UPSTAIRS, DOWNSTAIRS

Brandon Davidson is the main story this morning. A loss is two points, a bad goalie outing is old hat, and mistakes by the defense are beyond cliche. A significant injury to an emerging young defender? That is a big damned deal.

ROCKY MOUNTAIN HIGH, YEAR OVER YEAR

  • 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: 4-7-2
  • Oilers in December 2014: 2-8-4
  • Oilers in December 2015: 6-3-0
  • Oilers after 34 in 2014-15: 7-21-6, 20 points (-47 GD)
  • Oilers after 34 in 2015-16: 14-18-2, 30 points (-17 GD)

A lot of verbal last night from fans and anger was in almost every line. Part of that is the Saturday night feature, another poor performance in front of the nation. I could say to you the following:

  • Anders Nilsson had a poor game
  • Nikitin—Schultz had some poor moments that cost them dearly
  • The Oilers couldn’t cash their chances
  • The power play r-u-n-n-o-f-t

But that doesn’t make us feel better about another Saturday night filled with bitter disappointment. If this game was an isolated incident, it would be easy to move on. However, we have seen this movie so many times before, and we all of us have but one life to live. What’s a fan to do? Answer: Suffer through the growing pains secure in the knowledge Peter Chiarelli knows what needs to be addressed.

In many ways, we fans know things Peter Chiarelli and Todd McLellan are learning only now. Justin Schultz does in fact have many of the tools we associate with successful puck movers, I can understand the idea of giving McLellan a year to unlock him. Nikita Nikitin had one year left on his contract and a buyout (which made sense, especially with Cody Franson available) would have impacted the cap for two seasons.

INDIVIDUAL HIGH-DANGER SCORING CHANCES

  1. Taylor Hall 4
  2. Leon Draisaitl, Benoit Pouliot, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins 3
  3. Teddy Purcell, Lauri Korpikoski 2
  4. Jordan Eberle, Matt Hendricks 1

The Oilers did get some good looks (I recall a brilliant chance for the Nuge that he fired wide—a sure goal if he hit the net) and Hall was a force of nature out there. I also thought Benoit Pouliot showed a lot and helped give the 2line some jump—he is a valuable player despite the ongoing negative verbal about him.

REASONABLE EXPECTATIONS

In the late summer (August) I wrote an article titled ‘The 2015-16 Oilers: Music! But Not Yet Balanced’ and last night gave us a taste of both. Music, because you can see what this can be, but there is a big problem with this group and it was not addressed to satisfaction in the summer. We discussed the disappointment of burning year one of the McDavid deal without completely fixing the defense, and we are now seeing the results of that plan of action.

  • RE Projected Goals-For Per Game (Actual): 2.80 (2.59)
  • RE Projected Goals-Against Per Game (Actual): 2.73 (3.09)

My projections are off by 7GF and 12GA, but there is a long way to go and I do think this team will be close to even GF-GA by season’s end. This is going to get better, but losing defensemen who can help will hinder them.

JUSTIN SCHULTZ

The problem is, you develop a past. In any human endeavor—marriage, work, bible study, opium den—people around you become familiar with your good and bad. I have been married for 32 years and there are things about me that irritate the hell out of my wife—I could name all of them. I could work on improving those things, but 32 years in I think we have each other surrounded as people. I will continue to wear my comfortable shorts and she will continue to throw them out when I’m not looking.

That is kind of where we are with Justin Schultz, and at this point we are just waiting for Peter Chiarelli and Todd McLellan to reach the point of ‘know return’ on this player. We know from seeing Schultz that there is a certain ‘unwarranted calm’ displayed in important moments of the game.

It is also important to apply the same rules to Justin Schultz as we applied to Mark Fayne (in defense of this player) not so very long ago:

  • It’s possible to have good numbers and get noticed for negative things—single moments and events can have super importance while being exactly single moments and events. Source

I have made my views on this player known and suspect at some point Justin Schultz will not be a member of the Edmonton Oilers. That said, it would be foolish of me (or any fan) to refuse to acknowledge his place on the Edmonton Oilers roster. Peter Chiarelli and Todd McLellan, like the men before them, have employed Schultz in a feature role on this team.

Last night, according to War-On-Ice, the 5×5 TOI for Oilers D was as follows:

  1. Darnell Nurse 21:22 (Corsi Events 28-23)
  2. Andrej Sekera 21:08 (Corsi Events 24-18)
  3. Eric Gyrba 18:29 (Corsi Events 19-24)
  4. Justin Schultz 18:14 (Corsi Events 24-7)
  5. Nikita Nikitin 16:37 (Corsi Events 17-11)
  6. Brandon Davidson 13:37 (Corsi Events 16-5)

A couple notes:

  • Brandon Davidson and Justin Schultz played 11:44 last night and were 13-2 Corsi events. That might have been a promising pairing, and could be again when Davidson returns.
  • The Duchene-Landeskog-MacKinnon line got killed at 5×5, Duchene going 11-24 in 15:57. The defenseman who faced them the most? Nikita Nikitn 6:32.

WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?

 

  • Anders Nilsson had a poor game
  • Nikitin—Schultz had some poor moments that cost them dearly
  • The Oilers couldn’t cash their chances
  • The power play r-u-n-n-o-f-t

I expect we will see Mark Fayne recalled today or tomorrow, and hope we hear good news about Brandon Davidson. We wait.

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123 Responses to "UPSTAIRS, DOWNSTAIRS"

  1. leadfarmer says:

    How many teams in the league would not respond to that horrible cross check? How many playoff caliber teams? Korpse, Schultz, BeLander, and PacMan should be bag skated today.

    I hate to blame the zebras especially after a loss that big but seriously wtf. Pouliot gets what should have been a variety of 3 seperate infractions on him and when he is sliding he covers the puck for a split second and he gets the penalty. The Davidson cross check is really what they need to eliminate if they are serious about player safety.

  2. Stanley 2018 says:

    Other problem last night was no pushback by the team when Avs took liberties with our players. Mind you, Pouliot got 2 for making the mistake of being beaten by sticks and falling down on the puck, but still. During the win streak they weren’t putting up with the other teams crap but now teams can break Davidson’s ribs and get no response.

  3. Really? says:

    I certainly understand the disappointment and, to some extent, the anger at how the Oilers and certain of their players played last night. It is frustrating.

    However, to think for one moment that the Toddler and Chiarelli are not aware of the teams shortcomings, is folly. While we are interested, even rabid fans, they are professionals. While we wear our heart on our collective sleeves, they must stay calm and work at actually correcting the problems they see.

    I wish them good luck.

  4. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    Happy Sunday all. The holidays are around the corner and so is the break in hockey. It’s much needed at this time for this team and the fans.

    I did say the Rangers game was the last chance to win on this trip and when we fell to 6-1 in the second 25 game stretch I begged people to maintain an even keel when it becomes 6-4.

    I’m still hoping for 13-12 during this stretch, 12-13 at the worst. The injuries are piling up and the offense has gone dry. I think the next one is a loss, too. That leaves us with 7-8 to get to 13-12. I think that’s about all we can hope for.

    That would mean 21-27-2, 44 points in 50 games. With the injured players back the final 32 should see something like 20-11-1 for 41 points, total 85 points and no playoffs, but a run setting the stage for next year.

    I still believe Byfuglien is the logical off season target. Just take Nikitin and Schultz out and sub in Buff. Go 7 x7 if you have to to get it done, even with the risk on the later years for that kind of deal. The first 4 will be value for money.

    Buff
    Sekera
    Klef
    Davidson
    Nurse
    Reinhart
    Someone to replace Gryba

    That should work with this forward group and pushes everyone down a peg. Yes, Hamonic and Burns are great but they will cost assets. Buff will only cost cap space.

    If the extensions for the kids come in high and the cap is still flat or even down, at that point some trades can be made.

  5. OilClog says:

    Eberlov was barely noticeable in a game that was so run n gun.

    Jultz was noticed for several glaring, awful, unexplainable, lazy, effortless, thoughtless plays. That short handed goal should of ended his PP time for the night, if not season.

    At what point does Chia come out and question the officials for his team? It’s getting ridiculous. Every game the Oilers are receiving phantom calls against, while Hall is mirked out.

    Do they not replay certain plays to refs after games and be like.. “So you missed this guy cross checking this guys ribs into the upper bowl, anything you’d like to explain?” Ref “did you see the brunette behind the Avs bench last night, fine piece of mile high that is”

  6. Klima's_Bucket says:

    Remember that time there was a scrum earlier this year and Justin Schultz raced in to the melee???

  7. Kmart99 says:

    If this were any other team, I’d say last night’s performance was a sign that the losing streak is coming to an end, and some wins are on the horizon.

    Unfortunately, now our two best DMen,(it’s amazing what BD’s done this season), CMD, and Yak are all out.

    Without Klefbom, Davidson, McDavid, and Yak…. i can’t imagine this team winning very often. That is simply too much to overcome.

    #1 Dman: out
    #3 Dman: out (although you could argue that Davidson has out performed Sekera)
    #1 Centre: out
    #4 Winger: out

    Goalie…. at the moment is posting sub 900 games.

