right, but obviously references back to the preceding lyric.

  69. frjohnk says:

    Pouzar: Excellent. I am in the minority in that I don’t think Purcell is completely useless but he is not a fit here imo. He doesn’t fit the “hard on puck” mantra and he skates in quicksand.

    Love those lines.

    Purcell has some value, but way overpaid.

    Id rather have him on McDavids wing than Yak.

    Yak is the worst top 9 forward on the oilers at exiting the zone with the puck or making a pass to the centerman in his own zone for a break out.

    Purcell is pretty good at this. One of the better passing forwards we have.

    A lot of McDavids offense comes off the rush. He needs someone to feed him clean passes at our blueline.

    On LW, Id like to see Pouliot or Hall and on RW Eberle would be my number 1 choice. Purcell my second choice.

    If in the Ozone, Id like to see Yak with McDavid.

  70. franksterra says:

    Woodguy:
    Agnihotri: Based on the data collected, we see that Schultz was great at creating chances once he got into the offensive zone, but had a lot of trouble getting there. This might be why the Oilers gave him 62.9% of his starts in the offensive zone, which was the highest among all NHL defencemen. Source

    Happy to see what my eye picked up is backed up by solid analysis.

    His biggest failing is losing the puck in the dzone and never getting it back.

    That’s the biggest reason he never gets the puck to the ozone.

    His passing is “ok” if he has a bit of time, but in the NHL you rarely have time.

    He panics with the puck and throws it away to avoid getting hit.

    He doesn’t eat the puck and wait for help in the corners, but blindly jams it up the boards to awaiting opposing wingers and Dmen.

    He doesn’t win board battles.

    He doesn’t keep him man from coming out of the corner with the puck.

    Other than all that he’s ok.

    Is this a nod to George Best’s opinion of Beckham? It went something like “He can’t tackle or head the ball, he doesn’t shoot with his left foot and he doesn’t score many goals, but other than that he’s ok.”

  71. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Woodguy: He doesn’t eat the puck and wait for help in the corners, but blindly jams it up the boards to awaiting opposing wingers and Dmen.

    This drives me nuts. I think Schultz ate the puck twice all season, and it was such a rare event I mentioned it in my game grades both times. Buying time in that manner doesn’t appear to be even remotely a part of his make-up. Something his new coach will need to “drill” into him, perhaps.

  72. TheOtherJohn says:

    book¡je,

    wait they quit putting 8 tracks in cars……looks at dash….damn

  73. frjohnk says:

    Bag of Pucks: Knows what he’s doing in all zones….

    Team worst -33. Second only to Nail.

    One of these things is not like the other.

    Purcell had a PDO of 95.35. 4th worst on the team.

    Lets see that number get better now we have a goalie that can stop a beach ball *crosses fingers*

  74. blainer says:

    rickithebear: Combine numbers.6′ 0.75″ 195lb
    Low % growth (6%) to age 21 gets you 207lb
    8% gets you 211lb

    Agreed. he has said that he plans on working in the gym mostly over the summer. Expect him to come to camp at around 200 to 205lbs.. Drai is planning the same thing I expect him to come at around 215 lbs..

  75. Melman says:

    How long until TC?

  76. TheOtherJohn says:

    Bruce McCurdy,

    Not sure Schultz should have patterned his level of effort in the defensive zone after Sam Gagner

  77. Connor'sreal says:

    bassguy: I love the sound of an 8 track(warm/bassy/fuzzy)

    cue needle scratching sound

    Well that’s a perspective you don’t read every day. The first things to come to mind for me are hiss, track changes during a song, and the fact that fourty minutes of music was never more bulky in tape format (you reel-to-reel people are insane).

    Although I did at one time own a pretty nice Realistic 8-track deck (which was probably made by Sansui), and once I found some high quality tapes, was a pretty satisfying format. Still hated those track changes though…

  78. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Ca$h-McMoney!:
    I’m a little concerned by the amount of people penciling Drai into the lineup. He needs AHL time. I understand he did well back in junior, but less than 10 months ago he was getting crushed at this level.

    Define “getting crushed”. Draisaitl had the best CF% on the Oilers (52.4%) and the worst PDO (.931). Often folks in these parts value the former and attribute the latter to “luck”.

    EDIT: I see Pouzar beat me to it again.

  79. wheatnoil says:

    Bruce McCurdy: This drives me nuts. I think Schultz ate the puck twice all season, and it was such a rare event I mentioned it in my game grades both times. Buying time in that manner doesn’t appear to be even remotely a part of his make-up. Something his new coach will need to “drill” into him, perhaps.

    I wonder if that’s why pairing him with a mobile puck-mover like Klefbom seemed to help. Ference and Schultz really couldn’t help him out much getting the puck out of the zone and so I’d guess there were a ton of uncontrolled zone exits (aka give-aways). At least with Klefbom, Schultz can get the puck over to Oscar do the zone exits.

  80. Connor'sreal says:

    Follow

    Darren Haynes
    ‏@DarrenWHaynes
    Based on his impressive body off work in this scrimmage, suddenly Mark Jankowski is looking like a draft day steal.

    Dang – I was going to go watch their scrimmage this morning, but forgot about it.

  81. vinotintazo says:

    Bruce McCurdy: Define “getting crushed”. Draisaitl had the best CF% on the Oilers (52.4%) and the worst PDO (.931). Often folks in these parts value the former and attribute the latter to “luck”.

    As an offensive FWD you want Drai to get lots of Points for his confidence, in the NHL last year, it just was not working for him. 7 Points in 36 games (if you take out Cgy’s last game) is nothing to rave about.

    I would start him in the AHL. But I fully expect him to play some NHL games down the road.

  82. Revolved says:

    McDavid needs veteran cover and guys to run with. I really think he and Yak could be explosive, particularly as Yak doesn’t seem to work well with Lander or RNH, but would need babysitting. So, who is the most responsible to take care of them? Does Hendricks really qualify as a coke machine?

  83. Bruce McCurdy says:

    wheatnoil: I wonder if that’s why pairing him with a mobile puck-mover like Klefbom seemed to help. Ference and Schultz really couldn’t help him out much getting the puck out of the zone and so I’d guess there were a ton of uncontrolled zone exits (aka give-aways). At least with Klefbom, Schultz can get the puck over to Oscar do the zone exits.

    Schultz needs help with zone exits without a doubt. When I did my zone exits project during the (third) lockout season, I was surprised by how heavily Justin leaned on Nick to get the puck out, it was very close to a 50/50 split. Very different from the other top four pairing, where Petry did by far the lion’s share of the work getting the puck over the blueline, with Smid deferring to him on an ongoing basis. Expected similar with the firm of Schultz & Schultz, but it wasn’t like that at all.

    Haven’t tracked zone exits since, but by eye it’s one (of several) area of Justin’s game that hasn’t seemed to progress a whole lot. He did better with Klefbom for the very reason you suggest, that the puck can come out either side of the zone. Which in turn suggests Schultz himself isn’t the full-blown puck-moving defender we were all hoping for.

  84. Hammers says:

    Richard S.S.:
    Your top two Centers are Connor McDavid and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins.Your top two Wingers are (L) Taylor Hall and (R) Jordan Eberle.Best asset management says matching each Center with a Winger.Common sense (which is sometimes sadly lacking on this site) says match Nugent-Hopkins and Eberle as one pair with McDavid with Hall as the other.Any other arrangement isn’t the best usage needed.

