TODD MCLELLAN, MEET THE OILERS

Remember when Todd McLellan talked about painful nights back at his first media avail?

  • McLellan: “With all of that there’s pain. There’s nights where we’re not going to be pleased. But there’s four teams playing right now that experienced that throughout the year too, they have painful nights, they just have fewer of them. We’re trying to take those painful nights and diminish them throughout the years to the point where we can be at the top of the mountain.” Source

Casey Stengel, the old Yankees manager, used to say that in a MLB season there were 50 games you were going to lose no matter what, 50 games you were going to win no matter what. Winning the pennant came down to what you did in the games that could go either way. The Oilers were 6-0 entering last night, had tremendous goaling and scoring from three lines. The defense looked stronger than it had in the past and the lessons of the new coach seemed to be finding fertile soil. The ‘quality of competition’ question was screaming in our ears, but getting the basics down against the also-rans seemed a good idea at the time.

One could argue Edmonton came up against an actual NHL team last night, but that’s not really true (I’d venture less than half of the Canucks who played last night will make the opening night lineup). One could also argue that the Oilers sent out their best roster but that’s not true either—Oscar Klefbom and Mark Fayne did not play in last night’s game.

The big question I had going into last night’s game: Is Griffin Reinhart going to make this team and will he be a regular? I believe the answer to be yes on both counts. The things we knew (Ference and Nikitin are going to have a difficult time) remain true and the forwards (especially centers) are flat out fabulous. And the goalie? Come on, folks. Cam Talbot may not be an established No. 1 starter, but surely we’re not going to fill our pants over one wobbly pre-season effort. I know the ghosts of seasons past still shine in our minds, but chin up, Edmonton! Cam Talbot doesn’t know one blasted thing about the last two Oilers seasons.

LAST NIGHT’S BLUE

OILERS D OCT 1

Sekera—Schultz show well by the numbers, although the veteran Sekera made several very poor decisions with the puck. The PK GA was stunning in its horribleness, but I think we can all agree judging a player on one play (or game) is a bad idea. I thought Schultz was good again, seems to be more confident with and without the puck. It’s important to note that while there was major chaos in the back end last night, Schultz (to my eye) wasn’t part of it. I’ve been very critical of Schultz in the past, but am thrilled with his early performances.

It’s also interesting to note that the Sekera—Schultz pairing received the most difficult zone starts, I really like having a puck mover on the tough ZS pairing. That said, I don’t think these two should be paired together, for me the ideal (Sekera—Klefbom) isn’t possible at this time so I’m hopeful we see the two best defenders split (Sekera—Fayne, Klefbom—Schultz) for opening night.

I think Griffin Reinhart made the team a week ago but a subpar performance in these final games could knock him back. His pairing (with Gryba) received the zone-start push last night and the numbers suggest they sawed off (or close) the competition at even. Not quite true, there was a definite smell of tires when that pairing was on the ice. I’ll guess both men play a significant amount this season in the top six.

DEFENSE EV TOI LAST NIGHT

  1. Sekera 19:48
  2. Schultz 19:23
  3. Nikitin 17:41
  4. Gryba 17:31
  5. Ference 16:55
  6. Reinhart 16:19

That’s about what it felt like, Reinhart—Gryba third pair and then Gryba moved up a little as the night went on. I don’t believe any of last night’s pairings will be in the shuffle when all hands are on deck. I also wonder if they’re having a hard time finding a fit for Reinhart (Fayne and Gryba seem to similar, Nikitin too slow). Reinhart needs to move his feet when he has the puck, too easy a target otherwise.

You are going to encounter people who are in panic mode about the defense and goaltending. Listen to McLellan. This is a marathon, not a sprint. The idea is to reduce the moments when Edmonton runs around in their own end like chickens with their heads cut off. Some days are diamonds, some days are stone. McLellan. Voice of reason. Accept no other.

LAST NIGHT’S FORWARDS

OILERS F OCT 1

I have no idea how McLellan got that ZS number for Yakupov but he was dangerous last night. Fantastic goal-scorer’s goal and a couple of exceptional individual performances. I see a few people wondering why he isn’t getting time with Nuge or McDavid, but if you look at the ZS gap the answer seems clear.

Hall scored an early goal (good to see) but while there was a lot of try the results didn’t appear to be there. This sounds crazy, but Hall seems to be the jimmy legs on the line with McDavid and Draisaitl—with the two kids displaying more calm. I’m not going to worry about the veterans for some time, and overall No. 4 seemed more into the game’s moments than in past outings this fall.

McDavid is such a fast train it’s hard to avoid getting fixated on him. Several good chances and small little items that show true brilliance, example being the little kick pass from skate to stick on the Hall goal. Small, small thing but key to a goal. And Leon is the king of the short pass, lordy he’s good at the chess moves.

Nuge skated miles, without the production. Purcell was a ghost to my eye but to be fair he was just getting out there. Pouliot is a bull, love that guy. Slepyshev keeps being noticeable in a good way, can they send him down? Letestu was not good.

WHO’S ON IR?

Jordan Eberle for sure, Luke Gazdic hasn’t played in awhile and Matt Hendricks was staring at his hand after that fight with Dorsett (if he hurts another Oiler they’ll trade for him, that’s how it works). After that, not sure.

projected opening night sep 30

Bryan Bickell? No. The Oilers have an addled roster because two of their highly paid defenders can’t play a role the team requires, but adding an extra year of Bickell to rid themselves of Nikitin is too much. If Nikita Nikitin is so bad this fall they can’t play him, maybe he’ll end up in Ufa or with Traktor Boy.

schneider

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

A busy morning starting at 10, TSN1260. Scheduled to appear:

  • Steve Lansky, BigMouth Sports. We’ll talk about the Jays and how October baseball reminds us of past glory and pain.
  • Antony Bent, FC Edmonton. Eddies on a roll, in a playoff spot but have to keep it going. Also, EPL table is a shocker.
  • Travis Yost, TSN. Yost will explain the logic of the Mark Fraser signing and tell us if Matt Puempel or Shane Prince will get an NHL job this year. We’ll inevitably talk Oilers.
  • Paul Almeida, SSE. We’ll get Paul’s take on the Oilers last night and talk about his worry over the goalies (Paul would like to see a veteran backup brought in).

Show comes complete with a Lego Lt. Eric and we get started at 10 sharp. 10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter.

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180 Responses to "TODD MCLELLAN, MEET THE OILERS"

  1. SoCaloil says:

    Maybe Nikitin will ride the slow train w Belov

  2. zatch says:

    Jeepers that was bad last night. That D, especially the Two Horsemen of the Suckpocalypse, was everything we and the rest of the league have come to associate with Oilers defence: Completely useless, even against joke competition.

    Count me in on the defence-panic train. There is no depth. Sekera seems likely to be merely decent and not good. I think Our Man Todd had no illusions that Niki and Ference are second rate AHL men now, and he’ll avoid playing them every chance he can. Gryba looked poor to me last night. Pushed guys around in the defensive zone, and failed at virtually everything else. Not having Fayne the Steady or Kid Klef hurt though. 2 of Edmonton’s best 4 defencemen.

    Next year’s first really needs to be in play, aggresively, for help on the D-line. Trading Marincin for, basically, Gryba, was awful because he was a semi-useful sweetner in a trade. Gryba is not.

  3. zatch says:

    Also, I miss the cyan

  4. su_dhillon says:

    I only saw bits and pieces of the game but was surprised by the twitter uproar over the D. Who thought this group was going to be good? I think the hope is that you get enough league average type performances from them that the forwards and young goalie can carry you to being a competitive team.

    Once the Oilers didn’t buy anyone out and basically brought back much of the group that was terrible last year I think it became clear that the plan is to try to slowly fix this over the season. The group in March will probably look much different than the one that opens the season.

    I wish they would have done more in the summer, there were some great buy low opportunities on defense but I think it was a tell that it’s next season that they are really shooting for, this year is a clean up Craigs’ mess and hope the young guys get better season.

    Oh and worrying about Talbot because of a bad pre-season game is dumb. Because the Preseason dumb, means nothing. Trust me I know, I’m an Eagles fan.

  5. Ducey says:

    zatch:

    Next year’s first really needs to be in play, aggresively, for help on the D-line.

    People were saying that last season. How would that have worked out?

    Until the Oilers are contenders for the Cup, they cannot under any circumstances (no matter the amount of compelting) trade their first rounder.

  6. oliveoilers says:

    Hey, I’m new here, but has anybody suggested trading for OEL?

    Asking for a friend.

  7. Woogie63 says:

    McDavid’s line had zero hits last night.
    Lander’s line had one hit last night.

    How do you have an impactful forecheck with no hitting from 2/3 of your top nine.

    Canuck’s must have really enjoyed playing at Rexall last night.

  8. Jon K says:

    The gnashing of teeth over the defense will subside once the uncomfortable issue of the veteran D is resolved. The issue being that we have Nikitin and Ference taking roster spots based on reasons other than winning.

    Once the seal is broken and we see those players sitting, with Klefbom and Fayne taking their minutes, the hysteria should subside.

    How long to get to that point? Impossible to say with the new coach and management. Prior management wouldn’t have even considered it, just my opinion.

  9. Ducey says:

    Woogie63:
    McDavid’s line had zero hits last night.
    Lander’s line had one hit last night.

    Good thing they are not a baseball team.

  10. Snowman says:

    Woogie63:
    McDavid’s line had zero hits last night.
    Lander’s line had one hit last night.

    How do you have an impactful forecheck with no hitting from 2/3 of your top nine.

    Canuck’s must have really enjoyed playing at Rexall last night.

    They did have two goals though. Do those still count?

  11. G Money says:

    I said about two months ago that I felt that Chia was a smart man, had looked at the Oiler D, and recognized (as do we all), that:

    – NSF was the weak link

    – Of that trio, Schultz contributes at the other end of the ice and its more important to get him playing D than to get rid of him (not everyone shares this viewpoint with me). In other words, when it comes to NSF, it’s really S – then NF.

    – Nikitin looks bad by eye but better by fancystats (and rickistats). He clearly does some things well that he doesn’t get credit for. I have a NerdAlert soon to be posted that digs into this. One thing the stats suggest is that what Nikitin does better than any other Oiler defender (by far) is clear the rebounds. As Young Willis pointed out in last nights thread, his lack of mobility gets him in trouble when the other team is on the rush. But when it comes to adapting to an established cycle, he’s one of the better Oiler D. In other words, when it comes to NSF, it’s really S, then N, and then F.

    – There is no redeeming aspect to Ference’s game. By eye he’s done. By fancy stat, he’s done. By WOWY, he’s so done – basically every defender plays better without Ference than with him, and the team is about 5 CF% worse with Ference on the ice than without. He’s not going to retire and can’t be waived, so it has to be the pressbox for him. Has to.

