G15 2015-16: OILERS AT BLACKHAWKS

The night Oscar Klefbom made his NHL debut, Oilers fans felt a sense of anticipation. Edmonton needed good defensemen badly, and the trades and free-agent ventures of the past were lies and punch lines. THIS was different. Oscar Klefbom looked 12, but played with an abandon and skill that Oilers fans hadn’t seen in a young defender in some time. He looked strangely…capable. It had been so long since Edmonton had drafted a prospect with a wide range of skills who arrived on time. Oscar Klefbom was a perfect fit for the Edmonton Oilers.

THE DEFENSE, 2015-16

oil d through nov 7 sorted by sc

This is the current state of the Oilers blue, I’ve sorted it by SC against. Very young at the top, the veterans are at the bottom. The Corsi Rel gives us a different view, we’ll have to track this as the year goes along (I trust CorsiRel, your mileage may vary). The idea of Justin Schultz and Griffin Reinhart as third pair came up yesterday, but I’d rather run this six:

  • Nurse—Sekera
  • Klefbom—Davidson
  • Reinhart—Fayne

That’s the ticket. We’ll see.

THE FORWARDS, 2015-16

OIL F THROUGH NOV 7

This is sorted by 5×5/60, that’s the toughest thing to do in Bettman’s NHL. Leon has had a great run, but the contributions of McDavid, Yak City, Hall and Pouliot at the discipline are exceptional. Really strong contributions and, despite a 5-9-0 record, I think an indicator of where this team is heading. The Nuge is a little shy of the number, and Jordan Eberle is just getting started. When this forward group gets going, we’re going to have a helluva party in this town.

I imagine Todd McLellan and Peter Chiarelli fret over the third line, it just isn’t happening. Anton Lander had a terrific pre-season, I remember leaving the rink after his hat trick evening pretty excited about the Swedish center and ‘three scoring lines’ for Edmonton. Foolish heart. I bet we’ll see Letestu or another stepping into the role full time soon if Anton can’t establish himself. He does so many things well, but speed and skill are shy and that was always going to be his difficulty.

OILERS SEASON BY MONTH

  • 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: 1-1-0
  • Oilers in December 2014: 2-8-4
  • Oilers in December 2015:

Edmonton has a death march schedule this week, I’m not sure how many points you can reasonably expect from this schedule:

  • Today at Chicago
  • Wednesday at Anaheim
  • Thursday at Arizona
  • Saturday at Los Angeles

Four points? That would be splendid. If the Oilers end this week 2-3-1 for the month, I think that’s probably as good as it gets. Tonight’s game and the Arizona game would seem to be the best spots for Edmonton.

The young man is having a strong draft +1 season so far, his shot from the point is getting him plenty of 5×4 time. When he was in Edmonton this week, the headman passing was on full display. He definitely falls outside the ‘sure thing’ category of prospects but early days have been good ones.

Marleau isn’t what Edmonton needs—he’s 36, expensive and extremely likely to fade. Marleau is at 460 NHL goals, the Sharks should keep him for the remainder of what has been a splendid career. The Sharks of this decade join the 1971 ‘Hawks, 1972 Rangers, 1982 Minnesota North Stars and a few other teams of my time who earned a Stanley but didn’t win one. In the Sharks case, they didn’t even win a pennant.

OILERS 2016 DRAFT PICKS

  • No. 4 overall
  • No. 34 overall
  • No. 64 overall
  • No. 94 overall
  • No. 124 overall
  • No. 154 overall
  • No. 184 overall
  1. L Matthew Tkachuk (OHL) 12-37-49
  2. C Auston Matthews (Swiss) 23-17-40
  3. C Michael McLeod (OHL) 7-19-26
  4. R Alexander Nylander (OHL) 13-20-33
  5. D Jakob Chychrun (OHL) 5-13-18

Early days, but the NHLE’s don’t scream ‘impact draft’ so far. I suspect Matthews numbers will spike and Tkachuk is an interesting follow, but the Finnish kids don’t transfer well so far (didn’t list them) and guys like Tyler Benson are just getting started after injury—so there’s a long way to go. I listed the draft picks because Peter Chiarelli may have to deal one as part of a package in order to get this team rolling a little better. As of this morning, the 5-9-0 Oilers are No. 13 in the Western Conference, ahead of only the Patrick Roy Avalanche. They have a -6 goal differential, but nothing rhymes on the third line, the fourth line is in and out, and of course defense remains a difficult position. The Oilers are in a position to lose the season in the next 30 days, leaving them off the grid and selling long before Christmas—I do not think Peter Chiarelli and Todd McLellan want to be talking about 24 wins as a season-ending goal by Christmas.