    By the time all four of those players return, it could be after the all star break and this team could be out of it. This is all happening at the worst possible time. Not to fear monger, but this is reality for the Oilers right now. The thread of hope this team has is that both these goalies have stolen games in the past, and Hall-Drai + Nuge-Ebs have been able to outscore problems in short stints before.
    But that’s really all this team has for hope right now.

    They will need Talbot and ‘Ders to steal some games, and they will need those four kids to go on a run. That or PChia moves the first round pick + the best prospect not on the roster ( Yakimov?Slep? Bear? Jones? ) for some significant help.

    Sidenote: I disagree with the CoH’s assessment of Ebs’ game last night. I thought he was skating well with the puck and handling it really well. He fed Nuge and Pouliot a number of beauties that they just couldn’t cash either because Varly was Varly, or because they failed to get good wood on it. Not only that, he gave Lander an absolute freebie that Lander completely wiffed on. He looked dangerous with the puck(especially in the third period), and has looked that way for a few games. At least he has by my eye. I suspect Ebs puts up another 40+ pts over the remainder of the season.

  8. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    OilClog,

    I don’t think the GM whining gets you more calls. You have to be careful when you play that card, like Gretz at Salt Lake or Esposito vs. the Soviets.

    Should HAVE

    Don’t think the comment about the woman was necessary to make your point. We’ve had a few issues around here of late.

    I think Schultz is likely done this season unless they manage to unlock him. I was very wrong on him, unfortunately. I will owe Pouzar my lost bet.

    But this season isn’t about the playoffs anyway. It’s about assessing fully what they have. So I’m okay with really finding out what they have.

  9. v4ance says:

    Before the start of the winning streak, we were losing games that we could have won. Near the end, goaltending was winning us games we didn’t deserve.

    Now during this losing streak, we simply haven’t played consistently well enough and the goaltending hasn’t stolen the wins either. Some good stretches but no games where we had a 60 minute effort with few mistakes.

    Hoping that the team will turn it around soon.

    Btw, I liked Pouliot’s game last night. some good rushes into the zone.

  10. Kmart99 says:

    OilClog:
    Eberlov was barely noticeable in a game that was so run n gun.

    I disagree. He wasn’t on the score sheet, and his play in the dzone wasn’t great, but I saw a number of beauty plays by ebs last night that Nuge, Pouliot, and Lander were all unable to cash in.

  11. Psyche says:

    The priority problem with Schultz is the coach who continues to play him on the point on the power play. Without a quality shot he isn’t effective there. If they want him out there then play him on the half-wall.

    The secondary problem is his contract. But that’s for another day.

    If the coaches employ him appropriately then we will all be able to sleep a little better.

  12. Kmart99 says:

    Just put Schultz on forward. He can compete with Yak for that fourth winger spot in the top six. …. but will he be as good defensively as Yak, that’s the question. 😉

  13. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    This team is going to be fine, guys. But the next stretch will still be up and down.

    Try to see the big picture: we will know more about the goalies. We will have 3 pairs of scoring centre -winger combos. We have known this team’s D is not good enough to compete and win. We find out more about these players.

    Schultz 4m
    Nikitin 4.5m
    Purcell 4.5m

    Come off the books
    Ference 3.25m likely gets bought out.
    Fayne they make a decision on at 3.4m

    That’s a lot of freed up money to add a veteran winger like Pouliot for the Hall-Drai line (and maybe that is Purcell for less money or someone else), a #1D (likely with some flaws but better than what we have), and a veteran wing for Mc-Yakupov.

    And one more year under McLellan.

    The future is bright and the team has already turned north despite the holes in the roster. The future is very, very bright. So enjoy the ride and try not to stress about the growing pains. I know it is hard as a fan, but keep your sanity for your own health!

  14. sliderule says:

    Wow the Schultz hate is turning to insanity

    Nuge was more at fault on the first goal as rather than making safe play and cycling it back he threw a bad pass at Schultz’s feet.

    Nuge and Eberle woke up after criticism have now gone back to sleep.

    You have to look at the play of whole team rather than focusing on one player.

  15. Kmart99 says:

    NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”,

    If the roster is full and healthy post-All-Star break, then I could see this team going on a really great run. If Chia makes a move to get a big piece on defense that gives them an extra boost, then we could end up seeing an actually good hockey team finish out the season.

    My hope was that this team would be within 3-4 games of a playoff spot when CMD returns, I fear that the injuries are too much to overcome at this point. Klefbom, Davidson, Connor, Yak…. yikes.

    This team could easily be 10 points out by the all star break.

  16. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    Kmart99,

    I’ve had the same view all season. You’re probably all sick of hearing it now. Injuries are part of hockey. They happen. I just had lower expectations than most around here. But did you read what I wrote above about the last stretch run? That’s a good run I see coming, too.

  17. GCW_69 says:

    On a cross check like that someone on the ice has to respond. Very disappointing.

    The current losing streak was predictable. The winning streak wss a mirage and the numbers told is so. Welcome back to reality people. It’s a cold dark place.

  18. Ryan says:

    NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”,

    The Jets are probably going to trade Byfuglien given that they’re on the outside looking in for the playoffs and he has an expiring contract.

    Like Petry, there’s a good chance that whomever gives up assets for Byfuglien, will also try to sign him.

    I’d be surprised if Byfuglien is acquired for money alone though it’s possible.

  19. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    GCW_69,

    I don’t get why it has to be cold and dark. It isn’t. It’s somewhere in between. Yes, the win streak was sustained by unsustainable goaltending and we knew it then.

    When the team put in great efforts vs. Chicago and Washington but lost, followed by rough efforts vs. Carolina and Toronto people were saying this team needed to be blown up. I argued otherwiae. The 6 game run came right after and everyone started getting ahead of themselves again.

    If you look at this season in big segements, this second stretch should be around .500 hockey and the Oilers are still 3 games above that. The break couldn’t come at a better time.

    Reality isn’t cold and dark. It’s just fine!

  20. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    Ryan,

    Unless the team acquiring him offers a ton of money I see Buff going to UFA this summer even if he is a deadline acquisition.

    He isn’t Petry, he is going to be the most coveted free agent this side of Stamkos. I see him testing the market. The Oilers have a great chance at him. Or so I see it.

  21. Kmart99 says:

    NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”:
    Kmart99,

    I think we’re on the same page about the last half of the season. I was expecting 70-80 pts from this team this season, and my prediction for Hunter’s contest was 74pts, knowing that 80 pts was possible.

    What i wasn’t expecting was a pacific division that would set the playoff bar at 85pts. Knowing that the playoffs are within striking distance has me frustrated for obvious reasons.
    After that 6 game run, my expectations switched from 74 pts, to playing a game 75 of the season that mattered.

    I expect Chiarelli to be a buyer. He needs to give his team a boost beyond just announcing that Connor is back from injury.

  22. GCW_69 says:

    NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”:
    GCW_69,

    I don’t get why it has to be cold and dark. It isn’t. It’s somewhere in between. Yes, the win streak was sustained by unsustainable goaltending and we knew it then.

    When the team put in great efforts vs. Chicago and Washington but lost, followed by rough efforts vs. Carolina and Toronto people were saying this team needed to be blown up. I argued otherwiae. The 6 game run came right after and everyone started getting ahead of themselves again.

    If you look at this season in big segements, this second stretch should be around .500 hockey and the Oilers are still 3 games above that. The break couldn’t come at a better time.

    Reality isn’t cold and dark. It’s just fine!

    Any reality that includes Nikitin, Schultz, and Gryba on defence, plus Letestu and Korpse on the power play, questionable goaltending, and dysfunctional special teams is pretty dark to me.

    Just be careful that the light you seem to see isn’t coming from a train that’s about to mow you down.

  23. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    Kmart99,

    I see. I think the pace picks up in the division, though. Think it will be more like 89-90 to get in.

    The problem is 4 points out isn’t really 4 points out in the era of 3 point games, if that makes sense. It’s not like the old days where that is actually close enough to overcome with a bit of luck.

    I’d only be a buyer if the team is tied for or in a playoff position. Otherwise I want this team to be focused on long term improvement. No rentals.

  24. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    GCW_69: Any reality that includes Nikitin, Schultz, and Gryba on defence, plus Letestu and Korpse on the power play,questionable goaltending, and dysfunctional special teams is pretty dark to me.

    Just be careful that the light you seem to see isn’t coming from a train that’s about to mow you down.

    Ha ha. I’m just fine, thanks. Those guys you mentioned will be gone come summer. Not worried about them.

  25. flyfish1168 says:

    Kmart99:
    Just put Schultz on forward.He can compete with Yak for that fourth winger spot in the top six. …. but will he be as good defensively as Yak, that’s the question.

    I totally disagree with you on this. Yak has come along way each time when he got a proper coach. justin has been given everything with very little accountability. Justin would be just as horrible if he was moved up. If he can’t play a 150 foot game why would we want to see him lollygag for 50 feet more.

    He may have the tools for a offensive defense man but he does not have the smarts, urgency or the right personality to become good reliable one.