    I said, also about two months ago, that I felt that Chia had brought Gryba and Reinhart into the organization so that a. Reinhart would take Nikitin’s job, and b. Gryba would take Ference’s job.

    I do not think it is coincidence that Nikitin-Ference and Gryba-Reinhart were the pairings last night. It was an audition to see who’s going to man the third pairing.

    I can say that based on the results so far, only a blind man would argue that Ference hasn’t played himself off the team.

    Conversely, Reinhart has earned the right to stay with the team and now has to prove he deserves to stay in nightly. Based on visuals so far, I think he will do fine. BUT, he’s a 21 year old rookie defenseman, he’s going to have plenty of rough nights … let’s not forget this. But I expect his rough nights will be no worse than Ference’s average nights.

    That means that Gryba and Nikitin should now be auditioning to see who gets 6D and who gets 7D. Neither looked particularly good, so Davidson may be in the mix as well.

    After last night, most will declare the odd man out to be Nikitin, but let’s not forget that ANYONE paired with Ference is going to look like a disaster. So I expect for the last game we’re going to see the top 4 in for the last tune up (Sekera, Fayne, Klef, Schultz), and Gryba and Nikitin to be the sole remaining audition for the bottom pairing. Possibly Sekera might sit in favour of Davidson.

  12. zatch says:

    Ducey,

    This is an utterly ridiculous argument.

  13. Bag of Pucks says:

    Don’t watch pre-season games for any sport. Never saw the point. Seems akin to watching practice laps before a Formula One race.

    None of this drama over last night’s game matters. All that matters is how they perform when they drop the puck for the real games.

    Anecdotal evidence seems to indicate the team is trying to play with more structure under TMac, Will that discipline last when the live rounds start hitting? More importantly, is this team showing a willingness to play with more edge and push back? Or do they still try to pass the puck into the net?

    Love that the opener is against St Loo. We’ll know quickly if the new lessons are taking or not.

    4 out of 5 coaches agree, the Oilers don’t go to the hard areas. Let’s hope MacLellan as the 5th finally breaks that mindset.

  14. Woodguy says:

    Ducey,

    People were saying that last season. How would that have worked out?

    Until the Oilers are contenders for the Cup, they cannot under any circumstances (no matter the amount of compelting) trade their first rounder.

    Bullshit.

    You lottery protect the pick and start shopping.

    That being said nothing earth shattering is happening this year.

    Next summer with Nikitin, Scrivens, Purcell, Ference (buyout), Gryba and Klinkhammer off the books the Oilers will have $13MM of space to make a major move.

    Of course you need to account for future raises of McDavid etc, but that’s a big, big space to make a big big trade.

    Trade should include the 1st to lessen the impact on the roster.

    The cap is going down next year due to the Canadian dollar.

    Some teams will be in tough spots and a trade will be made.

    Its going to be a tough year vis a vi the Dmen but Chiarelli is right to keep his powder dry.

  15. Woodguy says:

    su_dhillon,

    I only saw bits and pieces of the game but was surprised by the twitter uproar over the D. Who thought this group was going to be good?

    It wasn’t a matter of being surprised that the D wasn’t good.

    It was being surprised that they were utterly fucking awful, including Sekera.

    The only good game was by Jultz.

  16. Pouzar says:

    Jon K: The gnashing of teeth over the defense will subside once the uncomfortable issue of the veteran D is resolved. The issue being that we have Nikitin and Ference taking roster spots based on reasons other than winning.

    Early but this wins.

  17. rich says:

    oliveoilers:
    Hey, I’m new here, but has anybody suggested trading for OEL?

    Asking for a friend.

    Interesting idea. I think we should force Maloney to take Ference and Nikitin for OEL. Sounds fair to me.

  18. oliveoilers says:

    Woodguy: You lottery protect the pick and start shopping.

    Just a suggestion, but the potential high placing of the pick is, by it’s very nature, the reason another team would be willing to trade for it? Otherwise, it’s just the equivalent of the rights to Omark.

    Gotta dangle a carrot….

  19. Woodguy says:

    This sounds crazy, but Hall seems to be the jimmy legs on the line with McDavid and Draisaitl—with the two kids displaying more calm.

    Its like Hall and McDavid are both used to playing lead guitar and they keep looking at each other to play rhythm.

    I’d like to see McLellan try:

    Hall-RNH-Purcell
    Pouliot-McDavid-Slappy
    DrySaddle-Lander-Yak

    Little bit more balance of puck transporters (Hall, McD, Yak)

  20. GXL says:

    Someone (Howson) should be accountable (fired) for Nikitin… he’s flat out terrible. The combination of him and Ference created a fire circus in the Oilers blue line in. Granted Talbot didn’t play very well but some of those chances were gawd awful.

    GXL

  21. stephen sheps says:

    G Money,

    Woodguy,

    Those are two of the most sensible posts I’ve seen in a while.

    G, agree wholeheartedly with your D assessment
    WG, spot on RE: Chiarelli not pulling the trigger too soon (although if the team were to trade its 1st rounder, what are the odds that the trading partner will go for the lottery protection as a condition? This is the Oilers we’re talking about…)

    LT, just thought I’d pass along a thank you. A long time reader (not a poster I don’t think) who used to actually write at my blog way back in the day, discovered figured out via some comments that I am in Tennessee – and it turns out that he and his wife are just up the road from me in Knoxville. We hadn’t spoken in years and have not seen each other in an even longer time. As a result of seeing a comment here, he reached out and now I am going to meet up with them in Nashville for the game next Saturday. So, just wanted to say thanks! Not only do you keep the community together online but in the real world, too!

  22. Woodguy says:

    oliveoilers,

    Otherwise, it’s just the equivalent of the rights to Omark.

    No, a first rounder n(even lottery protected) isn’t equivalent to Omark.

    None of this matters until next summer though.

    I bet Chia does something small this year on D (might be as small as cutting Nikitin to make room Davidson), but the big move is 9 months away after the draft lottery.

  23. Woodguy says:

    G Money,

    I do not think it is coincidence that Nikitin-Ference and Gryba-Reinhart were the pairings last night. It was an audition to see who’s going to man the third pairing.

    I can say that based on the results so far, only a blind man would argue that Ference hasn’t played himself off the team.

    Conversely, Reinhart has earned the right to stay with the team and now has to prove he deserves to stay in nightly.

    Excellent points.

    Cut Nikitin and keep Davidson.

  24. Ducey says:

    Woodguy:
    Ducey,

    People were saying that last season. How would that have worked out?


    Until the Oilers are contenders for the Cup, they cannot under any circumstances (no matter the amount of compelting) trade their first rounder.

    Bullshit.

    You lottery protect the pick and start shopping.

    That being said nothing earth shattering is happening this year.

    Next summer with Nikitin, Scrivens, Purcell, Ference (buyout), Gryba and Klinkhammer off the books the Oilers will have $13MM of space to make a major move.

    Of course you need to account for future raises of McDavid etc, but that’s a big, big space to make a big big trade.

    Trade should include the 1st to lessen the impact on the roster.

    The cap is going down next year due to the Canadian dollar.

    Some teams will be in tough spots and a trade will be made.

    Its going to be a tough year vis a vi the Dmen but Chiarelli is right to keep his powder dry.

    Bullshit. Nice comment. You have no concept what an ass you can be do you?

    Maybe take a second and think: Someone is going to take a lottery protected first rounder (so they might have to wait until 2017) and some cap space form the Oilers and send them a nice shiny top 4 defender?

    Please tell me all the available options. There must be tons of them.

    The Oilers lose a preseason game and suddenly everyone is compelting.

    For the reasons you cite everyone knew going into this season that the Oilers would be evaluating/ developing. It makes no sense to give up a bunch of assets until they know what they have with a new coach, hopefully improved goaler, and to let McD develop. June is the time when they can load up.

  25. stephen sheps says:

    Woodguy:
    G Money,

    I do not think it is coincidence that Nikitin-Ference and Gryba-Reinhart were the pairings last night. It was an audition to see who’s going to man the third pairing.


    I can say that based on the results so far, only a blind man would argue that Ference hasn’t played himself off the team.

    Conversely, Reinhart has earned the right to stay with the team and now has to prove he deserves to stay in nightly.

    Excellent points.

    Cut Nikitin and keep Davidson.

    Cut Nikitin or find a way to deal with Ference with dignity? It’s so obvious that he’s done as a regular NHL player, but he’s such an excellent person. Is that why he stays and Nikitin goes?

    It’s obviously difficult to reconcile the numbers (fancy, beartracks or otherwise) with what the eyes tell us about NN, but he does have a few more things he can do defensively (when in the D zone) and is a better PK2 and PP2 option than Ference. Quite frankly he’d actually be a fine 7D (price point notwithstanding). Watching younger, faster and bigger forwards beat Ference low and gain positioning in front of the net was painful last night, and as the pace picks up, the limitations of Ference’s game are only going to become more pronounced. It’s a tough spot for the Captain. He’s so valuable as a person but not as a player anymore.

  26. verdad2.0 says:

    With the sentiment on this board for endless inaction, we will all be dead before the Oilers are competitive.

    At some point, all assets on the Oilers other than MacDavid should be in play to fix the defense asap.

    If you don’t start being competitive, you never will be.

    But criticize all you want, I project the Oilers at 0-4 to start the season. What does Chiarelli do then?
    Do what he should have done this past June?

    Or, just enjoy Eakins/MacT revisited?

  27. Zeabs93 says:

    Off topic, but would anyone like to start a LT hockey pool? Weekly matchups, 10 categoires (goals, assists, hits, shots, +/-, TOI, PPP, goalie wins, SV% and GAA)

  28. oliveoilers says:

    verdad2.0,

    So what do you suggest?

    Some kind of trade?

    How would that work?

  29. zatch says:

    Ducey,

    Ducey, WG is a hell of a lot more respected in these parts that you. No one, at any point, said Trade The First For Anything And Do It Now. What has been said is the first should be shopped. As in, see what’s out there. There is a good chance there is nothing worth the pick. In that case you move on. “Don’t shop the pick because maybe it wouldn’t work out'” makes no damn sense. “We got McDavid so the first should never be traded” makes no damn sense. And what the hell is this compelting word you seem so keen on inserting?

  30. Lowetide says:

    stephen sheps:
    G Money,

    Woodguy,

    Those are two of the most sensible posts I’ve seen in a while.

    G, agree wholeheartedly with your D assessment
    WG, spot on RE: Chiarelli not pulling the trigger too soon (although if the team were to trade its 1st rounder, what are the odds that the trading partner will go for the lottery protection as a condition? This is the Oilers we’re talking about…)

    LT, just thought I’d pass along a thank you. A long time reader (not a poster I don’t think) who used to actually write at my blog way back in the day, discovered figured out via some comments that I am in Tennessee – and it turns out that he and his wife are just up the road from me in Knoxville. We hadn’t spoken in years and have not seen each other in an even longer time. As a result of seeing a comment here, he reached out and now I am going to meet up with them in Nashville for the game next Saturday. So, just wanted to say thanks! Not only do you keep the community together online but in the real world, too!

