OILERS NO. 2 PROSPECT (winter 2015): LEON DRAISAITL

by Lowetide

The day he was drafted, Oilers fans agreed it was great to finally have a ‘big, skilled 2C’ in the system for the first time since Jason Arnott. One year later? He’s moving down the depth chart, but he’s innocent—with an explanation.

PREVIOUSLY NO. 2 ON THE WINTER LIST

  • December 2005: C Marc-Antoine Pouliot
  • December 2006: C Rob Schremp
  • December 2007: C Andrew Cogliano
  • December 2008: R Jordan Eberle
  • December 2009: R Jordan Eberle
  • December 2010: R Jordan Eberle
  • December 2011: C Anton Lander
  • December 2012: D Justin Schultz
  • December 2013: D Oscar Klefbom
  • December 2014: D Darnell Nurse

The Oilers spent decades without drafting a quality defenseman. Their (drafted) franchise Top 5 in GP gives us a good indication of when the club was having success: Paul Coffey (1409 NHL games), Kevin Lowe (1254), Tom Poti (824), Steve Smith and Jeff Beukeboom (both 804 games). Wow. The best defenseman in GP drafted this century? Matt Greene, 589 NHL games and counting. The No. 2 slot on the Oilers list has delivered some very good players, including Jordan Eberle, Andrew Cogliano and the three defenders from 2012-14 should have successful careers. Will Leon be the best center on that list when all is said and done? I think he will.

draisaitl capture

WHAT THEY SAID ON DRAFT DAY

  • Red Line: Huge German centre is tenacious in puck pursuit with his relentless forecheck often creating chances for linemates. Dominates the game down low with outstanding puck protection. Constantly outthinks the opposition and knows where his outlets are at all times. Has learned to use his size to carve out space for himself and effectively separate opponents from the puck. Strong hockey sense in all three zones leads to good positioning. Traditional playmaking centre finds ‘mates with crisp, accurate passes. Intelligent, two-way, classically schooled centre. Outshone Reinhart in head-to-head action against Kootenay.
  • Corey Pronman: Draisaitl is a great passer who can beat defenders with skill, puck protection, determination or his shot. I’ve heard some scouts suggest him as a top-3 pick, but I’d like to see him get quicker before I put him in that range.
  • Craig Button: Leon is a big centre who is smart, can make plays and can impact the game in multiple ways. He’s the type of centre who is coveted by many NHL clubs because of his combination of size and skill.
  • Bruce McCurdy, Cult of Hockey: “The big centre (listed as 6’1, 209) was neither overly physically aggressive nor a speedster, but largely impressed this observer with his overall command of the game. The play went through his stick constantly, and for the most part, good or at least promising things developed thereafter. He showed a couple of bursts of what I would term “situational speed” but his A game is clearly one of controlling the play rather than pushing it. As I said to my voice recorder at one point, “When the puck is on Draisaitl’s stick, he owns it. Even if there’s a guy in his kitchen he’s in full control.”

PRE-DRAFT RANKINGS

  • BOB MCKENZIE, TSN: NO. 4
  • RED LINE REPORT: NO. 4
  • CRAIG BUTTON: NO. 4
  • ISS: NO. 6
  • MCKEENS: NO. 4
  • HOCKEYPROSPECT.COM: NO. 6
  • Leon was not ranked higher than No. 4 on any major list, but Edmonton selected him No. 3 overall.

drai capture

PREVIOUS RANKINGS

  • Summer 2014: No. 1
  • Winter 2014: No. 1
  • Summer 2015: No. 2
  • Winter 2015: No. 2

draisaitl orange capture1

2015-16

  • Peter Chiarelli: Chiarelli: “I really like the player. Big, strong, heavy on the puck. He makes plays from both sides of his stick, and protects the puck. I love that about him. His speed is good and getting to speed is an area he’ll find.” Source.
  • Peter Chiarelli:What we told him was – and I don’t know how much he heard, but we have to look at the big picture – ‘You had a good camp, you outplayed some people, no question there, play ramps up, things change, dynamics of the games change as games progress into the regular season. When we call you up, we want you to stay here for good. You have to work on the 200-foot game. Offensively you can play in the NHL right now, you have to work on the 200 foot game, the little stuff on the defensive side of the puck.’ Whether it’s at wing or centre – he’ll play predominantly centre down there – he now has another asset to his game because he can play both sides on the wing. We tried to send him down with a good message, he was upset but I think at the end of the day he’ll realize it was the right move.” Source

