MCLELLAN’S OILERS WILL SCORE MORE GOALS

Todd McLellan ran his San Jose Sharks’ forwards in a very interesting manner. I can’t suss out exactly what he did (or why) but there were long periods where he had three offensive lines centered by Thornton, Pavelski and Couture. When he did it, the Sharks absolutely spanked opponents. McLellan moved away from that during curious times and didn’t seem to have the same success, and the only thing I can think of is injury (anyone?). However, the Edmonton Oilers offer an interesting opportunity in the area of ‘three offensive centers’ and it’s possible—if not this season, maybe next—we see the unicorn called three scoring lines in our town.

nuge3

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

I think Todd McLellan believes in possession and his teams usually do well in that department. The three center, three scoring-line solution is fascinating because, honestly, it’s possible. If McLellan decided to use Nuge, McDavid and Leon in a similar fashion to his big three in San Jose, this Oilers offense might take off in a hurry. Nuge could run with pretty much any skilled winger set, but McDavid and Leon might need a second center (McLellan likes that) for the other two, bringing Anton Lander and Mark Letestu into play. drai capture2

For the RE, I decided to have the lines go like this:

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

Leon doesn’t make the NHL until mid-season, but that’s my lineup. I understand the idea of splitting up McDavid and Hall, but for me the two toughest men to defend in 2015-16 will be Taylor Hall and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. The Oilers have to get lucky here on the Purcell front, but if they can find a way to protect both McDavid (Hall-Eberle) and Leon (Lander-Letestu), then maybe, MAYBE, we can look at three scoring lines after Christmas. Thoughts?

COMPLETE 2015-16 FORWARDS RE

FORWARDS RE 2015-16

A substantial part of the increase for the forwards this season comes from running four F’s on the McLellan PP. It’s also true that the new coach has had a lot of offensive success, so that’s included here as well. I’ll finish up the forwards this weekend, and plan to have a Craig MacTavish post up tomorrow (we’ll see if I get to it today) and then the defense will start on Monday. A few items that came up during the series:

  • Hall’s PPG total at 1.14. Hall actually has seasons of 1.11 and 1.07, for me this projection is reasonable. It’ll be fun to see if he can hit it.
  • McDavid’s projection was the subject of much verbal from readers. It’s tough to project such a talented player and I did indeed look at past special players in the post-Crosby era. If I’m wrong, that’s very good.
  • Much conversation about Letestu on the power play, but for me this is ‘reasonable’ expectations and since ML didn’t play a massive amount on last year’s 5×4—and there are superior players on the team—it seems a stretch. Nuge at C on the 1PP and Lander at C on the 2PP seems a better bet from here.
  • Lack of scoring from the 4line. In looking at McLellan’s San Jose teams, he seems to push his top men and the 4line is little more than an empty chair. That may have been part of the postseason issue, but I’ve aligned the 2015-16 Oilers to reflect McLellan’s previous team. Don’t expect much offense from Letestu unless he’s on one of the top three lines, and the offense above comes from trips up the batting order.

sekera capture 11

BLUE BLUE WINDOW BEHIND THE SUN

OPENING NIGHT PROJECTIONS

  • Klefbom—Sekera
  • Nikitin—Schultz
  • Ference—Fayne
  • (Reinhart and Gryba in the pressbox)

CLOSING NIGHT PROJECTIONS

  • Klefbom—Sekera
  • Nurse—Schultz
  • Reinhart—Fayne
  • (Gryba, Ference in the pressbox)

I believe this will be a huge season for Oscar Klefbom and Darnell Nurse, and that will be reflected in the RE. More Monday.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

A busy morning, 10 o’clock on TSN1260. Scheduled to appear:

  • Steve Lansky, Big Mouth Sports. Blue Jays rocking Canada!
  • Eric Rodgers, Tend the Farm. TOI estimates and which Barons does he see having NHL careers.
  • Judson Richards – Host Pre/Post Game Shows on Fox Sports San Diego Radio. Chargers! Can Dan Fouts keep it going?
  • Antony Bent. Eddies with a big win this week, road game this weekend.
  • Dan Tencer. Dan is sitting in for Dave Jamieson today, we’ll talk about the Eskimos fourth quarter Oilering.

10-1260 text @Lowetide on twitter. See you on the radio!