    Well, that’s awesome. Really cool. I’d love to get to Tennessee, Nashville and Memphis.

  31. Woodguy says:

    Ducey:

    Bullshit.Nice comment.You have no concept what an ass you can be do you?

    I know exactly how much of ass I can be.

    Maybe take a second and think: Someone is going to take a lottery protected first rounder (so they might have to wait until 2017) and some cap space form the Oilers and send them a nice shiny top 4 defender?

    Please tell me all the available options.There must be tons of them.

    Way to ignore the rest of my post.

  32. Woodguy says:

    Ducey,

    The Oilers lose a preseason game and suddenly everyone is compelting.

    I haven’t compelted in years.

  33. Lowetide says:

    Woodguy:
    Ducey,

    The Oilers lose a preseason game and suddenly everyone is compelting.

    I haven’t compelted in years.

    Bullshit! Ass!!! (I just want to be like everyone else).

  34. godot10 says:

    G Money:

    – Nikitin looks bad by eye but better by fancystats (and rickistats).He clearly does some things well that he doesn’t get credit for.I have a NerdAlert soon to be posted that digs into this. One thing the stats suggest is that what Nikitin does better than any other Oiler defender (by far) is clear the rebounds.As Young Willis pointed out in last nights thread, his lack of mobility gets him in trouble when the other team is on the rush.But when it comes to adapting to an established cycle, he’s one of the better Oiler D.In other words, when it comes to NSF, it’s really S, then N, and then F.

    To translate:

    Nikitin is a “good” defensemen for a team that wants to play in its own zone all the time, and a “bad” defensemen for a team that wants to play in the oppositions zone all the time. He is big and slow, so he is good at standing around boxing out. And he is is a decent passer. But those two things are NOT HARDLY enough. He can’t get from corner back to the front of the net or vice versa. He is just a big sitting duck,

    i.e. Nikitin is a “good” defensemen for a bad hockey team, who are defending all the time, and a “bad” defensemen for a good hockey team, who wants to possess the puck in the offensive zone.

  35. oliveoilers says:

    zatch: And what the hell is this compelting word you seem so keen on inserting?

    It’s one of the more cromulent words we use to embiggen a point around here.

  36. RexLibris says:

    The Oilers’ defense gave up 2 on 1s, threw blind passes into the slot for ten-bell chances against, left the goalie hanging, were in disarray in their own zone and skated miles but couldn’t cash in, while Nikitin/Ference were a disastrous defense pairing that kept getting sent over the boards?

    Wait, wasn’t yesterday Throwback Thursday?

    Oh, McLellan, you ingenious, Machiavellian bastard!

  37. RexLibris says:

    oliveoilers: It’s one of the more cromulent words we use to embiggen a point around here.

    Winner!

    Laughed pretty hard at this.

  38. stephen sheps says:

    Lowetide: Well, that’s awesome. Really cool. I’d love to get to Tennessee, Nashville and Memphis.

    Nashville is fantastic! Probably the most fun I’ve had in a city that isn’t Chicago in the US. Memphis is on the list but surprisingly far away (by U.S. road trip standards, not Canadian). I know it’s unlikely but if you ever find your way down here, I’ll happily be your tour guide (…and that’s an invitation to all, not just our venerable host, though LT may get the better whiskey if he decides to show up).

  39. McSorley33 says:

    It is not a matter of pressing the panic button in preseason….it is the realization that the majority of our D have -serious agility issues.

    Pretending those issues magically go away in a few calendar days is naive.

    Love the vast majority of work Chia has done but Gryba is- painfully – too slow to play this modern NHL game. It is this type of player procurement that led us to Ference, Fayne and NN.

    Again, love Chia’s work and I think we are going to have to grin and bear another season of being pinned in our own zone

    We are going to have to wait one more year for real hockey. It could be a frustrating year for the forward group…..

  40. RMGS says:

    Bag of Pucks: 4 out of 5 coaches agree, the Oilers don’t go to the hard areas.

    Nikitin-Ference aside, this was the most salient issue, and Coach McLellan made a point of it afterwards. I suppose it’s pre-season, but that’s about 5 years of bad habits the coach will need to break.

  41. Lois Lowe says:

    Ducey,

    I’m pretty sure we came up with a Mendoza line for hockey players but I can’t remember what is anymore.

    stephen sheps,

    Beartracks? That’s fantastic. I always wanted something like ‘sponge worthiness’ because of, you know, box protection.

  42. TeeVee says:

    Bickell on waivers.

  43. Woodguy says:

    TeeVee:
    Bickell on waivers.

    Dano too.

    Hopefully Nikitin is next.

  44. stephen sheps says:

    Lois Lowe:

    stephen sheps,

    Beartracks? That’s fantastic. I always wanted something like ‘sponge worthiness’ because of, you know, box protection.

    I was just referencing the old U of A online system for checking grades, but I’m so much happier with Beartracks now. Your interpretation is way better!

  45. GriffCity says:

    If we think Nikitin is slow, and he is, what does that mean for Reinhart? Looked like he was wearing cement skates last night. Slow as the day is long and made some poor plays with the puck, not even under pressure, just Gary giveaways. Hoping he gets better, Sekera I feel just had an off game, he will be fine. Gryba needs to be better as well and play meaner. Ference could be an effective d-man – if he was 6″ taller. Schultz actually went mostly unnoticed on a night where a lot of d-men were noticed for how terrible they were playing, so good for Jultz.

    On a forward note, Slepy played well, so did Yak. Purcell was ineffective, so was Lander.

  46. GriffCity says:

    Woodguy,

    If Dano is on waivers the Oil should scoop him. he is better than Letestu by a wide margin. Sorry Mark but I’d take Marko

  47. rickithebear says:

    Last night we rolled
    Mobile-Mobile
    Sekera-Schultz
    Box-Box
    Ference-Nikitin
    Box-Box
    Gryba-reinhart
    this was audition!

    our curretn D.
    #1 Fayne 1st comp Box protect 3yr @ 3.625
    #2/3 Sekera 1st/2nd mobile 6yr @ 5.5M
    #2/3 Klefbom 1st/2nd mobile 6 yr @ 4.167
    we have 3 of our top 4 covered for next 3 years.
    for 13.292M cap 4.43 per D
    Only need a 2nd comp BOX moving forward
    —————————————————————
    #4/5 Nikitin 2nd comp BOX 1 yr 4.5M UFA
    #4/5 Gryba 2nd/3rd comp BOX 1yr 1.25M UFA
    #6 Schultz 3rd comp Mobile 1yr 3.9M RFA
    #7 Reinhart 3rd comp BOX 2yr @ 3.213M
    #8 Ference DONE Box 2yr @ 3.25M
    16.113M is alot for our #4-#8 D
    common sense says we end up with this starting next year.

    Sekera (5.5) – Fayne (3.625)
    Klefbom (4.167) – XXX
    Reinhart (3.213) – Nurse (1.713)

    I see aothers have posted on this.
    Should of hit Post comment at 8:45

  48. hunter1909 says:

    GriffCity: Ference could be an effective d-man – if he was 6″ taller.

    Ference plays like he’s emerging from a cocoon. In reverse.

  49. Ribs says:

    Man, I can’t believe we’re going into another season with this poor of a defence again. Maybe I’m being unreasonable and gnashing my teeth about something that is unavoidable and necessary, but surely something could have been done to shore up this group? A 15-20pt 6ft tall defenceman in Sekera is just not going to cut it here.

    I hope Fayne and Klefbom have turned into mighty juggernauts over the summer, because that’s what this defence will need to not be the laughing stock of the league again this season.

    I pity the poor bastard Talbot for what is about to come his way.

    BALANCE

  50. RMGS says:

    Woodguy: Dano too.

    I don’t know how they’d make it work with the roster, but Marko Dano would be an outstanding waiver pick up.

  51. Lowetide says:

    Woodguy: Dano too.

    Hopefully Nikitin is next.

    Dano is on waivers?

  52. leadfarmer says:

    Lowetide,

    Nope. Just sent down to percolate. He’s only 20-21

  53. Woodguy says:

    Lois Lowe,

    Beartracks? That’s fantastic. I always wanted something like ‘sponge worthiness’ because of, you know, box protection.

    Wow.

    clapclapclapclapclapclapclapclapclap

  54. Woodguy says:

    Lowetide: Dano is on waivers?

    Assigned to AHL, he doesn’t have to clear.

  55. Woodguy says:

    RMGS: I don’t know how they’d make it work with the roster, but Marko Dano would be an outstanding waiver pick up.

    My bad for not being clear.

    He was assigned to AHL, he is not waiver eligible.

    Dammimt!

    Years and years of being clean and I go and compelte again.

  56. Woodguy says:

    Ribs:
    Man, I can’t believe we’re going into another season with this poor of a defence again. Maybe I’m being unreasonable and gnashing my teeth about something that is unavoidable and necessary, but surely something could have been done to shore up this group? A 15-20pt 6ft tall defenceman in Sekera is just not going to cut it here.

    I hope Fayne and Klefbom have turned into mighty juggernauts over the summer, because that’s what this defence will need to not be the laughing stock of the league again this season.

    I pity the poor bastard Talbot for what is about to come his way.

    BALANCE

    If they go with:

    Sekera-Fayne
    Klefbom-Schutlz
    Reinhart-Davidson

    Gryba,Ference

    Nikitin in the minors

    It *might* not be awful.

  57. RMGS says:

    Completing will get the best of us every once in a while. Be strong.

  58. Ca$h-McMoney! says:

    Pressbox Ference because you have to.

    Waive Nikitin. Keep Davidson. That saves us about $400k against the cap.

    Davidson signing a sub 600k deal was a really really smart play on his part. He probably could have held out for 800k but I think he recognized that the cheaper he was the more games he’d get. Smart call.

  59. Woodguy says:

    EVERYONE NEEDS TO REMEMBER THIS STAT:

    LAST YEAR’S TIRE FIRE OILERS:

    45% CF WITH FERENCE ON THE ICE

    50% CF WITH FERENCE OFF THE ICE

    KEEP FERENCE OFF THE ICE AND YOU HAVE A FIGHTING CHANCE

  60. Woodguy says:

    RMGS:
    Completing will get the best of us every once in a while.Be strong.

    My name is Woodguy and I’m a compelter.

  61. Pouzar says:

    Woodguy: If they go with:
    Sekera-Fayne
    Klefbom-Schutlz
    Reinhart-Davidson

    I could live with that if the plan is to keep the powder dry till the offseason.
    Saw Davidson good.

  62. Lowetide says:

    Woodguy: My name is Woodguy and I’m a compelter.