  • Todd McLellan: “I look at Leon Draisiatl, and in my opinion Nugent-Hopkins and Connor McDavid are going to be #1 and #2 centremen in our organization for a long, long time, they’re that talented and that good. Not that Leon isn’t… But career-wise, he might love to be on one of their wings and playing in the top six rather than maybe being that third-line centre. I think it’s really unfair to peg him there, but we have to look at it from that perspective. [The defensive] responsibilities as a winger are somewhat less, his boardwork is quite good, and one of the things that impressed me the most about Leon is his ability to play on his backhand. Joe Thornton has incredible eyes and makes incredible passes on his backhand. For a young man like Leon, he did the exact same thing at our summer development camp, which is something I wasn’t aware of.” Source
  • Todd McLellan: “There’s a big debate about why Leon isn’t up with us. When he’s one of the better players down there, trust me, he’ll be here.” Source

draisaitl orange

  • 5×5 points per 60: 2.87 No. 2 among forwards
  • 5×4 points per 60: 16.82 No. 2 among forwards
  • Qual Comp: No. 4 among C’s
  • Qual Team: No. 1 among C’s
  • Corsi Rel: 1.9 No. 4 among F’s
  • Corsi for % 5×5: 52.4
  • Zone Start: 65.6
  • Shots on goal/percentage: 13/23.1
  • Faceoff %: 35
  • Boxcars: 5GP, 3-4-7 (On pace for 72, 43-58-101—small sample size alert!)

Lots of unsustainable here, Leon’s shooting percentage is not going to stay at 23. Still, the goals he is scoring are from big opportunity spots, so the market correction may not be as severe as history suggests. He’s a sublime passer, I think Draisaitl ends up with a large number of assists if he plays on a skill line.

When everyone is back healthy, I do hope Leon and Lander get some time together. Suspect there may be something in that duo.

draisaitl2

DRAISAITL WOWY

leon 15-16 wowy

Leon’s hour with the rockets was very productive and we may see him playing up over the next few weeks. Leon’s obvious skills make him a strong option for C, but I’m loving that great big paddle on RH-side with those saucer passes coming early and often. Joe Pavelski, indeed.

THE FUTURE

Leon Draisaitl earned his way onto the roster, but Edmonton’s management had some cap issues and probably felt getting Griffin Reinhart at-bats was more important long term (both have massive cap bonuses). Leon strikes me as the kind of fellow who will work day and night to overcome obstacles and establish himself, and that’s exactly what he’s done so far in the NHL this season.

I think the Oilers are uncertain about how to use Leon, and there’s a chance—however slight—he’s the man moving on for help on defense. The temptation has to be high for Peter Chiarelli, but I’m hopeful the management stays the course. Skill feeds skill, and Leon’s golden passes could feed 100’s of Oilers goals rolling out over the next decade and beyond.

It’s quite unusual—especially in the modern era—to have three impact centers. Back in the olden days, Montreal had a secret weapon behind Jean Beliveau and Henri Richard (Ralph Backstrom) but the Pittsburgh Penguins of Crosby, Malkin and Staal is the most famous this century.

I don’t think this Oilers trio works, really. All three are substantial offensive players, and in order for this to work Edmonton would need six wingers who could either push the river or thrive in a complementary role. I think there’s a chance, despite his size and skill and the fact he’s a center, we see Leon play the wing for major portions of his early NHL career. This is not a checker, and three scoring lines belong in the unicorn division.