    On a different note I was very annoyed that the next shift by comeau he wasn’t confronted for the crosscheck. If we don’t want other teams to take advantage of us we need to extract some retribution one of our players get hurt on a dirty play.

  26. Adam Wu says:

    GCW_69: Any reality that includes Nikitin, Schultz, and Gryba on defence, plus Letestu and Korpse on the power play,questionable goaltending, and dysfunctional special teams is pretty dark to me.

    Just be careful that the light you seem to see isn’t coming from a train that’s about to mow you down.

    Sometimes there is BOTH real light at the end of the tunnel and an oncoming train. You dodge the train, and you’re in the clear.

  27. JAG-041 says:

    As much as Nilsson didn’t look great last night, I’d say it’s the defensing, stupid!
    I was so mad at Schultz on the power play goal against, but also when he gave it away in the defensive zone to set up Iginla to burn Nikitin.
    The forwards last night looked fine, the defense didn’t look in control at all unless it was Davidson (return soon my cancer battling beauty), Nurse, or Sekera.
    We are effectively running a two man blue line at this point… And one of them is a rookie… When Gryba is your number 3… Yikes… I’m so scared for the game Monday.
    I hope Hall brings his rocket boots.

  28. speeds says:

    NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”:
    Kmart99,

    I’d only be a buyer if the team is tied for or in a playoff position. Otherwise I want this team to be focused on long term improvement. No rentals.

    I think I’d look to be a seller either way, but would look a bit more at selling and potentially buying in the right circumstance/right price.

  29. Kmart99 says:

    flyfish1168,

    My tongue was planted firmly in cheek. I like Yak, and I still have a little bit of hope that he can develop into a useful top 6 player in this league.

    Justin Schultz is a good skater, nothing more.

  30. Pouzar says:

    I have no idea why and logic says I shouldn’t feel this way but I am soooooo f^cking down on this team. I really am. I have no answers. It wasn’t the win streak sucking me in either. Maybe I can’t get past the plethora of injuries. Who knows? I need to follow this team from the boxscores for a while.
    I will check back in when McDavid gets back. I will start up the Condor updates again. Slacked off in that regard. Cheers all.

  31. Really? says:

    Oiler fans are so desperate for good things to happen that we are, en masse, becoming as goofy as Leaf fans. We over react to everything that happens.

    I do, however, take solace from the fact that Chiarelli and the Toddler are now running the show rather than their predecessors.

    I expect that 2016 and the years thereafter will shine brightly on the Oilers.

  32. OldGuy says:

    leadfarmer,

    I agree. What happens when McDavid returns and gets run through the boards?

  33. Lloyd B. says:

    Matt Henderson takes the gloves off over at ON on Mr. Shultz.

  34. jake70 says:

    OldGuy:
    leadfarmer,

    I agree.What happens when McDavid returns and gets run through the boards?

    If you have to ask the question.

  35. stevezie says:

    I expect Chia to both buy and sell. He’ll use the deadline to unload pieces he doesn’t think will really help (Nikita, Schultz, Korps, Fayne etc) but that someone might want for backup, while looking for treasures in other GM’s trash.

    Anyone can buy or sell, this year Chia is going to have to win trades. Likely this will mean something like trade Fayne for a pick and flip that pick for someone better than Fayne.

    Schutz’s evil is overstated. I maintain his problem isn’t his weaknesses, it’s his lack of strengths.

    That said, he’s one man. Let’s keep a little perspective.

  36. Colieo87 says:

    Is there progress for Justin Schultz I don’t see no underlying reason into it can someone help me please

  37. Bar_Qu says:

    sliderule,

    I agree. Ever since Matt Henderson made that post about Schultz’s lack of PP success, he comes unglued on twitter as soon as he touches the puck. Then everyone else piles on. I’m not sure what its like on here during games, but I can’t imagine its much better.

    Thanks LT for the reminder in here that the verbal is gone a little past acceptable.

    NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”,

    I think the Oil can be buyers, but smart buyers of bad contracts for contending teams. ie. we will take X’s remaining 2M for the season, if you throw in Y with his potential to boot. I think there is ability in the salary cap for them to do that. Otherwise they should abide. Lots of bargain basement contracts available this summer like there was last year. No one is going to get paid with all the teams understanding how little wiggle room they have under this cap system.

  38. flyfish1168 says:

    wow Mat Henderson at ON really gone off on schultz. Interesting stat that justin only have 5 goals on the PP. How can anyone call him even an NHL caliber offensive dman with that kind of number. I believe justiin has caused of short handed goals than he has scored, and that is a bad thing.

  39. stevezie says:

    Kmart99: Justin Schultz is a good skater, nothing more.

    That’s all we’ve seen in the bigs, but he clearly has more. You don’t do what he did in the NCAA and the AHL with only skating.

    That said, he clearly does not know how to make it work at this level yet. I don’t understand, just like I didn’t understand Alex Giroux or Jason Krog. And don’t just say “size” or “skating”, because slow and small guys make the league all the time. Some guys just can’t learn to translate.

    Schultz may yet make it-he has tools- but there has been zero progress. I don’t think we can afford to bet on him.

  40. godot10 says:

    NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”:
    Ryan,

    Unless the team acquiring him offers a ton of money I see Buff going to UFA this summer even if he is a deadline acquisition.

    He isn’t Petry, he is going to be the most coveted free agent this side of Stamkos. I see him testing the market. The Oilers have a great chance at him. Or so I see it.

    Target Burns, with one year left, and San Jose looking to reload, rather than Byfuglien.

    I’d rather risk a long contract on Burns than on Byfuglien.

  41. flyfish1168 says:

    stevezie: That’s all we’ve seen in the bigs, but he clearly has more. You don’t do what he did in the NCAA and the AHL with only skating.

    That said, he clearly does not know how to make it work at this level yet. I don’t understand, just like I didn’t understand Alex Giroux or Jason Krog. And don’t just say “size” or “skating”, because slow and small guys make the league all the time. Some guys just can’t learn to translate.

    Schultz may yet make it-he has tools- but there has been zero progress. I don’t think we can afford to bet on him.

    He doesn’t have the will to do what it takes. Its time to take off the gloves and get dirty. Work up a sweat. Fight to the end. I want that from you and I’m going to take it. F*** U I want that biscuit. Time to go into battle. The will to win

    Some of the cliches that you can’t use with justin. Also called playoff hockey.

    He has the skating and nothing else. AHL hockey his high water mark.

  42. Gret99zky says:

    NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”:
    With the injured players back the final 32 should see something like 20-11-1 for 41 points

    haha

    good one, NYC.

  43. stevezie says:

    flyfish1168,

    He didn’t just make the AHL, he had one of the best seasons the AHL had ever seen. That should translate to at least being competitive in a higher league.

    That said, we’re not arguing about the present state of things. He doesn’t do anything. Philip Larsen was a great skater too.

  44. Klima's_Bucket says:

    Hypothetically let’s say Schultz gets placed on waivers, which teams can afford his near 4million salary, and have room to add him??

  45. flyfish1168 says:

    stevezie:
    flyfish1168,

    He didn’t just make the AHL, he had one of the best seasons the AHL had ever seen. That should translate to at least being competitive in a higher league.

    That said, we’re not arguing about the present state of things. He doesn’t do anything. Philip Larsen was a great skater too.

    You are correct that he did. But you have to remember he was playing with Hall, Eberle and RNH among others which are real NHL players, where the other team was not able to send their NHL players down.

    schulz’s time there was surround with enough talent to help pad his points versus the other teams real AHL players. That is not a fair fight. This obscured MacT judgement

    http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/leagues/seasons/teams/0060562013.html

    As I said above with the cliches justin probably didn’t need them in the AHL or the AHL PO that he wasn’t part of. But you need them in the NHL to survive.

  46. Ryan says:

    godot10: Target Burns, with one year left, and San Jose looking to reload, rather than Byfuglien.

    I’d rather risk a long contract on Burns than on Byfuglien.

    I agree except now you’re assuming that Burns is available. If he is and the price isn’t ridiculous, then sure I’d take him over Byfuglien too.

    San Jose faces realities that our market is nearly immune to like worrying about keeping bums in seats.

    What would you trade for Burns this year? He’s going to cost an absolute fortune IMO and then you will need to pony up a significant dollars and term if he’s willing to re-sign.

    Burns would solve a lot of problems if we can get him.

  47. Tire Fire says:

    OilClog: Do they not replay certain plays to refs after games and be like.. “So you missed this guy cross checking this guys ribs into the upper bowl, anything you’d like to explain?” Ref “did you see the brunette behind the Avs bench last night, fine piece of mile high that is”

    NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”: Don’t think the comment about the woman was necessary to make your point. We’ve had a few issues around here of late.

    I think it’s pretty clear OilClog is just saying the ref is daydreaming instead of paying attention to the play. It doesn’t really have the same ring to it if he claims the ref is watching the nachos in the stands. There’s not an ounce of inappropriate in there.

    You’ve been really quick to play beat cop around here lately NYC, but you’ve been tilting at windmills more often than not.

  48. Ryan says:

    Klima’s_Bucket,

    Realistically, I’d say the Coyotes and Sabres. The Leafs might take a flier on him too.