    It’s a tough day for a lot of people, buddy. Hell, Dano’s on waivers!!!!

  63. Aitch says:

    With all the talk of “make a trade” I’d like to know if anyone has actually thought about how this would work out? Chia’s already brought in three new d-men, one of which (Sekera) is an Oiler for the forseeable future with his contract. That’s one guy you’re not trading. Ference can’t be moved – without a permission slip. He just traded for Reinhart and Gryba, so, they’re probably not going anywhere. He just signed Klefbom to the NHL version of a lifetime deal. And I can’t imagine Nurse is going anywhere unless an absolute stud is coming back in return. So, that leaves Schultz, Fayne and Nikitin. Getting rid of Nikitin or Schultz isn’t going to be easy, given their contracts and recent play and they certainly won’t bring you a better d-man back in return unless said d-man also has some extra warts attached (ie. bad contract, wonky limb, etc) And Fayne, well, that deal mighten even make the front page of the sports section.

    Unless Chia can somehow pull off Lowetide’s 3-for-1 dream trade which involves at least two current NHL calibre d-men, I don’t see the blueline getting significantly better this season through anything other than coaching.

  64. Ribs says:

    Woodguy: If they go with:
    Sekera-Fayne
    Klefbom-Schutlz
    Reinhart-Davidson
    Gryba,Ference
    Nikitin in the minors
    It *might* not be awful.

    Roll them dice, MacTa- er- Chiarelli!! 🙂

    *grumble grumble* Dougie Hamilton *grumble*

  65. J-Bo says:

    I’m glad for last nights game even if the only outcome was to get LT and this comment board back to the reality that some positive fancy stats for Nikitin simply cannot overcome his horrible skill set! I think he will be waived hopefully to make room for Davidson. Reinhart – Davidson is likely our best bet for a third pairing with who we have left in camp!

  66. McSorley33 says:

    For the optimists….

    Mr. Staples COH today:

    In the intermission, Mark Spector of Sportsnet offered up that Gryba is a lock to play. “There’s a log jam for the 5/6 pairing. Eric Gryba is going to play on it for sure.”

    No doubt, Spector has this right. He’s in the know.

    My only question: Why? What has Gryba done to earn a spot?

  67. rickithebear says:

    i have been saving this one:
    HSCA/60 when on the PK.
    Current oilers D ammd past reference.
    League rank: 203 Dmen 29.30 PKHSCA/60 is median
    #2 Nikitin 19.07 PKHSCA/60
    #14 Fayne 22.81
    #27 Gryba 25.15
    #68 Sekera 27.89
    ———————————————–
    #82 Ference 28.42
    #137 petry 30.77
    #162 OEL 32.74
    #165 Marincin 32.94
    #202 Schultz 39.38

    Last year on Oilers
    Davidson 12.32
    Nikitin 15.41
    Marincin 25.04
    Fayne 25.63
    Petry 28.33
    Ference 32.64

    Our top 4 PK fit into the top 5 even box protection D.

    Davidson sure looks likea good #7 D
    for next year. or with injuries.

  68. WeirsBeard says:

    There really seems to be a league wide lack of adequate defensemen. I’m not counting many teams with a solid 6, even accounting for youth.

  69. RexLibris says:

    Lowetide: It’s a tough day for a lot of people, buddy. Hell, Dano’s on waivers!!!!

    Probably because he signed a two-way contract. Blame the agent.

  70. Lucinius says:

    McSorley33,

    The current GM traded for him.

    That’s all it takes in the NHL (seriously; and it’s not even just an Oiler thing).

  71. RexLibris says:

    McSorley33:
    For the optimists….

    Mr. Staples COH today:

    In the intermission, Mark Spector of Sportsnet offered up that Gryba is a lock to play. “There’s a log jam for the 5/6 pairing. Eric Gryba is going to play on it for sure.”

    No doubt, Spector has this right. He’s in the know.

    My only question: Why? What has Gryba done to earn a spot?

    Thanks for that.

    Log-jam, Gryba certain to play on it, the beard…

    Now I know what Gryba’s goal song can be,

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=upsZZ2s3xv8

  72. rickithebear says:

    G

    McSorley33: My only question: Why? What has Gryba done to earn a spot?

    top 60 EVEN HSCA/60
    Top 30 PK HSCA/60

    TMac, “we neeed to improve our GA.”

  73. McSorley33 says:

    RexLibris,

    Log-jam, Gryba certain to play on it, the beard…
    Now I know what Gryba’s goal song can be,
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=upsZZ2s3xv8
    (Quote) (Reply)

    ***********************************************
    Well done….love that song!!

  74. mattwatt says:

    It was funny the talk yesterday revolved around “what has Yakupov shown lately” when in fact:
    – Per COH rankings player rankings for the last-half of the previous season, Yakupov was often the best player on a nightly basis. Yes, the Corgis may not have been barking for him and some luck may have come due, but he was still playing hard and showing that he belonged. Good on him for not throwing in the towel in the last half.
    – He had 3 points in 4 preseason games (note: one point was an empty-netter), and was still providing offence in a lot of games. Scoring at will? No, but contributing none the less.

    Then a game like last night happens and he is one of the best Oilers on the ice. Yakupov was dealing, and creating, which is what we he is suppose to do. He also froze a goalie off the rush with his shot, something very few can do on the NHL. Now, today will likely have less talk about what to do with Nail and some talk today about how he finally did well when in reality, nothing has changed a whole bunch. Nail has been performing for awhile now.

    Narratives man, narratives.

  75. Woogie63 says:

    Our defensive problems are starting way up the ice. No forecheck, no backside pressure and limited defensive cycle support. Last night I counted 10 seperate times both dman were in battles behind our goal line. I think the second man support is intended to come from a winger or the center. Otherwise this is leaving the slot wide open for a dangerous chance.

    Can we play a get more defensive help on each line?

  76. kinger_OIL says:

    – Bickell on waivers after not being able to trade to the Oil heartens me

    – Old Upper brass traded Gagner for Purcell, replaced one medicore/expensive anchor with another, and were schooled on asset management as Tampa got rid of their $4MM anchor

    – The $4MM on Purcell could be better spent, nice to not be the same in a year with Bickell

    – Suspect another shoe to drop on the half-dozen 6-7D “competition” before long….

  77. Kmart99 says:

    Oilers D men rankings:

    Sekera-Klefbom tie
    Jultz
    Fayne-Reinhart
    Davidson
    Nurse
    Nikitin
    Ference

    I’m a big fan of Davidson’s game and believe he’ll be claimed if he ends up on waivers. He doesn’t get beat very often, his stick is solid and his puck skills are better than Ference’s no doubt. By February I’d expect the D to look like:

    Sekera-Fayne
    Klefbom-Jultz
    Nurse-Reinhart
    Davidson.

    That’s not a good D-core. But something has to give. TMac can’t keep NN and F around if he wants to win. Just can’t.

  78. Dicky94 says:

    Kmart99,

    I think Nurse is back before Halloween.

  79. dustrock says:

    Reinhart got better as the night went on I thought. But he and Gryba shouldn’t be together. I agree it might be better to have Reinhart on the other side, surprised McLellan hasn’t tried it yet.

    The thing that worried me last night was the same old panicked decision making in the D zone (did Ference and Nikitin have even 1 controlled zone exit?), and the aimless decision making in the O zone. You can see how the panicked decisions led to chaos in the neutral zone.

    Oilers as an entire team, including Talbot, looked half-asleep last night.

    And while Schultz was our best d-man overall, I still don’t believe he can quarterback a PP. He kills the PP more often that not, especially when he’s the lone d-man.

  80. blainer says:

    Ducey: Bullshit.Nice comment.You have no concept what an ass you can be do you?

    Maybe take a second and think: Someone is going to take a lottery protected first rounder (so they might have to wait until 2017) and some cap space form the Oilers and send them a nice shiny top 4 defender?

    Please tell me all the available options.There must be tons of them.

    The Oilers lose a preseason game and suddenly everyone is compelting.

    For the reasons you cite everyone knew going into this season that the Oilers would be evaluating/ developing.It makes no sense to give up a bunch of assets until they know what they have with a new coach, hopefully improved goaler, and to let McD develop.June is the time when they can load up.

    It’s not that its one game that is the problem.. It’s the same things happening all over again. you may be correct that we may FINALLY have a coach that sees Ference for what he is.. WASHED up.. This team will have a MAJOR advantage just with the subtraction of Ference.. even more so than what we went through with the subtraction of Gagne..

  81. rickithebear says:

    Kmart99: Sekera-Klefbom tie
    Jultz
    Fayne-Reinhart
    Davidson
    Nurse
    Nikitin
    Ference

    Ranking D on Forward play is not a good Idea!
    Just sayin!
    You know?
    DEFEND!

  82. Bootstrap Effexor says:

    verdad2.0: If you don’t start being competitive, you never will be.

    A brief and blazing lapse in a sexual neophyte’s jailbait discriminator is all it takes to apply a fresh coat of orange paint and a second set of studly bars to your ironclad logic of the bunched knickers.

  83. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Woodguy: My bad for not being clear.

    He was assigned to AHL, he is not waiver eligible.

    Dammimt!

    Years and years of being clean and I go and compelte again.

    Here I thought you were meaning you’d be open to Nikitin-for-Bickell if Chicago also threw in Dano. It would take a serious sweetener to swallow the second year of Bickell’s remaining shitty contract.

  84. dustrock says:

    The worst thing about poor Ference last night was that he was trying really hard, unlike most of the team.

  85. Traktor says:

    I’m guessing Lowetide was referring to Ference and Nikitin when he suggested that fans would “panic” about the defense considering he’s been in Nikitin’s corner all year.

    Davidson is pretty much an equal talent with less experience but with room to grow. I don’t see any reason why Nikitin or Ference would make the team over him. Its hard to even argue money reasons considering Davidson is only making 500k so worst case you are spending 500k more on the cap.

    The breakaway goal by Horvat was literally one of the worst defensive breakdowns I’ve ever seen. Preseason but still.

  86. raventalon40 says:

    I prefer Greening to Bickell, but I like both. I prefer Glencross to both, but he’s already on that PTO with the Avs.

  87. jm363561 says:

    What was most disappointing for me was the lack of hitting, and the failure to go to the “hard areas” – even my current love ALander was, for once, less than stellar here. I have commented a few times on the team’s lack of warriors, for want of a better word, and this issue transcends pairs, lines, NSF, goal tending, etc. It is difficult to coach grit but this needs fixing just as much as the Blue Line.

  88. zatch says:

    rickithebear,

    Ricki. Offence from defence counts. I know you refuse to believe this. I know you live in a world where P.K Subban scores and the ref screams DOESN’T COUNT HE’S D. I know you genuinely, honestly belive that the only way to evaluate D is a hyper specific stat that tells a tiny, tiny fraction of the story.

