LAST NIGHT I WATCHED THE NEWS FROM WASHINGTON, THE CAPITAL

Last night, I watched the news from Washington, the capital, and the television screamed the headline: The Edmonton Oilers are turning north! Music! When they make the movie, Edmonton wins that game in overtime. If we’re looking for positives in a season with many losses, last night has to rank as one of the truly impressive performances with an L hanging from the boxscore. The Oilers Corsi For in all situations one year ago (in 82GP) was 48.9%—if my wobbly math is correct, this crew stands at 50.45% this morning.

  • Todd McLellan: “If anybody leaves the rink with their heads hanging down, I’m going to kick them in the butt. I think we lost the points and grew as a team.”

I think that’s about right. Edmonton won the big parts of the game, earned two points and didn’t get a one. That’s something that hurts whenever it happens, but for a team trying desperately to claw back to .500, it could be devastating. McLellan’s reaction tells me he’s seeing good things and believes the team is better. The improvement over the last Washington game was exceptional. We’re on to Raleigh.

OILERS EARLY, SEASON OVER SEASON

  • 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: 3-5-1
  • Oilers after 21 in 2014-15: 6-13-2, 14 points (-31 GD)
  • Oilers after 21 in 2015-16: 7-13-1, 15 points (-9 GD)

Game 22 last season was a loss, but a much closer game than the 7-1 thrashing by Chicago.

OILERS BLUE, LAST NIGHT

oilers d nov 23

I saw Klefbom—Fayne really good last night, Fayne gave veteran support and Klefbom did good work against a tough set of Washington forwards. The play that stayed in my mind was an item where Klefbom lost a step and Fayne supported a dangerous sortie against Ovie. If they are showcasing Fayne, it was a good one. The women at my house got a scare when Klefbom’s face took a hit, I was somewhat taken aback at the amount of alarm expressed by them.

Nurse—Sekera had their hands full but did a solid job overall on the top line. That trio had some good looks, but Sekera especially handled the big winger well. AO was running around a little, Nurse hung in—at 20—and I think the young man improved his chances of staying in the top four D when Justin Schultz returns. The thing to watch for now is a step forward—not just surviving these Ovechkin sorties, but handling them and turning things in a good direction.

Davidson—Gryba had a good night by the numbers, for me Davidson played another consistent game and I think he stays in the lineup. Gryba took a couple of penalties and I may have yelled at a cloud when he didn’t beat Holtby point blank, but if you believe in the Corgi’s this is a hard game to criticize. Which brings me to a question: Who do YOU remove from the lineup for Schultz?

OILERS CENTERS, LAST NIGHT

oilers c nov 23

Leon Draisaitl and his line had a dominant game against one of the best lines in the NHL, it was splendid and then some. GMoney’s metric has this line pitching a shutout in the dangerous areas, a fabulous piece of evidence. It was a damned shame the trio couldn’t cash but they had great chances. Draisaitl and his group faced Everest and turned it to a pimple on the prairie but the goalie wouldn’t let them write a happy ending. Mark Letestu seems to be gaining some ground of late, he’s moved up a position and does seem to be able to make more things happen. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and his group are getting closer to clicking but the timing remains off by a little. That blasted flu derailed the Nuge from a very nice run. Lauri Korpikoski got away with a pretty hellacious hit and may get a call from big brother.

OILERS WINGERS, LAST NIGHT

oilers w nov 23

Teddy Purcell had several very good looks and was effective in finding open ice last night, but the line couldn’t cash. Taylor Hall is the human chance machine and lordy that was a great performance last night. A lot of talk about not getting a shot on the two-on-none but the pass from Yak came out of a rocket launcher (good lord Yak, a softer touch was the play there). I can’t fault the line. At all. Great effort.

Matt Hendricks is back to being an effective two-way winger, maybe a little shy on offense but he gave max effort and showed up in good places to my eye. Nail Yakupov had a night that points out how far there is to go, and if this team finds a winger who has better chem with McDavid one wonders what happens then. I cheer like hell for him, but Nail is a frustrating player. Seriously. How do we marry his substantial talents to the tin ear pass to Hall, who couldn’t have caught that thing with a freaking silo?

Benoit Pouliot and Jordan Eberle should be getting more done, but Eberle seems to be a little off and the Nuge needs liquids or medicated ointment or some damn thing. As much as we can talk about the top line not cashing, this group has been stone cold in recent games. I’d suggest a fix, but hang it all these are three very good players.

Iiro Pakarinen and Luke Gazdic are on Todd McLellan’s fourth line, and that’s like being at the kids table at Thanksgiving: You’re there, but not really part of the conversation.

lander11

  • Todd McLellan: “You have to be fast or you have to be quick and right now Anton is caught in between.” Source

McLellan has far more subtlety to his game than MacT (who famously crushed Rob Schremp in a single sentence) but there’s iron in TMac’s words here and they could be just as devastating. I call this player a ‘tweener’ and do wonder if the only way to get Lander points is to play him with tremendous skill. The evidence suggests that isn’t necessary—Lander posted a 1.96 5×5/60 with Matt Fraser last year—but the Swede is not far from demotion and having to work for an extended period to get another NHL chance. Are you there? Say a prayer, for the pretender.

Among the things I never thought this blog would report, a scintillating week from KevEN Bouchard would rank up there. His post-draft career has been less than stellar, but credit where due he was brilliant this week. That .971 SP brings his season total to .870, still the worst of his QMJHL career.

TRADES THIS WEEK?

I think we could see one, or two. I don’t see Travis Hamonic coming here, Edmonton has the assets but Oscar Klefbom and Darnell Nurse are too valuable to deal and the Oilers have control over more seasons—plus both men fit the McDavid cluster perfectly.

I can see Peter Chiarelli trading out Mark Fayne or Eric Gryba this week, and part of me thinks Justin Schultz may be a little vulnerable but that’s likely a deadline item. There’s also the Nikitin item ahead, but taking on another meh defender with an extra year is a bad play in my opinion—somewhat similar to the Korpikoski trade.

lane1

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

A busy show with some big brain guests, 10 this morning TSN 1260. Scheduled to appear:

  • Jonathan Willis, Cult of Hockey: Jon’s take on the game and the team after 21.
  • Open line 10:40, Eskimos, Oilers, things DSF said, whatever you like!
  • Darrin Bauming, TSN1290 Winnipeg. The Grey Cup host city is gearing up!
  • Gerry Moddejonge, Edmonton Sun. We’ll talk Eskimos prep and the big game.

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

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154 Responses to "LAST NIGHT I WATCHED THE NEWS FROM WASHINGTON, THE CAPITAL"

  1. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    Terrific summary, LT.
    7-13-1 but that’s just a -9 GD considering 7 losses. This is the painful part of the process where the good games are “no cigars.”
    They can go 2-2 here in the next 4 and then I predict a nice run over the next 25 games of .500 hockey.

    They play with structure like last night against Carolina and it should be a positive outcome.

  2. nelson88 says:

    Good read.

    These losses are very frustrating; particularly when you are staying up late to watch them, but this team has to be one of the best “30th place” teams in recent memory. Very tough schedule has hurt them and the playoffs will be a real stretch but they are turning North.

  3. frjohnk says:

    NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”:
    Terrific summary, LT.
    7-13-1 but that’s just a -9 GD considering 7 losses. This is the painful part of the process where the good games are “no cigars.”
    They can go 2-2 here in the next 4 and then I predict a nice run over the next 25 games of .500 hockey.

    They play with structure like last night against Carolina and it should be a positive outcome.

    It has not necessarily showed up in the W column but the way the Oilers are playing, I feel they can be in every game. Even against Stanley Cup favorites they are in the game close to the end. In previous years against Stanley Cup favorites, I had hoped for straight time in the 3rd to limit the damage.

    ELPH!

  4. neojanus says:

    The Oilers are outplaying some of the best teams in the NHL. This is music to my ears and it won’t be long until the victories begin piling up if they can keep up the quality of play.

    4 games in a row they have been the better team (LA, CHI, NJ, WAS).

    Get the bottom 6 sorted out to actually contribute to the scoreboard and we’re on to something.

  5. BONE207 says:

    Ok..so it’ll be 4-1 for this trip. They’ll get to .500 on the next home stand. Connor back after Christmas. 2016 should be the year to turn north…right into this damn snow.

  6. dustrock says:

    McLellan just says the right things – the team needed positive reinforcement after doing everything right but score.

    The thing with Yak is that we all really, really want him to succeed, but man I just don’t know sometimes. The pass to Hall – who hammers a pass like that? The offensive zone penalty. Last game and almost every game, it’s getting the puck in good position and letting a cannon go outside and high. He is a frustrating player, to me at least. I know there are people here who will defend him to the end.

    Honestly, McDavid’s biggest miracle so far might have been how he bootstrapped Yak like no other player has been able to do.

    We talk about tradable pieces to try to get a better d-man and Eberle seems like a popular choice, and then Yakupov can slide into the top 2 RW spots. Just not sure that’s a good move long term.

  7. kinger_OIL says:

    – You are humming LT: really like the structure of these post-games

    – WAS D use: two established, 26 min D’s, 2 established 22 min D’s minute munchers, and scraps for Chorney and D Orlov (who is being brought along nicely) at 10 or less, protected

    – Oil use Sekera 23 mins, have Nurse, Klef Davidson (all younger than Orlov), Fayne between 17-20, and Gryba.

    – You dance with the one that brung ya, but the D gives an idea of how far/close we are.

  8. russ99 says:

    When McDavid is healthy and we run:

    Hall – Draisaitl – Purcell
    Pouliot – McDavid – Yak
    Hendricks – RNH – Eberle

    It behooves us to acquire better pieces for our sole defense-first forward line.

    Lander is showing more and more that he doesn’t belong with any of them, but he’s still salvagable, so a trip to Bakersfield could be in order.

  9. Ca$h-McMoney! says:

    My favorite line in this writeup, on Kevin Bouchard:

    “His post draft career has been less than stellar”.

    This sort of makes you think he fell off a cliff after being drafted. Which is true…. but only if there was a cliff at the bottom of the original cliff he fell off before the draft. Presumably he posted pretty good numbers in PeeWee.

    I only caught the third period last night, but my favorite event was (I believe 3 times) when the Oilers forechecker stood in front of Holtby and waited out the Washington Dman, forcing him to pick a pass, then intercepted or nearly intercepted the pass. I can’t remember ever seeing the modern Oilers do that.

  10. Cobbler says:

    Excellent hockey these last few games. Love to see the positive posts!

    Davidson is starting to look like the real deal. Solid defensively, can get the puck out of the zone and has that tremendous point shot. The young blue continue to play well and the vets are now coming up to speed.

    Yakupov has the crazy feet back since McDavid went down. Year 4 now and he needs to start showing that he is more than a complimentary player. He needs to score and do it with different linemates.

    I really hope Lander can turn it around. Does anyone know whats broken there?

  11. dustrock says:

    It is interesting to see the very real improvement with some players under McLellan, but someone like Lander I’m honestly really surprised.

    Seems like lots of frustrated Oilers fans out there this morning. That’s understandable, but that was the road game that a playoff team plays last night. It’s just sweet nothings as we continue to toil in 30th place, but man, we’ve got to turn north sometime.

    It’s really on the players now – so what will it take to have the turn happen? A major trade?

  12. Ca$h-McMoney! says:

    dustrock,

    I don’t know. They play like that every night until the end of the season, they are over 0.500 from here forward. Actually I’d say they’re over 0.550. That was a heck of an effort, sometimes the bounces just go the other way.