    Benoit Pouliot (L) works well with/has experience with Nugent-Hopkins and Eberle, seemingly with good results.He also helps keep his line less battered.Who is McDavid and Hall’s Pouliot (R)? They need someone very good and fast here.Failing that, who fits best?

    Then you need to do it all over again for Centers Anton Lander and Mark Letestu.Both Centers need a Scoring Winger, otherwise why put a line on the ice that’s substandard in Offense?The Oilers had lines like everyone else for the past 9 years.That hasn’t worked well has it?Make each line offensively-minded in addition to what ever else you need them to do. And get rid of everyone who can’t skate well, they don’t have a place here anymore.

    Not sure to many will agree but for me it would be , Nuge and Ebs , McDavid, Pouliot ,Lander and Hall. Yak with McDavid, Leon with Lander ,Pakirinen with Nuge .

  85. misfit says:

    Your listed forward line combinations runs much more in step with what McLellan had done in the past. Here are how he has handled his rookies (forwards) each year as a HC:

    2014-15
    Notable Rookies: Melker Karlsson, Barclay Goodrow
    Common Linemates: Thornton/Pavelski (Karlsson), Sheppard/Wingels/Karlsson (Goodrow)

    2013-14
    Notable Rookies: Thomas Hertl, Matt Nieto
    Common Linemates: Thornton/Burns (Hertl), Marleau/Couture (Nieto)

    2012-13
    Notable Rookies: None

    2011-12
    Notable Rookies: Andrew Desjardins (<10min TOI/G), Tommy Wingels (33GP)
    Common Linemates: Murray/Winchester (Desjardins), Clowe/Couture (Wingels)

    2010-11
    Notable Rookies: Logan Couture, Ben Ferriero
    Common Linemates: Clowe/Heatley (Couture), Clowe/Couture (Ferriero)

    2009-10
    Notable Rookies: Logan Couture, Ben Ferriero
    Common Linemates: Malhotra/Mitchell (Couture), Malhotra/Marleau (Ferriero)

    2008-09
    Notable Rookies: Tomas Plihal
    Common Linemates: Goc/Greir

    First, a few notes:
    – Couture and Ferriero kept their rookie status in 2 separate seasons having only played 25 and 24 games in 09/10 respectively.
    – I listed Desjardins as a notable rookie for 10/11 despite getting less than 10 minutes of icetime a game, and while he was lined up with Murray and Winchester mostly (4th line), when he wasn’t with them his next most common linemates were Thornton and Pavelski
    – Barclay Goodrow played in 60 NHL games last year on a team in the Oilers’ division and played 11 minutes per night, yet I have never heard of him before today.

    One thing that becomes pretty clear, and that is he gives his top rookies the best linemates possible. Rather than trying to avoid hard matchups, McLellan seems to prefer giving his young players linemates that will help them to succeed when the other team goes after them.

    So I wouldn’t expect any “kid” lines under McLellan, and I think we can probably also forget the idea of Yakupov spending much time with McDavid, at least this season. I’d been advocating a Purcell-Draisaitl-Yakupov soft minutes 3rd line, but that doesn’t seem to fit the McLellan mold either.

    Hall-McDavid-Eberle seems a near certainty IMO.

  86. Ducey says:

    Honestly, I am not that worried about Schultz. He needs to improve some some fundamental aspects of his game, but these aspects are relatively easily advanced. You don’t need to be an all star to start running into some people.

    With sheltered minutes he has been a +’ve Corsi player and I think his offensive production and defence will improve.

    The guy I worry about is Yak. He got the same offensive zone push as Schultz but instead of putting up a 50.1% CF, he was in the bottom half of the team at 46.3%. Add in a -35 (if you are worst in the league it means something) and only 33 points in 81 games, and I am really worried he is going to be a bust.

    I know he improved under Nelson but it seemed he could only get on track with Roy. He didn’t seem to click with anyone else (maybe Purcell), including any of the key offensive contributors.

    He has about 45 games to show Chia something and then I think he is toast.

  87. Hammers says:

    frjohnk: Purcell has some value, but way overpaid.

    Id rather have him on McDavids wing than Yak.

    Yak is the worst top 9 forward on the oilers at exiting the zone with the puck or making a pass to the centerman in his own zone for a break out.

    Purcell is pretty good at this.One of the better passing forwards we have.

    A lot of McDavids offense comes off the rush.He needs someone to feed him clean passes at our blueline.

    On LW, Id like to see Pouliot or Hall and on RW Eberle would be my number 1 choice.Purcell my second choice.

    If in the Ozone, Id like to see Yak with McDavid.

    The thing is with Purcell is he will be gone by Feb if not sooner so the beginning of this season is when the pairs need to be finalized .thats why I like Pouliot with McDavid .

  88. Younger Oil says:

    Friedman’s 30 thoughts are up: http://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/nhl/30-thoughts-players-like-kessel-tough-to-find/

    Not a ton of Oilers related stuff, but one big item:

    “Another exec said his team asked Edmonton about Leon Draisaitl and was rebuffed.”

    SO STOP SUGGESTING HIM IN TRADES PEOPLE!!!

    Also another quote from Souray on the highlights of his career:

    “Getting a chance in Dallas the year after Edmonton sent me to the minors, that meant a lot to me. I was not going to let them win, they were not going to beat me.”

    Thank Gord that management team is gone.

  89. bassguy says:

    Connor’sreal,

    Hi..I do prefer that sound! as I have a pretty big record collection and recently through Winnipeg found an old “all in one ” little record player called a “caliphone”..a suitcase model if you like..it has a strobe vari speed so its a little wobbly off the first cut but settles in nicely..has a big rich sound and can really blast through a 12 inch speaker..65$

  90. OilClog says:

    As the head coach has said.. Best deterrent is a clicking power play.

    I don’t think you’ll see the coach bend his lines to protect anyone, they’ve already said they need this group to establish a pack mentality. The days of watching a Oiler get mugged in a corner while the other 4 skate to the bench are hopefully left in 2014.

    Pouliot, Nuge, Ebs. – this group worked, and worked well. And much to the bitter fox’s dismay, Nuge’s #’s will increase.

    Hall, Jesus, Yak – if you don’t give Yak this chance, trade him now. Just be done with it. He works well with Hall, he hits, he shoots, he can keep up. He’s the coke machine everyone is crying for just in can size.

    Drai, Lander, Purcell – Purcell may be the perfect vet to receive sweet sublime German dishes for a sheltered role.

    Korp, Letestu, Hendricks – Klink will hit waivers, Gordon trade could of been more useful honestly. One of MacT’s only good moves kinda wasted imo.

    Maybe Purcell is the buyout, with Pitlick, Klink and other cheaper players waiting in the wings and the backend still missing a few glaring holes..

    A forward is moving, maybe two.

  91. mit167 says:

    Hall Nuge Drai
    Pou Lander Ebs
    Hendy McD Yak
    Korpi Letestu Klinkhammer/Purcell

    I think the Hall Nuge and Drai cycle would be awesome.

    Pou Lander Ebs could provide a solid top 6 with Lander’s potential leading the way

    McD line gives him a shooter in Yak with Speed plus Hendy defensive conscience and fists if need be.