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50 Responses to "MCLELLAN’S OILERS WILL SCORE MORE GOALS"

  1. dustrock says:

    MOAR GOALZZZZZZZZZZ

  2. John Chambers says:

    It’s so unfortunate that we’ll have to endure a few more weeks of summer before we get to watch this play out.

    1979 all over again, baby

  3. zatch says:

    If Gazdic plays that much I’ll spit.

  4. Lowetide says:

    Jason Gregor’s prediction for McDavid very similar to mine
    http://oilersnation.com/2015/8/7/mcdavid-expectations

    Gregor 74 points in 82 games .902
    Lowetide 62 points in 70 games .886

  5. Really? says:

    Fascinated by the concept of 3 scoring lines.

    It would appear that a lot will depend on Mr. Draisaitl if this is to come to fruition.

  6. dustrock says:

    We’re doing our hockey pool draft weekend next weekend, a month at least early this year, as we get older and have more responsibilities and kids, it just gets harder to pick a time.

    One of the few draft kits out there right now is from Left Wing Lock. I don’t always agree with their predictions, but they take a very detailed (“advanced stats”) look at how the NHL has operated.

    Here’s a few things I noticed:

    (1) The Oilers, as I think was mentioned previously on here, have only 9 back-to-back games, the lowest in the league this season. LWL also rated their schedule overall as one of the easiest, as they have 2 blocks of 6 home games in a row, and overall, their road games are more split up compared to other teams. One hopes this helps guys like McDavid, Draisaitl and Yakupov in terms of easier experiences at home. Might also help build the team confidence.

    (2) Shooting percentage typically reverts to the mean, as with most things. 2 players on the Oilers who shot quite poorly compared to their career stats are Yakupov and Schuiltz, so a (positive) reversion to the mean for those players is very possible this year.

    (3) The number of penalties called has dropped every year for the last 10 years, and PP efficacy in general remains the same. Even strength scoring, on the other hand, has increased slightly each year over the last 3 seasons. Even strength scoring has therefore become increasingly important as PP opportunities drop.

    I’m not worried about the Oilers PP under McLellan, I’m most curious to see how he is going to develop the Oilers in transition and in the “half-court” 5v5.

    The hope for getting players like Klefbom, Nurse and Reinhart involved is they can all skate and they can all make and take a pass.

  7. GXL says:

    Start of the season:

    Pouliot—Nuge—Eberle
    Hall—McDavid—Purcell
    Korpikoski—Lander—Yakupov
    Gadzic/ Pittlick—Letestu—Hendricks

    Klefbom—Sekera
    Nikitin—Schultz
    Ference—Fayne
    (Reinhart and Gryba in the pressbox)

    Talbot—Scrivens

    End of season:

    Hall—McDavid—Yakupov
    Pouliot—Nuge—Eberle
    Draisaitl—Lander—Slepyshev
    Korpikoski/ Gadzic—Letestu—Hendricks
    *Pitlick injured while taping his stick… terrible, just terrible

    Klefbom—Sekera
    Nurse—Schultz
    Gryba/ Reinhart—Fayne

    Scrivens—Talbot

    GXL

  8. haters says:

    I like how timid and conservative people are about this kid. He will be the best player on the team. Did anyone predict Wayne scoring 200+ points in a season ? Poor Oiler fans are so shy from being disappointed 5 years and counting they don’t even realize what is about to happen this year. 60-70 points .. Maybe if he’s hurt half the year… Lmao..

    60+ goals 125 points .
    Ish 🙂

  9. Jordan says:

    3 Scoring lines was a pipe dream for the Oilers because they never had the horses to pull it off well.

    We’ve got the horses now, and it will happen.

    Next pipe dreams:

    4 scoring Lines, 6 top-4 D-men & 2 top 10 starting goalies

    Followed by 4 Stanley Cups in 6 years

  10. One-Timer says:

    Jultz, TCAF and the Double Agent all on the ice to start Game 1.

    So, you just want us all to cry ourselves to sleep, is that it?

  11. LadiesloveSmid says:

    oh boy the defence sure is ugly though

    that right side keeps me up at night

  12. One-Timer says:

    If you split them up…

    Nikitin—Sekera
    Klef—Schultz
    Ference—Fayne

    … then it’s kinda like three scoring lines.
    For the other team.

  13. LMHF#1 says:

    “Klefbom—Sekera
    Nikitin—Schultz
    Ference—Fayne”

    So they’re getting shellacked opening night or winning 9-7?