  13. stush18 says:

    Do you think they run with nillson, or give talbot a game?

    Carolina runs a very good system, and usually is pretty good in the shot metrics, but lousy in shooting percentage.

    Maybe a good game to give talbot some pucks off less talented sticks, crank up the confidence a bit. Of course that’s when Carolina will dominate the game and score five beauties under the bar.

    Goalies.

    Also my gf was pretty concerned about Klefbom last night too LT. what’s he got that I don’t?

  14. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    dustrock,

    Turn has happened. The first days of a bull market look a lot like the last days of a bear market.

    Just wait and see. In my opinion the turn has happened. If the Oilers were a stock I’d be filling my boots with it as we speak.

  15. dustrock says:

    Ca$h-McMoney!: dustrock, I don’t know. They play like that every night until the end of the season, they are over 0.500 from here forward. Actually I’d say they’re over 0.550. That was a heck of an effort, sometimes the bounces just go the other way.

    Oh, I agree completely. It’s the consistency that has been the problem this century. We’ve seen some small stretches before where it seems like they’re putting it together…although, come to think of it, most of those stretches come when they’re already eliminated from the playoffs.

  16. Really? says:

    Two observations that I would like to share with you:

    1. I am very impressed with the improved overall strength of the Oilers game. They have been competitive and played a full 60 minutes almost every night.

    2. I, too, like Yakupov but he is a disaster. He is a goal scorer who is not scoring much less even hitting the net. He is an offensive player who cannot make a touch pass on a 2 on 0 break. When will people accept that he is an underachieving player who brings absolutely no positives to the table.

    Everybody is very quick to climb all over Ference, Nikitin and Schultz when they underperform but these same people ooh and aah about Yakupov’s potential. Crap.

  17. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    This isn’t meant to single any poster out about their opinion on Yakupov.

    Is he struggling? Yes. Is the 2012 draft top 10 looking like a dog’s breakfast? Yes Murray is looking pretty decent this year at last but he has been injured so much you have to wonder. Galchenyuk has been no screaming hell, either. It’s likely the Oilers would have whiffed no matter who they picked.

    That said, Yak still has Tarasenko-like skills. Now Tank spent years seasoning in the KHL and really came into his own last season. He was drafted 2 years earlier, remember.

    Yak instead has had a lockout year then injuries and marginalization under Eakins. He is still learning to play a more simple game and often his enthusiasm gets the best of him.

    I just don’t think he has a lot of value right now. He doesn’t bring back Hamonic or Larsson and that’s a shame, but patience is the key here.

    I don’t see any good reason at this time to break up the 3 pairs of core 6 young forwards right now. Even though the team is playing better the record is still dead last, meaning the team doesn’t have a lot of leverage in trade negotiations right now.

    Chia’s best plan is to move assets ahead of the deadline as needed and also make more moves at the draft. His best bet is to wait, in my opinion, especially on Yakupov.

  18. jp says:

    dustrock:

    He is a frustrating player, to me at least.I know there are people here who will defend him to the end.

    I’m pretty certain Yakupov is frustrating even to his defenders.

    It’s just about whether one thinks he will continues to improve or is a lost cause.

  19. Ca$h-McMoney! says:

    Just to continue my “trade with Philly” tangent,

    I was looking at their lines over at Daily Faceoff.

    They list Del Zotto & Gudas as their top pair.

    Is that a worse version of Schultz & Gryba? Or is it a slightly better version? Because either way it’s a version of Schultz & Gryba.

    And their version of Ference is getting paid almost twice as much, for like 5 more years.

    Sweet mother that’s a bad situation.

  20. blainer says:

    NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”:
    Terrific summary, LT.
    7-13-1 but that’s just a -9 GD considering 7 losses. This is the painful part of the process where the good games are “no cigars.”
    They can go 2-2 here in the next 4 and then I predict a nice run over the next 25 games of .500 hockey.

    They play with structure like last night against Carolina and it should be a positive outcome.

    You sir are bang on with your posts lately.

    This team is an NHL team now finally.

    I am actually predicting a winning record from here on in.

    Tmc has this team playing well and you can see the confidence is coming with Nilsson.

  21. blainer says:

    russ99:
    When McDavid is healthy and we run:

    Hall – Draisaitl – Purcell
    Pouliot – McDavid – Yak
    Hendricks – RNH– Eberle

    It behooves us to acquire better pieces for our sole defense-first forward line.

    Lander is showing more and more that he doesn’t belong with any of them, but he’s still salvagable, so a trip to Bakersfield could be in order.

    I like Hendy on that line. He can help in the faceoff circle and will dig out the puck for for ebs and nuge. Also adds that physical element as well.

    Lander is running out of track.. he needs to do something soon or he’s on waivers.

  22. Johnny skid says:

    Is it kick yak in the nuts day again? I’m not sure what is expected of him but it sure is clear he’s not delivering for some. Give yak a day off please!

  23. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    russ99:
    When McDavid is healthy and we run:

    Hall – Draisaitl – Purcell
    Pouliot – McDavid – Yak
    Hendricks – RNH– Eberle

    It behooves us to acquire better pieces for our sole defense-first forward line.

    Lander is showing more and more that he doesn’t belong with any of them, but he’s still salvagable, so a trip to Bakersfield could be in order.

    I’d bet a box of doughnuts Lander won’t make it through waivers this time due to his performance last season. I would also bet Chia is well aware of that.

  24. leadfarmer says:

    Its easy to prevent goals when you are attacking and the defense has one foot in the neutral zone. You are also not going to score very many goals when you are doing that or even generate many chances. Until this team plays 5 guys as a unit in the offensive zone playoffs will not happen. At least they started playing as a unit in their own zone and breakouts.

  25. Hall Awaits says:

    Spector and Matheson have both mentioned the Daley/Nikitin item within days of each other. My guess is this is a fall back move if Chiarelli can’t work his magic on a Hamonic deal. I could also see Chicago taking a look at a Nikitin/Ference for Bickell/Daley trade. Of course with that, you would have to think they’d be buying out Ference at season’s end and using the deal essentially as a salary dump. Not sure it makes a lot of sense for Chia, but I could see a deal like that happening without the same cap implications in Edmonton that are in Chicago next year. Bickell has been playing actually pretty good in the AHL but that contract is pretty daunting in a 3rd/4th line role at that cap hit.

    I’m still holding my breath for Hamonic. Please baby Jesus….

  26. Snowman says:

    If they can squeak out 5 or 6 points in the next 4 games on this trip that would be spectacular. It would likely put them right in the Pacific division hunt and with home games and CMD due back sometime after Christmas you’re looking at a major turn.

    The D is pretty decent right now. The worst thing I think Maclellan can do is put Schultz with Klefbom. A third pair of two of Reinhart, Schultz, Davidson and Gryba is acceptable.

    Nurse is becoming a man very quickly. He’s been incredible. Love the range and the strength.

  27. Bruce McCurdy says:

    dustrock: The thing with Yak is that we all really, really want him to succeed, but man I just don’t know sometimes. The pass to Hall – who hammers a pass like that? The offensive zone penalty. Last game and almost every game, it’s getting the puck in good position and letting a cannon go outside and high. He is a frustrating player, to me at least. I know there are people here who will defend him to the end.

    Yak has now gone 15 games without a goal and 7 without a stinking point. He doesn’t kill penalties, he can’t be relied upon to defend, and his hitting game has all but disappeared. For all the talk about what great offensive potential he has, this is three years running where he has been unable to buy a goal for the first large chunk of the season. Since his great finish in the lockout-shortened rookie year he has played 165 games — basically, 2 full seasons — and has scored all of 27 goals, 41 assists, for 68 points with a -69. Divide by 2 and you have ~13-21-34 per 82 from a guy who’s value is almost entirely in his offensive production.

    If I got the impression the dude was learning something I would be less despairing, but I see 2 or 3 or 5 plays every game that just leave me shaking my head at his decision making, and a similar number that leave me shaking my head at his execution. Like most of us I suspect, I keep hoping the light will turn on some day, and things looked promising for a while with McDavid, but as McLellan says buddy needs to be a driver on his line occasionally.

  28. dustrock says:

    Hall Awaits: Spector and Matheson have both mentioned the Daley/Nikitin item within days of each other. My guess is this is a fall back move if Chiarelli can’t work his magic on a Hamonic deal. I could also see Chicago taking a look at a Nikitin/Ference for Bickell/Daley trade. Of course with that, you would have to think they’d be buying out Ference at season’s end and using the deal essentially as a salary dump. Not sure it makes a lot of sense for Chia, but I could see a deal like that happening without the same cap implications in Edmonton that are in Chicago next year. Bickell has been playing actually pretty good in the AHL but that contract is pretty daunting in a 3rd/4th line role at that cap hit.I’m still holding my breath for Hamonic. Please baby Jesus….

    Yeah, I’m not sure how this helps out the Oilers at all.

  29. G Money says:

    dustrock: Honestly, McDavid’s biggest miracle so far might have been how he bootstrapped Yak like no other player has been able to do

    Derek Roy?

    TMc is correct in that Yak needs to do more. I think he’s trying to figure out how. He didn’t get any rope to do that most of the last two seasons, did he?

    But the reality is that Yak is not a C, he’s a W, and he needs a good C to be able to be effective. He’s worked well with Roy, with McDavid, and with Draisaitl. Not so much with RNH (why we’re not quite sure, but it’s a thing – just like Hall/McD didn’t work).

    Last night’s 2-0 was a perfect example of a struggling player who knew it was the right play, but didn’t have the confidence to shoot the puck, and knew passing to Hall was the wrong play, but didn’t have the confidence not to defer to his teammate – and so he ended up shooting it at Hall.

  30. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Johnny skid:
    Is it kick yak in the nuts day again? I’m not sure what is expected of him but it sure is clear he’s not delivering for some. Give yak a day off please!

    Oops, sorry, didn’t see this before launching my previous diatribe. In my defence I have been biting my tongue on this subject for a long time.

    Let’s return to our usual practice of kicking Gryba, Schultz & Ference in the nuts. There is no upper limit on that.

  31. Snowman says:

    Hall Awaits,

    I don’t think those guys have an inside track anymore. I think they’re spitballing just like the rest of us.

    I don’t think Chia operates like the old boys. The media is just as blind as the rest of us.

  32. Halfwise says:

    blainer: Lander is running out of track.. he needs to do something soon or he’s on waivers.

    Here is a situation where because TFCAF takes up a roster spot on the big team, the coach’s hands are tied unnecessarily.
    Lander could just sit for a while without being waived, under normal circumstances, but the Oilers don’t have as much flexibility as they’d like. Grrr.

  33. russ99 says:

    I’m OK with Yak, as long as the effort is there.

    IMO he’ll take twice as long to get fixed by McLellan because he was twice as broken by Eakins than the other players.

  34. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    Hall Awaits,

    Hadn’t heard that. Daley was awful last year. One could argue it has been addition by subtraction for Dallas. Has it been much better in Chicago?

  35. blainer says:

    Just a few observations about the last few games..

    We all know about Drai.
    Davidson is what we hoped Reinhart would be. He is in the lineup going forward. he’s earned it.

    Nilsson is really playing well. I actually thought he would be better than Talbot but its early days.
    Sekera is playing like a number 1 D finally.

    No way I am trading anyone of top forwards save Yak. and even then I’m not sure as he was lights out with CMD.

    Get the RD in the off season after ditching Ference.

