TUMBLING DICE

by Lowetide

When I was a kid growing up in Saskatchewan, you could see arriving summer storms on the horizon for hours. The sky would turn black, in steps, taking more of the heavens each hour, like a painting slowly reaching completion. The wind would blow harder and eventually Mom would call us to come inside. I always loved those storms, was the last to go inside. There’s something about the oncoming violence of a Saskatchewan storm (they really are exceptional) and the anticipation of it that appeals to me, gotta say.

I do not like storms without warning. They shock the system and addle the mind, creating anxiety, chaos and uncertainty. When I was very young, my Dad would use a calm voice to still the storm. I remember that voice, the tenor and the tone. I find storms without warning even less appealing now than then. We’ll have to be each others calm voice in the days to come.

We can begin with the positives: This isn’t a concussion or a knee injury, and it was not a catastrophic injury that impacted McDavid’s ridiculous foot speed. It’s a bad turn for a gifted young man and it’s craptastic news for this northern town where the wind howls all winter long, but it could have been worse. We pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and start all over again.

The imagination is an evil thing sometimes. Long term? What the hell does that mean? Well, it means long term! In these days of miracle and wonder, it’s difficult to wait for anything. We’re going to have to do just that, though. We’ll know in due time (God I hate that phrase).

OILERS D LAST NIGHT

oil d nov 3

That’s a helluva set of stats, even with the Flyers playing back to back. The third pairing (by minutes) ended up doing very well, although that second goal was an adventure. I saw Griffin Reinhart good last night, he had calm feet and made some good decisions. Hard to fault Gryba by the numbers, not sure what he was doing on the second GA—he did pick up an assist, though. This duo faced the VandeVelde line mostly, based on my reading of War-On-Ice.

The Nurse—Sekera duo faced the Laughton line with Simmons and Read, doing well (13-6 against Laughton). Nurse was a little chaotic at times, there’s some Dion Dimucci in him for sure. If you’re sitting down trying to put Nurse in a good spot for his NHL rookie year, second pair with Sekera is a nice spot.

Klefbom—Davidson went 12-8 against Giroux and for me that’s the story on defense. I don’t know if this thing will last, and good grief they’re way too inexperienced, but last night was impressive from both men, who were +2 on the night. Terrific.

OILERS C LAST NIGHT

oil c nov 3

Nugent-Hopkins went 8-9 against the Giroux line and scored two. McDavid had some jump before the injury, and I thought Lander and Letestu played well in their extended time after McDavid left the game. One thing we need to talk about: Replacing McDavid. Moving Leon over is the obvious choice, but the team has very little in the way of depth and I wonder if adding a veteran C might be an idea worth pursuing. The third and fourth lines had impressive evenings, but that’s a lot about the Flyers, too.

McDavid’s loss, for however long it may be, is part of the season’s story. The Oilers can’t just sit around and mope, let’s see action. In the name of all that is holy, a turn north is vital. Peter Chiarelli can’t stand pat and watch the losses pile up when the skies of November turn gloomy.

RECORD BY MONTH, THIS AND LAST

  • Oilers in October 2014: 4-5-1
  • Oilers in October 2015: 4-8-0
  • Oilers in November 2014: 2-9-3
  • Oilers in November 2015: 1-0-0
  • Oilers in December 2014: 2-8-4
  • Oilers in December 2015:

Godspeed, young man. Heal like a hero. By the way, I said the same thing about Taylor Hall exactly one year ago.

WINGERS, LAST NIGHT

oil w nov 3Lots of positives here, including a solid 3line for the first time this season (that I recall). Purcell and Hendricks combined with Letestu and owned the Schenn line, and I imagine we’ll see that trio again Friday night. Lander with Gazdic and Pakarinen also had a solid evening. Hall was splendid plus some more, despite the numbers presented here. What a hockey player. The Flyers are ghastly, Oilers could use a few more nights like this one.

anthem

Without a trade, Edmonton probably has to break up the 1line, although the blow is less painful due to the return of Jordan Eberle. A possible roster Friday night:

  • Hall—Nuge—Eberle
  • Pouliot—Draisaitl—Yakupov
  • Hendricks—Letestu—Purcell
  • Pakarinen—Lander—Slepyshev
  • Klefbom—Davidson
  • Nurse—Sekera
  • Reinhart—Gryba

NIKITIN?

