PS G5 2015-16: OILERS V WILD

by Lowetide

The Edmonton Oilers are 4-0 in pre-season but more importantly they’re finding out about the bubble players. Many had good games last night, meaning Todd McLellan and Peter Chiarelli are going to have some tough decisions—and that’s a good thing. Exhibition games are a testing ground and I think the Oilers are probably happy with Brandon Davidson, Rob Klinkhammer, Andrew Miller and Anton Slepyshev (among the bubble players), with Ben Scrivens also showing well.

OILERS DEFENSE LAST NIGHT

OILERS SEP 25 DEFENSESekera, Fayne and Nikitin are the veterans, so their numbers, while interesting, aren’t really the big part of the conversation. Nikitin absolutely looked better by eye than these numbers suggest.

The three men trying to survive the Sunday cuts are the big part of this graph, now, here. Davidson looked good by eye and by math, Hunt didn’t impress me live but a sawoff with that ZS is pretty damn good. David Musil didn’t play well in his pre-season debut, may not get another chance with cutdown day tomorrow. He, like Nikitin, looked better visually than the numbers claim.

Could Brandon Davidson make this team? I have him on the outside but he played well. This is a seasoned minor league player now and for the Oilers a very inexpensive contract. If this was next season, with Nikitin away and Ference (probably) bought out, I think Davidson makes this team as the No. 7.

EVEN STRENGTH TOI

  1. Sekera 14:25
  2. Fayne 14:04
  3. Hunt 13:40
  4. Davidson 12:50
  5. Nikitin 12:29
  6. Musil 12:14

(SELECTED) OILERS FORWARDS LAST NIGHT

  • Taylor Hall: I think Todd McLellan had a pretty good take. “First I think Taylor Hall is tremendous, one of the top players in the world right now, and a very important part of our hockey club. I’m learning now after the world championships and more and more that Taylor is a very emotional young man. And that’s a good thing. We like that. So now we just need to contain that emotion, and use it at the right time.”
  • Rob Klinkhammer: He did himself a major favor with the 1-1-2. Skated miles and miles in Winnipeg and for me it’s going to be hard to keep him off the roster. I don’t think it means Gazdic is off the roster either, suggesting 14F and that means 7D. Huh. Good performances makes these damn decisions tougher.
  • Tyler Pitlick: A tough night, he didn’t stand out enough on a night when others did. Had a solid possession number (57% CF 5×5) but a 75% ZS. Several players had better evenings and I think he might get sent down tomorrow.
  • Luke Gazdic: This McLellan fellow is an interesting cat. Gazdic’s ZStarts (0) meant he was starting every shift in his own zone, something he would do on the checking line of 2014-15. His possession number (41%) is pretty good considering and as I reviewed the numbers was reminded of something Darcy McLeod mentioned on the Lowdown yesterday. The Letestu line is taking the tough ZS’s, the Gordon minutes. IF the team plans on using Gazdic, he would have to be in the 4line rotation with wingers like Korpikoski, Hendricks and possibly Klinkhammer. 14F? Maybe.
  • Leon Draisaitl: He was playing in a tough spot last night, difficult opposition and severe ZS’s (33%) compared to what he’s seen before at this level. His Corsi (44%) isn’t terrible and his linemate (Hall) was having a poor game. I know many commented last night that he seemed invisible but for me he hung in there on a tough night. 59% on the dot.
  • Anton Slepyshev: Looked good even before the goal. He has size and speed and at some point this guy is going to push an established player out of the way. A year from now? Don’t know. Nice shot, Mr. Slepyshev.
  • Anton Lander: Fantastic night. A Horcoff night, and I mean that in the best possible way.
  • Jujhar Khaira: I don’t think he got noticed much (I didn’t) but, like Gazdic, he has a ZS of 0 and 41% possession. He’s a big guy and played a physical game. I think he’ll get sent down tomorrow but he had a good game.
  • Andrew Miller: Way back in the summer, I looked at Miller during the RE period and we talked about his speed. I think he’s walked Pitlick and pushing Klinkhammer and Gazdic. I don’t think he makes the team BUT he could fill the 5C role so there’s a chance. Interesting weeks ahead.

BEN SCRIVENS

I thought he had a good game. The third goal was perhaps a little iffy but he made some big saves and was under a lot of pressure at times during the game. Edmonton’s performance collapsed a little compared to their previous outings this season but Scrivens (imo) did not. I have no idea if he makes the Oilers this year, tough to kick him out after last night’s performance. Rebound control and positioning are an issue and perhaps Nilsson takes his job—I guess that’s something we could say, Scrivens has not sealed off Nilsson yet.