    I cannot wait to see what this team looks like healthy. Really believe we would in the playoffs if we had been healthy. Hendy was also a big loss when he was out.

  36. dustrock says:

    G Money: Derek Roy?TMc is correct in that Yak needs to do more. I think he’s trying to figure out how. He didn’t get any rope to do that most of the last two seasons, did he?But the reality is that Yak is not a C, he’s a W, and he needs a good C to be able to be effective. He’s worked well with Roy, with McDavid, and with Draisaitl. Not so much with RNH (why we’re not quite sure, but it’s a thing – just like Hall/McD didn’t work).Last night’s 2-0 was a perfect example of a struggling player who knew it was the right play, but didn’t have the confidence to shoot the puck, and knew passing to Hall was the wrong play, but didn’t have the confidence not to defer to his teammate – and so he ended up shooting it at Hall.

    It would be interesting seeing Yak play with Beast Draisaitl, because, by eye and by stats, I don’t believe they fared together all that well last year.

    I thought of Roy but thought McDavid had an even bigger impact, I expect he probably just told Yak to get to open space. Yak was playing really well, but let’s be honest, McDavid was making it as easy as possible for him.

  37. Snowman says:

    Johnny skid:
    Is it kick yak in the nuts day again? I’m not sure what is expected of him but it sure is clear he’s not delivering for some. Give yak a day off please!

    You’d think he’d be able to make a pass on a 2 on 0 that somebody could get a shot off on. You don’t get a pass on botching that play so badly. Gryba made a better play in a more difficult situation. Gryba for chrissakes. Yak deserves a lot of the criticism he gets.

    Wonderful personality that you can’t help but cheer for but my god man he’s got to help himself occassionally by making some actual plays once in a while…

  38. russ99 says:

    NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”:
    Hall Awaits,

    Hadn’t heard that. Daley was awful last year. One could argue it has been addition by subtraction for Dallas. Has it been much better in Chicago?

    The word here in Chitown is that he’s been awful this year too.

    This trade makes zero sense, we’d get another poor defenseman and end up with an extra year of contract. Nikitin needs to stay buried all year so Chia can use his cap room next summer.

  39. 4th_Line_Plug says:

    I wish Yak could be a Marchand/ Gallagher, bring it every night and drive the net like crazy.

    Is this even the same Taylor Hall? Did he really just need a veteran coaches hand to mold him into a legitimate two-way player. He is noticeably more repsonsible since he got benched with ten minutes left in the third period for that stupid slashing penalty early in the year.

  40. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    Bruce McCurdy,

    Yak is deserving of our disappointment, yes.
    I just don’t see a good solution at the moment short of keeping TMac working on him and waiting for McDavid

    He makes a very reasonable salary. It’s not like he makes $5m and can’t produce on his own.

    He also isn’t going to return anything worthwhile in a trade.

    It’s tough but have to be patient here.

  41. Frank the dog says:

    nelson88:
    Good read.

    These losses are very frustrating; particularly when you are staying up late to watch them, but this team has to be one of the best “30th place” teams in recent memory. Very tough schedule has hurt them and the playoffs will be a real stretch but they are turning North.

    Ever since I gave up hope of a playoff series in Rexall I feel much better. The team is turning north indeed. I’m looking to the second half of this season. I can live without playoffs this year if it results in multiple Cup runs in the new arena over the next 5 years due to hoarding medium term resources.

  42. Bruce McCurdy says:

    NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”:
    Bruce McCurdy,

    Yak is deserving of our disappointment, yes.
    I just don’t see a good solution at the moment short of keeping TMac working on him and waiting for McDavid

    He makes a very reasonable salary. It’s not like he makes $5m and can’t produce on his own.

    He also isn’t going to return anything worthwhile in a trade.

    It’s tough but have to be patient here.

    Yep. Doesn’t mean he’s above criticism — or praise, when warranted. But since McDavid went down he’s earned a lot more of the former in my view.

  43. Johnny skid says:

    Bruce McCurdy: Oops, sorry, didn’t see this before launching my previous diatribe. In my defence I have been biting my tongue on this subject for a long time.

    Let’s return to our usual practice of kicking Gryba, Schultz & Ference in the nuts. There is no upper limit on that.

    Ok… Sometimes it’s fun just to enjoy the game though.

  44. Woogie63 says:

    jp,

    There are 10 1OV Forwards (plus Lecavalier and Connor) playing in the NHL right now. NONE of them would be expected to line up with fourth liners, like Letestu and Hendricks and be difference makers. Makinnon, Hopkins, Hall, Tavares, Stamkos, Kane, Crosby, Ovechkin, Nash and Thornton all play with a least one quality top 6 forwards on a consistent basis.
    the league is way too good for one guy to do it all.

  45. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Cobbler: Davidson is starting to look like the real deal. Solid defensively, can get the puck out of the zone and has that tremendous point shot. The young blue continue to play well and the vets are now coming up to speed.

    Davidson is smart, smart, smart. Patient with the puck, makes the checker commit and then dishes off the simple pass into good ice. I’ve liked this player since he was a junior for his calm feet and calmer head, but am frankly thrilled by how far he has progressed this season, starting from the 8-hole and even further down than that on the preseason depth chart.

    I watched him closely from the stands in the NJD game, and liked what I saw. Looked real good again last night. In both games he had one tough shift in the second period where he couldn’t make the long change & got caught out too long. Otherwise it’s been no muss, no fuss, no bother when BD has been out there. He’s making a compelling case to stay in the line-up even when Schultz is healthy.

  46. Lois Lowe says:

    I thought the D was excellent last night almost to a man (the exception was Gryba but he wasn’t that bad). They made a lot of good reads, some really nice stick checks, and moved the puck up quite well. I prefer the Davidson-Reinhart tandem but would like to see the former try a few games with Schultz.

    It was an interesting choice to bring in Gazdic though. He brings little to the table and he got his head kicked in most of the night. It seemed like almost all of Washington’s best offensive stretches were when he was on the ice.

    I’ll take a snake bitten Lander over that hot garbage every day of the week.

  47. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Johnny skid: Ok… Sometimes it’s fun just to enjoy the game though.

    I try to enjoy the game every night & succeed far more often than I fail, especially this year. But it’s my job to analyze player performance, which is also something I enjoy doing for the most part. I enjoy it more when the player under the microscope at a given moment is succeeding.

    It’s possible to enjoy the game and root for my team without going into full fanboy mode and bringing out the foam finger (as Punjabi Oil used to say).

  48. RumBurgundy says:

    Long time reader, first time poster. Love the discussions here. After a game where he got none, I must gush about Points de Leon. He processes things so quickly yet executes so calmly it is hard to believe he is 20. He is the Eric Clapton to Yak’s C.C. DeVille.

  49. G Money says:

    dustrock,

    Drai/Yak’s possession and chance numbers were good. They were both snakebitten (sub 5% sh% both of them – which they shared with quite a few other Oilers).

    Yak’s numbers with McDavid were better but not remarkably so compared to Roy. Yak was also very much NOT a passenger on McDavid’s line. The general tone here seems to be that Yak was simply a beneficiary of McDavid. He wasn’t.

    He was a sparkplug on that line, usually the one doing the forechecking, the hitting, the puck retrieval, and the one standing in front of the net. There are probably three or four goals that line got where Yak didn’t get a point, but if he wasn’t in front of the net, the goal doesn’t happen.

    It’s also worth noting that our current best player – Hall – did not mesh with McDavid. To suggest that Yak’s chemistry with McDavid has no value is strange to me. It clearly does. As does that kind of chemistry on every team. Seguin isn’t anywhere near the player he is without Benn on his line.

    Yak’s still a sparkplug. Yak gets all the shit for that 2 on 0 screwing up, but (unless I’m recalling the events wrong), the 2 on 0 doesn’t happen if Yak doesn’t make a play that most players on the Oilers can’t make.

    The problem for Yak remains that the plays he makes are often unintentionally to the benefit of the other team.

    The question at hand is whether you think TMc can get Yak playing the right way, while also undoing a year and a half of Eakins’ ‘tough love’ garbage.

    I think he can. It took TMc 15 games to get most of the rest the team on that page. I think it may take another 20 or more to get Yak deprogrammed, but it’s happening.

  50. blainer says:

    Halfwise: Here is a situation where because TFCAF takes up a roster spot on the big team, the coach’s hands are tied unnecessarily.
    Lander could just sit for a while without being waived, under normal circumstances, but the Oilers don’t have as much flexibility as they’d like. Grrr.

    This.

    I have been saying this for weeks now. That roster spot is hurting big time and may force a player on waivers such as lander. We need that extra spot for Gazdic not for Ference.

    It’s also hurting Tmac with his not having that extra option.

    Not buying out Ference has hurt us this year. The one Move Chia shoulda made.. Cap be damned !

  51. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Lois Lowe:
    I thought the D was excellent last night almost to a man (the exception was Gryba but he wasn’t that bad). They made a lot of good reads, some really nice stick checks, and moved the puck up quite well. I prefer the Davidson-Reinhart tandem but would like to see the former try a few games with Schultz.

    It was an interesting choice to bring in Gazdic though. He brings little to the table and he got his head kicked in most of the night. It seemed like almost all of Washington’s best offensive stretches were when he was on the ice.

    I’ll take a snake bitten Lander over that hot garbage every day of the week.

    That sequence where Gazdic and Yakupov got caught out together after a partially completed long-change was, uhh, interesting. Fortunately they had Gryba behind them to settle things down. 😐 (But hey, it was only the Kuznetsov line that was running their show, nothing serious.)

  52. Bruce McCurdy says:

    blainer: I have been saying this for weeks now. That roster spot is hurting big time and may force a player on waivers such as lander. We need that extra spot for Gazdic not for Ference.

    If it comes down to it, we need that extra spot for Lander, not Gazdic.

  53. Sugar Reijo says:

    Just want to echo the sentiment we are witnessing the long-awaited northward turn. “Lost the points but grew as a team,” sums the night up perfectly. Was a loss that felt like a victory.

  54. PhrankLee says:

    blainer: Davidson is what we hoped Reinhart would be.

    Well can we please give GR the same amount of time to develop?

    That means you have to give him 2 more years!!

  55. Caramel Obvious says:

    Yakupov’s problem is his shooting percentage is 4%,

    That’s an astonishing number for someone who is supposed to be a finisher.

    Remember when his shooting percentage was 21 and some people thought he was the outlier.

    I think Yakupov is a frantic player who is never going to calm down. That said, NYoil is right about him. What else can you do but ride it out? I’d still rather have him than some generic energy player.

  56. frjohnk says:

    G Money: It’s also worth noting that our current best player – Hall – did not mesh with McDavid

    They only played 22 minutes of 5 on 5 together. They had a 52.8% CF%. They looked a bit off, but then again, it was McDavid’s first few games in the NHL and he needed to get to speed.

    Hall and Eberle had great chemistry with Crosby in the WC’s. McDavid is not unlike Crosby.

    Hall and McDavid are world class talents. No reason they cant become great together.

    When they play together and they will, I’m not betting against them racking up the points.

  57. Sugar Reijo says:

    RumBurgundy:
    He is the Eric Clapton to Yak’s C.C. DeVille.

    Great line! 🙂

    Although I have to say that sometimes Yak reminds me more of the flamethrowing dude from Mad Max Fury Road.

  58. frjohnk says:

    On the topic of Yak, he is not covering the bet of his draft position, but he is not alone from his draft.