    Fourth line looks okay and you can cycle Klink Korpi or Purcell with Letestu depending on who is playing well… aka competition

  92. spoiler says:

    Agnihotri: Based on the data collected, we see that Schultz was great at creating chances once he got into the offensive zone, but had a lot of trouble getting there. This might be why the Oilers gave him 62.9% of his starts in the offensive zone, which was the highest among all NHL defencemen. Source

    This is incorrect. Schultz did not get 62.9% of his starts in the OZ. Schultz got 37.7% of his starts in the Ozone.

    The percentage of his Ozone starts to Ozone + Dzone is 62.9%.

    Which is not the same thing. Bad language skews our perception of things.

    He’s actually 21st in the league at OZ%, behind Ellis, Hedman, Ekblad, Yandle, Green, Campbell and just ahead of Shattenkirk and Suter.

    I don’t mind the conclusions up there. The tremendous number of NZ starts he took don’t perturb the reasoning. But I would still like to see what he can do after a summer of adding strength and a season with less TOI.

    I think part of the issue is he wears down fast with physical battles and it affects the rest of his game. 25 minutes is too much ice time for a player who lacks physical strength.

  93. Woodguy says:

    bassguy:
    Hi Lt, woodguy etc..for some reason I have not been able to log in for a while(maybe its just me or my computer..sure I will blame it on the computer)..anyways, love this site and read it every day..even when I am on the road..I would like to donate so if someone could give me some info on that?..just saw the coke machine/car comparison and I am a little old school as I love the sound of an 8 track(warm/bassy/fuzzy) and miss a carb!..what does that say about the coke machine!..haha,

    Good to hear from you again bassguy

    There’s a PayPal donate button on the front page of LT’s site.

    Cheers!

  94. Connor'sreal says:

    bassguy,

    I know what you mean, it’s just something I’ve never heard anyone express.

    Most analogians prefer vinyl or reel-to-reels, but it all depends on how much money you’re willing to spend, and how much fuss you’re willing to endure.

    Keep an eye out for one of these: http://i.ytimg.com/vi/as6nDYGCAkE/maxresdefault.jpg Mine was something like this, but a lower model.

    It makes me wonder if we had been raised on digital sources, and then introduced to analog, if today we’d be clamoring to find those early Atari DACs? Probably not…

  95. bassguy says:

    Woodguy,

    thanks woodguy!,,great work on the goaler series by the by

  96. Derek says:

    misfit:
    Your listed forward line combinations runs much more in step with what McLellan had done in the past.Here are how he has handled his rookies (forwards) each year as a HC:

    2014-15
    Notable Rookies: Melker Karlsson, Barclay Goodrow
    Common Linemates: Thornton/Pavelski (Karlsson), Sheppard/Wingels/Karlsson (Goodrow)

    2013-14
    Notable Rookies: Thomas Hertl, Matt Nieto
    Common Linemates: Thornton/Burns (Hertl), Marleau/Couture (Nieto)

    2012-13
    Notable Rookies: None

    2011-12
    Notable Rookies: Andrew Desjardins (<10min TOI/G), Tommy Wingels (33GP)
    Common Linemates: Murray/Winchester (Desjardins), Clowe/Couture (Wingels)

    2010-11
    Notable Rookies: Logan Couture, Ben Ferriero
    Common Linemates: Clowe/Heatley (Couture), Clowe/Couture (Ferriero)

    2009-10
    Notable Rookies: Logan Couture, Ben Ferriero
    Common Linemates: Malhotra/Mitchell (Couture), Malhotra/Marleau (Ferriero)

    2008-09
    Notable Rookies: Tomas Plihal
    Common Linemates: Goc/Greir

    First, a few notes:
    – Couture and Ferriero kept their rookie status in 2 separate seasons having only played 25 and 24 games in 09/10 respectively.
    – I listed Desjardins as a notable rookie for 10/11 despite getting less than 10 minutes of icetime a game, and while he was lined up with Murray and Winchester mostly (4th line), when he wasn’t with them his next most common linemates were Thornton and Pavelski
    – Barclay Goodrow played in 60 NHL games last year on a team in the Oilers’ division and played 11 minutes per night, yet I have never heard of him before today.

    One thing that becomes pretty clear, and that is he gives his top rookies the best linemates possible.Rather than trying to avoid hard matchups, McLellan seems to prefer giving his young players linemates that will help them to succeed when the other team goes after them.

    So I wouldn’t expect any “kid” lines under McLellan, and I think we can probably also forget the idea of Yakupov spending much time with McDavid, at least this season.I’d been advocating a Purcell-Draisaitl-Yakupov soft minutes 3rd line, but that doesn’t seem to fit the McLellan mold either.

    Hall-McDavid-Eberle seems a near certainty IMO.

    I disagree with your conclusion. To my eyes it looks like the only time Mclellan brought in a skilled center prospect as a rookie he was sheltered by two veteran wingers (Couture lining up with Heatley and Clowe).

    This would’ve allowed him to take on easier competition while Thornton or Marleau did the heavy lifting. The rest of the guys brought in during Mclellans tenure where wingers for the most part.

    I also support the idea of keeping Mcdavid and Hall apart until Mcdavid has some experience with a format something like this for the top 6:

    Hall – Nuge – Korpikowski (If he shows well in TC)
    Pouliot – McDavid – Eberle

    I prefer the idea of pairs, and don’t like overloading the #1 line with Hall – RNH – Eberle because there’s only one puck and each of these guys is more effective when he has it on his stick.

    In the future it should be Mcdavid and Hall running togethor, with RNH – Eberle #2 and if all goes well you’d like to see Draisaitl – Yakupov togethor effectively, but there’s some maturing that needs to be done before we get to that point.

  97. digdeepnbleedblue says:

    rickithebear,

    Sounds like a good set up, dude!

    About the only time I truly pay coffee any real attention is if Baileys or something of the like is in the convo.

  98. bassguy says:

    Connor’sreal,

    great thoughts!..maybe I dont like the sound of an 8 track as much as vinyl..probably not..by the way I read a great comparison of “analog vs digital” on one of a first digital recording of a Bartok recording..digital has come so far since the first editions simply because of the sample size it can now produce..it put forward the notion that “all” recordings are analogous, meaning replicating the sound (even digital)

  99. G Money says:

    digdeepnbleedblue:
    G Money,

    I’m going go out on a limb here and suggest my President’s Choice coffee doesn’t make the cut.

    lol I kid!

    Ha, I actually quite like PC coffee! That and Ethical Bean are my fallbacks if I can’t find Kicking Horse on sale.

  100. dustrock says:

    Is it possible you’d see 2 very different line formations depending on whether they’re playing at home or away?

    If you’ve got last change at home, maybe you play Hall and McDavid together and hope to catch some 3rd/4th lines on the ice.

    If you’re playing away, you want a more conservative lineup.

    I’m honestly still a little scared at having RNH-McD-Lander be our top 3 centers. That’s a lot of talent, but still not a ton of experience.

  101. Numenius says:

    Bruce McCurdy: Define “getting crushed”. Draisaitl had the best CF% on the Oilers (52.4%) and the worst PDO (.931). Often folks in these parts value the former and attribute the latter to “luck”.

    Plus, he only got to play for the bad coach and not for Nelson.

