G7 2015-16: RED WINGS AT OILERS

by Lowetide

Connor McDavid is six games into his NHL career and he’s already made life better in Edmonton. For most of today, the good citizens of river city will go about their daily chores with a skip in their step and a song in their heart. It’s ridiculous, silly really. Men in their 50s (I can confirm) are not immune to the pure joy of anticipation, and tonight another ’60 minutes with Connor’ is on the evening schedule. Connor McDavid? He’s all that.

MCDAVID 2015-16 (SO FAR)

  • 5×5 points per 60: 2.18 (2nd among regular Oilers forwards—Nail No. 1)
  • 5×4 points per 60: 6.91 (1st among regular Oilers forward)
  • Corsi For 5×5 %: 49.3 (4th among regular Oilers forwards)
  • Qual Comp: 6th toughest among regular forwards (second-line opp)
  • Qual Team: 6th best teammates among regular forwards (second line)
  • Corsi Rel: 12.1 (4th best among regular forwards)
  • Zone Start: 63.3%
  • Zone Finish: 66.7%
  • Faceoff Percentage: 26.6%
  • Shots on goal/percentage: 12/25%
  • Boxcars: 6GP, 3-2-5

Connor McDavid fights crime by forced tuning. Next stop: World domination. Bring on the Detroit wheels.

khaira ferguson3

MY KINDGOM FOR A FULL YEAR OF DEVELOPMENT

It looks like the Oilers are unable to get playing time for the prospects on their own team! Below are the current stats for the Bakersfield Condors, with minor-league veterans getting the strikethrough treatment:

  1. LD Brad Hunt 4GP, 0-6-6 (2GP, 0-6-6 this week)
  2. R Matt Ford 4GP, 3-1-4 (2GP, 3-1-4 this week)
  3. R Iiro Pakarinen 4GP, 1-2-3 (2GP, 1-1-2 this week)
  4. C-R Andrew Miller 4GP, 1-2-3 (2GP, 0-2-2 this week)
  5. C Jujhar Khaira 4GP, 0-2-2 (2GP, 0-2-2 this week)
  6. L Ryan Hamilton 3GP, 1-0-1 (2GP, 1-0-1 this week)
  7. C Phil McRae 4GP, 1-0-1 (2GP, 1-0-1 this week)
  8. L Mitch Moroz 4GP, 1-0-1 (2GP, 1-0-1 this week)
  9. C Bogdan Yakimov 4GP, 1-0-1 (2GP, 1-0-1 this week)
  10. L Braden Christoffer 4GP, 1-0-1 (2GP, 0-1-1 this week)
  11. C Leon Draisaitl 4GP, 0-1-1 (2GP, 0-1-1 this week)
  12. RD Jordan Oesterle 4GP, 0-1-1 (2GP, 0-1-1 this week)
  13. C Kyle Platzer 4GP, 0-1-1 (2GP, 0-1-1 this week)
  14. RD Joey Laleggia 2GP, 0-0-0 (2GP, 0-0-0 this week)
  15. LD David Musil 2GP, 0-0-0 (2GP, 0-0-0 this week)
  16. LD Darnell Nurse 2GP, 0-0-0 (2GP, 0-0-0 this week)
  17. RD Nick Pageau 2GP, 0-0-0 (2GP, 0-0-0 this week)
  18. L Kale Kessy 2GP, 0-0-0 (2GP, 0-0-0 this week)
  19. R Tyler Pitlick 2GP, 0-0-0 (DNP this week)
  20. L Josh Winquist 1GP, 0-0-0 (DNP this week)
  21. G Laurent Brossoit 3GP, 3.24 .910 (1GP, 4.62 .875 this week)
  22. G Eetu Laurikainen 1GP, 4.02 .818 (1GP, 4.02 .818 this week)

Peter Chiarelli, the man who kept David Krejci in the minors for the entire season age 20, at least made sure the kid had enough playing time to lead the team in scoring. The Bakersfield Condors (so far) are a major disappointment in my opinion. What in the hell does Brad Hunt or Matt Ford have to do with the future of the Edmonton Oilers?  I’m not worried about Darnell or Leon, hell it’s pretty obvious they’re doing extremely well, but not playing kids on entry-level deals a substantial amount is killing their development.