    The 2012 draft is no screaming hell. Only a couple of handful of players who look to be trending as top line forwards or top pairing Dmen from that draft.

    Nobody is really elite from that draft.

    It could be worse, we could have traded the best forward of the draft for 62 games and 2 goals from Erat 🙂

    Yak is not and probably never will be a river pusher, but if he can become a consistent 2nd line winger who is decent defensively on a good contract he will have value for the Oilers.

  59. jake70 says:

    Yak – Have to give some points to MacT on that deal. Without doubt, many likely don’t even like that contract as is but imagine the angst had Yak got a 4MX3YR or something similar/more. MacT bought some time with Yak on that deal. I wonder if that player had been anyone but Hall, would Yak have passed? I suspect yes but there is a definite deference to Hall you can see clearly in some sequences.

  60. dustrock says:

    G Money,

    I’m not saying Yak was a passenger on McDavid’s line – I said he was playing very well – but here’s the thing – you’re saying he’s still a sparkplug.

    I don’t see it, to the same extent. He hasn’t been giving the same performances away from McDavid, even if he’s had some decent games.

  61. G Money says:

    frjohnk,

    I don’t remember the boxcars, but to my eyes, they struggled in preseason as well. If you struggle in preseason, you aren’t likely to fix what ails you in the regular season. That’s why TMc likely pulled them apart so quickly, and rightly so.

    dustrock,

    What little happens on Yak’s line(s) right now usually starts with a play made by Yak.

  62. dustrock says:

    http://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/nhl/30-thoughts-how-technology-keeps-changing-the-goalie-game/

    Friedman saying he assumed Edmonton would be taking back Daley if Hawks got Nikitin but was told that is 100% wrong. Interesting.

  63. blainer says:

    Bruce McCurdy: If it comes down to it, we need that extra spot for Lander, not Gazdic.

    Yes absolutely agree.

    But I doubt Tmc does.. seems he likes that kid of player.

    Me.. I get as frustrated as hell when he is on the ice.

    Hendy and Gryba can do his job and play hockey.

  64. square_wheels says:

    When players clearly are incapable of delivery against a standard expectation, or norm, then we have to look a them objectively and make the correct decision. The norm is moving right on the bell curve, our expectations are increasing and players are falling off. As in the present economy, only the cream remains in many companies and that isn’t necessarily always about who is the most talented, its about how they collaborate with their peers and their capability to adapt to stressful and dynamic situations and still consistently deliver. Many of the folks we are keeping at my company, and we are cutting deep (big oil), were into the bone now, are the most flexible. I need to know I can throw more at them, and they can adapt.

    I look at hockey teams the same way.

    Good teams not only find good players and keep good players, they play them the right amount and in the right circumstances and the players deliver an expected performance. Nothing drives an organization into the ground faster than unpredictable results or consistently poor results.

    So, long story short, yes, we will continue to ” kick players in the nuts “, but never personal and never without facts. The debate should always be about their inability to deliver consistently.

    Schultz, Yak and Lander are on very thin ice, they’re gone by the EOY because they are proven to be “consistently inconsistent” and unable to adapt given a myriad of scenarios and opportunities.

    Davidson is the exact type of player we must reward, I give zero fucks about his pedigree.

  65. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Caramel Obvious: Yakupov’s problem is his shooting percentage is 4%,

    Which doesn’t even account for whiffs or wide shots, which seem to happen with alarming frequency on the best of his shooting opportunities.

    But yes of course that 4% will regress to the meat, we just don’t quite know where the meat actually is. After previous seasons of 9.0% and 7.3% I’d like to see some evidence of the “elite finisher” that was advertised. A tiny bit of calm in the scoring area would be helpful, maybe it will come once a few pucks go in.

  66. square_wheels says:

    dustrock,

    Hjarlmorson ????……runs away laughing hysterically.

  67. OilClog says:

    Yak has had about :34seconds of playing time with anyone in the top 6 since Mcdavid went down.

    What is Pou doing? He had those couple of nice minutes against Chicago.. Other then that.. Anyone?

    Frankly, until Hall/Drai aren’t the only people scoring it’s absolutely ridiculous to be piling on Yak like this.

    Letestu has as much offensive skill as Toby and here everyone is crying about Yak.

    Everyone on this damn blog hated Hendricks before he arrived, he’s a beauty player but he isn’t going to produce points.. Yet lets expect Yak to carry these two into a euphoria of scoring.

  68. blainer says:

    PhrankLee: Well can we please give GR the same amount of time to develop?

    That means you have to give him 2 more years!!

    True. These high picks don’t get the same development line.. Guessing he will be in Bakersfield by Saturday.

    Which by the way will be good for him. Hopefully he will take the demotion well and work on his skating a bit. He should get drai’s program.

    I do believe though Reinhart is close but not at the expense of sending nurse down.

  69. Sugar Reijo says:

    Caramel Obvious: I think Yakupov is a frantic player who is never going to calm down.

    Have recently come to realize that the soft spot I’ve always had for Yak is the same one I had for the Tasmanian Devil growing up. Am pretty sure it’s the way both move like a miniature cyclone while being constantly schooled by opponents who seem to only barely be moving in comparison.

  70. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    jake70:
    Yak – Have to give some points to MacT on that deal.Without doubt, many likely don’t even like that contract as is but imagine the angst had Yak got a 4MX3YR or something similar/more. MacT bought some time with Yak on that deal.I wonder if that player had been anyone but Hall, would Yak have passed?I suspect yes but there is a definite deference to Hall you can see clearly in some sequences.

    Sorry but I disagree. Yak’s play is what got him that contract. In fact, if pedigree were not a factor I would say he would have gotten less, a la Lander. When you look at Subban’s or RyJo’s bridge deals, for example, it is plain to see Yak got a fair deal for sure, and certainly wasn’t signed to any kind of bargain deal MacT should get credit for.

    MacT signed Pouliot. I give him credit for that.

  71. dustrock says:

    square_wheels: dustrock, Hjarlmorson ????……runs away laughing hysterically.

    Ha ha no kidding.

    I assumed he meant Bickell (still another year?) but didn’t check to see if there’s another candidate.

  72. Dicky94 says:

    Last night was one of the best games I’ve seen the Oilers play in years and the never scored a goal. If they keep playing like this they will soon get rewarded for it. I even find myself more relaxed watching the games because I feel more confident in this team. They are buying into what Todd is selling them. Last year the team would have folded after that late goal but not anymore. Almost tied it up. Also I believe it is time to give Hall the C. He is the man!

  73. blainer says:

    OilClog:
    Yak has had about :34seconds of playing time with anyone in the top 6 since Mcdavid went down.

    What is Pou doing? He had those couple of nice minutes against Chicago.. Other then that.. Anyone?

    Frankly, until Hall/Drai aren’t the only people scoring it’s absolutely ridiculous to be piling on Yak like this.

    Letestu has as much offensive skill as Toby and here everyone is crying about Yak.

    Everyone on this damn blog hated Hendricks before he arrived, he’s a beauty player but he isn’t going to produce points.. Yet lets expect Yak to carry these two into a euphoria of scoring.

    Actually I was the one poster who thought Hendy was a beautiful pick up at the time. Hard working physical player. I was hoping we would have signed him when he was a free agent.

    Everyone was pissed about the contract but I wasn’t.. One of MacT better moves..

  74. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    I know Bickell has another year left but I’d be tempted on that deal. He could slot in on the Nugeberle line.
    Hall-Drai-Purcell
    Bickell-Nuge-Eberle
    Pouliot-McDavid-Yak
    Hendricks-Lander-Levesque
    Korpi/Pakarinen

  75. pocession charge says:

    Really?:

    2. I, too, like Yakupov but he is a disaster. He is a goal scorer who is not scoring much less even hitting the net. He is an offensive player who cannot make a touch pass on a 2 on 0 break. When will people accept that he is an underachieving player who brings absolutely no positives to the table.

    So we should ignore the play that he made to anticipate the neutral zone pass, make an interception, and pass it over to the team’s leading scorer on a 2 on 0. That pass was just fine — Hall missed it.

    “Oh, but Pocession Charge, the pass was too hard instead of a perfect touch pass!” This isn’t rec hockey and Hall isn’t a beer leaguer. Those guys should be able to handle anything that is near their stick — they don’t need a perfect pass to convert. I’m sure that Hall would say that he should have had that one.

    But let’s ignore all that. Let’s get rid of Yakupov for someone more like Klinkhammer!

  76. PhrankLee says:

    Dicky94: Also I believe it is time to give Hall the C. He is the man!

    I second that emotion.

  77. pocession charge says:

    And what the hell is wrong with Center of Attention? He kind of lost touch with reality on last night’s game thread. The Oilers played a solid game and lost because of Holtby. I was very happy with the way the team performed.

  78. vangolf says:

    Can’t believe Diane Lane has not received any love yet! Our hurdler is all fine and dandy, but this DL picture is my personal fave.

  79. russ99 says:

    dustrock: Ha ha no kidding.

    I assumed he meant Bickell (still another year?) but didn’t check to see if there’s another candidate.

    I like taking Bickell’s out of whack contract even less than trading bad defensemen.

    To quote our convicted former Illinois governor, Rod Blagojevic, All that cap room Chia has this summer is “(expletive) golden, I’m not just giving it up for (expletive) nothing.

  80. Johnny skid says:

    Bruce McCurdy: I try to enjoy the game every night & succeed far more often than I fail, especially this year. But it’s my job to analyze player performance, which is also something I enjoy doing for the most part. I enjoy it more when the player under the microscope at a given moment is succeeding.

    It’s possible to enjoy the game and root for my team without going into full fanboy mode and bringing out the foam finger (as Punjabi Oil used to say).

    I’m a fan of the team and some what the player I just hate seeing a guy get piled on is all.

  81. Pouzar says:

    Personal biases aside, the WOWYs suggest a synergy with McDavid.

  82. Pouzar says:

    G Money: What little happens on Yak’s line(s) right now usually starts with a play made by Yak.

    Hendricks imo.

  83. pocession charge says:

    Caramel Obvious:

    I think Yakupov is a frantic player who is never going to calm down.That said, NYoil is right about him.What else can you do but ride it out?I’d still rather have him than some generic energy player.

    This is the perfect description of Yakupov. He is very frantic (jerky movements and 100 mph stickhandling). Perhaps he will learn to calm down with age and maturity. I still think that he has the potential to become much more effective than he is currently.

  84. dustrock says:

    pocession charge: And what the hell is wrong with Center of Attention? He kind of lost touch with reality on last night’s game thread. The Oilers played a solid game and lost because of Holtby. I was very happy with the way the team performed.

    I’ve been there. Usually worse if I’m down a bottle of wine. Fandom is a weird and strange and often exhausting thing. Everyone has their breaking points. Maybe he had a bad day and this was just the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back.

    If “once bitten, twice shy”, then Oilers fans should be extremely shy. We’ve been led down the garden path so many times they may as well pave it for us.

    So we get fed hope each year, and end up in 30th. It is extremely frustrating. Now we are being told the turn north is going to come…..and we’re still 30th.

    This has been the most enjoyable of the 30th place finishes to date, but I don’t blame anyone for blowing their tops at this point.

  85. kinger_OIL says:

    – If Yak wasn’t on a team that had drafted so many #’1s in previous years, he would be fine.