  • Bob McKenzie: “Now, there are teams that have expressed some interest to the Oilers about Nikitin. And the Oilers would love better than to rid themselves of the contract. They recognize they may have to take some money back. But some of the teams that are interested – Nikitin hasn’t played a lot down there. He had a work visa problem. He’s only played several games in the American Hockey League. Once he gets back up to game speed, it’s believed there are teams, including maybe the Colorado Avalanche, who have some interest in him.” Source

Heh. Hahahaa. Oh my God. Defense is in short supply and veteran defensemen hold their value like crazy. The best line is ‘once he gets back up to game speed’ because that’s the issue really. When you’re 29 and skate like Pierre Bouchard, it’s time to sing show me the way to go home. I love those Russian blue like Igor Ulanov and was always curious about Nikitin, but the speed of the NHL keeps getting crazier and Niki’s wheels won’t turn.

OVERALL STANDINGS

overall standings

The best part of this table is the -5 goal differential (looks like Calgary is having a helluva good time there) and that’s another reason Peter Chiarelli needs to cast about for help while 97 is out. The new management team was brought in to turn north, and No. 25 is slight improvement during a tough part of the schedule. I say no to a 2-9-3 November, who is with me?

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

A very busy day on the show, 10 this morning TSN1260. Scheduled to appear:

  • Bruce McCurdy, Cult of Hockey. The disappointment of McDavid’s injury, the 5-8-0 start and the plethora of young blue who played last night.
  • Kurtis Mucha, Director of Goaltending Development for Vimy Hockey. If you have goalie questions (and I’m not going to ask if they’re voodoo) send them in!
  • Paul Almeida, SSE. Almeida will join us to talk about what to do with the roster during the McDavid injury window. Stand pat? I don’t think that will be Paul’s recommendation.
  • Reg Leach, author of “The Riverton Rifle—Straightshooting on Hockey and on Life”. We’ll talk about the glory days for the Philadelphia Flyers, his own success and struggles, and a very revealing book.

10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. Don’t worry, we’ll get through this together. Feel so bad for young McDavid this morning, his parents too. As a father of two kids about that age, I’m often reminded that—despite appearances—18 is still 18. I’m glad this young man has such a strong support group, and terrific parents. Every young person deserves as much.

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Pouzar

Bag of Pucks: Your Eberle love knows no bounds, nor ‘reason’ apparently.

Now he doesn’t even need a C to light it up.

Guy’s a demi-god.

Yer all about the stats sunshine.

Adam Wu

godot10: I didn’t say they were responsible.I said they got what they (implicitly) wished for.You don’t have to wish for something that you have the means to achieve yourself.

For them to get what they implicitly wished for, McDavid must return, miraculously, to the lineup after 3 games….

freedomisamyth

godot10: None of the yahoos would have the nerve to call McDavid that to his face.It is intentional boorishness towards an eighteen year old kid.

It is what it is.

Why? Because he’d be mad? I’m sure he’d be mighty embarrassed, and yes, it’s a silly name, but I guarantee he wouldn’t take it anywhere near as seriously as you seem to. I wouldn’t even call it boorish – it’s just silly. It’s not like they are calling him fuckface or something.

N64

godot10: A year of the entry level contract is burned with 10 games played.McDavid has already burned one.Draisaitl is in the 2nd year of his entry level contract.

40 games played relates to using up one of the seven years towards UFA status.

Thanks for the correction. Thought it affected first RFA date as well.

godot10

freedomisamyth:

You just called a large portion of the Oiler fanbase “delusional ignorant yahoos” because you don’t understand what a metaphor is.

None of the yahoos would have the nerve to call McDavid that to his face. It is intentional boorishness towards an eighteen year old kid.

It is what it is.

teamblue

Магия 10: nothing. unless he missed 43 games in which case next year becomes the first year of his elc. this is drai’s first year because of going down before 40th game played.