TODAY’S POSSIBLE LINEUP

The Oilers played a mixed bag team last night (frankly they had no business winning that game, their best player took a powder) and today we can probably have a good lash at the actual lineup by running out last night’s observers. Here are the A and B lists, with those players who did not play last night underlined:

A LIST

  • Hall—McDavid—Draisaitl
  • Pouliot—Nuge—Eberle
  • Korpikoski—Lander—Yakupov
  • Klinkhammer—Letestu—Hendricks
  • Gazdic—Miller—Pitlick
  • Sekera—Fayne
  • Klefbom—Schultz
  • Reinhart—Nikitin
  • Ference—Gryba
  • Talbot—Nilsson—Scrivens
  • Teddy Purcell (injured)

Six A list forwards should play today and five A defensemen could, although McLellan may want to have another look at some of the B men. Nilsson to get the start.

B LIST

  • G: Laurent Brossoit, Eetu Laurikainen
  • D: Brandon Davidson, Darnell Nurse, Brad Hunt, Jordan Oesterle, David Musil, Joey Laleggia, Dillon Simpson, Martin  Gernat
  • C: Bogdan Yakimov, Jujhar Khaira, Kyle Platzer, Phil McRae
  • L: Anton Slepyshev, Ryan Hamilton, Mitchell Moroz, Kale Kessy, Josh Winquist, Braden Christoffer
  • R: Iiro Pakarinen, Greg Chase, Matt Ford

Several of these men are injured (I count Dillon Simpson, Martin Gernat, Mitch Moroz, Iiro Pakarinen but there could be others). I hope we see Darnell Nurse, Joey Laleggia, Bogdan Yakimov, Kyle Platzer and Greg Chase but that’s asking a lot—McLellan may want another look at some of the men who played last night.

TRADES AND WAIVERS

I think men like Nikita Nikitin, Ben Scrivens and Rob Klinkhammer may be in the trade mix in the next 10 days. If we cut the roster as fine as we can (while including all of the men who are still in contention) it looks like this:

  • Goal (3): Cam Talbot (No. 1) and Ben Scrivens/Anders Nilsson fighting for the other job.
  • Defense (10): Andrej Sekera, Mark Fayne, Oscar Klefbom, Justin Schultz and then six guys for three or four jobs: Andrew Ference (who would have to wave in order to be dealt), Nikita Nikitin, Eric Gryba, Griffin Reinhart, Darnell Nurse and Brandon Davidson. Something has to give.
  • Center (5): Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Connor McDavid, Anton Lander, Mark Letestu, Andrew Miller.
  • Left Wing (5): Taylor Hall, Benoit Pouliot, Lauri Korpikoski, Rob Klinkhammer, Luke Gazdic
  • Right Wing (6): Jordan Eberle, Teddy Purcell, Nail Yakupov, Matt Hendricks, Leon Draisaitl, Tyler Pitlick

That’s 29 men, six need to be cut. Edmonton can’t avoid sending some pretty interesting names out. It’s going to be fun, suspect we see a trade. Waiver wire players this morning are Andre Benoit, Corey Tropp and Jeremy Morin and there will be more to come. I don’t think Tyler Pitlick has done enough to stay, beyond that the competition appears to be in full sail for Oilers men.

 

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Jonathan Willis

Woodguy: You want Broissoit and E2D2 to get all the reps in Cali.

I wonder about that. I’d be partial to playing Laurikainen in the ECHL to make sure both get enough action.

frjohnk

Was at the game today. Good seats. 12 rows behind the penalty box. Took the wife. Funniest moment is when I saw a “ few sheets to the wind“ guy ( about 55 years old) holding two beer and dancing to a song on the steps near to us before the game started. I said to the wife `look at this guy already`. He ended up sitting next to the wife. We both laughed. He was a hoot the whole game. He kept calling RNH “McDavid“ and McDavid `McDavid`. This guy will probably be telling everybody tomorrow that the Oilers played McDavid over half the game.

My thoughts:

McDavid- every time he had the puck, everybody in the stands ( and I’m sure on both benches) watched just a bit more intently because the kid can make something out of nothing. A pleasure to watch ( unless you are the opposing defenceman) His speed, his hands and the way he processes the game is incredible.