    His production was probably suppressed for this reason like so many others.

  102. khildahl says:

    <strong><a href=”#comment-433202″>G Money</a></strong>,

    I signed up for a coffee service a couple months ago. For $18 a month I get a new sack of freshly-roasted beans in the mail. My bills smell wonderful.

  103. Connor'sreal says:

    G Money: PC coffee!

    Nabob Sumatra (when on sale at Sobeways), is quite good too.

    My wife recently found the worst coffee that you could ever imagine: Mondo Cafe (from London drugs I think). Right from the top of the bag, it was a little bitter. But there was something else which took a while to pinpoint – sour.

    Yes, bitter and sour – with a slight hint of cat urine odor.

  104. Connor'sreal says:

    bassguy,

    Yeah, I’ve slowly left all analog sources for digital. If I can run it through a tube preamp, with some good DACs, the balance of convenience and quality is perfect for me.

    But I’ve had to sell off most of my hifi stuff lately, and all I’m left with is an Onkyo DVD player (decent DACs in it), an old Sansui receiver, and my modded B&W bookshelf speakers that are approaching 30 yrs of age. Not a bad little setup though.

  105. Colieo87 says:

    Hey everybody, i was having coffee with my previous supervisor and for men yesterday at Timmie’s in Fort sask and we talked for 3 hrs shooting shit with everything that happened to the oil in the past few months, heck i haven’t seen the guy since February sometime. we both like the moves so far, the competition and hopefully how no spots are going to be handed out. great stuff. it turns out he had some cabin property down East and his neighbors next door are 1st cousin to mcdavid family, they are from his mom side of the family before she was a mcdavid. i cant remember what he said her madian name is. anyways according to the neighbors (1st cousins said) mcdavid mom was upset he want closer to home she was really hoping buffalo. but i can understand that from a mother’s perspective. on to mcdavid dad said he was ecstatic he was chosen to play for the oilers to be in canadain market and he told his son that team broke records and created new ones it’s pretty exiting. other then that my buddy mentioned that mcdavid family and immediate family is close knit and mcdavid spoils his younger cousins with alot of autographed stuff.

    now on to what i wanted to discuss, my formen and i discussed the expansion draft and didnt know how it would work. but luckily it was discussed here today.

    HOW COULD EXPANSION DRAFT AFFECT SABRES & OILERS?

    http://thehockeywriters.com/how-could-expansion-draft-affect-sabres-oilers/

    So Lt, i know its 2 to 3 years but could you see us lose something awesome we molded. or even buffalo? and any other thoughts?

  106. G Money says:

    If you’re seeing a few folks referencing some new stats (e.g. Sunil Agnihotri’s new post), you can access the data yourself here:

    http://www.inlouwetrust.com/2015/7/8/8894819/a-new-passing-data-viz-to-analyze-john-moore

    The charts are selectable at the bottom of the article, and it looks like most Oilers are available.

    I would caution drawing any strong conclusions from the data as yet, though.

    After messing around with it a bit, its pretty common for the data not to line up with players the way you’d expect. Or at least the way I expect. For example, I saw someone (Wheat?) pointing out that Justin Schultz was quite weak on Entry Assists (which makes sense). Funny thing: his basic pattern is quite similar to Taylor Halls.

    What do you conclude from that? Justin Schultz is better than we think because he’s like Taylor Hall? Taylor Hall is worse than we think because he’s like Justin Schultz?

    My answer is: I can’t conclude anything yet. After looking at a fairly wide variety of other players, I was surprised to see how distinct some of the patterns were, independent of how good or bad I thought the player was. Certainly, there was a relationship (higher is better), but not as as strong as I thought it would be.

    I think the reason is that this is (to me, and for most folks I suspect) brand new data, and we don’t have any good baselines for what it means or how to interpret it yet. I think it will take a little while to build the baselines and the patterns. I’m especially concerned about how to interpret it for individuals within a team context (which at this point – there is none). Kind of like how you need CorsiRel and Corsi WOWYs, not to mention ZS and QoC, to put a players Corsi into a useful context.

    My early conclusion on this data is it may actually be a better representative of a players particular strengths and weaknesses moreso than a value judgement on the quality of the player himself (which is how I fear people will be tempted to use the data in the short run).

    Either way – until the patterns, baselines, and analytical context are all better defined, the data is still data, not information, and not wisdom!

  107. LadiesloveSmid says:

    McDavid “seemingly” better at 18 than Mackinnon.

    Spector should just take over the show.

  108. G Money says:

    Numenius: Plus, he only got to play for the bad coach and not for Nelson.

    His production was probably suppressed for this reason like so many others.

    Indeed. Draisaitl’s possession numbers were excellent during his stint, nevermind that he was a rookie.

    His problem was that he didn’t put up many points. But if you look at his most common wingers (Yak, Purcell, Perron) during that time, they *all* struggled. And it wasn’t just a reflection on Draisaitl, they all continued to struggle for quite a while after Drai was sent down.

    I expect after a year more of getting bigger, stronger, faster, and more confident – Draisaitl has a real shot at blowing the doors off Thornton-style this year. Thornton, who is in my eyes both a stylistic and a performance target analog for Drai, struggled badly his first year in the NHL. The next year he was 0.5 ppg, then 0.75 ppg, then 1.0, 1.0, and 1.3 ppg.

    That, along with McD, Yak’s hoped for resurgence, how Nurse and Reinhart perform at training camp, Talbot’s goaltending and Scrivens’ possible rebound, and Nuge going supernova mean that there’s just an unbelievable number of interesting story lines going into camp this fall.

  109. G Money says:

    Connor’sreal: Yes, bitter and sour – with a slight hint of cat urine odor.

    Perhaps they’re trying to catpitalize (ahem) on the whole Civet coffee thing.

  110. LadiesloveSmid says:

    G Money: Indeed.Draisaitl’s possession numbers were excellent during his stint, nevermind that he was a rookie.

    His problem was that he didn’t put up many points.But if you look at his most common wingers (Yak, Purcell, Perron) during that time, they *all* struggled.And it wasn’t just a reflection on Draisaitl, they all continued to struggle for quite a while after Drai was sent down.

    I expect after a year more of getting bigger, stronger, faster, and more confident – Draisaitl has a real shot at blowing the doors off Thornton-style this year.Thornton, who is in my eyes both a stylistic and a performance target analog for Drai, struggled badly his first year in the NHL.The next year he was 0.5 ppg, then 0.75 ppg, then 1.0, 1.0, and 1.3 ppg.

    That, along with McD, Yak’s hoped for resurgence, how Nurse and Reinhart perform at training camp, Talbot’s goaltending and Scrivens’ possible rebound, and Nuge going supernova mean that there’s just an unbelievable number of interesting story lines going into camp this fall.

    Perron was shooting at an insanely low rate. Yak needed a vet C.

    Need to factor in Drai’s ZSs and competition, though. He did not help the burning out of Gordon.

  111. wheatnoil says:

    G Money:
    If you’re seeing a few folks referencing some new stats (e.g. Sunil Agnihotri’s new post), you can access the data yourself here:

    http://www.inlouwetrust.com/2015/7/8/8894819/a-new-passing-data-viz-to-analyze-john-moore

    The charts are selectable at the bottom of the article, and it looks like most Oilers are available.