draisaitl draft board

THE 2014 DRAFT

  • Leon Draisaitl No. 3 overall and having a strong run in the NHL this season. He’s over 40 games now, he’ll graduate from this list by summer. Leon’s main calling card is skill, although his size and strength will give him some range and there’s every reason to expect he can develop as a two-way player. No. 2 prospect, Winter 2015.
  • William Lagesson No. 91 overall and starting well in his freshman NCAA season (9GP, 1-2-3). Most of his value will be defensive, but the college season will be our first real chance to run him through NHLE. A candidate for the Winter top 20.
  • Zach Nagelvoort No. 111 overall and he’s been going backwards since draft day. 4GP, 3.00, .878 so far at Michigan, he appears to be winning the No. 1 G job back but is miles from the .929SP of his draft year. A candidate for the Winter top 20.
  • Liam Coughlin No. 130 overall and is now part of the Chicago Blackhawks prospect umbrella. Peter Chiarelli dealt him to the ‘Hawks for goalie Anders Nilsson. No longer in organization.
  • Tyler Vesel No. 153 overall and struggling through 10 games in his sophomore NCAA season. His four assists in those games represent a step down from last season’s point total, but there’s plenty of time to recover. A candidate for the Winter top 20.
  • Keven Bouchard No. 183 overall and 11GP, 4.97 .847. They saw him for a period.

THE WIND CRIES LAZY

When I was young, my favorite hockey player was Frank Mahovlich. Despite being a wonderful player, ‘Big Frank’ was often criticized by fans (and Punch Imlach) for inconsistency. The phrase ‘don’t wake up Frank’ was a thing, partly because The Big M’s size and stride made him look slow and plodding. The truth is Mahovlich was  a very good skater and highly skilled, and because of Imlach’s ridiculous and juvenile treatment (often called him Mala-hovich) I think this player never got his due.

Big men often look slower, we see them skating but it doesn’t look like there’s a lot of effort. Long strides are effective ones, and Leon Draisaitl can absolutely keep up with the fast trains on the Edmonton Oilers. He does not have McDavid or Hall speed, but there’s about 650 NHL players who are just as guilty. Draisaitl’s straight away speed is very good, and his first-step quickness has improved to my eye.

I hope Leon doesn’t spend a Mahovlich lifetime having to endure criticism for something he is not (slow). He’s a good skater, better than we first saw him. In my experience as a hockey fan, young men who identify weakness and close it off are destined to become very successful. Leon Draisaitl appears to be that rare combination of hard, determined worker and genuinely gifted talent. In an era when diamonds fall from the sky each June and land in our city, it would be easy to overlook the big man from Cologne. I believe it unwise to do so.

160 comments
0

You may also like

0 0 votes
Article Rating
160 Comments
Newest
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
oilswell

godot10:
Re: wrt the CO and GMoney argument.

Ideally, one would have six D who can do everything a defensemen has to do well.But the world is not ideal.

….

So it will be a slightly challenged pairing in moving the puck, so like most 3rd pairings, it becomes important who they are matched against.

On homogeneous skills being ideal, Reece PB cups say hi. Not a clear ideal to me unless you make additional constraints, such as (a) individually all players are maximally skilled on all dimensions, (b) individually every player on the team is no worse than the best player on the other team, or (c) something about collective superiority.

On the pairing being poorly matched, that’s a great point about collectively having the right mix.

oilswell

G Money: But to remind you of the context of the discussion, I earlier defended Griffin Reinhart as an excellent rookie “shutdown D”, which Caramel feels is a meaningless statement since all D have the same job.
Caramel then contradicts his own point by contrasting Gazdic and Hall, both of whom are left wingers – but are deployed in radically different situations, with different purposes and different expectations.

I may not grok the full context, but can we just assume you win the argument and try to move the discussion forward? FWIW I agree with you more.

Pronger was a shut down defender. And a pp specialist. And a thug. And so was Jason Smith. Just not as good at any of those things, but better at some than others. Like virtually every defender ever. You accurately identify roles that are appropriate only within the context of on ice situations. For instance defending a one goal lead against the Sedins in the last 30 seconds of the game you don’t need a player to play the pp Specialist role. That’s a role. When you hope for Reinhart to become a great shutdown defender isn it more useful to make a statement about his relative strengths rather than box him into a role that is used to define him as a player? Category error and willfull discarding if useful nuance. Jmo.