    – He plays behind the good old Canadian boys #1’s, and as pointed out, he’s the only top draft pick last 10 years that plays with plugs on 3rd line most of the time

    – With a good C: he’s good. He’s a winger. With bad C’s he sucks, that’s indisputable. Brett Hull type wingers need good C’s. They are not optimized when asked to play a 200-foot D game with plugs on 3rd line: send him to a team that needs a top-6 winger to compliment their C’s: because that is what Yak is. And he tries hard, and he deserves to max his talent, not fit into a box that doesn’t fit.

  86. rickithebear says:

    there was adiscussion about Norris Canidates.
    I stated I want
    1. Faces 1st comp
    2. defends well
    3. Generates even offence.

    my response was this:

    // So we want Dmen
    1. -who face 1st comp (top 60)
    2. -who are top 60 at preventing high danger chances.
    this measure gets you to the point the goalie has to make the save.

    the current list alphabetically by first name
    Player – league rank comp – league rank HSCA60
    A. Larsson – #21 – #23
    A. Greene – #22 – #30
    B. Doumoulin – #10 – #54
    D. Kieth – #41 – #52
    J. Braun – #43 – #2
    K Alzner – #48 – #28
    M.E. Vlasic – #45 – #1
    M. Fayne – #16 – #17
    M. Niskanen – #52 – #32
    N. Hjarlmasson – #3 – #55
    O. Klefbom – #5 – #36
    R. Josi – #14 – #8
    S. Weber – #7 – #6
    TVR – #29 – #56
    Y. Weber – #42 – #22
    these 15 face the best and defend the best well.

    there are a collection of 1st/2nd comp ( top 75) D with 1st/2nd results (top 75)
    B Davidson – #65 – #75
    D. Savard – #35 – #62
    E. Johnson – #26 – #70
    Beauchemin – #23 – #74
    J. Johnson – #50 – #65
    J. Spurgeon – #70 – #50
    L. Schenn – #59 – #73
    R. Mcdonagh – #24 – #68
    R. Suter – #63 – #51
    Some great prospects
    Some proven elite History.
    Showing Great Defensive Play!

    3. -D who offensively generate Even points (top 30) by pass (A) or sound point pinches (G). (who do not affect HDCA). (top 45 for 1st/2nd)

    the 60 – 60 – 30
    Player – Comp – HSCA60 – EVP
    K. Alzner – #48 – #28 – #30
    O. Klefbom – #5 – #36 – #12

    these 2:
    face the best; keep shots to perimeter; Generate Even offence

    the 75-75-45 group:
    Player – Comp – HSCA60 – EVP
    D. Savard – #35 – #62 – #36
    J. Spurgeon – #70 – #50 – #35
    J. Braun – #43 – #2 – #43
    Niskanen – #52 – #32 – #39
    R. Josi – #14 – #8 – #33
    R. Mcdonagh – #24 – #68 – #45
    R. Suter – #63 – #51 – #3

    there are currently 9 D that can
    face fringe 1st comp or better
    defend and generate offence against.

    There are D that do not face the best
    but can be top 60 HSCA60 and top 30 EVP
    Parayko – #19 – #10
    Phanuef – #43 – #8
    Ekholm – #33 – #29
    Ristolainen – #31 – #25
    S. Jones – #5 – #22
    T. Barrie – #44 – #20
    V. Hedman – #57 – #6

    or

    Top 75 HSCA60 and top 45 EVP
    Orlov – #66 – #45
    Muzzin – #64 – #23
    R. Ellis – #20 – #42

    we can measure a dman’s ability to
    face pucks directed:
    determine there
    block rate
    forced misses rate.
    how they keep shots to perimeter.
    with a very accurate defensive measure of the player.

    There are 2 D who can generate 1st line ev production and defend against the best.
    7 are upper 2nd pairing even production and defence.
    15 are defined as Elite Defensive D.

    We have 10 D who do not face the above average comp but get upper 2nd pairing or better Ev production and Defensive results.

    My list starts with the elite 9:
    K. Alzner – #48 – #28 – #30
    O. Klefbom – #5 – #36 – #12
    ———————————–
    D. Savard – #35 – #62 – #36
    J. Spurgeon – #70 – #50 – #35
    J. Braun – #43 – #2 – #43
    Niskanen – #52 – #32 – #39
    R. Josi – #14 – #8 – #33
    R. Mcdonagh – #24 – #68 – #45
    R. Suter – #63 – #51 – #3

    Oscar F………. Klefbom! Norris calibre right F………. now!
    M. Fayne top 15 Defensive D in game!
    B. Davidson top 30 Def D in game!

    We saw it last night!

    F……………. Yeah!

    There were a collection of names who were efective in one of the 2 HSCA or EVP and faced 1st comp.
    guys like S. weber.

    These lists match up to alot of what people are saying are the best D. the past years sstart to make a whole lot of sense.

  87. Pouzar says:

    I miss Hall for OEL talk.

  88. Pouzar says:

    kinger_OIL: He plays behind the good old Canadian boys #1’s

    Can we stop with these silly narratives?

    My fav of the day has to be “twice ruined by Eakins”.

    Keerist people.

  89. PhrankLee says:

    Pouzar,

    That makes one of us.

  90. Wonder Llama says:

    Pouzar,

    We can always fire up the Eberle for Hamonic grill.

  91. rickithebear says:

    G money I loked at your charts>

    they are a copy of Sure shot ninja’s shot chart and a basis for all the box defence i used to talk about a few years ago.

    when you do the Vbasic strip all the same X;Y- players – event data is available.

    on top of that
    I used to look at video of goals and shots. for many games. what instantly becomes apparent is
    the difference of results between
    – shots into the golaie.
    – shots from distance on open areas.
    – shots in short distance to open areas with limited reaction time.

    Keep working!

    1. Your Fenwick curves are supporting evidence of Lange’s origional cuves for each type of Shot.
    2. Your charts are a coppy or Sure shot ninja’s origional work of charting Lange’s x,y pattern.
    3. Sure would love you to do a chart of every goalies Net elevation view. with all X,y and event Data listed for each type of Shot.

    To much data for one person.
    But a single individual can generate enough to define the affects of:
    1. pucks shot into Goalie
    2. Success rate of shots on the 7 open holes by distance
    3. Success rate of the 7 open holes in x,y locational groupings relative to required save movemnet
    Then try and sell it to an NHL team!
    😉

  92. russ99 says:

    rickithebear:

    We saw it last night!

    F……………. Yeah!

    We saw him blow another defensive assignment last night too. Just because Fayne covered for it doesn’t mean it didn’t happen.

  93. Pajamah says:

    russ99: We saw him blow another defensive assignment last night too. Just because Fayne covered for it doesn’t mean it didn’t happen.

    Rickistats are often very linear. They are great to determine what makes a good shot defending defenseman, but look at the list. There is no stat defining all around great D-men

    Shot defense is one facet of a multifaceted job. Can they pass? Can they break cycles? Are they fast? Give up transitional chances vs. being hemmed in, so to speak.

    If as his stats tell you, the Oilers have a great shot defending defense core, then why would the consensus be that the Oilers D is incomplete, inexperienced, and often times, ineffective?

    Klefbomb is good at what Ricki says he is good at, that doesn’t make him a Norris Candidate.

    Justin Schultz on the other hand………

  94. SwedishPoster says:

    We could see Yak as a struggling first rounder who had a terrible plus/minus for the past two seasons. Or we could live in the present and see him as a 22 year old who’s put up 11 points in 21 games despite a crazy low S%, currently second on the team in SOG, while being -1 and on a 2.5 M cap hit. That’s not a player hurting your team at all, it’s actually an incredible asset. Especially if you like me think there is a lot of untapped potential, but either way he’s certainly delivering on his price tag thus far.
    I also think he’s played way better than what he’s getting credit for the last few games, but that might just be me, imo he breaks up quite a few plays and moves the puck in the right direction. His decision making still needs work but he’s getting a few good looks every game despite having very little in terms of offense to play with. I know others think differently.

  95. stevezie says:

    russ99,

    Bingo. It sucks to pay Nit for nothing, but that’s better than another bottom pairing defenceman with term.

    If Bickell could play i might think about it. It would be nice if our 4th line didn’t suck. But that cap space….

  96. frjohnk says:

    rickithebear: – Comp – HSCA60 – EVP

    good post.

    I like using those 3 things when trying to define D men. It isn’t perfect as it does not factor in team effects and qual of team mates, but it gives us a good viewpoint on D men. Or at least a starting point of some value of D man.

    As for Klefbom, there have been times this year he has been inconsistent, but someone show me a good D man in the league that does not have ups and downs. They cant. Klefbom is putting up good to great numbers in most metrics WHILE playing the toughs on the 30th place team.

    Klefbom is only 22, our best D man and is only going to get better. Love this player.

    Good stuff, keep it coming.

  97. flyfish1168 says:

    I feel bad for Yak. You can see he is fighting with his confidence again and is holding his stick hard. Things haven’t come easy for him, hopefully he gets a lucky bounce or two against the Canes to regain it. At least TMac still giving him minutes to get out there and work through it. That is the positive.

  98. jake70 says:

    NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”: Sorry but I disagree. Yak’s play is what got him that contract. In fact, if pedigree were not a factor I would say he would have gotten less, a la Lander. When you look at Subban’s or RyJo’s bridge deals, for example, it is plain to see Yak got a fair deal for sure, and certainly wasn’t signed to any kind of bargain deal MacT should get credit for.MacT signed Pouliot. I give him credit for that.

    For sure agreed. But with Larionov agent as the backdrop, and that specific history, and in the context of Hall and Nuge ( Nuge extended after he played 40 games in lockout season scoring 4-20-24) getting the big money right off the ELC, and MacT ‘s Clarkson offer, things could have been worse.

  99. B S says:

    Let’s see if I’m doing this right:

    Yak’s such a bum! how dare he produce so little while playing with such offensive dynamos. I’m tired of him dragging down incredibly offensive players and Corsi darlings like Letestu, Klinkhammer, Pakirinen, Gazdic, and Korpif#$%ingkoski.

    I mean look at last night, the kid gets to play Oilers vaunted third line and doesn’t accomplish anything.

    I mean what’s he thinking dumping the puck behind the opposing net in a one-on-three, diving in to get it back holding onto it until his linemates (still crossing the red line) can enter the zone, throwing the puck in front of the net, only to find out that his linemates are leaning on the boards scratching their asses. It’s like he’s trying to score a point when he has the puck in the offensive zone or something. What a bum. Trade him and Eberle for Hamonic now and get it over with.

  100. G Money says:

    rickithebear: when you do the Vbasic strip all the same X;Y- players – event data is available.

    Is that what you were doing before? Using VB to scrape the event data from SomeKindofNinja? (which Greg has taken off line now. Which I believe he’s now replaced with hockeystats.ca, but that doesn’t have shot data anymore) Out of curiousity, was that easier than scraping from the NHL?

    rickithebear: 1. Your Fenwick curves are supporting evidence of Lange’s origional cuves for each type of Shot.
    2. Your charts are a coppy or Sure shot ninja’s origional work of charting Lange’s x,y pattern.
    3. Sure would love you to do a chart of every goalies Net elevation view. with all X,y and event Data listed for each type of Shot.

    My work is heavily based on Parkatti and Schucker’s work. There are others, but I didn’t use their work that much in comparison. I have never heard of nor come across any published work by Lange.

    My charts are what my charts are. They plot x,y data from the NHL play by play and RTSS on a rink image I draw programmatically (which is why it looks fairly cheesy). The only thing that I do that is unusual compared to all the other shot charts out there is that I’m showing the shots against by defense pairing and the shots for by forward line, rather than by individual player.