    That group is still so ugly…

  14. flyfish1168 says:

    Every team knows what Hall and Eberle can do. Every team will want to keep and close eye on CMD when he is the ice. The two that can fly under the radar is Schultz and Yakupov. The Oilers will do well if these two can play back to their potential. JMHO

  15. LadiesloveSmid says:

    I’d love to hear the RE for Talbot from some in here.

    Seems the season mostly hinges on him.

  16. LoDog says:

    If Nail comes in an plays well enough that you can have him on the 2nd and Purcell on the 3rd the Oilers will be in a much better place.

    Trade TCAF with half salary retained and might be looking at the playoffs.

    Oh and McDavid leads the team in scoring.

  17. TheOtherJohn says:

    CMD with 75 points

    but thats a brutal D

  18. Hammers says:

    You want 3 lines then split up , Hall , McD and Ebs , There is still plenty to go around .

  19. Hammers says:

    Pouliot , Lander & Ebs , Nuge Hall , Purcell , McD , Yak & Slepy .

  20. Sevenseven says:

    Agree with most of the posters that the opening night defense looks horrible. Are the oilers going to ice the worst D in the league again to start the year? Is there a worse defense in the NHL?

  21. Hammers says:

    Hammers:
    Pouliot , Lander & Ebs , Nuge Hall , Purcell ,McD , Yak & Slepy .

    And that didn’t include Leon who should or at least may be on one of the top lines .

  22. Sevenseven says:

    Will Talbot look like Dubnyk or Scrivens with that defense in front of him?

  23. G Money says:

    LT’s RE for goal differential: +29

    If Cam Talbot is as advertised, we would also see something in the order of a 30 goal reduction in GA.

    That’s a 60 goal (diff) swing.

    Need to hit about +90 improvement to be a playoff team.

    The other 30 will likely have to come from the defense.

    Since the defense has gone mostly sideways (IMO, Sekera == Petry), unless there’s another move coming (e.g. Ference out, Ehrhoff in), OR at least one and preferably both of Nurse and Reinhart step up and prove they can play NHL hockey this year at the same calibre as we saw from Klefbom last year, that’s not gonna happen.

    30 goals (differential) shy of a playoff spot.

    Not great … but progress.

    And the team should be a whole lot more fun to watch.

  24. Hammers says:

    Sevenseven:
    Agree with most of the posters that the opening night defense looks horrible. Are the oilers going to ice the worst D in the league again to start the year? Is there a worse defense in the NHL?

    One question , what if both Nurse & Reinhart make the cut , forgetting bonus problems .

  25. Sevenseven says:

    Hammers,

    I like it a little better, but NHL experience, boy is that lacking. Klefbom hasn’t even hit a 100 games yet,and if you go by the 300 games for a man, he will have some bumpy patches. Thank gord for Sekera, could you imagine the lineup without him?! The left side is overstocked. Is a 3 for 1 coming?

  26. czar says:

    McDavid’s first game is in St. Louis against the Prick David Backes. For that reason alone I’d start Gryba ahead of both TCAF and the Double Agent. Hell I’d consider bringing Andy Sutton out of retirement just for that game so we’d have a steady supply of Fuck You Backes!

  27. LMHF#1 says:

    Hmm…McDavid never led Erie is scoring. I suspect he might lead this group though.

  28. LadiesloveSmid says:

    LoDog,

    McD and Hall neck in neck and hall just edges out the rookie. Hall will show off it aint CMD’s team just yet

  29. Rocknrolla says:

    Does anyone remember the last time an oiler broke 85? What about 90 or 100? I think 100 was Doug Weight?

  30. Soup Fascist says:

    LT, I would play Hall-RNH-Ebs together a lot, especially on the road. This virtually guarantees that McDavid is going to avoid 1st pairing D matchups and should face a lower quality of forwards most of the time.

    I like the idea of Pouliot with the kid, I really do. Personally, I would try Yak on the right side (Purcell has the footspeed of a houseplant). While I have concerns about the “awareness” and defensive acumen of the young Russian, God I would love to see Yak hammering some sweet passes. Yak has to be Brett Hull (minus the huge ego) – not carrying the puck – but rather concentrate on getting to open ice in the offensive zone when McDavid has the puck. Yak killed a ton of plays last year by trying to beat guys one on one. The less time the puck is on his stick, the better. The question is can Yak adapt to the game without the puck on his stick?