  • Joanne Ireland: This time last season, the Oilers headed out for their annual Canadian Finals Rodeo road trip with a record of 4-6-1. They lost their first two games, beat the Buffalo Sabres and New York Rangers, then lost the next 11. They were 6-15-5 and in 30th place on Dec. 7. They were done. Source

It’s an excellent article, worth a read. I’ve suggested to you going back to summer that Peter Chiarelli did significant work in-season. Chiarelli said recently he would wait until game 20. You can see why—the defense is still in flux and the bottom 6F is whatever is less stable than flux—and injuries have certainly been a bother.

Turn north. I don’t think anyone thought the playoffs were realistic this season, but the Oilers are 5-9-0 and facing a tough November that could turn into a long December. They were 2-9-3 in November 2014 and have to be far better this November. Are they? I think so. However, the possession stats (47.7 Corsi, No. 25 overall) suggest this team remains far from the real battle and the coming road trip may well put them to sleep for the winter. Again.

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651 Responses to "G15 2015-16: OILERS AT BLACKHAWKS"

« Older Comments
  1. blainer says:

    While I am a big fan of this blog and all the hard work many put into here on the advanced stats The only one that continues to stand out is the goaltending. There are always excuses like.. that one was tipped.. or the goalie was screened..

    At the end of the day when goaltending continues at sub 900% save percentage we will continue to spin our wheels..

    I sometimes wonder what there would be for the blog to discuss or complain about if we had top ten goaltending with a 922 save% as we would be winning so many games..

    Right now thank Gord we never gave up a first for Talbot.. its still early for him yet .. but.. Also just don’t get why the coach never played Nilsson again..

  2. frjohnk says:

    15 games in.

    17 points out of 1st place.

    2 points out of 30th place.

    F$&@ me gently.

  3. LadiesloveSmid says:

    Oilers have 3 PPs in the past 2 games combined.

    Want more scoring in the league?

    Teams averaged 5.85 PPs per game in 2006!

  4. JDï™ says:

    RexLibris: Nah, Tambellini is still running his comment through spell-check.

    Theirs a spel cheque?

  5. LadiesloveSmid says:

    blainer,

    I don’t know that a lot of people are defending the goaltending right now. Talbot has had a Scrivens’esque start. Time to play Nilsson or give Brossoit a few.

  6. Lowetide says:

    blainer:
    While I am a big fan of this blog and all the hard work many put into here on the advanced stats The only that continues to stand out is the goaltending. There are always excuses like.. that one was tipped.. or the goalie was screened..

    At the end of the day when goaltending continues at sub 900% save percentage we will continue to spin our wheels..

    I sometimes wonder what there would be for the blog to discuss or complain about if we had top ten goaltending with a 922 save% as we would be winning so many games..

    Right now thank Gord we never gave up a first for Talbot.. its still early for him yet .. but.. Also just don’t get why the coach never played Nilsson again..

    I think you’ll see Nilsson and Talbot this week, back to back. I still think Talbot is the No. 1 guy, but he’s opening the door. The difference from the last two seasons is the backup seems to have a little bit of momentum. However, that’s really just a guess. Talbot could rip off five brilliant games in a row.

  7. vishcosity says:

    Face-off math: 43% = 7/100 below average. Or, to be 57% would mean 7/100 above average.

    If a lost face off accounts for about 20 seconds of possession, assuming about 1 fo/shift, that is a total swing of 14 x 20 seconds = 4.5 minutes in about 100 minutes of playing time, or 1 shot against per game between the two ‘extremes’. I gotta think that Nuge at centre brings back much more in other areas than he gives up in face-off losses.

    Is it wrong to question the overall significance of face off percentages? Or will that put me deeper into the tin foil category? Sometimes I question collective wisdom and it doesn’t always end well.