    I can certainly plot the collective shot data for shots faced by a specific goalie, that’s easier to do than the pairing/line filters I already have.

    But I think war-on-ice already does that, do they not? Or do you want raw shot data? WOI use their ‘hextally’ charts (which are easy to replicate – we all use similar toolkits in the end), though for large volumes of data, stylistically I prefer heatmaps like sportingcharts uses.

    What is a ‘net elevation’ view? Do you mean like try to simulate a 3D rendering of shots with an originating viewpoint at the net?

    rickithebear: To much data for one person.
    But a single individual can generate enough to define the affects of:
    1. pucks shot into Goalie
    2. Success rate of shots on the 7 open holes by distance
    3. Success rate of the 7 open holes in x,y locational groupings relative to required save movemnet
    Then try and sell it to an NHL team!

    Yup, that’s been the issue with your ‘open hole’ shots concept all along. Conceptually it’s fine, because it’s trying to capture the accuracy of the shot, which is missing now. Ideally, you’d also try to capture the velocity of the shot. That’s how you take moderately dangerous shot (locations) like Orlov’s last night or Panarin’s in Chicago and adjust them for how dangerous they truly were, because of how fast they were and both basically top corner shots.

    But that data doesn’t exist anywhere, and even capturing it for one team for one game would be a hefty data gathering exercise.

    Maybe it’s worth doing for all goals, though, hey? Which of nine zones it was shot at, and slow/medium/fast velocity estimation. I might consider adding that to my Goal Overview. Or maybe people here would volunteer to capture that? (hint hint)

    It wouldn’t, however, surprise me if at least some of the teams already capture additional shot quality data.

  101. PhrankLee says:

    B S: Let’s see if I’m doing this right:
    Yak’s such a bum! how dare he produce so little while playing with such offensive dynamos. I’m tired of him dragging down incredibly offensive players and Corsi darlings like Letestu, Klinkhammer, Pakirinen, Gazdic, and Korpif#$%ingkoski.
    I mean look at last night, the kid gets to play Oilers vaunted third line and doesn’t accomplish anything.
    I mean what’s he thinking dumping the puck behind the opposing net in a one-on-three, diving in to get it back holding onto it until his linemates (still crossing the red line) can enter the zone, throwing the puck in front of the net, only to find out that his linemates are leaning on the boards scratching their asses. It’s like he’s trying to score a point when he has the puck in the offensive zone or something. What a bum. Trade him and Eberle for Hamonic now and get it over with.

    I think you got it surrounded. But forgot Hall for OEL and moving Schultz to RW.

  102. ohhell says:

    SwedishPoster:
    We could see Yak as a struggling first rounder who had a terrible plus/minus for the past two seasons. Or we could live in the present and see him as a 22 year old who’s put up 11 points in 21 games despite a crazy low S%, currently second on the team in SOG, while being -1 and on a 2.5 M cap hit. That’s not a player hurting your team at all, it’s actually an incredible asset. Especially if you like me think there is a lot of untapped potential, but either way he’s certainly delivering on his price tag thus far.
    I also think he’s played way better than what he’s getting credit for the last few games, but that might just be me, imo he breaks up quite a few plays and moves the puck in the right direction. His decision making still needs work but he’s getting a few good looks every game despite having very little in terms of offense to play with. I know others think differently.

    This, for me! Time to let go of the first overall expectations and recognize that we are getting good value for money; that a reunion with McDavid may lead to a “tremendous” value contract; and that there may still be ample time for the game to slow down for Yak. Given the trade value, I would rather keep on cheering for Yak to move to the next level.

  103. rickithebear says:

    russ99: We saw him blow another defensive assignment last night too. Just because Fayne covered for it doesn’t mean it didn’t happen.

    A Gm once said
    “You do not draft the best of a player.
    You draft the worst of a player.
    You want the worst to be very good.”

    His HSCA/60 versus is very good with multiple players.

    Measuring the overall results in the desired skills that player can affect is important.
    Especially if they are of the few that are good at what we should be looking for.

    Every D in the game we ask these questions.
    1. Do they face the best?
    yes or no
    2. Do they defend like a top pairing D?
    yes or no
    3. Do they genearate offence like a 1 st pairing D?
    yes or NO.

    Alzner:
    1. Yes
    2. Yes
    3. YEs

    Klefbom:
    1. Yes
    2. Yes
    3. Yes

    Thsi ais a game of limit mistakes and get better.

    Do not get the MSM brain souray syndrome.
    Bring up one play time after time.
    he was our best Def D for 3 years!

    Klefbom is one of 2 d who faces the best; keeps them to the perimeter and generates offence.
    of coarse wanting this is to linear
    and
    we need to watch a blown play over and over again to justify our contempt for a player.

  104. Statsman says:

    Just completed a little analysis on our PP this year which currently sits at 17th in the league @ 18.8%.

    The Oil have lost 7 games by 1 goal and another 5 by 2 goals. In those 2-goal losses, there were 2 EN goals, so essentially we have lost 9 games by 1 goal this year..

    In those 9 games, our PP is 5/33 (15%) and 2 of those goals were scored in the 5-4 loss to Calgary (*spits).

    In our last four 1-goal losses, we are 0/11 on the PP and in the nine “1-goal losses”, we have only scored a PP goal in two of them.

    Take it for what it’s worth. but if our PP was better, we may have gleaned some points in those 1-goal losses.

    Just another one of those things that contributes to our 30th place record.

    It sure looks we miss McDavid there (Captain Obvious, I know).

  105. frjohnk says:

    Statsman:
    Just completed a little analysis on our PP this year which currently sits at 17th in the league @ 18.8%.

    The Oil have lost 7 games by 1 goal and another 5 by 2 goals. In those 2-goal losses, there were 2 EN goals, so essentially we have lost 9 games by 1 goal this year..

    In those 9 games, our PP is 5/33 (15%) and 2 of those goals were scored in the 5-4 loss to Calgary (*spits).

    In our last four 1-goal losses, we are 0/11 on the PP and in the nine “1-goal losses”, we have only scored a PP goal in two of them.

    Take it for what it’s worth. but if our PP was better, we may have gleaned some points in those 1-goal losses.

    Just another one of those things that contributes to our 30th place record.

    It sure looks we miss McDavid there (Captain Obvious, I know).

    Arggh. on the wrong side of 9 one goal games!

    We are playing well enough over the last couple of weeks that by this time next month it is not out of question that we are consistently on the other side of the fence of the 1 goal games.

    I believe….

  106. Water Fire says:

    I had a big comment written up before the game about Yak and decided to not post it, seemed kind of negative before the game.

    The thing is players don’t change much. Defensemen make mistakes as they learn and need time to get it down. But they aren’t going to learn how to think or skate, so if that’s the issue cut bait.

    Players don’t very often change their style of play, ie start playing rough, become a great goal scorer from nowhere. Skilled players can learn to back check, but even that’s rare.

    What we see is what Yak is. He is a very ‘unique’ player, has skill, but lacks elite qualities first overalls normally have. He doesn’t dangle, doesn’t beat people, doesn’t think at a high level, he isn’t a very special skater. He has a hard shot but doesn’t play to use it. If he scores with McD again, I sell him if I get anything close to a good return. For me his ceiling is second line as a strong contributor, and that’s not a lock.

    Same problem with Schultz. He is not going to get better than ‘not awful’. The things he lacks aren’t about practice. He can be Yandle light if he gets the systems down and marks his man consistently. However with a back problem, if he has a nice run I’d sell again. He is already non physical, has a weak shot, bulging disks are not going to help that, and may even affect his mobility as it worsens.

    The opposite for me with Reinhart. He’s smart, tries to play the whole game, strong. All he lacks is leg strength which isn’t surprising for his age and height, but isn’t excusable anymore. This summer he needs to correct that.

    Gryba can’t skate or think well. He isn’t awful but the odd nice game is his ceiling. Davidson has a full tool belt. He may fade a bit but a keeper for sure in a cap world.

    Lastly Lander. Again McLellan hit it on the head. He’s in no man’s land as a player. He isn’t doing anything well. Many, many players can score if they get time with the skilled guys. But that’s not the life of a bottom 6.

    He needs to find another gear in his feet and head and wreak havoc when he’s on the ice. Gliding around in good position isn’t enough in the NHL, kills Pajaarvi as well.

  107. B S says:

    PhrankLee: I think you got it surrounded. But forgot Hall for OEL and moving Schultz to RW.

    Right, but we have to make room by moving our top two rightwings first. Besides, Sleppy looks like he’s ready.

  108. HeatTreaterJoe says:

    When I watch Yakupov, it’s difficult to not think of him as an underachieving 1st overall pick. But this is the same issue when discussing Reinhart (he’ll be a fine player, but the cost in terms of picks was high).

    If we can separate Yakupov from his draft position, he’s disappointing for me ONLY because I’d like to see so much more. But at $2.5M per season, he’s really not a disappointing player. I haven’t seen this posted today, but he is the 6th highest paid winger on the team:

    Hall – $6M
    Eberle – $6M
    Purcell – $4.5M
    Pouliot – $4M
    Korpikoski – $2.7M
    Yakupov – $2.5M

    In this light, I think Yak is doing fine (not great, but certainly not terrible).

    I want to see how well Eberle plays with McDavid before further judging Yakupov. If Yakupov can produce with McDavid ~ as well as Eberle, but continues to get paid less than Eberle, that’s a win, no?

  109. Bank Shot says:

    NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”:
    Bruce McCurdy,

    Yak is deserving of our disappointment, yes.
    I just don’t see a good solution at the moment short of keeping TMac working on him and waiting for McDavid

    He makes a very reasonable salary. It’s not like he makes $5m and can’t produce on his own.

    He also isn’t going to return anything worthwhile in a trade.

    It’s tough but have to be patient here.

    Perhaps. Or perhaps like Sam Gagner you can over wait to the point that the player is no longer worth anything.
    I see Yak as having similarities to Gagner. Offensive player that isn’t that great at offense and doesn’t bring anything else. It didn’t change for Gags despite endless patience, I doubt it changes for Yak.

    Let’s say Yakupov puts up 50-60 points playing on McDavid’s wing next season. Now you have a player that wants to get paid like a 50+ point scorer when he can’t do that by himself.

    No other team is going to want to give value because they know he’s a product of Mcdavid so you end up losing him to Russia or pennies on the dollar because of his salary demands.

    If you can move Yakupov today for something useful I’m OK with it.

    I think you can sign 2 Lee Stempniaks every season for 1-2 million and get equal production as Yak from the one who wins the role on Mcdavids line.

  110. B S says:

    Water Fire: For me his ceiling is second line as a strong contributor, and that’s not a lock.

    But that’s sort of the point. Yak forechecks hard and can contribute with players of at least equal skill level. We have a 1RW if we get Yak as 2RW and he plays and gets payed like one, then excellent. I also think some of Yak’s “thinking” issues comes from having players who don’t do the normal things required to win games. I can’t count the number of times I’ve seen Yak forecheck behind the net, dig the puck out from between two players and throw it in front of the net to nobody at all. Yes he didn’t hit anyone with the pass and many here seem to dock him for it, but on most other hockey teams there’s at least a grinder taking up space there in the hopes of getting one of his 10 goals on the season, on the oilers no-one except maybe Hendricks consistently goes to the front of the net.

    Blaming Yak for other players not getting to the right places is no better than defending him on botched passes on two on ones or nones. He should be making those passes clean, just like guys should be going to the front of the net when he has the puck.