    The point of hockey is to outscore your opponent. You do this both my preventing goals against, and scoring goals for. It is not…whatever delusional version of the rules you’ve cooked up in your head.

  89. blainer says:

    verdad2.0:
    With the sentiment on this board for endless inaction, we will all be dead before the Oilers are competitive.

    At some point, all assets on the Oilers other than MacDavid should be in play to fix the defense asap.

    If you don’t start being competitive, you never will be.

    But criticize all you want, I project the Oilers at 0-4 to start the season. What does Chiarelli do then?
    Do what he should have done this past June?

    Or, just enjoy Eakins/MacT revisited?

    While I find your endless rants about OEL entertaining there is merit about your constant rants about the D. I personally am not that high on OEL but do believe we have to make a move of some kind on D.. What we need is a willing partner and a will from Chia to understand the suffering us fans have endured… Sitting Ference is the first step but it is defiantly not enough.. We need some goaltending also.. I just don’t see how we ship out Nilsson yet.. Talbot is reminding me too much of Scrivens from last year..

  90. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Kmart99: Oilers D men rankings:
    Sekera-Klefbom tie
    Jultz
    Fayne-Reinhart
    Davidson
    Nurse
    Nikitin
    Ference

    Where in there does Gryba rank?

  91. Lowetide says:

    Bruce McCurdy: Where in there does Gryba rank?

    He’s just skating into the situation now

  92. Bruce McCurdy says:

    jm363561:
    What was most disappointing for me was the lack of hitting, and the failure to go to the “hard areas” – even my current love ALander was, for once, less than stellar here. I have commented a few times on the team’s lack of warriors, for want of a better word, and this issue transcends pairs, lines, NSF, goal tending, etc. It is difficult to coach grit but this needs fixing just as much as the Blue Line.

    Sounds like McLellan is running “compete” drills today. I just hope that Oilers show up in Vancouver on Saturday as hungry as Canucks were here last night.

  93. Pouzar says:

    Bruce McCurdy: Where in there does Gryba rank?

    I got Nurse in Top 4. Right now. Easily. Goddamn I hate life!

  94. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Lowetide: He’s just skating into the situation now

    So in the same time zone as Nikitin & Ference, then?

  95. Kmart99 says:

    Bruce McCurdy: Where in there does Gryba rank?

    The forgotten one. But im yet to see him good. Cant imagine he’s much of an upgrade on Ference. If he is at all.

  96. Lowetide says:

    Bruce McCurdy: So in the same time zone as Nikitin & Ference, then?

    It’s (turtle) neck and neck!

  97. Pouzar says:

    Line combinations:

    Hall-McDavid-Slepyshev
    Pouliot-RNH-Purcell
    Draisaitl-Lander-Yakupov
    Korpikoski-Letestu-Hendricks

    Gazdic and Klinkhammer are rotating in

  98. Kmart99 says:

    There is a combination of Sekera, Klefbom, Reinhart, Nurse, Fayne, Jultz, Davidson that doesn’t equal 30th in goals against …. Isn’t there?

  99. blainer says:

    Pouzar: I could live with that if the plan is to keep the powder dry till the offseason.
    Saw Davidson good.

    Actually thought Davidson was our best D next to nurse during the playoff run in OKC.

  100. Caramel Obvious says:

    What this team needs is Martin Marincin who looks like he is going to be top four in Toronto (granted the team is terrible but the D is the best part of the team.

    Trading Marincin away for nothing on the same day as you traded the farm for Reinhart is a move we will rue for years even if Reinhart turns out.

    There was no evidence at the time that Reinhart was better than Marincin and there is no evidence now. And if Reinhart turns out to be good, the Oilers obviously still need Marincin.

  101. Pouzar says:

    blainer: Actually thought Davidson was our best D next to nurse during the playoff run in OKC.

    I think the move is NN on Waivers, then the “A” a la Bickell.
    It’s why we haven’t seen Davidson sent down.

  102. Bag of Pucks says:

    RMGS: Nikitin-Ference aside, this was the most salient issue, and Coach McLellan made a point of it afterwards.I suppose it’s pre-season, but that’s about 5 years of bad habits the coach will need to break.

    Let’s hope the lessons finally take. Eakins had the hammer contract and the support of mgmt and he couldn’t get it on a consistent basis.

    I’m hoping part of it is that the org was forcing younger players to play aggressively before they were physically mature and ready to do so. Maybe a few years and some extra pounds will have them playing less timid over time.

    The contract drills today sound encouraging. My sons both played lacrosse and they had a contact drill called “The Gauntlet” at the end of every practice. Brutal, but man did it toughen those lads up and get them ready for game conditions.

    A part of me thinks they’ll need to trade one of Hall, Eberle or Nuge before this lesson fully takes. I hope it doesn’t come to that.

  103. oliveoilers says:

    Caramel Obvious: What this team needs is Martin Marincin who looks like he is going to be top four in Toronto (granted the team is terrible but the D is the best part of the team.

    This team needs Martin Marincin? LOLZ. Nice try Verdad 1.0

    *Have you watched MM this pre-season? Not pretty, my friend, not pretty. Needs to find his mojo again.

  104. oliveoilers says:

    Damn you, moderation droid!

  105. JDï™ says:

    verdad2.0: With the sentiment on this board for endless inaction…

    http://i.imgur.com/j5FWCPj.gifv

  106. Tarkus says:

    Oddsmakers have put out a list of individual players’ over/under point totals for the upcoming season. The Oilers on said list:

    McDavid – 69.5
    Hall – 64.5
    RNH – 60.5
    Yakupov – 41.5
    Purcell – 35.5

    The full list league-wide: https://sports.bodog.eu/hockey/nhl-season-props

    (BTW, they have better odds of McDavid winning the Hart than Toews. I understand the hype, but wow…)

  107. zatch says:

    Tarkus,

    Those are awesome for betting. Jesus. I’ll take the Nuge Over all day.

  108. PDL says:

    Pouzar: I think the move is NN on Waivers, then the “A” a la Bickell.
    It’s why we haven’t seen Davidson sent down.

    Agreed that NN should be on waivers. But if that is indeed management’s plan, why bother playing him at all? Just give Davidson the playing time to get him ready.

  109. russ99 says:

    The forwards need to do their part on D too, it’s not just on the defensemen and goalies.

    I thought McLellan expounded on that tactfully in his presser with the Joe Montana analogy.

    Hopefully the Bickell rumors are a sign that Chia wants to bring in another veteran 2-way forward.

  110. Marc says:

    stephen sheps: Nashville is fantastic! Probably the most fun I’ve had in a city that isn’t Chicago in the US. Memphis is on the list but surprisingly far away (by U.S. road trip standards, not Canadian). I know it’s unlikely but if you ever find your way down here, I’ll happily be your tour guide (…and that’s an invitation to all, not just our venerable host, though LT may get the better whiskey if he decides to show up).

    If you get a chance, try to catch a football game at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. The stadium there seats 100,000+ and is just a crazy place to experience a game.

    A friend took me to the annual Thanksgiving game with Vanderbilt there some years ago and we had an absolute blast.

  111. Woodguy says:

    zatch:
    Tarkus,

    Those are awesome for betting. Jesus. I’ll take the Nuge Over all day.

    Betting on him to hit 60 when he hasn’t even hit 50?

  112. Woodguy says:

    Lowetide: He’s just skating into the situation now

    /thread

  113. 719 says:

    Byfuglien makes this D better today and is available. Can a trade be made?

    Reinhart by eye and fancy stats does not look that great to me. It seems to me Davidson has outplayed him. Reinhart does not require waivers, I would send him down before Davidson.

  114. stephen sheps says:

    Marc: If you get a chance, try to catch a football game at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. The stadium there seats 100,000+ and is just a crazy place to experience a game.

    A friend took me to the annual Thanksgiving game with Vanderbilt there some years ago and we had an absolute blast.

    That’s definitely in the works. I just saw my first live NFL game last weekend (Arizona throttling the 49ers) so I need more live football in my life. Likely will catch the Titans/Panthers game in November (my brother’s favourite team is the Panthers, I won’t get to see my Dolphins this year and they’re an Oiler-like tire fire anyway) and have every intention of catching a UT game… I just hope they lose. Working in the UT system (UTC) has made me rather bitter. Knoxville treats the rest of us like we have no idea what we’re doing. But that’s a story for another day on another blog.

  115. 719 says:

    I apologize if asked already, but does anyone know when the final round of cuts will be announced? Before or after the last pre-season game?

    Thank you in advance.

  116. dustrock says:

    From Gregor today:

    I had an eye-opening conversation with Andrew Ference after the game. We discussed the captaincy. He told me he was the one who initiated the conversation with Peter Chiarelli, as well as with McLellan and his teammates. He believes it is better to be upfront and open and discuss the situation. He wanted them to know it wouldn’t be uncomfortable.

    He won’t change who is he whether he has the “C” or not, and he understands the dynamics of the room.

    He’s always been very upfront and honest, and whether or not I agree with what someone says, I always respect a person when they are honest and open.

    I believe the Oilers won’t have one player wear the “C” this year. I think you will either see a few alternates, or they will rotate the “C”, similar to how Minnesota did.

    I’ve always felt we overrate the importance of who wears the letter. You need more than one leader, and good leaders will lead regardless of whether they have a letter on their jersey or not.

  117. Jonathan Willis says:

    There’s a lot of love for Brandon Davidson in these parts, as though he were a notably better defenceman than some of the other options.

    He’s younger and he’s cheaper, and maybe that’s enough to justify keeping him. But he remains a limited player in a lot of ways, and it’s hard to craft a plausible trail for him to reach the point where he’s even a No. 4/5 defenceman.

    With Davidson, Nikitin and Gryba you’re really just picking your poison. Do you want a guy who is young/cheap, a guy who can (at least occasionally) pass or a guy who is mean? Ference seems clearly to be the least of the quartet, but I have trouble feeling strongly about the gap between the other three.

  118. Магия 10 says:

    zatch:
    Tarkus,

    Those are awesome for betting. Jesus. I’ll take the Nuge Over all day.

    ~ i’m taking the under every year until he cracks 50 points ~

    edit: missed wg’s crack

  119. Lowetide says:

    Jonathan Willis:
    There’s a lot of love for Brandon Davidson in these parts, as though he were a notably better defenceman than some of the other options.

    He’s younger and he’s cheaper, and maybe that’s enough to justify keeping him. But he remains a limited player in a lot of ways, and it’s hard to craft a plausible trail for him to reach the point where he’s even a No. 4/5 defenceman.

    With Davidson, Nikitin and Gryba you’re really just picking your poison. Do you want a guy who is young/cheap, a guy who can (at least occasionally) pass or a guy who is mean? Ference seems clearly to be the least of the quartet, but I have trouble feeling strongly about the gap between the other three.