Draisaitl- not sure how he does not start with the big club. His vision is incredible.

Sleppy- big, moves well, skilled. Played well on a line with Drai and McDavid. When Chia said he could be a player that could be a wild card, Chia was bang on.

Eberle- will always be a fan favorite in Saskatoon. Showed sweet sweet hands 15 seconds into the game as he created a scoring chance and drew a penalty. He could have scored a couple tonight.

RNH- showed a good two way game. Is a treat to watch carry the puck.

Pouliot- had a good game. Was more of a passenger on the RNH line, but he does have good chemistry on that line.

Bottom 6 forwards were pretty much quiet but solid. Klinkhammer was big and fast. Hendricks is a warrior and a smart player, love him. Letestu was solid, he was a good get. Gazdic of course had a fight, but was not really noticeable. Miller and Pitlick are good skaters, that’s about it for them.

Defence

Klefbom- This kid is the goods. Wow. I think his offensive game

Schultz- He made good passes, defensively played well, and was willing to take a hit to make a play. His game has improved quite a bit from last year, but its still preseason. I think part of this is because of Schutlz striving to become a better player but also because I believe McLellan is communicating to Schultz of what Schultz needs to do. Not sure how the 3 on 3 goal will make him look. Seemed like it was Draisaitl`s man, but Schultz could have given a better effort on the backcheck.

Klefbom and Schultz play well as a duo.

Nurse- Seemed to play a safer game relatively speaking for him. Was expecting to see him rush the puck more. I think someone may have had a talking to him. Still some chaos but Id start him with the big club. Him and Reinhart on the 3rd pairing.

Laleggia- kid oozes skill, but also scoring chances against. Got burned a few times.

Gryba- he is a beast of a man. Opposing forwards paid the price to get to the net. But a slow beast with limited offensive ability.

Ference- too bad we don’t have the Ference from 10 years ago.

Nilsson- is a huge goalie. Did not seem like Minnesota had many great scoring chances but Nilsson stopped them all.

All in all a good game for this Oilers fan. Oilers won and I got to see many of the young stars. Thank you Oiler organization. I know in years past, the Flames did not send much of a team and same with the Oilers last year, but if the Oilers are trying to grow Oiler nation in Saskatoon, sending a roster like todays, is a great start.

The over $400 I spent tonight ($224 on two tickets) $60 on the babysitter, $20 on 50-50, 2 beers and then supper later was well worth it.

Mr. D.

Gryba plays his position well. He’s not going to impress anyone with his skating but toughness and battling to move the puck out was very good. Nurse made way more bad plays by trying to do too much. Opening night Gryba is in without any doubt.

Lloyd B.

Lucinius,

Lets not forget we were 28th last year and that was one of our better years in the last 5. Nobody is going to be picking through our garbage. And I mean that with the utmost respect to these young men giving it their best to be pro hockey players.

Woodguy

rickithebear: Scivens sent down is 1.375M cap hit. 1.45 + 1.00 + 1.375 = 3.825
Nilsson sent down is a .075M cap hit 1.45 + 2.30 + .075 = 3.825
Scrivens half eaten 1.15 cap hit 1.45 + 1.00 + 1.15 = 3.60

is the .225 worth having scrivens or Nilsson as the 3rd in the AHL?

You want Broissoit and E2D2 to get all the reps in Cali.

jp

Lowetide,

Thanks.

Woodguy

RexLibris: They moved Saad to Columbus and Sharp to Dallas, that’s within their own division.

Edmonton is well outside their neighbourhood compared to those two.

Columbus is in the East.

Dallas may have been one of few suitors for Sharp given his contract size and age.

Jaxon

Lucinius,

I agree. I liked some of Miller and LaLeggia’s performance but there was some chaos too. I think both will have great AHL seasons and maybe get some time up this year. Yakimov’s going to have a huge season. He finished well last season and may have some great linemates. The goaltending battle in Bakersfield is going to be a good one too.

Jaxon

Watch Chicago or Detroit pick up Miller and come back to haunt us.

Jaxon

I hope Minnesota picks up Pitlick to give him another chance in his hometown.

John Chambers

RexLibris: They moved Saad to Columbus and Sharp to Dallas, that’s within their own division.

Edmonton is well outside their neighbourhood compared to those two.

True – I meant it more in terms of competition than geography.

I think rival GMs should be right terrified of the Oilers.