    The Jets and Preds both have a ton of cap space, but they’re both stacked at d and likely have internal caps.

  49. speeds says:

    Ryan: I agree except now you’re assuming that Burns is available.If he is and the price isn’t ridiculous, then sure I’d take him over Byfuglien too.

    San Jose faces realities that our market is nearly immune to like worrying about keeping bums in seats.

    What would you trade for Burns this year?He’s going to cost an absolute fortune IMO and then you will need to pony up a significant dollars and term if he’s willing to re-sign.

    Burns would solve a lot of problems if we can get him.

    JMO, but I think he’s too old and the acquisition price/extension price is likely to be too much to make him a great trade target.

  50. stevezie says:

    flyfish1168,

    These are the last words I’ll spend defending him today, but he wasn’t just dragged along by the big three in the A. He was outscoring Nuge and keeping almost perfect pace with Eberle.

    He was better than Ringo, and now he couldn’t play in the all-starr band.

    I think we agree about his current worth; I’m just more confused by it.

  51. flyfish1168 says:

    stevezie:
    flyfish1168,

    These are the last words I’ll spend defending him today, but he wasn’t just dragged along by the big three in the A. He was outscoring Nuge and keeping almost perfect pace with Eberle.

    He was better than Ringo, and now he couldn’t play in the all-starr band.

    I think we agree about his current worth; I’m just more confused by it.

    Agree thanks for a good debate. Have a great holiday season. 🙂

  52. Showerhead says:

    Title reminds me of <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YEUssSaVF9Y&quot; this song , by The Antlers, one of those brilliant but undeniably sad-bastard bands of the early 201x’s. Its mood strikes me as incredibly apt for current Edmonton Oiler fandom.

    In the context of this song, I’d say Sekera is alone upstairs, Nurse is alone downstairs, and Gryba is drunk on the roof. Fayne is knocking on the door but no one will let him in while Jultz is alone at a house three blocks down the street because he decided not to use Google Maps on account of being an A-level “explorer” way back when he was a boy scout.

    The hopeful sounding build with just less than a minute left is Chiarelli realizing what Lowetide.ca knew all along, waking up at 3 in the morning and sprinting to his cell phone on the kitchen charger.

  53. Woodguy says:

    stevezie,

    He was outscoring Nuge and keeping almost perfect pace with Eberle.

    You forgot about Hall.

    Hall would go on to be 9th in NHL scoring when the NHL came back and 7th in pts/gm.

    Eberle was 16th in NHL scoring the year before and 17th in pts/gm.

    Playing with those two, elite level NHL scorers, plus 19 games of RNH against AHLer (with the odd NHL thrown in) has a very significant impact.

    He is also a very good skater and could out skate his mistakes a lot of the time in AHL.

    He has much more troubles doing that in the NHL.

  54. Ryan says:

    speeds: JMO, but I think he’s too old and the acquisition price/extension price is likely to be too much to make him a great trade target.

    I agree with you on all accounts, but I think we’re going to have to spend money and give some term to a player like Burns or Byfuglien, because the younger versions are not going to be available like ever.

    We need someone elite to bridge our d corps(e) until Nurse, Klefbomb, Davidson, and possibly Reinhart are ready to shoulder the load. We additionally have a dire need for an actual offenseman.

    We can’t keep burning daylight on the McDavid contract waiting for dmen to develop.

    Maybe there’s an alternate scenario where we are able to have Snow gift us Hamonic and we then find a way to also get Tyson Barrie. 🙂

    Klefbomb — Hamonic
    Sekera — Nurse
    Davidson — Barrie

  55. Showerhead says:

    Showerhead,

    I’ve noticed the last few times I’ve tried to add links, I’ve garbled them. Do old school html tags still work? I’m trying to decide if I’m being clumsy or behind the times.

  56. Woodguy says:

    PACIFIC DIVISION STANDINGS VIA GAMES (TIES BROKEN USING ROW)

    LAK +10
    SJS +1
    ARI 0
    ———————–
    CGY 0
    VAN -2
    ANA -3
    EDM -4

    Slip sliding away………….

  57. thehop says:

    I am always waiting for the Oilers to find some measure of positive consistency. There is more positive consistency this year but as a whole the organization consistently makes poor/illogical/unreasonable choices.

    Exhibit A

    The Fayne demotion- I’m with LT on this one and I’ll go a step further in light of the defensive play I’ve seen this season. Fayne>>>Schultz/Nicotine

    How Schultz has maintained a spot on the team is beyond me. As is the idea that the Russian Cigarette deserve playing time over Fayne.

    There have been few examples in the last five years of the Oilers icing the best lineup they can. For whatever reason it appears to me that showcasing a Russian plug or giving valuable ice time to a sub par defender takes precedence over icing a competitive hockey team.

    Exhibit B

    Sitting Khaira-

    The fancies and my eye lead me to believe that this is a player who should be playing every game after Christmas. Small sample size? Sure. I think he’s earned more time and the opportunity to increase the sample. I’m willing to argue the merits of his place on the roster over the Korpse, Gazdic or Pakka Pakka rinen. At this point I play him in Pouliot’s spot until Benoit can prove he won’t take costly penalties.

  58. Woodguy says:

    Showerhead:
    Showerhead,

    I’ve noticed the last few times I’ve tried to add links, I’ve garbled them. Do old school html tags still work? I’m trying to decide if I’m being clumsy or behind the times.

    The HTML links code shown on this page seems to work. (SEE WHAT I DID HERE!!?!?!?!) /clever

  59. lynn says:

    When did Luke Gazdic become a non-fighter? Only 20 PIMs this season. Starting to get accolades for his hockey skills; forgetting that his role is to protect his teammates by fighting once in awhile.

    I’d rather have Jujhar Khaira playing 4th-line LW for the rest of the season–better player, and he will fight for his teammates when the occasion arises.

  60. Showerhead says:

    Anyway I agree with LT’s overall tone.

    The loss is what it is. The D who are useful but have significant warts what they are. As always, Edmonton has too many guys playing further up the depth chart than they would on a good team (even with the injuries considered).

    The real shame is that, as 2016 waits just around the corner, Edmonton is finally on the cusp of being good enough for their flaws to matter.

  61. Woodguy says:

    Steve Burtch has his prediction on how how the standings will shake out using xGF.

    Has CGY w/ 89 and SJS w/88 points to grab playoff spots in the Pacific division.

    Had EDM 4th with 84pts.

  62. Bootstrap Effexor says:

    Jultz: “Hey, Connor, do you mind if I share something?”

    Connor looks around the room and realizes that even the equipment manager booked off early, must be that drinking game with “special” prizes all the vets were snickering about these past few days.

    Oh, shucks! What to say? What to say? Uh—no, not that—ixnay “last place on earth”, probably bring bad karma into the dressing room.

    Crap … what would Mess do?

    Conner [weakly]: “ah, shoot”

    Justin receives this as adequate encouragement.

    Jultz: “Okay, like, this is kind of personal … I’ve got, you know, a bit of a rash … tail end of my rookie season. It never seems to go into remission more than a few days. I was thinking, maybe you could—”

    Connor flinches. I could what? Wash his feet? Sprout wings and hover above the floor?

    McD: “I see … it isn’t perhaps contagious? Of course, you’re worried about the rest of the squad …”

    Jultz: “Oh, yes, but haven’t you noticed? There’s been a procession around here of flue-like five holes as long as your arm.”

    McD: “Christ, Justin, goalers are voodoo—they’re not lepers. What exactly were you thinking I could do?”

    Justin crestfallen to the utmost is truly a sight to behold. Like Buttercup skating slowly back to the bench after steering Kopitar into the “padded” crossbar—only worse. Even the tops of his hockey socks appeared to slither further down his ankles, seemingly out of fear the Oilers logo would slink right off.

    Jultz: “Nothing. Forget about it … just a crazy idea.”

    At this moment, the pimples—er, dots—begin to connect in Connor’s mind in a most horrifying way.

    McD: “Hey, you’ve been reading ON again, or [shudders] one of those other ones, haven’t you? Shucks, man. You know, lay off that stuff—like you just said, it’s crazy making.”

    Connor follows Justin’s crestfallen gaze all the way down to his crestfallen socks.

    McD: “Just how long have you been wearing those socks, pilgrim?”

    Jultz: “These? These are my seeing-eye ankle sweaters. Kept them from my rookie season. The only trick is to twist them on exactly right, so they see straight. Never let me down, not one time, but recently I seem to have lost the knack of keeping them in the right alignment.”

    McD: “Okay then, here it is, Justin—since you asked—some words of wisdom: Get yourself a new pair. Hyper energetic. And be sure to keep them clean and dry.”

    Jultz: “Don’t you mean ‘hyper allergenic’?”

    McD: “No. I don’t. And one more thing. Let’s not spread this conversation around, okay? Terrible karma to speak openly about your new pair, you know. Could come untucked at the worst possible moment … like … like, with your hands down, eating the puck on the end boards, with big Buff barreling in on the forecheck.”

    Justin gulps involuntarily.