    The Oilers tipped their hand when not buying out Nikitin and signing Franson, said it at the time With that as the backdrop, Gryba and Davidson are the only men who might be useful when Edmonton decides to turn north

  120. Woogie63 says:

    Pouzar,

    What does Purcell bring to the party, why can’t he start in the pressbox?

  121. Pouzar says:

    Jonathan Willis,

    Davidson is a better d-man than Ference and NN right now imo.
    I haven’t seen enough of Gryba.

  122. verdad2.0 says:

    Everyone on this board , this includes you Woodguy, need to really appreciate the enormity of what occurred last night.

    An Oiler team with 4 first picks was humiliated by a team that was lead by Bo Horvat. Really think about that – Bo Horvat.

    What is says is that this OIler team has the same dysfunctions of most for the last 6 years – no heart to play physically engaged hockey, no defensive structure or talent, and indifferent goaltending.

    All of this was pretty much where we left off last year. MacDavid makes no material difference.

    Sadly, NHL hockey isn’t about skill levels of the forwards. It is about defensive structure and physicality.

    So many resent being confronted with the the reality that nothing has changed.
    Personel decisions are made on the basis CYA rationalizations of past contracts, not an honest committment to fielding the best set of players to compete.
    Moreover, bad management from the past is still around and listened to.

    But the worst is the clear evidence that this horrific status quo is now acceptable to Chiarelli etal.
    The prime objective is not to make the playoffs this season, but rather to create future optionality, as if one fan who pays these enormous ticket prices cares about that. If any did they day trade with less emotional heartbreak.
    A team never will make the playoffs if it isn’t committed to that goal.
    The disheartening reality of past June was that Chiarelli showed no urgency to fix his defesne, flush out the overrated and find physically engaged players.

    Its one thing not to be able to get OEL, but it is another to willfully dress a team of players who don’t want to compete and players who are simply unable to compete.

    Fundamental moves in the summer should have been made. Harder to do now.

    Last point, everyone should be thinking about what does Chiarelli do if the OIlers start the season 0-4. That is the most plausible scenario. Does he do what MacTavish did last year and simply savor future optionality and more future high draft picks?
    If both Ference and Nikitin are still on this team by the time it gets to St. Louis next week, we will have our answer.

  123. BONVIE says:

    Lowetide,

    I agree with you both. I do prefer Davidson to stay up over Nikitin and Ference however, I see our main problem with the Defense isn’t who is gonna fill the last spot. It’s more in the fact our best Defensemen are only marginally better than the rest.

  124. khildahl says:

    Tarkus,

    You piqued my curiosity so I went and looked at the prop bets my book is offering. As a rule I don’t tend to put money on these things, but they’ve got the over/under on wins for Calgary at 42.5.

    That’s probably as easy money as you’re going to find.

  125. Pouzar says:

    Woogie63:
    Pouzar,

    What does Purcell bring to the party, why can’t he start in the pressbox?

    I want Slepy man…but people keep screaming preseason at me. *shrug*

  126. Oil2Oilers says:

    I have given up trying to see a solution to the F’N’ tyre fire so I will direct my eyer elsewhere.

    Fayne has not lived up to my expectations but may have some value;

    Fayne + 2016 1st + Purcell (on a 50% retain) for Adam Larsson

    NJ gets a defender they know, a first round pick and Purcell who would be a top 6 player in there pop gun offence.

    Oiler get to put Klefbom and Larsson together and not have to worry about at least one of there defensive pairs for the next 5+ years. Easily worth a 1st round pick.

  127. John Chambers says:

    Oil2Oilers,

    I agree that Fayne is a 5-6 defenseman we’re trying to slot into the top-4.

    Chia should ‘Smid’ that contract, but there’s a shortage of credible talent to backfill even that.

  128. BONVIE says:

    Pouzar: I want Slepy man…but people keep screaming preseason at me.*shrug*

    I would agree I think they keep him he shows he can play away from the puck, and they need offensive guys that can play to get the puck back and hold their own on the second scoring line.

    Yakapov has a good chance to succeed on the third line where he is, moving him up on the top two lines is not a good idea.

  129. kinger_OIL says:

    – Who f-#in, g cares if Davidson is a better 6 D than NN or Captain, or Gryba or Reinhart or Nurse, or where they rank from 1-6 as the 6th D

    – None of these players make the team significantly better this season (ok Captain for sure makes us worse!)

    – You can debate flawed old busted vets, vs Rooks that are inexperienced youth vs low-impact low-ceiling Davidson/Gryba: but whatever the decision, its not going to matter: they are all marginal

    – And Marincin: he’s another 6/7 who is is battling Scott Harrington and Robidas for the sixth and seventh D in Toronto, so get over him.

    – Need more top-4 d’s, not debating the merits of the optimal #6 amongst our plethora of 6/7 D’s

  130. Pouzar says:

    BONVIE: I would agree I think they keep him he shows he can play away from the puck, and they need offensive guys that can play to get the puck back and hold their own on the second scoring line.

    Yakapov has a good chance to succeed on the third line where he is, moving him up on the top two lines is not a good idea.

    I maybe in the minority but I put a lot more stock in his KHL experience than most. He’s been playing against men for parts of 5 seasons now and has showed in the preseason he can hold his own against AHL type comp. Not saying he is the answer but I think he deserves a shot at seeing what he has against NHL comp.

  131. Jonathan Willis says:

    Lowetide: The Oilers tipped their hand when not buying out Nikitin and signing Franson, said it at the time With that as the backdrop, Gryba and Davidson are the only men who might be useful when Edmonton decides to turn north

    Yep, that’s a reasonable argument. I have trouble seeing any of the current quartet with the team past this season – Sekera, Klefbom, Nurse, Reinhart and Fayne (if not traded) have five of six spots, Musil will need waivers next year, there’s a flood coming behind him and of course Chia is going to want at least one vet of his choosing at the bottom of the roster, because that’s where you can add a guy who fits your philosophy without things really mattering (Gryba may be this guy long-term but I bet he’s flipped for a better pick at the deadline).

  132. ashley says:

    I agree that Fayne is overhyped. But I don’t think he’s useless. He’s a late career Staios off-the-glass and out dependable 3rd pairing guy that we can use. Fayne got lots of play last year because of the heavy contract signed by the guy that was in charge. That guy is not in charge anymore and that makes a big difference.

    If I had to guess, after 10 games will see top 4 icetime of Sekara-Schultz, Klefbom-Reinhart or Klefbom-Schultz, Sekara-Reinhart.

    In other words, it’s still going to be a bit of a fire drill every night, but hopefully our forwards can outscore what we let in, and maybe our goalie will steal a few more games than last year.

  133. wheatnoil says:

    Jonathan Willis:
    There’s a lot of love for Brandon Davidson in these parts, as though he were a notably better defenceman than some of the other options.

    He’s younger and he’s cheaper, and maybe that’s enough to justify keeping him. But he remains a limited player in a lot of ways, and it’s hard to craft a plausible trail for him to reach the point where he’s even a No. 4/5 defenceman.

    With Davidson, Nikitin and Gryba you’re really just picking your poison. Do you want a guy who is young/cheap, a guy who can (at least occasionally) pass or a guy who is mean? Ference seems clearly to be the least of the quartet, but I have trouble feeling strongly about the gap between the other three.

    I agree that we don’t have evidence that Davidson > Nikitin / Gryba.

    At least with Gryba, we have evidence that he was a relatively neutral d-corsi in Ottawa the last year, implying he at least functioned at the level of an average NHL player and he appeared to be pretty decent at reducing HD scoring chances against. On the other hand, his CF% RelTM was -4.0. I haven’t seen enough of him to make an opinion by eye.

    I do wonder if Davidson is a waiver risk, mostly because of his contract and his ability to be a #7 D-man on at least a couple teams (SJ, Bos). If Nikitin isn’t clearly an upgrade on Davidson, I’m pro sending down Nikitin because there’s no way he gets claimed and trying out Davidson based on his success at the AHL level. You can always recall Nikitin if it’s not working out.

    In saying that, the other side of my brain points out that we actually have evidence that Nikitin > Davidson. Fancy stats prefer Nikitin, despite my yelling at the TV screen when he’s on the ice often. G Money has been digging into this and Nikitin certainly hasn’t looked good in the pre-season, but I still can’t help but feel like my eyes are missing something. Last year, his CF% RelTM was 0.3, so almost break-even, where as Davidson (in limited minutes) was -3.2%… not much better than Andrew Ference. Nikitin was also quite strong at reducing HD scoring chances against compared to the other D. Also, his PDO was quite low, despite having better HD scoring chances against, so maybe that was what made him look worse.

    So I waffle on this. Given Nikitin’s not terrible fancy stats last year. Would sending him down for Davidson be that much different than sending down Marincin in favour of Hunt last year? Trying out an untested AHL player at the start of the year, thereby extending preseason into the regular season? By eye, I like Davidson better… much better. By stats, Nikitin is the clear choice… ahead of both Gryba and Davidson.

    Guh. I just spent my short break writing a bunch of paragraphs and am now more confused than when I started. I give up!

  134. Jonathan Willis says:

    Pouzar:
    Jonathan Willis,

    Davidson is a better d-man than Ference and NN right now imo.
    I haven’t seen enough of Gryba.

    Certainly he’s better than Ference, who is No. 9 with a buller on merit among the nine surviving blueliners. There are at least three guys in the AHL right now who I’d rather have on my blue line today if contracts weren’t an issue.

    He’s more physical and more mobile than Nikitin, and overall I’d agree he’s probably a bit better. What I wonder is if Nikitin’s specific abilities (he can pass a bit, and I’m not sure you can say that about anyone else on that third pairing) trump the overall differences. If you’re looking for a guy to play with Reinhart or Gryba, Davidson is redundant in a lot of ways and having an even halfways-competent passer could help.

  135. kinger_OIL says:

    – And if Yak isn’t given the chance to be a top-6 forward, what the F$ is is doing on this roster after 4 years?

    – Trade him to a team that will play him where he should be, as part of getting a D back

    – Ok – venting over!

  136. Pouzar says:

    Agreed with all that especially this.

    Jonathan Willis: There are at least three guys in the AHL right now who I’d rather have on my blue line today if contracts weren’t an issue.

  137. JDï™ says:

    Edmonton Oilers

    @EdmontonOilers

    Klefbom didn’t skate today and is unavailable for tomorrow’s #NHLPreseason finale. Coach McLellan says his status remains day-to-day.

  138. verdad2.0 says:

    JDï™,

    The man of glass

  139. Oil2Oilers says:

    John Chambers:
    Oil2Oilers,

    I agree that Fayne is a 5-6 defenseman we’re trying to slot into the top-4.

    Chia should ‘Smid’ that contract, but there’s a shortage of credible talent to backfill even that.

    Love that idea and expression, ‘Smid’ him man!