  111. LadiesloveSmid says:

    frjohnk: Arggh.on the wrong side of 9 one goal games!

    We are playing well enough over the last couple of weeks that by this time next month it is not out of question that we are consistently on the other side of the fence of the 1 goal games.

    I believe….

    aren’t heavily slanted 1 goal win/loss records not sustainable? was it Calgary or Colorado that had a really high number of 1 goal wins?

  112. LadiesloveSmid says:

    Hall, Purcell, Slepy were no screaming hell on McD’s line. There’s chemistry there with McDavid and Yak. Really just missing a LW for the RNH-Eberle line when McD’s back, maybe that’s Hendricks.

    Hall-Draii-Purcell
    Hendricks-RNH-Eberle
    Pouliot-McD-Yak

    that sounds like horned horses to me

  113. KSC10032 says:

    BTW — LT, thanks once again for the “illustrations” and the musical references (in this case the ever-wonderful Diane Lane, and the semi-obscure Jackson Browne lyrics).

    “Lawyers in Love” is curiously appropos to the current body-politic in the USA, despite being written over 35 years ago.

  114. KSC10032 says:

    BTW — LT, thanks once again for the “illustrations” and the musical references (in this case the ever-wonderful Diane Lane, and the semi-obscure Jackson Browne lyrics).

    Browne’s “Lawyers in Love” (the source of the title of this post) is curiously appropos to the current body-politic in the USA, despite being written over 35 years ago.

  115. Adam Wu says:

    Bank Shot:

    Let’s say Yakupov puts up 50-60 points playing on McDavid’s wing next season. Now you have a player that wants to get paid like a 50+ point scorer when he can’t do that by himself.

    No other team is going to want to give value because they know he’s a product of Mcdavid so you end up losing him to Russia or pennies on the dollar because of his salary demands.

    If you can move Yakupov today for something useful I’m OK with it.

    1. The history of what other teams have done in terms of acquiring a guy who scores a lot playing with a superstar but possibly much less without, does not in any way shape or form support the contention that “no other team is going to want to give value”

    2. You can also pay Yak like a 50 point scorer and keep him with McDavid. From the point of view of the team that does have McDavid, it really doesn’t matter if Yak cannot do it without McDavid, because, guess what, you have McDavid.

    3. Yak may well be willing to take a discount to stay with McDavid.

    4. It really isn’t that likely that you could move Yak for anything useful right now, unless he is the minor part of a bigger package.

  116. blainer says:

    Adam Wu: 1. The history of what other teams have done in terms of acquiring a guy who scores a lot playing with a superstar but possibly much less without, does not in any way shape or form support the contention that “no other team is going to want to give value”

    2. You can also pay Yak like a 50 point scorer and keep him with McDavid. From the point of view of the team that does have McDavid, it really doesn’t matter if Yak cannot do it without McDavid, because, guess what, you have McDavid.

    3. Yak may well be willing to take a discount to stay with McDavid.

    4. It really isn’t that likely that you could move Yak for anything useful right now, unless he is the minor part of a bigger package.

    Yak’s value can change in a hurry..

    What was drai’s a month ago ?
    Still higher than Yak’s cause of age and position…But Drai’s value now is through the roof.

  117. Statsman says:

    LadiesloveSmid: aren’t heavily slanted 1 goal win/loss records not sustainable? was it Calgary or Colorado that had a really high number of 1 goal wins?

    Some would have you believe that the difference between winning and losing a 1-goal game falls under the realm of “learning how to win”.

    McL said something about that earlier in the season.

    He stated that puck management and situational awareness are a couple of the skills that a youthful team needs to master before they can begin turning north.

    As they get more experience, the tide shall turn.

    Or they could obtain a couple of wily veterans that know how to win so that they can teach the kids.

  118. Alpine says:

    I think Yak might be missing some of the mental qualities that make Hall and Eberle successful scoring wingers. However, I don’t think he was handled nearly as well as the Oilers (well, Tom Renney) handled the other two.

    Hall and Ebs were consistently together from day one and got the best C on the team to play with, first Horcoff and then the Nuge. Steve Stamkos was given St. Louis after getting mishandled by Barry Melrose.

    Yak was sheltered but given less minutes and worse line mates, usually non-NHLers or fringe ones. That’s not really a great way to get a young kid adjusted to the league. He did get Horcoff for a bit of time post lockout and succeeded, before they naturally went and got rid of Horc. He finds chemistry with Roy before Roy got replaced by McDavid who goes down for months after 13 games.

    I mean after a season of half of having no clear role under a certain coach, it’s kind of a hard to just flip the switch and become a line driver playing with guys just as snake bit as you are. He had way more games under Eakins where his role was merely a “depth option” let alone a real live “complementary player”.

  119. hankster says:

    Wonder Llama:
    Pouzar,

    We can always fire up the Eberle for Hamonic grill.

    Zing..my personal bias says Yak would be very succesful in playoff games where its more physical and he’s shown that he’s more willing to sacrifice his body to make a play. Top shelfing it is nice entertainment value but we need to also score on our back in the blue paint while eating some paint off the opponents stick once in a while. Anyway at least i admit my bias.

  120. John Chambers says:

    Adam Wu: 1. The history of what other teams have done in terms of acquiring a guy who scores a lot playing with a superstar but possibly much less without, does not in any way shape or form support the contention that “no other team is going to want to give value”

    2. You can also pay Yak like a 50 point scorer and keep him with McDavid. From the point of view of the team that does have McDavid, it really doesn’t matter if Yak cannot do it without McDavid, because, guess what, you have McDavid.

    3. Yak may well be willing to take a discount to stay with McDavid.

    4. It really isn’t that likely that you could move Yak for anything useful right now, unless he is the minor part of a bigger package.

    The Oilers in ’15-’16 are the definition of a team in limbo.

    1) They move into a new arena next season
    2) Virtually all of their worst contracts expire this upcoming off-season, with the exception of Ference who will be bought out
    3) They have many rookies receiving their first doses of NHL action, especially on defense
    4) They’ll go into next season with all of Nurse, Reinhart, Draisaitl, and McDavid still on entry-level contracts

    and to your point –
    5) They’ll have had a chance to pump Yakupov’s value playing him 40 games alongside McDavid.

    The best strategy for Chiarelli on a number of fronts is to wait the problem out. As it stands Yak has little trade value, but as you indicate that could change with time, and there’s certainly no reason to sell the player low, especially when he’ll likely get an opportunity on 97’s wing again in the upcoming months.

  121. hankster says:

    I come from an engineering background where we say stats are only as accurate as you want it to be. It appears many here point to one stat and use it as the end all and be all. If the government can fabricate a new term like “core inflation” at 2% because that’s how they manipulate and strip out real.inflationary things make it fit their agenda…then I will produce a new stat to irrevocably show how good ference is 🙂

  122. Water Fire says:

    B S: But that’s sort of the point. Yak forechecks hard and can contribute with players of at least equal skill level. We have a 1RW if we get Yak as 2RW and he plays and gets payed like one, then excellent. I also think some of Yak’s “thinking” issues comes from having players who don’t do the normal things required to win games. I can’t count the number of times I’ve seen Yak forecheck behind the net, dig the puck out from between two players and throw it in front of the net to nobody at all. Yes he didn’t hit anyone with the pass and many here seem to dock him for it, but on most other hockey teams there’s at least a grinder taking up space there in the hopes of getting one of his 10 goals on the season, on the oilers no-one except maybe Hendricks consistently goes to the front of the net.

    Blaming Yak for other players not getting to the right places is no better than defending him on botched passes on two on ones or nones. He should be making those passes clean, just like guys should be going to the front of the net when he has the puck.

    True a second line RW is needed. It comes down to if I can get more value than that from someone I’d take it, because 1 OV. If he developed in to Hossa light that would be valuable, but Hossa’s game is cerebral. He’s more likely Eberle light and I would rather have a more versatile player, not another 1 dimensional complimentary offensive player. One way shooters need to score like Ovi for me or I’d rather have a different type.

    Hall, Nuge and McDavid deserve players to support them, not them having to do the dirty work and help others to get their points. Drai is this. He becomes the physical dimension and takes pressure off Hall to be that, and can keep up and play at the same tempo. He may be better than Hall, but it is possible even likely his torrid pace cools off a bit.

    T

  123. B S says:

    Water Fire,

    I’m not sure we’ve been watching the same games. Yak was the guy doing all the dirty work on McDavid’s line. Pouliot scores on a cross crease feed from McD, guess who ate a check, and a little lumber to chip it up ice to McDavid.One time in the slot Klefbom (McDavid, Pouliot), guess who was in first on the forecheck and held off two Dmen until Pou picked up the puck from him.

    On McDavid’s line Yak had a preset role. Get the puck, get it to McDavid, get near the net. Now it’s Get the puck, get it too…Gazdic, no wait, Korpikoski…ok, maybe shoot on net and someone’s stick will accidentally knock the rebound in. We’d like him to pass the puck and move it up ice, but he never gets it back from his current linemates.

  124. RexLibris says:

    Statsman,

    Good observation about the 1-goal games.

    I’ve noticed better positioning on the PP lately, with better passing and decisions made. Shots are coming from good angles and the puck movement has been good to excellent.

    I think they are very close to breaking through.

  125. B S says:

    Water Fire,

    Not disagreeing that Yak’s 1OV might give him a little extra value (it’s pretty easy for a GM to tell himself that he can fix what the Oilers broke, given the track record), but personally I’m not trading a solid winger with a huge potential upside for yet another 4/5/6 Dman (also known as 2/3 dmen in the Eastern conference). A better offer, one that would really push the needle, I’d consider it too.

  126. Statsman says:

    RexLibris:
    Statsman,

    Good observation about the 1-goal games.

    I’ve noticed better positioning on the PP lately, with better passing and decisions made. Shots are coming from good angles and the puck movement has been good to excellent.

    I think they are very close to breaking through.

    I would have to agree with you on those points.

    I hope the worm turns quickly since in this version (one-goal games) of the NHL, the difference between winning and losing is minute and having a relatively successful PP can put you on the right side.of the equation.

  127. Bruce McCurdy says:

    B S: I can’t count the number of times I’ve seen Yak forecheck behind the net, dig the puck out from between two players and throw it in front of the net to nobody at all. Yes he didn’t hit anyone with the pass and many here seem to dock him for it

    I always dock players who make blind centring passes to nobody, such prayer passes frequently lead not only to a loss of possession but a jail break the other way. The passer’s job is to know there’s somebody there, not guess where they might be. The job of the coach is to get both passers and receivers on the same page with some sort of coherent team approach.

    B S:
    Water Fire,

    On McDavid’s line Yak had a preset role. Get the puck, get it to McDavid, get near the net. Now it’s Get the puck, get it too…Gazdic, no wait, Korpikoski…ok, maybe shoot on net and someone’s stick will accidentally knock the rebound in. We’d like him to pass the puck and move it up ice, but he never gets it back from his current linemates.

    Not sure why the Yak defenders need to resort to hyperbole about how hard-done-by their man is. Yak has played 258:46 at even strength and all of 3:37 of it has been with Gazdic. I’m not sure they’ve lined up to start a shift even once, though occasionally they will overlap during on-the-fly changes such as the one last night I referenced earlier in the thread.

    Korpikoski? 13 minutes, 5% of Yak’s EV TOI. Compared to 178 minutes with Pouliot, who stayed on his line long after McDavid (138 minutes) went down. If you want to shift the blame to Yak’s lousy linemates, at least blame the right ones.