Since they folded the Edmonton Roadrunners, this organization hasn’t been able to wrestle back their own minor league team. Where is the disconnect? WHY are they playing Brad Hunt and Matt Ford like they have an NHL future? A few years ago, Mark Arcobello used his ECHL time to pass a bunch of prospects. How? The man was playing a lot and had a chance to develop skills and learn to play the pro game. Same with Josh Winquist a year ago, who sailed past other prospects.

The worst thing that can happen to an Oilers prospect? Get drafted high and get sent to the minors. Why? Some 25-year old veteran is going to eat your lunch because of course he can. This is NOT the Detroit model. Many blame the drafting, but the development side lacks at-bats. Fix this, Oilers. Now.

gernat ferguson 4

INJURY UPDATES

I waited a day because Jim Matheson did all the work finding out all about this (it is here):

  • Ben Scrivens will play one of the weekend games for the Condors.
  • Nikita Nikitin is practicing with the team, sounds like it may be a little while (work visa)
  • Martin Gernat, the forgotten bad, bad Slovak, is cleared for contact.
  • Dillon Simpson is on the way to Bakersfield and should be available soon.

https://twitter.com/HistoricalPics/status/656722046425018368

TIME ON ICE, OUT OF THE BLUE

EVENS (PER GAME)

  1. Justin Schultz 18:05
  2. Griffin Reinhart 17:11
  3. Oscar Klefbom 17:02
  4. Eric Gryba 16:58
  5. Brandon Davidson 16:11
  6. Andrej Sekera 15:25
  7. Andrew Ference 14:24
  8. Mark Fayne 13:39

PENALTY KILL (PER GAME)

  1. Oscar Klefbom 2:21
  2. Andrej Sekera 2:05
  3. Mark Fayne 2:02
  4. Justin Schultz 2:00
  5. Eric Gryba 1:13
  6. Griffin Reinhart 0:53
  7. Andrew Ference 0:48
  8. Brandon Davidson 0:48

POWER PLAY (PER GAME)

  1. Justin Schultz 3:20
  2. Andrej Sekera 2:04
  3. Oscar Klefbom 1:05
  4. Eric Gryba 0:02
  5. Griffin Reinhart 0:01

OVERALL (PER GAME)

  1. Justin Schultz 23:34
  2. Oscar Klefbom 20:29
  3. Andrej Sekera 19:35
  4. Eric Gryba 18:21
  5. Griffin Reinhart 18:06
  6. Brandon Davidson 16:51
  7. Mark Fayne 15:44
  8. Andrew Ference 15:12

Some fascinating information here, beginning with the fact Reinhart—Gryba has passed Mark Fayne at even strength and overall. Based on the actual TOI numbers, Edmonton’s LH depth chart is Klefbom, Sekera and Reinhart; on the RH side it’s Schultz, Gryba and Fayne. I don’t think Mark Fayne is going to be here a long time. Reinhart couldn’t make it for practice yesterday (banged up), and it looks like Andrew Ference will draw in if the rookie can’t go. Andrew Miller was getting time on the Nuge line, so that’s another change to look for this evening. While I’m at it, Edmonton is facing a team that doesn’t get a lot of shots—just 21.4 per game so far, many fewer than Edmonton at 26.8. If Z doesn’t go all Modano on their ass, the Oilers can win this game.

If I had to guess, my bet would be (based on above) we’ll see Klefbom, Schultz, Sekera, Gryba and Reinhart on this team opening night next year. Plus Nurse up from the farm and the impact defender they’re bringing in.

As the graph below shows, the Reinhart rookie season starts with the easy minutes and that makes sense. The one thing I can’t figure out is the Gryba—does McLellan truly like him this much, could we see Gryba with Sekera at some point, if and when Fayne is sent away? Don’t know.

war on ice defense

McLellan is finding a way for Justin Schultz to be productive in difficult circumstances (based on the evidence above). This isn’t 50 % with easy ZS’s, it’s 47.2% with tough ones and (according to this graph, I await Woodguy’s retort) he’s playing tougher opposition/difficult minutes. The downside? He hasn’t pissed a drop offensively, and I think McLellan will find this season that JS isn’t going to be worth the ask from his agent next summer. I’m sure many will disagree, and I’m trying to be very respectful here, but for me the money that Schultz is going to need isn’t worth the results—even the ones we’re seeing above. Too much evidence that his decision making and execution aren’t sponge-worthy.