    I would caution drawing any strong conclusions from the data as yet, though.

    After messing around with it a bit, its pretty common for the data not to line up with players the way you’d expect.Or at least the way I expect.For example, I saw someone (Wheat?) pointing out that Justin Schultz was quite weak on Entry Assists (which makes sense).Funny thing: his basic pattern is quite similar to Taylor Halls.

    What do you conclude from that?Justin Schultz is better than we think because he’s like Taylor Hall?Taylor Hall is worse than we think because he’s like Justin Schultz?

    My answer is: I can’t conclude anything yet.After looking at a fairly wide variety of other players, I was surprised to see how distinct some of the patterns were, independent of how good or bad I thought the player was.Certainly, there was a relationship (higher is better), but not as as strong as I thought it would be.

    I think the reason is that this is (to me, and for most folks I suspect) brand new data, and we don’t have any good baselines for what it means or how to interpret it yet.I think it will take a little while to build the baselines and the patterns.I’m especially concerned about how to interpret it for individuals within a team context (which at this point – there is none).Kind of like how you need CorsiRel and Corsi WOWYs, not to mention ZS and QoC, to put a players Corsi into a useful context.

    My early conclusion on this data is it may actually be a better representative of a players particular strengths and weaknesses moreso than a value judgement on the quality of the player himself (which is how I fear people will be tempted to use the data in the short run).

    Either way – until the patterns, baselines, and analytical context are all better defined, the data is still data, not information, and not wisdom!

    Yeah it’s still early days and the Oilers weren’t one of the teams they tracked for the whole year, so we’re looking at 10-15 games.

    I interpreted the Hall / Schultz difference as follows:

    Hall doesn’t have many zone entry assists because he’s always the one carrying the puck in. As a defenseman, you’d expect that number to be higher for Schultz and it is higher for some other D-men like Marincin and Fayne.

    However, you’re right, there’s some curiosities. RNH doesn’t look as good as I’d expect given how strong Hall and Eberle look. One problem could be the data. Another explanation could be that maybe Nuge doesn’t drive possession as much as we think. We’ve long debated the Hall vs Eberle “who drives possession” debate… maybe they both do and it’s Nuge that doesn’t as much. It’s not like Nuge has many minutes away from either one. (Note: I’m not suggesting this true, I’m just mulling around ideas as new data becomes available)

    In any case, I agree with you. The data is new, we don’t have great baselines, only a fraction of Oiler games were actually tracked, and qual-team / qual-comp / zone-starts are going to play into interpreting the data. Further, the focus on this data is “passing”, which is one major aspect of the game, but just one aspect. One commenter noted that it helps fill in some of the grey area around the other numbers we already have, which I agree with. It’s not a replacement or the be-all-end-all… it’s another piece of the puzzle.

  112. wheatnoil says:

    From Friedman’s 30 thoughts… http://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/nhl/30-thoughts-players-like-kessel-tough-to-find/

    “20. Wrote in the last blog that Edmonton was interested in Robin Lehner but didn’t want to take Colin Greening’s contract as part of it. One source reached out to say that’s not true — Greening wasn’t the problem. The issue was the draft pick. Buffalo gave the 21st to the Senators, while the Oilers were willing to give No. 16, but only if they got Ottawa’s No. 18 in return. ”

    Hah! I love that while Buffalo gave up the 21st, Chiarelli was only interested in moving back two spots.

  113. Richard S.S. says:

    This coming Season is a maybe (if magic happens; all the luck goes the Oiler’s way; everyone greatly exceed even wildest expectations) for reaching the Postseason, as a lot has to be right just to get there. That being the case, it means Reinhart, Nurse, Draisaitl could make the Team. The Oilers need to see if they are ready to move up, and this is the best year for it.

  114. Really? says:

    During this year’s World Championships Lander played extremely well centering Sweden’s number one line. He was effective both offensively and defensively. In reading comments on this site he is given little or no credit for doing so.

    Lander, provided he is given some talent to work with, could very easily be an effective Centre for the Oilers. Last year he had good results when he played with Hall and yet very few people even suggest they could be effective again this year.

    Am I missing something. Comments appreciated.

  115. wheatnoil says:

    Marincin signs 1 year @ $700K for the Maple Leafs.

    Good luck young man. Knock the Eastern Conference down!

  116. RexLibris says:

    wheatnoil:
    Marincin signs 1 year @ $700K for the Maple Leafs.

    Good luck young man. Knock the Eastern Conference down!

    Did they say they were challenging him with this contract? Would he have gotten an extra $200K if he’d shaved the sideburns?

  117. wheatnoil says:

    RexLibris: Did they say they were challenging him with this contract? Would he have gotten an extra $200K if he’d shaved the sideburns?

    You can’t have all your D-men making $700 thousand. You’d prefer to have a couple making $900K and maybe a couple at $600K.

  118. Pouzar says:

    Klef will be even more dreamy in 77. Good move.

  119. Richard S.S. says:

    Really?:
    During this year’s World Championships Lander played extremely well centering Sweden’s number one line. He was effective both offensively and defensively. In reading comments on this site he is given little or no credit for doing so.

    Lander, provided he is given some talent to work with, could very easily be an effective Centre for the Oilers. Last year he had good results when he played with Hall and yet very few people even suggest they could be effective again this year.

    Am I missing something. Comments appreciated.

    Hall and Eberle played well; had an older guy named Crosby for a Center. Klefbom was very good, 1st D pairing with a Stud D-man. Hendricks was Team USA Captain and played well. And Lander did what, early scoring issues was it, for such a good Center?

  120. Jujhar says:

    When are we going to buy out Nikitin and Ference and sign Franson? I’m an impatient guy.

  121. RexLibris says:

    wheatnoil: You can’t have all your D-men making $700 thousand. You’d prefer to have a couple making $900K and maybe a couple at $600K.

    Because you need to save money for Olympians and players with Norris-trophy potential.

  122. wheatnoil says:

    Bruce McCurdy: Schultz needs help with zone exits without a doubt. When I did my zone exits project during the (third) lockout season, I was surprised by how heavily Justin leaned on Nick to get the puck out, it was very close to a 50/50 split. Very different from the other top four pairing, where Petry did by far the lion’s share of the work getting the puck over the blueline, with Smid deferring to him on an ongoing basis. Expected similar with the firm of Schultz & Schultz, but it wasn’t like that at all.

    Haven’t tracked zone exits since, but by eye it’s one (of several) area of Justin’s game that hasn’t seemed to progress a whole lot. He did better with Klefbom for the very reason you suggest, that the puck can come out either side of the zone. Which in turn suggests Schultz himself isn’t the full-blown puck-moving defender we were all hoping for.

    I really enjoyed the zone exits / entry project you guys did at CoH. Any thought of reviving it for another year?

  123. RexLibris says:

    Pouzar:
    Klef will be even more dreamy in 77. Good move.

    GAH! Gilbert’s old number.

    Now he’ll become soft in the corners and show a lack of grit in his own end.

    Letestu wearing Eager’s old #55 isn’t a good sign. Let’s hope nobody takes him into the boards in a scrimmage game.

    Sekera wearing Petry’s old #2 is just so damned fitting.

    Now Reinhart gets Risto Sltanen’s #8! I guess I’ll have to tape over my Dean Arsene jersey.