    Jultz: “Gotcha. Zip it. Zip it good.”

  63. RexLibris says:

    I’m not a “pound of flesh” guy usually.

    However, watching the Davidson hit and seeing no reaction from the players when a teammate is lying for several seconds motionless on the ice infuriates me.

    That no penalty was called (you could pick from either cross-checking or interference possibly) only further enrages me.

    The Oilers are on the cusp of leading the league in man games lost now. But the narrative will be how the team hasn’t turned it around and needs to be cut-off from their addiction to 1st overall picks because nobody in the media wants to read any further than the headlines or check under the hood to see what is actually going on.

    Sure, they’ll cheer when McDavid comes back because he entertains them and keeps them employed, but not a word about how he was shelved in the first place.

    And Yakupov’s injury? Well, in MSM terms its like he never even existed. Injured? I thought he was just playing his usual, invisible, enigmatic-Russian game.

    Pouliot? Went into the boards awkwardly after a really nice hit by Phaneuf. Dirty? Nah, that’s just Phaneuf finishing his check. (from four feet out of the boards with the player’s back turned).

    Davidson? Poor kid. He was coming on. But how about Comeau standing up at the blueline to prevent an easy zone entry? (ticks off “advanced stats mention” in his Hockey Panel Bingo card)

    If the officiating were just a thing this year, I suppose I’d be able to laugh about it and tell the league to go ahead and screw us over because we’ll have the last laugh at the draft podium.

    But it isn’t.

    We’ve got all of this year as proof that something is amiss.

    We could go back to last year, the year before.

    Heck, we could go back to Marchment’s knee of Weight.

    Or Buchberger’s butt-end in the eye that nearly ended his career. No call there.

    How about the Staios breakaway that was foiled when two defenders virtually jumped on his back and stuck their sticks in his legs. That send him careening into the goalie who’d left his net to play the puck. Two minutes to Staios for goalie interference.

    The list goes on. And on.

    I’ve become accustomed to going into every game thinking that we’re looking at at least 60 minutes of 7 on 5.

    I can only hope this team captures Stanley once, twice, three times maybe. Because then the league and the Hockey Gods and everyone else can stuff it.

    There. Feeling a little better now.

    Thanks for the rant space, LT. Do you have hourly rates or can we just keep you on psychiatric retainer?

  64. Showerhead says:

    Woodguy,

    Colour me impressed. Thank you!

    (I was being clumsy.)

  65. thehop says:

    Xfiles reboot January 24th.

    Squueeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

  66. v4ance says:

    http://www.prettyskatemachine.com/

    I have made the decision as of Midnight tonight (Monday 12:00am), I will be pulling down this website, my Twitter account, and my Facebook account. I have already pulled down my Instagram and other social media pages.

    ***

    ​Facebook, and Twitter, and the internet in general has turned into a wall of rejection for me. It’s bad enough that I sit all alone day after day. I turn to the Internet for companionship and the most I am ever able to find are people willing to know me by emails, or text messages, or direct messages.

    It isn’t enough. It’s not the same has having actual people in your life. I feel constantly alone in this world, and it is slowly killing me.

    I am pulling the plug on all my online activities because perhaps part of the problem is that my focus has been in the wrong place. Maybe it is too much to expect from social media or a dating site to find people who actually want to know me and actually want to be part of my life in a way where it’s not just entirely on their terms. Maybe the solution is joining a bowling league, or getting involved in my community, or volunteering somewhere. Living in the real world instead of praying daily for a miracle to materialize from the digital world.

    ​Those people who actually want to know me are encouraged to do so. My email is rdcloutier@outlook.com. But please realize I am not looking for online or digital friendships anymore. I need real people in my life on a daily basis. If you choose to reach out to me, realize the consequences of that.

    Richard Cloutier announces that he will be withdrawing from all social media.

  67. lynn says:

    v4ance:
    http://www.prettyskatemachine.com/

    I have made the decision as of Midnight tonight (Monday 12:00am), I will be pulling down this website, my Twitter account, and my Facebook account. I have already pulled down my Instagram and other social media pages.


    ***

    ​Facebook, and Twitter, and the internet in general has turned into a wall of rejection for me. It’s bad enough that I sit all alone day after day. I turn to the Internet for companionship and the most I am ever able to find are people willing to know me by emails, or text messages, or direct messages.

    It isn’t enough. It’s not the same has having actual people in your life. I feel constantly alone in this world, and it is slowly killing me.

    I am pulling the plug on all my online activities because perhaps part of the problem is that my focus has been in the wrong place. Maybe it is too much to expect from social media or a dating site to find people who actually want to know me and actually want to be part of my life in a way where it’s not just entirely on their terms. Maybe the solution is joining a bowling league, or getting involved in my community, or volunteering somewhere. Living in the real world instead of praying daily for a miracle to materialize from the digital world.

    ​Those people who actually want to know me are encouraged to do so. My email is rdcloutier@outlook.com. But please realize I am not looking for online or digital friendships anymore. I need real people in my life on a daily basis. If you choose to reach out to me, realize the consequences of that.

    Richard Cloutier announces that he will be withdrawing from all social media.

    Good luck to Richard. I have always enjoyed his passion for hockey.

  68. Lowetide says:

    lynn:
    When did Luke Gazdic become a non-fighter? Only 20 PIMs this season. Starting to get accolades for his hockey skills; forgetting that his role is to protect his teammates by fighting once in awhile.

    I’d rather have Jujhar Khaira playing 4th-line LW for the rest of the season–better player, and he will fight for his teammates when the occasion arises.

    Nah. Todd McLellan is trying to turn him into a hockey player and young Gazdic has bought in. No idea how it turns out but this is a positive.

  69. bendelson says:

    With apologies to purists everywhere…

    It is the best of times, it is the worst of times, it is the age of wisdom, it is the age of foolishness, it is the epoch of belief, it is the epoch of incredulity, it is the season of Light, it is the season of Darkness, it is the spring of hope, it is the winter of despair, we have everything before us, we have nothing before us, we are all going direct to Heaven, we are all going direct the other way…

    On second thought, fuck purists.

    Seriously, fuck those guys.

    Skoylers!!!

  70. Seismic Source says:

    I get that Fayne has looked bad this year but atleast he has a resume of being an NHL defenseman. I don’t get how his rope is shorter than Schultz’. Does Schultz even have a rope? He appears to be made of teflon. Accountability needs to be consistent.

    Schultz and Gazdic need to get waived. I’d rather NN stay for the year before Schultz and I would much rather see any of the kids get Gazdic’s minutes. There’s obviously a lot more holes and problems with the team other than that but can we atleast fucking start there? Start with the addition by subtraction moves FFS, you wouldn’t even have to call another GM to improve the team.

    Growing up I was always on a real shitty hockey team because we had about three or four really terrible players that cost us game after game. It was house league and a small town and there was just enough players to field a team every year so we were always stuck with them. If your average PeeWee team can’t carry that much dead weight how in the hell can a team in the National Hockey League?

  71. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    Tire Fire:
    I think it’s pretty clear OilClog is just saying the ref is daydreaming instead of paying attention to the play. It doesn’t really have the same ring to it if he claims the ref is watching the nachos in the stands. There’s not an ounce of inappropriate in there.

    You’ve been really quick to play beat cop around here lately NYC, but you’ve been tilting at windmills more often than not.

    Hmmm. Okay. I think the only thing I’ve been harping on about is maintaining an even keel during the ups and downs. I have stayed away from the discussions about other issues. But if you feel I’ve been overly policing the sexism that sometimes appears around here I do apologize. I do think a better example could have been used by OilClog other than to say the refs are gawking at “mile high” women.

    I seem to have offended you somewhere along the way. I don’t recall where else I have “played beat cop” of late other than to just suggest people not get so upset about this season but if I did offend you or anyone else, I am sorry.

    Let’s move on?

  72. stevezie says:

    Woodguy: You forgot about Hall.

    No sir, but he was always (and remains) the bandleader. The notable comparison here is between Eberle and Schultz. They were comparable in one league, and incomparable at another.

    Woodguy: He is also a very good skater and could out skate his mistakes a lot of the time in AHL.

    That starts to make more sense. He clearly has other skills- many an elite skater have been unable to match his accomplishments in lower levels- but I could believe he has learned to lean on the one a little too much. I’m sure we’ve all worked with (or been) a person who knew enough about the job to keep up fine but mostly coasted on their charming personality. Because they could.

    Schultz is at a new company where no one likes his jokes. He has yet to recover.

  73. thehop says:

    Tire Fire:
    I think it’s pretty clear OilClog is just saying the ref is daydreaming instead of paying attention to the play. It doesn’t really have the same ring to it if he claims the ref is watching the nachos in the stands. There’s not an ounce of inappropriate in there.

    You’ve been really quick to play beat cop around here lately NYC, but you’ve been tilting at windmills more often than not.

    I second that motion! Turn up the hockey talk…..turn down the moralizing

  74. lynn says:

    Lowetide: Nah. Todd McLellan is trying to turn him into a hockey player and young Gazdic has bought in. No idea how it turns out but this is a positive.