Unless I’m remembering wrong, which is a very real possibility, Drai’s elc kicked in last year, but his UFA eligibility was held off an extra year by being sent down before the 40th game.I think this is his 2nd year of his ELC.

Generalfanager is showing this being Drai’s 2nd year of his ELC as well.

http://www.generalfanager.com/teams/edmonton-oilers

edit: see godot was quicker on post than me

freedomisamyth

godot10: I’m always relaxed.You guys are the ones who seem offended that anyone dare criticize you.How you are characterizing an 18-year old kid is offensive.

Dude you are the one here who is offended about anything haha. The rest of us just think you are weird and are trying to understand your logic.

You just called a large portion of the Oiler fanbase “delusional ignorant yahoos” because you don’t understand what a metaphor is. If you had said “I think it’s offensive to compare anyone to our lord and savior, Jesus, especially an 18 year old kid”, at least that might be a defensible point and maybe some may have shrugged and thought you might be a bit uptight, but not think any further about it. But instead you constantly bring it up and call people names with logic that is frankly ridiculous.

The only reason I even commented is because it just seems like such a bizarre thing to be offended about – unless you really are offended because you think it’s offensive to Jesus to compare anyone to him, instead of what you’ve actually been saying…in which case, just say that.

godot10: I didn’t say they were responsible.I said they got what they (implicitly) wished for.You don’t have to wish for something that you have the means to achieve yourself.

Come on man, I don’t even begin to understand how anyone can possibly make the logical leap that a metaphor comparing mcdavid to jesus implicitly wishes that mcdavid gets hurt. And you are calling others delusional?

Bag of Pucks

Some folks enjoy freedom of religion. I would enjoy freedom from religion.

Takes all kinds to make a world.

Gayfish

godot10,

Right, but if you don’t play 40 due to injury, do you still count against the RFA window because you are on IR? I can’t find a similar situation since the new CBA.

godot10

Chachi:
godot10,

“And anyone who called him McJesus is responsible for his injury and anyone who disagrees is ignorant!” Very relaxed and rational position to take.

I didn’t say they were responsible. I said they got what they (implicitly) wished for. You don’t have to wish for something that you have the means to achieve yourself.

Chachi

godot10,

“And anyone who called him McJesus is responsible for his injury and anyone who disagrees is ignorant!” Very relaxed and rational position to take.

godot10

Магия 10: nothing. unless he missed 43 games in which case next year becomes the first year of his elc. this is drai’s first year because of going down before 40th game played.

A year of the entry level contract is burned with 10 games played. McDavid has already burned one. Draisaitl is in the 2nd year of his entry level contract.

40 games played relates to using up one of the seven years towards UFA status.

N64

Stelio Kontos (Formerly Zangetsu-Formerly Thinker):
What happens to the McDavid RFA if he is on IR?

nothing. unless he missed 43 games in which case next year becomes the first year of his elc. this is drai’s first year because of going down before 40th game played.

godot10

freedomisamyth:
I understand that some can get offended at comparing anyone to Jesus in any way, but sometimes you just need to take a deep breath and relax.

I’m always relaxed. You guys are the ones who seem offended that anyone dare criticize you. How you are characterizing an 18-year old kid is offensive.

Gayfish

What happens to the McDavid RFA if he is on IR?

admiralmark

I think it’s time the Oilers website removes the MIC medical imaging commercial that says “go where the pros go”. Like come on…a) Do we have to be subjected to that commercial multiple times during 1 visit? And 2) It’s obviously very very bad Juju.

Chachi
freedomisamyth

godot10: They (and apparently you) are ignorant, and I said precisely why, because they are clueless as to the meaning of the metaphor they (and you) are promoting, and proud of their ignorance.

And I am not being a moral arbiter.I have no power.I am merely expressing an opinion.

You are apparently ignorant of what a metaphor is, since you seem to think that it needs to be a comparison of two things that are completely the same in every way. In fact, the way you are defining things is not a metaphor at all, since by definition a metaphor is based on some characteristic, not ALL characteristics – otherwise people would be saying McDavid is literally jesus, not metaphorically.