    Talbot gets Pokey Reddick’s #33. Man, I hope that works out better than last time.

    Gryba gets Pakarinen’s #62? Awwwk-ward!

  124. Pouzar says:

    RexLibris,

    Rex I was thinking more like Hedman. 🙂

  125. rickithebear says:

    Canad vs Sweden:
    3-0 sweden.
    Erickson-Lander-Forsberg racked 2 goals against the crosby line.

    canada would come back!

    From IIHf Game Revcap:
    “It started when Todd McLellan shook up his lines, putting Crosby out with Eberle and Hall. They created three great chances, and on the next shift, Canada scored.”

    They moved Crosby away from Landers line!

  126. rickithebear says:

    RexLibris: Sekera wearing Petry’s old #2 is just so damned fitting.

    the number 2 is going to say . “so this is what good defence is!”

  127. jonrmcleod says:

    I was just thinking about how the Oilers needed Draisaitl to play 2C last season and now there doesn’t look to be a spot for him at C. Then I tried to remember who was the 3C at the start of last season and had to look at last year’s roster to refresh my memory. It was Arcobello.

    RNH
    Draisaitl
    Arcobello
    Gordon

    is now

    RNH
    McDavid
    Lander/Draisaitl
    Letestu

    You could argue (easily, I think) that every C 1-4 is better than last year’s, including RNH’s spot since he should continue to improve.

  128. RexLibris says:

    Pouzar:
    RexLibris,

    Rex I was thinking more like Hedman.

    Another soft Swede like Salming and Lidstrom.

  129. RexLibris says:

    rickithebear: the number 2 is going to say . “so this is what good defence is!”

    Only if the paying public can recognize it.

    There’s been no shortage of good defenders on this team who have been run out on a rail because they didn’t play like Jason Smith (who was a good one in his day, but didn’t have the same skill set as Petry or Sekera).

  130. RexLibris says:

    jonrmcleod:
    I was just thinking about how the Oilers needed Draisaitl to play 2C last season and now there doesn’t look to be a spot for him at C. Then I tried to remember who was the 3C at the start of last season and had to look at last year’s roster to refresh my memory. It was Arcobello.

    RNH
    Draisaitl
    Arcobello
    Gordon

    is now

    RNH
    McDavid
    Lander/Draisaitl
    Letestu

    You could argue (easily, I think) that every C 1-4 is better than last year’s, including RNH’s spot since he should continue to improve.

    I think of the “we have two NHL centers and mud right now” line and then I think of the Enuma Elish when the breath of heaven is put into mud and mankind is born.

  131. Pouzar says:

    jonrmcleod: RNH
    McDavid
    Lander/Draisaitl
    Letestu

    ftfy

    McDavid
    Lander/Draisaitl
    RNH <– Best in the league baby!
    Letestu

  132. godot10 says:

    Woodguy:
    Fact: Opposing teams have sent their best D pairins after Hall for 3 years now, regardless of who the other 2 forwards were (except at the end of last season when he was coming off injury)

    Fact: McDavid is the best prospect since Crosby

    Fact: Puttiing them on the same line gives McDavid no shade at all.Bright lights, Big City, Drew Doughty, Kopitar, Toews, Hjarlmasson, Bakes, Pietrangelo etc.

    I’ve said this from the start, you can’t start Hall and McDavid together.

    Until you are comfortable that McDavid is comfortable seeing the above type players every night, leave them apart.Once he is, fill yer boots.

    Therefore:

    Hall-RNH-Eberle

    Great line, will draw the best and they can handle it and excel

    Pouliot – McDavid – Korpikoski

    Actual NHL players and men who are good at board work, can keep up with McDavidand can score. Perfect.This is the reason Chia got Korpokoski with Klinkhammer on the roster.

    I disagree with this completely.

    Hall provides McDavid with the most protection playing with McDavid because Hall creates space by stretching and tilting the ice. Plus, one has secondary protection, because Pouliot, Nugent-Hopkins, and Eberle will kill the opposition if the opposing team focuses on Hall and McDavid. It is misguided to load up one line.

    Pouliot, Nugent-Hopkins, Eberle
    Hall, McDavid, Korpikoski
    Hendricks, Lander, Yakupov
    Purcell, Letestu, Pitlick

    Draisaitl getting 20 minutes a night in the AHL in ALL SITUATIONS as a CENTRE.

  133. Pouzar says:

    RexLibris: Another soft Swede like Salming and Lidstrom.

    Poor Grit/60 no doubt!

  134. Pouzar says:

    godot10,

    I agree with WG

    1. Hall on McDavid’s line is automatically putting him against the other teams best. No doubt about it. McDavid has plenty of speed to create his own space and putting him with Pouliot can only help.

    2. I want Drai in the top 6 eventually. If that has to be at wing sobeit. The switch to wing for him wouldn’t be a huge deal. He has said as much. Not adverse to him playing in Bakersfield as a Center as you suggest however. Depth rules!

  135. admiralmark says:

    wheatnoil: Marincin signs 1 year @ $700K for the Maple Leafs.Good luck young man. Knock the Eastern Conference down!

    Here’s one fan hoping he knocks out the door jams in the East(gonna be tough with Leafs this year though). Maybe if he does it will leave no doubt in Chiarelli that listening to MacT/Howson on Dmen is not for the best.

  136. godot10 says:

    wheatnoil:
    https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1wjUFFVKNO9DoNCGOds0fexddCcRig77e77qWNKcxOK8/edit#gid=1538092369

    That’s a long link and there’s a better visualization coming soon (maybe later today), but @DTMAboutHeart has put together possession numbers for 5-man units since 2007. It’s kind of a fun tool!

    For fun, here are the best Oiler 5-man units since 2007 (minimum 50 minutes together, which is a fair bit for a full 5-man unit).

    Best:
    1) Horcoff – Penner – Hemsky – Grebeshkov – Vishnovsky (76.5 min, 64.5% corsi)
    2) RNH – Hall – Eberle – Gilbert – Smid (76.9 min, 63.2% corsi)
    3) Horcoff – Penner – Hemsky – Gilbert – Souray (85 min, 60.6% corsi)
    4) Horcoff – Penner – Hemsky – Smid – Staios (70.6 min, 59.8% corsi)
    5) Horcoff – Penner – Hemsky – Gilbert – Pitkanen (75.2 min, 58.7% corsi)

    So… basically Horcoff, Penner, Hemsky and what-ever D you want to throw in… those guys were magical together and haven’t been matched since.

    And MacT spent two full seasons trying to find ways to take Penner away from Horcoff and Hemsky. MacT absolutely hated that line. MacT absolutely hated Penner.

    The SCF game 7 loss scrambled Lowe’s and MacT’s brains. PTS syndrome.

  137. G Money says:

    admiralmark: Here’s one fan hoping he knocks out the door jams in the East(gonna be tough with Leafs this year though). Maybe if he does it will leave no doubt in Chiarelli that listening to MacT/Howson on Dmen is not for the best.

    So if Marincin turns out to be great, this will certainly be a huge strike against MacT/Howson’s judgement.

    But out of curiousity – if Marincin goes to Toronto and ends up being nothing more than a modestly competent third pairing guy, will you also admit that maybe MacT/Howson were correct about him?

    godot10: MacT absolutely hated Penner.
    The SCF game 7 loss scrambled Lowe’s and MacT’s brains. PTS syndrome.