  8. Traktor says:

    Talbot ranked 51st in SV% after tonight.

    I was against that trade the entire time so I’m allowed to bitch about it now.

    Barzel with with 25 points in 14 games too.

    ughh

  9. blainer says:

    LadiesloveSmid:
    blainer,

    I don’t know that a lot of people are defending the goaltending right now. Talbot has had a Scrivens’esque start. Time to play Nilsson or give Brossoit a few.

    Yup.. absolutely agree.. These are pro’s and they need to show up.. Love the thought of playing Nislsson .. and if he shits the bed get LB here.. Was saying last summer to stack the system as best they could.. They went out and got Goalies so now it’s time to cash them in..

  10. blainer says:

    Lowetide: I think you’ll see Nilsson and Talbot this week, back to back. I still think Talbot is the No. 1 guy, but he’s opening the door. The difference from the last two seasons is the backup seems to have a little bit of momentum. However, that’s really just a guess. Talbot could rip off five brilliant games in a row.

    Talbot winning five in a row is exactly what this team needs.. I can only imagine what the top six are saying about the goalies.. consistent bad goaltending Really takes the fight out of the players..

  11. jake70 says:

    blainer: Talbot winning five in a row is exactly what this team needs.. I can only imagine what the top six are saying about the goalies..consistent bad goaltending Really takes the fight out of the players..

    It seems once that Oiler jersey goes on, it’s “body snatcher” like brain fog too often for the guy between the pipes. Doesn’t matter who it is.

  12. blainer says:

    jake70: It seems once that Oiler jersey goes on, it’s “body snatcher” like brain fog too often for the guy between the pipes.Doesn’t matter who it is.

    Ya one really has to think how can we go through ten years of such shitty goaltending.. and in all that time never even get at least one league average year.. They need to rob that loonie that they used to win the olympic’s.. Or.. use those lucky lottery socks.. Jeebus try something..

  13. vishcosity says:

    blainer,

    blainer: lottery socks.

    is there lottery whisky?

  14. blainer says:

    vishcosity:
    blainer,

    is there lottery whisky?

    Ya ..now that might help.. could use some of that myself right about now..

  15. Stelio Kontos (Formerly Zangetsu-Formerly Thinker) says:

  16. stush18 says:

    So I am a full supporter of fancy stats.

    But let’s look at things for second. In how many years we’ve ran through how many goalies?

    Lababera, Duby, fasth, scrivs, talbot, are all goalies with good track records, and were seen as sound moves and solid goalies. The only constant has been the dmens inability to move the puck.

    We need to upgrade the defence. We need one top pairing guy, and we need klef, nurse, and Reinhart to be 300 gm vets. It’s either that, or we move someone from up front for something on d.

    Until then, we’re going to spin our tires. Until this happens, I refuse to believe that’s it’s the goalies faults.

  17. Woodguy says:

    blainer:
    While I am a big fan of this blog and all the hard work many put into here on the advanced stats The only one that continues to stand out is the goaltending. There are always excuses like.. that one was tipped.. or the goalie was screened..

    At the end of the day when goaltending continues at sub 900% save percentage we will continue to spin our wheels..

    I sometimes wonder what there would be for the blog to discuss or complain about if we had top ten goaltending with a 922 save% as we would be winning so many games..

    Right now thank Gord we never gave up a first for Talbot.. its still early for him yet .. but.. Also just don’t get why the coach never played Nilsson again..

    I’m not exonerating Talbot at all.

    I was discussing the “dangerous” value of the shot.

    Talbot hasn’t been close to good enough and have said it for almost 2 weeks.

    I think his history tells us he’ll come out of it, and I’d prefer that rebound starts in the next game.

  18. Yeti says:

    blainer: Ya ..now that might help.. could use some of that myself right about now..

    May I recommend a wee dram of Ardbeg (or two, or three)?

  19. Traktor says:

    Woodguy: I’m not exonerating Talbot at all.

    I think his history tells us he’ll come out of it, and I’d prefer that rebound starts in the next game.

    He only has 62 starts.. he is still writing his history.