#HereComeTheOilers for real this time

Jaxon

rickithebear,

I almost took the bait…

Lucinius

speeds:
big round of cuts:

http://oilers.nhl.com/club/news.htm?id=780681

None of those surprise me. Most were fairly obvious as they had failed to really show anything. Some, like Miller, showed something, but it wasn’t all positive (I haven’t been as enamoured with his preseason as others have been).

I doubt any of those who hit the waiver wire will be claimed.

speeds
rickithebear

Jaxon: I love that McDavid, Slepyshev and Draisaitl

Can someone tell me about this Slepyshev fellow?

Barcs

RexLibris: The old waiver rules that had a player who was recalled twice in a period of time get picked up at 1/2 salary could come in handy in those situations.

Gauge interest, make the move, and clear out the roster space.

Now it requires a trade so you are usually taking back either a extremely limited draft pick or a contract on a far-off prospect.

Future considerations?

jp

Missed the game. Nice to see another W even if it doesn’t count for anything.

Any idea why the Oilers can’t post even a boxscore of their home games these days?

rickithebear

Woodguy: At half salary Scrivens is a capable back up.

Just need an injury on another team.

Scivens sent down is 1.375M cap hit. 1.45 + 1.00 + 1.375 = 3.825
Nilsson sent down is a .075M cap hit 1.45 + 2.30 + .075 = 3.825
Scrivens half eaten 1.15 cap hit 1.45 + 1.00 + 1.15 = 3.60

is the .225 worth having scrivens or Nilsson as the 3rd in the AHL?

RexLibris

Missed most of the Oilers game and getting caught up now.

Draisaitl’s set up for Slepyshev – he freaking LEADS the winger with the pass. It is 15 feet, through bodies across the crease and he goddamned LEADS him.

RexLibris

Woodguy: At half salary Scrivens is a capable back up.

Just need an injury on another team.

The old waiver rules that had a player who was recalled twice in a period of time get picked up at 1/2 salary could come in handy in those situations.

Gauge interest, make the move, and clear out the roster space.

Now it requires a trade so you are usually taking back either a extremely limited draft pick or a contract on a far-off prospect.

RexLibris

Woodguy: Agreed all points John.

I’ve been one of the few Nikitin apologists, but I can’t see a roster with both he and Ference on it if Reinhart makes it (and he should by merit)

But where does Nurse fit in? 😉

Zelepukin

We got a logjam on our hands.

This could easily be the starting line-up:

Poo – Nuge – Ebs
Hall – McD – Drai
Slep – Lando – Yaks
Klink – Lets – Hendy

Korp should be starting but that bottom six is becoming tough to choose from. Miller could easily fit in with the 3rd line too. Purcell is a waste in my opinion. I’d rather give the mins to Drai or Sleps.

Woodguy

Younger Oil:
Do any NHL teams out there need a backup goalie? Doubt any would take Scrivens though.

At half salary Scrivens is a capable back up.

Just need an injury on another team.

Woodguy

Jonathan Willis: If I’m drawing up the roster today, it runs like this:

Sekera-Fayne
Klefbom-Schultz
Reinhart-Nikitin

I know Nikitin’s not particularly well-liked, but the options stink and I think Nurse is ticketed for a month or two in the AHL.

I’m not terribly opposed to the idea of Nurse-Reinhart as the third pairing but I can’t imagine Todd McLellan wants to ice a rookie pairing, particularly on the PK.

Agreed all points John.

I’ve been one of the few Nikitin apologists, but I can’t see a roster with both he and Ference on it if Reinhart makes it (and he should by merit)

RexLibris

John Chambers: It would be almost the perfect player for the Oilers to acquire but I could see a team like Chi refusing to trade with Edm because they pose too much of a threat within the conference.

Byfuglien will also cost a ton and I could see him wanting to play somewhere other than a northern climate.

This is why the Reinhart trade was so important, as is the development of Justin Schultz.

They moved Saad to Columbus and Sharp to Dallas, that’s within their own division.

Edmonton is well outside their neighbourhood compared to those two.

John Chambers

RexLibris: Now see, if the Seabrook contract forces Bowman to make a trade, I would hope that Chiarelli makes a concerted effort to get Hjalmarsson.

It would be almost the perfect player for the Oilers to acquire but I could see a team like Chi refusing to trade with Edm because they pose too much of a threat within the conference.

