Justin Schultz looked good by eye and by math last night. Justin Schultz looked good by eye and math last night. He received lots of positive words after the St. Louis game, but for me the Nashville game was far better. Before we get to the numbers for the blue, a few things:

  • Lots of people all over Sekera for the first GA last night and he certainly did stickhandle himself into a corner. That said, Mark Letestu needed to offer support there (staying high, making sure Edmonton wasn’t outnumbered by Preds). You can blame Sekera and that’s fine, but it’s also true the rest of the team has to be better in terms of positioning and awareness there.
  • I expect it’s going to be a very difficult year for Andrew Ference, wrote about it here.  The only thing that may change? Ference may end up playing fewer than 28 games. There’s no defense of the mistake by the former captain last night, so I will offer none. When a veteran makes a rookie play, well I guess that must be hockey’s circle of life. The contract ends summer 2017, Edmonton can buy him out next summer. Todd McLellan will have to decide how many games the veteran will see in the coming months. Not an easy situation on either side of the equation.


oct 10 d

The ZS’s didn’t really have a dungeon last night, but the Klefbom—Schultz pairing faced the toughest and came out above 50%. Sekera was in fact used in a strong OZone role and I like that adjustment—for me that’s good usage, although would have thought Schultz was the more obvious choice. Ference—Gryba were solid by the numbers and Gryba impresses me as a guy who can actually defend (he has no offensive potential at all, however). Ference we discussed above.


oct 10 c

Nuge was splendid last night, I’m loving his progress as a player. He’s not perfect, and when he makes a mistake it’s back of the net because Oilers, but he’s an excellent NHL center. McDavid got the push (like he should) and for me there’s simply too much there to worry about two games without a point. When he breaks out, he’ll probably score two extra to make up for the last two games. DO NOT WORRY about Connor McDavid, he’ll be fine. The Lander and Letestu lines had tough nights.

I wanted to highlight McDavid’s night because it may have seen a turning point for Todd McLellan and his search for hockey chemistry. Remember, McD was 59% overall 5×5 Corsi for %.


  • Nail Yakupov 8-4 .667 Corsi events (6:23 EV TOI)
  • Benoit Pouliot 8-6 .571 Corsi events (8:38 EV TOI)
  • Lauri Korpikoski 5-5 .500 Corsi events (4:42 EV TOI)
  • Source

The McDavid—Yakupov chemistry may kill Don Cherry, but we’re going to have to risk it. The young Russian looked effective and rapido out there, with the added appeal of Hall emerging on the Nuge line with nine shots. These things take time to develop and never say never with regard to Hall—McDavid, but Don Cherry may be wise to start looking at the Kingston phone books for the “Yakupov” surname. MUST be a connection!


oct 10 f

People are all over Purcell, but he made a splendid pass to Hall for the point blank last night, should have been a goal and will be when Hall finds the groove. I think McLellan will run Hall with Nuge and Purcell until Eberle gets back, and would be shocked if we don’t see McDavid with Yak and Poo next game.

Which brings me to Slepyshev. I think we may see him sent to Bakersfield in the next few days, with Leon Draisaitl a possible recall. TC impressions can fool people and I think it’s wise to allow this young man to find his game. I felt at the time the right call involved keeping Draisaitl and sending out Slepy and the handling of Anton Lander compels Peter Chiarelli to make this move.

Edmonton is between a rock and a hard place with Andrew Ference, but there’s no such barrier for a Slepyshev—Draisaitl swap. That should happen today.

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217 Responses to "A ROCK AND A HARD PLACE"

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  1. Магия 10 says:

    G Money: OK, back to the regularly scheduled … whatever it is.

    They all did it first. Make them all stop.

  2. John Chambers says:

    Halfwise: I think the Pens wanted Weber for Malkin. They could of made that deal if they weren’t such loosers.

    “Hey Geno – Jim here. Yeah we want you to waive your no-trade to go to Phoenix. What? No no, that was just one season, they’re on the upswing. Of course we’re trading for that blueliner who can wheel do there won’t be anybody who can get you the puck.”

    “Shit. Geno won’t accept the trade. I’m going to be fuckin fired”.

  3. G Money says:

    Woodguy: -disagreed with Gmoney on Scrivens

    You … you … disagreed with me?

    Dammit, why is it so dusty in here!??

    *walks away sadly*

  4. John Chambers says:

    Btw where does Dys come from?