    Gazdic will not be with the Oilers next year. I’ll be flabbergasted if he is. I’d play Khaira over Gazdic and Klinkhammer for the rest of the season–big, strong, physical, good skater, decent puck-handling and passing skills, good forechecker, only 21. And making $875 thousand. No more over-priced bottom-six players. Jujhar fits perfectly into being a player in the new arena.

    I admire Todd for trying to make Luke into an all-around player. Maybe something has been lost, though, especially after teammates didn’t fight for each other last night.

  75. Lowetide says:

    lynn: Gazdic will not be with the Oilers next year. I’ll be flabbergasted if he is. I’d play Khaira over Gazdic and Klinkhammer for the rest of the season–big, strong, physical, good skater, decent puck-handling and passing skills, good forechecker, only 21.And making $875 thousand. No more over-priced bottom-six players. Jujhar fits perfectly into being a player in the new arena.

    I admire Todd for trying to make Luke into an all-around player. Maybe something has been lost, though, especially after teammates didn’t fight for each other last night.

    Agree on all of that, but I am so damn impressed thatGazdic is working so hard. Seriously.

  76. Woogie63 says:

    Year to date +/-

    First Line (29,4,16) = +18
    Second Line (93,14, 67) = -37

  77. stevezie says:

    The Davidson Thing:

    I once worked at a bar. I was punched in the back of the head and none of my co-workers responded. It bothered me and affected my work.

    Most of the arguments against fighting are impossible to logically contest, but you can’t have your players saying, “Well if no one else cares I don’t either.” Why should I block shots? Why should I grind? Why should I make the unselfish play? No one else cares!”

    I think players not objecting to teammates getting injured is a part of this attitude. I don’t think a Gazdic is the solution, the problem is a team-wide mentality. You need several players who might not even fight, but who completely buy in to “the team”. For all the crap Ference got last year about being “Eakins’ guy, I thought his efforts were important (he was just too far past his prime).

    You don’t need a Gazdic, you need three or four more Hendricks and (younger) Ferences.

    While the common feeling in the advanced stats community is intangibles like leadership are overrated, no one thinks they don’t matter at all, do they?

  78. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Showerhead:
    Title reminds me of <a href=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YEUssSaVF9Y&quot; this song , by The Antlers, one of those brilliant but undeniably sad-bastard bands of the early 201x’s. Its mood strikes me as incredibly apt for current Edmonton Oiler fandom.

    Thanks for this, Showerhead. That tune captures the melancholy nicely.

  79. Ryan says:

    NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”,

    You lost a bet to Pouzar too, lol?

    Don’t bet that guy, like ever.

    “If Anton Lander is placed on waivers, traded to another team, or healthy scratched more than three times by the end of December, I win and you lose. Vice versa, of course. If he gets injured and plays less than 30 games, all bets are off.
    Deal per your wager terms?”

    Pouzar, “Lander rocks it, you donate to the site…WIN-WIN!”

    Somehow my win-win hedge turned into a lose-lose scenario.

  80. lynn says:

    Lowetide: Agree on all of that, but I am so damn impressed thatGazdic is working so hard. Seriously.

    True enough. Todd must be impressed with Luke, too, it seems.

  81. Woodguy says:

    Woogie63:
    Year to date +/-

    First Line (29,4,16) = +18
    Second Line (93,14, 67) = -37

    You can’t add up +/- of linemates.

    Then every goal is worth 3 either way.

  82. speeds says:

    Ryan: I agree with you on all accounts, but I think we’re going to have to spend money and give some term to a player like Burns or Byfuglien, because the younger versions are not going to be available like ever.

    We need someone elite to bridge our d corps(e) until Nurse, Klefbomb, Davidson, and possibly Reinhart are ready to shoulder the load.We additionally have a dire need for an actual offenseman.

    We can’t keep burning daylight on the McDavid contract waiting for dmen to develop.

    Maybe there’s an alternate scenario where we are able to have Snow gift us Hamonic and we then find a way to also get Tyson Barrie.

    Klefbomb — Hamonic
    Sekera — Nurse
    Davidson — Barrie

    I kinda think there might be an argument to play things out a little bit more, at least to see what the team looks like over the remainder of the year, before re-assessing for summer 2016.

  83. bendelson says:

    stevezie: I once worked at a bar. I was punched in the back of the head and none of my co-workers responded. It bothered me and affected my work.

    Know that I would have had your back Stevezie (and I am as soft as puppy dog fur).

    NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”: the only thing I’ve been harping on about is maintaining an even keel during the ups and downs.

    And you are appreciated for that perspective…

  84. Bruce McCurdy says:

    lynn:
    When did Luke Gazdic become a non-fighter? Only 20 PIMs this season. Starting to get accolades for his hockey skills; forgetting that his role is to protect his teammates by fighting once in awhile.

    20 PiM = 4 fighting majors & 0 of anything else. Cleanest enforcer in the league!

  85. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    thehop: I second that motion! Turn up the hockey talk…..turn down the moralizing

    Again, I ask you to point out where else lately I’ve been moralizing, but if I have offended you then take the time to address me directly about it rather than chime in after the fact.

  86. Centre of attention says:

    Well, I had a good sleep last night. Woke up and made breakfast, didn’t think about the Oilers once. Eating my toast, I took a breath between bites and accidentally inhaled a few bread crumbs. A 15 minute coughing fit and an attempted Heimlich maneuver later I was settled down.

    Suddenly, it dawned on me. That exact event is the definition of Justin Schultz’s Oiler career thus far.

    Schultz is the toast that almost killed me this morning. Let me explain;

    Schultz has a 6’2” frame, hes a righty, he skates like the wind and has a mind for offense. This is the peanut butter, the Jam, the butter. Everything you want when you think of toast.

    Unfortunately he was burnt while being developed. He now has dry, crunchy crumbs that can completely ruin your morning. His contract, his flat foot at the blue line, his non-existant slapper from the point all represent the crumbs.

    Where I was going with that extended metaphor I have already forgotten, but the main point is that Schultz equals burnt toast. You wanted him to be perfect right away, so you turned up the heat a bit and tried to make the process faster. 220 games later hes burnt to a crisp. Its not the toasts fault you had it cranked to 11 right off the hop.

    Moral of the story is throw him in the trash and hope you didn’t rip open the inner lining of your left lung after nearly choking to death trying to endure his presence.

    Also, its so Oilers for Klefbom to be on his way back only to have Davidson break a couple ribs the game before 77’s return. I think the curse finally lifts in the new arena, it just has to. Surely a hex like the one we have can’t follow our team to a completely new building, could it?!!

  87. OilClog says:

    I’m sorry 🙁

    Wasn’t meaning to offend in any way.

    10mins unsportsmanlike.

    98% of all things I say are meant to be taken with a grain. I enjoy causing the occasionally fire storm. The 2% of the rest of the time I spend apologizing I do mean the apologies. I just love a good laugh, even if alone. Mostly alone

  88. Ryan says:

    speeds: I kinda think there might be an argument to play things out a little bit more, at least to see what the team looks like over the remainder of the year, before re-assessing for summer 2016.

    I can’t see a scenario where we don’t need at least one RHS top four dman if not two, not to mention an offenseman.

    The Ufa crop next year is fairly thin on the above.

    Next year, Ference, Nikitin and possibly Schultz, Gryba and Fayne could all be gone.

    Unless Schultz really starts posting some crooked numbers, I can’t see Chiarelli qualifying him

    I could see Gryba getting a contract and he might be our only RHS.

    I don’t see much upside to waiting unless prices on dmen are going to drop or there is an outstanding free agent group this upcoming summer (there isn’t).

  89. Bruce McCurdy says:

    So my takeaway from this thread is that Schultz is toast.

  90. oilersjo says:

    Good day. I just wish to comment on Anton Lander. When Davidson went down Lander stayed with him and helped him off the ice. Noble gesture seeing as he was his captain in Oklahoma. I really like Lander but he has to realize that by not dropping his mitts and drilling Comeau he was letting down his buddy but the rest of his teammates. It was a moment forLander to show the coach and teammates he had there backs. A true team is not a bunch of people working together it is by have trust in each other that true teams thrive

  91. Ryan says:

    Bruce McCurdy:
    So my takeaway from this thread is that Schultz is toast.

    No, you’re probably right.

    This is the Oilers, so a more realistic scenario is that we qualify Schultz for four million dollars and spend next season watching him QB the #1 PP firing his muffin wrister from the point and giving up shorties.

    It’s more fun talking about what I’d like to see happen rather than what’s likely to happen. 🙂

  92. Mr DeBakey says:

    Bruce McCurdy: So my takeaway from this thread is that Schultz is toast.

    Cold toast actually. Unbuttered.

    Like I said yesterday, if they want a mediocre 3rd pairing, offensive RHD, they can sign Philip Larsen for one-third of Schultz’ Cap Hit.

  93. stevezie says:

    bendelson,

    Thanks man, likewise.

    Bruce McCurdy:
    So my takeaway from this thread is that Schultz is toast.

    Two good games will back people off. I don’t think the chorus is wrong, but it has certainly lost perspective.

    I love Matt Henderson, but he was writing like he opposing the Nazis. Literally.