Plus I can easily imagine a useful exercise comparing players on the same dimensions.

Trying to understand your argument, it seems to rest upon the possible conflation of playing roles and players, and the assertion without proof that fixed role specialization throughout the lineup is the only way to win in a cap world. I find the role specialization hypothesis as difficult as the opposite declaration that one needs a defender that is elite in all dimensions to win. I’m not sure, either way but it does seem like you are resting your argument on some necessity to have specific defined roles allocated to individuals. And if you add money puck to the discussion one also must ask about undervalued skills that alter the profile of players “forced” on the go by the cap.

BONE207

Lowetide,

Well my neck feels fine. What’s stopping the rest of the team from playing 60 minutes?

BONE207

G Money,

WTF G Money…I’m going to buy you a hooker and a bottle of CR. You need some down time.

Pouzar

Wow those are horrid lines. Which means they’ll win.

Dominoiler

G Money: You know, I’m absolutely convinced that there are quite a few MSM types that read this blog!

I am also quite convinced that msm / sportsnet types frequent this blog. So many of the interesting thoughts of a thread / week just happen to get raised by a talking head the next broadcast; things that make you go hmmmmm….

Bulging Twine

What do you think about Cullen’s HD/CA% stat?

I don’t think it can be a good stand alone stat because in a way it rewards players for getting shots against that aren’t HDSCA against. It seems to me it is a modifier of other SC or CA stats. Like, player X gives up lots of shots against, ya but they aren’t good quality scoring chances. A shot against is still a bad thing right. It means the puck is in the wrong zone.

On Cullen’s stat, a defender who gives up both a ton of shots and HDSCA will look better than defender who gives up less HDSCA but a lot less shots.

Gayfish

RexLibris: I’ve always found it interesting that Edmonton has such a rich analytics community.

Years ago I used to write various odd thoughts about the Oilers and sports in general.

One of the things I’d argued for was the Oilers tapping into the many people working furiously on these concepts.

I compare it to the old area-rights caveat the NHL had where the Canadiens basically owned the soul of every young hockey player in Quebec whether they liked it or not.

The Oilers could have extended token employment packages (say, $30,000/year) to guys who crunch the numbers on their evenings and weekends and after a few years winnowed down the herd to a collection of a few good analysts. Taking that information off the market and, for a relatively negligible investment, ensnared a great young crop of amateur hockey minds.

Not that I have any complaints about this stuff entering public domain, because we are all richer for it, and the spread of ideas has spawned more and more intelligent analysts taking their own look at things.

I like the thinking, but if we are being realistic, there are 1000s of people more qualified than a Dellow. There are real staticians out there who could do a much better job than us casual fans can do. If I were the oilers, and serious about advanced stats, I would be scouring universities not basements. Really all we do is take conventional hockey wisdom and add a stat to it (the team that takes the most shots usually wins). I also think there is a little too much back patting from the community. Its fun to read, and adds strength to an argument, but really, nobody has done anything that impressive. Not like baseball for example.

Factotum

hunter1909:
Today I’m really enjoying you stats people on Lowetide. Given the fact the Oilers are virtually unwatchable, it’s understandable how numbers can provide ersatz entertainment.

Lowetide: my preferred destination for ersatz entertainment for 9+ seasons. And counting.

godot10

Re: wrt the CO and GMoney argument.

Ideally, one would have six D who can do everything a defensemen has to do well. But the world is not ideal.

So in a non-ideal world, one wants a set of defensemen where the entire spectrum of duties can be covered on a situational and matchup basis well.

Reinhart has particularly strong defending skills. He has size and has decent mobility and skating ability. And his passing will be fine once he is more experienced. But he is non-phenom rookie D, wo he starts in the 3rd pairing.

Ideally, his 3rd pairing partner/mentor would be Dan Boyle (or in an ideal squared world, Bryan Campbell) a better than average mobile veteran puck mover, but he has Eric Gryba instead, who isn’t that.

So it will be a slightly challenged pairing in moving the puck, so like most 3rd pairings, it becomes important who they are matched against.

Gryba, being a poor puck mover, might actually force Reinhart to improve as a passer more quickly.