  20. Yeti says:

    At the risk of starting a new round of politico-religious controversy, might I gently encourage people to always look on the bright side of Oiler fandom?
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jHPOzQzk9Qo

  21. Lowetide says:

    McLellan on the third goal: “The third one on a backhand, you hope he can get a piece of it.”

    Yep.

  22. blainer says:

    Woodguy: I’m not exonerating Talbot at all.

    I was discussing the “dangerous” value of the shot.

    Talbot hasn’t been close to good enough and have said it for almost 2 weeks.

    I think his history tells us he’ll come out of it, and I’d prefer that rebound starts in the next game.

    I was all for the Talbot trade and was happy when it happened.. And really hoping your right about it being early days but we have all seen this movie before..

    I agree with Stush’s point to a degree about the D as well it would help no doubt.. For me though at the end of the day or every game I always look at the Goalie stats and its most often ugly.

    Us fans really deserve some good goaltending.

    We really did talk about the goaltenders a fair bit in the off season WG and your work was much appreciated by this poster.

  23. Merchant says:

    Lowetide:
    McLellan on the third goal: “The third one on a backhand, you hope he can get a piece of it.”

    Yep.

    Talbot (IMO) has not come as advertised ( I blame you WG!!! 🙂 )

    Part of that has to fall on the fact that we are constantly icing a D composed of Rook D, and guys like Gryba, however the fact remains that tonight Crawford easily outplayed Talbot.

    At this point I welcome a trade to improve the D. Hall, Nuge, Nurse, Klefa are the untouchables, but beyond that, I say get it done Mr. Chia!!!

    And of course Mcdavid is untouchable. Obviously.

  24. Lowetide says:

    Merchant: Talbot (IMO) has not come as advertised ( I blame you WG!!! :))

    Part of that has to fall on the fact that we are constantly icing a D composed of Rook D, and guys like Gryba, however the fact remains that tonight Crawford easily outplayed Talbot.

    At this point I welcome a trade to improve the D. Hall, Nuge, Nurse, Klefa are the untouchables, but beyond that, I say get it done Mr. Chia!!!

    Lol. I still bet on Talbot, but also at some point I think we probably have to say Dubnyk, LaBarbera, Scivens, Fasth, now Talbot and perhaps soon Nilsson…yeah, maybe it isn’t the goalie.

  25. Merchant says:

    Lowetide: Lol. I still bet on Talbot, but also at some point I think we probably have to say Dubnyk, LaBarbera, Scivens, Fasth, now Talbot and perhaps soon Nilsson…yeah, maybe it isn’t the goalie.

    Agreed….

    The question is what will Mr. Chiarelli do about it? He is not a loser, so i imagine that its something significant….

  26. Caramel Obvious says:

    stush18:
    So I am a full supporter of fancy stats.

    But let’s look at things for second. In how many years we’ve ran through how many goalies?

    Lababera, Duby, fasth, scrivs, talbot, are all goalies with good track records, and were seen as sound moves and solid goalies. The only constant has been the dmens inability to move the puck.

    Except in this very game the Oilers had more and better chances and the other team’s goalie managed to save them. Talbot let in two bad goals, and the second one was saveable, though that was a terrible play by the defense. Crawford made save after save because that’s what NHL goalies do.

    NHL goalies make almost every save whether it is a good chance or not. If your goalie isn’t doing that, that’s a big problem. Blaming the D for the goaltending is silly and doesn’t hold up.

    The D should get the blame for the forwards never having the puck in the first period. Honestly, I think we have it backwards. Defense does not drive save percentage, that’s goaltending. It does drive offense, however. If you can’t get the puck to the forwards with speed they are never going to be able to do anything.

  27. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Oilanderp:
    Grew up with Bob Cole.Love that guy.. (goilers)

    Wow, you’re 80 years old?

  28. RexLibris says:

    Bruce McCurdy: Wow, you’re 80 years old?

    He’s practically a rookie round these parts.

  29. Bruce McCurdy says:

    And of course Mcdavid is untouchable. Obviously.

    dammit, you forgot to send the memo to Manning & Del Zotto.

  30. Wolfie says:

    Lowetide: Lol. I still bet on Talbot, but also at some point I think we probably have to say Dubnyk, LaBarbera, Scivens, Fasth, now Talbot and perhaps soon Nilsson…yeah, maybe it isn’t the goalie.