  94. Centre of attention says:

    Bruce McCurdy:
    So my takeaway from this thread is that Schultz is toast.

    Burnt toast! Read the whole metaphor! 😛 haha jk.

    I was just trying to lighten the mood a bit, this team is honestly depressing to follow.

    Its so depressing that as an Oilers fan I’m constantly refreshing twitter waiting on a Sunday morning for an update on Davidsons condition. I swear the poor kid broke a rib or two.

    Pouliot gets the first puck concealment penalty I have seen in what seems like forever, but no cross checking penalty for a late hit on Davidson right in front of the Colorado bench. You guys are right, its 7 v 5 most nights for the Oilers. Even more so on the road.

    Its not like a call would of even helped, with how catatonic the power play has been, Schultz is unfortunately among the 2 best options with Klefbom out. I really really hope 77 is good to go for the Jets game, because I can’t stand to watch a game where both Davidson AND Klefbom are absent.

    They might dress Ference if thats the case. *shudders*

  95. godot10 says:

    Fighting is pointless. It is also passe.

    You guys have your goon in Gazdic. What did he do? He did nothing.

    Retribution against the guy who did the misdeed is wrongheaded anyways. Gazdic should target a more valuable player than Comeau.

    Lander plays harder against the opposition in terms of pissing them off than any other Oiler.

    Hockey is about team toughness in tenacity of play, in winning battles. Not in concussion inducing and broken hand inducing fighting.

    Any team that fills its roster with players who are still willing to fight will be an awfully bad hockey team.

    The fighting era is over. Get over it.

  96. Tye says:

    Good day LT & the Gang.
    I’ve been a long time lurker
    (10 years at least of almost daily reading)
    Just wanted to say thanks to LT for the great site, & to the rest of the regulars for all their conrtibutions, the comments section here is by far the best hockey talk I’ve found.
    I’ve not commented before, because anytime I think of something to add, I quickly realize it’s either already been said, or I’m just being an A-hole.
    Here’s wishing you all health & happiness this season & many more to come.
    Cheers to you all, ?
    Tye.

  97. Lowetide says:

    Tye:
    Good day LT & the Gang.
    I’ve been a long time lurker
    (10 years at least of almost daily reading)
    Just wanted to say thanks to LT for the great site, & to the rest of the regulars for all their conrtibutions, the comments section here is by far the best hockey talk I’ve found.
    I’ve not commented before, because anytime I think of something to add, I quickly realize it’s either already been said, or I’m just being an A-hole.
    Here’s wishing you all health & happiness this season & many more to come.
    Cheers to you all, ?
    Tye.

    Thanks, Tye. Post more! 🙂

  98. Lowetide says:

    Bruce McCurdy:
    So my takeaway from this thread is that Schultz is toast.

    I don’t agree with it, but your assessment of the thread is correct.

  99. Water Fire says:

    My 2C

    – Schultz isn’t aggressive enough for the NHL, and that doesn’t mean fighting and hitting, but it’s an aggressive league. That means he’d be a non Chiarellian winger unless he became Justin Kane. I doubt that. I hope it works out for him.

    – We are seeing the maturation of the core players. Like normal life it doesn’t happen in one step, it’s a process. They are learning about effort and sustain still, and after the next winning streak a lot of them will take the foot of the gas, again. They are also learning about the discipline off ice and off season it takes to stay a winner.

    – If watching repeated abuse of team mates doesn’t enrage players on the ice, I question if they have what it takes. You don’t have to be tough, you have to have a passion for your team. I don’t see it with too many Oilers as I understand it. No pride, self serving. The most successful Cup winning Oiler ever would threaten people for throwing a jersey on the floor. Respect is a huge part of success and the right attitude.

    – If they are going to insist on icing a pugilist, I am fine with Gazdic learning how to be useful at the expense of using a better player in a likely non playoff season. But he better be a bull in a china shop each and every time anything happens to an Oiler unless it’s obviously a total accident. And all the rest of the time as well actually. Anything questionable and hell breaks loose. There is no other point to his employment. If not hire another guy like Hendricks.

  100. Tye says:

    Lowetide,

    I would post more, but when I get geared up to sign up & post, I honestly can’t think of anything to say that hasn’t been said 1000’s of times to date…
    – I love the Oil. (they’re the only team I’ve ever cared to cheer for, as I’ve been a fan since I was a child)
    – I hated the last 9 years but love hockey & can’t (despite a few honest efforts) care enough about other teams to watch them. Hockey & emotional investments… Who knew ?
    – I am in all honesty kind of an A-hole & will say terrible things in the heat of the moment watching this team. ?

    I think I signed up to say thanks because I felt it is, & has been for a long time, very well deserved.
    I’m also going through my 4th Dec In a row catching an extended layoff & sort of clued in that this place really does help me stay positive, as reading this blog when I’m not busy with wifey & the kids, keeps my mind busy & away from the negative thoughts that swirl in when I allow myself to idle down.
    So thanks again, your efforts are greatly appreciated by this lifelong Oilers fan.
    & a special thanks to the commenters, for without them, this place wouldn’t be the same.
    Tye.

    (& my apologies for a post not about hockey being so long winded)

  101. lynn says:

    godot10:
    Fighting is pointless.It is also passe.

    You guys have your goon in Gazdic.What did he do?He did nothing.

    Retribution against the guy who did the misdeed is wrongheaded anyways.Gazdic should target a more valuable player than Comeau.

    Lander plays harder against the opposition in terms of pissing them off than any other Oiler.

    Hockey is about team toughness in tenacity of play, in winning battles.Not in concussion inducing and broken hand inducing fighting.

    Any team that fills its roster with players who are still willing to fight will be an awfully bad hockey team.

    The fighting era is over.Get over it.

    The fighting era is decreasing, that is why I hope the Oilers keep Khaira on the roster. Khaira will fight, but he’d rather forecheck well, then make a good pass for a goal.

  102. stevezie says:

    godot10,

    I think you are missing the point. Even in a league with no fighting, you can expect teammates to care about each other.

    I guess I didn’t make that clear. A goon doesn’t really help. A team full of guys who care will affect wins and loses.

    Fighting in itself doesn’t matter. But no reaction to injurious play is not a good sign.

  103. BONVIE says:

    sliderule:
    Wow the Schultz hate is turning to insanity

    Nuge was moreat fault on the first goal as rather than making safe play and cycling it back he threw a bad pass at Schultz’s feet.

    Nuge and Eberle woke up after criticism have nowgone back to sleep.

    You have to look at the play of whole team rather than focusing on one player.

    I’d agree about Nuge on the Shorthander as well he should have been exiting the zone to cover for Shultz this is the bad side of using four forwards on the PP. Shultz and Davidson actually were a good pair, and the late goal that Shultz made the turnover by throwing it up the wall when he was pressured. One must ask where the hell were the forwards and why were the already outside the blue line.

  104. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Centre of attention: Burnt toast! Read the whole metaphor! haha jk.

    Toast with no jam.

  105. Bittersomfan says:

    The thing about Schultz is… at the start of the season I actually thought he looked OK (just by eye, didn’t look at stats). But since he has returned from injury he has been awful (again, eyes only). I just can’t figure him out but I still feel that there is a player hiding there somewhere. It’s a bit like Lander, he sould be able to play at this level but it just doesn’t work, for some reason.

  106. Bruce McCurdy says:

    godot10:
    Fighting is pointless.It is also passe.

    You guys have your goon in Gazdic.What did he do?He did nothing.

    Retribution against the guy who did the misdeed is wrongheaded anyways.Gazdic should target a more valuable player than Comeau.

    Lander plays harder against the opposition in terms of pissing them off than any other Oiler.

    Hockey is about team toughness in tenacity of play, in winning battles.Not in concussion inducing and broken hand inducing fighting.

    Any team that fills its roster with players who are still willing to fight will be an awfully bad hockey team.

    The fighting era is over.Get over it.

    Doesn’t have to be a fight. I would have liked to see the Oilers respond by stepping up the physical play, finishing a few more checks, & giving Comeau the gears (and the shaft 🙂 ) as often as possible. Instead they gave him the gord damned puck for a 3-on-1, which he didn’t pass & shot wide, thankfully. Would have been the ultimate “add insult to injury” kind of goal.

    I commented on Twitter last night about how in the early game Jamie Benn had put Jeff Petry out & how Alex Galchenyuk extracted his pound of flesh from Benn late in the third period. Game hopelessly lost, kinda like ours, & lost enough that Galchenyuk’s penalty didn’t make a damned bit of difference other than a a sign of Montreal players standing up for one another.

    Then in the Oilers game a similar situation developed except on a more clearly dirty hit & … nothing. Very disappointing.

    I could say it was the fourth in six nights, Mile High City, energy budget already low & another game hopelessly lost, just not enough gas in the tank to step up the physical play. There’d be a grain of truth in it. (Though I did note 34-year-old Matt Hendricks throwing his body around out there)

    I could say it but I won’t. I’m done making excuses for these guys. They clearly can’t count on the refs to protect their players by calling actual penalties, let alone have a powerplay to actually make it count. So they gotta stand up for themselves, and each other.