This probably all changes with Torts on the scene, but if the Oilers planned to pump and dump Schultz now would be the time. Fayne may be of more interest now that they’re bringing the crazy out of Ohio full bore. Either way, I remain convinced the better plan TODAY is putting Klefbom and Sekera together as the top pairing. Big game tonight!

adams3

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

A crazy busy morning on the radio, we start at 10, TSN1260.

  • Bruce McCurdy, Cult of Hockey. Oilers early days, McLellan’s approach, Hall’s stunning last two games and that kid what’s-his-name.
  • Mike Ringrose, Associate Coach of the Spruce Grove Saints and Director of Operations for Vimy Hockey. We’ll talk about the need for speed, and how to improve it.
  • George Malik, The Malik Report via Kukla’s Korner. The Red Wings without Babcock, Z leading the way.
  • Valérie Létourneau, on the eve of her UFC 193 title shot.
  • James Duthie, TSN. His new book ‘The Guy on the Left’ covers some fascinating moments in hockey history.

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

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khildahl

Can’t wait for the game tonight. I don’t remember the last time I was still excited to watch this team play seven games into the season. There’s a real chance to walk away with two points today (against the damned Red Wings; it really is a new era).

Now for Tortorella: I believe he’s actually still on the books in Vancouver and is going to cost Columbus a 2nd-round pick in compensation. That seems like a steep price for a risky hire. It screams Hail Mary to me.

Maybe he’ll be less of a sideshow with what I assume will be much lower media exposure in Ohio.

hungoverman

Amy Adams!! Dammmmnnnnnnnn. No work done for me today! Oh, Go Oilers!

jp

No one has a better zone finish than zone start with 60% ZS (usually regresses toward 50% from both sides). What the Hell!?!?

Ice Sage

A good measuring-stick game versus a canny, opportunistic opponent.

GoiL

khildahl

jp,

Small sample size, but Connor McDavid is a really good hockey player.

su_dhillon

I have been thinking a lot about Schultz, the price to keep him long term and how it all would fit.
On a very bad NHL defense I think its fair to say he is the 3rd best defenseman behind Sekera and Klef. If we project a year from now, based on pedigree and what we have seen, we can probably feel pretty good that Nurse will pass him sometime next year. That makes him #4 but he will be the 2nd highest paid D at least until Nurse gets paid.

Can you really afford to lock in a Dman to a long term deal that pays him as a #2 when he is your #4 by default? Especially when you have the types of contracts you do up front?
Is it completely unllikely that you find someone in a trade or FA or even from within like a Simpson or even Rienhart that gives 90% of what Schultz gives you at half the cost? Vancouver has found D like that for a decade, Oilers used to do it too.

I don’t think Schultz is an elite offensive Dman and that is what he is being paid for, I would look to find a either cheaper option or pay for a more complete player and go super cheap with #5 and 6.

Bad Seed

This looks like a perfect storm to me. Offload Schultz on CBJ and then grab Larsson if he’s indeed available. Pete should be all over Larsson if he’s on the market.

jp

khildahl:
jp,

Small sample size, but Connor McDavid is a really good hockey player.

I’m not sure that’s sustainable, but very impressive nonetheless.

papa96

Torts! Of course! I knew something was missing from hockey this fall.

Sugar Reijo

– McLellan pushing the Oil in practice yesterday after noting unearned comfort levels creeping in

– Hall stating that he’s learning something new every day with this coaching staff

– Flames fans decrying guaranteed contracts just six games into Dougie Hamilton’s tenure

– Amy Adams

– And now the comedy stylings of Torts…”Back by unpopular demand, baby!”

Why do I keep glancing up at every ceiling I’m under to check for cracks and other indications of imminent collapse?

su_dhillon

The Canucks get a 2nd rd pick? WTF Betman? Teams should not get picks for coaches they fired, makes no sense.

While Columbus is making moves that make little sense maybe they take Ferrence? Nikitin? Howson??