Water Fire

To weigh in on the CO GM debate, I think all players need to be able to skate, pass and shoot the puck like they play in the NHL, not a beer league.

The difference should be offense which is the rare skill as our gracious host says time to time, and what costs money. Davidson >>>Gryba even if they both score zero because Davidson can skate and keeps his pucks roundish.

If Reinhart can make quiet ice in the good guy’s end and get the puck somewhere helpful that’s worth something. If he doesn’t score much he helps the cap too.

The only use, which many disagree with, for a non hockey player is the threat of violence against opponents who aren’t designated fighters. If Gryba protects the goalie that has value, only because no else will on this team right now.

If Gryba and Gazdic can play a decent shift and get after the other team if they start running around, which is different than fighting the other team’s fighter, that IMO has value. Most of the good teams have that, excepting maybe the Hawks at the moment. Problem is neither are doing that, protecting the goalie or the team, and aren’t playing good hockey, so why have them at all? Use skill if that’s the case.

Jethro Tull

G Money: Yes, that would be strange.

But these particular arguments over topics that are virtually axiomatic are also strange.

It’s fun to argue over the nature of reality.Arguments over whether the earth is round are boring and pointless, and counterpoints of “well that’s just what *you* believe” are not counterpoints at all.

I believe the pre-season is a great time for players to grow sideburns in the eyes of certain executives that have a say in how the club is run.

And I don’t think something can be virtually axiomatic.

Your numbers are black and white, your work excellent and irrefutable. But everything else can and should be argued to death. Except for trading Ebs. (BoP, if you’re listening.)

😉

RexLibris

G Money: I think he was getting the looks against CHI.I thought that was his best game of the season so far.

I’d have to say though that he was not playing well in previous looks.Not so much snakebit, but wasn’t getting into scoring position.It led to much well-deserved gloating from Ryan.

I saw something in Lander’s last game that frustrated me.

He broke in with a winger who had the puck and he had position on his defender.

Winger shot and the deflection was kicked straight out to the middle of the ice.

Lander had moved about six or eight feet closer to the boards rather than move towards the net.

The puck was picked up by a trailing Hawk who took it down for either a goal or scoring chance.

Had Lander gone towards the net, even if he hadn’t gotten the puck, he may have caused enough confusion or defensive commitment from the Hawks to have retained OZone pressure for a while longer.

He was basically cheating for defense off the rush and it absolutely pissed me off. And I like Lander’s two-way game.

Bulging Twine

Lowetide:
Jack Michaels Verified account
‏@EdmontonJack

Lines:Hall-Draisaitl-RNH, Pouliot-Letestu-Yak, Purcell-Lander-Eberle, Gazdic-Miller-Pakarinen. Hendricks left ice before battle drills.

Interesting. Well, there we go, if they do run with these lines it’s chance to see if Lander can produce with a good offensive player in Eberle. The question is, if he doesn’t, is it his last chance.

RexLibris

G Money: A month or so back, Travis Yost tweeted that one of his favourite hockey ironies is that the hockey stats movement really grew out of Alberta, which houses two of the worst teams of the new era.

I tweeted back that we’ve recognized this for a while, and that the active theory is that we have no playoffs to distract us from our spreadsheets.

I’ve always found it interesting that Edmonton has such a rich analytics community.

Years ago I used to write various odd thoughts about the Oilers and sports in general.

One of the things I’d argued for was the Oilers tapping into the many people working furiously on these concepts.

I compare it to the old area-rights caveat the NHL had where the Canadiens basically owned the soul of every young hockey player in Quebec whether they liked it or not.

The Oilers could have extended token employment packages (say, $30,000/year) to guys who crunch the numbers on their evenings and weekends and after a few years winnowed down the herd to a collection of a few good analysts. Taking that information off the market and, for a relatively negligible investment, ensnared a great young crop of amateur hockey minds.

Not that I have any complaints about this stuff entering public domain, because we are all richer for it, and the spread of ideas has spawned more and more intelligent analysts taking their own look at things.

blainer

PhrankLee: Well it features Leon quite prominently.

About as front and center as it gets.