    Finally, some common sense. The goaltending is the symptom not the disease.

    The play this summer was to get Anderson from Ottawa. This group was not ready for another inexperienced, unproven guy. It’s too much to ask of a new starter….

    The numbers don’t tell the whole story. They give a recap of what happened and often that recap is missing a ton of context. I know it comes down to a marriage of math and eye test. Sometimes I think we lean a little too heavily on the numbers.

    I know I started the Nuge controversy in the last thread…. I’m not one to usually fret about 45% faceoff percentage. I know it usually only represents 1 or 2 draws per game. But again, context is needed. There are draws that matter way more than others. Down by 1 in the opposition’s end with under 2 minutes remaining… That’s crucial. Average 20 secs lost per lost draw to regain possession and you’re losing a minute of time on 3 consecutive losses. That hurts.

    Nilsson has to be the guy for a bit.

  31. Stelio Kontos (Formerly Zangetsu-Formerly Thinker) says:

    Lowetide,

    To be fair, all those goalies are still bad. Dubnyk had a good year and has now bounced back to being mediocre at best. 36/47 in save pct. I still wouldn’t blow my brains out on a goalie until we can get a defence that can pass d-d without the puck going 6ft off course (its fucking ridiculous that I can say that).

  32. Bank Shot says:

    Nilsson played out of his mind against Pittsburgh and the Oilers still gave up 3 goals. In a regular year the called back Pitts offside would have counted.

    When your goalie plays great and you still give up 3………At some point the team has to wear it.

  33. PhrankLee says:

    First period…You have to show up for the first period. The whole..”keeping loose” and “getting out there and have fun playing the game” approach is not working.

    If I were coach I would punish this squad for that start.

    Shit the bed.

    Talbot fought it that whole game. He was bad. And I feel sorry for him and his stock. Once highly sought after G in a tailspin because Oilers.

    Everyone here seems to have seen what I saw as well. Our passing is atrocious.

    Mental toughness is still the overarching weakness throughout the team.

    Chia said he will wait till game 20. I am interested to see how he addresses this. Korpsicle and Le Testes and Grabya are not working out very well as tonic.

    le sigh.

    end rant.

  34. sliderule says:

    It was a gamble to go with Talbot and Nillson.

    Talbot and Neuvirth would have been my choice.

    That would have given one hopeful with not many starts and one experienced with more starts and a good save percentage on a real bad team.

    Might have given same answe though.

  35. Pouzar says:

    Some people really need to stop talking about goalering. Really.

  36. Centre of attention says:

    Pouzar,

    Consecutive sub-Fasth level save percentages raise certain concerns. The fact other goalies have sucked here doesn’t mean new ones can’t crap the bed too!

    This is almost to be expected though. Isn’t the “starters slump” a thing? Looking at the guy in interviews he looks pretty frustrated. I think looking at his body of work by the end of the year will show a different goalie then the one we see now posting .857%.

  37. frjohnk says:

    Pouzar:
    Some people really need to stop talking about goalering. Really.

    How about that Matthews kid

  38. Pouzar says:

    Centre of attention:
    Pouzar,

    Consecutive sub-Fasth level save percentages raise certain concerns. The fact other goalies have sucked here doesn’t mean new ones can’t crap the bed too!

    This is almost to be expected though. Isn’t the “starters slump” a thing? Looking at the guy in interviews he looks pretty frustrated. I think looking at his body of work by the end of the year will show a different goalie then the one we see now posting .857%.

    Goaltending is an issue. For whatever reason they shit the bed when they come here.
    Talbot made his fair share of saves in NY last year made an mediocre D look pretty good.
    I can’t remember the exact data but I believe NYR gave up a fairly high rate of High Danger shots and Talbot was excellent in that area. SIGH

    I would love to see LB get a few starts in the near future if this continues.

  39. JDï™ says:

    Pouzar:
    Some people really need to stop talking about goalering. Really.

    I agree. Let’s talk about music.

    You know, that Bob Dylan had some big hits.

  40. Pouzar says:

    http://www.hockeybuzz.com/blog/John-Jaeckel/Crawford-And-The-Second-Line-Enough/128/72364

    Le SIGH

    “The Blackhawks were good enough to outlast a talented (and better-coached than in many years) Edmonton Oiler club last night, 4-2.