So, endlessly tirading about the ignorance of using that metaphor is silly, since it’s quite reasonable to use the metaphor to describe how McDavid is supposedly our savior (or various other characteristics that are easily applicable) without literally implying that he should be crucified, die for our sins, blah blah blah.

I understand that some can get offended at comparing anyone to Jesus in any way, but sometimes you just need to take a deep breath and relax.

Clay

delooper:
The first couple of nights are awful.So difficult to find a comfortable sleeping position. My back seized up, because of how awkwardly I was sleeping.

Drugs.

jonrmcleod

godot10: Another poor metaphor.Moses never made it to the promised land.

Technically, Moses did lead Israel to the promised land but not into the promised land.

delooper

With a McDavid injury, I have an uncontrollable urge to howl every night when I first see the moon.

lynn

With the McDavid injury, a Yak trade is near.

Keith

The Hall – Nuge – Drai line is the hottest in the NHL right now. Drai has 7 points in three games, Hall is riding a 4 game multiple point night streak, and Nuge has gone 3-6-9 in the last 6 games. It would be insane to bust this line up.

delooper

The first couple of nights are awful. So difficult to find a comfortable sleeping position. My back seized up, because of how awkwardly I was sleeping.

Armchair GM

I broke my collarbone playing high school soccer a lifetime ago. (Opponent was a two sport football/soccer athlete and when his coach yelled ‘tackle him’ his arms wrapped around me as he drove me into the pitch. Wrong type of tackle.) Fortunately I didn’t have to endure the fiction that I was injured on a tough soccer play. McDavid won’t say anything but the replay sure looks like a left hand is grabbing at his hip at the same time that he loses his (is pulled off) balance.

Anyway, you can keep your cardio up and work on your leg strength but most upper body exercises are impossible. Of course I imagine many advances have been made to rehab this kind of injury over the past 4 decades but I distinctly remember how frustrating it was to become so limited in what I was allowed to do with what seems like such a minor injury.

Fortunately, elite athletes like McDavid often have ‘Wolverine-like’ recuperative powers, so his experience will most likely be much more positive than mine.

Bag of Pucks

Pouzar:

Pou/Ebs can carry a line by themselves….

Your Eberle love knows no bounds, nor ‘reason’ apparently.

Now he doesn’t even need a C to light it up.

Guy’s a demi-god.

N64

G Money: I have him out for all the games up to Jan 23rd, which is the start of the all-star break week.Unless I’m missing something, there are no games from the 23rd to Feb 2nd.So I expect the first game back for McDavid would be that Feb 2nd game against CBJ, after the all-star break.

sorry. read that on my phone and only saw the bottom of the longer away list. missed the final home stretch.

hags9k

Love Leon, but I don’t yet see him (or Lander) as a good enough puck carrier through the neutral zone. Without 97 we have Nuge and Hall who do the zone exits and entries real well and push it through the neutral zone swiftly. If you don’t want to see Yak regress, I think he needs 4 or 93. I know Nuge and Yak haven’t set the world on fire in the past, but Pouliot is playing really good hockey and will help. I’d be tempted to try this.

4-29-14
67-93-10

or this

4-29-10
67-93-14

N64

dustrock: Hall is playing the best hockey of his life. He is far, far, far better defensively, he’s dumping the puck in more intelligently, and now he’s got his spots picked for transition.

Tied for 3rd overall in points.

dustrock

Pouzar: Shocked at the number of people pencilling in Drai at 2C.Way too early for that imo.Pou/Ebs can carry a line by themselves and Lander can cover the bet defensively.Leave Line 1 alone.

Yup. I think we’ll see Drai stay up there until he struggles, and then McLellan will pop Eberle right back into place.

Sugar Reijo

LoDog:
Hell to pay over a nickname based on an imaginary person. Sweet.

S/he’s a witch! Burn him/her! 🙂

719

Rake 2.0:
I’d like to see,

Pou Nuge Ebs reunited
Hall Drai Yak
and our current 3rd and 4th lines

I would have to agree, see how that works out. Hall and Drai seem to have real chemistry, and Yak has in the past played well with Hall in short bursts. We also know Pou/Nuge/Ebs did well when playing together.