    I ask because, although Penner was never given much credit by MacT here (presumably because not in great shape and ate too many pancakes), he never had much success after he left either. He had the one good season in Anaheim after the lockout, but other than that has pretty much sucked wind. He’s now just 32 and already out of the league. So it sure looks like MacT might have been more right than wrong on that one.

    But the most common narrative remains that MacT’s brains were scrambled, or things to that effect.

  138. Really? says:

    Richard S.S.: Hall and Eberle played well; had an older guy named Crosby for a Center.Klefbom was very good, 1st D pairing with a Stud D-man.Hendricks was Team USA Captain and played well.And Lander did what, early scoring issues was it, for such a good Center?

    Strange that when I look at the results and statistics for Lander I see that he played 8 games, with 3 goals and 4 assists and was a +4 in the tournament. Playing against players at that level I think he acquitted himself quite well. Certainly showed well enough to have some promise on our lowly Oilers team.

  139. Bruce McCurdy says:

    misfit: Barclay Goodrow played in 60 NHL games last year on a team in the Oilers’ division and played 11 minutes per night, yet I have never heard of him before today.

    Scored 2 of his 4 NHL goals vs. Oilers. Burned Justin Schultz both times IIRC.

  140. Ducey says:

    G Money: .But out of curiousity – if Marincin goes to Toronto and ends up being nothing more than a modestly competent third pairing guy, will you also admit that maybe MacT/Howson were correct about him?I ask because, although Penner was never given much credit by MacT here (presumably because not in great shape and ate too many pancakes), he never had much success after he left either. He had the one good season in Anaheim after the lockout, but other than that has pretty much sucked wind. He’s now just 32 and already out of the league. So it sure looks like MacT might have been more right than wrong on that one.But the most common narrative remains that MacT’s brains were scrambled, or things to that effect.

    If he sucks in TOR, the message will be that MacT/ Howson wrecked him. How is ever going to recover from MacT comparing his arms to those on a pair of glasses?

    I expect we see more of the same. Stats geeks will like his advanced stats. Saw him good guys will find he is not assertive enough. It will be interesting to see what Babcock does with him.

  141. Bruce McCurdy says:

    wheatnoil: I really enjoyed the zone exits / entry project you guys did at CoH. Any thought of reviving it for another year?

    Thanks. It was labour intensive but instructive, even as I didn’t design it in such a way as to fold in shot outcomes that followed the exit. But the exits in and of themselves were very instructive, and the conclusions logical — the centre that brought the puck out under control (Nuge) had way better Corsi & such than the guy who just dumped it into the neutral zone a lot (Gagner).

    In 2015-16 I am hoping to do a project on odd-man rushes.

  142. Bruce McCurdy says:

    RexLibris: GAH! Gilbert’s old number.

    Don’t worry, the number has been cleansed since then by Anton Belov. No worries, right?

  143. Bruce McCurdy says:

    rickithebear:
    Canad vs Sweden:
    3-0 sweden.
    Erickson-Lander-Forsberg racked 2 goals against the crosby line.

    canada would come back!

    From IIHf Game Revcap:
    “It started when Todd McLellan shook up his lines, putting Crosby out with Eberle and Hall. They created three great chances, and on the next shift, Canada scored.”

    They moved Crosby away from Landers line!

    Lander had a Great first period vs. Canada.

  144. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Pouzar: ftfy

    McDavid
    Lander/Draisaitl
    RNH <– Best in the league baby!
    Letestu

    I dunno about that, since I learned from an authoritative source that RNH is the 99th best centre in the league he’s actually a 4C and Hrudey was overrating him.

  145. fifthcartel says:

    Didn’t Hall face the oppositions best lines from day one? And faired okay? I wonder if McDavid can do the same especially given he’s likely the best prospect since Crosby. I think they play him with Hall and maybe even Eberle too, or keep the Pouliot/RNH/Eberle line together.

    Also, I saw the Leafs signed Marincin to a 1-year deal and it just amazes me the horrible management of him and Petry.

    I understand he probably didn’t have much value so he ended up getting the pick that turned into Gryba, but he probably didn’t have much value because they played him against tougher opponents in the defensive zone a lot while giving him penalty killing time and zero power-play time.

    Petry is a similar situation, at least they put him on the power-play occasionally, but why aren’t they pumping players they aren’t entirely sold on instead of feeding them to the wolves then dumping them for less than what they’re worth? They clearly felt they were somewhat important enough to put them in that position in the first place, but didn’t value them enough to either keep them or pump their trade value up?

    Ahh, it just confuses me how they handle assists like Petry and Marincin.

  146. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Really?: Strange that when I look at the results and statistics for Lander I see that he played 8 games, with 3 goals and 4 assists and was a +4 in the tournament. Playing against players at that level I think he acquitted himself quite well. Certainly showed well enough to have some promise on our lowly Oilers team.

    He also had a great tournament in the faceoff dot, 85/128=66%, and his +42 faceoff differential was the best in the whole event. Very encouraging.

  147. Lowetide says:

    Bruce McCurdy: I dunno about that, since I learned from an authoritative source that RNH is the 99th best centre in the league he’s actually a 4C and Hrudey was overrating him.

    Honestly, it’s incredible. Nuge is a humble guy, maybe that’s why he gets so disrespected. Bruce, we’re going to have to redouble our efforts to get him back to one of the worst 3C’s in the league!

  148. Woodguy says:

    Lowetide: Honestly, it’s incredible. Nuge is a humble guy, maybe that’s why he gets so disrespected. Bruce, we’re going to have to redouble our efforts to get him back to one of the worst 3C’s in the league!

    If he ever scores 50pts in a season you can move him up to a 3C.

  149. LMHF#1 says:

    G Money: So if Marincin turns out to be great, this will certainly be a huge strike against MacT/Howson’s judgement.

    But out of curiousity – if Marincin goes to Toronto and ends up being nothing more than a modestly competent third pairing guy, will you also admit that maybe MacT/Howson were correct about him?

    I ask because, although Penner was never given much credit by MacT here (presumably because not in great shape and ate too many pancakes), he never had much success after he left either.He had the one good season in Anaheim after the lockout, but other than that has pretty much sucked wind.He’s now just 32 and already out of the league.So it sure looks like MacT might have been more right than wrong on that one.

    But the most common narrative remains that MacT’s brains were scrambled, or things to that effect.

    You’re assuming that what happened while the bad judgement was taking place (Marincin’s lost season and Penner’s usage under MacTavish etc.) had no lasting impact. You can’t make that assumption. It’s a fork in the road that can’t be returned to. Alternate realities cannot be played out unfortunately.

  150. Woodguy says:

    godot10: I disagree with this completely.

    Hall provides McDavid with the most protection playing with McDavid because Hall creates space by stretching and tilting the ice.Plus, one has secondary protection, because Pouliot, Nugent-Hopkins, and Eberle will kill the opposition if the opposing team focuses on Hall and McDavid.It is misguided to load up one line.

    Pouliot, Nugent-Hopkins, Eberle
    Hall, McDavid, Korpikoski
    Hendricks, Lander, Yakupov
    Purcell, Letestu, Pitlick

    Draisaitl getting 20 minutes a night in the AHL in ALL SITUATIONS as a CENTRE.