    Corey Crawford was amazing, period. Stopping a game’s worth of quality chances in the second period alone, Crawford really deserves the credit in a win where the other team easily could have scored 4-5 goals.”

  41. Pouzar says:

    JDï™: I agree. Let’s talk about music.

    You know, that Bob Dylan had some big hits.

    *shakes fist*

  42. blainer says:

    Pouzar:
    Some people really need to stop talking about goalering. Really.

    LOl.. Ya I think I am getting a little Veradadish on the subject.. Gotta like that LB kid though..

  43. frjohnk says:

    Pouzar: Goaltending is an issue. For whatever reason they shit the bed when they come here.
    Talbot made his fair share of saves in NY last year made an mediocre D look pretty good.
    I can’t remember the exact data but I believe NYR gave up a fairly high rate of High Danger shots and Talbot was excellent in that area. SIGH

    I would love to see LB get a few starts in the near future if this continues.

    This is Talbot over the last 3 years in save % in regards to shots from the low, medium and high danger areas

    season…………Sv%L……Sv%M…….Sv%H
    20132014……..97.87…….93.42…….86.33
    20142015……..96.42…….93.42…….85.27
    20152016……..97.14…….85.14…….78.95

    I don’t think Talbots game has changed much from the beginning of the year.

    I think teams are now getting a better book on him.

    He stays deep in his net and goes down into a butterfly, this is leaving the top of the net open.
    Take a look at the Kane chance. Kane waited for Talbot to make his move and Talbot went straight into in the butterfly, Kane knew the top was open and went for hit, but Talbot got a piece of it.

    Teams are shooting high on him, that’s the book on how to beat him.

    Talbot needs to adjust

  44. Ca$h-McMoney! says:

    frjohnk,

    Quite frankly if he had made two saves against shots functionally from the goal line then we might be talking about two wins in a row here.

  45. Pouzar says:

    frjohnk: This is Talbot over the last 3 years in save % in regards to shots from the low, medium and high danger areas

    season…………Sv%L……Sv%M…….Sv%H
    20132014……..97.87…….93.42…….86.33
    20142015……..96.42…….93.42…….85.27
    20152016……..97.14…….85.14…….78.95

    I don’t think Talbots game has changed much from the beginning of the year.

    I think teams are now getting a better book on him.

    He stays deep in his net and goes down into a butterfly, this is leaving the top of the net open.
    Take a look at the Kane chance.Kane waited for Talbot to make his move and Talbot went straight into in the butterfly, Kane knew the top was open and went for hit, but Talbot got a piece of it.

    Teams are shooting high on him, that’s the book on how to beat him.

    Talbot needs to adjust

    Thx!

    Any idea where those save % rank?

  46. Pouzar says:

    LB is at .927 sv% right now.
    That’s good enough for 7th amongst starters in AHL with a minimum of 6 games played.

  47. frjohnk says:

    Pouzar: Thx!

    Any idea where those save % rank?

    For this year
    Min 200 minutes played ( 47 goalies)

    Save % Low Danger ( Rank)
    Talbot 97.14 (24)
    Nilsson 97.14 ( 24)

    Save % Med Danger ( Rank)
    Talbot 85.14 ( 47th)
    Nilsson 88.89 ( 39th)

    Save % High Danger ( Rank)
    Talbot 78.95 ( 34th)
    Nilsson 84.31 ( 19th)

  48. JDï™ says:

    frjohnk,

    They are grouped pretty tightly in rankings. This can only mean one thing – Chia failed!

  49. SayItAin'tSo, Gretz, SayItAint'sSo! says:

    frjohnk,

    I had hoped against hope that I wouldn’t get that eerie sinking feeling everytime a shot is taken against an Oiler goalie but unfortunately its creeped back into my head. I can only imagine what the other twenty guys on the bench feel like after the last week.

  50. Pechetr says:

    How’s that Anti Raanta guy doing in NY? I had hoped the Oil grabbed him instead of Talbot. Then again, perhaps it is a product of the team in front of these goalies?

    Would you do Taylor Hall for Seth jones?

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