    Chirping my canucklehead cousin at the game in Van next week.

  5. G Money says:

    Магия 10,

    If anyone asks ‘are we there yet’, I SWEAR, I’M STOPPING THE CAR!

  6. Магия 10 says:

    G Money: it’s the process moreso than the result right now

    ~ You and your obsession with moral victories. The season will be over by the time you start to even care about results. ~

  7. Halfwise says:

    G Money: I see those things – lots of them – so far, and I also saw an improvement (Ference notwithstanding) from Game 1 to Game 2.

    So at this point, I’m not that worried about the results.

    But the results do have to start coming at some point.

    If we’re at game 10, and the team has had some games at home and some games against non-elite teams, and you don’t start seeing the process translate into results, then I’d start considering changes.

    But so far, in context I haven’t seen anything to suggest that the team isn’t about where it should be.

    I watch specifically for blueline turnovers on attempted Oiler breakouts, and entering the O-zone with possession or a chip-and-chase with good chances of recovery. The team is better, by eye and by LRBP (Living Room Blood Pressure).

    Playoffs are a distant bell because they are coming from the sub-basement. That is not the fault of either the current coach or his boss.

  8. Halfwise says:

    John Chambers:
    Btw where does Dys come from?

    Chirping my canucklehead cousin at the game in Van next week.

    A reference to the Dynasty that they once imagined themselves becoming.

  9. John Chambers says:


    That’s fantastic ammunition

  10. oliveoilers says:

    Lowetide: No.

    Uh-oh. Guys, Dad’s just crushed his beer can without realising it and has that tick in his eye.

  11. Halfwise says:

    oliveoilers: Uh-oh.Guys, Dad’s just crushed his beer can without realising it and has that tick in his eye.

    It all started when he hit me back!

  12. littleenglish says:



    Woodguy: 5 year sample 09/10-14/15


    ShotsFor/60 31.3 – 2nd
    CorsiFor/60 59.9 – 1st
    GoalsFor/60 2.22 – 18th

    Still holds true.

    Source: http://stats.hockeyanalysis.com/teamstats.php?disp=1&db=201015&sit=5v5&sort=GF60&sortdir=DESC

    Now I’ll eliminate last year from the sample.I don’t like doing this, but you asked:

    5 year 08/09-13/14


    ShotsFor/60 31.5 – 3rd
    CorsiFor/60 59.4 – 1st
    GoalsFor/60 2.33 – 12th

    Still holds true, although removing that year and replacing it with 08/09 increases their scoring 0.11G/60

    Source: http://stats.hockeyanalysis.com/teamstats.php?disp=1&db=200914&sit=5v5&sort=GF60&sortdir=DESC

    sorry I didn’t mean to say that you shouldn’t include the latest season. I also thought their 08 season was better in terms of GF60.

    I however don’t find x year data useful without seeing the trend line as it can be a bit misleading- They have been up and down in terms of GF60 – 2009-2011 and 2013 being strong years.

    http://www.hockeybuzz.com/blog/Tim-Chiasson/Where-Are-The-Sharks-Shooting-From/214/63710 can confirm that the sharks do indeed shoot from everywhere so you’re right about that.

    However I never noticed the Sharks as a team that shoots without a purpose – they usually have a guy or two crashing the net. So it may have worked some years, not worked some other years for whatever reason – I think maybe that’s something you or someone else can examine (not me, I’ll be stuffed with turkey ;)) Also as I said, the sharks retooled a bit after the ’12 season. Further I’ve never heard Mclellan – and he doesn’t strike me as a guy that does this – talk about Corsi being a goal in of itself.

    The last couple games looks like Eakins hockey, but I doubt that he’s happy that they are taking shots anyone going to the net to cash in those rebounds, or taking shots to the inside.

  13. Gret99zky says:

    Meh, we just need to beat a team 6-1 (with a 4 point night for McDavid) and everything around here will be “music” again.

  14. G Money says:

    Магия 10: ~ You and your obsession with moral victories. The season will be over by the time you start to even care about results. ~


  15. G Money says:

    *** NERD ALERT ***


    Got this half baked article out of the oven at the same time as the turkey.

    Happy (Canadian) Thanksgiving, everyone!

  16. geowal says:


  17. raventalon40 says:

    Guys, it’s just game two. And St Louis and Nashville crying out loud! Arizona is 2-0 and Pittsburgh is 0-2. I’m not worried.

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