    I don’t think Hall can stretch the ice so much that Backes and Pietrangelo aren’t actually on it.

    That’s what sheltering/shade/cover means.

    It means that young men don’t have to play against the very best players in the world shift after shift.

    Hall and Eberle played with Horcoff in their rookie year.

    Hemsky drew the tough opponents with Gagner and Penner.

    All 18 year olds need cover.

  151. Rip Fan Winkle says:

    As our old pal Vic Ferrari used to say it’s all about context. Schultz has some offensive chops, and it has made him a millionaire despite not even being established as a permanent NHL’er. Offense pays.

    That being said his problems, like Gagner’s, aren’t about a lack of experience. Gagner hasn’t changed much since game one.

    It’s not an at bats issue, or just being too young like typical prospects, which gave Sam shelter for a while. Sam and Schultz’s problems are at a fundamental level. They are what they are. JS may get stronger and better in his own end, but he’s 25, not 19. This is it folks, pretty much.

    Gilbert and Petry made the jump quick and that probably led MacLowe to think Schultz would too, but they are completely different defensemen than JS.

    For me, I’d rather have half the points and good skating two way play. I have never warmed up to cherry pickers, unless they have four arms. They let everyone else do the dirty work.

    There is a strategy problem on right D. He and Gryba need the same spot if success is in the short term plans.

  152. Woodguy says:

    Really?:
    During this year’s World Championships Lander played extremely well centering Sweden’s number one line. He was effective both offensively and defensively. In reading comments on this site he is given little or no credit for doing so.

    Lander, provided he is given some talent to work with, could very easily be an effective Centre for the Oilers. Last year he had good results when he played with Hall and yet very few people even suggest they could be effective again this year.

    Am I missing something. Comments appreciated.

    I agree that no one is mentioning him enough.

    I love him deeply.

    You may notice when I spelled out my (correct) optimal line I mentioned Lander’s offence and defence.

    Loving me some Lander.

    Very important player in the org.

  153. Doug McLachlan says:

    vinotintazo: As an offensive FWD you want Drai to get lots of Points for his confidence, in the NHL last year, it just was not working for him. 7 Points in 36 games (if you take out Cgy’s last game) is nothing to rave about.I would start him in the AHL. But I fully expect him to play some NHL games down the road.

    While true, Joe Thornton’s first season was an even more disappointing 7pts in 55 games.

    I would love to see him in the AHL because he was beaten out at Training Camp by better performances from others but there’s no point talking about competition if you aren’t prepared to give the jobs to the guys who win them.

    I suspect he will surprise a few here – and we are all fans.

  154. Woodguy says:

    Richard S.S.: Hall and Eberle played well; had an older guy named Crosby for a Center.Klefbom was very good, 1st D pairing with a Stud D-man.Hendricks was Team USA Captain and played well.And Lander did what, early scoring issues was it, for such a good Center?

    In Lander’s first three years his 3 most common line mates were: (in order of TOI together)

    Lennert MotherFuckingPetrell
    Ben StickOptional Eager
    Ryan CheatForEverything Jones

    If Gretzky had those three guys he would have asked Sather for a fire hydrant.

  155. oilswell says:

    RexLibris: Sekera wearing Petry’s old #2 is just so damned fitting

    Well the last Number two shouted “I am not a number, I am a free man” and began plotting his escape.

    I’m sure it will be different this time around. Is there a new number 6?

    Edit to add: yes switched the numbers, had to, blaming joensuu

  156. oilswell says:

    godot10: Hall provides McDavid with the most protection playing with McDavid because Hall creates space by stretching and tilting the ice.

    If this is true why don’t all teams break in regular non-generational talent on the first line?

  157. Woodguy says:

    RexLibris:
    Nice article on Rocky Thompson: http://www.tsn.ca/talent/former-tough-guy-thompson-redefining-himself-as-a-coach-1.328791

    Tyler said on twitter than he didn’t expect Rocky to be too keen on what he had to say, but came away with “he thinks just like I do”

    I’ve heard rave reviews from others as well.

    Rocky is on the way up and I wouldn’t bet against him being a HC in the NHL.

  158. Younger Oil says:

    Since Fehr is still a free agent, presumably due to lack of interest (or he wants to wait), would it be feasible to get him on a cheap deal?

    Would definitely be an upgrade on Klinkhammer, Purcell, Letestu, Hendricks, and Korpi. I know we still need some contract spots, but he’s a guy I would love to see on the team.

    Has put up a 30+ point pace each of the last 3 seasons.

  159. Lowetide says:

    Woodguy: If he ever scores 50pts in a season you can move him up to a 3C.

    I’m on my way with a big damn stick!

  160. godot10 says:

    oilswell: If this is true why don’t all teams break in regular non-generational talent on the first line?

    Pouliot, Nugent-Hopkins, Eberle is the first line. If the opposing coaches concentrate on Hall and McDavid, they will be toasted by the Oilers’ first line.

  161. spoiler says:

    Really?:
    During this year’s World Championships Lander played extremely well centering Sweden’s number one line. He was effective both offensively and defensively. In reading comments on this site he is given little or no credit for doing so.

    Lander, provided he is given some talent to work with, could very easily be an effective Centre for the Oilers. Last year he had good results when he played with Hall and yet very few people even suggest they could be effective again this year.

    Am I missing something. Comments appreciated.

    Well I’ve been pimping him pretty hard for 2nd line C alongside Hall so he hasn’t been ignored in this corner. Would like to see more from him, lined up with some skill. Nor do I want him hauling Drai and Yak’s asses around the DZone. A position to succeed would be nice.

  162. oilswell says:

    godot10: Pouliot, Nugent-Hopkins, Eberle is the first line.If the opposing coaches concentrate on Hall and McDavid, they will be toasted by the Oilers’ first line.

    Agreed, your point about strength on other lines helps shelter a rookie is strong. In fact, it is half the argument I was offering. The other half is strengthening McDavid’s line brings the attention back. To wit, Hall is a strong attractor of top opposition.

    I mean, swap Pouliot and Hall in your lines and which gives more shelter to McDavid? The original proposition is that Hall gives McDavid shelter by being on his line and tilting the ice. My counter was that putting Hall and McDavid on the same line even them up and the opposition will respond by upping the competition even if they have to balance it.

    I suspect things might also shift around a bit based on opponent and game situation. If the Stars are down by a pair they may want to get Benn and Seguin out against Hall and McDavid on the expectation that pressing there will yield higher chance of breakdowns than the Nuge experienced line.

  163. Pouzar says:

    Bruce McCurdy: I dunno about that, since I learned from an authoritative source that RNH is the 99th best centre in the league he’s actually a 4C and Hrudey was overrating him.

    Oh crap!

  164. Pouzar says:

    Woodguy: In Lander’s first three years his 3 most common line mates were: (in order of TOI together)

    Lennert MotherFuckingPetrell
    Ben StickOptional Eager
    Ryan CheatForEverything Jones

    If Gretzky had those three guys he would have asked Sather for a fire hydrant.

    This is what I was screaming at the top my lungs to anyone who would listen. I watched the guy in OKC. He had offensive chops. It was killing me that he was playing with stiffs every time he was called up to the Bigs. Thank Gord by dumb luck no other team picked him up for free.

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