Byfuglien will also cost a ton and I could see him wanting to play somewhere other than a northern climate.

This is why the Reinhart trade was so important, as is the development of Justin Schultz.

John Chambers

Snowman,

Agreed on Gazdic.

Miller and definitely Klink look like they have earned a spot.

RexLibris

John Chambers:
Scott Darling had better become a bona fide starter because I can’t see how the Hawks will be able to afford Crawford after this season ends. Either Crawford, Anisimov, or Hjalmarsson will be unaffordable luxuries.

I realize these guys have been the best team since the Detroit’ers, but I think Stan Bowman likes his own players just a bit too much. Absolutely no hometown discount and max term.

Now see, if the Seabrook contract forces Bowman to make a trade, I would hope that Chiarelli makes a concerted effort to get Hjalmarsson.

Snowman

Gazdic has not done anything that makes me think he should make the team. He’s been clearly outplayed by Klink, Miller and Slepy to my eye.

If he makes the team it’s for punching and someone else will be cut despite being actually better at hockey.

John Chambers

Scott Darling had better become a bona fide starter because I can’t see how the Hawks will be able to afford Crawford after this season ends. Either Crawford, Anisimov, or Hjalmarsson will be unaffordable luxuries.

I realize these guys have been the best team since the Detroit’ers, but I think Stan Bowman likes his own players just a bit too much. Absolutely no hometown discount and max term.

Wolfie

The combinations up front are tantalizing. Lander is quickly becoming a favourite of mine. Seeing as he has a little more NA pro experience would anyone be opposed to seeing a Hall-Lander-Yak line?

That would free up the kid line that played tonight to run against the soft competition.

Poo-Nuge-Ebs
Hall-Lander-Yak
Slepy-McD-Drai

The other interesting battle is for the fourth line spots. Letestu is a lock as is Hendricks… So that leaves Klink and Korp fighting over that last spot…

I think LT is right that Gazdic will be an extra…. Not good news for the likes of Pitlick.

Scrivens has to be hearing footsteps as well.

There are going to be some serviceable players left off the roster.

How PC deals with Purcell will be interesting!

MrEd

5-0. The record has to start to mean something to the boys. So healthy.

Jaxon

1st goal was a beauty. I love that McDavid, Slepyshev and Draisaitl all had 2 touches on that sequence. McDavid-Ference-Slepyshev-Draisaitl-McDavid-Draisaitl-Slepyshev. Poetry. Sending Slepyshev down is going to be a very tough decision and I’m sure he’ll be back up soon.

Real_Hockey_Fan

It is that? Time to go home?

I was waiting for Stauffer and Michaels to face off in a game of Operation!!

#FatFingersVersesLittleWrists

Centre of attention

Younger Oil,

I could see San Jose scooping up Scrivens. They seem to like ex-LA kings. Especially if Jones looks a bit shaky to start the season.

Ryan

Younger Oil:
Do any NHL teams out there need a backup goalie? Doubt any would take Scrivens though.

Not going to lie, my gut feeling was/still is that Nilsson takes Scrivens’ lunch money.

Younger Oil

Do any NHL teams out there need a backup goalie? Doubt any would take Scrivens though.

Rebilled

Anders is the obvious choice.

Look what Talbot did with that Swedish fella in NY.

SayItAin'tSo, Gretz, SayItAin'tSo!

It’s not practice guys these gents are playing for roster spots and a goal against is a goal against.

leadfarmer

I’m going to dust off my three headed goalie monster, for just in case.

Centre of attention

Anyone got the crogi’s for Schultz-Klefbom pairing? They looked pretty solid tonight, even though the competition was pretty sub-par.

Younger Oil

Schultz needs to learn you can’t coast back on 3 on 3 OT when you pinch in. I doubt he would have caught him anyways but he needs to put in the effort.

The Trade Guy

Centre of attention:
Haula gets in alone and pots one against Nilsson, who’s shut out is still intact because this is practice.

It was all practice

Jonathan Willis

I sure hope Draisaitl and Schultz skate harder on the backcheck in the untelevised practices.

Centre of attention

Haula gets in alone and pots one against Nilsson, who’s shut out is still intact because this is practice 3 on 3 OT.

geowal

Shutout for Nilsson, going to be hard to ignore, even if it is against the B squad.

Centre of attention

I wanna see Eberle score in the 3 on 3 practice, he deserves it. His line worked hard tonight, he was on the PK too and looked ok as well.