Yup. If this is not a showcase I wonder what the betting would be that the lines are back to normal after the first.

2nd Period

Hall Nuge Ebs

Poo Drai Yak..

PhrankLee

blainer: Could this be a way to show case somebody for a possible trade ?

Well it features Leon quite prominently.

About as front and center as it gets.

RexLibris

G Money: Bulging Twine: Maybe GMoney IS Scott Cullen

Hmmm. Unless it’s “Steve Smith”!

It is, but not the one you’re thinking of.

The other one.

No, further to the left.

Nope, behind him.

Almost.

Yes, that one.

Or maybe that’s his brother.

Cassandra

G Money,

The point of the breakout example is that we can describe the players anyway we like but when they are on the ice they are going to be expected to do similar things, i.e. any D in the situation I described is going to be expected to play more or less the same.

And that’s just it, “shut down D” is a description of Reinhart’s ability (which may or may not be true) it is not a description of his role. In the same way there is no such thing as “defensive” catcher in baseball. All catchers have to play defense. For years a “defensive” catcher was just another way of saying a catcher that couldn’t hit.

This is a rehashing of the old Dave Tippett quote concerning the good defender who spends all his time defending. To me that’s what a “shut down D” is, and you can’t win that way. It’s a vice not a virtue (though better, I’ll agree than a guy who spends all his time defending and who isn’t good at it).

Now Reinhart may be better than a good defender who spends all his time defending, but he’ll have to be to b a valuable player.

blainer

Lowetide: I think they’re trying, but there’s just not enough. I like the idea, but w/o McDavid (who really IS a difference maker despite the texts I was getting today) imo splitting Nuge and Hall is the better way. That lineup is a mess. Honestly.

Man this is just flat out crazy.

You are absolutely correct on Nuge and Hall.

I am quickly losing confidence in the management and coaching. Could this be a way to show case somebody for a possible trade ?

G Money

vinotintazo:
G Money,

with CMD down we NEEED lander to produce, hes getting the looks, but seems to have the finish of 2010-2013…

I think he was getting the looks against CHI. I thought that was his best game of the season so far.

I’d have to say though that he was not playing well in previous looks. Not so much snakebit, but wasn’t getting into scoring position. It led to much well-deserved gloating from Ryan.

Bulging Twine

godot10: Grand Rapids is leading, or close to leading the AHL in shots per game, and are dead last in goals per game.

So it looks like a combination of snake-bit shooters, and poor goaltending (the save percentages are around .900).Mrazek graduated to Detroit.

Interesting, thank you. ya Mrazek was the goalie of that championship team. then posted .924 the next year. AHL vet Andy Miele only has 4 pts in 8 games. He’s had about a point per game the last two years.

bendelson

Lowetide: I was informed today by a listener that Connor McDavid’s injury should have no impact on the team at all. Lordy.

The Oilers can handle ONE of Korpikoski or McDavid to be injured but having them both out of the line-up at the same time… well that’s just a recipe for disaster.

DBO

dustrock: Pray for Mojo.

I mean Eberle.

Seems like they are trying to find a 3rd line, and allow Letestu to be in McDavid’s spot temporarily, then hopefully slide back to the 4th. Definitely trying to find a solid 3rd line. In Eberle we pray.

dustrock

Lowetide: Jack Michaels Verified account‏@EdmontonJackLines: Hall-Draisaitl-RNH, Pouliot-Letestu-Yak, Purcell-Lander-Eberle, Gazdic-Miller-Pakarinen. Hendricks left ice before battle drills.

Pray for Mojo.

I mean Eberle.

godot10

Bulging Twine:
Todd Nelson is off to a rough start in Grand Rapids.

1-7

They are having trouble scoring, only getting 11.They’ve given up 28.

This is his second time coaching Grand Rapids, he was an assistant coach in 2002-03.A good sign when a former employer hires you again.

Most of that young talent that led the Griffins to the AHL championship 3 years ago have graduated to the NHL.They still have some of the vets from that team like Jeff Hoggan 37 and Nathan Paetsch 32.They have a couple of good young Dmen; Ryan Sproul 22 who is leading the team in scoring with 5 points; and Xavier Ouellet 22.They also have a couple of higher profile 20 year old forwards, Anthony Mantha 8-1-1-2 minus 3, and Tyler Bertuzzi 7-0-1-1 minus 8.