DRFNsuperstar

Nikitin (50% retained), Fayne, Davidson, and Howson for Kerby Rychel (great name). 3 FOR 1!

Call up Nurse and offer Schultz Fayne’s contract in January.

dustrock

Also for the record, Hall said he was puking the entire day the game against Dallas, and could barely see. Let’s not question his effort level anymore please (although you wonder if they couldn’t have called up someone quickly?)

Never realized how badly Detroit pwns Edmonton over the last several years, last regulation win was in 2009 and they’ve just slaughtered us, outside of the 2006 playoffs ;).

You can bet 100% that McDavid is aware of the praise that Larkin is (deservedly) getting and I think he’s going to make a statement tonight.

dustrock

also, should mention I felt it was somewhat ironic when Klefbom deked deep into the Flames zone and passed it across to Hall, that’s something you would want/expect from Schultz.

Schultz is a good skater, and he’s quite good at coming in as a trailer for open looks, but I’m not really sure what else he brings.

I’m not even sure you can say he’s Marc-Andre Bergeron.

khildahl

su_dhillon,

It’s a ridiculous rule (or bylaw, or whatever it is). With several compensatory picks moving around this year due to so many coaching changes there’s a good chance it comes up in the Board of Governors meetings and gets changed going forward.

lester

“Respectful” of the Schultz situation, I don’t think so. Lowtide and JW would love to run Schultz out of town, another Petry situation on the way. McLellan playing Schultz top minutes, I guess he doesn’t know Schultz like you two do.

dustrock

Reading Staples’ article on Bakersfield LT linked to above – he notes last game that Nurse played RHD the whole game – wonder if this is the plan to move him up now – get Fayne out of there, have Schultz/Gryba/Nurse on the right?

Also, re LT’s comment on Bakersfield – is it possible they’ve decided to try to ice the most competitive team, to get the fanbase excited, and once they’re a bit more established, they’ll start playing the prospects more?

maudite

If larks son is on block Pete better be working those phones.

Reinhardt/shultz with a pick get you in conversation?

Nothing against Griffin but if a rhd can be had I’d be fine if he was going other way.

dustrock

lester:
“Respectful” of the Schultz situation, I don’t think so. Lowtide and JW would love to run Schultz out of town, another Petry situation on the way. McLellan playing Schultz top minutes, I guess he doesn’t know Schultz like you two do.

Could you tell me with this roster who McLellan would prefer to play over Schultz on the RHD?

zatch

I have some sad homer fantasy about a three-way trade between Columbus and NJD whereby we send Fayne, a 2nd, and Purcell or a decnt O prospect to CBJ, CBJ sends a high end forward prospect (Bjorkstrand maybe?) a warm body on FW and a 3rd to NJD, and NJD sends us Larsson. Sigh.

Three-ways and empty fantasies, an eternal linkage.

hunter1909

Is TFCAF playing tonight?

Because if he is, that’s almost a guaranteed loss, right?

Torts would love TFCAF. Might even promote him back to TCAF for his new team CBJ. Leadership qualities and everything.

JD_Wry

Nikita Nikitin is practicing with the team, sounds like it may be a little while (work visa)

Hope it isn’t all those ‘double agent’ comments slowing down his application.

jonrmcleod

su_dhillon,

As I mentioned on Twitter–not seriously, of course–the Blue Jackets should hire and fire 10 coaches this season and hope a few of them get hired. Obviously, that would require spending a lot of money, but it points out the absurdity of the rule.

hunter1909

zatch: I have some sad homer fantasy about a three-way trade between Columbus and NJD whereby we send Fayne, a 2nd, and Purcell or a decnt O prospect to CBJ, CBJ sends a high end forward prospect (Bjorkstrand maybe?) a warm body on FW and a 3rd to NJD, and NJD sends us Larsson.

How about: Oilers trade TFCAF, Purcell + Fayne.

To anywhere?

Please.

hunter1909

Not certain about Dougie Hamilton’s performance so far in Calgary, but I’m happy to see Griffin Reinhart as an Oiler.