    MacLellan is going to make or break Yak in my opinion. I would not be shocked to see him score 30 this year. I also would not be surprised if he was gone by Christmas. I honestly think it will be one or the other.

  31. Rocknrolla says:

    One-Timer:
    If you split them up…

    Nikitin—Sekera
    Klef—Schultz
    Ference—Fayne

    … then it’s kinda like three scoring lines.
    For the other team.

    LOL

  32. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Rocknrolla:
    Does anyone remember the last time an oiler broke 85?What about 90 or 100?I think 100 was Doug Weight?

    Doug Weight is the only Oiler to score more than 80 points in a season since 1992. He did it three times: 104 in ’95-96, 82 in ’96-97, and 90 in 2000-01.

  33. Bruce McCurdy says:

    haters: Did anyone predict Wayne scoring 200+ points in a season ?

    Yes sirree, I did. Opening night of the 1981-82 season, I made a wager with my two fellow STH buds. It was based on the 94 points the Great One scored in the second half of the ’80-81 campaign, and the apparent fact that he and the team were still improving. So I set the bar at 1 G + 1½ A = 2½ points per game, and extrapolated to the prediction that Wayne would score 80-120-200 that season.

    Bold, but even that projection came up light. 120 assists was bang on but 80 goals was a dozen short. (Bear in mind that the NHL record at the time was 76 goals, so it wasn’t like I was selling the kid short!)

    Important point: that was #99’s third NHL / fourth pro season, so we had some sort of track record on which to base such matters. In McDavid’s case it’s easy to predict dominance down the road but will it translate in October? That is much less sure.

  34. Stanley 2018 says:

    You have to wonder what’s going on with the unsigned FA’s. Even if they are league-wide question marks, a 1 yr deal for Ehrhoff or Franson (or both) is absolutely worth it for both sides. I have to believe PC has called both of them by now, and you have to think the players know a 1 yr “show-me” deal is all they’re gonna get this year. These guys could potentially play their guts out and look like Superstars on this D. They sure can’t make it look worse, NN and Jultz have that covered.

  35. LadiesloveSmid says:

    Does anyone know G Reinhart’s ES production compared to Nurse’s in junior?

    Edit: found it

    Reinhart ES eP/60=1.07. Nurse ES eP/60=1.5
    in draft +2

    Reinhart ES eP/60=0.88 Nurse ES eP/60=0.83
    in draft+1

    By ES GF% and ES eP/60, Reinhart looks more impressive after draft+1. We know GR didn’t play much for PP in Edmonton. Not sure where the big disconnect on GR is

  36. SwedishPoster says:

    With first Medvedev and now Nikulin seemingly heading to the NHL it seems like Ziyat Paigin will have a great chance to find ice time on Ak Bars Kazan next season. The team is losing their two top D and from what I’ve understood haven’t really replaced them with any true star signings. Hope he grabs the opportunity. I’ve tried to find out his ice time the first few exhibition games without any luck, we’ll see when the first actual games are played. The league starts as early as 24/8.

  37. Lowetide says:

    SwedishPoster:
    With first Medvedev and now Nikulin seemingly heading to the NHL it seems like Ziyat Paigin will have a great chance to find ice time on Ak Bars Kazan next season. The team is losing their two top D and from what I’ve understood haven’t really replaced them with any true star signings. Hope he grabs the opportunity. I’ve tried to find out his ice time the first few exhibition games without any luck, we’ll see when the first actual games are played. The league starts as early as 24/8.

    Interesting. Could be a major opportunity.

  38. Braden88 says:

    SwedishPoster,

    great info!

    I have been really excited about Paigin ever since LT posted the WJ highlights video of him. He looked very impressive to me. Tall, lean, big shot, and skated the puck up ice.

    who needs Martin Marincin. 😉

  39. Lowetide says:

    Bob Stauffer ‏@Bob_Stauffer 30m30 minutes ago

    The Oilers organization has added some depth at C for the farm in Bakersfield, signing Phil McRae to an AHL deal

  40. Pouzar says:

    Lowetide:
    Bob Stauffer ‏@Bob_Stauffer 30m30 minutes ago

    The Oilers organization has added some depth at C for the farm in Bakersfield, signing Phil McRae to an AHL deal

    Drai-Yak2-Platz-Khaira

    I don’t want him taking minutes from any of those.