    It’s the 21st Century, not the 20th, so fighting has a very peripheral part in it. But there are other ways to stand your ground out there, both individually and as a club. I haven’t seen a team yet that was really worth its salt that didn’t have each others’ backs. There’s no fancystat in the world for it, but that doesn’t mean it’s not real.

  107. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Water Fire:
    My 2C

    – Schultz isn’t aggressive enough for the NHL, and that doesn’t mean fighting and hitting, but it’s an aggressive league. That means he’d be a non Chiarellian winger unless he became Justin Kane. I doubt that. I hope it works out for him.

    I’d settle for Justin Lidstrom.

  108. godot10 says:

    Bruce McCurdy: Doesn’t have to be a fight. I would have liked to see the Oilers respond by stepping up the physical play, finishing a few more checks, & giving Comeau the gears (and the shaft :)) as often as possible. Instead they gave him the gord damnned puck for a 3-on-1, which he didn’t pass & shot wide.

    I commented on Twitter last night about how in the early game Jamie Benn had put Jeff Petry out & how Alex Galchenyuk extracted his pound of flesh late in the third period. Game hopelessly lost, kinda like ours, & lost enough that Galchenyuk’s penalty didn’t make a damned bit of difference other than a a sign of Montreal players standing up for one another.

    Then in the Oilers game a similar situation developed except on a more clearly dirty hit & … nothing. Very disappointing.

    I could say it was the fourth in six nights, Mile High City, energy budget already low & another game hopelessly lost, just not enough gas in the tank to step up the physical play. There’d be a grain of truth in it. (Though I did note 34-year-old Matt Hendricks throwing his body around out there)

    I could say it but I won’t. I’m done making excuses for these guys. They clearly can’t count on the refs to protect their players by calling actual penalties, let alone have a powerplay to actually make it count. So they gotta stand up for themselves, and each other.

    It’s the 21st Century, not the 20th, so fighting has a very peripheral part in it. But there are other ways to stand your ground out there, both individually and as a club.I haven’t seen a team yet that was really worth its salt that didn’t have each others’ backs. There’s no fancystat in the world for it, but that doesn’t mean it’s not real.

    The coach could have put Gazdic up with Hall and Draisaitl to give him valuable targets to hit. The coach decided to stick with Purcell. Exactly retribution on Comeau is silly when there are more valuable targets.

    The coach is articulately the philosophy. He stuck with Purcell on the top line, and rolled the top three lines, rather than use Gazdic.

  109. stevezie says:

    godot10,

    I’ll be honest: I’m not sure what you’re saying here. I agree with Bruce that while fighting might be on the way out, sticking up for a mate is not.

    Are you on this page too? Or are you saying the whole complaint is silly? Because I’m not sure anyone here was calling for Gazdic on the 1st line. In fact, I think Bruce is (and I am trying to be) saying that Gazdic is not the issue here. One guy fighting is not the same thing as a unified team that supports each other.

  110. stevezie says:

    godot10,

    As far as the coach goes, that he plays Gazdic regularly at all shows that you probably do not have an ally in TMac here.

  111. Water Fire says:

    Bruce McCurdy: I’d settle for Justin Lidstrom.

    No doubt, but then Lidstrom was an aggressive player. He refused to even let someone chip a puck by him. Wildly competitive.

    Hear hear on your thoughts on push back. There has to be something. Hall and Drai will put a puck in your net if you embarrass them, to prove who’s boss. Hall is getting chippier, same deal, hack or run me and wait for my elbow or slash or check from behind, it IS coming.

    I think it’s awful that such a brilliant game that has so much speed and creative fluid play still mires itself in farmer fisticuffs and thoughts on pointless violence at least 30 years out of date. Which probably matches the vintage of the old farts calling the shots still.

    Still if the league won’t pull itself out of 4 place major sport bush league status, the players of the Edmonton Oilers need a posse. And if it is that way, a posse that errs on the home side of the question.

  112. sliderule says:

    godot10,

    Gazdic doesn’t hit anyone or intimidate.

    He wants to be a hockey player.

    It’s unfortunate that he fails at both a player and intimidater

  113. geowal says:

    I like Matt Henderson, but I honestly couldn’t finish reading that “article”, ridiculously over the top.

  114. godot10 says:

    stevezie:
    godot10,

    As far as the coach goes, that he plays Gazdic regularly at all shows that you probably do not have an ally in TMac here.

    Playing 8 minutes on the 4th line against the other 4th line doesn’t mean anything.

    If McLellan were interested in retribution, after the crosscheck to Davidson, he would have played Gazdic on Hall’s line and gave him valuable targets to maim.

    So don’t blame the players. The coach wanted to play hockey. If a player wants to keep his job, he best follow the lead of his coach.

  115. SwedishPoster says:

    geowal,

    Yep that was pretty pathetic. Came off as a slighted 14 year old.

  116. boxman says:

    Lots of angry people here, It seems everybody is so pissed off from the past they can’t see the future. The future is very bright! As for Gazdic, poll his teammates and see if they like him on the bench, guessing yes. Justin Shultz will either swim or drown in the coming months so why the hate? As for not sticking up for teammates my hunch is Peter and Todd are noting it. Did I mention how exciting the future is?

  117. stevezie says:

    godot10,

    I don’t think your argument holds water. If the coach was not interested in the things Gazdic does, he wouldn’t play him at all. You are taking his refusal to do something bizarre and unprecedented, play a forth liner on the first line, as an indicator of a larger philosophy.

    I know you like thin slicing, and so do I, but it is off-base here. First of all, we don’t need just a thin slice when we have access to the whole loaf. This is a coach who has played John Scott and Mike Brown in the same line-up and who has regularly dressed Luke “4th in the league in fighting majors” Gazdic. He clearly has use for this player type.

    Secondly, your thing slice is wrong. You are saying his refusal to put Gaz on the first line is a sign. What coach does that? Who? I don’t think any do it on a regular basis and I can’t name any in the modern age who do it… ever. Hell, even when Randy Carlyle was insisting on dressing McClaren AND Orr he kept them both on the 4th.

    And finally, I’m still not sure if you are disagreeing with Bruce and I. You really think the coach is glad no one responded at all to the Comeau hit? Maybe he doesn’t like fighting (which is not what the evidence suggests, but maybe), but you think he is glad no one responded at all? I feel like you are ignoring what we’re saying here, so I’ll restate it:

    It’s not just about fighting. There are other ways to support your teammates. For years now, the Oilers have been in the habit of none of them.

  118. Bruce McCurdy says:

    godot10:

    If McLellan were interested in retribution, after the crosscheck to Davidson, he would have played Gazdic on Hall’s line and gave him valuable targets to maim.

    “Maim” is your word, not mine.

    I understand your mindset about hitting other guys. I figure you just step it up against the whole team in response, but there’s no way the perp should be let off the hook while his teammates get run. If you want to deliver a message, one of them can be “if you thug one of our guys, you personally are going to pay a price for that. Your teammates too, but you especially.”

    Is that malice aforethought or is it merely policing the neighbourhood & keeping the streets safe? I’m not sure I can answer that but I will say this: that’s hockey.

  119. Animalis says:

    That game was lost as soon as Davidson went down. It took all the energy out of the team and shortly after the trip attempt by Iginla it was time for the Oilers to set the tone for the next match-up. I felt like every time Colorado touched the puck they should have paid dearly for it, and every Oiler that just skated past a check should have been benched. That cross check should have resulted in a fight, especially being down by 2 at that time you need something to keep momentum and punish a very dirty attack. The Oilers are starting to play cowardly again and they are going to continue to lose games and players because of it. It’s sad to watch that kind of game played by any professional team, it’s worse watching it every other night from the oilers.

    Things you learn playing hockey growing up
    Finish your checks
    Make sure you clear your zone shooting the puck out
    Hit the friken net
    Tie up your man in front of the net
    Stand in front of the net and hope to hell your D man doesn’t hit you with the puck.
    Backcheck harder than you forecheck.

    Why do the Oilers refuse to do these simple things from time to time. I know they are putting an incredible effort in most of the time this year and they are going to be outstanding very shortly. But FFS if you won’t do the simple things regularly your going to be embarrassed more often than not.

  120. Jasmine says:

    leadfarmer,

    Oilers would have gotten penalized for it and Comeau would have gotten away with nothing and Colorado would have ended up on the PP when it should have been the Oilers on the PP. Back to the Minnesota game when Dumba threw a head shot at Korpi and got nothing. Gryba defended him and he ended up getting the penatly and Dumba got nothing and Minnesota ended up on the PP instead it should have been the Oilers on the PP.

  121. Jasmine says:

    Stanley 2018,

    Oilers would have been penalized for protecting teammates. According to NHL, the Oilers aren’t allowed to protect their teammates and if they do, they’ll get penalized for it.

  122. Jasmine says:

    sliderule,

    2 Acalanche goals shouldn’t have counted as the striped clowns missed penalties on the Avs.

  123. stevezie says:

    Jasmine,

    Some penalties are long term investments. Especially in a 5-1 game. See Bruce’s Montreal example.

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