  140. BONVIE says:

    kinger_OIL:
    – And if Yak isn’t given the chance to be a top-6 forward, what the F$ is is doing on this roster after 4 years?

    – Trade him to a team that will play him where he should be,as part of getting a D back

    – Ok – venting over!

    You have to deal with Yakapov’s game where it is right now, it would have been nice if he would have advanced in playing away from the puck, board play, defensive positioning, simple breakouts and anticipating when the puck is being reversed to his wall. His game however hasn’t advanced since he started with Horcoff. Let him at least get his offensive confidence back, and play against the opposition that won’t fill the Oilers nets with pucks.

    I feel the management has made a good safe third line with some skill and defensive responsibility to be able to succeed. he should have ample opportunity to play with top line players on the power play as well.

  141. Marc says:

    stephen sheps: That’s definitely in the works. I just saw my first live NFL game last weekend (Arizona throttling the 49ers) so I need more live football in my life. Likely will catch the Titans/Panthers game in November (my brother’s favourite team is the Panthers, I won’t get to see my Dolphins this year and they’re an Oiler-like tire fire anyway) and have every intention of catching a UT game… I just hope they lose. Working in the UT system (UTC) has made me rather bitter. Knoxville treats the rest of us like we have no idea what we’re doing. But that’s a story for another day on another blog.

    They’ll probably lose (though maybe not against Vanderbilt). Butch Jones is a terrible coach.

    I actually made an impromptu trip to the US last week to catch up with the same friend who took me to the UT game. He’s now based in Indianapolis so we went to the Notre Dame game on Saturday, then up to Chicago for the Cubs game at Wrigley on Sunday night.

    Both places are now easily in my top ten best places to watch live sports, if not my top five. Everything about the game day experience at Notre Dame – the campus, the tailgating, the students, the stadium, the band, the atmosphere – is awesome.

    And Wrigley is by far the best place to watch a baseball game that I’ve ever been to. I loved everything about it.

    Both places should really be on every sports fan’s bucket list. I can’t recommend them enough.

  142. godot10 says:

    kinger_OIL:
    – And if Yak isn’t given the chance to be a top-6 forward, what the F$ is is doing on this roster after 4 years?

    Yakupov is doing just fine with “Captain” Lander. Lander and whoever is going to play the other wing will play a simple game that Yakupov can riff off of. Yakupov can explore the boundaries of his game with predictable linemates offensively and defensively.

    Most teams are trying to go to a 3-scoring-lines model. And Yakupov on the third scoring line will give other teams matchup problems eventually.

  143. AnOmYnOuS1 says:

    Pouzar: I maybe in the minority but I put a lot more stock in his KHL experience than most. He’s been playing against men for parts of 5 seasons now and has showed in the preseason he can hold his own against AHL type comp. Not saying he is the answer but I think he deserves a shot at seeing what he has against NHL comp.

    I agree. The KHL is considered the 2nd best league so he’s clearly he’s able to play against pretty good players. He’s got the size and speed that fits into our top-9, as well as being willing to shoot and seems to have a clue defensively. He managed 15 goals in the KHL, which seems pretty good considering it’s a more defensive league compared to the NHL. My only concerns are if he can continue to adjust to the small ice when it’s against actual NHL players and if language will be a problem. So far he seems to be doing good. It’s going to be a tough decision on whether or not to send him down.

    Such a crazy thought about having to make tough decisions on sending players down. Watching players battle and earn is such a new concept for us.

  144. Pouzar says:

    AnOmYnOuS1: My only concerns are if he can continue to adjust to the small ice

    I found an article online from 2013 that said the KHL were decreasing the width of their rinks by 2 meters from the Olympic sized width. I have no idea if that was actually done in all or any of their rinks.

    “Earlier this week KHL president Alexander Medvedev said the six-year-old league will reduce the width of its Olympic-size rinks to 28 meters from 30 meters after the 2014 Sochi Games, putting them closer in line with the 26-meter-wide ice surfaces used in the NHL.”

    http://sputniknews.com/sport/20130402/180400999/KHL-Rink-Shrink-to-Sex-Up-Hockey—Petrov.html

    I guess it was set in motion.

    http://en.rsport.ru/hockey/20130625/670496174.html

  145. godot10 says:

    Davidson has the advantage of having something Nikitin and Ference don’t have. i.e. a future, which is why you waive Nikitin, and not Davidson. Nikitin is NOT going to be back next year.

    Davidson has been ripened in the AHL. He is ready for the #7 role to be challenging for #6.

  146. BONVIE says:

    godot10:
    Davidson has the advantage of having something Nikitin and Ference don’t have.i.e. a future, which is why you waive Nikitin, and not Davidson.Nikitin is NOT going to be back next year.

    Davidson has been ripened in the AHL.He is ready for the #7 role to be challenging for #6.

    I like this post!

  147. hunter1909 says:

    Oilers are still too much like the 1969 Philadelphia Flyers. Easily bullied, pushed around and intimidated.

    For example: seeing Taylor Hall getting checked without the puck in the 1st period was flat out ridiculous. And potentially dangerous. Yet Hall continues to take this crap for some reason. Did anyone try checking Mark Messier like that?

    The fact that a visiting team can show up, play a relatively even period of hockey before banging in a few goals… then being allowed to coast for the rest of the game is as much a reason for the failure of the Oilers than anything else.

    Seeing the Canucks – smiling and having fun in the third period is totally unacceptable.

  148. McSorley33 says:

    Am I allowed to do this….?

    Great job by David, Bruce and Jonathan ( COH ) covering the Oilers training camp and preseason….

    I am still angry with Bruce for pointing out the OIlers have not really played an NHL laden team yet in the preseason…

    As a right winger though, I will never let facts get in the way of my views.

  149. JDï™ says:

    http://video.oilers.nhl.com/videocenter/console?catid=4&id=839495

    McLellan’s presser today.

    Of special interest, is his answer to Rishaug’s question about the final roster (paraphrasing), “Are you able to give a veteran who maybe hasn’t shown his best in camp, the benefit of the doubt that he will be ready for game 1 of the regular season?”

    TM: “We will have to ice the 20 players in St Louis who give us the best chance of winning.”

  150. vinotintazo says:

    godot10:
    Davidson has the advantage of having something Nikitin and Ference don’t have.i.e. a future, which is why you waive Nikitin, and not Davidson.Nikitin is NOT going to be back next year.

    Davidson has been ripened in the AHL.He is ready for the #7 role to be challenging for #6.

    I like davidson, but he’s cealing is a 3rd pairing dman, where we need Reinhart and Nurse to play eventually, if he cant make this defense now, he never will imo.

    Nikitin- Aweful, not part of this team next year.
    Ference- Has a NMC, not going anywhere this year, might be bought out next year.
    Gryba- To me he’s a RD version of Aulie, not part of the future either.

  151. Pouzar says:

    JDï™: TM: “We will have to ice the 20 players in St Louis who give us the best chance of winning.”

    I guess we will find out if he’s lying very soon.

  152. JDï™ says:

    Pouzar: I guess we will find out if he’s lying very soon.

    Well even the ‘best chance of winning’ might not be enough, at least for a while. I think I’d rather be tasked with carving Canada’s Mt Rushmore, than turning around the defensive play of this team.

    But yes, we’re approaching a very interesting, and telling, point in the team’s future – who stays, who goes, and exactly how much pull Chiarelli has with his new club.

    Cap compliance day is the day before the season opens, no? That would be October 6th.

  153. Woodguy says:

    verdad2.0,

    Everyone on this board , this includes you Woodguy, need to really appreciate the enormity of what occurred last night.

    So when ANA lost their last 4 games of the preseason last year (including getting shut out by ARZ) what enormity was that?

    You’re the worst.

    Post less.

  154. BONVIE says:

    Hmm this post reminds me of our oil change, whatever happened to that. It seemed to end right about the time they traded Dubnyk out of town. Kind of seems like that the last guys that were in charge of our oil change forgot to put the plug back in and cost us our engine. The producers of the series probably walked off and said screw this series we can’t follow this for a happy ending. They just traded away their top goalie because their Defensemen were terrible. How can we make that worse trade the best of those Defensemen away and bring in new almost as good Defensemen. In the end if none of this gong show had happened we wouldn’t have had Conner McDavid.

    I was very disappointed the new management let all the old management hang around as maybe if they would have cleaned house they might have been able to convince Dubnyk to rejoin this group. The top four Defensemen may all be in our system impacting in the next couple of years, but now we created a huge hole in not having a top flight goaltender. For me the goalie I believe most likely to be able to fill this massive hole is either Nilson or Brossoit. None the less I hope like heck that Cam Talbot can play great behind a subpar Defense, cause it’s been so long since I watched my team in the playoffs it’s hard to remember.

  155. verdad2.0 says:

    hunter1909,

    All true but who is responsible for this?

    It has to fall to Chiarelli more than anyone else.
    Why is there never any emotional or physical engagement with these players?

    Most of this board aoplogizes for them endlessly. Instead of OEL, maybe the Oilers should fixate on Dorsett, not for his talent but at least his willingness to physically engage.
    Maybe the reconstruction of the Oilers starts with finding players who play with some passion and self respect? Or maybe just self-respect for the paying customers.

    Five years is a long time to wait for leadership qualities to emerge.

  156. bendelson says:

    Tough night. I listened to the first couple of periods of the game on the radio while driving back to town last night. They sounded VERY rough around the edges but I decided early on to give them a free pass – it’s pre-season after all…

    But I am growing very concerned. When are they going to get their shit together? Hell, maybe a better question is: Will they ever get their shit together. I’m starting to have my doubts. I mean, seriously, are they getting WORSE?

    In fairness, Bob is likely being handicapped in a Ferencian-like fashion by the insufferable Jack Michaels but they are a team – and the team is bad. Eakins-era Oilers bad.

    Call the game Jack. JUST the game. The rest of your shtick is just nonsense.
    Leave that to Bob.

    Oh, and it sounded like the Oilers weren’t very good either. Meh – it’s pre-season.

    _____

    Dano on waivers? Yeah, sure. Who’s spreading this crap?

    ______

    41.5?
    I’ll take the over on Yakupov.

  157. Fortinbras says:

    On a semi ongoing relative note –

    I just opened my first pack of Tim Horton’s Upper Deck hockey cards and the first card is Oliver Ekman – Larsson.

    But like in real life, I’ll never trade him!!

  158. leadfarmer says:

    There is a certain poster on this site that deserves a ban for a week or two. It’s one thing to disagree with others, it’s another to repeat the same thing over and over. It doesn’t stimulate conversation and doesn’t move the conversation forward. We used to have discussion about banning a certain poster for derailing threads a he actually had a good point once in a while. This is flat out trolling and has been going on for too long. Multiple people have addressed this troll with no resolution. Time to end this.

  159. Woodguy says:

    godot10: Yakupov is doing just fine with “Captain” Lander.Lander and whoever is going to play the other wing will play a simple game that Yakupov can riff off of. Yakupov can explore the boundaries of his game with predictable linemates offensively and defensively.