  41. wheatnoil says:

    Lowetide:
    Bob Stauffer ‏@Bob_Stauffer 30m30 minutes ago

    The Oilers organization has added some depth at C for the farm in Bakersfield, signing Phil McRae to an AHL deal

    25 year old former 2nd round pick from the Blues.

    So that’s Ford, Hamilton, and McRae as vet forwards on the farm? Am I missing someone?

    Starting to get a touch crowded, depending on how they use them.

  42. Lowetide says:

    1. C Leon Draisaitl. Suspect he’s an Oiler but I’ll list him here.
    2. C Bogdan Yakimov. I can’t wait to see his year over year progress, encouraging rookie year.
    3. C Jujhar Khaira Looks like he has a future as a checking C.
    4. C Kyle Platzer He’ll push his way up the depth chart.
    5. C Alexis Loiseau. AHL deal. He’s 21, 6.01, 180, he scored 96 points in 68 QMJHL games.

    Of course, these guys can move to wing, etc.

  43. Bank Shot says:

    This 3 scoring lines talk has always been nonsense.

    I’m excited that for the first time since they let Glencross walk this team will actually have two scoring lines.

  44. Braden88 says:

    I really hope they dont push any prospects down the depth chart.

    As an organization you have a maximum cap hit, a maximum amount of contracts, and a maximum of 1 pick per round of the draft. You’ve invested heavily into each of these areas. Why the hell would you prioritize AHL signed players over all of this. We could roster an entire AHL team on these contracts and never use a single pick or NHL contract to do it.

    I would rather have 1 looney that 100 pennies. Please Oilers, dont waste your time pretending to develop prospects. I hope this year really is the year of change!

  45. Braden88 says:

    http://www.bakersfieldcondors.com/news/condors-sign-c-philip-mcrae/

    interesting read on this player. Also interesting the part at the bottom

    “With 297 games played at the AHL level or higher, McRae qualifies as a “veteran exempt” for the 2015-16 season. AHL teams are allowed to dress a maximum of six veterans per game – five veterans and one veteran exempt. A veteran is anyone who has played in 260+ games at the AHL (and qualifying European leagues) or higher. A veteran exempt is a player who has played between 260 and 320 games entering a season.”

    Aparently he is a “Veteran Exempt” for having played between 260 and 320 games. YOu can only dress 1 per game. I wonder if there are any other players on the condors in this category?

  46. striatic says:

    Certain things Chiarelli has said about the Defence indicate he isn’t done yet. Specifically the statement that Sekera would be a lynchpin on the second pairing. Chiarelli thinks Sekera can play first pairing minutes but that’s not the vision. The vision is Sekera on the second pairing which means finding at least one other first pairing type.

  47. Woogie63 says:

    We still have too many forward you don’t like working below the defensive dot. With that defense we can expect to give up a lot of goals. Please don’t play Hall, McDavid and Yakupov together … It will either be a 3-0 or a 2-5 exciting but …..

  48. Lowetide says:

    Braden88:
    http://www.bakersfieldcondors.com/news/condors-sign-c-philip-mcrae/

    interesting read on this player. Also interesting the part at the bottom

    “With 297 games played at the AHL level or higher, McRae qualifies as a “veteran exempt” for the 2015-16 season. AHL teams are allowed to dress a maximum of six veterans per game – five veterans and one veteran exempt. A veteran is anyone who has played in 260+ games at the AHL (and qualifying European leagues) or higher. A veteran exempt is a player who has played between 260 and 320 games entering a season.”

    Aparently he is a “Veteran Exempt” for having played between 260 and 320 games. YOu can only dress 1 per game. I wonder if there are any other players on the condors in this category?

    Jason Williams would probably have been last year’s player in this category.

  49. fifthcartel says:

    Lowetide:
    Bob Stauffer ‏@Bob_Stauffer 30m30 minutes ago

    The Oilers organization has added some depth at C for the farm in Bakersfield, signing Phil McRae to an AHL deal

    Nooooo, stop with these veteran AHL guys. Just let these prospects actually play.

  50. Hammers says:

    Sevenseven:
    Hammers,

    I like it a little better, but NHL experience, boy is that lacking. Klefbom hasn’t even hit a 100 games yet,and if you go by the 300 games for a man, he will have some bumpy patches. Thank gord for Sekera, could you imagine the lineup without him?! The left side is overstocked. Is a 3 for 1 coming?

    Thing is Klef Nurse and Reinhart will go up while players they replace are either behind already or are getting there .

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