Grand Rapids is leading, or close to leading the AHL in shots per game, and are dead last in goals per game.

So it looks like a combination of snake-bit shooters, and poor goaltending (the save percentages are around .900). Mrazek graduated to Detroit.

vinotintazo

G Money,

with CMD down we NEEED lander to produce, hes getting the looks, but seems to have the finish of 2010-2013…

G Money

Caramel Obvious,

OK, fair enough. You’re right, to some extent I was arguing your previous point rather than the point you made in that later comment.

But let’s also recognize that if your Gazdic example is one where his role is constrained, hell created, by his limitations and lauding that turns a vice into a virtue, then my Reinhart example is the opposite: it is a matter of understanding what someone does extremely well (prevent dangerous chances). And treating that as a subject of disdain turns a virtue into a vice.

I’m not sure what your point on the breakout was, though. Once the puck has been retrieved, then yeah, it is the job of every D to get it moving. Some do it better than others. None of the Oiler D do it well.

Reinhart isn’t particularly good at it, but he isn’t bad at it either – other than the fact that the first option he has to move it to most nights is Gryba.

What Reinhart appears to be exceedingly good at doing – better than any of the other Oiler D, and better in fact than any Oiler D we’ve seen in five years – is preventing non-possession situations from turning into dangerous chances against.

This is a critically valuable skill for any defenseman, and treating Reinhart with contempt because he’s so good at it but not an all-tools defender is inappropriate and unfair.

As I said in the very first post that you took issue with, Nurse, Klefbom, and Reinhart are going to be patrolling the left side of the Oiler d zone for the next decade, and this is a fantastic thing.

vinotintazo

how can we have 3 scoring lines, without even having 1 scoring line?

DBO

Hall-Nuge-Draisatl
Pouliot-McDavid-Yak
Erickson-Lander-Eberle
Hendricks-Letestu-Korpikoski

Sekera-Chara
Nurse-Klefbom
Reinhart-Schultz

Yes I am once again stumping for the two older dudes from Boston who Chiarelli has traded for in the past.. Next years first, any other prospect not on the above list, Fayne, some first born kids, whatever is needed. We aren’t getting a 25 year old top 2 dman, so we take what we can get that fills a need right now. Those two solidfy our team this year and for up to 3 years up to the next McDavid contract.

G Money

Lowetide: Lines: Hall-Draisaitl-RNH, Pouliot-Letestu-Yak, Purcell-Lander-Eberle, Gazdic-Miller-Pakarinen. Hendricks left ice before battle drills.

Man, I hope that has the effect of kick starting Lander while allowing Poo/Yak to be productive.

What I fear is that it will deaden the effectiveness of BOTH the second and third lines, and the fourth line is going to get run over by a steamroller.

Or I can just meditate on the fact that “there are no lines” and “all lines have the same job”. 😀

Cassandra

G Money,

My point with the Gazdic–Hall example was to demonstrate that I knew what you were talking about and to demonstrate an instance of it. That isn’t contradicting myself, it’s listening.

The further point, which perhaps wasn’t as clear, was to show that the differences in role, such as it is, is derived from the limitations of the player, not the intrinsic value of the role itself. Hence, to evaluate Gazdic by the limited expectations of him, or of a fourth line player, is to transform a vice into a virtue. There is no necessity to icing a line that plays like a typical fourth line. It is not required by the rules of hockey nor does it provide strategic value. Hence there is no role of fourth line LW like there is a role of goalie, or center, etc. That teams do it is a choice, a choice that is not required of them.

And you didn’t respond to my example of the break-out. That’s real hockey, and everyone’s job is the same.

G Money

But these particular arguments over topics that are virtually axiomatic are also strange.

I should point out that the ‘pre-season means everything’ arguments arose the day after the Canucks beat the Oilers in OT, with the Sedins scoring the winners.

In the post-game interview, Sedin (can’t remember D or H) was asked whether he’d been worried about only having a single point through pre-season.