    Most teams are trying to go to a 3-scoring-lines model. And Yakupov on the third scoring line will give other teams matchup problems eventually.

    Agreed.

    Softer minutes ands still on PP2.

    Will be good for him if he doesn’t see it as a slight.

  160. oliveoilers says:

    Fortinbras:
    On a semi ongoing relative note –

    I just opened my first pack of Tim Horton’s Upper Deck hockey cards and the first card is Oliver Ekman – Larsson.

    But like in real life, I’ll never trade him!!

    I compelt you to trade me that card for my Robbie Schremp rookie card.

    If you don’t, I will be a terrible GM.

  161. commonfan14 says:

    leadfarmer: There is a certain poster on this site that deserves a ban for a week or two. It’s one thing to disagree with others, it’s another to repeat the same thing over and over.

    So he can’t stop talking about magically getting OEL.

    I used to post all the time for like a year and a half that we were magically going to get McDavid.

    Sometimes these things work out.

  162. Snowman says:

    bendelson,

    I like listening to Jack and Bob. Sure they spend an inordinate amount of time talking about other stuff but it’s entertaining. They’re a pretty good team in my opinion. I’ll say like a late 90s Oiler team. Not quite there but probably better than average with some good moments.

  163. stush18 says:

    Would anyone trade ference for bickell?

    Slightly larger contract, for a slightly better player.

  164. bendelson says:

    Snowman:
    bendelson,

    I like listening to Jack and Bob. Sure they spend an inordinate amount of time talking about other stuff but it’s entertaining. They’re a pretty good team in my opinion. I’ll say like a late 90s Oiler team. Not quite there but probably better than average with some good moments.

    Hey, to each their own I suppose… I can’t stand Jack Michaels. Too much cake.

    A few weeks back, I heard Dennis King dumping all over Buck Martinez and Pat Tabler on the Lowdown. I love those guys! (John Cerutti was great as well). Buck’s voice IS the Blue Jays in my mind. The worst part of his brief tenure as Manager back in the day wasn’t the shitty team or poor/rookie managerial decisions – it was the loss of his voice as the play-by-play announcer.

    So, yeah… to each their own.

  165. JDï™ says:

    commonfan14: So he can’t stop talking about magically getting OEL.

    …and can’t stop calling Chiarelli a failure, cut from the same cloth as MacT and Howson, etc.

    …and assumes that everyone here is okay with ‘inaction’ on fixing the defense, when in reality we’re merely trying to point out that trades can’t happen in a vacuum, and bad defenders on big contracts are difficult to move.

    …and then cries ‘ad hominem attack’ when called out.

    …and offers nothing new, interesting, or witty to any conversation on this blog, and apparently doesn’t pick up anything from it either.

    I politely refer to said poster as a troel, when in reality I think it’s much, much worse. I mean, anyone who regularly gets trashed to smithereens over at ON…

    Think NewAgeSys, but without the substance.

  166. G Money says:

    JDï™: Think NewAgeSys, but without the substance.

    LOL. Ouch.

    I mean: LOEL.

  167. BONVIE says:

    I used to like to talk about trading for Tyler Myers and Colin Wilson, neither of those dreams came true. Myers actually got traded too, so he was obviously available.

    That’s the thing about not being in the business we don’t really know who actually is available till they get traded, but one would think that in the last 5 years this management must have had a shot at a potential top 6 with some size or a potential top pair dman!!!

  168. Ducey says:

    stush18:
    Would anyone trade ference for bickell?

    Slightly larger contract, for a slightly better player.

    I wonder if the holdup in the Bickell trade (Bickell for Nikitin) was that Bickell didn’t have EDM on his limited trade list.

    Ference for Bickell would need both to waive (possibly) but its a better fit for both because they both have 2 year deals.

    The Nikitin deal could still happen. Chia showed Sather he was willing to call a bluff.

    I hope it doesn’t though. Bickell is dead weight (apparently) for 2 years. NN is cleared after this one.

  169. maudite says:

    There are different levels of bad.

    Nikitin had at least one nice pinch offensively and he made more than a couple nice controlled passes for good zone exits. There is a serviceable 6th d there. Not perfect but so be it.

    Ference batted pucks into no man’s land everytime, recovered poorly from any over matching of speed and while yeah he is in great shape he isn’t really small guy strong. Last night it was awful. Just no real ability to even properly leverage or use low center of gravity effectively in any situation.

    Numbers don’t lie and as much as Nikitin isn’t everything you’d wish like so many nights last year by eye and by numbers Ference is definitely the black hole. Man petry loss is still so painful.

  170. Adam Wu says:

    Personally, I have almost zero doubt that Chiarelli, very early on, DID call Maloney and made a multi F + for OEL, and Maloney laughed in his face (or the polite equivalent thereof). In fact, Chia probably already KNEW from his Boston days precisely what magnitude of offer Maloney would be willing to consider for OEL. And he knew the ballpark ranges for EVERY major top D/GM pair.

    Because that’s what good GMs do as part of routine preparation.

  171. Showerhead says:

    Woodguy: Agreed.

    Softer minutes ands still on PP2.

    Will be good for him if he doesn’t see it as a slight.

    This is sound strategy even if you ignore Yakupov’s history to this point.

    For Edmonton to turn north and be “good” and all of that, you have to believe that the McDavid and RNH lines can both push the river against anyone. If they can’t by say, McDavid year 2, that’s a pretty big disappointment IMO. If they can, then Edmonton can absolutely make hay with the matchups they have left.

    I think the sum of McDavid vs. toughest context + RNH vs. 2nd toughest + Lander/Yak vs. 3rd is more a) favourable to Edmonton on most nights and b) more favourable to Edmonton than any other arrangement.

    So yes. Go Yakupov as a 3rd line soft minute player. I think it is where he fits best on this team and he should make hay there eventually, maybe even soon.

  172. JDï™ says:

    BONVIE: but one would think that in the last 5 years this management must have had a shot at a potential top 6

    No doubt that’s possible, but we’re really only concerned with the last 5 or 6 months here. Everything else is history.

    Half a year isn’t enough time to make over this blue line (especially over the summer when almost zero trades are made), and Chiarelli has yet to put a regular season roster on the ice.

    But the ledge is there, and there are already people out on it. Good for them, but I would suggest they either ‘do it’, or get back inside and pour a strong one. This is going to take some time.

  173. Showerhead says:

    Showerhead,

    I don’t think I mentioned in this post that I’m not necessarily thinking opening night so much as “when Edmonton is good”. I’m assuming that the defense will be improved.

  174. BONVIE says:

    JDï™: No doubt that’s possible, but we’re really only concerned with the last 5 or 6 months here. Everything else is history.

    Half a year isn’t enough time to make over this blue line (especially over the summer when almost zero trades are made), and Chiarelli has yet to put a regular season roster on the ice.

    But the ledge is there, and there are already people out on it. Good for them, but I would suggest they either ‘do it’, or get back inside and pour a strong one. This is going to take some time.

    Yes I believe your right I think our top 4 D are probably all with the club right now but they are either on the AHL like Nurse, or basically rookies like Reinhart and Klefbom. The forwards playing the right way will definitely have a huge impact on easing the pressure on the young defenseman and unproven goaltending though, so we’ll have to wait and see. I still would like to think ill be watching them compete in the playoffs or at the very least compete to at least be in the mix come March.

  175. Adam Wu says:

    Everyone is worse when paired with Ference.

    The entire D looks worse when he’s in the lineup.

    This brings up the damning question: if you just benched Ference and ran 5 D, double shifting Sekera, Kelfbom and Fayne on rotation, until those guys just can’t take it anymore, would your D be any worse? Or even better? If better, how many games could you sustain that?

    Right now, is Ference better or worse than a bag of pucks?

  176. bendelson says:

    Adam Wu: Right now, is Ference better or worse than bag of pucks?

    Well, I have noticed bag of pucks’ typically solid posts get a little wonky with Ference in the lineup. Unfortunately, I don’t have the WOWYs available to back it up… yet.

  177. Woodguy says:

    Showerhead: This is sound strategy even if you ignore Yakupov’s history to this point.

    For Edmonton to turn north and be “good” and all of that, you have to believe that the McDavid and RNH lines can both push the river against anyone. If they can’t by say, McDavid year 2, that’s a pretty big disappointment IMO. If they can, then Edmonton can absolutely make hay with the matchups they have left.

    I think the sum of McDavid vs. toughest context + RNH vs. 2nd toughest + Lander/Yak vs. 3rd is more a) favourable to Edmonton on most nights and b) more favourable to Edmonton than any other arrangement.

    So yes. Go Yakupov as a 3rd line soft minute player. I think it is where he fits best on this team and he should make hay there eventually, maybe even soon.

    Exactly.

  178. Dr. Taboggan says:

    Really enjoyed the last few threads. I think there have been some great debates. Although I think compelting Arizona into trading us OEL for Mark Messier is obviously option #1 I thought of a great option #2. Trading for Pronger. He is also with Arizona, makes slightly more money, but with unstable ownership they might be willing to move out his contract. Easier to facilitate a trade. We would not have to add the sweeteners necessary to get OEL. We are probably looking at a simple Hall and 3rd rounder for Pronger. Plus Pronger brings a lot more intangibles than OEL (who to be perfectly honest is a pretty fluffy player). This would also solve the Kaptain issue. Anyway just my two cents.

  179. GCW_69 says:

    Jonathan Willis: Certainly he’s better than Ference, who is No. 9 with a buller on merit among the nine surviving blueliners. There are at least three guys in the AHL right now who I’d rather have on my blue line today if contracts weren’t an issue.

    He’s more physical and more mobile than Nikitin, and overall I’d agree he’s probably a bit better. What I wonder is if Nikitin’s specific abilities (he can pass a bit, and I’m not sure you can say that about anyone else on that third pairing) trump the overall differences. If you’re looking for a guy to play with Reinhart or Gryba, Davidson is redundant in a lot of ways and having an even halfways-competent passer could help.

    Maybe that’s whee we disagree. I think Davidson is a half way decent passer. Not a great one, but ok.

    The team bwould have been better off running a Marincin – Davidson third pairing and letting Reinhart refine his game in the AHL for another season, then trade Marincin.

  180. GCW_69 says:

    JDï™: Half a year isn’t enough time to make over this blue line (especially over the summer when almost zero trades are made), and Chiarelli has yet to put a regular season roster on the ice.

    There is no limit on trades and free agency is limited only by the GMs creativity with the cap. The state of the current defence is on Chia because he chose a cautious approach. He could easily have bought out Ference and signed Franson. He could have brought in somome like Hedja on PTO.

    I believe Chiarelli will make moves of the course of the season to improve the defence, but the suffering we will go through between now and then is partially on him.

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