G Money

Магия 10: Your list brings him back for 4 games before the All Star break. Unless they are still in the playoff hunt I could see them shutting him down until after the break.

I have him out for all the games up to Jan 23rd, which is the start of the all-star break week. Unless I’m missing something, there are no games from the 23rd to Feb 2nd. So I expect the first game back for McDavid would be that Feb 2nd game against CBJ, after the all-star break.

Eastern Oil

I personally think this whole situation will result in the real life version of “Rookie of the Year” and he is going to return even better and with a 160 mph slap shot.

The only problem is going to be finding that crusty veteran on the team to end up with Connor’s mom (and his dad might be upset about it).

G Money

Pouzar,

Not sure why folks are worked up about the lines. We’ve seen the McBlender before, we’ll see it again until he can (hopefully) find at least two competent lines.

We know Hall-RNH-Drai works.
We know Hall-RNH-Eberle works.
We know Pou-RNH-Eberle works.

That gives TMc the ability to experiment with some combination of any of Pou, Drai, Hall, or Eberle on the second line to find something that also works.

LoDog

Hell to pay over a nickname based on an imaginary person. Sweet.

SayItAin'tSo, Gretz, SayItAin'tSo!

Pouzar,

Agreed, Drai is running at over a 2ppg with Hall-Nuge, keep em together

I don’t know if I like tossing Yak out with the bathwater on the 2nd line though. Dunno where I put him but he is playing well right now. Might give Ebs a turn on 3rd line for the weekend and have him run sorties on the 2nd PP unit.

If Yak-Pou start to cool down or get swallowed on that line against the Pens/LAK then shake it up.

TeeVee

Pouzar:
Gregor has Eberle back on Friday.

Let’s hope this isn’t rushing him.

N64

G Money:
BTW, I NerdAlerted my comments and timelines and projected schedule information above (for reference mostly). Key point: McDavid I expect will miss two Phlegms and one Nucklehead game.

Your list brings him back for 4 games before the All Star break. Unless they are still in the playoff hunt I could see them shutting him down until after the break.

Pouzar

Gregor has Eberle back on Friday.

G Money

BTW, I NerdAlerted my comments and timelines and projected schedule information above (for reference mostly). Key point: McDavid I expect will miss two Phlegms and one Nucklehead game.

Pouzar

Shocked at the number of people pencilling in Drai at 2C.

Way too early for that imo.
Pou/Ebs can carry a line by themselves and Lander can cover the bet defensively.
Leave Line 1 alone.

Pouzar

Cameron: I laughed too, but mostly because I am a terrible person.

What a coincidence…..

Sugar Reijo

Adam Wu: But I’m not sure how turning sticks into serpents, talking to burning bushes, or prophesying the slaughtered of the first born has anything to do with Oilers hockey.

I can make the connection but it has nothing to do with Moses. Just alcoholism.

Pouzar

Dicky94:
Pouzar,

Lol. Just stirring the pot.

PHEW. ha ha

Chachi

Halfwise,

Never appointed Sherrif, just sick and tired of the whiny drivel being spewed about this.

delooper

ashley,

Thanks for the expertise. I probably would have preferred my clavicle to be treated surgically. It set a little out of position so now it’s a little shorter than it was originally. It’s not a big problem but it can cause little annoyances.

stevezie

bendelson: We have had so many devastating losses around here, I guess we were overdue for a devastating win.

Classic bendelson

rickithebear

15-16
Hall-Draisatl 30.1min 5.97 GF60
RNH-Draisatl 30.5min 5.89 GF60
Hall-Hendricks 35.6min 5.06 GF60
RNH -Hendricks 33.1 min 5.44 GF60
Pouliot-Yak 127.5min 4.24 GF60
14-15
Pouliot-Yak 180.4 min 2.33GF60
Pouliot-Eberle 423 min 3.40 GF60
Pouliot-Hall @ C 65.5min 4.59 GF60