  128. frjohnk says:

    B S: On McDavid’s line Yak had a preset role. Get the puck, get it to McDavid, get near the net. Now it’s Get the puck, get it too…Gazdic, no wait, Korpikoski…ok, maybe shoot on net and someone’s stick will accidentally knock the rebound in. We’d like him to pass the puck and move it up ice, but he never gets it back from his current linemates.

    5 on 5
    He has played 3 minutes with Gazdic all year.
    13 minutes with Korpikoski.

    Yak has played 258 minutes of 5 on 5.

    His top 3 centers in TOI
    McDavid 137 minutes
    Letestu 58
    RNH 32

    His top 3 LWers in TOI
    Pouliot 177
    Hendricks 29
    Hall 15

    Defense
    Sekara 94
    Gryba 87
    Klefbom 73
    Fayne 66

    2nd PP, 4th most minutes for forwards

    Does not look like McLellan is giving him bad linemates.

    He has found himself on the 3rd line because he is not producing while Purcell and Eberle have produced more and are in the top 6. McLellan is going to play the guys at the top of the line up who are playing the best to give the team a chance to win.

    I’m sure Purcell will have a dry spell and/or there will be an injury so there will be another opportunity for Yak in the top 6.

  129. Pajamah says:

    frjohnk: 5 on 5
    He has played 3 minutes with Gazdic all year.
    13 minutes with Korpikoski.

    Yak has played 258 minutes of 5 on 5.

    His top 3 centers in TOI
    McDavid 137 minutes
    Letestu 58
    RNH 32

    His top 3 LWers in TOI
    Pouliot 177
    Hendricks 29
    Hall 15

    Defense
    Sekara 94
    Gryba 87
    Klefbom 73
    Fayne 66

    2nd PP, 4th most minutes for forwards

    Does not look like McLellan is giving him bad linemates.

    He has found himself on the 3rd line because he is not producing while Purcell and Eberle have produced more and are in the top 6.McLellan is going to play the guys at the top of the line up who are playing the best to give the team a chance to win.

    I’m sure Purcell will have a dry spell and/or there will be an injury so there will be another opportunity for Yak in the top 6.

    “Does not look like McLellan is giving him bad linemates.”

    You start by saying he doesn’t play with Gazdic or Korpikoski.

    Since McDavids injury, he hasn’t had Pouliot.

    He’s played with Letestu and Hendricks. The offensive equivalent of Gazdic and Korpikoski. All 4 are shit offensively. Aside from starting with McDavid and Pouliot, hes been given junk. Pure junk.

    He has had bad linemates. He isn’t scoring. He could be better. He can’t carry dead weight through a slump. If he has to be carried by great players to be 0.6-0.8/ppg, then so be it. Its better than getting goose eggs playing with “energy guys”

    (energy guys means garbage by the way)

  130. sliderule says:

    Bruce McCurdy,

    Yak is looking like he will not be the great saviour that we were expecting for a first overall.

    By the way Nuge is also looking less and less like he will be the same saviour .

    Then we have Hall who some were expecting would have scored 40 goals multiple times at this point in his career.

    These picks are all good players but they haven’t turned out to be Crosby Stamkos or even Tavares.

    Maybe that’s why the hockey gods gifted us with Connor.

  131. Pouzar says:

    Bruce McCurdy: Not sure why the Yak defenders need to resort to hyperbole about how hard-done-by their man is.

    Yup. Say one negative thing regarding Nail Yakupov and you see the lurkers come out of the woodwork.

  132. Pouzar says:

    Junk linemates eh…….

    So what’s that Anton Lander up to these days?

  133. TheOtherJohn says:

    Pouzar,

    It works in exactly the same way if you say something negative about Lander or, heaven forbid, Griffin Reinhart

  134. Pouzar says:

    TheOtherJohn:
    Pouzar,

    It works in exactly the same way if you say something negative about Lander or, heaven forbid, Griffin Reinhart

    Seriously?

    Are you for real?

  135. Water Fire says:

    B S:
    Water Fire,

    I’m not sure we’ve been watching the same games. Yak was the guy doing all the dirty work on McDavid’s line. Pouliot scores on a cross crease feed from McD, guess who ate a check, and a little lumber to chip it up ice to McDavid.One time in the slot Klefbom (McDavid, Pouliot), guess who was in first on the forecheck and held off two Dmen until Pou picked up the puck from him.

    On McDavid’s line Yak had a preset role. Get the puck, get it to McDavid, get near the net. Now it’s Get the puck, get it too…Gazdic, no wait, Korpikoski…ok, maybe shoot on net and someone’s stick will accidentally knock the rebound in. We’d like him to pass the puck and move it up ice, but he never gets it back from his current linemates.

    Good points. I agree with McL that Yak should be driving play more. The problem is a lack of progression for me, and a lack of bringing enough threat to score to help make room for his linemates. Good linemates I mean.

  136. Bruce McCurdy says:

    TheOtherJohn:
    Pouzar,

    It works in exactly the same way if you say something negative about Lander or, heaven forbid, Griffin Reinhart

    You know, John, I’d like to think it’s possible to be a fan of given players and still be free to make critiques of their play. Nobody but nobody is all good or all bad.

  137. Johnny skid says:

    Pouzar: Yup. Say one negative thing regarding Nail Yakupov and you see the lurkers come out of the woodwork.

    are you a lurker? how would you describe yourself?

  138. oilswell says:

    NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”: That said, Yak still has Tarasenko-like skills. Now Tank spent years seasoning in the KHL and really came into his own last season. He was drafted 2 years earlier, remember.

    Are we seeing the same Tarasenko and Yakupov? Tarasenko can think the game amazingly well and has an accurate shot. Yakupov has a 10 cent hockey head. Love him, but he demonstrates it every game. Apart from the Russian name and the fact they both can fire a puck Yakupov’s skills are closer to Patrick O’Sullivan’s. Positioning seems improved but decision making hasn’t budged one bit since draft day to my eye.

  139. Lowetide says:

    Johnny skid: are you a lurker? how would you describe yourself?

    Amazing number of lurkers who have never posted at all.

  140. RexLibris says:

    Bruce McCurdy: Nobody but nobody is all good or all bad.

    Kind of want to post the roster of the 1988-1989 Calgary Flames here, but I won’t.

    🙂

  141. Johnny skid says:

    Lowetide: Amazing number of lurkers who have never posted at all.

    if that is true does that lessen their contribution?

  142. TheOtherJohn says:

    Bruce McCurdy,

    Agree with you completely. It is, though, difficult to be critical of some players.

  143. TheOtherJohn says:

    RexLibris,

    As much as we hate them, Calgary Flames had absolutely fantastic teams in the late 80’s. Just not good enough

  144. RexLibris says:

    You don’t have to read the article, but I’m just going to leave the link here: http://flamesnation.ca/2015/11/24/the-flames-have-lost-20-straight-in-anaheim

  145. RexLibris says:

    TheOtherJohn:
    RexLibris,

    As much as we hate them, Calgary Flames had absolutely fantastic teams in the late 80’s. Just not good enough

    2nd best team in the league for many years.

  146. Lowetide says:

    Johnny skid: if that is true does that lessen their contribution?

    Nah. People should do what they want, providing it does no harm to others.

  147. hunter1909 says:

    Blame Yakupov.

    It’s good tonight’s anti-Russia club say that Kevin Lowe remains blameless.

    When drinking, Lowe claims to have the phone number of The Pope. Threatens to have people excommunicated, etc.

  148. Johnny skid says:

    Lowetide: Nah. People should do what they want, providing it does no harm to others.

    i agree and hope i have not done anyone harm.

  149. B S says:

    Bruce McCurdy,

    frjohnk,

    Gazdic was totally hyperbole, but…

    Who has he played with since McDavid went down?

    how did Purcell do with those linemates?

  150. B S says:

    Water Fire: Good points. I agree with McL that Yak should be driving play more. The problem is a lack of progression for me, and a lack of bringing enough threat to score to help make room for his linemates. Good linemates I mean.

    I might change that to Yak should be driving the play better. he’s been carrying it a lot on his line, but as I see it he makes one of two mistakes many times (the “decision making” I presume is being referred to). He skates right into two dmen and a center with nowhere to go and no passing lane, he needs to read those plays better in order to push the river. Hall has become much better at avoiding those, but it was a constant criticism of him as well.

    Second Yak flies through the Neutral zone and gains the line well ahead of his teammates, then has to button hook to let the catch up, and he always does this right at the blue line. Offside. One of the reasons I think he’s worked better with McDavid is he has an outlet for that pass as he gains the zone. If he’s going to have any real offensive success with the pluggers he needs to either slow down in the neutral zone or dump the puck in and forecheck until help arrives (I’ve been seeing the latter, but the former would allow Oilers to maintain possession throughout the play).

  151. frjohnk says:

    B S:
    Bruce McCurdy,

    frjohnk,

    Gazdic was totally hyperbole, but…

    Who has he played with since McDavid went down?

    how did Purcell do with those linemates?

    5 on 5
    At Center
    Yak had RNH for parts of 3 games after McDavids injury.
    Letestu since.
    Half of the time its been Letestu as his center. Lander some, but not much.

    Pouliot was on the LW till game 18.
    Hendriks since.

    Of course Yak has had everybody from Hall, Lander, Korpikoski and Gazdic sprinkled in as well, but basically only a handful of minutes from those guys.

    5 secs with Klinkhammer if that means anything earlier in the year.

    Not like Yak has been given boat anchors since McDavid went down.

    The reason he is playing on the 3rd line is twofold.
    1. He stopped producing any points. Still was working hard and generating chances but no points.
    2. Purcell and Eberle started to play better. Purcell was putting up points so went to the 1st line and McLellan wanted to put Pouliot-RNH-Eberle together in Chicago game because of their previous chemistry.

  152. Gerta Rauss says:

    RumBurgundy: Points de Leon

    Well done

    I like that

  153. hudler1234 says:

    nelson88:
    Good read.

    These losses are very frustrating; particularly when you are staying up late to watch them, but this team has to be one of the best “30th place” teams in recent memory. Very tough schedule has hurt them and the playoffs will be a real stretch but they are turning North.

    Wow, the oilers have gone from a 30th place team to the best 30th place team, talk about low expectations here , how come other teams like montreal who drafted in 2012 3rd overall, now is a top team in the nhl, columbus drafted 2nd overall in 2012, made playoffs next season and competed last year till very end, Tampa drafted 3rd overall in 2013 makes stanley cup finals, 2 years later, yet its nothing but 30th place in standings here. Its a real embarassemnt actually

  154. Pechetr says:

    Not arguing that Yak makes some poor decisions with the puck. Trying to carry it through 3 players instead of dumping it in and getting on the forecheck happens too often. Same could be said for others however. Another 1OV turns the puck over at the defensive blue line or at the offensive blue line at least 5 times a game trying to do the same thing. He is much more effective when he plays the puck off the boards or dumps it in and blows past the opposing player to recover it. Heaven forbid you criticise the golden child though (sorry the silver child now). All players have warts. I am really pulling for Yak because I think he is ten times the person that another 1OV is, but I really hope they trade him to team that he can flourish with. Just sick of all the angst over him to be frank. Not the first that fans have come to regret trading, won’t be the last. At 2.5 mil per season and the fact that Yak works hard, has a great attitude and is trying to improve and be a contributor, there are several others on this team that warrant the scrutiny over Yak.

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