New Bandwagon fun teams: Calgary + Columbus.

su_dhillon

jonrmcleod:
su_dhillon,

As I mentioned on Twitter–not seriously, of course–the Blue Jackets should hire and fire 10 coaches this season and hope a few of them get hired. Obviously, that would require spending a lot of money, but it points out the absurdity of the rule.

I like it! you are basically buying 2nd rd picks. Smart Jon, Smart. Make league look dumb, rack up picks, 2 for 1.

rickithebear

TOI an amount of playing is a clear reflection of standard of a player.

By Plate appearances and At bats
I tell you the guy is a difference maker.

A guy like Mark Belanger the starting SS for Baltimore Age 24-34

http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/b/belanma01.shtml

The kind of elite SS you build your batting order around! 😉

Doug McLachlan

Regarding the NHL’s coaching compensation rule, the GMs didn’t want to have talented assistants or minor-league coaches develop under their roofs only to get poached by rivals for nothing – so they demanded that the League do something. Bettman thought this was sort of silly and accommodated them (because at the end of the day if the GMs tell their owners they want something, the owners tell Bettman to make it happen) but decided to twist the knife a little so that fired coaches and execs, so long as they are still under contract, carry the compensation. Brilliant and probably will have the GMs relent – right around the time that Loophole Lou needs to bring in another assistant.

Pouzar

Sad truth: Engelland and Kulak probably #Flames best defensive pairing this season.
— Ryan Pike (@RyanNPike) October 21, 2015

Profit

Bob McKenzie ‏@TSNBobMcKenzie 24s25 seconds ago
Karri Ramo (CGY) on waivers.

rickithebear

hunter1909: How about: Oilers trade TFCAF, Purcell + Fayne.

To anywhere?

Please.

My lesson learned from the flin flon bombers of 67-70.
the whole high PIM lineup was about.
Drive the net!
Protect the net!

Tmac preaches reduced GA.
aprox. 85% of goals are from slot/box.

Fayne very good 1st comp slot/box defender.
he defends the other teams best!

It only took 6 min of play @ home to understand what 1st comp defenders are on the team.

RexLibris

If Chiarelli could find a way to make himself a 3rd party to that Larsson/Columbus scenario he could make out like Lombardi did in the Erik Cole/Patrick O’Sullivan/Justin Williams deal – win it outright.

Send Kekelainen a Tortorella kind of player, a prospect and a pick for something that he can then flip to Jersey to address their needs for Adam Larsson.

Boyohboy wouldn’t that be a treat.

Karri Ramo on waivers, per Wilson.

RexLibris

Pouzar:
Sad truth: Engelland and Kulak probably #Flames best defensive pairing this season.
— Ryan Pike (@RyanNPike) October 21, 2015

Have a look at their numbers at BtN.

http://www.behindthenet.ca/nhl_statistics.php?ds=29&s=13&f1=2015_s&f2=5v5&f4=D&f5=CGY&c=0+1+3+5+4+6+7+8+32+33+34+45+46+63+67+11+12+13+14+15+16+29+30+31+35+36+37+38+39+40+47+48+49+50+51+52+53+54+55+56#

Check the Corsi Rel QualComp.

The Flames are facing so many chances against, and are so disorganized in their breakouts that the two fire blankets who soak up shots and can’t move the puck more than ten feet without calling FedEx are their best defenders.

Their thing is broken. Too bad Tortorella isn’t available anymore.

TeeVee

Sugar Reijo:
– McLellan pushing the Oil in practice yesterday after noting unearned comfort levels creeping in

– Hall stating that he’s learning something new every day with this coaching staff

– Flames fans decrying guaranteed contracts just six games into Dougie Hamilton’s tenure

– Amy Adams

– And now the comedy stylings of Torts…”Back by unpopular demand, baby!”

Kari Ramo on waivers

Why do I keep glancing up at every ceiling I’m under to check for cracks and other indications of imminent collapse?

Added something for ya.

rickithebear

dustrock: Could you tell me with this roster who McLellan would prefer to play over Schultz on the RHD?

Klefbom!

RexLibris

Some here argued that the Oilers should sign Ramo as a FA this summer because he did well in CGY last year.

Some of us suggested that was a bad idea based on the Flames’ outlier performance in so many categories.

Ramo isn’t that bad a goalie, but neither is he better than a backup.