He shrugged and said something along the lines of: of course not. I’m a veteran with a spot on the team. Pre season is meaningless for me.

A sentiment repeated by uncountably many veteran players over uncountably many years. A reality that can be observed simply by watching those players play. Simply by looking at the relationship between pre-season results and regular season results.

I don’t expect everyone to agree with me – and they don’t and that’s a great deal of the fun – but “pre season means just as much as the regular season”, an argument actually advanced at the time, is a flat earth argument.

Centre of attention

Is it just the format he tweeted? Is Nuge really on RW and Drai in the middle?

Interesting to say the least.

frjohnk

Lowetide:
Jack Michaels Verified account
‏@EdmontonJack

Lines:Hall-Draisaitl-RNH, Pouliot-Letestu-Yak, Purcell-Lander-Eberle, Gazdic-Miller-Pakarinen. Hendricks left ice before battle drills.

It looks like we have a bonafide number 1 line, 2 number 3 lines and a AHL line.

Man if there is ever a time Lander needs to start putting up something other than a 0 on the scoreboard, its now.

G Money

oliveoilers: It’s not a controversial position, it’s just something that you strongly believe in and other people disagree with you.

Wouldn’t you be suspicious if everybody started agreeing with every thing that you say?

Yes, that would be strange.

But these particular arguments over topics that are virtually axiomatic are also strange.

It’s fun to argue over the nature of reality. Arguments over whether the earth is round are boring and pointless, and counterpoints of “well that’s just what *you* believe” are not counterpoints at all.

DBO

Lowetide:
Jack Michaels Verified account
‏@EdmontonJack

Lines:Hall-Draisaitl-RNH, Pouliot-Letestu-Yak, Purcell-Lander-Eberle, Gazdic-Miller-Pakarinen. Hendricks left ice before battle drills.

3 scoring lines? Sorta Unicorn? Maybe?>>>>?????????……../

G Money

speeds,

We do that a lot. It’s half the fun.

G Money

hunter1909:
Today I’m really enjoying you stats people on Lowetide. Given the fact the Oilers are virtually unwatchable, it’s understandable how numbers can provide ersatz entertainment.

A month or so back, Travis Yost tweeted that one of his favourite hockey ironies is that the hockey stats movement really grew out of Alberta, which houses two of the worst teams of the new era.

I tweeted back that we’ve recognized this for a while, and that the active theory is that we have no playoffs to distract us from our spreadsheets.

Water Fire

G Money: Water

Has anyone ever seen G, Cullen AND Steve Smith in the same blog room?

Jethro Tull

G Money: But somehow all of this became a controversial position.

It’s not a controversial position, it’s just something that you strongly believe in and other people disagree with you.

Wouldn’t you be suspicious if everybody started agreeing with every thing that you say?

Woodguy

Lowetide: So, later this season we’ll have three scoring lines? By “scoring lines” what is your line in the sand? I honestly don’t see it. For RE I had:

1. No. 1 line (79 goals)
2. No. 2 line (60 goals)
3. No. 3 line (37 goals)

You believe we’ll have three lines above 50 goals/82 by season’s end?

https://lowetide.ca/2015/08/21/goals-goals-goals/

Bah!

Meant 16/17 and opening night 17/18

Water Fire

Bulging Twine: Maybe GMoney IS Scott Cullen

Never thought of that. has anyone seen them in the same blog room?

Bulging Twine

Jaxon:
Who won the fastest skater at the Oilers Skills Competition last December? Who skated faster than Hall and Klefbom? Yup. Draisaitl. He doesn’t just keep up with the fastest trains (if he’s got enough track), he passes them.

Is that true? Did he win fastest skater?

hunter1909

Today I’m really enjoying you stats people on Lowetide. Given the fact the Oilers are virtually unwatchable, it’s understandable how numbers can provide ersatz entertainment.

speeds

G Money,

I think you and Caramel Obvious are both making good points, but just talking about different things.

Bulging Twine

Driesettl has impressed me with his smarts with the puck, especially for a young guy. I’ve seen him make the safe play when pressured.