The Blue Jackets should claim him. He’d likely be better than McElhinney.

Melman

Schultz + (if necessary) to CBJ and Larsson in from NJ

RexLibris

Canucks get a 2nd rounder in compensation for Tortorella, huh?

*picks up phone*

“Hi, Brian? Rex here. Yeah I’ve seen the games. Nope, not good. You know, what I’m really seeing here is a lack of discipline in the Dzone. Listen, I know a guy who can help with that, yeah he really preaches overloading on the puck carrier, kind of a swarming thing. He’s working in San Diego right now, you might be interested. No problem, glad to help.”

lester

dustrock,

Exactly my point, until you bring someone in, Schultz is the RHD option. Why rag on him? Seems like a lot of posters think we are going to get a top pairing defenceman for next to nothing. Drafting and development is unfortunately the best methodology for dmen in today’s NHL. Nobody is giving up a top pairing defenceman for nothing less than RNH and McD on this team. Schultz came with high credentials, let Mclellan work with him before Lowtide and JW run him out of town.

russ99

Re: Bakersfield:

I’d suggest that the players we have aren’t developing so the ice time is going to veterans by default. Nobody is good enough to get top 6/top pairing duties save Nurse and Draisaitl, so veterans are taking their roles. Draisaitl especially is suffering due to lack of quality help on the wing.

Also, look at other systems, not all skilled forwards should jump to the bigs. Looking at Detroit, see how long Abdelkader, Nyquist and Tatar spent in Grand Rapids.

Tambellini and MacT’s overemphasis on Coke machines and picking poorly at the top of this second round all these years is coming home to roost.

My biggest issue is how can’t they have room for a player like Greg Chase?

jake70

lester:
“Respectful” of the Schultz situation, I don’t think so. Lowtide and JW would love to run Schultz out of town, another Petry situation on the way. McLellan playing Schultz top minutes, I guess he doesn’t know Schultz like you two do.

LT’s comments on Schultz almost always include the player’s contract status and what he will get paid. It’s the worry he will get the 5x 5.5M or similar this year (because his camp may not accept lower). I see his salary/cap hit as a distortion because of how he came to Edmonton (free agent signing at 21 or 22 years old). Timing issue of sorts. TOI push is pump and dump to me.

zatch

RexLibris,

It was someone who has a LOT of bad ideas IIRC.
Wonder if Buffalo takes a flyer on him.

JD_Wry

CBJ presser introducing Torts is live at 10:45 MST: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KoQ88xgshtk&feature=youtu.be

Bag of Pucks

This call-up is a crossroads moment for Andrew Miller.

That’s right it’s Miller’s Crossing…

JD_Wry

Micah Blake McCurdy @IneffectiveMath

So at 5v5 Columbus have faced 96% goaltending and their own goalies have posted 86%. Fire the coach.
7:05 AM – 21 Oct 2015

jonrmcleod

Apparently the 60 Minutes crew is in Edmonton doing a story on McDavid. Does anyone have the date for Gretzky’s first 60 Minutes feature?

Bag of Pucks

LT posts a pic of a redhead on the day we play the Red Wings?

Way to jinx the home team!

Larsson? Really? Perfect partner for Klefbom. 6’3″, mobile, right-handed. I hope the Oilers butt in on that deal. We can do better than a package around Atkinson.

As for the farm team, that is a sad indictment of this franchise if I ever saw one.

böök¡je

LT, I’m pretty sure Conner McDavid is all that and more.

fifthcartel

I noticed this too while I was checking to see how the prospects did on the weekend.

You can see who is on the ice for every goal and for each power play goal (only check the last two games) it was Hunt, Ford, Miller, Pakarinen or McRae, and Draisaitl.

I can’t imagine they’re happy with this, and I thought this would change with Chiarelli and how Spooner/Khoklachev played significant minutes for Providence. Playing Brad Hunt/Phillip McRae/Matt Ford isn’t going to help the organization and it’s just frustrating/confusing that this still happens.

You need your prospects to get some nice stats in the AHL so you can at least move them in trades. No one’s going to be interested in Bogdan Yakimov or Dillon Simpson if they aren’t getting a push in the AHL to boost their numbers. It can’t just be Draisaitl on the power play.